Tuesday, November 23, 2010

All Aboard!!!

"This is the POLAR EXPRESS!!!"

We are back from our first EVER family vacation!  We drove to Williams, AZ and rode the Polar Express.  All...the...way...to the NORTH POLE!  Santa gave all four kiddos a very special bell.  If you can still hear it ringing, you must still believe in Santa.

For the record...I can still hear it ringing!

And since I don't like Blogger's new format for pictures....you can see the whole 200+ pictures on FB!  Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas!!! 

Friday, September 3, 2010


I've kind of joked around with Insanity and the encouraging words Shaun T. uses to keep you motivated.  It must work for me, though, because I am still doing it and still loving it.

My favorite phrase he says is, "Dig deeper!  You can freaking do this!"

Because, you know what?  I can.  I can poop out really fast, too.  It takes a whole lot less self-encouragement and arguing with my body to have it just sit on the couch instead.  But I know, at the end of the day, I'd be annoyed with myself. 

And then, I hear God whisper to me, "Dig deeper."  

And my first reaction is, "I will later, Lord.  I want to (fill in the blank) first."

And my day goes on with more things that come "first."

But lately, I've been getting up early because Hannah has given me a 6:30am wake up call to use the rest room.  "Mommy!!  I need to go peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!"  Thank you for that, Pretty.  So, I've taken the opportunity to read my Bible and start a journal again before the kids are awake.  And you know what?  I can freaking do this, too.  And I want to.  And I feel like something is missing when I haven't done it.  And He is faithful to whisper still, "Carrie, dig deeper."

The difference of starting my day with the Lord in unexplainable, except that His grace seems to be in abundance when I have tapped into Him. 

I have found what I call my "Sweet Spot" with the Lord.  My yellow chair flanked by two corner windows and a little table with a lamp on top for light. It's where I meet with Him in the morning and offer Him my day and all that is contained in it.  Because He already knows it.  Because He's already seen it, walked it, and graciously given me the day that He has made.

Oh God of mine, I’ll have no idols
Oh God of mine, come lead the way
Oh God of mine, I’m greatly humbled
This sinner’s heart You came to save
Oh God of mine through storm and trial
Oh God of mine through death and grave
Oh God of mine in resurrection
Your scars display my soul’s refrain
Oh God of mine Who holds all nations
Oh God of mine Who saves the day
Oh God of mine, Your grace sufficient
And tender mercies new by morn
Oh God of mine, forever faithful
Oh God of mine, forever stay
Oh God of mine, forever after
These eyes upon Your face will gaze

-Rita Springer

Have you found your "Sweet Spot" with God?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Define God to My Kids

I have been washed, wrung, and hung out to dry with something that I was re-taught last night.


Yesterday, we were at Michael's and I accidentally broke a picture frame. Noah knows that they are not allowed to touch things in the stores because they could break something and then I'd have to buy it and that's not how we want to spend our money, etc. So, when he saw me break the picture frame he said, "Oh no...you broke it Mom. Now you have to do the right things and buy it." Yes, I do and yes, I did. Thankfully, it was only $5.


Last night at our Growing Kids God's Way class (yes, we are taking it again! Trust me, we need it!), we were reminded that Christianity is not a religion of mediocrity. This is HUGE! We are to do things and do things as unto the Lord, and if you do something for the Lord, you naturally WANT to do it well. Christianity is NOT a religion of MEDIOCRITY. I was reminded of the idea of "good, better, and best." It is good that Noah wants to be a witness for the Lord. He could learn to do it better by speaking with more love. Eventually, he could be the best witness ever because he is unashamed of the gospel. I am a good mom. I could be better. For the sake of my kids, I want to be their best mom ever.


Love is not RUDE. Be COURTEOUS to all men. Another thing I was reminded of, not just during our GKGW class, but also during my Precept study I did earlier that day. This was meant to be a reminder for us to teach our children good manners. Offer your seat to the elderly. Open the door for people (my boys are awesome at this). Honor age by offering them the first plate of food. All these things are done because love is not rude and God asks us to love our neighbor by being courteous to all men. The problem here for me...is that I am rude to my kids. Ouch. I hate to admit it, but it is true. I am sarcastic at times. I also act as if they are bothering me when they ask for something which is not very courteous. I have a bad habit of ignoring them when they call my name. How can I expect them to trust me in big things, like God and Jesus and His saving grace, if they can't trust me in the little things, like knowing I will answer when they call?


And let's just be real here. I bake bread, make cookies, make granola bars, wash clothes, clean the house, work out, lead a Sunday School class, attend Bible studies, and make signs. People ask me how I do it. I don't. I am a figment of your imagination. I guarantee you the process of my daily grind is way less glamorous than you have it in your mind. You know what I keep thinking? What does all that matter if I have not love? Some days, I am so over-whelmed, I yell at my kids. I yell at my husband. I crash and burn into bed at 8:05pm because the kids have gone to bed at eight. Some days, I go all day without praying or reading the Bible. The hours between 4 and 8pm are the most daunting for our family. I'm trying to cook dinner while the kids are screaming that they are starving and I'm burning the bread, yet again. Dinner is a yard sale because the kids don't like what I fixed...and by that time, I'm exhausted with being nice and kind and not losing my mind that I make up for the whole day of "nice" Mommy with one explosion. Did I mention that my house is not clean?


And we are here to define God to the world. My kids will one day define God to the world and the picture I want them to have of God begins with me.

I am in prayer for a young wife who is waiting for a double lung transplant. While talking to Nic about her, I have also been in awe of her mom who is as strong as ever in her faith, but also raised an amazing woman of God. What did she do? What was her secret? What can I learn from her? What do I know of her?

I know she was and is a woman of God. I know she was involved with her kids and their friend's parents. I know she practiced what she preached to her kids. I know she was constantly in prayer for them. I know she earned their respect, honor and trust. I know her children will praise her at the gates.

Will mine? That is my hearts desire, but I could certainly do better on the road to getting there because:


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Isaac, it's not even 10am, yet!

He's just too resourceful for his own good.

Um...I think he wants to watch tv and he can't quite climb up on the couch, yet. That's his sister's chair from the breakfast nook.

He's pretty proud of himself.

This is for Becky.

Ask and you shall receive. :) Love ya, sis! Hope you like it!

The colors will be slightly more intense once I seal it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I finally made one for ME!

Here is our "Est." sign:

And can I just say that I'm SUPER excited to start decorating for fall????

If you would like to order an "Established" sign with this design, please visit my sign blog and leave a comment and I will contact you!

Monday, August 2, 2010

It's Dinner Time!

I was given this amazing and versatile recipe from my friend Cindy. Tonight, I'm using crock pot chicken that was "crocked" with celery, bell peppers, carrots, onion, salt and pepper, garlic, and rosemary. I could have been making chicken soup. But I wasn't. I usually use canned chicken, but crock pot chicken is FABULOUS. Just sayin'. Any left over chicken will do.

Chicken Packets
2-3c cooked, chopped chicken
3-6oz cream cheese (I put 8)
1T green onions (omitted because of the onion in the crock)
2T milk
1 clove garlic (omitted again)
salt to taste (yup, you guess it...omitted)
2pkgs refrigerated crescent rolls
1/4c melted butter
1/2c bread crumbs or panko

Oven at 350degrees.
Mix chicken, cheese, onions, milk, garlic and salt together.
Make your crescent rolls into 8 rectangles making sure to press the two triangles together well.
Fill each rectangle with some of the filling and fold over. Press to secure edges.

Dip each packet into melted butter, place on baking sheet, and sprinkle with bread crumbs. *I just sprinkle with bread crumbs and skip the butter*

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

If you add veggies (I add broccoli or mixed veggies sometimes) then it's a one stop shop for dinner.

I usually make it casserole style (and really stuff it full of filling) by laying 1pkg of crescent rolls out in a 9x13 baking dish. Dump your filling on it and then put the second layer of crescent rolls on top. Drizzle the butter and sprinkle the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dove Tattoo

I wanted something girly. Not colored in. Not too big. Something I could cover up with clothes if I had to. Most importantly, I wanted something that MEANT something to me. Something that represented my faith in Jesus Christ and something that might spark a conversation with someone else who might comment on it.

I have been looking for at least six months, knowing this was my final destination...my reward for hard work and depriving myself, for the most part, of sugar, cake, bread (even the homemade kind!). Pretty much the stuff I love to eat WAY too much of. The stuff that likes to stick around on my body WAY too much. And when I started Insanity...the final ten pounds just melted off my body. Like pouring peanut butter out of a jar. I don't know if you know this, but peanut butter doesn't POUR. It was HARD work and infuriating. But worth it.

So...back to the tattoo.

Some looked more realistic:

Some looked abstract:

Some were like Picasso:

Some did the symbolic olive branch from the Noahs' Ark story in the Bible:

Some....well...weren't doves:

But mine...I knew it when I saw it and it was confirmed with Brooke going "Oh, get that one!!!!" It was a spur of the moment decision to get it THAT day. I was content to wait for another two weeks (cause really..I was scared), but then my cheerleader and confidence booster (read: Brooke) wasn't going to be available. I wanted her to hold my hand, tell me how tough I was and basically, not let me chicken out. She called the parlor. Yeah, that's how chicken I was. It was 6:30 at night. Were they REALLY still going to be open? Yeah. They were. Who knew, but apparently, tattoo parlors keep late hours. Huh. They were open until midnight. Nic said I could go.

We had plenty of time. For me to pee my pants. And no excuses. No real ones, anyway.

We stopped at my moms to pick up the kiddos from their overnight stay where she ended up cleaning up urine for two days. Fun for her....relaxing for me to let someone else do it for a while! Thanks, Mom! (and Dad!)

I told my mom what we were doing. She was very supportive. Very. Did I mention she wants a tattoo? I'm pretty sure she was waiting for me to get one so I could relay exactly how much pain you endure before she bit the bullet. It's alright Mom, I'll take one for the team.

Took the kiddos home and dropped them off with Nic. Headed out to our adventure. At this point, my stomach is getting that nervous gurgle going on.

Thankfully, they take your money before you get the tattoo. Once I had paid, it was a done deal. I'd rather keep something that kind of doesn't work the way I thought it would than go through the pain of returning it to the store. I paid. I was getting what I paid for.

After I watched Brooke let the piercing lady drive a stake through her nose, dangle a cork on the end of it and stick a light blue rhinestone stud through the hole, it was my turn. By the way...Brooke has a nose piercing now. She's adorable. I wish I had a picture to show you. It's funny how it fits her face.

My tattoo artist was VERY nice and Brooke and I decided he had a sad quality about him that has kept him in my prayers since I've been there. Is that odd? I can't help it. Some people I meet make profound impacts on me in very short periods of time and I can't get them out of my head. I know the best thing I can do for them is pray for them...so I do.

Sad Guy asked me if it was my first time. Yeah. *Blush*

Then he said, "It feels like a cat scratch, but it's not constant because I have to get more ink periodically, so you get a break."

Cat scratch. Ok. I can do that. I've had those before. But this time I couldn't curse the "cat" giving it to me. I was the cat. And Sad Guy was my claw.

Cue disinfectant. Antiseptic. Carbon copy of my tattoo. Cue LOUD NOISE!!!! What the heck is THAT?!!!

"Oh, yeah. Don't let the sound scare you. They are kind of loud."

By 'they' he means the machine that works the needle. It's loud. Thankfully, it's bark is REALLY worse than it's bite.

Ten minutes later (yes TEN MINUTES) and I was checking out my new tat in their mirror. My cheerleader was chanting "You're awesome! You're tough! You're awesome!" Gorsh...thanks.

Yes, we probably are going through some kind of "Mommy mid-life crisis." At least what we're doing isn't permanent. Ok, so mine is. Eh. Like my brother in law would say, "Our body's are perishing anyway." Sometimes, I really love his logic.

And now I feel like the biggest weenie because it really wasn't a huge deal. Small price of minimal pain for something I've wanted to do my whole life. Done. Where's that bucket list???

And here it is:

A dove. The Holy Spirit that lives within me, now also is pictured ON me. Tattoo-style.

Noah thinks it's a bald eagle. Humph. I'm pretty sure I could have gotten a picture of a flower and he would have said it was a bald eagle. Stinker. But I love him.

And then, he promptly asked when he gets to have a tattoo that will never go away. I told him when hell freezes over like any good mom would. Naw...just kiddin'.

Nic has been amazing helping me clean it, put creme on it, stalk it...'cause he really LOVES it and has to stop himself from touching it. I love that man.

It's really not sore. Luke touched it and Nic just about made us all jump out of our skin when he yelled at him to not do it, but the actual touch didn't hurt at all. My little Luke. He has to touch things. I love that about him.

I thought I might have buyers remorse. Body remorse. Pain remorse. Or tattoo remorse that I didn't get what I really wanted. No remorse, whatsoever.

Did I mention I want another one?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Do you love 'em?

Hate 'em?

I personally don't like them when they are all over the body, on the front of the neck, the chest, all the way down the arms, etc. But on backs, no biggie. My sister-in-law has one on her foot and I love it on her!!

Some tattoos are just down-right FREAKY. Yes, these are TATTOOs!!!!

My boys would LOVE this one:
Sorry, boys. It's not happening. Ever.

Some more questions for ya!

Where would you get one and why that spot?

What would it be and why?

If you have one, do you regret it and why?

Here's the most important question. WHERE DID YOU GET IT??? I obviously want to go somewhere reputable!

Most people have told me to make sure it has meaning for you personally, not just to get one rashly and without reason. I've been stalking different tattoos for MONTHS and think I have what I want, the question is just where.
And for those of you who are wondering: my husband has a silent love for them. Don't try to deny it, honey. By that, I mean...he smiles when I talk about getting one, asks me where...and then offers suggestions. Yup, he's on board. And I think he's looking forward to me having one. Just sayin'.

*None of these tattoos are what I'm getting....just in case you were wondering.*

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

10 Things

Here it is. My list of ten things I've learned about myself while I've worked out to Insanity and Shaun T. for the last ten weeks.

1. I DO have time to work out.
2. I CAN push myself to get those last ten push-ups in.
3. I LOVE dripping with sweat. Who knew?
4. I FEEL better when I'm working out.
5. I LOVE my husband more when I'm working out. (Take that however you want.)
6. I CAN lift my butt up with exercise alone. Squats, ladies...squats.
7. I DO have a six-pack somewhere underneath all this skin.
8. Shaun T. is from the devil during my workout. He's a saint when I fit into my size 4 jeans.
9. Have muscles is a good thing. It means I burn more calories just sitting. Which, of course means I can eat more!
10. My husband was right. Don't tell him I said that.

Ten things I hope to have accomplished when the next ten weeks are done:

1. Drop another five pounds.
2. Get a tattoo (when I drop that last five pounds).
3. Get through a MAX work out without dropping to the floor.
4. Lift weights. Sometimes, honey...not every day.
5. Make it through the ten weeks!
6. See a small bit of that six-pack.
7. Where my size four jeans regularly, not just on a skinny day. You ladies know what I'm talkin' about!
8. Continue to eat well. Hard to do when you're cookin' for kids!
9. Get up earlier to spend time with God before my day starts, not halfway through!
10. Love my husband better. (Take that however you want.)

I'm a great wife.

Or not.

My husband wrote this blog post back in February. I JUST read it.

I'm a horrible wife.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Love, Obey, Abide

Check out what's new! (This one, I can SHIP!!!)

Signs of Life

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Signs of Life

Yup, created a new blog for Signs of Life!

Go check it out!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Graduation, Sweet 16, and Guitars!

I've been a busy girl this week makin' cookies! Eighty graduation cookies for Buchanan (Go Bears!)
and eighty "Sweet 16" cookies.
Both were for the grandchildren of my old dance coach.

I also made a dozen guitar cookies for a friend's son who is having a "Rock" party. They're ROCKIN'!

(Yup...caught that one guitar with black knobs...fixed!)

Poor Noah missed the last day of school because he got sick. Up until then, he had perfect attendance, too. He was a sad boy today.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Saw this, Loved this, Stole this

You ever read things that grab you by the heart because they were exactly what you needed to hear at the exact moment you needing to hear it? Yeah, me too. Found this on her blog and just had to re-post it.


1. By His Appointment

God brought me here. It is by His will that I am in this place.

In that I will rest.

2. In His Keeping

He will keep me here in His love and give me grace in this trial to live as His child.

3. Under His Training

He will make the trail a blessing, teaching me the lessons he intends me to learn and working in me the grace He means to bestow. It is more important for me to learn the lesson that I’m here to learn than to solve the problem.

4. For His Time

In His good time he can bring me out again. How and when He knows.

~Andrew Murray

Now sigh and give thanks to the Lord. That's what I did.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Happy Grad!!!

Happy Graduation, Class of 2010!

These cookies are for my cousin's son who is graduating this week.


And diplomas:

Monday, May 10, 2010

"Established" Sign

This was from my sister to my Mom for Mother's Day. My parents celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary this April.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Very Special Sign

Anyone else LOVE adoption stories??? I do. A lot. A lot, a lot. I am so thankful to know that God loves and practices adoption. I think I cried at least five times making this sign.

A friend of mine is adopting a little girl and her shower is today. I tore through at least an hour trying to find the perfect scripture for her. Proverbs 16:9 is fantastic for her story...

but finally settled on 1 Peter 3:3-4:

Let your beauty be not just the outward adorning of braiding the hair, and of wearing jewels of gold, or of putting on fine clothing; but in the hidden person of the heart, in the incorruptible adornment of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God very precious.

I think it's timely for the world she'll grow up in, but also such a sweet reminder for our daughters (and us!) to seek after what is precious to God, not man.

Congrats to my friend! I can't wait to meet her!

Friday, April 30, 2010

More for Mother's Day!

Here are two more. The "Grandparents" one is an example of what it would look like with two grandchildren (size 8x16" and is $25). The other is an 8x8" ($15) square with a fleur de lis:

Happy Mother's Day! *Updated*

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!!! We love you!

This sign measures 12x24" and is $45. The can be hung or rested on a mantle/shelf. This is a great Mother's day gift! Unfortunately, at this time, I'm only doing local orders. Sorry! Reach my via Facebook or my email (it is enabled on my profile on blogger). Thanks!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bridal Shower Sign

My cousin is getting married soon. Their house is black and white (according to their registry) so I made this sign for her bridal shower:

If you would like a sign of your own, please comment or find me on Facebook. This sign measures 8x24" and is $25.

More to come!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hannah's Brithday!!

I can't believe my baby girl is three! *sob*

But she had a great birthday and was surrounded by family that loves her and cares for her so much. I couldn't ask for more for her. I told everyone that she loves dress up clothes and anything that screams "girl" so she received four...yes four tutus!! And I love it and she loves it...

"Miss Shea" from Stinkin' Cute Designs made her an adorable birthday outfit. OH yes, oh yes.

After cake and presents it was time for the big reveal. Both sets of grandparents went in together and bought her an outdoor playhouse.
Here it is the next morning, breakfast has been made and eaten, and now...I have seen nothing of my children. They are outside. Playing. Not fighting. Not teasing. They're playing nice. Aaaahhhh.

Happy birthday, Hannah! We have been blessed by three years with you and we pray to God for many, many more.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Am I still living? That's a really good question. I've been soooo busy. So, so, sooooo busy. Family and Bible study come first and now...shoot me in the head, but I've taken to working out. Ever heard of Insanity? It's INSANE. But I love it. LOVE IT! So...I've been pretty much...well...not online. But here's what I've been up to!

My parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary!!! My sister came over to help with the decorating of the cake. We had a lot of fun and she ate a ton of fondant!!! This is just a glimpse of the mess we made:
But here's the cake:
We made them a platter with the grandkids fingerprints on it. The girls made flowers and the boys made worms and beetles. Hence, the cake design.

I also made this new sign in an effort to speed along the rain and cold:
Ok...I have to go rope my kids and wrangle them into the car. Early release day. Love/hate. But mostly hate. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Happy (belated) Easter!

This year we celebrated Noah's birthday on Easter. The whole family was already together, so why not, right?

The adults dessert. A big fat Easter egg:
Noah's birthday cake:
He really wanted a tree on his jungle cake. Apparently, the vines that were on there were not good enough. So...gum paste and some wire...wah-lah! He liked that the lion was in the shade. Boys, I tell ya.

He also lost his first "by nature and not by jumping on the bed and bonking brother's head" tooth:
(they are pointing to it which is why you can't see the hole)

Lots of fun looking for eggs:
His new bike:
Fun was had by all!

On Friday night, I watched The Passion of the Christ. I try to watch it every year. I know I could read the story, but there's something about seeing it and knowing it was even worse than what I see. I cry the whole time. I'm also finishing up a Precept study in Daniel. This week, we looked up scripture about what happens after Christs' return and judgment. Thank you, Jesus, for going through torture, pain, ridicule, death, and separation from God for me. For my husband. And for my kids. And for the world. It's no wonder we call Him the Savior.

Happy Easter to all of you! I know I'm late, but you can share in the joy of Easter and His resurrection every day.

"Christ never sinned! But God treated him as a sinner so that Christ could make us acceptable to God." 2 Cor. 5:21

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cookie FAIL

Alright, so I can do a lot while I make cookies. I can run upstairs and get dressed...fast. I can watch all four of my kids with my four eyes (you know, two in the front...two in the back). I can make myself breakfast and listen to music, watch tv, blah, blah, blah. I'm sure Brooke (my cookie partner) can stand on her head, too...but I'm not the gymnastic type.

So, in the process of starting to make 250 cookies (and I say starting because we're not even 1/3 of the way done) for the MS Society fundraiser, I found out what I can NOT do while making cookies:

For future reference, no more COMPUTING while making cookies!!

Because this is what happens:

Now, I know my mother-in-law likes her cookies crispy...but I don't think even she will eat these. They are brown. Plain and simple. Cookie FAIL.