Friday, September 29, 2006

GRIN

Can I just tell you how awesome my husband is?

He is coming home from work warly today so he can watch the kids ALL WEEKEND while I go to my church's Ladies' Retreat.

He is so great!

See you all on Monday!

ACK!

I just realized it's been almost a month since I posted any pictures of my beautiful kids. The problem is, I don't have any new pictures in my repertoire to share (thanks to me leaving the camera in Arkansas). I'll have to find some old pictures...


Emlyn 4 years ago...
Emlyn 3 years ago...

Emlyn 2 years ago...


Emlyn last year...

Modest Jeans

I have been thinking about this Moms and Dads for Modesty pledge I signed up for. Target has a bad reputation as far as modest children's clothing is concerned. I decided to buy my daughter some jeans and see if I could find anything that was modest. Give it a test whirl, or something.

Emlyn is very tall and skinny for her age. Up till my trip to Target I was dressing her in 2T jeans and pants that had hems almost up to her knees and were still falling off her (she's 4). They were hand-me-downs. But I kept hearing about these jeans that had elastic adjustable waists, like maternity jeans do. So I hunted for some. And-surprise! They were there! In corduroy and denim. The brown corduroys (4T) I purchased were $15 and had flowers embroidered on the cuff of one leg and the front top of the other leg. Very cute and they fit her so well after I pulled 4 inches of elastic on both sides. The jeans (4T) I purchased were $10 and just look like regular jeans- no embroidery or anything. I had to pull the same amount of elastic on those.

So Target won in the pants dept. I didn't have to look hard and they fit her so well.

Then I tried to look for a pink shirt. I wanted her to wear the corduroys out and she was wearing a red shirt so I wanted to get her a pink shirt to match.

No luck.

Lots of inappropriate slogans, mature styles and cuts, and nothing in pink I would consider buying.

I also look for a special type of undies for her because of her allergies, and I am able to find some for her there that do what they're supposed to do. They are somewhat mature for her age but I'm hoping since they're under her clothes she won't realize it and neither will anyone else.

So- Target's score:
pants: A
shirts: F
undies: B

My take? Go ahead and shop at your normal stores until it's not worth your while (i.e. you can't find anything in a reasonable amount of time that is appropriate). I am glad to hear there are some stores that have only great choices, but I cannot afford Gymboree or the like (I don't think- feel free to let me know if I'm wrong).

I will continue to shop at Target, but I refuse to buy anything inappropriate there.

For more info on the modesty pledge, visit Everyday Mommy's site.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

All-Natural? What's that?

So when we got married I registered for these beautiful blue and green, 100% cotton, thick beautiful hot pads made by Park B Smith, whoever that is. They had little pockets so you could use them as a mitt. The only problem was that they are too thick! It's hard to wash them and too hard to grip if you want to fold them over the pan instead of slipping your hand inside. They are fancy and froufy but don't wash well.

So today I caved. I ordered silicone trivets (set of 3) and a silicone oven mitt. I paid $30 for the 4 and we'll see how it goes. I'll let you know. First impressions:
The oven mitt is smaller than it appears in the picture. It does not go up my arm; just covers my hand. I wanted a little more protection from the oven (I am good at burning myself).
The trivets seem to be overly stiff. I'm not sure how the folding over a pan will go.
I can put them in my dishwasher! No longer will I have to go through the washing machine, dryer, turn-them-inside-out-and-dry-again routine!

I'll let you know in a few weeks if all my cotton hotpads have been freecycled.

That's Ridiculous.

All this toy vacuum does is have a little light and make the sounds of a real vacuum. And for that it needs 4 C batteries? Whatever.

I'm On Drugs

Yes, I am.
I really am not the kind of person who just jumps on the drug bandwagon. I tried sticking it out with both of these things. But I just couldn't take it any more.

I just started Prilosec for my heartburn. I have had heartburn almost every night for 2 or 3 years. I kept thinking my esophagus would heal from being pregnant and it kept not happening. So I started. So far, so good. Two nights on Prilosec, two nights with no heartburn.

I have also recently started some weird eye drops for itchy eyes related to allergies. I have had itchy eyes for about 4 years. I didn't think I was allergic to anything except Cedar, but I guess you can just have itchy eyes and nothing else. I put those drops in twice a day and so far they have helped some. They are harder to see a difference because one's eyes also get itchy when one is tired. And I am always tired. But yes, overall my eyes are only 1/4 as itchy as they used to be. So that's nice.

Well gotta go.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Skinned Knees and HOAs

Denali falls down a lot. Today he actually started to bleed a little bit on his knee so I cleaned it off with a baby wipe. He didn't cry or anything- just stared at his knee while I cleaned it. I guess in his mind he was thinking "it's just a scratch. walk it off..."

Today I was reminded why we don't live in a Homeowner's Association, or "HOA." I went for a walk to the nearest park which is in the next neighborhood over. It's by the HOA pool and communal post office boxes. I don't even know if I'm "allowed" to play in that park cause we're not part of the HOA. Anyway it's a quaint little park next to a nice pool. We played there for a while. Unfortunately there were no other kids so Denali didn't have a playmate, but it was a beautiful morning.

On the walk back I was enjoying the quiet and peace and birdsong when I noticed something that started to creep me out a little bit. All the trees were trimmed so that no branches came down below 8 or 10 feet. I could see lots of scars on the trees from where low branches had been cut off. Now we keep our trees trimmed, but not to a uniform height off the ground. And most of our neighbors don't do it. It really started to look a little strange. And then I noticed that all the gardens were very similar. There were no huge flowerbeds or ragged lawns. There weren't many wind chimes or other decorations. There were no cars parked in the street or trashcans left out. And there were lots of landscape guys blowing lawn cuttings around.

I know that lots of people live in HOAs and like them a lot, and I like the idea of a neighborhood pool and playground, but there are just too many rules for me. I want to plant whatever I want to. I want to paint my house pink if I wish to. I want to have the freedom to replace the fence when we can afford it, not when the people tell me to. For the most part we would probably fit into an HOA neighborhood pretty well. We mow our lawn regularly and park our cars in the garage. But it's the choice factor. I like the choice to have a swing in the front yard if I wish.

We really like our neighborhood. We have a neighbor who has the most gorgeous garden. She spends a lot of time and money keeping it nice. We also have a neighbor who parks his cars on the lawn and has a junk heap in the backyard. And that's okay! We like the diversity and the freedom. Give me a saggy tree and a junky backyard any day.

*Please note that I know some of you live in HOAs and that's okay with me that you do. I'll still be your friend. They are just not for our family...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Jar

Well, we've started The Jar. You know, the jar that if you do [insert inappropriate behavior here] you have to put [insert prized possession here]...

I yell. And because of that my kids have started yelling too. It was tolerable when it was just me (subconsciously) doing it, but now that the kids are too, it has to stop. So Emlyn and I have made a pact. Whenever either of us yells we have to put a coin in the jar. Denali doesn't have to because he doesn't have any money, he's only 20 mos old, and he just does whatever his sister does. Oh of course Joel has to put $$ in too if he yells, but he rarely yells. So I doubt he'll be contributing any to it.

I'll let you know how it goes. And how much money we "make."

Weather has always helped me understand God better. No one can predict it or control it. The storms are so strong, yet God could control it and is more powerful than even the strongest storms.

Rainstorms in particular are a reminder. I just love the rain and the awesomeness of a life-giving substance coming from heaven. I imagine how the Israelites felt in the desert, when manna would fall.

Usually in Texas when the rain comes it is even more of a blessing because we have been aching for it. It's such a relief for the thunder to roll in.

I can't imagine ever being sick of the rain. I wish I could focus my life more on knowledge of God and be relieved when I learn something from His word, rather than spending so much time wishing for rain. God's Word and His knowledge are so much more important than rain, yet I focus more on the rain.

God, send your knowledge down like rain upon me. Bless me with your wisdom.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Beef Jerky

Thank you, Joel's mom, for sending us a dehydrator. I am excited to see what we can make.


On the other hand, I really do not like the smell of beef jerky in the making all day long. :P

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Song Meme

Some of these are fun... I got this from Jenny on the Spot. Put your mp3 player on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question. NO CHEATING….

How does the world see you?
"Two Sets of Jones' " by Big Tent Revival (from my wedding; I hope they see me as the "nothing but Jesus" couple rather than the other one).

Will I have a happy life?
“Voulez-Vous Danser” by Ace of Base (I don't even know what they're singing about in this song).

What do my friends really think of me?
“Second Wind” by Petra (no sense to me)

What do people secretly think of me?
“Smile” by Music Machine (pretty good)

How can I be happy?
“Silent Night” by Rebecca St James (I really like holiday music)

Will I ever have (more) children?
“Army of the Lord” by Acapella (I like this one- I can depend on church kids to get my kid-fix...)

What is some good advice for me?
“You Didn't Listen” by Veggietales (who am I supposed to be listening to?)

How will I be remembered?
“The Mummers Dance” by Loreena McKennit (cause I like Celtic music? and flowing clothes?)

What is my signature dancing song?
“Ship of Fools” by John Cale (nope)

What do I think my current theme song is?
“Don't Wanna Miss You Here" by Lindsay Kane (remember God always- that's a good one)

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
“I Have a Friend” by Acapella (that's pretty good I guess)

What song will play at my funeral?
“I Never Loved You Anyway” by the Corrs (I'm happy that it's over- guess that part could be true)

What is my day going to be like?
“Cannonball” by Clandestine (a song where this dude's legs get shot off by a cannonball. that's not encouraging)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Trip to Half Price Books

I got a gift card today to Half Price Books. Of course I had to spend it immediately. I had a soda with caffeine for lunch so it was not too big a deal to walk there after such a long day. I left at 8:35 pm (carrying a broomstick to ward off dogs and predators), got there at 8:50 pm (a pretty good pace for a mile), and picked out a lot of books. Half of them I already know are good, and that's why I bought them. The others are now in my "to-be-read" pile. The ones I already know about I have dutifully reviewed in my new and neglected book blog.

It took me 20 minutes to get home. I guess a backpack full of books does slow me down somewhat. I felt like I was in high school again.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Trip Review Part 1

We left at 9 am on Friday and drove for 10.5 hours. I had arranged lots of fun things for the kids to do in the car. Emlyn's favorite was tickets. Every 30 miles she would give me a ticket and she could choose a snack or a different toy to play with. She thought that was pretty cool.

We arrived in Fayetteville, Arkansas on Friday evening to visit Joel's sister and her husband, and as a bonus, Grandma was there to visit. We had planned on going to see Grandma at her house, but she was visiting her daughter so that cut a day and 150 miles off of our trip. We got to see the neighbor horses (they like carrots), go to the Farmer's Market, play with the dog Cricket, and see all of Aunt S' bugs. She's a bug lady. Uncle R cooked some awesome food for us too. They have a nice sized yard with a swing, a garden, and blackberry bushes.

On Sunday I drove with the kids to Nixa Missouri to visit my cousin and her daughter. It's 3 hours from Fayetteville. We played and visited, got to drive in a rainstorm, and then went to a wildlife museum. We saw fish, birds, and pretend polar bears and other animals. We then ate dinner and found a motel, had a great night's sleep, and in the morning visited with my cousin a little more before driving back to Fayetteville to pick up Joel. That night we ate at a Thai restaurant. Denali tried some of Joel's very spicy food. His eyes watered, his face turned red, and then he ate another bite! He's pretty silly.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

HOME

I love home. We are back and excited to be home. I will post later about all of the fun adventures we had!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go

Well we're just waiting on the last load of laundry and my toiletries in the morning, and I've got to pack the cooler. Other than that the car is loaded!

I have to decide whether I'm going to return the library books tonight or let them be late...

EDIT: Excellent. The library books are not due until the day after we get back from our trip. They're staying here.

Leaving

I know posts have been sparse this week.
I am trying to get ready to go on a road trip.
Not only that but for some reason I said I would make a quiche and cookies for a shower, host playgroup, and host small group at our house. So I have been a little busy.

Because of that busyness and the aforementioned toe injury my children have been watching too much TV. This translates into being bored which makes them cranky with each other and they fight over things. Denali has decided it's fun to hit people (just a stage I know but they don't grow out of it unless you nip it in the bud). Emlyn is overtired because of preschool.

All that to say,
It's 3 pm and most of the stuff is done.
Well, no, I haven't packed clothes or toiletries. But toys and games? Food? It's DONE!

The cookie dough is ready to be baked.
Playgroup was a success.
Now I have to get Emlyn up from quiet time.


Oh- we're driving to Cushing, OK, then Fayetteville, AR, then Springfield, MO, and then Searcy, AR.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Moms & Dads for Modesty

I am constantly trying to dress my children with modesty and it appalls me what clothes the manufacturers are making for girls. In light of this I have agreed to this pledge:

Moms & Dads for Modesty Mission Statement

  • As a Mom for Modesty I believe in common-sense modesty for girls and young women.
  • I believe in refraining from sexualizing our girls and young women.
  • I believe that it is unwise and unfair to taunt boys and young men by permitting my daughter(s) to dress in an immodest manner.
  • I believe that true beauty comes from within and I strive to teach my daughter(s) this truth.
  • I will loyally shop at retailers that provide girls' and young womens clothing that is modest, affordable and stylish.

If you want to learn more click on the pretty picture in my sidebar or go to this woman's blog:
everydaymommy.net

Thanks, Moms & Dads for Modesty, for reminding us how precious our little girls are.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Two things I love about Denali

1. When I am holding him and singing to him he puts his ear right smushed against my mouth so he can hear the song really well.

2. Even if he's not really ready to go to bed yet, if I put him in his crib he is usually asleep within 15 minutes.

A New Blog

I never thought I would start a new blog. I figured I had little enough to say on this one. But discussions with Julie and Chris convinced me that I should start one that just does book reviews. So there you have it.

Are you really reading another book?

Go check it out. Or don't. Either way, I get to write about books.

Also Chris started a new blog that does movie reviews.

Also in the last few days I have started reading about 10 more blogs. They're all over in my blogroller doohickey.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Art of Feather-Kicking

The most important thing to remember if you're going to be kicking some feathers is this:

Don't slice your toe open.

Yes, I tried to kick a feather today. It was just inside the front door and rather than pick it up to put it outside I decided to kick it outside. With my bare foot. But instead of hitting the feather my toe hit the metal plate that goes across the threshold. I sliced the end of my toe off. About 7 layers of skin, including all the ridged skin. You know, the kind that makes fingerprints?

I would have panicked. But Joel was gone. So I was at home with two little kids and could not afford to panic. I put pressure on it and it did stop bleeding, so I think we're okay with not going to the doctor. Now I need to put a bandaid on. I tried calling 15 or so friends to see if anyone could come be a slave hang out for the evening but it's a holiday weekend so good luck with that.


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In more exciting news, I got to go shopping with Grace for 3 whole hours without the kids. We went to the outlet malls and had lots of fun. My favorite purchase was the apple machine. I did three apples with it and it was so fun and easy! Mine is red. It was $15 and now I can make apple pies out the wazoo.


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I got a leisurely nap with Emmy after her quiet time play-upstairs-so-mommy-doesn't-hear-you time. I think my daughter has forgotten how to sleep. I don't want to cater to her, but when she's not getting good sleep, what should I do? So she got to nap with me. But at night she goes to sleep with her fingers in her ears so she won't hear anything.

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Emlyn is still awake so I gotta go. Wish me luck on the shortened toe thing.