Friday, February 25, 2011

Connor's 18-month well visit


How sad is that? The most recent picture I can find of him is one where's he's buried behind his big brother and sister. I have GOT to do better at taking pictures of him all by his lovely self. Drats.

So you'll remember that at his last well-visit (15 months old) it was discovered that I:
a. don't teach Connor words.
b. don't teach Connor body parts.
c. am doing better at feeding him.

You'll also remember that I covered my ears and acted like I didn't hear the doctor when she told me that I no longer had a newborn.

Today, I did much, much better.

Height: Lots of inches (42%)....WOOHOO! Our kid's getting some height on him.
Weight: 22 lbs. 6 oz. (9%)....BOO! Our kid has not gained even an ounce in 3 months.
Head: 1,000,000 cm. (90%)....Go Connor! We think his huge noggin is the only reason his weight is up to 9%.

At this point, the doctor read his chart and it must have said something on the computer screen like, "Be really nice. This mom's a nutjob. She still thinks her toddler is a newborn. She cries at the drop of a hat. Encourage her. Tell her everything is ok. Lie if you have to."

Because the rest of the visit sounded like this.

Doctor: Do you have any concerns?
Me: Well, his weight. He's still not gaining weight.
Doctor: No worries. You are awesome.
Me: Oh, wow. Groovy. Ok. Next concern....he still can't speak any words. You fussed at me last time and I've been sweating all morning waiting to receive your punishment. What am I doing wrong?
Doctor: You're doing absolutely nothing wrong. My child didn't start speaking until he was 19 months old. You are really cool and pretty and I love your hair.
Me: Really? Wow. Thanks. This well-visit form that your nurse asked me to fill out said 18-month-olds should be saying 2-word phrases by now and so I just thought....
Doctor: Let me just interrupt you right now. You are a blessing to me. There is not a thing in the world you should do differently. You look in that mirror and you repeat after me, "I am gorgeous and I am the perfect mom."
Me: I am gorgeous and I am the perfect mom.
Doctor: It's true, you know.
Me: Gee, thanks.
Then, You're Just Too Good to be True started playing in the background.
Doctor: No prob. Now get your rockin' self out of my office. See you when your genius baby is two years old!
Me: Sweet!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Recipe Wednesday: Turkey Sandwich!

Remember a long time ago when I said I would post a recipe every Wednesday? I'm sorry I've not kept that little promise. But I'm going to try to start back.

Today, I have for you something so simple, yet so yummy. I was talking with a friend a few weeks ago about lunch and how it's easy to get caught in the "boring turkey sandwich rut". But this little sandwich really bumps it up a notch.

All you need is:

2 pieces of bread
One wedge of Laughing Cow Cheese (I prefer garlic and herb)
1/2 TB of Jalapeno Pepper Jelly
3-6 slices of Mesquite turkey

9 pickles
fresh spinach

I love to spread the cheese on one slice of bread and the jelly on the other slice. Then I sandwich the turkey and 9 pickles in the middle. Yes, it has to be 9 pickles. It just doesn't taste the same with 8. Or 10. Plus, a 3 x 3 matrix on a piece of bread just makes sense, right? I don't really like spinach in mine but I know how healthy it is so I suck up and add it about half the time.

Oh, and if you're counting calories, the sandwich comes in at 200 calories (if you use bread that is 50 calories per Publix brand 100% stone ground whole wheat.) Not too shabby.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011


McDonald's Happy Meals always make me think about God's grace. If I take the kids to McDonald's I usually get them a 10 piece chicken nugget entree to split plus one small order of fries. It's much less expensive than the Happy Meal.

But sometimes, just because I want to surprise them, I'll buy the kids their own Happy Meal. I love to see how excited they get about the new toy and their own order of fries.

But it never fails that they never finish their fries and, after about 15 minutes of playing with the toy, they never play with it again.

Now, let me be clear. I'm not comparing the number of times I give my kids Happy Meals to the number of times God gives us grace. Because God's grace is an every day, twenty-four seven, kind of thing. We wake up because of God's grace. Everything we have is because of God's grace.

But what I am comparing is the way my kids react to Happy Meals to the way I act to God's grace. And that's with a forgetful heart. A heart that just wants the next thing instead of being full of joy in the present. A heart that is focused on me instead of the giver of the grace.

I've been reflecting today on the little ways God has revealed his love for me and the grace that only He can give me:

1. Yesterday, Landon was crying of an earache. That's not like him so I immediately called the pediatrician's office. Sure enough, he has a double ear infection. But while we were in the waiting room, I noticed Connor's ear leaking. The pediatrician checked his ears and they were also infected. Both of them. It was 4:20pm and God allowed Connor's ears to leak in the waiting room so I only needed to make one trip to the doctor. Otherwise, I would have been back first thing this morning. God's grace was all over that.

2. I have been a stay-at-home mother for almost two years now. I knew that when my third child was born, I wanted to take a couple of years to be away from my full-time job as an elementary school teacher. I love staying home with them. But I have so missed teaching a room full of 6 and 7-year olds. This past summer, I got a phone call from the children's director at church asking me to be a Sunday School teacher for the 2nd and 3rd grade girls. So, since September, I've been able to teach 10 girls about Jesus. And I absolutely love it. My co-teacher, Susan, a dear friend of mine, teaches with me. It's a blessing. Again, more of God's grace.

3. The weather is gorgeous today. Just absolutely gorgeous. And today is Tuesday, and Jennifer is off work on Tuesdays. So, her two youngest got to meet my two youngest for a playdate at the park. And Jennifer and I got to chat on a bench for 45 uninterrupted minutes. Grace, grace, and more grace.

4. I have really weak ankles. I've sprained them plenty. If you have weak ankles, you know what I mean when I say there's just a "feeling" about a millisecond before you sprain an ankle where you know it's about to happen. You step the wrong way. You walk down the stairs a little too quickly. It doesn't have to be much. But you know when it's coming. Today, I took an aerobics class and, as I stepped down the wrong way, I got that "feeling". But then my ankle didn't sprain. I could not believe it. Nothing happened. I finished the class. That may seem small to you, but to me, that was a big deal. And to all the weak ankle people out there, you're smiling, aren't you? 'Cause that was just more grace. My ankles are not strong enough on their own to not sprain after the way I landed. But God is.

5. My husband still loves me. Grace. And I love him back. Grace.

Thanking God today for his grace. For giving me stuff I don't deserve. Like everything. And for reminding me of that today.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

She's kind of a big deal.

In teacher-world there's this big award called "Teacher of the Year". I'm pretty sure most awards in the world give presents or gifts. Like I think if you win a Grammy you get a big trophy and lots of free designer stuff. And if you win the SEC championship I think your school wins lots of dollars and you get a free t-shirt and a cap and tons of parties.

In teacher-world "Teacher of the Year" means you win about five dollars and a slice of cake and then you get to do things like attend extra meetings, fill out tons of paperwork to apply for "DISTRICT Teacher of the Year" and you're automatically in charge of raising money for United Way.

You don't get much.But who wins "Teacher of the Year" says a lot about what the faculty values.
Because the award is chosen by teachers.

And this year, Leaphart Elementary gave the honor to my friend, Sally.

So, that means the teachers at Leaphart value:

1. Authenticity
2. Someone who likes children.
3. Someone who makes children feel known and loved.
4. Sincerity
5. Thinking
6. Meaningful instruction
7. Professional development
8. Someone who emphasizes the why
9. What really matters
10. Collaboration and encouragement

It was a big time honor to hug her neck along with her family, friends, and co-workers the day she won "Teacher of the Year".

Because she's kind of a big deal.

I love you, Sally!

Friday, February 18, 2011

I Said, She Heard

I said, "Reagan, let's go for a walk. Put your shoes on and I'll meet you outside."

She heard, "Reagan, Cinderella's having a formal ball down the street. Put your shoes on and I'll meet you outside."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Nathan's Mini-Me

Those of you who know Connor, my 17-month-old, know that he does not speak in words. He just points at things and says, "eh". That's all the noises he makes.

His doctor likes to think it's because I don't teach him things.

I hear lots of other 17-month-olds say lots and lots and lots of words and I act like it doesn't bother me but deep inside it a tiny little bit does.

So, you can imagine my joy and relief when I cleaned out a closet over the weekend, found Nathan's baby book his mother had given me a few years ago, and read the following about my now quite talkative, smart-as-anything manly man:

Began pointing to things and saying "eh".
Baby's first word: "bo" for bottle around 20 1/2 months. Actually began speaking at 21 1/2 months.

Like father, like son, I reckon.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Junior Valentines

I love how much this one loves to sleep. Pretty sure that's the only thing he inherited from me.
I love that he is his daddy's mini-me.
I love his dimples.
I love how his face lights up at the mere mention of a banana.
I love how much he loves his brother and sister, especially when they get in that crib with him early in the morning and throw in every.single.toy we own.

I love this one's wit.
I love how he looks over his glasses like a 90-year-old man.
I love the way he tackles Reagan with a hug every afternoon when he gets off the school bus.
I love that this week he decided to take his Bible to school for his book share and for the setting we wrote "Mostly Middle East, 2000 plus years ago".
I love the way he reads Mo Willems books.

I love this one's smile.
I love how much she needs snuggle time in the mornings.
I love that the combination of her sense of humor, dramatic flare, and smart brain give me plenty of stories to share!
I love the way she dances....eyes closed, hands in the air, partying like it's 1999.
I love how much she loves to take care of her friends.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Valentine

I love how much he loves our children. He is unbelievably patient with each one and no one can wrestle two boys while playing princess with a girl like he can!

I love how he is purposeful in telling the kids that he loves me the most. Not in a mean way, but in a way that reinforces what a marriage should look like. That the kids know that Mommy gets the first kiss when he walks in the door each day. That the boys can see how a husband should treat his wife and that Reagan can see what she should look for in her future mate.

I love the way he has so beautifully lived out Genesis 1:24 since the day we got married: "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."

I love that when I say, "My stretch marks are so ugly", he says, "You are absolutely beautiful. Oh, and by the way, your stretch marks are getting smaller every day." He's a huge liar but it's still very sweet.

I love his heart for youth. He is an incredible teacher and speaker. It's truly amazing. He loves the teenagers of our church and disciples them in such a sincere and wise way.

I love his discipline and work ethic. He's very methodical, logical, and consistent. He makes me feel safe. I never worry that he's making a decision based on pure emotion.

I love his sense of humor. I used to joke that I was the funny one in the couple but he, hands down, is waaaaay funnier than me and I think I burn about 1,000 calories from 6pm-10pm each day from laughing until my sides cramp.

He is the real deal. A real man. Making our family feel loved, encouraged, and provided for.

I'm super stoked he's my valentine.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Do people still use that term? The DTR? I'm not sure. I need to ask some of my really cool twenty-year-old friends. Back in the olden days, The DTR stood for The "Defining The Relationship" Talk. It took most couples about 5-10 hours to have it and afterward their friends would say in a serious voice, "How did the DTR go?" Here's the story of our DTR. It took us about 5 minutes. Because that's how I roll.

My senior year of college, I sang in the FCA praise band. We were AWFUL. Josh Ridings led it (the commander-in-chief of the current Josh Ridings Band and now he's awesome!!!!) but back in college we were a very bad praise band. Mainly because if we messed up we literally stopped singing and playing instruments and just laughed into the microphones. You think I'm kidding. I'm perfectly serious. Also, I was big time scared to get in front of people and FCA had boatloads of people so I think I might have made the quietest possible sound known to man while being all red and blotchy.

In spite of all of that, the president of FCA, Nathan Something, thought I was a hottie. So on January 26th he asked me be his date to the FCA semi-formal. I said "yes" then drove home and called my mom. I told her a great guy asked me on a date. I told her I don't know his last name. I also told her I think he's in the military because his hair is very, very short.

I assumed he just asked me because he's the president and presidents need to go to their own semi-formals so he searched for the hottest woman and settled for me. I figured he'd take me to the semi-formal, take me home, drop me off, and then that would be the end of that. But I assumed wrong.

He kept calling me and pursuing the mess out of me. I kept coming up with excuses to not go out with him. I needed to study. I needed to get a good night's sleep. Blah, blah, blah.

Finally, on February 8th, after heaps of me being a meanie and heaps of him being a real man, he asked me for the billionth time to go out. I again said "no". And that's when he said, "If you haven't noticed, I've been trying to find ways to spend time with you." And that's when I said in the most blunt voice known to man, "What are your intentions?" (That's how you reduce the DTR from 5 hours to 5 minutes. I know. I'm awesome.) He said, "I like you. I want to date you. And if that works out, I want to marry you." Nice. To the point. Logical. Makes sense to me. Certainly don't plan on marrying anyone I haven't dated first. Let's give it a go. So, I said "yes", we went to a coffeehouse, talked for a bajillion hours and the rest is history.

The perfect DTR.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A List of our Life

Lots of tiny things on my mind, none of them really worthy of a full post. So, we'll go with a list.

1. Cooking for the college students and twenty-somethings from our church tomorrow night! The goal is to bless them with some good, FREE food and our cozy home to hang out together. On the menu is breakfast for supper: sausage casserole, french toast casserole, bacon, biscuits, fruit, juice, and coffee.

2. Landon's first basketball game is Saturday. He can now get the ball in the hoop when he shoots and he can dribble like a pro! He has natural talent, just like his Uncle Kevin!

3. I love my Kindle. I love it so very much. I think about it a lot. I use it a lot. This may be worthy of an entire post. I could go on and on. It's so pretty and user-friendly and skinny and smooth.

4. Connor is still speaking zero words. But his grunts and squeals are getting louder and louder. Neat.

5. I leave you with my favorite Landon quote of the week.

Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Landon: a teacher

Oh, how I love that child.