Monday, March 29, 2010

Who Are You and What Have You Done With My...Blog?

Okay. I'm curious.

Sorry to say it, but I am.

I've had people from college visit my blog, and I've had people from church visit my blog.

I've even had perfect strangers over here. And they are now "Followers"!

It's just so interesting to me--the blogging world. I mean, I read a lot of blogs. It's something I enjoy doing. I learn a lot about nutrition that way. I relate to other mommies (of many little people). I get to know people who don't know me. Sometimes we get to know each other. It's interesting. A way to make the wide world just a little smaller if only while I'm sitting here with my laptop.

Anyway. I'm curious as to who's really out there. Some of my followers have yet to introduce themselves. Some folks are just plain lurking, which is fine, I suppose. But I'm curious who you are!! Can't help it. I'm feeling...

just a little...

like I need some answers, people!!!!!

So here's what I'd LOVE to see happen.

And y'all want to humor me, don't you?!

Wait--don't answer that.


How about this?

Followers: You guys leave me a comment on this post. It doesn't have to be much. Just maybe tell us how you found this blog. Or why you stick around. Or something about yourself we may not know. Like how do we know each other? Or DO we? Whatevs. It's up to you!

Lurkers: Come out of hiding. Don't worry. I don't bite. (Usually.) Become a "Follower." I promise it won't say anything about your strength of character. (You know? "Be a leader, not a follower." Blah, blah, blah.) We'd be happy to have you join us! And besides, there just may be something in it for you pretty soon. (HINT: Another giveaway is on the horizon.)

Twitter/Facebook/Buzz/Other subscribers: Leave me a comment telling me who ya are and how you get my posts. ('Cause I'm interested. Remember?)

What are our connections?

Did you know me WHEN?

Did you get to my blog through somebody else's blog?

Did you grow up with me?

Have we met in real life? HOW?

Do we have mutual friends?

Do we have similar interests and/or lives?

Do you bring my mom (and thus ME) deer meat? (Thanks, Sug.)

Did you get here after Googling something? Did you find me after I found you first? I WANNA know!!!!!!!!

And really. Don't think that just because I see you once a week that you don't need to comment. (Ahem......Krista.) Even if I KNOW you read my blog (Ahem......Krista), just this once I'd like to see a comment SHOWING me you do (Ahem......Krista), especially if you are a family member or a close friend (Ahem......Krista). For posterity's sake, at least. Kind of like a LIST of people (Golly, I love lists...) so I can remember you were here. For when I'm old and losing my mind.

Wait--that's now.

Errr...guess you guys better hurry it up, then.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Project 365: Week 13

Sunday, March 21, 2010

We have this great, really HUGE green belt behind our house. It's sort of a pathway for the deer. They travel back and forth behind our house, and even though we've seen them lots, it never gets old. Most of the time they travel in a group of about fifteen. Yes! Fifteen!! So, you can understand why it's so thrilling when we spot them. This morning there were just two, but they were all the way up close to the house. Of course, the big retaining wall still kept them plenty far off, which made me so mad that I wasn't prepared with the zoom lens on.

This afternoon was filled with Daddy fun.
(Paul was lying on the floor and would hold the kids up over his head, while lightly shaking his arms. The kids like to say, "Uhhhhhh" and then giggle at the vibrating sound it makes. These photos were taken from underneath their little game.)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Saylor and Gabe were playing with these animal puzzle cards today. Saylor was getting a little overwhelmed because there were so many, and she couldn't seem to find the correct word pieces to fit the animal pieces. Then suddenly she realized she could figure some of them out (using some decoding skills she didn't even know she had). Within a minute she had matched up four, and she kept it up, too!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


And I used Magic Eraser on a little problem...



So. Magic Eraser? Definitely magic.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

An impromptu after-dinner game. Always the best kind.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Somebody's got the giggles.

Friday, March 26, 2010

I've got Blender Batter Waffles soaking tonight for breakfast in the morning. (These waffles are super easy AND super healthy.) Yum yum!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

We went to my nephew's birthday party today. He's a St. Patrick's Day baby. So hard to believe he's already five years old! Precious, precious boy.

Sara's Project 365 is where it's at!!!

Project 365 button designed by

Friday, March 26, 2010

CHRISTmas Continued Part 2

Can I please finish up my winter holiday blogging before it's 95 degrees and 100% humidity here in the great state of Arkansas? Pretty pleeeeeeze???? I'm trying my best to get caught up. You can go here and here in case you missed my other holiday posts. (And I apologize to those of you who'd rather not go back in time...)

Okay. First of all, I went to a fun cookie exchange party with some of the teachers at Homeschool Academy. The ladies who put it together are CRAZY creative and organized. They had us send our cookie recipes ahead of time so they could make us a cute, little recipe booklet. Isn't that sweet? They also gave away a door prize and then had a contest for the yummiest cookie and the most creative "wrapping." The other kindergarten assistant teacher won the yummiest cookie recipe with her Mint Ravioli Cookies. And y'all, they were seriously scrumptious!!! And, guess what? My container won the "Most Creative" prize! Yay me! Can you guess which one is mine? (Hint: there are birds involved.)

And then, CHRISTmas morning DID come for us, lest you thought we gave up after the tree debacle. Here's the way it went down.

Tuesday afternoon (before CHRISTmas), while I was frantically addressing envelopes for our CHRISTmas cards and putting the babies down for naps, the two older children (who should know better) were upstairs busily giving themselves a new look for the holidays. Actually, only ONE used the scissors. I'll let you take a guess on who that might have been. Perhaps you saw the end result? Anyway, when I came through the kitchen to pick up a final stack of cards, I happened to meet up with the "stylist," and boy, did I ever lose it! Self-control was nowhere to be found, let me tell ya. And I hadn't even seen BOTH of them yet!! One look at the other one, and it was all over. After a wildly awful call to their father and after banishing them to their respective rooms, I continued addressing envelopes...while bawling my head off for two solid hours! (So, if your CHRISTmas card had water spots on it, now you know why.) To say it was a bad day would be putting it very, very mildly.

Speaking of CHRISTmas cards, I had so much trouble with ours this year. I tried to design my own, but when I got them printed, they looked horrible. Here's an idea of what I was going for:

I could NOT get our names unblurred!!! Ugh!!

But we ended up with this instead, because there simply wasn't any more time:

Anyway, back to the
"Great Hair Scare." The next day we got appointments to go see E.C., one of my old stylists back in my red-head days.........(What?! You didn't know about the red-head days?!) It was necessary. No way could I have fixed what needed fixing on those two. It was B.A.D. That night we went out for sushi. Perhaps Paul knew I was one home-cooked meal away from certain disaster. It was a much-needed respite from the craziness, that's for sure.

Once the kiddos were in bed that night, Paul and I stayed up LATE LATE getting all kinds of stuff done. We cleaned, we wrapped, we I worked on wreaths, and we gathered things to donate. Lots and lots of things. We literally FILLED the Expedition, leaving room for only ONE child to tag along with Daddy the next day. In fact, when Paul dropped our stuff off at Little Rock Compassion Center, they suggested he take the last box to Goodwill, because they were tired of unloading all of it. Seriously! They really did. He obliged them and what a relief to have it gone!! (Unfortunately, we still have a ways to go.)

There were a few other random errands that needed to be run--a forgotten ingredient here and there, pull-ups for the toddler, etc. But once it was all done, we got everyone dressed up in their cutest CHRISTmas clothes and headed off to church.

Ha! Just realized how much plaid we had going on!

My Handsome Little Fella'

Once home, we finished up our FamilyLife nativity and learned that God wants US for CHRISTmas. (Get one of these if you don't already have one.) Then we donned our most CHRISTmas-sy pajamas and got to bed. Paul and I, unfortunately, still had several things to do that night. There were stockings to stuff, of course, and a couple of large gifts to get out of hiding, and then the breakfast casserole had to be made and refrigerated overnight. I don't remember what all we did, but we got a half-way decent night's sleep.

The kids had a blast CHRISTmas morning. But I was so NOT on point that morning. Just couldn't wake up, I guess. We have always filmed the opening of presents, but somehow we didn't get around to it this year. At least I don't think we did. (Honey?) And the only reason there are any photos whatsoever is because Paul remembered to use the camera. I honestly don't know what I was doing. Helping littles do various things, I suppose. Going to have to be better organized next year. Definitely.

Atticus (and really Gabe) got a sand and water table.

And, y'all, I spent not a penny on it. Got it from Krista's church's "Share & Swap." (The "Share & Swap" is exactly what it sounds like. You bring stuff to give away and then you can GET stuff others have brought. No money involved. My other great "score" was a pink London Fog bib-style snowsuit in a sassy little size 5!) The sand/water table was basically brand new. Just missing a few parts, which I may or may not try to locate on Ebay. Right now, the kids don't know the difference. We set it up in the living room with a tarp underneath. And it would have been fine, had the big kids not taken over and lost a bit of self-control. Instead of sand, I used rice. (I figured if Atticus decided to eat it, at least it would be FOOD and not DIRT!) But once the rice started flying ALL. over. the. room, Paul and I moved it outside onto the patio--where it belongs!

Gabriel got a Radio Flyer tricycle. He loves it, but he's still using it like his little scoot toy (last year's CHRISTmas present, by the way). He's not convinced those pedals are for anything except looks. (And he's a bit too stubborn to listen to (Mommy's) reason.)

Saylor mainly got dresses (because we know the way to her heart is through fashion). We did get her a small toy item. She plays with Calico Critters. LOVES them! So we got her the baby furniture and accessories. Many tiny, tiny pieces. I really HAVE lost my mind.

Noah got a guitar and the promise of lessons. He was very excited. Now he's just working on some callouses...

Other gifts included coats...


a new Bible...

and other essentials.

That's it. We are decidedly ANTI-junk at this point. And plan on keeping it that way.

Then we ate our CHRISTmas brunch: breakfast casserole, monkey bread, apricot scones, and fresh fruit (courtesy of Noah). Later Poppy, Aunt Wendy (Paul's sister), Uncle Mert (her husband), Ezra (our sweet nephew), Paul's Aunt Donna and Uncle Aubrey, and his cousin Claire all came over to just hang out. We snacked on our brunch foods, played, napped, and generally laid around until dinner time, at which point we all headed out to one of the two restaurants open in town: I-HOP. AFTER I got out of my pajamas, that is. (I was determined to stay in them all day.)

Atticus was hilarious because he wanted to sit in Ezra's seat constantly. Sometimes Gabe would even push him around (it has wheels). See the look on his face? Ha! He was so serious sitting in it! Cracked me up!

We also made our traditional "Carpenter Family" fruitcake (not what you think). It used to be a CHRISTmas Eve tradition when I was growing up, then we started making it closer to Thanksgiving so we could enjoy it throughout the CHRISTmas season. At MY house, though?? Well, let's just say ours was more of a New Year's fruitcake than a CHRISTmas one. But the Davidson kiddos didn't mind.

It's made with graham cracker crumbs. Now back when I was a kid, there was no such thing as packaged graham cracker crumbs. So we bought graham crackers and would grind them with an old, vintage meat grinder. This is still our tradition to this day. And this is the very same meat grinder I grew up grinding crackers with. (Now...I just need to figure out how to make healthy, homemade graham crackers. Is that even possible?)

Even though we didn't take just a ton of pictures, we will always have good memories of this CHRISTmas with our little family of six and all those beloved people who came to visit and share CHRISTmas day with us. Precious, precious memories.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Amish Grace

Did y'all hear the story a few years ago about the
Amish school shooting at Nickel Mines? It made the news, of course. I ask because I'm one of those homebodies who often doesn't have a clue what's going on in the world around me and am hopeful there are others out there who can relate. I rely on my husband to keep me up-to-date with current events. He reads news and goes to an office where people chat about such things. I, on the other hand, am up to my eyeballs in dirty diapers, PBS Kids, laundry, dishes, spelling, and storybooks. Not complaining!! Just sayin'.

Don't ask me what's playing at the movies. 'Cause you'll get nothing more than a blank stare. Movies? Who goes to the movies anymore?? Don't ask me what I think about current Nasdaq trends. 'Cause...ummmm...well, I never was interested in that stuff. The point is, I didn't know about the shooting. My hubby had to fill me in. It's a very compelling story, to say the least. Perhaps you missed it, too. Click here if you'd like to read the actual events as told by the media (though the very first link I gave is from Wikipedia and has bunches more details).

The reason I bring it up is that Lifetime Movie Network recently contacted me to tell me about the premier of a movie starring Kimberly Williams-Paisley (of the classic 90s film Father of the Bride). Here's an aside you didn't ask for: I used to teach school with the mom of Kimberly's good friend and roommate from college. Isn't that cool?!

Anyone want to touch me?

Yeah, I'm pretty much awesome.


Okay. Back to the show. Literally. The movie, which is based on a book about the true events of the shooting, mainly focuses on the fictional mother of one of the victims, as she comes to terms with the forgiveness she is expected to give to the shooter and his family. The movie's central theme is the struggle she faces between her emotional pain and her religious convictions/beliefs. If you know the actual story, the Amish community sent words of forgiveness immediately upon hearing what had happened to their daughters. It shocked the country--this immediate, unconditional forgiveness. And yet, in the movie, the fictional mother disagrees with this decision, even going so far as to consider leaving the faith.

I don't know "where" the movie may take the viewer or what religious questions it seeks to ask and answer, nor do I know the opinion(s) of the film's creator, but it could be interesting. Certainly something to stir up discussions about forgiveness and why and how God commands us to forgive.

The Amish actually believe that if they DON'T forgive others, then God WON'T forgive them of their sins, and therefore, their salvation will be lost. This is why the swift and immediate forgiveness of others, even one who shoots and kills their innocent daughters. However, this is an unbiblical view of forgiveness and of the saving grace of Jesus. First of all, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have already been forgiven of all their sins--past, present, and future. Christ's death on the cross covered all our sins. Whether or not we ever again forgive another person or ask forgiveness of God has nothing to do with our actual salvation. But Jesus explains in John 13:10 that though the disciples bodies are clean (they have been saved from their sins), their feet are still dirty from walking around in the world (they still sin). God wants to wash our feet daily so that we can be in a right relationship with Him. This is why we seek forgiveness daily for the wrongs we commit all day long. Not so we'll be saved...again! We already ARE saved. But so that things will be right with our Lord. In the same way, we should forgive others. This is a command. When we don't forgive others, we are sinning and therefore, cannot expect God to forgive us for our daily sins. This does not mean, however, that we are no longer saved, as the Amish believe. It's just that our hearts cannot be right before God when we harbor an unforgiving heart toward others.

Being in fellowship with the Lord is the whole point. He made us, loves us, and died to save us. Being close to Him is how we experience His love on a daily basis, how we find meaning in our lives, and how we are able to forgive those who do unspeakable wrongs to us.

That said, I'm planning to watch the movie Amish Grace, which airs this Sunday, March 28, 2010, on Lifetime Movie Network at 8 PM/EST and 5 PM/PST. I'd love for you to watch as well and then come back here to discuss your thoughts and reactions, especially in light of what I've shared. Check out the trailer below:

"The peaceful Amish community of Nickel Mines is forever changed when a gunman senselessly takes the lives of five girls in a schoolhouse shooting before taking his own life.

What transpires afterward takes the community by storm, as the media descend on the town and criticize its Amish leaders for their notion of unconditional forgiveness of the shooter and their outreach of support to his widow, Amy Roberts (Tammy Blanchard). Devastated by her daughter’s death, Ida Graber (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) finds herself struggling with her community’s belief in the transcending power of forgiveness. Deeply conflicted and unable to forgive the gunman and his family, Ida is tempted to leave the only life she’s ever known before re-embracing her faith."

Now go set your DVRs.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Project 365: Week 12

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I have mastitis. It's awful!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

My perch all day today. I barely moved. Mastitis is like the flu (fever, aches, chills)--only with horrific breast pain to boot. I'm dying, I tell ya. Dying. (*Note: I did not actually take this photo today. Are you kidding me? I was too busy with my constant moaning and shivering beneath a hideous Snuggie.) But I definitely MUST point out here that Noah was such a help to me today. My seven-year-old made breakfast AND lunch for all four of them today. He brought Atticus to me to nurse, put him in his high chair, and spoon fed him when needed. And he did it willingly and cheerfully! That is the grace of God right there.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My friend Erin drove TO MY HOUSE last night (she's a mommy of three, by the way) to bring me a concoction called "GOOT." It's a garlic, olive oil, coconut oil mixture. So I've been "gooping" on the "GOOT" today. It is helping so much! I thank her from the bottom of my heart.

Besides the cabbage leaves and the GOOT, I've done moist heat, hot showers, Echinacea/Goldenseal Root combination capsules, minced raw garlic covered in honey taken by the spoonful, eating lots of eggs (for the lecithin), Emergen-C, orange juice, fresh fruit, and increased my intake of water. I am a lot better today. My fever broke during the night last night. No antibiotics. Yes!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Halleluiah! I can lift my left arm again!! (Yeah, it was that bad.) This morning as I was slowly waking up, little Atticus was sitting in bed with me and along came Saylor with a storybook to share with him. I lay there amused with her storytelling for a long, long time before I even THOUGHT about getting the camera. Darn. Then they moved on to sitting in the floor, which was just as well because it gave me a chance to get up and grab something with which to capture the moment.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Noah's been "hunting" all morning! (No Academy this week or next!!! Praise God! I'm one of those homeschooling moms who really DOES like to be at HOME.) It's good for Noah, too, to have the freedom to R-O-A-M.

Outfitted for the Outdoors

Hunting is a serious business.

Even when it's hard to take the hunter seriously...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Coldstone and Redbox with my honey. My flavor preference? Cake batter with graham cracker crust mixed-in. A photo of my "Coldstone Deliciousness" would have been MUCH more visually appealing, I grant you. But if you think I had the self-control to take pictures of it BEFORE chowing down or to stop right in the middle of my ice cream blissdom,'d be sooooo wrong.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Today we loaded up and made the trek up to the Wye Mountain Daffodil Festival. We haven't been in a few years--for various reasons. Today, though not GORGEOUS weather-wise, was a great day for the daffodils, as it was not too windy, not too cold, not too hot, and not too sunny; it was perfectly overcast for pictures. Hooray! So, here's a little taste. I'll post ALL the other pics for Wordless Wednesday this week. So stay tuned!

Whew! It was a wild week. Looking forward to another one!
Thanks to Sara for hosting our project.
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