Sunday, July 26, 2009


There's a war going on in our house.

Look carefully.

Can you see it?

No, it's not mommy vs. Kami during piano practice

Can you feel the epic saga going on right under our noses?

Here, let me zoom in for you.It's a classic story of good vs. evil.

Of tragedy and courage. Of heroes and villians.
It's the solider willing to die for his cause... never giving up hope, following the orders of his commander to the death. The stormtrooper um... stormtrooping over the smooth piano casing waiting for destiny to occur.
As Yoda and his protege look on.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Of Cell Phones and Toilets

This ones for Baloney. Just so she knows she's not the only one.

I won't get into the gory details, but I will say that my cell phone died in a toilet accident involving Luke.

And that it was ugly.

And that it required an extraction that in the end, didn't really matter.

The phone went to pot, so to speak.

The miraculous ending to my tale of poo, I mean woe....
is that it was the perfect opportunity to get a new phone. (Amazingly, my contract for my old phone was up too - the stars aligned!)

I have resisted. I have proudly carried around my Sony slider phone, telling myself that I didn't HAVE to have the iphone. I didn't NEED the iphone.

An iphone would not complete me. (harumph!!)

Weirdly, I did the same thing with capri pants. Back about 10 years ago, when the fashion came back in, I thought... I'm not giving into that! I don't have to wear THOSE to fit in.
There must be a bit of a noncomformist ghoul lurking in me. I think I was the last person to give in to the fashion, but give I did. Thank the fashion Gods above. That's about all I wear now - some kind of cropped pant.

Well, you've guesssed it by now. I got the iphone. I was nervous, but my friend Lori took the plunge with me. I was thankful to have a friend who was going through the same iphone growing pains that I was.

And now, (brace yourselves) I tell you how truly complete I feel.

Not in the shallow way, like please see me hold my iphone. See me dial my iphone. See me talk on my iphone. Look at my signature: sent from my iphone.

But in an organizational, I have got-it-all-together kind of way.

Ok, I'll never have it all together, obviously, if I dropped my iphone into a pot of poo.

But wow, the myth of the iphone is no myth at all.

It is fantastic.

I have converted from a paper calendar to my iphone calendar.
Love it.

I have a camera with me at any given moment.

The email.

he texting.

The GPS.

The music.
The way it stores your contacts.

The ease of the touchscreen.
The apps.

The APPS!!!

They are so creative and very useful.
I have the entire Bible on my phone.
I can pull up any version of any verse any time I need to.

No, the iphone is not overrated. It's genius.

Now if I can just keep from dropping it in the toilet.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I love words, so my discovery of was fantabulous. Go see what you can create. All you do is input your desired text (I copied and pasted from my blog) and then "create." you can then use the buttons at the top of your image to manipulate color, font, etc. Click on image to get a better look.

Monday, July 20, 2009


There they sat on a shady curb in our neighborhood. They came in small, medium and large, and were pristine. If not for scribbled sharpie words such as "kitchen" and "boys room," they looked completely unused.

I regarded them with excitement, one of those rare moments when God's answer to prayer comes immediately. In my mind, they were manna from heaven. Just that morning I had whispered a quick prayer: "Lord, if it is Your will for us to move, I pray You will open the doors." My first request? Boxes.

I needed to do a little packing up.

The idea of moving had overtaken my mind like rushing water, and I was a momma on a mission. After 2 years of praying about moving, the time had finally come. God had directly and swiftly answered my prayers, and I felt sure that the answers would keep falling down like a line of carefully placed dominos.

Load by load, I took the boxes from the curb, not bothering to was early in the morning and besides, it was trash day. These boxes were bound for the dump.

Well, the momentum quickly ended. It wasn't long before Tom and I together realized that this was not the time. After God opened the gate real wide, it seemed like it hit me in the bottom when he closed it.

The boxes sat in my garage, and in the meantime, I thought I spied the family whose boxes I had stolen. Well, taken really, but I was aware enough to notice them walking out of their cul-desac and towards our neighborhood church on Sunday morning. I noted what they were wearing and thought that I would speak to them on the off chance I saw them at church. After all, I had taken their boxes.

I did see them during our church's coffee, so I introduced myself and found out they were transplanted here from a faraway state. Knew not a soul.

And I did confess to her I had taken her boxes!

As that week passed, I forgot that family and thought a lot about myself and my empty boxes. Besides the desire to move to get a nicer place, I had several other very good reasons to move. And I was letting God know about it. I spent the week crying, praying, angry and confused. I wasn't just disappointed. I was hurt. Truly, I could barely eat. Sounds shallow to you probably, but when a momma bear gets her mind on something, there is an extreme amount of emotional energy purcolating.

During one of my pleas to God, I brought His Holy attention to my boxes. "what was that about anyway, God?" Towards week's end, I began laying my heart out..... Telling God that He was the high and mighty God of heaven and earth and that I would accept His plan for my life. Use me for your glory....but show me what to do with these darn boxes!!!!

While the boxes originally symbolized exciting possibilities unknown, my heart felt pangs everytime I opened my garage door.

I saw my new friend at church again and asked her to come over and bring her kids. When the day came, I fixed a little lunch and enjoyed getting to know "Michelle" and her cute kiddos.

At the end of our conversation, she opened up to me like noone had before. It took a ton of courage. What she basically told me with tears and deep breaths was that she didn't know Christ, but wanted to know Him.

Her stories could fill blog posts, but I won't share them without permission. What I will share is what I learned.

What I learned is that those boxes were not about me.

All this time, I had thought they were about me.

He showed me a higher purpose for my boxes.

Pray I am worthy of the call.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cookin Up Some Fun

One of the "out of the box" things I do as a mom is let my kids go wild in my kitchen by making their "own recipes." Once in awhile, I pull out our expired ingredients of our pantry and frig and let them go a little cooking crazy.

I remember doing this as a kid at a friend's house, and absolutely loving to experiment with combinations of liquids and dry ingredients, mixing them up into my own special cake or something somewhat resembling a cake.

So, when my kids were younger, I allowed them to try this, and we haven't looked back. They haven't quit asking, so I usually(but NOT always) take a big breath and let them do it.

This most recent time, when they each had a friend over, I actually let them try to create something edible, so I allowed them to use an egg, some oil, flour, and sugar and baking powder. Other interesting ingredients in these recipes were dry strawberry jello, peanut butter, cheese crackers, honey, and applesauce.
It's funny how seriously they took their cooking assignment, working for over an hour to get their recipes mixed to perfection. We even baked them, and then took (teeny tiny) bites.

As an aside, one of my WORST memories as a child was BEING MADE or BULLIED into eating one of my creations (it was a green rubbery thing). I threw up for two days.

Sometimes, I ask the little chefs to take note of the exact measurements of their recipes (thus learning tsp, TBSP, cup, etc.) and then we always do a big cleanup - required if you are gonna cook in Mama's kitchen!)

Take a look at cook Kami and Jenna's creation....and here is Ellie and Brooke's!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Few from the Fourth

Love this day too much to skip it. Here are a few images from our Independence Day....

Gotta Go to Gilcrease

Gilcrease Museum, that is.

Ok, so the kids weren't jumping up and down frothing at the mouth to do this summer field trip.
However, I would say they had an enjoyable day despite the thought of going to a place where you cannot run and yelling is out of the question.

At Gilcrease Museum, they do their best to make this adult experience friendly to kids.

My favorite things about Gilcrease?

1. Free to children under 18! 2. The Artifact Room where literally thousands of artifacts lay in drawers under glass. Kids are free to pull out the drawers at their leisure, and my girls enjoyed typing the number that accompanied the artifact into one of the 16 computers in the room. This allowed them to find out information about that artifact, such as place found and time period. This room was a big hit!

3. The Western Wing - I am in love with Western Art. I can't help but let my teacher side jump out.... "so, kids...." I ask in a sing-songy voice, "what do you think is happening in this picture?" When I can actually get their attention focused on a scene, I love to hear the wheels turning inside their heads. Just take a look at the detail in this one titled "Breaking Through the Line" by Charles C. Schreyvolgel. Wow!4. Frederic Remington - In the Western Wing sit several Remington bronzes that are just fabulous. Each one tells it's story, and let me fill you in on the time Luke first saw the sculpture below. **It was last summer, and he was just 5 years old. This one is called "Last Drop" and I didn't get a very revealing shot of it, but it's an old cowboy offering his hat to his horse. Inside the hat is the precious "last drop" of water that he's sacrificing for his beloved animal. Luke was touched by this sculpture, so much so that he cried quietly for about 30 minutes and talked about it for a whole year. He didn't have any tears left this summer, but we revisited the sculpture and had some more great conversation.

5. Please Touch - Even though most of the art is definitely HANDS OFF - they do have the occasional sign that encourages "please touch!" Fun for little hands. (but don't think we were touchin' the one below!!!) 6. Kids Zone - though this room was a meat locker, (I was freezing!!), it had some great things for kids to do. Here they could create their own impressionistic picture.

7. I Spy - You can pick up these backpacks for kids.... they hold free activities that the kids can use throughout the museum. Most of it was unrealistic for us - too involved, but one cool thing was a card that challenged the kids to find certain images throughout the museum..... not an entire painting, but maybe a bird in a painting or a certain element of a sculpture. This got the kids excited and focused.

8. The Arts and Crafts Room - at the end, we converged on this free experience, where the kids were able to choose from about 8 different and fun activities. 9. Childhood Memories - my parents took me here growing up!

10. Gets us out of the house and enjoying a cultural experience!!! You can make it through the museum part in less than an hour - and the kids stuff probably lasts about an hour too. That with the half-hour one-way makes it a good 3 hour outing for us. Then we go hit the pool, culturally enriched!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Laundry Tip

I have an interesting tip for you to get your laundry smelling AMAZING!!! First step: Fill washer with laundry; make sure to sort by color.

Second step: Add desired amount of your favorite detergent.

Third step
: Throw in a box of dryer sheets. You read that right. The whole box. Not the dryer sheets pulled out of the box, but the dryer sheets IN the box.

Fourth step: Start washer.

Fifth Step: When washer is finished, you will need to sort through the laundry and pull out the dryer sheets, all 50-100 of them. The box will have disintegrated into thousands of teeny weeny pieces.

Your laundry will feel somewhat waxy after it has run through the dryer, and you will continue to find miniature pieces of cardboard littering your laundry. You may even have to re-wash some of your clothes to eliminate the countless bits of cardboard stuck to your clothes and towels.

But..... this tip will get your laundry smelling super nice.
How do I know? I inadvertently tried it yesterday! (The pic of laundry above includes some of the dryer sheets that made it through the washer AND dryer - ha!)

You will know when my kids are coming. You will smell the "Fresh Awakenings scent" by Gain a mile away!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Big Fun in a Small Town

First came Tahlequah and now Thomas.

It was so funny.

In passing, while the kids were having lunch, I mentioned that oh... by the way....we'd be going to Thomas to visit the Wilsons in a couple of days.

YAHOO!!!!!! WHEN? HOW LONG ARE WE STAYING? YEEEEEEEEEEEEAHHHHH! WOO-HOO! CAN'T WAIT! LET'S GOOOO! I had to silence the masses. They were out of control with anticipation of our three hour drive to the town with not even a stoplight.

There may be no traffic control there, but what they do have can't be found in the city limits of where we live.

Open lands.Payton and Brennon.A different way of livin'.A backyard garden that resembles the size of a football field.
Sweet corn right off the stalk.Witnessing the earthy birth of strawberries, melons and a host of veggies.Larry.Enormous tractors regularly sharing the road with my now rather small-feeling SUV.The driver of the tractor offering my kids a ride in his country drawl: "Ya'll kids wanna ride on our fertlizer spreader?" (see Luke below along for the ride?)Friendship that digs down into my soul.

The smell of freedom.

Stars that seem to cut beams straight down to us.

The echoes of God in your heart.

That's why we go to Thomas.

And you better believe that we'll be going back!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A Penny Saved Makes Momma Happy

Kamryn Rae requested that she be allowed to open her own savings account... so on her 11th birthday, that's what we did!

That birthday money isn't gonna burn a hole in her pocket!