Saturday, January 30, 2010

Our Last Saturday

This is our last Saturday before Mr. Bean starts his job as our church's interim music pastor. We have spent it by sleeping in and being rather lazy. Once String Bean wakes up from her nap, we will continue the celebration by doing laundry.

Our lives will just be busier starting February 1, so it is nice to have a blah day to just relax and enjoy doing nothing of consequence. Starting in May, our lives will get a lot busier, so I am trying to just enjoy the slow pace of a day like today. Who knows when another will come along?

Oh, and Mr. Bean did get a haircut.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

You'd Never Guess It!

I was born on Friday the 13th.

So was my grandfather.

And his wife.

And their daughter.

And her grandson.

And my father-in-law.

String Bean was also born on the 13th. It was a Tuesday.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Open Your Eyes, Sir!

When Mr. Bean and I were newlyweds, we had our photo taken for the church directory. The cameraman said, "Smile!" Before he took the picture he paused and said, "Open your eyes, sir!" Mr. Bean responded with, "My eyes are open. This is how I smile."

Photo by Mr. Bean on December 20, 2009
String Bean: 26 months

Apparently, String Bean inherited that trait from her father.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What Did You Say?!

String Bean's language explosion is here to stay. Every day she is saying new words, even ones we didn't know she knew. Today was no exception.

Mr. Bean was dressing String Bean for church and I was listening to their chatter on the baby monitor while finishing my hair. The outfit Mr. Bean picked out was a brown shirt with a pink corduroy jumper. He put the brown shirt on String Bean and she pointed at it and said, "Brown shirt!" Although, it didn't come out that way.

The first word, "brown," sounded more like "bull" and the second word's "r" was mysteriously missing.

We've gotten a lot of giggles out of that today and even took a video to show her some day. Somewhere along the line she realized we giggled whenever she said it, so she ran around the house saying, "Brown shirt! Brown shirt! Brown shirt!" Or her version of it anyway.

Thank goodness she didn't realize she was being funny until after we'd left church!

Friday, January 22, 2010


String Bean is really into ballet these days. She spends many hours in the day practicing her twirls and wearing her tutu.

Tonight she was dancing, got dizzy and lost her footing. She ended up going forehead first into the side of our entertainment center. Many tears were spilt and a huge bump that immediately turned black and blue sprung up on her head.

I can't help but think, now that the crisis is averted and she's sleeping soundly, that when the earthquake happened in Haiti, many kids had much worse bumps than String Bean and their moms were not all there to comfort them.

Please remember to share your resources with those who had very little and now find themselves with nothing.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Ethnocentricity. I'm seeing a lot of that post-earthquake in Haiti.

I doubt any of us would say, "Our country and its citizens are far superior to other people and other cultures in the world!" but that's the attitude I'm seeing on television coverage of the Haiti disaster.

Today a set of parents whose college-age children are missing in Haiti were featured. Although my heart breaks for them, the attitude they had was that the US was not doing enough to find American citizens and that the government needed to get more help to the hotel where their daughters were staying. As the interview goes on, you find that it is one of the hotels were international search and rescue teams have been since the beginning. Meanwhile, most of the Hatians have been left to dig out their own survivors without the aid of international agencies to bring equipment and expertise to help out.

One of the dads went on to say that the US needed to stop providing aid and continue to focus on search and rescue. Meanwhile, there are people who did survive the disaster who are dying of thirst and infection due to not having the aid they need.

Of course, Dr. Phil says, "No matter how thin you make a pancake, there are always two sides." While I recognize these parents are speaking out of frustration, emotion, fear and helplessness, I am saddened that our media focuses on these stories that continue to paint Americans as ethnocentric people who care only about the needs of the wealthy Americans when disaster strikes.

I suppose there is a bit of truth in that though. We live in an ethnocentric country and an egocentric society.

We all have within our power to help those who cannot help themselves. If you haven't already, check out what Samaritan's Purse is doing and consider a financial donation to help out the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Text to 85944 for Samaritan's Purse!

Photo from the Samaritan's Purse Facebook fan page

Samaritan's Purse has just joined the texting revolution! You can now text to 85944 to make a $10 gift to Samaritan's Purse which will be charged to your cell phone bill. Of course we have the link to the left you can contribute that way as well.

I've never done the text-giving before. Have you?
Did you enjoy the experience? How does that work for tax purposes? (No, I am not text-savvy.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Long, Long Road

If you have been watching the Haiti news, you can see that there is a long, long road ahead of the Hatian people until they are able to rebuild their homes and their lives. In addition to the immediate needs and the obvious needs of housing and government infrastructure, there are unseen emotional needs that need to be dealt with.

As you consider your part, I'd like to point you to a few blogs of college friends of mine who are missionaries living in Haiti. They managed to escape from any obvious trauma from the earthquake, but are feeling the effects of the situation with limited supplies. One of these friends have adopted (or are in the process of adopting) Hatian children and are still in contact with the birth parents whose homes and lives have suffered some damage.

Please take a few minutes and check out what the McCormicks and Ebenhacks are doing together for the people of Haiti. You can still donate to Samaritan's Purse through our link to the left. Thank you for all who have supported the Hatian people in whatever way and through whatever channel you have been able.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


We want to thank everyone who has given to Haiti through our fund raising effort. We still have about $650 to go before we reach our goal. Can I be honest with you? When I set up this page and informed Amy about it (Like how I didn't ask permission?), I figured if we got $100 it would be a wild success. So, to be at $369.22 after just a few days has blown me away.

There are a lot of people who have shown interest in what we are doing but have yet to donate through our link. Frankly, I could care less whether people donate through our effort as long as they show their support (financially or prayerfully).

Thanks for joining with us and supporting our brothers and sisters in Haiti. You can click on the link to the left to donate to Samaritan's Purse for Haiti relief.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

We have so much...

I'm feeling very spoiled about now, and not in a good way. I have a strong, safe house with heat and central air, and yet I complain that it is too small. I have three strong, healthy children, (albeit one has wonky DNA) and yet I complain about the messes they make. I sit here at my computer, I look over at my TV, my shelves and shelves of books that I'll never read again, and complain that I don't have enough. How can I be so selfish when others are suffering so much. I think about Haiti and how there was so much suffering poverty even before the earthquake hit. I don't deserve my prosperity anymore than they deserve their poverty.

I told my kids about the earthquake yesterday and Walnut was very concerned. He climbed into my lap and tried to hold back tears as he asked how he could help the children in Haiti. Then he went to his room and emptied out his bank. He brought me 19 pennies and 1 nickle. It was all he had. If you have anything to give, please consider giving to help the relief efforts in Haiti. You can do it right from this page even. Mandie set up an account with Samaritan's Purse for Just We Moms. Just click the box over to the left. I've already been so humbled at the response we've received.

Mom? College Student?

Yesterday, I wrote about my burden for helping those in Haiti with the earthquake disaster relief. We started fund raising for Samaritan's Purse. You can give by clicking on the link in the fund raising widget to the left, or by going directly to the donation page at http://www.firstgiving.com/jwm.

I'm amazed at how many of my college student Facebook friends wanted to join me on this effort. If you are a college student wondering how you can help, send me an e-mail and I'll give you some details on how to motivate your fellow students to help with the relief efforts on your campus. Right now, we've got students at Azuza Pacific University, Biola, and Olivet Nazarene University joining Just We Moms to make a difference.

We don't care if you give through us or another reputable organization. Just do what you can.

For specific information on what Samaritan's Purse is doing right now, read their blog.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti Earthquake Relief

Join Just We Moms in helping raise funds for Haiti Earthquake Relief! We are raising funds for Samaritan's Purse who already have sent out aid as of this afternoon to Haiti.

You can donate online securely through First Giving. The direct link to the page is http://www.firstgiving.com/jwm.

We are excited to see what kind of fund raising moms like us can do from home. Any dollar amount will help those in Haiti devastated by the Earthquake yesterday. Willing to give up your Starbucks drink for the day? (Or if you are my co-blogger, Amy, your Coke for the day?) Please consider donating that amount toward relief. Being that Haiti is an impoverished nation, funds will be needed to help with immediate needs and long term rebuilding.

Let's see what Just We Moms (that means YOU) can do to make a small difference! If you are interested in adding the progress button you see displayed to the left on your blog, please email us and we'll send you the code.

P.S. Ok...You don't have to be a mom to help us raise funds.

P.P.S. Update--funds are continuing to add up thanks to college students from Azuza Pacific University, Biola, and Olivet Nazarene University. This is not just a mom effort!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Conversation Hearts

One candy I look forward to every year is the conversation hearts. Specifically, the Necco brand conversation hearts.

I was thrilled when I went grocery shopping today and they were on the shelf and on sale! I bought 3 packages.

I am not sure if they changed the flavoring this year or not, but I am not digging them as much this year. The purple ones are great. There are no white ones (which were peppermint-y). The rest taste like fruity flavors (orange is orangey, yellow is lemony, etc.). The pink ones taste like strawberry flavored chap stick. I do not care for them at all.

I think I'll just eat all the purple ones and move on. Any ideas on what went wrong? The Necco web site says the recipe has not changed!

Monday, January 11, 2010


Never have I seen such a good example of how rumors get started than I did on tonight's episode of the Bachelor. **

For those of you who are not in-the-know, the "most shocking rose ceremony, yet" happened tonight. (Haven't we heard that before?) Prior to the ceremony beginning during cocktail hour, one of the ladies was escorted out and spoken to by the host about her "inappropriate relationship" with one of the staffers who "is no longer working on the show." I listened carefully for what words were spoken by the host in his every appearance and was amazed to hear the girls talking and the whole episode snowballing into this girl having sex with that guy (aka "staffer") just a few hours after accepting the rose.

Granted, there was editing there, but based on what I've seen online about it, it was not an affair at all. If nothing else, ABC did a great job showing America how quickly a rumor starts by making assumptions about people when given a small amount of information and filling in the blanks.

Wow. Wow. Thanks for the lesson on controlling our tongues, ABC!

When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. Proverbs 10:19

** Disclaimer: I don't follow the show regularly. I just happened to have it on when the scandal broke tonight, so don't expect any more updates on the show.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


String Bean sat on the potty yesterday and tried to "push out the poopies" and was thrilled when some came out. Yes, I know this is a discussion only a mother of a toddler could love. Please note the name of this blog.

Upon finishing her business in the potty, she decided to call her family and friends and share her success. As always, Pop was the first on the list. Luckily, Nana was with him. Next it was Ama and Grandpa. Auntie Carolyn soon followed. Then Rob and Connie. After that, she wanted to call Lucy, so we did. After she hung up with Lucy's voice mail, she wanted to call Snoopy and Charlie Brown. (Which leads me to believe that the Lucy we called wasn't THE Lucy she was intending, but oh, well.) She finished the night of calling by calling Cashew, who is 2 1/2. Cashew simply said, "Hi, String Bean!" the entire conversation long.

Other than the call to Cashew, all other calls went like this:

String Bean (SB): Hi!
Mom or Dad (M/D): Tell them what you did.
SB: Poopies!
M/D: Where did you do the poopies?
SB: Potty!
M/D: What did you get for doing poopies on the potty?
SB: Chock (translation: chocolate)
M/D: Tell them your name.
SB now spells her name instead of saying her name.
M/D: Do you want to count?
SB: One, Two, Free, Four, Five, Six, Eye!
M/D: Say "Bye-bye!"
SB: Bye-bye! (long pause) Insert name of who you are calling.
Abruptly hang up.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Obsession with Cartoons

While shopping at Goodwill the other day, I picked up a VHS copy of Fantasia. Yes, I know VHS. I live in the dark ages. Let's be honest. I would like a show of hands...how many of you still have a VCR?

That's what I thought. Stop judging me.

If it helps, I don't particularly like Fantasia. I just figured String Bean would because of the musc and the cartoons. Any kind of cartoons mesmerize this child. For example, Mr. Bean plays video games on our Wii or PlayStation2 and she is glued to the TV screen saying, "Pew, pew, pew!" She even goes through his games and picks which ones she wants me to put in. This child has a complete obsession with cartoons.

Up until today, I didn't think she really knew any one cartoon character's name with the exception of the entire cast of A Charlie Brown Christmas. Watching it 30 times in a week will do that to anyone. She roars when she wants to watch the Lion King and says "doggies" when she wants to watch Wallace and Gromit. To be fair, when I say "watch" I mean that I put it in, she sits down to watch it and 3 minutes later is on to the next thing; however, when you turn it off she throws a fit and says "watch" over and over until you distract her with something or put it back on.

Back to my original thought: Fantasia. String Bean was unimpressed with all the music and all the cartoons. So, I kept fast forwarding looking for something that might intrigue her such as the hippos dancing or Mickey wearing the sorcerer's hat. Mickey came first. We watched it for a minute or two, and she was paying NO attention to it because there were imaginary cupcakes to be made, so I turned it off. We went and dealt with the laundry.

Cue naptime.

"Watch, Mickey Mouse! Watch, Mickey Mouse!" was yelled complete with tears and heartache that accompany a 2 year old not getting her way.

Who has been showing this child Mickey Mouse cartoons behind my back? This was the first time she has EVER seen it in my presence. I demand an answer. And perhaps counseling for my obsessed child.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I was basking in it yesterday. Big mistake. (Will I never learn?) Silence is a very bad thing with two preschoolers in the house. Silence means they don't want you to know what is happening. Yesterday's silence was 2 roll's of lifesavers being eaten in the space of about 5 minutes. Peanut claims he only ate 2. All Cashew would say was "My want more yifesavers IN MY MOUF!"

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's a...

We found out (for certain) yesterday that the new addition to the Bean family will be a girl! String Bean is warming up to the idea that she's not getting a brother. We asked her yesterday what she thought we should name this baby and after a thoughtful pause she replied, "Oo-Ah-Ah-Ah!"

We considered Oo-Ah-Ah-Ah and suggested that perhaps we should just name this baby "Mildred Gertrude" and did String Bean like that name? Without hesitation, she said, "YES!"

The jury is still out, but we are open to suggestions. After all, this child gets a legal name and a blog name. Oh, the possibilities!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Stove Top Instructions

Yesterday, I showed you photos of the stove top Mr. Bean and I created for String Bean. As promised, here are the step by step instructions.

You will need: scissors, Elmer's glue, foam paper, contact paper, a shirt box, magic marker(s), cabinet hardware and screws that screw all the way into them with washers to fit, a ruler, and a pencil.

  1. Pick a sturdy shirt box. I used a box from J. Crew. It is not a collapsible box which is a large reason why the box is so sturdy.
  2. Cover your box with contact paper. I chose white, but you can use whatever color strikes your fancy. A couple of tips: cut your paper large enough to cover your box AND the sides (so the paper folds over to the inside of the box). Peel the paper back and lay the box on the paper, not the paper on the box. It is much easier to manage this way. You will need to cut the paper to fold over the corners. (Luckily you have the top and the bottom of the box, so if you mess up--you've got another one ready to go!)
  3. Cut your burners out of the foam paper. You'll need to find something round and trace it onto the foam paper with a pencil. I used one of the Gerber toddler snack cans. Depending on the size of your box and the size of your child's pots/pans, you can determine whether your stove top should have 2 or 4 burners.
  4. Draw detail on your burners. Use your magic marker, but be careful not to smudge the ink. It takes a few minutes for the ink to permeate the foam and it will smear if you touch it too early.
  5. Measure out the placement of your knobs. We used our ruler to find the middle of the box and planned our burner placement from there. We were also careful to make sure we found the center of the side measuring up and down so they would be level across the front of the box.
  6. Punch holes for the screws. I put Mr. Bean on this task because his strength is greater than mine. He pushed the screw through the marked spot so we had little holes there for later when we had to thread the screws through the cardboard.
  7. Plan out the knob settings. Using your pencil, plan out how your knob gauges will read. This took a few attempts because we initially didn't plan for how large the knob was. Be sure to look at your pencil markings with the knobs placed over them before you write over them with marker. Don't forget to make the mark on the knob to point out how high the burner is on.
  8. Draw with marker the knob settings. Like the foam paper, the magic marker takes a couple minutes to dry. Test it out on scrap paper, first. Erase any extra pencil marks when complete. (Note: be sure to test out your pencil and eraser on a scrap of contact paper as well. It took us a couple of tries to find an eraser that did not leave a smear on the contact paper.)
  9. Affix the knobs to the box. We decided putting a washer on each screw was the best thing to do because we did not want our two year old to be too aggressive with the knobs and ull the screws through the cardboard. Test out the turning of the knobs so you know if you need to tighten or loosen the screw. (Note: You likely will need to tighten your screw from time to time as your child plays with their new stove top.)
  10. Adhere the burners to the stove top. Time will tell whether Elmer's glue was the best glue to use on this part of the craft, but so far, so good! Make sure you put lots of glue all the way to the edges of the burner and covering most of the surface area for a good seal. Allow plenty of time to dry.
  11. Sit back and watch the magic! Hopefully your little one will enjoy the pretend play and will make all sorts of treats for you to enjoy. This is a great opportunity to teach stove top safety to your kids. Pretend the burners are actually hot when they are on. Use pot holders to pick up hot pots and teach your child to turn off the stove top.

String Bean loves her new stove top!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

String Bean's Stove Top

On New Year's Eve, I decided that String Bean needed a cooking surface for all her new dishes and food so she could continue to learn the fine art of home making. Our condo is not large enough for a full-size kitchen, so I decided to create a stove top surface for her using only a shirt box, contact paper, 4 cabinet knobs with screws and washers, a sheet of red foam paper, and a black sharpie.

Here are some pictures of the final project:

String Bean is cooking up a storm! Please note the princess tent in the background. This is a favorite Christmas present of String Bean's.

Mr. Bean was kind enough to do the marker work on the burners and the knobs.

Close up of the knobs.

View from the top.

For those of you interested in step-by-step instructions on how to make this stove top for your little ones, stay tuned for tomorrow's post!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Twelve for Breakfast

Every year for Christmas my family makes this recipe for Christmas morning. Typically we open stockings and then eat this before opening presents.

I've managed to make this recipe 3 times this holiday season. The first time was for a friend who was packing to move. I sent it to her home uncooked so she could bake it while packing (watch out, its soupy when uncooked). The second time was for our Christmas celebration. The third time was this morning since the newlyweds stayed with us last night.

As Rachael Ray would say, "It's a real crowd pleaser!"

Twelve for Breakfast

8 slices cubed white bread (whole grains don’t taste right with this recipe)
2/3 pound Velveeta Cheese, cubed

8 eggs, beaten with
3 cups milk
8 slices bacon, fried and broken into pieces ( doesn’t have to be crisp, as it will be baking during last ½ hour)

Mix first four ingredients in large bowl. (You can then refrigerate overnight and bake the next day.) Pour in greased 13X9 pan. Bake at 350 for an hour, sprinkling with bacon after ½ hour.