Sunday, November 30, 2008

You won't believe this, but...

You know that contest I've mentioned once or twice? The Christmas of Dreams contest hosted by MomDot?


Well.


I didn't win. The person who did really, super deserved it. As did every person who entered, really. But she doesn't have a baby, which a lot of the prizes were geared towards... so... they picked a second runner up... ME!!!


Look what I won:


2nd Winner Runner Up: Tracye & Tracyes Husband
Prizes Awarded: Value Approx: $450
Uncommonly Cute Baby Shirt, Kuster High Chair, Natitys Design baby cart cover, Mutsy grow up chair, Lets Go Strolling JuJuBe Diaper Bag, DaBib 1 bib, Sassy Baby baby toy, Organic Blankees Snuggle Blankee, Georgie Tees Maternity Shirt of Choice


I also won Glow Mama drinks, and a nursing cover from Chic Covers during the blog party.


I am so in shock right now, you just can't believe it! I read the post, on their blog, and just couldn't believe what I was reading. I called hubs in here to make sure I was reading what I thought I was reading!


I just can't believe this! You have no idea how in shock I am!


Which I believe I already mentioned!


Thank you, thank you, thank you MomDot!!! You have blessed us more than you can imagine!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Feed with style and FLAIR by Boon

That delightful site that I'm addicted to, MomDot, is hosting another contest... one that we really need to win. It's for the Boon Flair. The Flair is a pedestal high chair that is one of the most amazing (if not THE most amazing) high chairs out there. It has a pneumatic lift, a seamless seat, and the ability to glide smoothly in all directions.

Our current high chair has been through a lot, and we love it for that! But its time has passed. It held our two beautiful babies as they were nourished, until they were (um... are...) big enough to sit at the big table. It's seven years old, badly stained, missing its cover, bulky, and hard to maneuver. Every time I try, I gouge my ankles on the casters.

So MomDot is hosting a high chair decorating contest! The prize is a brand new Flair high chair! I (and the new baby!) would love to get rid of this:






We just got a new digital camcorder, and I'm (slowly!) figuring it out, which is why the still shots are grainy. I forgot about the flash... oops!


He loves it decorated! Probably because it's so ugly without all its Christmas frou-frou finery! We set him in it to take a picture, and boy did he throw a fit when we got him out! We had to take all the (breakable!) ornaments off and just let him sit amid the garland, lights, ribbons, bows, pinecones, table runner and tree skirt... whatever makes them happy... and quiet, right? ;)





And lastly, Baby Christmas in his Christmas High Chair, trying to eat the ornaments.


video


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We sure did... although Wal-Mart is the devil and Black Friday is aptly named. I will NOT be out on this day next year!

More about that when I can talk about it with a smile!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

MomDot Blog Party-Day 12

I’m thankful this year because…

We have two healthy children, and another on the way. We have everything we need, and many things we don't. We have a God Who loves us, and has plans for us; plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future.

Today's question is brought to you by Georgie Tees and Mutsy.

To see what other people are thankful for, visit MomDot.

Today is the last day of the blog party. It's been a lot of fun, and has really gotten me into the holiday spirit.

Tomorrow, it will be back to regularly scheduled blog programming... right after I get back from Black Friday shopping... and sleep for 19 more hours!

MomDot Blog Party-Day 11

If you could only eat ONE food on Thanksgiving Day, what would it be?

I refuse to answer this question. It is completely un-American. (but it would be my Gramma's cornbread dressing.)

Do you have a homecooked meal for Thanksgiving or do you go out to eat?

GO OUT TO EAT??? ON THANKSGIVING???

Does your family dress up?

Sure. In clothing. Usually fit for the public to see, but not always.

Today's question is brought to you by Shishu Style and Mimsi Bags.

Head over to MomDot to see what others are saying.

MomDot Blog Party-Day 10

Do you decorate for the Holidays? Do you have a themed Christmas tree? Share pics! Do you think there is such a thing as OVER decorating?


Who doesn't decorate for the holiday? Scratch that. My mom doesn't. She usually gives some load of bull about not being at home to enjoy it, blah, blah, blah, since they're usually at Disneyworld at Christmas, blah, blah, blah, life is so hard, feel sorry for me, blah. ;) Love ya, Mom!


Yes. I decorate. No, I don't have a themed Christmas tree, although it is fast approaching that. I buy framed ornaments from Pottery Barn each year. This year we'll be up to 11. Adding three a year (starting next year) will very quickly make our tree a photo tree. Which I'm okay with. It's fun to look back at all the pictures as I hang them on the tree, and choose which one to add this year.


I don't know about over decorating. I just love Christmas. My Gramma used to even decorate her bathroom. I remember a toilet seat cover she had, that when the lid was down, showed Santa smiling, but when the lid was up, he was covering his eyes! I always got a kick out of that. When I was little, my mom had boxes and boxes of Christmas stuff, and decorated everywhere. I had my own tree in my room, too.

Today's question is brought to you by Organic Blankees, Huddy Buddy, and Baby Legs.

MomDot Blog Party-Day 9

Today's questions are:

What is the most unusual gift you have received? Best gift? Do you re-gift?

Ugh. Asking me to remember again... gifts... gifts...

I got nothin. Sorry.

Best gift? The matching Tiffany necklace and bracelet Hubs got me a few years ago. I just about died. He even had a friend who works at Dillards wrap it in a larger box, in Dillards wrap, to throw me off. It worked!

Re-gift? I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with that term.

Today's question is brought to you by jaC Jewelry, Cutie Covers and Sassy Baby.

To hear what other people are saying, join the blog party at MomDot.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Book Review

Just in time for your holiday shopping, here's another review! It's for childrens' books published by The Secret Mountain. They publish absolutely beautiful storybooks, and each one comes with a CD full of music that compliments the story.

I received Dream Songs Night Songs: From Belgium to Brazil, A Duck in New York City, and Down at the Sea Hotel.

I have to say, the books are beautifully illustrated. They're bright and bold, and the pages are very thick and durable high-quality paper. These are definitely books that will be passed down from child to child.

Dream Songs Night Songs: From Belgium to Brazil is filled with page after page of beautiful rustic illustrations, and words written in English, Spanish and French. The CD features lullabies from around the world in many languages. It's a very soft, soothing collection. Down at the Sea Hotel is a really sweet bedtime story, with an awesome CD. Don Henley, Steve Earle, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Billy Joel (and others) wrote the songs featured on the CD, so you know they're going to be great!
My favorite was A Duck in New York City, which chronicles the adventures of a duck following his dream to perform his ducky dance on Broadway. This book's pictures are especially unique. They are part photograph, part painting, part illustration. The photographs are made up of found objects like wires, buttons, and straw. They almost look like a child's collage.
Christian loved these books and their CDs. She goes to sleep every night with a CD playing, so now she has some new music to fall asleep to.

MomDot Blog Party-Day 8

Today's question is:

Do you shop on Black Friday? What time do you start? Do you finish all your shopping on that day? What’s the best deal you have found? What’s your shopping strategy?

I do shop on Black Friday. I always say I'm going to start really super early, but I rarely do. I don't usually finish on that day, because there are always gift cards to buy, and for whatever reason, I usually wait until the last second to buy those. I don't remember any really great deals. I know I've found them, but I don't remember them. My shopping strategy is this: get in, get done, get out, get home, get more sleep!

Today's blog party question is brought to you by Koshas, Leapfrog and Soda Club.

To see some actually useful Black Friday tips, go to MomDot.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pretty Ugly Week

It definitely hasn't been the best one yet.

So I had that very unpleasant procedure last Friday. The doctor said it looked okay, but there were other issues... yay! So we're working on those.

Saturday night (look away men!) I started very light spotting. I called the office, and the nurse said to take it easy and monitor it, but it was probably from Friday.

I stayed in bed ALL. DAY. LONG. on Sunday. Sunday night brought lots of bright red blood. Great. So I went to the ER, and had all kinds of tests, and came home around 3 am Monday. My mil took Cullen, so I stayed in bed all day Monday, too. They still think it was from Friday. It was a very scary couple of days for us.

Flash-forward to today. I had just gotten dressed this morning, when Cullen fell, hitting his temple on an iron piece that sticks out from our bed. He immediately starts screaming. I'm about three feet from him, so I grab him and notice A DENT in his temple! I just about hyperventilated. I grabbed the phone, then dropped it between the bed and the nightstand, and decided not to waste time trying to get it. I ran into the kitchen (pregnant, sore, supposed to be taking it easy, holding Cullen, both of us hysterical) and grabbed the other phone and called Hubs at work. I can hardly breathe. Cullen stops crying (less than a minute after he hit) and starts yawning and rubbing his eyes, which are rolling back in his head. Did I mention I was FREAKING OUT??? I tell Hubs what's up, and then call the doctor. They say to rush him up there. I call Hubs back and tell him to meet us there.

We get there in record time, the doc checks him out, and says he's okay! We're supposed to watch him for the next 24 hours... vomiting/lethargy-bad. Bouncing off the walls/annoying everybody-good. So we're good.

It's amazing how resilient their little bodies are.

MomDot Blog Party-Day 7

Today's question is, "Who is on your naughty list and who is on your nice list? Why?"

Well, I don't really make naughty and nice lists. I will say that last night Christian was talking back quite a bit. So later when we were quizzing her over this week's spelling words, it went like this:"

Me: Spell "toy". Christian is not getting a single "toy" for Christmas.
Her: Is that a joke? That's a joke, right?

Me: Spell "happy". Christian is not going to be "happy" when she doesn't get anything for Christmas.
Her: Come on, Mommy. Are you kidding?

Me: Spell "joy". There will be no "joy" on Christian's face when Cullen gets lots of presents and she gets none.
Her: Mommy! Stop it! You're joking!

Me: Spell "silly". It is really "silly" of Christian to think she's getting anything except a lump of coal for Christmas.
Her: Mommy! I'm NOT getting lump coal!

Me: Spell "boy". Cullen will be a very happy "boy" when he's the only one that gets any presents on Christmas.
Her: It's not funny! Tell me you're joking!

Me: Spell "funny". Christian won't think it's "funny" when she doesn't have anything to open on Christmas.
Her: I AM going to have something to open!

Me: Spell "toys". Cullen will get all the "toys" for Christmas.
Her: He will not! I'm getting some, too!

Me: Spell "candy". I really wish Christian's teacher did not teach her to spell the word "candy".
Her: Ha! Ha! I know how to spell it!

Me: Spell "soy". The only thing Christian will get for Christmas will be a "soy" burger.
Her: What's a soy burger?

Me: Spell "puppy". Christian won't get to play with the new "puppy" Cullen will be getting for Christmas.
Her: Stop it! You're joking! I know you're joking!


I promise these were the words on her spelling list!
Shouldn't there be some sort of test before they let you have kids? 'Cause I really don't think Hubs and I would pass.

Today's question is brought to you by Sillymonkeez and My Baby Bump.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

MomDot Blog Party-Day 6

Today's question is: What is your favorite holiday memory from your childhood?

Hmmmm...

I must confess, I have the world's worst memory.

I'm trying....

Okay, here's something: I do remember wanting a Cabbage Patch Kid really badly. We visited my mom's mom for Christmas that year. Mom, Gramma, my brother and I were going to visit another family member in the same town, but Dad stayed behind at Gramma's house. I think he was unloading our car. I remember turning around and seeing him holding something up and kind of waving it around, but then when he saw me looking, he quickly shoved it back into the trunk. It was my CPK! I had to pretend to Mom that I didn't know what he was holding up, but she knew I saw it.

I don't remember this, but my mom does: She says that they stored all the Christmas loot in an empty apartment next door to my Gramma's. Gramma managed the apartments, so she had keys to them all. Mom says one day she and Gramma left to do some shopping/visiting, and when they drove up, Dad was leading my brother and me out of that apartment. He had sneaked us in there to look at all our stuff! To this day Mom is angry about it! She says he stole her pleasure in seeing our faces on Christmas morning.

For more Christmas memories and bloggy fun, go to MomDot.

Today's question is brought to you by Flying Colors Baby, Uncommonly Cute and Lollipop Book Club.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

MomDot Blog Party-Day 5

Today's Blog Party theme is describing what you do to give back during the holidays. Do you volunteer your time? If so, please tell us where. What do you do to teach your children the true meaning of the holidays?

We don't volunteer much, except at church, in the nursery. We donate one or two toys to the Toys for Tots or Blue Santa.

I am the only person in our family that is honest with Christian about Santa. I have explained to her that Santa Claus was a real person, who lived and died just like everyone else. He was very generous, and gave toys to children who couldn't afford them.

Does she believe me?

Nope.

Just the other night, she found the North Pole on Google Earth, and got so excited that she had found where Santa lives. She asked me, "Isn't that where he lives, Mom?"

I told her, "Christian, why do you even ask me anymore? I've told you, there's no such thing as Santa." (That looks really cold, all typed out! I promise, it wasn't!)

She adamantly said, "Oh, yes there is!"

We always include books about Jesus' birth during the holidays. We read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" on Christmas Eve, but we also read from the Bible.

Christian (and soon Cullen) knows exactly what Christmas is really all about... but she likes the benefits of believing in Santa!

Day Five Blog Party Question is Brought to you by Baby Pop and Chic Covers.

Monday, November 17, 2008

MomDot Blog Party-Day 4

MomDot's Blog Party continues!

Today's question: What is your favorite holiday recipe? Describe your holiday table. What is your biggest holiday cooking disaster?

It's just not the holidays without my Gramma's cornbread dressing. Bake a batch of cornbread, crumble it up extra fine, add two stalks of chopped celery, two chopped hard-boiled eggs, and a can of chicken broth. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. It's unbelievable!

My holiday table at Thanksgiving is empty! I don't remember the last time we held a Thanksgiving dinner here. We usually go to my brother's house, where there are about 30 or 40 people. At Christmas, it's just the four of us, but I cook enough for triple that, at least!

Thankfully, I don't think I've had a holiday cooking disaster... yet!
Day Four Blog Party Question is Brought to you by Bottlewise and Glow Mama
Day 4 is sponsored by:

Friday, November 14, 2008

MomDot Blog Party-Day 3

Here is today's question:

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? Do you budget for the holidays? Do you always stick to your budget? Share with us any budgeting tips you may have!

Actually, I usually start shopping on December 26. I always go shopping that day, and if I see something I think someone on next year's list would like, at a great price, I buy it. I also buy throughout the year. If I'm out looking for, say, socks, and I see a book my friend has been talking about, I'll go ahead and get it then. It's easier for me to remember things people have mentioned they want if I buy it soon after they talk about it. If I wait until October or November, I'll be lost!

We do budget for the holidays, and it's probably a lot less than most people do. I just don't think that Christmas Day is the day when you make everyones' dreams come true. It's not realistic, and it's not what the season is all about.

We usually go over our budget! Not by a lot, but it's rare when we stick to it. We (and by "we," I mean "I") write down everyone we have to buy for, and ideas for gifts. We usually spend a set amount on each person on the list... except for Christian & Cullen... they get a little more! ;)

If you want to see other holiday budgeting tips and experiences, head on over to MomDot!

Day three blog party question is brought to you by Appledonia, Hippos Toes and My Bag.

Fun With Food


How does $500 for groceries sound to you? Me, too.
Which is why I'm posting this picture of Christian baking her first cake. 5 Minutes for Mom is hosting a "Fun with Food" family photo contest, and the prize is $500 worth of groceries! I'll let you know when to vote for me... assuming my picture makes it to the finals!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

MomDot Blog Party-Day 2

If any of you did it yesterday, you know it was a massive success!!!

Today, I'm going to tell you about our family holiday traditions!

For Thanksgiving, I *love* going to my brother and sister-in-law's house. They have a bajillion family members and friends over, and if you go hungry, it's your own fault! After everyone eats until they're miserable, the tables and chairs are put away (oh, yes, we have to have folding tables and chairs to accomodate so many people!) the ladies start making Christmas crafts. Last year we made decorative Christmas reindeer. I put mine on my front porch, but I didn't get a picture. The year before we made beautiful wire and glass bead crosses. This year, we're doing two projects: painting gourds and... I forgot what the other one is! But it's always super-fun to craft after dinner. The men usually meander around or watch football or help cut wire or drill holes or whatever we need them to do. They make themselves useful, and ooh and ahh appropriately over our projects!
Last summer, I decided to teach myself how to decorate cakes. That Thanksgiving (FOUR MONTHS after I began practicing!), Hubs asked me to make a cake for his work Thanksgiving party... so I did this:

The day after Thanksgiving, I go shopping... although I like to be mostly finished by then! Sometime in the next week we'll get our Christmas decorations up, but it's not a set date.

Christmas Eve, we usually go to mine or Hubs' parents houses; sometimes both. That's probably the most difficult part of Christmas. They each live about 30 minutes from us, but an hour from each other, so working out schedules and get-togethers can be tricky. My brother works shift-work, so that's gotta be planned for, too. Christmas Day is just for us--we never go anywhere! We used to open one gift on Christmas Eve when I was little, but my grandparents lived really far away. Our parents live close by, so we've already opened a lot by the time we're home that night! Christmas Eve I don't cook, because we're usually stuffed from a family gathering. Christmas Day, I put homemade cinnamon rolls in the oven as soon as we wake up. We open gifts, and then stuff ourselves on cinnamon rolls. Hubs just can't have a Christmas Day without those rolls! After the living room is trashed, we clean up, and I start the meal. It's usually ready around 1 or 2. For the rest of the day, we watch 24 hours of A Christmas Story and play with all our stuff! Christian usually spends 10 or 15 minutes playing with one toy before she moves on to the next!

I absolutely LOVE Christmas! It's my favorite time of year!

For more holiday traditions, check out MomDot.

Today's theme is sponsored by: LaPlates and Lets Go Strolling and Natitys Design.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday--Please, God, Get This to Oregon Without Breaking!






For more Wordless Wednesday posts, go to Momdot!

MomDot Blog Party-Day 1

Today kicks off the Christmas Blog Party at MomDot! Day 1's theme is Family Holiday Pictures... so here goes:

We have four members in our family: Hubs, me, Christian, and Cullen. We'll be adding another one next April. This is from Cullen's first Christmas, in 2006.



From last year, here's Cullen terrified of the weird Santa at our HOA party:

And helping me wrap gifts (note the drool!):

Before Cullen was in the works, here's Christian after a bath, playing with her favorite Christmas gift from '05:

And my favorite Christmas yet, was 2004, when it snowed! It was called the South Texas Christmas Miracle! We got a foot at our house! It was so much fun! Here's my house under all the snow:

Christian on Christmas morning, playing with her new Sit'n'Spin.

Christian, on the 26th, when the snow started to melt. It was completely gone by the 27th. Christian still remembers. It was the one time in her life that she saw snow. Poor kid.

Day One Blog Party Question is Brought to you by La Belle Toile and This and That by Randi

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Book Review--For "Tweens"

Recently I was given Dannah Gresh's book, "Danika's Totally Terrible Toss: The Legend of the Purple Flurp," to read and review. It's part of the Secret Keeper Girl series, and is targeted towards girls 8-12 years old. The purpose of the series is to encourage mother-daughter bonding. Gresh has also written, "8 Great Dates for You and Your Daughter," which is full of activities to help moms connect with their girls.

That said, this book was very entertaining! It was funny, sweet, edgy, and unpredictable. The plot was great, as was the resolution. I am also happy to say it's told from a Christian perspective.

It's about a girl who has every material thing a girl could want, but runs into trouble when she starts trying to impress the wrong people.


She meets some good friends, and learns some great lessons along the way, one of which is what it means to be a true friend.


This book is just one of four: Yuzi's False Alarm, Just Call Me Kate, and "T" is for AnTonia.


The book includes a question and answer session at the back, for girls and their moms to discuss. It's a way for moms to connect with their daughters on a deeper level than, "Please pass the peas."

Girls can also go online to www.secretkeepergirl.com and interact with the characters in the books.


The series is a little above Christian's head right now, but in the coming years, I'll make sure it's part of her reading library.


If you have a girl in that age group, I highly recommend this book. You can read it yourself first, to familiarize yourself with what's happening. I finished it in about three hours.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Men, look away now.

A few Fridays ago, I got a call from my OB/GYN's nurse. Apparently, during my last exam, he found something he shouldn't have.

I believe she called them "low grade squamous cells." Sounds disgusting. It's the "squamous" that makes me cringe, but it's just a name for a type of cell everyone has. In actuality, he found some abnormal cells covering part of my cervix.

So I have to go back on Friday, so he can do a colposcopy. That means he's going to look at my cervix through a microscope. Doesn't that just sound dee-lightful? She said he will apply an acid wash, and the cells should turn white if they're cancerous. So here's hoping for... pink? Orange? Chartreuse?

Of course, the second we got off the phone, I googled the terms she gave me. Here's some of what I found:

Having a low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion does not mean that cancer is present. Cancer is an abnormal growth of new tissue characterized by uncontrolled growth of abnormally structured cells that have a more primitive form. The presence of low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions represents changes in cells that may occur before cancer is present. Thus, low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions are sometimes seen by doctors as warnings that cancer of the cervix may occur at a later date.

Woo hoo.

Sometimes, low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions go away without treatment. The milder the condition, the more likely it will go away without treatment. Some doctors, however, may choose to remove low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions since it is possible for them to progress to cancer of the cervix. The results of the colposcopy will provide the basis for treatment.

The goal of treatment is to destroy and/or remove the abnormal cells on the cervix so that new healthy cells will grow over the area where the abnormalities were present. Squamous intraepithelial lesions can be destroyed by applying below-freezing temperatures to them, by using lasers, or by applying heat and/or electrical currents. If abnormal areas of tissue need to be totally removed, a colposcopy is often used as a visual aid during surgery. Removal of the tissue can take place during the biopsy or at a later time if the patient desires.

Isn't that great? Where do I sign up?

Joking aside, the nurse said my doctor probably won't do a biopsy until after the baby is born, if (after Friday's procedure) he thinks it's necessary. I may have to have the procedure repeated in three months (yippee!).

So, my point is to ask you to pray that he finds nothing abnormal. And that they knock me out and do it while I'm fully drugged. Which I doubt will happen. But I can hope.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What I'm Hearing Now

I'm (obviously) at the computer, and Hubs and Cullen are taking a shower. Nobody in this house is allowed to shower alone anymore. Nobody. So when Hubs said he was going to take a shower, Cullen immediately ran into the bathroom and started stripping frantically.

Whenever they shower together, Cullen thinks he needs to shave like Daddy. Every few seconds I hear a little voice asking, "Shave-a? Shave-a?"

Then it gets more desperate, more demanding: "SHAVE-A! SHAVE-A!" Then there's some grunting and whining, followed by laughter.

Hubs just said, "Okay, look up. Hold still. Oh, wow. If I had a beard that thick, I'd need to shave four or five times a day, too."

I couldn't help but laugh.

We're going to town in a minute to look for a kids' shaving kit... and to buy more shaving cream.

Hubs said Cullen goes through a can in one shower.

That's some serious growth.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So... how are you?

I have been flitting around the net, reading peoples' interpretations of last night and the days to come, and I have to say I'm exceptionally disappointed.

Intensely disappointed.

Gut-wrenchingly disappointed.

I could truly care less about the color of Obama's skin. That, to me, had absolutely nothing to do with the election. So for just about every person to comment on the history that was made last night is tiresome. To me. Although I do see how electing an African-American as president has broken down walls, and possibly healed some hurts.

That said, I am also disgusted.

I have read comment after comment by people who "can finally be proud of America." I'm sorry... what???

How can you not be proud of a country that allows it citizens:

freedom of speech?
freedom to assemble (even when it's to protest something the government said/did)?
freedom of religion?
freedom of the press?
freedom to own weapons to defend themselves?
freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures?
the right to a trial by a jury of its peers?
freedom from excessive fines?

We also have more choices available to us than any. other. country. We can walk into any grocery store and are immediately assaulted with at least 30 different choices of beverages, bakery products, meat products, cereals (my word, the cereal choices!), fruits and vegetables we've never even heard of, etc... The list goes on and on.

We can work where we want to work, live where we want to live, worship where we want to worship, read what we want to read, go where we want to go, all without having to answer to anyone for our choices.

We have reliable electricity, running water, air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter, and more television channels than any one person could ever watch.

We have emergency personnel who show up at our homes (or while we're stranded in the middle of nowhere) to help us in times of need.

So this idea of "finally being proud of America" boggles my mind.

I'm disgusted.

I am most certainly NOT proud of the way America voted yesterday.

I am NOT proud to call my leader a man who won't stand during the pledge of allegiance, won't place his hand over his heart, believes leaving babies to die on a hospital shelf is okay, isn't sure at what point life begins, believes "redistribution of wealth" is good for our economy, believes expanding government coffers is good for our economy, believes expanded governmental control is good for our nation, has been linked to corrupt organizations and leaders, is not sure which part of the Bible to follow, and several other reasons.

I do know that before He created a thing, God knew what was going to happen yesterday. He has a plan. He says in Romans that, "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." That doesn't mean we're going to like what's going on. It doesn't mean we can or will understand it. I also know that there is no doubt, uncertainty, fear or hand-wringing going on in Heaven today... or ever, for that matter. There is no second-guessing.

I do not like the outcome of this year's election. But I will obey my King, and His command:

"Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king."

When Peter wrote that, the king he was referring to was Nero.

My point is that if Peter could encourage the early Christians to honor the man that was feeding them to lions and impaling them upon poles and burning them alive to light his gardens, then surely we can pray for and honor our new President notwithstanding our political views.

As Christians, we are commanded to pray for those in authority over us. For reasons I don't understand, Barack Obama will assume that position in January.

Christians, I think it's time to pray like never before.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Christmas of Dreams

You see that pretty, sparkly button over --> there? One of my favorite sites, Momdot.com, is hosting a huge Christmas party and will be giving one super lucky blogger their very own Christmas of Dreams. These are the sponsors:
Dyson
BabyPop
The Shrunks
Soda Club
Kadi Prescott
Nola Meadows
Uncommonly Cute
Lollipop Book Club
Kuster
Silly Monkeez
LA Plates
Natitys Design
Little Black Box
Koshas
Kidz Sunglasses
JAS Creations
Appledonia
LeapFrog
Mutsy
Kushies
Huddy Buddy
Mimsi-Bags
BottleWise
Lets Go Strolling
DaBib
Sassy Baby
Baby Legs
Scentsy
FeeFiFoto
Randi100
Organic Blankees
Shi Shu Style
Georgie Tees

If you have a minute, stop over and visit MomDot and take a look at the Christmas of Dreams Contest.

My favorites from the list are:

Georgie Tees - They have the cutest onesies and maternity tees! And let's face it, I could use some new maternity clothes!
Let's Go Strolling - As you can see from that little gadget at the top of my blog, we're expecting a baby, so a new stroller is a dire need!
Dyson - I'm still dreaming of a Dyson! (click on the picture to order one for me!)
Mutsy - Again, needing a new stroller!!! A double stroller would be great, since I'll have a baby and a toddler.
Mimsi-Bags - I've seen their custom bags around the web, and they're awesome!

There are so, so many things I could use from the above sponsors! And I'm sure you could, too!
Hopefully we'll celebrate a little early with Momdot!

Milestone

89 days ago I bought a new Bible. I committed to reading nothing else (well, except blogs!) until I finished reading it, cover-to-cover.

I finished yesterday!

I have tried reading the Bible many times throughout my life, but never got past Leviticus (I think!). I never thought I could do it in less than three months.

I bought The Bible in 90 Days from the local Bible bookstore and decided to read only it until I had finished.

I just can't believe that it can be done in such a short time, but this Bible is broken down into manageable chunks (12 pages a day) and it's also a hardback, thin-spined edition. I know that doesn't sound very important, but it makes it really easy to read in bed or the bathtub (where I do a lot of reading!) because it feels more like a novel than the bulky, floppy Bibles I've always had.

If reading the entire Bible is a goal you've always wanted to achieve, but never have been able to, I really recommend trying this one.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

This past week was Red Ribbon week, so the kids got to wear different-themed outfits each day. Last Friday was Pajama Day, to represent "Putting Drugs to Sleep," or something like that. We bought Christian some new pj's and some Hannah Montana slippers. God forbid she go to school without actual slippers on.

I actually got up early enough to French braid her hair. She looked so cute.

Last night, our little fairy and Linus went on a trick-or-treating hay ride (organized by our neighbor). It was so much fun. We stopped at the HOA for some food, candy and a haunted house (which we didn't go throuh!), then continued through the neighborhood, gathering candy.
Poor Allie. She sliced her hand open on a soda can, and cried most of her make-up off. It was a pretty deep cut, but she didn't let it stop her!

Cullen figured out trick-or-treating fairly quickly. The only problem was that he wanted to eat everything as it was put in his bag! That was the most difficult part of the evening. He'd want swedish fish, so I'd open the bag. Then he'd decide teddy grahams sounded good, so out those came. No, wait, I want a lollipop. Now some water, please. And on, and on, and on. This was AFTER he ate a whole hotdog, a whole bag of cheetos, and drank a can of soda (all by himself) at the HOA party.


Just chillin' on the 'ride.

He's way too cool to sit on Mommy's lap. He needs room to breathe, man.



Then we went to my mil's sister's house to show off the kids' costumes. Here's little Jakob as a doctor:


Christian, after she ate about two dozen halloween cookies, and innumerable pieces of candy. Yes, her stomach was hurting later. She thought cheese cubes (about ten of them) would help her. It didn't.