Wednesday, November 10, 2010

But Seriously...YAY FOR OUTSIDE.

We had some kind of lentil soup for lunch. It came from a can from Trader Joes. I realized pretty early on in soup season that making soup from scratch at lunch time was not the best use of my time. So cans it is. More important though is where we ate lunch. Right here:

Our brand new picnic table that Ron bought for us yesterday. I am so excited to eat outside with my family. I want to do it all time. Today after the girls finished their lunches they took their messy fingers and their messy selves to the yard and played. Ron and I just sat there and finished our lunches while watching the girls play and talking like grown-ups. Normally, when the girls are done we have to be done too because we immediately have to clean them up so they don't track even more yogurt and jelly and spaghetti sauce and yucky yucky all over the house. Not when we are outside. Yay for outside.

But seriously...YAY FOR OUTSIDE. It is glorious lately. Everywhere I look I see spectacular trees outside my windows. The air feels amazing. Afton asked me in the car today why God made fall and all I could say is that it was because He wanted to fill our hearts with wonder. Why else?

Anyway, I'm not sure what we are having for dinner tonight but I am pretty sure I know where we will eat it. God is showing off out there right now and I don't wanna miss it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Fall Ya'll

Seasons change, children grow up, we grow older, the world stays on track, all things pass, time marches on. God is so good. He's so good to me.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Jesus I Come

Out of my bondage, sorrow and night,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of my sickness, into Thy health,
Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of earth’s sorrows, into Thy balm,
Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy blessed will to abide,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
Out of despair, into raptures above,
Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the joy and light of Thy home,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of the depths of ruin untold,
Into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,
Ever Thy glorious face to behold,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

~ William Sleeper

Monday, September 27, 2010

Chances to buy back a bit of your childhood wonder don't come around everyday.

This plate may not mean much to you. For me it is the joy of childhood. Being loved, belonging, the world being right.

My Nana had this china when I was a kid. I have eaten an untold number of Sunday dinners, Thanksgiving turkeys, and Christmas hams from plates that look just like these. Not the mention all the chocolate pie I have eaten off of this plate's baby brother. These dainty blue flowers bring with them a stampede of memories. My dad and Papa discussing theology and politics at the table. My brother saying "Nana, you really outdid yourself this time." and then looking anxiously around the table to see if he had used that phrase properly. My Papa giving my Aunt Debby a hard time "It's gravy night on Debby's shirt!" and Debby squealing at him and appealing to Nana, "Mom, make him stop!" We would eat and eat and eat until we were full and then we would have dessert. Nana would ask who wanted dessert and without fail Papa would say, "I don't ever remember turning it down except the one time I misunderstood the lady." When we were done my mom and Aunt Debby would fight over which one of them got to do the dishes for Nana. They both wanted to. From my childish point of view we were all unspeakably happy and this unspeakable happiness was all I knew for a long, long time.

In the years since big kid realities like disease and divorce have dismantled this happy scene. One by one those dainty blue flowered dishes all broke or were given away. Some perhaps were placed in storage and forgotten. My memories of those days were placed in storage and forgotten. New dishes replaced the old ones and my grown up reality replaced my childhood.

Until a couple of weeks ago when I was wandering aimlessly around my church garage sale. A pitcher caught my eye. Actually it was those dear blue flowers on the pitcher that caught my eye. The lady selling them must have seen it in my face...the look of seeing a long lost friend somewhere you would never have thought to look for her. She pulled the box out from under the table. A full set of the very same china my Nana had. She would sell it to me for fifty dollars. Chances to buy back a bit of your childhood wonder don't come around everyday. A quick trip to the ATM and they were mine.

Once they were home I left them on the counter like this for days. Every time I passed them feeling gleeful that they were mine to make glorious memories on with my children. Seeing my children celebrate with these loved old dishes and their big innocent eyes will be beautiful marriage of the past and present. An experience I am so thankful I will likely be able to have many times over in the coming years!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

If you were just wondering where the best place to get boxes is... now I feel silly!

A friend of mine recently asked me for moving advice. I moved a lot when I was a kid. I have had three major moves since I was an adult. Adults are a lot less adaptable than kids so I actually think in a way moving is harder for an adult than for a child. I feel like I have learned a few good lessons about moving the hard way and decided to share what I told my friend about them here to maybe save someone else a little trouble:
I have one big piece of advice about moving that I had to learn the hard way about three times before I finally figured it out. It may seem weird but here it is.....decide you are going to love it before you go and realize that just because you love where you came from doesn't mean you can't love where you are going. What I mean is for two of my three big moves as a grown up (one to Virginia from Oklahoma and one from one town in Virginia to another where I didn't know anyone) I was so busy thinking about the place I had come from and how awesome it was that I wouldn't let myself see all the good things around me in my new place. It was kinda like I was afraid to love the new place because I already loved the old place so much. So I spent a lot of time focusing on how much I missed the old place and no time enjoying the new place. Then after a lot of time had passed I would wake up and realize that this new place isn't bad at all and actually has a lot of good about it. I always regretted spending so much time being sad and miserable at the beginning of new place that I would eventually end up loving . Anyway so when we moved here I decided ahead of time that I was going to love it from the beginning. It didn't mean I wouldn't miss Virginia and all the memories I had there. It did mean I wouldn't set my new town up for failure by constantly comparing it to where I had come from. I would find things I liked about it right away and start enjoying them. More importantly, I would start treating it and thinking of it like home not some strange new place. Those are hard things to do for someone who is sentimental like me, but I made a decision to do it and this has by far been the best move ever. I have realized through all my moves that you can truly love more than one place with all your heart and that makes opening my heart to a new place much easier because I don't feel like I have to turn my back on other places. Places that in their own way are still very much home to me. I don't know if that makes sense but I hope so! Also, I hope that is the kind of advice you were looking for. If you were just wondering where the best place to get boxes is... now I feel silly!

One other thing I had to learn the hard way. Making new friends as an adult is a lot more challenging than it was when we were young. Adults have their own routines and ways of doing things. They aren't really worried about making new friends. They don't have to meet all new people every year in classes like kids do. So my advice for when you move is don't wait to start making friends. Jump right in. Find a church and maybe hobby or something and start meeting people. Don't wait for them to ask you over or out for dinner. You do it. The quicker you jump in and make it happen the quicker you will have friends and the quicker you have friends the quicker you will feel really at home. I didn't do this in my last move and I found it hard the entire time to make friends. I learned though from watching a few military families come in and out of town that when you are the new person the responsibility for making friends lies with you. If you put forth the effort people will happily open their hearts to you. You just have to jump in and do it. If you are shy like me that is hard but totally worth it.

One awesome thing about moving when you are our age is that you you get to take your best friends with you. Having Ron and my girls with me means home is anywhere I am!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Possibly Nothing To Dread

1. Today for lunch we had grilled cheese sandwiches. Rose had Tender Sweet Peas. She loves eating food. It is so adorable.

2. Tonight for dinner I am making "balsamic chicken with baby greens and sun-dried tomato gnocchi". It is from a recipe card I got at Publix. I adore Publix. I have long prided myself on not being a fancy pants. The first time I stepped into Publix those days were over. I love that place so much as soon as I am done grocery shopping I start thinking about the next time I can come back. It is pretty out of control!

3. I will be honest. I am dreading cold and flu season. Last year we were whammied. Here is a partial list of the illnesses we encountered: Hand Foot & Mouth Disease, mysterious purple ailment, H1N1 x 2, pneumonia, strep throat x 2, not to mention the numerous bouts with ear infections and tummy bugs. Oh yeah and pregnancy. Not an illness, but you get the idea. Anyway, so forgive me if I am already bracing myself for this year. We have all been healthy now since April. I am enjoying it but in the back of my mind the closer we get to fall I keep picturing a conveyer belt trying to pull us into sicko land. We are walking along in the opposite direction just fine right now. Still I keep thinking any day now one of us will drop off and then another and then another. And then medicate, rest, repeat until spring gets here. I know. Such a terrible, unpositive way to think. I just have that conveyer belt in my mind. We are blessed that we have never had to face any truly terrible illnesses and we are blessed that we have access to medical help when we need it and we are blessed that we all feel great right now. I am indeed thankful deeply for those things. I guess when I see that conveyor belt in my mind I will battle it away with that list of blessings. It is impossible to feel thankfulness and dread at once and I have so much to be thankful and possibly nothing to dread.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Goal Post

I went on a date once in college and my date asked me what are your goals, after a pretty long silence I said, "I don't have any."

My Goals For September

1. Reach my pre-pregnancy weight.
2. Get up by 6:00 on 80% of weekday mornings.
3. Exercise at least 20 times.
4. Pray for my children everyday.
5. Brush my children's teeth at least 5 days a week. Don't judge.
6. Make an action plan for my yard.
7. Get a SC driver's license.
8. Get a library card.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Twenty Poohs.

I never want to forget that when Afton has little she used to call Winnie the Pooh "Twenty Poohs" and I almost did.

Love her.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Am Very Happy and I Know It.

1. We ate one of our Sunday pizzas for lunch because this week on Sunday we will be eating potluck at church. My new church has potlucks that are more delicious than most weddings. Last time there was pork tenderloin. Seriously. Yum. I should tell you all about my Sunday pizzas but alas bottom line about three or four years ago we started eating a frozen pizza for lunch every Sunday. On paper plates of course. It is a beloved tradition now. We get DiGiorno Pizzas from Sam's in a three pack for $12. Makes Sunday afternoons as peaceful and enjoyable as they were meant to be. Well, there I went and told you all about them.

2. Tonight for dinner we are having chili. Yum. I don't prefer meat in my chili so it is vegetarian. I threw the following into my crock pot:

1 large can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can red beans
1 can black beans
1 can cream corn (experiment)
2 pack chili seasoning

It will sit there on low all day and the be served with red onion, shredded cheddar, and sour cream. Can't Wait!

(Ashley Holden, if you are reading this you should try it. It is so easy it can't be considered cooking. It is so yummy it can't be considered not cooking! If you do not own a crock pot please tell me now so I can have one Amazoned to you immediately!)

3. I love my new house, town, church, life. I am very happy and I know it.

That is all for now.

Monday, August 9, 2010

No Thanks To Tummy Time.

So, it turns out Tummy Time is a myth. At least I am prepared to call it that. Tummy time? If you have had a baby in the past five or so years you know what I am talking about. Tummy time. Since we put our babies to sleep on their backs now to reduce SIDS risks we have to give them tummy time each day to help their necks get strong and stuff like that. All the doctors and books say so. If your babies are anything like mine they hate tummy time. It is more like heart wrenching scream time. But if you are like me you endure the screams because tummy time is good for them. They need it. Well, I am here to say maybe not. With my first two babies I was a very good tummy time mommy. Ten minutes on their tummies everyday whether they liked it or not. With Rose not so much. Life has been out of control since she was born and there just never seemed to be good time to make a baby unnecessarily miserable even if it was for her own good. She has done tummy time maybe three times in her whole life. And guess what? She is perfectly normal. Afton and Ponder rolled over at about three months.....and so did Rose. Afton and Ponder could support their head unaided at a little after four months.....and so can Rose. I had been feeling like a pretty terrible mom for not making Rose do tummy time. I mean it is important, right? Without it how will she ever hold her head up or crawl? Imagine my surprise when I came downstairs to little Rose who had never had any tummy time to speak of and had been on her back just moments before and found this:

She had rolled over and was holding her head erect! No thanks to tummy time. Emperor Tummy Time you aren't wearing any clothes and you won't be terrorizing any babies around here anymore! I wonder what else we do to make ourselves and our kids miserable unnecessarily? What myths have you figured out? Let me know and set me free!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Kind of Information I Can Use.

Found out some things I didn't know or hadn't thought of recently. One is if you leave your shower curtain open after you take a shower for long enough to let it dry less mold will grow in your shower and your bathroom will smell fresher. Now this is the kind of information I can use! Maybe everyone else already knew that but I didn't. Makes sense though. Just make sure to close it later or you will get mold on your shower liner.

Also, if you need help knowing how to make sweet tea and everyone you ask makes it seem like an unknowable mystery then just go to It is pretty simple really.

Another one is if you need a warm compress a disposable diaper will work great. Just pour hot water into one and hold it on the spot that needs it. The water can even be infused with whatever kind of healing herbs you want! I put all of our outgrown newborn diapers in the medicine cabinet to use in times of need. Works great for mastitis or other nursing issues.

Cabbage on the affected area knocks out mastitis as good as an antibiotic. Email me if you want more details.

Like I said this is the kind of information I can use.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Ponder Sissy!

1. She answers more quickly to Sissy than to Ponder.
2. She thinks for herself.
3. You can't make Sissy do anything Sissy doesn't want to do.
4. She loves to snuggle.
5. She prefers juice, but will drink water out of her "watoo boddool."
6. Her skin is probably the softest surface on the planet.
7. "I wuv you."
8. "I baseball."
9. "I go back to church. NO! I go back to school."
10. She has the most adorable version of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame." You will probably never hear it though because she won't give command performances. (See #3.)
11. Like her sister Afton she loves Sleeping Beauty. She likes to pretend she is "MannyWetter" the blue fairy. (Merryweather.)
12. She can sing every word to the Sleeping Beauty song "Once Upon A Dream" and has been able to sing it all since she was just over one year old. She could sing that entire song before she was even really talking.
13. She loves to play with Afton. Just follows her around and giggles her heart out.
14. From the first moment she laid eyes on baby Rose she was smitten. She calls her Rosie. She sounds so cute when she says it I think I am going to let it stick.
15. She is fearless.
15. She is very independent.
16. She is no good after nap until she has been snuggled for at least five minutes. "Hold you." And what a delicious five minutes they are.
17. She loves her small baby doll named "Tiny Sister."
18. She also loves her bigger baby doll named "Boy."
19. She knows and understands a lot more than she lets on. Every now and then I catch her being smarter than she wants me to think she is.
20. She removed the lighting and music piece from inside her Glow Worm and uses it as a "lantern". (See #19)
21. We call her our little engineer. (See #20)
22. We think she is going to be a lefty. (See #21)
23. We have yet to find a form of discipline that deters her from anything she has her heart set on doing. Thankfully, we still have prayer.
24. She is ridiculously cute in pig tails.
25. You'll probably never see her wearing them though because she won't leave them in. (See #3)
26. She loves silly games.
27. She loves listening to "my songs" in the car.
28. Holy Holy Holy is her favorite song.
29. She calls all balls basketballs and she loves them.
30. She can already drink out of a big girl cup and sits in a big girl chair at the table.
31. She is heartbroken at the indignity of having her food cut into bite size pieces. She cries and cries and moans "Like a big girl! Like a big girl!"
32. She has a lot of nicknames. Peanut, Sweet P, Putter Butter but "Ponder Sissy" is what Afton has been calling her since she was about five months old and that is by far her most widely used nickname. Sissy doesn't seem like a nickname at all anymore. That is just who she is.
33. "I Sissy!"
34. She loves princesses.
35. "Sissy, are you a princess?" "No! I orange."
36. You have to earn her smile, but when you do it is a smile that will melt your heart.
37. She loves her princess potty Daddy got her. "I did it! Gwate job!"
38. She can build a serious "cackle"with legos and blocks. (Castle.)
39. Her favorite toy to date is a small yellow strip of plastic named "Stripe."
40. She loves Wilson the dog next door.
41. She is not easily impressed.
42. She can sit and turn the pages of books for hours.
43. She is perfectly happy to play all by herself.
44. She likes taking things apart and putting them back together. (See #21.)
45. She likes things to be just so.
46. She calls all clothing "jammies".
47. She loves all shoes and can walk quite well in adult shoes. Even boots.
48. Her favorite book is "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" and she knows most of it by heart. She calls it "Tip Toe".
49. When Afton asks her when she will be done with a certain toy she always says very confidently "Five."
50. We can already tell that is going to be an athlete.

51. She will climb anything. (See # 15)
52. She can balance like nobody's business.
53. Still, I know it is just a matter of time until she falls down all of our stairs.
54. At the beginning of the summer she was terrified of water and swimming, now she can't get enough.
55. She is lost without Afton.
56. She loves riding on Daddy's shoulders.
57. She gets carsick just like Mommy.
58. She loves dressing up.
59. She turns purple when she eats or gets cold. Pretty crazy really.
60. She likes to ask Rose "You naughty? You nice? You a boy? You a girl?"
61. "I fight you!"
62. "And then....and then....and then."
63. "Thas rude!"
64. She has best lion roar I have ever heard!
65. She has an iron will.
66. She is not easily impressed.
67. "I no like it."
69. She likes to be with her people.
70. She has been finding a way to tip over her car seat since she was an infant.
71. She doesn't like help going to the potty.
72. She doesn't like help with pretty much anything.
73. "No, I help!"
74. She likes to help others though.
75. She loves to push the button on the coffee pot in the mornings.
76. She loves Woody (also called "Toy Movie) and Buzz Lightyear (also called "Buzz Light").
77. She is a watcher and a listener.
78. She loves buckling and unbuckling any kind of buckle.
79. She loves coloring on the walls. If she can't do it with crayons she will do it with painted blocks or something like that.
80. She likes Little Einsteins.
81. She loves animals.
83. She loves pointing at things and telling you what they are.
84. She doesn't really like snow, grass, or sand.
85. She loves balloons.
86. She is our pickiest eater. We used to have to put a little bit of orange juice in her milk to get her to drink it. Yuck!
87. She is a quick and quiet learner.
88. She claps her hands to tell you she wants something.
89. When we are eating at Chipotle she starts off using a fork but usually resorts to finishing her burrito bowl with her fingers.
90. She can make a pretty big mess when she is eating but it will all be on her hands and face and the table and floor. Her clothes seem to always make it out unscathed.
91. "It's not easy being Sissy." and "That's just Sissy being Sissy." have become common phrases around here to describe life with Sissy.
92. Lately when she sees Rose she points at her and says, "Mommy, what's that? That Rosie Posie."
93. "Right, Mommy?"
94. When we are in the car and I smile at her in the rear view mirror she melts into one of the cutest smiles I have ever seen. It never fails.
95. It may not be easy being Sissy, but she does a great job at it.
96. She has also done a great job at capturing all our hearts.
97. She makes each of our lives richer and more beautiful. So happy God chose to add her to our family.
98. She is one of the sweetest blessings He has ever given us.
99. Happy Birthday Ponder Sissy! Can't believe we have only known you for two years.
100. Looking forward to many more years of seeing you grow in grace and beauty and just spending everyday watching Sissy being Sissy.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Systems were made for man, not man for systems.

Now that Ron works from home (Yeah, he works from home now. It's been a pretty eventful three months since we last spoke.) the pathetic lunches I had been making aren't going to work. I mean they weren't that pathetic for a one and two year old which is who was eating them, but they simply won't do for a grown man. What have I been eating all this time? Spaghetti. I have eaten spaghetti pretty much everyday for lunch for the last three years. Weird? A little. But I like spaghetti and eating it after my kids were asleep while catching up on the news was sublime. Eating spaghetti for lunch everyday would probably be a lot less sublime for my husband. So, now that he eats with us (which we are LOVING) I have started a new lunch regime. I had no intention of getting to the most hectic time of my day and then having to scramble to figure out what I could make for lunch for an entire family. I also had no intention of getting the least bit fancy with cooking right in the middle (and most hectic part) of the day. So I came up with an old fashioned rotation of simple lunches. The way I always envision people in the fifties did with dinner. "Oh, it's Tuesday. It's spaghetti night!" Don't tell Ron I got the idea from the fifties. He hates the fifties. Anyway here is my rotation:

Monday ~ Peanut butter sandwiches
Tuesday ~ English muffin pizzas
Wednesday ~ Wraps
Thursday ~ Grilled Cheese
Friday ~ Turkey Sandwiches.

Okay, they are still a little pathetic, but I am getting no complaints. I have such peace of mind not having to think something up everyday. Wednesday is the only day I will get the least bit fancy. I want to try a new wrap recipe every week. Until winter comes and then I will switch Wednesdays to soup. So, what kinda wrap did we have today on Wednesday? We didn't. We had English muffin pizzas. Systems were made for man, not man for systems.

Monday, April 5, 2010

How Can These Be My Big Girls?

Today my same nice friend took the big girls for the morning. They went to the library story time and had lunch with one of their favorite friends Louie. It was nice that for my first morning on my own I had Rose to myself. I sure do miss those little rascals, though, the moment they drive away. Anyway, how can these be my big girls? They are just little babies themselves.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

She's Here...

...and we couldn't love her more.

Rose Virginia Babington


March 26, 2010


10:21 AM

8 lbs. 12 oz.

20 3/4 in.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I Think She is Ready.

1. A very kind friend took my children for the whole morning so I could have time to get some things done in preparation for Rose's arrival this weekend. She even fed them lunch. They had lots of fun and I missed them. Anytime my children have been in someone else's care I have been out. It felt so strange to be home and for them not to be here. I got lots done on my low energy without my efforts being divided. I can't think of anything at all that could have been more helpful today! It was especially comforting knowing that my children were having lots of fun (More than they would have been having here. Let's be honest.) with people they enjoy!

2. Dinner? Next question.

3. Lord willing this little lady will be a big sister before the week is over. I think she is ready.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

1. For lunch today the kids had turkey and tortilla rolls ups. Our dining room table is out of commission for the time being so we are down to eating things that have no possibility of making a mess.

2. Having Roman Pasta for dinner.

4. I have a lot of work to do but I am going to sleep. Nigh nigh.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Friend Self-Control

I've been reading this book:

I am not very far into it, but so far I've found it very helpful. Today I was reading a chapter on self-control and came across these two statements that capture the blessedness of that virtue so well.

"Self-contol is our wall of defense against the enemies of our soul."

"We desperately need the grace of self-control to avoid sin's destructive cycles. When we recognize self-contol as the virtue that spares us from sin's negative consequences, we will welcome it eagerly as our friend."

Reading those words made me want to do just that. Welcome self-control as my dear friend.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I have always been a little shy. Afton is not. She is not afraid to talk to strangers. She strikes up conversations with them all the time. Of course they usually think she is precious and I just smile. Lately, however, her comments have sometimes taken an inappropriate and, yes, embarrassing turn. Especially embarrassing for a shyish Mommy who doesn't make it a habit to talk to strangers. Here is an example from today. It took place in a very small waiting area where everyone could hear every word she said.

A: Mommy, can I get out of the stroller.
J: No, baby, this isn't a good place little ones to be running around. Just stay right there. We are almost done.
A: I wanna get out and go sit by that lady. (Points at a lady.)
A: Is she a nice lady?
J: Yes, she is a nice lady.
A: (Points at another lady.) But that lady is a naughty lady?
J: ( Mortified.) No, she is a nice lady.
A: No, Mommy, she is a naughty lady. Look at her hair!

At this point I got up and pushed the stroller over to Daddy and tried to recover. What kind of hair did the lady have? I know you are wondering. Perfectly normal old lady hair. Nothing the least bit naughty about it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I May Not Know Everything, But I Know Myself

1. Today for lunch my kinds had provolone and whole wheat tortillas.

2. Not sure about dinner again. My menu system is in a tailspin right now. I hope to regain control of it tomorrow after a nice trip to the grocery store.

3. I do know that tonight my new treadmill is arriving. Many who have been to my apartment have expressed concerns about where I am going to put it. No worries, friends! Ron and I are both very good at Tetris and we have a plan. I will post pictures when it is all set up. The fact of the matter is that exercising outdoors with three little ones is not very likely to happen. (At least not for me. I may not know everything, but I know myself.) A bigger concern than how I am going to fit the treadmill in here is how I am going to fit in here without one!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Afton Adele

1. Afton has a preciously tender heart.
2. She loves her sister.
3. She loves "teaching."
4. She loves eating "jewee" and watching her shows. This is her weekend treat with Daddy.
5. She doesn't like to see anyone sad.
6. She wants to understand EVERYTHING.
7. She likes to wear her "unnies only".
8. She hates not being able to brush her hair like Mommy and Sissy do, but she knows it is because she has beautiful curly hair.
9. If she wants to praise someone she often tells them the have beautiful curly hair no matter what kind of hair they have.
10. One of her favorite phases of late is "Not at all." which she says in a hilarious mysterious whisper.
11. She knows one way to always crack Mommy up is to say pretty much anything in that mysterious whisper of hers.
12. Her default response to anyone she meets is to LOVE them.
13. Every morning when Daddy is leaving for work she says "Daddy, I need to tell you a question. You need to find apples." We have no idea what she means, but now I am pretty sure he couldn't leave without hearing it.
14. She loves dancing.
15. Her favorite pretend friends are the characters from Little House on the Prairie, particularly Mr. Edwards.
16. Anytime she falls down she says, "I fall down like Carrie!"
17. She knows lots of songs.
18. She loves listening to "her songs" in the car.
19. She is a good sharer.
20. She has a teachable heart.
21. She works really hard at learning to be patient and brave.
22. She knows all of the Lord's Prayer and Psalm 23.
23. She loves to catechize her sister.
24. After she finishes every meal she asks for "sumpin else."
25. She still loves her matesie and she still sucks her thumb. Mickey Mouse, not so much.
26. She wants to do everything her cousin Scout does.
27. She scares kinda easily and runs to Mommy says "Take care of me!"
28. She is full speed ahead.
29. She is really good at drinking out of a big girl cups but sometimes she still asks for an "ippy" cup.
30. She loves going to church.
31. She loves other kids all of whom she calls "friends."
33. She loves all of her family members and speaks of them often.

34. She copies Mommy all day long.
35. She listens well.
36. She is in a phase of saying lots of nonsense words.
37. She loves playing "driver's game" with Daddy. (Wii Mario Cart)
39. She calls ice skating "icing" and she does a hilarious imitation of it.
40. Her favorite song is "Once Upon A Dream" from Sicka Booty only she calls it "I Know You".
41. Sicka Booty is what she has called Sleeping Beauty since she was about a year and a half old and no matter how old she gets I will never let her stop.
42. She has a huge arsenal of bedtime stalling tactics.
43. She loves weddings and asks me all the time who she is going to marry and what her wedding is going to be like. A wedding to her is not the ceremony but the dress. "Who is going to put my wedding on me, Mommy?" is a question I am asked at least once a day.
44. Right now Silas Walker is the number one contender of who she will marry. She wants to marry Sissy, but I told her it needs to be a boy and it needs to be someone from a different family.
45. One of her favorite times of day is "watie" time with Sissy and Daddy.
46. She loves the library. (Too bad we can never go back. Don't ask.)
47. "Daddy, I berry love you."
48. She loves to hold Mommy's shopping list and to remind me what we need to buy. It can actually be quite helpful.
49. She loves to carry bags around and to pretend she is going on trips.
50. If you seem sick she will immediately cover you with a blanket and say, "Aww, what's the matter sweetheart?"
51. "If You Listen" is her favorite song to be sang to her when she is having a hard time going to sleep at night.
52. It takes her about 30 seconds to fall asleep for her nap. For bedtime it is a lot, lot longer.
52. Her favorite two restaurants are Chickie A and PoteYay.
53. She loves grocery stores that have cars instead of carts.
54. Target and Kroger are Targret and Krogret. I love that.
55. We have adopted so much of her baby talk into our family vocabulary that words like yotes and watie are all Ponder has ever heard and Afton continues to use them even though the real words are in her reach now.
56. She is trying to learn how to dress herself. She is so eager to do so that sometimes she get very frustrated.
57. She is very cuddly after naps and very happy when she sees how happy I am to see her.
58. She sits in a big girl chair at the dinner table now and at all restaurants.
59. She loves "reading" her Bible.
60. She loves actually walking on walks now instead of riding in the stroller.
61. She gets really sad and scared when reading the story of The Fall and Adam and Eve disobey.
62. She calls Adam and Eve Adam and Steve. (We have a Papa Steve and Uncle Adam in the family.)
63. She loves watching videos of herself.
64. She loves watching "Oww Charlie."
65. She loves making suggestions and ending them with "That's a great idea?!"
66. If you suggest something she doesn't like she says, "That not be a great idea."

67. She loves routine.
68. She loves Bible Story Time.
69. The lyrics "I've got the wonderful love of my blessed redeemer way down in the depths of my heart" genuinely crack her up.
70. She can keep a melody surprisingly well.
71. "That's a yucky one!" is her all-purpose phrase of dislike.
72. She tells us that things she doesn't want to do or use are "nigh nigh." (Carrots are nigh nigh. Toothbrush is nigh nigh.)
73. "I don't want tickled."
74. She is not a princess, she is Tinkerbell.
75. She puts a crook finger up to her head to "think about it."
76. She loves helping with "Munion" at church.
77. She loves playing with "fudoe" (Play Do).
78. She loves coloring.
79. She loves going to class and bringing home pictures for Daddy.
80. She loves Sunday School.
81. She is getting pretty good at helping pick up the front room.
82. She wrote a song about picking up and it goes like this "Clean up! Clean up! Clean up, everybody, and share."
83. She doesn't like to be left alone ever for a second.
84. She loves birthday parties and is already looking forward to turning four.
85. She is very protective of her Sissy.
86. She loves being read to.
87. She loves the idea of helping Sissy learn potty.
88. She can go potty with no help at all and hasn't had an accident in nine months.
89. She presses her boundaries to find out what is and is not okay, but for the most part is very obedient.
90. She is quite impressionable.
91. She has an amazing command of words for her age.
92. She knows all her animals and colors very well.
93. She knows her ABCs.
94. She can count to 20.
95. She is kind.
96. She experiences everything very intensely.
97. She has great zeal.
98. She cares for others.
99. She is three years old.
100. She will always be our baby girl.

Monday, March 8, 2010

My Birthday Cake Portfolio

I like making birthday cakes for my kids. I have never been accused of being a perfectionist which makes for some interesting cakes, but it also makes making "interesting" cakes no big deal and a lot of fun. Below find all the cakes I have made so far. Looking forward to making as many more as I can! (More on our precious birthday girl tomorrow on her real birthday....FYI three years ago at exactly this time I had been in labor for 18 hours with just 11 more to go.)

(Afton turning 1)

(Afton turning 2)

(Ponder turning 1)

(Afton turning 3)

Friday, March 5, 2010

I Think It Is Finally Sinking In.

1. Today for lunch my kids had bananas and peas and milk.

2. Not totally sure what we are having for dinner tonight. I am leaning toward black bean stoup. Here is the recipe. It is really, really good. I never have tried the Monte Cristos in the recipe, but I am sure they are probably good too.

3. The Count of Monte Cristo is one of the best books I have ever read half of. If it is so good why don't I read the rest? Not sure. Its moment kinda passed. It may have another moment again someday.

4. I can't wait to have this baby. Somehow I lost weight from this week to last. (Let me assure you it was not from not eating whatever I want or doing any physical activity beyond that which sustains my life and preserves the lives of my children.) I read that weight loss can be a sign of impending labor. "A loss or leveling off of weight may occur in the last few days before labor starts..." I think was the exact quote. My question is what is meant by the last few days? Like 3 days.....awesome. Like 20 duh. It's the last month of pregnancy. In that sense, of course, it is the last few days. I have been googling everything else I feel to see if it is a sign of impending labor as well. Pretty much it is all just symptoms of pregnancy. Yep, I am pregnant alright. Anyway, I am thankful that this pregnancy has been smooth and that all signs point to a healthy baby girl. I can't wait to meet her. I feel more ready to mother this child than I have with any of my other pregnancies. I have gotten a chance to see twice now how fast babydom slips away, so I plan on savoring this infancy rather than being eager for the next milestone or my first chance to sleep all night. One of the (many) things that makes baby-ness so precious is how quickly it is gone. "Enjoy them. They grow up so fast." I can't go to the store with my kids without an old lady coming up and telling me that. I think it is finally sinking in.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spring Won't Let Us Down

1. Today for lunch we ate at Chipotle with Ron. I love days when we go out to lunch with Daddy. Such joy. My love for Chipotle is well documented.

2. Tonight for dinner we are having spaghetti and garlic bread.

3. Here are a couple of interesting statistics. I read that only 2% of babies are born at home. That seems quite low and yet I knew five babies born at home within six months last year. Also I am pretty sure I can see about 70% of my yard now. Spring won't let us down!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


1. My kids don't eat chicken nuggets for lunch everyday or even every week. Just everyday that I have time to write my blog. Hmmm.

2. Tonight for dinner we are having good old fashioned loaded baked potatoes. Potato based dishes always so go badly for me, so we will see.

3. Today at the obstetricians office the receptionist told me that the doctor said to go straight to the hospital to have the baby. "That sounds awesome," I told her, "but are you sure that is my chart?" It wasn't. Bummer.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Spice Is my Favorite.

I mentioned earlier I wanted to to do a lot of baking this holiday season. I did as much as I possibly could but I didn't really do much in the end. Still it was lots of fun and very yummy. I think I want to make it a tradition every year. Much more convenient when I am pregnant and all those extra calories don't matter as much, but hey, that is what my new treadmill is for, right? Anyway I didn't fall in love with any new recipes during my experience, but I re fell in love with one that I learned last fall. I love it for two reasons -- because it is ridiculously easy and amazingly delicious. Easiness is a feature I appreciate in my extra curricular activities at this time in my life. So here is my go to pumpkin muffin recipe (if you are indiginified by the use of box mixes read no further) :

Take any box cake or muffin mix (I have used yellow, chocolate, and spice. Spice is my favorite.) Follow the directions on the box replacing the oil with a can of pumpkin. How easy is that. And it is SO yummy and SO moist. Love it. Also good with chocolate chips! Yum!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Invincible Territory

A friend of mine shared this quote on Facebook today. I have no idea if it is from a book or a sermon or what. All I know is it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear and it is EXACTLY what I need the Holy Spirit to work into my heart today. Sometimes conviction reaches up and smacks my hand pretty hard and I all I can say is "Yes, Sir!" I call that feeling "getting in trouble". I kinda love that feeling. I mean no one likes getting in trouble but it sure does feel better than hanging out in sinful grumpiness. For those of you who know what I mean about liking the feeling of "getting in trouble" and who maybe, like me, have been a little too focused on your own needs or your boundaries, if you will, all I can say is enjoy:

"If you get angry, upset and irritated and then blame it on your circumstances, you're deceiving yourself. The problem isn't your circumstances. The problem is the preoccupation of your mind that you're important, that your rights matter, that your territory is invincible." John MacArthur

Friday, February 12, 2010

Be Here Now

In honor of St. Valentine's Day I wanted to post my favorite love song of all. I haven't heard another song that captures the unique beauty of the stage in life we and many of our friends and family are in right now. We can swing back and forth so much between the mundane repetitiveness of everyday and looking forward and working to the next big thing that it is easy to miss the splendor of love that is all around us. I love this song and how it makes me remember how much I love my life. Listen to the words and I think you will too. (You can get rid of the annoying Google ads in the video by making it full screen and then xing out of them.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Just Getting Excited.

1. Today for lunch the kids had chicken nuggets. Yes, again.

2. Tonight for dinner we are having what I call Aimee's chicken. I got the recipe from my friend Aimee. She has her own home business cooking so as you can imagine it is quite good. I will just say it involves chicken, garlic, basil, and yes, cream cheese and bacon. Yes, maam! Check her out .

3. We got our new portable crib in the mail yesterday. It is where baby Rose is going to sleep while she is little and still sleeping in our room and as long as we live in this house. I adore it. Strong words, but I do. It's nothing fancy, but I love how it matches our bedding and I just can't wait to put a sweet baby in there. No, I really can't wait. I took one of Afton's baby dolls and wrapped it up in a receiving blanket last night and put it in there. I know....out of control. Just getting excited. That's all!

4. This month I have been reading Matthew 5 to the girls at lunch. Today, for the first time in my life, the Beatitudes cut me to the heart with conviction. I guess I had never paid too much attention to the meaning. Today I really heard the words. Wow.

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called the sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
~ Matthew 5:3-10

Monday, January 25, 2010

Way, way, WAY too much.

1. Today for lunch my kids had chicken nuggets. I had them too.

2. Tonight for dinner we are having homemade pizza made from all the ingredients I have leftover from my meal at the Christmas cabin. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are making pizza for 22 people and you are wondering how much pizza sauce you will need let me assure that two six pound cans in way too much. Way, way, WAY too much.

3. Speaking of Christmas I am usually a very strict adherer to the no Christmas music, decorations, etc. before Thanksgiving rule. I just like to keep Christmas Christmas to keep it feeling as special as it is. This year I cheated, though. I started a week early. I had swine flu about a week and a half before Thanksgiving and it was a pretty gloomy place around here. I decided to brighten it up by busting out the Christmas music early. I feel like it really got us through. Still the day Christmas was over I was over it. Couldn't bear to hear another fa la la. That has never happened to me in my life. So I think I will stick to the not before Thanksgiving rule from now on. No regrets about this year though. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

4. Speaking of swine flu. It wasn't so bad. The fear of it before it hit was worse than the actual sickness. Two out of four of us got it. Those two were the two in the high risk categories. Me'n Ponder. (A child under two and a pregnant lady.) I mean I definitely don't want it again and it was sad seeing my baby so sick but in comparison to what so many people suffer we were lucky. I am trying to find a balance between not taking my children's health for granted and realizing what a gift it is (I know there are parents all over the world with truly sick children who would love to trade places with me on my children's sickest days.) and not fretting over it in a fruitless and faithless way....worrying. I think the happy medium between complaisance and worry is gratitude and I think that is where we are meant to live as Christians. May God give us the grace to do so.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Do Not Be Overcome With Evil But Overcome Evil With Good

1. Today for lunch my kids had apple sauce, provolone, and turkey. With milk. Afton calls provolone "holes cheese". Some might think that is swiss cheese, but not to Afton. For some reason that is the name she has given to provolone.

2. Tonight for dinner we are trying a recipe I got from my friend's blog. Brie Chicken. Oh my goodness that sounds so yummy. Find the recipe here. Not sure if I should use my whole wedge of brie or just part of it. Is there such a thing as too much brie? I doubt it.

3. I've been reading Romans 12 everyday with the kids at lunch. Wow.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil: cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep you spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:9-21

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I Must Have Been a Pill for my Mom to Feed.

1. Today for lunch the kids had bananas, carrots, and yogurt (or yotes as we like to call them around here). Ponder is getting so good at feeding herself. Not only did I not have to feed her I even went to my bedroom to change clothes while they were feeding themselves lunch....ALONE! This is huge! Ponder also climbed the stairs leading up to our house today all by herself. Also huge. Don't tell her Daddy. :)

2. Tonight for dinner we are having chicken pot pie. I can hardly wait. Another thing I used to HATE as kid, but love now. I must have been a pill for my Mom to feed. Bless her heart. I remember when my family would have hotdogs she would make me a hotdog bun with peanut butter on it. What a sweetie! Our recipe tonight belongs to my mother who somehow made it through 18 years of finding something I was willing to eat.c

3-4 cooked (boiled) chicken
breasts, cut up into bite size pieces.
2 cans cream of potato soup
Bag of frozen veggies
About 1/2 cup of milk
Two pie shells (the kind you can roll out like Pillsbury)
Put a pie shell in a Pam'd pie plate. In separate bowl combine chicken, potato soup, veggies and milk. Add more milk if you need to ... you want it moist but not running over the edge and swimming in liquid. Pepper everything -- no need to salt it because the soup is salty enough. Put the other pie shell on top. Trim the edges and crimp them shut. Poke several steam holes in the top.
Cook at 375 for about 1 hour, 15 minutes or until the crust is brown.

Like I said I can't wait!

Monday, January 11, 2010

How Cute is She?

1. Today for lunch my kids had apple sauce and carrots. Apple juice to drink.

2. Tonight for dinner we are having Roman Pasta.

1 lb pasta (supposed to be linguine, but I usually use spaghetti because who has linguine lying around and this definitely a meal of things I just have lying around.)

1/2 C extra virgin olive oil

2 T minced garlic

Heat the oil in a pan. Add garlic. Cook it until it is light brown. Toss it with the pound of cooked pasta. If it seems too dry add some of the pasta water. Couldn't be easier. Super yummy. Obviously this is easy to fancy up if you want to....add chicken, add basil or choped green onions... add anything! We like to have ours with fresh tomato slices.

3. How cute is she?

Almost three years old. WAY too big for her britches. Knows how she thinks things should be and demands that they be that way. Very intense. Loving, tenderhearted, so smart it surprises me everyday. Loves to have fun. Loves to be noticed. Loves to be loved. A very good big sister. A daughter so preciously eager to please, eager to learn, eager to understand. An exquisite little eager spirit that I pray for the patience to always treasure and never to squelch. I am blessed beyond accounting to have such a dear soul as my own sweet baby girl.

Friday, January 8, 2010

All in Time.

1. Today for lunch my kids had peas and apple sauce. Separately, of course. Mixed would be disgusting. I hate mixed food which is why I have a really hard time with casseroles. For dinner tonight we are having vegetarian chili. My chili recipe is the epitome of nothing fancy, but it is yummy to me. Here it is:

1 large can tomato sauce.
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans
1 can black beans
2 packs chili seasoning

In a crock pot on low all day. Serve with shredded cheese, diced red onion, and sour cream. You can also add a can of corn if you feel like getting crazy. And I would totally add jalepenos if my family would let me. They won't.

Someday I would like to make my own tomato sauce and dice my own tomatoes for the the chili. Maybe it could even be from tomatoes I grew myself. Maybe I could even develop my own chili seasoning. All in time. Not there yet.

2. If anyone needs a new Pandora station for the day I recommend starting one with the artist Jay Ungar. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's Nothing Fancy.

1. Today my kids had yogurt and whole wheat tortillas for lunch. They had milk to drink. Afton drank hers out of a big girl cup. I am trying to eliminate sippies from her life by the time she turns three.

2. I started a new menu planning system this week. I think it is actually too mundane and obvious to share, though if anyone wants to know what it is I will gladly do so. Anyway I am pumped about it. I feel like it is going to make dinner time so much more fun and also make eating out so much more fun because we won't be doing it out of desperation but because we want to.

Tonight I am making Continental Chicken. It was classic around my house when I was growing up. I hated it then, but I love it now. I have enjoyed my friends sharing recipes and meal planning on their blogs lately so I will give you this recipe. It's nothing fancy...just like me.

Family size can of cream of mushroom soup.
8 oz. Sour Cream
Four chicken breasts.

Pop all that good stuff into a crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours. Voila. Super yummy and super easy. I love crock pots. I just hate cleaning them. Serve over rice.