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Friday, December 30, 2011

Should, but Not

It is Friday, and I should be:
  • Washing the floor
  • Assembling portfolios
  • Cooking freezer meals
  • Folding Laundry
  • Calling about my mixed-up computer
  • Cleaning up Christmas decorations
  • Bathing the dog
  • Paying bills
  • Lots, lots more
But instead I have been doing this:
I love my life!
By the way, Molly Bang (creator of the book we are reading in that photo) is one of my absolute favorite children's book authors. The Yellow Ball, with all of its 12 or so words and its beautiful soft chalk illustrations, won my heart the first time we flipped through it during our Five In A Row studies. It is just so gently paced. Mrs. Bang is one very talented woman. If you haven't seen her books, I encourage you to take a look.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Things I Love About Christmas 2011

* Blogger is giving me formatting grief
and I've decided to let it win.
Merry Christmas Blogger!*
I love:

Watching Christmas movies with Daddy

Christmas Music, especially when sung by my own little angels

Getting ready for guests (btw, dry erase markers rock!)

Nana's special Christmas ornaments with the fun memories written on the bottom.

Baking Christmas cookies with my little assistant

Pajama Parties with cousins

Stockings stuffed to overflowing

Special gifts that cause squeals and gasps

Snuggle time with loving grandparents

Enjoying friends

Quiet time together

Monday, December 26, 2011


My boy must be trying to keep up with his uncle. Herb was in the emergency room this week for a scratched cornea, so guess what happened today...

My guy decided to try to set off a ring of 8 caps ~ all at once ~ using a hammer ~ while kneeling down over them. Not a good idea.

I heard a startling BANG in our basement, followed by a loud scream. When I finally got him to calm down enough to tell me the story of what happened, he told me that he saw a spark fly straight toward his eye.

Ouch! Luckily corneas heal quickly.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Toast

To Susanne & PhilippCongratulations!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A lesson in receiving gifts graciously

We had our Christmas celebration with my family today. My 6yo son received a rock from his cousin. He said thank you, tucked it into his pocket, and we all cooed over how cute their little exchange was.

Fast forward an hour and a half. My sister noticed that my little guy was sitting by himself and mentioned to me that he looked sad, so I went to sit by him. This was our conversation:
What's up?

I got a rock for Christmas.

Your cousin thought that was a really special rock and he gave it to you because he wanted to make you happy.

I know. It's just ... well ... nothing. It's a nice rock.

It is and I'm sure he would be glad to play with you. Why don't you go over and show him what you got from Nana. Hey, what did you get from Nana?

Nothing. I just got the rock.

You didn't get anything else? Are you sure?

I'm sure. This is all I got.

Really? Didn't you get another gift?

No, but, well, (big breath) that's okay. It's a nice rock.
I hugged my boy tight and quickly excused myself to go chat with Nana. Forgetting a child is Not something my mom would ever do. In fact, she is the person that we have to encourage to let go because she is so very concerned that things come out fair for all 12 kids. It took a bit of investigation, here's what we figured out -

Our family has 20 members, 12 of which are children, and we open gifts VERY slowly. Somehow one of the babies got into my son's gift, opened it and left the contents in the middle of the room. Everyone assumed that the toy belonged to someone else and by the time we got to the end of the gift exchange it felt as if we had been opening gifts for hours, so we thought we were all done.

He didn't say one negative thing. No complaints, no crying, not even a whispered "where's my gift?" Not a word. I wonder if I would have handled the situation that nicely.

Nana quickly figured out the mystery, tossed DS's gift back into a bag, and handed it to him.

You have NEVER EVER seen such a happy little boy, or a prouder momma.

I think I'm going to hang that rock on my Christmas tree. It taught me a pretty big lesson.

James 1:12

Thursday, December 1, 2011


We are wearing the same dress! *wild gales of 2yo giggles*

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Hmm... ditto what my sister said.

Friday, November 18, 2011

New Bible

This shouldn't be a big deal. The words are all the same; exactly the same.
But it is a big deal.

Buying a new Bible is tricky. First you have to figure out which version you want. And after that it gets even harder because you need to find one that feels right. It has to be precicely the right thickness so that you can flip without looking. If the pages are too thick they won't move right, and if there isn't a nice enough concordance in the back you won't be able to find what you are looking for, even if the pages move perfectly. See, it is tricky!

My old Bible was a gift from my parents. It has my maiden name on it and it has traveled with me everywhere. I am really sorry to let it go but, as you can see in the picture, it needs to. Those aren't notes sticking out of it - they are pages; artfully torn by my little ones.

I found a replacement but it won't be the same. The little notes in the margins will take years to replace, and the worn spots that just fall open to my favorite passages take time to break in.

I sound so snotty - as if I have this Christianity thing down. That's not true. I just really, really miss my blue companion with my old name written on it in silver already.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Grammar according to Elmo

Have you ever heard Elmo?
Elmo loves flowers!
Elmo is going to the shoe store.
Elmo wants a carrot.

My youngest speaks just like Elmo - including the tiny up-swing in the pitch of her voice each time she mentions her own name. She refers to herself in the third person almost exclusively and I love it. She sounds so very TWO and I know that this sweet stage won't last.

The problem is that I am now doing it.

Mommy has to go to the car.
Can Mommy take your picture?
Mommy loves you.

In context, with my little girl beside me I can almost get away with this, but I just caught myself speaking this way to a friend ... AFTER all of my kids had been sent bed.

It is kinda' like the infamous mommy-bounce. You hold baby, sway and bounce, and baby falls asleep ... Repeat endlessly for years ... Until one day you realize that you are swaying and bouncing 5 pounds of sugar in the grocery checkout line and a stranger is working very hard not to laugh at you. It only takes one glance to see either the abject confusion or the amused sympathy in their eyes. You know instantly whether they are a parent.

Living with a 2 year old offers some very amusing challenges.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sticks and Stones

My kids come from a long line of collectors. Stamps, shells, stickers, tools, nothing is safe with us. Their daddy once even owned a stump collection (yes, STUMP, as in the bottom of a tree, and he posessed several).

Each child has found something that they love and they happily squirrel away bits and pieces. My son loves bottle-caps, and his older sister is well known for her nature discoveries that she keeps in her own museum.

My youngest, well, she is well on her way to becoming a rock collector like her grandpa.
No gravel driveway is safe with this little girl around. And my washing machine isn't safe either. The poor thing has taken some very LOUD beatings recently (Eeek! Just realized how terrible that sentence is. Edited to clarify that it is the washer, not the child, that is being beaten up.)

I think my little girl and her grandpa are going to have lots in common.
Including heavy pockets.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Do you know what this family photo is missing?

These three boys.
They are our new cousins and we simply can't wait until my sister and her husband are able to bring them home from a very sad and dangerous situation in Eastern Europe. Read all about their story at FillingTheHouseWithBlessings.blogspot.com.

I Y my family, even the ones I haven't met yet, and would appreciate your prayers for them to come home soon.

1st Cmas catalog

Our first christmas catalog of the year arrived this week.
The kids spent well over an hour circling their favorite items and I spent that hour drinking coffee and reading.

Towel Fashion

Dear daughter,
When I asked you to help your little sister find something to wear, I didn't realize that you would take me seriously. I expected that you would find something in her closet to dress her in. I did not mean for you to have to create your own clothing out of dishtowels and office supplies.

I will attempt to be more precise in my requests from now on.

That being said, she seems to be comfortable in her new outfit. Nice job kid!
Your loving mom,

Monday, October 10, 2011


Nothing beats a good box.How else would you get to the moon?

Now that we have this nice giant box (courtesy of the dishwasher delivery men), we may just need to have another party devoted to the greatest invention EVER.

2, 1, Lift Off!!!