Kohl Hard Facts

This adventure we call life in the Kohl Family

5 Minute…Monday? July 24, 2012

Filed under: 5 Minute Friday — kohlhardfacts @ 1:15 am

Well, Friday came and went with zero time to sit [even for five minutes] and let the words flow from my heart to the computer screen.  But now it’s Monday afternoon and I’m sitting here holding a sleeping, snuggling, slightly feverish seven month old.  So I’m seizing this brief window of opportunity to catch u on 5 Minute Friday.

In case you’re unfamiliar with 5 Minute Friday, you can learn all about it right here from the amazing Lisa-Jo.

5 Minutes

No editing.

No backtracking.

No over-thinking.

Just writing.  Thoughts to paper computer.

Today’s Friday’s prompt was:



Tragedy racks our world – our hearts.

One man’s incomprehensible act changes the course of hundreds – thousands of lives.  Robs twelve of life completely.

Sun scorched fields shrivel from rain withheld for months.  Food sources, livelihoods, families shrivel with them.

The innocence of children is stolen and so many turn a blind eye.

This world we live in, it’s broken.

The people who live in this broken world are broken.  Hurting.  Lost.  Weary.

But inside of me lives a hope.  A promise.

The only One who can bring healing to the hurting, rest to the weary, order to the chaos.

The only One who will every be enough to fill the hole left by this broken world.

How can I dare keep that to myself?  How can I keep from singing it, shouting it?  How can I not share this hope with the ones who need it most?  This hope that is meant to be shared – this gift entrusted to me that I might pass it on.

Because relationship with Him has taught me new understanding of enough – enough of Him.  Not that it’s always easy; not that I always understand these events from this earthly view point; not that I have it all figured out.  But that He fills me up with enough of Him and as I drink in that beautiful, rich relationship I am filled up with Him.

And in that, I find enough.



The Week When I Almost Gave Up July 21, 2012

Filed under: On Babies and Being a Mommy — kohlhardfacts @ 8:17 pm

[Fair warning.  I talk a lot about pee and poop in this post.  If you don’t like reading about pee and poop or you are already tired of reading about pee and poop {you know, from the 3 times I’ve mentioned it already}, feel free to skip this post.  I promise I won’t be offended.  🙂 ]

Nothing has made me want to quit motherhood more than potty training.


Sometimes the only thing that keeps me going in this endeavor is the thought of no more diapers – or more accurately only one child in diapers.

Because it’s definitely not the extra loads of laundry that keep me going.  Or the number of times I’ve had to drag out the spot cleaner and old rags.  [True story, I had to tell the hubby the other day to please not re-use the pee-soaked towel from a previous accident to clean the lemonade-soaked coffee table, remotes, and books.  Oh, honey. 🙂 ]  It’s definitely not the incessantly sing-songing “What’s it time to do now?” to which she responds, “Sit on the big girl potty!”  Or as the conversation more often goes:
“What’s it time to do now?”
“No!  5 minutes!”
“Baby, it’s time to sit on the big girl potty.”
[As the pleas get more adamant] “Nooooo! 5 more minutes!”
“No, honey, five minutes are all done.  Please come sit on the potty.”
[As the real crying begins] “No, Mama!  Please, no!”

And this week….Oh this week takes the cake.

I almost gave up.  Almost went to the store to buy a big ol’ pack of size 6 diapers.


Monday we met the hubby at our fave lunch spot [Chick-Fil-A of course].  V headed up to the top of the play area, enjoying some new found friends.  I went in to tell her it was time to go and little miss potty trainer announces, “Poor ballet shoes.  Viola go poop on them.”

Oh please let her be joking.  Nope, not joking.

Have you ever had to tell the manager of a restaurant that your child was “that” child?

I apologized all over myself and offered to clean it up for them.

I thought that was the hard part.

As mortifying as that was, it wasn’t really the hard part.  Because next I had to clean up the child.  Gross.

Wednesday I put the girls in child watch at the Y while I worked out [and all by myself – be impressed…seriously, this is super impressive for me].  I was almost done with my work out when I hear the page over the loud speaker, “Attention YMCA guests, Erin Kohl to child watch please.  Erin Kohl to child watch.”

Well, last week she peed through two outfits, so I’m expecting some sort of a similar situation [although I packed two extra outfits this time, just in case!]

No such luck.

The words every mom dreads hearing:  “I was just about to ask her if she needed to go to the bathroom when I realized she had pooped in her underwear.”

Oh joy, I get to clean that up again. [I mean, seriously, have you ever had to clean up a child that pooped in their underwear?  It is not an easy task.  And that little bathroom in the child watch area?  It had to have been at least 100 degrees!  Ok, maybe it wasn’t quite that hot, but I had just finished jogging and I do not do well in hot spaces – especially small, hot spaces.]

When I finished, I came out to ask the worker if I could clean up the floor for them.  I was so relieved when she told me that in fact none of it had gotten on the carpet or toys – just Miss V.

And then there was yesterday.  We were just about to leave the doctor’s office after L’s appointment.  Before we went to the front desk to schedule the next appointment, I asked V if she needed to go to the potty [yes, I say potty – yes, I’m one of “those” moms – sorry Lorelai Gilmore.]  Silly me, I believed her when she said no.  Until she walked over into the middle of the room and started peeing – and giggling.

Is there anything more blood boiling than your child doing something naughty – while giggling?!


I ran over, scooped her up, and rushed her to the bathroom.  [Which is what you do, right?  Except that the child has already finished peeing by this point.  Yea.]

I asked the woman at the front desk if I could clean it up [what’s grosser than cleaning up your own child’s pee or poop?  Cleaning up someone else’s child’s pee or poop.  Seriously, no one wants to do that.]  She assured me, though, that Friday was the day they always had the carpets cleaned, so I shouldn’t worry about it.  ::sigh of relief::

Potty training is serious stuff.

It’s hard work.

It’s frustrating.

It’s messy.

It’s also exciting.

It’s rewarding.

It’s an important rite of passage.

Because those times when she comes out and announces to all of Target “I go pee in the big girl potty.” Are the moments that this Mama beams with pride.

Or when she calls Nana and Papaw to tell them scream at the top of her lungs in a high pitched voice, “I go pee in the big girl potty.”  And they respond with the kind of elation that only a Nana and Papaw can have over pee.

Or that first time she walked up to me and announced, “Mama, I go pee.” And walked herself over to the potty, sat down, and went.

Those are the moments that make it worth it.  The moments that give me a glimpse at the light at the end of the tunnel.

And I am reminded that the most worthwhile things in life are difficult.  They are frustrating.  They are hard work.  And messy.  And exciting.  And rewarding.

But most of all, these things of life that are the most worthwhile take time.

The lessons learned in life that stick are the ones that are developed over time.

The quality of character built within us takes time.

The good fruit we bear is displayed over time.

As Romans 5 says, “we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

So we are glorying in this potty training stage.  And it is producing some worthwhile things in her life and in mine.

Even on the days I have to resist the urge to give in, shriek in frustration, and slap a diaper on her.


Easy Chicken Warps and Our Crazy Life July 10, 2012

Filed under: Life Adventures,Recipes I Love — kohlhardfacts @ 2:28 am

Ever since L was born, life has been – a whirlwind – relentless in its pace.

And so, we absolutely love easy peasy recipes around here.

And since we all know how much I like to share, I’m sharing one of my fave easy peasy recipes passed on from my wonderful Mother-in-law. [Who is hanging out in Great Britain right now.  Um, so super jealous!]

Here’s something she likes to do with leftover chicken.  My awesome hubby put chicken and sweet potatoes and carrots in the crock pot yesterday [while we were making the crazy long trek home from the lake] to make life a little easier.  I highly recommend the crock pot approach for this recipe – or [like I said] if you have chicken leftover from another meal.

Anyway – let’s get to it.  Here’s the recipe for my MIL’s famous chicken wraps.


Coleslaw or [like we used tonight] lettuce from your garden
Barbecue sauce [I basically exclusively use Sweet Baby Ray’s, but you can use whatever inferior other brand you prefer.]
Shredded Cheese
Soft Shell Tortillas


1.)  Heat up chicken, add lettuce/coleslaw, carrots, barbecue sauce, and whatever other veggies you might want to add in.

2.)  Warm up tortillas.  [Well, this is an optional step I suppose, but I highly recommend it. 🙂 ]

3.)  Put chicken mixture and cheese on tortilla.

4.)  Eat!

See?  Super easy!!  And very delicious!

[Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of it.]

Speaking of the whirlwind of our lives….

Our power was out for 3 days last week [which is nothing compared to some people whose power is still out from that same storm!]  So we stayed in the model apartment at the place where C works.  It was so wonderful of them to let us stay there for a few nights so that we had air conditioning and a place to cook!  V kept telling us that it was a “nice, comfy bed.”  I said she’d been spending too much time talking to Nana [whose favorite descriptor is nice.]

Cozying up on the couch watching a movie in our temporary home.  Yes, that is a beach towel she’s snuggling under – I forgot to bring blankets.

We got power back late Sunday night, so we didn’t head back home until Monday after naps.  Then Tuesday, C took the girls and I down to Nana and Papaw’s house so that we could leave for the lake the next day [we borrowed my dad’s car – it was very generous of them to let us use it!]

Wednesday we drove to Tennessee with my dear friend Audrey [whose name V was pretty impressive at saying – it’s not an easy name! 🙂 ]  She drove, I kept the babies happy.  It took us about 7 hours.  Didn’t make for much a celebration on the Fourth of July, but that’s ok.  I’m hoping to catch some fireworks next weekend at Three Rivers Festival.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday we hung out on the lake and had a blast.

My favorite moment happened when we went to The Dixie for dinner and bluegrass Friday night.  The waitress brought out a plate full of catfish and looked around the table to ask whose it was.  She simply held up the plate and said, “Catfish?” To which V replied, “Poor Nemo!”  And then went on with her business.  That girl cracks me up!

This one too.

I love being at the lake.  It’s always been a peaceful sanctuary for me – a place where I can always count on seeing and feeling the presence of the Lord.  There’s something about being in the middle of that beautiful creation that just draws me into His presence.  Laying in the cool, clear water, soaking in the warm sun, gazing around at the beautiful green trees and rolling hills – I feel myself breathe more deeply, more easily.  It’s probably my favorite place on earth.

We made the long haul home yesterday – it took us around 9 and a half hours.  Ugh!  But we made it!  Nana rode home with us which made my life much easier.  She drove, I kept the babies happy.  The best part of the drive home was knowing I was going to get to see C at the end of it.  As much as I love the lake, being away from him is pretty miserable.  But seeing as he was on call all weekend and was called out 6 different times to fix AC units, we wouldn’t have gotten to see him much anyway.

So there you have it, the craziness of our lives over the past couple of weeks.

Did you lose power from the storm?  How did you spend your 4th of July?