Friday, December 24, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

stuck inside?

We are.  It’s been cold.  Not just cold, but so cold that you aren’t really supposed to spend long periods of time outside.   The kind of cold that if you walk the 10 feet from your door to the car without gloves, by the time you go to insert your keys into the ignition, you can’t feel your fingers.


So what do you do when you are stuck inside?  Hmm…I used to have grand illusions of what I would do (when I lived in Sunny Arizona) if I was stuck inside.  Read a book, watch a movie, cuddle up by the fire…in other words do nothing.  The problem with that dream? I didn’t include any small children in my visions. IMG_8187

I’ve made revisions to my vision. :p IMG_3153

Now we make melty ornaments, string cool necklaces with beads (Hugs’ always has a neat pattern – latest is red and green with white ones that have “merry christmas” on the white beads) and bake cookies.  And if mommy is feeling really adventurous, we decorate them. IMG_3138Best tricks of decorating with young littles?  Use cake pans to catch all the mess.  Put colored icing in zip lock baggies and cut off a small corner so they each get their own decorating bag.  Set out small bowls of candy to decorate with – but not too much – otherwise, every cookie may have every kind of candy on it.IMG_3141 IMG_3142 IMG_3145  He’s not mad, I promise. He was making a growl-y sound pretending he was going to eat all of the cookies in front of him!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

“Power of Love”

Is it Huey Lewis? Nah….it’s better!

A  couple of weekends ago, one of Chris’ life-long dreams came true.  He had the opportunity to perform Huey Lewis and the News’ Power of Love.  For those of you who aren’t BTTF fanatics, this is the theme song for every Back to the Future geek.

Yup, he’s a BTTF geek, friends.  A talented one at that.  I know that he has been dreaming of this moment – for a long time.  It came to fruition at our last Married Life Live event at church (think Saturday Night Live for married couples).  My talented husband rocked with the house band on songs from Huey to U2 and Brooke Fraser.  That’s quite a spectrum; that’s musical talent.

Huey Lewis and the News?  Eat your hearts out….this man can sing AND he’s hot.

Anna’s quotes of the day (so far…)

Mommy:  Anna, it’s not nice to tease Hudson.  Stop.

Anna: But it’s fun to tease!


Anna after she was spanked for disobeying ….

Anna (deep, theatrical sobs with sighs): I need to pray for him!  I need to pray for him to make me feel better!

Mommy:  (with a bit of exasperation)  Who, Anna?

Anna: I need you to pray for Jesus to help me feel better!  He will be my friend and help me be a better listener to obey Mommy!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


here’s your first hint what we did on our family friday night:IMG_3134

Did you guess?  Here’s your next clue:


And if you live in America, and you have been out shopping, you are certainly aware of what we had fun doing with my Mom to Mom group on Friday night.  All families were invited to spread some holiday CHRISTMAS (because we say Merry Christmas!) cheer to all of the shoppers coming in and out of the mall to raise support for the Salvation Army.  We had a blast!

All of the kids (and big ones, too) sang their hearts out, belting carols and singing of Christ’s birth letting not the cold weather bother us a bit.  (The occasional snowman and reindeer song may have crept into the mix as well!)  The singing was actually quite delightful and I tried to capture it on the camera, but this video is hilarious – not for the singing, but for the zeal of bell ringing, you can barely tell there are voices being raised in harmonious chorus!

ring ‘em loud–ring ‘em clear! Jesus’ birthday is here!

IMG_3131Ms. Dana made sure we had hot chocolate to warm up our insides and the kids kept themselves entertained with intermittent games of tag/chase/bell ringing.  The hour flew by…and nary a shopper passed by without the well wishing of a “Merry Christmas!”


Friday, December 10, 2010

winter’s first dusting


the horse farm across the road was just too good to pass up today…

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

sneak peek preview….

Special thanks to Colin – awesome shots from this weekend of our family – would you believe we’ve never had a real family shot since Anna was born?  Time to update!  These are just a few of our faves – but the best are being saved for gifts and Christmas letters!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Happy Advent!

Luke 2:8-12

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said,

"Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master."

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Just sharing some of the creative genius that has been occurring in this abode….Hugs’ teacher mentioned how much she loves that his writing journal always is a different story – he’s got a verdant imagination!


~makin robots out of recycling….a favorite past-time of his.


~double doggie?  Who needs double doggie?  He made his own!Quite the copy I would say! (sidenote:  We purchased two of his favorite lovey when we found out which he adored – he lost double doggie somewhere at the mission house a year ago….)

Monday, November 22, 2010

weapons of mass destruction: WMDs

My WMDs of choice?

  • Homeology All-Natural Glass Cleaner (shame-less linky to my website where you can get this wonderful cleaner courtesy of Gold Canyon Candles)
  • Bleach
  • Bleach in a spray bottle


Why, you ask?  OH, well, because my words have been silent for a week because everyone….everyone….in our family got sick. Seriously.  We are all on anti-biotics.  We are all on the mend.  (PRAISE THE LORD!)

But once my mama-mind realized that not just Daddy and Hudson were sick, but that I was going to be taking Anna to the doctor as well as myself one day last week, I had had enough.  Time to bring out the big guns.  Every hard surface, soft surface and toy was going to be cleaned.  No germ left unturned.  (because when three of you have strep and one has a sinus/ear infection, there ain’t no other way…)

IMG_3093 Now folks, who takes pictures of their dishwasher loaded with bathtoys, little people and other essentials?  I need to remind you all I did not have a dishwasher until July?  Yes, this modern marvel sanitized some of my toys for me. 

IMG_3094  The others?  The play kitchen food, little people, magnets, some legos, musical intsruments, dolls and assorted goodies were dunked in bleach water.  And what are you to do when you are stuck inside and can’t get out for fear of spreading your epidemic sized sicky-bugs?


You make elevators for your stuffed animals to lift up and down in the entry, you cuddle and drink hot apple juice and hot chicken broth (Hudson’s fave) and you watch a lot of movies…particularly George, Dora, The Cat in the Hat, and Phineas & Ferb.

 IMG_3099 IMG_3101

Good to be back in the land of the living…put up our Christmas lights on the exterior of the house today.  Mid-sixties and sunny in November were calling my name.  Next on the list?  I almost feel good enough to get my running shoes back on.


Thanksgiving foods may need to take priority – who can get better without a full tummy? :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, my love!

This past Saturday was Chris’ bday. . .  he turned 33 (am I allowed to say that?) and had a funny revelation.  He says it is all downhill after 33 because Jesus died at 33.   I guess Chris figures if Jesus died at 33, that must’ve been the peak of his life, so God figured to be merciful! 

I was able to steal him away on a semi-surprise overnight getaway to Baltimore.  I had to tell him we had plans at the beginning of the week, because he was supposed to have obligations at church on Saturday…or so he thought.  With the kids safely in Grandmom’s care, we drove to Baltimore to the Hotel Monaco – it was so architecturally impressive – it used to be the old B&O railroad station.  IMG_3084Yup, the same one.  The one on the Monopoly board that everyone fights for.  We enjoyed just standing in the grand foyer several times; you could almost hear the bustle of shoes on the floor, coats swishing past as hurried feet take travelers to the waiting steam engines, the whoosh of the white billows as released from their boiled water furnaces, the clear-cut tin whistle as it departed the station. IMG_3082

Before we had left home, Chris had received a few birthday packages in the mail and he was quick to open them.  Ahh, his family knows his heart well – Back to the Future 1,2, & 3 (re-released with additional bonus scenes on Blu-Ray: come on, you didn’t know?).  Yes, all weekend he wanted to do this Marty-look-at-your-watch-pose.  I nixed it.  Once was enough.


We stepped out into the balmy November air (gotta love 60s this time of year) and were whisked away by restaraunt shuttle to an awesome seafood restaraunt on the harbor.  Now, when I say on the harbor, I mean….ON the harbor.  It juts over the water and creates this gorgeous view of the Charm City against the Chesapeake.IMG_3073 IMG_3075

When in Baltimore, there is no other choice than to partake of crab in some manner.  They are famous for their cream of crab soup, jumbo lump meat crab cakes, shrimp stuffed with crab – you think it, they got it!  Our server picked up on a mere mention of celebrating a birthday and surprised Chris with this delightful dessert after dinner.


After dinner we went to a dueling piano bar to take in some fun, impromptu and totally unplanned music, grabbed some hot drinks at Panera and relaxed.  We slept in late – hallelujah – and set out to enjoy beautiful fall day.  We caught a street performance, walked the harbor and ate treats.  It was a relaxing and fun getaway to rejuvenate and celebrate the man I am proud to call my best friend, and my husband.

IMG_3087 IMG_3091

The man who is not only full of integrity and strives everyday to be more like Christ, but is also an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G father and friend.  Happy Birthday Chris.  We love you!IMG_8096

Friday, November 12, 2010

ooey-gooey sticky yummy butternut squash

so good, I had to share another squash recipe.  so easy, that it is worth the 5 minutes before you put it in the oven.  so tasty, well, there ain’t none left here!

(this is Beth style measurements…meaning I didn’t really measure, I went by ‘eye’…)

  • 2 lb butternut squash, peeled, scooped seeds out, cubed in 1/2 inch to 1 inch cubes


  • melt 2/3 stick of butter
  • dissolve in 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice, a dash of salt and pepper and a splash of vanilla.  mix well.
  • pour over squash and toss.

IMG_3066  Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.  Stir.  15 minutes more (or until soft and glazy).  Enjoy and let your body and tummy say: YUMMY!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

‘10 Thankful Turkey

Ye ‘ole turkey was pulled from the stacked and stuffed boxes of monthly holiday decorations – and we continue our tradition of our artsy-craftsy thankful turkey.  If you missed out last year, I gave a picture by picture, step-by-step run down on this cute little guy….click here.


Here’s our man this year…complete with his most recently decorated feathers.  Those feathers are anticipating thankful messages with stuck-in-Styrofoam anticipation.  They can’t wait to be made thankful and get to join the party of feathers that dress this turkey so well. 

I love the things we talk about at dinner that we are thankful for.  Actually, once this piece of poultry hits the table, it is at breakfast, lunch and dinner because everyone wants at chance to stick him with a feather.  Hudson was so overcome with joy at decorating new, unwritten on feathers for this year, that if you look closely at the front and center, you can see he already had to write “doggie” on one.  Because, you know, we HAVE to be thankful for his blue lovey doggie. :o)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

candy...candy...what to do?

So….you have masses of candy. Masses. What do you do with all of it and avoid eating it all? Daddy recently did a cool sort with the kids of their Halloween collection. He had them survey their treasures and then sort them into piles of “like” candies…..I am personally a fan of Hudson’s pile of PB cups.

Peanut Butter….a sure way to mommy’s heart.

But here’s the deal…there is a lot more that you can do with that mass amount of sugar sitting in your home, beckoning your name. Asking you to eat it. Here’s just a few ideas…and because you are awesome, I am sure you have a few of your own – or you’ve already done some yourself with your satchel of sweets.

  • sort by brand
  • sort by chocolate, hard candy, chewy candy
  • sort by wrapper color
  • sort by size
  • make a graph of the colors of wrappers
  • estimate how many pieces total
  • group by 5s, 10s, etc. and count
  • draw a turkey on construction paper and glue candies to him
  • open a few different types: hypothesize if they will change at all if left out, if heated in the microwave, if frozen
  • open candies, dump them out and save the wrappers. See if you can write a story together using the wrappers as part of the story and glue them in as the “words”. (EX: The astronaut flew to the Milky Way./My cat is named kit-kat and sometimes (tootsie) rolls over.)

Barn bargains

Saturday morning Ang called me and asked me to accompany her to a nearby antique barn…my response when I only had one child and was headed to a party?  Yes, of course!  I had to share these amazing finds…and these are only three of the 12 things I got for 30.00.IMG_8084 I love the inscription on the milk bottle to the right. “Leave me a note for delicious eggs, buttermilk, party dip, butter, cottage cheese, sour cream”.IMG_8081 Gorgeous old runner sled….perfect for out front with Christmas greens on it. (With help from my flora & fauna expert, Angie.)IMG_8082 This beauty is headed to the top of my cabinets in the kitchen for the time being…someday to be lower and accessible, but since it was already pilfered once for a creation, I had to scavenge and retrieve it from the pirates.  When I picked this one up, I was thinking that Aunt Cindy would be jealous – even if it is Pepsi and not Coca-Cola.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Anna’s newest and latest phrase?

Are you stinkin what I’m stinkin?

She’s picked up on Hudson’s “are you thinking what I’m thinking?”  It’s pretty hilarious to hear it!  Especially because Hudson realizes what she is saying and nearly falls to the floor everytime! :)