Monday, September 29, 2008

How To Down A Bruster's Cone

This baby can down a Bruster's kiddie cone in some record time! We only live a few miles from our local Brusters. And she's finished with time to spare!! And she really doesn't lose a lot of ice cream either...

Is this what I think it is...yes, Brusters.....yummmm.........

Oh yeah, this is the best ice cream!!

Gettin' down to the cone...

Got to get every last bit......

Oooo..not much more........

All put me to bed..I'm full and tired!

Thanks Mommy and Daddy!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Parenting Tip #132

Don't leave the shower door open while waiting for the water to warm up.

A fully clothed baby just might climb in.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Just the Norm

It was just another ho hum weekend here.

We took rides in the truck.

Cut our dog. I promise she's a poodle. We have proof.

She is so over these hair cuts. We do it ourselves...saves us $35 a pop! And we paid $25 for the clippers!! Robert's quite talented at clipping dogs. We'll do yours for $25.

Then we did a little face leaf blowing.

How was your weekend?

All For The Good

Yesterday was our sixth year anniversary! WOW, how far we've come. It's been a roller coaster ride in so many ways!

So, yesterday morning I got up with my coffee and pulled out my Daily Light devotional book and turned to September 21. I couldn't believe that this set of verses were on "our day"!!

"We know all things work together for the good to those who love God.

Surely the wrath of man shall praise You; with the remainder of wrath You shall gird Yourself. You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good.
All things are yours; whether...the world or life or death, or things present or things to come - all are yours. And you are Christ's, and Christ is God's. All things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing"

(Rom. 8:28;Ps. 76:10;Gen.50:20;1 Cor. 3:21-23;2Cor.4:15-17;James 1:2-4)

Robert and I had an uphill mountain to climb when we got married. In a few months after being married, we welcomed our first child! Robert finished school while working full time, then went on to pursue a career. While I was at home discovering who I was as a young new mother. Not the smoothest of starts for young marrieds.

We certainly didn't do it the "right way". But I'm constantly amazed by how far we've come! God has been right here with us the past 6 years. Yes, there were times I thought, "Where are You! What are You doing to me! This isn't fair!"

But all I have to do is look at my amazing husband, who never stopped seeking God's will for our family, and our healthy children that He has entrusted to us for such a short period of time and realize how richly blessed we are.

So all of our "horrible trials" (in our eyes) are just producing patience and helping to complete God's work in our family. They weren't meant to be mean or evil. Though they seemed like it in the heat of the moment.

I'm grateful for my perspective that I think God has blessed me with. It would be so easy for me to get jealous and have a pity party for me because I can't do things my friends are doing. Or go on amazing trips whenever I want. Or have a huge decked out house and tons of clothes. Would I like those things. That's a big fat "YES". But I like to try and see the bigger picture. Those things, I can't take to heaven with me. But I certainly want my family there!!!

I hope we have many more years together! I can't wait to see where God takes our family. If the first 6 years were this amazing, I can't wait to see where we are in 50 years!!!!

Happy Anniversary Robert! I love you and thank you for all that you do for our family!

::Added Later::

I wrote this post before church on Sunday. The service just reinforced what I was feeling when I wrote this.

Today matters. We're only guaranteed today. People matter. Relationships are more important that worldly things that don't last forever. You don't want regrets when it comes to people and relationships. Eternity matters!! It's real people. We will all stand face to face with the Living God one day. Our life is just a brief moment in time. Make it count!! The treasures in heaven will be so much more rewarding than our earthly possessions.

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is."
Psalm 39:4 (NLT)

Friday, September 19, 2008

WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!!!!! :-)

SUMMIT TOYS wants your opinion!!! I need your vote!! Robert's company is trying to choose which packaging to use for this toy! Please vote at the poll located to the right! I really appreciate your input and I know Summit does too!!

You can click on the picture to see a bigger and more detailed image!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Double Take

No, your eyes aren't fooling you. That's our "model daughter" on the package design of one of Summit Toy's new products!!!!! So next time your in Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, Walgreens, or many other places, don't be surprised to see her sitting on the shelves!!! (Actually, it'll probably be next year)

This is from one of Summit Toy's lines Backyard Safari. Landon and Olivia have thoroughly enjoyed many toys from this line.

This all started when the graphic designers asked Robert if his kids could come in and be photographed for some possible toys. We came in the next day and I had no idea how they would do. It definitely took a little warming up in front of the big lights. Landon wouldn't even go in front of the camera at first. We had to use a little bit of reverse psychology on him.

But they snapped of some pics and the kids walked out with some fun toys - you know..from the bribe. hehehe Too bad Lillian is too could have been a family affair! There may be one toy that Landon made it on. Only time will tell. And Olivia might be on a couple more. We'll see!

Oh, and it's killing me that she doesn't have a bow in her hair. But they vetoed that. I guess the majority of parents don't send their kids outside to play with a bow in their hair. ::gasp::

Friday, September 12, 2008

Third Babies (or so) Have it lt All

As I was sitting outside watching my kids play, I realized what a life 3rd babies (and on) have!! I mean, what first born children get to do this: (which Lillian has been riding in since she could practically sit up)

Get carted around in a really cool Barbie jeep whenever they want!

And what crazy mom would let their baby do this down a huge hill:

Or eat this on a regular basis:

Or have a really cool brother and sister like this:

(yes, they actually love each other despite anything else I say!)

Lillian came into the world with a fully stocked playroom. Along with many more privileges than the other 2 had at her age. I guess there is just so much more going on when there are others running around the house too. I already feel that I'm more lax with her in some areas. But they're probably the ones I was too strict with the first 2 in the first place. I guess our first children are our guinea pigs! Hopefully I've done no long term damage!! :-)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Camera Was Stolen

By my 5 year old daughter.

And this is what was on it!

Ok, can we say she had a little too much fun during nap time???

Not to mention, I found a video on her digital camera (my old...old..point and shoot)

A VIDEO!!! I did not teach her how to use this function.

It's when she was at the lake!

We may have a future paparazzi photographer/videographer on our hands.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Smarter Than You Know

We've gone back to basics lately. I'm working on self control in all my kids...well, myself included on this one..but who isn't. Anyway, one tool I learned through Babywise and Growing Kids God's Way is called a "sit time" (also known as blanket time). It's very different than a time out. A "sit time" is a certain amount of time designated by the parent that you tell your child to sit still and be quiet. They aren't in trouble, but it teaches them to sit still when you tell them to.

So, we set up their blankets, I let them pick out one toy to have on their blanket, and they sit for as long as I tell them to. Tonight, it was 15 minutes. Lillian was even included in this.

Even though she is 14 months old, she's smarter than we know. I practiced with her earlier in the day, and after a few gentle swats on the diapered bottom, she clearly got the point - that being to stay on her blanket. For a baby who doesn't communicate as well as I'd like, she knew I meant business. Towards the end, she just sat on her blanket and whined...knowing she couldn't get up, but surrendered to "sit time" anyways.

Daddy even walked in during this "sit time" and the kids kept their sweet little bottoms put!! (And was especially impressed with baby Lillian!)

How can I expect my kids to sit still in public or out to dinner at the table if I don't practice with them at home? Not that their great at sitting still in public. (The one in the middle is the wiggliest!)

Of course, Olivia was an old pro at the "sit time".....since I've been doing it with her since she was 1!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Daddy's Disclosures

Sept 7, 2008

Financial Peace

When I was in college I used to listen to a guy named Dave Ramsey on the radio as I commuted to and from class. I recall being always entertained by the indiscreetly blunt advice that rolled off his tongue. I remember one time a lady called in, clearly in denial about her financial state, inquiring about/attempting to justify a potentially detrimental financial decision. It may have had to do with taking out a second mortgage to pay off medical bills and credit cards or something to that affect. After learning that the household salary of this lady was $85K, Dave got on a rant about the fact that they make twice the median US family income and needed to curb their spending instead of sinking into further debt. After that call, I was hooked.

So, this marks the second season that I will be involved in teaching Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Lindsay and I got married with a small amount of debt, small household income(poverty level), and very little financial sense. It’s funny, I am the Accountant and yet Lindsay had more experience than me when it came to budgets. She gives the all the credit to her father and grandfather/former CFO of a public company. We both knew early on that we would have to be extremely frugal and diligent with our finances. Lindsay and I have been a great team when it comes to living within our means. I have received a ton of advice over the years and read several books regarding personal finance and one message remains consistent, “If you don’t tell your money where to go, it will find a place to go.” Stewart Welch’s, 10 Minute Guide to Personal Finance for Newlyweds, is a great resource and Dave Ramsey’s, Total Money Makeover is also great. Lindsay’s grandfather, Boyd Walton once told me, “you can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been”.

All this to say, I am certain of the following:

1) We have to have visibility in our finances; our spouse is someone to whom we are accountable. Case in point: I have a friend who “handles” the finances in his marriage. He gambles on football without his wife having any idea of what’s happening. This is dangerous and deceitful. What’s tough is that his greatest Confidant doesn’t even know.

2) Budgets are essential to financial health and will not, I repeat, will not result in rashes, insanity or cold sweats. Our budget has been the main reason that Lindsay and I aren’t in financial distress. Some 97% of Americans don’t have a budget. This amazes me.

3) We all make mistakes. Lindsay and I have had our fair share. We’ve purchased the car on the 72 month plan, bought the TV on credit, financed dinner out. I’ve neglected to include Lindsay’s input in our budget, gambled with Christmas money and shuttered the window into our personal financial struggles. The truth is, we all need to realize our mistakes and, more importantly, need to be willing to change

What I really like about Dave’s curriculum is that it is practical and entertaining. The other great thing about this curriculum is that it is for everyone, not just the financially ill. Dave motivates! I recommend getting plugged into one of these groups, even if you have it all together.

If you or someone you know is interested in joining our fall small group contact Robert at, subject line "financial peace". Any inquiries will be confidential.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Even BETTER Than Vacation

This weekend was well...different. In a good and sad way.

We only had Lillian. ::JAW DROPPED:: It was SO weird. Olivia and Landon went to the lake with my parents for 2 nights. We debated on going, but really weren't up for traveling two consecutive weekends in a row. We wanted a peaceful, quiet weekend. And we definitely got that.

Now, I'm not saying that having only one child is easy. It's not, I've been there. BUT, when you go from 3 rambunctious kids down to 1 easygoing's like a vacation!!! Actually, even BETTER than vacation - because those usually include my 3 kids!!!!

We toted Lillian around town like she was a sweet sack of sugar - I mean she is, isn't she? We were actually going to go to a movie with her but decided not to at the last minute - and it was because I was tired and didn't want to go anywhere. Oh well...I think she would have really enjoyed the Abba music. ;-)

The house stayed so clean. The floors were crumb free (for the most part) and the bathroom didn't get peed all over. We didn't wake up to kids demanding food and juice. We actually stayed in bed until 10:00 am Sunday morning - and then went to the late service. I haven't been to the late service in, well...years. Lillian was pretty much just a fly on the wall in our little world!!

We got to eat a steak dinner and watch a movie at the same time! We haven't gotten to do that in forever. And I made it through almost all of the movie. ;-)

I guess what I really realized was how much I go on auto-pilot when they're all running around me. I try to be one step ahead of everyone. Which requires my mind to constantly be thinking in several different directions. So for that to come down so many notches, it was relaxing.

This is what Lillian thought about it! :-)

No, she missed them. But she did get some well deserved one-on-one time with mommy and daddy. We all missed Olivia and Landon so much. I know they had a lot of fun. We are glad they're home!!!