Friday, June 25, 2010

Fit & Fabulous Friday

Accountability is a beautiful thing.

It really is helping me get my house back on track and get my routines in place again. Just posting stuff knowing someone might read it (even if it's only a couple of people) goes a long way in accountability.

So...I need to be held accountable for something else. My life.
Well, getting/staying healthy which hopefully means I live a better and longer life!

You see, I was doing very well last spring/summer/fall. I was running and biking regularly and I was eating well and drinking lots of water.

Then the holidays rolled around. And I lost focus a bit. It was too cold or wet to run or bike. And I wasn't motivated enough to do any indoor exercise. And I simply haven't gotten completely back on track since then.

I've found that exercise and eating well go hand in hand. When I got lax on the exercise, I got careless with my eating.

The result of this, or results actually, are:
I'm not as happy.
I don't feel as well in general.
I have many more aches and pains.
I'm not sleeping as well.
I don't like the way my clothes are beginning to fit again. (As in, they are getting tighter!)
I feel tired and drained.
I'm having a hard time being motivated to do other things.

I KNOW that when I'm exercising regularly, I automatically eat healthier, and that resolves most of the issues above.

So...I'm ready to feel good again!

My goal, as it's been for a while is to be healthy! My primary goal is not weight loss, but I see that as an added benefit.

I just want to feel good and be healthy so I can live life to the fullest. I want to be FIT so I can feel FABULOUS!

So, I'm starting "Fit & Fabulous Friday" on my little ol' blog.

On Fridays, I will post what I've done the prior week to work on my goal to get healthy. And I may post what my goals are for the upcoming week as well.

I need to do this for myself. Posting it here will hopefully be a major reminder to just do it! And knowing that someone MIGHT check in to see how I'm doing goes a long way as far as accountability goes!

If anyone reading (all 5 of you!) wants to join me in this quest to get healthy, let me know! If you are a blogger, it would be fun to have someone else posting their results/goals on Fridays with me! That would be even more accountability and some extra motivation as well!

So...what did I do this week? Not much. I did buy the Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred on Wednesday. I did it yesterday. And boy oh boy, am I feeling it today! My arms and abs had a rude awakening! I had full intentions of doing it today, but I'm way too sore. I will try again tomorrow, but I know it's gonna hurt much more since my muscles are already screaming!

Next week, I hope to be able to do it at LEAST 5 days. And I plan to increase my water intake. I did pretty good yesterday, but not so much today.

I'll be back next Friday with a report!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

We had a couple of changes in our menu last week - on Wednesday, time got away from me and the kids and I ended up grabbing fast food on the way to church. Then we decided to grill ribs on Saturday. So we never got to two of the meals, and they are back on the menu for this week. Not a ton of cooking going on this week, we still have lots of leftovers in the fridge! And we'll end up having we can't let those go to waste!

Monday: Chicken Squash Bake, Couscous, Bread

Tuesday: Leftovers (I have an open house I need to be at, so I'm not cooking.)

Wednesday: Sandwiches or more leftovers (Church night - not cooking!)

Thursday: Quesadillas, Black Beans, Chips & Homemade Salsa

Friday: Homemade Calzones

Saturday: Probably leftovers again - It will be just me and the kiddos

Sunday: TBD

To see more menus or add your own, be sure to visit Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there! And especially to three of the greatest Dads I know!

Happy Father's Day to MY Dad. I am so incredibly thankful for my Dad. I couldn't have hand-picked a better Dad. He's always been there for me and my family. He's supportive and encouraging and very loving. I've always been a Daddy's Girl and always will be. I love my Daddy! He's helped to make me the person I am today. And he's an amazing Poppy to my kids! We all love you Daddy!

Happy Father's Day to my Father-in-Law. Again, I couldn't have hand-picked a better FIL! He's an  incredible Dad who was the greatest example, and raised an amazing son. I'm so thankful he taught his son how to be an amazing husband and father. He has always been wonderful to me and is an amazing Papaw to my kids! We love you Jr.!

And Happy Father's Day to the greatest husband on earth! And the most amazing father our kids could have! I love you more than I ever imagined I could. I'm so thankful you've put up with me for over 18 years! And I couldn't have asked for a better father to our children. You love them with all your heart, and are never afraid to show it. You are an incredible example to our son and are teaching him how to be an amazing husband and father. He will be well equipped when the time comes! Thank you for teaching our daughter through your example, how a wife should be loved and treated. Thank you for always putting us first. We love you so very much!

Friday, June 18, 2010

A New Season

Yes...Summer is upon us. But that is not the season I want to talk about.

I am entering a new season in my life. And I am very excited.
I love that seasons in our lives change. If they didn't, I'd probably get bored. It's funny to me though, when I'm in a season that I absolutely love, I can't imagine the possibility of leaving it and moving into another season.

For the past year I've been volunteering at my local thrift store that a good friend of mine owns. I have LOVED every minute of it. I've loved the flexibility I've had with it as far as scheduling and being able to take Ruthi along with me. I've loved the way it has made me feel important outside my home. I've loved getting to know and talk often to our regular customers. I've loved working with a variety of people. I've loved that it's even allowed me to connect with people I haven't seen in years who have come in there to shop. And I've loved the perks of seeing lots of stuff come in and getting first pick of stuff! I'm so thankful that Ruthi has an entire wardrobe of adorable clothes thanks to this season.

But that season is coming to an end. It is bittersweet, because I truly do love working there. But the change came out of necessity, and now that the change is in place, I could not be more excited!

CJ has been attending a local homeschooling tutoring program for his 9th grade year. He "goes to school" two days a week where he receives all his instruction and homework assignments that will carry him through the other three days a week at home. It is fully accredited, so other than logging his hours, I don't have to stress about him getting his credits for college.

It has worked beautifully for us and he absolutely loves it. The downside is the cost involved. Unfortunately it has become difficult for us to pay his tuition without hurting our budget elsewhere. So, I decided I must do something to make it possible for him to continue there.

So, I prayed about what to do. I knew of a possible solution and just prayed it would work out the way I had hoped. The first year this program was open, I actually taught a couple of classes there and loved it. But I couldn't continue because Ruthi was little, child care was no longer going to be available and I needed to be home with her.

But now...she is ready for kindergarten. So I approached the director and co-director of the school about teaching again. GOD ANSWERS PRAYER! Beginning in August, I will be teaching 5 classes. Most of them will be K/1st grade classes, and Ruthi will be able to attend those classes. The one, possibly two, other classes will be second grade, but Ruthi will still be able to attend the class(es) in her grade level.

The classes I will be teaching will more than cover CJ's tuition, and anything above that will go toward the extra gas I'll be using, lunches and clothing if necessary. With the bonus of Ruthi getting to go too! And let me tell you - she is EXTREMELY EXCITED!!!

I'll be spending MANY hours the rest of the summer getting lessons planned and getting everything ready for the first day of school on August 9th! I am so excited, I can hardly stand it. I've always had a passion for teaching, and it's been a while since I've gotten to actually do it. I'm very thankful God has given me the talent and ability to do this. And I'm very thankful for this solution for my family.

I'm very excited to begin this new season!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Maybe I Have a Green Thumb After All!

I don't have a good history of keeping things alive. And by things, I mean things that grow in the ground. Obviously I can keep SOME things alive...I mean, I do have two kids after all who are very much alive.

But I've never been able to keep any kind of plant alive for very long. And my luck with flowers in the yard hasn't been so great either.

But despite that, I decided this year I wanted to try to grow something. Several somethings, actually. I decided I wanted to grow food!

My neighbor's sister (Denise is my neighbor, Cindy is her sister) moved here last fall to stay with Denise while her husband is in Afghanistan. Cindy had a garden last year. We got to talking and decided we could do a garden here, and since she had experience, she could teach me!

So we decided to plant a garden and split it. It's not a huge one, but a good starter garden. She has 5 rows and I have 5. We started working on it in April, getting the ground ready and then getting everything planted. And today, it doesn't even resemble the way it looked 3 months ago. It's growing like crazy! And I'm eating food from it already!!!

I have to say, I never knew how much satisfaction would come from growing my own veggies! My husband laughs at me a little bit over how excited I get about it. But I can't help it! Even I'M surprised at how much fun I'm having!

I planted tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, onions, green onions, 2 kinds of lettuces, spinach and sweet potatoes. I also planted basil, oregano, parsley, cilantro, dill, chives and mint.

I've already had plenty of squash, zucchini and cucumbers to pick. I've had more lettuce than I know what to do with. I picked my first 3 jalapeno peppers the other day, and I couldn't wait any longer, so I picked 3 green tomatoes for frying. I've been using my herbs and need to use more of them up. Yesterday I used some basil and spinach and made a wonderful pesto.

For someone who never could keep a houseplant alive, things are going quite well in the garden! Apparently Cindy is teaching me well! She has given me lots of tips, but I've done all the planting (of my side) and tending myself, with the exception of her watering for me a few times when I wasn't at home. Maybe my thumb is at least a little green after all!

I'm already trying to figure out how to make this garden bigger next year. And we learned that our rows need to be a bit further apart - it's getting very difficult to walk between them!

I thought I'd share a few pictures. I have a TON of them, so I'm not going to try to post them all, but here are a few several!

CJ getting the ground ready:

Ruthi's helping too!

Rows are ready and planted.

First watering.

Squash are growing!

Cucumbers are growing!

Tomatoes too!

So much lettuce, and some spinach too.

First squash ready to eat!

Sweet Potatoes are doing well.

Bell Peppers growing!

More veggies to eat - squash, cucumbers and a big zucchini!

Sink packed full of lettuce!

More goodies - basil, peppers and a bit of oregano.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

So, if I'm going to attempt to try blogging again, I might as well get back on the menu plan posting as well. Here's what this week is looking like:

Monday: Something quick - probably sandwiches. (I'll be at the hospital most of the day, and it's just me and the kids for dinner, so I'm not cooking!)

Tuesday: Sausage Zucchini Bake

Wednesday: Baked Spinach Pasta

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Chicken Squash Bake, Couscous, Bread

Saturday: Homemade Calzones

Sunday: TBD

To see more menus or add your own, be sure to visit Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What Happened to the Night Owl?

Seriously...has another 4 months gone by? Good grief. I just don't know if I'll EVER be a regular blogger again. I think about it a LOT, but thinking about and sitting down to write a post are two different things. If only just thinking about it would actually make it happen! I suppose it's a good thing it doesn't happen that way. If all I had to do was think about it, I'd be posting all day every day and everyone would get sick of it!

But you'd think I could get back to at least semi-regular posting. Apparently that's not so easily done for me!

One thing that makes it difficult is the fact that I used to post late at night. It wasn't at all unusual for me to be writing a post at 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning. I was, after all, a TRUE night owl!

But, that seems to have changed in the past few months. I don't know why really, but it has. And I don't feel so much like a night owl anymore. Now days, it's more unusual for me to be up past 11 o'clock at night. Yes, it is past 11 now...I'm not always asleep by then, but it is more often than not these days.

So you'd think that maybe I was an early bird now. Um...not so much. Most mornings I do get up earlier than I used to...I rarely sleep past 9 anymore (yes...I realize that is LATE for some, but I used to sleep until at LEAST 11 am!) but I'm still SO NOT a morning person. Who knows...maybe one day I will be though.


I still have a night here and there where my natural night-owl kicks in and I can't sleep. But I think the days (nights) of that being a regular thing might just be behind me. Maybe I'm getting old!

So...since I don't stay up super late anymore, it's even harder to find the time in my day to blog. I've always struggled with time management, and I find myself feeling guilty doing things that are fun when other things need to be done.

Funny though...I still manage to spend way too much time on Facebook!

My neighbor just started a blog yesterday, and it's inspired me to try to get back into it again. Maybe she can give me an extra little nudge!

I'll try, but I'm not making any promises!!! I have lots to share, hopefully I can make the time to do it.

But for now, I'm signing off and getting some sleep. I have a long day ahead of me sitting at the hospital. Anyone who might read this...say a prayer for my cousin who will be going through surgery tomorrow at 1:00. She is having a double mastectomy. Please pray everything goes smoothly and her recovery will be quick and as pain-free as possible!

Good night!

Saturday, February 06, 2010


This morning I was in the kitchen scrambling some eggs. I was using a wooden spoon.

Ruthi walks in and says, "You use a wooden spoon for stirring too?"

Me - "Yes."

Ruthi - "Oh! I thought you just use wooden spoons for spanking!"

The odd thing is, she has seen me use a wooden spoon for cooking LOTS of times, and she has used it herself for stirring while helping me in the kitchen as well.

Not sure why she is just now asking that!

Especially since spankings have been a lot more rare lately. Thankfully!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Recipe Swap - Chicken and Black Pepper Dumplings

I am participating in the Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap today.

One of my favorite go-to, comfort foods in the winter time is Chicken and Dumplings. I grew up eating them and have always loved them. I have discovered there are many different ways to go about making them. I grew up with the chicken-broth type and love them. But I discovered a creamier and thicker version I love even more.

I'm going to include the "original" recipe that I began with. I don't remember where it came from, but I fell in love the first time I make them.

However, it doesn't make enough for my family, and is a bit thicker than I like. So I just add stuff as I see fit and make it to suit me. So following the recipe, I'll include some changes I make.

Chicken and Black Pepper Dumplings

1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup cut up cooked chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup

1 cup Bisquick
1/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Heat milk, chicken and soup to boiling.
Mix Bisquick, milk and pepper until soft dough forms.
Drop by spoonfuls onto chicken mixture. 
Cook, uncovered over low heat 10 minutes.
Cover and cook 10 minutes longer.
Sprinkle with parsly if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Ok, I'm not big on exact measurements, so I just add additional ingredients as I like. I at least double the milk, and add an extra can of cream of chicken soup. I don't measure my chicken, but put quite a bit more in than it calls for. If I feel it's still too thick, I add more milk or a little chicken broth. If it needs it, I add salt as well.
For the dumplings - I double the mixture. We like lots of pepper in ours, but it ends up being too peppery for our daughter. So I stick pretty close to the measurement there, but we add extra pepper to our bowls. I've found that the dumplings do better if I do them in smaller amounts, so I use about a half of a spoon for a dumpling. We like lots of dumplings in ours; you may like less, so experiment with it.
I have also found that the dumplings taste better if they cook a little longer, so I do about 15 minutes uncovered and then 15 minutes covered. The longer they cook, the better the texture. If you don't cook them long enough, the dumplings are more biscuit-y. I don't care for them as much that way.

I could eat these all winter long, they are so wonderful and creamy. I make a big pot so I'm sure to have enough for lunch or dinner the next day!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

My little angel playing dress up.

To see more participants, visit Wordless Wednesday.


Ok, so I was just watching 19 Kids and Counting. The Duggar family who recently gave birth to their 19th baby, Josie. Josie was born at 25 weeks gestation. I watched through tear-filled eyes because I know EXACTLY what they are going through and how they are feeling.

Over 15 years ago, our son CJ was born at only 24 weeks gestation. I didn't have pre-eclampsia nor a c-section, but it was every bit as frightening. CJ was a little bigger than Josie - he was 2 pounds 2 ounces. He dropped to 1 pound 15 ounces before he began gaining. I remember that his thigh was as big around as my pinky. So tiny and fragile, yet so strong! (His size was a surprise even to the doctors. They told me prior to him being born that I would be "lucky if he weighed a pound." We believe if I had carried him to term he would have been a big baby. Especially since his sister was just under 10 pounds!)
We were very scared, but at the same time knew God was in total control. But it was three months of roller coaster emotions. We never knew what each day would hold.

I won't go into any more details, becaused I've already blogged his birth story. If you really want to read it (it's long!) you can find it here. And I have more pictures posted there as well. But here is one of the first pictures we took of him.

Watching the Duggar's story tonight brought a flood of emotions as I traveled back to that day for us almost 16 years ago. I never imagined that that tiny baby boy would one day be taller than me! It's amazing.

I am praying for the Duggars and for baby Josie.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I Love a Good Challenge

So I'm joining this one:

What better way to get something cleaned and organized than joing a challenge? I have two closets that are in desperate need of organizing...again. I've done them many times before, even posted them for Tackle it Tuesday. But they tend to get messy and cluttered over and over. They become "catch all" closets and they get a bit crazy. So they need some serious attention again. I also have a cabinet that I may work on as well.

There are two categories for the challenge - whole room and small space. Obviously, I'll be joining the small space category. I really don't have a whole room that needs that much attention. I love that I have an entire 28 days to get these done. Hopefully I won't wait until the last few days to get busy!

I don't have before pictures yet. I may come back and add them, or I may wait until the end and show them along with the after pictures. I don't know.

What I do know is that I'll feel better when I'll no longer be embarrassed to open these closet doors again!

Want to get in on the fun or see what others are organizing? Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I didn't post my menu last week because I was sick. I had one, just didn't feel like posting. I'm still somewhat sick...I'm getting quite tired of it! I'm ready to be at 100% again. But I still need to feed my family. My wonderful hubby took care of dinner a few was wonderful. But I need to get it together this week and get back on track...even if I'm not feeling great.

This week's menu is simple. I NEED simple right now!!!

Monday - Chicken & Dumplings

Tuesday - Italian Stuffed Shells, Salad

Wednesday - Leftovers

Thursday - Salisbury Steak (in the crockpot), Mashed potatoes, green vegetable (haven't decided what yet.)

Friday - Chicken Pizza

Saturday - Leftovers

Sunday - White Chili

To see more menus or add your own, be sure to visit Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Arrrrgggghhhh.'s not speak like a pirate day.

That would be the sound of my frustration!

I HATE being sick. And that's an understatement. I hate when I can't get up and do the things I want to do!

Funny, when things don't get done because I'm choosing to to get them done (aka - being lazy), it doesn't bother me so much. But when I actually want to be doing stuff and can't because my body won't let me? HATE it!

So, my routines are off again. Actually, I had not even gotten them back going good...and now, well...I'm frustrated!

I thought I'd be starting out this week ahead of the game. I had gotten a LOT of cleaning done last week because I was having a little birthday party for Ruthi on Saturday. (Pictures coming soon!) The house was in pretty good shape, except for the master bedroom. (So thankful for doors we can close to hide the mess!!!) And after the party, things cleaned up pretty quickly.

But...I had begun not to feel so great on Saturday. I was having some chest congestion and was feeling tired. I figured I had just run myself ragged all week trying to get ready for the party. The party went well, Ruthi loved it, and I could finally relax. So I took some Nyquil Saturday night and went to bed early.

Sunday morning Ruthi and I got up and went to church. (Chip was at work, and CJ wasn't feeling good, so I let him stay in bed.) After church, we went to lunch with my bestie. While we were eating/talking, I started feeling really tired and a nap was sounding great. So I went home and crashed. Hard.

And I've been down pretty much ever since. The congestion got worse, and I felt like I'd been run over by a train. My wonderful hubby cooked dinner Monday night. It was delicious, and I was very grateful. Yesterday, the congestion was considerably better and I thought I could finally do some stuff. But everytime I got up, I'd feel like I was going to pass out and/or vomit. NOT fun!

I was going to cook dinner in spite of how I was feeling, but was missing an ingredient. After a quick call to my neighbor to find out she didn't have any either, I called my wonderful hubby to see if he'd stop at the store on his way home from picking CJ up from class. That's when he said, "Why don't I just pick up some Taco Bell on the way home?" Um, no argument from me!!!

I'm so thankful that he understands when I'm sick and helps take care of things! I really didn't mind cooking - even though I didn't feel like it. But I'm thankful he knew rest for me would be better.

I'm feeling better today. I'm still having some pressure in my ears which causes me to feel sick to my stomach. Not fun, but better than it was.

So...I feel like I need to start over again with my house, because a few days of not staying on top of it...well, I'm sure you can imagine. But I'm not going to stress over it. I'm going to do the basic stuff and just fall into the routines where I am.

The living room is the zone this week (by the way - I somehow got mixed up on the dates of the zones before, so I was already somewhat off track - but oh well.) so I'm going to try to get the list completed. I've updated it in my sidebar and already have one task done! That's because I did it in preparation for the party.
I will not beat myself up if it all doesn't get done. I'm still not feeling 100% and I'm not going to overdo it. So I'll get as much done as I can and be happy with it.

And...January is almost over and I still haven't completed my January goals. I'll see what I can manage on that list this week! Well, what's left of it anyway!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

This past week reminded me how much I love having my menu planned for the week. It definitely makes things easier. No trying to figure out what to make, or starting to make something and realizing I'm out of an ingredient! I truly had forgotten what a big step this is in making life easier!

Last week I tried Chile-Garlic Chicken Thighs and Cheesy Rice Fritters for the first time. The chicken was pretty good - nothing spectacular. The flavor was good, it just didn't permeate the chicken as I would have liked it to. But those cheesy rice fritters were WONDERFUL! They were even good cold the next day as a snack! I definitely plan to make those again.

Here's what's up for this week...

Monday - Sandwiches
Tuesday - Ranch Chicken, Baked Cabbage, Zucchini Fritters, Cheddar Biscuits

Wednesday - Hamburger Soup, Rolls
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Mini Homemade Pizzas - each person will add toppings of their choice
Saturday - Mexican Lasagna, Refried Black Beans, Chips and Homemade Salsa
Sunday - Leftovers

To see more menus or add your own, be sure to visit Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Last night was interesting. I was totally unprepared for what would happen.
Maybe not totally unprepared, as I did have a teeny tiny bit of a heads up.

No...I was still totally unprepared.


I checked said tooth for wigglyness.

I only felt her head wiggle. The tooth appeared, to me anyway, completely tight with no signs of being loose any time soon.

Fast forward to Saturday evening. We were all hanging out on the couch.

Ruthi jerked back and the sound of her nightgown ripping out of her mouth filled the air. The look on her face indicated it did not feel good at all.

Her Daddy looked at her as she held her hand to her mouth and said, "I bet that didn't feel good!"

A second later I hear, "I feel my tooth." And when I took a peak, there was blood in the place where her tooth used to be.

My first thought was - Oh great - she has gone and broken her tooth. On a Saturday night, when I can't get a hold of a dentist.

And then I went into "I have no idea what to do about this" mode. Not freaking out, but close.

Chip looked at me and said something to the effect of, "Seriously? You don't know what to do? What if I were at work? What would you do? Tell me you wouldn't call 911!"

I assured him that I would NOT call 911 over a tooth. I knew better than that. (I'm would NOT be suprised if he's responded to a call from a frantic mother not knowing what to do if a tooth came out unexpectedly.)

I took Ruthi to the bathroom where I could access the damage. I was still expecting to find have a tooth in her mouth. We had not located the tooth at this point, so I just wasn't sure.

I had her rinse and it looked like the entire tooth had come out. Chip went back to the couch and located the tooth.

The totally intact tooth. Thankfully.

Maybe, just maybe, that tooth had been a little bit loose after all!

She was a bit freaked out and the thought of eating or brusing her teeth terrified her after that! But after some tears, she calmed down and realized it wasn't so bad after all.

Then she got excited about the prospect of the Tooth Fairy visiting.

That's when I felt it was time to have a little talk with her. This was a talk I didn't think I'd have to have for another year, when I expected the natural time to lose her first tooth would be.

Long story short, we talked about the feasibility of someone flying around and coming into people's houses at night and leaving things under pillows. I let her figure it out, that it was really mommies and daddies who are leaving surprises.

This let me to the Santa discussion as well. The letting her believe in Santa was never really a plan. We never did Santa with CJ and assumed we wouldn’t with any other children. But it just kind of happened, and we played along to an extent. We didn’t go all out, and we certainly didn’t try to keep her from finding out the truth. But we never really planned it either.

And I was certain this Christmas that she would figure it out on her own when she realized that her stack of presents were simply the ones that had been under the tree and had just gotten moved into a nice little pile. I was totally prepared that morning for the conversation.

But it didn’t come up.

So I brought it up last night. I let her come to the conclusion with a little help from me. She thought it was kind of funny. I told her that there’s nothing wrong in believing for fun, and we can continue to do that, but I wanted her to know the truth.

And most importantly, she assured me that she knew that, “Jesus and God are real!”

I felt much relief going to bed last night. And Chip was greatly relieved. He was always careful to word things in a way that she could not come back and say, “But Dad, YOU said……” But yet he still let her have fun with it. We both are like that, but it’s very difficult. Now we don’t have to worry about that anymore.

Something tells me that when Christmas comes around again, she will still want to tell Santa what she wants and leave out milk and cookies, and reindeer food…but she will know this time it’s all in fun. And I like that!

Anyway…here’s a couple of pictures of my little girl with a now toothless smile.

Here, she's holding her tooth:

And now she's putting it under her pilow (in a baggie to keep it from getting lost). Yes, she knew it would be me putting a surprise under there, and it was just as much fun for her.

And this morning, she came to my side of the bed with her suprise in her hand. She actually thought before she went to sleep last night that she might forget about it. She didn't!

She came in and said, "Mommy, it's Sunday! Let's go to church!" (We've been embarrassingly bad about not making it to church on Sunday mornings. She is exactly what we needed to start getting back on track!) And she probably wouldn't have even mentioned the "Tooth Fairy" treats had I not asked what was in her hand!

She knows what's important. I love that girl!

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