About Me

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I like to think of myself as the 'crazy mom of four'. I'm 31 years old and I love my life, my kids, my husband and my God. "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Eliot

Sunday, May 31, 2009

An interesting dinner choice

We wanted to go to Chik-fil-a for dinner. We ALWAYS forget they are closed on Sundays. And it seems that we always want to go on SUNDAYS! So across the street there is a Taco Bell, a KFC, or a Chinese restaurant. From across the street, we can see that the Chinese restaurant is called Hong Kong Buffet. We decide to give the Hong Kong Buffet a try. So we park. And we look up and see all the windows. They have decals on them 'announcing' the different foods they offer. I edited the picture (you may have to click on it to enlarge it to see it clearly) because I wanted you to see these windows. Kris and I were amused.

What I didn't get a picture of was the side of the building that also said they have PIES. Yeah...they basically just had Chinese food. Guess they didn't want to go to the expense of removing the words from the windows.

Also, here is the fortune cookie I got tonight. I'm not sure what to think about this. There's not much left to 'enhance'!

Boneman's Daughters

Kris and I are listening to Ted Dekker's newest book, "Boneman's Daughters". We're about 4 hours in (total of 10 or so). It's really good. Thank you Ted Dekker for writing another book that IS the great work I am used to from you! Of course, I have no idea how it will end, but I hope that it will not disappoint. It seems like the last few books ("Adam", "Skin" and "Sinner" in particular) haven't lived up to my expectations for Ted Dekker's brilliance in writing. "Kiss" was pretty good, and this new book is along the same lines, as far as the genre, but so far I like it better than "Kiss".

You should see all the wires we have in the car. Ooh, maybe I should take a picture of our electronic set up here. Ok...I decided to show you what big geeks Kris and I are. There's no denying it. I even edited one picture and put text on it to show what everything is!

This is Kris' phone/speaker set up that is providing our GPS:

Here is a picture of me, blogging (shocker!):

And this, this is the picture that labels what everything is that is keeping us occupied and enjoying our long drive:

And now, now it's time to take some medication because the roads are getting curvy and we're getting into the mountains, and I am REALLY anxious. And the medication is NOT for car sickness, which I am fortunate enough NOT to suffer from.

Vacation has begun!!

As usual, I waited until the last minute to pack. I didn't get started until about 10pm and finally finished up the laundry and final packing around 11:30pm. Kris went to bed early so that he could make it through the long day of driving we had planned for today. I finally went to sleep around midnight after finishing "Click" for the second time. I was up and alert at 5am, which normally would be astonishing. But I always did get so eager before any kind of trip that it wasn't difficult to get up. I can remember every year when we would go to King's Island I had so much trouble falling asleep that night before, and NEVER had a problem getting up. I like trips. I especially like carefree, KID-free trips. It was sad saying goodbye to my kids-I think this is the longest we have left them, though the week they have spent with my parents a couple of times came close. Kaleb had no interest at all in saying bye to me, as he was all to eager to get back to his video game, but the girls were sweet and gave me hugs. So, while it was sad to say goodbye, I was ready!

I started out the driving (we left at 6:15am-only 15 minutes later than we had hoped!). I figured that would give Kris some time to wake up, since I didn't wake him up until 5:45am. We are in Missouri somewhere. Oh the excitement...

If you are reading this, just to warn you, now that I am not working and have more time, I will probably have quite a few posts with pictures. So to start us off, here are some pictures we took this morning to start off our journey. Oh yeah, and once again, because I can, I am blogging while Kris drives, connected to the internet through my Instinct!

Here is my handsome husband, still loving me, excited to be finally leaving for Florida:

Here is me, after Kris told me to 'look like you're annoyed with me' (even though I wasn't really annoyed):

Here we are, both very happy and excited about this vacation/10 year anniversary celebration:

There will be more to come. Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's a busy day for blogging...

The kids LOVED Night at the Museum 2. Kris and I really enjoyed it as well. The older kids thought it was one of the best movies they have seen. Livvy on the other hand said she didn't like it. And then she said she DID like it-there were just two parts, then there were three parts she didn't like (her words): the octopus, the dinosaur and when that guy opened that lamp and put the little man in it. The lamp, by the way, was not actually a lamp, but an hourglass. It was so cute hearing her describe it though!

We were not able to get our family pictures taken today, due to the rain, which was incredibly frustrating since it is 9pm and it still has not actually rained where we're at!!! However, it did get pretty dark and pretended like it was going to rain, so waiting until the sun is out a little more and the wind isn't blowing so much will probably just make our pictures turn out that much better. Hopefully we can get them done Thursday evening. The most annoying part was getting the kids all bathed and dressed and doing all of the girls' hair, including my own. I like to try to look nice...but I HATE the work involved. I'm not one of those people that just loves to spend an hour on my hair and another 20 minutes on my makeup. I used to never wear makeup to begin with. Now, the only reason I put it on before work most days is because I leave it in my car and do it before I go in. It's just never been a priority. But I worked HARD today to get all of us 'perfect' (well, as perfect as we are going to get physically!). And everyone had their new picture outfits on...and then we just had to come home and take them off and put them away so that they aren't ruined by the time we actually get to our pictures taken!

Kat's baptism

Here is the video of Katherine's baptism this morning. It's a little shaky, and the quality isn't as great as I would have liked-I took this video on my digital camera and wasn't close enough to see their faces clearly. But if you are interested...here is Kris baptizing Katherine. :)

A new life

Katherine is getting baptized this morning. It's exciting! I told her to go tell Daddy it was her birthday. Then I stopped her and asked if she knew what I meant by that. She told me that it meant she was going to start a new life with Jesus. If we want nothing else for our children. we want them to know God, to REALLY know God. Not just believe in Him. Not just believe that Jesus died for their sins. But to have a personal relationship with Him. Katherine is starting that journey and it thrills us.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

First Impressions of EA Sports Active for the Wii

Some of you have read/heard me talking recently about EA Sports Active for the Wii. It was released on May 19th and Kris and I decided we would go ahead and purchase it, after watching many videos on it and reading reviews-actually, we learned this game was coming out back in January or so and talked at that time about whether or not we would end up getting it. It is normally $58.99 but we signed up at www.buy.com and got a $30 credit AND FREE shipping! So we got it (in just two days) for $28.99 and it includes a resistance band and a pouch for the nunchuck to monitor leg activies (for running, lunges, etc...).

My first impression: SO SO SO much more sophisticated and advanced than Wii Fit. The amount of different custom/pre-made workouts is almost overwhelming. There is a 30 day challenge that combines all of the different activities available, and it is compatible with the Wii Fit Balance Board-in fact if you use the balance board WITH Sports Active it should give you an even harder workout. From what I was reading, rather than using the balance board all the time, some days will specifically be 'balance board days'.

In addition to the 30 day challenge are pre-made workouts as I mentioned above. I knew that I didn't want to try anything that would really strain my entire body, so rather than doing something that encompassed all the activities in the 'game', I scrolled down until I found the one I wanted. Like I said-there were a LOT of pre-made ones. Kris, for instance is doing a sports lover type workout right now. He's done some volleyball moves, basketball moves, baseball, lunges, squats and who knows what else to come. Probably tennis and the inline skating that is available within the 'game' as well. I keep saying 'game' but it's really NOT a game. If you want a great workout program THIS is it. I'm 100% convinced...and I have barely seen everything that is available.

Ok, back to me. As some of you know, I have had a lot of problems lately with my back/neck and shoulder. Medication doesn't help, at all, and I've gone back to physical therapy but so far still haven't had much relief. In PT, she is having me do some weight/strength training to strengthen my back muscles. So, this Sports Active actually has a couple of different workouts specifically targeted for toning/strengthening the back and shoulders! So I chose a 19 minute workout and about 6 minutes in I was already sweating. Most of my activities used the resistance band and in between these activities, I had to do some boxing as well. By the end of the 19 minutes (25 with the videos showing me how to do the 'moves') I was tired and sweaty and really felt like I had gotten a workout. And while I feel some stiffness now in the middle of my back, the awful pain I've had in my right shoulder and neck is actually MUCH better. Hopefully between this and physical therapy I will be back to normal sooner. I am not going to do any of the other workouts at this point because I really want to get my back/neck back under control so that I can handle the other activities. Once I get myself back to normal, I plan to start the 30 day challenge and go from there.

Oh yeah, another great feature of this 'game' is that you input your daily habits, such as how much you sleep, how many veggies you eat, how long you sit during the day, how much water you drink, your height and weight, etc... It takes this information and calculates how many calories you should burn over the course of the week, how many hours you should work out in the next 30 days and how many workouts you should do in the next week. Before your work out, it gives you a projection of how many calories that particular workout should burn. So, for instance, the one I chose projected I would burn 117 calories, but by the time I was done, I had burned 128. Kris' said he should burn 168, I think. He's already burned 161 and still has a couple of activities left-and he's REALLY sweating!

I'm pretty excited about it and for anyone who has wondered whether or not it is worth it, if you want a GREAT workout program that you can do from the comfort of your own home, this is well worth the money, and cheaper than the P90X or the Chuck Norris Total Gym. As I do more of the workouts, I will post some more information about what all they include, but for now I am focusing on getting my neck/back/shoulder better.

Hope this helps anyone who was interested in this but wasn't sure if it was worth it. IT IS!!!

The $10 'gold' shirt

I want to start out by saying that Livvy's school has been SO convenient this last school year, because it is within walking distance of our house and was affordable. And I am truly thankful for that. However, Kris and I have never felt 100% comfortable with the school. We weren't concerned about Livvy's safety, or the curriculum. Nothing like that. In fact, we both really like the new teacher Livvy got halfway through the year. But there is just something 'off' about the school and we've never had a great feeling about it. Throughout the year there have been a handful of 'political' type things that we have found to be incredibly ridiculous. I believe that today's incident, however, has topped the list.

I was worried when I saw I missed a call from her school both at work and on my cell phone. I thought that something was wrong with Olivia. Once I finally got through, I found out what they were calling for. Now, Kris came home yesterday and said that Livvy was going on a field trip today and her teacher said she had to wear red or yellow (you know so they can keep track of the kids). Earlier in the school year we paid more money than we wanted to for a MANDATORY red polo with her school's logo on it, in gold. Well, we figured we couldn't go wrong putting her in THAT shirt today. The teacher said red or yellow and so we put her in RED. Her RED 'official' uniform shirt.

So I get this phone call and have no clue who I am talking to; it might have been the principal or a secretary-that part doesn't matter really. This person proceeded to tell me that Livvy wasn't dressed appropriately and that she was supposed to be in a GOLD shirt. First of all, who has gold shirts???? Apparently her school does. And though Livvy's teacher told Kris red or yellow for the field trip, there was apparently a note that came home last night saying she had to be in gold. Well, it should be no surprise that we didn't see the note. I asked Kris yesterday morning if he had gone through her backpack, and he had but both of us forgot about it last night/this morning. Regardless, though, even if we had seen the note, we didn't have a gold uniform shirt.

Bottom line, we have to PAY for a gold shirt, because neither one of us can leave work today just to pick her up because she has the wrong shirt on and can't go on her field trip. It better have some actual gold in it!! The lady told me they had a few extras, and I'm thinking (HOPING) that they will just put her in one and then change her back after the field trip. Nope. She told me that we could pay for it when we picked her up. She asked if I wanted to do that and I asked her what other choice I had. She said 'ok' and that they would put one of those gold shirts on her. She has worn her red 'official' school uniform less than 5 times-the only time it was REQUIRED was a class/school picture (this is the ONLY reason we bought it-because it was required) and one program she was in. So we paid for that shirt and barely got our money's worth. Now, we are stuck paying for a gold shirt and TODAY is the only day she will wear it. I am tempted to send her to school in it for the next five days she has left at school. Yes, perhaps that is what I will do...

Needless to say, Kris and I are not too happy about it and are SO ready to get her out of there and send the kids back to Grace. We are, by the way, sending the kids back to Grace next year (all four of them in one place!), and while we don't have our finances lined up yet, we know that God will provide what we need.

I was sitting here trying to remember what made us so mad about her school last time. Kris was tempted to pull her out then for the rest of the year. And then I remembered...it was a few weeks ago when Livvy had the swine flu. That's right... *rolling my eyes*

Monday, May 11, 2009

Potty mouth

Twice now Kaleb has chosen to yell 'f*** you' at Katherine when he was mad. The first time, I wasn't home. Kris talked to him about it and hoped he had nipped it in the bud. Well...he didn't. Mad about something, Kaleb chose to say it again this afternoon to Katherine.

Unsure of how to proceed from there, we took a trip to the library and Kris and I discussed briefly, via text, how to handle the situation. We decided that he would lose electronics (computer, Wii, TV) until Friday. In addition, we found some Bible verses that talk about the tongue and harmful talk. He is currently looking up the 7 passages in his Bible and then copying them down. He will do this for the next three days. Thursday he is going to write a 'report' of sorts about what he has learned.

Kris bought me two new Bibles for Mother's Day. Since he spilled anti-freeze on my other one, we've talked about me getting a new one. I found one I like, but it was NIV and I really wanted New Living Translation. As I kept looking, I found another Bible I liked-it's the One Year Bible. It's pretty cool. Instead of being arranged in order (Genesis-Revelation) it's arranged by date. It's broken up so that in the course of a year, you will have read through the whole Bible. So you go to whatever day it is, and read the selected chapters. It has a passage from the Old Testament, something from the New Testament, part of Psalms and part of Proverbs. It's really an interesting concept. But then I had this dilemma. When I am at church or need to look something up, how am I going to do it? So I found a smaller Bible (NIV) that I can carry with me. Both of them together cost about $20 LESS than the original one I had found. I really like having some direction, some sort of 'format' for reading the Bible.

It's interesting too. Kris and I had gotten away from really sitting down and purposefully reading the Bible. We have started doing it now though after the kids go to bed, and have been really trying to do it consistently. So rather than hearing the TV as they go to sleep, they are now hearing us discuss what we are reading. If you ever think your kids aren't watching you, you're wrong. Tonight, Katherine asked if she could use my Bible 'with the dates'. She got her journal and my Bible and went to the table with it. I am not sure yet what all she did (I plan to ask her) but this simple act of getting back into the Word is being watched by my children. It's one of those things that we should have been doing all along. It's something that is obviously having an impact on the kids. The other night, Kaleb got his Bible and was looking up the passages he needs to memorize for church. It was cute and it showed me how important it is for Kris and I to set this example for the kids.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A good night

Tonight was a good night. Katherine has talked to us before about getting baptized. She told me a month or so ago that she was ready, but she wanted to wait until she was 9 (which will be in October). I asked her why. She just very matter-of-fact-like told me that's just when she wanted to be baptized. So I said ok. Well, this past Sunday during communion Kris was talking to Katherine, I assume about Christ's death and the symbolism in communion. Then, after church she told 'Pastor Jeff' that she wanted to be baptized, when she was 9. Apparently (I just learned this tonight) she filled out some sort of questionnaire on Sunday about Jesus I guess, though I am a little unsure of the details of said questionnaire.

They gave me an envelope tonight with Katherine's name on it, and I looked at it and it had instructions for her baptism, and the date listed was May 10-Mother's Day. I asked her if she was planning to be baptized Sunday and she said yes. I asked her about her plans to wait until she was 9, and she said she told Jeff she wanted to be baptized sometime this month. Well, there are apparently going to be a couple of other baptisms on Mother's Day and so she could be baptized then if she was ready.

While this is extremely exciting, I'm not actually writing this to share Katherine's decision to be baptized. She's Katherine...it should be no surprise to anyone who knows her well that she would make this decision.

What I want to share is what happened in the van shortly after this conversation about Katherine being baptized on Mother's Day. I am almost 100% sure that neither Kris nor myself said anything about her baptism being a gift for Mother's Day, but I could be wrong. Anyway, we get to the van, and I look back at Kaleb and he's struggling to maintain his composure. I could tell he was upset and there were tears welling up in his eyes. While we were walking out, Kaleb informed us that he too wanted to be baptized. So when I saw him crying, I went on and on about how he shouldn't get baptized just because Katherine was, or just because he felt left out. I was trying to be really understanding but let him know at the same time that being baptized wasn't a decision to take lightly. He starts crying even more.

And then he said "That's not why." As in, that's not why he was crying. He continued, with desperation in his little voice, to tell me that all he had was gifts made of paper, and Katherine was going to give me the best gift for Mother's Day. I almost burst into tears myself. He was already buckled so I told him to unbuckle and come up to me. I held him in my arms and was just filled with love for him.

At the end of it all, we decided that in fairness to everyone, Katherine could get baptized this month if she wants (though at our church they may only do it on a monthly basis-I'm not sure), BUT she was not going to be baptized ON Mother's Day. Everyone was satisfied with this outcome.

Even with the trouble he gives me...I truly love my son and think he is brilliant and wise beyond his years. Just to clarify, even though I didn't say I love my girls here...it should be assumed that I do!