Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chuting down the ladder

Today, after we were done with school, Lilla asked me to play Chutes and Ladders with her.

I said, "No, I need to start dinner now. Maybe daddy will play with you when he gets home."

Her eyes welled up with tears and her lips starting quivering as she said, "I don't want to play with Daddy, I want you to play Chutes and Ladders with me now."

In that instant my heart broke.

And I broke out Chutes and Ladders.

Dinner, I knew, could wait a little longer...Lilla wanting to play games with me, well it just won't.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Walking Aids

Needed just a few words...

I messed my hip up pretty good last week. Been using these to stay off it. The girls thought they were hilarious to try out. Lilla said, "Look mom, I look like an old lady!"

Thanks, Lil.

To join in the wordless fun, go to

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Today we celebrated 730 days with Ms. Anna Noelle.

We went to the children's museum.

We built a bear...uh, I mean, reindeer.

We had spaghetti and cake with dear friends.

It was a good day.

Happy birthday baby!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Yesterday, at co-op

Lilla attends kindergarten once a week at a homeschool co-op. She goes in for two hours, does crafts, learns about things like worms and friends, sings some songs, eats a snack and comes home. She loves it.

We are fortunate it is a Christian based co-op and they often talk about Jesus and sing songs like Jesus loves me.

Yesterday they apparently talked about the Christmas story. You know, Mary, Joseph, Jesus, probably the Angel of the Lord too.

At some point they talked about Jesus birth.

Lilla thought that would be the appropriate time to inform the class, and I quote, "Jesus came out of Mary's booty."

Pray for me. Please.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Say Click...take a pic!

As you may know from the, often, copious amounts of pictures I paste all over my blog, I'm a bit of a shutterbug. I love taking pictures. So much that Anna's clearest first word was, "Cheeeeeeese". I'm really not kidding. So, of course I want the perfect picture for all of my Christmas cards. I dress them up in matching clothes, try to pose them in an adorable way in front of the tree or fireplace and, this is what I get...

Because I'm just that good!

So, I figure if I'm going to have a not so good picture, I better have at least a cute Christmas card to go with it. I've been scouring the internet for deals and adorable cards. One of the places I always wind back up at is Shutterfly. I'm sure most of you are familiar with it because it's been around for awhile and it seems they are always running some kind of a deal on pictures, photo cards,

Christmas photo cards, Christmas name it when it comes to pictures and they most likely have it. Everytime I've ordered from them I've gotten photos back quick and easy and they look great. Not like the ones from Wal-Mart that usually cut off everyone's heads. Ugh!

Last year we got the grandparents photo mugs from Shutterfly and they had to be the biggest hit on Christmas. Everyone loved them!

And, through the end of Dec. 10, 2010, Shutterfly is running a promotion for bloggers that you can get 50 free photo cards if you do a post like this!! This is a great deal and I hope you all will take advantage of it! Go here to find out more and participate!

Here are a few of my faves:

Which do you like the best?

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Death of Santa

Before Michael and I had children, we always said we wouldn't do the "Santa thing". Didn't want to lie, of course. Then, after we had Lilla, and we began to remember the magic and wonder it created in our lives as children, we decided to do one present a year from Santa. We try not to make it that big of a deal, the books we read and the stories we tell around this time of year have much more to do with the actual Christmas story than the North Pole and flying deer.

Of course, Lilla is a child and children are enamored by the whole idea of this big guy in red who gives presents and slides down people's chimneys to eat all their cookies. Most kids pretty much leave it at that though, I think. Not my Lilla though. With Lilla, things are never quite that easy.

I was cleaning out the storage room yesterday when she wandered in and starting talking about Santa. I think she had been watching Rudolph. So she starts saying things about how nice he is, what kind of things he might bring, how we need to leave cookies, you know, the usual childhood concerns.

Then, out of nowhere she asks, "Does Santa ever die?" This, of course, floored me for a second. I don't like lying to my children, I teach them it's a commandment and it's pretty serious according to Revelation 21:8. So, I took a deep breath and said, "Lilla, is there anyone who never dies?" She thought for a moment and said, "God." I responded, "Right, and is Santa God?" She said, "No." I then asked her if Santa ever sinned. She said that he did and we discussed how our sin is what causes us to die and so Santa would have to die too.

I then talked with her about how Santa is more about showing love and kindness to others. He is just
a guy who likes to give presents to people. And, in the end, that is something we should do too, think of others. Thinking about others before ourselves is in the Christmas spirit and what God wants us to do too. So, it's not about what Santa brings but showing others kindness. We then talked about how truly the greatest Christmas gift was not brought by Santa but by given by God in the form of a baby.

She then went back to playing and what not and I was left there to consider how my own life in this busy Christmas time was revealing this story. And it made me grateful, grateful for a child that challenges me and reminds me what Christmas, and life for that matter, is truly about.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Not giving in

55 years ago today, Rosa Parks, after a day at work at Montgomery Fair department store, boarded the Cleveland Avenue bus at around 6 p.m. in downtown Montgomery. She paid her fare and sat in an empty seat in the first row of back seats reserved for blacks in the "colored" section, which was near the middle of the bus and directly behind the ten seats reserved for white passengers. Initially, she had not noticed that the bus driver was the same man,James F. Blake, who had left her in the rain in 1943. As the bus traveled along its regular route, all of the white-only seats in the bus filled up. The bus reached the third stop in front of the Empire Theater, and several white passengers boarded.

In 1900, Montgomery had passed a city ordinance for the purpose of segregating passengers by race. Conductors were given the power to assign seats to accomplish that purpose; however, no passengers would be required to move or give up their seat and stand if the bus was crowded and no other seats were available. Over time and by custom, however, Montgomery bus drivers had adopted the practice of requiring black riders to move whenever there were no white only seats left.

So, following standard practice, bus driver Blake noted that the front of the bus was filled with white passengers and there were two or three men standing, and thus moved the "colored" section sign behind Parks and demanded that four black people give up their seats in the middle section so that the white passengers could sit. Years later, in recalling the events of the day, Parks said, "When that white driver stepped back toward us, when he waved his hand and ordered us up and out of our seats, I felt a determination cover my body like a quilt on a winter night."[16]

By Parks' account, Blake said, "Y'all better make it light on yourselves and let me have those seats."[17] Three of them complied. Parks said, "The driver wanted us to stand up, the four of us. We didn't move at the beginning, but he says, 'Let me have these seats.' And the other three people moved, but I didn't."[18] The black man sitting next to her gave up his seat. Parks moved, but toward the window seat; she did not get up to move to the newly repositioned colored section.[19] Blake then said, "Why don't you stand up?" Parks responded, "I don't think I should have to stand up." Blake called the police to arrest Parks. When recalling the incident for Eyes on the Prize, a 1987 public television series on the Civil Rights Movement, Parks said, "When he saw me still sitting, he asked if I was going to stand up, and I said, 'No, I'm not.' And he said, 'Well, if you don't stand up, I'm going to have to call the police and have you arrested.' I said, 'You may do that.'"[20]

In her autobiography, Parks said, "People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in."

What are you tired of giving into today? How can your life bring justice where there is no justice?

Something to think about...

(story reprinted from Wikipedia's entry on Rosa Parks)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Saddle up your horses

I'm a protestant. I'm not completely clueless about Catholicism though as my husband was born and raised Catholic, from being an altar boy to a complete Catholic school education, his whole family is proudly Catholic. Also, I had a friend in college that was a strong Catholic as well and was devout at trying to persuade me in it as well. I studied it quite a bit, but it was missing a few key elements for me so I have remained protestant through these years.

Something I do find very appealing about the Catholic faith, however, are the traditions that are weaved throughout the church. One such tradition has begun this week, Advent. I have never celebrated the ritual and honestly only knew that there were candles involved and they were lit in the weeks before Christmas. I had no idea why though.

Well, today that all changed as I began a 25 day study(through, if you are interested), working through the Christmas season as we look towards Advent, the coming of Christ..

I'm looking forward to how this study is going to stretch me in my growth and understanding of my Saviour and build up to something central to the Christian faith, the birth of Jesus.

Part of this journey is journaling, so I thought what better place to journal this walk then right here. They do bring some questions that I found interesting, so here we go:

Exploration: Discuss or journal about these two people who were blessed by seeing God's Savior with their own eyes. How can your life reflect this kind of anticipation?
Simeon and Anna had waited there entire lives to see the Christ. They felt as though they were ready to die now that what they had been waiting for had been fulfilled. Both were pillars in the temple and truly seemed to have a strong sense of the change that was going to occur in the world as a result of the prophecies. They spent years waiting and, I can only imagine, it must have been hard, but they really believed in what they were waiting for, they believed He was coming, and He did.

In my own life, I can reflect this anticipation by starting to think on things that are not of this world but fix my mind on heaven. Although I have to live here for now, always remembering this is not my home, I am an alien here. I should be praying and waiting for the day of Christ to come soon, turning my heart towards heaven.

Expression: Think about how you anticipate Christmas. How much of this feeling of excitement is centered on the arrival of Christ?

Christmas is an exciting time, but I can't remember a time when it was centered around the return of Christ. I've honestly never even thought of it that way. I've been happy to celebrate His birth, but never put it into perspective that that birth is the beginning of the end. As a result of that birth, I can look forward to his return. I can be thankful as I remember in that birth, there would also be a death and that death brought about new life, that new life is where I should be anticipating His return on THAT day, there is where my excitement should be.

To be continued...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Some people

We allow our 4 year old, Lilla, to take communion. This practice has gotten us some questioning glances and we've had to ask the servers to lower the bread and cup so her petite frame could reach them. I'm pretty sure there are some people that judge me for it and think there is no way she could be able to know what is going on and I shouldn't force it on her.

I don't, force it on her, by the way. I always go to her classroom on communion days and ask her if she'd like to join us. If she doesn't, and she has refused in the past, that is ok. Although, of course we would prefer her to as remembering the sacrifice is so crucial to our lives as Christians.

We also take communion very seriously in our family. We truly believe you need to go with a contrite heart and a humble spirit.

So today, while we were standing in line waiting for a turn to kneel at the altar, and Lilla was starting to get ants in her pants, I questioned wether she should be there today. Then she did something that left my mouth open.

We knelt at the altar and she said she wanted to pray. I told her ok, and it went something like this: God, thank you for dying for our sins. If we did anything wrong Lord, please forgive us. Amen.

Every question be stilled.


I'm thankful for

The blue eyes of my babies
Copious amounts of dessert
Kisses shared
Smiles too
Marshmallows on yams
And fun to be had
Charades with family
And friends too
My brother acting silly
My mom taking time with my girls
Matching jammas
And bedtime bears.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Showers of blessings

Lately it seems like there is a lot of heartbreak in blog land. I don't know why, but it seems everywhere at I "click" I see stories that just make me want to hug others, let them know they are loved and whisper words of hope.

I think this has made me particularly thankful this autumn. I think going through the class I am and pondering the theology that is so solidly in my soul, again makes me even more thankful. Then, I turn to my family, and words are not enough to express my gratitude. But, they will have to do, since that is all I have.

So, I thought I would make a bitty list of some things that I am grateful for today. Hope you are able to do the same!

1. The promise of heaven.
2. My husband.
3. Lilla
4. Anna
5. My home.
6. My church.
7. My parents.
8. My siblings.
9. Their spouses.
10. That my brother is able to walk after a very bad skateboarding accident this summer.
11. The change of seasons.
12. My dog.
13. The classes that I'm taking which are challenging me.
14. My bestie, Shelley, and her family.
15. My other bestie, Carrie, and her lovely children.
16. My camera, which has captured so much this year.
17. My blog, which has enabled me to share some special memories and thoughts.
18. Blogland and all I've learned from all of you.
19. The Bible which has come alive to me more this past year.
20. My husband's job which has provided us a living this year.
21. My mom mobile which takes us where we want to go.
22. Our zoo pass, which has given us many wonderful days.
23. Our children's museum pass, which has given us much education.
24. The opportunity to homeschool my children.
25. Music, as it plays a huge part in my daily life. I'm listening to Ray Charles singing Christmas carols right now. :)
26. Hearing my daughter read and seeing her recognizing words. Amazing.
27. Anna developing right on path.
28. Anna's warm hugs and kisses.
29. Lilla telling me I'm a good mom.
30. Hearing my husband sing Amazing Grace to the girls last night.
31. My husband's family, who always welcome us in.
32. Awana, which has taught my daughter such a huge amount of bible verses it just amazes me.
33. God's amazing grace to me, even though I surely do NOT deserve it.
34. The opportunity to help people who are struggling. I'm thankful to be part of a church that does community well in reaching out to people.
35. My whole family is healthy right now. Not even a runny nose in the bunch. Now that's something to be thankful for!

What are you thankful for today?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Anger Management

My bestie, Shelley, shared an article about Anger Management and Loving our children with me today. It was a great reminder how surrendering my life to a creator who loves me and loves my children is so important, day after day after day. No excuses about releasing my wrath on them, I need to love as Christ loves. Lord, help me to surrender today.

Here is the article in case you are interested in reading more:

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cake Balls

I am posting the recipe for these ridiculously sinful, but oh so delicious little bites of cake for my friend Gail, at Gail's Great Atlantic. I made them for a party the other night and people seriously went gaga for them. No, I didn't hear anyone singing Bad Romance, although they could have in reference to these chocolate covered concoctions. I promise you, this is certainly a recipe to share!

Anyway, after looking at several other cake ball recipes, I realized they are about the same so, since I inherently trust my favorite butter queen, I went with Paula Deen's. She has never steered me wrong.

Mine were red velvet, which I've never had before and honestly, really didn't care for. Although, with this recipe, it doesn't matter because I could barely taste the cake due to my teeth practically screaming out for a dentist! I combined it with cream cheese frosting (my fave) and vanilla baker's almond bark.

Here it is:

Paula’s Cake Balls (taken from

Paula’s own version of this trendy sweet!

Serves: 36 Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Smithfield Product: None


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package cake mix
  • 1 (16 ounce) container prepared cake frosting
  • 6 ounces of chocolate flavored confectioners coating disks or bar (available in white chocolate, dark or milk)
  • Food Coloring (optional)
  • Paula's Favorite Combinations:
  • *Red Velvet Cake/Cream Cheese Frosting and dipped in white chocolate coating
  • *Strawberry Supreme Cake/Strawberries and Cream Frosting - Dipped in Chocolate Coating
  • *White Cake/Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting - Dipped in Chocolate Coating
  • *Caramel Cake/Chocolate Mocha Frosting - Dipped in Chocolate Coating
  • *White Cake/Wild Cherry Vanilla Frosting - Dipped in Dark Chocolate Coating
  • *French Vanilla Cake/White Chocolate Almond Frosting - Dipped in Chocolate Coating
  • *Dark Chocolate Cake/Cream Cheese Frosting - Dipped in White Chocolate Coating
  • *Spice Cake/Cream Cheese Frosting - Dipped in White Chocolate Coating
  • *Lemon Cake/Lemon Frosting - Dipped in White Chocolate Coating
  • *Confetti Cake/Vanilla Frosting - Dipped in White Chocolate Coating


Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box. When cake is finished baking allow to cool for 30 minutes. Crumble the cake into a large bowl using a stand mixer or a hand mixer. Add the frosting and mix until well combined. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight. Line a baking tray with wax paper. Use a melon baller as a scooper to form balls with the cake mixture. Place on wax paper. Once you have used all of the cake mixture, place the baking tray in the freezer for 1 hour. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl of the microwave, stirring every 5-10 seconds until smooth. At this point you can add a bit of food coloring if you are using white chocolate. Remove the balls from the freezer. Using one toothpick, pick up the balls one at a time and dip in the chocolate. Use a second toothpick to slide the ball off the first toothpick onto the wax paper lined baking tray. NOTE: We found that an old Easter egg dipper works as well. If the balls fall off the toothpick into the chocolate, they are not firm enough to work with and you'll need to place them back in the freezer for additional time Once you have covered all the balls in chocolate coating place the tray in the refrigerator until the chocolate coating is set. At this point you can drizzle other chocolate on the balls for decoration.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with a cold glass of milk!

Friday Fragments

This week has been busy, nearly beginning to end.

I started my week shooting a wedding for the first time. My nephew got married and had a small budget so he asked me to do it. I was very resistant because I just wanted them to have something great for the day. I did it and I wish they were better. I have to give myself some slack, but it's hard when it's you. I did get one good shot though.
It just reminds me of what a wedding should be. A celebration of love.

OK, enough with the was a lovely wedding and we had fun for sure. Loved seeing my girls shake a tail feather on the dance floor. Totally cracked me up.

Last night was small group and during it I was just struck with the way my biblical counseling class is changing my belief system about psychology. I have always been interested in psychology, fascinated by mental health and mental illness, some of my very favorite classes were studying the human psych. I even worked for the mental health association. And, I still am very interested in all of it, just seeing it through the lens of scripture as opposed to the secular world's view, is even more fascinating.

2 Peter 1:3 says, "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness."

I love how God is making that more and more clear to me by the day.

Yesterday I spent a good part of the day in baking mode. I made cake balls, 2 pumpkin pies, a cherry pie the night before, baked potatoes and yams. I also took Lilla to co-op for homeschool, went to dance class and then headed, with all the food in tow, to small group. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast together. Truly something to be thankful for!

Oh, and on Wednesday I took the girls for a solo trip to the children's museum. I'd never done it before alone, thinking I couldn't handle it. However, I found out it was no problem at all. Thankfully, the museum wasn't too busy, but it was also just a great day. Lots of playing and learning, some presentations we sat through and just an all around great day!

I decided to lay off with taking pictures of the girls for awhile. Lilla told me she was tired of me constantly being concerned about picture after picture after picture. I decided to respect that, although it's difficult. I usually take several hundred a week, at least. I'm learning to release control for sure!

Got some fragments you want to share? Go here...Half Past Kissing Time

Friday, November 12, 2010

These are the moments

These are the moments,
I know heaven must exist
These are the moments
I know all I need is this
These are the moments
I thank God that I'm alive
These are the moments

I'll remember all my life
I have all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more

Excerpt from Edwin McCain's song, I could not ask for more