Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Games

Every year we look for new games to add to our family collection or to give to our "game friends and family". I came across this blog reviewing two that will not make it into our list for this year.
Joel Osteen's Your Best Life Now and a game from Taiwan called Rich Daddy God. I know, real winners. Read his review here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Crazy Kids

Jeffrey: Mommy, I need apples and cherries to make my famous chocolate milk!

Morgan: Old McDonald had a farm, e-i-e-i-o
And on his farm he had a pig, e-i-e-i-o
With an oink, oink here and an oink, oink there
here an oink, there an oink, everywhere an oink, oink
Old McDonald had a farm, e-i-e-i-o

Old McDonald had a farm, e-i-e-i-o
and on his farm he had a moose, e-i-e-i-o
With a moose, moose here and a moose, moose there
here a moose, there a moose, everywhere a moose, moose
Old McDonald had a farm, e-i-e-i-o

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Warm, Melted Wishes

Yesterday, before bed, I asked Morgan to pick up the Little People Nativty and put it by the fireplace. We have a beautiful stone fireplace in the living room. We hardly ever light a fire in it, because it is a corner and very open to the room, but I like to decorate it and every year the nativity that the kiddos can play with gets put at the corner (really to distract them from playing in the fireplace).

So Morgan was very obedient and picked up all of the pieces so she could watch a short video before bed.

About 15 minutes later I smelled something hot...like burning plastic. I immediately sent the kids looking for what the smell was. Mikalah yelled that she found it in the basement.

See, we also have a wood stove in the basement. So when I told Morgan to put the nativity on the fireplace she did just that.
Joseph and the camel suffered 3rd degree burns on their feet and the creche is no longer standing. However, I am happy to report that Baby Jesus escaped without any marks. I'm sure that had something to do with the angel that was standing on his head at the time.

Now, hopefully we can replace this set before next Christmas!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Little Things

You know there are times when I go all out and rearrange a room and drastically change its layout. Sometimes that can take hours or even days...or longer...to ever reach completion.

Then there are times that I do something little...something that takes just a few minutes, but makes a big difference in the room or just in my attitude about the room.

This project is a little of both. I found these picture frames at IKEA (oh, how I love and miss IKEA) and had a fun idea to put pictures of my family eating in the frames and hang it in my kitchen. I gathered pictures, but fell short of the nine pictures needed to fill the frames. I don't remember what happened, but after Meredith was born, I quickly gathered pictures of our family - really any pictures and filled the rest of the spots. That is how the frames stayed for the next FIVE years!!!

Here's the killer part, even after we moved I still hung them in my kitchen knowing that one day they would contain food pictures. But every time I walked past them (a million times a day) they would just whisper to me, "still haven't finished this project." or "see just another project you started but haven't finished" or "so you have pictures of four children - six children are too many for you to handle". Silly how a picture frame can breed such guilt!!!

Well, I am here to say that last week I took 10 minutes of an afternoon and finished my project. I know, ten minutes. Seriously, all that grief for just ten minutes.

The difference? I had to give up. Give up my original idea and allow God to give me a new idea. How many times do we hold on to an original idea when God has something better for us to experience? Too many in my life!

The end result...

...those are my six beautiful children that God gave me and intended for me to be the mother of, all eating their first birthday cake. The spots in between are some of our families favorite recipes or recipes written in someone special's handwriting.

There is my dad's mother's meatloaf recipe; my aunt's Sweet Potato Souffle; my mother's mother's Scotch Shortbread; my mother's BBQ sauce; my Texas chili; and my friend Elaine's banana bread. Not to play favorites, but my favorite is my grandmother's shortbread. As far as shortbread goes, it really isn't very good. In fact it resembles my play dough recipe. But she would make them into balls and press them down and put a red or green m&m in the middle. I would eat around the m&m and save it for the last bite. And the recipe is written by her. I'm sure she is now making Christmas shortbread cookies for Jesus!

And tonight, I made my other grandmother's meatloaf. It just says comfort and homey and is perfect for this cold day with fresh snow on the ground.

A simple project, made complicated by me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Consistency...or not...but maybe...

I have thought long and hard about this post...so long and so hard that it has taken me ten days to write. I know...crazy!

Here's the thing, I have discovered that everything I struggle with comes down to two things - pride and consistency. And since no one really wants to talk about pride, I'm focusing on consistency.

I read my Bible, but not consistently.
I clean my kitchen, but not consistently.
I discipline my kids, but not consistently.
I pay attention to my husband, but not consistently.
I care for my friends, but not consistently.
I exercise, but not consistently.
I am thankful, but not consistently.
I am generous, but not consistently.

You get the idea.

About the only thing I am consistent about is caring about me. That's the pride...we aren't talking about that right now. Well, I'm also consistent about eating chocolate.

So I have been spending time in November developing my consistency. I have been setting aside time to read my Bible. Sometimes that means I read with Jeffrey laying on my bed next to me. Sometimes that means I read with Morgan asking me questions every two seconds, "Mommy, what is your favorite color? What is your next favorite? And you like pink too?" Here's what I figure...we are supposed to meditate on His word all day. Not just carve out 30 min of utter uninterrupted silence in which to focus on just what He has to say to us. And we are supposed to pray without ceasing. I'm sorry, I am a mother of six beautiful, but very needy children and the wife to one amazing, but very busy husband. Some days I'm just happy to take a shower without correcting a child or answering questions. To find time to read and study and pray seems impossible.

So I picked a book of the Bible and am reading maybe a chapter, maybe just a few verses each morning. After I am dressed and have eaten breakfast - otherwise I fall asleep on God. For me, this is the time of day that I can focus. But it also meant that I said no to just about everything that happens first thing in the morning. I knew I needed to get this part of my life under control. Most mornings, I have read my Bible by 9am - its not like it has taken me forever.

The other thing I have done is started writing out what I am praying for. And then those things are on my mind all day, and I can pray for them throughout the day.

The funny thing is that as I have started to become consistent with these things, the other things are starting to fall into place. Not perfectly, but its a start. I am keeping up with laundry. I'm keeping the kitchen clean. I am focusing on talking with my kids not just disciplining them (harder to do with the four year old - God love him!!) I'm trying to find little ways to show my husband I love him and am so thankful for all he does for our family.

The other thing that has happened is that I am reading my Bible and seeing themes without a Bible study aide. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with devotionals - I think many of them are wonderful and really help. But I wanted it to be just me and God. Not Oswald Chambers, not Chuck Swindoll, not (gasp!) Beth Moore. Just a conversation between God and me.

This week I have been reading through Ezekiel. I have no clue why I chose to start there. Really it is quite the depressing book of the Bible. God has asked Ezekiel to lay on his side for 390 days, to eat food cooked over dung, and to not appear to be mourning after the death of his wife. Not the most encouraging. God has pronounced judgement on just about every people in existence (okay not sure that is true, but it seems like it), but here is the cool part...God's goal with all of this is so that we will know that He is the Lord! That is my goal... I want to know that He is MY Lord!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My New Favorite

When the world seems to be crumbling around me, this song says it all...

I'm not saying life is horrible, but sometimes our circumstances can be overwhelming. Then the next day they aren't so much. I've discovered it is all perspective. Do I have a kingdom perspective? Do I remember that life here on earth is temporary? Do I remember all the blessings God has given me? Do I trust that He loves me? Do I trust Him to provide for me - physically, emotionally, spiritually?

Nothing outward should effect my trust in Him!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Weekend Wedding

Last weekend my cousin, Kristin, a cousin I remember being born, got married. Talk about making me feel old!!! On top of that, I took my thirteen year old daughter to the wedding with me! It was such a special time of visiting with family and I think Mikalah enjoyed the time of feeling like she was "grown up".
Looking over the pictures we took, I realized I need to be better at taking pictures. I am glad that my cousin's wife (would that make her my cousin-in-law?) was taking a ton of pictures too!
The view from our plane ride to Minneapolis.
When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted with lots of family. The hotel manager gave us a list of local restaurants. Perkins was on that list. As soon as I saw that I knew that was where the crew would want to eat. Yummy food, homey atmosphere. Not Bucca di Beppo, but at least we were staring at large naked women while we ate!
When we got back to the hotel the game between the Yankees and Twins was on - don't remember which game, but the one that went into many extra innings. My brother, Jon is a Yankees fan, but the hotel was full of a football team that was vocally cheering for the Twins. Here is Grampy, his sister, Aunt Ellen, and his good friend, Nessie, watching the game.
My cousin's wife, Amanda. She's the one with the awesome camera that took lots of pictures. It was great to get to spend some time with her and get to know her more. If you want to see more pictures, bug her for them!Even though we were celebrating Kristin's wedding, it was also Grampy's 85th birthday.Nessie, Cousin Sean, Cousin David (married to Amanda), and Grampy. However, we discovered there were many October birthdays and Grampy wanted to spread the joy!
Uncle Kenny - next year he turns 60! That makes me feel a little younger!Nessie. Grampy brought the crown all the way from Jersey with him. What a fun prop!My mom, Sherry. It was so good to see her! I wish we could have had more time to visit, but I know that she was visiting with family she hadn't seen in over two years. And I know I will see her soon...I hope. This was her 31st anniversary of her 29th birthday!Grampy's sister, Aunt Ellen - she turned 80!That night we - the cousins - went to the Mall of America. We really only saw about 1/4 of the mall, but we did get to enjoy some of the amusement area in the middle.
Jon, Sean, and Dave chose to try the rope course. Basically get into a harness, clip yourself to a cable, and climb to the ceiling following beams, ropes, and rope bridges. Especially since both Sean and Dave are nervous about heights. I think Jon gave them confidence. Of course he was confident because he couldn't see. His glasses dropped fairly near the beginning. Thankfully we were able to find them and he could still wear them.Hard to see, but Dave at halfway back down.My sister, Juliet, and I and our purses at the MOA.The cousins! Jess, Jon, Dave, Sean, Me, Amanda, Mikalah, and Juliet.

That night we got to stay up way too late and played games. It was a very neat time to connect and realize that even though we don't have a lot of contact on a regular basis, we can really just have fun together. I am so thankful for grandparents that instilled a wonderful family heritage.

Now...on to the wedding!

Cousin Scott, Kristin's baby brother. He's now taller than her!Kristin & Ryan. The wedding was at a country club and we watched the ceremony from our reception tables. It was nice to have a comfortable seat and a drink while you watched. Pleasant setting for a wedding. And cost effective! Bonus points!It was very fun to watch Grampy and Nessie together. They took good care of each other. Amanda got a cute picture of them holding hands...again...Amanda...we are waiting for your pics now!!!Kristin and Ryan are such a cute couple. I'm looking forward to getting to know them as a couple. Sean and Uncle Kenny - you can tell they are father and son!Kristin and her sister, Amy. Talk about family resemblance! Kristin made her dress - beautiful! And the brides maids all wore "little black dresses". Finally a brides maid dress that might get worn again!On their way to Hawaii.After the wedding Mikalah and I headed to the airport and home. The Colts were playing Sun night football and we were able to watch until halftime. They were trying to board the plane with 45 seconds left in the the half (which we all know means 5 minutes) and no one would board. We were all waiting to see Peyton drive the Colts down for another touchdown. We actually left 15 minutes late. Priorities people!!!

New Hair

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I know I have posted about Morgan's sweet curls. I just can't bear to cut them! I just know that once they are cut, they won't come back! They are sweet ringlets! Can you see them?
But alas, the decision has been taken out of my hands! This afternoon, Morgan was cutting paper into tiny shreds - a common activity in our house and one that neither Mike nor I can stand. However, this time she must have decided that she didn't want hair in her eyes and cut off her pony tails...both of them!!! It is about six inches of hair gone.

Nicole, the most wonderful lady that cuts my hair, assures me that we can do a sweet emergency cut for her tomorrow. I'll post an after picture then...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Back in the Denver airport - love the free wifi!

I am headed home from MOPS convention & then a few way-to-short days in Indy. There were so many people I didn't have time to see! I hated that! But I was thankful for the few I did connect with.

You see lots of interesting things when you are travelling. The lady that flew behind me on one flight wearing her pjs and big pink fluffy bathrobe was one of the odd ones.

The flight I just got off of...well, two hours ago...two more hours to this layover to go...I sat in the row behind the exit row. I have no problem with sitting in the exit row and on this flight I think I would have preferred to. The woman sitting in the exit row was probably about 65. The flight attendant asked her if she was okay lifting the 40 lbs door and throwing it out over the wing. She said yes...WHAT??? There is no way she could have done that - she may have broken a long hot pink fake nail or lost one of the seven gold rings she was wearing on her fingers!

But have no fear, my safety was reassured after she had three OJ and vodkas.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Jeffrey has been in speech therapy for about two months now. We are seeing some improvement, but the main problem is that his tongue is not very strong. It's like it doesn't know what to do...so we are training it. We get a lot of "L" sounds, and struggle a bit with "T" and "D". For instance, "Glama" instead of "Grandma". However, this afternoon Jeffrey was singing a Sunday School song and the mistake can not be attributed to speech - at all!

Today's Song: "I'm In The Lord's RV"

What? You didn't learn that one in Sunday School either - who knew?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sun AM Reading

This morning I was reading Song of Solomon...and well...I have no comment on that! But I was also reading Psalm 50. A couple of verses struck me.

14 Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God.
23 But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.

I really struggle with being thankful. It is so much easier to see the negative - the problems - than to be thankful for the good things. I thought I would end this time with a list of things I am thankful for, but even that sound difficult to do. Really, ten things and not just listing the names of the people in my house - that would be cheating! Well, here goes...

  1. clean dishes and a dishwasher
  2. a moment of quiet to be able to read my Bible in the morning
  3. the WonderPets for occupying my 3 year old while I read
  4. God's provision of food in these tight days
  5. a beautiful sunrise
  6. protection while our garage door was open all night
  7. a circle of friends that care about me, my well being, my marriage, my kids, etc
  8. my husband who is willing to sacrifice so much
  9. my kids who keep life interesting - what would I possibly do all day without them?
  10. my God - who makes life worth something!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Breaded Ranch Chicken

So after a few requests, here is my Breaded Ranch Chicken recipe that I got from Chris, that she got from Pam, that really was originally from Mandy. Where did you get it from Mandy???

Breaded Ranch Chicken

8 chicken breasts (I use boneless skinless tenders - they cook faster)
1 c. crushed corn flakes (really who measures that?)
1 c. grated parmesean (I use the powdery stuff in a can - again with the measuring)
1 envelope Ranch dressing mix
1/2 melted butter

I use 2 pie plates. Melt the butter in one; mix the dry ingredients in the second.
Roll the chicken in the butter; roll the chicken in the cornflake mixture
Bake @ 350 for 45 min (that's the time for the breasts - tenders take just long enough for the rice to cook - 25 min.)

Easy recipe to make more cornflake mixture if you run out. Also, a great recipe to make for a lot of people. I use jelly-roll pans to bake them on. Enjoy!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Who Knew God had Stinky Feet?

Breakfast Conversation:

Morgan: (pointing to the empty chair at the table) who is gonna sit there?

Jeffrey: God is.

Morgan: No, Jeffrey, God is in heaven.

Mommy: God is every where, even though we can't see Him. He can sit in that chair.

Morgan: He's not there...I can't smell His stinky feet.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Sometimes People magazine actually has something good...sometimes.

Kourtney Kardashian Agonized Over Whether to Keep Her Baby

Friday, August 14, 2009

My God is AWESOME!

First, let me say that I am working on a post from our anniversary trip, but my sister is visiting and I just don't want to take the time to add pictures and tell you everything I learned while riding on the back of a motorcycle for 1500+ miles right now!

However, I had to sit and tell you a story about tonight. It is a story that even though you may not be connected to, will give you goosebumps and make you want to start singing Awesome God (the old version by Rich Mullins), even though that song has bugged you forever!

Friend A called me on Tuesday to tell me that she was leaving her husband. (Is it weird that I call her friend A, cuz I don't do that in real life?) Shock...I wanted to reach through the phone and shake some sense into her. Love...I could hear the hurt and I wanted to reach through the phone and hug her! But because of the miles between us, I could only tell her I loved her and pray...and pray...and pray.

The next morning, I decided that keeping what she had told me to myself was not the right option. I started making phone calls. I called our circle of friends...really we are family...and told them to pray. I called people I trusted...and told them to pray. We kept the lines to God working hard that day. One of my friends described to me how usually when she says she will pray for someone, she'll pray two or three times and then sort of forget about them, but that she just couldn't stop praying for Friend A.

One of the people I called was Friend B. Friend B and I haven't chatted in close to a year, but she is the kind of person that has amazing faith and can pray like no one else can. She was someone I needed to be on her knees for this marriage. Together we prayed and cried on the phone together. Both of us wanting to get in our cars immediately and show up on Friend A's doorstep. But both of us lived too far away. One of the things that we specifically prayed for was that God would work a miracle...that He would get Friend A's attention...that she would have her own "Damascus road experience".

Well, Friend A decided she would go and live with her parents. But Friend A's family wouldn't allow that to take place. Instead they told her she could just come and visit for a week. MIRACLE #1

So, this evening, Friend A started driving to her parents. Along the road, she stopped at a rest area to go potty. (Since we have given birth to children, we mommys must do this very often!!!) As she is walking out of the stall, who does she see?

Friend B's young children!

Yup!!! Friend B and her family were going on vacation. They just happened to be driving that night...on the same road...and stopped...at the same rest area...AT THE SAME TIME!!!!


Oh how I wish I could have seen their faces!

I have goose bumps just writing that out right now!

God was jumping up and down in heaven, singing, "See what I can do!", "See how much I love you!", "See how important I think your lives, your marriage, your children are!"

These two friends were able to talk, to pray, to touch! And what was supposed to be a quick potty stop for both parties, turned into a par-tay!

Angels were rejoicing!


Friend A had her own "Damascus road"...err..."Interstate experience." Hallelujah!

Friend B saw a miracle...saw prayer answered...saw God grant the desire of her heart to see and touch Friend A. All-powerful, Lord!

Other friends involved saw prayer answered...rejoiced and spread the word...despite the late hour. Praise you, Jesus!

Others of us were reminded just how much God cares...how much He knows our needs...our hurts...and how He can heal. Yeah, God!

This is not the end of the story. There will be more to tell. But this is just a peek into a modern day miracle.

There is no such thing as coincidence. This story ranks off the charts in probability.

Our God is an awesome God. He reigns in Heaven above with wisdom, power, and might! Our God is an awesome God!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

"Twas the morn of my 15th Anniversary

'Twas the morn of my 15th Anniversary, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not a child, not a dog, not even a louse.
The bags were all packed and ready to depart,
In hopes that vacation soon would start.

The children were gone to grandma's to play,
With visions of treats and swimming all day.
And dad resting peacefully and I...wait a minute...

The kids are gone, the dog is gone, so why am I wide awake at 6:15???

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Feel the Love

Daddy to Meredith: What's wrong sweetheart?

Meredith: My neck just hurts.

Daddy: I'm sorry, I have a headache too.

Jarrett: I get a headache every time I think of tornadoes

Mommy & Daddy: Huh? Well then don't think of tornadoes, I guess.

Jeffrey to Mommy: I get a headache every time I think of you.

Thanks, kid! Today, the feeling is mutual!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Photo Editing

This is the picture that I posted today over at my Day by Day blog.
Now if I hadn't been quite so hasty and had taken a few sec to "perfect" the photo, it would have looked more like this...
Just getting that silly bunk bed out of the picture makes a difference.
My favorite part about taking this picture (aside from how sweet these kids were being with each other) was Meredith yelling down the hall, "You should put that on facebook!" Apparently I have an addiction that my six year old noticed.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Don't Ask

Just know that my children are not allowed in the basement for quite a while...like until they are leaving for college.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Overheard Today

Jeffrey: Are we going swimming?

(Mind you today it is 72 degrees, overcast and windy)

Friend of mine at the park with us: Oh no, you would freeze your tail off!

Jeffrey: We don't have tails! (as if that makes it okay to go swimming)

Monday, July 27, 2009


I know this will come as a shock to some of you, but I was a bit of a princess when I was younger. I know, shocking isn't it? I'm so glad I'm over that...really, I am.

But I can clearly remember times when I was walking around proud of the good I was doing and thinking that everyone should be so grateful that we (the royal we) were in their presence. About that time my mother would grab me by the ponytail - probably because it was the only thing she could catch as I sauntered past quickly to find the next group of people to oppress with all my goodness. She would get my attention and impart some gems of wisdom that would pop my princess bubble...lovingly.

This morning, God grabbed my ponytail.

I Have Been Trained - Part 2
By Missy @ It's Almost Naptime

So I'm driving the long 30 minute drive to VBS last week and
something makes me think of this whole bible study thing, and how this is not
the season for it, and how someday it will be, but how now - as I told Lisa - my
first priority is my family. And the mountains of laundry that they
accumulate. But some day, some day, I will get to lead my bible

As I am pondering all this, I glance in the rear view mirror at the four
little souls in the four car seats behind me, singing along to their CD.
Then the silent but deafening voice of the Lord whispers to me, You are their
bible study. I think, yes, I am. I know this. I know that
after years of teaching other young women and other people's children, my job
right now is to teach my own little ones. And what a blessing that
is! They have learned so much! I begin to think about all the
Scripture they already know, between Seeds and the
book that we use, not to mention what they learn at Sunday School and VBS
to which I so diligently take them. Those tiny little kids already have so
much scripture hidden in their hearts...I guess I am doing okay at leading this
particular bible study! My heart rejoices at this. My heart even
gets a tiny bit - just a tiny bit - of the P word going. You know the P
word. The one that rhymes with bride.

And then the Lord whispers, that's not what I'm talking about. You
are their bible study. Immediately a flashback: the previous morning, when
Shepherd had left out a screwdriver. A tool, which he has been told
a thousand times is not a toy. A tool that he had retrieved from the
toolbox in the garage that he has been told a thousand times he is not to
touch. A tool that he had left on the couch, and his baby brother
had gotten, and was chewing on when he fell into the couch. The tool that
caused Ingram's lip to bleed. The tool that caused me to panic when I saw
the blood, imagining that the baby had stabbed the inside of his mouth with the
screwdriver. The tool that caused me to completely and utterly lose my
temper, to yell loudly at my child until he sobbed his apology, the tool that
hardened my heart even as I hugged him and lied to him and told him that he was

You are their bible study. My child can say from memory Proverbs 15:1
, A soft answer turns away wrath. He can also recite Psalm 34:13, Keep
your tongue from evil. How many times have I quoted to his sister
Ephesians 4:26, In your anger do not sin. I have taught them to forgive
one another seventy times seventy. Yet I negated every one of those bible
teachings in five minutes one Tuesday morning.

You are their bible study. How much easier would it be to just lead a
group bible study! I could prepare for you a wonderful lesson on
Philippians 2 about putting others above yourself. Then if on the drive
home I refuse to let someone cut into my lane of traffic, you'll never
know. I could research and teach you what the original Greek text
of Ephesians 5 says, then come home and chew out my husband for not
taking out the trash while I was gone, and you'll never know. I could give
you a wonderful exegesis regarding exactly what God meant when he said "Thou
shall not steal." And if the next morning, the teenager at the grocery store
charges me for regular apples rather than the more expensive organic ones and I
don't correct him, you'll never know.

But if I tell my children that I love God and seek to obey him, and then
dishonor their own grandmother with my tongue, they will learn more from my
hypocrisy than from the Word. If in my anger I choose to punish instead of
to discipline, then bible lesson for that day will be on vengeance, not
grace. If I teach them to do all things without complaining and disputing
- Philippians 2:14, another one they can rattle off - yet constantly gripe about
having to clean up their messes, then my lesson for the day is selfishness, not

I am their bible study. I am not saying that the Holy Spirit will not
and does not work on their hearts in spite of my actions. I am well aware
that the double edged sword that is the Word of God is a million times more
powerful than my sin. But, oh, dear Jesus, do my actions sometimes cause
the Holy Spirit to have to work harder? Are there days when the Lord must
work around me, instead of with me?? Oh Lord, forgive me and help
me! Remind me to practice what I teach! For this I have been
trained!! Amen!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Number 300!

Wow, that kind of shocks me...especially considering I can completely ignore this blog for weeks at a time!

Well, I have started something else to distract me from this blog...another blog.

I know, crazy, but this one has another purpose.

I have long since realized that I am not a photographer. I have many friends that take AMAZING photos. Some of them have picture-a-day blogs or sites. While they are fabulous, that is not my goal. I like that they take pictures of me and my family!

What I hope to accomplish with this new blog is two things.
  1. I want to document what happens in my family. I realize that there are weeks...no really months...missing from our photo library. And what little pictures there are are locked on my computer. Many things in my life that I am trying to improve (reading my Bible, exercising, eating right, cleaning my house) are things that require me to work at them day by day. This is no different.
  2. Many days I struggle to ENJOY my family. They are a lot of work! I have felt like God was encouraging me to ENJOY them for several months and I just didn't know how to. I hope that by taking more pictures I will be able to see some of the enjoyment. That even those pouty faces really are sweet.

So this new blog is my version of a picture-a-day. Since I am afraid of failure, it is very scary to announce this project. I don't want to get to day 16 and discover that I forgot 13, 14, & 15! So there may be many late night last minute pictures of sleeping children...but they are definitely sweet then!!

So I am on day three and you can see it is already challenging...but I am having fun.


Check it out and let me know what you think...and if you have any other suggestions for ENJOYING your family.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Some days you just have to admit that you can't do landscaping; you can't decorate; you can't make your children obey; and just do the things you do well...laundry and cleaning. It may not be a pretty house, but it can be a clean house.

**EDIT: I can't clean my house either...

Saturday, July 11, 2009


The entrance to the campground and marina just outside Lovell, WY.
Meredith at the swimming area. Grandpa put the boat in the water and it would not start, so we swam instead. They even had a lifeguard!

Next to the swimming area was a huge playground and picnic area with at least 20 picnic tables - enough for a crowd.

Meredith and Jarrett


Meredith mastered the monkey bars.

Jarrett escaping a game of tag by climbing on top of the playground. Why must they all be monkeys?

The wind picked up about 5pm and was probably 40mph. Too windy to have a campfire or even be outside with the dirt blowing for that matter. Morgan decided to color.

Jarrett and Mikalah played cards.

The next morning while Grandpa went into town to check on the boat, Mike, Grandma, the kids and I explored the rest of the National Park Area. There is a Wild Mustang Preserve. One hundred and twenty mustangs run free.

We saw big horn sheep. A baby nursing. Big horn sheep grow a ring per year on their horns and do not shed them like antlers. These sheep are not very old.

A view of the canyon that connects to the lake that we were camping at. From this viewpoint, the water is 900 feet below. The water at that point is over 150 feet deep.

A floating outhouse - necessary when the canyon is fifty miles long.

Jarrett, Meredith, Grandma, Mikalah, Morgan, Mike & Jeffrey. Judson was at summer camp.

The family - minus Judson, but including Morgan's babies that go everywhere with her!

My little girl that's not so little anymore. She regularly reminds us that she will be 13 in just two short months!

More big horn sheep. I take pictures of people...Mike takes pictures of animals and scenery...we make a good team.

Boat is ready and we head out to the lake! The hotdog is the younger kids favorite!

Grandma and Mike relaxing as we head into the canyon. Meredith tired out after swimming for a bit.

Morgan...finally resting. She is a ball of energy!

About fifteen miles into the canyon the boat stopped. Mike and his Dad worked for 30 minutes trying to get it started again. Because it was the middle of the week the area is almost deserted. We hadn't seen another boat for almost an hour. I was thankful for lots of towels and the cooler of food we had brought when I started wondering if we would be stuck out there over night. Somehow, I ws pretty calm even though I was frustrated and a little nervous.

But God answered prayers and another boat came along. They towed us back to the marina. However because we couldn't go very fast it took us almost two hours. At least it was a pretty trip!

Another view from above. You can see how the canyon winds through.

What happens when Morgan takes a picture. She was so proud of her picture of the fence.

My wonderful family!

***Pictures from our recent trip to Horseshoe Bend near Lovell, WY. They show people having fun. This in no way proves that the blog author now enjoys camping. This disclaimer is in place to state that vacation - true relaxation - includes a five-star hotel and a spa treatment.