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, January 31, 2010

Katherine the Designer

The last thing I was to share (though in the order these posts it will appear to be the first) is something that makes Kris and me extremely proud. Katherine is good at most things she sets her hands to. She's intelligent...very. When I see her do or hear her say things that are well beyond her years, I am both amazed and proud of her. Additional to the successes she experiences academically, that girl loves art. Loves it. She always has and I think that she always will.

There is a spring carnival coming up in April and some of the classes drew pictures for what they thought the T-shirts should look like. Katherine entered her submission, which is below. The first tow pictures are the bulletin board where all of the submissions were hanging. There were 10 suggestions.

Abbey actually submitted an entry as well for the T-shirt design contest. In looking at her design (oh the 'theme' is Growing with Grace). See below:

I had seen Katherinen's design too and really liked it. I was really impressed too. I don't know how many submissions there were but I know that more than 1 or 2 classes submitted designs. I just really loved Kat's, especially after she explained to me why she chose to put certain items in her design. I wanted hers to win...I really did. And it wasn't just because she's my daughter. It's because I looked at her design and thought "That would be a great t-shirt-I really want hers to win!"

Yesterday when I went to pick the kids up, I noticed something in the hallway. The teachers had finally reviewed all of the submissions. Check out Kat's design submission:

FIRST PLACE! My girl got first place!!! How cool is that?!? I feel the need to explain things though I would assume most of it is self-explanatory. First, she's got the school in the middle with a banner that reads "GCA Spring Carnival". Although, due to size/text issues, the banner will just have to say GCA so it will print well. Beyond that, she didn't accidentally write "Grace" in cursive. I really thin that was just part of how she wanted it to be read. Below that, we've got the actual words Spring Carnival. The p and g in Spring are made of flowers. In Carnival, the a's are made to look like balloons. And if that wasn't creative enough, she explained to me that the flowers are there and growing in different sizes to go along with the theme of "Growing With Grace." I love my budding little artist and the thought she puts into everything that she does. So, if anyone would like to support GCA (Grace Christian Academy) or support Katherine to show her how proud you are, please let me know. We are going to buy extras for our parents but if anyone else wants to wear something my daughter designed, I know she would be really happy. :)

Katherine the SOTM

What is SOTM you ask? It's my own little abbreviation for Student of the Month. From what I can tell they pick a few different students each month. What I really loved and appreciated are the kind words that Katherine's teacher had to say about her. She echoed what most people who know Katherine already knows about that wonder, intelligent, and kind 9 year old. See what her teacher had to say about her. I'm very proud and blessed to have this brilliant little girl in my family. I see so much of her father in her.

Abbey the Dreamer

You know, it is really amazing to watch your children grow and learn. It's fun and exciting and while it is extremely difficult at times to handle the chaos that is four kids, I wouldn't have it any other way. What makes it all worth it are those moments where one of the kids say or do something that you just find adorable. Abbey is always bringing a smile to my face. Her personality and demeanor and just everything about her makes the world a happier place. And so when I read her 'I Have a Dream' "speech" it didn't surprise me that I found myself chuckling and just so freakin' proud to be her mother. Check it out! Abbey loves herself (God and herself she love the most, and then it's Uncle Brandon) and she has all these dreams and ideas and well, she's just Abbey. She's my Abbey Rose and not a day goes by that I don't just look at her and thank God that she is a part of our family. No one can make you laugh or smile quite like that girl. Here is her speech:

"I have a dream that everyone will eat ice cream and a oranges and a apple and play jumprope and play with a kite and name their baby Rose."

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Katherine the Creative

A few weeks ago, Katherine handed me the following piece of paper. It wasn't a 'hey mom can we do this?'. It was more like 'We're doing this.' I mean this girl had the date picked out, the activities, everything! She was longing it seems for some real quality family time. Check out her flyer. I especially love the Wii Remote and Nunchuck on the top right.

Below on the left, the date. Which happened to be today.
As you can see in the top left corner, there are 6 heads...four girls and two boys...just like us. There are Uno cards in the middle of the paper, and according to the moon, this family time must take place at night.

And so as to not exclude anyone, all ages are allowed. I really loved the 'much, much more' at the end of her activity list!

So did we have Family Game Night tonight, on January 30th? Why yes we did! It was really fun. I figured that as long as we were having a little 'party' we'd really make it a big deal. So, we made meatballs, a couple of dips, cut up some oranges. It was really great! While we were eating, we played Disney Scene It DVD game. We had three teams. Me and Livvy. Kris and Abbey. Kat and Kaleb. Apparently Kris and I are HORRIBLE at that game. Kat and Kaleb won. But it was really a lot of fun.

After that, we moved into the dining room for dessert: Mike & Ikes and E.L. Fudge cookies. Then we played some Uno Attack. That game freaks me out! It's not as fast-paced and scary as Uno Flash (that one requires medication before I can play it), but it's still a little scary when it spits those cards out at you. And our game has only been placed two or three times and the cards are slick, so instead of it only spitting out 5-7 cards, it spits out 12-25! And of course Kat one that game too. Somehow I think she might have rigged this entire night! :)

Overall, it was a really fun night. We spent some great quality time together and I had a great time! I love this family that God has blessed me with.

From the mouth of babes

I have a lot of different things to write about and hopefully the fact that I have taken some meds to help me sleep tonight won't 'slur my words' too much so to speak. I'm going to do these as shorter posts, because I think they each deserve their own 'spot'.

First, here is a video of Olivia saying her memory verse. There's nothing much that melts the heart more than something like this!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Little mathmeticians

I hate math. It is well known among my family that I hate math, and among anyone else who knows me that I am not very good at it. I have always struggled with math and at the age of almost 31, I think it will forever be a thorn in my side. SO glad they built calculators into cell phones! Anyway...

Katherine and Kaleb love math. Abbey, while I do not know if she loves it, has picked it up quite well and doesn't seem to have a distaste for it like I do. Actually I just asked Abbey if she liked math and she said 'Yeah'. Kris of course loves math. It's science and common sense that really trip him up! Just kidding about the common sense part...sort of. ;-)

Tonight was a sad night for me. Olivia has joined the dark side of math lovers. She was eating dinner tonight (chicken nuggets in case you were dying to know), and she started the following conversation with me:

Livvy: Zero means nothing right?

Me: Yes (insert disapproving look here as I see where this is headed)

Livvy: So when I finish this chicken nugget I will have zero left, right?

Me. Yes (insert defeated look here)

She's four and already grasping so easily the concepts that she needs to become a math lover like the others. It's like all 5 of them are in some sort of secret club that I am not privileged enough to be part--not that I'd WANT to be in a math club if I had the ability. I would not. A (my family loves math) + B (I hate math) = C (my family hates me). ;-) See how bad I am at math??

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Deleting comments...

I'm really irritated that I can't delete what I believe is a spam comment from two posts ago. I didn't have the comment moderation turned on (though I do now!) and I read all the different ways to try to delete the comment and it won't work. I've cleared the cache. I've refreshed over and over again. I've tried doing the same thing in a different browser. And yet it is still there. It's one of those things (one of those obsessive-compulsive things) that really get to me. Short of deleting the post and then reposting it, I am not sure how to get rid of the comment. Grr...

Move Your Money - Eugene Jarecki | January 11, 2010 - Morgan Freeman | ColbertNation.com

I just had to share this. I love Stephen Colbert. We just finished watching this episode and I loved Colbert's video...you have to go about a minute and 40 seconds in to get to the really funny part.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

I'm multi-tasking tonight. Talking to Kris while he feeds himself...with food that I already cooked but he missed out on while it was hot due to a meeting; watching Smallville (which doesn't really count as a task because it's become a horrible and boring show-though I should add that so far the finale of season 4 isn't bad after the entire fourth season sucked!); working; blogging; checking up on Facebook. Bottom line-I'm FINALLY feeling better, which is how I can get back to multi-tasking. I can't even begin to describe how good that feels!

I love to read and I love to write and so this blog has been a great outlet for me. I have to make more time for it. I've really been enjoying writing on my 'Living Yeast Free' blog (http://myyeastfreejourney.blogspot.com/), primarily because I've actually been able to stand up and move around and be active again! It feels great. I'm still having some pain and weakness in my right knee, but overall I am feeling a lot better. And now that I've had surgery, my left knee (the 'good' one) is the only one that cracks and pops when I bend down or take the stairs. It's a bit ironic...the physical therapist was commenting on my knee popping when I was doing squats the other day and I had to explain to him that it wasn't my 'surgery knee'. Oh and by the way...I am not 100% sure everything that man physical therapist does is all that therapeutic. Sometimes when he's trying to get me to straighten on my side, while laying down, his hands seem to go places I am not sure they should be going. Sometimes I just wanna say "Look buddy! I'm married!" Not to mention the fact that I'm not a fan of the whole physical contact thing--kinda makes physical therapy a bit complicated now doesn't it?

I guess it's time that I get back to that whole working thing that is on my list of tasks to 'multi'.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Someone save me from Heroes!

This show is really starting to aggravate me. Well, to be honest, it has bothered me all season. The last couple of seasons really. It started out so good. What happened? Why did they have to bring this whole circus group in? Why does Sylar die only to come back to life each season? Can't we just be done with him for good? Especially if we're going to have horrible new characters like the creepy T-bag guy from Prison Break. I think this show should have just ended after season 1, or 2, or 3...

I'm so glad it's the weekend. My parents may or may not be coming in to celebrate Christmas in the morning. I hope that they are able to make the drive out here but if not, we will head out there next week or the week after. I was trying to hide it from the kids but *someone* (Kris) kept accidentally saying things and then just flat out said something about my mom getting here and the kids were like "Mammaw's coming?" So...I had to settle them down and tell them that it might not happen. I won't know until tomorrow. I think that if they do come, in honor of celebrating Christmas, I will wear my Christmas sweater one more time before putting it away until next year. Because I love Christmas sweaters. ;-)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I did it!

I rode the bike tonight at the Y. For 20 minutes. I was pretty impressed with myself. My knee was aching pretty bad after 20 minutes (just at level 1 resistance) so I stopped instead of pushing myself to get to 30 minutes.

Why is Freddie Prinze Jr. on 24? Who thought that would be a good idea? I mean, he's nice to look at and all but was 24 suffering so badly that they thought that Freddie would be the best addition? Who thinks he'll be dead before the 12th hour?

Why?? I'm not sure how I feel about this...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Riding a bike

Writing two days in a row-it's like the 'old' me!

I went back to physical therapy tonight. It was much less intense, as far as my crying goes, :) but the therapist didn't go easy on me. I guess they're not paid to let you be lazy and immobile! I had to do these steps up and down off of a small box (it frightened me to see three other boxes that were higher than the one I was using, as I am sure the therapist will find a way to implement the larger ones). My calf was killing me and I said as much to my therapist when I said 'My calf is going to hurt tomorrow!' He replied with 'Your whole leg is going to be hurting tomorrow!' Can't wait...

What was really great about therapy tonight is he started me on the stationary bike. I am not sure how long I rode it, maybe only 5 minutes; 10 max. BUT...I RODE THE BIKE!! And it didn't hurt. Do you know what this means??? This means that I can go back to the Y and tolerate it for longer than a couple of minutes! I think I could easily do 30 minutes right now, with no resistance of course! I'll have to work up to that part. 3 short weeks after surgery (5 weeks after injury) I can get back to working out! Get some use out of those monthly fees.

I saw a man at therapy tonight that reminded me of how blessed I was. Not that he wasn't blessed-I don't mean to infer that. It's just that sometimes we don't realize how good we have it until we are reminded of what some people have to suffer through. This man was missing his left leg and he was going through therapy-learning to walk again with a prosthesis. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine the kind of strength it takes to get through something like that and come out on top, having overcome? Overhearing some of his conversation with his therapist, this man was confident and willing to do whatever it took to learn to walk again. I was in awe listening to and watching him and it just really got me thinking about life and loss and learning to live again. I recently reconnected with a friend who lost an arm not too long ago and going through therapy for my piddly little knee problem, I couldn't help but sit through therapy and think that what I am enduring is NOTHING compared to what this person had to go through; physically, mentally, emotionally...I am amazed by that kind of strength. In awe, really. We see people around us suffer and lose loved ones or battle cancer and think 'I could never, EVER handle something like that'. But what I am learning is that if put in that position, I would do whatever I had to do to survive-it would be instinct. Sure I'd have days I'm sure (more than I'd like) where I wouldn't know how to get out of bed, but I think that when we face those horribly dark times in life, there has to be something that kicks in (even if not right away) that makes us move on and learn how to adapt to life without a person, or a limb, etc...I know for me it would have to be faith in the God I love and HE would be the one to help me get out of bed each morning.

Sometimes I never know where this writing will lead. I guess that this is what was on my mind tonight...

Monday, January 18, 2010

God why did you create us this way?

I've been struggling with so many different emotions today, most of them not happy. In fact, I've been on the verge of tears most of the evening. The frustrations of being unable to function at 100% after my knee surgery are definitely a factor. It seems like I start to make strides in progress and gain more strength only to have a set back. Tonight while unloading groceries, I tripped on something and twisted my knee and it immediately sent pain through my whole leg and started swelling. So I'm down for the count for the evening. I took some vicodin which I had managed to do without for 4 days and am finally feeling some relief.

I thought I was going to have a meltdown in the grocery store. Not only is it still difficult for me to buy food in a cost efficient manner that is 'safe' for me to eat, but now Olivia's soy bean oil allergy seems to be getting more severe which has left me no alternative but to completely cut soy bean/soy bean oil out of her diet. Do you know how many foods have soy bean oil in them???? And I thought it was hard to find food without corn syrup and sugar and vinegar! But soy bean oil? Much more dominant in the processed foods. I did find some Matzo crackers today that I believe I can break up and put some almond butter on for her and I had her taste the crackers and she liked them so at least now I can make some semblance of a sandwich for her school lunches. That is what is so hard...finding things that she can take to school so that she doesn't have to heat it up. It was a very depressing night at the grocery store tonight. It's one thing to learn how to cook yeast-free for myself, but it is even more difficult to think about how and what to cook for Olivia. I'd really love to get my whole family away from the yeast/sugar/gluten and I think with a lot of work and practice in kitchen I can get at least all of the kids there. Kris on the other hand...well...he may be quite a bit more resistant. Though, fortunately for him, MEAT is safe and he is definitely a meat and potatoes kind of guy.

It's just been a 'down' kind of day. I know that when I wake up in the morning I will feel better. This happens from time to time and it always gets better.

I go back to physical therapy tomorrow for my knee. I went last Tuesday and it was a very grueling hour! But I have done my exercises faithfully for a week and will continue to. I am walking better, though I still think most of the time there is a noticeable limp. It will just continue to improve with physical therapy. I just hope that tomorrow I don't cry the whole time like I did last week!

I have been having a lot of fun lately reading some blogs, primarily thanks to the help of Google Reader. I've mentioned before that I am a Google lover. Yesterday I discovered Google reader and it is awesome! Now all the blogs I find with gluten-free or sugar-free recipes are all in one place instead of spread out as bookmarks on three different computers. Better still, I get a notification when there is a new post right in my Google Chrome browser. Additionally, if I am surfing for a specific new blog, when I come across it, with the same button on my browser I can just add it to my reader. I really have become such a geek, but I'm OK with that. Technology, even with all of its frustrations and occasional problems, really amazes me. Some sites I highly recommend are listed below. They are either about Google or gluten-free recipes. Check them out if you have some time.

First and foremost, my own blog about my ups and downs of living yeast-free:

Some new favorites that I can't wait to read through and catch up on are:
My newest favorite is one that chronicles another person's journey to living yeast-free and I have found a lot of encouragement in it today, as I have fallen into the 'I-just-had-knee-surgery-and-just-don't-care-right-now' trap! I'm getting out of it though. Starting now. The fridge is stocked again with foods that I can make and eat, after a month and a half of Kris buying things that are quick and easy for him and the kids since I have sort of been out of commission.

And if you want to check out Google Reader, try this link:

I cannot wait to go back to the YMCA. I had planned to go last Thursday when Kris and Kaleb went to Tae Kwon Do, but Katherine really wanted to stay home, so I stayed home with her and Abbey. But the physical therapist told me that I can walk in the pool and try the stationary bike. He said that I may not be able to get all the way around on the bike but it was safe to start trying and to only go as far as my knee would let me.

It feels good to write again. I've missed it so much. I've just been in kind of a slump for the last couple of weeks. Sickness or injury always seem to do that. But I'm tired of it and hope to get back to losing weight. I'm down 20 lbs since Oct. 23 and while I lost most of that within the first 6 weeks, at least with all my eating poorly lately I have maintained the weight. But it's time to stop messing around and to start eating healthy again. It is vital, not only for me but for Olivia too. In some ways it would be easier if I were a stay at home mom and had time during the day to experiment and try these new recipes that use the alternative flours and sugars, but I don't. So I will just have to do what I can, when I can.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Knee Surgery

When I anticipated having a lot of time to blog while I recovered from knee surgery, I didn't factor into it not being able to sit at a table/desk or not being able to have my laptop on my lap for extended periods of time. So here it is, over a week later and I am finally getting around to updating.

I had knee surgery a week ago tomorrow. It seems to be taking longer than the surgeon led me to believe it would with regards to recovery. He said I'd need crutches for the first couple of days (I was still using them this morning). I am hoping to make it through work tomorrow with no crutches and no pain meds-primarily no meds because I am out. I do not know how surgery/recovery is supposed to work. I know that before the surgery I was told I had A meniscus tear. Upon coming out of surgery, Kris told me the surgeon found THREE tears and that my knee cap was out of place. So can that possibly explain why the recovery seems to be taking longer than I anticipated? In any case, I am able to be up for limited periods of time. If I had a job that kept me on my feet for extended periods of time there is no way I would even consider going back to work tomorrow. But fortunately I sit at a desk. However, this poses a problem as well seeing as how I could barely sit through Sunday School and then church service. I mean, I sat through just fine. But I was extremely uncomfortable most of the time and there isn't really a good way to prop my knee up at work. I am going to just play it by ear. If it is bothering me too much, I will just head home and take some pretend pain pills (i.e. I'll just wish I had something to take) and prop my knee up and ice it. Overall though, my knee IS getting better, little by little...it's just the 'little' part that I have a problem with. I am ready to get back to 'normal'.