Living not striving…

Random thoughts and daily adventures in my life

Couple of randoms March 28, 2009

Filed under: Random stuff — erikaivory @ 3:18 am
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So I received an email this week that kind of summed up some things I have had bouncing around in my head.  I thought it definitely shareworthy so I included it below.  I found out it is off another friend’s blog that I had not seen recently so sorry for stealing:)

And then below that you will find a recipe for some super yummy pancakes that we tried out tonight and thoroughly enjoyed.  Someone requested the recipe and I thought everyone might benefit.  Little bit boring post but maybe I can offer more later this weekend:)  Thanks for stopping by!

“Pay Attention” by Carolyn Mehaney…

Mothers are responsible to mold and shape lives; to raise children who, in the words of G.K. Chesterton, “require not so much to be taught anything as everything.”
“I might as well be at the controls of a moon shot,” reflected one mom, “the mission is so grave and vast.” And so it is. The training and discipline of our children in the fear the Lord is an awesome task, demanding of our full attention (see Deut 6:5-9).
That’s why, if there’s one concern I have for this generation of mothers, it is the potential for distraction.
Blogs, facebook, twitter and texting allow moms at home to stay connected with the outside world like never before; the Internet makes it possible for women to contribute skills and gifts to the church and the marketplace, while at home with their children. These are all tremendous blessings, and when used wisely, can bless and serve our families and glorify God.
The Proverbs 31 women, long before the Internet, managed a wide range of tasks for the good of her family and community. (But did you notice what time she woke up each morning?) Depending on a woman’s capacity, gifting, personal discipline, as well as the ages and number of children, there may certainly be room for other things.
But we must be watchful that these “other things” don’t distract us from our primary task of mothering. We must walk carefully through this season, with all its opportunities, and make the best use of our time with our children.
Truth is, we can’t effectively train our children on the side. We can’t discipline them here and there. We can’t teach when we’ve got a free moment. We can’t mother intermittently.
Inconsistent training is ineffective training.
If we are distracted by projects or pleasure, we may miss valuable teaching moments, opportunities to encourage, disobedience that requires discipline, or a chance to show affection. These moments, once lost, are gone forever.
So ladies, may I encourage you, as I do my own daughters, to give training and discipline your first and full attention. Walk carefully, and keep your eyes on the mothering road.
More thoughts tomorrow.

Yummy Pancakes
3 cups whole wheat flour (I used half white/half wheat)
3 Tbsp sugar
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 beaten eggs
3 cups milk
6 Tbsp oil

Mix dry and wet ingredients separately and then stir together just until combined. Add more milk to thin batter if needed. Cook on hot buttered griddle. Makes about 20 pancakes. (It made a lot of batter. I saved some pancakes and about half the batter for later:)

Enjoy, I think I am going to heat up some of the leftover ones for a late night snack:)


A Day in the Life March 23, 2009

Filed under: Family Life — erikaivory @ 1:50 am
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Here is a few moments in a day in my life with my ball of energy 3 yr old.  A few comments I added.  Thought it might make you smile.


It was a pretty morning so I asked Eli to go outside and play while I started the laundry.  He was playing so nicely that I didn’t notice he snuck the hand soap out of the bathroom.  He did come in to potty once and happily announced that he had “won the game” which means for the most part he shot it all in the toilet not around.  That must have been when he took possession of the soap in this picture.

When I went to peek outside at him he had lost his pants b/c they were wet, b/c he turned the outside water faucet on to fill up buckets with water and soap and all other kinds of nature items.  He apparently was making a “magic potion” that would turn me into a kid and Eli into an adult.  He was also washing various outside items.

Sleeping angel

Sleeping angel

He did wear himself out and took a good nap.  He usually does nap most days.  He is a busy boy and naps hard.  Isn’t he just precious?

He was serenading me!

He was serenading me! (Notice the banner they made us when we were in San Fran)

That afternoon we changed clothes.  Somehow we usually wear two different outfits throughout the day.  While I folded clothes my sweet boy serenaded me from the fireplace.  Lots of “I love you Mommy” songs.  Beautiful to my ears:)  Then as usual he rushed off to make it to the potty in time.  This time though he yells, “Oh no Mommy!”  That is never good.  I run in to find out that he has “made a mess all over.”  Somehow pee is in the bathtub, on the floor, on the stool, clothes are wet and urine is even Here!

do you see the bangs are wet?

do you see the bangs are wet?

He said, “Mommy, I pee peed on my head!”.  He leaned so far forward while sitting down that he wet his head and everything else.  Sigh…I just pulled out the clorox wipes and laughed with him…and changed his clothes again.  Today I found urine all over the toilet brush that is in a little holder behind the toilet.

What a joy!  Seriously…everyday is an adventure with my Eli boy!


St. Patty’s Day Family Night March 22, 2009

Filed under: Family Life — erikaivory @ 2:49 am
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1237330607991Despite coming back from San Francisco to face time change adjustment, a sinus infection and a stomach bug … I was able to pull off a Family Night on St. Patrick’s Day.  Definitely not b/c of my amazing organization, creativity and stamina because that was non-existent over the past two weeks.  I was able to have a fun night for my boys b/c a sweet friend left me a Family Night in a bag on my doorstep.  It had all the supplies, the craft, the table decorations, ideas for a spiritual lesson and even dessert in it:)  Wow!  What a great gift and sweet friend:)

So Grandma Pat came over and helped the boys make rainbows out of fruit loops and cotton balls while I cooked up a yummy dinner that included biscuits in the shape of pots of gold and shamrocks.  During dinner we discussed the origins of St. Patrick’s Day.  Pat brought us an interesting article on it and we learned a lot.  Then we discussed how St. Patrick liked to explain the Trinity using a Shamrock.  He used the three leaves to describe how Father, Son and Holy Spirit are separate but the same.  Fun conversation with the boys.  They actually kind of “got it”.

After dinner we had a scavenger hunt on shamrocks that discussed what our true “treasure” is and different truths about the Lord which eventually led them to a pot of yummy cookies:)  So much fun and so nice to have it organized since my poor little brain was just not ready to tackle family night yet.

(Disclaimer, I am still learning how to hold my phone steady enough to take non blurry pics.  Working on it sorry!)

Notice the black pot of biscuits:)

Notice the black pot of biscuits:)

The biscuits

The biscuits

Enjoying their pot of cookies in Eli's room

Enjoying their pot of cookies in Eli's room


Strategic Dads March 18, 2009

Filed under: Random stuff — erikaivory @ 2:12 am

I found a neat blog recently called Strategic Dad and I really appreciated this post on a book “Worldliness” by C.J. Mahaney.  It included some questions to ask ourselves in regard to our media consumption.  They really made me think and I thought you might enjoy some introspection as well.  I think they would be great to be used to evaluate our own and our children’s media consumption.

Am I skipping or delaying something important in order to watch this now?

In the last week, how much time have I spent on the spiritual disciplines and building relationships compared to time spent consuming media?

After investing the time to view this, will I look back on it as time well spent?

Am I watching because I am bored or lazy? If so, what does this reveal about my heart?

What worldview or philosophy of life does this program or film present? What’s the view of man’s nature? What’s the view of sin? What’s the view of God-ordained authority figures? And how do these views relate to God’s view?

What is valued or considered important?

Is sin shown as having negative consequences? Or is sin glorified or rewarded? Is sin presented in an appealing way?

Would seeing this help me better understand God’s world?

Food for thought:)


I’m back…I think March 17, 2009

Filed under: Random stuff — erikaivory @ 2:33 am
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(this is a long post but it has lots of fun pictures so don’t give up:)

I’ve been gone forever it seems.  Lots of reasons…vacation, sickness, lack of creative ideas.  But actually it has been a little nice to be refocused on other things.  I haven’t missed this form of expression I suppose b/c I have been a bit empty and this time has allowed me to refuel.

Mark and I traveled  to San Francisco just the two of us and it was so what we needed.  I have been more focused on my kids and enjoying them.  So I am not sure how consistent I will be in the weeks to come.  We have soccer and baseball coming up and honestly I so love the spring.  The park and zoo and beach and rail trail are calling my name.  The dogwoods are blooming and this is the prettiest time of the year in these parts in my opinion.

So I hope you will continue to check in every now and then because I hope when I do post it will be worthwhile.  I am just not sure how often that will be:)  I love this community and sharing what is going on in my head and in our lives.  Thanks for being a part.  So until my next post (which knowing my fickle self will likely be in about 12 hours now that I have posted this) here are some of our pictures from our most amazing trip to San Francisco.


this is us in Alcatraz listening to the audio tour.

Both of us had crazy flight delays that made our trips way longer than they were supposed to be.  Mark went out there for work a few days before me so we were both sleep deprived by the time we arrived:)  The first night we went out to eat at a fun restaurant downtown, Lulu’s with Mark’s work folk.  It was so fun and great to be able to meet and spend time with his “other family”.

The next day we took the F line (don’t I sound cool) to the Embercadero (down by the water) and visited Pier 39.  We saw sea lions, ate at In N Out, had a sundae at Ghirardelli and then tried to take the cable car back toward the hotel but it broke:)  Fun while it lasted!

That Ghiradelli sundae was oh so good!

That Ghirardelli sundae was oh so good!

I had to hang out the side (like you said Cookie!)

I had to hang out the side (like you said Cookie!)

Pier 39 with a pirate ship in the background

Pier 39 with a pirate ship in the background

Notice the coffee cup in my hand.  Most of the pictures I am in I will either be holding coffee or wearing a hat and mittens.  The locals said it was a warm spell but I froze my tail off the whole time.  I am truly Southern and I am now completely addicted to coffee.  Oh well!

Yes I have a whale phobia and yes this whigged me out.

Yes I have a whale phobia and yes this whigged me out.

If we had had one more day we would have gone to Napa Valley.  If we were there two more days I would have insisted we go on the whale watching tour.  No really I even picked up a brochure.  Why don’t you believe me!

We switched hotels midway through and they upgraded us to the bridal suite which was such a wonderful treat.  The second hotel was actually in Berkeley which Mark thought was exciting.  I just liked the hotel because it was on a beautiful Marina.  They also had a terrific restaurant!

On Friday we got up super early and went with some of Mark’s work friends from Austin (such a fun couple Keith and Theresa)to Alcatraz.  (I lost my new google phone for a couple of hours.  Heart failure but God smiled on me and noone stole it:) I did not think I would enjoy the Alcatraz experience but the history was amazing and the weather was so beautiful that the views were breathtaking.  I loved it!

Look at that view (the scenery not the hot man)

Look at that view (the scenery not the hot man)

That afternoon we took a bus tour to Muir Woods and Sausalito.  We walked among the Redwoods.  It completely amazed me that you could go from water and beaches with palm trees to mountains and Redwoods within a few miles.  And we learned some of the coolest info about Redwoods.  Like when one dies other trees will grow in a circle around it from their remains.  I will do another post along and along about some neat “life stuff” I learned during that hike.  Muir woods was tranquil and full of peace.  And once again cold.

That afternoon we ate at a local favorite, Scoma’s, and it was some of the best seafood I ever experienced.  That night we ate in Chinatown.  We did get to see the city from the top of the Marriott.  Breathtaking.  I know I am boring you with many details but this is the only way lots of you will get to hear about our fun:)

Look at the size of those trees!

Look at the size of those trees!

We got lost in Macy's and found an ipod vending machine.

We got lost in Macy's and found an ipod vending machine.

Saturday was the highlight of our trip.  Mark talked me into biking across the Golden Gate Bridge.  Ugh!  I thought.  But oh my goodness it was incredible!  It was a little frustrating following their map and their were at least two major hills, but it was so worth it.  Our plan was to bike across and take the ferry back but it was so beautiful that we just turned right back around and rode back so we could see the views again.  I will never forget it.  I feel like my eyes were starving and during that weekend they just feasted on the beauty of that place.  Sounds so corny but I just couldn’t get enough.

We also rode through some parks and they were full of people picnicking, playing ball, walking pets, flying kites, jogging… We also rode along the beaches which are of course so different then ours.  They didn’t make sand castles, instead I watched children build rock castles.  Really!  I can’t find the picture but I took a picture of one of the castles with towers they made with the large rocks on the beach.

This was at the "warming hut" on the beach before the foot of the bridge

This was at the "warming hut" on the beach before the foot of the bridge

You have to know that I was a complete dork because everyone else was in shorts and bathing suits playing in the sand and I was in hat and mittens!  I was thankful for a warming hut, but it was still hard for me to understand why you need something like that on a beach!

We wanted to do even more but after biking most of the day and also walking a few miles along the Embercadero to see the AT&T baseball stadium for Mark, we were beat.

I think that is Mark with a Mickey Mantle statue, he was a happy camper:)

I think that is Mark with a Mickey Mantle statue, he was a happy camper:)

Look at all the cute metal octupus and starfish, there were turtles too!

Look at all the cute metal octupus and starfish, there were turtles too!

A view from up on the bridge

A view from up on the bridge

Another view from up on the bridge, wish you could see the seals below

Another view from up on the bridge, wish you could see the seals below

So our last night we enjoyed the restaurant at the hotel and packed up for a long day of traveling.  Thankfully our flights home were all on time and we were able to sit next to each other so it was a nice return trip.  We definitely want to make sure that we take a trip each year just the two of us.  Not necessarily so far away, b/c the jet lag and time change were really hard to recoup from…but we now realize how important it is to the health of our marriage to have this “us” time.

So many thanks have been said but again a public thank you to all the family and friends that took care of our boys and made this possible!


Dinner with a Perfect Stranger March 11, 2009

Filed under: Book reviews — erikaivory @ 2:09 am

I read two interesting books over the past few weeks for a blog review. Dinner with a Perfect Stranger and Day with a Perfect Stranger They were really quite interesting.  They were short little novellas and reminded me a tiny bit of The Shack.  Or at least that kind of “meet Deity in modern day life” kind of idea.  I actually have a few people I might pass these on to b/c they are so interesting, humorous and might create some interesting discussion about Christ in a non-intimidating way.  Below you will find descriptions of the book and the author David Gregory as well as links where you can buy these great books!

Book: Dinner with a Perfect Stranger and Day with a Perfect Stranger

Author: David Gregory

Dates: March 2-6

Summary Dinner with a Perfect Stranger:

You are Invited to a Dinner with Jesus of Nazareth

The mysterious envelope arrives on Nick Cominsky’s desk amid a stack of credit card applications and business-related junk mail. Although his seventy-hour workweek has already eaten into his limited family time, Nick can’t pass up the opportunity to see what kind of plot his colleagues have hatched.

The normally confident, cynical Nick soon finds himself thrown off-balance, drawn into an intriguing conversation with a baffling man who appears to be more than comfortable discussing everything from world religions to the existence of heaven and hell. And this man who calls himself Jesus also seems to know a disturbing amount about Nick’s personal life.


“You’re bored, Nick. You were made for more than this. You’re worried about God stealing your fun, but you’ve got it backwards.… There’s no adventure like being joined to the Creator of the universe.” He leaned back off the table. “And your first mission would be to let him guide you out of the mess you’re in at work.”

As the evening progresses, their conversation touches on life, God, meaning, pain, faith, and doubt–and it seems that having Dinner with a Perfect Stranger may change Nick’s life forever.

Summary Day with a Perfect Stranger:

What if a fascinating stranger knew you better than you know yourself?

When her husband comes home with a farfetched story about eating dinner with someone he believes to be Jesus, Mattie Cominsky thinks this may signal the end of her shaky marriage. Convinced that Nick is, at best, turning into a religious nut, the self-described agnostic hopes that a quick business trip will give her time to think things through.

On board the plane, Mattie strikes up a conversation with a fellow passenger. When she discovers their shared scorn for religion, she confides her frustration over her husband’s recent conversion. The stranger suggests that perhaps her husband isn’t seeking religion but true spiritual connection, an idea that prompts her to reflect on her own search for fulfillment.

As their conversation turns to issues of spiritual longing and deeper questions about the nature of God, Mattie finds herself increasingly drawn to this insightful stranger. But when the discussion unexpectedly turns personal, touching on things she’s never told anyone, Mattie is startled and disturbed. Who is this man who seems to peer straight into her soul?

Cover art:

Author Bio:

David Gregory is the author of the best-selling books Dinner with a Perfect Stranger and A Day with a Perfect Stranger, and coauthor of two nonfiction books. After a ten-year business career, he returned to school to study religion and communications, earning graduate degrees from The University of North Texas and Dallas Theological Seminary. A native Texan, David now devotes himself to writing full time.

And don’t forget to include a link in your post to learn more about or purchase these books at

Dinner with a Perfect Stranger:

Day with a Perfect Stranger: