Friday, February 29, 2008

Winterjam 2008

Riley and Cole experienced their first concert last night. They were VERY excited.

They both wore earplugs because they aren’t big fans of loud noises, which is a little confusing because they are big fans of making loud noises. And I would bet my ringing ears that they have reached decibels close to that of a rock concert with their average day-to-day screams. But apparently they prefer to rock at controlled volumes.

We all had so much fun. It was one of those concerts that you are exhausted after. Riley brought her little pink camera and took so many pictures of the performers you would have thought she was their mother. She took a lot of professional quality video with it, too. She may be planning on bootlegging that for a little extra money, I don’t know. That's kinda the way she rolls. Maybe to buy some more fashionable and less fluorescent earplugs.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bacon-wrapped smokies

I got this simple recipe from my friend Keri. Or Amy. Maybe it was both. I now take it to practically every party I am ever invited to. People who have eaten these before will begin to weep with joy when they see you come in the door with them.

They are worthy.

1 package cocktail wieners
1 lb hickory smoked bacon
1 cup packed brown sugar

Wrap individual wieners in about 1/3 of a piece of bacon. Secure each with toothpick and place in a 9x13 inch pan. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour.

If you don’t like these… seriously, something is wrong. Really wrong.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Happy birthday, Riley!

Today is Riley’s 7th birthday. I can’t even believe I just typed that. It just seems like yesterday that we brought her home in the middle of a snowstorm, draped in all things pink. This child brings me so much joy and happiness. The last 7 years have been filled with fun and blessings that I couldn‘t have dreamed up if I tried. I love that God gave me this girly girl that loves pedicures and shopping and anything that is pretty. I love that she was swooning over how beautiful the bathroom tile choices were at the tile shop yesterday. I love her precious smile and her tender heart. I love that she wakes up early just to kiss her Daddy goodbye and then crawls into bed with me and goes back to sleep. And I am so looking forward to our future adventures together. And even though right now she looks older than I want to admit, and she is sassin’ around the house singing along to her MP3 player, I still look at her and see my baby girl.

And speaking of girly girl, we must share a few pictures from her party. We tried to make it kind of like the American Girl Café. For the small price of only a few sleepless nights, I even figured out how to make seats for the dolls. Planning this party was as much fun as the party itself.

Her friends all brought their favorite doll.

Riley and I had such a great time making the food that was all small and fun.

This is the best part of the party. And I had nothing to do with it. Garrett and Tyler asked if they could be waiters and serve the girls. They wanted me to rent them tuxes, but I got them to agree to tux t-shirts instead. They were awesome waiters and the girls loved it. So any of you who look at Riley and think, “Oh, poor thing, in a house full of boys…” Yeah, right. She couldn’t be luckier.

Happy birthday, sweet girl! I love you!

Friday, February 22, 2008


A couple of nights ago my friend was talking about her two year old daughter whom I adore. She was telling about how she had been trying to aggravate her big brothers by calling them “stupid” (well, ok, actually “tupid“). I immediately refused to believe that this was going on. If you knew this little girl, you would understand where I am coming from. She is a bundle of preciousness. I could eat her up with a spoon. The conversation went back and forth with me telling my friend that she was lying, there was no way this adorable child had done wrong. Her brother even confirmed the accusation with this little cutie standing obliviously right behind him with a sweet grin on her face and her blonde hair sprouting up from her pink bow. I accused them of being in cahoots and spreading rumors. Obviously it was all in jest, but the point was made that, as far as I was concerned, this child was blameless and perfect and no one was going to change my mind on that.

I think that is how God feels about us. As far as He is concerned, after forgiveness our sins are as far as the east is from the west. We are forgiven. When we are continuing to feel guilt for our sins, and feel like we aren’t worthy of His love, I think he is standing there with the same attitude I had about my friend's daughter. He is shaking his head at our insecurities, saying “No, that isn’t true, you are blameless, I adore you.” I think He sees us as precious-eat-us-up-with-a-spoon-perfect. And all of the self-condemnation and guilt in the world can’t change His mind because our hefty price has already been paid. That’s the gift that His forgiveness and grace gives us, right? I love that.


Go ye therefore and feel precious and adored. Because you are. And you don’t want to waste that.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Just so you know...

If you don't have the song Rawkfist by Thousand Foot Krutch on your workout playlist, you are so cheating yourself. David, Garrett and Tyler have me hooked.

Although I must have a family member waiting with oxygen for me when I walk to the top of the stairs in our home, I am quite certain that I could run a full marathon with no training if that song was in a nonstop loop through my earphones. I’m not going to, but I’m just sayin’.

On an interesting sidenote, when I was searching "marathon" for a lovely picture to complement this life-changing post I kept coming across pictures like this:

and this

And I'm wondering if anyone can tell me if these scenes come before or after that feeling of euphoria that you runners so lovingly refer to. Anyone?

Monday, February 18, 2008


Panic ensued a few nights ago when someone realized that our cat, Cutie, wasn’t in her room. Everyone knew she had been left in the mudroom, WHERE COULD SHE BE? You have to realize that my children treat this cat like she is an infant. They cuddle her, talk baby talk to her, dress her in doll clothes, knock each other down to get to her first. I swear her feet never touch the ground because she is always in someone’s arms. Oh, she is a princess. She seems to eat it up most of the time. But even a princess can be over-coddled. And now she was missing. These kids were like a crazed mother who had misplaced her child at a kidnapper convention.

And then we saw her.

We aren’t sure how she got up that high. But God bless her, she found a place of refuge. A place where no one could get to her. A peaceful spot of her own. I swear she was smiling. I’ve got to admit, I was relieved for her. And possibly a little jealous.

Congratulations Cutie, we’re playin’ on your terms now.

But don’t think you can keep them from stalking you.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Chocolate Velvet Rock Star

A few girlfriends from college and I get together occasionally and celebrate stuff. We can always come up with something. And one of us always brings a spectacular dessert. David claims we treat our desserts like rock stars. Ok, I’ll admit we plan our night around them, squeal over them, photograph them and worship them for a short time, but I don’t think it’s too over the top. Anyway, it’s time for me to share one of our rock stars with you.

Chocolate Velvet Dessert

1-1/2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
6 egg yolks
1-3/4 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup butter softened
3 cups confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
3 to 4 tablespoons milk

In small bowl, combine wafer crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom and 1-1/2 in. up the sides of a greased 9 in. springform pan. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
In a microwave or heavy saucepan, melt chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Cool. In a mixing bowl, combine egg yolks, cream and vanilla; beat well. Gradually stir a third of the cream mixture into melted chocolate until blended. Gradually stir in remaining cream mixture. Pour into crust.
Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until center s almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
For frosting, in a mixing bowl, cream butter. Combine confectioners' sugar and cocoa; add to butter with enough milk to achieve frosting consistency. Pipe into center of dessert. Refrigerate. Makes 12-16 servings. Taken from Taste of Home

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Feeling God

I just started a Bible study this week that I was supposed to start last week (ahem…hi Cari and Amy). The idea of the study is to read until God speaks to you, then stop and spend time figuring out what it means to you. So the first day I started in James. You know, James 1:1. And I got to James 1:2.

JAMES 1:2.

I know.

4 seconds in and I am coming to a screeching halt. And here is why.

James 1:2-3
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

Those of you who have been around me much in the past few weeks know I have been a bit…um…whiny. I’ve had a few trials. Nothing big, and trust me, I am thankful that it is all small stuff, but it has been annoying none the less. Just stuff like the evil virus that went through our family, shower leaks and flooded closets, a stolen vehicle, and being behind in never-ending housework, to name a few. And after a particularly crappy challenging morning with my kids, this verse was so in my face that it was almost humorous. So as I began to do the journaling part of the exercise, I started to see and feel more and more truth. By the end, God had literally talked me into being joyful over my trials. Into desiring perseverance. Into loving how my trials make me lean on Him. And I honestly know in my heart that no matter what happens, it is all good. Then the planets all aligned and there was crazy, unprecedented silence in my house as my kids somehow became absorbed in their own little projects, and I laid down on the couch under my favorite blanket and I actually felt like I was laying in the comforting arms of Jesus. You know that feeling? Oh, that feeling rocks. It ROCKS.

And now I think I am good to go.

Even though one of my "well" kids just walked in with a 103 fever. You gotta admit, there is some humor in there somewhere. Still good to go.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

And now it is time for...Helpful Tips from Deleise

If you have a sick and feverish five year old with long hair who lays on the floor for 48 hours straight watching PBS Kids Sprout while rubbing his head on his pillow, take some time out at the end of each 6-12 hour segment to put a little detangler on said long hair and comb through it.

Or don’t.

And have this.

I’m afraid this photo is deceiving. It appears to be just really tangled hair. Although that is what it was in it's glory days, what you see here is actually more like a piece of old carpet.

That concludes this segment of Helpful Tips from Deleise.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


April 22, 2007 ~ February 2, 2008

Last week our family and several of our friends watched helplessly as this baby we had grown to love began to slip from this life. It is bittersweet. He is now perfect and healthy and oh-so-happy. His family, on the other hand, is obviously not.

During the funeral it was said that Conner achieved more in his short 9 months than many men achieve in 90 years. I feel quite certain that is true. Over the last several months as we have gotten to know Conner and his family, so many beautiful things have been learned. He brought out gratefulness, generosity and compassion in my children stronger than I have ever seen before. I love watching how God constantly stirs their hearts to pray for this family. Those were all things that I wanted them to experience.

But then came the things I didn’t want them to experience. Concern over a baby’s life, pain, grief … all things that, if given the choice, I very well might of protected them from. But as we sat in that funeral and I watched my children experience deep pain for someone else, I realized that the good lessons are not always the easy ones, or the ones I would have chosen. And I felt grateful, not for their pain, but for their ability to empathize with someone else’s pain. And grateful that God doesn’t leave me solely in charge of the lessons. He takes over where I am ready to bail. And then we all learn a little something.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Cole's frog has spots

Cole would like for the “whole wide world on my blog” (because I’m certain I have millions of readers) to see that he wrote his first by-himself sentence yesterday. For those of you who are preschool writing impaired, that says February 7, 2008. Frog. My frog has spots. So there ya go, whole wide world on my blog. Good job, Coley. Your frog ROCKS.

Oh, and please don’t hesitate to call if my blog can ever be of service to you again, sweetie.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Fudgy scrumptiousness

I am going to start posting some recipes occasionally just because I think it is fun to share recipes.

I love this brownie recipe because it is made in one bowl and you always have the ingredients on hand. And it is so yum. Even the kids can throw it together and not mess it up. It’s pretty fudgy, so if you prefer cake-like brownies, this one may not be for you.

I adapted this from my sis-in-law‘s delish brownie recipe. I needed a recipe I could throw together at a moments notice.
Hers calls for chocolate chips, which I never have on hand. I don’t keep them on hand because they…um…don't stay on hand. They love to taunt me. Oooh they think they are so cute. Even if I try to put them at the back of the freezer they harass me. They yell “You can’t eat me!”
So I must prove them wrong.
Because bullying will not be tolerated here.
So I had to adapt the texture and taste a bit to make it scrumptious using things I keep on hand. You know, more polite ingredients.

Fudgy Brownies

1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
½ cup cocoa
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 sticks melted butter
¼ cup milk

Mix all together. Rub bottom of 9x13 pan with wrapper from butter. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until edges are slightly pulling away.

Monday, February 4, 2008


I was cleaning out a cabinet and found this list. It made me smile. The list was made in desperation probably about 3 years ago. It was during a time that I had two toddlers. I even had two in school at this time, so it’s not like I was surrounded by a million kids or anything. But it seemed like every time someone asked me what I had done that day I would glaze over, knowing full well that I had never stopped going, but apparently nothing had gotten done. I would always be so shocked that all I could come up with was “Um….nothing?“ So one day I made this list. Maybe to prove to myself that I wasn’t crazy. Maybe in hopes of finding that there was some something in all of my nothing.

So here is my list of what I did one day while my oldest kids were at school.

Fixed breakfast. Packed lunches. Cleaned up spilled juice. Signed notes. Drove kids to school. Fixed breakfast for second set of breakfast eaters. Changed diapers. Dressed kids. Put together casserole for dinner. Cleaned up kitchen mess. Put away party stuff. Played Hi-Ho-Cherrio. Braided Barbie’s hair. Made earrings for Barbie. Fixed lunch. Cleaned up lunch. Changed poopy diaper. Attended a tea party. Washed tea cups. Played Connect Four. Read two books. Changed more diapers. Tightened legs on Riley’s table. Did an Elmo puzzle. Cleaned up spilled milk. Put away basket of toys. Helped Riley spell words. Attended to approximately fifty “watch this” and “will you help me….” Changed more diapers.

Notice you did not see the words shower and get ready anywhere in that list.

So that’s what I had been doing. So not nothing! Sooooooooo something! No, I wasn’t curing cancer, but my list was proof that I wasn’t just sitting on my duff, either. I was right where I was supposed to be, doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing. I can’t believe this was just a few short years ago. My life is so much easier now, as some independence has built in my children. Although the toddler years were often exhausting and my hair was in a perpetual messy ponytail, looking back it was such a joyful time. And so crucial to who those toddlers were becoming. So to all my precious friends with toddlers, hang in there and make yourself a list. And rest assured that all that nothing is very much something.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

This one is for you, Grammy

Yes you, beloved Grammy…the one who gave Cole this dark brown tootsie roll chapstick. This is how he looks all the time now. Oh, how he adores it, and you for buying it. It’s de-licious. He rarely lets this tube out of his sight. Sure, he is a well moisturized child, and for that I suppose I am thankful. But tell me, did you have to get the one with the magical reproducing powers? Will this stick never run out? Will he never lose it? Or forget about it? Will I send him off to college with this awkward brown clown smile? *Sigh*

Don’t think I can’t hear you laughing.