Monday, September 28, 2009

I'm not here anymore.

I've been talking about it forever, but I've finally switched my blog over to WordPress and won't be posting here anymore! If you're subscribed to Land of Lovings through a feed reader it shouldn't affect you, but you may want to check your links in your blogroll to make sure it's directing to either or

Also, if you follow me here on Blogger you won't see my updated posts either so be sure and switch over to subscribe to my new WordPress home! I look forward to seeing you over there!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Come find me!

Are you at Type-A Mom Conference this weekend? If so, I’d love to meet you in person! I’ll be wandering the halls so please come say hi.

I’m looking forward to hanging out with fellow moms, bloggers, & social media addicts and letting Thomas hang with the kids on his own. Pray for him.

No, seriously, pray

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ballet Baby

For more Wordless Wednesday head over to 5 Minutes for Mom!

Like Romeo & Juliet. But for Kindergarten.

I can hold a grudge. I know, I know. It isn't very Christian of me. But, despite my love of Jesus I'm not exactly the bestest Christian ever so I live with it. And keep working on it.

But, there are times in my life when I really wish I could learn to let go. If you know me IRL, then you know one of my favorite phrases is "it's the principle of the matter" when describing my anger toward a perceived injustice. I'm a principle crusader.

Nine years ago Thomas and I went to pre-marital counseling. Which turned into counseling between us, my parents, & my sisters. All of us saw the same counselor. At different times in various combinations. At one point (I'm not even kidding) she talked to my parents about starting counseling at their manufacturing plant with their employees. She had quite the racket convincing all of us to come in several times a week at $90 an hour. The whole thing (I think) was a bit unethical of her. She was (in my opinion) a terrible, terrible counselor. And my husband and I chose to elope as a direct result of our counseling sessions and the chaos created by all of us seeing one counselor and getting conflicting advice & stories. Our family relationships were not restored until we all got out from under her "care" and actually talked to each other without professional help.

Okay, in case you were wondering, that is me holding back. A LOT.

So, since then I've moved on. (Can you tell?) Yes, I've called the church that referred us to her and informed them of her unethical practices. And they called & let her know I complained. She assured them she couldn't think of a single reason I would have been unhappy. Thankyouverymuch, oh unnamed church, for the way you handled that.

Fast forward 9 years and when I let myself think about it I'm still a bit sore about the whole thing. Yes, I've moved on. My husband and I are happy. We have a beautiful family. My parents & sisters and I have wonderful rich relationships. I should let it go. But, it's the principle of the matter.

God, however, is a funny guy. Because last week I went into Kai's homeschool academy for a mom meeting and sat down right across from one very familiar face. (And it wasn't a friendly one.)

I sat through the whole meeting barely hearing the teacher and marveling at my dumb luck. And then went out to meet Thomas & the kids and got ready to tell him all about my discovery. But, I was interrupted by Kai telling me all about her new bestest friend in the whole wide world, B-----. We knew she'd been playing with B----- for the last few weeks. What we didn't know was B-----'s name. And that day we'd promised her a slushy if she would go to school learn her best friend's name and report it back to us. (We think it's important to remember the names of our best friends around here.)

"Mommy, mommy! I remembered my best friend's name! It's B-----!"

In case you're wondering, yes, that is the name of the dreaded counselor's daughter. My daughter's bestest friend is the friend of my enemy. Oh. the. irony.

I'll admit. The first thing I wanted to do was tell Kai not to play with her new best friend. (Yes, I know that is yucky of me.) But, I resisted the urge to spread the poison to my 5-year-old. I like to call that progress.

But, this lady & I are going to have to learn to coexist in this tiny class of 12. Which means I've got some forgiving to do. And that just doesn't come easy to me. I don't like letting people off the hook. (Though please feel free to let me off the hook whenever I commit some wrong against you. I'm nice & hypocritical that way.)

I'm going to learn to be bigger than this thing. I'm going to take the high road. Because, after all, that is the principle that actually matters.

This forgiveness thing is SO a work in progress. I'm sure you'll be hearing more before this school year is over. In the meantime, if you have forgiveness stories and advice to share, I'm all ears...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I'm moving.

Just in time for the Type-A Mom Conference I'm moving my blog over to WordPress. And getting a super cool redesign!

So, check back Wednesday for the details. I'll be unveiling the new look & domain name.

Same content. Same blog. But, with much cooler digs.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mommy Make-over Needed

I'm heading to Type-A Mom Conference less than one week. Which means two things. First, I'm giddy about hanging out & meeting some of my awesome online friends! And second, I'm going to have to crawl out from behind my computer screen and actually see people. In person.

Which is why, unless everyone wants to see me at Type-A Mom Conference in a yucky ponytail and pajamas, something must be done here. Because that is how I spend the majority of my blogging time. (Fine. It's how I spend the majority of my time. Period.)

And so now I need a mommy make-over. Unfortunately, Stacy & Clinton, Carson Kressley, Tim Gunn, and Trinny & Susannah have all failed to return my calls. So I'm on my own.

Which is why I'm asking you guys for help. Give me your best make-over tips. What do you do when you need to update your look?

I'm looking for some good ideas that are inexpensive, easy to implement, & will make me feel like something more than a zombie mommy.

Any advice?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


** Be warned. This is one of those picture-ful posts that come about because this blog also serves as my kid's only documentation of their childhood. I lapse into virtual baby book mode every once in a while! **

This weekend we held Traveler's baby dedication at our home. It was a really special & personal experience with family & some friends from our Bible study.

It was a day that reminded us how truly blessed we are to be surrounded by so many wonderful people in all areas of our life. I think one of the best gifts we can give our children is a rich community of people who love and pray for them. This day really illustrated the power of such community to us.

Thanks to our friend, Dewde, for taking pictures. (The first 6 are his. They also prove my husband's point about buying a better camera.)

For more Wordless Wednesday from people who actually manage to keep it, you know, Wordless head over to 5 Minutes for Mom!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The crazy train just got crazier.

I don't even know how to build up to this slowly so here goes.

Remember my confession about peeing on sticks? Well, I peed on a stick again. And it was positive.

Actually, it was more like 5 sticks. And they were all positive. But to be extra sure I broke them apart. And held them up to the light. And looked at them for days. 5 days. And they never changed. looks like we're having a(nother) baby!

To say we were surprised would be an understatement. I'm still nursing Trav. We've taken "precautions" every single time but one. I'm dead serious. In four months, we've thrown caution to the wind ONE time. ONE.

We're very excited about having another little one to love and snuggle. And though this wasn't exactly our plan it was (quite obviously) in Someone's plan. So, we're going to go with this and enjoy the crazy ride we're about to be on.

I'm more than just a little bit nervous about the logistics. Because:

1. Trav is only 5 months old. FIVE MONTHS!!
2. We are still paying off the previous C-section because my insurance won't cover me on maternity.
3. I have no idea how we're going to squeeze 4 kids into this house.
4. Did I mention we still don't have maternity insurance?

Let this be a cautionary tale for teenagers everywhere. Because, as it turns out, it only takes one lapse with birth control to get pregnant and it isn't some sort of cumulative process. Just. so. you. know.

On a very serious note, we could use some major heavy duty prayers offered up for this situation. I know one way or another this is going to work out just fine. Even if I end up birthing this baby in the bathtub at home. Which, when compared to another $12,000 C-section, is looking like a distinct possibility.

At least I'll have plenty of blogging material, right?

Friday, September 11, 2009

I remember...

I remember 8 years ago today. I will never forget.

Photo Credit:

Thursday, September 10, 2009


This boy has stolen my heart. Just like my two girls have.

With all my crazy stories about my kids, I don't get to say this enough. My kids? I love them.

And just in case they ever look back and read these blog posts and wonder if I think it is all worth it? I do. One hundred thousand times over.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Right of Passage

On our trip to Indiana we decided to have fun with hair scissors and give Ivy some bangs. I thought they turned out adorable. Ivy, well, she didn't quite agree. And so she was introduced to the right of passage every girl must experience: Regretting your bangs.

**Sorry for the terrible picture quality. My camera settings have gone all wonky and these pics turned out terrible. But, I couldn't resist documenting the occasion.**

For more Wordless Wednesday, head over to 5 Minutes for Mom!

Top Ten Tuesday: Things I don't mind buying generic

I'm totally into saving money lately. I use coupons, shop sales, and buy generic. There are some things I just refuse to buy generic (toilet paper and *ahem* Coca-Cola products) and some things that I've found are just as good whether it is generic or name brand. So, without further ado, here's my list of things that work just as good when you buy them generic.

1. Medicine - Whether they are generic over the counter meds, the $4 generics from store pharmacies or the deeply discounted drugs from Costco I've found that generic medicines work just as well and save me lots of $$$.

2. Pull-ups - (Notice I didn't say diapers.) I have a habit of trying generic diapers once per kid. With each of mine I've given generic baby diapers a shot and realized each time that they just aren't for me. Pull-ups on the other hand? Those I ONLY buy generic (unless by some miracle the others are cheaper) and I've never had a complaint.

3. Pantry Staples - Things like bread, butter, flour, sugar, cream cheese and other essentials always taste the same way to me whether they are generic or name brand.

4. Cleaning supplies - Though I mostly use my non-toxic Vinegar cleaning products, if the need for something more heavy duty arises I've found that in most cases the generic works just as well as any name brand.

5. Apple juice - There was a time when I would shell out big bucks for the special "baby" apple juice. I was convinced that my kid's couldn't drink regular apple juice. But have you ever looked at the ingredients? They are totally the same. The only difference? One is much harder on your wallet. So, generic it is for apple juice. Now, other juices (like V-8 Fusion!) are another story altogether...

6. Diaper & Toddler wipes - These go along with the pull-ups I guess, but I've never seen the point of paying extra for wipes when most store brands are just as good. With the exception of one gas station brand that felt so much like sandpaper that I had to throw them away, most store brand wipes work really well!

7. Cereal - Unless it is on sale or I have some great coupons I mostly buy the generic store brand cereal. The taste is identical and the only difference I've found is what's on the front of the box.

8. Canned & Frozen Vegetables - Unless I'm specifically seeking out organic I don't see the point. When you compare regular veggies, name brand vs. generic store brand I just don't see a difference.

9. Pregnancy tests - But, I've already told you all about that, right?

10. Anything from Target - Be it their Up & Up brand or Archer Farms, I almost always reach for the Target brand when shopping there. (That is unless it's toilet paper, baby diapers or Coca-Cola, of course!)

So, that's my list. Now, head over to Oh Amanda's for more Top Ten Tuesday fun!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

And he's not even crawling yet!

Traveler took the car out cruising for hot chicks this weekend. This kid is so advanced.

For more Wordless Wednesday, head over to 5 Minutes for Mom!

Top Ten Tuesday: Kid's Books We're Reading This Month


I've been meaning to join the Top Ten Tuesday fun over at Oh Amanda's for a while and finally got inspired today! So, here it is. The Top Ten Kid's Books we're reading at the Loving house this month:

1. Goldilicious, by Victoria Kann - We're big fans of Pinkalicious so this one was a no-brainer. It's particularly popular with my girls because it's all about an imaginary friend and since we're currently overrun with imaginary friends around here it's one we can all relate to!

2. The Story About Ping, by Marjorie Flack & Kurt Wiese - We're doing Five in a Row as part of our homeschool curriculum and this was the first book in the volume we started with. The story has a great little moral to it and when coupled with the FIAR curriculum has so much that can be learned from it. We're learning all about China, boats, ducks & more!

3. How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague - Have I mentioned my girls love dinosaurs? They also love this series of books! This one is perfect for us since we're learning all about being in a classroom & what it means to behave at school. Plus, it's such a cute rhyming story that it is super fun to read out loud.

4. & 5. Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? and Fox in Socks, by Dr. Seuss - Not that I ever need an excuse to bring out the beloved Dr. Seuss, but we're trying to focus on rhyming books this month as part of our phonics curriculum. And who better to do that with than Dr. Seuss? Not to mention, the girls think it is hilarious to see me all tongue tied reading Fox in Socks!

6. A Tree for Emmy, by Mary Ann Rodman - This one is probably one of my top favorite kid's books ever. The illustrations (by Tatjana Mai-Wyss) are beautiful and the story is so charming. Emmy makes for an adorable and spunky main character and one who (like the tree she loves so much) is "stubborn, strong, and a little bit wild." It's a new family favorite!

7. Class Two at the Zoo, by Julia Jarman - You might have already noticed, but I'm a sucker for cute rhyming books. This one falls in that category. It's a funny little story about an anaconda on the loose at the zoo and the rhyming makes it one of those books I just love to read. The girls think the story is hilarious and since we're trying to reinforce the concept of rhyming it's a fun one to read this month.

8. Little Pea, by Amy Rosenthal - This book is precious! It's all about how poor little pea is forced to finish all of his candy before he can eat the good stuff (like spinach!). It was given to us last year by a good friend but we've recently picked it back up because we've got ourselves a seriously picky eater (Ivy) and we thought this book would be perfect for her. I love the illustrations ( by Jen Corace) and the story just adorable to read.

9. Skippyjon Jones in the Dog House, by Judy Schachner - If you haven't read the Skippyjon Jones stories you are missing out! These stories of this little Siamese cat suffering from an identity crisis are among our favorites. Skippyjon Jones thinks he's a Chihuahua and has quite the imagination. It's definitely one of those books I enjoy reading as much as the kids!

10. The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis - You might be thinking it's a little too grown up for a 5 and 3-year-old, but the girls did so well with Despereaux we thought we'd give another big chapter book a try. They've already made it through the 1st book, The Magician's Nephew, last month and are on to The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe now. The best part? Their daddy is the one who reads it to them before bed so they get lots of good quality daddy time while hearing a great story!

So that's what we're reading this month. What's on your bookshelf right now?

Plan Toys from Ebeanstalk: Review

When the folks at Ebeanstalk offered to send me a toy to review I was intruiged. Because my kids? They are tough on toys.

Ebeanstalk is a really cool site that I was familiar with long before they ever contacted me to review toys. It has big selection of quality kids toys with unique things you won't find other places. The toy they ended up sending me, the Activity Bus from Plan Toys couldn't have been more perfect to send our way. And it was much needed on the day they sent it because it kept the girls busy and gave me no less than one full uninterrupted hour of peace. Perfection!

More and more I've been trying to buy old-fashioned toys. You know the kind. The ones made of wood with quality parts. Ones that don't require AAA batteries or complicated instructions to play with. Which is why I loved this toy.

Plan Toys are great because they're wood toys and incredibly well made. They're green, educational, and (most importantly) fun! The bus was adorable and turned into a classroom, too, so it was multi-functioning. It actually reminded me a lot of the Waldorf style toys (though more colorful) because it allowed for more imaginative play than some of the plastic loud sing-song toys that have only one way to play with them.

The girls loved the little people, the desks, and all the possibilities the bus offered. I loved that the toy was one I could feel good about the kids playing with. Actually, I'm anxiously waiting on them to add infant toys to their line so I can pick up a few for Trav to play with!