Monday, June 30, 2008

My Project!

I completely ran out of time last night to work on a Sunday Seven because I was madly trying to finish this project before the boys came home today. When you see it, you'll probably think what's the big deal...but I have been trying to get it done for almost a whole year now (it was in last year's Pottery Barn Kids catalog--I'm a confessing copycat!). It seems like there is never enough time to keep the house clean, have everyone's tummies full, get the laundry finished and in place, and so on. BUT it's done! I love it! Here's my little artsy creation:
Cloe really likes it too, except she keeps asking when we get to draw eyes and smiles on everyone. Oh, that little girl better not even think of taking a crayon to it! :)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

GARBC Moment #2

This little event actually happened on Wednesday, so I'll have a couple more "moments" from the week later...
Wednesday evening was "Local Church Night". There were over 1,600 people all packed on to Faith's campus for a big evening. One of the guys we saw was an old acquaintance from college--he also happens to be a little person with bright red hair.
What happened as we saw him totally felt like slow motion...Cloe laid eyes on the little red-haired man (about an inch taller than her) and her eyes just about bugged out of her head. Then the wheels literally started turning. She gasped, got really wide-eyed, sucked in a ton of air, and started to open her mouth REALLY big...I knew what was coming...so I quickly and quietly said, "Don't talk, don't talk, just wait!" I totally whisked her on by while we said a quick hello. Right around the corner, Cloe said, "Hey, that's the little man from the Wizard of Oz! That's so cool!"
Thankfully she'd held it in for long enough to avoid an awkward situation! You just never know!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

GARBC Moment #1

So, the conference officially started tonight. They play these touching little GARBC moment videos every night. I thought I'd post a "moment" of my own for each day...
Let me preface this with the fact that I truly love old people...on with the story!
#1 Cloe and I were walking through a hallway and a very sober (ogre) faced old suited up man was coming right at us in his motorized wheel chair. We nicely moved on to the side, but evidently my child-bearing hips must have still looked to wide. He never winced, smiled, or even looked at us, but loudly blew some little obnoxious horn he had on that big rig. Seriously! I was mortified! We just kept walking by as gracefully and quickly as we could...
...hoping tomorrow's GARBC highlight will be a little more positive! I'm avoiding all motorized vehicles in the building at all cost!

Monday, June 23, 2008

A new chicken salad!

I am a big sucker for chicken salad. I LOVE IT! I love to try different recipes and takes on it, too. So, this is what I had for lunch on Sunday: Sicilian Chicken Salad Sandwich
(Sicilian chicken salad with currants and pine nuts, served on house-baked focaccia with applewood smoked bacon and romaine lettuce with Tuscan fries). It was super, super tasty! I kind of feel obsessed with it at the moment, so I found the recipe on the Food Network website. I think I might bypass the whole raw egg turned into mayonnaise step, but the rest of the recipe I'm going to try forsure! Of course, a neat panini press and a little focaccia bread would be really nice, too!

Sicilian Chicken Salad






Sicilian Chicken Salad

1 egg*
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 fresh lemon, halved
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup packed mint leaves, chopped
1 to 1 1/4 cups olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground white pepper
1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds) boiled, bones removed and the meat small diced
1 cup small diced red onions
1/2 cup small diced celery
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup currants
4 cups arugula, cleaned


In a blender, combine the egg, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and mint leaves. Blend until smooth. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the oil, until the mixture is thick. Season with salt and pepper. In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken, onions, celery, nuts and currants. Mix thoroughly. Add the emulsion and mix until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the salad with the arugula.

*RAW EGG WARNING
Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs due to the slight risk of Salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly-refrigerated, clean, grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell.

No boys...

Before the boys left for Grandma and Grandpa's house, we had a little fun with the camera. I always get super nostalgic right before the kids leave! Cloe took this picture. I think that's the best kiss little stingy Carson has ever given out!
They are the goofiest boys in the world! They crack each other up with the silliest things! I hope they always stay such good little buddies!
Carson is still in love with his cowboy hat from VBS!
McClain is more into stealing anything and everything he can from Cloe! Then he just grins while she dances around a throws a little fit about what he's taken...so orny!
We were all rocking in the boys room while we waited for Daddy to get home from church. They're pretty good cuddly kids!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday Seven

This week was full of little things that totally bummed me out. Last night, I told Cody I thought I'd do a Sunday Seven of things that are bugging me or going not as planned. Of course, in his spiritual wisdom, he told me I could instead write on seven things that I'm glad God is in control of... Sounds a lot better to do that--also helps me refocus and confess my sinful ways!

Because of this....

...we don't get to go on a little trip this week. The GARBC conference was going to be held in Cedar Rapids, but because of the flooding they moved it to....Ankeny. AUGH! I'm not in love with the conference, but I am in love with a week in a hotel! No trip...no hotel...no swimming pool...no outlets...no fun...seriously...I'm crushed! BUT, I'm supposed to look at this thankfully--God apparently has something different for us to learn from this week. I'll let you know...
This week, Carson also had to go back on breathing treatments. It all happened just as they were leaving to go to my parent's house. Unfortunately, they still had to go to grandma's because it would be too hectic to try and take them with us to Ankeny everyday. Carson's doing breathing medicine and steroids...ugh! These turn him into a crazy man! BUT, Cody just spent the afternoon with a good friend whose baby has downs syndrome and desperately needs another heart surgery--which he might not survive. Cody said this sweet little boy was wheezing at least ten times harder than Carson ever has at his worst when he was in the hospital. God is good...Carson could be worse!
This one may seem little, but throughout my four years of college, I spent 47 weeks of it traveling. I LOVE to travel! As we went through the car wash the other day, I noticed that we didn't even have a single smushed bug on our windshield. No bugs = no traveling. Our family won't be taking a vacation this summer which really has bummed out. BUT, I know God has provided everything we NEED and if that doesn't include a vacation, it's a great time for me to practice and hone up those contentment skills!
The last MAJOR disappointment from my week was found while going out to inspect and work in our little garden. Some rascally varmint got in there and ate ALL our beautiful green bean plants. I'm still struggling to see how this can fit into being glad God is in control, but I'm sure I will see it some time...
Some highlights from the week that I am just down right super thankful for are times spent with friends enjoying new places to eat and beautiful weather, being married for nine years--which I can honestly say have been great, seeing our little garden grow (minus green beans), and having my boys SMILE the first time for a cute little picture on a John Deere Tractor (I'll post it soon).
This week is going to be busy going up to Ankeny everyday and trying to maintain a good attitude about the whole thing (seriously--the WHOLE thing--commutes, music, speakers, dressing up...all without my best "L" sidekick). I am earnestly seeking what God has in store for me to learn this week and pray that my selfishness won't hinder the great lessons and blessing He has for us!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Happy 9th Anniversary!
I love you very much and am so thankful for the nine awesome years we've had being married! I love being married to my best friend and never get tired of the time we get to spend together! You are a great godly leader for our family and an amazing example of what following Christ should look like in our lives! I love you!




Hmmm....who knew that these friends at our wedding reception would be so wonderfully weaved into our lives in ministry and friendship! I feel bad that this is the only picture I have...some other girl must have caught the bouquet? It all worked out ok, though! We love you guys! Thanks for being our friends!

Monday, June 16, 2008

:FREAKY:

My mom called tonight and told me about a situation taking place with my step cousin. She lives in Florida and has a six year old little boy. Recently, she had broken things off with an abusive boyfriend, but he managed to get visitation rights with their son. Last week, while he was visiting, he drugged my step-cousin. When she woke up, she and her son had been kidnapped and were in his car driving very fast. They needed to stop for gas, so she jumped out of the car screaming and yelling for help. He immediately drove off with the little boy still in the car--leaving her behind. They had made it all the way to the northern part of South Carolina and she was stranded all alone with no ID or cash. The ex-boyfriend still has little boy and cannot be located anywhere! Isn't that sad and scary!
I don't really know this step-cousin. We haven't seen each other in years, but my heart just breaks for her! I'm praying they will find her son--still alive and safe!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

These pictures are completely out of order, but they are a few of my favorites! For my Sunday Seven this week, here are some of the things that I'm so grateful God has given my children in their daddy! (this is written to YOU, my love!)

I love how you sing with our kids and teach them songs about God and His love for them, His ultimate sacrifice for us, and the endless hope we have through Jesus Christ! I love that you don't just limit them to children's songs but teach them songs with words to0 big for their britches and theology so deep and far beyond their little minds. I pray these words will stick with them and that they will understand and experience their own relationship with Jesus Christ some day!
You are far more energetic and ambitious than I when it comes to playing with the kids! You are teaching them to dream big, try hard, and never give up! Plus, we all have a good laugh along the way!
I think the kids are smiling here because dad's almost done building his fortress and maybe they'll get to knock it down and get their blocks back! You are the "master builder"! Thanks for having so much fun with our children and teaching them how simple blocks can turn into an amazing fortress!
Thanks for always going along with my camera happy tendencies! This is my favorite scene--late a night, stealing a baby out of the crib and cuddling away!
It didn't take long for you to turn into a natural daddy! Cloe would just beam when you'd come through the door after work! Thanks for making all of our days exciting by entering with such a joyful and "can't wait to be with my family" attitude! Even after a long, tiring day at church, we still feel like the most important part of your day!
I don't think anyone but Cloe could get you to wear a Mickey Mouse sticker on your forehead! I love that you allow our kids to have so much fun with you--at your expense!
Here's one of those "dream big" and "try hard" moments! Even when I'm gasping in the back as a nervous nelly, you constantly challenge our kids and teach them to try new things. They love you for teaching them and putting your confidence in their little abilities.
I love how proud you are of your two boys! My favorite memory is from the hospital as you carried the two blue bundles back to our room--the guy carrying the "pink" balloon said, "Way to go, dude!"
I SO appreciate all the help you've been with the boys! It has drawn us so much closer and I don't take for granted how much you do for us! I am relieved that the middle of the night bottle races are done! You are undoubtedly the best poopy diaper changer in the world!


Our boys love you for being so willing to scoop them up and show them how the guitar works! I pray they want to serve God and use all their talents for Him!
I love how early you started in pouring God's Word into their little minds! Two days old--only 5 pounds each--but they'd heard so much of the Bible! I think they all are pretty thankful you've switched to the Big Picture Bible!

When it all started! I'd never seen you actually "enjoy" holding a baby--until Cloe! It was the best thing I'd ever seen--you're eyes just filled with love for her the minute you saw her! You would come home from work and immediately steal her into your arms every day! You had the perfect touch, too! She was always calm and happy for her daddy!

You are an amazing dad! I'm so thankful for the godly influence our children will have and the awesome example that is being set for them! You are truly a man of God and I'm so proud of you!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hot Dog!

Today the kids and I headed down to the mall to walk around and check out the bargains. I had packed a little lunch box and told them we could buy something little, too. As I went through the ATM to get my grocery money, a bank teller yelled over, "Want some hot dogs!" She brought us four freshly grilled yummy hot dogs! They were having a free hot dog lunch to introduce their new free checking account. I told her I felt bad we didn't have an account there, but she was so incredibly friendly and just wanted to share with us. The kids kept yelling their thanks out the window. It all was pretty cute!
When we got to the mall, Cloe said, "Those hot dogs were sure nice for lunch so we could save our money!" (I think she's beginning to catch on to the penny pinching.) I had a great opportunity to talk her about our VBS verse from yesterday: My God shall supply all your needs... Lunch was definitely a need, and God provided something so unexpected. The coolest part was Cloe asking if we could stop and thank God for providing for our family. So, we stopped right by the door and prayed.
We had a fun time walking around the mall and even found a super cute little dress to give to our new cousin, Olivia!
Kids are napping and cookies are in the oven. I think I'm on my fourth batch of rhubarb cookies...I'm in a rut! Hopefully there will be new recipes next week!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The EAR!

Thankfully Cloe's ear is looking much, much better today! It's weird how my children are coming up with illnesses and infections that I have never had in my life...such an education my children are giving me! I'm so thankful the infection was caught early! We should be back to 100% in another day or so!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Icky Ears and VBS!

Poor Cloe! Yesterday at church, she told me her ear was itchy. I didn't really have anything to put on it, so I kind of let it go until we got home. Then we started putting all kinds of earring solution on it. I figured it was just a little infection like most little girls go through at the start of wearing ear rings.
Today, it was swollen probably 4 times bigger than her other little earlobe! A couple of moms at VBS told me I should have it checked out since it's an infection so close to her brain. (That made me freak out a little!) So we called Dr. Coggi, and he got us right in. (Most amazing pediatrician, by the way!) Turns out it is something much more serious than I thought! He thinks she got a bug bite behind her eye and started scratching it. Somewhere, she picked up some dirty germs under her nails and it spread to her ear. Staph infection! (FYI: I totally shouldn't have just read about it online...way scary stuff!)
So, we have a pretty regimented medical routine the next 24 hours. We have to give the ear hot soapy baths every hour, cleanse with alcohol, two doses of steroids a day, and three doses of really strong anti-biotics. If the ear doesn't look better and seem to be healing by tomorrow afternoon, we'll need to go in and they will remove her earring and probably do a lot of other serious stuff that I don't want to think about! I know this may seem silly, but PLEASE pray that Cloe's ear will heal quickly! She is usually quite the trooper when it comes to pain tolerance, but this is really hurting her. It breaks my heart to have to hold her down and take care of the ear.

Cloe loves to be a ham for the camera, so I was trying to distract her while the alcohol pads set on her ear. This is her very perturbed look!

It's really important to keep her hair away from her ear, so this is my attempt at a very restricted hair-do. Hair styling is no where near an ability that I have...it's quite sad! Hopefully she won't mind my best attempts!


These are our naked cowboys! Yeah for VBS crafts! The boys actually tore through their crib tent to get out and get those hats on...augh! Never fear, Cody fixed it again!
The theme for our VBS is something to do with the Wild West, so of course, in true Willow Creek VBS style, even the music is all crazy wild west country style songs. As the kids were singing and learning totally goofy motions today, the words from this old Steven Curtis Chapman song really hit me in a new way. Here's the chorus:
Saddle up your horses we've got a trail to blaze
Through the wild blue yonder of God's amazing grace
Let's follow our leader into the glorious unknown
This is a life like no other - this is The Great Adventure

Whatever God brings into my life--it is a GREAT ADVENTURE! The coolest part is that His amazing grace is going to carry me through! I love that he calls the unknown "glorious". I don't like surprises in life, but I am so comforted to know that my Leader has prepared for me a life like no other...it will be glorious...HE will sustain me...it will be wild...it will be full of grace...it is a great adventure to follow Christ!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday Seven

Nothing earth moving this week for my Sunday Seven, but here are seven great reminders of the wonderful life God has given our family!

McClain thinks mommy's cooking is all thumbs up! Like his enormous full-cover bib? He's our messy child! Just trying to protect as much clothing as possible! I love it that he thoroughly enjoys his meals (and my cooking)!

My sister took us to Living History Farms on Wednesday. We had a great time touring all the farms from the past! The kids went crazy over the animals! I love that my sister lives so close and our kids are the bestest of friends! Here's Cloe sportin' a funny pose in front of the cow...

Here's Cloe after the cow pose...ew! Cow poop! She totally flipped out while the rest of us giggled like crazy! Thank goodness for wet wipes...lots of wet wipes! She stepped SO carefully the rest of the day!

Wednesday night, Grandpa showed up to church in the same shirt as the boys...so cute! We love our newly mustache-less Grandpa! Unfortunately, while we were having all this fun, Grandpa and Grandma's entire basement was getting completely flooded and ruined. SO much work!

Thursday we went on another little field trip--this time to Blank Park Zoo. I'm SO thankful for the pass we got for Christmas! Our family won't be taking any vacations this summer, but thankfully, these little outings make it feel like we are having the best get-aways! The new elephant, Rosey, was so cute! The kids love seeing all the animals!

Here is Cloe's first experiment with photography! Not too bad! She loved this little ladybug that was crawling around our table. (Thanks to our friend, Heather, Cloe now seems to love bugs!) Our sissy boys sat in their high chairs and freaked out! So funny! Guess we'll have to have Heather hang out with them, too!

Today, we got our first Costco membership! A very great deal, too! Cody's sister Calli has a membership and they were able to switch to one card and get one with our name on it! So nice!
Lastly, I think the name of the company on this little gadget greatly sums up what we have at our house. Yes, we have a "guardian" sump pump for which we are SO grateful! BUT we also have an even GREATER GUARDIAN who cares for us more than we'll ever comprehend! Our Heavenly Father has not only kept us from having a flooded basement (like all of our neighbors), but He has kept His hand of protection on our family through the boy's asthma, safety in the storms, and provision for a more wonderful life than I could ever imagined!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Blueberry Muffins

I was so excited to post the recipe for Bodacious Blueberry Muffins. The whole family was excited for this new recipe I had found. We had fresh coffee brewing and everyone was waiting! The muffins smelled good, looked beautiful, and tasted...blah! Augh! So disappointing. They were like dinner biscuits with no flavor and a few wonderfully sweet blueberries in the middle. So, sorry to say, no recipe today!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sippy Cups


Sippy Cups = My Demise
It seems at our house that there is a slime monster that creeps into the sippy cups often during the day and makes them GROSS! No matter how much scrubbing, soaking, and sanitizing I do to these cups, they still seem to get disgusting in a nano-second! I hate spending money on new sippy cups, but I also don't trust the boys to just use regular cups yet...
So, the other day, I was reading a blog by a Christian mom. She was talking about a Christian's role in complaining and how we often shy away because we don't want to harm our testimony. In fact, we sometimes even get walked on out of fear of coming across wrong. She encouraged her readers to follow up if an item they had purchased was not what they had expected or if it defective. Complaining can be done in a very polite and courteous, grateful manner and a person can still reflect Christ. SO, I put on my best, friendly, "sorry-to-bother-you" voice and called up the Playtex company. I told the customer service lady about our gross cups and asked if they had any special cleaning tips that they recommended. This girl was SO nice, she immediately responded that their cups were made especially NOT to get moldy or stained and they would be replaced immediately. I told her I wasn't trying to fish for free products, but she replied by thanking me for telling them and for not switching to another company. It was such a nice little phone call AND I'm getting two new cups of my choice!
Now, I'm not going to go wild calling all the companies where a product has failed me, but it was a great experience of going into something with a very courteous attitude and getting a great response! Good bye icky cups!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Frosted Rhubarb Cookies

My dad loaded me up with a TON of rhubarb last weekend! Cody's mom and I chopped away for about an hour and froze two 12-cup bags. I went hunting for something I could make that wouldn't be horribly messy or crumbly for the kids to snack on. These cookies are amazing! The health benefits aren't huge, but I'm going to work on that and try adding oatmeal and maybe some applesauce to cut out flour and shortening. Still, in moderation, these cookies aren't too horribly bad and they taste wonderful! If you need a little rhubarb, let me know!

Frosted Rhubarb Cookies

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh rhubarb
  • 3/4 cup flaked coconut
  • CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar. Beat in eggs. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.
  2. Stir in rhubarb and coconut. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over cooled cookies. Store in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The BIG Project

After receiving a lovely letter from Uncle Sam that we would be receiving a little stimulus check after all, we decided to indulge a little of the new found money into a nice hobby. Here are a few pictures of our GARDEN!
First, Cody bought two 2x8x10 boards and two 2x10x10 boards. We don't have any topsoil, so it has to be a raised garden. The boards are screwed together into a nice frame. (Good job, Cody!)
Then we hauled fifty 40-pound bags of top soil into our backyard. (Yep, that's a ton of dirt!) For every bag I carried, Cody carried two...I'm such a wimp! It was a nice little workout though! Six-hundred and forty pounds of dirt--you should see my pipes today! Actually that's equal to just under eleven trips of carrying the boys up and down the steps...I think I like the boys much better than the dirt!
Cloe stood guard over the plants before I got them in the dirt.
McClain pretty much just lounged around and drank all of our water.

This is Carson's "I want to touch the dirt" face. I was afraid his face was going to become paralyzed like this. Now if I can only teach him the difference between the weeds and the plants, I may have a great gardener on my hands!
It was getting a little late when I finally got all of the plants and seeds in the garden. My neighbors thought I was a little nuts for taking a picture of this in the dark, but that's ok. I'm sure they're right! The left side is planted with 2 zucchini plants and 2 yellow squash plants. Then there are short rows of onions and cucumbers. In the back are six stakes for green beans. Then there are a couple of rows of carrots and radishes. On the left, I planted a tomato bush and eight various pepper plants. We have four more huge pots on our deck with eight tomato plants and 2 more pepper plants.
I'm really hoping this will be a successful venture! It would be wonderful to have fresh produce to use, and it would save us a ton of money at the grocery store!
Tomorrow I hope to make cute little stakes with labels for each plant...Martha Stewart is getting into my head!
Here's our favorite summer salad. It's packed with a lot of vegetables, and the kids love it!
My brother's family in France shared this recipe with us, so it's extra special!

Taboule

1 1/3 c. couscous
3 big juicy tomatoes
1 cucumber
1 green pepper
1 small onion or 1 bunch green onion
fresh parsley
6 T. olive oil
4 T. lemon juice
1 T. vinegar
1 T. basil
salt and pepper to taste.

Dice all vegetables and mix well with all ingredients. Refrigerate for a couple of hours. The juice of the tomatoes will "cook" the pasta. Before serving, add one package of cheese crumbles or cubed meat to make this a main dish.

What would happen if...



This morning, I was listening to the Today Show and heard this very interesting segment. What would happen if Cody or I were to die? It's not a happy thought, but yet we never know the number of days God has planned for our lives. We have a will, but this little segment added SO much to the thoughts of what would happen immediately to our children. We'll definitely be doing some more planning after hearing this!
First read this excerpt from the book that was being highlighted (Beware--I've only read this chapter, so I'm not endorsing the whole book! Christians obviously will have a different perspective on some things).
Then go here to start making a detailed plan for your family. By the way, it's not easy to pick guardians for children, but we'd be happy to take them all! I use to worry that the guardians we picked for our children would not raise them the way we would do it, but then my perspective flipped a little. If we ever take guardianship of my niece and nephew, I will feel so privileged that they chose us for the honor of raising their children I know I will try my hardest to honor my sister by doing things exactly or as close as I can to how I know she would be pleased...that helps with the decisions!
So...happy estate planning!

Monday, June 2, 2008

An Addendum

Yesterday's Sunday Seven only got me through Friday and there was so much more packed into our weekend and today!
Saturday turned out to be one of the most unexpected fun days in quite some time! The over 3 hour drive from Estherville was filled with sights of flooded fields and rivers...a change in scenery always helps that long, flat drive! Then for lunch, we were able to celebrate a first birthday with a sweet little boy from church. It was quite the impressive party, too! Cody and I both agree that we don't think we have as many friends combined as that one year old has!
That evening, Cody's parents came up to babysit and we got to go on a little date with some friends to celebrate their anniversary. (Which, by the way, celebrating an anniversary with friends out for dinner is by far the best idea anyone has had in a long time! It was a very fun evening!) Here are some pics I stole off the internet of all the fun places we went! The Chef's Kitchen is an amazing little restaurant, but next time, I think I'll skip the pickle things! RJ was right...stomach killer!
The legendary Snookies lived up to all the hype! Super yummy ice cream that definitely deserves a repeat visit!
Then it was off to Mars Cafe--another super cool place I'd never been before! I'm not sure if the highlight was the naked rear-end on the Russian Mockumentary or the be-bopping DJ's at their little laptops doing the techno music...such a toss up! I love getting out of my little brown house bubble! It was a very nice inviting place to spend time with friends and also had great coffee! I hope we get to celebrate more anniversaries in this same way!



Yesterday was of course super busy and tiring, but there was one fun little surprise! Who knew Aveda concealer could be so great!?! Thanks to Calli and her "back bar" orders, this face is enjoying some new concealer at a super low price...a cup of coffee for the mother-in-law!

Today was Cloe's five-year check up! Holy schmoly, where did the time go!?! It felt weird to have her answering kindergarten readiness questions. I did have a super proud mom moment though! Dr. Coggi always takes the kids through a little developmental testing to see how they compare in age-appropriate skills. When he finished with Cloe, he looked at me and asked, "So, did she just turn six?" She had reached all the milestones and skills through age six! I was so proud of her (and thankful for God's grace in helping her remember which foot was left and which one was right)! Unfortunately, this great appointment ended with four shots in her legs...ouch! She didn't even pretend to put up a tough front; she just let the sobs out the minute they brought the shots in the room. Thankfully, four dum-dums later (one for each shot) the alligator tears had subsided and the world seemed to be ok again!
The rest of our Monday was spent on a super exciting outdoors project...I'm going to leave you hanging until to tomorrow! Here are some clues: 2x10x8 and 2x10x10 times 2; 2,000 pounds of dirt = 1 ton; manicure greatly needed; spending now to save later...that's all I can think of!