Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Here is an article in today's Citizen-Times about Sonja's death:http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080429/NEWS01/80428081/1009


Since we are on the countdown for selling our house, (we set a date today! May 22 it goes on the market!) I made the decision over the weekend that I was not going to go to the grocery store until May 1. We need to unclutter and use up the food that we have in our pantry and freezer.

It has been quite the exercise in discipline.

Because we have NO produce, no bread, no milk. How do you craft healthy meal options without those items?

Hmmm. Well, last night I defrosted chicken and sauteed it with taco seasoning. I had spanish rice, black beans, green onions and garlic. I threw them all together with some cheese. Yummo! It was delicious, filling and I had already paid for it!

For breakfast, the kid have eaten oatmeal for the last two days with a half a mini-bagel each.

Lunch has been a little bit more a challenge since we ran out of pretzels, goldfish etc. But I did have lunch meat, with popcorn made on the stove and applesauce from the fridge.

For snacks, all we have (literally) is popcorn made on the stove. We have rediscovered this since we had it in the pantry.

Making due, cleaning out and eating what we have already spent money on is HARD. We are not used to saying "no" to ourselves, especially when it comes to food!

For tonight?
Frozen ravioli with sauce and frozen garlic bread. I also have a bag of salad that I bought last week. I have sweet potatoes that I will feed the kids for dessert with cinnamon sugar on top. Will that work as dessert for the grown-ups? Probably not.

I have no coffee for the morning:( That might be the breaking point and I might just have to go to the store tonight. But I am going to try to stick with this!

How about you? Have you looked around at the excess that you have in your house lately? I have taken for granted just how much we have, that even when we are going "without" we have plenty!

Monday, April 28, 2008

More Sonja

Here is a link to Sonja's obituary at Groce Funeral Home

Sonja details

1) The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 3rd, at St. Barnabas Catholic Church (109 Crescent View Drive in Arden ,off Hendersonville Hwy/U.S. 25, 1/2 mile south of Airport Rd.);

2) Additionally on Sunday evening, May 4th, at 8 p.m. there will be a more informal gathering, a bonfire and little memorial service, at Happy Tails , 1984 Cane Creek Road in Fletcher. Someone from Grace Community Church will be coming to speak;

3) In lieu of flowers the family has asked that donations be made to Young life because of Sonja’s love, dedication and involvement with the Roberson chapter of Young Life.

If you would like to make a donation to Asheville Young Life, please write in the memo line: NC20/Sonja Kramers.
You can send a donation to:
Young Life of Asheville
199-A Elkwood Avenue
Asheville, NC 28804

This is NOT my Postsecret

But it should be...

Sunday, April 27, 2008


We still don't have many details about funeral arrangements for Sonja, but I would like to ask for prayers for our friends, high school and beyond that are having a hard time losing someone like Sonja from their life.

One of my friends, in particular; saw Sonja only moments before the accident. She was working in Sonja's business Happy Tails Country Club to open up the kennel and take care of the dogs in the morning.

She is devastated as Sonja was 1) her friend, 2) mentor 3) an adult who took a risk with her business to hire a high school student.

But that was just like Sonja. She always hired high school kids to help them raise money for camp, she hosted YL events on the property, she was a giver. We will miss her presence in our community because it is so rare to find someone who unfailingly believed in what we do in Young Life. She gave with her time, money and energy to bring people to feet of Christ, mostly through the way that she lived her life.

She was 39 years old.
She was hoping to get engaged to her boyfriend Jamie.
She is now in Heaven.

Matt continues to remind me and those around us that although we are sad, Sonja is not. Her life is an example of the love of Christ and the truth that you can not know the impact that you had on people's lives until you are gone. You can hope, you can persevere. But you just don't know how you touch people until they can no longer tell you.

I am hoping to get more details today on how Sonja's life and legacy will be celebrated. Thank you for praying and for keeping us and our friends in your thoughts.

One more request, Becca (who got married on Saturday) was VERY close with Sonja. She worked at Happy Tails several times a month. She still does not know that Sonja has died. Please pray for her and her heart because this will be very difficult to deal with, especially since Sonja died on her wedding day.

Looking forward to taking our kids to camp

We went to Windy Gap tonight for our End of the Year Leadership Celebration. Asher had quite a time once people left the barn. Take a look:

Hmmm, anybody looking for talented kids around 3 years old? I have quite a ham on my hands. Oh, and a 18-month old who is not far behind? Look out world! Here we come!

Saturday, April 26, 2008


The wedding season has officially begun!

Today we attended the wedding of Jed and Becca Eby. They got engaged while we were at the All-Staff Conference in January and managed to pull off a wedding in four months! Quite a feat!

They are a cute couple and had a beautiful day. See the pictures:

Next up? Next weekend, David Joyner and Alana Bullers wedding!

On such a sweet day, we had some really hard news delivered as we headed to the post wedding party. Our friend and former Young Life leader, Sonja Kramers had a heart attack while driving her car at around 7:30 this morning. She crashed her car and died. It is shocking to say the least. I will miss her face and sweet laugh. I was never around her without laughing and feeling like she completely loved us.

Her funeral will be this week, we just don't know when.

Wedding Business

This week I helped Matt's Wyldlife director for her wedding that we are going to this afternoon by taking the creation of her programs off of her hands.

I finished the final product yesterday afternoon and I loved getting to work on it! It makes me think that I might want to get into the wedding business somehow...seriously.

Take a look!

Pictures of the Week

We broke the baby pool out this week and LOVED it!

Yo Gabba Gabba

Both of my kids have become mesmorized by this show on Nickelodeon in the last few days. It is a bit trippy for me but whatever...

My favorite portion of the show is when they bring out Biz Markie for Biz's Beat of the Day and he beat boxes. Both of my kids try to do it right after he finishes! It makes me laugh really hard.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Who's Excited?

1) For this movie:

2) for the soundtrack?

Tina Fey and Amy Pohler happen to make me laugh just looking at them, so I hope that this movie doesn't suck.

It opens nationwide on Friday!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Swim Lessons, a saga

A few of you know that at the end of March, I enrolled both of my kids in swim lessons at the Y.

Lucy is enrolled in the parent/child classes and Asher was enrolled in the 3-year old class. I know some of you are thinking, but Asher isn't three Leslie. I know that, you know that. But seriously, the kid is crazy gifted at athletic events and he is the size of a four-year old. So who would ever guess?

Or so I thought.

Lucy's class is at 5pm. I drop Ash off at child-watch, then Lucy and I get in the pool. Matt arrives at 5:20 to get Asher ready and brings him to the pool. For four straight weeks, twice a week...Asher screams and cries throughout the lesson where kids are having the time of their lives. Except for my child. Who is getting spankings and told that he can't go to the beach with Gammy and Doc if he doesn't get in the pool.

On Monday night, after this has gone on for 20 minutes; the instructor asks Matt to come to the side of the pool and whispers, "I don't think this is working. Would you like to bring him to Lucy's class on Wednesday?" So Matt called to Asher who is floating in the middle of the pool and crying, "Come on. You can get out now." Wanna know what he did? Swam 25 yards with a pool noodle under his arms to Matt and got out of the pool. That's right. He SWAM. and cried.

So, we just got kicked out of our swim class. WITH ONE CLASS TO GO.

Spring Break Oh-Ate

Last Thursday, me and six of my girlfriends took off for a bliss-filled four days in Panama City Beach, Florida. Well, not really four days. Since it takes about 10 hours to get there (seriously) it counts as three nights, two days on the beach, two days in the car. But three morning to sleep without someone appearing two inches from my face at 6:30 in the morning saying, "hey mommy. I'm awake. I have poo-poo."
So, it was COMPLETELY worth it. I actually pulled a muscle in my side from laugh so hard. I don't think that has happened to me since college.

Just a note to you, if we are in the planning stages of a trip like this again, you will want to shower me with presents, love and affection to try to join us. This is pretty much the funniest group of women I have ever had the pleasure of being around.

One of the best parts of the trip was that everyone was married. It is not a slam to you if you are single. It was the first time that I have ever been on a trip where everyone was married. I just want to let you know, it is very different from a "mixed experience" type of trip. You know that whole phrase, "one flesh, not ashamed"? Well...it applied to every aspect of this trip. We all owe Robin Plemmons a debt of gratitude for breaking our conservative little private lives wide open! No matter how buttoned up and conservative you think you are, she has a way of making you think that driving down the strip and flashing your boobs for beads would make your husband proud.

We absolutely did nothing of the sort. But we did flash each other.

The beach was beautiful. The weather was great. We played speed scrabble and dominoes all day and all night. I wouldn't trade those four days for anything.

In case you don't love my summary of the weekend, you can visit Robin's blog and you can see that I am not the only one who had a good time.

Now that I am back, I am having quite a bit of trouble getting into the swing of life. I feel like I did in college, when you are a week away from finals, but all you can think about is what you are going to do once finals are over and you have the whole summer stretching out in front of you.

Except, I don't have finals and well, summer and vacation are not exactly reality anymore. But our summer at Windy Gap is quickly approaching. Yesterday marked the one month countdown until we arrive. I can hardly wait!

Monday, April 14, 2008

How excited am I?

Deadliest Catch is back tomorrow night on the Discover Channel at 8pm. Set your Tivo ya'll....you will get hooked! (snicker snicker)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Runny Gammy Run!

Runny Gammy Run!, originally uploaded by lesliesloan.

Just to get you to go check out more pictures from the weekend, here is another taste of what my kids get to do with their grandparents. I wonder why they love it there so much?!


We went to Columbia again this weekend and although we didn't get much time to play with cousins, we still had a great time. Our kids had a blast at Watt's soccer game, we managed to scrounge up a babysitter and attend a family friend's wedding and Matt got to help fix up his grandad's house.

The weather is simply amazing in Columbia this time of year. Picture of the weekend? Here it is:

Yes, that is Asher's hand holding a caterpillar. He found it and was brave enough to hold it still long enough for me to snap this picture. He was very proud of his find.

More pictures are to be found on flickr! And just to get you to go, here is my mother in law running my kids down a hill in a wagon! Wonder why they have so much fun at Gammy and Docs?


Watch and be amazed...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Spring Has Sprung!

We went outside for several hours yesterday because it hit 70 degrees here. Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and all is right with the world!

Take a look and see!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

No information required

Just watch this and you will see what I mean:

The Wal-Martization of My Family

Yesterday, I took both kids with me to Wal-Mart because I needed a ton of groceries and well...it is just cheaper there.

So, we loaded up early and arrived at the house of Doom. I decided to let Asher just run beside the cart because I needed to 1) Wear him out by making him walk and 2) I hate pushing the giant double cart around in the store.

So that was mistake #1. It all went well for about 10 minutes and then Asher started touching everything in the store and trying to put it in the cart. Anything he saw, he grabbed. So I had to nip that in the bud.

But he was excited and in a good mood, so we continued. He was being a really good "helper" for a good portion of our time. But around the 45 minute mark, things went steadily downhill as he started just grabbing things off the shelf and throwing them in the cart. Eventually this came to a head in the produce department where he grabbed a red delicious apple (which are NOT delicious and are instead mealy and gross) and took a big bite. Yep. You guessed it. I am about to become the Wal-Mart mom who beats her kid in public.

I don't. I take a deep breath and talk to him without opening my mouth through a clenched jaw. When I speak to him this way, it is my version of a warning shot. Usually, he perks up because he knows that the end is near.

It does not work however. I make him walk with me holding hands and he refuses. In fact, he just yells, "NO!" at me. Ah-ha. My sweet little boy yelling "no!" in the middle of the giant main aisle of Wal-Mart. So, I give him a pop on the bottom and insist on the hand holding. Again, he yells, "NO!" And, all of the bones in his body disappear as he drops to the ground.

At this point, I want to throw him into the Plus Sized department and wear him out. But, I noticed this desire and took another deep breath. I told him, "You have to hold hands or you are in time out." "NO!" Okay, Time-Out in the middle of Wal-Mart. Why not? I mean it is not like I have frozen food, milk, yogurt and cold cuts in my cart.

Twenty minutes later, we are STILL in timeout. At this point, Asher does this, "I have to go pee-pee." Through the snot and tears, I (being the great mom I am) tell him its too bad, unless he wants to hold hands. He throws himself FACEDOWN onto the ground and then a little bit of pee leaks out.

Guess who wins? The two and half year old wins. But now, I am in a dilemma. I have a cart full of groceries, along with my 17-month old daughter and my purse is at the bottom of the cart. How am I going to take all of this into the bathroom with me and obstinate child?

Since we had been in timeout for twenty minutes, we assembled quite a crowd of Wal-Mart employees who just wanted to watch the Death Match and I approached one of them. Mercifully, she said that she would watch Lucy while I take Asher to the bathroom. We return one minute later, checkout and get as far from there as quickly as I could.

Did I win? No. Did I lose? No. Because I did not get reported to the Department of Social Services. This time.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Cousins Make Everything Better

We got back this afternoon from Columbia and we had what you can only hope for during such a difficult time. It is a great reminder what a blessing Matt's family is and how much fun we have with them. Since we were all there for their grandmother's funeral, we surely were not planning on having a good time!

But the truth is, whenever your entire family gets together...bad things happen and frustrating moments occur.

Except this week.


The most frustrating part of the week was that Asher would not go to sleep easily. He kept escaping from his room at Jeannie and Kelly's house. We would put him to bed and a few minutes later, he would appear somewhere else in the house. At one point, we heard him break into Nate and Watt's room and say the words, "You guys are sooo CRAZY." oops, he sold himself out and had to go back to his room.

We really had as lovely a time as you can have when you are mourning and sad.

By Friday however, the children had experienced enough life hanging around with each other and we needed to get them out and about and so we planned a trip to the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia. I know that I blogged about it last year, but it really is a great zoo and we had an awesome time.

Blogger is being a PITA and so you just have to click on flickr to see the pics...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Last night, Matt's grandmother, "Nana" passed away in Columbia, SC.

I am so sad over her passing. She was my kids great-grandmother and I thought for sure she was going to live forever. Not really, but she wasn't sick or failing in health for very long and so her death was pretty sudden for an 85-year old.

She loved my little Lucy so much. She would always ask about her and talk to people about sweet and pretty she is. It made me love Nana more that she loved my little girl so much.

Asher and Lucy spent a week at Matt's parents house in January and spent some time over at Nana and Papa's house. When we returned to Asheville, Asher told me that he wanted to "go to Nana/Papa's house and eat Jellybeans on their couch."

It was such a sweet little memory of his and he loved going over there because they always gave little treats of goldfish, sugar wafers or jellybeans. It is a good trick for great-grandparents to warm the hearts of finicky little kids.

We are going to miss Nana greatly. Every time it snowed in Asheville, we would call Nana and she would get such a kick out our "winter weather." We won't ever get to do that again.

Her love for the Gamecocks and Corey Jenkins in particular was unmatched. It was a sure thing that no matter what holiday/event/dinner that we were all around for that the conversation would move into all things Gamecocks and Nana would get all kinds of fired up. I love that she loved football, basketball and baseball. And that she hated Clemson.

We all love Nana and it won't ever be home again without her presence around the table.