Wednesday, February 28, 2007

It Only Gets Better

There were so many of them -- boys and men of all ages and sizes. Some were tall, some were short, some looked nice and some not so nice.

Only one seemed to stand out to me.

He played a lot of the part of the stereotype tall, dark and handsome figure and he had the deepest brown eyes. He was an observer; standing along the edge of crowds just watching and listening. Not the life of the party type of guy at all. Although, once engaged in conversation, he was a good conversationalist. He knew how to make people feel comfortable.

Especially me.

I couldn't believe how well he made me feel relaxed. "That Toby sure is a nice guy," I remember commenting to a friend that day.

But, I only knew a fraction of the whole truth. Four months later, I started a life of learning about this man even more.

Sometimes when I look back on our early days and reflect on how unlikely it ever could've been for us to meet, get to know each other and then get married, I still marvel at how our lives have so perfectly merged into one. It's like it was always meant to go this way.

I've learned 2 things that I never believed before I was married. Actually, I never really gave thought to these matters until Toby came into my life.

Number 1: Love at first sight DOES exist and is very real.

Number 2: It isn't just by chance that some couples meet.

The chance of Toby and I ever having our paths crossed was highly unlikely to happen. Nothing in our lives was conducive to putting us in the same place at the same time. In some ways, we were both aware of mutual groups of friends and had similar backgrounds but when it came right down to it, we were farther from meeting each other than just the distance between Wisconsin and Nebraska.

And to think this far and distant person is the one I've celebrated 4 anniversaries with... The man who takes me to the hospital to have a baby... The man who's name is at the end of my signatures... The man I spent an entire weekend with celebrating a life of love.

God's ways sure are filled with surprises.

Yet, it only took one meeting and we met and just 4 months later were married.

Toby is perfect.

Yes, I really said that and can still say that after 4 years of living with the guy. I know the Bible says no man is perfect but in every sense of the word, Toby is perfect for me.

And the more I get to know him, the more I find ways to be perfect for him.

I love you, Honey, and look forward to many more years with you!

Monday, February 26, 2007

...And To Patience, Godliness

The afternoon had gone all too perfect, considering the dilemmas the morning had brought. The only set-back had happened when soon after I tucked Landon in, I turned around and found him walking down the hall with a very concerned look on his face.

"Mom, I need to go to sleep with my Curious George," he informed me.

Unfortunately, Curious George had been a victim in a wet bed incident the night before and was still drying from his bath.

I put Landon back to bed, substituting Curious George with another monkey and a nice, plush cow. That seemed to do the trick.

I was enjoying the peace and quiet after Janae had, at long last, finally quit singing and gone to sleep.

But, knowing the abilities of my children to wreck havoc even in their sleep, I put off the task no longer and decided that it would be only wise for me to check on the sleeping darlings.

So, I went down the hall and found in Landon's room the perfect picture of sleep and rest. Nothing was amiss.

But, Janae's room was waiting with horrors untold.

I marvel that no matter how sick that child can be or how tired she is or how obedient and happy she can be, her actions can still be shocking.

Today she was sleeping in the nude. I didn't know who needed what more: me, patience or her, godliness.

Needless to say, both were quickly added and I put her back together, tucked her in and sent her back to dreamland.

Is there no rest for the weary today?

The Sick House

Yes, finally, we have a sick house.

After going all winter with hardly a cold, we have the dreaded flu epidemic. I have to admit that thankfully, it's not been as bad as I expected it to be.

Yesterday, Landon came down with it. A cold and fever.

This morning, Janae had it too.

Now this afternoon, top both of them off with a cough, achy joints and a real hard time maintaining a happy attitude and you get a full fledged illness.

I gave them both baths to help relax and soothe their sore muscles. When I told them they could run more water, I didn't expect Landon to turn it all the way to cold. But, that's just what he did.
I think he was trying to get their fevers down really fast. And, considering he doesn't seem to care for Tylenol too much, a cold bath was a good substitute, I guess.

I replaced their freezing water with a nice, warm bath again and left them to play with an ark, a Noah and a couple boats.

I guess things were going too calm in their nice, quiet bath tub so Landon tried convincing Janae that it was fun to have water dumped on her head. As she protested and wailed and hollered and gasped, he kept telling her how fun it was to have cup after cup repeatedly dumped on her head.
She was too "nice" to do it back to him so I poured water on his head so he'd know how fun it really was.

"Mom! Don't -- I'm SICK!" he protested under the stream of water. I guess in his mind that was a good enough reason to not get dumped with water but that logic didn't seem to include his sister, obviously.

As I strip a wet bed, disinfect a puke covered high chair, clean a heavily soiled bottom as the result of diarrhea, smear Kleenex on overflowing little noses, try keeping track of what meds are given when, figuring out who's taken their vitamins already, tackle the skill of opening a child proof Tylenol bottle with one hand while holding a thermometer under a hot arm with the other, comfort 2 weepy children on my already full lap and try to do a million other life saving tasks, I thank God that had it not been for that darling man that came into my life four years ago, I could be having a very monotonous and lonely day.

And though I'm trying to get actual work done today, you can imagine my defeat when Landon came out of his room a little bit ago, observed the array of suitcases, toys, shoes and luggage scattered all over the living room floor and then said,

"The house is really messy, Mom."

"It sure is," I agreed with him.

I'm hoping for better days really soon. After our nice weekend, today has been quite the contrary.

When all this weary toil and care is past, The Anniversary update is coming to a blog near you! Stay tuned.

The picture to the right was taken during the last morning of our anniversary get-a-way. The kids were with us for the second night. We wanted to have a mini-family vacation after our anniversary so kinda did a conjoined "holiday."

Here Landon and Janae are seen drinking their morning coffee milk (they think it's real coffee though) while watching traffic 4 stories down. Our State capitol is seen in the back ground.

Breakfast Muffins

Many of you asked about that recipe I referred to in my "Cooking With Kids" post. Since I don't technically have a recipe, I can't post it on my blog. But, I can give you the basics of what I did.

I will admit that one reason why I didn't include this procedure in my "Cooking With Kids" post is because the breakfast muffins turned out kinda dry. I think the crust may have been too thick. Or, maybe I needed a different recipe for the crust.

This recipe originates from a busy Sunday morning when we were visiting our friends up in South Dakota. They have 7 kids, 7 and under (and now expecting twins!) and before Church that morning, the already busy mom whipped up a delicious and filling breakfast using refrigerated biscuit dough from a can and then lined muffin tins with the dough, topping them with a blend of egg and cheese and sausage. They were very moist, tasty and lacked in nothing.

The following "recipe" is a more made-from-scratch version of that.

Breakfast Muffins

Make a biscuit dough (I chose one with cornmeal -- for more flavor.) Add your favorite herbs and seasonings to make the "crust" more flavorful. (I added basil and garlic powder.)

Next, line prepared (greased) muffin tins with dough. I used a little less than a golf-ball size amount of dough for each muffin.

Beat enough eggs to fill all muffin tins. (I used 3 large eggs for a 12 count muffin tin.) Add salt, pepper and other favorite seasonings.

Evenly pour eggs into each crust. You can also put a handful of crumbled bacon sprinkled over all the eggs. Or, chopped sausage links, crumbled hamburger or breakfast sausage.

Add grated cheese. The more the better! Sprinkle dried parsley on the top for added color.

Bake until the egg is done. I went by the biscuit recipe for this and found that once the crust was done, the eggs were firm shortly after. It took about 10-15 minutes.

If anyone tries this recipe and comes up with a better version in helping the muffins stay moist in the middle, I'd be glad to know your trick. :) I know that using the cans of refrigerated biscuit dough would help keep them moist but I hardly ever have those on hand. So, I tend to stick with more "scratch" recipes.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Need A Break?

* Are you a busy mom?

* Do you spend your time with little people that risk their lives all day long doing daring and dumb things? (like eating bugs, playing with the toilet, fighting over one of the 157 cars in your home, putting food in their hair, climbing furniture only to intentionally fall off the back of it, etc.)

*Are you feeling a little stressed? Like, maybe you're worried that if you turn your back, something tragic could happen?

*Do you never seem to have time to blog anymore?

*Are you tired of feeling tied down?

If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, you need a break. Read on to find out how you can find answers before it's too late...

Did you know that you can:

*Eliminate stress.

*Put some time into blogging (or other necessary free time).

*Untie your hands.

*Spend time in leisure without worrying about those little people.

Yes! YOU can do all that.

You are probably shaking your head and asking How. Right?

If that's you, you'll be glad go know that experienced technicians have recently uncovered an unbelievable time saving, stress relieving solution that has helped families just like yours all across the country. Folks, this is what our mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers would've given their wringer wash machines for. Yes, you read that right.They would've washed their clothes by hand just to experience this time saving, stress relieving solution.

But, you don't have to give anything to try this. This offer can be yours for FREE!

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Do yourself a favor:

Cut those apron strings and put them where they belong!

Reverse the tied down feeling you have and try this risk free method today before it's too late. Contact your local masking tape supplier for more details.

*This service is offered by the Department Of Homelife Security and does not reflect the author of this blog.*

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Favors Accepted

Thank you to everyone that commented on my "Asking For Favors" post. I'm surprised at the number of readers I have and quite impressed by the fact that I have readers that I don't even know and who don't know me. That's one thing I enjoy about blogging... you "know of" people that you don't actually know, if you know what I mean.

To those of you that mentioned the fact that you never comment but always read, don't feel bad: I probably do the same thing to yours. I'm pretty reliable with checking blogs but not very consistent with commenting. So, the feeling is mutual. :)

Thanks again for the comments. And for you anonymous commenter's, you should consider yourselves "Unknown." If you don't like being in the "unknown" status (trust me, that's as low as you can go), you still have time to make yourselves known: that comment box still works if you just remember how to write your name.

Cooking With Kids

It was a busy day. At least, I was making it in to a busy day. Instead of starting the day out with a modest bowl of cereal or an uneventful plate of eggs, I was sending my children on an adventure through the creation of a complicated egg muffin meal. And they were my helpers.

Don't as me why we decided to do this.

The only reason I can come up with is that I was reflecting on my children's love for fun and play and their ability to enjoy simple things like flour and muffin tins. So, I decided to indulge in their desires.

Plus, the night before Landon was helping me put dishes away and when he found the muffin tins, he asked me what that thing was. I figured it was high time for my child to learn the wondrous works that can be done with that funny looking, metal pan.

We managed to arrange chairs and stools at just the right heights around the kitchen island. Equally so, I soon realized there had to be easy access to the kitchen sink, considering fingers were not staying very sanitized during the process.

It is all too tempting to dip your index finger in the depths of the flour canister and then lick off the glorious substance. Then, with an already wet finger, it is quite simple and productive to swipe your finger across the surface of the corn meal and taste of it's corny meal. Oh, and have you ever licked a teaspoon after it was playing in baking soda? Try it some time.

After a long ten minutes of "working in harmony" together in the kitchen, I sent the kids to the dining room while I prepped the eggs and bacon. I looked over just in time to see Janae sitting contentedly ON the table while putting great effort into swinging the chandelier. Landon was looking on as he stood on a near by chair and enjoyed adding his own hearty shoves at the dangling light fixture.

I set the kids all back on their chairs and soon they were busy fixing the candles and candleabras. They seemed to be following the rule of thumb: "an idle mind is the devil's workshop" so I got them busy doing something profitable and had them "help" me get the cheese ready. Soon, the entire table, floor and both children were nicely seasoned with grated cheese. But, I didn't mind; the dining room now matched the kitchen... considering the one was dusted evenly with flour while the other was sprinkled with cheese.

At long last, the dough was ready, the tins were ready, the eggs and bacon were ready and the scrumptious cheese was ready. Do you know how many "that's your last bite of cheese" a child can have before it actually is their last bite? Believe me, I was working on consistency that day with my kids but so were my kids working on it with me.

Both Landon and Janae helped me squash the dough down into the tins and of course, the remaining dough that stuck to previously cleaned fingers, was being quickly licked off by anxious and starving little tongues. Add that to the cheese and they had a nice little hor'devours before breakfast.

Finally, the dough was topped with egg and bacon and then smothered with cheese. I then quickly dashed the tray of egg muffins to the stove, before another finger poked into the attractive blend of food. The house quickly filled with a warm, hearty breakfast smell.

Meanwhile, I cleaned up the kitchen and dining room. Or, at least tried to. Landon and Janae had their own set of plans, unbeknown to me. Ironically, their plans seemed to interfere with mine, and mine with there's.

I looked over at Janae just in time to see a great de-robing going on right in the kitchen.

Then, I happened to glance at Landon and noticed he had the whole bottom tray to the dishwasher out in the living room. He explained to me that it was his train.

As I wiped off counters and swept up stray ingredients, the kids continued to be busy about their day. Janae suddenly disappeared and I found her busily reading "Through Gates of Splendor" as she sat on the potty chair. When we asked her if she was ready for breakfast, she gave a adamant, "No" and went back to reading her book.

The muffins were finally edible and we sat down to a nicely laid out breakfast. By now, the breakfast had turned to lunch: it was 12:00pm sharp. Instead of mourning over a wasted morning that resulted in a late breakfast, I rejoiced that for once we were eating lunch exactly at noon. There's nothing like being on time when you're normally late.

Our meal began with Landon making himself comfortable in his chair and in the process of doing so, seriously upset his glass of water.

But, that wasn't as bad as what I ended the meal with... a spilled cup of cooled coffee and cream all over Landon's lap and chair and place setting and floor and chair pad. He seemed surprised and impressed that I of all people would create such a big mess at the table and he kept commenting on the spilled coffee for the rest of the day, even informing his father of it that night during supper.

After putting a half a day's work into one meal, we enjoyed the fact that finally the task of working and eating was over. Though the effort was greater than expected, the memories made were unforgettable. The kids thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I did too.

Although, I think the part that demanded the most effort was the fact that I was working with more than just one little person. It was a good reminder for me to realize the importance of taking one on one time with each child individually. It's easier on the mother and on the child. It also helps to establish better kitchen habits for the child because the overseer is focused on just them and not on other people too. But since our kids are so close in age, it's hard to separate them for the same task unless one is sleeping or away.

When Toby asked how the day went for me, I concluded the details by saying that the next time we make a complicated breakfast together, the kids will be respectively 15 and 16 years old. Until then, we'll have to enjoy modest bowls of cereal and unexciting plates of eggs. At least with this plan, we'll be able to eat breakfast everyday and not have it wait until lunchtime.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Asking For Favors

If you are reading this post, please comment. I want to see how many readers I have without cheating and getting a stat counter or foot print reader so don't be shy.

Okay, maybe that wouldn't be cheating BUT since I'm not all that computer savvy, I have to do this the honest way and just ask for readers to 'fess up. It's so much more personal and honest this way. Then you know that I know you are here and I know you know that I know you are here.

Don't feel like you have to say anymore than just a "here." Just enough so that the comment box will work and I can see your name or blog name.

Thank you!

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Today marks the best four years of my life. I love you, Honey!

(This post deserves more thought and action but our computers are going through a internet provider change and the network is not set up yet. I can't access pictures and am using a mere laptop tonight. The Geek Squad is scheduled to arrive soon and set in order the things that are naught. Longer post to follow later.)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

And The Reward Goes To...

The x-ray technician. But, really she shouldn't get a reward anyway; there was no coin found.

Either there never was a coin or the one, lone bowel movement that was never examined happened to contain that coin.

At least no UFO's inhabit my son. And he's no longer a walking bank account. So, I guess this saga ends well.

Who would've thought a piddly penny could cost a person so much?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Kid Klips (formerly titled, Landon's Lines)

The Children Jesus Loves

After several minutes of intently staring at a picture of a large family and a family we know well, Landon touchingly started singing, "Jesus Loves The Little Children."

Thou Shalt Not Spit In Church

Learning to spit has been quite the boyish adventure for Landon. But, it's been a challenge for him to learn where spitting is allowed: outside and in the bathtub. We hadn't covered any other interior dwellings besides the house, the van and the store, when in church one Sunday morning, I looked over just in time to see a nice mouth-full of saliva shoot carefully out of his puckered lips and land on to the floor with a "splat."

Dumb Moms

After noticing a stray sales tag laying on the floor, I asked Landon, "Could you pick up that piece of paper for me please?"

"It's called a 'tag,' Mom," he said condescendingly as he picked it up.

Gullible Girl

While browsing through the Home Show with Janae recently, several exhibitors would exclaim over Janae as we walked past their booths. One lady started gasping and sighing over "the cutest little girl" and Janae really gave her a scene.

"Just look at you! Aren't you a cutie?!" the lady said.

Upon hearing the, "look at you" command, Janae suddenly became really serious and looked down, carefully examining the front of her dress and then finally pointed to her favorite shoes on her feet. She seemed to conclude that the cuteness came from those.

A Language Of Her Own

After hearing Janae jabber unintelligibly, Landon asked me what Janae had just said.

"Who knows!" I exclaimed.

To which he responded with a swift, "Jea does."

What Tape Measures And Stomachs Have In Common

Sitting quietly and playing with a tape measure, Landon suddenly piped up and told me he had a stomach.

Thinking we were on the subject of anatomy, I said, "That's right and what else do you have?"

"A tape measure," was his immediate response.

One Thing God Doesn't Do

While informing me that Janae had just peed on the floor, Landon was busily pulling up his own pants and getting the flap of his jeans secured. Janae's clothes were intact, dry and totally not evident of a potty accident.

He willingly took me back to the room where the fault had been committed and I could see it was a trademark 'boy' accident. Couple that with the fact that he was still snapping his own pants and Janae's snaps-in-the-crotch overalls were all secure and completely dry and it was very obvious who the culprit was.

"Landon," I said sternly while taking a deep breath, "You do not pee on the floor like that... pee only goes in the toilet."

He pointed at his sister and said, "Tell Jea that," in a tone the depicted his complete agreement with me.

Realizing now that not only had he peed on the floor but he was also lying, I was struck with the complication of explaining to a 2 year old what a lie was and why they were bad.

After explaining to him the best way I knew how, I finally told him, "Landon, God hates lying."

His deep, dark eyes stared intently into mine as I said those last words and I felt confident that the fear of God was in his heart regarding the subject of lying.

And then he asked, "Mom, does God pee?"

Bringing Landon's Heart Home

Aunt Brittney was conversing with Landon on the phone one day, just a short time before we planned to leave and go to one of my routine midwife visits. They were talking about hearing the baby's heartbeat.

"Where is your heart, Landon?" Britt asked him.

"Down the road somewhere," he said.

Grew Up Overnight

We've often tell Landon that when he gets bigger, he'll get to go to work with Daddy.

One day, Toby had a small job to do that Landon was capable of joining him on. Upon hearing that he was going with Daddy to work, Landon asked me, "Am I going to be bigger now mom?" And he pointed up at the ceiling, indicating his new height.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Up to $0.25 reward to anyone who can find the coin (dead or alive) in my son's digestive track. Boy must be kept safe from harm and remain in full health and delivered intact to his place of residence upon completion of this mission.

The facts are unclear as to what type of coin was swallowed but the prospect exists that it may be even as much as a whole quarter. Whatever price is dwelling in his stomach, that amount will be all yours when you find the hidden treasure.

Any and all advice is appreciated as to information leading to the coin and the best possible approach of action to be taken in eliminating the coin from the boy's body.

Please respond swiftly as high interest is shown in the collection of this reward.