Friday, November 20, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Enjoying Every Moment

We've gone about this several ways. We've told all of our loved ones that we were expecting, waiting for the rejoicing to begin only to be crushed with negativity. We've enjoyed the little blessing all to ourselves while waiting with trepedation and fear of the pain that would ensue with an announcement. We've told only those that we knew would pray and waited to tell the ones that would be less than pleased. There have been a couple of blessings that we have had all to ourselves because they went Home before we had the chance to tell anyone.

This time we wanted to do it completely different. We are so thrilled. It amazes me how people take life and God's handiwork for granted. Right now, even as I type, God -the Creator of the entire Universe, all that is, all that ever was, and all that there ever will be- is busy. He is busy creating a new person inside of me. This is something to rejoice about! This is something to enjoy! This is a miracle. God chose me. He chose me to house this little life, to nurture, to shelter, to love while He is still knitting.

We don't want there to be any doubt in anyone's mind. This baby is a blessing. We will not keep him or her a secret for fear of negativity. We will not keep him or her a secret out of fear that we may have to share that he or she has gone Home before us. We will enjoy every moment God gives us with this baby. If we are only given 6 weeks while I still carry him or her within, then PRAISE GOD for those 6 weeks.

Last night we took the children to pick out a stuffed animal. They didn't know what we were doing or why we were there. Once a stuffed bear was chosen, we had them guess who it was for. I will never forget the smile that lit up Abigail's precious face once she figured it out. Ian, too, had a goofy grin on his adorable face, but he didn't want to guess out loud. Emily, well, it took a bit of talking for her to understand but once she did, her beautiful little face also broke out into a world record smile. Katherine, well, Katherine will take a while longer to understand, but I'm sure that she will enjoy her new baby brother or sister just as much as her big brother and sisters have enjoyed her.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

God is So Good!

He always provides above and beyond. The other day we were on the way to the ReStore to see if they had some things we needed for the house. Just a quarter of a mile from the ReStore there was a lovely desk from the 1940's on the sidewalk with a FREE sign on it! We loved it. I am typing on it right now. I forgot to take a picture, though.

So, we made it to the ReStore.

Found this chair that I fell in love with.

Sonny said that we could have it for $10. The only problem was that we already had the desk bunjeed to the top of the van. We said that we would be back the next day.

So, when we came back the next day, we saw this coffee table.

I loved it. Tommy asked how much for both the table and the chair. He said that for us, it would only be $25 for both only if we promised to take the toys on the porch. A HUGE play kitchen, register, and more play appliances than I've ever seen.

We had also been scouring Craig's List for a good deal on a piano, but hadn't found just the right one yet. Well, my Tommy's mom called the other day and said that we could use theirs. It still sounds beautiful and now the children can practice at home!

Disclaimer: After looking at these pictures I did vacuum, I promise. Good gravy, I had just vacuumed earlier!

Oh yeah, the biggest gift of all?



















Saturday, November 14, 2009

Redeeming The Time

Eph 5:14-19

5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lordl

Friday, November 13, 2009


Beefy Rice Soup and Sourdough Bread

Potato Soup and Sesame Crackers

Apple Smothered Pork Roast, Sweet Potatoes, and Spinach Salad

Pot Roast with onions, carrots, potatoes, and Bread

Pot Roast Tacos

BBQ Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, Baked Beans, and Broccoli



Spaghetti, Salad, Apple Sauce, and Bread

Garlic Chicken, Parmesan Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes, and Cranberry Sauce

Loaded Baked Potatoes and Salad

Loaded Baked Potatoes and Salad

Creamed Chicken Over Toast, Bacon Sautéed Squash and Onions, and Salad

Sausage, Green Beans, and Potato Stew

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Perfect Children

Yes, go ahead. Laugh. Perfect. That's what I was told. My children are perfect. Well, I do choose to remain positive and always show my children in their best light. I also always want to be an encouragement to others. Typically, I choose to be an encouragement to young mothers by focusing on the many, many blessings of motherhood. There are indeed more blessings of motherhood than I could ever count.

This post will not showcase those blessings of motherhood. No. On the contrary, this post will be one of the very rare "keeping it real" posts. Are you ready?

Sunday morning my Tommy had to get up early for a meeting at work before church. Why they choose to hold monthly meetings on Sunday morning is beyond me. I had a bit of a choppy night's sleep and had gotten to bed very late the night before. I'm sure I offered him a kiss and a mumbled good bye before he left, as I do recall hearing the engine start to the van. Anything other than that and I'm not so sure. At some point the children, my lovable little blessings, woke up. They all came in and piled ontop of me to cuddle for a while.

The cuddling could really only last so long. One by one, I'm pretty certain that Ian was the first, they got up and started playing quietly in my room. I half way came to conciousness when Abigail shut my bedroom door so Katherine wouldn't wander out. I tried really hard to bring myself to at least three quarter conciousness and with extraordinary will power said, "Clothes. Get clothes."

My dear, sweet children just looked at me like I was sprouting a new head. Abigail came over, sat beside me, and rubbed my head. Then she said, "Mom, what clothes do you want us to get?"

My brain tried to function. After a moment of useless wheels turning I said, "It's up to you."

They happily went to hunt down clothes and came back with last year's Christmas dresses for the girls and a matching shirt for Ian. I nodded my approval with my eyes still shut. Abigail said, "Mom, do you want Emily and me to take a shower?"

"Uhuh." came my grunted reply. Then in a split moment of alertedness, I grabbed Katherine and asked her to cuddle so she would stay out of the bathroom. She was happy to oblige. She even read me a book. If you've never had a one year old read you a book, I'll just let you know that it doesn't involve reading, but having said book pounded into your already throbbing head.

Ian came up and cuddled with us for a moment. Then he just couldn't take it any longer. He sat in the middle of my bedroom and gathered all of the toys around him. Why, you ask? So that he was in the perfect position to throw toys through the bathroom door and land right in the bathtub where the girls were showering. Just a side note, I make them shower sitting down. I know. Crazy. But, those tubs are hard. So, the girls not too thrilled with having toys showered upon them got clean as quick as they could and came out to get dressed. When I heard the shower turn off I told Katherine that she could go get her dress and bring it to me.

She must have obeyed, because the next time I woke up the dress was covering my head. I heard mumbling and giggling coming from somewhere. Mumbling is never good. Mumbing combined with giggling is scary. Then I heard Abigail say, "IAN! What are you doing?"

I pried my eyes open enough to see that Ian was crouching just over Katherine. He had something in his hand. Gulp. It was a glue bottle. Gulp. He was pouring it straight onto Katherine's precious blonde head. Then as I was trying to formulate the words to make him stop, he retrieved a CD from his other hand and slapped it right onto the glob of glue on Katherine's head. Yes, indeed. He thought it would be a good idea to glue a CD to his sister's head. He had thought it out so well, that prior to administering the glue to the beautiful head, he peeled the shiny coating off of the CD so the glue could attach to a flat surface. Good thinking.

The words finally escaped my mouth and he put the glue away and tried to clean her up. Yeah, cleaning Elmer's glue off of each tiny strand of hair. Somehow, sleep still pulled me back. This time when I woke up Ian was opening and attaching pads, yeah you know the ones, all over Katherine like he was playing pin the tail on the donkey or something.

I was finally able to reach a state of alertedness that enabled me to remove my body from the bed and stand. I got Katherine as clean as possible and dressed in the dress Abigail had so sweetly chosen for her just in time for Daddy to finally get back home.

I stared at him as he walked in the door with my sweats still on, my hair going in more directions than legally allowed, and the side of my face still red from the pillow. I sweetly pulled him to the couch where I told him as sweetly as possible that from now on, whenever he leaves the house, his male offspring shall join him.

Yes, indeed, my children are perfect.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ian's First Piano Lesson

Ian had his first piano lesson today. He loved it. Mrs. Bonnie is great with them and she makes it hard not to love music.

Here he is showing Mrs. Bonnie how many fingers he has.

Here he is finding fingers numer one.

The most difficult of all, number four.

Don't you just love that face?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

And because there always has to be an out take ...

Abigail was trying to take the picture of just my Tommy and me when the other kiddos bombarded us.

Monday, October 26, 2009


We've all been there. Busy, busy with a project leading up to a special day. I can remember many tech weeks where I ate, drank, and breathed whatever show I was working on. I would fall exhaustedly into bed, every muscle in my body rebelliing, only to wake up a few short hours later to start all over again. My dreams weren't really dreams, but thoughts about what we had to do next and reviewing what we had already done. Then. The day would arrive. The day that I would awake by no prompting other than the excitement buzzing through me. My eyes would fly open, my brain would try to catch up with my heart and figure out just what the specialness of the day was. Then in an instant, I would remember. It's opening day! The day when all of our labor, heart, and time would be shared with others.

I can also remember many nights working on a child's birthday preperations and cake until 3 am, only to be awakened by my own excitement three hours later. A special day. A day to rejoice in the birth of one of my children!

I'm sure you all have those memories. Perhaps a special trip, a get together with special friends from time gone by, or a date with your husband. Today, I had an awakening such as that. My eyes flew open, my heart pulled me out of bed, though my body was still confused. My mind searched and searched, what is special about today? There is something special about the day ... WHAT is it?

Then it came to me in a rush. Today, I get to be a mother. I get to be a mother to my children! How awesome is that? They only have one mother, and that is me. There is only one me, and I am it. I am their mother. I am blessed beyond measure and need to live my life to reflect that.

We've been under personal attack lately and my focus has slipped at times. Last night when I was putting the kids to bed I realized how much of me I was holding from them. My worries, my pain, my thoughts all occupied my time when I should have been giving all of that to God, giving all of me to Him. When I give all of me to Him, He directs me to them. My children had been missing out. I resolved right then that I would be my children's mother today. I stayed up late last night finishing up some chores so that I could start our day as stress free as possible.

I woke up this morning excited because today, I get to be a mother. There is no job like it. No, not one. We, as mothers, have the responsibilty of shaping little lives into extraordinary people. There are no do-overs in raising children. Every minute of every day counts toward something. What will your day count towards?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ten Years!! We have been married for ten years! I can hardly believe it. It's been a wonderful journey, sure we've had our share of trials, but we've suffered them together. I have to say that we have been blessed way more than we have been tried!

After church, we took the kids to my mom's house where she fed them lunch and they played all sorts of wonderful games with my mom, brother, and soon to be sister in law while we went out on a little date.

We went to one of our favorite seafood places on the Potomac. The changing leaves across the beautiful glistening water is something I have always loved. My Tommy spoiled me with shrimp, crab melts, hush puppies, grapes, and in house chips. After we ate we took a tiny walk down their pier and laughed about the time that we went there with my Mom and her husband on their boat for dinner and ended up having to tow another boat across the way to Virginia.

Then we went to Chapel Point Park, which is really nothing but a ton of woods backed up to the Potomac, offering ten feet of sandy shelly. rocky land to walk and fish. We took a walk along the river edge and sat on a downed tree (that once was gigantic in the sky, now is being turned into a beautiful piece of driftwood) and talked and sang for a while.

Then we went back to my Mom's and enjoyed the evening with the kiddos, my mom, my brother and my soon to be sister in law. We let the kiddos fall asleep and are staying the night here.

I forgot how much I love being able to look out the window whenever I want and see the glistening water. It's been a great day.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Whispered Birthday

Our Anna would have been four today. I've been an emotional wreck all week leading up to it, it's almost as if my emotions are aware of the calendar even more than I am. Since the first anniversary of her due date we've had a whispered birthday party. I call it that because I am the only one that knows what the special dinner and cake are for ... the kids just think we are having cake for no reason, which is pretty cool to them.

Well, today we had to go to BJ's and I really didn't feel like it. I had Emily and Katherine in the cart (Emily doesn't usually ride, she's a big girl and walks, but at BJ's she loves that she can sit right next to Katherine.) and the bigger two were right beside me. I'd been crying all morning again and it was just tiring to put one foot in front of the other, I couldn't even think about facing other people.

In a moment of utter despair I just silently cried out to God and told Him that I needed a hug, I needed Him to hold me up long enough to get through the store. A few minutes later, both Katherine and Emily from their places in the cart, put their arms up and wrapped their four arms around my neck pulling me down to lay their heads on my shoulders. That was it. I knew that was my hug from God.

Those two bring such an amazing joy into my life, I can't imagine ever not having them and I thank God for them every day. I think Him for Abigail and Ian, too. It's just that even as I desperately wish I could know what Anna is like, I know that if I knew that, I would never have had the chance to know Emily and Katherine.

Four. I love four year old parties because the birthday child really knows what a birthday is by then. They are full of enthusiasm, and life.

I wonder, if Anna were here, what she would choose for her cake? A princess? Maybe a tea pot? Perhaps just pretty flowers. What would she have chosen for her birthday meal? It's these questions that have no answers that get me every time. What would her favorite color be? How am I supposed to plan a party for a four year old without knowing these things?

I still remember her first whispered birthday like it was yesterday. But it wasn't yesterday. It was October 16, 2006.

I've been dreading this day for weeks now. What would I do? How would I keep my hurt inside? I think the anticipation of the pain was more heartwrenching than the day itself.

I woke up this morning feeling like I didn't have enough to do. We had baked oatmeal for breakfast and carried on just like any normal day. I kept thinking of how busy I should be. I thought of the tasks I longed to be doing.

After lunch I decided that I would not pretend that it was a normal day any longer. The children and I made a delicious chocolate fudge cake. I set to prepare a nice dinner.

First birthdays are so fun! Though, this first birthday was a whispered one; only celebrated in my heart. My Anna didn't even make it to half her term of pregnancy, let alone a real day of birth on her due date. Who would ever imagine the lack of celebration would hurt still?

For all first birthdays I make two cakes. One for the well wishers and a tiny one just for the birthday child. This birthday cake was no different. I made a tiny heart saturated with whipping cream and embellished with red sprinkles to go atop the big cake. The family enjoyed the dinner and especially the wonderful treat of cake for "no reason".

I impressed myself when the tears stayed in check while I whispered a Happy Birthday to my Anna when cutting her cake. After the children were in bed I slipped outside for a walk in the cool night. I took her tiny heart cake with me. I walked down the street singing happy birthday over and over through tears that did not want to stay checked any longer.

I closed my eyes and pictured myself holding the cake for her to blow her candle out. At one point I glanced at the chocolate smudges on my fingers and thought of how that chocolate would have looked smeared all over a tiny little face. Oh, the desire to know what that face would have looked like! With a giggle and a smile she would squish her yummy discovery between her pudgy fingers, lifting those fingers to taste. Look at Momma squeal of delight would escape, a wriggle of excitement ...

The whispered birthday party was loud and joyful with my eyes closed. Then it was time to open my eyes. They opened to the stark reality that I was still holding a whole cake. An uneaten, unplayed with, unsmeared cake. What was I going to do with it? I didn't want to eat it. I didn't want anyone else to eat it. It was the birthday girl's cake.

It is now in my freezer. How long it will stay there, I have no clue. But that is where it is, and where it will stay for now.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Paul, A Sword, My Fire Marshall and Apple Cider

Today was an absolutely beautiful day. The nice crisp breeze danced our curtains all about the house. It was an uneventful day, really. Just the normal things that make up a day. It is Monday, so laundry day. We finished all we needed to for school. For a day made up of ordinary, uneventful things this day offered a specialness to it. Almost as if the air that waltzed in and out of the screens held an invitation for whimsy.

I really don't know how else to explain it. So, that is all I will say about the specialness of our ordinary day.

This afternoon the chidlren were out front playing and somehow Ian's sword ended up on the roof. Doesn't everyone have a sword on their roof? Well, if not, I think they should. It has been quite the talk of the family ever since it happened.

Apple Cider. Oh, yum. Perhaps the whimsy was invited by the apple cider and not the breeze, after all?

While anticipating my Tommy returning home from work, I lit a few candles decorating the dinner table. There are a few more than usual in the center of our table, as Abigail and I put the pumpkin and leaf candles around the typical. After I lit them all, my own personal six year old fire marshall said, "Mom, do you think that there are too many too close together?"

I offered him the glance that says, "Thank you for your concern, son, but I'm the Momma. I wouldn't do anything to harm us."

After accepting my reassurance, Ian said, "I meant I love you. I always say the wrong thing, I really meant to say that I love you." Then he gave me one of his signature hang-on-to-the-neck-and-swing-like-a-monkey hugs that make you wonder if you will come out on the other side with your head still attached to your body.

Paul. Let's talk about Paul for just a moment. Tonight we left behind Samuel and started in on Ephiseans for family devotions. When he was done reading a bit, Tommy asked Abigail who Paul was.

Her response? "That guy that is in all of the other chapters." Why, yes, that is true dear, true indeed.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Harvest Greetings

It is finally fall! I just love fall, it is my favorite season.

This fall, we are so excited to offer Harvest Greetings at UnOrdinary Life.

Brighten your loved ones day with a Harvest Greeting. Pictures from the pumpkin patch, raking leaves, or just any picture you can imagine would go great on a Harvest Greeting.

Harvest Greetings are completely customizable and taylored to your specifications.

Kodak Professional Portra Endura Paper

1 - 10 11 or more
4x6 Flat Card$1.29 each$1.19 each
5x7 Flat Card$1.99 each$1.89 each
4x8 Flat Card$1.65 each$1.55 each

While I'm high jacking my own blog with a shameful plug, I'll go ahead and let everyone know that November 10th is the last day to order 2009 Christmas Cards with guaranteed on time delivery.

If you want to order your own Harvest Greeting, Christmas card, Birth Announcement, Invitation ... or any other custom photo card please just leave a note in the comments section or email us at!

Sunday, September 20, 2009



Chicken Pot Pie (Tuesday)
Chili and Corn bread (Wednesday)

Potato Soup and Chicken Sandwiches (Wednesday)

Pot Roast (Tuesday)

Stuffed Shells (Sunday Crock Pot)

Tacos (Sunday Crock Pot)

Pizza (Friday)
Pizza (Friday)

Left Over Buffet (Monday)

Left Over Buffet (Monday)

Chicken Fried Rice (Thursday)

Nick’s (Thursday)

Baked Potato Bar (Saturday)

Baked Potato Bar (Saturday)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Treasure Box

Our treasure box is getting full! Memorizing Scripture is a sure fire way to be blessed. My Tommy bought Abigail and me this jewelery box a few years ago for our earrings, rings, and hair pokies. We've graduated to a more organized system now and decided that this little box with the heart on it was perfect for our treasure box!

Inside, we have index cards and heart stickers so that whenever someone learns a new verse by memory, we can write it down, reward with a sticker, and file our treasure away in our box.

Here is where our treasure box sits, on our devotion shelf. It is so much easier to start devotions cheerfully when we aren't all running around looking for our things! The kiddos grab their blankets, their devotion books, Mommy and Daddy's Bibles, and our hymnal so we can cuddle on the couch for our favorite time of the day.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Wordless ... Monday?

Slapstick Reality

I promise that everything in this post is true. It may seem like a Steve Martin movie, but it indeed really happened yesterday. I was making laundry detergent, in the bathroom. I had my bucket on the toilet so I could stir more easily. Katherine, who is 20 months, has recently started asking to go on the potty. She ran down the hall, stood outside the door and said, "Uhoh!"

I looked and saw that she had spilled her yogurt. I said, "Aw, it's OK, honey. Just clean it up."

To which she replied, "Uhoh!" with a look of great concern eclipsing her beautiful little face.

"It's OK sweetie, Mommy has a towel."


It was then that I realized that there was something on the floor. And it wasn't yogurt.

So, I threw Katherine in the sink and got her all cleaned up. While I was scrubbing her down Abigail came running down the hall.

I leaned out the bathroom door to tell her to watch where she steps just in time to see her step right where I was warning her about.

The looks of remorse and disgust that mingled on her face was priceless. She said, "I'm sorry! I didn't see it there!"

"It's OK, just get your foot cleaned up." All while still scrubbing Katherine and trying to make sure the 5 gallon bucket of detergent didn't spill.

Abigail hopped on one foot to the bathtub to rinse her foot. I stuck my head back in the bathroom that I was standing in to wrap Katherine in a towel when I heard, ""Ewwwww!"

Afraid to stick my head back out in the hall way, I said, "Please tell me that Emmie just saw Abigail'ls foot."

Of course, the reality was different. So, I put Katherine down safely away from the detergent to pick Emily up and put her in the sink to get cleaned up.

All I have to say is, "Thank God for Borax!"

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Things You'd Never Think You Would Hear

We recently changed car seating arrangements. Abigail is now seated right next to Katherine; they both think this is a grand arrangement. Well, yesterday I heard a loud yelp from behind me. When I turned to see just who the yelper was, I found Abigail's arm stretching across the seat into Katherine's seat. Katherine is still turned rear facing, so I couldn't exactly see the problem, however experience has shown me the look on Abigail's face before. I was pretty certain that Katherine had Abigail's finger tightly in the grasp of her new pointy teeth. I coached Abigail through retrieving her finger from Katherine's mouth and scolded Katherine.

A few moments later Abigail said, very matter of factly, "Mom, how come Katherine is younger than me but she can bite harder and make it hurt more than I can?"

Not really sure if I wanted to know the answer I asked the only natural question, "How would you know that she bites harder than you?"

"Because it really hurt when she bit my finger, so I bit my finger to see if I could bite as hard as she could, and I couldn't!"

Saturday, September 5, 2009


We are finally all moved in. Ahh, to be able to relax! Relax? Bwahahahaha! Yeah, relax. Mhmm. The other day we had just gotten home from running errands, we still had things to put away, but more importantly I had four hungry children just waiting for lunch. Abigail started slicing cucumbers, I started pouring milk and setting it on the other side of the island for Ian to pass to his sisters, then out of nowhere I heard “eeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” Now, for anyone that doesn’t speak the language of power tools, that is the sound of a drill. The sound of a drill can be a very frightening sound. A frightening sound occurring only three feet behind you. A frightening sound occurring only three feet behind you while it attacks the cabinet just over your head. In the interest of preserving memories, as I always try to do, photo documentation was in order. I placed the lid on the milk and ran for the camera. Now, before I emotionally harm any farmers out there, I promise my John Deere did not explode while carrying a load of egg plants. I also promise to any home decorators out there that I did not paint the walls with an exploded egg plant, nor did I raid a John Deere factory for their green paint. Disclaimers over, I also have a confession. I like the autumn gold appliances. I know. I know. But, just look at them for a moment. Look how warm and cozy they feel. If only the broiler worked, more than two stove eyes worked, and the refrigerator actually possessed door shelves and bottom drawers instead of the two rickety shelves placed precariously within. Offending Cabinets' I promise that my counters are normally cleaner than that … remember we had just returned from errands … I’m not making excuses. Honest. No excuses … just as not to emotionally harm any maids out there. While I’m not making excuses, please ignore the 2 liter of soda. It just jumped into my cart, stealthily going unnoticed until it had made its escape from the lonely grocery store shelf with its best friend … a bag of ice. Now, I know what you are saying. How do you get to the half working stove and where is the drawerless refrigerator ? My Tommy was sweet enough to pause his assault on the offending cabinets so I could get a picture. There! See? Oh? You can’t see because of the cabinets? Well, now you know why we were taking them down. Poor Miss Katherine had been tripped over more than enough just in the time we were cleaning and moving in. They had to go. They were a safety concern! Look, Katherine felt it would be safest to seek shelter in a stock pot! Not to mention the mental damage they did to the poor claustrophobic soul that had to cook in there! And completely forgetting the mold spreading through the rotting wood. See the generous three feet of space between the stove and island … well, I guess technically it is a peninsula, huh? What’s that? That is the wonderful sight of dry wall being repaired. Repaired from what? The cabinets! The cabinets that are now suddenly gone. Look at the space! Ahh, sweet space. But, wait. Where is the fridge? With the peninsula removed, we could move the fridge over to the other wall making room for more counter space! Later, while the older three were getting ready for bed and Katherine was already sweetly tucked into dream land, I heard another foreign sound. Scraping. What was that scraping sound? We rushed in to see … What did we find? We found my Tommy ridding us of the odorous tile that could be smelled upon entering the front door on the other side of the house. He’s my hero. We were so thankful to see that tile go, although, just like the appliances they hold a certain appeal to me … if only they weren’t so smelly. Uhoh. Removing the tile unlocked the smell even more. I’m not really sure if the child that took this awful picture should be punished? What about the child that said, “Hey, Mom! These are drywall DUST masks and don’t block smell!” While we are at it, what about the dear, loving husband that had to stop working because he was laughing so hard at his wife for trying to block smell with a drywall mask? Now that the offending cabinets and smelly tiles are gone what are we going to do? You know that people have floor coverings for a reason. And, um, there were things in those cabinets. Things of which are now scattered all over the house, loitering in places they do not belong. The disorganized dishevelment started to close in on me almost more than the cabinets did when I was trying to work in the cramped kitchen. I closed my eyes, counting to 10 while taking deep breaths. Before I needed to beg for a paper bag, my eye lids flew open directing my gaze to our school and toy shelf. Ahh. Peace and harmony in 25 little boxes. Organization, beautiful organization. All thanks to Ikea. Ikea. Aha! To Ikea we must go! Oh, the place to find just what we need to finish off and organize our kitchen. This is where our remodeling journey currently is … I can’t wait to get back to share the adventures from our Ikea trip with you.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The King is ...

During Family Devotions, Daddy has been teaching us two new songs out of the hymnal every week to go along with our family favorites. Last week, one of the songs was The King is Exalted. Miss Emily was singing along with all of her three year old enthusiasm. I love to listen to my babies sing praises to our God. It warms my heart more than almost anything else out there.

However, this one night, I was warmed not by my heart but by the laughter that I had to keep buried while I straight facedly whispered to my Emmie-Doodle, “Doodle, it’s the King is Exalted, not the King is exhausted.”

Yes, if I was the king and had to put up with all of us crazies, I would be exhausted. But not our King! He is Exalted!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Self Control, Babycakes, Self Control!

Oh, how I love my sweet Ian. His heart is pure gold. However. Well. If you were to look up ADHD in the dictionary you would see a picture of him ... and his Daddy. ;) Impulse control has never been his strong suit, though something that we've been working on since he weaned. Just the thought of having to sit still in church a couple years ago would induce sobbing, shrieking fits.

He got a play sword for Christmas last year and was told that if he ever used it to hurt his sisters it would be taken from him. Well. He had it in his possession for a few hours before it was taken.

We returned it to him just a couple of weeks ago, with the same warning. One day he was playing with it and Emily came by and did something that he didn't care for. You could see the wheels turning in his head. You could see as he tried to grasp control of his actions. Finally, he threw the sword to the floor and said, "Daddy, you take it!" and walked into the other room to cool down.

Is that the perfect way for him to react? Not at all. Is it improvement? Definitely!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Little Big Girl

It's an interesting Sunday morning here. Yesterday I was driving down the road when our car started to shake violently for a split second. The violent shaking stopped almost as soon as it started, the car dipped to the right, and I heard a grounding noise. Something caught my eye out the passenger window.

That something, I quickly observed, was my tire. Rolling down somebody's drive way. Several good samaritans, a few bewildered police officers, and a knight of a father in law later we were back on the road. Going no more than 30 miles an hour. Home. And only home.

Last night my Tommy started to fix the tire only to have the jack collapse and fall on his foot. A friend came to the rescue with a bigger jack only to encounter about 300 other problems before my Tommy threw the towel in for the night and came in to cuddle sleepy-sad babies.

This morning our friend came back over so that he and my Tommy could finish in time for church.

I had everyone's clothes laid out and told the girls to go take a shower. I really only meant Abigail and Emily. Katherine saw them grab their clothes and head for the shower. She grinned a grin only a girl on a mission can grin and grabbed her pile of clothes as she ran (as much as a 19 month old can run) to catch up with her sisters.

She's our little big girl, every day joining a new big kid activity to leave her baby ones behind.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

For 14 Weeks ...

For 14 weeks I was given the immense joy and pleasure of carrying a new life even while God Himself was busy knitting the new creation together. God chose me, and me alone, to hold this baby. I am so grateful that I was given this time with my creator and the baby that He gave me for such a short time.

Sunday I began spotting and Monday we went to the hospital. We were given an ultrasound after many hours of waiting. She moved the wand around and poked a lot of buttons but never said a word. Finally I asked if she had seen the baby, if there was a heart beat. She said that she wasn't able to tell me, that if she did she could have lost her job. I tried my hardest to hold it together but the tears came anyway.

She then turned the sound on and I thought I heard the baby's heartbeat so I was overjoyed. I saw the screen just a bit and was able to see the beautiful profile of a tiny little face. However, there were no little fists swishing by that tiny profile. I saw where the fluttering of a little heart should have been, yet there was only stillness.

I was hoping beyond hope that what I thought I saw and what I really saw were not the same. I kept thinking back to the swooshing heartbeat I heard and just waited for the doctor to come in with good news.

When she came in, there was no good news to be heard. The heartbeat I heard was my own. The tiny baby's heart had stopped beating at least a week ago.

I knew that this little one was already at the feet of Jesus and with our little Anna, yet I still held him within. I begged for her not to do a d&c. I know that it may sound bizarre and even a little morbid, but I longed to hold him within as long as God would allow.

My Tommy's parents allowed us use of their beach house as a retreat to lose our baby in privacy. After many hard hours he came this morning. I've never forgotten how beckoning Anna's tiny hands were. Benjamin's were just the same. So tiny, yet they looked like they were just waiting to curl around my finger even though they will never be given the chance. So tiny. So tiny, but so real.

My Tommy and I are so blessed to watch our living children grow and play, yet each new achievement, each new experience brings grief knowing we will never experience those new things with our tiny Benjamin. We'll never get to hear him cry, nor will we get to comfort that cry away.

Tomorrow we will bury him at sunset and we would covet your prayers.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Entertaining a Telemarketer

It went something like this:


Emily: Hi?
Emily: Hi.
Emily: You wanna tatoe?
Emily (louder): YOU WANNA TATOE?
Pause and incredulous look on Emily's face.
Emily: Me already said it two times!

This is an old picture, however it's pretty much the face she was making at the telemarketer.


Friday, June 5, 2009

Clean Finners

The kids and I just shared an ice cream sandwich. I was the official holder, holding it while everyone took turns taking a bite. After the last bite had been taken, Emily said, "Mommy, me clean your finners for you!" then proceeded to open her mouth to "clean my finners."

Friday, May 1, 2009


Today was to be a comfy day. There was nothing that had to be accomplished other than recover from being up with a baby with tummy troubles off and on all night. We all were content to stay in pj's, read and cuddle on the couch, and Abigail had some school work to catch up on. Lunch time came around and Daddy requested spaghetti with lots of garlic to get the baby nice and healthy. Daddy browned the meat, Abigail started to peel the garlic only to find the inside of it was moldy! That meant a quick trip to the store for Mommy ... you can't have sickies in the house and no garlic!

I really didn't want to get dressed. It was a dreary, windy day and I really wanted to stay in my pj pants and tshirt. So. I just pulled my skirt on over my party pants and traded my slippers for my Lands End ballet flats.

While at Safeway I got garlic, extra bell peppers, already browning bananas, a yogurt starter because mine had soured too much, and a bottle of Kefir. And. Yes, there is another and. And. And, well. Ahem. The bakery section and the dairy section share a space so after I got the yogurt I had to walk past all of their baked goods. Now, usually those things don't even tempt me. But. They had German Chocolate Cake. Oh, how I love German Chocolate Cake. I never get to make it because my Tommy doesn't like it.

I saw the chocolatey, coconutty goodness and took one step closer to it. Then in a moment of fleeting will power stepped away. Then took a side step before circling around the entire case. I ended up right back in front of the German Chocolate Cake slices and quickly grabbed one ... the tiniest one they had, set it in the seat of the cart, and quickly covered it with my purse lest anyone actually see me with it.

Now, there is something about Safeway's fountain soda that is just so good. So I filled me up a medium cup with plenty of ice and Mug root beer before heading out to the car.

Once in the car, I turned my radio up, rolled down my window and opened that beautiful chocolate masterpiece. Oh, the smell. So sweet. So chocolatey. So ... mine, all mine. I took my fork and and lifted the inciest of bites to my lips. Just as I was about to close my eyes and really savor that scrumptious bite, I saw someone out of the corner of eye. That someone was walking right for me.

Then that someone said, "You are so busted."

It was Curtis, from church. Curtis happened to be on the phone with his wife, Connie, and he said, "I just ran into Lisa in the Safeway parking lot, with no kids and she is eating German Chocolate cake ...and she is NOT washing it down with raw milk."

It was so funny. So funny. I really think that God granted me that moment of weakness just so I could enjoy the much needed laugh.

When I got home I told my Tommy who called Curtis so they could make fun of me together.

The worst part? It didn't even taste very good.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sweet Blessings

Katherine and Emily are so different in so many ways, yet compliment each other so well. Emily's hair is like rich chocolate, Katherine's like smooth cream. They are inseparable and love to just be with one another. So often I get the pleasure of watching them sharing a stool, gazing out the window together. Their heads tilted towards each other, Emily's brown hair spilling onto Katherine's shoulders, their dresses gently blowing in the soft wind until you can't tell one dress from the other.

One day recently my Tommy sent Emily to the corner for some minor offense, not a training method we often use, and Katherine toddled right behind her as quickly as her tiny feet would carry her. When she got to Emily, Katherine offered her a hug of sympathy and a kiss to get her through her punishment then proceeded to suffer her sentence right along side her, standing in the corner just waiting for her sister to be released.

Emily knew that the corner wasn't really supposed to be a shared space so just stood there as quiet and as still as she could. When Daddy released her, Emily gave Katherine a great big hug that said, "Thanks!"

The heavy responsibilty of training these little people that have been entrusted to us is so worth the while, so worth the spilled tears, so worth the exhaustion. I am so blessed.