Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Our church showed part of this video on Sunday. Not only did we love the graphics/fonts/etc on it....we loved the message! It's always hard in America to put "the Christ back in Christmas". So now I am going to start praying over our gift giving choices this year. Wish I would have thought about that before.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. & I'm so excited. About the family, friends, food, football & the PARADES!! I love watching the parades in my pjs! Just thinking about it warms me up & gets me excited!

It's 10:35 pm EST & everyone in the house is asleep except for me. Last week was hard on me. I'm not used to being emotional, so when all the things that came up last week did, it pushed me over into a world I'm not used to being in. I cried more times than I have in the last 10 years combined. (I'm not exaggerating). We had a HUGE goodbye. It was a great one, but so very hard for me. The kids got lice, on my birthday. I felt like a monkey picking at their hair for hours. I think it's all gone now. Praise the Lord!! Unexpected errands came up, the house got messy, R got busy with work & side business...but it all calmed down this past weekend. & It started with....a new vacuum!! YAY!! well, & a new purse....YAY again! That was my therapy, shopping for a new purse w/ birthday $ (thanks Don & Marty!) & a JCPenney's coupon. Oh I have grown to love JCPenneys. & the vacuum...well, apparently ours didn't do so well in storage. It was working for the past year, but last month it finally died. so I borrowed mom's a couple of times, then when the lice came, I went right to Sears to spend a crazy amount of $ on a really good one. & boy is it!!! It has this "intelli" system which is this dirt sensor. If the light is red, boy, the carpet is nasty, then orange means getting cleaner, and green, clean! I spent over an hour on each room downstairs & about that much upstairs & on the stairs themselves. filled up 1.25 bags. YUCK-O!! & yet somehow so wonderful. It was amazing therapy for my overworked emotions. Now just a bit more organizing/cleaning out & I'll be even better.
Maybe I'll head to bed now. I think I've hit that point of either going to bed, or pushing on & getting another wind which will keep me up to probably 2 am. & I promised the kids waffles tomorrow. so off to bed for me. goodnight!!! ml

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

2 months?

I am 1 day away from not having posted for 2 months. wow. I must say they have been a blur!! here's the main headlines:

1. D starting school!! He has not cried since the 3rd week of school, PTL. If he went a whole week without crying he got to camp out in the backyard overnight, so he made it a week, then it just clicked! yay!! Also last month he turned 6. wow!! All he wanted to do was go camping, so last weekend he, his sister, dad & a friend & her dad went camping & fishing at the State Park. They had a wonderful time! He won't touch worms, so A had to do that part for him. :)

2. A has started Pre-K! Initially we wanted her home for the whole year, so she could get some more focused attention, but she was getting bored & I was a bit nervous about her having a hard time adjusting to full time school next year like D did this year. It's just half day, only 3 hours actually, but she is LOVING it!! She's so tired from it though that she fell asleep in her bean bag chair after her first day.

3. Fostering is still going well...I think each new child will be a new thing for me to learn, new area for God to grow me in. Marriage-level one of realizing how selfish I am. Parenting-level 2,3 & 4 of realizing my selfishness, and Fostering----off the charts. But we are loving it! We can't post any specifics, so email or call if you want to know more on that.

4. My sewing-was going strong again, then recently due to many sleepless nights has come to a screeching halt. I'm starting to pick it up again. Last week I listed a candy cane set that was so fun to do. This week & next I'm getting ready for a Christmas Sale a friend is having. I'm making clippies, headbands, quilted coasters, and some smocked items.

5. Lastly...our new president. All I'm going to say is that my thinking & views have been stretched like never before in the last year. A good portion of that is due to my husband & his studying up on it all, & another huge portion is from some articles from Relevant Magazine. Robbie subscribes to it, but when I get the mail & it's in there, I devour it before he gets home. It is amazing & I ask you to spend about 10 minutes reading this link from their Sept/Oct issue, and maybe reading the note to the future president that the editor wrote yesterday, before the results were in. Basially, no matter who our president is, as Christians we are to "live in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called" (Ephesians)

6. Some recent pictures (the one of the kids together is from A's first day of Pre-K last Friday, yup, halloween! they are actually the same height, but I guess I took the pic at an odd angle so D looks really short!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Is it really that time of year? My FAVORITE time of year??? This morning I got to open up several windows and it was actually cooler outside than in. It will only last a couple more hours probably, but it's a beginning of a wonderful season! College football has started up and I am so excited about that!

I must have been a little down yesterday when I posted. I think the whole thing w/ D throwing up at school bc he was so sad just got to me. Then I worried about his teacher. & instead of spending time w/ God (like He was nudging me to do), I wrote. So please don't think I'm down, I'm actually happy w/ where our life is right now! When I picked D up from school I chatted w/ his teacher for a moment, and it was the opposite of what I expected. She said he was saying the cutest things while he was crying & that she walked him around school and let him be her helper. & that she appreciated me being honest about his crying (bc sometimes he does this at home too)!!! God definitely is in control of all things, I definitely am not, & cannot be! Shouldn't that give me comfort instead of angst?

We did decide to get the kids in bed, lights out at 7. and last night we made it!! YAY!!! so we were all much more alert when we got up at 6:50 this morning. yes, we got up early on a SAt. we HAVE to keep this routine up or every Monday will be torture! & it is 9:15 & I've showered, washed 2 loads of laundry, R has mowed & is onto another project. wow!! a few weeks ago I'd just be getting to breakfast!

Anyways, I just had to give ya'll an update & cheer for Fall!! YAY!! go FALL!!!!

Also I've gotten to sewing again and hope to post some pics/thoughts on that soon!!!
All kinds of new ideas are flooding my head. I need to get them in some sort of order/drawing book or I'll forget them. Right now I'm smocking a cute little Halloween outfit....3 little bears all dressed up for halloween, like a frog, a witch, and a princess. It'll be a OOAK (One of a kind).
Also I'm thinking of some custom bibs that I hope to start working on in the next few mind is whirling! & I must go fold laundry & watch TLC since everyone else is off doing their own thing. Robbie is working on the treehouse. A is playing w/ the kitties (as she does for probably 60% of every day!) D is playing w/ his new transformer! & I must leave it at that for who in our household is doing what.

Friday, September 5, 2008


God has definitely been teaching me lately about fully trusting Him.
It started with another Pine Cove retreat scheduled on one of the 2 days a year I really need Robbie at home while I go work & shop at a big Children's Consignment Sale. (Pine Cove has all kinds of retreats for their staff all the time, and this is the second time in a row one has been scheduled on the CCC Sale Day!!) I was so upset about it I griped & complained to everyone who would listen, even though I had very clearly heard God say to trust Him, not worry, and not complain. I chose to disobey. & 2 days later the retreat was changed to where Robbie would be home in time to watch the kids. I failed the trust test. So God's been giving me opportunities to learn to trust him. Here's a few ways:

Trusting God w/ my son.....D had his first day of school last Monday. His teacher is the tough one out of all 5 of them. She was determined to call him by his legal first name, and even after telling her that he goes by his middle name, she wrote his first name in permanent marker on his backpack. I knew God was telling me to trust Him. To not be that parent that immediately starts griping, but to pray about the situation, continue to write his preferred name on all notes to her, and leave it at that for at least a week. NOW...she does call him D, w/o us having to say anything. & I think he needs a tougher teacher. (his first week of school was great. this week has been really rough. He's cried every day I've dropped him off. Today he got so worked up that he threw up & had to go to the nurse. Right when I walked in the door from dropping him off my phone rang about it. I said I would come get him if they thought I needed to, but his teacher wants him to stay & learn to be okay. This new early schedule has been really hard on all of us....him esp. & he's really never been away from me/home. This is a big change. I am praying for him to be tougher, and for his teacher to have extra patience & wisdom with him.)

Trusting God w/ our finances & transportation....The same night of the first day of school our van was found to need a new transmission. So the next day we wrestled w/ our budget & if we should just get a "new" vehicle, or have ours fixed. We decided to fix it, so Robbie & I shared the blazer all week. It was a bit humbling driving into an elementary school where 97% of the other vehicles are things like Sequoias, Hummers, New Mini Vans, Big Nice trucks, etc...But D though it was a blast, bc he gets to ride in the front since the Blazer is so old it doesn't have any air bags....

Trusting God w/ more finances & our new house....Either Tues or Wed morning I came home from taking D to school to find Robbie dumping buckets of water out from our AC unit in the attic....and seeing all the wet spots & holes in the ceiling in the baby room. An hour later the guy who put in the unit came & fixed it and it's been fine. the ceiling actually just will need a little putty & some paint & will be fine.

Trusting God w/our fostering license....The state of TX does random intense inspections on their foster homes. We were selected for it, and w/in 24 hours of receiving the note a date had been set up. It was a pretty tense day, but PTL that we passed. She found a few things that needed to be fixed, but they are fixed & now we are clear. What needed to be fixed? well, 2 of our cabinet locks weren't working, bc they're the doors we use all the time. so I tightened them & now they're fine. Also the fire marshal on her inspection last Jan had noted that we needed to get a fire ladder for upstairs & I didn't know it was so mandatory since she didn't make it sound like it when we were talking, but apparently on her report she said we needed to get it and we hadn't. 2 hours later I had bought one online & it is here. Sometimes the weight of all the requirements for fostering are more than my emotions can bear.

All in All we are doing really well. The house has been quieter w/ just the 3 of us here. We've been busier w/ many appointments. not my favorite, but it's easier w/ 2 kids than 3! & PTL it's Friday!!!

here's a pic of D's first day of school:

I am off to read the Bible then maybe get a bit of smocking in!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

political rantings, a goose-egg, Ratatouille, & our SC trip

Yup, that's a LOT to put in a post, but here goes:

1. Ok, so come on!! is anyone as sick of all the media & presidential candidates stuff as I am? Tonight on World News Tonight the topic was that the candidates are finally getting back to real issues instead of their previous discussions on Paris & Brittany. Do we really want either of these men as our president? I sure don't. I want a real person. who answers real questions, & doesn't know everything & isn't afraid to admit it. AHH!!!! Will Americans ever stand up & say that we're sick of this so that maybe the media will listen & change? My husband keeps telling me that we're headed that way, but from what I see there are plenty of journalists making boo-koos of cash, & they continue to put on the airwaves what they want to...what their opinion is. ahh! ok, enough of that.

2. Not quite a goose-egg, but close! Kind of strange, and I wish a picture could explain it, but as I was exiting the inner room of our bathroom, I went to push the door aside so I could step out, and behold a child was hiding behind the door, so it bounced out right as I attempted to step out of the room. I smacked full force into the end edge of the door right between my eyes & now have a bump! maybe it'll turn black & blue or something crazy like that. Oh, the life of a mom. ;) It is wonderful & crazy!

3. I really wish that I had taken a picture of it. not because it was really pretty, but bc I finally made it! Rachael Ray made Ratatiolle the way Remmy did on the movie and I used her recipe & made it for a few of Robbie's summer staffers. (one of them is a vegetarian, so I thought this would be a perfect time to try it out!) & it turned out ok! & so healthy. well, besides the EVOO. Now I may make my own version of it, not quite so spicy & a little more flavorful....but it was fun to do!

4. Lastly, we just got back from our annual trip to SC. I wish we could go out more often!! (not do the drive, but just get to see our family & friends out there more often than 1 or 2 times a year.) We drove all last Wed, got in around 2 am their time, then just mostly relaxed the rest of that day.
The kids had a blast just being silly the first 3-4 hours of the trip:

Robbie drove the whole trip! I started driving for a little while, then the benadryl that I took for a crazy sneezing fit I was having kicked in, so Robbie resumed the's what he looked like all the way out there & back! Listening to his IPOD...mostly to Apologist/Theologian William Lane Craig podcasts.

Friday Robbie's mom & sis took the kids to an educational hands on museum! They had a blast!!! here are some pictures from it:

Then Saturday we did our family trip to Waffle house, taking up 2 booths! yummy!! Then all the family came to visit. They're always so so wonderful to travel to Blythewood to visit us!!! Here's Robbie's grand-dad who always comes to see us when we're in town!

Well, I'm slowly fading as the night goes on, so here's pics from the rest of the visit & a few of the others things we did:
***the beach!!! for 2 days this time!! It was fun. the kids had a blast!!
***Julie took the kids to the PHENOMENAL county library & signed them up for the summer reading program. w/in about 4-5 days they had read over 15 books & got lots of goodies!
***Uncle Jack got cool helicopter things for the kids to make & play with!
***Davis lost his 2nd top tooth! (#4 gone)
***found Ernest Lee "the chicken man" & bought some of his infamous chicken paintings!
***Krispy Kreme! a must on our to do list while in SC


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pictures mainly

hello! so I'm mainly just updating w/ some pictures....
A few from the trip to the water park that our church provided for us, it was sooo fun!! the kids, esp D just LOVES the water: swimming, slides, wave pool, all of it!
A still LOVES our kittens. she checks on them all the time!
This past weekend the kids, mom & I went to Tulsa for a long time friend's was the fullest wedding I have ever been to, standing room only! & so fun! got to see some friends I haven't seen in years and it was wonderful!!! The kids helped pass out programs, & funny enough, the other 2 kids passing out programs, I babysat for when they were smaller than my kids are! & now they're almost in middle school!
Then the morning after we got back D was eating a bagel & his very wiggly tooth came out! He talks w/ a little bit of a lisp now, cute!

Keith Family Reunion

Hello family!!!
Robbie & Grandma made a video to show ya'll around the Pine Cove Timbers Cabins...that Pine Cove is letting us use almost for free! we'll get more details to you soon, hope you can all come!

Friday, July 4, 2008

randomness & itchy eyes

Today was wonderfully productive & restful at the same time. I know, that's a bit of an oxymoron....but it just was. Robbie took off work; he's been doing that a bit lately & it has been fantastic for him & for our family. In 7 years at Pine Cove we've never had a real vacation. We go visit family, and thoroughly enjoy it, but time w/ just us, resting together is rare. & although we weren't really together much today, it felt like it. The boy, the girl & I woke up around 8ish, I know, late to most, regular time to us. It was trash day, so like I frequently do on Fridays I rushed out in my pj's & took the trash to the street, wondering if they'd even come today as it's July 4th, but so thankful they did! Oh baby diapers. I had forgotten the lingering smell of baby diapers. pee-yew!!!
anyways, then I did some dishes, made pancakes,get laundry going, let the kittens out of the garage(2 nights ago I got home & found 3 raccoons on the back porch eating their food, while they hid in the corner, so we put them in at night), give them food, do some sewing, Robbie's up, then Robbie mowed & weed-eated (our yard & my mom/dad's), raked, fertilized, watered, I did some more cleaning in my sewing area & finally tackled that growing pile of "just stitch this up" things....& now I look at my sewing area & have a renewed desire to get in there & work! & now that it's 8:25 pm, the kids are sleeping & Robbbie is headed into work to hang out w/ his summer staff for awhile, I just may do some sewing. (was that the longest run on sentence ever?) But first I'm checking my email & facebook to see if all the friends I requested today have confirmed me as their friend. & I've found a dear friend from my Ravencrest year (it's a one year Bible school on a mountain in Estes Park) Then I looked at her blog, then checked out some of my other friends blogs....& now I'm rambling.

I'm waaaaayyyyy too sensitive. Always have been. I read into everything, & frequently worry over my friendships....that I've done something wrong, that they're hanging out w/ someone else more than me, etc etc....(I must've gotten stuck in middle school! ) Ya'll, I even can vividly remember some things I said/did in middle & high school & college that hurt others, & still wish I could go back & fix it. But I constantly remind myself that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, that I have asked for forgiveness, and now I need to move on! Sadly I have passed this trait onto the boy. He gets way worked up when he sins. He thinks he's the worst person in the world, and just cries & puts himself down. Oh to be free from this body of sin!! (Romans does teach that sin has no hold on us anymore.....& yet Paul also talks about doing the things I don't want to do.....sometimes the Bible is just confusing. )
Anyways, the point....well, all that blabbing was to say that God has taught me a little something lately about friendships & I'm so thankful for it. First, I think friendships have seasons, and chapters. & God leads us in different directions, & that can mean either a fading out of the friendship (to connect w/ others in our same situation) or it can mean a wonderful opportunity to invest in my friends, to listen to what God is doing in their life, that is completely different than what He is doing in my life. One of my closest friends (& her family) seems to be heading towards missions w/in the next 3-5 years....& God has lead us in the fostering direction, which is the total opposite, since we can barely take the kids out of the county, out of the countRy is not an option. So what's my point?? not entirely sure, but something like what we've been told since middle school....and what "High School Musical" is all about....We are all different in our own ways, but we can still be friends....good friends....and encourage each other on.

& completely switching gears, if you see me or see pictures of me, I'm not crying all the time...I have some weird itchy eye thing. I went to the dermatologist a couple of months ago because I've had teenager-ish acne for the last year or so. it's clearing up....somewhat, but now my eyes are all scaly, and itchy, and red....& since I scratch at them (more claw actually) they're getting wrinkly like a 70 year old's. Will someone turn me into a TLC show? any will do....10 years younger, what not to wear.....???!!!! hahahaha!!!

I am finally off to sew....and as I always say, pls remember I'm a terrible writer, so if anything doesn't make sense, just ask. :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Mega Update

Alright friends, one more warning that I am NOT a skilled writer....I'm more of a math person. Always have been. & I tend to capitalize things, and miss-spell things out of sheer laziness...and just wanting to get my thoughts out w/o being interrupted. so here goes on a few major things in our life lately:

1. Family Camp:
Robbie is the manager of a large media department at Pine Cove Camps. We have 2 family camps & 5 youth camps in Tyler, and a family camp & new youth camp in Columbus, Texas (nearish to Houston). The past several years they have been shooting video down in Columbus, then mailing the tapes to Tyler to edit. well, now that the "Outback" youth camp is open, they will be doing all their own video & photo editing & copying down there, so robbie spent 11 days setting it all up & training the 4 staff how to do everything. Pine Cove graciously let our family attend family camp for free to get to be w/ Robbie, even though it was just for meals. The kids LOVED it!! & I loved getting to really be a camper. we've been at PC for 7 years & I've never been a camper! Family camp is amazing, I heard at least 2 people say that they & their kids love Pine Cove more than Disneyworld!! I highly encourage ya'll to consider doing family camp for a vacation one year. :)
Our Daily schedule was like this:
8:30 breakfast
9:30 family devotionals
10:00 kids go to their classes where they have Godly counselors pouring into them, they do horse rides, arts & crafts, swimming, Bible studies, songs....etc. Adults go to a speaker sessions, which was wonderful.
12:30 lunch
1:30-3:00 kids back to their classes & adults can do whatever!
3:00-5:00 family free time. there are a ton of things you can sign up to do, but we pretty much just did arts & crafts & swam
6:00 dinner, each night is a different theme, then either they have another adult session, or some type of family fun event!

Now, after telling you all how WONDERFUL it was, I must say that family camp is not for our family. (although I"m still so glad we did it!) I think if you are in "the world" each day, this would be an amazing time for your family to be poured into, parents to really have a break (there is a counselor at each table waiting on you hand & foot, cutting your kids food, feeding your babies, taking your babies when they cry....etc), & for your family to really connect. oh, and for your kids to see some Godly young adults as wonderful role models. I think it's important for our kids to have a Godly lifestyle modeled to them by someone other than just us.

We feel like we already live in a Christian bubble, so I think the more effective things for our family would be like one of our friend's did, is a family mission trip!! maybe in a couple of years when fostering things settle down....
here's some pics from camp:

(if the captions don't show up, let me tell you a bit about a few that need some explaining. One of the theme nights is "what I want to be when I grow up" A of course wants to be a princess, and D has settled on being a jockey, the last few months at least.

A holding up her purse next to a shirtless guy....
A was swinging her fully loaded princess bag around, and plop, it flew into the lagoon, and the crowd of us standing around watched it sink. As she started tearing up a counselor (camp name "I'll be back") took off his shirt & shoes, and in his denim shorts jumped into the lagoon and searched around under water for probably 5 minutes until he found it. oh what a hero!

3. Sewing:
Obviously, I'm not doing much sewing anymore. I am SOOO thankful that God has taken my huge desire to just sew all the time away. my sewing area is sitting untouched & in need of a huge cleanout. so I'll probably sell off some of my fabric. I do hope to sew a few outfits a year, it still is fun, esp smocking!! but, I am amazed at God's wonderful timing & His ability to just remove a desire that drove me for months. He is a GREAT God who really knows all we need.

4. Kittens
Since our life hasn't' been full enough, we decided to get some kittens. On the way home from camp nonetheless!!! We pulled into Brookshires to get milk, saw someone giving away kittens, and got 2! Robbie picked the grey one, his name is Caspian, and I picked the runt of the white litter, her name is Tinkerbell. she is a lilac Siamese, which I hear are very sweet cats. :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Brownies & such

Brownies are one of my favorite desserts. The from the box, fudgy because they are slightly undercooked kind. I could eat an entire pan in less than a day, but since swimsuit season is rapidly approaching, and Denise Austin for some reason has not been airing the last few weeks on Lifetime (meaning I haven't been exercising) I will refrain. But here's a new favorite recipe a dear friend found for me and in an act of "kindness" (not to my waist/rear) made a pan of for us recently. I can't decide whether to name them Ultimate Sin, or Heaven on Earth....

1 box (19.5) brownie mix (Pillsbury Traditional Fudge)
1/2 c. Veg oil
1/4 c. water
2 Eggs
3 c. semisweet choc chips (18 oz)
1 bag (14oz) caramels, unwrapped
1/4 c. water
2 c. slightly broken pretzels (4.5 oz)
1/4 c. salted butter, melted
1 c. powdered sugar
1 jar (18oz) PB
2 c. Reese's Puffs cereal, slightly broken

1. Heat Oven to 350 (325 for dark pan). Grease 13"x9" pan. In large bowl make brownie mix as directed on box, using oil, water & eggs. Stir in 1 c. of choc chips. Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake 28-30 min. Cool on cooling rack while making topping.
2. In medium microwaveable bowl, microwave caramels & water uncovered on High 1 min. Stir; continue to microwave in 15 sec increments, stirring after each, until caramels are completely melted & mixture is smooth. Stir in broken pretzels until well coated. Spoon & spread carefully over cooled brownie layer.
3.In large bowl, mix melted butter & powdered sugar until smooth. Stir in PB. Stir in brokwn cereal until well blended. Spread or pat over caramel layer.
4. In small microwaveable bowl, microwave remaining 2 c. choc chips uncovered on high 1 min. Stir; continue to microwave in 15 sec increments, stirring after each, until chocolate is melted. Spread over cereal layer. Refrigerate 2-3 hours or until chocolate is set & carament mixture in center is firm. Let stand at room temp 10 min before cutting.

(I'm sure some day very soon I'll make this recipe & will add a picture....YUMMMMM!!...and my apologies in advance if you love it as much as Robbie & I do! )