Friday, August 1, 2008

Thank You!


I appreciate all of your supportive comments on my decision to leave the bloggy world behind.

I want to respond to those comments in one post here.

After talking with my dear, wise counselors that I trust and venerate, I have decided to step away from my blog for a non-specified time period.

I realized that I didn't want to lose the things I've written on my blog. I couldn't just delete all of the things that I've written here.....that would be like deleting my heart!

So, for all of you who have been wondering about me since I made my decision, there it is.

I will be keeping in touch with all of you who want to through email. I already have the following email:

Gayle Westie
Gayle B
and hmmmm.....

If there's any other gals out there who have read my blog in the past or present and would like to still keep in touch, please feel free to email me through my profile page.

I can tell you that in the week that I have made this decision, I feel so free and that I have so much more constructive time on my hands.....

I'll be back.......

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The End

I've made a decision.

I've been thinking and pondering the past few days.....actually, if I were totally honest, this decision has always been in the back of my heart, but it's come to the forefront in the past few months, clamoring for attention.

I won't keep my few readers in suspense any longer.

I've decided to go back to being a private citizen.

With private thoughts and a private life.

I have realized how much of a burden and obsession blogging and reading blogs has become for me. I've come to envy those who've never heard of blogging!

I'm actually breathing so much easier now that I've made this decision. I'm feeling so much better now that I've plotted a course of action.

I miss my paper journal. I miss sitting down in the mornings with the Lord and writing to Him in my journal. I miss the feel of the pen and the flow of the words. I'm going to get back to that.

This obsession has gotten so out of control for me that I now bring the laptop out to the living room when I get up, and, after a very short reading and prayer time, I'm on the computer.

I'm so grieved by that! I'm so grieved by the fact that this thing called blogging has taken the place of God in my life.

I can no longer allow that.

I miss having a private life. I know it was my own decision to make my life public by starting a blog, but the fascination is over for me.

I guess you could say I've grown out of this blogging thing.

Over the past several weeks, I've been slipping into an unhealthy state with this computer. I went from not blogging every day, to blogging a couple of times a week, to blogging every day, and now, I'm checking in on my laptop several times a day and constantly thinking about the computer....

I hate that.

I'm putting a stop to it.

I hate the lazy me I've become.

I want to concentrate on being a great wife. I want to remember what it's like to spend lots of time with my kids, having circle time and tea parties and spending one -on-one time with my son. Before they get too old.

Blogging has become a major distraction and a detriment in my life.

So, I'm cutting it out.

The dear friends that I've made online with my blog will know where to find me.

I feel so much lighter since I've made this decision! I feel like vast open spaces await me, to fill with everything productive!

I've decided to permanently delete this blog. I've also decided to no longer read blogs too. That part was a painful decision, but I can't wait to be free again....

I am so looking forward to being old fashioned and behind the times again!

I was so much happier before this blog.

I know it's going to sound funny to you, but I prefer being a private person. I prefer being in silence and solitude to anything, and my heart longs to go back to that, where the only people I share myself with is my family and my husband, and a very few good friends.

That's what I want and that's what I miss.

I don't have much of me, and I've spread myself way too thin, so that I've made the grave mistake of giving my family the leftovers at the end of the day. Gross.

So, this is goodbye. I'll still check my email, but I think I'm going to narrow it down to every couple of days. I will leave this post up for a week, and next Sunday I will delete my blog.

I think I hear my family in the background, cheering and clapping madly!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Phillipians 4:8


I was leaving the post about the film up for a few days, to see if I'd get more comments and to see if you all would post a link to the film group's site on your blogs.....

I'm admitting here that I'm so sad that nobody wanted to post the link!

I was so hoping that we could all give Advent some word-of-mouth publicity, and that those of you who have lots of readers would be interested in posting the link.

I guess it didn't work like I thought it would.

Or maybe you guys just didn't see the link....or didn't go to the link......or something.

Advent Film Group is such a noble cause to support. I myself want more films that are truly family friendly, truly God fearing. I want films that have a multi-generational theme of faithfulness! I want films that showcase true modesty and what a real family picture ought to look like......I want the films we watch to follow whatsoever is true, whatsoever is honest, whatsoever is just, whatsoever is pure, whatsoever is lovely, whatsoever is of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Phillipians 4:8)

Don't you??

I don't want to see films that are "pretty clean". I don't want to see films with disrespectful children and polished, preppy moms. I don't want to see films in which women dress inappropriately. I have a responsibility, as a Christian, to not set anything evil before my eyes. I don't want to see films with potty mouthed "humor". This is also why we chose not to have access to TV.

That's why I'm so into what Advent Film Group is doing. They are changing the market for films by generating extremely favorable responses to Come What May, and people in the secular world are starting to take notice.

That's what it is going to take to change the film industry.

Let me ask you a few candid, honest questions:

Do you bring R-rated movies into your home, for just you and your husband to watch when the kids are in bed? Do you truly enjoy these movies?

Do you laugh when filthy or off color language is used?

Do you notice the female characters' attire? Do you often say how cute immodest clothing is on the main female character?

Do you think that children using filthy or off color language is funny? (I recently was subjected to a trailer of a new movie, in which a child called an adult a jacka**. The crowd around us laughed.) Do you find yourself laughing too?

I'm not accusing anyone here. What I am trying to do is to get you to examine your standards. What kinds of films do you love to watch, and why?

Would you feel comfortable watching something like 24 or LOST with Jesus? How about The Bachelorette? I've heard some Christian ladies talking about how much they love this show too.

Look, I'm just wondering out loud here. I'm not pointing any fingers. I sure hope I'm not making anyone mad....

I just want you ladies to really think! Ask yourself some of the questions I've asked before you turn the TV or DVD player on.

I'm going to challenge myself to live by Phillipians 4:8, in whatever I do.

Will you?

Listen, I used to watch American Idol sometimes online. It was weird, because when I watched the show, my stomach would get all tight, and I would get really nervous. What's more, I didn't want my girls to see it, for some reason. This really puzzled me! I mean, it's just a singing show, right? Well, my husband finally told me he thought that the show was totally wrong, and he didn't want our girls to look up to or emulate those women on there!!! AH! So that's why I felt so guilty for watching it! The women's attire leaves little to the imagination, for the most part.

That was enough for me. I stopped watching it and feel a weight off my chest.


Before you watch, read, or look at anything, ask yourself if it measures up to Phillipians 4:8. Try it! And I'll be trying it right along with you....

Oh, and then, go to this link:

Advent Film Group

And really think about what the team is trying to do.


Monday, July 21, 2008

A Disclaimer

In my post below, I left a link to the fim group's website.

Please be aware that the music for the trailer was not done by my husband. It was not written, composed, or orchestrated in any way, shape, or form by Dave.

My husband just told me that it was an old trailer and it was made in the beginning of production.

To hear an excerpt of the original music written, composed and orchestrated by my husband, please follow the link on Advent's site to my husband's website.


Our weekend

Hi ladies!!

I had a wonderful weekend!

First though, let me say a huge THANK YOU for all of your supportive, encouraging comments as I announced that I'm pregnant! I was gone this weekend, and didn't get to post or log on, so when I did this morning, I was overwhelmed and flabbergasted! 17 comments!!!! Wow! I read all of them, and I'm trying to reply to all of them too. It makes this wonderful thing that God has done for us even more special when there's support and kind words, instead of frowns and ridicule.

You gals are great!

On to another subject....

Many of you knew that my husband was working on a feature film this spring. He composed the music for a film, and it is now officially on DVD!! We got an invitation last week to the premiere in Grants Pass, showing this past Saturday.

My husband is a mailman, and he works on Saturdays!!!!

Dave's producer called him up and really wanted him to be there, so they prayed together about it, because we thought there was no way that we could get away to go to it. We also began to pray as a family that we would be able to go, as my husband was an integral part of the film........

Well, Dave asked his boss early in the week if he thought it was going to be possible to get Saturday off......and he said no. So he asked again if he could just come in really early (6 am) and sort his mail then leave. We didn't know if this was going to happen until Friday after work!! We were set to leave Saturday at noon. Quick timing, huh?

So Dave got home from work at noon and the kids already had the car packed to the very teeth! When the Clan travels, we pack heavy! No packing light for a family of 8!

We were all so excited! Off we went, down the highway on a grand adventure!

The town we were going to was one state south of us, almost to CA!!!! Over 5 hours of driving one way, as the crow flies...

We had no idea where we would stay, so Friday morning, I'm frantically searching the internet for hotels in this city. There were only two hotels with vacancies! And if you've got a big family like I do, and have tried to travel with them, you know you can't book anything online, you have to call.

So we picked out a hotel, I called, and we had a family unit reserved for us.

Meanwhile, Dave's producer had been working behind the scenes, and he called to say we would be hosted by a local couple!! All 8 of us!!!!!!

We were so excited, because this is what we really wanted. We love to stay with local families wherever we go. It's more fun, you get to make life long friends, and you get a flavor for the community much better than staying by yourself in a hotel.

Their house was better than a 5 star hotel! They were such lovely, warm people! It turns out that their ministry is hosting families who come in from out of town....

God wanted us at this premiere!

We had no idea what to expect. We had never done anything like this before! We didn't even know how big the city was that we were going to!

Dave's producer told us that the auditorium in which the premiere was to be held seated 800 people. Okay. We knew there wouldn't be that many people.....

May I say that we pushed the envelope as far as speed was concerned? I won't try to justify it, but suffice it to say that we left our town at almost 1 pm, and the premiere started at 6:30......we were going to sail in at just the right time, and we did.

We got there and went right we got in the doors, people were milling about, and a couple of the cast and crew were on hand, as well as Dave's producer. Dave stood with the cast members, chatted with them and got to know them better. Everyone felt like they knew each other anyway, having worked on the same film for months on end.

Then it was time to go get seated, and since we stayed out in the foyer meeting and greeting for so long, we almost didn't get a seat!

All 800 seats were packed, and there were even people standing in the back!!!

We watched the film. We loved the film.

After the film, there was a Q&A time, and the audience was very gracious with their praise and their applause.....I mean, the applause went on and on and on! It was as good as a standing ovation, which some people actually did stand!

My husband had an opportunity to tell how he got involved in the film and how a mailman from a small, no account town came to be composing for movies. He gave quite an inspirational talk. He encouraged the audience to reach high, and to strive to obtain their dreams.

When the audience left, the cast/crew went out to a local pizza restaurant, and then we followed our host couple to their gracious home out in the country...........

And the rest is history!

The movie garnered an extremely favorable response.

I want you all to do something for me. I would be ever so privileged if you would post a link to the film group's site on your blog, so that we can generate even more publicity for the film.

On the site you will read all about Advent Film Group's mission, their goals, and the people behind the group. You'll also learn about the film, and there is a link to my husband's website too, where you can listen to an 8 minute sampling of what will be on the movie soundtrack CD.

Here's the link:

Advent Film Group

If you would please post this link on your blog, we would be immeasurably grateful.

Word of mouth generates a lot of publicity....and we want this film to touch hearts for Jesus!

Friday, July 18, 2008



I typed the post below TWICE!!!

I was sure I had told the largest font to go back to normal size after our announcement, but apparently it didn't! So the post is extra, super long due to the extra super large font!

So sorry........


Two Words?

I was going to do this post with just two words.....

But I'm just not a two word girl!


Without further ado......

(Drumroll, please!)


No, your eyes did not deceive you!

We are exactly 13 weeks and 5 days!

Now you know just how long I've been dying to do this post! Almost 3 1/2 months, to be precise!

Don't be sore or cross with me!

We figured, after the heartache and trauma that our family has endured these past several months, that it would be much easier to wait until after three months than to tell and retell in case I had another miscarriage.

Please understand.

I went to my three month check up with Dr. Wonderful yesterday, and heard the most wonderful, most enticing, most beautiful music to my ears: baby's heartbeat!

It's the third time I've heard it, strong and steady, working without effort.

Imagine how nervous, how scared I have been this whole time........fearing the worst and wanting so badly to tell you all!

Now you know my deepest, most delicious, most sacred secret!!

I just got done reading a book called "Mothers Together" by Ruth Bell Graham and Gigi Graham Tchividjian. It was a joint effort between the two, comprised of Ruth's poems and thoughts, and Gigi's thoughts on motherhood as well. It was inspiring. Beautiful. Thought provoking. Encouraging. And admonishing!

I want to post here a passage by Ruth, after doctors had told her and Bill that there would be little hope of them ever having a child, and it details, better than I ever could, just how I feel right now:

"At times during the day I'd be busy~then it would all flood over me again, filling me with such a sense of importance I could hardly contain it. I'd find myself thinking when with others~'You don't know, you can't tell it yet (earlier on, for me) but a new little life has started in this body. I look around me, here, and when I go to town, and I think~everyone I see and millions more~the whole world of people, came this very same way. But it just doesn't matter. I feel I'm the only one who ever had a baby. The only one God ever led the particular way Bill and I have come, bringing us to the place where so much we wanted a baby but weren't even hoping. The only one God specially touched in this way, giving us back all we had buried."


This is better than a secret box of luxurious chocolate truffles, hidden away to indulge in one by one! This is far more satisfying than a warm bath with scented candles and a great book! This is far more comfortable than a big plate of pot roast and gravy, mashed potatoes and roasted veggies........actually, mmmm, that sounds good!!

To say that our hearts burst with joy and our eyes threaten to overflow with tears at a moment's notice is an understatement!

"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy!"

Thank You, Lord, for our baby who grows, protected and silently, in the secret place. Thank You that soon, I will feel the joy of tickles, bubbles and twirls as we wait to meet this little miracle. We want You to know that we are intensely grateful for Your favor.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Pictures!

I have new pictures!!!

Look at my sidebar........

The top picture is my family. Myself, my husband and our children, all together at the lake, which is about 5 blocks away from our house. The picture was taken by my awesome friend Gayle on the occasion of my husband's surprise 40th birthday party this past Sunday.

It was so great! I invited most everyone we knew and church family too, and about 40 people showed up. It was really fun because he was totally shocked!

I had been planning the party since about May and managed to keep it under wraps, even though my kids knew about it too! (They're great at keeping secrets!) My mom made, addressed, and sent out all of the invitations, and my friend Lisa was the RSVP gal and helped me with bringing extra stuff.

So, a good time was had by all and I'm soooo happy to have a family picture on my blog now, so you gals can see all of us together, and catch a glimpse of the man that I constantly brag about!

And the avatar? It's one picture that I actually like of me, so Gayle put it right up for me!

What a friend!

Onto other topics.....I'll be posting another recipe Friday. I want to have a regular day that is my recipe post day, I just haven't decided which day yet, but forgive me in advance if it's a different day each week.....I'm rather scatterbrained right now....I mean, er, I guess you could say I'm scatterbrained all the time!!! LOL!

Monday, July 14, 2008


Here's a zinger for ya!

The other night after Daddy got home from work, we were all sitting out on the couch. Our Kellie loves to touch us, and this night, she was feeling particularly touchy-feelie! She was snuggled up next to Daddy, her arm around his neck, her head on his shoulder....

He was still in his Post Office duds, which, in the summer consists of polyester shorts and blue regulation shirt. So, his legs were hanging out......

As Kellie stroked his furry legs, she exclaimed incredulously......

"Daddy! You need to shave your legs! They're too furry!"

Saturday, July 12, 2008

*Sniff Sniff!*

*Sniff Sniff*

You gals have done it again!!

You all have touched my heart deeply with your encouraging and super supportive comments on my "Hard Post".

I really debated for days whether or not to post about that episode.

Well, I am intensely glad I did.

I want you gals to know and understand that I am FAR from perfect. I've lost a lot of friends due to the fact that some people (well, lots of people, actually) think that I am perfect, just because I choose to follow a Proverbs 31 approach to my life, my parenting, and my marriage.

I'm something of an anomaly in my church, believe it or not. I'm the odd man out, but that's okay with me. I just live my life according to what God has laid out for me in the Holy Bible......and the rest is not my affair.

I tell you, I had tears in my eyes as I read each one of your comments.

I trust and know that you all are just like me, imperfect and becoming.

I am so glad I started blogging! You all have been better friends to me than most of my real life friends!

I hesitated to let my husband read the post, because I didn't ask him before I posted about that very sensitive episode. After all, I didn't want to embarrass or dishonor him...

But last night I did let him read it, and he actually said it was a really good post.

I'm so glad I did post it!

I'm no longer angry and festering anymore. The realizations that the Lord has brought to me in the past few days have healed and taken away a lot of what was stewing and brewing and corroding.

Thank you for praying for me. Thank you for standing shoulder to shoulder with me in this walk of faith. I value each one of you!!

As I close this post, I leave you with a few words from one of my favorite songs. It's called "Settle on My Soul" by the Martins, which happens to be one of my all time favorite groups, and I'm sad that they aren't together anymore......

I have fasted, I have prayed,
I've walked a straight line
and I have strayed.
Climbed a mountain
beat my chest
on my knees I have confessed.
Strip this pride, search me, Lord.
Open Heaven, show me more...
Settle on my soul, sweet Jesus,
settle down on me.
Let the veil fall from my face.
Reveal Your mystery.
Let me feel Your embrace
warm my unbelief.
Settle on my soul, sweet Jesus,
settle down on me.

Excerpted from the Glorify, Edify, Testify album by the Martins

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Hard Post

I've started reading a new book.

Marsha sent it to me. Marsha is the best kind of friend, because she is funny, witty, and sweet, but most of all, because she cares about my soul. She spurs me on!

So, I started reading Beautiful In God's Eyes by Elizabeth George. It is an in depth study of the Proverbs 31 woman.

I just started it this morning, and already I'm convicted. I'm challenged. My thoughts are provoked.

Before I started reading it, I did just what Mrs. George suggested the reader do: I prayed that God would open my eyes to the truths in the book that I needed to see. I prayed that He would soften my heart. I prayed that He would forgive me for being hard and stubborn and lax.

Allow me to digress.....

My attitude and lack of vigilance had gotten so bad that it culminated in a huge fight with my husband the other night, in which I threw my cell phone across the room, cussed at my husband, and though he stood in front of the door and forbade me to leave, I did anyway......

I tore down everything that God had done in my heart in the past three years in one fell swoop. I dishonored my husband, deeply hurt him, and shamed myself in the process. I became as rottenness to his bones.......In that one short moment, I became contention. My heart was full of rage, selfishness, and wrath, and it all came spewing out, all over my gentle and unsuspecting husband.

My heart still hurts just thinking about it!

I had allowed myself to get indolent and insouciant.

And when I stormed out of the house, God did not allow me to go alone. Nope. He went with me. Our God is like that. There is no place on earth that I can go to get away from His love. Not up to the farthest reaches of the heavens. Not even to the darkest depths of the sea.

As I pulled into Janie's Place, I got out of the car and crumpled on the grass, close to her. It's peaceful and beautiful there and the Lord has met me there so many times.

I didn't cry. My heart was too dry and shriveled for that. But I did pray. I asked God to please forgive me and to take me out of the dry, barren place I was in.

I didn't want to come home. I felt that I had destroyed the peace of our home. I felt I had soiled the holiness that dwells here and didn't deserve to enter into my husband's home.

I did come home, but I sat out in the van. I was so ashamed and embarrassed and the knowing that I had made my husband ashamed was nearly my undoing.

I got out of the van and sat on one of the chairs on our front porch. I was just to scared and too abashed to go in.

After a while my husband came out and I couldn't even look at him.

In the end, everything was put to rights. My husband forgave me and when I told him I was not good enough to share his bed and that I would sleep on the couch, he wouldn't hear of it.

He invited me back in. He gathered me up and in that moment, he put my heart back together.

Doesn't that sound just like our God??

It took me about two days to get over what I had done.

Since then, I realized all of my anger had nothing to do with my husband. I realized the reasons why I was upset and hurt, and yes, even so mad at God.

Through the preaching of S.M Davis, I had a revelation. I saw that I didn't understand why God had done the things that He has done to me. I wasn't okay with the fact that He can because He is sovereign.

That was a major a-ha! moment for me.

So, this book has come to me at just the right time. The Lord has once again tenderized my heart and is bringing me out of this hard and parched place that was of my own making.

Would you yourself be brave enough to get the book and allow God to shake up your heart again?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

One Word Meme

Okay, here's yet another meme from me. I got this one from Gayle over at thewetstiecrew.

It's a one word meme. One word?? Yep, one word answers. I know. One word answers from me, the Queen of Words?

I thought I would try it.

Here goes.

1. Cell phone? purse
2. Significant other? husband
3. Hair? dark
4. Mother? exhausting
5. Father? unknown
6. Favorite thing? family
7. Dream last night? forgotten
8. Favorite drink? Izze
9. Dream/goal? becoming
10. Room I'm in? mismatched
11. Church? small
12. Fear? fat
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? country
14. Where were you last night? home
15. What I'm not? finished
16. Muffins? yuck
17. Wish list item? babies
18. Where did you grow up? CA
19. Last thing I did? direct
20. What are you wearing? skirt
21. TV? off
22. Pets? protective
23. Computer? lap
24. Life? full
25. Mood? varying
26. Missing someone? angels
27. Car? van
28. Not wearing? socks
29. Favorite store? scrapbook
30. Summer? endless
31. Love someone? passionately
32. Favorite color? brown
33. Last time you laughed? earlier
34. Last time you cried? previously
35. Who will repost? nobody

Consider yourself tagged!

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Postscript

A little postscript to my last post! Angel asked me if I used organic soup in my sauce. Angel, I do use organic soups in my sauces. I also use organic broth, organic noodles, and organic produce. I switched to organic soups for my sauces many years ago. I realized that one of the most unhealthy things we were eating was Campbell's cream soups. They are loaded with MSG, preservatives, and everything artificial. For those who are curious, just read the labels. The brand of organic soups and broths I use contain absolutely nothing artificial, no food colorings, no preservatives, no artificial thickeners, and most importantly, low sodium and NO MSG.

I will say, Angel, that I always find my soups and broths on sale at my grocery store. The Health Valley soups are a bit more watery than Campbell's, but that never has affected my recipes or the taste. I like Health Valley because they taste good, and also because I know we can eat them and still be healthy!

I know that's a long answer, but there it is, and thanks for asking, Angel.

Of course, you can make my recipes with whatever you choose to use. Campbell's, store brand, whatever.

If you gals do make my recipes for your families, let me know how you liked them!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Recipe Post!

I decided to do a weekly recipe post.

If you gals want me to do this, just let me know in your comments.....

Cause I've got TONS of recipes! A few are from cookbooks, but most of them are original. Before you get all impressed and thinkin' I'm a chef, let me tell you WHY I have so many original recipes:

Because I am challenged to understand recipes from a cookbook!

Honestly. I can read the recipe 5 times and still go "Huh?" (Incidentally, I do this with manuals and instructions too. I am not remotely like Angel, who loves manuals!!!! LOL!)

As I read a recipe, I catch myself going, hmmm, that doesn't sound like it would taste good with that, why don't we try this instead? Or how about adding this and that to this to get this?? Or, I just get an idea of what would taste even better and start all over from scratch!

I'm weird! I get ideas whenever I read recipes......and then I try the ideas.....

Most of my recipes do not have meausurements. For my recipe posts, I have tried to be as accurate as possible. And I will admit, for all of you to see, that trying to get a recipe from me is like trying to find the lost city of Atlantis. I'm pretty secretive with my recipes, for a couple of reasons. One, I love to bless my friends and family with something that is my own, cooked from scratch, and to see their faces and hear their joy when they eat it! And two, most of the time I have no idea of the measurements of ingredients that go into my recipes!

I used to have a cooking business, in which I had a list of dishes that the client would choose from. I'd give the client a shopping list and they'd go to the grocery store, get everything on the list, and bring it to my house. Then, I'd cook the dishes and freeze them, and they'd pick them up. I used all of my own recipes. I'm not doing that now, due to being busy with my family, but I still have it on the back burner for a future time. My sister in law is a self professed terrible cook, and she and her boyfriend eat out constantly, and I have offered to come into her home and put some dishes in the freezer for them, but alas, they haven't taken me up on the offer!

I do own cookbooks, but I read them for fun and inspiration, not to learn a new thing.

I told you I was weird, Marsha!!!

So, without further shilly shallying, here's my first recipe!

Creamy Chicken Divine:

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 TBSP yellow mustard
3 TBSP teriyaki sauce
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1 C shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken in a greased baking dish (you know the size). Combine next 6 ingredients in large bowl. Pour over chicken. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear when pricked with fork. Makes 6 servings. Sauce is GREAT over mashed potatoes!

This recipe is original and copyrighted under Digby's Delectables 2000

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My Birthday

I had a fabulous birthday this year!!

Yes, yours truly had another birthday in a long line of birthdays.

I'm not as young as I used to be! (Waaah!)

My dad tells me I'm not a spring chicken anymore! In fact, he keeps saying "I can't believe your thirty-something!"

Thanks, Dad!

This year, since this birthday was a bit of a milestone, I wanted to really party!

Actually, with my husband burning the candle at both ends for the past few months, and not being able to even eat dinner with him, he decided to take some time off, since he finished both of the huge projects he was working on.

So, since his long weekend (he gets Friday and Saturday off every 6 weeks) conveniently fell on my birthday, he decided to make it really special for me.

Friday we went to Ecola State Park and Indian Beach. We played (or rather, the kids played) on the beach alllll day! It was really Sofia's first time at the beach, and I was concerned that she would be scared of the huge water and the waves. I needn't have feared! She took to the water like, well, the proverbial duck!

After we got done at Indian Beach, it was time to head home. My husband stopped at Dooger's for me to get a little dinner to go. I got a shrimp louie salad and a cup of clam chowder. Yumm-o! For those of you who are not from around here, Dooger's is a local joint specializing in seafood. There are a few at the coast.

Back on the road, it was a very quiet ride home, as it was pretty late. The kids really wanted to go to Izzy's back at home, so we headed 9:30 at night! They closed at 10! Again, Izzy's is a local pizza/salad buffet restaurant.

We got home at 10 or so, and some of the kids took a shower to wash the gobs of sand off their bodies that anyone who ever goes to the beach manages to accumulate in every crevice.

We finally went to bed at about 11.

The next day I spent with my mom, up north, going to Costco. She took me out to lunch (Mexican, my favorite!) and gave me $50 to spend on myself!!! While I was up north, Dave decided to take the kids to the river, since it was only about 96 degrees that day....

Sunday we went to church and after church we had to take Dave's iMac down south to the Apple store. We brought all the kids with us and made a day of it. The kids ate pizza, we ate mediocre Chinese food. I did have a strawberry and banana kabob drizzled with dark chocolate. AND hubby bought me some scrumptious perfume that I had been dreaming about from L'Occitane. It's Lemon and smells sooooooo fresh and citrusy, my favorite.

I almost forgot to tell you what my husband got me for my birthday!! He presented me with a handmade tiny gift box, tied up with a beautiful, fancy ribbon. In it was a $150 gift certificate to my favorite scrapbooking store AND a gift card to one of my favorite coffee places! I felt spoiled! I felt so loved!

All in all, it was one of the two best birthdays of my life.

My family is amazing. My husband is so fantastic.

I feel blessed tonight.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Our Grocery Budget

Okay, ladies.

I'm going to do a post about my grocery bill.

I know. You all have an insatiable, burning desire to know how much we spend and what kinds of things we buy.


Well, since I let everything else hang on this blog, why not give you the rundown on my grocery budget too??

We do have a set budget that we like to spend on groceries, including toiletries, paper products and stuff.

Only I'm quite certain that our budget does not remotely resemble ANY of your budgets out there!

Let's get some things straight first: I am NOT a frugal hacker. Why, you ask? With my large family, (your arguement goes) I ought to be! Well, I find it takes too much of my meager mental and physical energy to be truly frugal. For one, we decided a loooong time ago to no longer support our daily newspaper here, because it just became fish wrap or window rags for us. Expensive window rags! So I don't get any sale ads or anything like that. I'm so much happier!

Secondly, I drive a large van. A GMC Safari van. And it takes lots of gas to run around town to this store and that store just to get the best deal. I ask you, is the money I save on groceries going into my gas tank, and where are the savings in that??

Thirdly (I think I just created a new ordinal word!!), I choose not to support some chain stores and local stores due to their practice of financially supporting causes I am not comfortable with. I do not like it when a store in which I spend lots of money turns around and supports organizations that do not line up with our personal/religous philosophies. I'm on a soapbox here, but this is something that I feel deeply about.

Also, I chose a long time ago to eliminate stress from my life. Stress was coming at me from places I would go that would make rude and "cute" comments about my very large family. Yes, I'm telling the truth. I'd go to local stores and get the whole nine yards. So, in the interest of supporting those businesses that liked my family, I opted to only go to two places. They know us, love us, and treat us like royalty when we come.

I really have tried to be frugal and save money. REALLY! Last shopping trip, I decided I was going to buy generic everything. Even wipes. I was so proud of myself for all the money I saved and was sure my husband would be too...

But I ended up having to take almost everything I had purchased back because of poor quality!

Where's the money saved in that?

I did get attached to Luv's diapers. They're at least $2 cheaper than the Pampers I have been using for about 10 years.

I tried Pampers baby wipes, for $2 less a package than my Huggies. Hated them! They were small and thin and well, I went back to Huggies.

Another thing that we do is we eat organic. We eat almost all natural. This way of eating is not cheap unless you grow your own food, and living in the city we have limited space, especially with The Dog Who Eats My Stuff! We do grow things like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and cilantro out front. The choice to eat organic and all natural has actually saved my family's health. For real. We no longer go to the doctor, EVER. It's really hard to maintain organic, natural eating habits on a $50 a week food budget though...

In the end, how much do we really spend on groceries a month?

Are you sitting down, and does someone in your house know CPR?? Good, because you may have to be rescucitated after I tell you!

I estimate we spend about $1000 a month on groceries.


And I do it with the full and complete blessing of my husband.

There you have it.

Don't hate me because I'm not frugal!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I'm Hot!

I guess I haven't been a faithful blogger lately!

But don't leave me!

The past few days in our area, it's been in the 90's. We don't have central air in our home. We cool our home the old fashioned way: filtered box fans in our bedroom windows. This environment is not conducive, in my opinion, to spending two hours on the computer surfing my favorite blogs. Oh, I've been checking in with most of you, but it's so hot in our house that I don't want to be in here!

But it's just as hot outside!

I know. I'm complaining about the very weather I prayed for just last month! Call me flighty.......but did I mention it is H O T here?

Since we live by the lake in our town, we usually get a nice steady breeze, starting in the afternoon, so we open the front door and the back sliding glass doors and it cools of very nicely after a really hot, stuffy day.

We haven't been getting a breeze. Last night, it was so hot that we slept with our back sliding glass door open!


The slider is in our room. There are two very good watch dogs pretending they are sleeping right on that back step. Not to mention my husband keeps a companion right beside him, and said companion is made of metal and I trust it with my life.

Case closed.

I know I have no right to whine. I mean, after all, isn't it waaaaaay hotter in, like, Arkansas, where Melissa lives? How about Alabama, where Gayle of the Westie Crew lives?

Call me a baby.

One thing I can say for NW weather is that it isn't humid here at all. We live just an hour or so away from the Pacific coast, and spent all day Friday at Ecola State Park and Indian Beach for my birthday.

So I'm 35 now and HOT.

I spent the day with my mom yesterday, going to Costco up north and stuff like that, and I drove my husband's car so he could have the van.

His tranny slips.....

And his air conditioner doesn't work.

Did I mention I'm hot??

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Another meme!

Another meme!!

This one is from Ship Full O' Pirates, otherwise known as Mother Hen....forgive me, I can't remember her web address, but you will definitely want to go check her out! She's stinkin' hilarious and practical, fun and down to earth.

Here goes:

2 names I go by:
Honey and Mama. I don't think anyone remembers my real name!

2 things I'm wearing right now:
My house cleaning skirt (rather ratty and linty)
my wedding ring

2 favorite things that happened today:
I got an invitation to a dear friend's baby shower!
my husband came home from work.

2 things I want right now:
for my stomach to stop hurting
to be more motivated

2 favorite pets:
none. I'm *so* not a pet lover!

2 things I did last night:
read some of Treasure Island
took a my usual nightly plethora of pills

2 things I ate last night:
grilled fresh caught salmon
on a bed of organic baby spinach

2 people I last talked to:
My daughter Hannah
My daughter Samantha

2 things I will do tomorrow:
take a shower
get dressed

farthest trip I've taken in the past 5 years:
My husband and I and Sofia went to San Antonio TX in 2006 for the SAICFF.

2 favorite holidays:
Valentine's Day, so I can spoil my husband to the max

2 favorite beverages:
V8 juice
Groovy gorillas

There. Now you know even more things that you never wanted to know about me!!

Tag! You're it!!


Today I have things to do on my *to do* list.....let me say that this list is, so far, just in my head...

But I've been convicted lately of being idle and lazy.

Not through anyone else, just through my own musings. Just through my own thoughts of "I know what needs to be done around here, I know what I should be doing....."

But I'm not doing, and have not done, a constructive thing today!

Oh, I made myself something to eat!! I actually moved off the couch!!


I make myself sick, really.

Let me share with you some of the things that need to be done around here, and also some of the things I really have been wanting to do but have been to lazy to do them:

  • Things need to be planted in the front yard! Tomatoes for my *famous* salsa. Cucumbers. Peppers. More strawberries.
  • I have some rearranging I want to do in the house. Moving this from here to there, putting that in there instead of there.....
  • I want to get my 14 foot wall in my living room decorated! I've got plans that are half done, and even a picture of the before, but I'm just too stinkin' lazy!
  • I need to bake so we have treats in the hot weather that *will* come sometime this summer, hopefully!
  • I need to take a shower and get pretty for Dave.
  • I need to go buy my little Sofia a swimsuit, a hat, and some other good stuff that the girls don't need but I like to shop at my favorite thrift stores!
  • I need to actually *plan* dinner before 8 pm tonight!
  • I've got to call my friend and arrange a playdate. She's without a car right now, so we are *so sad* that we will have to go over to their house!!
  • Sometime today I have to move off the couch and take a walk around the block. I'm woefully out of shape!
See what I mean?? I kill myself! I harp on my kids not to be lazy ALL THE TIME, but look at me! I'm being a very, very poor example for myself and my kids.

I seriously suffer and struggle with extreme laziness and depression, which go hand-in-hand for me. There is no rhyme or reason to it, and they both strike me at anytime, unawares.

I really hate myself right now. Harsh, but true. I'm going through an emotional/mental/
spiritual/physical crises right now......

And the only way to zap it is to FORCE myself to get off the couch, pull myself up by my apron strings, and just GET BUSY!!!!!!!

You gals may not like me, if you ever met me in real life, cause you'd be shocked and sickened by how lazy I am!

But this is the first step for me, letting *someone else* know and then, taking action....

O God, please forgive me for neglecting my duties! I cry out to you, Lord, for Your mercy and Your help to get me out of this morass that I am in! I give myself to You, because I do not want to be the same! I want to become what You want me to be!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Of Laptops and Migraines

I'm back!

I've been largely offline lately, due to a laptop that crashed and had to be sent in to an Apple store. I say "sent in" because the nearest Apple store is over an hour from here. We've had to take the laptop in a couple of times this month, and it's kind of hard doing all that driving, in the midst of my husband's pressing and important projects.

They finally told us that we could send it in, and even sent us a secure box and postage!

I don't know how many of you have Macbooks, but we do and we really like ours. We've had it for almost a year and never had problems with it until now.

I loved the people at the Apple store. If you like computers, just go to one! It's fun! And these people really know their stuff! They call the people who trouble shoot and work on Apple computers "geniuses", and they really are.

So now my laptop is up and running again, and now comes the task of reloading all of my favorites, without getting a migraine!

Incidentally, I've had 5 migraines in the past 2 1/2 months! That's a lot for me. I know that being on the computer for too long can trigger one, as will eggs and lots of fast food, which I hardly ever eat, for just that reason (waaah!). I woke up this morning at 5:30 with a shimmery halo in one of my eyes......I'm doing better now, it's tomorrow that's going to be a kicker. I always get the after pain the day after my migraine.

Another weird thing I get is that I used to go numb on the left side of my body at the onset of a migraine. The first time I had a migraine I was heading out on a date with Dave and suddenly, my body started going numb! We had just dropped Russell off (he was 6 months old) and we got so freaked out we headed straight to the Emergency room. I thought I was having a stroke at the tender age of 22! They told me I was having a panic attack/migraine headache and gave me some meds and sent me home.

Since then I usually get about one migraine a year.

This morning I was able to fall back to sleep after my wonderful husband loaded me up with all the drugs I take in the event of a migraine. When I awoke at 6:15, I noticed my mouth, the left side of my face, and my ring and pinkie fingers on my right hand were numb.

I hope it doesn't sound like I'm complaining. I'm not. I know lots of you out there get migraines, like Cindy. I've actually found a few things and tricks that lessen the duration of the headache. So I wanted to let you know what I do as soon as I get that visual warning:

  • I take 500 mgs of Tylenol immediately. Early in my migraine history, I used to have to take 1000 mgs. Now, 500 mgs works.
  • I take 225 mgs of magnesium and a calcium capsule.
  • I have one of my family make me a double bag of chamomile tea.
  • I go into my room and darken it and lay down.
  • I have some other calming meds that I have been taking for more than 5 years, to help my brain remain calm. I take 500 mgs of GABA at the onset of a migraine.
I'm pretty sure it's due to hormonal changes (after all, I will celebrate a half-milestone birthday in just 3 days) and this whatever-it-is autoimmune disease that I have.

So, since I am familiar with the horrible effects of migraines, I am better able and more apt to pray for my friends who I know get them, like Cindy.

Cindy, if you're reading this, know I pray for you often, okay??

Do any of you out there suffer from terrible headaches? I found it interesting that Ruth Bell Graham's mother did, and she was able, by the grace of God, to be a stellar mom and wife.

Oh Lord, grant unto me the ability to rise above my frailties and be the mom and wife You have called me to be!

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Fun Tag

I've been bad lately about blogging. And I can't turn the italics off! Yikes!

It isn't like I've not had anything to say! Those who know me in real life know better. Sometimes I just have too much to say, and also, I'm just plain lazy, and it's too hard to get off the couch and roll my biscuit buns to the computer to blog.

But I've got plenty of material.

Here's a tag from Emily. Well, she didn't personally tag me, but I decided to do it because it looked fun and easy and it's a new post from me! Here goes:

A: attached or single? very completely attached to my husband, and he to me, and loving it!

B: Best friend? my husband. Sadly, I don't have any girlfriends that I consider best, but I do have a couple that I love lots....but my husband is it.

C: Cake or pie? Neither. I'm gluten/wheat intolerant, and I don't crave treats usually. If I'm going to have a treat, it'll be Namaste brownies with peanut butter frosting.

D: Day of choice? Dave's day off. Sorry, it rotates!

E: Essential item? paper and pens/pencils.

F: Favorite color? chocolate brown

G: Gummy bears or worms? yuck!

H: Home town? I was born in Renton.

I: Favorite indulgence? a 16 oz blended Kona Mocha Big Train with caramel and whipped cream from Espresso Express

J: January or July? January, because the feature film my husband did the music for is going to the SAICFF, as is the original score. I never really like July.

K: Kids? 6 on earth, 3 in Heaven.

L: Life isn't complete without...? Being together with my husband and kids. All the time. Every day.

M: Marriage date? Fall of 1993

N: Number of brothers and sisters? No sisters. A brother who is two years older, a brother who is 16 mths younger, both of whom I barely know.

O: Oranges or apples? Pink Lady apples. And oranges. Both!

P: Phobias? Escalators. Foil on my teeth or in my mouth.

Q: Quotes? When you can't, He can.

R: Reason to smile? My life. My husband. My kids. Smothered fries!

S: Season? Autumn.

T: Tag 5 people: Renata, Marsha, Duckygirl.

U: Unknown fact? My ability to conceive/bear children was thought to be non-existent.

V: Veggie? steamed broccoli, sauteed cabbage, a loaded salad.

W: Worst habit: allowing bad moods to rule me. Sarcasm.

X: Xray or ultrasound? Strange question. No answer.

Y: Your favorite food: Big, loaded salads with everything and good homemade dressing.

Z: Zodiac? Irrelevant.

That's it for now. Since my italics is stuck, I need to figure out how to turn it off.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Packing Tape and Little Things

Why is it that, every SINGLE time I buy a new roll of packing tape, it gets LOST?????

It's true! I've bought at least 4 ROLLS of the stuff, and each and EVERY ONE has gotten lost!

The stuff is NOT cheap, you know??

I mean, I always, always tell myself "I'll put it here, in a safe place, and I'll be sure and find it when I need it."

It's NEVER where I put it. NEVER!!

I have a suspicion that all of my lost rolls of expensive packing tape are in that big warehouse in Roswell, NM, where all of our unmatched socks went after we put them in the dryer. It's a big conspiracy theory.

But people, I'm here to tell you, I think the subversion has come to an end! We actually FOUND the newest roll of tape!! Yep. I'm feelin' pretty good now!
In other news, more along the lines of serious reflections..........

A couple of weeks ago I went to the local paperback book store, where you can buy new and used books and trade your paperbacks in for credit. I saw a whole mess of books from one of my old favorite husband/wife author teams, the Thoenes (pronounced Tay-nee), so I thought I'd grab them up and read them.

I'd already read these books, and everything else by them, several years ago. But I remember them being so good that I decided to read them all again.

I bought them, to the tune of $50, and dived right in when I got home.

Well, I guess I have really changed, because I just didn't like these books at all! In the first one, the main young woman character gives away her purity, then it is referenced that she spends lonely nights burning for him!! Ah, I guess I missed that when first I read these books! The other books in this series are just like that.

To my mind, this is just one more sign of my becoming. I really have grown, and I am so sensitive now to anything that might dishonor or blaspheme God. I do not enjoy it or condone it when an author flirts with the edge like that.

I say all that to say that I had lost the receipt for my book purchase, and at this particular store, I knew I was up a creek! I wanted to bring them back and get my money back, but I didn't think this would be possible.

Still, I decided to try, so I went in just a few days later, on the off chance that they would give me a refund. Well, they know me well in there, and she did give me a credit slip for the amount of my purchase, less tax.

I was so disappointed, because I was pretty disillusioned by all of the authors that I used to like and didn't want to get any more books right now that I knew I wouldn't like..........but it was the best I could hope for, without a receipt.

I promptly lost the credit slip too!

Well, they said that if I found my receipt, they would give me a refund.

Remember, I lost said receipt.

I prayed quite fervently that the Lord would enable me to find it, as this was a major purchase and I was so remorseful for viewing, and spending my husband's money, on that kind of trash, and I wanted to remedy the situation.

I didn't find it.

But guess what? Today, Hannah was swiffing under my bed, and lo and behold, what was that tiny slip of paper she unearthed from the far reaches of Underneath the Bed?

My receipt!

God cares about the little things.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cottage Cheese Butts and Stuff

This is the THIRD TIME I have tried to type this post. The size of my font was gigantic, and I typed it over smaller twice, but it didn't work. UGH! Here goes another try.


Today my son was outside doing Man Things. He was wielding the weed wacker with grace and aplomb, complete with the Space Man Face Protector Helmet. He did a splendid job, and now my yard looks all nice and tidy.

I've been a bit low key lately. Wait a minute. Let me rephrase that. I've been downright lazy lately! Not feeling well physically is a death knell for me, since I struggle with idleness and laziness. So I've been parenting from the couch for a few days. Ahem. Bad idea. The kids suffer, Mama suffers, and the house suffers. Waaah.

Those strawberry plants Hannah planted not too long ago are yielding a bit of fruit. Trust me, if you get your butt off of the couch (like I didn't) and plant some strawberry plants, you will never eat another fake plastic store bought strawberry ever again. They are small bursts of ruby sweetness, and The Dog thinks so too.....Grrr.

My husband finished the score he was writing for his first feature film. For those of you who don't know, a score is the music for a movie. He is now done, and the film is in final post production. It should be out in early mid July. He also finished orchestrating a CD for a chap in Pennsylvania. So, in addition to working 40 hrs a week at his job, he was doing two HUGE side jobs too. Since he's getting his music jobs done, the 100 lb burden on his shoulders is reduced by about 75 lbs. He now feels about.....oh, you do the math!!

I decided to get my cottage cheese butt off the couch earlier and go sit out in the sun. So I was basically a chair potato! I stuck my pasty white legs out in the sun, and my bones soaked up the warmth. Then The Dog thought my lap looked like a good place to sun Herself. My lap is no place for a 70 lb Black Lab puppy to sit. She's sweet though, when she's not raiding the strawberries. She likes dandelions and carrots too.

My husband is taking me out on a date Sunday. Wow. We're doing an early dinner and a matinee! The last time we were at the movies, Aslan was giving his life to satisfy the Deep Magic. We're going to see the new Indiana Jones, I think. Hmmm.

My diet stinks lately. Fritos. Homemade bean dip. Mashed potatoes. Gravy. These are things my body is no longer used to. And I feel the pounds sloshing on, even as I sit here! My stomach is not happy, people! I need to get back on the wagon. Immediately. There's nothing wrong with those foods, it's just that I can't eat them because they hurt me! Waaah.

We're having a BBQ tonight. My husband is the best griller in the universe. Remember, he's perfect. So we're having burgers, brats, beans, and potato salad. Ahem. Some of us are having those things. Waaah.

Did I mention that I have fallen off my regimented diet wagon? I'm just about having to move my stomach out of the way so I can type. Not attractive. I'm feeling really hormonal these days. I feel as fat as I ever was at 220 lbs. Oh, I mentioned that already, didn't I? Well Waaah.

My Sofia was trying to wave to you all today, but the pictures were turning out blurry. So I couldn't post them. And I have not the foggiest notion how to post a video on my blog. Or I would have posted a video of my cutie eating a neckaneen and waving to you all, so you could wave back at her. But, since I haven't a clue as to how to post video, you'll have to imagine her waving to you and wave back. Waaah.

Okay, I guess this was a combo whine fest and newsy post......

That's all. What's going on with you?

Monday, June 9, 2008


Can I ask you a question??

What is wrong with our society when people can't snap out of their busyness, their me-ness, to wave to a cute two year old baby??

Let me explain.

Saturday my mom and I and my kids all went to a big city to do some things. My mom had some things to take back, and my kids love to go to the big city, to the malls, so we went along for the ride.

We went to a mall there, and Sofia was bopping along in her stroller, waving and saying Hi to everyone she saw. She was absolutely darling, adorable, soooo cute!! I was so happy for her, because some of my other kids were painfully shy at her age.

Can I tell you that not one, NOT ONE person waved to her??

Can I tell you that people actually altered their course to GET AROUND her?????????

My stomach hurts just remembering!

Some even FROWNED AT HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

People, let me tell you that I am totally disgusted. And sad.

I feel sorry for those morons who couldn't even take the time out of their precious bubble of me-ness to wave to a cute baby girl, thereby brightening up their day AND hers!

I'm disgusted at what our society has become! I mean, I fully know how people are these days, but it hit home with me in a very glaring way.

I felt sad for Sofia, because perhaps, in her mind, she wondered why nobody was waving back at her. I even feel insulted that they dissed my baby girl like that!!!!!!

It just makes me sick!

I pray to God that I am never too caught up in myself to miss those moments that could transform my day. I hope to Him that I am aware of everyone, even the least of these. I don't want to miss a thing! I want to bless someone, I want to brighten someone's day, I want to be accessible!

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Weather

Let's see.....

It's June here....

It's 57 degrees outside.....

It's raining....

Can I get some summer here??

Hannah planted some strawberries out front a week or so ago.....

Will they survive?

We want to plant some tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, cilantro, and some flowers...

Will we be able to?

When is this horrible weather going to end?

I need me some sun!

I don't know about you out there, but I do get sick of endless rain and cold. I love, love, LOVE sunny, warm weather! I lived in CA for the first part of my life, and that's what I love. I do miss it......but where I live is beautiful too, it's only the weather I hate!

The weather directly affects whatever is physically wrong with me. In this constant cold, damp, rainy weather, not only am I depressed, I'm also totally wiped out! It's so fun trying to be a good wife/mom when you're body's screaming at you to quit!!

Can I have a pity party for just a second here???

I've been praying for warm weather. I mean, it's JUNE, for the love of potatoes!

Do you think God cares what kind of weather I like??

I think God wants to hear whatever is on my mind and in my heart, and He is the maker of the weather, so yeah, I do think He cares! I long to see blue skies, whipped cream clouds, and green tree branches swaying in a gentle breeze. I want to feel the warmth of a golden sun on my face and feel its restorative heat seep into my bones....

And so, I'll keep praying for good weather!

How's the weather in your neck of the woods??

Thursday, June 5, 2008

What's Happening Here

Wow, I guess it's been about 6 days since my last post!! And that's not like me at all!!

It's not because I haven't had anything to say....quiet the contrary...I've been just sifting through the thoughts in my head, wondering what to post first!

Some Funny Things:

Yesterday, our Sofia, who is two, was chasing our Russell, and she caught him and proceeded to give him a good whuppin' on his bum, and while she was doing it, she was shouting "OWIE, OWIE, OWIE!" That gave us all a good laugh! My son later said to me that he didn't realize how much fun she was to play with!!

The kids do something called "Fire One" with Sofia. She stands up on the arm of our sectional and yells "Fi One!" and the person holding her will gently push her down onto the couch, and she'll fall with her legs over her head! It's the funniest, cutest thing to see! We got it on video.

The girls are eating "Princess Sandwiches and Tea" for lunch right now, sitting at the coffee table in the living room, and Sara just piped up with, "If you drink too much Bald Headed Beanstock Tea you will get a headache!" Then she proceeded to place a crumpled up shirt on her head. She said that was her headache! Remember, she's my unique one.....we laughed so hard Hannah almost spit out her tea!

New Books:

I'm a really fast reader, and I love a good book. I just got done reading The Prophet by Frank Peretti....may I say, it was one of the most awesome books I've ever read!! I laughed, I cried, and the Lord spoke to my heart through this work of fiction. Frank Peretti is one good author!

I also recently finished The Shack, reading it on the recommendation of Dave's aunt Jackie, who loaned it to me. I know there's lots of things floating around out there, and I want to give my two cents worth about it to you. To put it plainly, I didn't like it at all. I thought the author seriously amiss by minimizing God's glory by portraying the great I AM as a fat, jolly black woman. God should never, ever be portrayed this way, according to Romans 1:21-23. Frankly, it was just so hard for me to swallow and enjoy that the God Who created the world, Who formed each one of us, Who, by His very breath can make mountains smoke and hills melt like wax, at Whose rebuke the waters flee (Psalm 104), that this powerful God could be reduced to a fat, Aunt Jemima character! The author portrayed Jesus as very cavalier, very nonchalant, and I also had a problem with that too.....I just all around didn't like the book at all.


I'm trying a crock pot Falafel recipe. I can't wait to eat it! I got it from a link on Gayle's blog. I'm excited, because it sounds good, looks good, and meets my dietary requirements perfectly.

After much tasting and mulling, I think I have finally come up with a recipe that is going to be very similar to my favorite soup at one of my favorite local eateries! The soup is called Mushroom Brie Bisque, and it is lush and comforting, and I'm pumped about trying to make my own!

I think I'm going to have a banana dipped in peanut butter and then dipped in chocolate chips today, the next time I'm hungry. Maybe! I'm trying to really watch my sugar intake, since it gives me nasty anxiety attacks.

Well, I guess life is pretty peaceful and lovely here.....tell me, have you read any good books lately, or tried any new recipes, or heard anything funny lately?? Let me know in your comment!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I think about Heaven a lot.

I think it's an awfully big place.....

I hear in my mind the laughter of children and their singing as they come freely to Jesus.

I see the sunshine and I feel the breezes, laden with the scent of the Rose of Sharon.

My mind can't comprehend just how vast a place Heaven must be!

It must be truly massive to hold all of the babies killed by abortion since time began.

It must be a large country to hold all the children who died of cancer and things like that.

I think it must be a limitless place to hold all the babies who have died of SIDS, or miscarriage, or stillbirth. I think those babies are fully realized people there.

I think the weather must be perfect there. I always see green hills and technicolor grass and mountains, and over it all, the sun is always brilliantly shining.

My heart aches today, for all the mommies whose babies are there.

I often contemplate what my Janie looks like, or how old she is. What color is her hair? Does she have blue eyes like our other children? Curly hair or straight?

For some reason, I always picture her with dark, gently curling hair.

I wonder what our three babies are doing up there! I think they're playing, and running, breathing and whole, worshipping Jesus as they walk along with Him, holding His hand.

I often think about Heaven, but it's so hard for me to be homesick for it. You see, I think I have a slice of Heaven here on earth, being surrounded by such treasures in my 6 earthly children and my dear husband.

It's so hard for me to want to leave all of this for an unknown land. Some would say I'm too earthly minded.

I know how much I think about Heaven. It's different when you have loved ones there, isn't it?

Don't get me wrong, I do want to go to Heaven and do look forward to that trip someday........

But I've been allowed to live Heaven here.....and I'm blessed beyond measure, and though my heart is battered and bruised by a God I do not profess to understand, in my feeble way, in my limited heart, I choose to worship Him and to thank Him for the loan of these children I know here in my arms and beside me, and even for the babies I did not get to know.

Lord, please accept my clumsy attempt at worshiping You in the way that I can. I truly do surrender all that I have left to You, and as small as it is, I offer myself to You for whatever You would use me for. I choose to thank You, praise You, and use the voice You have given me to glorify You in spite of heartache and deep wounds.

Thank You for my life, Lord. Thank You.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Waking Up My Girls

I would have posted last night but I got hit with a migraine!

So, I'm making up for it and posting today, in my jammies and before my shower.....hey, whatever it takes to get a slice of our life to you people!

I just found myself yelling at my girls, "I'm tired of yelling at you guys to get out of bed!" I had to chuckle, because I sounded just like my mom!!

All of my girls sleep in one large room, and we keep sort of late hours at night, I mean, Daddy comes in and prays with the girls at about 10:15 or so.....hey, don't shoot me! We do things a little differently here......

I used to be a fanatic that the kids had to be prayed for and lights out at 9:30. I nagged my husband TO DEATH about it too. I would pout and stew and simmer and just get mad when he didn't get in to pray with everyone by my time.....

Now that I'm becoming, I decided to let it go! My husband actually said one day that it drove him crazy to hear me constantly nagging at him to pray with the kids every night. So, from then on, I decided to just let him fly by the seat of his pants with bedtime.

It was tough at first. I'd lay in bed and bite my tongue and yes, stew and simmer and get mad, but I held my tongue!

Now I realize what a blessing he is to me! I mean, he brushes the little ones' teeth every night! He makes sure everyone's in bed! He takes it upon himself to pray with the kids each night.....and he gets his silliness and tickles in too! What more could I ask?? I can lounge in bed and let him take over!

Who cares what kind of schedule he wants to keep?

It's one less thing that I have to do......especially at night! I'm NOT a night owl! mom would say to me, after she had tried and tried to get my brother (who was far worse at getting out of bed than me!) and me out of bed.....

"You'll understand when you're a mom!"

Funny thing is, I looked at my mom the other day....

And I said....

"I understand!"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Please Pray.

Everyone out there, please be praying for Chickadee, aka Melissa over at Familiar Path. Please.

Wow, I guess that kinda came out of nowhere! No, it didn't. She's on my mind a great deal today. Read her most recent post and get the story.

So, I think that's what my post will be about today.


I want to ask for prayer for me too.

I'm in the midst of a myriad of doctors' appointments right now.

The doctors think I may have an autoimmune disease of some sort.

One of the symptoms/consequences of having an autoimmune disease is sudden fetal death at any time during the pregnancy.



I see.

The thing that started me on this road is that I was referred to an internal medicine specialist back in April after seeing a new naturopath who was concerned enough about some symptoms that I'd been having to refer me to a friend of his.

The thing is, I'd been having these symptoms on and off for about two years. Or longer. Who knows how long I've been living like this and just thinking it was normal? I can't remember feeling well!

I can't remember feeling well!

I went to doctor after doctor and received a pat on the hand and the attitude like it was all in my head, yet I still continued to have debilitating symptoms.

I've had extreme fatigue, a rash on the right side of my face, chronic, every day feeling like I have the flu, achiness, joint pan, poor vision, insomnia, blue fingernails, lips and toenails, I'm extremely cold all the time, headaches, sores that do not heal, etc, etc, etc....This has all become normal to me and I just do what I have to do as a wife and mom to soldier through.

Nobody ever listened. Until now.

My internal med specialist listened. He examined me and questioned me for two hours and flat out said he thought it looked like an autoimmune disease, like lupus or something. He was surprised and angry at all of the doctors I'd seen who ignored the cumulative symptoms and didn't do further testing for me. He was upset that I had been suffering silently, thinking what I was feeling was "just me".

So now I have a team of doctors working with me. I have an ob/gyn, who suspected something out of the ordinary when I had two miscarriages in a row. I have an internal med specialist, a naturopath, and now, the newest team member, a rheumatologist, who I will be seeing June 18th.

I hate to be a complainer. I hate whining and pity parties. That is not what I want my blog to be about.

I do want my blog to be a forum for prayer. For a while now I haven't asked for you gals to pray for me, I was just too afraid or didn't want to or whatever.

But now I'm asking. I want the doctors to be able to diagnose me. Because there is help for me if I can get a diagnosis.

I'm tired of feeling like this all the time and I want to begin to feel normal. I want to run with my kids and ride bikes with them! I want to be able to go on a hike with my husband and kids! I want to sleep through the night! I want to be able to eat!

I want you gals all to know that my life is a testimony to God's complete and total faithfulness.

He is the ONLY REASON I have been able to function. He is the ONLY REASON.

And I give Him all the glory for being my reason, my strength, my endurance.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Quirky? Me???

I bet you're just dying to know the 6 most quirky things about me, right?? Oh good, because I'll tell you!!

  • I like my van to be spotless on the inside. You'd never be able to tell we have 6 kids by looking inside my van!
  • I love arugula. Most of you probably don't know what arugula is! It's lettuce. I adore it!
  • I never, ever wear stripes of any kind, and I seldom buy striped clothes for my kids. Stripes play weird tricks on my eyes, and I just don't like the way they look on me.
  • I'm totally addicted to pens and paper and Dixon Ticonderoga pencils, with a good eraser on top and sharpened to a point. This is a long time addiction for me. I only like the good stuff though. No Bics for me! My current fave pen is the Pentel EnerGel in purple. At least this silly obsession won't make me fat!!!
  • I love my cupboards and my pantry to be spotless. I hate boxes of any kind in my cupboards! Whenever I can I'll use baskets and containers. It just makes me happy to see order whenever I open my cupboards. (I'm a bit militaristic about it too!) Hey, I never said I was normal!!
  • And the grand finale: I'm terrified of down escalators. So much so that I've actually frozen up at the top of an escalator and almost had a panic attack several times. When faced with a down escalator, I force myself to use it anyway. It's that whole "confront your fears" sort of thing.....this one has never gone away no matter what.
So there you have it. Six things you were just dying to know about me!

What about you?? What's weird about you? Tell me in your comment or post about your quirks on your blog!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Thank You, My 'Bloggy Sisters!

I want to say thank you to each of you who hung in there with me during the past few days, as I reminisced about my Janie.

I want to say thank you for your supportive comments, but most of all, for your diligent prayers on my behalf. None of us can walk this path without each other, and since I've started blogging, I must say, you all have been incredibly wonderful to me!!!

I really want to acknowledge my dear friend Gayle....she and I have sort of reconnected over the past couple of months. Gayle, you and I have known each other for quite some time (remember that first apartment???) and I count it a privilege to see how you have grown and changed and blessed God and your husband by supporting his dreams and becoming truly one with is vision. Your becoming doesn't go unnoticed with God......keep pressing in, keep looking up...Thanks for all your support and prayers and your great listening ear, and of course, all of the Mushroom Brie Bisque!!!

I want to say thanks to Laura too......I really wish we could come up to see you guys. Thanks, Laura, for being a good, strong shoulder for me to cry on....I'll call you someday soon, I just guess I get too busy (forgive me!) and don't want to bother you too much.....You've taught me how to let things go, sort of a don't-worry-be-happy approach! I love that about you and I'm glad we're still friends. I'm sending you a package of love, so look for it in your mailbox as soon as Dave brings me home a *BIGGER* box!!

And Marsha.....what can I say?? You're muy bueno.....tres've become a slice of sanity, a source of steadiness, in my merry-go-round world. Thanks for hanging in there with me. Our several times a week emails are really special to me.....I CAN'T WAIT TILL JANUARY!!!!!

Okay, you guys are the best bloggy friends a girl could have! You all are like my favorite brownies, warm from the oven, with melty chocolate chips all throughout, and a good heap of peanut butter frosting on top!!!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Janie

Today is Janie's birthday.

I was going to post a picture of her tiny little feet, but I tried to upload it and it just wouldn't work. Apparently there was an error somewhere...

No matter. It's okay if I don't have a picture to go with this post.

Janie's birth was just like all of my other births, easy and relatively short at 8 1/2 hrs.

I was induced via a pill called myselprostin. You'll have to forgive me, I don't know how to spell it. I was given two very tiny, very significant pills in a paper cup after checking into the hospital and getting all hooked up to the contraction monitor and the IV.

Two little pills. Not even as big as Tylenol. The smallest pills I've ever seen, really.

But they did their job. We had waited four days in hopes that my body would kick into labor naturally, but it didn't.

That day was actually a very peaceful day. There were no worries or fears. My favorite nurse was on that day and attended me exclusively. That really helped. She really is the best nurse there is and we've actually had her many times during our other births.

At about 5 pm, my mom and husband both decided to go down to the cafeteria and get something to eat, since nothing was really happening and we didn't know how long it would be yet. I labored with my friend Shawna in the room, just her and I. She had also had a stillborn baby, and was a very close friend who had let me pick her brain about her experience and who agreed to come with me that day, to have someone who understood nearby.

It happened that, at about 5:30, I started to have some really tough contractions. I knew birth was imminent. I had one painful contraction, and didn't even push, and she slipped out very gently.

My mom and husband both missed her birth.

Anyway, the staff and my nurse at our hospital really came through for me. They treated her just like any newborn and told me I could hold her as long as I wanted. There was a tiny white gown, with her name hand embroidered on it in pink, and a tiny diaper, just for babies her size. She had her own little bracelets..........

My nurse made a plaster cast of her footprint for me to have forever, and snipped some of her baby fine, barely-there black hair for me to keep too. I have her tiny bracelet, and it's almost the size of my husband's wedding ring!

Looking back, I wish I had held her longer. It was very difficult for me. You see, she was absolutely perfect. No physical abnormalities. Perfectly formed......but her little face was crushed. That's the sad, hard reality. We didn't get to have any serene, airbrushed black and white pictures of pictures of me holding her surrounded by my family.

That's why I didn't hold her for long. I just couldn't. Because she wasn't a C-section baby, and because her delicate bones were so fragile, coming down the birth canal actually crushed her face.

I need to tell you that.

I need to give cold, hard facts.

It helps me to absolve myself.....

I did a lot of beating myself up over the fact that I didn't hold her for long. She was a breath, a barely-there weight in my arms, and I will tell you the truth: I wish I had held her longer. I've never told another living soul that except my husband.

I was thinking about what kind of post I wanted to do today. I know that my posts have grown incredibly long. I'm sorry for that.....My heart is incredibly full.....

Anyway, we wrapped her in a pink fleece blankie printed all over with red cherries and we kept her with us till about 9 pm that night.

We did have a memorial service....

What I really want to say, and what I really want you to know, is that I survived. I didn't only survive, I have thrived. I really have. I'm not even a shadow of that person that I was that day.

Thank God.

Happy Birthday, my angel.......

I remember you, Janie Rose Gilchrist.
Born on May 13, 2004
1 lb 12 oz
14 inches long
My Angel Baby
I will never forget.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Finding Out.

So I bet you can all guess what happened that day when I went to the hospital for an emergency ultrasound.

Yes, our baby girl was asleep.....

She had gone to sleep that morning in my womb and woke up in the arms of Jesus.

We learned that she had passed away, probably that Friday, judging by how my amniotic fluid had significantly decreased.

My husband was at work when I went to the doctor that day, and I had the kids with me at the doctor's office.

On the way over to the hospital, for some reason, my van made a beeline, seemingly of its own volition, to my church. I jerkily parked, stumbled out of the van (leaving my kids in there) and staggered into the office, barely coherent. I collapsed in a chair at the front desk and basically went into hysterics. Pastor and his wife heard me and, after trying to tell them that I was expected at the hospital, they totally took over.

Pastor's wife said she'd take the kids, someone called my husband, and my friend Kim took me to the hospital so I wouldn't have to drive.

Shortly after I got there Dave got there too.

The ultrasound was done and Janie's death confirmed.

We were given the option of inducing labor right then. But my favorite nurse was there and she said I could have the baby on Thursday when she was on shift.

I chose to have Janie on Thursday, May 13th.

I don't want to belabor the story further. It was a sad, seemingly hopeless time for me, a time in which I truly almost had a crisis of faith. I was so freaked out, leading up to May 13th. The time was surreal in its total nightmarishness and its total misconstruction.

Somebody told me that day that in God's plan, there is no such thing as premature death. All of Janie's days were written for her before she was even thought of, and she lived the appointed number of days that God alloted for her.

I know now that God didn't take her away from me because He didn't like me. I know that nothing I did or didn't do caused her death. I know that she wasn't in any pain, that she went from a supremely safe place to the safest place in creation.

My friend told me that she was absolutely certain she had heard from God and that God had told her He was going to heal Janie. She was totally devastated and embarrassed when she learned that Janie had died. But I held no offense toward her, because my spirit never witnessed to what she said. However much I wanted to hold on to Janie, I knew in my heart that she had died and flown to Heaven.

He did heal her. She lives now, totally perfect and totally at peace. She sees the face of the Ultimate Father, and gets to hold the nail scarred hands of her Best Friend and walk in the fields of Heaven with Him by her side. What more could a mother want for her baby? What better Father can a mother ask for for her baby?

It was a very hard Mother's Day that year, as Janie was born right before Mother's Day.......but I'm so much fuller and richer since having her. I thank God for every day I had with her, short as they were. I still miss her and sometimes wonder what she looks like and how it would feel to be able to kiss her tiny feet and smell her hair again. But God has done such a work in my heart and spirit since she was born.........

Janie Rose Gilchrist's birth was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

It was my awakening to Who the Lord really is.

It was the start of my becoming.