the brady bunch




Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I'll be Home For Christmas

We had a sweet little Christmas at "home." Christmas Eve Riley and I (I'd like to encourage you moms with little ones "helping" you in the kitchen, one day it will be worth the effort, I promise) cooked Chex Mix and Chocolate Bon Bons and Peanut Butter Fudge (my Granny's recipes full of sentimental memories)and delivered them to other friends that had to be "home" for the holidays. We went to a Christmas Eve Service at our Church and then to Mimi's for Dinner and presents.

We were "home" all Christmas Day singing "Happy Birthday to Jesus" eating His Birthday Cupcakes, Sausage Balls (Granny's recipe, of course) and other high calorie treats sweet friends brought over! Opened Presents, took out the trash and I witnessed Riley do her first load of laundry from sorting to hanging up (Hooray!!!).... Then got together with three other families to eat a wonderful Christmas Dinner. It is amazing to me how Christians can feel like family when you are away from your flesh and blood. We have experienced this amazing blessing every time we have moved.

That's what we've been up to lately. Now to the ice skating rink to burn off some of those Christmas Calories!

Monday, December 24, 2007


*Born a king on Bethlehem's plain, Gold I bring to crown him again, King forever, ceasing never, Worship Him, God on high.

Gold because He's King of Kings

*Frankincense to offer have I, Incense owns a Deity nigh: Prayer and praising all men raising, Worship Him, God on high.

Frankincense because He is worthy of our prayers and praise. Our Prayers and Praise rise like fragrant offerings to Him.

*Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume, Breathes a life of gathering gloom; Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, Sealed in the stone cold tomb.

Myrrh because He came to Die. Myrrh was used as an embalming Spice.

*We Three Kings of Orient Are

Friday, December 21, 2007

People Say the Darndest Things!

I got tickled the other day just thinking about the funny things people have said to me since having five kiddos...

This summer our air-conditioner went out. The nice man who came over to fix it asked me if I was running a day-care? Yes, I take CARE of my children every DAY.

We had another nice man over to our home who asked if we had a blended family? Yes, God blended Brady and I's DNA pretty well, don't you think?

Every now and then I hear... "I have to ask, are they all yours?" Yes, would you like one?

And last but not least I hear this one at least once a week (I know you hear it too) "Boy, you've got your hands full TODAY!" Yes, EVERYDAY!!!!

When we go out to eat we are automatically considered a PARTY!! And when I order take-out Chinese food the sweet lady always asks "You have big Party?" Yes, we have big party everyday!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Punk The Halls

Brady took the girls to "Punk the Halls" last night! They saw Stellar Kart("Me and Jesus"), Eleventyseven, Our Hearts Hero, ManaFest(Rap), and Nevertheless. A back-stage pass allowed them to get pics and autographs during a question and answer session with Stellar Kart. They had sooo much fun! Their ears are still ringing with Christian Punk Rock! The Boys and I got to play at home, because Charlie needed the nifty nebulizer for breathing treatments and Jay has a fun new rash!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007


So living in the Middle of Nowhere, MT requires one to do a bit of online shopping. We have packing peanuts a plenty around here. Let me set the stage.... The house is clean meaning vacuumed, swept, mopped. We get a large box of the dreaded Packing Peanuts delivered to our doorstep. I, in an effort to avoid Jay and Charlie having a Packing Peanut Party, immediately take the package to the garage!!! I carefully take out the contents and carry them to the kitchen. Return to the garage to find Jay inside the box swimming in the wonderful white whatness that they are and I hear the tiny torrents laughing at me, their teeny little laughs!!! So you say what is the big deal? Well, they have ingeniously electrostatically attached themselves to my sweet, innocent, blue-eyed boy. I begin brainstorming on how I am going to get Jay to his room and down for a nap without allowing the enemy to break my impregnable fortress of cleanliness!!! And then it hits me. The vacuum cleaner is still plugged in. Yes, I vacuumed my sweet little blue-eyed son head to toe and won the battle against the evil packing peanuts. HA HA HA I get the last laugh, at least for today.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Baby It's Cold Outside!!!

I thought those of you reading from warmer climates might get a kick out of this note Bailee's sweet teacher sent home on Friday. I'm quoting word for word here...."The weather is getting colder now and most days we will be going outside for recess. Have your children wear gloves, hats, and boots (if it snows). However, when the weather is below zero the students will stay inside." Isn't that incredible. Coming from Texas where P.E. teachers couldn't take their kids outside if it was below 45 degrees!!! We are adjusting to it but, I was in shock last year! The kids wear their snowsuits on top of their clothes and take regular shoes in their backpacks. I really do think it is good for them. Whatever doesn't kill us only makes us stronger! It was 11 degrees this morning when we were going to church and it didn't seem that cold! It must be the lack of humidity!! (tHIS PICTURE OF jAY IS a cHRISTMAS cARD REJECT, BUT i JUST LOVE IT!!!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I Cooked Brady's Goose!

The day after Thanksgiving Brady, Pastor Jeff, Shelby (Riley's Best Friend) and Shelby's daddy Dan went bird hunting. Brady limited out with three pheasants and two geese. Brady is so proud to be putting meat on the table!!! We ate goose last night with a delicious chocolate sauce!!! Anyone got a good pheasant recipe?

Monday, November 26, 2007

How was your Thanksgiving? Ours was...

Great, even though we didn't get to go home. We got together with some of our sweet friends. Pastor Jeff and Michelle Cahill and their children Kelly and Johnny. John and Adrian McNamara and their children Nate, Jacob, Ellie and Pheobe. And I was so glad Mimi helped with the cooking. I thought of Stacy as I made her Chocolate Pecan Pie and thought of Jane as I made her dressing. The kids played games and Riley (ever the cruise director) organized a show for the adults of Awesome and Useless Human Tricks! We laughed alot! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, too!

I have a new niece!

This is why I love my Jesus!! Even in our disobedience He blesses us. While we were still sinners Christ died for us! Some of you had already been praying for Braxton before he was born. Now my sister has a baby girl, Bianca (isn't she just the cutest?). My sister has learned some very difficult lessons over the past couple of years. Praise God He has shown her the same grace and mercy He extends to us in our own sinfulness. She is living with my mom and step-dad and going to church and taking those babies. Please keep her and these sweet babies in your prayers as she is getting back on her feet and looking to the Lord to be her Jehovah Jireh(The Lord will Provide). I asked her if it would be alright if I shared her story for prayer request sake. She said yes she has nothing left to hide and needs all the prayers she can get! I won't go into great detail but she would love for us to pray for Bryant (Braxton and Bianca's daddy) as he is in jail for at least a couple of years. He was baptized over a month ago through a prison ministry. Please lift him up as he finds his way out of this mess and into the light!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pics and Pans

You know you live in a small town when four of your five children and your husband have had their "PICS" in the paper in the last two months! Still it's fun to fill up the fridge with my local celebrities! The "PANS" portion of this post is ... my fearless knights in shining armor dueling underfoot in the kitchen. The best part is I get to be the princess!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007


No, the hottest fashion trend of young girls is not accessorizing with Thomas the Train. Jay wanted to see what would happen if he put Thomas on Rileys' head. Would it go up that mountain? No, it did not! Poor Charlie was following Riley around the house crying and saying choo choo. He just wanted his train back! Now that I'm blogging I grabbed the camera first and then the scissors. Mixing pre-schoolers and Jr. Highers together is very entertaining!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Giving Thanks!!!

It seemed everywhere I looked yesterday and today I noticed a cross. I wonder if that means I need to get out of the house more? Anyway, I couldn't ignore the writing on the wall and the floor and everywhere else! Thank you Jesus for making a way for us. You are perfect in all your ways.

Give Thanks to the Lord, for He is good.
His love endures forever.
Give Thanks to the God of Gods.
His love endures forever.
Give Thanks to the Lord of Lords.
His love endures forever.
Psalm 136:1-3


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Jumping for Joy!

Riley has some exciting news... she has her own room! She had her own room just eight years ago, from birth to four years. To me, that wasn't very long ago. Since then she has shared a room with one or two sisters. The three of them have been sharing bunk beds (queen on bottom and twin on top). Most mornings you will find them all piled up in the bottom bunk. They have gotten along so well that I almost hate to close that chapter in her life! As most of you know Mimi(Brady's Mom)has been living with us since we moved to Montana. Last weekend she moved to her own place in town. And Riley moved into her own space as well. However, Riley doesn't have any furniture yet... the stores in town said just 4-6 weeks or at the most 8-10 weeks. It's a good thing Riley already knows how to be patient!

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Little Mermaid

This week Bailee and Hallie were practicing and performing in "The Little Mermaid." Every Fall The Missoula Children's Theater travels around the state performing a children's play. They cast the children on Monday practice every day for a week and give two performances on Saturday.(Last year Riley and Hallie were characters in "The Jungle Book.") This year we sat on the front row so Jay was completely enthralled. Jayna (her parents are sweet friends of ours)was the beautiful little mermaid, she did a great job. We were very proud of our little Seahorse (Bailee) and our Seasider (Hallie)

Friday, November 2, 2007

A very busy day!

We had a very fun 10-31, as most of you know it is Brady's B-Day. He turned the big three-four. I got to go on a lunch date with him (thanx Adrian) and I made one of his favorite dinners. We also had a costume parade at Hallie and Bailee's school. The cute little piggy in the parade is Anna Matthews she is one of Bailee's teachers and also in our Bible Study Group. I just love her and am so thankful for all she does!

We have Awana on Wednesday nights so all the kids got to go in their costumes. Adrian and John and Brady and I had so much fun doing the Pumpkin Patch Parable for the Cubbies and everyone got a little candy, too! Riley brought home the most candy. She and a friend went trick-or-treating for UNICEF(taking loose change donations). She wasn't even dressed up and unloaded about five pounds of candy! Her siblings were ever so thankful!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

No Animals were harmed during the documentation of the Elk Hunt!

Is the silence deafening regarding my sweet Brady's Elk Hunt? I am begining to realize why people call the dead animals on their walls trophies. The men at our church went on a week long Elk Hunt in Western Montanta (Brady didn't get to stay for the entire week). Not one of them killed anything! The men had a blessed time of fellowship giving their testimonies each night. There was a baptism so, life instead of death makes for a happy ending.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My Fellow Sojorner

Adrian, who has also just started blogging, did a photoshow from when she lived in Boise, ID. I loved seeing her then and now pictures. Yesterday, I found some old CD's with Galveston Pictures on them and thought it might be fun to stroll down memory lane, too. It is so strange to me how time seems to erase the bad and highlight the good. I know Galveston wasn't the best chapter in our lives but, I have such good memories from living there. I credit the sweet friends and the Lord's blessings.

Brady and I have moved quite a bit... Abilene, TX College Station, TX Temple, TX Winston-Salem, NC, Galveston, TX and now Miles City, MT. I long to feel at home somewhere. I long to have the friends I've made in these places and family close by. The Lord reminded me yesterday as I was looking through these pictures that...By faith I am an alien and stranger on earth. I am looking for a country of my own. I am longing for a better country-a heavenly one. God himself is preparing a city for His own. (Hebrews 11:13-16) One with really great worship!!! I see it and I welcome it from a distance!

Please allow me to come full circle here, The Lord is blessing me with precious Godly women to make more sweet memories with, (ie. the above mentioned Adrian and more). And of course I am so thankful to the Lord for testing me in my commitment of... "Where you go I will go and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me ever so severely, if anything but death separates you from me! (Ruth 1:16and17) By the way... Happy Birthday Honey! Anywhere you are I want to be there, too!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I started My Running Program!

So, I've been feeling the pressure from all you amazing mom's who can blog and run at the same time! I've caved to the pressure of blogging now you want me to run, too! I can never satisfy you! Okay, Okay, I did run yesterday. Does it count if I had a baby on my hip and four other cuties trailing behind? I had Charlie, Jay and Riley at the park playing while Hallie and Bailee were at Violin lessons at the college a couple of blocks away. When at 4:25 I go to the car to hop in and pick up my budding virtuosos and realized Riley helped me lock my keys in the car. Brady is still out of town hunting and my cell phone is safely locked inside the car in my purse. So Riley, Charlie, Jay and I take off down the road to get the girls from violin. Thankfully, their teacher has on-star as well and she allowed me to use hers and they unlocked my car from outer space!! How cool! Can I get a bow chicka wow wow for On Star? Back to the car we run!

Day One running log entry: Beautiful day. Broke a sweat. I think I'll wear exercise clothes next time! (And put Jay and Charlie in a stroller!)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Little MeMe

My precious Texas friend, Jeanine, who is now my precious Tennessee friend has tagged me with a meme. I am assuming it is called a "meme" because I get to talk about me me! I am suppose to tell seven true things about myself and tag seven other people. So here are my nominees.... Stacy and David, Adrian and Jon, Anita and Clay, Gina and Pete (I know you are busy so you may have an extension). I'm cheating a bit with the husbands but, I know they read these blogs too so, lets give them a chance to talk about themselves!


1. When I pray by myself I fall asleep. I have to keep a written prayer journal or pray out loud to stay awake. When I pray out loud with Brady he falls asleep! I'm glad God never sleeps!

2. I am an excellent parallel parker! It's a gift!

3. My thumb doubles as a microphone.

4. Last fall I woke up one morning, looked out the window and saw something swarming in the distance. I just knew I was seeing an apocalyptic sign. I called to Brady waking him from his sweet dreams to join me breathless at the window. Turned out to be some cow birds swarming over poop in the next field. Brady teased me that we'd been left behind. We've laughed about that for a year now!

5. I have a degree in Corporate Fitness/Exercise Science. I don't have a corporation. I am currently not into fitness. I don't exercise. I'm terrible at Science.

6. I can't believe I'm sharing this with you but....I learned how to ride a bike last spring. Brady bought me my very first bike for my birthday two weeks after Charlie was born. Needless to say I wasn't going to hop on it and learn right away. However, I did learn six months later. Hooray! Brady was so precious running behind me in our field. I had on a helmet and everything. Our house is right off a busy street so, there is much traffic along our field. I'm pretty sure some people were driving by thinking, "Ahhh look at Dr. Banta out there helping that "special needs girl" learn how to ride a bike". Anyway, humbling myself to learn was worth it. I've had so much fun riding bikes with my kids. I can at least be proud of the fact that I never had training wheels!

7. When I was a little girl my granny would eat chocolate chip cookies and a Coke Classic for breakfast. She told me when I was a granny I could do it, too. Well, I didn't wait until I was a granny, except I drink Diet Coke.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

You know it's fall when....

This fall has been especially fun. The weather has been mild and the leaves have stayed on the trees longer. I think last year we had two weeks of fall and then jumped right into winter. We have the cutest wild bunny living in our yard(if you didn't already know I just love bunnies). We have enjoyed watching Bailee's soccer games and Riley's football games. We haven't had much rain to speak of so we've played outside lots! Brady has been grouse hunting, pheasant hunting, prairie dog hunting, antelope hunting and this weekend he's going elk hunting. Most wives would be rolling their eyes about now but at this point I feel differently. For so long Brady has sacrificed his free time (no golf, no hunting, no fishing) to work and have family time! We've been here a year and these are the first attempts to go be wild at heart! Bring home the big one honey and I'll mount it on my blog!!!

Some of you may have noticed the adorable little red-head in my photo-show. Her name is Pheobe and as far as Jay is concerned she's not his friend, she is his cousin. She and her family have become very precious to us. God has blessed me again with another sweet sister-in-Christ, her mother Adrian. God moved us to Miles City at the same time. She has started a moms-in-touch group where we pray for our school aged kids. Our preschoolers play in the basement. Alot like pray-n-play but we have specific scriptures to focus on each week, and we follow the A.C.T.S.* prayer model. Needless to say praying has certainly improved my attitude about being in Montana. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Charlie's First Haircut

Charlie got his first haircut. We go to Hair Success/The Lighthouse Christian Bookstore. Sandy is a sweet christian woman (who also loves Beth Moore) owns and operates the christian bookstore and has a barber chair in the back! Is anyone humming the theme to Green Acres. I have for about a year now! Anyway, she cuts all the kids hair and it was finally Charlie's turn! I know some of you are noticing the cuts and bruises on Charlie's face, don't mind those, their just from when Jay closed Charlie's head in a drawer! (I told you I needed prayers!) Riley was there to help document the momentous occasion. You can see her in the mirror in one of the pictures. Remember keep those prayers coming!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

We've Come Along Way Baby!

I praise and thank you Lord for bringing Brady and I this far,literally and figuratively. Our relationship began in disobedience and you blessed us with Riley. With the birth of each child and the move to each town you have forged us together and drawn us to your irresistible side. You have poured out grace and mercy upon our marriage, more every year. You have turned the heart of this father to his children, and the hearts of these children to their father. This our thirteenth year, we are just teenagers in the scope of love and we ask you to protect and mature our love in the years to come. Why are you so good to us? You are faithful. Worthy to be praised. Worthy of our time and efforts. Our hope is in you alone, you give us purpose everyday! We look forward to your glorious return. May we use this time wisely and do your work while we can. If you tarry, help our generations to come be faithful and obedient until that day! In Jesus' name I pray.

*Simpatico - Of like mind or temperament; compatible.

Friday, October 5, 2007


10 years ago... we were living in College Station, Texas. Brady was in his second year of med-school. I was teaching elementary P.E. Riley was two and I so wanted to be home with her! One of my sweet friends from Abilene watched Riley with her son (Jacobubby) during my school days!

5 years ago... I was a mom of three little girls, living in Galveston, TX in a two bedroom apartment without furniture(sleeping for 4 and 1/2months on an air-mattress). Wearing Stacy's clothes. Meeting some really amazing women of God. If you don't already know the story it's quite long!

1 year ago.... I was quite overwhelmed! I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength saved me!

Yesterday I was... Watching the sunrise with my Bible open. Cooking shrimp and chili rellenos with my husband. Trimming fingernails, looking over homework and sorting laundry.

Snacks I enjoy... cheese and crackers, chips and hot sauce, chocolate, and my coffee is sooo sweet it is a dessert in itself!!

What I would do with a $100 Million... Write a $10 million dollar check to our tiny church, that would be a fun check to write!! Pay off school, house, and car loans, set up college trust-funds for my kids and our nieces and nephews. Build a youth center, with a swimming pool of course, and open a Mexican Food Restaurant in our town. Give the rest to the public school system. Not that I've thought about it or anything!

Location I would run to... Grand Cayman

Bad Habit I have.... Trying to control things I can't and the inability to relax (BeStill)

Things I like to do.... Plant flowers, cook, eat, read my Bible, clean, blog, pray,and laugh with and at my kids!

Biggest Joy of the Moment... Starting a ladies Bible Study at our tiny church (we have 16+ coming)!

Anita Johnson TAG YOU'RE IT!!!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

My Little Punkin-Heads!

I know you moms who had boys when I just had girls are going to revel in this confession. I thought I had mothering figured out after I had three girls. I will be the first to admit I knew nothing and today I know even less!!! These precious, adorable, messy, loud, things we call little boys are serving me a slice of humble pie every morning for breakfast!!! I am just now brave enough to take Jay and Charlie to story time at the library. Jay was sitting in the teacher's lap when I got back from the bathroom telling everyone about rocket ships... Brady and I are helping teach the cubbies class at our church on Wednesday night. I have the little annoying boy who touches everyone's face and walks around the room when he should be seated. Talks about rocket ships when we are talking about God. YELLS BIBLE when we are suppose to whisper. He's only pottied in the grass once when we had a mission team of about 40 over for dinner. When he crawled on the roof he got right down when Brady yelled at him!!! I covet your prayers as I begin anew to teach and train my little punkin heads.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Beautiful Bouncy Bailee!

Brooke and Bailee played each other this past Saturday. They are the best of friends no matter what they are doing!

Bailee is Six years old and in the first grade. This is her first year to go to school all day and she is loving it!! Instead of dance this year Bailee wanted to give Soccer a try. She is doing great. We are all so impressed with her endurance and quick feet. We have had so much fun watching her games. One of her best friends is pictured above with her. She invited her to VBS this summer and she's going to AWANA with her this Wednesday. I pray she will always be bold in her faith and bring people to Jesus!!!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Say Hello to Hallie:}

Hallie and Bailee are taking Violin lessons this year.
Hallie is also taking Cheerpom/Hip Hop at "Studio M."
We are so thankful to have a dance school in town.
Hallie is eight years old and in the third grade. Her favorite color is PINK. She is "crazy" about Webkinz! She has taken two years of Piano, but was getting a little bored with it so decided the violin would keep her interested. She can almost play "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" on the violin. She is also very excited about AWANA. That is her Wednesday night church children's program. She has memorized tons of scriptures!! We are very proud of our Hallie, which by the way means Hallelujah or Praise the Lord. Our prayer for her is that she will live her life praising the Lord with her musical talents!!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Riley has a cute tin grin now!

I thought I would let y'all have a glimpse into what each of the kids are into these days. I'll start off with the oldest and work my way down. Riley(12) started Jr. High this year. She is a 7th grade cheerleader(they practice during lunch so no after school time, I love it!), still brings home fabulous grades. She has a quiet and gentle spirit. She and I got up early this morning and prayed at the pole with other young christians. I was sooo proud!