Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Archive for April, 2007

He’s hot stuff, I tell ya…

27th April 2007

Another big weekend ahead of us.  Last weekend, at the Mississippi Grand Prix, he finished 6th overall.  He was really happy with the results, and he came home with a decent check of prize money! 

This weekend begins a week long series of criteriums in Georgia and Alabama.  We’re headed to Athens, GA tomorrow for a BIG DEAL Pro/Category 1 race in the evening.  Though he’s only a Category 2 rider – hoping to jump up to Category 1 any day now! – he needed an invitation to race with the Big Dogs:)  He got the call this morning, and so we’re going to cheer him on as he tests himself with some of the top riders in the nation.  We’re staying in Athens tomorrow night, and the series continues in Roswell (north Atlanta) tomorrow evening.  There are races every day next week, but Brian won’t be racing in the series again until next Saturday and Sunday.  We’ll keep you posted. 

But this sweet fast-looking photo was taken last weekend during the time trial.  I love it!  Doesn’t he look like he’s flying?

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Meet Quincy…

27th April 2007

And now for some lighter Friday reading and a few smiles from my cuties!

No, she’s not supposed to be standing on the chair. But she was so smiley and pretty!
I so rarely catch such a sweet picture of her.

Over our Easter Indiana trip, I borrowed a Disney’s Little Einstiens DVD from the library for Analise to enjoy. We don’t have the Disney channel, so it was new and very exciting for her. Of course, Little Einsteins are her new favorite show. We ended up buying the Legend of the Golden Pyramid (and 2 other episodes) after we got back. This is actually one of my favorite kids shows. They highlight real art by a famous artist and use a piece of well-known music by a famous composer in each episode. There’s a lot of listening and learning about music, hearing the groups of insturments, and recognizing similar phrases of each song. And in each adventure, they go fun places, like San Francisco, Venice and Egypt, and they use realistic images and learn a little about the place their visiting. Very fun.

The Little Einsteins are Annie, Quincy, Leo and June. June is a ballet dancer, always spinning and twirling, and Analise has just entered a ballet phase. She’s always wanting to spin and twirl, especially when she has as skirt or dress on, or a twirly nightgown. She’s learned a song called, "The Bear who Loves Ballet", and she sings it at the top of her lungs, dancing around on her toes. It’s so very cute. I’m actually hoping maybe this summer we can find a fun ballet or gymnastics class.

It seems that the Little Einsteins have moved in. I came into Analise’s room, and she was talking to Quincy.
"Quincy, come cheer for Daddy with me! Go, Brian!"
"Where’s Quincy?" I asked.
"Right here," she said, pointing to Josiah.
"Oh, Josiah is Quincy."
"No, he’s not. He’s right here!", she corrected, pointing to a spot just behind Josiah.
"Hi Quincy!" I said.
"Ok, Quincy, let’s go," she said moving on to something else to play with her new friend.
We’re in the familiy room right now, and I just asked her where Quincy was. "In my bedroom." So cute.

Josiah’s really turning into a redhead! He’s such a handsome little man…
that’s what Analise always says, because it’s what I’ve been saying since he was born:)

Josiah’s napping. I just realized he’s outgrown the sweet stage of falling asleep on my chest. I’m a bit sad, as I sure loved him snuggling up to me. It is a good thing, though, as he much prefers to put himself to sleep in his quiet room. But we had a short snuggle before he went to bed. I can’t believe how fast they’re growing up!   Josiah’s first birthday is just around the corner, June 9th.  He’ll be 11 months old in just over a week.  And Analise’s 3rd birthday is at the end of June.  I’m planning a big Dora-fest:)  You’ll hear more soon!

The plan: Distract Josiah with the puzzle box, so he doesn’t decide he wants to eat the pieces, while Analise works hard to put it together!
The outcome: He was only entertained for about 30 seconds, not quite long enough for Analise to finish.

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To be a good mom

26th April 2007

Yes, I’ve been quiet on the blog-front this week.  My apologies.  I’ve been battling some grumpiness, and we’re still/again struggling on the sleep front.  This is kind of a rambling, late-night post, but it’s the thoughts that have been bouncing in my head all week.

Tuesday started out really rough, as Josiah slept fitfully during the night and decided to start the day at 5am.  I’ll spare you the other grumpy details, but I was overwhelmed with the day by 9am.  I had planned to go to my monthly Mothers of Preschoolers meeting at 10am, which I had missed last month when I was sick.  I almost didn’t go because Josiah only got a short nap before we had to leave. 

I’m so glad I went, though.  On the way over, I heard the Mark Schulz song, "I AM" on the radio, reminding me that God is… all the things I needed Him to be at that very moment.  It was the perfect quieting to prepare me for a restful time at the meeting.  It was really encouraging to fellowship with other moms who are going through the same struggles, trying to be the best mom to our children, wanting desperately to model the love of Christ to them.  It was honest, real, and convicting.  

Tonight I went to a missions banquet with Brian’s mom.  The speaker again shared something that spoke to me about her experiences as a mother.  Another deeply convicting personal story of a mother’s weak moment and her response of humbling herself and asking forgiveness of her daughter.  

Our children are watching us.  They are see our habits – good and bad, they see our weak moments and they learn from how we respond to them.  I know that mothering has challenged me in more ways than I’ve ever been challenged.  I am not naturally a patient person… I’m impatient and quick-tempered, and I have plenty of other faults.  But the only thing I can do as a mother is to cultivate MY heart, soaking up the promises of God in the fruit of the Spirit… love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  

At home church last night, the question was asked, "What do you really want in life?"  I knew immediately.  I want to live a life that lets my children see Christ through me.  I want to spend time in the Word for myself, but also, I really want Analise to see that this is an important part of my day and to grow up building the same habit in her life.  I want my children to see that God’s word speaks to our lives today.  I want them to grow up knowing His word, and to do that, I have to know His word myself and put it to use in my life.  I want to walk in patience in those moments when Analise doesn’t tell me she’s got to go potty, but instead creates a puddle in her bedroom and proceeds to dance in it.  I want to love her through her toddler-tantrum moments and model patience in her endless, repeated requests. 

There are so many things I want as a mom… but to achieve any of them, I must take care of my heart, my spirit.  I need to come to source of the Living Water, and let God refresh my dry spirit.  I need to ask Him to order my day before I roll out of bed in the morning, and ask Him to fill me with His spirit so I can face all the demands with the supernatural love, joy, peace, patience and self-control that I’ll need.

So to sum it up, I’ll always be striving to be a good mom.  But the only way I’ll every be a good mom is to cultivate my spirit with God’s love.  Another day awaits…

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What’s Cookin’… Creamy Chicken Spaghetti

21st April 2007

Sort of my own creation, after being inspired by several recipes on

Creamy Chicken Spaghetti

  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked, shredded (seasoned with onion, garlic salt and season salt)
  • 8 oz spaghetti, broken into pieces, cooked & drained
  • 3/4 c diced carrots (cook and drain with spaghetti)
  • 1 c. cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 c. cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth or white wine
  • 2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c. breadcrumbs (or crumbled crackers)
  • 3 T butter, melted
  • *optional bacon bits (I used Tastefully Simple’s Bacon Bacon)

together the soups and broth/wine. Season with some garlic salt and
italian seasoning, if desired. Mix in 1 cup cheddar cheese, add
chicken, add noodles, stir to mix. Pour into greased 9×13 pan. Top with
the rest of the cheese. Mix bread crumbs and butter, and bacon
seasoning if you’re using it, and sprinkle on top. Bakeat 350 for 30 min.  Enjoy!

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Tearing up the roads…

21st April 2007

Brian on the last day of racing. He placed 5th in this race.

Brian’s in Mississippi this weekend for an omnium bike race, which is a series of races that all score towards an overall prize.  He’s feeling much better than he did last weekend in Tennessee, thankfully.  Last night, he placed 7th in the criterium.  In this morning’s road race, he placed 6th, and though he’s not sure of the results of the time trial this afternoon, he was very pleased with how he did.  There are some really good racers there, and this is a great weekend for him to get some notable results.  He’s got one more race tomorrow morning, and we’ll let you know how he did overall.  But he’s pretty sure that as long as he finishes relatively well tomorrow, he should place in the overall (GC) prize money.  Yeah! 

I’m managing on my own.  Josiah’s not sleeping well, but other than that we’ve had a good, quiet early weekend.  I will definitely say that I think single moms are amazing, as I surely couldn’t do this very often.  But it’s nice to feel like I have things under control… at least for a time! 

I’ve started finding little chores for Analise to help me with.  One of them is putting away the silverware.  She’ll pull her little stool over to the drawer, I’ll dump the silverware on the counter, and she’ll happily sort them all into their spaces.  She loves it.  She keeps saying, "Mommy, you’re proud of me?"  It’s so cute.  I keep telling her how much I appreciate her help.  "Mommy, you ‘preciate me?"  It’s sweet!

Josiah had about a month of gobbling down baby food, but now he’s got severe food jealousy.  He wants whatever Analise is eating, and Analise, in turn, often wants his Gerber fruit or veggie puffs, his shredded cheese, or one of his crackers.  But he wants anything she’s got… pizza, noodles, cereal, cookies.  Today at the grocery store, the bakery lady gave Analise a cookie, and he had a little fit because he wanted something.  He grudgingly munched on a cracker (actually 5 of them throughout the store), while I kept reminding Analise to try to stay out of his reach.  In the last two days, he’s had mashed chicken spaghetti and mashed sweet and sour meatballs.  And he won’t let me eat any form of dessert without complaining LOUDLY that he needs something.  And he cannot be convinced that grapes are equivalent to a brownie.  Smart boy.

One other Josiah favorite of the moment is shredded cheese.  He’ll start making little panting noises, stretching his arms and legs out in desperation when he sees the cheese.  I shred a little pile onto his tray, and he happily gobbles it down.  (Only about half of it makes it to his mouth, although he’s gotten really good at his pincher grasp.  Tiny shredded cheese is hard to get!)

Happy Saturday, everyone!  

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Expect Miracles

19th April 2007

Two people I know are battling cancer.  One of them is a very, very dear friend from California.  She’s been an amazing testimony to God’s presence through it all, and I have been meaning to share an article that she wrote for Radiant Magazine, called The Blessing of Cancer.  It’s such a great communication of what she’s gone through.  She’s doing great, and finished chemotherapy last month.  Go, Michelle!  We’re praying for you… and may God continue to use you in a MIGHTY way to minister to those around you. 

The other person, Amy Alford, I only know secondhand, as she’s the daughter of a woman from my home church in Shell Lake.  Long story short is that just a couple weeks after giving birth to a sweet baby girl in December, she was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor.  She’s undergone surgery, but part of the tumor couldn’t be removed, and now she’s in the process of an aggressive chemotherapy protocol.  Her story can be found here, at Caring Bridge.  But if you’re interested in a little, tangible way you can support her, there are beautiful silver bracelets available at that say "Expect Miracles".  They’re only $9.95, and 100% of the profits go to a fun to support their expenses. 

"Expect Miracles"… I think that’s so powerful because we so rarely do.  God IS capable, and he WANTS to show us His power.  He wants us to believe Him.  I think we need to pray for miracles, expecting them, and believing God is able.  And above all, we believe that He is good, and trust that He is loving.  I learned so much from a Beth Moore bible study, called Believing God.  It’s hard, but I want to find ways to believe in Him and His character in my life.  And I’m expecting miracles.  

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An Awesome Earth Day Freebie from Home Depot

19th April 2007

Celebrate Earth Day with a free Compact Fluorescent Light bulb (CFL)!   On Sunday, April 22nd – Earth Day – Home Depot will be giving away free CFL bulbs.  I’m sure you’ve got a reason – or 17, like us – to go to Home Depot, and who doesn’t need a free light bulb?

If you haven’t started switching your lightbulbs over to
CFLs, now is a great chance to start! This is one of the absolute
easiest ways to start “living green”, as these are huge energy savers.
I just used their Home Depot’s handy little calculator (click on the "Energy Efficient" tab) to find that
changing 10 bulbs from incandescent to CFLs will save $34/year and
save $453 worth of energy over the lifetime of the bulb. These save use
75% less electricity and last 10x longer. AND they even come in a nice
soft white shade that’s nothing like the blaring fluorescent you might
be imagining. No excuses!  We’re working on changing all our bulbs over. 

Thanks Want!

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My Favorite Parent Reading…

19th April 2007

I’ve got a good line-up of websites that I go to on a regular basis for inspiration and ideas. This parenting job is full of opportunities to be creative and as you know from past blogs, it creates lots of funny stories. I thought I’d compile a list of my current favorite parent blogs/websites for those of you that are interested. Don’t we all need more on the internet to keep us from getting real work done?

  • Parent Hacks – The names says it all. It’s FULL of great ideas for anything you could imagine. One recent post had great ideas for helping toddlers help you clean. I’m all for that! Another bookmarked link I have is this post for sending used stuffed animals and toys to children in Iraq.
  • Family Fun – Crafts, food ideas, birthday inspirations.
  • Baby Toolkit – New site I’ve just bookmarked with reviews about baby/kid stuff. Current headline: Barf-A-Rama: Coming Soon to a Home Near You. Ain’t it true.
  • Baby Name Wizard: NameVoyagerAn interactive portrait of America’s name choices. Startiing
    with a "sea" of nearly 5000 names. Typing in letters will zoom in to
    focus on how that initial and name has been used over the past century. Each stripe is a timeline of one
    name, its width reflecting the name’s changing popularity.
  • Premeditated Parenting – Premeditated Parenting an international ministry which supports
    Christian parents in raising godly kids in a crazy mixed-up world. All
    of the articles are intended to be practical, biblical, and helpful. They’ve also got a "weekly-ish" email that highlights their tips.  (Thanks, Lyndsey L!)
  • Baby Cheapsakate – The name suits my $$ philosophy so well. Saving Big Bucks on Baby Stuff. She also highlights where the cheapest diapers can be found each week. Great for the occasional week that I have to buy diapers!
  • Want Not – This is, hands down, my favorite read. Honestly, I check it several times a day. Amazing freebies, deals, and tips. I recently got a Leapfrog Lea’s Phonics Railroad, regularly close to $60, for $15, SHIPPED, from ToysRUs. Sweet future bday present! Now if I can just remember I already have a gift for that birthday…
  • MotherLoad: The Blog – Ideas for organizing, cooking, saving money, just general good "mom" stuff. Every Friday, she does a "Freebie Friday" full of links for free deals.
  • In the Trenches of Motherhood Mother of 7 (!), "answering the question, how do you do it?"  Just what I was wondering!  Recent fun posts: Recipe for self-hardening clay to make beads for stringing, Pretzel recipe (I haven’t tried it yet, but I can’t wait to make them with Analise!), fun treasure-in-a-bottle project

I suppose that’s enough for now.  I follow a lot of individual people’s blogs that are all fun to read.  I didn’t leave y’all out, just wanted to highlight the ones full of inspiration and ideas.  Enjoy!

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Ice Cream and Music… for your enjoyment!

17th April 2007

Today is Free Scoop Day at Ben & Jerry’s!  Head on over for some Chubby Hubby or Bovinity Divinity:)

Also, my dad sent me this link for a video on YouTube of an amazing one-man-guitar-playing band.  Awesome!

Have a good Tuesday!

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Good thing God is able!

16th April 2007

"And God is able to make all grace abound so that in all things,
at all times, having all that you need, you will abound for every good work."  –2 Corinthians 9:8

A day like Friday makes me so grateful for this promise! It just makes me laugh because it was just one of THOSE days…
Josiah slept terribly, so we were up early, and I was in a grumpy moood from the get-go.  Analise woke up clingy and whiney, and she wasn’t eating any of the breakfast options.  I was pretty grumpy with her.  Brian’s dad, Tom, was coming over to stay with the kids after I put Josiah down for a nap while I went to a consignment sale. 
But Josiah wouldn’t sleep.  He screamed and wailed, quite unusual for him.  He was so tired…  I couldn’t take him with me, so I sent my Tom home.  As soon as he left, Josiah quieted down, and I thought, "Maybe I can still go…"  I was on a tight schedule, though as Tom had a tee-time at 11.  So I dropped Analise off at his house and took off with Josiah, who was asleep by the time we got there.  When I arrived, we only had 15 minutes before we had to head back, but the check-out line was already way too long, so I just left.
I was even grumpier… didn’t get to go shopping, looked like I was going to miss going out on a leadership conference at church I’d been looking forward to because Josiah was so miserable.  On my way home, I thought, "A blended, frozen from Krispy Kreme will make me feel better about today…"  So I ordered a drink, and in a moment of weakness, a doughnut.  As soon as I pulled forward to pay, I regretted ordering anything, as I really didn’t need coffee, and I REALLY really didn’t need a doughnut.  When I got to the window, the lady informed me they were out of all the drink flavorings I wanted.  I took that as my divine opportunity to not get anything, and I told her, "No, thank you!" 
Then I had to take both kiddos to the doctor, which I’ve never tried on my own.  I usually drop one off at Brian’s parents, since they live very close.  But Analise was on top-notch behavior, and we managed just fine.  The day was improving…
In the end, both kids napped, and Brian and I did get to go out, and the day turned out pretty good.  Good thing God is able!

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