Thursday, April 21, 2011


A year ago today, I was trying to swallow 1/3 cup of castor oil delicately floating above a nice glass of orange juice.  I was told to mix them together, but due to the facts of science, castor oil and orange juice do not combine so I ended up chewing it down.

That stuff is thick, folks.

But anyway, it worked and in less than 12 hours and a super easy homebirth, I was holding this little muffin.

I'd swallow a whole gallon of castor oil for my little man-o.  

(But please just believe me when I say I love him?  I don't think there would be much of myself left to continue loving him.  Along with being thick, it's very effective.)

It has been such a joyful year.  I can't believe how quickly it has flown by!  He was just born!  He was just trying to crawl and then actually crawling!  He was just pulling up and letting go to land on his head!  Getting his teeth.

Brandt is such a happy, easy baby and always full of smiles and giggles.  

We can't imagine life without our crowned prince.  He just keeps amazing us.

Thank you, Lord, for this precious gift from You.
He is fearfully and wonderfully made.

(Please excuse the excessive amount of hyperlinks.  I couldn't help myself!)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We will miss da pond

Charissa has been in a very weepy mood most of the afternoon. 

 "Mama I want you to hold me and rock me."

We sit in the glider chair and sing for a while.

 "Charissa, why are you so sad?  
Is it because we are moving?"

 "Yeah, it's betaws when we get in da caw and dwive and dwive...

 "...we will go to Coworado..." 

 "...and den we will nevah, evah..."

 "...see da pond evah agin."

"I will miss da pond, Mama."

And then we cried together.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ya Gotta Try Dees!

Our church had a farewell potluck for us this past Sunday.  It was a bittersweet time of fellowship.  God has blessed us through each of the individuals each week (and sometimes in between).

A dear gentleman from our church brought two bags of these chips - the Mediterranean variety (with the seasonings) and the Original kind without.  He gave me what was left in the end since I was kind of raving about them.

I had to take a picture of the picture on the bag because...uh...well, they didn't last to long here.  Charissa really like them.  I tried to prevent her over-consumption by eating them as fast as I could.

Here's a list of the variety found in these lovely colorful chips.  Who knew that Taro and Batata and Parsnip were so good in chip form?  And you even get a serving of veggies!

As Charissa would say, "Mmm-mmm, in my tummy!"

Find them in your local grocer's chip aisle!  These things are amazing!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Overflowing With Thanksgiving

Our church presented this framed picture to us yesterday during our farewell potluck.  What a precious reminder of this congregation!  It is very Oklahoma in the landscape.

It is hard to pull up our "roots" here and head out to another place.  We have learned during our time in Oklahoma that it is the people surrounding us that count and God has blessed us abundantly in our friendships here.    

This picture is a wonderful reminder to us that we are rooted and built up in Christ Jesus, not a place here on earth.  We are willing to go in faith knowing that God is our only home and the only foundation worth building upon.

We're excited to see where this picture will be hanging next!  Only the Lord knows.

(note scrambled packing taking place on top of piano!)

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Year of Praise

April 7th marked one year from when my brother-in-law, Michael, began to lose all function throughout his body.  It has been a long journey of recovery.  He and my sister Marie have made a video of this past year with a personal thank you.  We praise God for all He has done here and what He will be doing.  For all that have helped so sacrificially, through word and deed, you have helped carry Michael and his family along and lifted them before our Heavenly Father.  This one year anniversary, I remember the alter Moses built and named, "the Lord is my Banner, for hands were lifted up to the throne of the Lord."  Thank you for showing Jesus to us.  It would have been so much darker without each of you.

Here is the link to the video.

Soli Deo Gloria
To God be the Glory

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Things I Do: Bath Toy Holder

We love bubble baths in this house.  Aside from the regular bathing, there are special times that I surprise Charissa and Brandt with a bubble bath.  It keeps them occupied for at least 15-20 minute which is often enough time for me to get a good jump on dinner.  By the time Daddy gets home, he has two clean kiddos and a wife who hasn't had her pants pulled down by a fussy, clingy baby while trying to make supper.  (If you have had children, you know what I'm talking about).  To keep the water bill from skyrocketing, it doesn't happen that often, but it's nice every once in a while.

Now a bubble bath isn't quite complete without a collection of bath toys and these bath toys can become scattered throughout the house or get moldy when left in the bath.  So one day, as I took the last orange from its 8lb mesh bag, I had a light bulb moment of brilliance.

So I thought I'd share it with you :-)

Note: It has now been drawn to my attention by my brilliant mother that it was she that did this when I was a child.  I don't remember that since at the ancient age of 26 and having two children I have lost most of my brain (hehe).  Okay, it's all my Mom's idea in my deep sub conscience...but I DID take an exceptional photograph of an orange bag handing from a shower head, no???


Charissa the artist has expanded her magnadoodle doodling to people!  
This is a self-portrait:

I'm so happy to see her artistic skills improve.  
I'm waiting for "The Picture Smile" to improve soon.

 Brandt keeps standing up but he's kind of shy about it.
Being the crafty, sleuthing individual I am, it has finally been documented!


 Playing the recorder is another favorite pastime.

It's so fun to watch them grow up!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Recent Stuff

- When I was young, I remember my Dad watching my Mom do laundry and he told my Mom if she ever ended up dying, he would buy a bunch of coveralls in various sizes and that's all the children would wear, all day everyday.  I remember thinking how horrible that was.  But as I sort through piles and piles of kids clothing (and I only have two kids) I'm beginning to think that is a GENIUS idea.

-  Charissa keeps talking about Kitty Clyde.  He's been missing over three months.  Either he's in kitty heaven or he found some much nicer people that let him in the house to lick the butter dish on their counter.  Oh I miss him, the scamp. 

-  I wish I could say I've been packing a lot but the truth is I'm mostly just purging and organizing so that when and if I actually DO start packing, it will be so streamline and easy and perfect my little OCD mind will go "ahhh, how delightful."  Well, at least that's what I'm...hoping...

-  Today, Brandt vaulted off our porch onto his head landing in the mulch of the flower bed.  I didn't see it, I just pieced together the clues of mulch in his hair and a big indent in the mulch and Charissa yelling, "He went WIGHT FRU DER, MAMA!!! *pointing and waving arms dramatically*.  Anyway, he didn't utter a peep of complaint but Charissa came in yelling for me.  There he was in the front yard grinning from ear to ear.

-  After I told him I was glad he was alright, he started crawling on all fours (feet, not knees) and then STOOD UP from that position.  That's hard for ME to do, not to mention him who has never stood up by himself.  He's keeping his abilities well concealed only to be reveal at strategic moments when Mama is his own captive audience. 

-  Doug bought me some Coconut Chocolate Cheesecake ice cream from Braum's.  I've never had it before.  It's rather unfair to discover my new favorite ice cream right before I move 300 miles away from the nearest Braum's. 

-  This weekend Doug's sister, Donna, or "Aunt Di-Di" as she has been dubbed, came to visit.  It was wonderful.  Charissa absolutely loves having her here (and we do too).  This is them watching Tangled.  Charissa was really into it.

 Hey!  Charissa!  Look at Mama!  
(It was really hard to tear her eyes away)

-  By the way, Tangled is adorable.

-  And then, Donna fed the kiddos dinner, bathed them and put them to bed while Doug and I went on a date!  Di-Di, please come with us???

-  As to where we are actually going, that is still not clear.  A couple plans are falling into place.  We still know we'll be in Colorado at first but not sure how long that will be.  I've had a few moments when I contemplate panic over our completely uncertain future, but in all honesty, I know we're doing what we're supposed to do and God has given us peace as long as I don't begin to think I'm the one planning my future!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Barefeet 'n' Overalls

My baby boy in overalls.  I swoon.

"Mama won't let me eat her camera!"

"I'll eat ants...but they're way to fast."

"I can eat this instead!"

"If I can get it off..."  *grunt*

"Ma, my mouf if cofered upf."

"Conquered!  What's my next adventure?"

"Maybe I'll climb a tree!"

 "It's okay, Mama, I won't grow up to fast!"

Baby boy, you make our lives so much richer.
Thank you, Lord, for my little man-o!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fun Craft: Make Your Own Book

We have loved being in the Oklahoma Parents As Teachers program.  Yesterday we had our last meeting for Charissa since she aged out at three.  Our sweet leader, Amy, left the supplies for Charissa to make her own book.  I thought this was a fabulous idea and wanted to share it :-)

What you need:
4 quart size, zip seal bags
masking tape
construction paper
old magazines or photographs

1)  Stack the four bags - they are rather slippery!
2)  Staple the bottom together and cover with masking tape (blue in this picture). 

3) Have your child pick out pictures and cut them out.

4) Take a picture of your crazed maniac child who insists on brushing her own hair, changing outfits 10x daily and just ate spaghetti.  I love her so much, the little turkey.

5) Cut the construction paper into fourths.  That should be the perfect size to fit into a quart bag.
6) Using the glue stick, put the pictures on the piece of paper.

7) Slip into the bag and seal.  You're done!

This is a really simple craft and easy to redo whenever the mood comes along.  This pic is sideways - Blogger didn't like it the right way - but you get the idea!

Have fun!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sing to the Butterfly

Just little snippets of the day, of our life, of the world...

"Mama, pink and purple are my FAVWIT cowors."

"When I grow up wike you, I will catch  butterfwies!

"What would you do with them?"

"I would sing to dem."

He is all boy with the scratches, bruises and dirty nails to prove it.

"I LOVE being outside!"

A sweet sibling moment.

"Release me sis!  There are things to do!!!"

"Like push you in the firetruck."

What other time in life will saying "ahhhh" into an empty babyfood jar 
bring such joy?

Treasuring it up! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

They Are The Lord's

Opa, my maternal grandfather, has sold stamps ever since I can remember.  Together with my Oma, they have snipped, sorted, priced, packaged and sent thousands of stamps from all over the world.  They work countless hours and every cent helps support International Fellowship of Evangelical Student.  Together, they have raised over $30,000 for IFES by selling stamps which are often thrown into the trash. 

While visiting them this past week, I was again amazed at their efforts for furthering God's Kingdom.  They are truly the Lord's and the joy He has brought them is evident in their work.  My godly heritage is a profound blessing.

The following are the lyrics to my Opa and Oma's favorite Hymn, "I Am the Lord's!  O Joy Beyond Expression".

I am the Lord's! O joy beyond expression,
  O sweet response to voice of love Divine;
Faith's joyous "Yes" to the assuring whisper,
  "Fear not! I have redeemed thee; thou art Mine."

I am the Lord's! It is the glad confession
  Wherewith the Bride recalls the happy day,
When love's "I will" accepted Him forever,
  "The Lord's," to love, to honor and obey.

I am the Lord's! Yet teach me all it meaneth,
  All it involves of love and loyalty,
Of holy service, absolute surrender,
  And unreserved obedience unto Thee.

I am the Lord's! Yes; body, soul, and spirit,
  O seal them irrecoverably Thine;
As Thou, Beloved, in Thy grace and fulness
  Forever and forevermore art mine.

Lyrics by Lucy Ann Bennett 
Music by Joseph Barnby
To hear the tune for this hymn go here:

If you have any stamps you'd like to send, please leave your e-mail address in the comments section.  They accept all canceled stamps with a paper margin surrounding them :-)