Monday, June 28, 2010


I took billions of pictures (180 to be exact) on our camping trip this weekend, but for now, here's just one of my favorites....

(Thank you Aunt Joy for the awesome custom Nicaraguan hammock!)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Concerning Fathers

Dear Single Ladies,

If you plan to marry someday and hope to have children, make sure you choose a man who will be a good father. Someone who will sacrifice his wants for those of his kids. Someone who will be willing to spend time nurturing, encouraging, teaching, protecting, and even disciplining his children. Someone who will strive to protect the innocence of his children in our not very innocent world. Someone who doesn't think he's too cool to pray and ask his Heavenly Father for wisdom and discernment and patience and help and mercy concerning his kids. Someone like this guy...

...or this guy...

...or this guy....

Okay? I'm glad we had this talk.

Love, Julie

Oh, and HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to these amazing fathers in our lives!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sometimes we go for a walk...

...and my kids wear outfits like this... know, like my old dress from when I was five, and butterfly pants and pink sparkly high tops...

...or you have butternut squash all over your face because your mom never wiped you up after dinner...
...or you sport a too tight wife beater 'cuz you're super classy...

Then this happens...
"Um mom? D go potty in my diaper."

So why the puddle you ask?

Because he's not wearing a diaper.

Then a car comes down the road so he has to run out of the way and finish peeing on the side of the road (notice the puddle following him)...

Then Emma gets ahold of the camera and Grady takes over with the stroller for awhile- please notice that they're heading straight for the neighbor's fence....

Finally, home sweet home!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The tale of the missing sandals

Grady loves his blue sandals. He wants to wear them all. the. time.

Sometimes, he'll be running around playing in the house and stop everything in order to go find his sandals.

When he can't find them, he panics.
Sometimes, we don't let him wear them, because let's face it, flip flops and 2.5 year old boys are a recipe for disaster- especially when hills are involved.

Well, tonight was one of those times when he was frantically searching for them. We couldn't find them in their typical places- under the couch, in the hall closet, in landon's room, in dad's truck.... we even called Grandma Charlene to see if he had left them at her house. But alas, the sandals were gone.

So Grady went outside without them to help his dad move the barbecue.

And he stepped on a bee.
This is him holding an icepack in his hands (for no apparent reason) and soaking his feet in a sink full of icy epsom salt water. He's not very happy (in case you couldn't tell).

Here's a picture of the sting. You probably can't see anything because, thankfully, he isn't allergic to bee stings and it didn't swell up or anything. But holding up his foot and telling me all about it distracted him from the pain for a bit.

And of course, as soon as we got the stinger out and I went into the backyard to check the barbecue, I found his missing flip flops under the tire swing.

So I guess I'm not going to think he's so ridiculous when he wants to find his sandals anymore, because looking for them for a few more minutes sure would have been better than an big fat stinger in the bottom of his foot!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Me vs. Coffeemate

It's summertime and you know what that means....

lazy schedules
swim lessons
fresh garden grown produce
amazing weather
lots of vacations
iced coffee drinks.

I mean, with 3 kids, there really isn't anything else (except for God's grace) that will help me through the loooooong, hot summer days with my sanity [relatively] intact.

I used to only indulge in iced coffee drinks when my husband would so kindly pick me up one on his way home from work.

Then my sister taught me how to make them at home with chilled coffee, milk, ice, and coffeemate creamer. These were good...... except for the coffeemate creamer part. That stuff is nasty, artificial and it leaves a strange film on the inside of my mouth.

So last week I set out to figure out how to make homemade coffee creamer with real, honest, no-nasty aftertaste ingredients.

Well, it wasn't as hard as I thought it might be and it is easily adaptable to any specific needs. Like, if you don't like real sugar, you could use agave nectar. Or if you don't like vanilla, you could use whatever flavoring suits you. And, obviously, any kind of milk would work here as well, the more fat content, the creamier, but I just used 1% and it tasted delish.

So far this week I've stirred it into hot coffee, iced coffee and hot tea and I haven't been disappointed yet! So, here's my unexact recipe. Go try it out and give me some feedback on if it worked for you or not!

1. Put milk in a saucepan (3 c ? or more)
2. Add sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
3. Turn on heat and simmer (don't boil or the milk will get that nasty skin on top) for like 20 minutes or so, stirring every once in awhile. You want the liquid to reduce out a bit and the sugar to dissolve.
4. Add vanilla extract (at least a teaspoon)
5. Cook that for another minute and then turn off the heat.
6. Cool completely. Store in the fridge.

Iced Coffee
1. pour chilled coffee into a cup, about half way up
2. add a splash (or more) of your creamer. it isn't as potent as coffeemate so you may need a little more than you would normally.
3. toss in a few ice cubes
4. top it off with milk.
5. Stir and enjoy, and make it through the rest of your day with a smile on your face :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Last Day of Preschool

Well, today was the last day of preschool for Emma Joy. It started off okay....
(all dressed up and holding the cards she made for her teachers)

The families were all invited to come to the last few minutes of class to watch the kids sing songs. That's when it got ugly...(she was NOT going to perform, thank you very much)

...and then each kid got a certificate and a special award. Guess which kid was the only one who refused to go up to receive her award?....(standing in the back with me and kind of smiling)

...then there was a picnic. This was much better because she got to sit with her BFF Athena [the only other girl in her class who is allowed to dress herself] and eat TJ's cheese sandwich crackers for lunch....(Athena and Emma, kindred spirits in life and fashion)

It's hard to believe that this phase of her life is already over. Man, I'm gonna miss only having to drag 3 kids out the door for school 3 days a week!

Happy Preschool Graduation Emma Joy!