Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My favorite art

This painting is entitled "The Elder Sister" and is painted by Willian Bouguereau.  It is the first painting you will see when entering the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.  When dad was recieving cancer treatments at MD Anderson we would go into the city and look for inexpensive (read: free) adventures.  Although we did get our fair share of Astro World during the summer, I'll never forget this painting at the museum.  Her blood vessels are light blue and amazingly detailed on her right hand.  Her eyes are soft but focused and that sweet little sister of her's couldn't be more true with a little fat dimple on her elbow.  Simply beautiful..  It seems to come alive and is almost parallel to that scary painting of Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters 2 due to how how real it is.

Remember how freaky he was?!?!?!?!!!

I just love how women with some extra junk in the trunk are seen as an earmark for beauty.  No skin and bones in these pictures, curves are accepted and highly encouraged.  Why can't we go back to that era?

Here's that Elder Sister again with a crab!  I wonder who she was.

  And now onto Mary Cassatt.  Her work is actually pretty popular, mostly because she's all about mom's and kids.  Awwwww. All of these paintings can be found at .  Go there and be ready to ooooh and ahhh over how sweet these paintings are.

I think of Ernest, fresh from a bath and all cleaned up with this painting. 
Sweet and snuggly, just the way God intends babes to be. (HA!)

 The mom pooch is not forgotten on this one.  Yup, she's still got it.  Hold old do you think he is?  5 months? 6 months?  Looks like she's still holding him up but his legs aren't too jello-y.

"Child, I love you, but momma's tired. 
Let the coffee hit the bloodstream then I promise we'll watch
Veggietales Christmas Spectacular for the 302nd time."  

Nursing!  A lost art in the United States!  WOO HOO!!!!!  Look at those fat thighs!!

Ernest does this to me all. the. time. 
Little ones think the human face is simply a puzzle with never ending ways of coming together.

Clean little bath bottom!  They both look tired yet happy.  This must be before bed time. 

Another nursing picture!  How old do you think THIS baby is?  Certainly no newborn.

Wet sloppery kisses for mama!  Oh Ernest, this is you and me bud.

"And then we wash inbetween your toes, all done!"

And then we have this.
This one is actually a pretty famous painting by Rothko and was recently made into a stamp. 
 He was an "abstract expressionist".

To each his own.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

To everything there is a season

And this season I have chosen to not do it. Go me!

Three years ago I was in so many different events such as MOPS, numerous leadership positions, nursery at church, Mary Kay, mom meet ups, and said "Yes, I'd love to help!" to anything thrown my direction.

This time around, I take note of the event and quietly pray over it.  What's the time commitment?  Duration?  Who will be there?  Is this a fun mommy moment kind of get together, or will I walk away feeling refreshed in the Lord? 

Side note: A fellow blogger posts about how evangelism starts in the family first.  Yes, it's so true.  I have to be available to my family first and foremost.

There is a Bible study by Kay Arthur going on at our church right now that I had thought I'd attend, but a paying gig watching some little ones has come up that I've decided to take.  It's twice a month for 2 hours and my kids can come.  I'm thinking of having Ethan stay with me as a "helper" so there's one less 4 year old in their room (it was busy!). 

I've also decided to commit to a local MOPS group that meets 2 times a month for TWO AND A HALF HOURS.  Amen and amen.  There was a speaker today that spoke on birth order (her husband, Dave Brown is running for senate) and we embarked on an easy peasy craft of decorating candles for fall.  All of this plus a delicious breakfast two times a month?  I'll be there in bells and whistles!

Wednesday night's Ethan attends Cubbies through AWANA at church, then while he's in class I attend a Bible Study called The Bait of Satan.  It is is about overcoming bitterness and forgiving people who have offended you.  So who can't relate, right?  He talks really fast in the videos, which are only thirty minutes, so I usually drink a cup of coffee before attending so my brain will reenergize enough to understand the man (it's an evening Bible study) but it's really good.

PLUS, if I'm gone all the time, everything sits.  The dishes, the vacumming, the spiders I continue to allow live in the corners of our home because I have faith they'll keep the weirdo bug population null but I'm disappointed in their work effort.  It's one thing to come home to 'stuff to do', it's another to come home to an explosion. 

"A wise woman builds her home, but the foolish woman tears it down with her own hands." Proverbs 14:1

Ya can't build up your house if you aren't there!

Stay out of the dog food!!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Chilifest 2010

Ethan on the tractor pull.  Kendall is in the blue sweatshirt.

Ethan got to sit on the tractor because he came in first place! State bound next year!

First place!  "Mom, do I get to take the trophy home?" :) SO PROUD!!!!!

Sidewalk chalk contest.  "Ethan, what are you going to draw?"
 aka: nothing, just put chalk everywhere.  At least Ernest was able to help.

Group photo op!

Boys group photo op!

Going over the edge of the inflatable.  Go Ethan go!  Just like Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson.
(Fyi: if you ever want my kid to do something, mention Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson or daddy did it. 
Then he's all for it.)

Now I'm going to go take a nap and put a hot rice pack on my lower back. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

He loves his daddy

Kendall and Ethan chopping tomatoes.  Ethan has a butter knife and kepy saying "Dad, I'm a big helper!"

A homeschooling moment at the dining table.  Ethan was connecting opposites.

After building a Super Mario Ship using every single Duplo block we own.

Off to Pizza Hut for the Viking's first game of the season.

Can you see how much joy Kendall brings to Ethan?  And how proud Ethan is of his daddy? 
They are two peas in a pod, like peanut butter and jelly.

All of these pictures have been taken in Sept 2010.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

She's giving away a bat!

Go to my friends blog at sassyfraz to enter a giveaway for a cool kids bat.  Christmas is around the corner, people!

Why the tie?

Christmas Eve service at First Baptist Church McAllen, Tx

Most people don't dress up for church anymore.  Blue jeans, not even your nicest or newest pair, and flip flops are the norm.  Roll out of bed and sneak in before the sermon and you're just as good.

Our family runs a bit differently. 

Sunday mornings we put on Christian music while preparing and eatting breakfast.  Breakfast has to be a good one, not just cheerios and milk.  Usually it's something I prepared the day before so all I have to do is stick it in the oven.  Ethan's Sunday school teacher suggested a protien rich breakfast to help make it through the morning, so we usually have something with eggs.  I try hard to have the boys take their bathes the night before to eliminate the need in the morning, but messy diapers and Good Nites that don't hold up to their claim sometimes sets us back. 

Ernest's Dedication, Mother's Day 2010

Then while getting dressed I put on last weeks sermon for us to listen to, this helps to transition everyone's mind to "church" and off of tanks and bubbles.  Clothes are set out the night before.  By golly if there's something to go wrong when we have 13 minutes to get there it's going to go wrong with the clothing/shoe department.  Everything down to socks, underwear, and making sure both of their Sunday morning shoes are found and ready are set up the night before.  This makes getting two little boys dressed much easier.  Every Sunday they are dressed in a collared shirt, nice slacks, matching socks (ok, I'm glad they are even wearing socks) and nice non-muddy shoes.  A tie is option with Ethan if it's a complete button up shirt, he can pick a tie.  Lately he's been wanting a belt "like dad's".

Ethan on the way home. What a nut. May 2010

 But why get dressed up?  Is it Biblical?  Are you a better Christian with a closer walk with Christ because you wear your nice shoes and not your Sketchers?  Am I am better wife and mother to my kids for wearing hose and heels?


We dress up for church because we feel like it is respectfull to at least try to clean up and look nice since we are going to the House of the Lord.  I mean, if we are going somewhere to specifically worship Christ and be filled up to make it another week, the least I can do is put on a clean shirt.  I also feel like it teaches our kids to respect church.  We do not run up and down the aisles, we do not scream and run around like a monkey.  This is church.  There is a time and place for being silly, church is not one of  them.  Once you are in your classroom and it's play time, then have at it.  But do not jump on chairs or cause a mess in the bathroom (that goes for anywhere, not just church thankyouverymuch). 

Then we come home, everyone changes into normal clothes, 'church' clothes are hung back up on hangers, heat up lunch because we're usually starving, and life goes on. 

And since we're on the topic and this is my blog- lemme tell you.  It does bug me when short skirts and revealing tops are worn, not just at church but Walmart too.  But especially at church.  Who are you trying to impress, a deacon?  I don't understand how some parents let thier kids go out in public much less a Sunday morning wearing their skimpiest outfits.  Yes, I'm glad you came.  Amen.  Jesus said come as you are.  Hooray.  I'm glad you feel called.  Next time, just wear the tshirt and jeans and not the Hannah Montana miniskirt you got for Christmas 08 with the Juicy shirt.  Just sayin', just sayin'.

My mom

The day my dad died I think my mom went with him.  Dad died of all sorts of lung issues due to years of smoking.  It was a blessing that he passed as we all wondered why God had him hold on as long as he did.  I did not attend the funeral because a last minute flight down to Texas from MN would have cost about $700 and I didn't feel the need to go.  I knew she was in good hands and was well taken care of.  When you ask if I come from a large family, meaning blood relations, the answer is no.  If you want to know how many people cared about us as sisters and brothers, we come from the largest family known to man.  She was fine and I knew I didn't need to be there. 

He passed away October 13, 2007 and I decided to fly down with Ethan for Christmas so she'd have someone there for the first holiday time alone. Little did I know that most of her time would be taken up with the "retired single" people, people in their 50's and 60's who are single and out for a good time.  It was the first time I saw my mom drink four, or was it five, of those dollar margaritas in Mexico and act like a teenager. What was she doing?  She was out late dancing with her new found friends.  Ethan and I were alone a lot and I was ready to come home after a week.  What a waste of airfare and a trip.  At least I got to see some of my friends from back in the day.

Ethan onstage with my mom at a jam.  We come from a very musical family as I grew up in American Legions, VFW's, dance halls, and at outside jams.  I should blog about it.

 Then we didn't see mom until June of 2008 when she stopped in for three days on her way back from Alaska.  Her boyfriend, J, didn't feel comfortable and was in a hurry to get home, so off she went.  We were able to show her a few things around town and meet some of Kendall's family.  I know I have 4 or 5 pictures from that visit, but I don't know where they are.  Eh.

THEN, we didn't see her again till I was six months pregnant with Ernest and I drove Ethan and myself down in the minivan February 2009 and came back up a few weeks later.  I had already gone through a year of her not being around much as she had moved in with J up in Tennessee and we, the family, didn't really hear much from her.  I decided I didn't know what she was doing so I wanted to go down to Texas and get some things before she moved them to Tennessee never to be seen again or something.  The day after we arrived in Texas Kendall called to let me know he'd been laid off and would be home that day.  But that's a whole other blog post.  Mostly, Ethan and I hung out at home and went through boxes of stuff.  We held a garage sale and threw a LOT of stuff away. 

Ethan washing the minivan in February.  Oh Texas weather, how I miss thee...

Being pelted by sand at the beach, South Padre Island.

My brother, I have one, ended up saving the day by helping me load up a 5x8 uhaul that I towed up to Minnesota.  Six months pregnant + a 2 year old Ethan + trying to load up a uhaul = tiring/frusterating/good luck!  She left with J to Tennessee before I left to go back to Minnesota.  Yeah, it was a frusterating time.

On the way home we stopped and visited with my one aunt, two cousins and their families.

This is my Aunt Patty, whom when I call I still ask for "Aunt Patty".  I call every once and a while and send pictures because I love my Aunt Patty and miss her and her crew dearly.  She is my mom's only sister.  We went out to eat to a BBQ restraunt that served sweet tea in mason jars, decorated the walls with license plates and dead animals, and the sauce was home made.  Oh Texas, how I miss thee...

  Then, when we moved down to Texas for this past winter (November 2009-February 2010) we saw her even less.  She was busy at the flea market with J, they have a humungo 40 foot rv down at the flea market and sell their junk there.  It's there thing and is a fun hobby.  I know it's something Kendall wouldn't mind doing, but we need things like health insurance and a secure income so it'll have to wait. :-). 
Mom and Ethan at the flea market playing a piano. :)

Ethan giving mom a hug for his Valentine's day card, so sweet!

At the beach, once again in February, and it was a chilly day.  See the background fog?

I asked her recently if she was coming for Christmas to see the kids and meet the baby.  She said she was going skiing.  J has recently been diagnosed with all sorts of health problems so she's been helping him.  They live on a farm at the foot of the mountains with acres, chickens, 2 horses and a donkey.  She sounds busy and active when I talk to her.  We talk about 2 or 3 times a month now.  When dad was around we talked every day sometimes two times a day.  I don't get it, I don't know why she's so displaced.  All I know is I am learning how not to do it.  Note to self: when I have grandbabies I will go see them.  I will visit my children every year for more than a week.  I will keep my children a priority even when they are done being children. 

Poop.  It would be nice to have her around more.  She was always encouraging and had nicer things to say.  I love her and miss having her around.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Baby Update- 36 weeks

She is head down and engaged.  I think that's a fancy way of saying she can only do head spins instead of backflips.  :-)  Also, I am 1cm dilated. As we proceed into the final weeks the pressure of her head and weight will open the tunnel of no return.  Can I honestly say I'm looking forward to labor?  Yes.  To me, labor means "YOU ARE ALMOST DONE!"  Ernest had prodromal labor for three days.  I belive it was true labor for three days, not false labor, that took it's sweet time.  Whatever.

The end of one chapter is always the beginning of another.

34 weeks.  Translation: I want my bladder back.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

36 weeks

I am expanding. 

That is one mean looking preggo belly.  She is sitting right out in front with the placenta behind her (closest to my spine).  At this point, I just let it all hang out.  Breathing is optional.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My boy.

Ethan, age 2.

For those that don't know, I have two sons.  I generally refer to them as "this one" and "that one".  Several times I have thought of getting t-shirts so people can tell who I am speaking of.

This one is Ethan.  Ethan is my oldest child and was birthed May 2, 2006. 

He is strong willed to say the least.  He specializes in helicopters, tanks, being a "big helper", raising his younger brother, asking about his not-yet-born sister, declaring that "God is in heaven but He's also eatting breakfast with us", and reminding me that "being disobedient is a bad choice".   

Starting at age 3, we started having some issues, to say the least.  Mostly in hitting, and being generally disobedient.  


Seeing as how I live with him and I am around him the most, yes, I can see how this is true.  I try to let his teachers know that I do believe them, yes he has done it, don't be scared to come get me.  He has never thrown himself down in a typical tantrum like in the middle of the grocery store or anything.  But he will buck and pull.  If it doesn't make sense to him, he won't do it.  He's a pretty physical kid.  I haven't pinpointed his learning style yet but I'm glad I'm keeping him home with me.  He is 100% boy.  He still hits today and I always brace myself when I pick him up from Cubbies or Sunday School.  The first thing I ask the teacher is "How'd it go today?" and I always remind them to feel free and come get me if they need to.  I know him, I know what he's like, and I know it's not always daisies and butterflies.

He also has such a tender heart.  A heart for others.  A heart for serving.  He genuinely says "I'm sorry".  He is honest and readily admits to doing wrong.  It's a struggle I see in him.  I am continually teaching him to use his words, not his hands.  Hands are for helping, holding, hugging.  Hands are made for working alongside mom, stirring cookie dough and building forts.  Hands aren't made for hitting.  That's not what God wanted us to do with them when He made them. 

And oh how I pray for him.  How I love and cherish him.  He loves to help his mama.  "Mom, can I help?" is asked frequently.  As long as it doesn't involve boiling water, the answer is yes.  Get yourself a butter knife and help me cut potatoes.  Here's a spray bottle, help me scrub the floors.  Go get Ernest's bottle and hand it to him.  Help me bring down the groceries.  He's a human form of a golden retriever.

I once read that in order for selfishness to die, we must deny our flesh.  Selfishness in our household results in acts of servantry.  If you are wronged, you must love outwardly with an act of kindness.  If you hit, you must help.  If you destroy the tower, you help build a new one.

"You are so patient with him."
That's a line I hear often from other moms.  Or other people who see me with children in general.  Patient.  It has come at a cost.  You rarely see me yell, scream, hoot and holler.  It does no good.  With Ethan, it makes it ten, twenty times worse.  I must speak in a small voice.  I must get down low, look him in the eyes, direct his chin, and speak calmly.  A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prverbs 15:1  This scripture is engraved on my heart.  Embeded in my brain.  It also works well with credit card companies.  Another old country saying is "You get my flys with honey than you do with lemon juice."  Amen.   Try it, do it, act it.  How can I get him to control his word, actions, and voice if I can't control my own?  He see's, he soaks it up like a sponge, and that's how he'll be as an adult.

Tonight his teacher came and got me from Bible study to let me know Ethan hit.  Let me tell ya, we are blessed to have such wonderful volunteers at our church, especailly in Ethan's 4 year old class.  They are patient, they are kind, and they are getting to know him.  Ms Amy always welcomes him with a smile and a "We'll try again next time, ok buddy?"  God bless her.  Plus, she has one girl, four boys.  Home girl get's it.  And another helper, Sarah.  Who is so so so sweet.  She's so easy to smile, I just love her.

 "Ethan, why'd you hit that little boy?!?!"
 "He wasn't helping to clean up."


First night of Cubbies.  He asks if Cubbies is "on" every day.
 So readers, tonight, I just ask for a prayer.  Please pray for my son Ethan.  Pray that he has a heart for God, a yearning to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  Pray that his anger, frusterations, and frowns are formed into strength and power for our Lord.  Please pray for his mama :).  I can use all the wisdom I can get.  Pray that my heart stays soft and to cherish Ethan when he's ontop of a mountain or in a valley.  Just... just... just pray for our family tonight?  Something, anything.   I will really appreciate it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

We read the entire 2 Thessalonians!

Tonight we read out of the Bible!  Usually I'll read out of the Bible at breakfast because I'm the first one done.  Ernest is tied down and Ethan sometimes eats slow, so I know they aren't going anywhere.  We use a kid friendly Bible with scripture reference.  Ethan is always interested in the old testament, I think because of the wars and "good guy bad guy" scenarios such as David and Goliath and Pharoah and Moses.  I decided we'd spend some extra time in scripture so while the boys were playing with blocks I read 2 Timothy and after the baby went to bed Ethan painted some pictures and I got through the entire book of 2 Thessalonians.  I think this will be a great nightly ritual to have, hopefully Kendall will do it on the night's I'm not around.

Because who needs toys where there are diaper boxes everywhere?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Out of Love

This is an absolutely precious post that I wanted to share with ALL mother's, not just my fellow homeschooling crew.

Are you teaching the children to love God?  It's the best thing you CAN teach them.

My favorite quote from this post:
"It’s not our list of academic subjects or our to-do list that is important, it’s teaching the children in every circumstance and at every opportunity what it is to love God.

If I’m doing that everything else will fall into place."

Click over at Raising Olives to read her entire post.

Our 9/11

What a wonderful day!  Not only was the weather absolutely gorgeous with no humidity, but nothing crazy/stressful/obnoxious happened.   Can I get an amen to THAT?!?!!!

I went to my monthly Ladies Night Out, which was a retreat this month in a lakeside cabin with just my closest and most lovely girlfriends.  I am so blessed with wonderful friends in all different types of groups.  Just love it.  We spent the night andI was the first one to bed (at 10:48) and the last one up (at 9:17).  I needed the rest!  Plus I was able to take a shower without any interruptions, door knocking, or questions such as "Where are the garbage bags?".  I even WASHED MY HAIR IN PEACE.  It was great.

This morning I was able to awake leisurely, get dressed, and have a nice *hot* cup of coffee and delicious eggbake WITH fresh from the oven cinnamon rolls.  My friends can cook.  Be jealous.

Then, came home to a family outting to watch our local fire team control the burning of an abandoned apartment complex.  We stood there for an hour watching that thing burn down.  It really was amazing watching it because you don't get to see a building burn to the ground and there was quite the crowd.  We left shortly after the walls caved in, which is the coolest part.

On our way home we saw a crowd at the fairgrounds, so we stopped in and there was a rabbit show going on!  So we got the stroller out of the back of the minivan and walked around looking at all the different types of rabbits and one lady gave us a tour on the different types of rabbits and their different personalities.  Very interesting and the kids both enjoyed it.

We visited the park because, by golly, Minnesota doesn't offer many more days of sunshine and warm weather so we eat it up as much as we can. 

Then we came home for a while and cleaned up the house and left to visit my friend Kim and eat her homemade lasagna for dinner.  Once again, my friends can cook.  Be jealous.  It was so good, she doesn't skimp on cheese.

The end of our day was downtown at the VFW to watch a 21 gun salute for our 9/11 ceremony.  They played Taps and sang the national anthem.  In trying to preserve as much of my four year old's innocence  as I can I declined to explain 9/11 to him other than "We shoot the guns 21 times to honor all of the soldiers who have passed away.  This is for the American soldiers, the good guys."  Good enough for him.

Thank you Lord for this day.  I appreciate You giving me a wonderful day to be with my friends and family.  These are the days, God, that get me through to the next one.  Help me Lord to always cherish them. Amen!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook for 9/9/10


Outside my window... cool and misting, fall is upon us!

I am thinking... relief that Kendall and Ethan are spending great, quality, one-on-one time together watching the Vikings play.

I am thankful for... a healthy pregnancy and healthy children

From the learning rooms... preschool workbooks!  and a marble game Ethan only gets to play when Ernest is down for a nap or in bed for the night (due to marbles).

From the kitchen... dishes waiting to be done.  I'm making banana bread for Ladies Night Out tomorrow night!

I am wearing... gray skirt, striped sleeveless shirt and a black button down shirt over it.  My midwife said I looked nice today so it must have worked!

I am creating... banana bread?

I am going... to a cabin tomorrow night with some wonderful women from the local E Free church.  Excitment is an understatment.

I am reading... Cubbie's verses everyday with Ethan. 

I am hoping... my friend Audra has her baby Johnye Rose soon, babies are exciting!

I am hearing... the cars drive by in the rain water.  AND NOTHING ELSE!  Silence is gold.

Around the house... a mess.  I was gone all day.  Need I say more?

One of my favorite things... iced tea.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Clean up the house, grocery shop, Ladies Night Out, and some Mary Kay orders need to be placed.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing:
On their way to watch the Vikings game play.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

At least they're married

Our landlord called at 10am yesterday to let me know that him and an appraiser would be stopping by later in the day.  "Would you mind making sure the apartment is tidied up?"  To which a cloudy image of myself saying, "Sure!  No problem.  We live in a perpetual state of Better Homes and Garden, so nothing out of the ordinary needs to be done."  Then I blinked, looked around, and panicked. "Oh gosh.... ohgoshohgoshohgosh!"

Needless to say we got it all picked up and decent enough that I would be okay with letting my friends come over and see it.  But it wasn't ready for anyone like, say, the president or my inlaws. 
Just keepin' it real.

The  appraiser and my landlord came by, looked around, took pictures, and left all in about 8 minutes.  Then life was back to normal.  UNTIL I SAW IT.  My bra.  Hanging.  On the doorknob.  In the hallway.  Where these two dudes had just stood.

Call me old fashioned (cause I know I am) but I immediately was embarassed that these two men had just seen my underwear.  At least they weren't my maternity panties.  Or my "in the bedroom only" underwear.  Let's not go there, but you get the point. 

Kendall just laughed and said "Well, at least they're married." 

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Batter Spoon

I was making sugar cookies and gave Ernest the spoon.  His first Batter Spoon, awww.  Yes there were raw eggs in the dough and my mom would probably freak out if she knew I gave him the spoon. :-)

(Ernest is wearing a 24 month onesie, much too big but at least he has some sort of clothes on!)