Friday, July 13, 2012

Froggy Pot!

I wasn't exactly planning to potty train Brandt yet but after he requested to sit on the pot a couple times (with no results), I decided to bring out good 'ol froggy just to see what would happen.  Charissa loved this critter.

Evidently, so does Brandt!  After carrying froggy pot around all day yesterday, he finally sat down this morning long enough to do his business.  He then proceeded to do it five more times this morning.

I'm not holding my breath or anything but it sure would be nice to not have two in diapers!  We'll just see what happens.  In the meantime, he's pretty proud of himself!  We're all pretty proud :-)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Little Clothesline

I never pay full price for clothes.  I'm the person in thrift stores digging through the racks looking at labels, smelling, stretching, and following seams.  I love good clothes but I'm physically incapable of forking over tons of money for something the kids will be out of in a few months.  Since we live 100 miles away from civilization, my thrift store and garage sale access has been severely limited.  With Little Man the Second due to arrive in a completely different season than big brother, I've been on the lookout for some warm clothes.

That's why I'm so glad I found My Little Clothesline.  I love it so much I'm telling you about it even though my competitive clothes-hunting nature tells me not to.  It's like a fisherman letting in on his favorite fishing hole. 

My Little Clothesline has name brand clothing in pristine used or new condition for low prices.  They charge $5 flat rate for shipping which, considering I wait until I make a haul, is very, very reasonable.  The above contains brands like Timberland, OshKosh, Gymboree, BearPaw, Carters & Gap and most I'm convinced were brand spankin' new.  The puppy Carter's outfit was $3, the lined Gap jeans were $2, the Timberland overalls were $4 and the BearPaw boots for Charissa were (*drumroll please*) $8 - and they are brand new.  All together, I paid $34 for all of this and that includes shipping. 

I've been so please with the quality and price here and thought you might be too.  Check it out! 

(P.S.  I'm not an affiliate and I didn't receive anything for telling you.  Just friend to friend :-))

Monday, July 9, 2012

Water is a Child's Best Friend

 Today we packed a picnic lunch and headed to the Silver Gate park.  Charissa calls it "Jackson Park" because Jackson the Buffalo can often be found grazing between the swings and the monkey bars. But today, Jackson let us have the park for just enough time to eat our PB&J's.  When he decided he wanted the park back, we started walking down the gravel road to the Soda Butte Creek.

We found a perfect little bank with soft mud away from the current.  This required removal of shoes, rolling up of pants and then proceeding to get so muddy and wet there was no point in the rolling up of anything.

 "I am wet, muddy, cold and THE HAPPIEST BOY ON EARTH!"

 The color of creek rocks will always inspire me.

After much wading and throwing of mud, the kids were stripped of pants and made their way back to the car in their skivvies.  Sorry I didn't get a picture of this but I was carrying bear spray, socks, shoes, a water bottle, and two sodden pairs of pants so getting out the camera was a bit difficult.

We came home to baths and nap time.
And the inevitable load of laundry,
which is truly my pleasure :-)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


This is what happens when little brother gets into big sister's watercolors.  
He's so loveably naughty.  
I have this to look forward to x2.
I really can't wait.

Monday, July 2, 2012

All that happened in June

Well, June was a month of happening as you might have noticed in the past few posts.  It began with dear friends visiting from Oklahoma with their three-soon-four munchkins.  The amount of wildlife we saw with them was phenomenal. 

After our friend's departure, we left for a couple days to go on a "family vacation" which was actually glorified truck shopping.  Since we live so far away from anything, we had to spend the night in areas of the state that had trucks for sale and drove around to car lots for 2 1/2 days.  Alas, we still haven't found anything.  

This vacation ended for me when I hopped onto a Seattle-bound plane for my dear friend, Jennifer's, wedding.  Jen was my college roommate all four years.  She is an absolute treasure.  Here I am with her and her sister, Heather.  Excuse my red puffy eyes, I bawled like a baby.  It was such a beautiful day and she was a glowing bride.  I've been praying for her husband long before I knew his name!

Jen wasn't the only college friend there!  Some of my closest college roommates and friends were there from far and wide.  I haven't seen many of them since graduation 6 years ago.  What a crazy and fun reunion :-)

I came home where Doug picked me up and we immediately drove three hours to another dealership, got turned out of Costco (they close at 5pm on Saturday - who knew?), bought food at Wal-Mart then drove another three hours home.  It was kind of miserable to tell the truth.  But it was wonderful to see my little family again.

The next morning, we had our cake after church and discovered if our little person is a boy or girl?  And four days later, I was on a plane again headed to Orlando for TGCW12 and to see my sister Heidi!  The first day before the conference started, she showed me around Ligonier Ministries where she works with their Reformation Bible College branch.  I'm a little proud of her.  I also could not open my eyes in the sunlight that day.

After Orlando, I was off to Greenville, SC to see my sister Marie, her husband Michael and my nephews Tobias, Joram & Simon.  You just have to catch babies when they are little or they will suddenly be 5 years old.  It was fantastic to visit with all of them!

And, at long last, back home again.  The flights had some rather awful moments, the highlight being my puking all over myself 15 minutes into an hour long flight.  No, there wasn't a barfy bag to be had.  Believe me, I frantically searched.  And it only continued being pretty awful until I was at last in the arms of my beloved with my babies hugging my legs.

The last few days of June were again busy with work, parties and cleaning, but today I'm just lying low.  My pregnant body hurts.  June was a month to be remembered.  I can't believe all the people I was blessed to see and the places I was able to go.  I'm glad to be home, though.  Summer is here!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


When I first saw that The Gospel Coalition was having a women’s conference in Orlando, my heart bounded for joy.  My sister lives near Orlando, so with housing covered, the price became feasible.  I registered and then began saving for my plane ticket by cleaning hotel rooms and waitressing on days that Doug could study at home and watch the kids.  Around Christmas, my mother-in-law from Colorado offered to watch the kids during the time I would be gone – Hallelujah!  God worked out so many details to get me to TGCW12 (The Gospel Coalition Women 2012).

Just the pre-conference was worth every penny.  Tim & Kathy Keller, Don Carson and John Piper – for a pre-conference, mind you – spoke on topics close to their heart: “Marriage in Gospel Focus”, “Preserving the Gospel”, and “The Search for Joy and the Supremacy of God in the Gospel” respectively.  Phew.  And then the actual conference began.

I started crying the minute the Getty’s broke out in song and never really stop choking up all weekend.  This conference was water to my soul.  I was hopped up on pregnancy hormones and a $10 sandwich then overcome by the glorious vision of almost 4,000 women from countries around the world praising our One True God in unity.  There was no flowery, pinky, glittery theme of love, marriage, shoes and shopping - only the Word of God taught as the holy and awesome authority on Himself.  Not that they didn't completely understand women...there was ice cream!  (This is my sister, Heidi.  We attended together!)

The topic was “Here Is Our God: God’s Revelation of Himself in Scripture”.  The plenary speakers worked beautifully through the Old and New Testament with texts from Exodus 19, 1 Kings 8, Isaiah 6, Psalm 40, 2 Corinthians 12, Matthew 17:1-15; Revelation 4-5 and then Revelation 21-22.  Each was stunning and each only a small glimpse of our infinitely terrifying, forgiving, holy, delivering, personal, transcendent and spectacular God - the One who has come and is coming again.

It was at the same time far to much and yet never enough.  I wanted to hole up for perhaps a hundred years and ponder it all but I also wanted to hear it again and again, more and more, the Gospel of Truth.  Thankfully, I can hear all the sessions again as they will be posted on TGC’s website within the next few weeks.  And that means you can hear them, too, which makes me beyond joyful.

The caliber of the speakers was amazing.  But even more amazing was seeing such brilliant woman glowing with Christ seeking to have His word rightly taught in a Biblical context.   I think I heard “complementarian” once but in this particular case, actions spoke volumes louder than words.  The men present - speakers, staff, volunteers and husbands - were displaying loving, sacrificial, servant leadership in a powerful way.  The dad with the three boys, one strapped to him, one in a stroller, one at his feet, kissed his wife goodbye as she headed to one of the sessions.  I told him he was a hero and he is.  I promise, guys, this type of conference can only result in mutual benefit.  Thank you.

Someone Twittered about all the cute pregnant women attending the conference.  Oh my goodness, they were everywhere!  And so were lots of babies in strollers and slings!  It was gorgeous to see another future generation being raised up hearing God’s word.   I’m not sure *I* was one of those cute pregnant women, but if you saw a preggo with streaky mascara and frizzy Florida hair, that would have been me.  I had this daring thought of gathering all the expectant moms and those with children on stage for a group picture but, alas, I had to leave 30 minutes into Don Carson’s last session in order to catch my flight.  Each time I heard a crying baby, I prayed for it.  I can’t help but think I wasn’t the only one praying, either.  Raising babies to love Christ is a massive eternal work.

There is so much more to say but if you're interested, the plenary session videos, audio workshops and interviews will be available on  May you be blessed by them as much as I was.  I'll sum up with: This conference didn’t motivate me towards something to "do", but instead showed me Someone to pursue.  That makes a world of difference.