Saturday, November 25, 2006

Cheer, Cheer for Old Notre Dame!

I'm very lucky compared to most wives I suppose, the only sport that my husband is addicted to is Notre Dame football. Tonight the #5 Irish play the #3 ranked USC...big rivalry! This game determines what bowl they play in. OOOH!

So a bunch of fellas are arriving soon and you may be asking...what do you make for a bunch of guys while they watch the big game? Something with Velvetta of course! Nothing satisfies like some Nacho Chip dip with Velvetta cheese "product". What the heck does that mean...cheese product? Anyway, if you didn't consume enough lard at's the recipe:

Nacho Cheese Dip

2-3 lbs. of hamburger
2 lbs. Velvetta cheese
1 (8oz.) tomato sauce
1 (8oz.) taco sauce

Fry hamburger and drain. Add the cubed Velvetta to the warm hamburger. Stir on low heat until melted. Add the sauces. Serve warm with Doritos or plain tortilla chips.

(If this recipe didn't give it now all know that I am still a good ol' Mid-Westerner at heart!)


On another note entirely, click HERE to see a video tip for the holidays.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Face the fear, but not feel scared...

Why is it that we usually wait until we want to sell our house to do the projects we've been talking about for years? Last week the house was painted, today Brad and "Uncle" John Couric cleaned out a lot of the garage, a screen repair company was here to fix leftover damage from hurricane Wilma, and Mom and I (along with a little help from the kids) cleaned the windows inside and out. The house is really starting to shape up...just in time to put it on the market!

I recently was playing "Doctor Kiang" with Levi. This is when he pretends he is his pediatrician, and he checks out Elmo and Abby's (usually unclothed) baby dolls. He likes the ones without clothes because he can put bandaids all over them without any difficulty. When you ask him if he wants a bandaid he always says no. I asked him why and he said..."it hurts!" Meaning in Levi language, it hurts when you take it off...

Sometimes that is what this process of getting ready for Vienna has been like...taking a bandaid off really slowly, instead of just ripping it off so it won't hurt so much! Everyday something reminds us that we are preparing to say goodbye to those we know and love. Last Sunday, it was that my name was taken off the nursery list at church because of all of our upcoming travels, this week it has been all of the work on the house, Thursday it will be the "last" Thanksgiving as we know it for awhile, along with the last Hunter Family Christmas card photo. So many reminders that everything will soon change.

I know change can be good. Usually it produces growth...spiritual and emotional growth. We tend to cry out more to our Savior when we have the "unknown" before us. Unfortunately for me, I have a tendency to fear the unknown. Right now we have a lot of unknowns before us... a lot of BIG unknowns (like when will we raise all of our support, when will we move, where will we live in Vienna or even know for certain where the kids will go to school.) I feel like I can relate to some of the lyrics to the song Wild Horses, by Natasha Bedingfield. She sings that she wants to "face the fear, but not feel scared".

I think it is pretty normal to fear the unknown. Still, I want to learn to move beyond the fear, to draw closer to Jesus. I want to really believe that He knows EVERYTHING and He actually has our well-being in mind, even when circumstances challenge that belief. That's my prayer tonight.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thankful Thursdays

This is what I'm thankful for this week.
Click to see.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ideas for the Holidays

It is hard to believe that once again the holidays are just around the corner. On Wednesdays, I like to check out this site: Lots of people contribute to "Works for me Wednesdays". Today is the Christmas edition. Hope it helps get your creative juices flowing!

Monday, November 13, 2006

"Yes, Jesus Loves Me"

Levi strums and sings his favorite Jesus song. Click HERE.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thankful Thursday

A friend reminded me that it was Thursday again, so I guess the pressure is on to share some more random things I am thankful for on this particular Thursday, in no particular order...

1. a painter named Willy...(if you drive by our house in a few days, you will understand why)
2. Clorox Disinfecting Wipes...(if you have kids, you understand why:)
3. Girl's Night Out at Chili's
4. the book "Praying the Scriptures for your Children" by Jodie Berndt
5. playing frisbee tag with my kids
6. a little girl named Abby who asked me to put her to bed at 6:45 because she was "so tired"!
7. "Stacy's Chocolate Chip Cake" pg.42 in the Cake Mix Doctor cookbook
8. the health of my children
9. the chance to catch up with old friends that I hadn't talked to in awhile
10. finding last years gift cards that I never I could buy some gifts this year
11. that our almost 8 year old can read to our almost 3 year old at bedtime
12. the priviledge of praying for a good friend who is going through some trying times
13. the humbling experience of raising support to be missionaries in Austria
14. the scripture verse 1 Thes. 5:18..."give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus"

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pray for Ashley and Mackenzie

Levi's latest obsession is puzzles...the "airplane puzzle", to be exact. It isn't just an is a motorcycle, a firetruck, a get the point, 9 different types of transportation. He loves to complete one and then say "give me five!" I love to hear his sweet voice asking for encouragement in is accomplishment. Over the weekend when he was sick, he didn't do much but lay around and I realized that I often take our children's health for granted.

I have recently been reading, Ashley's Journal, one family's journey as their daughter continues to recover from a transplant operation. I do not even know Ashley, but this family has challenged and encouraged my faith, as I have seen her share how God is giving this family joy and thankful hearts in the midst of extreme trials.

We also have seen how God is answering prayers for our friend, Mackenzie Beatty. She was born with only one lung a few months ago and Drs. are encouraged by her progress as they try to inflate her expander. Please pray for these families with children who are too sick to play, laugh and even be "naughty". And may these children remind us all not to take chips crushed on the carpet or marker on the table too seriously...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Slumber Partaaay!

I awoke to the sound of "sprinting" footsteps down the hall and I rolled over the check the was exactly 6:00 am. One by one, sleepy heads started to emerge from their rooms and by 6:15 all were ready to start the day with powdered sugar donuts. That is, all except Levi-who was in the "isolation" bedroom. His ear infection is getting the best of him. Thankfully his antibiotics have already been started! I just feel bad for him because he missed out on all of the fun with Ethan and Mackenzie, and so he isn't in any of the pictures.

The pictures never do the fun, giggles or mess justice...but here's a few shots of our sweet time with friends...

Ethan says, "I wike donuts!"

Abby & Mackenzie dance to Bella Dancerella (the perfect gift for any 5 year old girl)

Memoo experiments with the kids--a dirt volcano with baking powder+red food colored water MAGMA!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thankful Thursday...

Because the kids have been sick and it has been raining all day...I had some time to check out blogville a little more than usual. I came across a few people who have "Thursday thanks"...nothing profound from me, but these are a few things I am thankful for on this particular Thursday in no particular order:

1. No barf today
2. Clean carpets
3. Dancing in the kitchen with my sweet Abby
4. Children's Motrin
5. Leftover Villa Rose pizza
6. A mom who calls to ask if she can pick up anything for me at the grocery store
7. Cream cheese frosting
8. A husband who prays for me
9. The "Red Po" stick
10. A 2 1/2 year old who likes to cuddle
11. Luke and Abby's teachers at SHCS
12. A nap while it was raining outside
13. A washer and dryer that works
14. An appointment for Levi with Dr. Kiang tomorrow
15. A Savior who provides me with the strength and patience I need to get through a trying day!

Isn't it ironic...

WARNING: This blog entry contains graphic material and is not suitable for those with weak stomachs.

So our kids have been extra needy since we returned from Austria. Last week they all had a different strain of what seemed to be the same virus...a virus that involves "barfing" (our family's favorite term for emesis), and or/ a fever and a sore throat. Luke first, three days later Abby and two days after that, Levi. Levi seemed to get it the worst and being the littlest, had the hardest time making it to the bathroom. Without going into too many details...Levi left a "trail " in his room. After repeated applications of Carbona 2 in 1 carpet wizard, 1/2 a bottle of Orange Miracle dog waste stench remover, a few squirts of foamy soap, 14 seconds worth of Lysol "Summer Breeze Scent" deodorizer spray, 8 Super Big Gulp cups filled to the brim with warm water, a 7 year old shammy from the Iowa State Fair, and a wet vac that Brad decided to empty 3 times into our bathtub (only to clog it royally), the room still reeked of... you guessed it... barf.

So today the carpet man came...when Abby walked in the house she actually said "Mom, what smells so good?" I proudly answered, "The carpets were cleaned today". I must step back a little and say that the time of this conversation took place at 2:20 pm...not the normal time of 3 pm when the kids usually get out of school. "Why?" you may ask. Because Brad got the call from school, letting him know that Luke had a "tummy ache". We of course attributed it to the 3 Snickers, 4 tootsie rolls, 2 bags of Skittles and a package of pumpkin candy corns that was consumed during the Fall Festival last night. Luke still has not gotten sick yet, but a garbage can is in bed with him tonight. I have threatened to make him pay with his own allowance to get the carpets cleaned again if he gets anything on them...yes, I really did say this. Some compassionate Mom I am.

So we thought everyone was down for the count and we had escaped anything from getting on the carpets...only to hear a whimper from Levi's in and find a horrific site...drum roll please--more BARF! Much to our amazement...he only got it on himself, his blankets and the bed. Nothing on the carpet! I almost let out a cheer when I saw that the carpet was ok! Then the first song that popped into my head was "Ironic" by Alanis Morissette... but I of course changed the lyrics to, "It's like baaarf on the day you cleaned the caaarpets..."

Now we have 2 kids with garbage cans in bed with them. We're praying for a miracle tonight...NOTHING ON THE CARPET!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Fall Festivus

Click HERE to see a quick slide show
of the St. Andrews Fall Festival