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Laura
Follower of Christ. Wife to Adam. Mama to Joshua (9), Abigail (8), Esther (7), Hannah (6), Noah (5), Joseph (3), Peter (2), James (9 months), and Blessing #9 due late August. Soli Deo Gloria!
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Adam and Laura

Adam and Laura

Joshua Addison

Joshua Addison

Abigail Lauren

Abigail Lauren

Esther Rebecca

Esther Rebecca

Hannah Ralene

Hannah Ralene

Noah Evans

Noah Evans

Joseph Patrick

Joseph Patrick

Peter Edwin

Peter Edwin

James Emil Robert

James Emil Robert

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Frugal Air Freshener


A couple of years ago Adam taught me a neat trick for keeping the house smelling wonderful and the air from being dry during the winter (I think that original credit goes to Grandma in Kansas!). We like to fill a pan about half full with water, add a cinnamon stick, maybe an apple slice and a few other spices, and simmer it. You can recycle the spices by just adding more water - we usually do this for several days before dumping it out and starting over. It it very cheap and it smells much better than any aerosol spray that I've smelled! You can make it even cheaper by buying spices from a co-op like this one. I recently bought 1lb of organic ground cinnamon from Frontier for around $3.50, and a large bag of cinnamon sticks for just a few cents more! For more Works For Me Wednesday ideas, click here.



A Great Giveaway!


Thanks to Ellajac, I just found out that Our Blessed Arrows is giving away a wonderful assortment of Ergo products! Adam gave me an Ergo for Christmas this year (thanks to a coupon from my sweet friend Sharon) and I love it! It is the most comfortable baby carrier I've ever used. I can wear Hannah for hours and my back and shoulders don't hurt at all. The giveaway is for the diaper bag (stuffed with prefolds, pins, and wips), back pack, waist pouch, and tote bag! You can find out how to enter yourself by clicking here.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Free Pancakes!


February 12th was already promising to be a fun day at our house...it's Joshua's 4th birthday! Now it looks like it will be even better! It's National Pancake Day, and IHOP is offering a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes to each guest. For more details, visit here.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Vision Forum Giveaway

Crystal at Biblical Womanhood is giving away a $100 Vision Forum gift certificate! You can find out how to enter the drawing yourself by clicking here. Vision Forum has 20%-40% off of everything in stock through the end of January, and some things are discounted even more than that! If I were to win this drawing I would use it to purchase the History of the World compact disc collection for Adam.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ubiquitous Bacteria

Abigail almost had a meltdown in the bathtub this morning. I had bathed Joshua first, and he had some toe lint from his black socks that was floating around in the bath water. Abigail got in, saw the lint, and in a very alarmed tone said "Oh no! There's BACTERIA floating in my bath!!" Then she pointed at it and got it stuck to her finger, which made her scream and shake her finger violently to get it off. I assured her that it was just lint from Joshua's sock and she was okay with that. I probably would have kept screaming. :) I think it's amusing that our 2 year-old is concerned about bacteria. You can tell that her Papa likes science. He was teaching them the meaning of the word ubiquitous at the dinner table tonight. Don't feel bad about clicking the link...I had to look it up too!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Piggy Tails

I gave Abigail and Esther "piggy tails" (as Abigail calls them) today for the first time. I just had to post this picture. Pardon the pile of laundry in the background. :)



And here's a picture of my sweet little Hannah. She's been sick for a few days...you can probably tell by looking at her that she doesn't feel well. But she's still such a sweetie even though her nose is running like a fountain and she's got an awful cough. She's been getting really good at sitting up, and I wanted to post a picture, but she just wasn't up to it this afternoon. Maybe in a few days.



All three of the girls have been sick for several days now. Actually our van has been sick too. It all started with me taking all four of the children to Kroger by myself the other day. (Which is no big deal...I'm used to it now.) I forgot to change Hannah's diaper before we left. Bad news. Then I forgot the diaper bag. Really bad news! And to top it all off I got all of the groceries and the children loaded into the van and it wouldn't start! I didn't want to call Adam's cell phone in the middle of class, so I called my brother and he was able to come and jump start us. (Thank you God...and Uncle Mark!) I didn't think anything else of it until the next morning when we went to leave for Bible study and it wouldn't start again. Adam has spent almost all day trying to figure out what the problem is. He's taken several parts out, made several trips to the auto parts store, cleaned several parts, put the parts back in, and I'm sure done many more things that I don't even know about. He just came in to tell me that he's got it working!! Woohoo! I sure do have a good, hard-working, handy husband! I'm sure he just saved us a good chunk of money too. :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cute

I was just sorting through some photos and came across this one of cousin Amy and baby Hannah. I don't remember seeing it before, but it's a cute one!



Speaking of cute ones, here is a picture of baby Andrew!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

You know...

...that your husband is studying to be a doctor when he uses the term "pretty" to describe one of these. **If you're easily grossed out, don't click on the link!** I'll just tell you. It's a picture of a skull. The dental school loaned Adam and his classmates each a skull to study this semester. Yesterday morning my alarm went off and I opened my eyes to see it sitting on his desk staring back at me! I was a little repulsed by it at first, but I really don't mind anymore. I think it's great that Adam is so interested in that sort of thing. Science was always my least favorite subject in school, and I'm afraid I'm not so good at understanding or remembering it. Adam is excited about teaching science to our children eventually, and I'm very thankful for that!

Microwave Magic!

I get a daily email from Mary Hunt's Debt-Proof Living that often has very helpful household hints. One of today's tips was to wet a few paper towels, put them on a paper plate, squirt a little bit of dish soap on them, and microwave them for 2 minutes. When you take the plate out you can then wipe out your microwave quickly and easily. I had my doubts about this actually working. It just seems too easy. But it works wonderfully! My microwave was a bit of a mess, complete with the remnants of several exploded beans, but I was able to wipe it all out in about 60 seconds...a task that usually takes me at least 10 minutes! You can sign up for the Everyday Cheapskate emails here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sisters

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sale

Vision Forum is having a really good sale right now...20%-40% off all in-stock items! You can check out the deals by clicking below.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Potty Training, Round 3 (Ready or Not!)



She's ready, so here we go! Esther has been asking to go to the potty for weeks now. She doesn't ask every time she needs to go, but she has gone almost every time I've put her on. She's been doing exceptionally well about asking to make messes in the potty instead of in her diaper. (She's already done it twice today, and it's not even 10:30 yet!) She's wearing big girl pants for the first time today, and she's very excited. So excited that she's pulling up her dress every few minutes to see them and show them off. :-) Esther is our earliest yet at almost 20 months. I've always heard that girls are easier to potty train than boys, and that's definitely proven true in our case. Joshua wasn't completely trained (nighttime and all) until just before he turned 3, although I think part of the reason was inexperience on the part of the trainer!

I'm the one who's not so ready! Potty training is definitely not my favorite part of parenting. I'm determined to stick with it now that we've started though. Having only one child in diapers (for the first time in almost 3 years) does sound nice, and since Esther is so excited about it I want to encourage her. She wants to be like her big brother and sister. :-)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

More Bargains!

Joshua and I made a "quick" run to Kroger the other day to pick up a few things, and we went at the right time! Just as I was walking past the Christmas aisle, an employee was marking everything down to 10 cents, and some things ended up being 5 cents! We got all of these things


plus 4 rolls of wrapping paper that I forgot to include in the picture for $4.00! That glass in the middle with the snowflakes on it cost a penny....it was the only one left!

I also hit Old Navy this week, where they had 50% off of all of their clearance items. I got all this (almost $300 worth of stuff)


for $70.00! It is all either for gifts, or for our children for the next few years. My favorite find was a dark gray wool-looking topcoat for Joshua...originally $35, on sale for $8.50! It looks very similar to the coat that Adam got for his birthday, and he and Joshua like to match.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Happy Birthday, Adam!


I am so grateful that God has blessed Adam with another year of life and that He has given me another year with my best friend! You're a better husband to me and Papa to our children than I ever dreamed of having. We love you. Happy Birthday!

Crystal posted a link to this wonderful article by Jennie Chancey (co-author of Passionate Housewives Desperate for God). Here is just a small excerpt:

AT THIS STAGE, NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT IN YOUR ROUTINE THAN TRAINING THE CHILDREN. The dishes in the sink are not important. The laundry isn't important. The vacuuming isn't important. Having the house spic and span by five o'clock is NOT important if the children are being pushed out of the way or ignored to get it done. I'd say 99% of our frustration with our children comes from the fact that we ourselves are selfish and do not want to set aside our own plans for the day to deal with foolishness. But we must obey God first. He says we are to train our children. The hardest part of the training is in these early years. If you train well right now, you will have an easier time of it as the days, weeks and months go by. This means being willing to drop whatever it is we are doing (phone call, chores, gardening -- anything) and deal with the trouble. This doesn't mean making the children stop bothering us. It means getting to the heart of the matter to show the child she is worshiping a false god (herself and her desires) and confessing to the child (when we are mad about leaving our own stuff) that we have the same problem of worshiping false gods. Address this heart issue and discipline according to the Scripture (using the Bible you've left in a handy place -- and make a sheet of Proverbs and other Scriptures that apply to various sin problems like greed, envy, strife, selfishness, anger, resentment, etc.). Lead the child to repentance, then show the child grace and love and explain how God has accepted the child in Christ -- not based upon the child's own works (thank the Lord He doesn't base His acceptance of us upon our own works!).


I urge you to read the entire article. It is both inspiring and encouraging and I assure you that it would be time well spent.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Crystal at Biblical Womanhood is having a "Making Your Home a Haven" challenge. I was inspired by Nikki's closet cleaning and decided to jump on the bandwagon! (Can you tell I read Nikki's blog often? We've been real-life friends for years, and now we're blogging friends too! Her Sarah Beth and my Esther were born a week apart.) I tackled our master bedroom. It's probably the most neglected room in the house because it's the room we spend the least amount of (waking) time in and visitors don't usually see it. But it was in need of some drastic de-cluttering. Here are the "before" pictures...kind of embarrassing. :-0





And the "after" pictures...much better. :-)



I really enjoyed doing this. It's very rewarding to make our home a relaxing and cozy place for my family and our guests, and it makes it even better that Adam noticed and appreciates my efforts! :-) I did dust, by the way. Those little white specks on the furniture are not dust bunnies. They're scars from when the ceiling fell in!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Mixer Contest

I first found out about this on Christine's blog, and then Nikki reminded me about it yesterday! It's so nice of A Cowboy's Wife to do this...I know I'd love to win it!


A Cowboy’s Wife is having a contest on her food blog! You can win a Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer and she’ll ship anywhere so everyone is eligible!

The winner will receive a brand new
Hamilton Beach 4.5-qt. Eclectrics Stand Mixer, Pineapple Yellow
!!

About the mixer:

From Hamilton Beach’s “Eclectrics” line, this all-metal stand mixer comes with a host of accessories - a Flat Beater for cakes and cookies, a Dough Hook for bread and a Wire Whisk for whipped cream or pudding. The 4.5-qt. stainless steel bowl comes with a Pouring Shield that helps prevent splattering while in operation. The pouring shield has a built-in chute for adding ingredients. Powered by 400 watts, the stand mixer has a two-way mixing action to ensure all ingredients are incorporated into the mix. The quick-release, tilt-up head assists when removing the bowl. 9 x 14 x 14-in. When you’re ready for a kitchen re-do, don’t call in the carpenters! Instead, “counterscape” your kitchen with Hamilton Beach’s retro-designed, affordably priced electrics in happy, sun-saturated colors. Their “Eclectrics” line includes updates to those classic appliances from the 1950s. All of their “Eclectrics” are available in six colors: Apple Green, Moroccan Red, Pineapple Yellow, Intrigue Blue, Sugar White and Licorice Black.

Monday, January 07, 2008

A Picture of the Picture


We recently had this photo taken of Hannah in her christening gown. It's not the greatest quality here because I took a picture of it with our digital camera so that I could post it, and it got a little distorted. My Mom made the gown when Abigail was born, and we now have pictures of all three of the girls wearing it. Abigail and Esther's pictures show the whole gown, so I decided to get a close-up of Hannah so that the ribbon embroidery would be visible. We had the photos taken at Picture People and I was very impressed! They are very reasonably priced and they usually have a printable coupon on their website. The photographer that we had was excellent and was patient with Hannah, who couldn't keep her fingers out of her mouth! He snapped around 40-50 pictures, chose the best and cropped them, showed them to me on the computer, printed them, and I walked out of the mall with them in my hand!

I took Hannah to the doctor today and she's still up towards the top of the chart in height and weight! She weighs 14 lbs and she just turned 5 months last week. She's been eating everything in sight...or at least everything that I give her. She's still nursing the same (if not more), and she LOVES rice cereal, sweet potatoes, and avocados. That's all we've tried so far, but judging from the way she's reacted to those, I don't think she'll be a picky eater! I've given her a little water to wash down the rice cereal and she really likes drinking it from a cup. She doesn't want to have anything to do with a bottle, which is really okay with me. She's a funny little girl...when I'm feeding her I have to keep shoveling the food or else she gets upset. :-)

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Bargains

It's been a while since I posted a picture of our CVS deals. There were some good coupons available this week and we ended up making a good bit of "money" (Extra Care Bucks, which of course do no good unless we use them. But I'm sure we will, so we see it as making money). There are a few Walgreen's things included as well which were all free (or will be free once we get our rebate).




Here's what we purchased:

40 Soyjoy bars (Adam likes these and it's easy to grab a couple on his way out)
1 bag of Hershey's chocolate
3 glucose monitors
1 toothbrush
4 bottles of vitamin C
2 bottles of Acidophilus
2 bottles of Echinacia
2 bags of organic flax seed
2 bottles of Melatonin
2 Glade oil candles
2 oil candles refills
5 bottles of hand sanitizer

Here's what we paid:

We used $50 in coupons (CVS came out with some great printables last week!), spent $55.45 in ECBs, spent $2.16 out of pocket, and got back a whopping $90.96 in ECBs to spend later! Of course we won't actually use some of these things...like the glucose monitors. But it's hard to pass up free stuff, and we'll be able to donate some items to people who do need them. Speaking of donating, I've got a Rubbermaid tub full of things to donate. Any suggestions on who to give them to? I was thinking maybe the Care Pregnancy Center or the Salvation Army shelter. Any ideas?

Friday, January 04, 2008

Andrew

We were excited to learn this evening that our newest little nephew has arrived! Andrew Courson was born to my brother and sister-in-law, Brian and Alyssa, at around 4:30 this afternoon. He weighed in at 6lb, 11oz. I haven't seen a picture of him yet, but I'm sure he's incredibly cute! I'll post a picture when I get one.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Tasty!

When Adam's family came a couple of weeks ago my sweet sisters-in-law provided one of these for our Christmas dinner. These things are ridiculously good and we have really enjoyed it. I finished it off today by boiling the bone and making this soup. It tastes wonderful!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!


Hannah started off the New Year (and her 5-month birthday) with her first bowl of rice cereal! She hasn't had any solids until today. Five whole months of nothing but Mama milk. Woohoo!

Family Fun

Adam's family (his parents, brother, brother and sister-in-law plus two sons, and sister and brother-in-law plus one son and three daughters) came for a visit right before Christmas. We had 19 people in our little house, and it was lots of fun! The children all played together really well. There were ten of them...and either of them were aged three and under! Here are a few pictures of their visit.


We went to a nearby lake to take some pictures. I somehow ended up with
no pictures of all of us together, but here's a good one of the children. Oldest
to youngest, Ashleigh (11), Austin(9), Joshua (3), Amy (3), Grayson (2),
Abigail (2), Anna (2), Esther (19mo), Tate (14mo), Hannah (4 mo)

Here's a cute picture of Tate kissing his brother's Christmas present!

Our children got new pj's to match their cousins'!

Grayson and Joshua got cowboy hats and horses! (I stole this picture from Joy's blog...I hope you don't mind Joy!)

Abigail, Esther, Amy and Anna got these fun fuzzy hats. Here is Hannah modeling Esther's.

Grandma and Grandpa...they're partly responsible for starting all of this. :-)