Friday, April 30, 2010

New hairdo

Here is the update you have all been waiting for...okay, maybe it's not as important to you, but it rocked our world!!

So, in my last post, I had resigned to the fact that Emma's remaining long hair would be lobbed off for Locks of Love. The thought of another little girl being blessed by this tragedy warmed my heart.

On Wednesday evening, I was prepping Emma for the hair appointment with Val the next morning.

It was after this, my husband bared his heart and soul to me. "Can't we just leave it long in the back and feather it in the front?"

Before I could stop myself, the words came spilling out, "NO! THAT'S A MULLET!"

Then he looked at me with a little bit of pain in his eyes, "This is killing me..."

Ooops! I guess I was so concerned with myself coming to grips with this, that I totally lost sight of how my hubby felt. I guess there truly is something to be said of the father-daughter bond.

So, we compromised and kept the back as long as possible so the layers wouldn't look silly. I say we, but I really mean my sister, Val. Actually, I wasn't even there when she cut it. She is that good and I trust her that much!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


FYI: I have a redheaded daughter. I proclaimed when I found out that I was pregnant, that I would have a redheaded child. Both of my husband's grandfathers and one of mine had red hair. My husband had red hair as a child and still has red in his beard. The first thing people notice is her beautiful red hair with blond highlights....I guess it has been a source of pride for me that I didn't really know existed....

My Tuesday was going fine. I had the normal skirmishes to break up, but no major events to speak of....until I took Sam potty at 4:00 or so. It was a number 2 so I took a seat on the side of the tub while Sam hunkered down. We talked about the spider he had seen outside, his ouchy on his leg and numerous other things to pass the time. I had kept the door open a little to listen for the other kids and hadn't heard a peep. When Sam finished, we walked into the dining room to see that some one had taken a few snips off of Emma's winter coat fringe (we had left her jacket somewhere, so had to pull it out on a chilly day). I then noticed the pink handled safety scissors were no longer on the table.
My kids love to cut was our craft for the day....I know...its not much of a craft....but I am not crafty...that's another story though.
I went downstairs to find the scissors. When I got there I found some paper trimmings scattered about. Emma came around the corner and I found my culprit. I was pretty calm as I explained we don't use scissors to cut our coats and we only cut paper at the table. Emma and I began cleaning up the paper.
It was then I began to notice a few clumps of hair and my mood began to change....before long I had two handfuls of hair! Worse yet---i found several clumps of brown hair! Yup! She had taken the scissors to my nephew Mason as well! (Abigail must have run away scared! She wanted nothing to do with it!!)

I was beside myself! Part of me wanted to cry, the other part wanted to laugh. We had been talking about doing locks of love for several months, so I shouldn't be upset, right? Maybe I was okay with the thought of cutting her hair, because I knew she wasn't ready to cut it. Now that here hair is really gonna be short...I had to do a little grieving!

Luckily, my sister Val is not only a forgiving person, she is also an awesome stylist who will give my daughter an amazing cut. She was also able to salvage Mason's hair.
I will post her new hairdo in a few days....she is stuck with the chopped look till tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Some flowers from our yard

Emma modeling a beautiful blue flower against her beautiful red hair....I will post about that tomorrow....still to painful to talk about right now.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Adventure

I have started reading Wild at Heart by John Eldredge and will be posting a review in the next week or so, but wanted to share a little epiphany I had. One of the points the author makes is that a man's heart (and a boy's heart) longs for adventure. I have known this for a while with my son...if I make a task or trip into an adventure, he is usually on board--fully engaged. But what about those other times when he refuses to get with the program...why isn't he jumping in head first? My epiphany today was this: the ultimate adventure for a three year old is defending his desire for independence from the ultimate authority in his life: mom and dad! It is him against the world! A fight to the bitter end!

So, how do I foster that sense of adventure and need for battle without raising a hoodlum? How do I teach him honor and respect without crushing him at the same time??

Here is the part of the post where I give the answers....well, I am sorry to disappoint, but I don't have them. Hopefully just being aware of his needs will allow me to respond in the right way.

My friend Erin has started the Moms of Boys Society where mothers of boys can encourage each other in how to raise our boys. We don't need to weed out all of their boyishness...we need to embrace it and see how it will make them into wonderful men when they are grown. Raising boys is an adventure...with God's help, I am jumping in!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's Like Christmas!!

Well, not as exciting as my Savior's birth, but it got me all giddy inside! I just got my first book to review for BookSneeze and a box full of goodies from my friend Nate at RevHoney. I will be reviewing a few books for him as well as some of their U Tubes. (Also on the horizon for them a honey-based energy drink. Yay!)

So now I need to spend a few nights curled up with some books. My hubby is out of town this weekend camping. I don't sleep well when he is gone, so I am sure I will be able to get a good jump on these three new books.

Stay tuned!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I had my niece and nephew over last night for a sleepover. They arrived around 1pm yesterday and played hard all afternoon. My hubby needed to run to Cabela's to pick up an order, so we all loaded up for a roadtrip! It was the noisiest ride I have ever had! About 20 minutes from the store, three of them were asleep. (Sam had taken a nap, so he was wide awake!) They were loud and crazy in the store, but I guess that is expected! Luckily they all stayed close and listened well. The highlight was each of the kids getting a turn at the shooting range.

The ride home was even noisier than the trip there...I didn't think it was possible. The craziness continued when we got home and I prepared supper. Luckily Darcy stepped in before I blew my top at them!

Bedtime was at 8:30 but they were not all asleep till close to 10:00.

All were up by 7:30 and demanding pancakes!! Emma and Abby helped out while the boys played trains. So far this morning, we have been outside, played with play-doh, colored pictures, had snack and fought like siblings!

Only 7 hours left! Now I just need to look at me calendar and figure out a time for my kids to have a sleepover at Abby and Mason's house!


I won my first give away today!! A Bondi Band from Randi over at S Club 4! Thanks so much! I will definitely post how it works! I am not a runner but I do some Jillian Michaels stuff and it has a lot of plyo moves. I try to use bobbi pins to hold the fly-aways back, but they usually work their way loose. By the end, they are just kind of dangling there.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

God-power not will-power

I have failed.

Failed at keeping up my house. Failed at parenting. Failed as a wife.

Why? Because I keep trying to use will-power instead of God-power.

All of my responsibilities are "God-sized." I am doomed to fail on my own power. I am overwhelmed by my shortcomings and then I just stop trying. I am not honoring God by how I live my life at home.

How am I supposed to do it all?

I am not supposed to do it all.

God is.

He can accomplish anything! Even help this pack-rat conquer clutter! Through Him, I can have victory over the pile of laundry! I know this may sound corny, but it is true! Through the power of the Holy Spirit, my attitudes, behaviors and habits can be transformed! I have faith that God can use me to bring glory to His name in how I love my husband, how I raise my kids and how I manage my house! All things are possible through God!

My life is more than just a to do list of chores and errands. My role is not just to cook and clean for my husband, it is to love and serve him as unto the Lord! I am not just a caregiver for my children, I am the one who gets the honor of teaching them how to live a life for the Lord! I am not just supposed to check off things from my to do list so I can feel good about myself or feel productive...I am to do it so others can see God working through me!

God wants to do ridiculous things through me! Things that I cannot do! Things that people will marvel at and KNOW that God is the one who did them!

So, are you living a God-powered life today? Let's make our lives a testimony of HIS greatness!

**disclaimer: When I say "serve my husband" I mean that I treat him with as much or more respect and attention as I would a guest in my home....why would I not choose to give my husband the best of me??**

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Swimming lesson update

Emma had her 3rd swimmnig lesson on Wednesday. It was somewhat better than last week, but still a fair amount of screaming was involved.

We talked all week long about following the teacher's directions. A motivation/reward we had agreed upon was a pair of swim goggles. She was very excited about going and earning those goggles. Also, we reminded her that if she didn't learn to swim, she would not be able to swim in Grandpa Frank's pond (not her actual of those special people who has earned the title in our house).

We arrived a few minutes early so she could have some time to just play in the water. She was having lots of fun splashing me and even let me splash her back. I thought this was a good sign.

The instructor started the class with blowing bubbles in the water. Emma is a pro at this and was happy to oblige. Then it came time to back float (with me holding her up). That is when the screaming began. "I don't want to go to Grandpa Frank's pond!! I don't want to get swim goggles!!" rang through the building. She clung to me with her strangely strong arms and was stiff as a board. More of the same came when it was time to front float.

Our one success was that she put on the floatation belt and jumped off the side into my arms several times (last week she wouldn't even put it on and would only jump off of the step in the shallow end of the pool).

After the lesson she asked when she would be getting her goggles, oblivious to the fact that she had just denounced them 20 minutes earlier! We decided we will wait and see how next week goes before she get her reward. She has 3 more weeks left and I am praying that I can live through it!


I thought I would post my first recipe today! It is one I know by heart. I wish I could take credit for it. I got it from my friend Chris, who got it from her mom....not sure where she got it. Anyways, it is amazing!

* * *

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
1 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 Tbsp HOT water
3 1/3 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 bag chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a stand mixer, cream together the margarine and sugars. Add eggs and mix until fluffy. Add baking soda, flour and salt--mix. Next add the vanilla--mix. Finally, add the chocolate chips. Using a cookie scoop, place dough on baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes.

* * *

The last time I made this, I was running low on white flour, so I substituted in 2 cups of whole wheat flour along with 1 1/3 cup white flour. They tasted a little different. I noticed a little more of a grainy texture to them, but the definitely held their shape better while baking--they were nice and thick and still super moist.

Also, I heat the Tbsp of water in the microwave for 30 seconds (until it is steaming). I have tried using hot water straight from the tap, but it doesn't seem to work as well.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lighter Side of Me (pt 2)

Continuing on from yesterday....

While at UNL, I worked part time at an emergency shelter for kids and teens in the foster care system. It was a temporary place for them until they found more permanent housing. It was a VERY challenging job. I was stretched a great deal---working overnight shifts, fighting exhaustion, being verbally abused and physically threatened.

I graduated from UNL with a Bachelor's Degree in Family Science with an emphasis in Family Financial Managment. My first "real" job out of college was at Consumer Credit Counseling of NE. I was one of those few people who actually had a job that matched perfectly with their major! I worked there for 3 years or so, then had the opportunity to work from home for Lincoln Action Program as a HUD Housing Counselor.

It was then, that I found out I was pregnant with Emma. She was quite the disruption to our routine, but totally worth it! (We had been married for 9 years before having we were pretty set in our routine!) After Samuel was born 19 months later, I stopped working for LAP. The grant was not being renewed and I felt God was calling me to be a full-time stay-at-home mom.

It also made me available to provide child care for my twin niece and nephew. They are 6 months younger than Emma, so my house can get pretty crazy when they come over! It's all worth it though! I love them and I love being able to help my sister out by watching them. (Also, I get the big perk--she takes my kids 1 day per week for me!!)

So that is some of the basics. I plan to take some time and talk more deeply about my kids and hubby, but running out of time right now! The kids want to make some chocolate chip cookies with me!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Lighter Side of Me

So, my last two posts have been pretty heavy. I don't know what came over me! I have decided today that my post will be light-hearted. Now I just have to figure out how to do that. Hmmm. I guess I will just tell you more about myself.

I am the youngest of 5 children (1 boy and 4 girls) and I grew up on a farm in southeast Nebraska. Not a cool farm with all sorts of animals to tend to, just fields of wheat, soybeans and milo. I was very shy as a child. My older siblings spoke for me...why would I need to talk?

My first day at Kindergarten Round-up was the first time I had ever been without a parent or a sibling. I was traumatized to say the least! I remember just sitting and crying the entire morning! The boy I was sitting next too (I still remember his name: Brad Garrison!) kept asking me if I wanted to color. What a sweetheart. (On another random note, I walked with him in my graduation processional...that's a rural community for you!)

I was raised in a Christian home. I am so thankful to God for that. We didn't have much as far as money or possessions went, but what my parents instilled in me is priceless. Yes, they made mistakes, but they were always striving to live their lives for the much better can you get as a parent??

I met my husband when I was 15 at my church youth group. I played hard to get for nearly a year....until he decided to date another girl! (Yes, I remember her name, but will not write it here...ok here is a hint: it starts with a K, ends with an M and has vowel in between!) That got my attention and he broke it off with her after a couple of weeks. Then I was on board!!

We got married when we were both 19, after my freshman year at UNL. He had graduated from SCC Milford about 6 months before the wedding. After that, he worked full-time while I finished up my bachelor's degree.

More to come tomorrow!

Monday, April 12, 2010


We had the first skinned knee of the season at our house. Emma was running around in her princess crown, waving her sparkled wand, and pretending to turn Sam into a "Bug." It was then that the sidewalk decided to "jump up" and trip her. There was much hysterics as I examined her to assess the injuries. When all the debris was brushed away, her knee was the only area needing a bandage. It was big enough that I had to pull out one of the 2x2 inch square bandages--it covers her whole knee.

Spring opens up all sorts of opportunities to be hurt in some way...skinned knees, bruised elbows, bee stings, sunburns. My mother bear instinct tells me I should protect my children from these things....but if I do that, what amazing things will they miss out on? Wind blowing thru their hair, digging in the dirt for worms, smelling sweet flowers, running thru the sprinkler.

How many times do I choose not to expose myself and be real with people, just so I can avoid the possibility of getting scratched up or bruised? If I do that, I am depriving myself of all the great things God wants to do in me through the process. Also, God wants to use me to minister to others...if I take the safe road, I am depriving them of an opportunity to learn something from God. How stuck up is that!!!

How bad is a skinned knee anyways? Emma was off running again 2 minutes after I put on the band-aid. There are way to many great things you miss out on if you choose to burrow yourself into your "safe place" and not branch out and experience new things. We are God's tools in this world--He works through us to accomplish great things! He will allow us to experience some hurts, but He is always there watching over us.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Seeds Family Worship

I had an awesome time this morning at Christ's Place MOPS group! While I was challenged, I was able to take away a renewed commitment to bring Christ into every part of my day. This is especially important in regards to raising my children. I need to be deliberate about exposing them to Christ and the Word of God. I can't just rely on what they learn in Sunday School and Rainbows Club.

One thing I am most excited about is Seeds Family Worship. My friend Erin (aka my blogging inspiration, check out her site) has been using their CD's to help her kids learn about scripture and have an actual "worship" time in her home. It's not like the worship time with think of on Sunday mornings. It's a time to focus on God as a family. That will look different for every family, because every family is different. Seeds Family Worship is an awesome tool to help facilitate that worship time.

Their songs are upbeat and fun. They are based directly on scripture. As much as I love Go Fish, for their silly kids songs, you can't beat the actual Word of God!! You can go their site and actually listen to songs as much as you like without even buying them. They do have CD's available for purchase as well. (Erin keeps the CD's in the car and listens online while at home!)

So my challenge for myself is to take a song each day and learn it with my kids. I want to be deliberate about teaching my kids about Christ, not just letting them pick it up here and there. As they learn to hide His Word in their hearts, I am hoping to do the same!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Swimming lesson horrors...

So my daughter had her second swimming lesson today. She is by far the oldest in the class (4 1/2 with a bunch of 2 year old kids). She is also the loudest in the class. I wish it was because she was giggling and laughing with glee instead of the ear piercing screams that come out of her mouth. I nearly cried....not because I was embarrassed.....not because my ears were being permanently damaged.

I nearly cried because she was terrified beyond consoling, and I had to take a stand and physically keep her in the pool. I knew exactly how she was feeling. I had felt that fear many times in my I was shown again this morning, my daughter is nearly a carbon copy of least her personality is.

We don't handle tough situations well. I have learned to work through much of that fear, but my first reaction when confronted with a crisis is gritting my teeth and fighting off the tears welling up in my eyes. After trying to deal with it all on my own and failing, I have learned to trust in the Lord to deal with the crises in my life.

Looking back on it now....God was trying to show me something this morning. The way Emma held onto me with a death grip was how I cling to Him most times. Instead of trusting Him to keep me from going under, I am grabbing onto Him so tight that I am not allowing myself to learn from the situation. Yes, I need to keep hold of him, but I need to trust that His arms will not let me fall. They will not leave me to drown. When I cling that close to Him in fear, I will not be able to show His ability to sustain me through the trials.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)

And that concludes my rambling for the day....I hope it made sense to someone!!