Friday, May 29, 2009

Making Monkey Bread

Go to to get this recipe or let me know you want it. It is a great one!!
It is so easy that Ella Cate did most of the work until the end.

She really enjoyed shaking it up!! It was so much fun watching her mix it all up.

Yes, this pic is side-ways but you get the idea.

Here is the mixture all together.

Baking in the oven - it made the house smell so good!!!! Yum!

I am not a professional photographer(or cook, or blogger) so my Monkey Bread looks a bit red but it is deep brown and DELICIOUS!!!!!!!

Playing in the mud

The other day my kids played outside after the rain. I knew they were getting dirty but I had no idea of the scale of dirtiness. Then I heard the 'plop! plop! plop!' on the window. I turned to see mud being flung. I ran out to find all of my kids hiding - Adam and Eve style. Of course the water hose was turned agianst them but they survived.

And check out Daniel helping mommy feed the baby....even though he was told not too.

Rolling in the dough?

Well, this weekend I was finally able to try out a wonderful new bread recipe from and it was so delicious!! It is called Dutch Oven bread

because it is made in a dutch oven. It was really easy because I didn't have to constantly move my dough or pound on it. I simply mixed all the ingrediants and let it sit out on the counter for 4 hours. Then I cooked it for about an hour. Easy!!

While I cooked Lilly made some breadsticks that turned out okay. She used her special cook book and the bread was good but not something I would make more than once for myself. it was

worth it though, for the look of enjoyment on her face and the pride she took in pasing out samples. Plus, it was great time together for me and her.

Why I am a homeschool mom----or why I shouldn't be

I do plan to get on my blog tonight and post a few things. I want to add the ending to how I 'landed' Layne and find some old pics to place on here. Also, Lilly and I did some bread making this past weekend that I need to put up and today we are making monkey bread. Also some home improvements.

However, I felt the need to immediately post the following conversation before I forgot it.
**Note- I do homeschool my kids b/c I feel that as a public school teacher(for 3 years) and a mommy with a Master's Degree in Education, I have the smarts to do it. Also, I want my kids to love Jesus more than 'know stuff'. The following conversation in no way makes me feel as if I am failing as a teacher and mom. It also in no way makes me realize that my child has no concept of reality. Neither did it make me want to bang my head against the wall, saying"why why why" over and over.

Lilly - Mommy, when I grow up I will be a vet-narian(spelling here is 'as sounds from Lilly-lips")
Mommy- Great sweetie.(rushing thru room to change over laundry)
Lilly - And guess where I will work?
Mommy - Where baby?(said with visions of grandeur; her answer will be a zoo, a foreign country where animals are starving, a small farm community where she will be a huge asset)
Lilly - J.C.Penney's
Mommy- (deflated and feeling as if my teaching skills are over-rated) Sweetie, they don't have animals at J.C.Penney's just store clerks
Lilly- They will when I am there.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The kiss that wasn't....

There we were, on the dance floor, swaying from side to side...alone. Yes, the dance had ended in real time but in our world, the music played on. Our friends were all on the bleachers next to us taunting us. I was okay with their silly comments about love and stuff. I knew that most guys weren't into 'love' and I knew I wasn't so I felt safe. However, a friend then began chanting, "Kiss her". My mind went wild. What in the world was he thinking??? I wasn't prepared for a kiss. I barely knew this guy. Sure, I had kissed before but I was young and stupid then. I got a large lump in my throat. It seemed like hours had passed, while it was really only seconds. I looked up at Layne and saw his lips moving toward mine. My mind raced again. What to do?? Oh! What to do??? Do I duck and run? Do I turn and give him the cold cheek? Should I put my hand up and physically stop him? Would that embarrass him? I thought I might like him a little. I didn't want to make him think I wasn't interested....or that I was rejecting him. Should I give in and just kiss him? A tiny peck on the lips couldn't be that bad. No, I had decided to not kiss again until I felt it was God's leading. So many choices......God help me now!! And He did. I looked down. I am not sure why. The idea just popped into my head and I did it. I looked straight down. God is so good, especially in the small things that turn out to be huge things. Layne ended up kissing me on the forehead. His ego was saved, my lips were saved. Everyone would be happy. Our friends laughed and we had a good time. Only my heart was damaged.

See, he had tried to kiss me. So, my heart shut him out. I decided that he wasn't the one for me. I wasn't interested. I mean, come on, this guy kissed my forehead - what a dork. It happened that quickly. I had forgotten my desperate plea to God to save me, I had pushed His wonderful plan aside and placed the title of goober on this wonderful guy. I went home that night with so many feelings swirling around. I remember getting ready for bed and then lying down and writing in my journal. I wrote that I had fun with Layne and that he was great and funny. I wrote that I wanted to find a guy like him, just like him in fact. But not him. Not this poor guy who had been duped into kissing me. Not this guy whom my friends were certain was 'the one'. Nope. I foolishly decided I was better than him and could hold out for the best. I wish that hadn't been so full of myself and so prideful. My decision had horrible outcomes.

For starters, I avoided going to church and refused to listen to my friends as they begged me to talk to Layne. As for Layne, well, in between that night and our next dating encounter, he met someone else. Someone he made mistakes with. Mistakes that made it hard for me to accept him. And why? All because I had asked God to help and then refused to see His hands at work. Layne ended up moving in with this other girl. For months, my friends would sit around and talk about how to get him away from her. Then they began to sadly realize that he might be gone from their lives. As I would make jokes and do silly things, they would remark about how 'Layne would laugh at that', or that 'Layne would have said that'. It became hard to hang out with them. I hated the way it felt. I wished Layne would either move back home or get married. I prayed for him. I prayed for them to either stop living in sin or get married. I tried to get my friend to go over and befriend her. Maybe that would open their eyes to this sin. I can't tell you how hard I prayed. I prayed so hard, that I felt closer to Layne. I felt that we were old friends because I spoke with my Father about him so much. Funny how that happened.

One day in church, Pastor Tim gave a sermon that made me think of Layne. It was about the prodigal son. Layne was now living on his own but still not in church. So I wrote him a letter. I had no feelings for him. Just a desire to see him at church; to see his friends and family happy. He went on another trip with our group. We talked but still, he just wasn't my type. Our priorities were different. He began to come around more often. However, we didn't hang out. We were a lot alike. That made it difficult for us to be close friends. I still prayed for him, but it is hard to have two jokers around and so I kept my distance. I was just glad to have my friends all back to normal.
In the fall of '96, 2 of my friends decided I needed to be dating. They 'forced' me to go on my first real date. I agreed but secretly had my ways. I refused to let this guy pick me up at home and made him meet me at work. We went bowling and nothing else. I refused to eat with him. I set my pager to go off at a certain time(about 20-30 minutes into the date) and pretended to be called into work. I never spoke with him again. My friends continued to pressure me. I decided to 'make a deal' with Jesus, as if that were even possible. But in my mind it was and I did. I told God that I would say "yes" to the next guy who asked me out, no matter what. My only stipulation was that it had to be a guy that God lead to ask and so I asked that no one would ask that God wouldn't approve of. I prayed often about this. I began to think about Layne more often. And then there was this other guy. He was friends with Layne and I both. He was cute. So, I had 2 interests on the horizon... but who would ask me first?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My wonderfully loving husband

It isn't that I like to talk about myself but I have no other subject worthy of my blog....not really, I just have nothing else to talk about. So, I decided to write a little ditty about Jack and Diane, who henceforth will be known as Layne and Sandy.

Way back in 1994, I was a Senior in high school, a cheerleader(by default), and had been sporadically trying out new churches. It was December and the cheering squad was having a dance. No biggie, I usually went to dances with friends, danced, and had a great time. However, it would not be so this time. One of the captain's of the squad decided(and too this day, I think she did it just to make me date) declared that all cheerleaders had to bring a date to the dance. Well, this put me in quite the pickle. See, I didn't date in high school. I had softball and classes. What else was there?? Certainly not the ups and downs of dating; the fights and the making up. I just wasn't interested in any of it. Yet I realized I was either going to have to forfeit that megaphone on my Letterman jacket that I just knew I would never take off( I think I wore it once after graduation), or get a date. Bummer.

This is where my friend Kim steps in. I had been visiting her church, mainly so she would stop asking me over and over. She and two other friends(T&C) got all excited about the prospects of me asking this guy Layne to the dance. "You guys are just right for each other" "You'll have fun" "He is the one" "He has nothing better to do, he might say yes" How could I resist?

Here is how: I said no. No way. But then there was that stinking megaphone emblem on my jacket that kept calling my name. So, I said yes but set my rules. I would not ask him out. I would meet him there. We would not be together in a car that night. We would not be alone together at any time. There would be no kiss and he would not come near my house. (Romantic, I know) So, Kim decided to set it all up.

She really stinks at the details. I get to church and there he is. Cute, but not my type. I can vividly remember standing outside the old sanctuary in the cold with the 2 of them. I can hear her still, telling him about the dance, explaining to him that I have to have a date and that I DO NOT date. I recall her telling him that she would really like for him to be the one...... And then he said yes, but he added that I would have to ask him. (She had mentioned to him that I wouldn't ask so obviously this relationship wouldn't go far) Well------ deals off. No way will I ask him out. Out of the question. Five minutes later, that horrible megaphone emblem won out and I asked him(with my teeth gritting together) to go to the dance with me. It was inaudible because I was so against asking him, but I knew I had too. I did. He agreed.

The night of the dance fast approached. My friends and I all met at Ruby Tuesday's for dinner and Layne didn't show. Did I mind? NO!!! I thought I had my way out. I had a date but he blew me off. So how could I get in trouble? My worries were over. Then Kim informed me that he would meet me at the dance. Great!! Stink!!!

So, I get to the dance and since I am against this whole 'dating' thing, I do not wait for him outside. I did meet him at the door, but I was ready to let loose and have fun. He finally arrived. We danced and goofed off. He was fun. I had a good time. He danced a bit close for my taste but we had a great time. He was funny and nice. It was all going great. He kept asking the DJ to play stupid songs that no one could dance to and I thought he was a genius for that. But then 'it' happened. The 'it' that almost ended it all and would force me to skip church for weeks and months to come.......

Monday, May 11, 2009

Daniel's new hair!!!

Okay, well today I had dinner ready when Layne got home. This isn't something radical but when I say I had dinner ready, I mean it was being taken off the stove as he walked through the
door. I was syked!!! So we ate. Then we were all hanging out on the couch and Daniel mentioned he wanted a haircut. So it was destiny. We located the clippers and all went outside to say 'farewell' to Daniel's hair. And I mean 'FAREWELL'.

So Layne starts with a good guide on the clippers(no this isn't a "the guide fell off the clippers story") and Daniel's hair got shorter. But it really wasn't a dramatic new 'do. So, I insister we go shorter. And we did. Pretty short in fact. I believe that there isn't a guard to go shorter. And Daniel loved it. He didn't like the itching of the hair falling on him, but he trusted mommy and

daddy to take care of him. Layne did great. The haircut looks fantastic and his head will be so much cooler.

Nice Mowhawk!!

A little worried??

Once I got him inside to wash him off I realized he hadn't seen his hair. So I held him up to the mirror and he screamed with delight. He liked feeling his head, as do his sisters. He enjoyed the bath and feeling the water trickle off his back. He likes how it feels on his pillow. I think the only problem is that Rachel doesn't seem to recognize him but that will fix itself in time. Or if not, she will always wonder where her first brother went and why we replaced him with a bald kid.

A little armpit hair never hurt anyone!!

Mother's Day

What a day it was!!! We went to church and I bet I was one of few women to have 37 kids tell me Happy Mother's Day at one time!! I love my job!

Then we had a little cookout here. Layne's mom and his sister and her hubby were there. It was at my house. We had pork-chops(well, they did) and corn, potatoes, a beans. The rolls were delish! And the best part- I was too pooped to cook and I didn't have to! My mother-in-law and SIL did it all. Layne did the grilling and I got to sit back and just hang out with my BIL, who is my brother-from-another-mother. I love NED!! And it was great to just be in the room with him. Anyway, I had bought some clothes for the kids to give me and then Layne surprised me with gift certificates for clothing and food! I love my family!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Daniel's Birthday

Okay, to answer the big question, Yes, Daniel's actual birthday was May 1. Due to unchangeable circumstances, we had to move the party to the 9th. So we had the big shin-dig tonight. But it wasn't big. We decided to scale down this year. We only invited families with kids his age and family. It was great though. Very laid-back and relaxed. He had 3 friends there his age and then their brothers and sisters. It was so nice to be able to actually talk to all the parents. I don't think I have ever been able to do that. We had hot dogs of course, I can't cook much else and I can only cook hot dogs if my wonderful hubby is there to grill them and I just serve them with a smile. I made a spider man cake thanks to my buddy Misty lending me all her awesome cake decorating tools. My cake didn't turn out as great as hers but I am not as talented as her. I think that she possesses some sort of trait that allows her to great at everything she does. I am so jealous. I am a mediocre type person. I am not great at anything but I continue to try. The cake was obviously spider man, either because if you squinted really hard you could see it or because everything else was spider man so people assumed the cake was. It was okay, I had to keep it in the freezer and it got a little....frozen. Imagine that.

Daniel had a blast running around with his friends, eating hot dogs, cake and ice cream. He had fun seeing everyone and was excited about everything.
He opened his gifts with zest and graciously thanked everyone for gift as he put the gift and the paper all back into the bag neatly. He was especially thankful for the gift of clothing, holding up each item and smiling. He took time to read the cards and say something special about each person in attendance......okay, so he tore up everything he could, yelled vacant "thank you"'s to the crowd, threw clothes on the floor to get to the toys and had no idea who gave him what. But he is three people, what do you expect???

I was content to see him eating his cake normally, opposed to his cupcake disaster at his friend Reese's party. I guess he thought he was a lion and the cupcake was a poor defenseless gazelle. He stared at the cupcake with a look of accomplishment and then smooshed it into his face and growled loudly with victory. Cake went flying, blue icing was permanently etched into his face. I had never been more proud of my boy. Then I quickly handed him over to Layne and as daddy rushed him away to wipe up the evidence of the cupcake massacre,(so the other cupcakes didn't get scared), I took the time to make sure everyone knew that behavior came from Layne's side of the family.

Yes, boys are special.....mine is no different. He is my joy. I love him so much. He is sweet and wild. I wouldn't have it any other way. My boy is three.....

Friday, May 8, 2009

Canvas Giveaway

Check out the Multiples and More to see the most awesome canvas painting and register to win one free. I know the lady who paints these and she is great!!! Go check it!
Mother's Day is almost here so I need to get out the paints and glue, glitter and clorox so we can make beautiful one-of-a-kind gifts for grandma's!!! YAY!!!!

But I really want to take time to thank 2 ladies who are very special to me. These 2 ladies are not mommies yet but when their time comes, those kids will be truly blessed.

#1. My bestest buddy and sister-through-Christ - Laura. I don't know what I would do without her by my side. Anytime I feel frustrated, upset, flabergasted or beyond my wit's end, she is always there to lift me up with enocuragment and prayer. It just goes to show that if you grow up in a bedroom painted yellow to lift your spirits, with crisp white wicker furniture decorated with crowns and sashes of victory and overflowing with candy, you can grow up to be anything you want to be. And Laura wants to be my friend. Of course we have had our difficult times, as most sisters do. There were the many times that she locked me inside the laundry room of our college apartment, the unceasing late night serenades, the fact that I got tired of her whining about her cd's being stolen and the time I dropped out of her JOY club. (oh yeah - Laura, I am dropping out of the JOY club) But those trials were the things that have brought us closer together. We are very tight and we even have our own sorority, QTPi. Not many people have made up their own sorority. I have gone out on many a limb for her and she has done the same for me. I love her deeply and I appreciate all that she is and all that she will be. She is an excellant Aunt to my kids and I can't think of anyone else I would trust their future with. I know she is firm in her relationship with Christ and that she would do anything for her neices and her nephew. I don't know where I would be without my buddy Laura. Thank you Laura for being you under every circumstance imaginable. Thank you for showing me to uphold my faith always and to not give in to pressure. Thank you for showing me how to be tender and loving and how to see people through loving eyes. I love you my friend!! Thank you God for giving me the one thing I never had, a beautiful, loving sister to help me when things get tough. And I know we are sisters, because we have the same Father.

Now for #2 - The absolute best Sister-in-law you could ever have - Melanie

Melanie is the most outstanding person I know. She stands firm in her faith no matter what mean and ugly things people throw at her. She is made fun of all the time, but only becuase those who do it are jealous. And I am one. Melanie has a strong belief that God will work it all out and she is able to wait for His timing. Oh how I wish I could do that. She patiently waited for the right man(and boy did it pay off) and all the while she would use her relationships with others to witness to them. Christ was always the center. I am glad she has her Neddy now. No one deserves true love like her. She has been through so much. She is the best aunt a kid could ask for. She loves my children equally even though we joke about her loving Lilly more. She simply has a soft place in her heart for the first baby to ever steal her heart. And who can blame her? She is always there to help when needed but her life doesn't revolve around us. And I am glad. I am glad to see that she realizes ow wonderful Uncle Ned is and that she makes it a priority to spend time with him. She rarely complains, never meets and stranger, and has shown love to people that I would have written off years ago. She has been a strong rock in our lives and I want her to know how much we love and adore her. My kids are so blessed to have Aunt Melanie there to love them. If I didn't already have a sister, she would be the one. She too is my sister-through-Christ, but I also got her through marriage. Which might be one of the biggest pluses to marrying Layne - I got her too!! I love you Melanie. You are the most wonderful friend I have and I am glad you haven't moved away. It is sweet relief to have someone as great as you living just down the street. I love you so much!!! Now, don't forget to pay me for washing your towels!!

I love both of these ladies so much. I can't imagine life without their influences on me. Thank you Jesus for these 2 blessings. I could never find such good friends.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Welcome To My Mind!

Well, I am new to simply blogging. I liked having my website, however it has been hard to keep it updated with four kids and a part-time job(no such thing in the ministry). This blog will have deep thoughts from the dark places in my head, light and silly things that I need to share, and my ramblings. I am glad to have you here.

Also, with googlepages changing things up, I am unsure what my stuff will look like and so I am here for the time being. I will be posting up some of my old rantings from the google site simply to have them for my own records. Don't feel you have to re-read them and don't get worried that you are getting old and having memory issues. I just need to move my important things over here.

Well, that is all for the formalities. Now for the deep thinkin'

Today I was driving down the road listening to Landon's song and thinking. I find I do my best thinking when I listen to it. I was getting ideas for the KidzRetreat I am doing at church when my mind drifted(I know - rare). I got to thinking about the fact that Landon and Abby had such deep walks with Christ and yet they were so young. I yearn for that. I want to dive in that deep, to not be worried about the outcome, to just go all in. I want to ooze Jesus. A lady once told me that I did but I am not sure she knew what she was talking about. However, when I think back, I believe that lady was Dorothy Selden. I think she visited our church once and I just brushed it off b/c she was "just an old lady." Foolishness of youth. Anyway, I want to go all the way! I want to press harder than ever before. I am tired of 'going through the motions'. I want to have what those kids had. I want it all. I want to lay down the pressures and lusts of this world and forge a new path to Christ. I want to run to Him with open arms and when I get winded, I will walk. When my feet give out I will crawl on my hands and knees. Once my knees are gone, I will crawl on my belly and when I die, I will die with on hand pointing the way towards Him for those who come behind. This is my new charge, my new calling. Well, actually, it has always been the calling, but I am just now obeying. Praise God, for the patience He has as He knocks on my heart's door each day with new opportunties, while I go about my day, too busy to turn the knob and open the door. I am ashamed to say that there are time when I have heard Him knocking, and even looked through the peephole, only to realize it was Him and then duck down and quietly sulk away, avoind the urgency of His calling. No more, I say. I pray for the courage to do it. I pray for the encourgment I need to do it. I pray. I pray. I pray.