Friday, February 27, 2009

So Sorry...

...for the lack of decent posts lately. Things have been pretty eventful around here, I just don't have any pictures to prove it! Lots of packing has been taking place. Emma had the flu and spent yesterday on my couch. So far no one else caught it! McKenna started with a runny nose a few days ago and we all know what that means - it's now down in her chest. Right now I'm just trying to avoid the doctor and handle it on our own with some breathing treatments. And today I'm painting the family room. So fun with McKenna around!! And Christian really wants to help ((sigh)). I still have a bathroom to paint and then I've got to do some touch up paint in the living room, hallways and stairways. Things are coming along, slowly but surely. Hopefully Ryan will get the kids out of here a little this weekend so I can make quicker progress. I was mortified yesterday when one of my neighbors stopped by with the girl scout cookies I had ordered. It was 4:00pm and I was still in my pjs, no shower, no make-up and I clearly had McKenna's snot all over my shirt. It was lovely, especially since I hardly know this woman. And that's the story of my life these days!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jesse Tree Update AGAIN

I'm just posting this again as a reminder!!
Anyone remember the Jesse Tree?? For those of you who signed up to make an ornament the time of completion is drawing near! I was hoping to have everyone's ornaments by the end of February and then I'll try to get them back to you by the end of March. So here is the list of people who signed up, just in case you forgot. Please email me if you think you're NOT going to be able to get yours done.

1. Light of creation - a globe or picture of the earth - Katy S. DONE
2. The first sin - an apple and a snake wrapped around it - Jackie DONE
3. Inside the ark - an ark with a rainbow -Heidi S. DONE
4. The call to Abram - a camel and a tent - Millicent F. DONE
5. Isaac and the Lamb - a lamb - Nikki D. - DONE
6. Jacob's ladder - a ladder - Holly C. -DONE
7. Joseph's coat of many colors - a colorful coat - Amy M. DONE
8. Moses & the Ten commandments - a tablet with 10 numbers -Sarah S. DONE
9. Canann, the Promised Land of Blessings - a cluster of grapes - Kristin F. DONE
10. Ruth and Boaz - a sheaf of wheat - Diana B. DONE
11. King David - a slingshot - Judy C. DONE
12. Josiah Finds the Law - a scroll or Bible -Laurie B - DONE
13. Prophecy of Shoot from the Stump of Jesse - a stump with a green leaf - Judy C. DONE
14. Prophecy of the Lion and the lamb resting together - a lion and a lamb - Jackie DONE
15. Prophecy of the Prince of Peace - a dove and a crown - Jackie DONE
16. Prophecy of a Gentle Shepherd - a lamb and a shepherd's staff - Heather R. DONE
17. Prophecy of the Suffering Servant - a cross - Mom B. - DONE
18. Prophecy of the New Covenant - a heart with writing on it - Becki S. DONE
19. Prophecy of Bethlehem - Bethlehem town silhouette with star - Candi L. -DONE
20. The Exile - a fiery furnace Heidi S. DONE
21. The Return to the Land - a brick wall - Judy C. DONE
22. The Star - a star - Judy C. - DONE
23. The Light of the World - a candle or light -Jenn F. - DONE
24. Angels Proclaiming - an angel - Heather W. -DONE
25. The Birth of Jesus - Nativity scene or baby in a manger - Mom B. - DONE

Please remember that you can do anything you want. You could just get a plain ornament and a sharpie or paint pen and draw a picture of your symbol on it. You could find a sticker with a lion and a lamb on it and stick it on a ball. Don't make it complicated! I would also suggest googling "Jesse tree, ornament" or "ornament ideas, Jesse Tree" and see what you can come up with. There are lots of ideas floating around out there! And if your interested in participating and you're not signed up, just leave me a comment because someone might drop out! Let me know if you have any questions!! I will be updating this post as I receive ornaments. I've marked "DONE" next to the ornaments that have already been completed.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

To Answer Your Question

Everyone has been asking why we can't just wait for Nate's tooth to fall out. Why does he have to get it pulled or have a root canal?

Good question! It's not currently infected, but it's still dying, so it could get infected. And it's only going to look worse with time. If the tooth does get infected we wouldn't know it until an abscess appears on his upper gum (or he could have x-rays done every 3 months and I don't think any of us want to go through that again). When an infection gets to that point it can damage the permanent tooth, meaning he could have a permanent stain (discolored spot) on his adult tooth for life! Since Nate's insurance 100% covers either procedure, there is no reason to risk damaging his permanent tooth.

I DEFINITELY think he's got to have something done because Christian had a similar situation when he was almost two. We let the tooth go. He got an abscess. The pediatrician thought it was some sort of cold sore. We continued to let it go and he ended up with a horrible infection up around his permanent tooth. He got the baby tooth pulled and we have to wait until he's seven or eight to find out if the permanent tooth is damaged.

Hope that answers everyone's question! And remember, I'm not an expert, just passing along what I was told :)

So What Do You Think?

This was Christian a few days ago (along with silly cousin Nate).
And this is Christian tonight! I just cut his hair. Yes, I did. I'll admit, it's not horrible as Ryan predicted, but it's also not as sharp looking as it usually is after a haircut. I had NO idea what I was doing and panicked a few times through out the 30 minute process. My bathroom is completely covered with hair. But Christian definitely preferred this over going to the "haircut store."

The last time I cut Christian's hair was when he was a year old and that was HORRIBLE! I took a huge chunk of hair out of the side of his head. This time I had a more cooperative child, but I'm not sure if it's really worth it. I just might spend the 15 bucks next time just so I don't have to clean up the mess. We're trying to do a better job of sticking to a budget and I thought this would be a good way to pinch a few pennies, but we'll see!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Nate's FIRST Dentist Visit

See Nate's middle tooth on the left? Well, it's turning a little gray. None of us have any idea when he fell on it, so we'll just blame it on daycare :) So today Nate got to go to the dentist to have it looked at. I can only think of one word to describe our visit: DRAMA!!!!!
This is Nate's attempt at hiding under the dental chair. They needed to get an x-ray of the tooth and he WOULD NOT COOPERATE! He bit me and the dentist and the hygienist. I ended up holding him on my lap in the chair with that lead blanket over both of us and we were completely unsuccessful in getting a decent x-ray. So they referred us to a pediatric dentist.
Then we headed over to Abby's hygienist who is like the kindergarten teacher of hygienists. She gave Abby a glove to blow up and be silly with (and her gloves even smell like grape)! She put Diego on the TV monitor in her office. And she thought it was ridiculous that they had referred Nate to another dentist. So we tried again and 25 minutes later we had the x-ray we needed. Just to humor you I'll tell you that I've never been bitten so hard in my entire life, there were four hygienists involved, over 25 minutes of bribes, tricks, sweet talking and distractions and he pretty much almost threw up. Can you imagine what he'll be like if he ever gets a cavity? Heaven help us!!! I hate it that his first dentist experience was that bad. I hope he's not scared for life.
In the end we found out that the tooth either has to go (sounds fun doesn't it??) or he needs a root canal. Thankfully they'll give him a little "happy juice" and he shouldn't remember a thing, but I informed Amy that his next visit will not involve Auntie Judy. We arrived at the office at 9:30am and didn't leave until 11:45. Good grief!
Nate would not smile for a picture but he was rather interested in his new Sponge Bob toothbrush. I think he was shocked that I let him have it since we don't watch Sponge Bob in our house! So in the end he was thrilled that he got to take home a little contraband! And he's never been so happy to get in the car and head home.

Sending Olivia a little LOVE

Today was a big day for Emma. It was the much anticipated JUMP ROPE FOR HEART event at Emma's school. Emma has been talking about this for weeks and hitting us all up for some sponsorship money in the process. This event raises money for the American Heart Association. Emma came bouncing in the door this afternoon full of stories of her jump roping event. Then she got out her planner and homework folder so we could go over her spelling. And when I looked in her folder this is what I found!

Emma had never mentioned it, but she dedicated her jumping today to our cousin Olivia! My favorite part of this little certificate is that it says "my cousin." Technically Olivia isn't even related to Emma. She's on Ryan's side of our family. But Emma could care less! She's claimed Olivia as her own! Well if you know me at all you know this little certificate turned me into a puddle of tears. I thought is was especially fitting for Emma to do this because Olivia has been facing some serious obstacles again! And tomorrow she is having yet another surgery. This isn't as major as some of her previous surgeries, but definitely something to make a matter of prayer. So please join us in thinking about Olivia tonight as she's in the hospital yet again, and lets bring her name before our great God who has healed her and blessed her life so many times before!
Click HERE to send Olivia a Get Well Wish!
Romans 15:13
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Well, this is a 1st

I'm feeling just a bit flustered. I got my phone bill today and there was a random charge of $19.96 on it. So I called our phone company and they told me that we had signed up with a third party company called Enhanced Long Distance for a long distance plan of 2 cents a minute. Why would I do that if I already pay one fee for unlimited long distance through my phone company? My phone company said they couldn't help me that I had to contact this other company. So I called them and they told me that Ryan has signed up for this plan online when he was filling out a survey to win free groceries. Hmmm...that doesn't sound like Ryan at all. He would never fill out anything on line with our info especially to win free groceries. I assured them that he would NEVER do that and they argued with me and told me that they had is full name, address and phone number. Hello??? Anyone could have that. So I asked what other info they had. They told me they also had a valid email, mother's maiden name and birth date. I told them to tell me the email address, maiden name and birthday and all of those were WRONG! We had been scammed. Then they wanted me to give them the correct information. Are you kidding me? No way! This is the first time we've ever had any kind of fraud situation. I never would have expected to have it on my phone bill, but I guess the lesson learned is pay attention to every single bill. Now I'm going to call my phone company and tell them to block all charges from that company!

The Hand-Me-Downs

Had I known that McKenna would stay size 12 months in footie pjs for three months... And had I known that she would never keep socks or shoes or slippers on and therefore practically live in footie pajamas, I just might have bought her a few cute girly pairs of pjs. But it's too late now! She's starting to fit in a size 18 month pjs, but they have to fit just perfectly, they can't be long because this girl is learning to walk and is very busy cruising all over the place. In fact, in this picture she thinks she's big stuff because she figured out how to sit on the first step of the stairs. She's figured out how to go up and only fallen once. Going down is a different story. I'm trying to teach her how to go down backwards, but she can't do that without assistance yet. I'm looking forward to some warmer weather so we don't have to keep those little piggies covered all the time!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I take it back!

Did I actually say that moving wasn't stressing me out at all?? Hmmm...can I take it back? My entire house is a disaster right now. And I do mean every room!! We'll get there and I'm having fun organizing everything, but I hate it when my house is in complete disarray. Don't even mention the word laundry or the fact that Abby and Nate will be here at 7:30am tomorrow morning! Oh the thought of four children in this mess all day! Things could get interesting! I've gotta go shovel stuff off my bed in the hopes of catching a little sleep sometime tonight! See ya tomorrow!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Story of the Kitchen Fire

See my nice kitchen counter top with it's little burn mark? It's a tiny spot, but ugly none the less. I don't love these laminate counter tops to begin with, but I also wish I hadn't ruined them. So here's the story:

It was July of 2007 and Amy and her kids were still living in Massachusetts. They were coming down to stay with us for awhile and I was SOOOOO excited! I had the house in perfect order, all the laundry done, a fresh warm batch of brownies sitting on a burner on the stove and I had dinner ready to go. I don't remember exactly what we were having for dinner but it did involve corn on the cob. Amy and the kids were going to eat as soon as they got to our house and I had everything timed perfectly so it would be ready for them. Christian and I sat on the couch, by the front window, waiting for them to pull in the driveway. As soon as we saw their van pull up I ran to the kitchen and turned on the burner to boil the corn and then we ran outside to greet our cousins.

There was lots of hugging and excitement outside. All the kids were running around like crazy burning off their "stuck in the car" energy. I told Amy I had to run inside real quick to turn off the corn so I wouldn't over cook it.

When I walked in the house I froze in disbelief and I don't even think I moved for a minute. The whole house was filled with black smoke and the stove was on fire. Actual flames were coming off the stove. There was glass ALL OVER the kitchen and living room floor. I couldn't figure out what had happen, but then I snapped out of it and ran over to the stove and started pouring water on everything. That's when I figured out what had happen. The corn wasn't boiling because I never turned the corn on. I turned on the wrong burner and it was the burner that the Pyrex pan of brownies was sitting on. The glass from the Pyrex pan had heated up and exploded and literally spewed glass and brownies all over the house. THANK GOD WE WERE NOT IN THE HOUSE! The glass was so hot that when it landed on the kitchen floor it actually melted the floor. It was a disaster and my husband was NOT happy. I actually think that's the first time he's really been mad at me. It took hour upon hour to clean it up and I still didn't let the kids walk in the house without shoes for about a week. We had to replace the kitchen floor immediately. We managed to save the stove by just replacing a burner and burner pan and we've just ignored the counter for awhile....BUT since our house is going up for sale, it was time to do something about it! We've decided to have the counter top resurfaced. We have now seen an example of one that's been resurfaced and it looks good and definitely saves us about 60% over replacing the counter top (even if we just replaced it with another laminate one). I'm not sure I would recommend resurfacing counter tops as a long term solution. From what I understand it only lasts about 5 years, but if you have some 70's looking counter or a little blemish like mine and you want a quick fix, this is the way to go! I'll take some before and after pictures so you can see what it looks like once it's done.

What we're up to ... REVEALED!

Well, if you guessed moving then - YOU'RE RIGHT! Well, we're at least going to try to move. We'll see if our house sells. And "yes" I totally agree with all of you out there shaking your heads, it is a horrible time to try to sell a house but we're going for it. We really feel like this is what God is leading us to do. I know that probably sounds strange, but Ryan and both are in complete agreement about this and we both have total peace about it and unbelievably I'm not stressed out about it :)
When we bought our house five years ago it was in the middle of the housing boom. It was crazy. Houses were on the market for 1/2 a day and then they sold. I remember one house we were interested in sold to someone who hadn't even looked at it yet. But God led us to this sweet house that was for sale by owner. Ryan's friend was on a bike ride and rode past this house, told us about it and I fell in love just peaking in the windows.

We've thought about moving for the last three years. When we originally bought this house we only planned to stay here for two years, but God had other plans. I'm so glad he held us here for the time that he did. Two different times we met with realtors and were about to list our house and then something would come up that would prevent us from doing it. God knew we needed to be here when our neighbor's daughter passed away last spring. God knew we needed to be here when Amy moved to town so we could be close to her and so things would be simpler with the kids and Emma riding the bus, etc. God knew he wanted us to build the relationships with each and every one of our sweet neighbors. God knows the plans He has for us and so right now we are just trusting in Him.

Right now we are in the process of preparing our house to sell. We've rented a storage unit and we're getting all of our treasured JUNK out of the house. We're painting and reorganizing every cabinet, closet and even the fridge. I've watch Designed to Sell people and so I've got big plans to make this place look perfect. Although I can think of five little people who might ruin my plans :) We'll probably have the house on the market the second week in March.

We aren't really shopping for houses right now, although we do have one place in mind. We are focused on selling first, then buying. We are even content to rent for awhile before we buy or even end up building (if we can't find what we want). Right now the deals are in buying (not building) so we're going to try to buy first. Our dream home would be a four bedroom house out in the country with an acre or two or twenty if Ryan could have his way. Ryan grew up on a 400 acre farm and I grew up on 8 acres, so we're not really neighborhood kind of people. We long for trees and crickets and lots of grass to mow! That's our dream, so we'll see what God does!

Don't worry I didn't forget about the CONTEST! I went to to pick a winner and the WINNER IS...Heather R. my sweet childhood friend! I'll pop your prize in the mail one of these days Heather!

Okay, this post is getting a little long! We'd love it if you would pray that God would "order our steps" over the next few weeks and months. Ultimately my hearts desire is to be right in the middle of God's will and to be where He wants us to be!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Have any of you ever had your counter tops re-surfaced or have you seen it done in a friend's home???????? This is a rather new idea and we are thinking about doing this instead of replacing our counters. It would save a ton of money (literally thousands) but I'm nervous about it. We're going to some one's home tonight to see their re-surfaced counters. We don't even know these people, so it's going to be a little weird, but I've got to see the final product before we pay someone to do it. I don't want to spend the money and then hate it. Let me know if you have any advice on the subject!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Great Debate

Ryan and I have an ongoing debate about who McKenna looks like. Obviously he thinks she looks like him and I think she looks like me. Honestly, I don't think there's any question about who she resembles, but the debate goes on! So it's time for you to weigh in! Who do you think McKenna resembles the most, Judy or Ryan????

This is a picture of me when I was almost a year old. I had my top teeth already, McKenna is just now working on hers.
And here's McKenna at the same age.
Look closely! This is me again.

And here's McKenna.

And this is Ryan at almost a year old!
Let me know what you think!

Does McKenna look like Ryan or Judy?

View Results
Create a Blog Poll

Blog Safety

I recently had a conversation with a friend about the safety of blogging (Yes, H.C. I'm talking about you and I really want to start blogging even if it's private)! Blogging can definitely be safe. The easiest way to protect your privacy is to make your blog private, then only the people you choose can see your blog. I've thought about it, but decided that's not the best option for us so our blog is public, but I do lots of different things to make sure our blog is as safe as possible while being public. Here's a few tips of blog safety that I've learned over the past year and a half of blogging!

1. Go Private. Instructions on how to make your blog private:
1. Go to your blog DASHBOARD
2. Select SETTINGS
4. Find the area titled Blog Readers. It will ask Who Can View This Blog?
6. Enter the email addresses of those you wish to invite to view your blog.
7. Click INVITE An email invitation will be sent to those you choose.
They will now have to log in with their email address in order to view your blog

2. Change your blog settings. By changing your blog settings you can select your blog to be removed from blog listings and also search engines. By removing your blog from search engines your blog cannot be searched by search engines such as Google. The only way to access your blog is by entering the exact blog address or clicking a link with the exact address.

3. Never use your last name anywhere on the blog. This includes your url address, blog title, and throughout your posts. If your last name is in you url (blog) address it is easy to change to a new name.

4. Never post actual birthdates. Post birthday events a day, week or even a month after the actual event (you might notice that I don't follow this rule so well, but it is a good idea).

5. Add a copyright image or watermark on your pictures. This can be done by using a photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop.

6. Never post pictures of the outside of your house or car. Especially with your house number or license plate visible!

7. Never mention where your kids go to school or any workplace.

8. Do not add countdowns for vacations or other events that would allow people to know when you will be out of your house.

9. Do not post when your spouse is out of town for work or deployment.

10. Moderate the comments made on your blog before they are allowed to be published. This will protect you from random or spam comments posted on your blog. Once again, I don't do this, but that's just because all my blog readers are always so NICE!

11. Add a web or hit counter to you blog site. Although this will not tell you the names of those viewing your blog it will allow you to view the IP address and where your viewer are located (typically State or Country).

12. Add Feedjit (click on the right hand side of my blog to get it) so you can see what city and state people log on from.

13. Have courtesy for you fellow bloggers. When adding your friends and families blogs to your blog list DO NOT include their last names. Many bloggers do not want to go private and are doing their part to protect themselves. Have courtesy and do the same.

14. Assume anything you publish on your blog will be permanent. Anyone can copy, print, or save to a computer what you publish whether your blog is private or not private.

Just a couple things

1. Ryan is having an MRI this morning! Those things are never fun, so pray for him at 11:00am EST if you think about it!
2. Click HERE if you want the Cora Playground button for your blog. Some people have asked.
3. Don't forget about the Jesse Tree if you signed up.
4. And did you think I forgot about the McCollums in Malawi drawing?? I haven't! I'll post more on that later, but in the meantime a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who gave!! The Bible says that "God loves a cheerful giver." Thanks for bringing a smile to His face and mine! And if you haven't entered the drawing it's not too late! We're almost halfway to our goal! I would love to be halfway there by the end of the day so CLICK HERE to check it out!
5. McKenna said "please" this morning for the first time. I know you're probably getting tired of hearing about each little milestone she reaches, but you've got to understand! This is huge! Christian didn't even say mama until he was two and he signed "please" for about 2 1/2 years before he ever said it! So naturally I'm just a tad excited that this is not an area of concern for McKenna!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Silly Baby!

McKenna loves to roll her tongue! She does it all the time! I'm actually starting to find it a challenge to get a picture of her when she's NOT doing this!

Funny Girl!

All in 1 Day

I love this age!! McKenna is so fun right now. She is doing tons of new stuff everyday! Yesterday she decided to climb the stairs on three different occasions. I'm not too happy about this one. I'm going to have to really keep an eye on her now! She said "book" and when we were playing with a stuffed doggie she barked like a dog! Actually it was more like a high pitched yelp, but cute none the same! Then at dinner when we were praying she folded her hands. I saw her watch our hands and I think she thought for a second that we were going to clap, so she started clapping, then she looked a little closer and folded her hands like Christian and I. And in the picture she's playing our new Candy Land game. She really looks like she knows what she's doing doesn't she?!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Can you guess??? CONTEST

You are not going to believe what we're doing now! I definitely think we've lost our minds! I'm NOT going to give any HINTS! And you're going to have to wait a few days to find out, BUT you can guess in the meantime! Any guesses as to what we're up to??? You have to guess what we're up to and since I get to make up the rules, you have to include the name of one of your favorite children's books. I'm always on the look out for a special new book to read. I'll draw a random winner in a few days and that person wins one of my all time favorite children's books! Just in Case You Ever Wonder By: Max Lucado. Love the story, not the illustrations so much, but you gotta get past that. The message of this book is so important for kids, I absolutely love it. In fact I think we're going to read it tomorrow. I actually took this book to the hospital with me to read to Christian when he was born. His birth was a tad stressful so that didn't happend but I do remember rocking him and reading it to him when he was a week old. I sobbed through the whole thing! It's really perfect for ages three and up but I'm a fan of reading to babies too! So guess away and let me know what you like reading to your kiddos or your class or your grandkids!!

P.S. My mother and my sister CANNOT enter this contest! Sorry girls! Oh yeah, and Angie if you happen to be reading this you can't enter either! I think that's everyone who already knows what we're up to.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Oh the glee in our house this morning when Christian realized his "mail box" was filled with treats. I could tell that he really felt special that both sets of grandparents, Aunt Mimi, Emma, Abby, Nate and Mommy and Daddy all gave him special things for Valentines day. (Make sure you notice that he even painted a train track on the top of his mailbox and his letter "c" is right below it).
And here's one of my favorite Valentines in the whole world. She took a super long nap today which was so nice. I didn't get a good picture of her in her adorable Valentine outfit, so you're just going to have to believe was cute (thanks Jenn)!

Christian had a whole box of these Valentines and he put his "name" (basically his letter 'c') on the back of each one, then he hide them all around the house for daddy to find. So fun and daddy was such a good sport. He acted shocked every time he pulled one out of each of his shoes and when he couldn't put his cell phone in it's case because something was in there. Christian giggled and hid all of them, then daddy found all of them and then they did it all over again.

We never have any big plans for Valentine's Day. We went to Lowe's to look at new counter tops (I had a small kitchen fire -long story that you probably would be amused to hear sometime- almost 2 years ago and I've been living with a burned counter ever since).

Then it started snowing, which was very exciting!

Then we went to my favorite place, Target!

And the snow kept coming!

McKenna was thrilled!

When we got home it was time for "family time." Ryan and I don't do presents on Valentine's Day. We don't even go out to eat (unless you count McDonalds. McKenna had her first McD's french fry tonight). We've decided to make Valentine's Day a family day.

So we get a family present.
We have the original Candy Land board game and it's been a huge hit, so we got this Candy Land Castle Game. It was fun. I remember trying to find a game that I thought we could play with Christian when he was two and this would have been perfect. It's a great game for three year olds too. Definitely an easy pre-school family game. I think Abby, Nate and Christian will be able to play it by themselves, it's that easy and fun too. Christian kept winning over and over again and we weren't even trying to let him.
Happy Valentine's Day to each of you! I hope you know how much you're loved. Even if it wasn't the perfect day for you just know that your Heavenly Father adores you. He knows the number of hairs on your head, your name is inscribed on the palm of His name, He says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, You are made in His image and He loved you so much that He sent his only son into this world NOT to condemn the world...but to save the world. He loves you and wants to spend eternity with you.
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.