Tuesday, May 31, 2011

15 And Counting

June 1, 1996

 Tomorrow is our 15th wedding anniversary.  We met when we were 15 at Mission Lake Christian Camp and have been together ever since.

Senior Prom '95

I know we were young, but we were smitten from the beginning.  Engaged at 18, married at 19.  It's hard for me to imagine that for my kids, but it worked for us.  We grew up together, matured together, and grew stronger as a couple as time passed.

I can't imagine my life without him.  We have been through so much good and bad, and the Lord has blessed us beyond what either of us could have fathomed.

We waited 4.5 years for our first child.  After losing our first pregnancy and multiple miscarriages after,  we decided we would take as many as God would grant.  Never did we imagine the family we now have. 
Family Picture for Church Directory
While at OCC Jared and I prayed for a ministry.  We prayed to be near family:
Our fam & Dustin's fam Omaha Zoo trip
Uncle Jason and baby Zach

We prayed to be "where the people are" to be in a city.  We prayed for a biblical eldership, and a community with a NFL team.  You know the important stuff :)  We wanted a ministry where we could raise our family and invest in one community.  A community that would let us love them and be loved in return.
Fishing with the Stude's, one of our kids' favorite memories

 Then we received a phone call from WCCC.  It was obvious our prayers had been answered.  Jared and I are committed to our marriage, committed to our family, and committed to our ministry.  Just look what God has done and it all started:
A gift from Jared on our anniversary 4 years ago

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Do You Feel Left Out?

I'm sorry I haven't been on here much lately!

There is a lot going on in the Altic household!

If all goes as planned, we have sold our house.  We were informed today that the game is afoot.  The buyer has been approved and we are just sitting back in awe of how it's all working out.  We didn't actually put it up for sale.  It sold via word of mouth.  How cool is that?!

I took my mom to the new house today for a tour.  During our walk through I was just overwhelmed and had to cry a bit.  We're so excited and so happy.  I realized that I was guarded before, not wanting to get too excited about the prospect of this move.  Now that our house is spoken for, I was able to soak it all up and really imagine us living out in the country with the rolling hills and peach trees :)

I've been cautious about claiming "God's will" when it comes to this move.  It's awesome how it's all come about.  It is easy to praise Him, easy to thank Him.  I believe He has had His hand in this move.  However,  even if everything falls through and we stay here on Russell.  God is still good.   We will honor Him here just as we will honor Him there. 

We feel so blessed.  Blessed to be a part of this church family, blessed to have our 5 children, blessed to celebrate 15 years of marriage Wednesday.  I can write and write and write about all the things I'm thankful for. 

God is good.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hey Pops!

My mom came to visit Saturday and we went to several garage sales.

Due to gas prices and busy schedules we haven't been yet this season.  It was a lot of fun and we found some great finds. 

Our favorite was a popcorn popper that is fashioned after a movie theater popcorn machine.  We tried it out last night for the first time and we all loved it.  It's so fun, its super cute, and the popcorn is delish!

Here's some pics:
It was brand new, never used.  And it had the instructions!

As soon as it started popping Sis couldn't stop giggling.

It came with the little plastic popcorn tubs.
It worked great, tasted great, and best of all....it wasn't difficult to clean up.

Now for the price.  Any guesses?

$.50  yep.  2 quarters.  half a dollar.  The amount you can't even buy a pop for these days.

What a deal!  We are smitten!  Too fun!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Happy Graduation Berks!

Berkley H. graduated and we celebrated last night at the Haine's house.

It was a beautiful evening and the house was full of good food and good friends.  Robin asked if I would make a cake representing Berkley's 3 years in Pennsylvania at North Pocono High.  

 And cupcakes to represent her year at Piper High.

I had planned to just drop off the food, love on the Haines family and head home due to a super full week.  Three hours later we pulled into our drive.  It was a wonderful party and we had a great time. 

Thanks Bob and Robin!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Catering We Must Go!

Today began my first official catering job :)

A friend asked me to help out so she could have less stress with all her family in town.  This morning I delivered warm cinnamon rolls at 8:30a.  My poor kids were desperate for a taste :)

This evening I put together beef enchiladas, white chicken enchiladas, homemade salsa, and re-fried beans.

Tomorrow is the doozie :)  One large cake along with 48 cupcakes, rolls, meatballs, and pinwheels. 

I like being able to work from home and stay with the kids.  Plus the house smells AMAZING!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I apologize for being gone for a few days!  I missed you :)

We've been super busy and my mind has been somewhere else for a few days.  It's hard to sit down and type when I can't focus.

***Ohhhhh, SHINEY***  :)

I'm fervently working on de-cluttering and Spring cleaning the house.  Yesterday the boys and I mulched the wrap around garden.  We used black mulch and it looks beautiful!  The red and green bushes just pop against the black.  LOVE IT!
Our Home for almost 8 years
We may have an opportunity to move to a different house within the Piper area.  Jared and I have had no intention of ever moving.  We feel very connected, content, and fond of this home.  We had plans to add on to make life with our FAB 5 a little easier, but after getting counsel we decided that wouldn't be the best financial decision.  We've "maxed out" the houses potential so to speak.  The type of renovation we were planning was a major overhaul to the North side and we didn't realize just how much it would cost.

It would take a book to write out all the intricate details of how this came about, but it just slapped us upside the head.  One day we're talking about building gardens in the back yard, concreting the drive way, and adding on.  Literally the next day, we have opportunity for a house that would fit our family, allow us to pay down debt, and put us in a better financial situation.  We are overwhelmed and super excited.

We would greatly appreciate prayers as we transition.  There's a lot that has to happen between now and August (projected move in date) to make all this happen.  If you know anyone that would love and care for our house on Russell please send them our way.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Jared came home the other night wanting to discuss ways to cut back on our food budget.  With grocery prices increasing along with our boys appetites, it's time to take action.

As you can imagine, feeding a family of 7 when 5 of them are boys is a bit pricey.  I like to make things from scratch and enjoy new recipes but, like most, I get into a rut.  We buy a lot of processed foods from Aldi for the kids.  Jared and I eat the old Weight Watcher's Core plan 90% of the time.  The problem is we end up eating the same thing over and over.

I'm wanting to feed the kids a healthier menu all while having some sort of plan vs the "what's for dinner" debate.

I started doing some research online for meal planning websites.  Christi suggested E-mealz.  It's definitely top of my list.  My only concern is how particular my spouse and eldest are.  I really like that you can shop store specific and they have Aldi listed.  The Aldi list feeds a family of 6 one homemade meal a day for a week at $72.50.  That's impressive.  

Another website I found was Families With A Purpose.  This one requires more work but ultimately is free and I pick the recipes that go in our binder vs having recipes provided for me that my family may or may not eat.  I would use AllRecipes and the weekly ads to pick my menu and grocery list.  

Between my insistence on eating healthy and the added issue of feeding all 7 of us for all 3 meals 365 days a year, you can see why I feel the need for some help. 

I have a few friends that post meal ideas once in a while on their blogs.  I usually scan them but rarely try out the recipes.  This is obviously a discipline and will take time to create a habit, but if I'm going to be a good steward of our money in this area, this is a must.

I would greatly appreciate any tips, books, or websites you've used or heard of.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I love your comments.  When you don't comment my insecurities set in and I assume you found the blog uninteresting or possibly even offensive.  No issues here!!  :)

So when Alisa wrote a blog on how to encourage comments I followed her advice step by step.  I have had more comments and I love it!

However, for the last 5-6 weeks I have been getting spam overload.  186 spam comments to be exact.  186 in just 6 weeks.  I'm a little annoyed.  Temporarily, I have reinstated the "write this word" aspect of leaving a comment just to stop the barrage of spam. 

Somehow my blog was a hot spot and the bulk of the spam comments were on one particular post.  So I deleted the post and it just moved to the more recent posts. 

I apologize for the inconvenience and I pray it doesn't discourage you from leaving feedback!

Random Catch Up

-This past Saturday we celebrated little Noah's birthday. Cindy asked for a Power Ranger's cake and said Noah's favorite is the blue Power Ranger.
When we arrived he ran up to me and said, "Dats my sim-bo power!" Translated, That's my symbol power! I always consider a cake a success if the person it's intended for recognizes whatever I was asked to make :) Here's Noah and his sim-bo power:

-A neighborhood near our house had a huge banner up for most of last week proclaiming a neighborhood garage sale over the weekend. I went on Friday hoping for one or two early openers. Nada. Then on Saturday I drove through again to find not a single sale. Not one! Wouldn't you think that they HOA would make sure at least one house was participating before advertising with a big ol' sign?!

-At the prompting of a friend I purchased Jillian Micheals Ripped in 30.
It sells at Wal-Mart for $10 and she wanted to do the 30 days together while keeping each other accountable.  I haven't ever watched Biggest Loser (which I realize is odd) but I now have it Tivo'd.  The best part of doing the workout was realizing how similar her workouts are to what I design for my clients.  #1 She's obviously a super successful trainer so that was encouraging.  #2 If you can't afford a trainer this is a great resource to get into shape with a 30 min a day commitment. 

-I had a meeting at work the other day and found out that the Y offers a program called "Semi-Private Training."  Keep in mind Personal Training runs from $35-$55 per hour.  This Semi-Private training offers unlimited training sessions over the course of a month for $99/month.  We're going to meet 2-3 times a week for a 1 hour workout.  I'm going to be putting together a small group of 5-6 people to train.  If you're interested let me know.  It's a fantastic deal.

-For all you Sam's clubbers out there.  We don't have a membership but I would really like some of their gigantic Washington apples.  So, if you're going there anyway, let me know and I would love to purchase some apples :)  They're almost as big as your head and so very yummy.  One of my favorite snacks!

-Graham has a funny quirk as of late.  He gets distracted so easily.  He comes up to me and says, "Momma, Momma, Momma..."  When I respond he looks at me blankly.  After a few moments of searching his brain he ends up just saying, "I love you."   I've started asking if he needed a drink? A snack?  Was something wrong?  Sometimes I can remind him of what he wanted, most times I just get a sweet I love you :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Today started out awesome!  My sweet Tanner made me a Mother's Day card unprompted.

It read:

"I Luve you more then the moon!  I luve you more then the sun! <3 From Tanner <3
You are the one that makes my heart pump  <3"

How precious!  We all headed to church were the "Happy Mother's Day" comments were shared freely.  It's so nice to share with all my church family.  Jared preached a great sermon!  It was just a lovely morning.  

After church the family and I headed to Lawrence for lunch with my mom.

Her shirt says "Grandma," a gift from my sis

We had planned to meet up at Longhorn but, due to the long wait, we ended up at a Mexican place (MY FAV!).  We all sat outside and the kids really enjoyed it.  I honestly think that the little guys did better for the simple fact we were outside.

Me and my girl :)

After lunch we headed to The Orange Leaf.  I love ice cream so this was the perfect treat from my hubby.  I ran in a got 1/2 chocolate, 1/2 coffee lovers topped with pecans, cashews, a few small chocolate chips.  When I went to ring it up, she asked if I was a mom.  I had to stifle a giggle, and answered a simple "yes."  She informed me my treat was 1/2 price! 

Now we're home and the boys helped me clean up the downstairs.  My house is clean, my belly is full, and all my family is safe under one roof.  What an incredible blessing!  God is good!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Sweet Life

I often make reference to one of my besties.  Ms. Alisa over at The Sweet Life.  I even have her button on my page.  Just click it and you'll head right on over to her blog. 

When I ordered my new camera I immediately emailed Alisa and requested she make a pink polka dotted case for my camera to protect it.  She has all kinds of adorable things for sale on her Etsy shop.

Here is my camera, it's new sleeve, and it's adorable wristlet that all match so perfectly!

 The best part is: when the camera is in the sleeve the wristlet exits the top and due to the little loop and button I am able to carry my camera on my wrist while it's protected in it's case!  LOVE!

Here's the case all by it's self so you can see how incredibly cute it is :)
I also own this sunglasses case for my shades (it also matches, this is her pic from her website):

 My favorite color is yellow, can you tell :)  That was sarcasm.  I love pink, I love polka dots, I love things that match, and I love sweet Alisa!!!

She makes all kinds of stuff.  Make up bags, Ipod covers, phone cases, camera cases, key fobs.  You name it.  Obviously, she does custom orders as well. 

Check her out!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Night Night

Seriously? Worst Day...

*****UPDATE*****  My phone was found in Wal-Mart Parking lot!!!!  *****UPDATE*****
Praise GOD!!!

This morning I got up early to take Brennan to the orthodontist.  I left the other kids with Dad and just took Brennan and Anneliese.

After the appointment I headed out to Wal-Mart to get a few odds and ends.  For some reason my debit card was denied.  Not sure why since we have both recently been paid.  Embarrassed and desperate for a bathroom break I left my cart and wandered over to the restroom.

I left Brennan right outside the door and took Anneliese with me, my purse and my jacket.  I text Jared about the groceries and Anneliese kept opening the stall for me while I was inside.  Awesome...

After grabbing up my stuff, Sis and I went to the sink to wash hands.  I sat my phone on the counter, washed my hands and Anneliese darted out the door (of course).   I chased after her, walked about 20 feet and remembered my phone on the counter.

We ran back in to find no phone.  There were 3 or 4 different people in there that I gave the 3rd degree.  I then went to the Customer service desk, to each checker (including the one that told me I needed to find another way to pay) to no avail.

I waited 20-30 minutes all while the CSM's radioed everyone in the store.  It was becoming obvious that whomever spotted my phone had no intention of returning it.

Devastated, I wandered out to the car and returned home.

We called ATT and they are "really sorry" and generously offered to let me purchase a new iPhone 4 at retail price of $600.  I've only had mine for about 6 weeks.  I sold my iPhone 3GS to pay for the upgrade so it didn't cost us anything at the time.  I now have a 2 year contract with ATT and no phone to utilize it.  We deactivated my phone but ATT informed me all the thief  has to do is replace the sim card and they have an awesome new phone for free.


I guess I should call the bank to see what's up with the checking account...

Oh wait.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Happy May Day

We received this adorable little May basket today with 4 Rolos.  What a treat!  Thank you mysterious candy giver, we look forward to our May Day treat each year!