Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Next Leg

So, our trip to Peoria turned out to be very fruitful! We saw 22 houses in a day and a half and finally found just what we were looking for! After seeing 19 homes, neither Corey nor I felt convinced that God was leading us to any particular one, we had prayed diligently for clarity. Before starting day two of our house hunt Corey spent some time in silence trying to listen to what the Lord might be telling him about which home to choose. The answer kept coming back as "Wait." The problem was, at that point we didn't have any houses left to look at! Not sure what we were waiting for, we made the 40 minute drive from Havana to Peoria, hopeful that clarity was to be found. Our realtor also had the same uncertainty about the homes we had viewed, but graciously scheduled a second look for one we thought might be the one. With our very handy and knowledgable uncle in tow, we scoped out our choice. He was none too thrilled.

We decided, in faith, to wait.

Then the realtor tells us that one of her co-workers was selling her home, in our price range, near Corey's hospital and that she wanted us to take a look. She found out about it's recent place on the market (6 days!) from another realtor in their copy room! So...we checked it out and loved it! Even our uncle in all his detailed inspection couldn't find anything alarmingly wrong with this house despite it's less than youthful date of origin. Without further ado, here is a small preview of our new home on E. Frances Ave.!

We close on the house June 3rd and will get settled in to make Peoria our new home! More pics to come as we travel the great midwest!

Alright folks, this blogging business is getting really difficult! For the next month we will be staying in 4 different houses, doing various things, in and out, over and under, and the computer is just going to have to wait. I want everyone to be able to keep up with our goings on, so I'm going to be posting to Twitter so that those of you interested in knowing when we land in Illinois, updates on the new baby coming in October and thus can follow us there. You can choose to get texts sent to your phone or to log in and view my page just as you would the blog. To follow us directly go here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Nicki has a fantastic camera that I COVET! I LOVE her camera, these are a few of the shots she's taken recently of Ash and Will. Above-Ash's real smile vs. what he does when we tell him to smile. His little personality is really emerging and he is SIL-LY!

Tub time fun with Will.

Pillow fightin'

Ok so it's been a LONG while. We found out on March 19th that Corey matched to his first choice for residency in Peoria, IL!! We're incredibly excited to start this journey but also melancholy about leaving our friends here. It's hard to believe 4 year has come and gone and that the incredible men and women who have loved us and taught us so much about ourselves, our marriage, our faith, will have to be left to long distance. I try not to dwell on it.

Living in Weatherford with the McGees has been lots of fun, but has also made the reality of separating Will and Asher all the more glaring. They really enjoy one another and will surely feel the void when we leave. They have been sharing a room and sleep really well together for both naps and night time, I think they actually sleep better together than they did apart!!! Nicki and Matt have been so kind and hospitable, this blessing they have bestowed on us means a great deal, I know that God will bless them in great measure for all they are doing for our family without any expectations of getting rewarded in return. Though I think I'm getting a little spoiled by living in such a nice house!!

So now we've started the daunting task of house hunting for the first time. There are some incredibly cute homes at affordable prices in Peoria, so I'm faithful that we'll find a gem there. I can't believe we're going to be home owners!!! I'll try to post pic of the final options when we get narrowed down. We'll be traveling on April 15th to see a few options and hopefully lock in something! Exciting and scary all at once!!!!

More to come...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Daniels Family Thirft Store

Well folks, the move is underway. We've sold many of our bigger furniture items thanks in part to the glorious wonder that is Craig's List. We LOVE Craig. Each room of our house is now disassembled and broken down into departments with towers of various items available for the lucky garage salers who will be gracing our purging endeavor this weekend. The hope is that we make enough to buy a king sized bed when we move to our new residency home (just a few more days until we know the spot!!!), the rest of the furniture will be bought when the price is right. In truth, we're pretty excited about roughing it for a bit, learning what our tastes really are as thus far in our lives we've made style of other people's hand me down furniture and accessories. We've decided to travel with just a handful of possessions; Corey's recent art work, pots and pans, Asher's crib and dresser. The rest will come as time and paycheck allow. This is a fun time for us, but also disheartening with the impending upheaval upon us, it's hard to believe we can't take our amazing friends and family with us!!!

On a lighter note, here are a few of the words Asher has added to his vocabulary:
pow pow (our word for punishment)
nana (banana of course)

He has also learned to say "share" and "thank you" in sign language. 15 months is so much fun!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Toddler Hysteria

Seriously folks, something of this nature happens every single day. It is such a joy to have these boys growing up together. They are ridiculous!


Well folks, things have been busy around here. With Match Day fast approaching we are trying to make decisions about how to "make it" until Corey gets that first glorious paycheck. In doing our budgeting we discovered that we only had enough moolah to support us until May at our current standard of living, but really it needs to last until JULY! So, we embarked on an adventure in prayer and faithfulness, asking God to provide us a new place to live for free where I could still watch sweet little Will. We had several options, but took two days to pray and be still, listening for God to speak some form of wisdom to us regarding what the next phase in life should be. All we kept hearing that day was "wait." We had a couple that we wanted to approach, but for some reason God kept whispering...."wait." And then, at 930 that evening, I get a call from Will's mom, telling me that her husband suggested that we move in with them!!! After a good talk last night to ensure we were on the same page, it looks like we'll be selling all of our stuff and settling down in Weatherford for a few months. It just goes to show, you never know who God as an answer to prayer.

Also, here are a couple of pics from Asher's first deliberate art experience. It's a very good thing that crayons are non-toxic as I think he ate as much as he colored.


Monday, February 9, 2009

The Hills Are Alive

...with the sound of hardcore metal. Rock it Ash, rock it good.

This kid LOVES loud music and knows how to show it.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Asher's life...in the form of photo montage.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I discovered a disturbing thing about myself a few days ago, something I'm none too proud of but feel, for the sake of my own clearness of conscience, I should share...

I have... a list.

In the recesses of my thinking, on a nearly daily basis, I add to this perpetually growing, unwritten list of wants. Some of them are ridiculous and superficial in nature, some of them seem quite reasonable and valid but the thing is, my needs are met, I am not in want for ANYTHING. It bothers me that in light of the impending change in lifestyle we may soon experience, that I would so often allow myself to accumulate desired objects in my thoughts. Desired. Not needed.

There's the Sonicare toothbrush that is sure to keep the pearly whites pearlin'. Reasonable, nothing wrong with owning one, but I covet this piece of dental equipment. I yearn for the day I can add one to my array of bathroom accessories. This will not do.

And then there's the purse. I have always had the desire for a "real" purse, expensive and fashionable and made of some suspiciously soft animal hide with large buckles and pockets. The kind all the other women notice. Something like this.

Taking time to find gratitude for my sweet little Volcom bag.

And the list really just goes on. I have this back and forth battle of fighting these wants of earthly pleasures and remembering how very many people could be helped by the generosity that could be exchanged for one very cute handbag or pair of shoes. I know, it seems simple and ridiculous, "just don't want that stuff anymor", but somewhere buried deep down is a diva fighting as I bury her alive, pebble after pebble at a time, with a deeper desire to serve the poor and destitute and hurting of this world. I don't condemn or judge those with these things, I may even have them myself some day, but I will NEVER exchange my ability to give to others for my own vanity.

THAT is wh
y I needed to write this post. To profess a truth buried deeper in my soul than that designer diva, the truth "that...Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst." "As a result, [I will] not live the rest of [my] earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God." So I write this for me, to remind me to "sell [my] possessions and give to the poor. [To] provide purses for [myself] that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys" that I might always consider the needs; physical, emotional and spiritual, of my fellow man in all that I say and do.

It really can start with a purse.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Here are a few pics of Ash with his partner in crime. Will has definitely become Asher's BFF. He gets ridiculously excited when the doorbell rings in the morning and doesn't seems to have nearly as much fun in Will's absence. It's been a week since he's been here due to our illnesses, so in truth I'm missing him a little too. My heart is definitely going to break when we have to say goodbye this summer...

Playing king of the carseat.

Rock throwing park frolics.


illness and a new toy

Our family has been recovering from infection. Little Ash got the worst of it, but you wouldn't have known based on his behavior. He continued to be his giggly, squirmy, rambunctious little self despite constant diarrhea and one big bout of vomiting.
In the car.
On our way to church.
Seeping into car seat crevices no rag would dare to go.
So to say the least, we've been airing out the car for a few days. I may have used more Febreeze and carpet cleaner in our vehicle than most people use in a year, yet the fragrance remains. Ugh.
And now I am getting over a similar illness, though mine manifested more in fevery chills and muscle aches that feel like I was run over by a bus.
Thus the reason for the gap in posting, though I have much to share!

I some how managed to kill our laptop. It was not pre-meditated nor intentional, but I should be locked up regardless. It seems I downloaded dirty, rotten adware (though I never actually downloaded anything?!) that embedded itself into the darkest recesses of our hard drive. May our sweet 4 year old HP R.I.P.
The good news is, we are now Mac people. We just received our very own MacBook just a few days ago and are loving it thus far. I can't wait to figure out how to use iMovie too make more Asher videos!

Also, I have to confess on Asher's behalf, his sincere love affair with my sweet friend K. When we received their family Christmas photo this year, Asher took every chance he could get to pluck it off the shelf and carry it around with him. Here is a photo of him gazing longingly outside while holding the pic of his princess.

It really is way too sweet. He'll look at the picture then hug it and once he even kissed it! She is the only non-family member that he will run up to and hug. He's seriously crushin'.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I think I may finally have found a background I can live with. Asher is just so cool, I hate to undermine him thus with lame blog decor. It's 1020PM and I'm not sleeping because Corey is working in the ER at our lovely local county hospital. It's no longer a matter of not being able to sleep out of fear or anxiety as it once was. No, dear friends, it seems that it is rather a matter of accountability. Some how with out another adult in the house, I seem to day dream in the electronic wonder of the internet. Truth be known I've been indulging in two of my favorite guilty pleasures: Diet Vanilla Creme Dr. Pepper from Sonic and various online video extravaganzas.

I window shop at a never ending mall of robust, flashing screen designs. It usually begins with gmail. A momentary glimpse to check who is taking time to enter into my inbox, so innocent, but it never ends there. I slide on over to facebook, browsing the photos of my "friends," reading updates, accepting an ever increasing number of friend requests. The bait sinks down, I'm being reeled in by my love of youTube, I hear it calling to me, I sigh and stroll on over. There I find all of my old favorites and some new. Checking up on live performances from American Idol winners of seasons past, catching the newest vid from VenetianPrincess, ALWAYS have to check up on my girl Britney. I know I'm going to have to give up my interest in pop stars as my son gets older, but for now they are just SO interesting! Often what I find gives me reason to intercede for them in prayer...

In all my efforts at piety, I'm still a troubled soul who just can't help but love the pull of secretly stalking the lives of others, feeling as if I knowthem personally. Even going so far as to use casual first name references when discussing their blogging with other obssessors. Rest assured, the hours of 9P-midnight are what afford me this luxury. I truly do my best to stay away during Asher's waking hours, to spend time teaching and training him, reading him (the same) books over and over and over again. The boy likes to read. Or be read to rather, hopefully it will translate to him enjoying books on his own later in life. But while daddy is away, mommy enjoys her subtle indulgence, and the house remains quiet.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

giving it up

I find myself trudging through self deprecation more and more these days. I don't think I'm depressed or anything extreme, just kind of disenfranchised with my own abilities and worth. I am all at once extremely proud and arrogant of many things while also feeling the punch of my own disapproving fist. The majority of this, of course, is parenting related.

I love having a family, I have been blessed with this great well of knowledge when it comes to theories and practicals and scriptures and the like. I could be any kind of parent I wanted to be: rigid and militant, care-free and spirited...we all have our opinions on what kind of children are produced by various methods, but I'm realizing something. Asher is going to be, who he is going to be. There is a passionate, fiery, silly soul in him and I can't expect him to be anything else. I have been in a constant battle, the side of stress often winning over peace in choosing what "method" of parenting I feel best about. Why do I think I have to follow an agenda? Why does my parenting have to be "this" or "that?" I am realizing our parenting has to be from us.

Corey and I have to do what works in our family, reading and observing our child and our own flaws and strengths to find out how we can build a stable, consistent, life giving, love building home. Asher needs firm boundaries, but he also needs lots of reassurance. He needs to know that he is not in control, but that there are choices he gets to make, even this early. We've seen first hand how putting up stringent walls of structure where he is allowed little to no choice or mobility tears him down, gets him putting up the dukes all the more.

Basically, I need to stop worrying about what observers, doctors, family members, even my own friends are thinking (because it's always better than we think it is any way, isn't it) and just be a mommy to Asher. I need to pray for guidance more than I agonize over methodology. And this is my new resolution, to lay confidence in my offerings to the Lord, that HE will train me through his utterances every step of the way...yes through books, and friends and mostly, through the peace of my own conscience. Because why am I doing things if my conscience is violated anyway?

In turn, if you see me in the grocery store, or at church, or at your house, and you have tips and advice for dealing with my ambitious 1 year old, PLEASE, speak up! But know that I am listening through the ears of the spirit within me, without a guilty conscience. I'm taking a stand, I'm not going to compare myself to other mothers, or my son to other children, because positive or negative, it really adds up to very little in the end.

So, find your inner turmoil my friends, and find a way to let it go. Liberation is always sweet.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Asher doing his favorite chore. He's my little Roomba!

While we're here talking, let me just tell you about our recent excitement. We are deploying operation early potty training around here, just trying to get the little bum used to the little potty, no serious expectations yet. Yesterday we successfully and happily sat on the potty for 20 minutes, but in the end flushing would have been futile. Alas, I was content in his lack of resistance and sometimes that is just enough. I knew, however, that he was do for #2 any minute, so I let him roam the halls with just a shirt on, diaper free with the intention of keeping my hawkeye open for any sign of "effort." I stepped for a SECOND into the kitchen to throw away a piece of paper only to glance into the dining room to see Asher, hands behind his back, hips jutted forward, happily streaming all over the hard wood floors. Seriously you guys, there was some machismo going on in that dining room, I wish I had video of THAT.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

taking a minute to say...

This picture is AWESOME.


At least once a day I turn off the sink from doing dishes or pause from doing some other chore to see this. It is a major highlight in my day and reminds me of the joy I should have in all situations, no matter what greyness the day lends or what heartache I might feel, there is always reason to giggle. Uncontrollably. For no apparent reason. Will is REALLY funny.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I know you're out there, but I don't know how many of you there are! If you read my blog often, will you please click on the "Follow This Blog" link on the bottom right? It's hard to keep writing when it appears I have no audience! Thank you, it will mean the world to me!

natural living won't get us to heaven

Recently I have been receiving far many too ecstatic compliments concerning my way of living, which is really not unique at all, just unique to my circle of friends. I feel very unworthy of such praises, but today I also found my pride puffing up in just the slightest. I took some time to contemplate what I really want to define me as a person and especially as a wife and mother since those roles are the very core of who I am and what I do at this present stage. So for those of you who aren't familiar with our various quirks...

I hate television. Corey hates television (except during football season). Asher has never watched more than ten minutes of TV. When we moved into our rent house a little over a year ago, we decided to take the plunge and sell our TV, to go unplugged. It was the best decision we could have made. I would never want my friends to come over scantily clad, swearing, making out and bearing fire arms, so why would I want Asher to be exposed to that from a shiny, blinking box? These days even if you watch "good" shows, the commercials are just as destructive as all the R rated TV going on. I just don't want to pollute the minds of our family with such brash behavior and clamoring for material things. But not having a TV doesn't make us better than anyone else, it just helps us be our best. And it certainly won't get us to heaven.

We eat healthy, unprocessed, organic food. (Except of course when we stop by Chick-Fil-A, our poison of choice!) A typical menu for the day means steel cut oats with butter and honey for breakfast with a "green" smoothie (meaning it has raw spinach and flax in it), fruit as a snack, a salad with home made bread for me for lunch; pasta with butter, broccoli and fruit for Asher, then any random thing I can come up with for dinner. We usually do have meat with dinner since Corey is so swole and needs to maintain his massive muscle index ;) I LOVE eating healthy. I love looking in my fridge and seeing lots of color and very few boxes. We don't eat things that come in cans. I take the nutrional density of our meals seriously, but what we put into us only matters for a small window of time. Our bodies WILL decay, fruits and veggies won't make the important parts of us last.

I cloth diaper Asher when we're at home. A few (though currently fleeting, cause who in their right mind wants to take on the powerhouse that is the disposable diaper industry) studies have shown connections between the chlorine and chemicals used forabsorbancy in diapers to infertility issues and prostate cancer. Even if only 2 studies showed a connection, I still wouldn't want to risk it. I use old school, unbleached cotton prefold diapers with water resistant covers. We use disposables for church day care and on the road, but at home it's cotton all the way. In addition to keeping little Ash's tush chemical free, it has a hugely positive impact on the environment. Disposable diapers don't degrade people. Even the ones that claim to be biodegradable WILL NOT break down in a land fill. In fact, nothing will. And who really wants to compost a dirty diaper? I love cloth diapers, but it doesn't bring me any closer to eternity. The prince himself, modeling his clothed bottom.

I wake up at 6am and exercise 4-5 days a week and go on long runs almost every Saturday. I do this because my health is vital to my longevity, because I want to be an example to Asher, to my husband. I want to help motivate my friends, every one I love, to get fit because it means a longer, stronger, more aggresively lived life. But even still, if I can run 10 miles and am still wearing the same size jeans on my death bed, all that emphasis on taking care of my temple won't mean a thing, if I and my family never enter into the holy of holies.

Why to do I write all this? It's not to impress you, it's not to dote on the positive things in my life, it's because I don't want to miss the point. I don't want live my life with all of these good deeds and great living if it means my family, especially my children, won't love Jesus and through their love for him, love everyone. I want my family to be lovers of people, lovers of life, but to do so because it stems from an understanding of the unending and perpetual love and mercy we all receive daily from our Father. The blessings of a life lived in peace and with out fear due to a trust in something bigger and more powerful to guide your every decision are indescribable. It's free living, I hope you can all experience that peace, I hope in some small way we can be a part of your journey there.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Not Me Monday

I've been dodging the remarks about my scarce posts and figured I should come up with ways to keep this thing going since I seem to have acquired so many loyal readers. So without further ado, my first "Not Me Monday".
Something fun from MckMama.

Since the thought has never crossed your minds about whether I ever lose my cool, because I obviously have it ALL together, then you wouldn't have even dared to think that I, upon cringing at the dog barking wildly 30 minutes before the babies were supposed to wake, would pick him up by the scruff and toss him into the front closet to answer the door, in hopes maybe he wasn't noticed by the little sleepers. No, no. Not me. I am ALWAYS gentle with my dog!

My desk is NOT covered in various books devoted to pee pee in the potty. And I DEFINITELY don't read a book to Asher everyday that states via drawing and text that on ones bottom there is "a little hole for making poo poo." Could you imagine ME reading that OUT LOUD? Nope, not me!

When Corey goes out of town for interviews I definitely don't stay up as late as the hackers because I become hypersensitive to every little creak the house makes. And I most certainly wouldn't occupy my time from 9p-2a watching YouTube. And even if I did I definitely wouldn't be watching videos of Britney Spears' live performances from her glory days. Because I am NOT secretly a huge fan. That would just be embarrassing. Not me. ...bah bah bah...just like a circus...

And to wrap it up, when I am hope alone and the doorbell rings I definitely don't A)pretend I'm not home even though the person at the door probably heard me walk to the peep hole thanks to our ancient hardwood floors, B)allow Frankie to bark loudly for an uncomfortable amount of time until the person at the door leaves OR C)go out our back door with Franklin on a leash and walk to the front "accidentally" letting Frank charge at the inquirer and then comment about how my husband is about to be home from an intense power lifting regime at the gym. I, of course, confidently answer the door and thus wouldn't be using option A approximately 3 times a week. Surely not me!

Friday, January 2, 2009

family poses

Here are a few of the beautiful family pictures we took with our sweet friend, Carmen, who is in the very beginnings of starting her own photography business. Asher was WAY too busy watching her 2 year old and envying his running capabilities to sit still for many shots, so we were quite pleased with the result.


I follow the trends, I must admit. To the right of the posts on this page you'll see a gadget called "day to day goings on." It is a new app called Twitter that allows me to text message my blog with updates and just whatever randomness I manage to shovel up. Hopefully you will find it amusing. Corey is grateful we have unlimited texts on our phone plan...