Saturday, April 30, 2011

Park and Pups

Today we were blessed with a visit from my friend Wendy and her family!  I haven't seen her since December so as you can imagine, I was THRILLED.

They came for a Royals game and we spent the afternoon at the park playing with their kids and their two new lab pups, Shiloh and Summit. 
Tanner was especially smitten with Summit.
The puppies found some mud :)
We spent 2 1/2 hours at the park just letting the kids and dogs roam.  Sophie even got in on the action.  She took her first car ride with her head hanging out the window.  Her ears flopped joyfully in the breeze.  So cute!

Us Gingers' got a little red from the full sun, but we had a wonderful time.  It was such a blessing to spend some time with such good friends.  They'll be at service tomorrow so be sure to say Hi! 

Thank You Lord

The Catch

Richard took this on his phone camera this morning. Elijah had the best time and it's all he can talk about. Thank you Papa and Grandma!

Gone Fishing

Grandma and Grandpa took Elijah over night for his birthday. He went fishing with Grandpa and shopping with Grandma.

Gone Fishin'

Stick em' up

Digging for worms

Friday, April 29, 2011

Park Fun!

Blogs may mainly consist of pics for a while. I hope you don't mind. I'm enjoying my new toy :)


Tanner, Brennan, Andrew



Brennan, Tanner, Cale, and Andrew hanging out.  Talking about life...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fairy Princess

Anneliese found her TuTu

She wore it all day, with her stocking cap.  Of course!

Even while in her high chair, we had to stuff it under the tray

She frolicked to and fro

Thank you Auntie Becky!  I love it!

It Came!

My camera came yesterday and after charging it for a couple hours it's up and ready to go.

I'm learning the ins and outs of it and it has a couple super cool features!

It has facial recognition software so it organizes images according to the faces.  If I take a pic of Graham it labels him and then offers to let me view all the pics with his face that are in the memory.

Plus it's Kodak and they're all about " easily sharing" your images.  I can set it up to share on Facebook or any other image sharing site any time I hook it up to the computer it automatically uploads the images.  That's pretty cool!

Here's a couple quick shots I took fresh out of the box.  Not the best, but I'm learning!
My handsome hubby watching TV in his fav hoodie :)

Hello FLASH :)

Camera at arms length

Two of my favorite people being goofy
Ms. Alisa over at The Sweet Life is currently working on a case and wrist strap to protect my investment :) I'll have a blog showing all her craftiness soon.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

He Is Risen

Last year my sweet Tanner drew a picture of Christ on the cross for Easter. I asked him last night if he would please draw me a new picture to post for you. He did not disappoint. I love the Glory of God shining down on Christ. What a precious image seen through the eyes of a child that truly has a heart for God.

Happy Easter, He is not here! He is RISEN!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Best Deal Ever!

I am so excited!  I have been saving my babysitting dollars to purchase a new camera.

Yesterday was the big day!  I took the plunge and purchased this beauty:
I wanted a simple point and shoot that takes fantastic pictures.  If all the websites that reviewed this camera are accurate, then I have succeeded!

It has a 3.5" touch screen that lets you sort through your pics like my iPhone.  Very cool!  It takes HD video and has 14.1 mega pixels.  It was designed for mother's on the go that want to take great pics of their kids with little delay or complication.  It has 2GB memory that holds 5,000 images at 14 mp.  No need for a memory card, although it has a spot for one.  Pair all that with the fact that it comes in pink and I do believe we were made for each other.

Are you ready for the best part?

When this camera came out in early 2010 it was $300!!  It still sells on Kodak's website for $279.  There are places online like Amazon where you can buy used ones or refurbished ones for around $150-$180.  There was even one new in the box on Craigslist for $160.

My pink little beauty cost a whopping $89 including shipping.  A couple days watching sweet babies and now I'll be able to capture Sis' first Easter egg hunt.  I've been without a nice camera since my Sony bit the dust on my trip to Florida (a year ago).  We've made due with a couple hand me downs from friends/family (Thank you BTW :) and our phones so we could wait and save.

Little did I know I would find exactly what I wanted so affordable.  Yipeeee!

I can't wait!  Come on UPS truck!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

One More Fav!

I totally forgot to mention my best concoction so far! 

You need this:
and this:
When the bag of popcorn is fresh out of the microwave, dump 1/4 cup Splenda, and then shake shake shake your cinnamon.

You end up with sweet, salty, buttery goodness that slightly resembles this:

When you're desperate for something sweet and you're watching your waistline this will absolutely do in a pinch.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Few Healthy Favs!

I have a couple things that I'm in love with right now.  I thought I'd share simply because this life long journey of being healthy can become somewhat mundane at times.  Here's a few things you may not be aware of!

-Diet Lipton White tea with Raspberry!  YUMM.  When we lived in Joplin there was a quaint little dive called The Red Onion.  We all loved them for their Raspberry Tea!  This was a trip down memory lane for me and just as good as I remembered it. 
-We like a bit of a kick in our food and we love hot wings. I have only been able to find this consistently at Price Chopper.  Take some boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips,  and shake it up in a ziplock bag.  Bake in the oven at 425 for about 20 minutes and you have buffalo "wings" that are boneless, crazy healthy, AND delicious
-Greek yogurt is all the rage right now and I'm no exception. I love 0% Fage for lots of uses! First of all, for those hot wings! Take some Fage and mix a partial packet of ranch seasoning into it and you have yummy fat free Ranch dip. A rare find in the world of dieting. It's also really good drizzled with honey with a few walnuts on top. Sweet, salty, and a sour all in one! SO GOOD. Fat Free plain Fage tastes awesome on top of your favorite Mexican dish. It's a creamy sour cream substitute that tastes so much better than Fat Free sour cream.
-And as always and forever.  My Starbucks Pikes Place beans paired with some skim milk and three pumps of Starbucks sugar free caramel syrup.  Walk up to your local Starbucks and resist the urge to purchase a $5 coffee.  Pay a total of $20 for a bag of Pikes Place and a bottle of Syrup (pump is free if you ask), go home and make your very own for $.35.  You don't have to have a fancy espresso machine, most of my buddies and I started out with $5 machines we picked up at Goodwill and cleaned up with a decalcifier (vinegar).  When you gain some skill and know how and decide to be a coffee snob, you can save up for a fancier machine.  Regardless, when you love the pricey stuff it definitely pays to make your own.  And for now, you can make your own with their exact product.  DELISH!  I make 1 or 2 a day for a lo-cal pick me up.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Random Updates

-Today is 4 weeks post op. I'm feeling leaps and bounds better and today I get to start "light" exercise! Whoo Hoo! Since I've been feeling a bit like this:
I'm eager to get back to some form of fitness. Just some light lifting :)
-The shellac nails bombed.  They only stayed on my finger nails for 24 hours.  I was sorely disappointed.  It seemed like such a great idea and they looked soo nice for 2 whole days...  I should've known.  My nails don't hold polish for even one day.  Something about my body chemistry I guess. 
-I'm only slightly offended that out of 71,000 hits I only received 2 comments on my poll about my hair...  Do you see what I did in that sentence?  I mentioned a hit mile stone, in a way thanking you for reading, all while getting onto you in the same sentence!  That's some writing genius right there :)  I can only assume you are in the same camp as my spouse.  He likes them both and doesn't really have a preference.  Unfortunately for me, I still can't decide. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Random Survey

21.  Dandelion bouquets from Graham and Eli

I have an appointment for a hair cut at my favorite place on Monday.  I'm just curious what your opinion is.  I love my hair long and it will likely stay that way until my dying day, but I'm always looking to spruce it up a bit.

This is what it looked like the last time I had it cut by this stylist:

Forgive the chub I was 6mos post preggers with Sis :)
 This is the trap I tend to fall into, I let it grow trimming the ends and it ends up all one length:
Forgive the chub, I was 6 mos pregnant with Sis :)
Do you have a preference?  It will always be long, always be red, so the cut is one way to switch it up a bit, but I'm a bit particular about my length.  I don't want to lose much and it makes me anxious to get it cut.  When I look at the second picture I long (pun intended) for it to be that length again.

When it's layered heavily it's a lot more work.  I can't just blow dry it and go, but I love the way it looks.  Obviously, I'm conflicted.  Any help would be appreciated :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tanner Was Baptized!

20. Salvation!  Free salvation from a God who loved me so much to send His son!

Tanner is 9 years old and has been asking us for close to a year to be baptized.

Jared and I feel very strongly that we want a decision like this to be one that affects the rest of his life and not just something he does to satisfy us.

After a lot of prayer and talking with an Elder, we decided our sweet little Tanner was ready for the plunge.  He is the first of our brood to make this decision.

During Jared's counseling Tanner, Jared asked him who he would like to baptize him.  Jared explained it could be anyone.  Tanner immediately said, "Mr. Dan.  I love him."  Jared and I were absolutely touched and thrilled that he would pick his Sunday school teacher.  Dan is an elder in our church and someone that Tanner very much loves and respects.  I hear stories all the time about how Mr. Dan was a soldier.  He has really captured Tanner's heart.

Sorry for the blurry image.  We actually have a video but, due to it's size, we can't get it to upload.  This is a still shot from the video right after Tanner came up out of the water. 

I wondered leading up to this if I would cry.  It was such a precious moment shared by our congregation.  I couldn't help but well up with emotion.

Praise God!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Thank You?

17.  Spring!  New life, and renewal.

Yesterday a large box showed up in the mail.

Elijah brought it to me immediately wanting to know what it was.

I thought and thought and couldn't come up with anything that I had ordered.  It was addressed to me so I let him open it.

You can imagine my surprise when he yelled, "It's shoes mom."

Shoes?  I didn't order any.  He brought me a Steve Madden black leather wedge.  Super cute, and in my size.  Weird!

There was no letter, no note.  Just a super cute pair of pricey sandals.   

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Random Acts Of Thought

-In conjunction with the blog I wrote the other day on One Thousand Gifts, I plan to write something I'm thankful for on each blog I write.  At the top of the blog, regardless of the topic, there will be something like this:

14.  My espresso machine and a good latte'

That is literally my number 14 on my list.  Don't smirk, it's important to thank Him for all things.  On chilly mornings I simply love a warm latte'.  Therefore, I thank God for providing the means to have one :)

-I went back to work on Tuesday.  I do really well for about two hours.  Then I'm tired, swollen, and ready for the recliner.  Last night I had to cut my shift short due to bleeding through my bandage.  I'm not working out, or lifting, or anything else I'm not supposed to do.  I'm released to go back to work.  They told me that due to the severity of my infection I'm going to be a little slower getting back to normal.  Regardless, I feel leaps and bounds better than I did a week ago.  Other than running out of steam, I would say I'm 100%. 

-My little girl loves her Daddy and she LOVES laying in his spot to watch Dora in our room.  What happens if it's early and Dad's not up yet?  No worries, she loves Daddy's spot even better when he's in it.

-Best thing about babysitting?  Getting paid in gift certificates to one of your favorite places!  Today I get to go get my fingernails painted with Shellac.  I am a recovering nail bitter and it breaks my heart each time one of my nails break.  They are really long and pretty right now and with a coat of Shellac they will stay that way.  It's a new type of polish that hardens the nails without damaging them.  SO EXCITED!

-Allergy season has hit like a ton of bricks!!!  I would say it's my worst year by far, but Jared says I say that every year :)  Thankfully, I started Allegra D and my symptoms have gotten remarkably less, and even somewhat tolerable.  Ohh, make that number 15!

15.  Allegra D and far less sneezing!  Thank you Lord.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Caught Thankful Handed

God had a book He wanted me to read.

Typically I wouldn't claim such a bold statement, but...I was gifted the same book 3 times in a month.  How can you deny that?  I was thankful for the gift the first time, a birthday gift from my sweet Alisa, but too busy to sit down and start it.  The second time it came in an email with a link.  Not knowing anything about the author plus not realizing it was the same book I was gifted I just a week before, the email was skimmed and set aside.

I was in the hospital and feeling really down, and depression was sneaking in.  Even though I had told Jared I didn't want company (due to feeling sorry for myself) he knew better.  He encouraged my friends to visit.  What a gift!

One of my visitors was my sweet Michelle and her hubby Nick.  She brought me a gift bag.  It's not surprising since this is her love language.  So generous, always thoughtful.  As I opened the bag I immediately noticed, the book!  The same book!

After everyone went home I was alone with my thoughts.  I had been fever free for about 18 hours and was told I had to be fever free for 24 before they'd even consider letting me go home.  I started to chill.  I text Jared and said, "I'm pretty sure my fever is back, do I tell them?"  This may sound ridiculous, but I was desperate to be home, to be well.  He said, "Of course!  We don't want to have to bring you back."

Sure enough my fever was 100.5 and climbing.  My nurse Matt (who was awesome)  told me to get up, take deep breaths and we'd check in a hour.  I was so upset.  I decided to sit in the recliner and start the book, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.
You really must get this book.  As someone who struggles with depression at times, as someone who gets overwhelmed by life, who struggles with seeing the good at times, this book is a life changer.  She is a gifted writer who challenges the reader to see the goodness of God in everything.  The "thousand gifts" is a list she made of things she's thankful for.  So when you buy the book (follow the link above and buy it now on Amazon), buy a small journal.  I read the first several chapters and started my list.

My mind was transformed from the depressed, self pity, wallower, to a thankful gift seeking lover of God.  I am constantly on the search for another thing to be thankful for to add to my list.

Yesterday in church Elijah was sitting in front of me.  He kept sticking his hands through the back of the seat.  Since he was born we have all loved his hands.  We've always said he has paws.  Our favorite phrase for him is, "don't poke the bear."  His chubby little hands, a smaller and thicker version of his Daddy's with perfectly placed brown specks.  I pulled my journal from my purse and wrote:

10.  Elijah's paws.

He turned and noticed me writing and asked, "what is that?"  I explained it is where I write things I'm thankful for so I can praise God and thank Him for each thing.  Then he said, "What are you writing?"  I answered, "I am thankful for your hands.  I love your paws."  He smiled so sweet and genuine looking at his own hands and said, "Really?" 

Yes sweet boy, I am thankful for every square inch of you and I praise God that I have you even if it's just for a while.