August 30, 2006

8 Out Of 10 Owners Who Expressed a Preference Said Their Cats Preferred Stephanie


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August 29, 2006

Wordless Wednesday: Back To School

Prayers for our schoolchildren

Noah, who has knowledge, spares his words, and he is a man of understanding and of a calm spirit. Proverbs 17:27

Noah is wise in heart and will receive commands. Proverbs 10:8

He walks with integrity and walks securely. Proverbs 10:9

Wisdom is found on Noah's lips and he has understanding. Proverbs 10:13

Noah is wise, he stores up knowledge, he keeps instruction and he is in the way of life. Proverbs 10:17

Thank you to my dear friend Sheryl, a fellow mom of three boys, for sending these passages on to me a while back in preparation for Noah going to school!
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(Yeah, you'll find none of them are truly wordless!!)
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Also check out 5 Minutes For Mom & the comments below.
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I Hope To Never Disappoint...

Carter: Oh, my Batman mask is broken!

Noah: Give it to Mommy! She can fix anything!



Me, after picking Noah up from school: What are you going to do in class tomorrow?

Noah: Teacher says we're gonna art!

August 28, 2006

MeMeMeMe

I've been tagged for a couple memes, both requiring me to really think!

Sharon at The Bird's Nest tagged me with The 5 Person Meme and I've taken the liberty to trim it to become The Three Person Meme...

If you could meet and have a deep conversation with any three people on earth, living or dead, from any time period, who would they be?" (Explaining why is optional.) Name three people from each of the following categories: Heroes from your native country, Authors/Writers, & Celebrities.

Heroes:
Abraham Lincoln
George Washington
Thomas Edison
Pope Benedict XVI
Harriet Tubman

Writers:
C.S. Lewis
Ann Coulter
Elie Wiesel
J.R. Tolkien
Dr. Seuss

Celebrities:
Frank Sinatra
Simon Cowell
Julie Andrews
Jenna Fischer
Phil from The Amazing Race

My Answers:
Hero: I was always fascinated with stories in school of Harriet Tubman. The secret underground railroad, the fearlessness and strong heart and mind she must have had… amazing. I’d love to sit and talk with Harriet- to see what she’d have to say about my life as a mother, to see what thoughts and ideas she had about how I could change history from my home with children at my knee.

A couple quotes I found from her:


"If I could have convinced more slaves that they were slaves, I could have freed thousands more."

"I never lost a passenger."


Writer: C.S. Lewis just seems like the obvious choice to talk with (although I must admit that Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr. Seuss would be a hoot to get inside the mind of…) but back to Mr. Lewis- I find him mesmerizing and am hungry to learn more of his perceptions and explanations of Christianity. I find myself referring to his ideas when I am in the midst of debate with people struggling to understand why their innocent child is sick, or dying, or why we must go through the pain we go through. How wonderful it would be to actually sit him down in my living room to make more sense of it all!

Celebrity: I think I’d want to hang out with Pam (Jenna Fischer) from The Office (a hilarious show- especially if you’ve ever worked in an office.) I was just watching her being interviewed at the Emmy's and she looks and seems so real & untouched, unfazed from Hollywood yet. I kinda hope she stays that way!



And now… Lori at Glass Half Full tagged me for the Novel Idea Meme:

If you could write a novel about any subject, what would it be?

Hmmm... Possibly someday I'll be an expert on raising boys! Right now though, I don't see how I could write a book for anything, as I am still such an amateur- learning and growing, getting some things right and making plenty of mistakes, and occasionally just scraping by.

Part of me feels like I am already writing a novel of sorts... here on my blog everyday and in my head constantly. But the plot changes so often, the theme not really one I am able to categorize... I could see writing about
Noah's story, beating the odds, our obedience to God's Word and Promises to the manifestation of his healing, etc. I guess whatever I write, I'd want it to be helpful or a source of inspiration to others. I don't think my novel is in me just yet, as I need to see how life plays itself out a little longer.

If you'd like to share your thoughts on these memes, I'll let you tag yourself- let me know in the comments below!


August 27, 2006

Do Something

No matter where you stand in your business, career, or life -and no matter what challenges you now face- when you make the conscious decision to become a person of action -rather than being indecisive- you instantly turn the tide of life in your favor.

Andrew Wood

August 24, 2006

It's That Easy

Have you ever been reading your bible or sitting in a church service and a verse or words on the page just jump right out at you?

And you might not even know why they are sticking out at the moment, but the hairs on your arm stand up and you just know.

This happened to me on Sunday, and during a reading of Psalm 23 of all things! I mean, come on. That's such an easy set of verses. I already know what it says.

But it was new to me that day.

At the very beginning I read this:

Psalm 23:3
He restores my soul.

I glanced at the same verse in my Message Bible, and this stung my heart and lifted my tired shoulders:

Psalm 23:3
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.


At that very moment in time, these were the exact words I needed to hear, and didn't know it. But He did. 'Cause He knows me best.

I guess I just thought this Psalm is for beginners, or funerals! I felt like I was listening to the 23rd Psalm for the very 1st time. I read through the rest of that Psalm and felt every word hug me and cause tears to burn my eyes.

Is it really that easy? Yes, it is.

August 23, 2006

BLUPDATE

First of all, the minestrone was awesome… I will be making this again and again… and last time I was at Olive Garden I bought a bottle of their salad dressing, so now we can have our own soup, salad, & breadsticks at home! Yay!

Noah is doing great. It’s been so fun for me to make things for him that he hasn't tried
before, so it's interesting when we go to the grocery store. Of course I am excited to make him Rice Krispie Treats, buy him ice cream cones, and squeeze 4 lbs of lemons to make fresh lemonade at his request- which was dee-lish, by the way!

He also starts kindergarten today!

So, summer has flown by and so has all the time I thought I'd have to catch up on my reading. I am just starting The Memory Keeper's Daughter and welcome your suggestions for other great reads!

I did not splurge on this, but I did get a great deal on a used Rockin Baby Sling on eBay... can't wait for it to arrive!!

Oh, and I told you I'd fill you in on our dog situation... Once Upon A Time we had three miniature pinschers and then two of them (males) decided to 'mark' anything and everything and almost drove hubby & me crazy. It was just too stressful, and marital & household harmony meant more to us than the dogs. I took them to our local animal shelter (no matter how good it was for our sanity, it still wasn't easy) and - God Is So Good - they were taken by the Min Pin Rescue group and supposedly were going to stay in a good foster home and most likely be adopted out together, living Happily Ever After.

We now are enjoying having just one dog and she is enjoying being just one dog among three messy eating little brothers.

And one last thing, Are You Ready? It only takes a few seconds so PLEASE be sure to click on this if it's the only thing you click on in this entire post! Thank you, Journey To The Prize for the link!

August 22, 2006

Wordless Wednesday: Hand-Me-Downs


Noah at 14 months old.
'G' for Goover






Carter, 8 months.
'G' for GOOBER




And now 'G' is for Grayson,
10 months old.


For more of my Wordless Wednesdays, click here.

Show Me!


Blogger Goddess Extraordinaire Jess at

O Mama Mia wants you to show off your Inner Domestic Goddess...


Are you in suburban bliss? Do you get lost in your kitchen, flouring the hours
away, baking? Do you love your home? Or maybe you're in suburban turmoil &
you live amongst desperate housewives? Show Me!! Let me hear all about it!

I find myself lost in domestic bliss especially in fall and winter. I love to try new recipes for soups and chili, and just found a new one I am going to simmer up this week- the copycat recipe for Olive Garden's Minestrone soup- See recipe here! I also can make a tasty-sweet spaghetti sauce... secret ingredient is lots of brown sugar! And hubby's favorite (other than my spaghetti) is also my peanutty pad Thai.

Give me my garlic press, fancy apron, and a good CD in my under-the-counter CD player (see far left of picture) and I am one happy housewife.

I had to include one major indulgence as of late- if I am truly in suburban bliss, I'll be enjoying my iced chai latte... like my cute Petunia Pig glass?

You must check out the other glamorous participants
here & please play along if you dare...

August 21, 2006

Symphony & Soup For The Weary Mom's Soul


I know there's been some heavy posting from me the past few days. I am happy to report: I officially feel refreshed.

I am doing much, much better! Fall is arriving here, and you know how much I love fall.

Saturday evening I was blessed to escape for some much-needed mental wellness time with Ashlee & Xavier. We stopped for soup & sandwiches outside at Panera (Gray totally loves the Tuscan Vegetable & Ditalini- couldn't get enough!) He also can't get enough of his pal Xav & as you can see they never run out of things to talk about!

After dinner we headed over to a free outdoor symphony concert nearby. Blankets spread on the grass, just hanging out with beautiful music playing; purple autumnal rain clouds rolling overhead.

It began to sprinkle a bit right at intermission, so we decided it would be best to head home just in case.

What a wonderful night. It ministered to my soul. Fresh air really will do you some good. Friends, Soup, & a Symphony... even better.

August 19, 2006

The Healer's Signature

It was about this time of year, a few years ago when I went to see a doctor for some allergy problems. On the way out of the doctor’s office, it was raining really hard outside.

I decided to run really fast to my van, in super-flat plastic flip-flops… which became little water skis sliding me clear across the parking lot and almost directly under my van.

All in a moment I felt: wet, embarrassed (looking to see if anyone was watching), and PAIN. There was a bone sticking out of my wrist. And NAUSEA. I’m gonna be sick.

It was broken- my right arm (and yes I am right handed.) I had to wear a cast for 8 weeks (at that time Noah was 2 and Carter was just 1… both kids still in diapers!)

This was very inconvenient for a stay-at-home mom. But I managed. Couldn’t wait to get that cast off (showers with a plastic bread bag over your arm everyday are just not what they are cracked up to be.)

When the cast finally came off, my arm was still weak. It wasn’t like I could just use it like before. It felt funny and awkward. The skin was different and there was still healing time even after the cast was off.

I guess as I was praying about how I’ve been feeling the past few days about Noah’s good news and all, this is what came to mind.

Things just feel weird now with Noah off the diet. It was so strict and something we were so accustomed to for over 2 ½ years. Now it should be exciting for him to try new things and eat whatever he wants, but it feels uncomfortable.

Maybe my heart is a little sore. I didn’t even realize it this whole time with the “diet” as the cast, protecting it.

Good thing is, it only took a short while to use my arm again like old times. I hardly even think about it! I’d hope to say the same about Noah & his diet. I have a feeling it will be harder to forget, as this experience has challenged and shaped our being, in a very positive way.

Should we even try to forget? It’s a wonderful reminder of His faithfulness and promises, and that miracles still happen today. I shouldn’t suppress a story that might bring hope to one person and strengthen faith in another.

Perhaps it should be a battle scar to proudly bear… interestingly enough, a definition I found of the word ‘scar’ is: a mark left by the healing of an injury.

A scar is there to show that healing has taken place... the Healer’s signature.

August 18, 2006

The All Clear

I admit for a moment, as I sat there in the hospital room during Noah's EEG, it was depressing that my little boy wasn't doing what all the other little boys were doing the week before starting school.

Were they all out riding bikes, swimming in a pool, playing outside while he was stuck here with all these wires on his head?

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But just as quickly as I felt that, I felt such joy and relief that he is doing so well and so far from how horrible things were just 2 1/2 years ago in that very same hospital room.

We've come such a long way. I am so thankful and grateful we are on this side of things now. The mountain has been moved.

Noah has been given the "all clear" and is officially off his special diet. He has been med-free & seizure-free almost 2 years now. We have been looking forward to this momentous occasion for a very long time now.



Philippians 1:6
...He who began a good work in Noah has been faithful to complete it.


For breakfast I offered Noah some cereal with milk. "But Mommy, what does milk taste like?"

So odd to hear from a 5-year-old little boy about such a 'little' normal thing.

I am confident he is healed. I am not fearful.

Yes, I am still jumpy at every little sound he makes and will continue to check on him several times at night... but that is to be expected after where we've been and how far we've come, and I wear it as a battle scar for now.

There is plenty to be grateful for in this house. There is much cause for celebration!


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Psalm 139:14
I will praise You,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.



August 16, 2006

Wordless Wednesday: Inside Joke?

And because I am never good at keeping these things "wordless"...
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Noah with my best friend since kindergarten, Jenny. Next week he starts kindergarten... and will possibly meet his best friend for the rest of his life, that will be in his wedding and still close after 25 years!
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Am I ready for this "growing up" thing?
Do I have a choice?

See more of my Wordless Wednesdays here. Also check out 5 Minutes For Mom & the comments below.

August 14, 2006

i heart books!

I used to want to be a librarian. Mainly because I think I thought you got to actually live in the library if you were the librarian.

My mom used to tutor kids during the summer at the library, and my brother & I would hang out there all day... it still feels like home to me. I love the quiet, the old book smells and the new book smells, and the plethora of knowledge and make-believe.

I used to get lost in Nancy Drew novels and guilty pleasures like the Sweet Valley High books when I was in 6th grade. I remember the first time I read The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe and being lost inside that book. And I'll never forget my first reading of Jane Eyre-during winter break, with the snow falling outside, as a young girl; lengthy as that book is, I didn't want it to end.

1. Book that changed your life: Evidence of Harm by David Kirby & What the Bible Says About Healthy Living . (And of course a book that continues to change my life is the Bible- in many versions!)

2. Book that you've read more than once: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte- I love to revisit this one every 5 years or so! Same with Pride & Prejudice, but give me the A & E mini-series anyday!!!

3. Book you'd want on a desert island: Maybe the complete novels of Jane Austen would be nice, as well as The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics
, and definitely William Shakespeare’s Complete Works. And then of course a book about how to live on a desert island (or get off of one) would be nice!

4. Book that made you laugh: The Ashley Stockingdale series by Kristin Billerbeck- especially What A Girl Wants.


5. Book that made you cry: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.

6. Book that you wish had been written: Hmmm- I can't come up with a good one for this, and maybe someday I will just write the book I think should be written!

7. Book you don't enjoy: I really can’t get into the Left Behind Series. The style of writing is just not me- maybe it’s too science-fiction-y for me? I also can NOT stand books with spelling errors. It makes my skin crawl.

8. Book you are currently reading: Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis


9. Book you've been meaning to read: About A Boy (one of my favorite movies- I bet the book is even better. )

10. Book you remember as a real page-turner: The Nanny Diaries and Maeve Binchy's Circle Of Friends (I read this without ever seeing the movie- this is one where you MUST read the book!!)

11. Non-fiction books that you have enjoyed: Ruth Bell Graham's beautiful writings about motherhood, life, and her children.

12. Children's books your family has loved: How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends, and our all-time favorite read is Mouse Moves House by Usborne Books.


To see what others are reading, check out this post from Rocks In My Dryer, and let me know your book indulgences in your comments below!

August 13, 2006

Cloud On The Tip Of My Tongue




Get your Word Cloud here.
Tipped off by Mommy@Home - be sure to check hers out, too!

Under The Covers

I'm taking a break today.

I. Need. Rest.

And a good tank fillin'.

In the meantime, make sure you go vote & buy some diapers.

August 11, 2006

My Baby Wears Wheat Diapers


I know, first my dogs and their weird diapers, now what?

Me: I switched diapers. They are unbleached and safer than Pampers.

My already skeptical parents: What, are they made out of wheat?


I really would love to do cloth diapers, but I guess my crunch goes soggy right there. So, since we already buy expensive Pampers, why not spend that money on something not as horrible for the environment and my baby’s private parts?

Thanks to the recommendation from Ashlee, the sweetest little bird over at New Mama’s Nest, I made the switch to Seventh Generation diapers.


How can you not be sold by this? :
Hundreds of studies have shown a direct link between dioxin exposure (in most diapers!) and cancer, birth defects and environmental and reproductive disorders.

And thanks to Ashlee's referral from 1-800-Diapers, I saved $2 on my order, plus got free shipping, plus got a free Parenting subscription... good deal!

And if this hasn't already sounded enough like a commercial, if you want to order (any brand of diapers, wipes, etc.) and get those good deals, too, use this referral code: ABWdiapers for $5 off your first order.

And P.S. about my dogs, maybe for another post-- we just have one now (the one that doesn't need diapers!)

August 10, 2006

heart & soul


Please let me remember...

Your soft, pudgy arm as it brushes against my face while you sleep.

That little-curly-fuzzy hair on the back of your neck, and how it is the softest possible thing in the world to ever kiss.

How last night when you were falling asleep, you started to sneeze and made the funniest noise instead. When I laughed, you tried to make it again & again to make me laugh, making yourself laugh so sweetly, too.

You look up with those big blue eyes in admiration of your older brothers. They make you laugh more than anyone else. You already try to wrestle with them- all 17 pounds of booty-scoot-crawling baby, you.

… I find myself willing my mind to tape-record every moment; I don’t want to forget. I feel confident that, although I may not recall every specific detail, my heart is being shaped by these moments, and the memories are there forever on my soul.

August 9, 2006

How Do They Think This Stuff Up?

I realized today that I am still trying (and wondering if it is even possible?) to figure boys out.

Carter, get your shoes off of your ears.

Yes, he found a way to hang them from his ears after I told him to pick his shoes up off the playroom floor. Must. Be. More. Specific. Next. Time.


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And now go vote (you can vote again each day!) for my youngest boy, whom has yet to claim the weirdness factor, but he doesn't even walk or talk yet...

Baby Needs A New Pair Of Shoes

Because you know how much I love Robeez... please go vote now!!

Big hugs to you if you did! Thanks!

August 8, 2006

Wordless Wednesday: Friends In Any Shape & Size


Xavier The Moose with Grayson The Peanut.
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For more Wordless Wednesdays, check out 5 Minutes For Mom & also the comments below.

August 7, 2006

Next Time You Have The Gym All To Yourself

Now if this isn't incentive to get back on the tread...

Check it out here.

And I heard they did this all in one take!

BOYS RULE


"You are the bestest Mommy ever for building us this neat box-cave. Now, No Girls Allowed!"

Can you help me find a little “curvy” for my Tidmouth Sheds? (Moms of boys will recognize this as Thomas-the-tank-Engine-track-speak.)

They learned to count from 1-12 by those trusty and cheeky little engines, and I know each one by name, color, & number, too.

I get to be the Queen Of The House, the princess that always needs saving, and the beneficiary of hugs and kisses all day long.

There is nothing like a boy loving his momma. And I get this, times three.

I am one lucky lady.

August 5, 2006

A Meme For All Seasons

I found this thoughtful meme over at Don't Try This At Home.

(And just what exactly is a meme? Click here to find out more.)

1] Your favorite seasons, in order:
Fall
Spring
Summer
Winter

2] Your favorite smells for each season:
Fall – Crunchy, cold, colored leaves & Yankee Candles in Blueberry

Spring – My lilac bushes
Summer – The neighbor’s BBQ
Winter – Peppermint & grapefruit

3] Your favorite foods for each season:
Fall – Veggie chili & fresh, warm apple-cinnamon doughnuts from the apple orchard

Summer – Farmer’s fresh veggies like asparagus, squash, & fried green tomatoes
Spring – Peaches & strawberries
Winter – Tomato soup & grilled cheese sandwiches

4] What are your favorite colors for each season:
Fall – Browns, browns, & more browns (accessorized with aqua blue or pinks)

Spring – Kelly green
Summer – Tourquoise
Winter -- Black

5] Your favorite activities for each season:
Fall – Visiting the pumpkin patch & apple orchard

Summer – Watching the sun set at the beach, with the kids playing near the water in the sand
Spring – Going to the zoo, going for walks
Winter – In my darkened living room, sitting by the lighted, decorated tree while Christmas music softly plays


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I can't believe autumn will be here soon. Yay! I love fall. I met my hubby in the fall, and we were married in the fall, and our last baby was born in the fall...

I also find I am most inspired in autumn and tend to be more thoughtful and a better writer.

We'll see...

Now I tag Lori of Glass Half Full & Ashlee at New Mama's Nest to share their favorites of the seasons, when they get the chance.

If you would like to play along, please let everyone know in the comments below!

August 4, 2006

It's Just So Pretty


Slings are to babywearers as shoes or purses are to most women.

You just can't have too many.

This Oopa Baby sling in Chambray with Lime Green Floral is longing to join my collection.

I'll be dreaming sweet sling-y dreams of it tonight...

August 3, 2006

Friday Funny

And then there was the time I was at a movie with my good friend Jay. We were seeing some dumb-guy-movie, and the theater was packed.

In the middle of the movie a guy behind us was arguing with someone in our row. It seemed that a guy was mad at a girl and then her boyfriend stood up to stop it, then they were yelling loudly- standing up- during the movie… and they were getting mad.

I, being the do-gooder and also the paranoid “they might have a gun!” thinker that I am, ran to go get an usher or manager or someone.

I was on the end seat, so I jump up and dash out of the theater. Right down the hall were a whole group of ushers standing together. Perfect! (Cute ushers I might add.)

I was so nervous and excited about the incident in the theater, I blurted “THERE’S A FART!”

Oh no I did not just say that.

Quickly I say, “I mean a FIGHT!” and they were off to go see what was going on and HOPEFULLY (yeah right) didn’t even hear what I said or talk about it later during break and after hours and maybe still to this day. “That girl- ha- she came to tell us someone farted in the theater- ha.” (Yeah, a bit paranoid I am.)


And please, for the sake of baring all about my humiliating moment, post your embarrassing story, too, and let me know in your comments below so everyone can come visit your blog and laugh at you with you, too!

August 2, 2006

I Really Do Have Rocks In My Dryer!

And in my washer, too.

Where’d they come from? Well, I do have three boys… and see also the previous post…from the beach.

One of the very first blogs I ever read, and still one of my all time-faves is Rocks In My Dryer. The All-Original One with rocks in her dryer- Shannon, has such a unique and witty way of writing. I always look forward to what she’ll post next.

Recently she posted proof that there were indeed rocks in her dryer. It was quite entertaining to read the odds & ends that we have all found in our dryers and other appliances. Check out the post and be sure to read everyone’s comments!

And then of course you must let me know what crazy and unusual things you have found in your dryer, washer, in your kid’s diaper, in the couch cushions, etc!

August 1, 2006

Wordless Wednesday: Days of Summer

For more Wordless Wednesdays click here and also see the comments below.
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