Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu


It has been fascinating to see and read the mania surrounding the Swine Flu (almost) pandemic.  The Fort Worth ISD has closed all schools until at least May 8th to prevent the spread of this disease.  Day cares, church schools, charter schools, and private schools are closing all over the metroplex.  Parents are trying to figure out what to do with their kids so they can go to work.  (I’m not answering my phone).  Doctor’s offices, emergency rooms, and minor emergency clinics are busting at the seams with people wanting to be tested for the swine flu.

I’ll admit that I woke up this morning with an intense desire to run to the grocery store and buy an unreasonable amount of pantry staples, medical supplies, and Lysol.  Then I realized that Grace and I would have to touch a shopping cart.  Ewww…I guess that’s why they invented Purell. 

Politicians are even (*gasp*) talking about closing the Mexican border!  It’s amazing that ONE confirmed swine flu death has the power to do this, especially when compared to decades of tolerating the influx of Mexican drugs, criminals, and illegal immigrants who drain our educational and health care resources. 

Disclaimer:  Before I get a bunch of e-mails decrying my hatred of Mexicans, I want to assure my readers that I welcome Mexicans (or any other nationalities) who wish to honestly and legally follow the correct procedure to immigrate to the United States and become tax-paying citizens.  This is the historical foundation of our country.  I just have a problem with the lack of importance (even from conservatives) that our politicians have placed on protecting our citizens from the above mentioned negative results of a relaxed border.

My friend Larry wrote a hilarious post entitled “Mexico:  The Gift That Keeps On Giving.”  You can click over and read it, but here’s my favorite quote:

“Rumor is Congress is voting to call it [Swine Flu] the George Bush Flu, under the reasoning that everything else bad in the world is the fault of George Bush, so this must be also. The bill has stalled, however, as all the Democratic Congressmen are adding so many pork laden riders to the bill it resembles a bucket of slop.”


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dairy-Free Update

We are doing very well on our dairy-free journey.  I can definitely see a major improvement in Grace’s eczema, which is the biggest benefit.  Another area of change is in her general energy level.  She seems to be more active and happy.  And she is sleeping less.  For most people that’s not a benefit, but for Grace it is.

For years people have told me how wonderful it is to have a child that sleeps so well.  Grace LOVES bedtime, naptime, and anytime that she gets to go to bed.  She has always slept more than the recommended amount for her age…I’ve even asked our pediatrician about it, and she’s told me it was fine.  At four years old, she is still taking a LONG nap every afternoon, waking up only when I tell her she must get up.

Her naptimes have been shorter in the past couple of weeks, and we’ve let her stay up later because she’s been so energetic.  I hadn’t connected this to our dairy-free journey until I read on a website that elimination of dairy (or any food that is deemed intolerant) will result in an overall increase of energy and mood. 

Without thinking, I let her eat a piece of pizza last Saturday (with lots of cheese).  On Sunday night I was trying to figure out why her eczema flared up again, and I realized that she had eaten cheese!  Duh!  (Way to go, mom…).  At least it reinforced to me that we are on the right path.

As far as replacing the dairy products, she is enjoying soy milk and soy yogurt.  (I’ll admit that I’m not crazy about soy products…they have a slight chalky aftertaste, but Grace hasn’t noticed at all.)  The best-tasting milk replacement (to me) so far has been almond milk. 

almond breeze

This stuff is FABULOUS.  Even if you don’t need to go dairy-free, it is a delicious treat.  It really does taste nutty, and it has less calories than fat-free cow’s milk.  Lot’s of nutrients and vitamins, too.  It’s quite expensive in the regular grocery store, but I have found that my Whole Foods market does frequent sales on this product. 

We are still considering allergy testing, just to reinforce that we are doing the right thing…and to see if there are any other allergies we might have missed.  We’ll discuss it with Grace’s pediatrician on our next visit and go from there.

Monday, April 27, 2009



I had to post this picture because it is so stinkin’ cute!  Grace’s friend has been helping her put on her jewelry and fix her hair for over an hour now.  He knows all about this because he has two older sisters! 

They play so sweetly together.  He is ALL BOY, but is also very tender and gentle with Grace. 

I just heard this conversation from the living room:

Caleb:  “OK, you need to wear this necklace now.”

Grace:  “Well, I like this one."

Caleb:  “No, that one doesn’t match!  The jewelry has to match your clothes.”

Grace:  “Okay.  You can put it over my head.”

Caleb:  “Don’t you just love it?!”

Grace:  “It’s perfect!  I LOVE it!”

This age is so much fun…….

Update:  They are now pretending to be super heroes while using their super bracelet powers to fight the “bad guys.”

Health(ier) Cupcakes!


I found a quick and easy recipe for chocolate cupcakes several days ago, and I tweeked it a little bit to make them healthier.  This recipe makes 12 cupcakes, and each one (including icing) has 122 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 2 grams of fiber. 

To amp up the nutritional benefits a little, I did a 1/2 white flour and 1/2 whole wheat flour mixture.  I also did a 1/2 sugar and 1/2 Splenda mixture.  In place of the normal vegetable oil, I used unsweetened applesauce.  Grace and the other kids I babysit gobbled them up and didn’t even know they were healthier!

Also, this is the perfect recipe for kids to help cook in the kitchen.  It’s so easy…no mixer, one bowl, and simple ingredients.

Fat-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 3/4 c. white flour
  • 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. Splenda (granulated for baking)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa (I used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa – yum!)
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 7 tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. water

Sift first 7 ingredients together, then add remaining ingredients. Pour into cupcake pan (with liners). Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes, remove from pan, let cool and frost.

Easy Icing

  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. flavoring (almond, vanilla, etc.)
  • 3 tsp. milk (or water or any other juice or drink)

Stir together.  Use one teaspoon of icing for each cupcake.  Shake a few sprinkles on top for a festive look.  Enjoy!

Monday Milestones


This was a hard week.  I ran out of HMR food and shakes, and my food delivery has (possibly) been lost.  Every two weeks I place an order, and it usually takes about 4 business days to be delivered to my door.  I placed my last order on April 13th, and I’m still waiting.  My credit card was charged through PayPal.  I tried to call the customer service phone number for the independent company that distributes the food for HMR, but the number is “no longer in service.”  Hmmmm.  The only other way to contact the company is via e-mail, and I sent one stating that I have not received my purchase.  No response yet. 

So, what I ate this week was up to me.  I don’t mind fixing my own food…I actually enjoy it.  However, I really missed the shakes.  They are totally worth the money.  They are delicious, provide excellent nutrition, and are completely satisfying.  I basically stayed hungry most of the week since I wasn’t drinking the shakes.

However, I still managed to lose three pounds.  It was quite surprising when I got on the scale.  (I guess my competitive nature won…I was DETERMINED to not gain weight without my HMR food.)  I met my exercise goal and drank plenty of water, so that was a big part of it.  My total is now 37 pounds in 13 weeks. 

My monthly check-up went well and my blood pressure reading was 126/70.  The nurse practitioner was very encouraging and told me to keep going.  She also warned me to not become discouraged if my weight loss slows a little this month…it’s bound to happen, and I should keep my eyes on the big picture, remembering that this is truly a lifestyle change and not just a temporary diet.  It’s really nice to see myself slowly moving down the BMI chart.

I’m not sure when I’m going to get more HMR food/shakes.  If I don’t hear from the company by the end of the business day today, I will request a reimbursement from PayPal and purchase food/shakes from a different distributor. 

My goal this week is to stay consistent with low-fat/low-calorie food and exercise.  I’ve given up on the “cutting back on caffeine” goal for the moment.  Morning coffee and Sonic Happy Hour took a front seat this past week.  One challenge at a time…

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Love Those Clearance Racks

Last night, after Todd got home from work, we went to the local mall for some family time.  Todd walked around with Grace and took her to the mall playground while I went to Gymboree to spend a gift certificate.  I found a beautiful smocked Sunday dress (originally $49.00) on sale for $7.99.  I also found some cute summer shirts for $4-6 each.  If you’ve ever been to Gymboree, this is CHEAP.  I was able to get several items of clothing (including matching hair accessories) with Grace’s gift certificate.

I was headed down to meet Todd at the playground area when I walked past The Children’s Place.  I was actually going to practice some restraint and keep walking when I heard an employee call out to me that all clearance rack items were an additional 50% until closing that night.  Holy cow.  I suddenly remembered a 15% off my total purchase coupon I had received in the mail that I had thrown in my purse several days ago.  Needless to say, I veered into the store and went straight to the back to my beloved clearance racks.  It looked like a feeding frenzy with lots of moms and strollers trying to maneuver through the racks, but I managed to find the following items:

  • Sunday dress - $4.99             ($4.24 with coupon)
  • Casual cotton skirt - $2.99    ($2.54 with coupon)
  • Khaki shorts - $3.99              ($3.39 with coupon)
  • White shorts - $3.99             ($3.39 with coupon)
  • Purple shirt - $1.99               ($1.69 with coupon)
  • Turquoise shirt - $1.99          ($1.69 with coupon)

There were so many other deals that I could have snatched up, but I reasoned that she really didn’t NEED them, even though they were cheap.  Now Grace is set for summer/fall!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Things I Love Thursday – Cool Whip Lite


We recently started a dairy-free journey with our 4-yr-old daughter.  Eliminating milk products seems to be helping her eczema and giving her more energy. 

Our daughter loves ice cream, and we would often give a scoop to her after dinner as a treat.  Specialty dairy-free confections can be quite expensive, so I bought a tub of Cool Whip Lite.  I called it ice cream and gave her a scoop after dinner with some strawberries and a little drizzle of chocolate syrup.  She loves it and doesn’t miss traditional ice cream at all! 

cool whip lite 

On my low-calorie/low-fat eating plan, I can use a small scoop as a treat over berries for only 20 calories and 1 gram of fat.  Sometimes I even add a scoop to my smoothies to make them taste creamier.  And the price is great…I usually pay under a dollar per tub!  I also don’t mind going with the generic brand if it comes in a “lite” variety…it cuts out 1/2 the calories and fat of the regular variety.

Also, to give whipped topping a boost, try mixing in a drop of liquid flavorings.  My favorites are:  vanilla, almond, lemon, and coconut!

For more Things I Love Thursday posts, visit The Diaper Diaries.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday – Creative Exercise Ideas


I’m on a fitness journey, and I’m always looking for new and easy ways to get some exercise.  I used to be a member of a local YMCA gym, but budget and time constraints resulted in me cancelling my membership several months ago.  I have a great treadmill at home, so it’s easy to get in some good cardio, but I miss the weight machines tremendously. 

I started looking around my house trying to figure out what I could use as free weights.  Canned food items in the pantry work well for arm curls and lifts.  For an extra challenge, I dug out some reserved gallons of water from my garage. 

Then I realized…I have a 33-pound 4-yr-old!  So yesterday after my treadmill session, I shamelessly used her as my resistance training.  I lifted her like a barbell.  I flew her back and forth like Superman.  She sat on my ankles for leg lifts.  She laid on my back while I attempted push-ups.  She was beyond delighted as we “played” for about 30 minutes.

And this morning it even hurts to type.  Seriously, I don’t remember being this sore after the first time I used weight-lifting machines.  It’s a great way to work my muscles and be a mommy at the same time, and that works for me!

For more works-for-me tips, visit We Are THAT Family.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Creepy Is His Thing

benIf you are a fellow Lostie, check out this video of Michael “Benjamin Linus” Emerson on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

Jimmy asked him to read the poem “Little Boy Blue” as creepily as possible.  It was awesome.

Making a Treat for Daddy

This afternoon we read the Golden book “We Help Mommy.”  This is my all-time favorite book from my childhood, and Grace loves it too.  In the story, the little girl bakes a pie for her daddy as a treat.  Of course, Grace asked if we could make a treat for daddy, too? 

I recently ran across an egg-less, butter-less, milk-less cake recipe that I wanted to try, so I thought we would bake some cupcakes and ice them together.  Grace got really excited and ran to the pantry exclaiming, “I’ll get my apron!”  I got tickled because my favorite line from the movie Bolt is the hamster gleefully exclaiming, “I’ll get my ball!” 


Grace tasted so much icing that I’m amazed there was any left for the cupcakes!  She finally figured out that the most efficient way to eat icing was the direct approach.


Don’t worry…I didn’t cheat on my diet.  Cupcakes are not a temptation for me, as I am not a big cake-lover.  (If we had been baking chocolate peanut-butter chip cookies, however, that would be a different story.)  Grace was very proud of our decorated cupcakes and told me, “Daddy’s gonna be like…wow!…I loooove them!”


I can’t imagine why she, like, talks that way!


Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Milestones


It was nice to get back into a routine this week.  I got in four good workouts on the treadmill and several additional walks outside with Grace.  I did cheat a little at the Ranger baseball game and eat some popcorn.  And a few french fries.  And a bite of cotton candy.  But I didn’t even touch Todd’s funnel cake!  (Small victories…)

All in all, I lost two pounds this week.  That brings me to 34 pounds in twelve weeks. 

I have a lighter schedule for the next several days, so my first goal is to get in five workouts.  My second goal is stay away from junk food (even tastings…’cause they leave me hungry for more)!  My third goal this week is to drink more water and less Diet Coke.  I used to be so good about only drinking water and diet lemon-lime soda, but lately the caffeine has slowly crept back into my diet. 

I have a monthly check-up at my doctor on Friday, just to keep track of my progress and check my vitals.  I go to a really great nurse practitioner who has been very encouraging.  She never seems to be in a rush and is always personable.  I actually feel like I’m getting my money’s worth for the visit! 

Todd got some good news this week, too.  He had his yearly physical exam and blood work done, and his cholesterol count came back well within the normal range for the first time in years!  In the past, his count always ran a little high.  I am totally attributing it to the way I am cooking now.  Less fats, more vegetables, etc.  He will always be a big meat-eater…he considers it a part of his masculinity!  However, now he is getting oven-roasted or cooking-spray-stir-fried veggies as sides instead of loaded mashed potatoes or butter-and-bacon green beans.  Thankfully, as long has he has a slab of meat on his plate, he’s happy!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

View From The Top, Part II

I wrote a post several weeks ago about a strange incident that happened in our church.  Well, today we witnessed a repeat performance. 

The same man came back this week for the worship service.  From the choir loft, I watched him sit on the last row of the ground floor.  I honestly don’t know how our pastor kept his concentration, because I couldn’t stop watching him thrash his arms and head about during the whole service, including most of the sermon.  If he wasn’t imitating a Richard Simmons exercise video, he was throwing his black hat in the air.  And by “throwing” I mean executing a high spin-toss with a great one-handed catch.  At least a hundred times.  I was actually impressed at his eye-hand coordination.

I saw no evidence of whiskey this time (other than his behavior).  I’m not sure what this man’s story is or why he acts the way he acts, but I know that God has placed him in our worship service for a reason.  Perhaps the Holy Spirit is calling him into a new life. 

I just wish he wasn’t so disruptive to other people who are trying to worship…

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Calendar Time

I decided several weeks ago that I needed to work more on Grace’s concept of time.  She’s ready to learn the days of the week and the months in the year.  She needs to gain a better understanding of “today”, “tomorrow”, and “yesterday.” 

I came across a great product when I was on Amazon looking for a birthday present for my sweet niece.  I ended up buying two…I shipped one to Hawaii as a gift and got one for Grace and me to use together.  Here’s the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Magnetic Calendar:


We love it!  I hung it in her bedroom (out of reach), and every morning the first thing we do is calendar time.  We review the month, date, day of the week, and planned activity.  We’ll talk about today, yesterday, and tomorrow by pointing them out on the calendar.  There are tons of magnetic pieces to put on the days, so we can fill up our calendar and have lots to talk about.  Our most-used pieces are:

  • Play with friends
  • Go to the park
  • Go to the library
  • Go on a picnic
  • Ballet class (this won’t officially start until Sept., but we pretend now)
  • Go to church (this one wasn’t part of the set…I made it custom from the extra blank ones that are included)
  • Clean room

There are also pieces for “sunny”, “cloudy”, and “rainy”.  So, we look out the window, talk about the weather, and decide which piece we will use today.

This is a great product, and I’m so glad that she’s learning good kindergarten skills now.  Another side benefit is that it’s helping Grace to learn more patience.  If we know about a special activity in advance (like the Ranger baseball game we went to earlier this week), she has a visual representation and a better understanding of how long she will need to wait for that special day.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Milk. The enemy?

I mentioned in a post last Friday that Grace has been having a bad flare-up of her eczema.  We have dealt with this since birth.  I have tried every possible cream, ointment, lotion…both prescription and over-the-counter.  Many times something will help for a time, but inevitably she will have more problems and whatever I’m using at the time will stop “working.”

Last week we were in crisis mode.  When I got her out of bed last Friday after a restless night of fussing and crying, I noticed smears of blood on the sheets.  She had scratched behind her knees so much during the night that it drew blood.  I had to do something.

I spent more time researching various eczema websites and most of them mentioned one recurring theme:  food allergies.  The most common offender?  Milk.  It was not a stretch to consider that milk could be the underlying cause of her skin problems.  I myself was taken off dairy products at 10 months old, which my mom says resulted in much better health.  We know already that she is allergic to eggs, which makes her more likely to have other food sensitivities.

Long story short…I stopped all dairy products last Friday and her eczema is at least 75% better than this time last week.  No milk,  ice cream, yogurt, or cheese.  I realize that dairy products provide needed nutrients for kids to grow, so I bought a couple of substitution products. 

For her morning cereal, I used soy milk with extra calcium.  She didn’t even notice.  I also bought soy-based yogurt, which she loved.  I even bought Cool Whip as a treat in place of ice cream.  I haven’t bought any cheese substitute yet since I’m still looking at my options.  I also purchased some almond milk to try, but I’ll wait until we finish the soy milk.

I know we’re still in the early stages…it’s only been a week.  But, I cut out all additional treatments, oil, and lotions (other than the Cetaphil cream for moisture) to try to get a more accurate picture of what an elimination of dairy might do for her.  I really can’t attribute her improvement to anything else.

So we’re starting a new journey…no more pizza, mac & cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, chocolate milk, pudding, yogurt, ice cream, Goldfish, string cheese, butter, etc.  I’ll do my best to find alternate products so she will not feel deprived and get the nutrition she needs.

There’s a lot of buzz on the internet about coconut milk products, and they look yummy!  I had to call a bunch of places before I found a store that keeps them in stock, so we’ll try them out, too.  I also found a great recipe for coconut milk ice cream that looks super-easy and delicious.

I’m really hoping this is “the answer.”  Only time will tell.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

“Polar bear poop. Got it.”


Hurley had a plethora (bonus points if you know what classic comedy movie overuses that word) of one-liners tonight.  My favorite?  To Miles:  “Maybe he’ll let you hold baby you…”  And how funny was it that Hurley was writing the script to The Empire Strikes Back “with a couple of improvements?”

We learned that Miles has a gift to communicate with dead people.  Something he and Hurley have in common!  I enjoyed seeing their friendship develop in the Dharma van.  It was also interesting to see Naomi working to recruit Miles to go to the island.  And the guy that kidnapped Miles in the van was on the second plane that crashed. 

Roger is a mean drunk and unpredictable.  Sawyer has a seen-too-much security co-worker that is now his prisoner.  Kate can’t keep her mouth shut.  Jack is acting suspiciously submissive.   All this adds up to things spiraling out of control for poor Sawyer.  And I’m assuming that he doesn’t know about Horace’s "package-delivering” activities? 

I had already figured that Dr. Chang was Miles’s father, so that wasn’t a huge surprise.  We are presented with yet another messed-up parent-child relationship.  I predict that Miles will “communicate” with his deceased father and gain resolution that his father did love him.  Of course, he will need to travel forward in time and avoid Ben’s massacre in order to do this. 

Did you notice that the chalkboard Jack erased showed that the Dharma kids were learning about Egypt? 

And I’m dying to know what kind of experiments are being done with polar bear poop. 

My DVR cut off on the last couple of minutes, so the last thing I saw was Miles looking in the window, watching his dad hold him as a baby.  Any enlightenment would be great!  I heard something about Farraday appearing?  If so, it’s about time!

Overall, I didn’t love this episode, but that’s probably because I finally watched last week’s episode earlier this evening.  Uh. Maze. Ing. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ranger Game

Last night, we went to the Ranger baseball game.  It was loads of fun to see some former co-workers and spend time as a family!  Grace’s favorite parts were the fireworks (after two homeruns!) and eating junk food.  Between what we bought and what she gained from the other kids by trading food, her dinner last night consisted of popcorn, french fries, M&Ms, gummy worms, cotton candy, and Diet Coke.  Yes, I pride myself on feeding healthy, nutritious meals to my family.


We stayed until the bottom of the ninth, then left to get a little head start getting out of the parking lot.  We sat in the nosebleed section and were able to get 1/2 price tickets for $3.00 each.  Well worth it, considering we were too busy talking and visiting and barely watched any of the game!  Sadly, I couldn’t name one player on the Ranger team and I don’t even remember what other team we played, but I did get caught up on our former co-workers’ new jobs, kids, and we re-hashed lots of old memories!

Preschooler Quote of the Day

When I get ready in the morning, Grace likes to watch me and pretend to put on make-up, brush her hair, etc.  While she was rummaging through my make-up bag she said,

Wow, mama.  It takes LOTS of stuff for you to be pretty!”

I Dreamed A Dream

I know this is old news by now, but I just had to post this video.  This is an absolutely amazing vocal audition last weekend by a woman named Susan Boyle on “Britain’s Got Talent.”  Even Simon Cowell was shocked.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Because Some Things Just Must Be Documented…

People have always fascinated me.  I remember when I was a little girl and my grandparents would take me and my brothers to the mall.  My grandmother would take us around to shop for clothes or shoes, and my granddaddy would park himself on a bench and watch everyone walk by.  For HOURS.  I used to wonder how he could stand to sit there that long, but now I think I could probably do the same thing and never get bored.

Because, folks, people are entertaining.

Yesterday I was at Albertson’s grabbing a few groceries.  The lines were pretty long when I was ready to check out, and I parked my cart behind what I thought would be the shortest wait time.  After waiting a few minutes, I realized that the woman in front of me had a huge notebook overflowing with coupons, and she was going through her basket and matching up her items with coupons in preparation for checking out.  This particular Albertson’s doesn’t have the best track record in my experience on accuracy (in price scanning/coupons), and I knew this woman was going to be watching that cashier like a hawk.  I thought about moving to another line, but I decided to hang tight because I have been that woman, and I was interested to see how much this customer’s groceries were going to cost.  (Sad, I know.  But at least I’m admitting to being nosy).  And I’m so glad I didn’t move, because I would have missed out on what happened next.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, I saw the corner of a blue racecar shopping cart being forced into the 12 inches of space between the front end of my cart and the coupon lady.  I looked over to see an attractive woman talking on a cell phone while trying to keep a 3-yr-old boy corralled inside the racecar.  I thought at first that she had come over to grab something from the candy or cold drink fridge that’s in the checkout area.  Then I realized that she was CUTTING IN LINE.  Blatantly.  Not even trying to disguise it.  Without any eye contact.  Still talking on the cell phone.

The coupon lady noticed what was happening when the blue racecar started pushing the back of her legs and she was forced to move forward.  The coupon lady’s eyes were priceless.  She looked at me as if to say, “Can you believe this woman?  Are you going to let her cut?”  I just shrugged and smiled a little as the mom continued to maneuver her racecar in between us. 

I had a choice to make.  I could make a scene and insist that she go to the back of the line, or I could lay back and do nothing.  Or I could say something full of sarcasm in a really sweet voice, which suits my passive-aggressive personality to a tee.  Guess which one I decided to do?  I planned to wait until she got off the phone, get her attention, and say, “It looks like you are in a big hurry.  It’s okay if you go in front of me.  I have time to wait.”

But, alas, I didn’t get the opportunity.  She abruptly cut off her cell phone conversation when her son managed to escape the confines of his blue racecar and pull about fifty gift cards off a display and throw them all over the floor.  When she started yelling at him for making a mess, he took off running through the store, weaving in and out of customers, hiding behind shopping carts, laughing gleefully as his mom frantically tried to catch him.

Since she had abandoned her cart, I thought about pushing it away and reclaiming my spot in line.  But the entertainment value was just too great.  I was fascinated to see if she would ever acknowledge the fact that she had cut in front of me.  She eventually caught her son’s shirt and started dragging him back to the blue racecar, threatening to “beat his butt” if he didn’t stay in the cart.  She pushed him into the driver’s seat, grabbed a celebrity magazine off the shelf, and started reading.  Still no eye contact with me.

Her son escaped again and started pulling candy off the shelves.  She glanced up, told him he “better get back in that cart RIGHT NOW”, then went back to reading her magazine as he ignored her and continued to dig around in the candy.  To which Grace loudly observed while pointing, “He’s not obeying his mommy!”  Still no eye contact with me.

Time went by very slowly because, as I had predicted, the coupon lady had to correct several errors in scanning and sale prices.  The boy started getting bored with the candy display, so he decided to take off running again and play hide-and-seek with his mom.  This time he ran all the way to the bank that is located in the grocery store, ignoring his mom’s orders to come back in line.  She lost sight of him and started counting loudly, “ONE!…TWO!…You better get where I can see you!…TWO AND A HALF!…Where are you?..I’m almost to three!...There you are!…Get back over here!…I’m fixing to say three!…If I say three you’re gonna get it!…That’s right, you come back now…Oh, good boy…Thank you for coming back…That’s a sweet boy…”  Seriously?  I couldn’t believe she was praising him. 

Grace was absolutely enthralled.  The boy went back to disorganizing the candy and mom went back to the celebrity magazine.  Still no eye contact.  At this point, there was a good-sized collection of scattered gift cards and candy on the floor.  Grace made another loud observation, “He’s making a mess!  That’s not very nice.”  I leaned over to tell her to be quiet and stop talking about the boy.  She responded by trying to look around me and said, “Mama!  Please move over.  I can’t SEE him!”  (Which the lady in line behind me thought was hilarious).

The lady with the coupons was still trying to correct the cashier, so we got several more minutes of entertainment while mom read the magazine, stopping occasionally to order her son to get back in the cart and behave (which he ignored).  Suddenly, the mom whipped around and looked me directly in the eye.  She said, “I really want to read this magazine.  But I don’t want to pay for it.  I would like to ALLOW you to go in front of me so I’ll have more time to read.”  I was so stunned that all I could do was grin and mumble a quick thank you.  The sweet irony of it all.  The mom made a big production of moving her racecar backwards and motioning for me to move in front of her. 

I used my feet to clear a pathway from all the gift cards and candy on the floor so I could push my cart back to my rightful spot in line.  (I still managed to run over a York Peppermint Patty.)  The cashier finally got the coupon lady’s total correct, so it was my turn to check out.  Miraculously, my items scanned correctly and my coupons all worked.  When it was time to pay, I saw the little boy playing with the credit card machine.  His mom had given him her credit card and he was swiping it, pretending to pay.  Mom was still reading the magazine, so I got her attention and said, “It’s okay with me if he pays for my groceries, but you might not like it as much!”  She looked up and told him to stop and come back over to where she was.  He ignored her and kept on pressing buttons on the machine.  Finally, I looked at the boy and said, “Excuse me!  I need to pay now.”  I gently pushed him aside as he continued to reach up and press the buttons.  I again told him, “No!  It’s my turn now.” as his mom obliviously read her magazine.  I used my body to block his access and swiped my card. 

As I was leaving, I felt overwhelming pity for that mom.  Can you imagine the stress level she is going to feel as her son grows older?  And becomes a teenager?  And goes to high school?  It will be a never-ending battle.  I felt a little guilty as I climbed into our car.  I really want to help moms who are struggling because I’ve been where they are and I am so thankful for people who have pointed me to examine the Scriptures and read good biblical parenting books.  But there’s a fine line between trying to help and being perceived as self-righteous.  I’m still trying to figure out how I could reach out to a struggling mom after witnessing something like that, if I respond at all.  Any advice or opinions would be welcomed!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Don’t Make Me Count To Three! – Appendix A, B, and C

Wow!  I can’t believe this book study is at an end!  However, my journey through the hills, valleys, and curves of parenting will continue.  It’s been good for me to take a nosedive into this book and work to write my weekly reviews.  I appreciate you tagging along while I’ve been working some things out in my heart.  I hope this has been beneficial to you as well.

Appendix A

I am glad that Ginger included a clear explanation of how to become a Christian.  After all, living as a Christian and obeying God’s commands is the foundation for this entire book.  Perhaps someone picked this book off the Barnes & Noble shelf because of the catchy title, but they have never truly learned what it means to follow God.  It is also helpful to use her simple language when talking to our children about becoming a Christian.

Appendix B

This appendix spoke to my heart.  I have often witnessed children “walking the aisle” and being baptized, but not truly having the understanding (or sometimes desire) to live and grow in the faith.  Giving our children a false assurance of salvation simply because they prayed a prayer or made a commitment at youth camp can be a huge stumbling block.  The best way for our children to understand what it means to live as a Christian is to give them an example in the way we live our life.  Spending time in the Word, praying, repenting and asking forgiveness when we sin against our children, and striving to please God are the best ways for us to demonstrate God’s plan of salvation to our children.  What a huge responsibility!  Like Ginger, I would encourage parents to be thankful and encouraging when children make a profession of faith, but not be so quick to baptize and join the church until there is evidence of a desire to please God in their life. 

Appendix C

My favorite part of this appendix was the section called “What Should We Pray?” on pg. 148-150.  I made a copy of this and I am going to keep it on my bedside table as a constant reminder of all the ways I want to pray for our daughter.  All 15 prayer requests that Ginger listed are things that I want to be answered for our daughter, Grace.  According to her unique personality, the ones that stand out to me are:

  • #1 – Pray that our children would come to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
  • #4 – Pray that the Lord would implant into their hearts a hunger and thirst for Him.
  • #10 – Pray that they would use their gifts and talents to honor the Lord.
  • #11 – Pray that they would have freedom from fear as they trust in the Lord.
  • #13 – Pray that the Lord would bring godly mates into their lives.

The only thing I would add is to make sure that I am praising God and giving thanks for the privilege of raising her.  There were many years that I thought we would never be able to have a child, and I just can’t stop being grateful for becoming a mom, even though at times I feel wholly inadequate.  I know that I will never be a perfect parent because I have a sinful nature, but my desire is to raise her as faithfully as possible, showing appreciation for my answered prayer.

Thanks again for riding along on this journey through the book and reading my ramblings!  I’d love to hear feedback about your experiences or thoughts after finishing the book.  I’ve enjoyed reading the comments and e-mails that I’ve received over the past weeks.  It’s nice to know I’m not alone when facing all those tough parenting issues!  Many blessings to you along the journey!

Monday Milestones


This was a weird week.  There were a few times that I ate a sandwich or other food that was provided for The Passion cast and crew because I couldn’t take my entrees or shakes and I was tired of eating nutrition bars.  I did skip the multitude of desserts that were offered, as well as all the candy treats.  For Easter dinner, I stayed on my plan and didn’t mind at all.  I really tried to focus on the friends and fellowship instead of the food that I was eating. 

I did manage to get in two workouts and this is probably what helped me to lose one pound this week.  That brings my total weight loss to 32 pounds in eleven weeks. 

I’m excited about beginning a new week and getting back into a routine.  There are a couple of things on the calendar this week that will interfere with my morning workout time, and I’ve found that it just doesn’t work for me to try to do it in the afternoon or evening. 

My goals this week are to exercise 3-4 times, drink more water, get more sleep, and stay on my eating plan.  Oh, and to stay away from Grace’s Easter basket that is overflowing with chocolate!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Weekend


We had a full, happy Easter weekend!  The Passion performances went very well, and Todd ended up taking Grace to see the last show on Saturday night.  We talked about it an length before deciding to allow her to see it.  There are many extremely graphic scenes including the beating and crucifixion of Jesus.  The professional make-up artists and body doubles did an amazing job of making everything look very real, and I even had a difficult time watching at times.

We are careful to protect her from watching acts of violence on TV or movies.  After all, she is only four years old, and there is just nothing redeeming in her seeing those types of things.  However, the depiction of Jesus’s suffering is not meaningless violence.  It is horrible, it is graphic, it is unimaginable, and it is meaningful.  We want her to understand how much Jesus suffered for us, so we ultimately decided to let her watch these scenes. 

We have talked about the death and resurrection of Jesus on a regular basis since she was born, but we found out this morning that it has suddenly become much more real to her.  We were eating a fellowship breakfast at church and talking about the food when, out of the blue, Grace started shaking her head and saying, “That’s so sad, that’s so sad…”  I asked her what was sad and she replied, “They were mean to Jesus.  They hurt Jesus.  That’s so sad.”  I said, “Yes, that was very sad when they hurt him and he died on the cross.  But, what happened after he died?”  Grace responded by throwing her hands in the air and exclaiming, “He’s alive!”.  This is the first time that she has ever verbalized, on her own without prompting, the events of Jesus’s death and resurrection.  I am thankful that we decided to take her to the show on Saturday, and I hope that she will continue to talk about and think about the events she saw portrayed.

She was occasionally restless during the performance, and she never did recognize me on stage until the very end when I took off my Jewish headdress for the heaven scene.  Here’s a picture of me and Grace with my friend Monica.  Grace wanted to see the angels up close after the show!

003 After being at The Passion late last night, we had to get up early and be at church by 7:30 since I was singing in the sunrise service.  Thankfully, Grace was excited to wake up early because she knew we were meeting her good friend Natalie and sitting with her during the service.

021She made it through and was sweet and quiet the whole time!  Whew!  It was fun to worship together as a family.  We are considering taking her out of child care a year early and starting big church this summer.  She’s probably ready.

After the service, we found our sweet friend that I babysit during the week.  He was very proud to tell me that he was dressed like a gentleman!

023 After Sunday School and the second service, we went to Larry and Joy’s house for a delicious lunch and fellowship.  They are so sweet to include us as part of their family during holidays.  They had a full house, and Grace enjoyed chasing their dog and various other members of their family around while we got the food ready. 

The only bad thing today was that I accidentally gave Grace some of the corn pudding I made without thinking about the fact that there was a high concentration of eggs.  She immediately reacted with itching and hives around her mouth, and I had to give her a big dose of the Benedryl that I always keep in my purse.  It made her kind of loopy, and I couldn’t keep her awake after we left their house.  She’s been sleeping since 5:00, and it’s now almost 9:00 p.m.  I’ll probably wake her up in a minute, feed her, then put her back to bed.  She’s had a busy week, too, and needs to catch up on her sleep!

The only other brief moment of sadness today was being away from my dad on his birthday.  Happy Birthday Dad!  My whole life, I have been so blessed to be his daughter.  I know how unusual and wonderful it is to be born to a father who is wise, loving, firm, gracious, and kind.  I hope that we have many more years to celebrate together.  I love you, dad!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend with your family.  He is risen!  He is risen indeed!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

We’re having a restful Good Friday today.  Todd did have to work for half the day to make up for a snow day (Texas translation:  morning of intense ice/sleet that melts quickly as soon as the sun comes up).  Thankfully, he’ll be home shortly after lunchtime, so we’ll have a short time together as a family before I leave for opening night of The Passion.  Ticket sales are going well, so it looks like we’ll have a packed house tonight!  The main reason we are performing in a public venue this year instead of our church sanctuary is to try to reach people who might feel uncomfortable going to a church but would not think twice about buying tickets to a popular performance facility.  There will be a time of invitation at the end where volunteers and pastors will be available to speak with audience members who wish to ask questions or process what they have seen and (hopefully) seek a personal relationship with God. 

The only bad thing about being a part of this production is leaving Grace for lots of rehearsals and performances.  She has been a little out of sorts for the past two days mostly due to a flair-up of her eczema.  Her little legs look like someone took a meat mallet to them, and no amount of lotion or coconut oil is relieving her itching and discomfort.  We are considering a visit to an allergist.  She has a history of food sensitivities (as did I in my childhood).  And in my research, many people have found eczema relief by eliminating certain foods from their diet, one at a time, until the offender is discovered.  At this point, I’m willing to try anything to help her feel better.

Although we will miss our family terribly over this Easter weekend, we are looking forward to spending time with our sweet friends on Sunday after church.  They have adopted us into their family and graciously included us on many holiday celebrations over the years.  Todd’s family and my family is spread all over the nation:  Louisiana, Alabama, Hawaii, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.  As you can imagine, we have spent many a holiday break in the car, traveling to various destinations to see our loved ones.  (Although we haven’t made it to Hawaii yet…)  And until someone figures out how to “beam us up” like they do on Star Trek, we’ll continue to hit the road for longer holiday breaks!

Amidst the sometimes hurried chaos that comes with holiday preparations, I hope that everyone takes the time to remember why we call today “Good Friday.”  How amazing it is to celebrate a Savior that was willing to die a horrific, undeserved death on the cross so that we might have forgiveness and eternal life!  Blessings to you all!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Smoke monster, how I missed thee!


Sorry there’s no LOST recap today.  I haven’t even watched it yet because I’ve been rehearsing  The Passion.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Flower Girl


On Sunday morning as I walked into our Sunday School class, I was greeted by a sweet smiling friend holding a beautiful bouquet of tulips (my favorite!).  She gave me the flowers and asked if I would allow Grace to be a flower girl in her upcoming wedding.  Hmmm…let me think a minute…of course! 

When I tried to explain it to Grace later, she didn’t fully understand, but she did get three major points that she was VERY excited about:

1.  She will wear a pretty dress.  (Really pretty…I saw it online!)

2.  Her hair will be curly.  (Rollers are a BIG incentive these days.)

3.  She will look like a princess.  (This was especially exciting when  the mother-of-the-bride mentioned a possible tiara).

I’ve already started praying that she won’t freak out and ruin the wedding, but I really think she’ll be okay when the time comes.  She’ll be five years old and we’ll practice a lot!


Honestly, the most exciting part of this wedding will be the sweet man and woman that are joining their lives together and starting a family of faith.  It is rare and precious to see a couple striving to honor God in every detail of preparing and planning for marriage.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Prayer Request

Over the weekend, a couple that is very dear to my heart suffered a miscarriage.  I know that they would appreciate your prayers as they prepare themselves for the emotional D & C procedure this morning. 

I have often struggled with wondering why God chooses to give children to unwed mothers and parents who don’t take the responsibility seriously while other couples who pray desperately and truly want to raise a child in the Lord struggle to conceive and/or miscarry.  There is an easy answer to this question, but it’s not easy to understand and accept. 

God is good.  He is sovereign and in control of all nature.  He knit that tiny baby together in the womb (see Psalm 139:13) and one day the baby’s parents will rejoice to meet their child in heaven (see 2 Samuel 12:23). 

I pray for comfort and peace in this sweet couple’s hearts as they mourn this tremendous loss.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Don’t Make Me Count To Three – Ch. 12

Welcome to the last chapter of our book study through Ginger Plowman’s “Don’t Make Me Count To Three!”   Reading this book has been very beneficial to me, and I hope that you feel it has been a good use of your time as well.

I liked that Ginger included a few occasions that would not merit discipline.  I had to check myself the other day for almost spanking Grace for childish behavior.  She was in the tub and playing with a few bath toys.  She put a big cup on the side of the tub and proceeded to fill it to the top with water before accidentally knocking it over the side and spilling it all over the floor.  I’ll admit that it really irritated me, and I had an urge to discipline her for “making a mess.”  And then I realized that the urge to discipline her was about ME not wanting to clean it up…not about her disobeying me in some way.  So I took a deep breath and explained that she could pour water in her cup on the other side of the tub where it wouldn’t spill on the floor.  She played with it how I suggested, then she helped me wipe up the mess on the floor.  Now that I’ve laid the groundwork, if she does it again, that would be a cause for discipline.  Sometimes I just have to keep reminding myself that she’s only four years old and doesn’t have the same logic or fore-thinking as a grown-up!

And, although Ginger has covered this in previous chapters, she mentioned again that a parent should never discipline in anger.  It’s such an important message to share.  And, let’s face it, we’ve all done it!  It’s an easy trap to fall into that can have disastrous effects on our children. 

The guidelines for administering discipline were very helpful to me.  It has aided me in coming up with my own “game plan” for every time I must discipline.  And really, if I don’t complete my game plan, my job has not been done well.  Sometimes when I’m in a hurry, I’m tempted to leave out things like talking through and practicing what she could have done instead or praying to God and asking forgiveness.  Being complete and consistent regardless of my mood or busyness is a priority.

I thought that the idea of telling the child how many swats he/she will receive was a really good way to check the parent’s self-control along with preparing the child to accept the consequence.  I’ve started doing this with Grace, and I’ve found that it brings a calmness and acceptance to her heart. 

In closing, I was also glad that Ginger comforted any person who might be reading the book and realizing that they’ve “done it all wrong” so far with their children.  While it can often feel like an uphill battle, it is never too late to submit to biblical principles when raising kids.  Like Ginger’s testimony, God can use it for good!

Next week I will write my final post about the Appendix A, B, and C.  I want to thank you for reading my ramblings, and I hope that you will be encouraged in your parenting!  Although much of this book has shown me just how imperfect I am, I have taken great comfort in submitting to God’s plan and watching where it takes me on the great journey of parenting.  It’s the hardest, scariest, most confusing, and most rewarding job I’ve ever had!

Monday Milestones


Because of my schedule, I was forced to get very creative last week with my meal planning and packing.  Thankfully, since I put in the time to get organized, I stayed on my eating plan without cheating.  I set my exercise goal a little lower last week at just three workouts, but I did meet my goal. 

I lost three pounds last week, and that brings my total to 31 pounds in ten weeks. 

I’ll be lucky to get in two workouts this week, and I’m not going to beat myself up about that.  Sometimes life just gets in the way.  However, my biggest goal this week is to resist the temptation of Easter candy (Hello, Cadbury egg!).  On Sunday we are eating Easter dinner with some dear friends who are on a similar eating plan, so it will be easy to have my normal low-fat/low-calorie meal.  Misery loves company!  Just kidding!  (kind of…..)

In all seriousness, I have truly enjoyed the foods that I have been eating over the last weeks.  I get comfortably full without that I-wish-I-hadn’t-eaten-that feeling.  And there is something really satisfying to me about chopping up lots of veggies and fruits for the week, knowing that I am filling my body with essential nutrients and vitamins. 

Still, it’s going to be hard for me when I watch Todd eat spiral ham, mashed potatoes, corn casserole, rolls, and coconut cake for Easter dinner.  I know that there will come a day when I can slowly incorporate “real” food back into my diet, in moderation.  However, for now I am in the weight-loss phase and that requires much more determination.  And that’s not easy for a Paula Deen lovin’ Food Network junkie who recreationally reads cookbooks just for fun. 

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I didn’t post yesterday because we recently began our daily Passion rehearsals.  Todd has gotten much more “daddy time” since I’ve been leaving home as soon as he walks in the door from work!  At today’s rehearsal we finally ran through the whole performance from top to bottom, and it went really well.  A lot of work goes into this ministry from directors, cast, stage crew, volunteers, and the myriad of people behind the scenes that keep things rolling.  I’m amazed and excited to be a part of it!

This morning, Todd had administrative duty at a baseball game, so he packed up Grace and took her with him.  She had a blast…not really watching the game, but entertaining the people around her!  He wore her out, so she had a nice, long nap and woke up just as I was getting home around 5:00.  She helped me re-heat prepare dinner and happily told me all about her time with daddy (including two spankings!). 

When I went to bed last night, I was exhausted and too tired to tidy up the kitchen (or any other room) before I fell asleep.  So, I got up early this morning and cleaned house from top to bottom before I left for rehearsal.  It was really nice to walk in the door this afternoon and be greeted with that lemon-clean smell and some semblance of neatness. 

I probably won’t do much blogging this week, but I do plan on writing my normal book study and Monday Milestones posts.  I hope that everyone is enjoying getting ready to celebrate Resurrection Sunday next week!  We are having Easter dinner with our dear friends after church, and I can’t wait to make this Southern Living Lemon-Coconut Cake to carry! 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Closed Doors

keep out

I have found through experience that when a child closes a door, there is usually something going on behind the door that they want to hide.  It was funny that this happened today after I read a blog post that specifically addressed closing doors in the home.  As I was putting on my face for the day, I heard my bedroom door softly click shut.  I tiptoed out from my bathroom, passed through my bedroom, and gently opened the door.  I found my 4-year-old Grace on the floor in the hallway, immersed in a bowlful of decorative rocks that she KNEW were a no-no. 

Isn’t life like that, too?  Perhaps we close an emotional door, refusing to open up and grow a relationship with another person out of fear or shame.  Perhaps we close a spiritual door, refusing to seek fellowship with God because we are holding on to sin in our heart.  Perhaps we close a physical door, shutting out others from witnessing things we say or do that we wish to keep secret.

The good news is that we have a gracious and forgiving Heavenly Father who wants to open our doors and come inside our hearts.  In Revelation 4:20-21, we are taught that Christ says,

Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

May God grant us the strength to open our physical, emotional, and spiritual doors!  As a practical application, I made a new rule this morning for our daughter:  all doors remain open unless we close them for matters of modesty.  I am hoping that this will foster a spirit of accountability and fellowship.  Of course there will be times when someone in our household will desire alone-time.  Boundaries can be taught and enforced that guarantee moments to ourselves.  The key, I believe, is to grant isolation (if desired) in moderation without the physical barrier of a closed door and all that it represents.

Things I Love Thursday – Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers


Several weeks ago, I started a new eating plan that calls for a low calorie/low fat diet.  While I’m eating mostly HMR foods, I occasionally substitute Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers for a quick dinner.  My favorite meals are the Five-Spice Beef and Vegetables and the General Tso’s Spicy Chicken.  Yum!  At around 300 calories and 3-4 grams of fat per generous serving, they just can’t be beat!

Cafe steamer

I’ll be the first to admit that they aren’t super cheap.  Coupons are rare.  When I find them on sale for $2.00-$2.50, I try to stock up my freezer.  The benefits of using this type of meal are convenience, deliciousness, and calorie/fat control with no guesswork. 

For reviews on more great products, visit Things I Love Thursday at The Diaper Diaries.  You will also find a great giveaway for eco-friendly products!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

“Checkin’ to see if I’m disappearin’ dude”


Where do I even start on this episode?  It was one of my all-time favorites!  I could have done without the replay of little Ben getting shot, but I’ll start off by asking how in the world did Sayid miss his mark?  The guy is a trained terrorist, torturer, and assassin and he misses a simple shot?  Hmmm…

Okay, the next thing that I’m confused about…didn’t little Ben kill his father?  I assumed that on the last episode when he said, “I hated him.” In past tense.  I’m not sure if this is something that will be explained, or something that I misinterpreted. 

The logic session between Hurley and Miles cracked me up.  I especially appreciated the Back To The Future references.  Because that’s, like, one of the best movies EVER MADE.  I was holding my breath in anticipation, thinking I was about to finally have an answer to all this time travel stuff!  But, alas, Hurley and Miles didn’t figure it out.

I must admit that I’m fascinated by the Jack/Kate/Sawyer/Juliet quadrangle.  Jack had some good lines tonight, including his reasoning for not helping to save little Ben, “I’ve already saved Benjamin Linus, and I did it for you, Kate.  I don’t need to do it again.”  And when Kate expressed that she liked the old take-charge-I-want-to-be-the-hero-and-save-everyone Jack, he simply reminded her that “You didn’t like the old me, Kate.”  Ouch

That supermarket scene freaked me out.  I’m not even really sure how it contributed to the story.  If anything, I would think that Kate’s strong emotional reaction to almost losing Aaron in the store would make her less likely to take off back to the island in search of his real mother.  At least the “What did Kate do with Aaron?” mystery is solved!

I can’t wait to learn more about what Richard Alpert did with little Ben.  I can understand Ben forgetting about what happened to him as a child and becoming one of the Others, but wasn’t it interesting that Richard warned, “His innocence will be gone…”?  And still, knowing what Ben would become, Kate and Sawyer made the choice to let Richard have him.  Did anyone recognize where he took little Ben?  Was it the temple where the smoke monster lives?

And, oh boy, did they leave us hanging for next week!  This is TV gold, people.  I’ve been eagerly awaiting Locke’s reappearance and it looks dramatic!  Can I hear some LOST love?

Zoo Trip

Today we went to the zoo with some sweet friends!  The weather was beautiful and spring was definitely in the air.  We saw lots of baby animals with their mommies, and the animals were eager to be outside and play because of the beautiful weather.  Here we are at the start of our day:


We went to see the monkeys (my favorite!) first, and the girls were delighted that this guy took a keen interest in them:


This, to me, was the most beautiful animal…the exotic white tiger:

011This mama lion was very sweet with her darling cubs:


The girls really enjoyed the small petting zoo:


I’m glad that Grace has a sweet friend to play with:

025A fun time was had by all…