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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Heart Aches

About a month ago I shared about the death of a dear friend and what an impact their family has had on our family. Truly amazing people. I have always joked that I want to grow up to be like Sue Riddering and always secretly wondered if it was "too late" and I am not cool enough now to ever grow into something as beautiful as her. Sue took care of her husband through his 12 year battle with Lou Gehrigs disease. She raised four amazing children. Raised them to know and proclaim Christ. She homeschooled them, full-time mom, and was the most amazing, and an honest hostess through it all. She hosted an amazing funeral (sounds weird to say) and reception. She thanked us all for coming and helped us to mourn and laugh. she, her children, her grandchildren and her extended family all went to a cabin to celebrate the holidays together. They spent some great times of fellowship together. My dear friend went in one morning to wake her mom and she didnt wake.

She made sure that I had a baby shower for my fifth baby when two of her children were having their FIRST babies. She hosted the shower so she could attend while caring for her hsuband. I didnt need a shower. I hadnt expected a shower. I was a little uncomforatbel with the whole thing :) She fixed it all. She fixed so many hurts and social situations without ever raising her voice or pointing out that people were being dumb. She just somehow fixed it and made us all the better for it. She made me feel so loved and special and deserving.

I have been crying and crying. I feel like a child who loses their parent in the grocery store. You KNOW that feeling. Frantic. Cant go on or do anything without finding that parent first. I wasnt THAT close to Sue on a daily basis. How do I go to church without Sue? How do we go on? I feel so silly and so selfish when I think of her family and the HUGE loss they are feeling. Practically. Emotionally.

My one Comfort is the assurance of her salvation and that of her husband. They are together. With Christ. I also cry when I think of the grandchildren that were miscarried in this world and now celebrate with there. Together in Him.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Card Display?

Does anyone out there in the blogosphere have suggestions for how to display Christmas cards?

I bought a little black wire wreath to display them...we outgrew that. I have sticky tact them to our entry wall....Can't find the sticky tact.....

I have seen people display them on old shutters....don't have anywhere to put those though... took it one step further and attached little cup hooks to her old shutters.....

I remember reading somewhere about someone punching holes in their cards and stringing them onto a pretty ribbon....I am liking that but cant find my ribbon or actually picture it.....


I am soo excited

Well. Our van is inoperable. Will be a big expense. My husband is working on Christmas day. (I should have defrosted a turkey to cook for him on Christmas Eve) Christmas presents are not bought or wrapped (hard to do with no vehicle)......Am I busy working on these things? NO. Am I stressed out about them? NO. All I can think about is cloth diapers!! Timing is very off, I know...

Then, this morning I got a package from Miracle Diapers:

They are much nicer than I expected....very nice. I paid $25.00 shipping (that is to get them here and then back when I am done with this size, and that is for two children) The idea is just to get me started and then I slowly build up my stash.....

My little one is LOOOOVING his first Christmas tree :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas! Ready or not!

I don't know what is going on this year. It has to be me. *Normally* I get VERY into the season. Tree and decorations up day after Thanksgiving, cards out, Christmas music playing 24/7....lots of coffee in Christmas mugs. Christmas dishes, Chrismas sweaters, Christmas clothes for all. Snowmen EVERYWHERE.

This year....I didnt even unpack the Snowmen stuff. Tree was done last night-the 17th....

But we are catching up-WITH A VENGEANCE!!!

8 year old daughter was in a Christmas paegant.

That day we were given a tree!!! By the cleanest best decorated people we know. God is so good!! I coudln't figure out the money for a tree...then I priced artficial and couldn't figure out what was a good one and the idea of a used hagard dusty tree wasnt very festive. Our decorating budget was also $0.00. I tried to tell myself that a tree wasn't necessary. BUT it is this little guy's first Christmas!!!

Doesn't he DESERVE and just HAVE to have a wonderful wonderful tree?!

We have very little living space and it took a while to figure this took a while to put the tree up and then move out furniture and move around furniture and clean some more and then all the older kids took a nap. I drank coffee.

Then I tried to put lights up. That was a joke. Somehow I have never put the lights on myself. go figure.

I read about making Christmas ornaments in the crockpot and got really excited. Our new tree is 7 1/2 feet--we arent really prepared for that much decoration. For days I tried to get those ornaments made. Somehow though time doesnt stop for Christmas. There are still meals to be shopped for planned, made, eated and clenaed up after. Feelings to storke and attitudes to discipline and laundry so so much laundry. Could not get to those ornaments. I yelled at everyone to get their chores done so we could make ornaments. My 10 year old son mumbled that he ddnt even want to make ornaments. Chores got done. He wandered away and 8 year old daughter and I came up with these.

I had a cherry Kool Aid packet left over from my great idea to make play dough for 2 year old son. Two year old son ate play dougha nd didn't play at all so I thought we could use the kool Aid to color these red. That is why they are pink :)

10 year old son got frustrated that I didnt decorate the tree properly and he fixed it. Seriuosly. I DIDNT do it right and he DID fix it. No argument here. I put the smaller tree in my dear daughter's room and got pink lights.

And we delivered cookies to our friends:

And a dear friend of ours was given a basket of food and gifts from her church. This church took it one step further and asked if she had someone she'd like to give a basket too. Being the great friend that she is she immediately wanted to bless us and did.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fiesta Ware Giveaway

How cool would it be to win 4 place settings of Fiesta ware in my choice of colors!?!Merry Christmas to me!!!

I could. I really could.
You could too...go on over to

And have a looksie :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008


My two year old wasnt talking a few months ago.

It is getting way too close to dinner time for me to be on the computer....He just came to me, hugged me and then pointing to the kitchen said, "Mommy, unch?" Now, I know it's not technically *lunch* time but he made his point :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Two year olds and mushrooms

I was able to go to a lady's Bible Study today while my husband was home with my 10 year old and 2 year old sons.

Apparently we have mushrooms growing under a bush in our backyard. Our two year old picked one, tore off a piece and brought it to my husband and said "CHEESE." He also put his fingers in his mouth.

They are at the ER now. We did call poison control who described the poisonous mushrooms of our area and it DID sound like it. When figuring out who should take Luke, my husband said he would because he would be wondering. I complied and am now the one here wondering:) I'm thinking they will force him to vomit and then wait...right?

We went to a funeral yesterday. Our dear friend Mark Riddering went to be with the Lord surrounded by his family on Thanksgiving day. I don't say that lightly. There are very few times when you REALLY know if someone knows Christ or not. He did. No question. I cried because he was such an amazing testimony to God. I cried because his family is so amazing. I cried because this amazing family comforted us and thanked us for being there. I cried because they are so amazing and i feel so lacking. I cried because I feel so blessed to be able to know them. I cried because he was in pain for so long. I cried because of the amazing way that he used his pain for His glory. I cried because I do not. I cried because where Mark is there is no more pain. No more tears. Today...I feel congested and hung over...a lot like I cried for five hours :)
great job on this news story too:

Now I wait for news on Luke. Would you come before God with some requests for me? would you ask that we know quickly, that Luke recover well, that there not be any snags with insurance or anyone questioning how our child got a hold of poison....for my peace too....

My husband just called. They waited almost an hour and a half to be seen. Luke was given activated charcoal mixed with chocolate milk. He drank it quickly and asked for more. They want to keep him for another hour and possibly draw blood.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Timing of our Thanksgiving was a little weird this year....

My husband had to pick what holiday he wanted off for the year. He chose Thanksgiving. Our extended family then chose to celebrate on Friday this he used up the paid time off he had saved and we didnt get together. I am NOT a cook and did not want to make a huge meal :) I also didnt want to invade someone else's family meal. We were very blessed and thought of by a new friend. Her church delivered a HUGE box of food to our doorstep.

Wednesday nights we usually meet with a few families to do a Bible Study. We met and did Thanksgiving things. Our children made handprint turkeys:<

And made pictures wrting out what they are thankful for:

Ate little mini pumpkin tarts made with goats' milk.

And roasted chestnuts over an open fire. Seriosuly. They were really good.

We ate little pumpkin pie tarts, made with goats' milk)

On Thursday we ate banana pancakes and turkey bacon and snacks. (We NEVER snack, so this was great fun :) Watched football, played board games, hung out together. There was also some Gameboy playing and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory watching. And we looked up verses on Thanksgiving and talked about what that should mean ALL year.

I didnt plan black Friday this year. (I didnt have any money to and my husband was working) Our kids wanted to get up at 4 am with me and go (I appreciate that) but not this year :)

I DID decide to venture out and get a dresser. I have three sons who need dressers :( I saw one on Craigslist, near here and $20.00. I called and made arrangements to get it. Went over there today to pick it up and he said not to pay him. HUH? He had said God Bless and then said that we didnt need to pay him. I didnt "really" have the money to pay him. I did and i didn't, ya know. But it really amazed me that God blesses us and will use who he wants. I don't need to go around with this huge sob story explaining how hard everything is and competing over who is poorer. God knows what we need, and don't, and He IS in control.

My friend Kathleen was soo sad taht she didnt get to cook for us on Thanksgiving. What? Seriously. SOOO she came over today and made a turkey and some stuff. I didnt really want to be "stuck" here all day making a turkey and not be able to see my husband's family. It all worked out though.

Im being very transparent showing you my kitchen. Not really magazine quality. Keep in mind that this is a rental and that we desperately want to move. Unfinished wood, no knobs, doors falling off, drawers shattered. no quality whatsoever. The other side had no cabinets at all and friends of our surprised us last Christmas with a wall of cabinets for the other side.

I wasn't really "into" Thanksgiving this year. it felt more like a stepping stone to Christmas :( Normally I am gungho about the Auntumn season and make it a lot of fun. Im not sure why not this year. The day itself was blah....I am finding more and more that my nuclear family is it and not worrying about it. We are having fun together and our children are dreaming about having cousins for THEIR children, and about the futures of their younger siblings. That warms my heart.

Christmas Music! free Download

For the next 48 hours, Oprah is providing free downloads of 8 classic Christmas songs....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tagged-Crazy 8's

Crazy Eights Tag

Sara over at tagged me. She is such a sweetheart that I am going to cooperate :)

8 Favorite T.V Shows
(no particular order)
(This is tough-and Im admitting to watching TV :)
1. Gilmore Girls
2. Alias
3. House
4. ER
5. The Martha Stewart Show
6. Lipstick Jungle
7. Extreme Makeover Home Edition
8. Real Simple

8 Things I Did Yesterday

1. 3 loads of laundry
2. Went to a Thanksgiving Potluck/Art Festival
3. Forgot to wear shoes to above function.
4. Had someone else rescue my two year old from parking lot during said function.
5. Cleaned out my office.
6. Reclaimed "funrniture" from office to store baby's clothes.
7. Did a Bible study on kindness with my daughter.
8. Paid bills and "balanced" family checkbook.

8 Things I look Forward To

1. Watching my children grow and mature.
2. The Christmas Season
3. Teresa's wedding
4. Grandchildren (lots and lots)
5. Daughter in laws
6. My childrens' dreams being fulfilled.
7. All my children being able to read.
8. Getting some new clothes, I really want a new purse.

8 Favorite Restaurants

1. The Jetty
2. an East coast mom and pop Roast Beef place
3. Maryann's Italian Restaurant
4. Sugar Magnolia
5. Carls Jr.
5. The Hen and Hog
6. I REALLY <3 Taco Bell.
7. I really like Taco Bell.
8. Have I mentioned that I like Taco Bell :)

8 things on my wish list

1. That my hardworking husband be paid what he's worth and be able to support us.
2. Good health for baby Hollyse.
3. A new purse.
4. Money to buy my kids a soda for no reason and not worry about having money for the next day's dinner.
5. Money for Christmas.
6. For honest people and honest friendships.
7. A forward facing car seat for Gabriel
8. Dressers for Zac and Gabriel, a decent couch.

Can I tag eight people? I am going to. I tag: Chris, Corinne, Jill, Allison, Abby, Kerri, Amanda and the last place I want to leave open for lurkers who come by but don't feel they have anything to comment....YOu know who you are and I don't. Please tell me :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Real Life Monday

VAFB presented my sons Boy scout troop with commemorative coins for a work day.

Gabriel is now 4 1/2 months old, rolling, and very proud of himself.

Why is it that newborn bibs ALWAYS seem to end up as superhero capes?

Meal Planning Movday 11/17

Pot Luck/Art Fair with homeschooling group
We are bringing Split Pea Soup (with bacon, little smokies, carrots, potatos, onions...)

Tuesday: Hamburgers, salad and corn

Pizza and salad

Thanksgiving Pot Luck with Cub Scouts

Chili/ Corn Bread
(my son with allergies will be at a Boy Scout camp out)

I am posting my meal plans in hope they can encourage someone....They definatley aren't fancy or complicated or worth "writing home about" :)

There is a whole group of great ladies sharing their weekly menu plans over at

Friday, November 14, 2008


Feeling a little overwelmed today. Feeling like a lot of children are in my care. What a huge privledge--not feeling very up to it.

We went to a co-op at a friends hous today and then Girls' Club. My two year old dumped our friend's fish food. My twelve year old yelled at me. I sent my husband away to watch basketball. My two year old just went to sleep :) My eight year old daughter made us cookies and tea (wow huh?) I should go enjoy that (AND HER)

I made something today. I haven't done anything personal for Gabriel. I was thinking about framing this:
title="Wordle: gabriel2"> src=""
style="padding:4px;border:1px solid #ddd">

I dont know how to change it much. I think this may be the best I can do :)


Monday, November 10, 2008

Real Life Monday

I laid in bed this morning with a long to do list weighing on my mind............

We need to research and prepare to write a report (I won't DO any of this but it takes so much of my time when anyone does ANYTHING around here :)

Madelyn needs to catch up on her Bible Study on Kindness (she is keeping a 30 day journal and answering questions about passages she's reading BUT she cant write soo....)

I still have toys to unpack from the fumigation...

Dinners to plan.....

My two year old isnt feeling well and wants to be held....

We need to do our "normal" school.....

My husband is hemm today and needed me "where is the owners manual for this?" "why cant we keep this clean?" "Kathy!" "Kathy!"

Our van needed to be taken in...."could you call and much money do we have in the bank?"

"Can I work on this merit badge"

3 loads of laundry.....

Gabriel turned 4 months old!

The excersaucer needs to be cleaned.....

The baby toys need to be brought in.....

My eight year old daughter needed to talk about what to do when your feelings are hurt and you feel left out......

We argued about how much peanut butter and how much honey should be on a sandwhich..........

We tried to figure out the legistics of dropping off and picking up a vehichle with sleeping babies and only one vehichle that we fit into.........

We tried to figure out what we are doing for Thanksgiving...there is a chance that my husband could work...he'd get three times his normal pay....but then someone else is already doing it...his family doesnt really want to get together....

I talked with a friend about why she is doing the bulk of the work in our homeschool co-op..I brought it up and I see it happening but I want to figure out why....

We cleaned and vaccummed...........

We taled about what merit badges to work on next and what was feesible for my son with learning disabilities to do in a group setting.......

I talked with a friend, who happens to be black about our president elect. We disagree with everything he stands for, everything, but we also want to be respectful of our government and revel at a man of color being elected by the people.........

I did hardly anything on my to do list, but ....I did get a lot done and it was definately REAL LIFE.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Head on over to

and enter!

Our carepts have become this huge headache looming over us! We live in a rental with cheap cheap lIGHT carpet. We used to clean them obsessively. We got behind. I scrub them, by hand, and they turn black again. I keep looking for the right time, and money, to rent a carpet cleaner. How cool would it be to win one? That dries in 30 minutes? Yes, that would be good.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Church Hookie

Yesterday I came down with this...head stuffiness, earache...I don't know if it is a head cold? Sinus infection? Allergies acting up from the rainy weather? I went "to bed" at about 4 last night and then missed church this morning.

I am sooo sad to miss church. I went to wax on about missing church or convince you that I really am NOT well...but why?

My husband and I met at Bible Study. We were actually in 3 weekly Bible studies together. We were both the people, the hand full of friends, that would show up on moving day. Josh went on numerous missions trips and gave away ALL his money. (Before we became engaged, I actually looked into his checkbook to see how he spent his money. He amazed me. Literally, ALL of his money went to missions.) He bought my engagement ring and then flew to Honduras on a missions trip. I was very invovled in Pro life work. During college, I saved up money working during the year and then during the summer, took summer school classes and did sidewalk counseling 5 days a week. After getting my degree I took a job Directing a non-profit for under $800 a month. My rent was was over $500. People that have known us for a long time know this about us.

BUT since being married and starting a family, we have done nothing. I can't remember us helping anyone move, doing any service projects. We have struggled with feeding ourselves. I think we have taken ONE meal to a family that had a baby. We have been married for 13 years and have taken ONE family a meal? I hope that isn't right, may it may be. We have been at home. I have spent my enrgy: mental physical and emotional-HERE at home. My laughter has been here, my crying has been here. Much of the time, I have felt very alone. My husband, who has always had a large circle of freinds, has really had none. I don't regret our decisions but I have felt like we have become big losers. Like, we did have a good perspective and DID serve God but now we are just big losers.

We recently joined a home group. Something was casually said recently that has gotten me thinking. We aren't soley who we are right now--there are seasons to life. This is our "at home" training season. We are still those people who have hearts to reach out to and serve others, right now, those others are the ones God has placed in our homes and put under our direction. I wonder what our next season will be like: will we go on missions trips together? Volunteer at Crisis Pregnancy Centers as a family? (Our oldest, now 12, has walked in every walk for life raising money for the center and did child care during parenting classes hm...) When will this new season begin? We now have a newborn and a two year old.....

I am tired. I am home from church. Why are so many things weighing on my mind and keeping me up?

Friday, October 31, 2008

October 31, 2008

Today was doomed to be a LOONG day. We had a homeschooling co-op at 9:00 am with an active two year old and nursing 3 month old in tow. Our van registration is due. It needs to be smogged. We didn't have the money untl getting paid today and it must be done before am taking 5 kiddos with me to DMV and mechanic. I thought we would go for a walk while it was being done....I called to get an appt and they were full. I found a new place and am not sure where it is. It rained. We can't go for a walk if it is raining.....

I dont like Halloween. I dont like the spooky decorations...I dont like any of it. At all. I dont like feeling like I HAVE to do something or listen to children bang on my door.....Our church is having a Reformation party tonight.

My hormones are acting up and Im feeling self concious, sad, tired and just want to curl up in a ball and cry..but I have all these things that HAVE to be done TODAY.

EVERYTHING went sooo well. Went to co-op, came home and little ones napped. Found mechanic on time: very kid friendly place with FREE standing video games and a little toy toddler area. Van passed just fine. Went to DMV, no line, went right through AND they gave me candy.

Only downer so far is the automatic van door. Broken. My child decided to close the door ekectronically, friend's child decided no and held on to it. Door now doesn't work. Sounds like it was innocent and not truly "their fault." Maybe they were both obnoxious. (wait, I know they both are)

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I have a dear friend who took pictures of us at the beach the other day....

you can visit her website at:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Oh I love this!!!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

NOT just the IDEA of winning stuff but visiting all the feels like a big craft fair, with socializing....

If you only have a few minutes:

comment to win these:
Pottery Apple BakersPlease visit to see the Pottery Apple Bakers for yourself.
How much fun woulf these be on an Autumn afternoon?!?!

and how cute is this? IN PINK!


Diapers have been a big concern on my mind lately.

Our cost of living is going up. Not because of having a baby. The cost to heat our home, heat our water, have water, food in the grcoery store...all those things have gone up. We were barely scraping by before the increase, now we are running out of money every two weeks. We have so many phone calls about over due bills and I am so embarassed.

At one point in our lives, we had three little ones in cloth diapers. A good friend of mine set me up with her old ones and many that she had made. She also showed me how to contact WAHM to try out tehir diapers and write reviews. (Man, I miss Kellie, she really knows her stuff.) Then we made a move accross the state and everything changed and cloth diapers no longer worked for us. I ended up selling our cloth diapers and I cried. I dont know exactly what those diapers represented to me, maybe it was saying to me that I coudln't have any more babies?

Here I am just a few years later with two in diapers. My youngest is almost 4 months old and I have JUST used up the stock pile I was given when he was born. It's coming down to, do I buy food for dinner or do I buy diapers....What I am thinking through is wether or not cloth diapers are the "solution" for us right now. I applied at and was accepted BUT I didnt have the $15.00 shipping per child to order the free cloth diapers, and we were dealing with Gabriel's birth surprises and Drs. visits. As usual, I am beating myself up because I didnt buy enough diapers when they were on sale at Walgreens and I didnt stretch the money husband is beating himself up that he doesn't have a better job.....this is getting us nowhere...Incidentally, my husband just found chlorine free diapers for 16 cents each and Walgreens is having another big sale. He is also getting a raise at work due to a union strike, we don't know how much or how much the retroactive check will be or when.....
Does anyone have an opinion on our diaper "situation?" Looking at the cost of cloth diapers Im not sure how much it would really help. I need t know before I make the monetary investment...I also need diapers now....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Meal Planning Monday


Pork Chops with Pears in Crockpot, over rice

Ox Tail Soup


Pizza and salad
This is our big day home so I will have help kneading the three pizza's dough

Macaroni and Cheese
This will be quick before Boy Scouts

Reformation Day Potluck

I am posting my meal plans in hope they can encourage someone....They definatley aren't fancy or complicated or worth "writing home about" :)

There is a whole group of great ladies sharing their weekly menu plans over at