Thursday, July 30, 2009

An Admonishment And A Prayer

Our sweet girls playing at the park.

I’m a little behind in reading my emails. The following letter was in my inbox from my sister in law sent on July 27th. (I'm sure many of you have seen it before.) Do you think it is a coincidence? That I read this the day after I “twist off” in my blog post? I think it’s the Holy Spirit reminding me of what is important and disciplining me because of His great love.

“To My Daughter

Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick you up and take you to the park to play.
Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.
Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the backyard and blow bubbles.
Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble when you scream and whine for the ice cream truck and I will buy you one if he comes by.
Just for this afternoon, I won't worry about what you are going to be when you grow up, or second guess every decision I have made where you are concerned.
Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me bake cookies, and I won't stand over you trying to fix them.
Just for this afternoon, I will take us to McDonald's and buy us both a Happy Meal so you can have both toys.
Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about how you were born and how much I love you.
Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry.
Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars.
Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you for hours, and miss my favorite TV shows.
Just for this evening when I run my finger through your hair as you pray, I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever given.
I will think about the mothers and fathers who are searching for their missing children, the mothers and fathers who are visiting their children's graves instead of their bedrooms, and mothers and fathers who are in hospital rooms watching their children suffer senselessly, and screaming inside that they can't handle it anymore.
And when I kiss you good night I will hold you a little tighter, a little longer. It is then, that I will thank God for you, and ask Him for nothing, except one more day..............”

Dear Lord, I praise you for loving me despite my sin, and for forgiving me time and time again. Thank You for dying on the cross so that I could have eternal life, even when I don't deserve it. Please fill me with hope and strength to overcome, and continue to bless me with Your grace and mercy. Help me to have a heart that longs to think and behave in ways that please You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Encouragement from Proverbs 31 July 29

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Chinobilly Housewife Twists Off

Many of you have noticed that I have been uncharacteristically quiet on my blog porch this summer. Blogging has become really hard for me - I think it’s just the raging flow of life, and the fact that things don’t really feel like they settle down here until after the kids are fast asleep. This season of life makes it tough to even form a coherent thought, let alone think deeply. But I feel like I SHOULD be here writing down a few thoughts.
So let's see...oh...Ethel (my camera) and I have been hard at work with The Photographers Workshop. I’m learning so much and I have a renewed love for my camera. It's all I can do to keep up with the assignments but I think I'm improving little by little. I love capturing the everyday moments with my girls and this workshop has certainly kept Ethel clicking away!
I’m also attending women’s bible study, A Wife After God’s Own Heart, at my church. I know I have a lot to work on in this area yet it is so comforting to know that my Savior is patient with me and so is my precious husband. I am truly blessed.
I confess my spiritual muscles have grown week over the past three years. As I’m learning the art of motherhood I have foolishly allowed my prayer and quiet time to be placed on the back burner. Oh how I miss my quiet time with my precious Lord. I crave it and I feel so empty. I struggle with the simplest of tasks and thoughts…to utter a prayer amidst the chaos. My heart is burdened. Maybe I just need a break. Time to think, to be still and quiet.
I see this shift in priorities taking over other areas of my life as well. My house is no longer a comfortable haven. I struggle with indecisiveness in what needs to get done first since ALL of it needs to get done. Then I get overwhelmed feeling that EVERYTHING needs to be done and not knowing where to begin so in frustration I procrastinate and end up doing silly jobs that are not very significant. Lord give me direction…my dirty house is threatening to take over along with my dirty children. *wink
My morning got off to a strange start. I’m convinced the Tylenol PM I took last night is still lingering into the AM. I didn’t get a shower in before Matt shuffled off to work which makes mommy c-r-a-n-k-y and I’m mad at myself for not getting up earlier to spend some time with the Lord (something I’ve been trying to do since beginning this bible study). After getting the kids settled with breakfast I go to get a load of laundry to start and see a haze of dust has settled on our bedroom mirror so I go to get a cloth to clean that off. On my way to get the cloth Abby hollers she needs my help to go “peep” (use the potty). While I’m in the bathroom with her I see the bathroom sink is even worse shape than the mirror in my bedroom so I decided that is where I must start. Then the phone rang. On my way to answer it I trip over a box of foam beads the girls had gotten out and sent them flying in every direction. The Caller ID indicates that it is the doctor’s office FINALLY calling me back so I immediately scramble for a piece of paper and something to write with. I see a weeks worth of mail, most to be tossed, so I write a note on a mail scarp. Then Bree spilled juice on the floor so I begin to clean it up only to realize the whole floor needs a good mopping. So I head to the pantry to get the Floormate but the pantry reminds me that I keep forgetting to add some items to my grocery list. Where is that list anyway? I head off to write it somewhere. Then the girls need attention so my “work" period has thus ended for an indefinite amount of time. When all the “fires are put out” I can’t quite remember where I left off. All I know is there is stuff everywhere now and the house looks worse than when I began. So I find myself wasting time on Facebook instead of dealing with the issues at hand. What a discouragement!
How much longer can I do this? My brain seems to have left the building or is shrouded in a fog. I have had the constant feeling of just 'hanging in space' somewhere. Everyday seems like such a battle. My poor husband has hard days as well and I'm sure will be worn out when he gets home too. So, I must vent here. I know it's only a brief season. My little girls are going to be three on Monday. They are growing up so fast and I can’t turn back the clock or shout re-do! Anyways, I'm just in a place of great pressure, and I know it won't be like this forever. As long as I stand strong in faith and persevere, God will come through and we will grow even stronger. Then we'll look back and see how He worked.
Thank you all for “listening” I feel better just getting this out.
Oh yeah, interesting title huh? My gramma used to say the phrase 'twist off' for losing it, or freaking out. So that's why I used it. It just makes more sense now than when I was younger.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Camping Day 3

Well here are the final photos from our final day of our camping trip.

I hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Camping Day 2

click on image for larger view

Our second day of camping consisted much of the same activities as day one...playing in the creek. Matt's parents did meet us at Clint's Well in the morning. We ate breakfast at a little cafe then headed back to our campsite. Bruce & Carole spent almost all day with us and we enjoyed every minute of their time. We grilled steaks for lunch and got to visit while the kids napped. That evening after mom and dad left we took a drive to see if there were any better camping spots for next time. We explored some beautiful country and even saw a few elk. After we got back from our drive we enjoyed a nice warm campfire and smores. The kids were in heaven!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Camping Day 1

We went camping up at Clear Creek last week. We had a great time and enjoyed getting away from it all for a while. Because we camped in the middle of the week it felt like we had the whole forest and creek to ourselves. It was glorious!
The kids finally wet their lines for the first time. We got a lot of bites but mostly caught crawdads. The kids loved it though. When we weren't fishing we were back at camp. Abby was determined to dig to Beijing and I'm thankful she wasn't using my kitchen utensils to do it this time. Bree was content picking every single flower she could find. And Oli? Well Oli scored big time. He found an old bone to gnaw on.

Warning: Spending excessive amounts of time in the woods may cause an increase in unusual and sometimes hilarious behavior.

Monday, July 13, 2009

You might be a chinobilly...

If yur buckit

kin hold more of yur yungins
thyn yur pool
ya might be a chinobilly.
Thanks for the laughs, Korell family! We're taking up a collection down at the Alco to get you all a bigger pool or smaller kids, whichever's cheaper!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dr Hinton would be proud

The girls are really getting the hang of imagination. I guess spending a few days in the woods with no TV will do that for a kid.
Today Bree was enjoying the fact that it was too hot for daddy to be outside for any length of time. Matt was trying to cool off and take a little rest on the couch when Bree brought out what we fondly call the Dr. Hinton kit (they L-O-V-E their pediatrician).

First she checks to "see if ya' have a hawt" (heart).

Uh-oh, daddy has a cough...tsk tsk

Now, let's see if he has a fever...
Oh dear this can't be good, he needs some "stwawbewy medicine".

Open wide...

Ok daddy this will only hurt a "wittle bit".
Daddy, your just not "gettin' any better, I'm gonna have to cut ya open to take the sick out"

"Twust me...I've done this before...I'm Dr. Hinton"

That's my girl...future MD!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Chinobilly Playdate

What a super fun day we had last Thursday with our sweet friends. I had the best time watching all ten kids cool off in the tiny chinobilly pool, visiting with amazing friends and of course eating tasty food. My girls loved every minute with their friends and even wanted to know if they were coming back for another play date the next day.
Have a great week everybody!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I think Gary Chapman, the author of The Five Love Languages was wrong. This Chinobilly believes there are actually six love languages. And I feel it is my duty to share with the world the 4 people crazy enough to read my blog that yes food IS a love language, a beautiful love language. Just the other day I was sniveling on the blog about having the case of the grumpies. Later that afternoon my sweet friend Stephanie brought over 3 loaves of homemade bread to cheer me up. Oh yes, it did. I felt loved, refer to Love Language #3: receiving gifts, true ,but oh the bread was so good, so comforting, so buttery, so delicious. Gary asks the question “Could it be that gift giving is a fundamental expression of love that transcends cultural barriers?” Possibly, Gary, but I believe FOOD is THE fundamental expression of love that transcends cultural barriers. Maybe I’ll have to pull him aside one of these days, say like when I meet him in heaven, and explain my philosophy. Oh never mind, by then it would be too late. Aren’t you glad you have me to blog about such important matters?
Don’t answer that.
Sometimes though, I just want to self-medicate with a good cookie, and I don’t want to run the oven. Since I was 12, the answer to many of the world’s problems has come in the form of anything served on a dessert plate no-bake cookies.
I’ve had other peoples’ no-bakes, and (my least favorite) purchased no-bakes, but mine are really the best. (It’s a modification of my mother’s recipe and several tweaks here and there over the years.) They are also quick and easy to make, and (unless you need the cookies because your offspring are driving you nuts) they are a great thing to make with kids. Here goes:
No-Bake Cookies

2 cups sugar
¼ cup butter
½ cup milk
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I’ve used crunchy, but if you go this route you should use a little more peanut butter overall, maybe 1/3 cup more).
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups instant oatmeal
Place sugar, butter, milk and cocoa in large saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for exactly one minute. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla until peanut butter melts. Stir in oatmeal. Drop by the spoonful onto waxed paper or a silicone baking mat, and allow to cool.
*Note: you can leave out the cocoa but if you do I would recommend you up the oatmeal to 3 cups.
The crazy chinoiblly sharing this 6th love language with the world, one recipe at a time.