Tuesday, December 20, 2011

11 Things in 11 Years

Love, love, LOVE my Johnny!

It's a good thing I love to laugh ... anything else is just not an option with this fella!

It's hard to believe that we're 11 years in to this journey that God has given us.  Lots of things have changed ... our looks, sadly are one of them ;o).  At our wedding, one (yes, I said one ... there were three.  I wanted to make sure we were married!) of the pastors challenged us to view our marriage as a painting, a picture of Christ's love for the Church.  I don't know of any artist who paints a masterpiece in a day.  They work on it day in and day out, seeking out the imperfections and blemishes and correcting them.  Sometimes it's a quick fix, other times, you work on it only to discover that the mark is much larger than you initially thought and it requires intensive time and tools for repair.  To some, it seems as though it would be easier to just cover things up or walk away, but not to those who have the masterpiece engraved in their hearts.  You just can't leave it unfinished.  John, I love the marriage we have, but I can't wait to see how the Lord changes the colors, landscapes, and subjects through our lifetime ...  100 years could never be enough with you!

11 Things I've learned about John
1. He's particular about breakfast, coffee, and running shoes. 
2. He does not like to be called "babe".  (I only recently learned this - can you even imagine the number of times I've called him babe in our marriage???)
3. He likes to sleep on the right side of the bed.  I like to sleep on the side of the bed that is farthest from the door (you know, so I don't get between him and the boogey man if John should ever need to take a boogey man out.)  
4. He puts the "pro" in procrastination, but he always gets things done on time.  This can really drive a girl bonkers!
5. He can tell you about any military plane that flys overhead.
6. He can sing - oh, I love to hear him sing!, but he probably doesn't want you to know that if you don't already ... woops!
7. He would love to get his pilot license but he's not interested in jumping out of an airplane.
8. He loves to make other people laugh ... I love it when he laughs!
9. He packs more clothes for a trip than I do.  Not because he's into style or fashion, but because he wants to be prepared for any weather or last minute plans we may make.  Guess who never has a jacket when she needs one and yes, he always lets me wear his.
10. He seeks out adventure ... in a movie, in his job, and in our family.  
11. He loves Jesus.  He loves me. He loves Will and Kate.  He loves our family, our church, our friends, Wendy's hamburgers, listening to pod casts, Duke basketball, and he loves to hit snooze.  :o)  I'm pretty crazy about him!

Monday, December 19, 2011

This is what's behind the "good" pictures

Don't you just love family pictures?  I do.  Let's be honest though ... they are a lot of work and hardly ever does everyone cooperate in them!  I thought I'd share a few out-takes ... you know, the one's you're supposed to delete so that they never make it to facebook so you can preserve the "picture perfect"family.  Yeah well, we're so far from perfect but there is a lot of love in this family!!!  
This is real life, right here folks!

Maybe Kate's had enough?

You could see this almost anytime you stop by!

Not feeling it, Mom.

We'll just crop sweet little Kate right out of this pic and it will be a sweet Mom & son photo!

O Happy Day!

Will blames this look on the camera flash - seriously?!?!

Wow!  This one might be the winner!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pinterest Project

Every time I turn around it seems as if Will has grown another inch, needs new shoes, or is back in the pantry (which leads to growing more inches!).  The days of his childhood aren't slowing down, but I'm trying my hardest to take in each moment, as each moment only comes once in a lifetime.  This week we enjoyed working together to make a snack for his class.  It was a very simple recipe, but I was thrilled to have Will's company and conversation.  I hope he never gets too old to enjoy helping his Mom in the kitchen! :o)
Lay pretzels flat on a foil lined cookie sheet

Put a hershey kiss on top of each one

Bake @ 275 for 3 minutes

Put an m&m on top ... refrigerate until cooled completely

Just my little piece of the south out here in the midwest ... thanks Mama!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

You can Find us at the Y-M-C-A

You know you're singing it now ... you're welcome :o).  One of the things we love about our new home is the YMCA that is just around the corner.  The kids are soaking up all of the activity that goes on there and John and I are trying to keep up with them!  Will is playing basketball and looks forward to the games every week.  He's been learning a lot about the game and he *might* even be a little bit tired after the practices & games each week (but probably not!)  Kate is taking "nastics" and her favorite part of the class is when they get to jump on the "jumpoline".  Somehow she seems to have even more energy after her weekly class.  I'm so thankful for two healthy children who love to run, jump, and play.  Now for the good part ... pictures. 

Will is all about defense!

I love this picture - notice Will's teammate's arm around Will's shoulders!

Go team!

Ready to play!

This might be my favorite picture of Will so far this season.  He is really serious about defense!

We always start with stretching!


By far, Kate's favorite part of "nastics" is jumping on the "jumpoline"

I'll admit I'm biased, but this girl is beautiful!

This is serious business!

I love gymnastics!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How to make a "peanutbutterjelly" by Kate

First, you spread the "peanutbutterjelly"

Then you smile for your mama to take a picture

The you spread the "peanutbutterjelly" on the other bread

Cut your sandwich into 4 triangles

Add Doritos - don't skip this step!

Can you tell how much Kate likes this step

You should probably taste a Dorito just to make sure it tastes alright

Admire your sandwich and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fancier than Spaghetti

I am not a fancy cook.  Really.  When John called yesterday to say he was on his way home, the conversation quickly turned to what was really on his mind ... "What's for dinner?"  Chicken Carbonara, I replied, which was followed by silence.  "No, really, what's for dinner?"  Chicken Carbonara.  "What is that?"  I told you I'm not fancy.  My itallian repertoire can be summed up in two (count 'em, 1 ... 2) dishes - spaghetti and frozen pizza.  I've been determined to try out some new recipes and somehow, my attempts have not been terrible but actually edible!    So this week I adapted (oh, yes I did!) this recipe to suit my family - mainly, I don't eat shrimp, so I changed it to chicken.  This recipe is so easy ... almost as easy as opening a jar of spaghetti sauce.  It was a big hit with John, only now I think he'll be disappointed the next time he asks "What's for dinner?" and I say spaghetti.  Let me know if you try it!!

Chicken Carbonara

½ lb spaghetti, uncooked
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 uncooked chicken breasts, cubed
1 cup frozen peas
1 tub (10 oz) Philadelphia Italian Cheese and Herb Cooking Creme

Cook spaghetti in large saucepan as directed on package, omitting salt. Meanwhile, cook bacon in large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet with slotted spoon, reserving 1 Tbsp. drippings in skillet. Drain bacon on paper towels.
Add chicken to reserved drippings; cook and stir on medium heat @ 7-10 min. until done.  Stir in peas & bacon crumbles; cook 1 min. Add cooking creme; cook and stir 3 min. or until heated through.
Top cooked spaghetti noodles with chicken mixture, enjoy!


Monday, November 14, 2011

When my Wonderful Life turns Crazy

I'm back ... at least I'm trying to be!  Lots of things have happened since my last post a few weeks ago.  I've wondered if I should try to go back and re-create the events of those weeks, but obviously I haven't found the time to do that.  Should I just jump in with what is happening right now?  No, I'm just feeling like I should put my heart out there in this one.
Sometimes, in the midst of "life" happening, it just doesn't seem so wonderful.  It seems more like - well, crazy.  I've realized that my focus has been in the wrong place.  In the middle of the boxes of things that still need to find a home, the stacks of pictures that need to find a place on the wall, and the ever growing to-do list, I lost my perspective.  Looking for a new church home seemed like it should be exciting.  It's been hard.  We're trying to find the balance between looking for the place where the Lord wants our family to serve Him and love others, and the place where we feel like our family can grow to know Him more.  Not to even mention worship styles, Sunday School vs Community Groups, and dress code!  I started trusting in myself to find the "perfect" place instead of waiting on the Lord to lead us to His perfect plan for our family.  And finally, I miss my friends.  I think it's true that sometimes "You don't know what you've got 'till it's gone."  There's a group of girls in Oklahoma that I'd give almost anything to meet at Starbucks tonight to talk and laugh until well past closing time.  The kind of girls that live life with you - carrying your burdens, taking care of your kids when you need a haircut OR a date night, and laughing with you until your cheeks hurt.
So, that's why I haven't been blogging ... who wants to read about me wallowing in self pity!?!  While John was gone this summer, I read Philippians chapter 4 every night before I went to bed.  I started reading it with verses 6-7 being my prayer for a restful night's sleep.  The Lord used it to open up my eyes and heart to so many other things He had to say to me through all of Chapter 4.  This past Saturday, I opened my Bible and it naturally fell open to Phil. 4.  This time, verse 8 just jumped off of the page at me.  

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."  

While in my head, I knew that my problems were not at all a big deal compared to what is going on in the world around me, my heart wasn't listening to my head.   I had stopped looking for the good, true, right, pure, and lovely things God was doing in our life.  The house is coming along - I may even post pictures in a week or two :o).  We've found a wonderful place to serve and worship the Lord and we're excited to get involved with this community of believers.  And, I had to remind myself that friendships are not formed over night.  There are several girls who've gone out of their way to make our family feel welcome here.  Maybe I can start a Starbuck's tradition in Wichita - who knows!?!  Bonus ... I'm headed to OK for a girl's weekend this Friday - can't wait to see you girls!!  

Most importantly, I was reminded that even when life gets crazy, hard, not pretty, or even painful - and it will - it can still be wonderful when I keep my focus on Him.

***I'll end with a cute picture of the kids so you can see that we've moved on from crazy and we're back to living that Wonderful Life!***

Will had us cracking up with his 'stache.  He insisted that it go over his mouth & not above it!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Some Rules were Meant to be Broken

 ***Attention grandparents and other concerned parties, no children were harmed during the taking of these pictures***

I'm running out of ideas in this "temporary home". Our new house is SO close to being finished that I just almost can't stand it! So, we've resorted to jumping on the beds. And jumping between beds. And jumping from the bed to the floor. And turning back flips. Okay not really. But these two monkeys are loving (and taking full advantage) of mom's lapse in judgement. And so far no one has fallen off and bumped their head. I see a trampoline in our future.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Temporary Fun

It's kind of funny how things work isn't it? The kids and I spent a week in a hotel with John just before he left for his deployment. It was fun ... for the first night. :o) I took crazy pictures of the kids thinking I would eventually blog about how you keep your kids entertained in a hotel for a week. Well, those pictures are now on our computer that's all packed up and stored away for a few more weeks (and let's just be honest, at this point you'll probably never see them!) While we were there, we met a family at the pool who was staying at the hotel for 4 weeks while their house was finished. Four weeks!?! I couldn't even imagine. Well, guess what!?! Now, I don't have to imagine, because we're living it ourselves. There's not one thing to complain about, but some of the logistics have been interesting. I let each of the kids pack a small rubbermaid box of toys. Will's box has a mix of legos, transformers, and bakugans. Kate, oh Kate. Somehow, we managed to fit a baby, the baby's diaper bag complete with diaper, wipes, food, and bottles, one pair of "C-rella" dress up shoes, a purse, pretend hair dryer, and an old cell phone into her box. She wanted to bring her kitchen, but I had to draw the line somewhere. Miraculously, those small boxes have provided hours of entertainment. In the whirlwind of packing up our house, I was trying to pack clothes for all of us for 6 weeks. This was the third week of August on about the 69th day of over 100 degree temps. Can you guess what I packed? Shorts, tank tops, t-shirts, flip flops, bathing suits. I'm loving the cooler weather that September 4th brought and we are all loving the two, count 'em 1, 2, cool weather outfits I brought for each of us. Last week, I *got* to wash Will's jeans every night so that he could wear them again the next day. Once we found out we were going to be staying in a furnished apartment, I didn't worry at all about packing anything from the kitchen. Well, just in case you were wondering, we have had some seriously creative meals with our two pots and one pan. Note to self, if you have to do this again, keep out a pizza cutter, cutting board, frying pan, and cups that don't break when they're dropped. Will and Kate have now shared a room for most of the past 4 months (our long trip home this summer and now our time in the apartment). Bedtime used to be so easy and I didn't even know it! These two crack themselves up for at least an hour after we've put them to bed. It's funny during the day, not so much at 8:30pm. The hardest thing has been keeping the kids quiet ... you know trying NOT to get kicked out for noise violations. My solution? Let's go to the park. But we just got back from the park 30 minutes ago. I know, but we didn't swing on every single swing, let's go! Mostly, it's been enjoyable to have our little family in this small space ... lots of Uno marathons, movie nights (or afternoons!), pb&j sandwiches, and family dance parties (but no stomping on the floor, or we'll get kicked out!) I'm just so thankful we're together!!!