Monday, March 31, 2008

Watch out for the Target dollar bin

Imagine this....Mommy and Gramma are out with the boys at Target. Gramma wants to get a little something for her four grandsons. She looks through the dollar bins at Target and sees this:

Harmless looking enough...or so we thought.

My boys each had their own color. They were so excited to hold their package...and they each checked out all by themselves.

The thank-you's to Gramma were overwhelming on the ride home. Gideon was so impatient to get into the package that he kept screaming "Hurry up! Hurry...quickly!"

We got home and the boys each had fun playing with their dinosaur. It lit up and blinked on and off in different colors.

Gramma was so happy that she was able to bring such joy to her grandsons.

Until one of the dinosaurs popped and began to leak fluid. Gideon was distraught. We figured we would just give Jamison's to Gideon. He would never know.

I quickly got the unopened dinosaur from the van. As I walked up the stairs, I read the back...this is what it said:

Now the question I get the leaking hazardous waste of a dinosaur out of the garbage and deliver it to a hazardous waste plant? Do I just let it continue leaking poison into my trash bag? Will I get arrested for not following the rules on the package that clearly tell how to dispose of it?

The hardest part was collecting said hazardous waste from the boys and explain to them why we were getting rid of them.

Poor Gideon:

He definitely took it the worst.

Gramma has promised to take them back to Target and get a new non-toxic dinosaur for them to play with.

I just hope that the fluid that leaked out onto Gideon's hand doesn't have any long term affects.

We've registered...and not a moment too soon!

Last night, John and I finally decided to register for the Band of Bloggers. Today is the last day for registration, so if you are attending TG4G, and you have a sure to check it out!

As of right now...there are 3 book giveaways!

Here is the list of bloggers that have registered so far:

1. Timmy Brister - Louisville, KY
2. Justin Taylor - Wheaton, IL
3. Tim Challies - Toronto, ON
4. Thabiti Anyabwile - Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
5. Mark Lauterbach - San Diego, CA
6. Abraham Piper - Minneapolis, MN
7. Frank Turk - Siloma Springs, AR
8. Trevin Wax - Shelbyville, TN
9. John Kang - Tigard, OR
10. John Hollandsworth - Kingsport, TN
11. Mike Hall - Raleigh, NC
12. Chris Larson - Lake Mary, FL
13. Mel Duncan - Greer, SC
14. Nicholas Kennicott - Guyton, GA
15. Joe Holland - Kosciusko, MS
16. David Kjos - Hazen, ND
17. Kelly Kjos - Hazen, ND
18. Tim Ellsworth - Jackson, TN
19. Carlos Griego - Albuquerque, NM
20. Joshua Gelatt - Indian River, MI
21. Neil Cox - Carmel, IN
22. Zach Nielson - Albuquerque, NM
23. Greg Schneeberger - Albuquerque, NM
24. Ryan Wood - Tacoma, WA
25. Darryl Dash - Etobicoke, ON
26. Greg Austin - Kirkwood, MO
27. Marc Backes - Nixa, MO
28. Annette Harrison - Milwaukee, WI
29. Les Harrison - Milwaukee, WI
30. Michael Daily - Ashland, VA
31. Reid Monaghan - Franklin, TN
32. Brian Boone - Monterey, CA
33. Todd Gaslin - Fisherville, KY
34. Trent Hunter - Louisville, KY
35. Scott Anderson - Minneapolis, MN
36. Ricky Alcantar - El Paso, TX
37. James Kinnard - Wheaton, IL
38. Jonathan Leeman - Washington D.C.
39. Washington D.C.
40. Scott Lawry - Montgomery, AL
41. John Kuvakas - Warrenton, VA
42. Yogi Taylor - Mobile, AL
43. Jerry Wall - Billings, MT
44. Tom Ascol - Cape Coral, FL
45. Richard Barcellos - Owensboro, KY
46. Sam Waldron - Owensboro, KY
47. Andrew Randazzo - Knoxville, TN
48. Stephen Newell - Louisville, KY
49. Steve Burlew - Harrisburg, PA
50. John Swaska - Cape Coral, FL
51. Tony Kummer - Madison, IN
52. Owen Strachan - Highland Park, IL
53. Keith Throop - Bloomington, IL
54. William Haughery - Millersville, PA
55. David Kotter - Louisville, KY
56. Douglas Davis - Glendora, CA
57. Arthur Sido - Alanson, MI
58. Daniel Slavich - Louisville, KY
59. Stephen Jones - Yucca Valley, CA
60. Jake Stutzman - Muscle Shoals, AL
61. Chris Braun - Stillman Valley, IL
62. Jams Kubecki - Westfield, IN
63. Kevin Janes - Louisville, KY
64. Bobby Gilles - Louisville, KY
65. Aaron Marshall - Louisville, KY
66. Gordon Thiessen - Kearney, NE
67. Collin Hansen - Carol Stream, IL
68. Tyler Kenney - Minneapolis, MN
69. James Lee - Romulus, MI
70. Jonathan Colegrove - Romulus, MI
71. Josh Reynolds - Hastings, NE
72. Michael Dewalt - Grand Rapids, MI
73. Steve Weaver - Lenoir City, TN
74. Jeremy Weaver - Lenoir City, TN
75. Garry Weaver - Titusville, FL
76. Michael Haykin - Dundas, ON
77. Don Elbourne - Bay St. Louis, MS
78. Joshua Etter - Langley, BC
79. Frederick Eaton - Surrey, BC
80. Timothy Massaro - Hilliard, OH
81. Kerry Gilliard - Ellicott City, MD
82. Jon Maxim - Painted Post, NY
83. Alex Leung - Toronto, ON
84. Dave Bish - Exeter, UK
85. Peter Cockrell - Worthing, UK
86. Kevin Giddings - Petrolia, PA
87. Jason Meyer - Pineville, LA
88. David Cimino - Lenoir City, TN
89. Joe VonDoloski - Vanderbilt, MI
90. Terry Delaney - Louisville, KY
91. Scott Lee - Louisville, KY
92. Charlie Albright - Louisville, KY
93. W. Hank Balch - Louisville, KY
94. Daniel Cruver - Travelers Rest, SC
95. Anthony Diehl - Dunbar, WI
96. Mike Seaver - Charlotte, NC
97. John Moody - Mount Vernon, WA
98. Drew Dixon - Louisville, KY
99. Stephen Altrogge - Indiana, PA
100. Mark Altrogge - Indiana, PA
101. Justin Buzzard - San Carlos, CA
102. Matt Perman - Minneapolis, MN
103. Jason Kovacs - Charlotte, NC
104. Bryan Lopez - Albuquerque, NM
105. Phil Awtry - Columbus, NE
106. Clint Humfrey - High River, Alberta, Canada
107. Beth Covington - Lexington, KY
108. Scott Lamb - St. Louis, MO
109. Shannon Jordan - Johnson City, TN
110. John Jordan - Johnson City, TN

The kicks are a-plenty

You see, a few weeks ago, I began craving the infamous Cinnabon. As I searched to see where the closest Cinnabon was, I found out it was just way to far to justify the drive.

When I mentioned to my dearest husband that there are two Cinnabons located at the Charlotte airport, and that he was going to be flying in and out of that very airport in just a couple weeks, he said he would be more than happy to pick me up one or six, lol.

Fast forward to last night, he arrived home from his trip to Minnesota...and he brought be my precious delectable treats, complete with extra frosting!

Needless to say, me and my girl are quite enjoying this sugar overload. Every time I take a bite, Payson is kicking. I like to think they are kicks of love for the Cinnabon...not the fact that she is probably getting all hyped up on the sugar, lol.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Robert E. Lee to his wife, October 26, 1862 concerning the death of his beloved daughter, Annie:

“I cannot express the anguish I feel at the death of our sweet Annie.
To know that I shall never see her again on earth, that her place in
our circle, which I always hoped one day to enjoy, is forever vacant,
is agonising in the extreme. But God in this, as in all things, has
mingled mercy with the blow, in selecting that one best prepared to
leave us. May you be able to join me in saying ‘His will be done!’
…I know how much you will grieve and how much she will be mourned.
I wish I could give you any comfort, but beyond our hope in the great
mercy of God, and the belief that he takes her at the time and place
when it is best for her to go, there is none. May that same mercy
be extended to us all, and may we be prepared for His summons.”

I read this quote and thought it worth sharing.

LTDchix Giveaway...

We haven't received a response from the chosen we have picked someone else!

The winner is: Melanie! This is her comment on the original giveaway post:

Well, with only two chillin's, there are some I can't quite relate to, but there's some I definitely can...

1. Laundry Mom: I do laundry almost every day. And like 3 loads every day (thanks to my son who spits up all the time...and to my husband who wears something once and then tosses it in the laundry...and to my daughter who smears her food all over her pants...and to me who gets spit up all over from my son...) (Short sleeve, XL, Avocado)

2. Cleaning Mom: I'm not a mom who has a hired cleaning lady. I'm the hired cleaning lady, though I don't get paid...well, monetarily, that is (hugs and smiles count, right???). (Long Sleeve, XL, White)

3. Minivan Mom: I can relate to this, now that my hubby just bought us this mean automobile. I love my van! (Long Sleeve, XL, Aqua)

Thanks again to all who entered!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Infamous Placenta Story

When Haddon was born, we videotaped his birth. I have recently watched this video, and can I say that I could feel the pain.

There is a funny story on that tape. You see, my parents were able to visit and be here for the birth of Haddon. It was a long week. Each day meant I was that much further away from my due date. It's always fairly depressing when you refer to your due date in the past tense.

The week before Haddon was born, it became a joke about eating the placenta. Yeah, I know, GROSS! Apparently, the hippies used to do it way back when. Nowadays, they just bury it and plant a tree on top of it and use it for fertilizer.

One afternoon, I actually googled "placenta recipes"...just for my dad.

The look on his face was one of pure disgust.

Well, on the videotape, John tapes the full delivery of our third little boy. He then follows him to the bassinet as the nurses wipe him down and clean him up. If you look close, out of the corner of your eye, you can see a nurse walk by with the placenta in a container.

(FYI: it is necessary to examine the placenta and make sure it is fully intact or there can be infection in the uterus)

At this point, my lovely husband makes the comment "Hey, we want to keep that to throw on the bbq".

Nice, real nice.

Laughter ensues from all the nurses as they try to decipher if he is really kidding or not.

Needless to say, it makes for a memorable moment caught on video. I was completely oblivious that this conversation even took place. I was too busy basking in the fact that the pain was gone and all was well with my newest addition.

The reason I tell this oh so hilariously disgusting tale, is because I found something that reminded me of this placenta story.

If only I had known about this 3 years ago.

Shopping hiatus

Okay, not really...but it's hard not to want to shop, when you realize there will be a little girl in your household in a few short months!

My week has been extremely busy. My house has been overloaded with boys and messes.

I'm also trying to prepare for the upcoming visit with my parents!

I hate that I'm becoming one of those bloggers that only post once or twice a week.

Don't worry, it won't be long until I wow you with my intellect and internet finds.

And stay tuned as I choose a new winner for the giveaway I held here a couple of weeks ago. We haven't had any response from the winner, so there will be a new one!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Did Jesus spend Saturday in Hell?

By John Piper

The Apostles’ Creed says, “[He] was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead.” There are many meanings given to this phrase. I simply want to ponder the traditional interpretation that Christ went to the place of the dead to preach the gospel to Old Testament saints that he might set them free for the full experience of heaven. This is the view of the Catholic Catechism and many Protestants as well. I don’t think this is what the New Testament teaches.

The view is based mainly on two passages in 1 Peter.

Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, (19) in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, (20) because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. (1 Peter 3:18-20)

They are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; (5) but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. (6) For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.” (1 Peter 4:4-6)

With regard to 1 Peter 3:19, I take these words to mean that Christ, through the voice of Noah, went and preached to that generation, whose spirits are now “in prison,” that is, in hell. In other words, Peter does not say that Christ preached to them while they were in prison. He says he preached to them once, during the days of Noah, and now they are in prison.

You can read the rest of it here.

The Lord's Prayer...

I just got this sent to me in an email and I had to share :) (thanks Teana!)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

What every reformed baby girl needs...

Since I now know that we are moving into the realm of pink, I decided to just take a look at the sales at Gymboree.

I know what you're thinking...already???

Well, as a matter of fact YES!

When I saw this...I knew it was a must-have.

Every little reformed girl needs to have a tulip you not agree??

Working my way towards a basketball team, you say???

Um, not this time.

It's a girl.

I am in shock...I don't even know what to say or think.

After four boys, I didn't even think this was possible.

I even had the ultrasound tech check a few extra times, just to make sure.

There was no doubt....ALL GIRL.

I don't even know what to do with myself.

40 week gender shot: (updated Aug 2008)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

WFMW...How to clean your kitchen sink (and almost anything else!)

Last spring, we redid our kitchen. It came out lovely and the sink was just great...all nice and ivory and perfect. See for yourself:

(this picture was before it was even usable....see how clean?)

Then life happened.

A pan was left to soak in the pretty ivory sink and left a rust stain. Multiple stoneware dishes were cleaned in the pretty sink and left brown marks where it rubbed against the ivory.

There was no amount of scrubbing that could take away the marks.

Even when the lovely ivory sink was completely clean, it didn't really look it.

I was so sad....until I remembered!!, what about using a Magic Eraser???

I didn't even have to scrub...just a light wipe and all markings were gone. It was at that point that I noticed even the parts of the sink that I thought looked clean, really weren't.

But now they are...thanks to Mr Clean. I owe ya!
I was so excited, I wanted to scream it from the rooftop. Other moms know the feeling that I speak of!

The rebellion has started...

I have a doppler...I don't use it as much as I have in the past, but I still like to hear the heartbeat and see how fast it's beating.

This morning, I laid down to hear it, and placed the wand on my belly.

This baby of mine would immediately kick the wand...which I could feel strongly. I could also see the wand getting pushed up...and I could hear it on the doppler.

Then this baby would move and dodge the wand...until I found the heartbeat again...and the same scenario would happen.

Baby Payson is already rebelling against his/her mommy!

(I was cracking up about it though)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My dear sweet baby

It's like a secret language that is developing between us.

With each small kick, I feel your presence.

As I lay my hand on my growing belly, I feel your poking and can't help but smile.

These are moments that a mommy can never forget.

I love that when I sit to rest, you remind me that you are there.

Alive and growing...

It's like nothing else matters.

It's just my baby and me...

Boston Creme and Red Velvet Cupcakes

I am sooo making these for dessert on Easter! I'll probably make a red velvet cake too...YUM!

Boston Creme Cupcakes

1 1/4 cups cold whole milk
1 (3.4-ounce) box vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
12 pre-made cupcakes baked from a cake mix
1 cup heavy cream
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Combine milk, instant pudding mix, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Beat mixture with a hand mixer for 2 minutes, or until it thickens. Place mixture in refrigerator for 15 minutes. Spoon filling into a pastry bag fitted with a medium-size plain tip. Fill cupcakes with vanilla pudding filling by inserting tip into top of cupcake and squeezing a couple of tablespoons of filling into each cupcake.

Heat cream in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat until bubbles appear around the edges. Remove from heat, add chocolate morsels to pan, and whisk until smooth. Spoon or drizzle glaze over cupcakes, or dunk the tops into the glaze. Refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour, before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
15 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
13 ounces granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3 eggs
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons red food coloring
1 1/4 teaspoons vinegar (white or apple cider can both work)
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 cup water
For the cream cheese frosting:
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound butter, room temperature
2 pounds powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the cupcakes:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside.

In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix oil, sugar, and buttermilk until combined. Add eggs, food coloring, vinegar, vanilla and water and mix well. Add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time and mix on low, scraping down sides occasionally, and mix until just combined. Be sure not to over mix, or the batter will come out

Line a 16-cup cupcake pan with paper liners, scoop the batter into the liners and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.

For the cream cheese frosting:
Whip the butter and cream cheese together in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until creamed. Gradually add powdered sugar to the mixture and scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.

The frosting can be used right away, or stored in the refrigerator up to a week.

Frost cooled cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting.

I'm undecided about whether to make Red Velvet Cupcakes or one big cake...I'll be sure to take pics either way!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

And the winner of the Living The Dream Giveaway is....

Laura: The (Almost) Amazing Mammarino!!

The guidelines were to comment on what shirt you most relate to and why. This was her response:


Recently, I started going through my mountain of special needs laundry: sweaters, frou-frou church dresses, and the worst - the dreaded stain pile. I don't mind doing laundry, but I DESPISE stain treating. (It doesn't help that I'm a perfectionist and will wash an item 67 times to get out a nickel-sized spot of mustard.) Because of this, I conveniently get all the laundry done except the stained clothes. The pile kept growing and growing until it threatened to topple over and smother us all. Seeing that we enjoy breathing so much, I decided to chip away at the pile. I made some startling discoveries:

- I was further behind than I had thought;

- There were several boy's outfits in the stain pile sized 24 months and smaller (my son currently wears a size 6); and

- I've discovered quite a few hand-me-downs that will fit my 2-year-old little girl (my older daughter is in second grade).

As much as I hate constantly doing laundry, though, I feel so blessed to have a washer and dryer! My most horrible childhood memories are from our bi-weekly trips to the laundromat. Oh, the agony! The torture! (And that was just from the cigarette smoke and country music!)

It's pretty darn nice to be able to throw a load in on the spot when your little urchin urps last night's ravioli all over his white sheets.

And to be honest, it's a blessing to have these piles of laundry. It means that I'm blessed with the little tykes who wear them! I truly am "Living the Dream!"

The other two I like are referee mom and minivan mom (they're pretty much tied for 2nd). My t-shirt size is XL. Thanks for telling us about these great shirts and notecards!

I want to thank everyone for participating!

It's not too late to get your own shirt! Just visit LTDchix, and they'll be more than happy to take your order! Remember to mention this site to receive 15% off!

Living the Dream GIVEAWAY!!


(This post will remain at the top of my blog until the Giveaway is over on Saturday!)

What works better than a MOMMY GIVEAWAY!!!

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about some t-shirts for moms from LTDchix.

I was surprised to see an email from them, asking me if I wanted to do a giveaway on my blog...and of course, I accepted!

Here's what you have to do to enter:

*Head over to LTDchix and find your 3 favorite choices from their selection!

I would have to say that my favorites are:

Referee Mom
I feel like this every single day...only add on a couple more kids!

I also like the Cooking Mom, the Shopping Mom, and the Mini-van Mom!

I love that you can get assorted notecards, if you can't decide which one you like best!

*Leave me a comment on which mom you relate to best and why. You can also mention your top 3 choices and what size you need!

*Make sure you can be easily contacted...whether it is through your email address or your blog!

This giveaway will end on Saturday, March 15th!

If you decide to order a t-shirt or notecards this will also receive a free tank top!

Just be sure that in the comment section of your order, you say that you found them through the giveaway from Shannon at A Reforming Mom!

You can read more about the company here.

Whether it's you or someone you know...aren't we all Living the Dream? I know I wouldn't change it for the world!


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

I am the only one in the house that will eat it. That definitely was no deterrent when it came to what I wanted to eat. I mean, really, what goes better with temperatures in the 70s than soup?

Here is the recipe:

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups chicken stock or bouillon
1/2 pound fresh broccoli (I used some frozen broccoli too)
1 cup carrots, julienned
salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar


Saute onion in butter. Set aside. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half (this is called making a roux). Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thickened by now. Pour in batches into blender (I used a food processor) and puree (you can leave some chunks in there if you prefer that). Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended.

This serves 4.

I doubled it, with plans to freeze some for later :)


As I ate lunch...

I thought of the Melting Pot.

Nutritious, eh?

Hey preggos...get you tutu's and leotards ready!

A dozen pregnant women wanted - for ballet

By Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters) - Far from being heavy, lumbering and clumsy, pregnant women are often fascinating, beautiful and serene, according to the artistic director of one British ballet company.

And to prove it, Balletlorent is recruiting 12 pregnant women to star in a dance production alongside six professional ballet dancers.

"MaEternal" will be performed in the northern English city of Newcastle in May and is offering the 12 who get through the auditions "a chance to share with an audience the beauty of what it means to carry the life of another within you."

Artistic Director Liv Lorent, who, coincidentally, is pregnant herself, says she has always been keen to combine trained dancers with people from all ages and stages in life to make her ballet productions richer.

"I've done projects in the past where I have invited all sorts of people -- children, old people, builders, footballers doctors, all sorts -- to take part," she told Reuters.

"This is another development of a long-held wish to mix up the different physical types in my choreography. The shape of people changes the way they move, and I like that very much."

She notes the stark contrast between the typically lithe light and muscular physique of a dancer, and the softer, rounder contours of a pregnant woman, and delights in it.

"You can't get a 25-year-old size 8 ballet dancer type body to move with the weight, the gravitas or the sheer cheerful spirit a pregnant woman," she said.

Lorent promises that no previous dance experience is necessary to audition for a part in MaEternal. The only requirement is that anyone wishing to take part should be up to 32 weeks by the time of the performance on May, 14. Beyond that, she says, the risk is too high of unplanned dramas on stage.

As well as recruiting 12 pregnant women, Lorent has also signed up Lynn Campbell, an active birth therapist who runs pregnancy classes in and around Newcastle, to advise on the movements and abilities of expectant mothers.

"Pregnant women do sometimes feel heavy and weighed down by all the changes, but sometimes they also feel fascinating and beautiful and amazing," Campbell told Reuters.

"Culturally we don't always have the words to celebrate the beauty of pregnancy, and although people are often fascinated by it, they don't know how to express that, so the say things like "Aren't you big!"

"So this is a real opportunity for pregnant women to be seen in a new way."

Who wants to join me?

We've heard it all before

I'm sure that I've said it a time or two as well.

"Just make it to that magic week 12 and all of your morning sickness will disappear."

What a crock.

I'll turn 19 weeks along tomorrow....

After spending time this morning with my head in the sink as the bile made its appearance...I challenge that whole 'magic week 12' thing.

You see, there are days, like today, where this pregnancy is kicking my butt.

Please don't look too close at my face...or else you might be scared to see the broken blood vessels from all of the dry heaving.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Name the caption

Happy 7th, my dear

When I think about the last 7 years, I think about all that has happened and thank God for His wonderful grace. We definitely wouldn't be where we are without it.

I think about each and every time we have moved since we've been married. Have we really lived in six different homes?

I look at our children and remember how Nolan accompanied us to our first anniversary dinner. I see our four boys, feel the baby moving inside me, and remember the three babies that I've yet to meet.

I am thankful that it was agreed upon early on that I stay at home. Which sometimes meant working two jobs or cleaning the occasional floor, but there has never been a day of regret.

I remember when money was tight, and we weren't sure how we would possibly get by. We did, even if that meant spending twenty dollars a week on groceries and eating a lot of pasta and soup.

Things haven't always been easy, and we haven't always known why things have happened the way they do. I thank God for His hand on our marriage, and how He works all things for the good of those who love Him. He is the focus of our marriage, and I appreciate the leader He has provided for our family. I strive to have a marriage that is completely Christ-Exalting...and I know that you feel the same way.

Thank you for the past seven years, and I'm looking ahead at the next seven and beyond.

I love you!


PS: Thanks for the flowers!!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Pictures from the park

It's that time of year again...when you can start to go to the park and not have to wear your winter jackets!

Of course, this weekend would have made you think otherwise, but there is rumor that warm air is coming back!

Here are a couple pictures from our picnic in the park last weekend...when it was in the 70s.

Just call him the Godfather

The day was like any other. I was mothering in my usual fashion...when I saw something I had never seen before.

You see, I recently changed the batteries in the kid's sit n spin. This created much havoc. Gideon likes a specific tune, and doesn't like Haddon and Nolan's favorite one. Nolan likes a specific tune, not the ones that Gideon and Haddon like. See where I'm going with this? Haddon likes a specific tune, not the ones that Nolan and Gideon like.

You can guess what happens when it's Nolan's turn on the sit n spin. Haddon and Gideon get upset, due to the tune that is being played. On this particular afternoon, it was Gideon who was spinning round and round.

Nolan tried to talk to Gideon about the music. Gideon wouldn't listen. As a matter of fact, he was downright ignoring him!

Enter the calls to mom.

"Mommy! Gideon's 'noring me!"

"Nolan, just leave him alone and play with something else."

"But I can't!"

"Um, yeah you can. Leave him alone and let him play."

It wasn't over yet.

Enter Haddon.

"Haddon!! Go get Gideon!! He's over there!!!" (says Nolan)

Without a word, Haddon picks up the closest toy. It happened to be a Spiderman toy...made out of a plastic meant to feel like pure steel. He promptly threw it squarely at Gideon's head. He was spot on.

Gideon began screaming. So I could properly tend to the head wound, I told Haddon and Nolan to go to the corner.

To which Nolan replied, "I didn't do anything!"

My 6 year old Nolan, who is like a mini-Godfather, thought he would get off scott-free since he wasn't the one who took force against his brother.

I'm not sure what worries me more...Nolan would knew what he was doing...or Haddon who did what he did without asking the question 'why?'

Fat chance of that happening.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

What are we naming the baby?

We haven't been keeping the name a secret...if anyone has asked, we've told :)

The first name will be the same...boy or girl. It is nice for Nolan and Gideon to already call the baby by name! It's the middle names that would be different.

For a Boy: Payson Baxter
For a Girl: Payson Deborah (maybe a nickname of Paysie...though John says he doesn't like that, lol)

Now the next question that is asked, is usually...Where does that name come from??

I was introduced to Elizabeth Prentiss through the GirlTalk Blog. I purchased a couple more of her books, Aunt Jane's Hero and Stepping Heavenward. When I read more about her, I found that her father was Edward Payson and that she had grown up in New England...namely Maine, where I also grew up. We also share the same birthday!

Having done as much research as I could on Edward Payson, I found out that he had been greatly influenced by Jonathan Edwards. I was also surprised that he has been as forgotten as he is today. I would consider Edward Payson very influential to the history of reformed theology. I have had trouble finding out more about him because there have been hundreds of men named after him. They share both his first and last name (as their first and middle names).

Early last summer, I remember speaking to John one night about the name of a future child, if we were to be so blessed with another. He immediately loved the name Payson!

I recommend reading a short biography of Edward Payson.

As for the middle names...

...You can read about Richard Baxter here.

...And Deborah is after my mom :)

So there you have it.

I also want to note that the name goes right along with our name more ways than one.

All of our children's names end the same...Nolan, Gideon, Haddon and Jamison...and Payson. There is also a syllable pattern...Nolan is 2 syllables, Gideon is 3, Haddon is 2, and Jamison is 3...then Payson has 2. 2-3-2-3-2.....confused yet?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Al Mohler responds to the homeschooling decision in California

Read about it here.

He will also be talking about this on his radio program on Monday.

Let the Nations Be Glad

Speaking of mission trips...Noel and Talitha Piper are currently on a mission trip in Africa!

You can read about it here.

We'll be praying for safe travels!

A book giveaway!

Here is the write-up over at Beggars All. Be sure to sign up!


Exegetical and Expository
by William Gouge

In conjunction with Solid Ground Christian Books we are doing a book giveaway by random drawing! Click the title above to go to Solid Ground's page about these books. It is a two volume with an $85 list price!

Here's what Charles Spurgeon had to say about William Gouge, "We greatly prize Gouge. Upon any topic which he touches he gives outlines which may supply sermons for months."

How it works: In SEVEN days we will have a drawing to see who gets the book. Please make sure there is an email address available to notify you if you are the winner or we may determine that another drawing take place. Just sign up ONCE below in the com box to enter. No anonymous entries will be accepted. Upon winning your information will be forwarded to Solid Ground so they can mail you the books.

Special thanks to Mike Gaydosh at Solid Ground.


Ruling seen as a threat to many home-schooling families

State appellate court says those who teach children in private must have a credential.

By Seema Mehta and Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
March 6, 2008

Parents who lack teaching credentials cannot educate their children at home, according to a state appellate court ruling that is sending waves of fear through California's home schooling families.

Advocates for the families vowed to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court. Enforcement until then appears unlikely, but if the ruling stands, home-schooling supporters say California will have the most regressive law in the nation.

"This decision is a direct hit against every home schooler in California," said Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, which represents the Sunland Christian School, which specializes in religious home schooling. "If the state Supreme Court does not reverse this . . . there will be nothing to prevent home-school witch hunts from being implemented in every corner of the state of California."

The institute estimates there are as many as 166,000 California students who are home schooled. State Department of Education officials say there is no way to know the true number.

Unlike at least 30 other states, home schooling is not specifically addressed in California law. Under the state education code, students must be enrolled in a public or private school, or can be taught at home by a credentialed tutor.

The California Department of Education currently allows home schooling as long as parents file paperwork with the state establishing themselves as small private schools, hire credentialed tutors or enroll their children in independent study programs run by charter or private schools or public school districts while still teaching at home.

California does little to enforce those provisions and insists it is the local school districts' responsibility. In addition, state education officials say some parents home school their children without the knowledge of any entity.

Home schoolers and government officials have largely accepted this murky arrangement.

"This works so well, I don't see any reason to change it," said J. Michael Smith, president of the Virginia-based Home School Legal Defense Assn.

The appellate court ruling stems from a case involving Lynwood parents Phillip and Mary Long, who were repeatedly referred to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services over various allegations, including claims of physical abuse, involving some of their eight children.

All of the children are currently or had been enrolled in Sunland Christian School, where they would occasionally take tests, but were educated in their home by their mother, Phillip Long said.

A lawyer appointed to represent two of the Long's young children requested that the court require them to physically attend a public or private school where adults could monitor their well-being. A trial court disagreed, but the children's lawyer appealed to the 2nd District Court of Appeal, which has jurisdiction over Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

The appellate panel ruled that Sunland officials' occasional monitoring of the Longs' home schooling -- with the children taking some tests at the school -- is insufficient to qualify as being enrolled in a private school. Since Mary Long does not have a teaching credential, the family is violating state laws, the ruling said.

"Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children," wrote Justice H. Walter Croskey in a Feb. 28 opinion signed by the two other members of the district court. "Parents who fail to [comply with school enrollment laws] may be subject to a criminal complaint against them, found guilty of an infraction, and subject to imposition of fines or an order to complete a parent education and counseling program."

Phillip Long said he believes the ruling stems from hostility against Christians and vowed to appeal to the state Supreme Court.

"I have sincerely held religious beliefs," he said. "Public schools conflict with that. I have to go with what my conscience requires me."

Public schools teach such topics as evolution, which Long said he doesn't believe in. He said his wife spends six hours each day teaching their children reading, writing, math, science, health, physical education, Bible and social studies. Court papers say Mary Long's education ended at 11th grade.

It's unclear if the ruling will be enforced, given the likely appeals. Typically, these rulings take effect 30 days after they are issued.

Other organizations that plan to get involved include the Pacific Justice Institute, Home School Legal Defense Assn. and the Home School Assn. of California.

Meanwhile, state Department of Education's attorneys are reviewing the ruling.

Teachers union officials will also be closely monitoring the appeal. A.J. Duffy, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, said he agrees with the ruling.

"What's best for a child is to be taught by a credentialed teacher," he said.

While many educators and officials remained unfamiliar with the ruling Tuesday, news about it has been sweeping websites and blogs devoted to home schooling. Organizations have been getting tense phone calls from parents worried that they will be targeted.

Families who home school includethose whose religious beliefs conflict with public schools and those whose children are in the entertainment industry or have other time-consuming activities that require them to study at an individualized pace.

Glenn and Kathleen, a Sacramento-area couple who requested that their last name not be used for fear of prosecution, home school their 9-year-old son Hunter because their Christian beliefs would be contradicted in a public school setting, Glenn said. He is troubled by the idea that his son would be exposed to teachings about evolution, homosexuality, same-sex marriage and sex education .

"I want to have control over what goes in my son's head, not what's put in there by people who might be on the far left who have their own ideas about indoctrinating kids," he said.

If the ruling takes effect, Glenn vowed to move his family out of state. "If I can't home school my son in California, we're going to have to end up leaving California. That's how important it is to me."

Thursday, March 6, 2008

How many of you are there???

I came across this neat website where you can put in your first and last name and see how many other people in the United States shares your full name!

*There are 326,342 people in the U.S. with the first name Shannon.
*Statistically the 190th most popular first name.
*81.4 percent of people with the first name Shannon are female.

*There are 236,788 people in the U.S. with the last name Jordan.
*Statistically the 110th most popular last name.

There are 255 people in the U.S. named Shannon Jordan.

It's also neat to see how many people might share the name we have chosen for the baby...which is nobody! (not a big surprise there, lol)
LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Desiring God 2008

They have finally announced the topic of this year's conference!

The Power of Words and the Wonder of God
2008 National Conference
September 26 – 28, 2008
Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, MN
Speakers: Sinclair Ferguson, Bob Kauflin, John Piper, Dan Taylor, Paul Tripp
More details forthcoming


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Works for me Wednesday...backwards!

Here is my dilemma:

Our dining room is painted a light tannish color. Our dining room chairs have black legs and backs. When those chairs get pushed into the wall, they leave black marks on the wall.

I don't know how to get the marks off of the wall. I have tried the Magic Eraser, but all it started doing was taking the paint off the wall.

I really don't want to have to repaint the wall.

Is there any way to prevent this?

If I weren't tired and pregnant, I would have pictures to show you, but you'll just have to believe me. I would have nothing against putting up a chair rail...but a chair rail in black?? Not sure how that would look!

Comments? Suggestions? Ideas?

Sometimes, you are just meant to have multiples...

No, not me, silly!

Identical in-vitro triplets born in NY

MANHASSET, N.Y. - When they get older, Logan, Eli and Collin Penn may blanch at the notion they wore nail polish to their first news conference. But it's the only way their parents know how to tell the boys apart right now.

The identical triplets were born Wednesday at North Shore University Hospital on Long Island — an event so rare that an obstetrician estimated it might happen just once in 200 million births.

The triplets' mother, Allison Penn, was impregnated with just one embryo through in-vitro fertilization, said Dr. Victor Klein, a specialist in multiple births and high-risk pregnancies who delivered the boys.

That embryo split in half, and then one half of that split again, he said.

"This is the first one we're aware of in the literature in the country in which they only put back one embryo" and a woman gave birth to triplets, said Klein. "Most people put back two or three embryos, and you just never know."

Identical triplets are born at a rate between one in 60,000 and one in 200 million, depending on the research, Klein said.

Allison Penn, 31, said she and her husband, Tom, 46, had tried to have a baby since they got married about four years ago. Although she once thought of having several children, the disappointments over four years revised her dreams downward.

"When it took us so long to get pregnant, I just assumed we were going to have one, and that would probably be it," she said. "So I thought one would be good."

And when she and her husband were told three youngsters were on the way?

"I looked over at Allison and her mouth was wide open and her eyes were like saucers, and she didn't say a word," Tom Penn said. "Then I realized that it was possible, and then I started to laugh."

He confessed he couldn't get over the irony.

"Everything we had done was to have one baby," he said. "Anybody who says God doesn't have a sense of humor — everything we did was just for having one baby, and now we have three."

To help tell them apart, the boys have a dot of maroon nail polish on their fingers. Logan Thomas, who weighed 4 pounds, 12 ounces, has a mark on his thumb; Eli Kirkwood, a 4-pounder, has polish on his forefinger, and Collin McGuire, at 4 pounds, 11 ounces, has a mark on his middle finger. Logan may have a problem with a non-functioning kidney, but the other children are healthy, doctors said.

Allison, an education specialist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said she has not decided whether to return to work.

"That's one of those 'one-day-at-time' issues," she said.

The article and video can be found here.

For Erin

Here is the link to Lost:

click me

Andrew Peterson's Blog Tour

I have been selected to receive a copy of the not yet released book by Andrew Peterson!

It is titled:

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

I can't wait to receive my copy and review it!

If you have been waiting for a chance to pre-order's your chance to purchase it and get an autographed copy too!

It'll be out March 18!

Be sure to check back for my review on March 17th!!

Thank You

by Mike and Janet Huckabee

Last night was a tough one for all of us. While Janet and I stood on the stage, we felt as if we were surrounded by a much larger family than our immediate family. We have been surrounded throughout the process by a large and growing family of faithful friends whose efforts in the campaign have humbled and amazed us day after day. I regularly wept or choked back tears just reading comments on the blog when I realized the sacrifices that so many have made for the campaign.

We had held out hope that we would win enough delegates to keep the contest going, but had vowed that if Senator McCain actually got the 1191 delegates, we would accept the will of the voters. In the end, the relentless hammering of the media that we "couldn't win" influenced enough voters and while we campaigned long and hard in the final states, it simply wasn't enough. I congratulate Senator McCain and will do what I can to assist him and influence him to take strong stands for issues that we conservatives cherish.

I don't see the long journey having reached its destination, but merely taking a detour. As my Marine friend Clebe McLary says, "I didn't lose--it's just that the game ended before I got finished playing."

You can read the rest here.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A quote

"It may be, that during a sermon two men are listening to the same truth; one of them hears as attentively as the other, and remembers as much of it; the other is melted to tears or moved with solemn thoughts; but the one though equally attentive, sees nothing in the sermon, except, may be, certain important truths well set forth; as for the other, his heart is broken within him and his soul is melted. Ask me how it is that the same truth has an effect upon this one, and not upon the other: because the mysterious Spirit of the living God goes with the truth to one heart and not to the other."

How to not parent a child

It's amazing the things you see when you observe people at the local park.

You see, there was a mom there with a 3 or 4 year old little girl. I happened to look at my watch to check the time the first time I heard this mom scream:

"We need to go now! I need to make dinner for you and your sisters!!"

And the observing began.

The little girl ignored her mother. She continued to play, go down slides and do her own thing.

I guess the mom decided to wait another 5 minutes before giving her another, very similar, ultimatum.

"We need to go now! I need to make dinner for you and your sisters!!"

Again the little girl ignored her mom.

While this was happening, this mom would look at me like she wanted me to support her and that 'I should know how she feels'. Um, not quite.

"I am really cold! We need to go! Two more times down the slide!"

The little girl replied:
"No! Five more times!"

"Okay, three more times, I'll compromise!"


By this time, it had been going on for 15-20 minutes. This little girl had absolutely zero respect for her mom and was completely ignoring her. I started to feel bad for the mom, but I stopped. She is enabling the behavior of her daughter!

After this little girl went down the slide three times, her mom gave up and said:
"Okay, two more times and we are leaving!"

She completely gave in to her 3-4 year old!

After the fifth time down the slide, the little girl took off and climbed back up onto the playground equipment.

"If you don't get down from there, I am going to come and get you! I'm cold and have to make dinner!"

Silence from the girl and mom didn't even attempt to go get her.

"Come down now! You better not be kicking and screaming when I come and get you!"

Silence again. The mom still stayed put.

I was dumbfounded. If this little girl of 3 or 4 is acting this way now...can you imagine what she is going to be like when she is older? She is obviously not getting the discipline she needs.

Finally, after a 25 minute ordeal, the little girl came down the slide and they left. As they walked away, I heard the mom say:
"Thank you for not throwing a fit when it was time to go. We'll come to the park again and then you can play longer when it isn't so chilly out."

Did she seriously just thank her child for behaving well when it was time to go??

This is a warning to you all. Parenting is hard. There are days when my children are far from obedient...I mean, did you read this past Friday's post?? Just be aware that it can be a slippery slope. When you allow your child's will to win a little because they are little and isn't long before you experience the above scenario.

My advice: Nip that behavior in the bud!!

Tulip update, part 1

Last fall, I planted lots and lots of tulip bulbs in my planters near the front door. My tulips are making an appearance. I can see the green sprouting up from the dirt.

My only hope is that no rabbits or animals eat them. I can already see evidence of one bulb being eaten. Thankfully, I planted dozens and dozens of them.

Please let my tulips survive.

More updates to come....

Another reason to NOT vote for Obama

Obama Calls Vote to Help Terri Schiavo Biggest Mistake

'Whether it's abortion or end-of-life issues, he's been consistently anti-life.'

During the 20th Democratic presidential debate Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama said the one vote he would take back was his 2005 U.S. Senate vote to help save the life of Terri Schiavo, a brain-injured Florida woman.

"We adjourned with a unanimous agreement that eventually allowed Congress to interject itself into that decision-making process of the families," Obama said. "It wasn't something I was comfortable with, but it was not something that I stood on the floor and stopped. And I think that was a mistake."

Schiavo was not dying nor terminally ill; she was not brain-dead nor in a coma. Yet for seven years, her husband, Michael, sought to have her feeding tube removed. Congress intervened toward the end, but it was not enough. Schiavo died March 31, 2005, after 13 days of court-ordered dehydration and starvation.

Jill Stanek, a pro-life speaker and blogger, called Obama "utterly pro-death."

"He lives in 'opposite world,' where he is an environmentalist, to the extreme, and very pro-animal," she said. "But when it comes to the sanctity of human life, he takes every stand against it, up to, and including, babies who have been aborted alive.

"His priorities are completely unintelligible."

When asked Tuesday which vote she would take back, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., said she would not vote for the Iraq war again.

Tuesday wasn't the first time Obama talked about his "mistake."

During an April 2007 debate, he said: "I think professionally the biggest mistake that I made was when I first arrived in the Senate. There was a debate about Terri Schiavo, and a lot of us, including me, left the Senate with a bill that allowed Congress to intrude where it shouldn't have.”

Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said Obama has been disingenuous.

"How can Obama reconcile his cavalier dismissal of Terri Schiavo's predicament as a 'family matter,' when he has stated he wants to appoint judges who are 'going to protect people who may be vulnerable in the political process, the outsider, the minority, those who are vulnerable, those who don't have a lot of clout'?

"Whether it's abortion or end-of-life issues," Hausknecht said, "he's been consistently anti-life."

Crummy Church Sign

Compliments of the Tennessee Mountains

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Mexico Mission Trip, part 1

Over at In all things...Christ Preeminent, Aaron's wife, Rachel, is keeping us up to date on the trip. Aaron is one of the men from St Louis, that John and Charlie met up with in Texas before heading over the border.

I'm sure I'll be posting some pictures once the guys comes back, but until then, the only communication I've received from John is a cryptic fuzzy phone call last night, letting me know they made it and are okay.

Thanks Rachel!

Love this