Saturday, February 26, 2011

We're waiting for him to spontaneously combust at any moment.

Two Boys & A Box

Friday, February 25, 2011

 Recently, we bought a new computer, which came today. The boys, of course, took this opportunity to play with the box it came in. I don't know a kid that can resist playing with an oversized box. Don't you just love Drew's baby fangs? He is (finally) getting his two top teeth to fill in the gap. They've been causing him a LOT of grief lately.

Rob went for the contortionist method, while Drew mainly just wanted to escape. Guess it reminded him too much of his playpen (AKA "The Box of Shame").

Playing peek-a-boo with me. Drew's in Drewland somewhere.

'Ol Crazy Eyes (and hair) himself. Gosh, he's looking so grown up lately!

Drew sporting his baby fauxhawk, done by yours truly. :) It looked better last night after their bath.

They crack me up. When they're not making me want to yank out my hair, that is.

Rob's Crazy Eyes

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rob's newest thing. We call it "Crazy Eyes". Cracks me up every time.

No Ordinary Treasure

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

“The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One. Many ordinary treasures may be denied him, or if he is allowed to have them, the enjoyment of them will be so tempered that they will never be necessary to his happiness. Or if he must see them go, one after one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the Source of all things, he has in One all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight. Whatever he may lose he has actually lost nothing, for he now has it all in One, and he has it purely, legitimately, forever.”

A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God (London, 1967), page 20.


Putting Christ Above All Things

I had to face some hard truths and tough realizations today. It kind of jumped up and smacked me in the face, really. While I won't go into great detail, I will just say that I have been putting a lot of things before Christ when it needs to be the other way around. I've been making idols out of people and things and ignoring the real need in my life - to love Christ more. To make Him more important than anything else that may seem important to me right now. To love Him more than anyone else I may adore or admire in my life. To make Him first in my life above all. If I'm able to do that, by God's grace, everything else will fall in line, and I can hopefully find some peace.

I wanted to share an article by Dr. John MacArthur that helped me find a "game plan" of sorts. It really gives you a great perspective on how things should be.

Lactose Intolerance: What You Can Eat

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I came across this article today and found it pretty helpful. We're still not 100% sure Robby (or myself, for that matter) is lactose intolerant, but we have seen minor improvement in him since taking him off dairy. We're thinking he can handle it in small doses - such as butter in a cookie or milk in bread. We don't give him any straight-out cheese or regular milk, though. Good thing he really likes Lactaid and Almond Breeze.

Keeping Your Marriage Strong

Monday, February 21, 2011

I just read this great post on keeping your marriage strong - Biblically. Loved it! Lots of good stuff in here.

Parents: How to Provoke Your Children to Anger

Have you had your daily dose of conviction today? No? Well, here's a good one for you. Have you done any of these lately? I know I have. Ouch.

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How To Provoke Your Children To Anger

"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." - Ephesians 6:4

We can provoke our children to anger:

- By constantly criticizing them and not encouraging them. When they feel they can never please us enough.
- By having double standards – Do as I say, not as I do. Expecting them to do things we don’t do, e.g. ask forgiveness, humble themselves, etc.
- By anger and harshness
- By a lack of affection
- By telling them what to do or not do without giving Biblical reasons (e.g., Do it because I said to do it, or because it’s just wrong).
- By being offended at their sin because it bothers us, not because it offends God.
- By comparing them to others (Why can’t you act like your sister?)
- By hypocrisy – acting like a Christian at church but not at home
- By embarrassing them (correcting, mocking or expressing disappointment in them in front of others)
- By always lecturing them and never listening to them
- By disciplining them for childishness or weakness, not for sin
- By failing to ask their forgiveness when we sin against them
- By pride – failing to receive humble correction from our spouses or our children when we sin.
- By self-centered reactions to their sin (How could you do this to ME?)
- By ungracious reactions to their sin (What were you thinking? Why in the world would you do that?)
- By forgetting that we were (and are) sinners (I would NEVER have done that when I was your age).

May God give us gracious, gentle, humble, affectionate hearts toward our children.


Running in Sand

Although I obviously know nothing about running, life lately has felt a lot like running in sand. A whole lot of energy exerted with not a whole lot of progress. A lot of days it just feels like I'm just trying to survive until my relief comes. My house is always a mess, I'm completely disorganized, I'm behind on projects, I don't take care of myself and, most importantly, I don't take care of my soul.

One way or another, Bible and study time always gets put on the back burner. How did I get so upside down? Life took over and completely turned me around and now I'm just sitting here disorientated, trying to figure out which way is up.

I feel like I'm stuck in such a "mom rut". The boys demand and take so much from me, I feel as if I have nothing left to give to God. I know I should be giving to Him first and foremost, but I struggle to even remember to pray most days. When I finally get a quiet moment to myself, it's usually very short and all I want to do is...well, nothing! I know it isn't excusable, but is it normal? More importantly, when will it end?

When I was pregnant, I became eager to get my body back. I thought that would happen when the baby was born. I was wrong. Nothing's changed - just a different application!

I really have to get back on track. It's starting to effect everything in my life these days and I'm drained. I really don't know how things are going to be when Matt's gone for a week. It makes me uneasy to think about it.

"The output in your life is in direct proportion to the intake of Scripture truth."
- Bill Shannon, A Passion for Purity, Shepherd’s Conference, 2005, Session #33

Quick Photo

A quick shot of Matt and I taken with my crappy cellphone camera at the game Friday night. Despite it's poor quality, it's still a sweet picture of my love and I. :)

Blog Remodel/General Update

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I thought it was time for a fresh new look. Unfortunately, I don't usually have the time/energy/motivation to actually WRITE on my blog. Shame on me. Maybe the pretty colors will inspire me.

Some random updates:

Our anniversary date was wonderful. We saw a Steelheads (hockey) game, had a quiet evening cuddling and sipping on wine in our very nice hotel room, and then we enjoyed a nice lunch at Olive Garden and just dinking around Boise the next day. I hate to say it, but I didn't really miss our boys. Is that wrong? I thoroughly enjoyed not having to change diapers and having to get up every five seconds! According to our dear friend who watched the boys, they did really well. Rob fully understood everything that was going on - where we were, what we were doing, and when we were coming back. Drew was just...Drew. He could have cared less. I hope for more opportunities like this in the future. I very much enjoyed the downtime and reconnecting with Matt. I had hoped to do some shutterbuggin' while we were there, but we had to head home because Matt had a nasty headache. Someday, I hope. Boise is fun.

Matt has a very special opportunity to go to the Shepherd's Conference March 7th-14th with a group of guys from our church; our pastor and some elders included. Unfortunately, that leaves me single-mommin' it for a week. The experience will be an immense blessing for all of us in the long run, but I'm not looking forward to that particular week at all. Please pray for us. It's not going to be easy by any means.

I just want to say for the record that we are almost out from under our hospital bills - hoorah! Thank you tax refund!

Rob got to eat pizza for the first time in months tonight! He didn't mind a bit that it didn't have cheese on it. He was just grateful to have it!

Drew is walking so well. I'm still surprised by him. He can sure be a fun little guy. When he's not crabby, that is.

I ask for prayer for our boys. They're both really sick with whatever junk that is plaguing our area - more specifically our poor church family. Yikes! They're dropping like flies! Mainly the flu, but I can say with some certainty that the sickness in our household isn't the flu. Nevertheless, I'm popping echinacea like it's going out of style.

That's all I can think of. Told you it was going to be random. That's just how I roll. Matt is telling me to come to bed. The end.

PERFECT Frosting Recipe

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I should know better than to go anywhere else but Our Best Bites for recipes. Seriously, these gals are food gurus! I tried their Perfect Cupcake Frosting and Filling Recipe and oh. my. goodness. It's out of this world! A little work, but SO worth it. I then substituted lactose-free ingredients on my next cake (so Rob could eat it) and it was just as good. I don't think I'll ever make another frosting ever again! Just make sure you make enough if you're making a cake. One batch is enough for 12 cupcakes, as noted, so I suggest making two batches for a cake. Also, I refrigerated my cakes because the lactose-free version started melting a bit otherwise.

Perfect Cupcake Frosting and Filling

3 T Flour
1/2 C milk (or Lactaid for lactose-free version)
1/2 C real butter (or Earth Balance for lactose-free version)
1/2 C sugar (that's granulated sugar, not powdered sugar)
1 t vanilla extract, or other flavor if you wish.

Whisk together the flour and the milk. Heat in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. I think this is the critical point for any of you who have had problems with this recipe. I have a feeling people are under-cooking this part. Let it cook, while stirring, until it looks like pudding (you should be able to see the bottom of the pan when you stir it). Even though it's thick, you can still it through a mesh strainer (just whisk the mixture in the strainer to push the thick stuff through) and then let it cool completely to room temp. or chill it in the fridge. It needs to be cooled completely. If you don't let it cool completely, it will melt the butter and you'll have runny frosting.

It an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugar for a minute or two until well combined and fluffy. You'll want to use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer, not the flat paddle. Then while beating, add in the thickened milk mixture and the vanilla. Beat on the highest speed you can get to without it spraying all over the place for 7 minutes. Yes, 7 whole minutes, maybe even 8 or 9. I know that seems like a long time, but that's when the magic happens!

You will be scared because it will look like a weird goopy mess at first and you'll wonder what on earth you did wrong. Keep beating and something amazing happens. It goes from that goopy mess to something thick, velvety smooth, and perfectly fluffy.
Use it to fill cupcakes or other pastries, or as a frosting on top. You can't go wrong putting this on just about anything :)

One batch makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes .


1. Use real butter, and a good name-brand. Cheap butter does weird things.

2.  If you beat for the 6-8 minutes and the mixture still looks strange, beat longer and at a higher speed if you can.  It should come together, but it takes a little patience!

3. Store at room temperature in a sealed container. Frosting may separate in the fridge, but you can store it overnight if left at room temp and in a well sealed container.

Marshall Boy User Manual

Matt and I are escaping to Boise for an anniversary date on Friday. This is quite the event since we became parents - we're leaving the boys with a sitter overnight. Other than when Drew was born and my step-mom stayed here, the boys have never spent the night at someone else's house. Scary. We're quite excited to get away, though - especially me. I look forward to not being a mom for 24 hours!

I thought it would be nice to provide our friends with a rundown of the boys, since they come with their own "requirements". So, instead of trying to remember everything and hurriedly briefing them, I decided to be creative and write a user manual of sorts. I gave myself a chuckle, so I thought I'd share.

- - -

User Manual for the Marshall Boy - Versions 1.0 and 2.0

Thank you for your care of the Marshall Boy Versions 1.0 and 2.0! We hope that you enjoy many hours of fun and laughter as you give great relief to the Owners, who are quite grateful of your kindness

General Care of the Marshall Boy

Fueling the Marshall Boy

Feeding the Marshall Boy (MB) can be fun, but messy experience. MBs are not picky, but do require certain substances to fuel their runtime.
  • MB 1.0 (Alias "The Robby") requires NO DAIRY. Acceptions are prepared foods that contain small amounts of dairy or lactose (i.e. bread, baked goods). Dairy will cause The Robby to expel foul-smelling liquids from it's Rear Hatch, causing redness and crying. Almond milk will be provided, but only give The Robby one glass a day. Juice is acceptable, but water is better.
  • MB 2.0 (Alias "The Drew") requires two 8oz. bottles of formula a day - one after Morning Waking Sequence and one just before Night Recharge. The Drew is Finger Foods Ready and has been upgraded to Feed Myself status. The Drew requires soft fruits, cooked and cooled vegetables, small pieces of meat, crackers, bread, dry cereal (i.e. Kix, Life, Cheerios), or a jar of MB 2.0 sanctioned food. WARNING: The Drew has been known to gorge itself. Fuel until The Drew is satisfied. The Hungry Alarm will sound if The Drew requires more fueling.
  • Both versions require chlorophyll in order to function properly. One teaspoon twice a day in the MBs' fluids is the minimum requirement.

Recharging the Marshall Boy

Eventually, your MBs' batteries will require charging. Taking these precautions will allow you to enjoy your MB and avoid certain Meltdown of your MB. WARNING: The MB will sound a Meltdown Alarm before the Implodation Seqence will run. When the alarm sounds, you have small window of time to dock the MB and prevent Implodation. NOTE: The Owners are not responsible for any injuries and/or damages caused by MB Meltdown or Implodation.
  • Both versions require simultaneous charging. Dock your MB in it's Sleep Pod around 8pm for Night Recharge and 1pm for Day Recharge. Both versions require accessories (included) in order to charge correctly. Both require Rear Hatch Cover change, full Stomach Compartments, music, and white noise (i.e. a fan).
  • The Drew requires the included Comfort Cloth ("Cuddle Blanket") and Mouth Port Cap ("Pacifier") in order to charge correctly.
  • The Robby requires included Comfort Cloth and Bear Attachment ("Hershey") accessories.
  • Both versions should charge for no less than two hours. Attempt to re-dock if either decides to run Automatic Wake Sequences - especially at night. Neither require night refueling unless it's absolutely needed for Version 2.0.
  • Cuddling and/or rocking may be required. MB's are unsure of new surroundings and may sound a Distress Alarm and won't charge properly.

Playing with the Marshall Boy

This is the main MB objective. The Play Sequence will run on your MB until you make it stop or the Meltdown Alarm sounds. WARNING: MBs will spasm erratically when tickled. NOTE: The Owners are not responsible for any injuries and/or damages caused by MB Play Sequences or flying parts during tickling.

Miscellaneous Information
  • Both versions lack Rear Hatch Alarms. Check for waste dumps frequently.
  • The Drew is generating new Fuel Grinders. If Pain Alarm sounds, give The Drew 0.8ml of Infant Tylenol and cuddle accordingly.
  • The Drew has also started it's Walking Sequence, but isn't very good at it. Watch for bumps and bruises.
  • The Robby was infected by the Argue Virus and Backtalk Bug recently. Combat these with Discipline as needed. Also, The Robby has a Little Cough. Dose with 3/4 t. of Dimetap when needed.

Contact Us

If you are not fully satisfied with your MB or have a question concerning either version, please call our 24-hour hotline at ------- or -------. If there is a dire emergency because of the MB or the Owners, please contact Cheryl (Alias "The Aunt") at -------.

Thank you again for your care of the Marshall Boy and good luck.

Look Who's Walking

Thursday, February 10, 2011

He took his very first steps today, first diving from the ottoman to the couch and then walking between Matt and I. He's not even 10 1/2 months old yet! Watch out world!

Crock Pot Peanut Clusters Recipe

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

These are SOOO good and SOOO easy to make!

Crock Pot Peanut Clusters

1 16 oz. jar roasted, unsalted peanuts
1 16 oz. jar roasted, salted peanuts
1 12 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 bar (4 ozs.) german chocolate, broken into pieces
3 lbs. (two 24 oz. pkgs.) white almond bark, broken
into pieces

Put ingredients into a 4 or 5-quart crockpot in EXACT order as listed. Cover and cook on low 3 hours. DO NOT remove lid! Turn off and allow to cool slightly. Mixture will not be melted but will be soft. Mix thoroughly and drop by teaspoon size cookie dropper or a teaspoon onto wax paper. Let cool thoroughly. Makes approximately 150 - 170 pieces. NOTE: This candy is made best by following the recipe to the letter.