Thursday, December 18, 2008

What we gave

It's hard to see me, but you can tell Brent bought me some great things. My favorites are the hair straightener (I killed mine a while back!) and the Martha Stewart glitter and glue for card making.
Brent got an alarm clock/docking station for his ipod and 4 books from his list.

Hannah got a stamping gift made up of stamps and stickers, a cooking gift complete with her own pink measuring cups, pink spatula and kids' cookbook, some chapter books, and a few smaller things. My favorite gift we gave her is the potholder loop loom that every little girl has at one time or another in her early crafting career!
Sarah received several books that do things like make music, have flaps or finger puppets, a baby doll that cries, a little pop-up thing-a-majigger, and her very own "blueberry"-fisherprice's baby version of a blackberry!
Daniel received a football, a DS game, a set of Nancy Drew Mystery computer games, and a few other small things as well.
We all had a great time sharing with each other. Now I'm off to put Sarah down for an early nap because I want to play with my new toys, I mean she got up early and is very sleepy!

Opening presents at our home

Brent reading the Christmas story with the kids. Daniel informed Brent that the Christmas story was in Luke 2:1-20. Brent teased him about the reading the entire chapter--all 50 some verses!
This is an unusual Christmas season for us. We are travelling to everyone this year! This means we have 4 different times we get to open presents. We're still trying to figure out the best time to leave for my parents' home because of the big snowstorms heading our way. So we went ahead and opened the presents we have for each other this morning. Sarah was still asleep even though Daniel and Hannah were raring to go, so Brent woke her up. She was so cuddly! We never get to cuddle with her anymore. She snuggled up with Brent for a good long while. I think she sensed my jealousy over not getting to snuggle with her, because just about the time I could stand it no longer, she came over and snuggled up to me! Brent read the Christmas story and then we opened our presents. It's the first time Sarah was able to understand opening presents of any sort, and we had a good time. By the time the holidays are over she will really have the whole gift thing down!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

about my dad...

One last post for today...thank you to those of you who have been praying for my dad. He is now home from the hospital without surgery. He has had diverticulosis for several years, which is not as serious as diverticulitis. Diverticulitis involves infection, the "osis" kind only involves large welts along the walls of your colon. It was quite strange. He was never in any pain, but had a great deal of internal bleeding. His hemoglobin count was affected, but he now seems to be fine. If this happens again, the specialist said they will definitely be doing surgery. They had no idea what caused the welts to begin bleeding so it could happen again tomorrow or not again for another 30 years! He does seem to have an extremely bad case of the Diverticulosis but this is the first time in 7 years he's had any problems. Thanks again for praying!

Something funny a friend sent to me

HOLIDAY EATING TIPS

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's the holidays!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a holiday party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it.

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted holiday cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Have a great holiday season.

I never realized how mild my other children were!

I never knew that Daniel and Hannah were such mild-mannered children when they were toddlers. The biggest struggle we had with both of them was getting them to talk with others and not be so shy. They seemed afraid of everyone. Hannah was afraid of every man that came near her. Sarah on the other hand is the complete and total opposite! Let me just say that again...Sarah is the complete and total opposite! She is into everything and everyone everywhere! It was literally all I could do yesterday to keep up with her--and I had 2 extra sets of hands helping me since Daniel and Hannah were home on Christmas break.
Brent had a check-up last night in town so he brought home Papa Murphy's pizza for us--you order it and bake it at home. He had a coupon for free garlic bread or free cookie dough, which he LOVES. He made the ultimate sacrifice and brought the garlic bread home instead of the cookie dough knowing I would prefer that. So Hannah and I made him chocolate chip cookie dough last night (and a few cookies were even baked, too!) Hannah and I were at the microwave softening butter because unlike Martha I never remember to soften my butter ahead of time and always just zap it in the microwave. While we had our backs turned, Sarah pulled her red stool up to the counter and grabbed the bag of opened chocolate chips and sat down and started eating them. I took them away from her (which she did not like one bit!) and kept on baking. Just a few minutes later, she jumped back up on her stool, grabbed the chips, but this time took off running with them and started scarfing them down as she ran knowing they would soon be taken away from her! The girl is not yet 2!!! She brought me the entire gallon container of snack mix I made the other day. She had gotten up on her stool so she could reach them at the back of the counter, pulled it down, taken the lid off, and was carrying them around the kitchen so proud of herself. She wasn't so proud when I took care of the issue for sure!
The pics are of Sarah and how she looked after eating her spoonful of cookie dough that I gave her. The second one is of her on her little red stool--I didn't let her get the cookies--I just took the pic so you could see her little red stool that has become the arch nemesis of our family!
On a different note...the actual temp here this morning when I woke up around 7:00--is negative 12--that's the ACTUAL TEMPERATURE!!! (and yes, I meant that to be all caps because I was yelling!) We'll be staying inside today for sure. I think I used up all my creativity occupying Hannah yesterday...could make for an interesting day for sure!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Snow Day!

The kids and I made ornaments to decorate the garland around their bedroom doors this past week when they were off of school for a snow day. You can't tell it from this picture, but each snowflake is sparkly from the glitter paint we used. It's a great mess-free way to get a very fine sparkle that isn't all goopy with that typical messy kid glue and glittered look. It was a spray can of glitter I found in the Walmart craft section. It's something we'll definitely use again!
The finished product. They are thrilled to have their own decorations complete with lights.
We punched the snowflakes out using my ancient Sizzix die-cutting machine and my new Martha Stewart snowflake punch. The kids got such a kick out of being able to do these things on their own.
We put the painted snowflakes on drywall scraps and painted them with out glitter paint. Then we glued a white and red one together with a little gold flake in the middle. They really turned out nice, I must say! Some of our attempts in the past have been less than stellar, but these are actually worth packing up carefully for years to come!

Friday, December 12, 2008

more of her shenanigans!

Trying to get a good shot of a two year old is worse than pulling eye teeth!

Playing peek a boo with mommy and the camera...yeah that's it! She wasn't being stubborn and not wanting me to see her face...no, it was peek-a-boo!!!
Okay, we'll try it sitting down...still no good! We'll try it with Hannah holding her--definitely not a good idea!
Try to snap a shot while she's walking towards me...no good here, either!
Last resort still didn't work! Trying to get a shot while she's kicking and crying hoping both feet will land on the floor at the same time while she has half a frown/smile on her face at the exact time the camera goes off--not likely! You can tell Daniel was less than thrilled by this point...I gave up and went with individual shots of each of them instead.

The kids' Christmas Program

The kids had their school Christmas program last night. Here are some of the random shots we took during before and after.Daniel's on the top row in between the fifth and sixth graders. He's only 4th grade...that's why he looks so little!
Hannah got to be one of the angels. Not too many angels I know wear pearls with their costumes, but then again, Hannah's not an ordinary angel, that's for sure!

Hannah with her teacher, Mrs. Norris. Mrs. Norris is tough on her students and sets the bar high for them, but that makes them strive harder. I'm a firm believer that students will rise to meet your expectations of them. What I appreciate most about Mrs. Norris is the love that balances everything with. She loves her students, and they know it, and they love her in return!
Daniel with his teacher, Miss Jansma. Daniel has had Miss Jansma for 3rd and 4th grades. She's the perfect transition from homeschooling to the traditional classroom. She's laid back and fun, but still manages to get the kids to learn. She's young and energetic which is perfect for this age--especially the boys!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sarah loves her bath so much she'll do just about anything to be able to play in the tub! I was doing Hannah's hair for their school Christmas program tonight and Sarah decided she wanted to play--in the tub--in her clothes--with water in the bucket leftover from Hannah's shower! Yep...she's pretty much soaked and not caring one bit! She's still in there in fact and we've all been long gone from the bathroom! I have a gazillion pics to post from the last couple of events around here...probably will get to that tomorrow after the school festivities wind down!

A quick prayer request

Please pray for my dad...he's been in the hospital the last several days with some internal bleeding. He began hemorrhaging Tuesday night, and they took him to the ER. The bleeding is a result of diverticulosis that he's had for about the last 7 years. While the bleeding has slowed, it has not stopped. Our family doctor is calling in a specialist to see how to proceed. Surgery is not likely, but is a possibility. He just turned 69 this last week and is starting to really feel his age. We're not overly concerned at this point, but would really feel better if the bleeding stopped--obviously! Thanks for praying...I'll keep you posted on how things are going.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Twins?!?

As you'll read in my first post today, my family is here with us this weekend. My sister went and helped out a ton at the fellowship for our church after our praise service. One of the ladies asked another lady if she was my twin!!! Now I realize we definitely look like sisters...and we act even more like sisters, but twins?!? We got that all the time growing up, but now I'm several inches taller than she is and much younger looking than she is, too! :-) hee-hee!!! What do you think? Do we look like twins?
One of the best things about family is laughing and reminiscing about all the family jokes from the past. It was amazing how quickly my food worked through my system when were growing up. As soon as supper was over and the dishes needed washing, I always had to go to the bathroom--and the dishes were always almost done by the time I came out. So of course that was brought up today when I went to print coupons off the computer for our shopping trip to Green Bay on Black Friday while my mom and sister were washing dishes. It was totally unintentional...this time! And we can never get together without calling each other "Sh-De-Bobby" a combination of all 3 of our names (Sheri, Debbie, and Bobby) that my mom used on a daily basis while she was trying to get one of our names out.

Fun times with the Fam!

My family is here for Thanksgiving this weekend, and we have been having so much fun! No stress in getting Thanksgiving "Lupper" ready because my mom, sister, and I just slid back into our old routine of working together in the kitchen just like old times--even after all these years! (Lupper is a cross between lunch and supper since we ate around 1:30...like Brunch, only later and better since we had yummy, yummy cinnamon rolls for breakfast--well, I had the icing, others actually tasted the cinnamon rolls!!!) And to make it even better, my parents bought each of our families a Wii and gave it to the kids this morning so they could play while we putzed in the kitchen. It would also keep everyone out of the kitchen so we could snitch all the food ourselves--superior planning on our part, I must say!
Sarah has been warming up to everyone being here quite nicely. She's fighting a cold so she's getting a bit tired and cranky at bedtimes, but all in all she's doing her best to charm everyone's socks off!

One of our favorite things about the Wii is the "Mii" that you can create for yourself. You can pick out different facial characteristics and hair color even your "thin or thickness!" We got such a kick out of the Mii that Brent created for my dad. The likeness is uncanny right down to the really thick Kelley brows that are so characteristics of my dad!

And of course, after the kiddos went to bed, the adults pulled out the Wii and had a hilarious time bowling and playing tennis! Who knew 6 adults could have such a fun time with a video game! It provided some of the best laughter we've ever had for sure--I'm sitting here laughing out loud as I type remembering it all! Hence the reason for my posting this at 1:00am...the men are boxing where I'm supposed to be sleeping! And laughing so loudly I'm not sure how anyone in the house is sleeping at all! :-) So much to be thankful for these days! Family is so near the top of my list!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sarah actually cooperated!

I had a few extra minutes after I got the kids ready for church so I snapped another quick picture. I was shocked when Sarah stood between Daniel and Hannah exactly where I told her! No squirming, no fussing, just stood there! She did get a bit distracted when she heard Brent come up the stairs (right behind her), but she went to see him, and then came right back and stood where I had told her! Perhaps she's getting used to it since I've been doing this every Sunday for the last several weeks. But I did notice something different about it this time--she's standing, not sitting and no one is holding her. She's an independent little one so I'm wondering if she enjoyed the freedom of not having to submit to her brother or sister by sitting in their lap!?!

Another reason for taking this picture...this is another outfit of Hannah's my sister had saved. Hannah gets such a kick out of seeing Sarah in her outfits. Sarah's gone through a growth spurt recently and I'm not sure we're going to make it through the winter in her current size! I noticed yesterday when I was working in the nursery that she's the tallest of all the kids in there. Hard to believe she'll be 2 in January!

Monday, November 17, 2008

video

This is one of my favorite things about our house--our laundry chute! I loved it when we moved in because of the convenience of it all, but I love it now so much more because of what Sarah does with it. The laundry chute goes down to the downstairs bathroom that Brent uses to get ready each morning. One day he was singing in the shower while I was doing Sarah's hair for church. She figured out that he was down the chute and would not stop calling for him until he came and talked with her. It was the start of something that happens all the time! If she hears Daddy anywhere downstairs she will run to the chute and call for him until he comes and talks with her!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It makes me sad to think...

This article is a sobering reminder that people are dying and going to hell today...and many of them don't care. When I was at Bob Jones, Dr. Bob would get up in chapel and say, "The most sobering reality in the world today" and the student body would respond, "is that people are dying and going to hell today." It never soaked in then, and I'm sure I still don't get the soberness of this reality today. But I see articles like this one that came across my homepage and am saddened by the future reaction of these people, who now deny the existence of God, when they stand before the Lord. At the name of Jesus every knee will bow--whether they acknowledge Him now or not, their knee will bow. And to think of the sheer terror and horror they will feel as they realize that it is too late. Now that, my friends, is a sad thought--people are dying and going to a very real hell today.

Monday, November 10, 2008

a few pics for the family




nothing special here about these pics...well...except that they're adorable children of course! Just something for the family who lives far away.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Our date

Even though we're going away next weekend for our anniversary, we wanted to do something on our actual day. We were able to get a sitter and go for dinner and a play at the college. It was so nice to sit and talk without being interrupted, and the play was wonderful as well. Brent surprised me by bringing home flowers. There are no flower shops between campus and our home...there's not much between campus and home when you think about it...someday I'm going to take pictures of our little town to help you all understand where we live (but I digress, again!) So this meant he took time out of his busy afternoon to make a trip to town. I'm on a bit of a sappy kick about Brent, but I'll leave it at this--what a guy! :-)
On a funny note, the sitter, who is a college student at Northland, asked Hannah what her daddy does at the school. Hannah's answer: He goes to work and has lots of meetings! We got such a kick seeing it from her perspective. But in thinking about it, He just came back from the big Northland Board Meeting, and when we talk at dinner about his day, it's usually about the meetings he's had that day! Still funny to think that's all he does at work--meetings--there are days when he feels that way, though!

The flowers Brent brought home for me--such a bright spot in a really dreary and potentially snowy Saturday--1-3 inches are forecasted for today! And to think that it was 72 on Tuesday!

Friday, November 07, 2008

I can't believe it's been 10 years!!!

10 years ago today I was so blessed because the man of my dreams married me! I was amazed then that he had chosen me from among all the girls around, and today I stand in awe at how the Lord has worked through Brent to bring me here. I was thinking the other day about one word that would describe Brent's character best. The word I came up with is integrity. He's a man who thinks carefully through a situation and is able to come up with the best answer. The integrity part really comes into play because he's willing to do the right thing no matter the cost. He's willing to say the hard thing to someone. He's willing to put his neck out there and state what no one else is willing to say. He's willing to stand alone and do what is right even if he's the only one standing. The amazing thing to me is that he's usually able to do it in a way that is not offensive. The Lord knew that I needed a man like that because I am by nature such a follower...one who takes the road with the least amount of confrontation. He's helped me learn to figure out what is the right thing, to think Biblically about an issue, and live by the principles gleaned from God's Word that pertain to the situation--regardless of the cost!

Another thing I love about Brent is that he truly dwells with me according to knowledge. He can look at me and truly see me and know something's not right--whether it's an emotional struggle or most importantly a spiritual struggle. He's been my iron sharpening me even when I didn't want to be sharpened! The Lord has used Brent to challenge me because of his example and outright exhortation to get in the Word.

I could go on and on about how amazing Brent is, but then again, most of the people that read my blog are people that know him and are just as amazed that he chose me as I am! How I praise the Lord for bringing Brent into my life--he's a man worthy of honor who loves the Lord more than he loves me, and I would have it no other way!

These last 10 years have flown by for a number of reasons. The Lord has been working and moving us around. He's given us 3 amazing children to train for Him. But I think the biggest reason they've flown by is because we've just had fun. I'd choose to spend time with Brent over anyone else. Thanks for making it this far through my emotional musings. Brent would get on here and say, "We've been happily married for 10years--praise God!" but I had to mush a bit more than that (no surprise there, heh?!?)

The theme of our wedding was, "This is the Lord's doing. It is marvelous in our eyes." And now
after 10 years of wedded bliss, I must say now even more emphatically, "This is the Lord's doing. It is marvelous in our eyes--now more than ever!"

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Great shopping deal at Kohls!

For those of us who don't live near a kohls...deals like this are almost as good as walking into the store...almost! But honestly, even if you do live near a Kohls, you probably can't drive to it for less that the 99 cent shipping! And the online selection is often better and the most always have a better size selection...just a few perks I've found living in the middle of nowhere!

Use code ELECTION15 at Kohls.com from 11 am to 4 pm (EST) today only and get 15% off. 99-cent shipping per item.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A new dress and a new boy

Made a new dress for Sarah. I found this blouse at the Hartstrings outlet last year for $2!!! Can't pass up anything Hartstrings for $2! I made a big deal out of Sarah's new dress when I tried it on her after sewing it--when I put it on her today she walked around with it on saying, "pretty...pretty...pretty!" She's quite the ham--but still won't stay still long enough for a decent picture!

So there's a story here...We always keep the half door to our basement closed since it's in the main walkway and Sarah could easily tumble down them since she's blessed with her Mamma's gracefulness. Ever since she's started crawling around we have grilled it into our kids to "lock the door" We are forever asking, "Is the door locked?" Sarah has picked up on this and is terribly bothered if the door isn't locked. This morning it wasn't and she could NOT STAND IT!!! She could think of nothing else until someone shut the door! She's definitely our spit-fire, but she's showing signs of being our stickler for the rules, too!

I also gave Daniel a hair cut tonight since school pictures are tomorrow. You can tell by the before and after here that it was a long time in coming! That's his super cool airplane on the microwave behind him. We gave him the Klutz airplane book for his birthday. WAY WAY WAY TOO COOL! It shows you how to make a ton of different paper airplanes that really fly well. Most Klutz books are good, but this one is GREAT! It also comes with patterned paper to make so your planes look cool with fancy designs and such. It was about $16 at the teacher's store--if you're looking for a good gift for a 7-10 year old boy this is definitely it! Brent and I had to help him at first, but he's got the hang of it now and loving it! Unfortunately our house is overflowing with paper airplanes and one never knows when she'll get hit with one. I've banned them from the kitchen while I'm cooking supper because I'm tired of getting hit with them while I'm working!


Friday, October 31, 2008

I Love You cake




One of the things I do from time to time is make what we call "I love you cakes." There's no special occasion, just wanting my kids to know I love them. I made one today while they were at school in honor of the beautiful fall weather we're having these last couple of days. It's 65 degrees here right now which is a warm welcome from the snow that we started the school week with. We've got about 5 more days of this weather according to the forecast and then we're back to snow...real snow! I got this idea for the pumpkin cake from the internet --it's a bundt cake with a frosted ice cream cone in the middle--so simple and turned out great!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Arghhh Matey!

Tonight is Pirate Night at Kids' Club at our church. The kids loved having pirate costumes. Well, the littlest pirate wouldn't keep her hat on, but it really wasn't for the nursery kids. They were all running around the house yelling, "Arghh, Matey" and seeing what cool things they could do with their hook. Of course it didn't take Daniel long to figure out he could use his hook as a stylus for his DS.

A fun thing the Lord did for us...Daniel tore the knees in his only pair of jeans that fit. I've been looking for his size, but since he's a slim, they're very hard to find around here. I even looked when we went to the ladies' conference and couldn't find anything on sale. I had talked with the Lord about it and asked Him to give me a pair at the right price and help me know what was the right price. I found nothing! BUT, the next day our pastor's wife walked up to me at church and said, "What size pants does Daniel wear?" I told her 10 slim...she handed me a pair of jeans that her son had outgrown! Talk about letting me know!!! The Lord literally dropped them in my lap! Little thing I know, but still a wonderful reminder that the Lord is so good and provides for our needs and the extras like jeans!







Tuesday, October 28, 2008

for fun!

I was reading something on FB this morning and got a kick out of it. I'm not one to usually post much about politics, but I couldn't pass this one up:

On television today a Democratic operative pointed out that when Obama holds a rally 25,000 to 30,000 people show up, whereas when McCain holds one, he only draws 10,000 to 15,000. The Republican spokesman replied, "That's because McCain's supporters are at work."

Here's another random fact that showed up on my google homepage:
A woman can consume 6 lbs of lipstick in her lifetime.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

miscellaneous pics

We went outside to play the other day, and Sarah took off like a shot! I couldn't figure out where she was headed, but soon realized it was the fire pit! She had such fun down there the other night that she wanted to go back!
For some reason she could not understand the idea that we were NOT going to start a fire. She insisted someone build a fire! Needless to say, she was quite determined, but we still did not have a fire!Sad to think about, but cold weather has arrived in our neck of the woods! We celebrated by getting out the winter church coats. I was relieved to see that Hannah's still fits from last year's Ebay find. And she was thrilled to get to dress up like Little Red Riding Hood again this year.I'm so thankful I gave some of my favorite things of Hannah's to my sister for her daughter...she held on to them so I still have some of them for Sarah. It brings back such memories to see Sarah in Hannah's things, and Hannah loves to see how small her clothes used to be! Unfortunately, Sarah hardly stands still long enough for a picture so I can't get good shots of many of the things for you to see. Much to my surprise, Sarah loves her hat, too, and wants to leave it on. Now if she would only leave her hairbows in!