October 30, 2009

Lil Afternoon Pick Me Up

Tonight is the beginning of my second weekend of work. I've finally found a job that appreciates my skill set as a mom! Working the sleepover shift, I wake up every few hours just to make sure everything is as it should be and I assist one who needs to get up at night. It's just like being at home... only... not being at my home. It's like not-my-home away from home. If it were like my home, it would be messy a great deal of the time. So... anyway.... I like my new job!

My first night there was pretty sleepless because I was getting used to a new job and being in a house with its own unique noises and because I drank coffee in the afternoon. So I thought I should definitely not drink coffee in the afternoon before work but then I opened the refrigerator and saw that my husband bought me some Vanilla Caramel Brownie coffee creamer! I'll be trying that just as soon as my coffeemaker is finished with my fresh pot. Yep! I recommend trying it yourself -- that or the Belgian Chocolate Toffee or the Caramel something-or-other that I'm out of right now. I may need to do a test taste of coffee creamers today. Who needs sleep anyway?

October 29, 2009

Faith in Action

There was a wedding in Cana and Jesus as well as His disciples were invited. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was there too.

When they ran out of wine at the wedding, Mary stated the problem to Jesus. His response? "What does that have to do with me?"

But Mary was not daunted by the seeming lack of interest and made a demand on the power of God by her words to the servants, "Do whatever He says." Jesus then gave instructions to the servants and a miracle happened.

Now Jesus did not do this because of His mother but because of His Father who responded to the faith and action of Mary. I base this claim on Jesus' own words in John 5:19, "Then Jesus answered and said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do, for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.'"

God was aware of the situation but He did not intervene until He was drawn upon.

Is there a situation in your life that needs intervention? Ask God! He answers the prayer of faith.

John 2:1-11, I John 3:22, I John 5:14-15, James 5:16, Ephesians 3:12, Hebrews 11:6

October 27, 2009

Pest Control

There is an uninvited, unwanted bug pestering my family. It is making Nathan feel like this:
And it is causing Noah to feel like this:

And when our children feel yucky, John and I feel like this:
Well, maybe the eye bags should be bigger or darker... and the eyebrows more concerned/compassionate... and I've never been able to twist my mouth quite so much ... but ... you get the picture.

While we wait out the symptoms, we get to pray for them, love them, comfort them, hold them, wipe their noses, take naps with them, and make them laugh. (The laughing part can be a challenge but it's doable; it really helps if you make a spectacle of yourself.)

"Get out of here, Bug! You're not welcome here!"

The playing will resume shortly.

October 22, 2009

Surrogate Bloggers

Sarah is going to start working outside of her home and so she must do some preparation for that. For today's post, she has asked Noah and Nathan to be her blogger stand-ins.

Noah: "Yeah! Ball!"

Nathan: (no comment)

Sarah: "Anything else?"
Them: (shrugs all around)

Noah did offer to take the pictures; however, Sarah passed on his offer.

October 19, 2009

A Good Gourd Day

The large pumpkin in our house survived unscathed for two weeks but calls for its transformation had increased after the introduction of three small pumpkins into our household last weekend. It seemed that every day I heard the questions, "When are we going to carve the pumpkins? Can we carve pumpkins now?" Therefore, Saturday became our Pumpkin Day.

The boys were thrilled to get out the pumpkin carving kit and choose what kind of design they wanted! However, the excitement was notably less for the work of removing the seeds and goo from within the pumpkin. These same boys who play in sand, mud, floam, play dough, and other goo declared that they didn't want to touch the pumpkin guts! "Ew. It's gross!" they asserted. Even John left the seed removal to me; he was waiting to do the cutting. (Reminder: "we" means "you".)

After "we" removed the seeds and set them aside for later roasting, John set to work on the big pumpkin.
And I began work on Nathan's pumpkin with his choice of happy face. I threw the teeth in there free of charge.
Our young supervisors asked us many questions during this time all the while making certain the pumpkins were carved according to their standards.

After we completed the pumpkin transformation, we searched the house for candles so that we could appreciate fully the finished product.

Tah dah! The pumpkins are finished. Then it was time to cook down the remaining little pumpkin and bake a pumpkin pie. While the pie was cooling, Josiah asked me when we were going to roast the pumpkin seeds. "We" are going to do that another day.

October 17, 2009

Football Hoopla

John is intently watching the USC - Notre Dame football game.

John yells, "CATCH THAT!" then "COME ON!!!"

Nathan parrots him, "Catch That!" and "Come On!" then he tells John, "It's not workin'!"

John's still glued to the screen. "ARRGH!!"

Nathan queries, "Daddy, what's the matter, Daddy?"

Oblivious to all things non-football John continues with his edge of the seat, mouth-covered, random rants such as "What were you thinking?" then he's on his feet, rocking back and forth..... all to no avail. His team loses.

Suddenly, John is among us again; he has awakened from his pigskin induced trance. Welcome back, John. Welcome back.

October 16, 2009

Under or Over

What's this?! There was much laughing, jumping, and all around good times.
Underthings worn over things.

All the boys got in on the action.

They proudly and loudly wore undershirts and even underwear as outerwear.

Josiah asked me what I was going to do with these pictures to which I replied, "Blackmail you." "What?", he asked. Me: "Oh, nothing..." Heh heh. Heh heh. Heh heh.

Thanks for the laughs, boys!


Baking is great in so many ways. It's a project to do together. Your house smells fabulous (as long as you don't burn anything). It's educational because your child gets to practice following directions, counting, and measuring. AND there's a wonderful reward at the end! Josiah was my baking assistant when we made oatmeal raisin cookies. He put on his Home Depot work apron in order to keep his school clothes nice. So thoughtful ... and funny!

Nathan awoke from his nap in time to help us finish. He licked the spatula and the mixer before putting them in the dishwasher. And everyone helped with the taste testing, a most respectable and important job!

October 14, 2009

Cash for Cluckers

Meeting Pastor Reuben, who is a former Franciscan monk, and his daughter, Noami, was a delight. He shared with us his love for Jesus and his love for the people of his valley in the Dominican Republic. This valley is impoverished and that is not like any concept we tend to think of as poor; they had nothing. There was no water so Pastor Reuben dug a well. Many don't have houses so Pastor Reuben builds homes one at a time. There wasn't much food so he built a bakery and planted farms. There isn't much meat so he will buy people chickens. Each act of love is provided by giving people who want to be a part of showing love to these people.

One story that particularly touched my heart was of a little boy who stayed pretty much to himself and his only friend was a chicken. He loved his chicken but one day, his father, not realizing how much that chicken meant to his son, killed it so that they could have meat to eat. The boy was devastated and, even as young as he is, tried to kill himself by cutting his wrist because of the grief over losing his only friend. Pastor Reuben talked with him and continues to show him kindness and love and gave him not one but two chickens to help heal his broken heart. These chickens were given with strict instructions insuring their safety and long lives.

After hearing from Pastor Reuben about the valley in which he lives and works, Belinda had the idea of creating a new program for the kids' class at church: Cash for Cluckers. The children are learning about giving and from October to February, the kids will bring in their change or cash to raise money which is designated to buy chickens for the people of this Dominican valley. The "offering plate" is a chicken that Belinda created from a bleach bottle. Isn't it adorable?
Josiah was asked to be the first official chicken holder during the offering on Sunday. All the children seem excited to be a part of this ministry. Already, enough cash has been given to buy nearly 5 chickens!

In February, a team of people will go to the Dominican Republic and one of the many things they will do is deliver the Cash for Cluckers to Pastor Reuben.

October 13, 2009


Josiah found a quarter at the base of the viewing machine on one of our trips to The Monument. He was so excited! He even shared a little bit of his viewing time with me. As I peered through the viewer, I thought, "This is awkward and you can't see things very well either!" Then I paid attention to which side of the viewer Josiah had shared with me. It was the other side! I quickly turned it around, tested the view, and then gave it back to Josiah so that he could see the bay up close for just a couple of seconds longer. Oh well.

It didn't bother Josiah though. He was still excited at having found a quarter to use in the machine. Thinking of the joy that quarter brought him, I would like to be the kind of thoughtful person who leaves a quarter behind for the next curious and hopeful child. But I may have to start by occasionally carrying quarters for my own children.

October 12, 2009

A New Project

It started as a joke on Facebook about my cooking skills after I nearly ruined a simple dinner but was able to save it with a little bit of ingenuity. The details are a bit embarrassing hence the joke.
My status was "Sarah is thinking about starting a new blog about food and recipes. It would be about how to save a meal after leaving out a key ingredient! Bwahaha!!" But people actually liked the idea and were willing to contribute! After mulling it over for awhile, I thought it could be a lot of fun to be swapping stories and recipes.

And so, as of this morning, http://reciperecovery.blogspot.com/ has come into being.

Check it out!

The Collector

Noah has started a rock collection. As we walked around Port Farm last weekend, he stopped frequently to pick up a particular rock from among the several hundred other similar rocks along the pathway. My concern was that we may never get to our destination with so many rocks between point A and point B. Therefore, I tried to walk in the grass as much as possible!

The day after our Port Farm adventure, I picked up Noah's windbreaker and was surprised that his lightweight jacket had become a heavy duty jacket! His pockets were filled with what seemed like two pounds of rocks. He is very proud of his rocks too and will often take one out of his jacket pocket, look at it, show it off to someone, then carefully return it. I don't know where he gets it......

See my rock?

That totally reminds of the cool buckeyes I found during one of my walks a couple weeks ago! I found and picked up two buckeyes out of their shell and two buckeyes that were still in their shells. Buckeyes! How exciting! "I'll just bring these home and add them to my acorns that I found last week and the other unknown, peculiar looking seedpod nut thingy I found before that." Aren't they fabulous? I think I will keep them forever...

October 10, 2009

Brain Freeze

Do you ever have a problem with words? Not worms. Words. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I know the word I want to use and it's just not clear to me; it's on the tip of my keyboard.

This morning I wanted to use the word collaborators. I started to type it then realized I couldn't remember how to spell it. No problem, I'll just sound it out. Corraburators didn't look right. The more I tried to sound it out the worse my brain tried to pronounce it. I could no longer say the word that I wanted to use. Corrabulate. Coraburator. Corwabuwate. Corwabulate. Corlatchulate. Carburetor! No. That's a car part. Corroborate! Yes! That's it! Wait a minute.... that means to back up information or vouch. I wanted a "person to work with me". No wonder I was having such a hard time! I knew the word I wanted but my brain was on another word altogether! Think, Brain. Nonplussed, I simply used the word contributors instead. The substitute word worked in my situation but my sentence could have been so much better had my brain been cooperating with me!

If your brain is not cooperating with you, for whatever reason, you can go to http://thesaurus.reference.com/ It's such a nice reference tool. For example, it you type carberator instead of carburetor, it politely tells you "Did you mean creator? generator? curator? cabaret? carbonate? ..... collaborator? YES! COLLABORATOR is exactly what I wanted at the beginning of all this. Thank you, Thesaurus.reference.com. You are so thoughtful and patient!

October 8, 2009

Monumental Fun

Ah! Perry's Monument. Does this look like a fun destination to you? Well, it has graduated to the top of our list of places to go. "Mom! Can we go to the monument?" You may wonder, "What's so great about going to a monument?"

Let's see.... It's pretty.

There is a lot of room to run.

You can read about a lot of fun historical facts such as:
*Admiral Oliver Perry's middle name was Hazard,
*Someone thought ahead and figured out a way to get two large fighting ships over a sandbar with only 4 feet of clearance,
*Admiral Perry totally bluffed the British into believing he was battle ready so they retreated and then he whooped them.
*Reporting to Gen. William H. Harrison, Admiral Perry said, "We have met the enemy and they are ours" I love that quote!

BUT the funnest part of the monument for my boys is the climbing!

Everyone loves to climb.

And survey their domain after climbing.

Climbing isn't possible during the summer because they fill this "moat" with water. The nerve.

"Can you get me outta here!"
In the end, make sure you have an exit strategy.

October 6, 2009

Submitting the Evidence

Today, I will explore the theory that John "tricked" me into marrying him by pretending to be something he is not. Let me explain. When I first got to know John, he was a Pepsi drinker. I, myself, am a Dr Pepper drinker. As we became friends and his pursuit of my heart began, he started laying aside the Pepsi and drinking Dr Pepper. Now I understand there may have been a lot of pressure on him in this area. After all, my brothers and I all drink Dr Pepper. Naturally, I began to think that John must be a sensible person to switch from Pepsi to Dr Pepper.

I came across this photographic evidence of John with his new favorite soda, Dr Pepper, in hand. This picture was taken on the eve of our wedding.
Exhibit A - 10-05-01

I believe it was within our first year together that John started switching back to Pepsi. He claimed that Dr Pepper was giving him a "headache". Highly suspicious if you ask me. At this time, he will only drink Dr Pepper if he is desperate for a caffeine fix! A coincidence? I think NOT!

Exhibit B - The empty Pepsi carton

And so I must conclude that this man whom I married tricked me into believing he was a Dr Pepper drinker in order that my affections would more likely warm toward him. (I will admit that he was wise to use any asset available to win my heart.) In spite of this beverage betrayal, I still love him. And since there was no Dr Pepper/Pepsi clause in our marriage covenant, I will simply have to accept that he is (and probably always was) a Pepsi drinker. At least now he is open about his love for Pepsi.

The up side of this lamentable affair: There is more Dr Pepper for me!

P.S. I know that this will not be enough evidence for some of you. I will find more. Yes. I will find more.

O Happy Day

Eight years ago, a new family was founded.
Mr. and Mrs. John Perino
Surrounded by those we love, we entered a covenant.
Thank you to family and friends that help us uphold that covenant.

Thank you to those who made that day wonderful...
and rejoiced with us in our new adventure together.

October 5, 2009

Loving Touch

As we are enjoying the hay ride Saturday, I feel Noah's little hand on my leg. Is it there for balance? Not likely. I suppose he put his hand there to assure himself that I'm right there or to remind me that he's right beside me. I like to think that he just wants to reach out and hold onto me because he loves me. His little touch is so sweet. His touch is not demanding or even asking for anything; he is secure in my love. And my heart soars.

My Kind of Farm

Saturday was our much anticipated trip to Port Farms. We planned to ride giant trikes, play in the corn bin, race down the slides, lose ourselves in the corn maze, roast hot dogs, climb on the straw fort..... and much more.

John and I drove separately since his car was loaded with dinner supplies. I was so tired starting out that I had to really focus on the road to stay awake. When I told Josiah I was sleepy he asked me, "You want me to drive for you, Mom?" Well, I didn't get any pictures of him driving..... since I turned down his offer by saying, "Ha ha! You're so funny!"

Soon after arriving and greeting friends and family that were already there, we checked out the slides. They were as big a hit as last year!

We trekked up the hill.

And we raced back down the slides. Again and again. Josiah found this cool digging toy!

The giant corn bin was one of our favorites!

You could make corn angels,

You could sink into the corn,

You could bury yourself,

Or you could bury someone else.

We found a lot of corn kernels in our clothes throughout the day.

After playing for some time, we took a dinner break. We ate hot dogs, chips, banana bread, pumpkin bread, grapes, submarine sandwiches, popcorn and, of course, marshmallows.
And then we had seconds.
This is my mom pretending to be a scarecrow. She's much too pretty for that though.

If you look at the closeup here, you can see the gap where Josiah's tooth used to be!

But that wasn't on Josiah's mind as he climbed and ran and jumped all over the straw fort.
The guys and I went on the hayride three times during the day!
And we liked it. A lot.

Another trek into the corn maze was in order as the day was winding down.

Then we made time for one more activity on our way out. Tricycle racing! I'm pretty sure I won... because I like winning and there wasn't an official race but there definitely was racing so.... I WON.

Nathan has been watching me choose photos and says, "I wanna go play in the corn again."
We will. Oh yes, we will.