Archive for November, 2009


“Thank you God for Christmas and for decorating the Christmas tree.”

Garrett has prayed these words every single day over the course of an entire year.  And it’s never a throwaway statement.  When he prays it, he means it.

He loves Christmas trees!

We decorated our tree yesterday, so hearing him pray this sentence at dinner did more than just turn up the corners of my mouth.  I think my heart gave a little leap too.  It’s no secret that I love simple things.  And it’s moments like these that I store away in my heart:

~ A three year old boy who couldn’t stop giggling once I turned the Christmas lights on for the first time.  I watched, as a boy who is normally reckless, approach these lights with care.  And then, reach out so tenderly as though they might break at the mere touch of his finger.

~ A five year old boy who waited an entire year for this moment.  A boy who sat with the Christmas star in his lap until he got to crown our tree.  Then, watching, as his face lit up when he stepped back to take in the sight (and listen when he told me I needed to turn the star so it faced “the front” 😉 ).

~ A seven year old girl wrapping herself up in the skirt we put around our Christmas tree.  Then, watching, as she twirled around the room, dancing to the music only she hears in her head.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  And as I reflect on all I have to be grateful for, the people I cherish & the times we share together, I’d like to specifically thank God this year for simple, precious moments.  Moments that fly by so quickly, you could blink and miss them.  But, moments, that when captured, last forever in my heart.  These moments serve as an everlasting reminder of a God who provides.  For it is these moments that create a reservoir from which I draw joy in dark times.

Oh, and speaking of that little three-year-old, Adam snapped this pic.  Another priceless moment…

I guess we need to work on keeping those drawers up!


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celebrating two birthdays!


It’s after 11pm on Saturday night, & I’m just sitting down with my laptop after a full day of celebrating not only our little 5 year old boy’s birthday, but also my mom’s.

Garrett had his very first “friend” birthday today at Chuck E’ Cheese’s.  We invited his preschool class along with our neighbor friends to share his special day with us.  He had a blast!  He’s been looking forward to this day for quite a while now.  In fact, I think he was up by 6:30 this morning!

Garrett is my strong guy.  He gave my tummy the toughest kicks while I carried him (future soccer player!).  He is known for his “butt drops.”  If you haven’t been on the receiving end of one of these, consider yourself lucky!  A butt drop is literally him plopping his rear down right on your stomach while you’re lying on your back.  He has quite a knack for sneaking up on you & catching you when you’re least expecting it…

But, Garrett has a wonderful quiet strength about him too.  He stands his ground, not in an “in your face” defiant sort of way, but with a determined “this is the way it should be” attitude.  He’s smart & he’s always thinking.  He adjusts when he’s wrong about something (hey, “whores” is now a clear “dwarfs!  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you’ll need to catch this post).

Garrett is also tenderhearted.  He wears his heart on his sleeve & every emotion he feels is painted across his face so vividly.  He is loving.  He won’t let you leave without giving him a hug & kiss.  He’s devasted if you ever forget & he’s quick to remind you of that when you come home.

Garrett is willing to try anything when it comes to food – he’s very open minded!  He’s seems to have taken quite a liking to my tofu & enjoys sharing my dinner.  I wish I was generous in return – I’m constantly pushing his fork off of my plate!!  Hummus has become a new favorite of his & if I’m not mistaken, he’s even delved into Adam’s sushi.  But, I think his favorite is steak.  And tonight, for his birthday, he got to enjoy a steak dinner from Lonestar with Grandma Bev & Grandpa Dave.

Speaking of Grandma Bev…

Today is also my mom’s birthday!  After Garrett’s birthday party, we made a surprise trip to Rockford to see my parents.  It was such a great day & I’m very thankful for my family.

I can’t say enough wonderful things about my mother.  I admire her like no one else.  She has the most generous nature & such a compassionate heart.  She also is a great listener.  Many times I’ve called her & monopolized the entire conversation as I share my life’s ups & downs.  And she listens.  She never tries to project any sort of agenda when she shares her opinion, but will tell you plainly what’s on her heart.  I’ve always respected that about her.

Garrett, you are growing so fast & your daddy & I love you so very much.  We are proud of you Garrett!  You make us smile.

Mom, I love you.  Thank you for everything.  I know that’s not saying much, but I think it says it all.

Happy Birthday you two!!

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French Dip Sandwiches

Okay Aunt Carol…here you go!!

3 lb beef boneless chuck roast

1½ cups water

1/3 cup soy sauce

1 tsp dried rosemary leaves

1 tsp dried thyme leaves

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 dried bay leaf

4 peppercorns

2 loaves (1 lb each) French bread

1.  Trim excess fat from beef & place in a 3½ to 4 quart slow cooker.  Mix remaining ingredients (except bread 🙂 ) & pour over beef.

2.  Cover & cook for 7-8 hours on low setting.

3.  Remove beef & cut into thin slices (we then used a fork to pull it apart).  Use broth for dipping!  Makes 10 sandwiches.


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for my Graders…

I can’t believe you are three years old already!

Here’s a bit of randomness on a few things that come to mind when I think of you…

You make me smile like no one else.  You are all boy – total frogs, snails & puppy dog tails!  You remind me of a little Huck Finn with your mischievous ways & fishing adventures.

Your heart is so sweet.  You hurt for other people when they hurt.  And you seem to have the best timing when it comes to hugs.  I love that you still fit in my lap & every once in a while, fall asleep there.

You are fearless – my goodness, you have enough scars to prove it!  We just have to work a bit on getting you to slow down to balance out that bold nature of yours.

I love you dearly.  Your daddy & I love watching you grow.  But, take your time growing, okay?  Don’t grow too fast because I know I’ll miss these little boys days of yours.

Happy Birthday!


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candy! candy! candy!

Oh my word…

The amount of candy we have in our house is INSANE!

I thought I had collected all the kids’ candy (no, not for myself…well, maybe a little 😉 )

But, nooo, I was wrong.

Guess who hid his candy bag up in his room?


I couldn’t believe it when he came down with FOUR suckers in his hand – ha!

If you need a sugar fix, you know where to come.

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