Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's a Girl!

Casa de phillips grew by one member today.

Before the pregnancy rumors begin (I am NOT) or people believe I have gone insane and purchased a dog (remind me to one day tell the story of our two puppies who I chased down a major intersection in our town), let me calm the waters and say that we have chosen to sponsor a child through Compassion International.

I have had an itch to go to India since returning from Africa nine years ago. I have yet to have been provided with the opportunity to visit this country, but Tobe is clearly aware of the fact that one day we will indeed travel there. In the meantime, we decided that it would be good for our family to sponsor a child in India. I want our children to understand that most of this world's population cannot pop into their local Target when the organic yogurt supply runs low nor does everybody has the opportunity to attend school. I want them to know that it is our job to help out fellow man the best way we can in any given moment.

Meet Nagina:

...the fifth member of casa de phillips. Nagina turns five in a week.

I have to be honest and say in the past I was very hesitant about organizations that have people sponsor children in poverty-stricken areas. I have met someone in the past who worked for such an organization (not Compassion International) who had less than favorable things to say about such industries. His comments left me quite jaded over the years, question how much good someone could really do by mailing in a small monthly payment in hopes of helping a child. How is that money really allocated? Is some industry Fat Cat living the high-life with my $31 contribution each month, while tossing the extra buck out to those actually in need?

Did you guess I was such a cynic?

I recently decided that I needed to get past such cynicism and that as a family we needed to sponsor a child. Our children need to understand how other people live in this world. I am eagerly awaiting our Sponsor packet to arrive by mail so we can get to know more about our little girl in India.

If you are interested in sponsoring a child through Compassion International, check out their website.

If you are interested in knowing more about their work in India, you can follow a group of bloggers who are currently blogging about this here.

Be sure to let me know if your family grows by one child today!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009



That word has been floating around in my head for a few months now.

The slight obsession with this word began a while back when I wrote a note in my prayer journal about a desire for our family to be useful, dynamic, and overall spectacular. Pretty reasonable request, huh?

I am not quite sure what I mean by these adjectives, because some days I consider us to be pretty spectacular if we accomplish a Target run without anyone melting down in the aisle or licking the shopping cart haphazardly. Other days I feel some type of calling for our family to "do" rather than just "be". Does that make sense or am I just a rambling mess today?

Recently I viewed a commercial...for what exactly I can no longer which someone proclaimed in that advertisement, "I just want to be spectacular."

Again, the word came back to me, voiced in a similar train of thought. The word is there. The exact definition of the word when applied to my life has yet to be discovered.

This week I finished Beth Moore's study of Esther. It is an excellent bible study full of hilarious banter, biblical wisdom, scripture-rich teaching, and a few fabulous pieces of clothing from Anthropologie. In case you haven't brushed up on your Esther reading lately (you is only ten chapters), the basic storyline involves an orphaned Jewish girl who happens to become Queen and eventually ends up saving the Jewish people from complete annihilation, the same Jewish people who just happen to be of the lineage from which Jesus is born.

Esther 4:14 reads, "...and who knows but that you (meaning Esther) have come to royal position for such a time as this?"

Pretty spectacular that Esther found herself wearing the royal crown and being placed in such a position that she...a young, orphaned female... was able to save millions of people.

The story of Esther is empowering to women, it is a bit romantic, and it leaves us with that warm and fuzzy notion that God has a plan for our lives. Yet it leaves me a bit stuck in the mud and a tad perplexed.

I love and hate the notion that God has a plan for everyone's life. I relish in the fact that the Lord holds me in His hand (Psalm 16:5), but I cringe everytime someone casually throws out the phrase "God has a plan for you." as a form of encouragement. Such a notion can hold an incredible amount of promise yet mean so little when placed in a certain context.

I am perplexed about the plan aspect of this concept, probably because I am such a planner myself.

Is this plan a one-time accomplishment, a long-term series of events, a lifestyle choice, or an "all of the above" option?

So, yeah, I am praying for our little family of four to be spectacular, regardless of the fact that I really do not even know what that means. I am attempting to understand exactly what the plan is and how it relates to the path I find myself on daily. I am looking for ways to "do" with my life rather than simple "be."

Anyone have an answer, an "Amen", or a simple nod of understanding on this thought?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Odds and Ends

1. Thanks for all the comments about the countertops. They are actually Formica (standard countertop material) but we had to have a special beveled edge placed on it due to the odd shape of one counter (the one which houses the television). This special edge gave it a bit of a special quality, which I am thrilled about. I am still undecided as to what I am going to do with the television. I failed to mention that the corner shelf that can hold the TV costs a pretty penny...which is why we are contemplating simply replacing the television. Decisions, decisions. For now the TV stays where it is...which is quite fortunate for Isaac who has discovered he is tall enough to turn it on and flip the channel to Playhouse Disney. He has also discovered the his mother now hides the remote from him to prevent this from happening.

2. Jordan suggested a video tour of casa de phillips. House Hunters is one of my favorite shows simply because I love seeing what other people's homes look like on the inside. a few weeks, I will give a video tour of the home, showing one room a day.

3. Evelyn's second birthday party is this coming Saturday. I am trying to ignore the fact that our local weathermen are predicting rain for the ENTIRE week. It would be ideal if we could have the party in our backyard simply because there is more room for children to run and play. I think I have checked relentlessly since yesterday morning to see if the forecast has miraculously changed. As of today at 2:52pm, it has not.

4. In preparation for E.'s party, the kids and I hauled out the glitter and glue to work on some of the decorations. Can I just say I was terribly humbled when it was me who spilled the jar of glitter after giving a serious lecture about how we need to be terribly careful with such a craft?

5. Although I have already posted a video about Isaac's preschool program, I am just now getting around to posting some pictures from the big day. We really love Isaac's (and soon to be Evelyn's) school and are beyond pleased with the type work that is accomplished there. His teachers had good things to say about his character and his hard work, which is always nice for his parents to hear.

Hanging out after the program

Isaac and his teacher

Showing us the Art and Science room

Belting out a song.
None of the pictures from the actual performance turned out very well. I think it had to do with odd lighting and a mommy who did not adjust the settings on her camera

Greeting his sister as he entered the program.
Notice her hand in the bottom of the corner. She very delicately yelled, "I see Isaac!" no less than ten times as he entered the room.

Walking into school together "like a family" as Isaac likes to refer to it when we all hold hands.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Fine Art of Theater

Here is just a little glimpse of Isaac's debut performance in the school-genre of theater. He comes by his gift naturally, as his mother was indeed Nurse #4 in South Pacific, a supporting role in The Crucible, and other unusual characters during her drama tenure.

(psst...Isaac is the one on the front row in a white polo shirt and plaid shorts....the one who looks like his mother gave hime a few spoonfuls of sugar with breakfast that morning.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

For the Love of Boundaries

Tobe was beginning to fear for his life every time he entered the Master bedroom closet of casa de phillips. There was starting to become a very real possibility that a stray purse or a mishap shoe might very well bring about one our untimely demises.

Yesterday I decided that I personally did not care to exist around such a death wish so I pulled everything out of the closet that belonged to me (Tobe's side was immaculate, as always).

Pulling everything out of one's closet always seems like a great idea...until you realize that everything must be put back into the closet before bedtime that evening. I then assessed my space and decided that I need a bit more boundaries than these wire dividers were providing. Although useful, the wire dividers (which I am a big fan of) were not adequately containing my junk nor preventing a serious head injury from occurring.

Enter the plastic bucket...the perfect way to create boundaries (Everyone repeat after me, "Baskets create boundaries." This is my motto in home organization).

Yes, the baskets are of two different varieties. I already owned the white ones and could not find similar ones at Target. However, I did find these lovely green ones. Normally I would have gone for the white version for continuity, but those were $3 more than the colored baskets. I prefer to think of this as an eclectic approach to home organization rather than the notion of "I will always choose the cheaper product."

I placed plastic buckets on this particular top shelf of my closet. They hold the following items:

Bucket 1: Scarves (the essential accessory for Spring '09. I am questioning their practiciality in the Texas summer heat)

Bucket 2: Shorts (with the exception of workout shorts, which are kept in another area with like clothing)

Bucket 3: Jeans (with the exception of my collection of trouser jeans..which hang on hangers)

Bucket 4: Purses

Bucket 5: Potential Gift Items (this bucket is currently loaded with Bath and Body Works items after a recent discovery of a Bath and Body Works outlet)

Next to bucket five, resides my sweatshirts...all of which have some sort of collegiate theme. Sad, I know.

One might be questioning the logic of putting clothing items such as shorts and jeans in a bucket. Well, let me tell you a bit of a secret: I am terribly lazy when it comes to folding clothes. If I didn't have such a great husband who does all the laundry and folding, I would seriously need to invest in one of these pretty little numbers. For the life of me, I cannot keep dresser drawers tidy. Therefore, I moved shorts and jeans to the top of my closet. I added the bucket to keep them contained....because "baskets make boundaries."

After putting my buckets in place, I tackled clothes organization. I do manage to keep things (mostly) in their correct locations, such as dresses with dresses and pants sequestered with pants. Due to the change in season I switched out some of my clothes and pulled a few for donation. Winter coats were moved to make place for tank tops. I then tidied up my shoes and discarded any wire or broken hangers.

Last night we were able to crawl into a bed free of debris and Tobe was pleasantly surprised to enter the closet this morning without contemplating donning a hard hat.

I love a good organization project.

See this little girl?

Well, she was my helper. She had a great time carting around four purses on one arm and attempting to walk in my shoes. Of course, that was prior to her experiencing an itchy eye and demanding a trip to the hospital.

Like her hair?...she prefers using applesauce rather than the typical gel or product others tend to put on their locks.

Isaac has a school program tomorrow. Before going to bed for the evening, he reminded me that I needed to "remember to be calm."

Gee, thanks, son.

Just because I already have outfits laid out, cameras charging, and a plan for how to style my hair tomorrow doesn't mean that I am overly excited about our first school program.


I know I discussed a boring closet overhaul when many of you simply want to see if I installed red countertops in my kitchen or not. I was going to wait until we solved a little organization issues in there...however, I have decided to ask your opinion about such an issue. Post coming tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Swimsuit Quest

While on my Mom-cation this past weekend, I ventured out into the world of swimsuit shopping.

Oh, how I detest swimsuit shopping.

I swam competitively growing up so I never really did any actual swimsuit shopping until my college years. All the years preceding my 20's I simply threw on the nearest Speedo swimsuit my mother had purchased that season and hit the pool.

Those days are gone, my friend, and now I have to attempt to wage the waters of "tankinis", "halter-styles", and find peace between the eternal battle of the "Two piece vs. the One Piece".

Let us all be realistic for a moment and acknowledge that swimsuits (perhaps with the exception of this) are made for about 2% of the population, despite the fact that most styles come in size 0-22. The rest of us in the 98% are left wondering the aisles of stores attempting to figure out how and why we are going to stuff ourselves into a six inch piece of Lycra material that, despite its name, will not perform any miracle on our bodies.

My list of expectations for a swimsuit include the following:

1. It can not be classified as being "String" in any form or fashion

2. It must be able to withstand the fierce tugs, pulls, and grips of two eager children

3. It must not cause a stir in the kiddie pool due to its graphic nature or wardrobe malfunction ability

4. It must not contain so much fabric that I risk the chance of drowning every time I jump in the pool.

5. It must not cost three figures.

6. It must not reveal to the world that despite an aggressive ab workout that is done daily, I have a round little tummy. (Did I just say that on the Internet?)

7. It must not have any wording across my backside that reads "Angel" or "Cutie" or any thing that is going to draw attention to such an area.

8. It must be cute.

I do not feel such desires are ridiculous or the impossible dream, however The Swimsuit Makers of the World have darn near made meeting such requirements impossible. I am not asking for the end to nuclear threats or an answer for global warming...I simply want a cute, decent, child-tolerant swimsuit.

Anyone know of such a creature?

The children have both said some funny stuff these past few days. Yesterday afternoon after naps the three of us walked up to our local shopping/eating area. We were lounging around a fountain when I noticed two young, evangelical men approaching us. It was too late to hide and even if we could have, Evelyn would have given our location away by her loud protests of having to leave the water.

So, I smiled politely when they approached us and began talking about their church.

I explained (again politely) that we have a church home, that we love Jesus, and that we did not think we needed the postcard sized trac/picture of Jesus they wanted to give me.

As they turned to leave, Isaac exclaimed quite loudly in dismay, "Mommy, why don't you want a picture of Jesus?"


On the way to pick up Isaac from preschool this afternoon, Evelyn informed me her eye was itchy. I told her to gently pat it and it should feel better.

This is the response I got:

"My eye itchy. Take me to hos-pi-tal."

I kind of laughed and said that I thought she would be okay and a hospital visit was not necessary today.

Well...Evelyn then proceeded to yell "My eye itchy! Take me to Hos-pi-tal NOW!" No go Isaac school!" for the next five minutes as we drove to preschool.

She is such a delicate thing, that Miss E.

While writing this post, I did come across this website. Am contemplating an order right now...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mom-cation 2009

Tobe's Granny always says the same departing phrase after having a visit with us. She will look closely at Tobe and myself and say, "Take care of each other."

Eight years ago when she began saying this to us as newlyweds, I thought it was just a sweet sentiment. Sure I would take care of Tobe when he's sick or whatever. I could heat up a can of chicken noodle soup with the best of them (regardless of the fact Tobe just started eating soup about a year and a half ago) and can always manage to find ESPN on the television for him to watch when he needs to rest.

Over the years, as we have tread the waters of marriage, I have come to learn more and more what Granny's "Take care of each other" phrase means. It goes beyond tending to the spouse when they are sick, but rather it digs deep into the ideology of actually walking through life side by side another person. "Taking care of each other" is knowing when the other partner is struggling, putting aside selfish desires for the good of the whole, is listening when you really want to talk (and in my case: talk and talk and talk), and the understanding that the promise made to walk by this person for eternity will not be broken.

Tobe and I have a pretty realistic view of marriage that can seem a bit unromantic at times. Practicality is Tobe's strong suit and I have become a quick study in such a mindset. We know not every day in our marriage is bound to be a pretty one, that there are times when frustrations seem unending, but we are committed to "take care of each other".

This past weekend was my birthday. I told Tobe (who is an excellent gift giver, by the way) that all I wanted was a day off from being Mommy. I have a bit of a loner streak in me and I really just wanted 12 waking hours of a day to do whatever I wanted by myself.

Tobe heard that request and presented me with a weekend stay at a nearby luxury hotel.

That boy knows how to take of me.

I arrived at my destination early on Friday evening, after having enjoyed a quick birthday dinner with the family. My arms were loaded with a stack of magazines (bought by my thoughtful husband, which included all the gossip glossies that I usually only read while standing in line at Wal-Mart), a bag of clothes, and a purse that did not contain one sippy cup or emergency box of raisins.

I relaxed in my room that evening reading, snacking, and flipping the channels to my heart's content. There were no baths to give, bedtime ultimatums to issue, or children's books to read.

The next morning I leisurely got ready without anyone peeking their little head into the shower to inquire what I was doing. I ate a yummy breakfast, then set out for some serious shopping. Not once while shopping did I have to figure out how to maneuver a stroller through crowded aisles or sense a meltdown coming on. I didn't even have to talk to anyone, which was great. After shopping, I had a massage and a nap.

Saturday night Alison came over to the hotel and we were able to eat dinner and finish conversations, which never happens when we are together with our four children. We shopped a bit more and then stayed up late discussing a variety of topics.

I eventually returned back to reality yesterday around lunchtime. The kids had a great time just hanging out with Tobe, but still gave me a very warm homecoming welcome. By this morning I was back into my normal groove of sippy-cup toting, tantrum-stopping (hopefully none of you were in my Wal-Mart at 10:30 am this morning because you would have heard the quintessential two year old fit), lunch-serving, book-reading, hug-giving mommy.

I am extremely grateful to have a husband who goes beyond simply taking care of me and truly listens and attends to my needs. I often pray for the wisdom to do the same for him. One of the best things about being away from Tobe for a period of time is that we always sit around and talk about every little detail we both experienced while apart. We are big talkers and we especially like to chat with each other (The second summer I returned from Africa we talked on the phone for five hours the night I arrived home just catching up after only communicating via email for two months. Still sorry about that phone bill, Dad). Yesterday we talked almost all through the children's naptime and then resumed our conversation later that evening when they went to bed.

Good times.

Take a minute today to think how you can make your spouse's day a bit brighter and how you can take care of him/her in some way.

You'll be glad you did.

Here is proof the children love hanging with their daddy:

This is the first time that I have been gone that Evelyn has had actual hair that needs to be fixed in the morning. I gave Tobe a quick lesson in "Little Girl Bob 101" before I left and he did a good job with E.'s hair both mornings.

**Sidenote: Tobe's Granny...whose wisdom inspired this a bit under-the-weather. We would all really appreciate it if you would say a little prayer for her.

Stay Tuned...

Mom-cation 2009 recap post coming later this afternoon!

Check back then!

Friday, April 17, 2009


Fifteen years ago today I celebrated my "golden birthday".

Being the tad bit of a dork that I am, I thought it was pretty cool to turn 17 on the 17th.

Seventeen just sounded old and sophisticated. By that point I had been driving for a year (a car that was half a Nissan and half a Mitsubishi, none the less), I was deep in the throws of high school, I had an actual social calander...I was an adult, my friend.

Isn't chilhood ignorance such bliss?

Well, last night I smeared the moisturizer on a bit thicker, carefully making sure it went deep into the slight wrinkles by the edges of my eyes. I took an extra few minutes after brushing my teeth to examine my forehead, looking for signs that my age is beginning to settle on my face.

Yesterday was my last day as a 31 year old. This morning I welcomed in year 32 of my life. My Golden Birthday feels like eons ago.

I joke a bit about age, but honestly at this point in life it does not seem to be a big deal (ask me again in few years when that annual wrinkle check has me googling "non-scary botox procedures"). I am happy to be in my 30's, glad to have settled on an even number for the next 365 days (For whatever reasons, I could never remember to say I was "31" all last year. I blame it on being an odd number and not on me being a bit scatter-brained at times.), and feel pretty comfortable in my own skin.

Unlike the day of my 17th birthday (which I spent at Chuck E. Cheese because my friends and I were all "retro" like that. Again, childhood ignorance.), this morning has been spent with my two children laying around the house accomplishing quite a bit of nothing. We have eaten breakfast in the living room, constructued a massive GeoTrax city, colored, and watched a movie. Pretty good morning. The thunderstorms have kept everything dark outside, which makes for excellent napping weather.

32 has been pretty uneventful so far, just the way I prefer it.

I tend to be a pretty reflective person who loves rehashing all past experiences so my birthday each year provides the perfect chance to think about where I have come from and where I am going. Today as I think back about my golden birthday, I thought I would share some things I wish I could have told my 17 year old self...some things that would have scared her, some things that would have encouraged her, and some advice from the older version of the girl she is.

Here goes:

1. At the age of 32, your hair will be the same length (if not longer) than it was at 17. You will have cut it many times, highlighted it on a few occasions (STOP that immediately!), permed it once for a trip to Africa (again...rethink that "temporary" perm that ends up lasting nine months), watched it fall out in clumps after two pregnancies, and moaned about it more times that you can imagine. You will love it and hate it all at once but that half-straight, half-wavy, much too thick red hair is still hanging in there. It has been pulled up for proms and weddings, frizzed up in England and braided in Kenya, pulled on by eager babies, brushed at night after the busiest of days, and seen more hair stylists than could ever be listed. Embrace that hair, girl.

2. You leave that small town in a little over a year from your 17th birthday and it is the smartest move of your life....not because the small town was bad, but because the stirrings inside of you needed to be explored. You have not returned back to live there by the age of 32 and your mama still misses you everyday. Fortunately, free long distance is a common feature on most phone plans.

3. You will enter the field of Education...the one career choice you swore you would never make. It's not the traditional educational job, but you love it despite the craziness of the class you teach (unfortunately, that craziness is literal. You'll see.). Just remember to duck when that one kid comes up to you in the gym your second year of teaching. He packs a pretty mean punch for a second grader and can leave a shiny black eye on his young teacher.

4. Two words about the high school boys: FORGET THEM. You'll meet a brown haired boy in about three years that is beyond wonderful, whom you will eventually marry and have two charming kids with. It's pretty awesome.

5. One day, you'll really miss cruising the main drag (which becomes illegal two years after you graduate high school, as hard as this is to fathom) and hanging out on the steps of the Rialto on a Friday night. What seemed trivial and meaningless back then begins to take on a very real nostalgic feeling in your "adult" years.

6. All the uber-popular kids from high school who seemed so together back then will eventually become your friend on Facebook. You'll try really hard not to notice whose super-perfect life is not actually so super-perfect anymore.

Thirty-two years old. I wonder what this year will hold, what truths it will reveal, and if my hair will survive my children's preschool years without greying prematurely.

I suppose only time will tell.

**As my birthday present, I am going on what I am calling a "Mom-cation." It should be heavenly. More details on that to come...***

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Summary Just in Time for the Fourth of July

I figured I better hurry and get our Easter pictures posted considering I spied Fourth of July festive wear in Wal-Mart this morning. I would hate our Easter pictures and Thanksgiving 2009 pictures to be forced to share space on the same post.

We had two Easter celebrations, one on Saturday in the form of dinner out on the town (the kitchen sink was still not connected at that point) and an egg hunt and the other a more traditional Easter celebration on Sunday.

Saturday afternoon Tobe and Isaac went to run some errands when it was decided that Mommy needed flowers for Easter. Isaac firmly stated that my favorite flower was a rose, so roses I got. That boy sure is going to make a good husband one day.

The egg hunt began after dinner. God bless the grandparents because they donated fifty eggs to our little hunt. The kids would have been a bit bored with the measly 18 I had put together.

See our little auburn-haired beauty? My grandmother (a fellow redhead) is convinced E.'s hair is red. I still see quite a bit of brown, except for in the sunlight. We can all dream that it will be red one day...

Post egg-hunt happiness. Isaac found some cash in his eggs, which quickly went into his John Deere piggy bank. He has big plans for all that money he accumulated on Saturday. Hopefully such plans included the words "Roses" "mommy" or at the very least "Sonic Happy Hour."

Looking for more eggs...

Racing towards a spied prize...

Chocolate makes them the bestest of friends.

Easter Morning

Check out the kelly green combo. I will be so sad when the children want to choose their own Easter clothing and they no longer color coordinate.

Isaac did express an opinion about the dapper saddle shoes I had purchased to be his summer church shoes. Apparently they hurt his opinion that was generated before he actually tried them on his little feet. All dress shoes suddenly became terribly painful, with the exception of his too-small black winter shoes. I decided a battle was not worth it so he wore black shoes with navy linen pants. He did manage to wear argyle socks which made me terribly happy.

After snapping a few pictures and bribing a few smiles with the ever popular Starburst Jellybean (which later caused a huge yellow spot on the shoulder of Evelyn's cardigan sweater), we loaded up our crew and set out for church. As Evelyn walked into the building holding the hands of her Mommy and Nana, a rather "eager" church member raced his black Mercedes through the parking lot. He narrowly missed hitting Tobe's mom and managed to splash water all over E's legs and "pre-ty shoos" (We had some seriously heavy thunderstorms in the early hours of Sunday morning).


I am beyond bugged by careless drivers, especially when children are present, particularly my own children dressed up for Easter morning. I wanted to hunt that man down and have a word with him, but decided 1. That was not the Christ-like thing to do and 2. I am not nearly brave enough to invoke such a confrontation.

We held off on Easter baskets until after arriving home from church. We have never really made a huge deal about the Easter Bunny so no one found it suspicious that the baskets were waiting on the fireplace when we walked through the front door. Evelyn danced around joyously shouting "I got princess stickers!" loud enough for our entire block to know the contents of her Easter basket.

Easter is a great holiday because it mixes some childhood whimsy with a lot of serious thought about the foundations of our faith. The children have been especially chatty the days leading up to and preceding Easter about Jesus dying on the cross. Salvation and grace are such hard concepts for adults to understand and the Easter story has proved to be quite complex to the preschool mind. I have heard many retellings of the death and resurrection of Jesus from Isaac, some which end in the traditional sense and others which have a bit of a twist to their ending (Jesus coming to visit our house after exiting the tomb). The children have drawn crosses, constructed crosses, and fought over whether or not a local church's cross display is the actual cross (Isaac says that it is, Evelyn disagrees...mainly to disagree because she does not really understand the whole concept of the conversation).

Overall it was good times.

Made even better by a cute little pair of argyle socks.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Yesterday morning I told Tobe I wished I was a bear so I could hibernate.

Tobe usually attempts to convey some sort of interest/sympathy/understanding in response to my bold claim of the day, even when I make such odd statements (which happen frequently here at casa de phillips).

Hibernation has sounded quite glorious these past few days because I have just felt so very tired. I do not know if it is my allergies, the current phase of the moon, or the fact that my three year old has gotten in a habit of waking me up every night for the past week that is contributing to this fatigue. I do know that during bible study this morning, when the lights were dimmed and Beth Moore came on the large screen I secretly contemplated laying my head down on the table and taking a snooze.

I resisted the impromtu nap, mainly because I became wrapped up in both the Good Word and in wondering where Beth purchased the darling pair of jeans she was wearing.

The underlying message in all this whining is that I have nothing to write about today simply because my brain is a bit dead at the moment.

Sure I have Easter pictures to share and details on why I just googled, "Why does my toddler have big fits at the supper table each night"....but, again, those will have to wait.

In the meantime, enjoy this link:

Alison sent it to me because she knows my biggest wish is for one day to be in a public place when a spontaneous dance breaks out.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone had a marvelous Easter celebrating the empty tomb and enjoying time with friends and family. I have much to report about our holiday weekend from Evelyn getting splashed by a car in the church parking lot this morning to the 68 eggs hidden on our front lawn to the cross-shaped candy consumed by our children to the time spent with our little family of four today.

But..I also have Easter chocolate calling my name from the kitchen (home to my new countertops and sink...more on that to come) so such stories will have to wait until tomorrow.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday Linkage

Here are a couple of great links to enjoy this holiday weekend:

*We are big on family rituals and Simple Mom has a great post about such things today. Seems her family enjoys a homemade pizza every Friday might just like my little family.

*Tobe laughed so hard over this sleeping bag he almost cried. I think he might be secretly pondering if he could pull off wearing this backpack to work. I love getting to see a glimpse of the little boy he used to be every once in a while in my husband.

*An Easter thought from Beth Moore. I just love her and really admire her ways with a teasing comb (and her love for Jesus, of course).

*Pepperoni pasta is definitely going to make an appearance on an upcoming menu here at casa de phillips.


Every year I go on some sort of parental quest, thinking simply because I live in the state of the bluebonnet I need the quintessential bluebonnet picture of my child.

We have attempted such pictures in front of an Albertsons, teetering on the edge of a freeway. We have stepped in a fire ant bed attempting these pictures. We have driven for hours looking for an appropriate field of flowers with a nine month old Isaac in tow attempting these pictures. We have gone when the weather is hot, when it is cold...and yesterday, we went during a dust storm.

Seriously, the 30 minutes of the day that I dressed the children, loaded them up into the station wagon, drove to the bluebonnet field, unloaded everyone, bribed them with Sonic slushes, and attempted to snap pictures....a dust storm struck.

They were troupers (behold the magic of a Slush) and attempted to smile while focusing on not blowing away in the wind.

My "dream" bluebonnet picture still remains a dream. Perhaps one day...

Until then, enjoy these pictures.

This one pretty much captures the hurricane-force winds that blew through our area.

This one pretty much captures Evelyn's attitude the past few days.
Bless her heart.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

When Projects Go Wrong

As we approach Easter Sunday, I thought we should celebrate the resurrection of our Savior by making Rice Krispie-shaped easter eggs.

I kid, I kid.

We all know rice krispie treats were not at the empty tomb.

Anyway, I thought a little Easter fun this morning would be great and considering my kids love marshmallows, love Rice Krispies, and love group projects we would have a swell ol time.


Things were going great...after I explained what a Rice Krispy treat actually is because both children looked confused when I introduced the we set off on this culinary adventure. We counted marshmallows, poured cups of cereal,and watched Mommy slave over a hot pot of buttor and white goo.

See what happy campers I had?Then it was time to actually form the sticky mixture into egg shaped treats. I made the mistake of saying, "It's kind-of like warm play-doh." This was the statement that completely derailed our project time.

Isaac stated he would just rather play play-doh and Evelyn piped in that she wanted to play play-doh. All interest in the rice krispy treats was gone. In fact, no one even wanted to sample the gooey mess.

Since it was only 8:45am (notice children are still pajama-clad in the above picture), I decided not to press the issue. Truth be known, I detest rice krispy treats so I was not too excited about this little easter project my ownself. I told the kids once they cleaned up their areas, they were free to pull out the play-doh (such a great toy...such a horrible mess. That is another post all in itself). I smooshed the gooey mess into a cake pan and cleaned up my own area, making a mental note that rice krispy treats are not a preferred activity here at casa de phillips.

The highlight of the morning? When Mommy allowed the children to use the camera.

Here are the photos:

Isaac's picture of Mommy with the abandoned bowl of mush
(the humidty has done horrors to my hair today)
Isaac's picture of Evelyn
(she actually posed the cup on her face...don't see Baby Gap contacting us for any modeling gigs anytime soon)

Evelyn's picture of Isaac
(note the cute little thumb in the top corner)

As for the rice krispy treats, no one has yet to be interested in them. They currently sit on a paper plate in the middle of my kitchen table.

Tomorrow we are having new kitchen countertops installed. Think I can get a 10% discount if I offer up some yummy cereal treats to the crew?

(Want to attempt this project with your own kids? Check it out here)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Miracles in Casa de Phillips

Two miracles happened over here at casa de phillips today.

Miracle Number One: The children sat still and actually smiled for the camera...together.

Today was the Easter Egg hunt at Isaac's school, which meant mommy needed to snap a few pictures before we darted out the door in our weekly attempt to be first in drop-off line (we weren't, due to some person obviously unaware that a green light means "go". Rather we sat stuck at a stoplight while a friend whizzed past us, beating us to preschool. Next week, my friend.). Isaac's school has a "no-parent at parties" rule, so I always try to get a few pictures of him before such big events. His teachers take pictures at the actual parties (and make a scrapbook at the end of the year), but I like to have my own photos as well.

Because aren't my children's lives going to be a little less meaningful if they don't have a picture representation of every. single. event. they have ever attended? :)

The stars must have aligned just right because both kids sat together on the fireplace (standard phillips family location for all indoor photos), managed to smile, and no one "accidentally" let their hands venture into someone else's space.

There was never any simultaneous looking in the same direction, but I figure something major such as the end of global warming would have to occur before Isaac and Evelyn manage to both look and smile at the camera on cue.

The egg hunt was a success and Isaac carted home even more plastic eggs to add to our growing collection (can you recycle plastic eggs?). He was especially excited over the two quarters he found in one egg and never noticed that his candy stash was a KitKat short after naptime.

Doesn't he just look old? A new favorite thing of our boy is to inform Evelyn (or me on some days) that certain things are "just for three and 1/2 year olds", therefore not appropriate for the likes of his little sister. Handy. Such things that fall into this category are:

1. The eating of chocolate

2.The playing of Hi Ho Cherry-o

3.Holding the desired toy of the moment.

Things that do not fall into this category include:

1. Sisters being asked to do something for big brothers, such as retrieving shoes or cleaning up messes.

Highly convenient.

Miracle Number Two: This little girl gave up her bottle tonight.

In case you forgot, Evelyn has still been taking a half bottle of milk at night (see number 3 here). I knew she needed to give it up...about 11 months ago...but really had been fearful of the tantrums that might result from bidding her beloved bottle farewell.

Evelyn is known for the ability to throw a good tantrum and I am known for being able to handle them most of the time...with the exception of having to deal with a screaming, snotty, overtired baby at the end of an already long day. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous about what might happen when the bottle was given up.

We have been prepping for weeks that E. is starting to become a big girl and big girl's do not drink from bottles. We talked about how her friend Baby Madeline might like a bottle and it was soon going to be time to send E.'s bottles to Madeline.

Today while in the store, Evelyn noticed me eyeing the sippy cups. She said, "Give bottle to Baby Madeline. El-len get princess cup?"

I believe I heard angels sing over the muzak Tom Thumb was currently piping into their store at that moment.

I said, "Yes, baby girl, we are sending your bottles to sweet Baby Madeline today. Pick out a new Princess cup."

And that was it.

Tonight at bedtime there was no crying from the girl who typically cannot wait long enough to get her PJs on before grabbing her bottle. She talked about sending them to Baby Madeline a few more times, took a few sips from her sippy cup before tossing it in the sink (although we did allow bottles well past the age of one....we never have sent the kids to bed with milk), and went to sleep.

End of story.

...well, except for the fact that I now feel a little bit sad about seeing the bottle go away. I have washed bottles every night for almost four years. Sigh.

(By the way...we are not actually mailing our dingy old bottles to precious Madeline. Don't think she even takes them anyway. Alison...thanks for letting Madeline be our weapon of defense in Operation: Bottle!)
**I am having such issue with blogger and paragraph spacing. Either the spacing is out of control or there is simply no spacing at all. Sorry, readers, for this headache of a post!