Puppies & Sunshine

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I had to write a post about this. You just can't make this stuff up.

I've been told by many a wise believer to "never pray for patience", because God will then put you through situations that will require patience. Usually, I know better, but I ended up staying up until about 1:30am with a heavy heart. Things have been immensely stressful lately, and I haven't exactly been Christ-like towards my family during all of it. God finally pegged me down on it and I spent a great deal of time praying and repenting. This is where I made that catastrophic error. I prayed for patience.

Rob comes bouncing into my room at the crack of dawn. Half lucid, I remember my late night lesson and get up, attempting to be pleasant and compassionate. We make our daily trek out to the living room and I land hard on the couch and try to snooze a little longer while he watches cartoons. But this morning, he's full of demands and questions. "Mama, what's in all the boxes (we had just started packing last night)?" "Mama, I'm hungry." "Mama, are you awake, yet? The sun's up." "Mama, are you sleeping again?" Each time, I had to bite my tongue and answer every single inquiry with nothing but puppies and sunshine in my voice.

By the time Drew woke up, I was a bit frazzled, to say the least. I told Rob to go play in his room until breakfast was ready. So, he bounced away and I laid there a little longer, trying to compose myself again before facing the breakfast debacle. I roll over onto my back and take a deep breath. "I can do this. I can do this. He will help," I say. All of a sudden, I feel my hair moving. I think, "It's only the A/C fan blowing it or my mind messing with me." Nope. Something's crawling. In my hair. I go to feel and it's confirmed. Yep. Something's definitely crawling. IN MY HAIR. I scream and jump up off of the couch, roughing up on my head like some sort of mad person, all the while screaming, "OHMYGOSH! OHMYGOSH! WHERE IS IT?! WHERE IS IT?!" It was fun sight to witness, I'm sure. Thankfully, I was alone. Besides whatever creepy-crawly that was joining me, that is. I frantically start ripping through junk on the floor and I finally find the culprit. A GIANT (okay, hyperbole, but he was big!) earwig! YUCK! I quickly grab a nearby napkin and try to squish him into it...but he escapes! And starts trying to crawl on me again! I freak and start pounding on the napkin (I'm so glad I was alone) and then sprint to the bathroom, where I flush the little jerk. Take that, nature!

I admit at this point I'm slightly shaken and need a moment, once again, to compose myself. I go in and pleasantly greet Drew, who's still in his crib during all this, probably wondering what kind of conniption his mother is throwing, now. I change him and we wash up for breakfast. Breakfast isn't fun in this house. The boys are constantly under my feet in the kitchen, endlessly reminding me that they're hungry. After countless times of ushering them out, I finally manage to get their pancakes from yesterday heating up in the microwave, the boys settled at their table with their said pancakes, and I start on my coffee. I go to empty the filter, when I accidentally bump into some dishes on the counter. I hear them shuffle a bit, and I think everything's okay. No, not okay. A plate falls, and as it's in mid-air, I think, "Oh, it's just a Corningware. I've dropped those countless times in the eight years I've had them. It'll bounce." (How I thought all that in the split second the dish took to travel from the counter to the floor, I don't know. Just go with it.) Well, it didn't bounce. It shattered. In a million tiny pieces. All around me. In my bare feet. At this very moment, the boys start squawking for drinks. Not even kidding. Did they seriously not hear the shattering of glass just now?? I pleasantly explain through clenched teeth that Mama broke a plate and now has to sweep up all the broken glass so they don't get hurt and that I couldn't possibly take their request at that very moment. Puppies and sunshine! So, I'm praying that I don't end up slicing and dicing my feet and I have to somehow make it through the mine field of broken glass to make it to my shoes and a broom. Somehow, a tiny piece of glass sticks to my foot, which somehow rubs up against my leg as I'm walking, slicing my leg open and causing me to bleed down said leg. I admit - I used a colorful, four-letter word, but I felt it fully conveyed my true feelings at the time. I stop and take a breath and proceed to put my shoes on and sweep up all the glass...which somehow spread itself EVERYWHERE, including into the hall. I then realize my vacuum is currently at the new house, so I have to settle for my kitchen vacuum - a crappy little Shark that's on it's last legs and does as much verbal complaining as I am doing right now. 10-15 minutes later, the glass is finally all picked up and the boys finally get their drinks. I sit down with my cereal and start to pray. The phone rings. It's Matt. I set my bowl down - because this story is just too good not to share with him, of course. (I love him, but soggy cereal is gross.)

He's having a tough day, too, and has a HUGE day ahead of him. I feel guilty for complaining and tell him I'll pray for him if he'll pray for me. I finish up our conversation and my breakfast and head into the kitchen to pour myself some coffee. The boys are done eating, but Rob's still begging for food. I tell him to wait. Mama needs a moment. So, he disappears into his room and I head to to sink to rinse out my mug. I turn on the water, which hits a spoon perfectly placed on the bottom of my ridiculously-shallow sink, sending water flying out and onto the counter. It soaks a bunch of papers nearby. I start sobbing. I scream at the ceiling, "What do you want from me?! You won't even give me a chance! WHAT DO YOU WANT?!!!" A small, but loud voice calls from the other room, "I WANT A PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH!!!"

During the writing of this blog, I've had to stop several times for various reasons. Drew's playing with the fan. Rob's playing with the monitor. Drew's eating coffee grounds from the trash. Rob needs some water...

It's 12:50pm. An hour and ten minutes until naptime. Matt still has atleast three more stops left to do. I still haven't gotten to even touch my coffee. Lord, please get me through this day.

To Baby Or Not To Baby

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Just some stuff weighing on my heart, lately...

There seems to be a significant baby boom in our congregation in the past year or two. Five were born just this year alone and many are on the way. A dear family just announced on Sunday that they were expecting their fifth, in fact. With all these babies popping up, I can't help but feel a little guilty that I don't share their excitement for another child.

Now, here's my disclaimer: I'm not picking on anyone here, so don't stone me. I have nothing negative to say against large families.

In a way I'd love to have another, but then again it's a lot more complicated for us than just, "Hey! Let's have another baby!" No argument that there's many, many joys of welcoming a new child into the world, and the birth of our two boys were two of the happiest moments of my life, but then again there's much I don't miss at all. I don't miss the aches and pains of pregnancy or the risks it brings for me, the long stay in the hospital, away from my boys, trying to juggle healing from surgery, while trying to care for a newborn along with my already-existing responsibilities, the heartache and embarrassment of not being able to breastfeed, or the possible turmoil of "Drew's first year" all over again. And the cost? Yikes. Gives me a stomach ache just thinking about it. In fact, I think that might be the biggest deterrent of them all. I never, ever wanted cost to be a determining factor, but when you end up forking over an out of pocket cost of $6,000-$8,000, you really do have to think twice about adding on to your family.

I'm sad to think Drew will be our last. I really am. I really wish I shared my sisters-in-Christ's heart for children, but I also have to weigh everything else at stake, too - the money, the stress, my health and sanity, etc. Our situation seems greatly different from theirs and I just don't think we can do it again. I can't just have a home birth or breastfeed as long as I want and no midwife will touch me. It's not that simple. It's horribly hard for us and I really think that's what it boils down to.

Obviously, it's the Lord's will to do with us as He pleases and it would be atleast another year or two before we would even try for another, but for now, we're content as we are; a cozy family of four, who's finally found some peace in our household and some extra space we've been longing for. How could I possibly want to uproot all that?

"...Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." - Luke 22:42

More Random Photos

Drew being...Drew.

In deep thought.

Little cheeser.

My rose bush. Needs some TLC. A dear friend from church is going to help me with that.

Porch sittin'.

Beautiful sunset view from our front porch. God is good.

Sprinkler Booty Dance

Day at Grandma's

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I took a lot of pictures when we spent the day with my family on Saturday. Click the picture above to visit my album.

What a sweet time we had. It was hard editing these pictures. It made me miss my aunt and cousin.

Evening at Nana's

These are pictures from the evening we spent at Cher's on Friday. Didn't take a whole lot, because I was exhausted and it was really hot. We did enjoy a nice, tasty fajita meal, took rides in Grams and Gramps' new Polaris, and then watched the boys play until they couldn't go anymore.

 Rob taking a ride with Grams and Em on Grams' new toy.

 Confused why he didn't get to go.

"It's my turn!!!"

Something Amiss

No, it's not your computer. Images on my blog are currently missing and our website is down. We're in the process of switching hosts, so please don't panic. Like I'm sure you are. Things will be back up again soon. Promise.

Monogram Kindle Keeper Project

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sick of my posts, yet? =)

My other Kindle Keeper was too big to begin with and now that it’s been used and abused, it’s stretched out even more. So, I decided to make another one, but with a different design.

I started out chaining 19, sc in 2nd ch from hook, and going around in rounds as if I was making a Folded Potholder. I crocheted in a continuous round until the “pocket” was long enough for my Kindle (about 8”). For the flap, I sc to the “edge” (the edge that matched up with my bottom corner, if that makes any sense) and then sc (back loops only) back to the second “edge”. Then I went back to sc in both loops back and forth (ch 1 at the ends) until I was satisfied with the coverage of the flap. In this case, I had to stop a little short so I could fit my J on the front. As far as the J goes, I just ch until I could make a letter that would fit the space on the front of the pocket, did one row of sc, and then sewed it on. Very simple. I hope. lol I chose to finish off the flap with a blanket stitch and used fabric glue to attach some velcro for the closing.

You may have to go up or down a hook size, depending on how tight or loose you crochet. Or you could try chaining more to start with. I chose 19 because 18 chains equaled the width of my Kindle + 1 ch for turning. It may be different for you.

Feel free to use as you please. It’s really just a simple pocket with a flap. Nothing fancy. :)

House Progress - Living Room (Part 3)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

 I had to take the boys home so they could nap, but I went back afterwards to pick Matt up. He did a bang up job finishing up! There's still some trim and touch up work to be done, but after that, it'll be done!
 Isn't it beautiful?! I just love it!

Miscellaneous Going's-On's at the House

I have a lot of random pictures that I've taken while at the house. They've accumulated to the point that they've earned their own post!

Grams and Rob lovin' on each other. I'm so glad they get to spend more time together. A lot of bonding and reconnecting is going on amongst the work. What a multi-faceted blessing!

Hmm. This has Daddy written all over it...

Our cute little bird house decoration on our front steps. Grams has offered to repaint it using the colors that are being used inside the house.

Drew looking for Daddy, as he's changing the water.

Taking a fiver.

I have no idea...


"Where is everybody?"


Again, no clue.

That's all for now, peeps! =)

House Progress - Living Room (Part 2)

After our nice little night off, we were back at it again the following day.

Even with just primer on the trim, it really brightened the room! That and the horribly discolored blinds were taken down.

The white goes up. Love the half wall, now! You were right, Cher!

The wall color goes up. It dried into a lovely grayish-blue.

It REALLY brightened up the room!

We ended up coming back the next day to finish the trim work and whatnot. Here's Matt painting the window seat after painting the molding above. Both a darker version of the wall color.

 Oh, it's just grand! The room looks so fresh and so clean, now! Can't wait to get my new windows in the next six weeks!

Family Night at Home

We worked hard all week on the house and at our usual jobs, so we planned on having a family night at home on Friday. I'm so glad, because I was seriously starting to burn out.

We brought out all the pillows and whatnot into the living room and watched Hoodwinked 2. Here's the boys chillaxin' as I'm making dinner.

And here's dinner! Personal pizzas! They were SO good. Rob got to top his and brother's. He was quite proud of that.

Mama and Daddy's pizzas. Matt had a Buffalo Chicken Ranch and I had a Canadian Bacon Olive Ranch. Mmm.

It was a huge hit with the boys. We then made Chocolate Peanut Butter Crescents for dessert, but I didn't get a picture because they went too fast! Very tasty!

The night ended with a good pillow fight...that I somehow got involved in. What a fun way to recharge the batteries!

An awesome pizza crust recipe and the recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Crescents:

Quick Pizza Dough
3 ½ cups flour
1 package Fleischmann's® Rapid Rise Yeast (I use Red Star Quick Rise)
¾ tsp salt
1 cup warm water (about 125°F)
2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine 2 cups of the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the warm water and olive oil. Add the additional flour as needed until you have soft dough.

Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic – usually about 5 minutes, adding more flour as necessary. Cover the dough with a cloth on the floured surface and let rest for 10 minutes.

Your dough is now ready to use in your favorite pizza recipe.

Flavor Variations:
Experiment with different flavor variations and come up with some of your own.

Cheese Pizza Dough: Use the recipe above with the addition of ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese to the flour mixture.

Garlic and Herb Pizza Dough: Use the recipe above with the addition of 1 garlic clove minced, or 1 teaspoon garlic power, and 1 teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning to the flour mixture. (We really like this one!!)

Bake in a 425˚ oven for 12-15 minutes.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crescents
1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
peanut butter
semi-sweet chocolate chips

These are ridiculously easy, guys. Spread out the crescents, spread a thin layer of peanut butter on each of them, sprinkle some chocolate chips on them, roll them up, and bake them according to the packaging directions. Simple as that and even more delicious!

House Progress - Living Room

Started prep work on the living room. The pictures kind of speak for themselves.

Two words come to mind: Swiss cheese.
 This room was a pain to prep, but not half as bad as what the boys' room is going to be like. That's going to be a beast of it's own.

Playing in the Back Yard

The boys are so enjoying their new yard! I can't even tell you just how much. They run around, explore, get dirty...you know. Boy stuff! I love it!

Rob about to go down the slide. I think I *might* have caught him unaware.

Chasing each other.

Playing in the dirt. Always.

Calm down, ladies. I know he's charming, but you'll just have to wait for him to get potty trained, atleast.


"I see you, Mama!"

I don't know how many times he climbed that ladder...

They are sleeping really well, lately! =)

House Progress - Our Room

First room up - our bedroom. It's getting flooring first, so it was first on the list to paint.

Yuck brown is going bye-bye!

See? Told you. All primered and ready to rock! (Sorry for the blurriness - I was tired and didn't care!)

The next day, Grams and Cher came over to help. Here's Matt and Cher starting on the ceiling.

I've always thought I had the coolest grandma ever. She not only was willing to come over and watch the boys while we worked, but she also entertain them by building them their own "house". Classic.

On goes the teal! I'm in love!!!

I'm also in love with this guy. Don't tell him, though. =)

Starting to put the beige on the other walls.

It's such a yummy combination!

One of my tasks - painting the book shelves. Don't let them fool you. They were a pain in the tush!

"I need a nap, Mom! Take me home!!"

I had to take the boys home at this point, because they were starting to melt.

Came back the next day to see my beautiful finished room!

Ah, I just LOVE it! The shelves have since been put back up, but we still need to get the doors back on the storage "cubbies", the ceiling fan installed, and the carpet replaced. It's going to look MARVELOUS!

Especially with this gorgeous bedding! I know, you're thinking, "She's lost it...", but trust me. It's going to be lovely. =)

FYI: I got a FANTASTIC deal on this bedding. An 11 piece bed-in-a-bag set for $100 + free shipping on Amazon. Can't get much better than that!

I'm trying really hard to get caught up on house updates, but we're either working our butts off or completely exhausted, lately. I will post as often as I can. It's exciting to see this place come alive again!