Sunday, November 30, 2008

Advent Conspiracy Promo Video

Amen. This is my point exactly!

Is This Enough Suspense For You?

Here is my too small, not matching refrigerator and the entry to the pantry. Just beyond that is the entry from the back porch.

And, of course, my boys hamming it up for you.

These are the drawers that store all of my dishes. Right by the dish washer. Right where they belong.

I asked for a shelf for my pretties to make the transition from kitchen to dining room. Looks good, don'cha think?

Here's another view of that cabinet. And my tiny red wall. You had to know there would be one.

The sink cabinets, of course. The drawers to the right hold dish towels, sponges, pot holders, etc. The door to the left is the garbage and recycling, and to the left of that is a skinny cabinet with dividers to stand all my bakeware and cutting boards in. Just beyond the bakeware is the stove

This end of the island is by the garage door and the entry. The top drawer has a few batteries in it, the second drawer has fish tank cleaning supplies, and the third drawer has all of the lunch bags in it.
The other end of the island has identical drawers and they hold all of my wrap and baggies.

These are my favorite cabinets. The hold everything from the popcorn maker to the electric skillet, to the rice cooker, to table linens. These are on the sink side of the island.

The top cabinets have all of my "Too pretty to hide" dishes and all the coffee stuff. The bottoms have all my pans, cake pans, and casserole dishes. In roll out shelves. Of course.

Here is the desk area, with it's neatly contained phone books, first aid kits and other assorted junk above.

The new and improved dining-room-open-to-the-kitchen-with-matching-curtains.

And, finally, a view from the dining room into the kitchen.

Friday, November 28, 2008

What Could Possibly Be That Important?

You may or may not know that we do not buy Christmas gifts. It's a personal choice. Sebastian and I have decided that there is not a single thing that our children need, and spending oodles of money on things our kids won't appreciate does nothing to honor Christ. We have held this conviction since we became a WE.

Even more so this year as I look at the pictures of my mom's mission trip to Africa. I am struck by how very little we need to survive. I am struck by the joy on the faces of people when they have a chance to see a loved one. There is not a child in the pictures playing a game boy, listening to their I-pod, or leaving their junk all over the house. There are pictures of children cuddled into my mom's lap. There are pictures of the food that they fed to my mother- I'm sure it was meant to be their own dinner. There are pictures of filth, malnutrition, and JOY.

And today 4 people lost their lives in the mad dash to accumulate. In Long Island a Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death as crowds broke into the store. In the same melee an 8 month pregnant woman lost her baby from injuries received in the mad dash for STUFF. In California 2 people were shot to death after an argument broke out in a Toys-R-Us store. I sure hope that the toy can replace the daddy a child lost today.

Wake up at 3 am to stand in line for hours just to feed the beast of the CHRIST-less-MAS gluttony? No thank you. I would rather snuggle further under my comforter with the child who has climbed in with me. And isn't Christmas really about a child?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


A child pukes on the floor, I thank the Lord for the small blessing of hardwood!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, Monkey-Bug

Click to play Jonah
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Jonah is 4 now.
His dad says that when you are 4 you are big- and you don't sleep with your mom and dad anymore...We'll see....

There were 32 people in our house last night. Thank goodness for the new kitchen, because that is where everyone always wants to be.

The anatomy of a meltdown:

Thank goodness for grandmas!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's A Scary Place To Be- Really

I am talking about the inner workings of my 11 year old's mind. The newest? OK, think on this:

"Mom, if identical twin sisters married identical twin brothers, would their kids come out looking the same?"


Of course the short answer is no. But the more you think about it...

By the way, he is the one who came up with the bit about Vegetarians, Humanitarians, and Libertarians.

His mind is scary. I'm tellin' ya', don't go in without back up!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Have You Read It Yet?

No, not Twilight. I haven't even read that yet- but it's OK because I will be waiting for it to come out on DVD. Pick your jaws up from the floor, there are some of us left.

I am talking about My Enemy's Cradle. I loved it. I read it. Today. All 360 pages.

Some of my favorite books ever are The Hiding Place, Night, and Schindler's List. Two are biographical, one is fictional, all three are exceptional. Now add My Enemy's Cradle to that list.

Why does my short list have these four books on it? Why are my favorite books the ones about the worst in humanity? Because they are also about the best in humanity. They are about how the human spirit wills itself to live. To flourish. To prove all of Hell wrong.

The premise of the book is this:
A Dutch/Polish Jewess is sent by her father to safety in Holland. She looks only Dutch, and amazingly like her cousin- almost like twins.

The cousin finds out that she is pregnant with a German officer's baby. When the officer doesn't return her love, and in the face of dishonor to her family, she kills herself in a botched home abortion.

At the same time, the young girl is in danger of the advancing Nazi regime. And looks just like her cousin. The one who was pregnant. And was scheduled to enter a special home for the safe incubation of German bred babies.

Now, all she needs is to get pregnant....

Here's my question:

Is fornication a sin if it is done to protect a life? Do the ends justify the means in a situation where lives are at stake. Is it OK to lie, cheat, steal, murder?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hairy Situations

I have a great group of friends that I like to hang out with. One of my favorite things to do is to have the ladies over for coffee. I have an official "The Kids Are Back To School" coffee social every fall. This year we had so much fun that we did it twice....

While we were sitting around sipping coffee and cackling like the mother hens that we are, one of my friends suggested that I should come see her at work later in the day. She is a stylist and was examining my greying temples. We started having a "discussion" about whether or not I should color. I said no. She said yes. Finally, Sarah turned to the group and said, "We're voting. Who thinks that Gina SHOULDN'T have grey hair?" I lost. This is what my hair looks like now. Aren't I cute?

On a related note, I have been having a lot of fun lately with my girls' long hair. This was just a quickie to try it out, but I think I want to do this one for real some time soon. I told her it looked like worms in a bun. Cool, isn't it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What $70 Will Buy You

Around here we like to reward greatness. Yes, we do EXPECT our kids to do their best at everything they try, but when they actually knock one out of the park, well, that gets rewarded.
Around here $70 will buy you 7 A's in 7th grade!
Way to go, Jesse! Way to go, Jesse's teacher! Oh wait, that's me... and don't you think for a minute that I went easy on him. I probably gave him more work in the first quarter than he would have gotten in public school.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Welcome Home, Grandma

Since we all missed Grandma so much we decided to go see her when she arrived at the airport last Tuesday. Being the good steward that I am, I reused some poster board to make my mom a sign. My kids stood at the top of the escalator like this waiting for grandma and thoroughly enjoying all the strange looks they were getting- while my dad threw pennies at them. Mom, this is what you would have seen if you had come into the baggage terminal where we expected you:

And then they would have quickly changed it to this:

But, alas, my mom came up a totally unexpected escalator. She was, however, almost beside herself with the double bonus of being home AND having a welcoming committee.

We're all glad you're back, too.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Chicken and Dumplings- Use What You Have Style

Yes indeed, folks, Princess Kat did inspire tonight's dinner. She posted a super looking recipe for Chicken and Dumplings the other day. The only catch was that I had exactly 1 of the ingredients she called for. Chicken. The good news is that I am not a total loss in the kitchen. Here's what I came up with. It's completely different, but all the way inspired by Kat.

In a large skillet mix 3 cans of broth (I used beef broth because that is what I had and I knew no one would notice that the CHICKEN was in BEEF broth) with about 1/4 cup corn starch. Heat until bubbly. Add 3 cubed chicken breasts and 1 1/2 cups sliced carrots. While the chicken and carrots are cooking mix together a biscuit mix. The recipe that I have swimming around in my head for this is 2 cups flour, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup oil, and 1 T baking powder. After chicken has cooked, add 1 drained can of corn, 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup and drop biscuit mixture onto the top. Put into a 375 degree oven and bake until biscuits are cooked, about 1/2 hour. Serve and enjoy. We did.

Pssst, Down Here...

Hey, Guys. I wanna showed the best food dat my mom maked for dinner.
It was so yummy. She said she getted dah idea from Princess Kat- cause she maked some yummy looking stuff like dis dah udder day.
Dis is what it looked like when Mom called us to eat. She hasta yell real loud cause we never come dah first time! Mom sayed dat it was eat out of dah pantry night. I say it was good.
All of dah kids toadally liked Mom's dinners. We fink she maked good dinners tonight.

And speaking of pantries, my Aunt Kris comed over on one day dis week. Mom sayed it was Twosday. Mom was ready wif a project for Aunt Kris cause she is TOADally good at dem.

Mom finks dat dah pantry was a mess since dad broke dah kitchen. Mom sayed dat she never wanted to put dah food in here cause it wasn't acshully made for food. But she haves food in here now.

But since Aunt Kris comed and helped Mom put anodder shelf in dah pantry, all of Mom's stuffs are toadally, super neat. I fink it was nice for Aunt Kris to come over dis Twosday cause now my mom can make my yummy dinners super fast.

And see how happy dat makes me?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I wrote this almost exactly a year ago. I decided to edit it to reflect this year's schedule, and repost it since I am feeling overwhelmed again.

Is it just me, or are there other people who would like to step off of the crazy carousel ride that we seem so eager to get onto at first? I will say that my children do not join every club, team, or sport that comes down the pike. But there are 5 of them, so any little thing that they do is magnified 5-fold. So here is what a typical week looks like at our house:
Sunday- Church. Always 5- 10 minutes late. I hate to be late especially to church. It seems irreverent.
6:30 am Get Jesse going
7am Kiss Jesse goodbye kiss Sebastian goodbye
Read- preferably my Bible, though admittedly not often enough
7:30 Shower, dress, drink coffee
8 am Get Caleb, Libby, and Abby going
8:45 Kiss Caleb, Libby, and Abby goodbye get Jonah going drink coffee
9 am Pick Jesse up from the midle school. He goes in for a 1st period PE class.
9:15 am Talk to Andreena. This is a standing Mon. morning phone date.
9:30- 3 pm Clean house. This whole day is devoted to sort, wash, dry, fold laundry. When
the kids get home they must put it away.
Drink coffee
3:30-4 Snack
4-5 pm Homework
5-6 pm Make dinner
6-6:10 Devour dinner
6:10- 7 Clean the kitchen
7-8 pm Baths and reading
8-8:30 Prayers, kisses, much stalling
8:30-11pm I hide in my office and blog or I watch a movie
11ish Drop into bed exhausted.
Much the same until 8:45 am
8:45 am Load Jonah up, pick up Jesse, and go to Mops until about noon.
12:30 Lunch and get Jesse going on his lessons
3:30 See above
5:40 Take Jesse to catch the shuttle for youth group.
6:15 Take the younger kids to AWANA
7pm- 8:00 Catch up on any office work I have missed or any remaining house work.
8:00 Pick Jesse up from the shuttle and then pick up the other kids from AWANA
8:45 Return with wired kids
8:50-9:00 Eat a piece of fruit or some crackers and get your butts in bed! Oh yeah, I love you. Wednesday-
Same thing as Monday except school starts an hour and twenty minutes late every
Wednesday so I skip the kiss Sebastian goodbye thing.
Same as Monday am routine until 8:45
8:45 Take JoJo to daycare. Jesse goes to his "school" day. He is on campus with the other
HS kids registered with the district. Work until the kids come home from school.
2:00 Pick up Jesse, keep working until 3:30
4:30 Dress the girls for ballet.
5:00 Pick Up Jonah.
5:30 Drop the girls off at ballet, go home, fix dinner.
6:30 Pick girls up, go home, eat.
Same morning. Some time during the day I go grocery shopping.
I also strip and remake the beds (This is the only time during the week that I make
my kid's beds. The rest of the week it is up to them- or not. I don't care.)
wash, dry fold, put away bedding.
Same evening. Sometimes we go out on Fri night to play and stay up until really late.
This is also the day the video games come out and they get to stay out until Sun
night- absolutely no video games before church.
Do the "BIG" clean. AKA all the kids' junk gets put away by the kids so that I can
clean easier on Mon. Then play all day. No schedule.

I feel like we are extremely busy all the time. I will admit, though, that unless I am in my office I am not very productive. Aside from all the time I spend chasing Jonah around making him clean things like all the soap he has pumped into the sink, or all the paper he has pulled out of my shredder bin, or all the cards he has spread all over the living room, or all the crayons that he has... I know I spend a lot of time puttering. Not really getting anything done- but busy none the less.
Does any one have a large family and tips for me- especially about how to change my time so that it is more productive and I can be more prepared for when the buzz of kids is all around me? Please let me know.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

If A Vegetarian Eats Only Vegetables, What Does A Humanitarian Eat?

Abby, my 6 year old, watched me cubing some beef for curry last night. She thought it was rather gross. She sat down to the table and declared that she was going to become a vegetarian for dinner. I rolled my eyes, plated her up, and sat down to my dinner. I have decided to become a Libertarian. From now on, I'm only eating Liberals!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


It's a blog hangover, really. I had so much fun yesterday, taking in all that blog crack, and today I'm hung over. There's all this pressure to be funny, witty, charming, and wry, but I'm just not feeling it today.
But don't leave me yet- I can still get my party back on- just give me a few more days...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Pink Doin's At Princess Kat's House

Princess Kat is having a pink giveaway this week. Go look, but don't enter because I want to win.
I know you are here looking for my latest stroke of genius. Well, you won't find it here. No, today it will be over at Blog Around The World. That's right, today I am the guest blogger at BATW. Yay, me! Now go. Read. Comment.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Vast Conspiracy

Some of you (*Kat*) are shaking your head about what a right wing nut job I am.

"Oh, no," you groan as you read my title.

But I'm telling you it's a conspiracy.

I went to the grocery store today and did my shopping. As I make my way through our store, frozen foods are last. I was almost out of the store when I became a victim of this VAST CONSPIRACY.

I swear that the stores hire a "Juice Watcher" so that when someone finally manages to get a can of juice concentrate out of the tightly packed, horizontal row, the Watcher rushes over and fills that spot. Now the juices are once again fully stocked in tight packed, horizontal rows with nowhere to wedge your fingers for a grip on the frozen juice!

Convince me that it is not a conspiracy. I dare you.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The End.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Make sure you do too.
I won't lie to you and say that I don't care who you vote for, because I do.
You may know that I lean right- very hard.
I will say that if you don't vote you have no right to complain about the system.
We live in the free-est, most prosperous nation in the world.
Do your part to keep it that way.
Go exercise your civic duty that has been hard won.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Saturday Sonnet

I'm warm and toasty,
Mellow and roasty,
and I don't have to get out of bed.
No lunches to pack,
No hair bows, no snack.
"It's Saturday," I say in my head.
The bed with just me in it,
Lasts only a minute,
As my little guy comes for a snuggle.
Adjust the covers, close my eyes,
Pull him in tight as my little one sighs.
Suddenly my little guy starts to struggle.
We jump up real fast- he and me,
Because no one likes laying in pee....