Katie J's Journal

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Protected: Sick and tired… and not because of an illness or lack of sleep… April 7, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The McKinney Family @ 9:40 pm

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Snip-its… April 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The McKinney Family @ 12:05 pm

Okay, just some really quick snip-its of things I love about my kiddos:

Gabi- Gabs has been so curious about God/Jesus lately. About a week ago she was watching a Hermie video that Evan got for his birthday and she said, “My God doesn’t talk to me.” James told her that He did; we just can’t hear him. She said, “We need to get some speakers so we can hear him. ” Yesterday she was asking me about heaven. When she asked how we get there, I told her that Jesus will come to get us when it’s time. She said, “Mommy, you die first.” I think she wants me to go on ahead and check things out for her :). I told her I’d try my best… Last night she was asking James questions about God and he was trying to explain that God has always just “been.” She said, “How God made Himself?” Uhhhh, if it had been me I would have said, “Go ask your Daddy.” It’s so precious to be able to watch the Lord prodding her little heart toward Himself. What a joy it will be to see her accept Christ as her savior.

Sarah- Sarah continues to go through what I like to call “toddler adolescence.” She is Little Miss Drama Queen and a little too big for her britches lately. Despite that, she’s still my little cuddle bug. Lately I’ll be standing up, rocking one of the boys and I’ll notice that she’s copying me with dear old Lambie. She loves that I treat Lambie like a member of the family. When she wakes up in the morning I’ll ask her if Lambie slept all night or if she was naughty and tried to get out of bed. She still climbs in my lap several times a day for some loving and for that I’m grateful. I know it will be all too soon that she decides that she’s too big for that…

Evan- If Sarah is Little Miss Drama Queen, then Evan is Little Mr. Drama King. James got it right the other night when he said that Evan has been the only one of our children who knew how to throw a really good fit. His favorite thing to do in the midst of a fit is to throw his head back into my chest or on the floor. The other day he was trying to do it and I kept putting the palm of my hand out to catch his head- let me tell you- he did NOT like that! It made him even madder :). But despite his tantrums, he’s my child that’s most attached. He’s constantly finding his blankie and climbing into my lap to cuddle during the day. His vocabulary is growing, too! Gabi noticed the scar on the back of his head from when he had an IV in the NICU the other day. It reminded me once again of how blessed we are to have him in our lives.

Nafa- What a lovey boy, but a little booger too. Lately he’s really into giving kisses- you have to watch out because they’re wet kisses. It’s really fun when you get slobber and snot all at the same time…. :/. He’s funny, though, because he’s a little bully. He beats up on Evan- he’ll crawl on top of him and not let him up, despite Evan’s screams of terror. He constantly steals food from the other kids, too. You’d better not eat in front of him if you don’t intend on sharing… Our favorite thing about him is when he “talks.” He mumbles incoherent phrases, but it sounds (and looks) like he’s really telling you something. I want to catch it on camera before he learns how to really talk.

Matthew-I’ve heard people say this before, but I’ve never understood it ’til Matthew came along: The Lord must have known that I needed an easy baby this go-round. He is the happiest little guy. He is content to sit in his exersaucer or “bouncy” (what we call our Johnny Jump-up) and just watch the other kids. And boy do they dote on him! Yesterday Gabi told him that, when our new baby comes, he can sleep in her bed with her. (No, there’s not a new baby coming- but she makes me nervous when she talks like that :).) He’s rolling over now and the kids think it’s just great.

Well, that’s it. I just wanted to record some of this so I wouldn’t forget it. I had a tough time with some depression last week, but I’m feeling much better this week and am so grateful to have my little family around me. Hope you all have a good week!



I don’t understand… March 31, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The McKinney Family @ 12:39 pm
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Why do some people find such joy in hurting other people? Why does it make them feel better about themselves to make others feel badly about what they look like or how much they weigh? I remember as a teenager (and probably more of a young middle school-aged one) finding some self-esteem in looking down at others, but I grew out of that a long time ago. By the Lord’s grace and mercy I have learned not to feel that way. When I see someone who is struggling with their weight I feel sad because I know how they feel and how hard it is. When I see someone with awful acne I sympathize because I, too, have struggled with that. When I see a mother having difficulties with her children in public I empathize because I, too, have those discouraging moments. I’m not saying that I’m perfect- I have many other sins that I deal with on a regular basis. I guess I just don’t understand why it makes these people feel good to hurt others. I’m trying to find my confidence in who God made me. Do I need to lose more baby weight? Yes, a lot, but it won’t happen overnight. All I can do is work on it day-by-day. Do I really need some new clothes that fit better and are more put-together looking? Yes, but that’s not something we can afford right now and, with the hopeful weight loss, I don’t want to invest in something that I pray will be too big in a few months.  Sorry for the rambling… my heart is just hurting this morning.

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

I don’t think this verse means that God wants us to not care at all how we look. Many passages, including Proverbs 31 and The Song of Solomon, encourage us (especially as women) to find ways to beautify ourselves and our homes for the enjoyment of our husbands and families. But I do know that this is not where the Lord’s emphasis is. I pray that I can teach my children, especially my girls, that it is their inner beauty that is of great worth in God’s sight.

In other quick news, I begged James to let me get a book that I’ve been wanting for a long time. It’s called Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Teri Maxwell. I’m not quite finished, but it has been such a blessing. (And it is most certainly not just for homeschooling moms!) It deals with frustration and anger, discipline and organization. Teri’s writing is always so Biblically-based- she includes scripture to back up everything that she says. I highly recommend it to mommies (or future mommies) who are dealing with anger and frustration when their children misbehave or when they just can’t get everything done that they need to get done in the day.

That’s it for today… remember to be gentle with the feelings of those you come into contact with today. We never know when our words (or ugly looks) might pierce someone’s heart, whether intentionally or not. (And if you have to start a sentence with “I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but…” then just stop right there.) Have a wonderful day.




Mmmmm…. March 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The McKinney Family @ 3:37 am

Okay, so it’s late, but I wanted to post about this really quickly. Last weekend James and I watched Food, Inc. I’m not going to go into all it’s about- you can google it if you’re interested. Basically, it’s about where our food comes from, and also a little about the poor treatment of animals and, especially, people that goes on in an effort to get us fast, cheap food. We highly recommend it. Knowledge is always good, even if you don’t agree with it. Anyhoo….

So last weekend I tried to make a loaf of “No-knead Whole Wheat Bread.” It was good, but, despite the fact that I didn’t have to knead it, it was still kind of a pain. I had to use the mixer to mix it up, and that created more of a mess than I really cared for. So I looked on Craigslist for bread machines, and we found one in Gaffney for $20. A great deal since it was only used about 3 times and looked brand-new. It didn’t come with the instruction manual, but I was able to download and print that from the internet. That said, I finally had what I need to make bread tonight, so make bread I did. It is delicious! And I feel so good about giving my children something healthy to eat :). There was a little depression that happened when somebody I won’t name (Sarah Laine McKinney) opened the lid. Sigh… Oh well, it still tastes good… so, bear with my silly self, but here are some pictures :). (You can ooh and ahh over it for pretend, if you want :).)

Mmmm, looks good… I wonder how it tastes…..

See my handsome husband (or rather, his handsome hand) slicing our yummy bread? Notice the serrated knife… I’ve been using the serrated blades from my electric knife for over a year now, so my sweet husband brought home a real serrated knife.  Now to put it up in a very high LOCKED cabinet so the girls can’t get it….

Oh, and in case you’re wondering (you know you are, ha ha), hopefully I’ll have some sewing pictures to post after my class tomorrow. I LOVED my class! I got there about a half hour early and got right to work. The other girls and ladies were all sweet, and the instructor was a hoot! I got both the girls’ apron patterns cut out, but was held up with the bias tape because you were supposed to iron the curves in. Who woulda thunk it? So I’m bringing my iron tomorrow so I can iron the stuff as I go. I have a feeling I’m not gonna like bias tape very much… This past weekend I bought pretty fabric for the kids’ Easter outfits. Their patterns are all cut out, but I haven’t cut the fabric yet. I’m hoping to get their early tomorrow so I can get started, and I may stay a little late since the room will be empty and it’s a quiet place to work. (I didn’t last week ’cause I had an awful headache.) Okay, now I really have to go- the girls and I organized the kitchen cabinets today and I need to get the stuff that’s going to Good Will into a box for James to take during lunch tomorrow. Love you all!


An exciting week ahead!!! February 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The McKinney Family @ 2:08 pm

Yes, I know it’s Tuesday and, therefore, not the beginning of the week. However, I had a massive migraine yesterday so my precious husband stayed home and took care of the kiddos for me. It felt like a nice long weekend, even if I was in awful pain. Anyhow…

This is going to be an exciting week in our family for many different reasons. The most important is that my sister, Whitney, is going to have a new baby on Friday!!!! (She’ll be induced, unless the little booger comes early- her babies are always late, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he/she comes early since Whitney’s husband, Matt, has a big audit at work this week that they need to finish up…babies are just like that…) Anyhow, this is the first baby in our families that we don’t know the sex of.  I’ve been frustrated the whole time because I am not a patient person and I want to know what this baby is!!! I want to buy him/her cute things or, if I can’t afford to, at least dream! 🙂 But now that Whitney is so close, I’m so excited about the surprise element. I cannot wait to get that text or phone call telling me if I have a new niece or nephew!!! Whitney, if you’re reading this, I love you and pray for you constantly!

Thursday night is my first sewing class! Whoohoo! I know that, compared to a new baby, this is not really exciting at all, but I’ve been looking forward to it for awhile and have wanted to learn to sew as long as I can remember, so I’m thrilled that it’s almost here!  This past weekend James let me use some of our tax refund to build up my sewing supplies and pick a pattern. The first picture is my sewing machine case. You can’t really see the bottom, but it’s brown. I think the blue and brown is so pretty.

The next two pictures are of my pretty sewing box. I love how it stores all my special tools in an easily accessible way. I know this sounds weird, but I hope it gets dirty and beaten up from using it so much! 🙂

The last picture is the pattern I chose to bring to class. It’s a mommy/daughter apron pattern. I think I’m going to make a full-sized apron for the girls, first, then one for me if I have material left. (I’m using material someone gave me, first, so I may not.) I also might make a half-apron for Evie out of some boyish material because I know he’s going to want to join in the fun!

Okay, that’s it for now. I need to upload a funny picture of Evan to facebook- make sure you check it out later- soooo cute! Love you all and hope you have a great week, too! I’ll let you know when the new baby arrives, and hopefully will post a picture.

Love, Kate


Raindrops on roses… February 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The McKinney Family @ 7:15 pm

I’ve decided to write a post dedicated to some of my favorite things. Of course, being a mommy, most of them will be things that are child or family-related. I’m going to work on it for a couple of days when I have a second or two because I’m trying very diligently not to let my computer become a god. (Oh, and these are in no particular order…)

1) Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Engelmann- I won’t go into a lot of detail, but basically I used this approach as part of a large program when I taught first grade. Also, I babysat for several families and know several large families that use this as their primary reading “curriculum.” Gabi and I started “school” yesterday. (She said, “Mommy, you’re teaching me like Ms. Beadle!) So far, she’s doing great. She does get easily distracted and has a hard time staying still, but I can get her back on track fairly quickly. The lessons take 12-20 minutes. I have to admit that, even though I know how to lesson plan, I like that it lays everything out for you. It tells you exactly what to say and how to say it and warns you not to use your own words because you could miss an important concept. Great for a mommy with 5 little ones! We got our copy at Barnes and Noble; it was $22, but that’s cheap for a reading “curriculum” when we have at least 5 children that will probably use it!

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann: Book Cover

2) My Ergo– I love, love, love my Ergo! My parents got it for me as Matthew’s baby gift. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to use it when he was tiny because I didn’t have the infant insert. A few weeks ago a friend from church let me borrow her insert and it’s been wonderful! Yesterday I even put Evan in it on my back- he was whiny and wanted to be held and I had lots to do. I love having both hands free and he was content to be along for the ride. Their website is http://www.ergobabycarrier.com.

[ERGObaby Cranberry ERGObaby Carrier with Cranberry lining and Mocha Sucking Pads]

3) Vinegar– Okay, so I know that I’m way late on this one, but I finally bought 2 gallons of vinegar at Sam’s for less than $4 last year to rinse my nursing supplementer with. Since I’m not using that anymore :(, I’ve started using it for other stuff. Last night I had the greatest time sanitizing the sippy cups and, especially, the VALVES! They          were          so         nasty! I’ve tried and tried to clean them, so finally (duh!) I boiled them in water and vinegar. Ta da! White and shiny and gunk-free- and safe for the kiddos! I’m going to get two little spray bottles this weekend so the girls can have some safe vinegar and water cleaning solution to help clean with.  Which leads to the next thing…

4) Laundry: Yes, I just said that I like laundry. Know why? Because Gabs has been helping me with it. I started by folding the laundry, then giving her little stacks and telling her where to put them. Then I let her pick up the stacks and told her where to put them. Yesterday I sat and fed Matthew while she put away all the laundry that she could reach (which was most of it). She confused Matthew’s 2 drawers, but, other than that- she did great! I was so proud of her and it’s so nice to do something productive together. Oh, and she also likes to hang clothes on hangers. She knows that hers are purple and Sarah’s are pink, and the others are too high to reach so I hand them to her with the item that needs to be hung. We still have our “family closet” and I love it! We’re planning on using our closet in the new house/apartment at seminary for the family closet, and using the kids’ closets for storage.

5) Bluebehemoth.com: A friend introduced us to this site last year and we love it! It’s kind of like a Christian itunes, except on a much smaller scale. We have a huge wishlist of things we want to listen to. My new favorite that we downloaded last week is called, “Teach Them the Faith” by Dan and Karen Vitco. It’s the Shorter Catechism put to song. At first I wasn’t sure about it because the songs are really soft and slow, but now I love them. The woman who sings them has a beautiful voice. They’re perfect for bedtime; we have a cd in both the boys’ room and the girls’ room for nap and nighttime. In fact, I know you’ll laugh, but James and I can hear the girls’ cd from their room at night and we love listening to it, too. Very good resource to teach your children the basics of the Christian faith at a young age.

BlueBehemoth.com dinosaur

6) Mommy Necklaces: Okay, so this is something that I’d actually like to have, but don’t already have. They’re necklaces that were designed for nursing, but are for all mommies. They’re made to be pulled and played with without breaking. In fact, they have a 3 year warranty. I haven’t worn any jewelry at all in over a year, and haven’t worn it more than on the occasional Sunday for 3 years- I just was always worried about it snapping off and bead or things falling everywhere and someone choking. These are beautiful and should withstand the test of my kiddos, even. (If anyone wants to drop hints to James for Mother’s Day, you’re welcome to. 🙂 Just kidding. Their website is http://www.mommynecklaces.com. They even have matching earrings!

Okay, that’s enough for one past. You may be bored reading this, but, then again, maybe some of these things are things that you’ll love, too! I hope so! I’ve got to get ready for “fun day” tomorrow. We’re going to Charlotte to go to the Apple store at the mall and to Ikea. Yay! I’m determined to pack and plan as best I can to have the most stress-free day that we can have. Plus, we’re bringing food so that we can save money. (Though we may eat lunch at Ikea because their food is a great deal and they have Swedish choices, which will remind me of growing up in Europe :).) Hope you all have a great weekend, too!


Super-quick update… February 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The McKinney Family @ 2:33 pm

I have a long list of things I want to accomplish today (do I ever not have a long list of things to accomplish? :)) so this will be brief.

Last Friday we celebrated Evan’s 2nd birthday. I can’t believe that that little 3lb 9oz baby has grown into a 23lb little boy. I took the girls to the dollar store Thursday night to pick a present for him- we got a ball with a frog on it. He loved it! I don’t know which he likes better- balls or shoes. Anyhow, we were going to go shopping this weekend to get a present for him from us, but decided not to. We need to be really careful not to spend money on things that will be forgotten in a week, as well as try not to bring more clutter into our house while we’re trying to clean out to move.  Seminary is looming on the horizon- whether we move this summer or James starts out online depends on what happens with our Naaman.

In other news, I am thrilled to be going back to school! Ha ha, not really, but sort of. I’m going to take a class at the local community college called, “Sewing Basics.” I’m so excited! James bought me a sewing machine for Mother’s Day last year and I haven’t been able to use it because I’m so intimidated. I know this class won’t make me an expert seamstress, but I’m hoping it will help me gain some confidence and not be so scared to try and make mistakes. The class is 5 2-hour sessions for $89… I think it will be money well spent as I’ll be able make lots of clothes for our children and other household “pretties” that would be far more expensive at a store. And it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time. Yay!

I’m going to ask you to please be in prayer for my brother, Matt. I don’t want to divulge many details (though I may in email since it’s more private) but he’s have some major issues. In fact, “major” is a HUGE understatement. So you know how to pray, I’m not sure if he knows Christ or not. He accepted Christ when he was about 12, I think, but there hasn’t been fruit in his life for a long time. I don’t say this to be ugly or gossipy- I tell you because I love my brother so incredibly much- so much that we named our son after him. Please, please approach the throne of our Lord for him.

Well, that’s it. I hope everyone is having a wonderful week. We were thankful to have our Daddy home yesterday for President’s day. Love you all!