Monday, December 27, 2010

Made to Crave - Lysa TerKeurst

Guess what I'll be doing differently (again) this new year?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

shine a good light

This is what's been on my heart this Christmas season:

If I'm "the only Jesus" someone ever sees...or I'm the one Christian someone knows...if I'm the face of Christianity and I'm a gigantic puke - a stink nugget - a worm, what kind of example am I being?

Hey! Jesus is awesome! But what about all these idiots...who let them in here?

(That last phrase is what I've been living out in the last since-my-baby-was-born.)

James MacDonald said something once that's been ringing in my ears. Here's my best attempt at paraphrasing:

You may not be the one to plant the seed, but let's don't stomp the soil all hard so that no one can plant it.

I don't want to be a soil stomper. I don't want people to look at me and say, "THAT'S what it means to love and follow Jesus?! NO THANK YOU."

So. I'm sorry I've been a puke. And that my light is a laser shining into your eyeball. I'm going to try and shine a nicer light. Because Jesus really is awesome. I'm not awesome.

I'm celebrating His birthday this weekend.

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I should take a little break from writing...

...I took down yesterday's post because it may or may not have included hypothetical idiots, Fire Marshalls and burning hotels.

My husband read it and said it didn't sound like me. I told him that it was the most me I've ever been...because I'm nothing if not overly dramatic. And loony.

He was right, wasn't very nice. So it's gone.

This is precisely why God didn't give me *laser eyes.

*Sometimes, when I am driving in my car and people make me mad, I think it would awesome to have laser eyes. However, I would be lasering people in the heat of the moment. And then my husband would tell me that it isn't like me to be lasering people with my eyes. And once someone is lasered, they can't be UNlasered.


There you go.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dumb and stupid

I don't allow my kids to call people dumb or stupid. But, then, I don't allow my kids call people other mean names, either.

I allow them to call things dumb and stupid. Because sometimes things are dumb and stupid.


I worry that we, as parents, focus on minutiae and miss the point.


I typed the above yesterday, and then took it back down...since context is good.....I thought I should provide a little for my rant.

(I don't want anyone thinking I'm specifically pointing fingers.)

The other day I had referred to something as having a stupid design. And 'stupid' rang in my ears. Just like 'shut up' always does. And 'crap.' Words that you were taught not to say in elementary. You know....'cause they're bad words.

But, are they?

I love 'crap.' I know it conjures up all kinds of yucky feelings, which is what makes it the perfect word to describe things.

What I was thinking about yesterday, was how we focus our attention on the words, and not the heart. I can call someone a mean name using nice words.

For example? My sister used to tell me that I had Grandma Hands. (I forgive you, Jen.) (ahahaaha!!) Now, she wasn't saying that my hands were loving and good at baking. She was saying that my hands were old ladyish and dorky. (Not that grandma's are old ladyish and dorky.) Should my parents have banned the word Grandma? Of course not. They should have made my sister pay me $300.


I would have settled for $200. know what I mean. Less focus on the words, and more focus on the heart.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

baby baby baby no

I didn't get much sleep last night. Or the night before. Or 3285 nights before that. "I'm exhausted," I told my husband while he was getting ready for work.

"Why don't you try and take a nap today?" he offered.

"Hey! That is such a great idea! Why didn't I think of that?!" I said with way too much sarcasm and sassiocity. I decided to make it a priority to get a nap in this morning. When both the boys were napping (big kids at school) my nap window was open. But then I remembered I hadn't bathed in a lot of days. I say a lot, because I'm not exactly sure when I last did. Sunday? Saturday? I don't remember. Just keeping it real. So I took a bath. HEAVEN!

AND I fixed my hair. But here's the thing with that: I keep fixing it so that it looks like Justin Bieber's. I told my stylist sister about this problem a few weeks ago. Then I saw her, and she re-cut it for me, and styled it. Voila! No Justin Bieber. However, when I try to do it myself? Voila! Justin Bieber. Although when I think about it, it's probably like complaining the results aren't Chicken Kiev when you set out making chocolate chip cookies.


My nap window is closed.

My tiniest baby is asleep in my lap right this moment and doesn't want to be set down. An issue I'll worry about in a few months. Right now, I'm content to sit and rock him. Cause I'm a rock star.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

the tree

I used to use only white ornaments to decorate the tree.
It was beautiful.
I scoffed at the idea of little hand made ornaments---perhaps I'd have a second tree hidden in the basement for such things.
Then I had children.
Whose little hands make ornaments.
And the tree takes my breath away.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

when do the grown ups arrive?

Last night as I was tucking myself and my teeny baby into bed, my not-so-teeny-baby woke up with a bark and a wheeze.


I secured the teeniest.

My husband met me at the top of the stairs. So much for his productive work evening. We were both rushing to calm the seal down the hall.

He was inconsolable and couldn't breathe. I snatched him from his daddy, and instructed him to go and start some HOT water in the bathroom. I grabbed a blanket and threw it around our shoulders and went outside into the cold night air.


He calmed.

He could breathe.

I could breathe.

We stood out there for as long as I mind racing....he needs the cold to breathe....I cannot catch a chill or I will get mastitis....he needs to be held....I have a one month old that will need to eat in an hour, or less, or more....where do we go from here?

To the bathroom. Steamy and warm. Not helping.

I pulled the big chair to the window and opened it a crack. Sweet Seal clamored to my shoulder and close to the air that could get into his lungs. Cold. Crisp.


Daddy reminds me that I can't handle the cold, and he takes my place. I scurry to the basement and bring up blankets. Lots of blankets. Once they are sufficiently mummified I start googling.


How did I know it's croup? How did I know what to do? Was it on TV? Who knows. I was glad for the knowledge. Google told me that I was supposed to do what I did. Thank you Google. I'm a mom, you know. Somewhere along the way I absorbed something useful. Thank goodness I didn't think about Anne of Green Gables and Ipecac.

All night long, daddy and big baby sleep blankets deep in fresh night air.

I snuggle my tiny baby and pray that he stays well. It's agonizing watching a two year old gasp for air. I don't think I can handle it with a newborn.

Today was a long good day. Daddy was able to stay and help. Thank God. There was no doing today alone.

Big baby spends the day in Thomas Jammies watching movies and sleeping on the floor. He seems well now. Moments ago he walked past and said good bye and made for the door. Trying the locks, he said he was going for a walk. "Okay?"

No. It's not okay.

But you're okay.

And now, we're three quarters of the way through bath time. Another day come and gone.

Life just keeps rolling on. Little rest for the weary, but the weary are glad.

It's okay.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

chained elephants

I heard the best "sermon" on the radio the other night.

It was about how baby circus elephants are chained to a stake dug deeply in the ground. They pull and pull and pull, then finally give up once they realize that they can't get loose. (That's not the great part.)

As mature elephants, they are still chained to a stake. The stake would never hold them if they tried to pull against it. They just assume that since the chain is there, and the stake is dug, they can't be loosed. So they stay. Chained.

The whole point was that we often believe some kind of lie about ourselves. A lie that keeps us chained. Held back. That if we only tried, we would find that we could be loosed.

I thought about myself. The lies that hold me back. My eating. I'm a good eater and always have been. I buy into the lie that I have no self control, and that I'm an eater and always will be. It's just who I am.

But it's a lie. I don't have to be a huge eater. I can have self control and be whom ever I want to be. No stake can hold me. I'm a huge elephant.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

one fine day

We'll hop in our car and head towards the big city.

Just the two of us.

We'll go to a museum. I'll wow him with my knowledge of art history. (I'm sure it will all come back to me.) We will discuss. Contemplate. Pontificate. Ruminate.

We'll go out for coffee. I'll be wearing heels and funky glasses. And jewelry. Big jazzy jewelry.

We'll walk downtown hand in hand. Go in fun shoppes. (ShopPES)

And then....

Then we'll go and buy a large gun.

We'll drive off into the sunset.

When the moon is shining brightly in the winter sky, we'll dress head to toe in white.

We'll walk silently into the night and find the perfect spot.

We will not speak. The only noise will come from the player we bring with us: the sounds of a dying rabbit. (Romance!) Followed by a gunshot - if we're lucky. Coyote. Coyotes?

We're not all that different, you see.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

and a week later...

He's here.

And he's amazing.

I remember when I was pregnant with our second baby how afraid I was that I couldn't love another baby as much as I loved my first baby....and how someone had told me this:

With your first child, it's like love is being poured to overflowing into a cup. It's so much love that it's spilling out in every direction. There isn't any way you can add more love to that cup. Which is why - before you've met your second, third, fourth baby - you can't fathom loving another just as much. Where would the water go? The cup is already full! But you don't have to worry! You are not adding more water. You are adding a whole 'nother cup.

I have four cups.

Filled to overflowing.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

a tuesday

Today is the last Tuesday I'll ever be the mother of three.

My big baby and I went to the grocery store where I am proud to say I didn't waddle. Or at least, I tried not to waddle.

We got the last few things we need before the new tiny baby comes. My big baby seems to know something is about to change. He's been extra huggly snuggly. I'm taking it all in.

Life is about to change in a very good way.

I can't wait.

Monday, October 4, 2010

nesting with cookies

Baking is a good distraction.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Happy birthday to my Dad!

Hope it's a special day!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Waiting game

Had an appointment today and found out that I need to wait it out a little longer. My official ultrasound due date is today. The due date I've been counting down to is Saturday. My dad's birthday. I was really hoping to be induced on Saturday. Not going to happen. I could certainly go in on my own on Saturday...but that's not very likely.

I'm trying to keep a positive attitude.

I'm making a mental list of all the good things that can happen while I wait:

1. I can take more naps.
2. I can sleep for longer stretches at night.
3. I can leave the house at any given long as there is another adult around to watch the biggers.
4. I know what time everyone will be in bed at night.
5. I can eat sour cream.
6. I can eat onions.

That's about all.

Right now, I'm feeling REALLY tired and VERY cranky. Only 180 minutes until bedtime.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


As it turns out, I like to be in control.

Of everything.

And I am not in control.

Of anything.

Working on issues today....trusting The One In Control.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


My second born has been dealing with eczema f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Up until this summer it followed a predictable pattern: Bad in the winter, healed in the summer, bad again in the winter, healed again in the summer.

This summer we couldn't seem to clear it up.

His doctor suggested trying some diet modifications...thinking a possible allergen trigger. We can always go the route of allergy testing. However, if simply tweaking his diet could save him a few hundred needle sticks, we were all for it.

First we removed all nuts from his diet. Peanuts and tree nuts. This helped a little.

But not enough.

Next to go? Gluten.

Followed by an elimination of High Fructose Corn Syrup.

His skin started to look better. Much better.

I began to think that nuts weren't part of the equation, until I gave him a cookie containing pecans. INSTANT flare up. So nuts are still out.

Then I wondered about the gluten. We started slowly plugging wheat back in...but only 100% whole wheat. No problems. Whew. Maybe gluten wasn't an issue? Gave him a burger on a processed bun. INSTANT flare up. So crappy bread products and all purpose flour are out.

We haven't even bothered to reintroduce HFCS, because really...who needs that garbage? Unless you like a good hit of mercury every now and again.

While this isn't the easiest diet for a little boy to follow, it's not complicated. And it's worth it. SO WORTH IT.

For breakfast, he'll eat two plain eggs (which is the way he likes them best anyhow.) Or toast with jelly. (100% whole wheat, and a preserve with actual berries and sugar.) Some mornings I'll make scones, or banana bread...I've just gotten into the habit of using only whole wheat, oat, rice, or tapioca flours - sometimes a blend of all when I bake.

For lunch at school, I send a jelly sandwich, orange slices, string cheese, a homemade cookie, and a few potato chips. (the chips ingredient list is potato, oil, salt.)

Suppertime is surprisingly easy. I've just tweaked what we normally have to fit this new diet. My meatloaf and meatballs now contain brown rice in place of bread crumbs. In place of noodles, I use corn tortillas for lasagna. Any bready stuff is just whole wheat in place of what I used to use. I make sure he's getting plenty of protein at night to make up for any absence earlier in the day.

I wish I would have started this earlier. It's been so good for him and really, it's been good for the rest of us, too.

Monday, September 20, 2010

It only took four hours...

...but I got the kids bedrooms totally cleaned out.



(Two trash bags full of broken things whisked away while they were at school.)

And the best part? Now that everything has a place, and it all looks new and exciting, they've been holed up playing since they stepped foot in the house.

Sunday, September 19, 2010



We were young.

We jumped into The Bigs.

We had no money.

A little stuff.

And all the doe-eyed optimism to propel us into the future.

And the future was good.

Is good.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I've been pulling off vent covers and vacuuming inside them. Using an old tooth brush to scour any dust that isn't sucked away.

It's funny how fixated I become on areas of my home that are only ever cleaned when we are about to have a baby. As I move the fridge and stove and scrub the walls and floors behind and beneath I am reminded of the last time I did this task. Two years ago. It shows. I make a mental note to do this task more often.

There are projects I would like to tackle. Things in my mind that I can't quite silence. My vehicle. It's big. It needs to be cleaned. It's too hard for me to do most of it. I can't maneuver in all of its spaces. I got stuck half way between the middle and back seats a few weeks ago. I don't intend to try that again.

The kids rooms. They're mostly picked up - with a touch of chaos. A desk FULL of projects and project making paraphernalia. Beds being held up by the toys shoved underneath.

I worry about how it will get done.

But then, this nesting thing seems to be contagious. My girl organizes her art supplies. My boy removes several toys from his collection that he wants to sell at a rummage sale next summer. My husband wakes up this morning determined to clean out the cars...and I didn't even ask....he's even cleaning the carpets. Removing seats. Washing. Waxing.

There is even talk about vacuuming the basement.


So, today, I'll be sitting with my feet up eating Butterfingers.

And trying to go into labor.

By eating Butterfingers.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

38 weeks

And counting.

I've got a doctor's appointment this morning where I'll learn that absolutely nothing is "happening."

I know it's good to be boring in this circumstance, but just once it would be fun to have a STORY!


I was shopping for groceries and right there in front of the butter *ta da* my water broke!


I was cleaning the house when I started having contractions. They were three minutes apart! I had to call my husband AT WORK! And he had to come and we had to call a SITTER!

You know, stories that have jazz.

My stories go like this:

I was one hundred days over my due date, and the baby wasn't going to come out. So I went into the hospital on a scheduled day. They broke my water. They gave me pitocin. My baby was born 12 hours later.

Always a VERY WONDERFUL outcome, but so predictable! No drama! (*unless the other selfish hogs take up all the spots in L&D on my special day.*)

I'm wondering if they sell those special crochet hooks anywhere?

(Just kidding.)


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dear Future Daughter-In-Law,

I am doing this for you.

When he hates everything in front of him at the table, I make him try anyway.

When he says he'll puke if he has to take a bite, I call his bluff.

When he says he doesn't like potatoes, I mash them up and hide them inside.

When he is "full," I make him take five more bites. (Not because I want him to be overstuffed, but because I know when he is lying.)

My dear sweet girl, for you, he will now eat (and enjoy!):



Green beans







But he would prefer a jelly sandwich.

Friday, September 10, 2010

another cover

I'm borrowing a swing from a friend. Only, she doesn't need it back when I'm done with it. It will find its way into another home when this new babe grows out of it.

I love that baby gear can be meant to be shared...

The swing we had with our first rocked many many more babies than my own. And an entirely different swing rocked my third.

This new-to-us swing had a navy blue plaid cover. It wasn't ugly. But it didn't match my mood. And I was on a sewing roll the day I covered my bouncy seat, so I threw together this:

It had to have some navy in it, since the frame is still navy. I thought about spray painting it...but since it isn't mine, I didn't want to make any irreversible changes. The cover can be removed, and it can be changed back to its original state.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

bouncy cover

I had an old bouncy seat that lived through my two other boys. It looked boyish. Plus six-years-ago-ish. With a hefty dose of ugly. So I covered it:

It still has light blue buckles and frame...but one can no longer make out the random zoo animal print beneath. And now it matches my furniture.

Am I happy with the results? Meh. It's better than it used to be. I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

keeping busy

Nana's Birds No. 2

A few weeks ago, my husband ripped off two of my appendages and brought them to visit their Grandma and Grandpa. My youngest and I stayed home.

Before they left, The Man made me several frames for paintings. (He makes the frames, I stretch the "canvas.") This was a big priority for him. Because he has known me for many moons. And he knows that me + too much time on my hands = hasty home remodel projects done with staple/glue guns.

He knew I intended on painting our bedroom. But I was given STRICT instructions upon their departure. He did not want to come home to any surprises. Every party has a pooper and that's why I invite him.

My big baby and I spent a lot of quality time together while the rest of our crew was gone. But he's a good napper. And I found myself with plenty of free time. So I painted. And painted. And painted. I'll share a painting a day for the next couple of days.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


It feels good.

To try.

I've been buying into the lie that things are easier if I just relax. Put my feet up. Do nothing.

I'm not sure why I fall into that mindset so easily. There are just so many good excuses I can use. They all revolve around my current condition. But I don't want to use this pregnancy as an excuse. My family still needs to eat. And wear clothes. I know they appreciate a tidy house just as much as I do.

So I'm trying. I'm baking cookies when I feel like sitting at the computer all afternoon. I'm trying to prepare dinner in the morning while I still have energy. I'm trying to get creative with lunch time so we don't need to run to McDonald's every other day.

(By the way, I watched Food Inc. last night and don't think we'll be eating out ANYWHERE from now on. Pukers.)

I'm trying to tidy up when I want to be laying down. I'm trying to stay on top of the laundry.

I'm trying not to let laziness win. I rest when I need to. But I have found that I don't need to rest all the live long day. And a rest feels better when it's been earned.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


We hit the age awhile ago with the big kids where most of the parenting we had to do was maintenance. (At least for the time being.) We laid a foundation in their early years. He was easier than she. She is too much like me. Her will is iron. She gave me the biggest run for my money.

One time I cried.

And seeing me cry broke her from her tantrum. But with that brokenness, came a glimmer of power in her eyes. I was a little worried. However, that day was a turning point. Things started to get better. I was wiser choosing my battles. Because once you chose a parenting battle, you cannot lose.

With our oldest boy, my parenting arsenal was tappedwhen he was about two and half. My punishments didn't phase him. If I took away a toy, he didn't care. He didn't like that one anyway. Once I had visions once of starting all his toys on fire in the backyard as a punishment that might catch his attention. That was when I knew I couldn't come from a place of love when handing out consequences for him. So I enlisted The Dad. Dad is my boy's currency. If I had to call dad at work, he knew that it wouldn't be all fun and games and wrestling when he walked through the door at the end of the day.

It took one phone call.

And then we coasted.

Coasted right along.

Sure, little fires would flare. But those fires were pretty easily put out. I could say things like, "I hope there will be fast listening." Or, "I would hate to have to give a consequence." And they would tow the line....for the most part.

Thank you, Jesus.

But now. Now we have The Third Born Child. He is entering the foundation laying years. I had totally forgotten just how EXHAUSTING this phase can be.

He'll be standing on a chair, and I'll tell him to sit down.


Excuse me? Who do you think you are?! No?!? You can't tell me no. Unless I've asked you a yes or no question. And even then, it should be, "No, thank you." My big kids watch. Fascinated. Can we just tell her 'no?'

I'm trying to remember what we did with the others. He's too young for reasoning. He doesn't understand that I can call dad at work yet. So it's Game On.

It's plucking him off the chair every.single.time and saying the words, "Mommy said, 'sit down.' You need to sit down."

"Sit down," he repeats.

"Yes. Good job."

But it's everything. Or almost everything.

It's consistency. It's follow-through.




Talking and showing and teaching.

I'm hoping that Baby No. 4 will observe all of this and just kind of catch on on his own. Sort of a two for one foundation laying.

I'm ready for the coasting again.

At least until the teenage years.

Friday, August 13, 2010

and today,

I've been dwelling on the fact that in a few short weeks, this baby will come out.

And I remember REALLY WELL what that feels like.

It feels like I want to die. But, you know, only for about 10 hours.

I'm really going to try and get him out myself this time. No pitocin. Pitocin is from the devil. And it's the only labor I know. Because, babies don't like to come out of me. They like to stay in. Until they're 9 lbs 6 oz. And eight days late.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The fog laid a heavy blanket over everything out my window this morning.

I sat, coffee in hand.

Big baby boy at my side.

Small words from the night before began to dance through my mind.

"You look just like your Mom."

He said with such love to my littlest.

He didn't know they would be the kind of words that play back again and again.

I'm so glad I married that man.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Grandma Ruby's Danish Pastry

These are good.

Really good.

Really, really, really good.

Danish Pastry
Cut 1/2 c butter w/1 c flour
add 1 tbsp water
Pat onto and ungreased cookie sheet into two 12 x 3" strips.

Let stand until next step is done.

In medium sauce pan, bring 1/2 c butter, 1 tsp almond extract, and 1 c flour to a boil. Beat until smooth - cool briefly - then add 3 eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Spread over crust.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Cool completely.

Frost with powdered sugar frosting using almond extract instead of vanilla. (I used sweetened condensed milk...natch.) Sprinkle with sliced almonds.

I cut mine and put them in cupcake liners to serve.


(I saved you some in the freezer, Dad.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

a special kind of stupid

{post edit: if you read this before all of my grammatical corrections, you saw my case in point.}


I was doing a little sewing the other day.

My machine kept jamming up. I was getting so frustrated pulling out stitches every. single. time I tried to start this one seam. Two minutes prior, I had to "refill" my bobbin. I only had a few feet left to sew, so I quickly added a few lengths of string from the top of the machine to that bobbin, put it back in, but didn't re-thread the top thread all the way back through correctly.

It took me way too long to figure out where I had gone wrong.

The mistake was too simple.

And once I realized what I had done, I had a moment. A moment I've had four other times. The first time, I hadn't had the experience before, so I wasn't aware of what was going on. The last three times, I knew. That is, with my first pregnancy, I didn't know you get a special kind of stupid when you are pregnant. But the other three times, I knew. When simple things just don't make sense. When you lose words from your vocabulary. When you can't perform simple mathematics in your head. When you walk in a room and have absolutely no idea why.

So this moment I had....

....I had been so engrossed in my sewing, my mind was mostly empty. I realized what I had done, and for just a few seconds, that feeling of freaked out/excited/uncertainty washed over me. I wonder if I could be pregnant?

Well, Einstein, do you think?

And then I remembered. Yes! There is are very real possibility I could be pregnant.

Like, almost eight months pregnant.

Please tell me I'm not the Lone Idiot. What is this pregnancy phenomena. And does it only effect me?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Grandma Ruby's Norwegian Pie

I almost didn't get any photographic evidence of this pie.
Three minutes after this picture was taken, this piece completely vaporized.
So mysterious.
SO delicious.
I am the lucky keeper of many of my Grandma Ruby's old recipes. Written by her hand. Her handwriting. Recipe cards yellowed by years. Stained. Wonderful.
I've decided it's time to start testing them out. Many of the things she used to make or bake most often are already in my cooking arsenal. I'm determined to test some of the ones I don't remember. This pie was one of them. And hallelujah, it was good.
Norwegian Pie:
Mix 1 c flour and 1/2 cup butter - pat into bottom of pie plate and bake 20 min. (350 degrees)
2 eggs beaten
1 1/2 c br. sugar
1 c chopped walnuts
1/2 c coconut
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
Bake 20 more minutes
Frost with pow'd sugar frosting. (I used sweetened condensed milk because it is a gift from the Lord.)
Now the recipe didn't give an oven temp, but I decided it must be 350. And that worked for me. It didn't tell me to let it set for a few hours, which I should have. Instead, I let it sit on the counter to cool for about 10 minutes before I couldn't take it any longer. The pie was fantastic, but gooey. The half that survived the night in the fridge set up beautifully. When I make it again, I'll give it several hours of set up before it needs to be served. If I can help myself. (Self control is a fruit of the Spirit...praying on that today.)
As I try more of these, I'll post them and the results.
Next up: Danish Pastry
(Did I mention I passed my glucose test?)

Thursday, July 22, 2010


We've done some short trips in the past few weeks. I'm wiped out. The last few days have been peppered with slight tummy-aches for nearly everyone in our family.

I was tired before all of that, but now, now I feel like I could take a nap at the drop of a hat.

My mind is the only thing running in high gear. I've got a list of things I need to accomplish before baby no. 4 joins the ranks.

1. I (we) ((I)) need to name this baby.

2. Paint my bedroom.

3. Clear out a dresser for the baby's clothes.

4. Wash up the baby's clothes.

5. Make shutters for the big kids playhouse.

6. Paint the bathroom. (And rip down the wallpaper?)

7. Clean the basement.

8. Sort through my clothes.

9. Sort through the big kids clothes.

10. Figure out how to go into labor on my own.

11. Stop eating peanut M&Ms.

12. Wash the windows.

13. Give away 1/2 of our toys.

14. Find all the baby gear.

15. And clean it.

16. Take more naps.

17. Sew curtains.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

don't try this at home

I went to Applebee's the other night with some girlfriends.

Out of curiosity, I googled the nutritional information of my usual order of their classic boneless wings with blue cheese dressing. I did this before I went out. And guess what? They are only a little less than 1800 calories.

I still ordered them.

And ate every last one.

And ate nothing but salad and Kashi Go Lean the next day.

Which might have balanced things out had I not fried up pickles, cheese and jalapenos for dinner tonight.

My next doctor's appointment should be a fun one.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

road trippin'

Happy Independence Day!

We'll be celebrating near our old stomping grounds. Looking forward to the big adventure. It's always fun, always delicious.

Hope your weekend is wonderful!

Friday, June 25, 2010

family portrait

a different kind.

just for fun....for V.

the most fun I've ever had painting.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Last weekend my boy attended a birthday party. On the way home from collecting him, I drove past this:
Someone had set it on the curb. I stopped. What have we here? There was a man cleaning out his garage twenty feet behind this treasure.
"Excuse me, sir? Are you getting rid of this?"
"I am."
"Is it for sale?"
"You can have it."
"Really? Are you sure? Thank you so much!"
And because I look 50 weeks pregnant he quickly came over and said, "here, let me lift it in your car for you."
I was very happy. But I think he was even happier.
He pointed out the water marks as if to apologize for its condition. Hey, pal, who am I to complain? The price is right, and everything else in my house has water marks, so it will match PERFECTLY!
I like it just fine this way.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

a rose by any other name

Here I sit. Nearing week 26 of gestation. We know we are having a baby boy. The ultra sound lady kindly (ahem) included a photo with an arrow and such on our complimentary take home picture. Thanks.

While we are beyond thrilled to be welcoming another boy into our family, we have hit a snag. We have already used the only two boy names that we could agree on.

When we found out that our last two were boys, around the twenty week mark, we started referring to them by their names. I liked that. It sort of felt like we already knew them when they arrived. Their sibling(s) prayed for them by name. We talked about them. It gave a certain level of familiarity that was nice.

Plus, on some strange level, it soothed my controlling tendencies.

With the other kids, once we had chosen their name, it felt right. Right now it feels like I'm trying to force a name....and nothing is feeling right. The other kids have plain and simple and wonderful names. Who knew it could be so complicated to find a name to blend in to the mix?

Mary, Paul, John and Elliot.

(Those are not my kids names...but similar.....but you see how Elliot doesn't "go"? I like Elliot. It's too fancy for my husband. Which is the case for about every name I mention.)

Mary, Paul, John and Silas.

Mary, Paul, John and Nathan.

Mary, Paul, John and Benjamin.

Mary, Paul, John and Duncan.

Mary, Paul, John and Elias.

All of the above have been vetoed by someone I'm married to. And, because he teaches, 80% of names are already out of the question.

Who are you tiny baby?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

2 eggs
2 cups milk + 1 tsp vinegar (unless you have buttermilk on hand, then just 2 cups buttermilk)
3 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Mix the first five ingredients together, then add the last three all at once.

Make sure your griddle is hot.

Today, we made them Dad-sized.

Monday, June 14, 2010

If I had enough space to vacuum I could solve the world's problems


Probably not.

But I could solve a good chunk of my own!

I do my best thinking when I'm vacuuming. The hum of the machine drowns out the sounds of everything else.

Today I was remembering a conversation I had a long time ago with a friend. She shared wisdom with me that someone had shared with her. It was the kind of thing I need to remind myself of often.....

Years ago, she joined a bible study with women both young and old. God had been teaching her some big things in her life, and she was feeling some serious convictions. She shared those convictions with the group and felt that since she was being convicted, she would help them feel convicted, too.

Later that day, a kind older woman took her aside. She gently reminded her that personal convictions from God are wonderful, powerful things. But that they're personal. They aren't always meant for everyone around you. Sometimes they might need to be shared...but we need to measure our words, so that we aren't passing judgement in the name of imparting wisdom.

This information served as a wake up call for me. I go through times when I'm being pulled and stretched and convicted on all sorts of things. Sometimes it's uncomfortable. Sometimes it's exciting. Every time it's a growing experience that moves me in the right direction.

But I need to remember that what is being done in me is personal.

If there's a show that I don't feel like I should watch, or a book I shouldn't read, or a place I shouldn't go, those are things God's doing in me. He knows the ways I'm impacted. He knows my heart.

He didn't make everyone just like me, and He's not working in everyone exactly like He's working in me.

We're not all at the same place in our journey. You aren't going to have the same struggles as I do. Sometimes He allows us to go down a road to learn a gigantic lesson. Sometimes He puts a person in the road to share some wisdom....sometimes He doesn't.

Sometimes the person in the road ran there of their own accord. And you want to drive right over top of them.

All of this was to say that I was reminded today that convictions are powerful and personal. Sometimes they are meant to be shared. Sometimes they are not.

I'm praying for the wisdom to know the difference.

And for a heart that doesn't want to judge.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Every now and again, there will be a comment here from someone in China. Or Thailand? Or Japan....somewhere with a lovely Asian alphabet. I never know what they are saying, but I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with what I'm saying. It's some kind of spam, that if you click on what they write you will find yourself transported to some grody {adult} site.

I usually catch the comments and delete them.

But just in case you should see one and wonder....I'm saving you the trouble of further investigation.

Maybe there's a way to block them? I have no idea.

Just wanted to give a heads up.

And if you should know how I can prevent them in the future, that would be slick.

Carry on.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Initial inspiration found here.

Recipe here.

So easy. It's ridiculous.

And so delicious. It's criminal.

(I kneaded in some cinnamon after the first rise, then after boiling sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top before baking.)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

random thoughts on a Tuesday

I wanted a nap SO badly this morning. My youngest still takes two naps a day. (Which is the best present any mom can receive.)

After tennis--my girl started tennis lessons this morning--we came home and played for a little bit. The babe was over due for his nap. He went down easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I made lunch. Spicy chicken wings for the boy and left over pizza for the girl.

My cupboards are looking a little bare, but I REFUSE to run to the store until I absolutely must. And I've got lovely things for dinner for the next few days, and okay things for breakfast....and mediocre things for lunch. Mediocre if your name is Mom. Which mine I had yogurt mixed with Kashi's answer to shredded wheat. You know what? It was lackluster.

I ate it.

I got full in the belly, but not in the mind. Do you know what I mean? It didn't do anything for me. I like a few bells and whistles.

So I started eyeballing the kids plates.

And you know what?

They cleaned them for a scrap of chicken and 1/3 piece of pizza.

Once the bigs were done with lunch, they went to play. I reminded them that it was IMPERATIVE to be QUIET so as not to wake the sleeper.

Cue the herd of buffalo.

Right outside the sleeper's door, on their way to play Polly Pockets and G.I Joe.

At this point, I was laying on the couch. Holding my breath. Would he keep sleeping? This was my moment. Would a twenty minute nap be too much to ask?


It would.

I choked back a tear and swallowed my urge to growl angrily at the buffalo.

My nolongersleeping-er snuggled with me on the couch. Then Daddy came home for lunch. And I lost my snuggler. But not my spot on the couch.

Daddy stepped in so I could lay motionless for 4 minutes.

I dreamed about second nap time. Second nap time is coming.

And is here now.

And now today is a good day.

Because it isn't yesterday. When I got to shampoo the carpet and a piece of furniture. Because of a diaper.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Apples and Pear

Two of these have taken up residence in the same home as the bamboo trio below. And that house isn't mine. Which makes me feel glad.

Friday, June 4, 2010

her journal

Yesterday was the last day of school. My girl brought home 40 lbs of stuff from her desk. She presented me with her writing journal and asked if I wanted to read it. (Are you kidding me? YES! How long before she hides this stuff under her bed?)

Can I just say that I struck the daughter jackpot? This girl is golden.

My favorite excerpts from her writing:

"No, I don't want a bat for a pet. My father's wife would freak out probably."
"When you are on a team you need to be gleeful if you lose. And you should try to be calm and willing. You don't have to be stylish or brainy. You just need to be big-hearted. And that is priceless. Plus thats all you need to be a swell team."
"I wouldn't like to be a paleontologist. Because I don't like to get my clothes derty. Every body else in our class might want to but I don't. So being a paleontologist isn't easy. Thats why I don't want to be one. And also they are getting derty right exactly now possibly."
"If you have a swell sibling their good. But if you have a wild sibling their not good. I think I am a swell sibling. And I think the same for my brothers. Plus some brothers are great when you play castle. Because they could be a gard. So sisters could be the princess or queen."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

still more

This is a big one.

My house is starting to look like a gallery.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sometimes you gotta do the hard thing...

Like right now: I spent a better part of the day doing laundry. Except instead of folding it right out of the dryer I brought it to my bed and flung it in a pile (now mountain). The good news is that every stitch of clothing in my house is clean. The bad news is that it's all in a mountain on my bed. And it isn't folding itself.

There are 14 other things I would rather be doing right now.

But I'm going to go and do the hard thing - folding a mountain.

Because I'll need to sleep in that bed tonight.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I've been keeping busy lately...

....more to come.

Friday, May 28, 2010

the party's over

It's time to stop celebrating a month of little weight gain.

I'm finding that celebrating is like stepping on the caloric accelerator.

I'm pretty sure there will be no celebrating next time.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

so help me, God...

My son has trouble saying his 'r's. When he talks, he sounds like he's from Boston. Caah, instead of car. Beh-thday instead of birthday. He's getting better. He's practicing. He hears it himself, and is keenly aware of the words he's saying wrong.

Which is why it MAKES ME SO MAD when people repeat what he says right in his earshot, mimicking the way he's said it. They think it's cute. It is cute. He sounds adorable. But he's five and a half now, and he doesn't think it's cute or adorable.

He came home from preschool before Christmas and wanted me to help him say his daddy's name correctly. He had been trying to tell his teacher his dad's name - which has one 'r' smack in the middle. She couldn't understand him. He said it over and over to her, and finally the Para helped him out. She understood. He was so frustrated.

Because it's a single letter impediment, and because it's such a common one, he wouldn't qualify for aid until he's much older. So I looked online to see if there were any exercises we could practice at home. I learned that an R impediment is one of the trickiest because there are so many variants. Ar, Er, Ir, Or, Ur, Ra, Re, Ri, Ro, Ru....etc, each one requiring a completely different muscle placement.

I found some great tips on what to practice, and we've been working with him. There are several words that he couldn't say correctly before that he's completely nailing now. Which makes him feel really proud. It makes me feel really proud, too.

So help me God if you should mimic him and I hear you. And so help you Jesus if your child makes fun of him and I hear it. Nothing brings out Mama Bear quicker.

I'm not opposed to spanking.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Good riddance, Mr. Microwave

A few years ago my microwave died. It was a quick and painless death. I mourned its loss for about 3 minutes after removing it from my counter top.

And I looked around. At space. Extra, empty space.

I am a huge fan of extra empty space.

We thought about replacing it right away, but in the days after it conked out, I hadn't really missed it. So we waited. And are waiting still. The only reason I would even want a microwave these days would be for popcorn. But microwave popcorn isn't good for know, with the carcinogens in the bags? So when I need popcorn (which isn't that often) I send my husband to the store. For kettle and white cheddar. It suits me just fine.

And do you know how much more delicious left-overs taste when you reheat them in the oven or on the stove top? SO MUCH MORE DELICIOUS! It takes MAYBE 5-10 minutes to heat them through. Which is about the time it takes me to wash my dishes. Or vacuum the floor. I have the opportunity to practice patience while I clean to pass the time!

I would highly recommend life with out a microwave.

It will make you a better person.

Or something.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

and then,

I made bars once the caramel rolls were gone.

To celebrate a month's worth of little weight gain.

It's called logic.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I made caramel rolls.

And ate six of them for dinner.

Then I fed some to my children for dinner. (With bananas. On the side.)

They were really r e a l l y good.

Too good.

Now they're gone.

I'm not making more.

Monday, May 17, 2010

So here's the thing...

It either happened or it didn't.

Jesus was either a raving lunatic or He was fully God and fully man.

I remember in college having my faith COMPLETELY rocked. Completely. Where all the things I used to believe, no longer made sense. They seemed illogical.

My professor spoke about religion and how long ago - and even now - people need/ed to make sense of life and the world. So they created wild and fantastic stories. And those stories grew and evolved and become even more magical and wonderful. Too wonderful, it seemed.

People have weak minds. They need to cling to ideas that bring them comfort in the night. Grasping at anything to help when trials and tribulations abound. Imaginary. Pretend.

My mind couldn't pick up the broken remnants of my religion and put them back together.

And I was scared. What if I died? Then nothing? What if it had all been true, and I died in a state of disbelief?


I had no idea what to do with myself. I tried and tried to reason things out. Nothing made sense anymore. I went to a book store and bought The Case for Christ. I read it. But it didn't restore my mind. Or my faith.

I prayed. And I prayed and I prayed. What surprised me was during that period of mental turmoil, I never felt alone. I know that sounds cliche. But it's true. It was this feeling of peace in my body, that I couldn't reach my head. I took my doubts to the Lord.

"Here's the thing, God. It doesn't make sense. I have all these questions. I can't reason them out. I don't get it. Help me get it."

Slowly. Very slowly, the pieces started coming back together. The more time I spent reading my bible, the more it all makes sense. The more I realize that God is big enough to handle my doubts. He alone.

It was a powerful realization. He isn't God because I believe in Him. He isn't not God because someone doesn't believe. He just is. No one can deny the fact that a man named Jesus was born into this world 2000 some years ago. One can't deny His existence. History is full of information about Him. He either was who He said He was, or He wasn't.

My believing in Him doesn't make Him who He is. But, my believing in Him makes me who I am. A flawed, weak, selfish sinner. Who He loves anyway. Doubts and all.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Baby Boy No. 3

I had an ultrasound on Monday. My husband joined me for the appointment. The first question the Ultrasound Lady asked us was if we wanted to find out if baby was a boy or a girl. I may have been a little overly enthusiastic when telling her that, yes, indeed we wanted to know.

And right away, as clear as day, we found out we're having another boy. Three boys. I'm the mother of three boys. We're really excited. Really excited. My girl is pleased because not only does she not have to share a room, her brother number 1 has to share his room with TWO others. The boys room. My boy is excited because now the boys REALLY outnumber the girls. My baby has no idea what's going on. He'll be in for a rude awakening just before his second birthday.

Fun times ahead!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

14 reasons why I married the best man on earth

1. Several of the past nights, he's gotten home after the kids are already in bed sleeping. So this morning he woke them up early and got them breakfast at Burger King and took them for a morning drive before work/school.

2. When I first started staying home with baby number 2, we completely underestimated how much it would cost us. We gobbled right through our savings. Instead of me going back to work, he got a second job. He would teach during the week, and put in 24 hour weekends in a metal manufacturing place. There were a hundred days in a row (literally) where he wouldn't get a single day off. He never complained. And once, when he overheard me telling someone how hard it was on me (!!!!) that HE was working so much, he didn't even give me the stink eye.

3. He actually plays with our kids.

4. He hardly ever gets to do anything just for himself. And he doesn't whine about it.

5. He squishes bugs (even the big ones) with his bare hand.

6. He is smart.

7. He can make things. Like, seriously, nice things.

8. He repairs our cars.

9. When he forms a political opinion, it's because he's informed, he's researched it himself, not just listened to some stupid radio or tv talking head. He is able to see all the sides. He knows his stuff. (I do not know my stuff...and sometimes he can talk me in a circle. I like that.)

10. He will talk with me for hours at night. And when I talk about stupid things, he still listens.

11. Sometimes he brings me home chile rellenos for no good reason.

12. He is superhuman strong. I've seen him lift a refrigerator. By himself.

13. He's a good guy.

14. He believes.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Kerri and Kara

The first year we were married we lived back home. The place where we grew up. Went to high school. Met.

There are certain aspects of our first married year that are remembered differently by each of us. Those aspects are named baseball and hunting. I remember a zillion hours of baseball - both coached and played. And a thrillion hours of hunting. He remembers that there was some baseball and some hunting.

Irregardless, there was a good bit of time my new husband was occupied doing his thing. Fortunately for me, we were married right around the same time as two other couples. Dear couples. One couple is related to us. That is to say, the husband component of that couple is the brother of my husband component. The other couple had a husband similarly involved in his own things......

This left three new wives with plenty of time on our hands. I'm so thankful for those ladies. I can't even tell you. Sometimes we would all get together as couples to play games and eat burgers from the grill. But more often than not, when our husbands were out and about, we ladies would be out walking. Or painting the kitchen of the only home owned amongst us. Or wallpapering. Or tearing down wallpaper. And repainting. Etc. We held jewelry parties. Pampered Chef parties. Mary Kay parties.

We were busy gals.

It's since been a decade plus. The house we painted saw the birth of a baby. Its family outgrew it years ago. We've all moved a few times. All of us have children. Life looks a lot different today than it did all those years ago. Even though we only see each other a few times a year at most, I love those ladies and count them as dear friends. Their friendship was a blessing to me in those first years.

Every new wife should have such friends.

Friday, April 30, 2010

sunrise, sunset

Seven years ago tomorrow, I cried. The ugly cry. In bed. At night. And couldn't sleep.

Because eight years ago on Sunday, I gave birth to my baby girl.

Seven years ago on Sunday, that baby girl was turning one. And I couldn't handle it. The year had flown SO quickly. Like a snap. And my teeny tiny baby wasn't a teeny tiny baby anymore. And never would be again. I could FEEL the time slipping away.

And here we sit, on the cusp of the day marking eight years since her birth. And I'm doing the ugly cry. Because I can still FEEL the time slipping away. Like less than a snap.

How can it be?

I wish I could slow things down a little bit. I want to enjoy this more before it's too late. Next week she'll be graduating high school. Next month, walking down the aisle.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

bless you which I share too much....

I remember when the big trampolines came into popularity. We were at my cousins house for a graduation. The kids were all jumping around having a blast. At the end of the day when most of the guests had gone home, only family remained. My mom and aunts must have been feeling the relief of a party completed, because a few of them hopped on the trampoline. Only to quickly hop right back off. They all laughed at themselves...saying that jumping on a trampoline is not for any woman that had ever given birth.

I remember looking at my sister, puzzled. They discretely explained that once you have children, you can't hold your bladder. We laughed. And laughed. And laughed. Crazy old ladies almost wetting their pants! Then they gave us a look. A look that said, "Just you wait, my dears. Just you wait."

I can assure you that I am not laughing any more.

I warned my sister about this medical marvel. This old lady disease. It was after she had her first baby. I said, "Be careful if you ever have to sneeze." She laughed. And laughed. And laughed.

A few weeks later, she called me one morning. She was no longer laughing at me, but with me. We laughed together. But not too hard. Because, laughing is just as dangerous as sneezing.

Monday, April 19, 2010

rocket science

I got to see some gals from back home last weekend. It was a blast. So much fun to catch up. Good food. Fun times.

I had to drive a little to get myself to brunch. On the way, I passed many a field. Many. A. Field.

And I started thinking.

I don't think I've ranted on this topic here before. It's not necessarily a passion of mine....or a call I feel towards social activism. Perhaps a call to common sense? To The Greater Good. To Thinking About Thy Neighbor.

Where am I going with this?

Good question.

I live in the lovely state of Minnesota. We have this thing here called No Net Loss. It's about wetland protection to put it completely plainly. Which is the only way I know how to put it. What it means is: if a big company, say Wal Mart, builds a gigantic store on land that had been protected or labeled as "Wetland", then they must pay for someone else or for themselves to put an equal amount of qualifying land that had not been previously categorized as "Wetland" into "Wetland." Which makes sense, right? Yes.

It's all well and good. Wetland is good. Good for wildlife. Good for everyone.

I have no problem with No Net Loss.

I have a problem with drain tiles. (Stay with me, this eventually ties together....sort of....)

Miles and miles and miles and miles of drain tiles.

I'm sure you've seen it.

This time of year, or any time of year when the ground isn't frozen or planted, you can drive yourself into the country and see farmers laying black plastic tubing into their fields. It keeps things dry helping to dispel standing water. Which is fantastic for farmers. Fantastic!


Do you know what happens with water that once filtered into the ground slowly, that now quickly and efficiently funnels out of a field? It goes somewhere else. Like to the rivers and ditches and lakes and any other place that does not have drain tile.

All over my wonderful state we are experiencing record Springtime flooding. Where is all this water coming from the people wonder....hmmmm?

It's such a mystery.

Perhaps we could have something called No Net Gain? Maybe for every mile of drain tile placed in the ground a few gallons of worth of water withholding could be built? A lake? A diversion? Something?

Am I the only one who gets her undies in a bundle over problems that have seemingly simple solutions? I know we aren't the only place in the world with this problem. And don't get me started about the chemicals that have been ushered by drain tiles into the aquifers and rivers and lakes and streams and oceans.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

very 16

That's how I feel.

I know that I'm older....thirty-one for a few more weeks. My body looks thirty-one. Physically, I feel thirty something. Mentally, I feel about sixteen.

Every now and again my reality smacks me in the face. I look over and see the boy I started dating sixteen years ago. And think, "I am married to you! And we have three children!"

I see the people I went to high school with on facebook. They're all thirty-something now, too. How is this possible? Who is allowing this?

When do the grown ups show up?

Monday, April 5, 2010


Last night right before baths, I was leading my wayward five year old down the hall. He turned his head just as I moved my hand and I inadvertently poked him in the eye.

He flinched.

I said, "I'm sorry, buddy. I hope I didn't gouge out your eyeball."

A hopeful look crossed his face as he raised his hand to check, followed by disappointment once he discovered everything was as it should be.

I was reminded of a cartoon strip I read many years ago. Calvin and Hobbes. I told my boy about it. After baths, he sat on my lap as I read to him from the book excerpts we found on Amazon.

They had him at:

Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson: Available here.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Easter is my favorite holiday. It is The Holiday. I love Christmas, and celebrating the birth of our Savior, but without Easter, without death on a cross and Resurrection in a tomb there would be no Reason to celebrate.

We choose to celebrate the big holidays with our focus on Jesus. Our kids know about Santa and the Easter Bunny. They know the story of Saint Nicholas. They know that some people like to pretend that Santa is real, but they know that he is not. They also know not to ruin the game for others. We still stuff our stockings at Christmas time, and pretend. And the knowing doesn't ruin the fun.

We "do" Easter in the same way. They know that there isn't really an Easter Bunny. But we wake up to candy on Easter Sunday. When there weren't any Mr. Goodbars to be found amongst the Krackels this morning, they said, "maybe the Easter Bunny ate them all," with a wink at Daddy.

In a little while, we'll go to our Easter service at church and then come home to eat our ham.

If you ask my kids why we celebrate today they know The Reason.

They sometimes sing a little of my favorites:

Good news! Jesus was born.
Good news! He died upon the cross.
Good news! He rose again.
Good news! He's coming back soon!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

just give me Jesus

I know the trend is not new. The one where churches get all caught up in being new and innovative. Trying to find the perfect approach to give people an "experience" on Sunday morning. Unfortunately my church is caught up in that now.

I can appreciate all the hard work that goes into what they are trying to accomplish. I get the theme. But what I can't figure out is why we need a theme? Just give me Jesus.

Let's strip away all the jazz. All the distractions. All the fluff.

Let's peel back all those layers and uncover what it is we're all there looking for. Who it is we're all there looking for....

Just. Give. Me. Jesus.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Some things I've noticed about myself...

  • I really love naps
  • I really love cheese. And sweets. So much love.
  • My body doesn't hide pregnancy well. (Which surely has nothing to do with my love of cheese nor sweets.)
  • I love a good second trimester.
  • I do not love morning sickness.
  • I love that my husband will make a late night run for crappy fast food, and then eat it for me when I've changed my mind at the last minute. And that he is willing to re-run for other cravings without batting an eye. (He's a good man.)
  • Applebees's invented Mild Boneless Wings with blue cheese dressing on the side JUST for me. But you are welcome to have them, too. (Just not mine. Lest you lose a finger.)
  • I am in NO hurry to get into maternity clothes. None.
  • My pants are too tight...not at the tummy - they are riding low....they are too tight in the bottom and thighs, but you know what?! I zipped them. And I'm wearing them. Because they are the smallest size I have worn since high school and I may never get the chance to wear them again with all this chicken and cheese and cake.
  • I like coffee again. Thank goodness. I had a really bad run for many sad weeks where the thought of it made me want to puke my guts out.
  • My hair finally fits in a pony tail. Not a lovely pony tail. But I'm working on that.
  • I'm hungry for second breakfast.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Number 4

(It's been a little quiet here, I'm exhausted. Hoping the next trimester that starts next week will bring with it some new energy.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I took the opportunity to clean out my purse while waiting in the car for my girl to be done with school.

Papers. So many little stubs of paper. Receipts. Slips. Notes. Lists. I stashed them inside a Ziploc bag - holding two smooshed oreos.

I came across a little metal coil. A remnant from a pen that I remember tossing the last time I purged the purse. I opened the little baggie to add it to the paper trash, when a thought crossed my mind.

Might I ever need this little metal coil?

You know, what if the engine stalled and this small piece of aluminum (or whatever) could fix it? No. That doesn't happen in real life. I am never in an episode of Macgyver.

But I sure used to watch that show A LOT when I was younger. Isn't it funny how deeply impacted we are by such things?

I read a post here about how soap operas have impacted the "Redeemed Diva's" thinking. (She's a hoot!)

Anyhow, I threw out that coil. I hope I never happen upon a bomb squad trying to diffuse a bomb. It could have come in handy.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

through the fog

A low dense cloud parked itself over our city this morning. As I made the morning rounds of school drop-offs, I found myself on a road that leads straight towards a beautiful old Catholic Church. This church has a very tall, very pointy steeple with a shiny gold cross at the tippy top.

I couldn't see it, but I knew it was there.

I watched for it.

Closer, closer, and then slowly through the fog, it appeared.

I had a moment as I contemplated this as a metaphor.

Just because I can't see it, or feel it, or hear it, doesn't mean it isn't there.

Just because I can't see Him, or feel Him, or hear Him, doesn't mean He isn't here.

Monday, March 1, 2010


I walked to the corner of the kitchen to throw away a Kleenex. The garbage was stacked to capacity. It's a game we aren't purposely playing....if you can stick a piece of garbage into the bin without toppling the contents, you don't have to change the bag and take out the trash. Sort of like Jenga.

I lifted out the old bag, tied it and stepped outside to place it in the big garbage bin. I wasn't wearing a coat. Nor shoes. But I wasn't freezing.

There were birds singing.

I listened carefully.

And I could hear it.


Not too far away.

Monday, February 22, 2010


I went on the BEST mom's retreat ever this past weekend.


Twenty women from my mom's group rented out all but one room of a bed and breakfast, and the entire adjacent guest house. We played games. We laughed. We ate pizza and cheesecake.

We felt a little sorry for the couple that was sharing the house with us. We tried to keep our enthusiasm under control....but when someone has to mime diarrhea....

We disbanded to our rooms sometime after midnight. Neighboring rooms visited a little later into the night.

Morning came and we gathered again for breakfast.

Biscuits with sausage gravy, blueberry coffee cake, and fresh fruit.


I glanced at the couple across the room. Feeling like I should go over and offer my apologies for the night before.

But the woman got up and came over. She spoke to one of the gals in our group, who then pointed her to our leader. She whispered something and then stood in front of us all.

She and her husband, a pastor, wanted to take a moment to offer us encouragement. She said the most wonderful words. She shared her journey with us. She said, "when you can answer 'yes' or 'no', take another moment to explain. Before you know it, your children will be off on their own."

She told of the times she and her husband would pray at night.

Of how God blessed her with a job opportunity right out her back door once her kids went off to school.

The tears! You should have seen the tears streaming from our faces.

We said we had been worried the night before that we were disturbing them. She said they had been happy for us. Glad that a bunch of young mothers could sneak away and find refreshment and laughter.

It was refreshing.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My problem?

I have no tulips. Or daffodils. None. Whatsoever.

This is a problem that must be remedied.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

on a Saturday

There was a spot of sunshine on my living room floor. I stretched out onto it.

"What are you doing, mommy?"

"Stretching. It's like exercise."

That proved to be a good enough answer. Life continued all around me. My daughter, busy setting up books in her library. Wearing heels.

A battle waged five feet from my head between a penguin and Captain America.

My baby found a wooden spoon and metal bowl - that not fifteen minutes prior were props in a one woman play.

Laying in the warm sun I was keenly aware of my surroundings. I heard the click clack of shoes dangerously close to my fingers. My head only a few inches from a bowl being rung with the smacks of a wooden spoon.

A shadow covered me. I braced. False alarm. A snuggle. From my babe. With a bit of runny nose smeared on my cheek for good measure.

The library opened a north branch.

Angry howls from the war front. The Mach 5 is no where to be found.

I think I'd like Chinese take-out tonight.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Daddy's home

Or will be tonight.

He was only gone for three days.

Three too many.

We like it so much better when he's home.

(I like it so much better when he's home.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

blessed assurance

I've been imagining my life as a fragile object nestled in a web of delicate threads. The threads are composed of strong fibers that have been suspended from a wooden frame, held by a strong hand.

Life's events make this fragile object sway. Sometimes one or two delicate threads splinter and break....causing an uncomfortable shift in the balance. When a shift occurs, I can try to make adjustments myself. There are times when self-adjusting seems to work. However, more often than not, self adjustments only make the problem worse. Because I am not looking from the outside in. I am feeling from the inside out.

I find that I am much better off when I allow the strong hand to correct the balance. And I need to be patient when that strong hand lets me learn about trust and dependence while remaining imbalanced. Because He does have two hands. One to hold the frame. And the other to hold this fragile object.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Wednesday night is Kid's Club night for us. I've been helping out in this ministry for a few years. (I like to be actively involved in whatever my kids are doing....because I love them, and because I am controlling with high needs.)

Last night, the kids were learning about the different names of Jesus. They learned that names have meanings. That those meanings can describe certain attributes about a person.

Part of the activity at the end of the night involved the meanings of the kid's names in our group. The leader had looked up every one's names and the kids had so much fun hearing that their names meant things like laughter, handsome, warrior and purity.

One child's name meant "clever."

"Does anyone know what 'clever' means?"



...a little hand is raised. The hand of a little boy. A feisty little boy.

"Yes? What do you think 'clever' means?"

"Well. If you and I were in a fight. And we were kicking each other. And I threw some paint on you. And you ate some of that paint. Then you would say, "huh. He's a clever one!"

(I should say so.)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

ah ha

As a parent, can I lead a crazy salsa and be surprised that my children aren't waltzing?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

keeping it off...

A while back, I posted about being chubby, and then how I lost the weight.

Now comes the part that I'm not so sure about. The maintenance. I've been testing the waters, and I seem to be experiencing a metabolic honeymoon. I have been able to get by with a whole lot of caloric indiscretion. But I know that caloric indiscretion is what got me into chubbiness in the first place. I'm not too keen on going back.

I've had to reign myself back in.

And it all begins at the end.

Of my day.

Now, I can follow a diet to a 't'. Until bedtime. And that's when I find myself in a familiar land. A land called, "I'll eat whatever I want tonight and TOMORROW I'll start for realsies." Which means an entire day of good eating is tossed out the window for 10 minutes of brownies and nachos. Not at the same time.....but, you know how you start by eating just one brownie, then three more, and since you've tanked it you decide to REALLY tank it and suddenly find yourself at the bottom of a Dorito bag? That's where I was heading. Those old thoughts and bad eating habits.

I've discovered a few tricks that seem to be working for me, and I thought I'd share.

1. At night, when I'm ready to throw in the towel and eat to my heart's content, I try to wait it out. Usually after I've thrown in a load of clothes and cleaned up the bathroom, I'm stronger to resist the craving. And if that hasn't worked, I move to the next trick.

2. I look at clothes on Anthropologie or Forever 21. Because who wants to eat a brownie when they are looking at cute clothes? On tiny people? Not me. That's who.

3. I follow the rules I set for my children. When my kids are hungry at non-meal times, they have the option of eating a banana or an apple. (I hate this trick. An apple is not a cookie when you want a cookie.)

4. I drink (black) coffee. Regular or decaf. Depending on the time of day. It gives me something to put in my stomach and, for whatever reason, feels a little special.

5. I put on a dangly pair of earrings. This is the stupidest of all my tricks. However, it makes me feel like a lady. And I've got it in my head that lady's have will power.

Do you have any tips or tricks that work for you?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

debt collection

Many years ago, a certain someone promised to take me to a play, or an opera, or an orchestral concert, as a thank you for watching so much baseball my eyes nearly bled.

I'm still waiting.

And you would not believe the interest that has accrued.

Compounded, even.

Let's just say a trip to Italy may be in order.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I wish you were my neighbor. I would invite you over for coffee every Wednesday morning. We could sit and solve the world's problems over cake.

Friday, January 8, 2010

the flu

I want these so badly, it's almost painful.
(And these, too.)
((Plus these.))
I'm working on contentment. Which is difficult when there are so many cool shoes to be had.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


...I like to sit in the quiet.

to just be
and think
the future,
the present,
the past.

I like to trace God's hand through it all.