Wednesday, February 27, 2008

L.A., Baby!!!

(favorite cousin) Heather better clear off the passenger seat in that mini-cooper because I am coming out for a visit in April...
and I am SOOOOOOOO excited!!!
Isabella & Lisi will be in FL @ Disney with Grammy & Papa, so it seemed like the perfect time to steal away for some favorite cousin time.
Just had to share!

BTW, I have been blogging for nearly a year now, and this is my 300th post.
Thank you for sharing in the memories....

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

a parents dream come true...

Tonight we were sitting at the table, eating dinner as a family, and before Mark and I were finished, Isabella & Lisi each asked to be excused. They had not eaten much dinner, but they are both still getting healthy, and have been tired and not much appetite. So we excused them from the table and asked them to play quietly while we finished our dinner.
All was quiet, so Mark and I just kept talking, and getting caught up on life.
A little after 6:30pm we got up to clear the table, and it was SO quiet, went to find the girls.
Isabella was asleep on the couch with several stuffed animals tucked under her arm.
Lisi had actually put herself to bed!
So we covered Isabella with a blanket, and even though she is still in her school clothes, we are hoping she will sleep until the morning!
Now tell me that is not a parents dream come true?!?!?!?!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Oh, Glorious Snow!

I might be the last person in Iowa happy to see the snow begin to fall again today, but I am SO happy to see the snow begin to fall again today!

thinking of Lindsay

Whenever I wear this tee,

I think of my friend, Lindsay. We met at church, but she, Michael and sweet Reese had been attending for awhile before we really met. And it was on one of those Sundays, before we had actually met, that in a congregation of, oh, maybe 60 people, Lindsay and I were BOTH wearing this shirt!
If that does not make for instant friendship, I don't know what does:)

Or maybe you want to look at it this way:

OK, and I am still having fun with Photo Booth

Miss you, Lindsay!
(check out this blog post from last spring...too funny!!!...or HILARIOUS, as the case might be!)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

photo booth

I was inspired by Becky's photo booth blog post, and decided to play around with it on Mark's computer. (He has a few cool features that I do not...bummer.) Anyway, this is what the girls and I came up this morning while we were still in our jammies.

Mom Lesson #123

I have had sick kiddos home from school all this week. Not terrible, pukey sick. Just high fevers and the occasional sniffle sick. A perfect time to just hang out on the couch. And they were sick for long enough that I 'used' that time to clean out some closets, tidy my craft room, organize the pantry and other odd & ends that I usually only wish I had the time to do.
By about Day 4 I woke up ready to tackle another project while the girls rested on the couch, and I realized that there really was nothing of significance left to do.
So I sat down inbetween my 2 sweet girls, wrapped an arm around each of them, had a cozy blanket over the 3 of us, and settled in for a day of cartoons.
It was so lovely that I was secretly THRILLED when they woke up a little feverish the next day and we could do it all over again:)
But by Day 7, everyone was fever-free and ready to get out of this house!
Isabella had a GREAT idea to go to Build A Bear, so we all got cleaned up, got out of pajamas for the first time in a week, and off we went....
Build A Bear, a couple of errands, and lunch at the mall later, and the 'warm fuzzies' that I had been feeling for my family earlier in the week were gone.
I came home with frazzled nerves....and 2 whiny girls, to boot.

Where had I gone wrong????

As I was climbing into bed last night, I realized that I had gone wrong in leaving the bliss of our home.
Sometimes my Mom job WILL include being a chauffer and similar tasks, but the most important aspect of this job is, well, simply being a mom.
This week of sickness was a simple week.
no carpool, no school, no Life Group, no Sparks, no birthday parties, no play dates, and until Friday, no trips to the mall.
As I was climbing into bed last night, I realized that

Thursday, February 21, 2008


There are few things that I love more than a good idea, and this is a good idea!
With the girls both being sick this week, and me having a sore throat on and off, I thought maybe I should have a doctor check us out.
But if I take them to the pediatrician, I cannot be seen. The nurse will not even take a peek in my throat. That means 2 trips with 2 sick kidd0s.
So this morning I went on-line to see what I could find out about a new place I saw near Prairie Life Gym called Doctors Now.
WOW!!! It is a walk-in clinic, but it is so stream-lined~ a fabulous experience, I must say!
I filled out all of our "paper-work" and insurance information on-line.
Within 5 minutes of submitting the information, I got a phone call (which I was not expecting~ since it is a walk-in clinic, I was just going to 'walk in', and I was getting the girls in the car when the phone rang), and the receptionist at the clinic was asking at what time they could expect us. I said I was walking out the door, and would be there in 20 minutes. "Perfect!", she said!
I think we waited maybe 10 minutes once we got there, and then all 3 of us were seen together.
We were back home in less than 1 1/2 hours.
That said, despite symptoms and generally not feeling well, none of us have anything treatable.
I guess that is the good news, but, honestly, after 6 days of fever and runny noses, I am ready for this to be OVER, or to get meds to make this be OVER!!
But I know that most anyone who is reading this is also feeling my frustration...
Calgon, take me away....

Sign In Mississippi

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Invisible Mothers

I just received this e-mail from my friend, Marcie. As I told her, I have probably needed to be reminded of this every day of the past 6 years.
But my struggle has been greater the past couple of months.
As much as I love my sweet girls and my wonderful family, I feel like there is less and less left of me. So the question I have been posing to myself, and in my prayers, has been should I be grabbing to hang on to who I remember "Amy" to be, or should I be changing my perspective of who "Amy" is, embracing today, and being thankful for how today is preparing me for tomorrow.
Does this even make sense?
Somehow the following e-mail has the eloquent words to help clarify my perspective:

Invisible Mother.....

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

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. 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 Charlotte, 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

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 son to tell the friend he'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 him to want to come home.
And then, if there is anything more to say to his 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.

Great Job, MOM!

The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.

This is beautiful and makes a ton of sense. To all the wonderful mothers
out there!

fever a deux

Mz Iz woke up with a low grade fever this morning.
Lisi Lu's fever is down to just a low grade fever.
Thankfully, we have no other signs of 'sickness' going on, so I will count my blessings, and get comfy on the couch for another day of Nick Jr and Dora.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Guess It Is Just Our Turn

Lisi spiked a fever yesterday, and it continues today. I would include a pix with this blog post, but she just looks too pathetic. Poor thing.
On the upside, however, this is a rare time when she slows down enough for me to snuggle with her on the couch:) I have seen more back to back episodes of Dora than the law should allow, but I AM enjoying the time with my Sweet Lisi girl.
Now if we can just manage to keep Isabella healthy....

Friday, February 15, 2008

Check this out

...from Jenn's blog.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Meet the newest member of our family....

This little cutie came in Cale's happy meal today. I know not a very healthy lunch stop, I'm gourging myself this week in preparation for the 21 day fast coming up. Anyhow...she already has a name, it is Lisi.

Shawn: Why is her name Lisi?

Cale: Because I love Lisi.

enough said.....

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I am going to have to be a "post-titlest" on this one, because I have no idea what to call this blog post. I am so passionate about this country, the greatest on which it was founded, the divine inspiration from which it was formed, and the life, liberty and freedom which it holds for each citizen of this country. And I am terribly concerned about the current state of this great country. I believe in offering a helping hand to every person who is in need, but not in giving them a hand-out. I believe in capitalism, not in socialism. I believe in freedom, but I believe that freedom must go hand in hand with responsibility. There~ I think that is where we, as a country, have really faltered~ we want our freedom, but fewer and fewer citizens are accepting, even embracing!, the responsibility that must come with it.
If that all sounds too vague to you, please comment back to this post, and we can get a GREAT discussion going. I have all kinds of examples of what I mean (health care, education, taxes, public service....). What I really hope to do is to get everyone thinking about ideas, and then evaluating our current leaders (president, congressmen, judges), and making a thoughtful decision of where this country needs to place our support.
For me, I am giving my support to Mike Huckabee. I have supported him since summer 2007. I do not believe that he is just the best of those left standing. I believe that he IS the best person to lead our country. And despite what the media continues to 'report', it is NOT too late.
PEOPLE...this is what this nomination process is all about!!! Now, personally, I was thrilled when Romney suspended his campaign, but I was surprised. This nomination process is not necessarily to narrow the field to one person in each party. This nomination process is the time to get the ideas of many potential candidates out to the people of this country!! And the media pundants who are saying that Huckabee needs to step aside for the good of the party are missing the point entirely!
As a supporter of Mike Huckabee, I do get regular e-mails from his campaign office. The e-mail I got this morning is one I wish would have been sent out months ago. It is an e-mail that I think needs to be a full page ad in every newspaper. It summarizes who Mike Huckabee is as a candidate for President of the United States of America.
I hope that as you read it, you will give some real consideration as to what you can do for him, his campaign, and for the future of our country.
I think, based upon their ages, there are 5 Supreme Court judges that could be replaced in the next 4-8 years. Think about the candidates running for president right now, and give some real consideration to who you want nominating new Supreme Court judges...who will hold that office for the rest of their life. These are BIG decisions!!
So I have strayed from my recent topics of hair cuts and hair bows.
Below is the e-mail from Mike Huckabee...

an e-mail from Mike Huckabee

The first question I am often asked these days is: "Why are you still running for President?"

It is because I believe that I am the best candidate to represent you in the fall against the Democrats. Why? Because I have core conservative beliefs that I have never wavered from:

I believe in the Human Life Amendment and I will fight for it from Day 1 of my Presidency.

I believe in the Marriage Amendment.

I believe in massive tax reform and am an advocate of the FairTax.

I believe that President Bush's tax cuts should be made permanent.

I believe in the Surge, our troops and General Petraeus.

I believe the 2nd amendment is one of the best ways to protect us from tyranny and I will work tirelessly to protect it from activist judges.

I believe in real border security and have proposed a detailed 9 point plan to secure our borders.

I believe the best judge is a conservative judge that won't legislate from the bench.

These are some of the reasons why I am running for President and let me also say that YOU are another reason. I am running to give you a voice in the process. To lift up your voice with mine and to tell our Party and our government that we need to do better. We need to think big and fight for our ideas.

There’s lots of voting left to be done before our Republican Party’s nominee is decided. Tonight, I ask that you help our campaign prepare for the race ahead with a contribution of $25 or more.

We have important states to fight for in the coming days: Wisconsin, Washington, Texas and Ohio to name a few. Unlike the last few states, we have time to build our base of support in each of these states, contact new voters and prepare to turnout the vote. Wisconsin and Washington vote on Feb. 19. Texas and Ohio on March 4.

To fight hard for each of these states we will need your help. So please make an immediate online contribution of $25 or more today.

Help us finish strong.

With deep gratitude,

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Pink Hippo

I have already told so many girlfriends about one of my new favorite local stores. It is The Pink Hippo. Honestly, I could shop there just for the name! It is a boutique owned by 2 moms who set out to make a better bow. And they did. And a better headband, too. And then the hats! Oh, my goodness!! The baby hats!!!
After I discovered "the hippo", I brought in Isabella's favorite headband that was beyond 'well worn'. Most of you have probably seen it~ pink and embellished with fuzzy fibers. I had tried for months to find another one like it, but no luck. So I asked the ladies at "the hippo" if they could re-create it for me. They liked it so much that they adapted the idea for their store and named the line "Isabella".
No royalities, but we did get the name:)
I have even bought a *bling* shirt there for Iz & Lisi to each wear on their birthday:)
This morning my friend Sandy told me that Isabella is on the website! You can check it out here, and scroll to near the bottom of the page. She is wearing both the "Isabella" headband, as well as her *bling* birthday shirt!

Welcome Baskets for Ruth Harbor

MANY, MANY thanks to all of you, my girlfriends, who came over Friday night and contributed to the 'welcome baskets' for future residents of Ruth Harbor. The bags over-flow-ith:) (That was my attempt to make it sound 'Bible like'. KJV, that is!)
I know if I begin to list what all is in each of these bags I will leave something, and the wonderful someONE who thought to bring, out, and that is not my intent. What I really want to say is THANK YOU and assure you that I noticed how much you cared.
Ruth Harbor has a new resident moving in tomorrow, and I am SO excited to be hand-delivering these bags tomorrow. In the 3 years that Jordan Creek Family Church has been making these welcome baskets, I have never delivered one in person. Selfishly, I would love to have that happen tomorrow.
The house mom at Ruth Harbor mentioned to me recently that one of the residents had asked her if people did nice things for the women living there because we pity them. Oh my goodness!!! If only she knew it is the exact opposite! For myself, I admire these women more than words, or bags filled with thoughtful goodies, could ever express.
If you are reading this and have no idea what Ruth Harbor is, check out the website here.
If you are familiar with Ruth Harbor and would like to continue to support this ministry, contact the director here.
And remember to mark your calendars for the 3rd annual Walk For Life, Saturday, May 10th @ 9:30am. It is a great fund-raiser, and a good time to be had by all!!!
Thank you, my friends!

Jason Bourne...

could kick James Bond's butt any day of the week.
Mark and I watched The Bourne Ultimatum last night, and I highly recommend any and all of the movies in the series.
Now if I only had time to read the books...


Isabella has been growing her hair out to donate to "locks of love".
However, the tangles that came with that ever-longer hair were not leavin' much love in our family...if you know what I mean...
So I gave Isabella the choice to either continue growing her hair, and having to deal with the tangles each morning, or get it cut and grow it out later.
This was her choice!!Isabella as you last saw her
washed & waiting for the big cut
and a flip for the finale

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

call me a thief

I am stealing this blog post directly from my friend Lisa.
I so enjoy her sense of humor....

Not only was it Super Tuesday yesterday,
but it was also Fat Tuesday.
It was a Super Fat Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A New Favorite Product

I think this might be the same product that my friend Sandy told me about, but I tried it for the first time today, and I am HOOKED!!
It made my hair smooth and silky, helped de-tangle Isabella's always tangled hair, and even tamed Lisi's crazy curls.
Say it with me friends...
"WOO HOO!!!"

Smooth InfusionTM Style-Prep SmootherTM from Aveda

Music to make a Momma proud

Isabella: "Mom, can we listen to some music?"

And this is what she pulls out from the CD cabinet...

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sunday Snow

The pictures are a bit dark, but the fun still shows through!!! It was a perfect day for a Sunday snowfall...Lisi & Isabella
Isabella sledding in the front yard
Those sweet sisters found winter-time fun on the swing set.
and an Isabella snow-angel, too
"Come on, Sis! Let's ride Sea-Biscuit!"