Thursday, December 24, 2009

no more silent nights

The whole family is happy to be home for Christmas with the best present ever.

Elizabeth Ruth is our special Christmas package. On Monday she was delivered and shared with our loving and rejoicing family. She is beautifully and wonderfully crafted by the finest Creator. There was considerable cost in shipping this seven pound, eleven ounce bundle, but we have decided she is worth every penny. (Which is fortunate considering she is non-refundable.)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights... James 1:7

Saturday, December 19, 2009

one week (hopefully)

and then she'll be kissing some chubby little cheeks!

Crunchy the Snowman

This year my sister and I had our major caramel corn day again, thanks to a little baby deciding life is better when you are hanging out in your mommy's belly. We also managed to squeeze in a little project with the kids. I saw these cute snowmen in the December Family Fun magazine that I paged through in the waiting room at my OB's office and decided they just had to be made.

They are actually very easy to make, and if you try it yourself, just make sure that after you dip the pretzel in the melted white chocolate, you let it cool down a bit before adding the mini chocolate chip eyes and buttons. If you put them on too soon they will melt and slide and make a scary-looking snowman. This is my nephew Grayson with his two fine-looking finished snowmen.

Katie thought eating was the best part. I thought the best part was when we opened the box of fruit roll-ups for the snowmen scarves and my kids had no idea what they were. Such junk food-deprived children I have, poor things. Don't worry, they got their fill that day.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


  • Go on, admit it. You knew I wasn't going to produce a single catch-up post. Shame on me.
  • Baby update: No baby. Doctor check-up today shows that my body and baby seem perfectly happy to be sharing the same space. More waiting and wondering when it will be.
  • Joey asked me what "labor" was, because he heard me and Daddy talking about it, and thought it was something about that baby. So I explained the work a Mommy goes through as her muscles get ready to get the baby out, and that he would be going to Grandmom's house sometime when I was in labor. He is now whole-heartedly in favor of me going into labor, and was disappointed this morning when he came into the kitchen and saw me drinking my coffee and remarked with a frown, "No labor." While I was walking out of his bedroom after putting him to bed this evening he reassured me with a "Labor. Yes!" while drawing a check mark in the air. I am glad to have Joey rooting for me. :)
  • I do hope she comes before Christmas, but I will try to be patient and enjoy every bout of hiccups she has until the big day.

Monday, December 7, 2009

getting there

I am slowly, slowly, chipping away at my list of things that MUST be done before the baby comes. The reality that much will remain undone is known, but I keep chugging along. Tonight was Wal-Mart. Bleh. Wal-Mart makes my eyes hurt. But I needed a few baby care items, and to scout the toy section for some gifts, and to get a few things that I am just too tired to play the drug-store-game for. One stop, and I am stocked up pretty well.

Then I went across the street to Wegmans which is a much more enjoyable shopping experience, and at 8:15 on a Monday evening is very, very empty. I stocked up on cheap baking supplies and butter, which will be more fuel my very lopsided attempt at stocking my freezer for post-baby. You would think frozen meals would be the way to go, but so far I have gobs of pancakes, a delicious batch of scones, cookie batter, some quick bread, and six pans of stuffing. The stuffing could be considered part of a meal, and my two frozen turkeys could possible count as meals, but I am sure I am going to be really excited to roast a turkey in my sleep deprived state. My brain makes no sense. But what do you expect from a girl who couldn't even figure out 9x6 today without thinking about it for a good nine seconds.

So with some shopping done (but with Christmas shopping still to finish), and the upstairs play/guest room cleaned today, I can cross a few to-do's off the list. But I have so much blogging I feel like I need to catch up on, and on my metal list, that is one thing I want to do. There are fun days from October and November with oh-so-cute photos to go with. I know I don't HAVE to catch up on blogging for all to be right with the world when my baby arrives, it is just that this is kind of my journal, and I like looking back and reading it, and...well, my brain will just somehow feel better if I do.

So, I am going to try to get a few catch up posts up this week. Sorry to be blogging about things from two months ago, but you and I both know you don't come here for extraordinary blogging content. Most of you are my family anyway (some who live very far away), so you probably won't mind one bit.

The rest of you, just consider the title of my blog to be "Ramblings of a Crazy Pregnant Woman" until further notice.

And as always, thanks so much for stopping by!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Joey the careful

Katie the cold and crabby

Frosty the celebrating snowman

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mom-mom's hands

Mom-mom's hands show their love in lots of ways. On this day they showed their love with the application of all types of candies, sprinkles, sugar, frosting, and chocolate chips.

Only love could create beauties such as these:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

23 days to go

Joey takes a lovely belly shot.

Monday, November 23, 2009

one more weird thing

This pregnancy, if I read a recipe I think I will enjoy, I cannot stop thinking about it until I make it. About a month ago I found a recipe for lemon iced pumpkin cookies, and it bothers me that my can of pumpkin sitting in the pantry has still not become those cookies.

Last Monday I made the recipe for Cranberry Sauce that was in the previous day's Parade magazine because I just had to know how a cranberry sauce with apricot preserves and chopped dried apricots would compare to my other cranberry sauce recipes. I loved it. I actually think it is my new favorite cranberry sauce. Adam loved it too.

I also made Caramel Crispix mix last week, which satisfied my caramel cereal mix curiosity (and stuffed my belly), and today I made Pumpkin Banana Bread that has been on my mind since Thursday. It was from the November o8 issue of the no-longer-published Country Home magazine that I paged through while Joey was working on something for school. The bread was very yummy, and Joey was pleased that it had no nuts. It does not matter how finely I chop walnuts in the food processor, any nut particle at all ruins his quick bread enjoyment.

There is a recipe in last month's Better Home and Garden for Pumpkin Corn Bread that is still haunting me. My lack of masa harina prevents me. I am not sure what else I would make with the remaining masa harina and cannot yet justify its purchase.

But do you see a trend in the type of recipes I must make. Sugar! Sweet! Must bake!

I need to start reading some recipes for salads.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

being a princess

What is wrong, my darling princess?

It is just so hard to always be so charming, and beautiful, and smiley.

Well, do you think you could perhaps, just look at the camera, without being quite so sullen?

Nice. Thank you, your highness. As always, it was a pleasure photographing you today.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

About Bear

Joey and Bear, March 2008

a conversation between Joey and me last week

"Did I ever tell you who gave Bear to you got him?"


I know I have, but I tell the story again.

"Aunt Donna gave Bear to Mommy for Natalie, when Natalie was still in my belly, at a special party called a baby shower."


"But then Natalie went to heaven...and Mommy and Daddy were so sad. And we prayed and prayed for God to give us a new baby in my belly, because we missed Natalie so much. And we really hoped we could have a baby that could stay with us, and not go to Heaven so soon."

He looks at me with wide, concerned eyes.

"And then God answered our prayers, and gave Mommy a new baby in her belly."

"That baby was me?"

"Yes, God answered our prayers - you were the answer to our prayers! You were the baby Mommy prayed for. We were so happy!...And then, Mommy let you have Bear, because I didn't think Natalie would mind if I shared her things with you since she was in Heaven."

He pulls Bear in close.

"And now Bear is your very favorite, special friend!"

He hugs Bear tightly, and buries his face in the back of Bear's head.

"I am so glad Jesus gave you to me. I love you so much. I am so glad you are able to love Bear."

"Me too."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

good times at the OB

What do you consider to be the makings of a good check-up with your OB? I would say before yesterday my list included little or no wait, minimal weight gain, the wonderful sound of baby's heart beating, and a pleasant exchange with the health professional who will usher the baby into the world. After yesterday I have added one more thing to the list: not fainting.

I was at the doctor in the middle of a very tiring week of caring for a couple of sick kids. The doctor had scheduled me for an ultrasound and non-stress test because at 33 weeks we are to the point where we always hope things keep going along well and no unexpected problems arise. I had my ultrasound first, and I just love my ultrasound tech. She knows me by now, and she is not bored with seeing babies on that little black and white screen after all these years. She pointed out the baby's hair, and got some great shots of the baby's nose and lips, and we even saw the baby stick out her tongue.

After my ultrasound was done, she hooked me up to the baby monitors since the nurse was busy, so I could get started with my 20 minutes of watching the baby's heart rate rise and fall in response to her movements. I was so tired that it felt good to be reclining on the table listening to the heartbeat. Pretty soon I realized that the baby must be asleep because her heartbeat was a little low and she wasn't moving. And pretty soon I started to get the feeling that I get every once in a while, that the baby has crawled up past my diaphragm and is resting soundly on top of my lungs. It is horrible -- as though I am performing the usual actions required to breathe, but no air is getting inside of my lungs. I know I am breathing, but my crazy pregnant brain starts to get in a tiny panic that I cannot breathe!

Right about then my doctor came in to see that the baby hadn't moved, so he reclined the table back and jiggled her around a bit, well, not a bit, a whole lot. But she slept away. So he told me stay on the monitors a few more minutes to see if she would move. I was glad to stay on the monitors, as lots of movement and a fast heartbeat bring me great reassurance. I was however, already in a mini-panic that I could not breathe, and when he left, I was lying pretty flat on my back. Quickly I began to feel more short of breath. My heart rate was rising, but I thought I was just being crazy, so I tried to breathe and stay calm. That didn't work. In a minute, I started to feel hot and sweaty, and then I started seeing spots. By then I knew something was not right, but my brain was no longer making any sort of rational judgments. Soon my vision started going black, at which point I realized I was about to faint, which was when, thankfully, the doctor walked in just in time. I managed to say, "I don't feel so good."

He quickly got me on my side. My arms and hands felt like pins and needles and my whole body felt heavy, like I was pressed against the table. A few tears escaped because I was tired, and a little embarrassed, and it was just not how I had envisioned my morning. The nurse brought in some water and soda, and in a few minutes I felt better. The ultrasound showed everything was fine, so he took me off the monitors and said, "Next time, remind us not to let you lie on your back." Which I will be sure to do, because apparently I am one of the eight percent of pregnant women who experience supine hypotensive syndrome. It is nice knowing my little episode at the doctor's office has an official name. I don't feel quite so crazy, even though it is just a fancy way to say my blood pressure drops too low when I lie flat on my back.

After all that, I guess I could say that the visit was still a success. I had a very short wait, a lovely time with my ultrasound tech, I didn't gain any weight this week, I heard the (sleepy) heartbeat loud and clear, and I only almost fainted.

I still like my doctor, even though he almost let me succumb to the terrible grip of supine hypotensive syndrome. :) Besides, if I hadn't almost fainted all I would have to write about today is how a missing library book almost made me lose my mind, or how I had three tacos for dinner, or how Tums are my new best friend. An almost fainting story is much more exciting than all that.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

33 weeks and a couple questions

Today, after an interesting OB visit (which I hope to tell you about soon), during a week of caring for my influenza infected children, getting little sleep, while my husband is not home in the evenings because of some corporate training he has to attend, I head out to the local grocery store.

My mom was kind enough to keep my virus laden kids while I was at the doctor, and since whatever germs they brought with them were already in her house, she told me to go run out and do something. This suggestion reminded me that I wanted to pick up some raw honey for the kids' coughs.

So, my weak mind and tired body were in charge of pushing a cart around Giant for a few minutes, and then choosing what items went into that cart. I consider it a great victory that I managed to make it out of there with the raw honey, but some of the other contents now confuse me. Like why did I buy a six-count package of Ramen chicken soup? Or a single box of Stove Top and a Snack Sak of Teddy Grahams?

An even better question is why did I then decide it would be a good idea to go through the drive-through at Taco Bell and order a fully loaded nachos with extra guacamole, and then park my car in the parking lot and almost completely finish it all by my prego self?

I am a little deranged. And that simple statement, my friends, may possibly be the answer to all my questions.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

30 weeks

30 weeks means I am 3/4 of the way through.

30 weeks means I am 10 pounds away from what I want my maximum weight gain to be.

30 weeks means the baby is very still until I sit for a moment and then the manic performance of a Broadway musical ensues inside my belly.

30 weeks means I am surprised my belly is not bigger than it is.

30 weeks means 10 weeks until Christmas and I haven't started shopping.

30 weeks means I started weekly non-stress tests today, and when the doctor looked at the results he said, "It doesn't get much better than that!"

30 weeks means I love this baby with all my heart.

30 weeks means every week is a gift, and I am thankful.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Here is a sad case of baby plastic surgery gone bad.

She asked for just a little more fullness in her upper lip and this is what she got:

What a shame, what a shame.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


On Sunday I burned the pot of oatmeal. (The pot is still soaking. Apparently my no-scratch sponge is no match for burnt oatmeal.)

On Monday, I semi-burned some chicken fingers.

On Tuesday, I burned two eggs. Because when you put your breakfast in the pan, and then start school, forgetting that you have two eggs frying on the stove top, they burn.

Yesterday, burn free. Today, burn free, although after I fried my eggs this morning I forgot to turn off the burner, and it would have been on for quite some time if Adam hadn't seen it before he left for work.

You see, my brain function has been reduced to an embarrassingly low level by the condition I find myself in. Growing a human being is not easy on the brain. Well, it's not easy on my brain anyway.

Simple tasks become daunting perils. Movie plots confuse me, words fail me, and cooking has morphed into burning. It is sad, people.

But this state of stupid does yield a yummy smelling fuzzy head and chubby cheeks and a heiny that fits into ridiculously tiny diapers. I may not be a smart woman able to successfully cook oatmeal, but I bake up cute little babies.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

smells wonderful

After a couple of days in a bit of a sleepy fog and the resulting frustration that comes from the fog, I awoke Saturday morning to the lovely aromatic blend of brewing coffee, sizzling bacon, and homemade Belgian waffles. Well, actually I awoke to Katie tapping me on the shoulder to inform me that she hurt her toe on the "woffice," which from the delicious smells that then entered my nostrils, I interpreted to mean she had somehow hurt her toe on the waffle iron.

I made my way into the kitchen where my sweet husband was cooking away. As he served me my waffles and bacon he said, "I know you have been a bit down the past couple days, so I thought nothing better to cheer you up than some fried pork product and sweet bread."

He knows me so well. I'm pregnant. I'm Polish.

Fog, be gone! Food is served!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

beach time

Adam treated us to a nice long Labor Day weekend vacation at the beach. It was lovely. Not hurried or rushed, not too long or tiresome, with the perfect blend of sunny and cloudy days. We all enjoyed ourselves, being thankful to have a vacation when we thought this would be a year without our usual week at the shore.

I love this photo of Adam and Joey in the waves. While Joey loves playing where the surf meets the sand, he still has some fear of heading out into the deep blue, even if it is just waist deep. The possibility of a wave crashing over his head is still a bit too much for him to handle. But Daddy did what daddies do and took the man-child out to see how harmless a few waves are.

I love how Joey is holding on so tight with one arm, the other hand holding his nose. He stayed out in the waves only as long as Daddy made him, and then was happy to be back in his comfort zone.

While Katie was a little dare devil at the beach last year, she was older and wiser this year, and would not play in the surf without holding my hand, and at no point did I have to restrain her from walking out to sea. She loved playing in her little baby pool where the most popular toy was an empty dish soap bottle re-purposed as a squirt bottle.

Summer vacation gave us lots of smiles, but none as big as Katie's.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart. ~Celia Thaxter

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

where the (somewhat) wild things are

Today was the consonant m in our phonics lesson, so after searching the Internet for 27 seconds to find an m activity and discovering that I did have two paper bags under the sink much preparation we made monster masks in honor of the lovely /m/ sound.

Katie was particularly frightening with her hairy eyes and strange advertisement placement.

Joey had originally drawn a monster mouth full of scary green and black teeth,

but then chose to cut the mouth out because his monster really wanted to eat cucumbers and dip.

Even monsters need their veggies.

Monday, August 31, 2009

I say "smile"...

...they hear "suck in your bottom lip."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

my garage

My garage has been a mess forever. I bought a shelving/workbench unit when we first moved in, and placed things on its many surfaces, but the workbench has been just a big heaping mess for quite a while now. We had put into place no way to hang the garden tools and fishing rods and ladders and all the other garage stuff.

Yesterday we attacked with all our might and got it done. Pegboard up, additional fishing supplies shelf hung, 2x4s screwed into the wall to hang garden tools, work bench cleared, garbage disposed of, floors swept, mouse droppings removed, all done.

But this post is not about how clean my garage is, but is instead about what a dork I am because I do believe I have gone out in the garage and looked at the finished product no less than ten times. Just to look, and stare, and behold what is a project that will last for more than five minutes, two hours, overnight.

Dishes -- never done. Laundry -- never done. Cleaning -- never done. But my garage is done. That feels really good.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

homeward bound

Last night at church Adam borrowed a friend's GPS so he could check it out. Joey asked me what daddy was putting on the windshield and I explained to him what it was and what it did. Joey looked at me a bit quizzically and asked,
"Oh? Did Daddy forget the way home?"

He cracks me up :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

all is well


I still want to blog, but all my brain power is either sucked away by the sweet little baby growing inside me or by the new task of homeschooling.

We started two weeks ago, and I have started this blog to journal our little homeschooling journey. Well, we'll see how long I keep it up.

I will still post here. I think. Maybe.

Hope you are having a great Monday. I need to go make dinner now. Parmesan crusted chicken - the recipe off of the Hellman's jar. If you haven't made it, you should. It is yummy, I promise.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

at the beach

When we told Katie we were going to go to the beach, she excitedly told us how we would see "sea lions, and dolphins, and elephants!" I had her repeat the list to me a few time before I realized those are the three animal pictured on the gray page in her book of colors.

We didn't see any sea lions, or dolphins, or elephants, but we had a great weekend trip to Cape May, NJ. We spent our days on the bay side, which is great for the kids with the calm, shallow water.

Joey loved the water, and Katie did too. I loved that Katie took a nap right on the beach blanket.

At one point in the day, I watched Adam play in the water with both Joey and Kate, and as I enjoyed the scene of my three favorite people, a little kick in my belly gave me a smile--almost like my fourth favorite person didn't want to be left out of all those ooey-gooey feelings of love.

Next year, there will be three kids in the picture. I am twenty weeks into this pregnancy, and it still surprises sometimes that I will soon have three children running around. But at the same time, I can't wait for that new baby smell, and a fuzzy little head nestled under chin. However, new baby means winter and Christmas and I am ready for neither, so I will delight in these warm, summer days, where the children don't outnumber my hands yet.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

sounds perfectly reasonable

Yesterday evening I was folding laundry on my bed while Joey was in the tub in our master bathroom. He was having a great time splashing around with his plastic dinosaur figures. Ranny, the tyrannosaurus rex, was getting the most play time as Joey made him perform acrobatic dives into the tub again and again. It was great entertainment while I folded the laundry. Then there was a break in the splashes, a quiet moment, and I hear:

"Mom, do they kill baby dinosaurs and then paint them to make these toys?"

Can you just imagine those cold-hearted dinosaur farmers painting all the poor, slaughtered dino-babies? I mean, you'd think there would be an easier, more humane and cost-effective way to produce toys for all the dinosaur loving children in the world.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

painted faces

Friday was the last night of VBS and the much anticipated festival. Joey had a super time, especially since Adam was able to come because of his new job schedule. At the face painting booth Joey asked to have flames painted on his cheeks so he would look like a fire-breathing dragon.

Katie wasn't able to participate in many activities except eating popcorn all evening long and getting a flower painted on her cheek.

(that's popcorn in her cup)

All the teachers and volunteers did a great job, and made a fun and memorable evening (and week) for all the kids. I am so thankful for all the hours they gave to make it possible.

Friday, July 24, 2009

one tomato

It is times like these, when posting a photo of the first tomato picked from my garden, that I realize what a dork I am.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


We made this poster yesterday to welcome Adam home after he had been away for two weeks to participate in a corporate training program in Columbus, Ohio.

The kids each picked out a piece of poster board to make their daddy a welcome home poster. Katie picked out the red, but when it came time to create, she fizzled out after the little orange scribble at the bottom of the board, so I helped her finish. Don't you love how the tracing of my right foot highlights my beautiful bunion? Ick.

Joey picked out yellow and on one side drew a picture of a huge ocean liner, and on the other he inscribed a lovely message to tape to the front door to greet Adam when he arrived home.

Obviously there was a slight lack of forethought as he began the greeting, but Adam had no doubt that he was indeed welcome. And Adam was certain that the poster was truly intended for him because Joey was sure to write Dad M. It really is best to include a last name initial when welcoming your dad into his own home, just in case another dad would come to the door and see the poster and be confused.

So, welcome home Dad M. Our family just isn't complete without you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

pool in a cooler

What perfectly normal, not weird activities do your children find to do on a beautiful summer evening?

Catch fireflies?
Ride bikes up and down dusky sidewalks?
Relax on a blanket and watch the stars come out?

My children fill up a cooler with the dirty water that has been in the kiddie pool for far too long

jump in with their clothes on

and enjoy!

Which is why I ask what normal and not weird things your children do, because very rarely do my children do the normal thing, and very often they are weird. I'm pretty weird too, so we make great company. (I don't jump in coolers full of dirty pool water though.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

on the cob

It is summer. Corn on the cob is certainly a yummy summer treat. Corn straight from the farm (or from the bin sitting in the produce section at your local Giant supermarket.) Either way, yum.

And because photos of my children eating corn are much more cute than pictures of me eating corn, I give you these:

Kate started on the cob

but quickly decided the grab and shove method was much more efficient.

Joey was actually telling an animated story in the first shot, but that was basically how excited he was to eat the corn.

After we were done dinner, I cut the corn off five more cobs. Any creamed corn, corn casserole, corn-y favorite recipes I should make with it? Please tell me all about it.

Monday, July 6, 2009


So I said I would let you know about the big change in our family, and a week later I am finally getting around to it.

The big change is......................................we are getting a new health insurance provider!

(Ok, not such a big change, but there's more)

And.......................Adam ordered new business cards! And...........Adam's work hours have changed from all sorts of long nights to now 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. And Adam's commute only takes five minutes now instead of twenty-five. And I am sure by now you have guessed that Adam got a new job!!!!!!!!

That might not seem like such a big change, but for our family it is. But more than a big change, it is a big answer to prayer, and a big display of God's grace and blessing on our family.

Adam had worked at his previous job for seven years, and for seven years it provided for our family's needs, provided health care, put us in a place to build our current home, and for most of that time, was where we believed God wanted Adam to be. Adam used his position as much as possible to be a witness and testimony for Christ. The hours, however, were long. Every Monday and Wednesday Adam wasn't home until nine o'clock, and most Fridays he was also home between eight and nine. Saturday he was scheduled until six, but would often have to stay later. It was a schedule we were accustomed to and had made work for our family, but as the kids got bigger, it was more difficult to be satisfied with three days a week of very little time for the kids to see their daddy, and little time for Adam to be with his kids.

We were always happy to have our family day on Thursday, Adam's day off, but after he became manager, we started to not have that on the last week of every month. In addition to the work environment becoming more crazy and stressful, and the opportunity for advancement coming to an end, the time away from family prompted Adam to begin to look for other opportunities that would provide a position with room for advancement, more hours at home in the long run, as well as a job that would allow him to still be a witness and have a sphere of influence.

To make a long story short, Adam had his first interview in February, and through much prayer, help and guidance from some wise friends and family, lots of hard work and study, and most certainly with the grace and mercy of God, Adam started his new job last week! We both give all the praise and glory to the Lord.

Last week he was home just a few minutes after five every night! That might not seem like it deserves an exclamation point, but in my life it does :) And he had off on Friday because Saturday was a holiday, something that would have never happened at his old job. It has been so wonderful! Our time in the evening as a family is relaxed and unrushed. Adam has been able to help me out with some tasks he had never had time for before. The kids love having their daddy around more, especially Joey, who loves his dad more than anything.

I have just read over this post and it really doesn't do a great job of conveying how thankful I am for this blessing of God, and what an exciting time this is for us. It is wonderful, it really, really is, and if I were a better writer, you would have a better grasp of how I am feeling, but I am not a better writer, so I hope my mediocre explanation gives you just enough to know that this is a change, it is big (to us), and we are happy.

The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
Psalm 126:3

Thursday, July 2, 2009

crafting excellence

Katie's discovery of the joy of glue has produced beauties such as this:


You're underwhelmed?

You don't consider a popsicle stick, four cotton balls, some torn-up pieces of a Klondike bar wrapper, and two water ice wooden spoons glued to an almost whole piece of construction paper crafting greatness?

Well, you are entitled to your own opinion.

Just don't tell Katie. I told her it was beautiful, and she believed me.

Monday, June 29, 2009

a new week

Today I am digging out from under the layer of mess that is spread over just about every room of my house. Last week was vacation for our family, a vacation at home with lots of family fun, and I didn't cook all week - yay! There is a big change in our family right now, and I will (hopefully, probably) tell you all about it soon, but not today because I must remove much filth, and I promised Joey we would start doing "school" again and he is not letting me forget it. I hope you have a terrific Monday with this beautiful summer weather.


Sunday, June 21, 2009


As a little girl, my mom always made a point of getting us excited when Daddy would come home. Soon, we were excited without any encouragement from mom. The sound of Daddy's car pulling in the driveway was the signal for a daily ritual that continued for years. If I heard him soon enough, I would bolt out the front door, run to the driveway and leap into his arms. He would then flip me around backwards while holding my hands, and I would sail to the ground, landing on my feet in what I believed to be true gymnast fashion. Then I would spring up to a standing position, and throw my hands in the air with a "Ta-da!"

If Daddy made it inside the house before I heard him coming, this same run, jump, and flip would take place in the living room. I loved our daily flip, my chance to be the gymnast I was sure I really was. But mostly, I just loved that Dad was home. When I think of my childhood, one of the strongest emotional impressions left on my mind is how much I loved my dad. He nurtured that love and made it grow.

I can remember him being proud of me, enjoying the girl that I was. During field day in the third grade, I jumped over six feet in the standing broad jump, and that just thrilled my dad. I won the blue ribbon for the girls in my grade, jumping even farther than most of the boys, and he got the biggest kick out it. He loved that I was this powerhouse of a nine-year-old girl, and I was so pleased that he was there to celebrate with me.

What is neat though, is that 22 years later, I see him get that same pleasure out of my children. He delights in who they are. Dad has always been thoroughly entertained by Joey's zest and excitement. He has always said Joey has "no lack of enthusiasm." And as he watches Katie go about in her rough and tumble way, her adventurous spirit brings him all sorts of smiles and laughs. Watching my children love my dad, and seeing my dad love my children, has grown a whole new aspect of love in my heart for my dad.

And how sweet is it to see Katie run over to him, wrap her arms around his legs, and ask for a flip. He picks her up, and together they perform the same acrobatic display of love, that I shared with Dad so many years ago. She doesn't always stick the landing, but she has a great "Ta-da!"

I love you, Dad. Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

a princess and a toad

Katie may love being my beautiful princess, but timid and dainty she is not. On Monday, when Joey, Kate and I were finally getting the last of the vegetable seeds in the garden, Katie enjoyed finding all the worms wriggling around in the dirt. She then walked around with a bunch of worms in both hands -- big, fat-from-living-in-a-compost-pile worms. She was undaunted.

She also didn't mind picking up and carrying around those crunchy, brown centipede-ish bugs (the ones the curl up into a coil when they die), although I did mind just a tiny bit when she brought them into the house to show them to me. I don't really like touching those things, but my sweet girl, was intrigued and pleased to handle all the creepy crawlies.

Today, when I found a toad in the lot next door, I thought she would be interested to check it out, but I soon discovered she was more than interested. She was in love.

(I do believe that is what a toad looks like when he is fearing for his life)

She was in tears when it was Joey's turn to hold the poor little guy. And when it was her turn to have a chance to make the toad's life flash before his eyes, she loved every second. He survived all the extreme girl-handling and the occasional squeeze-and-drop.

But he got a few kisses out of it, so I think it was worth it.
Even if he didn't turn into a prince.