Thursday, February 26, 2009

"You can't fight identity theft...with a caffeine deficiency"

We were robbed online. All of our money was stolen out of our online bank accounts. We just found out today that the Federal Trade Comission (FTC) considers that identify theft.

I am not really blogging about this. My husband did. Check out the story at: The Other Side of 30

I love this line: "you can't fight identity theft on an empty stomach and with a caffeine deficiency".

Thursday Thanks Tank #76

My mind is blurry with everything that is going on in my life right now. I am being stretched in some very real ways. I am thankful. Here is a glimpse of what is filling up my Thanks Tank this week (and a couple of prayer requests):

1. Friends. I could write a book on this one! I am thankful for all of my friends- both near and far, both related and not related to me. I am constantly touched by caring friends. I am also working on being a better friend and I am thankful for the examples of great friendship I have.

2. Comments on yesterday's post. I didn't expect so many comments on a post saying I was taking a blog break. If you missed that post, I am only going to be posting my Thanks Tank for a few weeks. Thank you for leaving such sweet comments. It was encouraging and each comment made me smile.

3. Date Night: I am thankful that we were able to go out with some friends from my MOPS group this past weekend. What a special treat to be out with adults and be able to carry a (somewhat) intelligent converstation during dinner.

4. Creativity. Yesterday I gave my kids modeling clay to play with. I am thankful for their creativity. I love watching them use their imagination.

5. Great 1 year-old pictures. After numerous plans to get my daughter's picture made (had to cancel because of a cold and scheduling conflicts) and one not-so-good photo shoot, I got some wonderful pictures made this past weekend. I cannot wait to get them back! I ordered the CD so I will have to share some of them with you.

6. Motivation. I am being motivated in several areas of my life right now. I am thankful for the words -from friends and books- that have motivated me. I am thankful that God has used those things to prompt me to action.

7. Opportunities to give back. I am thankful that I am going to have an opportunity to give to someone in the same way other people have given to me. I used to think, I have no way to repay all of the wonderful things people have done for me (when my husband was deployed to Iraq). I never imagined that I would be in a place to "pay-it-forward". Please pray for my sweet friend, Desiree, and her husband, Chris, who is getting ready to deploy to the middle east.

8. Peace. Yesterday someone accessed our online bank accounts and emptied them. They left about $200 in checking, presumably so we wouldn't notice right away. (This was all done online!) My husband and I have been blown away by this -it's unbelieveable. We keep commenting to each other that we cannot believe we feel such peace. I cannot explain the peace I feel. This past year and a half - transitioning out of the military- has been much more financially challenging than we anticipated. And, yet, this is beyond our control. I am thankful for the peace that surpasses all understanding. Please pray this gets worked out quickly. I am nervous about that.

9. Humor. This comic represents a constant exchange between me and my kids. I love this little bit of humor. In fact, I think about this little comic quite often when my kids are hounding me to find one of their missing toys.

Take time today to be thankful. It is worth your time.

**Afternoon Update: I wrote this post this morning and I felt just fine then. As the day has worn on, though, both my husband and I are feeling a bit discouraged. Keep us in your prayers. I'd really appreciate that.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Coffee Break

I am taking a "coffee break"... yep, a break from blogging. I hesitate to do this. I love, love, love my blogging hobby. I also appreciate and enjoy all of my blogland friends. I am following my heart and taking some time to get my priorities in order. I will continue to post a Thursday Thanks Tank every Thursday. I will be back to regular posting on April 13th (the day after Easter).

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles are my husband's favorite cookie. Here's the recipe I use. These cookies are delightful!


1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened (I always use butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups of sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs; blend well. Add flour, cream of tarter, baking soda and salt. Mix well. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon (I play with these amounts-adjusting them to my liking.) Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll balls in sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday Moment

My Monday Moments describe special moments of motherhood. Sometimes they are moments that make me laugh. Sometimes these moments make me cringe. Other times, they make me do both!

This past Friday I had MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). I am on the leadership team. I stayed afterward just a little bit to help clean-up. After MOPS, instead of heading directly home, I drove around a bit. It was a beautiful sunny day and I felt like enjoying the sunshine for a few minutes.

Once I got home, I began to make lunch. It was at that time that my youngest son (my 3 year-old) said something to me that was really cute. I leaned down to give him a hug.

Whoa! The stench of him nearly knocked me over. I checked his pants and it was not pleasant- not in the slightest way.

"Oh my! What in world?!!"
"You have poop in your pants!!"

It had been there a long time.

"WHY didn't you tell someone at MOPS?! (deep breath) Sweetie, why didn't you ask them to get your mom?"

There was a small pause. He looked up at me with his innocent eyes and then said,

"I thought about it... but every time I thought about it, I almost threw up."

Friday, February 20, 2009

Is there a Cure for Peanut Allergies?

If you or someone you know suffers from a peanut allergy (or nut allergy for that matter), check out this story: Cure for Peanut Allergy

I cannot imagine letting my son participate in the study. At the same time, it gives me great hope for the future.

Thanks to Nicole from He Gives Me Grace for passing on this information. Quite timely, with my Flashback Friday: Peanuts post.

Friday Flashback: Peanuts

I was looking through old pictures and this picture just grabbed my attention. I am the little girl on the right. The picture was taken Christmas 1976.

What a flashback! I had forgotten that my granddaddy loved peanuts. Sometimes he had bowls of peanuts sitting out. I had forgotten all about snacking on peanuts at my grandparents' house.

I don't have an explanation to why my granddaddy is holding out a bag of peanuts in this picture. I will tell you that it makes my skin crawl to look at it. After all, in my house, that's a bag of poison. My son has a life-threatening peanut allergy. It is hard for me to look at the picture and not focus on the peanuts. It's just like I glare at the bags of peanuts in the grocery store. Isn't perspective interesting? Let me go back, I don't know if I really glare at the peanuts (honestly, saying that just reflects how I feel). They catch my eye each and everytime I think, "I cannot believe those could kill my son."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank #75

I woke up grumpy this morning. Actually, I went to bed feeling dissatisfied and I woke up feeling exasperated. I continued to struggle as I faced my wrecked kitchen and my fighting kids. I spent much of the day trying to adjust my attitude. Somewhere in the middle of the day after reading and reflecting (how I was able to manage that in the chaos and put together a coherent thought amazes me when I think about it), I realized that I want to give thanks with more than just my lips (or in this case the keystrokes on my computer). I want to give thanks with my heart. I want it to be more than just being thankful by sheer willpower. It took willpower and dedication to cultivate a feeling of thankfulness today. I decided, though, that I want my character to reflect thankfulness. I decided that thankfulness is more a condition of my heart than a state of mind. I need to give thanks by faith in the promises of God. God promises that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose". I believe that means that God will use all things for my good. In other words, all things that happen to me can be used to make me more like him ("be conformed to the likeness of his Son"). I can be thankful in all things because all things can be used to make me more Christ-like. Ok, bear with me here, I am saying that even when I don't feel good or my circumstances are not ideal, I should thank God because 1) he commanded me (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) and 2)I know all circumstances can bring me closer to him.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
The only way I can imagine giving thanks continutally is to pray continually. This is my heart's desire.

Here's are a few things that have filled my "Thanks Tank" lately:
1. Visiting Friends (we had such a fantastic trip to visit friends last weekend)
2. Reading (Refreshes my soul)
3. Flowers (I zipped into Trader Joes rather quickly to get 1 item and they were giving away free roses!! Too many left from Valentine's day- how cool is a dozen free roses?!)
4. My children laughing (This always makes me smile)
5. Rocking my little girl (Not much is sweeter for me right now)
6. Sunshine (I enjoy every ray and every glimpse of blue sky.)
7. A clean kitchen sink (such a good feeling)
8. Blueberry Pancakes (We had breakfast for dinner - YUMMY)
9. Viewing pictures of long distance friends and family online (email, FB, myspace)
10. Chocolate Covered Strawberries (Oh my, this is the best taste in the whole world and I had some on Sunday.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Works-For-Me Wednesday: Free Magazines

Have you ever been tempted by magazines at the check-out counter? Sometimes a picture of an enticing dish (and promised recipe) catches my eye. Or, I might find myself lingering at the magazine's article titles about organization or decorating.

A few weeks ago, I discovered that I can get these magazines without paying for them! My local library lets me check the magazines out. Not only that, they have a free magazine section where where recycled (gently used) magazines are available. I now gather recipes from Taste of Home magazine. I have also gotten some delicious dishes from Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle. At my library, the current magazine cannot be checked out. So, I can only check out magazines one issue back. I found lots of great Valentine's day ideas in the February 2008 Better Homes and Garden magazine. When I used to get Newsweek, it was rare that I would finish it before the next copy came out. (I am doing good if I am only a week behind!) Now, I am not spending money unnecessarily on magazines. I know many magazines can be viewed online. However, I really enjoy leisurely flipping through the pages. I often keep a stash of magazines in my car so I can check out articles when I have a chance (like when I am waiting in line to pick up my son from school). Checking out magazines from the library (or picking up the freebie magazines) really works for me!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: Maple Pork

We tried out this recipe a couple of weeks ago. My husband and I loved it. The sauce is amazing and loaded with flavor. We couldn't believe that our kids were not impressed with it. We will have it again, anyway. It was good enough to make again even though the kids didn't love it (More for us! They can load up on whatever side items we have).

Marla’s Maple Pork

1 ½ lbs pork tenderloin*

½ cup pure maple syrup
2 T each reduced sodium soy sauce and ketchup
1 T Dijon mustard
2 tsp grated orange zest
1 ½ tsp each curry powder and ground coriander
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Trim pork of all visible fat. Place pork in a large, heavy duty, resealable bag.
Whisk together all marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour over pork in bag. Seal bag and turn several times to coat pork with marinade. Marinate pork in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Transfer pork and marinade to small roasting pan or baking dish. Roast, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Pork should be slightly pink in the middle. (*If you get a bigger pork loin, be sure to plan ahead for extra cooking time.)

Let pork rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Slice thinly, drizzle extra sauce over pork and serve immediately.

Tasty Tuesday Button

I have been doing a Tasty Tuesday for a long time off and on. You can check out my other recipes by looking at the Tasty Tuesday label on the left side of the blog. This past week I found a Tasty Tuesday blog carnival. Be sure to head over there to check out more recipes (Click on the Tasty Tuesday button and you will be taken to Forever...Wherever).

Monday, February 16, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to my version of "Not Me! Monday." This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

If you ask my husband, there is no telling what he would say about all of this...

I did not forget that I had moved the curling iron to keep my daughter from grabbing it. I did not reach down without looking and grab the hot side of the curling iron. I am never that careless - not me! (And, if you ask, I will tell you just how much that did not hurt.)

I did not put on a new outfit on my daughter and marvel that it just didn't seem to be fitting right. I did not comment to others that it was really tight in the front and really loose in the back. I did not have any idea that I put it on backwards until I went to get another outfit, went to my daughter and found that my loving friend had fixed the mistake. I did not feel a bit silly - not me!

When my friend's sister held up an adult shirt that resembled the top of my daughter's outfit and asked me which side was the front, I did not answer honestly. I did momentarily wonder why she didn't know the front from the back before I realized they were making fun at me. I am not that clueless- not me!

I did not spend much of the weekend laughing my head off at my husband playing Guitar Hero on the Wii. We had never played before this weekend and we both really enjoyed playing our friends' game. I do not think it is hysterical how my husband could not stop playing and saying "I ROCK!" I never laugh at my husband! And, I won't be watching the video of him playing in coming days just for laughs - not me!

I went on a a double date with my husband and some good friends on Valentine's day. That much is true. I was excited about being out without the kids. I was just a little worried about my 1 year-old who is not used to being left with a babysitter. I asked my husband numerous times if he thought she was okay. I did not put my phone in my big momma bag (oh, and I did not bring my big momma bag out on a date) where I could not hear it over the noise of the restaurant. That would be terrible if the babysitter called and I couldn't actually hear my phone. Thank goodness that wasn't me! (And... thank goodness the babysitter had my friend's phone number, too.)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Food: Cake and Cookies

I simply love cooking with my kids. I don't always make time to do it but when I do, I enjoy every minute and I take lots of pictures. This week we had an abundance of excuses to make goodies. My 7 year-old had a cub scout dinner mid-week. There was a dessert competition. We made a snake cake. Valentine's day is around the corner. We decided to make heart cookies for my 2nd son's preschool class. I was thrilled (beyond excited) to find an old recipe this week for Frosted Sugar Cookies. I got the recipe about 7 years ago when we lived in Virgina and then it got misplaced somewhere along the way (we have lived in 3 states since then!). The recipe was perfect for the Valentine cookies!

Snake Cake
We made a chocolate cake (and tucked in some chocolate chips, of course) in a bundt pan. Then, we cut the bundt cake in half and arranged it like a snake. My son decorated it with icing, mini-vanilla wafers, skittles, and dot candies. The eyes were blue gum balls and the tongue was a fruit roll-up.
(I think our snake looked more like a caterpillar. The boys just loved it, though.)

JA's Frosted Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup of sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp soda
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup shortening
3 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp cream of tartar

Mix all ingredients well and roll out on board. Cut into desired shapes. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. (Don't let edges get too brown.)

1/2 cup of softened butter
1/8 tsp salt
1 lb powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 T milk

Mix all ingredients well (if too stiff, add a bit more milk). Color as desired with food coloring and frost cookies when they have cooled.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank #74

This week there is only one thing on my Thursday Thanks Tank. I am thankful for my husband.

There is a S.W.A.K. carnival going on at We Are That Family. The point of the carnival is to write a post honoring your hubby. I have enjoyed making lists about my husband. He has no idea (or he didn't until now) that I have been doing it. It has been fun to think about the history of our relationship. It has been fun to think about all of the ways he is dear to my heart. Regardless of whether you enjoy my story (I hope you do), it has been heart-warming for me to remember.

When I was a little girl, I prayed for the man I might marry one day. I prayed that God would be with my future husband. I remember just marveling at the idea of praying for that man I would marry.

As a young adult, I lived in the moment. I did things if I thought they would make me feel good. I didn’t know it at the time, but ultimately I was searching for contentment. It started in high school and it defined me as I started college. I tried knowledge and achievements. But, I figured out pretty quickly that an excellent score only felt good as long as you weren’t thinking about the next test. I tried physical pleasure, but the substances and activities were a fleeting euphoria and I came down harder than I went up. I tried relationships: finding validation and purpose through loving others. I found that it was wonderful but it didn’t give me peace. No one was making me completely happy. I could never totally make others happy, either. Every time I tried some pleasure, my heart’s cry was “That was good but I want something better.” My search for meaningful relationships, led me to realize that there wasn’t a person that could make me feel satisfied. I struggled with love. Love was so amazing but it could be so fleeting, too. People could endearing but hurtful. What did it mean to love? I struggled to trust people and to be willing to love with my whole heart.

In the middle of this turmoil, I fell for my husband. We began dating toward the end of my senior year in high school. I went away to college after I graduated and he stayed in our hometown. Our relationship was rocky that first year of college. The very night I came home for summer break, the boy-turned-man gave me an ultimatum. He said, “You choose – either him or me. You have to choose now. I cannot wait.” In truth, it was either them or me (but he didn’t know that until much later). I knew that he didn’t deserve me. I feared (with an ache deep in my soul) that he couldn’t love the real me. But, I couldn’t let him go. I chose him.

I had to realize that love cannot be seen or quantified; it just has to be trusted. In learning to trust, ultimately, I also began to learn to trust God. “God is love” became real to me. God cannot be seen unless you believe he is there. Through my own selfishness and ignorance, I hadn’t been able to see Him or much else besides my personal fulfillment. I recognized that having faith and being faithful requires dedication and a resolve to let go of selfishness. I decided to have faith. I decided to trust there was a God who loved me a sent his son to cover my failures. I took a baby step- a commitment to trust- and I was granted contentment and something I didn’t expect: joy. My relationship with Christ has given me undefineable joy.

My husband gave me a real glimpse of unconditional love. I thank God for my husband. I thank God for answering the prayers of a little girl. I am thankful that he gave my husband such a big heart. I am grateful that he used my husband to reveal my need for faith in God and a consistent relationship with him.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I have been tagged for a few things lately. I am not sure about blog etiquette but I am pretty sure I am late on taking care of business. I am also not following the rules exactly because I am not tagging others. I do appreciate the tags. In my opinion, it is like a blog hug. Thank you to the taggers that tagged me.

Carey at Life in the Car Pool Lane tagged me with an award. It is the Friendship Award.

I really appreciate the blog friendships that I have made. It is an honor to have friends that visit my blog and enjoy my words.

I was tagged by "My Confessions of Craziness" in a meme to list 20 random things about me. The rules were: You are supposed to write a note with 20 random things, facts, habits, or goals about yourself.

Francesca at Three Bay B Chicks tagged me in a meme to make a list of things that I love. The rules were: List things you love. Choose a number that is significant to you.

In response, I thought I would make a list of 20 random things that I love. I decided to make a list of brands that I love. It was harder than I expected.

Brands that I would rather not do without:
1. Starbucks coffee
2. Charmin Ultra soft toilet paper
3. Hunts Ketchup
4. Birkenstocks
5. Toyotas
6. Aveda Hair products
7. Coca Cola
8. Guittard Chocolate Chips
9. Sun Butter
10. Sara Lee Bagels
11. Aquafresh Kids Tooth paste
12. Play-dough
13. Mallorie’s Milk
14. Johnson’s soap bar
15. Kraft Deli-sliced American Cheese
16. Ritz Crackers
17. Bath and Body Works Bubble Bath
18. Puffs with lotion
19. Huggies Supreme diapers
20. Forever Stamps

Now, look at my list and tell me if you agree with any of them: you couldn't do without them. Go ahead an let me know if you disagree (like, if you are a Pepsi lover -ew, yuck).

Monday, February 09, 2009

Monday Moment

It's somewhat late on Monday night and I want to share something with you.

Be sure to note that the bottom of the socks that were inside the shoes are black with mud.

Two weeks ago in my Thursday Thanks Tank, I was thankful for muddy shoes. Tonight, when my son walked in, I grimaced, held my breath, and clenched my teeth. Oh, those thankful thoughts were not there.

If you look back at the photo- and look carefully- you might notice a Nike symbol. My husband and I accidentally paid too much for my son's shoes. (Long story... goes something like this: My 3 year-old has to wear Double E shoes [extra wide] so when we were shopping for his shoes we grabbed some for my 7 year-old.) It was not a wise decision. Let me tell you why.

My 7 year-old was a bit confused by my reaction to his muddy shoes tonight (since it was almost the opposite reaction from 2 weeks ago). I told him, "These are your GOOD shoes." To which he said, "No, they are not. I like my white ones better." The white ones were $15 at Wal-mart.

A few minutes later at dinner my son said, "Mom, I am all boy, right?"
Oh, how my words come back to haunt me!

That was my Monday moment. It was a moment of self-reflection. Two situations that were exactly the same and my reaction was totally different. It was a moment of self-assessment: just because I am really picky about my shoes and my 3rd son has serious shoe needs, not everyone needs nice shoes. I think cheap shoes might work just dandy for my 7 year-old!

I cannot stop thinking..."Two weeks ago, I was thankful for these muddy shoes!??!"

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to my version of "Not Me! Monday." This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did not go back and forth all day Sunday about whether or not I was going to participate in Not Me! Monday. I have not been questioning my creative abilities ever since someone pointed out that I participate in a regular post (like Not Me! Monday, Tasty Tuesday, etc) every day of the week. I have not been trying to convince myself that I am a creative person ever since - not at all. I don't think that putting together complete sentences when you have 4 children can qualify as creative writing - not me!

Ok, I feel better saying all of that. Now, on to some little things I didn't do this week.

I didn't find a cup with a lid on it in the dishwasher when I was unloading it. It was no surprise the cup didn't get clean on the inside. I think my husband put the cup in there in there because I certainly didn't do it - not me.

Last Monday, I did not congratulate a blogland friend on the big football win only to realize 1 second after posting that I had just congratulated an Arizona Cardinals fan. Oops- that's awful. I am not posting this because she threatened to comment about it on my next Not Me! Monday post - not me!

I did not open the door to my van one day this week and think, "Man, my car still stinks." That thought was not followed by, "My car kind smells like an old diaper...oooooohhhhhhh noooooo." I definitely did not locate a diaper that I had left in the bottom of the stroller (because there weren't any trash cans handy) one week before. That's disgusting! That would never happen - not to me.

I didn't follow my husband's suggestion to go get a couple of groceries in the next town over so I could get a latte. I didn't get to the exit at that town at the exact time that the Starbucks was closing. I did not keep driving to the next town 20 miles away just because it felt good to drive, I had the time, and I had convinced myself that latte was going to be delicious. I absolutely did not consider not mentioning this to my husband when he didn't question what took me so long - not me!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

When the Boys Are Away, the Girls Play

Friday night my husband took the 3 boys out. My son's elementary school was having a movie night. When the boys were away...

Elisabeth wanted to dress up. So, she had 3 or 4 outfit changes, pictures, and a nice bubble bath.

She is getting her 1 year-old picture made in the blue and white dress today.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Friday Flashback: Our 1st Date

My first date with my husband was to a Sadie Hawkins dance my senior year in high school. We had a great time at the dance. We even went ice skating after the dance.

The tradition for a Sadie Hawkins dance is for the girl to ask the guy out. I asked my husband out on our first date! My husband used to claim that didn't matter because we didn't start dating then. He also claims that he adored me in earlier years. He says he had his eye on me when he was a freshmen and I was a sophomore. I believe him because it seems incredibly sweet.

We didn't start dating after that Sadie Hawkins dance. My hubby saw me at the mall with a friend (neighbor boy) and he made a seemingly logical assumption. Thankfully the details were worked out and he asked me to my senior prom in May. That's when we started dating. It's fun to think about those early years... and crazy to think that a high school love can be the real thing.

Let's see... Jonathan's almost 8 so in 7 years he would be in high is crazy to think about.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank #73

This morning I stopped by the Thankful Thursday carnival at Grace Alone. Every Thursday Iris hosts Thankful Thursday and provides a theme for thankfulness. This week the theme is change. I have had fun thinking about change today. As always, I am enjoying my Thankful Thursday.

I am thankful for all of this and so much more:

Changing Weather: We have had 3 or 4 days of sunshine. This is a big change! It has been so nice to see the sun and it has been such a wonderful change for my boys to be able to play outside.

Changing Needs: The location for my spices needs to be changed. The drawers worked wonderfully for my spices until my Spice Girl became mobile. Today the drawers are empty. The spices are on the counter and I am looking for a new location. (Finding the Garlic Salt in my laundry pile was the last straw.) Oh wait- why am I thankful for this? I am thankful that my little girl is growing, exploring and helping me reorganize!

Change of Clothes: I am thankful for a nice change of clothes each day. Yep, I thought of this one when I was folding laundry this morning.

Changing my Perspective: I love talking my husband. I love and value his opinion. Often his thoughts help me see situations in a new light. I am thankful that he often gives me a new perspective.

Changing Hairstyles: I couldn't help but think of this one when I thought of change. I am so thankful that hairstyles have changed and are not what they were in the 80's. I am the girl with the biggest hair (the one in red). This picture scares me (and again, makes me oh-so-thankful time have changed!)

Changing Routines: Changing my family's routine is hard. Today Jonathan is riding the bus home. I have been talking to him for a little while about this change. Elisabeth has moved to 1 nap a day. She is hits her tired limit about 1 p.m. Jonathan's school gets out at 2:30 p.m. I am thankful that even though Jonathan doesn't like riding the bus, he was understanding about the change. I am also thankful that Elisabeth went down for a nap at 1:15 today.

Change of Instructions: I am happy and thankful that I could change my instructions to the boys today. We went to the story-time at the library. As soon as we got there and I saw the birthday decorations, I began preparing David for the possibility of a treat that he wouldn't be able to eat. They were celebrating Oregon's birthday. When the cupcakes were brought out, I told the boys they could not have one. I checked the label "just for kicks" and was shocked. The label read, "Made in a nut-free facility." I am so thankful for that amazing surprise! I am thankful that I could change my instructions to the boys.

I change and He stays the Same: I am always changing: my mood, my attitude, my patience, my discipline and on and on. I am so thankful that God does not change. Hebrews 13:8 - "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

Take time to be thankful. It will make a difference in your day and maybe even your whole week!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Wednesday Words

I forgot that I had a walk-in closet in my bedroom. I am serious! I had crammed so much in my closet that it was difficult (and frustrating) to get to my clothes. So, yesterday I pulled everything that was on the floor of my closet out. I have not figured out where all of that stuff is going to go yet but it isn't going to go back in there! I am going to get rid of stuff. I don't need it all. That much is certain. I am going to stop putting stuff in my closet that doesn't belong so I can start enjoying the closet I was excited about when we bought our house.

The discovery of my long-lost walk-in closet reminded me of something I read last week (and not for the first time, either) about the master bedroom. The words that follow inspire me. I constantly struggle with keeping my room clean and free of clutter. However, these words remind me of the importance of making my room a haven.

"Think of the most romantic place you've ever been. Was it a hotel? A weekend spa? A romp in a grassy field? Okay-no one needs so much information. But I'll bet you anything it was a place free of clutter and distractions that might have detracted from your loving moments. Follow that same basic concept if you are looking to create peace and calm. What do you want from the space where you sleep, and where you and your partner have your most intimate moments? What is your vision for your relationship? You bedroom should be a place that reflects this and fosters calm, warmth, and love. Reclaim your space. Only you can make that happen."
Peter Walsh, It's All Too Much

Here's one quote more from the same book-

"No room in the home should be more important to a couple than their bedroom. Disarray in the master bedroom has more impact on family life, on peace and harmony, on love and respect, and on a relationship than it does in any other room."

It is February and love is in the air... or at least the commercialization of Valentine's Day is everywhere. You might be thinking about ways to show your spouse love. Let me give you an idea: Declutter your room. It will be the best kind of gift to your husband. Probably, he won't even recognize it (and by all means, don't expect him to!). It will be a gift to yourself so you can enjoy your space more. When I enjoy my space more, I am happier and more loving. That will be your gift to your spouse (wink, wink).

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: Blueberry Orange Muffins

I got this recipe from a cookbook my Washington MOPS group put together. Let me just tell you, these muffins were DE-LI-CIOUS. Oh my goodness, I could not stop eating them. I made them with fresh blueberries. (I have not tried them with frozen.) I added the cinnamon sugar topping to about half. They were wonderful both with and without the topping (definitely try out the cinnamon sugar topping!).

Blueberry Orange Muffins

Recipe Note: This muffin recipe was made at a tavern in Williamsburg, VA that George and Martha Washington used to frequent.

3 cups sifted flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups fresh blueberries (frozen can be used)
1 T. grated orange peel
1/2 cup + 4 tsp orange juice
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Mix well; add blueberries, tossing lightly till coated. Beat together remaining ingredients. Add to dry ingredients just till dry ingredients are moistened. Fill greased muffin pans 2/3 cup full (or can make 1 large loaf). Bake 20 minutes at 425 degrees or bake loaf at 350 degrees for 1 hour 10 minutes. If desired, remove muffins from pan while still warm and dip tops in melted butter, then in mixture of 1 cup sugar + 2 tsp cinnamon.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to my version of "Not Me! Monday." This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

If you ask, I will deny every bit of the following.

I did not continue to get email notifications of blog comments when I had my giveaway. I did not get each and everyone of those notifications (over 300) on my phone. Despite my husband's urging, I did not refuse to take off the notification (for fear of missing a real comment on an older post). I did not find it easy to justify that- not me!

I tried a new Blueberry Orange muffin recipe on Saturday morning. That much is true. But, I did not eat so many of them that I was not hungry for lunch. Then, I did not eat another one at 3:30 because it was clearly too late for lunch. I do not let myself eat crazy like that- not me!

I was not jealous when my son (who had a belly-ache) was snuggling with Daddy last night. I did not shamefully ask him if he wanted me to rock him. I did not feel guilty when Daddy gave me a sad look. In no way, shape or form, is this a confession or apology to my husband. I do not still feel bad about interrupting a sweet moment- nope, not me!

I am not constantly thinking about the sweet reunion that will take place tonight when my sister's husband gets back from his deployment to the middle east. Just thinking about it does not stir my emotions. I am not emotional, ever - not me!

I am not considering doing something drastic to make an impression on the little boy that keeps forgetting to flush first thing in the morning. I am not upstairs when the 3 boys get up so I don't know which one is guilty. They all deny it. I am not oh-so-sick and extremely disgusted by the stench of it when I discover it later in the day. I would not welcome suggestions- oh not at all- because I am not afraid I might just "loose it" some day soon. I don't think so, not this mom- not me!

I have not over-done it lately. I did not take a 2 hour nap yesterday afternoon and then think about going to bed at 9 p.m. I went to bed at 10. That is not really early for me. I am not still exhausted today and this morning I did not think to myself, "I need to bathe in coffee." I cannot imagine - not me!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Gravity Giveaway Winner

The winner of my giveaway is: mom2anutball

She is the winner of a $15 Starbucks Gift Card, an Embroidered Towel, and a set of Notecards.

Thank you to everyone that played along. When I decided to do a contest, I had no idea so many people would be entering it. (And, neither did my friend, Kim, who accidentally forgot to deselect the "Email Follow-up Comments" check box!) My first contest was a lot of fun! I know I will be hosting more contests in the future.

For everyone that is new to my blog, welcome! If you want to know a bit about how the blog started and how it got it's name, go here: Gravity of Motion: The Weight of Constant Activity.

Congratulations, again, to mom2anutball!