Monday, January 30, 2012


Dear Caleb,
It's been such a fun year of watching you grow.
Now that you're in full day kindergarten I know what it feels like to miss you.....
and boy, do I!
I can't tell you how many times I've sent you off to school
and wished I could just bring you right on back for one more hug.
I like how you always hold me to the same words in my send-off each and every morning.
I love that you can read now, and you never cease to amaze your Dad and me
with all that you quickly catch onto.
You are always making people laugh at your 'ways'--and you're not always trying to be funny
(like when you told your teacher you were from Mexico)
but somehow you manage to make people smile by just being you.
I know I smile a lot when you're around.

It is a joy to me to hear your prayers at night.  and at the breakfast table.
And how you lift up my dear friend, Bethany.
You are the one who always remembers to pray for her and all she's up to in India.


How fun it was to walk through Wal-mart and just plain spoil you last night
as we were anticipating your birthday today.
Donuts for breakfast and special chocolate glazed ones to share with your class.....
a lunchable and pudding cup to put in your lunchbox along with some scooby doo fruit snacks
and an entire gallon of apple cider--just because you asked for it.
I'd give you the world, you know.
But I don't really need to
because you take such delight in the little things of life.
You were so stoked about getting boxers for your birthday
(and yes, I mean underwear)
and when Dad took you to Toys R Us you pointed out a water bottle that said
for what you'd like for a gift when you turned 6.

I loved watching your face all lit up yesterday as we had your party.
You ran around the house thinking all the balloons and streamers and birthday signs were pretty cool.
I loved to watch your competitive side come out during the games
and how you threw yourself on top of your stash of candy when the pinata broke
(it's no surprise to me that you willingly offered to share your candy with me...
and tell me I can take more tootsie rolls when I only grab one)
you are a sharer, something you've always been good at.

Never stop being you.
Don't ever let anyone tell you to be different just to 'fit in'
I love each and everything about you and the special way God created you to be.
I can't wait for the years ahead and seeing all He has planned for you.
Child of mine, I just KNOW it's going to be good!

love, mom
{posting this at 4:40PM the exact moment you were born 6 years ago}

***everyone else, have a super january 30th
we're going out for PIZZA!

Friday, January 27, 2012

it's friday and you're going to want this.

it's friday.
does anyone besides me get overwhelmed with all the meal prep
a weekend holds?
my kids seriously want 3 meals a day
{can you believe it?}
sometimes that really baffles me.
my kids get a lot of breakfasts of cereal, oatmeal, and bagels
and a lot of lunches of ham/cheese or pbj sandwiches
but when it comes to dinners i try to add a little creativity to the mix
you know,
so my kids don't decide to live at school for the glory of hot lunch options.

my new years resolution is
less McDonalds in the name of failed meal prep

{so far so good}

to celebrate this 27th day of the year
and a new years resolution still going strong
i'd like to gift to you a james fam fav of a dinner......

1 lb ground beef, browned
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp chili powder
dash of salt & pepper & garlic powder
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup corn (canned or frozen)
2 cans jumbo bisquits (i used great value)
8 slices American cheese

once you brown your meat, let it cool slightly***i need to insert here that i always have already browned meat frozen and on hand.
it's because i'm not a fan of the stuff
and browning and freezing it as soon as i buy it
takes away some a little of the dislike. 
{and it's super handy for a quick meal prep}

okay.  moving on....

mix all ingredients together EXCEPT cheese slices
flatten one can of your bisquits on a cookie sheet
scoop 1/4 c mixture onto each one
lay a piece of American cheese on top
flatten other bisquits (on a table top or counter) and then gently place on top
seal the edges together like a pie crust, bringing the bottom bisquit up to meet the top

bake @ 400 for 10-15 minutes until golden brown
(reheats pretty well wrapped in foil in 375 degree oven for 12-15 minutes)

portable for an on-the-go kinda night
(are we the only fam that seems to have a lot of those these days?!)

happy meal planning and making.
it's not my fav thing
but what's a girl to do?!
my fam likes to eat
and so do i

have a super day!

{a little pure.cuteness}

Friday, January 20, 2012

randomness of winter and such

I'm pretty sure when my hubby had me take this picture he mentioned me blogging it.
that's permission, right?!  goofy man that i love.
napkin rings courtesy of a 'swap night' i went to--ever been? 
take your junk, come back with stuff you want.  {yummy food is a must}

coupon cashing  has begun
this year it's Breakfast with Dad and "Pie with Mom"
Caleb chose Dennys.  I had coupons.  yessss.

Upwards Bball 2012.  Go Defenders!
Jon made 4 baskets and had like a million rebounds the first game.
{he had asked me before the game how many baskets i thought he'd make.  1?  how does a mom answer that?}
 its fun to watch your kiddos having fun
even when you're busy emptying your purse of everything from raisins to calculators
to keep your younger 3 entertained
{both sets of grandparents there to lend a hand = priceless}


{and this}
and about 27 more shots just like it
is what happens when charity gets ahold of my camera while i'm making dinner
soooo worth the peace in the kitchen.....

weekend guests.
a mixture of 'catching up' and 'getting to know'
{over tapas}
charity may have gotten sick all over dan
but made up for it with cuteness and cuddles afterward
i mean, how could she not?!

one weekend of packers, playoffs, and pizza is all we'll get this year
but papa johns a-mazing garlic sauce and breadsticks did not disappoint
the packers on the other hand.........
good thing our salvation is not based on football fan-dom choices


my kiddos talked me into snow ice cream
see recipe HERE

i'm in the midst of 'surviving 60 days of winter'
a fun gift showering that Justin has put together for me
he's bought all kinds of stuff i love
from starbucks to godiva to lush and a new flav of gum
one treat a day to keep those winter blues away
{sorry ladies, he's mine}

happy weekend, all!

linking up for Instafriday
if i had a cool phone these would be more 'insta' and less point n shoot

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

when life gives you snow make it edible

last snowfall i was asked if we could make snow ice cream
but it just never happened
as soon as jon walked in the door from school
all covered in winter wonderland that was falling from the sky
the first words out of his mouth were
'can we make snow ice cream?'

i pulled out the recipe from my old neighbor, cara
it said, 'one gallon' of freshly fallen snow
(i had to google one gallon to convert it to cups)
i decided to make half the recipe
...and definitely add some chocolate!

snow ice cream:
8 cups snow
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
1 cup milk
1-2 T chocolate syrup (i didn't measure)

{mix together.}
eat immediately.

caleb insisted on wearing all his winter gear while consuming
matthias was slightly disturbed that it was made of snow but was brown in color
charity kept sticking her finger in it saying, 'cold'
jon was pretty stoked that it worked
and i got major mom points.

i'm not a fan of ice cream but i tried a spoonful out of curiosity
and would like to report it tastes like a wendys frosty

however, it so did not make up for the snow cancelling my plans
to meet one of my besties at the mall for cinnabon at 10am
{that was just a bummer.}

here's to putting up with it
and enjoying the smiles it brings to the kiddos

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

word. if i were to read one of my posts perhaps i'd pick this one.

this year i found a word that i just know i want to be the theme song of my days
it's already been my prayer over and over and over again
as i first wake up in the morning.
it's a word that i'm leaning on with all that i have
as a slight sense of weary can tempt to overtake me if i don't 
cry out to God to do something in my heart that only He alone can do...


it's a simple word
but with the power of God behind it 
has potential to explode with possibility that i can only begin to imagine.
and fear and cynicism and negative junk fade.  albeit slowly.....

{and so i pray}

revive my heart, o God
i need a fresh vision of all that YOU see
of all that YOU can do
of all that YOU can provide

revive my heart, o God
i need to see my life as YOU see it
i need to see my family as YOU see them
i need to see my friends as YOU see them
i need to see the world of people around me as YOU see them

revive my heart, o God
i need to see my church as YOU see it
i need to see YOUR church as YOU see it
i need to see the work that YOU are accomplishing in it as just that
{work that YOU ALONE are accomplishing}

revive my heart, o God
help me to pray with the anticipation that YOU long for me to possess
help me to trust with the childlike faith YOU long for me to possess
help me to reach out with the selflessness that YOU long for me to possess

i am so weak
{but that's really the mystery of it all}
because YOU know, Lord, that when I am weak I am strong because of YOU alone.

so revive my heart, o God
and may i see 2012 with the eyes of heaven.

{enjoy this day, all!}
Call Me Blessed

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


while the daddy and big brothers are away...
the mommy and youngers play

have a super day, everyone!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

remember who you are and Whose you are

sending my boys off to school in the morning
{especially in the winter}
is a completely crazy process
there's hats and gloves and snow pants and boots and shoes to go in the... 
backpacks with lunches and water bottles and folders with homework
and a snack for midmorning

the odds of forgetting one of these items is pretty high

and getting everything together always takes infinitely longer than i think

but there is one thing that my boys wait for as they turn to leave
my motherly words of farewell
{and Caleb, being who he is, will hold me to my words in entirety}

"have a super day at school
i love you so much
don't forget who you are and Whose you are
you are special"

then i send them off
watching them walk the whole way there
til they turn onto the school playground and disappear from my view

and then i pray
knowing that God is with them even when i am not
and i can rest in His perfect protection of them
even when "nate" is mean on the playground
and even when they fall and need an icepack from the health room

and that protection will continue
as they grow and the wiles of 'school land' will change
into hallways filled with lockers 
and the 5 minute rush to get to the next period class
when the 'popular crowd' will become a reality
more choices will be theirs to make instead of mine
and stress will be a word they begin to comprehend

{and so i pray.}
and by doing so increase my faith in His wonderful provision
and God, faithful as He is
does His mighty thing day in and day out
praise Him

happy tuesday, all!

Call Me Blessed

Friday, January 6, 2012

3 liners. i use the word dwindling.

we had a slammin par-tay to ring in the new year
this year I bought noiseless blowers but forgot the bubbly
yes i let my boys stay up til midnight

Charity rang in the new year when she awoke at 6:45
remind me next year to let her stay up, too
{maybe.}  sleep is pretty priceless around here.

Caleb loves to eat pancakes
and loves the special treat of making them with dad
i love the sock monkey pj's and that look on his face

Jon made cake balls for the 'cousins sleepover'
50 cent wing night @ Pizza Hut sweetened the deal
Kung Fu Panda 2, Zookeeper......night of great fun and food

i was looking for my Christmas tote when I realized
my kids had turned it into a vehicle to cruise around the house
Charity also thought it would be fun to see the world at Jon's level (well, closer anyway)

she fell asleep in my arms
does that glow in the bottom right corner make me a professional photographer?

i made the mistake of letting Matthias play solitaire by himself on the computer
this pic was from earlier in the week when he cozied close to play with me
hazelnut coffee from my keurig with sugar-free hazelnut creamer.  yum.

YMCA soccer turned basketball
{long story.}
but Matthias was in all his glory shooting hoops. 

this week i've been taking the time to read old blog posts of mine
edit them (slightly)
and get ready to make a book of my blog for our family memories

i'm reading this current post thinking 'meh'
but i guarantee when i look back at this in 6 months
it will be as priceless as my posts from this past summer are now

happy friday
happy 'blank calendar' day
happy 'to-do' list is dwindling day

Sunday, January 1, 2012

grace. greeting the new year.

There is no other salvation except that which begins and ends with grace.
C.H. Spurgeon

Grace is given not because we have done good works,
but in order that we may be able to do them.
St. Augustine
The beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair.
Relient K

Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned.
Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin.
Grace is power, not just pardon.
John Piper

teaching my children
{with a renewed spark in this new year}
so they can spend the rest of their lives
discovering the depth of its wonder.

why hello there, 2012
and everyone checking this spot on the www today
have a super day!