Thursday, January 31, 2008

Beirut Or Bust!

Okay, so I've had some very exciting news for a few days, but was waiting for my mom to post it on her blog before I broke the news. My Mom and Dad are heading for Beirut, Lebanon in March for a ten day missions trip to help with a children's camp. This has been a long time coming for my mom, who has dreamed of going on a missions trip for years! They are very excited, and trying to get all their ducks in a row before the big trip. There has been talk of my sister coming to stay with us while my parents are gone, so I'm really hoping that works out. I am so proud of my parents, and hope that they have a fantastic life-changing experience over there. How exciting! As you know Beirut is not always the safest place. Please pray that they will be safe, and that the bombing will stop. If there is any bombing close to where they are going, the trip will have to be canceled. What a blessing to have the opportunity to spread the gospel to foreign lands! My mom posted on her blog about it if you would like to read it: Congratulations! We love you!


Nothing too exciting going on today. Caitlyn's birthday is tomorrow, so she's really excited. Here are a couple funnies I've received recently via email. I thought you might enjoy them!



A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her
altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him, "Excuse me,
can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I
don't know where I am."

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're in a hot air
balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2346 feet above
sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100
degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude."
She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be a Republican."
"I am," replied the ma n. "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically
correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still
lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me."

The man smiled and responded, "You must be a Democrat."
"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?"
"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are or where you're
going. You've risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air.
You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and you expect
me to solve your problem. You're in exactly the same position you were
in before we met, but, somehow, now it's my fault."


New Seat Belt law

This becomes effective
January 1, 2008, in ALL states.

The National Highway Safety Council has done

extensive testing on a newly Designed seat belt.
Results show th
at accidents can be reduced by
as much as 45% when the belt is properly installed.

Correct Installation i
s illustrated below.......

Please pass on
to family and friends.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hectic Monday

Jeremy is out of town on a business trip, and Kylie's friend Morgan has spent the last two nights at our house. Jeremy should be back tomorrow night, but I am missing him terribly. Yesterday, I took all the kids to the Playroom for most of the day. Then we ate at Chick-Fil-A, and headed off to Tae Kwon Do. Next week is Kylie's last class. Then we ran to the grocery store. By the time we got home, we all were plum wore out!! Today we aren't going anywhere except to take Morgan home when her mom gets off work. Here's a few pictures of the John and Caitlyn at the Playroom yesterday. John was excited about this dragon costume, and insisted I take a picture so you could see his tail. Caitlyn got to play on their all new velcro wall. She was so excited! It was really funny to watch her jump up and stick on the wall! Love you all, and thank you to God Almighty who has for now blessed us with one more.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

VBS Benefit Concert

I have spent the last few months organizing a Benefit Dinner and Concert to raise money for our church's Vacation Bible School Fund. I am the VBS Director, and have really enjoyed this the last few years. Our church buses children in, and we regularly run from 100-120 kids each night of VBS. This requires some money of course, and I thought it would be fun to organize a fund raiser this year to help get the money we need for this year's VBS. Last night was our spaghetti dinner and concert. We made over $500 after we paid for supplies! There were about 80 people who attended, and the night was a success! I was so thrilled to see it turn out so well, and my prayers answered. The food was fabulous (Thank you Susan!), and the music was great too, if I do say so myself. We had a fantastic time, and raised some money for a great cause: reaching children for Christ! Love you all, and thank you to God Almighty who has for now blessed us with one more.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Kylie: Girl of Steel

Today, Kylie had a checkup with the allergist concerning her allergies and eczema. She has improved greatly over the last week, and the allergist said that we will not have to put her on antibiotics. She has to wear wet wraps every night, but she has gotten used to them. A wet wrap is a tube that we cut off of a knee sock, soak it in warm water, then wring it out. Then we put hydrocortisone cream on the insides of her elbows and backs of her knees, lather on vaseline, and slide the sock tube things on her elbows and knees. I know it sounds crazy, but with the wet wraps, her allergy medicine, and nightly bath soaks (soap free), she has really gotten so much better, and the itching has greatly improved. The allergist decided to run some blood work to see if we can get an idea of what she is allergic too, pretty much the same thing they did with Corey. When the nurse took Kylie's blood, she watched her put the needle in! She didn't flinch, whine, or cry, and showed absolutely no fear at all. The nurse was amazed, and couldn't believe it. Kylie has pretty much always been like that. Even as an infant, she almost never cried when she got shots. She went through a phase around two years old where she freaked out at needles, but she got over it quickly. Kylie is such a fighter. I knew that the moment she was born! The doctors said that she would need help breathing, and that there might be all these things wrong with her, but she had other plans. She came out screaming, yelling, and kicking 6 weeks early! She amazes me constantly! On a completely different topic, we drove by FoodLion today on our way to the doctor's office. Corey got all excited and said, "Look John! It's Lion Food!" I thought it was funny! Love you all and thank you to God Almighty who has for now blessed us with one more.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Two-Headed Monster

I thought you all might like this picture. John David and Jeremy were playing around the other night. John kept saying, "Look Mama! We got two heads!" We don't have much on the books for today. Jeremy and I are getting a night out alone tonight, thanks to our babysitter, Amber. I am definitely looking forward to that! :) I've been craving O'Charley's like crazy, but I told Jeremy he could pick since I just went to O'Charley's with some friends last week. I don't know what it is, but just thinking about their potato soup makes my mouth water! Love you all, and thank you to God Almighty who has for now blessed us with one more.

Monday, January 21, 2008

My Amazing Sister

My sister Andrea works with Mint and Sage Photographers as an intern. She has been working with them for awhile now, and I always check their blog to see the latest pictures. Thier blog is listed in my favorite blogs on our blog home page. Last Friday's posting (1/18/08) was an eye opener for me. It was about Andrea, and it had five questions that her boss Krystal asked her and her answers. I knew nothing about this, and I even talked to her just last night! Most of the answers I of course already knew, but the last one blew me away. Check out the post at! It goes to show you never know who is watching you, or who you might mean the world to. Our relationship has grown and changed dramatically over the past few years. She amazes me and I am so proud of her! I love you too Lil' Mac!!

Extreme Sledding

This weekend was very snowy for us! Lots of flakes, but not much accumulation though. Saturday Jeremy was working on the siding on the house in the snow (video below)! I couldn't believe it, but being a Wisconsin native he saw no problem. Later that evening the snow finally started to accumulate a little, and the kids wanted to go out and play in it. By this time it was dark out, but again Jeremy had a plan. He tied their two sleds up to his lawnmower tractor, and pulled them around the front yard for over an hour! Their was only about an inch of snow on the ground, maybe less! The kids had a blast, and now there is a muddy figure eight in our front yard. I tried to take a video, but it was too dark out. All you could see in the video was the tractor's headlights, and hear the kids screaming and laughing. I did get the couple pictures above of Kylie and Caitlyn with their big snowballs, John's pouty face when he had to leave his snowball outside, and the kids sledding. Most of the pictures I took didn't come out because it was too dark, but these few looked alright after I brightened them up a bit on my computer. Overall, I think Jeremy and the kids made some great memories. I had a great time just watching! Thank you Jeremy for taking the time to make great memories with our children! You're a great Daddy! Love you all, and thank you to God Almighty who has for now blessed us with one more.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snow Day!

We woke this morning to snow flurries! The kids were very excited and couldn't wait to get out and play in it. It was sticking to the ground a little but not much, but I couldn't tell them no! By the time we got everyone bundled up it had started to rain and Corey didn't want to go outside anymore. The other three headed straight for the back yard to play in what little snow there was, while racing against the rain that was melting it. They still managed to have a snowball fight(video below), and Caitlyn managed to make a snowman (picture above). The snowman was a tad bit sad looking, but she was excited none the less. It is only about eight inches tall, and it is now sitting in our freezer, because she couldn't bear to see it melt! :) Even though the snow didn't last long, I feel confident there is more to come. This is the third time we've had significant flurries and the best of winter is right around the corner. Caitlyn talked me into taking a snow day off from school. I can't say that I was fighting her too hard! :) The kids are now all warming up with hot chocolate and watching cartoons. Enjoy the picture and the video. Love you all, and thank you to God Almighty who has for now blessed us with one more!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Allergies, Allergies, Allergies

Sometimes I try to figure out why our kids seem to get a double dose of allergy related illnesses, then I remember that both sides of their gene pool have bad allergies. Poor kids! They never had a chance! Caitlyn went to the allergist today for a scheduled checkup. She is doing excellent, and the allergist thinks that she may be starting to outgrow her asthma! This is a huge blessing! They want to keep her on her inhaled steroid through the spring, but she's on a much lower dose than years past, and her lung function is better than it's ever been. We'll take her off of her medication come summer, and we'll see what next fall brings, but hopefully we can keep her off the steroid. While we were there, I had the doctor take a look at Kylie, because for the past six weeks she's had a case of eczema that we can't seem to shake. The doctor said that she looks like she may be getting a skin infection, and gave her a prescription. She has to go back next week, and the doctor said that she may put her on an antibiotic until we can get her allergies under control and get rid of the eczema. Corey also goes back next week for a followup from his allergy testing. On a happier note, John's Reactive Airways Disease seems to be gone. We've gone eight months with no steroids! Well, off to corral the wild things! Love you all, and thank you to God Almighty who has for now blessed us with one more.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mommy's Little Helpers

This past weekend, the kids pitched in around the house helping out where they could. Here are two videos, one of Kylie shampooing the carpet, and one of John helping out with dinner. Caitlyn helps out quite a bit now that she's getting older, but Kylie and John don't always get a chance to do the big jobs. It always amazes me how much they can help out even at their young ages. Caitlyn and Kylie's birthdays are coming up here in a couple weeks. I still can't believe that they will be 5 and 7! Well, enjoy the videos. Love you all, and thank you to God Almighty who has for now blessed us with one more!

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Inivisible Mom

A friend of mine posted this on her blog, and I thought it was worth reposting. All moms at times feel invisible, lost in a world of sippy cups, Disney movies, little kid-sized undies, and endless piles of laundry. When I read this, it was a great reminder of why moms do what they do, and that when no one else seems to notice, God sees. As the lady who wrote this says, being a mom is a great cure for self-centeredness.

Author Unknown-
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way
one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be
taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?"
Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping
the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see
me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you
tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even
a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite
guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order,
"Right around 5:30, please." I was certain that these were the hands that
once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that
graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut
butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a
friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and
she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there,
looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to
compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress;
it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair
was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut
butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a
beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this." It was a
book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd
given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Carol, with admiration for
the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover
what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could
pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no
record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they
would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the
eyes of God saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man
who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a
workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and
asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a
beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the
workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost
as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the
sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of
kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is
too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great
cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease
that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own
self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep
the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the
people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on
something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so
far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because
there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my daughter to tell the friend
she's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in
the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for
three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd
built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want her to want to come
home. And then, if there is anything more to say to her friend, to add,
"You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're
doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel,
not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the
world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Baby Looks Good

Yesterday Jeremy and I went to the OB's office for my first ultrasound. It is still early, but everything looks good, and the baby's heartbeat was strong. Because of the way the baby was laying, we didn't get any good pictures and they mostly just look like a blurry blob. I am supposed to have a quick ultrasound in four weeks, and I will try to get a better picture then. I also had an appointment with my diabetes doctor, and they started me checking my sugar levels four times a day. I usually don't start having trouble for a few more weeks yet, so I should be okay for a little while. My blood pressure was a little up yesterday, but not too bad so the doctor isn't worried just yet. So far, so good! According to my ultrasound, the baby is due August 26th. I think it finally sunk in yesterday after seeing the ultrasound! Now we have about seven months to get all our baby stuff together. Since we gave all our baby stuff away (because we thought we were done!), we're starting from scratch. I did get a carseat for free already, so that's a start, right? Love you all, and thank you to God Almighty who has for now blessed us with one more!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Little Boy Photographers

Jeremy and I were looking at pictures on the camera, and found a bunch of pictures that we didn't know where they came from. After flipping through them, it became clear what happened. According to the date stamp on the camera, Monday morning the boys must have gotten up earlier than I thought. It looks like they decided to try some photography by themselves. I'm sure John David was the master mind behind the whole operation! When I asked him about it, he said it was "on accident". Yeah right! We couldn't help but laugh as we looked at the pictures. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did. On another note, John's been running a fever since late Tuesday night. I think he just caught a virus, and he seems to be handling it pretty well, but I'm praying that he gets better soon. I have two doctor appointments tomorrow, so I'll post afterwards. Love you all, and thank you to God Almighty who has for now blessed us with one more!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Okay, so I lied! Yesterday was not Kylie's last Tae Kwon Do class. Somehow we got our wires crossed. She has four more classes. She did get a new belt yesterday though, blue. She was really excited about that. Well, we don't have much on the books for today. Looks like it should be fairly calm! Love you all, and thank you to God Almighty who has for now blessed us with one more!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Back to School

Just a quick note to say hi. We are starting back to school today. Our holiday break is officially over! Caitlyn and Kylie are that enthusiastic, but they'll warm back up to it soon I hope. I had an appointment last Friday with Dr. Lankford, the endocrinologist that deals with my Hashimoto's. It was just a quick appointment to do some blood work to check my levels. He did say that my thyroid is continuing to shrink and the left side is completely back to normal size! He still seems amazed at how quickly it has shrunk. I know it has been because of prayer! I have two appointments this Friday, one of which is an ultrasound at my OB's office. I will post ultrasound pictures ASAP after the appointment. Today is Kylie's last Tae Kwon Do class. She's actually not that upset. I think she's ready for a break. I'll post more about that tomorrow. Love you all, and thank you to God Almighty who has for now blessed us with one more!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Snowball Fight Video

I had to make one with our heads! Enjoy!


My mom sent me the funniest little video that had our family in it as elves having a snowfight. I had to share! Just click on the link below and watch!

God is so good!

Hope everyone had a great New Year's Day. We didn't do anything too exciting for New Year's Eve. With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we were all still trying to catch up on sleep. We had a nice quiet evening at home. I am embarrassed to admit that I barely made it to midnight! I was so tired, and as soon as it struck midnight, I was off to bed. Poor Jeremy didn't even get a very enthusiastic New Year's kiss! I guess that's what happens when you get old!! Just kidding! Now that the holidays are over, it's back to real life. Jeremy's had quite a bit of time off over the holidays, and the kids and I have been missing him now that he's back to work. Jeremy and I have been discussing our new year's resolutions. Some of them are the same, but there are some new ones too. Our new ones always reflect the lessons we've learned over the past year. With 2008 rolling in, I've also been reminiscing about all that has happened over the past year. Going back and looking through the blog archives, I can see some highs and lows. Most of all though, I see many answered prayers and blessings from God that I know I didn't deserve. How incredible His grace is! In this new year comes some new trials for us, but ones that I know God will see us through. We have court in early March, and some big decisions will hopefully be made regarding whether Corey stays in our home permanently or not. Whatever lays ahead, I am holding onto the promise of God's peace. This next year we will also receive the blessing of new life. Knowing this is our last one, I've been trying to remember to relish every moment, every emotion, those first feelings when it finally sinks in that there really is a baby growing inside of you. This time it is even more meaningful because the kids are old enough to really be aware of what's going on. The excitement and anticipation in their faces when we talk about it lifts my heart. This will truly be a family event! So far I am feeling very well. The circus of doctors starts tomorrow. I see Dr. Lankford for blood tests on my thyroid. He doesn't think that my Hashimoto's Disease will cause a problem for us, but there are some adjustments that will have to be made to my medication, and routine blood tests throughout my pregnancy to monitor my hormone levels. Next Friday, we see the OB for our first ultrasound and blood pressure check, and then that same afternoon we see Dr. Castelucci to begin monitoring my blood sugar. It will be quite the busy schedule of doctor appointments over the next several months, but I'm going to do all I can to keep myself healthy. I have to admit that Jeremy and I are both a bit nervous about what this next several months hold for my health, but we know that God is able. This baby will be born shortly before Jeremy and I's tenth wedding anniversary. What a way to end this decade of our lives together! God has been so good to us! Okay, so can you tell that I am already a bit of an emotional preggo? Yes, I definitely have been having a case of the weepies. I've always loved the "You know your a redneck when..." jokes. I think I could write my own version "You know your pregnant when....", starting with "You know your pregnant when cry about commercials!!" Love you all, and thank you to God Almighty who has for now blessed us with one more!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year

Here's wishing everyone a very Happy New Year! Love you all!