Sunday, September 30, 2007

I've been tagged

I've been tagged by Terri
to do this meme. Here goes:

What was I doing 10 years ago:
I was doing daycare for 2 families. Nick was 5 years old and was just starting kindergarten. He was our only child and we were in the process of starting the adoption process for Arianna.

What was I doing 5 years ago:
Nick was 10 and Arianna was 4. I was still doing daycare for only 1 family at that point. Halle had just been born but wasn't home yet- she was still in Russia and I knew nothing of her at that point. We thought our family was complete and had no idea what God had in mind for us! He must just laugh at our plans some times!!

What was I doing 1 year ago:
I was doing daycare (do you see a theme here??). Nick was 14 and Arianna was 8 and Halle was 4. My life was pretty similar to what it is now- the biggest difference is that I wasn't working as a real estate assistant at the time. I'm very thankful for that opportunity now. It wasn't easy learning that job- but now I love it!

What I did yesterday:
I went over to Julie's house and we made dinners for Michelle (our very good friend)- her brother and wife and her mom. Our minister (Michelle's dad) is in the hospital awaiting for a triple bypass surgery on Tuesday. We felt kind of helpless and wanted to do something so that's what we came up with. At night Mark and I went out for supper by ourselves.

5 snacks that I love:
chocolate, cheesecake (I don't know if that's considered a snack or not), orange julius, peaches and ice cream.

If I won 100 million what are 5 things I'd do:
pay off everything, help Nick pay for college, buy new vehicles (and Mark could finally get a new truck!) take my sisters on a cruise, take Michelle, Julie and Brenda on a cruise!

5 locations I'd love to visit:
HAWAII, Washington DC, Grand Canyon, South Carolina, Australia

5 bad habits that I have:
jumping to conclusions; a minor case of road irritability, unhealthy eating, wanting something right away, judging people

5 things I like to do
Get together with Terri on Fridays, Get together with my friends on Tuesday (Boy this sounds like I don't do anything except get together!) Go away with just 1 of my kids at a time, cook, scrapbook

5 TV shows I like to watch:
Survivor, Amazing Race, A Baby Story, Dirty jobs, Deadliest Catch

5 things I hate to do:
Clean toilets, empty the dishwasher, get the flu, go to the dentist, stop the bickering between children

5 biggest joys at the moment:
My family, Knowing Mari got to see Andy graduate, something that's happening in my basement which I'll elaborate on in a later post, Knowing God's plan is perfect for my life even when I'm not understanding it, FALL AND COOLER TEMPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I agree with Terri- this was a long meme but it's a really great way to get to know each other a little better. I'm tagging a couple of my newer blogging friends:
Angela and LeighAnn

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Friday, September 28, 2007

A sad time

Tonight is sad for us. Mark's step sister Leslie passed away this afternoon. Leslie was 38 and a wife and mom to 5 kids. She died of breast cancer.
I apologize to those of you that already have this background info- but for the rest I'm going back a bit...
Leslie and her husband got sucked into a cultish religion a few years back. They didn't believe in Dr's. She found a breast lump a couple years ago and did nothing. At the end of last year she completely collapsed and they ended up taking her in an ambulance to the Dr. She would only get pain meds and at that time she only had 1 rib left- the cancer had completely eaten away the other rib. It was only at that time that the family found out about her cancer. Don (Mark's step dad) and Mark's mom tried over and over again to get her to see the truth about this cult but she would have none of it. The really sad thing is that she was brought up in a Christian home and just turned her back on the truth. We have been praying for her and her family but never saw any changes in their thinking. This past week she was pretty much out of it and was unresponsive when Don and Mom spoke to her. However when they would read the Bible to her she would start crying. It is our prayer that somehow God touched her heart at the end and she is in Heaven without pain and with a healed body. Please pray for her family. The kids are ages 5-16 and at the end she didn't recognize the youngest one and didn't want her to be around her. Please lift our whole extended family up- especially Don. After Mark's dad died we feel so blessed to have him in our lives he is such a sweet man and has already suffered the loss of his wife years ago and this is really taking a toll.
The funeral will be Tuesday- I don't know what to expect at all so please pray that God will give me the right words to say.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

That's My King

This was played at church awhile back and I just love it! Close your eyes and let the words speak to you- YES- THAT'S MY KING!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Slow Cooking Thursday

It's time for another crock pot recipe. To me this recipe just screams fall. I just love coming home to the wonderful smell of apples and cinnamon- followed closely by eating one of these delicious apples!
For more great recipes go visit Sandra!


6 large baking apples - (to 8) Rome or York
2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon butter melted
3 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 caramels

Peel and core apples . Drizzle with lemon juice and butter. Sprinkle with sugar and spices. Drop 1 caramel in the center of each apple. Cover and cook on:

= 1 (Low) for 4 hours. = Auto Shift™ 3 hours. = 2 (High) 2 hours.

Makes 6 servings.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Stay tuned... The big let down

Ok here's what was going on. Keep in mind- I told you that you would be dissapointed...
Halle's hair had been driving me crazy lately. It was getting really long, snarly and it always looked messy. The big decision was that I was pretty sure we were going to cut it short. Cutting it short was a huge decision for me to make because we've been growing it for so long

So I made an appointment and we made a big deal out of the fact that we were going to a beauty salon! We got there and my hair stylist thought we should leave it long! She did cut about 3 inches off of it and I do think it looks better. Sorry to let you all down- I thought I was going to be posting today about a huge change in hairstyles- I guess not!

*****I can't believe this but we're going to a different lady for another haircut at 3:30 today- I met with my friends for lunch today and they all agreed with me that I should cut it short! I'll post pictures when we get home!*********************

I think I like it- I'd like to play around with it a little with barrettes, curling it etc.... However she's completely done with me fiddling with her hair for the day so it'll have to wait. She loves her last hair cut so I guess that's what matters most!

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Stay tuned......

I'm posting this Monday night. Tomorrow at 11:00 we have something big (well kind of big)happening- that is requiring a decision on my part. Check back tomorrow afternoon- probably after 3:00 and see what's transpired.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Things that make me smile

Angela has tagged me for a meme-10 Things that make me smile. Here's my list in no particular order:

1. Fall- I absolutely love fall- the cooler temps, fall food, seeing the leaves change color. It's my favorite time of year.
2. Every now and then Halle will call me "mumma". I'm not sure why that touches my heart so much- probably because it makes her still seem small to me. It's so hard to see your last one getting so big!
3. Seeing all 3 kids playing nicely together. I only wish it happened more often than it does!
4. When I see my kids showing kindness to others
5. Watching Mark come home and seeing the kids run to him and shreek with excitement.
6. Praise and Worship time at church. We are blessed to have an awesome praise band at church and they do just a great job of leading us in worship without it being about them.
7. Seeing my dad so happy again. After my mom died 4 years ago he did ok taking care of himself but he wasn't happy. It's awesome how God has brought Ann into his life and seeing how happy they are together.
8. Thinking of my sister Mari getting to see Andy and his graduation from Boot camp on Friday. We have missed him terribly but we're so very proud of him and I can't wait to see pictures!!
9. A good joke- I love to laugh- I think it's one of God's biggest blessings to us!
10. The thought that Survivor is back on- Sorry but I love that show- Thursday nights are big at our house!!

I tag Julie, Brenda and Terri

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Nice Matters

I was awarded the "Niceness Matters" award. Thanks Mari- I couldn't think of a nicer person to receive this award from!
I'd like to pass this on to a couple of people:
Jillian at Blog Me Til Midnight I recently came across her blog and I'm really enjoying it!

Leslie at The Wright Girls
Check out her blog- she puts the cutest things on there and Terri, Mari and I have all enjoyed getting to know her through the "blogging world"

Lastly I'd love to award this to Angela at Refresh My Soul
I consider it an honor to have gotten to know Angela through this blog. She is a wonderful Christian woman who has a real heart for serving Christ.

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Don't Blink

How does this happen? It seems like it was just yesterday and my first baby was turning 1! Now he just turned 15 and has started a job and is in high school. I feel like I've started a new phase in my life of having to let Nick go a little. It really feels like it's only been about 5 years since we had him. Where does the time go?
I heard this song yesterday and I think it sums how I'm feeling up.
You're going to have to go to the next post to get the song- blogger is being difficult!

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Kenny Chesney-Don't Blink

Kenny Chesney Lyrics - Don’t Blink Lyrics

I turned on the evening news
Saw an old man being interviewed
Turning a hundred and two today
They asked him what’s the secret to life
He looked up from his ol’ pipe
Laughed and said,
“All I can say is”

Don’t blink
Just like that
You’re six years old and you take a nap
And you wake up and you’re twenty-five
And your high school sweetheart becomes your wife
Don’t blink
You just might miss your babies growing like mine did
Turning into moms and dads
Next thing you know
Your better half of fifty years is there in bed
And you’re praying God takes you instead
Trust me friend
A hundred years goes faster than you think
So but don’t blink

I was glued to my TV
When it looked like he looked at me
And said,
“Let’s start putting first things first”
‘Cause when your hourglass runs outta sand
You can’t flip it over, start again
Took every breath God gives you, for what it’s worth


So I been trying to slow it down
I been trying to take it in
In this here today, gone tomorrow world we’re living in


Now, don’t blink
Don’t blink
Life goes faster than you think
Don’t blink
Life goes faster than you think
Don’t blink
Don’t blink
Life goes faster than you think

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday

It's time for this weeks "Works for Me Wednesdays"
My tip is a formula to clean your furniture or cupboards. You know the scum that gets on the arm rests of your chairs and where your hands touch the cupboards? I have the cure for that: I got this recipe from my furniture store and it's amazing. My cupboards look new again!

Mix 1 part Old English
with 2 parts Guardsman Cream Concentrate Furniture Polish. Then you take a green and yellow Chore Boy scrubbing pad. With the scrubbing side wipe the paste all over the wood that you are cleaning. Let it dry for a few minutes. Then take a cloth diaper or a very soft cloth and buff it off. You will be amazed at the shine left!
For more ideas go to Shannons

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Purple, sticky fingers

We have grapes in our backyard. The goal is to have enough to can grape juice. I have a great recipe and it's so easy to make.
My problem is below:

I'm wondering if I'm going to have enough to even can because every time I look outside their is a little grape thief wondering around my vines!
Oh well- at least she's snacking on healthy foods right?

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Blog Award

I was awarded the "You make me smile" award. Thanks Terri!
I'm going to pass this award on to Karli
I love her blog because they've just adopted a baby and it's so touching to read her updates on her new family. She's also a great photographer and her pictures make me smile also!

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Birthday Treats

Here are the Birthday kids with their goodies. Arianna chose to go to Chuckee Cheese and then go to Build a Bear and get a Bear and a new outfit for her bear. Turned out really cute didn't it! She also got some lip gloss and a set of 10 earrings.
Nick got a computer game from the girls and from us he got money to put toward a WII!
He had to pay for the vast majority of it but he was so excited when I told him he could get it. I don't think he'll get too addicted to it because he really won't have time now that he is working and has homework to do when he gets home from work.

My only fear is that I'll never see Mark again~hee hee!
They had great Birthdays now I have a little time until November when Mark and Halle are only 3 days apart!

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Nick's 15 today!

Again today we have a guest blogger: Mark is taking over today for Nick's Birthday:
Happy Birthday Nick! You're 15 and almost ready to drive~ You're starting work too which means that we may have less time to spend with you. I just want you to know how much I love you and how proud of you I am for the decisions you make.
I can't wait to take you out hunting again this year and spend that time together.
You have grown into a person that really cares about others before your self. Keep growing in your relationship with Jesus and keep showing His love to others. I am so very proud of you!
I hope you have a great day! Love dad

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Happy Birthday Arianna!

I have a guest blogger today! Halle is going to blog todays entry for Arianna's Birthday!

Happy Birthday Arianna. I hope you have a nice Birthday and I hope you will be happy and it will be a nice day for your birthday. You are a really nice sister and I like to play with you. You are a great sister. I like it when you clean the room and when you help me draw things. I really love you. Halle

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I'm not sure but.......

Last night I had a dream. I dreamed that I was out in a field with Halle and I noticed she was standing by a rattlesnake. She kept going by it and all of a sudden I realized she was going to grab it so I quick grabbed it first and I had a little battle with the rattlesnake and ended up getting bitten.
Then we had to call the Dr. and we quickly went in and in my dream I remember looking at my bite mark on my hand and it looked really bad and I thought I better get a picture of this and blog it!
I took a blogging quiz awhile back but I can't find the results- I do remember that I didn't score extremely high- that I was obsessed with blogging. I'm just wondering if I'm dreaming about blogging perhaps the results weren't very accurate!

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Slow Cooking Thursday

This is a recipe that I love but don't get to make it often. My husband and therefor my kids won't eat the beans that are in this. Hope you all enjoy!!
1 lb chicken, cut up into small chunks (I like to use boneless breasts for their "ease" and lower fat content)
1 cup chopped onion
1 can (or the equivalent) chicken broth
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
2 tsp Cumin seed (ground will not withstand long cooking as well)
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
3 -15oz cans white beans (great northern or cannellini), drained and rinsed
1 bag shredded cheese- I use Monterey Jack
In a 4 or 6 quart crockery cooker combine all ingredients.

Let cook on low (approx. 3-5 hours, depending on your schedule)
Serve with tortilla chips.

Head on over to Sandras
for more slow cooker recipes

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Is God trying to get your attention?

Tonight I happened to look outside as the sun was setting. This is what I saw. I love skies like this. I just feel like God is saying to me "Hear I am- do you see me?" Sometimes I feel like Satan uses lifes busyness to keep us preoccupied. It's so easy to get busy with all the everyday things and we don't notice God is trying to get our attention. How many times have I missed God speaking to me or wonderful opportunities that God has for me because I'm not paying attention? I'm thankful for reminders like this that really speak to me because unfortunately I need more reminders than I'd like to admit!

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Monday, September 10, 2007


I just checked back and Amy passed away shortly after 4 today.
Please lift up her husband Brandon and her little boy Gary and the rest of her family as obviously this is going to be a very difficult time.

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Please pray

I've posted about Amy Wilhoite before- she is in a battle for her life right now fighting leukemia. Here is her blog.
I'm writing this Monday night and they don't know if she'll make it through the night.
Please lift up this family in your prayers. They are truly an example of living your faith. They have never questioned that this was the path the God had planned for their lives- they are really an amazing couple.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007


Arianna started her soccer season this past Saturday. I don't quite know what to say about her team. Let me put it this way- the score was 10-0 not in our favor. Now I'm not one of those competitive moms and I don't have a problem losing- in fact I think it's good for them once in awhile. However whoever put these teams together I don't think did a good or fair job. I don't think it's good for the kids to feel defeated every week either. Our team is all really small kids and it's looking like it's going to be a long season. I'm not counting us out yet but it's really not looking good either!
We'll see what next week brings.

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Friday, September 07, 2007


I just had to blog this....
So it's just me and Halle. I'm sitting here checking my emails and my blogs that I read and she's playing barbies right next to me. The room is completely silent- I only hear the clock ticking and then I hear Halle say to herself "It's really quiet in here I think I'll start talking soon!"
She wasn't talking to me she was talking to herself. Too cute!!

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The scary conversation

Last week I took the girls to crazy bounce for a fun outing. On the car ride when we were done Arianna told me that I had really been good to them that week. I was surprised and told her thank you for noticing- because I feel like alot of time they just take it for granted to do fun things. A few minutes later Halle pipes up from the back seat- "yes- I think you're a lot better than our other mom" (meaning their birth mom)
It caught me off gaurd and before I could respond Arianna looks me square in the eyes and says to me "Why was it that my other mom gave me away?"
big gulp on my part......
We've had this conversation before- we've always been totally upfront with the girls about the fact that they're adopted. It doesn't help though that we've talked about this before- my stomach always drops. I feel like I want to be so careful with this conversation- I don't want to mess this very sensitive topic up!
I stopped the van and we had a conversation that went something like: It wasn't that your mom didn't want you- she loved you so much that she knew that she couldn't give you a good home and be the mommy that you needed. And the really wonderful thing was that God knew that you were going to need a family and that we were going to need a Arianna and He had that all worked out already for us!
I can tell that she's been thinking about this alot lately- I feel like she's testing me right now to see if I really love her.
I debated for many days whether I should post about this or not but my conclusion was that someday down the road I hope Arianna reads this post and will see that I did love her and do love her even through the rough times and I'm so blessed to have her as my daughter!

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Are you ready??

I ran across the Farmers Almanac prediction for our area for this coming winter:

The 2008 Farmers’ Almanac long-range forecasts are calling for colder than normal conditions for the eastern half of the country – chiefly those areas east of the Mississippi –with snowier than normal conditions expected.

I really like the snow- although I'm glad I live in a place where the seasons change.
I'm always ready for winter but by the time it's March I'm getting ready for warmer temps again. Sounds like we might want to be ready for a little more snow than normal this year- they say that their predictions are correct 85% of the time.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

First Day

Today Halle went off to Kindergarten. She was so very excited. The first words out of her this morning as she hopped out of bed was "Yeah- it's the first day of School!"
Hopefully that excitement continues all year long. I think it will she loved school last year too!

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

My new look

I feel like a new woman! Isn't my blog fabulous! I'm so excited to have a new look here. If anyone is looking for a blog makeover I HIGHLY recommend Jennisa. She is absolutely wonderful to work with and very very inexpensive!
What do you all think?

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And she's off!

Arianna started 3rd grade today. She wanted me to bring her to school today but I told her on the first day it's important to ride the bus to get familiar with that routine and for the bus driver to know who to expect at the bus stops.
That was the plan at least.....

I got Nick off fine and then it came time to head out with Arianna. We got out there 20 minutes before the bus was supposed to get here. We waited and waited and waited. Finally I called to a friend around the corner and she informed me that the bus had come very early already.
So Arianna got her wish. I must have just missed the bus. Tomorrow morning we'll be out there even earlier!
Here she is ready to go for the day- doesn't she look so cute!! She's getting so old aready.. sigh.....

Hard work-but worth it

We got a nice gift from my dad since he got married. We got his nice oak table since they're going to be using Anne's. It's a really nice table but there were a few places that blemishes were starting to show because they didn't put a protective cover on the top. They always just kept a tablecloth on it, but I didn't want that on all the top- I want to see that beautiful oak!
So this weekend we refinished the table. I was so nervous! It really went well. We sanded it down to bare wood and then re-stained it and put a protective coat or coats as the case was on top.
It turned out so beautiful! We are so happy with the finished product.
The first picture is the 2nd coat of stain. We had to combine a couple stains to get the color we wanted.

This is the finished product- It has such a beautiful shine now!