Saturday, February 28, 2009

Diversity in the Body

I was reminded again this past weekend of the diversity in the group of us. Jules (all the way on the left) is a farmers daughter and still attends the same United Methodist Church where she grew up. Jess is a military brat who moved around alot growing up and while she attended Nazarene churches most of her life she now attends a non-denominational church (the same one that I attend). I started out Catholic (since thats what both my parents grew up as), but we ended up trying out a few churches including a Baptist and settled on the non-denominational church where I've been going for about 15 years or so (but that my parents no longer attend). Cindy grew up Menonite and has been teaching preschool in an English Emersion school in Lima, Peru for the last year and was attending a non-denominational English speaking church there (I think it was non-denominational). Wow... God is not exclusive to certain denominations and neither are we.

We are an interesting group. We're silly and insane. We're serious and supportive. We are the kind of friends that are not afraid to call eachother out when one of us does something stupid or wrong. We have been through alot with eachother. This weekend we were together to support Julie as she was dealing with the passing of her grandmother. We attended the funeral together. Its such a blessing to all of us that we can be there to support one another during hard times. I am so thankful that God brought us all together and has sustained our friendships. We share a love for our Lord and through that we can be better friends to one another. Even through trials and tribulations God is good.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What's For Dinner?!?

I have become a fan of a few Food Network shows. Most recently Chopped has caught my attention. On the show they challenge four up-and-coming chefs to turn a selection of everyday ingredients into an extraordinary three-course meal. Generally they are not ingredients that would naturally go together. After each round (appetizer, entree and dessert) one chef gets "chopped" and obviously there is one winner at the end. Its a little more interesting than they typical cooking/food show. It even perked the interest of my sister who thinks cooking shows are boring!
I contacted The Food Network via their website because I have an idea for a new show. It is kind of a twist on Chopped, but makes it more usable in real life. The dishes on chopped are not usually ones that a viewer would make on their own.
I think alot of your viewers would relate to this predicament: Its 5pm and you haven't even thought about dinner yet, much less started it. So then comes the inevitable: "Mom, whats for dinner?"
You would put a couple of average moms in kitchens with limited ingredients and they would then have to cook dinner for a family of four (give or take) with only what they can find in the kitchen. There wouldn't necessarily be mandatory ingredients, they're just limited to what is in the kitchen. The judges would then be average kids and dads or even a whole family. You could have them judged on nutritional value, taste, appearance, kid friendliness, etc.
Having fun ideas (even if they never happen) Works For Me!! Anyway, if this idea ever actually became a show I would love to be on it! I'd love to hear what you all think! Thanks!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Birthday Recap!

So... I wasn't really into my birthday much. I got tons of well wishes and a few cards... everyone was great. I just wasn't feeling it, you know?
Anyway... that was until my wonderful husband planned a lovely evening out for the two of us. He arranged for the boys to spend the night at grandma and grandpa's house. Then we went downtown to The Rathskeller which is located in this wonderful old German building. It was so neat to see the history of the building and all that has take place there over the years.
The menu was a collection of a variety of tastes including some authentic German dishes. The bread basket came w/ two rolls and a soft pretzel(with this crazy spicy mustard!). We got the special which was stuffed shrimp (really really yummy!) and a spicy pasta dish. Both meals were very good. And since it was my birthday we got a free slice of German Chocolate Cheesecake. Oh, yeah... it was good!
After the meal we went to the bar area where there was a country/pop singer performing. Natalie Stovall was so great! She had a fun sound. She did alot of cover songs but did some original numbers too. Hubby is not a huge fan of country but he really enjoyed the talent of the guitarist and Natalie's fiddle playing. I liked her style enough that I bought her CD. When she found out it was my birthday she said we should stick around so she could sing a song for me. It was kind of a remix of Happy Birthday. She even said my name right (which is pretty rare)!
It was such a fun night with my husband. When you have two boys (one very active and one with special needs) you don't always get alot of alone time. It was much needed and much appreciated. Also, we usually are pretty basic on our dates. It was nice to break out of the norm and do something different for a change. I totally want to go back there.
There were a couple other fun things over the weekend. There was a Pre-school/Family Fair at the county fairgrounds. There were lots of freebies for the kids and the boys loved the petting zoo! And I got to do lunch and a movie w/ my mom and sisters. Its not very often that we all get together just us girls. Its kind of weird now that we're all grown up (the youngest girl is about to graduate high school and is already a published author). We went and saw He's Just Not That Into You. It was pretty good.
So I want to say thanks to my husband and family and friends for making me feel special for my birthday. I love you all!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

29 Things about Me - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Today is my 29th birthday. Sigh... this is the last year of my "twenties"... oh well... anyway, to mark the occasion I'm posting 29 random things about ME! Enjoy. And leave me a birthday comment! Or not. Whatever! ;-p

1. I'm the oldest of five kids - and all of us were born at home!

2. I have never lived anywhere but Indiana.

3. I love to travel and wish I could afford to do more of it.

4. I've worked for two different airlines. Totally recommend working in the airline industry. It has its pros and cons... but the flight benefits are awesome!

5.I have a blue eyes but my left eye has a brown streak in it. I know, I'm weird.

6. I was really into myspace for awhile but now I'm hooked on facebook.

7. I have two sons that I love but have always wanted a daughter!

8. I have always wanted to be a wife and mother. Sometimes I love it... others its more than I bargained for but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

9. I had my first son via unplanned c-section. And my second son via VBAC at home. If we have any more kids we'll definitely plan another homebirth.

10. Isaac and I went from acquaintances to engaged in less than two months and were married only 5 months after that. When you know - you know!

11.I love to scrapbook but don't get to do it as much as I would like to.

12. I'm not that great of a housekeeper. I don't like to be messy... but I don't like to clean either.

13. I get addicted to tv shows. Right now its Heroes, Lost, The Office and Greys.

14. I struggle to get into the Word like I know I should. I make up excuses and stuff but mostly its probably laziness.

15. I've been going to the same church for something like 16yrs.

16. When I really want to splurge I get a manicure or pedicure... there is something about it...

17. I was dyslexic in early elementary. Reading was a chore and I hated it.

18. My mom took me out of school and homeschooled me from the 3rd grade on. I am so thankful that she did!

19. I love to read but don't do it as much as I would like.

20. I'm working on a list of 30 things I wanna do before I turn 30.

21. I love taking pictures. I wish had more time to develop my skill and build my photography business.

22. I cannot think of a time in my life when I was genuinely happy with my body (I've been everything from a size 6 (a LONG time ago) to a size 20 (a few years ago).

23. I have a lot of great women in my life that I am thankful for. I have friends for all seasons of life, some young some old(er)... I think we all can learn something from eachother and I love it!

24. My favorite alcoholic beverage is an Amaretto Sour. Mmmm.... sounds good!

25. Even with all their issues and quirks I love my family very much (and that includes my inlaws).

26. I love San Francisco! I spent six weeks there on a business trip when I worked for American Airlines and I fell in love with that city! Its awesome!

27. According to this online quiz that Suz posted about I'm a Romantic Self-Knowing Self-Improver. I guess that sounds about right. Another quiz said I'm most like Jane Austen's herione Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility. Not the most glamorous heroine but probably the most like me.

28. If I had been born just a couple hours later I'd have been born on my mom's birthday! Its kind of fun because we get to celebrate together!

29. I got more personal than I thought I would in this list. Hope it wasn't all boring!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Birthday Freebies!

Awhile back I saw some of these suggested on WFMW and other money saving blogs/websites and thought I'd give it a try! Totally worth it! I signed up online with several restaurants. Some have actual birthday clubs others just sign you up for email offers, etc. Here is a list of the coupons that I have gotten in the last week (I've already used half of them!).

Free Like-It bowl of ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery

Free appetizer or sidekick of ribs w/ purchase of entree at Texas Roadhouse

Free dessert w/ purchase of entree at Chili's (by the way... the pix is of the Quesadilla Explosion Salad at Chili's... its my favorite salad anywhere!! Its soooo gooood!!)

Free dessert w/ entree purchase at On The Border

Free Burrito at Qdoba

Free burger at Red Robin

Some of these places even send you coupons right after you sign up! If you know of others please let me know! I also have signed my kids up at alot of these places too. Most places send you coupons for a free kids meal near the kiddos' birthday. Who doesn't like free food?!? ;-)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Annual IFSP

Today was Joe's one year annual IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) with First Steps. Our coordinator and two of Joe's therapists came over and we talked about his goals and progress, etc. He has been making progress but techinically hasn't actually met any of the goals that we set previously. Joe has been approved to continue treatment as it has been: Physical therapy 2x weekly, Occupational therapy 1x weekly, Developmental therapy 1x weekly and Speech 1x weekly. We are going to try to get his vision tested again to see if anything has changed from last year. While his eye contact and attention has increased we still wonder if he might have some vision problems.
Goal #1 - Improve overall strength in his body so that he can improve physical skills such as rolling, sitting and crawling, etc. - He is doing well and continuing to improve, but he does have a long way to go. Both PT and OT specifically work on this goal.
Goal #2 - Increase Joe's ability to focus for longer periods so that he can engage in more play and social interaction. - I think OT, DT and Speech help work on this goal. And again, he is improving but just is not caught up.
Goal #3 - Increase Joe's use of vocal and sign language communication. - Both Speech and OT and sometimes DT work on this. It would really relieve alot of strain if Joe were able to communicate his needs and wants better. While he has been doing better in some ways, he's also getting more frustrated at his lack of communication skills.
All of his therapists mention how sweet Joe is and how great it is to work with him (and the rest of our family). I am so blessed by them and am thankful that we have found such a great group of therapists.
One thing that we are doing that is new is alphabiotics. The Alphabiotic Alignment is a hands-on process which instantly unifies the brain hemispheres, balances the energies within the nerve system and muscles and releases stress held within the mind/body. In this state of Alignment you begin to function better on levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, placing you in a more favorable position to heal yourself. Both Isaac and Joe have seen Dr. Andry a couple of times. We were referred to him by our herbalist that we've been seeing as a family since before Joe was born. We're not looking for a miracle or anything... but feel its worth a try.
So... for now we'll continue doing what we are doing and obviously continue to pray for progress.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Scrappin' Armoire!

For a long time I had no space for crafting at all. Then my hubby kindly decided to share his music room with me... but I carelessly overtook most of the room! Oops! Sorry, honey!

But then I found a pretty good buy on CraigsList on this great armoire! Even thought I'm all moved out of the music room (now its music/guest room) I'm still getting settled into armoire... finding my scrapbooking organizational groove... you know how it is.
So... we've had a busy few weeks and I have not been able to get crafty lately! My ToDos this week are: get some holiday pages done at the Craft Night this Friday.
Check out some of my Sunday Scrappin' sisters!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sparkly White!

My sis is a dental assistant and got me the hookup with some whitening samples. She did impressions of my teeth at my house.
Nate loved "helping" her with the molds of my teeth. Then she made the trays for me to use with the whitening solution.

It may not exactly be an extreme makeover but I can tell a difference. I used the overnight solution 4-5 times. It made my teeth a little sensitive for a couple of days but nothing too serious. Thanks for the hookup Wren!! Love ya!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

30 by30 in progress

Ok, so I haven't actually completed any of the things on my 30 by 30 list just yet but I'm working on a few. Here is what is in the works:
#15 - Get in touch w/ old friends - a few days ago I bumped into a girl that I used to work with at American Airlines. I miss those girls! She doesn't live than far from me now so we might try to get together sometime.
#5 - scrappin' retreat - me and my scrappin' sisters are trying to plan a DIY retreat sometime this summer. We're having scheduling delays but I'm confident it'll happen!
#10 & #20 - I'm planning on doing some charitable photography. Its something that I really enjoy and what better way to incorporate my hobby into a service project?
#22 - finish reading the bible w/ my hubby - we've been picking it back up again... its a work in progress.
#16 - Read Jane Austen's books - two of my sisters and I are reading Emma together now. We each took a quiz to find out which of Austen's heroines that we were most like. I am Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility - so that I will lead the discussion on that book. ** I think I might not actually read all of them.... we'll see.

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

Anyway... thats where I'm at... I'll keep you updated as I check things off the list and continue working on things.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bible Reading = Sexy Talk?

One thing that I love and am so thankful about my husband is how much he has encouraged me to read the word of God. He has done this since the beginning (even though it doesn't always get through to me). Something that I'll always remember was one thing that he and I did together on our honeymoon (don't worry, its not what you think ;-) was read Song of Songs together for the first time. We chose not to do it all at once but a chapter at a time. We read it responsively: Isaac read the part of Lover and I read the part of Beloved. It was a beautiful reminder of God's blessing on the marital union. And it was pretty steamy too!!

So maybe you and your spouse can also benefit from being reminded of God's love for you and His desire for you to receive pleasure and happiness in your marriage. Take the time this Valentine's Day to read Song of Songs "the romantic way" - I'm sure we will. ;-)

Monday, February 09, 2009

You Can Tell It

This past weekend my husband and I joined several other couples from our church at our annual leadership retreat. In previous years this time has been used to plan events and ministries that happen in our church body, etc. This year the whole focus was on personal evangelism. Talk about being convicted! I was painfully reminded of how little I share the good news of Jesus Christ.
We went through a video seminar by EvanTell Ministries that taught us to how to use the Bad News/Good News method. It basically is this:

The Bad News/Good News approach is an easy way to present the gospel. There are 4 points to remember and 4 Scripture verses to support them.

  1. Bad News #1 – We are all sinners.* (Romans 3:23)
  2. Bad News #2 – The penalty for sin is death. (Romans 6:23)
  3. Good News #1 – Christ died for you. (Romans 5:8)
  4. Good News #2 – You can be saved through faith in Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Remember: It is not a prayer that saves you. It is trusting in Jesus Christ that saves you. Prayer is simply how you tell God what you are doing.

Obviously people may have many different objections or issues with the gospel but its not really as complicated as we make it. God loves us - He sent His Son to die for our sins - if we trust in Him we can spend eternity in heaven together! Wow... how hard is that?
One of the things they reminded us was that we are not called to save the lost - that is God's part. We are however called to share the gospel with them. Whether or not they choose to trust in Christ is between them and God. Once we have shared we have done our part and if they choose not to believe at that time then all we can do is pray for them. It kind of takes the pressure off of us.
Please pray that we all would be open to opportunities to share the message and love of Jesus. And hopefully when the opportunity comes up... the Bad News/Good News method will Work for Me!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Scrappin' Challenge

This week Sunday Scrappin' challenged us to do a get well OR health related card/page/etc. Well I've done get well stuff before but this layout is one that I'm especially proud of because I was resourceful (if I do say so myself!) and cut up the brochure to use for the page! I think it turned out pretty nice. Its of the process of Joe getting his orthotics. Nate helped pick out the design/colors. Alison (our PT) came with us to help us through the process. She's been with us since we started First Steps almost a year ago, she's great!

Sunday, February 01, 2009


This week I was actually able to get a little regular scrapbooking done! I had no special projects going on for a change! Here are a few of my TaDa's!

Here is a page that I got done this week is about my first car! It was a good little car. I paid something like $650 and it lasted me through college and a couple years into marriage. Not too shabby! Well... ok, it was kind of shabby... but still. I loved that car!

Here is one I did with a few pic of me and my hubby! We were doing self portraits and I couldn't get him to give me a decent smile so we ended up doing a whole bunch of silly faces before getting one really good one of the both of us! I love it! And we did "he said, she said" journaling! I'd been dying to use this paper! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. ** and incidentally the challenge this week was to do a "sweet" layout. If you notice the paper has chocolate kisses on it! So I think that counts!

So there you have my pages worth showing off this week. If you want to check out more cool craftiness go to Sunday Scrappin'!!