Sunday, February 27, 2011

Life Lessons 101

No matter how old you are, you are never too old to learn important life lessons. I learned a very important life lesson this week, and I will document it here because I want my kids to know that I'm not above admitting when I am wrong about something. I want my boys to know that I'm human, and I will make mistakes too. I want them to know how much I love them, and I want this to be a teachable moment. So, what was it you ask? Appearances can be deceiving.

Unfortunately, this wasn't an "oh, it looks really warm outside. The sun is shining! I'll go outside. Holy moly! I need a jacket." sort of learning experience. There were harsh things said based on appearances; there were many relationships strained; feelings were hurt and bitterness fostered. It was a hard to swallow lesson. But more importantly, a totally avoidable lesson.

See, this was a 2-for-1 sort of lesson. I also learned that communication is key to maintaining healthy relationships. If communication is not present, it can cause the appearances of circumstances to trick you. You believe things you wouldn't otherwise believe. The appearances deceive you.

But the lesson I want to leave for my kids is that when you hurt someone, you ask for their forgiveness. Even if you feel justified in your actions and feelings. You shouldn't just say, "I'm sorry." I want you to also say, "Will you forgive me?"

Thank you Jill for this post. You made me realize then that there was a huge difference in saying "I'm sorry" and asking someone to forgive you.

I've accepted my share of the blame and gone to those people I have hurt and asked for their forgiveness. Now, I pray that they will extend to me the same love as God does when I have hurt or failed Him.

Kade and Kohen, you have an imperfect mom. But listen up, because I want you to carry this with you for your entire lives. "Appearances can be deceiving." When you do people wrong, you will say, "I'm sorry." But I want you to include, "will you forgive me?" Because, these two statements go hand in hand. And, forgiveness is liberating.

Sunday Letters

I am participating in Deidre's carosal this week. She's been hosting it for a while, and I've always been a lurker of those who participated. It's based on the book the Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright. If you haven't read it, you should. It's about hope, forgivenss, love...all of the things that make this life so hard.

Dear Kohen,

You have been a basket of sunshine. I seriously think you are the happiest baby I know. This has been such a hard, trying week. I've needed a "pick me up" more than once, and your sweet smile has always worked for me. I love you so much.

Dear Kade,
You had your first visit to the dentist this week after you fell down. It was so hard for me to watch you cry. Anytime you cry, my heart breaks in a million pieces. I want so much to protect you, but I know you must learn some things on your own--cause/effect being one of them. (I cry when I see the dentist too.) I love you so much.

Dear Kyle,
This week has been hard--really hard, but one thing about the worst of storms is that usually a rainbow will follow. I appreciate that you are always by my side being the stronger of us two. I appreciate you being the voice of reason when I am so passionate and upset about things beyond my control. I hope you know that I will always put you and our family first. My intentions are pure in that retrospect. I love you so much.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

We added two new members to our family...

This is "Wilma Washer"

This is "Dillion Dryer"

Aren't they beautiful?

We bought the Whirlpool 4.5 Cu. Ft. Front-Load Washer (White) ENERGY STAR and the Whirlpool 7.4 Cu. Ft. Electric Dryer (White) thanks to Uncle Sam and our tax refund. Also, since these appliances are Energy Efficient, we snagged an extra 15% off the washer and 10% off the dryer thanks to Lowes Hardware. S---Weet! Even Kyle wants to do laundry now, so it was a win-win for me.

Y'all, this is the quietest washing machine I have ever heard. Ever. We live in a townhouse that is 3 levels. Our main living area is on the 2nd level. I was upstairs folding laundry last night while Wilma Washer was on spin cycle doing her thing---SPIN cycle y'all--and I could hear Kohen begin to cry on the main level. That alone made this purchase worth it. We splurged and bought the stands to sit them on for extra storage space. That was so worth the extra expense. It was really nice to fold laundry without having to bend over to take the clothes out of the dryer. I'm pretty sure this is a tiny slice of heaven on earth.

If any of you are in the market for new appliances, I'll give you the specifics:

4.5 Cu. Ft. Front-Load Washer (White) ENERGY STAR

ENERGY STAR® qualified
CEE Tier III qualified: based on the Consortium for Energy Efficiency qualified product listings, with Tier III being the most efficient; this model features advanced water and energy savings and may qualify for rebates from local utility companies
Built-in water heater
14 automatic cycles
Quick Wash cycle: clean small, lightly soiled loads in less time
Whitest Whites cycle raises water temperatures and releases bleach or an oxygen-based cleaner at the optimal moment to enhance whitening performance

7.4 Cu. Ft. Electric Dryer (White)

Power cord and venting sold separately
Heavy Duty cycle
Normal cycle
Delicate cycle
Quick Dry cycle
Timed Drying
Quad baffle drying system
LED display provides easy selection for all options, displays time remaining and status for the cycle
Reversible door
Adjustable End-of-cycle signal
7.4 cu. ft. capacity
Quick Refresh Steam cycle tumbles 2-5 items in the dryer, letting steam technology relax wrinkles and remove odors; in just 15 minutes, clothes go from lying there to ready-to-wear
Resource Saver® dryer: combines the resource-efficient Eco Normal cycle with the AccelerCare® drying system to provide outstanding energy savings
Wrinkle Shield™ Plus option (up to 120 minutes) tumbles the dryer every 5 minutes after the cycle is complete to help prevent wrinkles from setting into clean, dry fabrics
Quiet Dry Plus noise reduction system
Direct water installation method: a "Y" connector delivers water from washer's existing water line directly to the dryer for easier installation and hassle-free steaming
8 automatic cycles
5 temperature settings


So, what do I think? I'm in love. I could do laundry every day. Hold up. I do. I already wash/dry/fold/put away/hang up clothes on a daily basis. So, why not enjoy it, yes? I have a huge instruction booklet to read, but I'm pretty sure that these machines will do almost everything laundry related short of folding, hanging up, and putting away. It has lots of buttons for the techy people, but it seems to be super user friendly for the not-so-techy people, like me. So far, I'm winging it--I just turned the knobs to "normal", added detergent, and pressed start. Wa-la! It was off and running. I feel like I have my very own laundry mat!

And it's an instant baby sitter. Who knew?

I will go ahead and go on record as saying that we were not compensated to write this review. We had to pay for these appliances out of our pockets. The opinions expressed here are mine alone. However, if Lowes or Whirlpool (or anyone else for that matter) would like to send me anything to review, I'll be more than thrilled to do so ;) I'm sure as I learn more about the ins/outs of these machines I'll be telling you more.

I'm trying to make my blog more interesting. Plus, have you heard of the Amazon Vine program? I so badly want to be a member of that. So, I'm practicing.

By the way, if you are a lurker, I'd love to have you step out of webland and leave me a comment or become a follower. I'll beg if I must ;)

I hope you are having a fantastic week! I got a raise at work today, so maybe this is God's timing too.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Storms, Sunshine, and Rainbows

"When the storm is raging around you, be your own sunshine while searching for your rainbow." -Me

Wow, that's pretty good insight. I just made that up, or at least I think I did. We are dealing with some family drama. Kyle and I opened up a huge can of worms, and we are experiencing the fall out now. It sucks. But, we stand together. It's us against the world, or what feels like the world. I'm not certain who all reads this blog since it's public, so I'll just leave it at that. If family is reading this none of this is news to you. Kyle and I will continue to take the high road while we search for our rainbow. But we do appreciate that you care enough to make us the topic of your Facebook status'...cause that is mature on so many levels. And, if you have no idea what I'm talking about--or even if you do--its likely because it's probably not any of your business and doesn't concern you. If you aren't going to be part of the solution don't be part of the problem.

Rant over.

Things have been, well, as you can see. We know its only temporary, but we sure wish we could see the rainbow. Until then, we will make our own sunshine. We appreciate your prayers.

Have a great day!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dear Kohen

Dear Kohen,

You are now 14 weeks old!

I know.

I am shocked too.

Where has the time gone?

You are the happiest baby I know.

You wake up smiling; you go to sleep smiling.

It melts my heart every time I see it.

And, I may be a wee bit biased, but I think you are so handsome.

You definitely get your good looks from Daddy.

You sleep like a champ; you definitely get that from me!

You are already sleeping through the night!

It seems like yesterday when you were placed in my arms for the very first time.
Please stop growing up so quickly!
I love you so much!

Love, Mommy

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Things We Love Thursday

I am participating in the "Things I Love Thursday" carnival over at Diaper Diaries. Go check her out and play along. She is also hosting a great giveaway from Daysprings. A $50 gift card to be used on anything in their store! So, go enter now for your chance to win something really great! They have so many great things! I could totally deck my entire house out if my pockets were deeper!

Anway, Things I love Thursday...

Recently, we celebrated Kade's 2nd birthday. Lately he has taken up an interest in trains (Thank You Mickey Mouse and your Choo Choo Express), so we decided to get him this:

We just purchased the Thomas the Train powerwheel! Kyle and I thought this would be the perfect gift! We were right!

The train is small, so Kade is able to get on/off of it easily. The product description said it only moves at a rate of 2 mph, which is the prefect pace for a smaller child. It was really easy (and quick!!) to assemble. In fact, applying the stickers took the most time. If this item interest you in your future gift giving, we recommend charging it before it's actually given as a gift. It will require 18 hrs to charge. With this said, Kade has had it for over 2 weeks and we haven't had to charge it again. It has been used every day as he rides it around our house for approximately 30 minutes every day. Did I mention its small enough to be used in doors? Awesome for the weather we've been having in NC!

Our only notable complaint is that the wheels are really slick. It has been difficult for the wheels to get traction on our wooden floors. At times, Kade will require a small push when moving from room to room to get over where the floors meet. It seems to work really well on our rugs, so we are excited to see how well it will work outside once the weather gets warmer--like today! We are going to be 70 degrees! I'm stoked! Contrary to one reviewer, our floors have not been damaged at all by the wheels, but its good to be wary if you have wood floors.

Overall impressions are that it was a great deal for the price. Extremely affordable compared to other powerwheels. Kade loves it, and he plays with it daily--and he isn't even a Thomas the Train fanatic. We think it’s a great first starter powerwheel for small children. It is extremely user friendly.

So, there you have it! Things we love...things to keep our kids entertained at an affordable price!

Go here to read more reviews or buy your own Thomas the Train powerwheel!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I have chosen my verse for Feb 15, 2011.

"Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people." Colossians 4:23 (NIV)

There are so many days--okay, if I'm honest it's most days (especially Mondays)--that I wake up and the first words out of my mouth are, "I hate working first shift." Just this week Kyle asked me if working 2nd shift would make me happier. I told him, "No. I think it's just that I hate my job." I've been unhappy with my job for quite some time. I've worked for the same company for 13 years. I started working for my company right out of high school, and I have worked my way up to the position I have now. I am a retail accountant for 6 smaller accounts we have. I prepare financial statements, taxes, etc for each company. On most days, it's an okay job. I love my co-workers; I make a decent salary; but I am not fulfilled. Some days I go to work and I know that nothing I will do really matters.

Today God whispered sweetly in my ear that I needed a new attitude toward my job. Most economies have really suffered in the recession. NC is no exception. We have been hit really hard. Unemployment is still about 14%. So, in a market where there would be 50 people who would gladly take my place at my job, I should be thankful that I am employed. And I am. I need to work cheerfully as if I am working for the Lord in all that I do--even my job because it really does matter, and someone, somewhere is watching me.

"Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender." (Proverbs 22:7 NIV)

"Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything your land produces." (Proverbs 3:9 NIV)

"Study this Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed." (Joshua 1:8 NIV)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Weekend Recap

We've had a fun weekend. We celebrated Kade's 2nd birthday with a small party of family and friends. The picture you see here is him telling us all--through his crocodile tears--to stop singing Happy Birthday to him. If you attended, don't take it personally. I tried to sing him Jesus Loves Me the other day and he cried. So excuse me while I rejoice that it's not just MY singing he hates... Yippee! ;) Lucky for us, we had cake! Mickey Mouse cake! So all is well with the world again!

And if cake wouldn't dry up the tears, then all of the gifts you showered him with would!

I have posted all of the birthday pics on our Facebook page, so go check them out. Also, some of you have asked for Aunt Lisa's punch recipe. It's super easy to make and virtually impossible to screw up. You can use any kind of jello. We like the lime and is what we served. I have made it with the strawberry, and it is equally yummy!

2 1/2 cups white sugar
6 cups water
2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry
flavored gelatin mix
1 (46 fluid ounce) can pineapple juice
2/3 cup lemon juice
1 quart orange juice
2 (2 liter) bottles lemon-lime flavored
carbonated beverage

1. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, water, and strawberry flavored gelatin. Boil for 3 minutes. Stir in pineapple juice, lemon juice, and orange juice. Divide mixture in half, and freeze in 2 separate containers.
2. When ready to serve, place the frozen contents of one container in a punch bowl, and stir in 1 bottle of lemon-lime soda until slushy.


Today, we spent the day with Nanny and Pawpaw. And he got his last present from us. His Pawpaw, Uncle Shawn, and Daddy finished putting together his swing set. Well, to be fair, it's for all the grandkids, but he gets to enjoy it all by himself right now! So, today, it's his!

And, I think he approves!

And I will toss in this super cute photo for good measure!

Love you all!
Kyle & Elaine

Friday, February 11, 2011

Jason Aldean and our Weekend Away...

Last weekend, Kyle and I went to the Jason Aldean concert. It was an amazing show, but it was even more amazing to get away...just the two of us. We have very hectic schedules (who doesn't, right?) with work, our boys, my going to school. It seems like the weeks pass by so quickly and we don't see each other at all. So, we took a moment to slow our pace...and just enjoy each other's company. It was WONDERFUL! We are so blessed to have the marriage that we do. I'm a very lucky lady; I do know that.

First on stage was a newer band named The JaneDear Girls. Picture an 80's girl rocking hair band gone country. Got it? That's the best I can do to describe them. Their first single is called Wildflower and its pretty good. You can check it out here:

Next up was one of our favorites. Eric Church! He was awesome!

We finally got to see Jason Aldean. I'll be honest--next to Matchbox Twenty--he is my/our next favorite artist. We love his songs, and I had the best time watching my amazing husband sing along with him. I tried to upload some videos, but I couldn't for this blog. So, you'll have to settle for a picture. (There is video on our Facebook page though, so go check it out.)

It was a great short weekend trip, and I'm really looking forward to the next one!

Much Love,
Kyle & Elaine

Things We Love Thursday...on Friday :)

The thing we love most about today is that we get to celebrate the birth

of one of our miracle sons, Kade.

He is one of the children that doctors--specialists--told us we would never have.

He is independent...

He is funny....

He is happy....

He is spoiled....

But most all, he is loved!

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy! We can't believe you are TWO!!!!

I began blogging several years ago in search of new friends who, like me, were having a difficult time getting pregnant. Five years, 2 miscarriages, 4 failed IUI's, and a doctor who told us "It will never happen" later, we are the proud parents of Kade and Kohen. They are each an example of God's absolute perfection. We thank God where medical intervention stops, Divine intervention begins.