Friday, February 27, 2009


I absolutely DO NOT have time to blog, nor have I given myself permission to blog. So, this isn't a blog post. It's an update in bullet points:

  • The casserole was yummy, thanks for asking MC. But how can you go wrong with Southern Living? Especially if you are a southern girl? I did have 1 mishap. I didn't have the casserole finished, so took it to church unfinished and cooked it in their oven. So, while my girls didn't get to eat right away, they did get a piping hot breakfast!
  • The no-sweets-for-Lent is going strong. And let me tell you it has not been easy. I do pretty good until the evening. Then the cravings begin. I'm told the first week is the hardest. I do hope so!
  • I am really excited that February is almost over. This month has been crazy, busy.
  • My Mother's of Multiples semi-annual sale is this weekend and I have been in a tagging frenzy over the past couple of weeks since yesterday. And am no where near done.
  • It has been hot here lately. Ridiculously hot for February.
  • We started a new bible study this week and it is called, Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed by (are you ready for this!) Priscilla Shirer (Tony Evans daughter), Beth Moore and Kay Arthur. Hello. It is amazing! But how couldn't it be with those 3 amazing, Godly women leading?!?!? I'm so excited about this study and the group of women I'm studying with!!

Okay, I have to run... Oh, but before I go I have to share with you something I read this morning: "How many times have I fed on ashes, instead of feasting on the Word?" Oh, how that spoke to my heart today!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New things

Alrighty, I only have a few moments to blog because I need to get ready for bible study this morning. Have I mentioned recently that I LOVE MY BIBLE STUDY? It has been a long time since I have met with a group of women with such depth and authenticity. And we know how I love and crave depth and authenticity! I'm super blessed by this group of ladies and can't wait to meet with them today!

It's my turn to bring a dish for breakfast and I am trying a new recipe. I have a recipe for breakfast casserole that I haven't loved the last couple of times that I have made it. Let's pause here to mention that Joseph thinks I'm c-r-a-z-y for trying new recipes out on other people. In his world it only makes sense to try something new at home where if we hate it we go out to eat, not on poor folks that are stuck eating what I made. It really drives him crazy when we have people over for dinner and I try out new recipes on them. Probably because I stress out the whole time I'm cooking! Totally ridiculous to him and wouldn't happen on his world. Oh, what it would be like to live in his world...

I am doing something today that I have never done before. (drum roll please...) I am giving up something for Lent. And while I am nervous about doing this, I am also super excited. Here is what has propelled me to think about this: I have this amazing woman who loves Jesus in my life and she recently did a 3 day fast. She invited me to join. Um, uh, um, um... I politely declined. In all seriousness, while I would love to do a 3 day fast at some point in the future, I'm not sure that now is that time. But, I do love the idea of self-sacrifice, prayer, opening new avenues to hearing God and experiencing -somewhat- what Jesus did in the wilderness. So since I am not at a time in my life to do a long fast, I decided why not give up (deep, deep breath) sweets for Lent. (deep breath)

Sweets is going to be a big one for me. BIG. Because every day - and I mean every day - I have at least 2 of these babies in the afternoon and at least 2 of these babies in the evening. Oh, is that why I'm not losing weight?

Yeah, so that is the plan. There really is bigger, deeper meaning to all this, but I don't have time to go into all that. I have a casserole to get in the oven. A new casserole. I hope it's okay. Oh, now I'm getting nervous...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sweet words to a tired mama's ears!

"Today is your day off" are the words that I woke up to this morning. Followed by, "What would you like me to bring you for breakfast?" And no, those words were definitely not spoken to me by my gorgeous little Darlings. It was my man. Isn't he delicious?

What makes those words even sweeter is that they were spoken to me despite my two major meltdowns that I have had over the last 3 days. Yesterdays completely irrational meltdown even included the words, "I'm getting a job." That my friends is just plain crazy talk. Reality is that I have no plans on ever working, outside this home, again.

So in spite of my lunatic talk (and behavior) my husband, as usual, has risen above my drama and is selflessly meeting my needs.

There is a special place for him in heaven. Very special. And knowing him, he'll share with me!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Little Bow Ella

What can I say? This girl likes bows in her hair!

Oh, how I love this little face!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The wonderful world of twins!

Every day at nap time, for the first 30 min and the last 30 min, the girls have a par-tay in their room. I wish we had a video camera so that I could watch the madness and see what all the giggling and shouts of glee are all about.

Here are some pictures I caught of them doing their favorite naptime activity:

JUMPING in their beds! Look at that wild hair!! That is their second favorite activity: pulling their pigtails or ponytail out - you know, the ones that Mommy had to chase them down to put in!

And then they love it when I do this:
Put them in the same crib!! It's hard to imagine, but they used to sleep together in this very crib. Do you remember this:

YUMMY!! Oh, in some ways that seems like just yesterday and in other ways that seems like 1000 years ago! I often look at these little girlies and wonder what in the world it would be like to have a twin sister? A best friend you've known your whole life? I just can't imagine and I am so jealous!!

What I do know is that while they love each other and laugh like c-r-a-z-y, there are the days that at the end of their laughing/crazy/wild/joyful time, someone will start crying, a mad cry. And before I go in there I already know what happened - one sister took the other sisters blanket or lovey and won't give it back. Guaranteed that's what happened! Luckily it's never the same sister that is the meanie, instigator! They take turns...something that they have learned from day 1 - taking turns!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentines and Lazarus

Over the past couple of weeks I have tried to blog, but can't seem to be able to nail down my very incohesive thoughts into written words. This is the first time in all my years of blogging that I am having a hard time with what to say. And I'm not sure why.

Perhaps it's because I'm so tired at the end of my day that it borders on ridiculous. Joseph's schedule has been nutty and the poor man has been working non-stop over the past couple of weeks. That's hard.

My poor Valentine. He hasn't had a day off in more than 3 weeks and when he is home he is so tired that he might as well not be here because he is too tired to think. He is in bed by 9pm, up at 4am, at the hospital by 5am, and home...whenever he gets here. It's been hard. On all of us. Have I mentioned that yet?

Thankfully, my mama came on Friday night to give me some help. And let me tell you her plane didn't arrive a moment too soon because as I was circling the airport, on the phone with her while she was waiting on the tarmac, I was melting down. And she did what moms do: stepped in and took care of all of us. She let me nap, held babies, played with kids, told stories, made up games, made me laugh, sent me away for time by myself and fed us good! When she left, I felt refreshed. I'm not afraid to admit that I still need my mom. Thanks mama for being such a blessing to me!

Love was on-call on V-Day, which in hindsight wasn't so bad (especially since my mama was here). He actually got off good celebrating the day after. Flowers and cards are 50% off and it is way less crowded. It was a low key celebration since he was post-call, but it was good to spend some time -away from the kids- with my best friend and catch up.

Life has been busy around here for the past couple of months. I feel like I am on this merry-go-round that is moving fast, but I have good grip and am hanging on. Hanging on until that next ______ happens and then life will slow down. Fill the blank in with parties, Thanksgiving, parties, Christmas, birthdays, baby showers, newsletters, socials, Mother's of Multiples sales...whatever. I find myself always saying, "As soon as ____ is over life will calm down." But the truth is something else swoops in and takes its place.

And while part of me is exhausted by it all, another part of me is exhilarated. I thrive on a full plate. With that said, though, I am at a place where I want to slow down -just a little- and breathe and enjoy the scenery of my amazing life. I don't want to miss out on the small things because I love to hurry. And I don't think I am.

Caleb and I had this amazing discussion the other day. We were laying on the couch talking and he said, "Do you know why I was kinda sad today?"

"No, why?" I asked.

"Because my teacher told me the story of the rich man and Lazarus. And Lazarus begged on the side of the road for food and dogs would lick his sores. And Lazarus friends took him to the rich mans house where he asked him for the scraps off his table and the rich man was mean and selfish and told him no. Then Lazarus died and went to heaven and the rich man died and went to hell."

"And what did you think about that story?" I asked.

"I thought it made me sad and I almost cried at school."

"What made you sad?"

"It made me sad that there are people who don't have food. And that the dogs licked Lazarus sores. And that there are children who go to bed hungry." Then he asked, "Will you pray for them?"

Oh, my little love.

So we both cried and prayed for those kids that don't have moms and dads and those children that go to bed hungry. It was a moment I'll cherish forever. My boy is becoming more compassionate and able to look outside of his own world. My prayers are being answered.

My prayer for today is that while I am on this merry-go-round of life, that I don't miss those moments. Those are the moments that keep me fueled, give me hope and remind me of my purpose. Raising Oaks of Righteousness...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Uh-Oh SpaghettiO's

And this is one (or two) reason(s) why my house is such a mess:

Ella looking like a mess! And Lily Kate looking like Princess Lea!

Ella: "Do you think you could put the camera down and help a girl out?!"

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Financial Freedom Works for Me!

When Joseph and I got married, I was a slave. Not literally, but it sure felt like it.

Back track 6 years: I had just turned 18 years old and was on a Spring Break trip with my friends in Florida. A certain credit card company (to which I will NOT, even to this day, own a credit card from!) was giving out cool t-shirts. All you had to do is fill out an application for their credit card. I was 18, didn't think I had any credit, had no instruction on financial management, and was -quite frankly- dumb. I filled out the application, got my cool t-shirt and had fun on the rest of my trip.

A month or so later, my new credit card arrived in the mail. All shiny and new. I thought I won the lottery. And had no idea what I had gotten myself into.

Fast forward 6 years, $10,000 and nothing to show for it - and that is how Joseph met me. Shortly after we got engaged, he paid off the debt. He wanted us to start fresh and have a clean slate when we gt married. (I didn't know then, but do now, the depth of wisdom that man has.) So, yeah he paid off my debt and has never once mentioned it or held it over my head. My man is most certainly a man after God's own heart.

So 1 day after returning from our honeymoon we move all that we own (which wasn't much) to Minot AFB in North Dakota. And shortly after we move in he sets us up with a budget and implements the "envelope system". I had no idea (once again) how wise this man was. I didn't know anything about saving or tithing, so Joseph taught me. He pulled out some envelopes and we labeled them. I don't remember all the labels that we had back then, but here are some that we have now:
  • Groceries
  • Date
  • Diapers
  • Eating Out
  • Titan (our dog)
  • Gas
  • Household (toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, toiletries, ect.)
  • MISC (gifts, clothes, babysitting, and any extra we go over on groceries)

He broke up our finances into the 70-20-10 method. 70% of our income goes to bills, 20% savings and 10% to tithe. And that is how we have done it for the past 7 1/2 years. When we run out of money in the envelopes...we're out of money. He can't make more, I can't make more, there is no blaming or arguing - it's just a fact. No money in envelope = no spending.

And I believe with every ounce of my soul that this, along with MANY blessings from God, have gotten us to where we are today. No credit card debt, no car payment, no student loans - just the house. While 87.6% of medical residents carry outstanding loans and the average debt of medical school graduates is $137,517 we have none. And have had 3 kids in medical school - twin GIRLS to boot!!

Now, we have been wise and very blessed along the way. But, we have also made more than our fair share of mistakes. Oh, have we made mistakes. Through it all, though, the one thing that has remained constant is the our tithe. It comes off the top and first. And that has been hard some months. There have been some months that we really could have used that tithe for groceries, but have seen blessings come our way for giving back to God. Oh, the stories I could tell...

I share all this not to brag, but to tell you how good it feels to be financially free! I have experienced both feelings, enslaved and free, and I'm telling you that if you don't already have it - the freedom is amazing. It may take time, learning to do without, not having the fanciest things, but it is SO worth it! If you haven't heard about the envelope system, check it out! You won't regret it.

And that is what Works for Me!

End Note: Years ago we used to pull cash out of the bank to fill the envelopes, but now we have an excel spreadsheet that keeps track of what "envelope" we are spending out of. The spreadsheet has also been a great way of having accountability of every penny spent.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A whole-lota nothing!

I have a whole lot of nothing to talk about today. Consider yourself warned..

Joseph hasn't had a day off in 3 weeks or so and we are all ready for a day off. So ready. The next 3 months are going to be tough. 2 of the rotations are crummy hours and the third is out of town (with crummy hours!) . *sigh* That's all I have to say about that. Well, that's not really all I have to say, but that's all I want t say.

I took the kids to their little friend, Rylie's birthday party. It was at Build a Bear and my boys were so excited! It was seriously my bribery tool all week long. (Listen, when your hubby is working all the time, you are NOT above bribery!) They had a blast and I survived thanks to my friends helping me out with my Darlings. Shout out to Rylie's dad, Toby, who did an awesome job blocking Lily Kate from getting into Macy's. I guess she heard there was free make-up! Girl after my own heart! Here they are with their Build a Bear loot (from Rylie's par-tay and from their trip to BaB at Christmas):

(Do you like the bows on Caleb's koala? Well, his daddy doesn't! For some reason all of Caleb's stuffed animals are females. He insists that they are all girls. I tried to console the Daddy - at least they are black bows, right? He wasn't buying.)

Are these boys handsome or what?!
BTW - people, Build a Bear is expensive when you factor in 4 kids! These stuffed animals get clothes, shoes, accessories... Luke's turtle has combat boots that cost more than the last pair of shoes I bought myself! Sweet Rebecca, Rylie's mama, was so generous and let all 4 kids make a bear for the party. I felt bad (after all, I am the only one with 4 kids!) but was thankful because Ella would have beat the boys up for their animals. Seriously.

3 weeks and 1 day until I can run again! I am so excited. I seriously dream about running...I know, crazy! This weekend was supposed to be the weekend that I ran my half marathon. *sigh* Yeah, we won't talk about that...

I have been hitting the gym hard and still love it. I've had to be more creative with my workouts because of the knee - spinning & yoga are my new favorites.

I have been trying to write a post about the twins, but it has been stuck in my head. They are so cute and so fun. Oh, and a ton of work...let's not forget to add that! They are starting to talk a lot more and their favorite thing to do is boss one another around. Check out this cuteness:

These little sisters bring such joy to our house!

Alright, gotta go...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

What I Learned This Week

  1. While doing yoga today, I had an epiphany that I could have seriously done without - my very cool yoga moves look WAY better in my head than they do in the mirrors. Way better. Translation: I'm cooler in my head than I am in reality!
  2. Thanks to you all very nice, fancy, techy people I now know that if I ever erase LOST from our DVD before my man gets to see it, they have the episodes online! I don't know why I didn't think of that?!
  3. Probably because my mind is so wrapped up in our vacation that is 3 months away, I'm having a hard time thinking of anything else. If you are planning a trip to the Riviera Maya, I could serve as your travel agent. Actually, don't call me. I am horrible at regurgitating information, am easily confused and have read so much that it has all become one jumbled paradise. Couple all that with the fact that I can no longer remember which hotels are topless, I could book a trip that may not be what you had in mind.
  4. I learned this week that God sends really cool, wise, bold, loving new friends at a time when you need them the most.
  5. And lastly, I learned that when you pray to Sar Shalom (Prince of Prince), you are praying to the One who is the source of all peace. And that to live in peace is to live in his presence. Isn't that cool? Shalom isn't the absence of conflict, it's to be continuously in his presence. I love that Sar Shalom is the only one who can give us a sense of wholeness and completion - not our kids, husbands, friends, money, jobs, vacations, nothing & no one. Except for The One. And that, my friends, is my favorite thing I have learned this week!

And what about you? What have you learned this week? Visit Musings of a Housewife to find out what others have learned this week.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I think I'm hooked on being LOST

Do I have at least 1 million better things to blog about other than LOST? YEP!
Do I have at least 1 million better things to do other than blog about LOST? YEP!
Am I still going to blog about LOST? YEP!

Here are my thoughts on LOST:
  1. Okay, let me get my bragging moment out of the way - I knew that Jin was still alive!!! Knew it, knew it, knew it! And I told Joseph! I knew it!! (I seriously love being right, can you tell?)
  2. I am so torn in my love triangle, I mean Kate's love triangle with Jack and Sawyer. This may be the one time where I may advocate polygamy...
  3. I cannot understand why we are still trusting Ben? The man has done nothing but lie to us and break his promises, so why are we listening to him. We need to run the other direction when we see him. RUN!
  4. The nosebleeds are becoming contagious and I will never think of nosebleeds the same.
  5. My favorite moment of the night was during one of the flashbacks when Sawyer saw Kate delivering Claire's baby. He was looking at her with such love that my heart seriously almost melted. (sigh)
  6. Locke, my least favorite character, had an very insightful moment tonight when he said, "I needed that pain to get to where I am now." Hmmm, thought provoking.
  7. Poor Jin. Can you imagine waking up to what he has woken up to. It has been a bad couple of days for him. Or has it been years? This time thing has me confused!

Well, I think that is all for now. Oh, my gosh! I just did something really bad. If you don't hear from me again it is because my hubby has killed me! I just realized that I totally erased LOST on the DVR! Oh no! Love had to work tonight, so he didn't get to see it...this is so bad. So very, very bad. The man is patient with me and loves me, but really loves LOST. This is so bad.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

I did it!

Do you like the updated pictures on my header?!? I did them all by myself!! Okay, perhaps a friend of mine did come over today and perhaps she did teach me a bit about html, but I'm the one that put the pictures in!

They aren't as well spaced as they were when my blog designer did it, but I'm happy (mostly) with good enough.