All About Me- 2009 Version

Almost one year ago, I recieved a tag from several friends on facebook to write “25 Random Things About Me”. I remember at the time that I was pregnant, tired, and so not interested and doing it, but since I kept getting tagged, I spent several hours thinking up “random” stuff about me.

It was hard!
But it was soooo good to get out!
I remember finishing and going back over my “random things”….and thinking, wow, I guess #2 or #3, etc., really did mean a lot to me for me to write it down.
Anyway, the last several months I have been thinking about those answers. I realized, that since this blog is dedicated to my children, it would be good for them to see how much I change over the years. So…
 …at end of every year, I plan on re-writing my “25 Random Things About Me” list. Some things will change yearly, and some will never change, but I think it would be interesting for them see my progression in life. Soooo…
25 Random Things About Me
1. My entire house is white, cabinets, counters, furniture slipcovers, etc. People freak out when they come over but they don’t realize that white is BLEACHABLE people!! Sooo kid friendly!
2. My engagement ring is a heirloom from my Nannie, Lavina Wollmer. She and my Gramps enjoyed 67 years of marriage. What a wonderful heritage to pass on! I am honored to wear it.
3. Since my husband didn’t have to buy me an engagement ring, he bought me a wedding band from Tiffany’s. I am a firm believer that everyone needs a blue box experience at least once in their life.
3. I LOVE to laugh. For some reason I see things from a funny angle and always find myself laughing over the craziest things. Laughter has really become my greatest form of medicine.
4. We lived in Carnelian Bay, on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe my second grade year. After being snowed in more times than I would like to admit, I developed a small dislike for snow. :)
5. My husband skydives. When I got pregnant I made him stop. Am I a horrible person??
6. In case it wasn’t obvious by the previous, I would never skydive, nor do I have the desire to do anything extreme that would put my life in danger!!
7. I love to cook. I own tons of cookbooks and I read them for fun. When I am stressed, I cook. {Which explains why I am NOT 80 lbs, despite the large amount of running around after my kids that I do. *sigh*}
8. My very first car was a black Geo Storm. It got stolen my freshman year of college.
9. I come from a long line of financial genuises. Unfortunately I did not inherit that gene, so I work very hard to be good with my money.
10. Due to #9, money used to be my biggest worry. I am so thankful to say that over the last several years I have learned that God will always take care of you. He has never forgotten us and things always work out in our favor. (Mattew 6 is my motto) God is so good!
11. I met my husband when I was 16 and he was 12! I can honestly say he was the LAST person I thought I would ever marry. God works in mysterious ways! :) I got the BEST ONE ladies!
12. My style icon is/was Caroline Bessette Kennedy. She made the slick back bun look so in. All of us bun people need to be eternally grateful.
13. My dad is a pilot. I spent most of my childhood in a plane.
14. I hate it when people talk to you with their sunglasses on. You can read a person by their eyes, so what are they hiding?
15. My house is never as clean as I would like it. I have a little munchkin who seems to undo all the tiding up I accomplish.
16. I was in love with Toby Mac as a teenager. I find it very funny that my son idolizes him and his favorite CD to listen to is Alive and Transported. He can literally quote the entire CD.
17. I call my mom everyday, sometimes several times a day. She is a great mother.
18. Lately I have been consumed by compassion. I don’t know if it’s the mom in me, but I can feel people’s hurt and pain. When people cry, I cry with them. Sometimes I feel so silly about this, and angry at myself that I get caught up in other people’s problems and lives. I just can’t seem to help myself.
19. My beautiful baby girl was due on May 11, 2009- my birthday. Thankfully she came 6 days early, May 5, 2009, so now we both have our own birthdays. :)
20. My husband is my best friend. We can spend hours talking about nothing. Every day that I get to spend with him is wonderful.
21. I used to love to talk on the phone. Now however, my life is so hectic, that I am almost embarassed to call people. Usually they will hear screaming and crying in the background and have to put up with my thoughts being sidetracked every 5 mins. Really, at this stage in my life, I feel so less social and so much more focused on getting my kids to behave.
22. I love candles- but not colored candles. They have to be pale gold, cream or white and have a citrus or flower scent. If you never know what to get me, you will be safe with a candle. And Trapp Candles are my favorite, just a little FYI! ha
23. I am a slob in comparison to my husband. His side of the closet is COLOR COORDINATED. It makes me feel like such a loser!! My lack of organizational skills is one of my biggests beefs with myself.
24. My baby boy Jacob and my precious girl, Evelyn, are the joys of my life. You never understand a mother’s love until you actually become one. I would give my life for them.
25. Jesus is my all. He is so patient with me and loves me for who I am. I have made so many mistakes over the years, but He has always been right there to pick me up. I can’t imagine life without Him.

Me…the year we lived in Tahoe, 1983-1984 ish, with my Cabbage Patch doll and some random tank that my mom put me?!? Ok, Wendy’s!

So, my dear friends and readers, here’s how this works….

I know I have many people who read this blog that I don’t know very well, or maybe I don’t know at all…and even the ones who I know very well…you have been tagged! I want to know more about you, so please do the following:

1. Do a blog post with “25 Random Things About You”, and if I don’t subscribe to your blog, email me} and let me know, or leave a comment below.

2. If you don’t blog {which seems to be most of my friends}- email me with your answers…OR this might be a good time to start a blog. :)

3. And if you are really brave, do your 25 Random Things in the comment area below.

Looking forward to reading about you all…


Wollmer Family Vacation 2009

So where have I been the last week? Well….

Five years ago, this past Novemeber, Brandon and I spent 10 wonderful honeymoon days in Walt Disney World, in Florida. How we ended up spending our honeymoon there is a long story, but we swear it was the best thing we could have ever done… SO MUCH FUN!!! 

Here we are on the Disney Boardwalk, five years ago:

For the last couple years, my parents have taken all of us Wollmer kids, and our families, on a vacation sometime in December as our Christmas gift. This year, to everyone’s excitement, they flew us all to Florida and treated us to a week at the Disney World Resorts. It was awesome- all decorated for Christmas!

Brandon and I five years later {2009} at Epcot’s Canda Exhibit:

Not too bad for five years and two kids later, huh? :) {And yes, I am still addicted to pashminas and scarves…}

This was also Jake’s first plane ride, EVER {Evy flew with us to Nashville in July}. We were a little nervous how he would do on two flights that equaled 6-7 hours total. Despite a couple breakdowns, he did pretty well.

Here he is on take-off from Sacramento airport, on our way to FL, with all 14 family members cheering him on…

Once we arrived, the Disney bus picked us up and took us to the Yacht Club Resort, the same place we stayed on our honeymoon. INCREDIBLE hotel, can’t say enough about it.

The back enterance of the hotel:

The lighthouse and pier. This is where you catch boats to Epcot, Hollywood Studios {formerly the MGM Studios}, and the Boardwalk.

The view from our room. To the right is Disney’s Boardwalk Hotel and to the left is the Boardwalk which is complete with candy shops and boardwalk fair type booths.

Well, I took over 300 pictures!! And that was nothing compared to my sister {who has an awesome camera}- she took over 700! So I will try not to bore you with too many of them…

but here’s a *few* … :)

We left our house at 4 AM on Monday morning. This was Jake. He stayed asleep while we dressed him and laid just like this until we had to carry him out the door. He did wake up though for the plane ride which he was so excited about!

My niece Brookie, Brandon and Jake at the dinosaur play area at Animal Kingdom. Jake loved learning about dinosaurs! {And that leash lasted all of a couple hours, BTW}
My nieces Emma, Brooke and Brittany with Jake on the boat that takes us to the Boardwalk.
My brother Brad, who came all the way from London to be with us, and Jake out on the Boardwalk.
Jake picking out his Mickey ears in the Magic Kingdom park.
Ok, these gloves were the first thing he saw after he picked out his ears. He threw a complete fit when we passed the kiosk and WOULD NOT give it up. We finally told him if we bought those gloves that they would be the only thing he got. He stopped crying and agreed. Gramps went and bought them for him.
Well let me tell you, these gloves were GLUED to Jake’s hands, literally. He didn’t take them off for the entire trip and they are black with dirt. He didn’t even ask for anything else. He LOVES those gloves.
Good buy, I guess!

Jake meeting Buzz Lightyear, with the gloves, of course.
Brandon and Jake taking their picture by the sword in the stone…again, with gloves.
Meeting Mickey and Minnie….
with gloves.
And gloves again, on the Monorail going back to the hotel.

Eating an Italian lunch in Italy at Epcot and seeing that he can’t eat with them, minus gloves. The food was so yummy!!
In China, these child Chinese acrobats were INCREDIBLE. This girl was tossing this ceramic vase around with her feet…
And if the vase wasn’t enough…she went for the table.
Eating in China with my sister, Pammy and her husband, Dave.
Jake and my nephew, Brandon, getting on the ride Test Track.
Doing an excited jig about meeting Pluto…
And the gloves reappear to meet Donald… {note the black hands}
Meeting Goofy…
Jake was so excited to see that Goofy had the same gloves as him.
Finding Nemo…and the gloves.
Daddy, Jake {and the gloves} in Bruce’s mouth. Jake’s a bit terrified.

Me and my precious boy with “the other shark”…can’t remember his name??
Oh yes, and gloves…
My boys in the rain. It POURED and POURED. No joke. We about died. So not prepared for that.
But the gloves made it through the storm…thank God.
My neice, Brooke, feeding Evy breakfast. Oh my beautiful girl, she was sooo very easy, hardly ever cried and hung in there the entire trip. She lounged in her stroller and smiled at everyone. Such a sweatheart. I love her!
And she looks like such a Wollmer in this picture… I can’t get over her Wollmer coloring!
Oh yes, I can’t say enough about how helpful my nieces were with Evy. This picture is an excellent example of how on top of it these girls are with their baby cousin. Thank you, girls!
Epcot has a wonderful exploratorium type area for kids. This fire engine was the # 1 hit for Jake. We could not tear him away.
Me showing Jake what number the fire engine was…
On December 5, my brother’s son, Andrew, turned 14. Wow, 14!! Where has time gone?
Anyway, we ate in France that night…here are the waiters singing in French to Andrew….
and Andrew being a typical teen and taking a picture of it! :)
Brandon caught this picture of French exhibit at Epcot. So beautiful.
The kiddie pool at our hotel. There is real sand at the bottom. Jake LOVED it…his cousins took him and played with him that little area. He is so spoiled.
You know…
this trip was so fun. However, I have to say, dragging a 2, almost 3, year old {who is right smack in the midst of his terrible 2′s I might add} on a trip to a different time zone with GOBS of stimulus is ….
We had so many tantrums we lost count. Honestly, we wanted to pull our hair out most of the trip.
But something is so wonderful about being with family.
When Jake threw himself on the ground and his body went limp whenever anyone tried to pick him up….
my family stuck in there with me. And when people would ask if the little boy was with us…my family proudly said yes.
Thank you Wollmers….
Thank you Mom and Dad, for taking us and making sure we were all taken care of, and thank you to my brothers and sisters who worked so hard on all the planning and made sure we all had a great time. I am so proud of you and glad to call you my family. There is nothing better than spending time with you and I will cherish every moment.
Moments like this sweet one…my brother Jeff holding my Evelyn on the plane ride home. Could anything be sweeter?
Or moments like this one…where we are ALL together, and despite the trouble it took for all of us to get there and be together, I am so glad we did it. What a beautiful family.

Thank you, God, for my family. I have been so blessed. I couldn’t have asked for better people to call my relatives. Family is about sticking together, and I am so glad we have all stuck in there.
I love you guys!

Black Friday Mania

Well, I have no idea where I have been the last 33 years {yes, I’m 33}, BUT…

I guess I didn’t know what “Black Friday” was really all about.

For example, I had no idea that people REALLY camped out in front of places like Toys R Us, Target, and Walmart. I mean, I have heard about such stuff, but I really didn’t think SANE people did this, just the crazies who were DESPERATE.

But was I sure wrong.

I was shocked beyond measure when my dear sister-in-law Brittony informed me that she and her boyfriend, Shawn, were going to wait outside of Walmart all night long in order to buy a video monitor. And then my good friend Alisha excitedly told me that she and her husband were getting up at 4:30 am to be at Target by 5 am.- just for fun, she loves the excitment. These are sane people. Wow. {Oh yes, must mention that Alisha managed to get me the portable DVD player that we have been wanting…thanks Alisha!! xoxo}

And then there was me.

I did get up early…very early for me. 6:30 AM to be exact. That’s a good 1/2 hr – hour earlier than I usually do, and let me tell you, it was tough. My alarm hasn’t seen that early hour in a long time.

But I was up to do some shopping of my own…ONLINE. My very favorite baby shoe seller, Mia Joie, was having a sale at 7AM, and this is what I got {picture courtesy of Mia Joie}

These are the best shoes ever- they go with everything, and I was soooo happy to snag a pair in Evy’s size, as she has outgrown her others.

But there is more.

If you read my Thanksgiving post you heard that my old washing machine kicked the bucket. So after my online shopping spree, we very begrudgingly went to Lowes to purchase a new one. I say begrudgingly because when you aren’t expecting it, and you are saving your money for your car’s air conditioning to be fixed, the last thing you want is to buy a new washer… but buy we did- at 1/2 off!! Here’s our new washer {Don’t look too closely at the baseboards, you will see the water damage from our old one…ugh}:

I love it!!

And since Brandon and I could not stomach the idea of going to Target at 5am, we thought we would go at 11:30, just see what all the hype was about and to get some last minute items for our trip to Florida on Monday {we’re going on vacation!! whooo hooo!!}.

It was STILL chaos at 11:30, THANK GOD we didn’t go earlier… I would have DIED.

Anyway, we managed to get a couple new DVD’s on sale for Jake. Here he is completely mesmerized by Kung Fu Panda. Seriously, I don’t think Jake has sat this still for …. well, for maybe NEVER. If you know Jake this is a big deal… He loved it!

And one more exciting thing… Evy is getting ready to crawl! Hasn’t gone anywhere yet, but is getting up on all fours! Oh I love her…

So that’s my first Black Friday “experience”. I’m curious, did you join in on the Black Friday Mania?

And oh yes, are there any Florida people out there who could tell me what the weather is like?


Happy Thanksgiving

What a beautiful Thanksgiving!

This year, as we did last year, we ate our Thanksgiving dinner with my parents at Wine and Roses, a quaint hotel and spa in Lodi. It was five years ago this month that we had our wedding reception in the ballroom, where the Thanksgiving buffet was set up.

Psalm 34:1 says, “I will bless the Lord in all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth”, so today….

…despite the fact that my washing machine called it quits last night right in the middle of me completing my 15th load of laundry {wow, where’d that come from? ha}…

I will thank the Lord for my family – my handsome husband, my precious babies, and my extended family. Brandon and I have lost too many close friends this year… their families are missing them this holiday season. I feel very blessed to have my family here with me.

Thank you Jesus for all your blessings in our life. We are so very fortunate to have eachother.

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours….

The most important part…dessert. Looks like Jake is chowing down already! :)
Jake and his plate
Evy’s first Thanksgiving…
Us…bloated and full…
My dad on his SECOND plate…no joke. He has the metabolism of a teenager.
Thanks Mumsy and Gramps for such a wonderful dinner! We love you!

Being Thankful for the Little Things…

I know it’s not quite Thanksgiving yet, but yesterday and today I have been thinking about how thankful I am for my husband, my kids, my family- parents, siblings, in laws….

I have been so blessed. I never want to forget to thank God for them. Ever. Life is too short.

This morning I saw the following interview on I have not followed NieNie’s blog long, just a few short months, but I have been inspired by her sheer joy of being alive and being thankful for the little things. Not to mention her unashamed attitude about her faith. It should convict all of us to be more outspoken about our own beliefs and faith.
If you haven’t heard of her, or read her blog, you should check it out. Here’s the interview:

So today I am thankful for a beauitful day in the park yesterday with Bryony and Scout. So fun to be with them, I wish they lived closer!

Our little monkeys…

My precious girl, all bundled up and still so very happy…

And here’s a picture I stole off our cousin Wayne Miraflor’s facebook. It was taken at cousin Jena’s wedding. How much cuter could these two be?

And I am thankful for one more thing that I think, if you know me, will surprise your socks off…

Walmart Pumpkin Pie!!

I know, I know, I despise Walmart {and actually refuse to step foot in their store}, but my in laws brought one over on Sunday night and I have say I have devoured a piece a day. I’m very close to saying it might be better than my homemade pumpkin pie.

Dear God, what has happened to me?? :)

Happy Thanksgiving week to you all! May God bless your week! xoxo

Bad Habits

Let’s see…

Tonight I didn’t brush Jake’s teeth, even after he ate two full plates of fries, a half a cheeseburger and an entire vanilla ice cream dish from Leatherby’s. See, he fell asleep in car after the wedding, so to be honest, I didn’t even wash his hands, even after he had been crawling around the floor at the wedding or after he had probably touched everyone and everything at the resturant.

Nope, we used a good ole’ fashioned wipee after dinner, put him in the car seat and drove home.

Ok, I did get a nice hot, soapy washcloth and try to rub his hands clean after we got home and had put him into bed.

But I did not brush his teeth.

In fact, on regular days, I only brush his teeth at night, if it could be considered that, after I wrestle him to the ground and try my hardest to get past his lock jaw to scrub the back teeth. I do try though. So if he comes down with cavities, please don’t blame me.

Furthermore, I did not feed my child any fruits or vegetables today. Pancakes and eggs for breakfast, cheese quesadilla for lunch and the above mentioned for dinner. And a few pieces of cake at the reception.

God forgive me. I hope my kids don’t turn out mental or deranged. Amen.

Highs and Lows

I have come to realize that parenting has it’s highs and lows.

Yes I have.

For example, I don’t think I have mentioned that my brother in law, Bryson is getting married today. Yes, tonight at 7. So last night we had the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner afterwards.

This is a little of what my “high and low” day looked like:

3:00 AM- went to bed…a  big LOW- Yeah, I worked all day long Thursday making a special gift for my new nephew Lincoln who will arrive in March. I will post about that gift very soon. Anyway, I finished at midnight Thursday and then started cleaning my very neglected house until 3. Only got the Living Room cleaned, but I guess that is was a start, guess I will count that a HIGH.

7:00 AM- Brandon’s alarm goes off. He is working on a fence job on his day off, which means I will have no help finishing up the housecleaning-another big LOW, but we made a bunch money off the job, which means we can pay our property taxes next month, BIG BIG BIG HIGH. Thank you Jesus!

8:00 AM- I’m cleaning. Thanks to my little munchkins, I only finish cleaning their rooms and the guest room{which I guess is a HIGH?}. I still have the most daunting task left, the kitchen and the family room {which is piled high with about 20 loads of laundry}- LOW.

1:00 PM- Bryony, David and Scout arrive. I don’t think I mentioned they were coming? Well, they are here! BIG HIGH! :) Big LOW, however, that they can’t find a place to sit in the family room due to the laundry and can’t wash their hands in the kitchen sink due to the dishes… *SIGH*

3:00 PM- kids down for a nap…HIGH!!!  I finish picking up the kitchen…HIGH!! Brandon gets home and is S.T.A.R.V.I.N.G…..for some reason he has forgotten to eat ALL DAY LONG!?! How in the world does one forget to eat? Must be how he keeps his figure. Anway, big LOW that I have to stop folding laundry and make him something {he can’t even make a PB&J- no joke}.

4:30 PM- Put together a pasta dish with the 5 ingredients I have in the fridge and pantry. I have not been able to make it to the store in 3 days, we have no food- LOW. My pasta dish, however, was devoured by everyone and labeled “the best pasta ever”… big HIGH! :)

5:00 PM- start getting kids and myself ready for the rehearsal, which is in Sacramento. I change myself and Evy 3 times- LOW. I dress Jake in his skinny tan cords, baby blue polo, forest green Crewcuts sweater and his Chuck Taylors…he looks like a stud, he makes me smile- HIGH.

6:00 PM- Throw everyone in the car-literally, and drive like a maniac to Sacramento, we are a little late {no surprise there} – LOW

7:00 PM- I leave the kids with Brandon and I go to the mall for some R&R.- HIGH. Brandon keeps calling me during the walk around the mall telling me to hurry; LOW.

7:45 PM- Pick up family and head to Bucca Di Beppo for a FABULOUS dinner hosted by my in laws. They seriously out did themselves. So yummy. BIG BIG HIGH.

8:15 PM- Food has not even arrived yet, and Jake is hopping from chair to chair. We sit him next to the 3 Meeks boys {as in Harry and Melissa Meeks} thinking that will help keep him occupied. Big mistake. I look over about 10 minutes later and find the 3 Meeks boys sitting calmly playing with their toys and EATING THEIR SALAD {kids eat salad?!? wow} while my son is in his chair jumping up and down like a Mexican Jumping Bean and screaming “Taaa daaa!”.

I make a mental note to order more discipline books from Dr. Dobson. Big LOW.

9:15 PM- dessert arrives {ice cream cones and cheesecake} it was too die for. HIGH. Jake gets one cone {even though he never ate dinner} and keeps asking for more. We tell him no. Ten minutes later I turn around and notice he has one. He went to every table and asked for one until someone had mercy on him. LOW. Double LOW when I find out it was his THIRD one.

9:45 PM- Pile everyone into car. Drive home. Brandon is exhausted can barely keep his eyes open, thanks to the $$ fence he built today. I realize we have no milk, so must stop at store.Get to store, walk around trying to remember my forgotten list {of course} and come back to car to find that Brandon had climbed into passenger seat and was dead asleep, along with Evy. Jake however, thanks to the 3 ice cream cones, was wide awake and singing Hillsong United at the top of his lungs. UGH…this whole comment is a LOW.

11:30 PM- Arrive home, we put kids in bed. Brandon goes to sleep, I clean up kitchen.

12:30 AM- Bed HIGH, HIGH, HIGH.

2:00 AM- Bryony, who is pregnant tries to open the window in their room because I forgot to turn down the heater, there are three people sleeping in the guest room and its like a furnace in there and did I mention she is pregnant? Bless her heart. The house alarm goes off when the window opens. My husband sleep runs to turn it off, Bryony feels horrible, and I feel like DIRT. Why didn’t I think to turn the heat down?!? LOW

4:30 AM- Evy cries. Normally I would let her cry it out, but with guests, I feed her. LOW

5:30 AM- Jake comes into our room. He had peed through the diaper. I change him. He sleeps with us. LOW

6:30 AM- Evy cries again, I feed again. LOW

7:30 AM- Jake wakes up. We make him play quietly in our room. LOW

8:00 AM- Evy wakes up. I’m so tired, I just let her whine. LOW.

8:30 AM- Get Evy. I’m near tears over the fact that I was up almost every hour. Brandon slept through everything, and probably would have slept through the house alarm if I hadn’t pushed him out of bed. I don’t think it even phased him. LOW

But then this morning, while I was laying there in bed, soo soo tired, and praying to God that I could have a few more minutes of sleep, my little, precious boy rolls over, pushes his face into mine and says, “I love you, Mommy.”

That makes all the emotional highs and lows worth it.

And then I go and pick my little girl up from her crib and she smiles a big toothless smile. Even though I had just made her wait for me for 30 minutes.

Again- makes it all worth it.

So God, I guess I will take all the highs and lows if it means watching these precious babies grow. They are so wonderful, even through the lows. They are our treasures. It’s worth it, God. Grant me wisdom to raise them, give me strength to keep going, and keep the highs and lows coming.

I love you, Lord; you are my strength.” Psalm 18:1

And since I can’t ever seem to write a post without a picture, I thought I would go down memory lane for a minute and share my favorite picture of Brandon and I before kids, during our first year of marriage. It was taken in Ventura while we were visiting Bryony and David during their couple year stay there. It was taken by David, of course.

Even though we look so skinny, in love and RESTED..ha!…I would still never trade my kids. Well, ok, maybe I would for a day of rest, but I would definitely want them back. :)

And no, I won’t apologize, SoShawna…I promise!! hehe :) xoxo

Do you Crock Pot?

One of my blog friends, Ann over at Auntie Ann’s, did a post on her crock pot and asked all her readers for their favorite crock pot recipe. She got some fabulous recipes!

Well, that got me thinking…

I have the best pot roast recipe EVER. Ok, I’m sure its not the best ever, but my family loves it, so that makes it the best to us, I guess. Ha! I made it up right around the time Brandon and I got married, and I have not stopped making it since. It is a simple recipe and very forgiving{I have left ingredients out and it STILL tastes good}, yet it is fancy enough to serve on a holiday or to a guest of honor.

Pot Roast

1-2lbs meat {we prefer tri tip, but chuck roast works fine too}
1 yellow onion quartered
1 pkg Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 1/2 C. Red Wine {I buy the cheapest, it really doesn’t make much of a difference}
1 1/2 C. Chicken or Beef Broth {Either one will work, I usually use Chicken since its what I always have}
1 C. water

Rub meat down with salt and pepper, or use a seasoning like Blue Star Seasoning . Place meat in pot, cover with onion soup mix, add onions and then liquid. Cook on slow for 10hrs. I have done 8 hours, but it is so much more tender when cooked longer. I serve with mashed potatoes and steamed carrots and add some chopped parsley on top.

Now here’s the sad part. This is the only thing I really use my crock pot for!! I have tried other recipes, but none that I really like….

So I am curious, what is your favorite crock pot recipe?

In closing, here is what you get when you give a very antsy almost 3 year old a thrift store synthesizer. Its a life saver, really. ‘Course you’ll probably go nuts from all the noise, but at least he’ll sit in one place for 30 mins

Singing our fave song from the Aristocats and picking his nose at the end of course…

My Best Friend…

Lately I have been pondering the following two statements:

1.  I have the best husband ever.

2. My husband is a pro at the most important action ever: FAITH

When I married Brandon, I knew we wouldn’t have a lot of money {since he is in the ministry}, but I knew that he would work very hard to take care of us, and that God would provide all we needed. Throughout our marriage, I have held onto Matthew 6: 25 -34, my favorite passage of scripture:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

The last couple of days, I have been blown away by how God takes care of us. Several prayers have been answered, needs have been met, and unexpected events have brought me pure joy. I know that this is all God, working on my behalf.

But, I have to give credit where credit is due.

Brandon has held onto faith even in the darkest hours. He really, truly, believes that God will not fail us. And I believe that, due to his faith, God never has.

I am so thankful for a husband who fights all our battles with sword of faith. It means so much to me. He sets such an incredible example to our family. To coin a phrase made famous by Kirk Franklin- one that exemplifies Brandon’s outlook on life:

“I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold.”

Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with my husband. He fulfills me in everyway. He is my best friend.

I love you, Babe! xoxo

The following pictures were taken by our good friend Sam Hassas. Sam was photographing Brandon, and a few other men, for our friend Ryan’s custom clothing line, R.Douglas- If you are in need of a good suit, you should check him out. Both Ryan and Sam are extremely talented individuals who we are blessed to call friends.

The guy in the middle is Ryan of R. Douglas

My Baby Loves

I have the best babies in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD!

Ok, that might be a bit biased….

But I do.

For example, a couple nights ago, I found my little man doing this…

He has this little tool belt set that his Auntie Bryony and Uncle David gave him when he was just a baby and in it is a little measuring tape, just like Daddy’s. On Sunday night I was standing in the kitchen when I heard the garage door open, so I went to check it out. I found Jake measuring the car. When I asked him what he was doing he replied, “I’m working, Mommy.” My response: “Oh, really, how big is it?” Jake, “It’s 3lbs, Mommy!”

Brandon says we talk a lot about weight around here…I guess so, ha!

And then my precious girl….

Brandon loves to play with her mouth because she makes the cutest little noises in such a dainty way.

Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with these wonderful children. I feel more than honored that you place them in my care.