Thursday, December 8, 2011


I haven’t been faithful to keep counting the blessings day to day. Working on it. I have heard how counting your blessings and in general just being intentionally thankful can change the heart and mind…and believe you me I need the change. I think I have said this a time or two before- be patient with me. Here are a few things on my list:

- little dark curls that fly everywhere when she runs & that hide her face a little when she doesn’t

- feet that are still small enough I can kiss ‘em

- a husband who doesn’t mind snuggling and sharing his warmth each night

- colds that are slowly fading away

- pink eye that seemed to skip the youngest two & husband

- the living room all aglow from lights on the tree

- the joy the kids get from doing crafts to go along with advent devotional

- how cute said ornaments/crafts look on the tree

- bright sunny days

- a little one who dances to most any music with his happy feet

- a boy who isn’t too old to ‘wrestle’ with his stuffed Hobbes tiger

- how she gets ready for dance an hour early and soon thereafter puts her coat on to go because she thinks it will come faster, she loves it so

- for other homeschool moms who encourage me with their friendship

- a picture taken months ago of the oldest and I that I just received…very precious

- the tree my mom made for us that carries on a tradition I had growing up

- neighborhoods full of color from all the lights

- how he giggles when he looks at me through the magnifying glass when I change his diaper

- how he twirls his hair when it gets long enough

- how she loves the Nutcracker and gets to be in it this year

- how she sings (Christmas carols) in the shower so loud we hear can it downstairs

- how he giggles so when watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special (original one)

- how she always snuggles in close to her daddy when she sits near him on the couch

- that we have been praying more as a family

- that she wants to pray, even if it is the same one time and again

Monday, November 21, 2011


This boy is Trouble- with a capitol T! Just look at that naughty grin. You know that is the look he is giving me all the while listening to me tell him, “No, no Zeke. Get off the table please.” (I’m sure it doesn’t help that Little Miss was trying to put Isaiah’s Luigi mustache on from Halloween.)

The reason this one is so much Trouble…he is quiet. Too quiet.

I wish I could tell you of all the mishaps that occur around here that I only stumble upon after the fact. Our main living area where we are gated in together is fairly compact so how I miss his escapades as they are happening in real time is only because he does his naughtiness is silence. He’s a ninja. : ) (You know like on Electric Company- “Silent E is a ninja.” Only he’s not an E, but he is silent and thus he is like a ninja.)

An example you ask? No problem. So the little monster comes by me to get a little lovin’ and I see he is soaked. His legs, his belly, his feet. Immediately I think he has been in the shower (many a time this is true). I shrug it off (it’s only taken me a dozen or more times going through this to get over being truly annoyed) and get him changed. Half an hour or so later I come upon a mess in the corner near the couch. What really happened was he had taken his daddy’s water glass, left there from the night before, and spilled it all over the floor and his graham cracker. Nice. So much better than sitting in shower water.

I’m telling you the kid is QUIET. He has definitely learned a thing or two from those who have come before him. He’s watched them (Katie) get caught in the action being all loud and stuff. Un-uh, there’ll be none of that for him thank-you-so-much.

And the bookshelf clearing? Oh, don’t get me started! It is like he romps from one side of the house to other clearing shelves. And I know you are thinking, how does he do that quietly? (I think the trick here is that there is plenty of background noise he can hide behind. Smart kid that he is, he uses it to his advantage. And my detriment.)

He’s a ninja, stealth-like and up to no good. Man, oh man I am in a real fix with #4. Just tell me- why does he have to be so cute?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Angry Pumpkins

Oh, yes they were! We had us some seriously angry pumpkins this Halloween.


Every art project we have done this Fall has in some way, shape or form revolved around Angry Birds. At least for Isaiah it has. I should take a picture of a few other projects just so you know I am not lying to you.

(If you don’t know what Angry Birds is, count yourself lucky! It is addicting. We only became aware of it because of the movie Rio. The DVD came with a little card on the inside giving a code that allows you to play a free demo game on the computer. The rest is history.)


Mr. Isaiah wasn’t the only one pleased with how our efforts turned out. When Husbandry came in the house he was chuckling over the black pumpkin. That was the one that got him. Katie liked Mr. King Pig.

Several of the people who visited our house and collected candy commented on our patio decorations. Guess we aren’t the only ones to have been sucked into playing the game.

But just so you don’t think us too sad or ridiculous here are the other pumpkins that we decorated. : )


I’ll leave you to guess which artist painted which pumpkin- Katie or Kiersten? Tough call, I know. : )

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Halloween 2011

This one was memorable. (Aren’t they all though?) Many a story needed to be shared with Beloved once we made it home.

This year we had Luigi, a fairy and a sock hop girl.


Isn’t that mustache hilarious on Isaiah? : )

I wish I could have kept a tally of all the people we passed by who said, “Hey! It’s Luigi!” And each and every time we heard that we promptly heard a little someone pipe up, not to be missed or forgotten, “And I am a little fairy!”

That girl. I tell you, she is something else! I wasn’t the only amused at my little miss so-and so.

I can only say, in this season of battle of the wills, that she definitely keeps life interesting. There is never a dull moment with that child. Never. Did I mention there is also never a quiet moment? Ah, well I suppose that is neither here nor there.

Anyhow, back to Halloween. The cuties and I hit the streets around our neighborhood shamelessly asking for candy. I brought the wagon along – just in case. (If you didn’t know it a three year old feels the need to frequently change her mind. Said parent of certain three year old person has come to learn to be prepared. You know, just in case.)

Trick-or-treating took an interesting turn when a little boy tried to help himself to Katie’s candy as he walked by. The Dad intervened and said she wasn’t handing out candy and then moved the little boy along before a crisis of dramatic proportions broke out. The incident, however, didn’t quickly leave Katie’s mind. From then on any time we came near to another child her hand went over the top of her pumpkin basket and she gave them the stink eye, just daring them to make a move on her loot.

It wasn’t long after this she decided she was done trick-or-treating. We weren’t yet home, in truth we were only a few blocks away, but she gave it up and took residence in the wagon. The other two went up and down many a sidewalk gathering more candy. Several people noticed Little Miss sitting in her wagon but that she was making no move to come collect their candy. They inquired and I just let them know she said she was done. (Oh, she meant it.) Few people still made me come get candy for her not realizing the extent to which she sticks by her guns once she has decided the way a thing should be. Lucky them.

Another mentionable thing that happened was a boycott by the girls’ of certain houses. Some decorations were just too scary. Kiersten, my ever cautious one, refrained from a handful of so houses because she didn’t ‘feel comfortable’ going up to the door. No problem. Katie joined her sister on the curb at a few houses as well. One house Kiersten didn’t go up Katie did but as we were on our way down the steps she said, “Scary, but not cool!” (You’d have to have seen the movie Rio to know where she got that phrase from.) The timing and well use of the movie line brought a smile to my face.

What about Isaiah, you ask? Did he pass by any houses that looked scary? No, indeed he did not. He was on a mission to collect candy. He would still be on people’s porch having barely said his thank you when he would yell, “Mom! I got a (insert name of candy here).” No lie, he reported his treasure from each and every house the moment it landed in his basket. Each and every house. What a nut.

There you have it, Halloween 2011. I’ll be back in a few days to show you their pumpkins. There has been a theme to most all things art where Isaiah is concerned. Pumpkin decorating was no exception.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Love at First Sight

Oh they tried, those of kids of mine, to get my Beloved and I to love these crazy cuties as much as they did!


We went to this apple orchard nearby to grab a few pumpkins and, of course, some apples. : ) What we didn’t expect to find was a whole litter of baby kittens. These fuzz balls captivated all four kids’ the moment they were spied. Just look at Isaiah’s face. (Those red cheek’s tell me we should have taken that coat off sooner, but his facial expression says, “Can we please take one of these precious kitty’s home?”)


It is a good thing we have built up an immunity to any and all cuteness related to the kids trying to get their way!


(This poor cat owed me one after I rescued it from Zeke. The cat thought to meander away from his grasp and he not so gently grabbed what he could, that little tail was a perfect candidate, and started to reel that cat back in!)

This orchard boasted several different animals, several of which were behind mesh gates. It also had a small hay bale maze-ish type area for the kids to run and jump in as well as a nice little slide. All of these great attractions and they kept coming back time and again to pet and hold the kittens.

Isaiah said, “I just can’t help myself! I have to come see the kittens again.” I finally had to order the kids away from them because other people were trying to get a little lovin’ too. : )


I wish I had been able to get a picture of all four kids but Zeke was having none of staying still. That boy wandered the area like he was in his own back forty. My but he is an active one and he loves being outside.

The kids’ had a really wonderful time, the weather was excellent and we ran into a dear family while there. The latter part being something my Beloved and I were particularly blessed by.

All-in-all it was a gem of a day. It was quite the feat but we came away sans kittens , if you were wondering. They tried, I tell you, they tried. : )

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tasty Fall Goodness

The kids’ and I recently took a quick trip to visit a dear girlfriend and her young family. She had baby#2 over the summer and had moved 5 or so hours closer within the last year making her house a day trip away. : ) When I knew Beloved would be gone for just shy of a full week for work it was the perfect opportunity to go. So go we did.

We all had a wonderful time meeting sweet Sara’s family.

So the tasty Fall goodness. While at Sara’s house I noticed her Midwest Living magazine lying out on the side table. My mother-in-law also gets this magazine so I knew them to contain some good recipes. This issue was no exception. I stumbled across their gingerbread pancake recipe and knew when we got home we would have to give them a try. (I wrote the recipe out not knowing I would find it on the web. I wasn’t chancing it!)


We tend to do pancakes every now and again…a dinner that the kids’ quickly (& quietly) consume. I don’t think it has anything to do with the Ready Whip and sprinkles on top, do you?

Anyhow, this is a nice warm version of the usual pancake recipe we use (& still love). There is just something about molasses/gingerbreadish food that fits Fall. Now I know I mentioned some toppings to these but to be honest with you I eat them with no syrup cold the next morning. They are that tasty. : )

{photo credit}

Friday, October 28, 2011

How to Make Sense of Something that Makes No Sense

It isn’t my way to write about things too close to home or too personal. Sure, I share about the family and the day to day goings on. Sometimes I am a bit dramatic or sarcastic depending but usually not overly serious.

It just isn’t to be today.

We, that is My Beloved I, have been struggling a bit. Some weeks ago a co-worker of Beloved’s took his own life. It is a bit of an understatement to say it came as a complete shock. So much so that one person even called the local Sheriff’s office to confirm – it was just that unbelievable.

I cannot say as I was intimately acquainted with this family. We’ve met over Christmas parties and zoo outings. Beloved spoke often to and knew this co-worker well. He’d been there before Beloved and they’ve always shared the same locker room and lunchroom. He was an excellent worker, in the words of my ‘Dree (short for Husbandree).

When I heard I instantly thought of who was left behind, his wife and their 4 children. All faces that came to mind right then and there. I saw them as if they were in my living room. My heart aches. I hurt and I cannot imagine and I struggle to make sense. I wonder what in the world? And how can we help? Can we reach out to this aching, devastated family and walk life with them? Can we love on them and let them be real?

So many emotions, thoughts and feelings. So many.

My Beloved will still say he cannot wrap his mind around what happened. It is one of those situations where you have to tell your mind and heart that short of heaven it will never make sense. You’ll never know and you’ll always wonder. There is no closure. It just hurts.

The Lord is using it to speak to each of us, to draw us closer to one another and to Him. He is using it to renew the way my mind thinks of life, the way I take for granted that I have many days on this earth. How I misuse and mistreat what time I have been given. How I am not purposeful and deliberate but careless.

It isn’t morbid thinking for I am not dwelling on thoughts of death but rather of life and living this one life well. Living full and loving much and not ending each day with so many regrets over words spoken harshly and rashly. Anger that overwhelmed what could have been done in love. The Lord has gotten my attention, opened my eyes and my heart and I am seeing my need and my weaknesses and areas that need cleaning up and handing over. I am thankful He never choses to leave us as we are but always, in love, is pushing us to wear the robe of righteousness, of Christ.

I wish it hadn’t taken this situation to knock me off my feet and really open my eyes.

Would you pray with me for this family? Would you lift them up? Would you also pray for real heart change for me too – that it wouldn’t just be words? So appreciated. Thank you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Before and After


This little man has been needing a haircut for some time. I don’t think this pictures does any justice to just how shaggy and long his locks had truly gotten. I was thinking he didn’t look half bad when I saw this picture. I guess for us when your boy wakes up with some serious scary bed hair you have passed the point of needing a hair cut and it becomes a must.


I put it off and put it off because I cut it myself and frankly the last time was a bit exasperating and exhausting. Well, I belted him into his seat to watch a movie with the other kids and figured there was no better time so I went to it. He really did well as a result of the distraction. Now he looks like my littlest biggest man. Something about taking an inch or so off makes Zeke look older. Such a cutie pa-tooty.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nothing New Under the Sun

Some things run like clock work around here. The development of an infant to a walker somewhere close to 2 weeks, give or take, of their first birthday. And then from a walker to a climber a few short months later. It just seems to be the natural progression of things around here.


I remember when Katie wrecked havoc on my days with her new found freedom. This season it is Zeke.


Like the others he is quick to get up on something. The table is his favorite haunt. He can pull himself up on the chair (not enough friction to stop his belly from sliding across the top of the chair as he pulls) and from there it is nothing to get to the table top. He sits up there like he is royalty.

I wish I could say this sitting on tables only occurred at home. He kept me on my toes at a recent visit to a friend’s house by climbing up and sitting on her table and then proceeding to throw crayons one by one! Oh dear.

It shouldn’t amaze me or catch me by surprise, how they have each gone through this stage, and yet it still does. Maybe it is a form of hope? A crazy denial of what is sure to come? A sanity saver so the child does indeed make it to and past this certain stage? I cannot safely say anything other than he is quick and I am slow. Oh, too slow Joe! (Let’s not keep track of the number of times he has successfully made it to the top of the table, okay?)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What in the World

I must know for fear of being locking into a rubber room if someone doesn’t share. What in the world possesses a child to wipe their nose excrement on my walls?!! I mean is the three more feet (probably an over estimate) to the toilet paper roll in the bathroom like crossing the Sahara?!!

And why do all children have this issue? It doesn’t seem to be regulated to just boys or just girls. (I know this for a fact!)

If this were only the first time I have discovered a little person using my walls as their personal hankie. It wasn’t the first time but I think it has to be the most disgusting. (Thus far. There are still two younger’s being groomed in the wings.)

Said offender spent many a minute using baby wipes and the blessing of God given nails to get that most offensive of messes off my wall. I find between those two things small offending children do not render the use of my scrubbing talents to assist in clean-up.

Deep breath, deep breath. The wall is cleaned. Children have been warned…again. No need to go off the deep end. This incident has passed and we’ll hope we won’t (knowing realistically we will) find this kind of mess again.

Until next time dear friends! Until next time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

These Shoes


Oh they don’t look like much, these shoes. They have been walked in for many a mile, baby miles that is. I bought this pair of shoes for Kiersten when she was just a sprite. I had the intention when buying them that they could be worn by any future sibling. They have worked their way down from the first child to the second to the third and now they are worn by the littlest member of our family.

It took some convincing that he should try them on because he was used to those soft brown  shoes handed down from Isaiah. Those were so comfy and these are a bit more restrictive.

He did his little ‘German’ walk, as we call it, the first few times I put them on. One foot would go up and knee locked come back down. He would also bend down to touch those new-to-him shoes. He just didn’t seem sure about them. So funny to watch.

I find it is a bit harder these days to not be a little nostalgic about some of the small things. I’ll miss these sweet shoes and all things baby. It has been a blessing to have been able to use so many things four times. What a smile it brings to my face to remember that she used or wore that thing, then he did, then she did and lastly now he does.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bee Accepted

This story, Bee Accepted, within A Hive of Busy Bees by Effie Williams, is truly one of love. (I promised I would share after the last post didn’t I?) The first part of this story is about the love of a shepherd whose very job is to watch over and protect his flock. He takes them out to pasture but returns each evening to put them in a pen, the fold. As the shepherd reaches the pen he counts each sheep as it passes the gate, making sure he has each and every one.

Now I said gate, but the beauty is there was no gate on this pen that the shepherd put his sheep into. At night he would lie down in the opening of the pen acting as a living gate. That way he would know if anything came in or went out. He was their protector and provider and they heeded his voice.

The person telling this portion says wouldn’t it be nice to own the verse, “The Lord is MY shepherd”? Wouldn’t it be nice to be within the loving protection of the fold of the Lord, to be His sheep and He your shepherd? The invitation goes out so eloquently to bee accepted into God’s family.

The second part of this story begins with some men driving past a farm and noticing the sheep out in the meadow. One sheep looked a little off, like his coat was actually sewn on. Upon arriving at the farm they inquire of the farmer about the sheep. He tells them a mother sheep lost her baby and a baby lamb lost its mother. The farmer sees one and one and thinks why not make two? He puts the lost baby with the grieving mother to see if she will take it as her own. She goes near the little lamb and then starts to buck and kick. Before serious damage is done to the baby the farmer takes the lamb out of the pen. He puts the mother back in the pen with her little dead lamb and finds she calms down immediately. He figures she knows her baby by its smell. Getting desperate to make this situation work and to save the living baby lamb he decides to take the coat off the dead lamb and put it around the living one. Once the coat was tied on he reintroduced the little lamb and the grieving mother. She came near again and found that what she smelled was familiar and so she began to nurse the lamb. She accepted the little lamb as her own.

As the family talks over this story it becomes this beautiful depiction of the Lord and his love for us, his lost sheep. How when He looks at us and sees us, sin and all, we just aren’t acceptable to him. However when we choose Jesus, when we are welcomed into the fold of God, we are given a new coat, a new skin, the cloak of Christ. From then on when the Father looks at us he sees the cloak of His Son and we are accepted.

My retelling just cannot do this chapter justice. Such a sweet, sweet message of the love of a Father and the lengths He went to so that we wouldn’t have to be lost but rather accepted as members of His fold.

Friday, September 30, 2011


I find it interesting that when this is a theme I pick out to develop a little in my children it speaks most to me. We have been reading A Hive of Busy Bees by Effie Williams for several weeks (read online for free).


Each story is centered around a character trait. We recently read Bee Careful. It was about being careful with your words. This has been an area in which I greatly struggle. Sad as it is to say I struggle the most in my words towards the kids’.

In the story the father was trying to get his daughter to have a better feel for the impact of her words so she wouldn’t use them so carelessly. I tend to be a visual person so this example struck a cord with me. He had her pick up a white dandelion and blow as hard as she could. Then he told her he would wait patiently while she went forth and picked up each of the pieces of the dandelion that had blown away. The daughter thought for sure he was kidding for that was an impossible task. He then told her that is how she needs to think of the words that leave her mouth…they carry further then you mean them to and there is no getting them back. Indeed.

The other part of this story had to do with a knot that was put in a baby tree. Once the knot was discovered it was a year later and too late to undo it. The family then called it their learning tree because they were reminded by looking at it that once some things are done there is no undoing them. The impact of that action lasts, regardless of apologies made and forgiveness received.

I should have known better, because isn’t it always the way when you pick something out as a weakness in someone else the mirror comes out and low and behold the weakness is really yours?

(For whatever reason on the free online download versions there are some stories missing and Bee Careful is one of them. Another is Bee Accepted…all about the cross. I’ll write more about that another day because it is a beautiful story.)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Rare Gem

I find when I do searches I am overwhelmed with all there is to choose from. I tried to find a decent typing program for the kids at the end of last year (for free, of course). I did find something but it was along the lines of I-don’t-have-time-to-look-too-long-or-hard-right-now-so-this-will-just-have-to-do. Nothing against this program, it did just fine. The only issue was it didn’t spark an interest in typing, made it more chore than fun.

Knowing how important it can be to make something fun and how they’ll run after it all the more if they like it I searched again. I am thankful I did for this time I stumbled upon this site.

It also seemed even more than appropriate since a couple of dear friends of ours are from that land across the Atlantic. Who knew?

Since we bookmarked this site I get asked if they can type and believe it or not I have to put the timer on to make them get off! This is what I call a gem of a find. : )

Now if I could just channel the enthusiasm they now for have for typing to a few other areas of school time I would be set!

{photo credit}

Friday, September 16, 2011


We were full of wonder when we hit the special exhibit at the zoo this year. It was an exhibit filled with different kinds of butterflies.


The exhibit itself wasn’t all that large but it touched a special spot in the hearts and minds of my children. Ever since we found that caterpillar on the swing set a year or so ago and watched it form its chrysalis and hatch they have been hooked.


This exhibit had all these gloriously beautiful butterflies flitting to and fro landing on us and on the surrounding foliage. Isaiah was more than a little tickled when I had him take off his hat and he discovered this beauty had landed on him. From that moment on he kept trying to get butterflies to land on his hand or arm.


It is just amazing the amount of detail God puts on these creatures. And the colors! All creation does indeed testify of the glory of God, no? : )


We were on the hunt this summer for a caterpillar to bring home. We found a few small, and I mean teeny tiny, monarch caterpillars up at the cabin. They were so very small we weren’t sure if we would lose them on the drive home so we left them. I must say I regret that decision a bit, but oh well.


Even with eyes peeled and some intentional stops along areas full of milkweed, we didn’t score another caterpillar find the whole summer long. Thankfully we were blessed to be able to enjoy this beautiful display in a season of no caterpillars to call our own.


Indeed, we were wonder-filled at all we saw and touched and that was just as it should be!

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Boy Thing?

This sleeping in crazy positions…is it a boy thing?


I’ve seen the girls’ sleep in dramatic positions (arm flung over the head as if in distress) but nothing fancy like these boys’! Aren’t they sweet when they sleep?

Friday, September 9, 2011

He Comes By It Honestly


If I could count all the number of times I saw my Grandpa, my mom’s dad, in this very position through the years you wouldn’t believe me.

My Grandma tells the story about the time my Grandpa declared he was going to take a nap and one of my younger cousins piped up, “We’ll go get your book for you, Grandpa!”

All of us, my cousins and I, have seen him snooze in this position. You see their room in the cabin up north is a ranch. It is on the end, the corner. It isn’t large but it is lined with windows. The front windows have you looking right at their bed not 3 feet away. It is a bird’s eye view of Grandpa when he naps. : ) He doesn’t get away with much!

Not only would he fall asleep with a book in his hands, where it would stay in perfect position the whole nap through, but he would always tell us, “I was just checking my eyelids for pinholes.” (I am quoting word for word here.) It is a running family joke now since we’re all older and we all know better. But that Grandpa, he can sure spin a yarn when he wants to!

Time will tell if how much more Isaiah comes by honestly, but this sleeping with the book propped open? Priceless.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Another year gone by, another year older. Kiersten celebrated her ninth birthday a few weeks ago. It seemed it bit spread out, the celebrating that is. We had a family birthday party shared between her and my nephew the weekend after her birthday and then a week after that we let her invite some friends over for a party.


The afternoon of the friends party did not turn out at all as I had envisioned it would, but that ended up being okay. Thankfully the girls’ had fun and Kiersten was extremely gracious about what we talked about doing and what actually got done. I lack so much in the organizational, planning areas.


The party consisted of 3 sisters, who also homeschool and one of which danced with Kiersten this year, and then another girl who also danced with Kiersten. There weren’t any awkward moments but rather lots of laughter. I won’t repeat any of the nine year old jokes I heard that evening so as to spare you and keep us as friends.  : ) (Let’s just say bowel movements figured in heavily and leave it at that shall we? They are young, what can I say?)


I did manage to put together a scavenger hunt for them. I had to slow down Isaiah (Yes, he joined the festivities although he wasn’t entirely welcome.) because he knew where things were once the clue was solved. The kids were also racing ahead and leaving some behind. (Drat that child gate before the stairs!) The scavenger hunt was such a hit with my two that they have been begging me to put another one together for them to do with instructions to make finding the clues a little more difficult! Who knew?


We fed them all some dinner and capped off the night with a visit to a local ice cream parlor. One of the girls ordered and ate almost an entire banana split! Amazing. After that the family mobile taxied all the girls’ to their respective homes.

This doing a party for non-family members was a first for all of us and from what Kiersten says a success. For that I am very thankful and she was very happy. A win-win.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011



Her pronunciation, or rather mispronunciation, of words is so precious. Today it was, “Mom, I have a beaver. Take my temperture.”

“You mean you have a fever?”

“Yeah, like Zeke.”

I am especially naughty when these cute little mispronunciations come about. I ask or prompt her in some way to get her to say that sweet sounding word again and again. It brings such a smile to my face and warms my heart. I love this about her, her way with words.

Some others are, “Can I watch that on that ba-cute-er?”

“You mean the computer?” : )

It is a gum-brella instead of an umbrella.

She says back-set instead of basket.

It comes out, “No, I did-dent.” (Which my husband can mimic far better than I can!)

She called a sweet friend of hers ‘Farris’ which was rather a mystery to me because her name is Kharis and she could say Katie, Kiersten and Miss Kate. So why the K couldn’t not be included at the start of Kharis’ name baffled me. (This is no longer an issue. Whew! I didn’t want wee Kharis to get a complex.)

I suppose if I were honest it isn’t just the way she mispronounces or rather changes words it is the way she says them. I don’t think it could quite be said she has an accent but there is something to that thought. She says ‘girl’ and it sounds like guirl. Written words cannot to justice to the speak and sound of a 3 year old but just know it is precious, oh so precious.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Note of Apology


It’s her birthday and I’m watching her start to write a letter just after breakfast.

“Who’s Christina?” I ask.

“Oh, she’s this girl in my VBS class.”

“Why are you apologizing to her?”

“Well…we were getting ready to play this game and she said, ‘I’m picking Tommy to be on my team because I don’t like you.’ “

“So why are you apologizing? Did you say something mean to her? Did you accidentally push her?”

All these questions and more I ask knowing what the answer will be.

“No,” she replies.

“What do you have to apologize for? I don’t understand.”

And yet I do and my heart hurts for her. My girlie is wanting to apologize because Christina doesn’t like her and she doesn’t know why. She figures it must be her fault.

How do I explain to one so young that kids’ can be mean? (Adults are no exception to this rule, but you know the saying.) How do I tell her that she probably did nothing really for this girl to decide to not like her since they had been together all of 6 hours over a span of two days and had never set eyes on one another before VBS began? How do you explain not everyone will like you no matter how nice you are to them?

But her feelings are hurt and she doesn’t understand what she did wrong. I understand (Seventh grade, need I say more?) and I feel for her, I just don’t know what to say.

I suppose I should have let her finish writing her note- but I don’t. My mama pride and a little bit of anger well up in me so I tell her, “I am not seeing anything you should apologize for so why don’t you just stop?” (When will I ever learn it isn’t about me?)

In truth it might have made her heart feel all the better if she had been able to write and deliver that note. Oh, she might have been rejected again by Christina but then again she might not have. All I know is she would not be left to wonder what she did because she would know that she did her best and tried to be a good friend.

I regret I didn’t let her finish and I am even sorrier she thinks there might be something wrong or unlovable about her that makes someone decide they don’t want to be her friend. But can I say there’s nothing wrong with you, it’s her? I can not. So I’m stuck.

She is a little late to this game, at age 9, since we homeschool. She would have been inducted long ago into this friendship game, if she attended school. She already would have known kids’ will be mean and people can choose to not like you just because. Just because.

Awk, now it’s me who is needing to apologize. Such a bud-in-ski I have been. I’ll be telling her how I love her and tossing in some truths about how much the Lord loves her. About how that love is never changing, always constant, always strong, never failing- the REAL truth about how she is loved and liked.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Summer Reading


I read the whole Mitford Series by Jan Karon. It is just a wonderful set of books about an older man of the cloth and his everyday life lived in small town America. Nothing flashy or highly romantic to speak of and it isn’t needed. You’ll know what I mean if you decide to pick up the  first novel. : )

The thing I most appreciated about the books was although these are a popular main stream series, having won New York Bestseller status, Ms. Karon clearly and deliberating talks of Jesus and a relationship with him. There are several scenes within the books where people pray to receive Christ into their hearts.

It is hard to encompass the whole 9 book series in a brief synopsis. I’ll just highlight three big quotes that really got me.

When talking with a person who attended a Christian church of a different denomination whom he had invited to his church the person replied, “I don’ know nothin’ about nothin’ but Baptists. I guess th’ rest is all pretty different.”

Here’s the part that got me, the reply of this man of the cloth.

 “The key is a relationship with Jesus Christ. If we get that right, the differences usually matter less than we like to think.”

Wow. Can I get an Amen?

Another phrase this man often said throughout the series-

“Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.”

Lastly he would mention the ‘prayer that never fails’.

“Thy will be done.”

It is nice when a book preaches to you! I took some notes and the Lord spoke to me on a few of my own ‘issues’. I’ll not bore you with details. I’ll just suffice it to say this series is well worth the read if you have the time and you enjoy fiction.

(The first two quotes were taken from Light From Heaven, book 9. That last quote was spread throughout several of the books.)

I am currently reading Little Pilgrim’s Progress. I was reading it because someone recommended reading it to the kids’. (I like to read some books first before sharing with the kids. They haven’t heard any of it yet.) I don’t think it is so much for the kids’ as it is for me! Straight to the heart, I’ll say that much. More later.

Hope your summer included a few good reads. Any you want to mention?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Why Didn't They?

Honestly, I am wondering why in the world the lady at the front desk didn't. And then the lady and several gentlemen I saw when I was wondering Walmart at 5:15 a.m. didn't. I mean where is the decency in letting a person walk around looking like that?!

We have been out and about the country driving hither and yon to get to see some grandparents and other family members of mine. The first night in the hotel I put some toothpaste on my face, just a little dab mind you, to help with an area that was showing the makings of a zit. (I do this often since I don't use a mask or anything such thing.)

Anyhow, when Zeke woke up the next morning at the crack of 5 a.m. I scuttled us out the door quickly so as not to wake the other kids' in order to avoid us having a serious cry-fest on our hands later in the day. I had forgotten Kiersten's toothbrush, and while the hotel one was lovely, I needed to get one for her. So away we went to Walmart.

We walked out the lobby, chatting all the while with the lady behind the counter. Walked into Walmart saying 'hi' and 'good morning' to those we saw diligently stocking the shelves. We were still wandering the store when I reached up and touched my face only to make contact with the offending toothpaste spot!

How could all those nice people let me walk around like that and not say anything?!!! Sweet humility. I turned my own shade of scarlet in the aisle, rubbed off what was there and made a hasty retreat out of the store.

The saving grace? I wasn't home, I didn't see anyone I know and we aren't stopping there on our way home!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It Happens Whenever…

we leave home. There must be something lacking in the water at home, I tell you, because BIG things change when we leave here.

There was the time we took a trip to Vermont a few weeks shy of Kiersten’s first birthday and she walked. (It might have had a little something to do with the fact 2 boxer dogs were running to and fro and if she didn’t get a move on she was going to get squished!)

Then there was the time we took a trip out of Colorado when Isaiah was just over 2 years old and lost his binks (a.k.a pacifier) at the hotel. He didn’t even know he was missing it. When we got home we did a quick search and threw away any remaining ones. Out of site out of mind, as they say. : )

When we were out and about in North Carolina before Katie turned one she took a few steps and was walking in no time once we returned home.

Zeke, not one to be left out, has followed suite after his siblings. We took a trip up North to see my Grandparents. Prior to leaving he had managed to take 2 steps in succession a time or two. Once we were there however he managed to get a grip on his sea legs and make some progress. He crossed rooms and was able to get himself up off the floor to standing without any aid from furniture or unsuspecting nearby legs.

He’s a champ. : )

You can see for yourself his unsteady, cowboy looking strut.

Zeke Walks from Jess on Vimeo.

This is the beginning of the end of all things baby in the house. (And I can cry if I want to!)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

June was…

a bit crazy. There was the week long dance marathon. We had my mom’s, my dad’s and Katie’s birthday (Grandpa’s is in there too!). Then there was Father’s Day…to celebrate for 3 set’s of Dads’. A family birthday party for Katie. A joint birthday party for Katie and Ezekiel celebrated with a few more family members. We also wrapped up our school year and began swim lessons!

Oh, did I mention all this happened within a span of 14 or so days?

The month felt a bit like a whirl wind with me always 2 steps behind. A planner I am not. A good organized person? Not so much.

Needless to say from the aforementioned activities there was much cake consumption in the month of June (and early July).

As always we have a immediate family only celebration on the actual day of birth. This is usually when the homemade cake is enjoyed.


And how could you not let the littlest man have his own taste?


He was as quiet as a church mouse and busy as a bee. : ) What can I say? The frosting was killer!

We had another party a few days later celebrating with some additional family members and some friends for both Katie and Ezekiel’s birthday’s. Their birthday’s are just about 2 weeks apart and it is hard to get everyone together twice in that short of a time. So rather than have one left out we made a two-for-one party! : ) (Saved me a second sad attempt at getting the house picked up and clean. I still haven’t dusted!!!)


For the bigger party Katie picked out this cake. : ) What a nut.

We grabbed some cupcakes for Zeke and put a lone candle on it. One year old…(almost here)


Good times and a whirlwind of a month. My how the summer flies. I long for it to slow down a little sometimes, this time away from school, but it seems to go all the faster. Well, we will do our best to enjoy the time we have and not lament that things go all too fast! : )

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wow! I never thought…

I’d live to see the day when I could say:

- that we had a caterpillar that escaped. He was on the tiny side but Kiersten really, really wanted to bring him home. We did. He must have watched some PBS special on famous jail break-outs or some such nonsense because that little bugger disappeared from the cage never to be seen again. We’re keeping our eyes peeled to find another friend.

-I laughed when one of my children thanked me for being mean to them!

Katie has been going through an especially ornery stage. She’ll say she would like something, be it a specific set of clothing to wear or a snack- that kind of thing, I’ll agree and then she’ll immediately yell she doesn’t want what she just said she did.

It is an exhausting and frustrating game to say the least.

Here is how it played out the other day.

“Mom, I want to wear my princess shirt and skirt.”

“Sure, no problem. I’ll just run up and get it.”

“No! I want to get it.”

“Katie, I’ll just run up quick and get it. We need to get going soon.” (She can’t go upstairs on her own just now because the gate is blocking the stairs.)

Up I went while she protested at the bottom of the stairs. When I got back downstairs with said clothing she picked out she threw a grandiose fit.

“Fine. You can go back up and pick what you want to wear but I am not helping you get dressed. You’ll have to do it on your own.”

I put her over the gate. Up she went and then came back down with clothes. I lifted her back over the gate and just reminded her, “You are on your own. I will not help you.” (She cannot get a shirt off over her head on her own.")

Well, Kiersten helped her. Once she was dressed she walked over to me where I was changing Zeke’s diaper. Looked me square in the eye and said, “Mom, thanks for being mean to me.”

Oh dear, how do giggles just work their way up and out without permission?

Needless to say said aggravation waned a little as it gave way to laughter.

I just never thought I’d live to see the day I would laugh when one of my kids would point blank tell me I am mean. I’m sure it had a bit to do with a lack of sarcasm and the earnest way it was delivered. Dang it all- the Lord surely has made that child cute for a very good reason!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Singing in the Rain

Alright, so they weren’t singing in the rain. They were playing in the rain.

We had a rare nice rain the other day. It was the straight down kind. No wind blowing and no lightening. The ideal Spring rain to go play in, if you are the type who is inclined to play in rain. (Me? Not so much. I’ve gotten to be an old fuddy duddy!)

The neighbor’s boys were outside and Kiersten made a comment to the effect they were lucky getting to play out in the rain. I simply told her if she wanted to play in the rain too, get out there. Oh, her face! The shock, disbelief…a display of emotions all of which said she wasn’t buying what I wasn’t even trying to sell.


‘You’re kidding!” she said. (This is a catch phrase for her. We hear it often.)

“Certainly not,” I replied. “If you want to go play out in the rain, go on out.”

“We need our swimsuits.” (She is seeing other neighbor kids join the fray and they have their swimsuits on.)

“Not necessary. Just head on outside and play in the rain.”


She, Isaiah and the Katie girl made their way outside to the front where a may lay of children had congregated and were enjoying themselves. There was dancing, puddle splashing, umbrellas (or as Katie says – gumbrellas) appearing and much chit chatting.


There was also this one watching from the inside. It isn’t all its cracked up to be being the youngest sometimes. Awk. His time will come. He just needs to wait his turn! : )


Friday, July 1, 2011

The Power Source

“Mom! Zeke unplugged the computer!”

(This is big going’s on since Isaiah loves to play his Jump Start World. Interrupting or rather disrupting his time? A big no, no.)

“K, I’m coming.”

“The cord is wrapped around his leg. He’s stuck.”

“He sure is.”

“Mom, the screen got all dark.”

“I know Honey, that’s because it isn’t plugged in to the power source.”

Well, well. There it is. You are walking a bit in the dark because you aren’t plugged in to THE power source. Uhmm hmmm. I hear it, Lord. Preach it to me.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Prima Ballerina

This first year of ballet in addition to tap did wonders for Kiersten. She loved it. I think it made her feel like quite the little lady! : )

Well, with this first year comes the first time performing ballet at the recital. She did two numbers for ballet. There was the Bouquet Dance which was performed before the intermission. (Oh, an intermission is required when said recital is 4 hours long!)

kk bouquet_1_1

I think it is the bun that adds some years to her…because she doesn’t look little when her hair is all done up in a grown-up fashion. I can give thanks now for this ritual of bun making we did each Friday before class. All that practice made doing her hair for the recital a cinch!

bouquet girls_1_1

These are some of her ballet classmates- a slightly different bunch then her tap class.

You’ll find Kiersten on the back left next to the young gentleman. Enjoy! 

The Bouquet Dance from Jess on Vimeo.

The second ballet number of the evening fell just a few dances shy of the closing number. This meant dancing at around 10:30 p.m. The first night this didn’t pose too much of an issue, the adrenaline was rushing and she was excited. (Did I mention we got home at 11:15 that night?) The second night, however, you could see the tiredness in those small bodies. As you watch the video you’ll actually see her stumble a little. As I was watching I thought she might have twisted her ankle. She recovered nicely and I was happy to see she was only tired, not hurt.

kk spoon full of sugar_4_1

These costumes were definitely more foo-fooey…more ballet style, if you will. Her partner in the dance came up to her and went, “Poof!” while jumping just in front of her making her own skirt fly up. The kind of thing you can only do in an outfit such as this. It was hilarious and gave us a good laugh.

spoon full of sugar_1_1

Kiersten is standing next to her partner for this dance…the “Poof!” girl : )

I know these clips don’t do any sort of justice to what is it like to see her in person but I couldn’t let all her hard work this year go unshared. Here she is ladies and gentlemen…Miss Kiersten Girl in Spoon Full of Sugar! (Cue loud voice on speakers and envision the red curtain parting…)

Spoon Full of Sugar from Jess on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dance, Dance, Dance

Dance is what consumed one of our weeks recently. Kiersten has an all class dance recital once a year. It is a bit to do. I don’t know how else to put it. On Monday there was practice, Tuesday a dress rehearsal of a full run through of the show and then Wednesday and Thursday the actual recital.

Just to give you a feel for this recital it ran from 7 until 11 both nights.

Kiersten took everything in stride and was quite the beauty. Her hair done up, costume and shoes on she was ready to go.

The first day of practice she leaned over to me and said, “Mom, I don’t really get stage fright anymore. That’s a good thing, right?”

“Indeed it is,” I replied.

This is our 3rd year in dance and our second big recital participation. Each year it is the same stage, same building, same dressing room, same side of the stage she enters, same…well, you get the point. All this has helped her feel at home and for that I am thankful.

Well, without further ado this is Kiersten ready to do the Polka.

kk polka_3_1

These are most of the girls (sans 2 boys) that join her in tap class.

kk polka 2_2_1

I’ll leave you with a view of the action. Kiersten is center of the screen for the most part. I tried to focus in a bit on her but you’ll see my videography skills leave a bit to be desired. I will say this video is better then a few of the ones to follow. It was a day of practice and I was able to be up close to the stage. : )

Polka from Jess on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

“Look, Mom! No…..

training wheels!”

No training wheels! from Jess on Vimeo.

Isaiah recently mastered the fine art of riding a bicycle on two wheels instead of four. It was only a matter of time but trying to convince your children that this change is good when it hurts a little takes some time.  : )

We had been battling some rather unruly training wheels – they didn’t stay on the way they should. They would turn upwards with a little pressure from tilting too much and Isaiah was more than bothered by this. Trouble was you would have to ‘right’ the training wheels every so many feet. This got to be a bit much and my Beloved just told him no more and took the training wheels off.

I think it took Isaiah all of 2 or 3 days to learn. He was so funny about it though. I was out there with him a day or so after my Beloved had taken the wheels off and run behind holding the seat. I did the same only I let go before we were even halfway down the driveway and he went on his own pretty well (excluding the looking back over his shoulder at me part).

He went a few feet, had to put his feet down. We tried again. He was getting frustrated after going a little farther on his own. He said to me, “But Mom, I am not balancing!”

That made me chuckle. Had to tell him that was exactly what he was doing when I let go. Him riding without me holding him upright by the seat is him balancing. No balancing means no bike riding. He was so upset about not balancing. : )

As you can see he has mastered the fine art of riding on two wheels and is quite happy with himself. Now he is just like his big sister!!! Competition, sweet competition.

Monday, May 23, 2011

What is it…

about the dishwasher that attracts all little people like magnets? Especially those who crawl?

Each one of my kids has climbed on/in the dishwasher. Zeke is at the stage where when he sees it is open he speeds up the crawl to get to it. He likes to fiddle faddle with the silverware (dirty or clean- he’s not picky) and get up on it.

Case in point.


You should see how he gets that little knee up on the edge. He is quick I tell you, quick.


We’ll have to curb this little habit soon as I am confident he does not have enough is his piggy bank to cover the cost of a new dishwasher! : )


The funny thing is I know my mom has pictures of me when I was little doing the very same thing on my grandparents dishwasher! (At least if memory serves me right she does…but I am losing my touch so I could be wrong!)