Us

Us
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Thursday, December 31, 2009

BYE 2009!

Whew, its my last post of the year and boy did time fly. We have had the best Christmas and days following. So busy with family, friends and hanging at the fire station. I will say though one thing I totally dropped the ball on this year was taking pictures. I usually take tons and this year I think I took one on Christmas morning. I was fighting a cold so we will just chalk it up to a foggy head. :) Here are a few pictures from the past couple weeks that I haven't posted yet.The kids next door making gingerbread houses with their friends.

I tried many times to mail Ryanne out of the country but she kept coming back "return to sender!" :)

The girls sang in the Christmas Eve choir and did GREAT! They looked so cute and girly and they LOVED it.

I'm not one to jump on the latest and greatest band wagon. Seriously I have the cheapest ipod, I got the free phone with my cell plan etc. but when I saw this it was love at first sight. All you had to do was tell me I could down load hundreds of books and read to my hearts content. Tell me I can be anywhere in the world and read my favorite blogs, magazines, cookbooks and even get the news paper, be still my heart! This little Kindle baby does it all.

At only 8" tall and 5" wide it fits in your purse and you can hop on line anywhere anytime with its handy keyboard and little square mouse off to the right you are good to go. It weighs like
10 oz. and its so fun to use. I mentioned in passing to Dan that I would love one of these for when we travel (hint, hint cruise in 4 months) so I wouldn't have to carry so many books and magazines in my luggage. I opened a few little things on Christmas and then he pulled out this as a last surprise he had been keeping in his locker at work. SCORE FOR DAN! :)
I am already reading a book and have a few on my waiting list.
OK enough about my child like excitement over material things. I hope everyone has a blessed new years and a safe one. My goal (cause I hate resolutions) is to start getting up half an hour earlier than my kids and reading in peace as apposed to reading on the fly in the morning. I need that time in the word or my spirit starts to drag. Gonna start in Genesis and work my way through and see what I missed the last time. :) We are so thankful as a family to be healthy, have friends and family who love and support us & a God who is in control of all things.





Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Love You........Here's A Chili Pepper Plant!

The girls and I made goodies to deliver to our neighbors and their friends. A few months back I saw these chocolate dipped marshmallows in a magazine for like $2 a piece and thought,"I SOO could get the girls to make those!" They turned out really cute and to top it off Morgan attached an ornament she painted.For the piano teacher and Home school ES we made a great recipe from this clever lady, www.picky-palate.com They are chocolate mint biscotti. We attached Starbucks cards so they could get some coffee for dipping. :)

Ooopppssss.............this is out of order but here's the marshmallow pops the girls made for their friends.
We also got a sweet delivery from my friend Bridgette. So fun to answer your door and find a friendly face with a plate of goodies. LOVE IT! Thank you friend, as you can see they gobbled them up even before I could take a picture. :)
Lastly, I always tell you funny stories about why Ryanne makes me laugh and now I will tell you why I love my husband so. He came home last week and surprised me with a poinsettia plant. He buys me one every year to decorate the house with. Well this year our kitten decided it was his to play in and destroy. I was kinda bummed cause it was so thoughtful of Dan and it was beautiful.
Knowing I was upset Dan stopped by Trader Joes on his way home from work and when he walked in he handed me a chili pepper plant and said,"Here honey, I bought you a chili pepper plant, I bet the cat wont eat this!" Ahhhhh......who says the honeymoon is over after 13 years? ;) Oh and just for the record the cat wont go anywhere near the plant AND it is very festive on the table. :)
(Disclaimer: When we thought the cat would die after eating the poinsettia we did some research and it IS an old wives tale that they are poisonous to animals or kids so we're all good.)




Saturday, December 12, 2009

The "LOVER" of my life!

Here is another photo our friend took for us up in Oak Glen. Seriously could Dan's world get any brighter? He could not possibly have it any better cause these girls adore him! A funny conversation I had with Ryanne:
I took Ryanne on a "date" the other day to lunch and to pick her gift out for Morgan; you have to know to make this story funny that even though Ryanne is super petite she is ALWAYS the loudest in the place.
Ryanne: "So mom I was watching this cartoon the other day and it said Firemen are our friends. Firemen are NOT my friends."
Me: "Really? Sure they are, daddy's a Firemen and he's your friend isn't he?"
Ryanne: "Nope, daddy's not my friend he's my LOVER!"
Me: (choking on my iced tea) "Excuse me? He's your what?"
Ryanne: (very loudly) "Daddy's my LOVER!"
Me: (so afraid to ask but feeling the need none the less) "OK, so what does that mean exactly?"
(bracing myself for bursts of laughter or looks of disgust from surrounding tables)
Ryanne: "I LOVER him and he LOVERS me so that makes him my LOVER!
Instead of laughter you heard my heart beating out my chest a sigh of relief and "aaahhhhhhhhh......from surrounding tables. I LOVER Ryanne so much cause she makes me laugh and cringe all at the same time! :)
Hope this made you smile. We LOVER you!

Monday, December 7, 2009

More Christmas Fun

Every year our family has the tradition of going to the Mission Inn one night during the month of December. We eat at the great restaurant and then walk around looking at all the decorations and lights they have put throughout the Hotel. To top off the night we go for a horse drawn carriage ride around town. Morgan was in love with the carolers. It's always really cold so we love getting out the jackets and scarves and bundling up under the blankets for the ride. We have been doing this every year since Morgan was 2.


We have some great memories from the Mission Inn. If you have never been I encourage you to go get some hot chocolate, walk around down town; you can even watch the ice skaters in the town center. Really fun times. :)
And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? [Christmas] came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
Dr. Seuss


















































Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Blessings & Surprises

Something I am truly grateful for are friends who are willing to swap kids with you from time to time so you can date your husband. My friend Stacy did just that on Wed. (which was perfect cause Dan got called BACK in for OT on Thursday) she took the kids all afternoon. They went shopping, to lunch and then home to watch movies and make this cute gingerbread house. I surprised Dan and took him to get the iPhone he has been wanting. I had been stashing money so he had no idea it was already paid for. Fun, fun! I love surprising him. :)
Speaking of surprises (and this is probably not G rated) I decided a couple of weeks ago on a tip from the Generous wife email to order some lingerie and have it delivered to Dan as a surprise. Weeelllll, I guess she left out the part where you aren't supposed to have it randomly addressed to your man with no "love from" your wife note. I found some sexy Christmas little somethings and when they came in the mail and he ripped opened the unmarked package he was a bit confused and speechless. I was glad the kids were not in the room and yes lesson learned; you can surprise without taking years off your husbands life. ;) He forgave me rather quickly though......go figure! :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Daily Generous WIfe Tip

Months ago I signed up to receive these daily wife tips sent to my email and let me just say Lori is a hoot! She always has great advice on how to bless my husband whether it be romantically or just plain common sense. I look forward to opening my email every morning and reading her "little tips." Just for the record Dan likes the ones that involve the romance part but I think today's post was really great too! :) See her tip for the day below.



Years ago I made myself and my family absolutely miserable during the Christmas season. Decorating had to be perfect, food had to be perfect, gifts had to be perfect, ad nauseum. I was one cranky ol' gal and nobody had a good time. When Christmas was all over, I remember crying and telling God how miserable I was and how Christmas just hadn't turned out right. I'm grateful that God speaks in love. He showed me how my priorities were all messed up and how any holiday should be about remembering His goodness and generally blessing people. All that perfectionism and performance was a fast way to make every miserable and brought glory to no one.
My family and I will put up our tree this week (and a few other decorations here and there). We'll send off a couple of packages to those we love far away and we'll probably celebrate Christmas at the coast, just for fun. I'm thinking I'm going to decorate some sugar cookies (I have scads of cookie cutters) and I want to do something creative. But, all in all, I have learned my lesson. God is good and my family is worth the effort it takes to speak kindly, take the perfectionism down several notches, and generally love on them.
I encourage y'all to learn from my mistakes. Take a deep breath, let go of the perfectionism, hug your kids, kiss your hubby and enjoy the simple pleasures of the season. Most of what we think has to be done, doesn't really. We can simplify and love on those around us.

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. Calvin Coolidge

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy December 1st!

I thought every day or couple of days I would post pictures on the fun things we do this month as a family. I refuse to "chase" Christmas this year but rather enjoy it, savor the day to day comings and goings of the friends, family and my sweet kids and husband. Last night we had our neighbor friends over and made Christmas paper chains. Always a fun craft for the kiddos. I wanted to update you on our Thanksgiving week but it was SO crazy and kinda stressful so I will just give you the readers digest version. Dans mom got very sick again after being here only 2 days and had to be rushed back to the hospital. Dans brother and sister were back and forth to visit and help out. Morgan and Ryanne and I kept the twins off and on for two days so Suzanne could be at the hospital with her mom.
" Alex, just give me the game and nobody gets hurt. " ;) Having two almost 2 year old, a 5 year old and a sick 8 year old was exhausting but fun all at the same time. Morgan had a flu bug but in true Morgan fashion shook it that same day. Whew!

Our friend decided in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner to go to the hospital to have her first baby. I've never seen my husband pack a to go bag so fast. He was not having anything to do with that birth on his day off. :) Taylor was born around 1am the next morning and mom and baby are doing great! Our girls are in love and there is no shortage of arms to hold her.

In the midst of all this chaos our friend Jason took a few minutes to snap a couple family photos for our Christmas cards. I LOVE this one of the girls. So sweet.
To end this post I would like to share a conversation I had with Ryanne last night.
Ryanne: "I cant wait to grow up so I can become a mom and sit around doing nothing all day."
Me: "So you think I sit around ALL day doing nothing?"
Ryanne:"Pretty much."
(The look on Morgan's face was priceless by this point)
Me:"So who does all the cleaning? The cooking? The grocery shopping? Who teaches you every morning? Who bathes you?"
Ryanne: "Ya' your right, I'll be a daddy instead!" ;)
(In my defense I do put my feet up for ONE hour every afternoon to catch my breath. Heeelllloooo I have arthritis AND I'm Ryannes mom!) Just thought I would throw that in. ;)





Sunday, November 22, 2009

Updates

A few people have asked me for updates about prayer requests on my blog. Thank you for your faithfulness. Sorry I am a slacker. :(

Morgans friend Angel is still in ICU and needs your constant covering of prayer. His family is in the process of moving closer to the hospital so they are not split apart so often. Please pray for his little body as he goes through blood transfusions etc. He is a fighter this kid.

Our insurance is in the process of changing and so the answer was no for now about the clinic. They said I could call again in Feb. when everything has been switched over. In the mean time my Dr. referred me to a pain clinic that was covered. However, I found out later that this pain clinic just wants to give me pain meds for everything and since that is their answer I decided to wait on God some more. I'll keep you posted.

Dan's mom got really sick last week and dehydrated and when a friend went over to bring her dinner she was in worse shape than she had let on. Long story short they called 911 and rushed her to hospital. The Dr. said she was in kidney failure and had her friend not called for the ambulance she would have died that night. Her kidneys are bouncing back but she is still super weak and disoriented. They may release her today and we have set up the guest room for her. Please pray for her complete recovery and also that our girls would have servant hearts while Betty recovers. Also, pray for my health and physical pain that I would not get worn down. Thank you and I hope I covered everything that I had been asking you to pray for. :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Giving A Few Thanks.......

The girls and I decided to share some love and let their piano teacher, circus coaches and ES know we appreciate them this Thanksgiving. The girls got up before school started this morning and made pumpkin bread. If you have never bought Trader Joe's pumpkin bread mix YOU MUST go get some!! It's super easy and so moist and YUMMY! A great thing for kids to make.
mmmmmmmmmm...You know you want some. :)

Morgan insisted on taking my picture since I made the boxes; thus it is black and white since I was not fully awake. :)

Took the bread, sliced it up and placed it in these little handy boxes I picked up from Creative Journeys. I just bought cute stickers and ribbon and tags and TA-DA! My blogging friend Christy P. (see side bar for her blog) inspires me to wrap treats up and give them away so after reading her blog I get the "itch" to make cuteness. :)
Hope everyone is having a blessed week so far and finding lots of ways to show people they are thankful for them. :)




Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Have you missed her??

OK blogger friends, it has been way to long since I last posted a funny Ryanne story. I don't know that the following is so much funny as it is heart warming and oh so our Ryanne.
For the last year we have been trying to take Ryannes strong will and determination and give it direction and guidance. We have been trying to teach her that for every action whether good or bad their will be some reaction. If she is kind and loving to her sister then Morgan in return will return the kindness. If she does her chores she gets paid on Fridays. If she lies or oh lets just throw this out there, is say mean to the cat..........well, life gets hard from there.
So earlier today she decides to sit on and "squish" the cat. The cat yelps for help and of course mama runs to the rescue. As I get to the scene of the crime Ryanne has run and hidden somewhere. I can't get her to tell me the truth about what shes done and so after being warned many, many, many, many , many (you get the picture) times to not be mean to the cat Dan spanks her bottom and sends her to her room. I can hear the anti-spanking cult now! Save it please.
Anyways, after Dan goes and talks to her she comes to me sobbing and her little face is hanging on the ground. "Mama, I am so embarrassed of my behavior. *sobs, sniff* I'm so sad I did the wrong thing and my behavior embarrassed me!" Waaaaa-haaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!
It took everything I had not to dance around the room and jump up and down screaming, YES! YES! YES!!!!!! Thank you Jesus the child has a conscious. Instead I hid my grin, held her and forgave her. Something familiar in that huh?
OK and last but not least, Ryanne had to write why each family member was so special to her for her social studies last week.
Morgan- Morgan is special to me because she is such a good friend AND sister.
Daddy- He's the best because he loves me and I just want to hug on him.
Mommy- Mommy is great because she loves me and blesses me and pleases me too. She also watches out for me.
(ahhh, be still my beating often stressed out, hoping my kids turn out to love and serve the Lord mama's heart)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Backyard Show

I was taking the trash out a couple nights ago and stopped dead in my tracks when I looked up and saw the sun setting and sky going crazy. God was painting this beautiful image and I dared to stand still long enough to breath it in. After I grabbed my camera of course. ;)I've had allot on my mind and heart the last week or so; some of it serious and some admittedly is petty but when I saw this I was reminded that whatever it is that is going on in our lives we are to take it to the Lord all the same. Oh and not just take it and walk away with it like I've been known to do; but leave it there at his feet trusting that he knows and has our best interest at heart. I think of all the qualities I can honestly say knowing that God has my best interest at heart and who he wants me to become is one of my favorite things about my God.
Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!
Psalm 150:2

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised. Psalm 145:3
Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Psalm 61:1-3

Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings!
Psalm 61:4





Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Please pray and pass it on.........

I have posted many times asking for prayer for Morgan's friend Angle. Never have they needed you more than they do now. Sarah has asked for prayer in that Angle is going through rejection from his transplant and is in the ICU getting ready to start rejection meds. that will make him very sick at best. This family is heart broken and in need of your faithful prayers. Please pray for healing in his little body and for strength for Sarah and Nick and his little brother and sister. He had been doing really well so this is a rough blow to the family. Pass on this prayer request, my blog link whatever you need to do to get the request out there. Thank you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Update

Happy Monday everyone and happy November too! I love November, warm days and cool nights. So fun. We had a fun busy weekend. We made goodies from http://www.picky-palate.com/ and delivered them to the neighborhood kids. If you have never checked out her web site I encourage you to do so and be prepared for some YUMM-O treat ideas. We started off our Halloween morning by visiting Hampton Manor retirement home with some other home school friends and handing out home made cookies and other fun stuff. The people LOVED having the kids there in their costumes and getting treat bags just topped it off I think. ;) All the kids had great servant hearts and all the parents who showed up and helped out were amazing as well.
Saturday afternoon my mom helped the girls decorate cookies she had bought them and fun was had by all.
While the girls were making their cookies I was sneaking around planning a fun Halloween dinner. I made mummy hot dogs, baked pumpkin ziti, salad with pumpkin seeds and we had the girls cookies for dessert. Dan's mom also came down to spend the day and after all the good food we went with our neighbors trick or treating till' the kids (and myself) were worn out. ;)
Ryanne dressed as a ballerina and Morgan was a Greek Goddess. They were super cute and so excited to be with family and friends.






Saturday, October 24, 2009

Morgan's Recital

Morgan played at a little Fall recital this weekend. The girls also had a circus show which for some reason would not down load so I will try and post it next. ;)

video

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pray

I am posting to ask that you pray. It's actually something very specific I need prayer for and although I rarely talk about my health on here I wanted to ask you to lift it up something that is important to me. If you are new to reading my blog it will be 7 years this coming April that I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis. It's not the mild, I feel "yuck" every so often kind of arthritis; it's the "hard to get out of bed and dress yourself or write or hold a toothbrush kind." I have been on just about every drug they offer,only to become VERY ill and most recently (last April & May) spent 8 weeks in and out of the hospital, and in bed.

It will be 5 months this week that I have been treating myself naturally with food and supplements. I have been seeing a Homeopathic Dr. once a month who has been a life saver along with me doing acupuncture and getting massages all of which are helping but there is still always this constant underlying pain that I deal with all day every day and night. Not to mention our insurance won't pay for anything that is NOT traditional medicine so it is getting VERY expensive.

My friend who works at Loma Linda mentioned to me on Sunday that they have a pain management clinic there and she knew the people who ran it and would see if they would take me. She called Monday and said our insurance would cover it and the Dr. did want to take me on. The only thing was I had to get my regular Rheumatoligist to agree to send me there. I prayed and called this morning and they said they would put the request in today. Please pray they follow through and I am accepted. If I can get into this pain clinic they offer acupuncture and also pool therapy which I really believe would help with some of the daily pain and weakness I am having. I am VERY committed to staying clear of traditional drugs they use for RA due to the fact that I am convinced they made me VERY ill and I have no plans of riding in an ambulance again anytime soon. ;) I am committed to taking care of myself for my husband and my family and to be positive through it all. The hardest part really is looking fine on the outside and yet being in pain 24 hours a day. It starts to wear on your nerves and sleep and everything.

Please pray my referral goes through. Pray the clinic can take me. Pray they have ideas to keep my joints limber and moving. Pray for my heart as I struggle through living with this crazy disease and seeking Gods will in how he desires to use me in that. Thank you so much and I will keep you posted on what happens in the next few weeks. :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Oh Baby!!!

I hosted a baby shower for our good friends (well minus the husbands) this past Saturday and what made it even more fun was that it's their first baby; oh and it's a girl which I know a thing or two about. ;) I did a tea and cake shower, notice however I put fruit on the table for good measure. :) And yes Stacy I was good and stayed away from all the tempting sugar. I can actually walk today. ;)
Me & Ruth
Ruth's Grandma drove out for her special day as did lots of other friends and family. It was fun because allot of people from the church I grew up in and we were married in were there so I got to visit with some great people who we miss dearly.
Ruth's mother in law made her this sweet sweater along with some other amazing gifts. I'm glad you had a good day friend and we are SO looking forward to meeting that sweet babe of yours. Love you guys!
OK speaking of babies you know I couldn't sign off without a story about Ryanne right?
The conversation went something like this:
Me: "Man, it'll be so fun when baby Taylor gets here huh girls?"
Ryanne: "ya'."
Me: "Whens that baby coming? Ryanne are they gonna go get her at the hospital soon?"
Ryanne: Blank Stare
Me: "Noooo, they gotta go shopping and get her at the store right Ryanne?"
(As if I haven't learned not to bate Ryanne)
Me & Morgan start kinda giving her hard time in the car Friday like,"Ry, when is that baby gonna pop out of her belly?"
Ryanne: spreading her legs points down south and say's,"Look, there's some holes down there, she comes out of one of them but I don't know which one OK?"
Can I just tell you I learned many important things that day on the way back from Lake Arrowhead;
1. NEVER ask your kids questions about "that stuff" unless you are ready to hear the answers.
2. Never and I mean NEVER ask those kind of questions when your husband is driving 60 down a very steep mountain road. Almost killed us all.
3. NEVER, EVER bate Ryanne with cutsie, I want a 5 year old answer about life's happenings.





Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Why I LOVE To Home School......

Art........The whole family (including furry friends) gets involved.......
P.E. Rocks.........................
Can't beat the science field trips with daddy...........
Family field trips aren't half bad either. :)
Monday Dan was home so after school we surprised the girls and drove up to Oak Glen and had hot cider and warm apple pie. The off the pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins and look at all the different kinds of pumpkins and colorful gourds. So fun to be out in the cool Fall air.





Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy October 1st!!

I just wanted to be the first to tell you happy fall! Happy October 1st! Oh and don't hate me but other than a few things for my kids I am D-O-N-E with my Christmas shopping!! Yahoo-weeeee-(picture the back flip here) freaky dance move!!!!

I made a list back in July of everyone in our families we bought for and what I wanted to get them and then every time I saw something on sale that was on my list or got a coupon to a department store in the mail I went out and picked it up. Little by little I marked off the moms, the nieces, the friends.................aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh; I will so NOT miss the stores in December.

I am not done with the girls entirely but we told them the cruise we are going on in April is their Christmas gift so other than some fun stocking stuff and a couple little things, I put together "cruise bags" for them complete with new swim suites, flip flops, sun dresses, underwater cameras etc. It was a really fun gift to put together.

Will you hate me if on Thanksgiving I tell you all my gifts are wrapped??? :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Family Time......

We stole a few days away with our kids last week and headed to the beach. We loaded up some school work, did very little of it and had a GREAT time together. Playing in the sand, boogie boarding in the warm water and Morgan falling asleep on Dan in front of the camp fire; priceless. :)
Seriously it was just what the Dr. ordered for everybody in our house. Dan was burnt out from work, I was feeling cruddy from the heat, and the girls? Well, they just wanna get away and play with daddy.
We have been taking the girls picture on this bench since before Ryanne could walk. Now she RUNS down the 100+ steps and always beats us to the top. It happens so fast.

On a side note I was sitting on the beach enjoying the warm sun and cool breeze watching Dan play with the girls and I started thinking about all the "stuff" we have been through over the past almost 13 years of marriage. I don't know why but I truly believe more than ever this is a VERY difficult time to be married. Actually scratch that, I DO know why. Satan wants the church to fall apart and the best way to do that is to get to the heart of the family and ruin it. So many couples that I know are struggling with big, ugly, hurtful things and when I am listening to them share and thinking back on our marriage I feel badly that I can't give them a time frame for it to get "all better." Dan and I struggled no lie for the first 8 years of our marriage. I would literally beat my head against the wall wondering where I went wrong. Marriage is life and life has storms. Some last a few hours, days or weeks and some storms are crazy long and leave a path of craziness BUT the good news is God is good and faithful and the only thing you really have to decide when in the midst of that storm is if you are gonna stay or flee. You choose to stay and God will honor that faithfulness and when the storm clears you will have joy. All that to say when I was watching Dan with our girls I got that lump in my throat that you cant swallow down and goose bumps. I LOVE that man. That imperfect, hard headed, driven, amazing man! :)
If you get a chance go over and click on my friend Crystal's blog and read the letter about marriage she posted. My favorite quote from it is "marriage is fabulously hard."
Have a blessed day and go hug your spouse! It's probably hard being married to us sometimes too! ;)