Saturday, December 25, 2010
"In the beginning was thw Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made throiugh him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:1-5 (ESV)
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
White Christmas...we haven't watched this one yet this year, but we will before Saturday. The kids don't know that they like it yet. We'll see if they make it through the whole thing this year.
The Sound of Music...I need to get an actual DVD of this. Right now it is on our DVR and I'm kind of paranoid that it is going to get erased.
All of The Santa Clause movies...the ones with Tim Allen as Santa. We really like these. We own one and three so if anyone is looking for a Christmas gift for us...
Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas and Twice Upon a Christmas...My kids used to love, love these. They still enjoy them, but, alas, not near us much. It's all a part of that getting older stuff, I guess.
The Lord of the Rings series...I know these technically aren't Christmas movies. I think we've made them Christmas movies because they originally came out around Christmas. I'm sure the Narnia movies will become a similar phenomenon at our house. Yesterday Joe & I watched The Fellowship of the Ring. Some of the greatest movie moments ever...Gandalf telling the Balrog "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" And the white horses in the water overtaking the 9 riders.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Okay, so I tried a lot to get it uploaded to my blog and youtube but was very unsuccessful. So in order to see the video you will have to check out facebook. I apologize because I know some of you aren't on facebook. I will try again later to see if I can get it to show up here. At this point, I've spent so much time on it I'm ready to throw my computer out the window, so for the sake of the computer I'll stick with facebook for today.
Can you please get skinnier for me? I've been a good girl this year. I really want a camera and a lava lamp. Anything else you have in your sack for me give to the poor children. I hope you can read my writing. Oh, and for Christmas I also really, really, reallly want to ride on Dancer.
"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet their words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth" I said.
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."
Till, ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men!
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 stick butter (do not substitute margarine)
Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Yield: 12 muffins
That's it. Seems to easy to be so delicious doesn't it? Trust me, they are yummy. I typically make them in mini-muffin form. Joe has been begging me for the last couple of years to make the full size version and serve them over ice cream with caramel. Ahhh, I gain weight just thinking about it which is why I've not attempted it. I'm also afraid I would never go back to the mini version.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
- a fire in my fireplace: it doesn't even have to be giving off a lot of heat. For some reason, just looking at a fire makes me feel warm.
- my sweater boots: Joe got me an early Christmas present a few weeks ago and they are my new favorite thing to wear now. They're not the most practical foot attire when the weather is crummy (they don't take water too well), but they are wonderful at keeping the feet warm. They are the only pair of shoes that I tend to wear around the house.
- a good cup of coffee: coffee deserves a whole post to itself so I won't elaborate here.
- flannel sheets: my sister told me the other day that she got herself her first set of flannel sheets and loves them. There is nothing better on a cold night then to get into bed and have the soft, warm flannel instead of the cold sheets.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
A hint for all you moms out there who have yet to buy snow pants...buy black! Then any child can wear them as you pass them down from kid to kid. John wasn't real excited about the powder blue ones I wanted him to wear last year.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Third Day--Christmas Offerings
The Three Tenors--The Three Tenors Christmas
The Letterman--For Christmas This Year (ahhh, this brings back so many childhood memories)
Michael Buble--Let It Snow
Chris Rice--The Living Room Sessions--Christmas
It is also not a rare experience for me to have klove.com live streaming in my house. This year, in addition to their normal music station, they are live streaming all Christmas music.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Yesterday I experienced some other life pleasures:
- The joy of watching a lady in front of me in line at Hobby Lobby entertain my bored five year old while we waited for an elderly gentlemen to purchase $150 worth of half priced ornaments (I'm not exaggerating! I heard the lady tell him his total). They were, of course, all fragile and needed to be wrapped. Thank you to the kind stranger who kept Nathan occupied with discussing all things cowboy related.
- Getting to sing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" in the car with the kids. Jingle Bells and Frosty were also on the program for our short drive to nearby shopping.
- Hitting Sam's Club's holiday food fest! Wow...samples galore. And what was even more awesome was that they offered...actually encouraged...the kids to have some of it. I'm always feeling a little guilty when I pass out cheesecake samples to the four kids in my family when I know I have absolutely no intention of buying it and they (the kids) have no money. One sample lady said "Well, someone is going to eat it, it might as well be your kids!" She was referring to the petite peppered fillet which was melt in your mouth delicious and $3.98/lb. (think they'll pay me for advertising??) To quote Ashley "Ahhh, I just want to lick every last drop out of this plastic cup.)
- I love jokes told by my kids especially when they have no idea why they are funny. They've heard them before, gotten some laughs and so decide to tell them again. They are funny when they know and understand the jokes too. My favorites on the trip home yesterday...knock, knock joke with bananas and oranges. It is an oldy, but a goody and pretty much any age can tell it without messing it up. And a new one I heard yesterday which, according to my kids, can be attributed to Bugs Bunny.....How do you make antifreeze? Take away her pajamas. I had a good laugh over that one. Not funny? Well, maybe you should have Nathan tell it to you sometime. I pretty much guarantee a laugh.
Well, I'm off to search for Santa hats....
Friday, November 5, 2010
- Nathan turned 5. Huge milestone and it will have it's own post in the very near future.
- Ashley is working on her first ever research project. It is on the koala bear.
- Joe led his first marriage retreat a few weeks ago. It was really great (and I'm not biased :) ). I'm sure it will be the first of many.
- I have my first speaking engagement for a ladies retreat at our church next week. I am doing a workshop on maintaining consistent peace in parenting. I love speaking...one of my favorite ministry things to do so I'm really looking forward to next week.
- John finished his AWANA book in record time this year. He's now on review and getting ready to start the extra credit.
- John also got his first ever letter in the mail threatening to send a money dispute to a collection agency. How much did he owe to the library? $2.85 How late was the book? 3 weeks Was it at our house? No. Where was the book? On the shelf at the library. I'll be making my first ever phone call to the management to complain. This is the third time in as many months that there have been books that are "late" that we returned and were sitting on their shelves. I'm not a complainer, but there is definitely something wrong with their system. And I'm a little concerned if they are spending my tax money to send a six year old's name to a collection agency over $2.85 for a book that wasn't even a month late.
- Sara is approaching the point in math where I can't review her problems in my head.
- I started filling out my 2011 calendar yesterday. Our calendar has gotten a little insane this year and our kids aren't even involved in that much stuff. It took Joe & I an hour the other day to simply figure out the next two months. And January isn't looking much better...the good thing? We (including the kids) enjoy almost everything that is on the calendar.
- Oh, and the best one of all...for the first time I got summoned for jury duty. It's the week of Thanksgiving. I guess it will probably give me something to be thankful for. Honestly, I've never done it before so I find it all very intriguing.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Yes!, there were gas stations in the 1980's. They are not pushing the car because there is no gas station.
Bonsai trees...I think all my kids want one for Christmas now..and I would like one too! I've wanted one for awhile though.
How we treat others and appropriate responses to how people treat you (how can you not have this conversation when you watch the Karate Kid).
The Japanese camps during WW2. Neither Joe or I remember that part when we originally watched it. That could be because we were in the 5th and 6th grade.
Nathan (without prompting from either of his parents): "You can get hurt doing karate. I don't think you should do it unless someone has taught you how and you need to make sure you have a good teacher." YES!
And, once again, the subject of Joe's memory came up. While Joe didn't remember the WW2 camps being brought up, he remember all the hits (not just the important ones) that Daniel took in the matches...how does he do that?!
Thursday, September 30, 2010
- So cute...John lost another tooth and now has that absolutely adorable look where he is missing both front teeth. Pictures will be forthcoming...
- Music to my ears...Sara asked me last night what the weather was going to be like today because she was laying out her clothes. And, y'all, I hadn't even asked her to do that! Yeah, maturity!!
- First time ever...I bought an air filter for the mower. And, if I can find some motor oil in the garage, I may actually install it. I know, I don't get why you have to soak it in motor oil either. But according to the expert (Joe) and the packaging that's what you do. I just do what I'm told.
- The first goal...I've met it! I hit the 20 pounds lost mark today. I don't think that is too bad for 3 months. I'm about 10 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. We won't mention that Nathan turns 5 soon...
- What to do....with the jalapenos that are laying on my counter. They are begging to be stuffed with cream cheese and deep fried. But that won't really help me meet my second goal. I'd have to run a lot more and we all know how I feel about running.
- The never ending chore....off to do some of it again. I'm convinced someone fertilized the laundry room.
Monday, September 27, 2010
- Scouts have started...actually they are all at their meetings right now. Girl scouts have started up for Sara and Ashley and John began Cub Scouts this year. I actually think he may be a tiger or is it a bobcat...it's all so confusing. Good thing his den leader is his daddy. They've been having a great time with it.
- AWANA started with a bang this year...107 kids the first night.
- I started MOPS last week. This will probably be my last year which makes me a little sad, but in going through the introductions last week it became apparent to me that yes, this season of my life is almost over. I'm definitely on the older end of the moms...yikes!
- I do get to speak at MOPS again this year. I'm looking forward to that. I also get to speak at a workshop for our women's retreat this November. I do love speaking to women....by far my favorite ministry thing to do so it is a treat to me that I'll get to do it twice in the next 6 months.
- I'm moving along in getting licensed. It will probably be the end of October. I'm so excited...I'm going to have so much fun watching more kids.
- It's football season. Go Colts!!! It's fun this year because John has started getting into it and I think by the end of the season he may actually understand the basics of the game.
- I've been running. Yes, you read that correctly, I've been running. I ran 2 1/2 miles this morning. I. hate. running. But I feel really good when I'm done and this morning I actually wasn't miserable for the first mile. I've never run this far before. Joe has his sights set on a half-marathon (he's up to 4 or 5 miles). While I would like to set that as my goal, I'm not sure it is a good idea because of my hating running issue.
- And now I'm going to curl up with a nice cup of decaf and enjoy this fall evening...it's great! My all time favorite time of the year...
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
As a side note, let me just say that had you asked me ten years ago what kind of part-time endeavor I might take on, I never would have mentioned babysitting. It probably wouldn't have even been in the top ten. I was coming out of the corporate world and that is pretty much all I knew. Kids did not enthuse me at all. I was excited about having my own, but everyone else's kids pretty much annoyed me. If you had asked me about it, I would had used the word NEVER. Reminds of another time I said never...I'll never be a pastor's wife. Well, look where that got me. I LOVE being a pastor's wife (well, most of the time ;) ) and I think I'm going to love this new stage of my life. Just a hint to never say never...God usually takes that as an opportunity to show me what He can do in my life and in my heart.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
- On Tuesday I (accidentally!) put body wash in my hair instead of conditioner. I do not recommend using that as a substitute. It has taken me three days to get it out. It was Oil of Olay. Yep, there is definitely some oil in that stuff.
- I threw away John's homework paper. And, yes, I dug through the trash the. next. day. to find it. The things we will do for our kids...
- Yesterday I put the ice cream container in the microwave. Fortunately, I realized about five minutes after I did it that I had not put it back in the freezer. (I was going back for more ice cream!) Unfortunately, it took me about 45 minutes to figure out where I had put it since it was not in the freezer.
- I also woke Nathan up from his nap yesterday, dressed a very grumpy child (who normally doesn't mind getting woke up), and was on my way to wake up the baby when I realized that "oh rats, this isn't my car pool day". Fortunately, Nathan had already crawled back in bed and was asleep when I went to tell him that we didn't have to leave.
I could blame this all on decaf coffee, but that would have been last week. I made decaf in the morning for three days last week. In case you're worried, all my children are currently safe and accounted for and I have completely cleared my schedule for the rest of the week since I obviously can't handle more than one task at a time. Ah, it is a good excuse not to mop the floors today.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I'll close this quick update with a quote from Nathan yesterday: "Can we go to Africa for our next vacation?" It made me chuckle. I asked him about Disneyworld and he said "Well, I want to go to Africa and then Disneyworld." It is these moments that make Joe & I feel good as parents. Don't hear me wrong...I love Disneyworld. It is a ton of fun and I see no problem in kids wanting to go to Disneyworld. But these comments reflect what we've tried to instill in our kids...a broad picture of the world and a love for learning. Well, that, and I think he'd really like to see a lion in the wild.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
John loves being in first grade, but, WOW, did it make him hungry. I can't even begin to describe everything he ate when he got home from school. It has given me pause about what I pack for that boy in his lunch box. We definitely need to be giving him more to eat at school. (BTW, this may be his last picture with his top front teeth intact. They are both wiggly. We may get to sing the "All I Want for Christmas..." song this year. )
Sara is in the 4th grade this year. Can you believe that?! I can't. The first words that she said to me after school were "Mrs. (blank) was really, really nice even though all my friends on the playground said that she was a monster." Greeeaaattt. I'm glad she is an independent thinking and doesn't assume what everyone else says is true. I've just heard that her teacher is hard which is not necessarily the worst thing in the world. I think Sara is going to do just fine. She has a locker this year (Ashley does too) and is super pumped about decorating it. She also has to get a lock. I hope she can remember the combination. I still have nightmares about forgetting my locker combination in high school!
Nathan didn't want to get left out of pictures. Poor guy really missed his siblings today. He hung out with me at McDonalds and some of his friends who he'll be going to kindergarten with next year. I sat and drank coffee with my friends. None of us could really bear going home with only part of our children. We had all pretty much cried our tears already and were ready for some mom conversation distraction until the kids got out. One thing is for certain, this has jolted me out of my summer schedule. I'm still feeling a bit frazzled from the morning. We are experiencing some change this year. Sara goes to school 45 minutes earlier than the other kids and therefore, gets out 45 minutes earlier than they do. John & Ashley's school has a new addition which is creating new drop off and pick up locations that are going to, understandably, take the school a few days to figure out. I say give it two weeks and I'll be in the swing of things. Until then, if you see me, you may want to ask me if I'm sure I am where I am supposed to be.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I went a week and a half without conditioner for my hair. I was waiting to get a really good deal on some. I'm thinking now that I was just being lazy and my hair paid the price. I could almost hear it sucking in all the conditioner after I bought it.
I took a shower last week (well, in case you're worried, I took one today too) and got interrupted 5 times by my kids. And I don't take that long in the shower. It takes me a total of 20 minutes to do everything...shower, hair, make-up, clothes. One of the interruptions...Child: "Mom, mom, mom!!" Me: "What?" Child: "Mom, mom, mom!" Me:" What?!" Child: "Oh, um, oh, um, I don't remember." Yeah, I don't think that is classified as an emergency.
I got a notice yesterday in the mail from my electric/gas company informing me that I've spent 7% more on energy this year than last year. Thanks...I just wasn't sure if this hot summer was costing me more money.
I cleaned the house yesterday. Well, I cleaned part of it. Joe had cleaned the boys' rooms while I was in Iowa for a quick visit. This cleaning is worth noting because it just doesn't get done in the summer. Joe even commented...WOW! You even dusted! I mopped too and we all know how I feel about mopping. It was a noteworthy day.
I commented to my children this morning that I would probably be crying next Monday morning. They were curious as to why and I told them because I miss them when they are at school. Sara's sympathy: "Well, we are only going to be gone a half day." She probably gets the tough love approach honestly.
I have watched my children grow up this summer. Not taller or bigger, but grown more mature. It's been good to see the fruit of discipline of the last 9 years with them. And, yes, I am going to dearly miss them starting next week.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
What a great day...it wore us all out.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The middle part of July has been pretty active for us. Here's what's been going on....
- We've been borrowing some videos from the library for our evening entertainment. (There just hasn't been anything child worthy on TV lately.) The other day Nathan talked me into letting him get a nature video Deep Blue. It's not that I'm against nature; I'm just not a fan of some of the videos about nature. Anyway, we settled in to watch it with me warning them that if it got crazy on evolution we would be turning it off. It actually turned out to be pretty good, right up to the point that they started showing the killer whales. After seeing them in a action, I'm kind of wondering who at Sea World thought it would be a good idea to try to tame these mighty beasts. They had a scene where a pack of killer whales attacked a baby gray whale. After 6 hours they wore the mama gray whale out and killed (yikes!) the baby gray whale. It was really horrible. We had major tears going on with Nathan and I'm afraid he will probably never watch a nature video again.
- On the same theme of nature, a monarch catepillar somehow ended up on my foot outside last week. So we brought it in a put it in Sara's "butterfly pavillion". It ate and ate this last week and we woke up this morning to it hanging upside down in the pavillion. Here's hoping for a butterfly in two weeks.
- The girls had an Anne of Green Gables marathon while visiting their aunt a few weeks ago. Now I know who Ashley reminds me of...Anne of Green Gables! She is now devouring the books and her dramatic side has come into light even more in the last week. She was in tears when we took the video back to the library yesterday (yes, they had to watch them again when they got home). I think there may have even been utterances of "how shall I now live?"
- Speaking of Ashley, she lost a tooth this last week. It put me in a panic when she came upstairs one afternoon with blood coming out of her mouth and she announced a tooth fell out. I didn't know she had a loose tooth and you just never know what is going to happen with that child. Fortunately, it was one that was suppose to come out this time.
- We have VBS here next week and once again I'm in charge of it. I guess that sounded a little like I didn't want to be in charge. I enjoy it. It could be an interesting week. Last year we had 38 kids on our first day and ended the week around 60 or 70. We have 41 preregistered for this year. Here's hoping we have enough of everything!
- I've been studying Hebrews this summer. I usually end up my Bible study with more questions than answers. But it has been really good to be in the Word.
We are off to the orthodontist and to do a little shopping...that will be fun with a broken toe. Oooo, maybe I can drive one of those little carts at the store....
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
So, yep, the herd is back home again. Not to be confused with "Back Home, Again in Indiana". They just came from spending two weeks in Indiana. No, they are back home in good 'ole Illinois. We had gotten several complaints from the neighbors about our children missing. I'm serious. The ones across the street even came over to greet them this evening. Yeah, our street is pretty quiet without our children around. There is only one other house with kids on our block and they only have two girls. Elementary girls tend to be quieter than 4 & 6 year old boys who are outside playing cowboys. Within thirty minutes of being home Nathan had been a cowboy, a superhero, and an army guy.
So I've been transitioning from an eerily quiet house to a somewhat organized chaotic one. How is the patient, you may be wondering? John is doing fine. Our biggest issue right now is trying to balance the activity. It is kind of hard to "play quietly" when you have three other siblings that really have no desire to do that. And it becomes apparent very quickly that he really doesn't yet have the stamina to sustain a day full of imaginary play with the others. They had a superhero/cowgirl club meeting this morning downstairs and that was about all he could handle.
This post wouldn't be complete without a quick comment on what I learned while my kids were gone. I'm convinced that God designed us to have personal interaction in part so that we would recognize our desperate need for him. I was feeling pretty good about myself...rather self-righteous, to be honest...after spending close to two weeks with either no children or one child. My sin nature was downright under control. It literally took about 30 minutes of my children being home for me to recognize that, oh, I guess I'm not has righteous as I thought. I'm thankful for that though. I'm thankful that I have four kids and a husband that help reveal to me (not by their actions, but by relationship to them) the edges that need to be refined by the Lord. I pray that once my kids are gone I will be wise enough to build close enough relationships with others that I can continue to recognize my sin and my need for a Savior.
On the agenda for tomorrow: a free movie at the local movie theater and maybe a stop a the new HyVee. Yes, we have HyVee now. I'm so excited! This one comes equipped with a sushi bar. Now we just need to add a Fareway and a Meijer to make our shopping repertoire complete.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
The "before" picture. John was so fascinated by everything going on in the hospital that he forgot to be nervous. He was also stunned that Ashley forgot to tell him that he got to wear special PJs for the event. He loved the slippers so much that he requested to bring them home.
His first picture sans tonsils and adenoids. He immediately chomped down a popsicle that he declared "delicious". The first thing he requested from mom and dad when he saw us was "I want to go home.". We concurred so he quickly met all the requirements to be discharged and was out the door about 2 hours after his surgery. Then we all went home to "sleep it off". We are now in the middle of a Star Wars marathon. What a great way to recover.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Anyway, just a little update from the heartland that seems to think it is Florida this summer...steamy days with afternoon storms have become the normal here. Hopefully we still have some limbs left in our trees by the end of summer!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Mishap #2: So I was outside this morning, barefoot, cutting fresh flowers to beautify my home. I had a couple of lilies in my hand when I stepped on something slimy. My first thought SNAKE!, of course...because we all know that snakes abound in my yard (we haven't seen one since we moved in so it made complete sense to me that this would be a snake). I screamed and then proceeded to throw my flowers in the air. I looked down and no, it wasn't a snake (shocker!). It was dog poop. And to make it worse it wasn't my dog's poop (she only goes in the backyard). It was a neighbor's dog. Somehow it is worse when it isn't your own animal. It is kind of like changing someone else's baby's diaper is much worse then changing your own kid's diaper. Sigh....fortunately I have been having an excellent morning so I'm determined that this will not damper it in anyway. Still...it was pretty gross. Oh, and in case you are wondering, it is worse to step on it barefoot. Joe was trying to convince me just last night that it would be better and easier to clean up if you were barefoot. The grossness factor totally makes up for the fact that it is "easier" to clean up.
Monday, June 21, 2010
This little guy is the desert spiny lizard. The shuttle buses that we were riding had pictures of different animals you could see at the Grand Canyon. This lizard was one of the animals pictured so the boys were super excited to spot him. While at the Canyon we also saw many ravens. They also were pictured in the bus so everytime we saw one John would say "There is a common raven". We also saw a gopher snake at one of the overlooks.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Our first glimpse of the Colorado River.We stopped at a couple of overlooks and rode the canyon shuttle up to Hermit's Rest. Then it was back to the campground for some swimming in the heated pool, some fun, and some good rest.