Monday, March 31, 2008

Which One Is Normal?

A few days ago I mentioned Zeke's interest in going to the bathroom on the potty.  I'm pretty excited, but I am slowly realizing that it is going to be a completely different story with him than with Areyna.  First of all he's a boy, need I say more=)  This is the kicker though...Areyna will sometimes only go 3-4 times a day and Zeke had her beat in less than an hour yesterday.  I can't hardly keep up with the little guy.  I haven't decided whether or not I want to completely commit to this or not right now, but I'll certainly encourage his excitement by taking him whenever he wants.  I mean, he drinks like a champ.  Am I supposed to cut down on liquids even if it's the very first thing he asks for when he wakes up to the very last thing he wants before he goes to bed?  I'm beginning to think that maybe little boys are more like that dog in our neighborhood who comes to pee on our mailbox just to run over to our tree and pee some more, but don't forget our car tire after that.

I'd Rather Read A Book

I just saw Josh in Zeke in a huge way this morning.  Areyna and Zeke were sitting on opposite sides of the living room rolling a ball together when Zeke turned around to the basket behind him and grabbed one of his favorite books out to read it.  Areyna was as frustrated with Zeke for quitting the game without any warning as I was when I found out that Josh just wanted to bring a backpack full of books to the hospital and read through the whole birthing process when Areyna was born=)  Or when Josh has a goal to read a book a day on our family vacation.  I'm just kidding.  I love that he loves to read and I hope that rubs off on our kids since my favorite books consist of thick pages with big words and lots of pictures=)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Easter (and other things)

Josh and I had a fun easter in VA. Since it was our anniversary (and since we don't know when the Lord will call us to be on staff at a church again, which means no holidays away from your church) we better take advantage and get out of town=) We celebrated Easter at Josh's parents church and then Josh and I took off for Lexington, VA You can see some pretty good pictures of our adventures there on Josh's blog. Then we got coffee at Starbucks, went to a movie (hadn't done that together since Christmas), got dinner at one of my all-time favorites, Panera Bread and then headed over to Barnes and Noble to sit and read (we were instructed by the Meme not to be home before the kids went down for bed so it seemed like 2 nights away). It almost seemed like we were back in seminary on a date night after work. This is a little late but I never really did tell everyone what we did for our anniversary. Better late than never, huh.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Discount Medical Bills

When you get a medical bill in the mail don't pay the full sum right off hand.  Call the number on the bill and ask them if you qualify for any kind of discount if you are willing to pay in full right then.  If it is still too high then just stick to the minimum payment until you can pay it off.  When Josh, my husband, broke his hand 2 days before we were supposed to play in a wedding (I know, I worry about that kind of stuff all the time and it actually did happen this time) and when I had to go to the ER I did this with all of those individual bills.  It doesn't hurt to ask.  I don't remember exactly, but one of the bills was dropped by around $400.  It didn't work on all of them but most of them.  I did it with a couple of Areyna's bills when she was born too.  You can check out this blog to get some other good tips on little things that can save you money!

How Much Is A Car Inspection?

So, somehow Josh and I brilliantly scheduled for both of our cars to have their inspections by the end of...wait!...this month.  Josh decided to take the Trooper today and we'll take the Honda tomorrow.  We weren't worried about the Trooper except for the "check engine" light that has come on and off since we bought the car.  We went through quite a time last year convincing the guys that our car is just one of those troopers that is known for having the light come on for no reason.  They put it through several tests and nothing turned up so it passed.  Well that was last year.  Josh left around 1pm this afternoon and still isn't back.  Supposedly the same scenario occurred this year but 6 things were flagged during the diagnostic.  We're basically looking at about $800-900 dollars.  And this is the good car.  I can't help but laugh.  As soon as we think we've got our finances in order and under control we're thrown for a loop, just so we'll depend on God to provide like he always does=).  Bring on the Honda inspection!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


We are doing a series at our church for the next 6 weeks called One Month To Live. We started the small group lessons tonight with our college/singles group that we lead at our house. I'm really excited because I love making lists and we have the opportunity to make one of the most life-changing lists ever this week. Here's the challenge - write down 5 things you would change about your life if you knew you only had one month to live and commit to work on those things for the next 30 days. I'm pretty excited to pray over the things the Lord can change in my life and think more "eternally". Maybe I'll even post some of the things on my list. I've heard this concept dozens of times, but I really want to make this applicable to my life and live more intentionally.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Could It Be That Time Again

Potty training was tough with Areyna.  There are no books on how to potty train while constantly traveling on the road.  She started showing interested in July when she was about 2 1/2 years old.  But there was almost no way to be consistent until between Thanksgiving and Christmas when I was determined to be done with it and we had a couple local weeks and I knew we'd be home consistently.  We took my friend Emily's advice and she was "naked baby" for about a week or so and wearing her "big girl undies" (we don't say the "P" word at our house=)) and she knocked it out pretty quick.  Well during that time Zeke started to tell me right before or directly after he would go potty in his diaper.  I'd ask him if he wanted to sit on the potty but he was never interested.  I thought it was awesome enough that he'd even tell me at all.  Well, today he pulled at his diaper and said "peepee" and I said "do you want to go on the potty" and he lit up and took off to the bathroom.  As soon as I stripped him down and sat him on the potty it came trickling.  He was so excited.  A couple minutes later he said he had to go again.  We did this a few times until it was all out, I guess, and then he was ready to put his clothes back on.  I don't know if I'm ready to tackle this all over again already, but if he's ready what can I do=)  Maybe we'll be completely diaper-less for the first time in 3 years=) 

Sunday, March 23, 2008

6 years

This is Josh, writing on Tasha's blog.  I just confiscated her Mac while she turns up the heat here in our hotel room.  (That didn't come out right.)  Today is our 6-year wedding anniversary and we've got a hotel for the night in Lexington, VA, where we'll spend the day tomorrow checking out some historical sights and stuff.  And we might even kiss and stuff! 

Happy Resurrection Day to everyone.  We were blessed to be able to worship with my family in Roanoke, VA today.  That never happens.  Praise the Lord.  God bless you all.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Children's Songs

Josh and the kids wrote a couple of songs this week. You can listen to them on our pure volume page called "My Jesus" and "Jesus Got Up". You can also read Josh's take on how we've celebrated "Holy Week" with our kids on Josh's blog. ENJOY!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Little Tidbits

1-I just finished the big bottle/can of hairspray that I bought when I was in 12th grade for the prom. Hmmm. I broke down and bought another can yesterday. I guess I got my money's worth out of that one=)

2-I know it's time to buy a new wand of mascara when I can't figure out why my eyes are really irritated and itchy...then I remember that I have had the same mascara since last Christmas!

3-My little boy prefers mashed potatoes over ice cream and grapes over potato chips. He'd also eat a whole "bunch" of asparagus for dinner if I didn't make him share it with the rest of us=) I mean, what kid that you know of actually likes asparagus.
4-My little girl prefers to run around with high heals, shirt and undies. I like that too, minus the high heals of course=)

5-My husband just declared today a family cleaning day to remind us of the preparation of the passover. Click HERE to see what else he has been passionate over this week!

BONUS TIDBIT: I moved Zeke's bed away from the wall so I could vacuum under it today and the dust actually billowed! He has a pack-n-play so I can't get under it unless I actually move it completely out of the corner so you can imagine how much that happens.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Josh, the kids and I went to ImaginOn in uptown Charlotte today.  It is really cool.  It's a kids library but it has tons of other stuff to do.  It's completely free, but you can buy tickets to watch plays in the theatre at certain times.  The kids had a blast playing on kid-friendly computers, giant doll houses, dressing up in real theatre clothes, putting on puppet shows and playing with cool science-fair looking contraptions.  The parking garage was even free...for the first 90 min.  After that it was $2 for every 20 min.  I couldn't believe that, and even more we missed the 90 min. cut off by ONLY 6 MIN. and she still made us give her $2.  Uhhh!  Josh will probably post some pictures on his blog tomorrow so check his blog out to get some more of ImaginOn fun and other things we've been up to this week!

Monday, March 17, 2008


I hate when I wait until the last minute to cook dinner and can't find the right container to fix it in.  THEN I remember that I was lazy the night that I used the container before and didn't put the leftovers in tupperwear, but instead covered the whole dish with foil and stuck it in the refrigerator.  So instead of just pulling the clean container out of the cabinet and putting my dinner concoction together I have to find an appropriate-sized tupperwear container and wash the original container that the food was in (which is usually quite a task seeing as the half of the container that had the food immediately consumed the night I fixed it has dried crusties all over the sides).  After all that, dinner is usually late.  Oh well, I'm trying=)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Anything To Make Him Happy

We had a great morning at Parkwood in Gastonia.  Zeke slept for about 30min. on the way home and we were home just long enough to freshen up and reload for Ridge Church tonight, which was also awesome.  Because of the long trip home early this afternoon and band practice later this afternoon there wasn't time for the kids to get a nap.  Areyna usually does pretty good without a nap, as long as we don't have any sudden changes and we prepare for transitions well in advance=)  I knew Zeke would have problems but what can ya do?  Well, Zeke was wandering around aimlessly as we packed up our gear after the service while he randomly broke out in tears, he was just soooo tired.  Poor guy.  As we loaded up the car we went ahead and strapped Zeke in his car seat, tears and all, and put Areyna in the car.  The next thing I heard was priceless..."Zeke, I will sit here and make you happy".  Areyna was sitting on the seat in the car between their carseats and handing Zeke 1 toy at a time (we keep a basket of  "car" toys for road trips in the car).  As soon as he'd get bored with one she had another one so he wouldn't cry.  Then she said "Here Zeke, you want to eat this one?".  She was scrounging around the crevices of the backseat looking for "snacks".  This is all good...except for the fact that we haven't vacuumed out the car in about 2 months and it isn't hard to imagine all the "leftovers" from the countless happy meals and other meals we eat in our car as we travel=)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Quick Question

So, uh...if you suspect (there is actually quite a bit of substantial evidence) there to be pot-growing, pot-smoking people that live in the nearby vicinity behind you should you tell them they are idiots for rolling up in broad daylight BEFORE you report them?=)

Friends and Outfits

At 11pm on Wed. night, while we were wrapping up our college small group that we've been having at our house, we had some visitors arrive.  Jeremiah and Jennifer Hambrick!!  They are like family to us.  They both grew up with Josh and then moved in next door to us in seminary and now that we moved to Charlotte we miss them dearly.  They have a 2 1/2 year old, Ella and a 6 month old, Ezra and the kids played GREAT together.  They stayed less than 24 hours, but we had such a good time.  Our camera card was full but Jenn took some great pictures.  I'm sure she'll post some on her blog.  Thanks for coming to visit, we love ya'll!
On another note, I must mention Areyna's great sense of style.  She pulls out clothes for Zeke every morning before she goes to get herself dressed.  I never know what she'll come out in but it always seems to match.  It might be backwards and her cherry rain boots don't always go with the rest of the outfit but she still looks cute!  She def. didn't get her sense of style from me (or Josh for that matter).  Way to be Rainy=)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Blueberries and Pears

We have never really picked the "food" battle with Areyna. I know I'm a light eater and when I'm hungry I'll eat, and she is the same way. I do think she misses a lot of the nutrients she needs from foods so we give her Flinstones vitamins to make up for it, but our rule usually is; try one bite and if you don't like it you don't have to eat it, but if you get hungry later on the food that is left over on your plate will be your snack. I hardly ever give her snacks throughout the day since she has such a little appetite (Zeke on the other hand will eat a full, 3 course meal after eating a whole bag of pretzels so he has another standard). Anyway, yesterday we battled over 3 blueberries and today it took her about an hour and a half to get one bite of pear down. I mean really, it's not like a pear is hard to swallow like hamburger or steak. Today was especially dramatic. She kept lying to me saying that she had swallowed the bite and would then refuse to believe that the pear was the white stuff floating around in her mouth when she'd try to prove her point. It was nearing nap time when she finally called out that she had finally obeyed mommy so I went to cheer her on and give her a hug when I realized she had spit the mouthful out on her skirt. She simply said "I am sick, I can't eat anymore". Hmmm, she's trying to manipulate the system already. I am truly learning that you just cannot force kids to eat anything, BUT I am still pretty hard headed about our rule, so the one-bite rule will continue to dominate our household. Areyna may be spending a lot more time sitting at the table by herself if she can't get this swallowing thing down=)

Story Time

Most every night Josh tells the kids a story before they go to bed.  He is very creative.  Mostly life lessons about a little girl named Rainy and a little boy named Zeke.  He's even added a couple characters named Murray the Muskrat and Sherman the Squirrel.  Anyway, sometimes when Josh will be out late for band practice or a meeting this ritual becomes my responsibility.  My stories, on the other hand, are not so creative.  One night I was about to walk out after turning the lights out and I thought that maybe I had gotten out of story time, but then Zeke cries out "toorey, toorey".  I told them my feelings of inadequacy and Rainy assured me "mommy, you can do it".  She is such an encourager.  Well, last night we had CharlotteOne and we dropped the kids off at the sitters.  When we picked them up after the night's adventures we were asking Areyna about their night.  She assured us that they had a great time and that their babysitter even told them a story.  We were waiting to hear that the story was alright, but not as good as daddy's, of course.  But she was silent, until about 30 sec. later with a replied of, "She was gooder than yours daddy".  Poor Josh, he's been replaced as the best story teller=(

Friday, March 7, 2008

Please Pray

Josh and I have some good friends who need prayer.  Cam and Lyn Wooten.  He was diagnosed with leukemia out of nowhere and we just found out about it last week.  Not only that, they are expecting their first baby in a few weeks.  You can read more about it on JD Greear's March 6th post on his blog.  Please pray for them if the Holy Spirit lays them on your heart.

Why Am I Exhausted? OR How Can We Keep Them Awake?

Zeke, trying to keep his eyes open and hold on to his animal cracker.

Is it because we woke up at a 4:45am this morning to get ready to play for The Greater Charlotte Teacher Convention for Christian Schools? No or course not.
Is it the fact that we packed 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, clothes, extra clothes, instruments, merchandise, high chair, diaper bags, bear, "bubby" (Zeke's blanket), toys, DVD's and player, etc.? Well, maybe.
Maybe it was the fact that we went to a McDonald's playground between sets and I have set a quite a standard for myself on this kind of equipment. This is very possible.
Could it be because we are just now arriving home at 3:30pm? Nope
How about this...
The kids ended up coming with us and the band to play for the conference today and they did GREAT! Man, I wouldn't exchange my kids for any other kids in the world=) But the first meltdown started at about 2pm when we were packing up to leave and it was downhill from there. I knew they were exhausted and would be asleep before we got them strapped into their car seats since we pulled them out of their beds at 6am this morning (they normally don't get out of bed until around 9am) and put them straight in the car. But, we know from experience that a short nap, no matter how peaceful it is at the time, is ALL WE GET if we let it happen. It was a fight at the beginning. Zeke's eyes were rolling in the back of his head as soon as we turned the car on. I was desperate to keep the kids awake, knowing that I didn't have the energy, nor the patience to keep up with them the rest of the afternoon without a break myself. I pulled out a box of animal crackers and gave one to Zeke, which under any normal circumstances would have been like water in a desert to him, but it was no use. He couldn't even keep the cracker grasped inside his chubby little fingers. His eyes began to roll again, so we rolled the windows down, it was only sprinkling, found the only CD that would work, no, Praise Baby just would NOT suffice at a time like this, it was just going to have to be the absolutely worst rockin' Christmas mixes of all time, and danced like crazy. That is why I am exhausted!! But the good news is, we kept our kids awake until we got home and they are quietly sleeping as we speak. I'm think I'M gonna take a little nap too=)

Thursday, March 6, 2008


I think these pictures speak for themselves. As soon as Areyna would touch the slide her hair would stick straight up, but just as soon as she would come off at the bottom it would lay right back down. It was so funny. I think it felt funny to her because she kept patting her head at the top of the slide before she'd go down. You really have to click on the picture to get the full effect=)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Window Of Opportunity

I've talked about my sleeping problems before. Here's the thing, if I miss my sleeping "window", which in actuality is not really the size of a window at all for me but the size of a very small crack in a window that you can barely see, then it's over. I am known to get a little hyper and talkative, but that's just what Josh says=)
Today was just like any other fun-filled day around our house, but then we woke the kids up from their nap in order to get to Gastonia (which is about 1 hour away) in time for set-up, rehearsal and the service tonight. The service ended at around 7:30 and then Josh met with the praise team and band to practice for the Sunday we'll be leading with them in a couple weekends. I only played if they needed me, but otherwise I just hung out with the kids and played and danced on the floor. I don't think we got in the car until almost 10pm. They did so good though!! I thought to myself, "surely the kids will be asleep before we leave the parking lot". Not so, they ate the rest of their cold french fries from dinner and Areyna jibber jabbed ALL THE WAY HOME! She was wired...I think she missed her window.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Oh Happy Day

I have been so out of it for exactly a week now, but I have so much to be thankful for:
1- It is storming outside!! Yeah, for wind rain and power outages (at least for a couple of hours...)
2- The kids did get in some great outside time between my violin lessons
3-My Mac Laptop should be arriving either today or tomorrow. Yes, I've converted and I'm so excited to be able to keep up with our business on the road now instead of scurrying around like a mad women the min. we get home from a ministry trip to get caught up.
4-Praise the Lord for medicine. I went and picked up Claritin D and haven't sneezed or wiped my runny nose 1 time since I took it.
5-I started my Bible Study with some great godly women in my church today. I am so thankful to be a part Southbrook church.
6-It's nap time for the kids. Enough said.
7-I've realized that ALL situations are literally out of my control and that only God can fix wounded hearts, if we will just get out of the way and let Him.
8-We are so busy this week. Doesn't sound like a praise, but it most def. is. Josh and I set a goal for our first year (2007 year) of ministry together to play at least 2 times a month. We are playing 5 times just this week. What a blessing
9-I've got renewed strength and motivation today. (again, thank you claritin)
10-Areyna's birthday party is over. Shew. I didn't even do anything big, just the fact that I have to plan something and be in charge. Yikes!

So, just remember to count your blessings...

Monday, March 3, 2008

Cold OR Allergies

I am dying here this week. I don't know if I've got the worst allergies I've ever had in my life or if I've got an extremely bad cold. I cough so much I lose my voice, I sneeze every time I think about it and every time I put my head at normal level, or lower, I have to pull another piece of toilet paper off the role to catch my very runny nose. AHHHH. I love the spring, but my goodnes...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Princess Party

Cana, Areyna and Zeke
Areyna and her new Beta fish "Nemo"
Zeke and his cool earings

Yes, Areyna asked for a Princess Party. I have always been more of the tom-boy type so I'm not sure where Rainy has gotten this girly-girl streak, but she sure does make a beautiful princess. Her cousins, Cana and Kayil, came with several Aunts, Uncles and her Meme and Poppie. They all drove in on Fri. night and all 4 of the kids stayed in Rainy and Zeke's room. Pretty funny that we crammed them all into the smallest room of the house=) In the morning, Areyna woke up and seemed pretty shy and actually a little upset. I asked her what she was sad about and she said "I don't want to have a Birthday Party" and then later she said "I don't want to open Birthday Presents". I told her we could do whatever she wanted to and we could even open presents after everyone left and she looked relieved. Instead of calling it Rainy's birthday party, we just called it family togetherness time. I most definitely know where she gets this from. Neither of us like to be the center of attention, it actually makes me downright nauseous! After Areyna warmed up to the party we all had a lot of fun. Zeke had fun playing dress-up, putting sticker earrings on, and carrying Areyna's new pocket book around with her princess cell phone. What are we going to do with him=)