A Family of Six

December 28, 2008 at 7:40 pm (Faith, Home)

We are home safe and sound after our adventure. You can read all about our trip on the adoption blog.

We had a good first day as a family of six, despite the sad news this morning that Mark’s Grandfather – Wilford Gumm – passed away in Arkansas. He was a beloved man and truly one of God’s great warriors. He has been an incredible Godly influence in the life of my husband and for that I will be eternally grateful. We would covet your prayers for Grandma and for the rest of the family.


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And the busy time of year begins

October 3, 2008 at 10:10 pm (Home, Parenting)

The craziness of the holidays starts a little bit early around here – kicking off with Noah’s birthday at the beginning of October. We’ve had the “bring cupcakes to class” party, the family party and, as I type, 4 boys upstairs telling each other “SHHHHH!” Noah’s first sleepover.

BTW, apparently only girls have “slumber parties”. Boys have “sleepovers”.

Natalie’s birthday follows a month behind and in between we have a trip to Arkansas to see family.

Then a visit from Uncle Brad and cousin Grace.

November will mean a visit from Aunt Jenny and Annabel (Auntie can’t wait to smooch on those cheeks)…Uncle Rob will come for a shorter time.

And somewhere between there and Christmas we REALLY hope to be going to Ethiopia to get our kids. (There have been a whole bunch of delays but we feel like we are on the right track.)

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Our Family

September 16, 2008 at 8:52 pm (Home)

By Natalie, almost 6

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Got meat?

September 7, 2008 at 10:14 pm (Home, Money)

One of the best purchases we made was buying a used chest freezer several years ago. I can’t remember but I think we paid something like $125 for it.

With the addition of 2 more kids this is going to become even more crucial. Because, you see, I hate to go grocery shopping more than a couple times a month.

So I’ll be buying like 8 loaves of bread at a time.

It’s also great when you meat goes on sale. When boneless, skinless chicken breasts go on sale for $1.69/lb I buy like 5 packages.

A few weeks ago I bought 40 lbs of hamburger.

Yes, you read that right… 40 lbs.

It was $1/lb.

Not going to pass that up.

I rebagged the hamburger using this trick I learned from someone’s WFMW.

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The Things We Keep

July 9, 2008 at 11:06 pm (Home)

I mentioned yesterday that I am very big into doing periodic purges. I usually have a box somewhere in the house that is being filled with stuff for Goodwill. I go through my clothes at least 2 times a year.

I totally love shows like Clean Sweep where they come in and go through people’s things. They really make them think about why they’re hanging on to stuff.

A few months ago my mother-in-law was cleaning out her mom’s house (which they have moved into to help take care of her) and found this…

Curious what is inside? So was I.

Those would be the aluminum cans that were tied to the back of our car on our wedding night. Complete with the string.

Saved for nearly 15 years.

P.S. The date on the bag was off by 5 months.

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Could you give it all up?

July 7, 2008 at 10:36 pm (Faith, Home) (, , )

I spent the last 3 days in garage sale land again. This time it was cleaning out Mark’s grandparents home. A week ago we loaded up a 17 ft U-haul truck that Mark and his cousin drove to Arkansas where they will live with their daughter. As I helped sort through things, bag clothes for the Rescue Mission, and load stuff in the Uhaul last week I thought, “Hm, there’s not really that much left.”

At 10 p.m. on Thursday night I was singing a different tune. We were still setting up tables and pricing kitchen stuff. We probably had at least 200 pieces of glassware from dishes to vases to little knick knacks. It was midnight before we called it quits – a 14 hour day.

Every time I either have a garage sale or attend one it amazes me all over again at the stuff we accumulate. And this was not even 60 years worth of stuff. Grandma and Grandpa had a house fire about 10 years ago and lost almost everything. Save about a dozen items, this was stuff they either received or bought since then.

I am not judging them in the least, but rather looking at my home and all the things it contains. I pride myself on being someone who fairly consistently goes through closets and clothes and kid’s toys and purges the unnecessary and useless items. But why is it that there is always more stuff the next time I come back to purge?

What could I do without? What would be hardest to give up? My friend Michelle recently moved their family of 6 and her and her husband are trying to go very minimalist.

If, for example, God called Mark and I to the mission field, what would I have a hard time leaving? What would I HAVE to bring with me?

I’m really not a hugely sentimental person. My “memoribilia” from growing up fits in one medium sized box. I have two quilts my grandmother made for my babies. Photos and scrapbooks of course. Only one set of books I care about – The Little House on the Prairie series I read growing up that I saved for Natalie. In a moment of honesty I admit I’d have a hard time leaving all my scrapbooking supplies 🙂

Despite whatever loss I would feel, it is just stuff. It might be painful to part with at first, but it’s amazing how quickly you forget when it’s not there where you see it every day.

Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”  Matthew 19:21-22

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WFMW: Five Ingredient Recipes

July 1, 2008 at 8:49 pm (Home) (, )

This week’s Works For Me Wednesday’s theme is to give your best five-ingredient recipe. This one is a recipe my mom used to make a lot and it is yummy. It has the added bonus of being a crockpot meal so I can put it in in the morning and, with a minimal amount of time, it’s ready for dinner.

It makes a really good size meal. I can cook it when we have 8 adults and it is plenty. Or, if I’m bringing dinner to someone who’s had a baby I’ll cook this, keep half for us and take half to them with a salad and some rolls.

Crock Pot Beef N Noodles

rump roast
1 pkg dry onion soup
3 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 package wide egg noodles

Put roast in crock pot in morning. Sprinkle dry onion soup over top. Dump in soup. Cook on low for 10-12 hours or high for 6 hours.

That evening, boil noodles according to package instructions. Break apart the roast – usually I can do this with just a couple of forks if it is cooked well enough. Stir well the meat well in the sauce. When the noodles are cooked, dump them in and stir.

Back to Shannon’s for more recipes.

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Carb overload

June 7, 2008 at 3:36 pm (Home) (, )

So years and years ago (like before my children were born I think) my brother gave me a breadmaker for Christmas. It was something I’d wanted for a long time. I promptly made two loaves of bread. Then it went on a shelf.

A couple months ago when we were going through the house, weeding out things for the adoption garage sale I came across it. I stared at it, trying to decide what to do.

You see I have wonderful memories of homemade bread growing up. For years my mom made all our bread, without the luxury of a breadmaking machine.

So I decided to keep it but told myself that if I didn’t make bread in the next 6 months I would sell it.

So I finally got to the store and bought bread flour, yeast, etc. Last night I made a loaf of whole wheat bread. There is nothing like fresh, warm bread with butter. Yum!

I’ve got a loaf of Italian Cheese Bread going now for our Spaghetti dinner tomorrow after church.

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At Last…My Patio

January 2, 2008 at 7:01 pm (Home)

I generally like home improvement projects. But every once in awhile I bite off more than I can chew.

Such was the case with 220 sq. ft of pavers that I bought over a year ago to extend our patio and make a nice little area next to our spa.

The pavers were delivered and sat…and sat. Then it was too hot to do anything. Then one day I went out, determined to start carving out the area of dirt. Ha! About 10 minutes later as I surveyed the area I had done – and looked at the remaining area I realized that I was in WAY over my head.

I quickly realized that it was time to call in the professionals. And then I promptly got busy with too many other things to actually look for said professional – reasonably priced.

Then thankfully, it’s Art to the rescue. Art is my friend Stacey’s dad. In our last house he put doors on our office and playroom for us and reconfigured our built in media niche. He is a home improvement genius! When we first ordered the pavers both he and his wife and Stacey and Jeff had moved and so he had a long list of projects to do at their places.

About two months ago he asked me if I still had the pavers waiting – I embarrassingly admitted "Yes" and he said he had some time to do some side jobs. Then his beautiful wife Susie (who is also our realtor) was diagnosed with breast cancer. So he’s been seeing her through two surgeries and the first two (of four) rounds of chemotherapy. Somehow he managed to squeeze us in and he spent 4 days this week working on our patio.

It looks gorgeous and it was done meticulously – the border put in cement, intricate corners. WAY better than we EVER would have done it! Thanks Art! (And thanks Susie for loaning him to us!)

Of course now I’m looking around and thinking I should really get to all that other stuff on my "backyard" list 🙂


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Wii Elbow

December 26, 2007 at 9:48 pm (Home)

I’ve got a serious case of Wii elbow…and Wii shoulder.

I think it might need medical attention 🙂

This year we opted for one "family gift" and purchased a Wii. Noah’s been bugging us for one since they came out but since we just bought the Gamecube like a year ago I thought that was pretty silly. Well you know, boys and their toys. Dad thought it would be great fun and something we could all play together. So we decided on the family gift. I figure you divide $250 by 4 gifts (2 kids, ours to each other) and that was pretty good.

So we’ve been having a blast. It was the hit of Christmas Day with the Aunts and Uncles and even grandparents getting in on some of the bowling action. The last two nights Mark and I have stayed up past 10 playing. He’s boxing as we speak.

We figure it’ll make a good "at home date night" so we can save up for the adoption 🙂

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