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