Tuesday, September 30, 2008

SEEDS Worship Cd's

After reading this post on Darlene's blog, I ordered one of these SEEDS Family Worship Cd's, and now I have to tell you how much we enjoy this Cd. We (all of us--including Chris) love this CD. We listen to it all the time, and I promise it is much cooler than most of the kids Cd's out there. All the songs are straight from the scriptures (it even tells you the reference before every song--which is awesome for me because I am the queen of saying, "I know it is in there somewhere" or "I'm pretty sure Paul says...."). It is horrible and I have felt convicted lately to really buckle down and start learning where things are at in the Bible. This CD helps tremendously and the songs are very singable. The best part about the Cd is that we have learned so many verses together as a family. Darlene said that would happen and she was right. Chris and I went to breakfast the other day and he was sharing with me what the Lord was speaking into his life during the week, and you know, that the verses the Lord was using to speak to him were all ones he had memorized just by listening to this CD. Anyways, they are great, your entire family will love them.... check 'em out.

Oh, and if you happen to be in my ladies small group, go ahead and order you one, because all of our memory verses will be coming from these Cd's :). Just don't laugh at me when I have to sing my verse to you!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Max!!!

Max turned 4 yesterday. We had a great day celebrating him from the time he woke up until we all crashed at 10pm! I love celebrating kids birthdays--I love that they think the world stops spinning to celebrate them. I love the confidence that you see in their eyes on their birthday--I love that on this day they know that they are special. I love that no matter where they go that day, they are expecting each person they pass to know that it is their special day and to comment about how big they look. It cracks me up and makes the entire day a blast to celebrate with them.

Here are a couple of things Max said to me this past week:

Me: "Max, was Charlize at school today?"

Max: "Yes, mom, and she looked beautiful today." :)

Here's another:

Me: "Max, that was so nice of you to give Ms. Rebecca a hug at church today. You know, I think she really likes it when you give her a hug because she doesn't have a 3 year old to hug her every day like mommy does."

Max: "She doesn't have a 3 year old boy to give her hugs every day?"

Me: "No, she doesn't. But we can pray and ask Jesus to give her a little boy."

Max: "OK."

Max (about 20 seconds later): "Hey, mom, I have a good idea. How about you keep Jack and Annie and you let Ms. Rebecca have me since she doesn't have a 3 year old boy to give her hugs."

Me: "No way, Max. I love Ms. Rebecca, but mommy is not going to let her have you. Absolutely not."

Max: "Oh."

Max (about 3 seconds later): "Well, mom, how about she can borrow me?" :)

I love that boy.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Necessities vs. Bonuses Part II

Thanks for commenting on my last post. It was great to hear about some of the things that have gone from your daily "needs" list to "just bonuses" as your seasons of life change also. OK, here's another for you to think about. What things in your everyday life did you once consider "just a bonus" that now in your current season you cannot live without?

Here are a few examples of my once "bonuses" turned "necessities":

Answering machines/voicemail. Anyone who has ever tried to call me, know how much I rely on these. AND just to warn you, if I ever call you and get your voicemail, I can promise you that no matter how long your message recording is set for--I will talk until the time is up. Every. Single. Time. Some of my best conversations are with my friend's voicemail.

Online shopping. Being new to South Florida and a bit directionally challenged and having to tow 3 kids under 4 with me most of the time when I need to shop, all I can say is AMEN for online shopping!

Tide-to-go pens. Love them. Perfect for my left shoulder, which almost always is marked by Annie's spit-up. Just don't confuse them with the Clorox bleach pens--you will only make that mistake once--especially if you made the mistake on the left shoulder of your first non-maternity you were so excited about wearing but now is sitting in the goodwill bag shirt.

Clorox bleach wipes and tile floors. I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive about having tile floors in my entire house when we first moved down here, but can I just say that God knows what we need before we even ask!! If you have ever potty-trained a little boy, I am sure you can relate to this and you understand why tile floors and bleach wipes are a necessity.

Preschool. It's true. If you have multiple preschoolers who are in preschool, you know you secretly look forward to those mornings that allow you a little more downtime.

House cleaner. At this point, Chris and I would seriously rather not eat, and splurge on this—
I'm not kidding. We actually skip dinner on Tuesday and Thursday nights to recoup this cost in our budget. --OK, now I’m kidding :)

Restaurants with play places. I know, I know, I would have sworn to you a year ago that I would never, ever in a million years eat at a Burger King, but I do now because they have the best play place in town (Mom and Mel, you can stop gasping—you gotta do what you gotta do :).

Here are Chris' contributions to what he used to think a bonus that he now thinks he can't live without:

Text Messaging. Chris lives and breathes by texting, along with everyone else on the church staff. I am going to post a story about this soon.

Leather seats in the car. Actually, I am pretty sure ours are vinyl. Regardless, they wipe clean with baby wipes and that is what he believes is a must.-- By the way, if our master bathroom is our living room, then our car is our breakfast nook!!

Let me here some of your examples!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Necessities vs. Bonuses Part I

Alright, here’s the deal: God has had me laughing at myself a lot lately. It seems that as seasons change, so do I and so do my so called “needs”. All these things that I once thought were definite necessities in my life are now just bonuses. Things that I just knew I could not live without—I could give or take now.

Here are just a few examples of my once daily necessities turned bonuses:

1. 8 hours of consecutive sleep per night. (You can live off 4-5 hours of interrupted sleep if you have too!)

2. Sitting during a meal. (Totally overrated—and now I just think of how I'm burning all those calories just as soon as they come enter my mouth. )

3. Showering/Bathing/Using the bathroom alone. (The master bathroom has become our family room—we converse, eat, shower, plan for the day, play ball, you name it—if it is usually done in the family room by normal people, we do it in the master bathroom. Between helping everyone get ready and potty training—we seem to live in there. It’s great though—just fix the kids breakfast and put them in the empty bathtub to eat, and then any mess they make, you just wash down the drain. No need to get frustrated about spilled juice or crumbs everywhere. When they are done eating, just take their clothes off and wash the kids up. Really, it is an ingenious idea if you ask me. And besides, if you are lucky enough to have a garden tub, and you can convince the kids that it is their very own swimming pool. My kids think they have the coolest parents, because we let them eat in “their pool” and we let them “swim” in it as long as they like --This one I do when I am waiting in Chris to get home from work and I feel like the boys are going stir crazy—just throw them in the master “pool” for about an hour. They love it!)

4. Leisure reading. (Please, don’t embarrass me by asking me anything about pop culture, or telling me that my shawl has transferred from the what’s hot to what’s not list about 3 years ago.)

5. Hot coffee. (Coffee -and lots of it!- is still a necessity, but I am beginning to develop a liking for lukewarm/border line cold coffee. Here’s the cool thing: You can start with a hot cup, and then when it hits that borderline cold state, just throw ice in it and call it a frappuccino. It works, I promise.)

6. Shaving my legs. (OK, once a week is still a necessity, but daily—just a bonus :).

7. Sunglasses. (If I can ever find those things in my diaper bag while I am driving and they are in one piece when I finally unearth them--that is a huge bonus. It never happens though. Max gets so frustrated when he can’t find his (he owns at least 5 pairs), and I just laugh because I know the day is soon coming when he too will consider it just a bonus to have them on hand. Jack (the 2nd child—who does not own a single pair-- just puts a book over his head if the sun is in his eyes while we're driving. Oh, how things change from that first child to the 2nd!)

8. A hot meal at least once a day. (String cheese, yogurt, and fruit snacks really can go a long way :).

I could list many more, but I want you to know that I once believed it was "my right" to have these things (I know, I was and still can be incredibly selfish). Now that I have realized that these once I couldn’t live without things are just bonuses, I really have become a much more pleasant person. If I get them, great. If I don’t—oh well. The day will soon come when I can be well rested, alone in my bathroom, taking a bath while reading an In Style magazine, shaving my legs, sipping on hot coffee, and wearing my non- broken sunglasses if I want to. And you know what I will be sitting there thinking about? The days when we used to eat breakfast and play baseball in the bathroom with the kids :).

Somebody, please just remind me I wrote that the next time you see me picking the kids up from school with a purple scrunchy in my hair, digging through their lunchboxes for a leftover PB&J to eat on the way to the car!

What about you? What are some everyday things that you once thought you could not live without, that now you consider just a bonus?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Random thoughts

Update: The kids and I made it home safe (and I'm still sane...I think). As we approached our gate to board the plane, guess who was waiting for us? Ms. Anne--the sweet lady who helped me on the way there. She kept her word and was waiting to help me with the kids, and she even brought gifts for the boys. She was truly an answer to prayer. Thank you, Father, for Ms. Anne and for reminding me once again that you always provide. You are good to me.

How come Chris and I always seem to be reading the same book at the same time? This is seriously getting old...I really wanted to curl up in bed and read a chapter or two of IT (I know that that a book title is supposed to be underlined-right?, but I can't seem to get my computer to do that--frustrating.) before falling asleep, but he obviously had the same agenda...so I am blogging about nothing instead.

I need to read a parenting book next...Any suggestions?

Church rocked today. It was so amazing to see so many people leave at the end of the service, rush to Publix, and then return with loads of bottled water and canned goods for the people of Haiti who are without power and even homes right now because of the hurricane. Keep praying for them.

How come it took me until my third child to learn how to really enjoy a baby? I hate that I always felt stressed or strapped to a schedule with my boys to the point where I didn't enjoy their early baby days like I do Annie's. I could just sit and hold her and watch her smile all day.

What is it about a computer screen that you can be beyond exhausted when you sit down to check your email one last time (because you are delaying brushing your teeth and washing your face --all because you are too tired), and then for some reason as soon as your eyes focus in on the screen you get this second wind?.....before you know it, you are wide awake and spend 2 hours on the computer!..Now it is almost midnight, and I still have to brush my teeth and wash my face before I can fall into bed...the good new is, my book is free to read now--Chris is out like a light. I will read one sentence and be asleep...the difference between computer screens and book pages.

Monday, September 8, 2008

We made it!

My internet access will be pretty limited this week, but I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who prayed for me on Saturday as I flew with all three kids. It went better than I anticipated. I met the sweetest lady, Ms. Anne. She helped me the entire trip. She helped me get the kids on and off the plane, she helped me get them in and out of the bathroom in the airport, she held Max's hand as we walked to baggage claim, and she even waited with me until my mom arrived to pick us up. AND you know what the coolest thing is? She is taking the same return flight as us! Ms. Anne promised to wait for me at the gate and help me the whole way home! Isn't God Awesome?! Jack was actually calling her Aunt Anne by time she left :).

There was one point when Jack started screaming (and I mean screaming) because he dropped his toy under the seat. I quickly caught the glare of a woman across the aisle from us and I immediately had this thought: Well, ma'am, you can either be a part of the problem, or a part of the solution. And I just figured that she would rather be a part of the solution, so I gently asked her (as I am holding Annie out to her!) if she wouldn't mind holding Annie for me as I tend to Jack. The look on her was enough to keep me smiling the rest of the trip, but she did it...and she survived it.

Thank you for your prayers and your pointers...We made it, and we are having a great time visiting family and friends. I'll do my best to keep posting during the week.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Alright, so I am flying by myself with all 3 kids tomorrow. I know, but I booked the tickets before Annie was born, and I was living in a dream world to think that this would be no big deal.... Um,... I am scared to death. Please pray for me at 1:15pm on Saturday-This is when we will be passing through the ever so patient and kind security personnel.

Here are a few things fellow flyers will be thinking about me as I struggle to get the kids through the airport and on to the plane:

  1. I have two words for her: SUPER NANNY.

  2. Poor thing, doesn't she know what birth control is?

  3. Just don't make eye contact with her and you won't have to help her get those kids on the plane.
Here is what I will be thinking:

  1. "God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

  2. "Just 2 hours, Holly, and you will never see these people again--you will never have to look them in the eye again."

Seriously, pray for me. Actually, pray for Jack...that he will be in a quiet, calm mood.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Here are a couple of the most sensible pieces of advice I have ever received:

From my mom as I was leaving home for my first year of college:

"Now, Holly, I know money is going to be tight while you are away, but you must remember to keep up with getting your roots done, nails done, gym membership, and any other "maintenance" things that you like to have done. You have to be determined to make a way to work these things into your meager budget because you will more than likely meet your husband at college, you know. And trust me, if you are keeping up with these things when you meet and date your husband, he will assume that these "maintenance fees" are part of "the package." He will realize they are necessities and they come with the deal.. If he likes the package when you are dating...then when you're married, he will find a way to work these "necessities" into your meager newlywed budget. If you let them go before you meet your husband or while you are dating, you may never get them back. Just trust me... it has taken me a long time to get some of those things back."

She was right.. that was great advice. I only wish I would have hired someone to clean my dorm room for me, so it wouldn't be like pulling teeth to try and work a house keeper into the budget now :). Oh, and please don't tell me this is manipulation--I saw it as a creative investment into my future :). Mom, you are a wise woman...thank you for the advice. (Chris thanks you too!)

From my Grandma one night when I was spending the night with her as a little girl and she was tucking me into bed:

"OK, Holly, you are all set-- sleep tight." (she turns to walk out the door and then turns around and says), "Now, if you have feel like you have to pee during the night, just get up and go. Don't even think about it--just get up and go the first time it crosses your mind. Otherwise you will spend the rest of the night trying to decide whether you should get up and pee or just wait until the morning. You will loose a good nights' rest just thinking about peeing-- so just get up and go and get it over with."

This one still cracks me up, but I swear I live by it every night. No Contemplating-- Just go the first time you think about it. ---Although, this just about killed me when I was pregnant!

What is one piece of practical advice that has always stuck with you?