Sunday, December 13, 2009

Feeling fine and 29

Saturday was my 29th birthday. It was a great day. And, since I'm a big sap, I'm going to list 29 things I am thankful for in random order. :) Call me Pat Sayjack, would ya.

1. My Mom, now known by some as "Pork Chop". Graduated first in her class from nursing school Friday night.

2. Ann Taylor LOFT. I am shallow. Love that store.
3. My husband...he always smells good.
4. Our garage. Did I mention that we have been renovating? Almost two months without my garage was killing me. I am now officially parking in the garage again.
5. My son asking me to sing, "Oh how He loves you and me" over and over and over. He sings along. :)

6. Vivi's scrunchy smile.

7. Brooklyn...the Mama's girl. She wants to snuggle a lot these days.
8. Nativity scenes that remind me of our Savior.
9. Gramm's school and his great teacher.
10. My man's 'rents. I have always been blessed with a good friendship with them both.
11. Warm shoes.
12. Sr. T's cheese dip and quesadilla rellena.
13. Folded laundry on the kitchen table...Thanks to my man. :)
14. Christmas cards.
15. Babies sleeping through the night. Don't try to tell me I don't have babies anymore. I might die.
16. Friends who write me sweet notes.
17. My hilarious sisters.
18. Love handles...if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!
19. Toys in my living room floor.
20. My dad and step-mom who took the kids for 24 hours this weekend so J and I could be ALONE!!!!!! It was wonderful.

21. My nana and grandpa's dog, Gracie. She once was lost, but now she's found. Sweet story I will share later.
22. U2
23. Local farmers who sell me good meat....haven't had a good burger in months, but I will very soon thanks to Petit Jean farms!
24. My son's mohawk...can't get enough of it!
25. Six months of being debt free aside from the house. Praise the Lord!
26. A clean bedroom.
27. Christmas music.
28. Vivi yelling "Hell-O, Mommy! Hell-O Daddy!" from her crib in the morning.
29. God's every morning. Thank You, Jesus.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Giving Thanks

As always, an eventful Thanksgiving was had by our family. Gramm puked his little guts up on Thanksgiving Day and had to sit out the evening festivities. I was already at Shermee's house with the twins when the aforementioned illness took place. It was not fun being away from my boy when he's sick. Daddy took excellent care of him and Gramm was feeling better in no time. The rest of our weekend was wonderful and we had some fab family time and lots of laughs.

The girls are really into climbing right now. Our sweet friends gave us a slide and the girls have had so much fun climbing and sliding on their new toy!

Vivi front and center.
Brooklyn sliding.

In other news, both babies are officially weaned. I know, they are nearing two. I know they are not babies anymore, but I am still sad! I love nursing my babies. Vivi weaned herself a few months ago, but little Miss Brooklyn was holding on. It's been two weeks since I stopped nursing her and she still asks to nurse when she's upset. Somebody help me, the child breaks my heart!

I am working on this advent calendar for my boy this afternoon. Since I am no longer nursing a babe, I have a bit more energy and am trying to give up my afternoon nap. :)

Hope you all enjoyed a weekend with family. xoxoxo

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gift from my son

My sweet Mom took my son on a little date last week. During the date, my Ma had Gramm pick out a necklace to give me as a present. Gramm presented the necklace to me with great joy and I proudly wore it last night. As I was tucking Gramm in at bedtime, he commented on how good the necklace looked and said I should wear it everyday. See, I have a teensy tiny problem with that. I love my son. I love gifts. But I don't do gaudy jewelry. And, the necklace, as pretty as it is, resembles a purple and silver dream catcher.

I was thinking over this situation today and the Lord taught me a little lesson. There are lots of things I don't "do". For example, I don't do shoulder pads. I don't do spandex. These things are just not my style and I choose to avoid them. My propensity toward being opinionated flows into other areas of my life as well, sometimes good and a lot of the time not so good. Many of the things God has chosen for me are choices I would never make for myself, but they are all good because they are from Him. It's never been my "style" to have a large family. Here we are with three little ones with foster or adoptive children to come. I don't "do" strong-willed children. I don't "do" apologies to other parents for the random acts of unkindness my child(ren) has committed against their little cherub. But, these are all things I've been blessed to receive and experience from the hand of our Father. He has chosen this place for me. This is a pleasant place and I am immeasurably blessed. Though my personality and my inflexibility may disagree, the Lord of my heart tells me this is His best and it is good. I will choose to embrace these blessings and learn from them and not wish for anything else. God, please mold me.

And, I will wear the necklace.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Hey Friends:

I've been incognito lately because we are renovating our house. It's been going on for nearly two weeks now and life has been a big ole adventure. When I get my computer set up again and I don't have to use my man's computer, I will post pics. Our crib is pimp.

Love to you all.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

New Life

I love babies. I love them. They are so sweet. They smell good. They make me happy. This spring will bring two sweet little someones into my life.

My oldest sister, R, is pregnant with her first baby! She and her hubby are going to be the best parents ever! My three kiddos LOVE her and Gramm in particular thinks she is the bomb dig. She is so patient with him and even taught him how to say "sup dog" and wave his arm in front of his face if he pooted when he was a just a wee tot. She found out last Thursday that she is expecting a little girl. We had a picnic with the fam and talked about girl names and the like. I can't wait to meet my new niece. Sweet little HollyAndreaSharla (that's my niece's name at the moment) will be born in late February. Seeing as how we sisters all tend to go a week or more past our "due date", I would say Miss H.A.S. could be born in March. Pray for my sister. She goin' to be ready to get that baby OUT! Aunt R with baby Brooklyn:

And, one of my nearest and dearest gal pals is expecting. Julie has such a neat story. After years of infertility, two miscarriages and two failed adoptions, the Lord has blessed them with this little life. J and I were eating dinner at McAlister's when Julie called to tell me the news. I was in shock. J thought something bad had happened because I was speechless. After getting off the phone, J and I prayed for the Lord's hand on this sweet little miracle. Tears of joy and gratefulness filled my eyes and they still do when I think of God's provision for Julie and John. Please pray for our friends as their family grows. The babe is due sometime in May or June.

Julie has a super sweet relationship with my girls. They lurve her. Brooklyn has a special connection with Julie. The first time Julie ever came to my house, Brooklyn was about 10 months old and went right into Julie's arms. The little goobie proceeded to let Julie hold her and even laid her precious bald head on Julie's shoulder several times! Melt my heart! Julie and B last May:

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I am buried under page after page of paperwork for our application to become foster or adoptive parents. Y'all, it is insane. Some of what I am filling out is just general information, much like a job application, but the majority of it are personal questions that really make me think. For example, "Who makes the decisions in your family?" my answer: JB, HB and the internet "Who typically wins arguments?" my answer: Not me, dadgummit! "What makes you angry?" my answer: Why do you ask?!
You get the picture? When I finish this stack of paperwork, I think I will throw myself a little party with a movie, popcorn and a real coke. Yurm.

Also, we have our last big round of training this weekend which is also part of our requirements to become foster or adoptive parents. 15 hours in one weekend of classes. In one room. No sleeping allowed. Powerpoint is involved. HELP!

Please don't hear me complaining about what we need to do. The children we hope to love on and help are more than worth any amount of paperwork or time in a classroom. We are thrilled at the prospect of caring for each little one the Lord sends our way.

Hope you all enjoy the weekend. Pray for the Lord to make the most of our time in training. Also, pray for us as our sweeties will be lovingly taken care of by the grandparents most of the weekend. We start to miss the little goobies after a few hours.

In fact, here's a picture of each baby just to remind you all of the cuteness.

Gramm, getting his hair cut by your truly...the blow pop is always a sufficient bribe:



Friday, September 11, 2009

A fun Summer in Pictures

Fun times with Julie and JI...typical JI face. Hilarious.

The boy loves his cape. I made it for him on a whim one night while watching Father of the Bride 2. :)
All our babies love Nana and Grandpa and have tons of fun at their house.
Gramm and his gal pal, Emma, on our way to Suessical. It was G's first play. He liked it. Kind of.
Fourth of July....Daddy loves fireworks.
My niece does not.
And, the masking tape was rediscovered and shared with Jonas and Reese.
We also found that we really love pulling the mattress from Gramm's bed out into the living room and letting the babies go crazy on that thing. This activity saved us on sweltering days and it's something all three kiddos enjoy.

Daddy with baby on vacay.
More snow cones, naturally.
And sometimes I get to do something with other grown ups sans children! My bff and I got to spend a day together. Where did we go? A waterpark to lay out and then to lunch. Delirsh.
The babies love chocolate. Vivi:
First time with crayons for the girls. They knew just what to do and then they got bored and ate crayons. Not good.

He's so handsome.
Trying to get the babies to kiss each other. So precious.
Me and my baby Brooklyn post bathtime.

Nana and Grandpa gave us their ice cream freezer. We've had a ton of fun making ice cream.
We went to pick peaches. The big boy loved it. The girls were indifferent.
This year marks 10 years since I graduated from high school. Went to my 10 year reunion and had a total blast.

Our little artist is very serious about coloring these days.

The girls have discovered Mr.Potatohead and love to wear his glasses. Vivi with the big bump on her head.
Brook, the goof troop.

Our first day of preschool. He's loving it!
First night of AWANA. Huge hit!

Friday, September 4, 2009

This song got me and it got me good.

My babydad and I along with a few of our favorite people (i.e. Lewie Clark, Ryan Seibert, BRENT JONES, Chris Coleman) went to a conference last April to share a little about discipleship. The conference was a huge blessing for us as it was made up of most of the leadership team of Crossworld Missions. The missionaries that were there were amazing. It was such a good experience to hear about their lives as missionaries, their families, life back in the states after serving abroad, etc. Our hearts were so full as a result of this trip. And, we all got our Lewie fix. A little inside track here, Lewie has discipled my husband for the past several years. He inspires JB to be the man God calls him to be. We pretty much think Lewie is the bomb dig. He loves people like no one else I have ever seen. Anyhow, the song. So, at this conference, one of the missionaries lead the group in this song. We sang it. I read the lyrics. I cried. Like a baby. Face in the hankie. Husband laughing at me. Crying like a baby.

For This I have Jesus by Graham Kendrick

For the joys and for the sorrows
The best and worst of times
For this moment, for tomorrow
For all that lies behind
Fears that crowd around me
For the failure of my plans
For the dreams of all I hope to be
The truth of what I am

For this I have Jesus
For this I have Jesus
For this I have Jesus, I have Jesus

For the tears that flow in secret
In the broken times
For the moments of elation
Or the troubled mind
For all the disappointments
Or the sting of old regrets
All my prayers and longings
That seem unanswered yet

For the weakness of my body
The burdens of each day
For the nights of doubt and worry
When sleep has fled away
Needing reassurance
And the will to start again
A steely-eyed endurance
The strength to fight and win

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Winner of The Middle Mom

It's Shaunna...girl, I'll be sending your book ASAP.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bertram Family News

No, we are not pregnant. I do feel like I should be telling everyone that I am expecting a baby, but it's really too much to explain to a stranger in the Wal-Marts. Many of you know this already but as our family has begun moving forward, I decided it's high time the blog world knows our bidness. We are at the beginning stages of becoming foster parents. See, look, I've even been fingerprinted! Yay for background checks!

We had our first home walk through a couple weeks ago and submitted our first round of paperwork. We are going through the Call, which is an acrostic for Children of Arkansas Loved for a Lifetime. You can go here to read more about this wonderful organization. We will have our training in September followed by physicals, TB tests, CPR courses and more paperwork. We hope to have our home open to foster children by the first of the year. At this point we feel lead to take one child at a time, under one year of age. We are very excited about caring for the baby the Lord brings our way. We are open to foster care and adoption. Basically, we are open to love. It is our heart's desire to love, nurture and cherish the life of every little one He entrusts to our care however long or short that time may be. The unity that my man and I have felt through this whole process has been amazing. I will post the full story as time allows.

I do want to recommend a book to anyone interested in foster care or adoption. This book pushed me over the edge and just yanked so hard at my heart strings. It's The Middle Mom by Christie Erwin. I am giving one copy away to a randomly selected commenter. I've had the pleasure of getting to know the author and she has blessed me immensely and encouraged J and I as we begin this process.

So, comment away, peops. And, I must clarify this post and all future foster care/adoption related posts with the following statements: God has lead our family to this task. We do not think that every single family should adopt our views or foster our opinions. Pardon the puns. Teehehhee. Love to you all.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Julie/Julia Dinner Party

Last Friday, I had the honor of hosting a dinner party (with lots of help) for some very special folks. In attendance were my mom, my Nana, my mom's cousin Teresa who came all the way from Californ-I-A, my two older sisters, Amy (longtime friend of my two older sisters), and Julie and Krystal who were my two extra special guests. :) The party was inspired by the opening of the movie Julie and Julia and my obsession with Julia Child. We went to see the movie afterward and it was quite good, though not nearly as good as the before -the -movie part-ay. A little info about the party, I planned the menu meticulously with recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Julia's cookbook). This was a four course meal and it was a lot of work, but sooooo worth it! Onto the party, see the menu below:

Is it hard to read? Well, take a look at these pics....first off, as an appetizer we had a blue cheese ball with Carr's crackers (my ma's fave) and pineapple. Delirsh. Even non-blue cheese lovers said it was fantab.
Then we had french onion soup, topped with homemade croutons and swiss cheese. Julia's recipe for onion soup was quite a bit more time-consuming than I expected. My sister, ASA, who despises onions, ate her bowl of soup gladly claiming that it was "really good, and I don't like onions." I lurved it. I heart onions. And croutons. And cheese.

The main course was a mound of crepes filled alternately with a spinach and mushroom sauces and covered in a buttery, scrumptous bechamel. The crepes were paper thin and made by my sweet, sweet pal, Julie. I made three different sauces for this dish. It was insane. The sauces were a spinach cream, mushroom cream, and a bechamel. It took a loooooooong time to make the sauces. I made them ahead of time and just heated them back up the day of the party. Each mound had about 22 crepes. The mounds were cut into wedges and served with an extra dollop of bechamel and a garnish of fresh, minced parsley. We also had glazed carrots (super easy) and herb bread. The carrots took, you know, like five seconds to put together and they were fabulous. The bread is not a Julia recipe. Gasp. It's from The Pioneer Woman's site and it is some of the best bread I've ever made. Ever. In my life. And, it contained fresh basil from my garden which makes me feel so domestic.

And, dessert was a cream cheese tart topped with some lovely fruit. The crust was made from some lard I rendered a while ago and it was delish. The tart was prepared by my lovely sister, ASA, and it was a huge hit! The perfect end to a great meal.

I am so blessed to have such a fun mom who jumped right on board with my crazy plan. She graciously volunteered to have the party at her house. My nana was my right hand woman and helped me plate the food and serve all our guests among other things. I had a blast feeding people I love. Granted, throwing a dinner party for 10 people when you have three small kiddos is not a walk in the park, but I had a blast and learned a lot in the process. One of the biggest things I learned is this: If I am going to labor for a week over a meal, I should really invite my husband to the party or make sure he gets a plate the night of the event. I really love to cook for him and to not see his face at the table or hear what he thought of the meal made me realize how much I value his thoughts on what I cook. I really think my love language is food. :) Oh, and did I mention that I even dressed like Julia?

Me and two of my faves...Krystal on left, Julie on right.

I do have a few leftovers. Come over and raid my fridge. :)