Friday, December 30, 2011

I Give You My Peace

I have some links for you guys. I had originally posted them on my Facebook wall but as I looked through the images, some of them, honestly, were a little too disturbing/upsetting to put out on FB like that. However, some of them are breathtakingly beautiful and stunning and gutwrenching and.......wow, it has been quite a year in this world. I can't not share them.

There are 3 Parts:
The Year in Photos Part 1 of 3
The Year in Photos Part 2 of 3
The Year in Photos Part 3 of 3

I don't know why my reaction to some of these surprised me so much but I just found myself thankful that God sees all of this and knows what we are going through.
He has a solution,
a light at the end of the tunnel, if you will, that is available to everyone.

There are days that I find myself feeling much like the Israelites might have been when Jesus first came:

Save me Jesus! Take me away from here!

But what if He did that every time we called out to Him? Who would step up and be Light in a world of darkness, evil, tragedy, selfishness and sin? Who would be the Hope?

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

It's a promise. We have images like the ones I linked to going on all around us. More than images, events. Events so graphic that they will forever attempt to poison our hearts.

But take heart! The Lord has overcome! He has warned us it will not be easy but He reminds us to have Hope. He even tells us the end of the story! (See the Book of Revelation.)

So despite the fact that you can find end of the year lists for some of the worst and saddest news stories of the year but have a hard time finding even one story containing the Uplifting News Stories of 2011 (perhaps for a blog post you are currently writing) I still encourage you to take heart! HE has overcome the world!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Having a Baby After Losing a Baby

Today is the final NaBloPoMo post and the final of my sometimes series on Confessions. And this one is kind of a big one.

I have been trying to figure out if I wanted to write about this or not and ultimately decided that I am going to write, not really re-read and do my best to not delete. I just want to get my thoughts and answers out there despite the jumbled, exhausted, twitchy, insomnia'd person who is doing the typing. (That person is me.)

We are 27 weeks pregnant now.
I have passed the one year mark of when I delivered Elijah and I was pregnant on that day. We have long passed the 16/18 week mark of Elijah's gestational age with this child. And, I am not carrying a boy.

Confession: I miss my son. Achingly so, on some days. It is possible to find me crying over our loss while driving and listening to any number of songs about Heaven. Or while looking at drawings of "Our Family" done by my children with Elijah included and hanging out in the clouds.

When we told people we were expecting this baby I am carrying now, I saw in many eyes, in the very background after expressing their joy, the question: Are you okay with this?

Most days: Yes.
Very few days: NO.

But how can I express the grab bag of feelings that comes with knowing that if Elijah had survived, this little girl currently being knit together would not exist? How do I express joy over my new sweet life when it only is possible because of the expiration of another soul?

Simply stated, I cannot.
There is no way to accurately document, report, communicate the myriad of sorrow and joy.

In September, my sister delivered her first child. It was only the second childbirth I got to watch and it was the most amazing thing to see her accomplish. Joshua Jordan gets his middle name from me just as my own Lucy Joy gets her middle name from my sister. And when they settled on that name, it was overwhelming to know that there was a being on the earth who was my namesake. I told Kristy that it is almost too much pressure to put on a person!

It was a few hours before I got to hold Joshua. Kristy and her hubby Kris were in their recovery room getting all settled in, all the grandmas had their snuggles and it was my turn. Kris's mother placed Joshua in my arms, the first newborn I had held in a very long time, and I choked on my emotions. I cried at his beauty, I cried at the amazing man I can already tell he will one day become. I cried because I was holding proof of God granting second chances.

And I cried because he wasn't MY newborn son.

I turned away, so very aware of all the eyes in the room on me. My sister knew-she always knows, even moments after giving birth-what I was struggling with. I wanted to take the baby and run out the door. Spend some time with him all alone and cry and cry and cry. But that was not an option. Instead, I swallowed the feelings as best I could so I wouldn't make a spectacle of myself and handed Joshua over to the next person in line.

That night, in my hotel room, I cried for hours. It was the sad, bitter, pity cry you have for yourself. It felt selfish and did not contain emotions I felt I could express in the daytime. I was feeling very sorry for myself and then angry at myself for being so selfish and then the sorry would wash all my chastising away and I would return to my pity.

I wrote a long e-mail to David, tried to convey everything I was feeling and that helped me to calm down.

I spoke to God in long run-on sentences that may or may not have made sense and were punctuated with the closing of my tired eyes.

And I slept.

When I woke up, I found the pity had diminished. I was thankful to go and visit my nephew. when I held him I felt that sense of completeness that comes with a newborn. I held him as if my arms had been longing for this little nephew all of my life.

God heard me. Saw me. Cared for me.

So as I continue on with this pregnancy, it is not unusual for my sister to get a text saying, "I think I might actually have this baby!" Not in a crass way but in a surprising way. My experiences with Elijah have left me raw but they also left me knowing to appreciate every moment. Even the current ones filled with exhaustion but no sleep and kicking and rolling and stretching. Each movement of this little girl is exactly what I am supposed to be feeling and I enjoy it knowing that at any moment, it could be lost.

If my pregnancy, dear reader, has caused you to wonder how I am handling another pregnancy so close to come after losing Elijah, then I would like to give you the "Yes I am fine/No, I am not fine" answer which is fairly unsatisfactory as far as an answer goes.

Instead, I will answer any question with honesty and I will be sure to add on that
God is Good. He has taken care of me in the time of my greatest need and I can trust Him with the life of this girl. Not because I "know" everything will be okay "because God wouldn't allow me to lose 2 kids in a row...." but because I know God loves me. He has proved it time and time again.

And a God who loves me will never hang me out to dry.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

An Ode to the Power of a New White Tee

An Ode to the Power of a New White Tee

Oh new white tee
Purchased from Target
(As is the way)
I clip your tags off in anticipation
I get giddy as I peel the size sticker off the front of you
(thankful that I remembered before wearing you out.)

What is the power a new white tee has?
That first time it is worn,
before the washing machine dulls it,
before the dryer disfigures it,
before your Green Tea Latte (with soy) stains it,
it is a feeling of style.
The jeans fit better,
the shoes look cuter,
the accessories are accessories-ier.

White Tee from Target, I wore you today.
My make up worked.
The baby belly popped in all the right places.
I didn't even spill on you.

I should wash you, but perhaps I can squeeze in one more wear.
I just have to wait long enough
so no one will notice.

Monday, November 28, 2011

145 BPM

Got to pay a little visit to Labor and Delivery today.

I won't make you do the math, I am only 27 weeks along (tomorrow) so that is like a hundred weeks too early.

And before you start flipping out, I should say that everything is fine.
Everything is great!

We (and I mean ME) were concerned that we (me) might be leaking a little amniotic fluid. (I shall spare you the nitty gritty, I already had to give far too many details to my dad on the phone earlier tonight.)

I assumed I would just head to the doc and they'd have me walk through some sort of amniotic fluid scanner (like an airport metal detector) and then we'd have a good laugh about how silly I was being and then they'd buy me Starbucks and I would go home.

Instead they said that they wanted me to go to the big L and D. This is not a place I wanted to be....not for a good 3 months at least. But off I went.

The fun in getting there included getting a little lost downtown (I don't usually drive myself to the hospital) and then helping a very colorfully worded lady with the automated parking payment machine and then hitting the "door close" button on the elevator before the creepy guy who was walking behind me had a chance to hop in. Then I felt bad for being so judgmental so I pushed the button as I got out to send the elevator back down to him.

Everything moved along quite quickly. Too quickly, actually. At one point, while I was in my fancy-you-will-see-these-on-the-runway-this-year hospital gown with the baby monitor while my little girl made that heart of hers beat like a pro, I found myself more relaxed than I had been in a long time. The room was lit very dimly, it was very quiet....it was kind of nice. I didn't even turn on the TV which is really a shocker.

Docs came and did all sorts of things including an external ultrasound in which they declared that I looked just right and the baby kicked her foot super high in the air. (Not even kidding.)

I was so thankful for modern medicine declaring me to be a worrywart. The docs were kind enough to tell me that it was good that I came in and to always be safe rather than sorry. I did have a degree of peace going into it and found that my biggest fear was the requirement of non-stress tests 2x a week for the next 3 months. None of that was necessary and all I left with was a feeling of peace (and the desire to fill up my cup with more of the yummy crunchy ice.)

Confession: Wouldn't mind the need to hang out in a darkened, quiet room for a few hours again before this baby comes. It was some of the best relaxing I have done in weeks.


Follow Up Thought: Perhaps the inside of a massage room would be a better place than a hospital bed?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

HAPPY ZABSGIVING EVERYONE!!




STUFFING UPDATE!!
It tastes good!! Now, it has bite because I was a little heavy handed with the onions but........the stuffing is Not Gross!!

When I was getting ready to cook, I donned my favorite apron and piled my hair high in a top knot. The kids came in the kitchen and said that I looked like a "real baker person!" Nathan said that I didn't look like his Mom.

I couldn't get a good shot of both the apron and the top knot so you get 2-TWO-pictures!!




The sounds of Zabsgiving are alive!!

"Lucy, you can't have any more celery, I need it. No, you can't have any of THAT celery either, it has raw turkey juice on it.........because then you will get sick, that's why."

"Yeah!!"
"Ohhh c'mon!"
"How did he miss that?!"
"That's it, drop him like a bad habit!"
(Chargers vs Broncos....all of that was hollered by my son who has recently discovered what a tension relief yelling at football players can be.)

"David, will you be sure that Nathan is still breathing? Is he going to have a heart attack? The game has only been going for 20 minutes."

"Mama? Will you help me with my Princess Dress/Apron/Snow White skirt/tights/crown?"





20 minutes left till we check the bird. Potatoes are on the stove and I am just leaving the stuffing in the oven till it's time to eat. I really think it will be a Stove Top Zabsgiving.

Wow those are pretty!!

The Brussels Sprouts are for Lu who loves to try anything and everything. Whenever we are in the store together, she begs me to get some so I surprised her.

I am just sauteing them in olive oil, pepper and garlic powder. I hope she likes them but if not, it was still worth it for the giant hug I got when she saw them in the fridge.


I sat down. That was a mistake.

Food remaining.....
-mashed potatoes
-fried corn (special recipe from my Gma that turns regular corn into a sweet, gooey yumminess)
-brussel sprouts

Food prepared.....
-cranberry sauce (from scratch!)

Food cooking.....
-turkey
-stuffing

I might have to enlist the Turkey Prep Guy into getting me off my rear end.

Just between you and me, I do not have high hopes for the stuffing.

Okay, tearing the bread for stuffing is tedious work. Why didn't I have the girls do this?

I think I have too many veggies and not enough bread. Hoping the stuffing recipe is forgiving. I also have 2 boxes of Stove Top ready to go just in case.

We have basted with herb butter twice and it sure smells amazing! I am running out but will just switch to regular butter when that happens.

I am creating a LOT of dishes. Those of you who have my hubby's number should text and tell him to volunteer for dish duty...........


Chopper,

We are friends again. You handled the white onion like a pro.

-BZab

*Why don't I have a personal sous chef?

Dear Pampered Chef Chopper,

You mangled my green onions. I had to pull you out of the game and call in the Cutco Knife. I am really disappointed.

-Bethany

PS: I want to take a class and learn better knife skills.

PPS: Who forgot to pay attention to the turkey cook temp and the stuffing cook temp and is now wondering if the stuffing will still cook well if it is cooked 25° cooler than the recipe calls for?


The bird is in!

We are doing things a little different this year. Instead of our usual bag and onion inside with olive oil and rosemary outside, we went with the Bobby Flay method: Herb Butter (rosemary, sage, parsley and thyme) rubbed inside and the bird is filled with carrots, celery and onions. Herb butter all over the outside and sitting in a little chicken stock-no bag.

The no bag part is the most exciting.

I will baste every 30 minutes with Herb Butter and wonder just how it is that I burn myself in the same place on my arm every year.


My turkey prep guy......I have done it before (and with a chicken once) but if he is around and willing to do the dirty work, I will accept his help!


Veggie prep-this is going inside the bird. What good is the top of a carrot?? Why have it? Why keep it?

I actually want to know.


Live Blogging Zabsgiving.....

Zabsgiving is the day I prepare a Thanksgiving meal for my family. We have what we want, the way we want it and I pull out a little inner Homemaker. Thought I might live blog the adventure as it unfolds......

W

The cornbread and white bread for my first attempt at home made stuffing wasn't stale enough so we are broiling it to get a good crunch. Don't tell me if this is the wrong thing to do. I don't want to know.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday Soundbites

I had the chance to sing on a cruise ship today accompanied by a very talented piano player in a lounge filled with only my family......and I chickened out. It made me realize a few things, the most important being: I really need to always have a song ready so I can say to a piano player "Gimmie 'Slow Boat to China' in G and keep it moving."
(Confession: I suspect I will always regret not just taking the chance and DOING it. What did I have to lose? A little pride. What did I have to gain? An AMAZING experience.)

The light at the end of the Photo Editing Tunnel is visible. It is the size of a pin but it's there.

A last minute change in the number of guests for one of our many Thanksgivings plus a VERY sleepy pregnant lady clicking around the Vons.com window plus the same pregnant lady not realizing her Vons.com cart already had some random items in it resulted in the following being delivered to my house via Vons.com and hubby: 1 container Breyers Vanilla ice cream, 1 container Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, 1 container Chocolate ice cream, 1 pumpkin cheesecake, 1 pumpkin pie, and 2 packages of Nutter Butter cookies. I also purposely had 2 different kinds of egg nog delivered for my Mister who loves the stuff. The night we found our cupboards bursting with treats, the kids asked what they could have for dessert. We answered, "Anything you want!"

When I typed out that list of goodies, I unintentionally used 3 different capitalizations on each of the times I typed "ice cream."
ice cream
Ice Cream
ice Cream

The NaBloPoMo Light at the end of the tunnel is also visible. But this light is much more bittersweet.

Today I took what just might be one of my most favoritest pictures of me and my Little-big man today.......

Friday, November 25, 2011

Indiana Scones or Yes, You May Play With Your Food

It has now become part of our Thanksgiving Day tradition to enter "The Pic of the Plate Contest" a friend puts on every year. This year, there were 3 catagories: Most Traditional (the classic plate of food with table decorations,) Most Pathetic (saddest Thanksgiving Plate plus-usually-accompanying story,) and Most Creative (the plate that's the most crea---well, you get it.)

We won the first year we entered: May the Yams Be With You

The second year we entered, it was a sorry effort but better than not showing up at all: Luke, I am Your Tater

This third year, we discussed theme heavily. Do we stick with Star Wars or do we go a different direction? Eventually, we landed on Indy. We collected toys and trucked them off to my Mom's house. We had kind of planned on doing the scene from Raiders when the ark of the covenant was opened because we had Lego Nazi soldiers we could decapitate and when you are messing with food like cranberry sauce, bloody situations are very possible to achieve. Nathan also suggested the scene from Last Crusade when Indy has to choose the cup of Christ and he was told to "...choose wisely." And then, of course, we all threw around the big boulder scene that Indy is so well known for.

We came, we devoured, we digested. It was time to start building but I was finding that I wasn't really "feeling it" this year. You see, about 3 months ago, my very pregnant sister moved to New Mexico. Since moving she has become less pregnant and produced one of the most wonderful babies I have ever laid eyes on. And she was supposed to be in town (along with said wonderful nephew and previously blogged about husband) for Thanksgiving. But things change. And she was not there. She was part of the original build team the first year we entered and then last year, creating by myself was kind of lonely. And this year I was just feeling sorry for my Kristy-less self.

BUT, I couldn't let the sadness win! I stood up from the couch and headed into the kitchen to assess the leftovers. After explaining myself to a few onlookers, I quickly found a very ready step sister willing to jump in and help out! She claimed to not be very creative but said that she was very good at solving problems. My problem? What scene do we choose?

Here's your answer.....


Description Provided: Indiana Jones flees with the idol while attempting to out run a boulder made of Rice Krispy treats covered in cranberry sauce and yams. The cave surrounding him is constructed of baked potatoes, broccoli, spaghetti (yes, spaghetti was on our Thanksgiving plate this year,) and turkey. As he runs on a floor of apple strudel and corn, the walls of mashed potatoes, carrots, green beans and stuffing attempt to swallow him whole.

But we all know how this ends: Indy, for the win with stubble on his chin, whip in his hand and fedora firmly atop his head.


We had so much fun and I found that playing with my food with my step sister was turning out to be as much fun as playing with my sister Kristy! I suddenly found myself thankful for a silly contest and a chance to do something with someone different. When I left my Mom's that night, I hugged my step sister and thanked her. I told her that she "helped me miss Kristy a little less."

Here is a little more footage of the shoot.....


We didn't win this year. We were a little bummed till we saw the winner....it was awesome and creepy at the same time and it kind of blew the "Most Creative" category wide open.

We are already plotting for next year.................

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanks for the Non Mattering Matters

I am so thankful for the effect of caffeine when 2 Diet Dr Peppers have been consumed during and after dinner. Because here I am, 2AM (Happy Thanksgiving!) and I am SO not asleep! Hooray!

Also thankful for: Sarcasm.

Thankful for cheese sticks. 'Cause they're yummy.

I am thankful for Auto Save on Blogger. Because when you type on a laptop without a working battery and when you go to stretch you accidentally pull the plug out of your laptop in the middle of the post, the post will still be there waiting for you and you don't have to scream and possibly wake everyone who didn't drink Diet Dr Pepper for dinner.

Thank you Hawaiian Rolls. I told David he didn't need to buy any at Price Club but he forgot and bought some. And then Vons.com delivered some. So we have 48 Hawaiian Rolls in the house. They went so well with our dinner tonight. And will be yummy tomorrow. And I bet they will still be delicious for our Zabsgiving Celebration on Sunday.

I am thankful for the nodding off your body does when the caffeine is leaving your system.
Good night.

Happy Thanksgiving my Dear Readers!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Shining, Gleaming, Streaming, Flaxen, Waxen

I flat ironed my hair the other day for church and whenever I do that, I receive a lot of compliments on it. It's nice. Of course it always begs the question, "Do I look like I should be wearing a trash can when my hair is curly?" But lets not dive into that inner dialogue, shall we? (Yes, dialogue. As in a conversation between two people. Don't you always have 2 different schools of thought running around in your head at all times? Guess we could "Confession" that little tidbit for me.)

The whole Sunday Morning Straight Hair-ness made me consider a couple of "Hair Idols" of the past and how they changed over time....

The first time I remember seeing someone's hair and thinking of how I wanted THAT hair was Jennifer Keaton on Family Ties. And I don't mean the long straight hair and abundant bangs that look like they were attached to a headband. I wanted the Jennifer of the later years. Jennifer when she was learning to drive. Jennifer whose humor seemed to get drier and drier with each passing season. And it wasn't the color, I had something close to that. It wasn't the wave, my Mom had been perming my hair for awhile. It was the touchability. She could stick her hand in the front of her hair and flip it from one side to the other. Just flip it! I wanted hair I could flip. (The "flip-a-bility factor" could also be seen on the heads of Kelli Kapowski and Vivian Ward.)

Fast Forward a few years and I found another mane to desire. Thursday nights. Barely there bangs. Blonde. It was Kelly Taylor. I loved how she had the wisps of hair in the front with the rest of her hair pulled over to one side. And then the flat flat flat hair. Oh how I wanted hair that would be flat! By the time Kelly entered my sights, my previously constantly permed hair had become....curly! Like Julia Roberts curly! And the curl was NOT going away. And WHO-besides Julia Roberts and Richard Simmons-wore their hair curly in the early 90's? No one! It was all about the flat. The straight and the occasional flip. None of which I had the Hair Knowledge to achieve.

It was around that time that I got my first flat iron. It was pink and had interchangeable plates with a wave and crimp plate. It was awesome. Flat irons were not very well known but man, my hair was flat-ish-like. And the awesome smell of burning hair would fill the house.

Over time, my sights shifted to more every-day hair Idols. Including a random girl who walked into Corvette Diner one night and I turned to my friend and said, "I have been trying to get the front of my hair to look like that forever." And she replied, without taking her eyes off the menu, with "Just stand upside down and pull your bangs straight while you hit it with the blow dryer."

Oh.
See, I just don't have a whole lot of hair knowledge.

Eventually, I found my own rhythm with my mane of hair and actually have never had anyone-ANYone-style my hair curly better than I think I can do it. I keep it long because my Mister likes it so and long hair really is easier to take care of because of the great invention of the ponytail! And now that flat irons aren't quite what they used to be, (meaning that they are better now,) I can get the flat that I have always been looking for.

I can't end without a couple of honorable mentions....


Disney's Road to Avolnlea... The rolls on the sides of their heads that pulled into a ponytail was a real hit with me. I tried time and time again to make it work but no amount of bobby pins would make it work.

Katherine Hepburn... It's hard to look as great as Kate. Ever.

Jenn MacDonald....she was on "Blow Out" on Bravo and I fell in love with her pink hair. I rock a pink wig every Halloween and always wonder if I could do it full time. Man I would love to give it a try. Also, I wish I had the kind of neck that could pull off the pixie cut too.

Jamie Powell/Nicole Eggert.... I wasn't allowed to watch "Charles in Charge" a whole lot but look! Touchability! Flat! The two desired styles on ONE head of hair!

I feel like there is only one way to end this......

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mommy Snuggles Aren't Enough

I have a 3 year old in my bed rolling around and moaning in pain right now. She is super tired and tired of her ear hurting.

She's laying on a heating pad and that is not doing the job as hoped. Her next dose of Motrin is 2 1/2 hours away and she won't let go of my hand as I type this into my phone.

Ear pain is no stranger to me but when it hits my kids, I ache inside. My childhood and adult life has been riddled with them and probably always will be.

I have no wit, no comedy, no insight to share today for NaBloPoMo. Just the required blog and the need to hold my Ella Girl as she tries to sleep through the pain.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cool/NotCool/Cool/Not Cool/The Coolest

Cool.... A late morning trip to Starbucks to get a yummy treat for the 2 kiddos that let me sleep in. (we had farmed the other one out to a friend's house.)

Not Cool....Ordering our Starbucks at the drive thru and discovering that Mommy's wallet was at home.

Cool....Finding a $10 bill in the center console of the car!

Not Cool.....Realizing that we'd ordered a venti drink, 2 cake popes and a breakfast sandwich. That's gonna be more than what we have.

The Coolest....Pulling up to the the window, ready to apologize because clearly something is going to have to go back and hearing, "That will be $10 please."


Confession: I LIVE for those, "Thanks for loving me in the little things, Jesus" Moments. Because as much as I know it cheers my kids up to get a cake pop at 10:30am on a vacation day Monday, God knows how much it cheers me up to get my yummy drink and sandwich when I don't deserve it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

This is THAT Post.....

.....where I am thoroughly exhausted and can't bear to move my fingers and type out a blog.

Tomorrow it will be different.

I promise.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Overview of the Last 24 Hours {in list form}

Today contained some of the highest highs and lowest lows.

A 3 year old was pushed to her breaking point and overcame exhaustion in an impressive manner.

Nathan had to taste disappointment.

David took a cold shower. Literally. The hot water in the hotel did not work. He was actively shivering when he came out.

Pancakes were eaten with a gaggle of little girls with sparkles in their hair and smiles on their faces.

There may be an unresolved argument on whether or not I fell asleep while driving the last leg of the road trip. (I didn't!!)

My kids worked hard for months to dance a total of 6 minutes. No matter how they placed, I pray they can be proud of themselves. Because.......

Confession: I kinda think they are the cutest, most wonderful Irish Dancers ever.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Second Fiddle

We left town today for a big dance competition my big kids are in. We Irish Dance it up now and we dance it good. This is a team dance and the kids have been working on it for months.

I am sitting in a hotel room where my family is all asleep. 2 big kids in roll away beds and a little girl sleeping next to my snoring hubby. I can hear the one who grinds their teeth, I know exactly the voice that produced that last sigh.....the symphony of my sleeping family plays on.

We don't have to wake up too early tomorrow and my 3 day headache seems to have faded so I am treating myself to a little late night alone time. I find myself enjoying the familiar sounds filling this little hotel room and then my thoughts wander just a bit...........

Will I wake them up if I watch an episode of Lost on my phone? Cause its kinda getting really good and I have to catch up to a friend who is also re-watching. I mean, really....what if I just leave the volume low with some closed captioning running? Thoughts?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

An 8 Year Old's Thoughts on The Persecuted Church

I mentioned that Nathan sat in on the church service this week. He was in the sound room and not necessarily sitting, glued to every word coming out of Pastor Tony's mouth. However, when it came time to talk about what he learned on the way home from church, David and I found ourselves floored by what he had to say. We talked about the videos that had the most impact on us, we talked about how shocking the stats were and Nathan even shared a few ideas for change.

Later in the week, as Nathan was doing his homework and had to write a little presentation to give in his class about what he is thankful for, he wrote a little about our religious freedom....and then changed his mind. He decided he wanted his teacher to see what he wrote but didn't want to share it in front of the class. David and I talked on whether or not to encourage him to share but decided to leave it alone this time. Instead, I asked if I could share on the blog what he wrote and then asked him to write more about what he learned and what his thoughts were on the persecution happening all over the world.

The following are Nathan's Very Own Words. I have fixed some simple spelling errors but left some in. The punctuation is all his and, as you will see, he writes just as if you were having a conversation with him. I should add that the tone comes across as casual with even some humor thrown in but you should know that when things appear so black and white and logical to Nathan, his brain cannot even grasp any other idea and any alternative is simply preposterous! He gets this from his dad and it is one of the best and worst things about both of them. Additionally, there is a fact thrown in (and noted) that is completely wrong. But you will know which one it is. Nathan tends to exaggerate on occasion. I can't, in a MILLION BILLION YEARS figure out where he got that ABSURD trait from!!

The first paragraph is what Nathan wrote in his sharing book. The rest is what he wrote when I prompted him with the following questions......

What surprised you about what you learned?
What solutions do you have?
What does GOD want Christians to do?


Here's Nate the Great......

I am thankful for our country's laws, and specifically the privilege we get to be able to our experiences walking along the path of Christ. I've seen a video that says 30-I repeat-30% of the world cannot talk about Him in public. I hope this won't keep up.

During last Sunday, there were a couple of videos that really amazed me: one of the videos said that 10% of our world is not, NOT aloud to speak about our one and truly almighty God. One video said that North Korea has to worship the president of their country. Seriously!?! It's like he is the Alpha and Omega! What they need is a new kind of leader. I mean, "I hope that God sends a Christian to those countries and hopefully be elected president and make a new law to only worship one God." What would every angel say to that? "Word!"

A majority of the videos said people are in jail, there is a pastor that has been shown in the "jail exit" and-wow-yelled at to promise his soul to their "god." But instead, he walked back to his cell. And, another one who had to see his entire family executed even when he kept singing about how he'll never stop believing in Jesus. Amen.

"Fun Fact" Time! Did you know that more people have been executed in the past 3 years than the past 19,000 years> Really! Watch the video I posted! *

Here's an idea: get a group together to get transferred to those countries and preach in.....ready?......public! I mean it! No matter what everyone says, do it!

[Mommy's Note: at this point, Nate's dinner was getting cold and his 8 year old bottomless pit of a stomach was demanding food. He possibly could have written twice as much with all the information he has stored in his head on this topic but you must obey that stomach.]


*= The actual fact is that there have been more Christians killed in the past 100 years for their faith than in the previous 1900 years of church history. And I am not sure which video he is referring to but I am sure it is one of the ones we have posted this week.



We can't ever dismiss the thoughts and opinions of even our youngest followers of Christ. These are the minds shaping and molding around the Biblical Foundation of Truth who will later take the Truths embedded in their hearts and Change the World.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sing it Loud.

I wanted to share more media with you regarding the Persecuted Church but this time I wanted you to get the introduction I got this Sunday from our pastor, Tony Silvestri.

Here is the Sunday Message I was blessed to hear.
There is an audio version or you can watch the video which is the entire service including music. (Please remember that we are not professional singers but our musicians are a-freakin-mazing.)

Love.com: The Privilege and Responsibility of Community

VGCC Sunday Morning Worship - 11.13.2011 from VGCC on Vimeo.



I found it really interesting to be at church on this specific week after an entire month of missing services. I don't think I have ever missed to much church before-even after having a baby! I found myself so happy to be back, worshiping with my church family and spending time with God in His house. I had no idea what the sermon would be about that morning.

As the morning went on and I further grasped the severity of what was going on in the world around me, I found that I was almost ashamed that I wasn't MORE thankful to be sitting there under no threat of persecution or physical harm to myself.

If you watch the video, you will see our church called to immediate action by Pastor Tony as he invites only those who plan to commit to prayer to come up and get a bracelet that will remind them to pray. It was moving to see people carefully consider that commitment and then approach, paying a dollar or two to cover the bracelet's expense and then walking back to their seat. I was already emotional enough for about 3 pregnant women but then I saw my son, who had been helping David in the sound room during the sermon, walking forward and getting a bracelet.

I worked hard to pull myself together since the band and I were on the stage about to sing another song and I turned to one of the other singers and said, "How are we supposed to sing after this?"

She paused and said, "LOUD."

Amen.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Where in the World......???

Some of you may be reading this week thinking that you already know all about the places where the Persecuted Church resides. Here are only a few highlights of the MANY places where extreme reaction to the name Jesus can be found.....





Central Asia.....


And the powerful story of Youcef Nadarkhani that is currently going on even as you read this blog.......



What are the days and nights like for someone like Youcef? He has said that he is removed from his cell, tortured for a few hours at a time and then walked a very long route through the main corridor of the jail. The guards walk him closer and closer to the front of the jail where the doors are wide open and throw him to his knees.

"Renounce Christ! Proclaim that Allah is the one true God! Then, you may have your freedom and walk out these doors right this moment." The guards yell these things to him over and over again.

He patiently waits until they have finished. He stands to his feet and walks back to his jail cell.



If this was your pastor.....father........brother......friend......would you hope that people all over the world were praying for him by name? Will you pray for him tonight??

If you want to know more about WHO you can pray for, follow this link: Open Doors USA

Monday, November 14, 2011

Her Name is Lily

This week was International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. A day set aside to remind Christians to pray for their brothers and sisters who are not living in a place where they can worship Jesus freely without living under threat.

And you know, as I think about it, this isn't just an issue for those who are "religious." It is a concern of anyone who is American. Anyone who appreciates the freedom THEY have been given to worship as they choose.

Confession: I think everyone deserves to choose whom/what they want to worship.
Confession, Part Two: I feel-very strongly-that I have found the correct path to happiness and peace.
Confession, Part Three: I would really really love to talk to you about it.

So this week is dedicated to those who need our prayers. Those who have been imprisoned, tortured or left homeless because they choose to follow Jesus.

People like Lily......

Sunday, November 13, 2011

No Turning Back.....No Turning Back

I wanted to share something with you that rocked my world today.
My teeny tiny world.

The world where I get to go to church whenever I want.
All I do is pick a day and there is a church with a worship service ready to welcome me.

The world where I get to get on a stage and sing-LOUD-to Jesus.

The world where I have chosen to aid my partner in life to build my family on the Foundation of Jesus Christ.

And none of these actions carry any consequences.

The government won't take my home.
David's job is not in jeopardy.
My children's lives are not in danger.

Confession: I am too comfortable in this little world of mine. And I am not on my knees enough for the brothers and sisters who are risking everything precious to them in the name of Jesus.

Don't watch this video unles syou are prepared to view your world for how it truly is: Safe. Small. Secure. Don't click "play" unless you are willing tot ake your Sunday experiences and treat them for what they REALLY are: A privilege. Don't even think about letting your eyes be opened to the reality of what is going on around us unless you are prepared to pray for the families who are daily losing everything so they can have even 1 page of a Bible to read.

Because once you click, there is No Turning Back.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

On Writing

I have been doing NaBloPoMo for a few years now and I really enjoy the challenge.
I like writing.
I LOVE writing.
But there are times in life that writing doesn't love me back.

Maybe if I read more it will be easier?
Maybe if I read about WRITING more?
Maybe if I stay away from reading?

You know, if life was simpler.....
If I was smarter......
If I was more organized.............then I could write.

Witty! Funny! Hilarity!
Thousands of readers and random people quoting me to me!
Sponsors! A book deal! (Clearly my goals are grounded.)

But it just doesn't come together.

Why?
Well, sometimes I am unorganized.
Sometimes life NEEDS to be simpler.
And other times..............???

I have a book my mom got me called "The Pocket Muse" by Monica Wood.
She thought I might find it interesting.....helpful.
It has all kinds of prompts for writing-mostly fiction but for other styles of writing as well.
Also contained inside this little book: other ideas for writing.
Tips.
Suggestions.
Encouragements.

And I read something that made me realize part of my problem:

I was leaving the room.
From "The Pocket Muse:"
"I once heard a college student in Waterville, Maine ask visiting writer Ron Carlson how one knows if one is really a writer. Ever the showman, Carlson delivered an entertaining riff about the distractions writers put in their own way all day, all the time: leaving the room to get coffee, check the mail, get coffee, walk the dogs, go to the bathroom, get coffee, look something up, get coffee. Then, dead serious, he summed up the whole enterprise in a line I have never forgotten: 'The writer is the one who stays in the room.'"


To my friends who write-and to me.....
{Be the one who stays in the room.}

Friday, November 11, 2011

On Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen....Comet, Cupid, Donner and Luke

Dear Santa,



That is all.
May The Force be with you,

Bethany Zabrosky



Confession: I will believe in almost anything if it means I get this for Christmas this year.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Be Kind to Your Walmart Bathroom Using Friends......

A mini adventure the other day found me at a mall that is not my usual shopping grounds. I also had, in tow, one 3 year old Ella and her favorite 4 year old friend as well. Despite the fact that the day had been filled with promises of things like pet stores and playtime only to discover that pet stores were closed and playtime cut short due to the fact that ewe showed up at the wrong mall, the girls were being rock stars when it came to being patient. They also had amped up the cuteness big time so when they asked if they could go to the bathroom, how could I say no to that?!

Confession: Occasionally I write something clever and then go back and re-read it only to find that I still think I am clever. Did you see what I did there? I ALLOWED them to go to the bathroom. Like using the bathroom is the same thing as getting a cookie. That's some quality stuff there I tell you.

After using the restroom, we came out to wash our hands and ran onto another Mom with 3 in tow of her own. We washed, we chatted, 3 and 4 year old stared down other 3 and 4 year old. (Have you ever seen that happen? It's like when meerkats are staring down other outsider meerkats...no one moves, no one smiles, everyone just sizes up everyones Disney Princess shirts and oversized hairbows.)

As I turned around to leave, the other mother-who was roughly my age-says, "Um ma'am........??"

"Yes?"

"You have the, um, toilet seat cover hanging out of the back of your pants..............."

I backed up toward the trashcan (because then no one would see?) and disposed of the paper goods looking for a free ride and thanked the other mother there. We all laughed a nervous laugh as I gathered my meerkats to head out the door. The mom offers one final word....

"Yeah, that's one of those things that's totally hilarious in the WalMart bathroom....but not so much once you walk out the door."

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

It's Not All a Rerun...More Like a Clip Show...With a Field Trip!

Today's Confession: Sometimes the pregnancy brain thing works in my favor.

Totally forgot that we bought new pillows today. King sized ones to actually fit inside my king sized pillow cases.

No more will I slumber on a pillow case that has extra fabric flapping in the breeze! Pillows! I am so excited to go to bed now!

Thinking of the word "pillow" makes me think of a duck. A very specific and special duck. A duck you can read about here at my friend Carol's spot: A Giant Spoonful of Laughter

You can see what my face looks like when Carol surprises me with the duck (as she once did at my first Baby Shower....in front of aboout 60 people) right here: If it Quacks Like a Duck

And now that I sit here thinking about it, I know that I still have the duck.....but where is it?

Follow Up Confession: Perhaps the pregnancy brain isn't as great as originally thought.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

5 Fess Ups......

Confession......and Apology: I keep forgetting to buy deodorant. But instead of risking an offensive odor, I have been using David's Travel Deodorant. Which means walking around smelling like a dude all day. I apologize to anyone I may have hugged recently and thereby causing their nose some sort of confusion in the process.

Confession: I miss Law and Order. I miss Lenny Briscoe.

Confession: I put the kids to bed early today because I am feeling just a little cranky.

Confession: Sometimes when I feel a little cranky like this, I play a lot of Tetris on the computer.

Confession.....and a Query: I am a little cranky because of a couple of long-ish nights spent with a 3 year old coughing cougher and while I love snuggling her on the couch while sitting upright so her throat won't become irritated and cause her to cough, I wonder what other natural remedies (other than a little spoonful of honey) you smart people may have for coughs??

Monday, November 07, 2011

The Follow Up....

I needed to resolve the looming question surrounding the Halloween Costume Decision wherein my very own child seemed to question the cool factor of one Han Solo.

The good news is that he was convinced to give the costume a go. It was easy to shop for and involved buying him clothes that he can totally wear in the Non Han Solo part of his life. His vest was just cut from a tee shirt that was 2 sizes too big. It was perfect. For his blaster, we already had a gun that we didn't even have to paint black and his "utility belt" was an over sized belt with various boxes of different shapes and sizes taped over with black duct tape. I wish I had grabbed some better photos of his costume but the day just didn't allow it.

Confession: My heart actually swooned a little when I would look at my cutie pie Han Solo.



Lucy was "Trixie the Halloween Fairy" and was also fairly easy to assemble. We took an XXL Men's tee and cut it up into a dress. My neighbor came over and helped me cinch it in the back to fit in the waist and we tied leftover pieces of Nate's tee we'd used for his vest to belt it all up. We didn't have tights to match the tee so we went with black and grey knee highs and orange wings from the 99 Cent store. The hair...how crazy is the hair?! We wanted a short brown wig and found it ironic to be covering up the hairstyle people are looking to find in a wig (super long, super blonde) with the hairstyle many people already have. We settled on a black wig based on price and the fact that it would make a more dramatic statement. I love how different she looked-it was awesome.

Ella was a simple butterfly. She was pleased and kept her wings on all night. Her one demand was that her hair have glitter. That was a simple accomodation although the glitter hair spray doesn't really contrast well to a head of bright blonde hair. But she was a happy girl who scored lots of candy and remembered her "thank yous" and tolerated actual people speaking words to her face. (She isn't the most social of children.)

And I cannot end this post without sharing MY costume! The pink wig was purchased last year and I just love it so much that I will probably always wear it at least once a year. But this year, I got to wear a tee that was too much fun to pass up. My friend found it online here. It was fun seeing people smile and see my shirt and then realize just what they were looking at. And for maximum effect, I wore a pair of pants that help me look super duper pregnant.



We ended our evening with the usual "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" but watched it in the front yard with our neighbors projecting it on their fence. It was part of their yard set up and they played it on repeat all night but started it all over just for their favorite Zablets.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Get in Line, Kiddos

Sometimes you go out with a few of your friends and you get a text toward the end of your meal from your husband.

It might contain the message "Lucy wrote you a note."
And it might also have a picture to go with it......

"Beware of the stinky...!! Daddy!! p.s. he tooted on nate's face turn over"

And then when you get home, you might flip the note over and see the other side.

"and also did it on me! tell him not to! Love Lucy!! to mom"

The next morning, when the note's authors are asking if you read the note you might just have to confess....

"I have been trying to get him to stop that ever since we got married."
And your kids will laugh.








(And then you will not believe that you just posted an entire blog about tooting.)

Saturday, November 05, 2011

The Queen Was Unsurpassed in Grace and Beauty





This series represents about 30 minutes of my Friday Night. It began with Ella placing a crown on my head and informing me that I was the queen (although that s part of any Friday night) and then telling me she was going to tell me a story. She sat down criss-cross applesauce and began the story.

It started with the basic plot from "Tangled" and focused mainly around the death of Mother Gothel. Suddenly there was a MONSTER and then PIRATES and HAND GESTURES! NUMEROUS HAND GESTURES!

Eventually, she slowed down the story and got a pencil. She was taking more notes in her notebook and while I was prepared for more story, she got up and left. Just like that.

Confession: The story was better than some episodes of "Friends."

Friday, November 04, 2011

But Only Milk Chocolate....Keep That Dark Stuff to Yourself

You may or may not know how much I adore holiday candy. However, the only Holiday Candy that I really super love is Easter Candy. Mostly because of the Cadbury Goodness Celebration of Jesus's Resurrection (I am VERY sure the two are related.) Christmas Holiday Candy really doesn't do it for me.

I mean, I will always happily enjoy the red and green wrapped Hershey Kisses with a festive smile and all but Christmas really is more about the baked goods and who can bring me the very best home made fudge. (Message me for a mailing address.)

However, there is one Christmas Holiday Candy that I really do need to feel like we have entered the Holiday Season. It's like the Red Cup of the candy aisle......

They are the taste of "Thanksgiving-Christmas-Shopping-Church-Coats too Warm For So Cal-Wrapping Presents-Dragged to your Grandmother's House" to me. And I threw my grandmother in there because SHE is the one who always had them. (I have spoken of her before.)

My sister and I ADORE them and even once when she lived far away from me, I asked someone to purchase some for her so she could usher the season in properly. It's one of those little things that just brings a nice smile to the face.

The Zablets don't love them.
Except for Lucy because she loves everything. E V E R Y T H I N G .

Confession, Part One: When I opted to add only 1 (ONE!) of these yummy treats to my breakfast menu, something happened and I suddenly found myself dying in my kitchen. Seriously dying! Choking! Gasping for breath! For, like, a little longer than I would really prefer.

Confession, Part Two: The above experience did not keep me from having another one at lunch. Or, possibly, FOR lunch.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Short, Sweet and Distracted.....

Confession: I sometimes lose myself in a book so deeply, that I forget there are actual living, breathing people in the world.

Right now, I am in one of those....sort of.
It is by Mindy Kaling who plays Kelly Kapoor on "The Office" and she is stinking hysterical.
It isn't the best book I have ever read, it just happens to be exactly what I need right at this very moment.

Soooooo, I'm gonna go read now.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Sing It!

Today at Price Club, while carting my haul (2 sets of flannel sheets for kiddos, the best tortillas ever, a Lego Star Wars book for Nate for Christmas from Auntie Shell, tonight's dinner and a TON of toilet paper for the house that was down to 1 roll that was literally being walked up and down the stairs from bathroom to bathroom) to the car, I heard the singing. But where was it coming from?

"So glad we've almost made it,
So sad they had to fade it,
Everybody wants to rule the world."

I look behind me and realize the music and additional member of Tears For Fears was originating from the Tire Center Bay. The Price Club Tire Guys had the 80's Music station on and they were liking it big time.

And, I won't miss the chance to confess that I loaded up my car just a little slower so I could listen to the jam session.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

No Priest Necessary

So I am going to NaBloPoMo it up the month of November which means that I simply will be dumping the contents of my brain in written form right in this here Internet page. (If you have EVER even CONSIDERED writing a blog, you should join me in this!! You can still sign up right here!)

I have decided that this month we will be sharing the occasional confession. And by "we," I mean "me." And by "share," I mean "force upon you to read." And by "confession," I mean, well, "confession."

Confession Number Uno:

Lately I have been walking a fairly rebellious line and NOT PUTTING ON MY SEAT BELT TILL I AM ACTUALLY DRIVING.

(I didn't say the confessions would be interesting or tantalizing.)

I don't really know when this happened but suddenly, I find that I will be all the way out at the stop sign by my house before I put it on or pulling out of the driveway of the store I was in and then I "click." And it isn't like I am forgetful, no, this is a CHOICE. And when I am driving, sometimes at the breakneck speed of 8 miles per hour, I feel......BAD. Like Arthur Fonzarelli bad. Somewhere between walking late into class on purpose and stealing an extra milk carton in the cafeteria line bad.

I cannot figure out where this terribly rebellious streak came from. I was never a kid that broke the rules a whole lot. I mean, one time, I stayed out past curfew, sneaked* back in the house and made my sister promise to not tell our folks because I was over at a friends house PLAYING SCATTERGORIES. And no, that is not a metaphor for something like mixing Jolt Cola and Pop Rocks in the parking lot behind the school. I am talking about the Board Game. And I probably won.

For now, I am just allowing this little indulgence. We will see how far I take it. I know, I know, it isn't safe to skip the seat belt and I am sure that I could match your seat belt horror story with the one I always tell my kids about the boy in my second grade class at Mark Twain Elementary who was thrown out of the window of his parents' van when he wasn't wearing his seat belt and came back to school weeks and weeks later with a different face. I don't think I will need an intervention and viewing of multiple episodes of Red Asphalt.** Just allow me this little rebellion for the time being and eventually I will move on to something else. Like not returning my shopping cart or not wiping down the exercise machine after I use it. (Oh who am I kidding, I don't sweat! Or exercise!)

Besides, this is a safe place, right? And confession is good for the blog.

*= Spellcheck didn't appreciate my use of the word "snuck" and yet I was so sure that I had not misspelled it so I looked it up and found this shocking history of the use of the word "snuck!"

**= Did you know they were still making sequels to this movie even in 2006?!

Friday, October 28, 2011

We're Fine. We're All Fine Here Now, Thank You. How Are You?

I am in the middle of a discussion with my procrastinating 8 year old about his Halloween Costume.
(I totally allowed it since his Costume Designing Mother (CDM) is a procrastinator too.)
We have suspended the conversation so he could go downstairs and get ready for school...and possibly so the CDM could cool down.

See Nate had the awesome idea of being the Pied Piper about 2 months ago. It came because he was learning to play the recorder at school and since the CDM (or the DWHBLOHSFESRSM in this part of the story.... the Doesn't Want Her Brains Leaking Out of Her Skull From the Ear Splitting Recorder Sounds Mother) wouldn't allow him to play the recorder in the house as much as he wanted, he brilliantly thought of the Halloween Loophole.

CDM jumped on the idea! It was so creative, so fun to make! AND, how about we get rats and mice that we tie to fishing twine and they follow the Pied Piper Nate around! Brilliant!

But then Nate changed his mind. "What if people don't know what it is?" "What if people laugh at me?" We were off on a new costume hunt.

But then we got distracted and forgot or didn't have good ideas. Now it is Friday before Halloween and today is THE LAST DAY that CDM will be shopping for Halloween Costume Pieces.

Then it hits her: Han Solo! Nathan would make a GREAT Han Solo! He's got the scruffy hair ("Whos 'scruffy-lookin?'") and the costume requires things CDM can easily pick up at Target. Winner winner Chicken Dinner!

We discuss it, he is intrigued. Then he asks about Luke Skywalker, could he be Luke? What about Qui Gon Jinn? We Google Images some costumes and he sees that even the Amazing CDM can't pull that off with only a few hours to go. And CDM asks,

"What's wrong with being HAN SOLO?"

And Nathan answers....

"Eh......."

Did he just "Eh" HAN SOLO?!

CDM is trying to hold herself together.

He stands up and goes downstairs to eat his breakfast and I call out after him, "Don't you know that Han Solo is the COOLEST?!"

No response from the 8 year old who clearly hit his head and is suffering from a concussion or something mind altering.

"Can YOU make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs?!"

By then I think he was downstairs.




You know, he might not like Slurpees (seriously?) or any drink with carbonation (I mean, c'mon!) but I don't know if I can allow this Han Solo Complacency to remain unchecked in my home. It might turn into an epidemic.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The Incredible Spreadable

You know how standing in your garage with the door closed feels like you are in a secure and insulated room in your own house? And then, after needing to raise your voice and use very strong and stern words with a certain 3 year old tyrant, you remember that being in the garage is almost like being outside and that anyone standing near your garage got to hear you have to carry a kicking and screaming 3 year old out to the car so you would get the big kids to school on time?

Might I also add to the scenario that as soon as you open your garage door and pull your car out, you see 2 of your nearest neighbors. One is loading up their own child to go to school and one, while collecting his mail, gives you a VERY knowing smile and wave that only confirms that he heard EVERYTHING.

The 3 year old might attempt to scream during the drive and that is when you repossess a toy (as you said you would) since she didn't calm down. But to remove that toy, you, in your jammies, will have to get OUT of the car and exchange smiles and waves with 2 OTHER neighbors around the corner.

When you arrive home after successfully getting big kids to school and you now have a 3 year old who has very quickly adjusted her attitude because she has remembered that Mama Means Business, you will find that the only way to get past the start of your day is to butter up two extra soft and squishy Hawaiian Rolls. Which leads me to today's topic:

Things I Like to Spread on Hawaiian Rolls


Butter....always butter. I really don't like my rolls heated and I prefer the butter cold-but spreadable. I know that's a little odd but it is just how I like it.

Whipped Cream Cheese. It has to be whipped because otherwise it will tear the roll. I am not usually a fan of whipped cream cheese except for dumping into Neighbor Salsa but the sweet of the roll and the tang of the cream cheese just work together.

Avocado....with turkey. (I know, you can't spread turkey but the Avocado is the more important of those two items.)

Homemade sliders with cheeeeeese.

Honey with a little butter. If you do have to warm the roll, a little melted butter with a little honey is nice. Don't over honey the roll like you can for a piece of sourdough toast.


I guess, after the morning I had this morning, I should add one more thing...

MY PRIDE.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Brain Dump

It's the official end of the week (although I have a calender that puts Sunday as the last day of the week and, frankly, that is how my brain works best) and I am left with the odds and ends of my brain that I am deciding to share with you. Get Excited, here it comes!

1. I found my label maker. Did you know it was lost? I didn't! Until I went to look for it....and found it was LOST! Nate found it, actually. And then went ahead and labeled what I was hoping to label. Now I don't have anything to label. Quick! Give me something to label!

2. Cleaning out my "Drafts" e-mail box and found a Nate-ism. Said in all seriousness: "When I am a teenager, I am going to pay attention to commercials so I can know what the best supplies are that I might need for my life. Like OxyClean. I know I'm going to need that."

3. I ordered a comedy with Kristin Wiig and Netflix sent a war movie with Matt Damon. I suspect he won't be doing any of his jokes from "Ocean's Eleven" tonight.

4. Speaking of Matt Damon, "The Adjustment Bureau" anyone?! Amazing!

4a. (No extra charge!) Does he ever wish his acting name was "Matthew Damon" instead of the more casual "Matt?"

5. I'm rolling with the movie star talk and telling you all that Brad Pitt was in my dream last night. We ran a business (along with my husband) where we pretended to fix people's homes or something like that. He was nice, despite being dishonest.

6. Phooey. I totally had a question for you guys and it went right out of my head while I was trying to phrase the Brad Pitt thing correctly. My brain is so fuzzy. I guess that leads me to my 7th point...

7. I haven't "officially" told you blog readers that we are expecting another sweet baby Zab. Most of you are Facebook Friends so you already know but I really do like saying it, especially to you readers who have followed through one of the hardest moments of our lives and stuck with us. There will be more on all the feelings and thoughts another time but for now, know that we are almost 17 weeks and due at the end of February. The 28th.

8. If I can manage to have the baby on the 29th, do you think that kid will like being a Leap Year Kid?

9. Caught Lucy, as she finished making her turkey and mustard sandwich, wiping the knife off to put back in the clean utensil drawer. It made me think how I wish I had 2 kitchens: 1 they get to use and 1 they aren't allowed to enter.

10. We have been working on teaching and fostering kindness lately. While getting ready to pick the big kids up from school, Ella packed her pre-school bucket (and favorite accessory) full of toys to take with her. I told her that she could bring the bucket in the car but perhaps she should only bring a few toys with her into the school because her bucket was getting heavy.

"I don't mind," she tells me.

"Okay then. But you will be carrying your bucket the whole time. If it gets too heavy, I am not going to carry it for you."

She looks at me square in the eyes and says very simply, "Mommy. That isn't being kind."
Uhhhhhhh.......

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Day of School! First Day of School!

This is the face of the little girl who was very sure she wasn't going to make any friends....



....despite the fact that there were little girls risking getting in trouble to call out her name, step out of line and give her a hug.



This is the face of the boy who will break down his nervous and excited amounts by percent.....



....despite the fact that he walked right up the stairs to his classroom without even a look back at Mommy.



This is what a Third Grader and a First Grader look like.....



....despite the fact that I have VERY CLEARLY instructed them that they are NOT allowed to grow up.



And THIS is the face of the three year old who will be starting pre-school soon and who MIGHT have been forgotten and accidentally locked in the car until another MOM at the school turned before everyone crossed the street and asked, "Where's Ella?"



Thankfully, that face is very forgiving. "Why did you leave me in the car?" she asked while in her seat, playing with her toys.

Mommy, Daddy, Ella the (This-Was-The-First-Time-Ever-I-Swear) Forgotten joined Uncle Andy and Auntie Shell in our First Day of School Tradition: Pancakes and Bacon. Now, we are all ready for a nap.

Will someone remind me to wake up before 2:20??

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Why Did I Want to Be a Grown Up?

Standing in my kitchen preparing my "famous baked potato and Diet Coke" while nursing a wicked allergy migraine. Hubby is gone for the night, kids are in bed, it is finally my turn for dinner.
I stop to think, "Man, I wish I had a chef who would prepare this for me."

I look around my living room as I sink into the couch next to a pile of laundry.
"Too bad I don't have a maid to hang all this up and put it away."

After eating, hanging laundry and clearing my own dishes, I flip through my Daytimer and see the list of appointments I have to make in the next few weeks.
"Isn't there a personal assistant I can hire to do all of this for me?"

That's when it hits me.
I don't want a chef, maid or personal assistant......
I WANT MY MOM!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sampson

I have wonderful people who are willing to not only watch my kids but they also tell me the funny things they say when I come home. Our wonderful neighbor Kim had the following to report recently.....

Kim: Nate, your hair is getting so long! It's time to get it cut!

Nate: *gasps* I can't cut my hair!

Kim: Why not?

Nate: (with a straight face) Because...........it's part of my CHARACTER!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Who's in Charge Around Here?

My brain flipped out and decided to obsess over something (of no importance) so much that it did not allow for any sleep and my body is begging me to go back to bed.

My daytimer tells me that I have a playdate in 30 minutes and my checkbook says we can do it if I print out a coupon. (My printer just whispered a secret that I have no ink.)

My stomach is telling me that I want a Denny's sized breakfast but my clock is telling me we have no time.

My kids-unaware of the playdate-are telling me they want to stay home and play Wii and their actions and faces are telling me they want to be locked in their rooms till they emerge respectful and kind.



I don't feel that I am in control of any part of my day today.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

very very very.

Some days are amazing. Everything is going your way!
You get your favorite yogurt for breakfast.
Your brother lets you choose the TV show in the morning.
Your sister doesn't pee on any of your belongings.

Lost library book? Found!
Very best dolls? Ready for you to play!

Bubbles! Rainbows! Ponies! Hearts!

And then.....you have days like this





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Monday, June 06, 2011

What You Get if You Chat With Me....

missthany: man, that taco I made was sooo good

KristyBlais: oh yay!

missthany: lots of cheese and lots of fresh avocado with salt

KristyBlais: ooooh wow

missthany: and there was some meat in there too i think

KristyBlais: hahaha

KristyBlais: good, just for flavoring, right?

missthany: yeah. Next time, I will just get a meat flavored seasoning-it would leave more room for cheese and avocado



And, so you can feel like you got your money's worth for today's post....

This is the sort of thing that doesn't surprise you when you live in my house and try to pour your cereal:





The only conundrum is who of my 3 little wonders decided that Hiccup and the other Vikings needed to conquer the Honey Nut Cheerios?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The One With The Morning That Started With Pee

My day started with waking up to the sweet face of a sleeping 3 year old.
And then I thought, "I don't remember putting her in my bed....what sort of person doesn't remember putting a kid in bed with her?"

Then I felt the bottom of the 3 year old and it was....well......wet.
Ugh.
"What kind of person wets the bed and gets it all over themselves and doesn't wake up?!"

Then I felt my own sleep shirt and bra and it was....well......wet.
"What kind of person gets PEED ON and DOESN'T WAKE UP?!"

Good News: I got to take a shower this morning while David re-dressed the 3 year old.
He didn't do it out of pity for me. More from celebration that he missed the baptism.

During the shower, I was the recipient of a ton of knock-knock jokes, 3 year old edition. They go like this:
"Knock-knock"
"Who's there?"
"Baby Bottle!"
"Baby Bottle Who?"
"Hahahahahahaha!!"
"Knock-knock"
"....."
"Mommy, you are supposed to say "Who's there?!"
"Who's there?"
"Grummny grits."
"Grummny grits who?"
Hahahahahahahahahaha!!
"Knock-knock..."

(I think you understand.)

After the shower, I headed downstairs where my big kids were getting ready for school. Or wrestling. Or trying to convince me they were helping each other find their socks. Riiiiiight.

Z-Bars were handed out, Chocolate milk was demanded, demands were rephrased into requests and requests were rephrased into questions with kindness and everyone got their Carnation Instant Breakfast.

While braiding the beautiful mane of my Kindergardener (For Only 10 More Days Then She is a First Grader and Then I Explode), we sang.
We sang "God Bless America" where Nathan explained he was working on making his voice sound "like that. Like Justin Beiber."
"Like that" meant lots of vibrato. (You should click that.) Which Justin Beiber doesn't have. But he doesn't need to know that just yet.

We sang "This Land is Your Land" and Lucy rewrote some of the verses and really wouldn't sing them any other way. "While I was walking, along the freeway, I saw some mountains and maybe some flowers....."

The kids asked me to sing "The Star Spangled Banner" which I can do but not usually at 7am without a warm up. But we sang anyway and Lucy pretended to know all the words which meant she sang the last syllable of every word with me.

We switched back to "God Bless America" with the kids arguing whether or not to "tag" the ending and me needing to remind them that if they can't agree then there will be no singing allowed all while Ella now sings her version of "God Bless America" over the arguing.

Hop in the car, shocked we are on time, pray on the way to school for ourselves, our actions and our friends. As the big kids hop out and say "good bye" to Ella and discuss with each other if Nathan will walk Lucy to class or not, I sigh.

It really is a nice life.


Monday, March 21, 2011

In the Following Document, the Word "Cheese" is Used 9 Times

I just made the most kick tail grilled cheese sandwich.
Sourdough bread, lots of cheddar and cut diagonally, of course, because that is the only way to eat a grilled cheese.

Unless you are one of my kids. Then I slice your sandwich the way you demand and mutter how you are "a butcher of cheese-tastic proportions" under my breath.

While I was making that perfect grilled cheese-wait, it wasn't perfect because there was only 1 kind of cheese. It was just a really awesome sandwich. Okay, back to the story..... while I was making that totally awesome grilled cheese sandwich, I got the dishwasher unloaded. And while the sandwich "rested" (you should treat your cheese as you treat a fine cut of beef. You just should.) I was able to LOAD the dishwasher which made me love that cheese that had been grilled even more and then led me to this realization...

A weekend that ends with all the bowls and spoons in the dishwasher is a good weekend.

All good things come in bowls! Ice cream! Soup! Cereal! Soup with cheese on it! Cereal in the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!
Sometimes I put my dinner in a bowl just to make it taste yummier and it works! Trust me on this one, for reals.

Speaking of food, I ran across this foodies blog and THIS exchange she had with her Mister over making school lunches. It also led to my new favorite quote:

"Life has crust!"

I have started using it as my declaration when the kids say that something isn't fair. Of course, I used it before really explaining it to them so there was some degree of confusion but I eventually caught them up.

In life, dear Zablets, I will do my best to cut crust off of your sandwiches (although I must say, I don't mind crust when the sandwich has been cut DIAGONALLY!) and make life fair for you. But, sometimes I might forget, or someone else might make your sandwich, or I won't have the time, or I just pain forget. Know why? Because life just isn't fair. IT HAS CRUST!

Among other totally awesome things the internet has given me recently, I am happy to share this offering from the gang of MercyMe and their "Cover Tune Grab Bag!" This installment includes the talents of MercyMe, Jars Of Clay, Matt Maher, Thousand Foot Krutch, The Afters & Lecrae.



But wait, now that you are all smiley you have to see this!



And, um this too.....



And I will stop. Because you will find more. And then you will realize you have been watching them with your kids for over and hour. And you were supposed to start cooking your authentic Irish Beef Stew at least 45 minutes ago. But never fear! You just show the videos to your hubby who then also gets hooked and doesn't notice that the stew isn't ready till after 7pm. And when you hand him stew, IN A BOWL, he's doubly happy.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Oh Hello......Morning.

While I am not necessarily NOT a morning person, I am a Stays-Up-Way-Too-Late person so the mornings generally come faster than I would like. Over time I have discovered that I respond to Morning in 2 different ways.....

1. CONQUERER
"Well, it's here and I am ready. Yes, I stayed up till 3am cleaning off the DVR but at least I was cleaning. So bring it on, Morning. You've got NOTHING on me!
Strength and Honor!"


2. VICTIM
I can't BELIEVE that was all the sleeping time I got! It isn't FAIR! Why does Morning have to happen to ME?! It must HATE me for deciding to watch all 8 seasons of the Dick Van Dyke Show back to back to back last night. What does it have against a hilarious sit-com starring a lovable, lanky, talented song and dance comedy writer?!? Ohhhhhhhh Rob!!


I won't out and out say what kind of morning today was. But I will tell you that after my shower, I discovered that I dried all of my body except for my left leg.
And I didn't realize that till I was putting on my jeans.
And I almost cried about it.