Thursday, August 21, 2008


Ooops. When summer hits and the tourist season starts we really have to keep our list of "to-do's" to a minimum, and blogging isn't the highest priority... obviously. It's been a busy summer, that's for sure. We've had so much fun with everything going on at church;

-VBS (God's Big Backyard)

-Ozark Race Days: This is like a fair that we have in our town every year, and for the second year in a row Ben has been in charge of making sure the kid's area (run by church volunteers) runs smoothly.

-Leadership Retreat

-We are starting to lead a community group (small group of young adults that meets on Sunday night) along with Dallas & Heather.

Other life happenings;
-A couple months ago we had car troubles that were going to cost us $1500, and when we went to pay the bill, we discovered that someone had already paid it! What a huge surprise that was. It was such a major blessing because we had been so excited just the week before to have finally paid off all of our credit card debt.

-We've started visiting the local farmers' market every Saturday - it is so fun, we will probably post more about this later.

Atalie's growing like a weed, and going to be one year old in 8 days. My heart hurts a little to admit that. I can't believe that it's already been a year. She's crawling everywhere, and about to start walking. She know's just how to pull at Daddy's heart strings now, too. When he's putting his shoes on for work she'll crawl and make flirty eyes at him, then follow him to the door and wave. I think it almost chokes him up every time. People at work keep reminding him that it only gets worse. Soon she'll be saying, " I go work with you, Daddy?" She's our little princess, but we do our best not to let it get to her head. :)

Saturday, May 03, 2008

We annoy our baby

It cracks us up when that pouty lip shoots out! But seriously, it broke our hearts too - we couldn't do it for long. I love the last frame, with Gina smooching all over her.

Oh yeah, you might want to turn your volume down a little before you push play. We are not responsible for any broken glass that may result from this film.

Friday, May 02, 2008


Poor little thing has been in a lot of pain lately, she is getting her two bottom-front teeth! One of them has cut through and the other is on the way very shortly. We haven't managed to get a good picture lately, but I'm sure we'll get one once they're in a little better. The pain makes her not sleep very well at night lately, so it's been keeping us up too. That's ok though, we just take more naps whenever we can get them! Gina snapped this one a few days ago - we were just looking out the window together and both got really sleepy. :)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

We're still here

Figured I'd post something, so that we at least have 1 post each month. :) Will try to do better with this but we tend to forget about the blog when things get busy.

This is Atalie in the dress she wore for her dedication on the 20th. She was so cute, I was worried that she would get in front of church and see all those people looking at her and get overwhelmed! I think the opposite happened though, she loves the attention.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spring happenings

We've had a busy few weeks, made tougher by all of us being sick one at a time. I (Ben) got sick with some sort of flu/respiratory infection thing around mid-march, and it took me about a week to get over it. While I was sick with that, we had an awesome opportunity to head up to Nebraska for a few days to see Gina's grandma (She has never met me or Atalie). Gina's dad was making a trip up there at the same time so it worked out great to get to see him too. We had a great time, but the car ride was long! The day we left we drove through torrential downpours for 7 of the 9 hours of the trip ...exhausting! The trip back was a lot easier, nice & sunny. Atalie did awesome in her car seat the whole time - towards the end she was a little sick of car rides but by now it doesn't seem like she was traumatized for life :)

Work at Dixie has been picking up. The first months of the tourist season are always slow but it has at least been somewhat of an income, compared to none in January & February.

We have been definitely kept busy by Atalie, she is growing like a weed lately, and she does something new every couple of days. We think she is getting really close to crawling...she sits up on her own and does this scooting motion, and sometimes when she's reaching for something she'll lean forward so far that she ends up on her hands & knees... we love it.

Now Gina's the one who's recovering from the flu/lung cough thing. There are no more of us left who can catch it, so hopefully this means it's going away for good.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Atalie's Beach Body Workout

Tired of stubborn knee rolls? Chubby ankles? Well summer is just around the corner, and Atalie's got the perfect workout to make your body swimsuit ready!
"Hi! I'm Atalie, let's get ready to exercise!"
"Before you start, make sure you have the proper footwear.""Also, keep a drink nearby to stay hydrated."
"Now, let's warm up. Lay on your back and roll from side to side. We'll stretch out by reaching down to touch our toes.""Next, it's time for sit-ups! Sometimes these can be really tough.""Work those hamstrings!"
"Time for some push-ups! We're on our way to a beach body now!"
"All done, make sure you stay stretched out."
"See you on the beach!"

Monday, April 07, 2008

So, thanks to Lisa I've gotten some pretty good deals lately. This is my most recent... I got all of these goodies for an awesome price. Everything would have cost me $51.02, but with coupons and sales I only spent $21.99 and got $10 in store credit (ecbs) so it's almost like I only spent $11.99! Not bad when only one of the packs of diapers would normally cost 10.00. I've still got a ways to go until I'm as good as Lisa is but, I'm still pretty pleased. Thanks so much, Lisa!!
And, of course... no post would be complete without a picture of little Atalie. :) These were taken of her in her sweet Easter outfit. The dress was a gift from my sister, the sweater made by my mom, the tights from my sister-in-law, the shoes from my friend Tammi, and the headband from some friends from work! Thank you everyone!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Late last night we heard stirring from Atalie's room. We peered in the door, and found her playing in her jumperoo!! Boy, oh boy was she surprised!! Okay, so not really. She was playing in the living room in the afternoon, and I tried to block the flash just a bit, and ended up with this picture by accident. I think it turned out pretty darn cute, for an accident. :)
Ben has been sick for a few days now, and I've been coming down with it. Atalie's still doing well, we're praying that she doesn't catch it. Poor thing has been so bored with us sick. We tried to get her to make us some soup, but that didn't turn out too well. :D

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Comment Gallery

I love comments. It is so fun to get feedback from everyone who logs on & reads about us. Gina has a Facebook account that has a little 'wall' where people can leave comments, and I have always thought that was really fun. I haven't been able to bring myself to make my own account, though, because there is just way too much other hassle.Anyway, I want my own place for anyone to comment anything! So if you're reading this, say hey :)

She can sit by herself!

Atalie has been getting really close to being able to do this for weeks now, but she has just been a little off in the balance department. Gina heard from a friend that a little bit of playtime in a laundry basket can help them to put the pieces in place. We tried it, and she loved it because she had easy access to a pile of toys that were always in reach. Now, after about two or three days in the basket, she has totally mastered sitting up on her own! We obviously hover very close by in case she does pitch herself backwards, but she goes for stretches of about 20 minutes with no problem! We are so happy!! I think she feels like she's accomplished something too :)

Friday, March 07, 2008

What is this blog about?

So we just realized that being part of the newly formed LPBF (LifePoint Blogging Family), our blog posts show up on the main LifePoint website. Sorry to all of you who logged on over there wanting to find out about doctrine or something, & suddenly you're reading about Atalie's poop, haha. :) Anyway, I thought it might be nice for any hapless visitor to know what kind of stuff we post here, so here goes. The basics you should know:

1. We've only been doing the blog thing for about a year, and at first we used it mainly as family updates for friends & family that weren't directly nearby. We still occasionally post updates about what's going on with us, but as many of you know, about 6 months ago (at the time of this writing) we added a member of the Brendle family, thus basic thing you should know #2:

2. Atalie. We have loved every minute of being Atalie's parents and we just can't help it when she does something new. I think we have recently reached the bazillionth baby picture milestone on the computer and there's no stopping. Anyway the point is I hope we don't look like obsessive "you must look at all my baby pictures" people, but here's the simple reason for all the baby posts - it's easy! I mean, when you don't feel like coming up with a bunch of things to write about, she's an easy target...just snap a picture or twenty and voila! (viola? waalaah?) A blog post.

3. Photography. Both of us are pretty creative people, I (Ben) am the computer nerd so I love image editing and all the digital fun stuff, and Gina has shown me an artsy side that just blows me away sometimes. This most commonly manifests itself in pictures... oh do we love to take pictures. Sometimes we will post either about photography, or just with a bunch of pictures that we think are fun.

4. Actual meaningful thoughts. Yes this is fourth in the list because, let's face it...putting thought into what we write takes time, and time is something that we usually tend to spend on other stuff, leaving the poor blog to sit for days or weeks on end untouched. This is a trend that I would like to stop, because I'm beginning to find the value in writing down thoughts daily, however it's anyone's guess what will really happen. For now, you may occasionally find some insight into our brains.

5. Who writes each post? Well this is a good question. We are terrible about identifying who in the heck is writing. Will we get better? Doubt it. We each have pretty identifiable writing styles I think, so if you want, we challenge you to figure out who wrote what. Who posts the most? I'd say that we probably split the posting 50/50, but we tend to run it past each other for proofreading and 'should I post this?' type editing.

Hope that was helpful :) Hooray LifePoint!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

6 month shots

We can't believe that Atalie is 6 months old already. She went in on Wednesday to get her immunizations and she always HATES the shots. We always feel bad for her so we went to Target to buy a little toy to cheer her up. While we were there we saw about a gajillion little tiny babies! When did Atalie grow?? We both still look at her as a newborn, it's so weird to realize that somehow in the last 6 months she has gotten so huge!
At the pediatrician we found out that she's old enough to start learning how to eat little 'puffs.' They are like little cereal bits that dissolve almost as soon as you put them in your mouth, so she's figuring out how to use her hands to grab things and put them in her mouth ... it's so cute!

High on Mount Sinai. Sometimes the odd news catches my eye because it's just that off the wall, and this one really made me laugh. We'll go to any lengths to not believe what God has said won't we. . . More interesting is the debate about the actual location of Mt. Sinai - it's probably not anywhere near where the maps in the back of our Bibles are. There is evidence supporting Hala-'l Badr and Jabal al-Lawz as possible locations of the true Mt. Sinai. I wonder if there are hallucenogenic plants over there, too.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Baby update

Atalie pooped.


So in order to clean her up without getting it all over her, we had to cut the bottom half of her undershirt off. She tends to have explosive diapers but this is the first piece of clothing we've had to destroy. Oh well it was worth it to not have to clean it up! Plus the belly shirt looked pretty cute.
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Friday, February 22, 2008


Today I made some really yummy new recipes, so I thought I would share!

The first is a recipe for "Baked Southwest Sandwiches" from my friend, Louise.

Baked Southwest Sandwiches
1 Can chopped black olives, drained
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup low fat mayonaise
1/3 cup fat free sour cream
1/3 cup chopped green onions
8 slices Italian bread (or hamburger buns)
3/4-1lb thinly sliced turkey
2 medium tomatos, thinly sliced
2 ripe avocados, sliced
3/4 cup shredded mozarella cheese
3/4 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

In a bowl, combine olives, chili powder, cumin and salt; set aside 2 tablespoons. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream and onion to the remaining olive mixture. Place bread on an ungreased baking sheet; spread 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise mixture on each slice. Top with turkey and tomatoes. Spread with another tablespoon of mayonnaise mixture; top with avocados and cheeses. Sprinkle with reserved olive mixture. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 8 servings

Almost No Fat Banana Bread

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 egg whites
1 cup banana, mashed
1/3 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add egg whites, bananas, applesauce, vanilla, almond extract and salt; stir just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean. Turn out onto wire rack and allow to cool before slicing.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008


So I made calzones tonight for supper, they turned out great except for the chicken. We bought a bag of cheapo frozen chicken breasts and EVERY (if only you knew the force with which I typed those letters...) time I eat them I get some nasty piece of gristle. I have a friend that calls them "snolls" and I think it's the perfect term to describe them. Anyway, just a random post to say that I think I'll go ahead and "invest" the extra money in the "snoll-free" chicken.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

We can't delete pictures!

I was looking through Picasa today (we use it to keep track of all our pictures), and realized how rediculously many (nearly) duplicate pictures we hang on to. They're all so cute though, how could you bring yourself to delete one?

Friday, February 15, 2008

We had a great Valentines day! Ben took Atalie out for a "Daddy Daughter Date" and she was very excited about it. :) He took her to a toy store, and showed her all sorts of fun things... then he took her to the carwash! :) With all the ice we've been having the car was really needing to be cleaned and Atalie loved all of the different noises and colors. :) Too cute. He came home with flowers for both of us-- pink for Atalie and a red rose for me.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

This sweet little outfit was given to Lisa from Grandpa Dahlke -- in hopes of a little girl. :) Lisa passed it down to us for Atalie and it's just too precious. Thank you so much. It's such a treasure, and so special for Ben to see his daughter in something worn by his birth mother.
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Ice Storm part II

Day three, and the sun finally made an appearance. Yesterday was more snow, sleet, and ice - I finally decided to use a hammer on the car to break the ice off - it worked! We think it was coated all around with about a 3/4" thick sheet. Anyway this morning seeing the sun I knew this was my chance to get outside and get good pictures, and I'm glad I did, because as I'm writing this most of the good photo ops have melted off.

This little bird visited our balcony yesterday. We have a bird feeder set up and he's our first visitor.

We took a trip down to Branson this morning. When we got back, all of this ice was gone.

When we tried to move the car, we heard a terrible scraping sound underneath. I pulled this solid ice boulder out from under the front bumper!
Atalie loves snoozing on car rides, she didn't even notice the hat.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Ice Storm cometh

It's here, the craziest weather of all ... the annual ice storm. Last year I didn't think I would ever see so much ice, covering everything. But it's back and better than ever, on everything you can imagine. Even blades of grass get a nice coating. I tried to get in the car at about noon to make a supply run to walmart. Using the business end of a spatula I fought past the layer covering the door handle, and with a few good tugs I was in. At this point I realized the extent of the ice problem - 0% visibility. All windows covered ... luckily I keep my handy ice scraper in here, right? It might as well have been a toothpick. After 20 minutes of scraping, here are the glorious results:

Oh yeah, and my ice scraper broke. So I guess we're walking for a while. :)