Monday, February 25, 2008


Well, whaddaya think of the new look? Last week I was inspired to change the template of this blog, and came across lots of problems. Ultimately, I couldn't apply the template of my choice from Pyzam. The html just wasn't working from them. Such a bummer, since I found 2 or 3 super cute choices! So, because I couldn't find anything else and really wanted ease of use (I'm not the most computer savvy person), I just settled on another prefab Blogger template. It's nice for a change, I think. Someday, I might even pay somebody to design a header for me! I'm always dreaming up ideas for that. I'm aware that some of my colors used in previous posts my be hard to see now that the background is white, instead of dark gray. I'll change some of them, but doubt I'll get to all of them. I'm not sure how long I'll keep this template, and don't want to do too much work in vain.

In addition to having Pyzam problems, I found my blogger account starting to act up on me. My sister-in-law, Biz, told me yesterday that her friend was having trouble with her blogger account too and I'm not sure if she had the same trouble as I did, but if so, here's what I found: All blogger templates have been updated. If you go to the dashboard and is says "Manage: Template" then you need updated. If it says, "Manage: Layout" you've been updated and are fine. To update, click on "Manage: Template" then click on "Customize" then click "Upgrade". I did NOT lose my widgets as I thought I had! They were there waiting for me to upgrade. Hope that helps somebody!

Time for some pictures!

Somebody likes to help Mommy bake! He has to have his very own bowl with a little flour and sugar in it to stir (and eat). Too much fun! Ooh, I picked this also to show off his pearly whites a little.

Twice I found Z's doll, Louis, laying on the changing pad and I wondered if Z thought he needed his diaper changed, and sure enough! With a little help, Louis no longer had a dirty diaper. We've since changed Louis' diaper again and put it UNDER his jeans, wasn't that nice of us?

Daddy's little helper!

The boys of my heart

Z talking away even in the freezing cold. He loves to smash snow balls by throwing them down.

Green Bean Casserole Adventures
Friday night I get the hankerin'. Got to have green bean casserole. Nothing else will do. Well, by the time I look up a recipe online, get to the store and back it was seven o'clock at night. Thankfully, I'd stocked up on brussel sprouts and asparagus too, so I had a quick fix of sprouts for dinner and woke up at 6:30am the next morning and started my casserole. As I made the recipe I felt sure that I wouldn't be recommending to anyone that they make it. It was so detailed, that after boiling the green beans, dipping them in ice water, then drying them on paper towels in a single layer, I felt sure they would ask me to sing them a lullaby next. Below are my beloved green beans being tucked in...

Well, then it got kinda fun. I rubbed the dirty poo off the mushrooms with a dry paper towel, snapped the stems out (which I later sauteed for my breakfast), broke up the mushroom tops by hand (so they don't look processed), and sauteed them in butter. If only you could smell this picture!
Using half and half, chicken stock and seasonings I made the mushroom soup and mixed in the green beans. I didn't take a final picture, so just imagine the below with yummy toasted crumblies on top made of French fried onions and homemade bread crumbs.
Even though this took me over two hours to make (a double batch), and some parts were excessively "gourmet", the end result was so amazing that I deem this recipe worthy of being made again (for special occasions only!). Here's the link those adventurous types!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Hey! Good news! I'm starting to get over the all day "morning" sickness. It comes back here and there, usually when I'm hungry, but for the most part I feel like a new woman! I think I'm getting a little energy back too. So yay! Z has been a love today, super cuddly and lovey dovey. He laid in my arms for ten minutes after his nap today as he investigated the stitching on his teddy bear. The couple times I had to correct him today he quickly wanted to give me kisses. He did great at swim class today too and slept for three hours immediately after. All in all, it was a good day to be a Mommy!

Let's learn to drive!

I decided to change the name of this section, as I am learning new things all the time. Some of these driving tips are inspired from other drivers I encounter, but some I learned as an adult (usually from my husband). I couldn't find any text books online to support Ben's claim that you should not pass within fifty feet of an intersection, but it seems like a safe rule, and one I have been following for several years now. Hopefully, it's obvious to everyone that we should never pass or change lanes in the middle of an intersection, but in case it's not, that's what I'm here for!

Money for Nothin'
Here's one from my Grandpa J. in Tennessee. Check out Discover Card's Cash back incentive plan on their Open Road Card:
  • 5% Cashback Bonus on gas and everyday auto maintenance purchases
  • 5% to 20% Cashback Bonus at top online retailers like Target, Lands’ End and Barnes & Noble at ShopDiscover
  • Up to 1% Cashback Bonus on everything else you buy
  • Unlimited cash rewards
Since getting this card last November, I've made $12.15 for simply putting my gas and oil on the Discover Card. I pay it off each month and we strictly adhere to using the card for gas and car maintenance only. We usually put everything on our debit card, which makes for a lot of receipts for me to enter. I love having fewer receipts to enter, and knowing exactly how much we spend each month on car stuff. A couple details for anyone interested in doing this:
1. You can choose whether you get bills in the mail or by internet
2. You can't cash in your money until you've earned $20 or more, then you can choose whether you want to credit your account, electronically deposit the money into your bank account (you don't need to have banking online for this) or donate it to a charity of your choice, how nice!

I checked out their "Discover More" card and it doesn't look better to me, because I need gas or oil for my car all the time and you only get rewards on that certain months of the year. Here's what it said for that card's 5%
cashback bonuses for 2008:
Jan-Mar: Airlines, cruises, car rentals and hotels
April-June: Home Improvement
July-Sept: Gas and hotels
Oct-Dec: Restaurants and Movies

No thanks! I'll stick to my Open Road card. I admit I don't like having a huge bill at the end of the month, but since it's money I spend anyways, I find the money carries over from the beginning of the month to help me pay it at the end!

Web World!
I actually spent a great deal of time on these two websites yesterday with a little nugget of love on my lap who was giggling most the time!The first was Disney Clubhouse where we got to click on our favorite shows like Tigger and Pooh and Handy Manny to play games featuring them. Then we went to Curious George's website and had SO much fun, mainly because my little one speaks the same language as George and they understand each other. So for those who have little ones and are worried about too much TV in these winter months with not much else to do, here ya go! They also have games for older kids on the Disney site. Just Google your kid's favorite show and there's probably something interactive on the web for them.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Let me love

So, I'm learning to love. Really love. Loving your neighbor as yourself sounds nice, but in practice? What does that look like? I love how when Jesus was asked, "Who is my neighbor?," his reply was a story that really showed how to be a neighbor as the Samaritan took care of the man along side of the road. If the stranger along the road is my neighbor then, of course, people I know are my neighbor too, so every person, being Created in the image of God is my neighbor. By his answer, I think Jesus was saying, it's more important to focus on how I'm being a neighbor than to worry if someone is my neighbor or not.

I'm memorizing Romans 12 now. I recite I Corinthians 13 to Ezra as I rock him to sleep everyday, now with a new baby on the horizon I figure it's time to introduce another love chapter. Verse ten (in Romans) says to "honor one another above yourselves," and that's what grabbed me. Perhaps it's my all or nothing/black or white concrete thinking that gets me caught up on these details, but prior to reading this I thought we were to view ourselves equally with others. Which is hard enough when we're so chock full of self-esteem and confidence these days. Maybe not everybody, but I've got plenty, just not always in the right things.

I'm finding that loving others is being constantly open to God's love and grace. It's setting aside my sin to listen to what God would have me say or do for each person I come across. So, Lord, let me be eager to share with others when they express a need and not greedy or untrusting in You to provide for my needs. Let me hear the loving words You'd have me share when others confide in me instead of being filled with pride or competitiveness. Lord, let me be quick to forgive when I'm wronged by others, remembering how much you've forgiven me. Help me to not be in such a hurry that I can't listen to someone who wants to talk. Let me be fair if not generous the next time I have to decide how much to tip someone or bargain for a price instead of priding myself on how "frugal" I am or what a great deal I got at some one else's loss. Let me be patient and ask for your wisdom when I'm frustrated or angry with my neighbor. Let my words be encouraging and uplifting not unguarded and wreckless. Let me think outside of myself and rest in You instead of allowing my worries and anxieties about my own busy life block my view of other's true pain and needs. Let me be an open spout of your Love pouring freely though me to others.

Matthew 25:40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Hebrews 13:2
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More blessings

I Chronicles 16
(My Heart's song)

28 O nations of the world, recognize the Lord, recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong.
29 Give to the Lord the glory he deserves!

Bring your offering and come into his presence.
Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.
30 Let all the earth tremble before him.
The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.

31 Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!
Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
32 Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!
33 Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise,
for the Lord is coming to judge the earth.

34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
35 Cry out, “Save us, O God of our salvation!
Gather and rescue us from among the nations,
so we can thank your holy name
and rejoice and praise you.”

36 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
who lives from everlasting to everlasting!

And all the people shouted “Amen!” and praised the Lord.

Well, I know it's a bit early to be sharing, but I'm just way too excited! We just found out on Saturday that we're expecting another baby. I'm overwhelmed with every thought and feeling in the world. "How will I manage two? " "Oh, what a blessing this is." "If it's a boy, Z will have a buddy to play with. " "If it's a girl, I'll be charged with being a super good role model, but I'll get to teach her lots of girlie crafts that I love." Then I wonder if he or she will be healthy, if there's just one in there (Oh my!), and if I'm going to be this sick the entire pregnancy! I've had some sort of symptom every day so far: nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, weepiness, achey boobs and hips, and forgetfulness (I sent my grandparents in TN two thank you letters for their Christmas presents). I'm humbled again by how little I trusted that God would provide this gift of life to us for those nine years we waited before having Z. Every time a friend shared that she was expecting I felt that twinge of jealousy, pangs of doubt. Oh, me of little faith. I'm not sure why He chose to bless us again when we hardly deserve it, but I'm very, very thankful.


I wrote the above almost four weeks ago, and waited as long as I could to share with the world. I was excited to get the fun little widgets on the side bar! Which, by the way, you can click on the top one's words and it changes. Take my poll while you're over there! Since the above was written my boobs are all better, but the nausea has been worse. I had a good couple days over the weekend, and thought I'd grown out of it, but it came back full force yesterday. I'm still very thankful. I had my first appointment with my midwife in Akron last week and she changed our due date to September 26th, evidently the internet calculator wasn't as accurate as I thought. So, now you know why I haven't posted so often lately: I've been napping when Z naps since I'm so tired all the time and/or as I said in my last post I'm just so behind on housework because I've been feeling too yucky to do much. I can eat, but mostly pasta, protein and spicy foods like Indian, Mexican and chili. My cousin's wife, Nicki and I are just a few days apart in our due dates which should be fun, especially to our grandparents in Iowa who are gaining two new great grandchildren almost at once! Well, Z is sleeping, and that's my cue, I'm off to catch some Z's for me too!

Friday, February 8, 2008

not yet!

I was sick for the better part of the week, and now I'm playing catch up with stuff around the house. My sincere apologies to my mother, who I encouraged to start checking on Fridays for new posts as I usually get to it on Thursdays. Love you, Mom! I'm hoping to update both blogs soon! Oh, and congratulations to my cousin Jeremy and his wife, Nicki in Illinois on their happy news! We're so excited for you!!!