Monday, June 30, 2008

Like a knot on a log

We are fully into summer break and already just sitting around the house like a knot on a log. So, we made up a "Things To Do List" last week. Jacob and I brainstormed the many wonderful things that he can do alone when I'm busy with housework or Eli, things he can do with Eli, and things he can do if a grown-up is available. The list is a long one. I'm hoping it prevents the sitting around the house and the "I'm bored" syndrome.

Some of the things we included were playing a board game, reading, writing a story or journal entry, pushing Eli in the swing, playing with legos, reading a book to Eli, coloring/drawing, practicing guitar, playing basketball, completing a worksheet (oh yes, the teacher in me is still alive and kicking), completing chores, playing with action figures, and the list goes on. Here are some pictures of what we did last week!
Jacob created this awesome lego construction

We went swimming at Mema's

We made microwave Smore's

What are your favorite things to do in the summer with your kiddos and what are your kiddos' favorite things to do by themselves?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

SAHM in the making: Episode II

I know you've all been waiting with bated breath for another episode of the "SAHM in the making" series (if you missed episode I, you can find it here) and although I didn't title it "SAHM in the making," this post could have been part of the series! But last night's event needed recognition, so without further ado, "SAHM in the making: Episode II"


Matt had taken the kids to rent a movie and I was left home to enjoy the quiet and begin dinner. I had my computer set up on the island so I could refer to my recipe at allrecipes.com and had some music playing. I put the beef in the skillet and began to brown it. As I began to add the spices, this happened.
Notice the garlic powder container next to the beautiful Pampered Chef family-size skillet. Yes, I opened the "spoon" side rather than the "shake" side. But did I spoon? Oh, heavens no. I shook!! And that, my friends, is a whopping pile of garlic powder in my ground beef. Despite the fact that I know the many benefits of garlic, we weren't planning on fighting off the vampires last night, so I began to brainstorm the ways to remove the offending garlic powder. About that time, Matt arrived home with our precious little ones and devised a plan. It looked something like this.

As you thank God that you weren't invited to dinner at our house last night, let me assure you that although Matt's idea was brilliant, it was not very successful and we ended up just using a spoon to scrape the overabundance of garlic powder out.

Now please excuse me while I take steps to save my family from more kitchen disasters and register for cooking classes at the community college!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Four months old!

Four months old already and cute as a button!

Guitar Hero!

Here's a picture of our very own guitar hero at practice. Each week he gets better and better (and his practice times get more and more pleasant)!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Swaddler, sweet swaddler

Dear Swaddler,
Thank you for the many nights you held me tight! I have slept so much better because of you. Your green fleece and cute circles and dots have kept me looking super hip even while I'm snoozing. You've been the best sleeping buddy, but my mom says that I'm getting older and that it's time for me to learn to sleep without you. Mama says that I can keep you for a little while longer, but I have to try to sleep with my arms out. I'm not sure I like that idea, but she hasn't led me astray yet! So, dear swaddler I guess this is the beginning of the end for us. It's been great! Thanks for the sweet dreams!


Love,

Eli


P.S. Hey, blog readers...Mama would really appreciate your prayers as we embark on this un-swaddled adventure. We're not sure how I'll respond to sleeping without my beloved swaddler. Thanks!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

And we'll have fun, fun, fun...

We've been having so much fun recently! Eli is growing and changing almost daily. If I didn't know better, I'd think he is teething, what with all the slobber and fists in the mouth. Jacob is vacationing with his stepdad, mom and her family this week at the beach. We miss him bunches, but know that he is having an awesome time! I can't wait until I can play in the sun, sand, and sea! Until next time, enjoy these pictures!
Fun with toes...

Fun with Mema...

Fun with brother...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Having some church in the car!

Ever been driving down the road listening to your local Christian music station and hear that song. You know that song. It's the song that makes you want to get up outta your seat and worship. It's moving. It's inspirational. It speaks to your heart. It's different for everyone and it changes with the season you're in. I actually have a few that songs. I really like "Glorious One" by Fee right now. I hear that song in the car and you better watch out cause there'll be some raising of the hands...since I'm driving I'll try to keep it to the raising of just one hand! Another one of those songs for me is "Mighty to Save" from Hillsong Church! "How Great is Our God" has been a that song for me for a long time now. If you see me driving down the road, singing my heart out, this is probably playing on the radio...and you can probably hear it from your car. And lastly is "You Never Let Go" by Matt Redman. That one really gets the waterworks going!

What songs trigger that need to have some church right there in the car for you?

Go ahead, turn the radio up and sing along today!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Honoring three dads!

My Daddy!

My hubby (aka the father of my children)



My Father-in-law


Each of these men has demonstrated that although any man can be a father, it takes something very special to be a dad!! I am so blessed to have these men in my life and I thank God for them! "The greatest gift I ever had, came from God; I call him Dad"

Thursday, June 12, 2008

New blog!

My bloggy friend, Amy, has created a new blog for the purpose of providing women a place to share, encourage, and support one another as we navigate the waters of being a Godly woman, wife, and mother. I am honored to have been invited to join her as an author on the new blog. When I post there, I'll try to stick to a topic related to the purpose of that blog and save the family pictures and the "oh-so-high-class" topics like this and this for The Sloan Chronicles. So, if you like that stuff, don't worry, it'll still be here! But, if you are interested in being a part of this new "wifestry" community (or even if you just want to lurk), stop by the new blog! Hope to see you there!

Tons of fun!

Yesterday, I got to hang out with my friends from birth class, Lauren and her son Cole and Aubrey and her son Wyatt. I figure if nothing else pans out for our boys, with names like theirs they can start a cowboy gang. :) We met at the park for lunch. Despite the suffocating heat, we had a great time thanks to the individual Ben & Jerry's ice cream cups Lauren brought...I kid...we would have had a great time without the Ben & Jerry's...maybe. The boys have gotten old enough that they noticed each other and there were smiles all around!


Jacob is officially out of school for the summer. YEAH!!! It's much different having both kiddos at home all day, but Jacob is turning out to be a great helper, and things seem to be working out beautifully! Tons of summer fun are sure to come and we'll keep you posted. Until then, enjoy this picture of my silly kiddos hanging out together!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Time of corporate (yet long distance) prayer

Check out this post by Nate's dad regarding a time of prayer to intercede for Tricia and her tests and health in general. Please take some time tomorrow from 7-10am to pray. I know they appreciate it!

Rice, rice baby!

I think Jacob did a great job as the videographer in this clip!! Eli's not so sure how he feels about the rice cereal.

video

Matt filmed this toward the end of our little feeding session. Eli got a little better at keeping the food in his mouth. Practice makes perfect!

video

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bump in the road

Many of you who read my blog also follow the Lawrenson's blog.


Please take a moment to read Nathan's post entitled "Plans" and lift their family up in prayer. If you don't know their story, you can catch up here. Their journey has been a tough one, but God has shown up and shown out, so to speak. I pray that God continues to work miracles in this family!! Their story has been an inspiration to many...including me!

Two men and a baby!

I just love fresh haircuts. Check out my hubby's handiwork!


It's a new toy! Eli just loves this play seat. I love it, too...it starts as a sitting supporter, converts to a play seat, and later can convert to a booster seat.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Grateful?

This morning we had the privilege of hearing "Children of the World" perform at our church.


It was awesome! I couldn't stop the tears from flowing. These children are disadvantaged and orphaned children who make up a choir that serve as the ambassadors (so to speak) for World Help. World Help is an organization that seeks to to fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment through partnering, training, helping and serving, especially in the unreached areas of the world. It is an organization much like Children's Cup, but World Help allows you to sponsor a child. This morning, as I sat in my chair and cried, I wondered, why should I ever complain? I sat there knowing that we have a beautiful home , we have two vehicles, we eat three meals everyday, our family is healthy and we're together, and we live in a country that is enjoying peace. Many of those kiddos on that stage this morning can't say any of those things, yet they smiled, danced, sang to, sang for, and praised our God this morning with abandon! I was humbled beyond words. If we could afford to, I would sponsor dozens of these children, until then I will pray for them, knowing that they reminded me of all that God has blessed me with. And, I'll be grateful!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Water baby

Check out this video and these pictures of Eli's first day at PaPa and Mema's pool! Listen carefully and you'll hear Mema's prayer on the video ("Oh, Lord") before the big event! We've got a little fish on our hands!


video


Friday, June 6, 2008

Eli didn't read the books!

As I've discovered, Eli didn't read On Becoming Babywise and The Baby Whisperer. Therefore, I'm removing them from that little sidebar do-hickey (don't you love my techno-savvy terms)that says "Books Impacting My Life Right Now" because those books are not impacting my life right now! This parenting thing can not be put in a box. Oh, how I wanted to put it in a box! Oh, how I wanted to follow the books! Oh, how Eli has his own plans! Now, don't get me wrong, Eli is not a difficult baby, but he does have some quirks that the books don't explain. So, we're taking it day by day and playing by ear--both activities are way out of my comfort range--and I think we're doing a darn good job. Just look at that smile!

Birthday, birthday, birthday!

Somehow in the craziness of this week, I forgot to post about our birthday weekend. Here's a pic!


From left to right is my sister-in-law Amanda, me, and my mom. Our birthdays are all very close together so we shared a family party this past Saturday! As you can see, we all had our own cake and the most interesting part about that is that we each made our own cake. Amanda's was a delicious lemon layer cake, mine was a yummy chocolate chip cookie cake, and my mom's was a rich and tasty Hershey Bar cake (which I requested). We had a great time celebrating with family! Those of you who know me well, know that I have come a long way. There was a point in my life (not that long ago) that I refused to share my birthday celebration. My mom's birthday is the day after mine--I always say I was her best birthday present--and I spent the majority of my life not sharing the day with her. Now, I love sharing the celebration and I think it's wonderful that Amanda, whose birthday is 5 days after Mama's, could share with us, too!! I can't wait for many more!



Although I think this is an awful picture of me, it's the most recent one of me and my mom together.

Mama, you are one of the strongest and most inspirational people I know. You influence so many lives with your kindness, generosity, and love. I am blessed to call you Mama! I love you! Happy (belated) Birthday!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

So long, Sasha

It is with great sadness that I have to let you know that our cat, Sasha, has gone to kitty-cat heaven.

About five days ago, we noticed that Sasha had an open sore on her belly. We mentioned it to our wonderful neighbor friends (who are a vet and a vet tech) while we were sharing dinner on Sunday night. They teamed up and checked Sasha out. The news was not good. Sasha had a mammary tumor.

Tonight, we went to our family vet. The tumor was quite large and extended quite far up the mammary chain. Sasha was 14 years old and the vet's prognosis was not good. Even with meds, the vet could not assure us that the sore would heal. It came down to quality of life and Matt and I had to make the tough decision. With tears in my eyes, we said goodbye to Sasha. We'll all miss you, girl!


Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace." NIV

Blended family blessing!

Moe and Paige Becnel, who wrote the book God Breathes on Blended Families, define a blended family as any marriage in which at least one of the spouses becomes a stepparent (new parent), regardless of the age of the children.

I come from a functional blended family. It would take a flowchart to give you a complete understanding of my family. The simple version is his, hers, and ours. My sister is the his, my brother is the hers, and I'm the ours. Growing up I was unaware of the fact that I was a member of a blended family. Sure, my sister had another mother in PA that she visited on holidays, and I knew that my brother's birth dad died when he was very little, but being part of a blended family was not a daily thought. I never considered my siblings "half" siblings and although my mom says there was some parental strife when I was quite young, I don't remember it. So, when I fell in love with a man who had a child and an ex, I thought I was prepared to embark on the blended family journey. Boy, was I mistaken! You can never be ready for that!

The early months were very difficult. There was so much to work out and resolve. And since this is a family blog, I won't pour out all the details, but let's just say that in the beginning, no one was putting God first.

We all moved to the Raleigh area and Matt and I began attending a new church. We enrolled in a small group that used the Becnels' book as the curriculum. We learned tons in that class. It strengthened our marriage so much, helped us prioritize our family (God first, spouse second, children third), allowed me understand my role, and set the foundation for what we've become today. Now, don't let me fool you...things still got sticky sometimes, but we discovered that as we gave God first place, he blessed our family!

Fast forward to today. Jacob's mom, stepdad, Matt and I all attend the same church. We attend ball games together (at Jacob's ball games you could expect a fan club: 4 parents, a baby brother, 6 grandparents, 2 great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins). We can sit down and have casual conversations together. We make decisions together. We enjoy the newest addition to our blended family together. We extend high grace and mercy when things aren't exactly as we would want them. We compromise. We're now all on the same team with only one enemy, Satan, and we will fight for our family!!

I am in no way saying that our blended family is perfect, but I am in awe of the miracle He has performed in our families and am so very thankful to God for the transformation, unity, and blessings He has provided for us!!

Luke 1:37 "For nothing is impossible with God" NLT

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." NLT

Zechariah 4:6 "...It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies." NLT

Regular Season Champs!

The Mets have ended the regular Spring season as the first place team! However, last night, they just couldn't stop the Scrappers during tournament play and their season is over. It has been an awesome season. It's amazing what being on a winning team can do for a kiddo (Jacob's teams in the past haven't always had winning records)!! The progress Jacob made this season is just incredible. We heard some great compliments last night. All four parents gathered around to hear. We were told that Jacob is the best catcher in the league (we knew this, but it was great to hear it from an impartial party). Jacob's attitude and perseverance were also praised. It was a proud moment for us all! Way to go, Mets! And, way to go, Jacob! We can't wait until the Fall!




Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Skills

"Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills. You know, like nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills." --Napoleon Dynamite

Well, Eli doesn't have those skills, but he did acquire this new skill--reaching for and grasping a toy! Check it out!

video

Monday, June 2, 2008

Pat and Charlie--answer to previous post!!

According to me (and the Dictionary of American Regional English), "pat and charlie" refers to one's own legs.

For example, "I can't get a ride, so I guess I'll have to take pat and charlie."

Or, "If you don't get your act together, I'll pull this car over and put you out, then you'll have to depend on pat and charlie to get you to the mall"

Here's the story behind this "pat and charlie" discussion.

Pat and charlie came up in the car the other night. Jacob has a new game he likes to play in the car. We spend lots of time in the car. "Fake Raleigh" is at least 10 minutes from everything. Jacob's school is a 25 minute trip one-way. My parents live an hour away. As you can imagine, the car game is of vital importance.

Anyway, we were playing the list game. It's based on the Kid's Almanac and the Book of Lists. Jacob made it up. One person finds a list in one of the books and the others in the car must name half of the items on the list. For example, "Name 5 of the 10 largest cities in the US." And because I know someone, mostly my dad, will want to know, those cities are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Dallas, San Antonio, and Detroit.

On the way home from my parents' on Saturday, it was dark, which makes the books kinda unusable, so we were making up the questions. I said, "Name 7 modes of transportation." After Jacob did so, I mentioned "pat and charlie." Matt gave me the you-must-have-made-that-up-look. It was the same look he gave me those times when I said "chock-ows" and "pneumonia-cure."

I assured Matt that "pat and charlie" is a common phrase and everybody knows what it means. Matt assured me that I am crazy.

Having now seen the comments and done the googling, I know that it's a regional phrase, much like "mash that button" or "cut the TV off" or "knee-high to a grasshopper." I also know that I am not crazy (or at least I keep telling myself that...wait...does talking to yourself make you crazy??...oh, nevermind)!!

And that my friends, is the story of the "pat and charlie" debate. Thanks for putting up with it!!



*Matt's Entry for clarification--

Chock-ows are also known as Brown Mules... Here's a link to see what I'm talking about.
http://www.petdairy.com/subpage.php?pageId=402

Pneumonia-cure is also known as Vicks VapoRub. Here's a link to prove that to those of you that "know" pneumonia-cure as "pneumonia-cure".
http://www.vicks.com/vaporub.php

Here's my favorite "southern" term, AND it applies to you if your vocabulary contains chock-ows and/or pneumonia-cure.

"Bless your little heart!"

Sunday, June 1, 2008

"Pat and Charlie"???

Matt and I would like to do a little informal survey of our readers regarding a phrase that I mentioned last night. Please just post a simple yes or no in the comments section in response to this question! Please don't give away the answer as it might affect the results (and there is a bet on the line). By the way, PLEASE comment because Matt said that if only my immediate family comments, it doesn't count! So, here's the question--with all that buildup, it really doesn't seem so important anymore, but here goes...


...If you heard the phrase "pat and charlie" would you know what the speaker was referring to?

(By the way, I'll post the answer to the question later in the week!)
Edit: You can find the answer here!