Thursday, March 31, 2011

embracing it

(after about 9 attempts of a decent pic with Char and Matt.....)
how's that for embracing the camera?!
(click on the words to check out the anderson fam's newest addition. awwww)

(1 year ago. 3.31.10  but God is faithful)

this verse has found a special place in my heart
and today is a day when I need those words
do you, by chance, need these words, too?!

have a SUPER thursday, all!
have you checked out the great Easter debate of 2011?!
check out the post below to enter the
if you've never played along before
won't you consider today?!
come and have some fun with me......

love, Laurie for the fam

giveaway wednesday.....on thursday

so if all you could have this Easter
is the joy of your Risen Savior
and the goodness of one traditional treat
which would it be?

Note: the author of this blog is not suggesting your salvation
depends on answering this question correctly
only that there is one right answer
and therefore one wrong one

to enter this great Easter giveaway
leave me a comment telling me
which Easter treat better be in the basket this year,
who'll get hurt if it's not there
and if you plan on sharing

check back in tomorrow
to see what the vote is in the James fam 
 and to see if you've got some goodies coming your way!

love, Laurie for the fam

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

giveaway wednesday

check back in, k?
its edible and thats all you need to know for now

have a super wednesday!

love, laurie for the fam

can you guess
who got his hands on my camera?!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

grace that is greater

just a few moments to myself
with a computer
 a Bible
an iced coffee
and a book called bittersweet

'Grace isn't about netting out on the right side of things.
Grace is smashing the calculator,
and using all the broken buttons and pieces to make a mosaic.
Grace isn't about having a second chance;
grace is having so many chances
that you could use them through all eternity
and never come up empty....
Grace is when you finally stop keeping score and
when you realize God never was,
that His game is a different one entirely....
Grace is an even better gift,
because it allows me to do more than just erase.....
It's forgiveness without forgetting,
which is much sweeter than amnesia.'

(p83 bittersweet by shauna niequist)


have a SUPER tuesday
giving and receiving GRACE

love, Laurie for the fam

Monday, March 28, 2011

Jesus eesh ahwibe!

when this song comes on the radio
in our van
I am sure to hear this from the backseat "JESUS EESH AHWIBE!"
That's right, Matthias,
 Jesus IS alive!
And those big brown eyes filled with excitement are  pretty much contagious....

have a SUPER Monday!

love, Laurie for the fam
p.s. make sure you crank up the volume on your computer for this song-- cause if you (somehow) have missed's crank-up-the-volume worthy

Friday, March 25, 2011

making Matthias (and oreos) better

my littlest guy was all smiles by the end of the day
well, maybe not ALL smiles
'cause he pretty much wanted to eat anything and everything
 he saw or could think of.
and after all the (ahem) episodes last night
I just wasn't wishing a repeat of that on anyone...
so I had to say "no" to the yogurt. and the cheese balls. and the pizza.
try explaining to a 3 year old that
"even though his tummy isn't making noise anymore"
he still can't have the food he's asking for
is like putting Who Let the Dogs Out on your MP3
and pushing repeat
it's not even amusing the first time
and it's exhausting by the 4th round of play

so here's your mission for the weekend:
make a cake mix
dip some oreos in it
place in greased cupcake tins
(I sprinkled mine up for an extra fun look)
bake @350 for 8ish minutes
wow. kidding.....I don't even like oreos
what's up with that?!
well, in my defense it is not nearly as offensive as what
Julie says about brownies in her last post
you can read about it HERE
and then you can go HERE
and make those, too!

God has a wonderful plan for your life...and so do I.
3 words:
cake. covered. oreos.

seriously.  have a SUPER weekend, All!

love, laurie for the fam

Thursday, March 24, 2011

so you had a bad day

I love to watch the boys
hanging out together
it's especially precious when Jon is reading to his bro's

he had "one of those days"
at school yesterday
but it didn't take much to cheer him up
he's a pretty chipper guy was just kinda "one of those days"
I mean, who wants freezing rain and snow in March anyways?!

and Matthias was up all night. sick.
he loved the idea of getting up with me
and cuddling in front of the Disney channel
until he realized that even Special Agent Oso wasn't going
to make his rumbly tummy go away
poor guy

have a SUPER thursday, All!
just be glad I embraced the camera yesterday with Jon
and not this morning with Matt
we both look a little.....crusty and tired this morning!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Dear Blogger B's,
Today I'm sitting down to write a post I've really wanted to write for awhile. 
It's real, it's honest, and it's probably going to be much longer than most of my other posts...
(Just a guess)

This post is going to answer a FAQ about my blogging... The #1 question I get asked when people come across my blog who know me in "real life"....
Why do you have a blog?
It's not a simple answer, really, because there are about a million answers to that question
and there is a different one, depending on when you ask
I actually began this blog back in a time when the "Justin and Laurie Story" was going through
"a rough season."
Justin and Laurie were going strong together, but life around them was......chaotic (to put it mildly)
and so. I needed.  a place.  to write and express things.
thus began the blog, but it was a mysterious one that no one knew about.
blogging was therapeautic and at this time I was mostly a blog reader
(check out HERE and HERE and HERE for blogs I read during that time and still read today for inspiration, encouragement, and LOL's.)

Caleb enjoys reading "Scaredy Squirrel" books. 
Up close.
in the fall of last year I decided to give blogging a real try, in hopes to bring some enlightenment to people when they checked out my blog
as I had been by being a blog reader myself
so I went and erased all my previous posts that were just a little too real for the public eye,
and started what I called a "Blogging Experiment,"  (click HERE to see original post)
my faithful blog reading sister-in-law, Becky, being my original and faithful reader.....
and I had no idea what was to become of it, really
At that time my wonderful hubby was in the midst of a 3rd shift job and that meant some pretty quiet
um...lonely....nights for me at home. 
perfect blogging set up and it was a great outlet for me.
I worked hard to get my blog "out there" and read by people,
and I dove into some pretty crafty endeavors
to match things that I was seeing out in blogland
And I learned pretty quickly that I do not, actually, enjoy the process of crafting....
L to the O to the capitol L
I really admire artsy things and I really enjoy some aspects of the craft world
but I got so caught up in trying to be a crafter that I lost sight of the fact that
it's not really me.
hmph.  maybe someday. 
(for now I'll just have to spend wisely on etsy and let others 'get their craft on' for me!)
but I discovered I do enjoy sharing my recipes with you all....
and the unexpected thrill of rocking the crock
as I now have a hubby who gets in the door @ 6PM every night....
what I've realized most recently is that I do enjoy blogging
and I plan on continuing it for a long time.  I think.
I'm a busy mommy
and I wish my blog could reflect the deep thoughts that go on in my heart and mind
but the truth is I'm lucky to have more than 15 moments to myself on most days
at the end of the day, this blog is about my family and for my family--
it's to give them a glimpse into the everyday life we have
because it's a good one, and a blessed one

Jon plays a "Minute-To-Win-It" game
at his 8th birthday party
 it's to share with you that Jesus is a part of our everyday life
whether I include a Bible verse in the post or not (but really I'd like to get better at that!)
and I'm really glad you read my posts.  (please don't stop!)
it's also a place for me to record precious family memories
that I'd otherwise lose track of in the midst of the everyday life
I'm portraying on this blog
It truly amazes me how I can go back and read a blog post from november
and honestly say, "I forgot about that!"
that's a gift from blogging that was unexpected and I'm grateful for
(perfect reason to begin to blog, anyone?!)
blogging has also allowed me to meet some amazing women I only know through blogland
my fav encourager online is HERE and she writes some great posts
about faith and family:   a constant source of encouragement and spurring on for me...
and I've also discovered that I love to write comments on peoples blogs.
I love encouraging people when they share their heart and what's important to them
sometimes I even discover an unexpected gift (check it out HERE)

Matthias always asks that I tuck him in at rest time
and this is how he likes the covers.  snug.
 so there you have it. 
I love to say, "I don't take myself or my blog too seriously."

but thanks for checking out my blog
I really do enjoy hearing from friends that they "secretly" check out my blog
(and I have no idea until they confess tell me!)
I enjoy when people leave me comments letting me know they've stopped by
but, if you noticed, I took off the button that said "comments fuel this blog"
because, ultimately, they don't.....

so have you thought about blogging, my blogger b's who are not yet bloggerized?!

well.....this far surpasses my 15 moments of the day.
it's time to fill a sippy cup with milk for Charity
text my friend back
change a diaper
dust the tv stand
figure out what's for dinner
switch a load of laundry
and all the many things we do without even realizing it
cause that's just what we do, right?!

have a SUPER day doing what God has created you to do!

love, laurie for the fam

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lent-Approved...Rock that Crock

some of you, my blogger b's
need a fresh take on fish for your friday nights
I am not a participater in Lent
but I enjoy the idea of giving something up
to focus on the sacrifice of Jesus
so here's a little Rock the Crock, with a fishy twist
(pardon me for that, I couldn't help myself)
I'm telling you, forget the Friday Night Fish Fry
you are going to LOVE this easy way to make some healthy and delicious
in 3 ingredients
for each piece of fish you are going to make
you need a piece of foil to fully wrap the fish in a packet
place the fish on the foil square
and place a spoonful of pesto on top

sprinkle parmesan cheese on top
til your hearts content
keep in mind when looking at my picture
that I'm a Wisconsin girl
we go a little overboard when it comes to the cheese
seal up your packets of foil by folding securely
and place into crock (no water)
Rock it on LOW for 3 HOURS
check to see if fish flakes easily and if not, add more time
(mine was ready @ 3 hrs)

the first question Justin always asks when I'm serving fish is
"do we have some tarter sauce to go with this?"
I always forget the tartar sauce.
but when we were done, he said
"this fish was so tasty it didn't need any sauce"
so there you have it:
fish so good it can remain tartar-sauce-less

Caleb's helping Justin hang a picture on the wall

Is there anything sweeter than watching your son
take after his Daddy?!
if I think of something
I'll let you all know.....
but I wouldn't count on it!

have a SUPER (tutorial!) Tuesday, all!

love, laurie for the fam

 grocery list:
*bag of frozen tilapia
*jar of pesto
*parmesan cheese

I'm linking up HERE today for Tasty Tuesdays on
33 Shades of Green.
Need some recipe ideas?!  check it out!

Monday, March 21, 2011

organize shmorganize

Organizing and I have a LOVE/HATE relationship
when I get overwhelmed with all that needs to be done,
I take a look at the room that needs a major re-haul
and I focus on moving from one side of the room to the other
for instance, my kitchen was organized from the cupboards on the left
all the way around the room
until I got to the panty to the far right
all I have left is the fridge
that one is a doozy
There's just something about little boys closets....
they can turn into chaos overnight.
Sadly, though, that was not the case here.
My boys' closets have been chaotic pretty much all winter.
But when the Mom of the house decides enough is enough......
watch out
the great spring clean-out has begun
The first step of organization has got to be
(there is absolutely NO way around this in my opinion.....)
complete and total emptying of space.
Start with a clean slate, people
***it's got to get worse before it gets better
(sidenote:  many times when I clean out a drawer,
I will dump all contents on my bed.
if that contents are all over my bed,
you had better believe
there is some motivation there to get the stuff
trashed, organized, and put away nicely!)
then, organize all items by category
in Jon's closet we found:
DS and accessories
mighty beanz
shells and rocks
silly bands
tech decks

containers are key in keeping things looking good
but don't think you need to wipe out your budget with Rubbermaid
it's about re-using containers you already have:
small tins
lunch meat containers
boxes from shoes
anything that holds anything will work!

now doesn't Jon's closet look so much better?!
he's 8.
I'm not holding my breath this is going to last long
but it was 45 minutes of together time with my oldest son
teaching him the value of keeping his stuff nice.
His excitement over his newly organized closet was priceless--
it was the first thing he just had to show his dad when Justin walked in the door from work
and now he's enjoying the stuff he can (magically!) find!

speaking of Jon...
he has lost yet another tooth
and this time the tooth fairy even remembered to come and leave a buck
he tells me this is his last tooth to lose and all he's got left are "incisors"
I have no idea exactly what that means and if it's accurate
but it cr-acks me up everytime he says it
~I love that kid~

have a SUPER(organizing?!) monday to all who read this blog!

love, Laurie for the fam

Friday, March 18, 2011

sweet days to come, but I'm going to miss these...

Here's my Charity
after her soapy bath, all smelling super sweet

I just love to hold her all wrapped up in a towel
that covers her little body

I know I've got such wonderful days to look forward to
watching her grow
but at the same time I just know
I'm really going to miss these sweet days

savoring every moment with my kiddos
is the best gift I give myself

have a SUPER weekend of savoring moments

Love, Laurie for the fam

Thursday, March 17, 2011

i ran out of space.....

I can't post pics today because I ran out of space to store my pics on blogger?!  I didn't know that was possible....and I've accomplished this after 6 months of blogging.  Yay for a blogging anniversary!
So my post today will be short and (boo) won't include the pic of Charity and I embracing the camera after her bath.  There's something about snuggling with a freshly bathed baby all cozied up in only a warm towel.  And mine have always been super chipper in that state. 
I'm also marking yesterday on the calendar as the official "Charity crawls" day. 
Mixed was time for her to crawl.  I get that. 
But yesterday also brought an entire shelf of videos cleared off by my little sweetie pie.


I will confess I'm really tired this morning.  I will also let you know it's all Kiefer Sutherland's fault. 
Justin and I stayed up last night until after midnight watching the last 2 episodes of the final season of 24.  We always rent from Family Video a season behind so we can watch the episodes when we have time and when we don't have to go to bed on a huge "cliff hanger." 
We have no self control when it comes to Jack Bauer and his escapades.
But that won't be a problem in our lives anymore.....and it is bittersweet.

Well, here I sit "watching" Max & Ruby with the middlers and I am breaking my own rule of not blogging when my kiddos are awake.....and I have piano students coming in approx 18 minutes--they are always late-- (so I had better leave blogland)

Have a super thursday, all!
luck o'the irish to you all

Love, Laurie for the fam  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

gettin ready for st. paddys day the tortilla way

I was in the mood to create something fun
with the kiddos for
st paddy's day
it involved cutting shamrock shapes in tortillas
(I found that warming them in the micro for 10 seconds helped)
nonstick spray was used for the pan
and on top the tortillas
and then I had a (very) cute trio of boys
who (generously) sprinkled green sugar on top of the shamrocks
and they did a super job!
(minus the bowlful of green granules that ended up all over the floor.....)

when the shamrocks were as green as envy
I put them in a 350 degree oven until light brown on the edges
(about 4-5 minutes)

the boys had a blast and I've already sampled one--
lightly sweet and crunchy
and YUM!


have a SUPER wednesday, blogger b's!

Love, Laurie for the fam

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


these granola balls are easy to make and have been named
(by a certain member of our extended fam)
I first found this wonderful recipe HERE 
on my friend Lisa's blog
and like all good recipes I find, I just can't leave them alone
and I make a few little changes....
first melt 4 T butter
1/2 c peanut butter
and 2/3 c honey over medium heat
mix together 2 c crisp rice cereal and
2 c oatmeal and add it to the melted mixture.
Stir (duh, right?)
add 1 cup raisins, if desired
(we desire the raisins!)
place granall mixture in the fridge, covered,
until just cool
(about 20-30 mimutes)
and sprinkle mini chocolate chips throughout
stirring occassionally
(approx 1-1 1/2 cups)

I keep the bowl of granall mixture in the fridge
and roll together a few granalls at a time
it holds together better when batter is cold

these are great snacks for the kiddos
a quick "mommy grab" when I'm holding a fussy baby
and Justin thinks they make a great breakfast

Charity's been scooching under this chair

and it's been fun to see Matthias play along with this game of
Charity under the gray chair
he'll play peek-a-boo and surprise her
or he'll grab her hand and they'll play
"who can hold on longer"
for awhile
but then Matthias will stop to pose for a picture
and Charity, as you can see,
easily gets bored
that girl has come into the world with 3 big brothers
who constantly entertain her
she kinda doesn't know what to do with stillness and silence!

have a SUPER tuesday, all!

Love, Laurie for the fam

Monday, March 14, 2011

so I've let you all in on the organization that is going on
full force here in the james house
serious organization
and no possession is considered sacred
except the coffee pot maybe
so when I asked Jon to take care of the top of his dresser
you know.....organize it
this is what I got
l to the o to the l
he was most proud of his piggy bank
sportin' the Badger hat
but I cracked up when I spotted the dueling
darth vader and helicopter pilot
well, pilot equipped with a light saber
so I guess the face-off is pretty equal

then I discovered an added bonus of my organization-
counting practice for my little 4Ker
how many bags of powdered sugar are there, Caleb?
are you sure?
that's a lot of powdered sugar
maybe I am a hoarder after all
the most popular answer I got
when I asked what I should do with all the powdered sugar?!
haha.  that won't happen
cause I don't want to pay shipping for sending sugar!

I'm really blessed with a great hubby
who's also a great daddy
this Saturday he played
Solo Daddy-e-o
while I went away to a hearts at home conference
a girls late night trip to bob evans for yummy stuffed pancakes
a full day of mommy encouragement
and all the chatting a girl could ask for with two of her fav gals

hope you had a refreshing weekend, too
happy monday.....full of later sunshine than last monday
and one day closer to spring than yesterday!

love, laurie for the fam
p.s. organization tips to come when I've got a couple more moments
at the computer

Friday, March 11, 2011

baby beauty

I love watching my daughter look at herself in the mirror
like any baby she truly believes there is a little friend in there
and she loves that cute little baby so much
she just wants to eat her up
 like I love her so much
I just want to eat her up
with kisses, of course
(here, mommy
you look at the cute baby in the mirror)
look at that cute little crinkle-nosed smile
(and the baby in the mirror has one, too)

my prayer for my sweet little baby girl
is that as she grows up
she will see what I see when she looks in the mirror
a beautiful girl made specially by God
and that she will be more concerned
with making her inside beautiful
than the beauty she beholds in the mirror

" is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised"
~Proverbs 31:30
Nikki!  Commentor #4
you are the GIVEAWAY WEDNESDAY winner of the week...
YAY for you!
shoot me an email and let me know where I can send your Nutella
but please.....promise us all you will not put the stuff on hot dogs, k?
that would just be gross
(I think)
but you could definitely try these....they are SO GOOD

have a SUPER weekend, all!

Love, Laurie for the fam