Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More about Logan...

For any of you who may be interested, click here for daily updates about Logan's missions trip. You will get to see some of the crazy pastors from our church, and learn a little about what is going on in the community where they are serving. Be sure to watch the video for the post titled 'We're on the News!'....watch carefully and you will see Logan in one of the clips. I also just got to see a photo of him doing crafts during VBS with a sweet little boy. He looks as if he is finding joy in serving.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My latest Goodwill finds

The hideous orange dog she just had to have....Some books for Corbin...
A grocery cart....we have one we bought for Emma but for $4.24 I couldn't pass this Little Tikes one up.
A desk for my corner.....hoping to reduce some clutter in the kitchen.

More about Autumn, and Logan's trip

Autumn has gotten her 2nd tooth, and is now working on a 3rd (popping through now) this week. Guess where it is? On the bottom right.....not the top, which is where all of our others' (third tooth) came in. It's strange...guess she's not gonna be one to follow the crowd. Her birth was completely different, her personality was completely different, her development has been completely different....not sure why it still surprises me when she is not doing 'the norm'. =)

Logan is on his 2nd day of his mission trip. We don't have any contact with him but I've been praying for him. We are allowed to send an email, but with the understanding that we won't get a response. They will print it out and give it to him. I think I will send him one today, just to let him know we miss him and are praying for him.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Logan's missions trip is tomorrow....

We drop Logan off at 7:15 a.m. tomorrow for his local missions trip....6 days he will be gone. He will be helping with VBS, among other things, while there. Prayers for our boy are much appreciated. We will give an update once he returns. :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday Confessions #8

1. I went with my family to an Ikea store today...it blew my mind. I could totally spend a ton of $$$ in there....not that I have a ton to spend. Just sayin'.

2. I took pictures while there...that bloggin' thing ya know, it's with me all the time.

3. My husband and I decided we will need to get someone to keep the kids so we can go back to spend a day there deciding what to get....it's that amazing!

4. The kids' play area and the restaurant were closed today....a boil water order or something. We were taunted throughout the store by signs showing delicious food and low prices. We totally would have eaten some $1.99 pasta! Next time.....

5. After 'the store' we went to Pollo Tropical....only Karl had been before. It was quite delicious and we will be frequenting the one right down the street from us. I love me some Mojo Roast Pork in guava bbq sauce, with rice and beans. And yucca fries? Mmmmm....

6. I am totally in love with the video feature on my new phone and will be using it a lot.....probably annoyingly so. Emma is becoming quite skilled at performing for me. =)

7. I am so tired tonight...should probably go to bed...but I won't. I never do what's best for me, even when I know what it is. (well, maybe not never, but often)

A Thank You From Logan...

We have been meaning to get this letter out to all of you who helped with Logan's SLU trip. He had a great time, learning a lot and meeting some goals...one of which was to ride the coasters at the amusement parks, which he had kind of avoided before. I'm posting it here for those of you who read our blog and I may send it to some of you via email. We are so grateful for your support and prayers!

Dear friends and family,

Thank you for helping with my expenses for the Student Leadership University. I had a lot of fun there, and I learned a lot, too! I’m going to tell you about the silly and serious parts of my trip.

The trip begins in the bus. Almost to our hotel, we were now well acquainted with each other. We started dancing to the music on the radio and the van we were in shook a little. Then we organized a game.

We started shaking the van until it really started tipping. Then we saw the girl’s van in front of us shake. As you can see, even the bus ride was entertaining! Once we got to the hotel, my Pastor, Ryan, told us where to go to get to our rooms, and told us when to be at the conference room. My roommates were named Jim, Trey, and Erik. We went to our rooms and unpacked, and then Jim and I explored the hotel complex.

We went back to our room to get our books and then it was time for the first conference.

I knew one of the speakers, Brent, from a leadership thing I had at church a few months ago. A new speaker was named Dr. Jay Strack.

The first session was about excellence, the Latin word meaning “to rise above”, and mediocrity, which means“to go halfway, and then stop”. Another point was “I’ll miss 100% of the shots that I never take”.

That night, once the session was over and we finished a very, very fancy dinner, Pastor Andy and Bene took us to Target to get snacks and such.

Once that was finished, we returned to our rooms (it was 12:00 am), and slept.

I woke up to a clock alarm and quickly shut it off. Then another alarm went off. Trey, Erik, and Jim woke up to that alarm. Trey tried to figure out which one was going off, and Erik discreetly left to the bathroom.

He returned to Trey getting ready to throw the clock alarm. Erik pressed a button on his phone and the alarm stopped. We all laughed.

We ate breakfast and got on a bus so we could go to Sea World! We learned about relationships that day. I rode on the Manta and Kraken roller coasters, and I was very glad I did. My life did not flash before my eyes. We were going so fast, my life flashed after them!

Once we returned to the hotel, a speaker named Chuck Allen told us a generalization of people’s personalities. D was for dominance. I was for influence. S was for Steadiness. C was for correct. It’s called a DISC personality. Here is a DISC example.

A D walks in a room to move chairs. If you ask him why he’d answer with “because I can.” A few I’s walk in and one says “Let’s everybody move chairs!!!” The rest reply with “Yeah!!!” Two S’s walk in and one says to the other, “I tried to tell them…”

One C walks in and starts directing them all to reason how best they could move chairs.

I thought it was funny. You may not understand, because I’m not explaining it right, maybe.

The next day we had an entire day to ride the coasters in Islands of Adventure. The first thing we did was to dare someone named Caleb to ask for a picture with Mickey Mouse. He did it!

After that we rode the Harry Potter ride. It was fun. After more rides we rode the Hulk. My life did not flash before my eyes. My life did not flash after them. My life flashed before someone else’s eyes!

That night we went to the shop in the hotel complex to get food, and then we sat in the pavilion. Any time someone went by, we would yell “heeeyyy!!” Soon several more people gathered with us and we had lots of fun.

And that was my trip to SLU!

Best regards,

Logan Woerner

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mobile Blogging

I don't know if I've mentioned here that I lost my iPhone recently. Yeah....not cool. We think I dropped it at the theater on Tuesday and someone found it. We were able to turn everything off, changed all our passwords (probably needed to be done anyway), and Karl went out the same afternoon to get me a new phone. So now I have the 4G. There are some cool features but I'm still getting familiar with them all. I tried to blog from my phone before...never could...don't know if it was the phone or just my lack of tech-savvy. But guess what I'm going right now? Yep, I'm blogging from my phone! While I could be using my computer....I mean I am literally sitting right next to it....I had to try this out. I'm just using a FREE, lite version of....well, whatever it's called....but I may pay the $2.99 if I find I like this. There are many times I would like to post something and have to wait until I'm home. Now, I won't have to. Really cool.

And thanks darlin' for the replacement phone....I'll try to make sure I don't lose this one! :{

Thursday, July 14, 2011

An impromtu family night out....

Tonight (well technically last night) we headed out to meet some friends at a local park to play sand volleyball. Even though I was not planning to play myself (could be a bit difficult with Autumn in tow in the baby wrap!), I was excited about watching everyone play. ...it's been many years since we used to go play/watch at the beach. However, upon arriving at the park our friends let us know that all 4 of the courts were taken....but we could go to a different location and play. Before we could actually get everyone back in the car and headed over to the new location though, they received a call from another family that was joining us....it was raining 'cats and dogs' at the dog park (heh heh). So, on to plan C, which was for our hosts just to say, "Come on over to our house, we'll do game night instead." Very gracious of them.....

We weren't too sure how it would be. I mean, we were just starting our night out when the babies would normally be going to bed for the night. Plus, a trip to the park meant we brought completely different things with us for the little ones than we would have had we been planning to go to someone's house for a couple of hours. We decided to give it a try anyway, and I'm so glad we did! Autumn, once fed at our friends' home, played sweetly on her blanket on the floor for a while. Emma was given some toddler-friendly Legos to play with and a mesh trash can....she was kept busy with just that....well, and the 10 other kids' antics during the evening! She even sat on Hailey's lap and played one of the games with the big kids. Corbin and the youngest son of our hosts are the same age. When they tired of playing the 'big kid' games they went and started a game of Monopoly....8-year-old-style. When Autumn got bored playing on the floor I held her a while. Emma helped our hostess get snacks and water ready, colored a bit (and not even on the floor like I was worried she would!), and generally just wandered around inspecting everyone, making friends. She's a bit of a social butterfly. =) Autumn was perfectly content to hang out with me while I talked with the grownups. It was really nice to spend some time with friends, meet some new folks, and watch the kids in action with their friends.....

I'm glad we gave it a try, and I think we've proven to ourselves now that we can be at least a little bit spontaneous.....what's the worst that could happen? Maybe the real question is, what's the best? I think we found that out tonight.

Many thanks to Michelle and Tim for welcoming us into your home.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Autumn's 9-month checkup

Yesterday was Autumn's 9-month birthday, so today she had her 9-month checkup. Thankfully, she only had to have one shot and was happy for most of the visit, really only crying when they stuck her with the needle. Her weight is 18 lbs. 13 oz and she is 29" tall. The doctor says "She's gonna be a tall girl." Her 2nd tooth finally popped through the gum yesterday and I was told by the doctor today that "the top ones will come through soon." By the end of the visit she was pretty tired so I put her right to bed when we got home. She is sleeping somewhat fitfully, but otherwise is doing well. Next checkup......after her 1st birthday. I can't believe it!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Our breakfast treat

Since my waffle iron broke, Saturday mornings have become a special-request breakfast day, a kind of what-can-we-think-up-next sort of thing. We've done Everything Bagels...our own version of the ones they serve at the cafe of the church we attended when we lived in Central Florida.....which includes scrambled eggs, bacon, tomato, green onions, and cream cheese all thrown between everything bagels.......delicious! We've had pancakes, plain and with fruit or chocolate chips mixed in (or both). We've had omelets. I promised the kids donuts for breakfast today. Yes, they were thrilled! Little did they know I had 'healthy' donuts in mind. ;)

I followed a recipe from here, where I have found several yummy things lately. I even substituted almond milk and vegan butter for regular, so they would be diet-friendly for Corbin and Emma. We will have to tweak the oil temperature next time we make them, as they turned out a little too dark. I'm not sure if the oil was too hot, or something that just occurred to me, could that be from the above-mentioned substitutions? Anyway, they turned out quite good....the kids loved them....but I want to improve their color and crispiness (maybe a little softer). I served them with powdered sugar and chocolate icing on the side.....letting the kids choose their topping......and milk and coffee for drinks.

Here are some photos of my efforts.

I think the donut holes were actually my favorites!

Saturday Confessions #7

  1. I have been baking bread today, competing with my husband who is also baking bread, though a different kind. Is it wrong for me to want mine to be better than his?
  2. I love that my older children are learning how to care for and enjoy their younger siblings. It will be such great preparation for the future. It makes me want to keep having babies so each child will have that experience under their belt.....well, that's not really (the only) my reason but it sounds good, right?
  3. I need to get my hair cut, it has absolutely no style, but I'm not sure what to do......I may start with highlights and go from there.
  4. I've been wishing for some land, a farm house, and a bunch of kids to fill it all. One out of three ain't bad, I guess. ;)
  5. My baby will be 9 months old tomorrow and that overwhelms me. The time has flown by and she will be crawling, walking, talking......Sadness.
  6. I'm getting really tired of all the media hype about a certain 'case' in our state.
  7. Well, it is my 7th confession, so you had to know I would end here.
Have you linked up with Melissa yet?

Mango Envy

Our neighbor has mango trees, with big, beautiful mangoes hanging from the branches. When the branches are filled with mangoes, they hang over our fence.......just dripping with mangoes.
We have longingly gazed at those trees each year, wishing we had a mango tree. We have watched our neighbor prune, water, and pamper her trees. We have discussed mangoes together.....most recently learning that mangoes do well in Florida because they "thrive on austerity". We got that tidbit from a radio show that Karl was listening to on his way to Miami and kindly shared with us. He also learned, and shared, that there are over 500 different types of mangoes. Occasionally, our sweet neighbor has given a mango or two to our kids to bring inside and several times has rang our doorbell with gift in hand. She did that again just this week, and I think we ate it all in one sitting. They are just so delicious! Yesterday afternoon our doorbell rang. It was our neighbor again, this time with a basket of mangoes.

When Logan brought them in, we discovered two lovely avocados nestled in, as well. We were so thrilled to receive such a gift (we love mangoes here!) and tried to convey to her our thanks.......really, we are so grateful to be the recipients of such bounty. We have bought them from the store, when on sale, but they are nowhere near as good as her homegrown ones! We love them so much, that we have recently acquired a Pampered Chef Mango Slicer (thanks Erin!).
Funny, but Karl confided in me recently that when I bought it he thought it would be an item we never used. Now it's one for 'the list', you know, of those other things he thought were useless and now loves! (= Our well-used Bumbo is one of them....

Here is the delicious lunch I made with the homegrown fruit she brought to us yesterday. That is a homemade, sun dried tomato tortilla that Karl made with the pasta attachment for our KitchenAid. Doesn't it look tasty?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Family Fun

Karl had today off, so he was able to enjoy a leisurely breakfast with us. Once Autumn went down for her nap, he and I even went for a short walk in the neighborhood. Later, he took Hailey to her lesson so he could watch her and try to get some good pictures. Those are coming soon. Now we are preparing for Family Fun Night. I'm really not sure yet what we're doing except that it will definitely be an inside activity. It just started raining pretty hard! Karl is making dinner...homemade fettuccine with some sort of chicken/lime/something sauce. I'm sure it will be quite tasty! :) I will prepare the salad and we'll serve it alongside the rye bread Karl made on Wednesday. (Yes, he's become quite the bread maker!) Maybe it's a good game night. We'll have to wait and see.

Karl will be off on Fridays for the next 7 weeks, due to 'summer hours' at work. It was the same when we were in NY and has just started here this year. I'm hoping to fit in some fun field trips on a few of those days off.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pondering this and that...

I still have not found out the best way to 'fix' my labels up top...sorry. It is annoying, I know. One day there will be something there....just too much gong on right now. Plus, honestly, I just haven't thought more about it.

I'm reading another book by Jodi Picoult, Harvesting the Heart. It's pretty interesting, but I'm not that far along with it yet. Next is Mercy, by the same author.

I began anew my vegetarian diet, for weight loss this time. So far I've lost 2.4 pounds.....just started yesterday. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables and minimizing everything else really makes a difference. I hope to see a change in the fit of my clothes soon! Then on to getting in some exercise on a regular basis....again.

I broke out the juicer yesterday. I've been talking about making juice for Emma and the baby, instead of buying it. Bottled juice is so high in sugar, preservatives, etc. Making it when we need it, from fresh ingredients......just what I want to do. I made some for myself yesterday, then Emma, Corbin, Hailey and I had carrot-apple juice this morning. Everyone liked it....Karl even tried it and thought it was kind of good. I made him a small glass of his very own pineapple juice from part of a fresh pineapple we had in the fridge. Planning to continue trying different juices. They are very good for you, and tasty I think. Hailey is excited about it too. Hopefully it won't be too expensive, but I guess the better health benefits are worth it.

Hailey and I are way overdue for another pedicure.....just sayin'.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The 4th of July....

Our July 4th celebration was fairly quiet, but good. We stayed home, smoked ribs, ate a late lunch together. Karl and I hung out outside with Emma for a while.....she was funny. When she heard any fireworks, she would say, "We gotta wun....we gotta hide!" She's really not a fan of loud noises, though she didn't cry or anything. Those were just the little ones....the loud ones that went off after she was in bed? Not a peep out of her.

Karl took the oldest three out to see the real fireworks put on by a nearby city......launched off a barge. They were right up front, dangling their legs off the pier. Karl says the best part for him was getting in and out of there without having to wait in traffic. I don't know how he did it, but they were home by 10 p.m., after a 9:00 p.m show. He's awesome. ;)

I stayed home with the babies and enjoyed a quiet evening to myself. I caught up on some reading, watched a Lifetime movie I had already seen, had some snacks that I did not have to share! Life is good.

How was your 4th?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Saturday Confessions #6

1. I have been thinking all week that I had missed Melissa's Saturday Confessions link-up.....since I did mine early last week. Then I would remember....and promptly forget again. I'm glad the day is here for the next one and I can get back 'on schedule'.

2. I was up until 5 a.m. this morning (don't ask, you don't want to know). I got almost 2 hours of sleep before the babies woke me up. I had to take a nap at 4 p.m. after falling asleep in my chair while holding the baby. I actually went up to my room and crawled under the covers. It was awesome! I feel better now, but still plan to go to bed early to catch-up.

3. My daughter is becoming quite the little cookie-maker. Now on to meals, and soon I won't have to cook! Actually, I love to cook, but it will be nice to have someone to share duties with.

4. My children argue. Often. Surprised?

5. Emma has suffered from eczema since she was about 6 months old. We have taken her off of dairy and peanut butter. That seems to help a lot. But, she still gets things sometimes that she's not supposed to have......and it shows up quickly with those scaly, cracking, bleeding spots on the insides of her elbows and knees again.

6. Corbin had eczema as a baby as well...we took him off dairy and it went away. He seemed fine when we re-introduced milk and cheese later......but we had him tested when he was about 4 and discovered he has lots of other allergies.........to things like trees, dust mites, etc. But, I noticed this week that he has discoloration on the insides of his elbows, but no cracked or bleeding areas. When I asked him if his elbows had been itching, this was his response: "Well, I have been itching them."( hee hee) I think we're going to switch him back to 'no dairy' and be more strict with him and Emma to see if things improve. Tips from some of my readers would be great. I know some of you have dealt with this issue.

7. I came across this site a couple of days ago....and I am intrigued. I want to buy an RV and hit the road. Would we survive?

Link up with us.....click below.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Logan's missions trip...

Logan leaves for his missions trip on the 18th. The month of June flew by and I can't believe his second week away is rapidly approaching! He's excited about going away to spend time with his friends and serving the community. I am praying for a life-changing experience for him. He should get a good picture of exactly how fortunate he is compared to lots of others. I need to begin working through the checklist for his 'camp' supplies to be sure we have all the necessities ready to go. Special prayer for our family would be awesome during the week of July 18-23. Thanks so much!