Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday snapshots

These two canvases were done for a family who just lost their sixteen year old son. It was last minute and needed to be done in 24 hours. I've never painted so fast in my life, but it was for a wonderful cause. My prayers go out to this family who grieves over the loss of their son. I hope they can think of him when they look at this art in their house.
Look at this bad boy. SO excited to have a "new to us" entertainment center. Our friends the Deans are had this garage sale to help them raise money for to adopt a little girl from the Ukraine. You can check out their website here. Anyways, they had someone donate this beautiful piece of furniture and it didn't end up selling so we got to buy it. It was a win win situation....we got a new entertainment center and they had a little bit of cash to add to their adoption fund.
This kid has anger issues. His new favorite activity involves chucking toys at anyone and any thing. Not cool, not cool at all.

We're headed down to Mt.Vernon Illinois to visit Grandma Lila, Uncle Bill, Aunt Amanda and Christina and baby cousin Elijah. The boys are so excited that they are tossing and turning in their beds as we speak. Grandma Lila has lots of surprises and will spoil the boys for sure! We are planning on taking a trip to the St.Louis zoo, going to a Cardinals game and going to a friend's wedding.....lots to do!

On a different note, please pray for my little brother Kort and his wife Brianna. He took off for his deployment to Afghanistan today and will be gone until December. I can't imagine having Lonnie gone for six months so pray for safety for Kort and peace for Bri.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rainy Day activities

I'm beginning to think we live in the Amazon jungle instead of Iowa with all of the rain we are getting. So I've been trying to come up with creative activities for the short ones so that no one goes bonkers (including the parental unit) Here is a list of some fun things that we have done or want to do when the weather just doesn't want to cooperate.

Things to do at home:
* Movie party complete with tent, popcorn and PJ's
* Bake something (although since baking at the coffee shop, if I see flour at home I shudder)
* Homemade puppet show
* Indoor picnic in the living room
* Throw the kids in the tub with some homemade fingerprint or pudding
* Let them splash in puddles and play with the umbrellas (this of course without thunder and lighten and go over proper safety procedures for don't poke your brother's eyeballs out)
* Safari scavenger hunt (hide plastic animals all around the house, go for a safari and look for them)
* Good old fashioned board games like Guess Who, Memory and Checkers
* Build an indoor obstacle course
* Create a treasure map in the house and have a treasure at the end
* Super magic bubbles: You can do this in the tub or outside if it's not lightening.

You'll need:
1/4 cup of liquid dishwashing soap
(Joy works best)
1/2 cup of water
3 tsps. glycerin

If you're feeling adventurous (or clinically insane):
* Visit the local pet store and just look at all of the animals
* Library time
* Come up with a meal, write down ingredients and have the kids help you shop for them and make the meal when you get home
* Art museums or free galleries
* Indoor arena (it helps if you're married to the coach)
* Racquetball courts with lots of beach balls, let them go wild.
* Check out a local hotel with an indoor pool
* Local mall play area (be armed with hand sanitizer and lots of patience)
* Dollar Store (Give each kiddo $3 or $5 to spend and don't let them go over, see how much they can find for that amount of money)
* Call a friend and invite yourself, really.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The things we do

Now for those of you who don't yet have the responsibility and pure joy of having children yet, I want to give you fair warning on what you are about to read. It wouldn't be life without sharing our adventures. This is a true story and names have not been changed to protect the innocent because well, they aren't innocent at all....and this my friends, is what you get to look forward to when you pop out a few of your own.

This story doesn't take away from the fact that I am purely ecstatic about having two boys in underwear, but we all know there is a learning curve in the wiping department. Sure boys are easy with numero uno, when they shoot a stream of urine across the bathroom hitting just about everything in it's path, but it's numero dos that has me dreaming for independence.

Now in our family there are two ways of approaching the, "please wipe my hiney" stance. Each boy has a distinct way of doing it. Baylor likes to be left alone with a book and then when he is finished he yells, "MOOOOMM!!! I'm done!!!! I PPOOOOOOOOOOPPPED!!" Sometimes he uses adjectives like huge and enormous and has even asked to go get the camera (Sorry, gross...I know...such is life) By this time he has promptly removed all of his clothing upon arriving in the bathroom to do his duty (still trying to warn him that this will not fly in AK this fall!) and after completion of the duty...or should I say doodie, he whips around and comes at me with his butt in the air. Think football player getting in the, "hike" position....only he's four.....and naked. He is very polite when he asks me to, "wipe my butt please," but it doesn't really matter if you say please or thank you or mother dearest, it's still involves wiping someone else's backside. He is very capable of doing it himself so the rule is that he does it and then we make sure he's done an adequate job.

Brody on the other hand is quick and to the point. He gets done with his business and of course has to announce of his giant feat first, just like his brother. "MOOOOOMMMM!! I POOOOOOPPPPEED!!" and before I can get to him, he is instantly placed his hands up against the wall like he's going to get frisked. Kind of like this....
...and he isn't so polite and demands to be "Wipe my butt."

"Wipe my butt, what?"

"Wipe my butt, PUH-WEEESE!"

Commence wiping.

I try so hard to not laugh, but you would too if you came into the bathroom and there was a little tushie up against the wall.

So many apologies if you have a weak stomach or think this just might be over the top as far as information sharing. I couldn't resist. Have a delightful day.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday's Mug Shots

This photo was taken right after the second nasty storm of the day. I saw the sunset and promptly ran outside in my PJ's with bare feet and jumped into the car and drove down the street. I had to capture the moment. It was absolutely gorgeous. God does amazing work.

This is downtown Lisbon right after the storm with the rays of sunshine coming from the clouds.
This was right before the storm hit and of course we were all hanging outside and then the sirens went off. The kids went to the cellar and I ran outside with my camera. This is a shelf cloud, taking on a very eerie and ominous presence.
Our local librarian has two grown up boys who are too big for their cowboy boots and hats, so she gave them to my boys. Complete with pistols. They love them and Baylor actually wore them to church on Sunday. There are some battles you just don't want to fight.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Hero: a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for hisbrave deeds and noble qualities.

Tonight my oldest, after running around in the park with a handful of girls, came sprinting over to me and in a voice so full of joy proclaimed, "MOM, They told me I was their HERO!"
His face lit up and you could tell that the word hero meant so much to this little boy. He knew
that he was being admired by these little girls, even though I'm fairly certain he didn't know what for. I watched as he proudly ran around the playground yelling that he was their hero until they quickly changed their minds, deciding that he was no longer worthy of such a title. He was crushed and there were tears and I swooped in with a motherly, "you will always be my hero." (while unfortunately Enrique Iglesias song, Hero kept playing in my head) I'm sure some day he will regain his hero status in the eyes of his wife and children, just like his father has in his eyes.
Here are my heroes! To the best fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers!
Happy Father's Day Dad! I love you! too, Grandpa Allen!

We love you too Grandpa Mike and miss you so very much.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Eat dirt.

Since the past few days have been very soggy, I took the advice of some friends and let the boys outside in the rain with an umbrella. It wasn't thundering (yet) so they ran up and down the side walk....until they heard thunder and came sprinting in the house thinking the sky was about to fall.
After the rain stopped they found their way to the only spot of mud in the whole yard....go figure. They were beyond thrilled as they dug and played around trying to find worms. Until this happened.....
" ESTS IN MEH MUTH....GEH EH OWWWWWWW!!!" Which translates into, "It's in my mouth, get it out!!!"

Mmmmm dirt.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Truthful Tuesday

This is one of my all time most favorite photos of Brody. It's him in the car seat in the car wash....completely freaked out. The look on his face says it all. GET. ME. OUT. NOW. Makes me snort out loud every time I see it.

It's Tuesday, which by law means you have to be truthful the entire day. What? You didn't know that? You really should be truthful all the time, but today more than usual. So here in no particular order are some truths.....because I know you're dying to hear them.

1. Sometimes when I see certain people, I want to bust out in the song that applies to how I feel about them. Kind of like the soundtrack to their life. I just hope to God no one decides that the song they would sing for me is Baby Got Back.

2. While walking down the stairs this morning I looked up to see a cobweb hanging in the corner....and then promptly ignored it.

3. I let Brody eat Cheeze-it's for dinner the other day because that's all he wanted and we were running late. Yet another reason why I should be a recipient for the Mother of the Year Award.

4. Bad grammar and bad spelling (even though I spell poorly and have run on sentences fairly often) irritates me.

5. Instead of dusting today, I used a baby wipe all around the house. Worked marvelous.

6. I really really really want a new couch. Really. Our couch sucks. I'm embarrassed to have people over because it just sucks that much.

7. Looking forward to a wedding, Cardinals game, visit with Grandma Lila and relatives coming up soon! This will be the first time we're away from both boys for two nights, which is monumental.

8. The older the boys get, the more they eat, the more I am beginning to realize how much money they are going to cost us. Did I mention that two is a wonderful number?

9. I'm getting stoked about my upcoming triathlons but really worried about the whole open water swim.....swimming laps doesn't hold a candle to open water.

10. I'm blown away by the generosity of others from our church and friends of our church. How they surround families with love and donations. We have some awesome friends.

What is a truth for you today?

Monday, June 14, 2010


Just thinking today how incredibly blessed I am to be a mama to these two wonderful balls of energy. I love being a mom, it is truly the best job in the world.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


This week has been a crazy wild ride and more than ever I see myself falling into a bad habit of not staying in the word. I use the summer excuse of not being in a bible study and then I'll throw out the I don't have time or I'm too tired excuse, but none of them seem to have any validity. There is no excuse. I can tell and my lovely husband can tell when I just haven't been spending enough time reading my bible. I get grumpy. I get annoyed easily. I do stupid things. Kind of like me without coffee.

I was outside this evening frantically pruning the trees because the, "scaw-rey machine" as Brody calls it (or the tree shredder chipper thingy) comes tomorrow morning to pick up brush and leaves. Apparently instead of Iowa we now live in the amazon jungle where it's humid and rains all the time. With all of the rain it didn't seem like there was an opportune time to prune the trees. So I scurried around tonight with my trusty pruning shears while the neighbors watched from their front porch, wondering what the heck I was doing. As I was cutting, God was reminding me of the verses that I had studied this past year in BSF. I had neglected to remain in Him and was seeing the lack of fruit. God has been, "pruning" me lately, cutting back the things in my life that have taken over or grown out of control. Things that I constantly put before Him, so that I may grow even fuller and stronger and bear more fruit. I am also thankful for God's grace and forgiveness in times of stupidity (which happen far too often) Thankful that no matter what or where I happen to stumble, He always sets me back on track.

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. John 15:4

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friday Photos

This photo needs to explanation. Okay, so maybe it does....but it shouldn't surprise you. The wee one was missing for a short second and we found him naked and outside of course. It took a lot of convincing to make him come inside and a few apologies to the neighbors.
I'm baking at the coffee shop in the morning. It has it's perks. One of them is the one free coffee that I get when I work. I dream about it every night. The second is that I get to fill my baking fix and none of it comes home!
These are cream cheese coffee cakes and they are pretty awesome and pretty not healthy for you, but a little.
The wee one showing us his cheese face. The older one won't let me come near him with a camera anymore, I suppose it's because I scarred him when he was little.

Mini Man Boobs.

Love it.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, watch some hot dudes play soccer, eat some bbq or just relax. I'm going with all three.

Peace out.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pink is a manly color

Today I took the boys to the, "big" swimming pool after saying lots of prayers and loading them with sunscreen. Days before I ran to the local Dollar General and grabbed two sets of arm floaties because neither of my kids can swim yet (we're working on it) and these little inflatable pieces of plastic seem to give them the false sense of security they need, right? At least it gives my mind a little more time to realize where they are before they dive into the deep end. After arriving at the pool, going over proper safety procedures and making sure Brody knew that he had to keep his clothes on, I pulled out the arm floaties.


Both were pink.

One would think my boys who are ALL boy would throw fits and require camo or at least a nice shade of blue. Nope. They absolutely loved the pink.

"Oh, mom you got me pink!! I love pink!!"


Didn't see that one coming.

So if you happen to be at the Mt.Vernon pool in the near future and see two buzzed little boys splashing around in the water wearing pink arm floaties....well, they belong to me.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

You have a lot of explaining to do.....

The other day at the park I was telling another mother about how I had gotten a pedicure and then I felt the need to explain why I had done so, how long it had been since I had one and where the, "extra" money had come from. Why not just say, "because I wanted to." Nope, had to explain. I needed to explain. Why? I have no idea.
This trend of explaining oneself after giving up certain information is all too common among mothers, believers and just about any human being on the planet. We find ourselves trying to make the situation sound a little better by explaining why or how or when, etc. When most of the time there is no need to and they probably could care less. I find myself trying to sugar coat my answers to try and sound like a super money saving thrifty loving frugal healthy mother....when we all know that is not always true. Why not tell it like it is.

Let me give you some examples:

Statement: My husband and I went out to dinner last night at this great restaurant
Explanation: We had a gift card of course.
What you should have said: I had steak and a beer and it was awesome. (Do you really need to mention the gift card? Heaven forbid you went out to dinner and paid full price)

Statement: Where did you get that cute shirt?
Answer: Oh, I found it at The Gap.....
Explanation: ...but it was on sale big time.
What you should have said: I love the Gap, I shop there all the time and one time I bought something that wasn't on sale (Sheik!)

Statement: I just had some awesome coffee cake.
Explanation: I only had a few bites and that was after I ran three miles so I totally burned this off.
What you should have said: I ate the whole freakin piece and it never tasted so good. I'm going back for seconds.....I may even lick the pan.

Statement: Did you son just throw his broccoli to the dog?
Explanation: Our dog loves broccoli and we eat so many fruits and vegetables that he's probably sick of it. In fact we never have sweets in our house....sugar is the devil.
What you should have said: Sure did. He doesn't touch anything green with a ten foot pole....except green suckers.

Statement: So you let your kids watch t.v?
Explanation: Sometimes and only educational programs that teach them grammar, Spanish and manners.
What you should have said: ...and then they watch Star Wars and try to beat each other over the heads with plastic swords and learn words like Naboo, Death Star and Intergalactic.

Statement: What did you do for dinner?
Answer: Oh, we had McDonalds.
Explanation: We had some gift certificates and we were on that side of town anyways because I had to buy some broccoli.
What you should have said: I love McDonald's fries and drove all the way into town just so I didn't have to fix dinner.

Scenario: You're in the car with a pal and you are singing along to the the song, "Baby Got Back." Do you know this song?
Explanation: You're on your own here.....

So next time someone asks you where you got your shirt proudly exclaim, "TARGET and it wasn't on sale!" or when you tell someone what you did this weekend, leave out the sugar coated explanations, they probably did the same thing!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Farmers Market

This past Thursday, the boys and I headed to the local farmers market in Mount Vernon to check out the fresh produce. The goal was to buy an entire meal consisting of all farmers market goods. So we came home with fresh lettuce, onions, eggs, strawberries and kolaches. We made omelets and had a salad with the lettuce. It was so much better for so many reasons, one being we knew where our food was coming from. We're going to try to do this every Thursday and see what we can come up with!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

He puts up with me

That's right.

I married a saint.

He puts up with me.

Now this is not a small task, but in fact a rather large endeavor that takes all time, energy and any ounce of patience that he has left after dealing with our two boys. What a man. Upon meeting me, you might not think that such a cute, funny and talented oh yes, and very humble lady is capable of driving a man insane. You're wrong. I can totally do it. Here are some reasons why this man deserves a medal for marrying me.

1. I leave half full glasses of beverages all around the house and then wander aimlessly grumbling to myself about how I can't find them. He's usually the one that picks them up and puts them in the sink.

2. I am the world's messiest cook. Doesn't matter what I'm making, I will create ultimate destruction in the kitchen.

3. I'm grumpy sometimes. When I'm grumpy you really don't want to be around me, but he's usually forced to endure this cruel form of punishment more often than none.

4. I'm not a touchy feely kind of person. I married a really touchy feely kind of man. Enough said.

5. When I get an idea for a project I usually think about it for a total of five minutes and then go out and start digging up pipes or tearing ceilings out.

6. He knows that certain people annoy the heck out of me and he lets me go on and on and then asks, "If I'm finished yet." and then the words, "settle down, quit freaking out or are you serious?" are follow closely behind.

7. Sometimes I don't listen. Okay, a lot of the time I don't listen......wait, where was I? I don't listen and I don't follow directions well.

8. I am the sleep nazi. I freak out about naps and bedtimes and if the kids are in the correct pajamas and if they have their Lovey and if they brushed their teeth and if they washed between their toes and they'll be tired and won't nap and freak out and........then Lonnie puts them to hour their dirty clothes.....and they're fine.

9. He always answers no to the following questions: 1. Are these too tight? 2. Are my boobs too small? and 3. Can I have some money. Smart man.

10. He constantly warns me not to speed because I'm well, usually speeding. I'm considering a tattoo of the words CRUISE CONTROL on my forehead so when I look in the mirror to see if there is a cop behind me, I see them. I have speeding problem.

11. I hate it when people interrupt but I always interrupt him when he's trying to talk to me. He's usually telling me to calm down.....*sigh*

12. I don't like to fold laundry. I like to pile laundry. I mean, C''s going to end up hanging in the closet anyways, why waste my time folding! He usually calmly picks up his wrinkled khakis and pulls out the iron and irons them. *usually*

I'm fairly certain that I could list about 123 reasons why this man is pretty awesome. He is my voice of reason and usually the one to calm me down amidst the crazy life we live. So thanks for putting up with me sweet cheeks, I love you!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Ready, Aim, FIRE!

I know I am going to get it for posting about this subject, especially from my mom. Last time I used the word PENIS in my blog, we had a little chat. Apparently it's not cool to use such language and I speak too freely about wieners, poo, pee and other bodily functions. Such is life mother dearest, such is life. I'm sorry mama, but this is too funny not to share. Sometimes life requires us to be open and honest, right? He wanted me to take a photo of his new Lightening McQueen undies, because he is so proud.
Brody is officially potty trained and in true rock star fashion. The kid is waking up dry, taking naps dry and using the potty like it's his job. Rock on, little man. I am so proud and very relieved that we didn't endure World War Three in order to reach potty Nirvana. I can't even explain how awesome he's doing and how excited I am not to buy diapers. The only problem that we have run into is what we like to refer to as the, "torpedo." In Brody's defense, he is a short little dude, barely reaching the toilet bowl when standing on his very tippy toes. He tries so hard to aim his little man parts down into the hole but to no avail. The dude shoots like a torpedo, hitting the back of the toilet, wall and anything within firing range. This kid could seriously injure someone with the speed that this pee is coming out. It's even worse when he's sitting on the toilet, he's actually sprayed the door to the bathroom....from across the room. I know, you're totally grossed out by now, but someday when you have children, and especially if you have boys, you'll understand. We've tried everything to try to get him to aim into the toilet but when he tries to do it himself, he almost shot himself in the eye. So unfortunately, we have to follow him into the bathroom and, "help" him pee into the toilet by making sure the little man parts are aiming down. It's really hard to do this while keeping a straight face (Brody also thinks it necessary to grunt exceedingly while peeing) He usually ends up screaming, "I peed on the wall or I peed on my hand!!" Although this doesn't seem to be scarring him, I'm hoping it ends soon and he can have some privacy while using the little boys room.

On a completely different and unrelated note, I am going out with my mom tonight to get our toes pretty. I'm not going to feel guilty or let anyone else make me feel guilty about spending a little cash on myself. I'm stoked. My feet are even more stoked. Lonnie and the boys are having a pizza party.

Have a marvelous weekend!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Money Matters and the Buzz

Here is Brody man doing what he does best. Bossing his older brother around. "You missed a spot, Bay-der!" Their job was to clean up the hair that was just shaved from their heads!
They make child protection locks for this very reason.
Oh my, look at this perfect little cute boy. Perfect little cute potty trained and shaved boy.
And this handsome little man with the big blue eyes. Love them.
He was trying to suck up his nipple but went a little too far south. Good thing it was too far south, then we'd really be in trouble.
Obviously sucking your skin into a vacuume is not only entertaining, it's extremely hilarious.
Here they are with their new summer do's. Broke out the clippers this morning and gave them a shave. They are so much cooler (like temperature) now!

We've been trying to talk with Baylor about money more lately because he is finally at the age where he's beginning to understand that things cost money, etc. We as parents find it very important to start early with money matters because it is such a crucial thing for a child to learn. If they don't learn responsibility with their money and learn how to save, give and spend within reason, it can be disastrous in the future. Baylor is also old enough to do some small chores (see chore chart) and we will give him $4 (his age) a week if he completes these. Instead of a sticker chart we've moved him on to three cups. One for savings, one for church tithing and one for spending. He already knows how much money he needs to save for the toy that he wants. This way there will be no more battles at the store (he's usually pretty good about this anyways) when he can't get what he wants. If he doesn't have the money, then he can't buy it. We're hoping this will start to teach him responsibility as well. I think America needs a little cup system too, don't you? You shouldn't spend it if you don't have it. End of story.
Another goal is for him to get dressed all by himself without us nagging. I put up stickers on his drawers that tell him what is in each one, like shorts, socks, underwear, etc. I am hoping this will start to lead to a little bit more independence on his part.

Lonnie's heart exam went well today. He is very healthy and they'll be doing a calcium scan just to make sure, next week sometime. Praise God! The only results that I have gotten back are an insanely large medical bill and a Dr that thought I might have Reynaud's Syndrome. I'm waiting to hear back from Rheumatology and receive another huge bill. My toes are still turning purple and sometimes my hands, and they continue to go numb on me when I exercise and sometimes just sit in a chair. I guess I'm just a weirdo. Maybe I need more wine, right Jen?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Me. I'm grumpy. I need a time out.

Can someone put me in a time out, please?


No, really.