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God Revealed in Nature

My food philosophy is very closely tied into my faith in God. My philosophy basically is that God made us so He knows what's good for us. And so I try to eat things as closely to what He originally made as possible. I prefer food in it's most natural state.

This has been a process for me. When I got married and became responsible for meal planning and shopping for my family boxed mac and cheese and cereal were regular staples in my cupboards. I NEVER bought real butter...margarine is cheaper after all! I placed the value of foods on how cheap and quickly  they could be prepared and still taste yummy.

When I developed an auto immune disease around 6 years ago, I really began to change my view of food. My priorities in regard to food changed dramatically.

And then I became pregnant with twins and I was determined to carry them full term. So I put my faith in God and I did what I could with nutrition to insure a safe and healthy pregnancy. I ended up carrying them full term and d…

I've Got The Itch!

I have never been a shopper. When I was in college I kind of developed an unhealthy relationship with shopping. I used it to fill my voids (along with food and promiscuity).  And up until the last couple of years, while I didn't have access to a lot of money, I spent a lot of money that I shouldn't have to comfort myself. Of course, we all know THAT drill. It's not really comforting because then you feel guilty.

For the last few years God has really curbed that appetite in me. He's taught me that nothing--not shopping, not eating, not fulfilling the desires of my flesh, not inflicting pain upon myself--NOTHING will fill the God shaped hole in my heart except HIM.

The last week or so I've really had an itch to shop.

Honestly, there are a lot of things we need (Nathaniel's tennis shoes have been duct taped closed and now the duct tape isn't holding...AKA He NEEDS shoes) but there's also a very limited budget for those things...and some of them will have t…

Granola Bars!

The desire to cut out processed/convenient foods has greatly impacted our lives. I think that most of us dread  and are turned off by the time that is involved in making things from scratch. And I'll be honest, it does require a lot of time in the kitchen...but I honestly don't think that whipping up a batch of granola bars takes any more time than running to the store to pick up a box of granola bars...and you skip all the extra junk that is in store bought granola bars!

I will say that I prefer to send a piece of fruit and in the winter when our orange tree is producing, that's pretty much our staple school snack. But I like to mix it up a little sometimes with some homemade goodness.

The thing I love about these granola bars is that I know exactly what is in them, they are sturdy--they can survive a backpack and still remain intact, and it's easy to "mix it up".

Here's what you'll need

4 1/2 cups of oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking s…

Sometimes My Kids Set Me Straight

Last night, as we got home from church, it was late. Uriah and Elisabeth were both having meltdowns and the older kids were fussing up a storm. So I hurried them through their bedtime routines.

In a flurry of brushed teeth, clothes changed and laid out, they got into bed.

Here's where I sighed a BIG sigh of relief.

And then from the boys room I heard a voice, "Mommy, can we say a prayer?"

This is what went through my head...Yeah, jerk mom! Why didn't you ALREADY say a prayer? What kind of mom ARE YOU?!

So I got the girls out of bed and we all gathered in the boys room. And let me tell ya, a portion of that prayer was a humbled pleading for God to change me and thankfulness for the ways He already has.

On some days I think my parenting goal is simply to survive. But that's not what parenting is about. Yeah, there are rough days. But parenting is about showing them who God is. Even our imperfections can point their hearts toward Him. Because our imperfections re…

With Me, It's All 'Er Nothin', Is it All 'Er Nothin' With You?

I tend to be an all or nothin' kinda girl. If I get everything on my to-do list done then I feel good and it's been a successful day, but if not, I'm depressed and feel like a failure.


Recently I was reading the creation story and I started to ponder the fact that God did what He did on certain days, then He looked at what He had done that day and was satisfied...and then left the rest for "tomorrow". He didn't do it all in one day, and presumably, He could have. And when He was done for the week, He took a day off.


I think it's pretty common for moms to feel pressured to have a clean home, clean children, a meal on the table and still have time to give our husbands some attention at the end of the day. We give ourselves so much to do every day that something has to give...whether it's going through the drive thru for dinner or being tired and grumpy with our husbands!

Until the last few months, my home was either a complete mess or spotless. For th…

Keeping Up with the Joneses

As a parent I think it's fairly normal to have a list of things I want my children to have and a standard of living I want them to live. I want them to have a magical childhood. I want them to be carefree. It's my own sort of "keeping up with the Joneses".

And up until the past few years I've kind of had a sense of entitlement about it all. And we've felt a pressure to be able to put presents under the Christmas tree, to be able to take our family out to dinner to socialize with friends and family (because that's what people do, right?!).

In the past year or so I've really realized just how ridiculous that is.

Life isn't about presents under a Christmas tree, or going to movies or eating ice cream. And while it's fun to be able to do those things, we can't do those things and still pay our bills.

We've stopped feeling pressured to keep up. Our clothes are worn, we probably won't be going to the movies anytime soon and we'll be…

How To: Ski Ball-- Lessons from the Life of Elisabeth

I'm pretty sure there's not a person alive who enjoys life more than Elisabeth. She's a free spirit, with a song on her lips, a smile in her heart and, I'm convinced, magic in her step.

Tonight my dad treated our family to a trip to John's Incredible Pizza. Elisabeth spent most of the time at the Ski Ball game. When one game would end, without inserting more tokens, she would push the 'start' button and a new game would begin (see?! I told you she is magic!).

Elisabeth's approach to Ski ball is a unique (and fairly dangerous) one.

First of all, the balls must be named and assigned a familial position (mom/dad/sister/brother). Then, she closes her eyes and tosses the ball. Sometimes the ball heads in the general vicinity of the alley she's playing on, and sometimes not. Sometimes you can't tell which alley she's playing on because she's technically playing on them all. It doesn't matter if she gets the ball in her own gutter or the on…

Avoiding Convenience Foods

I absolutely know what it's like to be dog tired. I know what it's like to get to the end of the day and realize that I haven't even THOUGHT about dinner.

I also know the temptation to drive to the drive thru at that point. I've been there and done that.

Fast food and even most store-bought convenience foods are hard on the budget. And over the last few years we have gradually cut out 95% of our fast food/convenience food consumption. I do still buy the occasional box of Dino Bites and even less often we go for fast food.


The thing is, I still have days where I'm dog tired...and realize at the end of the day that I have no idea what we're gonna have for dinner. All of this has been a learning experience for me and I've discovered that there are a few things that profoundly effect the peace of our home around 5 o'clock in the evening and make dinner a much more pleasant experience for my whole family.

1.  Meal planning. I don't do anything fancy. Th…

People are More Important than Food

I love studying nutrition. I love seeking out information on how to help my body function at it's highest capacity.

But you know what I've noticed? I've noticed that sometimes this "knowledge" leads to my looking into other peoples grocery carts and thinking to myself  "oh my goodness, I can't believe they eat that!"

Which has lead me to several observations.

1.  The world of nutrition is a lot like the "religious world"...there are a bunch of people who ALL think they know the truth and anyone who disagrees is either insincere or just ignorant.

For example:

Some people (who are considered experts) say you should take generic fish oil. Other experts say those experts have got it all wrong and you should take krill oil. Still other experts say both of those experts have it wrong and you should take cod liver oil. And the funny thing is, they all have "evidence" to back up their claim.

Sounds confusing, doesn't it?

It basically…

God Designed Girlfriends Book Club

I have wanted to be in a book club for so long. I have literally been searching for a group of girls that would get together and discuss literature/fiction...well, really ANY type of book...with me.

Recently I found a girl who not only wanted to get together to discuss books...when I asked her she jumped up and down and hasn't stopped talking about it (and asking about it!) since I asked her.

Well, tonight after several weeks of trying to find a time to have our first meeting...I put the kids in bed and MADE time.

I'm not sure what our first book will be...we are planning to have that decided by Sunday evening. Tonight we just talked about books we've read recently, what we liked and didn't like about them and which character was our favorite.


Can you tell we had fun?!

Any book suggestions?

Pumpkin Pie!

Today started out rough. I had this wonderful plan that I was going to work outside in our yard all day.

I wheeled the lawn mower out to the front yard, fully expecting my plans to gracefully fall into place. But after an hour of trying to start the dumb thing and actually crying (yes, I did cry over the fact that the lawn mower wouldn't start...I'm ridiculous...I know...I'm pretty sure there was a pride issue here) I finally gave up (that is painful for me to say...maybe God was workin on my pride??).

So instead I decided to wing my way through making a pumpkin pie (w/ a graham cracker crust to change it up and homemade whipped cream), completely from scratch. I researched the components of pumpkin pie and then decided to kind of wing my way through it.
I started off making graham crackers. I doubled the recipe so my family would have some to eat since they are soooooooooo good. I put half into a plastic bag and crushed them and mixed them with a little coconut oil and pr…

Randy Travis Does it Again

Riding my new bike has brought back so many good memories of my childhood. I remember doing doing tricks...like standing up on the bike and steering with my foot or something and I remember how scared I would be but how exhilarating it was at the same time. My brother and I would make ramps and stuff (really it was my brother and his meany friends that built them and sometimes they'd let me use them). My bike riding adventures are some of my best childhood memories.

I've been riding bikes with my kids. It's so neat to see the same joy in them, and to feel it again myself and knowing that I'll be a part of their good bike riding memories makes it even more special to me.

All of this reminds me of a Randy Travis song...I'm not sure why but I get a lump in my throat every time I hear this song...and it's been stuck in my head for the past few days! (Just FYI, the pictures are random...sorry if that bothers you!)

The Crazy Bike Lady

So today, while I was riding my awesome new bike, I caught myself talking to...myself. And not, you know, in my head talking to myself. I was actually mouthing the words.

I'm pretty sure I'm officially our towns "crazy bike lady". Pretty soon I'll be pulling one of those child seats full of cans and bottles and swatting at invisible flies.
Anyway, so last week Michael received an extra grant from school. Whenever we get extra money we try to really hard to use it for things that will have a long term positive effect. So we buy things like meat that are hard on our budget but that will keep in the freezer and ease the grocery dilemma.

Well, so Michael decided that we would purchase a bike for me to ride around town when the kids are at school to save money on gas. Woohoo! So far it's saved us $7.26. Not much but it will add up over time! I'm looking forward to keeping track of it.

The funny thing is, after a day of feeling really good about being able to …

Bedtime Routines

I am probably the most unorganized mother ever conceived of.

I do things in a whirlwind. I wait until conditions are at their absolute worst and then I decide to do something.

So in the midst of all my FlyLady madness...I added some things to our kids bedtime routine that have made our evenings and mornings infinitely more peaceful.

1.  I started having them pick out and lay out their clothes for the next day...including socks and shoes. Okay, now I've always laid my kids clothes out, if they got laid out...which was a rarity. But I can't even tell you how much easier my life is. Now sure, somedays my five year old son goes to school in camo shorts with one orange and black pumpkin tube sock and one white ankle sock...but between the peace of not having to do it myself and the giggles I get when I see what they've chosen...it's a good situation.

2.  We divvied up the shower...Nathaniel, Lilla and Elisabeth at night and Caleb and Uriah in the morning. It's fast. It&…

Ten Years In

Do you know what the statistics are for couples who get married under the same circumstances that Michael and I did? I don't know either. But I know they're not good.

Someone actually told me, shortly before we got married, that Michael and I would be divorced within five years.

There is a lot of literature out there about how to deal with strong-willed people but sometimes being a strong-willed person has it's benefits.

So here we are, ten years in.

I'm not going to say it's been perfect. There have been a lot of moments that haven't even been good. I will tell you that we are the happiest we've ever been. I feel closer to Michael and we have more fun together than we've ever had before.

So, ten years in...what lessons have I learned?

Well, I've learned that whether or not I am happy is my choice and my responsibility.  If I'm not happy and my attitude stinks, it's not Michael's fault.

Michael is not only my husband, the father of my ch…

Changes, Changes, Yummy Changes!

I love cooking from scratch. I love using fresh ingredients in their whole-est, most natural state I can get my hands on. I've even wanted to try my hand at canning. I love the idea of having a pantry full of yumminess that has been preserved at my hand.

Gradually I've tried to cut out canned and processed foods. This week...I learned to make my own pumpkin puree! Woohoo! One step closer to not being dependent on convenience foods!
 You might think I'm crazy, and there are a lot of details that I have to work out, but starting January 1st (I actually have a feeling it will be a gradual process between now and then) I plan to begin a year of working with the freshest, whole-est foods that I can get my hands on.

Does that mean making my own butter or buying it raw and as unprocessed as possible? Can I find a dairy farmer to purchase fresh milk from? What budget-ary adjustments will I have to make? Where can I purchase unprocessed grains to grind for flour? How do I start a c…

My Love Affair With a Fruitstand

I drive through the gravel, come to a stop, take a deep breath and get out of the car.

Walking into the midst of our local fruit stand, for me, is like a drink of milk with a chocolate chip cookie. It's like fitting the last piece of a 1000 piece puzzle after you spent hours searching for the missing piece and then finally found it stuck to your behind. It's like the epidural taking effect in the midst of labor pains (although I wouldn't know what that feels like...I'm pretty sure I can imagine).

And I am sooooooooooooooooooo tempted to spend my entire grocery budget on pumpkins and apples (and all of the other produce, nuts and locally harvested honey and squashes).

I don't know, do you think my family could survive for two weeks on only pumpkins and apples?!

Have you ever noticed how utterly breathtaking apples are? Did you know that they are members of the rose family??

I'm pretty sure I would swoon if Michael ever showed up with a bouquet of apples. Or pumpk…

I'm the Mom...

whose daughter shares culinary tastes with bovines.
who frequently says things like "go eat your dinner!" when I really mean "go finish your homework!" 
 who after being stuck at home to conserve gas, finds it necessary to draw mustaches on everyone in the family and head to Target...
who gets momentarily mistaken for a bank robber
who hates homework
who daily has to apologize
whose stellar ability to block out deafening noise should probably be studied by NASA.
whose tooth fairy career has failed miserably
and who is blessed beyond measure.

A Day of Rest

It's always struck me as odd how adamant God was with the Israelites that they take a day of rest. And how hard it was for them to do it. They even ended up making crazy laws about exactly how far they could walk because they wanted to know EXACTLY where the line was.

But I guess I kind of know how they felt. I have such a hard time feeling like it's okay to take a rest day from running/exercise.

And not only is it okay, but it's actually good for me. I always have a good running day the day after I take a rest day.

But it's so hard to actually do it. Michael teases me that instead of running on my rest days I do something even more hard on my body at home.

And it's kind of true. I can't even tell you the inward struggle I had this morning to simply walk instead of run. And then not to rush home and do a strenuous workout video to make up for not running.

I'm afraid that if I stop for a day I might not ever do it again. I might just let it all go. And that&…

Running the Race That's Marked Out for Me

I had an awesome day today.

Honestly, my attitude stunk for part of it...but for the part it DIDN'T ...it was a great day!

This morning when I headed out for my run I didn't really have a plan. So the closer I got to my running place I began to formulate a plan.

I started out following a 5k training program, but the first day I couldn't even run the assigned period of time. I had to stop halfway through. And seeing as how I'm signed up for a 5k that requires me to run the entire time, that was a bit scary. So I decided to go all rogue and do my own training plan.

Basically, I started with running for a minute and walking for 2. Everyday lengthening the time I run and lessening the time I walk. My longest run (all at once without stopping to walk) before today was 11:20.

So today I decided on a length of time to run and a length of time to walk.

I arrived at my starting place, my music began and I took off.

When I'm running, even though I have a set amount of time …

Guess what? (NOT Chicken Butt)

Guess what?! I'm pretty sure I never in a million years would have ever thought I would say this.

And I'm pretty sure that the people who know me best would agree.

I love running.

There. I said it. I love running!

I actually look forward to it and miss it when I don't have time to leave the house to do it.

Yeah, yeah, it hurts. And sometimes I want to stop in the middle. The awesome thing about that is...if I can get through those little rough patches...and get to the end of my predetermined running time...I end up thinking "hey, I feel like running a little further". And I do. And then I think "hey...I'm almost done, why not just run a little further?!" And I do. And I cross that finish line thinking...wow! I did that! That's amazing! And I can do it again tomorrow.

And I actually look forward to doing it tomorrow!

But tomorrow, I will not take a nap and I will go at my regular time when the delta breeze has had 12 hours to create the perfect ru…

Love Smells!

Ever wondered what love SMELLS like?

I'll tell you what it smells like...

it smells like chocolate chip cookies.
it smells like freshly baked bread.
it smells like freshly laundered towels and socks.
it smells like stinky feet.
it smells like Lysol Toilet Bowl cleaner.
it smells like freshly cut grass.
it smells like freshly mopped floors.
it smells like a burning candle.
it smells like bubble bath.
it smells like freshly sharpened pencils and big pink erasers.
it smells like a sweaty kid rushing through the door bursting with exciting news from the day.

I woke up with a bad attitude today. Aw...I'll be honest...it's kind of been an epidemic for the past couple of weeks.

Today I thought about attempting to cure it by taking a nap. But I baked cookies instead.

I think it was a good idea!


Help Wanted

The other night I saw the movie The Help. I read the book a few months ago and I couldn't put it down!!

While I will admit that I did enjoy the book a bit more than the movie (some of the castings didn't seem quite right to me) I did enjoy both a good deal.

What gets me most in stories like that (and about the Holocaust) is not the actual perpetrators of the crimes...because they actually are deluded into thinking they are right (and as much as I hate to admit it...and I pray it is not to that grotesque extent...we all have blind spots). What gets me is the people who see that the crimes are wrong but are too afraid of what will happen to them or what their friends will think if they actually do the right thing (like Skeeter's mother).

Well, I know you'll probably find this dramatic...but from what I hear people who blog tend to be on the dramatic side...so...I guess it's to be expected.

Today while I was walking home from my 5k training there was a woman unloading…

Me? A Runner?

Today I signed up for what will be my 3rd 5k.

When I signed up I had two choices...I could go for the untimed noncompetitive 5k and do a walk/run combo or I could sign up for the timed 5k run.

The rules are very clear.

If you sign up for the competitive/timed run...there is no stopping to walk.

So, which one do you think I signed up for? The reasonable one? The one that most fits my fitness level? The one where I CAN WALK IF I NEED TO?!

No, no I did not.

Am I nuts?! Probably.

The thing is, I don't consider myself a runner. And I will admit that, in my 2 event 5k history, I haven't trained at all.

Well, I'll tell ya what. Today I started training. Because I'm scared.

So, I'm sure you're asking yourself...if I know this is nuts, why did I do it?

I'll tell you why I did it.

I did it because I know that I have absolutely no chance at being the best or winning. In fact, I'm probably going to come in last. And because I need to learn to be okay with that.

My Conspiracy Theory Concerning Socks

Sometimes I wonder if there is a secret sock tax that the government imposes by way of our dryer...or maybe they steal OUR socks and distribute them to their employees as part of their benefits package.

If I suddenly go missing you'll all know that I stumbled upon the governments secret sock plan....and that if you want to protect your socks...don't put them in the dryer!! :)

Or maybe there's some magnetic balance in the world that must be maintained by socks...and when there are too many socks in the world they gravitate toward a black hole until the balance is restored.

I'm just kidding. The constant stream of missing socks is quite frustrating but I'm not really a sock conspiracy theorist.

Although I would like to know where all the socks have gone.






Loser or Not?

I haven't been being as open about my weightloss/or lack thereof lately. I'm not sure what that means.

I do have my reasons.

Out of the past 5 weigh-ins I've gained 3 times. I was not emotionally ready to share that information. Because while most people mean well and are encouraging...there are the people who think I've gone back to my old habits and lecture me about what I'm doing wrong. And when you're working hard it's difficult to have someone tell you that you're doing it all wrong...especially when they don't know what you're doing at all.

Last weeks gain, I'm pretty sure, was the result of a heavy workout schedule. I hadn't worked out like that in a couple of months and restarting always makes me gain.

But, I have to admit, these past two weeks have been challenging for me. Trying to figure out what's going on and rededicating to everything and assessing to find areas where I need improvement.

Today and last wee…

The Voice of Truth

I won't bother telling you that I'm at the end of my rope. I've become convinced that only God really knows that information.

I will tell you that I am sorely incompetent.

Today, after having to discipline one my kiddos, my fear and unworthiness and just plain ignorance and lack of know-how and my loathsome parenting/being a person skills overcame me.

I think I might have actually completely freaked them out.

All I could do was sit there and cry and beg God to help me.

I want to show them Jesus. I want to display the gospel to them with my life. I want to be the strong mother and role model that they need.

But I'm not. I'm just not.

The other day I wrote a few of the areas I fall short in, but the truth is, there aren't ANY areas where I don't fall short.


But I am hopeful. I know that God can work in my life. He has. I reached this point about my weightloss a little over a year ago and He has done WONDERS in that area of my life since then.

He has blessed…

It's The Little Things

You know how when you're a kid you can't wait to grow up? You day dream about how glamorous it will be.

My imagination went something like this...

I would get married when I was 14 (because 15 is WAY too long...you're an old maid by 14 and 1/2).

I'd spend all day every day kissing my husband or waiting to kiss my husband (but I somehow managed to keep an impeccable house and make gourmet meals).

When he drove up in the driveway I'd rush to the door with his slippers and pipe in hand. I'd kiss him and lead him to his chair by the fire, hand him his pipe (I don't know where the pipe came from...I don't even think I've known a man who smoked one!), take off his shoes, rub his feet, put his slippers on and then rush into the kitchen to put a perfectly cooked roast on the perfectly decorated and set table.

Then we'd sit down to dinner and he would exclaim over the roast while I served him dessert (probably some 90 layer cake with some ingredient that…

When I'm Not Feeling It

I'm not feeling very spiritual. I haven't been for the past few days.

I love God and I haven't lost my desire to love people as a result of that love. But I'm just not feeling close to God.

I know it's my own fault. But I kind of feel like when you can sense something is wrong but you can't put your finger on it? That's how I feel.

I know, I know. I'm using the word 'feel' and 'feeling' a lot and that's probably one of my problems. Because with a stinky thyroid like mine...sometimes I feel like I want to punch people in the face. But alas, I must restrain myself.

Maybe my whole problem is that I'm relying on my flesh to fuel my spirituality. Ugh.

Or maybe my hormones are just in the slump part of my cycle and in a few days I'll feel all sunshine and roses and singing in the streets again.

I guess I better feed my spiritual wolf...because right now it feels like the flesh wolf is winning and that's not a victory to be cel…

Sometimes I...

It's so easy to only show the positive side of things online...obviously we all want to put our best foot forward and we want everyone to think the best of us.

Yeah, nobody follows "the letter of the law" but I certainly want you to think I do. I want you to know all the good things I do and I want to hide all the garbage in my life. So, for the sake of really being honest and portraying a balanced (well, ya know) view of my life...

Sometimes I don't feel like unloading the dishwasher so I pretend I forgot to run it and run it again.
Sometimes I stop working out in the middle of a workout.
Sometimes I sleep in and let my kids watch cartoons on Saturday morning.
I absolutely would not want you to look inside my fridge right now.
I've been on day 24 of the FlyLady BabySteps for like two weeks now.
I pretty much only straighten my couch covers when someone is coming over.
I'm behind on laundry right now and I'm folding socks just in time for my kids to wear …

So I've Been Nominated for (Worst) Mother of Year (more like, Millenium)

So today is Michael's birthday. And since he's such a nice (or should I say manly? I've heard men don't like to be called nice or sweet...hm?? Where's Dr Laura when I need her?) husband I thought I should go out and find him something nice (err...manly?).

So I did. And then, just to torture him I TOLD him I did.

So I headed home and stopped at a fruit stand, on the way, to pick up a snack for the kiddos.

At this point I was feeling very confident...I'd get home in plenty of to pick up the house and get ready for the kids to arrive.

So I pull up into the driveway and see that the garage door is open.

We've had our share of thievery so my heart skips a beat at the thought of all of our kids bikes being stolen.

I stop and turn the car off and happen to look in my rear view mirror.  Across the street on our Elisabeth's little pink bike is a little girl (baring a stark resemblence to Elisabeth herself).

And then I remembered.

The kids had a minimum day today…

Lessons Learned (Errrr...LearnING)

I don't know the exact date or how long we had been married. I can't even remember the person or specific circumstance...but I can tell you the exact words that I said and Michael's eye opening response to me.

It's really pretty ridiculous and I'm embarrassed to share this with you...but for the sake of authenticity...I'm going to.

A few years ago, as Michael and I were leaving some social event, I complained to him that someone (most likely female so I'll probably refer to this person as a "her" even though I don't even remember who it was) hadn't spoken to me.

Now, I'll stop right here. We had been married for a while because I'm pretty sure that all five of our kiddos were in the car...so Michael had probably heard similar nonsense from me on too many occasions to count. I'm extremely over analytical and I am constantly looking for proof that people don't like me.

Anyway, in response he says (very nonchalantly) "wel…

How to Know If you Should Skip Your Neighborhood When Trick Or Treating

I think every neighborhood has one...you know, like every family has an aunt Ruth that everyone prays will forget to make her horrible meatballs?!

Well, I hate to say it, but I guess I should just get it out of the way. In OUR neighborhood, WE'RE the ones. Not that anyone in our neighborhood has tasted my meatballs...meatballs are NOT the problem.

There are probably 7 houses on our block. All of them have their lawn mowed by this yardman (yeah, I don't think that's the technical term) in a little rickety truck. He does EVERY house on our block. Except ours. And I'm pretty sure that everyone in town knows that fact...because it's obvious.

So there's that. (And believe me, that's not the worst of it.)

And there's Elisabeth.

Do NOT believe anyone who tells you that girls are easier than boys. Elisabeth disproves that theory.

Elisabeth picks our neighbors UNripe fruit, flowers, climbs their trees and plays in their yards (uninvited and unaccompanied)and she…

From Promise to Inception

When I'm reading the Bible sometimes the timing of everything gets all jumbled in my mind. I forget that not every single event is recorded and that sometimes years and years would pass between recorded events.

Sometimes I get impatient. I want God to change me NOW. I want to walk away from whatever bad habit I'm in and never do that thing again. But I think that this is just another manifestation of God's higher thought process.

Take Abraham for example. God promised him a son, something that, based on his knowledge of the world, seemed impossible. So he waited.

(this is the part where, if this were a movie...there'd be grasshoppers chirping)

He got impatient. He got impatient and he had a son with Hagar. And was surprised when God informed him that Ishmael was not the promised son. While God was busy getting everything together and working out his plan, Abraham became so anxious for the destination that he wanted to skip the journey.

Sometimes the journey is about …

Supermom's Tool Belt

I've always been the sort of girl who runs around barefoot. I don't know, something about the power I felt when my feet hit the pavement and the freedom of grass between my toes. Yeah, I'm sure Jeff Foxworthy would call me a redneck.

Buuuuut....having kids does things to your body. And not just the outside of it.

I like spinach. SPINACH I TELL YOU. And naps. Oh naps...how I long for thee.

And in the past year, I have acquired a love, a very fervent love, for my tennis shoes. I feel powerful when I wear them...like ANYTHING is possible. It's like I've been given a compass and my very own private jet complete with pilot.


When I'm wearing tennis shoes and a pair of big, dangling earrings I can almost feel my cape blowing in the wind.

Who needs birds and mice when I've got my tennis shoes?


My Food Network Show: It's the Thought that Counts!

So, if I had a show on the Food Network...it would be titled "It's the Thought that Counts" and it would be all about how it's okay to make cakes that look like instead of cooling the cake and then frosting it, you shoved the baked cake and frosting into the blender and then formed it into a cake shape...because it's the thought that counts.


Today my sweet Lilla turned 7 years old.




I made the Raspberry-Laced Vanilla cake on the back of my cake flour box. It was sooooo yummy...but I would suggest cutting it in half...it's REALLY calorie dense. One eighteenth of the cake is 21 Weight Watchers PointsPlus...and I get 30 in a day.


Now, I am going to trust you with these pictures...because I am probably the worlds worst cake decorator. But I try...and I guess if it is really the thought that counts...then I'm okay.

Our At Home Science Experiment

So we've been looking for an extra curricular activity for Caleb. He's really struggled in school for the past couple of years and his self esteem has suffered a lot!

Michael and I are very hopeful this year though...Caleb hasn't been this excited about school since Pre-K.

At first I was going to put him into piano lessons. But in reading Courage and Calling I was made aware that that was MY regret about the past...and that it might not necessarily be right for Caleb. So I asked him what HE wants to do.

He got really excited and said he wants to do something science-y (my word, not his). So I've done research and found some really cool programs at places like the Exploratorium and The Discovery Museum.  I especially like what I found at The Discovery Museum...they have a robot building workshop...SO UP CALEB'S ALLEY! The only problem is...these places are around 90 miles away...and I really can't see us being able to drive up to Sacramento or San Fransisco very…

Five Little Elephants Shopping at Walmart

Leading 5 kids through "the Walmarts" is like leading a herd of elephants through an English Garden.

You leave a wake. :)

Not really...but I do think it should be added to the list of spiritual disciplines...you know...prayer...Bible reading...monkey herding. :)

Just kidding...I have to say it IS fun and very interesting...especially the looks on peoples faces when they say "Are those ALL yours?" and then I tell them yes! It's like they think I exceeded the number of kids that decency dictates!

And then there are the people who just send me a knowing smile...those are the best. Knowing that they know, they've been there and they are silently saying a prayer for my sanity does wonders for my soul.

I'm not gonna kid ya...there are days when I feel like I'm gonna go crazy...there's syrup on the piano, laundry piled to the ceiling, no clean dishes, underwear or patience anywhere to be had.

Those are the days I wake up thinki…

TMI?

I don't know. You tell me.

It seems like a lot of the time when you talk about having money trouble people clam up. But I'm an "out there" kind of gal.

So since my kids are in school there's been this big debate over whether or not I should get a job. Every paycheck that comes and we can't afford something I think we need, I feel this urgency to get a job.

But then, I feel like this big loser mom. The Proverbs 31 woman made money without "going to work"...is that what I'm supposed to do? If so, I'm at a complete loss. But then I see all these moms around me doing all of these great things...making beautiful bows, dresses, cakes, etc. And it's not that I'm envious...because I honestly have no desire to do those things...but my talents are in the "hey there...good job on those bows, dresses and cakes!" arena...is there a job that doesn't require a college education or virtually ANY smarts and lets you just encourage other…

He's a Rebel

So, have I mentioned that my boyfriend is a dreamboat? He's a sideburn sportin', motorcycle ridin', guitar playin' man. Only he waited until ten years into our marriage to let it out...so it's not like my parents can forbid me to see him. Smart move, I'd say.

I was kind of apprehensive about the whole motorcycle thing at first. Yeah, there's the awesome gas mileage...but there's also the fact that he is so exposed to the mistakes of other drivers. There's no air bag, that's for sure!


I have to admit that the roar of that engine is kind of thrilling, though. I mean, having a hunky husband who rides a motorcycle is every girls dream...right?


He got me on it for the second time today. There was definitely a lot less screaming this time!

The whole "lean into the turn" thing is scary and against every single fiber of my being. In my world...you lean AWAY from the falling....not toward it.

And then there's the helmet hair. And helmet f…

My Random and Shabby Attempt at Poetry

Nothing to boast of,
No thing can I tell,
no work I've accomplished
could save me from hell.

No condemnation,
how can it be?
there's no condemnation
from sin I am free!

Washed in the water
the blood is applied
Trust in my Father
steps He will guide.

I am not a poet, and I know it. But there you go!

I hope you have an awesome day!