May 30, 2012


Millie: "I'm hungry."
Me: "Where is your banana?"
Millie: Pause. "I disappeared it."
Me: Locating the banana, "I reappeared it. Please eat it."

Having a toddler at home is probably very similar to living in Dr. Seuss' world with Things 1 and 2. They don't stop for long. The craziest part is, I'm about to have 2 toddlers!

There is a saying going around Pinterest (maybe it's old now and everyone has heard it by now):
Boys: noise with dirt on it.
I haven't seen one for girls, but there should be:
Girls: noise with glitter on it.
I'm sure someone has already come with that, but I can assure you - it's every bit as true as the boy version.

Toddlers are irrational.

And emotional.

And hilarious.

And frustrating.

And cuddly.

And endearing.

And creative.

And smart.

And clever.

And darling.

Overall, toddlers are a lot of fun - but nap time is needed for all involved.
Read More

May 29, 2012

all prettied up

I made our list pretty:

There are a lot of Oregon-specific things on the list, so if you live in Oregon and want a copy I'm happy to share. Really I just wanted something I could print off and hang on the wall and check off items. I love checking things off lists. I may or may not add things to lists that I have already done just for the enjoyment of checking them off...

It seems that my children might be coming down with something. Millie begged for a nap at 10:30 (she slept in until 8:30!) and Sam willingly went down just after that. They've been asleep 3 1/2 hours now... I thought I heard Millie waking up, but when I poked my head in, there was my little angel, gently snoring on Papa's pillow.

I've got a lot done. For evidence, see exhibit B (the summer list thing). Exhibit A was already consumed, so is no longer evidence.

It's a beautiful day in Oregon and - oh, now the boy is awake. No more daydreaming. Diapers, bottles, and cuddles await me.

Blessings to you!
Read More

May 28, 2012

make it monday: summer fun

We went to the beach a while back and we made a vow that we would go to the beach once a month all summer long - at least.  

So far, we have yet to return to the sand.

Millie's cousin, Izzy, and their grandparents joined us. The girls were in heaven. They are 5 months apart.

Millie LOVED the beach. Loved it. She still talks about every day.

They played in the water. Papa even boogie-boarded. I have the photos to prove it. The water was like -16 degrees.

I didn't think to bring hats for the kids, so we went shopping and searched everywhere for hats. None to be found that would fit the babies. So we got scarfs. The only scarfs we would find were camo. We're just cool like that.

Samuel tried to eat the beach. All of it.

Sam went around with his tongue sticking out, I think he was hoping to catch the sand in the air. 
He didn't want to miss a speck of sand that had the potential to go in his mouth.

Oh, sandy baby toes... I love you.
Since we decided to go every month, I wanted to write it down. Since I was already writing it down, I decided to join the summer-bucket-list-bandwagon. Only I didn't craft one out of popsicle sticks and glitter. Nope. I'll be lucky if I even print mine off and stick it on the fridge (read: we don't need magnets because our fridge is so sticky. We're hard-core toddler wranglers like that).

Summer Bucket List
  • Plant a garden
  • Portland Zoo
  • 7 Oaks Farm
  • Kid Time
  • Make and send cards
  • Picnics
  • Make cupcakes
  • CP water park
  • Jacksonville water park
  • Stewart water park
  • Paint outside
  • VBS
  • Pick flowers
  • Wildlife Safari Park
  • Grower's Market
  • Paint rocks
  • Visit the Humane Society
  • Make a wind chime
  • Have a yard sale
  • Fly kites
  • Pick berries
  • Watch fireworks
  • Go to the wave pool
  • Make giant bubbles
  • Go to the beach
  • Hunt for heart-shaped rocks
  • Oregon Caves

  • Eat sno-cones 
  • Wash the car
  • Wash the Bikes
  • Make a fort
  • Camp in the front room
  • Get ice cream from an ice cream truck
  • Get lemonade from a stand
  • Hike up Table Rock
  • Explore the railroad park
  • Have a water balloon fight
  • Make our own fruit leather
  • Have rootbeer floats
  • Play frisbee
  • Go to story time at the library
  • Visit a fire station
  • Hike up Multnomah Falls
  • See a parade
  • Play at OMSI
  • Make Jello
  • Make individual pizzas
  • Feed ducks
  • Visit a retirement home
  • Go camping
  • Roast marshmallows
  • Ride the bus around town
  • Go to the fair
  • Make and take cookies to the neighbors
  • Ride in an airplane
  • Watermelon feed
  • Make cinnamon rolls
  • Get our faces painted
  • Set up a pretend restaurant 
  • Paint with pudding
  • Make a pinata - have a party!
  • Make applesause
  • Ride in a boat
  • Go to an air show with papa
  • Run through a sprinkler
  • Science Works
  • Eat something we grew
  • Make homemade granola 
  • Swim outside
  • Make play dough
  • Make homemade ice cream
Read More

May 27, 2012

self judgement

"You think I am wasting money."
"You think it's silly."
"You say you like it, but I don't think you really do."
"You think I'm stupid."
"You think I'm a bad mom."
"You hate my cooking."
"You think I just sit around all day."
"You hate me."

Have you ever said any of these sentences to your husband? I have. I do. Weekly. In fact, these are a sampling of things I actually say to my husband on a regular basis. He usually responds with, "oh, do I?" Wise man.

A friend recently asked if I felt judged by other moms. I had a real-live epiphany. I answered, "Yes, I do. All the time. But I don't think they are really judging me. That much. I think I feel so overwhelmingly judged because I project my self-judgment onto everyone else." Did you get that? Self judgement. For any nasty thing you can think - or say - about me, I've already come up with 3 worse things.

I've said these things long enough that I sometimes believe them. Maybe more often than sometimes.

And you know what thinking/saying/believing these things does to my self-esteem? What it does to my marriage? What it does for my relationship with Jesus? When you project your self-judgment on others, you can't no matter how hard you try, see yourself how they see you.

Am I the only one that does this?

How it starts:

Some people have all the confidence in the world. But I wonder if they really do. Often times I try to act really confident. But it's an act. I'm not really good at acting, either. I tried once. I took an acting class at the community college. They actually gave me a small role in a children's play. I was in 2 scenes. Opening night I'm in costume, ready to. I walk onstage and deliver my lines. I exit stage left at the appropriate time. I can do this! The second scene I was in, I walk out on the center stage and deliver my line. Only, it wan't the right line. It was the same line I walked on stage with in the prior scene. Oops. I was not given any more roles after that.

I laugh about it now - I mean, it was really funny seeing the other actors scramble to cover for me - who stood there like a deer in headlights not knowing what to do next. I laugh about it, but along with the laughter comes this little reminder. "You can't act. You screwed up. You can't do it. " This is not self judgement. These are lies from the devil. They are where self-judgement comes from. And every time I screw up (read: this happens often), the devil throws these things back in my face. Remember when I stood in front of the entire college to make an announcement and I screwed it up? I doubt anyone in the world remembers - it was 5 years ago. But the devil remembers. And he won't let me forget.

But, oh, how I long to forget.

How we feed our self-judgement:

It's so easy for me to start the with, "Now, I'm not necessarily a bad-looking person, but I'm by no means beautiful." These words roll off my tongue without a second thought. I get compliments on my blue eyes, or my trim figure, or on my fancy hair styles (read: hair not in a ponytail). I usually scoff at the compliment giver (because clearly you must have the taste of a 4th grader to think I am fashionable in any way) and say very sarcastically, "Um, thanks, but ______." Fill in the blank. My hair is thin, my nails are broken, I have flour on my face from making cookies, I've lost too much weight, I need make-up... on and on. I can, at any given time, come up with about 20 things that make the compliment null and void.

When is the last time we as women took the compliment and instead of brushing it off, stored it away as a treasure. We don't need to become conceded or cocky about our looks, but it's high time we learn to say, "Thank you!" No sarcasm, no amendments, no buts. Some people can do this, and I admire it. But, I want to stress that it's not our looks that are important. If we run into each other at the supermarket will you be thinking, "Wow, she really should have put on some mascara today?" Probably not. Maybe, but probably not.  This isn't a fish for compliments, because it's not about us. It's about reflecting Jesus and learning to see others - and ourselves - as He sees us.

How to end our self-judgement:

I am so beautiful. Really. I have very blue eyes. Most women would kill to be my size. And the outside is just the beginning. I am quick to give. If I have something that someone else needs, it feels wrong for me to keep it. I always try to see the good in people, which often requires empathy for people who the world is not always empathetic to. I'm a good listener. I love to help, comfort, and support people in need. I have a burden to help anyone God has me cross paths with.

Jesus made me different than everyone else for a specific purpose. He loves me. He made me to grow and learn and bloom. When we're tempted to say, "Well, this is just how I am." or, "This is how God made me, I can't help it." We need to remember that he didn't make us to be stagnant waters. We are to be a stream flowing along fields of growth, pouring into rivers of peace, winding our way to oceans of love. If we see something in ourselves we don't like, that doesn't reflect Jesus, such as self-judgement, we must learn to give these things to Jesus so HE can refine us. We are not overcomers. What can we overcome? Let me tell you as someone who has tried to overcome for years - it ain't gonna happen. Jesus is the overcomer. He will take the impurities in us and make them clean if only we will ask Him and let Him and believe Him.

Because without Jesus, what are we? I can't answer that for everyone, but for me, I waste money, I'm stupid, I'm a bad mom/cook/houekeeper/etc. Without Jesus I'm a vine that's been cut from a branch. I don't want to be cut away. I want to be one of those vines that are so entwined with the branch that you can't find the beginning or the end. I want to be a spark that leads to a blaze.

What this looks like practically:

  • Before you put on your make up, look in the mirror for a long while. Then close your eyes and imagine the hands of Jesus cup your face and kiss your forehead. He thinks you're beautiful. 
  • When reminded of past mistakes, thank God for being a God of forgiveness and ask Him to take away the guilt or embarrassment.
  • Stop projecting your judgement on others. Instead of "You think I'm a bad mom." Try, "I'm feeling bad as a mom, will you pray for me?"
  • Say, "Thank you" without any buts. 
  • Make a list of 5 things you like about yourself. 5 Things you are really good at. 5 Things you have done well. 5 Ways Jesus made you special. Add to these lists as you think of more. Don't forget them. 
  • If you are feeling judged by someone, ask yourself if you think they are truly judging you, or if you are projecting. It helps to know where the feeling are coming from. Are you comparing yourself to someone else? Remember that we all struggle in some areas. Don't compare yourself to others. It does no good.
  • As often as needed, give these feelings to God. Don't take them back. Ask Him to take them away. You'll probably feel guilt, embarrassment, or judgement for a while, simply because we've trained ourselves to think this way. The more we trust, the quicker we will be freed of these feelings. 
  • Remember that Jesus made you special and He loves you very much (10 points if you get the Veggie Tales reference). Get your Bible out and look up verses, promises, psalms. Pray that God will lead your reading. 
You are beautiful. Look at you! God made you so unique and special. God gave you a heart to love and laugh and learn - a heart like no other. Of all the people who have ever lived, you have a special place in this world. You are not an accident. You were fearfully and wonderfully made. You were knit together, and before even one person laid eyes on you - you were loved by Jesus first. Wow, when I see you how Jesus sees you, I can't help but love you.
Read More

adventure list

Millie, Sam and I are in the shower. I'm shaving my legs.
Millie: Mama what are you doing?
Me: Shaving my legs.
Millie: Why?
Me: To conform to society's standards of how a woman should look.
Millie: I have soap on me.

I sometime doubt my daughter's sincerity when asking why I do something.

I used to read blogs. Several. I can list many fantastic blogs at the drop of a hat (I tend to drop everything at some point). Every once in a while I open my blog list and see if there is anything exciting happening. There usually is. I rarely make the time to read more than titles and headlines (read: this is why I have a sometimes odd sense of what's happening in the news).  One blog I love reading when I can is Kelle Hampton's blog. Have you ever discovered this gem? She wrote about "mini bucket lists" for the week. What a good idea! I thought I might give it a try also (read: I say "try" because I didn't keep up on the "next 5" thing, so I might not keep up on this either).

End-of-May adventure list:
1. Send 2 cards this week.
2. Pack up at least 2 boxes for the yard sale - let Millie help.
3. Have a picnic.
4. Read, listen and pray more. Talk, computer, and roll eyes less.
5. Find a photo album and fill with photos.
6. Make supper from scratch most nights (read: at least 4 nights).
7. Water the garden. Add to the garden. Let Millie help.
8. Make a family budget.
9. Leave the house every day. Even if it's just to the park.
10. Learn how to make green smoothies.

Ok. I have my mission. I will now go and conquer.
Read More

May 25, 2012

Do you ever wonder how many people, after seeing an ad for Tampax supporting the Olympics, will be standing in the feminine hygiene isle at the market and think, "Well if Tampax is good enough for the Olympics, it's good enough for me!"? I do.

Amelia and I made dough this morning. By "made dough" I mean, I made dough and she played in a sink full of soapy water. I made sugar cookie dough (I now know why they are named "sugar cookies" although "sugar and butter cookies" might be a more fitting name. I also made pasta dough because tonight we're having freshly made perogies for supper. At least I hope we are... for all I know with my cooking history we may end up ordering a pizza.

We have reached the stage of "come here!" When both kids are awake (read: not tag-teaming naps so one is always sleeping and one is always awake. They are crafty like this), Millie calls to Sam to "come here!" all the time. It's really cute until the boy is no longer interested in being sissy's little shadow.

Just for a point of reference, I started this post this morning. It's now nearly 5. Perogies dough has been rolled out and cut, and the potatoes are now cooking. We're about halfway done. We may or may not eat supper at a decent hour. I guess I could get up and finish them... But, it's the golden hour (read: Papa just got home so the kids will be glued to him for the next ten minutes). I'm hot and tired so I needed to sit down.

I ordered a ton of stuff from Shutterfly. I spend about $30 on $100 worth of product. I love Shutterly. I made Millie a book called "I'm a Big Sister!" and it came today. As well as some father's day goodies. Included among my shipment: more codes for free stuff. Win!

Ok, logging off to go finish the perogies. Wish me luck!
Read More

May 23, 2012

to my unfriends

An open letter to my friends, family, people I knew in high-school, obscure relatives, neighbors, church members, college chums, acquaintances from the library/mom's group/swim class/pediatrician's office/etc, and the checker from the supermarket:

I  have unfriended you on Facebook. You should not take it personally. I unfriended Facebook as well. You see, Facebook and I - we have different agendas. We were able to coexist for a time, and ending the relationship was bittersweet. Much like when the plant you work hard to kill for 2 years finally dies (don't judge - it was an awful, ugly plant drug out of the dumpster by a husband who shall remain nameless). Facebook and I have been in a loveless relationship for some time now. Yet I kept pouring time and energy into the relationship and getting very little return - other than wasted time.

The reason I chose to delete my account is two-fold. Maybe tri-fold. I feel like I'm talking about diapers now. Anyhow - the main reason is this - at the end of nearly every day I would lay in bed and think about how I wish I had time to read and study my Bible more. Then slowly the realization that I DID have the time, I just chose to spend those valuable moments on social networking rather than spiritual networking would hit me. Every night. Finally, I caught on. Facebook for me has become more important that growing in God. Yet I claimed that was the main priority in my life. See how that wasn't really working out? So, when a hand causes you to sin, cut it off, right?

The second reason Facebook got my boot in it's butt was because I had too many friends. Not everyone participates in Facebook, some more than others. I was spending time reading/investing/Facebook stalking people that quite frankly, I have no relationship with. High school chemistry was over 13 years ago. So many "friends" on my list aren't people I would even stop and chat with at the supermarket. I want to spend my time investing is lasting, fulfilling relationships. Real ones. With people I know in real life. I love Skype. I talk to my sister (who lives something like 4 million light years away) nearly every day. My mom, dad, grandparents, in-laws, aunts, cousins, and several close friends, all of which are spread across the globe all are on there. And we get to see each other smile when we talk. And  we have to stop talking sometimes because we're laughing or crying so hard. It's the next best thing to holding their hands. As far as internet applications go, it's really a beautiful thing.

The third reason I made this decision was because, while there are several people on Facebook (who I do deeply miss chatting with so easily) there were more people I didn't care about. No, it's not that I didn't care about them - I do care very much for their souls. I just didn't care what they had for breakfast. Or what their dog threw up. I'm not referencing anything specific at all, so if you recently posted about either topic please don't feel this is about any specific person or situation. I'm just over it. For now. When I return to Facebook (read: I will be back most likely) it will be after reason #1 is firmly rooted in my habitual system. I also will not be "networking" and friending only people I am, well, actually friends with (refer to #2).

So, I'm sorry for the hurt feelings. Consider my offer to Skype, talk on the phone, or visit in person in exchange. Do not be offended. The offense was on my part to my awesome God that I let it get as bad as it did. I figured I'd get some flack for it, but really, it's not about you. And it's not about me. It's about my God. Upward not inward. And I'm finally going to bed tonight feeling blessed by a much better Face and a much better Book.

-In Christ,
Mama Cas
Read More

May 21, 2012

weirder still...

The other day my sister called me. We talk several times a week - a blessing of modern technology. Even from the far-off land of Australia, we still can talk almost daily.

"I'm getting weirder." I told her. That was the day we sold our TV. Last night, I got even weirder. Now, by "weirder" I just mean, going against the mainstream. Doing my own thing. In this day and age is it weird for someone not to have a TV. Not that the TV is bad in and of itself, but a large portion of what is on the thing aren't very good/godly/appropriate/etc. I didn't like that it was so easy to turn on some entertaining trashy show while the kids napped. I can think of lots of better ways to spend my time. But I didn't. I watched TV. So we canceled our Netflix. Then we sold the TV.

So I spent my time so much better, right?

I'm not sure facebook is any better.

Facebook in and of itself isn't a bad thing. But when I lack the self control to turn it off and pick up my Bible, it's a problem. When I find myself looking at Facebook while talking to my husband, it's a problem. I didn't want to turn Facebook off, I needed to.

So I "deactivated" my account. Facebook assured me that they would save all my information so when I changed my mind it would be there waiting for me. Oh goodie.

I'm reading this book, maybe I've linked it recently? It's called Almost Amish (You can read the first chapter free on Amazon! Check it out!). No, I'm not going to be Amish now. But I might be kind of Amish... I've only just finished the second chapter (read: it's hard to read with children using you for a jungle gym and an easel at the same time). But every time I pick up my book (read: kindle) even if I only get a little nugget I find myself saying "Yes! This is what I want!"

So, I am now Facebook and TV free.

Wonder what will go next...?

But I just have to say, I really don't miss it, and it feels rather freeing. I'm now free to be fully present with my children and my husband and most importantly, my God. Yes, I always was free to be present, but I didn't often make the best choices. Now I choose family. And love. And ministry.

Everything I do is for a reason and has a purpose. I love it. When I just feel like "wasting time" I read to my kids. Or let then draw on my face with markers (read: this is why I only buy washable). Or mop my kitchen floor.

Another thing - just to throw this out there - I'm doing is selling things. Extra things... pretty much everything. If it's not essential to our home, it needs to go. Extra clothes are being given away. Toys are finding new homes. We are making space to live and play and build forts and play dress up. And the things I sell? Don't miss them a bit.

What I do miss is the time I wasted not being present with my family. But no more. It's already going really, really fast (the growing they do) - I'm not going to miss another minute. Happy sigh.
Read More

May 15, 2012

the change

The kids are napping.

We sold our TV. It's being picked up tomorrow. I canceled Netflix. I canceled Hulu. I am selling most of our DVDs and VCDs. We only kept videos that had a godly message. Because anything else just isn't worth our time.

The CD player is coming downstairs. That way I don't have to have my computer open to play music - because it's too easy for me to sit down for a "minute" and check email/facebook/etc. My "minute" at the computer has a way of turning into "minutes." More than I'd like to admit. I justify it with the face that they are watching Veggie Tales so it doesn't matter. It matters. They notice.

Oh how they notice.

We're going to make more cookies. And paintings. And messes. Because really... why would I rather be looking at facebook than doing these things? I don't

We're going to to go the park. And the science center. And Colorado. And visit my best friend in Washington.

We are going to read all the books on my children's overflowing book shelf. And build towers. And unroll toilet paper just for the fun of it (note to self, buy really cheap toilet paper).

As much as possible, the computer will only be on when the kids are napping (like now). I will make notes (on paper) and do my work when I don't have the opportunity to watch my babies grow. I want to be intentional, you know? I don't want to miss it.

THIS is a really popular blog going around right now. I love it. Totally agree with it. Though I started this journey of being more intentional before I discovered her blog, I feel like she's kinda my soul sister.

I still have mommy guilt from time to time about not being able to breastfeed my babies - but I don't want to harbor guilt later over something I CAN control now. No more guilt.
Read More

May 4, 2012

imperfect | worship

Now. I'm not going to pretend to be perfect. In fact... I'm far from perfect. Far, far, far from perfect.

I'm that mom with a sticker on her butt. Blissfully unaware.

I probably did my hair at some point, but by the time you see it, it's sticking out in really awkward places. You try talking to me but your mind keeps guessing shapes in my frazzled hair. You know, like you do with the clouds. And the only thing that makes it more awkward is that I don't notice (so please tell me).

There is a very good chance I have purple marker smeared across my face. How this happens is, my toddler, who is very "creative," will be coloring with a purple marker. It somehow - but always (I haven't figured this part out yet) gets all over her. ALL over her. And so the next time I come in contact with her, it almost magnetically transfers to my face. Since we're being honest, I'll tell you - I'm pretty sure that she somehow plans it. Like when I bend over to help her go potty and she innocently touches my face. Tricking me into thinking she's being sweet. But really, she's transferring the purple marker to my face. Only - I have no idea until 9 pm when I happen to be brushing my teeth and glance in the mirror.

So are we clear how very not perfect I am (and how very much I probably need a shower?)


One of my favorite questions to ask other moms is how they make time to spend feeding their spiritual life. It's often hungry. Much like toddlers. I love getting new ideas and hearing what works for other people, and just being encouraged that I'm not the only one that struggles with this or prays at odd times. What, you've never prayed while going to the bathroom?

One thing I am often told (by non-parents or parents with children long past the baby years) is to wake up an hour early to have your devotional time. I don't know about you, but when I've been up at 11, and 12, and 2, and 3:30, and 5... missing yet another hour of sleep isn't really possible. Because my children strongly dislike me turning into a zombie and trying to eat them. When I am tired, my fruits dry up. You know, love, peace, patience just to name a few. They hide away, probably looking for a quiet place in my brain to curl up and nap. So the waking up early thing - doesn't really work for me. I was not blessed with babies who slept through the night on their 4th night in this world. No... Millie was 18 months old before she would sleep all night, but I still see her at hours I would rather not see her. Sometimes several times a night. And Sam, well... at 10 months old and with severe reflux and sensory issues (read: unable to eat much), he is still eating every 3 hours. EVERY three hours.

So, I would like to encourage you to find something that works for you - if you, like me, are in need of every scrap of sleep you can find. And if you, like me, aren't prefect.

Here are some ideas:
-Pray on the potty. You laugh, but, well...
This afternoon: Our home was rocked by scandal today - I declared the bathroom off limits while Mama was in there. Panic ensued. Tears poured. All hope was lost. And yet, miraculously, all survived.
-Read your Bible to your children. I know often times my children don't care what I read as long as I read. So make it count. 

-Instead of napping when they nap (do people really do that? I never could), read your devotions. Read your Bible. Worship in your own way.

-Play worship music throughout the day. In the kitchen, in the car, on the potty... kLove, the Dove, Pandora, iTunes, CDs from the library, etc. 

-Pray before meals. And not just for your food.

-Turn on some Veggie Tales and spend the whole 5 minutes they actually will pay attention to the TV in worship.

-Set the alarm on your phone to remind you to pray throughout the day.

-Having a movie night? Go against the grain and watch something positive and uplifting. You know, a movie without a half naked girl or a guy with a gun on the cover. We like Facing the Giants, Fireproof, Flywheel, One Night With the King, The Nativity Story, and Blind Side. Just to name a few off the top of my head. 

-Play the blessing game with your children. Go back and forth naming/counting blessings. Or, play by yourself. 

These are just a few ideas, I would love to hear more. Please share. Even if the only time you can is from your phone while you're on the potty. 
Read More
cas anderson (2016) . Powered by Blogger.