Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving!

don't look too closely

2 hot pink t-shirts: $6
brown and pink polka-dot fabric: $2.50
red and orange felt: $0.50
buttons and thread: free
hand-making Thanksgiving tees (that are nothing like the ones I wanted to make) for the girls in under four hours (without tears or expletives) that I'm not too embarrassed to let them wear in public*: priceless

*Please note that the public I'm referring to is limited to my parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew. The girls will most certainly not be wearing these shirts in the presence of professional seamstresses, perfectionists, anyone in a well-lit room, or the rest of the general public. The handprints are ironed on, the stitching is all over the place, and no two legs are the same length. The shirts will have to be removed before eating, as I'm quite sure they won't survive a trip through the washer!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Way Back When-esday

Thanksgiving 2007
Girls' age: 2 1/2

This picture was taken last Thanksgiving, before heading out for the day. Little did we know, we were going to need coats! A little while after we arrived at my parents' house that afternoon, it started snowing! That doesn't happen here! We didn't get enough snow to even stick on the ground, but it was pretty neat anyway. I doubt we'll have another Thanksgiving snow anytime soon:(

Don't forget to stop by Twinfatuation to see who else is playing!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

and the winner is...

...Sara! (chosen by

Congratulations, Sara! I know you will love your new necklace!! And thank you, Lisa, for donating this beautiful piece of jewelry!

Thank you all so much for participating. I hope you had a chance to view all of Lisa Leonard's amazing designs. Maybe you were able to pick something out for yourselves! I don't know about your husbands, but mine sure liked getting my e-mail several months ago with a link to Lisa's website, the specific necklace I wanted, and exactly what I wanted on the necklace. After a few clicks, he was done shopping and he had something he knew I'd like! And there were no lines, parking lots, or crowds! Couldn't be easier!

I really enjoyed reading everyone's comments, and seeing how much we all have to be thankful for. No matter how different we all are, there seemed to be a few things that we all had in common. It all came back to faith, family, friends, and freedom. No one was most thankful for their was all about people. People who stick by us through thick and thin. People who add love, joy, and comfort to our days. People who are willing to sacrifice everything to protect our freedom and fight for the freedom of others. And most importantly, a Savior who was willing to die for our sins.

In the busyness of our lives, it is all too easy to take these things for granted. We tend to forget that we have so much to be thankful for. We focus on what we are lacking instead of all of the blessings that surround us.

Maybe this week, we can start to change our thinking. Maybe we can use this Thanksgiving to change our hearts. And maybe, just maybe, that change can last!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

100th post!

***giveaway has now ended***

Yay!! It's my 100th post! I wanted to wait until tomorrow to post this, but I was way too excited! I started noticing a little while ago that lots of people did something special on their 100th post. It seemed like most people either had a giveaway, or a list of 100 things about themselves. Knowing that none of you were really that interested in learning 100 random things about me, I decided to do a giveaway! I considered a gift card, a book, or maybe something handmade. A gift card is so impersonal, though, and who knows if you would like the same books I like. And really, who wants something that I've made? (except you, mom!) Instead, I thought about one of my absolute favorite things. It is handmade, just not by these hands. How would you like to win something made by Lisa Leonard's hands??? That's right...Lisa Leonard has so graciously offered to host a giveaway here! One very lucky reader will win an Original Necklace, just like this one...personalized just for you! If you've never seen her handmade jewelry, you've got to go check it out. She has lots of different designs, and each one is so unique and beautiful! I get compliments on my necklace every time I wear it. I've been stopped by random strangers (even the Sonic carhop!), asking me where I got mine. My girls love it, too, and think it's pretty neat that I have a necklace with their names on it.

Now, here is your chance to get your very own. Just leave a comment here before Monday at midnight CST telling me what you are most thankful for. Don't forget to leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win! That's all you have to do! I'll post the winner first thing Tuesday morning. And while you're waiting to see if you've won, pop on over to Lisa's website, take a look at the rest of her amazing pieces, and check out her blog. You could even do some Christmas shopping while you're there. Who wouldn't want to find something from Lisa Leonard Designs under the tree?

So go ahead...start commenting!

it's only getting worse!

Last week I told you about Catherine's bad habit. Unfortunately, things aren't improving. Here's a portion of the conversation we had just a few minutes ago...

Catherine: Mommy, you know how last night I picked that really big ear booger (ear wax)? Well, I put the big one in a tissue, but I also picked a little one.

Me: Oh, really? What did you do with that one?

Catherine: Well, umm...I ate it!

Me: CATHERINE! That's gross! You don't eat things that come out of your ear. Or your nose. Or any part of you body. Didn't it taste bad?

Catherine: Well, no, not really. It was just a little sour.

UGH! Seriously! What do I do about this???

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Recipe Contest

Sarah from Short Stop entered her Chicken Pot Pie recipe in the Marx Foods Comfort Food Recipe Contest. And guess what? She's a finalist!!! So let's help her out! Click here and go vote for Sarah. Her recipe is #95 - SG's Hearty Chicken Pot Pie. And while you're at it, check out her blog. She's got lots of yummy recipes and tons of cute pictures of her adorable boys.

What are you waiting for? Go vote!

Way Back When-esday

This picture was taken in February of 2006, when the girls were only 10 months old. They were getting way too big for their carriers, so we had just bought new carseats. Catherine was trying out her carseat in the living room. I can't believe how tiny she looks it in! She liked it way better in the living room than she did once it was in the car!

Remember to check Twinfatuation to see who else is playing along!

psst...Don't forget to keep checking back for an awesome giveaway! I'm only a few posts away from really don't want to miss it!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Last week at MOPS, we had a speaker that came to talk to us about nutrition. She talked about the importance of healthy eating, the difference between regular and organic foods, and the science behind things like hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. It was pretty interesting, to say the least. It was also a little convicting. I don't normally buy organic foods, but I do try to feed my family a healthy diet. I read labels, try to avoid excess sugar and fat, provide my kids with lots of fruits and vegetables, and teach my kids about healthy eating. We opt for fruit instead of french fries, eat lots of whole grains, and buy Morningstar Farms products on a regular basis. Until Friday, I thought I was doing an okay job (even though I knew there was plenty of room for improvement!). My eyes were really opened, though, and I've started doing my research. During my weekly shopping trip, I tried to pay attention to what I was buying. I bought natural peanut butter, organic grapes, organic lettuce, and Annie's mac and cheese (sorry blue'll always have a special place in my heart!!). Today, I bought a book about organic foods, and I'm hoping to learn more so I can make an informed decision. I want my kids to be as healthy as possible. I want them to enjoy eating healthy, and I want them to make healthy choices, even when I'm not around. With all of that said, though, I do have kids. They like chicken nuggets. Sugary snacks are around every corner. They want the cereal box with Barbie on the front (don't worry...I don't give in!). I need meals that are quick, easy and healthy. And I need to be able to serve them without breaking the bank. To do all of that, I think I'm going to need some help!

So here are my questions to you...

Do you buy organic foods?
What are some healthy snack options you give your kids?
What are some healthier alternatives you have found for some traditional favorites (like substituting Annie's for Kraft!)?

I really do want to know more. But I don't just want to hear from a middle-aged author who doesn't have little kids at home to feed. I want to know the text-book stuff, but I need to know the real-life stuff, too. So, help me! I really want to know your thoughts!

Monday, November 17, 2008

seventh heaven

Today is our seventh anniversary!! I told Toby last night that it seems like so much longer. I really meant that in a good way...I promise! I think it's because even though we've only been married for seven years, I've known Toby for over half my life. We've been through the good and the bad together. We've sailed through times when life was easy, and stuck together when things were hard. He knows how to make me laugh, lets me hog the covers, puts up with my trashy reality tv addiction, and waits (fairly patiently!) for me as I search for my misplaced keys on a daily basis. He knows all of my quirks, habits, flaws, and weaknesses. And he's still here! Seven years ago, I never could have imagined what our life would be like today. I can't wait to see what the next seven years have in store for us! And the next seven, and the seven after that...

Happy Anniversary, Toby! I love you!

Friday, November 14, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

Tonight was supposed to be date night. Toby and I were supposed to go to dinner and a basketball game with some friends. Instead, he's there, and I'm here. The girls were supposed to spend the night with my parents. Instead, they are here, too. Catherine woke up not feeling well this morning, but I didn't think much of it. Grace and I went to MOPS, and she spent the morning with my mother-in-law. When I picked her up around lunchtime, she said she felt better. She looked better, too. But it didn't last long. She didn't eat lunch, took an early nap, then woke up feeling terrible. Since it was Friday, I decided to play it safe and go to the doctor. Just a virus. She was feeling better, and insisted on still going to my parents' house to eat dinner and spend the night. By this time, I'd already canceled my plans for the game, and Toby had already found a friend who could take my ticket. I let the girls go to my parents' house, and after staying over there for a while, I came back home. Not 10 minutes after getting home, my mom called and said they were bringing the girls home. Apparently, when it was time to get ready for bed, the girls had decided they wanted to come home. They wanted to see Mommy and sleep in their own beds. I still can't believe they wanted to come home! They are usually the ones telling me to leave so they can be alone with Nanny and Pop. This is definitely a first! And probably a last. While I hated the fact that they missed out on their sleepover, I'll have to admit that it was nice to be needed. Really, though, she didn't need me. But it was sure nice to be wanted.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I have a confession. Several actually. I'm a procrastinator. I'm also kinda cheap (especially when it comes to clothes that will only be worn once!!). And I have a really hard time making decisions. Even simple ones. All of these things usually get me in trouble. Today, though, they paid off BIG time! I was at The Gap Outlet several weeks ago, and I saw some dresses that would be perfect for the girls' Christmas dresses. I considered buying them right then, but I didn't. I wanted to wait and look around more. They were also kinda expensive for dresses that would only be worn once, maybe twice. On top of that, I just couldn't make up my mind. Since then, I've searched high and low for cute, but cheap, Christmas dresses. No luck. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking about those Gap Outlet dresses, but I knew they were probably already gone. I finally decided to go today, and guess what? They had the dresses! And they were 40% off!! AND I had a coupon!!! I got both dresses for $22!! If only things would always turn out so well when I procrastinate!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Way Back When-esday and Giveaway Info!!!

Today is Way Back When-esday! Share a picture from way back, then check Twinfatuation to see who else is playing along!

This is one of my favorite pictures! It was taken in August of 2006, when the girls were about 16 months old.

Tickle, tickle, tickle!!


GIVEAWAY INFO... Only 8 more posts until the big 1-0-0!! To celebrate my 100th post, I'm going to be having an AwEsOmE giveaway!! won't want to miss it! I can't tell you what it is just yet, but I can promise you that it's something you're going to want. Keep checking back to see if I've hit 100 yet, then be sure to enter to win. I may drop some hints in the next few days, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

such a hard habit to break

I hate to admit it, but I have two little nose-pickers. One is fairly serious about it. The other is really just a recreational nose-picker. Today on the way home, I heard this exchange coming from the back seat:

Grace: CATHERINE!! Put your hands down!! Quit picking those boogers out of your nose! EWWWW!!!

Catherine: Oh, fine. I'll just put 'em back in there.

Nice. See why we need so much Purell???

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Hunting We Will Go

For a long time, Toby has been promising the girls that once they were old enough they could go out to the deer lease with him. They watch hunting shows together, go to Cabela's and Bass Pro, and love looking for deer in fields around dusk. They ask all the time when they can go deer hunting with Daddy, so yesterday was finally the day. Okay, so we didn't actually hunt, we just watched. For those of you who know me, picturing me sitting in a deer blind wearing camo might be a stretch, but I do have pictures to prove it. The trip was actually pretty close to perfect. It was about a 2 hour drive out there, and we got there at just the right time. Not 5 minutes after getting settled into the blind, several does came out to feed. Just a few minutes after that, a buck came out, too. Surprisingly enough, the girls stayed pretty quiet. They whispered as quietly as they could, and they tried to be still. We stayed about an hour, then headed back to the truck. The girls had a great time, and so did their Daddy. I don't know who had more fun...Toby or the girls! I had a pretty good time, too. It was sweet to see the three of them together doing something that their Daddy really loves, and it was fun to see where he spends all of his hunting time. Maybe next weekend we can all spend a day at the mall!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Way Back When-esday: Storytime

This picture was taken back in September of 2006. Hard to believe it was that long ago! The girls were only 1 1/2. My sister and brother-in-law were out of town, so my dad was keeping my niece, Courtney. These three girls sure love their Pop! (And I'm pretty sure the feeling is mutual!)

Today is Way Back When-esday! Share a picture from way back, then check Twinfatuation to see who else is playing along!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

tired tinkerbells

Like I mentioned the other day, the girls had originally planned to be Tinkerbell for Halloween. Luckily, even with the last-minute wardrobe change, the costumes did not go to waste. Nanny and Pop had all of the grandkids over for a special Halloween dinner on Wednesday night. (Kids, you can thank me later for talking Nanny out of the ghost-shaped, pastry-covered meatballs!) They were all supposed to wear their costumes to dinner, so the girls wore their Tinkerbell costumes. I didn't think to take their picture while they were dressed up, but I did snap these pictures at a stoplight on the way over.

See do still need your naps!

Monday, November 3, 2008

weekend ranch hands

My cousin, Kristen, got married a few weekends ago, so we turned the trip into a mini-vacation. Instead of just staying in a hotel, my parents, my sister's family, and our family shared a three-bedroom house on a ranch. The house came complete with land, a pond, a barn-turned-gameroom, and horses. In the mornings, the kids got to help feed the horses and give them treats. There was even a white horse there who was temporarily renamed Sara. Not surprising. At the end of the trip, all of the kids even got to ride her. You can imagine that the girls were over the moon. They got to sit on a real-live Sara!! While we were there, the girls learned the fine art of pool, played a little shuffleboard, played a few games of ping-pong, and went fishing. It was the perfect place to stay for the weekend. They had lots of room to play instead of being locked into a tiny hotel room.

As far as the wedding, things couldn't have been nicer! Everything was beautiful and elegant, but kid-friendly at the same time. There was a hayride at the rehearsal dinner, and pizza and cupcakes at the wedding. The wedding was outside in a gorgeous setting just a little before sunset. The reception was also outside with plenty of room for all of the kids to run around. There were even a few peacocks for the kids to chase! A little to my surprise, the girls did really well at both. I don't get to see my cousins very often, and it was so much fun to watch the girls interacting with them. My only regret is that we didn't take more pictures!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

tricks and treats

The girls spent part of their Halloween last night at our church's Trunk or Treat. They had so much fun...and got way too much candy! They got to see most of their friends, and even spotted a few celebrities. Yes, they saw Ariel and Sleeping Beauty in person. They also saw Cinderella, but since they knew it was one of their friends they weren't fooled. A little while later, though, they spotted Sleeping Beauty. Since they didn't know the little girl that was dressed up as her, they were pretty convinced it was actually her. Same thing happened with Ariel.

After much shopping, debating, and costume-trying-on, the girls decided to be brides. They originally wanted to be Tinkerbell, but the costume we got was just a little too big. I looked through their dress-up clothes for an alternative, and suggested that they wear the wedding dresses my sister gave them for their birthday. They agreed, and it was perfect. A salon for kids was doing Halloween hair for just $5, so we stopped by on our way to the church and had the girls' hair styled like a real bride. They looked so cute. It was almost a little too realistic.
After the candy had been safely put away, the hairspray and glitter washed out, and the beautiful brides were turned back into silly little girls, we got our Halloween trick. Catherine woke up around 2:30...throwing up! No, it wasn't candy overload. They didn't even have any candy. That turned out to be a very good thing. She's better now, and Grace seems to be fine. Let's just hope it stays that way!!