Thursday, June 16, 2011

Before I get into this long awaited post, let me just give you one tip. NEVER let your children go to a birthday party at Chucky Cheese (is that even spelled right?). My girls went to a birthday party there in April and they are still sing Justin Bieber songs. Now, I've got nothing against him. It's possible I may have in a moment of weakness downloaded a song or two of his onto my ipod. I may also have plans to watch Never Say Never. There I said it. BUT, there is just something really wrong with my three year old walking around singing "Baby, Baby, Baby, OOOOOOOHHHHHHH!" For real.

So, there has been a lot going on here. I had surgery, my father in law had open heart surgery, Abbey broke her arm, and almost as traumatic as those things, Abbey decided haircuts all around were the order of the day. Alivia bore the brunt of that little adventure. She basically had a mullet on one side of her head. Correction, HAS, a mullet. I refuse to make a bad situation worse by cutting all of her hair that short. I did giver her a little bob that will make growing it out a little less painful. Maybe. And, just in case you were wondering, all of the patients above have healed or are recovering just fine. :)

One story about my girls before I end this. The girls have been obssessed with what is "in real life" and what is not. It all started with a conversation that abbey had with her bible class teacher. I wish abbey could tell you this story because as she was telling me i could tell by her tone when mimicking the teacher that her poor teacher was having her patience tested :)

Abbey: Mom, I asked my teacher about that story about the little boy dying and she said it was true.
Me: what little boy?
Abbey: Stephen. You know, they threw rocks at him.
Me: Oh, that's right. Tell me about that conversation.
Abbey: Well, I raised my hand and my teacher said, "Yes, Abbey?" And I said, Was Stephen in real life? And my teacher said, "Yes, Abbey." So, I raised my hand AGAIN and my teacher said, "Yes, Abbey??" And I said, Did they really throw rocks at him and kill him? And my teacher said, "Yes, Abbey."
Me: What did you do then?
Abbey: Well, I just sat there and stared at her because I didn't believe it.
Me: It's true abbey. I know it's sad, but it is true.

It was a pretty sad day, because I had to inform them that while the story of Stephen was in real life, unicorns were not. Seems pretty messed up to me. I think things started looking up, though, when I confirmed that Justin Bieber was in real life. I heard whispers of excitement coming from the backseat after that one.

Monday, May 9, 2011

As I type this...

(about these pictures...i have the hipstamatic app on my iphone. i may need a little practice. can't seem to figure out where the light is going to be. These are pictures of ainsley's recital outfit for ballet.)

My husband is driving his white 2002 altima to Goodwill while dangling a garbage bag containing a dead black bird out of the drivers side window.

Like a week ago, we were out in the back yard when we spotted one of those huge black birds on top of the roof. Aaron ran in to get the bb gun. He came back out, took aim, fired, and to everyone's amazement the bird literally looked up to the heavens and then rolled over the roof towards the front of the house.

Aaron went to destroy the evidence but their was none to be found.

Fast forward to tonight. About 30 minutes before high school bible study starts we both decide we smell death at the front door. Literally. To steal a line from Rapunzel, "It just generally smelled like the color brown." It took us about 30 seconds and one trip up a ladder to confirm that, yes, there was our black bird in the gutter. Fantastic. and gross.

Once removed, the bird CLEARLY could not stay hear until the next trash day (Thursday), which brings us back to aaron's little jaunt to goodwill.

ALSO, I had a wonderful mother's day! I was gifted with some shopping money, a few flowers (which alivia informed me were made of Kleenex), and some beautiful drawings. You may also be interested to know that according to my children, I am 71 years old, 8 feet tall, weigh 5 pounds, and the thing I say the most is "Help me dress up!!!" I should probably be counting my blessings on that last one.

And finally, I'll leave you with a quote from abbey. I texted this to the immediate family so this is old news for ya'll. Aaron took Abbey to the bank the other day and of course she got a sucker. she was telling alivia about her sucker when she got home and alivia wanted to know why she got the sucker. This was abbey's answer which should be read with great annoyance at having to explain the obvious. "ALIVIA, they saw me in the car, they thought I was cute, they got me a present, and the present was a sucker." Hey Abs, don't be so hard on yourself :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

You're only as old as you feel...

Isn't that a saying? I think it is, and normally I would go look it up and make sure before I post it for the world to see but I'm in kind of a time crunch today.

If it is true, today I feel like I'm about 978. Not 31. Or is it 32? Has anyone read Water for Elephants? When he was talking about not being able to remember you age, I was like, this is the story of my life!!

Anyway, it all started when I went for my laser hair removal appointment, or as we tactfully refer to it around here, "getting my mustache zapped off."

Your welcome :)

So, as if that wasn't humiliating enough, my laser person goes, "Oh, you're really broken out!" Which led to me leaving with a tub of retin A. Not gonna lie. I'm excited about this. I hear it makes your skin look bomb. And I've definitely been thinking between the acne and the "fine lines" i've been spotting I could use a little help.

That stuff is no joke. I'm sitting in the car with the air conditioner blasting in my face chanting..."no pain, no gain! no pain, no gain!"

And then I go to my obgyn today for this pain i've been having in my side and he walks in a says, "I'm tellin ya! You have three babies and everything starts fallin apart!" He's lucky he's cute. He can get away with saying that kind of stuff to me. And stuff like, "You may have a hernia."

Fabulous. Oh, to be 16 again!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Concerning the bunnies...

They all hopped away out into a beautiful meadow where they will live happily ever after. That's my story and I'm sticking to it because I definitely have a 5 year old who can read and would be crushed if she found that the story ended any differently than that.

HOWEVER, when I told my children this story, Ainsley said in a very exasperated voice, "Mo-om, the Easter bunny would not bring us bunnies just to have them hop away."


Also. Aaron and I overheard this conversation tonight between ainsley and abbey in the back seat...

Abbey: " Ainsley, once I got a stomach virus, and it was the first time I had ever thrown up."

Ainsley: "I had a stomach virus too and I threw up 11 times but then I took a bath in the morning and i felt a little bit better."

Abbey: "And that medicine you put in your bottom is CUH-RAZY, cause it just disappears!!"

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Our Easter...

What a day! As I was browsing facebook this evening and seeing everyone's family Easter pictures, I had one thought..."Oh crap. I did not take one single picture of my girls in their easter dresses." So, you'll just have to take my word for it. They had Easter dresses. They were super cute.

So what was I doing this morning instead of taking pictures of my perfectly styled children? Well, Easter morn found me (once again) running around in my back yard in the pink robe and fake uggs. And it's possible I still had the towel turban going. I can't really remember. ( I think I'm having a revelation about why our neighbors keep declining our dinner invitations)

Why, you ask, would I be doing that. Well, let me just tell you. I was standing at the kitchen sink washing my hands, and staring aimlessly out the window, when something caught my eye. At first I thought it was one huge critter. Then I realized it was a bunch of little critters. 6 baby rabbits to be exact.

Every hole in our yard is filled with water with all the rain we have had. So, I'm assuming that their little nest was flooded. I couldn't just leave them all huddled in a pile in the rain so I fixed them a little laundry basket house so they can hopefully stay dry.

The girls are beyond excited about our little Easter blessings and we let them hold one. Here's hoping this turns out better than the bird's nest.

In other Easter news, i went shopping for Easter shoes to go with my Easter dress and came home with these...

Someone save me from myself.

We really did have a great Easter. It was a wonderful day spent with family (I even got to hug my parents for a few seconds :)). We are blessed :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

A story and pictures that have nothing to do with each other :)

Last night we went to a scholarship dinner. We took the girls. Abbey started the fun with a break down about 30 seconds after we walked in. She recovered in time for the entertainment portion of the evening which was a sweet, sweet family from our church singing a few songs.

Alivia apparently thought someone said karaoke night cause she sang "flower gleam and glow, let your power shine, make the clock reverse..." every time it got quiet. (That's from Tangled for all you who are unschooled in the most recent kids movies) We made it through dinner and I even managed to deny abbey permission to carry her dessert plate to the table on her head, all without a scene.

We ended the evening on a high note with Alivia announcing to every one at our table that she tooted. Numerous times.

And then a sweet, old lady said, "What lovely children you have!" Actually she said that before the karaoke and the tooting. So, maybe given the chance, she might have taken it back.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The bird update :(

Well, it's not good news. I thought things were going great. The parents were sitting on the nest, the eggs were looking good, mom and dad bird got used to us being around and wouldn't even fly away when we came near them. And then something happened...I'm not sure what. It could have been the youth group coming over. Bless their hearts. It was like the paparazzi outside a rehab center. what with all the yelling, and picture taking, and trying to get close. I can't blame them. It was pretty cool being that close to a bird sitting on a nest. I may have also taken a few pictures. But I did not yell. I had to keep some sense of decorum.

Anyway, after that incident, the birds were spooked pretty easily and would fly away. And it probably didn't help that we were using a table saw about 15 feet from the nest either. But, aside from the spooking easily, things seemed fine. And then I went outside one morning and mom bird was gone as well as one egg. I searched high and low and could not find the egg. A few days passed and the bird parents did not return. And then the second egg disappeared. And honestly, I was trying REALLY hard not to think about what type of critter could have gotten up there and taken those eggs. Until a few days ago when Abbey and Alivia were practically tearing the blinds down to get a better look a the "black squirrel" that was walking across our yard.

I'm sorry, what??!! Black squirrel? Sounds like a skunk to me folks. So I'm mentally preparing myself for my first real "kill" to be a skunk, now that I have a gun and everything. Except that the skunk is going to have to come into the back yard for me to shoot him. Because I am not going to camp out in the front yard with my bb gun. I have neighbors. They think I'm normal. They do not know (i hope) that yesterday I was in my backyard in a super fluffy bright pink robe and target uggs perfecting my bb gun shot on a my little pony and a piece of sidewalk chalk.

I'll leave you with a picture that I took of ainsley a few days ago. I love it because it is totally her. I have a really hard time capturing natural pictures of her. She really likes to fake smile. No faking here :) She is just having a good time :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Just doin' what we do...

So Aaron and I had some unexpected alone time on Sunday. His parents took the girls home from church leaving us with the whole afternoon to ourselves. So we did what any 31 year old couple would do and went straight to Academy and bought a BB gun. I believe my exact words when aaron asked me what I wanted to do were, "I need to shoot something." It's been a long couple of weeks friends.

After some debate on which gun to buy (aaron wanted the gun that looked like a machine gun and I wanted the pink one) we compromised and came home with a fab little weapon that is not pink nor does it resemble a machine gun.

We set up our target and went for it.

After a while we got bored with the target and decided we needed to raise the stakes a little.

Bless her heart. See that wood splintered right above her head? That was my first shot...deadly accurate people. She had no idea what was about to happen to her. It was Aaron that finally brought home the bacon, so to speak.

You can see where he hit her right on her booty and knocked her off the fence. You will all be glad to know that she is back at home in the sand box no worse for the wear :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The answer to my question and a small rant...

We have a answer! My sweet cousin Kim at Wallace Family was kind enough do some research. Here is what she found...

"I have wondered too! SO, I did a quick interent search and apparently you are to respond individually to the person (via email usually). Since I personally know all the commenters on my blog, that is not a problem. If you have random commenters, you have to click on their blog/profile and find their email (which sounds like a big pain to me). At this point I get 0-4 comments-usually 0-per post, so this doesn't seem like a hard task to accomplish! :)" -Kim

AGAIN!!! I can't get out of italics!!!! Blast. Anywho...thank you Kim :) Now we can all be polite least when it comes to responding to comments. I have a feeling this is just a drop in the bucket people. And just to get it out there...I am not good friends with Mrs. Manners. I think my mom still is a little worried about showing her face in public because it's possible that I did not finish my graduation thank you notes. Or my wedding thank you notes. Or my baby shower thank you notes. And while I'm on the subject...graduations and weddings are one thing. But honestly, could there possibly be a worse time to have to write and send thank you notes than when you have birthed a child. Let me just tell you. No. There could not. Having said that, I also need to be fair and say that my life has been furnished by showers and our Lord in heaven. So, I am absolutely grateful for all those things. I honestly just wish my face to face "thank you so much" at the shower was sufficient.

Those Scurvy Rabbits!!!!!

I don't even know. But that is what Ainsley said as we were looking at the damage done to our sad little garden. I took the following picture AFTER we put the little fence up around the garden. He was just sitting their, looking at the garden, all fat and happy with strawberries and green peppers in his stomach, wondering where his next meal will come from.

No doubt it will come from the flowers I just planted in the front yard.

My family has a long standing feud going on with wild animals. Sometime i will have to tell you about 1. the bird in my house 2. the racoons that threw a brick on my dads car 3. the armadillo that ran around my parents neighborhood with a rake impaled in his back and 4. the mouse that me, aaron, and my mom tried to catch in my parents kitchen. I will go ahead and tell you now that my sole contribution to the mouse episode was standing on the kitchen table and screaming like a little girl.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Blogging question....

Apparently, there is blogging etiquette. Who knew? Clearly not me. I generally don't concern myself with it because this is a pretty small operation I'm running here. I do wonder this...When someone comments on your blog, do you comment back right under their comment on your own blog? FYI: If you have left a comment that you feel needed a reply, that is what I have been doing.

Totally unrelated:

We have a bird of some sort that has taken up residence on our front porch. I think it is a dove. I'm pretty much obsessed with it. Momma has laid two eggs and she and daddy sit on them ALL day. I can't wait for them to hatch! Potential names that have been discussed for all members of the bird family....aaron, siley, rapunzel, and flynn. I will keep you updated on all fronts.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I'm like the Golden Corral of the blogging world...

I've got a little bit of everything tonight and none of it is that great. I know, I know. I'll be here all night :)

First...I have just barely dipped my toe into the waters of homeschooling. One of my biggest fears since deciding to homeschool has been that I will be responsible for teaching abbey and alivia to read. That is serious. I mean, if you don't get that right, you are up a creek without a paddle. Ainsley learned to read in Kindergarten. I have wondered if I could get away with sending them all to Kindergarten so that they could learn to read with the help of a reading expert. And then I could take over. But Abbey had a different plan. She has been driving me crazy (in a good way) with questions like, "How do you spell..............What sound does this make.......what does this word start with...what does t, h, e, spell,....and my all time favorite, "You tell me what this book says and then I will read it."

So, what the heck. She's ready, I've got a book. Let's see what happens. And she is doing AWESOME!!! We have really been working on it for a couple of weeks and she is able to read some very beginner level books. In case you are curious...this is what I am using and what I think about it...

"Teach Your Child to Read In 100 Easy Lessons" - I know a
few people who have used this book and really like it. I think it is pretty popular right now. It is phonics based,lessons are about 15 minutes long, and it is scripted out. Like, tells you EXACTLY what to say. For someone who was nervous about this endeavor, that was a good thing. However, I tried using this book with abbey a few months ago and followed it word for word, and it was BRUTAL. She was bored, I was bored, and there is this rhyming section in each lesson that I just never got the hang of. And I had every word I was supposed to say right in front of my face. So, I put reading lessons on hold. Then when she started showing interest again we got it back out. I'm doing it totally different now. I don't stick to the script. In fact, we can usually do 2 lessons in the time it was taking to do one. That is due to the fact that we skip a lot of stuff. Like the rhyming game that neither one of us understood, and the writing section, and anything else that gets to repetitive. I use it as a guide as to which letter to introduce next, I love their method of sounding things out, and I like the way they teach the rules.

The other book in the picture (Reading Skills) is just your basic letter recognition, and letter sound workbook. But Abbey LOVES to color and it has a lot of coloring pages in it. So that is my way of giving her a little bit of a reward at the end of a lesson. She gets to color, but it is also reinforcing a letter or sound we just worked on.

And finally, the Bob books. I love these. They were recommended in "The Well Trained Mind" and they are great. I love them because they are about as simple as you can get but they are still in book form. We are talking one word sentences. Mat. Mat sat. Cat. Cat sat. Cat sat on Mat. You get the idea. But Abbey loves them.


Every monday night we host a high school bible study at our house. One of my friends brings her kids to the bible study and then she watches my kids so that I can sit in the bible study. They usually just hang out in our room and watch a movie. Well, tonight was no different. They were watching Tangled. Ainsley is a little bit afraid of a few parts in that movie. I had warned my friend, C, that Ainsley might leave the room or act scared. After bible study, I asked how it went. C said, "They did great! But Ainsley was going in your shower during the scary parts." Well, that in itself was funny enough, but then I walked by the shower and saw this....

That my friends, is The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Just a little light reading while she waits for the scary part to be over in Rapunzel.


The girls had their annual art show at preschool. They always decorate cookies for the parents. But who are we kidding? I was lucky to get these pictures before the girls inhaled them :)

Hope everyone had a great Monday! :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Oh what a beautiful morning..."

Oh what a beautiful day...

I've got a beautiful feeling....


Goooooin' myyyyyy waaayyyy :)

We do this EVERY morning. For real. And I just can't bring myself to let natural consequences have their way with her. I mean, can't you just hear that conversation? " Oh Dr. Fox, she hates to brush her teeth so, you know, we don't make her. I figure she'll learn her lesson when her teeth rot out of her head." Remember this? I'm on thin ice with them already!

And it appears that I am the proud grandmother of 3 newly hatched plastic bunnies. And I really need to get over myself and use "auto" on my camera. These blurry faces are starting to freak me out.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I wasn't going to post tonight...

but when the mood strikes, I suppose I should take advantage of it :)

After church, i was sitting in the van with the girls waiting for aaron to come meet us. (Aaron later told me that he was trying to call me so he could say, "I'm in the van...where are you and the girls." Which for sure would have made me have an anxiety attack thinking I might be mistaken as a car thief. BUT, my phone was dead so he didn't get to play his little joke. See what I have to put up with?! JUST KIDDING! LOVE HIM!)

Anyway, we were sitting in the van and I decided to talk to the girls about what they learned in bible class and maybe reinforce what they learned or talk some more about it. So I say, "What did you girls talk about in class today?"

Ainsley: "I can't remember."
Abbey: "I don't want to talk to you about it."
Alivia: "Snack."

So glad I asked. :)

Also, of note, my cousin Kim, is doing a 30 day photo challenge and I think it looks like fun. So, I'm gonna give it a try. Although, I must say, the first photo is a self portrait...not looking forward to that one. Now, this is the place where I would direct you to Kim's blog by typing "go here" to see Kim's super cute blog and the word "here" would light up and do a dance and you could click on it. But I do not have the first idea as to how one would make that work. Sooo, if you want to check our her blog, look over there -------------------> and click on Wallace Family.

Have a good Monday everyone!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sometimes you just gotta roll with the punches...

Day 4 of things not going the way i thought they would is mercifully coming to a close. Let me just give you a little run down...

Wednesday: Decided I needed a manicure. And by manicure I mean the free kind...done by yours truly. So, I took the fingernail polish off of my fingernails and then got distracted.

Thursday: I trimmed the fingernails on my right hand while standing in Aaron's office and then had to leave to go pick up the girls from preschool.

Friday: Friday began a two day mission to get some work finished on the house. We worked ALL day. And went to lowes about 345 times. And somehow we managed to take two steps backwards.
Friday night I made dinner...spaghetti and asparagus. Not thinking I could handle the tears when Abbey saw something unfamiliar on her plate, I straight up bribed the kids. THIS, I might add, worked like a charm. I told them if they ate their asparagus, I would take them to get ice cream. They totally fell for it. Ainsley even actually liked it.

I think it was at this point that I stole one of grampa's sayings and told the girls the asparagus would put hair on their chests. Then Aaron raised his shirt and said, "See?" The girls were impressed. I won't go into too many details but the conversation ended with Alivia saying, "See, I have two niffles (nipples)." Quality.

So then i take the girls to Braums for their ice cream and for the life of me I can not order 2 single dips of vanilla in cups. It came out "2 dips of vanilla in a cup." I knew that wasn't right, so I start trying to explain what I really mean and the best thing I can come up with is "Ok, that sounded like 1 thing".....(at this point, i just stared helplessly at the drive thru speaker begging her to read my mind).............................Finally, she says, "Oh, you mean 2 single dips in a cup." Me, "YES! YES! THANK YOU! THAT is what i meant."

Saturday: Day 2 of working on the house. But first, I trimmed the nails on my left hand. Manicure complete. That only took 3 days. Also, the girls wanted me to curl their hair. Which I did. And I also took pictures.

Oh, and did I mention, I was trying to learn how to use my camera in the "oh so professional" manual mode? I don't think I need to tell you how that's going. But in case your not sure, I recommend asking Smurfette or the girl without a face.

After 34 more trips to lowes, we where ready to start working on the house again. But not before I got some lunch from Braums. That's right. I went back for more. Here's how it went down this time.

Me:" I'll have a number 12 with a chocolate shake and a medium strawberry freeze."

Drive thru lady: "Ok, a number 12 with a Dr. Pepper and a chocolate shake. And do you want any sausage with that?" (fyi: number 12 is chicken hind sight she probably said "sauces", but you know what they say about hind sight)

Me: ""

Finally, made it back home with a number 12, a dr. pepper and a medium strawberry freeze. Then we spent the rest of our day working on the house. If you walked in my house right now, you would think that the result of two days of work was 1 roman shade being hung in the kitchen. That's right friends...It looks like it took us two days to put 4 screws in the wall.

So, I think that just about sums it up! In spite of all the hiccups, we've had a great couple of days getting to spend time together. Looking forward to more of the same tomorrow :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I got new stuff... computer, new photoshop, new camera. Now, before I sound ungrateful, I'm not :) I'm so so blessed to be able to have these new things. BUT, all my new things overwhelming me! I need to learn how to use them all and I was just getting really good at using my old stuff. And I have been thinking for a few days that I need to post about my super exciting life. with pictures. Which means having it out with my new camera and new computer. People, I do not have the brain power for that. I don't even know where they are on this computer. Hang on...I'm going to see if I can find something...

Well, how about that. If you're bored, you should totally zoom in on my face. It will make you laugh. Just in case my outfit didn't. I was doing an "under dog".

Here are a few more pics of the last couple of months...Ainsley lost tooth number two.

Aaron took the girls to a father/daughter banquet.
This would be the beginning of the glitter explosion i referred to in an earlier post.

We have been really busy, but having a great time :) Over spring break we went to durant and spent time with my family, my beautiful cousin got married so we got to spend some fun time with more family, we planted a garden, and I've started working out with Jillian Michaels. Which could explain my lack of enthusiasm for blogging, figuring our my new camera and computer, and anything else that requires an ounce of energy. She is kicking the crap out of me. I WILL NOT be posting pictures of that. Although, now that I think about it, a home video of me doing a workout video, would probably be hysterical enough to go viral and make me rich. Hmmm....

Friday, March 11, 2011

I think it may finally be happening...

Potty training that is. With Ainsley and Abbey I started at about 18 months because I was sure they were showing the signs of being ready. I then proceeded to potty train for the next year. After making the same mistake twice, I PROMISED myself and any one who would listen that the day Alivia walked up to the toilet, did her business, and walked away clean, THAT would be the day I would start potty training. In fact, back in August, I had to fill out a form for her preschool. The question said "Describe where you are on potty training." I wrote, "Avoiding it like the plague."

And she has had zero interest in the potty until the last few days. All of a sudden she wants to use the potty. We will see. After 5 years, I may not be buying diapers for much longer. That is just crazy.

Also, I posted a while back on our guest bathroom. I had plans to paint it pink. I tried it. I didn't like it. It was reading more like Barbie's dream house. Not really what I had in mind. I'm a little disappointed cause I wanted something kind of crazy. So I have a new plan that is in progress. It's not so much crazy but very pretty and I love it. I'll post pictures when its done :)

We will be spending most of spring break in Norman/Durant seeing my family. YAY!!! AND, I should have a new computer waiting for me when we get back which means PICTURES! YAY!! Not sure if I will be posting over spring break, so I hope everyone has a great week :)

Audrey :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ascetic - a person who abstains from the normal pleasures of life...

I put that definition up there because when aaron asked me to read this passage i'm going to share with you, "the ascetic" was the title and I had no idea what it meant. Not off to a good start. So, I put it up there just in case anyone else didn't know :)

First, let us consider the ascetic movement, God's "no" in Jesus. Jesus' words are brief and stark: If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me (8:34). The ascetic life deals with life on the road with Jesus to his death.

Two verbs leap up from the sentence and pounce on us: deny yourself and take up your cross. Renunciation and death. It feels like an assault, an attack. We recoil.

But then we notice that these two negatives are bracketed by the positive verb, "follow," first as an infinitive, then as an imperative. "If anyone wants to follow" opens the sentence; "you follow me" concludes it. Jesus is going someplace; he invites us to come along. There is no hostility in that. It sounds, in fact, quite glorious. So glorious, in fact, that the great verb "follow: sheds glory on the negative verbs that call for renunciation and death.

There is always a strong ascetic element in salvation. Following Jesus means not following the death-procrastinating, death-denying practices of a culture that by obsessively pursuing life under the aegis of idols and ideologies ends up with a life that is so constricted and diminished that it is hardly worthy of the name.

Grammatically, the negative, our capacity to say "no", is one of the most impressive features of our language. The negative is our access to freedom. Only humans can say "no." Animals can't say "no." Animals do what instinct dictates or what training embeds in them. "No" is a freedom word. I don't have to do what either my glands or my culture tells me to do. The judicious, well-placed "no" frees us from careening down many a blind alley, from bushwacking through many a rough detour, frees us from debilitating distractions and seductive sacrilege. The art of saying "no" sets us free to follow Jesus.

If we adhere carefully to St. Mark's test, we will never associate the ascetic with the life-denying. Ascetic practice sweeps out the clutter of the god-pretentious self, making ample space for access to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; it embraces and prepares for a kind of death that the culture knows nothing about, making room for the dance of resurrection. Whenever we are around someone who is doing this well, we notice the lightness of step, the nimbleness of spirit, the quickness to laughter. H.C.G. Moule wrote that these dominical negatives "may have to carve deep lines in heart and life; but the chisel need never deface the brightness of the material."

From Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places by Eugene H. Peterson

I don't know about you but I want to be someone who has a "lightness of step, nimbleness of spirit, and quickness to laughter." For the next 40 days, I'm saying "no" to staying up late. Seems simple and inconsequential but let me tell you where God wants to work in this. He wants to give me the freedom to give my spirit a break from the crap that comes on tv after 10. He wants to give me the freedom to give my body the rest that it needs. He wants to give me the freedom to be at my best for my family when I wake up in the morning. And most importantly to grow my relationship with Him.

What about you? Is there something you have been saying "yes" to that is enslaving you? Give it up friend and enjoy the freedom that God has for you :)

I think I just offered an invitation. So, on that note, I'll wrap this up :) I'm just so glad that we serve a God who wants the best for us. Grateful that even when His people feebly attempt to sacrifice, He turns it around and blesses us. Amazing.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

If you buy your maple syrup at the store...

STOP IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!! I am here to tell you that once you make my Mema's maple syrup you will never go back to store bought. Never. Nev-ver. Here it is...

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/2 tsp maple flavoring

Put it in a sauce pan on high and take it off as soon as it boils. And consider your life changed.

Our family of 5 can usually take that whole amount down when we have pancakes. If you have left over or just want to have some on hand you can store it in rubbermaid thingy with a lid.

Soo good and sooo easy.

And I can't leave without one story about Ainsley today. She just keeps supplying me with good material. I was getting her ready for bed tonight and I told her as soon as she got ready she could read a book in bed. She looks at me with wide eyes, grabs my cheeks, and says "MY ONLY ESCAPE!" Apparently it is a tortured life she leads.

And finally, get your boots out cause I'm considering a post on Lent and it's gonna be deep. Well, deep for me. Considering I'm usually on the verge of falling into the proverbial gutter.

Alright, now go make some syrup :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I PROMISE we talk about things besides reproduction...

but, while we are on that subject, I have to share with you Ainsley's take on how you know the sex of a baby.

We were saying our prayer tonight before the girls went to bed. We had asked what they wanted to pray for. We do that because we have found that if we don't, they tend to thank God for everything in sight, twice, in an attempt to stay up late.

So, Aaron mentioned that some friends of ours are expecting a baby and that we should pray for them. We started discussing if it was a boy or a girl. Aaron talked about how they do an ultrasound to determine the sex. Ainsley asked "Well, how do they know if its a boy or a girl?" For some reason, I decided this was a good time to establish what distinguishes boys from girls so I said, "Well, Ainsley, how do we know that you are a girl?"

She replies, "Well.....I have long hair.....and I've already popped out."

OK, yes, but God also made boys and girls different and we proceed to talk about different body parts (ifyouknowwhatimeanandithinkyoudo). To which she replies, "well that's clever."

Side comment from Aaron: Yes it is!


Also, I went to wal-mart tonight to get a few things and as I was racing past the toiletries section, some loud talking caught my attention. I glanced over just in time to see a guy grab a can of spray deodorant off of the shelf, turn to walk away with his wife, take the lid off of the deodorant, raise up his shirt, and apply the deodorant leaving a massive right guard fog in his wake. Really? That couldn't have waited until you got to the car? On the other hand, if I cared that little about what other people thought about me, I would probably have a whole lot less stress in my life :) Maybe I'll try that next time I'm in Walmart.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Don't take the early years for granted...

Chapter 1

For a lot of reasons really. But the reason I'm thinking of tonight is that small window of time when they are oblivious to the world around them. When they are about 0-3 you can get away with things like buying their birthday/christmas presents while they are with you. Or even better, you can eat/drink in front of them with out having to either a)share or b)buy EVERYONE something to eat or c)say I'm the mom and i need this to survive and then listen to everyone cry. And best of all, they don't ask why that person has to drive a cart around walmart when you are 6 inches away from said person.

Aaron and I were reminded last night that we definitely have two children who have surpassed this blessed stage. We were on our way home from church when it happened. We pulled up to a stop light and were stopped behind another van. The instant I saw the movie playing inside their van, I knew we were in trouble. I was just thinking, maybe they won't see it, when Ainsley goes, "HEY! They have a tv in their car!!!!!"

Aaron and I glance at each other. I mutter, "The dream is dead."

Ainsley says, "Can WE get a tv in OUR car?!!"

Well, at this point we both proceeded to hem and haw about money, and maybe our next car, and something about driving this van until alivia is 95. It really was a fine display of parenting.

Fortunately, she has not outgrown taking our word for it, so the discussion was pretty much over. That was a close one.

Chapter 2

(These things really have nothing to do with each other (besides all involving ainsley) but I had three different stories I needed to tell and I needed a transition. Bear with me here.)

So, chapter 2. Today we were on our way home from school when Ainsley says, "Mom, you know how some people have their chins and lips pierced? Well, like, I have a friend in my class at school who has her chin pierced but that will just be our secret. Ok?"

Hold. The. Phone. Then I did what any good mother would do and I assaulted her with questions. Where have you seen this? Who do you know that has one? Who is your friend? Did you see the hole? I think she was telling you a story. And why are we keeping this a secret?! Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against a good piercing...AS LONG AS YOU AREN'T IN KINDERGARTEN! forevermore.

Chapter 3

You will all be glad to know that I may have coming one step closer to solving the age old mystery of why Ainsley does not want to get married.

After her bath tonight, she was standing in the kitchen, naked, pushing the vacuum cleaner around when she said, "Mom, I don't want kids."

Me: "What?"

Ainsley: "I don't want kids, I don't want to get married, I don't want to go to the hospital."

After connecting the dots of marriage = kids=hospital, I said, "Oh, Ains, You can get married and not have kids."

Unconvinced, she goes on to tell me something about the movie "UP" and how apparently all of her decisions about married life and children up to this point are being based on this movie. Again, I attempt to convince her that marriage doesn't have to equal kids and before I know it I have said the word "birth control" to my 5 year old. Lord help me.

Something I said must have clicked because she ended the conversation with "Well, I DO want to have ONE kid, and then I can boss them around."

So glad I helped her change her mind about that :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Four by Four and What I did today...

I was tagged by my Siasta in this four by four game. I don't really know if anyone reads this besides family, so if you read this on my blog...consider yourself tagged :)

4 places I go:
My pediatricians office

4 smells I like:
freshly mowed grass
icy hot...totally takes me back to highschool sports (aka the glory days)
my parents house

4 shows I like:
The bachelor/bachelorette
Modern Family

4 recommendations:
spend the $$$$$ on good sheets
paint it whatever color YOU want
do a beth moore bible study
read the book Hearing God by Dallas Willard

Now that you have been enlightened ...on to the 'what I did today" part of this post.

So, our life insurance expired (as does my drivers license this month. can you say pain in the rear?) Anywho, life insurance. Expired. We got new stuff. And by "we", we all know that I mean Aaron, got us knew life insurance and of course we had to go get labs done so they could make sure we weren't about to kick it. So, I go to this appointment today and I had to leave a urine sample...
We head to the bathroom so I can pee in a cup.
She proceeds to come into the bathroom with me ( which I'm sure she is required to do). Not like in the stall but def right outside it. She tells me she just needs a little bit and do I think I can do it?
Me: "Oh yeah."
I go in the stall and we wait. and wait. and wait. I would have paid a cricket to chirp. I could not squeeze out a drop.
Of course it only gets more awkward the longer it takes so of course i feel the need to break the silence and speak to this person I've known for a total of 5 minutes and I say
"I didn't think I would have this much trouble"
She says "Do you want me to turn the water on? Sometimes that helps."
I agree that that might help and then i start praying to God that he will help me out here. He did and it was just enough people. And of course I felt the need share my success with my new friend. "It's working!"

I really hope she gets paid alot to do her job.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Because I have custody of the computer, and can't think of anything to say...

I will share this little tidbit that I found in my drafts. Why, you ask was it in my drafts? Well, I think my husband is hilarious and sometimes we have conversations like the following that I just feel were wasted on just me and him and said conversations deserve a much bigger audience. And so I typed it up real quick like so I wouldn't forget it knowing I would need something to share with my friends one day.

(aaron is starting a fire in the fireplace and I hear a louder than usual whoosh of the gas catching.)

Aaron: Whoa.
Me: Do you still have your eyebrows?
Aaron: Not sure. But if I don't you won't have to pluck them anymore
Me: Well, there you go.
Aaron: Hey, that's what I call the silver lining baby.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I'm still here...

And while things have been rather uneventful here, the real reason I haven't been posting (because I know you are all wondering) is the computer issue. It is still not working. I'm actually typing this as fast as I can while aaron is in the bathroom because he really needs to be paying bills on this thing. But, I didn't want my faithful followers to thing I had forgotten about them. So, here is a quick update on what's going on around here.

  • ainsley lost her second tooth. the "tooth fairy" forgot and was awakened to "Mom! the tooth fairy didn't come and I was so excited about it."
  • alivia turned three and we took that as our cue to throw away the paci. First day back to preschool sans paci, I asked how school was. Alivia says "I miss my paci at school mama." As a side note, I think she is in the anger stage of paci loss. I tried to give her a teddy, and her blanket to day at naptime. Not only did she refuse the comfort objects, she also refused the nap thank you very much.
  • I was asked by a girl at ainsley's school if I was 7'7. Actually it was less of a question and more of a statement with a whole lot of I know you are 7 feet and 7 inches tall but I'll say it in the form of a question just so i don't sound presumptuous behind it.
  • I finished a book by Lee Smith called On Agate Hill (or something like that) and it was so good. I highly recommend it. It was funny in some parts and sad in others. On of my favorite quotes from the book went something like this "There is a baby Jesus and an adult Jesus. Personally, I prefer the baby Jesus because the adult Jesus "has his eye on the sparrow and I know he watcheth me." I'm pickin up what your puttin down sister.
Well, unfortunately (or fortunately, cause this post is going nowhere fast) "we" need to go pay bills. And by "we" I definitely mean Aaron.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


My computer, that is. She's been through alot. Dropped numerous times, stood on, pieces have fallen off and out. She finally told me yesterday that her hard drive was failing. Sooooo....because i'm a tight wad, I will not be getting a new one. I will just be using Aaron's mac. Which means learning new things. Which means I am not excited. I am excited about not spending $700 on a new computer. I pretty much feel like, if I am going to spend $700 dollars on something, I am paying for the ability to tell said thing when I am done with it, and not the opposite.

I have not figured out how to upload my pictures onto his computer yet. Which means you don't get to see the glitter explosion that happened at our house today. Don't worry though, I WILL figure it out.

We are still out of school. I am still enjoying it :) I think everything should be back to normal on Monday.

Have a good evening!

Audrey :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sometimes I just need to laugh...

Like when school is cancelled for the 5th day in a row and more snow is predicted for tonight. Really, I'm loving having the girls home, but I am missing my tuesdays when all the girls are in school and I can go to the store and such on my own. We did venture out to the store yesterday. At the top of our list were milk and a snow shovel. No luck on the snow shovel, but praise God we did find milk. Interesting fact: 16 year old check out boys at target do not understand how important milk is and if you attempt to explain your desperation they may look at you like you are crazy and mutter something like "ummm,idunno,idon'tevergobackthere."


this video is just what the doctor ordered. A few disclaimers...1) some of the kids in our youth group told us about this so I blame them. 2) We were so entertained by Tracy that we watched some of her other videos. I do believe this particular video was her peak. 3) There are many things in the video that are funny, but the thing I will take from it and apply to my everyday life is this: I will no longer call my lips, lips. From this day forward they are "my crusty-crusts."

Enjoy :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My favorite things Monday...

I'm excited to be joining a linky party! I found this blog through my sister's blog. Abby at Graduate "Extraordinaire" is having a "My favorite things Monday" linky party.

So, onward!

Sometimes I just need a little something to make me feel like I haven't gone so far down the "mom style" road I'll never make it back. Honestly, I often walk out of the house and think, This is EXACTLY what Clinton and Stacy make fun of people for wearing out of the house! I really hope no one in my family has contacted them! Oh wait, I forgot. My fingernails are painted black. I got this.

See? Who cares if I had on a bass pro shop ball cap, my husbands xl fleece, leggings, and my target "uggs" (oh yes I did). I had my fingernails painted black. You can't argue with black fingernail polish people.

So here it secret to transform bad style and blah moods in a single coat (well maybe two, but you know what I mean).

It's OPI Lincoln Park After Dark. It looks brownish in this picture but it is actually dark, dark purple. It makes me feel edgy...kind of like a rock star...even though I'm really not. And my man loves it :)

Take it from my good friend Kim...

And here are a few more of my friends who love black polish...

ALL the cool girls are doing it! And remember what your mother told you, "If everyone jumped off of a cliff"...wait a second. Really, though, this is a completely harmless and fun bandwagon to jump on girls. Everyone have a great Monday :)