Friday, January 29, 2010


it's official...the tooth fairy is going broke
brooke lost another tooth, making it 3 now.
does a kid get any stinking cuter than with her front teeth missing?
on a side note, if you are an adult and have front teeth missing, it's totally NOT cute. get it fixed. please.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

practice, literally

in brooke's {little miss literal's} defense, i did tell her to sit down with her pencil and practice her name and letters.

i kinda meant on paper and not on the kitchen counter, but hey, she did it, right?

the part that got me...when brooke said, "i didn't write on the counter" and it's her name!
and instead of erasing it, she just put x's through it so i wouldn't notice.
crazy kid. it's a really good thing she's cute!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

the big one

sofia has refused the high chair and has moved up to the "big chair"...
i think she's a little excited...what do you think?
now if the big chairs only had seat belts to keep in there for the whole fact, the more i think about it, i could use seat belts on all the chairs at the table. we could make it through the meal without potty breaks and "excuses" a whole lot easier.

off to find a few seat belts....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

warning signs

my hubs is a major shop-a-holic...the man loves to peruse the stores and find super authentic things...and this is sometimes an incredible thing and sometimes a not so great thing.

it's usually not a great thing after a budget discussion about seriously reducing spending for the first two months of the year to rebuild "reserves"

so when i get home and see this for me...i know it's not good.
this is what i call a peace's sweet, so don't get me wrong. i love it...and i know he thought about me...but now, i'm on the prowl. lurking around the house for "things".
uh oh...i spotted something.
and inside...this. opened.
and in case you were wondering, it was not on his "frivolous spending" category because he could not be expected to wear the same cologne every day. what in the world was i thinking?

oh, and i did get a chocolate of the month club from it all. to quote eddy {from christmas vacation...possibly the funniest show on the earth} "it's the gift that keeps on giving all year around."

Monday, January 25, 2010

not me monday

a few things me and the fam DID NOT do this week:

sofia DID NOT tell me "poop"...i DID NOT say, "you have to poop?" when i got caught up in dinner making, she DID NOT treat me to a little poopy painting and poop colored hands by saying "poop, mommy. poop." when will i ever learn? 4 kids...seriously.

i DID NOT take sofia and jada with me to the 100 day celebration...sofia DID NOT spen dthe entire time maneuvering from table to table stealing fruit loop bowls and eating them. she was NOT jacked up all morning.
brooke DID NOT says "if the kids that need adopted are my size, i'm gonna s
hare my clothes." jada DID NOT chime in, "me too mom." and then sofia, "too too, mommy". i DID NOT melt and think my girlies are soooo sweet.

i DO NOT have paige's sweatpants on...and they DO NOT fit me normal! i am NOT so stinking proud of myself!

jada DID NOT call hubs upstairs saying "daddy, my heart is really beeping. it's like beeping so hard. when will it stop?"
i DID NOT go to b's kindergarten class to help out on day 100, which in all actually was NOT day 99 bc of a snow/ice day.

at b's 100 day party, her friend, cade, DID NOT say, "brooke says you are the coolest mom ever. man, that must be nice. all my mom ever does is yell, yell, yell." i DID NOT think, man, i have got to come to every one of these to make sure b doesn't tell stories about me!
my sofia DID NOT start counting my freckles...and correctly!

paige DID NOT have a break up with her boyfriend of a year this last week because she found a deeper relationship with god and heard him say that "acting" isn't what he wants from her...he wants the real her. and that real her, should be totally happy.

i DID NOT send out a yes for my very first wedding shoot...and i'm not completely jacked up seeing if i get the business...and it would be with the most awesome and wonderful miss megan with me! we would NOT have a total blast...and take some awesome pics!

i DID NOT have a dentist appointment for a DID NOT take 4 sets of injections to numb me. i DID NOT almost have a panic attack when i still wasn't numb on my gums and tongue. i DID NOT think i would make it...turns out i did, but it wasn't easy.
brooke DID NOT say, "it's so sad that kids in haiti had parents and then they died. they really need me as a sister. i mean, i'm a really good sister."

paige DID NOT have an overnight weekend softball tourney where we were up pretty late...i DID NOT get tagged by the employees for sneaking in my sippy sip diet coke. the worker DID NOT place a red ribbon on the fence by us...i think it was NOT like a scarlet letter or anything. i DID NOT proceed to take in a starbucks a little later bc it was freaking late and i could not be expected to be there without starbucks...i'm just saying!
the haitian orphans that were to arrive in indy are on hold...and we are NOT saddened thinking about the suffering they are enduring must be horrific. we are still praying that god would use us in any way he would in this...

while using the restroom, sofia DID NOT come in and start singing the ABC song for sweet!

hubs DID NOT come home with an imac in hand for my photography business. i am NOT thrilled beyond compare and loving all the new toys. moving from the mc book pro to the imac with a 27" monitor is a huge difference. zits are not the size of sofia's head while i am editing!

Friday, January 22, 2010


she's just too cute...
ok, and i got some new actions in ps and WOW! i'm totally having a blast...

i have had 3 inquiries about shooting weddings in the last 2 weeks...and i'm terrified to say yes but i want do you know you are ready? i have years of senior portrait outdoor shots and i'm a real on the go photographer. but, i mean, well, i just don't know...advice?

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Michelle

Thursday, January 21, 2010

java girl

so the dog drives me a little crazy with her constant thinking...but sometimes
she's not that stupid.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

pause...and what it looks like

our hs winter retreat was this weekend up at lake ann, michigan and was it a great time!
theme: pause. hmmmm...sound familiar?
so pausing with high school students looks a little different than you might expect...
but it's still pausing. and what i know for sure, is that god works even in the different!!

tubing...on a hill that is almost pure ice and really fast.

spending time without your own parents but with your adult leaders who rock your face off {embellished a little}...pause!

visiting the emergency room for a head and neck injury from tubing on the icy hill with your numero uno adult leader....pause!

and just when you think the weekend is over and you are totally on your way home with two tour buses full of almost 100 kids...god says, "no seriously! i totally meant pause!"

and when we don't listen, we see a lot of this...anti freeze...from the bus. ooops!
when we saw our totally faithful driver, dave, making a phone call from the side of the highway, we knew it wasn't great news.
but even when there's a delay, the students were awesome! not a single problem...what a group!!!

so then we PAUSE as mc donald's for almost 4 hours. things got a little loopy at times.
but we made it home...and we have great memories and have built awesome relationships. and god moved...again and always.

"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
psalm 46:10

updated haitian orphan info...

{image courtesy of fireside international...on the ground and mobilizing in haiti}

constant updates on the kids coming from haiti...we are in que for one of the families. pray for god's guidance and provision for these children.

the children will not be released yet today...

he is moving

don't have a lot of time this's been a crazy weekend.
god has spoken to us...refreshed us. and he continues to challenge us.

for now, all i know is that we are on a list to take 2 haitian orphans into our home some time this week, maybe even today.
please pray for god's provision and for the lives and well being of these children...

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
James 1:27

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

burning up?

so about pausing...remember? if you don't, you should def go and read THIS.
i totally love how god speaks in and through the normalcy of every day life, when we take time to pause and see it.

let me tell you, i love my family, my blackberry, my laptop, my blog, my friends, my hooptie. i love all kinds of stuff...and they get a lot of time and attention because, honestly, they are in front of me and i pay them attention. {a good ring tone can really go a long way, too}
god talked to moses in another passage of's the infam
ous burning bush passage. i love how even though moses was leading the life of husband, sheep herder, son-in-law, etc, that he was still stuck in the mundaneness of it all and had not found time to hear from god.

remember, the words in exodus 3...
"Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mount
ain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.

So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up."

When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!"
And Moses said, "Here I am." "

god was in that bush the whole time...moses didn't see him there. despite the fact that moses didn't see him, god was there anyway. look at the scripture, it says
that god saw that he was paying attention, basically...and then god spoke.

he didn't speak a second earlier, because moses wasn't fully there. not until moses was ALL THERE and fully engaged did moses even see god in his midst.
do your kids have those seek and find books or do you remember where's waldo? i'm pretty good at finding waldo and getting most of the items on the find list...but i usually have one or two that are just not there. i can remember paige insisting the book was printed wrong one time because she just couldn't find something listed.

god is a little like waldo...not sacreligious like, but just because you and me don't see him, doesn't mean that he isn't here, all the time. in spite of paige not finding the red heart in the picture, it still remained in the picture. you just have to train your eyes to find it...and much the same with seeing jesus in everyday life.

i know it's hard to see jesus in poopy diapers and overworked husbands and bills and gas pumps and basketball. but i promise that he is there. god is totally in the ordinary of every day.

god tells moses once he knows that god is present to take off his sandals bc he is walking on holy ground...and i say to us, in every situation, in every second and in every place we go, we are on holy ground. God is here, but are we? And if He is here, where do we see Him?
i see God in all kinds of places every day. i am in a bible study on the fruits of the spirit right now…and no matter what kind of day i have had, or what is going on in my life, when i sit down each night to do that study i pray…”lord, forgive me in all that I have done. Open me up to your word. Fill me and teach me. thank you lord for all you have already done and will do for me. amen.” i find god in that bible every single time…when o am open to seeing him. he speaks to me and shows me new ways to see and hear scriptures. and i am on holy ground.

sometimes my workout playlist is perfect for me…it’s god speaking directly to my heart...sometimes it’s a challenge, sometimes encouragement, but in all those times, I know god is there…i tingle…and i am Holy Ground.

when i stand on the beach…i gasp. i hear the waves and feel the ocean air and see the vastness of all that is there. i smell the salt and push my toes in the sand and take a deep breathe and I know that God is most certainly there. I am standing on Holy Ground.

When my little Sofia puts her hands on her eyes and says, “deeez-usss.{jesus}. wuv {love}. mayyy-men {amen}.” in my very dining room, i feel the presence of god and am reminded of having faith like just say, "jesus, you rock. i love you. thanks. amen." and even then, i am certain, i am on holy ground.

or when i see her eating her cereal and reading our family devotion book, i am most certain that god is here...he is being seen...and that i'm on holy ground.
god is always there...he created it all. i just need to take time to pause long enough to see him and let him speak to me instead of hearing screaming kids and seeing dust bunnies, i can sometimes take time to pause and see god in the eyes of the kids he gave me...and he totally gave me these kids.

when i move constantly, from my calendar to my blog, to twitter, to breakfast for the kids, to school bus stop to whatever is next and never take time to pause along the way, i can never see the burning bushes that are all over the place...the everyday miracles begging for attention all around me. if i never stop to notice the mundane and ordinary things that are right in front of my face, i just miss to much, and i'm reminded that in spite of all that, we are standing on holy ground.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

off for a few...

paige and i are off...
to the annual high school winter retreat and ski weekend!

pray for travel provisions and for hearts to be healed and minds to be opened in all the students this weekend. ok, add another little ditty in there for those know there will be at least one ER visit. there always is.

the theme this weekend...pause! remember my post earlier this week? well, here we's pause time!
gonna go and find me a hill to just go up...and then just BE.

Friday, January 15, 2010

surprise gifts

my little sofia is 2 today...which is great news bc she had a very rough start in this scary, old world. tiny and a sickly, she fought hard...and won. praise god.

after almost 10 years of marriage and being told like 8 yea
rs prior we were infertile, we were gifted with one of the best "surprise gifts" of all time. there were no balloons, but EVERYONE was in awe of this gift...even the doctor who said, "you really are pregnant". "i can't be pregnant, i'm infertile and i'm almost 40."
well, sofia broke all the rules...i have NO idea where sh
e got that, btw...and she fought the entire pregnancy and made it to a point where she could come and see everyone in was too early, she was too small bc she was IUGR {intrauterine growth restricted} and my diabetes and toxemia and high bp were all not good for that sweet, tiny thing. {her body was the size of our ipod and her head, the size of a baseball}
she lived in that little "camper" in the NICU for about 2 weeks and at not even 4 lbs, come strolling home to the face the world.
the rest is totally history...and well, today, i thank god for unanswered prayers and for big, fat surprises bc without them both, we wouldn't have brooke, jada or sofia.
happy birthday my sweet sofia...happy birthday.

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. these have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 peter 1:6-9

Thursday, January 14, 2010

glimpse of summer

i think we might be the winter we tend to go through good fresh fruit withdrawal. we eat us some fruit every $40 worth. it's crazy expensive to eat good fresh organic fruit in the midwest during the winter...


the girlies got a huge surprise via costco's monster ehaus fam size fruit! wooo hooo!
we stopped and got a quick bite to hold us over...on the way home, brooke asked, can we have some strawberries and blueberries when we get home?! when i said yes...a huge screamy shrill of excitement came from the back of the hooptie.

i think their faces tell the story...
who knew fruit was what i needed to get real and fresh smiles? forget lollipops, i'm buying blueberries for photo sessions!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


paige is in photography now...and that means i don't take all the pictures around here. she needed some snow and winter pictures...and this is one of my favs.
who knew it was legal to swing in a foot of snow!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


i have been teaching in the ms the last few weeks on taking time to pause...
{i also love barns and photography and i love that little icon i made up there...super fun}

it's post-christmas and with the last number of weeks, i could really enjoy some pause time. i feel like i lost myself somewhere in early december and i past me up again just after the new year. i could use some "pause time."

i mean, i pause...i pray, i think, i read, i even nap every now and again. but there's this thing about pausing that i have discovered. you have to totally BE in the pause before it works.

go with me on this one...have you ever been present but not really been there? you know, you are hearing the words that are being said but you are not listening. sometimes we leave our emotions and our spiritual self far away from the physical self...and sadly, i do that when i'm stressed.

god wants way more than that...that's why he told moses, "come up to the mountain and stay" in exodus 24:12. he looks at moses...leading the israelites thru the desert and he knows the dude is jacked up on stress...getting blamed for all kinds of stuff and just needs to pause. god basically says, "moses...listen, you need to come up to the mountain and BE on the mountain. bring all of you. your heart, your mind, your soul...everything. come and BE here. take time to pause, dude."

so today, i am thanking god for being everywhere...for allowing me time to pause. all 3 girlies napped, and at the same time! miracle of god...maybe, but definitely a little gift from god saying, "danyele, come to the couch with me...and just BE at the couch."

heading to the couch...just thought you'd wanna know.

Monday, January 11, 2010

not me monday

a few things me and the fam DID NOT do this week...

i DID NOT get a "tired of this mess" kick and do a purge of toys and everything else in the house one afternoon. my hot flashes DID NOT kick in and i was NOT sorting toys in the basement during naptime in my tank top and shorts...and it was NOT -4 degrees outside. i do NOT hate getting older....grrr.

i DID NOT make custom snuggies for all of my kiddos and they were NOT so excited that they were giggling. we do NOT have a house full of snuggie bunnies and dust bunnies...oh come, on. you knew i had to!

i DID NOT pull my butt muscle {glut and ham, actually} stepp
ing in my trainers house from the snow, sliding off the threshold and pulling something major big. i am NOT still nursing a stinking pulled butt and i am NOT feeling old an stupid for doing it in the first place.

i DID NOT fall all the way down the basement steps bc miss jk decided to toss a blanket on the steps and i found it...right on my back. the steps were NOT like solid ice with a fuzzy blanket...and i DID NOT hurt my back falling. i am NOT getting too old to eve
n walk down the stairs at 40! i do NOT feel stupid...still!

hubs and i DID NOT go out for dessert and our monthly budget review...only to find out that mitchell's fish market failed to carry the most supreme dessert on the freaki
ng earth, the java lava cup. i DID NOT gasp loudly and yell, "shut up!" at the waitress, who DID NOT reply, "i know, right? i totally agree." we DID NOT bond a little over the lack of chocolately goodness. i DID NOT end up having a chocolate something torte which was delicious, but not nearly as sinful and divine as the java lava cup.
hubs DID NOT print the budget in -250 font so that my eyes could def NOT see the numbers...adding insult to injury, it was NOT almost pitch black in the restaurant. i DID NOT move the candle to on top of the budget just to see the numbers. i DID NOT look idiotic or ridiculous and DID NOT draw a crowd. ok, so that NEVER happens.

i DID NOT workout with my trainer {post butt pull...same day} and
do our new step in my training...jillian circuit training. i DID NOT almost die working out...and i DID NOT work myself to a puke! yep, i DID NOT do the infamous jillian "it's not a good workout until you puke"...and i was NOT as thrilled as i thought i would be.

sofia DID NOT start singing happy birthday to you after hearing her birthday was this week. when we asked her how old she is going to be, she DID NOT look us in the eyes and say, "two!" and show us her index finger and thumb in an L. she is NOT super cute, in spite of the fact that right now her terrible twos have set in and she is screaming and sitting in time out bc she just can not be happy or satisfied. ahhhh, the joy.
i DID NOT get a call from school nurse saying, 'b is here. she says she has a painful bee-gina and rash. i'm not sure what to do'. she DID NOT stump the nurse on this one. i DID NOT giggle thinking that b had raised her hand in class and said, "mrs., i have a rash on bee-gina and it hurts. mom said i need to tell someone right away. i think i should go to the nurse." i DID NOT picture her teacher dying laughing and sending her with this note...which i DO NOT plan to save forever.

i DID NOT think that i would send in a brown paper bag for the school nurse to hyperventilate into the next time a child use proper name identification for their parts...
the poor woman was so stumped that i think she needed a bag to recover...or maybe a little drink of special sauce would work better. i DO NOT think she thinks we are the weirdest family of all time.

sofia DID NOT randomly start counting 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. i guess all the time spent at the trainer with me working out has NOT paid off. the girl can def count, but we'll have to add to it later, bc she only hears to 25.

i DID NOT do my monthly ritual of making pancakes for the high school kids in the high school cafe...i have NOT become known for my super delicious krusteez pancakes with chocolate chips. and i DO NOT love that the kiddos get a little bit of jesus and his teaching in the meantime. did i mention that i DO NOT start making pancakes at 5:45??? yep, i DO NOT love those high school kids.

jada DID NOT point to a pic of rhianna in a mag at the counselor's office and say, 'she's pretty just like me. she has great hair. pink lips too. wow, we are sooo pretty.'

kids DID NOT have a 2 hour delay one day this week. we were NOT still running around at the last minute trying to get everyone on the bus bc we were NOT sitting around talking and having coffee and cereal and forgot to go to school!
paige DID NOT make up a new game of "baby fetch"...paige flips a head wrap across the room. sofia chases it. fun for teens and toddlers alike.

i DID NOT ask sofia what she was going to name her babies when she was a momma. she DID NOT reply, "chip". interesting name i thought...and then i DID NOT notice she was eating a tortilla chip.