Monday, February 28, 2011

flowers from the sweet hubby

Happy Monday, All!

Love, Laurie for the fam

Friday, February 25, 2011

too sweet for words

I just love watching my kiddos interact with each other

watching them play together

and grow in love for each other
it's just too sweet for words

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding
In all you ways acknowledge Him and He will make Your paths straight

that's my fav verse, and Becky's too--she is GIVEAWAY WINNER #1
(but not because she has the same fav verse as me.  no. picked her!)
GIVEAWAY WINNER #2 is Cory and picked her, too
YAY for you guys!  I just love GIVEAWAY WEDNESDAYS
You guys are too fun.  Thanks for all who all rock
(winners.  let me know where I should send your Bible verse bookmark, k? 
email me when you get a sec!)

Everyone reading this: have a SUPER weekend!

Love, Laurie for the fam

Thursday, February 24, 2011

my baby boy and I

here is Matthias embracing the camera all by himself
he's talented like that, with the flash and everything
making his nostrils kinda glow

we went on our hot cocoa date last night
my baby boy and I

we sipped our hot cocoa (and chai tea latte, shot of vanilla)
and chatted about Bubble Guppies
have you seen this new show
my Matthias is OB.SESSED.
I love how his eyes light up when he tells me it's his fav show

I'm definitely going to have to teach this boy to let the girls down sweetly
just one look at those big browns and you know
many a girl is going to get lost in those eyes
I do, anyway
I love how he just puts his hand on my knee as he talks to me about
well.....Bubble Guppies
and that his favorite color is red, like his red Wisconsin shirt
he's got the cutest, chubby little fingers
I love asking him,
"who's the ONLY ONE who loves you more than Mommy?"
that's right, Matthias
He's the Only One who loves you more than me
Because I love you more than you'll ever be able to understand
my little man is such a helper
we "hit the list" after our Startbucks drinks convenient we were already inside Target
and that Coke was on sale
my helper insisted on loading the 12 packs himself on the bottom of the cart
he also insisted on pushing the cart
which he couldn't see above the top
which made a lot of fellow shoppers laugh as all they could see was a moving shopping cart
I would've snapped a pic but was afraid an elderly woman
or a shelf of shampoo bottles
would've been knocked down in the process of my son pushing the cart without direction from me
verbal direction, of course, because he insisted on pushing it himself
what a gentleman
embrace the camera

happy Thursday, Blogger Buddies!
if you haven't yet, don't forget to enter GIVEAWAY WEDNESDAY!
I'll announce a winner tomorrow

Love, Laurie for the fam

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


you know how you go through times in your life when certain Bible verses just jump off the page and speak to your heart?  you have that moment when you ask yourself, "how did I not see this verse here before?"  you may have read that book, that chapter, several times before...but for some reason--
this time, this verse, in this moment
it just become special

But the fruit of the Spirit is

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts ~Colossians 3:15
what is your current fav Bible verse?  is it a lifelong verse or one that has become special recently?  I'd sure love to send you one of these bookmarks to grace the pages of your Bible with flair.  I just love a good bookmark and I love, love, LOVE
don't you?!
if you'd like to join in the fun......and I hope you do......please let me know your fav Bible verse and include why if you'd like. 
because I'm ALL ABOUT changing up the rule-e-o's every week or so, I'm going to do a DOUBLE giveaway. 
2 bookmarks, 2 winners.  Well, not just bookmarks.....did you notice there's a keychain attached?! 


Love, Laurie for the fam

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

easy chocolate eclair

Want a simple recipe
5 ingredients
made in a 9x13 pan
that's easy to take to a friends house or
a potluck (ahem. potblessing
l to the o to the l
easy chocolate eclair
Mix 2 small boxes of vanilla pudding with 3 1/2 cups of milk
Allow mixture to thicken for 2-3 minutes then
Fold in one tub cool whip
Line the bottom of a 9x13 pan with honey graham crackers
If you have the patience to break apart grahams
so that you fully cover a layer
the dessert will cut into pieces better
then if you loosely cover with grahams
(I have learned this from experience)
Pour half the pudding mixture on top of the grahams
 you have so carefully layered as to cover
every square centimeter of the pan
Way to you, you perfectionist, you

Add another layer of grahams
Pour the rest of your pudding mixture on top
And then one more layer of grahams
Here is the best part
Grab a tub of chocolate frosting
Microwave it for 60 seconds
Pour on top and spread evenly
Here's the bummer part
Stick the dessert in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set

It's worth all the 120 minutes
Trust me.

This dessert is a crowd pleaser and reminds me of my friend, Tif
She served this dessert every time we were at her house
and if she had made something different I would've been bummed
When I moved away she gave me the recipe
but I'm pretty sure she would've given it out sooner if I had just asked

I love to have recipes from friends in my collection
It reminds me of them when I make it
Did I mention the chocolate eclair makes a tasty lunch as well?
Coupled with some Bible reading, a quiet house, and my cozy fav sweater
it made for quite a brilliant afternoon
even though the sky was dreary and februaryish

Grocery List:
tub of chocolate frosting
box of honey grahams
2 boxes instant vanilla pudding
1 tub cool whip

Have a super (tutorial) tuesday, All!
linking up here go check it out for TONS of good recipes!

Love, Laurie for the fam
p.s. let me know if you make this goodie...I'd love to know!

Monday, February 21, 2011

lovely moments

lovely is watching your kiddos giggle
as "Despicable Me" begins to play in Spanish
during a 2 hour car ride
to celebrate a niece's birthday

lovely is watching the look in your daughter's eyes
when she gets so excited to see Daddy come home
after being gone only 15 minutes

lovely is double cheddar cheese popcorn
chocolate eclair dessert
(recipe tomorrow)
while watching Jack Bauer save the world one hour at a time
during the last season of 24
after the kiddos are in bed for the night

what makes your life lovely?
linking up here

Friday, February 18, 2011

Victorias Secret....Laurie sounds off

Have you all been wondering since GIVEAWAY WEDNESDAY
How many muscles it takes to smooch?! 

wow.  I'm wondering if that cancels out the need to use the tready.  hmmm.  I'm not holding my breath.  BUT......I'm getting ready to start rocking the treadmill again.  Remember my 500 miles in 2011?  I really hate New Years Res that are over by the end of January, but that is exactly what happened.  I BUST-ED my calve muscles.  Doc told me to rest them up for 4-6 weeks which, while making me cranky, really did take that long to stop hurting.  BOO.  Maybe a new goal of 425 miles?!  We'll see....

what else do you want to know? 
oh, yeah.....probably the winner of GIVEAWAY WEDNESDAY
I know I do.  Hold on a sec while I go over to and pick a winner.....
pnickels  You are the winner....Yay for you! 
I'm excited to giveaway these sweet encouragement notes.  I love DaySpring cards!
What is this, another promo?! 
But I'll tell you what I will not promote:

Victorias Secret

Yesterday, I took my 3 youngers to the mall to pick up this picture taken at JCPenney Portraits:
(it's a pic of a pic....with a little wall on the bottom)
A-dorable, right?!  Anyways, let's not get distracted from the story.  Soo....
here's a pic of us eating our lunch at the food court (yes, I brought our food with us.  that's allowed, right?!  well, my frugal self allows it anyways)

am I losing you in the story?  Here it is.....why Laurie James is not a fan of Victoria Secret. 
It's no secret that scantily (sp?) clad women are ALL. OVER. the billboards of the outside of the store.  And in our mall, you walk down one side of the store and up the other side to get to the food court. 
sooo.......I'm having to shield my boy's eyes from these bigger-than-them sized pics of clothes-less women in order to walk in the mall.
My precious boys that I don't want to see this kind of stuff. 
Caleb had remembered from the last time we were at the mall that we don't "look at the girls in their underwear" and he already had his eyes closed and, in turn, began walking "off course" before I even mentioned anything.  I may or may not have had several people smile at us as they realized what was going on.  Caleb said "underwear" a little loud with his eyes covered (it's that whole over-compensation thing....) 
Dramatic?  maybe.  But I'm going to be dramatic when it comes to shielding my boys eyes from visions I don't want them to behold now or later
Do you know how many marriages Justin and I have seen STRUGGLE over our years in ministry because of that awful P word infiltrating a marriage?!  (yes, it affects a marriage....if you didn't know....k?)
I'm not so sure I can even recall a number off the top of my head.  
Am I on a tangent?!  You had better believe it. 
I pray for my boys all. the. time as they live in this world where sex is the key to advertisement, and strewn all over the world.wide.web (etc, etc, etc) that they will be able to keep a mind free from all the images that surround them. 
Victoria's Secret, it's no secret that you are not helping me in this mission.  I'm a little cranky at you for this.
Wow.  I'm not usually a tangent blogger.  But there I went.  And there was no stopping me. 
I'm not really asking for comments telling me you disagree with me and why.  This isn't really something that is up for discussion.  If you want to give me a "shout out" in agreement for my concern for what my boys eyes encounter, go ahead.  Give me a high five across blogland why don't you.
If you've never considered this aspect of motherhood before, if you've never considered it your "mama mission" to help protect those baby blues from scantily clad bodies of airbrushed to perfection women....I challenge you to give it a thought.  
hmmmm.  I'm done.

oh, wait.  I have one more thing... 
Upwards Basketball
It totally rocks and teaches basketball and the Bible at the same time.
Sportsmanship as it relates to living your life for Jesus in all aspects.
Jon loves it anyway.  And he's a good play-ah if I do say so myself.
He may have the whole "height advantage" thing going on, being "off the charts" and all
(took him for his 8 yr check up wednesday)
But he's a good shot, too
And last Saturday the cousins had a little rivalry thing going on.
Same colored wristbands and all (if you know Upwards, you know what I'm talkin about)

Tomorrow's another game......
Go Grizzlies!

Have a SUPER weekend

Love, Laurie for the fam

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sugar Cookie Balls (tutorial tues on thurs)

*white chocolate almond bark
*tube of sugar cookie dough
*cream cheese (you only need 3 oz)
Spread your sugar cookie dough
out on a cookie sheet
bake until done
(325 degrees for about 10 min)
 Once cooled,
        break apart the cookie sheet
     place into a mixing bowl
                                                       and add 3 oz cream cheese
 Mix well.  Because I tasted my batter
and decided it wasn't sweet enough
I added some sugar sprinkles to the dough
hmmmmm.  possibly overrated but I like my sweets...sweet
 Roll batter into balls
                                                          Dip in melted white chocolate. 
                                                   If you freeze the balls first, this is easier!
                           My apologies if you don't have a cool chocolate melter like I do
                                                      I hear the microwave works well, too...
see here for original recipe I adapted this from!

Sprinkle it up before the chocolate hardens
I'm keeping mine in the fridge--not sure if you need to or not
but it's got 3 oz cream cheese inside
anyways, YUM
the inside tastes like sugar cookie dough
and then mixed with the crunchy outside these balls are

Enjoy your Thursday!  We plan to.....a trip to the mall in the A.M.?! 
Possibly.  I've got some ad-or-able pics to claim
and the wall in the living room is all set

have you entered GIVEAWAY WEDNESDAY yet? 
click HERE to check it out

Love, Laurie for the fam

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Val Day, '11
James fam style

Charity is her Daddy's Little Valentine

We had a fun (slightly hurried) breakfast of Pull-Aparts
Recipe here
p.s. I did not let my sons drink Crush soda at breakfast
but since I gave them out I was asked a couple million times
if they could be consumed (before lunch)
not the brightest idea ever
but Mom Points for the cool soda in glass bottles, right?!

Happy 1st Valentine's Day, Charity
I'm so glad you're a part of our family this year!
(however last year I remember being able to eat all the chocolate I wanted...)
These two guys were so stoked about the 4K Valentines
they didn't wait to unjacket themselves to start tearing into the treasures
Caleb wasn't sure why he went to 4K in the first place--
It was VALENTINES day, after all
Justin got me some chocolates....he knows that's my love language
well, that and emptying (and loading) the dishwasher
The cherry flav hearts were for him--he likes those fruity chewy things. 
wow, I really made those sound yummy, huh
I just figure when there's chocolate around, why bother with anything else?!
but that's just me and you gotta know your Valentine
did I mention I also got him a Packers Superbowl shirt? 
he was all about that
and he bought me something else, too....but that's just between us
G-rated blog, people!
are you tired of seeing pics of Justin & Laurie
come on, now....
here we are at Applebee's for dinner
sans. kiddos.
a big thank you to Justin's rents for that
we also movied it up budget style.  ahhh, I love the budget cinema
hilarious couple 2 rows behind us, 3 seats to the left
she couldn't see well and he couldn't hear well
it made for interesting (loud) conversations that (thankfully)
Justin and I found to be entertaining
sometimes even more than the movie itself

Remember the Cake Balls? 
 Well, these are sugar cookie balls and they are yummy
I kept Val Day '11 going a little longer
by not finishing them up until Feb 15th
 1 more day to celebrate love
tune in tomorrow for the RECIPE (only 4 ingredients!)
when I do Tutorial Tuesday on Thursday, k?
Rule.  Breakeryep.  that's me
the encouraging words and sweet designs
on these DaySpring cards
will brighten someone's day--will it be you?!
All 4 of these cards will go to the WINNER of GIVEAWAY WEDNESDAY
here are the rules (ready?!)
Leave a comment telling me one thing that brightened your day TODAY
Be specific--I love a good "day brightener"story
And just for the fun of it...
Leave ANOTHER comment (for another chance to WIN!)
answering this question:
How many muscles do you think it takes to kiss?
(it's more than you'd think,
so I'm going to start counting every one as a workout)
any answer counts as an entry

Come on, Blogger Buddies! 
You know you want to brighten my day!

Have a super day, All!

Love, Laurie for the fam

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How He Loves

yesterday was Valentines day and I had a wonderful day with my Love
(thanks for the sweet post, Babe)

but, at the end of the day,
you know what I was struck with most?!
the awesome love that God has for me.
(for YOU)
it's incredible love that I just can't seem to ever grasp its full magnitude
and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to
so this song was a good one to have blasting through the speakers
(as I drove to Einstein bagels to grab an asiago cheese bagel with sun-dried tomato shmear)
to remind me that although I am blessed with a great lover by my side
no one loves me quite like God
have you never heard this song before?!
you just have to give that triangle to the left a little click and check it out
I'm thinking you are just going to love it
but even if you don't love the song...
God still loves you
and isn't that just the best news ever?!

Have a super day! Hope the sun's shining wherever you are

Love, Laurie for the fam

Monday, February 14, 2011

Justin speaks....

I'm handing over the computer to my wonderful hubby today. 
I'm going to resist the urge to edit and correct any spelling or grammar errors should there be any
(lol.  I corrected the guy's college papers.... )
But I just love him so much, my sweet Valentine who still makes me smile each and every day.
So take it away, Hon. 
And just hit "publish post" at the end.
Happy Valentines Day, All!
  Today is Valentines Day.  I'm glad about that.  You see, this women that you have been getting to know through blog land, I have been getting to know for many years.  She is more real and genuine than anyone else I know.  So it is pretty cool that she has chosen me be to be her husband. She is fun to be around.   It is not very often that we go crazy on the town, you know like goin' clubbing or something.  To be honest, we've never been clubbin'.  I would say that we have danced like we were up in the club in our kitchen.  Throw a little Black Eyed Peas on youtube and it is pretty much a rave.  I think.  Never been to one of those either, but if I was, I think it would be like that.
  We will probably go to a movie and eat at the food court at the mall that the theater is connected to.  Before you boo me for being less then romantic on v-day, you have to realize that it is us.  I bet you that we will have more fun and better conversation than the people who are sitting uncomfortably in a ritzy restaurant and trying to make the most of the night out.  So we will take the time to be us, you know, do what we do.    
  The thing that I like the best about my wife is that she likes me fore me.  I don't have to try and impress her, though I will try like heck to look hot, she will think that I am handsome either way.  I don't have to have a witty joke or a captivating story, though I will try to be entertaining and make her laugh and give me the look that only she can that lets me know that she is still into me, she will still think that I am worthy of a bat of her eye lashes.  I don't have to be suave and smooth, though I might try the old stretch and put my arm around her, she will still hold my hand in public.  That makes me feel pretty good.  Having a special girl like that on my arm makes me walk taller and smile a little bigger.  She is special.
  I know that my wife has Tutorial Tuesdays but here is something that she can teach you.  Make your husband/boyfriend or wife/girlfriend feel special.  She does that for me and it makes me a better man.  You can do that for your man.  He might not be perfect, Heavens knows that I'm not perfect, but she sees the best in me.  Many nights we will look at each other and say, "Why do you love me today?"  It's cool because we think through the day and take time to remember/acknowledge the things that the other person did for us or others that makes us love them.  There is always a lot to say.  Try that tonight and see how it goes.  It could be pretty special for you. 

Love you Laurie, you're the best!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

8 is great (Jon's Bday!)

 Dearest Jonathan
We thank God
for blessing us with the gift of you
8 years ago today
Do you understand how incredibly much
we love you?!
You rock our world
Happy Birthday