[sab-uhth] n. A period of rest and worship

During my blogging break I've had time to reflect and examine my heart as well as rethink my priorities. I enjoy everything about blogging. I've met new friends and it's great to know there are individuals out there battling the same challenges of being a mom. I haven't regretted one day of sharing my heart and spreading the joys about my family. An added bonus is reading about your family’s journeys and ventures in return.

Putting all that aside, I've also realized there is more to my life than blogging. Some days I feel like I am posting just to post. Do any of you feel like you have to keep up with the Blogging Jones? I admit comparing my blog with others. Some have the coolest graphics, while I am still stuck with the usual Blogger template. As I start to work on mine to be as cool as others I know, I close off what’s going on at home, but what I really need to do is turn off my computer and spend time with my boys or tackle needs in this house. I guess the question is: what is coming first? I hate to admit this, but after I put Mark to bed I find myself up here in our office working on frivolous computer stuff and not going straight downstairs to spend time with my hubby. Before I know it it’s almost 10:30pm and I'm ready for bed -- missing the opportunity to spend quality time with my husband. I never want my family to feel second-best and I don’t plan on starting now.

Does this sound familiar? You decide to quickly check emails and then find yourself browsing this or that and before you know it, the bathroom you were supposed to clean is still grimy the next day...and the next...and the next...

Or how about when my kids ask for something and I’ll shout out, “I’ll be right there,” to then have my boys wait another 10 or 15 minutes in order to finish a sentence or edit this one page and then I have to remind my children again, “Coming...” This happened a lot and lately it’s been more frequent.

How many comments did I average today? 5, 10, 20? If this makes or breaks my day, then I need to reevaluate my goals. If my kids are clothed, fed healthy meals, sheltered and happy because they feel loved in this house, then I should be satisfied with that. I never want pride to creep into my life and I was beginning to gloat about my number of comments. Wearing my opinions with a self righteous nose in the air. ICK! When you get all puffed up you have to prepare for the burst to come. Our human opinions will pass, but God’s Word will always remain the same.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1

Good grief, I am not saying blogging is a sin, but this verse proved something: that I need to prioritize. If blogging is hindering my other duties, then I must obey what God is speaking to my heart. Know that I can be online, but maintain a sense of balance with the whole thing. Use my free time towards something that refreshes my soul and enriches the life of my family. Conviction brings change!

Does this mean I am hanging up the blogging towel for good? No. I will post when thoughts arise. I will visit others when time allows. Again, it’s a game of balance. But as of now I need to step back and breathe. I felt it necessary to open my heart and share with those that have been so faithful to visit here often. You deserve it! I may be absent here and there, but know you are blessed and thought of. Many thanks....

Did you know.....

Grocery bill today: $118 (rounded up)

Weekend outing: Visiting Steve's dad Saturday

On our DVR list: 10 Wiggles, 6 Thomas & Friends episodes and a variety of cheezy Pokemon movies.

What I ate for breakfast this morning: Frosted Flakes (Is 10:15am still considered breakfast?)

Accomplished: Finally finished last season of Lost and freed up our HD recording space space. Hi-5!

Matt's news: Swimming is over and he finished in level 3. And to think he didn't even know how to float or blow bubbles when he started!

On the menu for dinner tonight: Ham, sweet potatoes and broccoli

My plan: Taking a needed blogging break! Staring at this monitor is starting to hurt my head. My apologies for lacking in commenting, etc. Blessings.....


Wordless Wednesday: Waterfall


Meme of 4's (Yes I got tagged too - TWICE!)

Four jobs I've held:
1. Grocery Store cashier
2. DQ (I can still make their signature curl at the top)
3. College library @ front desk
4. Dental assistant/receptionist

Four movies I can watch over and over again:
1. About A Boy
2. Pride & Predjudice (A&E version, please)
3. Lord of the Rings Trilogy
4. Rebecca (an old Alfred Hitchcock flick and oh so good)
5. When Harry Met Sally

Four places I have lived:
1. Pennsylvania
2. Chicago, IL
3. Indiana
4. Back in the Midwest

Four t.v. shows I watch:
1. House
2. Grey’s Anatomy
3. 24
4. Good Eats

Four places I've been on vacation:
1. Maui, Hawaii (going there again in March – yippee!)
2. San Diego, CA
3. San Franscisco/Napa Valley, CA
4. Orlando, FL

Four favorite foods:
1. Italian
2. Mexician
3. Surf and Turf
4. Fresh salsa and chips

Four websites I visit: (blogs)
1. Showered with His Grace
2. The Berger Buzz
3. Baseballs & Bows
4. Itty Bitty Bits of Me

Four people I'm tagging:
(Seems like this has gone around Blogworld, so if you haven’t been tagged, then have a go at it.)

Worth Repeating

Horizon's Organic single serve milk boxes rock! I get a case of 18 at Costco and my family loves them. 5 Minutes for Mom is giving away a $300 gift certificate for Horizon Organic products. WOW -- that would allow me to pass out milk boxes to our entire neighborhood!


Grosser Than Gross

Stephanie is asking us to let some skeletons our of our closets and share a Grosser Than Gross story. As I thought about events in my past that have made my stomach turn, there are a couple that stand out among the rest.

Now, I can handle moldy foods or expired dairy. I don’t enjoy cleaning up my boys’ vomit, but hey, it comes with the territory, right? However, there is something that makes me do the willy dance every time. Here it goes (there are two separate stories with the same outcome):

The first episode was before we had kids. (I know -- amazing, huh?) We were living in our rented home at the time. We had an area in our breezeway that needed some decor, so I decided to take one of our house plants and sit in nicely in the empty corner. It worked so well that we left it there all of that summer.

As time passed we would walk through the breezeway and get a whiff of something foul. You know that smell. The smell that tells you, “Oh my, you are going to find something gross, but prefer not to even go there.”

Of course I wait for Steve to come home so he can investigate. I’m not about to fish around the area looking for a rotted thingy.

Steve starts to look. In the bushes. In the garage. Then he searched into the plant....

With his BARE hand he pulls out something. To this day we still don’t know what it actually was, but we assume some animal left their half-eaten dinner in that plant. He throws it on the ground – covered in maggots and Steve swears he saw some furr on it as well. I am getting itchy just thinking about it! And that smell -- BARF!

Fast forward last Tuesday evening. We always put soiled diapers in a grocery store's plastic bag before putting it in the trash can. (I’ve never been fond of diaper genie systems or any diaper pail for that matter.) I went to throw a poopy diaper in the garbage can that night. Opened the lid and you guessed it. All these maggots fell down on my feet!

I scream. Do the willy dance. Gain my composure. And spray the entire can inside and out with insect killer. (It didn't even work, so I left the scene.) Come to found out there was a hole on the side of the garbage can since the handle broke off. Thankfully garbage day was Wednesday and Steve did the honors of taking the can out. I tagged a note on top of it: “TAKE THIS CAN TOO!”

So there you have it. I do not do well with any form of maggots. On food or a dead animal or from a garbage can's lid. They are just disgusting. Give me a sedative and tell me when it’s over.

Read more Grosser Than Gross stories at Adventures In Babywearing and enter in to win a Dirt Devil Kone! And make sure you breathe in and out. No fainting allowed!


Alton Brown Heard Me!!

All of you Food Network junkies out there, I don't know about you, but my all-time favorite culinary program is "Good Eats" with Alton Brown. He has taught me everything from portioning out a full beef tenderloin to making a perfect bowl of oatmeal (steel cut please) to using Kosher salt in all my dishes. I Tivo his programs and caught a new episode this week: "Sub Standards"

Imagine my delight when he shared this recipe. I raised my hands and thanked Mr. Brown over and over again. The word is getting out, folks. Gluten intolerance/celiac disease is on the rise! Now I must grab a bowl with a wooden spoon and try his chewy cookie recipe out. Thanks a million, Alton!


Wordless Wednesday: "Time to eat!"

Our Family Table: Grandparents included!


I would like to thank.....

Happi nominated me with a Blogger Reflection Award. Gee wiz, another pleasant surprise to start my week off. Thanks!

I never imagined wiping butts, cleaning a kitchen, being a chauffer and loving my family while accepting their short comings (mine included) would land me this. I always believe God speaks through life's circumstances -- good or bad. I pray I continue to have my ears opened to learn His will and obey His commands. Christ centering my life every day.


Pleasant Surprises

WOW! "The Family Table" photo tag was such a hit -- and still going strong! To everyone that participated, I enjoyed reading about your dining traditions and viewing all the photos. THANK YOU! After seeing several kitchens in white, I am tempted to paint my cabinets! (Steve would kill me since we've lived in our home for over 7 years and I have yet to paint the living/dining room.) So if you haven't participate yet, there is still time. GO NOW!

Friday night Matt and I went on a mother/son date to our local water park. Our church along with several other churches rented the facility which meant a huge discount on the ticket price. Unfortunately the weather was around 70 degrees and we left an hour early to go home for hot chocolate -- yes in July! Chills and all I enjoyed time with my son!!

And he smiled big time when he realized a "quick trip after church" meant purchasing a new bike. His birthday is around Christmas, so it makes buying things like a bike difficult during the winter months. Besides the old bike was getting way to small for his tall legs. He was thrilled! Last night what was supposed to be a short walk to show his friends his new set of wheels ended up being a two-hour ordeal visiting neighbors, etc. (Next thing you know I see Steve driving down the street worried something happened to us. OOPS! It was after 9pm. Maybe I should have called?) I am so thankful for our neighborhood!


The Family Table -- JOIN IN!

If you haven't added your link yet, join in below!

I admit when I was a teenager there were times I wanted to microwave popcorn for dinner and camp out in front of the TV while watching Beverly Hills 90210, but as I grew up I cherished the moments I sat with my family eating dinner every night. We talked about our day. What we liked/disliked. You know, family stuff.

I guess I've followed in my parents' footsteps. My family eats dinner together at this table every night. Yes, sometimes it's take-out or pizza, but who cares what's on the menu, right? The point is we are together sharing in conversation. The TV is off and it's just us. Sometimes it's the only time we can sit together and talk about our day. And when my boys expect that, it makes me feel good.

I couldn't end this post without mentioning my countertop area. This is where Matt eats breakfast every morning during the school year. It's our special time before Mark wakes up and everything goes crazy. We chat about all kinds of things while I whip up breakfast -- even if it's a simple bowl of Trix -- and I indulge in my first sips of coffee bliss. It's also the place where Matt's friends like to devour snacks in between playing baseball and riding bikes. They always know I am stocked with chocolate milk!

So there you have it -- my "family table(s)". Now it's your turn. Share yours!


Wordless Wednesday: Make a Splash!

COMING FRIDAY: "The Family Table" Where does your family frequently eat their meals? Is it a regular table? An island w. barstools? The living room couch? Get your cameras ready and snap a shot of your "family table". I can't wait to see and share!!



There was a time when Matt would approach me for a hug or kiss. Without a word from me he would snuggle up and stay there for a good amount of time. He was always willing to show me affection.

Times have changed. Mr. Independent and Cool prefers to watch "Pokemon" on the couch with s p a c e. I try to sit next to him, but the other day he said, "Mom, your breathing is bugging me." (I KNOW!) He wakes me in the morning with "Mom, can I go watch TV?" No morning kiss. No welcome. Just something he wants. Sometimes I'll grab him and he'll push away and go back to the main question, "Mom, can I watch TV?"

This morning when he asked for more Trix, I replied, "Can you give me a kiss for more milk?" He did and I soaked in every moment! Then he went back to the main question, "Can I have my Trix now?"

So this what our relationship has boiled down to? Bribes! Seems like the only way to gain his affection. Don't get me wrong. I get a kiss when I tuck him in at night. We have conversations about our day. About sports. About friends and life. About which Power Ranger is stronger: green or red????? (Even I am lost with that one!!) I love that part of our relationship. But there areas in our relationship that are slowly starting to disappear. Seems like I have to find the exact time to ask about Matt's day in order to get a full answer. I thank God I have the opportunity to rediscover these moments with Mark, but it's not the same. Mark isn't Matt. I just love my son and pray when he's graduating high school he takes a few seconds to hug me and say: "Mom, thanks for everything. I love you."

This got me thinking: Do I exercise my relationship with my Lord on a daily basis? Do I only give Him time when He offers something in return? Do I aprroach His throne when things are going well or only when I am in need? Oh boy, did I have a heart check with this one!

As I long for these moments with Matt, I pray they remind me to pick up God's Word and learn more and more about His character. To stay in relationship with Him. Consistently. No matter how my life's journey is at the moment.

COMING FRIDAY: "The Family Table"!! Where does your family frequently eat their meals? Is it a regular table? An island w. barstools? The living room couch? Get your cameras ready and snap a shot of your "family table". I can't wait to see and share!!



The temps sky-rocketed this weekend! Mid-90's and humid. We brought out our Slip 'n' Slide (for the first time this season if you can believe it) and quickly our backyard became the "in" place to be. Matt's neighborhood buddies came over for most of Saturday and part of Sunday. I was on filling-the-water-balloons duty and I think I filled that Gladware container so many times I lost count. Mark camped out by the Slip 'n' Slide filling cups of water and dumping them. Toddlers are so easily amused!

What do you think happened next? You guessed right -- they turned on me! I was drenched several times! (No photo of that -- sorry everyone!)
So overall I think we went through 10 CapriSuns, two large bowls of popcorn and a gallon of floor cleaner!

Also, Saturday night I was surprised when Baseballs and Bows randomly selected me to receive a copy of Holy Discontent. I believe all things happen for a reason and I anticipate how God speaks through this. (Thanks, Lauren!!)

REMEMBER: Coming soon....."The Family Table"!! Where does your family frequently eat their meals? Is it a regular table? An island w. barstools? The living room couch? Get your cameras ready and snap a shot of your "family table". I can't wait to see and share!!


"You are so yummy!"

I say this every morning to Mark. He is all smiles when I walk into his bedroom. I kiss his head before changing the first diaper of the day. He lets me know exactly what I'll find: "poo poo" or "pee pee"

I say this when he runs to me. We sit on the floor. I kiss his plump feet. Tickle his neck. Make him laugh hard, you know, that "belly laugh".

I say this when he makes his usual teethy grin. He always stops for a quick snapshot!

I say this after dinner when ketchup is smeared around his lips. Applesauce in his hair. Mark has never been a neat eater. I take him to the sink to wash up. He loves the feel of foam soap between his fingers.

I say this after a bath. He dances naked and refuses to put his PJ's on. He requests many books to be read. I don't have to elborate on how much I love that fresh-out-of-the-bath scent. Moms know.

I say this while we sit together on the couch before "night night". He grabs a fleece blanket and leans on my side. I eat this time up, even though he's picking his nose or passing gas then quickly acknowledging "me!"

I say this before bedtime. He loves to brush his teeth and drink from a Dixie Cup. Sometimes his spit hits the sink. Most of the time he misses. He grabs the towel to clean up his minor mess. Off he goes to his crib and gives me a good night kiss. The day is done. And then I greet him the next morning......

"Mark, you are so yummy!"

COMING SOON: "The Family Table" Where does your family frequently eat their meals? Is it a regular table? An island w. barstools? The living room couch? Get your cameras ready and snap a shot of your "family table". I can't wait to see and share!!


Same Old Same Old

Another holiday without plans. I started laundry. Made pancakes and forgot about a set of them. Yep, one side golden brown. The other burned black! (Thanks cup of coffee and newspaper.) And you all thought I had my act together, right? The jig is up!

Steve went into the office to work on his studies. I worked on my grocery list. Watched The Wiggles with Mark. Listened to Lego Star Wars while posting this.

Grilled steaks, tomatoes and zucchini. Let the boys consume too much sugar. (We allow pop consumption on holidays.) After dinner we took a family walk around the neighborhood. Visited next-door friends. Then to my shock Mark thought he could just climb out of the wagon while in motion. What is he thinking?

Watched fireworks go off above the trees while sitting on our deck. It sounded like a war zone. Played soccer with Matt in the pitch black. Took a ball to the head. OUCH!

Counting down the days until swimming lessons start again. (Monday)




Sunday on our way home from church we stopped at our local farmer's market. I like supporting local growers and you can't beat that fresh-picked taste. We left with yummy sweet corn, zucchini, tomatoes and green beans. Did I also mention you can't beat the price? So visit your town's farmers market and find great deals and delicious eats!

Mark loves basketball! He points out every hoop on the block. He tribbles any ball -- big, small, hard or soft. I am already impressed that he can make shots when our Fisher Price hoop is at the highest setting. Like Matt pitch-hitting a baseball by 2-1/2, this kid is showing some talent!!

And something that makes my showers even better -- besides just having the time to take one -- is Method's Bloq Body Bar. The price is great, the smell is fresh and you can find all varieties at Target. If you like mint, you have to try Green Mint. And the OMop.....well.....I'll save that for another post! (Another great find)

Since our country is focusing on our found freedom this week, let me leave you with a promise from the Lord:

"Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you." Galatians 5:1 (The Message)

Go in peace and live in the freedom God gave us in Jesus!