Thursday, March 31, 2011

Blessing #42- Karen Kingsbury

Yesterday, I mentioned my love of reading. There is one genre I never really got into...romance. I guess my brain is too practical and logical to get swept away in a romance novel. However, a few years ago, I discovered that my logical, practical brain has one kryptonite...Karen Kingsbury novels.

I don't remember what made me start reading, but after my first Karen Kingsbury book, I was hooked. Unlike the Christian fiction I grew up with, Karen's characters and story lines are plausible and real. My favorite novels she has written are the Baxter family books. So far, there are about 18 books that all tie together.

I have developed a love/hate relationship with Karen Kingsbury. Sometimes when she reveals a surprise about a character, or puts two of my favorite characters together, I proclaim her to be the greatest Christian author of the 21st century. However, when she has a beloved character get in a car wreck, catch a disease, lose a child, or die, I vow that she is the cruel, and is out to hurt her readers. I call my mother, a fellow Karen fan, and say things like, "How could she do that to Ashley!" "Dane didn't deserve that!" I angrily sulk, but I keep reading and in a few chapters she redeems herself and sets the Baxter's world right again, and once again, she is the greatest Christian author of the 21st century.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blessing #41- Reading

I love to read! I've always been a reader though. When I was in the sixth grade, I had a little notebook where I would write down all the books that I read. I even had a rating system to show whether or not I liked the book. I think I read 65 books all together. ***Why yes. I wasn't very popular in middle school. Why do you ask?***

Now, as a mom, I still try to slip in reading time when I can. I love to get books on CD at the library to listen to while I work. Here's a list of a few of my favorite books...other than the Bible...that's a given.

Book I'm currently reading

Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond. If you love to read the Pioneer Woman blog, you'll love this book. It's the story of how Pioneer Woman met and married Marlboro Man. I'm listening to it on CD. Last night, I had it on as I was working. I didn't think Shad was paying attention, but then he started asking questions about it. I think he liked the story.

Favorite devotional/Christian life book 1. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

2. Believing God by Beth Moore

Favorite Series

Redemption, Firstborn, Summer, Above the Line Series by Karen Kingsbury. (I found this picture, but I got all the books from the library.) I was going to write a description of this, but I think it will be it's own blog post.

Favorite Book Ever...other than the Bible

Fermat's Enigma- I could read this book over and over. It is sooooo good. What's it about? A math problem and the history of it, but the writer is so good and weaves the story together so well. Basically, he tells the story of everyone through the ages that tried to work on this impossible problem and how it was finally proven! A must read.***Why yes? I'm still not very popular.Why would you ask?***

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Project Life- March 21 - 27

If you want to see more Project Lifes, click on the badge at the top of the post to go to The Mom Creative.

Wednesday, March 23- I'm letting B's hair grow out a little bit. I've been able to style his hair in a feau-hawk. Oh! He's too cute.

Wednesday, March 23- Even at the dentist, he is cool.

Saturday, March 26- Shad found me a ball jar in the woods!

Saturday, March 26- When I saw "grilled peanut butter and PEEPS" sandwich on the internet. I knew I needed to try it. I think I went into sugar shock after one bite.

Monday, March 28- I was running low on pictures so I threw in this one of Shad from yesterday. I love the camo hat!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blessing #40- "This will make a good blog post"

Last week, I had the quest of trying to get Collin's social security card. We have been waiting for the card to come in the mail, but it never came. After many phone calls, we learned we had to get Collin's birth certificate before we could get his social security card. So here are my misadventures in getting all those documents.

Birth Certificate

Wednesday,with my directions in hand and two little boys in tow, I set out to go get Collin's birth certificate in the rain. I missed the turn to building, and had to cross all kinds of traffic, in the rain, to get back. I got both boys and the stroller out of the car and headed in to get the birth certificate. When we got to the door, I saw this sign... We had checked the website and talked to someone on the phone, but no one told us the location had been moved! Did I mention it was raining. I called the number and got some bad directions. I wish I could tell you I kept my cool, set a good example for my boys, and happily walked back to my the rain, but I lost it. I said things like, "Are you kidding me! What a bunch of morons!" I even sarcastically sang, "I'm Proud to be an American," and added my own special lyrics. I told you I wasn't proud (hangs head in shame). Finally, we made it to the new location and I walked in to get the birth certificate ITR (that's text for "in the rain"). It took all of two minutes, and I had the birth certificate.

Social Security Card

Friday rolls around, nice and sunny, and I have to go to the social security administration to get Collin's social security. I knew we would have a long wait, so I saved Collin's morning bottle for the long wait. We walked into the room full of people, took a number, and waited in the only two chairs available. I started to get out all the stuff for Collin's bottle when I realized I had not put a liner in his bottle, and a drop in bottle without a liner is useless. This time, I laughed, it was just too funny. I gathered up our things and we ran to a drugstore to get some liners. On our way out Brandon said to everyone in the room, "My mommy forgot the liners." My number was 119, they were on 110 when I left. I loaded both boys up in the car and we rushed to a drugstore and got bottle liners.

When I got back to the Social Security office, I asked the security guard what number they were on. He said, "116, you didn't miss it." I yelled, "Yesssssss!" About fifteen minutes later, I got my turn, I explained what had happened and requested a card. I said, "Here's his birth certificate," and then the social security worker said, "Oh you don't need that." What!?! I did not need the birth certificate I struggled to the rain! I needed any another paper with his name on it to get the the soc. sec. card. Fortunately, I had brought a whole packet of papers, just in case.

So what's the blessing in all this? Since I started blogging, when things like this happen, I think, "This will make a good blog post!" Even in my rage about vital records moving, I took a picture of the sign so I could blog about it. Blogging, helps me take life lemons and make lemonade.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturdate with Southern Plate- pimento cheese

In case you don't know what Saturdate with Southern Plate is, you can check it out here.

Recently, I went to a birthday party that served homemade pimento cheese. Now, I showed great control when I didn't load my plate up with the cheesy Southern goodness. I just squealed with delight when I saw it, and got myself a reasonable few scoops.

Then our happy story takes a very ugly turn. The bowl of homemade pimento cheese fell on the floor and broke. Now, on the outside, I said, "Oh, no the bowl broke," but on the inside I was thinking, "5 second rule!!! Everybody grab a cracker." However, despite my inner thoughts, I resisted the urge to get on my hands and knees with a cracker.

All that to say, I've had a hankerin' (yes, I said hankerin') for homemade pimento cheese. So I thought I would try that recipe in Southern Plate this week. I hate to say this, but... I didn't like this pimento cheese at all. AT ALL! However, it's not the recipes fault, I just don't like velveeta which is the main ingredient for this pimento cheese (you can find the recipe here). It's like creamy or chunky peanut butter, mayonnaise or miracle whip, or regular or boneless buffalo wings. I just like sharp cheddar cheese in pimento cheese. I searched the internet for a recipe I liked and found this one from Paula Deen. So hopefully, no matter what your taste you can find a pimento cheese you like!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Five Minute Friday- {waking up...}

I'm joining Five Minute Friday over at the Gypsy Mama. The rules for the post are that it only has to take you five minutes to write. This week's topic is...

Waking up...

For the past year, waking up has been my favorite part of the day. I usually try to get up about an hour before the boys do. This is absolutely my favorite time of the day. Some people can wake right up and hit the ground running, but this hour gives me a chance to wake up slowly and take a few minutes to breath before I start my crazy day.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blessing #39- I *growl* you too!

***Sorry for the strange picture, but my memory card is still acting up.

About a month ago, Collin discovered his voice. He now squeals constantly! It is way too cute and sweet. Because Collin is so loud, Brandon has become louder. The decibel level in our house is definitely higher, but it is a good kind of loud.

Most of Collin's noises are high pitched squeals. I think most of the time his squeals mean, "I'm full! I'm happy! Hey, look at me! Am I really a part of this family?" OK...maybe not that last one, but you get the picture.

However, there is one sound that Collin makes that melts my heart every time. The best way I can describe the sound is, a low growl. I know it doesn't sound very sweet, but I'm convinced he is saying, "I love you," with that growl. I know I sound crazy, but trust me, he is saying, "I love you." I can tell by his eyes when he does it, and in the words of that great philosopher Forrest Gump, "I may not be a smart (wo)man, but I know what love is." Every time he makes his little growl, my heart just melts.

He may not be able to use words yet, but he definitely lets me know he loves me. I know it sounds crazy, but I don't care. I *growl* you too, Collin!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Project Life- March 14 - 20

If you want to see more Project Lifes, click on the badge at the top of the post to go to The Mom Creative.

I'm having trouble with my memory card and it's messing up several of my pictures. Boo! But here's what I do have.

Monday, March 14- This is my little man in his Pi day shirt. I made this for Brandon one year, and it fit Collin fairly well. It says "1/2 PInt" (I know totally nerdy, but totally cute, right?)

Tuesday, March 15- I did not post most of the bad pictures, but this one needed to be posted. I call Collin the St. Bernard of babies. He drools like crazy! This was after bouncing on his stomach for just five minutes!
Friday, March 18- We sat down before B's nap time and watched a quick show. Both boys sat on my lap. I was blissfully happy, and saw the camera right beside me, so I had to snap a picture. I may have teared up, smelled the back of their heads, and said things like, "Never grow up!" "I love my babies!" Again, I MAY have done that. The show was really interesting. Can you tell by B's face?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Curse #13- The Ticking Time Bomb Mouth

Soon after anyone meets Brandon, they all say the same thing, "Wow, he's a talker!" Now I could make it sound fancy and say, "He's very verbal, or he has an extensive vocabulary," but the plain and simple version is, he's a talker. Poor guy, he gets his talkativeness from Shad and from me.

Most of the time he talks about tractors, trains, or anything with wheels, but it's those moments that he goes off subject that make me nervous. One thing about having a talker for a child is his mouth is like a ticking time bomb. I never know when it is going to go off. Here are a few examples of times when his "time bomb" mouth went off in the past few months.

1. Shad's family surprised his mom for her birthday. They got together for a normal family dinner, and afterwards surprised her with cake and presents. All day before the party, I drilled Brandon, "Don't tell Mom-mom happy birthday until Pop-pop tells her. It's a surprise." We showed up and Brandon didn't make a peep about the surprise. During dinner, I had to leave the room to get Collin a bottle. As soon as I was out of sight Brandon looked at Shad's mom and said,"Mom-mom, I'm not going to tell you happy birthday because it's a surprise. It's a surprise!"

2. After a long day of substitute teaching, I picked Brandon up from kindergarden.As Brandon was leaving, the teacher asked him to throw away his sucker stick and he said, "I'm smoking." He had never...ever said this before, but he'd seen the commercial of the fake cigarette that helps people quit smoking, and chose this moment to demonstrate smoking.

Now, I have debated whether or not to include this next moment, but I believe 97% of the people that read my blog are women. The other 3% is my dad, so wait a minute while I take care of him.

Dad...Dad...Trust me. You are going to want to stop reading right here.

Love you!

Have a great day!

I'll call you later.

Okay, now that he's gone I'll finish the post.

3. The other night, Shad and I were having dinner with friends. As I was feeding Collin a bottle, Brandon stood beside me and said, "He doesn't eat food. He only drinks bottles, and Mommy's milk," and if that wasn't clear enough, he started pointing, and I'll just let you guess what he was pointing at. Oh, but there was more to his sentence. At that same moment, a woman sat down behind us that had either broken her nose or had a nose job because her nose was bruised and bandaged. Here was Brandon's full sentence, "He doesn't eat food. He only blah blah blah. Oh, that's gotta hurt!" and if that wasn't clear enough he grabbed his nose. In one sentence, Brandon managed to make everyone feel awkward, except himself.

His mouth is a ticking time bomb, and I'm always waiting for that next explosion. I may not know when it's going to go off, but I can guarantee it will be embarrassing and hilarious all at the same time.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturdate with Southern Plate {chocolate chip pie revisited}

In case you don't know what Saturdate with Southern Plate is, you can check it out here.

I have made chocolate chip pie before, but it turned out very gooey...still good but very gooey. I made it twice, and both times the pie turned out gooey. Well, for pi day I made two chocolate chip pies (Pie is a circle and that is what pi is all about). I knew I was taking a risk making the recipe I had failed twice at for the classes I'm subbing in, but guess what? The pies turned out perfect! They were fantastically wonderful, but I felt like the biggest idiot in the world when I realized why these pies turned out better. Are you ready for the secret to perfect chocolate chip pies?

Let the frozen pie crust defrost!

Seriously!?! I felt so stupid. I don't know why I didn't think of it or realize it before. I'm so glad I know now though. I made the pies the night before, and then I put them in the oven for about five minutes just to warm them up right before the classes. Life Lesson 12,483- frozen things need to be defrosted.

Align Center

Friday, March 18, 2011

Five Minute Friday- {on waiting...}

I'm joining Five Minute Friday over at the Gypsy Mama. The rules for the post are that it only has to take you five minutes to write. This week's topic is...

On Waiting....

When I saw the topic for this week, I thought, "Why this topic?"

Waiting is a sensitive subject for our family. We've been waiting for a certain prayer request for four years. Shad surrendered to preach four years ago. Four years ago, I thought, "In a few months, Shad will be pastoring." Four years later, and I have to laugh at that.

In the beginning, Shad pastoring was all we thought or talked about. Life all seemed to hang on that one puzzle piece. Now, four years later, we both realize that Shad pastoring is just one piece of our lives, and we are waiting on God to work out the details.

The major lesson I have learned in this time of waiting is, God is still good even if he doesn't answer that major prayer request. His hand is still at work in our lives, in His daily handfuls of blessings He give to us.

Give Me Five Friday- {Brandon's Bible Verses}

For the past three weeks, I have been subbing at a Christian school for a teacher on maternity leave. Brandon has been able to go to kindergarten while I teach. While in kindergarten, B has been learning some Bible verses. The other night he decided to recite some for us. I knew the first few, but after that I think he started improvising. Here are a few of the verses he said.
{Brandon's Bible Verses}

1. Keep thy tongue from evvvvviiiiiil. Matthew 19:19 (He really stresses the evil when he says it.)

2. Don't get on the train tracks, because you could get hurt. Matthew 19:19

3. Don't stick your tongue out at evil. Matthew 19:19 (I think this is what he think, "Keep your tongue from evil," means.)

4. Thou shalt not commit "redultery." (When he said this one, Shad and I had to have him say it again.)

5. Don't turn where the sign says turn left because you could hit the sign that says turn left. Matthew 19:19 (He "quoted" all these verses while we were driving.)

If you notice he gave every verse the reference of Matthew 19:19. I think he thinks if it has a reference, it's a verse. I know it's probably not a good idea for him to make up Bible verses, but we had one interesting car ride. I think it came out of Shad asking him, "Now what does that mean?" on the first verse, and Brandon took it from there. I looked up his favorite reference Matthew 19:19 and it's about honoring your father and mother and loving your neighbor. Good choice Brandon.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Project Life- March 7 - 13

If you want to see more Project Lifes, click on the badge at the top of the post to go to The Mom Creative.

Wednesday, March 9- Collin had his 4 month check up. I took a picture of him with all his growth stats. I also got a picture of something he started this week, sucking his lip in. It's too cute!

Wednesday, March 9- And this is what my other son was doing while we were in the doctor's office, trying to pick locks. Where in the world did he learn this!?!

Friday, March 11- Shad finding my bottles!

Friday, March 11- Collin got a little tired on our bottle expedition. He had to take a quick nap.

Saturday, March 12- I tried to give Collin peas for the first time. He still thrusts his tongue out so it didn't work so well, but we will try again later.

Saturday, March 12- He is not very sure about this.

Sunday, March 13- Some of our sweet friends in GA sent B and Collin John Deere pillow cases. Brandon loOoOoved his!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Blessing #38- Pi Day!!!

Warning: The following blessing contains severe mathematical content. Readers are advised.

I try not to make the blog too mathematical, but in case I haven't mentioned it, I love math! That's why the blog is called Calculating Blessings. The problem is, I can't really share my love of math with many people because it either scares them, bores them, or it is way over their heads.

However, today is Pi Day so I'm celebrating.

What is Pi Day? It's like Christmas for math nerds! It's on March 14 (3/14), the day to celebrate the number Pi, 3.14.

What is Pi? 3.1415926535...It's irrational and goes on forever, but I'll just say it's 3.14 to make things easy.

If you take any circle,ANY circle and divide it's circumference (the distance around the circle) by the diameter (the distance across the circle) you get Pi. 3.14!

Einstein's birthday is Pi day! Coincidence...I think not.

There are so many other facts about Pi I could share with you, but I'll be kind and keep it short.

How will I be celebrating Pi Day?

1. Rocking my Pi day 2005 t-shirt

2. Eating Chocolate chip Pie

3. Saying "Happy Pi Day" to everyone I meet

4. Randomly reciting all the digits of pi that I know.

5. Trying to get teenagers in the math classes I'm subbing in to sing Pi day carols with me!!! (I'm not kidding there really are pi day carols! )

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturdate with ???

I did not get a chance to make a Southern Plate recipe this week, but I do have a craft I did this week.

One day, after Shad got off work, we went out in the woods to look for glass bottles. We had so much fun, and found 12 milk of magnesia bottles! My mother-in-law said it best. When I told her about the 12 m.o.m. bottles,she said, "Someone must have been ReAlLy sick."

As soon as I saw the first one, I knew it would make a cute bud vase, but I thrilled when we found so many. I knew they would make a great centerpiece. I got some brown stickers and put "{blessed}" on the bottles. (Some of the letters are crooked. Oh well! It's still cute!) They make some $5 daisies look wonderful!

Yesterday's trash is today's centerpiece!

Post linked to Junkin' Finds Fridays, Thrifty Thursdays, Saturday Showcase, Sunday Showcase, Works for me Wednesday.