i've been busy figuring out youtubbe and loading some videos of the little guy there. check them out if you have time. but here are some still photos of the family:
high heels really aren't a good look with plaid shorts.
cowboy boots are a little better.but red chuck taylors and camo, now that's a look i can go for.
cassie is figuring her way around the exersaucer.
wyatt refuses to sit in his highchair anymore, so he's moved to the big table in the booster seat. he's also very good about using a coaster for his drink.
cassidy is the happiest victim of a stick-up.
wyatt talks seriously about the fundamentals of soccer: balls.


my parents will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this year, and in light of this fact, our four year anniversary doesn't seem so monumental. but to us, it's pretty fun. we've been through a lot in that amount of time, most of it really wonderful, some of it sort of hard. i think you'll find that we still have those big smiles on our faces most of the time. i may roll my eyes a little more than i used to and tom probably steals more kisses than he'd like, but we're excited about where God is taking us. we both have different hairstyles now and i can't quite fit into that dress anymore, but i still like to hold his hand and i love the old timer/cowboy that sits at my supper table every night. i thought i was marrying a teacher, started out with an insurance salesman, spent some time with a painter and now i have a combination of painter/mentor/ministryman/teacher/comedian/ insuranceguide/handyman/papa/sweetheart. he's a rennaisance man of sorts, but i like to call him boo.

(give the bangs some time, honey, you might like them)


i know i'm a little delayed, but it seems that he was too...after 15 days of thinking he was coming and then six days of real contractions and then 27-- TWENTY SEVEN -- hours of labor, noah caleb blake debuted. may 31st (just three days beyond sharing it with his own auntie across the street, so close) was quite a day for lauren and paul and harrison. he's a cutie and quite skinny, but that shouldn't come as much of a surprise, he's a blake. his story is great: from lauren's endurance with gestational diabetes, to noah being breach and then turning, to her constant yet inconsistent contractions, then the possibility of noah having really large shoulders and lauren maybe having a c-section, wow! thanks to many MANY prayers lauren's diabetes didn't cause her to have any serious complications(noah doesn't have diabetes and lauren's went away once she gave birth, hence the "gestational" part), noah turned on his, his shoulders weren't too big and lauren gave birth (almost) exactly how she wanted. i got to see her a little before she started pushing (about 24 hours into the labor part) and she looked wonderful. after the epidural and a very short nap her countenance was lifted and she seemed ready to tackle the world. which she kind of did. all this to say: believe that the creator of the universe has you in his hands if you just let him pick you up. lauren never doubted the Lord's will for her and noah and knew that things would be fine and she stood on that. and here he is. he's remarkably cute for so little, especially considering this one picture was taken while they were still in the hospital. so praise the Lord, he does great things.
also, do you see this woman? she has 4 kids (3 of them boys!) and 7 grandchildren. she is amazing and beautiful. she's wyatt and cassidy's mima and she's fabulous. hubba hubba.


i made gnocchi tonight according the "gnocchi I" recipe from and then combined it in a gnocchi bake, a la susan simon. (she might have gotten this recipe from as well). round out the meal with some garlic and parmesan biscuits and YUM! it was so good. i encourage anyone who hasn't already, try gnocchi. and make it. it was so easy. i added a little garlic salt to my batter and it was just enough to make it fantastic. i have to say i have never had real italian gnocchi so i'm not sure what it's supposed to taste like but tom loved it when susan made it (he said it reminded him of the gnocchi he had in italy) and he loved it tonight. not much leftover for wyatt but i'm sure tom will fight him for it.

sidenote: is wonderful. check it out if you haven't. the reviews make all the difference.


is it really strange that as i lie here in bed (lie? lay?) i'm looking forward to using my new stand mixer, courtesy of cuisinart? i used it yesterday to make foccacia and it was thrilling. i just threw things in and it spun around. powerfully i might add. i didn't go for the retro-style kitchenaid mixer. i opted for the more powerful, slightly larger bowl, sewing machine-looking cuisinart. i'm pleased, to say the least. what do i plan on making with my mixer? challah bread, for sure.

my sister-in-law introduced me to challah (pronounced with so much phlegm you'll need a hanky) a little while ago when she dropped off a slice on a friday afternoon. she informed me that every friday we're supposed to have challah, because it's shabbat. and this is where things in my head begin to spin.

last summer i was reading through the first few books of the old testament. when i came upon the ten commandments i was so confused. there in exodus 20 he tells us "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."

okay, so i assume that he's talking about me keeping the sabbath holy for him. and i follow all the other commandments as best i can (with a lot of grace) but what does keeping the sabbath holy even mean? did i miss this sunday school lesson when i pretended i was sick and lamented the fact that i wouldn't get to eat arby's for lunch OR play with my friends? i don't think that's the case (although i wish it were).

here are the problems: when is the sabbath? is it on sunday or saturday? does it start in the morning or the evening? what qualifies as work? and how do i keep it holy? is it possible for me to not work one day each week when i'm a wife and mother? i'm trying to wrap my life around this concept, to remember this will make the rest of my week feel different. and i'm trying to not be legalistic about the whole thing, because while some may say cooking is work, it's usually a joy to me. especially if i'm using my stand mixer. and i can't let a dirty diaper go unchanged for 24 hours, so maybe that won't count as "work" but easing my children's burdens.

all in all, though, i like this commandment. i want to obey it. my whole life the term "sabbath" didn't mean anything except sunday morning service, but it's supposed to remind me of the beginning of life. it's hard work, i imagine, making something out of nothing. but i wonder if he really did take a break, what with adam and eve running around down there...


'65 mustang

i am a free woman. officially. last night i drove out to the middle of nowhere, narrow-laned country and then home again. in the dark. during a massive rainstorm. on skinny roads, on highway, on shawnee mission parkway with the stop and go of traffic lights every ten seconds. in the 4-runner. and i never killed it. and cassidy slept the whole way home. hallelujah. now i really feel like i can go anywhere. i thought i was victorious after going to sam's and whole foods the other day, but this proves i can drive a stick. it seems silly to all of you manual drivers. laugh if you will. i've been learning to drive stick since i turned sixteen. that's twelve years, people.

first it was my dad trying to teach me in his 5-speed bmw in the high school parking lot. i couldn't do it because i was "hormonal." we still laugh about that one.

then brad lewis tried to teach me because we were travelling to seattle in his subaru and i didn't know how to drive it. i made it around the block but when we got on the real road i defaulted to him and stephanie and the other brad for driving. i slept and sang a lot. and really, i'm surprised i never wanted stephanie to teach me to drive. she was a pro. she had the boys beat on "power shifting." that girl can do anything. except grow her hair longer than mine -- never!

and tom tried to teach me after we sold the corolla and before he went to guatamala so i wouldn't be homebound. so eight months later, with a little help from my pops (full circle i guess) i'm on the road again. and if you hear a loud rumble it might be me, shifting from fifth to second. come to find out that's not recommended but it's all a little blurry in the rain.