Monday, March 31, 2008

We're Back!

I feel like I haven't blogged in forever! But, we arrived back home safe and sound at about 1 a.m. this morning. We got ahead of the rain leaving Missouri, but it must've caught up with us while we slept because it's been storming this morning...loudest thunder I've heard in a long time, and it sends Elsie running for the refuge of Mommy everytime! I don't mind though.

Anyway, we left Wednesday evening to head to Jason's stomping grounds, farm grounds that is. We stayed with Grandma Rose and Papa Russ, which we always enjoy. We hadn't been to Missouri since this time last year since I was pregnant, and I'm anti-travel while in that condition. What was so great about this trip is that Elsie will really remember everyone this time, and everyone got to meet our sweet Claira. We made the trip there as well as the trip back in about 6 1/2 hours each, which is great time for us law-abiding, speed-limit following folks.

Grandma Rose with Claira

Papa Russ with Claira

I think Elsie ate more candy this past weekend than she has in a month! At one point, she asked for some jelly beans, and I told her she had to finish her cheez-its first. She was later found putting the Cheez-its from her bowl back into the box!

Elsie eating m&m's with Papa Walt.

Grandma Rose must've heard, "Let's play!" at least 80 times a day from Miss Elsie. They read stories, played Barbies, played games, and just about everything else Elsie could come up with. Grandma even brought out some jewelry for them to play dress up and she showed us some earrings that Jason had picked out for her when he was little. I'm so sad to say that I don't have a picture of them, but let's just say that they looked like shiny new hubcaps in Grandma's ears!

Elsie and Grandma Rose playing Hi-Ho Cherry-O. Elsie had to lay on the table "so I can reach."

Elsie trying on Grandma Teresa's glasses.

Daddy taking Elsie for her tractor ride.

Elsie playing Peek-a-boo.

Usually, we stay for church and lunch on Sunday before we make the trip home, but in an effort to promote sleeping children on the drive back, we decided to stick around longer. We were so glad we did since this gave us some time to play visit Aunt Christina and Uncle Brian's house to let the girls play with Emma, Jackson, and Chase. However, I'm not sure who had more fun...the kids, or Jason, who was busy building with Geotrax and playing tackle with Elsie and Jackson. (By the way Christina, I failed miserably at getting pictures of our kids together so upload those to snapfish soon, please! And, send me a link!)

Elsie coloring with Emma...she was her shadow for the day.

Claira, 5 months, and Chase, 3 1/2 months...looks like Claira might have some growing to do!

With all of the family we did get to see, we still missed out on seeing a few people so we hope to catch up with them in July for Eric's wedding. We miss everyone already and were sad to leave...we heard "I don't want to go home!" from Elsie multiple times the whole trip back, and she went on and on about having a sleepover with Emma and "Emma said I could stay at her house at night." She was not pleased to be informed, "not tonight."

Bye, bye farmland...

Our Trip in Numbers

Time spent in the car = 18 hours, 13 minutes
Times Elsie asked Grandma Rose to play = 187
Tractor parts Jason worked on = 1
Naps taken by Claira = 18
Restaurants eaten at = 6
Places Mandalynn nursed Claira = 11
Times we were told we have beautiful girls = 832
Diapers changed = 41
Family members we saw = 17
Pictures we took = 91
Times Elsie told her grandmas and grandpas "I love you" = 112
Jelly beans eaten = 64
Bottles of water Mandalynn drank = 27
Times we played Pat-a-cake = 212
Tractor rides Jason took Elsie on = 1
Hours in Missouri = 87.5

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Baby Beware!

Earlier today, the girls and I were in Elsie's room packing for our trip to Missouri. Elsie was playing at her toy vanity, I was packing, and Claira was watching us from her Bumbo. I heard the dryer signal, and I left the girls to check the dryer. While I was away, Elsie came in...
Elsie-Mommy, Claira's taking a nap!
Mommy-In her Bumbo?
Elsie-No, she's laying down on the floor!
Mommy-How did she get there? (As I pick up the pace and high tail it back to Elsie's room)
Elsie-See, I tucked her in!

I get back to the room, and sure enough, Claira's happy as can be enjoying some tummy time on the floor surrounded by a couple of blankets from Elsie's bed (her apparent effort to "tuck her in"). I asked Elsie how she got there, and she proudly said, "I carried her!"

Oh boy...
NOTE TO SELF: Do not leave your baby attended by your 3 year old for any amount of time at all!

Luckily, Claira seemed as happy as can be, and I never heard her cry or anything so I'm sure she's fine, but oh...goodness.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Elsie's Request

Elsie and I were putting away some things in her room this morning when out of nowhere she says, "I needs rings in my ears, Mommy. I like those. Can you get me some?" I didn't respond right away...probably just had a dumbfounded look on my face as I thought back to all of the times people would talk about piercing their baby's ears and my response to that. I've always said that I had no problem with getting Elsie's ears pierced when she asks for it. But, I had no idea that she'd ask when she was 3! I was thinking 6 or 7 or 11! Not 3! Well, I'm just not ready! And, I'm praying that she forgets her request! Truthfully, I think if I took her to have it done, she'd get scared and back out of it...we'll wait and see how often she asks about it or if she brings it up again at all.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Elsie's Brother

No, I'm not pregnant. At dinner, we were talking about our families.
Elsie-Mommy has 3 brothers.
Daddy-No, Mommy has 4 brothers.
Elsie-No, she doesn't!
Daddy-Tell her all the names of your brothers, Mommy.
Mommy-My brothers are Joel, Tyson, Jared, and Kaleb.
Daddy-That's 4 brothers. And, my brother is Eric.
Elsie-Well, I have a brother. I have Papa!

Three Cheers for Claira!

Just yesterday I was thinking that she may start sitting up on her own before she ever thinks about rolling over...then, this morning, she rolled over from her tummy to her back! Yay! I just had to share my joy!


Easter this year was so incredibly wonderful. The weather was lovely, which was a pleasant surprise because we got a snow storm on Friday. But, the sun came out to shine on Saturday and melted most of the snow.
Anyway, yesterday morning we woke up and Jason took Elsie and Claira downstairs to the play room for a few minutes so I could get their Easter baskets ready...yeah, I totally THOUGHT about doing it Saturday night, but sleep won out in the end.

Notice the waffle on the floor beside her...she likes them plain!

We got her Cranium Hullabaloo, and it is such a great game! She just laughs and giggles the whole time.

After Easter baskets, we got ready for church.

The Easter service was AMAZING. I'm not exaggerating at all. All of the kids, ages 6-18, put on a musical that Pastor Nancy wrote. It was incredible, really. They are making DVD's of it, and I promise to purchase one and try my darndest to get it uploaded here. One of Elsie's little friends, C.J., had a solo in it, and I was absolutely blown away by how well she did.

The performance was just incredible, and I was so moved by the message it sent out. Resurrection Day truly is the most important of holidays for Christians. If Christ hadn't risen from the dead, my faith would mean nothing. There's always a lot of talk about the birth of Jesus as well as His death, but His story didn't end there. Instead, we serve a living God. My faith is founded in a God who is alive. He's not just a group of stories in an old book. He's alive and moving among our midst today! There's so much hope and promise in that alone.

After church, we went home to eat some lunch and the girls took a nap. Jason and I played cards, and then I made a couple of sugar cream pies...yummy! When the girls woke up, I went outside and hid some Easter eggs for Miss Elsie to hunt...and she did!

Now, she's still playing with those plastic eggs. I wonder how many years until the novelty of them wear off? This is the third year that we've done egg hunts with her, and the eggs always stick around for at least a month after Easter before I hide them away during naptime or something. She loves to open all of them, take stuff out, put it all back in, close them again, and start all over.

Sugar Cream Pie (you NEED to try!)

1/4 Cup Cornstarch
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Pint Half & Half
1/4 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Melted Butter (NOT Margarine)
1 t. Vanilla
2 T. Melted Butter
Cinnamon (Optional)
1 Baked Pie Shell (I use the frozen Pillsbury ones...shh!)

Combine cornstarch and sugar in saucepan. Add 1/4 cup melted butter, half & half, and milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into baked pie shell. Drizzle 2 T. melted butter on top and lightly sprinkle with cinnamon. Place in broiler until top bubbles. Remove from oven. You need to watch carefully while in broiler as the top will burn easily! Refrigerate.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Elsie has been on a cheese sandwich kick lately. Now, I'm quite used to her insisting on eating something other than what we have for dinner, but also taking bites from our plates, except the mooching from our plates has all but completely stopped, and she scrunches up her face at the sight of any and all meat.
Yesterday, she asked for a cheese sandwich, and I folded up a piece of turkey in the middle of it. I smooshed the bread together so she couldn't see it and handed it over. She took one bite and said, "What is that?!" She promptly dropped the sandwich, took it apart and said, "Oh no, Mommy. There is YUCK on my sandwich!" I can't remember when the last time was I laughed so hard. Jason had no idea what was going on and just looked at me like I was crazy until I explained what I had done. Fun times. Of course, that poor piece of turkey got to meet the trash and Elsie enjoyed her PLAIN cheese sandwich.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tell me I'm not the only one...

who lives in a home with more bedrooms than they use for that purpose. We moved from a 2 bedroom to a 4 bedroom and in both cases, all four of us are in the same room. We've coslept with Elsie since she was born. This past summer we had her sleeping in her own bed in her own room, but that changed when Claira came. Elsie's a night owl, and I don't mind it because we stay at home and she can sleep in. Well, our bed is getting crowded! She goes to bed when we do, but she doesn't like to lay in her room alone in the dark. So, we moved her toddler bed into our room. Please tell me I'm not the only crazy person who really doesn't mind having her children close?

Mail Time!

I got this letter in the mail yesterday:

Hello Sissy, do you want to come over on winter break? I love you. Love, Madison

Sorry it's sideways...I didn't take it that way, and it won't let me fix it.

The "love" had a heart for the o. How sweet is that? I think I've mentioned this before, but I'm one of those lucky people who has much younger siblings...I've got some close to my age and then I have Madison and Kaleb. Madison is turning seven in a couple of weeks, and this is the first letter I've received from her. I'm going to keep it forever. I made Elsie quite upset when I wouldn't let her have the letter...she likes to destroy any piece of paper that enters her hands.

The sad thing is that her Spring Break is next week, and we're planning to go to Missouri on Wednesday. Jason did ask if we should postpone our trip and go to Indiana instead...but, I know some grandparents that are already looking forward to meeting Miss Claira and haven't seen Elsie in about a, off to Missouri we go. We're planning a trip to Indiana in May, but if Claira does well in the car this time, we might go sooner.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Testimony Tuesday

It's Tuesday! That means it's time for a testimony! You know, I can't say that there's anything more important in my life than my family. Besides my relationship with God, Jason, Elsie, and Claira are my whole world. This is one reason why I'll never forget November 9, 2002. The second Saturday of every month, our church hosts a "Ladies Luncheon." Some of the guys from church get together to make us ladies an awesome lunch. Afterwards, we have Praise and Worship and a message.

Pastor Nancy was speaking at this particular luncheon, and I honestly don't remember now what the majority of the message was since it was over 5 years ago. What I can tell you is that I was single at the time. In fact, it would be 8 more months until Jason and I would even meet. But, I had a husband and children on the brain anyway. One more thing I can tell you about that particular luncheon is that God gave me something that day. At the end of her sermon, Pastor Nancy had all of the ladies stand up while she prayed for us. She was talking to mothers, asking them to remember all of the things God had done for their children, and in my mind, without thinking first, I asked God what he had done for my children. In retrospect, it seems a silly question for a single young woman to ask. But, God answered. This is what he said: "I'm turning their mother into a steadfast woman so they won't grow up without me." In that instant, my life changed forever. In that moment, I knew I'd be a wife. I knew I'd be a mother. And, I knew God loved these people who were my future just as much as I did, perhaps even more than I did.

The Lord has many names. The Father is one I've gotten closely acquainted with. While I grow as a parent, I also grow as a child of God because my understanding of His love for us deepens.

Coloring Eggs

Elsie is so sweet. She told us she was writing "Baby Kella (Claira)" on the very first egg she decorated. It seriously brought tears to my eyes. I love having little girls!

Some Unexpected Visitors

Last week sometime, I was loading dishes into the dishwasher when I spotted a couple of geese in the backyard. I went into Elsie's room to get her and show them to her, but they were gone by the time we got back to the kitchen. So, today, we were headed out for a Target run, and we opened the door to a couple of geese in our front yard. I wonder if they're the same ones...?

Elsie, decided to chase after them, but they ran away. Surprise, Surprise.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Awhile ago, I was in the kitchen when Elsie came in with a serious expression on her face. She told me she "needed to ask me some questions." I said okay. She said, "I want a cheese sandwich!" So, I made her cheese sandwich and then she asked for some orange juice. I got that as well. Currently, the orange juice is gone, and the cheese sandwich has half a bite taken out of it. Go figure.

Mastitis and Mice

It might as well be a four letter word. On Friday, my whole body was aching...seriously, when you're trying to put laundry into the washing machine and your wrist tries to give out in pain when you pick up a towel, it's not a good sign. On Saturday, the breast pain set in, and yesterday morning greeted me with chills and sweats. So, I called my OB's office and had the on-call doctor paged so she called me in a prescription. Happy Palm Sunday! I had mastitis 3 times while I was pumping for Elsie, so I'm praying that this is an isolated incident, and it won't happen again!

I have a video of Elsie (not) singing "Hosanna" at church yesterday. But, I will say that all of the kids stayed put up on the platform this year. Last year, we had a couple of runaways in their age group! As soon as I figure out how to post a video, I'll do just that.

On Saturday, I went grocery shopping and stopped at Payless to get Elsie some new dress shoes for know, the standard black shoe to white shoe switch. Well, the two pairs of shoes that she wears most right now are her Nike tennis shoes, 9.5, and a pair of brown Mary Jane's, 9, that I got at Kohl's. So, I went with a 9.5. They were HUGE on her. So, Jason took her back to Payless to try on shoes, and he ended up getting her an 8.5. I wish retailers would unify their sizing!

Yesterday, Elsie was Daddy's Little Helper, and they went outside to put her Little Tikes slide together. These pictures are actually from last summer when we bought it.

While they were outside, Jason decided to dispose of some grass clippings that had been left out in the yard last summer. Apparently, the grass made a nice warm home through the winter. Add a nice home with a corn field grocery store across the road, and we made quite the living arrangements for a mouse family. I talked to my mom this morning who informed me that the gestational period of a mouse is only 19 days. I told Jason that we'll be getting some poison to feed those mice right away! 19 days! Can you imagine? I'd have a mice colony in just a couple of short months! Hopefully, taking away their home and killing them off will scare all the mice out of our yard. Call me a girl, but there's no way that I'm stepping foot in that yard knowing there's at least half a dozen mice out there.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Raking Leaves

Elsie "helped" Daddy with some yardwork this evening...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jason took my camera...

to work today. It's only noon, and I've already missed out on two photo-taking opportunities. That also means I've missed out on two blog post writing opportunities. In the meantime, I'm trying to make heads or tails of the new babycenter format...I think it might actually be giving me a headache.

Mandalynn sells on Ebay!

Yep, that's right...I've been doing a whole lot of BUYING on ebay, so I've ventured into the selling side as well. Right now, I've got 3 auctions, and they are all brand new, cute stuff so check them out and make a bid!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My Two Sweet Girls

Here are some photos from this morning. Thanks to Emily, I've been having some photoshop fun lately. I'm still bugging Jason for a new camera though!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Miracle Brush

My three year old used to throw up her arms in angst and run away everytime I tried to comb or brush through her hair. She's got my hair. It's actually fairly fine, but we've got a LOT of it so it's thicker than it looks. I feel her pain. My mom has been known to break brushes in half just brushing through my hair. So trust me, I'm as gentle as I can possibly be with her. Yet, she runs. Awhile ago, someone mentioned the Goody Ouchless brush to me so I've kept an eye out for it for awhile. I've looked at WalMart a couple of times and Target numerous times with no luck. I was beginning to think the brush was a myth. But, the other day, I walked into the grocery store and I found myself passing through the hair accessory aisle on my way to the baking supply aisle. So, I looked, and there they were. They have a small child sized brush, a larger adult sized brush, and a comb, each available in pastels of pink, purple and blue. I picked up a couple of them, and Elsie was actually excited when I pulled it out of the bag. She really hasn't minded getting her hair brushed for the past few days. If you have a little girl, this brush is a must have!

Testimony Tuesday

Well, I'm sort of bypassing Testimony Tuesday this week for a couple of different things. I received this email from Grandma Unger today, and I think it's worth passing on. Typically, I don't forward emails, but I think everyone in this country could use a good dose of thankfulness. This email points that out. Supposedly, Jay Leno wrote it, and I'd be pleased if he actually did, but I have no idea of the credibility of that claim so that was my disclaimer.

By Jay Leno, perhaps?

Very interesting perspective by Jay Leno ..

I hope you will all read to the end. Jay Leno puts it into perspective and makes us think about the pathetic negativity. That's right, Jay Leno !!

Jay Leno wrote this; it's the Jay Leno we don't often see....

'The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true, given the source, right?

The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent o f Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed, and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the
performance of the President. In essence, 2/3's of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change.

So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, ''What are we so unhappy about?''
Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter?

Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?

Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time, and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

Maybe it is
the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Oceanwithout having to present identification papers as we move through each state?

Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter?

I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough.

Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all, and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings.

Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs , a burglar or prowler intrudes
, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.

This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world?

Maybe that is what has 67 percent of you folks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. , yet has a great
disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain abo ut what we don't have , and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the President who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The President who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same President who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The President that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks?

The Comman der-In Chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me? Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk sho w? Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn't take a look around for yourself and see all the good
things and be glad?

Think about it...are you upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the 'Media' told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day.

Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go.

They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an ''other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable''
discharge after a few days in the brig.

So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want, but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds, it leads; and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells , and when criticized, try to defend their actions by 'justifying' them in one way or another. Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book about 'how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way'...Insane!

Stop buying the negativism you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad.

We are
among the most blessed people on Earth, and should thank God several times a day, or at least be thankful and appreciative.

Jay Leno

Monday, March 10, 2008

So, how did YOU find me?

Thanks to a lovely little code from, I've been tracking ways people end up at my site for months now. (basically, as long as this blog has lived) Anyway, here are some things people have searched for and found me:

1. toddler swallowed coin
2. child poops out coin
3. help! i swallowed something (NO idea what this person swallowed, but I couldn't help but laugh at the image of shouting "HELP!" everytime I swallow something!)

Anyway, do you notice a theme up there?

More fun searches:
Princess Messy Closet
big toe turned purple on side
hugs for my sister jar
would my camel like green bean tea

So, please did YOU find my blog? Leave me a comment and let me know!

I want my hour back!

Who's bright idea was Daylight Saving Time anyway? The war's over! Give us our hour back!
Why is it that one little hour can feel like 5 when it means less sleep? On a happier note, there is more daylight. What isn't fair is that more daylight makes me feel like I might be eleven again, playing hide n go seek with the neighborhood kids until 9 p.m. because it's not dark yet. That all took place in the summertime, but when I look outside, there's snow on the ground. Well, I can see the grass, but there are piles of snow in the parking lot.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Hee Hee Hee

I think I have one pair of jeans that fit me right now. I gain a lot of weight during pregnancy. I put on 45 pounds during both pregnancies. The difference is that after I had Elsie, the weight melted off instantly. Seriously, I came home from the hospital and slipped into the jeans I wore pre-pregnancy. It was great. Plus, I pumped for 14 months and lost an additional 10 pounds or so. Then, I stopped pumping. I guess my body didn't like that because I gained about 20 pounds between the time I quit pumping and when I got pregnant with Claira. Then, I gained another 45 pounds with Claira and so far, I've only lost about half of that. I think. I haven't actually weighed myself in awhile. My problem area is absolutely my stomach. It's full of just rolly's gross, I tell you! Anyway, in my effort to ban jean shopping until I lose more weight, I decided to try on some jeans this morning. I'm happy to report that I could actually fit into every pair with them fully zipped. I didn't even have to lay on the bed and zip them up with pliers or anything like that. However, unless you're going for that skin tight look with extreme love handles, they just didn't look good.

But, I dug out the pair of jeans I was wearing when Jason and I met, and they fit! Yippee! I'm giddy with glee! I've got a tiny bit of love handle action going on, but it's totally disguised by the shirt I'm wearing, and I've got the jeans on now.

Almost 5 years and two children later, they still fit! It's going to be a great day.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Elsie's Pop Beads

Elsie got this cool gift from Brian, Christina, Emma, Jackson, and Chase. It's been days of fun for us already!

Confession Time

I enjoy the occasional Hannah Montana. In the last week or so, Elsie has started to request the show every once in awhile. She still doesn't get that I can't control what comes on the television all the time. I blame this on an extensive collection of children's DVD's. Anyway, I started paying attention and realized that Hannah Montana is on every evening at 6 p.m.

Well, I turned it to Disney a little bit ago, and the opening scene was Hannah's brother, Jackson, fighting off a wasp with a teddy bear. Elsie didn't recognize him and thought it was Zack and Cody (another confession, I suppose).

Elsie: It's Zack and Cody!
Mommy: No, It's Hannah Montana. That's Hannah's brother, Jackson.
Elsie: Well, my sister's name is Claira.
Mommy: Yes.
Elsie: Who's that? (pointing to Hannah on the screen)
Mommy: That's Hannah, silly.
Elsie: Who's that? (pointing to Hannah's dad)
Mommy: That's Hannah's daddy.
Elsie: Oh, so his name is Jason?
Mommy: No...LOL! Not all daddies are named Jason. Lydia's daddy is Roy, and Breanna's daddy is Eli.
Elsie: Well, what's his name?
Mommy: Ummm...I'm not sure...Billy? I think?
Elsie: Well, my daddy's name is Jason and Jason's are the best daddies.
Mommy: That's absolutely right.

My three year old is pure sweetness, I tell you. Seriously though, I need to pay more attention and find out what the name of Hannah's dad is on the show...if you know, fill me in!

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Elsie talking to Pastor Nancy after church last night...

Pastor Nancy-Do you have a new room at your house?
Pastor Nancy-You don't? Where do you sleep?
Elsie-In Daddy's car.

Since Elsie has been old enough to notice kissing scenes on television, we've been telling her..."No kissing until you're married!" So, whenever she sees someone kissing she says that..."no kissing till married."
Just now, a couple was kissing on HGTV, and Elsie piped up with her little bit so I asked her who she thinks she might marry when she grows up. "Well, I think maybe Daddy," she told me. Sweet, no? I hope she does find someone like her daddy to marry.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Testimony Wednesday (sort of)

I started Testimony Tuesday yesterday morning, and we were having problems with our internet connection last night so I couldn't finish it. But, it's posted now, so I thought I'd let you know. You can scroll down to find it or just click here.

I'm not a Pie, I'm a Bell!

So, Elsie has been Elsie Pie since she was in the womb...she was Elsie Pie nearly as soon as she was, sometimes we just call her Pie, but the name has really stuck. Every morning when she wakes up, I say, "Good morning, Sweet Pie," and she loves it. She has told me so.

Today, she changed her mind. Claira has been Claira Bell since before she was born, and today Elsie decided that she's a Bell too. Not a Pie. A Bell. A little jealousy, no? Actually, she likes everything of Claira's...Claira's toys, blankets, clothes, shoes...until Claira wants to eat. Elsie wants NOTHING to do with breastmilk! LOL!

My Secret Weapon

Q: How can I get Claira to smile for the camera?
A: Have Elsie stand next to me!

My Sweet Bunnies

I think we're going to have some cards made up to send to all of the grandparents this are some pictures from this morning.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

My Sweet Elsie

It's a rare occasion that I get Elsie to actually stand still and smile for the, in honor of that reason alone, here she is! Grandma Jacki requested some photos so I forced her!

Testimony Tuesday

Usually, our Pastors simply collect the tithes and offerings at church without saying too much about it. However, this past Sunday, Pastor Nancy said a few short extra words that just resonated with me for some reason. So, I thought I'd write about finances this Tuesday. Actually, I've been thinking about the improvements God has made in our finances throughout our marriage. He truly is our source, and I can honestly say that we've never faced a need that wasn't met. The trouble with such a topic is that I seriously have had trouble narrowing down which circumstance to write about. God has really come through for us so many times. But, since this is a tale of me and my two sweet girls, I'll tell you a little story about meeting my first sweet girl.

As you know from a previous Testimony Tuesday, Jason and I married just about 6 months after we met each other. Well, I had never been on birth control. (Shock! I know!) Anyway, with all of the wedding talk we were doing, I was also doing a lot of praying about this whole birth control thing. Thanks to my high school Child Development teacher, Mrs. Collins, I knew that birth control didn't work right away so if I didn't want to worry about it on our Honeymoon, I would need to start it before we married. Well, everytime I would pray about it, the only thing I heard the Lord saying was, "Trust Me," over and over and over again. "When the time is right, I'll bless you with a child. Trust me." Circumstances at the time made this simple "trust me" pretty difficult in my opinion! I was getting ready to make the move to Missouri so I had been driving there almost every weekend job hunting. I was having no luck and when it came time to move, I made the move without having a job lined up already. I still think I was crazy! Job hunting did not improve overnight either. By the time Jason and I married a month after I made the move, I still hadn't found a job, and it would be a couple more months before I did. Who knew job hunting in the winter could be so tough?

Anyway, I worked up the nerve to talk to Jason about it, and instead of telling him what I was hearing, I asked him to pray about the whole birth control thing. The next day, he told me the same thing God had been telling me. "I think we just need to trust Him," Jason told me. I'm pretty sure I was sitting down when I heard him say that, and it was probably a good thing! So, we trusted God. I'd often remind him that he had put it on my heart to be a stay at home mom and that our finances were TIIIGHHHT!

So, imagine my surprise, when I get a BFP, in the middle of July. After my initial enthusiasm, I'll admit that I questioned the Lord..."Now? Are you sure the time is right? Lord, it doesn't seem like we're ready for that financially." And, I was still reminding him that I wanted to stay at home with my children. "Trust me," was his only response.

My due date was March 8, and I quit working the November before. I did end up filling in for the secretary for the company Jason worked for at the time. But, essentially, we were able to pay off both of our vehicles during my pregnancy, and I was able to stay at home. Three and a half years later, I'm still at home and loving it. I'm so thankful for my "job" as wife and mommy.

When you are faithful to God, He is faithful to you. This is one area where God actually invites us to test Him. We have always tithed faithfully, and I'm so thankful that our offerings have increased throughout are marriage as well. I'm thrilled to be supporting the advancement of God's Kingdom through our local church.

A Note to My Sweet Elsie:
When I was pregnant with you, someone asked me if we had planned you. "No," was my response, and I should have elaborated. You are one beautiful gift planned by God. I can't imagine a better planner for the path you'll take in your lifetime. I'm looking forward to the day when you're able to witness that you've known God all of your life. Look back, and know that He surely has been with you every step of the way.

How to Spook an Elsie

*Insert LOUD NOISE here*

That's all it takes. We had a lot of snow last week followed by a lot of rain over the weekend. Mix that with warmer temperatures that melted all of the snow and the pump in our basement kicks on about every 5 minutes or so...freaks Elsie out everytime.

Earlier this morning, I was loading the dishwasher when a loud, long siren went off. Elsie comes running into the kitchen and clings to my leg. "Mommy! I'm scared!" I assure her that everything is fine, and she goes back to the livingroom to resume her play. She hadn't been in the living room for 30 seconds when the television lets out a horrendously loud beeeeeeep! beeeeeep! This time, I make a dash to the living room and put the t.v. on mute...Elsie's freaking out, and I don't want to wake Claira (who napped for all of 3-10 minute intervals yesterday). A Tornado warning is flashing across the television screen. I look outside. The sky is clear. It's not raining and not very windy either. I call Jason and ask if he's heard anything. He visits the weather channel online and sees nothing about it. Odd. The alert comes on the t.v. again. This time, I turn up the volume a bit and hear them say that it's only a test! Seriously. Didn't they used to have some sort of banner across the screen that said it's a test? If I were deaf, I'd be hiding out in the basement for no reason.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Girl and Her FRENCH Toast

The abandoned toast:

Help! How do you make toast?

LOL! As I type, Elsie is in the kitchen, near tears, crying that she wants toast. Now, I eat toast quite often, but she has yet to actually try it. So, this morning when she requested toast, Jason asked me how she likes it. I told him I have no idea. So, he made some toast and just put butter on it. Elsie's response to toast: NO! I don't like that toast. That's not toast! I want the other toast!

So, we spend a good fifteen minutes trying to figure out what on Earth she means. Does she want jelly on her toast? Does she want a little cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on her toast? NO!

Jason figured it out. She wants FRENCH toast...quite different from regular toast.

Anyway, her pickiness with food just seems to get worse and worse. I made ravioli for dinner the other know, the kind you get in the refrigerated section of the supermarket and just add your own sauce to. Well, it had beef in the middle. The pieces of ravioli are quite large so I always cut Elsie's for her. She spotted a piece of the beef, and it took us 15 minutes just to get her to try a bite. The girl loves the stuff, and eats it regularly, usually asks for seconds. Not this time. She didn't even finish her first helping.

Yesterday, we made a trip to the new supercenter, and while Jason was picking out a bag of salad, Elsie spotted the strawberries and had to have them. So, I got some strawberries and other stuff to make strawberry shortcake. She talked about those strawberries the entire way home and all the way through her dinner. After dinner, Jason started making dessert, and Elsie wanted just strawberries so he cut some up for her. She ate the first helping with no complaints, asked for more, and then started to complain that the strawberries were red! She only wants white strawberries. So, none of the second helping were eaten. She's turning into such a turkey about food!

On How to Clean Your Vacuum

That's right. Today, we cleaned the vacuum. Now, this seems like something really crazy out of Full know, something Danny would be caught doing. However, we are NOT neat freaks in the most remote sense of the phrase. But, I talked Jason into buying me a Dyson last summer. Once I got over the initial gross factor of how much dust and dirt it picked up out of my carpet that my old vacuum was leaving behind, I decided I love it! However, after the first use, the wand seemed to lose a great deal of suction so we finally decided to get to the bottom of it. There was a little hose on the underside of the vacuum that was plugged and, the actual wand itself had something stuck in it. Don't ask me what because I still don't know. But, how did we clean our vacuum out, you ask? How did we maneuver into those tight little tubings? Well, with another vacuum, of course! Jason brought the Shop Vac in from the garage and just sucked the blockage right out of there! Yay! I guess we're all feeling better today, even the vacuum!