Friday, August 31, 2012


Labor Day weekend!

We have no plans.

Other than to get things done around the house, enjoy each other's company, perhaps grill out a bit, and catch up on work.

I know.....riveting, right?

Hey, it works for us!

The boys don't have school today, and I'm grateful for that.

Poor C. was a tired boy last night, and slept in until 8am this morning!
(yeah, that never happens)

I thought a 3-day week was the perfect way to ease my Kindergartener
into the all day/ every day school routine.


1. What do you enjoy doing the most with your spouse?

Ahem....aside from the obvious....(wink, wink) which landed me smack dab in the land of the surprise pregnancy?!?!?

We like to just chill out together.  We will light a fire in the backyard and sit in the dark just talking.  We will have "couch dates" where we'll sit and give each other back rubs and either watch TV or just talk.  We have about 20 minutes after dinner where he lingers at the table while I clean up dinner- just to talk with me and reconnect after being apart all day. 

I'm not a "high maintenance" kind of wife.  Easy little things are the most enjoyable.  We do get out for dates and such....but finding joys in the little bits of everyday life are things that keep life wonderful.

2. How do you eat your taco? From the top or from the side?

Side.  Then all the flavors of the fillin's are mixed and I enjoy the entire taco experience.

Really?!?!?  People eat them from the top?

3. Have you ever shut off the basement light and ran like a fool because you knew someone was down there and would get you?

When I was little, heck yeah.

Now?  Not so much.  :)

4. If you could change one thing about you what would it be and why?

One thing?!?!?  Seriously?!?!?  I have a list a mile long.  But a lot of that is my own darn insecurity talking.

One thing I'm working on is not being so judgemental.  Toward myself and toward others.  I am horribly hard on myself.  Giving myself some grace for messing up once in a while would be pretty awesome. 

5. What age do you think is appropriate to have the "bird and the bees" talk with your children?

Sigh.  I just had this talk with a friend of mine whose 2 older children are pretty much the exact same age as my boys.  They are 8 and 5.

Since I am currently pregnant, they have been asking more questions, which means they're curious.  Things like:

How will the baby come out?
Where does it come out?
How did it get in there?
Does it hurt?
Will you be ok?

So, it's a good spring board to start talks like that with them.  My first response to their questions is:

What do you think?

This way I can gauge what they're ready to hear by their answer.  I can also find out if they've been talking to any of their peers about this, and what they may have already heard.  (and correct the incorrect things they may have been told or have assumed).

But, one thing I want to make sure of- I want them to hear it from me first.  In the correct, God pleasing, way.

There's supposed to be some books out there that you can read with your child.  They're separated by age and the details start out more vague, and get more detailed as the age goes up.  I think I may look into those- just to give myself some guidelines.

So- what age?  I think A. - at 8- is getting old enough to know a little bit.  His body is (or will be soon) changing, and I want him to know it's ok.  This may be a divide and conquer thing with D and I. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

33 weeks!

I've hit 33 weeks.

7 weeks left.

Let the countdown begin!

Since the boys aren't home to do any bump pics for me, you'll just have to take my word for it:

she's getting bigger.

We're running out of room.

It's getting hard to sleep at night.

I can only eat in 200 calorie increments before heartburn/ nausea kicks in.

She's kicking my arse...and my bladder....and my stomach....and my kidneys.

I'm starting to swell.

Swell Alot.

I'm having issues with bending.

I'm having issues with crossing my legs.

I'm having issues with sitting too long, laying too long or standing too long.

I sleep well every 4th night.

I'm tired and cranky and a wee-little-bit short tempered.

But you know what?

I wouldn't trade it for the world!

I'm excited to meet my baby girl...and am so glad God sent her to us.

So, even though there's all that crap above,

I also have

bump games

a foot that I can tickle when she stretches


cute pink stuff



tons of thank you notes to write because I'm so blessed

a husband that melts when he talks or feels his baby girl

a grandma who is giddy to have a granddaughter

more cute pink stuff

more cute purple stuff

accessories....OH the accessories

the knowledge that I only have 7 more weeks to be pregnant....ever.

I've got a front row seat at a modern day miracle

the excuse to nap- whenever I want.

lots of love.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The obligatory First Day of School post

The boys started school yesterday.

The rest of Michigan starts on Tuesday.

I love that we started a week ahead.

I was ready.

So were they.

Here's a pic of the boys outside the school on our way in.

I asked them to take a nice pic.

I was sure that one of them would give me a fit about posing together.

But, when the time came,

this is what they gave me.

Oh melt my mom-heart.

I took A. down first- because I knew my opportunity to catch a pic would be slim.

Here he is right after unloading into the locker.

You should see the end of year pic I have of him with the lockers last year.

Homeboy GREW over the summer!

Then, I took my **new** school boy down to Kindergarten.

Oh, how I love that grin!

He was SO excited to see his old friends, meet new ones,
use his NEW Spiderman lunchbox... name it, he was excited about it.

He sits on the "C" for circle time.

Appropriate, don't you think?

After getting C. situated, I decided to go wish A. a great day at school.

I called his name a few times....

....but by now I was a pretty distant memory.  :)

I cannot tell you enough how much I LOVE our school. 

I love that it's a safe environment for my children to excel academically and socially.

I love that they learn God's way of living.

I love that they are prayed for.

And loved.

And I love that I have an entire day all to myself.

You know....for the next 7.5 weeks.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Shower

I could alternatively title this:

**The Shower that Pintrest Built**

**Watch out Better Homes and Gardens, my shower rocked your magazine pictures**

Or just,

**Daaaaaaaaannnnnnnggggggg, I'm blessed.**

Saturday was my baby shower.

It was amazing.

Amazing day.

Amazing company.

Amazing decorations.

Amazing food.

Amazing hostesses.

My only regret is that I didn't get more pictures of the attendees.

There were people there from all walks of my life-

MOPS, church, small group, friends, family

All chit chatting...enjoying their time together.

Oh....and the decor.



Wanna see?

Here's what greeted me at the front door.

The colors perfectly coordinated with baby girl's nursery colors.

Again...amazing, ladies!

Hanging in the foyer.

(Thank you, Craig for risking life and limb for some pretty decor!)

There were framed signs strategically placed with cute little sayings on them.

They matched the invitations perfectly.

It's good to know a graphic designer, huh?

Love it.

Attention was paid to every little detail.

Every.little.detail.  :)

The guests were abundantly generous!

Gifts were overflowing the table and on the floor.

Girl stuff is too cute,

 and fun,

and making me excited to meet our little one!


This is the only picture of my guests in attendance.

So, these two cuties will just have to represent the other 20 ladies.  :)

But they represent well, right?

Instead of games (which I'm sort of allergic to),

we did a craft.

Which is much more up my alley.  :)

Decorating onsies!

Yo.  These guests have skills!

Once baby girl gets here, I'll photograph her in them so you can all see.

But they're GREAT!

Ok...the food.

The awesome, awesome food.

The awesome GLUTEN FREE food.

Mmmmmm, cake.

Ok, clearly, I need to work on my taking-pics-with-back-light skills, but hey....

look at that FOOD!

A few guests have asked me for recipes, check the end of the post for them, mmmm'k?

My mom came!

Not sure what's happening with my hair there....

but happy to spend the afternoon with her too.

My hostesses!

Two of my favorite ladies.  :)

And I'm not just sayin' that because they threw me a shower.

Seriously....high quality friends, here.  :)

Aren't they lovely?!?!?

I've always given my hostesses from showers a "thank you" gift.

I love bringing something for them on the day of the shower.

Since I was terribly jealous of all the crafting they'd been doing, I decided to craft myself a bit.

I made these lovelies.


I broke out the Cricut and did some glass etching.

Then, I found some coordinating roses

and wahlah:

Super fun hostess gifts for super fun hostesses!

DIY mini fruit pizzas

Sugar cookies made from this recipe.

I believe they left off the colored sugar.

Fruit dip made with cream cheese and marshmallow creme.
1 brick to one tub.
Blend and refrigerate.

Top with desired cut fruit.

Chive and Goat cheese dip
1 cup sour cream
5 oz. goat cheese
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
2-3 tablespoons of fresh chopped chives

Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth.
Chill and serve.
Enjoy, Rach!

(alternatively called's that good)
1 bag microwave popcorn (or 4 cups air popped)
1 cup Rice Crispies or Rice Chex
1/4 cup dry roasted salted peanuts
1/2 lb. Almond Bark (or Candi-Quik)
1 TBS. Peanut Butter
M&M's (optional)

Place popcorn, cereal and peanuts in large pan.
Melt almond bark and peanut butter in microwave.
Pour over dry ingredients, mix well.
Spread on wax paper, let dry for a few hours.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Limitless Blessings (41-50)

I hope this finds you having a fantastic weekend!

Mine, thus far, has been blissful.



 I could probably write a list of 100 things today that I'm thankful for...but I'll condense it to just 10.  :)

41.  An amazing baby shower yesterday full of AMAZING decorations, wonderful (GLUTEN FREE) food, fantastic ladies, and generous gifts.  It was all I could have hoped for and more.  (pictures forthcoming)

42.  For a fantastic school to send my kids to.  Where I know that they are loved, cared for, and taught to high standards- both academically and spiritually.

43.  For good nights of sleep.  They come about every fourth night.

44.  For doors going up in the addition!  Gosh, I love our doors.

45.  For baby girl clothes.  Seriously....they are SO cute- it's like CRACK.  I'm addicted.  :)

46.  For friends who love crafting as much as I do.  :)

47.  For the ability to work from home.  Yes, it's a double edged sword sometimes, but it truly is a blessing.

48.  For Pintrest.  It makes my life super fancy.  :)

49.  For a husband who will sit and read chapter books with the boys.

50.  For effective bribery- a fantastic tool in my parenting repertoire.

What are YOU thankful for?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Last 5QF of summer!

The boys start school on Tuesday of next week.


We went to their open house last night, and seeing their teachers, books, classmates, principal, etc, just got them so JAZZED up to see our school family again.


  • Excited for some time alone before baby girl arrives (read:  nap, nesting and work time),

  • Gonna miss them like crazy

  • NOT looking forward to the crazy mornings.

  • After talking to A's teacher last night, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that I'm a little apprehensive over all the expectations of 3rd grade!  He's growing up, and I know it's an appropriate time to push him to the next level....but seriously!  It's going to be a wild ride this year.  Dave and I are up for it, though.  :)
1. If you could have been (could be) any profession you wanted (brains and $$$ no problem) what would it be?
I think I'd go for a Doctor of some sort.  Probably more along the natro-path lines.  I find that the more I learn about the human body  (how it works, how it's fearfully and wonderfully made), the more I want to know.  And I LOVE it when people listen to me share my knowledge with them.  I think there's a great opportunity to help people take the reigns to heal themselves.
2. How often do you clean out your car?

Say wha?
Are you talking about deep cleaning (i.e. actually vacuum and wipe the dash, etc?)....ummmm, probably once or twice a year.
It's not that I love living in's just one of the most THANKLESS jobs.  Like mopping the kitchen soon as you clean it, it's dirtied up again.  One hour later, it's like it never happened.  That's so frustrating for me.  So, I tend to avoid it.  :)

3. Do you wish there was such a thing as fashion police or are you deeply relieved?

Depends on what the fashion police are using as a guideline.
Stacey London's guidelines?  Oh, heck no!  I have no interest in maintaining that type of lifestyle.  There are other priorities.
People of Walmart's guidelines?  Yep, sure!  That lady who tucked her breasts into her pants totally needs to be ticketed.
4. What's your go to food/drink/activity when stressed?

I bake.  And bake.  There's something about working through a recipe and beating the crap out of a batter....and sitting quietly while it bakes....helps me work through a lot.
Otherwise, I'll indulge in some chocolate.  Yep...I'm a stress eater.  Working on it, though. 
I'd LOVE to say it's natural for me to just be a stress prayer....But, I'm not.  I need to be though.
5. If you had twins, what would you name them?

I'd go with some colorful names for girls.

Names like Ruby and Hazel.

Boys are harder.  I'm not a trendy name person, so I'd probably pick something old school:

Samuel and Luke or something like that .....

My grandma had twin boys, and named them Edward and Edwin.  We called them Ed and Bud.  I thought that was pretty cool/ funny.  :)

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

40 - 32 = 8 WEEKS LEFT!

I'm 32 weeks pregnant today!

The belly has taken over.

(Sorry about the poor photo quality- C. took it and my battery is low...)

Even though the photo is can see that baby girl and I are running out of room.

But I'm measuring right on for weeks, so I guess this hugeness is an appropriate size.

Here's a top down shot:

Here's a few Baby Girl pregnancy highlights:

  • I have a shower this weekend!  It's being hosted by two of my favorite ladies, and I'm VERY excited!  The guest list is full of awesome ladies, and I'm looking forward to spending time with all of them.  Eeeeek!

  • I painted my toe nails for this weekend.  HA!  That was comical.  Very very comical.  If I have purple polish on my ankle, please don't say anything.  I just may cry.  (ha!  Just kidding)

  • I have a total of one craft project done for baby girl's room.  So, I'm actually totally grateful that her room isn't baby-ready as of yet....lowers the pressure to decorate.  But I'm looking forward to it!

  • I still don't have cankles!  (knock on wood)  My feet have started to swell, and I've had to adjust my Tevas...but the Dr. said that we can still see bones and that's a good thing. 

  • Two appointments ago, I gained 3.6 pounds.  On Monday's visit, I lost 3.8.  Not sure how that happened...but that keeps my total weight gain hoovering right above 11 pounds.  Actually, 11.2 to be exact.  I gained a total of 11.4 with C...(and a total of 47 with A).  The doctor was pleased that my weight is stable, and wasn't concerned at all with the weight loss.  I'm happy with that!  Now, if only she weighed 11 pounds at birth, right?!?!?

  • We're busy going through all our baby necessities, and I'm excited that we're so blessed with good friends who are very willing to give us most of it.  It's saved us a ridiculous amount of money!  In the next few weeks, we'll be picking up a bassinet from my friend, Sarah, and setting up baby camp in the corner of our bedroom- just in case baby girl makes her debut a tad early.

  • Both of my boys were early.  A. was 4 days, and C. was 9 days early.  I'm under no misconceptions that Baby Girl will follow suit.  She's measuring a week small, and this entire pregnancy, God has kept me reminded that I'm not the one in charge here- He is.  So....I have a feeling (and am preparing myself) for a late arrival.  I'm crossing my fingers it's not more than ONE day late, though....I'm impatient by nature.  :)  (and more than a little excited to meet her face to face!!!)

  • There is ONE friend who knows the baby's name.  She is starting a craft with her name in it, and sent me a picture of it and dimensions so we can plan the wall hangings accordingly.  It was amazing how giddy I got seeing her name like that.  Eeeek!  I'm so excited to announce it to everyone!  (You know, cause I won't be pregnant anymore!)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


last night  :  little sleep

baby girl  :  active

c.  :  accident

Ally  :  accident

laundry  :  in process

baking soda  :  deodorizing

dog  :  washed

boys  :  helpful

mom  :  knocking on wood

dish washer  :  running

baby girl's dresser  :  painted

fans  :  running

windows  :  open

boys  :  hungry

my butt  :  sitting down to work

me  :  tired

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ten on Tuesday: To each their own edition - snarky, practical observations

This is a post in which you'll probably see the inner workings of my mind. 

It's per-snickety...and thinks it's funny.

I've just noticed a lot of differences between people God placed on this Earth lately,

and actually think I've found a relatively "zen" place in dealing with them.

Relatively....key word.

But hey, I used God and "zen" in the same sentence.

That's irony.  :)

If I offend you in this post, I do humbly apologize...just me- being snarky.

Ok...on with the observations:

1.  I was sitting in the waiting room at my Dr. yesterday.  There were a total of 12 women waiting in there with me.  4 of them had husbands with them.  Two looked unhappy to be there, 2 were sauntering in and around the a manly gait would negate the fact that they were in a clearly estrogen packed room.  Watching them made me chuckle a bit.  At which point, I donned this text to my husband:

" I pity these poor guys who come to the Dr. with their wives.  I feel the need to clip a corner off their man card or something.  :) You're lucky you have me - and I can stand on my own 2 feet.  Love you tons."

to which he replied:

"Hahaha.  Just one of the many reasons I married you.  Love you."

Then I thought perhaps I was just being per-snickety.  So, I took a poll on Facebook.  I just asked if husbands went to their OB appointments with them.  Here's the results:

Out of 37 responses, 13 went to OB appointments with them (just over a third).  Four of them I would consider high risk pregnancies.  Those 4 guys are covered....everyone one else, hand over your man card!  I've got scissors to clip a corner.....

Just kidding.  It just goes to show you that each spousal relationship is different. 

To each their own.

2.  With an election just around the corner, I'm trying my HARDEST to reach out in love- to everyone.  Even militant femi-nazi's.  I'm trying hard to be tolerant, and pray for God to open hearts and ears so we can have open dialogs.

Three days ago, I saw an Obama bumper sticker on the back of a car.  (A Prius, no less).  It was clearly a scare tactic advertisement...and the numbers reported on that bumper sticker were incorrect.

I seriously had to resist the urge to ram his little car with my van just to get him to step out so I could correct his bumpered claim. 

You know, if you're going to vote for That Guy, that's your prerogative...however, if you're going to tag your car with a scare tactic- at least make sure your numbers are correct.  Because as soon as I googled it, you and your camp lost more credibility.

 But, you each their own.

3.  Our debt-free life style has recently come under attack.  I was told that I was being irresponsible for not having a room ready for the baby once she gets here.  She strongly encouraged me to get a mortgage to pay for work necessary to complete the house...and then go out and get a full time job to pay off the mortgage.  Her words, "Well, by the time the baby is in school, your mortgage it paid off!  And you'll have the rest of the kid's lives to be debt free, if that's the way you choose to go back to, although I don't know why you would."

As of right now, I have the rest of my kid's lives to be debt free...AND I don't have to stick my newborn in childcare.  But that's just my choice, I guess.  I'm not sure why she was so offended by it.

She questioned our lifestyle and wondered if the Bible says anything about debt.  Why, I'm glad you asked:

Proverbs 22:7b says, "The borrower is the slave of the lender."

Romans 13:8 says, "Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law."

There are actually a total of 23 verses in the Bible about how to handle money - and equity.  I, personally, choose not to be a slave to anything or anyone except a willing Servant of God.

But, you know, to each their own.

4.  We've lived here for 7 1/2 years now.  I've never seen my neighbor's windows open.  Never.  At 50 degrees, their air conditioning turns on.  Seriously.  When we don't hear it kick on (cause our windows are open, and theirs aren't), it's still easy to tell when their air conditioner turns on- because our lights dim.  Every time.  I Facebooked him to let him know that he may be needing a tune up- in case they were spending a lot of efficiency money on a dirty unit....but yet, we still dim more than 10 times a day.  Even in this beautiful weather.

But, you know, to each their own.

5.  Baby Girl has been working on her gymnastics try-out routine.  At 2:30 am every morning.  I'm not a fan because she's kicking my arse from the inside out...and I can't sleep.

But, you know, to each their own.

6.  I miss Ann Curry.  Just sayin'.

But, you know, to each their own.

7.  It seems like there's been a lot of divorces in the past couple of years.  It makes me sad that they couldn't work it out- and makes me cling to my husband all the more.  I don't know what happened behind closed doors, and its not my place to judge, but it does make me think about things I can do to improve my marriage...from my end.  Not his.  How can I be a better wife?  How can I be less selfish?  About a dozen things come to my mind right away.  Unfortunately, their loss is my gain....I hope.

But, you each their own.

8.  If you're calling me asking for monetary advice, and telling me that you can't sleep at night because you're so worried about money....please be ready for an honest answer.  I'm me, and I don't wear masks.  What you see is what you get....I've always been this way.  The fact that we've been friends for the past 15 years should clue you into that fact.  So, when I tell you that you should finish paying off your delinquent credit card balances before you decide to take the kids on that Disney cruise....well, don't get your nose out of joint.  It's just practical advice.  Or, you know...just don't ask me anymore - cause I'll bite my tongue until you ask.  Just sayin.'

But, you each their own.

9.  There are 12 days until Michigan Football kick off!  I saw a Spartan bumper sticker the other day...and (strangely enough) did not have to resist the urge to hit their car.  (See?  I'm growing as a person!)  After all, someone has to root for the little brother, right?

But, you each their own.


10.  I was also told the other day (by the same friend as #3 above- perhaps she was having a bad day/ week?) that we are doing a disservice to our children for sending them to a private school.  That our money would be better served as tax dollars to a public school, and we shouldn't shelter our boys so much.  My response was: 1) our church - that we love and are a family in - has this mission, and we CHOOSE to support it.  2)  Our tax dollars go to the public school regardless of our using it or not, so that's a moot point.  3) If you're annoyed by my complaining about the commute - that's fine.  I won't say anything anymore.  It is a sacrifice, and I need to remind myself of that.  Daily.  4) Sheltering my boys is my prerogative.  There are things they don't need to know about quite yet.  There are foundations I want to help put in place before sending them out into the world of "political correctness."  A Firm Foundation- based in Truth.  Sorry if that offends you, know...they're my kids.

.And you each their own

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Love Shack People

I still remember the first day I laid eyes on the Love Shack.

A. was 14 months old blissfully asleep in the car seat.

I was given a PILE of print outs from our local real estate site- from Dave- asking me to check these properties out.

This one was my last.

We had been driving for over 4 hours.

A. was a real trooper.

I originally got lost looking for this property- turning the wrong way, and going CLEAR across town...

...and BACK- before I landed on our little dirt road.

I saw the property...

...and I (may or may not have) swore under my breath.

"He's going to love this."

Little did I realize how many people would touch our lives through this little Shack.

First of all, our next door neighbors had a tenant in their basement.

She used to live in the Love Shack 4 years prior to our move in.

She adopted us as her family, and it's been a sweet friendship.

She is a big kid herself, and the boys just love her.

Fast forward a year: day we came home, and there's a torn check deposit slip affixed to our front door.

It was from the daughter of the original Love Shack builders.

She had just returned "Home" from California, and wanted to get in touch with her "roots."

(She's a little new-agey...but interesting conversationalist none the less).

This gets us in touch with her parents- who actually live 1 mile down the road.

They stopped by for a visit.

They were the SWEETEST couple....Dave and I loved them right away.

He ws so full of history, and loved the area.

He built the Love Shack with his own two hands (and a little help from his jazz band friends).

They got their son to scan some pictures and send them to us.

You can see those pictures here.

Two years ago:

Dave is working on a customer's kitchen.

They start talking, and the customer asks where Dave and I live.

Dave gives him a general vicinity, and turns out that guy used to live over there too - on a little dirt road, in a little brown cottage of a house.


Turns out - this customer lived in OUR house. 

He was the one responsible for the major kitchen overhaul in the 80's.

His nasty floral wallpaper?  It was still on the walls when we tore it down.  :)

Anyway, Dave salvaged his kitchen sink from the job, and it's now in our temporary kitchen today.

Funny, huh?


We're pulling in from church, and I recognize a car driving slowly past the house

(this happens often- friends drive by for a quick look).

I recognized her right away.

We had been told that her husband passed away in January, and she wasn't ready to watch demolition the day we tore the Love Shack down.

Turns out that day was also his birthday.

We invited her in, and gave her a tour.

She still talked about her husband in the current "we." 

It made my heart both happy and sad.

She loved that we were doing this together, and debt free.

She's lived through a lot the last few years- since we first met.

He declined in health, and eventually passed away.

She had stomach cancer shortly after we met, and heart bypass last year.

Shortly after her husband passed, her only grandson passed at 27 years old as well.

And yet....she's still praising God.

Rejoicing that one day they'll all be together.

She's living her Faith.  I love her.

To top it off, she looks like a million bucks.

Before she left, we were able to give her some of the wood we saved from demo day, and she was so happy to have something tangible to remember the house by.  She's going to give a few pieces to her kids.

In addition, she wants a deck on her house, and asked Dave to come by for an estimate!


As much as I loathed (dispised, even hated) that darn crappy little house....

I'm grateful for everyone it's brought into our lives.

From the original builders to past owners,

from new neighbors to amazing subcontractors,

I'm forever grateful for the people we've met along the way.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Limitless Blessings (31-40)

31.  For the Love Shack.  And all the people it's brought into our lives.  And their unscheduled visits and their ability to Praise God under all circumstances.

32.  For impromptu catch-up visits with old friends....and kids who get along.  And amazing conversations that never end.

33.  For friends who can feel our prayers.

34.  For our new interim pastor...and any changes he'll make.

35.  For yummy steak dinners.  With sweet corn fresh from the farmer's market.

36.  For a husband who doesn't yell at me even though my tossing and turning keeps him awake all night long.

37.  For a great birthday for C.

38.  For A's friends who are nice enough to include C. in their birthday party.

39.  For a fantastic night eating dinner with a friend- and a new chili recipe.

40.  For a husband who will understand that I need a nap today.  (wink, wink, honey!)

Friday, August 17, 2012


It's almost the end of summer.


The boys and I only have 11 more days left of this summer, and I'm packing as much fun in as I can!!!

Then, I loose them to another year of school.  :(


We had a packed social schedule yesterday, and another one again today.  I love it!

It's fun to see everyone that I've put off all summer -

you know,

thinking I had **all summer** to catch up with them.

Then I CRAM all these catch-up sessions into the last few weeks of summer.

Can I have a few more weeks, please?!?!?

Anyway....C. has his well-child visit this morning.

He needs his last few immunizations.

I know he needs shots.

He doesn't.

Anyone have any advice?  Eeeeekkkk.

He's a strong little booger.

I think vaccinations is the worst part of child-rearing.  :(

UPDATE:  We're already home from the Dr. He needed FOUR shots in order to get up to date for kindergarten.  He grabbed both of my fingers, said OUCH, turned red, and started to cry.  Broke my darn heart.  He let me hug him a few times afterward.  (I think I needed the hug more than he did).  He says they still hurt, but is glad they're done.  A trip to Krispy Kreme on the way home has sped up his healing process...and he is now chilling on the couch watching Curious George.  Sigh.

But it beats a diagnosis and aftermath of polio, right?

1. What's the one thing you buy every time you walk into the store?

It seems like I'm always buying milk.  We go through so much milk in this house!  It doesn't help that A. is a carbivore- who can WOLF down an entire box of cereal in one morning.

2. If you had a day all to yourself how would you spend it?

I'd probably stay at home, work a bit, clean a bit, and nap a whole lot.

I have a lot of crafts that I need to get a move on if they're going to be ready by the time baby girl gets here, so I'd probably craft too.

Then, I would probably invite a few childless friends over for coffee.  No offense to my child-ed's just easier to visit with childless friends when you, yourself, are childless.

Then I'd take another nap.  :)

3. Are you a speed limit driver? If not, over or under?

Oh gosh....I am not sure if I could drive the speed limit if my life depended on it!  I have such a lead foot, it's not funny.  I do maintain a safe speed....I just have a hard time staying within 5 of the posted limit.  I'm usually 10 above.

4. What's your favorite dessert to make, homemade or from a mix??

I have a new favorite dessert.  I made it for the first time yesterday.  It's called the Green Dragon.

You can find the recipe here.  (Note:  you're going to want to check it chocolate chip ice cream, oreos, Butterfinger,'re going to want to check it out!!!!!).

I made a gluten free modification easily....and it was divine.  Oh so divine.

5. Would you rather have a spider or a mouse scurry across your face (no copping out and saying "neither!!")?

Ok....can I say neither....since I'VE LIVED IT?!?!?!?  (only with a chipmunk on my face?!?!?!?).

BUT...if I had to pick one....gah...not sure.  Spiders just CREEP me the heck out.  Seriously ...heebie jeebies.

Mice carry more bacteria....and I don't like fur on my face.  But again, I've lived through fur on my, there's that.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Birthday party (on a budget)

As most of you know, C's birthday was yesterday.

We normally don't do a big to-do for birthdays.

There are a few reasons for this:

1.  It's just unnecessary to do every year (in our humble opinions).

2.  They're kids:  tape a balloon to a wall, call it a party, and they're happy.

3.  It gets costly.

Emphasis on #3.

When A was just born, we decided to set a guideline for our kid's birthday parties.

1.  A family party at one.

2.  A friend party at the house at 5 (or kindergarten...).

3.  A destination party with friends at 10.  (We said 10 because we're HOPING that by 10, they will have outgrown Chuck E. Cheeses and Bounce Party- two of the most expensive birthday party places.  Think bowling alley, boys!)

Anyway....this was C's year for a friend party at home.

When A. was in kindergarten, we decided to use the weather to our advantage and have a sledding party.

This year was no different.  Since this summer was so hot, we decided to do a sprinkler party!

I received an email from in June for a really good deal, and scored 20 invitations with envelopes and sticker seals for less than $12.00.  (Add in 8.36 for postage, and I don't think that's too shabby!).

Then, I scored a Lightening McQueen slip-and-slide on clearance at Burlington Coat Factory for $4.96.

This was in addition to the older slip-and-slide we had been given a while ago. 

I thought it would be fun for them to race.  :)

I filled up our tall/short pool during the day to let the sun heat the water...and wahlah....backyard fun.

For those that thought the water was a wee bit too cold, we had soccer nets up, basketball hoops, the jungle gym ready for action, a craft, and sidewalk chalk waiting.

I purchased a dozen balloons from Party City for $10, and affixed them to the lawn with golf tees.  (Thanks for the idea, Pintrest).  The effect was cool at first, but we lost 4 balloons before the party began.  No biggie.   Each year, I also let the boys pick out a large character Mylar balloon for their birthday.  They love that tradition.  C. picked Batman....for $8.99.  (sorry, no pic).

For a craft, and an addition to their goodie bags, we had DIY super hero masks.  (It just fit, since C. is a HUGE superhero fan).  My mom's school has a special machine to cut these masks.  So, aside from the 3.99 self-stick stars and .99 elastic (both on clearance), this craft was cost free and had a high rate of return.  See for yourself:

Oh'd that last one get in there?  (hehe!)

A. came up with the idea of "Balloon-ie Ball" which essentially means keeping a balloon in the air.  I added the "racquets" by taping free Home Depot stir sticks to some paper plates. fun.

I decided that I didn't want to deal with scooping ice cream along with serving cake, so I decided that an ice cream cake was the way to go.  In accordance with my need to come in under budget, I decided to make it myself.

C. threw me a curve ball and decided to ask for a batman cake.  This is what I came up with:

The Funfetti cake mix was on sale for 1.09 a few weeks ago, and so was the Blue Moon ice cream I used to fill it (2 for $5).  I purchased the butter cream icing for a total of $4.13, and went to town.  A professional cake decorator, I am not.  But hey....homeboy was happy.

I purchased all tableware from The Dollar Tree (in plain red and blue- like spiderman colors), and spent a total of $6 on all of that.  No one noticed that they weren't official Spiderman I think that's a win.

The most expensive venture of the evening were the goodie bags.

We had the lunch sacks, so I decided to go with those.

The spring water was from Meijer, bubbles from The Dollar Tree, Spider Man pencil from The Dollar Tree, and Gummi fish swimming in blue M&M's from Meijer.  (Thanks Pintrest for another idea!)

Total cost for all these goodie bags ran up near $26.  But, I didn't purchase a whole bunch of cheap candy, and it fit in with our sprinkler theme, so I was happy with that decision.

So, total monetary outgo for a fantastically fun birthday party was:  $89.01.

My goal was under $100, so I'm VERY happy with that!

Here's a few picture highlights of the evening:

I LOVE Q's face as he hits the water.  :)

Home base for the grown-ups.  :) And craft zone, and gift zone, etc.

Thanks, Michelle, for all your help!

I know, I know...he's a bit blurry, but still so cute.

The "big boys" were trying to stay upright on the slippery slopes.  :)

One of his best buds, Evan.

Dear C, If you ever want to marry Molly someday, that would be a-ok with me.

She's one of my favorites.  :)

Look!  I got my whole family in one picture! 

How stealthfully awesome of me.  :)

This is all the kids- sitting QUIETLY - AFTER being sufficiently sugared up - watching C. open gifts.

I was amazed.  :)

By the end of the clean-up, the boys were wondering what to do with the balloons left over.

A. was itching to release one into the sky,

so Dave and I told them to release them all.

Adios, balloons!

What a fun night!

Thank you to everyone who came out and joined the fun!