Friday, July 31, 2009

The Devil & the Duck

This story was in a forwarded email I received a while back, and I just had to share it. I like reminders like these (whether the story is true or not) that speak to the heart...

There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced in the woods; but he could never hit the target. Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner.

As he was walking back he saw Grandma's pet duck. Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it. He was shocked and grieved! In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile; only to see his sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.

After lunch the next day Grandma said, 'Sally, let's wash the dishes' but Sally said, 'Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen.' Then she whispered to him, 'Remember the duck?' So Johnny did the dishes.

Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing and Grandma said, 'I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper.' Sally just smiled and said, 'well that's all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help?" She whispered again, 'Remember the duck?' So Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed to help.

After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's; he finally couldn't stand it any longer. He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck. Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug and said, 'Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you.'

Thought for the day and every day thereafter: Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done... And the devil keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, cheating, debt, fear, bad habits, hatred, anger, bitterness, etc.)....whatever it is...

You need to know that:

God was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing.

He has seen your whole life.

He wants you to know that He loves you and that you are forgiven.

He's just wondering how long you will let the devil make a slave of you.

The great thing about God is that when you ask for forgiveness; He not only forgives you, but He forgets. It is by God's grace and mercy that we are saved. Always remember: God is at the window! When Jesus died on the cross; He was thinking of you!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The other mommy

Evan's routine when he gets up from nap include - 1. looking for me, 2. heading straight to the kitchen to get his fruit snacks. Usually it's no big deal to find me since most of the time I'm right next to the kitchen feeding the girls when he wakes up.

Well, today was the exception as everyone woke up early from their naps and I was back in the girls' room playing with them.

When Evan woke up and was walking around the house looking for me, he called out and I answered back where I was. So he comes walking in Avery & Brynn's room, we chit chat, then he tells me he is going to go find his "other mommy".


I asked him what he was talking about (quite confused, I might add, and thinking I'm being replaced in his 3-year-old mind). I don't even remember what his answer was.

When I went out to the kitchen to help him with his snack, I realized what he was talking about.

The baby monitor.

I put it out in the kitchen while the kids were napping and never turned it off when I got the girls out of their crib.

When he asked where I was, he heard my voice in the kitchen and in the girls room. Two Mommies!

(ok, this story was much funnier when it happened... but I don't want to forget it, so ya'll get to read about it!)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dan

Happy Birthday to the man I love!
You are so good at loving us!
Kick back and enjoy!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Adventures in Potty Training - Part 4.3

Hard to believe it's been an entire month. But it's been exactly a month since we made our latest attempt at "potty training".

Let me just say, Evan is awesome. I'm biased, but he is awesome.

I can actually say he is 100% trained, well, maybe 99.99%. Number 1, Number 2, no diaper/pull up at nap, none during car rides or outings - NOT EVEN AT NIGHT! That last one was actually an accident on our part. We got home late one night and Dan just plain forgot to put a diaper on over his underwear when getting him ready for bed. He had been staying dry at night for about 3 weeks, so we figured we would just leave it alone and see what happened - he stayed dry again. So, now he just goes to bed with just undies. So proud of our little guy. It was no small effort on all of our parts, I must say.

So, with that - I thought I'd share the lessons we learned.

1. There is some magic combination to a child being ready and parents pushing them to "train." I couldn't really tell you what exactly it is, but I can say Dan and I had to be ready as much as Evan had to be ready. The first time we attempted a weekend of potty training we weren't ready. I'm sure Evan physically was ready, but Dan and I were not. I didn't have the patience to clean up pee and deal with the push-back I received when getting him to go on the potty. And in our experience, he didn't just come right out and say "Hey, Mom & Dad, I'm ready!" We had to watch carefully for his cues. (Part of this is the battle over control. For over 3 years we have been telling Evan what to do, where to go - and going to the bathroom was one thing he had control over, so us telling him to change it wasn't an easy pill for him to swallow - he had to be on board with it.)

2. Each child has their own motivations. M&M's, charts, stickers... not Evan's cuppa tea.. But take away his favorite toy? Oh yeah. That was it for him.

3. The first couple days in underwear there WILL be accidents. Evan never had to worry about when it was ok to pee. He just went. I was so worried when he would go every 20 minutes the first couple days, but after he associated the "feeling" and being wet, he was able to hold it longer and only go every couple hours.

4. I still have to remind him. He's three. He likes to play. And sometimes he forgets. He is getting better about getting to the potty on his own, but there are still times when he goes a little bit and then runs!

5. It really is a journey (and adventure). There are stages we had to get through with Evan. I am still a little nervous about going places with him. Especially if I'm not sure where the bathrooms are. I bought a small potty chair that fits in the van... just in case we have to make an emergency stop. Ya just never know!

Thanks for sharing in the mayhem! In a couple more years I'll be working with the girls, so wish me luck now!! :)

If you want to catch up on the journey:
Part 4.2
Part 4.1
Part 3.3
Part 3.2
Part 3.1
Part 2
Part 1

Thursday, July 23, 2009

the Zoo

We have an exotic animal zoo in our po-dunk town that we visited for the first time last week. Evan kept asking for the doggies and cows and run-of-the-mill animals you can see roaming all over the place... go figure.

But Evan did enjoy feeding the bears. For 25 cents. So cool.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Enchilada Casserole

I have to share this new recipe I just tried tonight...

Enchilada Casserole

Yummy, yummy, yummy hardly begins to describe it. It was really close to surpassing some of the crockpot favorites we have been trying lately. The only reason it didn't is because I do not believe any part of it is healthy. Well maybe a little part. just a little.

Here is what I changed:
*When I browned the meat, I added red pepper flakes to kick up the spicy factor a bit. Love me some spicy-ness.
*I used whole wheat tortillas
*I used a smaller dish (no idea what size) - so I ended up using a little less ingredients because I didn't have enough room to layer. (4 tortillas instead of 6 and a little less cheese)
*I should have used less corn (I used frozen white corn) - the recipe called for 2 cups, but I would have had only a small amount left, so I used a little more than 2 cups. It was too much. As Dan said, the corn should be an accent to the dish, not overpowering it. Probably could get away with only using 1 cup.

The best part of this meal is that Evan gobbled it up. He doesn't dig too many of the crockpot meals I have been making, so to find something he will eat is great!

All Clean!

Anybody ever have bubbles in their rice before?

I thought maybe I didn't rinse out the pan well enough.

Dan thinks maybe rice just does this.

It didn't taste like soap.

Who knows.

If all else, our insides should be all clean!

Friday, July 17, 2009

the cousins

here is the picture I accidentally deleted off my post from earlier this week... super cute of all the cousins!

Evan, Joslyn, Brynn, Paige, Avery, Brooke

...and because it's like, against the law or something, we couldn't stop at just one picture of the kiddos

Now, maybe you know why there is someone holding Evan in place...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

best. picture. ever.

My Aunt Elaine captured this wonderful moment in time...


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

the new 'do

It was time for something new...
...and that's my natural "curl".
I have never, EVER, allowed a hairstylist to keep my hair curly!
Amazing all the new things I've been trying!

Welcome Home!

Just a couple pics from when we welcomed my Dad home from the hospital last weekend...

yes, I am a dork...

awe... puppy missed her daddy...

the ONE good thing about my dad being in the hospital
(other than getting better, of course)...

making a balloon out of a glove...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Our Weekend

This past weekend was gearing up to be fantastic!

Busy, but fantastic.

My Aunt Elaine & Uncle Gary from AZ were visiting my parents in Omaha.

My cousin Nikki was celebrating her May wedding with a reception in Lincoln, sprinkled and topped with lots of family we haven't seen in a while.

And our krew was going out to join in on all the fun!

But the 4th of July weekend my Dad went into the hospital. I'll spare all the drawn out details, but it was a little scary. They found an infection in his leg, and it quickly became pneumonia that wasn't healing the way it should have, and the doctors couldn't figure out why.

Ugh, weekend not so fantastic.

When we got to Omaha on Thursday night, we went straight to the hospital. My Dad was looking much better, according to my mom. Yikes, 'cause he wasn't looking all that great. (sorry, Dad) But we went to see him Friday morning again, and he looked WAY better than the day before. And the doctor came in while we were there and told him he would likely be able to come home on Saturday! He was getting enough better that he could come home to recover the rest of the way.

Yay, fantastic!

So, overall it was a fantastic weekend.

Busy, but fantastic!

I am so thankful my Dad was able to come home early (the doctors at one point had said Monday, but they weren't even sure it would be that soon...)!!

Some photos of the weekends events:

me & my honey

my Mom wrangling Joslyn & Evan

my brother, Jim and his sweetheart, Valerie

the newlyweds, Nikki & Justin

There are about a million (that's only slightly exaggerating) other pictures from the weekend and it would take me forever to get them uploaded and formatted for this blog post, so I'll try to post more throughout the week... (nap time is only so long and I should probably do laundry or something) And I just accidentally deleted a cute picture of the cousins and I am too lazy (or frustrated, one of the two) to fix it... maybe tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Adventures in Potty Training - Part 4.2

It has been a solid two weeks of "potty training."

My kid rocks.

The first couple days were rough. Lots of accidents, lots of tantrums.

By the middle of day one I was hitting the discussion boards trying to get ideas of how not to lose my mind.

One of the ideas that piqued my interest was taking a toy away each time he had an accident. At first I was hesitant because I didn't want to make it any more negative than it already felt. But I tried it.

It didn't take long. I took Evan's favorite toy away and he was all over it. He had to potty on the toilet without me reminding him in order to earn it back. By day 2 he was earning all his toys back and having hardly any accidents - much to my surprise he woke up dry from nap! I was pretty excited, and that was about all I needed to keep going.

He has stayed dry at nap time EVERY DAY since day 2! I finally made the plunge late last week and I put him down for nap with only his undies. (I was putting a pull up on over his underwear - just in case) Yikes. That was a big step for me.

His next big development has been staying dry at night. I was figuring it would be a while before we reached that milestone. Nope. After about a week he started waking up dry!!! Say what?!?! He has stayed dry every night for over a week, but I'm still hesitant to put him to bed with only his underwear.

We started out by putting a diaper on, with underwear over top of it - mostly because I knew he wouldn't stay dry. Well, now that he stays dry we started putting a diaper on top of the underwear - just in case. (Mostly so I can re-use it the next night - I'm gonna save that 35 cents, darn it!) Not sure when I will be comfortable sending him to bed with only undies.

So, the BIG #2. Well, our current attempt at potty training started by him running to the toilet to go poo, but he did have a little set back a few days after we started. And yesterday. But the two times he has had a #2 accident, have really just been accidents. He gets it, and the norm is that he goes in the toilet.


So, I must say this is a true adventure. I started writing about my lessons learned, and eventually I will probably post it. But not now. I have to finish packing. So, wish me luck as I venture on a 5 hour car ride with a newly potty trained little boy...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

the verdict on squash

Both Avery & Brynn LOVE, LOVE, LOVED squash.

You woulda thought I starved the kids or something the way they gobbled it up!

Yummy, yummy! You can't really tell by the looks on their faces, but they really did love it! Which makes me so happy since this was my first attempt at homemade baby food!! Yay!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

fav fotos

So happy I found - a great (free) photo editing software.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

the krew

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

look what I can do!

(It would really help my cause if you could think of that guy on MadTV while you read the title of this post in a sing-song way...) (Oh, and the clip that I linked to is rather fitting for our situation with 3 kids...)

Brynn has FINALLY rolled to her tummy! I know, I know, she's right on track - tomorrow being her 5 month "birthday" and all. But she has been working as hard as I've ever seen anyone work to get over onto her tummy all by herself, for at least the past month!

I have LOTS and LOTS of video of her almost getting there.

And wouldn't ya know. I didn't get her first roll on video. The little stinker. But I got her second roll.

She is SO proud of herself - and she should be! And, as expected, I can't keep her off her tummy now. She LOVES that she can get there by herself!

Look what else she is learning to do...

The perch

This is typically where we find Yoshi while we are eating.

You can't say she's stupid.
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