Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Years - and a little catch-up

I can't believe it's been a week since I've blogged. SOOOOO much has happened in the last week, I don't know even where to begin. So, here's a *brief* list of our happenings:

- After we got back from Charlotte, we had 2 days to prepare for our Christmas at home. I wrapped a bunch of gifts and anxiously anticipated the reactions of the receivers. My favorite gift I received from my hubby was...well, everything. He gave me a shark steam clean mop (by request), an new feather pillow, an alarm clock that projects the time on the ceiling and a new bag to tote my ever-growing necessities. I gave Patrick 8 photo books including all of our photos from Jan '06 - Oct '08. We spent 2 hours looking through them all. It was many, many months well-spent. The kids received odds and ends from us, nothing major but everything well-thought and special.
- I removed the shower door in the Master Bath on Christmas eve. The seal wasn't completely sealed and caused lots of nasty-ness to fester. Well, after removing the door and TRYING to re-seal it, I realized that the shower door frame doesn't sit flush to the shower stall. Long story short...and a few tears later...we now have a pretty shower curtain (which we both rather prefer). Can anyone agree that shower doors are a pain to clean????
- We loaded up the car and headed to Elberton at 5:30am on Christmas Day. We were there until Sunday afternoon and had a great time together. Patrick went full force back into work on Monday while I went full force into unpacking, calling goodwill to pick up unwanted furniture, shopping for my new W&D (yeah!), cleaning, blah blah blah.
- Yesterday was a doosey. I honestly don't have the mental capacity and time to reiterate the events of the day, but in short, I miswired a 4-prong dryer outlet which fried the new dryer after it was plugged in. But, we didn't realized the dryer was fried until this morning after I purchased a voltage meter to make sure that the fuse didn't bust. Patrick and I spent 2.5 very stressful hours last night trying to figure out the mistake I made regarding the miswiring. Patrick was certain that I miswired the outlet, but we weren't sure if we busted the breaker or the dryer. It was tense. But Lowes, oh, Lowes, how wonderful thou art...I called them last night 5 minutes before they closed to tell them of our situation. They were here today at noon with a new dryer and it installed beutifully. No harm, no foul.
So, today...I sit here with my hubby and daughter while my son sleeps awaiting the dawn of 2009. I don't think Mal will make it, but it's nice to spend these last few hours of '08 with her. We had a great year and look forward to '09.

Here are some pics from my Christmas production earlier in the month...I know, I'm behind but I have to tell you that I haven't even transferred any pics I've taken in the last 10 days from my camera to my 'puter...there's been no time!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I have SOOO many pictures that I'm behind in posting. And I still have to post about Christmas in Charlotte! We've hit the ground running since we got home on Sunday. I had a photo shoot yesterday amidst getting the kids flu shots, grocery shopping, picking up the dog from the kennel, laundry, yada yada yada. Maybe if I stay up 'til 3am I can get everything done...

We have our Christmas tonight, Christmas Eve service at church tomorrow and then leave for Gommy and Poppy's house Christmas morning. Sheesh. Tis the season!

Anyway, here are a few pics. I hope they speak for themselves without much description....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

In Charlotte!

We arrived in Charlotte yesterday for our Christmas celebration with the Mosses. We pulled in around 2:30pm and then Patrick and I left for the Behold the Lamb concert around 5pm. We ate dinner and arrived at the concert 30 min early. We sat with friends from Johnson City who drove down and we also got to see some old friends, hug some necks and visit for a bit before the concert began. Andrew Peterson and company were AWESOME and I would really like to try to make attending one of his BTL concerts part of our Christmas tradition.

Today, we went up to Concord Mills where I finished my Christmas shopping. It had been months since I had walked into an Ann Taylor Loft and had to turn around shortly after I entered in order to keep my wallet closed. I love that store!

Anyway, we've been playing our daily activities by ear, so we don't have any other plans set in stone right now...not even when we're leaving! Anyway, I hope you all are doing well and are ready for Christmas next week!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Update on Mal and the fam...

We took Mallory back to the dr today because her arm wasn't improving. The dr referred Mal to an Ortopedic dr (who stayed open an hour later just to see us) who said that her arm wasn't properly adjusted. He adjusted it and popped it back into place. It breaks my heart knowing that she's been walking around with a dislocated elbow for the past 3 days, but I'm also thankful we went to the dr today because she was diagnosed with bronchitis, along with Patrick earlier today. I couldn't believe it! She had been coughing a lot at night, but no other symptoms. I told the dr that Ethan has been having the same symptoms, and praise God that he gave me an antibiotic for him, too. Our kids have been through the ringer lately and given that my mom has been here since Wed has been a blessing that God knew we needed. Oh, what perfect timing the Lord has!

Just a few of the blessings in God's timing:
1. Mom has been here this week to help with the craziness
2. The ER didn't properly adjust her arm which caused me to take Mal to the dr who diagnosed her with brochitis and she now has a perscription
3. I have not caught any of the illness...which is great because I have a performance this weekend!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Our first trip to the ER with a child...

I knew it was bound to happen and it finally did. We took Mal to the ER today thinking she may have fractured her arm. She fell while she was at gym today and hurt her arm. We were heading out the door when an adult admiring the atics of her child backed into Mallory causing her to fall and hurt her arm. She had already had a difficult morning (lots of crying b/c she was tired) so I figured her excessive screaming was due to an overreaction, mainly because the woman who knocked her over tried to console her (she still has a difficult time with strangers). Anyway, after crying all the way home and not using her arm after she got home and screaming incosolably when trying to bend it, I figured it was time to head to the ER. Patrick came home, cancelled his appts and came to the ER with me while my dear neighbor, Ellen, sat here while Ethan napped.

Mal was tired, but did great in the hospital. Our hospital has a children's ER that is GREAT. They were very kind and treated Mallory with a lot of respect. The dr saw her very soon after we arrived and figured it was Nursemaids Arm and the dr "reduced it" (popping the radial bone back into place) while we were in the hallway before we entered the room! Mallory screamed quite a bit, but we could tell an improvement immediately in the movement of her arm. We had an x-ray done just in case, but it was clear. She's supposed to take some Motrin and rest her arm. Praise the Lord there wasn't a fracture.

I forgot to bring my camera, so I have no picture. Patrick took some on his cell, so once I figure out how to upload them, I will post them. Ahhh, there's never a dull moment with kids!

Monday, December 8, 2008

A peek in the kitchen...what's for dinner?

Chicken can often be a hard thing to prepare. I often try to be creative with cooking chicken without always grilling or pan cooking. So many people only buy the boneless breast of a chicken because the other cuts (or whole chicken) can be a bit intimidating.

I have a few sure-fire ways to make chicken that have always turned out great. We're a white-meat family, so I usually buy bone-in breasts with skin. Why bone-in? Well, a few reasons:

1. It's usually a cheaper cut, costing around 1.98 a pound (compared to $4.49 per pound for boneless) and sometimes even .98 per pound on sale. (Prices are for non-organic chicken)
2. It's much more versatile for several of my recipes
3. I can cook a lot of it at a time and use it for multiple meals

I usually cook bone-in chicken 3 ways, depending on what's on my menu:
1. Boil it - When I boil the chicken, I ALWAYS make chicken stock with it, which is good for soup (stock is the base of the soup) or for casseroles (stock is used to cook rice or pasta)
2. Roast it - I roast it when I either make casseroles or if we eat the breast by itself
3. Grill it - I grill it rarely, but the bone-in adds more moisture, but it takes longer to cook than boneless.

When I roast or boil the chicken (about 4lbs), I debone the chicken, shred it and separate the chicken in half, one half going in one meal and the other in another meal . The shredded chicken is good in soups, casseroles, chicken fajitas/enchilada, chicken salads, bbq chicken sandwiches etc. VERY versatile. Say I have a soup and a casserole on my menu, I boil it. If I have sandwiches and enchiladas, I roast it. Roasting takes less time, but you don't get a stock out of it (and 4 cups of stock can be upwards of $3.00 at the store).

So, here are my recipes for stock and roasting for soups/casseroles. I will add additional recipes on another post:

Chicken Stock
Approx 4 lbs of bone-in chicken (white and/or dark meat)
3 carrot stalks, peeled and quarted
3 celery stalks, peeled and quarted
1 onion, quarted
1/4 c. fresh parsley or 2 tablespoons of dried parsley

1. Put chicken in a dutch oven or stock pot (or a pasta pot big enough) and cover with veggies and parsley
2. Put enough water in the pot to submerse chicken and other ingredients
3. Heat to boil. If you keep the skin on the chicken, you will need to skim off the foam that is produced. Just use a spoon. The skin adds more flavor, though it does make the stock a little more fatty.
4. Reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook for 45 minutes or until juices of the chicken run clear. Remove from heat
5. Let stand for about 5 minutes to cool slightly.
6. Remove chicken. Discard veggies. Strain the stock through cheese cloth or use a very dense strainer.
7. Debone chicken.

Makes about 5 cups of stock.

Roasted Plain Chicken
Approx. 4 lbs of bone-in chicken (skin on)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
2. Put foil in the bottom of a baking pan and grease with cooking spray
3. Put chicken on the pan, pop it in the oven and let it roast for about 1.5 hours
4. Let it stand for about 10 minutes to cool
5. Remove skin from chicken and discard.
6. Debone chicken

With either recipe, you can cube the chicken or shred it, depending on what you're making. I actually made the stock last week for my chicken soup. I make one or both of these types of chicken about twice a month...sometimes more!

Christmas Cantata is coming up!

Our choir has been preparing in earnst for our Christmas production this weekend (hint, hint to all my Johnson City readers...). It will be this Saturday and Sunday night at Heritage Baptist church starting at 6:30. Childcare will be provided on Sunday. And it's free! And I have a solo! Need I say more???
OK...enough of the plug. But, I've been going to many rehearsals and doing a lot of prep work for the production. Mallory is familiar with most of the songs, since she goes to most of the rehearsals with me. She LOVES going to choir. We sang at the mall this past Friday night, along with the kids choir at church. It was a good prep for this weekend and the kids did such a great job. Mallory wasn't quite ready to go in choir this year, but the next time it starts up, I really think she'll love it.

After our production, we got an ice cream cone to share. The kids LOVED it.

Christmas is here!

Our house is decked out in its Christmas finest. Patrick worked hard at setting up lights outside, adding garland to our porch and hanging wreaths on our door and garage. It all looks very pretty, especially at night. We have lots of lights indoors, too, and Mallory wakes up every morning enjoying the lights. And if they are not on, she makes sure she tells me to put them on. We only got a small tree this year, which is sitting on top of a bar table so our little guy one pull it over or eat the branches. I actually like it way up there. It will definitely help me keep my sanity by not constantly having to monitor the tree. We did have one ornament casualty this year...and it happened to be one that I had hand painted several years ago. I was very sad to see it go, but Patrick reminded me that our kids are still small and they still don't understand the concept of gentle, no matter how much breath I waste describing what is gentle everyday.

We're also doing some Advent readings and songs every Sunday morning, just like we've done the last two years. The kids are sitting through it all very well. Mallory is picking up on many Christmas truths, especially that the Angel says "Gloria!" because he was so excited Jesus was born. And except for thinking Joseph is Goliath, she can name the correct people in a manger scene. Mal's favorite carols, by far, are Away in the Manger and O Come All Ye Faithful.

Here are some pics from the past few days:

Six non-important things/habits/quirks about me

I was tagged by Kara to do this meme, and since I haven't done one in a while, here it goes...

Six non-important things/habits/quirks about me
1- My favorite part of an ice cream cone is the very last bite. I love it when the ice cream is soft contrasted by the really crunchy cone.
2- I can be a habitual reader. If you give me a good book, I can't put it down. I will do everything I can to pick up a good book whenever I can. I have to actually discipline myself NOT to read because I get too engrossed.
3- I do not like the radio on in the car when I'm driving in a rain storm
4- I love having walnuts in my oatmeal (with a little brown sugar and milk, too)
5- I love wearing elastic waisted pants, which is probably only acceptable when pregnant or exercising, unfortunately. I stretch those boundaries, though (no pun intended)...
6- I am so excited about the start of 24. If you call me when the show is on, I will not answer the phone. Guaranteed.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our Thanksgiving

We had a great time last week with our good friends from Charlotte. It had been a long time since we had visited with them and it was SOOO nice to be together for the holiday. The kids played together very well and we all kept busy with fun activities and lots of food. They only stayed for a night (I wish it was longer!), but we hope to do it again soon!!!

I brined and roasted a 12lb turkey and Patrick smoked a 5lb turkey breast. Though mine looks pretty (and tasted great) Patrick's turkey was excellent. Joy brought some sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, pecan pie and a few other tastey treats. I made the stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls and a pumpkin pie. All of it was very good and we ate until we couldn't eat anymore. The boys played croquet in the back yard and at one point had all 6 of the kids outside so Joy and I could have some peace and quiet. It didn't last long, but it was still nice nonetheless.

The girls played really well together. Sarah and Grace loved all the toys and Mallory shared very well. We had a toe-nail painting party in the basement later in the evening while Nate, Patrick, Peter and Alex played darts. The adults played games after the kids went into bed, though sleep didn't come for the kids until at least 10:30. On Friday, we introduced the T's to our gym that we take the kids to. Oh, their kids had a BALL. It was a great way to wear them out before their trip home. Let's do it again!

And if any of our other out-of-town friends want to come visit, the invitation is open!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A peek in the kitchen - what's for dinner?

I'm honored that a friend of mine has asked me some questions about my cooking tactics. I feel like I'm usually the one gleaning info from others and it's a honor for me to be a help to others. I've said before that cooking exclusively (rather than eating out or using packaged mixes) is a discipline that comes over time with perserverance and practice. Our family eats out maybe twice a month, sometimes less, which leaves me to do the cooking. I enjoy cooking immensely and it's a pleasure for me to fill my family and guest's bellies with the best food (economically speaking) possible.

So, I will dedicate a few posts to Kara and to others that may want a peak into my kitchen as I give away some of the tricks of my trade, which aren't much so please don't hold your breath in anticipation. :-)

First of all, I make a menu for the week every Sat or Sun, depending on if I go to the grocery store on Saturday or Monday (my usual grocery days). I usually cook 4-5 nights of the given week, the other 2-3 are leftovers or quick throw together meals. Here is my menu for the week:

Sun - Homemade pizza
Mon - Roast (Beef, Potato, Carrots, Onion) (it was very yummy, by the way)
Tues - Swiss Skillet Chicken, Veggie, Rice
Wed - Leftover Roast, Salad (church at 6:30)
Thurs - Chicken Soup, Salad, Grilled cheese
Fri - Leftovers (we have a commitment at 6pm)
Sat - Homemade Pizza (SEC Championship game)
Sun - Church Dinner

Before I make my menu, I look to see what is in the house so I purchase minimal things at the store. I also look at my calendar to see when I will be home to cook. I use a lot of factors in determining what I make when, which I'll probably save for another post. But, I had a roast and chicken in my freezer, rice in my cupboard, leftover swiss cheese and white wine from turkey day, lots of carrots and celery (for chicken stock for soup), and I always have pizza crust on hand (I make 3 dough balls at a time, large enough to make a 12-inch pizza). So, I just bought fill-ins from the grocery store to complete my evening meals.

I usually get my recipes from I search for recipes based on ingredients I have in my house, sort the results by ratings, and usually choose recipes that have been rated high. I also read some of the comments, which include some "tweeks" to the original recipe. I usually keep looking through recipes until I eventually find one that I can use depending on all the ingredients the recipe calls for (I oftentimes make substitutions).

I'll be making this recipe for Skillet Chicken Supreme tonight, though I'll be calling it Swiss Chicken Skillet Supreme since I will be using swiss cheese rather than mozzerrella. Here is the recipe I'll use (this is the recipe on the website with the modifications I'll make):

1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1 cup ice water
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup 3 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
2 ounces shredded mozzarella swiss cheese

1. In a shallow dish or bowl, combine bread crumbs and 3 tablespoons flour. Dip chicken into ice water, then dredge through crumb mixture. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add chicken and saute until both sides are lightly browned and chicken is cooked through (juices run clear). Remove chicken from skillet and set aside, keeping warm. (note - cooking time on chicken is usually about 5 minutes per side. I will also pound my chicken)
2. To same skillet add mushrooms and saute. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon flour and stir quickly to mix together. Add broth and wine and let simmer, stirring, until thickened (about 2 minutes).
3.Return reserved chicken to skillet. Top with cheese. Cover and cook until cheese is melted.

I will serve this with Brown Basatmi Rice and mixed veggies. We'll probably also have some Applesauce, too (which I serve if we don't have a salad). On a side note, which I will also emphasize at another time, I ALWAYS reduce or eliminate the amount of oil, butter, and/or sugar a recipe calls for (except when baking). It's a good way to cut out fat and calories.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Getting in the Christmas Spirit!

We had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving (pics and more to come later) and are now officially entered into the Christmas season. Our tree is up, Christmas decorations grace our home and the Christmas music is playing. Well, the music has been playing, but we're now exclusively playing Christmas music.

The majority of what the kids and I have been listening to is the track of the Christmas cantata I'm in at church. We've been listening to it for a few months now and Mallory is pretty familiar with it. Her favorite song is "Gloria!", which is the hardest song of the bunch so it's good we listen to it so much. Here is are videos of her antics whenever it plays. She has a wonderful "audience" of one in the reflection of the oven. And as you can tell by the second video, Ethan enjoys getting "into it" to...maybe a little too much.

***Disclaimer: I usually don't post long videos, but these are longer than normal.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm really looking forward to today. We're expecting some friends from Charlotte to arrive later this afternoon to enjoy dinner and a night or two at our house. We should have a full house of children playing (6 kids total) and great fellowinship. We should have a delicious bird, or shall I say BIRDS (we're roasting and smoking birds this year), stuffing, mashed potatoes, yeast rolls, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserol, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and more. It will be great!

I'll be missing my family this year, all of which are staying in their hometowns. I'll be thinking of you all!

I'm very thankful this year, mainly to God for giving me such underserved blessings through my family and friends. I'm thankful for food on the table, laughter, memories, conversation, friendship, and fun. I'm thankful for Patrick, Mallory, Ethan, and my extended family. I'm thankful for my TN church friends, playgroup friends and neighbors. I'm thankful for my FL friends, PA friends, NC friends and more. I'm thankful for so much.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Someone I've been thinking about today

**Updated due to correct info I received from my fam...

You know, I'm often caught up in my own little world and forget about the hurt of others close to me. I have to admit I rarely remember the anniversary of my grandpa Lahman's death, but for some reason it hit me today that it was around this time some 20-odd 19 years ago that he died and I'm sure that this time is heavy on my dad's mind and heart.

That was a strange Thanksgiving week - the week that Grandpa died - and I remember a lot of it: Dad being down in south FL a lot, having a Thanksgiving pagent at school and being told shortly afterwards that grandpa passed away (I think my mom told Amanda and I in the bathroom of the Main Street Burger King in Gainesville...), travelling down there for the funeral, staying at John and Ronas, trying to have a happy Thanksgiving dinner despite that the funeral was either on or the day before Thanksgiving the day after Thanksgiving (he died the day before).

I figured I'd list some memories I have of my grandpa...
1. Grandpa had an artificial leg (he had his leg amputated years before because of complications with diabetes). I used to knock on his leg a lot. He also used to take insulin shots...and I didn't like shots!
2. Grandpa was VERY handsome. I always thought he was a good lookin' guy.
3. I used to like sitting at my grandparents kitchen table in the Hollywood, FL condo. The swivel chairs were so neat! I also remember liking to see my mom and dad kiss in the elevator on the way up to my grandparent's 2nd floor unit. Amanda and I also used to play shuffleboard in the courtyard area...Anyway, I remember he and my dad having conversations at that kitchen table. I don't remember what they talked about, but they talked there. Grandma used to serve us drinks in plastic cups with pastel-colored rims...I don't know why I remember that...

I only have a few memories, since I was only 8 or 9 11 when he died. My dad was about my age when Grandpa passed and I just can't imagine what it must've been like. Dad -I know this time is hard for you and I know I forget A LOT, but I just wanted to let you know that this year, I remember.

Amanda & Terry (and any other family), do you have any memories you'd like to comment about?

Recent Videos...

Here is Ethan taking a was his biggest one at that point. He's now walking from one thing to another that is within "reasonable" distance. I love watching him wobble! And please excuse my girl on the potty...

Here is a video of the kids in the snow. Trust me, it's not very amusing...except for the dog...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Missing you, Florida!

For some reason, I'm missing my home state like crazy...almost to the point that I wish I still lived there. It's odd for me because I haven't felt like this in at least 10 years. Oh, there are plenty of things I DON'T miss, like the summer heat and flat landscape, but there are more things that I do miss. I can 99.9% bet that we will never ever live there, but I just needed to say that I do miss it and today more so than most.

I miss:

1. Friends....or shall I say family. My closest friends in the world are people I knew in my Florida years. There are several families who are like true family...Jamerson, Clendenins, Balls...and Michelle. I miss them. I miss the familiarity and closeness we all had, thanks to the determination of my parents to be close to these people which led me to be close to them. In addition to these friends are my true family - my grandpa and lots of aunts, uncles, cousins live down there. I miss being close to them, too.

2. The Gators. My dad was the biggest, baddest fan of the family and still is. He worked at a restaurant on campus and we spent lots of time at UF as a family. Amanda went there and I had plans to go there, but I wasn't accepted for the term I had applied for (I was accepted for the following semester) and I had no scholarship. So, I went to Santa Fe for 2 years then to UGA the remaining 2 (where I had the HOPE scholarship making my education was free). I wish I would have gone to UF because I have so much pride for that school. The campus is great and very beautiful. I have lots of memories being the UF Homecoming parades from childhood to high school. I never went to a Gator Growl, but maybe one day... I miss UF basketball games. I went to several while I was at community college there. I've only been to one or two football games in the Swamp and oh, how I'd LOVE to go to another one! One nice thing about Florida field is that it's open to the public. Lots of students run stairs there. You can even go down to the field and walk on it. Everyone seems to understand having respect for the field. If I ever had the desire to go back to school, I'd love to go to UF.

3. What Florida represents. It's a big part my heritage. I grew up there. I became a Christian there. I formed my closest friendships there. We had lots of Thanksgivings and Christmases there. Lots of concerts and recitals. Lots of joy, laughter, tears, pain...the things that make up a person.

For some reason, these things have been heavy on my heart today. I'd love to go back. But, I'm here now. And I'm happy where I am. I just miss the many yesterdays of my life sometimes. And today is one of those days.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Strides better today

I woke up this morning VERY early with my hubby and spent some time in I Thes 5. Verses/Phrases like "be patient with everyone", "be joyful always", "pray continually", and "give thanks in all circumstances" really caused me to check myself. I've thought about these verses a lot today and I'm more prone to pray my way through this.

I've thought that Mallory might not be ready, but she also might be. She did pee pee in the potty today...after holding it for 6 hours. We both got VERY excited and we were both happy that the "staying close to the potty" vigil was over. Mallory has been running around pantless and the little potty chair has been in the kitchen, living room and bathroom today. Mal has been content with reading her books on the potty, even for an hour and a half this afternoon. When she finally went, she screamed "I did it"! Well, she says that when she doesn't do it, too, but at least I was able to be in positive agreeance this time!

Anyway, I don't think I'm ready to turn back; I've already started and stopped once before. I don't want to quit just because it's hard for me right now. I think I'm going to at least give it a week.

A few other things happening around here:

1. Patrick is working his tail off. He's had a shift in responsibilities and is seeing more patients rather than managing these days. His stress level has greatly reduced, though with an increasing patient load, he still spends lots of time on the road and on paperwork.
2. Ethan is REALLY trying to walk. He's been taking several steps here and there. I've have some funny video to upload.
3. I'm getting ready to sing a solo in church on Sunday. I haven't sung a solo in church for at least 6 years (well, except for my grandma's funeral). I'm excited and nervous.
4. We enjoyed some snow today here are some pics and a video will follow.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Potty training success? Where for art thou???

Oh, we're potty training and it's not fun. Mallory just CAN'T make the connection going pee pee in the potty rather than in her pants. We spent the entire day at home with me asking the question - "Mallory, do you have to go pee pee in the potty?" to which she responds "All Done". She's peed on the carpet twice and pottied all other times in her training pants. I always ask her "Mallory, where should we go pee pee?" to which she responds "pee pee in the potty". But, tonight, after peeing in her pants (w/out her pull up) she responded (with a very proud look on her face) "pee pee in pants!".

I've only been at this for a day and a half and I'm already about to pull my hair out. It's definitely a whole new world that Mal just doesn't get. I'm loosing my patience and I don't want this to be a horrible experience. Advice, please? Or at least directions to good advice?

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Party

We had a great time at Ethan's birthday party a few weeks ago. I had asked a friend of mine to take pictures for E's party, and pictures he took! About 1200+! It's taken me a while to go through them and put finishing touches on them, so please forgive me for the delay.

We had a hay search (inside the hay were letters with candy taped on them), personal pizza's with each child's initial outlined with pepperoni, chili and fixin's for the adults, and a deliche chocolate cake shaped as an uppercase E and a yellow caked shaped as a lower case e. I couldn't have pulled it off without the help of my mom and mother-in-law and almost everything turned out just like I had hoped. It was such, such fun.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wordless...Saturday? Mmmmkay

Behold the Lamb!

We just bought tickets to Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb of God tour that will be in Charlotte on Dec 17. I've REALLY grown to love this album and I'm looking forward to playing this one the most this holiday season. I have to admit, the first time I heard this CD, I didn't like it. It's not traditional. There are no familiar Christmas tunes (until you listen to it over and over and over).

But, I've come to love it. And I'm often moved to tears by the lyrics of some of the songs. The songs on this CD will bring you back not only to the true meaning of Christmas -the birth of Jesus, but HOW the birth of Jesus unfolded since the beginning of time. If you are looking to buy a good Christmas CD, buy this one (this link will also allow you to buy the album download)!

Here is a little blurb by Andrew Peterson about the jist of the album (HT: Between Two Worlds):

What makes this bunch of songs unique is that I wanted to remind (or teach) the audience that the story of Christmas doesn't begin with the birth of Jesus. Many people tend to forget or have never even learned that the entire Bible is about Jesus, not just the New Testament.So the musical begins with Moses and the symbolic story of the Passover (Passover Us) and works its way through the kings and the prophets with their many prophecies about the coming Messiah (So Long, Moses) to the awful four hundred years of silence before God told Mary she'd be having a baby (Deliver Us). After the song called Matthew's Begats, which lists the genealogy of Jesus, the story picks up in more familiar territory with Mary and Joseph and the actual birth (It Came To Pass, Labor of Love). The final song is called Behold, the Lamb of God, which ties together the Passover and the beauty and scope of the story.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Well, we have had a very busy last several days. Over the weekend, we threw a party for Ethan's birthday, which was tons 'o fun. Both sets of grandparents were there along with many, many friends. I have TONS of pictures to sift through, so once I'm done with that, I'll post some.

In the mean time, Patrick is getting ready to take Mallory to Charlotte this weekend to spend some time with his folks. Patrick's mom just had a hip replacement surgery yesterday and is expected to come home tomorrow. Patrick is taking off work tomorrow and hoping to get there around the time she gets home from the hospital. Her surgery went great and she'll be going through physical therapy over the next several weeks. I think Patrick will be a great asset for her in these first few days at home. I'm making a meal to send down with him, since I know that it will be an adjustment for both of Patrick's folks as Mom Moss is recovering and learning the limits with her new hip.

Ethan and I will be together for the weekend. Though I'll miss Mal and Patrick, I'm looking forward to having the responsibility of one for the weekend. I'm hoping to get stuff done, yet I'm hoping to have some more bonding time with my boy. Speaking of E, here is a video of his new "trick" that Daddy taught him:

Two new songs...

Well, Mallory has been singing these songs for a while, but it's the first time I've recorded them.

The first song is "Cast all my Cares" (or as she says, Cast all my Pears)
"I cast all my cares upon You.
I lay all of my burdens
down at your feet.
And anytime I don't know
what to do,
I will cast all my cares upon You."

The second song is "Into my Heart"
"Into my heart,
Into my heart,
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.
Come in today.
Come in to stay.
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus."

Friday, November 7, 2008

A quiet night

Patrick took Mallory on a date tonight. Ethan is in bed. I'm drinking some deliche Pinot Noir while enjoying the peace (well, except for the hum of the computer and baby monitor...). I should be doing about 5 million other things. My friend Kara's pre-birthday-party list about sums up what I feel (her daughter turned three last weekend). I have bathrooms to clean, laundry to start, food to prepare, floors to mop...blah blah blah. But here I am, doing what I like to do - "computering". I'm going to head up stairs in a bit, turn on a movie (probably some hokey chick flick), finish my wine and start my chores.

And by the way, I MUST mention that I was able to go on a girls-only night with some of my great friends this past Wednesday. We laughed about random stuff over martinis and wine and soaked in a few brief moments of no responsibility except to help each other enjoy the moment. We hit Kohl's because of a cherished 30% off coupon that one of the girls had. We were shopping at 11:00 at night because we could. Oh, it was so refreshing! Margaret, Kara, and Jenn - you girls are irreplaceable.

Ethan eats some cake!!!

Here's a video of Ethan eating his first piece of cake on his birthday. Please excuse the accidental picture taken in the middle of the video. And please excuse my over-excited voice in the background, but I just couldn't get over the fact that Ethan was sucking his thumb while holding the cake...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My boy is one!

It was about this time last year when I held my baby boy in my arms for the first time. I love him so much...more than I did in those first moments when I thought my heart would explode with love for him. Happy Birthday, buddy. You're such a delight to me!