Thursday, August 25, 2005

you are invited. yes, YOU!!

Please come see me at my new blog.
I would miss you if you didn't!
Just click on the title line just above(you are invited...) - it's a link :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Do you ever do this?

Do you ever shake up the bottle of orange juice and then open it and then have to do something else and then come back in a few minutes and FORGET that you have already shaken the bottle of orange juice AND opened it (although you DO have this tiny red-flag feeling that you can't quite put your finger on but you ignore it, big mistake) so you pick it up thinking "I am so glad I have a brand new bottle of Orange Juice. I love orange juice in the morning" and you shake it and orange juice goes flying everywhere because the lid was on there but open?

Yes. This morning. I did that. It did make a mess. I handled it well. I was so proud of that.

Oh, and then do you ever do this?

Do you ever take a shower at night and go to bed with wet hair and wake up looking like Moses coming off the mountain (thanks, Kelli) and think "who cares? I'm not going anywhere" and then your sweet husband calls and says he's going to be late and can you meet him at the mall to take the girls to ballet and so then you go to town looking like a homeless person?

I really need more self discipline. I need to make myself look presentable in the morning even if no one but my kids are going to see me all day.

No picture today. Sorry.

Make sure you got clean underwear, she always said, in case you get in an accident & I always figured that'd be the least of my worries, but now I'm older & I see there's a lot you can't control & some you can control & clean underwear is one of those you can. For the most part.
B. Andreas

Monday, August 22, 2005


With all that I have to do, please don't ask me why I decided to reorganize all of my ribbon.

It does look pretty, though, doesn't it?

I think my sweet husband is a little overwhelmed by this display of ribbon. I kind of don't blame him. The problem is, if I can't see it, it may as well be gone. It's just the way I am.

And it makes me smile.

I don't know who that guy is on TV. Almost all I watch is the Food channel and he doesn't look like he's is so full of mysteries...

The Lord is faithful to all his promises
and loving toward all he has made.
Psalms 145:13

18 words.

"Go sit on the couch and see if you see anything disgusting that we can do something about."

Eighteen words. One of those sentences I never ever thought I'd say to my child.

A sweet friend called the other morning to say that she was bringing me lunch. She wanted to visit me and get caught up on life. Yay!

But even at it's cleanest, this house is a horror. Boo!

So we did some picking up and stashing....and then the sentence. Because, truly, there are some things here that we just cannot do anything about.

Except leave. And one sweet day, we will do just that. Yay.

I have told you these things,
so that you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart!
I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

open wide your mouth.

Yesterday at the park we had an ice-cream party with the 4-H group. I really didn't want to go....foot still hurts.

But THEN I thought - pictures! A photo opportunity changes everything. Sore ankle and all I packed up the kids, drove through Mc Donald's (yuk), and met Doug at the park and had an afternoon of 4-H kids and pictures.

In other news, I started physical therapy today. Ouch. For 30 minutes I had a person making me do all the things I have tried NOT to do for the last 10 days. Point, flex, turn in, turn out, push, pull. Now it's really sore, but it will probably be uphill from here.

Oh, and by the way, all the other people at the PT place? In shape. Rehabilitating from sports-related injuries. Fit. Strong. Skinny. Not making faces in pain, even though something probably does hurt. And then there's me...a slug. Making faces as a skinny person named Mimi tortures me by making me point my toes. Yes, my injury is also sports-related BUT the sport was 27 years ago when I was also fit, strong, and skinny. Next time I will at least have all of my kids so I can say, "All this fat - a badge of honor - from having 4 babies."

Who am I kidding? I have got to get this weight off. I've had my last baby. My last near-100-pound weight gain. I've gotta get moving.

After the physical therapy is over.

I am the Lord your God,
who brought you up out of Egypt.
Open with your mouth and I will fill it.
Psalm 81:10

Sunday, August 14, 2005


In the Kingman kitchen.
Cody: Daddy, what are you making?
Daddy: I'm making trouble. :)
Cody: Ewwww! I don't eat trouble!
Smart boy.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34

Thursday, August 11, 2005

got that foot up.

For the last 10 years I have not:
ice skated
roller skated
snow skiied
bungee jumped
sky dived
you get the picture.

I avoid stuff that has obvious potentially painful consequences. Whenever something like that comes up I say "no, thanks" because I don't want to end up on crutches or paralyzed with 4 kids.

Not really much of a sacrifice because I'm a big chicken and no daredevil. I'd say no to driving over bridges, too. But then I'd never get home again.

So how is it that my kids are running wild while I keep my foot elevated and my crutches nearby?

Twenty-seven years ago I had an horseback riding accident and now I am dealing with it again. Surgery this week because when I was twelve years old, I didn't plan ahead to having four kids at home.....some things cannot be prevented, I guess.

Nothing funny here today. Just a fat foot and a Mama who is doing the bare minimum to keep little people alive and nourished until her foot heals.

And maybe a little scrapping.

Many are the plans in a man's heart,
but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21

**Edited To Add** I wrote a semi-poem about it.
I don't usually share my poems,
you'll see why.

I can actually feel it getting fatter.
it tingles
fluid going in
not coming out
the bandaids get tighter
totally conflicted with whether to do mom stuff
or keep it up.
so I do both and it swells

Friday, August 05, 2005

you really CAN use too much baking soda.

Need I say more?
My cake.
My big surprise that only Jolie knew about and boy was she so excited to keep that secret from everyone else until after dinner.
It FLOODED out of the cake pan and into the oven.
Twice the baking soda does not = twice the fun.

I figured out what I did.
I was doubling my 1/2 teaspoon measure (in my mind).
But I actually doubled the ONE teaspoon.
Amazing stuff, that baking soda.

I'd rather move than clean all that out of the oven.
(But I'd just like to move anyway, so that's not anything new...)
Ugh. I was gonna make some other stuff in the oven after it came out!
Wah again.

Friday nights used to be so different.

He must become greater; I must become less. John 3:30

too busy to be famous.

Again, I have decided not to enter a contest that I would surely win if I just took the time to prepare an entry.

Okay, first. I am kidding about saying I would surely win. But surely you already knew that. Surely.

Second, this isn't the first time that I have realized that if I am to busy to prepare even a quick entry, I am too busy to be "famous" if I won. So MMM will have one less stellar entry in their stack of wannabe Masters.

I am conflicted about this because it's more fun on call day if I have entered...except for the time I entered the Mara-mi album contest and they had NINE COUNT 'EM NINE prizes and I still got ignored....that wasn't very exciting...but I digress. (Isn't this whole thing basically a big digression?)

I do plan to enter the Chatterbox contest. I love their papers and I love to do meaningful writing. (Yes, I realize that my desire to write meaningfully isn't just super obvious today, but trust me on this one.)

{an aside} It seems I am feeling quite parenthetical today.

So, anyway, no MMM for me.

Today's verse reminds me of that very beautiful song, "Held." It is one that was sent to me this week as an encouragement. Thanks, Holly!!

So don't worry, beacuse I am with you. Don't be afraid, because I am
your God. I will make you strong and will help you; I will support you
with my right hand that saves you.

Isaiah 41:10

Sunday, July 31, 2005

in case.

Just in case I am missed.....
tomorrow's Monday
the first day of the crazy week I have been
afraid of.
in the morning we will go to the LSS to teach the last Kid's Camp class
(I think I may have to take my little boys, hmmmm....)
Finish Darby's 4-H projects (not MY projects, but stressful just the same)
Meet with anesthesioligist for next week's surgery (I tried to do this over the go)
VBS in the evening
Baby's crying.
Goodnight, tiny blog audience.
Sleep tight.

I don't have time to look up a verse - maybe you could give me one just this time :)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

my kitchen window garden.

Today I shined my sink. Hot soapy water & bleach, then dried it and buffed it to a shine. It smells wonderful. It looks beautiful. It makes me happy. I'm easy.

Then I started my kitchen window garden. I didn't plan it or anything, it just sort of "happened." I like when things like that "just happen" because the perfectionist in me doesn't usually realize what's going on until it's all over.

All I was going to do was cut some sunflowers from outside. Perfect timing because the gladiolas are just done blooming for the year.

Then Jolie and Cody brought me some of those pink and purple flowers (I forget what they are - wonderful perennials that require no maintenance at all) and a few marigolds (the marigolds I planted to deter rabbits from my garden before the little rabbit family took up permanent residence there).

Darby picked me some purple clover on her way to mail Kelli's "David" LO (do photo swaps usually take this long? I'm guessing they don't - sorry!). BTW, the purple clover means someone needs to mow, but complaints here, I'm just glad things are growing again after the drought.

There are a couple of leftover gladiolas up there, too.

All of this in my kitchen window in my special little bottles. Unplanned and completely imperfect.

Makes me happy. :)

"I will plant Israel in their own land,
never again to be uprooted
from the land I have given them,"
says the Lord your God.
Amos 9:15

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


I just put Corey down for a nap.
He gets so disappointed - heartbroken? - when I do that.
Like I have rejected him
The sadness usually only lasts a minute or so.

And I thought...
wouldn't it be cool
if someone carried me to my safe,
comfy bed
and lay me down
and whispered night-night...
and then they quietly left me to rest for just a little while
in a cool,
That person might whisper
to another person
on the way out
that they hope I fall right to sleep
and have a good nap.
And if I didn't go right to sleep,
if I cried and fought the sleep that I needed,
that person would hold me
for a few minutes
and kiss me and
rock me in the special
brown chair
next to my bed.
And I would feel so loved
and comforted and safe...
and sleepy...
and I would rest.

What if someone did this for me?

It would be lovely.

Jesus tells me to rest in Him.
Better even than just physically being comforted,
I can lay my burdens
on Him and he will make my load
He comforts my soul.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30

Monday, July 25, 2005

avoid the chatter.

I've been thinking about this lately. And then here's this verse. It speaks a lot to me because I believe that the bible is absolutely true. Those who don't share my belief, well, this wouldn't mean much to them. Okay.

I have been really using that "ignore" button on the Two Peas message board lately. Whoever thought of that is a pretty smart pea. :)

Avoid godless chatter,
because those who indulge in it
will become more and more ungodly.
2 Timothy 2:16

Saturday, July 23, 2005

a good sign.

Inside out underwear.

This is a good sign that Cody has obeyed me when I asked him to please try to go potty even though he preferred to wait ("I already went today. Not now, Mama.").

Right now it's inside out. Underwear worn backwards is also a good sign.

May the words of my mouth and
the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalms 19:14

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

48-plus hours.

It's not all that long if you think about it that way. I'm going to be gone for just a little over 48 hours. And I'm supposed to have fun. I am planning to have fun. I will try to have fun. Fun.

But I am Mama and Mama is supposed to be closer to her babies than 3 hours away. Okay, so that doesn't even sound all that far. Three hours. Not far.

So, I'm not going to be gone very long and it's not that far away. What's the big deal then? Well, something tears at my heart to think of leaving. To think that someone might need me. Or I might need them. Or I might need Doug. He's the only person on this planet that understands me. What if I am misunderstood?

And then there's the whole safety thing. What if something happens to someone while I'm gone? Or what if something happens to me? It turns my stomach to think of my kids growing up without me....

One time a very wise friend reminded me that God is just as much in control of my life whether I am on the ground or in the air (the fear of bridges thing). My being in control is an illusion. Whether I am in Chicago at CHA or here in our little house out in the corn, God is taking care of my family and me.

I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you
on the palms of my hands...
Isaiah 49:15-16

Sunday, July 03, 2005

mama, these are my favorite worms.

So far, since we've been back from our Texas trip, we've found 3 baby bunnies, 2 frogs (toads?), and 4 huge, juicy earthworms. These were Cody's favorite worms. "Mama, these are my favorite worms." Actually there are many, many worms beneath the surface of our garden, but these four are by far the healthiest. Can you believe we didn't name them?

And one more garden note: My garden is pitiful, but looking better. The weeds are still looking like they are winning, but they are not. Today Doug came out and weeded it with me. He said that most people would view it as a lost cause and plow it under. But he loves me and he knows how important my "garden rescue" is to me, so he helped.

Pulling weeds. And more weeds.

Locating the surviving vegetable plants and carefully working around them.

Killing bugs.

And gently covering up those baby bunnies who are living in a nest in my gladiolas. I have a fence to keep rabbits OUT of my garden. And a sweet little nest made of rabbit fur and carefully chosen pieces of other fluff inside my garden that houses three little baby rabbits...and I am assuming a mama rabbit as well.

Why does it make feel so good to know that the mama feels that her babies are safe there? I love that she chose my garden.

It feels very sweet.

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.
Isaiah 40:11

Friday, July 01, 2005

summer stuff.

Last night, we had a frontal something-or-other that brought a slight drop in temperatures and dry air. It was awesome. We took a quilt and sat out in a cool breeze while the kids caught lightning bugs and chased the dog while Corey screamed at all of it and thought he was playing, too.

This morning Jolie found a big bird's nest on the ground. What a treasure! She is really proud of it. One might think she made it. But, no. I hope no one was planning to lay eggs in it...because it's inside now.

Then {the icing on the beautiful-like-it's-supposed-to-be-in-Illinois-summer-at-last cake} Jolie and Cody brought me flowers from outside. They are beautiful and add so much sweetness to my kitchen and my day. I put them in water in some of my pretty little bottles that I have just for flowers like this. I find the bottles at garage sales and thrift stores - old glass pharmacy bottles, mostly. Just so pretty.

I'm exhausted. Just so lacking in sleep. But so appreciating summer today. I think I'll go water my garden.

The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
ISAIAH 58:11

Thursday, June 30, 2005

oooooooh.........Dora underwear.

Cody is officially potty training. I just got tired of him having a raw little bottom because he wouldn't tell me he was poopy. (I don't know why I couldn't smell it - that's a scary thought on its own.)

So. No more diapers.

Yesterday we went through all of his Bob the Builder underwear pretty quick. Just little dribbles before he figured out it was time to "go."

So we went to Toys R Us. All the cute underwear ends in 4T. Wiggles. Elmo. Blue's Clues. None of them in size 6. He's not into the superheroes much. He doesn't yet know who Batman is or that Teen-something guy. So we are looking looking looking....

He happens to turn around and THERE it is.

"Ooooooooooh........DORA underwear." His whole face lights up. He sees Dora, Cinderella, Barney, more Wiggles. All girl's undies. Panties.

Poor kid. He just doesn't understand that stuff yet. He just knows their friendly faces.

We bought Wiggles, Elmo, Matchbox firetruck, and Nemo all in 4T. They'll probably fit for a week. And we got the Incredibles and plain white in a size 6. Lots of boy underwear.

And a soft Dora potty seat.

Dear children, let us not love
with words or tongue
but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:18

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

i am visual.

I am so affected by what I can see. Clutter drives me crazy. I can't think clearly when there are piles or messes around me. So I am usually not thinking clearly because I can't seem to control the clutter.

And here's the weird part - the part that sinks my Good Ship Lollipop on a daily basis. If I can't see something, it's kinda not there. I know, most people grow out of this when they are about 9 months old. If I can't see it, it's gone. I just have this fear of forgetting about I leave them out where I can see them. That creates clutter.

It's a vicious cycle.

So I'm working on it in a couple of different ways. I'm decluttering as much as possible. Clean lines, no extra decorative stuff sitting around. Just fresh flowers, some plants, my kids art. That way, all the stuff cluttering up my visual space is fair game for being either put away or thrown away. The other thing is that I am still working on storing everything (I mean everything) in clear, labeled storage - one deep. So when I open my closets and cabinets, I can see everything I own.

And, honestly, don't we own so much more than we need?

Over the last two years, I have really enjoyed minimizing the amount of "stuff" that we own (with the amazing help of the Flylady). It has made a gigantic, immeasurable difference in my quality of life. This definitely benefits every member of the family. (Cuz you know if Mama's happy...)

My scrap room is a bit of an exception to my "minimizing" strategy, but I'm getting there.

The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

since you asked.

My friend Mar asked me if I had eaten anything from my garden yet.

We've had broccoli (although most of it went to flowers while we were in TX. It's just too hot for broccoli.), baby carrots (because I am having to weed around the carrots and the weeds are so big that they are pulling up the carrots.) that are so yummy, lettuce (another cool weather crop not liking the heat), and a yummy little zucchini.

Fresh vegetables from the garden just taste SO GOOD.

I have more zucchini coming and squash blossoms, green tomatoes waiting to be ripe, and different varieties of peppers. I never got my beans in, I might still try to plant some this week.

The gladiolas are looking happy. They will probably bloom in a week or so. I think I lost my zinnias and my cosmos and most of my sunflowers during the late freezes we had (hard to image a freeze at the moment).

Things I wish I had planted:
cantaloupe (never have luck with them, but I still wish I'd have tried again)
more flowers
cucumbers (I have the seeds, what happened?)
peanut M&M's (just because I want some)

The two-week trip we took, the lack of rain, the intense heat, the weeds, the Japanese Beetles, and the rust - all of this is "bad company" for my garden. But I am working on it, cleaning it up, weeding, and replanting.

Whatever I get from my garden is still a harvest.

Do not be mislead: "Bad company corrupts good character." 1 Corinthians 15:33

Monday, June 27, 2005

in my garden today.

The weeding is about 74% done. Amazing how fast the weeds grew while I was gone to TX for two weeks. I have had to water like crazy just to get the ground soft enough to do the weeding.

There is a frog (toad?) named Timothy in the garden. The kids name critters immediately upon finding them, always biblical names. So Timothy is the frog in the garden. I think he likes being found. We saw him yesterday too.

I hope Timothy likes Japanese Beetles. They always arrive in the last week of June. And they have just arrived. How do they know? They eat fast. Except for my sunflowers, they seem to be attracted to the weeds more than anything else. Well, they like the broccoli, too, but it's history now.

We also found a lot of worms today. ("These are my favorite worms, Mama." says Cody.) Big, huge, thick earthworms. But here's the yuk: the earthworms came out while I was watering and then they died in the heat. This attracted a lot of flies. Ick.

I pulled the broccoli (7 plants) out because it was gigantic, like scary movie gigantic. And because it had rust. I figured it wasn't going to get better, so out it went. I think I'll put some pumpkins in there.

Nobody came in with me from the garden today. Yesterday, I had two lightning bugs in my shirt when I came in. (Tickle, tickle. I don't like bugs, but these are very nice. You don't want to hurt them because they made these pretty little lights at night.) The day before that - a daddy long-legs perched right on my shoulder when I got inside. Like a really goofy spider-loving pirate. But I didn't find anything on me today.

But I did find a size 10 (little boy size 10) trail of muddy footprints through my house because after Cody said goodbye to Timothy and the worms, he came inside and played dollhouse. I know EXACTLY where he went, there's mud everywhere.

I love my garden. It's in pitiful shape. The weeds, drought, beetles, rust, slime (on the lettuce since I watered - total yuk), etc make it a lot of work, but the process is rewarding (I love to think while I work out there and I tend to get to do it alone) and the harvest, however small it might be, is so worth it.

I plant the seed, but God makes it grow.

He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. ISAIAH 53:2

Saturday, June 25, 2005

another find. it rocks!

I did it again. I don't think Doug gets excited about my "finds" like I do. He just doesn't like the "process."

Driving down a neighborhood street yesterday, I saw a pretty and quite comfortable-looking rocking chair on the curb for you guessed it - the trash!

It's in my sun room now. And I love the way it rocks.

It's not my first curb-side rescue. I have some Radio Flyer wagons that I have gotten from the trash piles in various towns and neighborhoods. I use them for pretty little container gardens - they are absolutely charming. (One time I saw one full of weeds, dead plants, and branches out on the curb and I just happened to think of actually asking the person who lived there if I could have it instead of just hauling it off like I usually do. Good thing I asked! She used it to put her yard waste out but she didn't actually want the city garbage collection people to take the wagon! Or me. She was very nice, though, and I think she decided not to use it for trash pick-up any more.))

I also picked up some white wicker furniture for my porch. My quilts look so pretty on it. Geraniums go perfectly with white wicker.

Let's a gigantic picture frame. Haven't used it yet. I'm thinking it's one of those you put on a shelf or the mantle with no picture in it.

I have also gotten a Little Tykes workshop toolbench thing and some wonderfully huge Boston ferns that lived happily in my home for about TWO YEARS.

One person's trash certainly is another person's treasure.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Thursday, June 23, 2005

worse than not winning.

I just found out. Truly I did NOT know this before yesterday: Not winning an honorable mention in a contest is *WORSE* than not winning the contest itself.

What a surprise.

At least to me it was a surprise.

When I went to the Melissa Frances website to see if they had finally named the HM's....they had. And I wasn't one of them. What did I expect? Well, I think what I expected was that I didn't win the contest because although they just adored my entry, they couldn't choose 4 winners and I was the next in line. Truly, I think I was subconsciously believing that all along. And then when the HM's were named, that little bubble was popped!

So unless I want to pretend that I was the next HM in line, we all have to agree (even me) that they just weren't as excited about my entry as I was.

Imagine that.

Oh, well. On to the next.

Today's verse is brought to you courtesy of my sweet Darby:
Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.
Colossians 3:2

Monday, June 20, 2005

the mighty mississip. a real-time blog. (that means I am blogging this as it is occurring.)

Crossing from Illinois into Missouri we go over the Mississippi River. {165 miles to Memphis.} I hate hate hate bridges. My feet sweat and I expect the whole thing to collapse, dumping my family and me into the muddy, warm, snake-infested river. Traffic has actually – no kidding here, it wouldn’t be funny anyway – STOPPED. ON THE BRIDGE THE TRAFFIC HAS STOPPED. The guy two vehicles in front of us has gotten OUT of his truck.

Mentally, I am FREAKING OUT. Feet are sweating PROFUSELY, heart pounding. On the outside I am a pillar of strength so as to not upset my kids. They have no idea how hard this is for me.

I am considering getting out of the suburban and walking to the end of the bridge. ANYTHING to get off of this bridge.

Truly, I cannot believe this is happening. Don’t these people know how bad it is to just DRIVE over this bridge? Stopping, putting our cars in PARK…completely insane.

Completely insane…that’s what I am going to be if this line doesn’t get moving off this freakin bridge.

The other side of the bridge is not stopped. So 18-wheelers drive by and make the bridge shake. Icing on the having-a-nightmare cake.

Minutes pass. Huck Finn rafted on this river, didn’t he? It continues to flow beneath me…as it has for years and years. It’s old and it laughs at me in my moment of fear.

We’re moving again. It could have been worse.

We didn’t even get wet.

I lift my eyes up to the hills-
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

always there.

Driving through southern Illinois. The hills and trees are beautiful and I wonder why I am surprised to see it. We drive to Texas a lot. {Maybe we should move there.} Doug says that we usually drive through this area at night and I think, “Of course.” So this beautiful area was always there, just covered by darkness.

I think of how there is a certain amount of darkness {even amidst incredible blessing and beauty} in my life these days: my weight struggle, our uncertainty with Doug’s job, the house I live in and hate, serious health issues with our parents.

Am I missing something beautiful under the cover of darkness?

You. O Lord, keep my lamp burning, my God turns my darkness into light.
Psalm 18:28

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

is that a person? part 2

Just FYI:
I am not a vegetarian,
but Jolie sort of had a good point.
Yuk on picking meat off of bones
that look like people-body and eating it.
The ribs smelled amazingly good,
but I couldn't bring myself to eat them.

If you keep biting and devouring each other,
watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Galatians 5:15

is that a person?

Jolie turned seven last week, but she's still pretty naive. I'm so glad about that.

Doug smoked some ribs outside in the smoker-cooker-pit thing for us. They brought them in for lunch. Jolie looks at them and says, "Is that a person?" Because of course we have charts of the human skeletal system on the wall at home (good homeschooling family that we are) so she has seen human ribs in a picture.

I can't get her to tell me whose ribs she thought they might be, though.

You will keep him in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3

Monday, June 06, 2005

that ellen keller was cool.

Jolie has just read a book about Hellen Keller. She said, "That Ellen Keller was cool."

I love that she is reading.

I love that she loves it.

And I really love when she makes old things new again to me because she has just discovered them. Like the story of Hellen Keller.

And like this joke: Why did the boy take a ladder to school? Because he wanted to go to HIGH SCHOOL!!! (Giggle, cackle, oh, she's so funny)

Not a new joke. But new and VERY funny to her.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Sunday, June 05, 2005

kittens in my mouth.

Sarah keeps moving her babies. They are 2 weeks old, little meow-y furballs. We had them and their mama in the laundry room, but if we left the door open, she'd sneak through the house with a kitten in her mouth and take them to Doug's closet.

I don't know why the laundry room wasn't good enough. Too busy? Too hot? Too loud? Just not what she had in mind? Sarah herself may not even know why she's so determined to move the kittens, but she definitely is determined.

So now she and her babies are under a table in my scraproom (I'm trying to think of it as my *studio*). The TV's on, kids in and out, sewing machine, crawling baby, etc. But she seems so satisfied and of course her kitties don't care.

Watching her moving those kittens over and over made me think of myself. I know I don't want to live right here. But where to go? I am not really sure, but I do want to move. So I'm kind of like Sarah, sneaking around with kittens in my mouth, knowing I want out of this particular place, but not really knowing where to go.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


We are going to Texas. Visiting. In June. Not the best time to visit Texas.

I know.

I'm from Texas.

It's gonna be hot. And even though I know it's going to be hot, I will still be surprised because you can't remember that kind of hot.

When I say I will be surprised, I don't mean, "Oh, what a nice surprise! It's hot here." I mean, "$#@*! It's so hot! How could it be this hot? How can people stay alive in this heat??" THAT kind of surprised.

Because that kind of hot is like severe pain. You can remember it happened, but not what it actually felt like.

Just some random summer vacation thoughts...

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

one week.

One week from today, we will be on the road again. Before that I will have somehow caught up on the laundry, finished my MIL's birthday album, finished my Kidz Kamp album, taught a class at LSS, packed for 6 people to be gone for 2 weeks, had my hair cut and colored, and I am sure there is more. All this is in addition to "regular life."

I have asked my kids to wear the same clothes every day this week, not including underwear. I am not kidding. I have never done this, but they wear clothes faster than I can launder them! The kids help a lot with the laundry...but still...I am desperate.

I am going to experiment with including a picture in this blog. I took this picture of Jolie a few weeks ago. I love the light, but it was very windy!

Drink water.

Friday, May 27, 2005

going home.

I so want to go home. I'm not sure where home is anymore, though. There's a little problem for me.

When we moved "up north" from Texas to Indiana and then to Illinois, I cried for two years. Off and on, more "on" at first, then less and less. I asked God to change my heart, to help me to be content where he put me. That was so hard to ask for. I wanted to be homesick. I wanted to go home, I didn't want to be happy here. I clung to my misery for a long time.

Then I came to a place where I began to see God's hand in this unexpected location, this life I had never planned, this midwestern existence. I became accepting, then even content. I said so often, even when Doug still wanted to go back to Texas. I could see many reasons why God might want us to stay here.

So today we have been "gone" for almost seven years. A long time! And now we have a job opportunity in Texas. This has stirred up some of those homesick feelings. I am pretty sure that I want Doug to get this job. It won't be easy living in Texas again, but I want to go home. But is Texas "home" anymore? It will be different. Nothing stays the same. And I am not the same. In a way, I think I have become "homeless" in my heart.

When I was in grad school, I used to have this t-shirt that said:
This world is not my home
Although it seems to be.
My home is with my God,
in the place he's made for me.
He's coming back real soon,
the signs are very clear.
So when that trumpet sounds,
I'll be outta here!
(Yes, ALL of that was on the back of my shirt.)

This "homelessness" of my heart has made me think more about my heavenly eternal home. This world is so temporary. I guess God really has changed my heart.

I asked for it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Here's more of a sliver than a slice:

Me: working on a project for summer scrap classes at LSS (all new Doodlebug Papers, I could eat it, it's so yummy)

Darby: Delightfully self-directed homeschooler doing her work (Language now), planning to try the coffeecake recipe that went awry yesterday (tasted delicious, looked suspicious)

Corey: Clinging, fussing, sucking fingers constantly, arching his back, holding my hair...very different for him. I do see a tooth emerging as we speak, could that be it? On our way to the Tylenol.

Cody: Outside :)

Jolie: Outside :)

Doug: Going to Wrigley field today for the first time to watch the Cubs play the Astros. (Yep, Houston Astros!!) Cool for him. And on a chartered bus, no driving! He has been told that buying a $7 hot dog and going to the men's room are not to be missed if he wants to experience Wrigley field in its historic entirety. (??????)

Ballet today. Scrapbooking. Watered the garden. Laundry. Laundry. Laundry. Ho-hum. Life is so comfy sometimes.

Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf! Psalm 66:5

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

cheerleader tryouts.

7th grade. Me and Mandy Peck. We were a team for cheerleader tryouts at George Junior High.

Our cheer, "Faaaaaan-tas-tic, That's right! Our team is Dy-no-MITE! Fannnnnnn-tas-tic, that's right!" Stupid cheer. I can't believe I can still remember it. I think the humiliation of that whole experience burned the words of that cheer into my brain. The humiliation being that I did a cartwheel and my shirt wasn't quite tucked'd think that would have gotten me a few more votes.

I didn't make it and I am not SURE, but I don't think Mandy did either. She WAS voted Most Beautiful every single school year up until Senior year, though.

My efforts at entering these scrapbooking contests....not EXACTLY the same, but it does stir up memories of cheerleader tryouts.

I'll keep my shirt tucked in.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Don't throw the goldfish away. That's dangerous.

Kids say the cutest things, don't they?

FYI: We are talking about goldfish crackers here, for all you animal rights activists...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

i found me some cool old stuff.

I went to my favorite thrift store this morning. Not really a great idea for someone who is purging and cleaning, but anyway. Cash only, piles everywhere, little old ladies in pink jackets bossing each other around, everything is twenty percent off today. Or is it just for senior citizens? No, it's 20% off everything for seniors, 20% off just clothes for us younger folk. This was confusing for the ladies in the pink jackets. I could see why.

So, what I found:
LIME GREEN burlap (really)
an old record to alter (I'm slow on this particular trend)
a ledger book from before 1950 (cool, very kitchy)
a wooden music box that plays a pretty song (let's see what I can do with this)
old dictionary (just love tearing out definitions for scrapbooks and cards)
very old (well, 1922) school song book for scrapbooking :)
a 1935 hymn book (love this)
red sequin flowers
a bag of metal circle thingies like washers but no holes in them (weighs like 6 pounds, paid 25 cents)
a falling-apart copy of The Little Red Hen (1958, the illustrations are so great)
1902 copy of Music for the Child World (I may not be able to tear this one up - it's awesome)

Each was 99 cents or less (most were less). I am thrilled. It doesn't take much to make me happy. Although I did go by my LSS and they have the new Wild Asparagus papers and stuff to go with it. That made me even more happy. :)

And did I say? 33% of my family is out doing something else today so it is quite peaceful in my home today. My ears are resting.

What a morning.

Who is he, this King of glory?
The Lord Almighty -
he is the King of Glory. Psalm 24:10

Monday, May 16, 2005

change is a good thing.

I think I need to make some changes. Starting with piano practice.

Every morning starts with breakfast and then Darby on the piano for 45 minutes. Then Jolie for 30 minutes. There's no volume on the piano. So for and hour and 15 minutes, I am hearing the piano in addition to other (sweet - infinitely precious) kids (retelling stories, singing a completely different song from what's being played on the piano, whining, asking for more juice, telling me cool things I need to know - i.e., Two-year-old Cody eating Cheerios: "Mama...mama.....mama...mama.....MAMA..........
What, Cody?
Mama, Anthony got kicked off, didn't he?), answering the phone, listening to the dog barking and barking and barking and barking, doing anything I do with piano in the background. Normal, sweet life turned slighty cacophony-ish (yes, I have mentioned this before...).

Loud. Not ugly, not even close. But hard to handle sometimes. I can see why they made that Calgon commercial the way they did.

For me, doing life during piano practice is like trying filter chicken noodle soup through a towel. Some gets through, but it's pretty frustrating and you know a whole lot of the good stuff didn't get to the other side.

I wish it didn't make me so tense, but it does. Is it the sign of some type of aging mama disorder? Overloaded Brain Can't Take Any More Noise Or Activity At This Moment Or I'll Spontaneously Combust Syndrome. That's it.

I'm thinking about working in my garden during piano practice. Quietly pulling weeds and building little rock barriers where the bunnies are digging holes under the fence. (All bunnies except the headless one Ben our dog was proudly and giddily - he was so, so, so happy - carrying all around the yard all day Friday - the decapitated prize bunny, covered in blood, dog slobber and flies. That one's not getting into the garden any more...)

And on that sunshiny note, I am off to escape piano practice.

Psalm 70:5
Yet I am poor and needy;
come quickly to me, O God.
You are my help and my deliverer;
O Lord, do not delay.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

a haiku for pregnant sarah our cat.

you look gigantic
like you swallowed a football
waiting for kitties

i love haikus but i really stink at them. it's the thought that counts! besides, she's a cat. she doesn't read. someone would have to read it to her.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

lazy saturday stats

number of people at my house still in pj's at 1:45 in the afternoon: 1 (me)

number of people doing ballet in the yard getting sunburned because they are supposed to stay in the shade: 2

number of husbands home today: 0 (ISU graduation)

number of layouts completed in last 24 hours: 2

number of people I have fed lunch to: 1 (only because it was breast milk. basically no effort on my part)

number of unborn kitties in my scraproom: ? I don't know but the poor mama kitty is huge

number of checks received for scrapping this week: 1 (yay! does that make me a professional?)

number of emails received today: 2

number of people who will read this besides me: 1 or less

number of hairs on my head: ? I don't know, but God does and I am so thankful that He cares that much about little ole me

Matthew 10:30 And even the very hairs on your head are all numbered.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Waiting stinks.

I entered a contest. My first, with the exception of CK Hall of Fame in 1999. (ha!) I made a really, really cool album. They required 6 pages. I did 30 - I know, I'm an overachiever. I'm so proud of this book, mostly because it's one of the few I have ever actually completely finished. I'm very happy with it but I don't expect to win, truly I don't.

But then, if I truly do not expect to win, why did I stay up until 4am the night before the deadline finishing it? Why did I spend $28 overnighting it by Fed-Ex to Minnesota? Why did I spend so much time finding their not-very-widely-available papers and album? Why did I spend so much money buying the stuff once I did find it?

Okay... maybe I did think I had a chance at winning. I also had a huge fear that if I didn't finish the album by the contest deadline, it would become another one of those beautiful-but-half-finished projects that I already have enough of.

The winners were to be announced "on or about April 30." Today is May 10. Let's get this over with!

Friday, May 06, 2005

I am Rabbit.

My family agrees...I am Rabbit.

I don't think I want to be Rabbit. He walks around naked. And he's bossy. He is always yelling at (okay, correcting) Tigger, who is Mr. Popularity in the Hundred-Acre Wood. Constantly correcting doesn't make you very popular. So who would want to be Rabbit?

But Rabbit has an awesome garden (like I want). And his house is always in order (again, like I want). He might be a control freak, but at least he has order instead of chaos. I mean, where does Pooh go when he runs out of honey? Rabbit's house! Because Rabbit is on top of that stuff. He wouldn't let himself run out of anything as important as honey. And, really, even though Rabbit is a little tense, a little hyper-organized, maybe a little controlling, he is loved by all. He's a good neighbor, a true friend, and he can definitely be trusted. So what if he doesn't wear clothes? I think I could be Rabbit just fine.

"It was going to be one of Rabbit's busy days. As soon as he woke up he felt important, as if everything depended upon him. It was just the day for Organizing Something, or for Writing a Notice Signed Rabbit, or for Seeing What Everybody Else Thought About It...It was a Captainish sort of day, when everybody said, "Yes, Rabbit" and "No, Rabbit," and waited until he had told them." (A.A. Milne)

Yep, I'm Rabbit.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Practicing Procrastination. (Warning - boring blog....)

Doctors practice medicine. I practice procrastination. I really don't have to practice any more. I am so good at it. Procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate.

And I don't think it has very much to do with the fact that I have four children and we homeschool. It goes much deeper than that.

I have read a lot about procrastination. It seems that because I am such a perfectionist, I tend to put things off because I don't think I can do them perfectly. All or none, that's me. The more important the task, the more likely I am to put it off and then have to do it at the last minute with absolutely no hope of doing it well. It's such a strange phenomenon.

This morning, I mailed two Mother's Day gifts. Before Mother's Day. Three days before. My mother is likely to faint in the post office when she realizes what is in the box. My mother-in-law will also be quite surprised, I am sure. They'll wonder if it's a fluke. Or if I hired a service. Or if possibly Mother's Day was last month and they missed it. Because I can't remember the last time I mailed a gift on time.

I guess the one bad thing about this is that I don't know if they'll like what I sent...that bothers me, but I forced myself to just decide on a gift and MAIL IT. Victory for the all-or-none girl.

Thing is, I care very much about honoring them on Mother's Day. And birthdays are important to me. I mean, gift-giving is one of my top love languages! But I have this fear of not doing it well enough. Of giving a gift that will seem thoughtless or cheap or not just good enough. So then I procrastinate, miss the event, and after that, well, in my mind the gift has to be even better because it's late!

This translates to so many areas of my life. I really hate it. Here's a list of things I have been procrastinating:
1. Mailing 3 birthday presents, one from September, one from November, one from April (I consider that one right on time - for me.)
2. Thank you notes from when Corey was born in July.
3. Organizing my unscrapped photos.
4. Planning the rest of our school year. (We go all through the summer.)
5. I'm sure there's more.

Some things I do not want to procrastinate but have the potential to procrastinate are:
1. My MIL's birthday gift (in 2 weeks)
2. Planning my classes that I'm teaching at my LSS this month and this summer.
3. My MMM entry.
4. Jolie's birthday in June.
The list apparently goes on and on because I can't type fast enough to get it all down...

Monday, May 02, 2005


Cell phone ringing. Daddy's going to meet us at the pediatrician for an important appointment.

Spiderman in firetruck pajamas, a straw cowboy hat - a "real" one from Texas, with a big plastic red shovel. Over and over he loudly assures me that he is, "fine, okay, Mom." This is because he is running and "falling" a lot. Spiderman does this. The landings are loud in this million-year-old farmhouse over a million-year-old basement. The floor just can't take it.

Spidergirl is alternatingly chasing Spiderman or hiding from Spiderman. Chasing elicits squeals and giggles from Spiderman, hiding requires him to call out for her, wondering at the top of his high-pitched, two-year-old little voice where she could be. Spidergirl, by the way, has on a pink cowboy hat - also from Texas of course, and therefore "real."

Every two to three minutes, Spiderman does something unacceptable to Spidergirl and tattling presents itself to the Judge. That would be me. Ugh. Go away and stop annoying each other. Be perfect. Thank you.

All this is happening during piano practice for my more diligent child. At least for this morning, she wins the diligence award for doing anything-at-all productive. So the adventures of Spiderman and Spidergirl are happening to the tune of "Sunrise, Sunset" and practice scales. Over. And. Over. Just for three quarters of an hour.

Spiderbaby has been contained in the baby swing, which he is too big for. But he is determined to eat cat food. He must eat cat food, therefore he must be stopped. You would think cat food is chocolate. Maybe I should check that out. He's still making plenty of noise, though.

Now Spiderman and Spidergirl are loudly and laughingly getting married. Screeching, giggling, hugging. I wonder if this will help their relationship. I doubt it. Marriage is not a solution for people who have the comminucation problems that they do.

Cacophony. Sweet Cacophony.

Saturday, April 30, 2005


I have been noticing as I have been sewing beautiful, delightful, oh-so-yummy Chatterbox scraps onto a circle journal entry (yep, slowly but surely getting them done...) that my brain and my foot are not quite in sync with one another. I am sewing - in bright green, so mistakes are pretty obvious - and when I get to the end, my brain says politely to my foot, "Foot, please stop pushing the pedal. We are done sewing here." And like my 6-year-old daughter, my slightly rebellious foot obeys, but not immediately. So we get extra stitches where no stitches should be. I need to work on this. And if my foot starts the eye-rolling, oh-so-slight stomping, or the little grouchy I-don't-really-want-to-do-this comments, I'm really going to be worried.

And then I thought, brain isn't really very in sync with a lot of me. Is this old age? I'm 37. Is it overwhelmedom? I do have 4 kids competing for my attention almost 24 hours a day. Is it distraction? When I walk from the kitchen to the garage for something-but-now-I-don't-remember-what so-now-I-have-to-go-back-and-retrace-my-steps-to-figure-it-out I am usually planning a scrapbook page or making a grocery list in my head while giving a spelling test and correcting someone because they are using an outdoor voice indoors or whatever. Okay, I think I have answered my own question. I *am* distracted. It's a good thing my brain can be completely distracted and still make my heart pump blood, and my lungs do whatever they do or I'd be in serious trouble. God is good, isn't he?

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Psalm 150:6

Thursday, April 28, 2005

random musing on the great letter "e"

I had this awesome idea this morning while I was spooning Yo Baby yogurt and rice cereal with applesauce into a waiting hungry Corey mouth. Maybe all my good ideas don't have to come in the shower, after all...

Wouldn't it be cool to have a scrapbooking buddy who for some reason did all of her titles and journaling in a strange language that did not include the letter "e"? So of course she would hand all of those "e" stickers, "e" rub-ons, "e" chipboard letters, and "e" stencils directly over to me...maybe her language would also exclude the letters "a" and "s"...hmm, now I'm dreaming.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

We need more of these.

National Take Your Kids To Work Day. Or something like that - it's TODAY. April 27. My sweet hubby took everyone who's not nursing to work with him today. You can't believe the quiet in my house. On an ordinary day, I'd have been interrupted at least twice before typing this much. When I am interrupted, I just completely forget what I was trying to say. It's usually gone, forgotten, never shared. ("How important could it have been," you ask, "if it was forgotten that easily?" Honestly, I could not, would not answer that. Let's just not go there.) So, anyway, I have a baby here - sleeping at the moment - and the luxurious silence is like a massage to my ears, sweet, soothing, pampering silence. I don't want it forever, but it sure feels amazing at the moment. All things in moderation, you might say.

"So, we are wondering," you say, "what will you do with your almost-but-not-quite-alone time?"

I am glad you asked.

1. I will do a blog entry.
2. Eat lunch - leftover Chick Noodly Soup minus carrots with a PB&J sandwich.
3. Finish the Circle Journal entries I have started. (Did I hear a cheer from somewhere out there in scrappy cyberspace?)
4. Plan for the six upcoming classes I am teaching at my LSS.
5. I might pull some weeds.
6. I might pack a box or two.
7. I will not fold clothes.
8. Oh, I will pack my layout to send to FRED at CK. (Fave thing on this list.)
9. Pea a little.
10.Sit and think.
11.Play with Corey.
Are you still reading this? Well, bless you. (I lifted that from K.C.)

Off to be alone (almost) in my house. I promise you that by the time my sweet family returns, I will have missed them....a lot.

But we should have more of these.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Blog Practice - Yes, I agree a different picture would be nice

Yep, that picture stinks, I am aware.

I took it myself, does that count for anything?

The problem is, I am a cartoon, and photos of me just don't turn out all that great.

Actually, I took that picture for a self-portrait challenge and I guess I had the camera zoomed in a bit much.

I'll work on it.

Gardening. Inside and Out.

Outside first:
Honestly, the garden's been "in" (out there) for 10 days, and it's been 10 days since I checked on it. I tend to over-watch germinating seeds, wanting them to grow up too quickly, so this time I am giving them some space.

Inside gardening:
This morning I found bag of carrots (it said so on the bag) in the veggie drawer that had sprouted. It had sprouted black, moldy, shriveled tips; new branches; long, hairy roots and many varieties of bacteria (I am sure). I remember buying that bag of carrots, so it couldn't have been THAT long ago. Needless to say, we ate them for lunch.

Okay, we didn't eat them for lunch, but my Chick Noodly Soup was seriously lacking in carrots as a result.

Let's see if this silly blog thingie works this time...