Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Savings


I'm sure most of you are looking for deals, just as I am. A friend blogged about Cellfire earlier this year. I have to admit, I only used this service one time, but I was amazed at how easy it was to use. I need to try and use it more often.


Cellfire is a free service that allows you to load coupons, for local stores, directly onto your store savings card. All you do is access cellfire from your computer or mobile device. You can then save grocery coupons onto your savings card or non grocery coupons onto your mobile device. There is no longer a need for printing the coupons. When you buy those items at the grocery store the coupons are automatically deducted from your total or for non grocery items just show the coupon (on your mobile device) to the cashier. How simple is that? You can also print out a list of all the items you have added to your grocery savings card so that you remember what you added.


Let me know if you are already using this service and how it works for you.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas and Birthday

We had a wonderful Christmas. We enjoyed spending time with family and the gifts were an extra special treat. The boys were so much fun this year. Keegan kept repeating "this is the best Christmas ever." Truitt loved each gift he got. He was so excited about each one that he actually cried when we tried to take it away so he could open the next one. He finally got into it though and had a blast. We consider ourselves very blessed!

We celebrated Truitt's 2nd birthday yesterday. It was a great party with family and friends. When Truitt woke up Sat. morning the first words out of his mouth were "happy." He was trying to tell us that it was Happy Birthday. He then showed Chris how to blow (blow out candles) and immediately pointed to his mouth. He was ready to blow out candles and eat cake.

Today was his actual birthday. We had a great day together as a family just taking it easy.

We love our little man. He is so opinionated. He definitely knows what he wants. Someday that will prove to be a huge asset for him. It is very obvious that he loves his family. I love the little kisses he gives and the big grunts he makes as he trys to squeeze us hard as he hugs us. Most days he asks for Keegan and Daddy first thing when he wakes up from his nap. He loves his cars and balls. He is definitely a little boy! Truitt, I think God for you and can't wait to see what he has in store for you this next year!!! Happy 2nd Birthday, Snugga!!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Meme














I stole this from Kristen. I can't wait to see everyones answers.


Eggnog or hot chocolate? hot chocolate


Does Santa wrap the presents or leave them open under the tree? There is usually a large gift left unwrapped for each child and then a few wrapped from Santa.


Colored lights on tree or white? White!

Do you hang mistletoe? No

When do you put decorations up? The day after Thanksgiving. I want to enjoy them as long as possible.

What's your favorite holiday dish? Christmas Eve Potatoes...YUM!

Do you open gifts Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Chris and I each grew up with the tradition of opening one gift on Christmas Eve. We continued this tradition when we got married and now do it with our boys. We always get new pajamas. Everything else is opened Christmas morning.

How do you decorate your tree? We also grew up with a tradition of getting a new ornament every year. This is something that we enjoy doing. It is so much fun to pull out our ornaments every year and remember all the great memories that are attached to each one. It is fun to see what ornament each family member will pick each year. They usually represent something that we enjoy or something that has happened in the last year.

Snow. Love it or hate it? Love it...as long as I don't have to go out in it.

Can you ice skate? I don't think I have ever tried.

What's your favorite holiday desserts? How do you choose just one?

What's your favorite holiday tradition? I am all about tradition. I love each one. I wouldn't ever think about changing anything we do!

Candy Canes- yum or yuck? I'm not a huge fan of candy canes. I hate the sticky mess. I do like a little peppermint flavor in certain things though.

Favorite show? All the old animated Christmas classics....Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Charlie Brown Christmas......

Friday, December 18, 2009

Creation and Souls

I just read this post on facebook from Randy Alcorn and it got me thinking.

"What message do we send secular people when we dismiss environmental
concerns? What credibility do we have when we say we love the Creator, but
aren’t concerned about creation? We can disagree about global warming &
should never worship creation. But if they see us leading the way in reasonable
care for God's world it ...can build relationships, open doors to the gospel.
“The Lord rejoices in all he has made!” Ps 104:31"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

lack of pictures

I have so many pictures that I have wanted to share over the last several months, but I am having problems with my computer. All of my pictures sit on my camera. I need to figure out a way to get them off of my camera. My hard drive is full and my laptop is having so many problems. I wish I could share some of the cute pictures of my family. Maybe someday I will be able to share pictures again. Until then, I will post without pictures.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Readers

Mostly I blog so that I can remember what is going on in our life. It is also a great reminder of how God is working in our lives. Sometimes I wonder though if I should just journal. Is anyone reading this blog anymore?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Meal


I love tradition! Every year I grew up with the same holiday meals. I look forward to it every year. I am one that does not like to mess with tradition. Why mess with it if it is working?


Well, I am adding something new to our holiday meal this year. I almost feel like a trader saying that. LOL! I stumbled across a salad recipe last year and fell in love with it. I will be adding it to our Christmas Eve dinner. It is a simple, refreshing and festive salad. Some might consider it a dessert since it has whip cream, but I still consider it a salad :)


Cranberry, Grape, Pineapple Salad


2 cups fresh cranberries

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of red grapes

1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped

1/2 cup broken walnuts (optional)

1 small can pineapple tidbits, drained


Put cranberries through the food grinder, using coarse blade. Or chop in processor. Stir in sugar. Let stand overnight.


Next morning, drain well, pressing lightly to remove excess juice. Cut grapes in half and remove seeds if necessary. Add grapes, pineapple and nuts to well-drained cranberry mixture. This much may be done ahead. Refrigerate.


Just before serving, fold in the whipped cream.


Serve immediately. Recipe doubles easily.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Useless Finds

We just had a repair man here to fix our refrigerator (there was a recall on it). While he had it pulled out I had the chance to clean behind/under it. It is sandwiched between two cabinets and has never been pulled out before, so I was afraid of what we might find under there.

We found many cheerios, vitamins, tons of dust bunnies and a check. Yes, a check! This check was almost 6 years old and was $1,000. How did we never notice a $1,000 check was missing???? I still can't believe this. Not only was the check for a significant amount of money and very old, but the person that wrote that check has now been dead for a number of years. I guess we weren't meant to have that money.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankfulness


I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Thank you God for the many blessings that you have given us! I am thankful for a wonderful, loving and giving family, an amazing church, faithful friends and sacrificial love of my Savior!!!! (among many other things).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Great Reminder

I heard a new song on the radio today as I prepared for our busy weekend. I didn't catch much of the song...I don't even know who sings it or what the title is, but one line hit me.

would you dare to believe
That you still have a reason to sing
Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling
It can’t compare to the joy that’s coming

What a great reminder that nothing can compare to the joy that come from God! That helps put everything in perspective.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Give and Take Away

Once again God used music to speak to me. This time he used the same song I blogged about here.

I do feel like I could give up my stuff to follow God. I feel as though this tough time in my life has been a time of reflection to see if I was really willing to give it all away and still remain joyful. I can truly say that I would be ok if we lost everything. That is until I heard these two simple lines again....

Anything I would give up for You
Everything I give it all away

God spoke to me. Am I really willing to give up EVERYTHING? Is there something that I am holding so closely that I am not willing to let go of it? I realized there was. I knew right then and there what it was. Through the tough times I have found myself saying "wow, sometimes I feel like Job." Then I would follow it up by saying "God, just don't take my children!"

Why is it that I could give up all my earthly possessions but somehow I am not willing to trust God with my most cherished blessings? I know that I need to open my palms and give my children to God. He has blessed me with them and they are His.

I don't know if I could say that I would be joyful if God chose to take my children from me. I am struggling with this. Losing my children is the last thing that I want to think about, but I know that God wants me to be willing to give up EVERYTHING. Please pray with me as I wrestle with this. I want to be able to say that I truly would give up EVERYTHING for my God!!!!!

God has used this season of my life to strip me of my pride. I know that all we have is a blessing from God and he can take them away at any moment. I have learned to be content with the here and now. God has proven himself faithful. He is my Jehovah-Jireh. I have become fully reliant on Him. Even though this season has been challenging it has been filled with joy. I would not trade this tough time for anything. I have noticed a change in my spirit that I thank God for it!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Impact of Music

It was just another average morning. I got up got the boys fed and dressed and then it was off to school. As we started driving I turned on whatever CD happened to be in the player and we began singing. I dropped Keegan off at school and Truitt and I headed home. We continued listening to the CD and singing.

Once again, God used music to speak to me. He seems to use the music that I am most familiar with and listen to all the time. I'm noticing that it is the music that I would least expect to impact me. Maybe that is because I am so familiar with it. I tend to listen and sing without really thinking about what I am singing. When I take the time to stop and think about the words and what they really mean it hits me.

This day was no different. As I pulled into our driveway I found myself in tears (over a song that I would never expect to make me cry). When I stopped to think about the words I was singing, and the truth in those words, it hit me. It is so easy for me to lose perspective of what this life is all about. I was made to know God and to Glorify Him!!! All the other details of life don't really matter in the grand scheme of things. The part that got me most were those last two lines. They seems so simple and easy to say, but am I really willing to live the words I was singing? Yes, I want to live my life in such a way that my God comes before everything. I count all these other things as blessings from Him. They can all be stripped away at anytime and I don't want my happiness/joy to hinge on those things, because when they are stripped away I will still have joy. Joy that can only be found in God.

Are you dying to know what CD/song we were listening to? It is nothing groundbreaking or life altering, but God used it to speak to me, and that is all that matters. I slowed down long enough to listen to my God. The CD was Toby Mac's "Portable Sounds" CD and the song was "Made to Love."

Tobymac - Made To Love From the album Portable Sounds

The dream is fading now I am staring at the door
I know it’s over cause my feet have hit the cold floor
Check my reflection, I ain’t feeling what I see
It’s no mystery

What ever happened to a passion I could live for?
What became of the flame that made me feel more?
And when did I forget…

Chorus:
That I was made to love You
I was made to find You
I was made just for You
Made to adore You
I was made to love and be loved by You
You were here before me
You were waiting on me
And You said You’d keep me never would You leave me
I was made to love
And be loved by You

The dreams alive with my eyes open wide
Back in the ring You got me swingin’ for the grand prize
I feel the haters spittin’ vapors on my dreams
But I still believe…

I’m reachin’ out, reachin’ up, reachin’ over
I feel a breeze cover me called Jehovah
And Daddy I’m on my way…

Chorus:
Anything I would give up for You
Everything I give it all away

Thursday, October 8, 2009

We Shall Not Be Shaken

I don't have much to share these days. Sometimes God uses music to speak to my heart and this is one of those seasons. I share these songs hoping that they may speak to you also.

"We Shall Not Be Shaken" by Matt Redman

When everything's breaking
You are left unshaken
When everything's tumbling down
You're the solid ground
Nations could be quaking
Economies failing
When fear is found all around
You're the solid ground

Our God, You are all that You say You are
You never change, You never fail, You never fade
Our God, You are faithful in all Your ways
Forever You stand, forever You reign, forever remain
And we shall not be shaken

We shall, we shall not be shaken
We shall, we shall not be shaken
When all around is sinking sand
For You are, You are never changing
You are, You are never changing
You will stand, the Great I am

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Being Content

In the midst of all the things that we are dealing with God has really been speaking to me about being content where I am. I am learning to be content with God and God alone. This has not been easy, but I am in process.



The song "Voice of Truth" by Casting Crowns has really spoken to me. Especially the chorus. God is calling out to me. He tells me not to be afraid. I know he will use my circumstances for his glory. I just need to remind myself of that daily (sometimes hourly). I need to listen to my God and not the lies that this world throws at me. Thank you God for proving yourself to be faithful time and time again!!!




Oh,what I would do to have

the kind of faith it takes

To climb out of this boat I'm in

Onto the crashing waves

To step out of my comfort zone

Into the realm of the unknown

Where Jesus is,

And he's holding out his hand



But the waves are calling out my name

and they laugh at me

Reminding me of all the times

I've tried before and failed

The waves they keep on telling me

time and time again

"Boy, you'll never win,

you'll never win."



But the Voice of truth tells me a different story

the Voice of truth says "do not be afraid!"

and the Voice of truth says "this is for My glory"

Out of all the voices calling out to me

I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth



Oh, what I would do

to have the kind of strength it takes

To stand before a giant

with just a sling and a stone

Surrounded by the sound

of a thousand warriors

shaking in their armor

Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand



But the giant's calling out

my name and he laughs at me

Reminding me of all the times

I've tried before and failed

The giant keeps on telling me time

and time again

"Boy you'll never win,

you'll never win.



"But the voice of truth tells me a different story

the Voice of truth says "do not be afraid!"

and the Voice of truth says "this is for My glory"

Out of all the voices calling out to me

I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth



But the stone was just the right size

to put the giant on the ground

and the waves they don't seem so high

from on top of them looking down

I will soar with the wings of eagles

when I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus

singing over me



But the Voice of truth tells me a different story

The Voice of truth says "do not be afraid!"

And the Voice of truth says "this is for my glory"

Out of all the voices calling out to me (calling out to me)

I will choose to listen and believe (I will choose to listen and believe)

I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth



I will listen and believe

I will listen and believe the Voice of truth

I will listen and believe 'Cause Jesus you are the Voice of truth

And I will listen to you.. oh you are the Voice of truth

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Moonbeam Award


Chris' first novel won the Moonbeam Award. You can read all the details on his blog.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Book Release


9/9/09 ~ This is a day we have been waiting for! I can't believe it is finally here. Chris and his brother, Allan, have missed many hours of sleep over this book. They have worked endlessly and painstakingly to ensure that this book is the best it can be. I am so proud of all they have accomplished!!!! Check out Hunter Brown and the Consuming Fire

Monday, July 27, 2009

Update

Chris finally received a call from the Dr. office. He does have degenerative discs in the upper part of his neck. The Dr. didn't think it was bad enough to warrant surgery at this point. He would like Chris to do 6-8 weeks of physical therapy and see if that helps. Chris will continue taking his meds while he does the therapy. Hopefully after therapy he will no longer need the meds on a regular basis and will be able to function on a somewhat normal basis. Please pray with us that the therapy would be successful.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Prayers



Thank you to all of you that were praying for Chris, and our family, this weekend!!!! He went to his Dr. this morning. The Dr. looked at the ex-ray, of his neck, that was taken this weekend and wants a closer look. He wants Chris to have an MRI. This should be scheduled in the next couple of days. Without the results of the MRI the Dr. is just guessing that he might have degenerative discs in his neck. For now, Chris is on anti-inflammatory meds and pain pills. Hopefully we will have more answers soon and know what the course of action will be. Please continue to pray that the pain will subside so that Chris can focus on all the work that he needs to accomplish.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ten Gallon Sam


We just heard that Ten Gallon Sam was listed as one of Focus on the Family's 10 Family-Friendly Picture Books from 2008. What an honor that is! I am so proud of Chris and his brother, Allan. God has blessed them with an amazing talent and it is great to see them using it to glorify him.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Yet Another Use


Last night I was watching Food Detectives on the Food Network. One of the things they were testing is to see if wood cutting boards harbor more bacteria than plastic ones (even after being washed). They proved that wood cutting boards are actually, slightly, less likely to harbor bacteria. They still had a little bacteria on them, but not as much as the plastic ones. They weren't really sure why that was, but one of the theories was that the wood could pull the bacteria deeper into the cutting board so that it was no longer in contact with the top cutting service.


They stressed the importance of disinfecting your cutting board. The most common way to do this is to use a bleach/water solution. Now, anyone that knows me knows my aversion to bleach. In fact, I don't have any bleach in my house. Bleach is one of the worst chemicals you could actually have in your home!!! But, they did offer another solution. I was delighted when I heard it! This is an item that I use all the time around my house and couldn't wait to disinfect my cutting boards :) What is it? VINEGAR!!! There you go, another use for that great, inexpensive, acidic condiment.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Harvest Time


Keegan and I have been watching our garden grow and blossom. It is fascinating to watch the veggies slowly grow into something that will be edible. We have been keeping an eye on our zucchini and cucumber plants. We have had a few zucchini that were almost ready to pick. I went out to the garden, tonight, and found that those zucchinis had a growth spurt over the last couple of days. I picked 3 good size zucchinis. Keegan and I will be baking with them tomorrow. He is super excited to use the veggies out of our own garden. We also have tomatoes on our plants, but it will be a while before they are big enough to pick (or ripe enough). There's just nothing like produce straight from the garden! :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Comments

It was recently brought to my attention that only certain people could leave comments on my blog. I checked the settings and fixed them so that anyone can now leave a comment. Thanks for the heads up Susan. Let me know if it still doesn't work.

18 Months

I can hardly believe that Truitt is 18 months old already. Boy, the time really does fly by faster with a second child!!

Truitt is growing like a weed. A very strong, healthy and TALL weed. :) We had his 18 month appt. this morning. I was very excited to see how much he had grown in the last 3 months. Our "little" tank is now 3 feet tall (36 inches). This puts him at the average height of a 30 month old. Yes, I said that right a 30 month old. Just to put it into perspective....Keegan was 37 inches at 3 years old. So, do you think Truitt will be a tall man when he grows up? I believe he will be at least 6 feet tall. He also weighed in at 29 lbs. That is the 90th percentile.


He seems to be learning so many new things lately. This last week he learned to climb up the ladder onto the playset. The child seems to have very few fears. He loves to cuddle and loves to be a goofy little man, especially if it makes others laugh.


Here is something he discovered last night. He figured out that he can fit two binks in his mouth at the same time.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Our Little Book Worm

Keegan loves to read. It is amazing to see how quickly he is picking up the art of reading. I love to watch him read a book and then ask him questions about the story after he has finished. I really didn't think he would comprehend each story he was reading since he has to work at sounding out some of the words still. He never ceases to amaze me. He can tell you all about the story when he is finished. He has said from the beginning of this last school year that all he wanted to do is learn to read so that he could write stories like his daddy. Well, he is on his way. There is a ton of reading going on and he is always writing little stories. Maybe one day I can share one of his little stories with you all. I never dreamed that my 4 year old would be learning to read.


video

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A quick update...

I know it has been a long time since I have posted anything on my blog. Life just never seems to slow down. I went through a time where I couldn't think of anything worthy of a blog post and then when I could think of things to blog about I couldn't seem to find the time. So, I will just give a quick rundown on a few of the highlights of the last couple of months.



Chris and I were able to get away for a few days, on our first trip without kids. We traveled to Las Vegas with our friends Steve & Keren. It was great to have a little time away, but we sure missed the kids.



Keegan had his Pre-K graduation. We are very proud of him. He will be attending the same school again next year, God willing. He has learned so much this last year. He is learning to read and is almost at a 1st grade learning level.



There are many new developments in our family, but I don't have the time or energy to type them all out. My sister-in-law wrote a great post about our current situation. You can read it here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

15 Months

I took Truitt for his 15 month well baby checkup this morning. He is growing like a weed. I can't believe how big he is. He is 34" tall and 27 lb 4 oz. He is in the 80% for weight and he is off the charts for his height.

He is at a very fun age! He amazes us everyday with what he understands. It is fun to give him commands and watch him comprehend and follow through with our directions. He is also trying to imitate what we say more. He is slowly adding to his repertoire of words.

He is definitely a boy. He loves balls, trucks, hammers and music. He is our sweet little cuddler. My heart melts when he snuggles up with me.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Giveaway

My friend Keren is giving away a Sylish Nursing Cover. She has a huge inventory of handmade covers. If you are nursing, expecting or know someone who is expecting these sylish covers are wonderful. Check out her store here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Prayer

Remember the little boy that poked Keegan in the eye? I have been thinking about him a lot lately and wondering how a little boy can have so much anger. My heart is heavy for this little boy and all I can do is pray for him. I don't know what his family life is like or if he has any other exposure to Jesus than what he receives at school. I realized that I haven't seen him at school lately, so I asked Keegan's teacher, today, where little "K" was. She told me that he had been asked to no longer come to school. They have a zero tolerance on violence and this little boy was constantly acting out. I was very saddened to hear this. I feel for this little boy and his family. I can't imagine what it must be like to hear that your child is no longer welcome at school, but I fully support the decision made by the school. I want my child to be in a safe environment for learning. If you think about please pray for little "K" and his family.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hooray - Hunter Brown was #1 Book on Technorati Today!

Just thought I'd drop a quick note to let everyone know the good news. My book Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow was #1 on Technorati today for the most talked about book on blogs!

A special thanks to everyone who has been blogging about the book! :-)

See the rankings below:
http://technorati.com/pop/books/

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hunter Brown on Tour

That's right, Hunter Brown is on Tour. A blog tour that is. Chris' (and Allan) first Novel is being featured on a blog tour for the next couple of days. Check it out. Blog Tour

Monday, March 9, 2009

Lightbulb Moment

Have you ever had one of those moments where everything just clicked? I had one the other night.

I have talked about my dislike of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and how I have cut it out of my family's diet. I have also talked about how I saw a dramatic weight loss when I did so. I wasn't sure why I lost the weight. I figured it had to do with HFCS being unhealthy and not natural. I was reading "Green Goes with Everything" by Sloan Barnett and found a perfect description of how your body reacts when it consumes HFCS.

And speaking of sweeteners, look out for high fructose corn syrup. It
won't be hard. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is in most soft drinks,
many juices, and a vast array of other foods. Why? Because it is
cheaper than cane sugar and has largely replaced it since the 1970s.
But HFCS has a problem. Unlike regular sugar (sucrose), HFCS tricks
your body into thinking it hasn't yet had enough sugar, which means you eat
more. it also becomes fat in your body much faster than regular
sugar. The result? Many nutritionists and scientists believe
it's no coincidence that the skyrocketing national obesity problem parallels
the rapid growth of high fructose corn syrup as manufacturers' sweetener of
choice.

This was my "ah-ha" moment. It all makes sense now. I lost weight because my body wasn't thinking that I still needed to consume more sugar and it wasn't storing all that extra HFCS as fat.

Anyone else interested in taking the challenge of cutting HFCS out of their diet? You might be amazed at the results you see when you cut it out.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Injury

I couldn't believe what I was hearing! I had to ask Keegan to repeat himself. I asked him how he got that scab under his eye and he replied "K" took his pencil and poked me. I was shocked. I asked him what he did to "K." He replied "I was telling him that he couldn't write on that." This little boy didn't like what he was being told so he stabbed Keegan with his pencil. He just barely missed his eye. I was stunned! Of course, we talked with his teacher the next day to get the whole story. Keegan knew exactly what he was talking about. This other little boy was suspended for 2 days. Thankfully the school takes violence very seriously. I can't imagine my 4 year old being suspended. This little boy has only been at the school for a month and they definitely have their hands full with him.
Ranier Christian Middle School^Allan and Chris are visiting Ranier Christian Middle School today. We'll post up some more pictures later. If you have a school you want us to speak at send an email to authors@bookanauthornow.com to learn more about our services.
Ranier Christian Middle School^Allan and Chris are visiting Ranier Christian Middle School today. We'll post up some more pictures later. If you have a school you want us to speak at send an email to authors@bookanauthornow.com to learn more about our services.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bathtime Boys

Keegan and Truitt love to play in the tub together. Now if we can only get Keegan to stop pouring water over Truitt's head...it will be a rare moment of non-fighting.
Keegan and Truitt love to play in the tub together. Now if we can only get Keegan to stop pouring water over Truitt's head...it will be a rare moment of non-fighting.
Posting from your cell phone is fun! :-)

Ping.FM - A great way to update social networks!

I have to admit. Keeping up to date on my blogs and social networking sites has been a bit overwhelming at times. That's why I started looking for a tool that would allow me to better manage my time, by posting once to all of them.

My search turned up several solutions like Fuser.com, Minggl.com and SocialMedian.com but none of them did exactly what I was looking for. I was about to give up, when I came across Ping.fm and I have to say this is the closest thing to perfect as I can imagine.

Imagine, being able to post messages to all of your blogs and social networks with one click. Now, imagine being able to update your moods/statuses with one click as well (Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn). This is what Ping.FM offers...but it's only the beginning.

With Ping.FM I can even create customized groups of social sites that I can post to using special tags that I assign. This way, I can update my facebook and myspace blogs without updating my professional accounts on LinkedIn or my company blog.

It's a fantastic service that promises to provide quicker access to my many points of contact with friends, regardless of where they check for updates from me.

Pictures and video can also be included in your messages/blog posts, but they didn't stop there. Ping.FM takes things a step further by allowing you to post to all of your sites/blogs via txt message if you would like. Blogging on the go!

Oh yeah, did I mention its FREE! I for one am pretty excited about this tool. A must have for multi-blog, multi-profile people who are losing their minds.
I just joined the Ping.fm movement. I'm updating my blog, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter posts all from one place! Suh-weet!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Crazy 8

Ok, here goes it's all about the CRAZY 8's!



~8 favorite tv shows~
American Idol
Survivor
Rate My Space
Jon and Kate Plus 8
Dear Genevieve
Bachelor
Ace of Cakes
Barefoot Contessa


~8 things I did yesterday~
Cleaned the new freezer
Went grocery shopping
Saved a ton of money on groceries
Went to church
Put 35 lbs of meat in the freezer
Made a business call
Cleaned up after the kids
Played on the internet


~8 things I look forward to~
Vacations
Summer
Paying off our debt
Truitt learning to talk
No more diapers :) {someday}
Time away with Chris in Vegas
Working on home projects
Finishing my Scrapbook projects


~8 favorite restaurants~
Cheesecake Factory
Bahama Breeze
Olive Garden
Kimo's
Alexander's Fish and Chips (Maui)
TGI Friday's
The Ram
Athens Pizza


~8 things on my wishlist~
To be Debt Free
Disney Cruise with the kids
Vacation home in Maui
Have an Interior Designer help with decorating my house
Both of my boys to grow up and find Godly spouses
For my husband to enjoy watching HGTV with me
For a little fairy to come into my house and finish painting all the trim and doors
A new wardrobe


~People I tag~

Penny

Jenny

Danielle

Kristen



{and anyone else that would like to do it!}

Thursday, February 26, 2009

100

I finally reached 100 posts! That might not seem like much to most of you, but I never thought I was going to reach 100 :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fun at the Zoo

After the boys got their haircut on Friday we went to the zoo. Our good friends, Weston, Susan, Thatcher and Ava met us there. It was a very beautiful Feb. day (those are rare around here). The kids enjoyed just hanging out.
















Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cupcakes

Do you enjoy making cupcakes? There is an amazing giveaway at Southern Plate They are giving away a complete cupcake kit. It includes a cupcake stand, cupcake boxes, cupcake papers and sprinkles. Head on over there to enter the giveaway. You can also earn additional entries by blogging or tweeting about it.

Free Photobook

Shutterfly is offering a free 8×8 photobook (plus the cost of shipping $7.99) when you purchase the book and then type in code: PHOTOBOOKS at checkout.

This offer is good until March 10th, 2009

Thanks to Amie for the heads up.

Interview

Here is my interview with Penny

1. What is the thing that most surprises you about being a grown-up?
This one was a tough one for me. I thought for a long time about this and the only thing I could come up with is that I am actually surprised that I don't really feel like a grown-up. I still feel like that young adult that didn't have all the grown-up responsibilities. Of course, I have all those responsibilities, but somehow I still feel like a young 2o-something. My body is starting to tell me otherwise though.

2. A Chocolate or lemon dessert... which would you choose from a menu?
I would choose the lemon dessert, hands down. I like chocolate, but need to be in that chocolate mood. I LOVE fruit and would choose anything fruit flavored first. Lemon is one of my favorites for desserts too. I like that fresh taste of lemons and they remind me of summertime.

3. What's the one thing you're proudest of having accomplished in the past five years? That is an easy one for me. I am extremely proud of my two boys. I had very tough pregnancies with each of them (I more than had my fair share of morning sickness and vomit ting). I definitely couldn't top the pride I feel when I look at my two little men!


4. Floral, oriental, chypre... what perfume (if any) do you gravitate towards? Do you have a signature scent?
OK, so I had to google the word chypre. I don't think I have ever heard that word before. After reading the definition I would have to say that I gravitate towards chypre perfumes. I have worn the same scent for over 10 years. I love the light citrus and floral scent of Happy by Clinique.

5. What inspires you?
There are many things that inspire me in life. My husband and the amazing amount of creative abilities & energy he has. He never ceases to amaze me with his never ending ideas. He also seems to constantly have a positive attitude, no matter what life throws his way.

My children inspire me as I watch them learn new things. I find myself constantly amazed as I realize I am learning right alongside them.

The thing that inspires me the most is when I stop and truly reflect on the amazing gift I have been given by my Lord and Savior. It is easy to say that I accept that gift, but when I actually stop and ponder the suffering that Jesus took upon himself and the agony he faced so that I wouldn't have to, I am in awe. There is no greater gift! This amazing selfless act inspires me to give my all to God. This life is just a moment in time and before I know it I will be standing before my God and must account for all that I have done. This inspires me to live a life of love, patience, kindness, faithfulness, humbleness & gratitude.


Now, if you would like ME to interview YOU, here’s what to do:
1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will email you 5 questions.
3. You answer the questions on your blog.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Big Boy

Friday was a busy, but great day for us. I will post the happenings in separate posts over the next few days.

I took the boys to get haircuts. This was Truitt's first haircut. I had been putting it off for a long time. I just couldn't bring myself to cut off that baby hair. I knew that he would no longer have that baby look after cutting it and that he would truly move on to the Toddler stage. His hair had gotten to the stage where it was just no longer manageable. Another reason I hesitated in taking him was that he is just so stubborn and strong willed that I figured he would throw a fit and make it nearly impossible to get the job done. Boy did he prove me wrong!!! He did an amazing job! He sat in the little car and watched Elmo while getting his haircut. He now looks like a little man. What happened to my baby?
The before Picture
Getting Started
Check out how long it was!
The cute after picture :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

7 of 7

I was tagged by my friend, Amy to post the 7th picture that was in my 7th picture folder. This is a very old picture (taken in 2007) of my friend Becky. The funny thing is that it is a picture of her at her baby shower for her son Nathan, that I threw in her honor. Becky just gave birth to her second son yesterday, so this picture is very fitting. Congratulations to Becky and Andy on the birth of their second son!!!!

I tag anyone that would like to do this.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Puffed Oven Pancake

This is a very simple but yummy recipe. We love to pair it with some cooked fruit. I cook whatever fruit is in season. Tonight it was apples, but our favorite is peaches. I slice the fruit and place it in a saucepan with a little sugar and cinnamon. I let this cook while I prepare and bake the pancake. We top our pancake with the cooked fruit and a little powdered sugar. YUMMY!

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp sugar
8 eggs
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp butter


1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Use a 9x13 pan or oven proof pan. (It does raise a bit, so nothing too shallow).
3. Put butter in pan and melt in oven while pre-heating.
4. Mix all ingredients in mixer. Pour into hot pan.
5. Place pan in oven.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 mintues.


Monday, February 9, 2009

White Chili Soup

This is a very yummy soup that our family loves. We serve with grated cheese, sour cream and corn chips. If you are not a fan of spicy food cut back on the jalapenos just a little.


3 15-15.5 ounce cans great northern, pinto or white kidney beans, rinsed & drained.

2 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken

1 cup chopped onion

1 1/2 cups chopped red, green, and/or yellow sweet pepper

2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dried oregano, crushed

3 1/2 cups chicken broth


1. In a 3.5 or 4 quart crock pot combine the drained beans, chicken, onion, sweet pepper, jalapeno, garlic, cumin, salt and oregano. Stir in the broth.


2. Cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Healthy Snack Ideas

I've had a few people ask me for ideas (especially for snacks) of things we eat that do not contain High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). My kids (especially Keegan) are huge snackers. He would snack all day long if I would let him. I will try to think of as many as I can.

We eat a ton of fresh fruits and veggies. I also buy mainly frozen vegetables instead of canned.
Keegan loves "straw yogurts"
Truitt also loves yogurt (YoBaby)
We buy organic peanut butter crackers (Trader Joe's) Basically, anything organic will not contain HFCS, since it is not a natural ingredient.
Most grocery stores carry organic stuff (condiments, snacks....)
Keegan loves popcorn
Pirate Booty is another favorite around here
Flat Earth crisps are good too (we like the peach mango, wild berry patch and the apple cinnamon). We didn't like the cheddar
Yummy Earth organic fruit lollipops. We found these are Babies R Us
Nabisco Garden Harvest Toasted Chips (we have only tried the Apple Cinnamon)
Earth's Best Snack Bars (like Nutri Grain Bars)
Raisins
applesauce
cheese
Breyers Pure Fruit Bars
I also buy bread that doesn't contain HFCS like Oroweat or Franz. If you look at the ingredient lists on the Oroweat site it show that their products contain HFCS, but I have a loaf on my counter and it does not have it listed. I did find this on their site...it looks like they have changed and no longer have HFCS in their products.
Honest Kids Juice pouches is good too. I buy these at Sam's Club.

These are just a few ideas. Hopefully this will get some of you started down the path of HFCS free life. Feel free to comment with any other ideas you may have.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Birthday Celebration!

I can't believe a year has passed since I wrote this post!

Happy Birthday Keegan! Nothing pleases me more than watching you hide God's Word in your heart. It amazes me the comprehension you have of God. I love to hear you talking about praising God and giving Him glory as we go about our daily lives. May you continue to fall more in love with our Saviour every day!

Thank you God for this precious boy that you have entrusted to us! What a joy it is to watch him grow in the knowledge of you. Help us to be amazing role models of what it means to be a follower of Christ.

We love you Keegan!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dryer Sheets

What's in that dryer sheet that we are so quick to throw in every load of laundry we put in our dryers? Most of us reach for a Bounce dryer sheet (or your brand of choice) without even giving a second thought to what we are putting in with our clothing. Most of us do it because that is what we grew up doing. Why is it that we don't give a second thought about the cleaners we use around our house? Most of these things are chemicals and contain carcinogens. We usually give more thought to the things we put into our body, like food, medications and supplements. So why don't we think about the other things we are using in our homes and around our bodies?

I too was guilty of this for many years, that is until I had kids. All of a sudden I realized I was using so many things that are toxic to my kids. I didn't want to use chemicals to clean the floors they would be crawling on or the toys they put in their mouths. That is when I decided to do a little research. Here is what I found... (I will focus on dryer sheets today)

Dryer sheets are made of fiberglass and contain petroleum. Wow! I was shocked. I would never want to put fiberglass into our clothing. I found this quote on wisegeek.com

There is some concern among certain groups over the use of dryer sheets, as the
chemicals they contain are known carcinogens. The
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved their use in dryer sheets based on
the assumption that chemicals passed from clothes to the skin would not and do
not penetrate the skin. Many believe this to be an outmoded notion, pointing to
treatment "patches" such as the nicotine patch, which
relies on chemicals passing through the skin to be effective.
I couldn't believe it. The FDA assumes these chemicals will not pass
through the skin. So, in other words, they don't know for a fact that these
chemicals are safe for use on our clothes. I don't want to be a human guinea pig.
Another problem is that these toxins stay on our clothes long after they come out of the dryer. That means these chemicals are being released into the air we breathe and onto our skin as we wear our clothes.
I decided right then and there that was all the info I needed. I found an organic/natural dryer sheet that is biodegradable, fragrance free and vegetable based. I would rather be safe than sorry. It was such a simple change to make. I love the way these dryer sheets work! I can use them in multiple loads of laundry and when I am done with them I just throw them into my recycle bin. The box seems to last me forever. Remember, I have small children and do a ton of laundry.

Are you wondering what type of dryer sheet I am using or where you can get them? They are made by shaklee. Now, don't get overwhelmed by the price. At first I thought they were a little expensive too, but then I paid close attention to how long they were lasting me. One box lasts me about 5 months. Now that price doesn't seem so bad does it? I feel as though I can't really put a price on the health and safety of my family!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Superbowl

We spent Superbowl Sunday (after church, of course) at our friends Steve & Keren's house. It was a nice day just visiting with a few friends. We wish the outcome of the game had been different, but there's not much we can do about that.

Keren got a new camera for her birthday and has been having fun playing around with it. Here are a few pictures she took of us.










Monday, February 2, 2009

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Here is one of our favorite recipes for making pizza dough. I was on the quest to find on that was made with whole wheat and came across this one. I have made this dough one time without the food processor and it turned out fine.

1 package yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1 tablespoon honey

3 3/4 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup cool water

1 tablespoon olive oil

Pinch salt


1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the honey and let sit for 5 minutes, until foamy.


2. Put the flour in a food processor fitted with the stainless-steel blade. Mix the 1 cup cool water with the olive oil and salt. With the motor running, pour the olive oil mixture and the yeast slowly in through the feed tube. Process until the dough forms a ball that rides around on the blade.


3. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until double in bulk. Punch down the dough and knead it on a lightly floured surface for 1 minute. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and roll them into tight balls. Place on a tray, cover with a damp towel, and let rest for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator before use.


4. Roll or stretch each ball of dough into a 7-to-8-inch circle. Place the circles, one at a time, on a wooden peel or on a baking sheet and build the pizza as desired.


Bake at 500 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Exercise

I have decided to exercise. I wouldn't mind if I lose a few pounds in the process, but my main reason for doing it is to tone up some of those muscles that haven't been used much. More than anything I would love to get rid of that c-section flab. If I can tone up my abs, even just a little, I will be very pleased.

I have a number of friends doing the 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels, so I decided to join them. Everyday we text one another after we have completed our workout. This is a great accountability group. We are each accumulating stars on a chart for everyday that we workout. After we reach 30 stars we will reward ourselves with something. I'm not sure what that will be yet. Any ideas?


I have done 2 days so far and all I can say is "wow, it is really a workout!" My muscles are so sore. I can tell this program is doing what it promises to do. I am very excited about this and can't wait to update everyone on my progress.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Health Nut?

I know some of my friends and family think I am a crazy health nut. Yes, I have become more aware of the health of my family, especially what we are putting into our bodies. I am trying to be very careful to make the most educated decisions about our food choices, medications and supplements, household cleaners and anything else we might come into contact with. I believe that the most important thing I can do is make my home and the food within my home as healthy as possible.

The biggest change I have made is to try and eliminate High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) from our diets. This has proven to be a challenge. HFCS is in everything including soda, yogurt, ketchup, bread, crackers, fruit juices and many other things. There are so many studies out there that link HFCS to the rise in obesity and the rising numbers of people with diabetes. Just this week a new study came out that shows that HFCS contains mercury. Whether all these studies are true or not, I have decided to eliminate it from our diet. I try to purchase as many whole foods and unprocessed foods as possible. I have noticed that since I made this change I have lost about 7 lbs. Don't get me wrong. I am not a food Nazi. We still enjoy many unhealthy things on occasion.

I have also switched to all natural, organic cleaning products. We spend so much time in our home and I don't want my family to be exposed to toxins in our house. I have been using Shaklee for a couple years now and LOVE the products. I can't say enough great things about them. That is why I decided to sell them.

I will try and share a few of the simple healthy recipes that we have found and love. Please feel free to share any you may have.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Boys

I just wanted to share a new picture of the boys. I can't believe how big Truitt is getting. He is now walking and even a little running. He is starting to sign more and more. He amazes us at what he comprehends. He is a little cuddler too.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 Things About Me

I have been tagged, by Sarah, to post 25 random things about me.

1. I hate clutter, but you would never know that by looking at my house. Apparently the rest of my family doesn't mind stuff and I just can't keep up after all of them.
2. I love to cook.
3. I went to Illinois for college and only lasted one semester before returning home.
4. I would choose to eat fruit over chocolate, most days.
5. I do not like coffee.
6. I am a warm weather person.
7. If it wasn't so expensive I would move to Maui.
8. I love watching HGTV and Food Network.
9. I can't cook unless my kitchen is clean.
10. I have one sister. She is 361 days younger than me.
11. I am very concerned about the health and well being of my family.
12. I love to listen to Hymns.
13. I could eat Mexican food multiple times a week.
14. Chris and I will be celebrating our 12th anniversary this summer.
15. I have always wanted to be a mommy.
16. I love to travel.
17. I wish I were better about keeping in touch with friends around the country.
18. My favorite book of the Bible is James.
19. I have deep dimples. Growing up my mom always told me that is where the angels kissed me.
20. I have just started understanding and enjoying football in the last couple of years.
21. I love finding a deal on just about anything.
22. I enjoy taking pictures, but wish I were better at it.
23. I am not a pet person.
24. My right earlobe is torn from having an earring torn out of my ear.
25. Someday I plan on finishing all of my scrapbook projects.

Now I tag Amie, Jenny, Penny and Kristen.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ready to Read?

Keegan has been doing very well at school. He said on the very first day of school that he wanted to learn to read. He has been determined ever since. He already knew the phonetic sounds each letter made, so he was well on his way to reading. He can now sit down and read a very simple beginner book. He is also starting to write little stories. It is the cutest thing I have ever seen. He draws pictues and then labels them. He is working hard to sound out words, even if they aren't the correct spelling he has correctly spelled them using the phonetic sounds. For example....he would spell bird "burd" or he tried to do snow mobile the other day and it said "snu beo." I am so proud of him! He is growing up so fast!!!! I can't believe my 4 year old is ready to read.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My Goals for 2009


I'm not one to make New Years Resolutions, but I have set a few goals for myself this year. I like to set goals, but don't beat myself up if I don't attain them either. I am posting this so that I am putting a few of my goals into writing so that they are something my readers can keep me accountable for. Otherwise I know that it would be very easy to slack on them. Please feel free to ask me, occasionally, how they are going.


1) I am trying to live more frugally. I am searching for ways to cut back on our budget. I am always looking for great deals. I've started using coupons in hopes of saving a few dollars. I will also be making our bread instead of buying it from the store. I am loving the way the bread makes our house smell! Do you have any bread recipes you want to share with me? There are other ways I will be trying to save money, but I will try to share more later.


2) We are going to work really hard at creating a budget and staying on track. We have made so many budgets over the years, but that is as far as we get. We are terrible at sticking to them. I don't know why we even bother wasting our time creating them when we don't even look at them again. We are also toying around with the idea of going to a cash only system. It is so easy to spend money when we are using our debit card or credit cards. I think we will stop and think before handing over cash (at least that is the idea). We would really like to do a better job at paying off our debt and putting more into savings, retirement and saving for our children's educations.


There are more things that I would love to work on, but I know that I need to be realistic if I plan on doing any of them. Please hold me accountable to these things!




Friday, January 23, 2009

Beaming with Pride!

I am loving this stage with Truitt (most of the time). He is constantly learning new things. It is so much fun to watch his little personality blossom. I have been signing to him for many months now and have felt very discouraged. I think part of this was because Keegan caught on to signing when he was younger and it only took about a day before he was using sign language to converse with us. I was beginning to think that Truitt would never get it. Actually, I knew he was just being stubborn. He can sign, but usually chooses not to. He will occasionally sign more and all done. But this week has been encouraging. He has decided to finally give in and use a few signs. Earlier this week he signed milk and then today he signed please. I'm pretty sure he even tried to say the word please as he signed it :)

Frugal Living

My friend Amie has started a new website with great tips and info on frugal living. She is posting all kinds of useful information on saving money, using coupons, finding great deals. She just posted an amazing deal on Entertainment Books. You can get your entertainment book for only $2.25 (after rebates). You can find all the details here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Chris!


Today is Chris' birthday. He is the best husband I could ask for. I love to watch him interact with our boys. He loves them so much and it is very evident. Chris works hard to support us and we are very thankful for that! I love his sense of humor, his amazing imagination, his love of God and dedication to his family. Thank you for all you do for us Chris! We love you! Enjoy your special day!!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Catch Up Time

I can't believe it has been so long since I last posted! So much has happened there is no way I can write about it all.

First, we had a great Christmas! We had a wonderful time celebrating the Savior's birth. We were so spoiled (as usual). It was so much fun to watch the boy truly enjoy this special time of year. The best part was knowing that Keegan really understands the true meaning of Christmas.

Next we celebrated Truitt's 1st Birthday! I can't believe a year has passed since he entered this world. Wow! Everything just goes much faster with a second child. He is a happy boy that loves to be around people. His cute smile and big dimples brighten my day. He is feisty, opinionated, cuddly and sweet. The week of Christmas he took his first steps. He can stand for long periods of time and walk (when he wants to). Before long he will be cruising everywhere all the time.

I also missed my blogiversary. It has been more than a year since Chris created this blog while we were in the hospital, after giving birth to Truitt. I haven't updated the blog as often as I wanted to, but I will try to do better this year.

We were able to get away with Chris' family (thanks to his parents) for a few days around new years. They rented an amazing house for us to stay in. The kids had so much fun feeding the goats, sheep and pony. They also enjoyed jumping on the trampoline. It was nice to get away from all the normal pressures of life and just relax and enjoy some time away.

Currently, Chris and his brother are under a huge amount of stress. They are working night and day to finish their novel. They missed the Dec. 1st deadline the publisher had for them, but thankfully they are being very gracious and extended the deadline to the end of Jan. Please pray that they would finish this novel on time. We can't wait for it to be done so that he isn't working non stop. I have read the first part of the book and I am amazed at how good it is! Not just because he is my husband, but because it is really good. I kept finding myself saying "Wow, I can't believe how good this is and my husband wrote it!" Now I need to find time to read the first book.