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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Who Stole My Baby?

And left me with this toddler?

She's pretty cute though.  Maybe I'll just keep her.  

In all seriousness, I've really seen some maturity in Charissa lately and it's been so neat to watch.  She's really no longer my baby, but a very active, curious, sweet little girl.  I am thankful that we're having another little girl soon because I'm starting to miss the baby phase.  

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I was tagged by Nicole - a friend from church. She mandated that both of us have to make our own list ... she's a toughie. And let's just say that my last was done WAY before Britt's. Apparently things like "work" and "seminary" get in the way of his ability to make a list of little known facts about himself.

The Rules:
  • Link your tagger and list these rules on your blog
  • Share 7 little known facts about yourself on your blog
  • Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs
  • Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog
  1. I love the show FRIENDS. I have all 10 seasons on DVD and I watch through them one episode at a time from the pilot to the very last season. Of course it takes a long time to do this because there are 1) a ton of episodes and 2) I don't sit around watching TV all day.
  2. In my lifetime I've tried ballet, tap, soccer, tennis, swimming, gymnastics, basketball, interpretive dance, softball, volleyball, piano, recorder, violin, trumpet, and percussion. I'm not good at any of them.
  3. I hate leftovers. I won't eat them unless it's something especially amazing (like Thanksgiving leftovers ... or pizza). Fortunately I have a husband who loves taking leftovers to work for lunch, so I have no problems with wasted food.
  4. I love lists. I make lists for everything. Grocery store shopping list, things to do for the week, present ideas, things to get for Verity ... anything that has more than one thing I need to remember gets a list. And I have a notebook that I write these all down in and if I were to lose that notebook I might go a little crazy in search of it.
  5. My toenails haven't been unpolished in probably 10-13 years. I hate to have unpolished toenails, so they are always done - even in the winter. I know that it can discolor my nails, but I figure I never leave them unpolished so no one will know!
  6. I love musicals and operas. In fact when I was 5 that was pretty much all I would watch. Phantom of the Opera is my favorite.
  7. My mom and I have the exact same hands. If you took a picture of hers and one of mine you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Our fingers curve at the same places, our nails are shaped the same, and we both have slightly reddened skin due to eczema.
Britt's List (he came up with the list, I'm writing them out):
  1. When he was in high school, Britt was asked to be one of Joseph's brothers in the school play. However, they discovered that his "acting out" in class didn't transfer to the stage, so he got to be another brother with less lines.
  2. Britt was valedictorian of North Raleigh Christian Academy. That's right - he was #1 of 37 students.
  3. In college, Britt and two of his friends formed a rocking Christian band called Fairbanks. They spent about two years together practicing, playing, and touring the countryside. That's a literal "countryside." They went all of North Carolina's small towns and played shows. And then they have a Germany tour. If you want a CD, that can be arranged.
  4. Britt loves to build things. Any chance to get his drill out is taken. If we end up never having boys, I'm sure Britt will get little pink tool belts for the girls so that they can help him.
  5. Britt suffers from poor circulation in his hands and feet. So often he is cold when it's not really that chilly. In fact, this August I had the thermostat set at 74* and he told me that he was cold. Ridiculous. Unfortunately, we think CJ takes after him so now I live with two people who are always cold and they get to determine the thermostat setting since I'm outnumbered.
  6. I'm going to make a lot of women jealous when I say this - but Britt is an unbelievable bathroom cleaner. He gets it cleaner than I do. It's amazing. Now, I don't often ask him to clean because I feel like it's not his responsibility, but when I do I always get great results. He gets all the corners and it's just spotless.
  7. Britt loves The Office. I liked it first and talked him into watching it with me. He didn't really like it for a while, but then all of a sudden he loved it. I think because he's worked in a place that has some similarities to the characters and situations on the show.

Okay ... that's all from us. Here's who we're tagging:
  1. The Sylvesters
  2. The McInnises
  3. The Normans
  4. The Powells
  5. The Houstons
  6. The Richardsons
You can each answer, split the list, or just one of you answer. It's up to you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday Tip - Back it Up!

Britt and I recently bought two new laptops and we're very excited to have (for the first time in our marriage) new and working computers.  It came at a really good time too, because our old lappy finally kicked the bucket last week and now it absolutely refuses to turn on.  

We've hard some very difficult times with computers in the last few years and I think we've learned some valuable lessons about patience with technology (it will breakdown eventually) and how to be prepared when your computer does break down.  Here is my advice: back it up.  If it's important to you and you ever want to see it again, back it up.  You never know when your computer is going to get a virus or fall off a counter or have coffee spilled on it.  It's best just to play it safe.  

Since I'm not in school or working, there are very few documents I make that are critical.  It's mostly just pictures.  So now I have a new plan.  Well, I've had this plan for a long time, but I've never been able to implement it due to having computers with faulty CD drives.  On the first of every month, I'm going to burn all of the previous month's photos onto a CD.  For instance, on November 1st, I will burn all of the pictures I took in October of 2008 onto a CD.  That way, if anything happens, I haven't lost all my pictures.  Today I spent all of Charissa's naptime organizing our pictures and burning them onto CDs.  I can't tell you how happy I was to finally have that project done and how happy I was knowing I couldn't lose them.

Along with last week's Tuesday Tip, I do have the eventual goal of putting the picture CD in a scrapbook at the end of that month's pages.  Wouldn't that be nice?  

Monday, October 27, 2008

Somewhere Between Strawberry Ice Cream and Cotton Candy

Oh it's pink.  It's crazy pink.  When we found out we were having another girl, I went a little crazy for the pink.  We finished redoing Charissa and Verity's room and here are the results:

I'm sorry the pictures are bad - but I'm not a very good photographer.  But this will give you an idea.  My family came in and helped paint the room and put things up on the walls.  It's so nice to be done with it long before Verity ever comes.  

I do sometimes think about what will happen if we end up having a boy instead of a girl.  It'd be kind of a rough beginning having only pink clothing and coming home to a pink room.   

Friday, October 24, 2008

Some Days You Just Start Off Wrong ...

I'm not sure if Charissa fell off the bed, or got down at some point in the night, but when I went to go check on her this morning, this is what I found:

Poor baby bundle.  Later when I checked on her she had climbed back in bed and didn't let on that anything had happened.  

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Verity Has a Future in Banking!

My sister-in-law sent me a text message last night that said "Did you know Verity has her own credit union?  I have the picture to prove it!"  

So I googled it (which, by the way, "google" is an actual verb now) and found out that Verity Credit Union is a Washington state based bank where the motto is "Where You Truly Matter." 
I'm wondering if our Verity can get a free checking account there.  Or maybe a job when she's older.  

So if you live in Washington and need a credit union, I know of one now.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Just Don't Get It ...

You know when you're reading a recipe and it says "Prep Time: 10 minutes" and you think "Yes! Exactly what I need tonight."  Then you realize that's 10 minutes of prep if you have the chicken already cooked and diced, the vegetables peeled and chopped, etc., etc..  And who's done that already?  So that "10 minute prep time" suddenly turns into 30.

If I were to write a cookbook, these would be my rules:
  • Always include a COLOR picture with every recipe.  If it was a complicated recipe, I'd include pictures for each step.  
  • Prep times would be honest - which would include chopping time.  
  • There would be an entire section dedicated to spices and what foods go well with them.
  • I'd also include a glossary to explain those weird cooking terms.
But I don't think I'm ever going to write a cookbook.  I think you have to know more about cooking than I do.  Unless it was a really short one.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tuesday Tip - Keep a Journal

I've caught myself saying to Britt or my mom, "Oh Charissa did the funniest thing ... what was it?"  And that's usually the same day the event happened.  I can't imagine how much I'm going to forget in the next 5 years, let alone in 20 when Charissa actually wants to hear these stories (or her significant other will).  So I started a diary to keep track of all the funny things she does and says and the significant moments and milestones.  I thought about writing it in a book, but then I realized I would never sit down and actually do that, so I'm keeping it on the computer.  In my greatest hopes, I'll print it out every month and include some of the entries with the pictures and mementos that I scrapbook.  But I'm just taking it one step at a time.  

I just keep thinking of what a valuable gift this will be to my children.  To have detailed (and dated!) memories of their childhood to look back on when I can't remember or, God forbid, I'm not there to relay them.  Hopefully, I will start sitting down a few times a week and record events and stories so they aren't lost due to my poor memory.  And think of all the fun we'll be able to have at her teen birthdays, special occasions and when her future husband says, "do you have any funny stories about Charissa from her childhood?"  How great will it be to have stories all typed up and ready for those occasions?  Oh what fun.  :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Book Review - The Three-Martini Playdate

I read a really funny book last week.  It's called The Three-Martini Playdate: A Practical Guide to Happy Parenting by Christie Mellor.  She is an actress and writer who has a refreshing perspective on parenting and a child's role in the family.  Now, I have to qualify my review by saying that 1) she's not a Christian so some of her methods I don't agree with, and 2) she recommends drinking and smoking way too much.  

To get a taste, here are a few chapter titles:
  • The Childproof House: How to Know If You've Gone Too Far
  • Screaming: Is it Necessary?
  • Diaper Bag or Steamer Trunk?
  • Preschool: The Fast Track to Harvard
  • "Children's Music" : Why?
  • Karate, Little League, and Ballet: Your Child's Eighty-Hour Work Week
I laughed through the whole thing.  Mellor has a very dry sense of humor and I just loved her responses to our culture's method of parenting.  She actually recommends saying "no" to your children and setting limitations as well teaching them right from wrong without worrying that you'll crush their self-esteem.  

It's 140 pages of light reading that you can probably finish in 2 nap times.  I completely recommend it to all parents as a way to laugh at the struggles we all go through in parenting.  And you can get it from the public library!  So there's no excuse not to go out and read it immediately.  


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Giggles, Giggles, Giggles

Last night we were all playing in Charissa's room after dinner. We played with the puzzles and read books and created and destroyed many block towers. A very fun playtime. I was laying on the floor as I was feeling especially tired, when Charissa came over and asked to kiss Baby V. Kissing Baby V mostly just involved CJ putting her face against my stomach, but it's the thought that counts. Well, for some reason, last night she decided that Baby V needed raspberries (where you blow and make that funny noise) more than kisses. It was hysterical! We didn't even know she was capable of blowing raspberries. Since we laughed every time she did it, she just kept doing it. Britt and I laid on the floor laughing, and Charissa would blow, and then raise her head and giggle. It was so much fun.

It was a wonderful family moment.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tuesday Tip - Just Try It

Everyone remembers their mother saying at some point, "Try it ... you might like it." The "it" could be a new food, or a new game, or a new friend - there were lots of "its" over the years. I feel like we need to keep telling ourselves that even as adults. There are lots of things that look scary or too complex or not appetizing, but we should have an adventurous spirit and attempt the unknown!

Last night I was telling my mom how thankful I was that she got me a sewing machine for Christmas. It was a gift I never would have asked for, and never even thought that I would use. Less than a year later, I use my sewing machine ALL the time. It's ridiculous. I never would have thought that I would love it as much as I do. I think if you asked me I still wouldn't say that "I love to sew", but I love that I can. I love that I can make things for my home or my daughters ... or just fix something. I mean, it took some serious effort in the beginning and I had to read the owner's manual (twice), but I'm not scared of a sewing machine anymore.

Sewing is really just one example and not the thing I am encouraging everyone to try (unless you want to). Be bold - try a new recipe! Make your own wreath! Try your hand at painting or knitting or gardening or canning. Don't limit yourself. Think of something you've always wanted to do and pursue it. Do some research on the internet. Check out a book from the library about it. Ask a friend. Ask your mom.

What's the worst that can happen when you try something new? You find out you don't like it. And then at least you know you tried.

Monday, October 06, 2008

I am really enjoying C.S. Lewis

I've been reading Mere Christianity and Letters to Children (both by C.S. Lewis), and they have just been so encouraging and rewarding. I didn't really plan to read them at the same time, but I'm so thankful that it worked out that way because I get to see two very different sides of Lewis. In Mere Christianity he defends the basic beliefs of Christianity and explains them in ways that are both mind-blowing and simple at the same time. While it's not difficult to read, the subject mater is weighty and often I feel I have to reread portions several times to fully understand what he's talking about. Well, not fully understand ... maybe just "get the idea." But Letters to Children is so different! This is a collection of letters that he wrote in response to letters children sent him, mostly about the Chronicles of Narnia. But they're so cute! You can just tell that he loves children. He writes very passionately to them about their pets and their drawings and whatever it is that is on their mind. It's a side of Lewis that I'm not sure I ever would have picked up on if I didn't read this collection.

I will leave you with this great quote I read yesterday in Mere Christianity. He says, "There are people who want to keep our sex instinct inflamed in order to make money out of us. Because, of course, a man with an obsession is a man who has very little sales-resistance." This is from a chapter on sexual morality, but I feel that you could replace "sex instinct" with a lot of other worldly desires.

Seriously - I think everyone could benefit from a little C.S. Lewis in their lives.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Preparing for Two ...

I think there is some sort of rule that if you have two girls close in age you have to dress them in matching clothing at some point. To make sure I follow said rule, I made these dresses:

I know these pictures aren't the best, but for some reason I was really having trouble (the camera wasn't - it was me). I had purchased this material on a whim because I liked it so much, but it's been sitting in my closet for the last 8 months with no purpose in mind. So I decided I would make the girls some jumpers. I probably have enough material left to make myself a jumper, but I draw the line there on matching clothes. I don't even like to match with Britt (although he really does and I think he tries to do it without me catching him in time to change).

Little girls are so fun to plan for! I am so thankful I have girls ... even though in ten years it's going to turn into drama, drama, drama.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Who Buys This?

While I was at Pottery Barn Kids last week, I saw some of their Halloween costumes. They had these really cute animals, and a whole set of hot dogs, hamburgers, and french fries so your kids could go together as a picnic I guess. This adorable butterfly costume caught my eye:
Butterfly Costume, 2T-3T
And then the price really caught my eye: $120. Can you believe that? For a Halloween costume! I can't imagine spending that much money on something my child will wear for a couple hours in the dark. Of course PBK is marketing this as something they will use for dress up after Halloween (which they should if their parents shell out that much money). As a child I never did the whole Halloween thing so maybe I'm just out of the loop as to how important costumes are.

If you really love the butterfly outfit there's good news for you - it's on sale for only $95. And just to make sure that your little darling has the perfectly coordinating treat bag, you can purchase that for $15.
Tulle Treat Bags