Friday, February 27, 2009

Sort of Like Mardi Gras in Kansas Around Here!

These 7th grade girls appear to be harmless enough .... but they absolutely, positively cannot handle cupcakes with a Mountain Dew chaser. Hey, I've trained my whole life to stomach such a feat.

Resolved: Only bread & water for them until daylight!
This is Alli's 13th birthday party sleep- over which we've all .... sort of .... looked forward to. And yet I find myself locked in a remote bathroom, hugging my knees and rocking back and forth in the dark as the chaos rages below in the living room. And I've never empathized with Anne Frank more than I do right this minute.

Seriously though, it warms my heart to know that Alli is having the time of her life and making great memories. Greg & I got her a pink digital camera for this milestone birthday. You tell me from the picture above: Think she liked it?!

The party theme was polka dots, which was really easy and so much fun! She was really tickled with the "el grande cupcake" which I made today.
Our little girl -- (almost) a teenager. Wow.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Pancake Day!

When I awoke this morning, I had no idea what a SPECIAL day it was .... although I'm sure that hard core pancake lovers have been drooling waiting for this annual event. It's pretty much like Christmas.

Today only IHOP will be serving up FREE short stacks to each of their customers, with donations going to Children's Miracle Network. So put away your crock pots and head to IHOP for a free meal today!

To my local friends, you'll know where to find our gang at dinner time! And pass the huckleberry syrup.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Watch Out, Shaq!

Evan's basketball season is winding down......only one game left. I must say, it's been really fun for our whole family to go & cheer him on every Saturday! He's thrilled that his best school buddy, Luke, is on his team.
This past week's game was a real nail biter. In the last 20 seconds of the game, Evan found himself on the free throw line, with our team only up by one point. ONE! OH THE PRESSURE! He's a serious competitor, and I know how hard he would take it if the team lost because of him choking in the clutch. Needless to say, we were very relieved when he sank both his foul shots, securing his team's win.

In fact, his team's final score was 20 -- and Evan scored half of those total points!

Here's Evan with his coach, whom he absolutely worships. In fact, we've already signed up to play on this same coach's flag football team. (On a sidenote, I was really shocked to see how some other coaches conducted themselves, absolutely YELLING at the kids during the games.) We were so blessed to be paired with this coach, who really cares about the kids and has taught them so much.

Look how excited Evan is to receive his trophy! When he gets older, he fully intends to play in the NBA and says he'll autograph some of his basketball cards so I can sell them on Ebay for a little extra cash. ha! Hey, with the financial situation the way it is, Evan might be our best bet for a retirement plan!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Look Who's SEVEN

Our baby is SEVEN! When she arrived in 2002, that brought our count to 4 kids -- ages 5 and under! I'll give you a minute to digest that and/or express your sympathies. We definitely had our hands full, and sometimes I wonder how we managed! But then I watch an episode of Jon & Kate Plus Eight, and I think I had it easy. It's all a matter of perspective, isn't it?

We celebrated Natalie's birthday at the house on President's Day, as the kids had the day off from school. On a sidenote, I think the presidents would be even more honored if the kids were in school as much as possible...... I'm an education nut that way.

Back to Natalie, she wanted a Valentine's theme party, since she was born on Feb. 15. Talk about an EASY party to plan! We did a couple Valentines games, whacked a heart shaped pinata, and called it a day. And she absolutely LOVED it.

Mommy & Daddy got her a Leapster, which she liked ALMOST as much as this NOISY piano toy (whose batteries are likely to be removed in the dark of night)

This Color Explosion toy is awesome -- courtesy of Aunt Amy!

Here's Natalie, getting ready to take on the pinata, remniscent of a Westside Story scene.

Both big sisters baked & decorated the cake & cupcakes.

The kids loved this simple game, trying to drop conver- sation hearts into a vase below.

They also played "Pass the Valentine" -- sort of like Musical Chairs. We were mindful of Kate (in the wheelchair), and wanted to play games that all the guests could participate in.

The moral of the story? You don't have to spend a lot or be super fancy for the kids to have a GREAT time.

And after popping a few Tylenol, I even enjoyed the party as well!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Recap

Valentine's Day is a pretty big deal around our house -- Greg & I had a Valentine wedding, and our youngest (Natalie) was born on Feb. 15. She just turned 7 on Sunday!

On Friday, I made the rounds at the school Valentine parties, beginning with Natalie's 1st grade class. (note my Valentine's necklace that Natalie made for me)

From there, I made an appearance at Evan's 3rd grade class party. Here, he's posing with his special friend, Sydney.

Then I hopped across the hall to drop in on Holly's 4th grade party. (but not before following Holly's strict instructions to REMOVE the necklace Natalie made for me beforehand) Here she is with her all-time favorite teacher.

Holly came home from school with a box of chocolates bigger than my head from her hunk of a special friend, David.
Look how happy!

On my way out of the school, I noticed that Evan's class had made Valentine poems that were being displayed in the hallway. I spotted his right away, since it said Ohio State on it..... When I read it, tears came to my eyes.
I'm not sure you can make out the words, so I'll reprint them:
Happy Valentine's Day!
Pretty, funny
helping, gardening, cooking
friend, daughter, sister, mother
singing, loving, joking
awesome, super
That is a reward, and I am beyond blessed, friends.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Another Reason Why Coffee's BAD for ya



Moral of the story: WE NEED A NEW DISH- WASHER -- NOW!

Alli was washing the dishes in the sink when a coffee cup broke & gave her a nasty cut. It was her 1st trip to the E.R. 7 stitches later, she's fine.

And yes, our new dishwasher will be delivered on Monday!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

As Kermit Would Say .....


Few things thrill my heart like spotting a vivid rainbow in the sky! This was the view from our back window this afternoon. If you look closely, there's a faint second rainbow above. "I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth." Genesis 9:13. Thank you, Lord, for your beautiful handiwork painted in the sky today --
the reminder of your covenant of love towards little old me!
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Sunday, February 8, 2009

I know, I know!

Hello, my dear public. "Where have I been?" you ask? Well, thanks for noticing I haven't been able to blog much lately! I'm feeling this underlying pressure to post SOMETHING, even though I don't have much to report.

This past week was pretty much consumed with my comedy stylings -- literally. By that, I mean everything from shopping for new duds to honing the perfect punchlines.

Monday was shopping day with my friend, Jennifer, who just happens to have great style. As we started out, however, I did feel compelled to remind her that if we were Veggie Tales, she would be Larry the Cucumber and I would be Bob the Tomato -- and that she should accordingly keep that basic truth in mind while we were shopping.

I'm happy to report that we found a few fun jackets that just may be appearing at a comedy club near you!

And of course, on Wed. I got my fun new haircut. Anyone else ever struggled to replicate the look that you left the hairdresser with? In a word: futile.

THEN, on Thurs. & Fri. I had back-to-back gigs at a large church here in Wichita. Question: You know what's really challenging? Answer: Presenting comedy material first thing in the morning to a small group of very quiet & reserved people! Whew -- that was a real work out. I drove home wondering if I should cancel that down payment on my comedy tour bus......

The group on Fri. was much more lively and interactive, which was SUCH a relief for me! (insert Sally Fields: You like me! You really like me!)

The thing with humor is that it's so doggone subjective! It keeps me on my toes, and more importantly, leaning on the strength of the Lord. Because after all, it's NOT about me -- it's all about Him.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sassy Hair !

Does anyone else out there find that it's really tricky to snap a good picture of yourself?! Most of my shots ended up looking like a deer caught in the headlights -- not my best look.

Anyway, I got a sassy new 'do today and I thought I'd share it with ya. Feel free to leave the girl a comment and gush!

Not much length was taken off, but I think it's a nice improvement. I still look like me, just a little bit BETTER me!

I'm being videotaped tomorrow for use in making my promotional DVD for Christian comedy! That adds a little pressure to my "gig", but I'll follow my friend's advice and just be myself.

If you think of it tomorrow morning, please lift up a prayer for me -- that the Lord would be glorified, and that I will share only what HE wants me to!

A Typical Photo Shoot

This is typical ..... Evan being a goof ball, then check out Natalie below (in the pink dress)
It's ALL we can do to get a good shot of everyone at the same time!!! ha!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

OH, the 1st Grade Drama!

Driving in the car today, I overheard Natalie telling Holly in an exaggerated, dramatic way that another girl in her class kept staring at her that day. Then she exclaimed the following line, "I mean, come on! We're ALL human beans, after all"!

Um.....I think the word you're searching for is "beings", Natalie.