Sunday, February 28, 2010


I am officially "unemployed" again! Woo hoo!!

I think Jason is even more excited than me- he's just pretty darn spoiled and would like it to stay that way! (Notice: Jason want's me to clarify that unemployment for me is a good thing, I'm not looking for a job! haha!)

Let me tell you, though- I have a HUGE "When I'm not working anymore" to-do-list!
  • This week I'll be playing catch up on servicing some of our vending machines
  • Need to get going on a better website for Jason's remodeling business
  • Need to finish the Facebook "fan" page I started for our company. I've still got lots of work to do in collecting photos of Jason's work. We have not been super on the ball about before and after photos for the past 4 years...need to work on that too!

  • Make first draft of our 'family mission statement' written, then go over it with Jason
  • Get (pre) marriage audio books together on a jump drive for a friend
  • Get all my podcasts & music organized in iTunes and new things put on my iPhone to listen to.

  • I'd like to faux finish our kitchen chairs and my dresser...not sure to what yet though!
  • Time for spring cleaning of our clothing closets, Goodwill here I come!
  • Deep clean & organize our home office
  • It's time to reorganize my most used kitchen cupboards, they just always seem to get messy over time.
  • Gotta get to learning how to decorate wedding cakes for a wedding in May!

I'm sure there's more, this is just the written list beside me here!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

When things get "too quiet" with toddlers!

Grayson & Lilly managed to get both of themselves crammed into this diaper box AND sat contently watching Sesame Street for well over 20 minutes like this!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Service for Lexi

For anyone interested in attending:
The service for Lexi will be this coming Wednesday, February 25th, at 10am at Floral Haven Funeral Home in Broken Arrow.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pay it Forward

When we moved back in September, my mom and grandma graciously came and put shelf paper in all my kitchen cabinets, closets, and drawers! I appreciated that SO SO much- it was just so nice to have a fresh clean surface in a rental house before unpacking all of my stuff onto those surfaces!

Well, when we moved our friends Matthew & Jessica last weekend, I had the chance to pay it forward. You know, pass along the same kind gesture that was done to me!

Matthew's mom and I spent a good part of the afternoon putting shelf paper in the whole kitchen! I happened to have quite a bit of the same paper I used left over- Jess had commented just last week on how cute it was at my house!

Friday, February 19, 2010

MJS Moving Day

We helped our good friends, Matthew & Jessica, move to a rental house in Midtown near us last Saturday! They helped us the whole day we moved back in August, so we gladly spent the day with them! (Sorry, none of the pictures of Matthew turned out, and I never made it into any on my camera.)

"My Muscles"
(When we helped Jason's parents move several years ago we showed up and his Grandpa exclaimed to me, "Did you bring your muscles!?" and I pointed to Jason and I said, "I sure did!")

"Happy to live in a house Jessica"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lexi lost her battle today...

My friend Danielle texted me about noon today with some very sad news:
Lexi Alt passed away this morning around 6:30 CST in St. Louis.

So, I ask that you please pray for her family - her mom and dad- and 5 brothers and sisters (one is her identical twin, Lindsey.) as they face the days ahead.

Here's Donna's last blog update on Wednesday the 17th (yesterday)

It has almost been an entire week since Lexi had her transplant. The doctors told us that the recovery afterwards will be a marathon not a sprint. They informed us that we would face bumps along the way. That is exactly what this past week has been like. Lexi has been bleeding internally and we arent really sure why. They think it is coming from the area where they connected her intestine to the liver. Hopefully it will resolve on its own.
She has shown some signs of rejection. The doctors have been able to manage it so far. Her levels are actually really good right now. That is comforting. It gets a bit stressfull considering everything that can go wrong. I am thankful we are doing well so far and that we haven't faced anything too big to handle. Please keep praying. This will be a very hard year for us all but, we are eager to face whatever comes our way, on this side of the mountain.
My oldest sister Debbie and her husband Mark came to visit us. It was a short but sweet visit. She helped us give Lexi a bath and played playdough with her. Lexi was a sweet little girl most of the time...especially after she received her pain medicine. I like to call that her happy medicine. Sometimes I wish they could give it too her a little more often!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lent (a repost from last year)

First, no, I am not Catholic. (I just think that several of the Catholic traditions are wonderful for all Christians.)

LB got me thinking about it again. It was something my youth pastor in high school always encouraged. Plus For the Family's Sake encourages it too.

A time of fasting and focus on God. It's definitely a tradition I want to be in our home as we establish our family and our traditions. In high school my youth pastor always encouraged us to give something up for the 6 weeks before Easter: sweets, TV, video games etc. and set that extra focus on our relationship with God. EDIT: Lent begins today, February 17th which is Ash Wednesday.

I want to share an excerpt from For the Family's Sake from the chapter "A Look at the Everyday All Around Us-All Year Long." I feel that this is an excellent explanation of the Lenten season. (Highlights are from my reading of the book.)

"The early church chose Easter as the best moment of the year for new believers and their families to be baptized and to join the inner circle of believers. The converts came from a variety of backgrounds, many being scarred emotionally from past hard lives. Prosperous merchants (both men and women), scruffy odd jobbed men, slave women who had been used sexually since before puberty, solid Jewish families who already knew about the God of the Scriptures, previously cruel masters needing to learn compassion and humility, people with no self-worth who needed building up, women beautifully dressed but imprisoned as chattel of a Roman husband, contrasting with a runaway slave or two - what a crowd! Nothing like this had ever been seen before.
Early church converts represent the varies throng of humanity that chooses to follow Christ: He promised full forgiveness and assurance of eternal life to each and every one. Typically, they started listening to the Gospel and then believed it was true. They then accepted the Lordship of Christ by a personal choice. They could pray right away, but they still had a lot to learn too. They listened carefully to teaching in the Christian fellowship and asked for baptism, thus burning the bridges behind them. This decision was courageous, and it must have felt especially strange to those who usually expected others (such as slave owners or husband) to chose for them!
Newcomers were startled to have their world turned upside down. From then on, they learned, all the long-held traditions about who was more and less important in society had to be forgotten. Gone. Here there was to be no rift or superiority in any way: Jew or Greek, Roman, Asian, or African. Here there was to be no distinctions between rich or poor, slave or free, educated elite or illiterate "scum." Converts must have been startled and offended when they found out that the lowly were to be respected as much as a Roman centurion in all his fine adornment, as much as a learned rabbi. In this assembly such a one had to listen respectfully to a slave or to a person who shoveled manure. For many the great shock was that women were equal with men. Prejudices and habits of a lifetime and entire cultures had to be broken. And this was only the beginning. People would not have drifted into such a society, for it asked for a great deal of change. They came because they were sure that Christian claims were true (Galatians 3:26-29).
Anyway, the preparation and anticipation for Easter was enormous. By the time the annual festival came, the baptismal candidates had been instructed carefully. They would have shown that they were trying to follow God's ways in their everyday, ordinary lived as they were waiting to be baptized. Those who had been thieves had given up stealing and had a decent job. Men had stopped visiting prostitutes, some of them had married. They and others were learning how to have homes of order and love, where each person, whatever the age or gender was respected. A few older women helped instruct others in this practical, every day aspect of learning to live a Christian life.
The whole church waited for the special annual rejoicing of Easter. Poorer families would have saved up so that a special meal could be enjoyed on the big day. Cleanliness really goes with godliness: Houses and forecourt would be swept in readiness for the special celebration.
But they were taught that visible cleanup was not enough. When we celebrate something very wonderful, we prepare our inner selves too. Of course, in that congregation, some were just stopping the most blatant sins. They struggled to stop cheating with their weights in the market or abusing their wives and so on. Others seemed picture perfect on the outside, but their Lord had told them not to look merely on the outside. God looks on the heart.
There is always internal house-cleaning for people to do. And they were going to take their first Communion after their baptism, which always needs careful inner preparation. Thus it becomes the custom that the days leading up to Easter were special for personal reflection. "Is my inner self reflecting Christ's life?" They and we also must ask ourselves, "When His light shines into my heart and my everyday life, what does it show up that needs changing?"
This type of questioning and subsequent insight clear the way for goodness to be chosen and grow in our everyday lives, with God's help. This is the best preparation for celebrating our response to God's love to us in Jesus! Of course, we listen, read, understand and pray to have God's help every single day of the year. But busy routines can easily result in habitual complacency. We can get stuck along the way and stop making progress. It is good to set aside a special thoughtful season regularly to "take stock" and respond.
Christians came to call this special preparation time Lent. This season emphasizes taking Christ's Word right into our everyday lives and choosing to obey even the hard requirements.
Of course, not all of us now who are Christians are in traditions that still use the beautiful liturgies for Lent. But we should pause to consider the ideas behind such practice. Such a response to Christ's life, death and resurrection, and offer of salvation to each of us personally is more appropriate than getting lost in wrapping paper or chocolates. We are in danger of even losing even the concept of a truly Christian celebration. The price of God, for Jesus, was high. Dare we be trivial or materialistic in our memorial times? It is better not to sing hymns of thanks and praise that to do so glibly.
Old wisdom decreed that there should be extra simplicity in the weeks before these two (Easter & Christmas) times of remembrance for Christians. Such wisdom is practical. Chosen simplicity for a season can mean more time for reflection , prayer and reading together or alone. Simplicity provides a contrast with the celebration feast! For, yes, we are creatures of body as well as spirit, it is good to celebrate our Christian belief at home and in our communities."
( pg. 247-250)

Monday, February 15, 2010

101 Reasons, Part II

I started this 2 weeks ago...and didn't finish till this morning!
Hey, it's still "valentine's week" isn't it!? ;)

Happy Valentine's to my dear sweet Jason!
If you don't remember part one, here it is.
Here goes part two in no particular order (forgive me if there are a few repeats from last year, if they come to the top of my head they must be worth repeating!)

1. He gave me my very own DeWalt sander this past year so I can sand the edges on any of my projects at home! (like the heart above.)
2. He also got me my very own DeWalt cordless drill this year too- he's bound and determined that my 'house' tools be better than most guys.
3. He reads ALL the time.
4. He is as practical as practical can get.
5. One of his favorite phrases is, "Did you Google it?"
6. He LOVES Finnigan. I am totally surprised how much he loves a cat!
7. He is in a mega skills development stage (woodworking) right now and I couldn't be more proud of him!
8. He produces such beautiful work (wood, tile, etc.) in people's homes. Again he makes me very proud!
9. He's so level headed
10. He sends me sweet texts often.
11. He encourages me to take photos of everything I do. (and everything hedoes!)
12. He questions everything that "everyone else is doing"
13. He is a good friend to his friends.
14. He's gotten hooked on Google Reader too!
15. He faithfully plays "laser" or "chase" with Finnigan every night.
16. He reaches things that are too high for me ALL the time!
17. He let me get an iPhone this past year before he did!
18. He loves The Count of Monte Cristo as much as me. I don't know how many times we've watched it together!
19.He lets me keep the thermostat around 74 in the winter!
20. He now does 'pop' days (filling our vending machines) with his 15-year-old brother. He purposes to spend those days helping Kevin become a solid young man.
21.He tells me he loves me at the end of almost all our phone calls.
22. He is my best friend ever
23. He gives such solid sound advice in many areas. He is always very conscientious to give advice only when asked. A skill I am acquiring from him.
24. He loves to eat most of my creative dinners- Taco Rolls have become an all time favorite!
25. He can do all sorts of crazy big number math in his head. I loved math in school, but I think he's going to be our kids' math teacher!
26. He cleaned the bathroom at his shop recently on his own initiative. (I hope that becomes a habit!!!)
27. He's just plain ol' smart in my book.
28.He calls to check on me in the middle of the day most days.
29. He prefers to be cared for by a happy-not-overly-busy wife, therefore when I'm done being a nanny at the end of this month, he's told me I'm not ever allowed to work outside our home again. (Yipee!!)
30. He always passes along compliments to me that he hears from others about me.
31.He lets my buy Mrs. Myers dish washing detergent off
32. He plays/entertains children very well- he's going to be a fantastic fun daddy!
33. He listens to the lyrics of songs- and knows what he is actually listening to. I could listen to a song with not so great lyrics and never tell you what the words said, just that I like the overall sound.
34. He got me an easel off Freecycle so I can paint my baby gifts and whatnot on it.
35. He is very conscientious of my hobbies and finding ways to help me with them.
36. He is adventurous to the core.
37. He is a doer, not a watcher.
38. He encourages me to blog. He thinks journaling is a very healthy thing.
39. We're working on our garden together for this upcoming summer already.
40. He's so motivated to build his business. Most people have no idea how hard starting your own company can be, but he never seems to tire of it!
41.He's an awesome speller
41.He watches chick flicks with me sometimes.
43. He is so good with directions and maps. He's thrilled to have Google Maps on his iPhone.
44. He committed to doing '100 days with no sugar' with me, starting the week before Thanksgiving!
45. He told me last week it's been really great for him to not eat sugar and would like to stay this way.
46. He is learning and growing constantly.
47. His thoughts are very well thought out. Sometimes I call him "The Thinker".
48. He encourages me to try lots of things that wouldn't necessarily do on my own.
49. He is my protector- I feel safe with him.
50. He discovered and got me signed up for it too!
51. He works hard to be of help to his family and close friends whenever possible!
52. He's a fantastic listener.
53. Sometimes he will come home early from work when it's nice out and take me on a long walk.
54. He loves going to the ocean and the mountains about equally.
55. He likes me to come watch him play racquetball. (He usually plays at least once a week.)
56. He drinks over a gallon of water most every day! He and his water bottle are attached at the hip!
57. He cried when Ellie died in Up. "Because you're my Ellie, Andrea"
58. He likes to go on picnics with me.
59. He gave me "Two hours of handyman services from SCI (our remodeling business)" in my stocking this past Christmas- you know, so he could finish some of MY projects!
60. He pays for several of my magazine subscriptions because he knows how much I love to read them! (Martha Stewart Living, etc!!)
61. In fact, he generally doesn't mind when I spend money buying books off or He's a big reading supporter!
62. Tacos are one of his food groups.
63. He now insists that I put pumpkin or squash in my pancake batter- I snuck it in at first until he discovered how much he loves pancakes that way!
64. He loves day hiking at the local state parks.
65. He doesn't mind me spending several hours at my parent's pool with my mom most afternoons in the summer!!
66.Our friends always give us a hard time about the "cheese & honey" budget at our house- Jason goes through a lot! I can't imagine having several sons like him someday!
67. He takes good care of our yard.
68. He loves to be in God's beautiful creation!
69. He purposes to be an early riser.
70. He's a pro at helping people move!
71. He keeps my computer running smooth- believe it or not, my computer is an ancient 7 years old and it still runs great!
72. He's learning to be a list maker like me. :)
73. He gladly eats oatmeal if I'm in a hurry some mornings.
74. He loves to try new things!
75. He is a complex thinker, but likes living simply.
76. He takes good care of my little car, "Eva"
77. He always hangs up his bath towels!
78. He likes to take me to Cosmos and share a plate of Italian Nachos with me!
79. He prefers to eat at home the most- he almost doesn't like restaurant food anymore and would rather have our normal healthy fare in Andrea's Kitchen.
80. He brags about my cooking all the time in front of me.
81. He should never have allergies ever- he eats at least a cup of local honey each week!
82. He loves my long long hair!
83. He always puts his clothes in the hamper!
84. He rarely gets sick. He credits it to all the water he drinks each day.
85. He loves camping
86. He likes to watch funny shows & movies that are clean.
87. He sets the standards in our home.
88. He loves to pick me up to hug me.
89. He keeps me warm all night long! (I'm always freezing,even in the summer sometimes!)
90.He always opts to wear regular athletic shorts for biking- none of that spandex stuff he says!
91. He always brings back his "tupperwares" with the lids from his lunch (part of not being wasteful, we'd go through a TON of Ziploc bags if thats what we used!)
92. He talks to me a lot ~ every woman's dream in a husband!!
93. He asks for my two cents and considers it on most decisions.
94. He finished my pantry recently!! It makes me SO proud to show it off to anyone who comes to our house!
95. He takes care of his tools.
96. He got me hooked on Smartwool socks this winter- my toes have stayed toasty!!
97. He doesn't care what he looks like- even if we are headed to a wedding and his hands are stained with glue. Oh well he says, it's just me!
98.He always asks for more butter on his popcorn, every time!
99. He loves to take me on 'little' dates- just to get coffee, go on a walk, or meet and eat our packed lunches.
100. He spells love t-i-m-e!
101. He's mine, all mine!

Happy Valentine's Day , Jason!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lexi is Transplanted!

I saw this on Facebook this evening!! Yay!

Jenifer Lexi's surgery was a success! She is now in the PICU and doing well!! Now we just need to keep praying that her body will properly accept the liver and she and her family can begin enjoying life again!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Bargain Boots!

Thank you Target for marking these down to four and a half dollars!

Plus they are size 5!!
(It's becoming rare these days to find a size 5 at Target.
~Vanessa told me she's gonna write a complaint letter.
We small people need shoes too!)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lilly has pigtails!

She's right at about 10 1/2 months here- I though she finally had enough hair to try out pigtails!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Craft Time!

Our friend recently asked us if we'd seen the movie "Avatar" yet- my response was that in general I don't like sitting through movies, especially three hour movies. I like to watch movies on our portable DVD player while I'm doing something making baby gifts! I think I was watching (mostly listening) to The Count of Monte Cristo while I made this one.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Friday it snowed ALL day- we went sledding a couple blocks over at the Harwelden Mansion.

This is the first time in 3 years of marriage we've gone sledding- only for me to discover all my ski clothes are in a bin at my parents we broke out the matching coveralls!

I think my sophomore year of HS we had our annual Christmas Banquet at the Harwelden- I sure don't miss the days of high school formals!

A couple of friends attempting to snowboard on their sleds...

dubbed the American Neo-Gothic photo

Look at him- he doesn't even have a scarf! I had 4 pairs of socks on and my toes were frozen by the time we hiked back home!

Robert crashed us

Nobody ever wants to clean up the aftermath of playing in the snow :(