Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Preschooler Quote(s) of the Day

Heard from the backseat as we drove to church this evening:

“Hey Mommy, guess what?!? My arm is under [the seatbelt] and my finger isn’t in my nose!  Isn’t that great?!?”

Tonight’s bedtime prayer:

“Dear God,

I forgive mommy for giving me a spanking today.  Please help me to be a sweet girl tomorrow so I don’t have to forgive her again. In Jesus’s name, Amen.”


Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Milestones


Yay!  I finally get to move my ticker down again!  I forgot to post last Monday because it was one of the craziest days of my life…I babysat five other kids in my home that day at various times, plus company.  When I finally remembered on Tuesday, I was disgusted because I had gained THREE pounds.  Yes, that’s right.  I’m keeping it real, folks.  I attribute my gain to lack of exercise and eating out in restaurants.

Last Tuesday, I got reacquainted with Jillian and went back to meticulously recording my calories.  By this morning, I lost the three pounds I had gained plus one more!  That brings me to 64 pounds lost.

I really need to stay focused if I want to meet my goal by the end of the year.  Since 2009 has been the year of losing, I’d love for 2010 to be the year of maintaining!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Grace woke up sick and out of sorts this morning, even fussier than she was yesterday.  There was also a slight yellow tint to her skin, a rash, and she didn’t want to eat breakfast.

Since she had no fever, I suspected that she was having side effects from the antibiotic.  Isn’t it strange how weird stuff always happens with kids at night and on the weekend?  So, instead of going to her regular pediatrician, we braved another trip to the urgent care clinic.

After waiting a few hours, we saw the doctor.  Grace’s throat was still very red (to my surprise) and the subsequent strep throat test was positive (again).  Apparently, the antibiotic has not cleared the infection since last Tuesday night.  She was diagnosed with tonsillitis caused by strep and given an antibiotic shot in the same dosage that would be given to a 200+ pound man.  The shot was so big that it was divided into two shots and given simultaneously by two male nurses that were holding her down while she was screaming “Help me, Mommy!”  I think it was as traumatic for me as it was for her.

Because of her yellowish color they also decided to do a liver function test via another traumatic blood draw.  I found out that when strep is untreated or not affected by antibiotic treatment, it can spread to internal organs.  We’ll find out those results tomorrow or Monday morning.  We must go back in 2-3 days for another strep test as well.

Even though she had no fever, they assured me that she was highly contagious.  I want to apologize now to my friends and family that we spent time with yesterday at the Founder’s Conference…if I had suspected she still had strep, I would not have taken her out of our home!  I’m praying that she didn’t pass it along to anyone else.

When I filled her new antibiotic prescription at the pharmacy, I couldn’t resist buying her a doll. 

To a 4-yr-old little girl, Tinkerbell makes everything better.

Friday, September 25, 2009

All We Needed Was Popcorn and Maybe A Bullet-Proof Vest

Grace was feeling better today, so we took her to hear my dad  preach at the Founder’s Conference, then out to lunch at Chili’s, then shopping.  I think that was about three places too many considering her level of discontent and fussiness.  Apparently, after being cooped up for a few days getting over strep throat, she decided to make up for all her lost energy. 

Our main shopping goal this afternoon was to find my mom a new pair of jeans.  I’ve decided that it is just as easy to search for a mythical unicorn.  On a whim, we decided to look in DotsWith the help of an overly cheerful and helpful sales clerk, mom actually found her unicorn in the form of a very hip, mid-rise, dark-wash, classic-fit, boot-cut, extra-long, slight-stretch, flap-pocket, low-priced pair of jeans.

But it wasn’t as amazing as what we witnessed in the store. 

Mom was in the dressing room while Grace and I sat in a chair and waited.  A middle-aged female customer walked in the store and immediately started giving our very friendly sales clerk some attitude about availability, size, basically anything she could find to complain (loudly) about.  Our clerk kept her cool and remained professional. 

About that time mom came out of the dressing room and I enthusiastically approved her choice of jeans.  Our sales clerk used that opportunity to get away from PMS-lady and come see mom in her jeans.  That infuriated PMS-lady.  She angrily demanded that the clerk open a dressing room for her, after telling her that she was “rude” and “inconsiderate.”

While PMS-lady was in the dressing room, the sales clerk, clearly ruffled, came up to me and asked, “Do you think that I’m rude and inconsiderate?”  No, I replied.  You’ve been very kind and helpful.  I’m thinking:  Shhhh, she can hear you in the dressing room. 

The clerk got louder.  “I can’t believe she said that to me!  I’m a positive person!”  Shhhh, she can hear you in the dressing room.

“I’m always happy!  I was so nice to her even though she was rude to me!”  Shhhh, she can hear you in the dressing room.

PMS-lady busts out of the dressing room:  “YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT ME BEHIND MY BACK NOW???  I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT ME!  WHO THE @*&^ DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?  YOU ARE SO RUDE!  YOU SHOULD BE FIRED!”  Gets in the startled clerk’s face: “$&@*# YOU!” [Storms out of the store muttering curses.]

PMS-lady actually said a lot more than that, but mom and I couldn’t remember everything…we were in a state of shock.  Grace stared wide-eyed at the whole exchange, then provided a little comic relief after the woman left.

Grace:  [shaking head] “Mama, she wasn’t using sweet words.”

No, she wasn’t.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Things I Love Thursday – Devotional Books for Kids


It’s been a while since I participated in this carnival, but I thought I’d share a couple of books that we love to use for kid’s devotionals!  My friend Susan introduced these books to me, and I bought them on Amazon to use with Grace.

The first is The Jesus Storybook Bible:  Every Story Whispers His Name.  When I looked it up on Amazon to link, I saw that it’s only available now in the more expensive deluxe edition.  The original version is available on EBay for a better price.

Product Details

What I love about this Bible book is that every story takes you right back to God’s plan for His people…salvation through Jesus Christ.  Even the Old Testament stories point to the coming Savior.  It is explained very clearly and is appropriate for both very young and older children. 

Another great book is My ABC Bible Verses:  Hiding God’s Word in Little Hearts

My ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God's Word in Little Hearts

In this book, there is a Bible memory verse for each letter of the alphabet.  (Ex:  A is for “A gentle answer turns away wrath.”).  Each verse has a story that shows how to apply the verse in real life for kids.  It’s a great way to teach kids that we can use God’s Word to help us in every circumstance!

We try to have a short devotional each morning with Grace where we read the Bible, practice a memory verse, and sing a song.  If we’re running late for something, I’ll move it to naptime or bedtime.  It’s a favorite time of day for both of us!

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

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Joys of Motherhood

The past 24 hours have not been very glamorous.  Grace came down with a nasty case of strep throat.  After spending 2 1/2 hours of my life that I’ll never get back in an emergency clinic, holding a 4-yr-old with a 104 fever, I look back and think of the pre-baby nights where my biggest decision revolved around choosing between a book, a TV show, or a crossword puzzle.  Or maybe even enjoying a leisurely dinner at a restaurant with my husband.

But I’m not complaining.  Not at all.  This is what I asked for, and this is what I am so thankful for.  Granted, I had to remind myself several times last night while I was cleaning up the vomit at 3:00 in the morning, but I wouldn’t trade my current job for anything in the world!

Grace has been so sweet while she’s been sick.  She has taken her nasty medicine without complaining, even though the taste makes her shudder.  She has cuddled and been very affectionate.  She has been obedient and happy.  I must admit that although it hurts me to see her sick, I have enjoyed a quiet day with her.  We watched movies and read books and did puzzles and played the piano. 

I even managed to get in a good workout and do some yard work while Grace rested in the afternoon.  Thankfully, she is feeling much better.  Her fever has come way down and she has more energy.  The vomiting has stopped, but she’s not really eating yet.  She’s been good about drinking fluids, though.  Here’s hoping for an uninterrupted night!

But truthfully, I wouldn’t trade sleepless nights and vomit for ANYTHING.  She is such a joy to me!  She is a totally undeserved gift from God.  He didn’t have to give her to us…God would have been just as good and powerful and holy if He had not.

But I’m so grateful that He did.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fun Day

It’s still too wet to play outside, so we headed to the mall playground this morning to run off some energy. 

001In case anyone notices…they are wearing the same clothes as yesterday!  The Princess Aurora and Lightening McQueen t-shirts were a huge hit, so we did a load of laundry and let the kids wear them again today. 

They love to pose for the camera, so here’s my favorite Brad pose:

006Here’s my favorite Grace pose:

007Anne wasn’t as enthused about posing and just wanted to play:

004After playing for a while, we ate lunch in the food court.  They chose Sonic!  I bought three kids meals and two large drinks while Mom bought our food at Chick-Fil-A. 

009After eating, we threw some pennies in the fountain.  Thankfully, our Sonic toys narrowly missed an untimely demise in the water.

010When we got home, Anne went down for a nap.  I had promised Brad that we would decorate cupcakes, so I grabbed some frozen cupcakes and frosting from the freezer and we went to work.

013Every cupcake (and kitchen floor) needs sprinkles. 

014  They enjoyed their handiwork.  Good times!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Because we thought a visit to the zoo was fitting…

It’s been pretty crazy around my house lately, but in a good way!  My mom flew back into town earlier this week, and our friends Brad and Anne are visiting for a few days while their parents go on a trip to New York!

029We spent most of today at the Fort Worth Zoo!  It’s rated among the top five zoos in the nation, and for good reason.  There is so much to do and it was a great way to keep everyone entertained and ensure an earlier bedtime due to utter exhaustion. 

The kids helped me make a picnic lunch for the day.  We had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and they enjoyed using cookie cutters to make them into fun shapes. 

006Here we are at the zoo in our single and double strollers!  Mimi bought them special t-shirts for the day.  Brad’s is a Lightening McQueen shirt, Anne’s is a Princess Aurora shirt, and Grace’s shirt says, “What happens with Mimi stays with Mimi.” 

056 This was a sweet picture of Grace and Anne at the toddler interactive playground.

019 The petting zoo was a big hit.  When the zookeeper assured Brad that the chicken was nice, he replied, “Everybody loves chicken!”  Mimi thought that was hilarious.

023We rode the train four times!

093It was a fun-filled, exhausting day!  When we got home, I decided to order pizza instead of cook, which was quite exciting for the kids…Brad was giving me the excited fist pump!


Grace has been thrilled to have some full-time playmates for the weekend.  Tomorrow we have a trip planned to a local mall playground and lunch at the food court.  It’s been raining here so much lately that we can’t even play outside because of the mud and wetness, so I’m having to brainstorm inside activities to keep us busy! 

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Our Little Angel

007 We’ve been having a new issue with our sweet Grace.  Lying.  Yes, she’s starting to figure out that she can lie about something in order to get what she wants.


When she finishes her meals after lunch or dinner, I will sometimes give her dessert.  She can pick a cookie or a fun pack of M&Ms, etc.  She doesn’t get dessert until she finishes everything on her plate.  Lately she’s been doing really well.  At dinner the other night, she finished her meal very quickly and proudly showed off her empty plate.  “Now I get a treat, Mama, because I ate ALL my food!” 

In a brief moment of mama’s intuition, I realized that she could not have eaten it all that quickly.  Especially the zucchini/squash stir-fry that she usually takes longer to eat…  So I asked her where the zucchini was.  She hung her head, stood up from her chair, and lifted the dining room chair cover.  Underneath was some fresh zucchini along with a variety of food from other meals over the past few days that she had hidden.  I asked her if there was food anywhere else.  She walked over to our low coffee table, got on her hands and knees, and pulled out a muffin from last Tuesday as well as some green beans and pieces of cheese. 

It’s truly a miracle that we haven’t seen any R.O.U.S.’s.  (Rodents Of Unusual Size…name that movie!).  Nor have we smelled anything, which is even more surprising. 

Needless to say, I had a great opportunity to teach her about what God thinks of lying.  Since then, she’s done it two more times.  On both occasions, I took the time to discipline her and teach her about honesty and trust.  My very wise friend Joy pointed out that she’s getting old enough to begin to comprehend her sinful nature and learn about why she needs a Savior. 

You know, we really shouldn’t be surprised when our kids lie.  Frankly, I’m surprised that we haven’t dealt in depth with this issue until now.  Since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, when sin entered the world, our human nature is completely self-centered.  That’s why we have to teach kids to love others, to share, to obey, to be respectful…it doesn’t come naturally. 

I think it’s important to not gloss over or chuckle when our kids do something like hide food in order to get dessert.  Teaching them when they are young about lying shows them that sin is serious.  It’s not “cute”, nor is it simply a developmental milestone.  It’s so serious that God had to send His only Son to die a blameless death on the cross in order to save us from our sin. 

My deepest desire, what I pray for most, is that one day Grace will realize her need for a Savior, accept God’s precious gift of salvation, and live a life of service to Him. 

In the meantime, I’ll just keep hoping I don’t run across any more hidden decomposing vegetables around my house.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday Milestones


I only lost about 1/2 pound this week…not enough to move my weight loss ticker.  So I’m holding steady at 63 pounds lost since February.  I’ll admit I’m a little discouraged because I’m not losing as fast as I was in the beginning, but I know it’s healthy to lose slowly.  I’m just impatient! 

I’ve actually been contemplating a new 30-day Shred challenge, but my body hurts just thinking about it.  I manage to get in 2-3 Shreds per week, but doing it every day would speed things up a bit.  I’ve got lots of activities planned and we’re welcoming family and friends into our home for visits the next couple of weeks, but maybe I’ll do another challenge during the month of October. 

Unless Todd talks me out of it because he doesn’t want to live with a whiny, achy woman for a whole month.  Maybe if I promise him I’ll just take it out on my blog….

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thoughts on 9/11

I still remember exactly where I was and what I was doing.  I was working as a school counselor at an elementary school, preparing for a difficult parent conference.  My principal knocked on my office door and told me that I needed to go to the library and watch what was happening on the news. 

The librarian had moved the TV out of view of public eye and a few of us gathered around to watch the horror.  I remember the fear that went through my body.  Not necessarily fear for myself, but the fear of the unknown and of being responsible for 500 children DURING the unknown.  I remembered that I was supposed to be the calm one, and I started praying.

Parents soon began to arrive to pick up their children.  I completely understood…while it presented challenges for us, if I had been a parent at that time, I would have wanted my child with me too.  The superintendent released a statement asking school personnel to go about our duties as normal, releasing students to parents if requested. 

Since most teachers were in their classrooms working with kids, they didn’t have the freedom to get information.  Of course word (and panic) got around quickly, and teachers were doing their best to remain calm and not show their students that anything was wrong.  Every time I walked by a classroom, a teacher would signal me and ask what was happening.  I talked one teacher through a panic attack.  I can honestly say that 9/11 was one day in my life that I literally prayed without ceasing.

The images of the two towers falling is one that will stay in my mind until I die (or lose my mind!).  Pictures of the Pentagon and the plane crash wreckage will always haunt me.  Everyone’s life changed that day.  Many experienced deep personal loss while the whole country grieved. 

We will never completely win the war against terrorism until the Lord returns.  In the meantime, many of our men and women are fighting the battle for us to remain safe and protected in our country. 

My brother Jon is leaving for another tour of duty in Afghanistan in a few weeks.  He leaves behind a sweet wife and two beautiful daughters. 

Jon's Family

We are constantly praying for his protection and the safety of his unit.  In reality, we know that as Chief Surgeon he will probably see and experience many horrors.  Not to mention the loneliness that comes with being separated from his family for nine months. 

I hope that today we can all remember the lives that have been lost as well as the folks who are giving their lives to ensure the freedom that we often take for granted.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

American Girl DVDs

Thanks to Alyssa at Keeping the Kingdom First, I was alerted to a great sale on American Girl DVDs.  Other moms have told me that they are really good and wholesome, but I’ve haven’t seen one yet.  They are a little on the expensive side, but this is a GREAT promotion that is going on right now on the American Girl online store!

Until Sept. 30th, you can get four DVDs for $5 each.  They normally retail for $19.95 each, so this is a fabulous price!

The four DVDs that are included in this promotion are:

Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front DVD
Kit Kittredge: An American Girl DVD
Samantha: An American Girl Holiday DVD
Felicity: An American Girl Adventure DVD

Even though the videos are geared for girls aged 8 and up, other moms have told me how much their little girls enjoy them…as young as 4 years old.  The reviews that I have read rave about these movies good values, strong lessons, and beauty.  I’m definitely getting one for Grace’s Christmas stocking!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday Milestones

runner This was a good week.  I ate really well and lost one pound.  I only worked out twice, so that definitely needs improving, but overall I’m satisfied.

This brings my total to 63 pounds.  I’m excited to move my ticker a little this week! 

We have a fun and relaxing day planned for the holiday.  Todd is off from work and it is my parent’s last day in our home for dad’s sabbatical break.  We’re just hanging out and spending time together.  Todd is going to rent Enchanted, a Disney movie that looks cute and is rated pretty well.  The preview is hilarious, so I’m looking forward to seeing it!

We’re also planning a yummy lunch of garlic shrimp, grilled corn, lemon broccoli, and sponge cake with berries for dessert. 

My goal this week is to bump up the exercise to at least four workouts.  I'm also trying to expand my eating habits to include more seafood.  I've never been a big fan other than the occasional tuna salad.  However, shrimp is practically a perfect protein and VERY low in calories, so I got a big bag and I'm going to experiment with learning how to cook them.  Todd will be happy because he loves shrimp! 

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fishing with Granddaddy and Mimi

Granddaddy took a break from his studying yesterday to take Grace and Mimi fishing in our neighborhood pond!  Here he is untangling her Barbie fishing rod line.  That’s a sign of a patient man.

fishing1 She never quite got the hang of pushing the button and throwing the line at the same time, but Granddaddy helped her after baiting the hook with hot dogs.

fishing2I so wish I had pictures of her actually catching a fish, but the batteries always seem to go out at the most inconvenient times…  Here she is right before catching a little brim.  She’s yelling at the top of her lungs, “Come here little fishies!  I have hot dogs for you!”  A little brim immediately took the bait, Granddaddy helped her reel it in, and she FREAKED out.

fishing3That’s my girl!  My dad ended up catching a decent-sized bass.  But more importantly, he caught a few precious moments with his granddaughter who thinks he hung the moon.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fall, Football, and Fabulous Dip

Fall is in the air!  Our temperatures finally dropped below 100 degrees this week and I actually pulled out a jacket when I dragged our three trashcans to the curb in the rain.  There’s nothing like the feel of cold rain and the smell of garbage first thing in the morning!

Anyway, on to another sad topic.  The encroaching Labor Day weekend forces me to say farewell to my friend, White Capri.  I’ve enjoyed wearing you this summer.  I hope you enjoy some quality time with White Sandals in the closet until next spring. 

On a better note, COLLEGE FOOTBALL STARTS THIS WEEKEND!  We will be dressing up our 4-yr-old daughter in her size 2T Tennessee Vols cheerleader outfit because we can never remember to buy a bigger size when we get out of BURNT orange territory and visit relatives in BRIGHT orange territory.  It’s bad enough that we have to endure the occasional “Hook ‘Em Horns!” (shudder) from Texas fans when we are CLEARLY wearing Tennessee paraphernalia.   In our minds, this simply reinforces everything we already felt about Univ. of Texas fans. (smile)

In honor of college football weekend, I am joining BooMama’s DipTacular event!  Because in the words of BooMama, “Where college football leads, dips will most always follow.”


The other day, my mom and I were strolling through Central Market (our favorite place to browse), ooh-ing and aah-ing over all the delicious-looking dips.  It happened to be Hatch Chile Festival time, and they were featuring their Hatch Chile Pesto Dip.  We bought a small spoonful and devoured it when we got home with a few guacamole flavored chips.  It was THE MOST DELICIOUS DIP I have ever eaten.  Thankfully, Central Market made their recipe available for mere mortals to make at home, so here it is!  If Hatch Chiles are not available, poblano peppers make an excellent substitute. 

Poblano Pesto Dip

  • 4 poblano chili peppers
  • 3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c. fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 c. chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 c. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. salt

Place peppers on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 5” from heat about 5 minutes on each side or till blistered. Place peppers in zip-loc bag; seal and let stand 10 minutes to loosen skins.. Peel peppers; remove and discard seeds.

Process peppers and remaining ingredients in processor till smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Store in frig up to 1 week.

NOTE: Poblano peppers are dark green, tapered chile peppers, about 3” wide and 4 to 5 “ long.