Saturday, April 30, 2011


1) The Lazy Susan - I'm an organizing fiend these days, and one of my favorite tricks is to use lazy susans in cabinets (especially for cleaning supplies, canned goods and spices). So when I saw them on sale at Walmart for ONE DOLLAR apiece, I about wet my pants. I bought five immediately. Couldn't help myself. They're a little flimsier than the ones you'll find at BBB, but considering the ones there cost $8 a pop, you certainly won't hear me complaining. Cheers to getting and staying organized for mucho el cheapo!

2) Craigslist. We have sold several big things and gotten good money for them, and we've bought several things for excellent prices. Case in point: tomorrow we are picking up the boys' new shared room furniture (Jasper probably won't move into the room with Bennett until Christmas time-ish, and I wasn't planning on buying the furniture until then, but I saw this deal on Craigslist and COULD NOT pass it up!!!). We paid $550 for a NICE set of bunk beds, the large matching book case, matching 6 drawer dresser, and two twin-size mattresses. HOLY. MOLY. I was planning on spending almost double that on a new bedroom set. Once I get everything set up and the room painted, I'll post pictures. I heart Craigslist!

3) Garage Sales. Because you get to see and meet so many interesting people, because you get paid to get rid of a bunch of junk you just didn't need that was cluttering up your house, and because you can make $300 in 2 days like we did, and then promptly use that money to pay for a huge part of the aforementioned boys' furniture (the rest of it is being paid for with money we've made by selling other things on Craigslist - another reason I love it - so we're not spending ANY out of pocket money on their new room!!). Beautiful. God bless America.

4) Chicken Nuggets - the frozen, bagged kind you buy at the grocery store. In the four years I've had children, I have NEVER tried one, and had forgotten what they taste like...until today. I was a chicken nugget snob before today, but there was an extra one at lunch and I decided to bite the bullet and try it to see why my boys love them so much. Now I know. It's because they're stinking deee-licious!
Chock full of chemicals and other nasty-for-your-body things, I have no doubt, but that's what makes them taste so good! I'm going to start sneaking them more often. :) Who knew I was missing out on something so delicious? And to make the meal absolutely perfect and complete, I could cook up a box of processed, powdered mac & cheese. Yum.

5) - it's a really cool, user friendly budgeting program you can use on your computer and smart phone. It plugs things in for you automatically and shows you how much money you have left in each budgeting category, and since it's on my phone too, I can do it while I'm out and about, which really helps me keep track of what I'm spending (a good thing, since that's not one of my strong suits). We've been using the program for two months now and we really like it.

Friday, April 29, 2011


There are a lot of people going through a lot of crazy hard things right now. Thought I'd post this to provide a little laughter for the day. My only criteria for these images were that they made me laugh out loud when I first saw them (Hint: I saved the best for last).

Now if that didn't bring a little more joy and sunshine to your life, I don't know what else will. HA! Happy Friday!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


This year was the best Easter our family has celebrated together so far. Our boys are old enough now to understand a bit more about the reason behind it, and to be more involved in the celebration. Easter is also Bennett's favorite holiday, hands down (he talks about it all year), so it was fun to watch him enjoy it so much. Michael had Good Friday off, so we've had a long weekend to hang out as a family and just be thankful for all God has given us, especially His Son.

Here are a few pictures from the past few days (including the Easter Sunday outfits with the neckties me and my mom sewed for the boys!).

Saturday, April 16, 2011


This post will take on a different tone and a different subject matter than ever before, but I cannot be silent about it. It's too important.

My mom is an amazing woman, and has one of the biggest, fullest servant hearts I've ever known. While growing up, she served my dad, my brother and I above and beyond, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. She's the closest thing to Jesus I know, and she doesn't have a mean or spiteful bone in her body. I adore her. Since me and Joe have grown up and I started having kids of my own, she retired from her job as a teacher, and began helping out with Bennett and Jasper, and also began doing volunteer work in several different arenas, including several of the women's ministries at church, tutoring at a Title I school, and most recently, starting up a brand new ministry at our church, called Beating Heart. It's this last ministry she has become involved in that I feel a need to write about.

In a nutshell, and to put it bluntly, Beating Heart is the pro-life ministry at our church. They mainly work with the organization called Real Choices, which is a local place women can go to receive free sonograms and spiritual, emotional and financial support in their pregnancies, rather than aborting their babies. It's an alternative to Planned Parenthood, who stand for "women's rights" and "doing away" with unwanted pregnancies. My mom also works with 40 Days for Life, which consists of 40 days of prayer, fasting and meeting together peacefully to support and save the lives of babies that would otherwise be lost.

Michael and I went to the annual Real Choices banquet a few weeks ago and the statistics were heartbreaking. But even more heartbreaking, is that our churches have no voice on this subject. In the body of Christ, this subject is taboo for reasons I don't really understand, and this should not be so. We should not be afraid of doing what Christ tells us to do. We should not shy away from protecting the innocent, or being lovingly honest about what is right and true.

The Lord calls us to be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. For the widow, the orphan, the poor, the sick, and the helpless. If an unborn child does not qualify, I don't know who or what does. It is the Lord's will that we stand in the gap for these babies.

I haven't figured out what this means exactly for me or my family, but I do know that at the very least it means speaking out and raising awareness, and telling the truth. It means being a voice for these unborn children, whose mothers are being lied to and deceived by organizations like Planned Parenthood, who don't understand the repercussions and suffering that comes from what they are choosing, and who often don't realize exactly what they've done until it's too late.

If you are ignorant or unaware about this subject, I would encourage you to do some research. If this blog makes you uncomfortable, I would ask you to ask yourself why. Why, when we're talking about the lives of innocent children, innocent babies who have no chance at life without the help and intervention of others? Why, when God calls us to love and serve and help these women and their babies? If we don't, who will?

If you want to get involved, check out, or if you go to our church and want to get involved with the Beating Heart ministry, check out the home webpage for ways to get involved.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Some recent pictures (all taken on my phone - sorry for the fuzzy quality) of a few things we've been up to here and there. Playing at the park, flying kites, lighting candles during chapel, and Bennett's first Field Day.

Elbow in the face. Rough.
Let's! Go! Fly a Kite! (I sang the song from Mary Poppins in a loop at the top of my lungs the ENTIRE time we were out there, which Jasper loved, but my other two fellas weren't so keen about - HA!)
Bennett lighting candles for chapel. No we haven't converted, for anyone who would feel the need to worry :). This is the little school he attends.
Field Day. Bennett's class with the assistant teacher, Mrs. Krueger.
The little girl standing next to Bennett in the picture below told her mommy that he's her boyfriend and they're going to get married (wow, it starts young!). According to Mrs. Penkert (their teacher), they were fast friends from the get-go because they both talk a mile a minute - hee :). She's an adorable little thing, and her mom and I have become friends over the course of the year.

In other news, I have a new niece, Miss Lydia Katherine, who was born last Friday morning. She's beautiful, and B and J now have three cousins. Congratulations to the Wagner Family!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


In case you've noticed (or in case you haven't), I've quit facebook. Again. There are multiple reasons why, the main one being that I only returned in the first place to help promote my book and show any agents considering taking me on as a client that I do in fact have friends and networking capabilities. But facebook is so annoying and black-hole-ish to me, that it isn't even worth this anymore. So I figure I'll leave the book publishing in God's hands and let Him deal with agent expectations, should any arise :).

Long story short, if you go looking for me, you won't find me there anymore. You'll have to come here, or to my email (which I'd be happy to send you if you don't already have it - just ask), or call me on the phone (of course, my actually answering the phone to talk to you is yet another anathema - I loathe phone conversations, so texting is a much safer bet).

Main point of this post: Bye, bye, facebook! You won't be missed!

Coming up next: Random pictures and Real Choices.