Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Biggest Loser: Babies

We decided that if Ruthie was on Biggest Loser Babies, she would win. If only there was a $50,000 prize! Here's some before and after pics after just 4 months! (How I wish these last 4 months were going quite as well for me!)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve!

We've decided to start a tradition and open PJ's on Christmas Eve.  Here are the girlies in their first matching set.  What sweeties!  They were both amped up and didn't go to bed until 9:30 tonight!  So even though they really don't know what's going on, I feel like they both know that tomorrow is a special day.  We can't wait to celebrate you Jesus!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lost and Found Pictures...

Wonderful shot of my mom with cranky Ruthie.  Can't believe how much mom looks like Grandma Adams here...

Chickie's first (much needed) haircut.  BEFORE


Pope Ruthie
Took the girls to see the light show when my mom was here.  Noa is fascinated with lights, but for some reason didn't care about the light show at all.  Totally bored.  As soon as we drove away, she couldn't stop talking about the street lights.  I don't get it.
We went to La Carreta for dinner and Chicks wouldn't stop licking the salsa.  Sometimes she would eat the chips - sometimes not.  We've noticed that she's really into dipping things lately.  She was even dipping something in balsamic vinagrette the other night and loving it!  Pretty advanced palat for a one year old, I must say!

And finally, sweet Ruthie in a sweet blanket that her friend Ruth made for her.  What a treat!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Let's Not Forget Chicks

Chickie's favorite new spot to play is on the back porch. I love it because she's totally occupied but also locked inside the porch, so I can keep my eye on her while I do other things. I suppose the only negative is the fact that she drags Blankie around with her. Still worth it. These are old pictures -- I've cut her bangs since then -- but they're sooo cute! And totally Noa. Especially this first picture. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ruthie is 4 months old!

We can hardly believe it!  Here's some things we've learned about Ruthie thus far.
  • Ruthie is passionate.  If she's happy, she's extremely happy.  If she's mad, she's extremely mad.  Rarely do we see any in between unless she's sleeping.
  • Ruthie loves to co-sleep and snuggle. (Russ' prayers have been answered!)
  • Ruthie really likes watching TV.  This is so funny to us because Noa never really cared about it and still doesn't, but Ruthie is glued to it every time it's on.
  • Ruthie also loves to get her diaper changed.  Hmmm... neat freak?
  • Ruthie is the longest baby I've ever seen.  I think she's going to be tall and thin like her Daddy.
Here's some things she can do.
  • Smile like crazy!  She even laughs at Russ every once in a while.
  • Prop herself up with her forearms while laying on her stomach.  This is the cutest thing ever!  I love when I hear her and go to get her up and she has propped herself up and is looking around.
  • She's trying to stand like crazy!  I think the exersaucer isn't far away and I'm going to love that day.
  • She likes to scratch on everything with her long nails.  I always hear her just scratching away on the sheet in her pack 'n play or on the side of the bouncy seat.
O.k.  That isn't a very long list, but she's definitely growing and changing all the time.
Here's some pictures of our cute little leopard.  :)

Hey!  How did that little monkey get in there? (Obviously you can see I raided the clearance costumes at Wal-Mart and love 'em!)

Monday, December 7, 2009


I've been thinking a lot about heaven lately.  I can say that more and more I am longing for His kingdom to come to earth.  Not in the shallow, immediate way most of us think of it. (i.e. “The American Dream” big house, bigger car, football scholarships and beauty queens…) but truly longing to be a part something different.  Something whole. A longing to know the bigger picture, the beautiful story He has told and is telling.

My friend Nancy died last week.  What a beautiful person.  She was a safe place.  Even as I think of her I’m not sure what to do with myself.  Weeping is the only appropriate response right now.  Russ and I tried to think of other words to express what we feel, but the best way we could describe it was simply sadness and joy.  Both.  Together.  Deeply.

I haven’t had even a moment to grieve yet.  All of the events that surround death kind of block that out sometimes (unfortunately), especially when you’re caring for two little babies (one that has the flu) in the midst.  So now it comes.  The house is quiet except for some music in the background.  I was cutting Russ’ hair overcome with a deep sense of loss.  I miss Nancy.  Actually, I started missing her a while ago when she wasn’t able to sing with us anymore.  Then again when she wasn’t able to come to church and we were only able to visit her every once in a while.  Still again when she was only able to sit – her movement so hindered…  Yes, we lost a great deal when she went to be with Jesus. 

Somehow though, even more than loss, I feel such deep hope – like a huge, enormous, glaring light at the end of the tunnel.  The Father.  King Jesus. Precious Spirit. A longing for all that He is more than I’ve ever known up until this point.  Not necessarily because I will get to see my friend again, although I welcome the day…  No, it started before she passed away.  Questions started rolling around in my mind about “heaven” and I wondered if we were just getting it all wrong.  It’s so much better than we could imagine.  So much more than tons of fleshly desires fulfilled (and actually not even this at all!). My heart started to turn towards an intense awareness that we’re living for something more; and we will see it one day.  We’re stuck in our pews right now (or should I more appropriately say we are stuck with our light shows, rock band worship teams (of which I am a part of!) and iconic logos, branding ourselves rather than Jesus without realizing it). Don’t get me wrong.  I have no problem with the church.  I love the church and know fully that He uses His church.  But the sense that lives are at stake is coming into view.  The sense that life is only Jesus is becoming apparent. 

The song playing in the background (which I just tuned into – tears streaming down my face) says, “And we will see him coming on the clouds of heaven.  Exalted.  We will see him high and lifted up.  He reigns in majesty.”  This is what it is all about.  Actually, this is the only thing that it is about.

Another song that marks this current time says, “No weeping.  No hurt or pain.  No suffering.  You hold me now.  No darkness.  No sick or lame.  No hiding.  You hold me now.”  I’m so glad Nancy is with you Father…no longer sick.  Still, my favorite phrase in that song is, “no hiding.”  Seems like all of the other lyrics would be more powerful – almost like the author got that phrase wrong and it doesn’t fit.  But hiding started with Adam and Eve.  Hiding is laced throughout so many stories in the Bible.  Hiding continues. And not only in dark alleys and forbidden places, but in the hearts of everyone.  How we needed a Savior.  How I needed a Savior and still need his salvation every day.  I was lost.  I’m sure in many ways I was even hiding.  And now I am found.  This is the kind of hope I’m talking about.  Thanks Nance, for reminding me of this.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty

Our hearts are grieved to hear about the passing of such an awesome man of God who has influenced both mine and Russ' lives greatly.  I can hardly even believe it.  I went to Victory and worked at Victory Bible Institute for a little while and was truly blessed (in many ways) to be a part of that ministry.  Our love and prayers go out to his family.  

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A taste of what's to come

We took a lot of pictures over the last few weeks.  I don't have time to weed through them all but here's one I thought you would like...  We have yet another fan of Chocolate Trinity Ice Cream.  :)


Monday, November 9, 2009

Beautiful Ruthie

Just found some pictures of Ruthie on Russ' nice camera so I thought I would share!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Snuggly Heaven

Noa now wants to watch Elmo on Youtube constantly! We've set it up on my computer where she just hits the space bar and it will start over again and again. While I don't really want her watching Youtube all day long, it does provide a nice little break for me from time to time...

Russ made the mistake of letting her see Elmo on his "work" computer, so now every morning he's drinking his coffee, she's drinking her milk, he's reading the news and she's watching Elmo (split screen).

My snuggly husband wanted me to take a few pictures because he was in snuggly heaven with his girlies. :)
I was looking back at some old pictures today and I just can't believe how old Noa is getting! She's looking less and less like a little baby and more and more like a big girl! Her hair is getting soooooo long! And messy!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Interpreter Please!

Noa is well on her way to talking up a storm.  Actually she already does, but you may need to be her Mommy to understand it all.  Here's some of the things she's been saying a lot lately.

Thank you – “Tay tyoo”

Please – “Psss”

Cheese – “Chsss”

Water – “Wa”

Cookie – “Kee Kee” - used to be "Goo ka"

Cracker - "Ka Kuh"

Hot Dog – don’t even know how to spell what she says…

Ball – “Ba”

Bath – “Ba”

Bottle – “Ba”

Car – “Ca”

More - "Ma"

Aunt Melissa - "Ma"

Dog - "Da" - are you seeing a pattern here?

Sissy – “Sissy”

Bye Bye – “Bye Bye”

No – “No, no, no!” (with a stern look)

Elmo – “Ehmo”

Big Bird – “Be Bir”

Grover – “Goch”

Her favorites:

Baby – “BABY” - usually wakes Ruthie up...

Light – “Lie” pointing to a light over and over and over! In fact, she really likes the interior car lights to go on and off while we're driving so if you ever see a crazy minivan rockin' the strobe lights... that would be us. :)


It's hot – “Tsa” - she says this about a million times a day.  Everything is hot.  Russ thinks she's brilliant for already saying a sentence...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How to save money on Chicken!

Okay... perhaps many of you know this "trick" already, but I just stumbled upon it and it has revolutionized my cooking!  It all started when I saw that Bi-Lo had "Split Chicken Breasts" on sale for $.99/lb. this week (sale is still going - go get them!)  For some reason, in my mind I was just thinking it was normal chicken breasts that I always buy (for about $4.99/lb.) and I ran over there to get some.  I was bummed out when I saw that they weren't the clean looking chicken breasts I was used to.  There were 5 in the pack and they had the skin on and bones still in.  Yuck.  I was wondering why I didn't realize that before.  BUT, in a God-inspired moment, I decided to get them and see how to use them.  I bought one pack (5 breasts, about 4.5 lbs) for $4.57.  I'm a bit, okay a lot squeemish about chicken (even the "clean looking" kind) - so if I can do this, anyone can!  

I got home and searched google and found this article: What to do with bone in split chicken breasts.  Her story is much better than mine (she's even a Christian who learned this on the mission field!), and she includes pictures of all the steps.  Why re-create the wheel?  Check it out.  

So, last night, I decided to stop being a wimp and cut up my chicken breasts.  I used a filet knife, put out 2 bowls to collect the different pieces (chicken in one, bones and skin in the other). I did it just like she said and this is what it rendered:

- 5 large chicken breasts
- 5 tenders
- 12 cups of chicken stock made in my crock pot (like she says to do)
- Some meat still stuck to the bone that I can use for soup or chicken salad

What?!  It was sooooo easy.  I was a little weirded out when I started, but by the 5th piece of chicken, I was a pro.  :)  It only took me 35 minutes (I'm talking getting the chicken in freezable bags, preparing the crock pot, and cleaning up).

This morning, after I strained the stock I divided it up into 2  zip-lock bags - (quart size bag = 4 cups), I saved 2 cups in a jar in my fridge to use for tonight's tomato soup and I poured the rest into 2 ice cube trays (1 cup per tray) to freeze.  I figured out that 8 cubes (in my trays) = 1/2 cup and I wrote that on the zip-lock bag I put them in (after they were frozen).  This took about 15-20 minutes.

We buy chicken stock like crazy.  Not anymore!  This made the house smell awesome and I know exactly what went into the broth... you can make it however you want to (many different recipes) with less salt, etc...  But the best part is the cost break-down.

The cheapest box (4 cups) costs about $2.50.  I like to think I got 12 cups (3 boxes = $7.50) of chicken stock for FREE!  I think chicken tenders run about $4 or so (haven't bought them in a while), and I like to think I got these 5 chicken tenders for FREE! And paying $4.57 for 5 large breasts of chicken is a pretty good deal in and of itself.  So instead of paying around $20 for all of this I only payed $4.57 and my freezer is stocked so I can wait to buy the chicken until it is on sale again!

Try it!  Call me if you need encouragement.  :) If you have a great way to use chicken, or a great stock recipe - leave a comment or let me know!  Or just leave a comment and tell me that you also didn't know this so it makes me feel better... 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hi Ruthie!

Here's a few pics I took of Ruthie today sporting a cute onesie that our friend Kate embroidered. She's getting so good at smiling and definitely smiles a whole lot when she's in her Bumbo... :)

And yes... even though it was 40 degrees out today, I had Chicks in a tank top. What kind of mom am I anyway?? At least she didn't seem to care... :)