Monday, March 31, 2008

In the Clear?

Hopefully we are clear of the stomach bug. It seems that only little LanaLou was attacked and the rest of us have stayed well.
Of course I have not slept well the past 3 nights anticipating the next round.

The yucky yellow color of pollen is covering everything again.
My blog color is in honor of those who suffer as I do from the yellow pestilance.

If you like to try new things, scroll down and look to the right at my Spring recipes.
Well, there not mine...I mean I didn't invent them or anything.
I invent recipes and then don't write them down and then when the fam asks for it again I don't know what they are talking about.

Lana asked me in the car out of the blue the other day if when she grows up, will I buy her a cookbook? Funny how little girls are already thinking ahead to needing a cook book.
I should start collecting recipes for her now.
My Mom made me a folder of recipes before I went to college...I have since filled it to the point of it breaking with recipes from here and there. I'm sure I've never made half of them, but would like to someday.

Does anybody want to buy a car? If you do let me know.
I have found the perfect way for me to make some extra money.
Simply refer people to my husband to buy a car.
Yep, I did that recently and I got my first $100 referral fee!
Woohoo! So if you need a car, see Stacy and then I will collect my fee and take you out to dinner in your new (or new to you!) car...Wow, what a deal!

In case you don't know, I am the VBS director at my Church.
It is pretty much consuming my thoughts at this point.
Tomorrow it will be exactly 2 months away and wow do I have a lot to do.
This Saturday I go to a training day that should be very helpful and fun.

The weekend after next I get to go away on a MUCH needed girl weekend with my childhood friend, Stace'. We will be meeting and staying in a hotel for 2 days with no kids and no hubbies.
Thats right, only time on our hands! Can't wait. I may not know how to behave myself!

You are probablly wondering why in the world my blogs are so random of late...well that is because that is how I feel lately...random.

Well...we are off to the library. I cannot keep up with my son's reading addiction. We go to the library twice a week now because he runs out of books. Not that I am complaining.
Lana suddenly finds trying to learn to read as the ultimate punishment but would be content to sit and do math workbook sheets all day long. Go figure!

Gotta go put on my face and get out the door....

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Yardwork, Vomit, and This Week for Dinner

The final count on the pine cones was 200 and something according to Logan. (This I believe...the wheelbarrow is over flowing with pine cones)
Lana claims to have picked up 143 that I say a big fat yeah right!

Me, well I got to clean up vomit! Woohoo!
The trail was from the bedroom to the bathroom and then all over the bathroom floor and all over the top of the toilet. You know, basically everywhere but in it.

Ah, the joys of parenting. I now sit and brace myself for round 2.
Logan started to say a little while ago that his belly is feeling funny.
Yep, I bet it is!

On happier notes, I made a Strawberry dessert this morning that sits in the freezer all day.
Click here to see it.
It is from the Kraft food & family magazine. If you don't get that magazine, you need to!
It is FREE!!! Very handy.
Click here to sign up to get it...or if you don't like to get magazines, you can see the whole magazine on line. The website is a great place to find something to make for dinner.
I am making these potatoes for dinner. Thought it would be something nice and different.
That will go along with my own interpretation of Meatloaf.
Meatloaf is Logans favorite and I never make it the same twice, but he never seems to notice.
I was going to make asparagus too but I forgot to get some, so broccoli it is!

A helpful grocery store tip in case you don't already know.
Aldi the greatest store known to cheap Mom's...has milk for $1.99 a gallon!!!
At Wal-mart milk is up to $4.
I am positive they are losing money on milk, but making it up by the fact they you will buy other things. The link I just put in shows the locations in the Bham area.
They are building several others around here as well.
You must go! Don't be afraid of the off brands...everything I've tried has been good, except for the American cheese singles.
There bags of stir fry are great. All you add is your choice of meat.
Which of course you can get at Aldi for cheaper!

I am excited to make C's recipe she had on her blog this week for this Pesto Chicken Florentine.
Sounds yummy!
This week I will also make a salad that I had at Applebees one day that was so yummy.
It was a spinach salad with shrimp and hot bacon dressing.
Here are a ton of recipes for the dressing.

This week we will also have:
Stir fry from Aldi.
Soft Tacos from a box kit.
I liked this whole frittata meal by Rachel Ray and will at least be making some sort of Frittata with leftovers.
The grilled pineapple looked really good too!

I love to try new about you?
What are some things you are having for dinner this week?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Springtime....La La La La!

I am singing that of course as I flutter through a field of daffodils and then relax in an Adirondack chair while sipping my lemonade.
Whatever...we have spent the morning with trash bags in the back yard. Yes trash bags in the back yard. Why did I have to clean out 3 bags of trash from my yard? Seriously, I am not a red neck, but apparently my children are! Oh is done now. Currently the children are picking up all the sticks and pine cones in an effort to taunt Stacy into blowing up last falls leaves so the grass underneath can actualy grow.

I also have the aftermath of the broken pipe and the plumbers digging up part of the yard to replace it. I don't know what to do with that area now.

I realized something today about my was a great yard for toddlers and preschoolers.
Now that I have elementary age kids it seems confining. I mean its still a big yard and thankfully fenced in, but I need to figure out how to make it more fun for my growing children.
I had thought about having one of Kim and I's famous spring luncheons out here....but I think the big kids might get bored. Not sure.

But since we are in full fledged Spring ( I have started taking my Zyrtec on a regular basis now!)
it would be fun to have another outing with all of you fine people.
Perhaps an afternoon at a park or Oak Mtn.
What do you all think?

Well, I must go check on the pine cone progress.
Ta ta!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Love me please!

What is it in the female species that makes us crave love?
Is Disney and all the princess-happily ever after hoopla to blame?
Is it because from the time of birth little girls are doted upon and lavished with love?
Or is it just inate and part of our DNA?
Maybe it's a combination of all of the above.

Whatever it is, it starts from a young age.
When Lana was 4 she came down the stairs one day bawling her little eyes out because Wyatt said he didn't want to be her boyfriend because he liked somebody else.
At 4 years old my unsuspecting little girl had her first heartbreak.
It was pitiful...she cried and cried and I held her.
Then we talked about love and heartbreak. As much as you can talk about such things with a 4 year old.

Then there is today and the picture above.
We went to the zoo. Kim, Heather, Paige, Ginger and I and all the kids.
Somebody told Lana that Silas was in love with her.
Thats all she needed. She then followed him around and tormented him with her love until Silas finally said exasperated..."I don't want to be in love with you!"
Poor Silas, how was he to know he'd been set up. But he will move on and not think another thing about it. He is after all, a boy. This is the way of boys.

But Lana...well the carrot of "Love" has been dangled above her tiny little face and then taken away. What will this do to my 5 year olds spirit?

Jer. 24:7 says...
"I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their hearts."

This is one of those life experiences that I am sure God gives to Moms as an oppurtunity to show our children the Gospel. It is my duty now not to pick apart the right and wrong of the situation as a whole, i.e. the planting in her ear by another child that someone else loves her....but to point her to the Gospel of Christ. To remind her that God has given her that sweet heart inside her that longs to love and to be loved. That He has given her that heart to use for Him and His glory. And that He alone is the one that will truly satisfy her need for love.
His love for her sent His son to die a cruel death on a cruel cross. His love for her produced an empty tomb that once held her personal atonement. His love for her is unlimited, unending, undying.

There will be many more oppurtunities in her life for heartache and I pray that each of these experiences gives her a bigger and better understanding of the Gospel.

Don't I wish I could save my children from heartbreak...the biggest heartbreak coming from being guilty of love. But I guess then we would miss out on the lessons and the joys and the potential for growing closer to Christ and furthering His glory.

I love this quote by C.S Lewis...
"To love at all is to be vunerable. Love anthing, and your heart will certainliy be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it careful round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entaglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless-it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable...The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of Hell."

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Oh no...

Here we go again with this insomnia!
The past 3 nights I have gone to sleep at 3, 1, &2.
Great! Tomorrow we start school again, so hopefully after tonight I will nip this thing again.
It certainly hasn't been for a lack of busyness. I've gotten a lot done this week.
I didn't get to everything on my list, but I am pleased with the progress.

Today was a very nice Easter.
I will say this and then you can all throw your virtual stones at me....
We don't do Easter baskets. Never have and I don't see it starting.
I'm not super dogmatic on my stance because it could go to the extreme of what about Christmas, blah blah blah. But the Easter Bunny/Basket thing is just one of those pagean rituals that we have opted out of. I don't think my children are scarred for life.
They where still loaded up with goody bags and candy at Church, so they can still have their rotted teeth tomorrow.
I have to say it was nice this morning waking up and my focus for Easter being about the Gospel. As soon as I woke up I had the song "Christ the Lord is risen today" going over and over in my head. I think our music minister must have had it in his head too because thankfully we sang that today!
I saw frazzled Mom's at church this morning after their busy morning of getting everybody ready and making sure the Easter Bunny had come.
Truly I felt bad for them. It's annoying that our society say's we have to have a new dress and an Easter basket filled with stuff to celebrate Easter. And yes, I do the Easter dress thing. Everybody had on something nice and new...but again for me, in my own weird little way, the whole Easter dress thing is symbolic. It's shedding the old and putting on of the new. I don't know, it's late and I'm tired so I can't really articulate what I am trying to say right I will leave all that for another day.

Point is...I enjoyed today. I need to wake up everyday with the Gospel being at the forefront of my thoughts, not just on Easter. Everyday I need to shed the old and put on the new.
And I wish everyday I could enjoy such a nice day with friends and my family!

I leave you with a couple pics...and hopefully now I go to sleep!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Chocolate and Haircuts

So like I said yesterday, I desperatly needed a hair cut. Seriously, my last hair cut was last summer I think.
Today I went for Logan and myself to get it done. My friend from church, Kristen, is a hairstylist at a local walk in place, so I walked in...I said do what you think is best...and she did!
If you know me, you know that my hair is super thick. It really was beginning to feel like Molasses to me. But now it feels light and fun. I like my new hair cut. Stopped by the hubbies work and he likes the new haircut too, so it is a win win! I need to go buy a big roller brush now though.
Next step...highlights! Kristen said "Caramel"...oooh, that sounds pretty. I can't wait!

I have been doing super good with the weight watchers thing. Today however is that day when a woman just needs to eat chocolate and french fries. So I did. Chic-fil-a waffle fries dipped into polynesian sauce (thanks Heather for that little trick) and a Hershey's bar with almonds. The almonds are good for me right?!!!

Children are grounded in their rooms and will be going to bed early...I will finish up my typing job and eat my Hershey's bar....then I will wait for hubby to be home and watch part two of the John Adams Series. This is going to be a very enjoyable series for me. I like colonial history. I should go to Williamsburg sometime. Went as a kid and then had a reoccuring childhood nightmare for years after. But that is a story for another day. Must get busy now.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Day O Fun!

Well yesterday was phase 2 of the cleaning process. I cleaned out 3 bags of stuff from Logans room. I'm waiting on Stacy to put together a bookshelf to put in there and then I will be done with that room too!
I also got all the kids clothes switched out and Stacy's winter stuff put up. I just need to finish a few of my things and then I will be mostly done with the bedroom portion of the house. Yeah!!!!

Today we have had family fun day. We got up this morning and headed downtown to the McWane Center. We go there just before the storms and left after them, so that was a nice way to spend a stormy morning.
We had a lot of fun. Our timing was good because it was getting crowded by the time we left.

The kids favorite part was the aquarium part, so I guess we definetly need to be taking a trip to the Georgia aquarium sometime soon. My favorite part was listenting to Logan tell us all these neat facts about the fish that he has read in books. It's fun to go places with a walking Encyclopedia!

We also enjoyed the nature room where you look at different animal skeletons. Lana ecspecially loved the many different butterflies they had displayed.

Hey Mom, I saw a great idea for the next time you and Lana get butterflies. They laminated them and then cut them out almost complelty to the butterfly shape. It looked really neat and was a much better way to scrapbook the butterflies.

Another fun thing was the "Tight Rope Bike". Logan was just tall enough to do it this time, so he and Stacy and I got to each try it. It was a little scary I must say! Stacy was brave enough to make it tilt...I chickened out on that part!

Stacy and Logan did the flight simulater. It was funny listening to them from the outside. They where screaming and having a fun time!

And as usual, one of the most entertaining parts of the day was Lana and her Lanaisms...
At one of the fish tanks she said...
"Now that is an exhibit!"
When she was bored...
"I wish I wasn't born yet and then I wouldn't have to be bored."
When her belly hurt...
"My belly hurts worse than being stabbed in the heart. But not with a metal sword, a gold sword."

She also got to pet a live bunny and now she wants one for her birthday.
Great, you know me and animals, I'll get right on that!
I don't know where she comes up with these things but she entertains me!
I decided after seeing that picture of me that I have to get my hair cut right now! I want a cute and trendy hairdo. I think I want to go short again, but stacked in the back and then layered down into my face.
We'll see what happens.
Well...I guess I'll go be productive now and finish putting away my winter clothes.
Stacy and Logan are playing xbox and Lana is watching PBS kids, so everyone is entertained. Only for a little while I'm sure.
Oh, that reminds me...I am apparently raising a male chauvinist. When Stacy and Logan said they where going to play xbox, Lana said..."Well what can I do?"
Logans response...."You and Mom can go upstairs and cook us some dinner!"
Boys!!!! Black and white and suttle all over!
Hope everyone is enjoying spring break. :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Phase 1 Complete!

Today I spent a very wonderful 4 hours with Virginia and Michelle and all the cute kidos. It was nice to get together and sit on Virges idealic screened in porch while Michelle made me laugh and the children frolicked without incident. (Except that poor little Chad hurt his knee and Lana got bit on the back by some insect... but besides that!) It's nice to have friends that you've known for a long time and it was fun to get together with them. And it was nice that my kids and Michelles kids got reaquainted and are friends now too!

Then I came home and started on Phase 1 of my house cleaning project.
Here are the before pictures of Lana's room. Really these aren't even completly accurate because last week Daddy made her put all of her dolls and stuffed animals into trash bags. So this is without even two bags full of stuff!

As you can see her room is tiny. I have her small dresser in the closet to save space.
So now here we are, hours later and 4, yes, 4 garbage bags later....and the addition of a toy box and taking out the kitchen set....

So now Mommy is happy that clutter has been removed and Lana is happy that she can again play in her room...which she did happily for a long time tonight!

Tomorrow is Logans room and the change out of the clothing in the drawers.
If I'm not sick that is....I have been cold all night tonight and feeling really blaa. Hopefully all I need is a good nights rest and a lazy morning of Little House on the Prairie and Kashi Heart Healthy O's!
Maybe I'll go sleep in Lana's room since it is now the cleanest room in the house. :)
Nighty Night friends.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Little House, Rubbermaids, Egg Salad and Other Stuff on My Mind!

Man this week has gone by so incredibly fast. It went by so fast that I have declared that next week we are taking Spring Break. I wasn't going to, but after counting my days, I realized I have 11 disposable days and can still finish school mid-May. So next week is Spring cleaning.
Lana's bedroom is it is tiny. And because it is tiny, it gets over run with clutter, ecspecially considering she can't throw things away and gives new meaning to the term pack rat. So that is Mondays to do.
Tuesday will be Logans room...although his room won't be nearly as bad to tackle. Mostly just papers to throw away.
The rest of the week will be garage and office. If anybody wants to come help me the end of next week I will make you lunch and be your friend forever.

So right now the kids and I have gotten into the probablly bad habit of watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie in the morning before school. I think it has actually made us all happier. Next week it will be even more fun since it will be guilt free watching!

Something about this time of year makes me crave egg dishes. Last year it was deviled eggs. This year it is egg salad. So last night I boiled a dozen eggs and made yummy-mayo free egg salad. And lest you think mayo free egg sald is not good, I will assure you that is was yumminess.
My friend Gwendy came to lunch today and we didn't eat enough of it. Did you know that a dozen eggs makes a lot of egg salad? How long do you think I have on this stuff? My Mom says Sunday, but I am hoping longer.

I've been trying to swap out some of the rubbermaids. I hate the in between limbo weather. Next week I will just finish up and leave everybody some jeans. I have taken 8 bags of stuff to the thrift store and another huge box of stuff to a consigment store.

I discovered a great store yesterday. Steve and Barry's. As a grand opening special, everything is $8.98! I got Stacy and Logan both some pants and shirts (and they will match for Easter and be very cute) and I got me a pair of Sarah Jessica Parker's line of shoes.
I have recently discovered that I can indeed wear heals. I never thought I could before, but I am trying to grow up and suck it up and do it. I like them. Last night I just wanted to walk around the house in my new heels. Kim Hill would have been proud!

I'm in a weird mood these days. I don't know what it is. I'm not grumpy, but I'm not overly happy either. I'm just kind of existing if feels like. I have alot on my mind that has been overwhelming me a bit. It's a weird feeling. I feel like God is trying to teach me something but me in my humanness am not getting it.
Tommorow I go to Chattanooga with my friend Jeri (female Jeri!) for the Children Desiring God confrence and I think that will be very good for me.

Well, I guess I should go eat some of my over abundance of egg salad for dinner. The children are having waffles...I know, I know...Mother of the year, right here!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Kitchen Gadgets

In todays installment of my wannabe cooking show, lets discuss Gadgets!
I have several kitchen gadgets that I love and don't want to live without.

I'll start with my Mini Spatula from Pampered Chef...I don't know how I ever did anything without this. I love the small funness of it!

The Cookie Scoop...My sister gave me one and I thought I'd never use I can't make cookies without it.

I don't have these next two but I've decided that if I'm going to ever be able to properly ice a cake, I need these from Pampered Chef...(they come in Lg and Small)

I also love my garlic press...I just picked up a $5 one at Wal-Mart, but hey it works!

The Batter Bowl from Pampered Chef is a great mixing bowl that I use all the time.
Since it is glass and comes with a lid, it is really good for making the Amish Friendship Bread Starter. Or any other kind of batter you have to store.

My Mom got me these Wolfgang Puck Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls for Christmas this year. I love them! They have rubber on the bottom so they don't slide around, and they have lids! I keep one in the fridge filled with grapes and it keeps them fresh all week.

I love little spreaders. Unfortunatly my son used one as a widdeling knife and broke it and Lana broke the other one. So maybe they break easy, but they sure are handy for spreading!

So thats just a few of my kitchen gadgets that I either have or would like to have.

What are your favorite kitchen gadgets?

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Drama of a Salad

Who knew that eating the smallest of small portions of salad could be such an entertaining and time consuming affair...
But alas, at my house tonight it was!
Lana started her small salad fiasco at 6:15

At 6:30 she was sitting at the table making comments like...
"This is just great, I need to be decorating the house for Easter and instead I have to sit up here and eat salad."

At 6:45 and half of the small salad eaten, the statement was...
"And not to mention that my belly is almost about to be ready to start hurting."

7:00, a little more progress and still running her mouth...
"My belly cannot eat any more salad, it's making my belly ready to explode."

One hour after this event begins it is finally winding down to a close. The plate is clean, but the last piece of lettuce is still in her mouth.
"Well I'm glad that is over with because that was the worsess time at that table of myyyy life."

Kids...gotta love them!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Must Whine!

Bear with me, it is my quarterly whining post about missing my sister and nieces in Africa. You can stop reading if you want to.

I received this picture via email today of my oldest niece and my youngest niece...the middle one is in a seperate picture. But look at these two! Wouldn't you miss those sweet smiling faces? I mean good grief, Sarah Beth for all of her strong willed dramatic displays over the years, is turning into this beautiful little girl. She is 6 now and the oldest of 3 living in Kenya Africa. She has so many responsibilities that the average 6 year old doesn't have. She is learning life lessons that most adults don't get or care to get. She is living without Disney Channel, PBS Kids, Chic-fil-A, and playgrounds, all for the sake of the Gospel. I dare say that despite her days of drama, Sarah Beth is working on living out the Gospel daily better than I am.

And what about this sweet little Savannah Breeze that I've never seen in real life? Recently we got to see video clips of her cooing and laughing and crying. I hated seeing her cry. I wanted to reach right through my computer screen and snatch her up. You can just see how sweet she is. I want to smell her and touch her. One thing I always remember about Sarah Beth is her smooth skin. That child has the smoothest softest skin in the world. Is Savannah like that too? Savannah Breeze who is 4 months old and is going to grow up surrounded by a lot of love from Natatadee, a dear sweet kenyan woman. In 2 years when they come home for a year, Savannah won't know me, but she will be missing Natatadee.

And don't even get me started on Summer Brook. She's my little personality clone. She's a nut. She's crazy. She's funny. I'm her best friend. Or at least when I was there she was. She has new best friends whenever someone else comes to visit. But in my heart, I am her best friend.
She's learning about friendship through the eyes of the Gospel. Shouldn't I be doing that too?
Of course I should, but I get wrapped up in hurt feelings and grumpy moods and busyness and forget to be a friend through the eyes of the Gospel.

I wonder what it will be like for these 3 sweet girls when they come home to America. Will they look at us all and wonder why in the world we live the way we do. Will they tell me I'm rich when all I ever do is complain that I don't have any money? Will they cherish every minute with their family here as much as we all will?

Today is one of those days that I have to remind myself why they are there.
My flesh wants them back in Atlanta where Laura and I could plan one of our fun day trips.
The Gospel tells me they must be there to live out daily the great commision.
My flesh wants to feel sorry for myself because I am missing out on their little lives.
The Gospel tells me that the Gospel IS life, and that is why they are there.
My flesh wants to be there again in Africa this year so I can be with those that I love and help share the Gospel among those people.
The Gospel tells me to preach the Word. To be ready in season and out of season. It doesn't say I have to go to Africa to do that. I need to be doing it here. And praying for those that are doing it there.

Oh my goodness how I miss my sister and those 3 little girls.
But Oh, how proud I am of them and the life God has called them to live.
I pray I will be His more diligent and faithful servant where I am, and I pray I am raising my children to be the same.
Thanks for letting me whine. Joy comes in the morning I know. But for today I just needed to let it out. I think in letting it out, God cheered me up a bit and reminded me that His Glory and His purpose are being served.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

It's a strange thing....

This blogging world...
It is an odd commodity.
We post these well thoughtout and sometimes not so well thought out posts, in order for whosoever will to read.
We then sit back anxiously and await the comments.
We sit and wait to be picked apart or laughed at.
We sit and wait for advice and encouragment.
Sometimes we don't care if anybody comments, we just have things to get off our chest.
Other times, we just amuse ourselves with our blog and wonder how we ever lived without it.
( I don't do that, I just mean some people might do that!)
And then there are the times that people care so much about what you say that they take the time to write you a nice lengthy email filled with advice and encouragment.
Or a friend might call out of the blue wishing you well because they read on your blog what a crappy day you were having.
Ideas are swapped.
Anticdotes exchanged.
But I must say the best thing about this strange thing we call blogging is the awesome community of believers that surrounds us from far and near and units as the ONE body of Christ.
So thank you body for the support and love you have showed me.
I thank God for you and for using something as crazy as a blog to minister in my life.