Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Here's your sign

Tonight Skylar said, "You know what I would love to do more than anything tonight? I want to have the fireplace on, put a blanket on the floor, put a Christmas movie on, and drink hot chocolate.  With whipped cream.  Peppermint whipped cream."

We're raising that girl right.

Friday, November 26, 2010


I'm thankful for so much.

My family.

My home.

My God.

I could go on and on about each and every one.  But today I'm thankful for him.
He is my rock.
My better half.  
My heart. 

He knows how to make me laugh, how to make me feel important, and loved.  
He is *adored* by our three blessings. 
He's an amazing dad! 

You won't find someone more honest or harder working.  
He also happens to be incredibly intelligent, rational, and level-headed.  
He makes sacrifices and plans ahead so I can live my dream of being a stay at home mom. 

He's introverted and quiet around people he doesn't know well.
That makes us a good team. :)

He leads our home spiritually and I am secure knowing that his relationship with the Lord is solid. 
He prays with me and for our girls each and every day.    

It's just a bonus that he's so handsome and his gaze still makes my heart race.  
He also happens to know exactly how I take my coffee.  

I am so thankful for him.
Happy Birthday Honey! Each day with you is a gift!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I'm trying desperately to be more organized this year.  I had a goal of having almost all my shopping done by Thanksgiving.  I'm not going to make it.  I've been waiting for a wonderfully warm but overcast day to take our Christmas card pictures.  I realized (after checking weather.com), that wasn't going to happen either.  So we headed out this week to capture what we could.
It was cold.  And windy. 

And sunshiny....hence the squinting.

Lots of squinting. So we changed directions.

And the wind was blowing in a different direction 
(Reagan's hair was in Baileys face for about 15 pictures).

Then Bailey started doing her "underbite" grin.  She's part bulldog apparently.

Then I would get two smiling.....and one not.  (and there's still squinting).

So I decided to work with the squinting and just go with sillyness! They loved making kissy faces!
So much so, that they just couldn't stop.

Then all sorts of sillyness ensued....

We finally got *one* decent picture.  Decent, not perfect.  

I even took a few indoors.

Sometimes I think I need to have lower expectations.  I'm not a professional.  I don't have a professional camera.  My girls are not trained models.  Sometimes, you just have to take what you have and smile.  What I do have is 3 healthy, beautiful girls.  Girls that have tender hearts of gold.  Girls that indulge my need to take 150 pictures (or more) just to find a good one.  Girls that bring me so much joy! 

I pray that your home is filled with joy during this season too!

Monday, November 15, 2010


I'm a snob.  Well, a grammar snob at least.  Call me a rule follower, but I prefer to use words the way they were intended.  Yes, I'm one of those moms.  I correct my children when they say "Can I have some water please?" I usually say "Yes, you MAY have water."

I'm not sure why folks forget that there are two "r's" in the word "library."  I cringe when I hear teenagers say "fo sho" (that's "for sure" if you aren't hip to the lingo).  It's even more bothersome when I hear 9 year old kids saying it.  They might as well be pulling their fingernails across a chalkboard.  It's almost as frustrating as the boys that insist on wearing their pants below their bottoms and showing off their boxers.  But that's a whole other post.

I don't know when the word "supposedly" was replaced with "supposably" (not an actual word by the way).  At some point it became acceptable to use text speak in an email.  FYI: If I have to break out my teeenage text decoder book just to read your email, I'm probably going to delete it.  It also became acceptable at some point to use the incomplete sentence for dramatic effect.  I know I have done it before, but I know folks that do it.  All.  The.  Time.  I don't use it often.  Only when. Absolutely. Necessary.  :)

There: the opposite of here.  "Please put your shoes over there."
Their: the possessive pronoun form. "Their shoes were all wet after walking in the rain."
They're: Can be used synonymously with "They are." If "they are" does not work in your sentence, "they're" is not the proper word.  "They're going to the store after the movie."
My second grader knows the difference between these words.  There's no excuse for adults.

This morning I was taking Reagan to school and a Suburban pulled out in front of me with writing on the back window.  It said "Go VIPers." Now, granted, I did not get to finish my coffee so I was operating at half caff.  I went into an entire discussion (in my head of course) as to how ridiculous it is to have a football team named the VIP'ers.  Eventually I did realize that she meant "Vipers" but somehow she must have figured that standard rules of capitalization did not apply to car windows.

I saw a t-shirt at the store the other day that said, "Don't worry, I'm just correcting your grammar in my head while you speak."  I may have to purchase it for myself.


I'm just sitting here and trying to sort out my thoughts.
I'm listening to my precious girls playing restaurant and giggling while they make french fry pizza.  Some days I want to pack everything up and move to a remote location where the world can't influence their innocence.  I don't ever want them to know that there are bad things that happen in the world.  I'm tired of hearing people swear in public.  I'm tired of averting my children's eyes because someone is dressed inappropriately.  I'm annoyed by the people that insist on being negative....all the time.  I can't believe the commercials that play on children's channels.  It almost feels like a losing battle.

At the grocery store two days ago there was a lady in front of me that used to work there.  The cashier asked where she was working now and she said, "I stay home now."  His response was, "Oh, so you're just a mom now?" Just a mom.  Just one of the most important jobs in the world.  Just shaping the future generation of leaders.  Just protecting our children from others.  Just teaching them right from wrong.  Just sharing the love of Christ with them so they can know His grace too.  Just teaching them to pray.  Just trying to balance life with love.  Just shepherding our children's hearts.  Just teaching...by example.  I could go on and on.

The truth is, it can be overwhelming.  I can't put my girls in a bubble.  They will know hurt and sadness.  That's why it's even more important for us to teach them about our eternal hope (and why we obey our parents, and how to speak with kindness, and how to be thankful).

It's not easy, but not impossible.  I'm just sayin.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Friday Funnies

Welcome to Friday Funnies!

Bailey has been a total crack up lately but not necessarily with WHAT she says, but HOW she says it.  I'm thinking a "video friday funnies" is going to be in our near future (if I can get a video to load). 
A conversation in the van the other day:
Reagan: Mommy, Christmas is where we celebrate Jesus's birth and Easter is where we celebrate His death, right?
Me: Well, we don't really celebrate his death.  Easter is a celebration of his resurrection from the tomb.
Reagan: Then, what in the world does that have to do with eggs??
Me: Hmmm, I'm not sure how eggs got thrown in the mix.
Reagan: Maybe the tomb was in the shape of an egg. 
Skylar wanted to play hide n seek the other night but daddy had just got home from a long day at work.  This is how that conversation went.
Skylar: Daddy, can you play hide n seek with me?
Brian: Can I do it from here on the couch?
Skylar: Sure! You sit here and I will go count and then I'll come find you.  ok?
Brian: (confused) ok....
Then we heard Skylar go in the other room, count to ten and come back into the family room.  She saw Brian sitting on the couch and shouted "I found you!"
We all busted up laughing and then Skylar said, "Ok, mommy, your turn.  I'll go count...." ha!!
Sometimes when Bailey asks for something she can't have, I will say "awww, you're so cute, but the answer is still no." The other day she asked for chocolate milk and I said, "No baby, you can't have chocolate milk." She replied, "But I so cute!"

Have a blessed weekend!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The most wonderful time of the year!

I {heart} the holidays.  Everything about them just fills me to the brim with excitement and joy.  I'm so thankful that my girls seem to share in my Christmas enthusiasm.  We've been watching Christmas movies since August, listening to Christmas music for at least a month now, making Christmas lists, planning where the tree will go, and as soon as the temperature dipped to "slightly chilly" the girls were begging for the fireplace to go on.  I, of course, obliged.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that I start planning our Christmas cards....in July.  What are the girls going to wear? Will they match? or just coordinate? Will we do pics of just kiddos or the whole fam? (Let's face it, most folks just want to see the kids anyway right??) Where will we take the pictures? Then I get to start looking at Christmas cards and planning which one I want.  There used to be so few options available.  Now, it's nearly overwhelming.  There's also the cost factor involved.

My sweet friend Liz reminded me about Shutterfly's awesome Christmas cards! And they are truly on the affordable side.  The options are pretty endless too.  I browsed through their site and kept saying "ooh, I like that one. Ooh, no I like that one better!"

They have the fun 5x5 size

They have true "cards" where you can write on the inside (and they're great because they sit up for display!). You may notice I have a thing for the cards with three pictures.  It makes it so easy when you have three kids to get just ONE good picture of each of them instead of one good picture with all three.  Believe me.  

Of course they have options for just one picture (or two, or four, or eight...whatever you prefer).  

I loved the inside of this one (also named "the most wonderful time of the year, appropriately).  You can actually do a group shot on the outside of the card and then include a small pic of each family member with an update on them on the inside.  

(a pic of the inside)

They cover every saying, whether you prefer "Happy Holidays", "Merry Christmas", or even "Bah Humbug." Ok, I was joking about that one. Just making sure you were still paying attention.  I personally like the Religious cards.  Afterall, Jesus IS the reason for the season.  And I agree with this card.  Every good gift does come from above.  Especially my three gifts.

We are using Shutterfly for our family calendars this year 
(they happen to do invitations, gift tags, and photo books too!). 
The best part is that by being a blogger, I was able to get 50 free cards just for lovin' Shutterfly! 
Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly, follow the arrow à here :) You're welcome. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some shoppin' to do....and I need to figure out what the girls are going to wear! 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lil' Punkins

I realized that I never posted pictures from our trip to the Pumpkin Patch!

We discovered last year that going on a Friday was the best idea!! It's not crowded, and the folks that are there, all clear out by 3pm.  We have a lot of "parking lot pumpkin patches" pop up in October, but we still have a love for the "real" patch away from it all.  Well, not totally away from it all.  Technically there's a golf course less than a mile down the road, but it's still a real working farm.  :)

Skylar feeding a goat

Reagan on the hayride

Skylar on the hayride (I love her sweet sundrenched face in this one)
All three girls LOVE the pony rides! This is the face of a two year old that just told her mama to go away because she was "fine" to ride by herself.  Alrighty then....

This is the face of a little girl that could sit on that pony all....day....long.... (and also the one that asked the guy working "May I get up by myself please?")

Skylar really wanted her pony to just "go faster." :)

In the pumpkin patch area, Bailey tried to pick up the pumpkins.  She actually succeeded a few times!

Reagan and daddy were looking at the horses next door.  

Skylar just being sweet...

Reagan asked if we could take this pumpkin home. Sadly, the answer was no.  I'm no fun. 

Of course Yaya is ALWAYS fun! :)  She found a pumpkin hat!!

This year we got to meet my Sister in law and niece and nephew at the farm so we all had a wonderful day filled with special memories.  We are blessed to live near family! 

Happy Fall!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

You'll thank me!

I have tried LOTS of recipes for Banana Bread and this one is by FAR our new favorite! I've also included a recipe that we just tried for pumpkin bread that was delicious too!
Of course it's 90 degrees today and I don't really want to turn the oven on, but if it's fall where you are, give these a try and let me know what you think!  These are NOT healthy recipes, just to let you know.  I'm sure you can substitute some ingredients to make them more nutritious if you prefer.  For us? We like them just the way they are! :)

Banana Bread
1/4 c. white sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
combine these two ingredients and grease two loaf pans.  Then shake the cinnamon/sugar mixture onto the pans.

1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
3-4 VERY ripe bananas, mashed
8 oz of sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 c. flour
(optional) 1/2 c. crushed walnuts

mix the sugar and eggs together until well blended, add the ripe bananas.  In a separate bowl, mix flour with other dry ingredients.  Add the sugar/egg/banana mixture and then the sour cream and vanilla.  

Pour it into the two prepared pans.
For a crumb topping:
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. flour
3 tablespoons of melted butter 
1 tsp cinnamon
Combine until "crumbly" and add it to the top of the loaves before baking.

Bake @ 325 degrees for 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs
combine until creamy
add in
1 can of solid pack pumpkin (16 oz).

In a separate bowl:
3 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp allspice

Stir the two together and add 1/2 cup water to the mixture.  
Grease two loaf pans (or one bundt pan) and bake at 350 for 65 minutes (or 90 for bundt).

Cream cheese icing:
1 block of cream cheese softened
1/4 c. butter, melted
2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trunk or Treatin'!

Every year our church puts on a fantastic fall festival for all the families of our community.  I wish I had walked around and taken pictures of all the great activities for the kids, but I was busy decorating my "trunk" so I could hand out candy to all the kiddos.

I did manage to get a few shots of the cutest Alice, Minnie, and Bee at the festival though!!

We temporarily misplaced the ears to Skylar's Minnie Mouse costume so with a half hour to spare before the festival, I whipped up a new set of ears out of a handkerchief and an old black velour infant headband.  

Reagan's dangling front tooth?? Yah, one bite into a caramel apple and it was almost out.  Daddy pulled it with little effort so she has a fun toothless grin now!

The bumble bee costume has now been worn by all three girls.  Can we all say 'aw'?? :D

We don't make a big deal out of Halloween.  Our house decorations are more "fall-ish" and we don't buy new costumes every year.  I usually just tell the girls they can wear "whatever they want out of the dress up chest." Both older girls' costumes are from yard sales.  Reagan's is from two years ago, Skylar's from this year.  I love that they are "go with the flow" kind of girls.  :) It's really all about the candy though, right?

Here's our "trunk" for the festival.  We went with a beachy/hawaiian theme this year since that's what we had in the leftover party bin (and Brian's surfboard too of course!).  We had SO much fun!

I flipped the calendar to November today and almost gasped.  There are only 7 days throughout the month without something planned.  Oy.  Bring on the coffee.  


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