Friday, July 30, 2010


Our little girl has more motherly instincts than women 20 times her age (sounds impressive, keep in mind she's one :)).  I do feel the need to mention her Daddy dressed her this morning.  That would be why she's not in her typical pink attire and instead is sporting a Jayhawk jersey :)

She was created to be a mommy and even at 16mos old she is showing signs of caring for and nurturing her babies (oh and she's become a total ham for the camera):

CPR For Dummies

This morning I headed out at 8 for my FA/CPR/AED certification.  I was shocked at how easy it was.  You need to remember that the last time I went through such a class it was a good 14 years ago in college.

I couldn't believe how dumbed down simplified it was.  We watched a video for 4 hours with a couple hands on practice sessions and I walked out certified.

Years ago we had computerized dummies that printed out a pass or fail.  There were closed book tests, and 6-7 hours of class just for CPR.

The instructor mentioned that they have made CPR and FA (first aid) teachable at a 2nd grade level.  I was shocked!  They are now teaching how to use an AED in 7 year old's class rooms.

I understand on one level.  The easier it is to understand the more likely an individual is to use the information and possibly save lives.

On the other hand, what does it say as a society that in order to comprehend the information enough to reach out & save life, we have to be taught (as adults) on a second grade level?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Jared mentioned to me a week or so ago  that he hasn't taken his vacation yet this year.

Hmm, hadn't thought of that!  What a wonderful thing to sneak up on you!

He decided to break up a week of vaca over the course of this week and next due to an elder's meeting.  So we had him all day yesterday and he's staying home again today.

Yesterday we just stayed home other than a morning at the Y.  It was good day to just be with family lounging together and loving one another.

Today I'm hoping to go to Dave and Busters!  Several months ago they had a promotion where you could put $10 on a card anytime you went in with a coupon.  Jared had a stack of coupons (I think from Fantasy Football guys, THANKS guys!) and made it his mission to get as much as possible on a card.

He would make little trips over there while out calling and I believe he has $40-$50 on one card.  I had a card I put a couple on but Mom and I already used it up long ago.

Today is Wednesday and the games are 1/2 price so we are going to take the kids.

Next week we have a day at the Deanna Rose Farmstead planned.  Our orthodontist has lavished us with coupons to Red Robin for free kids meals.  So after a fun morning at the farmstead we're going to hit the Olathe Red Robin and have a mostly free lunch!

Monday, July 26, 2010


Remember the baby shower I blogged about?

Guess who's here!

Baby Emilee Kate was born last night.  I am hoping to see her tonight.

Congrats Jason, Jenny and boys.  I can attest to just how enriched your life will become with such a precious pink addition.

Thank you Lord for such a precious gift!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Men Are Like...

While in a local gas station the boys where exploring.  They found a stash of Koozies with different sayings on them.

Brennan in particular gets a kick out of witty sayings and collects t-shirts with different goofy statements on them.  He was super tickled by one that said "I have one nerve left...and you're on it."

I was concerned that they may come across one or two that I wouldn't approve of and just as I was calling them to me so we could leave, Tanner brought me one that said:

"Men are like..... Blenders.You need one, but you're not quite sure why."

I just said, "Wow, that's not very nice. Put it back." We headed out and for the boys that was the end of it. It has really stuck with me. 

First of all, I have a blender.  It's a Kitchen Aid professional blender that I requested for Mother's Day 3 or 4 years ago and I use it daily.  We are huge into fresh fruit smoothies in our house.  In fact I use it so much that this morning I had to order a replacement Clutch Rubber Coupling due to wearing out the old one (this will be our 3rd).

I brought up the offensive Koozie to Jared.  He was equally unimpressed. 

Here's my issue:  Jared has explained to me that men are really pretty cut and dry.  They want to be the absolute best and whatever it is they do. 

We as women have significant power over that. 

If we constantly tell our husbands (sons) they are invaluable assets to our family that are cherished and irreplaceable, they will strive to be the best at that.  If we tell our husbands (sons) that they have no value, are worthless, and just an extra mouth to feed they will strive to be the best at that.

Our society is constantly devaluing men and their role in the family.  It may seem like "just a Koozie" but my sons had a small lesson in how society values men that day.

As a home school family outsiders are constantly concerned about my children and whether or not they're "socialized."

According to Wikipedia this is the definition of Socialization:

Socialization is a term used by sociologists, social psychologists, anthropologists, politicians and educationalists to refer to the process of inheriting norms, customs and ideologies. It may provide the individual with the skills and habits necessary for participating within their own society; a society itself is formed through a plurality of shared norms, customs, values, traditions, social roles, symbols and languages. Socialization is thus ‘the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained."

I am more than happy to announce that my children will not be Socialized. They will not share this world's "norms, customs, values, traditions, social roles, symbols and languages," and hopefully because of that our "social and cultural continuity" will be severely disrupted.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Random Thoughts

-Today is the 4 year anniversary of my Dad's passing.  Jared and I were in casual conversation talking about all the people we know who's birthday is today.  Jared was telling a story and mentioned it was the 22nd and a wave washed over me.  I am so thankful for the time that has passed.  That first night I just kept saying, "I want it to be a year from now."  I knew that in time, the horrible physical pain of loss would lessen.  I think about him often.  I was thinking about him on my run this morning actually.  Thankfully, now I can remember him and love him without being overwhelmed by the sting of death.  Praise God for His healing.

-I am starting chapter 7 today in my studies.  The first available testing date is Aug 28th.  It is my goal to be prepared by then.  At the rate I'm going it shouldn't be too much of an issue.  I want to re-read the first 3 chapters once I've completed the book.  They were the most overwhelming and I can't imagine it will hurt to go over them again.

-While swimming the other day Graham said to me, "I would NOT be happy if your drown-ded."  That is good to know :)

-VBS is this week and it's going great!  Chris has done an exceptional job and provided a VBS like we haven't had before.  It's sports themed and the kids are all having a wonderful time.  My boys count down the hours until time to go.  What a blessing!  Good job Chris!!!!  You hit this one out of the park :)

-Thanks to David and Erin T.  we have a dehumidifier!!!  I can't even begin to express how happy this makes me.  Our basement was being overcome by mold.  We had a small rug down there that I had to drag out and put in the dump due to the mold growing on it.  Erin mentioned to me that it works, it just takes a full day before you'll see water in the basin.  Well, unless you're overachievers like we are.  There was a good two inches of water in the basin after just 1 hour.  We hooked up a hose and now it trickles constantly into the sump pump.

    -Our house smells better overall
    -The basement is dry (mold be gone!)
    -The sore throat that had been plaguing us for weeks is gone.

Thank you David and Erin!!!  We are so appreciative!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Baby Shower Fun

I apologize that I haven't posted any pics in several posts! I was on a roll of posting at least something with some color in it for each post. It was a kind of reward for coming back and reading my goofiness. Unfortunately my busyness has taken over.

Alisa and I had a baby shower for Jenny H. last Sunday. It was a whole lotta pink and a whole lotta fun :) Her baby girl will be here in less than a week (scheduled c-section)!! I'm desperate for the name of the female Haggerty. GIVE IT TO ME :) Here's a picture of the cake I made for the event:
When trying to find affordable decoration ideas I found this on Martha Stewart Baby:
I love them and they are super easy and super cheap. I'm sure I'll be making these for Anneliese's birthdays to come. We hung several balloon daisies from the ceiling. Her colors were pink and green with butterflies!

As a center piece I put together four flower pots. I just used foam and small dowel rods. I painted the rods green and covered the foam with peat moss. Once I had them somewhat arranged the boys and I adorned them with 4 different packages of hair accessories. There are clips, headbands, and hair ties all over these little pots. After the shower we dismantled the pots and sent Jenny home with a baggie full of hair ties for her sweet girl.
Here are a couple areal views of everyone enjoying fellowship and cake :)
Come Quickly Sweet Baby!!! We are desperate to snuggle you!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

It's Hot in Topeka

I saw this on a friend's facebook page and had to share it for my family and readers in the Topeka area. It made me giggle.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Quick Study Update

After working through the 2nd chapter (yes, only the 2nd) I felt defeated.

It's just so much information. 

I LOVE the internet.  More specifically, I love Google.  I googled, "Overwhelmed by ACE Personal Trainer Manual" and found an entire forum of people going through (or just came out of) my exact situation.

What an encouragement to hear them say that the first three chapters are the most difficult and often detour people from continuing towards their certification.  It really is an encouragement simply because I now know that it's not going to get progressively harder.

There were great tips and even suggested supplemental books (one of which I got for FREE on paperbackswap, Thanks Christi!).

One woman just finished her test and gave a list of 13 "must know" topics.  What a relief.  I can do it!!

Please pray for my family as I work through this.  It is taking a lot of Mommy's time and energy.  The kids may end up working on some school work over the next couple weeks just so there is some quiet in the house.  All of us can sit down and work on our studies together.


Running, Training, Testing, Determination

This morning ended week 7 of my 19 week training schedule.  I was to run a hour and forty-five minutes.  Whew, that's a long time.  It was kinda funny because as I was running I got tickled by a few things.

-About a hour and ten minutes into the run a house along 123rd had a stone in their yard with their name on it.  Their name is "Long."  I just chuckled and thought, "Ugh, no kidding!!"

-In the last mile as my legs began to quiver I saw a large white pick up truck with personal tags that read, "Will Power."  Yes, I do believe it takes some serious will power and I am thankful to say that I accomplished my goal.

I ran 9.45 miles and when I finally came to the end my body swayed left and right while my legs shook.  It was a weird sensation but something I assume I will revisit soon.

I have begun studying through my books for Personal Training Cert.  It has been 13 years since I graduated Paramedic at MSSC.  That's a really long time ago :)  It's a lot harder to study with 5 little people vying for attention.

This is no longer just an idea.  There is a deadline and money has been invested.  I purchased my books and yesterday signed up and paid for my CPR/AED certification.  The class is on the 30th and the soonest I can take the PT Test is mid August.  The cost just for taking the test is $250 so I have to be prepared.  There are 18 chapters all approx 30 pages each of in depth, mind numbing detail.  It took me around 3.5 hours just to make it through the first chapter (taking notes, writing out 46 vocabulary words, and completing the study guide).

I know that the test is 150 multiple choice and 2 essay but what will or won't they include?  The information is exhaustive.  Thankfully I have a sample test provided produced by ACE that was included in my books. 

Needless to say I'm a bit intimidated.  In order to take the test in August I have to consume and retain a chapter every day and a half.  Remember the husband, 5 kids, dog, cats, house, and minister's wife duties that already crowded my plate :)?

I can and will do it.  This will help our family significantly and if God is going to open all these doors I can promise you I will not be the reason it doesn't succeed.  Just keep all this in mind over the next 6 weeks if you need me to do you a favor :)  It may just have to wait.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Jared and I have a large family (shock! I know) in a very expensive county on a single income during a downward trending economy.  It really isn't any surprise that we are struggling financially.

Our church is extremely generous and provides for our needs.  I don't want in anyway to portray anything different.

The fact is:  We've chosen a large family and with that, there are bigger bills to pay.  I am going to have to work in some capacity in order to continue to work on paying off our debts with gazelle like intensity (Hello Dave Ramsey fans :)).

If you regularly visit AlticQuiver then you are aware of the fact that I'm a self proclaimed health nut.  I have worked off and on for Weight Watchers for 7 years.  I quit working for WW after Anneliese was born for lots of reasons (feel free to ask when you have some time to spend).  I have no desire to go back.

What is a home schooling mom of 5 to do in order to bring in some extra income? 

I have been taking inventory of my talents, likes, passions etc.  I have decided to become a personal trainer.  While hanging out at the Y this week I have really been reminded just how much the kids and I miss it.  If I were to work at the Y as a trainer our family would get free membership ($100/mth value).

After calling the Director I found out a lot of information.  I have to be certified through ACE.  There is a big test to take and I have to have a current CPR and AED certification.  I found a man here in KC that just completed the test and even took a class to help him study for the exam.  He is selling all his materials for 1/3 of the cost through ACE and including all the study helps he received from the class.  The kids and I are picking them up tonight.

The pay and benefits are great.  My favorite part is I can use my previous training/education as a paramedic for the anatomy aspect of personal training and use my Weight Watchers history to help my clients achieve and maintain their personal goals.  I will be able to help with diet and exercise.

We would greatly appreciate prayers as I study my brains out and take the certification test in Aug (hopefully).  There is currently a position open in Bonner but we understand that by the time I'm certified it could be filled.  I am praying for an opening at our local Y is available once I'm certified.

Jared and I have talked about it a lot and it just seems like a great fit and a great benefit to our family.  The Lord always provides for us.  The more we look into this and things just fall into place, it seems this will be a way He provides for us in the near future.

When Life Gives You Lemons...Become a Personal Trainer

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Camera Envy

I love photography (like a lot of people).  A couple years ago I saved and saved and planned to purchase my first DSLR.  When it came time to pull the trigger Jared convinced me not to buy a camera so complicated I wouldn't be able to use it without taking a course at the local JuCo.

I purchased a Sony Cyber-shot  DSC-H3 point and shoot.
It's a good camera and takes great pics compared to my old camera.  Honestly it has some options I needed help figuring out (Thanks Ryan M.).  I'm not real good about reading manuals.

My sweet friend Alisa received this camera for Christmas and takes some amazing pictures.  I look forward to her posts just to see what she's captured lately.  Look at her birthday flowers from her precious man:

While I've enjoyed my Sony the advertising machine definitely grabbed my attention with this commercial.

I LOVE it and love the idea of being able to use it as a point and shoot all while learning the ins and outs of the extra capabilities over time.  It's getting rave reviews!  The $500 price tag ($460 ish used) will keep this well out of reach, but even a poor girl can dream.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hangin In There

Dad's at camp and we're lonely.

It's weird not having him come home in the evenings.  I had a really hard time getting to sleep Sunday night.

Things always seem to fall apart when he's absent.  The basement flooded yesterday, the garbage disposal is leaking, and the pedestal sink in the bathroom had a trickle of water coming from it.  I was able to drain the basement and put a bowl under the kitchen sink for now.  It's not that he would be the one repairing them so much, it's more just for moral support and help with the kids.  

We went to the Y again this morning.  I had my 40 minute training run.  It's different running on a treadmill but it's been a nice change.  We swam for quite a while and then mom called and said she was coming to KC.  We've had a nice lazy afternoon with Sis & Graham napping.  I even crashed for a while watching TV. 

Tanner is over at Trent's until tomorrow.  It's quiet here and we miss our Daddy.  I just pray he has a blessed week and lives are changed.  It makes it a little easier having him away when we know he's telling people about Jesus.

Monday, July 12, 2010

What a Great Morning!

Jared and I have had a Y membership in the past. We canceled it two years ago due to being dead broke budget cuts.  For a home school family the Y offers so much.

-It's a way for the boys to get P.E. 

-It offers me a much needed break from the kids.  They go and do their thing while I listen to worship music and have some time to myself.  This may seem minor to some but understand a home school family is together...all the one place...with out a break.

-It has so many programs for the kids from swim lessons to ball camps.

-Jared and I have a goal to break the cycle of obesity in our family and growing up with the local Y as a daily/weekly aspect of our lives will make a difference in our kids' lives in the long term.

-The indoor pool offers hours of water fun without fear of melanoma.  Very important for a fair skinned family like ours.

Needless to say I have missed it so much.  Our sweet Jess gave us a 30 day pass!  We've had it for a few months but have hoarded it waiting for the perfect time to start our precious 30 days of access.  Since Jared is at camp and we're coming into the hottest part of the summer we started it today.  I am able to go ahead with my training runs in Jared's absence and we can swim every day!

We all got up at our own pace and leisurely got ready.  We loaded up and headed to the Y.  It took just a few minutes to get signed up and get our new cards.

Since Brennan and Tanner are 2 years older there is so much available to them.  A nice gentleman took them around and showed them what equipment they are allowed to use and how to use them.  Elijah went into the older kids play area where they have Wii and other games.  Anneliese and Graham went to the child care and had a ball.

Once I was done running and doing all of 2 or 3 sit-ups (my abs are a bit weak after 5 kiddos!) I took the kids into the pool.  Sis cried for the first 15 minutes but then was fine.  Brennan and Tanner took the "swim test" in order to use the slides.  They had to jump into the deep end and swim the length of the pool without stopping.  They both made it!!  I was so proud of them since they've never had swim lessons.  Apparently having a day at Aunt Sonya's pool was all they needed.

We swam for an hour and forty-five minutes and then headed home!

What a blessed morning!  And it was FREE!  Thank you so much Ms. Jess.  We love you!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer Ball Pics

The boys haven't played t-ball, soccer, football etc. We haven't enrolled them in any sports so they have little knowledge of how to play. Today I took them outback and set up 4 bases, gave them a plastic bat and ball. After explaining the game they played for a good hour. Graham was hilarious and really couldn't get the concept of running the bases. He would wander aimlessly around the yard yelling, "You can't get me!" Sophie had a ball chasing the kids.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Jason and Erin have been married 2 years today! Happy Anniversary guys!
Who knew what God had in store! What a blessed 2 years it's been. May God bless you all. We love you!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Contentment Is A Verb

I am feeling overwhelmed by my space.

We have a lot of living beings in a modest amount of square footage.  When trying to describe my mind's current state all I can do is cover my head with my arms.  I feel piled upon. 

My mother is on her way over to hang out.  Since my van has found it's way back to our sweet Jason for repair, we are stranded.  I know she's already left her house and is on her way so I can tell you of my plans for her :)

The boys have already stripped their beds and brought their linens down for wash.  I plan to seriously purge the upstairs today.  We cleaned it really well a few days ago but it needs sorting.  There is stuff in every nook and cranny.

Jared and I love our home.  It's beautiful and so much more than we ever thought we'd have.  I need to organize, clean and maintain what we have to feel comfortable in my own space.

Once this rain passes the outside will get a once over as well.  I want to put up the porch decor that I found.  Our mower needs some repair since it mows at such a severe angle it's scalping the yard (any ideas?) and the yard looks worse after we mow it.  The driveway has better grass than the front yard and it needs a good grass killer.

In the end we are ridiculously blessed and are so thankful for the house/things God has granted.

Now I need to get to work!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

R & R

Our family has been battling a head/chest cold for about 3 weeks.  So far I've been muscling through and running through the illness.  I decided yesterday (I was to run a short training run) to take the day off and give my body a full 72 hour rest.  I actually do feel better today and am eager to head out in the morning (last run was Saturday).

I'm doing my best to find balance with this training, family, health etc.  It's easy to get focused on the race in Oct. and forget about something as simple as the flu that morning would keep me from participating.  I plan to complete the training and finally run the race but I have to keep my health up in the meantime. 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!!!

We had an amazing afternoon and evening up a the Rice's and were so thankful to Sonya and Craig for housing us all. The kids had a ball in the pool for hours and even Grandpa, Uncle Dustin, Aunt Alanna and Uncle Craig joined in. Anneliese was more excited about her swimsuit and cover than the pool. She liked to play the drums on her tiny belly :) Jared took a ton more pics than I so keep an eye out over at NotGreener!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Shelf Refurb

Jenny H. wrote a blog about things she was needing for her new baby girl (who's name is being kept under lock and key).  I like to keep an eye out for things while hitting neighborhood garage sales.  If you'll remember I found a shelf and decided to redo it for Jenny's baby shower.  There were a lot of odds and ends painted on the shelf with thick paint and in order not to see them through the new finish they had to be sanded.  After some serious wood putty, sanding, priming and some green and pink paint I thought it turned out pretty cute.  What do you think?
Shelf $4, Green and Pink paint $2, wood filler $2.97, all other supplies (including baskets) I had on hand. Total cost: $9, giving one of your besties just what she wanted (well hopefully really close)...priceless.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Family Of God

I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God
I’ve been washed in the fountain
And cleansed by His blood
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod
For I’m a part of the family
The family of God

You will notice we say "brother and sister" 'round here
It’s because we’re a family and these folks are so near
When one has a heartache we all share the tears
We rejoice in each victory in this family so dear

I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God
I’ve been washed in the fountain
And cleansed by His blood
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod
For I’m part of the family
The family of God

From the door of an orphanage to the house of the King
No longer an outcast, a new song I sing
From rags unto riches, from the weak to the strong
I’m not worthy to be here but praise God I belong

I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God
I’ve been washed in the fountain
And cleansed by His blood
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod
For I’m a part of the family
The family of God

Yes I’m a part of His family
The family of God
© 1970 by William J. Gaither. All rights reserved.

When I was just 7 years old a fellow classmate named Cindy Armstead invited me to Whirlybirds and Jet Cadets at Valley Falls Christian Church.  It was an after school program offered on Wednesdays and I loved it.  This was the beginning of my relationship with Christ.  It wasn't long after I was baptized and the hunger for God's word and His people became a huge part of my life.

Cindy moved away when we were young and I've always had a great fondness for her and wondered where she was, who she was.  Did she have any idea the impact her simple invite had on my life?  We saw each other briefly over the years and at 17 lost touch.  Thanks to Facebook I found her a couple weeks ago and was finally able to tell her how much she affected the course of my life.

Her in-laws live on Parallel and she's super familiar with the area and even comes to visit on a regular basis.  Today we met again and went to lunch.  Even though we were practically strangers we chatted for hours.  You would think we wouldn't have anything in common due to not seeing each other for 15 years.  In fact we had a pleasant conversation like old friends since the most important thing about us we share, our faith.   We are sisters in Christ.

I am so thankful for the family God grants this side of Glory.  My visit with Cindy today was a blessing to me.  An encouragement that we have camaraderie and a connection with His people.  My visit with Cindy today was a reminder that we are not alone.  Thank you Lord for the gift that is your bride.