Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Who knew that a little flour and water could entertain her for SO long? Btw, she was still getting accustomed to the toilet this day, so that is the reason for the attire.
Two of her favorite friends at Big Lots. Never noticed they were there before this.
Wait a second, who is calling?

Passed out in the morning! Potty training is hard work:
Talking to Grandma on the bluetooth.
She decided to be nice and "take Shadee her food to her on her bed...."

Rounded the corner at Dollar Tree, following her and this is what I found:

She gets a little bored while I'm shopping, so she has to create her own fun:
My little tree-hugger!

Almost, but not yet.

Monday, December 21, 2009

No 20th day

Not only have I not had time to load pictures on to my computer (and boy do I have some cute ones!) I haven't had time to work on the 23 Days of Christmas. I feel strongly that God is whispering to me, "it's okay." :) We just moved FIVE rooms in our house around. Talk about a chore! I don't liken it to actually moving to a new location, but it goes almost halfway. The only thing that got remodeled was the basement. It still looks in mint condition (no one has had time to hang out down there). The rest of us got bedrooms "as is." So, yep, that means that Will & I moved into the blue room (formerly the boys' playroom) with the glow-in-the-dark galaxy as our border and with deluxe matching curtains (thanks Mom!)! Brielle got the "preschool Tyler's" construction theme room, but I'm honestly thinking about leaving it up until she is old enough to decide on her own fav colors & theme.
If moving all these rooms (and closets) around doesn't seem hectic enough - especially the weekend before Christmas- our two youngest children became ill with a ferocious stomach bug within hours of each other. While that put a hold on the move, it was really sad and hard to watch them go through that kind of retching illness :( The downside was that we missed our favorite Christmas party of the year. The flip side is that it was over and done with before Christmas, bless their hearts!
Now, even though we've only passed out 10 of our 23 Days, it has not been without great encouragement in return. One of our neighbors actually came by this morning to "return" the favor by filling up our mason jar with chocolates! She was so surprised that we had done something like that and wanted to return the favor. When we had brought them their pumpkin bread in a jar I had actually thought, "they think we are crazy." LOL If so, the crazy rubbed off! Our computer desk, crib, children's 1/2 desk?, computer, and chair littered our front porch. I explained about the move. I asked her if she knew of anyone who needed a crib. It was a long shot, but she happened to have a DIL that was due in 3 months who did not yet have a crib! Way to go God! They come to pick it up tomorrow. Pretty cool stuff.
I doubt I will bake again until after the new year - unless my bedroom miraculously unpacks itself - but I think it's okay that if we end up handing out goods then, that is fine. I won't give up, but I'm not going to work myself into a frenzy either.
By the way, did I mention our new bedroom comes with a cool garage-sale lava lamp that some oblivious kid left behind? It makes the room seem more retro, and I kind of dig it dude.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Giving Grace

A short but meaningful story: Last week I was in the checkout line at Kroger. I know I take longer than some because the cashier has to scan all of my coupons. But there were no problems this time, and all coupons were on target. As I was taking my receipt and leaving, I felt a cart grab the back of my heal. The older lady behind me had ran into me while I was walking out of the checkout. She immediately apologized and she sounded remorseful. I assured her it was okay and attempted to smile at her. It hurt! I even tried not to limp on my way out. It hit me then and there. Now, what if that had been on my kids? They would have at least gotten "the look!"
Why did I extend that kind of grace to a perfect stranger? and why don't I extend it to those closest to me? All I could think was, if I could do that for her, I should do that for my children as well.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

the 13th day of 23

I'm just going to confess. This baking 23 homemade goodies for my neighbors in an effort to bless and get to know them is challenging! 1) because it's hard to find time to bake, and 2) because they aren't home when we go to take them something. However, despite these challenges, it is still going quite well. We are meeting our neighbors that we didn't know and giving a happy holiday greeting to the ones we do. I insist that all three children come with me every time we go. I want the neighbors to meet my whole family (I can't get Will to do this of course :). This is hard when we have been busy. I backed individual tins of pumpkin bread for the neighbors that I know have 2 or less people in their household. They set on my counter for two days before I had time to take them to them. I admit that I was ready just to do a "drive by" and throw them on their doorstep in haste. That would deplete the whole point though. :) So....we all went on the third day. Two days later we took out three more German Potato coffee cakes to the larger households and Josh commented, "I like this. It's like our daily evening walk out together." He was wearing a Santa hat and each of us carried pie plate of the cake, myself also holding Brielle. It was one of the warmer evenings and as I thought about the about the three gifts that we carried while we walked down our street, I likened it to the three wise men with their three gifts. This is what Christmas is all about to me.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day One of the 23 days of Christmas

Okay, so if you haven’t read my 23 Days of Christmas blog, it lies below. The jest is to provide all 23 of my surrounding neighbors with a home-baked good for the purpose of getting to know them better and also to spread some holiday cheer! Yesterday was day one. I made German Potato Coffee Cake (a great recipe that I swiped from cyberspace last year after I got my bread machine for Christmas). The recipe bakes three pie plates, so that was handy. We carried two, but came home with one (we couldn’t get rid of it! lol) All three children came with me. We met a new neighbor on our corner and we met our neighbors that have lived here almost as long as we have. It was really fun, especially since the second neighbor was prepared to tell us “no” to whatever we were selling him, until we told him the real reason we were interrupting his evening. Then his expression softened and he called his wife to meet us too! It was great and the kids enjoyed it too! We made a map of all of our neighbors. Empty boxes indicate their houses. We are putting X’s in them after we deliver, along with writing down their names to remember them by. I really hope it continues to be this fun by day 23 and that we don’t get burned out (or turned away) by then.