Friday, July 29, 2011

Love {The Week}!


After VBS I took the van to get the oil changed before we headed off to the lake. Notice the glazed-over look on the kids' faces. Apparently, The Disney Channel (which we don't get at home) is quite captivating!


Ugh, I got sick at the lake. Lots of sneezing and headaches and such. This is one of the several cups of coffee I inhaled. It didn't help, but it tasted good!


Home from the lake and taking a dip in the tub. Love the little blondies taking a bath!


My husband left to be a chaperone/counselor at Junior High Camp for our church for five days. My parents sent me my favorite flowers (daisies and alstroemeria) with a passage of encouragement attached (Psalm 121) and it was a wonderful surprise! This is the longest Josh and I have been apart since we've had kids.


My dear friend Penny popped in for a surprise visit, so we loaded up the kids and headed to Chick-fil-A! I so appreciated her thoughtfulness in stopping by and it was great to wear out the kiddos before bedtime! Caleb was excited to have his picture with the CFA cow. :)


Naomi eating spinach tortellini for dinner. I have no idea why this is the only picture from Wednesday, since we had two play dates and then my parents came to visit ... but oh well! :) It works!


I had a craving for some pollo con crema at a local Mexican joint, so I loaded up the kids and we went for an early dinner together. I was a bit nervous being outnumbered by the kiddos in a restaurant that lacks a play place :), but it was so much fun! The kids were great and because the restaurant was pretty empty (remember, we went early ... it's all strategy, folks!), there was a steady stream of waiters coming by the table to tickle Naomi's chin and give Cub high-fives. They gave us the royal treatment and it was such a fun spontaneous night out with the kids! Oh, and you can't tell in this picture, but Caleb insisted on wearing his Lowe's nail apron. That only added to the cuteness. :)

I can't wait for my hubby to come home today. :)

Have a lovely weekend, friends!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm Still Here!

Hey friends!

So, for some reason I'm unable to check my blog on my computer. Weird. Not that I have much to say right now, besides the fact that I was slightly under the weather this weekend and have grand plans of laying low this week after last week's VBS!

Oh, and I tried making pancakes this morning and realized we were out of eggs. Boo.

So, let's see some pictures from VBS, shall we?

The theme was Rev It Up, which was all kinds of fun. :)

The week of VBS is focused on raising money for two missionary families. To make it fun, they split the girls and boys into teams, one missionary family for each. All week it's all about cheering for the girls' team or cheering for the boys' team!

Naomi was clearly proud to be on the girls' team. :) On the last day at the opening assembly, the final offering is taken.

Caleb and his bag of change!

My fellow nursery workers and I wheeled the babies into the assembly in one of the cribs so they could give their pennies, too! (But mostly so everyone could Ooo and Ahh at their cuteness!)

In the end, over $16,000 was raised for the families. The total, of course, was split down the middle and both families got an equal amount. :) Throughout the week, the kids were able to Skype with the missionaries, which was great! Caleb loved it and every day since has asked when we're going back. :)

Now I have a toddler trying to crawl in my lap and a baby girl babbling over the monitor--time to figure out breakfast!

Have a lovely day. :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday With a Few Words: It's VBS Week!

8:14am: Hair coifed, shirt ready, heart cheery.


It's way fun. But way tiring.

But I'm way glad I get to help out this week. :)

Have a lovely day!

Monday, July 18, 2011


The first time I ever had an up close and personal encounter with a weed was the summer after my freshman year of college. I was working at a girls' home in New England and the home was a renovated farmhouse, situated on acres of land, complete with crops, cows, chickens, etc. I was an intern that summer and we all helped with chores, one of which was weeding.

I had weeded here and there throughout my childhood, of course, but I'll never forget the weeds I stumbled upon while working my way through the rows of the corn crop. The corn was just beginning to grow and as I hunkered down next to a stalk to paw through the dirt, I glanced over and noticed that a weed had wound itself around the helpless plant. I began pulling at the bottom and had to unwrap the weed from the stalk, around and around and around and around. When I finally unraveled the entire weed, it was huge. Long. It was hard to believe that it was barely noticeable at first glance whilst wrapped around the stalk. I saw for the first time in a very blatant way how weeds "choke" plants. It isn't just a figure of speech--they actually strangle.

Strange as it seems, I found myself getting really ticked off at that weed. I mean, it was kind of horrific when you think about it: A silent killer that slowly wraps itself around its prey until that prey dies. I mean, seriously! Sure, it was just a weed, but it had overtaken that entire corn stalk. It just sickened me, really.

Now that we've moved to a bit more land, I've done my fair share of weeding. And every time I reach down to snatch a weed from our landscaping out front, I can't help but remember my time up North and my first real encounter with weeds. Even though I can't see the weed wrapping around the plants like I could with the corn stalk, I know that's what's happening under the surface of the soil, which is why the removal of the roots is the key to eliminating the weed effectively.

I totally understand, now, the frustration of recurring sin and its similarity to weeds. For me, it's insecurity. Insecurity in how I raise my kids, how I look, the kind of wife I am, the kind of friend I am, the list goes on. And even when I think I have everything under control, I know that, beneath the surface, the attack still wages on.

And, really, that's the tricky thing with weeds. Even after they are gone and the surface of the soil is clean and smooth, their reappearance is inevitable. Weeds come back again and again because they are wild and it's what they do. You can't hate a weed for serving its purpose. So, you prevent. You lay down good soil and a barrier and you stay on guard. At the first sign of a weed, you snatch and spray and return to your post, ready to pounce. When I've prayed, sought godly counsel, and spent time reading Scripture, my insecurities begin to pale. I'm on guard. But when I let that guard down, I'm amazed at how quickly they spring up again.

I hope this doesn't seem like too cheesy of a comparison, but it's just a poignant one for me that I wanted to share with you. It's kind of where I'm at right now. And I want to encourage you to be on your guard today--that you will choose to bask in God's goodness and love, rather than fall prey to the disarming lie of sin.

That's all. Have a lovely day, friends.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Love {The Week}!


The kiddos accompanied me to Home Depot. I love the carts and I love the two cuties sitting in the cart even more! Apparently, they get just as excited about paint as I do.


My Dad installed a dimmer for the kitchen can lights! I like dim light. All of the time. Now these lights will actually be used. :)


Big brother was at the lake with his grandparents, so my little lady and I enjoyed homemade blueberry pancakes (I'm obsessed with making my own pancake mix, but apparently I am not obsessed with emptying the kitchen trash promptly) together. She was a blue-stained cutie by the end of it all and a morning bath was necessary. :)

That night, I had a craving for crab cakes. Mmm. Crab cakes. The tint on the picture makes them look black, but, I promise, they were toasty good!


My iPhone case came in! Yay! Thank you to my dear friend for sharing her cool connections with me. Because she's way cooler than me. :)


Caleb came home from the lake, which meant a celebratory dinner in honor of his return! Homemade fried rice (he loves rice) and from-scratch white chocolate cupcakes with homemade oreo buttercream frosting. Dangerous and amazing. I'll post the cupcake recipe next week--it really is a good one!


Little Miss after her little buddy left after a fun dinner together. It was so sad!

There you have it, friends!

Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Before and After: Guest Bathroom!

We've been in the house for a few months now and I'm finally over the moving funk, ready to stretch my wings and start taking ownership of decorating this house and making it our home.

My first little project was the guest bathroom. Behold, the guest bedroom:

While the walls remain blank (and I don't really mind) and the bed needs some pillows (they'll come eventually), you can see the overall mood we're going for here: Calm, clean, and peaceful. Our guests have a quaint window seat that overlooks the front lawn and the pond, and the white Shabby Chic bedding is begging for someone to climb beneath its fluffy folds. The suitcase side-table emphasizes our rest-for-the-weary-traveler theme, and overall I love this room.

Then there's the bathroom.

The sink and cupboards are just fine ...

(Sorry the picture is dark, I took these with my phone!) I love the white cabinets, the neutral walls, the silver fittings ... it matches the quaintness of the bedroom well.

Then. Then there's this:

This gem of a mistake was hanging over the toilet. I'm not sure what the previous homeowners were thinking with this last-minute addition, but not only is the color terribly wrong from the wood stain to the gold fixtures (gah), but they also hung it UPSIDE DOWN. Last I checked, the arches on cabinet doors are traditionally at the top (this is the kind of stuff that my Dad, a private contractor, embedded into my brain as an INEXCUSABLE MISTAKE). Our cupboard looked like an unfortunate mismatched piece of laziness adorned with two very pronounced "U"'s.

I tried to take it off of the wall so I could paint it and hang it properly, but this beauty was stuck tight. So, I taped around it and painted it right where it was, using a dry-brush technique to give it an aged look. I removed the cabinet doors, bought new silver hinges and sparkly clear knobs (note the rings on the shower curtain, continuing the Shabby Chic/New Romanticism theme I'm in love with), and with the help of my Dad, Humpty Dumpty was put back together again.

Back, and better than ever. :)

One project to check off the list! The den is our next endeavor ... stay tuned!

Have a lovely day.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hotter Than Hot.

I don't know about y'all, but we're definitely enduring a stifling heat wave here in Oklahoma. Couple the August-like temps with good ol' Midwest humidity and you've got blazing hot days and not much relief at night.

My friend did a little survey on Facebook to see how the temps were in other places, too, so I thought I'd give it a go on my blog to see how the weather was treating my fellow bloggy friends!

This is what I want to know:
1) What part of the country you are in (regions are good--I never give the name of my specific town and don't expect you to, either)
2) The current time
3) The current temperature

You can list the heat index, too, if you want to, although I don't think it makes much of a difference once you get past 100, ha ha. :)

Here's my info:
1) Northeast Oklahoma
2) 3:26pm
3) 104 degrees

Yeesh. The temps keep climbing! What's it like where you live?

Have a lovely day!

For Your Viewing Pleasure.

My eighth grade history teacher recently posted this picture of me on Facebook.

That's right. While the cool kids were rocking their Z. Cavaricci's, this California girl was rocking really awful imitation Shannon Doherty bangs.

And, history books, apparently.

I know you're jealous of the awesomeness. It's okay.

Have a lovely day.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Blast. Off.

I jumped in the car this morning to grab some coffee at my new favorite coffee joint in town and, rather than turning on the kiddos' CD, I instead tuned into a local country station (I live in Oklahoma, remember). As we neared our drive-thru destination, the host of the morning show announced that a viewing of the space shuttle Atlantis launch could be seen at the Planetarium of a local Air and Space Museum and as I turned up the volume, he shared about the poignancy of this launch, the last manned shuttle launch of the space program.

Last manned shuttle?

I peered in the rearview mirror, saw my two kiddos smiling back at me, and decided that the Planetarium was exactly where we needed to be. It was still early, but I was now on my own mission of making this mini trip happen, in a blaze of the-kids-need-to-experience-this glory. I called my friend and told her about the launch and asked if she wanted to enjoy a historical adventure (and a chaotic one), a challenge which she graciously accepted. I came home, packed some snacks, put on makeup, and went to pick up my friend and her daughter. As we cruised in the minivan to the Planetarium, we reminisced on what the space program was like when we were kids. Who didn't want to go to space? Most kids, at some point, want and expect to experience space travel. When I was Cub's age, the Challenger shuttle had just been lost and the country mourned together the brave souls who were so close to space but never made it there. The space program was an important part of our education and it was a little sad to think that our kids, while they will probably be exposed to the exploration of space, won't necessarily live in a country that budgets for its own astronauts to go there. An understood cut, but a sad one, nonetheless. The end of a chapter in an endless book.

We pulled into the parking lot, put the girls in the jogger, and headed inside. By this time it was standing room only, the dark room full of spectators and local TV crews filming the launch on the large screen. We got there with nine minutes to spare and watched as mission control gave the go and charged the shuttle with safety and "godspeed". Those few minutes were punctuated with switching the babies and taking trips to the lobby to walk around, but when the twenty second mark came, we were all in there together, standing at the very back, watching history unfold. Cub held onto his Bullseye horse and watched in complete silence and astonishment as fire poured out of the burners. When the countdown came to ten, everyone in the Planetarium started counting out loud, the excitement building with each number. When it came to ONE! all of the cell phones came out, snapping pictures of the shuttle as it poured smoke, trembled, and all 4 million pounds of fuel and ship slowly rumbled and lifted off of the ground. There were cheers, and, I'm sure, a few tears.

And that was it. Within a few minutes, the moment was over.

We gathered the kids and schlepped them back to the car, and drove home.

I know that the kids won't remember what they saw today (although Cub loves saying, "Today I saw a space shuttle fly high in the sky!"), but I love that they were able to experience the poignancy of sending their fellow countrymen to space for the last time, for a long time. To enjoy, for a few moments, the unifying excitement that it brings, in that small Planetarium, full of strangers who, on a countdown from ten, cheered for the same thing.

To remember that, no matter how frequent, it is a bit of a miracle to witness men piercing our atmosphere, forging into the vastness of outer space.

Have a lovely day.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

If This Never Happens To You, I'll Go Ahead And Bury My Head In The Sand.

The other day I decided to make some cinnamon rolls for my husband. He had eaten some at the party the previous night that made him swoon, so I figured I would try to replicate the awesomeness so he could have some sweets to take to work.

I started in the evening and about halfway through, I realized this was going to be a rather lengthy endeavor. The kids were getting restless and cranky and were pulling on my legs as I rolled out the dough. My husband and I got them to bed and I returned to the kitchen to finish the rolls. I can't pintpoint exactly the moment of epic failure, but between too much butter, a misread extract, and not enough dough, I found myself up to my armpits in what I thought was perhaps an unsalvageable mess. But, I forced through and my determination resulted in three pans of cinnamon rolls. Fresh out of the oven, they tasted pretty good. At least, I thought so.

My husband tried one and nodded and said it was okay.

That's it.

My hours of slaving for a nod of the head and a "it's okay".

I'm not sure what snapped in my head, perhaps a feeling of underappreciation mixed with exhaustion (and, let's not forget, pregnancy hormones), but I gave him a glare and with much dramatic huffing and flailing of arms, I stormed to the bedroom and shut the door.

A few moments later he cracked it open and asked if I was okay.

And then the crying started.

The ugly crying. The heaving. I can't remember the following conversation verbatim, but here's the basic gist of it:


"I didn't say that!"


(Snort, snort, sniffle.)

"It's fine! They weren't bad!"


"KATIE. The cinnamon rolls are fine! I appreciate you making them!"


"Uh, okay. Don't clean it then!"



"Um, what?"


"I thought we were talking about cinnamon rolls."


"Uh, Katie?"


"Oh boy."


"Oh geez. Okay. Katie, I think you're overthinking this ..."


"Calm down. You do a great job."


"Katie, go to bed."

"I'M JUST ... I'm just ... (sob, sob)"

"You're tired."

"I'm tired."

"It's not about the cinnamon rolls."

"It is a little."

"Go to bed."


"Go to bed."



And I did.

Have a lovely day.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday With A Few Words: Party Pictures From My Phone.

(Maybe it was more than ten boxes.)

(You can see the second flag in the background.)

(Yummy Marshmallow Pops! I found the idea here, but omitted the peanut butter and used white chocolate instead.)

(It was quite toasty outside.)

(Part of the group!)

Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Happy Fourth.

Ten boxes of fireworks


Sixty-five guests


Kiddos splashing in the pool


A ferocious game of backyard volleyball


Lots of laughing and chatting with friends and family


A few children's tears from the fireworks' BOOM!


Lawn chairs


A table filled edge-to-edge with pies, cookies, cake, chips, deviled eggs, cobbler, and homemade ice cream


Disc golf and Bocce Ball in the front yard


Tiki torches


Flags and sparklers


Bug spray


One heck of a Fourth of July.

(And two very, very exhausted hosts. YAY for coffee.)

(And yay for a home where we can do stuff like this--a dream come true for us. Exhaustion is a bit more tolerable when it's accompanied by joy. What fun memories were made!)

I hope your Fourth was a good one!

Have a lovely day.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Secure the Blessings of Liberty.

Thanks to Schoolhouse Rock, I learned the Preamble to the Constitution in elementary school.

We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union,
establish justice, insure domestic tranquility,
provide for the common defense,
promote the general Welfare and secure the blessings of liberty
to ourselves and our Posterity,
do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.

The words are just as poignant today as they were 235 years ago.

Happy Independence Day, friends. Be safe.

Have a lovely day.