preparing him room

Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;

Let every heart prepare him room

And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

I love to send out Christmas cards each year. I'll be sending out the last of our cards this weekend. I know it sounds crazy and I think many people just think it is a lot of work, but it is such a special thing for me. I do something a little different every year. Some years I write a letter and others I do something more simple, but the motive remains the same...I like to let our friends and family know we're thinking of them and that they are special to us. I like to begin the holiday season by sending the cards out early to kick-start my heart for the season. It is part of how I prepare room in my heart for the true meaning of the Christmas celebration. Some people bake, some make homemade gifts, some sing, some do everything. Lately I've tried to simplify and if I do nothing else but get the tree up, buy some gifts, and send out cards...I'm a happy little Christmas elf:)


living with boys...

Photo: Attempting to capture a decent photo for our Christmas card. As you can see, it was very successful!

I must admit that I secretly love being the only female in the house. I'm Princess Mama and I prefer to keep it that way:) As much as I love it, the males in this house never cease to make me crinkle up my nose in confusion. They're so strange. I try so hard, but their boy games are very hard to understand for this girly girl. How can they entertain themselves for hours with crashing cars ...or playing games with no rules...or scaring and wrestling each other? They just do things that girls would never do! Some examples...

~My husband rose early a while back and dressed in the dark to go work out at the gym. At the gym, he realized that he had two different shoes on. And these are not just two sort of similar shoes...this is one brown hiker and one white running shoe! Now at this point, any normal person (a female) would have hopped back into the car and ditched the workout for a Starbucks fly-by or something. But no, my husband didn't care and went through his entire workout with mismatched shoes. I think he enjoyed the stares!

~Now Griffin is sort of another story. He's a bit disgusting as everything is edible to him. I'm choosing to believe that it is because he's just a boy, so don't comment here and tell me what your little girl eats. It MUST be the male factor! We also have a term for the type of mess made when Griffin is let loose...we say something has been "Griffinized"!

~I walked in on Parker one day as he was playing in his room in just his underwear. This is probably never a good way to start a story! He was sitting on the edge of his bed with his leg crossed over the other--he probably sees me doing this. But he had his body all contorted and I realized that he was leaning over to be able to see his muscles flexing back and forth. Oh, my....how I wish I had my camera. I'm sure I could have found some use for a shot like that:)


strange packages of hope :)

Within the span of 24 hours this past weekend, Parker made some big leaps and was able to make me feel like I might be doing something right every now and then! First he asked for a chicken nugget and then ate it. This is just huge...because he hasn't eaten a chicken nugget in almost 2 years. It is embarrassing, but I almost cried. The next morning, he asked if he could poop on the potty and then sat up there on the throne like he's been doing it for years!

If someone would have told me three years ago that I'd be posting this type of thing on the web, I would have been mortified. But...here I am. I'm not ashamed to admit that little victories like this make me feel like I could do anything. Little glimpses of hope can come in very strange packages:)


our latest food project...

Well, it was sort of sticky. In the orange juice sort of way:)

Parker playing with his orange wedgie boats. This was one of the more successful projects. I actually got him to put it into his mouth and suck the juice out. Score!

Oh, and looky here....Griffin eating ummmm...my phone charger. Of course. I love the taste of those. Don't you?!


Life Lately

Just a bit of life to share...

I haven't been in blogging mode lately. Nothing is wrong...in fact, lots of things are right and I just don't feel much like sitting in front of the computer most days. This is fine with me because I never want to blog just for blogging's sake, you know? Oh, but I still love this little blog and today I'm in the mood!

My lovely sister is home from school and came to watch the boys yesterday for 5 hours so I could go Christmas shopping without the boys. It was BLISS, I tell you!! Lately I've been thinking that I didn't like shopping anymore, but I was wrong....I don't like shopping with the kids! I loooooove shopping alone. Oh, and I got so much done! It would have taken me five or six trips if I had ventured out with the boys. And who doesn't like an uninterrupted stroll through Target:) So fun!

While on my shopping adventure, I ended up buying my new CD. It is so good! I'm so happy with my purchase. I'm listening to good old Bebo right now and I'm enjoying myself immensley, thank you very much. I highly reccomend that everyone add this to the Christmas collection....

I am finally reading Blue Like Jazz! After years of hearing people tell me how much I would love it and how I should read it--I'm finally doing it! I'm really excited. I'm just a chapter into it so far, but I can tell that I'm going to enjoy the process. I'm typically in a good place while I'm reading something that makes me think and dig deeper.



Writing that title above reminded me of Friday night TV during the nineties. I loved me some Full House, Step by Step, Family Matters:) Anybody else remember those cheesy theme songs? At this point in my life, I don't count the days until TGIF. I can't say I even know what is on on Fridays now as I tend to prefer Thursday programming:)

I'll tell you what, I am sure glad this week is coming to a close and a weekend is coming. As for our family emergency, we saw an extraordinary turnaround and the week is ending in a much different way than we all expected. I truly believe that it was a miracle. The whole ordeal got me thinking a lot about the depths God will go to reach us...even sacrificing his own son. All glory to God.

My kids are sick with a bit of a cold ('tis the season) and I'm in the mood to nap. I really think I could sleep for hours but I've got stuff to do during nap time. I've really never understood the whole "nap while the children are sleeping" thing. I always want to try but it never works out. Maybe I should try harder...but I have a plan!

I buy new Christmas music every year and this year, I have my heart set on this one:I've actually never listened to it but I figure it will be wonderful since I love Bebo, love Christmas...so I will love it. I plan on purchasing it this weekend. And then this is my plan...I've thought a lot about this: I will pour myself a cup of coffee, add some Peppermint Mocha Coffee-Mate, light this delicious candle (thanks mom), and relax to my heart's content. Am I dreaming?



Holding Jesus

We've had an interesting week so far. Much of Joel's family is in town due to a medical emergency. Joel has been at the hospital for hours and hours, both working and being with the family. The boys and I have been back and forth. While it is a terrible reason to be able to spend time with our great family, it has been a wonderful chance to have an unexpected visit. Prayers for the family are needed...

On a lighter note, Parker has been obsessed with holding his newborn cousin, Avree (who is here in town with the rest of the family). He's so obsessed that he tells us that he needs to hold Avree. I understand wanting to hold Avree, but needs? It is so cute, though. While holding her, he sits perfectly still, tries not to smile and holds her head the wrong way--on top:) Well, last night, I figured out one of the reasons he's so obsessed with her right now: he thinks that Avree is the baby Jesus! This was our conversation last night...

Parker: Mama let's pray.
Me: Okay...go ahead.
Parker (singing): Jesus loves my mama. Jesus loves my Griffin. Jesus loves my daddy. Jesus loves my Parker. Amen.
Me: Amen. Thank you, Parker. Yep, Jesus does love you. You know that?
Parker: Yeah. I held her. I took care of her.
Me: Ummmm...yeah, okay. (what is he talking about?)
Parker: I take care of her. I'm big.
Me: Ooooohhhhh, yes you did hold Avree, didn't you?

It finally occured to me that I started reading Parker books about Christmas on Sunday and he saw Avree the next day. This is why babies are all of the sudden so important! To him, Avree is Jesus and he wants to take care of her! I love it. Little ones really are the smartest of us all...

"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
Matthew 25:40


our cafe~our community

I’ve never felt so connected to my community as I do right now. It is such a great feeling—one that I’ve always wanted, but never seemed to grasp. I’ve been trying to figure out why I feel such a strong connection and I’ve decided that it just has to be more than just one thing, but the perfect combination of ingredients. I hope to write little tid-bits about those ingredients as I think of them. Definitely not ground-breaking, but I feel the need to document how I feel about my community right now.

A new café opened a few months ago just blocks from our house. We waited all summer as the new owners of the building fixed up the property and prepared the new business. We tried to get a glimpse of the café through the covered windows. We were just so excited that a neighborhood café would be within walking distance. Our town is not short on places to get coffee…not by any stretch of the imagination. But this would be our place. OUR Café! You know, kind of like Friends and Central Perk:)

We waited and waited and finally it opened….and boy, it was way more than we could have imagined! It has everything that a good café has…great coffee/tea, pastries, sandwiches, soups, etc. But, get this…it has a children’s room full of cool toys that keep my kids entertained for long periods of time. Whoever thought of this is just brilliant. I love her. We get to enjoy our food and beverage while our children enjoy themselves. Who could ask for more? We also have the opportunity to meet more of the people who live around us. I feel as though I am no longer on the outside looking in…but really in the inner-circle. Not that I know everyone at all…but I feel comfortable being myself and enjoy just being around others. I love that I can call up a friend and we can plan to meet at “the café” without even using the proper name. Because it is ours. We have a sense of ownership….a sense of community. What a good, good thing…


Nine whole months...

Griffin Jacob turned nine months on Wednesday. I can't believe he has been out in the world as long as I carried him in my body. I much prefer him on the outside! Even though he keeps me running and just a bit on my toes, he has much more personality out here. For the longest time, I thought my baby inside of me didn't have limbs and was very passive--for lack of movement. However, I was so wrong. Oh, so wrong! There is not one bit of passivity in this child. He knows what he wants and will figure out a way to get it. Some may call it being resourceful...I call it being a rascal! But for every ounce of rascal-ness, he is every bit as sweet. He's purely a mama's boy and I plan to keep him that way forever.

My dear Griffin...I love you and you know it. I wish I had some of your spunk and personality. Your smile is so adoring and so contagious. Everyone mentions how happy you are. My favorite times with you are when you are content to sit on my lap and receive my endless kisses on that adorable forehead. You are a light in this house, Griff and you are so loved. In fact, I love your everything. Love, Mama

For the record...pulls to standing, crawls all over, eats everything (including non-edibles), loves Parker so much, says "mama" ,"dada" and "Karker", 19 lbs 8 oz, 27 1/2 inches, healthy as a horse and verrrrry adorable:)


Picture Me

Jenn tagged me for this fun meme. I love doing these sort of things...

I'm supposed to post a picture of myself and write about it, but I couldn't decide so I chose two!!

April 17, 2005~This is one that I actually posted here but I just wanted to post it for this because I actually love it so much. It isn't flattering by any stretch of the imagination. This picture was taken after 27 hours of labor, three hours of pushing, an emergency c-section, and finally...the moment they told me I was a mama for the first time. I can't believe my sister was able to capture this moment on camera, complete with the tear rolling down my cheek. Priceless.

September of 2002~Joel and I were taking our dream vacation around Europe. This picture was taken in Venice and just captures us looking exactly how we felt...young, carefree, in love, and so blessed for the experience.

Now I tag Kati, Ruth, and Liz
And whoever else wants to participate:)

Who needs a dog?

We always talked about getting a dog before having kids. I'm a nurturer at heart and I just wanted to take care of a little, needy creature! I was basically just impatient for motherhood and I didn't like God's timing at all! Well, now I'm thinking it was probably a good thing that our plans never worked out...because we sure don't need one now! I clean up enough poop and pee as it is and sure feel needed! Our house isn't suited for an animal and I'm not a big fan of dog hair. One of the things I thought would be nice about having a dog is that they clean up after meals under the table. Now we found another reason why we don't need a dog--we have Griffin! After we clean him up from meals, Griffin goes directly under the table and eats the scraps. It is a convenient situation for all of us ;)

I promise you, I didn't plan this.
While I was writing the above paragraph, Parker peed on the floor, took off his clothes and then proceeded to tell me that there was a poop too. Before I could get there, Griffin picked up the turd. Nice. Definitely no dog. But maybe a dog would be easier to train? Oh, my...


who did that?

So I have one question...who in the world invented the whole time change idea?! Why do we have to have standard time and daylight savings time? Blah! Whoever they were must not have had children. Don't they know that this messes up everything? My kids wake up pretty early, around 6 am. Occasionally they wake up at a quarter till six. This is okay with me most of the time because once we hit the fives, it is officially doable for me. HOWEVER, since the time change, we've had two mornings of 4:45 am!!! Not good. Not good at all. Yes, I believe waking up in the fours is ungodly....sorry dad:)

I'm sure that my kids will adjust fairly soon, but until then...I'm going to vent my anger toward that inventor! Or maybe I could just choose a better attitude? :)


like grass

“People are like grass;
their beauty is like a flower in the field.
The grass withers and the flower fades.
But the word of the Lord remains forever.”

So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.

1 Peter 1:24-2:3

Whenever I start to drift or even start to wonder again what in the heck I am doing in my life, I remind myself of this passage. I know we've all been there numerous times. Sometimes it seems strange to me that this specific part in scripture totally rocks me...but then again, it is the WORD of God. It is crucial to always return to the basics of my faith--be in the Word, love people, commune with God, and see sin for what it is. Get rid of it....be done with it! I must crave pure spiritual milk, cry out for this nourishment in order to grow into a full experience of salvation. Yes!


Good Times:)

Another shot of the four bambinos last night. As you can tell, they were having the time of their lives ;)

a halloween night...

We had another great Halloween spent with family and a lot of food! We have a bit of tradition on October 31...we have family over here for dinner (most items are pumpkin related) and we just spend time together and open the door for Trick or Treaters. We also get to ooohhh and aaaahhh over our very own little darlings. This year we had a bumble bee (Griffin), Superman (Parker), a princess (Miss Audrey), and an Elf (Elliot). I will try to post a picture of the four of them later today when my sister emails me the picture. I was a bit lazy again with my camera! I know I'm biased, but they seriously are the cutest little halloweeners I've ever seen. Did I just make up that word?

Our friend Dan brought over the greatest game for the boys...Elefun! I love it and so does Parker. Griffin....well, he tries to eat the elephant and the butterflies, but he'll get it in a while. But it keeps Parker occupied and he's learning how to do it himself--which is huge!

Here is my recipe for our special chili. I know it sounds strange, but believe me...most people love it. And it is super healthy too!

Pumpkin Black-Bean Chicken Chili

1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. oil

1.5 tsp. dried oregano

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. cumin

2 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained

2.5 cups chopped chicken

16 oz can pumpkin
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
Bag of frozen corn
3 Tbl. brown sugar

1. Saute onions, yellow pepper, and garlic in oil for 8 minutes, or until soft.
2. Stir in oregano, cumin, and chili powder. Cook 1 minute. Transfer to slow cooker.
3. Add remaining ingredients.
4. Cover. Cook on low 7-8 hours.

About Me

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*WIFE* to a great man *MAMA* to Parker, Griffin & Hollyn *BLESSED* to be living out this dream & always... longing to be *LOVELY*

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