Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Today Is One of Those Days

Whew... I'm wondering if I'm going to make it through today.

About 3am I heard those five words that I desperately hate hearing in the middle of the night... "I peed in my bed." Ugh. I woke up and took care of that and then went back to bed... or at least tried to. It turned into one of those nights where you wake up every five minutes thinking hours must have gone by.

I'm exhausted.

To make it even better Mike is finally back to roofing. I thought he was back to work last week but for some unknown reason they only worked one day? Who knows. I think they will actually work most of this week. What makes it hard though is that Mike goes from being HOME all the time to being GONE all the time. He leaves at 5:45am and tonight he won't be home until after dinner.

So on top of being exhausted it's also just me and the kids all day long. And I have a headache. And I am stressed and I'm sorting through the loads of hurt that have been heaped upon my heart in the past month or so. I'm a mess. (And that is probably an understatement.)

Oh... and the kids are cranky and whiny and fighting over everything. 

And now I'm the one whining!

Anyways... about fifteen minutes ago I was about to lose it and that's when I decided to just get honest with the kids. I may have even cried a little as I tried to talk to them.

ME: You guys, I'm having a hard day and I would really REALLY like it if you guys would help me out and be nice to each other.
LIZA: Maybe we should just make it an easy night and watch a movie or something.
ME: Sounds good to me. Can I have a hug?
*Liza and Jason jump in my lap and in the process Jason's pants that are too big slip right off giving us a good and much needed laugh."

ME: I have a headache too. Will you guys pray for me?
*Liza and Jason stare at each other*
LIZA: Your name means "healer" so you should pray Jason.
JASON: But what if I don't want to right now?!
LIZA: Well YOUR name means healer so you should pray!
ME: You can still pray for people to be healed even though your name doesn't mean that Liza.
LIZA: Well, my name means concentrated to God. What does THAT mean?
ME: Consecrated. It means that Mommy and Daddy have dedicated you to God. We hope that you spend your life doing what he wants you to do.
LIZA: Oh. So I guess it's my job to go around telling people about God then.

Neither of them prayed for me. My head is still pounding. But my moment of honesty with my kids brought with it hugs, laughter and cute little conversations. Liza and Jason are now calmly playing and perhaps I can actually think about what to make for dinner. We are out of money and food so it's going to be interesting.

Or maybe I'll just take a nap and we can all have cereal for dinner.

Umm... and to make my day even better... Liza and Jason just looked at the clock, saw it was three o'clock and said "We are going to go take our naps now." I'm sitting here slightly stunned!

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Silly Kids

It's difficult enough trying to get a picture of my own two kids... well add a few more and it gets pretty entertaining. :)

I just love Caleb in the front center standing there eating his ice cream cone!

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Random Fun Times

We are visiting family this weekend and the cousins are having a blast playing together!

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The other two cousins will join us this afternoon for a picnic at the park. Hooray for spring weather!!

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On the drive yesterday this conversation happened...

LIZA: Say "What time is it?"
JASON: I don't know what time it is.
LIZA: Nooo. SAY "What time is it?"
JASON: What time is it?
LIZA: Time for you to get a new watch! HA!... it's a joke.
BOTH: hahahahahahah!
JASON: I got one! Say "What time is it?"
LIZA: What time is it?
JASON: Time for YOU to get a new TRUCK!
BOTH: hahahahahahahaha!
LIZA: I got one! Say "What time is it?"
JASON: What time is it?
LIZA: Time for you to get a bath AND a new truck!
BOTH: hahahaha
JASON: I got one. Say "What time is it?"
LIZA: What time is it?
JASON: Uhhh... time for you to cut down a TREE!

And this continued for a good five minutes. :)

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There are thirteen people sleeping in this house and only five beds... and a cot, an air mattress and a couch. Liza and Jason slept in sleeping bags on the floor in a room with me so I knew it would be an early morning. I heard them at 5:45 and wanted to cry. I knew that since they were on the floor they wouldn't fall back asleep so I told them they could come in the bed with me as long as they didn't talk. They were warned that if they talked they would be back on the floor. But then...

LIZA: Wait! I forgot to tell you something important!
ME: What?
LIZA: If I'm sick and I touch a cow it could spread too.
ME: Huh? If a cow is sick and you touch it you could get sick too?
LIZA: NOoooOO... if I was sick and I touched a cow the cow could get sick. And then if that cow touched another cow it could spread.
ME: Go back to sleep.

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My brother asked if I would do a photo shoot of his daughter when they came to visit so I packed up all my photo stuff and brought it along. Well worth it! Violet is almost seven months old and ADORABLE! I haven't gone through all the photos yet because I got stopped at this one...

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There is still plenty of fun to be had before we go home tomorrow.  Hopefully that fun will involve s'mores around the fire tonight!




Friday, April 26, 2013

Ring the Bell Movie Review and Giveaway!

The winner of Hey God, I've Got Some Guy in My Stomach Named Jonah and I Think I'm Gonna Throw Up iissssss.... MEGAN!! I'll be in touch with soon!

And now for another review and giveaway...


"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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About Ring the Bell:
Ring The Bell shares the story of a slick, big city sports agent Rob Decker who seems to have it all. But on his latest mission to sign a high school baseball superstar, Rob becomes stranded in a small town where the simplicity of life—and the faith of the people—stand in stark contrast to his own fast-paced, win-at-all-costs mindset. Torn between these two worlds, will Rob have the courage to let faith transform his life? This heartwarming story of redemption is sure to entertain and inspire the whole family.

Ring The Bell features a host of well-known Christian music artists, such as Mark Hall along with his band Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Matthew West, all who play a role in this inspirational drama. Several former and current Major League Baseball all-stars are also featured in the film: ESPN analysts John Kruk and Rick Sutcliffe (a former Cy Young Award winner), along with Ben Zobrist.

This family-friendly movie was produced by Mark Miller, Beach Street Records' founder and Casting Crowns’ producer. Miller, who is also the lead singer and founder of country music group Sawyer Brown, co-wrote the script with Thomas Weber and Weber directed the production. 

Ring the Bell is available on DVD for only $19.99 
My Thoughts:
It's a great story that shows our need for God and the importance of allowing him to have control of our lives. This movie presents the Gospel in a clear way and without any shame. While it is not a children's movie it IS one that the entire family can enjoy. I look forward to watching it again with my kids (ages 5 and 6). I figure it's another way for them to hear the Gospel presented in a positive way. Plus... I'm sure they will enjoy the baseball and some of the spunky characters!

Giveaway:
For a chance to win your own copy of Ring the Bell just leave a comment below.  If you need something to say in your comment you can tell me what you most look forward to doing this summer. Winner will be chosen on Wednesday, May 1 and will be contacted by email.


Here Comes the Sun...

A little happy for your Friday!
Hit play and scroll down. :)



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HAVE A GREAT DAY!!!



Thursday, April 25, 2013

I Wish I Didn't Like Food So Much

Life would be easier if I was a really picky eater right? Liking food just makes it all so difficult. I have so many food problems and addictions it's ridiculous.

You may remember that I wrote about hormone imbalance recently and that the progesterone cream I started using really helped lessen my sugar cravings. That's still true. However, it didn't take away my love of all things sweet.

I was doing so well... exercising, eating well... lost three pounds in three weeks. I was on a roll. I started using the progesterone cream and I thought "This is it! I have all my answers!" I just forgot that the cream wouldn't take away the fact that I am an emotional eater. So there I was... doing so well... and then life happened. I was hurt. I was angry. I was going to eat whatever I wanted and I was going to eat a lot of it! I went on vacation. I was going to eat ice cream on the beach every night if I wanted to.  Because... you know... food is my FRIEND! Food makes me feel better. Food looooves me.

How foolish.

I also got a cold around the same time and you know how that can knock you right out of exercising.

So here I am... with those three pounds I lost added back on. I'm sitting here with a full, gross, bloated stomach.

I am an emotional eater.

Ugh! How do I beat this beast!?!?!

One day at a time.
One meal at a time.

It's time to get back on track.
I feel better when I eat well.
I like life more when I am eating well.

And... I have some new information to test out.

I've never looked into this whole gluten free thing but someone posted a link on Facebook this morning about 10 Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance. Ummm... I think I have seven of the ten symptoms. (Several of them being very similar to symptoms of hormone imbalance.) Soooo... I guess I should put gluten free on my list of things to try. Of course as I read down the list of foods that contain gluten I just want to cry. It's everything I eat and love. It would be a HUGE change for me to go gluten free. It would mean learning new ways to cook and no longer making most of my favorite meals. It's not something I would enjoy.

But...

It's probably something I should try.

I'm not ready yet though.
Maybe next week.
Until then I'll keep reading more info about it and looking for recipes.
It's going to have to be a gradual transition for me if I'm going to do it.

Do you eat gluten free?
Any tips?
Favorite recipes and snacks?





Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cael's Birthday Party

My friends have a boy who was born with some heart defects. They weren't even sure that he would make it through pregnancy but he is now ONE!! Cael has had several surgeries in his first year and several weeks were spent in the hospital. When I heard that his parents were planning a birthday party for him I volunteered to photograph it for them... because Cael turning one is a huge milestone and his parents needed to be able to enjoy the celebration while knowing that the memories of it all would be captured.

The theme for the party was superhero and Tanya did such an awesome job of decorating!

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Party favors for the kids were superhero capes with the initial from their first name on it. Awesome idea!

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And of course the celebrated superhero of the day, Cael, had his own cape too. :)

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The cake was GORGEOUS!!

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The beads around the cake are edible but made to look like Cael's beads. This is a picture I took when Cael was 7 months old...

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That cake maker sure did an awesome job of copying those beads!!

Then there was the smash cake...

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And Cael enjoyed it. :)

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Anyways... this is a super sweet family that has leaned on God through many trials in the past year and a half. It's amazing that they still have so much joy and it's evident that they truly embrace each day!

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This family could always use your prayers as they still have obstacles to overcome. You can follow Cael's story and get updates on the facebook page Cael's Crusaders: Prayers for our "Might Warrior".

And if you were wondering how to plan a superhero themed party you now have a lot of great ideas. How did people plan parties before pinterest!?!?

Book Review and Giveaway!

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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I recently received a great book to review...

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Hey God, I've Got Some Guy Named Johan in My Stomach and I Think I'm Gonna Throw Up by Troy Schmidt.

The book arrived in the mail and I sat down and read it with Liza (6) and Jason (5) and it instantly became a family favorite! It's clever. It's funny. It's a book that as a parent I won't mind reading over and over and over and over. (It's been requested daily for the past week!) And best of all, it has a great message and gives children the opportunity to apply the lessons from the story of Jonah and talk to God about obedience.

About the Book: 
Oh sure, we've all heard the story of Jonah and the Whale a hundred times. But have we heard it from the perspective of the whale who experienced that history-making event?
Hey God, I've Got Some Guy Named Jonah in My Stomach and I Think I'm Gonna Throw Up! imagines how that great sea creature from the incident might tell his side of the story, helping kids ages 4 to 8 discover a creative way of learning about that guy who was supposed to go to Ninevah.
The "Parent Connection" feature (inside the book) will help moms and dads take the story further with scripture references and tips on how to talk with their children about what really happened.

About the Author: 
Troy Schmidt has writing and video production credits ranging from assignments with Disney (The Mickey Mouse Club) and Nickelodeon to Max Lucado's Hermie franchise. He is currently the lead writer for The American Bible Challenge hosted by Jeff Foxworthy on the Game Show Network. Troy and his wife have three sons.

The series:  This is just the first in a series!  Other books available include Hey God, Can You Stop the Rain so I Can Get off Noah's Smelly Ark? and Hey God, I'm Having an Awful Vacation in Egypt Thanks to Moses!

Liza's favorite thing in the book is the picture of the whale spitting Jonah out. :) Jason likes what the whale says a human tastes like. (You'll have to read the book yourself to find out!) My favorite part is the activity at the end that has kids imagining that they are in a whale and listening for God's voice.

If you would like to hear the whale's point of view from that famous first story about a whale you can check out the following links for more info...

Hey God, I've Got Some Guy Named Jonah in My Stomach and I Think I'm Gonna Throw Up! The whale tells his side of the story.
Brought to you by B&H Kids, Available May 1, 2013.
This book is just $9.99 and will entertain you and your kids!  Available here.


I've been given a copy of the book to giveaway to my readers! To enter just leave a comment (make sure you fill in the email section on the comment form so I am able to get in touch with you if you win!). Just say "hi" or "I want to win" or tell me what your favorite childrens book is.

Winner will be randomly chosen on April 26 and contacted by email. Good luck!






Monday, April 22, 2013

A Fun Weekend!

First things first... the winner of the This Is Our Time DVD is Lissa S. I'll be in touch with soon Lissa!

I have several more giveaways of great family materials coming up in the next two week so watch for those!

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So let's talk about the weekend...

I can't remember such a busy weekend in a long time but it was such a fun one! Lots of friends and family and different things than usual.

Friday night I went to a girls night... two doors down. Back when we were in the closing period of buying a house we met a couple at a prayer meeting. In talking we realized we were buying houses... with only one house in between. Instant friends. :) I was invited to girls night and it was a great time of meeting new people, discussing how dependable God is, playing games and eating some delicious food.

Yeah... when I say delicious food... well... Danielle made s'mores dip! When I heard she was making that I needed no more convincing to get myself there!

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You guys! I could have ate that stuff by the spoonful! There were graham crackers for dipping and I just happened to take strawberries and pineapple... both amazing with the dip! I need to have some friends over so I can make this stuff! Soooo good!

On Saturday I hosted a crafting day for my friend Kim. She's getting married at the end of May... to Mike's cousin. :) She will soon be family! Kim is making a lot of the things she needs for her wedding and I knew she would need some help so I told her to invite some friends to come along and I would host and have lunch. We spent a few hours cutting, taping, stamping, coloring. It didn't feel like we got too far because we didn't have much completed at the end of our time but we really did make some good progress and I kept some things here to continue working on them.

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It was a really great time with friends!

Then there was Sunday. :) I had been looking forward to Sunday because it was going to be our once a year treat. We were going to Pittsburgh for dinner and a show and we were taking my parents along because it was part of their Christmas gift from all of their kids.

We sent the kids off with our favorite babysitter... she wins favorite title because she always treats them to great things. Yesterday they went to the Aviary in Pittsburgh and then out for pizza and ice cream. Be jealous of my babysitter haha. We love her. :)

Then me, Mike, Mom and Dad headed to Pittsburgh for our night out. We go with a group of people so we don't have to do anything but pay and follow. That's how I like to do the city. :) We ate at a restaurant called Bravo Franco... Italian yumminess! Chicken Marsala for me followed with delicious apple crisp for dessert! After dinner we headed across the street to Heinz Hall...

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...for this show...

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Fantastically spectacular!!! I love it! So much fun! It was a good story with great singing and dancing and plenty of jokes. Anything Goes has been around since 1938... or something like that... and after watching it it's not hard to understand why it's remained popular for so long!

It was a great night out and I love that I got to spend it with my parents!

We came home exhausted and ready to crash. Mom and Dad were spending the night so I gave them my bed, Mike took the couch and I took an air mattress on the floor. Problem was that the air mattress apparently had a hole in it and by 1am I was on the floor... and Mike was snoring. I slept horrible and woke up still completely exhausted. Mom and Dad left at 9:30, I laid down on the couch and fell back asleep for three hours. I'm still in my pajamas and doubt I will change out of them today. Mike is currently taking his nap. We are a pathetic team today. :)

And that was my weekend. :) Lots of fun, family and friends packed in!

Next weekend will be a packed one as well! Family flying in from Texas so we'll be heading to my parents' to hang out with my brothers and sisters. I'm kinda sorta excited!!



Friday, April 19, 2013

One Year!

 





Frankly... I'm proud. :)

Today is the one year anniversary of the publication of I Love You All the Time by Michael J. Wick.

Michael J. Wick just so happens to be my husband!

I'm so proud of him for taking his idea and just going with it... even though when he started he had no idea how to publish a book.

 I Love You All the Time by Michael J. Wick


If you want to know more about the book I have a tab at the top... Michael J. Wick ~ Author. There are links to posts where you can read an interview with Mike or check out what the inside of the book looks like.

I know many of you have purchased the book over the past year... we would love for you to help us celebrate today by clicking over to amazon and writing a review. We appreciate all the support for the book that we have had! We hope that the book is blessing your family. :)


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Morning

Psalm 5:3
In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.

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Psalm 30:5
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

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Psalm 59:16
 But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.

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Psalm 90:14
 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

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Psalm 143:8
 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.

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Proverbs 4:18
 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

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Lamentations 3:22-24
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."

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Don't forget to enjoy the morning!

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