Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lexi's Thoughts. (Age 4)

While driving home with my sweet Lexi today, this was our conversation.

Lexi - Mom, are we driving on the freeway?
Me - No Lexi. This is "Adams".
Lexi - Oh.


Lexi - What's the next street name? "Eves?"

Monday, September 27, 2010

When did my daughter's hands get so big? And other things I've learned about the First Grade.

This morning, I got some snuggle time in with Haley. She's 6. And she's growing so fast. I swear kids age in dog years.

So while we were laying there playing with Star Wars Figurines (don't all 6 year old girls start the morning playing with Star Wars Figurines?) I was just staring at her hands. Taking apart C3P0, putting him back together again. Holding the Storm Trooper & shooting his tiny gun. And all I kept thinking, was how big her hands were. Those could not possibly be the sweet tiny hands that used to grip my fingers, could they?

Yet here she is...6 years old. A first grader.

She's doing so well. She loves her class. She loves her teacher. I have learned that people are very opinionated about what teachers they like and don't like at Haley's school. (Though I'm sure that is universal). All I know is that I think her teacher was made for her. She is very structured and very strict. But she pours out her heart to those kids and loves them all so much. Haley used to volunteer in her classroom after school last year, and she really wanted her as her teacher. I'm so glad they were paired up. On the first day of school she came home and announced, "Well, I'm not going to get away with ANYTHING this year!" My heart might have done a little leap of joy. And it's true. She hasn't gotten away with a thing. And I love it!

Here are some pictures from her Back to School Night

Our Family Tree

On Friday, I was in the classroom helping. I think my favorite part of that morning was when I was doing crafts in the back with the kids and Haley was at the craft table with two other boys. As soon as they got there, they started talking in Star Wars Lingo about different toys they had. "I have the Storm Trooper Blaster Snow Lego Man Hans Solo Death Fighter Starship Something"... I don't know. It all sounded like the teacher in Charlie Brown talking to me. " Waah Waah Wahh Wahh Wahh... " But apparently, it was REALLY exciting to them, cause' their eyes were as big as saucers... in awe of each other's Star Wars Collection. Then Haley stands up quietly and whispers, "And I have some of these..." and proceeds to put her hands in her pockets and pull out two Darth Vader toys that she smuggled from home! "Haley, where did you get those?" I asked. She said, "I snuck them from home...I didn't want you to see them cause I thought I would get in trouble." To which I say, "But you know that you're showing them to me right now, right?" She smiled. Then the other little boy stands up and gently pulls a Boba Fett character out of his pocket. WHAT IN THE WORLD? It's like the Black Market for Star Wars toys in that first grade class.

So Haley has found herself in a classroom filled with Star Wars Freaks. They have matching backpacks, lunch boxes, and folders. They wear uniforms, so there are no matching clothes. But I'm sure they would be wearing the same underwear if I let Haley buy the Star Wars Underoos from the boys section that she wants. But you some point you have to draw a line.

One other thing I've learned about first grade...they seem to be really diving into the idea of nutrition at her school. Which I'm all for. However, maybe they've learned a little too much when Haley points out people that are on the heavier side and says, "I think that person has had too many trans fatty oils." REALLY? Trans-Fatty Oils? Wow. Okay. Score one for Nutrition.

Also, score one for Reading. I love what a fabulous reader Haley is now. She wakes up every morning and reads to herself. It's a great activity that quiets her down and focuses her. I love to sit next to her and listen to her read. Hard to believe a year ago, she only new her ABC's, and now she is reading entire books.

This really is going to be a great school year. Curtis stepped up to be Room Dad. I was in a meeting one day, and he kept texting me about how big Haley was getting and how he wanted to spend some extra time with her this he signed up to be Room Dad. And he's loving every minute of it. We have a great class, great teacher, great parents, and we have a little girl that we adore.

... A little girl whose sweet hands have reminded us of how quickly time goes by and we need to treasure every minute.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

God talks to me in the Garden.

...or maybe I just listen more when I'm in the garden.

Last weekend, Curtis and I spent a couple days re-doing our front/back yard.

There was one area where we used to have a little garden... but our lovely Golden Retriever decided she rather make that her territory, and basically trampled our plants. And the truth is, we got lazy at tending to it. So it got kind of grassy/weedy...and by "kind of", I mean, we were one step away from finding large animals hiding in there and re-opening our backyard as a zoo.

So, I finally said, enough is enough! Plants can't grow there, but we can pull up the weeds and put some mulch down and at least it will look nicer.

So we did.

And that was hard. I mean really hard. And it was hot. I mean really hot.

I believe it was approximately when I pulled up the 1,029th weed, I started to draw a parallel between weeds and sin. We never intended for that section of our yard to get out of control. But before too long, things just started to grow. And the roots started to get deeper. And when I finally got around to cleaning it up, the roots were so deep in some areas, it took all my might (plus a lot of sweat, and manly grunting) to get them out of the ground.

Isn't that the same as sin? It starts innocent enough. Maybe you mess up once, and don't really think about it. Or maybe you think you got away with it, so you do it again. Or maybe you rationalize that it's no big deal. Or maybe it just feels really good, so you keep doing it. It doesn't really matter how it starts... what matters is, if you don't tend to it...before too long, it takes over your life. And then it requires some major intervention to get it out of your life. I had my kids helping me... Curtis was bringing in mechanical tools...I mean, It had really gotten out of control. But with help, the weeds were gone.

Sometimes, we need help to get the junk...the weeds...the sin out of our life. That help begins with surveying the damage...looking out and seeing an ugly, messed up garden, and deciding something's gotta change. Then asking for help to start pulling out the weeds.

The result can be something beautiful. And it will stay beautiful with constant

The same is true with our lives. We can't allow the roots of sin to find a place in our heart. We've got to constantly tend to our soul. In a sense, we have to allow God to be the gardener...supplying us with His light and His living water. Let him trim away all the parts that are not of Him...that are not eternal.

The result will be something beautiful.

John 15 1-8
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Monday, June 28, 2010

So you wanna know, huh?

I mentioned something about my menus for the week and how I stayed under $100 bucks to feed our family. Inquiring minds asked me to post some I thought I'd share with you how it went down.

Backstory... Curtis and I have spent way too much on food recently. You know, like pretending we have money, and then spending it. It's really ridiculous. We don't buy clothes, toys, or anything else other people do. But we really like to eat. And apparently, we REALLY like to spend money while doing it. So we get carried away every once in a while and come back to our senses and remember we have a budget and we need to stick to it.

So here's how we pulled it off.

Last night, I got out all the grocery ads. I went through each one and picked out the good deals...on things I would normally eat. Now here's the thing... I love me some Trader Joe's...but I decided not to go there this trip. Their produce can get spendy...and sometimes I don't like how it's packaged. Like if I only want one pepper, I should only buy 1. Not 3. So I looked to the other ads for some inspiration. And when I found the veggies I liked that were on sale... I based menus around them.

So for tonight... the menu was:

Chicken/Sour Cream/Green Chili Enchiladas.
Mexican Rice
Avocado/Corn Salsa with freshly squeezed lime / salted chips.

So how did I get there?

It started at 9:30am.

Trip to the (GASP) 99 cent store. Yep I did it. And I'm so not ashamed. It's full of great deals.

Here's why I went. The same pack of tortillas that I would buy in the store for $2.69. = 99cents.
12 limes - 99cents.
Bag of onions - 99cents
packaged red and orange peppers - 99cents
Organic black beans - 99cents
Watermelon - 99cents
Tomatos - 99cents

Need I go on?

There's no shame in my game. As long as you carefully select your produce... it's really the place to start your trip. So many deals. And most of it is local, so that's good too.

Then we went to VONS...

Here I got numerous other things... all of which were ON SALE... most of which I had COUPONS for.

But the items I needed for tonight... sour cream (store brand) - 1.50 and the secret ingredient to my dinner... a Rotissiere Chicken (cause I barely like chicken...I'm sure not going to cook one, then stuff my enchiladas with it). It was also on sale for 5.99.

After that we hit up Albertsons... where I bought the non-essential but such a good deal... 8 Starbucks glassed Frappucinos for 7.00. That's 8 for the price of 2 Frapps at Sbux. Yep. Good deal.

Then SPROUTs... where I hit the gold mine in fresh produce... LOTS OF GOOD DEALS TODAY! And All part of my recipes for the week! Only bummer... out of avocados. And their shredded cheese was WAY too expensive. So we had to go to Ralphs. Which I remembered from the ads had cheap cheese... and their organic avocados were only 1.50.

So in full disclosure... here's what I spent (rounded up)

99cent store - 12.00
Vons - 41.00 (bought sunscreen/toothbrushes too
Albies - 16.00
Sprouts - 23.00
Ralphs - 6.00

Total = 98.00


And dinner was divine. Everyone ate it. The in-laws even popped by to pick up something, and what started with "I'll just have a bite" turned into much more.

So that's how we did it.

I love knowing that the rest of the week is planned out. We have good food. And we stayed within our budget.

And if you'd like the recipe for the enchiladas... Please to enjoy.


12 corn tortillas
4 cups green chile sauce, recipe below
3 cups cooked minced chicken ( I just picked chicken off the store-bought rotisserie)
1 pound shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I only used an 8 ounce bag)
1/4 cup minced onion
1 to 2 cups sour cream
salt to taste
green chile sauce, below

Heat tortillas on griddle or in microwave or heat in oil until flexible; cover with a towel and keep warm. Make green chile sauce, below. Mix one cup chile sauce with the minced chicken. Put 1/4 cup of the mixture on each tortilla and roll up. (* I also added a couple spoons of sour cream to the mixture). Place tortilla rolls, seam-side down, in a baking dish, cover enchiladas with shredded cheese and add onion if desired. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and bake at 350° for about 20 minutes. Top with sour cream and return to oven for 10 minutes or until all is hot. Serve immediately.

Green Chile Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 cup minced onion 1 tablespoon flour 1 cup water 1 cup chopped green chiles salt to taste

Saute garlic and onion in oil in a heavy saucepan. Blend in flour; add water and green chile and mix well. Add salt. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring frequently for 5 minutes.

* I added a bit of sugar to my green chili seemed like it needed it.*

Okay my friends... Hope you enjoy it. Thanks for reading! Now go save some money & eat home made food!!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sea World Ban

Remember the movie the Matrix? Morpheous offered Neo two pills. If he took the red pill, he would realize what the Matrix was, and he would be pulled from it. He would know the truth. If he took the blue pill, life would go on as before. Nothing would change. Before Neo reached for the red pill, Morpheous said, " Remember, all I am offering is the truth...nothing more."

So, this week, I decided to choose the red pill. I wanted to know the truth.

Yeah, I know this sounds dramatic, but let me explain myself.

I have always loved sea life. Specifically dolphins. My room was decorated in dolphin decor throughout my childhood. I started college with a minor in marine biology so I could become a dolphin trainer at Sea World. (Yeah, that obviously did not work out.) I go to Sea World, and I cry at the mere beauty of these beautiful creatures. I LOVE DOLPHINS.

Perhaps you remember this little documentary called, "The Cove". It came out last year, and it won the OSCAR this year. I knew it was about dolphins. I knew it frowned upon captivity, and so I put off watching it because I didn't want to feel guilty about going to Sea World.

Turns out, everything I predicted turned out to be true. Time to cancel my Sea World Annual Pass.

Here's the story behind the movie...

Ric O'Berry who was the dolphin trainer in the old TV show, FLIPPER, is the man basically behind the idea of dolphins in captivity...and invented techniques used to train dolphins. He grew to realize that he had made a critical mistake in putting dolphins in captivity and has spent the past 30 years trying to undo the damage he created.

In this movie, he focuses on a small, coastal town in Taiji, Japan. A town that hunts bottlenosed dolphins. Why? It all comes down to money. Zoos and Aquariums are willing to pay top dollar for beautiful, bottlenosed dolphins that can be trained and used commercially... i.e, in Sea World shows. These dolphins will sell for an average of $150,000. The dolphins that are not selected are massacred. Literally, trapped in a cove. Left overnight. And then stabbed with spears the next morning. Leaving the ocean stained red with their blood. It is a horrifying image.

These massacres will continue to happen as long as people are paying for tickets and supporting aquariums/zoos who offer shows that feature dolphins or offer swim with dolphin programs.

The movie goes into greater detail of why dolphins do not belong in captivity. And you can also read more about it at:

As much as it pains me to know I may never again experience an interaction with a dolphin, I just can't support these animals in captivity anymore. I encourage you to watch the move and/or read these websites for more information.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Birthday Letter.

Dear Lexi,

I can't not believe you've blessed our family for 4 years now. Well, technically 4 years and 9 months.

I can remember the day I realized you were growing inside of me. I just knew. In fact, I knew before science. They have tests you can buy in the store that tell you whether or not you are going to have a baby. I took a test on Friday. I didn't even tell your Daddy. He might've thought I was being silly, so I didn't want him to know until I was sure. That test told me no. But I didn't believe it. So, I took another one on Sunday morning before church. And it said yes. I KNEW IT! And Lexi, I was so happy, I got down on my knees and started crying and praying a prayer to God just saying, "thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you."

That day when daddy came home from church, your sister Haley was wearing a shirt that said, "BIG SISTER"... and he was SO surprised! Then he had to go on a trip to help people in Louisiana, so I didn't get to see him the rest of the week. But we told Grandma/Granddad & Grandma/Papa & Auntie Jen and Dodo on Friday night. We hid a pacifier in the bread basket that said, "Surprise!" And boy, were they surprised!

It was fun to have you in my belly. Even though you like weird food like McDonalds. (YUK!) Then all I wanted to eat was fruit...and I ate A LOT of fruit. Enough to give me diabetes. So, my doctor said, "NO MORE FRUIT!" Which made us both very sad!!! But I still think that is why you like fruit so much.

I knew you were going to be a girl on Christmas day of 2005. We had our nurse put your ultrasound in a secret envelope and we opened it on Christmas Day. I really thought you were a boy...but Lexi, I'm so glad you are a girl. God knew I needed you.

Here's how we told the world what your name was...

That's you inside of my belly!

You grew and grew and grew until it was time to go to the hospital. Mommy had to have a c-section, so we picked out your birthday. May 12th seemed like a really good day to us. This is a picture of us when we got to the hospital.

This is a picture of Mommy before the surgery. I was a little nervous.

Daddy was soooooo excited to meet you. Isn't he cute?

They told me it's time for surgery! Time for Lexi to be born! Now, Mommy is excited too!

Here is a picture of the doctors working on mommy so you can come out and see us.

And just a few minutes later, we had our first family picture taken...

You were finally here....

You sure found your fingers quick...

Your sister was in love with you at first sight...

We all were...

It was finally time to go home.

Oh look! The stork announced your birth! All 9lbs and 2oz of you!

We walked in those doors and began our new life with you. You have brought so much joy, so much laughter, and so much love to our family Lexi Mae.

Your Daddy and I love you with all of our hearts Lexi. We are so thankful that God chose us to be your parents.

Happy 4th Birthday!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Scratchy Dishes.

I got kinda bummed putting my dishes away today. I noticed a lot of them are pretty scratched up. They were a wedding present, so to be fair they are over ten years old. But still, the scratches are hard for OCD people like me.

But as I bent over the sink, holding a plate in my hand, I started thinking about how many times those dishes were used. How many birthdays, dinners with family, parties with friends...How many good stories were shared over dinner....How much laughter filled the room over many brownies were eaten while watching our favorite shows like Survivor or LOST.

And as each moment filled my mind, I started to like the way my scratchy dishes looked...because etched into each one, are sweet, precious memories.

Monday, May 10, 2010


While riding in the car, Lexi started singing a song. When she was done Haley said, "That was pretty Lexi. Sing it again."

Lexi said... "I can't. It's not in my brain anymore."

Friday, May 7, 2010

Pay no attention to the lady crying on the carousel.

Today was a beautiful day.

It was also an emotional one.

It started off with a Mother's Day Tea at Lexi's preschool. She was so excited for me to come to her classroom. And the morning did not disappoint. She sat on my lap. She sang a beautiful off -key song about Mother's Day. She made me a craft...painted in my favorite color. We shared a little sandwich and some juice together. And it was as if it was all happening in slow motion. She's growing up so quickly, I kept thinking. My heart's rhythm started to pick up the way it does before I start to cry. The tears were almost there...And then I would remind myself to stop and enjoy the moment.

Fast forward to tonight....

We took the kids to Disneyland after school. And it was just one of those perfect days. Not too crowded. The kids were in good spirits. And our little family of four was together for the first time in a long time...with no agenda. Just open to wherever the day would take us.

So many good conversations were had. So many laughs. So many smiles. So many "I wanna remember this moment" moments.

We got on to the ride, 'Finding Nemo' and I was sitting by Haley. I wish I had my phone handy to capture a picture. Instead, I will have to describe the moment. She was sitting in her little submarine chair, looking out her circular window, so wide-eyed and full of beautiful...and it was as if I almost couldn't breathe. I was so full of this amazing love for her, I thought my heart would burst. Literally burst. And the tears almost came again. Instead, I just simply leaned over and kissed her head. And said a silent prayer of a million thanks to God for blessing me with my daughter. I could not love her more. I could NOT.

And then an hour or two later, we were sitting outside on the boardwalk eating dinner. Lexi and I were finished and she wanted to go ride the carousel. "Can we ride the carousel Mommy?" Of course, I said. And so the two of us went ahead while Curtis and Haley finished dinner.

And as we were walking I just wanted time to stop. Cause I know that the wonder of the simple little carousel will soon not be enough to make my sweet little Lexi excited. And with that thought comes a thousand others...all based around my sweet baby growing up.

And those were the thoughts that captivated my heart as I sat on my sea otter and she on her fish and we rode the Little Mermaid Carousel. And each time she smiled her big smile, and laughed her big laugh, another tear would fall. I would inconspicuously wipe my eyes and hope that all the smiling parents taking pictures outside the ride wouldn't catch on to this super emotional mom that is just madly in love with her kids...willing time to stand still...and disappointed that it would not.

We got off the ride, and walked towards Curtis only to find him holding Haley like this...

Could the day be any richer?

I told Curtis I got all emotional on the carousel, to which he replied, "Why?" And as I started to tear up AGAIN, I said, "Check the blog later." "Really?" he says... "Check the blog? Is that what we've come to?" I laughed... but the truth is, today was just one of those days. The love is too thick, too much, too good. I can't even think about it without getting emotional. So it had to be written down.

Cause yeah, I'm the crazy lady that cries on carousels. I'm the one sitting alone in my house wiping my slobbering face with my sleeve cause I've run out of kleenexes...Cause I'm the one that has been blessed with a love greater than a deserve.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Lexi drew Mickey Mouse today.

And though you may have a hard time picking him out, she pointed out every little attribute of Mr. Mouse.

She was very proud of herself.

I'm proud of her too. Mostly because, her drawing of Mickey Mouse shows more promise than mine.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Feel the Love.

Tonight, I was driving in the car with my mom and the girls.

We passed by the hospital where Lexi was born, and I said "There's your hospital Lexi!"

The following is the remainder of our conversation.......

Lexi : That's where I was born.

Me: (feeling all sentimental) Yes it is.

Lexi: I don't want to have a baby.

Haley: Why, cause it's gonna hurt?

Lexi: I don't want to have a baby.

....perfectly setting up a moment that could be oh so sweet, my Mom says: But Lexi, Mommy had two babies, and look what she got.

Haley: A STRETCHY BELLY! That's what she got!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Reason #4692 I love Yoga.

Have I mentioned I like yoga? Oh, like is not the word. I love it. I really, really love it.

And the weird thing is, I just happened into it. Thought I'd give it a try. And now I spend every day thinking about when I can practice some more.

Why do I like it? So many reasons...

But here are a few...

It relaxes me.
It helps me focus.
I am slower to anger.
More hungry for peace.
I feel healthier.
I feel stronger.

And reason #4692?

It is healing my body. HUH? You say. Yes, it's true.

I have had undiagnosed leg pain for 15 years. 15 YEARS people! So many doctors, therapy, etc. My right side has been in pain since I was in Jr. High. Started with my hand and moved down to my leg. The leg pain is so severe at times it hurts to walk. Countless massages and physical therapy have only been a bandaid.

I hadn't slept on my right side since college.

Then I started yoga.

It's been 3 months of practicing at least twice a week.

And guess what? The pain is slipping away. I can sleep on my right side.

Yoga is helping me take back my body.

And I couldn't be more happy.

I take Vinyasa Style Yoga...which is power yoga. It is not easy. It is definitely a workout. One of my favorite things to hear my teacher say mid class is, "Whoever told you yoga was easy, lied to you to get you here." I think that is true.

All that to say, the class may be hard, but the rewards are plenty.

So try it. It may change your life and your body like it has changed mine.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Library Germs.

I took Haley to the library this afternoon. She got her first library card, and we had a pretty awesome time.

Then I went over to pick out a few books for myself, and I thought, "hmmm...why don't we do this more often?"

Then I books go into a lot of different homes.

And I'm not saying it happens in my house, but I have been to a house or two where "reading material" is present in the bathroom.

So I just stood many bathrooms have these books been in?

Yeah, you shouldn't let your mind go there. It can get pretty gnarly.

Picture Books.

I like looking at pictures. Sometimes more than words. For example....I usually read PEOPLE magazine more often than a wordy novel. (Which to be honest is a time thing more than anything else.) So for that reason, I thought I would just post some recent pics...with a word or two about each one to kinda catch you up on our life since I was missing from the blogosphere for awhile...

We spent a little time in Old World.

My sister had a beautiful baby girl named Kinley Grace. And I obviously need more pictures of her since I only have the delivery pictures to show.

But with the baby, came more time for me to spend with my niece, Emily.

Lexi and I went to the park with Cousin Emily.

We enjoyed the California Sun and have had some fun Beach Days.

We rode some tiny trains.

This came home in Haley's weekend packet...apparently she's really good at math!

She was also picked to help lead in chapel.

Peter Pan and Tink showed up at the house!

And my sweet husband made us some yummy homemade pizzas! That's Amore.

We've had some good times lately.

And that concludes my Picture Book.

The end.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Blogging again. Oh, and Lexi is a Holy Roller.

I am a total slacker at this blog thing.

Life got busy. And let's face it...Facebook is a lot easier. Especially for those of us with ADD. A quick status update...and I'm out. Off to do 346 other things...and of course, not finish a one of them.

But here I sit, on a Sunday afternoon...with nothing to do. Well, I suppose I could clean my house which happens to look like a college dorm room at the moment. Or I could work on the garden, which appears to be turning into a tropical rain forest. Or I could scrub the toilets, which appear...ah well, I will stop there.

Instead, I think I will blog. I will give it another chance.

So what to talk about?

Well...lets see. A lot has happened recently...but I think I want to write down a story about my precious Lexi before I forget it.

We do this thing at our church...Baby Dedication. It's where the parents come up with their little tot and dedicate them...well, really, it's the parents saying that commit to raising them in a Godly manner, in a home where Christ is at the center. It's lovely. And they give the parents a rose to signify something (Which I forgot)...and they give the baby a little tiny Bible. You know...the tiny ones that you can barely read without putting on your bifocal glasses. The one that has no pictures and is in the King James offense...but neither of which are very "kid friendly."

So to be honest...Lexi's little Bible has sat in her dresser drawer for 3 years. She found it about 3 months ago, and carries it with her around the house. She will come up next to you and say, "Read me my Bible." And of course, you have to. You also have to translate it to a more "kid-friendly" version. But she loves this. I mean, she loves this little Bible like most kids love Dr.Seuss.

So now that you have that little backstory...tuck that away. We'll come back to it.

But first, you need to know this. We moved into our current home almost a year ago. We are friendly with our neighbors...everyone is very nice. But I have other friends that live in neighborhoods where there are kids everywhere...always coming and going. And I've always been a bit envious. I would love for my kids to have that.

So last week, we were outside playing, and the girls finally connected with some kids who live several houses down. Before I knew it, these kids were in my house, hanging out, playing. Which is cool. I liked it. But please keep in mind...we don't know these people at all.

So imagine my shock when I hear my sweet Lexi go up to this little 8 year old girl and say, "Can you please read me my Bible?"


Me. (Suddenly frozen...but waiting to see what happens.)

And the girl in her soft spoken voice says, "Okay?" Emphasis on the question mark...cause she really wasn't sure.

So here's what you need to know. I know the Bible isn't for everyone. I mean, well, it is...but some people aren't into it. I get that. And I am sensitive to it. Do I wish they would be? Of course. But I'm not so sure thrusting a little tiny King James Bible onto a girls lap and asking her to read Revelation is the way to bring something to Christ.

So then the little girl looks at Haley and says, "I don't have a Bible." And Haley says, "WHAT?" And she says, "I don't go to church." And I kid you sweet, church mouse daughter DROPS THE TOY SHE HAS IN HER HAND, and says, "YOU DON'T GO TO CHURCH?"

Me. (In the kitchen making noise...getting real nervous and wondering how to handle it.)

"Haley" I say... "Not everyone goes to church."

"WHAT?" She says. She is completely confused.

Enter Lexi.

Lexi clueless about what is happening is persistent with her question... "Can you read me my Bible?"

Okay, now I realize this is getting a little crazy a little too quick. "Lexi, honey...Mommy will read it to you a little later. The girls are going to work on a craft now."

Lexi is okay with that. And she goes and takes the Bible away from the girl and then as if we are straight out of some crazy evangelistic movie, Lexi starts walking around the house with her Bible in her hand saying, "This is God's Holy Word...a light into my path...a lamp on my head." (Ah well, close enough.)

She must have said it about 10 times...over and over. And I am a crazy mixture of laughing to myself...cringing out of nervousness for the girl who probably thinks we are straight up Jesus Freaks and will never come over again...and also partially wondering if this isn't God moving/speaking through my child... Yep, all those feelings...all at once.

And right about that time, Lexi busts into the song "Waves of Mercy, WAves of Grace...Everywhere I look, I see your Face."

Seriously? When did my daughter turn into such an evangelist?

The truth is, it all made me a little nervous because I know that religion is such a polarizing topic. And although this wouldn't be the way I would choose to tell my neighbors about Jesus...I love the innocence of both my girls. I love their boldness. I love that they want to read the Bible, that they think everyone should go to church. I love that they are forming a relationship with Jesus that they want to share with their friends. I love what they are teaching me!

The good news is, we didn't scare the little girl off. She's been back over to our house since that day. So maybe my girls will keep building a relationship with her and who knows? The Little Holy Rollers might even lead her into the best relationship she could ever with Jesus Christ.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dear Haley.

As I drove you to school today, I loved listening to your precious, sweet voice sing songs to God. I love hearing you worship. You sang "I will exalt You. You are my God." And my heart was full.

When you told me you loved me, my heart was happy.

When Lexi told you she loved you, everything felt right.

When you closed the door to the car and started running off in your blue uniform dress, I thought about how I would miss you today and couldn't wait to pick you up and hang out with you all afternoon.

When you turned around and blew me a kiss, time stood still. Tears fell down. I felt so loved. So completely full. And so completely aware of how quickly time passes by...and how I wanted to treasure that moment for the rest of my life.

You are growing into such a beautiful young lady. I'm so proud to be your Mom. And as long as you want to blow me kisses...I will be here to catch them.

I love you sweet Haley.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hurt Billy Heel.

There is a hill on the road on the way to my mom's house. We've crossed that road so many times now. And each time, it gets a reaction out of the girls. When it was just itty bitty Haley, she would say "WEEE" and laugh. Now that she is older, and Lexi is around, they always giggle and ask the other, "Did it hurt your belly?"

Last night, I was in the car with my Mom and the two girls. We went over the hill and Lexi said, "See's the hurt Billy (belly) heel." (Sidebar: Both of my kids pronounce hill as heel most of the time, because I have a hard time correctly pronouncing that word as well.) So my mom says, "OH... that's what she is talking about!" Apparently the other day she was trying to describe this hill to my parents, but they could not comprehend what she was saying.

So fast forward to this morning. We took a different road, but going in the same direction as my mom's house. And Lexi says, "Where is the hurt billy heel?" And I told her we were on a different road, so we wouldn't go over the hill today.

BUT...I forgot there was a tiny bit of a hill, one that made her say "MOMMY! It was a little hurt billy heel...see I told you we would go over one." And I said, "You are right! It was like a mini hurt belly hill."

She interpreted "mini" as "Minnie" the Mouse.

So she says, "Yeah...and we'll call the other one MICKEY hurt billy heel."


Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Dramatic Emotional Post about Fruit.

Tonight, Lexi and I ran to the store to grab a few items for the week ahead.

If you've had any sort of conversation with me recently, or have read a bit of my blog as of late, you know that we are on a super duper tight budget. Like 2 sizes too small of your favorite jeans tight.

The reason we went to the store was to pick up a few things on sale that went back to regular price tomorrow... one of those being grapes.

So we walk in. And let me pause and just say if you know my Lexi at all, you know that her voice is about 10 times her size. I think it has to do with hearing problems...coupled with an inheritance of loud voices on a certain side of the family (BRUCE.)

But I digress... we walk in, and she has her sale ad in one hand and with her booming voice declares... "There are the grapes. We need the grapes." And yes. We got the grapes because they were 69cents a pound... Then she pointed to the ad and proceeded to say "And we need the blueberries, and the strawberries and the raspberries too." (Sidebar: Lexi loves fruit like the desert loves the rain.) But the blueberries and the strawberries and the raspberries are not on sale, so I simply say...not today.

Yep. Not so simple. Because now we standing in front of the berries. "Here are the berries Mom." And I said, "We can't get the berries today...only the grapes." And then she points back to the ad and says (and by says I mean screams), "BUT THEY ARE ON SALE!"

At this point, I just had to lean down close and say, "Sweet Lexi... I know they are on sale, and I want them too...but they are just a little too much money right now." She looked up and me and said, "So we only get grapes?" And I said, "Yes, we only get grapes." "Okay Mommy" she says.

And honestly, I didn't think anything of it until I was just washing the grapes. The kids are in bed. Curtis isn't home. The house is quiet, and all I could think of was Lexi's sweet little voice asking for berries...but being okay that she only got grapes.

I wish I could give my kids the world. This week, I wish I could just give my kid berries. But tonight, I hope I gave her more than that. Because the reason I didn't buy the berries...the reason we're on this budget in the first to be able to provide for them consistently, to not be in trouble financially, and to be secure in times of crisis. She won't get that now...but maybe one day she will.

Until then, we'll eat our grapes. We'll watch the ads. And we'll get those berries...eventually.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Olympic Gold.

It is February 18, 2010.

For as long as I live, I will never forget this night.

It started out great as Curtis and I got to go hear Rob Bell speak. Good stuff.

Then we came home to find Evan Lysacek starting his Olympic long program skate. So exciting.

At 11:23, I heard a door open, and a comatosed Haley walked out mumbling something about being thirsty.

We gave her some water.

She saw the Olympics were on and started talking about hockey. (Earlier in the day, I had mentioned how I was bummed I wouldn't get to see the olympics tonight, so she said she would watch them for me.) "I watched the Olympics for you mom...Hockey."

Then Curtis said, "You wanna snuggle up with us and watch some more ice skating?"

So we have spent the past hour on the couch watching ice skating. You've got to understand how much I LOVE the Olympics! And to be able to watch them with my very tired daughter (i.e. snuggly), and then to watch Evan WIN THE GOLD... it was just a moment of pure perfection.

What a great night! Hurray for the Olympics. Hurray for Evan. Hurray for sweet family memories.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


If you ever think it might be a good idea to show your kid an animal planet special on bats...specifically VAMPIRE BATS who drink people's blood... it's not.

While I was in the other room, Curtis was watching said special with Haley. This was at 4:50pm. It is now 9:54. And after consoling her throughout the night, and trying to explain how those exist in a completely different part of the world and she will never see them, she is sobbing in her bed about the bats.

Hmmm....let's stick to the cartoons instead next time love.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I eat like a Queen.


So since we eat at home all the time now, I don't want to get bored with what we I started buying more interesting food.

Can I just say how awesome our dinner was tonight?

Warmed pita bread with Tabouleh salad. If you haven't had Tabouleh salad before it is SO DELICIOUS.... It's made with chopped fresh parsley mixed with bulgar (crushed wheat), chopped green onion, tomato, fresh mint, spices, extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice.

Yeah. SO GOOD.

Then Curtis grilled up some chicken/apple sausage with Grilled peppers and onions. I told him I only wanted a bite, but couldn't stop eating it.


The best part is... I added up how much all of that food was... $5.46 for BOTH OF US!


Now I look forward to tomorrow's lunch... shrimp / lime tacos.

Seriously. I eat like a queen.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Just a Thought...

A friend of mine was telling me about a song that asks the question, "What if in the next life you were forced to live off of what you GAVE in this life."

It's a question that cut deep to my heart.

Because seriously, what if?

Don't be afraid to give. I believe in tithing to my church. Trust me, it's an act of faith each month. But it's liberating. It's a freeing act of obedience. But if you aren't a believer...that won't be for you. What is for you? A Charity? A Cause? A Country? There are so many people/organizations that need our help.

Don't be afraid to give.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

On the same team.

Since Curtis and I have been married, we've been REALLY serious about our finances two times. The first time was when we were buying our first house. The second time is now.

There is something about focusing our energy towards the same goal that brings us closer together.

I look back with the fondest of memories about our time in Vegas...saving for our house. Cutting coupons, shopping at Wal-Mart, buying the cheapest food possible, not going out, eating lunch in the breakroom at work while our friends went out, not shopping for anything other than what we get the gist of it.

Anyway... we met our goal. And it was such an accomplishment for us.

We're no where near our current goal, but each day, I have so much hope and anticipation of what the next day, week, month, year will bring. We are in this together. And that is bringing us closer to each other.

I love him so much. I'm glad we're on the same team.

Friday, February 5, 2010

It's the little things....

So ya'll know I've been in a Starbucks/Restaurant/Target Detox Program.

In order to not completely deprive myself, I'm allowed one Starbucks a week. I happened to get a coupon for free oatmeal in the mail (which is Curtis' favorite)... so this morning he went to Sbux to get me coffee and his free oatmeal.

A lady cut in front of him in line and then looked back and said, "I'm sorry...did I cut you off?" And he said "Yeah, but it's no big deal..." She felt so bad, she PAID FOR MY COFFEE!


How awesome is that? Our one trip to Sbux and it didn't cost us a cent!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pantry Week Night 5 & 6

I was reminded tonight that I failed to post my Night 5 & 6. It was a rough few days in mommyland... so by the end of the night, I just wanted sleep. But I am back with pictures to prove that Pantry Week continued.

Night 5...

A lovely pasta / salad/ with homemade garlic/cheese biscuit. (I GOTTA HAVE BREAD WITH MY PASTA...please note that I needed it so bad, it was half eaten by the time I took this picture.)

Night 6....

Tacos. We seem to have plenty of Mexican food around here. And I sure don't mind. Curtis grilled himself up a hamburger... double patty with cheese. I threw up in my mouth when I looked at it, so I didn't take a picture.

So tomorrow was supposed to be my shopping day, but I had to break the rules a bit and go today cause my schedule is messed up tomorrow. So the pantry is once again restocked and we are ready to rock! Looking forward to another pantry week. But don't worry... I'll spare you the pictures unless something fascinating comes up!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pantry Week. Night 4.

Well I will blame tonight's dinner choice on the fact that my body is all kinds of messed up.

But it's messed up for good reasons... my sister had her daughter last night. I got a phone call from my mom a little after 1am, and off to the hospital we went. Kinley was born at 5:53am. So beautiful. So perfect. What a sweet little miracle. I was so glad to be a part of it. I will post some pictures as soon as I can find my camera cable... I have no clue where it is.

Anyway...I came home around 8:30 and tried to rest for a couple of hours, then had to go to work. Wednesday is the only full day I have in the office, and my kids are at Grandma's I don't know what their dinner was.

I got home a little after 9... scanned the fridge and the pantry...and this is what I came up with.

Yep...I am embarrassed to even show you.

Turkey Dog & Trader Jo's Reduced Guilt Potato Chips.

And you know what's worse? I ATE TWO OF THEM!!!!!!