Tuesday, August 28, 2012

a little (?) for you

Well I could just about eat her up.

When I got off the phone with her coach, I told Cambria what time her practices were, that she needed to bring a ball and that her coach  was Miss Pam.  Her little face took in all the details and she burst out:

"Oh MOM.  I need to go pick out what I'm going to wear!"

I love having a little girl!

(That's always the first thing I think of too.)

*  *  *

Okay, I have a question for you guys who read what I scribble here. 

You know how there are bloggers who write but also post often, daily, links, articles, music, quotes, etc. 

I have really taken this blog down the writing road, choosing to use my facebook account for the short and sweet stuff, but sometimes I wonder about syncing some of that. 

What do you think? 

(Tell me what you think, I'm listening.)

when sleeping through the night isn't happy

It was a beautiful day to spend at the zoo today. . .

it was such a crazy long week and weekend . . .without my man. . . 

normally Monday is not a day I would relish, but today was different because we spent it with Daniel.

We spent some time watching Daniel's work and then spent the entire day at the zoo with him.  It was so fun.  I didn't want to come home.

Coming home would force me to face what was really on my mind. . .

Gabe slept through the night three nights in a row.  He slept through the fourth night, too and never woke up.

I have avoided and avoided teaching Eli to sleep through the night but the time has come for my sanity and his.

Tonight is Eli's fourth night.

I dragged and dragged my feet.

I let him get in the pool.

He had a bath. 

I sorted out pajamas for him.

I let him crawl all over our bed naked.  (he loves being naked)

He said goodnight to his peeps aka JD and Cambria.

I got my dumb camera phone out and made Daniel take a bunch of pictures of him.

He's so stinking cute.

Daniel started calling him "Bacon" today.

 And then I kissed his little self all over and put him in bed.

How do you ever have enough time???

You don't, that's all.

I plodded downstairs to piles of laundry to fold and children who wouldn't go to bed and were coming up with fantabulous stall tactics.

changing bed sheets.

(mom, i had a bloody nose on the sheet.) (why am I just now finding out about this?!)

oiling the fan.

it's squeaky.

I thought they were in bed and I sat down on the couch to try to manage my tattered emotions and what do you know. . . there the two little people were.  Looking at books just as chill as you please. 

Dad told us we could look at books because we're going to rub his back.

I'd like to pretend that a cherishing the moment mentality was present, but it wasn't and they were sent off to bed on no uncertain terms.

I started folding all the little pieces of clothing, bright summer colors and sturdy little jeans, bigger than Gabe's ever were, and I realize that I'm not really scared for Eli.

He's quite okay.

I am nervous, yes, because it's a milestone that snuck up on me, but what it's really about is Gabe.  It's that little deja vu feeling of normal happy evening, put the baby in bed, wake up in the morning and oh, the world crashed in today.

I don't want the world to come crashing in again tomorrow morning.

It won't my stronger, farther-in-the-healing-process psyche assures me.  But my heart falters and I cry as I fold the socks and the shorts and wish for the laughter that I won't hear again.

The grainy phone pictures. . . what were those about? If it was really Eli's last night, we would hardly settle for snapshots of him with poor quality lighting.  But it's not about Eli, it's about missing Gabe and wishing I would have taken another photo, had a recording of his chuckles, kissed and kissed and kissed him again.

The powerful presence of God through music is something that I will never underestimate.  While I was battling and wishing and sorting laundry through the tears, the words in the quiet background music spoke, no, shouted to my heart.

Here I am
Begging for certainty again
But simple trust
Is what you're asking me to give
If I am saved
You tell me it will not be by sight
So when I pray
I'll close my eyes, I'll close my eyes

I'll reach for your hand in the night
When the shadows swallow the light
'Cause I'm giving up, giving in
Once again a childlike faith
Is my only way
To see in the dark

The question mark
Hung at the end of every fear
Is answered by
The promise that you are with me here
And that's all I've got
When the lights go out and I lose my way
So I'll close my eyes
I won't be afraid, I won't be afraid

As I reach for your hand in the night
When the shadows swallow the light
'Cause I'm giving up, giving in
Once again a childlike faith
Is my only way
To see in the dark

If every star falls and the sun fails to rise
Still in my blindness I'll see
If You are my help, my hope and my vision
One step at a time You will lead
(Jason Gray)

Shadows. . .

Sunshine. . .

What a crazy world we live in, so much joy and so much pain.

Tonight I pray this for my little chubby son, the words written above his bed:

I will lie down in peace and sleep, because You alone O Lord make me dwell in safety.
(Psalm 4:8)

You are the Way, the Truth, the LIFE and the only way to see in the dark.

Monday, August 27, 2012

(why we don't have a picture of me kissing the van)

Oh, I forgot, I have a blog.

All is going swimmingly and that's just such.a.good.thing right now. 

Good for me usually is synonymous with busy and that leaves little time for thinking. Thinking leads to writing for me.  No thinking = no blogging.   Just click "unfollow" and take me off your visited link list if I start writing endless details about boring details of my life.

Or start posting twenty consecutive pictures of my kids smiling.  Or sleeping.  Or swimming.

Speaking of pictures. . .

I don't have a camera right now and it's a very long story.  You don't want to hear it.  Well, you do, but you don't.

Let me abbreviate it.

We bought a van.  It is sweet.  It is actually beautiful. 

(I wanted Daniel to take a picture of me kissing it, but I was afraid to ask him because he was still rubbing the hurt place near his wallet pocket.)

Then we immediately took the van on a weekend trip.  It was like Heaven on wheels.  Our travel conversation was full of me blessing Dave Ramsey for making us save and drive a bomb until we could actually pay cash and apologizing for yelling about the bomb and saying Daniel was amazing and thanking him for making me stick to our budget and telling him he's awesome. . . but this is the abbreviated version of why I don't have a camera, so I digress.

(It's hard for me to abbreviate anything.)

We parked Heaven-on-Wheels in the driveway at the beautiful home of T & L.

We ate amazing shish kabobs and drank amazing coffee.

We slept in an amazing guest room.

We woke to amazing bacon and more amazing coffee.

We saw an amazing photo-op for the little cousins and headed to the van for the camera, which had been placed in the center console the previous day.

NOTE: "Locked the amazing van" is not present in this sequence of events.

After an hour of frantic searching trying to disguise as casual looking (wondering the entire time if I was truly the most disorganized person on the planet), I humbled myself and asked Daniel if he knew where the camera was.

Oh I think it's in my laptop case.

Where's that?

On the floor by Eli's carseat.

Suddenly it was all very clear to me, since the laptop case was not in the van at all, that some happy thug was miles away with my camera and Daniel's laptop.

*small group would want me to note the theft of the Love & Respect leader material

*I personally want to note the theft of the SD card with the only pictures of my 30th birthday;  since now there is no record of it happening, I am still 29

*the kids would want me to note the additional theft of The Incredibles DVD

(Can you tell we had to file a police report?)

Daniel walked around and moped for awhile saying stuff like

"I betcha no one would have tried to steal anything out of the old van! Why did I buy a new vehicle?"


"From now on I don't want to hear anyone making fun of anyone who locks their vehicles!"  *dark looks directed at me*


"I hate sin, sin ruins everything"

(he tends to get really righteous in the face of adversity)

until Tim decided what the day needed was some ice cream and Lazy River time.

That helped quite a bit.

The end of the story is that Daniel's laptop is replaced, the Love & Respect material replaced, and The Incedibles DVD loss graciously forgiven by the library. 

There was a recent sighting of Daniel in our driveway installing a padlock on his truck box with more noise and force than necessary saying "I hate sin, sin ruins everything."

And this girl right here who has previously laughed her head off at paranoid lockers is locking.

But I am in the market for a camera.

(So I can take a picture of me kissing the van.  I am that thankful for it.)

Saturday, August 11, 2012


vignette: a small pleasing picture or view

"A child won't notice"
is a very bad and untrue thing to admit into your mind.

A child will be affected by originality, beauty and creativity.
And a child in a Christian home should connect being in communication with the Creator God
with having been made creative, in His image.

Rather than being squashed out it should be enhanced and developed
because of being in a Christian home,
not in spite of it!
Edith Schaeffer, Hidden Art of Homemaking, pg.74

I read Edith Schaeffer's insightful book on art, design, homemaking and the Christian long ago, before marriage and children, and little bits of it float into my consciousness from time to time;  I pulled it out today and scanning it I am surprised by how much it influenced me.

This vignette thing my kids do. . . not original with me.  But it's so fun and that's why I'm passing it along.

We have spots for centerpieces on our coffee table (living room)  and on our dining room table.  These are places where the most mundane of items can be set on display, where our own house can be a museum and a place to thoughtfully consider

a jar of pencils

two rocks (hopefully not snitched from the landscaping project of someone else)

flower arrangements

tiny globes

words on scrabble tiles (i love you, jd rocks, o how He loves us)

cap gun

pretty jar of jellybeans

tiny toy animals.

Sometimes I arrange them, but not often.  My ratio is usually 1:beauty 1:functionality 1:quirky and it is amazing how the kids pick up and this and will create their own or add to mine.

Yes, that is a giraffe harnessed to the wagon.  No, that was not my idea.

I love that my home is my canvas and that I am married to a guy who lets me paint with broad brushstrokes. . . but I want to be that way for my kids too.  Too often I find myself squashing creativity (don't put the giraffe in the wagon, giraffes don't pull wagons);  when stopping

and thinking

and considering

can lead to great little conversations and windows into my kids' hearts.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

oh, vbs

I wish I could remember more about this iconic summer event from my own childhood, but sadly, the only thing that comes to mind is a vague recollection of puppets,  Kool-Aid and a musty church basement smell.

Well that, and the thing that I really remember. . .

You know, those VBS offerings. . .  always going to a mission project.  Our kids are giving toward a well for an orphanage in Africa this week.  My VBS experience was no different. . . except I asked Mom and Dad for money instead of giving my own.  I must have been really naughty young, because I took the dollar bill they gave me and the dollar bill designated for Caleb, my brother, into the back yard.  At my direction, we cut both dollars up in strips and used them for tickets to play amusement park. We even fed them through the slats in the fence.  (It felt like we were putting them in a pop machine.) 

Poor Dad.  He about went through the roof.  I think we had to go gather all the strips from the neighbor's yard.  I do remember offering to tape them back together, but Dad said that just wouldn't work.

I take full responsibility for this wastefulness.  (not your fault, bro.)  What can I say, I guess I've always been creative. 

Our kids are having a blast this week at VBS.  It is one of the highlights of their year. There is just so much work that goes into events like this and I'm so thankful to belong to such a church . . . full of so many selfless people who want to serve the community and especially children. 

So fun.

And so far nobody has scissored their offering money.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

top 10 from this week

Top Ten Highlights from my week.

1.  Running out of Drugtown* with a loaf of bread for pb & j and running into Janice, who works for MFD; she gave me this to replay all.week.long: "Hey you look like you've lost weight! You look great!"  I love you Janice!!

*PS Drugtown refers to a drugstore.  My family always freaks out when I say that I ran to Drugtown.  They think we could come up with a less-ominous sounding name.  It's true, we could.

2. Vying for second place is the Robin Mark worship concert we were able to go to share in. I am always so overwhelmed by the way his music moves his listeners to worship Jesus.  Definite favorite from this concert was the song that follows.  Daniel reached over and squeezed my shoulder hard as Robin Mark sang about some only stay for a brief passing moment; and my whole soul just bursts as I listen to all the claims of Jesus that I believe.  Awe-inspiring worship. 

The concert had some funny moments involving some flag-waving audience members (you gotta love us Christians and our semi-weird sub-cultures) that had us googling Tim Hawkins when we got home. If it weren't for the sheer logistical impossibility, I would think that the worship javelin part came directly from Thursday night.

*and for those wondering. . . I'm from that genre of people who need the hand raising lessons, so this is hysterical to me.  I just.can't.unglue.my hands from my sides.

3. Three whole days with Aunt E, Kamie & Blake.  We crammed a ton of sister/cousin time in!

4. Last Love & Respect class.  Totally teared up listening to each one share what God has taught them.  Super special summer group.

5. Witnessing the awesomeness that is Loren. . . seriously, she has to steal all the fun mom awards.  Jace's bd party: Drive in movie theater (they built each child a car out of boxes) in the back yard. So so so cute.  She even gave them dollar bills  for concessions.  Mmm. . . our kids are so blessed to have Pastor Jake and Loren in their lives. 

6. Reading this hilariously funny book on parenting. 

It's very very secular but I am fascinated by how many Biblical principles are woven throughout the book; God so knows what He's doing.  Pamela Druckerman is a gifted writer and I feel like I get to visit Paris in between the rest of the things I have going on this week.

7. We got our Chick-Fil-A on:

oh yeah.

8. I'm sorry, but this whole chalkboard paint thing. . . is this to 2012 what orange shag carpet was to 1972? I can't change. I love it. I want it everywhere.

9.  And doesn't this just look like something worth blowing your diet for?!

I saw it on pinterest last week and just had to try it out. I don't make cakes- they always flop for me- but this one looked worth risking failure again.  I even had to go buy layer cake pans.  Anyway, the Domestic Rebel's (what kind of name is that, anyway?) recipe was way too complicated, and though I'm not a domestic rebel, I shortened this up a lot. 

Yellow cake mix, according to package directions + stir in one pkg. vanilla pudding

Bake in two round layer cake pans.


Mix cookie dough filling:

1 stick butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 c. flour
3 T. milk
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

*{this is the topping for Deeann's infamous cookie dough brownies- credit where credit is due}

I pressed the cookie dough into waxed paper lined round cake pan and then flopped it on top of layer #1, topped with layer #2 and then frosted.


1 can cream cheese frosting
3 T. brown sugar
2 T. flour
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, for sprinkling

Mix well and spread onto cake. Top with chocolate chips.

So I think this will be good.  Each individual component has been delish, but I haven't sampled a whole piece yet.  It's chilling in the fridge, waiting for Sunday dinner. 

10. Totally rocked my school planning prep. There's this little thing called Form A that you have to fill out and turn into your school district as well as each students course of study for the year.  It's a little daunting but since I planned everything in APRIL  it took me about ten minutes to do the paperwork.  I am not bragging.  It is not bragging when a normally disorganized person has a small moment of organizational triumph. You just sort of bask in it, feeling calm and wondering if this is the way organized people feel all the time.  You do this until something clatters out of the cupboard because you stuffed it there (while you were planning the school stuff in April).

Happy Weekend!