I probably won't get around to posting anything until after Christmas, even though I have a ton of pics and stories about the kids to share.

So we hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and that you will experience the celebration of the birth of Jesus in an amazing way!

Thanks to a comment from my friend Misty that led me to a Bobbly Flay recipe, I was inspired try them again. This time with diced green chilies, a little tabasco, garlic salt, and much more cheddar.

They still weren't the same, but Clark piled his up so high I almost gagged thinking about how much he was eating.

At his request, I'm making them for Christmas Eve dinner that we always have with Pops and Caro. I'll still be tweaking them a little. Wish me luck.

Also, totally unrelated, I'm quitting Monday Musings. Y'all, I'm not disciplined enough to post on a regular schedule. Then I feel like I can't post about really interesting things, like my crazy kids, b/c I haven't done Monday Musings. I'm sure I'll still get deep and too vulnerable with y'all, but just not every Monday. Or every other Monday. Or the random Tuesday.

Update

Cheddar cheese jalapeno mashed potatoes:

- not good with diced jalapenos

- needs lots of cheddar

Next time I'm trying them with a can of diced green chilies and lots more cheddar cheese. I'll let you know...

I've realized something: I cannot control everything.



Actually God has been teaching me this over a period of time recently. But last night was like a breakthrough.


The past two nights have been horrible sleep nights for the kids. Everyone around here is exhausted. Which makes for a very unpleasant two year old.



So, I was already stressed out when Andrew kept crying until finally falling asleep last night at 11:30ish. But when he woke up at 4:45ish and decided not to go back to sleep, I laid in bed thinking and pondering and seething about how I could not possibly make him go back to sleep.



But, I can't control it. I CAN'T CONTROL IT. You have no idea how freeing that actually was to understand. The weight of the anxiety and frustration was gone.



Think about your life. There are so many things we can't control. But even if we understand that fact, do we let all the anxiety about it go? Or do we just keep worrying and wringing our hands?



I'm challenging you to first realize those things that are beyond your control, then let the worry about them go.



I'm challenging myself especially. I mean, I certainly cannot control whether or not an airplane goes falling to the ground, so why do I worry (you know what I'm talking about Michelle)? Or whether Andrew will poop in his potty, or how long Corinne will sleep, or who will become president, or whether or not the Cowboys will go to the Superbowl, or _________________ or ____________.



Just let it go!



What are the worries you're letting go of?



Some of you may remember a previous post about Andrew with this same title. At the end of it, I jokingly stated that we would be "praying the prayer of salvation" with Andrew in no time. This was especially silly in light of the fact that for months we had been struggling with him rather vehemently resisting any prayer or Bible reading.


Well, the Friday before Thanksgiving, I had the honor of praying with my son to receive salvation! Y'all, it was so sweet and amazing! I teared up and my heart nearly burst with the excitement and sweetness of the moment.



When we finished, I was talking about how exciting it was that Jesus lives in Andrew's heart now and has forgiven his sins. And Andrew yelled, "Yea! We get to go to heaven!"


Of course, the gift of salvation through the sacrifice and grace of Jesus' death and resurrection is not fully understood by a two year old, but how awesome that his heart is being led and opened by the Holy Spirit to the stirrings of the Lord. I have been in prayer for Andrew b/c of the resistance he showed to God, and God heard those prayers! Exciting!



On another note - Clark thinks Boston accents are really funny. So sometimes he jokingly says things with an accent. Well, now Andrew will only say, "cah" instead of "car." And tonight he said "pahk" instead of "park." Ridiculous.


And, last night at the library, Andrew leaned up to the speaker on the self-checkout machine and ordered a Sprite.


Okay, okay, okay - I'm not the most punctual. And for those tens of you who have been waiting for this post, its sort of lame.

FOOD!

I love food! I could watch The Food Network obsessively if it weren't for Emeril. I do not enjoy his shows. Oh, and Ace of Cakes is kind of obnoxious, too. Unwrapped is another one that I dislike...

The point is, I'm a foodie and long for the day I have a larger kitchen with nicer appliances and (crossing my fingers) a KitchenAid mixer. I will be whipping up food so delectable that Food Network will want me to have the next hit show (in my dreams!)

Well, last night I attended a Christmas dinner with my mom and sisters and aunts, and we had these cheddar jalapeno mashed potatoes - YUM! I'm going to try and make them tonight with our porkchops - it can't be that hard to add cheddar cheese and a diced jalapeno to mashed potatoes, can it?

My mouth is salivating at the thought of them...

Which brings me back to FOOD! I love it!

"Oh give thanks to the Lord"
~I Chron 16:8
How could I not write a Monday Musing the Monday before Thanksgiving about giving thanks? Before I go into all the cheesy things I'm thankful for, let me just share some self-reflecting I've done. Here's a confession:
I am not a grateful person.
Sometimes I have a hard time giving thanks. I guess I feel I deserve certain things or maybe I just don't take the time to thank the giver. Isn't this horrible for a person whose love language is gifts??? How can I not be grateful?!
Humbleness is the key issue here, I think. Humility would mean that I would put others before me and put them higher than me. That I would realize that I don't deserve anything, and would therefore be grateful for all that I have and receive.
So, thank you, God, for...
Jesus, Clark, Andrew, Corinne, parents (of all forms), sister #1 and #2, step-bro and fam, in-laws, bro-in-law, family, friends, a house, cars, Hoss, nature, swimming, books, the beach, chocolate, wine, food!... and the list goes on...

Here are a few pics of life in general around here:

Andrew's Pumpkin Party at Mother's Day Out

A pretty good shot of Corinne's lower teeth - there are four more on top


bathtime!


We no longer have an infant carrier - Corinne is in a big girl carseat

Monday Musing

So, I don't know if anyone noticed that I didn't muse last week, but I didn't.

And today there isn't anything deep that I've worked through enough in my mind to coherently muse about either. Things like how do I reconcile my belief that God is in control of all things, but that there is still sin and free will affecting life as well... or how all of you feel about the persecution of Christians that goes on all over the world and we have it so easy here in America to believe in God... or that praying and reading my Bible are much more like working out than I ever understood before - they require me to be disciplined and do it whether I feel like it or not...

So, today I'm musing about the fact that it is supposed to be, like, 82 degrees and tomorrow 84 degrees! Isn't it November??? Gosh! (said in my most Napoleon Dynamite like voice)

Finally I'm posting pictures of the kids on Halloween. We went the our church for the Fall Fun Fest, where Andrew played games and we met up with our friends for food and general craziness.

King Andrew the Stubborn

Queen Corinne the Radiant (her costume that I made was already falling apart)


the gang of toddlers


the afro wig made another appearance

Trout Fishing

Its not just for retired men anymore.

Trout Fishing in America is a band, made up of Keith Grimwood (5ft 5in) and Ezra Idlet (6ft 9in). We were introduced to Trout Fishing in June by Clark's dad and stepmom at a concert in the Arboretum.


Since that time, Andrew has become obsessed! We basically confiscated Pops and Caro's cd's and listened to them over and over and over again in the car.


Then, they bought Andrew a DVD of Trout Fishing and we have watched it over and over and over again at home.


The best part is that Clark and I really enjoy their music, too. They are really talented and write funny, family-friendly music.


But my favorite thing about them so far is that Andrew has stopped playing drums and only wants to play the upright bass. While Keith plays a real upright bass, Andrew plays either the Swiffer or Clark's guitar. Nice.


Their music has become the soundtrack of our lives.

Check them out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4-BLATNHWE







When we first took Andrew to the Pumpkin Patch, he started crying so hard when I first set him down to take that token picture by the cauldron. Since Corinne has yet to meet a camera lens she doesn't like, we didn't think we'd get one of her crying. But this time, she toppled over and started in so Clark snapped one (right before picking her up and comforting her, of course).







Lately, I've had some change in my trust and belief in God. It started a few weeks ago when I read "Glimpses of Grace" by Mary Forsythe. This woman wrote her story of being convicted of a felony and the time she spent in prison. It is an amazing book and I hope you guys will read it - anyone can borrow mine after I let Amber borrow it. :)

But it really made me desire to want to to believe and trust that God could, would, and wanted to answer prayer. This might sound strange because a lot of y'all know that I love to pray and feel burdened to pray for others. But it seems like when it comes to my own life, there is always this sense of distrust or uncertainty when I pray. But reading this book paved the way for the Holy Spirit to change that in my heart and mind.

Hmmm..I'm kind of having that sense that I was just a little too vulnerable... awkward!

I guess I'd just encourage y'all to think about your own ways of praying and what you believe when you pray. Do you believe God is listening, that He wants to hear you, that He wants to answer you? Do you want to know His answer?

Let me know what you think...

Last Saturday we took the kids to the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch. We met my older sister and her three kiddos. I really like this pumpkin patch, but oh boy! It was so busy and crowded. We really weren't able to get photos of each kid like we wanted, but it was still really fun. I'm hoping Clark will get some sleep tonight on call and we can go in the morning. So there may be a "Take Two."





I apologize to all of you who were checking the blog until late last night holding out hope that my second Monday Musing would be posted. Clark was post-call so asleep most of the day in our room where the computer is. But, TA-DA, here it is:

I was watching Extreme Home Makeover on Sunday night, and they were building a house for a family who has four members suffering from a chronic illness. The mother and all three of her daughters have it, causing them each lots of pain and multiple other symptoms. The oldest daughter has even had multiple surgeries. Because their family was so affected by the disease and because it can be difficult to diagnose, they started a support group for others. It really was an amazing show. But at one point the mother was talking and she said that she wakes up every day thinking to herself, "Who needs me today? Who can I help today?"

Wow.

Here is a woman in constant pain living in an old chicken coop with three daughters, and each day she chooses to focus on being a help to others. I was so convicted! I wake up most days thinking, "How is Andrew going to act today? What are the chances Clark will be home semi-early?"

How much better would my outlook on life and my circumstances be if I spent my energies and thoughts on others - my family, my friends, people I don't even know but who are suffering? And not even that, but isn't this what part of the Gospel and living life as a believer in Jesus and his way of life is about? Serving others instead of yourself.

I hope that I will continue to remember each day to think about who I need to be praying for all day, or who needs an email, or an encouraging card...

Today I'm praying for a friend and her mom and her life plans.

Think about who might need you today.

More Fair Fun

I couldn't post about the fair (see below) and not include the videos we took of Andrew. He got all hyped up on caffeine and excitement and went nuts! I apologize for the quality b/c it was with our camera and not our camcorder. Also, you may want to turn down your volume. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94WXjxz5DiI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQ2Rt1XxMg4

Clark and I took Andrew to the Fair last Tuesday night. A big thanks to Clark's mom, Grammy, for keeping Corinne while we went. It was so fun and Andrew had a great night. It was fun to be able to focus on just him for a little while and watch as he experienced everything. Also, it was truly a night of forbidden fruits - turkey leg, Tornado Tators, Dr Pepper, cotton candy, ice cream, fried coke... wow! Good times for Andrew. Enjoy the slideshow of pics below!


I've been thinking about trying out a new idea - Monday Musings. Its simple really. On Mondays I'll blog about something I've been musing about and hope you'll comment on it. We'll see how it goes. Especially b/c most of the time I have no clue what day of the week it is!



So for the first musing, I've been thinking a lot about fish. To me, fish are one of the most brilliant ways that God has demonstrated his creativity in His creation. A couple years ago on the day before one of Clark's big medical exams (was it the MCAT, babe?), instead of him spending the whole day cramming more studying in, we went to the Aquarium. It has all of these different tanks with fish and sea life from different regions of the world. I just couldn't stop oooohing and aaaaahing over how amazing the fish were! So many colors, shapes, sizes... it really was so neat. Everytime I think about God's creativity and how creation shouts his praises and displays His glory, I'm reminded of those fish at the Aquarium.



What speaks to you of God's creativity or His creation?

Blog Tag

I've been blog tagged by my friend Christy, so here goes...

MAN TAG:

1. Who is your man? Clark
2. How long have you been married? 5 years this past May 25th
3. How long dated? 4 years
4. How old is your man? 27
5. Who eats more? oooh... probably Clark overall
6. Who said “I love you” first? Me! - after Clark came home from 4 months in Europe
7. Who is taller? Clark
8. Who sings better? um, neither
9. Who is smarter? Clark by far
10. Whose temper is worse? mine
11. Who does the laundry? me, but Clark does his fair share
12. Who takes out the garbage? Clark
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? me
14. Who pays the bills? Clark
15. Who is better with the computer? we're both pretty knowledgeable, but Clark really
16. Who mows the lawn? Clark
17. Who cooks dinner? Usually me, but Clark will help occasionally
18. Who drives when you are together? mostly me b/c I'm a a bad passenger
19. Who pays when you go out? Clark
20. Who is most stubborn? I don't think either of us is that stubborn, but it would depend on the situation
21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Clark
22. Whose parents do you see the most? I'd say its pretty equal
23. Who kissed who first? Clark, on his front porch after my little sister's really crappy junior high play
24. Who asked who out? Clark asked me to go to the mall with him to buy new shoes and then he asked me to prom on the way there...I can still remember every moment...
25. Who proposed? Clark proposed at our favorite restaurant on a dessert plate - its a really funny and sweet story
26. Who is more sensitive? me
27. Who has more friends? um, me I guess
28. Who has more siblings? me - 2 sisters (Clark has 1 bro)
29. Who wears the pants in the family? Clark, but I tend to run our day to day lives

I tag...Alice, Staci, Lindy, Cari (in all her free time), and Kim


I've been keeping a "journal" of things Andrew says that are cute or funny since about April (thanks to Jina for that idea). It's been so fun to go back and remember some of the funny or sweet things he says.


- "Great idea Daddy! Take a shower!"

-"Quesadina"

-"I'm a big brother" - whispered to Corinne

-"You're not Daddy" - stated very matter-of-factly to me
-"I look cool in my baseball hat."

-"Actually it's a ____." - used to correct my naming something for you

-"We're a family." - when Daddy and I are hugging you at the same time.

-"Mommy, are you frustrated?"- one day in the car

-"He's awesome!" - said with your fist pushed up in the air, about Daddy

-"I wanna doink it." - about poking a lizard with a stick (doink?)



he used to ride in this carseat!



Not to ignore Corinne:

I'm a crazy teething baby!

Seriously, no one told me whether or not I can peep toe shoes through the winter???

Happy Hour

Call nights... they cause the night owl in me to come out. It's 12:48 am and I'm not sleeping. No, I'm not putting someone into an induced coma and regulating their heart beats and blood pressure during a surgery. That's what Clark is doing tonight.

I'm drinking a vodka tonic (thanks Carolyn) and thinking about shopping for Christmas presents online. After I look at Target's website for shoes. Can I wear peep toe shoes this winter?

I don't know what it is about Clark not being at home. I have a hard time falling asleep when he's not here. I usually have a glass of wine and read a little then drift off. But so far this month I just can't seem to do it. So, here I am in the absolute middle of the night sipping my tasty beverage and typing a totally random post.

Sorry readers...

everybody everywhere...
Today we had our carpets cleaned. I've been threatening to have it done for months now - well, since before Corinne was born! It finally happened! The carpet looks so good. In a matter of a years time, from pre-toddler to toddler + crawly drooly baby, our poor carpet has been destroyed. Oh, did I mention our dog, Hoss, too?
Now, how do I not freak out about every tiny thing that gets dropped or spilled on it from here on out...

Andrew loves music and dancing. Yesterday we turned the full size mirror in our room on its side so he could watch his feet dancing in more space. Today he and I were dancing together and it just became this wonderful moment for a number of reasons.


Let me back up to fully describe. Lately I've been feeling very "depressed." I've always struggled with fears and anxiety, but its like all-consuming lately. Probably because my prayer request at Bible study last week was to be fully in love with God, and Satan will do anything to keep us from that right? Well, I've been feeling like such a bad mommy and a bad wifey and just completely unable to do anything right, from dinner to protecting my kids from getting hurt.


So, today Andrew and I start dancing to this song I've fallen in love with - Dancing Generation by Matt Redman. And it just consumed me. God's forgiveness and pleasure in me - and I just enjoyed this beautiful moment of dancing/worshipping with one of God's greatest gifts to me - Andrew. I just smiled and then I started crying with the joy of it!


Then, Andrew got sort of scared b/c Mommy was crying but I explained that I was so happy b/c God loves me and he said "God loves me" and then we kept dancing. It was great.

I think that's where we are. Andrew hasn't woken up and knocked in the middle of the night again. We turned up the sound machines in their rooms louder. And Corinne is, I hope, well on her way to sleeping through most of the night. Whew!

Thank you so much for your comments on my mother guilt! You guys were so kind to me! Hopefully now I can get some sleep at night and feel normal myself!

Corinne did not go to sleep until 11 pm last night. Then she proceeded to wake up every two hours. This means I woke up every two hours, went in to nurse her b/c its the quickest way to get her back to sleep, and then did the whole dang thing over again two hours later.


I know, I know... many of you are probably thinking "bad mommying Erin! You're giving her what she wants by going in to her instead of letting her cry it out!" Well, I do agree with you. But the flip side to this argument is that there's another child in the house. Letting Corinne cry it out is not only disturbing to me, but to Andrew as well.


Now, on any other night, I would not have gone to her as many times. Yes, I would have made her cry it out. However, the night before last Andrew woke up at 2:00 am and started knocking on his door like it was the morning. You see, we still have the doorknob thingy on his door so that when he wakes up he can't just come out of his room. Well, he didn't go back to sleep. He just stayed awake, flipped on the light in his room, and kept randomly knocking. At 3:00, not wanting him to wake up Corinne, I went to his door and whispered into the crack "Andrew, its not time to get up. Go back to your bed." Well he started crying and saying "Mommy I need to see you." So, the short of it is: after a little time in our room with no success going back to sleep, I put him back in his bed, did the bedtime routine again, and he went back to sleep.


Where did it all go wrong??? Why are they having so much trouble sleeping? And how is it that Clark is oblivious?


Oh, the insanity!

Six months

Our sweet pea is six months old (technically six and half)! Wow, how time flies when you're having fun!







Lessons

Clark and I have been looking back at video we've taken of the kids since Corinne was born, and Andrew has changed so much! I know I've been blogging and talking about it, but it was strange to see it on tape. Although he is two, we are constantly enamored with him and his personality.

I've also been very convicted lately about how my relationship with Jesus (or lack thereof) will affect Andrew. Clark and I want him to be passionate about the Lord and worshipping him, but have I been showing him that??? The other night as we were leaving a friends house, he saw airplane lights in the sky and kept saying he was afraid of it. I was trying to explain the scripture "For God did not give us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power and love" but ended up just telling him to tell God "I'm scared. Please help me trust you" It was neat to see him change from being scared to thanking God for the airplane and nighttime. This is where I realized, as I have been so often lately, that I let my fears consume me most of the time. I should take a lesson from Andrew and learn to be thankful instead of frightened!

Andrew taking a bubble bath for the first time.

Flying a kite with Grammy.

Jumping into the pool!



Tonight we went to Sonic to get dinner. The whole family likes to drink Cherry Limeades. We ordered Andrew one and I was telling him how good it is. This was the conversation in the car:

E: "It's gonna be good. It has cherries. And limes."

C (thinking he's being witty, not realizing what he's saying): "And ades."

Can you get AIDS from a Sonic drink?

E:"WHAT?!"

A: "WHAT?!"

(Huge eruption of laughter)

You must check out this game online!

www.addictinggames.com/cardtoss.html

Unto the Lord



A few Sundays ago, we had Corinne dedicated at church. It was a fantastic day that we shared with friends and family. I absolutely love it when my family gets together. It brings back so many memories of my childhood. This day was extra special b/c Clark's family was there as well. We loved having them join us at church and then most everyone came to our place for lunch afterward. It was definitely a special day. I've also included the prayer that our pastor, Neil, prayed over Corinne during the service.














Father in heaven, thank you for the grace that you have extended to Clark and Erin in Jesus their savior and in the gift of Corinne. May Corinne at an early age come to know the saving grace of Jesus. May she be both a grace receiver and a grace giver. We pray that this grace would prove irresistible as she watches her parents continually grow in the knowledge of the grace of Jesus. In Jesus name Amen.

Sweet spot

There was a sweet spot in these last several, long days of toddlerisms - Andrew actually ate a full meal last night for dinner! It was like a tender mercy from God. He almost never eats dinner. But last night he ate all of it! It was great!

(Sorry Heather - no pics of the pork, asparagus, or carrots)


Andrew could sure use some prayers. Prayer for protection. Protection from me. I'm going to wring his little neck if he doesn't stop acting like such a two year old!


Oh wait, he is two!


Maybe you should pray for me!


Pretty girl

I decided that Corinne's hair is long enough to try putting pigtails in it - it is so cute! It is definitely my favorite way to do her hair. It is rather difficult at times though b/c she won't stay still.


I had just woken Clark up, so excuse the show of chest hair. :)



We've also recently started trying rice cereal. She's not really taking to it very well, although Andrew had a blast trying to feed her.




Finally, a new Morgan post! Sorry there hasn't been anything new lately, but we've been leading busy and not altogether interesting lives.

Something that has been happening is Andrew growing up way too fast! A few weeks ago he started asking us for a mitt. I'm not sure why he calls it a mitt and not a glove, but he does. This was a little strange b/c we are not baseball people. We don't ever watch baseball, talk about baseball, or play baseball. But he kept asking for one, so we went to Wal-Mart to search for one. We found a little t-ball glove that came with a t-ball - he was so excited! And I nearly cried right there in the middle of Wal-Mart. He cannot be big enough to wear a baseball glove! It was so sad and cute.




The other day Clark came home with all this IV tubing. He made a complex straw design that allows for Andrew, Andrew and 1 other person, or Andrew and 2 other people to drink from the same drink through the IV tubes. So we all shared a glass of orange juice. Only Clark (and maybe Joel)...

Photo shoot

I did a "photo shoot" of the kids the other day and got some fun and silly pics:





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