Saturday, April 28, 2007

my little man

One month old - lots of sleeping to do!

(Bless you, Heather, for the magic swing!)

6 weeks old - the first smiles!

7 weeks old - and I've already gained OVER 4 pounds since I've entered this world! Love that Momma-milk!

My big sis and bro love to hold me "standing up!"
The love really is abundant in the Miller home!

Money matters and a plan to live by

Since we've just passed the deadline date of April 15th for taxes being due, I've had money on the brain a lot. I can remember once when growing up that mom said when they took their taxes to their accountant to be done, that he always filled out her occupation line as "Proverbs 31" - rather than "housewife" or "homemaker" or even "secretary." I've always thought that was pretty cool. Obviously their CPA was a Christian, and realized the value of the role mom was in day in and day out taking care of the three of us. In fact, I have been a bit disappointed every year when I see that my title is simply "music minister" or "wellness consultant" or even the dreadful "housewife." To me, the term housewife just sounds lazy. Like all we do is sit around at home, acting out the role of simply a wife - not doing much at all. OBVIOUSLY, any wife and mother knows that this is simply not the case. So I have aspired lately to live out the occupation that was assigned so thoughtfully to my mother all those years ago. And to that end, I found the following on Lisa Whelchel's website - and I just think that it is so fitting! Normally, I'm a pretty sold out believer in the good ol' NIV versions of the Bible...but Lisa's rewording of this really puts it into everyday terms that I can associate with.

Proverbs 31 (NLT)
10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is worth more than precious

11 Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. (She takes
care of her marriage.)

12 She will not hinder him but help him all her life. (There is no greater help she can offer him than praying for him daily.)
13 She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. (She takes time for hobbies.)
14 She is like a merchant’s ship; she brings her food from afar. (She feeds her family healthy food.)
15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls. (She finds time to prepare meals for her family and she is organized.)
16 She goes out to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. (She is good with finances.)
17 She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. (She exercises regularly.)
18 She watches for bargains; her lights burn late into the night. (She should take better care of herself and get the rest she needs.)
19 Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber. (This girl likes her
20 She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy. (She knows how to give help, hopefully she also knows the importance of asking for

21 She has no fear of winter for her household because all of them have warm clothes. (She likes to shop.)
22 She quilts her own bedspreads. (Maybe she’s doing this with some good friends, like a quilting bee before its time.) She dresses like royalty in gowns of
finest cloth.
(She likes to feel and look beautiful.)

23 Her husband is well known, for he sits in the council meeting with the other civic
(I bet she keeps her mind ever-growing so she can converse intelligently with her husband.)

24 She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants. (She owns her own business)
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future. (She understands the importance of laughter)
26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives
(If her words are wise and kind then I’m sure she is in the Word daily.)

27 She carefully watches all that goes on in her household and does not have to bear the consequences of laziness. (She is a diligent housekeeper.)
28 Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” (She is a woman who breathes in the Spirit and her life reflects that.)
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord
will be greatly praised.
(She is a worshiping woman.)
31 Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her

Some of thse I am able to say with all honesty that I have down - I mean, what woman doesn't love to shop?!? But of course, there are many others that I will continue to struggle with all of my days. What a privilege to have such a beautiful description of a great wife and mother! May we all strive to live up to this, even though it might sometimes be a daily struggle.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

40 questions!

Since I'm new to the world of blogging, I thought I'd participate in this fun meme. Just for kicks!

1. What is your occupation? wife, momma, wellness consultant, administrative assistant
2. What color are your socks right now? barefoot - berry toenail polish!
3. What are you listening to right now? Kevin watching basketball on TV...
4. What was the last thing that you ate? coleslaw
5. Can you drive a stick shift? yes! Many fond high school memories of driving the boyfriend's truck that was a stick...
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? periwinkle
7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Kevin - he was at Braum's, reading the ice cream flavors to me so I could pick our next treat out!
8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? um...yes!
9. How old are you today? 30
10. Favorite drink? Club soda, tons of ice, lots of lemon - and Cherry Limeades from Sonic are a fun indulgence, too!
11. What is your favorite sport to watch? none none none!
12. Have you ever dyed your hair? highlights and lowlights only.
13. Pets? 2 dogs, Zach and Zoe and a couple tropical fish
14. Favorite food? macaroni and cheese, closely followed by very exotic salads with nuts and soft cheeses!
15. What was the last movie you watched? How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.
16. What was the last book you read? Crown Financial Course, Tune In, Bible, Experiencing God
17. What do you do to vent anger? yell. I know, bad habit.
18. What was your favourite toy as a child? books
.19. What is your favourite, fall or spring? fall. I love making awesome homemade soups - picking out pumpkins for the front step, canning tons of apples, decorating with fall leaves, the crispness in the air, the anticipation of cooler weather...I could go on and on and on...
20. Hugs or kisses? hugs. Although baby kisses on my nose are pretty precious, too!
21. Cherries or blueberries? Blueberries. Less work. Hate spitting out all those seeds! Besides, I make a mean blueberry cheesecake that has become hubby's fave!
22. Do you want your friends to leave you comments?YES! YES! YES!
23. Who is the most likely to comment?I don't know but I'll take whatever I can get!
24. Who is least likely to comment? ???
25. Living arrangements? hmm...well, I live with my family is a very pretty home we are making payments to the bank for the privilege of living here!
26. When was the last time you cried? Saturday night, overwhelmed with two cranky kids, a hubby who didn't understand me and a baby who hadn't let me sleep in over 24 hours.
27. What's on the floor of your closet? Lots of maternity clothes waiting to be packed up and put away...lots of my pre-pregnancy clothes that don't quite fit yet...towels the baby peed shoes galore!
28. Who is the friend you have had the longest? Shirley VP
29. What did you do last night? helped my business teammates on the phone, did presentations on the phone, watched American Idol with Kevin.
30. Favorite smells? Lavender. New baby necks. Crockpot steak on Sunday afternoon after church. After a thunderstorm. Clean sheet night.
31. What inspires you? music, conversations with friends, people who dare to do things that I've always wanted to do, but been too afraid of doing.
32. What are you afraid of? illness that is unexplained.
33. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Cheese!
34. Favourite dog breed? Keeshound
35. Number of keys on your key ring? 4?
36. Number of years at current job? wife? - almost 8. Momma? almost 6. Wellness Consultant? a year and a half. Administrative Assistant? 2.
37. Favourite day of the week? Friday! Our family can finally relax, take it easy and play with Kevin since he doesn't have to work. Sunday is a close second because of church and seeing friends at Community Group.
38. How many states/countries have you lived in? 6 - Oregon, Washington, Tennessee, Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma. But I have visited every single state except for Alaska and Hawaii!
39. Favourite holidays? Thanksgiving...I love to cook and study new recipes!
40. Ever driven a Motorcycle or heavy machinery? nope. And no plans to, thank you very much! That's dangerous!

If any of you want to play along, consider yourself tagged. Let me know so I can come over and get to know you better and leave you a comment.

Monday, April 23, 2007

They're supposed to be sleeping...

Many, many, many nights as a child, my parents would catch me reading "just one more chapter!" I LOVED to read, and since we moved around a lot, I didn't always have a lot of friends to spend time with - so falling in love with books was easy to do...I found my friends in all the many worlds I read about! To this day, I can recall scenes from books almost as if I had actually visited them. This is the scene I came upon tonight when I went to tuck the kids in bed...(and found Tobin missing from his.) Although the picture looks light, it was actually pitch-black in Shira's room and they had her princess night light between them, totally absorbed in their own worlds found in the picture books...

little Momma

Look what we caught
the little Momma doing
the other day!
(she was embarrassed
that we saw her -
we were sooo proud!)
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Blessings amidst the suffering...

It was this bed of "bili-lights" that nearly threw me into post-partum depression.

Micah was only a few days old when we found out that his bilirubin levels weren't going down, but up. The pediatrician insisted that he would need to be placed on bili-lights, but that it was no big deal because we could still have him at home with us. When Shira was first born in Oregon, she also had to have the lights - but her' were sooo different. It was a paddle-type thing that we just slipped inside her onsie and rested on her back, and although it was bulky with the big cord and inconvenient, we were still able to hold her and feed her easily. Enter Oklahoma health care.

The home health nurse came with two huge suitcases, and the fact that our insurance didn't cover the expense of her being in my home only made me eye her even more warily...I didn't need to see what turned out to be a full-fledged BED that Micah had to be strapped onto. She was very business-like about her proceedings; telling me how to hook him into the bed, which buttons turn the light on, etc... She also had me fill out about twelve hundred forms of paper signing our lives away. THEN she proceeded to tell me that the baby needed to be ON THE BED for 21 out of the 24 hours of the day. I about lost it! As a momma for the third time, my parenting instincts have changed drastically! With #1, I did everything by the book. Feed your baby every 3 hours. OK - so I did! She didn't get one drop more than that - if the book said every three hours and how important it was to get her on a schedule, then I'd do that! With #2, I was still so busy with not-even-two-year-old #1, that it was just a TRUE BLESSING that he put himself on a 3 hour schedule. He slept, then ate, then looked around. It was like he knew not to mess with me! But with #3, all I wanted to do was to be able to hold him continually. Micah came out knowing his momma, and had already learned, in just the few short days of his life, that the best place in the world to sleep was right on my chest. I had prayed for this baby to have this temperament! I didn't have to work with the others, so my time with them was unlimited and I never felt the urgency to hold them. This time, I'm working part-time, and I know that his is my last baby, and I just want to SAVOR each and every single moment I have with him. The moments seem rushed, too, because there is always something to go to, or pick up, and DO. Besides that fact, Micah is a hungry little boy, and loves to eat about every two hours. So upon hearing the news that he'd need to be on the lights SO MUCH was almost more than I could take. I bawled. Then I felt guilty for being so upset about a few days of not being able to hold my baby. Then I thought of other parents that have far worse situations, other parents that have walked dark roads of doubt, wondering about the health of their babies, like Addison, and Eliot, and Haley. I marvel at their faith, their strength and their courage. I sucked it up and dealt with it - but I did sneak skin-to-skin time with my little one several hours a day when I felt like I couldn't part without him any longer!

The lights ended up staying for 3 days. Three long days. And each day surrounding those lights, I had to visit the pediatrician for heel sticks on Micah to get his levels checked. The trips to the doctor were stressful, knowing that my little tiny baby was going to get stuck AGAIN - but also knowing that our insurance had told us that they wouldn't be covering any of his lab work fees, so each trip just seemed like a dream-like state in which all I saw were dollar signs floating around and a helpless baby crying.

So it was with great joy and relief to find an EOB from our insurance provider in the mail today stating that each and every single lab fee for all 9 heel sticks is TOTALLY COVERED and the checks have already been sent to the pediatrician and the lab!!!!! GOD IS GOOD! Our amazing Community Group had rallied together to help with some of the light bed fees, knowing that we were going to be overwhelmed with medical bills - and the EOB today is such a blessing, because now all we'll have to pay for is the bed! We can manage that!

And Micah is doing much better! His eyes are white and I'm so proud to announce that at my 6-week check up, he had gained over 4 pounds since his birth! So a few days on the bed, with a few less feedings, didn't seem to hurt him at all!

Meal Plan Mondays

This weeks menu includes:

Monday - Ham and Bean soup, Collard Greens, Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
Tuesday - Sirloin Steak, Roasted Cauliflower, Baked Sweet Potatoes
Wednesday - sandwiches (kids only)
Thursday - Waterless Chicken, potatoes, broccoli (in my new waterless cookware!)
Friday - Mexican Casserole (from this gal), chips, salad, frozen lemonade
Saturday - Lentil Soup (from here), homemade bread
Sunday - Cheesy Corn Casserole (from Once-A-Month Cooking), green beans
Monday - Chicken Packets (from Once-A-Month Cooking)

Monday, April 16, 2007


When Shira was little, especially as a toddler, I can remember her coming up with TONS of cute "sayings." We loved them, of course, because she often just said really sweet things like "thank you much."

And then there was Tobin. He decided to take his sweet time in talking. It wasn't until he was closer to 3 years old that we finally started getting legible language out of him. BUT NOW... oh my word, the talking! He is continually asking questions - apparently he has some learning about the world to get caught up on, making up for all those silent years! So here are some of the funniest things out of his mouth lately...

~ in looking at my computer first thing in the morning, I have Weatherbug, which basically just pops up a screen with the week's forecast. In addition to saying the high and low temperature for the upcoming 3 days, it also shows a small little know, a sun for "sunny" or a lightening bolt for "thunderstorms." Tobin loves to report the weather (in fact, he often asks us to turn on the news so that we can watch the weather). So each morning, he looks at my computer, and normally he says something along the lines of "Mommy, it's going to be two sunnys and one big storm..."or..."Mommy, it's going to be a hot, hot day and two clouds."

~ because he is sooo inquisitive, it's easy for us as Mom and Dad to simply "tune out" the endless questions with just simple yes, no, uh-huh, things like that. But the other day, my dad (his "papa") took him for the afternoon for me, and rather than just stay at Papa's office, they ran around town doing errands. It was several days later when I was driving with Tobin, when we saw a flat bed trailer with a tractor/backhoe/big construction thing-y on it. Tobin went NUTS! "Mommy, that's an elevator! An ELEVATOR!" I had no clue where he thought he was seeing an elevator on the busy street in Tulsa, until I realized what he was pointing at and put two and two together. My boy had spent time with his Papa! My boy probably drove his Papa nuts, and Papa thought he'd teach him a thing or two about the construction world by sharing all sorts of really big words...hence the "EXCAVATOR" that Tobin learned about!

~ Tobin loves Buzz Lightyear all of a sudden. The other morning, while I was getting ready for the day, Tobin decided to come into my bathroom, which has two french doors that meet in the middle. The little guy ran into the bathroom urgently, closed the doors behind him with both hands and leaned forward and yelled, "Mommy - I come in PEACE!" Well, thank goodness! That always makes my mornings go that much more smoothly!

~ After having Micah in our home for about 4 weeks, Tobin was head over heels in love! So it came as quite a shock that he all of a sudden started asking when Micah was going to go away. We kept calmly explaining to him that God blessed us with his little brother, we love him very much, and he's a part of our family forever. He's not going anywhere! Tobin kept asking, day after day, when we were going to get rid of Micah. So finally we probed him further - and Tobin suddenly made it clear to all of us...he asked..."When is Baby Micah going to get in the basket and go in the river? Isn't he going to go live with the girls?" Somehow, Baby Micah got lost in the translation of Baby Moses! At least the Bible learning is sticking...somehow...

Meal Plan Mondays

I've been ahead of the game this week! I have been able to sort through recipes and plan out the entire rest of the month for menus! So here are the next few days...

Monday - Broiled Salmon, Mashed Potatoes, Cucumber Salad and Colcannon Soup
Tuesday - Apple Pear Salad, Chicken Salad on Croissants
Wednesday - Mac N Cheese, peas and carrots, applesauce (kids only)
Thursday - French Onion Salibury Steak, Green salad
Friday - Pork Stir Fry
Saturday - leftovers
Sunday - Heavenly Chicken (from Once-A-Month cooking), Springtime Bread, honey orange carrots

One of my goals in preparing meals is to be healthy, of course, but also to offer variety. I try to do a beef, a chicken, a pork, a soup and a pasta every week. Sometimes it works out that way, sometimes it doesn't. Also, to economize, if we do whole steaks or chicken breasts in a meal, then I try to use meat in the rest of the meals that is more economical - like using a small amount of pork for the stir fry, or shredded chicken in a casserole. This trick really stretches out my meat budget, but doesn't make my husband end up feeling like I'm trying to convert him into being a vegetarian!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

She's Reading!!!

So it's a good thing that I started this blog today to document the special moments - because Shira brought a book home from the school library today and all on her own, started reading it to me!!! I am so proud of her - and just can't believe that she's started reading, practically overnight! The look on her face was precious - she was so proud of herself, too! I'm so excited for her to continue discovering the joy of reading, just like her momma has!

Meal Plan Mondays

I don't claim to be the world's greatest cook, but thanks in huge part to my friend Heather, I have found so many good recipes and tips that I have eventually morphed into a lover of all things FOOD! So, in order to help those that have requested some of my recipes, I will try to post my latest and greatest. This weeks meal includes:

Monday - Hoison Pork Tenderloin, Sesame Noodles and Broccoli
Tuesday - Beef Stroganoff with egg noodles and Caesar salad
Wednesday - Macaroni and cheese, peas and carrots, applesauce (kids only)
Thursday - Linguine a la Anne, Green Beans a la BooMama
Friday - Pork Chops stuffed with Feta and Spinach, herbed pita bread, mandarin oranges
Saturday - leftovers
Sunday - Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, coleslaw

Here it goes...

So for awhile now, I've read many many blogs and love the concept! I just never felt like anyone I know would care to read what I might have to write about. However, I have fallen head over heels in love with my new baby boy - and knowing that this will be our last baby, I desperately want to GET IT TOGETHER and document these precious baby moments that I have the privilege of, once again, experiencing! I know that we had the same wonderful memories from the older two, but time, age and lack of sleep over the years has made those memories fade. If I can just keep track of the memories via bog entries, I know that I'll be very thankful in years to come. So here it goes! Can't say how faithful I'll be, or how exciting any entries may be, but at least for this sentimental momma, I'll have a way to remember the amazing and wonderful things that my children do each and every day!