Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A New Look

I was taking a look at my blog, and realized that it was dark! So I decided to brighten it up a little bit - what do you think?

Even though it is so busy this time of year, I am feeling really excited about this Christmas. I know that spending it with family is a big bonus, but I am also finally coming to a place where I am letting go of some things from the past.

When I was little, we moved from NY to GA, and I really think that I have spent a lot of years trying to "get back" to what I remembered about those times. There was spaghetti with all the aunts, uncles and cousins at Grandma's house every Sunday, and sledding across the street in the huge fields, playing in the 'crik' behind the house, and ice skating on our neighbors frozen swimming pool.

We moved suddenly, and I am sure that I did not have a clue about what was going on, I just knew that my ordinary, regular old life was gone, and everything I owned (that had not been left behind) was in a big U-Haul truck driven by my Dad, up in front of the car where my Mom, brother and sister rode. At one point, we had to pull over and get gas, and my Dad did not see us, and kept driving. That was a big deal for a six year old! I thought I would never see my Dad ever again.

Of course, we did find each other and finally made it to our destination. Things were not easy, being a little girl from the north who looked funny and dressed funny and talked funny. But looking back, I can really see how God was beside me every step of my walk through those sometimes very difficult years. I can see how he was molding me and shaping me, making me into the woman that he created me to be.

I am also constantly amazed at how my Mom made the most boring things fun! Other than the difficulties at school (I am still trying to figure out what x and y are...), my childhood was so much fun!! We went camping and swimming and did things with friends from church. I had so many "moms", because we all just called each others parents Mom and Dad - it was easier that way! I am really blessed!

So, back to what I wanted to say at the beginning, I am so happy this year, because I am completely content with who I am and where I am in my life. Yes, being the mom to three kids under six years old is crazy at times, but God is always faithful and He has never left me alone. There is so much comfort in that. Besides that, I have a truly amazing husband, who loves God and his family and works so hard to make sure that we have what we need and so much more. He is so self-less and I can see how the training he received as a boy has really payed off for us as his family.

I am also blessed to be surrounded by a group of women who also love God and their families and I can't tell you how much that means to me! I truly can't think of anything that could be added to my life.

So, as you journey through your life, my prayer for you is that no matter how hard things have been, or how hard they are now, or how hard they will be in the future, know that God loves you. He has His hand on you - so lean into it and receive everything that He has to offer!

Merry Christmas!!


A Marriage Proposal Like No Other!

It has already started:

The funny thing is, when she showed it to me, I said, "Well, he will have to talk to Daddy", to which she replied, in a quiet voice "I don't really want to marry him!" Good thing!

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.

In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.

Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

" So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Yesterday at breakfast...

"Mommy, why are you taking your time?"

Now don't ask me where he heard this, but he says it often now, my little Pineapple.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stream of consciousness, four year old style

"I wish we could die right now."


"Because I want to see Jesus."

Well, you will, when it is time for you to."

"I love Baby." (His blanket)

"I am going to put Baby on the rocks, and when I die, I am going to take it to Heaven and put it on a cloud, so I don't fall through!"

hmmmm - looks like we need to keep working on developing his theology!


overheard at the kitchen table...

Jalapeno had on a snazzy new shirt for church on Sunday and I overheard this exchange at the breakfast table:

"Daddy said I look 'sharp'".


"Not like a knife. It's because of my shirt".


Sunday, November 2, 2008

A bit of a rant...

...after all, this is my blog, so I guess I can write whatever I want - right?

I am going to say, before you read the rest of this, that some of it might be hard to read. I am not directing this toward anyone in particular - please understand that!! But after awhile of hearing some of the things you will read below, I need to try and help people understand.

Today, a lady who I know meant well, but is not informed, asked me, in front of my beloved children - "Which of your kids are real siblings?" I'm sorry, but did you just hear what you said?!?! They are all real siblings!! Did you mean to ask, "Which of your children have the same birth parents?", because that is a totally different question!

I know that many people don't know "adoption lingo". For those of us who have adopted, we have learned it, and unless we want to hide the fact that we are a family splendidly put together by God's loving hands, then the subject does come up. For myself, I often bring up adoption as a way to introduce the idea that foster adoption is a great way to build a family and that there are many, many wonderful children out there just waiting for their forever families.

I guess that I could do more to educate those who don't "know the lingo" and not just get crazy mad when people ask stupid questions. So here goes:

1) Please think about what you are asking before you say it. How is the adopted child going to feel, hearing the question that you want to ask? Would it be better to set up a time to talk to the adoptive parents to have your questions answered?

2) Also, do you want to ask questions because you really care, because you are interested in adoption for your family, or are you just being nosy? I know that sounds harsh, but how would you feel if someone came up to you and said "Was your daughter/son conceived before you were married?" or some other very personal question?

3) Please don't ask us any questions about our children's past. If we want you to know, we will tell you. There are many, many things that happen in adopted children's lives that are excruciatingly painful. I am sure that you have things in your life that are painful too. Again, how would you feel if you shared them with someone close to you, and then later, you came in and heard that close friend discussing your story with a stranger? Some things, I think you will agree, need to remain in confidence.

4) Don't ask who the "real" parents are, or ask where my kid's "real" mom is. You are looking at her!! I would say that the "real" parents are the ones who nurse the child through an illness, who laugh with them, cry with them... you get the picture. The "proper" way to ask that question is to say "Do you know where her birth mother is?" - but again, why are you asking that question? Please refer back to #'s 2 and 3.

5) Please don't talk bad about my kid's birth parents, especially in front of my kids. If you are anything like me, you have also made some really bad choices in your life. To God, sin is sin. Period. My kids birth parents loved their children - or they would have just sucked them down a sink before they were born. So don't go talking bad about the people who gave my children life, just because they could not make good choices for their children after they were born. My children love their birth parents, just as you love your birth parents, no matter how you were treated as a child.

I think that the bottom line here is to think before you speak. Think about what you are asking. Would you mind someone asking you such a personal question? Would there be a better time to have this discussion? If you were the child, would you want to hear these questions asked over your head, as if you were not standing right there?

I am more than happy to talk to any and every one about adoption and what a wonderful, amazing thing that it can be in your life. But please, be aware. For while it may seem that my kids are playing and not listening, trust me, they are listening.

Adoption is an awesome way to build a family! If you don't feel called to do it yourself (and believe me, don't try it if you are not called!!), then try and find a family that is, and see what you can do to help them out.

If you live nearby and want to get more involved, check out this link for Project 1.27: http://www.project127.com/ Their goal is to fulfill James 1:27 : "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..." We are all commanded to look after the orphans, but not all are called to adopt. There are many ways that you can help adoptive and foster parents to do the job that God has called them to do. Project 1.27 can help you find a way. You can also watch this video to learn more about what they do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAORLg94x48

And thank you to all of you who have stepped up and helped us in our calling!! We love you and our children love you too!!!


Saturday, November 1, 2008


So, I have been having a very difficult time with my little Pineapple since Wednesday. He is pretty mad that Daddy is out of town and not coming home, and is taking it out on me in the form of screaming (about everything), hitting and just generally being difficult to live with.

Last night, we had "family night" which is a night where we make pizza and watch new movies in Daddy's office. They love it!

After having spent an hour listening to the little one scream in the morning because he did not want to get dressed (something that he is very capable of doing, but for some reason resists - vehemently), I told said Pineapple that if he did not get his jammies on quickly and quietly, by himself, that he would go to bed after eating a PB&J, no pizza, no movies, no special treats.

Amazingly, he went up stairs, and with a minimum amount of complaining, was back down, dressed in his jammies and ready to go in less than five minutes!! AMAZING!!! Truly - if you knew what I had been through with him for the last week!!

We went down stairs and discovered an email from Daddy for each child. In Pineapple's, Daddy said in part: "I also miss you always obeying Mommy. Are you always obeying Mommy? It makes Daddy happy when you obey Mommy, and when you are nice to your brother and sister, and when you put your jammies on without screaming." (Obviously, Daddy and Mommy have been talking...) But the funniest thing was this: As I read that line to him, he said "Daddy is happy" - because he knew that he had just put on his jammies without screaming!!!

Ah, the joy!!!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One small step...

So you know that we have a 'monster' living in the boys closet, right? Apparently, it has been behaving of late, because our little Jalapeño has settled down some in the going to bed department. Three nights ago, he was in my room in the middle of the night. He was scared he said, and wanted to lay down with me. Well, this is a kid who once you do something with him, it becomes "The Way Things Are Done" and every night, it must be the same. Not wanting to go down that road, I had him go potty, to try and wake him up a bit. Then when he came back to me, I snuggled him a bit and told him to go back to bed. He resisted, of course, but I told him he could leave my door open, and his door open, that way if he was scared, he could see in my room...

He went back to bed, and that was the last I heard from him that night.

Next night, I prayed for deep sleep (for everyone), and when I got up yesterday morning, found that I had slept all night - no little peppers in my room waking me up - wow! I did notice, however, that my door was open, and knew I had closed it the night before, out of habit...

When my little Jalapeño got up, I asked him if he had tried to wake me up. "No", he said. "I got scared and opened your door, and opened my door. I tried to do it quiet, but it was loud! Then I went back to bed." Well, loud it may have been, but it did not wake this Mommy up!

So thanks to those of you who have been praying for my little Jalapeño, God has answered your prayers and we are all thankful!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Quote of the day:

Driving down the road today I hear: "I used to chew with my mouth open" from Jalapeño in the back seat. Before he can continue with this random thought, I hear from the other side of the back seat, "Actually, you still do." That would be his sister. Very matter of fact. No put down in her voice. Just stating facts here. And then on to another topic. Something about a song sung by a vegetable...

My, my, what will they come up with next?


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

bragging or thankful....oh well, does not matter now!

The other day I was telling a friend that my kids don't "get into things". I thought I was being thankful, but maybe it was bragging, because....you guessed it - one of my dear, sweet, innocent children has started "getting into things"!!

It started the other day when I went in his room to get him up from quiet time to find all of these items shoved down the heater vent! They were so far down, that I had to reach in all the way to my upper arm to get them all out.

I thought I was clear on that not being a depository for all things bedroom, but the next day, I went in to get him up, and he had emptied his sock drawer into the vent, on top of a bunch of toys, his brother's hair brush (not his, mind you) and a stray shirt.

Yesterday, I noticed him missing from the play room, and went up stairs to find that he had taken butt cream and wiped it on the drawer of the desk that holds the fish tank (and underneath which we keep all the diaper supplies). Later in the day, missing again - he was upstairs "polishing" my end table (and my rocker) in my bedroom, with lotion from the bottle on the end table.

I almost hate to see what is next!!

Pray for me! Daddy's headed to Africa...


Monday, October 20, 2008

You can take the girl out of the south...

...But you can't take the south out of the girl!

I know this is a totally red-neck thing to do, but my kids are loving it! And it keeps them busy for hours, is good exercise and they are having a blast! So don't send me any HOA emails about how horrible this looks - it is temporary!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Important vs. Urgent...

We were talking about time management last night at our homeschool meeting, and talked about how we often do the urgent (many times meaningless) things and leave the truly important things left undone. Several of the moms said things that have me thinking this morning, so I thought I would try and work it out "on paper".

I know that I am one who often gets swept up in the urgent. My dear hubby say it's lack of margin, and I am sure he is right, but how do you get there, to the place where you have margin?

A few years ago, I really was praying about what to "do", what activities were worthy of the time I would spend on them. I wanted to use the gifts God has given me (feeding people, teaching, compassion) to do what I am passionate about. So I decided that because I am passionate about children, and their moms, and feeding people, that I would do things that have those two things at their center. So, I work with MOPS (two birds with one stone - I get to feed them and minister to the moms and their kids), I keep my ears open for people who will be helped by receiving a meal, I make myself available to watch other people's kids on occasion, to give them a break, or let them get something done. The rub is that I still have to maintain margins. I can't always be doing for others, or my own family starts to suffer - and I can't allow that to happen.

What I have found is that when I keep my priorities lined up, then even though I am busy, I am not overwhelmed!! It really is amazing! The other key, and this probably comes before the first, is that I have to, have to, did I say have to, make time for God every day. If I start my day spending time with him in prayer and study, then all the rest just falls into place. Sometimes it is really hard to do - but is it really? How about I give up on 30 minutes of the time I spend aimlessly wandering around the web, to go and spend it with the Creator of my soul? When you put it that way, how can I ever say that "I don't have time?!" Wow! I am glad I did my quiet time this am, or I would have to get off here now and go do it!!

Part of what we did last night was determine where we were wasting time, and I for one know that I have a real problem of wasting precious time doing worthless "surfing" on the web. I am working on that, and plan to sit down and get together a list of what is important in my life, and start working on those things.

Rebecca said that someone told her that she should stop spending time looking for "new ways to do things" and just do the things she already knew, and was not putting in to practice - ouch!!! That really smacked me in the face.

And Suzanne followed that up with the one-two punch of "Why am I homeschooling?" Is it so that I can check things off on a list, just to say they are "done"? Or is it because that is what God has called us to do? And if God called us to it, do you think He is sitting 'up there' with a checklist, wanting to know if all the worksheets are done, or is He more pleased with us taking the time with our kids to build their character and teach them about relationship with Him? Yes, they need to learn to read, and do math, and all that good stuff, but I really think that if we care for their needs and build good realtionships with them, then teaching them will be so much easier! Their minds will be open to learning because their hearts are full of our love for them.

So, I think that is all for now. Please pray for me as I try and work this out and do the important things in the amazing life that God has given me!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

yawn... :-0

Did you know it is possible to sit for eight hours in one spot and have a finished baby blanket to show for it? Well, it is! Only problem is that the eight hours went from 7:30 pm to 3:30 am and as you mothers know, the kids still get up at the same time, no matter what time you go to bed! Thankfully, I have an amazing husband, who got up and got the morning started while I got my shower, but I must say I am feeling that late night right now - I can't even type I am so sleepy!

Anyway, a story about the children: A certain sweet child (whom I love and who, coincidentally, is 'betrothed' to my daughter) told my Jalapeño that "Monsters live in his closet at night". Since then, it has been a real struggle to get said Jalapeño into bed at night without locking the closet (to keep the monster inside, you know?). A side question, what is the logic that a little flip lock will keep a monster in the closet? But I digress...

The closet in the boys room is a walk in, and until a year ago, it stored all of my craft supplies - hence the flip lock on the outside of the door to keep the little ones out. When I set up my studio, all of that stuff got moved downstairs and I put a shelf and toys in the closet for the boys. They love to go in the closet, turn off the light and play in there - with the door closed! I am guessing by now that little boys do not employ much logic in their day to day lives, because, I mean, what about that monster that kept us all up for two hours last night?!? Where does he go during the day?!

Anyway, on the weekends, to garner a little Mommy and Daddy talk time, we often let Sweet Potato go in the boy's room when they are all awake, to play before breakfast. We can usually stretch it out for at least an hour, except when Sweet Potato gets the lock open on the closet door and they all go in there to play. You see, the closet backs right up to our bathroom/bedroom, so all noises are magnified greatly!

So, Steve (as I said, an amazing husband and father) went in this am, to quiet the raging beasts, to find one little Pineapple, standing on a Fisher Price firehouse outside the closet door, trying desperately to reach the flip lock, and thus lock his siblings in the closet! I am guessing that his next move would have been to move the firehouse over to the light switch and begin madly flipping the light on and off, while his siblings wail and pound on the door - but that's just me knowing my little cherub's odd sense of "what is funny". Steve came and told me what was going on, and I told him that I guessed that Pineapple had just seen his sister use the firehouse to unlock the door, and Steve said that "Yes, there was definitely information sharing going on!"

Which brings me to a confession (I have already asked for forgiveness for this, by the way). When I was about 12, I decided to "have a little fun" at my little sister's expense. We had a hook and eye lock on the outside of our bedroom door, to keep out a new little brother who liked to crawl into our room and destroy anything within reach. Again, not a super sturdy lock system, but enough to keep that little booger out (sorry Mike ;-)).

One day, my little sister was playing with a friend in our room and I thought it would be hysterically funny to lock the door and set off the fire alarm. So I did. And totally did not expect the reaction that I got! When the girls found that the door was locked, they did what any public school trained child would do - they headed for the window! Now, I must say that the window is only about five feet off the ground - but they were seven! So, quickly discerning that I would not be able to sit down for a month (at best) if my sister fell out of a bedroom window, I opened the door and turned off the alarm. And felt horrible about it for years, until I finally asked her to forgive me for being so mean. Which she did - because she is kind and gracious, despite living with me for 18 years!

All that to say - like mother, like son - it must be true!

Happy Sunday!


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"I know who I am!"

This week, we are learning about large sea animals...dolphins, whales, etc. We are talking about mammals and the sort. Eric turns to Austin and says "Austin, you are a mammal". To which Austin replied - "No - I'm Austin". Period, end of sentence.

Monday, October 6, 2008

MOPS Convention - in a word...

We just got back from the MOPS Convention, in Texas - and it was a blast!! I thought I would "sum it up" for you:

Suitcases & coolers and little room to move; Large yarn balls and crochet hooks; Many, many hours in a mini-van; The DDD bill boards (don't ask - I'm not tellin'); Rockin' out to songs best left in the 80's; Avocado dip and rice chips; Steak, steak and more steak!! Too few hours in small beds; Rockin' out to "Go Fish" (who knew?!) with 4,500 other moms; Did I mention many, many hours in a mini-van? Enough Kleenex to fill said mini-van; Lunch with Leslie; Stir crazy in the middle of nowhere - literally!! Sisters all: big sister, little sister, tall sister and middle sister; Talkin' 'bout our young'uns - and laughing till we thought we would split; True southern hospitality, Texas style; Sweet tea - the real deal; Pronghorns (not antelope); Mosquitoes so big that... well let's just say they were Texas big! Smarties and snickers and butterfingers - no more!!! T-shirt ideas that will one day put our kids through college; BBQ with no sauce - yuck!! Did I happen to mention that we drove to Texas?!? And back? Plumb and Jaci Velasquez and Kim Hill and Nic Gonzales and Avalon; Julie Barnhill and our ordinary children; Except for Abigail, who is learning calculus while riding a unicycle, blindfolded...; tennis shoes from Heaven for a little Bosnian girl; More Kleenex!! SDWSC - not "South Denver West Super Cool, like we thought! And God's gracious protection all the long, long way, there and back.

Nashville, here we come!!

Wish you could have been there!!


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

'water' fun day!!

So, we are studying rivers right now, and in several of our books, we have seen the process of river water being purified so that we can drink it and not get sick. So, today, we made water filters, and boy did we have fun!

First, we got to use power tools - yehaaa! when we drilled tiny holes in the bottom of milk bottles. Then we put sand and then pea gravel in the jugs and then some really nasty water from the sand table, and let 'em rip!

Then, we had a lesson on perseverance (doing things even though they are hard) because those little bottles were amazingly heavy and everyone got really whiney on me!! I took a break, and had the bright idea that we should hang the bottles, so that the kids could keep pouring the water through the bottles, without having to hold them. So, lots of bright pink nylon string and a box of matches later (oh, yeah, and a lesson on fire safety and why matches are not toys and why box knives are not toys...) we had some pretty nifty hanging water purification centers going on.

Then Pineapple finished speech and we had to have another lesson on water pollutants (he decided to put nasty water in Sweet Potato's almost clear purifier), but all in all, it was a great way to spend a nice fall day outside!!

Hope yours was as nice!


the wisdom of the little ones

My darling daughter, "Sweet Potato", said to me yesterday, "Mommy, I remember that you used to write in a book for me, when I was sad about my birth parents". I agreed that we had done that, and told her that we could still write in her journal, if she needed too. She responded, "That's okay Mommy. I don't get sad anymore, since I forgave them." Wow. Wow! If only I could forgive the way she is showing me she has forgiven!

What is the verse that says "Unless you come to me as a little child..."

We started writing in her journal shortly after she came, when she was so overcome with sadness and longing for her birth parents. She would verbally "write" a letter to them, and I would put it in the journal for her. The letters she wrote were very telling, about a little girl who missed her Mommy, and despite all that had gone on, needed to know that they loved her, even if they did not show it very well.

Fast forward a few months, and she and I had a half-day conversation about that very topic and forgiveness. That we all need to forgive the wrongs done to us, so that we can receive healing ourselves. Apparently, she got it.

God is good - that's all I have to say.


Friday, September 12, 2008

What a difference a year makes!

Wow! Last year about this time, I drove with the kids to see my brother in Telluride. My little Pineapple, whose vocabulary was limited to "wawa" (water) and "NO!", nearly drove me over a cliff with his insistence on pointing out every, and I do mean every, drop of water that he saw on the way there and back. I began to believe that this was my lot in life, and that I was going to just have to get used to it.

Fast forward one year, to a car ride in the rain last night. Still fascinated with water, my Pineapple pointed out that "the road is wet Mommy", yes, I agreed, it is wet. "It is probably raining" he said. Probably raining?!?! How in the world did we go from "wawa, wawa! WAWA!!!" to probably raining?? Oh, yeah - that would be God - doing miracles in the life a little boy (and his thankful mommy).

Have a happy, rainy day!!


Saturday, August 30, 2008

more notes from the trenches...

Last night, during Steve's birthday dinner, I felt the need to give my darling oldest son a mini-lecture on the reality that if you don't eat your dinner, you don't get to have cake and ice cream. He had been saying that his tummy hurt, but that has been a common "get out of eating your meal" ruse around here lately, and he had been running and playing in the yard all day, so he didn't seem sick....

Obligingly, he put a slice of hot dog in his mouth and before he could even chew, you guessed it, geyser city!! I did not realize that the human stomach could hold that much stuff!!! We got him cleaned up and then I took all the clothes and towels outside to spray them off with the hose (do you remember my last round with kid puke and the washing machine?). Just be careful if you decide to do that, that you keep the pressure low or you may end up sprayed with cold water and ...what did he have for lunch yesterday?

Anyway, he and I spent the night on the air mattress in my room (my thought was that it would be easy to take outside and hose off if he missed the bucket (do you sense a theme here??). After about midnight, his tummy finally settled down and we both got some sleep.

He is feeling much better this am, not very energetic, but otherwise, in good shape.

Hope you guys have a great Labor Day weekend!!

In case you missed it last time, I am copying my first puke experience here - it was a wild one!!

Note to self:

If your daughter is complaining of a stomach ache, do not
feed her apples, hot dogs or tomatoes.

And, if you do feed her apples, hot dogs, tomatoes
(or chicken noodle soup {it seemed like a good idea
at the time}), you will need to make sure that you wipe
all of it up before you put the sheets in the washer.

Furthermore, who knew raisins would stay in her stomach
for 24 hours, and don't they chew those things before
they swallow them?!?!

And finally, if you fail to clean the sheets off before
you put them in the
washer, you will be picking up apple skins, raisins and
pieces of hot dog off
your floor when you shake the sheets out before you put
them in the dryer - but hey, they're clean apple skins,
raisins and pieces of hot dog, so it's not
really that gross.


a new mom
or "why don't they teach you this stuff in all of those
classes that we have to take!!!!!!!"

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Add it up!

$2.57 - the cost of the gas to go to the dollar store.
$9.66 - the cost of three helmets, three shields, two swords and one battle axe.
24 minutes - the time it took to make the round trip drive.

Three happy "warriors" in the backyard and a little peace for Mommy - PRICELESS!!

AJ the Terrible! AA the Avenger! E the Mighty!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ahh, the great outdoors!

We went on our one (and probably only) camping trip this year (the snows fly early at the higher elevations) and we really got to experience God's Creation - all of it!!

We went up near Tarryall Reservoir, an area that is on the edge of an old glacier field. There were many quaking aspens, pines and tons of very cool, very small plants that we had not seen before. The kids were so excited to be going camping - AJ for the very first time.

We got to our site and the sky was bluer than blue and with a fresh breeze blowing through our hair, we got our tent set up and commenced camping! Friends of ours who came up brought two hammocks, which provided hours and hours of fun. There were also the intermittent but loud and beautiful storms that blew through. Nothing like being near the top of a mountain, outside, while a thunderstorm barrels towards you!!

We ate s'mores, hot dogs and drank gallons of water out of green jugs. Then there was the fun of taking a potty training little boy to the bathroom, when there wasn't one!! The camp latrine was not set up until Saturday, so the boys got to practice their aim, shooting for small plants and large trees!
Our Friday night campfire was cut short by a doozy of a storm, but the next day dawned with beautiful blue skies and off we went, looking for adventure. While Steve went off shooting with the guys, the kids and I and my friend Jane went for a hike and found some great rocks for the kids to climb. What is it, I ask, about little boys and the edges of tall rocks that is so fascinating?

Saturday was made most special by s'mores before dinner! Wow! Whodathunkit?? I figured, why not, and this way, they had time to run them off before we had to coral the kids in the tent. More rain blew through but it did not hamper the campfire, and a good time was had by all!

As you can see, they were all tuckered out and ready for some zzzzz's by the time we headed home. Can't wait to go again!!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

You know your the mother of preschoolers when...

Today, at breakfast, a sweet little tyke sitting at my table said these words: "Mommy, I put more water in the potty"!! To which I said, "Sure, let's go!". So we did, and he did and Mommy did a happy dance bigger than Michael Phelps when he won his last gold medal!! Now, you must understand, that he hasn't offered to do it again today, but it was a ray of light at the end of a long dark tunnel - that boy will be potty trained before he goes to college!!

;-))) happy, smiling mommy

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I am proud of my girl!

I am so proud of my girl!! She decided last summer that she wanted to grow her hair and donate it to Locks of Love, to be made into a wig for a child who has lost their hair due to cancer treatment. We ended up going with Pantene, because they only require 8", and they make wigs for kids and adults! I will post the link below if you are interested. Any way, there were several times she thought about getting her hair cut before it was long enough, but she stuck it out (her choice) because she really wanted to help out! I am really proud of her for making a decision and sticking with it! The link for Pantene is: http://www.beautifullengths.com/en_US/requirements.jsp
I am going to post these pics there too!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

What is the verse that has helped you get through"

I was posting a reply to the above question at another site, and thought that I would add it here.

Philippians 4:6-7 (Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.") has gotten me through two miscarriages, a crazy job and lots of other "stuff", but it wasn't until I adopted my third child (a real doozy) that I went back and read the verses before 6 and 7:

Phil. 4:4-5: "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand."

On those days, when my sweet son would scream at me all day long, I would just sing a little louder "Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice!". Often, he would stop screaming just to try and figure out what was wrong with mom.

And the reminder to be gentle with this angry child, who was just reacting from his damaged soul, always helped me to get through those long first days and months. I would just imagine Jesus, sitting there in my chair, with his arms open, ready to hold both of us.

God is good!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Where has the time gone?

I am working on getting some pictures together to take to our family reunion and came upon this picture of "Yaya" & "Bubba" on their first overnight with us.

When I look at Yaya and see how small she is, I am amazed! She looks so tiny, so young and fragile, that I am amazed. I never really "saw" her that way. She is, as one of her caseworkers called her "a wise old woman" and her personality is so big, that I always saw her as so much older than she was. It makes me really sad, because I feel like not only did I miss out on the first four years of her life, but because I was not seeing her clearly, I also missed out on the time that I did have with her when she was with me, as a tiny, little girl!

So, since there is no going back, I am going to go forward with certain plans to build a relationship with my daughter that is true and strong. Our upcoming "girls trip" will be a good way to start, I think. A good time for some Mommy and Yaya time, with no little brothers demanding my attention. Say a prayer for us, won't you?!

This next picture is of all the kids on Father's Day. They gave Daddy a rolling tool chest, but really, they were just after the box!


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Now I understand!

I never understood why, when I get worried, anxious, grumpy, etc, I end up in the kitchen - not just getting a snack, but more often - cooking! I was making ketchup today (yes, making ketchup, and I don't care if you laugh at me!!) when I realized why I like cooking so much, especially things like canning and baking bread. I am a kinesthetic kind of girl, so standing there, holding a warm tomato in my hand, while I peeled the skin off, smelling that fresh tomato smell and hearing the water boiling on the stove, I was getting info via all of my senses!!

Ahh, I can finally relax and not take offense when people call me "Becky Homeckie", and make fun of me because of what I like to do. I guess that they are just missing out on the pleasure of using all of their senses while serving their families...

Speaking of ketchup, I forgot it is on the stove, and unless my Mom has stirred it for me - it is all going to be burned - aaaaagh!!!


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Quote of the day:

"Mommy, one of the crumbs from your muffins fell in my mouth".


This morning, I had baked 12 mini loaves of banana bread for MOPS tomorrow - I had already been fighting Rick to stay out of them, when E comes down and makes the above statement. Now imagine my thought process, as I picture the twelve beautiful loaves, (supposedly on a counter over his head), and now one has a huge chunk out of it because "a crumb fell into his mouth" - aaaaghh! should just about sum it up!

I ran up stairs and thankfully found that all 12 loaves were intact and decided that he must have been skimming crumbs from under the cooling racks! Ahh, he will live to be four!!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Well, it happened!

I guess that I have finally arrived at "middle age"! I just got my first pair of mono-vision contacts, so if I hold my head funny when I talk to you, it's because I have not figured out how to see through these things yet.

Liyah on the other hand looks too darling in her new specs. I will try and get a pic up here for you to see tomorrow!!


Friday, May 9, 2008

Going Deeper

Lately I have been hungering for deeper relationships with my friends. To know each other and what our trials and successes are. To get connected on a level deeper than "who is giving us trouble with potty training" or "how exhausted we are". I long to have relationships with women with some years under their belts. With women who have experience and wisdom and a lifetime of walking with God, women with perspective, which is quickly lost amidst diapers, dinners and the din of every day life with little kids. I want my daughter to see me in friendship with other women, to see deep connections that span age, race, or any of the myriad things that divide us in todays society.

So, if you are one of my friends, reading this post, I am going to challenge you to take this walk with me. To be transparent and to help me do the same. To move beyond the surface stuff to deeper waters. I just had an image of an ocean. From the top, it is nice, the crashing waves, the myriad blues and greens that make up the color of the water. But, as soon as you go below the surface, a whole new world opens before your eyes, one that you will never experience if you don't get your feet wet (and your face - I am sure that there will be tears involved here!).

My sister wrote a post on her blog (http://jeffandmarianna.blogspot.com/) that I think adds to these thoughts, I hope you enjoy it - I know it brought tears to my eyes!


Monday, May 5, 2008


I just got an email from a friend who was trying to schedule breakfast with me. I had told her I would not be able to come, because Steve was going to be gone, and she asked me if I could clone myself. This was my response. - I thought it telling!

"If I could, I would make:

The Always Calm and Collected Momma - can you say "Breath" in the midst of a tantrum (his, not mine)
The Designer Momma - able to throw together a beautiful room in seconds
The Super Maid Momma - no dust bunnies here
The Always Fun and Cool Momma - "Let's go play!"
The Chef Momma - no take out here!
The Taxi Momma - to get everyone where they need to be
The Amazing Wife Momma - "The sitter is all lined up, honey"

But, since I can't, I sometimes get frustrated, and the rooms get all a mess, the dust bunnies play hide and seek under the beds and we do, occasionally have Taco Bell. We are sometimes late for things (or miss them all together) and dates, these day, amount to dinner on TV trays in front of the TV, watching whatever just came in from Netflicks! But you know what? I wouldn't change any of it for the world!!!"

Hope your day is great!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Just got this and thought it was worth a post.


A woman, renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk 's office,
was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation.

She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

'What I mean is, ' explained the recorder,
'do you have a job or are you just a ..?'

'Of course I have a job,' snapped the woman.

'I'm a Mom.'

'We don't list 'Mom' as an occupation,

'housewife' covers it,'
Said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall.
The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised,
efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like,
'Official Interrogator' or 'Town Registrar.'

'What is your occupation?' she probed.

What made me say it? I do not know.

The words simply popped out.
'I'm a Research Associate in the field of
Child Development and Human Relations.'

The clerk paused, ball -point pen frozen in midair and
looked up as though she had not heard right.

I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words.
Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written,
in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

'Might I ask,' said the clerk with new interest,
'just what you do in your field?'

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice,
I heard myself reply,
'I have a continuing program of research,
(what mother doesn't)
In the laboratory and in the field,
(normally I would have said indoors and out.)
I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family)
and already have four credits (all daughters).
Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities,
(any mother care to disagree?)
and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it).
But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers

and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money.'

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she
completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career,
I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3.
Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model,
(a 6 month old baby) in the child development program,
testing out a new vocal pattern.

I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy!
And I had gone on the official records as someone more

distinguished and indispensable to mankind than 'just another Mom.'


What a glorious career!
Especially when there's a title on the door.

Does this make grandmothers
'Senior Research associates in the field of Child Development
and Human Relations'

And great grandmothers

'Executive Senior Research Associates?'
I think so!!!

I also think it makes Aunts

Associate Research Assistants.'

Friday, April 18, 2008


I have to post these, although I should be getting kids dressed! We went to the Butterfly Pavilion last week and we all held Rosie the Tarantula - even ME!!! It was too cool - and I HATE spiders!


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

You know the old saying about kids and wrapping paper...

Well, it works with a rake and some mulch too!

We had co-op here yesterday, and after lunch the kids got really involved in a project down by the swings. It seems that Jacob found one of the kid's leaf rakes, and decided to start raking up the mulch under the swings. Will quickly jumped in with a second rake and before you could say "Hey, don't do that!", they had raked up all the mulch and scooped it (with their hands) into a large Rubbermaid box. It went from there to the wagon, where it was rolled, you guessed it, back to the swings, where they spread it out. Then they repeated the process - heck, I don't know, I gave up counting! But they were so busy about their work, and everyone got involved except for Torin (his mom wisely kept him out of it - he likes to eat bark!). The cool thing was, they were working so well together, they were not fighting over rakes, wagons or bins, and they were very disappointed when it was time to go!

So much for putting in a gajillion dollar play ground back there - I'm headed to Lowe's for some more mulch!!


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Herding Squirrels...

Have you ever been there? Nine kids under seven years of age, three moms, the wind blowing at 25 knots (no lie!) and miles of unexplored 'wilderness'. We came up with the only definition that fits - Herding Squirrels". Just try it, if you are brave enough!

We (our co-op) had taken a field trip to the Springs to go to Focus and to take a hike. After all the noise and chaos of Whit's End, we thought a nice walk would finish out our day. Little did we know that the wind had picked up and the kids had all renewed their energy at lunch and were raring to go. We also did not take into account that it was Spring Break, and that Garden of the Gods would be a busy place!

So, off we go, two strollers and a wagon in tow, trying to get all nine kids safely across the parking lot and into the park. All the trails are paved, so that was not a problem, but apparently it was not spring break everywhere, because there were groups of elementary kids all over the place! They were climbing the rocks (guess they did not see those 'no rock climbing signs'), chasing each other on the sidewalks, and shrieking at the top of their lungs (must have been the howling wind).

We headed off down a trail and found that it is impossible to keep any kind of order! The bigger kids took off in the front, running and having a great time. One of them found a rock that would write like chalk, so that set the tone for the rest and the "search for the magic writing rocks" was under way. Then we have that group in the middle, who have to stop and inspect every (and I do mean every) hole, stick, bug, dog, stick, rock, hole, stick, rock, bug, dog that they see - while walking backwards, into oncoming foot traffic. Did I mention that the park was very busy that day? And that is was really windy, so no one could hear anyone else? And then there were the few, who just wanted to hunker down in the dirt, and play with the rocks - and they were not moving - period! And then, there were the sweet darlings of our group, two cherubs who happily sat in their respective stroller and wagon and enjoyed watching all the mommies running around herding squirrels!!

Wish you could have been there!!


p.s. just in case you want to know how I knew how fast the wind was blowing - just check this out: http://www.disastercenter.com/convert.htm

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A look into our Passover experience...

Everyone at the table, coats on, shoes on and "staffs" at hand.

No lamb left on this plate!!

We asked him if he wanted one olive or bunches and you can see from his plate he said "bunches", but he made the same face every time he ate one!

The best part of the meal - no forks!!!

We are reading this week about all the things that happened to Jesus in the week that leads up to Easter, and I decided to have a Passover/foods that the Israelites might have eaten night. Tonight being the night that the Last Supper was celebrated (as calculated in the Christian calendar), I decided to do it today.

So we read the account of the first Passover meal, where God told Moses to have each family slaughter a lamb (no, Eric, we are not going to be slaughtering our own lamb - you could just see him trying to figure out where that was going to happen), and put the blood on the door posts (no, we are not putting blood around our door!) and that they needed to eat the lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, and that they needed to do all of this with their cloaks on, their sandals on their feet and their staffs in their hands. I added, that I thought they did not have forks then, so what were we going to do?! "Eat with our hands" was the response, and so we did.

So we did as much as we could with the attention span we have at this point, and this is what we did: We had lamb in the form of chops and parsley, I also did pita bread and hummus, boiled eggs, olives and green beans (we couldn't not have a veggie, right?!) and we all drank water. We all wore our coats, and had our shoes on ("where are we going, Mommy?" - "Bye bye Daddy", from AJ because Daddy went into the garage to get something - he did have his coat on, after all!! ). Everyone had a walking stick under their chair (the thrill - they got to bring sticks in the house!!) and best of all, they got to eat the whole meal with their hands! Wow!!

It was a great dinner and we really had a lot of fun putting the story into a bit of context for the kiddos. Hope you enjoy the pics!


Ta Da!! It's Done!

Hi all! Finally, here are the newest pics of the kitchen. I have been trying to get it looking like a magazine shoot, with nothing on the counters, etc, but then I realized "I have three kids, I homeschool and am trying to keep this house running, so magazine just ain't gonna happen!" So please forgive the avocado growing in the old salsa jar and all the tools still on the counter and enjoy my beautiful new kitchen!! I can't wait to have you all here for a meal!

If you click on the pictures, they will get bigger, so you can see details better. Dad, don't be lusting after those 2" lamb chops on the counter by the stove!


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Birthday Girl!

Our Sweet Potato had a birthday yesterday, so I thought I would post a few pics for those of you who are far away.


Kitchen update

Work has been slow this week - life must go on!! But here is a picture of what the drawers look like, painted and with their new handles.