Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wifey Wednesday





Sheila at To Love, Honor and Vacuum (which is a great blog by the way!) asks - Have you ever had a fight because your husband wanted to fix something? Do you have a special way of resolving conflict?

So... Fighting. I guess I'll just start by admitting that most of the fighting in this marriage is done by me. I'm a fighter. If something needs dealt with then I am going to deal with it NOW. I fight with words. And sometimes I fight over really stupid things. :(

Sure, Mike will sometimes do something and me getting upset about it is valid. BUT... I am responsible for my actions and I KNOW there are better ways to deal with things. I've come a long way but I still have a long way to go.

God gave me a great man and I have to say that I am thankful that Michael is as calm as he is because if there were two people like me in this house we would be a disaster. Over the years we have kind of come to an understanding... I know I don't deal with anger/frustration/disappointment in the best way. I'm working on it. But in the meantime Mike knows that sometimes I just need to walk away for a while and cool down and that he is NOT to follow me and try to talk to me at that time because that will just make it worse. Once I get a moment to calm down I will usually realize how completely stupid the whole thing is I am being, I'll apologize to Mike and then we I will be a rational adult and discuss the real issue.

Michael is amazing and he loves me unconditionally. I am thankful for that!! (Because sometimes I can be completely unlovable!) And because he has been such an example of loving me unconditionally I have been taking time during the past year to learn how to be more respectful (unconditionally). Learning more about how to respect my man and how much it means to him has helped me quite a bit in this journey to "fight nice".



See.... just like I said... It's always Mike's fault. :)




PS... we really don't fight much at all.

Crash.

This morning I dropped Liza off at preschool and was looking forward to my time with Jason. We stopped off at Good Will because I was hoping to find a fun frame for cheap for something I want to try but don't want to spend money on. No luck. But we did find an Elmo video and that made Jason's day.

We left the thrift store and were heading to one more before Jason and I would just hang out and do whatever we wanted. However we got a little off track. I was waiting my turn to enter the four lane high way. It's currently in a construction zone so there was a stop sign because it's down to one lane. There was a bus in front of me and when it started going I realized there was a pick up truck coming and I remember thinking "that truck isn't going to make it!"

And it didn't. The bus hit the back end of it, slamming it in to the cement barriers that divide a highway. The truck then went a bit crazy, spun around, went across the road and smashed in to the guard rail.

I think I was in shock for about ten seconds. It felt like a lot longer. I had never actually witnessed an accident before. I pulled up to make sure the bus driver was ok. (Thankfully it was empty!!) Poor lady. She says "Did you see what happened?" I told her yes and explained that I saw her pull out before the truck was through. She said "So, it was my fault then?" I so badly wanted to say no but it was her fault.

The driver of the pick up was already getting out. I asked him if he was ok. Poor guy. He was shaking. I would have been a disaster I think but he insisted that he was ok and I told him I would stick around since I saw it all. He seemed to appreciate that. You just never want to have to put one person's word against another if you don't have to.

So Jason and I sat and waited. Someone from the bus department came and he talked with me. Then the police came and asked me what happened. Everyone took my name and number. And then Jason and I went on our way. It was all kind of bizarre.

I was just glad that everyone was ok and there was no blood. I used to be certified in first aid but I've never really needed to use it and it's been years since the training. I really wouldn't have felt qualified to do much of anything.

Jason and I still managed to have a nice little time out. We went to Panera Bread and had a bagel. He's just sooo stinkin cute when we go out. He laughs at people when they walk buy and makes cute faces at them. He was calling an old man at the thrift store "papa". I think Jason is confused and thinks he has lots of Papas (grandpas) because he has been calling a lot of strangers Papa lately. Silly boy.

Hopefully next time Jason and I get to spend some time alone we won't be interupted with unpleasant, unexpected events.



Hats and Boots

Jason loooooves hats. It was one of his first words and if he sees a hat he wants it. I've been watching and hoping to find a cute one that will actually kind of fit him so he can wear a hat AND see. We went to Grove City Outlets the other day and in one of the children's clothes stores I finally found one... and it was only $4 on clearance!!

Jason loves it! And he is sooo ridiculously cute with it on!







And for Liza... I've been watching for winter boots, hoping to get a good deal. I found these cute ones at a garage sale for $3 and Liza loooves them. Really... she will wear them all day. It's cute. She did have a skirt on at one point. I don't know when it came off or why but she looks so funny in her little tights and boots.



There has been an awful lot of cuteness going on in this house lately!



Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sleeping Beauties

I love my bedtime... because that means my kids are sleeping and I get to peek in on them and put their blankets back on.

And honestly... most nights I stand there while my heart feels like it just might explode right out of my chest. These moments at night are so sweet. The kids look so peaceful and I get to watch them without them knowing. :) Then I kiss their little cheeks, whisper goodnight and head to bed.










Three things every parent should teach their kids...

What a great topic! How can I narrow it down to ONLY three things?? I could probably go on and on and on. For my readers that aren't coming through the blog hop here is what we were asked to discuss this week...

The Blog Hop theme for this coming Monday is "THREE THINGS EVERY PARENT SHOULD TEACH THEIR KIDS". To keep from getting alot of the same obvious answers, try to be specific and let's bypass some of the obvious: be honest, love your parents, love God, be kind to others, accept Jesus as your Savior (Christian parents will feel obligated to list some of those).

So... here are my three...

1. The world does NOT revolve around YOU.
Kids seem to think that it does these days. They learn that if they cry and whine and complain enough that they will get what they want. People seem to think that they are "owed" something and they should be given handouts ALL the time. You are not the center. Life is not about only you. Think bigger and live beyond yourself... it's rewarding.

2. How to wait and work for what you want.
There could be a gazillion sub-categories under this one... money management, work ethic, budgeting, saving, etc. We live in a world where we can have everything and anything NOW. Anyone can get a credit card and because of that people are buying what they can't afford and going deep into debt because of it. You can enjoy what you have a lot more if it is paid for. And if you had to wait and wait and work and work for it you will appreciate it waaaay more than if you just ran out and swiped a card the moment you decided you wanted whatever it was.

3. Enjoy the little things in life.
Don't get so busy and so driven that you can't stop to smell the flowers, chat with a neighbor, have lunch with a friend. Don't get so caught up in your worries that you forget to smile at strangers, help the cute old lady across the street or take a moment to catch a butterfly. Laugh at things that are silly. Go down a slide whenever you are at a park... no matter how old you are. Spend time with family. Play in the rain. Make silly faces. Don't ever let fear of what others might think of you stop you from enjoying the moment. (Unless of course you are getting in trouble and in that case I hope your friends that care about you WILL let you know what they think about you!)



MckLinky Blog Hop
Special thanks to Purell Hand Sanitizer for sponsoring this blog hop.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I experience so much JOY when I watch Jason eat...

...especially when he insists on wearing Liza's new blue headband while eating!!



It is always fun to watch Jason eat. When he takes bites and chews his food his mouth and his cheeks do the cutest things ever. Honesly... I could probably watch him sit and eat all day. (And it would have nothing to do with the fact that he would be strapped to one place... really!)

Anyways... he was registering somewhere beyond cute during this meal. I think he even registered somewhere beyond awesome. Perhaps a new word needs to be made up to describe it.







Now that is what I call enjoying your spaghetti and applesauce!!

Isn't he just the cutest kid on the planet!!!



And a little attitude to end the meal.




I know... you love him almost as much as I do! This world wouldn't be nearly as fun without Jason in it!



Rachel and Greg

A few weeks ago Mike's sister got married and I got to do the photography. It freaked me out but I still had so much fun and I am pretty pleased with the photos I got for them. Here are a few of my favorites from the day...

This is just after the ceremony... look at the happiness!!!











I think Rachel looked so glamorous!!! She reminded me of a movie star from the 50s or 60s. Isn't she beautiful!?!!







I am so excited to FINALLY be learning more about photography. I feel like I have grown a lot in the past few months and I've barely even begun. I enjoy photography as a hobby. I love capturing memories so that they can be remembered forever.

Taking pictures makes me happy. Doing it for others as a gift triples the joy. :)




Please keep your breasts to yourself!

I'm currently doing Beth Moore's study on Esther. It's great so far and I am learning so much. I enjoy Beth Moore and how honest and real she is.

Last week at our meeting Moore went off on a little tangent while talking about mean girls. She was going on about how some women dress and that they do it for power. Mean girls don't care that you are sitting in the seat next to your man while he is looking at her boobs... all they care about is that they have the power to make him look. Moore was a bit fired up... as she should be! It's a situation that needs addressed over and over. She said "KEEP. YOUR BREASTS. TO YOURSELF!"

Amen sister!

Couldn't have said it better myself.

I do not want to see your cleavage... and I don't need you throwing it at my husband either. Honestly... there are people I know and like but I will not invite them to my home because of how they dress. Shirts that don't cover boobs. Shorts that are way too short. Pants that are too low with shirts that are too short... I don't like seeing butt cracks either. I will not invite them to meet me at the lake because I know they will be showing up in the itty bitty bikini. I'm not insecure... I just don't need to be bringing that stuff to my husband. I don't need to present him with a struggle that I can prevent. If you want to come to my house please cover it up. I don't want to have to worry that your boob is going to pop out of your shirt when you start playing with the kiddos. We don't want that show.

As Beth Moore says... "You CAN dress modestly and still be cute!" Let's all figure out how to do that please. And if you can't figure out the cute part as least go with modest and then ask someone for help on the cute.

I was at a wedding a few weeks ago. There was a girl there who was really beautiful... but no one was looking at her face because her boobs were displayed for all to see. Her dress covered less than her bra did because even her bra was showing. I don't know if she realized the effect she had... but I was watching... and I saw a lot of guys turning their heads away. They didn't want the view. I saw a lot of girls take their men and turn them so she would no longer be in view. I did it many times. I felt bad for the girl at her table who was sitting with her husband... they were across from the cleavage display... the poor guy had his head down half the time. He was probably struggling sooo bad with temptation and just fighting it the whole time. And the wife... the cutest thing ever... if I was her I would have been fuming mad that that girl came dressed the way she did and then was seated across the table from my husband. I would have found a reason to relocate or thrown a jacket over her. Or possibly punched her in the face. Seriously though... really pretty girl... but like I said... that's not what people were talking about. Where are her friends? Why aren't they telling her it's not cool? Or maybe her friends just don't know either. Someone please help them!

And please please PLEASE if you are around me and my family cover your boobs. You don't want my husband looking at them anyways right? (And if you do then you are no longer my friend!)



Sunday, September 27, 2009

How to take a family picture...

1. Ask someone to take some photos for you and then hand them your camera and hope they aren't intimidated by the beast.

2. Grab a kid and get in place.

3. Ask everyone else that is there to get their faces on the same level as the camera and try to get the kids attention.



4. Switch kids.



5. Try not to close your eyes in the ONE shot where everyone is actually looking in the general direction of the camera.



6. If a kid is being fussy try hanging him upside down to see if you can make him laugh... or at least forget why he was being fussy.



Didn't work... he just wanted his hat.



7. Try to trick kid by letting him wear his hat, counting to three and then throwing it out of the picture while the picture is being taken.



8. Just give up and let him wear the stupid hat in the picture. Of course by this time it is guaranteed that the second child will be completely bored and ready to be done.



Out of about 20 attempts I think this is the best one we got.




Guess we will just have to get the tripod out one of these days and try again. That self-timer that will take ten shots in a row is a pretty nifty thing.



The Value of Christian Training

Still reading this book. And still loving it.

Today I read a part that I don't want to sum up because it would be difficult to say it better than the author... plus it's just him sharing some facts from the study. It's not long... so I decided I am just going to quote McGee...


In 1874 the state of New York had a terrible problem. It's prisons were overcrowded, and new facilities couldn't be built fast enough. The state officials didn't know what to do. So a man named R. A. Dugdale was hired to do some research. He came back with a fascinating report. (I have no idea about Dugdale's spiritual condition. There is nothing in the history books to give any indication about that.)

Dugdale did a study of two families and their descendants over some six generations to see how the different lifestyles affected their children.

The first half of his report was about a family named Jukes. Both Max Jukes and his brother married sisters. According to the report, neither of them believed in Christian training. (I have no idea what was meant by "Christian training.")

They had 1,026 descendants. Because of their lifestyles, 300 of them died young and many others suffered poor health. Among the descendants, 140 served an average of thirteen years each in prison, 190 were confirmed public prostitues and 100 were alcoholics. Over a hundred-year period this family cost the state of New York 1.2 million dollars.

The second half of the report compared the Jukes family with another family named Edwards. Johathan Edwards, whom you might remember from your history books, was a Christian minister who married a girl "of like belief."

Edwards and his wife had 729 descendants. Of those, 300 were preachers, 65 were college professors, 13 were university presidents, 60 were authors, 3 were congressmen and 1 served as vice-president of the United States. With the exception of a grandson named Aaron Burr, who was hanged, this second family cost the state of New York not one single penny.

The difference in these two families was that one family believed in Christian training while the other just raised up their kids and fed them.


How are you raising your children???




Saturday, September 26, 2009

My almost surprise birthday party.

It was an almost surprise party because Mike told me about it... and it's a good thing because I don't do surprise parties. He planned it all out before telling me though! That was almost too much. :)

He called up some of my family and invited them to come out and celebrate with us. I was surprised that my parents were coming out. It's a two hour drive one way and they were just here last weekend for Liza's birthday. I felt special that they would do the drive again so soon for ME!

I had a great time visiting and watching everyone play with my kids. :) We ordered pizza for dinner... which was really smart of Michael because he knew enough not to make the plan too elaborate or I would feel the need to jump in and help. (He even cleaned the house for me!!) And for dessert... since I am not eating sugar Mike made my new favorite muffins.

My brother Dave and his family came.


Papa Mike and two of his grandaughters.


My kids LOVE their Papa Mike!!! (Although they don't look like it in this picture haha. I don't know what was up with the serious front... don't believe it for a second!!!)


Liza was tickling Rory.


Grandma Ann and Jason singing "the parents on the bus go shh shh shh."


Jason was pretty excited that he got the hat on his head all by himself.


Liza needed a hat too.


It was a nice relaxing evening. I'm enjoying my birthday weekend!!!




What do you have time for?

Do you find yourself always saying "I'm just sooo busy!" Is it hard to find time for some things? How are you spending your time? On who and on what? Is it what is most important or are you throwing time away doing things that don't matter and then not having time for what does matter?

I know people who are always too busy... too busy for me. What does that tell me? That I don't matter to them. In reality I might... but what I also know is that we make time for the important things. We always have time for the things we WANT to do and the people we WANT to see... or at least we have time for a phone call. Right?

So when someone is continuously telling me that they don't have time to get together for lunch or whatever it just lets me know where I stand. I know not every one that I meet will become a good friend. But I also know that I don't want to be friends with someone who never has time for the friendship.

Get what I am saying?

Giving someone your time is a great way to show them that you care about them and the relationship. When we give our time to others we invest in something that matters.

Are your tv shows more important than someone you keep thinking about and know that you should call and say hello to? Is catching that sale where you probably won't really need anything you actually buy more important than lunch with a friend? Or family?

I know I need to readjust my priorities... AGAIN! I am always re-evaluating, re-adjusting. Cutting things out that no longer matter and adding things that do. But one thing is always certain... if you are my friend I will always find time for you... because you matter. :)



Friday, September 25, 2009

It's my birthday!

I'm 30... and no it doesn't bother me. Yesterday I was 29 and I felt the same as I do today. :) I'm ok with 30... except for that one moment when Mike made a joke about it... but that's ok because he will be 30 in just a few days as well. :)

Mike came home from work and told me that my present is a one hour massage!!! You have NO IDEA how happy that makes me! I can't wait to make the appointment... although it could take a while to work it out since I will need someone to watch the kids or Mike will have to be home... but it will happen!

I have only had one professional massage before. I had gained some weight and needed a good goal so I set a number and when I lost it I got to get a massage. It was an awesome reward for all my hard work! I've wanted another one ever since but it just hasn't happened.

WAIT! I lie... I got a half hour massage while I was pregnant because it was free... but I didn't really enjoy that one as much. The lady wasn't real good. She was a fill in because the real person was on vacation or something. Boo.

But I am looking forward to getting my birthday present!

Tomorrow we were going to go to a fall festival in the morning but it's supposed to be cold and rainy so we will probably skip that... and I will just have to go to garage sales or something instead. :) Then Mike invited some of my family out for the evening to celebrate with me. On Sunday he worked out a baby sitter for a few hours and we get to spend some quality time out together.

It's gonna be a fun weekend!



Bedtime Stories



I've been trying to be more intentional about what I do when it comes to bedtime.

We have ALWAYS had an 8:00 bedtime for the kids. They are always in bed at that time. But we don't really have much of a routine. The kids never seemed to mind but I think the routine will be nice for Mike and I.

After talking about it we decided that we will start getting the kids ready for bed at 7:00 so that we aren't just rushing through it all. They will get their baths and clean up their toys. (By starting early I won't feel frustrated when they don't clean fast and then just end up doing it for them.) Then whatever time is left we will spend reading their Bible, praying and singing songs until 8:00.

Both Liza and Jason seem to be really enjoying this time and I am loving it too. My kids are so snuggly and they love the stories and the songs. Liza is really starting to remember things from the Bible and she is starting to do her own parts of prayer more often. It's all really cute.

I think this is a good, positive change in our day. :)








Thursday, September 24, 2009

Textures

I learned to use textures with editing a while ago but I completely forgot about it... until I read today's post from I Heart Faces. I decided I needed to find some textures and some pictures and waste some time messing around in the photo editor... and that is exactly what I did.

Here is a fun texture that I found for free on flikr. There are a ton of them. Just do a search.

The first picture is the normal picture... I might have done a little bit of editing on it. The second is the picture with texture. It's real simple to do and you can find a simple tutorial on the I Heart Faces blog.





See how fun that is!!??? I love it!

Here is another example. I actually combined two textures for this one... the one mentioned above and I have no idea where the second one was from... somewhere on flikr. I forgot to mark the page.





Just a really simple way to change the look of your photos.




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