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.

Monday, June 29, 2009

What is Happening? #1

You know those back of magazine games from when you were a kid where you had to guess what the picture was? Well, this is like that, but you are supposed to guess what is happening in this picture. So, any guessers?

Excellent guesses. My favorite has to be from Murdoc, but the correct answer is peeing. Right next to our campground. Because of this stellar example, my littlest son, Samuel, won't stop peeing everywhere we go: schools, parking lots, my garage. Awesome.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Date Night

This is where I will be tomorrow night. Hot dog in hand,
cowgirl hat on, sunscreen, and sunshine on my shoulders.
I am so very excited. I doubt I will catch a foul ball,
but considering we won't really know the people there,
I might be able to convince my husband to give me a
few PDA smooches. Some people can be so silly about those.

Friday, June 26, 2009


::sad sigh:: He was an oddity, true, but I very much loved Michael Jackson growing up. I am sad to see him go. This picture used to adorn my walls as a child. Awesome.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Camping Trip

Heartbreaker. Seriously. Sigh. He is only 8.

Sam and Addie are naturals. They tried out everything,
and decided they loved the tent the most.

This is where Isabelle was using her hot poker
to write "I will not tell a lie" in true Harry Potter form.
Yes. She IS weird.

Fathers Day Pose

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Why I like Mike #24

He rocks. For realz. These were the shirts we wore to dinner for Fathers Day.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Good For Nuthin'

Seriously, this has to be the MOST unproductive
summer I have ever allowed my children have.
It's very likely my standards are just going
downhill. When we were homeschoolers, we were
year round schoolers. Then, when the Isabelle
started school, we took two months off for summer,
but still did a summer reading program and had
supplements all season. Last year, we narrowed it
down to just a summer reading program.
Which was still great, as the kids read for hours on end.
This year, we have TALKED about supplements,
summer reading, and other organized learning,
but it doesn't seem to be taking place.
Instead, we have played board games,
watched endless movies and DVR shows,
read like nobody's business, played at the park,
camped out at the lake near our home,
and generally just vegged. You know, lay like broccoli?
I don't know if we will get to a single
ARTOWN exhibit.
This is very unlike us. And still, we are loving it.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Seriously, this is sometimes how I feel. Only, I can never seem to get my smile as big as this lady's when I feel this way. I am usually hollering something about satan sucking or fighting a perpetual grimace.
I am a part time preschool teacher/full time student/full time wife/full time mom/part time ministry maker/full time Christian. This all takes a lot out of me, honestly. I mean, do you even see friend in that list? Showerer? Eater? Sleeper?

No, you don't. I manage to fit in enough of those things to remain human,

but really I am trying to keep my focus straight.

That is harder to do when your daughter wakes up at 2am and says,

"mom, it feels like there are bugs in my hair."

I say, "Layla, please go back to bed. I am sleeping. I can't

help you with bugs right now. I am sleeping."

So, come sunshine, I figured I should check it out.

And, sure enough, her and

Addison both were suffering from the lice. (commence itching.)

Of COURSE The Man was at work.

Why would he be home when illness

and creepy crawlies grace our doorstep?

That would be ridiculous.

So, yesterday, I spent the better part of my back ache,

hunched over two

very wiggly daughters, washing, combing, picking,

and sighing heavily through

our newly purchased RID kits. Of which I went to the store

with five children

to purchase. That right there put me in a pissy mood

because I don't go to the grocery with children. EVER.

(This link will fill you in.)

Then, when we

got home and the boys were in the shower,

I realized the boxes I

purchased had been pilfered (bastards), so we got to

go BACK to the grocery store.

again. with five children. again.

To end a great saga, my husband arrived

home this morning after getting

off at 8am, full of excitement over the plans

he was making for the weekend.

When I was less than thrilled at a spontaneous

camping trip, he pointed out

my negative attitude. I MAY have done a quick

scan for a sharp object

to impale him with. It all happened so fast.

I will deny it anyway.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Love Hate Relationship

I have a love/hate relationship with being in the forefront. A lie, right? lol I can hear you all now. If I were six, I would say I like being the center of attention, but now that I am grown, I know accountability comes with being upfront.

It's a lot of pressure. Sometimes I think it would be easier to melt into the background than to put my self out there. But God doesn't reside in the background when he has called you upfront. Sigh.

Every time I take one of those spiritual gifts tests my results
are relatively the same. I was probably 17 when I took one the
first time. It said I should be a pastor. I said no thanks, and tried
to convince the paper in front of me and my then pastor that it
was confusing bossiness with leadership skills.

This time, I was glad to see pastoring moved down
a bit on the list. The five gifts tied for first place are just
as daunting, but I feel more accurate.

  • Wisdom

  • Faith

  • Prophecy

  • Exhortation (that one is iffy, as most of you know I lack the caring bone)

  • Writing

I wouldn't say I am good at any of these, but I am

willing to work on them. I am interested to see what

your gifts are. There may be a better test out there,

but since the members at our church are so dependent

on Google, I went with the first one that came up on the search engine.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Happy Birthday, Baby. I think you're cute.

Friday, June 12, 2009

My Mother's Day Present

Sam I Am is potty trained. happy sigh.
I could not have asked for a better present.
Well, maybe a vacation, but potty training is wonderful as well.
He got a Hot Wheels race track to celebrate.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

This is What I Want to Get Back To

These things make me happier.

Heavy Sighing Isn't Flattering

But, I can't seem to stop doing it.

Thank you ALL for your prayers, and support,

and offers to buy us food :) Food is always helpful when one is trying

to survive.

The Mayor (and I am calling him by THIS name to be kind) and the council members agreed to NOT lay off fire
fighters if they agreed to give up their 2.1% pay
increase scheduled for this coming fiscal year.

Annoying really, because, no matter what you
have heard in the news, they have agreed to that all along.
Fire fighters only asked that the city not
take their pay, and turn around and lay off people anyway.
Seems like a perfectly fair agreement,
but the council and mayor wouldn't agree.

Many of us got up and spoke at the council meeting,
although I can't say if I was the only one who wanted to
punch the mayor in the neck for his condescending head nods.

All of this means, that over the course of the next 33 days,
Reno Fire Fighters will be casting their votes to give up their
cost of living pay increase. And, as long as the majority agree
to do that, my husband gets to continue to be
exactly who God has created him to be.
Your continued prayers are still needed, but God has truly delivered.
Thank you again to all of you who prayed along side us yesterday.
I am positive it saved me from a most untimely meltdown.

Psalm 90:

14 O satisfy us in the morning with Your loving kindness,

That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

15 Make us glad according to the days

You have afflicted us,

And the years we have seen evil.

16 Let Your work appear to Your servants

And Your majesty to their children.

17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;

And confirm for us the work of our hands;

Yes, confirm the work of our hands.

This is the verse God showed me before I got up to speak.

He is truly faithful.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Lamentations 3:22...

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion;
therefore i will wait for him."
The Lord is good to those
whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
Mike was laid off this morning. Please, please pray for us.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Why I Like Mike # 23

He knows how to handle me. In the previous month,
I have been in the strangest bubble. I noticed it, but I wasn't
sure anyone else did. Of course My Husband did. What was I thinking?
It's what I like about him today. He notices me. Then he
let's me be.
The attacks on my household have been mind bottling (heh)
in this past month. I am severely aware at how clearly God
has been protecting my children, the prayers he has answered,
and the guarding he has provided. Still, I recently noticed
I am living in self protection mode. At every second of my day
I am either listening to music or reading a book, trying
to tune so much out. To keep my focus small. It's bizarre.
I do these things normally, but not in the desperate, needing way
I have lately. It is unsettling, but I still attribute it to
self preservation.
But, I noticed the other day, that The Man just let me be.
He didn't try to fix me, he didn't judge me, he didn't ask more of me.
I like him. And, I need more of what I see in this picture. So tomorrow
we are dating ;) yeessssss!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Job Front Update

First, thank you all for your prayers and support. We have felt them tremendously.

Thank you.

Second, last night, Mike got a memo saying FOR NOW lay offs may be avoidable should the economy hold- whatever that means.

We also found out that the city is likely using employee numbers v length with the
department to decide the 32 potential layoffs. Because The Man is formally known as The Cone Guy with the city of Reno, he has nearly 4 years seniority ahead of the guys in his academy. This means he
should get to continue being the hottest
fire fighter ever created. You guys can
continue to just call him Mike :) We are still praying
steadfastly on all accounts: job security for firefighters
and police, financial help when needed, peace, our faith.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Help My Husband Keep His Job

This is a copy of an email I sent
out to all the addresses I have. Please copy and paste the whole thing
and send it to anyone you think will help. You can also post this on your
blog if you are willing.-

This email is legit, and written by me (Shontell Brewer) personally.
A few months ago, the City of Reno, Mayor, and Council people
decided budget cuts needed to be made, so the fire fighters and
police willingly gave up their housing funds, uniform money, the
rest of their incentives, and all overtime in order to save the 12 jobs
threatened with lay offs. The city cared little that the contracts
THEY agreed on were not being honored, but it was a deal we
were all willing to live with, so we allowed it. By God's grace, we
have financially held on. Contracts are up for renegotiation, and
they are again asking for the fire fighters to willingly give up their
incentives, overtime, and cost of living raises with the agreement
that no firefighters will be laid off. Of course, the firefighters agreed.
The city is reconsidering and is now threatening to take the pay AND
layoff 32 fire fighters. There are talks of police layoffs as well, but I do
not know the numbers. You can help get us get our message out to
the mayor and council people by copying, pasting, and emailing the
following message, and sending it to the following addresses. If you
are willing, please call the phone numbers below as well and speak to
whoever answers restating the information in the message below.
Prayers are also very coveted right now.

Send the following email to all of these people:,,,,,,,

Your subject line should read:

No Layoffs Of Reno Firefighters Or Police Officers

The body of your email should read (and feel free to add your
own information as well):

Dear Council Person:
I am unhappy about the proposed lay offs of Reno Fire Fighters and
Police Officers. I strongly disagree with this action.
Lay offs of Fire fighters or Police Officers in the City will negatively
influence my vote in any future election in which you are running.
I strongly disagree with balancing the City’s budget on the back of the
City employees. There are certainly other revenues that can solve this
I don’t agree with closing fire stations or reducing personnel in stations
and sacrificing public safety. This action will also negatively influence my
vote in any future election in which you are running.

(You may sign your name or leave it blank, just send it. It is helpful if you
include the fact that you are a tax payer and voter.)

Please know, so much of the information about pay and money and over staffing
as stated on the news is absolute fabrication. If you really want to know how
much money firefighters make, how hard they work, and how often their lives
are in danger to help perfect strangers, ask them. Or, come look in my pantry,
talk to my kids, and find someone who has had to call 911 and wait because the
station near their house was closed due to layoffs. _____________________________________________________

Your phone calls will truly make a difference. Especially to Mr. Mayor, who is
eager to get re-elected.

Mayor Bob Cashell775.334.2001775.334.3112

Reno City CouncilFax: 775.334.2097PH: 775.334.2002

Sharon Zadra775.334.2017775.334.3112

Dwight Dortch:775.334.2015775.334.2025

Donna Dreska Acting City Manager775.334.2008

Dan Gustin775.334.2011775.334.2025

Jessica Sferrazza775.334.2012775.326.6313

Dave Aiazzi775.334.2016775.334.1206

Pierre Hascheff775.334.2014775.326.6313

Our family appreciates your participation in this. PLEASE forward this to
anyone you think will be willing to help us. If you have comments,
email me or call me.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

To All of Our Well Meaning Friends

Brace yourself. I am about to set up a boundary that I hope you will honor.

  • Please do not call our house and ask us if Mike is going to get laid off.

  • Please do not call and tell us you are worried.

  • Please do not call our house and give us a furrowed brow with disappointed eyes and say you hope everything works out.

There really IS a good chance that he will get laid off

but a better chance that God really is the God that takes care of us.

If you think of us at all, and want to make a difference, pray.

We could use your prayers.

If you have already called with any of these misguided messages,

don't be offended; we don't love you less. I AM speaking to you, but just know that our

faith lies in what God has called us to, and not the news, which

is seriously full of lies.
*this pic is The Man showing his mad baseball skills on the Wii. It makes me happy.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Oh hello there Beautiful

Wednesday marks my 28th and final day of my detox. AWESOME!! Again, I highly recommend this to everyone. I have felt so fantastic. No blood sugar crashes, no blood pressure issues, up on time in the morning, no caffeine migraines, no nausea and other symptoms I will spare you from.
I have lost about 8 pounds, which is a big deal or a girl like me. And last week I fit into a pair of jeans I have never been able to wear. My skinny jeans. You boys may not appreciate that as much as the girls will, but you can still be excited for me.
Wednesday night, I will be snuggling up to a steamy cup of coffee, decaf, but still yum.
On a more permanent vacation from my life will be:
  • gluten except the rare sandwich
  • excessive sugar
  • caffeine
  • and fast food.

I can't even totally say I am interested in having read meat again. I wasn't a huge fan before, and the last time

I tried to make some for the kids, I nearly gagged. Too much blood. ew.

My new goal is pushups and situps. Three times a week. A deck of playing cards.

I am still trying to fit the gym into our new schedule of summer break,

preschool work, subbing, planning for long awaited visitors, children,

church, and an immense amount of homework. Sheesh. maybe

I should take up drinking. I will, but I will stick to decaf :)