"Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction"-Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I walked into Reagan's playroom today to order her to clean it up and discovered this:

The manger and the three wise men...(can you see Mary and Joseph's feet sticking out?)

Here's Jesus in the manger.

Here's Jesus' birth announcement.

And here's Reagan with baby Jesus (who by the way, is wearing a baby alive diaper under that blanket and has been subjected to a rigorous feeding schedule consisting of bottles upon bottles of milk.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Neurotic Cat

Porthos has anxiety issues. BIG anxiety issues. He's always been a fraidy cat and when I leave him for any length of time, he tends to get destructive. Several years ago, I went home to Alabama for a week and he ate holes in my vellux blanket.

I know he's been upset about Pritsha. He's been cuddling in our room (never does that), he's been eating less (he's a pig) and he's been sleeping on Pritsha's chair and not moving for an entire day at a time.

I thought he was getting along better. Apparently not. THIS is what I found today when I went back to my bedroom. I understand what he's going through so I'm trying to refrain from screaming at him and throwing him out the door.

Monday, April 25, 2011


*groan* For once, I'm not talking about Reagan's allergies...I mean mine. Normally I only have to deal with them once a year when the dreaded Cottonwoods bloom. However this year, I am miserable. Wishing I were living in Alaska.

The Simple Secret To Making Mashed Potatoes

For years after I married Josh I struggled to make mashed potatoes like my Granny does. I added seasonings, used chicken broth, milk, ranch dressing, sour cream---EVERYTHING. Reagan came along--she HATED my mashed potatoes (Josh had barely tolerated them before). And then....Granny told me her secret...which to be honest with you wasn't really a secret. I just needed to pay attention to what she was doing in the kitchen (and you know, help some too!)

The secret? Boiling the potatoes in salted water. A good bit of salt..don't worry, you'll drain most of it off..but the salt brings out the taste in the potatoes and enhances it. Seriously. After that, you just need a bit of butter, maybe a bit of milk and you have the best, creamiest mashed potatoes ever.

....And to think of all those years as a teenager I didn't pay attention. I probably would have been an award winning chef by now....

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Thank You Jesus. We are so unworthy and still You came to die for us.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Stretching a Whole Chicken

We've been trying to save up uber money..which isn't that easy when you're a single income family and you have a certain someone in your family that likes to spend money on lots of new homeschooling curriculum..um, er, yes that would be me. UGH.

However, we definitely need to save up. We want to be able to pay for the adoption of course, but we also want to put our house on the market and buy our dream home next year...and there is also the need that should come up in the next two years--a newer vehicle for Josh.

SO...I'm trying to find creative ways to save cash. One of the biggest areas to cut is the grocery budget. I decided to see how far I could stretch a whole 4 lb chicken. I made it to four meals (and that was with spilling another meals worth on the floor.....*groan*). I started out with a whole chicken which I roasted in the oven (I rubbed it with Josh's special seasoning..mouthwatering..and oil). It was so great. Afterwards, these are the meals I made.

-Served the legs and wing for dinner with lots of veggie sides (Josh took the second wing for lunch the next day with veggies too!)
-Made chicken soup with carrots, parsnips, celery and chicken
-Spilled a meal's worth on the floor. Decided to scoop it up and save it for Pritsha if she would eat it :(
-Made Granny's Chicken Pot Pie (which fed us dinner and lunch for all of us the next day)
-Chicken Noodle Soup with veggies and loaf bread
-Quite a bit of rich stock!!!

I think I did pretty well, however I'm anxious to see how far I can stretch a couple of chicken breasts now!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Enfamil Lipil

Interesting. If you purchased Enfamil LIPIL from 2005-2010, you could be entitled to two free cans or $12 in cash. Apparently, Enfamil claimed to be the only formula containing DHA and ARA (exactly why I bought it!) They are now having to make settlements with purchasers. See here for more information.

My thoughts?
Normally I won't file a claim against a company unless they've done something really wrong that effected me and my family. For instance, the Baby Einstein video rebates? UGH!! I completely didn't agree with that. If you really think that showing your baby a video is going to make them a genius, well...I seriously doubt your intelligence. I bought the Baby Einstein videos and Reagan loved them. That didn't mean that I thought it'd turn her into a genius. And I certainly didn't turn them in for a rebate, because that's simply taking advantage of the company. I kept them for our next child.

However, this rebate I have requested. I *DID* buy Enfamil Lipil because I thought it was the only formula with DHA and ARA. And after spending $300 a month in formula and diapers for two years, I definitely feel $12 is the least Enfamil could do. $26 for a can of formula that lasts two weeks is not cheap, but I bought it believing I was giving my baby the best (and I swear if someone leaves a comment telling me breast is best I will absolutely let lose a rain of wrath on you the earth has yet to see).

So, if you bought Enfamil LIPIL, check this claim out and see if you qualify for a rebate.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


would have been Pritsha's 12th birthday. I want to write about her..but I still can't without sobbing. She was amazing. I miss her so much. And for my friends that have said so many wonderful things and thought about me in the last two weeks, thank you so much--it's amazing to have such good friends that understand the pain and loss that I'm going through.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chicago School Bans Bringing Lunch From Home

I'm not surprised this is coming out of Chicago. Check out the story here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Josh

We love you so much!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Great Divorce

Over the course of this morning and last night, I read The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. I'm not here to tell you it was an awesome book and that I enjoyed it immensely...because well, I didn't. I *do* enjoy the works of C.S. Lewis, I just wasn't overly fond of this particular piece, although it now holds a special place in my heart.

So why did I read it? It wasn't that I had any great desire to see his thoughts on Heaven or Hell...years of being a Christian have lent their own ideas of Heaven and Hell to my imagination. No, it was the fact that our preacher had mentioned it a few Sundays ago in one of his sermons. I thought it might be interesting to check out. And God was obviously leading me in this direction. I'll get to why I believe that in a few minutes.

If you're a friend or a reader of my blog, you know this hasn't been the easiest of weeks for me. I lost one of my dearest friends, my first baby--my cat, Pritsha. I've cried myself to sleep every night. My heart aches. Every night Pritsha would sleep with me, nuzzle my hair, spend a few minutes loving on each other. This was our time, since most of my days are devoted to doing all the things being a mom and wife requires. Pritsha understood--her days were devoted to all the things that being a cat requires--sleeping and searching for that ever elusive patch of warmth and sunlight :)

The hardest thing I've had to face this week is that I'll never get to hold her again. I miss her so much. And regardless of the fact that we told Reagan that Pritsha is Heaven with God, I wasn't really sure that I believed it. The Bible mentions nothing about our pets going to Heaven--and why should it? The Bible is written for our Salvation..not theirs-animals don't need saving, we do.

I spent a lot of time this week researching to see if there was any tangible Biblical evidence that would show me that Pritsha was in Heaven with God. But the Bible was silent. God Himself felt silent. I know I've been blocking Him, which I think is common for those in pain. But obviously, although I've *felt* only silence from God, He was still there, leading me in my pain.

I read somewhere online this week, that there is a reason God gives us these animals to love and cherish--He is obviously trying to teach us about unconditional love, because they are true examples of it. And would a God who loves us and created such an amazing creation on earth, and an even more miraculous one in Heaven really leave us feeling so desolate for the love we gave our pets, and the love they gave back? I think not.

How many of you, when picturing Heaven have pictured streets paved with gold, mansions, wispy clouds and ethereal beings bathed in light? A God who created such an amazingly lush landscape as we have on earth is not going to leave animals and vegetation out of Heaven. The Bible mentions again and again that creatures of the earth will have their place in Heaven--we just know not whether they are new or old creations. But again, would God let us grow to love something with such unconditional love and accept theirs back, that He would leave us without them? I choose to believe God wouldn't.

And here is what leads me to The Great Divorce. Almost near the end of the book, when I was nearly ready to throw in the towel because it was simply dragging on and on, there is a scene with a woman--an angel? a saved person?-who is walking, led by a procession through the Valley of the Shadow of Life. The woman is surrounded by bright Spirits, those that loved her-rows of girls and boys, bathed in light and love, musicians singing in her honor. ...And then, her beasts. Rows upon rows of cats, dogs, horses, birds.....

The Ghost in whose shoes we are walking, asks "What are all these animals?" And the Angel who accompanies him replies, "Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them."

Beautiful? Yes. And it just happens to correspond with this thought from Dr. Moira Allen: "My own personal view on this question is that, just as humans are redeemed through the love of God, pets may possibly be "redeemed" through our love. 1 Cor. 7:12-14 speaks of the sanctification of a household through an individual; while it may be stretching a point to suppose that this household might include pets, it's not a completely illogical stretch."

I'm not saying that our pets do or do not go to Heaven. The Bible again, is silent. But I do know that God obviously was leading me somewhere this week--something He set in motion several weeks ago that came to fruition today--and yes, I firmly believe God was leading me along this path. So is Pritsha in Heaven? Only God knows the answer, but in my heart I believe she is there with Him, resting in a a perfect patch of sunshine and knowing love much more incredible than any I could possibly have shared.

I believe one day my family will be united with God in Heaven and Pritsha will be there, eager to share with us all that she has enjoyed with her and our Creator.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

More Guilt Than I Can Stand

Pritsha is like my child. No matter that she's gone..I love her and I always will. I can barely comprehend how I'm going to get through..or how I've gotten through the last two days. I miss her so much.

And I can't stand the guilt. You see, Pritsha started getting sick with a cold back in the winter. I didn't take her in to the vet..she had had the cold so many times before. So I gave her some left over antibiotics and left her to get over the cold on her own. It lingered a long time and she lost weight.

Josh and I had both agreed we would not do any life saving measures for the cats because of their age, the cost and the fact that our daughter is allergic to them. But the least I could have done was taken her to the vet and gotten her some more antibiotics to get over the cold.

She did eventually get over the cold, but she had lost so much weight by that point...I figured she'd eat and gain some back..but I wasn't that worried. She needed to lose some anyway (she wasn't overweight then, but I still wanted her to have less weight on her leg-she had torn her ACL some time ago and the vet had replaced it and said that weight and age would cause arthritis). She was still eating, albeit mostly people food. I'd give her a SMIDGE and then tell her to go eat her food. Bad mom.

I noticed she was getting slimmer and I told Josh that I didn't think she would live a lot longer..she was getting old (she would have been 12 this year, which I've recently discovered isn't that old). But I still didn't take her in. I just thought she was getting old.

But when a friend came to visit and so how bad she was looking, I realized she was skinnier than I had realized..and I took her in. Too late. Even after the doctor told me to get food down her, I force fed her for a few days and then left her to eat on her own..but she didn't....when I took her in again, she was losing more weight and then at the second vet's urging, began the force feeding 6-8 times a day, but it didn't help.

I don't know what she died of..if it was the infection that caused the weight loss that caused the shutting down of her body..or if it was a chronic condition (kidney disease could have still been the culprit) that caused the weight loss and shutting down.

All I know is that I SHOULD have done something..and now I've lost someone I love so much...so furmoms and dads..pay attention. If your cat gets a cold or starts losing weight, don't think that it will resolve itself on it's own. It won't. Take her. Get her help. And don't think it's just old age and accept it..fight for your pet.

So it's my fault she's gone. I hate myself for that. I should have disregarded everything and taken her in. She'd probably still be alive.

Friday, April 1, 2011


died this morning. I want to write about her later. But I can't right now...I just feel so empty.
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