December 25, 2012

Christmas Card 2012

Merry Christmas!

November 28, 2012

Mowing, Art, Holidays and Trees

I mowed about a month ago.
(Real current I know.
But I haven't blogged for a month.
So bear with me.
Did you miss me?
I missed you all)
The bugs were crazy.
I swallowed two.
One went up my nose.
Another one tried to fly into my ear.
Plus there was a fly.
Around my face.
I'm certain it was all fun for the neighbors to watch.

We went to a pumpkin patch this year.
This picture makes me laugh.

Halloween was fun.

Ryan and the little boys did some painting recently.
Ezzie painted a turkey.
I loved it.
And wanted to hang it up.
But he wanted to give it to a friend
who had broken her arm that night.
So we took it to her.

 Thanksgiving was fun.
Ezzie made a teepee at school.
And gave a speech about it.
His class also had a feast.
He was so excited he invited both grandmas to come too.

Jobie drew a thanksgiving feast.
We usually don't make key lime pie on Thanksgiving.
I did this year.

The house is decorated for Christmas.
I'm still changing a few things.
I let the little boys 
put the ornaments on the real tree this year.
That was hard for me.
Control freak.
Ryan doesn't like our real tree this year.
It's not big enough for his taste.
He likes to let it be known
that I'm the one that chose it.
The kids asked if we could return it.
Alright, so I'll admit it's not the best tree ever.
Next year I'll keep my mouth shut.
We'll see how they do without my input.
We have 4 trees this year.
It's a long story...

Before Jobie started school,
he never drew pictures or colored.
Now he will disappear into his room
and come out with pictures like this.
He said this is mommy and daddy.

Daddy says I look hot.
I think we look crazy in love.

October 29, 2012

In the Middle of a Burger King

(I feel like I need to set up this post 
with some info on our Saturdays.)

Most Saturdays are spent at the soccer fields.
With 3 kids playing and one those kiddos reffing also,
we are there all day.
(Brookelynn will ref games before or after her own game.)
So we usually are leaving the house no later than 8am.
And getting home between 5 and 6:30.
The soccer fields are about 35 minutes from our house.
With gas prices the way they are,
once we leave home,
we don't come back until we are all done.

It gets a little old.
And the boys might complain a bit.
But she's earning some money.
So it's worth it.
I guess.

Which brings me to our little story:

This weekend was our last weekend for the fall season.
Brookelynn reffed a game at 9:00.
Since none of our kids had to play in a game until 12:00,
we had some time to kill.
If it's nice, we typically just hang out there.
But it was cold Saturday morning.
And Ryan needed to get some work done.
So we went to a nearby Burger King
for some coffee, orange juice and free wi-fi.
They also happen to have a play place
that the boys love.

So, there we are.
Sitting at a booth.
With our coffee.
Ryan with his ipad and phone.
Me with my phone.
(I left my book at home.
So was reading one of 
Francis Chan's books on my phone.)
Still with our coats on.
(It was cold in there.)
The boys running around the play area.
For nearly 2 hours.
Are you getting a good picture in your head?
We look like...moochers.
And I was feeling a bit conspicuous.

Oh, but it gets better...
The boys, after drinking their oj,
naturally need to visit the restroom.
Jobe, also naturally, is holding himself.
Every time he heads to the restroom.
After one of those trips for both Ez and Jobe,
Ezra comes out of the restroom without his brother.
Walks to our table and says:
Jobe pooped his pants.

He was in the men's restroom.
So, guess who got to go help the boy?
Not me!
I'm just sitting in the booth thinking:
what are we going to do with those undies?
I sent Jake into the restroom to get the car keys from Ryan.
Went out to the car.
Got a Dillon's sack.
Stuck my head in the restroom door.
Handed the bag to Ryan.
Then went back to the car to drive to the nearby Kmart .
To buy some undies.

When I got back,
Ryan was back in our booth (ha!)
with the Dillon's sack sitting at his feet saying:
What do I do with this?
I handed Jobe a new pair of undies.
Told him to go put them on in the bathroom.
Picked up the plastic bag.
And threw it away.

Jobie comes out of the restroom.
Happy about his new dino undies.
And goes back to playing.
While I just look at Ryan,
put my head in my hands and say:
I feel so redneck.

A bit later, a gentleman,
who had been sitting alone nearby,
came over to our table
and introduced himself as a pastor of a local baptist church.
He gave us a brochure for a basketball program they have.
And told us he would personally scholarship 2 of our boys.
So sweet.
But also, further evidence of how we looked.

We had a wonderful visit with him.
And found out that his son
was actually engaged to a girl that I know in our little town.
It's a small world.

It was a humbling morning for me.
I'm a proud girl.
Appearance means too much to me.

Thank you, Lord, for teaching me little lessons.
In the middle of a Burger King.

October 26, 2012


A week goes by fast.

Still waiting for my sub license.
The checks have all cleared.
So they liked my money anyway.

Jobe was sick Wednesday and Thursday.
He actually wanted to go to school
And I actually wanted him to go to school yesterday.
Already not used to having kiddos at home during the day.
That didn't take long.

Thursday was superhero day for the older kids.
As is typical, I had to force Jake to pose for the camera.
His friends...not so much.
They are both hams.

 Super Jayhawk, Auqa Man and Newton Knight Bat.

The girls got into it too.

When I asked my niece what her superhero name was,
she said: Woman, Woman.
Ok, then.
She and Brookie make me laugh.
All the time.
Brookelynn is, obviously, Batgirl.

You also might be wondering
why there are so many kiddos at my house.
Before school.
Well, we double the number of children in our house
every school day morning.
Two of Jake's friends.
My niece.
And one of Ezra's friends.
Crazy, huh?

And lately, somehow,
we've even had time to do stuff like this in the morning.
 Candyland with Daddy.
And reading books.

Captain Underpants is a favorite right now.
I don't understand the appeal.
But he's a boy.
And he's 8.
That's probably enough said.
Plus he looks so cute in his glasses,
I just love it when he reads anything.

Tuesday I let my hair dry naturally.

And then put a little gel in it.
It's got a little wave to it when I do that.
And I thought it looked ok.
I was waiting outside of the school.
With 5,000 other parents.
At the end of the school day.
When Ezra walked out, he said
(in a not so quiet voice):
Mom, what is up with your hair?

How did I respond to that?
I ignored it.
And then, did the same thing again Thursday.
Just for fun.
And then, didn't comb my hair this morning
before taking him to school.
(He always wants me to walk him to his classroom door.)
He didn't even notice.

So here's what I've learned.
Bed head is acceptable.
Naturally dried, gelled hair is not.
Well, according an 8 year old boy
whose favorite book series is about a
tighty-whitey and red cape wearing boy anyway.

And that would be precisely why
I still pick his clothes out every morning.

October 19, 2012


God's spent a lot of time counting this boy's hair.
Yesterday was haircut day.
For all of my kids.
But I always miss Ezzie's hair the most after a cut.
Matthew 10:30
And even the very hairs of your head 
are all numbered.

God loves my sweet boy.
And his hair.
Even more than I do.

Typically, I would link this up with Beki's Fingerprint Friday. But after 5 years of hosting and an increasingly busy life (we all know how that is) she has decided to end her Fingerprint Friday run. Just want to thank you, Beki, for encouraging us to look for God's fingerprints in the little, everyday things of life. It's been a blessing. 

October 17, 2012

Chatty, No Chatty

I've been sick.
Not stomach sick, thankfully.

Yesterday was the first day
I've felt good for quite a while.

Ryan called over lunch.
And I talked and talked and talked.
I think I haven't used enough of my words lately.
I've got days to catch up on.
Lucky man.

I made cookies while the kids were at school.
And the whole time my mind was going 900 mph.
Being out of it for a bit (no comments necessary, thank you)
makes you appreciate being able to think again.

I was giddy over using my new spreader.
It's the simple things for me...
My hubby brought it home the other day.
I've always wanted one.
So exciting.
It was so much easier to get the peanut butter out of the jar.

We are supposed to recycle our peanut butter jars.
We are also supposed to rinse our jars out first.
Peanut butter does not rinse.
I just throw the jar away.

It's always more fun to cook with cute shoes.
I was also giddy about my vanilla.
I got this at the Alamo gift shop this summer.
A gift for me!
From me!
It's so much cheaper than the grocery store.
So excited every time I use it.
I'm a baking/cooking nerd.

I made no bake cookies.
Then, I was reading a friend's blog this morning
and she had just made them too.
(Great minds think alike, Carmen.
But my recipe is slightly different from yours.
And I don't serve them on pretty tea plates.
We just peel them right off the waxed paper.
Cuz we're classy.)
Didn't know it had been so long
since I had last made them.
When the kiddos got home from school,
they all cheered.
Yea me!

So, I've been chatty.
The girl, no chatty.

The kids are all off school the rest of this week.
My daughter woke up in a lovely mood.

Heavy sighing.
While walking around the house.
Laying down on the couch.
Walking around the house.
Sitting at the bar in the kitchen.
Never talking.
Acting bored with life.

I ignored her.
Sent Ryan a text.
About HIS daughter.
Made pancakes.
Said weird things.
All to annoy her more.

My mom rocks!
I'm pretty sure that's what she was thinking.

Just like that.
She was fine.
Started playing games with the boys.
Talking to me.
All happy, happy.

I am never moody.

October 12, 2012

Third Time

Is, apparently, really the charm.

I'm sure you've been wondering all week.
Just dying for an update on the fingerprint saga.
Because what else could you possibly have on your mind?
Other than worrying about my life?

I, once again, put it off for a bit.
I'm phenomenal at doing that.
But I had great reasons.

Monday, Ryan was off.
With the kiddos in school all day now,
we had a whole day to ourselves.
It was lovely.
I couldn't ruin that day with fingerprint taking.

Tuesday, no idea why I didn't go in.
I can't remember why.
I'm sure I was busy doing something important.
The kids were out of clean undies or something.

Wednesday morning,
I decided to follow Mr. Master Controller's directions.
I called.

Mr. MC: Detention Center.
Me: When would be a good time
       to come in to get my fingerprints done?
Mr. MC: Well...hmm...
              (big suck in of air
              and mumbling of something incoherent)
              If you could come in the next 20 minutes
              we could probably get you in.
              Otherwise the rest of the day is pretty hit and miss.
Me: I can be there in 10 minutes.
Mr. MC (actually sounding somewhat pleasant): Ok. Come on in.

Knowing I'm not looking near as put together today,
I ran to my bedroom to at least change out of my slippers,
threw my hair in to a pony
and off I went.
Naturally, I got caught by a train.
Fortunately, it wasn't one of those pokey ones.
Thank you, Mr. Engineer.

After a short wait,
a female officer takes me back.
Into the jail, I guess.
There's a whole lot of metal doors.
That are kind of that mint green/gray color.
And lots of glass windows.
And men walking around in orange jump suits.
(Could have warned me about that one, Beth.)
I tried to avoid making eye contact.
And pretended like they weren't staring.

I'm so silly.
I was thinking I'd come out with black ink on my fingers.
Ummm, Gina.
You do know you're living in the 21st century, right?
It's a little thing called technology.
That, turns out, really isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Considering the system didn't like me.
And they had to scan ALL of my fingers 3 times.
As the guys in the orange jumpsuits continued to stare.

Then, to top it off,
I had to pay $15 dollars for this service.
Should have known...

In honor of all the fun I've had,
I took a mugshot of myself.
Now I am a pro at this detention center stuff.
But here's to hoping I never have to draw on my expertise again.

October 05, 2012

Attempt #2

I did not want to go back to the detention center today.
Especially after this comment to yesterday's post:

And, just for the record, at least when I had to do it -- they HATE doing them for regular, law-abiding citizens like us. And, although the state says to give your mail to them to put in the mail for you, they refuse to do it. I found them to be really hostile about the whole thing. I'll look forward to seeing how it goes for you!!
Thank you, Ms. Beth.
You gave me such confidence.

I dressed even cuter today.
Just saying...
Put on a new jacket.
An adorable white one with a ruffles on the back.
Cuz you know, new clothes make you feel better about yourself.
Sassy, even.

I knew just where to go today.
Didn't run any yellow/red lights.
Wore my seatbelt the entire drive there.
Found a great parking spot.
And confidently walked into the building.
Through the metal detector.
And up to the window.

Mr. Master Controller: Can I help you?
Me: I need my fingerprints for a background check.
Mr. MC: Oh, we can't possibly do it before 1:00 today.
               You might even want to call before you come.

Are. You. Kidding me? (again)
How difficult can this be?

Of course, I called my hubby.
To tell him all about it.
I was in a store. 
He said: Just shop lift something.
              Then I bet they'll have time to get your fingerprints.

I was joking yesterday when I said
It would be easier to get arrested.

I'm thinking it's not really a joke anymore.

October 04, 2012

Maybe I'll Just Get Myself Arrested

I'm working on getting my substitute teacher license.
Fun stuff.
I have to get my fingerprints taken.
(Is that how you say that?)

I had to request a fingerprint card
from the Kansas Department of Education.
It came in a big envelope with the instructions
that I go to my local police department
to get my fingerprints.

I got the card in the mail on Monday.
And put off going until this morning.
There's no reason for me to be nervous.
Fingerprinting doesn't hurt.
I'm not a felon.
I've been pretty much a squeaky clean person
as far as the law goes.

I dressed carefully.
So I looked nice and proper.
And headed out.

I ran a couple errands first.
Post office for stamps to send the crazy card back.
Then the library.
(To drop off over due books...again)
I ran a yellow/red light on the way to the library.
And wondered to myself
if I needed to report that to the officer
who would be fingerprinting me soon.

The police station is cater-cornered from the library.
(Totally had to look that word up.
Pretty sure I've never spelled it out before.
Parked in front of the library.
Dropped off my books.
Hopped back in the car.
(No idea why I didn't just park at one and walk to the other.)
Did not put my seat belt on.
And wondered if I should report myself for that also.
Turned the corner.
Pulled in to a spot in front of the police station.
Looked up saw a sign that said: Police Vehicles Only.
Wondered if I should report myself for that also.
Pulled back out and around to a legal parking spot.
Went into the police station.
Separated from the receptionist by a glass window.
And one of those little speaker things.

Her: Can I help you?
Me: Yah, I need to get my fingerprints for a background check.
Her: Oh, we don't do that here.
        You have to go to the Detention Center.
        The entrance is on the other side of the building
        a block over on 8th street.

Back in my car.
Pulled into the parking lot on that side of the building.
Noticed the sign: Restricted Parking, Authorized Vehicles Only.
Pulled back out of the parking lot.
Finally found a spot on the road.

Walked into the detention center.
A room with a whole bunch of chairs.
Some lockers.
All these brochures with titles like: Are You an Addict?
A door to the women's restroom.
A door to the men's restroom.
A door that led to an office.
With police vests and a messy desk in it.
But no person at the desk.
(That door was locked.
I know because I tried to open it.)
And a metal detector.
With a scary looking "window" on the other side of it.
Not really a window because you couldn't see through it.
But there was another of those speaker thingys.
There was also a sign that said: Master Controller.

Unsure what to do,
I went through the metal detector.
It made a loud noise.
And I heard a voice on the other side of the "window":
     Can I help you?
Shocked that I hadn't peed myself by this point, I say:
     I need to get my fingerprints for a background check.
Unknown voice: Thursday is the only day we don't do prints.

Are. You. Kidding me?
I have to do this all again tomorrow.

It just came to me,
I'm wondering if Mr. Master Controller
could see me the whole time I was wondering around in that room.
Like a two-way mirror thing.
I bet they are still laughing at me.

Maybe I'll just get myself arrested tomorrow.
Pretty sure it would be easier.

October 02, 2012

All Day

All day kindergarten started today.
Might have been harder than the first day.
For both of us.

7 hours without this face.
 I miss my time with him already.

I remember looking forward to these days.
And I know I will like them some day.
Hopefully soon.
But today I miss him like crazy.
Moms with young kids at home:
Love them tons.
Try not to get too frustrated.
Read a book with them.
Play a game.
Do a puzzle.
Hold their little hand.

Before your ready,
they're out the door.
Off to school.
Experiencing new things.
Without you.
About the time Ezzie snapped this picture
on the way to school Thursday,
Jobie was saying:
I just miss you so much.

The feeling is mutual, baby.

September 27, 2012

Key Lime

This is the most popular pie in my family.
My mom makes it.
My sis-in-law makes it.
I make it.

It may seem more like a spring/summer recipe.
But we don't care.
We'll eat it whenever.

It's super easy.
It sounds fancy.
And a little exotic, even.
But it only takes minutes to make.


A graham cracker crust.
I always make my own.
It's easy, cheap and tastes better.
(In my humble opinion.)
I also bake it before I put the filling in.
Even though the pie gets baked
for a little with the filling.
 Egg yolks.
Sweetened condensed milk.
And lime juice.
That's it.
Oh, and a drop or two of green food coloring,
if you want.
Key Lime Pie

1-9 inch prepared graham cracker crust
4 egg yolks
1-14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
3 oz. lime juice

Combine egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk and blend well. Add lime juice gradually and beat until filling is smooth and creamy. If desired, add one to two drops green food coloring and mix. Pour into graham cracker crust and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Chill. Serve with whipped cream.

While my crust is baking,
I prepare the pie filling.
I typically use my little electric hand mixer for this.
And I just mix it all in a 4 cup glass Pyrex measuring cup.
Then it's super easy to pour into the pie crust.

One time I used real key limes.
Never again.
Those things are tiny.
It took a whole bag of 20 some limes to get 3 oz.
Not fun.
On top of all that.
I didn't even notice a difference in the taste.
Not. Worth. It.
It typically only takes 2-3 regular limes to get 3 oz.
So much simpler.

And I always whip the cream for the topping myself.
With some sugar and vanilla.
Then I enjoy the last piece for breakfast.
While all the kiddos are at school.

September 26, 2012

I'm Old Now

That is, according to my daughter.
As of Monday.
(birthday cake. thanks to my mom)
I was not old.
I was 39.
(birthday smoothie, thanks to me)
I was old.
I turned 40.

(birthday flowers, thanks to my man)
So, overnight.
I became old.
(birthday bling, thanks to my man)
I didn't feel older.
I didn't think I looked older.
(Don't get me wrong.
I know I look older than even 5 years ago.
The wrinkles are definitely there.
And there's other things
that seem to have a desire to head south.
You old gals like me know what I mean.
I'm just saying, not overnight.)

Now 30 was a different story.

Felt old.
That same month.
I had a miscarriage.
And my dad had triple bypass surgery.
My body was falling apart.
And so was my dad's.

No fun.

But God is good.

Ten years later.
I have 2 additional boys.
My dad is healthy.
We moved into a house I love.
My kids can all pee on their own.
(Even though they still seem to think I can't.
You know, every time I visit the restroom,
you can count on one of them hollering:
That's why I try to squeeze in 
as much restroom time as I can 
while they are at school.
I've made some wonderful friendships.
I've gained two super sisters-in-law.
And 4 nephews.
(Still waiting for a niece on that side...
but another baby is coming in February
so I might get one yet.)
I'm so thankful for my mom-and-dad-in-law.
My mom is still my best friend.
I am having so much fun watching my kids grow-up.
(Even though it's hard and sad sometimes.)
I cherish the relationships I have with each of them.
I love my husband more.
And I love Jesus more.

Seems like a pretty good way
to start out the 40's to me.

So I'm not sad.
Or depressed.
After that list,
I'm actually excited to see what the 40's bring.
(Although I'm fairly certain 
they won't bring 2 more boys into my  house
or 2 girls 
or any combination thereof.
Just saying...
I guess in 10 years
there is the possibility that we could have 
a son-in-law or daughter-in-law.
Oh, my!)

Now I'm scaring myself.
No more thinking about the next ten years.

September 18, 2012

Choose to Find the Pretty

My emotions are whacked.
I have cried more in the last couple of months
than in my entire life, I think.

Too many changes and decisions.
My kids growing up.
Friends moving away.
Church difficulties.

It's all seemed to come at once.
And I don't like it.

I know God's timing is perfect.

I know He is in control.

That's what I'm holding on to.

I tell my kids all the time that their behavior,
or how they respond to something or someone,
is a choice.
THEIR choice.

So I'm trying to choose joy, peace.
I'm trying not to let all of these yucky things
make me yucky to others.

It's hard.
But when I'm intentional about it
and seek the Lord's guidance,
I feel so much better.
And hopefully I'm a nicer person to be around.

So, yah, that's where I'm at right now.
Life is just hard sometimes.
I'm choosing to find the pretty in things.

September 13, 2012

New Colors

It's a cool, rainy day here.
Beautiful, really.
Since we've had many hot, dry days.

I went outside in the drizzle.
And got a few pictures of the house.

I love it.
So warm and inviting.
I hope anyway.

Here's a couple before.

I know I have others.
I'm too lazy to look for them.
Or link them here.
I know there's others on the blog.
If you've been reading my drivel for awhile,
you've seen them.

Oh, and there's kind of one at the very bottom of the blog.
An old one.
I really should make some changes here.
I'm bad about updating things.
Someday I'll work on that.

Ok, enough drivel.
Time for the reveal.


Does it look cozy?
Come on over.
We'll chat over coffee and pie.