Sunday, September 28, 2008

where do i start?

so, right now i'm sitting in my porch swing in my lovely (FENCED IN! Go DAN!) back yard. i'm listening to the birds, fighting mosquitos and just generally enjoying my afternoon. every now and then i look up and see a fake deer in the yard and i smile to myself. my sweet husband is becoming a deer hunter and my dad thought he really needed something to practice with. dan says that it would make a great reindeer at Christmas time. (i'm not so sure... considering the bulls-eye with all the holes in it on it's side. poor thing. )

{my bow-hunting husband! i'm so proud. seriously! and check out that fence!}

the rest of my sweet family is inside sleeping. good ole sunday naps. we just got home from my grandma's house a few minutes ago. we had hamburgers with the fixins, a great selection of desserts and good conversation. that place is so peaceful. like a little taste of heaven.

{sophie loves to wear her hate like this. }

my life changed quite a bit this week. i went back to work. "working 9-5... " well, more like 9-1 about 4 days a week. my dad called me on monday because our family's business had lost their receptionist and needed some fill in work. it turns out we had a new one by the next day, but there is still quite a bit of extra work to be done. so... it all happened pretty fast, but i feel good about it. daniel and i have praying for an opportunity to make some extra money and this is a near perfect set-up. my mom (lisa) has GENEROUSLY decided to keep the girls for the 4 hrs that i work for at least 3 of the days and then the other day is split between mom (jackie) and ma ma ma. the girls and i still have to work out a few kinks in our schedule, but over all we are doing pretty good at getting up and around in the morning. i'm hoping i can find my groove at the airport soon and be a help there. my parents live about 100 ft. from there so i can be there in a minute if grace needs her momma. i will definitely continue to nurse her. needless to say, i have been a tired girl this weekend.

i feel like i'm rambling... i guess i just feel like i have so much to post about and i'm so behind on reporting on pictures, events, family news, recipes, etc... and i'm wondering why i feel so drained in the -bloggy-world. i love blogging and i have for years. i crave comments like i crave dr. pepper (and ya'll know that can get pretty intense). i guess when they don't come i feel a hint of rejection. silly, i know. but this thing is powerful. i read a really great post last night about blogging and computer use in general for women and it really convicted me. i want blogging to be a hobby, a creative outlet, and opportunity to meet other women in balance. i certainly don't want it to pull me from my Savior, my husband, my children, or my home. (here is another very thought-provoking post that i read months ago. the last full paragraph really stuck with me.)


(here is where my computer died for no reason and i got back to this post 5 hrs. later...


balance. being Spirit-led and not Jennifer- led. i guess that's what i'm after. how that plays out in my life is what i've got to figure out. the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. i want this fruit growing in my life! not laziness, apathy, self-centeredness, self-consciousness, self-righteousness, pride, fear, rejection, ect. ick!

i just finished nursing gracie to sleep. i watched her sweet little face for a long time. she had her chubby little les folded in a cute way and her little fingers where just so soft and cute. her face is beautiful... long eyelashes, perfect, round features. her baby hair was wet from her sweat and it curled up so cute. i just wanted to take it all in. i don't ever want to forget how she looks and feels in my arms right now. i want to embrace this season of my life because one day very soon it will be over and she won't be a baby any more. i just don't want to lose the wonder.

{grace right after a nap munching on some zwieback toast. such a sweet heart!}

so, i guess that's where i am. i'm sure none of this has made any sense to anyone other than myself, but i'm still glad i wrote it. i will definitely continue to blog. i just need to hear from Him on how to go about it. as i do with everything in my life. sometimes it's easy to take the reins of imy life back and ride for a while.... a rocky and bumpy road. He said His yoke is easy and His burden is light and that i would find rest for my soul. i definitely want Him to hold the reins of my life as I move under His yoke.

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with Me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay any-thing heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you'll learn how to live freely and lightly. " - Jesus (Matthew 11 from The Message)

good stuff. don't you think? i am loving reading from The Message lately. so refreshing.

i guess i better get myself to bed. i am a working girl now. :)

{me and the girls before church this morning. we were running ahead of schedule for once! :)}

Friday, September 26, 2008

And the Winner Is.....

Thank you all so much for the great Fall Scents comments. I enjoyed reading all of them. The first scents are definitely in the air and I am looking forward to the yummy smells of Fall to come!

Today I entered each of your names (some twice) into an Excel spreadsheet and then I cut them out. I folded the names and put them in a mug and my sweet hubby drew out the winner. Probably not the most scientific way... but fair all the same.

And the Winner IS......



Here's Alicia's comment...

"Jen this is the funnest thing EVER!!! I too love fall. Man, there are just so many smells I love, if I have to choose I would say the smell of the air (you know that smell) and the smell of anything being baked but especially apple pie or apple crisp. "

Woo! Hoo! Good for you, Alicia! I will get your new candle and room spray to you asap! :)

Thank you guys for playing! And if you are still looking for some yummy fall candles check out Home Interiors and let me know. Check out our September Candle Sale that will go through next Friday, Oct 3. I can order you some and have shipped directly to your home.

Have a great weekend and Happy Fall!!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sophie's 3rd Birthday Party!

Ok, I'm going to try this again... :)

The Invitation

Sophie's "garden" party shifted to an inside party as Hurricane Ike headed our way. It was a little bit tight, but we still had a great time. Thank you to all who came and loved on our girl!

Here are a few highlights...

Food & Decor

The theme was set around the paper ware that I found at Oops in Springdale. I had fun making the felt birthday banner. (Two weeks later... it's still up! HA!) We added some more butterflies, tulle, some flowers, balloons and ta-da, a party! We served some yummy peanut butter bees, butterfly pb & j's, cha cha chicken salad for the adults, dirt cake, ice cream and amazing strawberry punch to drink. Yum!

Party Games & Fun

{Click on the collage to enlarge}

After snacking we got busy with some "buggy" games. Dan led the games- "Pin the Stinger on the Bee" and a Bug Toss (a throwback to the wildly popular Bozo show we watched as children.:). The kids did great! After that we all sang to Sophie and she proudly blew out her three candles. She was definitely anxious to look inside all those pretty gift bags. She was so blessed with sweet new fall clothes, fun toys, sweet cards and some super cool bigger gifts... a new scooter and a swing set... YAY!!

Each friend was sent home with a little flower pot and a cute little pansie to plant and an artwork fridge magnet and suckers, of course!

A BIG thank you to my moms (Cheryl, Lisa and Jackie), Jaclyn and Dan who helped me (the sometimes a little overbearing party gal... :) so, so much. She is one super blessed little girl. She is definitely our little "love bug" and we are so thankful to have her in our lives. These past three years have flown by and we have cherished every day of her little life. May the Lord show Himself strong and near to her each and every day. We love you Sophie! PS- Aunt Jac embellished a really cute shirt for Sophie's party. I wanted a personalized shirt for Sophie that would match her new skirt from Junie. Jac did a great job embroidering Sophie Bug.

You can tell Sophie had some fun with the strawberries & grape jelly, huh?! :)

PSS- Aunt Suzy posted a sweet birthday message to Sophie and a few more pics from her party on her blog. Sophie is so blessed in the Aunt department. :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sweet Little GIVEAWAY!!

Happy 1st Day of Fall!!

How about a sweet little giveaway to celebrate this great season! (And to continue to celebrate my husband and daughter's recent birthdays! We like birthday's around here!)

I love fall. I love the crisp air, the beautiful leaves, football games, warm comfort foods, fall decor, thanksgiving, the smell of burning leaves, comfy jeans and sweaters, and I love to light all my fall candles.

Don't you love fall candles? Baked Apple Pie, Pumpkin, Cinnamon Bun, Chocolate Cookies, Vanilla... MMMMMM!!!

Want to start the candle-burning season off right?

Win a yummy Baked Apple Pie Petite Jar Candle and a Baked Apple Pie Roomspray and your home will smell delicious!

How do you win?? Just leave me a comment telling me your favorite fall scent... it can be a candle, a food, or something else. I will enter your name and do a random drawing.

Want a greater chance of winning?? Subscribe to my blog through a reader such as Bloglines or Google Reader or sign up to have new posts sent straight to your Inbox. If you subscribe either way, let me know and I will enter you twice! (Check out my new RSS buttons at the top of this page.) You can comment on this post until Midnight Thursday night and I will post the winner on Friday!

I look forward to hearing about your favorite Fall smells! :)

Have a great day!

PS- Reading blogs through a reader such as Bloglines is so convenient and it really saves time! Check out this post by Simple Mom about Readers. It includes a clever video that explains RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds really well!

Friday, September 19, 2008

UTI again?

the week before last and the first part of last week i had some pretty major back pain. back pain takes the life and energy right out of me. i suspected a urinary track infection, but hoped that it was maybe just dehydration. (unfortunately, i deal with both of these fairly often.) i started drinking LOTS of water, taking cranberry pills and d- mannose (a simple sugar that is supposed to help prevent these). nothing was working and i was majorly dragging. (not good during a birthday week!) on thursday my grandma ninkie called and really encouraged me to go to the dr. i finally went and sure enough had a UTI. ick! i started on anti-biotics (a new 5 day rx), took them faithfully and felt some relief by the end of the weekend.

today the pain is back with a vengeance. uuuugh! i guess i will call the dr. tomorrow, but i am really hoping that they can help me without a full-fledged appointment. please pray for me. i want to get over this for good!

i posted about sophie's b-day party and lost it all. :( i'll try again tomorrow.

"sweet little giveaway" info coming soon! :)

.... way past bedtime! 'night!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

trip to hot springs

today, the girls and i accompanied mom (lisa) on a trip to hot springs. mom had a dentist appointment so we went along for the ride (1.5 hrs) and to spend time with her. here are a few highlights from the day...

1- gracie b. is heavy! last month she weighed 20lbs. TWENTY POUNDS! that is 1/6 of what i weigh. (why in the world i am sharing my weight on the internet is beyond me!:) she was a little fussy today (while we were in tj maxx for 2 hours) so i spent a lot of time holding her (TWENTY pounds) in one arm and pushing a cart in another. by the end of the day i felt like my left arm was going to fall off.
2- i love tj maxx! i've known this for a long time, but every time i go back it is confirmed again. bring on the bargains! the clothes, the shoes, the housewares, the cute little stationary and note pads, the bedding, the kids clothes, the toys, the specialty foods... i love to look around in there.
3- italian gelato is YUMMY! mom & i both had mint chocolate chip and i sophie had butter pecan. (i think she was drawn to it's yellow color.) gelato is so smooth and creamy and yummy!

sophie checking out all the yummy gelato flavors
sophie & mammy gracie snoozing...

4- excessive sugar does have a profound effect on my 3 year old daughter. she had sprite at on the border, gummy frogs in tj maxx and the gelato after that... by the time we made it to hobby lobby she was talking non-stop and singing made-up tunes for all the shoppers to hear. the sugar high finally let down about 40 minutes into our trip back home. sleep called her name! :)

5- i am a blessed woman. thanks for inviting us mom! we had a great time! :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

olivia, francine, and tuna

this morning i was feeding gracie in the bumbo and sophie announced that her name was no longer grace, but "olivia" instead.

me- "no, this is grace adeline and she is 8 (EIGHT!) months old today!"
sophie- "no, she's olivia"
me- "well, ok. who are you? francine?"
sophie- "yes!"
me- "ok, francine. who am i?"
sophie- "tuna."
me- "tuna?"
sophie- "yep, tuna!"

tuna, huh? why can't i have a pretty name like olivia or francine?


side note a- the three year old said "actually" this morning. when did she learn that one?

side not b- "francine" reminds me of francine in "gidget." what a great movie!
"moondoggy, oh moondoggy... "

i'm gonna try to get some pics of sophie's b-day on here today.

stay tuned for the "sweet little giveaway!"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

too pooped to pop!

right now i am exhausted. i just now got gracie down for her nap. finally. i have about 1.5 hrs till the "birthday boy" a.k.a. dan, the love of my life comes home. the house is a mess. i need to fold about 3 loads of laundry, make cupcakes, and some cute party hats for tonight. (among other things like showering, putting on make-up, etc) :)

i'm faced with a choice. do i...

a.) go get in my bed with sophie and rest for a few minutes in my super dark, cool room
b.) grab a dr. pepper, turn on some happy music like sarah masen and get to cracking
c.) i seriously can't think of another option. maybe i'm not good at multiple choice making :(


i've been a stinky blogger lately. HOWEVER, i am determined to get back in gear! since sophie's 3rd birthday was sunday and dan's 31st birthday is today, i am proclaiming this a celebration week! i'm going to have a sweet little fall giveaway in honor of these two of my fav people in the world and to celebrate the start of fall!

check back soon and i'll give the details!

ps... i think a short nap won out! :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

oh how she has grown...

sophie's 1st birthday in 2006...

gosh, i love this girl.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I love pansies. They are such a cheerful flower. We bought some tonight and I'm going to plant them tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


i think i'm stalling. i have so much to write about. lots of big news in the fam. but at the moment i have not the time, energy, nor the pictures to document them. hopefully soon!

right now my hands are tired from using my hole puncher to punch about 80 holes in felt. the hole puncher finally quit on me. stink!

i'm definitely in birthday party mode. :)

so... since it's already really late and i still have about 55 pieces of felt staring me in the face i better make this quick. i just wanted to check in and say "hey".... HEY!

i'll try again soon!

Friday, September 5, 2008


next week my daughter is turning THREE. 3 years OLD! i'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around that. the time has gone by so very fast.

she never ceases to amaze me with her humor, passion and enthusiasm about life. her vocabulary grows every day.

today she has been cracking me up by saying, "yes, mov-der" and "yes, fad-der."

she's convinced that once she turns three, she will "go to school... on the school bus!" when your 5 you can go to school, but most likely not on the school bus! :)

tonight i recited The Lord's Prayer and she repeated after me... it was precious. She said, "lets do it again" and then quickly changed her mind and requested "take me out to the ball game" instead. that's her new favorite song!

i think the Lord smiled. He loves her so very much and so do i.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

rambling schmambling...

this morning i made myself coffee. i never do this. (seriously. i've been married 6 years and this is the 3rd pot i've ever made.) so, i had a whole pot and i only wanted a cup- full of creamer (& caffeine). i knew my little brother jon was in town so i text'd him to see if he wanted a good ole cup 'o joe. in the mean time i put on the wiggles for the girls and started reading my devotional. good stuff.

a little while later, jon came over. he and sophie played blocks and she served us tea and cookies (which were also blocks). jon and i discussed relationships and computers among other things. gracie played happily. sophie clamored for "muncle jon jon's" attention. she told him to come back and see her soon!

sophie, muncle jon jon and their house w/a garage!
i can't get enough of her sweet cheeks!
"more cookies?"
she lines these four chairs up in a new way almost every day!
blocks & tools... some of soph's fav toys!

later, sophie got hungry. she ate a juicy apple. i nursed grace and sophie gave her a big juicy kiss on the forehead. i smiled and was genuinely grateful for the opportunity to be their momma.
i finally got grace down for her nap and realized it was almost 11 o'clock. i was supposed to meet my friend, alicia for lunch at noon. i still had to shower, get dressed, dress the girls, make more dumplings for dan's lunch, and drop the girls off at the airport before i could head off across town to meet alicia. why do i do this to myself? i have poor time/length perception. somehow it all worked out. alicia and i decided to meet a few minutes later and we had a great time visiting. uninterrupted adult conversation for over an hour! how great. i definitely need to get out more. thank you to grandma ninkie for watching the girls. :)
unfortunately, i have no pics of alicia & i together, but i do have pics of our husbands and our kids. this is from our "Christmas in July" celebration. we had deep fried turkey with all the fixins! it was fun and delicious, but waaaayyy too hot to be deep frying turkeys! :)

i went to pick up the girls and we spent a few minutes at the airport before we drove around for nap time. as we came back through town i realized that "dollar spot" is NOW OPEN! woo hoo! our little town has a new store and you can bet your dinner that i will be there as soon as possible to check it out. there has been rumor of a new dollar store for months now. i was really hoping for "dollar tree." oh, how i love that store. but, alas... it isn't and from what i could tell by looking in the windows it's not all $1 items, but it still looks very promising! :)

i'm debating getting the fall stuff out. i know it's about time and i am usually totally ready. i absolutely LOVE fall! but, for some reason this year i am having a hard time letting go of summer. it has gone by so fast and it actually hasn't been that hot. i could use a few more pool days with susan & marleen, fresh veggie dinners (i.e. fried OKRA) and simple summer clothes, etc, etc. however, the breeze in the air is lovely today and seeing all the fall decorating posts (i love this one)this week have made me excited about the new season coming up soon.

mom (lisa) just called for mom's (jackie) chili recipe. (i know all the mom talk can get confusing!) she invited us over for dinner. yummy. chicken and dumplings last night and chili tonight. great rainy day meals. maybe i am ready for fall...

are you ready for fall?

Table Cloth Skirt and Dinner Party Top GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Table Cloth Skirt and Dinner Party Top GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Check out this sweet outfit from Grosgrain! It is a size 3T-4T.

Wouldn't it look cute on a certain almost 3 year old girl??

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

the FAIR!!!

Last week was the Polk County Fair. I read in the paper today there were an estimated 13,000-14,000 people at this year's fair. Wowsers! Our town's population is less than 7,000 people and the surrounding communities are much smaller. We always say that we see everyone we know at the fair and it is so true!

This year we made a quick trip on Thursday night. My nose had literally run ALL DAY LONG so I wasn't sure I would be up to it and my family from Tulsa had arrived that afternoon. But, at about 7pm we decided we were for sure going and off we went. I'm so glad we decided to go! We had a great time and something about that manure-filled air really cleared up my nose! :)

Here are few pics...

Sophie & one of her bestest friends, E.T.! She ran and gave her a BIG hug! They ended up riding the "Cars" ride together. :)
The girl loves her some farm animals. She knows all their sounds! I think seeing the animals is her favorite part of the whole deal. FFA here we come! :)
Loving on a prize-winning Billy Goat!
We're so happy that Junie got to come with us to the fair this year. While I was waiting in an endless line, Sophie & G-Ma Junie ventured off to look around. They ended up in the music tent where Bluegrass music was blaring. Sophie grabbed Junie by the hands and started "cutting a rug!" Junie was a little embarrassed because they were right in the front. Ha! A little while later we were all together and we merely walked by this tent. Sophie heard the music and grabbed Junie once again! What a girl! :)
Grab your partner... Round and round!
Daniel got to carry around the sweetest little munchkin! We always get lots of attention carrying Grace in the Bjorn. She is so sweet (and so heavy!) :)
Sophie & I rode the Carousel with our friends Misty & Lexi. Sweet times!

Lastly, this is a pic documenting the FIRST time my 73 year old Grandma has EVER had cotton candy! She always thought that it looked gross. I think she actually kind of liked it.

Well, the fair is over till next year. Thanks, Dan for taking us. And we are so glad we got to go with Junie! :)

Do you like the fair?

Take Me Out to the Ball Game - Part 2

we really enjoyed our second trip to the ball park this past weekend.

highlights include-
*being 2 hours late! we had some bad info so we missed the first 2 hours of the game and the "go, diego, go" appearance, oh well! baseball games are loooong anyway! :)
*spending time with the fam. we also got to spend some time with the laney family, which is always a treat. :)
*britt & jac did a great job ordering & delivering ALL of the classic ball-game food.
*the great music clips that they play during the game. i think this is my fav part!
*sitting next to the love-of-my-life!
*holding ro ro and watching roman & sophie interact. too cute!
*a beautiful performance by the NWA symphony.
*a moving tribute to each of our country's armed forces.
*a beautiful, long, and LOUD firework display. (too loud for grace & roman. sophie enjoyed it though.)

thank you again, mom & dad! we enjoyed it!

right now

right now... my love bugs are sleeping in mommy & daddy's bed.

right now... i am putting off cleaning.

right now... i am enjoying the rainy weather. (although, i do hope it moves on pretty soon.)

right now... i am in the living room staring at sophie's blocks, grace's toys, movies, chips and books everywhere!

right now... i am still very congested. swallowing lots of phlegm. gross. (typing phlegm just reminded me of runaway bride and the "wake up with flem" radio show. :)

right now... i am wearing my new hawaii t-shirt from my sister, jaclyn.

right now... i am craving chocolate so much!! too bad i told sophie we'd make brownies after nap-time.

right now... i am blessed and grateful.

right now... i better get to work! time to put on the chicken and dumplings for dinner. yum-o!

sorry, i just had to post the cute little baby buns! :)