Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Musings (vol. 3): Mustache Magnets and Questions From Teenagers

Happy Monday everybody!  Let's get to it!

Still loving his magnets!

~ 1 ~

If you're like me and you're just oh-so-very-tired of depressing news stories and it will drain your every last ounce of energy if you hear one more terrible bit of news today - read this - I promise it won't disappoint - 

~ 2 ~

Here are the random items that you can find in Target if you just look in the right aisle. 

Beard flask and book of "Beer Awesomeness"

Mustache Magnet Set

So wrong

Ok, ok, I didn't find this little boy in the random Target aisle, but I did buy the cake sprinkles at Target, does that count?  He played with them the rest of the day.

Happiness is a boy and his sprinkles

~ 3 ~

Speaking of sprinkles, I'm working on a project.  Remember when I told you about Jessa at ShalomSweetHome?    We have struck up a friendship via e-mail and the sprinkles are for the project I'm working on for her.  More on this later. :)

~ 4 ~

Reading children's books is a new adventure.  There are some children's books that drive me crazy, creep me out,  I fail to appreciate because (in my humble opinion) they lack...something.  If you want to understand what I'm talking about (because I'm lacking in eloquence today), check out the Library Project, especially this post regarding children's books.

Now, don't get up in arms, because Goodnight Moon does not fall on the list of books I was talking about above... however... 

... I would really like to know what the editor/publisher thought when they got to this page. 

Or maybe the book was on the way to be printed and they realized a page got left blank when they formatted the book and so they were like "hey, we need something for this page, preferably without a need for illustration because it needs to be printed now!" and this is the result?   

~ 5 ~

On a more serious note... The Hubs and I work with our church's youth group (who thought to give us that responsibility, right?), and I've challenged the kids in my small group to ask questions and take an interest in their faith.  And I was expecting questions like "Why did Jesus have to die for us?" or "Why bishops don't slap people?", but instead I get questions like this...

In case it is difficult to read, it says 

"What do you do when someone constantly trash talks your religion to your face?  In the beginning I got really upset and would argue but now its gotten to the point where I just sit there and let them talk.  Is there even anything I can say to them?" 

I'm still formulating an answer to the question, an answer that will avoid including "just poke them in the nose", but I'd love to hear some thoughts on this.  What would you tell this teenager?

~ 6 ~

When we went to our Core Team training day (core team = adult leaders for the youth group), we had to introduce ourselves by sharing an awkward quirk about ourselves.  This has been on my brain ever since.  And while I have so many to choose from, I thought I'd share one.  

When I'm singing from a hymnal, and the hymn is on the right page, once I get to the end of the verse at the bottom of the page, I turn the page... every time... after every verse.  I can't help myself.  

Now, think about all your awkward quirks this week, and please share some with me.

~ 7 ~

I've gotten some comments on my blog, but you don't see them.  Wanna know why?  Because they're all spam.  :(  :(  :(   Spam commenters stink!

~ 8 ~

Speaking of magnets (see picture above), M has already lost some.  I decided to see if any had slid under the fridge.  I used a flashlight and a yard stick.  

Warning!  If you choose to do this, please be prepared for the grossness that will emerge from under your fridge.  I spared you a visual.  Instead of grossness, how about some cuteness?

 I just can't plan cuteness like that y'all!

Have a Happy Monday!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

From The Past Friday ~ Dawgs After Dark

This post harkens back to the "good 'ole days" at the University of Georgia (UGA), specifically our freshman year.

Dawgs After Dark is a late night program offered at UGA once a month on Friday nights and is free to university students.  They offer various activities from Build-a-Bear and making snow cones to carnival rides and casino nights.  Did I mention that it was free?  

We had multiple activities offered to us, such as taking old time-y photos... 

...riding the mechanical bull...

... and getting creamed by your friends in "rock 'em sock 'em robot" style wrestling.  

Sammy and Tim

Me and Liz

Click on picture to enlarge

Smiling... before Liz kicked my butt.

Fun fact:  Both couples (Liz and Sammy,  Tim and me) are now married.  Dawgs After Dark, you sly matchmaker you.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

If At First You Don't Succeed

View from Tribble Mill Park walking trail

So, do you remember me telling you about us trying to keep Sunday holy by putting down the iPhones?  That this practice was supposed to make space in our lives for God and family time?  Well, last Sunday (as in more than a week ago) was a big. giant. fail.  I can't even remember if we had made any plans to "fill the space", but by Sunday afternoon I was laying on the couch and had been on my phone for about the fourth time before I even realized it.  Pathetic.  

Hanging out, eating Puffs while Daddy fishes

The hubs and I sort of passed by each other all weekend.  Staying off of my phone was harder than I thought, but that is because I didn't have a plan.  We don't work well 'round here without a plan.  

This weekend, we were intentional.  We had a plan.  The plan was not perfect, but we had a fabulous weekend!  In case you haven't already noticed from the beautiful pics amongst my rantings. 

We went "hiking" over at Tribble Mill Park (this is a free parking, county park for anyone in the area, with a sweet playground from what I could tell).  I say "hiking" because we chose the three mile paved loop around the lake which is more walking rather than hiking.  There are woodsy trails that loop off and back on the paved trail but the view from them isn't very interesting.  We realized that we had been to this park before with Tim's college roommates when Matthan was about four months old.  

Tim has recently gotten into fly fishing and we stopped along the trail.  I entertained Matthan on a blanket nearby.  

Daddy showing Matthan a fish

How does one have a blissful Sunday afternoon on a blanket with a toddler?  Easy, when your kid doesn't like grass.  Blanket = invisible fence.  He did eventually play with the leaves around the blanket all the while keeping as much of his body on the blanket as possible.  I put snacks around the edge of the blanket to give him some physical activity.   Snacks plus my car keys gave Daddy a good 45 minute fishing session.

At one point, Matthan started putting leaves in his hair - a big step for a kid who doesn't like to touch the earth.  I think he heard me giggling because he then picked up a fistful of dirt and dropped it on himself.  I didn't catch that prime moment on camera, but here is a little video of him exploring his surroundings.

He laid on the blanket with me for several lovely minutes (thanks to my car keys) before Daddy decided it was time to go home for lunch.  

Chilling on the blanket with Mommy

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Musings (vol. 2): A Quick One With Cuteness at the End

I'm having a "Monday" over here in my little corner of the world.  We stay-at-home-moms have them too.  So this will be a quick post since part of my "Monday-ness" is suddenly being unable to retrieve pictures off my phone.  Boo.

~ 1 ~

This quote from C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity has been rolling around my brain all week.

When you come to know God, the initiative lies on His side. If He does not show Himself, nothing you can do will enable you to find Him. And, in fact, He shows much more of Himself to some people than to others -- not because He has favourites, but because it is impossible for Him to show Himself to a man whose whole mind and character are in the wrong condition. Just as sunlight, though it has no favourites, cannot be reflected in a dusty mirror as clearly as in a clean one.

~ 2 ~ 

In case you're tired of shoddy news reporting, and like to know what Pope Francis actually said last week, instead of what some crack pot news reporter took out of context (again!, but really, who is surprised) here are links in this post that cover it better than I can at the moment.  The links start about half way through the post.

~ 3 ~

And, as promised, some cuteness for your day.  Ever since Matthan was a tiny baby, when I would lift him off the changing table, I would put his arms around my neck and say "mommy hug!"  This past week, without thinking, I said "Can I have a hug?", and he turned is head and leaned into my chest.  Heart. In. Puddle. On. The. Floor.

Friday, September 20, 2013

7 Quick Takes (vol. 2): Scrambled Egg Question Answered

Happy Friday y'all!

Note:  if you're going to clean your glasses, before taking glasses off to clean them, make sure that the bottle of cleaner in your hand is, in fact, cleaner...

... and not hairspray!

My grandmother answered my incredibly pressing scrambled egg question.  She's so smart.  She said that scrambled eggs are not scrambled eggs unless you scramble them in the pan.  Not scrambling them in the pan produces an omelet.  My sister and my husband said this too, for the record.  Who knew I had such logical people in my life ;)

Inspired by The Library Project over at Like Mother, Like Daughter, I ordered The Three Little Pigs and The Three Bears for Matthan.  He loves books like "Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You" with sing-songy text and bright pictures.  Do you have any books to recommend?  Let me know in the comments.

I discovered a hazard in making dinner and dessert at the same time.  I licked batter off of my finger and it tasted like garlic chocolate chip cookies.  Gross.

Cloth Diaper and Diaper Rash advice - skip to #6 if talking about these and poop ain't your thing

We have been dealing with the terrible ammonia smell that can sometimes come with cloth diapers.  I think we've fixed it now!  This post was helpful, so was another one, but I can't find it.  If I find it I'll post it.

On that note, here is one of the best pieces of mommy advice I've ever received, ever (you can thank my sister for passing this along to me)...

For diaper rash, place your kid in a cornstarch/baking soda bath.  The ratio of cornstarch:baking soda is 1:1 and the water should be opaque (or cloudy so you can't see the bottom of the tub).  For a normal sized bath tub, I use about 1/4 cup of each and run the water til it's waist high with my kid sitting (so a few inches of water).  I let Matthan soak for about 15 to 20 minutes.

This has worked, thus far, for any type of rash or blemish he's had on his tukus.

Matthan had a particularly nasty "burn" from an acidic teething poop, that left really bad marks like his skin had been rubbed off.  AWEFUL!  After two baths on consecutive days, it was already 98% better!

I also put coconut oil on him as a "diaper cream".

Bonus:  all this above is cloth diaper friendly :)

I made envelopes this week inspired by Pinterest (using instructions from here and here).  Why?

My templates

My new, pretty, homemade envelopes

Made a card to go with one of the envelopes

Inside detail of the card

I've created a "completed" board on Pinterest, mostly so I can find the ones I use a lot.  It makes me feel accomplished.  Like checking things off the To-Do list.   

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

-Just to be clear, when I direct you to a site via one of my links, I'm not necessarily endorsing the whole site, but rather just referring you to the individual post in question (unless I state otherwise).-

Thursday, September 19, 2013

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}...

... but not in that order.

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~

Every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter


There is a lot of real going on here this week so I'm going to start with that.  

I thought I was losing my mind...that's not much of a stretch on some days, but I digress.  My fridge and freezer smelled like pickles.  This just did not make sense to me because we did not have pickles in our fridge.  After a couple of days of justifying why the fridge smelled like pickles when we didn't have pickles, and promising myself to clean our fridge "really soon", I went to retrieve something from the bottom drawer.  And found...

Lake Pickle Juice

We did have pickles in the fridge!  The lid was not on tight and it had tipped over  :(

the culprit

Using almond milk to make mac'n'cheese produces a rather funky mac'n'cheese.  Now you don't have to do the research yourself.  It really should have been fine except our milk was vanilla flavored and not plain like I thought.  How to redeem it?  Just add parmesan.  It masks the funkiness nicely and redeems your late night snack.  Now you know.

Remember how I was complaining about my bedroom being the default place to drop junk?  Well, I have resolved not to make it our bedroom anymore.  This doesn't solve my junk problem, but it does make for a nicer place for me and the hubby.  The room above the garage is now the default.  This is simply the overflow of the closet up there, I spared you that picture.


I made some envelopes this week.  Just for fun.


I ordered some things for Matthan that I'm really excited about.  Arriving soon will be a set of alphabet magnets, a new Baby Signing Tim video, and a couple books.  I can't wait.  (He can't either, he just doesn't know it).


I finally captured his frown.  He's such a ham. 

Tim texted me to let me know that he was going to be home late from work.  I texted him back this picture with the caption "Matthan says that is unacceptable".  Lol :)

Go check out more {Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} posts at Like Mother, Like Daughter

round button chicken

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


(With gratuitous pictures of my kid for your viewing pleasure)

 I couldn't sleep last night.  After reading this post on conversiondiary dot com (#4, specifically) I put my phone down to try to pray, or rather, "listen" to what God wanted to say to me.  And the word "unaffected" popped into my head.  

I have been fascinated by the blog shalomsweethome dot com, for many reasons, but one of which is how Jessa and her husband are living their Christian faith in Israel where the most prevalent faiths are not Christianity and the traditions of these faiths (primarily Judaism and Islam) affect Jessa and her husband and the people around them every day.  It doesn't matter if you're not Jewish, if you live in Israel, you cannot avoid the effects of the Jewish faith.  Jessa and her husband have to walk to church on Saturday, because (a) Saturday is the Jewish Sabbath, and their city comes to a halt and (b) because Saturday is the Sabbath, then Sunday is a work day, so Jessa's husband has to work and cannot attend Mass on Sunday with Jessa.  

There are codes of dress, such as orthodoxy women having to wear skirts that have affected Jessa when she has accidentally walked through an orthodox neighborhood and received looks of disapproval from the people in the neighborhood, simply for wearing pants. 

Another blogger, who I've been following, has mentioned that her father currently resides in a country (sorry, I forgot which one) where the national religion is Islam.  Her father, although atheist himself, has something like a really loud blow horn outside of his apartment window that is used to call the muslims to prayer five times a day... the first call to prayer being before sunrise.  It doesn't matter if this man could care less about the faith, he is affected every day by the faith being practiced around him.  

And then it got me thinking, how completely unaffected we are in America.

(Excuse the generalizations to come, if you disagree, let me know, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments or via e-mail).

I would venture to say, that the most we Americans are affected by faith in this country is that we cannot go to Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-a on Sunday because they are closed (and, in full transparency here, I gripe about that on occasion).  Or, depending on where you live, you get stuck in "Sunday traffic" because you ventured out of your house when the mega-church down the road is letting services out.

Something about this seems very wrong to me.  Shouldn't our faith affect every area of our lives?  

I once read about some monks who set their watches to beep every hour so that they were constantly reminded to keep their thoughts on our Lord and to pray without ceasing.  When I want to, I can seem to find time to check Facebook, or Pinterest, or blogs, or e-mail, or texts, or voice messages every hour and yet I struggle to lift my heart in prayer any more than grace before mealtimes, and sometimes I forget that.  

I love the seasons and feasts of the liturgical year.  I've tried harder this year to implement traditional practices.  For example, Matthan and I took flowers to a friend on the Feast of the Assumption. The actual tradition is donating flower arrangements to your church or nursing homes, I think, but hey, I have to start somewhere.  The more common practices we're known for is no meat on Fridays during Lent and mass every Sunday.  

If I practice even the minimal recommendations or obligations for the American Catholic, my faith affects my life... and by extension, the lives of those around me.  

What a witness this can be.

Think about it.  If we went back to the days where everything was closed on Sundays, how would that affect us?  Think about that for a moment.  If everything was closed on Sunday...

-we would have to grocery shop on another day of the week

-we'd have to carefully make out our food plan or just make do because there would be no last minute run to the grocery store for that forgotten item

-waiters and waitresses would get a break and other employees would be able to be with their families and actually go to church with their families, because their bosses wouldn't ever ask them to take a shift on Sunday

-people might hate Monday's less because they actually got refreshed on Sunday

-businessmen would have to do something with themselves (hopefully with their families) because no one anywhere would be in the office doing anything

-the list could go on and on...

But if this were the case, think about how it would affect those that do not practice the Christian faith.  If every Sunday, life came to a screeching halt, then all the "inconveniences" of everything being closed would maybe make non-Christians think, even for a moment, even subconsciously...why.  

That is the point of all the little practices that I have in my faith.

When I don't eat meat on Fridays during Lent...

     ...I think about God's incredible sacrifice of coming to earth so he could die for my sins on that Holy Friday so long ago

When I get myself and my family to mass every Sunday...

     ---I think about that my God is different because He resurrected from death on Holy Sunday and that I can look forward to the resurrection of the body and life everlasting

When I continue to celebrate Christmas for the 12 days following Christmas (when "Christmas and good cheer" cease to exist, it seems)...

     ....I think about God humbling himself and coming as an innocent baby and how he wasn't welcomed and celebrated by all

When I see the crucifix on my family alter...

     ...I think to lift my heart up in prayer and thanksgiving, and that I'm called to take up my cross daily and follow him.

The point is, that our faith should affect us.  In America, I think we need to be a little more affected.

"This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."  John 13:35

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Musing's (vol.1): Frowning, Scrambled Eggs, and Iconography

Here's round one of Monday's Musings (you know, if I commit to doing this regularly) in 7 Quick Takes style.

I think Matthan learned to frown yesterday.  It didn't occur to me that frowning was something you learn (it makes sense, I just didn't think about it).  I don't think I've seen him do this before.  He looked like he was practicing it yesterday, and then he frowned at a few people at church.  His frown is adorable too.  I'll post a picture when I can capture one, but when I try to get him to do it he just smiles at me.  Such a conundrum ;)

A pressing question . . .

([The Back Story, you can skip if you wish]  I was telling my sister the other day that I saw an interview where Matthew Lewis (the actor who plays Neville in the Harry Potter movies) said that he was discussing making scrambled eggs in the microwave with Imelda Staunton (actress) while sitting in the make-up chairs.  She was completely repulsed by the idea.  And then Alan Rickman (another actor) came up and said that scrambled eggs in the microwave were quite nice.  At this point, my sister said "but they wouldn't be scrambled eggs if you made them in the microwave".  Which brings me to my pressing question . . . )

Are scrambled eggs, scrambled, because of the scrambling that you do in the bowl before dumping them in the pan, or because you scramble them around in the pan. . . or both?

I need to know.

We painted our room this weekend in case you missed it!  (Eckhem, because I just posted that post.)

I recently found out that our church bells are a recording.  Makes sense, there is no bell tower (duh! me), but I was still disappointed.

(Our church has only had the "bells" for maybe a year, so I haven't been confused about them for like years or anything.)

There are moments in motherhood where your instincts to intervene are overridden by "let's see how this pans out".  I watched in utter amusement as Matthan flattened himself down to get under the bars of our chairs to get a toy that was under there.  But then he got stuck.

What do I do now, Mom?

And couldn't figure out how to get back out.

I can't get back out.

I give up.

Oh, my child. :)

I want to study the art of iconography at some point.  Here is a video of a church being built and painted this year.  Click on their channel to watch updates of the icon painting.

What is the point of a to-go coffee cup that does not fit in the cup holder?!

Have a Happy Monday!

-Just to be clear, when I direct you to a site via one of my links, I'm not necessarily endorsing the whole site, but rather just referring you to the individual item (post, picture, video, etc) in question (unless I state otherwise).-