Wednesday, December 31, 2008

resolutions and gifts

I’m not really one to make ‘new year’s resolutions’
‘cause I’m not one to keep them.
But as I was rushing around today
- as usual -
I thought
I just want to be able to be still.
It seems that this year
more so than others
has just been so very busy;
we’ve rushed from one thing to the next
not having time to do things quite the way I’d like.
Always rushing.
Seeing things that need changing
but somehow
not finding the time to figure out a plan to actually make changes.
And always
no matter how much time we spend cleaning
the house is a mess.
Not one of those “oh, I’m sorry the house is a wreck” messes
and one is left wondering where exactly this mess is.
a mess.
I don’t like living this way.
Then I realized
I will be spending several hours a day
in the very near future
being still.
Sitting and nursing our precious new baby.
How good is God?!
Nine months ago
He knew I would be at my breaking point
and so He sent me a gift
to be opened at just the right time.
I just love presents!
‘specially soft cute cuddly ones!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

you know you're at the vet's

when everyone talks to your
'poor little sick dog'
(who just trashed your house,
necessitating an emergency carpet cleaning.
Poor dog, my eye!)
and no one mentions a word about your
ready-to-pop 8+months-pregnant belly
speaking of -
only 3 weeks 'til we get to hold our little sweetie
in our arms.
I can hardly wait!!!!
Look at those cheeks!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

my genius husband

we were in the middle of another building project
- shelves, this time -
(it's almost sad how proficient we have become at shelf-building)
and Tyler decided to get the soup warming up for dinner.
Slave-driver that I am,
he figured if he waited for me to get it warming
it'd be several hours still before we ate...
I asked he'd turned the burner on good & low.
Didn't want to risk a pot of 'smokey' Turkey Noodle Soup
(with the turkey, this time - sorry guys!)
He said
"I put it on 7."
is as high as the stove goes!
Needless to say
I flew to the kitchen
where I found
that he had brilliantly
fashioned a double boiler
in which to heat up the soup
In all my years of cooking
it has never once occurred to me
to heat up a thick soup this way.
Pure genius, I tell ya!

Monday, December 15, 2008


I finished it!
For my first real quilt,
I'm pretty happy with it.
I used this gal's tutorials - which are excellent, I thought!
I figure it took me somewhere between
15 and 17 hours all together.
Never mind how much money....
but I do have a fancy new walking foot for my sewing machine :-)
I really had no business working on a baby quilt
when the little girl currently in-house
still needs more diapers
and I have plenty of Christmas prep to keep my busy
but I just couldn't help myself.
I was a bit nervous when I stuck it in the washer
but all the 'experts' had told me
'nobody prewashes anymore'
I went ahead and threw some salt and a color catcher in
for good measure
Now all I need is a snuggly little baby girl to go with it!
and a diaper bag.....

Sunday, December 14, 2008

God's provision

“I have sort of an odd question.
Is there, by any chance, a metallic primer of some sort
that one could use to make a surface that magnets would stick to?”
I timidly asked the lady at Lowe’s, fully expecting to be laughed at.
I am famous for coming up with a need
for products
that do not exist.
When I told Tyler it would be really neat if there was such a thing,
he agreed it’d be cool
but he certainly didn’t think it existed.
We’re making a
- Shhh -
k i t c h e n
for the kids for Christmas.
When I had the idea
(I am also famous for coming up with ‘easy’ things for Tyler to do
It’s a compliment, really, I think he can make anything.
It‘s probably not the kind of compliment he appreciates, though…)

I sorta thought we’d begin building several weeks before Christmas.
I had no clue Tyler would be working major overtime
and we’d barely see him
the entire month of December.
We started on the kitchen yesterday.
As in
I bought supplies while Tyler was working
and we drew out the pattern on the wood late last night.
Turns out
there is such a thing as a metallic primer that attracts magnets
called - ironically enough - metallic primer.
It’s kinda pricey at $20.77 a quart
but it would be so cool for the kids to play
with alphabet magnets on their fridge… so we splurged on it.
Tyler had decided not to go to work today
So we were going to get as much done on the kitchen
as we possibly could.
Which is where God’s provision comes in again
(I consider the fact that metallic primer even exists
to be His provision, too :-)
I’ll occasionally hear or read
of God almost miraculously providing for people.
They find insanely good deals.
And I moan, “why not me? my family?”
Well, today, He provided for us.
Beautiful weather.
A sixty degree day, smack in the middle of December,
just so we could work on our little project.
How cool is that??
We commented several times
about what a blessing the nice weather was.
We were all amazed at just how much progress we made.
(granted, we did work all afternoon & evening, but still…)
The icing on the cake came when we finally called it quits.
It was after 7 o'clock.
We were hungry and worn out.
Ordinarily, we might have left our mess for later
we knew the weather was going to be turning nasty tomorrow.
As in
nearly freezing
with rain.
So we had to go ahead and clean up everything.
It is, after all, December
and we could expect it to stay cold and yucky indefinitely.
Trips to the shop and burn pile in the dark
seemed preferable to trips in freezing rain....
Tony got dinner on the table for us
and came out to help with the last of the pick-up.
We came in the house
washed hands
and sat down to eat.
We had served up the chili, but hadn’t even prayed yet.
3 minutes max from the time we closed the door.
Tyler said, “Quiet, everyone. Listen”
and so we did.
And we heard
Tears filled my eyes.
God does provide ‘like that’ for my family!
But He does it in the ways that we need.
We don’t necessarily need 50 cent a pound strawberries
(although we would certainly enjoy them)
But today, we really needed to make a major dent in our project;
Tyler may not have another day off before Christmas.
We could have done it in cold,
but it would have been miserable.
God cared enough to send us one lovely day
- the one day that Tyler could be home -
so that we could make something special for our kids
and He even held off the rain
until we were completely finished for the day.
Thank-you Lord, for your provision.
Forgive me for doubting your care.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

our preferred method

we call it real life montessori
oh and the turtles?
Lily can match up all 12 pairs!
She's quite pleased with herself!
We're pretty pleased
with her

dropped perfectionist

I think we may have another perfectionist on our hands.
My doctor wanted to run a strip on the girl this morning
just to make sure things were still looking ok.
The little stinker was all about passing her test!
As soon as they put that belt on she started kicking and rolling
and didn’t stop until they unhooked everything.
Then she went back to her barely mobile self.
Course I can understand her lack of movement,
she’s probably plumb tuckered out
from using up a 2-day quota of moves in all of 30 minutes.
I was working on a little Christmas present while on the machine.
After I’d done all I could on it
(yudonknow doya?)
I just prayed and listened to my baby galloping around.
I thought it was rather interesting.
I had lots of Braxton-hicks
(which did not register on the Baby Doppler)
When one would start
Baby’s heart rate would get super fast, then it would slow dramatically
I mean really slow
when my uterus relaxed
her heartbeat would return to normal.
It made me realize
how amazing it is to get to play just a tiny role
in the miracle of new life.
Needless to say
Our sweetie aced her test;
When Dr Lukasek looked at her strip
she pronounced it ‘Beautiful!’
That’s one of the many reasons I appreciate her.
I mean
how many doctors would use that adjective?
Certainly no other doc I’ve ever had!
Little Bit has also dropped.
We’re talking low
I can spread my hand out below my chest
(and those ladies aren’t quite where they used to be!)
and still barely touch her.
My babies don’t normally drop
quite so early.
Although I have a hard time thinking this laid back little baby
might decide to show herself early,
we still need to be prepared for the possibility.
We’re definitely grounded to town.
Its kind of nice
to have such a good excuse for not being able to go anywhere.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

rare sighting

not so rare
as a brilliant crescent moon and Venus and Jupiter
like we saw last week
and won't appear together
in that configuration again for about 40 years
rare, nonetheless.
At least around here.

Monday, December 8, 2008


The only thing worse
than having a houseful of sick kids
is Momma being sick right along with them.
while 7 1/2 months pregnant.
At least
it's not a tummy bug!
that would definitely be worse!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

a tiny tip

When your 20 month old is sewing with you
and you give her scraps
and a pin,
you might oughta think twice
about holding pins in your mouth
just a thought.....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


How has it been five years?
This is one of my favorite pictures of Jeremiah's first days.
I suppose it would drive a photographer nuts
I am not photographer
I am a mom.
We waited so long for this little guy.
I suppose its fitting that he should be the one
with a December birthday.
We don't really have much of a story for the day he was born;
that's often how it is with a c-section.
You set the alarm
get up early
hurry to the hospital
so you can wait around a few hours.
They wheel you into a freezing cold room
shoot some stuff in your back
put a slit in your belly
wiggle you around
and pull out a baby.
five short years later,
you have the makings of a fine little man.
We had a wonderful day today
just enjoying the birthday boy and the blessing
he is to our family!

His favorite gift was from his big brothers;
a chocolate lover like his momma,
the best part of his day was
eating hot fudge cake.
You'd think it would have been
the 2 hours we spent at Chuck e Cheese's
or having his big kids (TJ, Luke & Lana) all here.
Opening presents ranked pretty high,
but the birthday dessert
it was the icing on the cake
for him!
you are such a treasure!
You have grown so much these past few months;
Momma & Daddy are so very proud of you!
You are able to change your attitude in the blink of an eye.
Momma still can't do that one!
You have begun to 'take initiative' on a daily basis
(you can't always remember what it's called,
but you choose to look for ways you can help out)
You are such a good big brother to Lily -
just today, she had a bit of sucker around her mouth
and you wondered,
"What is that red on precious Lily's sweet little face?"
What a good protector you are!
Your memory is incredible!
You often amaze us with the things you remember.
you love the cold.
Most days, you get dressed in a tank top and shorts.
I'll ask, "don't you need to put on something warmer?"
and you'll say,
"I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine"

Yep, you sure are!

Oh, and did I mention
your Pop
is your very favoritist person on earth

Thank-you, Lord
for the precious gift you have given us.
Guide us
as we guide him.


Happy 5th Birthday, Jeremiah!

Friday, November 28, 2008

home sweet home

It was bittersweet.
We were, after all, finally beginning to realize our dream;
but we’d taken a few steps backwards to do it.
We fell in love with our Fort Smith house
the very first time we saw it.
Interestingly enough,
that was a Thanksgiving weekend, too.
We’d looked at several houses in our price range
(what we considered our price-range, not what the bank said it was!)
and they were all junk!
We were getting a bit discouraged.
Our realtor told us he had another one in our price range;
it had just been listed.
It hadn’t even hit the books yet.
We drove by

and it looked really nice from the street.
Tyler said it must be a real dump inside
since was actually priced less than any we’d looked at,
and we shouldn’t waste our time looking.
I rationalized,
“It’s awfully nice on the outside to be a dump on the inside…”
And so we looked.
As Providence would have it
the lady who owned the house
didn’t leave like homeowners usually do
when their house is being shown.
Which turned out to be a really good thing!
We reminded her of her family
when they first bought the house over sixty years earlier.
She could picture us in her home
and she liked what she saw.
We’ve always been grateful.
But there was always a yearning for
‘the country’.
Land and trees and water for the kids to explore.
Room to grow as much as our food as we possibly could.
(this has proven to be far more difficult than we ever imagined)
Enough space that our kids could build a house on the property
if they wanted to.
After years of dreaming
paying off debt
fixing up our beautiful, solid old house
adding to the family
we finally decided it was time.
Tyler found the place online.
There were no photos of the house
but the land looked pretty good.
He figured we’d be able to add on to the house,
'cause it was rather small.
(less than 1,000 sq ft)
I thought
the fact that there were no pictures of the house was telling…..
Turns out
I was the one who was right
for a change.
We drove up on a Sunday in late May after church.
We had a list of several places to look at;
we looked at this place first
It was quite unkempt
and the house
(from what we could see)
was absolutely horrible
but the land
had potential.
It was everything we were looking for.
When our realtor looked at it with us
He said, “You can bulldoze the house.”
Most of our friends thought that would be a really good idea;
it really was (is!) a dump!
But we figured we could live in for a year…..
While I stayed home with little ones,
Tyler and the big kids came out here several times a week
to work to make the place habitable for humans.

All together,
they put in over 1,000 hours of work.
and it still wasn’t even remotely nice!
Three years ago
with the help of some dear friends
we packed up our beautiful house in Fort Smith

brought all of our ‘stuff’
that we didn’t think we could bear to part with
and began to call this tiny dump of a house
Somewhere between buying the house in July
and moving in in November
we had decided that we would not be living in the house
for just a year
after all.
For years
we had been telling our children to avoid debt.
We calculated with them how much money could be saved
if one would wait a few years,
be diligent with saving
and buy a house with cash.
At first
we justified planning to go into debt to build a new house.
I mean,
we did have a fairly large family
and we were jumping in in the middle of the game,
not just starting out.
But God was dealing with both Tyler & I…

Tyler came to me one day as I was cooking dinner.
I’m sure he was dreading telling me what was on his mind.
“I’ve been thinking.
What would you say if I told you
I thought we should live in the house longer than we planned ?”
He expected a fit, I imagine.
as God has been so faithful to do for us,
He had already been working on my heart.
I'd been wondering how was I going to tell Tyler
that I was pretty sure we weren’t supposed to borrow
to build??
The road has been a bit (ok - much -) rockier
(and longer)
than we’d anticipated.
Many of our friends think we are nuts!
It would be so easy to walk into a bank,
get a loan
and begin building.
Instead, we choose to be faithful
to the path
we believe God has laid out for our family.
And so
we celebrate three years in our 'new' home
(at the same time,
We really hope
that three more years
will find us in our new, new digs!)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Jeremiah came and got me.
"Come to your room, Mom, there's a surprise for you!"
As I walked to the room
(all 10 steps)
I'm thinking
"what have they done now??"
Surprises aren't always pleasant around here...
He leads me to the closet.
I'm thinking
"hey - stay away from there - pretty soon I'll have presents in there!"
then he shows me the door.
The one Lily colored all over last Thursday with red marker.
And it's clean (pretty much)
He excitedly jumped up and down
and told me he'd cleaned it for me and Dad.
Needless to say
he was showered with praise
several times throughout the day
just a moment ago
" Mommy, I took initiative!!!
I cleaned the playroom without even being asked!!"
thank-you, Jeremiah!
Momma, Daddy and Jesus are so pleased with you!

Monday, November 24, 2008

boys .... are just boys!

Ever since reading the book
I've been mildly interested in Montessori.
I certainly don't agree with all the philosophies,
but I think there is some merit in the methods Montessori teaches.
It also seems (to me) to be a more girly thing.
Now, my boys love scooping the laundry soap
that activity has a purpose.
I don't really think they'd enjoy
scooping rice from one container to another
for no good reason.
Even so,
I've kept my mind open
and am on the lookout for inexpensive preschool activities
that would be in line with some of the Montessori methods.
I found a dozen cute turtles for a buck twenty-nine.
So I bought two sets;
an inexpensive matching game
which lasted all of 5 minutes
when they went from
'Matching Turtles'
'Fighting Ninja Turtles' which just goes to show ya
boys will be boys!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I know...

I am too easily thrilled;
not that that's a bad thing...
After months of procrastinating
(for really no good reason
-I was dreading designing the snap template for the resized pattern-
is that dumb or what?!)
I finally started making Pie
a new diaper stash.
She is going to love this one!
I'm pretty tickled with it :-)
I tried some new things;
this one took a bit longer to make than most
and cost about a $1 more
but its just so darn cute
I don't mind a bit!
note to self:
when you sew on FOE
do it on the outside, not the inside!


Tyler came home with a bag of these the other day
I'd never had them before.
Nothing like the original Dove dark chocolates
that are best eaten s l ow l y,
just melting in your mouth,
but still delicious.

These need to be chewed
each piece doesn't last as long
and one is not content with just one chocolate...

They were sitting in the cabinet,
tempting me.
I had to get them out of the house!
I did what anybody would do.
I polished 'em off real quick!
took care of that problem

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

scooping laundry soap

a favorite job!


who just went peepee
on the potty?!?
Ironically enough
just a few minutes ago
I was picking out more diaper fabric and snaps
'cause the poor girl is desperate for bigger diapers!
I'm wondering
if perhaps I should come up with a training pants pattern

Friday, November 14, 2008

right now

as I type,
is driving
for the very first time
by himself.
You go, Ton'
use your road rage if you have to.
Love you, Bud

Monday, November 10, 2008

perfect ways to start the day

Off the top of my head
there are four perfect ways to greet the day.
Of course,
this has changed over the years....
The first
would be snuggling with my hubby
but, that doesn't happen nearly often enough.
Not necessarily second in preference,
a steaming (pretty) cup of perfectly doctored
decaf french vanilla coffee, lovingly prepared and delivered
starts the day off pretty nicely, too.
Still being in bed
and getting to see that first sleepy smile
when Lily wakes up and sees that I am there.
Oh so sweet!!!
And now the newest -
hearing the pitter patter of Lily's bare little feet
(somewhat unsteady
as they support her weight for the first time in hours)
just before seeing her huge smile, wide eyes, and outstretched arms
as she runs to me
after getting out of bed all by herself.
God sure knew what He was doing,
starting people off as babies!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

out of a 3 year slump

Once upon a time
in the old house
in a world that seems far far away
I decorated for seasons & holidays.
Not a ton, mind you
but you could look at the entry table
(and in the fall & winter
the stairs - oh, I miss those stairs!)
and know where we were
in the calendar.
Not so since we’ve lived here.
For starters
I’ve never really fallen into a good housekeeping groove
and we’ve been here almost 3 years!
Add to that
it’s a yucky house
and let’s not forget it’s diminutive size….
in preparation for our trip over the mountains this weekend
(which should be quite beautiful)
Tyler and I thought we’d stir up
a bit of autumn appreciation in the kids.
Actually, Tyler had the idea - it was my job to implement.
I sent the boys out in search of natural treasures

while Lily and I headed to the shop
to find the long neglected box of fall decorations

Nothing fancy
But it does make the place a bit cozier;
and we didn’t spend a cent!

We topped off the day with our annual
Dinner in a Shell.
oh, so good!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I am so tickled with myself!
I don't know why I didn't think of this years ago!
I probably did
then promptly forgot my brilliance.....
I often have great ideas
and when I tell the kids about them
they're like
"Mom, you've already told us this...."
I had the idea and acted on it
all in the same week.
Roller-ball bottles for Miracle Rub!
Isn't that clever?!
I never minded getting the oil on my hands,
but the bigger kids sure didn't like to.
This'll be a lot more convenient
grabbing the baby
sprinkling oil on her feet
rubbing them together
and then rubbing her sweet feeties on yer neck
when you have a sore throat.
I'm just swimming with more ideas....
Peppermint for headaches & yucky tummies.
Muscle rub
minus the beeswax, of course.
Some yummy lemon oil
just because.
Oh, the possibilities!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Dr’s appointment today.
From now on, they’re every two weeks.
But today’s was good.
Little Bit
isn’t much of a mover & shaker.
At all.
And while I’m not a worrier, by any stretch of the imagination,
I was actually beginning to worry.
I’d do the kick counts;
they rarely added up to 10 in 2 hours.
Not real encouraging.
My babies move
But, then again, this could be my calm baby….
but then again,
10 movements is the minimum I should feel in 2 hours,
so maybe things weren’t quite right.
My belly is growing
so it would seem baby is growing properly.
So why I am I not getting kicked more?
If I’m just not feeling them, why not??
So we did a quick ultrasound to check things out.
Everything looked just great
and Baby passed the test with flying colors.
Looks like we just have us a calm little baby.
and since we were in there…….
and since I was already pretty sure……
isn't she a beaut??

Sunday, November 2, 2008

sleepless in the south

You know those 1st trimester
can’t sleep even though you’re exhausted
and can’t even open your eyes nights?
I don’t really miss those nights.

How ‘bout the 3rd trimester
can’t sleep cause you can’t get in a comfortable position
long enough to get to sleep nights;
what with the aching back, sore hips, pelvis spreading
(even though your body no longer can use this amazing function…)
leg cramps, puffy feet, and hands & arms that fall asleep
before you do?

Goodbye second trimester
Hello third
Momma’s just about ready to meet you!
Actually, Momma is ready now;
but it’s probably best if you stay put for awhile
and work on growing big and strong.
I love you, Pumpkin

Thursday, October 30, 2008

unexpected promises

I just got a package!
if I were like my friend Sandy
I would have waited till this evening to open it
but alas
I am not.
I am
So I quickly grabbed my trusty Leatherman pocketknife
and opened the box.
I thought maybe it was going to to be a nutcracker;
the size was about right.
But it was way better than a nutcracker
(especially for nasty black walnuts!)
and if I would've waited till I was all alone to open it,
I would have missed Lily's delighted squeal
at seeing
Thanks, Mom!
I love you
I shared before I saw the note;
And to be perfectly honest,
now that they all know I have candy
I'll probably share again.
That's just what moms do.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

not quite music

Tyler was 'singing'.
Rather annoyingly, in my opinion.
Of course, to be perfectly fair, it has been a long day
and my nerves and ears were shot hours ago...
I told him he was catterwallerin'.
He disagreeed
and continued his noise.
Lily came in the room
took one concerned look at Papa
and asked,
"You okay?"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

things are going to change around here

It has been a l o n g day!
Tomorrow will be even longer.
To be entirely honest,
it should have come months ago
but the whole thing is just overwhelming to me.
1 kid at a time
would be okay.
But both of these little guys???
And their ever-so-observant sister??
(and the big guys aren’t entirely flawless, either….)
ever so subtly
things grew worse and worse.
Not quite instant obedience.
A few too many questions.
Not outright disrespect
disrespect nonetheless.
Lack of discipline.
(on my part just as much, if not more, than theirs. Sigh)
Too much crying and ridiculous carrying on.
I’ve been trying the mercy route.
It ain’t workin’.
even though I was careful to express that I was showing mercy
- lest they think I was just a weenie letting things slide -
(although, again, being perfectly honest, sometimes I was)
they mistook my mercy for _________
Well, I’m not sure what exactly they mistook it for…..
Suffice it to say
There has been a lack of peace & joy in our home
and frankly
I can’t take it any longer.
here we are
in boot camp.
Or maybe we should call it
Booty Camp
‘cause I know 2 little guys
who are gonna have real sore ones.
Ya’ll pray for us!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

was that fun?

"Do you want to do it again?"
Not so with Josiah!
"Was that fun?"
"That was much fun!"

Monday, October 20, 2008

a tip - what not to do in church

The pregnant woman sitting in front of you
probably will not appreciate
you kicking her chair
-however gently-
throughout the service.
I'm just guessing.

exercise buddy

my exercisin' buddy!
I have to wait till Lily is done eating her breakfast to do my T-tapp
'cause she will decide she's finished
before she's finished
so she can exercise with Momma

I do love that girl!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Lily had a messy diaper not long after waking up this morning.
So I took her in the bedroom to change it.
As we walked through the doorway
she said, "I not tired!"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


One of the things I desire
is for my children to show initiative.
To see a need and fill it
without being asked.
It seems that girls are a bit better at this than boys.
maybe not.
Jeremiah has gotten fairly good at showing initiative.
He is often the one to realize we have no water at dinner-time
and will go get it.
I used to worry that he was getting it straight from the faucet
without using the filter;
but, no, he even uses the filter!
Just a moment ago
I was folding laundry and the timer went off.
It wasn't a big deal;
nothing was going to burn in the oven,
so I just ignored it.
It went off again.
Josiah told me, "Timer, Mom"
and I assured him it'd be okay if I got it in a sec
it was just to remind me to check the bread
to see if I needed to turn the oven on yet.
I told him I would finish folding the laundry, then get it.
And that sweet little 3 year old boy said,
"How about I finish folding the laundry for you
so you can get it now?"
Honey - that would explain why
it looks like I just wadded up your skivvies.....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

houses, houses, houses, houses

We didn’t count as we were going along,
but we calculated today
that we looked at
between 25 and 30 houses yesterday.
We weren’t looking to buy, of course,
just looking for ideas.
For years
Tyler and I have enjoyed drawing up house plans.
I’ll think I have come up with the perfect house
and he’ll find some reason why it isn’t.
and vise verse.
to be perfectly honest
I’m a little quicker to point out all that’s wrong with his plans
than he is with mine.
That’s sort of how we are in life, too.
I’m working on that…..
we bought this land
and the whole house-plan drawing thing
became more challenging.
Now, we have to suit the house to our land.
we not only have to fit in everything we want in a forever house
in as few sq ft as is reasonable,
we have to have it on the ‘right’ side of the house, too!
Kitchen on the east
so the sun can help quickly thaw the bread
I forgot to get out the night before.
Then again
I’d also like the sink widow facing the north
‘cause that’d be the best view…..
It’s been several months since we’d done any plan-drawing.
Busy with weddings, funerals, and babies
you know.
But now that we are finally beginning to accumulate a bit of cash
in our house fund
we decided to get back at it.
The Parade of Homes was this weekend
so it was the perfect opportunity
to see
in person, not just on paper or the computer screen,
what we like.
Didn’t find a thing!
Oh, sure, there were a few small touches that we liked and might implement
but nothing big.
Living room, Dining room, Kitchen set-up
that was just
'wow - this is exactly what I want…..'
Actually, I really liked the layout of the last house we went to
I can’t get it to work with the garage on the west side……
We talked to one gal for awhile;
told her why we were looking, what we were looking for
and that we really hadn’t seen it.
She said, “Well, these houses are for the typical American family.
It would seem to me that you all are not the typical American family.”

Who told?!
Back to the drawing board.
The kids really enjoyed looking for
'things that grabbed them' about the houses.
After we'd been at one house for a few minutes,
Jeremiah came and got me,
"Mom, there's a lot of things that grab me in the master bedroom.
You gotta come see!"
I quickly went to see what architectural treasure he'd found.
"This grabs me, and this grabs me,
and I really like this, too!"
The house happened to be furnished;
he was pointing to the bed, nightstand, and curtains.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

You may have already known this

I did not.
in addition to being Kiss & Huggin' Day,
Flower Pickin' Day!
Which may explain why Lily
was so insistent
on wearing flowers on her clothes today.

I love you, Jeremiah!

Thanks for likin' things special.

Monday, October 6, 2008

bedtime battles

Last night
when Josiah came walking into the dining room at 10:30
I squeezed my eyes shut.
I buried my head in my arms;
tears burned my eyes
and threatened to spill out.
The boy has always been a champion sleep fighter.
If he could get paid for this ‘skill’
he’d be one rich little boy!
I told the boys when they went to bed
- I had them repeat it, so I knew we were clear -
Do not get out of bed
for any reason.
If you get up, you will be spanked.
We went through all the scenarios…..
45 minutes later
Josiah got up
(I forget now, why)
He got a good spanking
along with a reminder.
He stayed in bed till 10:30
and he just couldn’t stand it anymore.
I did not want to spank that boy!
Why did he have to get out of bed??
As I sat there with my head in my arms
I thought, “Oh God, I am so sorry!
How many times
have I caused You to want to shut your eyes
and pretend that, no, I did not just do that?”
I did not want to spank that boy!
How He must have hated punishing the Israelites
time and time again!
Tyler began singing
ever so softly
about God’s grace.
I gave him (Josiah, not Tyler) a ridiculously soft swat
and picked up that scrappy little boy and held him tight.
Then we all went to bed together
and he fell asleep holding my hand.
Which is all he really wanted (needed?) in the first place.
I wonder so often
When its all said and done
does it really matter??
Do I have to be right?
Does my word have to be law?
Will I ruin them forever
as Mr. Pearl suggests
if I do not ‘win every battle’?
If I did win every battle - would that amount to anything?
The bottom line is -
I want my children to obey
me, first - ultimately God
because they want to. They choose to.
Not because they fear the punishment,
but because they love me (and God)
and desire to please me (and God)
Lord, please, grant me wisdom.
James 1:5

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

bits n pieces

This morning
Josiah was reading Go Dogs Go.
He excitedly ran through the house exclaiming
"I learned to read! I was reading Go Dogs Go all by myself!"
We all congratulated him
and Jeremiah followed him into the playroom to listen
while he repeated those familiar words.
Jeremiah was so proud of his bub's new 'skill'.
"You are reading!
Oh, Josiah I love you!"
Thanks to just a couple minutes instruction from her brother-in-law
Lily now knows her hands and her elbows
and she has delighted in telling me about them all day long.
Such a smart little girl!
That smart little girl has also been a bit (and I'm being kind!)
of a stinker this week!
I told her I expect a new tooth soon
I heard a new song on the radio the other day
and it has stuck with me.
I think I'll make it my prayer for my 41st year.
empty me
of me
so I can be filled with You.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

well, it's done

and now
I really could use some chocolate!
I'll miss those sweet curls
I actually like the new look
better than I thought I would

and I sure do love the boy sportin' it!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I am such a dingbat.
I just walked outside
to get the diapers off the line and thought,
"Mmm something smells good!"
Which is odd.
I can't remember ever smelling a neighbor's dinner
since we've lived here.
Oh, maybe the occasional grill going
but that doesn't count.
Then I realized
that's our dinner!!
I forgot for a moment
that I had dinner cooking in my summer kitchen.
Silly me.
Let's just hope I remember to start the rice that goes with it.....

Monday, September 22, 2008

she knows what she likes

Brandon told Lily,
"I don't know what I should get you for Christmas."
(He is most definitely not a procrastinator!)
She immediately told him.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

another birthday boy

Tyler was finishing up a major project at work.
Things were stressful, to say the least.
We’re used to our papa working 40 - 45 hour weeks
and he’d been working 80+ hours a week for several weeks.
We were both on our last nerve
but the end was in sight.
His program installed on Sunday
which meant there would be fallout to deal with on Monday
but after that
things would be okay.
I remember telling him that evening
that I hoped we had a few days
to reconnect
before the baby came.
Tyler went to work on Monday;
I took the kids to school and went back home.
(what on earth did I do with myself all day long?!)
By late morning, I was pretty sure
we weren’t going to get those couple of days to reconnect…..
I called Tyler at work
and asked how everything was going.
He was fixing
what he thought
was the last ‘bug’.
I let him off the phone so he could finish fixing it.
He called back a few minutes later.
I didn’t regularly call just to see how things were going,
so he got a bit suspicious
and thought perhaps I’d called with something else on my mind…..
Next call was to my dear friend Terry Frey
who lived an hour and 10 minutes away.
For various reasons,
we’d decided on a hospital birth this time,
going with the doctor who owned the Beginnings Birth Center.
I’d written up my birth plan months earlier
and fortunately, he didn’t have a problem with any of my wishes.
We wanted the kids there for the birth,
so Terry was coming to be with the kids.
Lana and T were especially anxious to attend
as they missed seeing Tony born….
and Tony was a bit worried about his momma.
I don’t remember for sure,
but knowing Terry, she probably picked up some treats on the way.
After rushing to fix that ‘final’ bug, Tyler hurried home
and we went to pick up the kids from school.
I can still see those excited faces
and huge smiles
as they walked out the door of their classrooms.

By about 3 o’clock
contractions were coming hard and fast
So I decided it was time to head on over to Mercy.
(Of course, it had to be the year before they remodeled….)
We quickly got settled in & they hooked me up to the monitor
but only for a little while.
That was part of the deal.
As soon as they unhooked me
I headed to the toilet.
Without a hot tub, that was the best I could do.
The kids were
I’m not really sure what the kids were doing….
(I was a little preoccupied)
I’d fixed them all up a bag of goodies;
maybe they were messing with those……
At some point the nurse asked me how I wanted the bed
for the delivery.
I told her I had no idea.
I had yet to deliver where I was supposed to
(‘cept T, but that hardly counted…)
My water broke somewhere between 4 and 4:30.
Tyler told the nurse it was going to be pretty soon.
Why don’t they listen??
She checked me.
I know she was thinking
Pretty soon, huh??
Around 4:45
Tyler called her back in the room.
“It’s just about time. You should probably get a doctor in here.”
There were 3 doctors in the practice.
All three were at the hospital, in various places.
She makes the call as she’s checking me again.
“She’s only an 8.….”
They decide there’s no need to come yet.
The bed was still just a bed.
I think there is some change up thing they do
To make it more of a delivery table sort of thing.
Not sure about that one though.
Minutes later
I told Tyler I had to push.
Tony was getting real concerned about his momma
and asked Terry to take him out of the room.
Terry knew me well enough to actually believe me.
If I said the baby was coming
she was coming
(we were so sure it was a she)
The nurse didn’t think I really had to push yet
but Tyler had been warning her for the past hour I go fast at the end….
She starts to check again
and whadya know?
She sees baby’s head!
And frantically makes another call,
“Get a doctor in here now!”
Terry’s trying to talk Tony into going back in the room.
She knew she was there for the kids,
but she sure didn’t want to miss out on the birth.
How many people get the opportunity to witness such a miracle?
“Momma’s fine. If we don’t go in there right now
we’re going to miss the baby being born!”
They made it in the room just before the doctors
- All three of them -
rushed in.
Seconds later
our fourth child
entered the world.
screaming bloody murder!
Doctor Berumen turned her over
‘she’ had a package!
We had a boy!!!!
Brandon Levi
You are a treasure!
Brandon is a thinker;
He figures out things
I’ve never even thought to wonder about.
He’s creative.

He is compassionate.
He may be serious
but he loves to play tricks on people
'specially his mom!
He’s a good friend.

One of his favorite things in the world is playing board games
and he’s a great winner
(and loser)
He’s thoughtful.

He waited a long time to be a big brother and he’s an excellent one!
And he’s more responsible than any other kid I know.
Happy 10th Birthday Brandon!
I love you sooo much!!!