Saturday, January 31, 2009


What I'd like to do today is curl up with a blanket and a good book.

But what I've done instead is...

take care of a sick baby
unload and reload the dishwasher
organize the boys' school stuff for next week
wash, dry, and put away three loads of laundry
put away groceries
feed two constantly hungry boys
make chocolate chip cookies with said boys (okay, that one was fun)
check and reply to email
read a few blogs
research cloth diapers online

Oh, yeah. And write one itsy, bitsy blog post.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

That's a lot of soup...

I was making dinner the other night and needed to open a can of olives. As I watched the can spin around on my electric can opener, I realized that I had received that can opener as a wedding gift. 16 1/2 years ago. I figure I open about 5 cans a week times 198 weeks of marriage. That's 990 cans that have been opened by that can opener. Then I began to think of other things that I still use that I got as wedding gifts. The blender, toaster, kitchen knives, silverware, dish towels, popcorn popper, mixer, crock pot, and several mixing bowls are some of the things that came to mind as I stood in the kitchen. Then I thought about things that are used in the rest of the house. Like the clock that hangs on the living room wall. And the bath towels and wash cloths in the hall closet. And various frames that hang throughout the house. It seems amazing that so many things have lasted so long. The towels are starting to get worn and my crock pot hasn't had a knob for a long time, but everything still does what it's supposed to. So, I'm thinking about starting a new tradition. When a couple celebrates their 20th wedding anniversary, I think they should get an anniversary shower. A big party to celebrate their marriage complete with balloons and cake and gifts. All their friends can shower them with congratulations and new kitchen appliances. I only have three and a half years to get this trend started. Because I figure that's about when my can opener will give out.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Woo Hoo!

So this morning I drove into town to pick up the boys who had both spent last night away from home. After I picked up Josh, I decided to stop by McDonald's to get breakfast. Some friends from church work there and happened to be working this morning. They asked me if we had signed up for the drawings that they were having to celebrate their grand re-opening. When I told them we hadn't, they gave us the forms to fill out. I filled out four, one for each of us who is old enough to know what a prize is. On the way home, I was thinking how cool it would be if we won the big prize. But I didn't think we would. How often do you really win in those kinds of drawings? Well, a few hours after we got home, the phone rang and it was a lady from McDonald's. And guess what? WE WON!! And guess what we won? We won an XBOX360!!! I can't even tell you how excited the boys are. Thrilled is an understatement. So this evening when I go back into town for something else, I am going back to McDonald's to pick up our new XBOX360!!!

I knew that all those trips to McDonald's would pay off someday.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I was holding Abby (my new niece) the other day when I went to visit my sister. My mom was holding Julianna. After about 30 seconds, Jules decided that she didn't like that one bit. We had to switch babies. When she was the baby on my lap, she was fine.

Speaking of Abby, she gets more adorable every time I see her. She is such a blessing.

During that same visit Aidan transformed himself into the cutest pirate ever. Even cuter than Jack Sparrow.

Speaking of Aidan, he has also informed me that he no longer wants to trade his baby for Julianna. He told me that he was afraid his sister was going to look like a green alien and since she doesn't and is cute after all, he'll keep her.

Josh and Adam went to take their Idaho Reading Indicator tests yesterday and both scored way above grade level. Good news for me as mom and teacher.

Speaking of reading, I bought the new "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" book for the boys the other day at Costco. That evening, I picked it up, turned to the middle, and started reading it. I laughed out loud so many times that I went back and started from the beginning. Now I want to go back and read the first two in the series.

Julianna is so close to crawling. She gets on her hands and knees and rocks back and forth. Sometimes she even gets on her hands and feet like Mowgli. And even though she doesn't quite have the whole crawling thing down, she is still able to get around pretty good by rolling and scooting.

Speaking of Julianna, I had a very strange thing happen last Sunday when I was teaching the cradle roll Bible class. Jules and Lily were the only two babies in class and in the middle of singing songs about ducks, I looked at Jules and had to remind myself that this beautiful, sweet baby was mine. Some days it seems so surreal.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Josh: "I feel privileged just be able to know Julianna."

Mmmm...smooshed bananas

This morning I was feeding Julianna her breakfast of baby oatmeal and Gerber stage 2 banana baby food. The smell of the banana mush suddenly made me remember eating it when I was little. Only I remember eating it when I was 4 or 5 years old. Too old to be eating baby food. Maybe it was when my sister was a baby and mom shared some of her food with me. Or maybe it was because I wanted it and mom obliged. I was a little spoiled. And still am. Even now she makes me my own personal sized pea salad without onions. She's the best.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Who Knew?

Who doesn't know that their own child can sit up on her own? ME! Yesterday I was changing Julianna's diaper and sat her up on the changing table and let go for just a second to see what she would do. And she sat there looking at me and grinning! Since then I have tried several other times and it wasn't just a fluke. She is still a little wobbly but undoubtedly can sit up on her own. How did I miss that? Maybe I've been too busy watching her rocking on her hands and knees about to crawl. Sitting and crawling? What's next?

Saturday, January 17, 2009


16.5--the number of pounds my sweet daughter weighs

7--the number of times Josh laughed out loud during "Bedtime Stories"

0--the number of times I got up with kids last night (yeah!)

2--the number of loads of laundry I did today

14--the number of minutes Adam laid on the bed with me this morning while I read and he played his gameboy

1--the number of books I read in the last 24 hours (Stargirl)

3--the number of pacifiers and teethers I fished out from behind the bed today

27--the number of minutes I held my sweet niece on my lap yesterday

27--the number of times that I smiled at my sweet niece yesterday as I held her

9--the number of things I learned about ancient Rome this week while homeschooling

6--the number of times I said, "Yes, you have to write all your spelling words."

26--the number of spelling words to be written

1.8--the number of seconds it takes Julianna to roll across the living room floor

1.9--the number of seconds it takes Julianna to find something that she shouldn't have

22--the number of times I smiled today because the sun was shining

100--the number of times I have been blessed today

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sugar and Spice

There have been many, many children in my life over the years. It all started when I was a teenager and took babysitting jobs. Then for several years my mom and I owned a preschool and cared for more kids than I can count. Then I started teaching and taught kids from kindergarten through the eighth grade. I have also taught numerous Bible classes and have even done a few stints as a Vacation Bible School teacher. All of the children that I have come in contact with have somehow influenced my life. Some have given me good stories to tell. Some have taught me more than any college professor ever could. Some made me glad that I could send them home at the end of the day. And some touched my heart.

Then there are the children of my sister-friends. They are so very special to me for two reasons. One, because they are all great kids. And two, because I love their mothers so much that the feeling naturally spills over onto them. I share with their moms the pride and happiness that come along the way. I share in their lives now and hopefully for a long time to come.

Then, of course, there are my own children. Oh my goodness. I never, never could have imagined a love like I have for these three little souls that have been graciously sent to live with me for a life time. First there was Josh. I was scared before he was born because being a mommy was something that I wanted but didn't know anything about. I read all the books. But nothing could prepare me for the reality of having a child. Or for the feeling of having my heart walk around outside my body. Then 19 months later Adam came along. I wondered how I could possibly love another child the way I loved Josh. Knowing that Adam was a boy before he was born helped me bond with him during the busy-ness of having a one year old. And when he was born, even though I thought it wasn't possible, my heart again left me to reside with someone else... this tiny, bald person that I hardly knew but loved more than life itself. Then seven years later it happened again. I remember lying on the operating table last June and hearing for the first time, the cry of my daughter. She was loud. And I was in love. Before I even saw her face I loved her. And in that moment my heart fled for a third time. Every single day I thank God for three beautiful, healthy, happy children. Is it always easy? No. Is it always fun? Not always. Is it always amazing? Yes.

And then there are two other children in my life who I could only love more if they were my own. One is my nephew, Aidan. He is amazing. He is smart and funny and creative and imaginative and sweet. He surprises me in a new and wonderful way every time I am blessed to spend time with him. There is some kind of special aunt love that makes me feel about Aidan like I feel about no one else. It was only he who brought out that unique feeling. Until Friday. Friday I met Abigail Mae, my brand new niece. She already amazes me. She amazes me because of her sweet little face and round cheeks. She amazes me because she has more hair than her seven month old cousin. She amazes me because of the miracle that she is. And she amazes me because she is part of my sister who is my best friend. I am so looking forward to getting to know this new child in my life. To finding out who she is and who she will become. To watching her grow up with Julianna and seeing them play together and be best friends. To being someone she can come to and count on and laugh with. I am already planning our first slumber party. We will watch movies and eat popcorn and bake cookies and paint each other's fingernails. Abby and Jules will do their mommies' hair and then Ada and I will do theirs. And then when things start to settle down, Ada and I will sit together in wonder as we watch our little girls whispering and giggling together. And I will reach over and take my sweet sister's hand in mine and we will remember the day Abby was born and tear up just a little. And smile a lot.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Today I was in the waiting room at the hospital waiting to see my sister and new niece. I was sitting there with Julianna playing happily on my lap. She is absolutely adorable and often gets noticed by strangers. About the fifth person to notice her was an elderly (and as you will see, slightly confused) lady who was out walking the halls. She came over to get a closer look and asked, "How old is he*?" To which I replied, "SHE'S seven months old." (She was wearing a green camouflaged sweatshirt with pink roses on it and pink pants.) "Oh," she said, "Are you her...(wait for it)... GRANDMOTHER?" After the shock wore off, I informed her that I was, in fact, her mother. I know that I am of advanced maternal age (36), but that is ridiculous!

*It doesn't matter if Julianna is dressed in pink from head to toe and covered with a pink blanket, holding a doll, somebody (usually an older lady) asks if she is a boy or girl. It's very strange.

Thursday, January 08, 2009


This is how bedtime goes in our house. Teeth brushing, goodnight hugs for Jules (if she's still up) and dad, reading and/or singing, prayers, tucking in, goodnight hugs for me, Josh making sure his blankets are perfectly aligned, Adam making sure all his stuffed animals are in the right order, more hugs, me saying, "Sweet dreams," me turning off the light. Adam saying, "Mom." Me saying, "What?" Adam saying, "Goodnight." Me saying, "Goodnight." Again.

And just when you think it's over...someone is up to use the bathroom. And then the other is up to get a drink. Which reminds the other that he, too, is thirsty. More goodnights. More hugs.

Then since Adam got out of bed, he needs me to come straighten out his blanket. More goodnights.

And just when you think it's over...
one of the boys: "Mom."
me: "What?"
one of the boys: "Can you lay with us?"
me: *sigh* (At this point I really just want to sit with a glass of ice water and watch The Mentalist or Grey's Anatomy in peace.)

But I get up and go in to their room anyway. There was a time not so long ago when I wouldn't go in to lay with them. "You are 7 (or 9) years old," I would say, "You should be able to go to sleep on your own." Then one night a few weeks ago I did go in with them and as I lay looking at the faces of my sons in the dark, I realized that any night now could be the last time they ask me to lay with them. The last night that they need me to be there as they fall asleep. The last night that I get to watch as their eyes close, and their breathing slows, and their sweet faces relax into sleep. And when that night comes, I don't want my answer to be "no." So I go in to lay with Adam, who scoots over to the wall, looks at me and smiles. As his eyes close, I pray for him. His future. His protection and health and happiness. His soul. The little girl who will someday be his wife. That he will use his sense of humor and love of fun to help him in his life. Then after a few minutes I walk across the room to lay with Josh, who scoots as close to me as he can, looks at me and smiles. As his eyes close, I pray for him. His future. His protection and health and happiness. His soul. The little girl who will someday be his wife. That he will use his leadership abilities and soft heart to help him in his life. Then after a few minutes I start to get up but Josh asks me to scratch his back. I do and after a few more minutes I really do get up and walk to the door. "Mom," comes a voice. "Yes," I answer. "I love you," says the voice. "I love you, too. Sweet dreams," I say. Again.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


So why is it that all through every day I have these brilliant blog posts go through my mind and then I sit down to write and everything is gone? I know that they are still in there somewhere, I just can't find them. Oh well, maybe tomorrow.

Friday, January 02, 2009


I am so ready to move somewhere with NO snow.

Julianna is 7 months old today.

The Christmas tree is officially gone.

This is the last week day of Christmas break.

Only one week until we meet the newest member of our family. (My niece!)

I saw and loved "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" this week.

I no longer need an alarm clock. Julianna wakes up at 5:45 on the dot every morning.

Therefore, I need a nap.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

May yours be filled with blessings too numerous to count, peace that passes understanding, and moments full of laughter and love.