Thursday, December 24, 2009

A White Christmas!

Wow! It was wild out there today! We had gone to one of my grandma's to celebrate earlier in the day and were supposed to be at my other grandma's at 6:00 tonight. We decided to go there early to put the kids down for a nap. Some of our family members had called to say they couldn't make it. One family had tried to come and turned around and went back home! We made the drive home tonight and we saw a car trying to push another car to get it unstuck but both of their wheels were spinning and another car coming behind the second one trying to help. We saw a lot of people walking on the street either getting out of their cars or going to help others. We got on the highway once and no one had turned onto the curvy exit we normally take to get on another highway. It was like a ghost town. There wasn't any tire tracks so you couldn't even see where the road was! We chose not to go that way and to get off and take the streets. One car was stuck in a ditch and Derrick pulled over to help. It was so neat because at the same time we pulled over, another SUV pulled over and some guys jumped out. They and Derrick ran and pushed that car out and off it went. Total strangers just out helping each other. We saw a lot of that. We saw a police officer driving the wrong way on a one way highway exit to help someone. We did get stuck once but, thankfully, it was only in our driveway! I'm thankful for our 4-wheel drive. It took us an hour to get home when it normally would have taken 25 minutes.

* Before Samantha went to sleep she asked me, "What is tomorrow?" She wanted to make sure. I said, "Jesus' birthday." She said, "Mom, how old is Jesus turning?" I tried to give her a theological answer about how Jesus is God and how He has always existed. She asked again, "No, mom, how old is Jesus going to be?" It's so late and we're going to be so tired so I told her we'd talk about it in the morning. ;)

**We have a name for the baby! It's Livy! Only one letter off from Lily which I love but Derrick didn't want to use that because we have some close friends with a precious daughter named that. Okay, so it's actually Olivia. Derrick said he liked the name Olivia and my wheels started turning..."Livy! I'll call her Livy!" So, we're both happy. I hoped I'd find a name I liked as much as Lily. Olivia Joy, but you can call her Livy. ;)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cheesecake Factory

After we ate at Wendy's with G-ma Bobber & Papa Mitchell last night my sister-in-law, Mikaela, and I dropped Bay & Sam off at Awana. We wanted to go out for dessert somewhere. It was just Aunt Kay Kay, Isabella, & me. We were trying to decide where to go and I thought about The Cheesecake Factory. Since a restaurant with this name has not appealed to Derrick, seeing that he does not have a big sweet tooth, I thought I should take the opportunity to go there. We are still without him but we will have a list of things to do with him when he gets back to catch up on all the Christmasy things we want to do with him. I was not in the mood for cheesecake but we made sure they had other things and then went. Wow! Their menu is amazing! They are a little pricey though compared to other places. The brownie fudge sundae we ended up getting was $8.95 after all. I don't know if they just did this because we had Bella or what but they brought out sliced bananas along with the bread. They had unique stuff on their menu, such as, Fried Macaroni & Cheese balls on a bed of marinara sauce, fried artichokes...all kinds of stuff. Of course, they had a looong list of cheesecakes. I saw a burrito on their menu that I really want to try and being pregnant I think I'll think of it until I get to have it. Maybe...Derrick...will want to take me on a date there for a $14 burrito! It had cilantro rice, guacamole, black beans came with it...

The crazy thing is that when I got home and got the kids to bed I sat and read mail and a lot of sweet Christmas cards we received. I was so tired I could hardly change what I was doing and get myself off the couch to go to bed. But, when I did get in bed I could not sleep for the life of me! I sat there wondering, "Why can't I sleep?!" for awhile. My heart was racing. Then it finally hit me that the Brownie Fudge Sundae must have had a lot of caffeine in it. I mean, this thing must have been loaded with it! It was made with the really good Ghiradelli chocolate and was sooo chocolately. I try to stay away from caffeine because I know how it affects me (I have very little tolerance for it and it can make my head spin if I have too much) and because I'm pregnant. I have never had a brownie fudge sundae (and this, being my favorite, I've had a lot) that seemed to have so much caffeine. So, anyway, I would eat it again...just earlier in the day. ;)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

If you wrote someone 66 love letters and they never read them, would you be upset?

That is exactly what God did. He has given us the 66 books of the Bible. I was just thinking about some unbelievers I know tonight that deny God's existence or make up their own god to suit themselves (so they can be comfortable with their lifestyles). But, they have not even read the Bible. I remember it was when I was broken-hearted over the path my life had taken and I opened up the Bible. I was astonished at what I read! At first I remember reading about God's judgment on those who walk according to the lusts of their flesh. Then I remember being in awe of God's awesome grace. That is when I came to believe that Jesus came to take the punishment I deserved. Then, I remember being so surprised that I didn't have to do the work when it came to leaving my lifestyle of sin. He gave me a new heart and I just started seeing things differently.

I just wish some of the people I know would be able to come to the place where they can say, "I once was blind, but now I see." Just thinking...and praying.

Also, Derrick got accepted into Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I am so excited about what he is going to be learning about and teaching our family. If you would, please pray for him and the direction of our family.

Oh, we found out that the baby is a girl! We don't have a name for her yet but we're working on it.

I think it was Ray Comfort that I heard use that analogy about the 66 books of the Bible.

Random post, huh?

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Wonderful Morning Until...

Yesterday we had such a nice morning that followed a really fun time we had with Derrick on his last night before he left for Alabama. He got the position of First Sergeant and has to go to school to learn about the job. We went to Los Cabos that night. A lady made them some cute balloons and Derrick and I had some chicken and spinach enchiladas that were so good. Of course, we love the chips & salsa too. Being pregnant, I wish I had some right now. Then we went to the Bass Pro Shop. I had no idea that place was so much fun, especially for the kids. I'll have to try to post the pictures. It's probably especially fun right now because it's almost Christmas time. They had a waterfall in there and huge fish in a tank, a bunch of stuffed real animals...You can imagine the kids loved it. The pictures of Isabella on her new tricycle were taken before we went to Los Cabos. She can't peddle it yet so they have to peddle for her! We decided to go to breakfast Sunday morning because we would have to drop Derrick off at the airport at the same time church started. We went to one of my favorite places, Cracker Barrel! I love that place. The food is so good and I love their gift shop. I did some Christmas shopping for the kids while we were there. We got a huge floor checkerboard set for Bay, a magnetic tea party doll set for Sammer, and some of those silly little weasle balls that the kids enjoyed seeing on display. They are cute.

Now for the decline of the morning... I knew I was going to hang out with a friend that was in town for Thanksgiving break. After we dropped Derrick off at the airport I knew I needed to rest before we went to my grandma's for lunch and then on to shop and out to eat with my friend. So, I let the kids watch a movie and I took a nap. Usually I can do something like this and the worst thing that happens is they make a mess in the living room and I just have them clean it up. When I got up and walked into the living room Bailey said in an excited voice, "I cut Samantha's hair!" I surveyed the damage and disciplined as needed. Then he said, "I cut Isabella's hair too!" She was in her crib. I said, "What?!" and ran to see the damage. There was a bunch of hair on the girl's floor. Isabella's hair was cut almost to the scalp in the front! I knew I was going to need some professional help for the both of them. So, before we went to my grandma's house I ran by Supercuts. They wanted $13.95 for a kids cut! I just thought that was a little high for a kid's cut and especially a cut that I didn't see was going to be able to entirely fix the problem. Samantha's was cut short in a bunch of random places. I had talked to my sister-in-law, Dana, about it before I went into Supercuts and she said she might be able to help. She does cut her own kids hair really well but I said, "I think this is out of your hands because it's so bad." But, after getting the price quote, I quickly called her back. She saved the day! When we walked into her house she had a chair all set up on a towel and a professional plastic cover. She played Veggietales for the kids. Best of all, she did a really good job! Samantha's hair is short now but really cute. As for Bella, well poor baby, it's just going to have to grow. We have to do the comb over thing for her. It really doesn't look too bad if it stays in place.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bella's going to be a big sister!

We are expecting a new baby due May 22! We will hopefully find out if the baby is a boy or a girl the day before Thanksgiving. We are excited! Bailey and Samantha are thrilled. They like to do things like give me bites of cookies to feed the baby. This baby is just like the other ones in the fact that it loves to eat Taco Bueno from the womb. Err...maybe that's my preference.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The kids at Derrick's run

This was fun and not as cold as we expected it to be! First, we stopped at McDonald's for some breakfast. We met Aunt Kay Kay. I got a Caramel Apple Spice cider from Starbuck's (it's the best!). Then, on to the run to watch Derrick at the finish line. Between parking and walking we finally made it just in time to watch him at the finish line. He loaded us up with Snicker's, M&M's, & Reeses. It was fun! He did really good!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Teaching Children to Love God's Word

A friend of mine e-mailed a question to a bunch of friends and me. Because I am passionate about the subject I wanted to answer it on the blog incase it helps anyone else. She has a baby and asked what we did to teach our children God's word and if we have any favorite books, dvds, or c.d.s. Well, favorite Bibles I definitely have! I am very particular about children's Bibles. Some of them are made too goofy, are inaccurate, or both. I have three favorites currently:
101 Favorite Stories from the Bible
Illustrated by Ura Miller

This one is great because a reading is not too long and not too short. It has 3 questions to ask the children at the end and that is good to make sure they understood.

Children's Bible
Crossway books

This is probably my all-time favorite because it is the entire Bible with a bunch of illustrations. I ordered it off of but know you can get it many other places, such as Amazon.

Discoverer's Bible for Early Readers
I like this one because Bailey is beginning to be able to read it. It also has illustrations. The only thing I don't like is that the illustration is not on the same page as the reading. The kids love to look at the illustrations as I read on the other one. I actually saw this one on sale for $7.95 today! That is a really good deal as I believe we paid $25 for ours only last May.

We start reading the baby bibles to them when they are babies. Or, with Bella, if I have any Bible next to me I can read a verse or two to her before bed. She has the added bonus of getting to listen (if she's paying attention) to what her brother and sister are being read.

A friend of ours gave us a NKJV paperback bible that she painted with a glitter pen as a party favor at a birthday. I thought that was a great idea! We call it their treasure and everytime we read it I let them highlight what we read in a different color. If I say, "Go get your treasure!" they know which Bible to grab. She put a note in it with their name (Bailey's treasure) and a note that said, "Thank you for coming to ____ party! May you treasure God's Word, Jesus' love, and other people all your life!

I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread. Job 23:12.

If you look for [wisdom]as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:4-5

For where your treasure is, there your heart is also. Matthew 6:21

I rejoice at your word as one who finds great treasure. Psalm 119:162

Some favorite DVDs and C.D.s are PraiseBaby. I even love the beautiful songs playing in our house. They have many songs that we sing either at church or listen to in the car.

Bailey has some c.d.s of the Bible that help him to memorize scripture while he lays in bed so that has been great too.

Hope this helps! What a privilege and blessing it is to write God's word on our children's hearts.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Derrick is running the Chicago Marathon...

Sunday morning. You might be in prayer for him and his buddies! Also,let's hope he finds a way to bring me back some of that awesome Chicago pizza on the plane. ;)
26.2 miles!!!! Go, Derrick!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Warm and Hearty Dinner Recipes

Cabbage Roll Soup

1 lb lean ground beef
29 oz. canned tomatoes
15 oz. canned tomato sauce
1 tsp ground cinnamon (I add atleast 2 tsp)
8 cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth (you can do beef too)
4 cups water
1 cup uncooked brown rice (I add atleast 1/2 cup more)
6 cups packaged coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
A little salt (optional)

Brown ground beef-drain, add cinnamon. Put in soup pot and add tomatoes, sauce, chicken broth, and water. Bring to a boil, add brown rice and cabbage. Boil 25 minutes.

Chicken and Dumplings
2-3 chicken breasts
2 stalks celery
onion quartered
1 carrot scraped and halfed
2 cloves of garlic
tsp salt
tsp pepper
tarragon (to taste)
4 cups water
3 cups chicken broth
Boil, then lower.
Cook for 45 min. over medium
Remove chicken from broth and set broth aside. (To be honest, sometimes I skip the part of straining the broth and just pull the chicken out, cut it up, and throw out the vegetables that have been cooking. Then I put the chicken back in with new veggies.)
Discard cooked veggies.
Broth back in (Unless you never drained it.)
Add egg noodles to broth or the dumpling recipe below. If you use the egg noodles, cook them in water first.
Onion back in and sliced celery and carrots.
Bring to a boil in broth & then simmer. Cook until tender.

2 cups flour
1TBS baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 cup plus 2 TBS milk

For dumplings, combine flour, baking powder, 1 1/4 tsp salt, & milk in a medium bowl. Stir well until smooth, then let dough rest for 5-10 min. Roll dough out onto flour surface about 1/2 inch thickness. Cut the dough into 1/2 inch squares & drop each into simmering stock They will swell, then shrink. Simmer 20-30 min. Stir often. While the stock is thickening, the chicken will be cool. Tear into big chunks of chicken.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Joy of a Word-filled Family

The following is an excerpt from Dr. John S. Barnett's (our former pastor) book, The Joy of a Word-filled Family

"Communism triumphed largely because of the complete devotion of its followers. This dedication was typified in an actual letter written by a young communist to his fiancee, breaking off their engagement. The girl's pastor sent the letter to Billy Graham, who referred to it in a crusade message a number of years ago. Listen to what this young communist wrote:

'There is one thing, which I am in dead earnest about, and that is the communist cause. It is my life, my business, my religion, my hobby, my sweetheart, my wife, my mistress, and my bread and meat. I work at in the daytime and dream of it at night. Its hold on me grows, not lessens, as time goes on; therefore, I cannot carry on a friendship, a love affair, or even a conversation without relating it to this force which both drives and guides my life. I evaluate people, looks, ideas, and actions according to how they affect the communist cause, and by their attitude toward it. I've already been in jail because of my ideals, and if necessary, I'm ready to go before a firing squad.'

That is total dedication. Even without divine help, God's grace, the Spirit's power, or Christ's love, look at the intense devotion humans can produce. Can you imagine what God does when He finds this level of dedication in our hearts, minds, and wills as His children?"

He also quoted the hymn, Living For Jesus. Here is the beginning of it, "Living for Jesus a life that is true, striving to please Him in all that I do, yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free-this is the pathway of blessing for me."

Wow! That man was bent on evil but imagine a Christian with that kind of passion for Christ.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pumpkin Treats

I love pumpkin and wanted to share what pumpkin treats I stumbled upon. We went to Braum's for ice cream and they had some pumpkin ice cream. The guy told us we could have a sample and that it tasted like pumpkin pie. It was SO good. I ended up ordering it. Then, at Target, they were giving out samples of Hershey's kisses and one of them was called "Pumpkin Twist". I am really not big on candy or Hershey's kisses though I do love chocolate. I thought, "Well, it's pumpkin so I'll have one too." I had no idea they were going to taste so good. They were yummy. We had to sample them again and again in our home.

Monday, September 21, 2009

My Spider Lily is back!

I am so excited about this! Last year I had posted how Dana and I both found one in our yards. I had never seen one before but loved it. My greatmother had actually given me a bulb for mine but Dana's just came up randomly. I came home from picking up a pizza tonight and saw some long thing sticking up out of my garden. I got out in the pouring rain to make sure my eyes were seeing what they were seeing. It has not bloomed yet but here it is.

Uncle Jaared and Aunt Stephanie's wedding

The kids running around on the rocks the day before at the rehearsal while I hoped they wouldn't do that the next day at the wedding.

This was right before I whisked them away from there and brushed my hands over the flowers to smooth them back out. Bailey had wanted to take a picture by the statue.

The red was beautiful.

Isabella enjoying the yummy food that my father-in-law prepared for the rehearsal dinner.

Derrick pretending to escort his grandma with Jaared. ;)

This was at the rehearsal. We told them to sit in the "King" and "Queen" chairs.

This was so much fun! They got married at the same place Derrick and I did so it was neat to be there too. Samantha was the little flower girl, Bailey was one of the ringbearers, and Derrick was the best man. The kids had a great time. They especially loved dancing, dancing, and dancing. I will post some pictures now & put the rest on later.

A New Name

Derrick gave the idea for the new blog name. Though, it sounds familiar to me like I've heard of a blog by that name.
Here are some random pictures:
Isabella and her drumstick.

This was so cute! Isabella thought she was as big as the other girls. She couldn't quite understand she wasn't supposed to keep the golf ball but roll it to someone else. We had a get together with Derrick's running buddies and wives and ate the yummiest food together and played a really fun game.

The girls playing in a tent at one of our friend's houses.

Before we came home from the lakehouse on Labor Day we all went out for dinner & dessert at the Dairy Queen. They have THE best chocolate chip cookie dough concretes or whatever they call them. Derrick and I love them!

Sammer at G-ma Barb & Papa Mitchell's lakehouse.

This is tradition at our house. Anyone who comes over gets a personal goodbye.

The kids on cousin Aaron's back

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pictures of Derrick's Graduation

We didn't get to take a picture with all our crew that was there but here are some pics. You can't really tell but Isabella was wearing a little OSU cheerleader outfit that Aunt Kay Kay had gotten for her!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Poor Samantha

I can't muster up the energy to write out all the details of this day but by looking at the pictures you can guess it was wild. I wanted to atleast put the pictures on because Dana wanted to see them. My mom played a huge role in Samantha's well-being and comfort today. I would have been lost without her.

It all started a little before 5:30 this morning. I had been getting ready to go to Kansas to Grandpa Glen's funeral. But as the morning unraveled it was clear I would not be able to make it. I'm sad about that. Grandpa Glen and Grandma Joy had been married for almost 5 years now. But I am so happy that he has gone on to glory (as he was a believer).

We already knew the night before that Bella had a mild fever and would be going to my mom's house. I began dressing Samantha who was reluctant to wake up that early in the morning. I noticed that she had terrible bug bites? No, there were way too many for that. A terrible rash on random places on her body. I had Derrick take a look at it and he was throwing out ideas of what it might be. Not much longer I heard what sounded like a seal barking from Isabella's crib. She sounded terrible. I looked at Derrick and we knew that they were in dire need of the doctor. I said, "You know, I really want to be there...but I just can't." He went on along with Bailey, his dad, sister, brother, & very soon to be brother's wife.

We went to my mom's (she is a nurse). I left to get her some cream from the store and we were waiting for the doctor's office to open. She took a turn for the worse and looked way worse than she did in these pictures. My mom said I needed to quickly get her some children's Benadryl and she feared that her airway would close up. She hadn't had any dots on her face when I left but suddenly the rash raged and it was now on her face and lips and other areas it had not previously been. Her demeanor had also gone down. She had been happy and her worst problem then was the itching. The Benadryl worked miraculously! It knocked her out so she slept for a long time.

We would check on her and it would fade until her skin was almost entirely smooth and milky. The dr was full and couldn't see her. She ended up slowly gaining the rash again after the Benadryl wore off. I ended up taking her to Urgent care.It was there that I took the opportunity to talk to her about how Jesus had healed the lepers. ;) They said she has a viral infection. Anyway, it was scary because we have never had this happen with any of them before. As for Isabella, well she's still barkin'.