Saturday, December 5, 2009

The REAL new venture

So, the travel thing has been a flop.  You can't really be productive with something if you don't believe in it...if you're not passionate about it.  I was not.

I have found something that I most definitely AM passionate about, though.  I have (as of today) become an independent consultant for Tastefully Simple.  It is a taste-testing, home party company where I get paid to share something that I am passionate about...fantastically good food!  From mixes to spices, it's fabulous.  Don't believe me?  Come to my open house on Saturday, 12/12/2009 from 10 am to 1 pm to find out for yourself!  There will be many samples to try and it will help me get my business blasted off!  It's come and go, so...well, come and go as you please.  BUT, when you come, come hungry.  You won't be disappointed!

What's that?  Oh, you live out of town, but love the product and/or want to help me get started?  Well, go browse online at and then email me what you'd like to order.  No, don't order online, silly.  Then, nobody gets credit and you have to pay a ton more for shipping than you would have had to otherwise!  It's seriously like a $5+ difference in shipping.

The prices range from like $6.99 to $10 for individual items and the gift sets start there and go up.  WAY affordable and WAY delish.  Check it out.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

PRAYERS FOR MY S-I-L and little "sis"

Hey, everyone.  My sister-in-law, Laura...Dustin's wife, is pregnant at somewhere around 18 weeks.  She has had a bad case of the flu and they are assuming it is H1N1.  I don't know if they've run a test or are planning to, but this is the word I've got...most likely H1N1.  Because it is super dangerous for pregnant women to have it, as it depletes the immune system and usually causes them to get other things like pneumonia, they are pretreating her for pneumonia.  The pneumonia is what is super dangerous and life-threatening once the system is depressed and the pneumonia attacks.  SO, it is a very dangerous situation and we are asking for prayers that she regain her health quickly and that she and the baby are both alright despite the medications, fevers, etc.

Now, my sister's best friend, Bri, who has always been my other little sis, has had a very tough start to her week.  Sunday night, her aunt unexpectedly passed away.  If you've been a follower of my blog since it started, this might sound familiar.  About 2-2.5 years ago, her uncle died very suddenly.  They have both been linked to a seizure disorder.  It came about very unexpectedly both times and has been so difficult for them all.  They were the 2 youngest children in the family...though they were adults.  She has 3, teenaged children that she has left behind.  Please pray for the entire family as they deal with another sudden loss and for those kids as they go through possibly the toughest stage of life while dealing with this loss.

Thanks guys.  I'm praying for both of you, if you read this.

On a different note, Mark's painting opportunities in KC have come to an end.  He is coming home today.  We'll see what tomorrow holds......

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A brief silence

I'm going to have no internet connection until Monday or so...unless I check my email at mom's or something.  SO, if you need to get ahold of me, just give me a ring.  I WILL have phone service.  I'm getting really excited as I see this new company in action.  I'm seeing people above me make money and I'm getting PUMPED!  I would be so happy if I only cycled once and got 1 $10,000 check.  More than that would just be gravy! 

Anyway, "see" y'all next week.  Peace out for now...

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Here is a link to the citizen corp review about them a 5-star rating.  They review thousands of home-based businesses and found TVI worthy of 5 stars!

AMAZING opportunity that is PERFECT for YOU

Hey, everyone!  I am super excited and I want to share it ASAP with each of you.  I have signed onboard with a company that is flying into the next decade with excitement, speed, and TRAVEL!  I'm talking about TVI.  It is the new venture that I mentioned in my post a few back.  It is all about travel...the trillion dollar industry that let's us see the WORLD!  I am so excited because of the benefits of TVI and the fact that you put a little in to start and you get a whole lot out of it as a reward.  What is the "work" involved?  Talking to friends and travelling.  Seriously.  I'm not selling a product.  I'm not talking to strangers.  I'm not calling random people.  I'm talking to YOU, my friends and family, and the only thing I'm selling is FREE TRAVEL and money in exchange for you talking to your friends and families. 

I have an awesome video that I'll link to here so that you can see the information for yourself.  It is simply a $300 investment to start with the company and, in return, you get a free week of travel to anywhere you want to go.  It is SO worth the $300, as you're getting so much more than that in return!

What is the company paying for?  Word-of-mouth advertising.  They want me to promote the business to you, you to promote the business to your cousin, and your cousin to promote the business to her aunt.  If that chain continues on and on, they grow and the money that they would have used on advertising goes into the pocket of their word-of-mouthers! 

I'm sure you're thinking exactly what I thought: "Where's the catch?"  Seriously...there isn't one.  You all know me and you know that I'm a straight-shooting, Christian woman.  I wanted to fully check it out before I proposed the idea to ANYONE.  There is a company that evaluates home-based businesses.  They call this one a scam, this one not-workable, this one possible with hard work, etc.  You and I both know that there are THOUSANDS of home-based businesses out there...specifically internet-based.  Here's what is encouraging to me.  TVI was given a FIVE STAR rating by this company.  It is one of only TWO...that's right TWO five-star ratings that they have EVER given and this company earned one.  Not because they get your money and leave you hanging.  Not because they get you all amped and in the program and then let you drift aimlessly.  Not because it is a get-rich-quick scheme (though you can and most likely WILL make money very quickly).  They earned the rating because it is a business model that makes sense both for me, the promoter, and the company itself.  I'm not joking, people, they have given away YACHTS for incentives for the highly motivated. When you reach a certain point, you pick a BMW, Mercedes, or Audi and those goals are NOT sky-high and impossible.  They  are very, VERY possible.

OK...I'm getting waaaaaaay ahead of myself.   Here's what I'd like you to do if you're even the tiniest bit interested.  Go to this link: and watch the video.  It is 13 or so minutes long, but it might be the most important 13 minutes of your year.  If your interest is peaked, I would suggest watching it again...or at least the business model part, as it can be confusing on first glance.  I fully grasp the concept now, but it took 2 times watching and one personal explanation because I'm not business-minded.  THEN, if you're interested in learning more and/or signing up, shoot me and email or give me a call.  If you don't know my email/phone number, shoot me a message and I'll get it to you.  What I would ask, though, is that you talk to me before filling out any forms on this site.  I want you to make sure that you KNOW what is going on.  That you KNOW what you're signing up for.  Also, I need you to talk to me first so that you're put on my team when we do get you signed up.  Other than that, it's just a matter of talking to people and then watching your checks start coming in!

So, watch the vid and then I'll be waiting to hear from you!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Because CHRISTMAS is just around the corner...

[EDIT] The owners over at A New Creation have sent me a promo code especially for YOU guys to get a 20% off discount when you order from them.  When you go to check out, put HOLIDAY20 as the discount code and you'll automatically get 20% off your order.  They also have some exciting options this year including photo cards (w/ envelope), front and back flat cards (w/ envelope), and postcards.  They will design anything you can dream up and are happy to help you come up with a design to fit your needs!  Don't forget about their full-service option that I explain at the end of this post!  It doesn't get any better than that!  :)  Oh, and don't forget to comment that I sent you!  They love to know where their business is coming from!

I just wanted to send a little reminder to everyone of an awesome, Christian-owned card company for Christmas cards, invitations, birth announcements, etc.  They are a fully customizable company and love to do customized orders.  I am not compensated for my advertising in any way, I just believe in the awesome products produced by A New Creation. In case the linky doesn't work, it is They did my Christmas Cards last year. They also made the most gorgeous wedding invites, save the dates, reply cards, maps (x2), and envelopes for my sister's wedding. They were fabulous and 100% custom between the designers and my sister. Think it cost a fortune??? Think again! They were cheaper than any other that my sister found and definitely the most user-friendly, pro-customer satisfaction company that she could find. I would HIGHLY recommend you to take a look for your holiday cards this year. They also do wedding, as I mentioned, baby announcements, graduation, party, and anything else you could need in the photo greeting or regular 'ol invitation/announcement department. Ordering off of the internet is a scary business these days, but this is one product and company that I know will provide you with 100% satisfaction!

I just wanted to say, again, that I am not affiliated with them and do not get money for this post. I simply want to help them grow, and grow, and grow!

Oh, I forgot to mention their full-service option. You send them the address list and they address, return-address, stuff the envelopes, lick the envelopes, stamp the envelopes, and mail them for you! All for a very reasonable *small* fee.

So, go check them out and tell them that Devon sent you!  :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Venture

Hello, all.  For those of you that have FB, you've probably seen my somewhat cryptic posts and I'm here to tell you that this will be more of the same...sorta.  I am starting a new business venture that looks to be a great opportunity for just about ANYONE.  I just don't want to start recruiting others until I know how legit it is and how profitable it is, you know?  Also, I'm still learning the ins and outs of what my role will be as it is, so it would be sort of the blind leading the blind.  SO, be looking for updates on the exciting opportunity as I have more info to share.  Thanks for your support!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

8 Years

8 years ago today was when I met the love of my life.  We met over lunch after church one Sunday.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, our brothers (who were good friends) had been scheming introducing us to each other.  We hit it off right away, he called me the next night, and the they history!  I didn't get a post done about our anniversary, which was last Monday (the 26th).  We've been married just over 7 years now. beautiful.

SWEET Poison!


This is an email that I received that I've heard much about...that is TRUE and has been studied by many organizations.  I will be having Mark read it carefully, as he drinks crazy amounts of Diet Coke.  We've read similar things before and he's tried to stop, but after reading this, I feel that it is IMPERATIVE that he quit!  I had a conversation 2-3 days ago with a friend of mine *ahem* about her diet drinks.  Hopefully this will help you all to see that, #1, it has been proven that it is POISON and #2, it has been proven that diet drinks actually can make you GAIN WEIGHT!  The OPPOSITE of what you want!  I'm allergic to the stuff, so I don't have to worry about it myself, but I DO worry for the people that I love!  Perhaps I'm just sensitive to the POISONS and not actually allergic???  Please read!
FROM AN EMAIL:  In October 2001, my sister started getting very sick. She had stomach spasms and she was having a hard time getting around. Walking was a major chore...It took everything she had just to get out of bed; she was in so much pain.

By March 2002, she had undergone several tissue and muscle biopsies and was on 24 various prescription medications. The doctors could not determine what was wrong with her. She was in so much pain, and so sick she just knew she was dying.

She put her house, bank accounts, life insurance, her oldest daughter's name, and made sure that her younger children were to be taken care of.

She also wanted a last hoorah, so she planned a trip to Florida (basically in a wheelchair) for March 22nd.

On March 19, I called her to ask how her most recent tests went, and she said they didn't find anything on the test, but they believe she had MS.

I recalled an article a friend of mine e-mailed to me and I asked my sister if she drank diet soda? She told me that she did. As a matter of fact, she was getting ready to crack one open at that moment.

I told her not to open it, and to stop drinking the diet soda! I e-mailed her the article my friend, a lawyer, had sent. My sister called me within 32 hours after our phone conversation and told me she had stopped drinking the diet soda AND she could now walk!  The muscle spasms went away. She said she didn't feel 100% but, she sure felt a lot better. She told me she was going to her doctor with this article and would call me when she got home.

Well, she called me, and said her doctor was amazed! He is going to call all of his MS patients to find out if they consumed artificial sweeteners of any kind. In a nutshell, she was being poisoned by the Aspartame in the diet soda...and literally dying a slow and miserable death.

When she got to Florida March 22, all she had to take was one pill, and that was a pill for the Aspartame poisoning! She is well on her way to a complete recovery. And she is walking! No wheelchair! The article saved her life.

If it says 'SUGAR FREE' on the label; DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! I have spent several days lecturing at the WORLD ENVIRONMENTAL CONFERENCE on 'ASPARTAME,' marketed as 'Nutra Sweet,' 'Equal,' and 'Spoonful.'

In the keynote address by the EPA, it was announced that in the United States, in 2001, there was an epidemic of multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus. It was difficult to determine exactly what toxin was causing this to be rampant.

I stood up and said that I was there to lecture on exactly that subject. I will explain why Aspartame is so dangerous:

When the temperature of this sweetener exceeds 86 degrees F, the wood alcohol in ASPARTAME converts to formaldehyde and then to formic acid, which in turn causes metabolic acidosis... Formic acid is the poison found in the sting of fire ants. The methanol toxicity mimics, among other conditions, multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus.

Many people were being diagnosed in error. Although multiple sclerosis is not a death sentence, Methanol toxicity is!

Systemic lupus has become almost as rampant as multiple sclerosis, especially with Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi drinkers.

The victim usually does not know that the Aspartame is the culprit. He or she continues its use - irritating the lupus to such a degree that it may become a life-threatening condition. We have seen patients with systemic lupus become asymptotic, once taken off diet sodas.

In cases of those diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, most of the symptoms disappear. We've seen many cases where vision loss returned and hearing loss improved markedly.  This also applies to cases of tinnitus and fibromyalgia.

During a lecture, I said, 'If you are using ASPARTAME (Nutra Sweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc.) and you suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms, spasms, shooting pains, numbness in your legs, cramps, vertigo, dizziness, headaches, tinnitis, joint pain, unexplainable depression, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, blurred vision, or memory loss you probably have ASPARTAME poisoning!'  People were jumping up during the lecture saying, 'I have some of these symptoms.  Is it reversible?' Yes! Yes! Yes! STOP drinking diet sodas and be on the alert for Aspartame on food labels!

Many products are fortified with it! This is a serious problem. Dr. Espart (one of my speakers) remarked that so many people seem to be symptomatic for MS and during his recent visit to a hospice, a nurse stated that six of her friends, who were heavy Diet Coke addicts, had all been diagnosed with MS. This is beyond coincidence!

Diet soda is NOT a diet product! It is a chemically altered, multiple SODIUM (salt) and ASPARTAME containing product that actually makes you crave carbohydrates.   It is far more likely to make you GAIN weight!  These products also contain formaldehyde, which stores in the fat cells, particularly in the hips and thighs.  Formaldehyde is an absolute toxin and is used primarily to preserve 'tissue specimens.' Many products we use every day contain this chemical but we SHOULD NOT store it in our body!

Dr. H. J. Roberts stated in his lectures that once free of the 'diet products' and with no significant increase in exercise, his patients lost an average of 19 pounds over a trial period.

Aspartame is especially dangerous for diabetics.

We found that some physicians, who believed that they had a patient with retinopathy, in fact, had symptoms caused by Aspartame. The Aspartame drives the blood sugar out of control.Thus diabetics may suffer acute memory loss due to the fact that aspartic acid and phenylalanine are NEUROTOXIC when taken without the other amino acids necessary for a good balance.

Treating diabetes is all about BALANCE. Especially with diabetics, the Aspartame passes the blood/brain barrier and it then deteriorates the neurons of the brain; causing various levels of brain damage, seizures, depression, manic depression, panic attacks, uncontrollable anger and rage.

Consumption of Aspartame causes these same symptoms in non-diabetics as well. Documentation and observation also reveal that thousands of children diagnosed with ADD and ADHD have had complete turnarounds in their behavior when these chemicals have been removed from their diet. So called 'behavior modification prescription drugs' (Ritalin and others) are no longer needed. Truth be told, they were never NEEDED in the first place! Most of these children were being 'poisoned' on a daily basis with the very foods that were 'better for them than sugar'.

It is also suspected that the Aspartame in thousands of pallets of diet Coke and diet Pepsi consumed by men and women fighting in the Gulf War, may be partially to blame for the well known Gulf War Syndrome.  Dr. Roberts warns that it can cause birth defects, i.e., mental retardation, if taken at the time of conception and during early pregnancy. Children are especially at risk for neurological disorders and should NEVER be given artificial sweeteners.

There are many different case histories to relate of children suffering grand mal seizures and other neurological disturbances talking about a plague of neurological diseases directly caused by the use of this deadly poison.'

Herein lies the problem:
There were Congressional Hearings, in the USA, when Aspartame was included in 100 different products and strong objection was made concerning its use. Since this initial hearing, there have been two subsequent hearings, and still nothing has been done. The drug and chemical lobbies have very deep pockets.

Sadly, MONSANTO'S patent on Aspartame has EXPIRED! There are now over 5,000 products on the market that contain this deadly chemical and there will be thousands more introduced. Everybody wants a 'piece of the Aspartame pie.' I assure you that MONSANTO, the creator of Aspartame, knows how deadly it is. Isn't it ironic that MONSANTO funds, among others, the American Diabetes Association, the American Dietetic Association and the Conference of the American College of Physicians?

This has been exposed in the New York Times. These organizations cannot criticize any additives or convey their link to MONSANTO because they take money from the food industry and are required to endorse their products.

American Senator Howard Metzenbaum wrote and presented a bill that would require label warnings on products containing Aspartame, especially regarding pregnant women, children and infants.

The bill would also institute independent studies on the known dangers and the problems existing in the general population regarding seizures, changes in brain chemistry, neurological changes and behavioral symptoms.

The bill was killed.

It is known that the powerful drug and chemical lobbies are responsible for this, letting loose the hounds of disease and death on an unsuspecting and uninformed public. Well, you're informed now!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

an update of the mundane

Nothing new or interesting here.  We're just doing our by day.  We've done over 2 months of Mark working in KC now.  We're making it, but it's been rough some days and not-so-bad some other days.  The kids are good, though Conrey has had a nasty cold.  We've got a sassy 3-year-old and a stubborn 17-month-old.  Those of you who have older kids probably experienced the fact that the "terrible 2's" actually start between 15 and 18 months.  That is certainly the case here.  The cold has just tripled that.  Also, you probably know that the terrible 2's turn into the "Trying 3's."  We're definitely in both of those stages.

We have continually been amazed, in awe, and inadequately thankful for the many ways that God has blessed us.  We have learned a huge lesson lately.  We have learned that God will bless us in whatever ways He chooses.  We have learned to not limit His vehicles.  We have learned that blessings come in all shapes, sizes, and packagings.  God will provide always and He has and will continue to do so.

One thing that I will share.  We had a tough decision to make.  That stinkin' mortgage needed to get paid and the money was not in our account.  However, we DID have money sitting in a nice little IRA that Mark started when he was 20.  Pretty impressive for a 20-year-old to start an IRA and to have built up as much as he did in that time.  He was proud of himself, as well, for storing away for his (now our) future.  Well, we have had to withdraw from that account 2 separate times now.  It was a tough decision because you know that you're stealing from your future in order to take care of the present.  However, we spun our view of the whole situation and are much more content with how we now understand it.  First of all, the Bible says don't store your stuff up in barns to keep for the years to come because God takes care of the little birds each and every day and doesn't let them go hungry.  Therefore, how much more will He be mindful of ME to take care of ME!  Secondly, we have looked at the fact that the money is there differently.  Mark started his IRA way earlier than most people.  As a result, 10 years later when we were hurting for finances, that money was there waiting for us...right when we needed it!  What a blessing that we had that money available rather than turning to debt to get us through.  Hallelujah for God's wisdom and provisions!  Ten years ago, Mark would have never dreamed of touching that money until retirement, but God set it aside for us for such a time as this.  We still have a sizeable amount in the account and we pray that we don't have to drain it before Mark gets another job, but we know that God will show us His will and will provide for us both in the present and in the future.

We've filled out a bazillion applications and we're just waiting to fill out the right one that God has planned for us.  We've been so blessed by the friends and family that have taken care of us emotionally and physically as we've been in this holding pattern.  I recently told someone (I'm not sure if I blogged this or not), that I know full well that God has a great plan for us and we just need to wait patiently...I just wish that I had the Cliff's Notes to that plan.  :)

Oh, before I forget.  I have a funny Conrey story for you.  My sister's, sweet, sweet mother-in-law quickly became "Grandma Pat" to my kids.  They go to church with us and Cassie really enjoys giving her hugs.  She watched the kids for me Thursday night while I had a fellowship night with my Bible study girls because Mom was out of town and Dad was busy.  Our smoke detector had been chirping off and on throughout the week and started again while Pat was here.  It was still going strong at bedtime and I was frustrated.  I would have changed it, but it was way up high.  Anyway, I said, "Well, should we go see Grandpa?"  Cassie said, "YES!"  Conrey nodded and then ran off while I called my dad.  He came running back with his little hand up above his head holding my car keys!  I started cracking up!  I couldn't believe it!  I guess that was a "YES!!!"

Halloween was kind of anti-climatic.  Conrey was sick, so Mark stayed home with him Fri night and missed our Fall Festival at church.  Cassie had a blast (even though we (she and mommy) hit her forehead really hard with some ghosts).  Saturday, Conrey was still sick, so our day was pretty boring and then we dressed up our little kitty and our Blue's Clues and went to my parents.  We left Con there and took the kitty trick-or-treating for an hour or so.  I said, "You're not a kitty cat, you're a cutie cat!"  She sighed and said, "I know......"  She called herself Maggie all night, which is my dad's cat.  She loved T-or-T-ing and is already excited for next year.  Little does she know how long a year is to a 3-year-old...  :)

Well, I guess that's about it.  See?  Our life isn't entirely mundane!  Shame on me for thinking so!  :)  I will get some picture up when I'm able.  For now, I want to leave you with some old pictures.  Mark and I were looking through our computer archives on our computer and found some precious ones!  How blessed we are to have our beautiful children and all 4 of us being healthy!

This is my favorite picture of Cassie when she was little bitty!  Such a sweet face!

This is Cassie with a really cheesy grin when she first started crawling.  LOVE the little bracelet from her Grandma!

These 2 black and white pics are from Conrey's newborn picture shoot.  So sweet!

This was when Conrey was a CHUNK!  I love that it looks like he has a little haircut!

This picture was just too precious to me!  Look at those teeth!

PRECIOUS Sibling Love

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rainbow after the Rain

Well, today is another day and I'm much more at peace, contented, and secure in my God and His plan.  Really, I was last night.  Mark left to try to make up for lost time.  I pulled myself back together, got the kids together, and went to my parents house to spend the evening with them.  By the time I got there, I was much better and much stronger. 

Mark's biggest worry?  Me.  Every other wall we've hit, I've been the strong one.  This time?  Well, I really pretty much lost it.  I was upset.  I was angry.  I was in despair.  Luckily, in total, this probably lasted 2 hours...2.5 at the most.  Short lived because I had earlier prayed for the very things that I was clinging to at that point.  The peace that passes all understanding, an assurance of God's timing being perfect, the strength to continue to support my husband, my children, myself through this difficult time.  A mere hour and a half before this news, I was speaking aloud to God requisitioning these things.  Little did I know, I would turn my head from those sweet assurances as I grieved and then cling to them with everything to pull myself together for my husband and my children.  God is good to hold his treasures out to us for as long as it takes for us to grab hold.  Thank you, Lord, that I was able to let go of myself and my emotions after such a short time.  Grief and misery can last a long, long time, but I had prepared myself and shielded myself from the worst of it by my prayers earlier in the day.  Does that make sense?

Anyway, we're still working towards finding a job.  We're still trying to figure out where God wants us and why we've been kept waiting for so long.  However, we don't need to know right now.  God knows and that is enough.  Again I say, Jehovahjira...God will provide.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sick at Heart

I don't have the words to say right now.  I now understand that phrase: Sick at Heart.  My heart hurts, it feels sick, it feels sorta empty.  I have not lost heart, however.  I know that God is in control.  This was one of those situations that just makes you feel sick, though.  Mark finally, at about 3:45, called the company because he hadn't heard.  Yeah...not a good feeling.  She said, "Oh, Mark...I had been meaning to call you..."  Not a good way to start the conversation.  She said, "You were our strongest applicant and we were really impressed with you."  Uh...confused and a glimmer of false hope now... "BUT, at the very end of the day yesterday, a guy called that is trained in our specific program and we just really couldn't pass that up.  We don't have to pay for his training and all that.  I'm sure you understand."  Uh, no.  Sorry, I don't.  She went on to say that they really were very impressed with Mark and would really like to talk to him in about 6 months when they are planning on getting another truck and another guy.  Then, the current guy could train Mark in the program and they wouldn't have to pay to train him.  She said she was really sorry because they were prepared to hire him.  Thank you, lady...that is helpful.

Sorry.  That was unkind, but we are just sooo frustrated right now!  I don't understand why this cycle keeps repeating.  I don't understand what we are missing.  I don't understand what we're waiting for.  I know that that is all for God to know and me to trust.  I'm trying desperately.  I really do trust completely.  BUT, I do have emotions that sometimes get the best of this afternoon...

God is good, He works everything for the good for those of us that love Him.  He knows all, sees all, is all.  That is the only way that I am surviving.  The only way.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Job #....well, I've lost count

I've got to start by detailing the past 2 weeks.

Two weeks ago, Mark had an interview scheduled for Wed afternoon.  We planned for him to come home Wed morning (he ended up coming home Tues night, which was FINE by me).

Last week, he was called on Tuesday for an interview.  He came home and interviewed...again...on Wed.  Same day, different company.  That was the one that we really, really wanted.  He didn't get it.

Third week (today): He went back up to KC last night.  This morning...first thing...he gets a call from a company here in Wichita wanting to interview him today or tomorrow.  They are very interested in him based on his resume' and would like to potentially start him on training in St. Louis as early as a week from TODAY Monday!  WHOA!

So, we need prayers for clarity...prayers for this to be an obvious decision...prayers for it to be sufficient money...prayers for confidence for Mark as he goes to the interview.  PRAYERS, my faithful readers.  You all have been such faithful prayer warriors for me throughout this rough season of life.  Mark and I weathered quite a marital storm through it all, as well, and we're glad to be through that storm and happier in our marriage than we've ever been before.  I know that that is because of the prayers of many of you.  He has not lost heart during this emotionally draining/depleting time and I know that THAT is because of your faithful prayers.  Thank you all for helping to carry us through this time.  God has truly provided for us day by day and hour by hour and minute by minute. 

If this is not the job for Mark, I want it to be painfully obvious.  I have a different feeling in my gut/heart about this one, just seems...well, right.  Perhaps this time of separation with him in KC has been preparing me for him to be gone for training.  Next Monday is our anniversary, so that might be sad if he's gone, but if it is an end to our job search, it would be well worth it to sacrifice.  After all, marriage is not about anniversaries, but a day-to-day committment to each other, and we've got that down PAT! 

Anyway, if you would lift us up, I would appreciate it.  I would love it if this is the last time I have to request prayers for my husband's job search, but I am thankful that you all will take us before the Father each and every time we ask regardless.  We love you all, friends!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The BEST of Friends

Here is Cassie and her best friend, Sophie. 
This was spontaneous while at the zoo!
What sweet friends!

*Thanks to our friend, Donna, for the pic!
**Oh, and excuse the mix-matched outfit.  Cassie dressed herself that day...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I love to sing.  I have since I was tiny.  I was hugely active in choir both at school and with the small group at our church that sings at weddings, funerals, etc. 

Cassie loves to sing.  She has known her abc's since she was 18 months because of the song.  She has been able to spell her name since she was right about 2, because I put it in a song.  She is motivated by singing.

Since Sunday, Conrey has become a singer.  He has been singing non-stop.  We were in the car on our way to church and I heard him making sounds.  I thought, "That sounds like the Barney 'I Love You' song."  About 2 minutes later, Cassie said, "MOMMY!  Conrey is singing 'I LOVE YOU!!!!!!"  I said, "That's what I thought!"  I was so amazed that we both recognized that!  Since then, he has been singing like crazy.  He sings this song a ton, Jesus Loves Me, Old McDonald, and a few others.  You can't understand the words and it often sounds like moaning/mumbling, but you can hear the tune very clearly.  The funny thing is, that if I start singing, he stops.  He will NOT sing with me.  Sometimes, he will sing with Cassie, but nobody else.

Mark doesn't love to sing, but he loves music.  There is nothing better to him than to sit and listen to music.  Boring to me, as I like to be involved or be at a live performance.  However, that is how he enjoys music.

So, my dream has thus far come true...that my children will love to sing as much as I do.  I hope that they love music in an all-around, general sense.  I hope that they will love to make music, as well as love to just sit and take it in.  Music is such a powerful learning tool that I hope to take full advantage of as they get older.  Now, if we ever have a number 3, I hope and pray that the love keeps spreading around! 

Music, afterall, makes the world go round...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

One of "those" days

Ever have one of those days where you start out tired and you just get more tired as the day progresses? Today was, well, one of "those" days. Why is it that when you're tired, your kids (and the kids you babysit) have like 10 doses of extra energy?!? Why is it that the time between your last nerve and nap time grows exponentially? Why is it that, right when you're about to lose it, your sweet baby runs up to you and gives you a great big hug and kiss? Why is it that, when you're ready to just scream, you step out into the fresh, beautiful air and take a deep breath, totally cleansing your soul? Why is it that, when you're not sure you can make it another day on your own, you suddenly realize that you don't have to do it on your own?

There is always frustration, heartache, inadequacy, and misfortune, but what I'm learning day by day, is that when you give your attitude and your spirit over to the One who created both, there is joy, thanksgiving, and praise continually in my mouth. Even on one of "those" days.

Dear Lord, attune my lips to your praises. Guard my tongue from any words that do not glorify you. Help me to be edifying in my speech and actions. Thank you for my perfect children whom were created in your image, even in their imperfection. Let joy always fill my heart. Let me think on the good, pure, noble, lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy so that my days might be filled with joy...even when life gets stormy. Let my mouth speak of the fruits of the spirit when dealing with my children and help my actions to model them so that my children may learn to e patient, gentle, self-controlled, loving, peaceful, joyful, kind, good, and faithful. You are over all. You see all. You are in all. Praise be to your holy name.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Just a random update

Well, we're at week 2.5 on the weekend husband/daddy schedule. We're doing pretty well. It is not ideal, but it IS a job. Actually, Mark has an interview with AT&T this Wed for a Field Tech position. We'll see how that goes.

The kids are doing well. We are having a somewhat tragic (for Mommy) transition. Cassie is phasing out of napping. She just doesn't need it. If she does nap in the afternoon, I have a lot of trouble getting her to bed at night. I haven't decided yet which is the pro and which is the nap and early bed (with no down-time for Mommy) or nap with late, late bed (with Mommy's freedom time). We're instating PPT for her to have her personal play time and me to have some personal quiet time! :)

Conrey cracks me up more and more every day. I think that I mentioned his animal sounds. The other day, I said, "Conrey, what does an elephant say?" That is his favorite, so he promptly blew his little trunk noise. Then, he looked over at me with a very bored expression on his face and said, "Baa. Boo." Boo his his "Moo." It was like he was saying, "Yeah, yeah...I know what you want. Here you go..." Too funny. He and I have full conversations these days. They aren't always in words...we do some sign language, he follows direct commands, and he is really innovative at communicating in other ways. This morning, my sister was gathering her stuff to leave (she spent the night last night). She said, "Did I get everything? I think so." I notice him get down off of the couch and race back to my room, but I didn't think anything of it. He came running back carrying her phone and ran up to her and held it up for her to get. He heard her ask, remembered that he had seen it back there, and quickly retrieved it so that she wouldn't leave without it. I'm sorry, but what a SMART BOY!

My kids amaze me continually.

Oh, another thing...Cassie went to the eye doctor for the first time this morning. I guess our genes gave no option, but near-sightedness. She is already near-sighted at 20/40. The dr said that within 1-2 years, she will need glasses. It makes me sad that, as humans, we have no control over our children's bodies. I wish that she didn't have this condition. I know that it isn't tragic, but it will be an annoyance to her for the rest of her life. I know that I am annoyed by my lack of vision when I wake up in the night and when it's raining and the likes. I do, however, think that she will be adorable in little glasses. We'll just wait and see what happens in the future. I know that God made her perfect and in His image, and that is all I can ask for.

Well, my mister is awake and crying in his crib, so I guess I'd best go get him and get to frosting cupcakes with Cassie. Later, gators!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Story About A Slister

Ok, so I have to tell a story on my slister. It is really too, too funny not to share. Hope she forgives me for posting it. :) And yes, that says Slister...inside joke. :)

My sis got married in June. She has been experimenting with cooking and really becoming great at it. She had very little experience beforehand, much to my mother's great angst, because she was so very busy in high school. She has really impressed us all with the things that she's tried and succeeded at making as a very green cook (which, when used here does not mean eco-friendly, but rather, novice).

So, at my birthday party, she was telling us a story about some chicken she made. David was helping her. It was a honey-orange chicken w/ white wine and golden raisins. I thought that it sounded gross, so I wasn't surprised for them to talk about how the sauce was kind of gross, but they thought that it would be alright once it was on the chicken. They started eating and both kind of choked it down, not wanting to waste money. They said that the chicken itself was awesome and really, really moist. Having had enough of the foul-tasting sauce, David decided that he couldn't stomach any more. When Dani was all done, he made her rinse her mouth out and said, "Now, I'm going to tell you what this tastes like...vomit." She said that she took a tiny little taste and realized that he was absolutely right...that was why it tasted so tasted like vomit.

Here was my question: WHY DID YOU EAT IT?!?!?!? Ew. I would not force myself to eat something that tasted like vomit. Anyway, we all had a good laugh, but the punchline was yet to come.

Fastforward from that night to a week or so later. Dani came over when David was working to hang out with Mark and I...scratch She went to get a drink from the refrigerator.

Dani: "Why is this in the fridge?" I looked up and she was holding a box of chicken broth that was about half gone.
Me: "Because it's been opened."
Dani: "Oh no...I've just kept mine in the needs to be refrigerated?"
Me: "YES!!!!!!! It will go rotten!"
Dani: "OH MY!" 5 minutes later: "There was chicken broth in the vomit chicken sauce!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Me: "Are you serious? How long had it been in your pantry?!?"
Dani: "Only 3 or 4 weeks..."
Me: "THREE OR FOUR WEEKS?!?!? DANI! It is only good in the fridge for about 14 days! In the pantry for 3 or 4 WEEKS?!? You could have DIED! How did you not get SICK?!?" Followed by other exclamations on both of our parts.

By this point, I was almost on the floor laughing. I was dying because they ate rotten chicken broth and neither of them thought to themselves, "If this tastes like vomit, perhaps I shouldn't eat it..."

She brought over cheesecake brownies that night, as well. After a loooong conversation about what to refrigerate vs. what can go in the pantry, I asked if she had been keeping the cheesecake in the fridge. Nope. She hadn't. I said, "If you're unsure...REFRIGERATE...ANYTHING!"

Alright. I got that out of my system. It is probably a much better story in person, but I just had to get it out. Too, too funny! Thank you, Lord, for not letting them get awful sick.

Thank you, Dani, for many great stories to share! :)

A Fall Recipe (or 2)

It's that time of year...fall. The leaves are changing, the weather is changing, the menus are changing, the wardrobes are changing. Something refreshing about the crisp coolness of the air and the beautiful color in nature at this time of year. My family has always been very food-oriented. So, fall brings several things to mind to me: Chili, Halloween Cookies, Pumpkins, Squash, Spiced Apple Cake, Yellow Cake with nutmeg sauce, many different soups, etc., etc., etc. If it is fall-related, we ate it. My mom would make fall-themed dinners. One that I remember was stew that was cooked in individual pumpkins and served that way. I am going to focus on 2 fall desserts today; one that I've never tried, but am going to. The other is one that is one of my favorites for fall!

The newbie is a really quick and easy version of apple dumplings. Everyone knows what an apple dumpling apple inside of pastry with cinnamony goodness. This is a time-effective, cost-effective method. Here it is:
~1 stick margarine/butter
~3/4 cup sugar
~1 teaspoon cinnamon
~2 Granny Smith apples (I bought Fuji, because they're my fav kind of apple)
~1 can of 8 Crescent rolls
~1 can of Mountain Dew or Diet Mountain Dew (Does anyone else think that the diet option is a bit silly considering that it has a stick of butter and 3/4 c sugar?!?)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt margarine, sugar, and cinnamon. Peel and core apples and cut into quarters. Wrap each apple quarter in one Crescent roll. Put into a lightly greased 8" or 9" baking dish/pan. Pour sugar mixture over rolls. Then pour Mountain Dew over the crescent rolls. Bake in preheated oven until brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

I have no idea how long they will take to bake, as it was not specified. I thought it sounded intriguing and yummy.

The second is Pumpkin Dump Cake. Sounds great, right? It is a lot tastier than the name projects. :) Basically, you dump a bunch of stuff in a baking dish, all mixed up, dump some stuff on top, and bake. I'm not a pumpkin pie person and was extremely skeptical of this, but I have to have it every fall and find myself craving it at other times of the year, as well.
Preheat oven to 350. Mix together the following:
~1 small can pumpkin (pie filling)
~1 small can evaporated milk
~3 eggs
~1-1/2 c sugar (Just in case anyone is like my sister, that doesn't mean you can pick. She thought that you could use 1 or 1/2...she's so silly! It means "one and one half cup")
~1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon (same--"one and one half teaspoon")
Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Pour pumpkin mixture into the dish.
~1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
~2 Sticks of butter, melted
~3/4 c. chopped pecans (or walnuts)
Sprinkle the cake mix evenly over the pumpkin mixture. Drizzle the melted butter over that. Sprinkle pecans over that.

Bake for 1 hour at 350.

I am planning to make this tomorrow to take to my Bible study. Start salivating now, ladies. :) All I can say is "Yum." :)

If you are interested in any of the other aforementioned recipes, comment me and I'll post them.

Hope you all have a great 2nd day of fall and I'll catch ya later.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The JOYS of being a parent

You know those moments when your heart about bursts with love for your little ones because you see them do something extraordinary?

Last night at my parents' house, my little Conrey (15 months old), put his little fork down and folded his hands when my dad said it was time to pray. I wasn't going to make him because it was a late dinner and I had let him start eating about 10 minutes earlier. He did it all on his own and stayed that way through the entire prayer grinning at himself. Precious. That is the word that comes to mind. His precious little heart knew what was the right thing to do and did it.

There are days that I want to rip my hair out by the handful, but then I remember something like this and it brings a sweet balm to my spirit.

I love these babies!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Insert witty title here

Let me introduce name is Devon...I think we were friends once upon a time...

Yes, it really is me. No, I didn't get hit by a mack truck, drown in the shower, or lose my mind (although that last one really is a miracle, I'll say). Life here has been...well...crazy. Really, really crazy. I don't even know where to begin. Mark worked for the company with which he got a job for around a month and then, due to reasons that I don't wish to go into online for the world to read, he quit. It was a very difficult situation as a man and as a Christian, and he decided that it was not the place where he needed to be. The quitting means no unemployment and a bad situation, but it is what it is and we're surviving. He is working in KC some with his brother and for his very first electrical company and that has been difficult. The kids and I are managing, but we don't love it.

The kids are doing really well. Conrey now has 16 teeth. That is the full set minus the 2-year molars. However, seeing as how my kids are early teethers, I expect those to make their debut in the next few months. He has moved up to the big boy class at church and loves it. He knows many animal sounds and noises. Here is his list of sounds:
Lion (Which is a very soft roar...not very intimidating)
Cow (which he says as "BOOOOOO")
I think that that is all. He LOVES animals and wants to read animal books, pet any that he sees, and loves the zoo. He is very much like his daddy in that regard.
He says the usual baby things like Hi, Bye Bye, Momma, Dada, etc., as well as:
Paci (Pa Pa, which sounds like the 1st syllable of paci)
Please (speaking and sign language)
Thank You (mostly in sign language)
Grandpa, Grandma, Grannie (Ni Ni), Granddad
Cassie (those it sounds nothing like Cassie and I can't remember how it sounds)
Hammer (Mam mer)
That's all I can think of. His speech has really taken off lately. He repeats ANYTHING that I ask him to say. It is all very much in his throat and often his mouth doesn't even open, but the intonnation is the same. I feel that it is due to his paci, so for quite awhile now, he only gets it when he sleeps (or when we're in public and he's fussy). This seems to be working and his speech has improved as a result. He is wearing 18-month clothes, but the pants are sooooo long on his little legs (he's built like his daddy...long torso, short legs). We roll the pants and that seems to work. It has been good just wearing shorts this summer. :)

Cassie is a riot...24/7. A riot. She comes up with the most hilarious things. However, we are having to learn about what are appropriate versus inappropriate things to say. She is starting to make observations about people and some of them are not kind. She is a very sweet, loving thing, though, so she isn't being rude, she is just stating what she sees. She doesn't know that it is not ok to call someone fat or weird or that they look funny. So, we're working on that.

She is also learning how to play us...mostly Daddy. :) The other night, she said she had a question for daddy. He said OK. She said...and I QUOTE, "Well, it goes ruff ruff...................and..................I THINK you need to buy me one!" We were rolling.

She is such the opposite of her brother. She is long and lean. I have her in 3T pants for length, but they are huge on her waist/legs. Today, she worse 24 Month pants and they fit her waist really well. :) She has started picking her own clothes. Mommy has to "help" quite a bit with matching and such. What is driving me BONKERS is that she changes clothes all throughout the day and then puts stuff that is not dirty into the dirty clothes. She'll get something down, change her mind, and into the laundry it goes! UGH! I seriously need to put a lock on her closet doors! She has definitely started showing her own sense of style, though. She loves to be all dolled up and loves wearing dresses/skirts. She does not, however, like to have her hair done. She just wants to wear it down and it drives me nuts being in her face.

Oh, did you all notice the new pics to the right? Those were their 3-year and 1-year pictures.

I am now keeping some adorable kiddos 2-3 days a week. Right now, it is just half days, but their momma is looking for a job that is 2-3 full days/week. When they're here, I currently have a 3, a 2, a 1, and a 6.5 month old. WHEW! They keep me busy, but I truly do enjoy it. I'm not just saying that either, Kel! :) Cassie and the 2-year-old, are the best of friends. I hope that Conrey and the baby will be too. The 2 oldest are girls and the 2 youngest are boys, so it works out so well!

Which reminds me of another Cassie story...Donna, this one's for you! :) I'm not sure if their momma would want their names on here or not, so I'm just going to call her "S."
When the kids were here yesterday, the 2-year-old, was signing and singing and singing. Let me tell you, the GIRL can carry a TUNE! As with many 2-year-olds, sometimes you can't tell what they're saying, but with her, it didn't matter. I knew exactly what songs she was singing...over and over and over and over..... :) She was singing the "I LOVE YOU" song from Barney and then the Farmer and the Dell followed by The Wheels on the Bus. She sang Barney for probably 20 minutes without pause and total, she was probably singing for close to 40 minutes. Finally, Cassie went up with a little bell (from Dani's wedding) and rang it in her face. She said, "Ok, S...that's about enough singing! That's enough singing, S!" I couldn't help but crack up!!! What did the little sweetheart do? She switched back to the Barney song and kept on goin!!! Cassie looked at me like, "REALLY?" and then went on her way. It was too, too funny.

Oh, another milestone around here is that we got new neighbors next door that we really enjoy for several reasons. First of all, the dad is a policeman. His cruiser is there most of the time and that makes me feel much more safe and secure. Secondly, they have 2 girls, a 7-y-o and a 3-y-o who is 1 month older than Cassie. They have become fast friends and the 7yo is so great to play with Cassie too. They've had a lot of fun. On my birthday, they baked me a cake and tried to bring it over, but couldn't get ahold of us for a few days, so they finally just ate it. I felt so bad and was super bummed, but thought that it was so kind. I am hoping that we can be neighbors for a long time to come.

I am trying really hard to keep up on things around here as far as keeping our house presentable (or semi-presentable) at all times. I don't worry about a few toys here and there, because I want my kids to be able to play and such, but I am talking dishes, laundry, beds made, floors swept, etc. It is funny, because I seem to be more productive on daycare days. It seems like I get more done on the days that I have 4 kids rather than 2! :) I definitely want this to be a place that Mark comes home to to just kick back and relax after the travelling back and forth. I don't want the stress of a messy house to add to it all.

Oh, another thought...Mark and I have had a bit of a rocky year, but we are more happy and in love right now than we've ever been. We are both focused on taking care of each other and loving each other well. We feel so strong because of all that we've gone through and really just have gained so much through the difficult stuff that we've been through. I give God the glory for that and for pulling us through these rough times by drawing us nearer to Him, nearer to each other, and nearer to our children. I have watched Mark become such an amazing father to both of our kids and see him doing more each time he is with them. He really amazes me when I see him love them in just the right way that speaks to their little hearts and it makes my heart burst to see it. We only ask God to continue to protect what we have worked and prayed so hard for that He helps us work to make it even better. Satan has had it out for our families lately, and we have been the target more than once. We thank God for His providence, for His love, for His protection.

Well, I guess that this loooong post pretty much has summed up our lives at this point. Meshellyn...does this suffice? :) Sorry that it was so long, but be glad that I've thought up all of these things from the past 2 months! :) Life is in chaos right now in many ways, but life is so, so good right now. I love my God. I love my husband. I love my kids. I love my family. I love my friends. Heck, I even love myself. :) They all love me back, too. What else is there to life? Money, jobs, houses, cars...all meaningless without love.

Monday, July 20, 2009

An update long overdue

Sorry, folks. After the frenzy of posts about the job stuff both on here and facebook, I sorta left you all hanging. :)

Mark worked all last week at his new job and started week #2 today. There are pluses and minuses to the gig, as always.

PLUSSES: Two s's or one? I couldn't decide. I think 1. Anyway, he HAS a job. That definitely counts. He is working a commercial job, so he gets that much-needed experience. He gets off at 2:30 p.m.

MINUSES: As you may have guessed from the above, he starts really early...6 a.m. Not too bad, except for when you consider the fact that he works about 40 minutes away from our house. SO, that has been the biggest minus...the distance. He is also working back on a crew in the blue collar world AKA foul-mouth, smokers, and drinkers world. One guy was all excited that the day was almost over so that he could go kick it with his "hot chick" and smoke weed. Niiiiice. Mark has to be around people using very vulgar and cussy language all the time and it gets old, you know? He is working in very hot conditions as well, so that is tough when he's not used to being on his feet all day on the concrete and didn't acclimate to the heat as usual this year.

BUT, did I mention how great our God has been to give him a job?!? We are truly thankful and we graciously take the bad with the good because of our thankfulness. He gets to spend a lot of great time with me and the kids and we are working on becoming a stronger family and a stronger couple as a result.

So, that's my update. Thank you again to all of you for your prayers on our behalf. You truly have been our strength in so many ways.

On a different note, I have a very exciting week ahead of me. Tomorrow, I have a playdate with a friend before I watch her child while she goes for an appointment. Then, I have my Beth Moore Bible Study tomorrow night (Esther study---sooooo good). Wed, I'm going to the Tanganyika Wildlife park with a friend and her kids ( Then, church, of course. Thursday, we have our playgroup/birthday party. Friday, piano lessons and winding down from all of the fun?

Then, Saturday, is 2 events that I am super excited about. I have been looking forward to one of the events for like a year and a half. The other, for a very long time, as well. I'll start with the simpler of the 2 to explain...the one mentioned second above. We are going on a double date with our friends to dinner and then to see Harry Potter. It has been killing me, but this was the first opportunity for both couples to see it. I am so, so excited. If you haven't heard the story, our very first date EVER was to opening night of the very first HP. Mark had NO CLUE what it was all about, but went along with it because of me. He enjoyed it and we've typically gone on opening night, but this such luck.

The other event, however, is much more monumental and I am thrilled and honored to be able to participate. In KC, I had a very close friend, Holly. A lot of people didn't really realize how close we were, because we didn't hang out as couples really and it was a very intimate friendship in the fact that we were each others' prayer warriors and would email/IM throughout the day to check on each other, etc. We were sort of accountability partners in some ways. Anyway, we were really close and she has been a huge support to me throughout many tough times.

You may remember me asking for prayers about a year ago this time for Holly and here is why:

Rewind to a little over a year and a half ago. She told me that she was pregnant after a loooong awaited pregnancy whilest her husband completed dentist and then ortho school. I was so thrilled to share in the news and was further excited when she found out it was a girl. They planned to move to TX for an ortho practice and I was saddened by that, but knew that I would still see them, email, etc. forward from there to about a year ago right now. They were preparing to move all of their stuff to TX and then come back for a farewell party, etc. The day that they got there, long story short, Holly had to have an emergency C-Section at, I believe 27-1/2 that right, Holly? Anyway, WAY too early. Miss Addison was 2 lbs 11 oz and the teeniest thing I've ever seen...through pictures.

The point of this all is that Addison will turn 1 on Saturday. I have not seen my dear friend in over a year and have obviously not met this little miracle that we prayed our very hearts out for. I am so excited for both: To see Holly after so long and to meet Miss Addison for the very first time. Every time I read Holly's blog, I tear up thinking about their long journey and the fact that I could not carry part of her burden for her. They made it through 80 days of watching their baby struggle and fight before bringing her home on house arrest to make it through cold and flu season. What a joyous 1st birthday this will be!

So, that is what I have going on right now. Busy, busy, busy!

What do YOU have going on this week?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Job Update

HE GOT THE JOB! PRAISE GOD! Thank you all so, so much for the prayers!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Ok, people, I need prayers. Strike that...WE need prayers.

Long story short:
Mark got a job. It is working nights, 9p-7a. YUCK! 50-60 hours per week with less pay than he's made in like 5 years. BUT, it is a job and we've taken it. He was SUPPOSED to start tonight. Yes, you read that correctly, but I'll come back to that.

He reluctantly took the job due to the schedule, the pay, the fact that it is temp (3-6 months), and therefore the fact that it does not provide benefits. We've been gearing up for it and he was set to start at 9 pm tonight. It is literally about the furthest you could get from our house in Wichita.

Today at about 5 pm, the owner of one of the biggest commercial electrical companies called him and set up an interview for tomorrow. He sounded very positive and like this might be a real opportunity.

SO, Mark was NOT wanting to go to the job tonight, but of course, being the man of integrity that he is, he was planning to suck it up and go. He just really hopes that the interview tomorrow will be great.

I go to church with the kids and get a call afterwards from Mark. He is not starting until tomorrow due to the fact that he could not find his passport and they will not let him work until the company has a copy of 2 forms of ID off of their list, which is not the typical list and he had nothing else that would suffice.

SO, he is not starting that job until tomorrow night, but has that interview TOMORROW afternoon! PLEASE pray that God will either make this job an incredible option for us or that He will give us His peace and assurance that the night job is what Mark is meant to be doing. The other job is permanent, daytime, has benefits, and is not very far from our house...closer even than the job that he got laid off from.

Thank you in advance for your prayers and I hope to update tomorrow with up-to-date info. Thanks everyone!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

You're still here?

I don't know if anyone ever checks this anymore. HOWEVER, if you DO, here's a little update.

Conrey is walking, but only with help the majority of the time. If he doesn't realize he's doing it, he can. As his confidence increases, so does his ability. He has 11 teeth with #12 trying hard to bust through.

Cassie is doing well and is learning, learning, learning. She is becoming much more self-sufficient and is a great babysitter for little brother.

Mark is still job hunting. We are trusting in God to find us the right job at the right time in the right location. Prayers for that would be appreciated.

Me? Well, I'm just doing my thing. The kids and I go to the zoo most every morning to walk for exercise and to just get us out in the sunshine. We've been swimming a lot and just enjoying the summer.

For those of you in KC, we'll be there this weekend for the 4th. Give us a call if you're there and have some free time. Maybe we can get together. I MISS YOU ALL!

Monday, May 25, 2009

So Long For Now

Our internet is not working and I'm not sure for how long. We might just can it all together seeing as how we're unemployed and all of that. We need's just hard. We're really trying to get in the Dave Ramsey mindset of Live like noone else so that you can LIVE like noone else (in the future). I'll let you know when I'm back...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Play Group

We have been involved in a great playgroup once a week. This week it was at our house. Cassie received a digital camera for her birthday and this is HER perspective of the playgroup on Monday.

Lexi's Head
Rachel in the walker

Miss Andrea, Lincoln, and Mommy's leg

Part of the gang
The kiddos waiting for their Mac 'N Cheese
Addison playing in Cassie's Room
Miss Donna in blur
Random pic of Mommy's legs. I couldn't help but put this pic. It was such a self-esteem booster that I NEED right now! :)
Cassie's feet with Conrey's chubby body.
Clark in mid-fall. Great action shot!

The playgroup has been a huge blessing allowing the kids to play with other kids and Mommy to talk with other mommies. Thanks, girls!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mini Update

Conrey is crawling. Cassie is turning 3 Sunday. Mark has been doing lots of side work. Company is coming this weekend for Cassie's birthday. I think that's about all I know. Sorry this was lame. :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

For those of you who haven't already "heard" via facebook, Mark got laid off this morning. I suddenly feel a new sense of community with the thousands of other people being laid off right now. God will provide, I know that full well. It is just the unknown that is scary. Thanks in advance for the prayers and encouragement. If anyone has any electrical work to do and the money with which to do it, now would be a GREAT time to get some work done!!! :)

It certainly helps to have the living versions of the cute kids to the right of this post to look at, be thankful for, and make me smile. Thank you Lord, for your great understanding, wisdom, and providence.

Monday, May 4, 2009 promised


SO...I am going to retract several of my statements from my last post. First of all, after saying that we've all been sick with the head stuff a bunch, I got the head stuff that very weekend and then last Friday was sick with some stomach stuff. UGH. I had said that we hadn't had the stomach bugs and I was glad. Then, I got it. Thanks.

Secondly, Mark is most definitely NOT busy right now with work. In fact, they told him not to come to work today. Rough. We're hoping and praying that it either picks up or one of his other inquiries pans out. We all know how tough it is right now in the job market...especially in construction. SO, we're praying hard for guidance and light in this situation.

As far as Cassie is concerned, either she is really smart and has started secretly reading my blog or God just thinks things like this are funny, but she's been quite the model for my paragraph about her. First, she has been pushing the limits like NONE OTHER in the past week or 2. She has been down right defiant a few times and it really bothers me. Secondly, I said that she has been saying "actually" about 5 times a day. The very day that I wrote that, she bumped it up to about 50. I think she already thinks that I'm an idiot and wants to tell me how it "actually" is. She is not disrespectful with it...just annoying. :)

Conrey is still not crawling, per se. He doesn't army crawl either. He pulls himself along by his forearms, yes, but it is both forearms at once from side to side and then his back half kind of caterpiller jumps forward. It is quite amusing to watch. He is much faster than most traditional crawlers and doesn't appear to have any reason or desire to learn to crawl.

As for me, I'm staring down the barrel of my 10-year reunion. Yes, that's right...10 years. This weekend is our reunion and I just cannot figure out where that time went, yet at the same time, it seems as though high school is a distant, foggy memory. I guess you only keep a memory of the things you treasure...or at least like a little bit. :) I wasn't a fan of high school. I hope we'll have a good time, though.

Well, there you go. There's another exciting update. I will get new pics on here soon...PROMISE!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Update long overdue

So, we haven't updated in awhile. Sorry. Things are good here. Of course, I say this in light of the fact that SOMEONE has been sick in our house every single day since we moved here. But, for the most part, it's just been colds/sinus stuff, so I can deal with that. It is WAY better than the stomach flu. :)

So...where to start...let's start at the top. Mark is still working, which is a blessing in this economy. His company does insurance work like fire restoration and such, so it is not dependent on the economy. He has built shelves in our garage and basement storage room and is trying to get things organized, though time is sparse these days between the kids and our time together.

Let's see...what have I been up to? The kids. I am also teaching piano lessons on Wednesday mornings. I teach 4 siblings out of a family of 7. The mom and oldest kids take care of my 2 kids while I teach. I am enjoying it and they are good students. I have been getting stuff put on the walls and things decorated around our house and it is feeling much more like our home than just a house.

Cassie is a budding 3-year-old. Well, she WILL be a 3-year-old in less than a month. UGH! If you have young children, you need to know what people don't tell you. The 3's are definitely much more challenging than the 2's. They are finding their own voice...their own ideas...their independence. It is certainly a challenge to reign Cassie in and to produce the behavior that we expect consistently. With the help of Love and Logic, we are doing it, but it is definitely about consistency. She is learning new things by leaps and bounds. She really is a smart little thing and I never really know what she's going to say next. She says "Actually..." about 5 times a day as she puts her 2 cents worth into life. She is an awesome big sister and loves to make her brother smile, laugh, and talk. She also loves it when he crawls* after her. She is really excited for the summer and more time to play outside with "the friends" also known as the neighborhood kids. She'll look at the window and say "KIDS! It is NOT SAFE to be in the STREET!" She's too funny and really cares about people's safety and well-being. Whenever she sees Mark on a ladder, she reminds him to be "tareful" every 2-3 minutes...literally.

Our big man is on his way to being a 1-year-old. He's 10-1/2 months now. He has lots to say and says it in a BIG, definitely boy, voice. He follows me around all day long in a walker. He gets into EVERYTHING that is within reach. I believe he has the longest reach of any baby ever. :) He eats and eats and eats. I've decided that once he really starts eating, we're going to have to take out a second mortgage on our house to feed him! :) The other night, he ate 2 entire pieces of a large pizza for dinner. If he's eating, he's happy. As previously noted, he's been weaned from nursing to bottles. I have further weaned him to whole milk. Yes, I know...most pediatricians don't recommend it until 1 year, but he eats yogurt, cheese, ice cream, etc. without problems so I decided to try it. We went slow and he never had an issue. I researched a TON before doing it and found that we are one of the only countries in the world that keeps their babies on formula to 1 year and the evidence that it was necessary was thin, at best. The main concern is always iron. Well, Conrey eats tons of meat and other iron-fortified snacks, so I am confident that he is getting adequate, well-rounded nutrition.

In other family news, we have been in the trenches with wedding plans for my sister's wedding. It is going to be a fabulous wedding. If you don't know my sister, she is very fashion forward, very stylish, and knows exactly what she likes and dislikes. Her wedding is going to showcase who she is to a T. I have had adequate time to come to terms with my baby sister getting married so young and now am just excited for it to come!

You know what's HARD about this wedding, though? Planning a bachelorette party for 18 and 19-year-old girls. There is one bridesmaid that is in her early 20s and one that is 16. Not exactly bachelorette-aged girls! :) Plus, I'm the only married one. If anyone has any brilliant ideas that are age-approriate, you be sure and let me know! :)

Well, I think that's about it. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, April 13, 2009


This is our old preacher, David Young. It's a pretty amazing story!

“I went running on the greenway (off Thompson Lane) about 12 o’clock, ran a couple of miles. When it started lightning real hard and hailing, I went back toward the house. I got about behind Goff’s Barbecue, the hail was coming down pretty hard, and I got down near the river behind the bushes to keep the hail from hitting me. I hard the train coming. I said this is a tornado and I’m out here in it.

I wrapped my arms around a tree and curled up. About three or four seconds after that, I looked up and the tornado was right above me. I was in the tornado and trees were falling and flying through the air. There was debris, a building flew over my head. My legs went out from under me and my legs flapped in the wind like a flag.

The eye settled on me a couple of seconds and I settled back down on the ground.

When the back wall of the tornado hit me, it knocked at least two trees on me, they caught all the debris ... and probably saved my life.

Within 15 or 20 seconds it was gone. I managed to crawl and hobble up on the parking lot where Design landscape parking lot is. I was hobbling along and I must have looked worse than I thought. Two guys put me in the back of the pickup truck and took me to the emergency room. I suffered a concussion and a beat-up leg. Other than that, I’m all right.

Man, I looked up and I was in the middle of that tornado. I was thinking I’m gonna get to be on Oprah. Honestly, I wasn’t scared. Really what I was thinking, I was hoping nobody was one the greenway. When I got up, it looked like a nuclear bomb had gone off. That tree I was holding onto was the only thing standing. That tree and I were the only thing left. Everything else was wiped out ...

While I was holding on to the tree I had a two-hour conversation with God in 15 seconds.”

Monday, April 6, 2009


What? You're still here?!? Well, I declare (read that in a Scarlett O'Hare type voice)! I can't believe you're still checkin' on me with all the neglect and all. Thanks so much for your faithful patience.

HA! Patience! That's something that hasn't been seen much around these parts lately! It's been rough around here. Let me tell 'ya! It's been rough. However, I am immediately humbled by those around me dealing with much more than I am in my whiney little world and I thank God...THANK GOD for his providence over my children and my family. I have a friends dealing with very difficult parenting issues with the truest grace and faith imaginable (KT). I have friends dealing with metastatic melanoma. I have loved ones who are very sick. My brother and his wife are in the process of trying to move with 3 young kids...the weekend of Easter. There is so much to be thankful be praying diligently be praising God for. I find it infuriating that I am such a complainer.

We have all had our share of sickness for the past 2 to 2.5 months. The most recent being Mark and Conrey with head/sinus junk and myself with an UTI or bladder infection. The med I have to take for it is A) Drowsy medicine and B) Makes me really, really sick for 5-6 hours after taking it. It's not fun.

Here is what makes me write above about the providence of God: I am still feeling extremely guilty about it, so awful posts about how irresponsible I was...

Conrey fell down the stairs and Derin and Mandy's house Saturday while we were there helping them pack. Like 12 stairs or something...almost all the way down to the basement. It was humbling. It was devastating. It was gut-wrenching. It was nauseating. It was horrifying. It was a miracle from our great God that he was not seriously hurt. He is sore if you try to pick him up under his arms (like you generally pick up a 10-month-old 500 times a day!). He has no bumps or bruises. He has nothing besides the sore ribs. I just cannot get over this happening.

Let me tell you the story. D and M had removed their baby gate since they are moving next weekend. They needed to patch and paint the walls. Well, having discovered that the moment we arrived at their house, we set up a blockade between the livingroom and the stairs. We mostly had him in the basement just for precaution's sake. However, he was brought upstairs and I decided that I would just play with him up there while everyone else packed. At some point, the blockade was moved for Cassie to get through and then put back in place. I am NOT pointing blame at anyone, as it doesn't matter. I should have checked it thoroughly before leaving Conrey. Anyway, it had a huge gap at the bottom that allowed him to try to follow me. I walked back to the nursery because my sis-in-law was going through clothes that their daughter had outgrown and was asking me if a particular onsies was mine or not. We hear this awful series of thuds and then moaning/crying. My heart stopped and I rushed to the stairs. Someone said, "What was that???" I remember saying, "My baby falling down the stairs!!!!!!!" If you have ever seen me under pressure, I am typically very calm, cool, and collected. I supressed the urge to panick and ran down the stairs scooping Conrey up (which now was probably a bad idea...but he's fine, so I just, again, thank God for that). I brought him upstairs and snuggled him close. He only cried until I got him his paci and then calmed down. I began stripping his clothes to look for signs of injury. All I found was some rug-burned knees. I had my sis-in-law fix him a bottle and he was really anxious for it. I noticed that it wasn't shaken well enough, so I took it to shake it more and he was FURIOUS! He was way more mad about that than about falling down the stairs. By the time I redressed him an hour and a half later, the rug-burns were pretty much gone and he seemed fine. Now, he only has the sore ribs.

I just cannot believe that I let such a thing happen. It is in the past and it happened, regrettably. It gave me a wake-up call to be more involved, more observant, and more cautious.

Thank you, dear Lord, that my baby is alright.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Day At Home

So, last week found us very, very busy with many different tasks. We were gone more than we were home and I'm now VERY glad that today was designated as a stay-at-home day. It is SOOO windy outside and just yuck-o because of it. It's 35 MPH wind with much stronger gusts. I do not like it! :)

Here was our week last week:
Sunday: Church, a quick lunch, and then my baby sister's wedding shower. When I got home, I got myself and the kids revamped for evening church services. Mark was running errands and was going to get some stuff done at home that night. I get ready to load the kids only to find that my keys were locked in the van. NO CHURCH FOR US!!! He had the extra key with him.
Monday: Home day recouping from having company.
Tuesday: Bible Study, House Hunting with my bro and his fam, Zoo with every other person in the whole county
Wednesday: Breakfast with the kids, my mom, and my sister and then a SPA DAY with my sis. After all of that, dinner and church.
Thursday: First day of piano lessons with my 4 students that I will start teaching, a quick lunch, and then addressing my sister's wedding invites (calligraphy, which takes WAY longer). Once Mark was home, I got dinner going, folded laundry, hurt my wrist really badly (more on that later), went to my dad's office to get it x-rayed, came home, took some drugs, got the kids ready for bed, we watched our show (Hell's Kitchen), and went to bed myself.
Friday: Got as much done around here as I could with the hurt wrist and all.
Saturday: Got our new phones set up, activated, etc., did some errands, took the kids over to play in the backyard at my parents, etc., etc., etc. That night, Mark and I played Settlers of Catan after the kids were in bed. That is our fav game.

Anyway, it just seems like we didn't really stop much. So, today is a low-key, relax (as much as you can with the 2 kiddos), and get house stuff done that I neglected this weekend.

Sound fun? Anyone want to come over and keep me company whilest I procrastinate??? :)

I just wanted to give a shout-out to my friend, Meshellyn. She is currently at the hospital HOPEFULLY in labor, though I have no details, with her second baby. She was scheduled (well, she scheduled herself, actually...she is an Labor and Delivery nurse), to be induced today. I pray that all is going well...that the labor is brief...and that baby is healthy. Can't wait to find out who was in there all this time!!! :)

Well, that's my excitement for today.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Just wanted to clarify...I didn't mean to sound condescending or superior or anything like that towards any woman who has A) not breastfed a child by choice, B) not had a child to breastfeed, C) not been able to breastfeed. I was just kind of trying to justify my irrational-sounding grief by saying don't CAN'T understand. I know that many of you understand on some level or another. I just hope I didn't offend anyone. Please just take it as a woman speaking from her grief and nothing more.

In other news: Conrey doesn't care one bit where his food is coming from. It hasn't affected him one, single bit. Help me out here, Chelf and/or anyone else...affected? effected? I think effected, now that I think about it. Chelf has schooled me on this once before is why I mentioned her. Anyway, Conrey Graham doesn't give a hoot if I've quit nursing or not. That makes it easier on me, for sure. Of course, I will say that I HATED having to get up at 6:30 this morning, make a bottle, etc. etc. Any suggestions on how to streamline that process so that he's screaming as little as possible? I mean, you can only make a bottle and heat it up so fast...

Anyway, the new day has brought a brighter outlook and we're on to bigger and better things, like dealing with a very sassy, very naughty, almost-3-year-old. Once again, I say, "ugh." :)