Saturday, February 27, 2010


Today two crazy moms took their kids out in the cold and blowing snow for wonderful day of sledding! We wanted to help celebrate Connie's birthday, so we jumped at the chance to go sledding with our friends when she suggested it.
The little bump of the hill in the background looks pretty tame...until you get to the top! Here's the group ready to go: Maddie (in front), Timothy (please note that this is the only picture in which he is smiling), Christopher, Braden, Caitlin and Stephen. Oh yeah, and I'm in the back, too.

Caitlin, Stephen, Braden and Timothy ready to head down the hill!

Christopher and I hit one of the huge bumps and were tossed off. No injuries!If you look closely, you can see the tears on Timothy's face. For some reason he had a very difficult day here and spent most of his time laying halfway down the hill with his face in the snow wailing. Eventually all the sledders just made two paths around him and just ignored the crying kid on the way down. Each mother would stop and try to convince him to come up, but no one was successful. That made me feel a little better ... knowing that it wasn't just me.

Christopher and Maddie enjoying their hot chocolate and cookies after our adventure on the hill.

Stephen and Braden

The whole group having our tailgate party at the end of a very tiring morning! Christopher took a three hour nap and STILL went to bed without an argument tonight! What a great day!
Happy Birthday, Aunt Connie! Thanks for inviting us to your sledding party today!

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Perfect Healthy Potato Chip

Yaaaaaay! I finally have a healthy recipe that I love! I am a salty-greasy-crunchy kind of girl and would prefer a bag of chips over a batch of cookies any day! The only problem is that when you try to find the "perfect" chip out there, they are so high in calories and fat content that you can only enjoy one before you've hit your limit for the day. Either that, or you find a "healthy" one that tastes like homemade paper.

Well, my dear Aunt Heidi posted a recipe on her blog this week for some homemade potato chips that I have now made several times and I LOVE them! They satisfy my need for crunch and salt, but eliminate the grease. You can visit her blog for the tutorial of how to make them, but basically, just thinly slice a cleaned potato, toss it with a bit of oil and microwave it in a single layer on parchment paper for four minutes. Stand and watch the microwave while it cooks. Why? Because ... who knows why. You just do it! You can't help it. Then lightly salt it when it is done. Exercize a bit of patience so that they can cool off a bit, and then enjoy!

I tweaked my procedure just a bit because I wanted to see what I could do with this and was quite pleased with the results. I sliced my potato uniformly thin, put it on the parchment paper and microwaved on high for about 5 minutes (mine didn't crisp up right away for some reason). When they came out, I sprayed them with my Watkins Cooking Spray and then sprinkled Watkins Seasoning Salt on top. Yum, yum, yum, yum, YUM!! For the past few days, I've had only potato chips for lunch. One red skinned home grown potato (thanks to Chris and Jenny) gave me a nice handful of chips and I figured it was about the same as having a baked potato for lunch, but with much less fat and a ton more crunch! Mmmmm mmm!

If you're a salty-greasy-crunchy person like me, try these! They're fabulous! I want to keep experimenting with some other seasonings like the Fiesta Dip Mix or maybe the Blazin' Cajun Dip Mix. They are awfully good with just plain old sea salt as well!

Try it and let me know what you think! You'll fall in love, too.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dear Little Baby

I wrote the following letter eight years ago to our first little baby. Even though many things in our lives have changed since that time, I still read this letter every year and I pray for all women who have ever had a similar experience. I am feeling convicted to post this here on my blog this year, even though it is a very personal and intimate letter that I wrote to my unborn child.

II Corinthians 1:3-5 "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ." I believe that God allowed us to go through this experience so that we could be comforted by God, and now we can comfort others with that same comfort that we received. If you are suffering in a difficult situation in your life, believe that God will comfort you, and most likely it is so that you are also able to comfort others with that same comfort that you receive. He makes no mistakes.

Dear Little Baby,
Today is the day that the doctor said you would be born. February 19, 2002. I watched him as he calculated the day on his little cardboard wheel, but I already knew what he would say. I was so excited when I found out that you were actually growing inside of me, that I looked at all kinds of information on the internet. I wanted to learn everything I could about you and I already knew that you would be due on February 19. That date was burned into my heart! That would be the day that I would finally meet you!

Today is the day you were to be born. We kept the knowledge of you a secret for almost three months. We wanted to be sure that everything was fine with your development before we told anyone about you. We had heard so many stories of other babies just like you who, for reasons that only God knows, weren’t able to live very long and we saw the pain in their parents’ eyes. We prayed that you would be healthy and that God would protect your little growing body so that we wouldn’t have to know that same pain. We had a little secret going – you, your dad and me. We counted the days before we could finally tell the rest of the world that you were on your way here!

Today is the day that we told your grandparents you would be born. We made cards for them telling them to look forward to February 19 because you would be here today. They were so excited! We asked them to wait one more week before they told anyone because we wanted to be sure that you were ok. We told your aunts and uncles and cousins, too, and they wanted to hear all about you. Uncle Henry was excited because his birthday is tomorrow. He was hoping that you would be born one day late so you could share his birthday. Aunt Karen and Opa were hoping you would be born on the 27th, on their birthdays. Auntie Claudia, Oma, and Uncle Bob were hoping you’d be early and come close to one of their birthdays. I didn’t really mind what day you would be born, as long as you were safe in my arms! February 19. That’s the day that I was waiting for.

Today is the day that I marked my calendar with little hearts and smiley faces. I didn’t know your name, so I couldn’t write that down, but I was going to do it as soon as I knew. We had baby name books. We looked up name lists on the Internet. We talked about what names we liked if you would be a boy or if you would be a girl. There was no rush to choose a name for you because we still had six months to get ready for the big day! We wanted to make sure that we picked the perfect name for you because you would have it for the rest of your life.

Today is the day that we were going to have everything in place for your arrival. There would be a room all of your own. There would be clothes ready to put on your beautiful little body. There would be a rocking chair ready to hold us as we held you. There would be toys given to you as gifts waiting for the day that you would be old enough to play with them. There would be car seats purchased and a crib assembled and tiny bottles of gentle bath supplies just for you. There would be bibs and bottles and blankets ready to wrap around your precious body to keep you warm. Everything would have been in place waiting for you to come today.

Today is the day that now breaks my heart. You are not coming today. You won’t be coming tomorrow either. Or ever. Today, February 19, 2002, is now permanently scarred into my heart. One week after we finally shared the special news with your grandparents, and only the day after we told some of your cousins, our dreams of the future with you came to a crumbling end. We changed our plans to leave on vacation that day, August 3, because I knew that something just wasn’t right. We prayed with all our might that God would protect you. We asked our family and our friends to pray, even though some of them didn’t even know what they were praying about. I finally cried out to God that He would pry my hands off of my hopes and dreams to see you and to hold you and to be your mommy and that He would take you from me, if He knew that He could take better care of you than I. God heard my prayer, because He chose to take you from my body before I could even see you or hold you or be your mommy. And I am grateful to Him for doing what was best for all of us.

Today is the day that I will remember you. I will remember the first hint of your conception. I will remember the days that I was so terribly sick because you were growing inside of my body. I will remember the excitement of dreaming about you and sharing the news about you with the people we love. I will remember my fears of losing you and I will remember each horrid detail of that coming to pass. But I will also remember the arms of my Father holding me as I cried for you. I will remember the overwhelming peace that He placed in my heart as He took you from my body. I will remember that His ways are higher than ours and that His love is perfect.

Today is the day that you are at Home. Not here with us, but with your Father. And I know that today you are safe and are loved by the One who is greater than any father or mother here could ever be. I will always remember today. Sometimes with overwhelming sadness, and other times with immense peace. I loved you, my child, for the short time that we lived together, and I will always remember you on February 19 because …

Today is the day that you were to be born.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Never a Dull Moment

There is never a dull moment in this house! And if there is...that's when I need to worry!

You know, I've repeated Mom and Grandma's (and probably every other adult in this world) advice to the boys many, many times: Don't run with scissors in your hands! The problem is, I don't think that I've ever actually told the boys not to run with a newly sharpened pencil in their hands either.

This afternoon, Timothy was running through the kitchen to the front hall where he was going to write a note of some sort for their game. Unfortunately, he rounded the corner from the living room and his socks slipped on the floor (maybe because I had washed it for a change?!) and he came crashing down. I watched it all happen in slow motion, and then was horrified when I realized that he had been holding his newly sharpened pencil in his hand! We caught each other's eyes and I ran over to him as he started to scream. The pencil had gone right into his face! It caught him just between his cheek and his chin, a bit below his mouth. He didn't want to let me look at it for awhile, but when he finally took his hand away, I was thankful to see that it looked like just a puncture wound. The pencil tip was still on his pencil, and there was red blood coming from the tiny hole where it had stabbed him.

I convinced him to let me wipe it first with an antibacterial wipe and then put some polysporin on it to kill anything that might have gotten in there when it hit him. I can't see any pieces of the lead, so I'm praying that it is not as bad as it could have been. This was all happening moments before the little girl we babysit was to go home and a business associate of Fred's was supposed to arrive for supper.

Tonight he went to bed with some Petro Carbo ointment and a band aid on his face. He was so proud of that thing that he asked if he could wear it to school, too. The poor boy doesn't go back to school until next Tuesday, but he's bound and determined to keep that band aid (that "looks just like my own skin, Mommy") on his face until he can show his friends at school.

I don't know why I ever thought that I would enjoy being a nurse when I was younger. I can't stand things like this. I have no idea if I did the right thing, or if I should have done something more, or what I should look for tomorrow morning. My stomach churns thinking about that pencil puncturing his skin and sinking deep into the tissues in his face. Blech! That's why I'm praying hard tonight that if there is any graphite residue in that hole, that God would make sure that it squirms its way out so that I don't have to deal with it tomorrow. I'm also praying that there will be no infection and that it will heal quickly. It's ONLY a teeny tiny little hole, but I still don't like stuff like this.

I wonder what adventure tomorrow will bring ....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympics 2010

I've been enjoying watching the Olympics with the boys this year. Last Friday, Stephen really, really wanted to watch the Opening Ceremonies, so we let the boys stay up until all the athletes had entered the stadium. I was touched by the interest that they had in each of the countries as they walked in. The boys were comparing the numbers of athletes, asking where each country was in the world, asking what the different events were that some of the athletes had posted under their pictures. But the most touching moments were when the boys were asking questions about Canada. I realized then that I was the only American in the room, and yet this was all about my children's country! They were so focused on the displays by the First Nations and wanted to know what everything meant. It made me realize that I do need to brush up on my Canadian history a bit, because I could only give them basic information at times.

This past weekend, together we've watched long track speed skating, mogul freestyle skiing, snowboarding, short track speed skating, pairs figure skating and tonight, Canada vs. Norway hockey! I had to laugh at the boys because after every event that they watched, they then moved around the house mimicking the motions of those athletes. They'd go sliding along the kitchen floor, flapping their arms like the speed skaters, they'd go jumping down the stairs like they were jumping moguls and then would have to do a fancy jump at the end...without falling, of course. The funniest, though, was the other night after they watched the pairs figure skating, Timothy and Stephen were spinning around the room holding on to each other and then I heard Timothy say, "Stephen, pick me up and spin me!" Of course, as Mom's wisdom was always shared with us, it was all fun and games until someone got hurt. Timothy tried to pick up Stephen to spin him, but it didn't work and they both came crashing to the ground and blamed the other one for the error.

Tonight, "Uncle" Rick came over to watch the Canada vs. Norway hockey game with us. I'm sure that he wanted to watch the game, but instead, he was bombarded with, "What's that mean?!" "Why is there a broken stick on the ice?" "What do those numbers mean?" "What happened?!" "Did they score?" "How come they've played so long and there's no goal yet?" I appreciate Uncle Rick's endurance with all of the questioning tonight as he explained things like power plays and icing to us, all while putting up so patiently with some goofy boys who were so excited to have him here that they couldn't calm down all evening. Stephen wanted to stay up and watch the end of the game so badly, but he finally agreed to go to bed as long as I promised to tell him if Canada scored any more goals. I'm happy that I can tell him that yes, WE did score more goals - a total of 8 - 0 to be exact!

This year's Olympics are going to be very different for me. I have to know which athletes are Canadian and I have to root for the Canadian athletes this year. I have to keep tabs on the medal count for the Canadians. I have to cheer every time a Canadian does well. I have to acknowledge every Canadian flag that is shown. I'm not saying that I don't want to cheer for the Canadians, but I am saying that I'm feeling a little traitor-ish and I'm just not used to ignoring those American flags and American athletes. The reality this year, though, is that my kids don't really care about the Americans. They only care about the Canadians. It's so sad. (I'm saying this with a bit of facitiousness in my written inflection.)

Because the Olympics are in Canada this year, and because my Canadian children are learning what it means to have patriotism for their country, I will cheer for the Canadians. I will get excited when I see the Canadian flags, and I will enjoy the excitement of the Games with my family, no matter who wins each event. The Olympics have always fascinated me and I'm glad that my kids are enjoying it, too.

Go Canada ....... and GO USA!!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


A few days ago I wanted to update this blog since I seem to be slipping in my consistency. I had some great ideas of posts. I took some marvelous pictures of the snowstorm we got stuck in when we were in Ohio last weekend. I wanted to be positive and encouraging. But Blogger wouldn't let me. For some reason, I couldn't log in to Blogger. I couldn't get anywhere on this site to do anything! Not even comment on other people's blogs! It just wouldn't let me do a thing!

So now I'm here and I can write and I can post and I can comment and I can put up pictures, but I can't right now. I'm wordless. I'm depleted. The window of opportunity for me to be positive and encouraging and maybe even funny has passed. I hope it's just temporary, but right now I can't think of anything blog-worthy to write about that would make people smile.

Just when it looked like there was hope in this whole Micro-Aid business sale and all that, discouragement has hit again today, and it has hit hard. When will this trial ever end?! This morning I was meditating on the truth that God does allow His children to suffer, and it's usually because He has a greater good in store for them. There is refining He wants to accomplish and purifying and glorifying that He wants to have done. Well, I'm not sure what His plan is for us, but He sure is trying to do it all, it seems! We have been brought back to the point that only trust and faith in the Lord will hold us up emotionally right now. I know that others go through much worse than we have been/are going through, so I don't want to whine. I just want to say that through it all, I want to be thankful and praise the Lord for all these difficult things that He is allowing to happen, and that He is walking through with us.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed... II Corinthians 4:8-9

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mr. Creative #2

Remember Mr. Creative who is happy to create (messes) out of anything? He found my chocolate from my cookies and decided to work his creativity again! He was in his glory with this melted chocolate, as you can see from the pictures.
Today his report card came home from his first term of Senior Kindergarten. It was no surprise to read his teacher's comments, "Timothy is an excellent artist and enjoys writing stories and illustrating his stories during his free time. He explores a variety of tools, materials, and processes of his own choice to create visual art forms in familiar and new ways." We can certainly attest to that!
I wonder how he'll be using this gift as he grows and matures. He's one creative little dude, that's for sure!