Sunday, December 27, 2009

To the Birthday Girl:

To my baby girl:

I know you argue that you are not my baby anymore. But, I have to tell you, you will always be my baby girl. When I got pregnant with your brother, I tried to stop calling you that so you would get used to the idea of having another in the house. I couldn't do it. You are my baby girl. The one who made me a mother. You rocked my world. Your presence has brought a joy and purpose to my life like nothing else.

In this fourth year of your life you have really become your own personality. You are a unique blend of your mommy and your daddy- with a touch of your Aunt Brandy for sure. You became a big sister this year. It suits you really well. Your brother loves you and smiles and laughs each time he sees you. Sometimes when he cries you sing to him and it makes him smile. I love watching you be his big sister and I can't wait to watch your relationship grow as he gets bigger. I suspect there are some beatings in your future, but I think that little boy is going to have a fierce love for you. You love to help with him and often you can calm him down when he is upset. On days when I feel down on my mothering, I hear you speak to your brother in a tone that I recognize as my own, and I recognize that the Lord's grace is big enough to cover my mistakes.
You also started school this year. You have learned so incredibly quickly. You learned all your letters and some of their sounds in just a couple months. You know your numbers and even some basic addition. But, more importantly than that, you love people. Last night I watched you walk right up to some ladies in a nursing facility and bring smiles to their faces with your smile and a quick conversation. You have a compassion for people who seem different and I hope that never changes. You have a fashion sense all your own. I see that confidence in so many areas of your life. Stay strong in your convictions, Baby. Whether it is the clothes you wear or some other choice, stick to those convictions. They will serve you well in this life.
This year has been challenging for sure. There have been many changes in your life. You are taking it in stride. There have been some bumps along the way. But, you are secure enough to handle it and I hope you keep that confidence. Keep growing in the Lord. Keep practicing those memory verses. That knowledge will save your life. Our God is bigger than all the difficulties this world has to offer. I pray that you grow up and believe that with all of your heart. I love you with everything in me. Jesus loves you even more.

Happy 4th Birthday, Alivia!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
Enjoy the magic of the season that is the unconditional love offered by the birth of that baby in the manger so many years ago.
Hug your family tight and make many memories to take into the new year.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ornament Exchange

I hope you all have been receiving and enjoying your ornaments. I received mine and I just love it! Thanks, Christine! If you have not received your ornament by tomorrow and have not received an email that it is on it's way, let us know. I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas! Thank you so much for joining us in one of our favorite holiday traditions...ornaments!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holiday Recipe Exchange

The sisters are having a recipe exchange over at What's For Dinner? Jump on over to check out some yummy recipes and dig out your recipes to share.

This is one of the easiest recipes by far. This is, of course, why i chose to share it first. Because I am lazy. That and the children don't actually like to let me sit down...

Peppermint Bark

4 candy canes
White Chocolate Chips or that white substance that I can't currently remember the name of... You know the stuff, it's in the baking aisle with all the bakers chocolate and such. But, DO NOT buy bakers chocolate...that stuff is nasty by itself.

Now that we have cleared that up...

Put broken candy canes into a baggie and smash them up with a rolling pin or something of the sort.
Melt the white stuff over a low heat. Stir until smooth.
Pour onto a buttered cookie sheet and top with crushed candy canes.
Refrigerate until hardened
Pull off sheet with a spatula
Break into pieces
Enjoy with some hot chocolate or diet soda. Whatever you like...


Monday, December 7, 2009

Girls and Boys

This is a conversation that Alivia had with her 5 year old boy cousin today.

Alivia: Do you want to play home?

G: No.

Alivia: Do you want to play house?

G: No.

Alivia: Do you want to play babies?

G: No.

G: Do you want to play killing?

It is amazing to me the innate sense of gender roles that children possess. These 2 children love to play both Star Wars and house together. They play Transformers and Kitchen.

(And for anyone who is concerned...G went on to explain that the killing game he meant was like shooting in Star Wars.)


Tids and Bits

I know I have been absent from this here blog for a while. Partly, it's because I don't have internet access and it is difficult to get on other people's computers and sit down and compose. Especially since I seem to mostly get inspired in the middle of the night. That would be awkward...knock, knock. "I know you and your family are sleeping, but I was inspired to write some mediocre posts for my blog. Do you mind if I come in?" Even I am not that socially awkward...
There are lots of other reasons I have been absent, but I won't bore you with the details.

Here are some things I am thankful for as we go into this most blessed season:

Friends who will be there anywhere, anytime. Friends who allow me to talk or not talk when I need it.

My mom took my daughter to the Polar Express. I can't wait to hear all about their adventures!

So many people have come along side us and offered to help with our kids gifts this year. Far too generous, really. My dad and stepmom took our kids out shopping to buy Mommy and Daddy gifts. How thoughtful!

Christmas decorations! I love decorating for the holidays. It gets me in the spirit. Putting up the tree is probably the best for me. I love to wax sentimental about each and every ornament. Every one is special to me in some way.

Apparently my daughter has my innate love of Christmas tree ornaments. She has been taking one off the tree each day and putting it in her purse. She takes it to school to show her friends. She also likes to "decorate" other parts of the house and it isn't uncommon to find ornaments hanging from tables or dresser knobs or some other random location. When she discovers I have moved it back, she says in a really exasperated voice, "Mom, I was decorating for Christmas. That makes it pretty for Jesus." I can't really argue with that, so don't mind my randomly placed decor the next time you stopped by. I am more interested in cultivating my daughter's love of our Savior than I am in a house decorated "just so".

And the number one thing I am thankful for this season is a renewed hope at a time when it seemed hope was a long shot.

Thank you Lord for all the blessings in my life!


Friday, December 4, 2009

The Big Ten

10 years ago today, I stood next to Chris and pledged a covenant with our Lord. I committed that "your people will be my people, and your God will be my God." Today, I still mean those words to the core of who I am.

In honor of Chris, and in praise to the God who brought us together ~ 10 things I love about my man.

10. You are not afraid to admit when you have lead incorrectly. It makes me want to follow you more.

9. You are, without a doubt, one of the most committed people to providing for your family that I know.

8. You learn about what people are interested in, just so you have something to talk about with them. I love that you want to know what gets people going. What a great relational quality.

7. Your diet soda addiction. Sure, it may take you out 20 + years earlier than you would die, but at least I won't have to embalm you.

6. Your fake laugh. And the fact that I can identify it.

5. Your heart for teens.

4. The way you parent Addie and Brody. You don't just love them, you like them a whole lot, too. Nothing makes you more attractive.

3. You are a dreamer. And you do not let time diminish your dreams. I adore that about you.

2. You are quick to forgive me, and are very merciful.

1. Your commitment to the Lord, me, our family, ministry, and Star Wars.

I love you, babe. Here's to many more adventures!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Black Friday

I don't know if we have shared our love of Black Friday shopping. But, Timmarie and I claim it to be our favorite holiday of the season. I know, it's one of those either love it or you hate it. I have never met a Black Friday fence rider...

I love it for many reasons but I think the biggest reason for me is that I love the thrill of the hunt. Knowing that they only have a limited number of items means you have to put some thought into it. It takes planning and strategizing to get to all the deals and all the stores in order to take advantage of all the best sales. Its like a real life game of Stratego. Or at least what I imagine that game to be like since I have never actually played that game...

I headed out at 11:15pm Thursday night to meet up with my bff, her hubs and her mom. (Timmarie was out of town celebrating with family. But, thankfully, due to their recent cell phone carrier switch we were able to share our experiences via cell phone. Yes, I am serious.) We scoped out the giant toy store but decided that we were way too late for any of those deals...We also hit the Mickey store and got some sweet princess deals. We figured we better cruise over to the Mart early because people take $3 pajamas very seriously! We were right. They opened the deals at 5 am. We arrived at 2:30am to stake out where the deals we were interested in were located. There were 2 ladies who parked their carts in front of the boy's pajamas. They were blocking it off and really talking smack about how "they were not going to let anyone in there until they got theirs, they had been waiting so long, they were just going to clear out this side of the pallet", etc... I was interested, but I was afraid that I might have to throw some elbows to get by them... All in all, I got everything I was looking for and got all my Christmas shopping done minus 2 gifts. I also only went $1 over my budget. A success indeed!

Oh, and the ladies from the boy's pajamas...
They each had like 3 pair in their carts when we saw them later.
Really?!? All that talk and waiting for a $9. purchase??

You've got to be a special kind of crazy to enjoy this day.

I should know.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Baby on the Brain - AGAIN

Babies are everywhere I look. I absolutely love it. I would love to have another baby in our family.

Chris is a different story. He is a total softy with Koleson. In fact, he has held Koleson at church the last 2 Sundays. I'd like to think he was warming up to the idea, but when our friends announced this weekend that they were expecting again, I casually mentioned that we should have a baby and he chuckled.

So anyone with a baby, please feel free to ask me to babysit. I love to snuggle and toddle and dream of having a third.


I like to Eat

My sister was laughing at me on the phone today because my pants no longer fit. Holiday Baking season has officially begun.

If you like cooking, baking, or even eating as much as I do please plan on participating in the yumminess linked below

Holiday Recipe Exchange

I cannot wait to try some new recipes out since we will be celebrating Jesus' birth at our house this year! Let the food goodness commence.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Send us your info!

Just a reminder that our ornament exchange will be closing on Tuesday, November 24th. We would really love to get a few more people involved, so spread the word!

Once again, here's the rundown:

Your name (pseudo name if need be)
Email contact info

(Please note: We will not save this info once the exchange is over. We will not use it other than to make sure everyone has an ornament. We wouldn't even know how to sell it or advertise to you or anything of that nature. We are random through and through and making sure all ornament participators are happy will take all of our braincells)

Optional info:
Blog address
If you have a themed tree, by all means let us know
Interests (If you are a teacher who hates apple ornaments, by all means, say it!)

And the rules (WHO LIKES RULES? NOT ME)

1. You don't have to be a blogger.

2. Please send information to no later than November 24th.

3. We will send you your exchangee's info by November 30th

4. Please mail out ornaments no later than December 8th. If for some reason you cannot follow through with mailing out something, please let us know and we'll take care of it. We understand that things come up!

5. If you do not receive an ornament by December 16, please contact us and we will be sure you receive one! (We hate feeling left out)


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sugar and spice and puppy dog tails...or something like that

Life is really crazy right now. But, my kids, they bring me such joy each and every day. My God, He really knew what He was doing when He chose me to be their mama. I certainly don't always get it right, but their unconditional love makes it worth all the effort to get up and try again tomorrow.

Here are some snippets from our life these days...

Koleson sat up on his own for about a minute today. It made me and Timmarie cheer. He did a faceplant right before we got a picture...

Alivia has a true, deep love for her Aunt Brandy. They have the most preciously sweet relationship. Recently, said Aunt was out of town. When I told Alivia she would be home Tuesday evening and would pick Alivia up from school on Wednesday, her face lit up and she said with all sincerity, "Mommy, I love Brandy more than you do. I love her as most as Jesus does."

Koleson has double ear infections and double pneumonia this week. It's a bummer. But, those chubby little baby smiles in the midst of it all make up for all the sleepless nights.

Alivia has such a keen eye for style. Let me paint you a little word picture... On Tuesday she wore a pale pink shirt with fuschia apples all over it. She paired it with glow in the dark green leggings. And layering is big this season, so she topped it with an oversized orange and white striped tank top and a leopard skirt. She finished it off with some purple crocs and pink sunglasses. Unfortunately, she said no to all papparazzi requests...

And that look in Koleson's eyes that he has only for his gets me every time.

These precious children leave my heart in a puddle at their feet each and every day. I am so thankful to be able to spend my days and nights in their presence.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


There's just something really lovely in knowing you can dial a friend's number late in the night and know they will not even be a little annoyed, just glad that you called.

Just like Jesus.


Friday, November 13, 2009


Last week, Dareth, our friends K, H, E, Baby A and I got to MEET THE PIONEER WOMAN!!!!
It was so stinkin fun. She's just as sweet as you'd imagine her to be, and she even accidently scribbled in my cookbook. Perfectly cool!

There was some fun to be had. The bookstore was crazy crowded (Ree is a popular girl), and people's emotions were all over the place. One lady started crying when Ree walked out. Which made me, in turn, cry from laughter. I'm just being honest. It struck me as hysterical. Probably because I always tear up at the weirdest things.

The best news of the night was when she announced that Black Heels to Tractor Wheels will be published. It will include all of what's on the blog, plus more!

So how does this all tie into delight? I was just delighted that in a world where kindness can be easily forgotten, kindness and conversation between strangers can still happen. We chatted with some really great people. I also was so delighted to have some time with some really great friends - friends who find it fun to stalk famous bloggers!


Monday, November 9, 2009

The Great Shepherd

I stumbled onto this post tonight. What a great reminder as to the Shepherd's love. I love the modern day language that she used to retell this parable of the lost sheep.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christmas Ornament Exchange

Ornament Exchange

We both love Christmas ornaments. And we love people.
Therefore, we present to you The Christmas Ornament Exchange of 2009!

Would you like to send an ornament to someone? Would you like to receive an ornament?

Here's what we need:

Your name (pseudo name if need be)
Email contact info

(Please note: We will not save this info once the exchange is over. We will not use it other than to make sure everyone has an ornament. We wouldn't even know how to sell it or advertise to you or anything of that nature. We are random through and through and making sure all ornament participators are happy will take all of our braincells)

Optional info:
Blog address
If you have a themed tree, by all means let us know
Interests (If you are a teacher who hates apple ornaments, by all means, say it!)

And the rules (WHO LIKES RULES? NOT ME)

1. You don't have to be a blogger.

2. Please send information to no later than November 24th.

3. We will send you your exchangee's info by November 30th

4. Please mail out ornaments no later than December 8th. If for some reason you cannot follow through with mailing out something, please let us know and we'll take care of it. We understand that things come up!

5. If you do not receive an ornament by December 16, please contact us and we will be sure you receive one! (We hate feeling left out)

A giant thanks goes out to Jenn at Munchkin Land Designs for making our button. Please feel free to share it on your blog. Our motto is always the more the merrier!!!



Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Delight - What Day was I On?

Some people who know me know that I am in general opposed to vaccinations for the general population. More specifically, I disagree with a standardized vaccination schedule for babies that weigh 3 pounds or 10 pounds. I also happen to disagree that the CDC has the research that proves all of this is safe for our children and that no one could possibly get the swine flu from the LIVE VIRUS they stick into you. (That is another soapbox for another time).

All of that to say, while I don't agree with some of these things, I also think that there are cases where vaccinations are vital for some. For instance, we have a friend whose son has Cystic Fibrosis. He and his sister got the h1N1 vaccine. OF COURSE I think this is very important for them. His momma is doing the best thing for her son. It really is important for moms to be able to conversate about these things without passing judgement when a mom does or does not opt to do them.

None of that had anything to do with anything I wanted to say.

Motherhood is not for Wimps is one of the first blogs I read. It makes me laugh until I sometimes pee a little. There are probably very few commonalities between us and we have plenty of differing opinions. But this GEM right here is a must read. I may have fist pumped when she called the Proverbs 31 woman a freaking bad arse.

And so today, I am delighting in all I have heard, right or wrong, about the Proverbs 31 woman. I am celebrating her instead of guilting me. And I am thinking that some sweet red boots for me fall under the category of clothing my house in scarlet.


Life Lessons

I have had to make some really difficult decisions recently. Decision making isn't really my forte. I doubt myself. I second guess. I am easily swayed. And more than anything, I want the people I love to be happy. The realization has come that deciding not to make a decision is still a decision. The reality is it's a cop-out. It's the path that might please more people. And even if that's not the case, at least people won't be mad at me...
But, here's the thing about the non-decision: You reach a point when that won't work any more. Where, in my case, you have to stand up for something bigger than yourself. And today, I can see that when I am not watchful, my non-decisions cause me to be disobedient to my God. So, while each difficulty brings new hurt, each one reminds me that this decision had to be made. Even though each reminder hurts to acknowledge, it makes me even more resolute.
God is so faithful that He will grace my non-decisions and bring me what I need to stick to those firm decisions that I have made. Thank you Lord for life lessons in the midst of discourse.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Not Me Monday

Please jump over to MckMama's page and pray for her little guy, Stellan.

I can not fail to mention that this week, I did NOT run out of diapers in the diaper bag. Of course, I would have noticed this before he had a stinky diaper, right?? Umm, not. I am NOT rummaging through the diaper bag looking for some sort of solution... Let's just say, I did NOT end up putting a size 6 pull-up on my 6 month old. Because if I had done that, it would have been like a onesie on him. And that would be hilarious!

I am NOT having such an emotional eating week. I definitely did NOT eat cookies for dinner...for TWO nights in a row. And even if I had done that, I would definitely NOT justify it to myself that I saved some calories by using them as my dinner instead of eating them in addition to my dinner.

If I do NOT stop eating like this soon, you might NOT find me floating through the Macy's day parade route this year...


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Delight- Day 4

Today, I am delighting in the fact the the Lord brought someone as lovely as K into my life.

K has been dubbed my Surface of the Sun Mom. My parents live out of state, and for the past 9 years, K has taken me under her wing, loved me, and shown me what a Godly woman looks like. She is one of my most favorite people on the planet. I have watched her love the elderly and the newborns alike. She has a heart for people from all walks of life.

K was in the room with me when Brody was diagnosed with autism. It was her birthday, and she still offered to come to a 3 hour doctor's visit. I will never forget the tears of grief she shared WITH me. She completely invests herself in our lives.

K and Brody have such a sweet relationship. She loves him for who he is, prays for him, and has thrown herself into knowing as much as she can about autism. He adores her ~ she is one of the first people he showed preference for.

K has seen the best and worst of what our family of 4 can be, and she loves us anyway. And I love her for that. I never feel like I have to be fake around her.

This evening when I put Brody to bed, I inhaled the scent of K's perfume, still on him from this morning. She just lingers in a persons life, never content to let them get too far away. That K, even when not physical close, always leaves her mark. Much like our Savior.


Saturday, October 31, 2009

30 Days of Delight - Day 3

Today I am delighting in the fact that God doesn't require me to know it all today. We review how we "do" Halloween each year at our house. We go back and forth about what the blessings and opportunities are as opposed to what could be dangerous to expose our children to. I am so grateful that the Lord really honors us each year in our decision making. I don't claim to have all of the answers. This is one of those things that I believe Christians can just agree to disagree on.

It's going to be a lovely day! Blessing to you whatever you choose for you and your family. Chris, myself, Snow White, and a Hot Dog are going to enjoy some time at Faith and Family Day.


Friday, October 30, 2009

30 Days of Delight - Day 2

Today I am delighting in this weather we are having. The coolness has been such a sweet reminder that just like the summer heat will dwindle, the seasons of life change, too. I won't always be in the season I am in today, and I don't want to miss the lessons and opportunities the Lord has for me in this time period. Some seasons are harder than others, and yet the Lord is faithful in each one.


Baby on the Brain

Brody at about 5 1/2 months

Addison at about 7 months

Koleson has some influence around this house. No, he does not live here, but he has, in fact, stolen the hearts of Chris and myself. He shows up all chunky and smiley and frankly, neither one of us can resist all of his baby cuteness.

About a month ago, Dareth's BFF posted a picture of Addison and her son, G, from when Addie was 2 and G was 1. Addie had such a round face and curly, curly hair. Seeing that picture made my ovaries leap!

Top that all off with the fact that Brody was an EASY baby. Ridiculously easy. He was completely chill and happy and ate on a schedule and slept through the night at 4 months.

In conclusion, the babies mock me. All of their baby deliciousness makes me want another one or 4.

Koleson, maybe you and Chris need to spend more time together. You are his kryptonite.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

30 Days of Delight

After attending the Living Proof simulcast this summer, I was encouraged by the Lord to find things to delight in, specifically for a 30-day period. That was in August. And now we are almost in November. It's CRAZY that I have let so much time slip by without committing to delight. However, today I can change that. So I will. For the next 30 days, I am going to focus on 1 thing a day that delights me, is delightful, etc. I have a sneaking suspicion that in a month's time, I will have a shift in not only my focus, but my attitude as well.

Based on Psalm 37:1-9

Day One

Today I choose to delight in You, Lord. I am so delighted that you choose to be in relationship with me. I don't have to wonder whether or not You care for me. You prove it every single day. Even when I can't recognize it as such.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Comfort or the lack thereof

Have you ever noticed how the Lord is not satisfied with leaving us where we are? I must admit that sometimes, when the direction I feel Him leading looks scary, I just don't go there. I am content to stay where I am in the mediocre rather than step out in the the scary unknown. But, in His steadfast, never-wavering love for me, He will take me another route to the same scary destination. And no matter how many times I say, "no thanks", He is not deterred. This seems to be a recurring theme in my life: I feel the leading. I get scared. I don't follow through. Eventually I have no choice but to take His road and, guess what? Blessings abound. It leaves me shaking my head and wondering, "Why am I such a slow learner?? Why am I so afraid?"

Well, here I am again. In a place that, looking back, I can see the Lord may have been leading me for a while but I was too scared to recognize it.

Why am I such a slow learner?!?


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Not Me Monday

Join in the therapy that is MckMama's Not Me Monday.

Reflecting back on this week, I think most of my "Not Me's" actually have to do with food. If you know my emotional eating habits, you can probably guess that it's NOT been a tough week...

I did NOT back cookies and brownies and 3 batches of rice krispie treats this week. And I certainly did NOT eat some of each. That would seem a little excessive...

My mother-in-law dropped off dinner the other night. In my distracted state, I did NOT completely forget about it all day and leave almost an entire pork roast on the counter long enough that it was no longer safe to consume. That would be shameful with such a thoughtful gift...

And I definitely would NOT have left the above mentioned food on the counter for one more whole day before remembering to throw it away... That would be disgusting.

I did NOT wait in line at the fabric store for over an hour with 3 kids in tow just to get some material cut in order to make some cheap Christmas gifts...

What did you NOT do this week?


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Dip

This is one of those recipes that I can't make very often because I want to eat the whole batch myself. And it isn't exactly what would be in the "healthy" category.

I don't do exact measurements. I just mix the ingredients to taste. That allows you to make it as spicy or cheesy as you like.

1 block of softened cream cheese
about 1/2 bottle of blue cheese dressing
cooked, shredded chicken (you can use canned chicken)
Frank's Red Hot Sauce

You can top it with shredded cheese. I usually do not because I like the way it tastes and I figure I already have plenty of cheese products already...

Serve it with carrots, celery, crackers or just eat it with a spoon...



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Complicated Joy

I have been considering that one of my goals for myself was to be more authentic in my writing. I am loving the Not Me Mondays and my thursday recipes. And both of these things are true to who I am. The "Not Me" format fits my sarcastic sense of humor quite well. And I love trying out new recipes and sharing when I find something easy that I like. But, the truth is, these things are just easier for me to write about than things that leave me feeling more vulnerable and exposed. I am going to try and remedy that today.

I find myself in one of the most difficult seasons of my life thus far. My marriage is hard. Our finances are strained. My brain is scattered. I am dissatisfied. Yet, simultaneously, I find myself in one of the most beautiful seasons of my life. My God is faithful. My children are amazing. My body, though tired, is healthy and strong. I am satisfied.

It seems that these two things could not co-exist. But, they do. And, I think this is true for many as I observe the lives of other moms around me. I think the fact is we live in difficult times. If you took a survey of a group of women I know, you would find many challenges: Children with chronic illnesses, special needs, a son taken to heaven, ill parents, difficult marriages, financial strains, work difficulties, strained family relationships, mental illness. At times, you can find any one of us looking tired and stressed- downright weary. But, each one laughs and loves and finds joy all around them.

As for me: sometimes, I have a real crab-fest. I find myself complaining much more than I like to admit. Some of my complaints are valid. Others are exaggerated by my pity party. But, each night when I look at my sleeping children I feel a check in my spirit. I am so blessed to be entrusted with these beautiful children. And I work really hard to raise them in such a way that pleases our Lord. (I don't always achieve it, but I work for it.) After a night of laughter with my husband, I am thankful that we made the covenant commitment to stick together even when it's difficult. For the past 12 months, when I am certain the money will run out, the Lord always provides a better way. And while my house feels out of control, I can keep in perspective that having a clean home is not going to make my family more complete. And that a clean house won't make a bit of difference eternally.

So, while I am not yet spiritually mature enough to say that I find joy in my suffering as Paul instructs, I feel as though I have reached a stage where I can find joy alongside my suffering.

I have complicated joy.
I am joyfully complicated.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Not Me Monday

Join in the free therapy that is MckMama's Not Me Monday.

While teaching the toddler class at church I sat in a wet spot. Once I had determined that it was urine, I did a pants check. When discovering that not one person had wet pants, I did NOT consider all the potential ways that this could have happened. I have yet to figure out how it happened. And, I certainly, did NOT text my friend teaching in the other room to get her opinion...

I am NOT addicted to a certain weight loss reality show. And while NOT watching the afore mentioned show, I did NOT text Timmarie at least 10 times giving a running commentary of my strong opinions.

And I certainly would NOT have been mad about the results of a tv show. That would be ridiculous!

And, this week, I was NOT shocked to discover that my 5 month old preemie currently weighs 17 1/2 pounds!

So, what did you NOT do this week??


Thursday, October 15, 2009


Time just keeps finding a way to fly by, and I keep looking for a way to hold on to it...

We've lived on the surface of the sun for 9 1/2 years now, all but 3 months of our married life. Chris and I didn't expect to be here long - only 6 months or so, and yet here we find ourselves all this time later, with 2 other people in our family now.

There was an element of simplicity to our lives when we first lived here, just the simple joy of each other and a handful of friends. Loving Jesus, loving one another, building relationships ~ that's what we did. It was beautiful. Sincere. Heartfelt. Honest. Pure. It was all the things I want my children to cherish.

Fast forward to today. Today feels full, confusing, muddled, secretive, sad. Not everyday, but today it does.

So for today, I choose to delight. Not because it comes easily, but because I have reason to. And I hope that simplicity can return.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Banana Cream Brownies

I haven't made these in a long time, but when thinking of a recipe to share today, these popped into my mind. If you will excuse me while I run to the store...

Bake your favorite brownies per recipe.
Allow to cool.
Top with sliced bananas.
Make a package of vanilla pudding and fold in 1/2 container of whipped topping.
Put vanilla topping mixture on banana topped brownies.
Serve cold.



Monday, October 5, 2009

Not Me Monday

Join in the free therapy that is MckMama's Not Me Monday...

Who would choose to sleep on the couch, even if it offends her husband a little, just to feel the breeze through the security screen doors? Not me!

Would that same person say that sleeping with the windows open makes her feel unsafe, but then sleep with the front and back doors wide open? Yes, I think she would. The security screens have dead bolts...

What kind of mother has to ask her 3 year old, "When was the last time you took a bath?" Not me!

Probably the same mother who allows her 5 month old to watch cartoons just because it makes him happy. Ridiculous!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mexican Casserole

I feel like I have had a kitchen victory. I am finally, after a couple years of preparing meals, feeling confident enough to venture away from a recipe as written. I have begun some experimenting. This is one of the first meals that I have ever made without any kind of recipe to start from. Well, the first one that is tasty anyway...

3/4 c white rice
1/2 tsp chicken bullion granules
1/2 can rotel tomatoes (without juice)
garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper to taste
1 1/2c water
Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 min.

Brown 3/4 lb of ground beef
add the rest of the rotel tomatoes with juice
1/2 package of taco seasoning
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 can of milk or water

Put rice into a casserole dish
Pour meat mixture over the top
Cover with shredded cheese
Bake at 350 degrees 15-20 min until cheese is melted and bubbling.

Timmarie and I liked it. Alivia really liked it. And Kevin was on the fence. But, he doesn't like to stray too much from the basics. So, it's considered a success in my book.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

The ties that bind

Our family of four went camping with my in laws last week. I must admit I went into it with much excitement for what could be and much trepidation for some potential social awkwardness. I am happy to report that many special memories were made. We had a lots of fun to include a bald eagle snatching my recently-caught trout right out of the water, skunks in our campsite and Alivia begging for a pony ride and then refusing to actually get on the afore-mentioned pony. But more than anything, I am grateful for the memories that were made. It was really special that Alivia and Koleson got to make some special memories with Grandma and Grandpa. It occurred to me this week that someday Grandma and Grandpa will be unable to do many of these types of physical activities with the kids. I wish I had gotten more pictures of the kids with them, but most importantly the memories were made. They got to teach Alivia many things about the critters we encountered. They were there with her when she got to experience many things for the very first time.

No matter what awkward moments might have been endured and the many more that have yet to be...we are family and that's a tie that binds. We are blessed to have a family that loves us and our children so.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

After some review

So, after some soul searching and discussions about the plight of this blog of ours, Timmarie and I decided that we were ready to start out on a new adventure. Probably the biggest change for us is that we dropped our psuedonames and will be publishing pictures of our children's faces. I want this to be a place where I can be me. I am going to take some risks and use this blog to process as I walk this journey called life. If there is anything I ask of you, my reading friends, is that you would come here without judgement. Who I am today is, hopefully, not who I will always be. My God challenges me to be a better woman than I am today. Somedays I will be making progress towards that goal. And somedays I will not. I desire to be honest enough to chart that journey here.
Somethings I want you to know about me. I love my husband and children fiercely. I am a total mama bear if I feel as though someone is damaging them. I am relational to the core. I need people in my life. I love to travel, go to movies and most things chocolate.
Welcome to our blog.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One Side of Us

I'm not sure why we're so chicken to just get our own individual blogs, but we apparently are. Or maybe now it's just that it's tradition to co-author. Either way, here we are!

Dareth and I met through church almost ten years ago. We share a common love for conversations that jump around randomly, since neither one of seems to be able to maintain a steady thought process. The two of us also find ourselves waist deep in awkward circumstances on a semi-regular basis. We realize that we are the common denominators in that equation.

I'm a sanguine-ish girl who often feels like the 'other friend' in many friendship circles. This allows me the opportunity to go to Jesus with a heart that says, "Pick me." It also keeps a girl quite humble, and sometimes a little lonely. Therapists, have at those last few sentences...

I love being a wife to Chris, and a mom to Addie and Brody. I don't always reflect this well, but I am determined to keep on asking the Lord to make me the best mom and wife that I can be. I love to laugh, bake, and love.