Monday, May 31, 2010

Hypothetically Speaking

If one were to write a family devotional and try to reach the most people how would one package it?

Would YOU be more prone to buy an e-book, a Disc with the material that you could put on your computer, or an actually book?

Saturday, May 29, 2010


You know when you are walking around in a store and can't find something? Then, you finally find someone with a work shirt on that can help? You make small talk all the way to the area of the store that carries what you were looking for and then you thank them and part ways.

But then, you keep passing them...over and over...while you complete your shopping trip.

Are you supposed to acknowledge them every time you see them now because you are "friends" or do you completely ignore them as if you'd never met? That just seems rude:)'s just awkward.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fun Facts For Friday - Friends

1 - Last weekend we had some friends drive up from Charlotte to watch the Lost finale with us! They used to come over every week to watch it with us before we moved, so it only seemed appropriate to reunite for the finale. We had a GREAT time with them. Cai and Leighra got along quite long as Cai didn't crawl all over her and smoosh her face down into the floor:)

Kyle and Audrey even fixed us dinner which was AMAZING! Thanks ya'll for coming and being such great friends!

2 - I found this cute picture the other day. Zeke is always going to be a Super Hero. Our friends Scott and Stefanie took our kids for a whole day so we could pack some boxes before we moved. I mean, what friends DO that?
3 - This weekend we are on our way down south to surprise one of our friends for his birthday! We haven't seen them in YEARS! We are SO excited. I'll definitely be posting pictures of this fun weekend...after he unwraps Josh for his birthday:)

4 - Cai loves food so much that he crawled over to suck on the bottom of his cousin's bottle. He just can't help himself.
5 - A new friend in the mirror...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"I Wish I Was A Little Bit Taller"

I'm giving away a FREE "The First The Last" CD
to the first person who can name that tune and tell me who wrote it!

Man, I used to love that song:)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Picture Overload From Carowinds

Cai and me waiting for the big picture by the water fountain
(thanks for the beautiful capture Keesha!)

Everyone, minus Jenn and Ezra who were MIA due to a stomach bug.
Kelly took this one.

Zeke has a "Snoopy Shote" that he wears every other day of the week that I actually succeed in getting his spiderman costume off of him...except for when he actually MET Snoopy.
He was SOOOOOO excited. We went and saw him 3 more times.

Kayil and Ella riding the airplanes

Areyna and Cana

Uncle Moose and Zeke shooting webs while riding the hot air balloons

Kayil, Areyna, me and Jenn

All the height-eligible kids on the swings

Zeke, Areyna and Cana waiting for another go-around

Uncle Moose, Zeke and Kayil

Poppie, carting around a tuckered-out Kayil after a LONG day

We were the last ones in the family to leave the park.

What a fun day.

Thank you Joy for graduating, ha!
And thank you Meme and Poppie for such a wonderful day of family togetherness!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Best Spent $9.99 EVER!

Every summer we invest in one of these...
...and totally wear it out by the end of the summer (fall).
Who needs a water park or community pool when you have one of these in your own backyard!

Monday, May 24, 2010

It Works Both Ways - Men, You Can Thank Me Later

So, do you remember the post from Friday? If not go back and read it.

Now, from first glance it might look like I'm an awesome mom who just laughs in the face of messes, I mean, creativity and imagination;)

Well, I don't...not always anyway. I try to, and I may succeed for a short period of time, but after a while this OCD girl simply cannot take the mess any longer, no matter how important it is to their development!

This post has two morals.

1 - Don't compare your real life with the appearance of someone else's. We can all make our lives look joyous and perfect with a few keystrokes on the computer or the snapshot on a camera, but those brief glimpses, more often than not, are not the whole story. I'm just saying...we all struggle and the grass is NOT always greener on the other side. We all have weeds growing into our gardens and ants eating our strawberries. Sorry, I couldn't resist!

I'm not saying I don't love my life and that I'm miserable. I LOVE my life, my God, my husband, my kids, my family, my church, my friends, my house... I'm just saying, my life is far from perfect.

OK, enough about that. Let's move on to the real reason for this post, shall we?

2 - I took those pictures on Friday just a few hours before I got upset with Josh. Gasp! Yes, we are normal;)

Background - Josh got me an awesome deal on a massage for Mother's Day. I'm not sure which part made me happier, the massage, or the way he tapped into his sexy-frugality (oh come on, frugality can be sexy) and found the awesome deal! Anyway, the plan was set and I was off for a couple of hours to indulge in my wonderful hot stone massage (which was INCREDIBLE, by the way).

Fast forward a couple of hours. I walk into a house, after working so hard the past couple of weeks to clean lots of the details in the house. I was furious, uh, I mean, a little frustrated, when I walked in to see the house in disarray. Not to mention, 7 more boxes of CD's piled up in front of the stove that I had to cook dinner around.

Actually, it didn't really hit me until after we got home from band rehearsal at 9pm and the kitchen still had remnants of lunch all over the counters and toys strewn all over the rest of the house. I unloaded! Poor Josh didn't know what hit him. That's how I react, hold it in until I can't take it anymore and then I explode. Embarrassing, yes!

Anyway, we "worked it out" and we are totally fine. We don't ever stay mad at each other very long.

The next day Josh was off at work and during my quiet time I was really convicted about my attitude. It may or may not have been justified frustration, but I was convicted none-the-less.

You know what I realized? I am always wanting Josh to help me clean the kitchen or help with the kids...but have I ever stepped into his world to help him do what he does around the house? I don't even know how to turn the grill on ya'll!

The cool thing is, a couple of weeks ago I just randomly asked Josh to show me how to turn the lawnmower on. This was the first thought that came to my mind. Instead of being upset with my husband for not stopping his work to help me clean up the pillows/blankets/toys/CD boxes/etc., I decided to bless him. After all, after a conviction from the Lord we should always follow it with repentance and action, right?

So, I went outside and fired up the mower. Puzzled expressions covered Rainy and Zeke's faces. They were like, "What are you doing, mom?" I explained that I was going to be a helper to daddy and that I wanted to bless him and do something that would make him happy. I explained that marriage is about team work. After they saw that I actually could get the contraption started they began cheering me on:) It became a nice object lesson for the kids!

Here are a few things I learned during my experience:
  • We have a HUGE yard!
  • I could have cut down on my time by half, probably, if I wouldn't have backtracked to get every missed blade of grass. My OCDness completely took over...oh well:)
  • When I said, "fired up the lawn mower" I'm not talking a riding mower!
  • It's much easier to vacuum the house than it is to mow the yard around it!
  • I love my husband very much. I kept thinking about him while I did this for him. I thought about reasons why I loved him so much and thanked God for putting us together.
  • It's a good workout. Hey, I keep complaining about not being able to find time to work out, ha!
  • You can maximize your workout by running and "tweezing your buttocks" (put a little Windsor Pilates in there for ya!) while you are pushing up hill! I learned that one from Josh;)
  • I'm not going to tell you how long it took me to do just the backyard and the sides. Remember, I still have 3 kids that needed lunch and water in the pool and towels and...
  • Josh has a separate gas can with a gas/oil mixture for the weed-eater. Yeah, I didn't know that...woops!
  • I should have worn gloves. A few blisters were added to my calloused fingers.
  • I had numb hands from the vibrations for about 30 minutes which made picking up Micaiah a bit awkward, ha!
  • I actually enjoyed mowing. I enjoyed doing something for Josh even more!
You should try it. Not mowing, silly, but finding a way to bless your husband. Find something that they don't necessarily enjoy, though. Some guys enjoy mowing, although I'm not sure of many who do. If that's the case you don't want to take that joy away from them, they might get mad at me. Instead, find a way to "shout your love" in a way that blesses their socks off! It will make YOU love and appreciate them even more, I promise!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

2 Out Of 3 Isn't Bad

Dear God,
Soften my children's hearts, even now as they sleep. Allow them to wake up peacefully and with happy hearts. Please help Zeke to "not freak out" when I tell him to get dressed for church....
In Your Name I pray,

That's the short version of the little prayer I prayed before I opened the door and climbed in bed with Zeke. He sleepily sat up and said, "Mommy, I will wear the clothes that you picked out for me right now."

Wait...did I just hear that correctly?!

Then, Areyna leaned over the top bunk and cheerfully said, "Good morning Mommy!"

Who are these children and what have you done with my little boy with the Sunday morning, I'm-going-to-scream-and-throw-a-fit-because-I-want-to-wear-Spiderman-or-Superman-to-church-NOT-the-super-cute-outfit-you-picked-out-for-me-even-though-you-have-been-preparing-me-for-this-moment-since-last-Sunday-morning, fits. And where is my daughter who is VERY grumpy when she has to be woken at the butt-crack of dawn?

You better believe that I told the kids about my little prayer and that I believed God was helping them wake up with happy hearts this morning.

In my excitement of getting to church with a fully dressed Super Hero in disguise...

You can take his costume away,
but you can't take his "moves" away!
He even picked out a tie to wear:)


Here's Cai's outfit for church!
I had them all laid out but forgot to put them in my bag.

Yup, they are jammies.
Nope, not cute ones, just a T-shirt.
Yup, they are Zeke's...because YES
I need to do laundry!

Hey, 2 out of 3 kids in real clothes isn't bad.

Friday, May 21, 2010

When Momma's Away The Kids Can Play

When daddy's in charge the kids get creative...
EVERY pillow in the house became a massive staircase!
I may need to set my timer for a little bit longer today:)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Words Of Wisdom - Peeping Tom

Areyna: "Mommy, sometimes at Journey, Zeke crawls under the table in our class and the teacher has to ask him to come out because some girls are wearing dresses and he does."

Wow...ok! We know what we need to work on next:)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Super Doubles - Round 1

The 4 of us tracked out to Harris Teeter this morning (me and the kids that is) and did awesome. Mind you, we were in dire need of food, so we got more than my average $15 super double/triple budget allows! Since they only allow up to 20 coupons to double per day I'll be going back tomorrow.

Total Spent: $75.04
Total Saved: $69.76

***The organic milk and organic yogurt (equalling about $12), were the only things that weren't on sale and the watermelon (which was $1.47) and strawberries (which were B1G1) were bought without a coupon. Other than that, everything else was a steal!***

You can check out the following links HERE and HERE to get the best coupon match-ups for this round. Come back and tell me how you did!

Big And Small

Zeke, just 2 days shy of his 2-year birthday.

Cai, in the same outfit just 2 days shy of 9 months!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Vow Of Operatic Sentencing

Josh left this morning for a conference in VA, leaving me with quite a cacophony of sound. Zeke was banging, er, drumming, very loudly as to drown out Micaiah's cries to be constantly held, yes, he is at it again, while Areyna whined for me to cuddle with her.

Don't get me wrong, I really do love to cuddle, but why is it that she only wants to cuddle (and you better believe that it is only on her terms) when I am cooking dinner, when I've told them it's bedtime, when I need to tend to Micaiah or when it's time to walk out the door?

Observation noted...moving on...

Back to the joyful sounds of the morning.

I knew it was going to be "one of those days" from the beginning but I was determined, through prayer and petition, not to let it take my joy today! I know, totally unlike me;) I told you I'm a work in progress.

Yes, Micaiah was still fussing and the kids were still at each other. We are still adjusting after such a long weekend, but I found something that at least took the edge off, and NO it doesn't come in a clear bottle, ha!

While I was fixing lunch I began singing very loudly in an operatic voice in order to be heard over Micaiah's plea for_______? I'm still trying to figure out what exactly he is trying to tell me. Amazingly he stopped fussing, looked over at me and smiled! A lull in the crying and a smile?! I was speechless.

I just kept communicating through crazy opera singing and the kids began singing along in their responses back to me and to each other. It was quite comical, but we were able to enjoy a lunch full of laughing and smiles instead of fussing and frustration.

Some people take a vow of silence, but as for me, for the remainder of the day I am taking a vow of operatic sentencing and communicating ONLY through loud opera singing!

So, unless you want to get an earful don't call me today, k?

Self-Righteous Service vs. True Service: A Quiz

I am still moving right along in Foster's, "The Celebration of Discipline" and this morning I read a very eye-opening section on the heart behind our service.

Let's take a quiz together, shall we?

1 - When serving, does it...
A. take immense amounts of energy calculating and scheming how to render the service?
B. or, does the energy expended come from a relationship with the divine Other deep inside (the Holy Spirit)?

FINAL POINT: Do we serve out of whispered promptings and divine urgings or out of an intolerable scramble of panting feverishness?

2 - Is our service calculated by...
A. the impressive gains on ecclesiastical scoreboards?
B. or, obedience rather than the service itself, indiscriminately welcoming all opportunities to serve?

FINAL POINT: When we serve, are we drawn to the service out of false modesty or because we see the genuine importance of the service?

3 - When you serve...
A. do you require external rewards, needing to know that people see and appreciate the effort, seeking human applause (with proper religious modesty of course)?
B. or, can you rest contented in hiddenness? Not afraid of the attention but not seeking it.

FINAL POINT: Will a divine nod of approval be enough for you?

4 - When you serve...
A. are you waiting in anticipation to see the results, eager to see if the person served will reciprocate in kind?
B. or can you serve, free of the need to calculate results?

FINAL POINT: Do you become bitter when the results fall below expectations or can you serve enemies as freely as friends?

5 - Do we...
A. choose to serve the high and powerful because they will insure a certain advantage or the low and defenseless because that will insure a humble image?
B. or, do you follow Jesus example to be a "servant of all" (Mark 9:35)?

FINAL POINT: Do you pick and choose to whom you will serve?

6 - When you serve...
A. is it affected by moods and whims, serving only when there is a "feeling" to serve ("moved by the spirit" as we say)?
B. or, can you minister simply and faithfully because there is a need, knowing that the "feeling to serve" can often be a hinderance to true service.

FINAL POINT: Does ill health or inadequate sleep control your desire to serve or do you refuse to allow the feeling to control the service, but rather the service disciplines the feelings?

7 - Is your service...
A. temporary, functioning only while the specific acts of service are being performed?
B. or, is it a life-style?

FINAL POINT: Are your acts of service ingrained patterns of living, springing spontaneously to meet human need?

8 - When you act in service...
A. do you insist on meeting the need even when to do so would be destructive, demanding the opportunity to help?
B. or, are you willing to withhold the service as freely as perform it, listening with tenderness and patience before acting.

FINAL POINT: Are you sensitive, willing to serve through the act of silence?

9 - Does your service...
A. fracture community, centering in the glorification of the individual, which in turn puts others into our debt, becoming one of the most subtle and destructive forms of manipulation known?
B. or, does it build community, quietly unpretentiously going about caring for the needs of others, putting no one under obligation to return the service?

FINAL POINT: Does your service rupture community or draw, bind, heal and build, resulting in unity of community?

Ouch! So, how did you do?

It's pretty revealing if you let it expose your heart and sink in.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Micaiah almost became a casualty to this land mine the other night!
He crawled right on top of those pony brushes and lost his balance.
His poor little belly=(

Not Me Monday

If my children have to go to the bathroom when we are at the outdoor pool at our hotel I always stop what I am doing immediately, dry off, dry my child off, put our shoes on, grab our room key, go inside, wait for the elevator, ride up to our floor, walk down to the end of our hall, find our room, pry the child's wet bathing suit off, just to use the restroom.

Then, spend 10 minutes trying to reapply the wet bathing suit, open the door, walk down the hall to the elevator, wait, ride it back down to the lobby and walk back outside to enjoy some more water time in the pool.

Usually that would be the time for the next kid to mention that they have to go!

That being said, there is no way that I would just tell my kids to go pee in the bushes that line the perimeter of the inside of the pool area and then just jump in the pool to rinse off.

Nope, not me.

I mean, we only do that at home...uh, I mean...there's no way we'd even do that at home!

And since we are talking about our nice time by the pool...

I thought I'd add that I would never allow my 9 month old son to crawl around on the pavement by the pool eating his daddy's leftovers (and the rest of the family's for that matter) from Wendy's.

First of all, we are an all organic family and we would never even eat that fast food junk!

Secondly, that is just unsanitary! Oh the germs!!! This just would never happen! I would never be that mom...not me!

Mckmama- Not Me Monday

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggidy Jig

Notice BOTH my kids have REAL clothes on!
I know, they look so cute...

This weekend our family (as in all 18 adults and 11 kids) packed up to go see Aunt Joy, Josh's sister's, college graduation. It was a really fun weekend, filled with swimming, roller-coasters and great food.

We just made it home around 6pm tonight, after a quick stop at ALDI to stock our pantry with some essentials to get us started this week, and I kicked it into full gear as soon as I stepped in the door. We got totally unpacked and, as usual, I got a little carried away and dusted and vacuumed too. I meant to get those two tasks done before we left but didn't manage to follow through.

So, I am starting this week off a little ahead of the game. That always feels good! Especially since Josh leaves tomorrow for a conference. I like to clear my schedule of any big expectations when I am at home alone with the kids. That way, if I actually accomplish something I feel great, but if nothing but playing, swimming and catching frogs is all that we do it's NO BIG DEAL:)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Strawberry Butter

In Case You Can't Read It:

Strawberry Butter
1 stick of butter
1 8oz. package of cream cheese
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup of strawberries

(steel blade works best)

Cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar.
Add the vanilla. Add the berries.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fun Facts For Friday

1 - My 15-minute challenge has turned this house around!

Last month I perfected the habit of making my bed. Not that we had a problem of getting it made before, I just got in the habit of doing it first thing. This kind of jump starts the motivation for the day.

This week's focus has been in the kitchen. I have been wiping the fronts of the cabinets, wiping down all the small appliances, and, as you know, I'm already working on cleaning out the pantry, ha!, and I just cleaned out and scrubbed my refrigerator. Wow, it feels SO good!
Have you ever SEEN such a clean refrigerator?

2 - Josh and I got our calendars together for the summer. It's a little overwhelming to look at it as a whole. I'm going to just have to go one week at a time. We have 6 summer camps in June and July alone. Sheesh! We sat down and talked through which ones I'll be going to and whether or not we'll be bringing the kids to each one. I can already foresee some Themed Dinners coming up:)

3 - Micaiah started getting this strange rash on Monday morning and by Tuesday morning he was beginning to be covered with these red dots. He had just finished his second round of antibiotics for ear infections on Sunday so I thought it was too late to be a reaction to that.

Well, after bringing him in on Wednesday morning (it looked HORRIBLE ya'll!) we found out that he is allergic to Penicillin (Zeke is too...weird). They also saw that he STILL had his ear infections. They prescribed a different, 3-day antibiotic. I didn't go pick it up though, is that terrible? I hate, hate, hate giving my kids so much medicine, especially when it effects them so strangely. I am on day 4 of garlic oil to see if we can knock this out organically before trying yet another round of antibiotics. He smells like a garlic stick, but he sure has been happy and content.

4 - Super Doubles starts at Harris Teeter next Wednesday. Couldn't have come at a better time. I will most definitely be participating!

5 - We had a HUGE tree cut down in our front yard this week. We were having very large, dead limbs fall off, the kind that could smoosh tiny bodies playing underneath. One of those particular large, dead limbs came just a few feet from a friend's car that was over and it would have crushed it. Anyway, we, actually our landlord (yeah for renting) got it cut down. We even got Zeke up from his nap (he was just playing with Cai anyway) to let the kids watch. It was pretty amazing. I think we're pretty set on firewood for a few years, ha!
And this is AFTER a man came and filled his truck up to his content!


Josh just went out and got donuts and milk for breakfast! It's's a glorious morning!

Micaiah is officially pulling up to standing, as of Wednesday.