Thursday, April 30, 2015

On the mend...

I am pretty convinced that Martin is on the mend when I come out of the shower and hear him jumping in Warnie's crib (somewhere he is not supposed to be and has never climbed in while the baby is in). Yikes. 

Also, I hope my aloe plant likes earl grey tea because he "watered" it with my tea that I left where he could reach. 

Oh, and the nurse practitioner from the doctor's office called and checked on Martin. I thought that was sweet. I don't know if I have ever had a follow through call before, but all of our visits have been well check-ups. Did I tell you the nurse offered to help carry the baby seat out for me since I had my hands full with sick Martin? I also thought that was sweet. 

Gift Shop

I am pretty sure I saw something very similar in the Smithsonian gift shop. Thanks to Martin for my new note cards! 

Book update:
I am 1/4th of the way through the Hobbit. It is incredibly better than the movie. Reading it again is like visiting with an old friend. 

Martin update:
He climbed in the baby's crib, tried to color on the couch, and dumped my tea into the aloe while I was in the shower. I think he is in the mend. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Some days...

Some days don't go as you have planned. Some days the two-year old is going to wake up, totally out of the blue, and be coughing like a seal, wheezing like Darth Vader, and have a fever of 101 degrees. Some days he will just want to be held all day and will get worse as the day goes on and you will finally take him to the doctor. 

The nurse practitioner found nothing wrong with him, but gave me a steroid prescription to open up his lungs. I dropped it off at Rite Aid and the girl told me that it would be 20 minutes. So, I thought, let's go park at SU and watch the contruction and come back. That way I won't have to unload and reload the kids. BAD IDEA! Watching the trucks at SU went great, but when I got back in line to pick up my medicine, I had to wait TWENTY NINE MINUTES! Yes, 29 minutes. That was only two cars in front of me. Martin fell asleep, thankfully, but Warren was hungry and doesn't like being in a car unless it is moving. Next time I think I will just lug them both inside. Aren't drive thrus supposed to be faster? 

I am very grateful that the boys are such happy campers most of the time. Even when they are sick, they are in pretty good spirits. I love them. 

Currently Reading: 
The Hobbit -- we had a free redbox movie and watched the third part last week. It was so bad. I just had to read the book to renew my mind. For those of you who have watched the third part, "why does it hurt so much?" Groan. 

Finished book:
1776 - so good.  I finished it at 4am this morning when Warnie woke up because his teeth hurt him. Normally, I wouldn't turn any lights on, but I really really wanted to finish my book. This is only my third book this month. So I need to real all of the Hobbit by tomorrow. Do you think that is possible? 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Favorite Shoes

I wore cheap flats when I first started working, as an engineer, in a manufacturing plant. I walked all over the plant on concrete floors every day. After a few months I started complaining to Jared that my back hurt. He told me that I had to have good shoes. So, we went shoe shopping. I tried on dozens of brands and styles of shoes. Before I had kids I had time to do that. Ha ha. 

I kept coming back to liking Clark shoes, but they were so expensive. So, we took the time to visit the Clark outlet store. I didn't find the same kind I had been trying on (their Unstructured line), but I discovered their Privos. 

I bought my first pair, the tan ones on the left for about $50 on a good sale. I now have four pairs. Two sit in my closet in reserve, purchased on a clearance sale. I adore them. I wear them all the time. They are completely comfortable!! 

I have put these shoes to the test countless times. They lasted over three years in that manufacturing plant (nine months of which I was pregnant), all over France (where I walked 10-12 miles a day for 5 days), countless hours of standing on my feet teaching, and this past weekend (walking over 6 miles a day with Warren in an ergo, up and down hills around DC). 

I love them! I recommend them. I wear my Clark Privos all the time. They are so easy to slip on. My only complaint is that they don't sell half sizes after size 9. So I own 10s and one pair of 11s. The 10s are a bit snug at first and the 11 has a tendency to slip off my feet (but is perfect when I am pregnant - thankfully, my feet have returned to their normal size after both boys). Regardless, I find them so comfortable and will continue to buy them after I use up the ones I have in my closet. 

And happy almost 10 years, in celebration, I wear a size 10 shoe!! Ha ha. 

Currently reading:
1776 by David McCullough
It is a cliffhanger. I can't stop reading it. I told Jared that I know the Americans win, but at the same time it feels like there is no way they ever could. I love David McCollough's books. They are so interesting. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Wind Tunnel

Maryland Day
Wind tunnel

About 20-25mph

University police

Concert on the lawn

Instrument petting zoo

And those are all the pictures I took, but we had another great day at Maryland. I really love walking around the campus!! It is so pretty, but I also like coming home. :) 


Friday we drove up to DC to visit Michelle and the zoo and aerospace museum. On the way up we saw all sorts of exciting things: school buses, excavators, dump trucks, airplanes, the moon, and more. Martin was so excited. 

Warren ate on the metro. Martin thought the "train" was fun despite the face he is making. Ha ha. 

The zoo

The only picture I took in the zoo

I forgot to take pictures at the aerospace museum because I was nursing the baby again. 

It was apparently a hard day being pushed in the stroller all day because on the way home he slept. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Game!

In a happier post...

Martin invented a game this morning. I was stuffing the cloth diapers, standing next to the foldable drying rack, when he threw a pair of his clean underwear over the rack. He laughed. So, I picked it up and tossed it back over to let him practice his catching. He laughed some more and threw it back over. This continued for about 5 minutes until he started saying, "Game! Game! Game!" 

And so we played his game for another 20 minutes or so, when the baby interrupted us. I love his imagination. I am so thankful for his cheerful, creative self. 

I am also thankful he doesn't have fever today or any other signs of sickness. Now baby two just needs to get better. Poor kid. 

Another thing I am thankful for is my Ergo! I am not a babywearer; I tend toward independence. It makes my life easier in the long run. However, when kids are sick, at the grocery store, and on hikes, I adore my Ergo. It helped me make a batch of granola (our breakfast of choice with some plain yogurt and a banana (soon we will have fresh fruit to add - it is almost strawberry, blueberry, and peach time!!)) today. Hooray!! 

The poor sick baby who is mostly happy, just super stuffed up and coughing. 

A little boy and a minion from Hope. He misses Aunt Hope. A salesperson knocked on out door yesterday and he yelled, "Aunt Hope!!!"

King Leopold's Ghost

Ugh. This book depressed me, but I also think everyone should read it. It is about how Belgium came in and basically stole all of the Congo's resources and murdered about half the population (10 million people) from 1890-1910. The most depressing part was the summary. 

1. Belgium still had rule over the country during WWII and made the people work at least 180 a year for them gathering rubber and uranium. 80% of the uranium the USA used came from slave labor in the Congo. 

2. The books gives examples of other countries abusing other countries they had claimed as colonies in the Pacific and Africa. It didn't just happen in the Congo. 

3. The country was finally given independence and the new prime minister asked for help from major countries. When they ignored him, he turned to the Societ Union for help. Because of this the CIA and Belgium plotted to have him killed. What!?!

4. The CIA and Belgium gave money to a group of rebels that took over the government and basically did the same thing Belgium had done for another 30 years. They took all the profits from the people, built extravagant houses, and went on crazy vacations. The USA and many other countries welcomed and honored the "president" who did this. He was really a dictator for 30 years. Again, what?!? 

Between this book and a book I read last year, called Blowback, I am beginning to think governments haven't ever been trustworthy.  But hey, our trust isn't in princes or presidents. It is wonderful that God is always trustworthy, true to his word, and never changing. 

I highly recommend Blowback too. It is another book that is somewhat depressing as you find out all the varying things that have been done in the name of democracy. 

Anyhow. I just finished the book, my 14th for the year. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sick Babies

I hadn't had much time, to post, the past couple of days because the baby has been sick with a cold since Saturday. He is actually quiet happy, but he coughs all the time and wakes himself up. Poor kid. Martin woke up with a fever this morning, which I expected to happen since he was cranky yesterday.

Thankfully, I went grocery shopping last night after the kids were asleep. As much as I love shopping with my two kids, it was great to leave the house by myself. I love having conversations with Martin in the car because he is so funny (and I did miss him when I saw two police cars and some construction equipment). However, I loved riding in peace and quiet. I may have just sat in the car for an extra ten minutes when I came back and enjoyed the stillness. Sometimes it is just nice to do something different. 

Also, I went to a homeschool consignment shop yesterday because they were having a sale. And I think I am pretty much stocked up books through first grade now. Ha ha. I probably could get some early reading books like the Bob books still, but I think that's it. 

Providentially, they were having a stuff a bag for $10 sale too. So I stuffed tons of random things in it. We have a bunch of new Dr. Suess books, an I Spy book, some brain quest cards, a new wood puzzle, little kid science books on airplanes and water, and a bunch of other homeschool workbooks. They have kept Martin very entertained today. Hooray!! 

Also providentially, I planned to make BBQ shredded chicken tonight for dinner. So, dinner has taken very little of my time today, which the two boys appreciate. Meal planning makes my life so much easier. It is too bad that I only do it about once a month. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015


I love playing with random number generators. I had to build the code for one in one of my engineering classes. I doubt I could do that now. 

Anyhow, congratulations to Sarah! I will come visit and bring you blueberry muffins soon. :) 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

His Mercies Are New

From John Piper:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

"God’s mercies are new every morning because each day only has enough mercy in it for that day.

This is why we tend to despair when we think that we may have to bear tomorrow’s load on today’s resources. God wants us to know: We won’t. Today’s mercies are for today’s troubles. Tomorrow’s mercies are for tomorrow’s troubles."

I read that today and I was also reminded of the Corrie Ten Boom story she tells about her train tickets. When she was a small girl she was wondering about having the strength to face certain things. She asked her father about it. He asked her, "Corrie, when we are going on a train trip, when do I give you the ticket? Do I give it to you at the house or along the way? No, I wait until you need it to board and then I give it to you. God is like that. He carries the tickets until we need them." That story has always stuck with me. 

Praise God for being such a loving and caring Heavenly Father. Great is His faithfulness. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Blueberry Muffin Giveaway

I am giving away 10 blueberry muffins (made with blueberries I picked last summer) in honor of my blog's 10 year anniversary coming up soon. 

I am not shipping these so...If you live close by, I will deliver these to you this weekend. If you live farther away, we can schedule a time you will be visiting the Eastern Shore and can pick them up. :) 

How to enter? Comment on this post. That's it. I will pick a winner Friday night and let you know Saturday morning. 

I can't find my pictures of the last batch of muffins I made. So, you get a picture of Martin playing in the dirt instead. :) We collected pine cones and built a road. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Enjoying Life

We've spent a little time watching a crane raise beams up into the sky. So grateful for my part-time faculty parking pass that lasts all year long. The campus is a fun place to take walks when we are tired of the zoo, especially when they are building  new buildings. 

And some time jumping in puddles at church and my parents house. Unfortunately, I was nursing the baby and didn't capture any pictures of Martin jumping in and floating boats in the gutters at my parents house with my Dad. He was drenched and happy. 

Who knows what adventures tomorrow will hold! Having kids is so much fun. I love to teach them and show them new things. They get so much joy out of the simple things. I love them. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

I really like this article

I found it very useful and I wan to revisit it when my children are older. So I am posting it here. 

It Has Been Stuck in My Head

Stricken, smitten, and afflicted, see him dying on the tree!
‘Tis the Christ by man rejected; yes, my soul, ’tis he, ’tis he!
‘Tis the long expected Prophet, David’s son, yet David’s Lord;
by his Son God now has spoken: ’tis the true and faithful Word.

Tell me ye who hear him groaning, was there ever grief like his?
Friends thro’ fear his cause disowning, foes insulting his distress;
many hands were raised to wound him, none would interpose to save;
but the deepest stroke that pierced him was the stroke that Justice gave.

Ye who think of sin by lightly nor suppose the evil great
here may view its nature rightly, here its guilt may estimate.
Mark the sacrifice appointed, see who bears the awful load;
’tis the Word, the Lord’s Anointed, Son of Man and Son of God.

Here we have a firm foundation, here the refuge of the lost;
Christ’s the Rock of our salvation, his the name of which we boast.
Lamb of God, for sinners wounded, sacrifice to cancel guilt!
None shall ever be confounded who on him their hope have built.

Friday, April 10, 2015


My mom sent Martin a letter and it had stickers on it. He peeled this one off, brought it to me, and said, "wake up! Wake up!" I guess he thought it looked like his aunts. Ha ha. He plays a game with them where they close their eyes and he tells them to wake up. 

Also, on my trip to pick up Jared from the airport we stopped at Chick-fil-a for a milkshake. :) As soon as he saw the sign he said, "chick away? Chick away Martin eat chick away? Yeah. Martin eat chick away." 

The fact that he recognizes their logo, which I know he does because the other day he brought me one of their kid meal books and pointed to it and told me it was chick away, makes me never want to let my kids watch tv and be assaulted my kid commercials. Ugh. Kids don't need too many things!! Enough of that. 

So we are driving away and this conversation follows. 
"Martin pee potty chick away?"
"Do you need to use the potty?"
"Yeah. Potty chick away."
Knowin that he has only used one other public restroom, I say, "If you actually use the potty at chick-fil-a I will give you some of my ice cream."
"Martin chick away, pee potty, ice cream! Yeah. That's fun."

So he went inside with me and used the potty. He went in two public restrooms in one day! I am so proud of him and so excited. And on top of that he hasn't had an accident in two day. What?!? Today will probably be a disaster, but I am rejoicing in the small victories. :) 

I love my funny sons. 

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Free Redbox For You?

So, I love being on the redbox text alerts. They send me free movie codes all the time. They also send bogo free codes too, but they never have two movies we want to see. 

I am not going to use the one they just sent me. It expires tonight. First person to comment, may have it. Oh, and if you want me to send you free codes in the future that I am not using, let me know. I only use about half of the ones they send. We just don't watch that many movies. 

I highly recommend Big Hero 6. We watched that last week and loved it. 

And since it is April, the month of my blog's 10th anniversary, I will count this as my first celebration giveaway. I would say first of ten, but I don't know if I will get around to that many. 

Next week I will be giving away 10+2 blueberry muffins to someone who lives close by. :) I am pretty sure almost all my readers live close by. 

21 days until the 10th anniversary. Crazy!!

Redbox: Take a movie break today. Get a DVD free for 1 day w/code 96G4Z4ZR Expires 4/9/15 @11:59pCT. 

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Kitchen Curtains

Thanks to my parents for taking Martin for the afternoon. It is amazing what you can accomplish with only one baby.

It took me about three hours to make them and hang them up. The material is really stiff, almost like upholstery fabric. I bought 5 yards of it at Ikea for $1.99 a yard years ago. I made the pillow covers in Martin's play closet out of it as well. After this project, I only have a little piece left. 

Also, I still like my kitchen in blue better,  but the yellow is growing on me. 

I can't wait for Jared to see them when he comes home!! He has been on a business trip all week and we will all be so excited to see him this afternoon! Life just isn't as much fun without him. 

Also, I am amazed how you ladies who have husbands who travel for work often deal with it. It is exhausting. I admire you. 

Tuesday, April 07, 2015


I don't know why this post isn't showing up on last Friday... The mobile app for Blogger is weird sometimes. Enjoy anyways. 

I just love him! We are spending some quality time together while Martin naps. 

I had so many plans for this week, but it seems we are all battling illness. None of us are completely sick, but we all have slight symptoms of something. 

Thus, my meal plan, which I actually made this week, hadn't been followed at all. We have eaten a lot of cereal because I haven't felt like cooking and Jared will have been out at church 6 of 7 days this week. Some weeks are like that. I have thrown all the meat I bought in the freezer for next week.  

I am about to put him in his crib and wake Martin up. 


My parents took Martin for the afternoon. I told him about it when he woke up and he asked me all morning if it was time to go yet. I love that he loves them. How fun.  So the baby and I are finally working on the curtains for the kitchen! Hopefully, I can finish them before Jared comes home and surprise him. Maybe I will post pictures of the finished product tomorrow. 

As for the smoothie, I thought to myself, since I only have one baby right now, I should go pick up Chipotle or Five Guys. Funny how it seems way easier to do things with one baby after having two for a while. But instead I made a smoothie because 1. It is easier to eat while sewing and 2. It is better for me.  I am not sure if I am proud of my decision or annoyed. 
The smoothie has in it:

Maybe I will also get around to posting some real recipes soon. Maybe after I finish these curtains. :) 

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Sovereignty and Children

Isaiah 55:6-9

 "Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;

let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

I wanted to focus on verses 8 and 9, but I thought 6 and 7 were a good reminder as well. We have to seek, call, and forsake our old ways. This year these verbs have been sticking out of passages that I have been reading. God had commanded us to DO a lot of things. It doesn't earn our salvation, but as Paul says in Romans, "what, shall I go on sinning so that grace may abound? May it never be!" Our life is changed and thus, we should act differently. 

I also love how verses 6 and 7 talk about God's abundant pardon. I have also been noticing The Bible talks about God's exceeding grace, he is rich in mercy, he graciously gives us, he lavished upon us, Unsearchable riches, and His abundant pardon. What a wonderful savior is Jesus my Lord! 

All that is a side note to what I wanted to say. I have learn a lot about God's will and sovereignty from watching my children. He is my latest example. Warren has been rolling over, a lot. But once he is on his stomach, he gets angry and annoyed. So, I graciously stop what I am doing and push him back to his back. I warn him that he doesn't like his stomach. But does he listen? No, just because he knows how to do something, he thinks it is the best way. He flips over shortly and gets mad again. I also have to strap him in his chair now because he tries to escape. I know he might enjoy his freedom for a little while, but he would quickly become frustrated. 

This started me thinking about rules and events in my life I don't enjoy. Sometimes I make my life unpleasant because I think I know the right way and I don't follow God's way. Sometimes a rule seems bothersome, but it is there to keep me safe. I am thankful I have a Heavenly Father who doesn't grow weary or tired because I am so often like a small child, doing the same stupid thing over and over again. 

Children are a wonderful picture of this to me. Often when I am telling them to do something that they don't enjoy, but that I know is good for them or will make them stronger, I think about God's ways being not my ways and his thoughts higher than my thoughts. It is a good reminder to trust him.