Friday, September 30, 2011

The importance of dating

This is Tim and Shelby.  Daddy and daughter.  Shelby had a date yesterday, with her dad.  These are the most important kinds of dates that Shelby can have.  We have 4 girls so to say our time as parents is divided is an understatement.  Unless we carve time out to be intentional with our girls, we will not get alone-one on one time with them.  It is so important for our daughters to have a good great relationship with their daddy.  He is who they will use as a gauge when they are dating and when (*gasp*) they choose their spouse.  Our girls know their daddy loves them and that he has high standards for them.  I treasure my family so much.  I don't know how I got so blessed to have them, but I know I'm thankful for them.

~~~a funny side story..
Tim already has the boys scared to come to our house.  Shelby told us that one time a group of kids came and "ding dong ditched" our house.  It was dark so we couldn't see anyone.  The one boy  refused to come to the door.  He stood on the opposite side of the circle of our house because he is afraid of Tim.   Tim considers that a compliment.  It means he's doing his job very well :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Super Easy and Tasty recipe

It is a priority for our family to eat dinner together.  I am a HUGE fan of easy, quick recipes.  Here's a favorite of our family.


1      10oz can cream of chicken soup
1/2   can water
1/4 C white wine (I use the white cooking wine sold at Meijer)
6 slices swiss cheese
6 boneless chicken breast halves
1 box stuffing mix
1/2 butter (melted)

mix soup, water & wine with whisk.  Set aside. 
place chicken in 9x13 pan.
place a piece of cheese on each breast.
pour soup mixture over the top
place stuffing mix over chicken.
pour melted butter over top of stuffing
bake 45 mins @ 350 degrees

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Girls night out

My daughters are amazing! I love them so.  I have 4 of them that have a large age gap between them.  I think this makes is hard to sometimes carve out one-on-one time with them.  We had a rare, but awesome, girls afternoon out recently. 

Our church's youth group is on Sunday nights.  GSM is TOTALLY AMAZING! This is held at our main campus which is 30 minutes from our house.  The middle school goes first and then there's a break until the high school goes.  Since we live far away, we stayed in between groups.  During this break time my girls and I went to the Hacienda to grab a snack and hang out until it was time to take Shelby to GSM.  We had the best time just the three of us have had in a looong time.  There was no "have to" talk.  We laughed and talked and then we laughed alot more.  The manager came and refilled our drinks and asked which one of us was in high school.  I chuckled knowing he was being very kind to me.  As Shelby was answering him, she realized what he meant.  Her face got a little red and then we laughed some more! The manager, his name is Bill, then gave us a free dessert! That was such a blessing.  We were sitting there immensely enjoying our time together and someone blessed us even more with a random act of kindness.  God is so good! I can't wait until the next youth group! Momma enjoys them as much as the kids do!

This is the manager, Bill, at Hacienda and my girls

This is the FREE mudslide we shared

Monday, September 26, 2011

When I said "I DO"

When I got married 17 years ago, I had high hopes for a wonderful marriage.  I thought it would be easy to stay connected as a couple.  I thought we'd always be happy.  I thought we'd never have any major issues that would cause us to doubt our union.  I thought I knew it all.

Come to find out...I didn't know ANYTHING. Our marriage has been hard.  I've since learned that most marriages are hard.  I didn't realize that bringing two completely (emphasis on the word "completely") different people together would have its challenges.  Our marriage has had years of challenges.  Moments when we have both wanted to just give in and move on.  In our minds, that would have been the easy resolution. 

We have learned that even though our marriage is hard, we wouldn't trade it for the world.   We've gone from surving in our marriage to making a conscious attempt at thriving in our marriage.  We were not Christ followers when we married.  That was big mistake #1.  We are now living with Him as our guide.  While I don't think that we won't have hard times just because we are Christians, I do know that we don't consider giving up on each other and our faith is a huge part of that.

I will be guest blogging on the Time-Warp Wife's  She is devoting intentional loving on our husbands, day by day for the month of October.  I believe this is an amazing tool to spread joy and love to my spouse.  I hope others will too.

There is a video that has taken YouTube by storm.  I loooove this video of an older couple trying to figure out their new computer.  The love they have for each other is what I desire for my husband and myself.  I can only pray that we are even a teeny tiny bit like this when we are their age.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Power of Facebook

I stongly enjoy Facebook.  There.. I've admitted it to a public source.  Confession is good for the soul, right?

I recently had an experience on Facebook that had me just amazed at how this social tool can reconnect people.  I had a high school classmate that I reconncected with through Facebook.  She and I have babies that are close in age.  We've "commented" and "liked" each other's status.  Truely, I feel like we've gotten reaquainted and we haven't seen each other since we graduated.

I recently posted on Facebook about having just found an awesome yard sale and asked if anyone had any clothes that would fit my baby for winter to let me know.  I would be interested in purchasing.  Jerri (I called Jerri Lynn in school) replied and said she had some that she would send me.  She lives in MARYLAND.  I live in INDIANA!  Through the inbox I gave her my address and offered to pay her.  She didn't want money. 

Today I received a box in the mail.  Thinking it was my daughter's swim order, she opened it.  To my delight it was a box FULL of clothes for my baby.  I was so tickled and so thankful.  Thanks to her genoursity, I will not have to buy any winter clothes for my baby!! WHAT A BLESSING!!

Butt dialing with Justin Bieber

Last night my oldest daughter was babysitting for our friends home group.  She comes home with some awesome stories that the kids say.  One kid asked her once if she had any kids. Last night one of the little girls asked her if she knew Justin Bieber.  To up her cool factor Shelby said "psh..yaaa! He's my boyfriend!" The little girl was in awe! They started singing "Baby" at the top of their lungs.  (My friend later told us that while they were signing downstairs, the prayer was going on and all of the adults heard the kids singing). Shelby took her phone out of her back pocket after they were done singing to check the time.  When she looked, the time was running on her phone.  It had been for 2.5 MINUTES!! She had butt dialed one of her contacts during the singing!! As she was putting the phone up to her ear she kept saying "OH GOSH" "OH GOSH" "OH GOSH".  After the hesitantly said hello, the voice on the other end said.."what the heck is going on there?" Shelby explained she was babysitting and they were singing.  She then repeated "OH GOSH" as she hung up. 

Needless to say she texted the whole way home asking this person to NOT tell anyone.  You know how THAT goes when you're a teenager!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My point was...

I have a teenager.  Those that have one knows how challenging this can be.  I will go one step further and say I have a girl teenager.  I loooove my girl teenager.  She makes me laugh daily and I'm so proud of her in all she does. Well, almost all she does.  Let me explain...

Yesterday was Monday.  The only easy Monday to get up for is the first day of school.  After that they become harder and harder to get up.  My teenager has a room in the basement.  She has an alarm clock of her own that she has used for quite some time now.  Yesterday morning my teenager, for some reason, did not get up when she normally does.  I knew she wasn't up and I had a plan.  My teenager leaves the house at 7:10am.  I woke my teenager up at 7:10am.  My teenager groaned something that I chose not to hear.  After a minute, she yells up the stairs.."MOM, I NEED TO SHOWER!"  I calmly reply "NO, YOU DON'T".  She then proceeds to tell me numerous times in a not so gentle (she was yelling and screaming) voice that she needed to shower and wanted me to take her to school.  I kept my cool and told her no each time she shouted her desire.  My teenager came up stairs and made as much noise and shot me as many nasty glares as she could.  I sat on the couch cuddling my 2 year old (yes, I have a teenager AND a toddler). My teenager was up and out the door in 5 minutes.

I had two things in mind when I formulated my plan. 

  1. My teenager is driven to school by our neighbor.  If she rode the bus, this might have played out differently.
  2. My teenager has a habit of staying up late downstairs and watching tv.  I felt this is what she did the night before.  I was not going to reward her bad choice by taking her to school.  She has to know that there are immediate consequences for making bad choices. 
My teenager came home from school last night in a jovial mood.  She normally rebounds quickly and this time was no exception. 

This morning the phone rang at 6:15.  It was the school saying there was a 2 hour fog delay.  The irony of this is quite funny.  Yesterday she was running around like a mad (& mean) woman.  Today she had more time than she knew what to do with.  She most certainly was up on time this morning.

I love my kids.  I love them enough to teach them, sometimes hard, lessons.

As a side note..when my husband came home and I told him what happened he decided to play along.  My teenager had a meeting after school and he went and picked her up..with a clothes pin on his nose.  He told her he didn't want to smell the stink from my teenager not taking a shower.  And yes, her friends saw him, but that's a whole other blog post!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rainy days and Mondays...

Today is one of those rainy days where I could just stay under my covers all day long with a book.  The coolness of fall has set in.  The color on the trees is starting to expose itself.  The sunless day puts me in a sleepy mood.

We had a wonderful summer.  But now it's time to embrace the next season.  I'm so thankful for each and every day that I'm given.  I'm thankful for my family.  I'm thankful for every opportunity that I have been given.

Today is a day of soft, mellow reflection for me.  I hope I never take for granted what I've been given. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Reflections of me

I recently had a birthday.  I've never had a birthday affect me.  A birthday is another year to be alive.  This birthday, however, brought me mental anguish.  I'm not able to verbalize how old I am, but I will say I'm no longer in my 30's.

Because of my birthday, I have been thinking alot about my life.  Comparing it to "then" and "now".  I thought I should write down some things so that when I'm anguishing I have something to refocus myself with.

  • I LOVE Jesus.  This is what gets me through each and every day.  I strive to be what he wants me to be.  I'm not where He wants me yet that's why each birthday is a good thing..more time for me to do this.
  • I LOVE my family.  Next to Jesus, this is another thing that gets me through my day.  I don't know what I'd do without them.  Another good reason for a birthday..more time with them.
  • I'm happy with my life.  If someone would have told me 5 years ago that I'd be living in Elkhart, IN, I would have politely tried to not laugh in their face.  I'm happy we're here.  It's been so good for us.
  • I LOVE pasta.  There is no way I would ever consider doing the Atkins diet (he's dead now, right? Probably because he didn't eat enough pasta).  Life's too short not to eat pasta.
  • I wish I was as "fat" now as what I thought I was in high school.
  • I loathe peanut butter.
  • I love music.  Most kinds.  I do not like Lil' Wayne or extreme rap.
  • I love serving to encourage our next generation to live for Jesus.  It gives me goose bumps to think of the potential our kids have to set this world on fire for Jesus.
  • I love Mt. Dew.  Pretty sure I have an addiction to it.
  • I am a "people" person.  I love to talk to anyone.  Just ask my husband and kids..they will verify this.
  • I had a rocky young life.  I wouldn't change it for anything.  I believe it has helped shape who I am today.  I would not, however, want that life for my kids.
  • I believe Jesus sent my husband to me.  I think without my husband, my life would have been much different.  Not necessarily for the better.
  • I don't like dusting, vacuuming, laundry, dishes, cooking, washing milk off kitchen cabinets, or any other form of cleaning but I do it because it makes my husband happy.  It makes me happy to make my husband happy. 
  • I love the sun! I'd rather summer, fall, and spring.  I don't like winter.
  • I look forward to spending time with my husband, just the two of us.
  • I love holding my husband's hand and sitting next to him.
  • I'm pretty sure I have the Alzheimer's gene because the older I get, the less I remember.
  • I think my family needs to start taking pictures of me.  If they don't, they won't have any to display at my funeral.
When I sit and think of all these things, I am so thankful for my life.  If that means I have to have birthdays to make this happen, then so be it.  Let's just not talk about it, ok?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

August is 12!

This is August.  It's kinda hard to find a picture of August NOT in the water.  She spends most of her time in the water.  Some people think we're crazy because of all of the time swimming takes of our schedule.  My answer to them is this.."August loves it so we love it".

August has an amazng wit about her.  She is funny without trying to be funny.  She has many "Augustism's" that our family enjoys.  She is a great kid and I'm so proud of her!

For her birthday this year, we had a swim party for her  (yes, more water). Here are some pictures of the afternoon.  This was such a sunny, warm day.  That is, right until it was time to go then the skies let loose with rain and wind!

August went to Indianapolis for State this summer for swimming.  It was so much fun.  The relay team she was on got 6th IN THE STATE!!!!

August, Emma, Kionna, & Maddie

the girls on the podium

the team with their 6th place medal!
August had an awesome year of being 11.  We are so excited to see where God takes us in her 12th year!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Another beautiful lady in Heaven

It's happened again.  DARN IT ALL! For selfish reasons, I desired for it to be different.  As always, God knows best.

We lost a dear friend last week.  A strong, funny, full of life, loving life, never take for granted, wonderful mom, wonderful wife, lady.  In her battle with cancer she showed so many the true importance of life.  It's not the "stuff" we gain from this world, it's the "people" and "relationships" we gain.  There was never a day that I doubted her dedication and love for Jesus.  He was her all in all, her whole reason for being.  She said more than once "I want what God wants". God wanted her to join Him and she did, happily.

While this is a sad time for many, this is also such a joyous time as well.  For me, death is hard to take if I don't know where someone stood with the Lord.  It makes me sad to think that someone is not spending eternity (which~mind you~is much much much longer than our time here on Earth) with Jesus.  I desire for EVERYONE to be with Jesus.  When someone dies that I know is in Heaven, it brings me JOY! Death is not the end for a Christ follower.  It is most definitely THE BEGINNING! 

I will spend some time over the next couple of days remembering Deb's life.  I will spend time praying for her family here.  I will, hopefully, spend time throughout the rest of my life remembering what Deb reminded me.  She reminded me that the little children matter.  She reminded me that her husband mattered.  She reminded me that her family mattered.  Most importantly, she reminded me that she wanted what God wanted.  She left an amazing legacy!

Love and miss you Deb!

~oh, this is just between me and Deb...  Deb, could you please put in a good word for the Steelers this season? I know you'll be up there rooting for them!