Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Saturday 7

I can't believe I forgot to do one of these last week! Yes, it was Christmas Eve, but we didn't have plans until evening. I pretty much just sat around my house all day. Can't believe blogging never crossed my mind. So sorry to all my devoted fans! I guess this week will be a recap of the past 2 weeks.

1. Christmas was so fun with Lucy this year. She loved opening presents - at least for the first hour or so. I had to open her last few presents for her. She also loved all the treats. She ate so much candy. Haha. And we discovered her love of pickle wraps! So weird! On Christmas Eve at my parents' house, we had tables and counters full of snacks, but all she wanted was the pickle wraps. Crazy kid.

2. The day after Christmas, we unloaded everything and made room for all Lucy's new toys. Our house looks like a toy store. Haha. She got a lot of big stuff - a kitchen from us, a medical trolley from Chase and Lyla, and a nursery for her babies from my parents - I've never seen one before, but Lucy loves it. It's a crib with a sink on one side and a high chair on the other. She also got a baby stroller from Aunt Libby. Her babies are set. Haha. She loves all her new toys, though. It's so cute to watch her play pretend.

Oh, and if our living room looks like a toy store, then Lucy's closet now looks like Baby Gap. Lol. I had to clear out half her old clothes to make room for all the new clothes from Aunt Niki. She seriously wore a new outfit every day this week thanks to Aunt Niki. The fact that Niki never had any girls really works to our advantage. ;-)

3. Here's the weekly health update: all day on Christmas Eve Lucy had awful diarrhea. I was so frustrated with this never ending sickness. But we just took it easy with food that day and she was all better by Christmas day. Whew!

However, last night I realized I'm definitely coming down with a cold. I woke up this morning all stuffed up and my sinuses just ache. Ugh. This is ridiculous! Summer needs to come back.

4. My brother Luke came home from Florida for Christmas. It was so great to see him. I'm so sad that Lucy doesn't really know him. But they got to know each other real well over the past week. They spent lots of time together on Christmas day and now anytime Lucy hears me say anything about Luke, she runs over to the picture of him on our wall and points to him. So glad she finally knows who he is. Now we just need to get him to move home, so she doesn't forget again in a couple weeks . . .

5. Justin and I finished the 5th and final season of Friday Night Lights last night. That show was so underrated. We loved it and I'm sad to see it go. Next up in our Netflix queue: the most recent season of 30 Rock. We have to watch the whole season before the new one starts. I didn't think that show was coming back - so glad it is! And then White Collar starts in a couple weeks! Although, that's on cable, so I'm going to have to DVR it at work to watch during naptime or something. Haha. I'm a TV junkie.

6. I only worked one day this week, and yet my house is completely trashed. I really need to work on time management. You'd think having dial up Internet would discourage me from spending so much time on the computer. No such luck. Haha.

7. Well it's the last day of 2011. We had a pretty tame year. No new jobs or babies or moves. It will be interesting to see what next year holds. We'll be ringing in the new year with our small group tonight. I'm so excited to see the newest addition - Paul and Missy's baby boy, Jackson! And Lucy's spending the night at my parents', so we can stay out as late as we want and sleep in tomorrow morning! Woohoo!

Ok, I seriously spent an hour trying to think up 7 points. So I really need to get off the computer now. Happy New Year, everyone!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Saturday 7

I really don't think I'm going to make it to 7 things because our whole week can be summed up in two awful words: stomach flu.

1. I worked all day on Monday and Lucy was her normal self. We had spaghetti for dinner - something I don't make often because I don't like it. But Lucy loved it and scarfed it down. A couple hours later, she puked it up all over me, the couch, my white sweatshirt, and white blanket. 1st load of laundry. We put her to bed an hour later and she puked up the rest of her dinner. 2nd load of laundry. Justin went to bed and said, "Hopefully she's done throwing up now." Ugh.

She threw up literally every 20 minutes until 4 a.m. Eventually I just started putting a burp cloth under her head. I'd jump up when she started puking, wipe off her face, and replace the burp cloth. She hardly even woke up every time. After a few hours of this, I started to worry about her getting dehydrated, so I got out the medicine syringe and started squirting water down her throat every time she puked. It was horrible.

She's been puking about once every 24 hours since then. The doctor said it's just the stomach flu and we have to wait it out. :-(

2. I got a mild version on Thursday. Fortunately Justin had that day off this week, because I was pretty worthless. I just laid on the couch in agony, made Justin go get me Saltines and Gatorade, and cried about how much I wanted to throw up just to get the grossness out of my stomach. I never actually did throw up and felt better by Friday morning.

3. Ok, enough about puke!! Until today, we had absolutely no snow cover - pretty unheard of for this time of year in Michigan. This morning we woke up to a fine dusting. I just want the record to show that I have absolutely no objection to a green Christmas. Haha. This may come as a surprise to some. I'm generally a very traditional person. But I'm willing to compromise with snow. I detest that white stuff, abhor driving in it, dread it all year. So the longer we can make it without snow, the better!! I'll find my Christmas spirit elsewhere.

4. Speaking of which . . . Christmas is now 8 days away and I'm getting really excited. We only bought presents for Lucy, Chase and Lyla, and a couple for each other this year. But I have everything bought, wrapped, and under the tree. Lucy hasn't touched the presents. I have more trouble keeping the stupid cat away from them.

5. We're going to miss the extended VanderKodde family Christmas tonight because of the flu debacle. So sad! I love Justin's family parties. Always so much good food (they're ordering Pizza Hut tonight! So mad I'm missing it!), so many laughs, so many cute kids (there's always a new baby in the VK clan!), and games galore! We always play Bunko at Christmas. This will be the first year we've ever missed. And hopefully the last!

6. My work schedule actually worked out really well this week. I worked on Monday when we were healthy, then had the rest of the week off 'til Friday. I actually called in sick Thursday night. I'm glad I did because Lucy threw up again Friday morning. But I felt pretty bad about leaving them high and dry. Although, in the 5 years I've worked there I'm pretty sure I've only called in sick 2 other times - once when I had the flu, and once when I had my miscarriage. So really, that's not too bad, right? And seriously, I think they'd be more upset if I showed up and they all got the flu the week of Christmas!

7. Oh, here's an exciting milestone to finish with: Lucy doesn't really point at things and identify them. She can say kitty and juice and stuff, but mostly just if I ask her to say it. For the first time this week, I pointed to a baby in her book and said, "What's this?" She actually replied: "baby!" (Which is also a new word this week.) So proud!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Saturday 7

Another late one this week! So sorry.

1. I spent the day with Justin's mom in Frankenmuth/Birch Run today. We had a blast shopping all day and eating way too much delicious food. I've never been to Frankenmuth before - I didn't know what I was missing! Bronner's is pretty much the coolest place ever. Although I'd like to go sometime in the middle of the summer when it's not a complete madhouse! Haha. Thanks, Donna for a great day!

2. I can't believe Christmas is 2 weeks away! It really snuck up on me this year. I decided I'm going to buy Lucy an ornament every year that represents something she liked that year or something monumental that happened. Last year was "Baby's First Christmas." This is what I got for this year:

A shoe! She loves shoes soooo much that I couldn't pass this one up. :-) When I showed it to her, she immediately put it on the floor and tried to slide her foot into it. Haha. Silly girl.

3. Justin and I wanted to go see a movie last night, but couldn't work it out with a babysitter and the movie times and stuff, so we just got a redbox and junk food and stayed home instead. We made my new favorite chip dip. It's incredibly fattening and bad for you, but sooo addicting and easy: one brick of cream cheese and a can of Hormel chili microwaved to creamy goodness.  Mmmmmm. You should try it.

4. I made these ornaments with Lyla this week:


Picture from thegreenbeancrafterole.blogspot.com

It was super easy! They turned out really well and Lyla thought it was awesome pouring glitter into the balls and then shaking them to spread the glitter around. 

5. Here's another fattening Pinterest recipe I made this week

Picture from eat-drink-smile.com
Chocolate chip cookie dough truffles. Yes, they are as amazing as they look. I made them for our Bible Study potluck on Monday. There were leftovers, and I chowed them all down. Haha. They were easy to make, but a little time consuming.

6. Lucy has really been into reading books lately. I absolutely love it. I know I just wrote that she doesn't like to sit on my lap and read, but all of a sudden, she does! She's started doing my absolute favorite thing. If ever I'm sitting on the floor and she wants to read, she gets her book, then stands like a foot in front of me, and backs her little booty up so slowly until she hits me, then plops into my lap. I remember Chase and Lyla doing that too. Love it! Haha. She has 3 Elmo books now that sparked her interest in reading. She wants to read them alllll the time. 

7. One more Lucy thing to report. She officially started singing a song all on her own this week. I noticed her walking around the house the other day waving her arms and singing "ahhhh doooo."  Haha. It took me a while, but I finally realized she's singing "All through the town" - from "Wheels on the Bus." She sang it the entire time we were grocery shopping the other day and sings it all day around the house. Most times she'll gesture for me to join her and she gets the biggest smile on her face. So stinkin' adorable. :-)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Jesus!

When I was a kid, we had a family friend who always hosted a birthday party for Jesus, and I decided I want to carry on the tradition with Lucy and her friends. I decided to start small this year and just invite a group of my friends who know each other - and all have kids Lucy's age (plus Kris and R.J. who's 6 months old :-)). 

I sent out regular birthday invitations a couple weeks ago. On the line that said, "for:" I wrote "Jesus!" Haha. I asked everyone to bring a gift for Toys for Tots. As the kids get older, I'll explain how the wise men brought gifts to Jesus. Or maybe how we get gifts at our birthday, so we're bringing gifts for Jesus . . . who is giving them to kids who don't get presents.

I decorated the night before with streamers and balloons, then woke up early on Saturday morning to get cooking.


I wanted everything to be toddler sized, so I borrowed some muffin tins from my friends and looked up some recipes on Pinterest. The party was at 9:00 am, so I served breakfast: banana muffins, cinnamon rolls, grapes, and Idaho Sunrise eggs. They were so yummy - hashbrowns on the bottom, an egg cracked over top, then sprinkled with cheese and bacon. I also made plain egg and cheese cups for the kids. 


Picture from thevillagecook.com
After breakfast, we did our activity. I purposely didn't plan much because these kids are 18 months old and don't have much of an attention span. But I did want to incorporate the Christmas story somehow. So I went to Family Christian and browsed their Sunday School section until I found a nativity sticker scene. I put the nativity on the wall and let the kids go at it with stickers while I told the story. Here's what we ended up with:
Haha - I love it!

Of course, it wouldn't be a birthday party without cupcakes!


The girls eating their cupcakes. Lucy, Presley, Hayley, Abby.
It was a great time! Thanks to Lucy's friends for coming over!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Saturday 7

Gonna have to make this quick. We're hosting small group in an hour.

1. Justin had the week off. He got so much done. You will all be pleased to know our antenna is now on the roof! Woohoo! (Although, technically it's not connected to the TV yet. He has to drill some more holes. Haha.) He also put up all the Christmas lights outside, which I love! We're so festive. :-)

2. We got our Christmas tree on Wednesday. I always have these expectations of picking out the tree as a happy family, singing carols with huge smiles plastered on our faces. It's inevitably less picture perfect. Justin wants a tall skinny tree, I want a short fat one. I don't want to pay more than $20. He wants a more expensive one. Lucy is cold and grumpy and clingy. Haha. We got it home to decorate and Lucy was completely enamored with the red and green stones I put in my vases. She wanted nothing to do with hanging ornaments on the tree. Maybe next year. :-)

3. When my brother comes home from Florida for Christmas, I'm going to make him help me put all the videos I've taken of Lucy onto DVDs. She and I watched a whole bunch of them one day this week and she was totally riveted. I seriously think she would watch them for hours!

4. We had a birthday party for Jesus today with Lucy's friends. :-) It was so much fun! I'm going to write a whole entry on it later this week. Hopefully with pictures!

5. My back has absolutely been killing me all week. At first I just thought I tweaked a muscle or something, but it's not getting any better. I'm going to try to go to the chiropractor next week. It better not be my stinkin' kidneys. It kind of feels like the time that I dislodged a rib. The chiropractor popped that puppy back in and I was feeling better the next day!

6. I saw this on Pinterest the other day and spent like 10 minutes trying to figure it out. It is so frustrating! Haha. Will someone please explain it to me??


7. In reading Acts, I suddenly have so many questions about the Holy Spirit. I've read Acts plenty of times before, and have been a Christian all my life, so I don't understand why this is such a new thing to me, but it led me to ask for the book Forgotten God for Christmas. (Sorry, my Internet is being too slow to link it.) It's by Francis Chan, and I don't have the best track record with enjoying his books, but I do respect him as a Christian and an author, so hopefully I'll get some of my questions answered! Has anyone read it?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lucy Update - 18ish Months

I haven't done a Lucy update in forever! Here's a late 18 month update. It's just going to be random bullet points as things come to me. And it's going to be long.


  • She loves nakedness. Lol. Anytime she's naked or I'm changing my clothes or Justin is walking around shirtless or she sees people in swimsuits on TV or anything she gets a huge smile on her face and says "Nay-nay!" She always says it in kind of a sing-song voice. Cracks me up.
  • She is such a girly-girl. I really think it's innate in her because she doesn't see me modeling girly behavior very often. Haha. She is obsessed with shoes - hers, mine, anyones. She loves purses and necklaces and accessories. Her new thing is make-up. Aunt Libby beautified her once, and every time Lucy sees her now, she demands to play with her make-up. I gave her a tube of chapstick the other day and she rubs it all over her face - and mine - so gently. It's adorable. 
  • I think I wrote in my last entry that she's recently fallen in love with Elmo. We have one Sesame Street video, and she makes me fast forward through all the parts that don't have Elmo in them. I found a couple Elmo books at the library book sale for 25 cents each. I was going to save them for Christmas, but she saw me buy them and she's hardly put them down since then. She just flips through every page and points to Elmo with a big smile on her face. :-)
  • She's still a very nervous child. I gave her a bubble bath the other day and she was absolutely terrified of the bubbles. Haha. Last night, after Lucy was in bed, Justin and I rearranged our furniture to make room for the Christmas tree. When she got up this morning, she stood in one spot pointing at the furniture and crying! Apparently she doesn't like change.
  • She definitely thrives on routine. She has a bed time routine, a "getting in the car" routine, a bath time routine, and an eating routine. She's even in tune to my routines. While she eats her breakfast in the morning, I make my coffee then sit down to read my Bible. If I'm lollygagging or differentiating from the routine, she yells at me and points to my Bible. (Keeps me accountable!) If I forget to hang up my coat when I got home, she freaks out, etc., etc. She gets the routine thing from me. That was part of my anxiety when she was first born - we didn't have a predictable schedule yet and I was going crazy!
  • She has a little of her dad in her too, though. She is so OCD. Haha. She's obsessed with picking up every tiny piece of lint or paper she finds and throwing it in the trash. And she still loves taking things in and out of boxes, bags, and buckets. Anytime I need a minute alone, I pull out the buttons and cups/bowls. She can seriously spend 20-30 minutes at a time taking them in and out, in and out, in and out!
  • Here are the words she knows, whether or not she actually uses them: uh-oh, all done, hi, bye, kitty, naked (nay-nay), cheese, Chase, juice, shoes, yeah, amen, please (new one! she just kind of says "neeee"), mama (although she very rarely says it) . . . I'm sure I'm forgetting some. Mostly she just says eesh, eh, and yeah. 
  • She does motions to "Wheels on the Bus," "Itsy Bitsy Spider," "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," and "If You're Happy and You Know It." And she's getting better about letting me sing to her.
  • She likes to read books - but still on her own terms. She will not sit on my lap, and she has to turn the pages at her speed - usually very fast.
  • She's always brushing her hair out of her face, which I think is so cute.
  • She does this motion with her fingers that means "Come with me, right now."
  • She's really starting to get an attitude and exert her naughtiness. Haha. One day this week, I took her binky away and she absolutely lost her mind. I've really been trying to enforce binky only at bed time and in the car, but she doesn't appreciate it. Anyway, that one day she would not stop screaming. I tried putting her in her room, but she just ran after me screaming hysterically. I tried setting her in a time out chair, but she just jumped down and screamed even more hysterically. (I know a lot of you think she's too young for time out. I disagree. ;-)) Finally she just stood in the kitchen screaming and I ignored her until she stopped. I really need to pick one discipline method and stick with it. I'm amazed at how ambivalent I am. 
  • Most of the time, though, she's an absolute joy. I could write forever about all the fun things she's into, all her cute little expressions, and strange quirks. I love being with her all the time, and miss her if I'm away from her for more than a few hours. When she was sick last week, she let me rock her before bedtime and I absolutely soaked it in. I've said it before, but I'll say it again - she is the best thing that ever happened to me. :-)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Saturday 7

Sorry I'm late today. It has been a long, exhausting few days.

1. I had the whole week off which was absolutely fabulous. I got lots done around my house, and it was nice for Lucy to be able to sleep in and take it easy while she was so sick. In the past couple of days, she's definitely turned a corner. She's almost totally back to her happy self. Thank the Lord!

2. I wrote in my last post that I'd been letting her watch a lot of movies while she was sick. Well her new favorite is the Elmo movie. She's absolutely obsessed. I got a flyer in the mail for some toy with Elmo on it, and she carried the flyer around the house singing "La la la" (Elmo's song). So cute. But I'm going to need to buy her another Elmo movie because I'm already getting really sick of the one we have. Haha.

3. We had a very nice Thanksgiving. We rotate every other year between our families and this year was the VanderKoddes. The extended family is so big that we have to rent out a building to fit all of us. We had it at Kuyper College this year, and had a great time stuffing our faces, playing cards and basketball, etc. I love Justin's family. :-)

4. Oh, Lucy picked up another word this week: Yuck. Every day, while she's in the bathroom with me getting ready she tries to play with the plunger or the trash or the toilet, so I say "No no - that's yuck" about a thousand times a day. I must really enunciate the "ck" part at the end (the Dutch coming out in me) because that's all she says. "Ck!" Haha.

5. Ok. Are you ready for the Black Friday recap? :-) This year was ridiculous because most of the stores opened at midnight or earlier, but some of the stores we wanted to hit didn't open 'til 6 - so we had to stay out all night! Thursday night after Thanskgiving dinner, we headed to Wal-Mart to get in line. At least Wal-Mart is open 24 hours, so we could stand inside, but it was absolute madness. There are pallets wrapped in shrink wrap in the middle of the aisles. Everyone crowds around the pallets until 10:00 when someone comes by to rip off the shrink wrap, then all hell breaks loose! Libby and I wanted a Ninja blender and a $3 waffle maker. I seriously thought we were going to get trampled. It was actually kind of scary! Haha. But I used my sweet skills, climbed up on the pallet and started tossing waffle makers back to people until security made me get down. Haha. [Security being an old lady in a wal-mart vest. Haha.] But we got everything we wanted, so it was worth it!

After Wal-Mart, we headed to Toys R Us. They made us stand outside in a line even though they were already open because they didn't want their store to "exceed capacity." We stood in line for half an hour, and by the time we got inside they were sold out of everything I wanted. From there we hit Kohl's then headed to Target. We all got little things at Target, so we hid them in aisle E12 and went back for them later. :-)

At that point, we had some time to kill before the next stores opened so we went to IHOP - they were woefully unprepared for the onslaught of people who had the same idea as us. We got there at 1:10 am and left at 3. And our food was totally cold. Ridiculous!

We finished out with Meijer, Wal-Mart again, Family Christian, and Menards - the worst ever. My mom bought a Eden Pure type heater and I got a $58 ladder that Justin really wanted. But we got in the slowest possible line. We literally stood in line for 2 hours. By this time, we had been awake for 24 hours, and I seriously thought I was going to lose my mind. I just wanted to lay down and cry because I wanted to get out of there so bad!!!!!

I finally got home at 9 am, slept from 9:30 - 4:30, and fell right back to sleep at 11:00 last night! Craziness! Everyone always asks if it's worth it to get a couple deals for the sleep deprivation and crazy shoppers. It really was fun until about 6 am when we got in line at Menards. Haha. People are so much nicer than you'd think. You make friends with people in line and help each other out when you can. And I just love the time with my mom and sisters. We figured we've been doing this for 10 years, and we have no plans to stop. :-)

6. This morning I worked at the Dollar Store. My sisters and I always work the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It's kind of comical because none of us work there any other time during the year, so we have no idea where anything is or how much anything costs. Ha! Justin brought Lucy to me at 2:00 and we headed out to Grandville for a birthday party for my friend Kristy's son Jeremy. It was such a cute Mickey Mouse party!

But now I am absolutely exhausted and my feet are killing me. I'm going to go beg Justin to give me a foot massage and go to bed early!

Ok, I'm going to stop at 6 today since this is so long. Thanks if you made it to the end! :-) Have a great week!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Saturday 7

1. Lucy turned 18 months last week. I forgot to mention it in my last Saturday 7. By the time I was 18 months old, I was speaking in full sentences, so it's kind of odd to me that Lucy barely speaks. However, she communicates very effectively without words. Haha. She has her own little sign language that I have become very adept at interpreting. She nods and shakes her head for "yes" and "no." (Usually "no." Haha.) Her new thing is shrugging her shoulders to mean "I don't know" or "Where is it?" It's adorable.

My favorite, though, is that she shakes her finger at Lola if she's being naughty. If ever Lola swipes at Lucy or climbs on the table or runs outside when I open the door, Lucy shakes her finger at her to say "Naughty kitty!" Haha. The other day, I stood on the couch to put something on a shelf and Lucy started shaking her finger at me! Naughty mommy. Haha.

2. Lyla (the girl I babysit - I know all these "L" names are confusing) was sick all week. She has a nasty cough, fever, the works. I tried to keep Lucy away from her, but it was pretty inevitable that she'd get it too. Sure enough she started coughing yesterday and I could tell she was super congested. Today she is absolutely miserable. It breaks my heart. She coughs really hard and deep, then cries afterward because it hurts her throat so much. :-( I hate that I can't give her anything! I've been giving her ibuprofen to bring down her fever and soothe her sore throat, but there's not much I can do beyond that. :-( So I'm just going to baby her today. I'm letting her have her binky all day and watch as many movies as she wants.

3. Here's a shorter one: I checked out the Black Friday ads online this week. I wasn't sure I was going to go this year since we're not really buying Christmas presents. But I found a few things I want for Lucy, and I need to find something for Lyla. Plus, most of the stores are opening at midnight this year, so we can be done shopping in the middle of the night and go home and go to bed! Haha.

4. I mentioned before that I'm reading Acts right now for my devotions. This week I read Acts 6. I've still been struggling with Radical's insistence that we go out into the world to spread the gospel, so it was interesting to come across this passage. You can look it up yourself to read the exact wording, but it talked about how the first disciples were so busy helping the sick and needy among them that they didn't have time to go out into the world. Their solution wasn't to stop serving the sick and needy, but to take a select few who they thought were most qualified to spread the gospel. While I don't want to limit God's work in my life, at this point in my spiritual walk, I don't feel like I am one of those "most qualified." Certainly, God can work through me, and can give me the words to say. (Look at Moses) But I don't feel called to do that, and this passage kind of showed me that I don't have to. Another disclaimer: I know that doesn't mean I'm exempt from spreading the gospel at all. I definitely need to be doing a better job of sharing it in my own community. But I feel slightly less guilty about my reticence to go "out into the world."

That said, Acts 6 also convicted me to be doing more to help the hurting in my community. If I'm not going to be a missionary abroad, I need to be serving at home. I've been thinking about volunteering at Alpha Women's Center. Do you think I can just call them up and say "Hey, I want to volunteer. Do you need me?"

Wow I'm long winded today . . .

5. I have all of next week off. Woohoo! I was thinking I should take a room of my house and deep clean it every day. Then I remembered I have an 18 month old. Haha. Hopefully she'll take some good naps and I'll be motivated during nap time.

6. I broke out the Christmas music this week! It's been cold and snowy, and I'm dreading winter with every fiber of my being, so I figured I could at least enjoy some Christmas music. I say this every year, but why limit my enjoyment of Christmas music to one month? None of this waiting 'til after Thanksgiving for me!

7. I watched Snow White with Lyla yesterday. Beth gave me strict instructions to watch it while Chase is at school because he's terrified of it! Haha. But after watching it again for the first time in years, I understand why! It's crazy how different society is now than it was when that movie was made. (The 30s?) The stuff in there would never fly in a kid's movie now.

Ok, there you have it. Have a great weekend, everyone! Pray that Lucy recovers quickly if you think of it. Thanks!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Saturday 7

1. I went to Once Upon a Child this week to get Lucy some more winter clothes. I went in with the mindset of trying to get something besides pink, but left with one purple shirt and about 4 pink ones. Haha. There's just a much greater selection of pink, and the pink stuff is so much cuter! :-)

2. We were selected to do the Nielsen rating system this week. I loved it. Except it's very difficult to write down everything we watch with a husband like mine. He is a serial channel flipper.

3. It snowed for the first time this season on Thursday. I was amazed at how much accumulated! I really thought it would all melt when it hit the ground. I like snow the first couple of times. It's pretty and inspires the Christmas spirit in me. But it can go away after Christmas.

4. Speaking of Christmas, I got started on Lucy's presents this week. Yesterday, my fabulous friend Becky came over with a free play kitchen that her kids never use. I'm so excited! Lucy's going to love it. Becky also brought her sister over, who bought our Wii! Woohoo! I listed it on craigslist twice and got a total of 2 responses. I put it on facebook on a whim and got a bunch of responses within minutes! So now we have Christmas money! Although we're definitely not going to spend all of it. We're majorly cutting back on Christmas presents this year. Pretty much only buying for Lucy, Chase, and Lyla. Sorry friends and family. You're out of luck. :-(

5. So in case you didn't see it on facebook, I have to record the puking incident here as well. Lucy had a rough day on Thursday. She was super constipated all day - really crying and straining. But she was feeling better by dinner time, so we decided to go run some errands. We were in Taco Bell and all of the sudden she gagged and puked all over herself, the table, the highchair, and the floor. It was pretty much pure clear liquid, so I just figured she choked on a piece of tortilla or something. I changed her into the extra outfit I keep in my diaper bag, and she acted totally fine. She chowed down the rest of her taco and was her happy, smiley self. So we went to Kohl's.

We browsed for a long time and she ran around, playing with Justin, squealing and laughing, not acting strange at all. Suddenly she grabbed her stomach and started whining. I fleetingly thought, "I hope she doesn't puke again" but didn't think anything of it. A minute later, she started spewing chunks. It was disgusting. And it just kept coming and coming. Justin and I both stood there paralyzed. Haha. It got all over her, the cart she was riding in, the floor, etc. By this time, I was out of clothes, so Justin stripped her and wrapped her in his coat while I grabbed a new outfit and ran to the register to buy it.

She was fine and happy again as soon as she was done puking, shouting "nay nay!" in the store as we got her dressed and giggling the whole way home. She's puked once today but it was hardly anything. I really hope she's done! Poor kid.

6. I read another super cheesy book this week: Love Finds You in Branson Missouri. My sister read it and she's usually not a fan of cheese, so I thought it would be good. Wow. It was ridiculous. But I still liked it. Haha. Because, let's face it, I love cheese.

7. I'm actually writing this entry on Friday because I'm going to be gone all day Saturday. I'm going on a bus trip with Justin's mom, grandma, and sister to Shipshewana for shopping and a play.  Haha. I'm not too sure about it, but we'll make it fun. I'm so blessed to love the family I married into. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Saturday 7

1. Lucy has a couple new words to report this week. I'm pretty sure she says "again" when we're doing something fun. The other day Justin, Lucy and I were playing Ring-around-the-rosie. She absolutely loved it, and every time we fell down she'd jump up and say "gen!" So cute.  But my favorite of her new words is whoa/wow! It's hilarious. Anytime she hears a loud noise she says, "wow!" The other day she was running through the living room and she tripped, but caught herself before falling and said "whoa!" Love it. I also love it when she says "oh." Yesterday we came in from outside and I sat down to take her shoes off. She started to run off before I got her coat off though, so I said "We have to take your coat off." She said "oh" - like "Oh, I forgot!" Haha. She's my fave.

2. She had a blast trick-or-treating. Her favorite part was walking between Justin and me holding our hands. She kept looking up at each of us with the biggest smile, like "This is the best thing in the world." Melted my heart! She also loved the people who let her pick her own candy out of the bowl. Although she had a hard time picking just one. Silly girl.

3. We're in Traverse City this weekend thanks to the generous hospitality of our friends Paul and Missy. I'm a terrible mother, and had very little trouble sending Lucy off to my parents' for the weekend. She's been super clingy lately, so I'm enjoying a little break. That said, everything reminds me of her, and I do totally miss her. Although I didn't miss my 8:00 wake up call this morning! ;-)

4. I finished another book this week: With by Skye Jethani. It came highly recommended by a friend, my dad, and my pastor. They all said it would help alleviate some of the fear Radical struck into me. And it did, to a degree. But mostly it just frustrates me that all these authors can come up with so many completely different ideas using the same Bible! I hate how anyone can twist the Bible to mean what they want it to mean. It only has one interpretation. Someone is wrong. I want to know what's right! And I don't want it to be Radical. ;-)

5. I found out this week that my boss's job is changing, which means my hours are changing. I will now be working a max of 10 days a month. Yikes. It'll be great to essentially be a stay at home mom, but it'll be real hard on our budget.

6. I made my favorite white chili recipe for dinner one day this week. I put it in the crockpot - which I swear I've done before - but the cheese totally did not melt - even after being in there for 6 hours! What do you think went wrong? Are you not supposed to put cheese in the crockpot? I was so confused.

7. I just started reading Acts during my devotions and have a question I'd like to pose to you, my faithful readers. Why do you think Christians today don't receive the Holy Spirit as visibly and dramatically as believers did at Pentecost?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Favorite Things

I got this idea from a blogger I follow. She makes a list of her favorite things every month. So here are mine for the month of October. Some of these were favorites before October, but since this is my first month, I can do that. :-) [Warning: Project Runway spoiler at the end of this post!]

Pinterest
In case you don't know what pinterest is . . . It's a virtual pinboard. Anytime you come across something online that strikes you as useful or interesting, you "pin" it to pinterest. So all your favorite things are in one place. Plus you can look at everyone else's pinboards. I've gotten so many great recipes, nanny ideas, and home decor inspiration from this site. Check it out!


Words with Friends
If you know me well, you know I'm obsessed with words. One of my favorite games is Scrabble, but no one will ever play me because I dominate them. (Haha - I'm seriously not as conceited as I sound. I'm mostly kidding. ;-)) Words with Friends is basically Scrabble on facebook, which allows you to play against your friends. I actually get beaten a lot, but I still enjoy it. It's a huge time-waster for me.



Cranberry Splash Sierra Mist
This just came out last week, so I really should save it for my November favorite things, but oh well! I love this stuff. It's seasonal, so I have to stock up when it appears on the shelves. I feel better about myself when I drink this instead of Dr. Pepper because it's caffeine free! :-)


My New Purple Scarf
I bought this scarf with my birthday money, and I feel so stylish when I wear it. You'll probably see me wear it often this winter, because not much in my wardrobe makes me feel stylish.


Project Runway
The finale was last week, and I'm so sad to see it go! I loved this season, and I'm very happy with the winner!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Saturday 7

Sorry I'm late today. We spent the morning at Golden Corral with my family for my parents' 30th anniversary - which leads to my first point:

1. We ran into some interesting characters at Golden Corral. Justin never lets me go there because he says buffets are for white trash people. (Sorry if that offends you. It offends me too. I love buffets.) As much as it pains me to say it, I think he's right. Today we saw one interesting fellow eating with blue latex gloves on his hands. But the worst was the old guy sitting right by us. When he first came in, I thought "aww, that's sad. He's eating all alone." A few minutes later, we heard a loud whirring noise. We surreptitiously glanced his way to see him pureeing his food in a food processor and feeding himself through a feeding tube. Why on earth would you go to a restaurant and pay for expensive food you're not even going to taste? So strange. I ate my food with my mouth and enjoyed it very much. Happy 30th anniversary to my parents!

2. This week, I made witch hats with the kids. Fudge striped cookies upside down. A little squirt of orange frosting, and a hershey's kiss. The kids thought it was great and Justin enjoyed the leftover cookies and kisses I brought home. 2 points for me!

(Picture from barbschram.blogspot.com)

3. I only worked 2 days this week, so Lucy and I got to sleep in a lot. My sleep was greatly interrupted however by our stupid cat!!! It's actually really cute. Lola comes and gets me as soon as Lucy wakes up. Before I even hear her making noise in her bed, Lola starts crawling all over me crying incessantly. I'm of the opinion that as long as Lucy is happy to play in her crib, I'm happy to sleep. I don't get up until she starts calling for me. Lola, however, is extremely concerned that I'm not attending to my child. Cute in theory, not cute when I'm trying to sleep!!

4. Lucy has a few new words I feel the need to report. She says "cheese" the second I get the camera out. I've gotten some really cute pictures lately thanks to that! This week, she picked up "boo!" from Chase and Lyla. They like to hide from her and then jump out and say "boo!" She loves it, and shrieking abounds. She also says "hey hey hey!" Justin says that to her when they're playing and she steals something away from him or something. It's hilarious to hear her say it. This week it's gotten cold, so every time I get her out of the car, I say "brr!" and kind of rub my arms. I just noticed a couple days ago that she does it too. So adorable! Yesterday we were playing outside and I said, "Are you cold?" She nodded and said "brrr!" My favorite of her new words is "naked!" Haha. This might be TMI, but she thinks it's hilarious when I undress in front of her. She points and laughs at me. (Which does great things for my self-confidence!) Anyway, I always say "naked!" A couple days ago, I was changing my clothes and she yelled "nay-nay!" She's done it multiple times since then. Cracks me up!!

Mostly though, she just says "eesh." She says it for absolutely everything.

5. We did "Trunk or Treat" with Niki, Tayton, Amy, Cody, and Kiersten this week at Sunshine church. It was wicked cold and rainy, but Lucy was an adorable little jaguar! And she was happy as long as she was shoveling candy in her mouth!


6. Justin and I were talking about baby names this week. No, I am not pregnant. Just thinking ahead. He mentioned one name I really liked, so I've been thinking about it all week. Now, when we named Lucy, we did not think her name was that popular. But now we hear it all.the.time. It is seriously on every TV show ever. So I thought, "Now I'm going to hear that new name all over the place." Sure enough, it was on a TV show I watched on Thursday! Haha.

7. I made applesauce in my crockpot yesterday. I was so proud of myself. Haha. My dad has a bunch of apple trees, so I get free apples from him. And I came across this recipe on pinterest, so I decided to try it out. It was delicious! Although I definitely should've added more sugar. Oh well. The best part is that while I was coring and peeling the apples, I was trying to find something to keep Lucy busy. I got out my big craft box and let her have at it. She was entertained for half an hour playing with pipe cleaners and buttons and stickers. Genius!

Have a great week, everyone!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fabulous Recipe!

I'm sorry if you're getting sick of the recipe posts, but I figure people are always looking for new recipes, and this one was really good!

It's actually from a book about freezing dinners ahead of time, but I just found it on a message board.

Now, disclaimer . . . it sounds really gross. It's another one of those recipes with a very strange combination of ingredients. As I was making it, I was thinking No way is this going to turn out. It is going to be so gross and we're going to end up having peanut butter and jelly for dinner. But then once it was all simmering on the stove, it started to smell really good, and my faith was restored. So here you have it:

Peanut Chicken

Recipe By: Don't Panic - More Dinners in the Freezer
Serving Size: 6

Ingredients:
4 boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup sesame oil - - - [The only thing I could find at the store was "sesame seed oil" in the ethnic foods aisle. And it was $12! Yeah right! I just used vegetable oil.]
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes [We're not big spice fans, so I left this out.]

--I also added some veggies: canned carrots and a smattering of frozen stir fry veggies--

Directions:
Slice chicken into bite size pieces and sauté in sesame oil until chicken is no longer pink.  Add peanut butter, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and red pepper.  Simmer until sauce is thickened and heated through, about 15 minutes.  Cool completely.  Freeze.

Serving
Thaw.  Heat chicken and sauce on stove.  Serve over rice

Verdict:
I didn't do any of the freezing or thawing. Just threw it all together, simmered for 15 minutes, and served it over rice. (Brown rice, Libby! Aren't you proud?) And I didn't let Justin see the ingredients I put in it. Haha. He took one bite and declared "This tastes like cashew chicken." Which is exactly what I was thinking! I wish I had some cashews to throw in it. So yummy. And easy! Although, of course, Lucy wouldn't eat one bite. Oh well. I can't win every time. :-)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Saturday 7

1. I'm not sure I'm going to have too much to report this week because all I did was work. I know most people work 5 days a week, but I've been spoiled with my 2-3 day schedule, so 4 ten (+) hour days this week was brutal! Tuesday, I worked from 7am-9pm. It actually went surprisingly well. I did a craft with the kids and took them to the library and they took long naps, so the day went quickly enough.

2. Here's the cute Halloween craft I was talking about:

I just painted the bottom of the kids' feet white and stamped them on a black piece of paper. Then I cut out some little rectangles to write the words on and had them glue them on. I drew the face on Lyla's after it dried. Chase drew his own face on. Cute!

3. I got to hang out with a long lost friend this week: Ali. She's one of those friends that I don't really remember how we met or became friends, but I'm glad we did. My cousins and I road-tripped it to her wedding in Minnesota a couple years ago, but haven't seen much of her since then, so it was nice to reconnect. She is 30 weeks pregnant and looks like I did at about 18 weeks.  Haha. I'm always amazed at people like that. She looks great! We met at Panera on a cold, rainy night this week and I had cheesy broccoli soup in a bread bowl. Divine.

4. Here's an exciting bit of news: Justin is finally done with soccer!!! It is amazing to have him home all evening. We actually ate dinner as a family at 6:00 this week! And he gave Lucy a bath twice this week. I'm so happy to be done with the single mom thing!!!

5. Lucy learned how to say "Kitty" yesterday. She found Chase and Lyla's kitty and started chasing it around the house saying, "kitty! kitty!" I couldn't believe it! So adorable. Maybe she will talk after all!

6. Last week, my friend Rachael told me her daughter (who is 2 weeks younger than Lucy) was cutting all 4 of her molars. I thought to myself, "Wow, that must be horrible. I'm glad we don't have to deal with that." As luck would have it, a couple nights later, Lucy woke up crying in the middle of the night. So unlike her! Then I noticed she was running a low-grade fever, and sticking her fingers in the back of her mouth to chew on them. Sure enough, 4 molars working their way through. Ha! She's actually doing amazingly well. After that one night, she hasn't woken up again in the middle of the night. She's never cranky or acting like she's in pain. Of course, they're just barely peeking through. It could definitely get worse.

7. I didn't end up making that third new recipe I promised in my last entry. We went to the mall last night to try and redeem some of my birthday gift cards and just snacked on pretzels and smoothies. I have $50 in gift cards to American Eagle and couldn't find anything I liked. I'm just not trendy enough to pull off most of those clothes. Apparently cropped shirts are in style now? Why would I want a sweatshirt that only covers half my stomach? I found a couple cute shirts, but they just look ridiculous on me. I need to lose 20 pounds and grow 4 inches. Or I just need to get over my insecurities. But that's about as likely to happen as the growing 4 inches part. Haha!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

2 Recipes

I've been on a roll with new recipes this week. I won't have room for all of them in the Saturday 7, so consider this a bonus entry! ;-)

Apple Pork Chops
I wrote about this one on facebook, but in case you missed it, here's the story: I made these years ago and Justin loved them. Along the way, I lost the recipe. He just asked me to make them again, so I made it from memory. Apparently my memory is amazing, because they were delicious! Seriously though, there wasn't much to remember. This is all it is:

Put some boneless pork chops in the bottom of a pan
Cover them with a can of apple pie filling
Top with prepared stuffing - I used pork flavored. You can use whatever.

Bake at 350* for 40ish minutes. I did 42 minutes and they turned out perfectly!

Cheesy Chicken Slop
This recipe was from Pinterest, but it was really nothing special. I'll pass it on anyway, in case it strikes your fancy.

Put some boneless skinless chicken breasts in a crockpot.
Cover with 2 cans of cream of chicken soup.
Sprinkle with a packet of dry Italian dressing.
Cook on low all day. (Mine cooked from 6:30am-5:30pm. I'm sure they don't need to cook quite that long.)
Add a brick of cream cheese and let cook for 30 more minutes.
Serve over egg noodles.

It kind of reminded me of tuna noodle casserole, only it wasn't baked, and it had chicken instead of tuna. It was ok, but a little too creamy/rich for me. It's one of those things that the leftovers will sit in the fridge for 2 weeks until I decide no one's actually going to eat it a second time. Haha.

So there you have it. I'm going to try one more new one tomorrow. That one will probably make the Saturday 7. Stay tuned! ;-)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Saturday 7

1. I finished Radical last weekend. I've been meaning to write an entry all week, but I just haven't gotten around to it. I write it in my head almost every night while I'm in bed. I just need to type it up! Here is my one sentence review: I hated it because it's so convicting, but I feel like it's rooted in Biblical truth. Stay tuned. :-)

2. I had a fabulous birthday. Thanks to everyone who made it special. I had a wonderful time stuffing my face all weekend. Friday we had Red Robin, Saturday was Qdoba, Sunday Olive Garden, and Monday Logan's! Wow. It's a good thing I don't believe in counting calories. ;-) Justin bought me some boots that I wanted, and  I got a couple American Eagle gift cards, an Olive Garden gift card, $50 cash, a scarf, mittens, and bracelet. I really wanted Justin to take me to the mall today, but it must have slipped my mind that today is a big Michigan sports day. I don't think he'll be leaving the couch. Haha.

3. Yesterday, Lucy and I went on a field trip to the Children's Museum with our friends Carrie, Abby, Kelly, and Presley. We had so much fun! Abby, Presley, and Lucy are all the same age, so it was fun to see how they're similar and different. I was shocked to realize how ADD Lucy is! Haha. Presley and Abby sat at each exhibit and played. Lucy bounced from one to the next and got into everything in the building that wasn't meant to be played with. She was obsessed with the stairs, with looking out the huge windows, and with just running around aimlessly. Haha. Her favorite exhibits were the kitchen and the veterinarian clinic. It was a great time. I just wish it wasn't so far away! Thanks Carrie for suggesting it!
The only decent picture I got of all three of them. More pics will be posted to facebook later today. 

4. Lucy's latest fascination is zippers. If ever I'm wearing a zip up sweatshirt, she insists that I zip it. She loves to unzip Chase and Lyla's backpacks, my CD cases, and my make-up bag.

One more Lucy factoid: she learned what the monkey says this week: Ah ooh ah ooh! :-)

5. After reading Radical, I've been praying that God would use me, that he would reveal a way for me to serve Him and reach out to people. So this week I got something in the mail from Compassion International asking me to be a Compassion Advocate. It's basically a volunteer who tries to recruit new Compassion sponsors. The brochure had some basic information, but I'm not really sure how much of a commitment it is. At first, I thought it was definitely something I could do. I could get up in front of church and give a spiel. I could put up a booth in the foyer. I'd even be willing to have a booth at a couple area expos or something. But I'm not sure I could give presentations at other churches or have booths at every event possible.

How do you know when God is actually calling you to something? I'm sure every Compassion sponsor gets these requests to be an Advocate. But it came at a time when I was looking for a way to actively serve. Is that reason enough to do it? Or should I feel more compulsion from the Spirit? Am I quelling the Spirit with my fears? Ugh. Decisions, decisions!

6. Here's a random question: can you text 911 in case of an emergency? Last week, when I was hacking my guts out, I fell asleep with a cough drop in my mouth. I've done that many times before, but this time, I was home alone with Lucy and I thought to myself: what would I do if I choked on that cough drop while we were home alone? Could I text "choking!" to 911? The problem is we have a really long address. I'd probably pass out before I could type it all and hit send! Haha.

7. I can't think of anything else, so I'm going to tell you about another one of Lucy's obsessions: shoes. The girl is in love. Sometimes if I'm distracted with something, I'll suddenly realize Lucy is out of sight and it's very quiet. I almost always find her sitting in her closet, sorting her shoes. Haha. One day this week, I was downstairs doing laundry. She started to follow me down the stairs, but stopped on the landing to play with my shoes. (She ended up putting them in a bag and I couldn't find them for days! Haha.) I am not one of those girls who's really into shoes - mostly just because I have bunions like an 80 year old woman so I can't really wear cute shoes. However, I think Lucy will be more the stereotypical shoe-obsessed girl!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Saturday 7

1. We went to Artprize yesterday. Justin and I both had the day off, the weather was beautiful, and we'd never been, so off we went! I've said this before, but it's funny that we live 30 minutes from GR, but almost never go down there. It really is a nice city. We didn't see too much. It was actually kind of hot and we were getting hungry, but the stuff we saw was pretty cool. I liked the recycled material sculpture of endangered animals outside the Ford museum. My recurring thought as we looked at everything was that it must take a lot of patience to be an artist. I can't imagine how long it would take to make some of that stuff!

2. It has been a really rough week around here. Lucy and I are both sick as dogs. We are snot factories. And in the past few days the coughing has set in. I despise coughing. I have to be able to sleep. Ugh. The bad news is it's not getting any better. I think last night was my worst night of sleep yet. On Monday, I bought a bottle of cough suppressant pills from the dollar store. There were 15 pills in the bottle and they are gone. Haha. Headed back to the store today . . . In addition to the nasty cold, I had a headache 3 days in a row. I'm starting to realize this is a monthly thing and I'm not real thrilled about it. Blech.

3. Lucy has started getting a little bit of an attitude. It's frustrating to both of us that she doesn't really talk, so when she wants something and I misinterpret it, she gets really mad. She's taken to stomping her feet, which is actually really cute. Haha. She also claps her hands when she's frustrated or scared. Silly girl. It's time for her to learn how to communicate with words!

4. We have had such gorgeous weather all week. 70s and sunny. Lucy absolutely loves playing outside. She's going to be devastated when the snow starts flying and she can't run around as freely. I haven't bought her a snowsuit yet, but they're pretty universally constricting at her size. The bad thing about this warm weather is that I've already packed away all her summer clothes! I had to dig some out - especially her summer jammies. She definitely didn't need the fleece footed ones this week!

5. So, it's my birthday weekend! We're poorer than usual this year, so I didn't claim birthday week - just birthday weekend. :-) Yesterday was Artprize and my free birthday burger at Red Robin. I'm thinking today is going to be my free birthday burrito at Qdoba, and tomorrow I'm going to cash in my Olive Garden gift card! (That an anonymous donor left for me at nursery last Sunday! I'm pretty sure I know who you are with your man handwriting . . . ;-)) Birthday weekend is the best!

6. Good news. I got a free sample of StriVectin in the mail. So in 8 weeks, my stomach will go from this:

To this:
Ha! The worst part is I took this picture in 2006 as weight loss motivation! I thought I was fat! 

7. What should I be for Halloween this year? I'm so stumped. 3 years ago I was Juno, 2 years ago I was Octomom, and last year I was Dr. Pepper. I can't think of anything for this year!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

I tried another pinterest recipe tonight: Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings. It was really good! It would be perfect for a cold, drizzly day - which today was not. But it was also perfect for a bunch of sickies - which we are. Here it is:
Picture from bubblecrumb.com 

Chicken and Dumplings

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used chicken tenders and threw them in frozen)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can chicken broth
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon dried parsley
4 Grands flaky refrigerator biscuits

1. Throw everything except the biscuits in a crockpot on low for 6-8 hours. (I work way longer than that, so mine cooked for 11 hours. Haha. Nice and tender!)
2. Shred the chicken.
3. Cut each biscuit into 9 pieces. 
4. Stir biscuit pieces into hot chicken and continue to cook for 30 minutes. 

More notes: I actually used a packet of Tastefully Simple Onion Onion instead of the onion and parsley. It was delicious! And I might let the biscuits cook a little longer - or maybe I should have turned it on high, because after 30 minutes on low they were still a little doughy. 

Enjoy! :-)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Saturday 7

1. Lucy has been so clingy the past few days. She just wants to be held all the time. She has a runny nose and a little bit of a a cough, so I figured she just wasn't feeling well. This morning, I woke up with the cold. I understand now how miserable she is. :-(

2. I got all domestic this week and borrowed Kelly's food processor again to puree some veggies. I did cauliflower and sweet potatoes this time. Then I made homemade mac n' cheese with the cauliflower puree (recipe from Deceptively Delicious).  It was delicious and Lucy gobbled it right up! Woohoo for veggies!

3. Our house was 64* when I got up this morning. I said I wouldn't turn on the heat til October, but I really don't want to do it the first day! I have to hold out longer than that! It's supposed to be 70* again next week. Maybe I can make it 'til November?

4. I reorganized Lucy's clothes this week. I've started putting away most of her 6-12 month stuff. It is obscene how much she has. I've already filled one huge bin and one smaller bin and there's more to be put away! All I can say is we better have another girl someday to get extra use out of all those clothes!

5. One day this week, Lyla was limping around weirdly. I asked her what was wrong and she said, "There's something in my hiney. I think it's a woodchip!" Lol. I laughed so hard. What a weirdo.

6. What happened to Saturday morning cartoons? It's 9:30 a.m. CBS and NBC both have news programs on. ABC has played 2 nature shows back to back. Where are Doug, Recess, Pepper Ann? Ahh, the good ole days.

7. I've really been having baby fever lately. I miss those sweet days of snuggling, the wonder of a baby's newness. I even really miss breastfeeding! But I've been reminding myself that it won't be the same the second time around. I won't be able to sleep every time the baby sleeps because I'll have a toddler too! And pregnancy isn't going to be as fun the second time around because I'll be chasing Lucy around instead of sitting on the couch eating cookies like I did when I was pregnant with her. I saw a ginormously pregnant lady trying to wrestle a toddler into his carseat the other day and thought, "Ohh snap. That's what it's going to be like."  Haha. So I think we're going to wait a little longer. Sorry to disappoint you, Grandma. ;-)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sweet and Neat


Niki and I were in charge of favors for ladies' retreat this year. I got this idea from pinterest, but re-wrote it for our event. This is a horrible picture, but I just want to document it in case I ever want to do something like it again.  

It says:

The Bible is full of candy references:
Noah sent out a DOVE from the ark.
Moses had BUTTERFINGERS (he dropped the 10 Commandments, didn't he?)
The Israelites journeyed to the land of MILK DUDS and honey. [Apparently I ate that one before I took the picture. Oops!]
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 13:12 to greet one another with a holy KISS.
There are even M&Ms (Mary and Martha of course).
So in that same vein, we hope you enjoy this year's ladies' retreat. May your rooms be filled with SNICKERS and your hearts be filled with [ALMOND] JOY

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ladies' Retreat Highlights

Ladies' Retreat was a blast as usual. We went to Maranatha in Muskegon, which is beautiful, and the accommodations are wonderful. Here are a few of the highlights:

1. Staying up until 4 a.m. both nights. Whew.

2. The most epic game of "4 On a Couch" ever. (And perhaps a little cheating!)

3. Niki almost hitting a car while frisbee golfing. [Sidenote: I'm sooo sore from said frisbee golfing!]

4. Finding out Jeannette's most embarrassing moment.

5. Getting to know a few people better.

6. Jill's jokes (Hey, Jose . . .)

7. Coming home to a baby who was happy to see me! :-)

If you didn't come to Ladies' Retreat this year, you really missed out! We have so much fun, bond as a church family, and make great memories! It'll be the same time next year! Don't miss it!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Saturday 7 (on Friday)

I'm going on ladies' retreat this weekend, so here you have the Saturday 7 one day early!

1. We received a huge blessing last Saturday. Someone close to us called and said she wanted to buy us some groceries and to meet her at Meijer. I thought she meant maybe a week's worth of groceries and was so excited. However, when we got there, she told us to spend $200! That's a month's worth of groceries for us. Amaaaaazing!!! Of course, two hours before the phone call I was crying on the couch because we couldn't pay our bills. God is so faithful.

2. I came across this funny story this week:

Students from an advanced biology class were taking their mid-term exam. The last question was "Name 7 Advantages of Mother's Milk" worth 70 points or none at all. One student in particular was hard put to think of seven advantages. He wrote:
  1. It is the perfect formula for the child.
  2. It provides immunity against several diseases.
  3. It is always the right temperature.
  4. It is inexpensive.
  5. It bonds the child to mother, and vice versa
  6. It is always available as needed.
And then the student was stuck. Finally, in desperation, just before the bell indicating the end of the test rang, he wrote . . .
    
      7. It comes in two cute containers.

He got an A. :-)

3. I've only read one more chapter of Radical since that last entry. My two biggest fears before starting the book were that I'd question my salvation and that the author would tell me I have to move to Africa to be a good Christian. Check and check. Haha. I'm thankful for all the input and encouragement from everyone, though, and I do intend to finish it. Fear is my go-to emotion. If I wrote off everything that scares me as "from the Devil" I'd have to live in a hole. Although I'd probably be scared of that too.

4. I ran over a possum last night. It made a really loud clunking noise which really grossed me out. On my way to the grocery store today, I saw the poor dead possum on the side of the road and felt a little bad. Earlier this week, I found a squished frog in our driveway. Blaming that one on Justin.

5. I loved "The Office" last night. And I made it home too late from work (10am-10pm: whoa!) to catch the beginning of "The Mentalist," but the ending was amazing as usual.  Love that show. So glad to have some quality TV back. ;-)

6. I'm pretty sure I saw Justin for about an hour total this week. Monday night I had Bible Study, Tuesday night he had a game, we actually saw each other Wednesday night from about 8-10! Last night I saw him for 5 minutes since I worked so late and he had to go to bed early. And tonight I'm leaving for Ladies' Retreat as soon as he gets home. Crazy! So ready for soccer to be done!!!!

7. I can't think of a seventh and I don't have time to deliberate. So that's it for now. Have a good weekend, everyone! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Initial Thoughts on "Radical'

Well, I'm part way through chapter 3 of Radical and my fears are already being realized. I hate it!!

Listen to this:
We already have a fairly high view of our morality, so when we add a superstitious prayer, a subsequent dose of church attendance, and obedience to some of the Bible, we feel pretty sure that we will be all right in the end. (pg. 32)
Uhh, yeah, that pretty sums up my religious experience. So imagine my horror when Platt follows it up a few pages later with the verse in Matthew where Jesus says, "Not everyone who cries Lord Lord will enter into the kingdom of heaven," (my own paraphrase) and says,
Jesus was not speaking here to irreligious people, atheists, or agnostics. He was not speaking to pagans or heretics. He was speaking to devoutly religious people who were deluded into thinking they were on the narrow road that leads to heaven when they were actually on the broad road that leads to hell. According to Jesus, one day not just a few but many will be shocked - eternally shocked - to find that they were not in the kingdom of God after all. (pg. 38)

Ahhhhh!!!!! My biggest fear! My stomach is twisted in knots again. I know everyone reading this will try to console me. You'll all say, "Sadie - God knows your heart. If you're really that worried, then you must be a genuine Christian." But I don't think Platt would agree. He writes later in the book that salvation has to be more than the desire to stay out of Hell, it has to be complete, radical abandonment to Christ. I'm hoping that later in the book he'll spell out what that looks like and how I'm supposed to achieve it. But then, as I write "achieve" the bells go off in my head: "works, works, works! Salvation by grace not works!" Ugh. Here I am again. Right where Crazy Love left me.

So there you have my initial, terrified thoughts. Stay tuned for more, hopefully less frantic, analysis of the book.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Saturday 7

1.Last Saturday, I tried one of my pinterest finds: chicken bacon pasta. It was amazing!! Although it was definitely more work than I usually put into dinner. It's such a pain cooking 4 different things (chicken, pasta, bacon, sauce) and trying to get them all to be done at the same time! It was good for a special occasion though ( we had friends over).  I'll keep it in my repertoire. (Recipe at the end of this post.)

2. Sometimes I wish I had taken a different path in life. I would like to go back and experience what it would be like to finish college, get a use-able degree. Get a big time job and make big time money. I'm a quick learner. I could do pretty much anything I put my mind to. Be an editor, a writer, maybe even something practical like an accountant. I'd like to know what it's like to live on my own, get married when I'm older, have an expensive, extravagant wedding, a real destination honeymoon. Maybe travel the world. Buy an expensive house in a development, decorate out of the Pottery Barn catalog, drive a nice car. . . . But then I wouldn't have Lucy or all the wonderful things in my life now. I suppose I can't have my cake and eat it too. But it'd be fun to experience life both ways. I'm beginning to realize that barring a major life change or lottery win, I probably won't ever see Rome or Hawaii. It's unlikely I'll ever drive a car newer than 10 years old, or buy anything out of the Pottery Barn catalog ever. Haha. That's ok, though. You just have to scroll down and read the entry before this one to realize why being poor is worth it to me. :-)

3. I did horribly in "Words With Friends" this week. Todd and Laura beat me again, as well as my cousin Elizabeth.

4. In case you're not from around here, we had a major temperature shift this week. Good ole midwest. At the beginning of the week, we had the air on. In the past couple of days I've been incredibly tempted to turn on the heat! Fortunately, our house stays pretty warm. I don't think it ever got much below 66 - which is what we keep our heat on during the winter anyway.  But at work yesterday, their house was 61 degrees all day. It never warmed up! Brr!!! It made me realize that I am so not ready for winter. I despise being cold. I'd take 95 degrees over 35 any day!!!

5. Have you seen that dumb commercial for some kind of pasta side dish? I can't remember what it's called now, but the commercial is these 4 bears (real - not animated) catching pasta in a river, then bringing it home and cooking it up for dinner. Lucy loves it. Anytime it's on tv - even if she's not paying attention, she points and laughs. It's just ironic considering my extreme fear of bears. Haha.

6. Speaking of fears, I have a new one: bibliophobia - fear of books. If you knew me in high school, you realize how surprising this is. I used to love books! I was a voracious reader! But then I read Crazy Love and everything changed. Ok, so I'm not scared of all books, just challenging spiritual ones. Haha. Our pastor recommended the book Radical by David Platt. So many of my friends and family members have read it and raved about how eye opening and challenging it is. I really want to read it, but I'm scared. I'm scared that it's just going to be another book that makes me doubt my salvation. I'm scared that it is going to make me abandon my comfortable life. I'm scared that it is going to open my eyes to what a pathetic Christian I am. I bought it on Monday and have yet to crack it open. But that all changes today. We have no plans. It's a cold, gloomy day. Perfect for cuddling on the couch with my blanket, coffee, and scary, challenging book. I'm sure you'll hear more about it. Stay tuned.

7. Here's my C25K update: I never did do my 3rd workout last week, so I decided to repeat week one this week. I did it Monday and Thursday, so I need to make myself do one more today. And surprisingly, it is getting a little bit easier! I noticed I wasn't breathing as hard on Thursday and didn't really feel like I was dying! Woohoo!

Here's the Chicken Bacon Pasta Recipe
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or less if you don't want the heat) -- I didn't use these
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 pound penne pasta
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 whole eggs
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 grilled chicken breast, sliced -- We don't have a grill, so I just cooked some chicken in a skillet with a little seasoning

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until done (according to package instructions).

Place cream and cream cheese in a small saucepan. Heat over low until cream cheese is melted, and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat. Add the parmesan cheese, eggs, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and pepper and whisk until blended.

Drain pasta (reserving 1/2 cup of hot water) and return to pot. Immediately add the white sauce and toss to coat. The hot pasta will cook the eggs. Stir in the bacon, and add some reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce.  Top with grilled chicken.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Lucy Update

I feel like I haven't written much about Lucy lately. So here's what she's up to:

She turned 16 months on Sunday and is just as wonderful as ever. ;-)

She really doesn't talk yet. She has a few words: mama, dada, uh-oh, all done, amen, hi, buh-bye, and then shoes, Chase, juice, and fish (goldfish) - which all sound exactly the same. Haha. She makes a high pitched squealy sound for "kitty," but doesn't really enunciate anything. She doesn't do "moo" or "woof" anymore for animal noises. She does hiss when you ask what the snake says. And she definitely knows what the car says.

She can point out her eyes, nose, tongue, hands, feet, and belly. She does motions to "If You're Happy and You Know It," "Twinkle Twinkle," "Itsy Bitsy Spider," and "Goodbye Friends" (a song we sing at storytime at the library).

She's terrified of loud vehicles. We live in the sticks where lots of loud trucks go rumbling by. She gets this awful look on her face and runs to me as fast as she can. We say "bye" to the truck as it goes down our street, then she makes her car noise and is happy again. Haha. Silly girl.

She's obsessed with going outside. We play with chalk and she throws her ball down the hill so we have to go chase it.  But mostly she just runs around gleefully.

She understands more than I give her credit for, and definitely follows directions. When she wants goldfish, I tell her to get a bowl, and she does. If ever I ask where her shoes are, she props her hands up as if to say "where are they?" and searches the house until she finds them. When she has a dirty diaper, I tell her it's time to change her diaper and she runs to her room and waits for me to lift her onto the changing table. Her new cute thing is nodding anytime she hears a question in my voice. If I say, "Do you want to eat?" she nods. If I ask if she has a dirty diaper, she nods. If I asked her if she wants to go get shots at the doctor in the right tone, she'd nod. Haha.

She has very little interest in reading books, which breaks my heart. :-( She likes to read on her terms. She absolutely refuses to sit on my lap, but sometimes she'll let me sit next to her and read as long as she can flip the pages at her own pace. One of her favorites is "Brown Bear Brown Bear What do you See?" Every time we get to the "I see a purple cat looking at me" page, she has to go find Lola and pet her. Every single time. Haha.

Eating is still a constant struggle. I've gotten in a rut of feeding her what I know she'll eat. Toast with applesauce on it every morning for breakfast. Usually with a banana. Mac n' cheese, grilled cheese, beefaroni (only the kind that looks like macaroni noodles), ham, string cheese, store-bought breaded chicken (I can't fool her with homemade), grapes, strawberries, peaches, pears, and raspberries. She's ridiculously obsessed with raspberries. Too bad they're so expensive.

She loves her crayons. I keep them in a closet off our living room and she'll go bang on the door when she wants me to get them for her. I ask, "Do you want your crayons?" and she nods with the biggest grin on her face. She doesn't really color. She might brush the crayon over the paper a couple times. Mostly she just takes the crayons in and out of the box, puts them in her mouth (grr), and hands them to me so I'll color. Her coloring book is full of beautiful pictures colored by me. Haha.

Her other favorite toys are stickers, blankets, her babies, bags - putting things in, taking them out, carrying them around the house - phones, bowls, and spoons.

She's currently in a transition mode between one and two naps. On days that I work, I wake her up at 6:30, so she usually goes down for a nap around 8:30 and then again at 1:30. But when we stay home, she almost always sleeps 'til 8:30 or later, so it's no big deal to keep her up until after lunch.

I could keep writing forever with things I feel like you should know about my precious baby. But this is already ridiculously long and I'm sure my family members are the only ones who have made it to the end. I just wish I could convey how amazing she is. She's funny and gorgeous and happy and silly and smart and perfect. Take my word for it. ;-)

Sade

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Saturday 7

1. Good news. I've been doing my C25K workout! You only have to do it 3 times a week, so I did Tuesday and Thursday and need to get one more workout in today. I do not enjoy it at all. But it's only 20 minutes. I can do anything for 20 minutes, right? I watch my Gilmore Girls DVDs and power through.  It absolutely kills the arches of my feet, which probably means I need new shoes, which is definitely not in the budget. And my hips hurt afterward, too. I'm an old woman.

2. We've been doing so well with not spending money this week. Until last night when I tried to make bacon in the oven and set off every smoke detector in my house. Dinner was charred, so we went to Wendy's. But we only spent $8.01. Justin is losing weight like crazy lately without much effort and he thinks it's because we've been eating out so much less. Amazingly, I have not enjoyed the same side effect!

3. Thanks to my bragging last week, I acquired some new "Words with Friends" opponents this week. And I was soundly defeated by a few of them. Props to Todd Noorman and Laura Chinn for taking down the master. ;-) I'm really not that cocky. I just like to joke about it.

4. I've been having so much fun dressing Lucy in her fall clothes this week. I went down to the basement and pulled up the 18 month box to try on all her jeans and long-sleeved shirts. She looks so cute in jeans! Of course, she's kind of between sizes right now. The 12 months are too short, but the 18 months are too big. Here's a cute picture from this week just because I'm at my parents' with fast internet:
Adorable hoodie, tights, and shoes!
5. So I'm pretty sure I have pink eye. My right eye has been blood shot for a couple days. I just thought I had allergies at first, but then yesterday it really started to hurt and this morning it was pretty crusted in gunk. Ugh. And of course my left eye is starting to get red and itchy now, too. The worst part is I really shouldn't be wearing my contacts, but my glasses prescription is 10 years old. I definitely can't drive without my contacts. I'm going to call the doctor on Monday and see if they'll write me a prescription sight unseen. Otherwise I'm just going to have to find some OTC drops or something until the doctor can see me. Blech. What a pain. This was Chase's first week of school. His eyes are fine, but I wonder if he brought something home to me?

6. Last Sunday, we went up to Justin's family's campsite for the day. I really wish I liked camping more. I'd like Lucy to have the memories Justin does of camping. But I just think it's the same thing we do at home with much more work. Cooking and cleaning in the dirt, with limited water and electricity. Being too cold, too hot, too dirty. Walking to the bathroom, showering in a gross stall. It's just not my fave. Sorry, Luce. It's not like she has any cousins or anyone to enjoy it with anyway. My siblings need to get with it and start having babies so she can have some cousins her age!!

7. Tomorrow is obviously the 10th anniversary of 9-11-01. I still feel like it was the 90s ten years ago. And it's weird to me that most of the kids I know weren't alive when the terrorist attack happened. They'll grow up asking us, "Where were you on 9-11" like we asked our parents about the moon landing and the Kennedy assassination. I was in 11th grade history class. Appropriate, no? I didn't even know what the World Trade Centers were.  Justin and I watched a documentary on NBC about the attacks last night. It was absolutely horrible to listen to the 911 calls from the people trapped on the 105th floor saying, "It's so hot. They're coming to rescue us, right? Where are the firefighters?" Ugh. Awful.

What a way to end, eh? Have a great weekend, everyone. I'm off to scratch my eyeballs . . .
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