Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I have the most talented family members on the planet. One sister-in-law weaved my mom a wine bottle holding basket for Christmas this year. Another sister-in-law always wins my parents' hearts with the unique photo gifts she puts together of her children, my parents' grandchildren. Another sister-in-law (yes, I have many) always seems to find the perfect gift for whoever is on her list. My husband's sister always brings laughter with her along with good fashion, for which my husband is very grateful. She keeps my wardrobe updated both with her hand-me-downs and the generous purchases she makes on my behalf. (I think I'm her charity case, but I don't mind).

My younger sister responds with incredible courage, focus and skill in emergencies. It's not a wonder that she chose the ER for her first nursing experience and is now working on a burn unit (yeah, how many of us could do that?) My older sister...well, where to start and end? The girl manages two at home businesses, hers and her husbands, while remaining a full time mom to 2 children. Anything she bakes/cooks turns out to be a culinary delight and she is ever generous whenever we gather as a family, bringing way more than anyone could ever eat. But, trust me. We try.

Like all the gals on both sides of my family, my sister-in-law, Kate is uber-talented!! Among her many talents is an ability to create amazing cakes, cupcakes and other baked goods that are to die for. She is currently going to culinary school to finally own the title of an official pastry chef; although, in my opinion, this is just a formality because she already produces at this level. She has been called on by many family members, friends, and others to make something for a special event. She has finally put a blog together to display her amazing cakes, and I am thrilled to promote her in whatever way I can. Check out a sampling of her expertise at:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We're all sick here with sore throats, chest colds. Not fun. Not anything anyone else hasn't had this winter or will have. Last night, Judah had a pretty bad asthma attack. Thankfully, God mercifully spared us of having to take him to the ER, but we weren't all that certain at one point whether we were going to get him through it. Pretty unsettling stuff to deal with in the middle of the night, but we're somewhat used to it at the same time.

So, today I declared it "movie day" with my kids who were mostly excited about that. However, we've been playing more games with the boys, and Tucker really wanted to play "Pick Up Sticks". So, I suggested that we watch a movie, play a game, watch a movie, play a game, etc....go back and forth like that all day. Judah blurts out, "Mom, that's a pattern."

Ya think my guys are ready for school? :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ever hear of an Endodontist?

If you have, you are cringing right now? If not, let me tell you what this is. It's a doctor who does root canals all day. That's all he does. Root canals. All day. What in the world kind of person do you have to be to pursue endodontistry?

Well, I have been referred to an endodontist by my dentist who is suspecting that the infection from one of my root canals (yes, I have had more than one) is back. Apparently, this happens. I didn't realize that before today. Learning a lot today.

I have to admit that hearing that news tempted me to become discouraged and at very least, to grumble. We have a battery of doctor's appointments coming up in the next 4-6 weeks in the midst of an already very stressful season of our lives. My husband's work hours are very demanding right now (tax season) which puts added responsibility on my plate. I have three young children still at home. I am battling other pain issues physically and trying to sustain a part-time business through the Pampered Chef. There are also the "little" things of daily life that can tempt me to complain, like the fact that our 25 + year old couch's legs decided they would not hold one more person up and broke at caregroup last night which I hosted in my home (while my hubby is traveling out of town). Or, the squirrel who got into my trash last night that I foolishly left out on the back deck to take out to the curb this morning rather than throwing it into the trash can. Or, the children who refuse to take naps or stay in their rooms for rest time when I have a Pampered Chef party to prepare for.

These are my details, but you have your own. Things that tempt us to daily grumble or even despair. I recently listened to a sermon by Mark Driscoll on trials. It has proven helpful to me in the last couple days. Listen here for some fresh perspective on your "trials of many kinds".

Knowing that I can tend toward "over-spiritualizing" things, I thought I'd also include a link to one of my more recent favorite country songs (and no, I'm not turning my blog into a Top 20 Country countdown). :) This song has helped me to just smile and take things in stride a bit easier. It's not necessarily theologically sound, but it's just fun. (**Gretchen, I think you and Dave, the Altrogges and the rest of your gang will like this one if you can get past the twang of it). :) Here is the link to "Sounds Like Life to Me" by Darryl Worley:

Getting pretty creative

Today I was in the midst of discplining one of my sons, and I asked, "son, why did you hit your brother?"

His response: " build him into a building."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bella!

It's hard to believe my baby girl turns 2 today! 2 years ago, I was in the throws of transition with this much anticipated delivery. We weren't 100% certain it was a girl, but were delighted beyond description when it proved to be so. The delight in our daughter only grows with each day. She is such a gift from God to us.

Bella is such a blend of rough and tumble, a typical product of having 2 older brothers, and true girlyness. She loves balls and all things sports related. She's a better, more aggressive climber than the boys were at her age. She'll fall and get right back up. As much as I love doing her hair, soon after it's done, she'll rip it all out.

But, she is also my girlie girl. I have nicknamed her my "accessory girl". She loves any and all accessories: bracelets, hats, shoes, purses to name a few. Finally acquiring some baby dolls for Christmas, she can often be found during the day taking great care of them; although she doesn't seem to like to keep them dressed for some reason. :) I was able to catch a quick video with my phone the other day of her rocking her babies and singing to them....sweetest thing ever. Wish I could post it, but you'll just have to ask to see it on my phone next time you see me.

And, she loves to mimic mommy (I'm grateful and scared at the same time about this one). What she has mimicked so far that has been a delight is to see her "cooking" or tidying something up. She especially likes to wipe things off with her rag or sweep things off the floor.

While I cannot wait for her to grow in order to be able to really train her in all things domestic (which for me means sending her at times to many of the more domestically capable women in my family---and I have no problem with that), I am grateful for each day of her little life and do not take it for granted. LA reminds me often, and I am sorely aware, of how quickly our kiddos are growing up. We'll often find ourselves in the midst of a sweet or not so sweet parenting moment, simply enjoying the gift of our children and LA will say something like, "remember when we celebrated our daughter's 2nd birthday and the boys ate all her cupcakes before her party?" [They didn't do this, but it's something that could likely happen in our home and illustrates the point I'm trying to make].

Consequently, I love this song by Tim McGraw called, "My Little Girl". I'm a country fan and while I hope my baby girl won't be chasing after Mustangs or be a "mustang" in heart, I still love this song. If you're a country fan and especially if you have a little girlie, give it a listen.

And, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY GIRL! We love you so much more than words can describe.