Saturday, May 30, 2009

They Don't Need Us Anymore

I walked in to get the kids after yet another roomtime and they had made their own fort.  All by themselves.  What do they need us for now?=)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Fun Facts For Friday

1- I LOVE getting the mail.  I get excited just thinking about it=)

2- I would love to be able to hang around the house long enough to enjoy a mowed yard.  I can just imagine watching the kids frolicking in the freshly cut grass as opposed to them having to call out to each other from opposite ends of the yard because the weeds are over their eye level.  We are always home just long enough to get the yard looking nice again before heading out of town on another day=)

3- Did you know that there really is a reason for seeing a pair of shoes hanging on a power line.  According to a fairly credible source this sign indicates that drugs can be purchased in the vicinity.  Josh and I are wondering how exactly it all works though.  Does one just stand under the shoes and wait?  Hmmm..
4- Crowds make me sweat.

5- Josh had decided to postpone his Uganda trip until October for financial reasons; until we got home this week and we got the rest of the money in!  So, as of yesterday, my husband will be heading to Uganda, Africa the last 2 weeks of June.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Words Of Wisdom

#1 - So, to say that I was a little grumpy the last couple of days before our Florida trip would be an understatement.  Apparently Areyna was picking up on my not-so-happy heart because she looked at me and said, "I think YOU need a nap today."

#2 - Areyna to Josh - "Daddy, do you ever even brush your hair when you get out of the shower?"

This Should Not Happen

I try not to be picky with name brands or products but I have to draw the line somewhere.  It should not take half of my role of toilet paper to get the beginning of the roll detached and a straight, clean tear going.  So yes, I'm beginning to get a little particular about my bath tissue choice=)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Oh The Nesting

Nesting is a normal occurrence for me.  I enjoy organizing my house, rearranging furniture to make a room look brand new (this makes for a FREE home makeover I might add!), getting rid of "stuff" that we no longer use or need, etc.  

But, while I'm pregnant I am a nesting fool

The only thing wrong with the "nesting phase" this time around is that I can't be home to nest for more than 2 days in a row, which leads to, not enough time to get my list complete, which leads to sleepless nights thinking about what I get to do the next day, which leads to exhaustion from the lack of sleep, which leads to frustration because I have no energy to get my projects done in the middle of packing and unpacking between trips.  *sigh*

I have gotten a lot done yesterday and today thouh.  We are completely unpacked with a dirty clothes bin, I cleaned out (as in scrubbed down) my refrigerator and freezer, I went through my cabinets in the kitchen, I organized our laundry closet, and a few more odds and ends.  

I am also in the middle of a bet with Josh, which I am going to win by the way,  which will mean that he will help me organize the closet in the make-shift baby room before leaving for Africa=)

So baby, we're well on our way to making our nest ready for you=)  Only 10 more weeks!

Organic coupons

Where do you start with going organic and how far do you go?  

After quite a bit of research and talking with friends we've decided to go slow and just take the first step.  A staple in our house is milk and cheese so we've decided that we can handle 3-5 extra dollars a week on these 2 items.  We're keeping the same budget and the same ration (1 gallon of milk/a week, 1 block of cheese/week, etc.) but we'll be buying organic milk and organic or natural cheeses.  I'm also looking more carefully at packaging and trying to get hormone free products whenever budget allows.  

All that said, I just found some great organic coupons for milk, cheese, etc.  Go HERE to sign up and print them.  They are good for 30 days after printing them.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Random Beach Stop

We were on our way home from Orlando yesterday and were talking about how sad it was that we didn't really get to do any Florid-ish things while we were in the Orlando area because it rained the whole time!  (Besides catching a few hours of non-rain times to take the kids to a couple parks)  

So, an hour into our trip we decided to find a beach.  Areyna hadn't been since I was REALLY pregnant with Zeke (my parents used to live in Charleston, SC), and Zeke had NEVER been.  We found a beach 3 miles off of I-95 and man am I glad we stopped.  We pulled the bathing suites out, changed in a parking lot, pulled a bag of snacks out and got a blanket (since we didn't have any towels).  I'm just gonna say that I have NEVER seen my son so excited, silly and giddy over anything.  He absolutely LOVED the beach, the waves, the sand the water...the WHOLE experience!  He had NO fear.  He dragged me out way farther than this pregnant momma had balance for so daddy took over.  They went so far out that the waves were crashing up over their heads.  Josh held onto him while he squealed with delight with every incoming wave.  Areyna liked the waves but was more content playing with the sand and seashells in the shallow part of the beach.  We ended up spending about 2 hours there before heading the rest of the 8-hour trip home, sand-covered and all=)  Our think our original arrival time to get home was around 8:15pm...we actually crept up our driveway around 11:30 last night and we were ALL ready to be home!

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Feeling Of Dread

I usually love keeping up with our trips with our GPS and watching the miles disappear, but I've been dreading the trip home today because of these triple digits.  Geez, I hope we don't miss our turn...IN 223 MILES!=)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

THE Baby Name

I just wanted to say that I think Josh and I have settled on Baby #3's name.  Just wanted to tell you that I am pretty relieved, as I'm getting kind of tired of calling him "the little guy" or "your son"=)

We've decided to sit on it for awhile just to make sure it's THE name.  So terribly mean, I know, I just wanted to get that off my chest!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Fun Facts For Friday

1- The first thing I ALWAYS do when I get home is go find my yoga or jammy pants to put on and get more comfortable...sigh=)

2- I only thought I had a strong fingering hand for the violin.  That was until I pulled out a cello to record on my friends CD and my fingers are still numb from those thick strings...a week later!

3- After spending hours trying to revamp our website I now know why I am a musician and NOT a web designer!

4- Not only can I not reach the things that the kids drop in the backseat of the car due to my growing belly, I can no longer reach the things that I drop down by my feet in the car=)  Josh is pulling a double duty these days.

5- Josh told me twice on the way down here that he saw dead armadillos on the side of the interstate.  I laughed for an hour at him because I've only seen them in Texas or heard of them being in dessert-like surroundings.  But, alas, I had to apologize to him today when I found out that they do, indeed, have (mostly dead) armadillos here=)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

11 Hours Later

We made it here to my brother's house in Oviedo, FL right before 9:30 last night.  The trip really wasn't bad...and this is coming from the lady who is 7 months pregnant=)  The kids really did a great job!

I kind of broke the trip into different sections to keep the kids entertained with different things.  Our goal was NOT to get to FL in good time, it was to get there in one piece...with ALL my hair still in tact=)

First Stage: 10:30-12:30
We wanted to get a couple of hours down the road before having to stop so we stuck to the basic things we do in the car on a short trip like watching for animals out the windows and listening to music and playing with the handful of little toys the kid's smuggled into the backseat from the house=)

Second Stage: 12:30-1:30
Since we packed a lunch we were on the lookout for a park or playground of some sort.  Our GPS is so ridiculous sometimes and it sent us out into some random fields when we asked it for a park.  Hmmm, no place to even have a picnic.  We were out in the middle of nowhere heading back to the interstate when we passed a very small country church with a VERY OLD playground behind it.  Nobody was there and there were no signs telling us "no" so we let the kids run wild and we had a little lunch.
Yeah, this was a tetanus shot waiting to happen!

Besides the rusty playground equipment and Zeke's need to take his lunch around the WHOLE playground with him (he even mastered the slide while holding onto his luncheable and apple!) we had a nice break and were ready to hit the road again.
Rainy and Zeke (lunch and all) on the tetanus car

Rainy got in this swing and swung ALL BY HERSELF 
for the first time.  We were all pretty proud=)

Third Stage:  1:30-6:00
This was a long stretch with a quite a few bathroom breaks and we had to fill up the car so this is why the trip took so long.  2 kids and a pregnant woman do NOT = quick trips!  After lunch I promised the kids their "to-do" bags which ended up keeping them occupied until nap time.  And although no naps were had we did listen to some Praise Baby and have some "simmer/quiet" time for an hour or so.  After their rest time we pulled out the DVD player and watched the first movie of the trip.  After the movie was over we were all ready to stop and get dinner.

Fourth Stage:  6:00-7:00
DINNER - quick, cheap mexican, can't beat that!

Fifth Stage:  7:00 - 9:30
After a gas fill-up we put in another movie to see if we could make it to our final destination!

Josh and I usually get to see Andrew and Dana a total of 1 time a year so this is a special treat to be able to hang out with them an extra time in the year.

P.S. Zeke seems to always get hurt or sick while we're on the road.  So, in dedication of being on the road a LONG way from home Zeke woke up with what we think is ANOTHER ear infection!  We're heading out to go get some Garlic Oil drops.  We're going herbal this time=)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Huggies Pull-ups for $3.99

Target Huggies diapers and pull-ups are on sale for $8.99 and since Zeke still wears them at bedtime I figured I'd pick some up for our road trip.

So I went in and here's what I got:

1 pack of Huggies pull-ups
1 pack of Size 1 Huggies diapers - 44 diapers (for the new baby stash - I've GOT to show you all the diapers and wipes that I've racked up on in the past few months with coupons, deals and gift cards that I have yet to pay a penny for)
1 pack of Huggies wipes

I used:
1 $5 huggies pull-ups coupon (making my pull-ups $3.99)
1 $1 target huggies coupon stacked with
1 $1.50 off huggies coupon
TOTAL (on gift card leftover from Christmas) - $10.48

Plus their wipes are on sale and I stacked target and man. coupons to get a nearly free box of wipes=)

***ALSO, if you have a Kroger in your area you can rack up on an even better diaper deal that my friend Jenn told me about HERE!

Road Rules - Packing For A LOOOONG Road Trip

This segment of Road Rules isn't ministry related at all.  In fact it is completely opposite of that. We have an 8 to 9 hour road trip ahead of us and we're leaving all our music "stuff" behind (except for Josh's guitar of course)!  

We're going to Orlando , FL!!!  No, we won't be visiting Disney World, but we will be seeing my little brother graduate from RTS.  (I'm sure we'll make it to Lego World and the Princess Place while we're there) We figured, we've never made it to see my brother and his wife in their own home, EVER, since they've been married and we also can't imagine when we'll ever have family that lives in Orlando again.  So, before they head out to live in the DC area for his PHD program we decided that we'd better make some plans.

Since it is such a long trip I've been packing the same way I always do, except that I'm doubling up our food bag and the kid's "to-do" bags for the car.

Via Road Trip Must-Have's:
  • "To-Do" bag (or basket) - I went out to Target's $1 spot and racked up on some fun newbies and added in some of their all-time favorites and then divided the bootie stash in half.  1/2 for the trip there and 1/2 for the trip back to make it exciting=)
Areyna's bag is the blue / Zeke's bag is the green
(stickers, pencils, cars, pony's, Color Wonder stuff...just to name a few things)
  • DVD Player - I may try to run out to the library and get a couple of new movies for the kids.  If not, we still have the favorites that never get old (Cars, Cinderella, Tinkerbell, Nemo, Mary Poppins)
  • Food Bag - We're not big fans of fast food and we are trying to spend as little money as possible on the trip so we went to Wal-mart and snagged some pretty good deals with my coupons.  We have pretzels, chips, granola bars, fruit snacks, bananas, apples, juice boxes, stuff for sandwiches and much, much more!  We're still planning on stopping for lunch and letting the kids run around during meals but we are bringing our own food.
Red: Trip down / Green: Trip back

How do you pack for long road trips in the car?  What helps guarantee your safe arrival, and sanity?=)

A Family Affair

Family devotion time at our house can include many different things.  Last night, however, the kids got involved in a new way.  Josh had pulled out his guitar to sing a few songs and both the kids wanted to join in with their guitars.  It was so sweet to hear them sing along while mimicking Josh's every move on their own guitars.  We may have our family band quicker than we expected=)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Change In Location

Nothing brings out the creative juices like a change of location.  Today the kid's bathtub turned into an airplane, a baby crib and a store...=)

Monday, May 18, 2009


Areyna LOVES clothes.  I think she comes by it naturally=)  She is constantly changing her clothes throughout the day.  I think that she purposefully gets them dirty sometimes so she has an excuse to put another outfit on.  

The other day she came across the bins under her bed full of her and Zeke's "to grow into" clothes and started trying clothes on.  You would have thought it was Christmas!

As soon as I saw what she was doing I got motivated to go through the bins with her to get her and Zeke's summer wardrobe out.  Both of the kids had a blast trying on clothes and finding new "surprises" to show their daddy=)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Nothing...So Scream

Josh and I got home after church this afternoon with one agenda for the rest of the do NOTHING!  We have succeeded with flying colors=)  After getting in around 10:30 last night and getting up for a full morning of worship this morning we feel the much needed urge to veg. out for the rest of the day before we gear up to leave again in just a few short days.

We put the kids down for their nap and laid down on the couch to catch some random Sunday afternoon flicks.  Scream 2 was on.  I used to love that movie!

But you know you are getting old when...
...almost all the girls are is wearing a bodysuit
...the main characters are frantically running around trying to find a VCR to watch the evidence tape
...the cell phones that everybody are talking on are the size of my toaster=)

Good times!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fun Facts For Friday

1- I always consider my day's events BEFORE picking out my underwear.  Comfort is key=)

2- Exercising always helps me get motivated to eat and drink better...except when it come to COOKOUT milkshakes!

3- I secretly love cheesy teenybopper movies like Bring It On=)

4- Some women's downfall is shoes.  Mine is pocketbooks.  I'll go as far as trying to find out how to use a diaper caddy as a pocket book if it looks cute enough!

5- I hate it when I'm sitting in a restaurant and they dim the lights!  Don't ask me why...I just hate it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gifts For New Moms

I was just thinking about some baby showers that are coming up for some friends of mine and what I was going to get them.  There are always a few things that come into my mind first thing when I think about what helped most for me that I'd want someone to pass on to me if I were the first-time mom.

1- Praise Baby-This was a lifesaver.  My kids LOVED the DVD's and still fall asleep at naptime to the CD's!  Zeke has memorized just about all of the songs from those CD's=)  It is so soothing and calming to them.  For some reason these videos can calm them down when nothing else can.

2- Baby Wise - I would have never known how much a baby should/could drink at different stages and how to keep my milk supply up or how long (on average) babies can sleep at different stages of their little lives.  I know everybody doesn't agree with the whole "schedule" approach but I can't imagine our lives on the road without a schedule.

3- Diapers/Wipes - For a newborn Pampers Swaddlers worked the absolute best for our kids.  When Areyna was born we had had several baby showers that stocked us up with plenty of diapers and wipes to get our journey started.  I don't think I bought a single diaper for her until she was 3 months old.  ***TIP-stores are legally obligated to take back un-openned packages of diapers for you to exchange for a different size if your child grows out of them and you have a huge stockpile.  (If they carry that size and brand).

These are just the first 3 things that pop in my head.

Can you add to the list?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Road Rules - Cups

Rule #1 - You may not ask for a drink until at least an hour into the road trip lest we begin the never ending potty rotations that will inevitably last the rest of the trip.

Rule #2 - Only water will be had on road trips.  I don't think I can handle any more cup sightings under the car seats full of 2-week old curdled milk!

Rule #3 - Keep up with your cup.  If you loose it, no more drinks will be had in the car for the rest of the trip for you, but you must continue to have a "happy heart"=)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Head 'em up...Move 'em out

Today we are heading back to the Raleigh area for another full week.

Tonight is the practice for tomorrow night's Two|Four.  It's their season finale and we're really excited to be a part of it!

Then I'm playing for a wedding on Friday/Saturday while Josh is being flown to Maryland for a gig on Friday night.  We'll meet back up late Saturday night and head back home.

Then, we'll be back at Ridge Church Sunday morning.

It'll be a jam-packed week(end) but we're ready!

Oh yeah, I spent all day yesterday recording in the studio for a friend of mine.  Her album is gonna be amazing.  I'll keep you updated for the won't want to miss it!

I'm to you tomorrow=)

Have You Ever Done This?

I can't believe I'm gonna tell you about this because now you might go snag my deal!  But I do love you all so dearly and know we're all out their waiting for the next fun way to save=)

Every week Old Navy has this game you can play to "find" hidden coupons on their site to use in the store for the next week.  I'd heard of it before but never really checked into it.  Last night, on the other hand, I followed a link there that said they were about to reset their coupons for the next week and they were giving away some $60/$100 purchase coupons.  I was like, "heck yeah", since I have a $50 gift card and I could potentially pay $10 for $100 worth of stuff!  So I went.  It was kind of late before I got in bed that night (oh, 12:30 or so) and when I checked it then they still hadn't reset the game.  Then, the next morning after my little potty break I came in to snag one of those coupons and they were all gone already.  I did get a "25% off of your next purchase" coupon though=)  

Anyway, go HERE to go find some hidden coupons.

***Helpful Hint - Push your curser around and click on different pictures to find the deals.  When you find a coupon click "add to your instore coupon" and then keep hunting to later replace it with a better coupon you find or print it later.  Once you enter your e-mail address it won't let you go search anymore and you only get 1 coupon per e-mail address per week.

Monday, May 11, 2009

27 Week Belly - I'm In

27 Weeks, and a few days=)

I officially retired my "in-between" jeans and have finally entered into the world of maternity pants.  I'll be wearing these for the next 3 months=)  Wait, less than 3 months!  Where is the time going?  I am under 90 days in my little count-down meter.  When did that happen?!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Recap

I'm sitting here SO relaxed from such a GREAT day!
  • We lead worship at our home church, Southbrook Church, where our Pastor's wife, Michelle Singleton, brought a great message to us mom's about how we are not invisible to our Great God who created us!
  • Josh and the kids took me out to lunch.  No cooking or cleanup for me=)
  • A nice long nap was had by all.  4 hours to be exact!  (and I STILL had to wake the kids up!)
  • Listening to the kids whisper and giggle with their daddy as they prepared a "surprise" for me=)
  • Going outside and playing in the backyard until it got so dark that we could no longer see.
  • Eating a great dinner of mac-n-cheese, cereal and ice cream!
  • I had a CONSTANT reminder of our "little one to come" squirming around in my belly ALL DAY today so Josh told me to go take a nice, long, warm bath while he put the kids to bed=)
So, yeah I had a wonderful day!

How about you, how did you spend your Mother's Day?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

SOP - Pants

So, this one isn't mine but I couldn't NOT share!

My friend, whom I won't mention, was telling me that she totally got all ready for work, socks and tennis shoes and ALL, walked out to her car and started driving to work BEFORE she realized that she had NO pants on!!!!   HA!  

That was so blog worthy, even if it wasn't my SOP

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fun Facts For Friday

1- I got up this morning to use the bathroom, again, at 5:30am and couldn't get back to sleep.  

2- Yes, I allow my kids to eat food off the floor.  Hey, I paid good money for that, plus it cuts back on my floor-sweeping time=)  And yes, that was a shriveled-up, purple cheerio that Zeke ate out of the bottomless pit of a diaper bag at rehearsal last night!

3- Does it ever end?  Morning sickness, that is.  When I was pregnant with Areyna, a girl, I was sick from 6 weeks to about 22 weeks and then it was pretty much over.  These boys, on the other hand, is off and on all the way through.  Last night and this morning...good times!

4- I never had the first-time mom sterilization/germ problem.  EX.  I never boiled my bottles or toys...never put a protective cover on my restaurant chairs or grocery carts...never went to wash the pacifier if it fell on the floor...never wiped down the tables at a new eating place.

5- I am TERRIBLE at remembering birthdays and special events.  It's either that or they make me so nervous that I purposefully block them out of my mind, later feeling like a terrible wife, mom, friend, daughter...

Tell me a fun fact about you!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

At Least A 1/2 A Day

Today was AWESOME!  Josh got home late last night and we talked and caught up until well after midnight.  I had a lot of words to use up (I hadn't talked to anyone over the age of 4 in about 4 days)=)  And since the kids didn't take naps yesterday Josh and I were banking on the hopes of them sleeping in.  But when we rolled over in bed this morning and saw that it was 10am we were shocked...well rested, and shocked!

We had a late family breakfast of the usual, pop-tarts and cereal and then Josh got caught up on his inbox FULL of messages from a week without internet while I filled up the pool.  After about 1 hour of pool fun we were down from 3 rings on the pool to 1 and the water was slowly trickling out.  I think it's time for another pool=)

After some outside fun we put the kids down and practiced through our sets for tonight's rehearsal.  

We had a solid half day break before we start up again, but it was an amazing half day.  My baby is back and life is good!

Tomorrow, after Areyna gets out of school, we are heading up North to Yadkinville for a Youth Event and Rally with the band.  It'll be a late night but it should be fun.  We always love when we can bring the guys with us to play=)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Life Without Daddy - Day 4 - Fiesta

Morning - Wild Wild West - Jungle

After the day we had today I wasn't sure how my "happy heart" would hold up for the fun dinner we had planned for tonight, but I think that keeping with the plan actually helped us get through the rest of the night=)

Tonight's Theme:  Fiesta Night

Dinner Menu:
Chips and Salsa

We couldn't have a Fiesta night and NOT invite our friends=)
I invited daddy (he couldn't make it so we just brought his picture)
Areyna invited Bear, Baby Tasha, and Baby Isabell
Zeke invited Baby Zeke

Then, keeping in the "Fiesta" spirit we made a 
welcome home sign for daddy!
***Josh called and said that, weather permitting, he'd be home late tonight.  Praise The Lord!***

Strawberry Fields And Poopie Water

Today has been wet and overcast.  I'm feeling really unmotivated to do much of anything, although I did get a shower before lunchtime today=)  

I have a friend who works at a strawberry farm and I was planning on going with the kids today but it has been raining off and on and I didn't know if I was really up for getting all muddy and messy with the kids today...until I couldn't take their bickering, whining and fighting with each other anymore.  They have really been at each other all day and we HAD to get out of the house.  You know you're off to a good start when your "good" eater refuses to eat the breakfast that he chose, just for the sake of hard-headedness.  

I had no errands to run, no groceries to buy, we'd already been to the library, too wet to play on the playground (me and Zeke tried that yesterday).  So, I packed us a lunch and strapped the kids in the car.  We were going to the strawberry field, wet and muddy and all!

It started pouring about a mile from the field but I was determined.  Thankfully it only lasted a minute and by the time we got out of the car it was down to a mist.  We went to find Audrey and she showed us the ropes.  Rainy didn't last long but Zeke was having a blast.  It was all I could do to get him to put the strawberries in the basket so we could pay for them instead of in his mouth=)  He'd say, "Oh, this one is bootiful!  I think it will be sooooo yummy!"
The kids, Audrey and her nephew eating lunch.

I think the highlight of the afternoon was trying to squeeze all 3 of us into a port-a-jon so we could use the "facilities".  Now, I'm sure you would have paid to see that one=)

We spent a couple of hours there before heading back home.  The ride home was full of some more whining and complaining and I was beginning to be VERY EXCITED FOR NAPTIME when we got home!  

Zeke had been telling me the whole way home that he had to go poopie and so as soon as we got home I sent the kids to go potty before naptime.  Why Zeke started to throw a fit and running away is beyond me, but I finally caught him and stuck him on the potty.  After sitting there about 5 minutes (It takes him awhile these days.  Just like his daddy!) he thought it would be fun to start throwing Areyna's pretty hairbow up in the air because it twirls.  Would have been cool except for the fact that it slipped between his legs into the poopie water!!!  Areyna started crying, I started crying, and Zeke started pulling stickers off his shirt to go in the potty with Rainy's hairbow!

I finally got them down for a nap and decided that I really NEEDED to go run off some steam.  I got all ready and stepped out on my front porch so I could run laps in my cul-de-sac...just as it started pouring again!  Ahhh...  I just couldn't win.  Of course it only lasted a few minutes before I tried again with success.  When I do this I run inside to check on the kids after every mile or so.

Mile 1 - So far so good.  No noises
Mile 2 - Zeke is singing at the top of his lungs to Praise Baby.  I thought they'd been sleeping.  Consequences were to be had.
Mile 3 - I walk in to Zeke pounding on the door and yelling to go potty and Areyna changing her clothes because I missed her call to go potty.

Well, the day is still young but at least there is an end in sight!  I'm really not complaining and I am already laughing at the day's events but it's just one of those days where I just want to start over.  Maybe not THIS day...I'll take a NEW day please=)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Life Without Daddy - Day 3 - Jungle

Morning - Wild Wild West 

Tonight's Theme - Jungle Night

First Zeke and I made "Bug Mix" (Trail Mix)
Cheerios = snails
Craisins = ladybugs
Chocolate Chips = ants
Coconut = slugs
Banana Chips = beatles
Marshmallows = slimy ground
Dinner Menu:
"Snake Calzone" - This was my 1st ever attempt at a calzone,
Don't laugh=)
"Wild" fruit from the jungle
After dinner we went on a bug hunt outside.
We found tons of snails, rollypolly's, earwigs and a ladybugs from all the rain we've been having.

Finally, we ended the day reading some bug and jungle books.
The bug and caterpillar books are from the library.
Yes, we FINALLY made it to our library today.  It only took us 3 years to get there=)
The kids had a blast!

A Picture Worth A Million Words

***We're missing daddy today-
I asked Zeke what he wants to do today and he said,
"I want to go get daddy TODAY!"***

It's A Lifestyle

My friend, Jenn, is lending me a GREAT book called "Satisfy My Thirsty Soul", by Linda Dillow.  I just finished the 3rd chapter and am going to re-read it again and again until it completely sinks in.  The theme of the whole book is allowing your life to be a whole life of worship, instead of separate acts of worship!

Chapter 3 has been so full that I can't seem to grasp it all.  I have a long way to go before I can learn to still the outside and inside clamor of life to actually letting God speak to my soul and truly worship Him.

Linda challenges us to worship with  the ABC's of Worship.  You know, go through the ABC's and think of attributes of God to praise Him with.  
A-Almighty, Amazing, Abba
B-Benevolent, Brilliant, Beautiful
C-Captivating, Creator, Conqueror, etc.

The first day I tried it I was so frustrated because I couldn't get past her sample list and keep going on my own without seeing the carpet stain on the floor, thinking of one more thing to add to the grocery list or about the stack of e-mails I had to get caught up on.

She said that this is completely normal at first.  "Our bodies sit, but our minds race.  Ready to get on with the day, we hope our moments with God win His approval."

A few pages later she says the most profound thing; "When God, in a beautiful way, silenced my soul in His presence, I was not seeking an experience, I was seeking God Himself.  If God grants us experiences with Himself, we rejoice and thank Him, but our purpose must be to bless Him, to seek Him, not what He can give."  Wow!

Here is an acronym that can help us remember how to become still in His presence.

S-Seek Stillness - "we have to be intentional about stillness"

T-Take A Retreat - schedule a time, whether it's a day or two every month away from the kids/work or a hour that you've scheduled and designated for time alone with God (I really want to do this.  If I have time in my schedule to catch coffee with a friend or go to the grocery store I can find time to get away with God every month.  Just me and Him!)

I-Increase Prayer - Read and pray through the Prayer of Quiet to still your heart.  Grab a pad of paper and pen to write down those extra things that pop in your head for your to-do and grocery lists to allow your mind to forget them during this time.

L-Let Go Of External Clamor - Learn that "stillness is not about the environment around me; it is about the environment within me".

L-Learn the 20-minute Worship Experience - Make it a practice to make the first 20 minutes of your quiet time simply worshiping God and quieting your soul

Monday, May 4, 2009

Life Without Daddy - Day 2 - Wild Wild West

If you missed Day 1 you can catch it HERE.

Tonight's theme was Wild Wild West.  Now, remember I have a 4-year old and an almost 3-year old.  Our imaginations can only go so far=)

Our Menu:
Baked Potatoes - All good cowboys and cowgirls LOVE baked potatoes
Baked Spaghetti - For Cowboy ropes to bring in the cows
Asparagus - For cactus
Pigs In A Blanket 
*I know my husband is impressed with all my sides=)

Zeke went straight for the asparagus before we could even sit down.
He loves that stuff!

I think it was a hit!  (This is after Rainy's 3rd helping of asparagus)

Except for the fact that she couldn't bear to eat her "cute little piggy" warming in his blanket=)
Then we ended the night by reading "Cowboy Pup" and playing in the rain in the coolest cowboy boat ever!  Of course, makes sense to me=)


This is my menu board.  The original use was to help me remember what was for dinner so I wouldn't keep forgetting all the "sides" for dinner=)

Here's what happened:
The original message - Homemade Pizza
Then the family came for Easter and the next thing I saw was - Homemade Pizza and Love
Which quickly turned into - Homemade Love
Then just as quickly became - Homemade Love Making

But then my "Welcome Home Fairy" and her family came and it now reads - Homemade Frequent Love Making

I thought this was hilarious ... until I began to replay the last week or two over in my head and realized all the people that have walked into my kitchen for one reason or another.  You know, the complete strangers like the clan of guys that came to clean our air ducts last week or my friends brother who is about to leave for Iraq.  Then I began to blush a little, realizing what that may look like as this pregnant momma walks around with her 2 close-in-age toddlers.  They probably really think this is a rule in our house=)

The Prayer Of Quiet

The Prayer Of Quiet
By: Richard Foster

"I have, O Lord, a noisy heart.  And entering outward silence doesn't stop the inner clamor.  In fact, it seems only to make it worse.  When I am full of activity, the internal noise is only a distant rumble; but when I get still, the rumble amplifies itself.  And it is not like the majestic sound of a symphony rising to a grand crescendo; rather, it is the deafening din of clashing pots and clanging pans, what a racket!  Worst of all, I feel helpless to hush the interior pandemonium.
Dear Lord Jesus, you once spoke peace to the wind and the waves.  Speak Your shalom over my heart.  I wait silently...patiently.  I receive into the very core of my being Your loving command, 'Peace, be still.'  Amen."

I am committing to pray this prayer every day for the next week before entering into my time of worship with my Savior.  I don't know about you but sometimes I can't get the expectancy of the day's activities or the grocery list out of my mind when I should be focused on the only thing that actually matters, becoming more intimate with my Heavenly Father!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Life Without Daddy - Day 1

Josh left yesterday for a week-long event in VA with his dad so it's just me and the kids.  Today we got up and went to the early service at church and then headed out to conquer the grocery stores.  They did GREAT for the most part.  

I normally dread mealtime with the kids.  I just feel like I'm running around the kitchen the whole time and by the time I sit down the kids need something else or I've forgotten something.  So, I've been really motivated to make this week pleasant for everyone and I think I've found some ideas that helps in a HUGE way!  

First, let them participate and help in the preparation.  Lunch was awesome.  I stood in one place and the kids took turns getting the things for lunch out of the pantry and refrigerator.  They loved it!  First they each picked out a plate. Then, Zeke got the peanut butter, Areyna the cheese, Zeke the carrots, Areyna the pretzels, etc.  I just delegated.  They even went to the recycling bin several times together throughout the day by themselves=)

Another idea I had while searching for simple, healthy meals that the kids can help me make for dinner I came across some ideas for Themed dinners.  So, I made my weekly menu according to our theme for the night.

Tonight's theme was Morning Time.  I kept it simple tonight because it's Sunday night, but just added a little twist.  We all got dressed in our jammies and pretended like we just woke up.  We shut the curtains to make it kind of dark in the kitchen and had breakfast for dinner.  The kids weren't sure what to think about it at first but by the end of dinner we were pretending too.  They even started asking what we were going to do tomorrow.  I'm gonna surprise them every night with a new theme.

Come back tomorrow to see what we have in store for our Monday Night Dinner Theme=)


So, we're gonna do it.  We're gonna try to do the majority of our clothes drying outside on a clothesline.  I've done a little research and I really think it will cut down significantly on our energy bill!  Plus, there's just something about fresh laundry hanging out to dry=)
  • Do any of you do this and what kind of clothesline do you have?  
  • Where did you get it?  
  • Is there anything you can spray on your clothes to get the "outdoor smell" out of them or to make them not so stiff?
  • Any other tips?
I really want to hear any advice you have because I'm eager to get started!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Stop Touching My Bootie!

Areyna kept coming up to me and pinchin' my bootie this morning.  It was beginning to drive me crazy.  I had asked her several times to "please stop" and I was losing my patience.

Me: "Areyna, I have asked you several times to stop touching my bootie.  Please STOP!"

Areyna: "But daddy does it..."

This should confirm that kids definitely learn by example=)

It's Just THAT Impressive

Alright, so I found another hidden talent that my oh-so-gifted husband has.  

Not only can he etch-a-sketch a beautiful skyline, but he can make miniature log cabins out of popsicle sticks!

Pretty impressive I'd say.  What hidden talents do you have?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Ahhh, Sleep

I was given the opportunity to sample and review some rather nice pillows from Tempur-Pedic.  Free pillows...BRING IT ON!

You can follow THIS LINK to read all about their line of pillows.  They have several different pillows.  They mailed me two of them that I'll give my expert advice on=)

The first was the Standard Comfort Pillow.  This was my favorite of the two.  I slept on it for about 3 days in a row before trying the other one=)  The first morning I woke up and for the first time in weeks did not feel stiff.  It really was nice.  I did wake up with a headache the following 2 days after that but that doesn't mean it is from the pillow though.  

The next pillow I tried was the Neck Pillow.  Both Josh and I tried this one.  Well, we tried to try it.  It was shaped a little weird and it wasn't the most comfortable fit to my head.  I went back to the Comfort Pillow after one night.  

Now, these are some heavy-duty pillows.  Kind of like that memory foam stuff.  Very heavy in weight, not soft and fluffy by any means.  I just wasn't used to such high quality material so it would just take me some getting used to.  I know some people that would die before sleeping on my $10 Target pillows=)

So, thank you Tempur-Pedic for allowing me to try your products.  Make sure you check out the links above for more detailed information.

"I Was Just Looking For Baby Dora"

Me:  "Areyna, what in the world were you doing in here?"

Areyna: (innocently) "I was just looking for Baby Dora."

Me:  (shocked at the mess in the playroom) "What?!"

Areyna:  "Yeah, THERE she is.  Do you see her?" ... "Can I be done with rest time now?"

Me: (still shocked) "You aren't even PLAYING with Baby Dora, though!"

Areyna:  "I just needed to find her.  I didn't remember where she was."

**She is the little plastic Dora, not even an inch tall, laying beside the red bin on its side...NICE**