Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Weekend in Pictures

We had a wonderful time at my mom and dad's this weekend, where we celebrated Christmas. Here is a candid look at all the things we did and the fun we had.

I've posted before about the fact that one of our family traditions is hanging ornaments on the tree with our names on them, and we also include those that have passed as well. It's always something that touches my heart each year, and it's a tradition I will always treasure. Here is my mom hanging hers.

One of the many highlights was when Santa came to pay a special visit before heading back to the North Pole. The kids were blessed with big Santa bags full of the things they love. It was so fun to watch their faces when he arrived!

Even Nanna got in on the action....

Caden was a little leery of sitting on Santa's lap, as he is somewhat new to the whole thing, but he did enjoy receiving a new toothbrush.

My sister's husband is a photographer, and when at one of the Nebraska games, he took some wonderful photos that they printed and framed for their home's Husker room. There were many tears as we looked at the photos (this one is a shot of the stadium), and the set included a picture of my grandfather's name on the wall of the atheletic center, where he was a contributor. I loved seeing my mom and Dean's faces as they looked at all the beautiful photos.

We celebrated Cody's birthday with some cupcakes...this little boy resembles Santa, don't you think?
Nobody was forgotten this year....there were even presents for the dog. Nanna got Ozzie some rawhides which he quickly sniffed out and started to dig into!
The final highlight was some sledding at their house...Cody and Jerry went down this way:

This was so cute: Mackenzie (my niece) and Papa Dean sledding together...her face held nothing but pure joy as the two of them made their way down the hill.

And look at this....totally worth the price of admission. She is such a CUTIE!

Nanna and Papa, Auntie Kari, Uncle Gregg and the girls: We love you. We had such a great time. Thanks so much for everything! Darci and family...we missed you. Alaina, we are praying for a quick recovery and look forward to a time when we will all be together.
Happy New Year, one and all. Many blessings for a wonderful 2008!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Joy of Christmas is Jesus

The Word of God incarnated
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us...John 1:14
The Image of God revealed
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation...Colossians 1:15
The Fullness of God imparted
For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily...Colossians 2:9
The Glory of God reflected
God made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ...2 Corinthians 4:6
The Grace of God extended
Through Him we have received grace...Romans 1:5
The Power of God demonstrated
Declared to be the Son of God with power...Romans 1:3-4
The Heart of God expressed
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son...John 3:16
The Love of God manifested
God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us...Romans 5:8
The Salvation of God provided
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved...Acts 4:12
Jesus Christ is...
The message of all God wants to say to us
The fullness of all that He has to give to us
The essence of all that He wants to be to us
The Joy of Christmas is Jesus.
~By Roy Lessin
Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Monday, December 24, 2007

All I Want for Christmas....

After an hour of reassuring, a few tears, and lots of wiggling, Cody finally lost his tooth last night! He's very proud of himself and woke to find $1.50 in quarters, a new toothbrush, and some new toothpaste. He's very proud of this milestone.

Mommy, on the other hand, got a bit teary that this was in fact the first tooth that came in when he was a baby. My little guy is growing up so fast!
In other news, this is what I made for breakfast this morning. I thought it would go over well with the "fam," and I'm happy to report I was right.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

"This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joesph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel - which means, "God with us."' ~Matthew 1:19-23

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Big Reveal

Okay, so I hope my in-laws aren't reading this blog today, because I'm about to show you their Christmas presents. If you're any one of them, quit reading right now and go somewhere else. This is top secret info!

I am doing this more to show my sister, who inspired me in the first place to tackle these four projects. I started them right after Thanksgiving and finally finished them last night.
I do not consider myself an artsy craftsy type of girl. But I even impressed myself. I do believe they turned out quite cute, and I'm not even sure how that happened. Perhaps I can chalk it up to divine inspiration. I like them so much, I hate to see them go. But hey. That's what giving is all about! It's about sacrifice, people.
At any rate, I took pictures of them, lest anyone should care. And I wanted to remember how I did them in case I decide to do a repeat performance for my side of the family next year.
So, Kari...these are for you. And anyone else that might be curious to see them. My favorite is the church. I had purchased a package of letters that contained the word "Christmas" and absolutely LOVE the fact that there was only room for Christ. Isn't that truly how it should be??? I pondered that for a while last night with tears streaming down my cheeks. I truly did. It doesn't take much these days.
So, I'll start with that one. Drumroll, please....

My hubby drilled holes in the bottom and then we inserted little flickering tea lights (I love those things!) that run on small batteries. I hope everyone likes them and feels proud to display them!
Alright, back to work. I've got more wrapping to do.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

If it seems I'm missing....

It's because I'm buried under mounds of boxes, wrapping paper, scotch tape, scissors, cookies, chocolate, cellophane, stuff for teachers, stuff for the class party, stuff for Jer's family, and stuff for mine. Projects to finish, cards to sign, rehearsals at church, and a pile of laundry. A tree needing water, a kid needing water, thank you's to write, and people to remember.

I'm off to bed. I did cookie baking today and was hanging over a huge tray of 64 cookies that I single-handedly baked, piped, frosted, and decorated. My chiropractor will have a hay day with me when I see him next.

I have miles to go before Saturday (Christmas with Jerry's family), so you won't be hearing from me much this week.

I just want to remind you all, in this final push to Christmas, to stop. Remember. Breathe.


Our Savior has come! Emmanuel...God with us.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I'm not sure why I find myself needing to have a time of confession on this blog...perhaps it's because I'm hoping that I will encourage somebody else who struggles with the same issues, or maybe it's just because I find it cathartic. Whatever the reason, here I go again.

I vowed to myself and my family that I would not freak out this month. I promised that I would not go crazy over my "to do" list, that I would stay calm, create a fun month of memories for my family, and do it ALL while remaining even-keeled and stress-free. I was doing really well during days 1-15. And then the 16th arrived.

This weekend we sang in all three services at our church, and this morning, we woke up to find our van, home, and driveway under LOTS of snow. I got up with the early birds (Cody and Caden), but figured Jerry's alarm would eventually rouse him. So I left him sleeping.

I woke up to a house that looked like a hurricane had come through it. Granted, I knew this when I went to bed, so it was no surprise, but suddenly the daylight made it look a whole lot worse than it had the night before. Birthday gifts, paper, boxes, toys, clothes, and more strewn about in the living room. Dirty dishes piled up in the kitchen because I was too tired to tackle them last night, and Christmas staging areas all cluttered with wrapping paper, ribbon, tags, and the like. Projects to be finished, boots for every family member by the door, laundry piled up in the bathroom...the list goes on and on.

I need to say that I really am not a slob. I'm just a tired mom. This morning I woke up and felt like a failure. My house was a disaster! I tried to shake off the feeling that I should just stay home and clean and started frantically trying to get everyone ready. I finally yelled up the stairs and told the hubby to wake up and wake up NOW! I kept pushing everyone...."go- go- go" or "we're gonna be late, late, late!" Just as I was finishing drying my hair, I heard Cody say, "Oh NO!" and I walked in to find my darling toddler sprawled out on the kitchen floor with an entire, brand new box of cereal dumped out on the floor.

Now, I wish I could say I took it all in stride, but alas, I was not in that kind of a mood. Instead, I proceeded to fuss and fume over spilled cereal. He was seemingly unfazed, since he continued chomping away at the cereal...that had fallen on the floor.

Next, Cody spilled toothpaste down his nice button down shirt. You moms know this requires more than just wiping requires a wardrobe change. And to top it off, just as we were ready to walk out the door...barely on time...I smell a poopy diaper that is demanding to be changed. My hair is still looking like a mop needing to be tamed and the van still needs scraping and warming. I was not a happy camper, and needless to say, all of this made for a tense Sunday morning for all of us.

This morning, our pastor preached the last sermon in his series on resolving relationship conflicts. Today's was all about communication, and boy was I convicted in so many areas. No doubt, God's timing is always perfect. It was just what I needed to hear. None of it was new to me, but just reminded me where I am still struggling. I praise God that tomorrow is a new day and that His grace is sufficient...even for me...this tired, frazzled mom.

As for the remaining days left in the month, I resolve once again to bring peace and calm back into my home. I know that with God's help, I can do just that. Tonight when we had dinner together and lit our third advent candle, we sat and reflected upon the gifts that the wise men brought to Jesus and how much value they held in that time. We talked about the word "sacrifice" and we told Cody the story about the woman who so lavishly poured expensive perfume at her Savior's feet. My spirit was quieted tonight, and I was reminded again that we celebrate this month not to have our homes and children in perfect order, but because of the Miracle that took place in Bethlehem.

That reminder is all I need to stop and pause before I'm tempted to blow up over spilled cereal.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Happy Birthday, Cody!

Dear Cody,

It seems like yesterday that I was pushing you into the world and welcoming you into my arms for the very first time. A mother never forgets her child's birth, and yours is no exception! You were, and are, one of the most wonderful gifts I have ever received, so it's fitting you were born so close to Christmas.

You are such a special little person. Your compassion and kindness never cease to amaze me. The tenderness in your heart and the love you show to others continue to bless me immensely. I am so proud that you are truly becoming "God's Little Boy."
You have taught me much in the six years we've been together. You've reminded me time and again that the most important things in this life are the, goodness, laughter, purity of heart, gentleness, compassion, and patience. You are quick to forgive, slow to anger, and a constant reminder of God's goodness. I know there are times I'm hard to be around...and yet, you are always patient with me. Thank you for understanding when I make mistakes!You are so smart, funny, talented, and the most amazing little boy I know. It is an honor and privilege to be your mom. You make my job the BEST and most rewarding one a woman could ask for. I love you, sweetheart.
Happy Sixth Birthday, Bud Bud!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Dear Disgruntled Man at the Post Office:

Yesterday, while standing in the mile-long line while waiting to get my five books of stamps, I noticed you, a tall man in a long black trench coat. It seemed you were a business man, clearly in a hurry, as you continued looking at your watch impatiently. The poor postal workers were making the best out of a bad situation. One computer terminal down, a line out the door, and rapidly approaching Christmas on the horizon. Several impatient customers, three young children, and forty minutes later, you were still standing in that line, as was I.

You may remember there was that one little girl. Come on, now, I know you remember. She's the one who was standing there with her daddy, the man who was having a very difficult time getting that package off to its destination. Remember, the one who hit her head on the counter? I see it's all coming back to you.

Her daddy was busy trying to fill out forms so he could get his Very Important Package to wherever it needed to go, and he didn't have much ability at that moment to console his crying daughter. My heart went out to them both, because it's not easy when your child has a meltdown in the middle of a crowded place and you just can't seem to make him or her stop!

What I would like to say to you is this: It would appear that, from the twisted looks of disgruntlement and impatience on your face, that you do not have children. I would like for you to know that those of us who have children do not appreciate individuals like you who roll their eyes, grunt, snort, and make irritating sounds simply because you are seemingly being inconvenienced by a crying child. Believe it or not, you were once a young child who probably did your share of crying when you had an owie, had to stand in a mile-long line in the middle of the lunch hour and/or naptime, or just maybe, you chose to throw fits because you were in that kind of a MOOD. I know it's hard to imagine, since you seem to have such an amicable personality.

So, sir, the next time you're somewhere and find yourself in the midst of a crying child, try to be understanding. We moms and dads are doing the best we can...even when surrounded by people like you.

P.S. I almost forgot....Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Gingerbread Land!

Last night we had the unusual blessing of a Tuesday night off, and so we took full advantage of the opportunity and had ourselves a good old fashioned gingerbread house party. I must admit we used a kit (there was no baking here), and within two minutes of the box being opened, one of the main pieces had already broken. The directions actually said, "DO NOT DISTRESS IF THIS HAPPENS" so they must have known my personality! It was hard to keep all the little fingers and hands out of the candy and frosting (which I suppose is half the fun) but my children were quite wired when they went to bed last night. Caden kept saying, "MMMMM MY!"

We all got in on the action. I did a lot of the piping, Cody helped decorate, Caden ate everything he could manage to grab, and even Daddy got in on the action. In fact, when I got back from the grocery store a couple hours later, he was still working on his masterpiece. When you see the finished product, you'll understand how hard he labored into the cold, dark night.

And now, a drumroll please....

I would like for you to pay special attention to the snowman on the right front corner and the teeter totter "bearing" teddy grahams on the left corner. There are wreaths on the back of the house, a pretzel chimney, and much much more that you can't see. Those would all be my husband's contributions. I know, what a guy!

Happy NOT SO WORDLESS Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I'm not really sure why school was cancelled. My husband, who has an hour-long commute, said that the roads aren't too bad...just a bit slick in spots. Nevertheless, Cody is home today, and already asking "What are we going to do today?" Since I'm recovering from a stomach bug and had a toddler running wild all day yesterday while I was laid out, I think I need to tend to housekeeping. There are crushed goldfish, crackers, toys, crayons, and books strewn across my living room floor. I will say that the little man was absolutely angelic yesterday. It's like he knew his mama was really not feeling well and that he needed to do the best he could to try to meet his own needs. Bless his little heart...

I will update again soon....I have some neat pictures from our weekend services. Cody sang in the kids choir, Jerry directed the adult choir, and it really was a great time of worship. I'll share more on that later.

Have a great day, everyone!

Friday, December 07, 2007


It's not until your furnace goes out that you appreciate the value of heat. And it's 27 degrees outside. Not counting wind chill.

Ironically, it was serviced just last night, and the tech said of our dinosaur, "You might want to replace this soon." And was working just fine when he left. Hubby is on the phone with a tech troubleshooting as we speak.

Oh please, sweet Jesus, let this not be replacement time. It's just not in the budget this month!

***UPDATED to add: It was a simple wiring problem. Thankfully, Jerry's dad is in the business and he stayed on the phone with him until it was fixed. Praise the Lord!!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007


This morning I was checking in with my Huskers and was surprised to find that there had been a shooting at a big shopping mall in Omaha yesterday. I am a native of Omaha, and I was dumbfounded to read that nine people had been killed when a gunman opened fire in a department store. Five more were injured, two of which are still listed in critical condition.

I don't know what it is about this time of year that leaves people so hopeless, so desperate.

I do know that what is most likely lacking is a heart that is full of the love and comfort that only Jesus can give.

This month, let's all try to do our very best to spread good cheer to those around us. It is so incredibly easy to get wrapped up in the chaos of this month. We must always remember that there are hurting people all around that need a touch from the One who can heal. Who knows, the words we say may be the very thing that help encourage that stranger in front or behind us in the mile-long line at the shopping mall.

May we be the vessels of His love and warmth this Christmas.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Yuletide Cheer!

I know it's Wordless Wednesday, but it's been a week since I updated and I wanted to share what we did over the weekend with all of you. After Cody had his violin lesson Saturday morning, we bundled up the boys and headed out to a tree farm. On the way, Caden fell asleep in the van, so Jerry and I took turns with Cody while the other one sat and let the sleepy toddler nap. First stop was to see the reindeer with daddy and have a chat with Mrs. Claus. The snow/ice began to fall at that point, so Cody and I took our turn and went to pick out our perfect tree. The idea of trudging through ice and snow to chop down our own tree lost its appeal pretty quickly, so we picked one that had been pre-cut. It was the first year I was forced to choose the tree without Jerry's help (oh the agony of it all), but I think we ended up with a winner. Cody was excited to have a pony ride and enjoyed watching the snow fall. Truly, it doesn't get more festive than this!
On the way home, the boys enjoyed a candy cane. Caden had his very first one. He quite enjoyed all that pepperminty goodness! Once we got home, we began to dig into all the bins, and had an unprecedented first for our family. Absolutely EVERYONE contributed and helped decorate the tree. I was in mama heaven. It was a wonderful day and Christmas is definitely in full swing at the "Berger Homestead."

Today my husband is home (SNOW DAY!), but before we sent Cody out the door to school, Jerry reminded us all of the verses in Isaiah 1:18 and Psalm 51 that state that Christ's blood washes us white as snow. What a beautiful thought as I gaze out the windows into the winter wonderland that surrounds my little house.

Monday, November 26, 2007

We had to bribe him with a sucker.

But I think our attempt at getting a decent Christmas photo was somewhat successful.
What do you think?

Tea Time!

While home in Indiana this past weekend, I was able to attend my very first "bloggy" get together. There were many that were there, but the highlight was getting to see my friend Lori from high school, watching Sheryl open her cute baby girl gifts (with tears flowing) and having a wonderful conversation with a kindred spirit and fellow sister in Christ, Tricia. It was a sweet time of food and fellowship. Afterwards, I was able to connect with my dear friend Debbie from college. It was great to see her beautiful new home and sweet family.

My time with family was great. I enjoyed it tremendously and really hated to go. We watched Husker football (please, I don't want to talk about it), ate, watched the kids play with their cousins, made stepping stones for my mom and dad's new house, and just really had a great time together. Now that I'm home, there's much to do, and I've got a lot of catching up to do.

I hope you all had a great weekend and I'll try to get around to say hello soon. Thanks again, blogging friends, for a fun tea party. I enjoyed meeting you all!

Monday, November 19, 2007


This is a wonderful time of the year to reflect upon God's goodness and to celebrate all that He has done. This week, we travel to be with family, and I am really looking forward to seeing everyone. Cody is so excited to see his cousins and to play with his "buddies." They always have such a great time when they're together.

It's hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner, and that in a week or so, I'll begin digging out all the decorations and starting the hustle and bustle. I am really going to be more intentional this year about keeping that "crazed" look out of my eye as December 25th draws near. It's just not worth it! I want to enjoy the month of December. On the agenda: Lots of singing at church, a trip with my mom and sis to Chicago to have tea, A day out for shopping with my bff Charity, making cookies and a gingerbread house with my boys (I found a kit at Sam's that looked so fun!), Cody's birthday, time with family, and of course, Advent. There are so many things I love about this time of the year that I often lose sight of in the busy-ness of it all. So this year, I will choose to do it differently!

I will sing of the Lord's great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.
I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
~Psalm 89:1-2

I pray each of you has a wonderful holiday. From our house to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

This is how Cody feels about sharing his pancakes and scrambled eggs with his brother.

Can't you just feel the love?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Twenty Months!

My sweet Caden:

You are twenty months old! I can hardly believe that almost two years has passed since the day you were born. You are learning and growing so much, and it is such a joy to watch!

Here are some of my favorite things about you that make this age so fun and unique:

1. Your vocabulary is growing by the day. The other day I was putting on make-up in the bathroom, and you were standing next to me on the potty (even though I always tell you to get down) echoing every word I said. There was a time I was concerned you weren't saying enough, but now look at you!

2. You can follow many simple commands and you do it with out complaining. If I ask you to do something, you are usually very good about doing it. I appreciate these early lessons that you are learning in obedience. They are laying the foundation for your future!

3. You love watching The Donut Man. You sit so quietly, intent on every song and word that's sung or spoken. I am glad that your favorite thing to watch is based upon biblical truth!

4. You are spunky. And mischevious. But not naughty. You are very curious, adventurous, and a lot like that adorable monkey George. Always into something, but never trying to do anything wrong. I know that these qualities will make you a good learner...very inquisitive and thoughtful.

5. You love to hold my hand when we're cuddling together. You'd always hold my hand when you'd nurse, and if I'd have to pull it away for some reason, you'd start crying and get so upset. You still do that. Even if we're just sitting together, you have to be holding my hand. I love this about you!

6. Speaking of hand holding, you love grabbing my hand and pulling me wherever you want me to go. It's effective and you don't even have to say anything. You just grab my hand, pull me, and show me!

7. You have quite a sense of humor. You make us laugh with your cute expressions, babbling, noise making, and adorable faces. No dinner at the table is complete without something funny you do!

8. You are beginning to show compassion for those you care about. I often catch you hugging your brother or the dog (much to his chagrin) and I know this is your way of showing love.

9. You understand the concept of praying. We pray together at dinner and bedtime, but my favorite time when you show you understand is when we pray for Cody before he leaves for school. You'll run up to us and grab our hands if we forget to include you. I love that!

10. You are so cute, Caden. I love watching you grow more and more every day. Thanks for the joy and love you bring out in me. I am a better mother because of you. I love you, sweetie!

Saturday, November 10, 2007


NU 73, KSU 31
Now that is what I call a sweet victory.
I am hoping against all hope that today, senior day at NU, is the day that the Huskers can break their five game losing streak against KSU. My mom, sister, nd their spouses are all there today cheering them on. It's been a terribly difficult season, and I sincerely hope that these guys can walk out out of Husker Nation with some pride in tact. I know most of you reading don't keep up with Husker football, but I invite you to cheer them on with me. If you're a KSU fan, I totally understand. All others, please feel free to join in!
GO BIG RED!!!!!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007


You have often heard me speak about Joshua, a brave little boy who fought and beat cancer this past year. It has been a blessing to follow his story and that of his precious family. Their faith in the midst of such difficult circumstances has been inspiring to me.

Throughout their journey with cancer, they have had the privilege of knowing and coming to love some other families whose lives have been impacted by cancer. One particular girl, Paige, has fought a long battle with AML, and yesterday, she went Home. In keeping up with my friend Julie's blog about Joshua, I've followed Paige's story, and it has really had an impact on me. When I heard from Julie that Paige had gone on to be with the Lord yesterday, I visited her mom's blog and found this beautiful picture of her being baptized.

Is this not the most precious sight? Is this not what life is all about? Our existence here on earth, whatever our circumstances, is temporal. Eternity awaits each of us. We don't know the time nor place when God will choose to take us Home, but the fact remains that we're all one step closer every day. Lately, I've been really impacted by the thought that eternity awaits me on the other side of this world. I pray all the time that my life will be one that represents Christ well, reflects His love and light and ultimately gives Him glory. "More of You, Lord. Less of me." Some days I fail miserably. My earthly perspective and sin nature don't help! But, I leave those days in God's hands, knowing He is just and forgiving and that His mercies are new every morning. I trust Him to continue to grow me and make me the woman He would have me to be.

For today, I rejoice with Paige that she is now free. Free of the bondage that her earthly body could not withstand, free from the pain. And as she was the moment she asked Jesus into her heart, free in Christ. Now THAT is true freedom.

"For if the Son sets you free, then you will be free indeed." ~John 8:36

Monday, November 05, 2007

Random Blogginess

I have much to share, but only a short time to do it, so I apologize ahead of time for my quick week in review.
  • I managed to rid out two huge garbage bags of stuff and junk from three rooms in our house
  • I have freecycled several boxes and bags of miscellaneous stuff that's still in too good of shape to be thrown out. You simply must learn about freecycle if you don't use it. It's an awesome thing.
  • My friend who is a soon to be mama of a boy is the proud recipient of all things baby that were still remaining in my house. With the exception of a few items I can't bear to part with for sentimental reasons.
  • I finished my bible study AND planned the worship set for two days. If you know how intense Beth Moore's tabernacle study is, you'll appreciate what a feat that is.
  • Two wonderful friends (you know who you are, girls) came over while Jerry was away on his men's retreat and helped me immensely with PROJECT ORGANIZE. Thank you!
  • I wrote my Christmas letter because I'm sending it out BEFORE December. Hopefully.
  • I planned out meals for a week and did my grocery shopping.
  • I did my shopping at Walmart. And was disappointed. Because they can't keep up with their inventory. And had little I needed in stock.
  • I have a pot roast and veggies simmering in the crock pot as we speak, and it smells dee-lish!

All in all, a very productive week. Wishing you all a happy Monday.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I'm a very Unhappy Monkey!!! What's that you say? You are trying to bribe me with a sucker so I'll smile?
Well, okay.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Confessions of a Move-a-holic

Since the year 1988, I have moved at least every three to four years. The first time it was to Indiana, then in 1992 to Central Illinois. In 1996, I moved to be near my first teaching job. In 1997 I moved to an apartment near Chicago. In 1998 I moved up north to be closer to my teaching job. In 2000, I moved into a duplex with my husband when we got married. In 2001 Cody arrived, and we decided we wanted to be homeowners. So, in 2002, we bought our first condo. One year later, we bought our first house.

It was a bit of a fixer-upper. But it was the best deal for the money and we thought it would be great for just the three of us. We moved here in 2004 and by 2005 I was pregnant with baby #2. We've been here three years. I love this house. It's about 100 years old. It's charming and we love the neighbors and so many things about it. We've made many changes and have had fun making it truly "ours." But all of a sudden, I'm itching to move again.

I don't know if it's a thing with my personality or what. I am always trying to figure out how to rearrange my house. I start getting antsy and I need to make a change. I have dreams of a bigger home, with a family room AND living room. A fireplace. An eat in kitchen AND a dining room. I would love for the boys to each have their own room. A place for me to teach AND a play room. A true master bedroom with our own bathroom. I would love to host family get togethers, birthday parties, and social gatherings without feeling like everyone is cramped together with no room to move. (I love to entertain!) All that aside, I have learned to be content because that's what God calls me to and because I know that Godliness+Contentment=Great Gain.

We live in a VERY expensive area and homes are not cheap. They're cheaper right now, but we are not in a position to move into something larger. We won't do it until we truly feel we can afford it. We're not house poor right now and we don't ever want to be. Our taxes are manageable and I am able to work a handful of hours here at home each week without feeling like I "should" be working more. I also realize that this current season in my life calls me home while my boys are still young. Maybe someday down the road I'll go back to work full-time and then we could maybe talk about that house we've been wishing for.

All of this is to say (yes, I do have a point) that I am getting antsy again. But not to move. Just to rearrange. I need to re-work a couple of rooms. Maybe even paint a room or add an accent wall. I need to rid out, freecycle, re-organize, and possibly rearrange. It's much cheaper than buying a new house and it hardly costs a thing (maybe just a gallon or two of paint).

So if you don't see me for awhile, just know that I am working on a few projects here and there. My intention is to use the month of November to get organized before the holidays arrive. I need to restore some order around here so that I feel better and make the house more user-friendly. I have no idea if I'll get anything really significant accomplished (it's hard to do much of anything besides just the necessities of life with a busy toddler around), but I'm going to make it my goal to try!

I'll see you soon!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Who Knew Walmart Could Be So Exciting?

They've just opened a Super Walmart near my house. Yesterday. I have been very anxious to check it out. The reason I've been in great anticipation of the grand opening is because I am used to driving a half hour to get my groceries at a good price (when you consider gas prices and time, I sometimes wonder if it's really worth it). But I can't justify paying $4.98 for a gallon of milk (I'm not exaggerating) at the way-too-expensive-close-to-home grocery store. So when they opened this store, I was so hoping that their prices would be comparable to the other store I frequent.

I must say I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into our new beautiful, fully stocked store and found the prices VERY comparable to what I normally pay. This made me so happy. I was, in fact, even talking to fellow moms in the aisle saying things like, "Wow, these prices are great!" and "Doesn't the store look nice?" and "Gee, I'm so glad they opened this store!" I know. I'm a dork.

But truly. You don't understand what this means for me. I can REALLY do all my shopping in one place. ONE PLACE, people! I can even get a haircut, go the bank, eat a sub and get fitted for eyeglasses. ALL IN ONE PLACE. See? I told you I was excited.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

If You Haven't Met Her, You Must

Dear Friends, you really must go here now. You will be encouraged and uplifted. And you will laugh. Especially if you're a mother. Allow me to introduce you to BooMama (if you're one of the few that hasn't met her yet!). Enjoy.

Tagged on Tuesday!

Steph, at Adventures in Babywearing, kindly tagged me (after I whined about feeling left out!) for a 5 Interesting Things Meme.

Now, if I can only come up with 5 interesting things. Hmmm....

1. When I was ten years old, I played the role of Annie at a dinner theatre. Apparently our theatre was one of the first to do the production after it left Broadway, so it was a big deal. There were photographers from newspapers and personalities from the major television networks there covering the story. Needless to say, it was an exciting thing for a little girl to be a part of. And the music bug bit hard and never let go!

2. My mom owned and operated a dance studio from our basement. When we bought the house back in the late seventies, they knocked down walls, installed a wood floor, ballet barres, and mirrors. I remember going down there as a kid, not just to dance, but to crank music, sing and rollerskate.

3. I have to sleep with a fan running. And so do my kids. I got used to the noise of an apartment we used to live in and now I can't sleep in silence. This becomes problematic when we travel somewhere and nobody has a fan.

4. I am a picky eater. If you've ever seen the movie, "When Harry Met Sally," then you know me. I'm Sally. "I just want it the way I want it."

5. I love birds. I have feeders, houses, and two bird books. I think I inherited my love of birdwatching from my grandparents. My feeders are always stocked, and I take great pride in teaching my family about them.

And now you know more than you ever wanted to know about me. And now I tag:

Jaime, Marc, Kari, Tonya, and T. Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

WARNING: Foul Language May Offend

The other day we were sitting at our table eating dinner and our neighbors popped over to say hello and invite us to join them for dinner and the Illini game. As they were standing there, the following conversation took place.

Cody says, "Hey! I remember that shirt! You wore that at your 60th birthday party!"

Our neighbor replies, "Yes. Very good! You have a great memory."

Cody says, "Yeah. I know what it says!"

"Really?" Says our neighbor. (We all wait in anticipation to see if he reads it right.)

"It says: HOLY CRAP! I'm 60!!!"

I'm so glad he's learning to read in kindergarten.

Friday, October 19, 2007

If Parenting Doesn't Keep You Humble, I Don't Know What Will.

It was 7:53 a.m. this Friday morning. Cody and I had been back and forth about getting out the door on time. Are your shoes on? Did you brush your teeth? Do you have your backpack? How about lunch? Hot or cold?

You know the drill.

I was in a mood. I'll be the first to admit it. I was in the selfish "I just need to get some quiet time in...I'm only on Day 3 of my Beth Moore Study and if I don't work on it now it won't be done by Monday mode..." and I realize life was going on and I probably wasn't as active a participant as I should have been. Add to it the toddler who decided 5 would be a great time to rise and shine. This tired mommy didn't get to bed until 11:30 last night. And a mommy who's had something going on every single night this week. Add a little crankiness to the mix and you've got a recipe for a rough morning.

Back to 7:53. Cody needs to leave the house by 7:50 to walk with his friends down to the bus stop. As I was helping him zip his coat and grab his bag, he saw his buddies walking...but they were almost to the bus stop. He began to sob...I mean SOB...that he might miss the bus. Jerry hadn't left yet, but was just getting ready to pull out, so I literally yanked open the door, threw Cody in the car, yelled to both of them to "just go, just go!" because here I was in my pink bathrobe with my hair all a mess and really people. You just don't want to see me at that hour in the morning. But I was less-than-sweet, abrupt in my approach, and it was not a nice send off for either of my two guys. I even had the gall to yell at Cody to "pull it together, you're not gonna miss the bus so just knock it off" kind of a sentiment. See, I told you. I was the picture of sensitivity.

It hadn't been a minute after they'd left, and the guilt had taken over. Thankfully, I had my Moms in Touch prayer meeting this morning, and the Lord had already been working on my heart about how poorly the day had started. I desperately needed to meet with the Lord over this one. I hated that I sent Cody out the door that way (and Jerry too for that matter), but especially my sensitive kindergartener. Each and every day, we have devotions, we pray together, and we make sure we are grounded in God's Word before anyone leaves the house. We did the same thing this morning, but my harsh words were the last things on Cody's ears as they drove away. Not the usual hug, kiss, love you, be a light for Jesus exchange we usually have.

I know none of us is perfect. We all fail. We all say and do things we regret. And the only thing I knew to do was make it right. And I did what every sensible mom would do. I grabbed his winter coat (it was cold here today and I worried he'd be chilly at recess), a handful of orange oreos, and headed off to school to see him at lunchtime. Even after I blew up at him this morning, there he was sitting with his little friends at the table, waving and beaming at me. His mommy.

I went over and knelt down next to him, said what I needed to say, and his little arms wrapped around me as he whispered in my ear, "It's okay mom. I forgive you."

Thank you, Lord, that Your mercies are new every morning. And thank you for orange double-stuff oreos. : )

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Nothing Like Getting Up Close and Personal

One of the things I love about this time of the year are the visits to pumpkin farms, complete with petting zoos, pumpkin picking, camel and pony rides, and of course, caramel apples. These photos were taken of Caden at our church's Fall Festival, and while I worried slightly about his being SO close to the animals, it was cute to see how playful and affectionate he was with them.
We had a field trip to a pumpkin farm with Cody's kindergarten class on Friday. It was so fun to watch the kids get excited about seeing the big pumpkin-eating, smoke breathing dragon and all the animals on the "farm." Unfortunately, this particular farm was hit hard in August with rain and their entire pumpkin crop was destroyed, so the kids were only able to go and pick out a pumpkin that had been previously purchased by the farm. They still had fun finding the "perfect pumpkin" and we moms and dads even got to take one home too! Yes, I still get excited about pumpkin picking at my ripe old age of 33!
Hope you all have a great Tuesday!

Monday, October 15, 2007

It's not ALL about the winning

A few weeks ago, my husband and I had the privilege of being able to go back to Nebraska (the place I will always call home) and take in a football game. You may remember me mentioning the fact that we were planning on going back, but I never really posted about our experience at the game. Now, I have been a fan since I was able to walk and talk, because it's part of my heritage. That may seem strange to some of you, but it truly is part of who I am and part of who we are as a collective family. It's not the most important thing to us, but second to God and family, Husker football is right up there!

In my 33 (almost 34) years, I have been blessed to witness the glory days. The days of national championships, Tom Osborne, consistent wins, and Husker pride (and power!) are things I will always look back on and remember...yes...the glory days.

Well, if you follow college football at all, you may know that the Huskers are having a really rough season. It's hard on the coaching staff and the fans, but mostly it's hard on the boys. These guys are really struggling. They are just kids, and the criticism, backlash, and beating they are taking from some of the press and fans is heartbreaking. Apparently these people have never experienced loss and defeat. Apparently they don't understand what it's like to live in the valley.

My point is this: It's not all about the winning. The glory days are great, yes. It's wonderful to be on the mountaintop. Wouldn't it be nice if we could stay there all the time? Yes! But life is simply not like that. There are valleys, times in the desert, and times of loss. Without the valleys, we couldn't possibly appreciate the mountaintops...the victories!

I just want to give a shout out to my Huskers. Guys, you are awesome, win or lose. In my book, you will always be winners, and I will still come home and watch you play. I won't walk out of the stadium before the game is over, nor will I boo you or swear when you don't make a field goal or finish a drive for a touchdown. I will hold my head high, believing that Husker Power is not a thing of the past. It is a thing of the present AND future. And I'll be there at Memorial Stadium to cheer you on next season, whatever the outcome.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Allow Me to Introduce You...

This is J. Bear. J. Bear is the class mascot and a couple of weekends ago, he got to spend the weekend with us. We chronicled his entire stay in his journal, including a personal one-on-one adjustment with our chiropractor, a visit to a fall festival, his entrance into the world of Nebraska football, and his run-in with our dog, Ozzie. J. Bear seemed to have a good time, but it seems he's on a long vacation while the children rid themselves of all their diseases and head lice. Yes. I said head lice. EEEEK! Thankfully, we have not fallen victim to this malady.

In addition to having his first official sleepover (he and J. Bear had a grand old time), Cody has begun to help train me in the ways of kindergarten. The other day, we were out doing some errand running, and Caden was being quite...ahem....challenging. After many stern, "NOs" and a few drop-limp-to-the-ground-and-scream-while-everyone-stares-at-you moments, I was almost to my breaking point. After our final errand, we got into the van. While I was trying to hand Caden one of his battery operated trains to hold onto while I strapped him into his carseat, he hauled off and threw the thing at me. This resulted in my loudly saying NO and smacking his little hand. It was effective. Not only was Caden crying, Cody was too.

As I got into the front and buckled myself in, I heard a little weepy voice from the backseat say, "Mom. (sniff sniff) Hands are for helping, NOT hurting!" Yes, he was right. This is one of the "I-Care" rules that they have in their school. I had to stop and calmly explain my reasoning for having to discipline his brother and still get the point across that hands are indeed for helping and not hurting. I'm sure to him, it seemed like a total contradiction!

Then, this morning, I was cutting out some things for his teacher (I have volunteered to do some work at home since it's hard for me to be a helper in the classroom with Caden). I was using one of those fiskar cutters and the blade tore one of the letters. Cody overheard me when I said, "Oh man, I ripped it!" and he rushed over to pat me on the shoulder and say, "That's okay, mom. You're still learning."

Yeah. I'd say Kindergarten has been really great for my kid.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Good Word

"...whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31
Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest, writes: "We have a tendency to look for wonder in our experience, and we mistake heroic actions for real heroes. It's one thing to go through a crisis grandly, yet quite another to go through every day glorifying God when there is no witness, no limelight, and no one paying even the remotest attention to us. If we are not looking for halos, we at least want something that will make people say, "What a wonderful man of prayer hs is!" or "What a devoted woman of God she is!" If you are properly devoted to the Lord Jesus, you have reached the lofty height where no one would ever notice you personally. All that is noticed is the power of God coming through you all the time."
I am currently participating in Beth Moore's bible study, "A Woman's Heart, God's Dwelling Place." Last night, during our small group time, we were talking about how easily we become discouraged by the mundane tasks of life. Motherhood, especially, can seem like a pretty thankless job sometimes. Would we change it? Not for the world! But the filthy bathroom, endless laundry, and wiping of noses can be altogether overwhelming.
Take heart, moms. All that you do, when done with a right heart before Him, brings glory to Him. Each tear you wipe away, each boo boo that you kiss, and every hug that you give is seen by the God you serve. And He is pleased with His servant.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I've seen this on a few of your blogs and thought it looked too fun. I decided to play along. I particularly like my gangsta name, My witness protection name, and my spy name. I gotta say that my all-time favorite is Strawberry Slacksy. My cartoon name. Play along....and let me know if you've already got one up on your site.

YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)
Carlisle Sedona
YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
Rocky Road Sugar
YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Pink Finch
YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, hospital where you were born)
Lynn Indy
NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)
Don Taylor
WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names)
Kay Taylor
TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
Coe Cleveland
SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
Autumn Rose
CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now
+ “ie” or “y”)
Strawberry Slacksy
HIPPIE NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)
Life Oak
YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)
The Singing Sunny Tour

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Don't You Just Love Those "Firsts?"

Today, my toddler experienced marshmallows for the first time. He took the package out of the pantry and walked over to me saying, "mmm my, mmm my," and he's never even tried them before! Imagine his delight when he actually put one in his mouth for the first time! Well, actually you don't have to imagine. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sober Reminders

Hi everyone. Thanks for all of your kind words as I took a little blogging break. I am back today to share something with you as God has prompted me to do so.

In the past week, two very dear women to our church and our women's ministry have been going through some incredibly difficult things. The first has a daughter that is my age who went to sleep here on earth and woke up in eternity this past week. The other woman, a precious sister in Christ, had a heart attack last night and was revived, but is still in need of great attention as they are currently monitoring her very closely at the hospital.

I share all of this to say that both of these women love the Lord dearly. While I have not been able to speak with my dear sister who is in the hospital, I know her heart and am absolutely positive that she is confident about her eternity, should the Lord decide it's her time to go Home.

The woman who recently lost her daughter has an incredible story to share about the road they have walked with her over the last thirteen years. During that time, her mother prayed....relentlessly...for her daughter. And over this past year, God has answered her prayers. Because of her willingness to continue to share her faith with her daughter and to never cease praying for her, her daughter was not only reconciled to her family but also with Christ. There is no question she woke up to her Savior.

I challenge each of you reading my blog today. Do you know where you will spend eternity? I am reminded once again that life is so incredibly short. In the blink of an eye, your entire life can be altered and you may find yourself standing before your Maker much sooner than you anticipated. Life rarely turns out the way we think it will. It is a winding road, sometimes filled with gentle ups and downs, sometimes steep and dark valleys, or beautiful views from the mountain tops. While the valleys may come as a shock to you, your friends, or family, God is never surprised. Your days here on this earth are short. They are but the blink of an eye. Are you secure in your salvation? Have you asked Jesus to come into your heart and be the Lord of your life? If not, today is your day. Don't wait a moment longer.

If you want to know more, I invite you to email me at

Teach us, O Lord, to number our days.