Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Because I have a few new favorites that I just HAVE to share, here they are on a Wednesday.

1) Red Velvet Cheesecake Blast from Sonic. Holy Cow. This thing is DEEE-licious! And of course they're only here through Valentine's Day. I've been squandering the Sonic gift cards Michael got from his students for Christmas, almost entirely on this delightful treat.

2) Our new Hoover vacuum cleaner. You know how you can get in a routine/rut and not realize you're making life a whole lot harder on yourself than it has to be? That's how it was for me with vacuuming with our old Dirt Devil (that finally died, thank goodness). This Hoover is the bomb. It actually picks up stuff the first time (imagine!), it's easier to cart around from room to room, it's light-weight, and it's MUCH quieter. Michael actually suggests we vacuum together as a family a couple times a week (HA!! How's THAT for miraculous?!)

3) Trampolines. Not all trampolines. Just ours. Because having one in our back yard now makes a world of difference for a tired mama with a boy (or two) who have limitless stores of energy and games waiting to be expended. It's a beautiful thing.

4) Beth Moore. This woman is amazing. Just started her bible study about David, titled A Heart Like His. Today was my first day to do the workbook, and as usual, she had me from hello. Anticipating a lot of stretching and growing. Very exciting.

5) My husband. I was exhausted yesterday, for several reasons, and just wanted some time to myself. So when Michael got home, he said, "Go do what you need to do. I'll take the boys." So I took off at 5:30pm and had a night to rest and recharge and do whatever I wanted, while he played in the floor with our kiddos and straightened up the house. Yeah, he did. Love him.

Monday, January 24, 2011


(while the boys are eating lunch and playing a lot more than they should be, but I don't feel like running interference)

Bennett: Jasper, why are you making that silly noise? Is it because you want to be just like me and because you love me?

Jasper: Yeah.

Bennett: I thought so.

(continue eating quietly while Mama wears a great big smile)


(Jasper, headed to the back door with his jacket)

Bennett: Sorry, Jasper. Mom said we're not going outside right now.

Jasper: (hollers in protest) Jump! I want jump! (on the trampoline they got for Christmas)

Bennett: No, Jasper. Mom said it's too cold.

Jasper: Jump! Jump! (banging on the door)

Bennett: Do you just really want to go?

Jasper: Yeah.

Bennett: Mom, Jasper just really wants to go outside.

Mom: So sorry, it's too cold right now.

Bennett: Jasper, we can't go jump. It's too cold. Do you wanna come play cars with me instead?

Jasper: Yeah!

(and off they go)


It's a sweet, miraculous time when your four-year-old can interpret for your almost two-year-old and essentially raise him for you. HA! LOVE IT!

(*side note* I am choosing for the moment to ignore/discount all other conversations they've had that end up in ridiculous antics such as fighting, crying, or screaming)

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Go ahead, ask me. Ask me if since joining up with Clean Mama's "January Cleaning Month," I've washed ALL the baseboards in our entire house, washed all the window sills, washed ALL the window panes inside and out (the window panes have never been done...not in the SEVEN years we've lived here...EEK, I know. We're totally disgusting) ,dusted the corners and ceilings of the whole house, and have made plans to touch up the baseboards with paint, deep clean the fridge and freezer, and cut back our front yard trees in the next couple of weeks. Holy Moly, we're in the midst of a cleaning frenzy over here! Michael thinks I'm crazy, but is oh-so-thankful for the insanity.

The basic update here is that Clean Mama's stuff is still working really well for me. I still love the adjustments I made to the schedule (like alternating days on wiping down the bathroom counters and sweeping the floors, rather than doing both every day), but man, this lady knows her cleaning stuff.

I also have to tell you about my new cleaning best friend. It's the new Rubbermaid Reveal Spray mop. It's red and you can find it at Target. It has a removable, washable pad, and the cleaner bottle that attaches to the mop is filled with whatever you want to use, rather than buying chemically stuff that costs an arm and a leg. So I use my organic cleaner that's diluted with water, and save a ton of money, as well as stay more green (which I'm becoming more and more convicted about these days...thinking about getting away from paper towels for the most part, too...intimidating thought!). It sprays right out of the top of the mop pad when you press a lever in the handle, and it has a genius swivel head that makes maneuvering around furniture, behind toilets, under cabinets, etc., a breeze, which I LOVE.

Anyhow, there's the nuts and bolts of cleaning at our house these days. If the system ever crashes and burns, I'll let you know. For now, I'm feeling good, feeling good.

Monday, January 10, 2011


See, told ya. Gives me a brand new outlook on good stewardship.


Just ordered the book from Mardel's. Excited about reading it. Here are some pictures to go along with the theme of "Bringing Up Boys" (plus some extra cute froggie pajamas thrown in for good measure). Around our house, we love all things messy, silly and rough-and-tumble :).

Saturday, January 8, 2011


A little late, I know, but here's the run down and pics from Christmas for our family.

We spend Christmas Eve every year at my Nandy's house with my dad's side of the family. This year was especially exciting because my Aunt Karen and her twin boys, Christian and Christopher, have just moved here from Georgia. My cousins are thirteen years old, and Bennett ADORES them. Over the holidays, Michael had them and my brother, Joseph, over for a Wii/X-box/pizza fest. I'm excited to have these boys in town as role models and examples of godly growing boys for my own little buddies.

On Christmas morning both boys actually slept in, something I don't expect to last too many more years :). Bennett was excited to see Santa ate all but a few crumbs of his cookies, and couldn't believe the huge tub of Thomas the Train stuff Santa brought him and Jasper this year ("Santa" got a STEAL on the box at a consignment sale last summer). Jasper was mostly a bystander this year - he really didn't care much about opening or getting presents. I thought he might get into it more this year, but he's still my easy-going little dude, happy to observe and take it all in.

After opening presents at our house, we headed over to Poppy and Mimi's house for the traditional breakfast of cinnamon rolls, and then everyone loaded up in their cars to head to Christmas day with my mom's side of the family.

My Grandpa and Granny sold their house (the only house I've EVER done Christmas morning at!) and moved into a retirement home this past year, so we had Christmas at my Aunt Julie's house instead. We ate lots of food, hung out with family, played games, and watched as Bennett and Jasper's antics entertained us all (a lot of wrestling, play-acting, hiding, etc. was involved).
(I forgot to take pictures!!)

After Christmas, we traveled to Searcy to see Papa and Nanna and stayed through New Year's. It was rainy and cold pretty much the whole time we were there, but my in-laws are such wonderful hosts - they kept us stocked with more food than we knew what to do with, a lot of toys and fun for the boys indoors, the traditional poker playing at night, and a date night for me and Michael the night before we left, which we used to go to a good Mexican restaurant outside of town, and the new Chronicles of Narnia movie. It's fun for me to watch Bennett and Jasper grow closer to their Nanna and Papa every time we visit. We live down the street from my parents and they see them all the time, but we only get to see Michael's parents twice a year. But that doesn't phase my boys at all. They love both sets of their grandparents so much, and love seeing them every time we go.

Things to note strictly for myself about the 2010 Christmas season that I'll want to remember someday:
*Bennett is still obsessed with the blow up "snow globes," as he calls them, and begged to drive or walk by them multiple times every day.
*Bennett knows all the basic Christmas songs now (the fun, kid ones) and we had a lot of fun having sing-a-longs in the car.
*Bennett understands the "reason for the season" this year and has a working knowledge of the Christmas story.
*Jasper ooohed and ahhhhed over presents that caught his eye this year. He's such an easy-going, easy-to-please little guy, and it was so fun giving him toys this year and watching his little eyes light up.
*Jasper LOVES going outside. The kid would camp out and live in our front yard if I let him. It's been fun so far the winter to bundle him up in layers and let him loose. :)
*It has been thrilling to watch Jasper WALK everywhere, saying hi to people, playing, running around, opening presents, etc. I still don't take a single step for granted. It still amazes me that my baby is walking. Thank you, Lord.
*Both kids have been FAR less sick than in previous years, which has been SO nice. It's already January and they've had two colds each (although I suspect Bennett actually had the croup at one point, but not positive about that). I am SOOOO thankful for this!

And there's all you ever wanted to know about our Christmas in a single blog post.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


1. Those dryer balls they sell at BBB, insisting they replace dryer sheets and prevent static cling just as well? False. They do nothing more than jumble and bang around making loud thumping noises, threatening to wake both your children up from their naps. Grrrr, I say.

2. It's funny, and yet not, all at the same time to get your latest rejection letter from a literary agent which says, and I quote, "I did not have sufficient enthusiasm for your work to pursue representation as an agent at this time." Ouch. Good thing I kept my day job...uh, I mean...

3. Marble Slab ice cream tastes just as good now as it did when I was in high school (took Bennett last night for the first time - he was a big fan).

4. Making returns after Christmas is a pain in the patootie.

5. One large trampoline + safety net enclosure + one four-year-old high-energy boy = endless fun and excitement, and one extremely happy mama.

6. Bennett weighs 40 lbs. and is four years old, so he sits in a big boy booster seat in the car now. CRAZY. He looks so big and grown up back there when I look in my rearview mirror; sometimes it makes me want to cry.

7. The next BFHP (Big Fat Hairy Project, in case you forgot or are unfamiliar with the terminology) I'll be tackling is a doozy. I'm going to paint our kitchen cabinets, as well as adding knobs and drawer pulls, and a backsplash. Dude. I'm intimidated and feeling a hint of a twitchy eye coming on just typing this. But I'm not starting till February-ish, and I'm going to take my time and do it right. I already have it all in my mind's eye and I like what I see, my friends. It's sure to be a great success once it's all's just a matter of actually doing it.

8. Michael will be absolutely, positively finished with his grad school work to become a school administrator in mid January, and finishes up his principal internship this semester. He got his masters a couple years back, and he's been taking classes for five years. I'm so proud of him and the work he's done.

9. Just so you know, when a Starbucks truck pulls into the main parking lot to unload supplies, they effectively block in every single car in said lot, forcing all customers to stay past closing time. Fun if you're with a friend, so it's a forgivable offense. I imagine most others would find it quite annoying.

10. A Christmas post is in the works, albeit quite late, so stay tuned. Better late than never, eh?