Friday, April 29, 2016


She's excited about the skill she's picked up over the past month: walking! She can go pretty fast pushing her doll stroller, and totters around on her own, too. Cutie pie is trying to join the ranks of the big kids.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Recipe Time

A couple of these are more fall/winter recipes, but I am just now getting around to sharing them. Enjoy them in whichever season you choose!

Pork Chops with Maple Apples from Better Homes and Gardens

Coffee-Braised Pot Roast also from BHG

Southwest Pork Stew from Southern Living

Madeleines from Martha Stewart Living

And our new favorite and pretty easy breakfast, lunch, or dinner recipe that also reheats beautifully: Golden Potato and Smoked Sausage Hash from Southern Living

You're welcome. :)

Monday, April 25, 2016


This week's goal: wash my face and apply lotion with sunscreen each morning. I always wash my face at night (the only night I remember not doing so is the night Annie was born and I couldn't get out of bed without fainting!) but in the morning I am usually pressed for time and so I skip it. Committing to the extra 30 seconds this week. :)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Giant Slide Fun

Earlier this month we went to visit Bebe and Papa Rick and the rest of the Gent's family. While we were there we went to a park with giant slides and climbing structures. The kids and grownups all had fun playing!

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Body for Life: One Year Later

It has been a little over a year since I began my 12 week Body for Life program. Nine months since completing it, I have maintained my pre-Annie weight, kept up with exercise (I mix it up--currently a variety of cardio machines at the gym, free weight training, and a weekly yoga or Pilates class), and continued mostly healthy (balanced meals with no refined sugar) eating. When Nora weans I will have to do better about eating or add more cardio. I am so pleased to have my body back--even if some things don't quite go back to the same places. Thankful for the ability to carry and birth three beautiful girls and thankful for a healthy body to care for my family now!

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Goal I Can Keep

This week's goal is to finish my (decaf) coffee every morning before the kids get up. Because if I don't, I'll find my mug at rest time and reheat it and that's just not the same. :)

Friday, April 15, 2016

Belated Easter Pictures

Egg hunt, baskets, and church

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

What I Do All Day

Once a year or so I try to keep a list of what I do for a week. Answers the question of "what do I do all day?!"

6am wake up
Cardio at gym
Put away clean dishes
Bible study, prayer, and coffee
Blog post
Get some paperwork ready to mail
Cut a few flowers and refresh arrangements
Drink one more cup of (decaf) coffee before munchkins get up at 7:30
Nurse Nora
Get self and kids dressed, rooms straightened
Make and eat breakfast and have Bible time with the kids
Clean up kitchen
Schedule kids’ check-ups
Hang picture in Jacob’s room
Refill laundry pre-treater
Help kids brush teeth
To library for storytime and pick up books on hold
Annie’s ballet class
Play at park with other three kiddos during ballet
Make and eat lunch
Put away library books, sort mail, quick straighten up for house
Nurse Nora and put down for nap
Run to Aldi, car wash, and Publix while Honey babysits
Take Zeke to vet
Clean out purse and sort piles that accumulated on desk since morning
Complete paperwork for upcoming doctor appointments for kids
Feed dogs
Start prepping dinner
Kids up, get out art supplies and turn on music
Call the Gent
Feed dogs
Play “cookout” with kiddos
Phone call with the vet
Finish making dinner
Supervise playroom clean-up
Family dinner, joined by Honey
Straighten house upstairs and down
Nurse Nora, help the Gent get munchkins to bed
Make cup of tea and drink it before it gets cold
Sort March photos
Update Annie’s photo album
Book dogsitter
Watch baseball with the Gent and glance through school curriculum while he catches up on work
Three loads of laundry washed, dried, folded, and put away over the course of the day
10pm-ish to bed

6am wake up
Lower body weight training at home
Bible study
Make plans for 100th day of school
Coffee and prayer
Look over list/plan for the day
Put away clean dishes
Nurse Nora, get kids up and all get dressed
Make and eat and clean up breakfast and Bible time with kids
Help kids brush teeth
Bible Study Fellowship
Post office
Phone call with vet
Leave message for piano repairman
Make and eat and clean up lunch
Start bread
Sort mail
Nurse Nora
Read with kids and get settled for rest/nap time
Phone call with piano repairman
Call social worker
Roll out bread, let rise, and bake
Read and have an apple with peanut butter
Deep clean Annie’s room
Feed dogs
School with kids
Free play
Nature walk
1 load of laundry
Make dinner
Clean up kitchen
Help the Gent with kids’ bedtime
10pm sleep

4:45am dogs all over the neighborhood have a bark fest
5:15am I go back to sleep till 6:15
Upper body weights at home
Bible reading, read BSF notes, coffee, prayer
Sign up for library storytime
7:35am Jacob wakes up
Since girls are sleeping in:
Reserve library books for school next week
Blog post
Vacuum downstairs and mop kitchen
8:15am girls wake up
Get everyone dressed, beds made, straighten upstairs
Breakfast and kids' Bible time
Help kids brush teeth
Start school
Go to Sam’s Club and have new tires installed, do a little grocery shopping
Home for lunch and special 100th day of school treat
Finish deep cleaning Annie’s room
Read to kids, nurse Nora, all munchkins down for naps
Iron whatever has accumulated since last Wednesday
Prep dinner
Read and have a snack before kids get up
Do some preliminary planning for next school year
Feed dogs
Finish school with kids and celebrate 100th day of school!
Free play!
Cook and eat dinner
Rest and read and enjoy a bowl of ice cream
4 loads laundry completed
10:30ish bed

5am wake up, head to gym for 30 minutes of cardio and 1 hour Pilates class (burning off ice cream)
Put away dishes
Bible study and coffee
Water plants and freshen up cut flower arrangements
Call vet again
7:30am Nurse Nora, everyone gets dressed and straightens room
Clean up kitchen
Help kids brush teeth
Quick weekly clean of kitchen and bathrooms
Ballet field trip with Annie and Jacob
Make, eat, and clean up lunch
Sort mail
Set up playdate with friend for next week
Confirm weekend plans with dogsitter
Nurse Nora, read with all kids, naptime
Read my book and rest for a bit
Sort paperwork on desk: file, take action, or shred accordingly
Weekly budget update
Feed dogs
Set up auto pay because mortgage servicer has changed
Write check for dogsitter
Clean out email inbox
Kids up
Pack for older two girls to have a sleepover with grandparents Friday
Play outside
Leave instructions for kids for Honey, grab a snack, and pack dinner for the Gent
CPR and first aid training with the Gent, kids stay with Honey
Nurse Nora and to bed about 10:30

6am wake up, lay in bed till 6:30
Coffee and Bible study
Blog post about Compassion!
Order flower seeds for summer cutting garden
7:30am kids up, nurse Nora, start getting dressed
Finish getting everyone dressed, brush teeth
Transfer car seats to Honey and Poppa’s car
See older girls off for sleepover with grandparents
Wash breakfast dishes
Pack for weekend trip
Vet’s office to pick up prescription
Hobby Lobby to drop off Nora’s one year photos for framing
Lunch with the Gent, Jacob, and Nora
Children’s museum with Jacob and Nora
Read books, nurse Nora, tuck kids in for naps
Use some about-to-expire coupons to Joseph A Bank and Old Navy for online shopping
Sort mail
Put away dishes
Spend 30 minutes tracking down a package UPS claims they delivered
Brush dogs
Feed dogs
Kids up from naps
Bake cookies with Jacob and Nora
Play outside
Dinner out
Kiddos to bed
Enjoy a glass of wine with the Gent
Yay it’s Friday!
Bed around 10pm
2 loads of laundry

Monday, April 11, 2016

Finish Strong

School, baseball, BSF, ballet, and storytime all wrap up in the next four weeks. Our goal is to skip burnout and finish strong!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Four for the Children

I know I've written about Compassion and the incredible work that they do for at-risk children around the world. And right now, there's a child waiting for a sponsor like you. God has called us to care for children living in poverty. As a child sponsor for over 15 years myself, I've seen my letters and gifts make a huge difference. I've also had the opportunity to hear Compassion graduates speak to our church about the very real difference having a sponsor made in their lives.

Will you sponsor a child today? I've created an Acts of Compassion campaign and my goal is to find sponsors for four children.

Your sponsored child will receive support directly from a local church. Not only does that include good nutrition, education, and medical care--but also the opportunity to learn about Jesus. Compassion is a 4-star rated organization with Charity Navigator, and serves over 1.7 million children in 26 countries.

But at the heart of this ministry is people like you and me. Sponsors who have decided to help one child overcome poverty. That's what inspired me to become a child sponsor myself. But with so many kids still in need I felt like I needed to do more, which is why I created my own campaign to recruit more sponsors.

For about a $1 a day, you can sponsor a child and start a life-changing relationship. It only takes about five minutes to get set up, and you can write your first letter today. Please join me and sponsor a child!

Since I blog anonymously, I'm not including a direct link to my campaign page here. Please comment with your email address and I will send you the campaign website with more information and photos of these precious children!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Nora: 14 Months

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(Only a week late this time.) This month Nora has learned to climb! She's my first climber--being taller makes it easier. She can go up steps, get into the kid-sized chairs, and on to the couch. Her dismount still needs some work. ;) She walks well as long as she is holding on to something; she still doesn't want to let go. The Gent and I keep trying to get her to take a step but she's not having it. She still loves to eat and is nursing three times a day. She is generally doing better about being buckled into her car seat. She tries to copy words we say to her, and imitates singing which makes us laugh, of course. This month she has learned to say "ball" and "Jacob" and repeats Mama and/or Dada until she gets a response from us, which is followed by a big grin. Pretty cute!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Glasses Again

And we're back to this. We were doing better for a while and now we are slipping again. She puts them on first thing in the morning, takes them off 30 minutes later, and then I forget about them until I see her empty glasses case in her room at bedtime. Oops!

Friday, April 1, 2016


Jacob is playing t-ball for the first time this spring. Here are some pictures from his first game (they aren't that great but I was keeping up with three little girls at the same time). He loves t-ball and is so proud of his uniform and glove. Watching four year olds play t-ball is pretty adorable. And Daddy is having fun directing traffic on the baseball diamond.

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