Saturday, April 30, 2011

When I was trying to think of a name for this post, I kept coming back to "A little bit of this....A little bit of that....A pot, a pan, a broom, a hat" Hehe, now you'll be singing Fiddler on the Roof for the next week. You're welcome :)

This is what I like to call a 'hodge-podge' post. Lots of stuff, which doesn't necessarily all fit together :) First off...


My Dad's cousin was in visiting from California, so the ladies of the family got together for dinner at Bob Evans. Can someone please say "English Toffee Cappuccino"? Oh yes, worth every single calorie and bit of caffeine!

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I snapped a quick picture of my Grandma and Cosette. It's fast becoming one of my favorites.

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Here's what my Leanna Rose has been up to lately: loving baby dolls and just being her cute self---even with food all over her face!

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Here's a quick video of Leanna loving her baby and learning how to walk with Cosette :)









Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Where you are now :)

It's easy to fall into the trap. There are hundreds...thousands....of great blogs out there of stay at home moms who seem to have it 'all together'. We look at pictures of neatly dressed, smiling, happy children. We read how they are stock-piling enough home-canned items to last until the next century. We read how they buy only organic food, sprout their own grain, and never, oh never, never never, see a hot dog or pop tart in their house! We read how their nine year olds are starting classes at the community college, in hopes of ending up in med-school by age 13. And we think....I'm a failure! I'm a lousy, awful failure, who can't seem to get to the grocery store once a week, let alone even think about spending ooodles of money on strictly-organic food! At least, I raise MY hand as guilty.... In fact, I was feeling a lot of these same feelings this afternoon, as my day was not going as expected, and I wondered yet again why I couldn't seem to 'get it all together'.

My friend Pam did an excellent post on this today, and I encourage you to go read her take on the whole issue. You'll find it here, at House full of Love.


Maybe you've even thought these same thoughts coming to my blog. You look at pictures of my beautiful children, hear stories of my wonderful husband whom I adore, etc, etc. And you think "Man, why can't MY family/life be like that?" Or, if you're not even married yet, you may be wondering why you don't even HAVE a family yet. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, folks. And, while I DO love my family, my husband, my life, and I wouldn't trade it in for anything, I don't show you EVERYTHING on here! You've never seen...


  • pictures of the night Joel was away and Eli and Noah got sick with the stomach flu......and then I got sick....and there they were throwing up in the middle of the night, and me, with a 103 degree fever, trying to tend to them....
  • pictures of Noah, covered in  chocolate from the entire Easter peanut-butter egg that he snuck and ate before breakfast this morning.
  • pictures of my tears of frustration as I cried to my husband that my house never stays clean, not even for ten lousy minutes.
  • pictures of Cosette as she ran out of the school-room yesterday morning, frustrated beyond words that she couldn't figure out her math assignment.
 And those are just a few examples to prove that our life is not perfect. I  hope and pray that this blog is an encouragement to those who read it. And, quite frankly, if I showed you pictures of my children puking or children sitting in chairs for time-outs, well......you'd feel depressed, not encouraged :) So...read the blogs....be encouraged.....draw inspiration for your own life.....but don't compare! Because remember, you're only seeing part of the big picture of each person's life!


My life is blessed with a wonderful husband and four beautiful children. Your life may be blessed with something totally different.....a career, school, a ministry.  Live your own life, rejoice at where God has you now, and, if you want a good smile or laugh, come visit my blog every now and then :)



Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter pictures for my Dad :)

Well, and anyone else who wants to enjoy them :)



My four beautiful children on Easter---before church! They didn't look this nice and neat for very long :) Both girls were wearing dresses that my Mama made for me when I was a little girl---made my Easter!
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Isn't she just the definition of 'sweet'?  :)
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Noah completely feel asleep this afternoon in Grandma's chair, all worn out from the festivities-- so precious!
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One very blue egg, please.
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Eli said "Take a picture of me being goofy, Mommy. So I did :)
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My little lady, enjoying her first Easter basket.
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Oh, How He Loves Us......

We have spent the past several weeks as a family reading Amon's AdventureIt is the story of a little boy in ancient Israel, trying to save his father from an un-deserved death sentence. All the while, he is hearing about this man, Jesus of Nazareth, who is supposedly healing the sick and making claims of being the Messiah. We have been reading each evening, the kids moaning when a chapter is finished, as we eagerly wait to see not only how Amon is going to save his father, but also whether or not he will come into a true relationship with Jesus, his Messiah.........
    
    We sat in our living room last night, Good Friday. Eight other friends joined us as we read straight through the Gospels of Mark and John. From beginning to end, we didn't stop. Twice in one night, we read and marveled once again at the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord. I wrapped my arms around Cosette as she sat next to me, the two of us sharing a Bible. My heart rejoiced to hear my daughter taking turns at reading the Scripture out loud........

  
     And tonight, we sat in the filled auditorium, watching as my brother-in-law and sister-in-law's church put on an AWESOME Easter play. I looked over at Eli's eyes, wide open, as he watched Jesus cry out in agony as they nailed Him on the tree. And I saw his face light up with joy as the risen Lord came walking onto the stage, peaceful and radiant. 

      Yes, we've done all we can to keep our focus on Him this Easter season. Tomorrow, we will wake up with joy, as the day we've been anticipating for weeks now has come. I'll watch my girls, dressed in their Easter frills, and be reminded of how Jesus takes our yucky, sin filled lives and replaces them with beauty. And as we enjoy our Easter candy, our Easter dinner, the frills, pretty dresses and dyed eggs, there will be no question in my heart of whether or not my children know why we celebrate. We rejoice because of our Risen Lord!
                                                                   


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I'd rather be blogging....

You know those bumper stickers that say things like "I'd rather be golfing?" Well, I think I need one that says "I'd rather be blogging!" It's been a very full day...my husband is at an evening church meeting...Noah has been up out of bed three, no four, times already.....and I'm sitting here at my counter, staring at all of my budget items in front of me. Checks, receipts, calculator, bills......and I just can't get myself to dig into it yet! Just five minutes of 'down time'....five minutes to refresh my brain and feel a little human again before I dive into the next task in front of me. Hoping to get all my numbers lined up before bedtime! In the meantime....


I found this note and flower on Joel dresser today. It's an Easter card
from Cosette and Noah. One of the perks of being a parent---random,
unexpected cards waiting for you all over the place!
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My husband was a good sport and agreed to eating outside tonight,
even though it was a wind storm slightly windy :) We have a small deck,
but we haven't been able to use it much since it was winter very soon
after we moved in!
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Pesto salmon and fruit with dip. I love this fruit dip---my mom used
to make it all the time. Just mix strawberry cream cheese with twice
as much marshmallow cream. Mmmmm.....
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We tried not to let the wind blow her away. She laughed every time
it blew her hair!
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Cosette took this random picture of us.
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Oh, and when you say "Can I see an upside down girl?", this is what
Leanna now does. She flops over like a trained puppy dog! Too cute!
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An even cuter view ;)
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Lovely Ladies

There are some things about childhood that make me smile, and I love to watch my own children enjoying those things! Eating a whole cream filled donut without wondering how many calories are in it is one of those things. Playing outside all day without a care in the world is another. And, oh, for little girls----dressing up!

It's such a balancing act, isn't it? Making sure your children learn the value of hard work...how to 'persevere'....how to find satisfaction in a job well done, in serving the family through one chore or another. And yet, when they're still so little.....'play' is equally important! For their growth, for experience, for learning to get along together, for building memories.....and for just plain having fun!! So here at our house, yes, we have our share of chores and helping out. Each person is expected to do their part happily and without complaining. But we make sure to leave plenty of time for 'play'.

One of Cosette's favorite things to do is dress up, ESPECIALLY when she's going to be spending time with her cousins! Today, we had three little girl cousins, all playing the part of a 'lovely lady' :)


I LOVE the red boots underneath the pretty dresses!
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Yep, they're all cousins, believe it or not! Cosette definitely gets the fair skin from me! We both burn like crazy if we're not careful!
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And in case you're wondering what little BOY cousins do outside all day---well, they actually dressed up too! But, they weren't lovely ladies, obviously. They were cowboys with stick horses and hats, off to explore the great unknown  land called 'back-yard woods' :) Can you spot Eli's cousin in this rather blurry photo?
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Oh, and it's also really cool to hang upside down from the swing set....one day Noah's gonna hate me for this photo....
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

The start of Holy Week.....

I haven't picked up my camera in three days. I wish I had pictures to show you how awesome this weekend was, but I don't! I was too busy living it to remember to record it :)

The ladies of my church coordinate a really awesome Women's Retreat each spring. I was amazed the first year I attended at what an awesome job they do! ( I say 'they', because all I did was play cello on the worship team this year. I didn't help with any scheduling, planning, decorating, food preparation, publicity, or any of the other hard work that was put into the weekend. With all my kiddos, it was about all I could manage to just get to a few music practices for it :) )

But, anyway, the food was yummy (think brownies the size of a small dessert plate topped with strawberries and whipped cream), the fellowship enjoyable, and I got to visit briefly with a few friends that I don't get to see often enough! The speaker was awesome.....God was there. He was speaking to my heart. Challenging me on areas in my life that He and I need to work on together. Calling me closer to Himself. I'm so grateful for all the hard work that my fellow sisters in Christ put into getting this weekend together each year!

When Leanna and I got home this afternoon, I found my three oldest children happy with Daddy, and waiting to show me a few surprises they had worked on around the house. Joel even found time to build an awesome new wooden shoe rack for all of our shoes! (The little flimsy plastic thing from WalMart just wasn't holding up to all of the shoes this family of six was piling on it!)

When I came downstairs later this evening after bathing Leanna, I found Eli in the kitchen, carefully washing each of the dinner dishes. Nobody had asked him to, he just volunteered. My oldest boy has a very gentle and caring heart! I am so proud of him in that respect.

And now, there are potatoes cooling in my fridge for potato salad that we plan on eating with hot dogs after church tomorrow. I get to watch my oldest two kids wave palm branches and sing 'Hosanna'  with all the other children in church tomorrow. I will be reminded that my Savior, who died for my sins so long ago, will one day return  as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.....

Yeah, it's been a good kind of weekend....





Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My life is full and over-flowing.....

....full of groceries to put away....



...full of clean laundry to put away....




....full of dishes to wash.....


....and mostly full of little boys who like to do mischievous things! This is Noah, covered in mascara. He looks so sullen because he knows he's in big trouble! :)






Oh, and did I mention that he's an up-and-coming photographer?? ;)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring May be Here!

But we're not counting on it yet :) Still, when God hands you a 70 degree day, don't waste it, go to the playground ;)

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We found our good friend Mrs. Dornburg at  the playground, and were quite tickled by it :)
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All 6 of us :)
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He said, "Look how big my muscles are gettin', Mom!"
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This is Cosette's "Oh no, I'm about to fall!!" look :)
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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Eli's dream come true ;)

When someone asks you to please come throw some pies in their face, what are you supposed to do? I mean, if they really want you to....

My brother's girl-friend (who also happens to be a music major! Gotta love those music majors! ;) ) is also an RA on campus. Her dorm was having a fund raiser for 'Relay for Life'---a quarter (or any donation you wanted to give) to throw a pie at an RA's face! She invited us and the kids to come down and give it a try :)

Let me just say that I had no idea how much Eli was going to love this! It was like his life's dream come true! "Here, please take this plate of whipped cream and smash it in somebody's face" Hehe :) Poor Brittany!



Cosette went first, and was a bit timid. She just kind of 'tossed' the plate,
and it barely hit Brittany.
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But then Eli went. And he wasn't shy at all. He got her good!
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And then again.....and more times than I care to admit :) We put quite
the donation in the old quarter bucket!
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After seeing her brother be so brave, Cosette decided to try again,
and was much more successful :)
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And, of course, my brother had to show his girl how much he cares
by smashing her good right in her face!
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Brittany, after the damage had been done!
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Well, after all of that pie smashing, we were feeling quite hungry for some 
dessert ourselves, so a group of us went down to Denny's. Gotta love their
kids menu and cheap treats! Noah got a kids chocolate milkshake. He 
devoured every single drop of it!
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Oh, and someone let Leanna try a bite of ice-cream. What?! 
You say that looks like MY hand in the photo? Please!! ;)
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And just so you don't think our whole day revolved around dessert,
here was our lunch. Cosette mixed up the incredible tuna salad on the top.
Here is the general recipe we used.
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