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Friday, October 31, 2008

My traditional husband and his traditional pumpkins.

My husband loves to carve the pumpkin at Halloween and he takes it very seriously.

But don't expect elaborate scenes or realistic faces to be carved into his pumpkins.

Because Dan is very traditional.

For example, in furniture, he prefers pieces that look like they may have been something George Washington would have slept in or Benjamin Franklin may have eaten at.

If it's clothes, he prefers Levi's (501's please, none of this button fly nonsense) and either a Polo or a button-down shirt.

If it's literature, he prefers Moby Dick or A Separate Peace or any non-fiction history book over something written by John Grisham or Stephen King.

It it's music, he prefers classic rock. Please do not try to make him listen to anything that may include a synthesizer, rap lyrics or anything that is performed by someone under the age of 30. A little Neil Young is all he needs.

And when it comes to Jack-O-Lanterns, the traditional triangle eyes and nose and toothy grin make us happy around here.

Happy Halloween!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Road Kill Engineer. At least it pays the bills.

I was on my way home from a doctor's appointment this morning and I noticed something strange ahead of me.

A bright yellow county work truck was parked on the side of the road and two men in bright yellow county work vests were standing in the middle of the road.

I hadn't seen any signs warning me of road work but I slowed down anyway since the men were standing in the middle of the road.

I assumed they must be patching up potholes because one of the men had a shovel in his hands and was actively working with it

Then I realized he was scraping something off the road. As I got closer, I saw that he had scraped a large possum off the road and had it in his shovel. (I won't lie. I gagged a little.)

As I passed him, I wondered if he would also be removing the deer carcase that was laying a few miles up the road.

Because that one is going to be at least a three shovel job.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Marshmallow ghost treats!

Yesterday I wanted to make a Halloween treat with the kids, so we made ghosts out of marshmallows and Candiquik. Because I figured they weren't going to get enough sugary treats this week.

They didn't turn out as professional looking as some of the others I have seen around the web and in different magazines but the kids and I had fun making them.

All you do melt vanilla Candiquik in the microwave for 1 minute (many recipes called for melting white chocolate with milk but I think this was much quicker and you get the same result. Plus I got the Wal-Mart version of the Candiquik cheaper than the white chocolate).

Then poke two large marshmallows on sucker sticks (which I also bought at Wal-Mart).

Then roll the marshmallows in the melted Candiquik until they are covered and then use gel icing to make a ghostly face.

I laid these on a plate to harden and in hindsight, I should have used wax paper because I had to use a knife to pry them off the plate.

It would have been even better if I had some Styrofoam or even some Oasis flower foam to stick them in while they hardened.

This was a very quick spooky snack and the kids and their friends gobbled them up.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Miracle Monday - Keep Believing

It's Miracle Monday again and today, I'm asking for your prayers for Angie and Brian and their family.

Many of you are probably following Angie's blog, Keep Believing, and you already know about Brian's brain tumor.

He has been fighting this cancer for over 10 years now and last month, an MRI revealed that the tumor is growing.

Angie is asking for the following prayers on her blog:

  • For a miracle in Brian's healing

  • Brian's speech restored and headaches to subside

  • For Brian's white and all other blood counts to stay in normal limits and other minimal chemo side effects

  • God's direction and guidance for Brian's medical team

  • Renewed emphasis in our spiritual/prayer life

  • Brian's right side strength restored and continued healing

  • Giving us grace moments of feeling like a normal family - peace and strength

Please add Brian and Angie to your prayer list and pray all of these things for them.

As you pray, please remember that God is a God of miracles and that he has the power to heal Brian.

"But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds," declares the Lord. Jeremiah 30:17

Keep Believing

If you have a miracle you would like to share, it's easy to participate. Just post a miracle on your blog and link it back here using Mr. Linky below.

Please mention "A Mom's Life" and my URL in your post. And if you want, you can use the Miracle Monday button in your post as well.

PLEASE NOTE - when linking make sure to link to your Miracle Monday post. Do not link to the front page of your blog.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Looks Can Be Deceiving

I was looking through some old pictures the other day and came across this one.

This picture was taken in June of 2005. Sarah was 1 and Peter was 2. Don't they look adorable? So happy. So sweet. So loving.

Well, looks can be deceiving. They had been wrestling right before I took this picture and Sarah was winning.

You don't want to mess with Sarah. But that's a different post for a different day.

As I was looking at this picture, I realized that they started fighting early.

But I want these two to be friends. I want to them to grow up knowing they can count on one another.

Some days I hear Peter giggling while he's playing baby dolls with Sarah and other days I see Sarah contentedly watching Peter play a game on the computer.

But most days there is fighting, yelling, bickering, crying and occasionally hitting.

I know this is normal but it's something I hope they outgrow quickly. I want them to be able to overlook petty differences and small fights and really enjoy each other's company.

I want them to know that when Dan and I are gone, they still have family they can depend on.

I want them to remember -

"How good and pleasant it is when brothers(and sisters!) live together in unity!" - Psalm 133:1

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Works For Me Wenesday - It's all about the sauce!

It is always a struggle to kid my kids to eat their vegetables. If it's green and placed on their plate,they will not eat it - especially Peter.

And they are completely over Ranch dressing as a dipping sauce unless there is a nugget involved.

So in my quest to get them to eat more vegetables, I tried out a new dipping sauce...hollandaise!

I love hollandaise sauce but most of the recipes I have found for it are a little too complicated for a simple cook like me.

But I searched until I found one that looked doable and I made it one evening when we were having broccoli.

The results can be summed up in one word - YUM!

It was so good that I was practically licking the bowl when I ran out of broccoli to dip in it. And the kids managed to eat a small serving of broccoli without too much gagging, so I considered it a smashing success.

Here is the recipe for Easy Hollandaise Sauce:

1/2 cup butter
3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
dash cayenne pepper or hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons hot water

Heat butter in a heavy saucepan until hot and foamy, but not browned. In a small bowl, whisk or beat egg yolks with lemon juice, salt, and cayenne pepper or hot sauce. Gradually beat in butter, then water. Return mixture to saucepan and beat over very low heat until mixture is slightly thickened. Serve immediately or let stand over warm water for up to 30 minutes.

(Recipe courtesy of

If you are looking for more tips, head on over to Rocks In My Dryer for more Works For Me Wednesday.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dave Ramsey would be so proud!

Ever since we moved into this house, almost two years ago, I have not been happy with the kitchen table.

It is a rectangle that seats four people and it can be expanded to seat 6. This was all well and good except that the space for our kitchen table is rather small and not well-suited for a rectangle shaped table.

When the kids want to come in and out of the backdoor, they have to be careful not to open the door into the table. And since they are 4 and 5, being careful doesn't come easily to them. So we have dinged up both the door and the table.

And to make matters worse, because the table is too big for the space, the light above the table is off-center and drives me crazy every time I look at it.

The rectangle table was purchased in 1998 from Rooms To Go and is made of pine. And anyone with pine furniture knows it is cheap (which is why they sell it at Rooms To Go) and that it gets scratched up easily.

And to make matters worse, the chairs were upholstered in a CREAMY WHITE FABRIC!
Why any manufacturer would ever upholster dining room chairs in the first place is beyond me and then to do them in a light fabric is adding insult to injury!

Clearly I bought these before I had kids! It didn't take long for the creamy white fabric to turn a strange shade of gray.

We don't have it in our budget right now to buy a new table and new chairs and with a 4-year-old and a 5-year-old, it isn't practical anyway.

Mom offered us an old table that she had in her basement. I took one look at it and knew it would be perfect.

The table is 100-years-old and made of a sturdy oak. It was actually used in my great grandfather's house so I know this table can withstand the wear and tear of our little family.

But it didn't come with chairs.

So we did what any good students of Dave Ramsey would do - we repainted and reupholstered our existing chairs.



So, not only are we able to incorporate a family heirloom into our decorating, but we updated 6 chairs for under $70!

Now if I can just figure out a way to reupholster our ugly sofas!

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Miracle Monday

It's Miracle Monday again!

If you have something to share, I hope you will write about it today. And remember, miracles can be big or small.

Last week, my friend Corey over at Living and Loving Every Minute Of It left a miracle.

Many of you are probably familiar with Corey. She is a talented photographer who really knows her way around a camera.

Last week, she posted some truly amazing before and after pictures of a girl named Michelle.

Go check them out and see what the power of prayer and the miracle of modern medicine can do to bring a little girl back from the grasp of death.

If you have a miracle to share, it's easy to participate. Just post a miracle on your blog and link it back here using Mr. Linky below.

Please mention "A Mom's Life" and my URL in your post. And if you want, you can use the Miracle Monday button in your post as well.

PLEASE NOTE - when linking make sure to link to your Miracle Monday post. Do not link to the front page of your blog.

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This edition of Miracle Monday is now closed. Please come back next Monday if you would like to leave a miracle. Thanks!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Food for thought...

I have a great Bible. It's called the Mom's Devotional Bible.

It's published by Zondervan and the devotions contained in it are written by MOPS International (Mother's of Preschoolers). Thanks Heather!

This morning, I was reading one of the devotionals and it was entitled "Shaping Up Your Tongue".

The gist of the article is that the tongue is often the most out-of-shape muscle in the body but that a lifelong practice of prayer exercise will help get it in shape.

First they recommend tabulating your current rate of tongue slips to get an idea of how out-of-shape your tongue really is. As I read this I thought, I could probably use a little work but overall my tongue is probably o.k.

And then one sentence in the devotional made me cringe.

'A slip of the tongue is anything you wouldn't say in the presence of Jesus.'

Hmmmm...well when you put it that way, perhaps I should just keep my mouth shut!

"The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks." - Luke 6:45

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Please don't tell me to get her a baby doll!

I found this in Sarah's room this morning...
Here it is from another angle...

And what is it, you might ask?

Well, let me show you...

It is a turkey that Sarah made in preschool last year.
After I left her room last night, she lovingly placed the pillow beside her bed. She gently placed the turkey on top of the pillow and delicately covered it with a Kleenex.

Who needs 37 baby dolls and doll accessories when you have a paper turkey and a tissue?

And Sarah calls this turkey a chicken. She's been calling it a chicken since she made it last year.

I guess she has a touch of poultry confusion!
Here she is in a picture I took of her yesterday afternoon.

Yes, it's mid-October and she's wearing a sundress. But it was in the high 70's here yesterday and it's going to be in the mid 80's today.

If it wasn't for the skeleton hanging in my house, I would think it was July!
Sundresses, skeletons, and turkeys...just another day!

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Miracle Monday

It's Miracle Monday! Instead of highlighting a miracle today, I thought I would highlight a portion of scripture.

As the stock market is crashing and retirement funds disappearing and as gas prices are at an all time high and many people are worried about how they are going to pay their bills and feed their families, I just wanted to remind everyone of this...

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.

29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'

32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. - Matthew 6:25-34

God will give us all that we need, all we have to do is ask him, trust him and believe in him.

*Thanks to Alicia for the inspiration for this post.

If you have a miracle to share, it's easy to participate. Just post a miracle on your blog and link it back here using Mr. Linky below.

Please mention "A Mom's Life" and my URL in your post. And if you want, you can use the Miracle Monday button in your post as well.

PLEASE NOTE - when linking make sure to link to your Miracle Monday post. Do not link to the front page of your blog.

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This edition of Miracle Monday is now closed. If you have a miracle you want to share, please come back next Monday. Thank!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A sure sign there are too many political ads...

As Peter was drying off after his bath tonight, he looked in the mirror, puffed out his chest and said, "I'm John McCain and I paid for this message!"

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

I'm a rock star, baby!

I ate lunch with my son again on Friday.

Between volunteering for Spanish Enrichment where I am in all 4 Kindergarten classes every Wednesday, volunteering in my son's class every Thursday and eating lunch with him whenever he can convince me, it feels like I am always there.

And I guess volunteering to help with Spanish Enrichment isn't such a bad thing because in addition to getting a better understanding of exactly what is going on in my son's class, I am getting to meet all of the Kindergarteners.

And it makes me feel like a rock star.

As I was walking through the cafeteria yesterday, kids were waving at me, yelling out "Hola, Miss Beth" and tugging on their friends shirts and pointing in my direction.

Several kids even came up and gave me hugs. HUGS!

I think next week I'm going to take my Sharpie in case any of them ask for my autograph.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

And just think of all the money I could have saved by NOT sending him to preschool!

After volunteering in my son's class today, I ate lunch with him.

He was munching on an apple when I asked him what his favorite part of school was.

He thought for a moment and then answered me. "Lunch," he said with a giggle.

"What's your next favorite thing?" I quizzed him, a little uncomfortable with his Sweathog response.

"Going to the playground!" he answered with some hesitation.

"And then what?" I asked him, hoping for an answer that at least resembled something academic.

And with no pause at all, he answered, "Coming home!"

I had been eagerly awaiting the start of Kindergarten because I knew Peter was going to love it. At least that was my hope.

He really enjoyed preschool and it only seemed to follow that he would enjoy Kindergarten. But that doesn't seem to be the case and it worries me.

People are continually asking me how Peter likes school.

And I continue to give them the same half-hearted answer, "He doesn't like getting up early but I think he's enjoying it."

I had a conversation with Jennifer yesterday and she thinks it is because he's bored.

She volunteered in the class (her son Colton is in the class too) earlier in the week and she said that Peter and Colton both already knew everything that was being taught in the center that they were working in.

At lunch today, I asked him why he didn't like school very much. And his answer was, "We are working on letter sounds. I already did that in preschool."

So, perhaps Jennifer is right. Perhaps he really is just bored.

So now when people ask me how Peter likes Kindergarten I guess I'm going to answer them with a hearty, "He's completely bored because he already knows it all!"

O.k. maybe I won't answer it like that but I'll be thinking that in my head while I give them my standard response.

In the meantime, what am I supposed to do so that he doesn't lose interest in school and decide at the ripe old age of 5 that he hates school?

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Do they wobble to and fro?

Peter and Sarah are good at getting me to linger in their rooms at bedtime.

Usually they say, "Mommy, can I ask you a question?"

Throught the day they ask me if they can ask me a question before they ask it (not sure why they do this, but they both do it) so it seems only fitting that when they are trying to stay up a little later at night, that they would use this as a ploy.

On Sunday night as I was trying to leave Peter's room I heard the usual, "Mommy! Wait! Can I ask you a question?"

So I said yes like I always do and leaned down over his bed to hear the question.

And as usual, there really wasn't a question but I could see the little gears in his head spinning as he tried to quickly think up one.

Finally, he blurted out, "Do your ears hang low?"

I laughed out loud and then we both began to giggle.

What a memory that kid has! I can't even remember the last time we listened to the CD with that song on it.

Through my chuckling I told him goodnight and that no, my ears did not hang low.

I have lots of things hanging in different places these days but my ears are still right where they should be!

Do your ears hang low?
Do they wobble to and fro?
Can you tie them in a knot?
Can you tie them in a bow?
Can you throw them o'er your shoulder
Like a Continental Soldier?
Do your ears hang low?

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Miracle Monday

Welcome to Miracle Monday!

Last week, Debra at Clothed In Scarlet, left a beautiful entry about answered prayer.

Debra had gone home for the weekend to visit family and while attending her old church, she ran into an old friend of her daughter's.

She was very excited to see this girl because the girl was at church with her new husband.

In Debra's words,

"This young lady is now secure for God's Kingdom. And you can see the joy on her face. She is transformed. And it is nothing short of a miracle.

I could list for you all of the things she used to be steeped in, but they no longer have a chain on her and it's the miracle of God changing her heart that matters, not the past! And it is the changed life that no one can ever dispute...ever."

Debra keeps a prayer journal and when she got home from her weekend away, she opened her prayer journal and found the entry that she made in 1998:

**prayer entry...Kerrie wants to be married to a man that will come to church with her like Jason does with us.

Debra marked this entry as "answered" on 9/28/1998.

What a wonderful miracle!

Debra faithfully prayed for Kerrie to make a turnaround in her life.

As Kerrie was making this turnaround, she prayed for God to send her a faithful man and 10 years later, these prayers have been answered!

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. - Mark 11:24

If you have a miracle to share, it's easy to participate. Just post a miracle on your blog and link it back here using Mr. Linky below.

Please mention "A Mom's Life" and my URL in your post. And if you want, you can use the Miracle Monday button in your post as well.

PLEASE NOTE - when linking make sure to link to your Miracle Monday post. Do not link to the front page of your blog.

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This edition of Miracle Monday is now closed. Please come back next Monday if you have a miracle you would like to share!

Friday, October 3, 2008

I probably forgot to mention all of this...

Did I mention that I was roped into volunteered to help teach Spanish Enrichment to the four Kindergarten classes every Wednesday?

Did I mention that I don't speak Spanish? That I took French in high school?

Did I mention that I found out that being Room Mom essentially means calling other parents (that I don't know) and asking them to volunteer at different centers during all the class "celebrations"? And that not only do they have to volunteer at these different centers but that they also have to provide all of the items that will be used at said centers.

Did I mention that I hate calling people I don't know to ask them to do things that I know they probably don't want to do?

Did I mention that I'm ready for summer vacation?

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

One final post about hair. I promise.

I'm talking about hair - again - but I'll be quick so stick with me.

At the beginning of summer, I got my hair cut and was slowly, very slowly, beginning to work my way up to an inverted bob, much like the one Posh Spice sports .

But I had decided I was going to do it slowly so that I could make sure I liked the cut and if I decided I didn't, it wouldn't be too hard to go back to a classic bob.

Last week, I got a little more cut off in the back so that it is a little more angled. You can't really tell a difference from the front but the back is shorter.

I didn't post any pictures of this latest cut, because I figured that continually boring you with pictures of a hair cut that is imperceptibly different from the one before it would get old.

Several months ago, many of you told me I should just Go For It! Go for it and get the reverse angled Posh Spice bob.

But today, I want to defend my reason for not getting braver and bolder in my attempt to emulate the Posh Spice reverse angled bob or the POB as it is now called. (Yes. The hair world has dubbed her cut the POB!)

You see, I knew it was only a matter of time before Posh got tired of all of middle America having her hairstyle AND more importantly, it's not easy to grow out a POB.

Which left Posh with only one option:

That's right.

Two years ago, Posh Spice, aka Victoria Beckham, got a really cute, innovative bob and made all of America (and me!) want to get our hair cut just like her and then she goes PIXIE on us.


When I finally decided to jump on the bandwagon, the director decided to change the tune.

And this time, it's a tune that I just don't have the cheek bones to play!

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Gracie is finally home.

Gracie Jean Lockyer passed away this morning at 8:08.

The family has asked that we not be saddened but to join them in rejoicing because Gracie is in heaven. Gracie has finally made it home.

Thanks to everyone who prayed for Gracie and her family. Please continue to keep them in your prayers.

If you would like, you can leave them a message in the guest book at the CaringBridge site.

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