Friday, March 27, 2009

Before & After!

I picked up #1 from school and she went to get her braces off and then we ate lunch at Olde Country Buffet. Then, since we were running ahead of schedule we went to Kohl's for her to get a "makeover" and then in true "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" fashion, we needed to get her a new outfit!!

I think it is a birthday she will not soon forget! Isn't she gorgeous?



Shhhhh! It's a Surprise!

I'm leaving in a few minutes to pick up #1 for a SURPRISE orthodontist appointment.

Big deal, right?

It is, because in celebration of her birthday tomorrow, I moved up her appointment to get her braces off 2 weeks early!


I'm a sneaky mom, aren't I?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Under His Wings We Find Refuge

refuge - Shelter or protection from danger or distress

fortress - A fortified place; a large and permanent fortification, a stronghold; a place of defense or security

Psalm 91 says that if we make God our dwelling and rest in His shadow then we can say of the Lord that He is our refuge and fortress. It strikes me that there is some action involved on our side. We must willfully choose to put ourselves in that place of obedient and child-like faith so He can rescue and protect us.

And, the other thought that strikes me in this passage is how much you are either for Him or against Him. There is no middle-of-the-road Christianity that pleases Him. He desires to be our Lord, yet, so many mainstream denominations limit Him to being just their Savior. We are not to love Him with the watered down love of the world (yum...I just love that ice cream, love your new shoes, etc...). No, the love I believe He speaks of is a love that puts all of our own motives and agendas aside to contently follow where He leads. Even when it costs something.

Starting with verse 14 the Lord demonstrates what happens to those who love him:

Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mother / Daughter Birthday Plans

This little beauty was an early birthday present from The Husband. I can text at the speed of light now! It slides open to reveal a full keyboard. Sa-weet. And, with rebates it was extremely inexpensive....I don't know how he manged to get a phone this nice for less than $40, but he did....I think we must have a 14-year contract now or something!

#1 turns 13 in a few days and I follow her birthday three days later and turn 39. I can't believe it. I'm not sure what shocks me more, her age or mine!! We decided since she already had her big roller skating par-tay and she got a new phone, too, that we will go on a family birthday dinner on my birthday which is the same night we are going to Sight and Sound to see Behold the Lamb. We're contemplating which ethnic restaurant we are feeling up for....she and I both really like Indian food. Actually, we both like pretty much ANY food, so we could end up just about any place! We're trying to keep in mind that #2, #3 and GAS will be with us, so we can't get too funky!

I really enjoy having a late-March birthday since spring is starting to appear. It is like having something else to celebrate!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Meet Our Newest Niece.....Mia

The Husband's sister gave birth to her 5th child (BRAVE WOMAN) this past Thursday. Isn't she precious???? Now, since they live in Florida, I have to patiently wait until July to get my hands on her when we visit!

Friday, March 20, 2009

I Was Twittering and Came Across This......

Obama`s "Believe In Me `09 Tour" is off to a great start with his groundbreaking appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He brought the house down along with the last trace of his dignity. He might as well have kicked a puppy across the stage. What kind of a person makes jokes about the disabled? Answer: The kind of man who should not be our President.

This comment was in response to Obama's appearance on Jay Leno Thursday night where he quipped that he bowls like he is in the Special Olympics.

Are you kidding me??? Now, there is a role model for our kids!

President Obama, our country is in the throes of chaos and our economy is in shambles, please get off of late night television and DO YOUR JOB!

You can read more about this here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

An Early Birthday Celebration

Last night we had #1's Not So Surprise 13th Birthday Roller Skating Extravaganza! It was really fun....for the amount of people (about 50), you would have thought it would have been more stressful, but everything went smoothly. We had it at Doc's Family Fun Center and I highly recommend it! The employees were very helpful and for a reasonable amount of money we had the entire place to ourselves for over 2 hours!

We had snacks (including #1's favorite Buffalo chicken dip with Scoopables), a make your own sundae bar and one of the best cakes I've ever eaten from Costco (their cakes are scrumptious and well worth the annual membership fee by themselves!). The kids signed a memory journal for her and decorated a pillowcase. The glow bracelets were a huge hit, as I suspected they would be....apparently, teenagers are not too old to "glow"!

The Starburst Game

The "Peanut Gallery"

Doing the Hokey Poky

church friends

cheerleading friends

school friends

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Wrong Email

A lesson to be learned from typing the wrong email address!

A Minneapolis couple decided to go to Florida to thaw out during a
particularly icy winter. They planned to stay at the same hotel where
they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier.

Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their
travel schedules. So, the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida
on Thursday, with his wife flying down the following day. The husband
checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he
decided to send an email to his wife. However, he accidentally left
out one letter in her email address, and without realizing his error,
sent the email.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned home from
her husband's funeral. He was a minister who was called home to glory
following a heart attack.

The widow decided to check her email expecting messages from relatives
and friends. After reading the first message, she screamed and

The widow's son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor,
and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife
Subject: I've Arrived
Date: September 05, 2008

I know you're surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now
and you are allowed to send emails to your loved ones.

I've just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everything has
been prepared for your arrival tomorrow.

Looking forward to seeing you then! Hope your journey is as uneventful
as mine was.

P.S. Sure is hot down here!

Monday, March 16, 2009


to buy back : repurchase b: to get or win back2: to free from what distresses or harms: as a: to free from captivity by payment of ransom b: to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental c: to release from blame or debt : clear d: to free from the consequences of sin 3: to change for the better : reform4: repair , restore5 a: to free from a lien by payment of an amount secured thereby b (1): to remove the obligation of by payment.

I think the overflowing gratitude in my heart this morning is a result of Jesus fulfilling the above definition in my life.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Moving On

After a disappointing day when I realized a trip to Disney is not in our near future, I am slowly bouncing back. I felt like I was grieving! And, I kept telling myself it was only a vacation, for heaven's sake. The Husband looked relieved like maybe he wasn't all that excited to go to begin with. The kids (particularly #1) were upset, but when I told them how much it would REALLY cost us to go, #2's eyes got big and she said, "Well, there is no way we are going to go there and spend that much money just for Disney World!". We all agreed she was right....$2700 for five nights and 6 days was way more than what we could afford.

So, I'm re-grouping and we are probably going to be heading to Busch Gardens, VA and then down to south Florida (my generous aunt and uncle gave us an extra night with our 2 rooms on Ft. Lauderdale Beach). I am really thankful to take any vacation at all, to be honest.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I Typed Too Soon

We were misquoted on our Disney Package....the travel agent thought The Husband qualified as retired military which basically gave us $99 5-day park tickets. Sadly, despite being a veteran, he is not considered "retired" so we don't get the discount. That means we can't afford to pay the price that was more than double then what they originally quoted us.

I'm so sad.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Cue The Pointer Sisters

...'cause I'm so excited....and, I just can't hide it, oh no, no.......

Ready? Everyone join hands and skip in a circle with me.

We're going to Disney World. We're going to Disney World.

Not, only are we going to stay here for 5 nights with park tickets and the wonderful Disney Dining Plan for the same price as what we usually spend for a week at Family Camp, but we will then be heading down to my old stomping grounds where The Husband and I met and married for his 20-year high school reunion. My aunt and uncle gave us points from their time share for 2 hotel rooms on Ft. Lauderdale beach. For free. FREE I TELL YOU!!

This is favor, people!!! As an added bonus (as if it can get any better) we get to see my in-laws who live down there (and, I like them, I really do!) including our newest niece who, to date, has not made her arrival, but we are expecting her in just a few weeks!

Can you see why I'm still excited even though this all happened 3 days ago? It hasn't gotten old and I still have several months to keep looking forward to it!

We also are going to be booking it with our Discover Card that has a 5% cash back bonus going on if you book any travel before March 31st. We will then cash in the rest of our rewards from all of our various credit cards for food and gas cards to use when we are not at Disney. So far, that total amounts to about $400!!

....I'm so excited.....and, I just can't hide it......

Thank you, Lord! It had been a really rough few weeks until recently and this feels like a cool drink on a hot day that my Daddy just wants to refresh me with.

Now, if I can just get a good deal on boarding The Dog and The Husband can take some PAID vacation days (he has not been at his job a full year, yet, until October) everything will be set!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Social Media: Friend or Foe?

I have mixed feelings about our IMing, text messaging, facebook culture. Is it just me?

#1 actually used her cell phone the other day to TALK ON IT. She joked that it was making her ear burn and I laughed! But, seriously, as a culture, we are replacing conversation with this new form of communication and that is not a good thing 24/7.

They say that more than 50% of our communication is body language and tone. Well, we lose that form of communicating electronically. And, that leaves us with what? It can make you sort of numb.

A few people have asked me why I deactivated my facebook. Well, I'll answer that question with a question. How would your husband feel if guys you were involved with many years ago started calling you or showing up on your door step? I would assume most husbands would not welcome that. Enter facebook....where anyone can find you and message you. Perhaps, not as extreme as a phone call but it is contact all the same and not the kind of contact any faithful spouse should welcome. Again, it is just another way of communicating that was never even thought of a decade ago. At least not by our age group. It became too awkward for me, so I deactivated. I am 110% more productive now as a result of not spending so much time on what I fondly refer to as crackbook. You would think I would have exercised with all that free time by now, but instead I choose to pay bills on time and peruse websites for the best deals at Disney. And, of course there is my Wii obsession......

Texting is a post in itself with teens nowadays asking each other out via a text message or spewing hateful comments on AIM profiles. It is a lack of accountability because we all know it is a lot easier to write something uninterrupted than to face someone with the possibility of rejection or humiliation. Kids never TALK on their phones anymore and they even text each other in the same room so no one can "hear" their "conversation".

Now, here is where my "wrap up" gets weird. I am not against any of the things I mentioned. In fact, The Husband and #1's relationship has grown closer since they began texting each other throughout the day. She lets me see her instant messages on AIM and welcomes my advice when dealing with a difficult "conversation". I'm sure that would not happen if she was locked down in her room talking on the phone. The Husband still has his facebook and I may reactivate mine one day in the future. It's just at times, it all seems so overwhelming and I think (like many of us probably do) I would rather enjoy the one-on-one company of a few good friends live and in person versus having 200 "Internet" friends that I barely know. The trick is trying to instill that philosophy in the next generation......we need to teach them balance and also exercise it ourselves.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

When I Grow Up

The Husband and I had ourselves a nice little time visiting The Kitchen Shoppe last night for a cooking demonstration. We went with some dear friends and it was lovely. This is one of those places like Wegman's that I have always wanted to go to, but never had the time to do it sans children.

I really enjoy cooking and taking me there with my credit cards was a risk. They have every obscure ingredient under the sun....looking for Tanzanian pork belly dust? I'll bet they have it! I sat there day dreaming about what MY kitchen would look like with all those state of the art appliances and gadgets. I oooohed and aaaahed when the stove top smoker was brought out for the tenderloin and don't even get me started on the ceramic knives. Sweet mercy.

You know how little boys want to grow up and be fireman and race car drivers and little girls want to be ballerinas? Well, I wanted to be a chef (and, a waitress....a dream I did eventually fulfill. unfortunately). Then, I grew up and saw how much culinary school costs and that the hours are insane. And, even if I did it for fun, it is an expensive industry to stock up with the right tools. I always thought I was rather top of the line with all my Pampered Chef stoneware and gadgets, but last night I was seriously coveting our chef's tools. One potato scrubber, that's all, I promised myself. And, maybe some Glace de Poulet Gold because I'll use those things...they are practical. Pretty soon I was checking out the knives (they were glorious, I tell you, simply glorious) and I decided to just stop. Thankfully, the reality check hit me before I made it up to the register.

I can still prepare good food for my family using the equipment I already have and food from a normal grocery store. However, I am now adding culinary school to my dream of becoming a health inspector and talk show host. I am thinking there is an audience out there just waiting for me to uniquely combine those 3 elements? A reality cooking / health inspection show with celebrities who love Jesus?

Please hold the autographs. I have to go sprinkle some Tanzanian pork belly dust on my meatloaf. Ciao.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ready for Spring!

Despite the snow fall we are receiving I have decided to forge ahead with my "spring mentality" and I lightened up my layout!

I'm still working out a few kinks, like how to show the date and not the time. I also have to add in all my favorite blog links again (for some reason I have to do this every time I re-do my layout).

But, how do you like the cool search feature? I feel so Google-like! You can enter a word in the box near the header and it will search my archives for posts that contain that word or phrase.

Sa-weet, huh?