This Where the Nonsense Turns to Makesense

..A large family working to perfect our sweet skills: Loving others, making an impact, parenting on purpose, living simply, and embracing sarcasm.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

AND the lucky lady is..

LOLITA!!! Thanks to all of you who emailed, called, and posted your willingness to help with the babies. Lolita has agreed to keep them. I love her. I love many of you as well, but especially her right now. Still coveting your prayers for the rest of this week. My family should get here some time today, our last minute paperwork (because mortgage companies think I work on Santa's magical North Pole time) is due today and is in fax transition land and out of my hands, our walk through is scheduled for tomorrow, and graduation is Friday. Lastly, we are supposed to find magical Santa time to sign papers so our house will record before Friday at five. Did I miss anything? Oh yes, for the last week, I have been enduring a very special kidney infection. Ow. Specific prayers recommended.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


We are in need of a willing heart to keep our two littlest Brewers Friday from about 12-3 so I can attend my husband's graduation. I have made a zillion calls but no luck. I should add, we are money challenged so this can not be a paid position. Please Please Please, we are desperate. Thanks friends.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Seven Days and Counting...

Things I still have left to do in order to prepare for next week (aka Christmas, The Man's graduation, Moving Day):

Pack my entire house
find more tape to close boxes
finish two quilts
wrap friends' presents
make a "NEEDS" box full of toilet paper, bath towels, toothbrushes, blankets, and other immediate needs for our first night in the new house
clean house for Mom-in-law's visit
shop for The Man's graduation dinner
pick up last minute presents
pick up movie Isabelle's teacher borrowed
put together Elijah's tether ball pole (sweet)
put together Isabelle's basketball hoop
return library books
return red box movie..late as usual
set up utilities and other needs for new house
break the news to our landlords; we are not buying this house
give our 30 day notice to our landlords
find something to wear to graduation
write a 1250 word paper with my study team
write a 1500 individual paper on business ethics
another assignment too boring to describe
send out remainder of our Christmas cards
drop off presents to friends leaving town
sign papers at escrow office
find out if the papers we received in the mail are an attempt to steal my identity (seriously..they are very fishy and no one knows anything about them)
watch a hundred or so Christmas movies, some repeatedly
read about five more books of the bible to finish my reading plan before the start of the new year
wrap presents for five children (yikes)
find something for each of my children to wear to graduation
find a babysitter for the babies during graduation (any takers? Friday from 12-4)
and somehow manage to enjoy the peace that is the reason for this season.
I am going back to bed.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Welcome to our new maxi pad...

" know with the new dry weave, I hear it actually pulls moisture away from the skin." (Steve Zahn, Reality Bites)

This is a picture of the model of our house. Everything is the same except they agreed to paint my door red and our paint color is a little tanner. So pretty! We are having a housewarming sometime in February. As long as we really get the house! There is a little threat with verifying funds. God is bigger than that little boogie man. But feel free to continue praying for us.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

You know what makes me tired?

Repeating myself. I expect it with my children, but lately there has been just too much of it. Like just now, I told my son to get out from behind my couch. Rather than just listening, he has to give me reasons why it is great back there. Because I don't actually care, I yell for him to get out. Also, those of you who thought the twos were terrible never had a three year old. Addison is just a couple weeks from this special age and is testing everything. I am tired of follow through. I need a nap.
Lately, I have had to say the same thing to my dog over and over and over. Apparently he feels we shouldn't leave each morning to take Isabelle to school. It seems to cause him stress, so he has taken to chewing on little things he finds in the house. Today he actually pulled an heirloom ornament off of my tree. I could have killed him. Instead I scolded him and made him go outside. His little tail between his knees was sad, but I was strong.
In addition to my usually tiresome repetition, I have had to pete and repeat everything to keep up communication between everyone involved with our house.
Lastly, trying to organize a celebration dinner is stressful when there are so many people involved and so much other stuff going on. Clearly there is a lot of repetition involved.
Sooo, if you ask me a question, just stick around long enough to hear the answer or things may get scary for you.

Monday, December 03, 2007

I hate finances

My sister said earlier that "this stuff" only happens to me, but that just can't be true. Many of you know I am a proud student at the University of Phoenix (please pronounce Pah-ho-nicks). Many of you also know that I rely completely on scholarships and financial aid. I applied for my financial aid at the start of my second year on the recommendation of my financial counselor-you know, the lady who knows everything about my school's finance protocol. Well, apparently not because I did just what she said and instead of sending me more money that I was assured I qualified for, they sent a smooth four grand less. Um..what was that?! Broke Lady say WHAT?! I contacted them as soon as I noticed, and they seriously were trying to act like it was too much work to fix a mistake they made! Because I am not above inflicting physical pain -or calling at all hours repeatedly- they finally are moving on this issue. Of course one problem led to another when this all started, and it cause everyone to be involved. Sigh. Let's just all pray they give me permission to use the Pell Grant this year. I cannot handle or afford to take out a loan to pay for the rest of this year. And, as much as I gripe about the stresses of my life, I am not ready to drop out of school. I am, however, ready to be the recipient of any of your generous scholarship donations. I have no pride in this area.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hey guess what..

We bought a house :D And now, in all my free time, I am trying to envision my new decor. I have decided it should be all about the trees. Here are a few that I found that I really love.

Seriously LOVE this one


Cute for the girls' room

I found a great sheet of scrapbook paper covered in trees. I haven't been able to find an image of it, but I bought it to use as a background for a family recipe page I planned to hang in my kitchen. The trees are so retro and I think I want to paint them down my hallway, floor to ceiling, in a row. It can be scary to know you are reading my thought process right now, but in my mind my hallway will be very cool!
Anyhoo, Moses, Jessica, Denae, Chris of Chris and Natalie that I don't know so well but I hear you are a great artist, you people can't hide from me. I need you.

Anyone who has any sweet drawing skills and a little bit of free time is encouraged to gimme a call. I would love to pick your brain. I think I could actually paint something as long as someone else drew the sketch first. I dunno. A little scary to just start painting on your wall, but I just love what these murals add to the rooms.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Day of Thanks


-to my husband for just being my husband
-to my husband for caring about what he looks like,
-to my husband for caring about what *I look like,
-to my husband for being an athletic supporter for most anything I want,
-to my Mom for giving advice that is right for me, but may hurt for her,
-to my Dad for an endless supply of toe socks,
-to my brothers for keeping me entertained,
-to my children for giving me gray hairs (apparently my husband thinks they are sexy),
-to my sisters who came along and verified *I am not the crazy one in the family,
-to FASFA/FAW for funding my college education,
-to my friends for laughing at my jokes and telling a few of your own,
-to anyone who prays for me. I need more so keep them coming,
-to Pat Sajak and The Wheel for the goodtimes, money, and for laughing hysterically at my poodle joke, and
-to God for not giving me what I deserve but choosing to bless me anyway.

I am excited to see what next year brings.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Just a day in the life

I don't know why people assume that since I have many children, I must be good at what I do. I don't necessarily think God works this way in all situations. In our case, we just happened to be loony enough for the job so God kept the kids coming. This natural tendency toward insanity has come in handy considering I feel I have given birth to 5 of the oddest children ever!! During our chaotic, but fun, photo shoot, my friend snapped this shot. I love that she included it in our proofs. It shows A) that she finds humor in the same things I do, which is why I haven't lived near her for almost 4 years, but we seem to pick up where we left of whenever we get together, and B) I am a stellar multi-tasker. I mean, seriously- let's take inventory of everything happening here:
I am on the phone
I am carrying Samuel (you missed him wiggling out of my arms)
I am paying attention to Elijah as he does his new dance number
My clothes match AND are clean
My hair is freshly washed and actually put up a bit
I am walking out of my van, which has to mean I just came from somewhere really important,
and I am wearing tennis shoes, which means I planned to exercise, right? HAHA

In actuality I shouldn't be on the phone because I don't have daytime minutes,
I just pinched Sam's leg to keep him from falling to the cement,
I am totally ignoring Elijah as he is more interested in the camera anyway,
I did lay my clothes out the night before which was easy because they just came from the store (where I shouldn't have spent money on them in the first place),
My hair is deceiving because it was washed a day before as I always have better hair a few days after the wash,
I actually had the kids stashed in the van eating marshmallows while the others were having their pictures taken,
I was feeling chubby and didn't feel like sucking in my gut for pictures, so I wore exercise-ish pants to avoid a muffin top,
and I wore tennis shoes because they matched my pants better than my loafers.
See, all you moms who think I set a standard to live too can be just like me. You just have to be a liiiitle bit lazier. :D

Monday, November 12, 2007

Big Finish

I don't want to be so excited, but football and cheer leading are finished! Praise the LORD!! This picture is another from my insanely talented friend Jessica Baldwin. Look for her website over there. Can't you see me pointing? Anyway...

I just need to get back to simple. Why is that so difficult? My children were hilarious to watch during this football season. Addison prayed every night for the kids to go to practice (apparently she was tired of their company). She also learned Layla's cheers quite well! She will just suddenly jump into a room and holler "READY OKAY!!" and go at it! Even Sam knows to clap when she is finished. Goodtimes. That is what I like to call an athletic supporter. And you know...if you can't be an athlete...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hectic Weekends

In an attempt to keep the simple life I love so much, we have tried to stick with family commitments and really important appointments. The weeks are easier now that football and cheer leading are over. The weekends seem to fill up pretty quickly. Since taking charge of the agenda, we are still a bit full, but it has all been great.
Yesterday we babysat in the morning for friend,
cheered for Isabelle wile she received her honor roll certificate,
brought the kids to a friend's to bake an apple pie and a meatloaf pie,
went with my family and a TON of friends to a pie party (didn't win the contest, but had a ton of fun)
woke up late (after I woke up at 5 with Sam)
took the fam. to IHOP for breakfast
met a family that moved very recently and is looking for a church
picked Isabelle up from her sleepover
went home, put babes to bed, put hubby to bed on the couch,
watched the girls cut material for their sewing projects while I did my homework
went to my brother's to babysit,
currently blogging, chatting with a friend, and watching Transformers,
tomorrow is church
then we are having a celebration dinner for Isabelle's honor roll status
and because Monday is a holiday, The Man and I are going on a date mid-day
he has a chiropractor appt, but then we get to go to the movies..or maybe rent a room and have a nap!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Funny Questions I Heard This Week

Eli while I bathed the babies- Mom, why can't I hold water?

Addison- WHAT IS THAT IN MY BATH!?? (Sam's poop. ew)

Eli- Why isn't Daddy washing my window? (My response) Because he doesn't like you as much. (His response to my response) You are rude. (My final response) fits of giggles.

Addison- Mommy, remember when Santa pushed you?

Eli after I drew cool "tattoos" on me and Layla Grace- OOH Can you draw me a tattoo?
(My response once I drew on the top side of each wrist) Go ask Daddy what it says. (Mike) Poop Nugget? (Eli's response) little boy anger (My response) extended fits of giggles.

My 9 yo nephew No-No Noah to his mother- Mom, if you and Dad BOTH have heart attacks, who will take me to school?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Right Now...

I am listening to little toddler voices (my favorite) play and giggle.

Right now, I can hear Layla Grace help Elijah read through his first chapter book.

Right now, I am missing my husband and eager for the days when he will be home four days in a row.

Right now, I am chewing a piece of Bubble Tape gum, sweet!

Right now, I am listening to Casting Crowns remind me of the people God has put around me to help, pray for, make laugh, and hold up when they need it.

Right now, I am reminiscing over what I heard God speak to me over this retreat weekend: I don't have to wait until I get to heaven, I can worship God all the time starting right now; the issues I am facing are not only very small, but a great learning opportunity for me and those around me; I am really a grown up, not just someone pretending to be a grown-up, so when God calls me to pray for someone or step out of my comfort zone, I no longer have that crutch to call upon.

Right now, I am trying to figure out what to make for dinner.

Right now, I am debating whether I should shower now and start homeschool late, or end early and shower before school.

Right now, I am wondering if my History teacher is going to see right through the bull crap that is my paper due this evening.

Right now, I am wondering if Moby is ever going to stop shedding.

Right now, I am wondering what that smell is...poo I am sure.

Right now, I am thinking I should get off this "devil box" (as my sister calls it) and actually stay on task.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I still Got it!!

You know what is great? That I can decide to totally skip turning in a paper and still get a B. Sociology is over. It was fun while it lasted, but even better now that it is over.
You know what else is great? Football is almost over. Now I can cancel all of my hate mail to Pop Warner. To all of you who made it to the playoffs, congratulations. I am so glad it was you. :D

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Don't you hate those gay sayings about friends?

In the cookie of life, you are the chocolate chips. I know people take that to mean as a friend, they are the sweetest part of the cookie. But, if we have ever had a conversation, you know I don't buy that. It really means friends make things messy and cause you to require a napkin. That really has nothing to do with my post, but I am here to amuse myself!

On to the point. A friend found me recently. She is a woman I was incredibly close with for a short time while The Man and I lived in California. This time in my life was nothing to be replayed as I was certainly pushing the boundaries God had carefully laid out for my life. I still have guilt for some of the choices I made during this time, but I know I am forgiven. Probably even by her. I was so excited to hear from my old friend...she isn't old HA!, just our friendship. While I waited for her phone call, I found myself rehashing stupid mistakes and immature behavior I so graciously displayed in those days. I felt that I wanted to ask God for forgiveness all over again. But then, I remembered that God really does love me as far as the east is from the west (just like that song says). I don't have to relive those times. In fact, dwelling on them is giving party to the dark side. AAAND, considering I am not that big of a Star Wars fan, it was easy to get back to what God wants my focus to be. It is easy for me to get stuck in the past- whether I am reminiscing good or bad things. I want to focus more on being here, right now. I want to be more purposeful. If I get hung up on everything I am doing wrong or the negative influences in life, I will miss that "fullness" God mentions in Jeremiah. And in the wise words of Steven Tyler, "I don't want to miss a thing."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

N.Y. man attacks inflatable ghost, pumpkin

LLOYD, N.Y. - A woman says a neighbor attacked her inflatable Halloween lawn display of three ghosts and a giant pumpkin, then apparently smashed his head through her window in a fit of rage.

This struck my funnines bone late last night in the same way SNL is great late night. Sorry if it doesn't translate into daytime hours. It still cracked me right up.

State Police said officers found a drunken John Odee, 43, inside Dawn Garcia's house in the Hudson Valley town of Lloyd on Thursday night, arrested him after a brief struggle and charged him with burglary.

Garcia told the Middletown Times Herald-Record she heard hollering and swearing and looked outside to see Odee struggling with the giant pumpkin. "He was enraged. I could see that," she said.

When she yelled at him to go away, Odee charged the house. She fled through the back door with three of her children and heard window glass breaking. She called 911 from another neighbor's house. Police said Odee used his head to smash a window to get in.

No problems with last year's decoaration
"What made him do that, I don't know," Garcia said. "We had the same decoration up last year and it didn't bother him."

Odee was being held at Ulster County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail Friday night. A corrections officer said inmates could not come to the phone. The officer did not know if Odee had an attorney.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

You may not have known that I LOVE...

going to school,
seasonal movies,
quoting any quotable movie,
war movies,
black and white movies,
historical fiction novels,
faceless pictures,
music from the 50s,60s, & 70s,
hearing my husband's jeep while it is still a mile away,
my husband while he sleeps,
my husband while he is awake,
my husband while he...well..does other things,
calling him "my husband",
sketching-especially with pencils,
my hair,
that Addison responds to "squirrel",
being home,
having company,
living in Reno,
Rancho San Rafael's arboretum,
my dog, Moby Richard,
finding Samuel playing in the Barbie jeep out back,
date night,
Christmas cards-giving and receiving,
teaching, anyone about most anything,
the color red,
the color green with red because it reminds me of Christmas...which I love,
The Fray,
Five for Fighting,
John McLaughlin,
having my toes painted,
trees-especially the Umbrella Catalpa and willow,
coloring books at Christmas time,
puzzles and games,
music played on real records,
painted cabinets,
my piano,
musicals- especially live,
home videos,
The Office,
and acoustic music.

I am only stopping now so you will have time to read this post. I could go on forever. Are there things you LOVE!?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My Lightbulb Moment

Sometimes it takes me a minute or two to hear what God is telling me. This very character flaw is why I recommend going to church weekly. I have been physically sick more times in the previous three months then combined in my life so far. I have been praying for God to reveal if it is an allergy, or if I am simply making too many unhealthy choices, or if it is due to something greater. Saturday night, I was certain I was dying of some internal wretched disease. I prayed for God to not only heal me but reveal what was really going on during Sunday's service. I cried on Sunday when he did.

Louie (not Louise) talked about the pace he feels God has set for him. Louie (not Louise) said he was physically sick after trying to be apart from where God was asking him to be. This is me right now. It isn't that I am running in a direction God is telling me not to; it is more because I am running.

God began speaking to me about celebrating the Sabbath about six months before Louie (not Louise) brought it up at church. I was floored when it became a series of teachings at church. I committed my Sundays to God and family and rest. Then my husband got hired onto the Fire Department, and I let everything run amok.

In the same way Louie (not Louise) felt his schedule was out of his hands, I feel that the goings on around me are out of my hands. The picture I get is me in the middle of a tornado with seven schedules swirling around me mixed with all the expectations others have of me. My problem is I keep trying to jump out and grab hold so I can "handle" one or two. This doesn't work for me. I get beat up, feel sick, get pushed around (sometimes literally**stupid yard gnome! This is a story for another time) and still end up out of control.

Now I know my job is to simply remain. Remain consistent. Remain in the eye of the storm where I can find God and experience his peace. Remain healthy. Remain out of CONTROL, not OUT OF control. Simply Remain- though for me, there seems to be nothing simple about remaining.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Search Results

I put in a search to find a Reno Wives' Firefighting chat group and this was the advertisement offered on the right of my screen. Maybe God is trying to tell me something. This is the worst thing I have ever seen...(other than George Dahir post-shower)

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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Just a Quick Update

busy busy with school/work
LOVES his new job
volunteering to referee the Inter Fire Department Dodge Ball game for charity (LOL)
expert at shining his boots
squeezing in fishing whenever he can

Working hard not to lose my sanity
participated in the anual Susan G. Komen, Crop for the Cure and finished 10 pages!
Heading into week two of Sociology
bought kids berries and cream Fraps today because I couldn't resist
busy shuffling kids to extra "fun" activities
trying to stay ahead of my homeschooling schedule
feel sad I can't come to more baby showers, but it just can't happen

dropped out of journalism because it is more writing than she is interested in
continually jumps rope even if there is no rope to be jumped
doing superb in 4th grade at her new school
cut off all of her hair (mike still has a hard time looking at her)
still loving her book publishing and beading clubs
in the market for a violin as she has decided to play one for school

awesome football player
working on mastering the rollerblades
planning on being Captain Jack Sparrow for Halloween
has figured out more math than I ever did at this age!

Layla Grace-
beautiful as ever
has an incredibly loose front tooth
hilarious cheerleader (ready Ohhh K)
reading chapter books

as squirrely as ever
knows three of her colors successfully
obssessed with lip gloss and flops so protect yours well
has begun drawing circles to practice holding her pencil correctly
traces VERY well
is going to be three soon!

walking and refusing to crawl
has all of his baby teeth
still clinging tightly to his paci though only in his bed if we can help it
crinkles his nose when he laughs
covers his mouth when he cries
makes us all smile

sleeping...and the other usual doggy habits
misses us so much while we are gone he knocks both babies down when we return EVERY time!

The family-
busy, but happy
big patriot fans now that Eli and Layla Grace are part of the team
just got back from a week in Vegas (minus Mike)
got cell phones so we can send each other texts of our fun experiences
finished painting the house, now we are working on the master and baths
had the mold in our bathroom inspected and we are all clear for purchasing our house!
had the greatest family pictures just taken. We will send some out for the holidays

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Berries and Cream Part One

If you want to learn this special dance, scroll down a smidge; I have posted a tutorial on the entire routine.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Berries and Cream

I have nothing else to say about this other than : I would like to dedicate this post to my friend Jenene Boardman.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

This is Living

This is another picture from camping. It doesn't have a lot to do with my post other than to put a visual to the rest I feel I need already. (note the beer that is not really a beer in my son's hand.) Mike started his academy last week, and already we are overwhelmed with stuff. We have been so anti-hectic for the past three years that this schedule may just end me. Between piano lessons, football, cheerleading, Isabelle's new schedule with school, homeschooling, keeping up with Hot Lips, and The Man's new work responsibilities, I felt it was necessary to take a small break from school. I was having a hard time comprehending anything I was learning, so I dropped my history class. (Louie not Louise should not feel disappointed as I fully intend to take this class at another time..just not right now.) I get a two week break, one of which is in Vegas visiting friends and family, before I dive back into Sociology (ack) and Poli Sci (ack ack!!). Plus, I am switching my school nights to Thursdays, at least until football and cheer are over. Sanity prayers welcomed. Volunteers to care for babies during football games seriously needed. Please be in touch through our local contacts should you be able to offer your services.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Summer's End Camping

Here are a couple of pictures from our camping trip. It was full of relaxing, sand sculptures, swimming, bike riding, and gluttony. Other than the fact that Sam slept miserably due to his rotten snack of rocks and lake water, it was awesome. I ended up having to share my mummy style sleeping bag with him. Obviously this was not even a little bit comfortable. Especially because he is a wiggly worm.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Style Weekend Update

One more night of my Critical Thinking class. We are responsible for presenting ten popular fallacies people fall for out of a list of 27 good ones. Here is my speech for the "false dilemma fallacy" where Cookie Monster is shown simply devastated because he is out of milk to wash down his cookies. There are four people in my team, and we are delivering our speech in true Saturday Night Live, Weekend Update form. Cracks me right up! I love school!Here is my speech:

Good evening, and welcome to the (SAY EXACT TIME) news on LOL Fallacious Reasoning TV. My name is Shontell, and I am joined by my colleagues Christina, Kelly, and Andrew.

Before we get into our top story, we have breaking news concerning a certain loveable, blue, fuzzy monster. Cookie Monster was spotted earlier this week slipping into a seriously deep depression when, during his usual snack time of cookies, he was left high and dry with out any milk. The tragedy of it all is that Cookie was apparently so high on sugar from years of gluttony, he failed to consider any other beverage to help wash down his sugary treats. What Cookie has here is a false dilemma. And, now to Andrew with our top story.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

No pics, but..

We just got back from camping with our friends at Frenchmens. What a beautiful lake. For those of you who live in Reno and haven't been, I suggest you go before the summer ends, then again when the leaves start to turn, then again when it is time to cut down a Christmas tree. Just beautiful. My kids had a fantastic time getting as dirty as possible, roasting marshmallows at all hours, munching, playing games, fishing, building forts...anything that screams "I am a kid at the beach!" It was almost too great. We didn't want to leave. We packed up our four room tent (huge, I know!) and headed back to reality.

Because we are getting better at this parenting thing, we bribed the kids with a trip to the ice cream parlor if they helped unload everything, shower willingly, and help get everything in order for our new week. It worked. We are all squeaky clean (though our bathtubs could use a pick me up!), my van is back to less than bursting at its seems, and our bellies are full of Baskin Robin's tasty treats.

It was a great weekend together. Just us. Just family and friends. Great memories.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Just one of my all time favorite commercials

Just pause my music on the side there to listen properly. Yah, it's that good.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Isaiah 58

I am missing church. I KNOW I KNOW! I am the church, but I still miss going. In my attempts to read through the bible, I have made it to Isaiah. I only have the rest of the old testament to go, and I am looking forward to it as there are a lot of books I haven't even rustled pages in. Anyway, I read through this chapter, and though it was encouraging, convicting, and full of promises, it made me miss church. Happy Sabbath.

"Shout it aloud, do not hold back.

Raise your voice like a trumpet.

Declare to my people their rebellion

and to the house of Jacob their sins.

For day after day they seek me out;

they seem eager to know my ways,

as if they were a nation that does what is right

and has not forsaken the commands of its God.

They ask me for just decisions and seem eager

for God to come near them.

'Why have we fasted,' they say,

'and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled

ourselves, and you have not noticed?'

"Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please

and exploit all your workers.

Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,

and in striking each other with wicked fists.

You cannot fast as you do today

and expect your voice to be heard on high.

Is this the kind of fast i have chosen,

only a day for man to humble himself?

I sit only for bowing one's head like a reed

and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?

Is this what you call a fast,

a day acceptable to the Lord?

"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:

to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke,

to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?

Is it not to share your food with the hungry

and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-

when you see the naked, to clothe him,

and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

Then your light will break forth like the dawn,

and your healing will quickly appear;

then your righteousness will go before you,

and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;

you will cry for help and he will say: Here I am.

"If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger

and malicious talk,

and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry

and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,

then your light will rise in the darkness,

and your light will rise in the darkness,

and your night will become like the noonday.

The Lord will guide you always;

he will satisfy your needs in a sun scorched land

and will strengthen your frame.

You will be like a well-watered garden,

like a spring whose waters never fail.

Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins

and will raise up the age-old foundations;

you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,

Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

"If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath

and from doing as you please on my holy day,

if you call the Sabbath a delight

and the Lord's holy day honorable,

and if you honor it by not going your own way

and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

then you will find your joy in the Lord,

and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land

and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob."

The mouth of the lord has spoken.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


For you non Reno- onions, our church is celebrating a month long sabbath from the regulars of church. For more on this check out our free podcasts through iTunes by looking up Hillside Foursquare Church. Good stuff. Check it out. DO IT!!

Anyway, our family is using this time to catch up on being a family before Mike's schedule sets in. I love God's timing..usually. On the surface, I am tempted to be irritated that SOOOO much is happening at once, but when i began to dig a little deeper, I realize just how right it all is. First, I am a lists, goal setting kind of girl. I like time lines and deadlines. The fact that I have to have EVERYTHING done before September 3rd is a challenge (I hope I am up to it).

Secondly, most of what is taking place leads to further peace or lots of fun. We have been given our thirty day notice of intent to sell our home. I will admit that I cried for a week, but my husband so happily reminded me that God is bigger than the boogie man; I don't need to be sad, I need to be praying. So we did, and we are going to try to buy our house. In addition, we are smack dab, in the middle of painting and revamping our home. Those of you who have ever done this know how tricky it can be. Those of you who have done this with five children..can you call and give me tips please? We made a master list...ten pages long (literally) of things to be accomplished. We are about five pages into it, but the peace that comes from this organization will be a major blessing and stress reliever. We just have to push through. I am reading Emilie Barnes' Survival Guide for the Busy Woman for inspiration. In addition to this, my kids are branching out to extra curricular activities. This will obviously only lead to humor. Football and cheer leading... it almost doesn't get better than this!

Thirdly, my husband has just been offered the career of his dreams. God's hand has been in every part of the process and my husband has been able to see it. He is allowing God to grow and stretch him in new ways. It is tough for both of us, but humbling to see God doing so much work in our little home.

Please pray for our sanity and a solid finish.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Metaphor I really need help!

Can someone turn this simile into a metaphor, please?

Teaching kindergarten in the public school system is like herding cattle.

Feel free to elaborate- thanks.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sick of the Cooties

BLECH! Mike and I are sick with colds. I feel like a little kid. I am pouty, grumpy, achy, crazy hot, name it. We found out Mike's physical is schedule for this Tuesday. He is a little nervous because if he doesn't pass, he loses his chance to take this job. God is bigger than cooties..he has to be, he invented them. For now, we are snuggled up, heavily medicated, watching Harry Potter while I work on homeschool lesson plans. Fun Fun Fun. Hopefully the meds won't affect my teaching plans.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Dream Come True

So, many of you have heard by now, but I had to bloggify it. Hot Lips is officially a firefighter recruit for the Reno Fire Department. He got the call today asking him to report to the academy on September 4th. This day is especially great because it was his dad's birthday. His dad died a few months after we were married, so it is a little bittersweet. This is certainly a time for a dad to be proud of a son.
Thank you all for your prayers. He is now waiting for his information packet, then he has to pass a background check and medical physical. All prayers are welcomed throughout that process. We will keep you updated. God is moving much in the Brewer house. Some of it is a bit of a stretch, and some of it is actually putting our money where our faith is. It is easy to say we trust him, but another when we are asked to live it. I apologize ahead of time for the rotten example I am sure to set over the next few months. Prayers for my sanity, energy, and for my role as athletic supporter; it can be a sweaty job...or is that schweaty?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Summertime is Just Getting Started

Beep Beep Coming through!
This is Addison's more glamorous side.

Birthday treats and water filled arm farts... Made to be brothers.
We have become big supporters of the new Reno farm team, Silver Sox. My favorite part of being a kid is not caring that your glasses are cheap, cheesy, and crooked. (Notice Eli, lol)
Summer is about half over. We are still trying to fit in a camping trip, some more gardening, and some more swimming. The next thing we are waiting impatiently for is the Rib Cook-off. All are welcome to visit. Just look for us near the noggin sized onion blossom stand. We will be the fools with corn in our teeth and a lemonade in our hands.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Not so professional hair model

Here is my first attempt at being a hair model. My friend, Marie invited me to be her hair model in a nationwide competition that I REAAAAAALLY want to win. It took a couple of days, a few uncomfortable positions, and frankly, a lot of laying around while people fiddle with my hair, but these are a couple of proofs from the shoot. I had so much fun. It certainly didn't take a lot of brains to do this job, but it took a big step outside of my shell and a lot of working on my rotten posture. If Marie wins, we get to go with her hair buddy, Josie, to Barcelona to do it all over again. Wish us luck :D

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Next American Idol

Doesn't my nephew Adam look remarkably like Sanjaya? I am scared. He straightened his hair because a girl at his school said she thought he would be handsome. It is amazing what 12 year olds will do for a girl.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I did not write this...It was a devotion I read this morning. Interesting though.

AN INVOCATION OF STRENGTH**Are you looking for peace in your life? Suzanne Benner

"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loves us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word" (2 Thessalonians 2:16, 17).

Are you weary today? Is your strength failing? Often we find ourselves in situations that require us to pour out physical and emotional energy at such a pace that there is little or no time to be replenished. Raising young children is one such season of life. There aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish all that needs doing; the necessity for constant vigilance is draining and a moment of rest seems weeks away.

Being the primary care giver to someone who is sick or aging is another period of unrelenting demands on your energy. Beyond the physical demands, grief often takes an added toll.

Perhaps it is the strain of broken relationship that is exhausting you. Estrangement from a friend, sibling, or son or daughter exacts a heavy price from your peace of mind. Confession, forgiveness and working through the issues take more strength than you possess. Many times we desire to do these good things that God has called us to, but become discouraged and tired. Thus it is wonderful to discover that our God gave us eternal encouragement and good hope! More than a momentary pick-me-up, by God's grace and love we have access to a continuous supply of hope and encouragement. Feelings fluctuate, but God and His word stand firm forever. Keep clinging to Him.
Questions: What does eternal encouragement and good hope mean to you? How has it been a reality in your life?

Saturday, July 07, 2007


I am not saying I don't love her for a lot of other reasons, but Isabelle has only been gone for a few hours and I am exhausted. That girl is such a huge help around here. My husband is home because I am working on homework and he is off on weekends. He is only able to offer limited advice and help through the low points of the redneck race. He just randomly hollers stuff like "Addison, stop licking that!" or "Sam, stop crawling up on the entertainment center" or "Addison! Dang it, can't you poop in the toilet yet!?" or "Sam, stop crawling on me. Go skin a cat or something." I am not overly certain what that last one means. It scares me. Between sayings like that and that deer head hanging on my wall, I am beginning to think I married a redneck.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Samuel Fisher has turned one!! YAY, Baby. We played in the sprinklers and that ginormous ball in the picture. We grilled and just spent time together as a family. It was relaxed and perfect. His birthday presents included this sweet speedo, a push walker, a John Deer tractor to ride along on, squeaky blocks that Moby can't seem to leave alone, and an insane spinning toy that makes way too much noise for a children's toy.

My mother got him these speedos. They are really only appropriate on little boys under two.
Sam is just starting to take steps. We got him this walker hoping to help him along. Notice the ensamble: speedo, push toy, princess wand. I love it. Fascinated by the fire from his candle, he became a little violent when I pushed it away from him.
Mike decided Sam needed to celebrate his first birthday as a man; we had grilled corn, steaks, and beer.
MMMMM. Finally a taste of birthday cake. I decided to steal my brother's tradition and make Sam a JELLO cake each year for his birthday.
I have now celebrated our last first bday. sigh. It is nice, but a little sad. We are teaching our last baby to walk, eat, and make kissy noises. I talked to a friend today who said she thought about writing a book called Eighteen Christmases. She said that is really all we have with them. I got teary immediately. Even though I have been awake with Samuel for the past two nights while he is teething, I am working hard to cherish every moment. Even the not so fun ones.

Friday, June 29, 2007


I decorated Sam's name to hang above his bed. Eventually it will say "Sam I Am," but for now it just says Sam. I love it. Apparently so does Sam :D

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Why I like Mike #15

He sure knows how to treat a lady.
Click on my title for further details.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Layla's a graduate

This is Layla, her teacher Ms. Stephanie, and her friend Erin on graduation day. Everyone is getting so big. Layla is anxious to start kindergarten, but I am a little nervous to be her teacher for fear of holding her back. She is turning out to be way smarter than I am, and I don't want to screw her up. Elijah is looking forward to be the oldest kid in class. Next month we have to take Isabelle shopping for uniforms for school this fall. That is going to be weird, but we are looking forward to this new season in life. I will still have three students (and one mister messy Sam) but with Addison as a preschooler, I doubt there will be a day without serious humor. I figure, by the time I am done homeschooling my children, I will have greyed years before I was supposed to, but my laugh lines will be my most prominent wrinkles.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I think I am getting old

Theatrical Trailer Tonight, my sister-by-law-friend-by-choice and I went on a date. I like to date people regularly to keep things lively. Anyhoo, we started at Applebee's and finished with a movie. We watched Mr. Brooks with the past his prime favorite, Kevin Costner. It was a pretty decent movie. Lots of comic relief (although I must say, whether the movie was intentionally comedic or not makes no difference for me; I find humor in the most unhumorous situations. i.e., like when my other sister-by-law-friend-by-choice called me for the fourth time in a morning. Only this time she was calling to say that her earlier remarks of "where the heck is my housekeeper! That lady better be dead or in an accident!" were no longer appropriate considering her housekeeper died in a car accident on the way to her house. I know..not really funny, but kinda funny.)

Again, I digress. The movie is worth the watch. Only, I jumped so many times I nearly peed..twice. After each incident, I hollared CLEAR. That is what people yell when they want to get their heart beating again. I was completely my mother. I had it all-the gasping, the heaving chest, the OH MYs in a way too loud voice. I either need to get out more, or I need to limit my time in public. I am not sure yet. Lucky for us there were only 6 people in the theatre.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Just in case I didn't have enough lives to ruin...

I thought I would plant a garden. We have a great backyard. We have a brick planter box that spans the entire perimeter of our backyard. While my mother-n-law was in town, she instructed us in the art of planting, weeding, seeding, and soiling. She has the greatest garden and taught us a bunch. Even how to plant our cucumbers in a hill. We planted cucumbers, jalepenos, green bell peppers, watermelons, daisies, eggplant, crookneck squash, cherry tomatoes, pumpkins, any herb you can think of, and an insane amount of wild flowers. It feels great to take care of our plants. The kids have had a great time checking to see if they have sprouted any yummy treats. When we first got started, Mike's mom asked if we would have to worry about squirrels. I said no, of course in this populated area. Little did I know one little such varmin would come right from the Brewer household....our own resident Squirrel, Addison has been picking the tomatoes! She knows she is wrong to do it, but that doesn't stop her from snatching a little green one and taking off hellishly across the yard. I think she may be a rabid squirrel. Every time she does it, I think of that creepy racoon Will Ferrell tried to hug on Elf. lol.