Thursday, May 31, 2012

Get A Giggle, Give A Giggle

Aimee D.  tagged me in a video on Facebook.  I was curious so I followed the link and couldn't help but chuckle so I thought I'd share.  This isn't the actual video but one done by the same kid.  Love it, enjoy :)  Thanks Aimee!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pop Goes the Tire and the Tire Goes Pop

Today started out innocently enough.

I got up early and went for a 3 mile run.  The first in a long while due to Plantars Fasciitis.  I am pain free due to the Birkenstocks I got off eBay (1/2 what they cost at the Legends!).  As long as I don't ever go barefoot, the pain is history. 

After my run I got cleaned up, made the kids lunch and then cut Paige's hair.  No big deal.

I decided to run to Wal-Mart to get Scott's Turf Builder so I could treat the lawn (I'm such a poser, I have no idea what I'm talking about.  The Scott's guy tried to get us to hire him.  He gave us a schedule of what they would do if we did.  The schedule said they'd put down Turf Builder about now, so I did.)

Jared and I have been saving/planning for an in ground basketball goal for a couple years.  Before our move we were looking at concreting the driveway, then installing the golden goal.  Since we moved, our schedule has moved up as well since not having to concrete cut our budget to a third.

Another family in the subdivision put in a Goaliath Basketball goal recently.  This is the creme de la creme of basketball goals.  On my way home from Wal-Mart I slowed down to witness said goal and drifted right into a storm drain.  I hit...hard.

Since I was so close to home I hoped I could get there quickly to assess the damage.  As soon as I turned into our drive there was a loud POP.

There was a large 6" gash in the side wall.  It was apparently losing air rather quickly and that one little turn into the drive allowed it to fully deflate.

Thankfully we had road hazard on the tires.  After a hour and a half of wrestling the worthless jack that came with the van and having the van slip off the jack almost taking my life, I was able to put on a spare and go back to Wal-Mart.

Don't you hate it when people give you that, "women drivers..." look?  I wasn't texting, calling anyone, or putting on my lipstick.  I was scouting a goal for my hubby so I could see what it was he wanted for Father's Day.

$45 later I have a new tire (road hazard prorates the cost of a new tire), all are balanced and rotated and Gus got a tour of our local Wal-Mart.
Yes, I'm going to be THAT lady :)

It wasn't on purpose.  Brennan and Graham were fishing with the pup and since the spare tire I had on had a leak (yes it does get worse better), I aired it up, grabbed the kids on the way and went as fast as was legal to Wal-Mart.  The spare tire was only about 30% by the time I rolled in.

Can you say "hot mess?"

Memorable Memorial Day

Sunday Craig and Sonya opened their home up to the Altic, Cosby clans.

There was an awful lot of red hair in one location.  Just the way I like it :)

We arrived at about four and our kids swam until 8.  No kidding.  They each popped out for as brief a time as possible to eat and do their business.  Then they were right back in splashing and playing with the cousins.

Elijah is getting so big!  He jumped off the diving board first with a life vest.  The he decided to try it with a noodle, and by the end of the night he was jumping in completely on his own and swimming to the side!  He was so proud of himself.

All the little kids were decked out with life vests and different shaped floaty rings.  After a couple hours swimming encumbered by both, Anneliese decided to remove the ring and just swim with the vest like Graham.  Keep in mind all the adults are either in the pool or poolside.  She took two steps into the shallow end and began to float past where she could reach.  She panicked and started thrashing.  As she thrashed her face went under and she began to spin.

Jared was standing poolside fully dressed with wallet, phone, car keys etc.  As soon as he realized he couldn't reach her, he threw his phone into the gravel and stepped in to grab his panicked little girl.

Once Jared pulled her out, I held her until she calmed.  I took her in the house to change out of her suit and through tears she said, "My Daddy is so brave, he saved me with his shoes on."
Our pool in our neighborhood opened Thursday and I have taken the kids down each day.  Anneliese had been jumping to me from the side and I kept telling her how brave she was to jump.

Anita came to her later and asked her what happened.  Still through a trembling voice (she is a girl, and a quite dramatic one at that) she told Anita, "I couldn't get out,  I couldn't swim."  Grandma asked, "Well, what happened?"  As Jared walked up Anneliese looks up and Grandma and said, "My Daddy saved me."

My big strong hubby, who swore before she was born things would be no different with her than they are with boys, got all misty eyed.  It is absolutely precious to me to witness the relationship between that tiny girl and her brave Daddy.

I want to reiterate, we were all withing 5-10 feet from her and she had on a life vest and was safe, she just didn't think so for about 3 seconds.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Arthur Bryants

Jared and I are known to feed our kids lunch and then grab sandwiches at Arthur Bryants once in a blue moon.  We love their food but the cost is prohibitive.  The kids will get a McDonald's double quarter pounder off the dollar menu and then Dad and I go get "real" food. 

In the end everyone's happy, even the ducks.

Yep, the ducks.

When we stopped by yesterday on Jared's day off, we were waiting for our order and two ducks walked up to the take out door.

A woman walks out of A.B. with two pieces of bread.  She begins to tell us that they come multiple times a day for a snack.  If the door is closed or someone isn't waiting for them, they knock peck at the door.

The lady was nice enough to let our kids feed the ducks their delicious Wonder bread.  The kids were tickled and so were the ducks. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Around The House

I've had a desire to put a drum shade on my ceiling fan for quite some time.  I got the idea over at Thrifty Decor Chic.  A fan with a drum shade runs around $500 and this is the builders grade fan with a little spray paint and a $2 drum shade from a garage sale.  So custom!  Love it.
Behind our house there is a "lake" and play area. 
View from our back yard to the pond & trail

The kids have really gotten into fishing and we had the best day today.  We hung out at the pond for hours and the boys caught a dozen fish.  It was so relaxing and nothing got done at home and it was okay.  No TV was watched, no games played.  Just me and my babes fishing and enjoying the day.  It's just beautiful here.

 We brought home 5 for the experience of it all.  I grilled them on the grill and Brennan loved it.  After cleaning 5 fish I refrained.  I may never eat fish again.  It was gross!
He's a future angler

Graham with his homemade pole :)

Brennan eating his super fresh catch

Eli was fascinated by the skeleton
I have a couple other projects in the works including an amazing new shelving unit Richard installed in my laundry room.  I have to put a coat of paint on it and then I'll show and tell :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Hey long lost friends.  Sorry I haven't been on.  I've been taking a bit of a break from social media.  So lets play catch up.

-Jared and I purchased the Friends of the Zoo pass this year.  Due to the size of our family it makes sense.  It's the same dollar amount as going one time as a family.  The zoo has the new Sky Safari and it is worth the trip all by itself.  It's a glorified ski lift that takes you high above "Africa" so you can see all the animals from above.  The only down fall is summer shoes aren't a great pairing with the ride.  Yesterday we went for a couple hours and Elijah lost one of his brand new (read pricey) Nike flip flops.  It's an ostrich chew toy.  The  poor kid was devastated.  He loved those shoes and rarely, if ever, has had a new pair of shoes he got to pick out.  His brother was kicking his feet and knocked it right off.    We begged the staff to save it and they said they'd try after hours but they weren't hopeful.

-Our little Gus is a blessing to the family.  He's fluffy, sweet, playful and super smart.  He's been sleeping in his kennel 7+ hours a night without a peep from the first couple days.  That's a remarkable difference from Sophie.  We were up with her multiple times a night for weeks, maybe months (I've buried the memory).  We are house trained.  Meaning, he does great as long as we take him out each hour.  As soon as we're distracted he has a mishap.  I've read dogs can be housebroken between 14-20 weeks.  He's showing incredible progress for his tiny 12 week old self.

-We are finishing up our last couple days of school!  We have cut back the daily work for this last week.  The kids are doing Language, Math, and reading.  Friday is our last day and we are all ready!

-I am almost done with the yard make over.  We had a very large "garden" area in our back yard.  I use the term garden loosely.  There wasn't grass in it and it was rimmed with rocks.  Other than that it was a weed bed filled with poison ivy and daffodil bulbs.  I cut it in half, dug up all the bulbs, tree stumps, vines, and bushes and cut down 3 small volunteer trees.  Once the area was cleared of debris I went to Home Depot and picked up some sod.  Shockingly enough a small amount of sod is actually cheaper than planting seed.  I didn't need a full bag of seed but would have to purchase one regardless.  The sod was only $3/roll and totaled less than the bag of seed.  Now I have a part time job watering but am already thrilled with the results.

-I have been planting edible foliage.  We have 3 blueberry bushes, 2 raspberry bushes, 2 grape vines, 4 tomato plants, and herbs.  This year we'll only harvest the herbs and tomatoes but next year will be filled with fresh berries for jams, pies, and munching!  So excited.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Ecouragement In Ministry

Cindy C sent me an email the other day with this blog article over at Lysa Ter Keurst's
 blog.  As I read through it I realized how much I agree with the ministers and their wives that she interviewed.  Being in the ministry can be extremely rewarding.  We love our church and feel as though you are all family.  Having that connection to a large group of people also makes me feel very vulnerable and it can be scary and lonely at times.  Thank you Cindy for sending this my way. 

What Your Pastor Wants You To Know

Originally, I planned on titling this message, “5 Ways to Bless Your Pastor.” But as I started interviewing Pastors and their wives about this article, I realized blessing our pastor isn’t just about doing something for him. Sometimes the biggest blessing can come from what we don’t do.

So, I retitled this blog hoping to truly give insight into what our Pastors want us to know but can’t really announce from the pulpit.

I’m passionate about understanding how to love and support those who lead my church. But I have to admit, I’m not a heroine in this article. I’m still learning how to apply the Biblical principle of 1 Timothy 5:17-18.

“Elders who are leading well should be admired and valued. Double up on the honor shown them; care for them well—especially those constantly and consistently teaching the word and preaching. For the Scripture agrees, “Don’t muzzle the ox while it is treading out your grain,” and, “The worker deserves his wages.” ”

Paul knew that blessing the Pastor was remarkably important when he said these words to Timothy and now to us all.

A wise, incredibly humble Texan Pastor I interviewed yesterday said, “Some would think double honor sounds excessive, but the reality is no one fully understands the pressures on your Pastor at any given time as they carry with them the burdens of many in the congregation quietly and confidentially… This is not work that you can leave at the office, it weighs on you. I believe it is for this reason Paul calls us to double honor.”

So, how do we apply this? Here are some insights shared with me from Pastors and their wives all over the country:

1. Do the basics consistently.

The greatest way to bless your pastor is to be one of those faithful people who attends, serves and gives consistently. This gives such assurance to a Pastor and their staff.

One of the most well studied Pastors I know on church leadership said, “When people do the regular basics and never make a big deal about it, the other stuff you do for your Pastor is so much more meaningful. Some people try to bless their Pastor on their terms and they are loud about it. They don’t tithe… but hey Pastor-you can use our lakehouse with strings attached.”

Let’s bless our Pastor and his staff with the basics. Give gifts without strings. And don’t toot our horn about doing so.

2. Let go of the unrealistic expectations.

Almost every Pastor I talked to addressed the issue of inviting he and his family over for dinner. While it seems like something we’re doing for the Pastor, it usually isn’t the gift they need. More than spending time with my family, they need to spend time with theirs. Bless them with gift certificates. Or schedule to take them a meal and just drop it off- especially during those busy times of Easter and Christmas.

Of course, they will have friends who are close enough where a dinner with that family is completely comfortable and refreshing. But let the Pastor and his wife initiate this. Give them the freedom to have close friends and not feel guilty or exclusive in doing so. One Pastor’s wife said to me, “I think the thing that discourages me the most is people commenting on my friendships. Using the word clique to describe my friendships rather than just being happy I have a community is hurtful.”

Let’s bless our Pastor and his family with freedom. They need friends. And it’s okay if we’re not dinner buddies.

3. Love the Pastor’s wife.

One Pastor wrote and said, “Please give my wife face to face affirmation.” Another said, “When my wife hears negative things about the church or me-it crushes her.”

Another Pastor’s wife gave some interesting insight into how to greet her so she doesn’t feel like a heel for not remembering everyone personally. She said, “It’s hard when people say-Do you remember me? Instead just introduce yourself and remind me where we’ve met before.”

Let’s commit to our Pastor’s wife the gift of kind words. I know as a female leader, when someone commits to me that they will only say kind and affirming things about me, my ministry, and my family-it makes me feel so safe.

4. Don’t assume other people are encouraging your Pastor.

Send those notes of encouragement. Write the email where you tell him what a difference that sermon made in your life. Don’t assume they get plenty of positive feedback-because usually they aren’t.

Let’s commit to not just be someone who appreciates our Pastor in our hearts-but let’s let them know over and over.

5. Keep studying how to bless your Pastor.

Become aware of how your Pastor best needs to be blessed and step into that role. Make it a family mission to be one of those foundational families at church who stays out of the drama, seeks to give not take, and stays for the long haul honoring him all the way.

And don’t forget the other Pastoral staff who serve so faithfully as well.

It’s Biblical. It’s good. And while I’ve got a long way to go, I’m committed to honoring my Pastors with much more intentionality. What about you?

Tell us how you plan to bless your Pastor this week. Pass a link to this article on to others in your church so the love can spread. Also, if you want more practical ideas, hundreds were posted on my facebook page yesterday. You can read those by clicking here.

Friday, May 4, 2012

New Foods!

I've been trying to switch up our normal dinner time meals.  We get stuck in a rut like most.  Thankfully Pinterest has been saving my bacon.  These are all healthy and delicious.  Here is a very simple meal that we all LOVED.

Ranch House Pork Chops and mashed potatoes.  Here's the recipe over at Picky Palate.  It's super simple.  All you need is a Ranch packet and a can of cream of chicken soup (I use the low fat version) and some meat.  The original recipe called for pork chops and that's what I used, but next time I'll use chicken.  We're just not big into pork chops, but we loved it even still! 

You just put your chops, soup, and seasoning in a crock pot and leave it be for hours and when you get home you have super tender meat in an incredible gravy.  We ate ours with corn and mashed potatoes.  It was a huge success.  I actually baked mine in the oven for a hour and a half at 350 but crock potting it would be amazing as well.

For desert you have to try this Pumpkin Cream Bread over at Sunday Baker.

It's incredible and extremely low in calories.  It makes two loafs and each loaf is only 500 calories.  You could technically eat the whole loaf!  Not that I would ever consider such a thing...

It will be tempting to eat it fresh from the oven scalding the roof of your mouth.  I challenge you to wait until it's chilled in the fridge.  It's tasty fresh from the oven, but it's incredible chilled.  Definitely worth the wait.

Another chicken recipe that went over like fireworks was this incredibly simple Teriyake recipe I found on AllRecipes.

My hubby isn't a big fan of ginger (therefore not a fan of traditional teriyake sauce) so when I saw the main seasoning was cinnamon I thought we may have a winner.  Sure enough we all LOVED this.  I highly recommend it.  We just ate it over brown rice.  I think I will try marinating some chicken and grilling it next time.  That sounds incredible!

1/3 cup water
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. In a medium bowl, mix water, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, and cinnamon. Place desired meat in the mixture. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours before grilling as desired.