Wednesday, April 30, 2008

i love my boys

I love them. I love to watch them move. I love to hear their thoughts. I love their snuggles. I love the way they stink when they come in from playing outside for only 10 minutes. I love to inform them that they will be so big one day that they will be able to pick me up. I love hearing them laugh. I'm ready for Summer days with them again when it's so hot and we can't think of what to eat for lunch, so we just have two or three popsicles each.

Monday, April 28, 2008

pop pop came to town!!!

Well, my Dad's been in town for a few days while my Mom is in Belize teaching a group of women down there. Poor guy! While she's in tropical climates, we've had snow flurries for three days! It's ridiculous. RIDICULOUS!!! Anyway, I picked him up from the airport and the first stop was Sam's where we picked up a new digital camera for yours truly. I'm so geeked. The one I had been using was borrowed from my brother-in-law. Yes. It is 2008. Yes. I'm under 32 (barely). And, yes. This is my first official digital camera. Laugh at me. Not with me. At Me.

I'm so not technically saavy, that I've -wait for it- NEVER BURNED A C.D. EVER BEFORE. My Dad just taught me how. My Dad just taught me how to back up my files to a flash drive. My Dad just taught me how to buy songs off of iTunes. My Dad is pretty much rocking my world right now.

Okay. I gotta go learn more stuff from my Dad while he's in town. Enjoy the new pictures!!!

*By the way, my Dad goes by Pop Pop with the grandkids. Is it a coincidence that the grandfather on Arrested Development goes by "Pop Pop" or is this divine providence?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

wordy wednesday?

So, Jenny (my latte buddy) loves to do alliteration days such as "Wordless Wednesdays" and "Foody Fridays" and, though I'm quite certain she hasn't posted it yet, we might be seeing "Manic Mondays" soon. So, because I have many random thoughts, and feel really verbal, how does "Wordy Wednesday" work?

Restless Children

Are your kids acting out? Are they bored? Do they complain??? Then, GIVE them something to complain about: CHORES! Putting kids to work is one of the most effective ways to get them off my back! And, actually, after they've completed 50% of the work, they usually let a "This is FUN!" slip out!

Aves and Mi washed a TON
of dishes after our dishwasher
broke! Now we don't need to replace it!!!

And look at Miles scrub those windows!!
Saying Good-bye to an old Favorite
Yesterday, I squeezed Jillian into this dress one LAST time. This is my favorite outfit from this size. The pink sweater is from Aunt Carol. The dress is from my Mom. And the tights were a gift for Christa...which I KEPT for myself!! Her little girl wouldn't fit them this season anyway! (Christa, call me in the Fall and I'll hook you up!) Jillian has become VERY difficult to photograph. She's always on the move! But, I was desperate to get these pictures!!

Another Shameless Plug for an off-the-air t.v. show!

You've heard me mention the BEST t.v. series that ever existed. No. Not Lawrence Welk. I'm talking again about the beloved Arrested Development. When I saw Miles like this:

It made me think of this:

I think about 2 of you probably laughed. That's okay. The rest of you are missing out!

We are the Mayosaurus Family

I found this to be shocking. Pictured below is a GIANT jar of Mayo. When I bought it at Sam's, I wondered if it would expire before we'd have time to consume it. But--hoping it was actually a good deal--I went for it and bought gi-normo-mayo jar. And guess what? Apparently, we've consumed enough spinach dip, artichoke dip, ham and cheese sandwiches and chicken salad to deplete the monstro jar of Mayo. gross. I think we went through this thing in like a month and a half. Maybe not. But, it's time to get another. And next time, I'm putting the date we opened it on the container...just to see if our diet is truly that gross.


The Comic Gene

Last night, the first grade classes hosted a Parent Night at school. The kids performed puppet shows. I was told by a few parents that Avery is the "funniest kid in the class". I am shocked! I'm curious. I'm bragging!!! Seriously. The "funniest" kid? Not, the most serious? Not the most antagonistic? Okay. Your kid can be the most talented. Your kid can be the smartest. But, I'll take my kid with quick wit and good comic timing!!!

And this really makes me wonder. If Avery's comical side came out at school, what will Miles unveil? I mean, I think I know this guy pretty well. And, I thought HE was the joker?!!

Here are my deliciously delightful sons on the front steps of their Aunt Nee Nee and Uncle Steve's house. They live five doors down from the boys' school. Blessed. We are blessed!


I think I'm out of words for now. Actually, I'm not...I've typed, backspaced and retyped like five times...but, I'll just try to self-regulate and stop here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

she's got the look

Have you ever noticed someone and wondered, "Seriously, what look they are going for?" I'm not talking about people who are boring like me, who obviously just threw on last year's sale rack from Target and headed out feeling, well...confident enough. I admit that I'm not going for a look...other than, say, "clean". I'm pretty boring. No dreads. No tan. No piercings. No theme. No tats. You get the point. I'm talking about people like the man I saw at the grocery store shortly after we moved here. He was balding on top, but had long locks on the sides, and had a buddah belly hanging out from under his pink tube top paired with some grungy jeans. Yes. I did say "pink tube top". And just yesterday, at this same grocery store, I saw a cashier named "Pam" who wears feminine earrings and sports a goatee. No, not a five o' clock shadow kind of thing. It's more like a quarter inch of goatee growth. I really couldn't tell you if I wanted paper or plastic anymore than she knew whether she was going to shave, wax or just go for a fu-man-chu.

I am not trying to rip into such characters. I am a people watcher. And I just couldn't help but notice...and wonder, "Is this the look you were really going for?"

*note: I did my research for this post. I googled "she's got the look". Remember that Roxette song? Well, apparently the lyrics include, "Fire in the ice, naked to the T-bone..." WHAT???

fire & brimstone in the van

I know that not everyone who reads these posts is a Christian. So, before I tell you this funny little memory, I want to be clear that we're not beating Bibles over here and scaring our children outta hell. But, they have learned about sin, and heaven and hell and so on...

So, a few years back, we were running errands on this super sticky hot summer day in St. Louis. As we were getting out of our minivan, Avery (4), Miles (2) and I (still in my 20s!!) were all in the wrong. It went something like this: Avery frustrated Miles, Miles hauled off on Avery, and I yelled at them both.

And then Avery said, "Miles is going to hell...well, I'm going to hell," and then he continued as he realized our plight, "We're all goin' to hell."

this just in...

Remember this??? It's BAAA-AAACK!!! Seriously. pissed. oh well.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

dinner conversation with Miles

Reflecting on the sermon and the concept of children living life with purpose and meaning even now (as opposed to waiting until they are grown-up), I asked this question to the boys:
"So, what happens when kids play video games all day long for their whole childhood?"
Miles didn't miss a beat, "They go to hell."
(Not what I was looking for!!! I was thinking more along the lines of "wasting time".)
Miles heard me ask Brent about my friend, Marty.
Miles: "I always think of someone fat, when I hear 'Marty', even though I know Marty is skinny like you, Mommy."
("skinny like you"? Thank you, Lord, for sons who say such things!!! Oh, and Marty is totally a skinny name...not fat at all.)

peanut butter jelly time

So, my Saturday morning at the abortion clinic ended with a conversation with a homeless man, Jose. His street name is "the Candy". He's old and weathered and walks with a walker. His mother was from Laos, his father from Jamaica and he was born in Cuba. It was a confusing conversation, his accent thick, his mind foggy from years of drugs I assume. With one hand on his shoulder, and one hand clinching the half-smoked cigarette he extinguished for the moment, I prayed for him. And my sister sang him a song. And he wept. And then he sang us a song. He told us he wanted to come to our church.

Bye-bye comfort zone. Oh, and by the way, the conversation was so confusing that somehow it was discussed that we would pick him up for church.

So, I packed up three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches along with some other food and we all boarded our minivan and chugged ahead the meeting place my sister thought he was describing. She was probably right...I really couldn't figure out where he was saying the pick-up location would be. We arrived, but couldn't see him anywhere. Okay. That was what I was secretly hoping for...kind of. I mean, of course I wanted him to come to hear the music and be blessed by the community and hear the powerful Word of God preached, but, it was kind of...well, scary.

So, we headed to church, worshipped and...

Using the church's phone, I called to confirm a last minute babysitter. I hung up, turned around and there was one of our good friends! "Hey, Josh, what are you and Sara up to tonight? I just got a babysitter and we have no plans." Well, they were also footloose and fancy-free and up for an adventure. We got our babysitter settled and all hopped in the car. We decided that since we were going downtown, we'd bring the bag of food originally intended for Jose. But, when we got there, I changed my mind, "I don't want to carry this around?!!" Sara looked at me, eyes wide, purse open and said, "I have room in here! Let's bring some!" So, we put in the three p.b. & j sandwiches, a can of peaches and a bag of chex mix.

Do you know we saw a total of THREE people who asked, "Can you help me out?" That's exactly how many sandwiches we had. Do you know how glad we felt to offer some food. And they were so sweet and grateful. I thought, Do I ever want to go downtown without a peanut butter and jelly ever again in my life??? No way!.

So, if you and your honey are heading out for a night on the town...particularly a town that is host to many homeless, pack a few sandwiches to hand out. You'll be blessed just by blessing others.

and do not lean on your own understanding

So, here's the story. As you can see in the "indecision" post, I was arguing with myself about how the boys should be educated next fall. I kept wracking my brain with the whole "pros and cons" thing. I was trying to soul search and figure out my motivations. I was trying to figure out what is the best education for them. It was so exhausting.

But, here's the back story. Here's the part that I was ignoring: the part about the financial package. Remember how I said that I was "waiting for God's answer in the form of a financial package"?? Remember how I said, "we received a really good financial package"??

There's even more. About a month ago or more, I started praying that God would show us His will for us in regards to education through the financial situation. Finances would come through three ways: us, family and financial aid (all God, by the way). We determined the maximum amount we felt comfortable with family covering (which was a lot!), we determined the amount we were able to cover (not so much moolah), and then prayed that, if it was God's will, that the remainder would be provided for through financial aid (which was a monstro chunk). No one, but us knew the figures we came up with. Within a few weeks, I received word from my family that they were "set to pay"...THE EXACT AMOUNT we were thinking we would need from family. That was astounding to me.

But, as we got closer to the date, I was getting antsy. I had received an email from a homeschool curricula publisher that they were going to host an all-day seminar (last Wednesay). I'd heard the speaker before and thought, "Okay, if I'm going to be home schooling, then I want to go hear this guy speak so that I can get pumped up and energized to do this." But, on the other hand, I don't want to go hear him, convince myself to home school and then find out that all the money has been provided for the wonderful private school that's three minutes away from my house!?! My amazing husband suggested that I go with the idea that it will all be helpful information for the summer. Great idea! Oh, and he was willing to take the day off work and stay with Miles and Jillian. He's super wonderful.

So, I went. I got pumped up. Then I got tired of being at the conference. Then I came home and opened a fat packet from the school which confirmed that they gave even MORE than we hoped for.
And then, I was confused and scared to make a decision.
I was in a tizzy thinking about all of this when a friend reminded me of how we prayed through this and how God answered. And I thought on, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your path." He had answered boldly, yet, I was still trying to lean on my own understanding. Why was I not trusting him? Do I believe God is sovereign over all?? YES! Do I believe he hears our prayers??? YES! Do I trust in Him with all my heart?? Good question! And the hazy fog began to clear. Do I trust a formula for education? Or do I trust GOD? Do I believe that God is in this? YES! Do I have to worry about anything? No. I really don't.

So, that's my story.

Friday, April 18, 2008


it looks like we've come to a decision. and there is peace. lots of peace. will fill you in later.


Okay. I am maybe the most indecisive person I know. I like to keep all options open for as long as possible. We just received a really good financial package from the school. Problem? I really think sending my boys to school next year is possibly the most sad, and most wonderful thing all at the same time.

I just can't decide what we should do next year.

I don't want to commit for next year...I will it feel then? I can't believe I'm admitting that I want my FEELINGS to inform my decision. And here's something I've noticed. For the last three days, I wake up thinking, "I could home school the kids." And then, as the day progresses, I have this really trapped feeling and think, "No. I can't. I need to send them to school.."

What gives?

My home schooling friends encourage me to follow my heart and home school. And, of course, the converse is true. There are a few exceptions , but that's pretty much the rule.

My feelings. My convictions. There's a battle going on in my heart. I feel like reading this, it's so obvious, right? Convictions seems like the right answer. Am I just not trusting that the Lord will supply my every need? Or has he through scholarship? And is it really a CONVICTION? Or is the "conviction" just a romanticized fantasy of raising up children who are brilliant and selfless...because I taught them? Is it pride? Do I feel like I have the power to determine their outcome ultimately?

There are more details, but I'm exhausted thinking about it. And I've got a Monday deadline.

Oh, friends, I'm in a tizzy...does anyone else know this feeling?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

not exactly sure

I'm not exactly sure what's happening. Makin'lobster, crawdads, something...I just know that I watched this four times and I keep comin' back for more.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

envy: a post for bloggers

i'll be honest. i have wordpress envy. the wordpress sites are so slick. i feel like such a cookie cutter blogger right now. seeing my template on other blogs is almost like going to prom and seeing someone else wearing my dress. my dress. my factory-made dress.

but, then, i'm not a serious blogger. who do i think i am making all the grandparents adjust to yet ANOTHER site to get their fix to see new pics of the grandkids???

are there any opinions out there?

(By the way, Miles is singing, "It came upon a Midnight clear, that I should drink some beer.")

Friday, April 11, 2008


to all of you people not in Minnesota: it's frip-frappin' SNOWING. seriously.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

a helpful blog

Almost seven months ago, a couple's loss cut me so deep, I couldn't stop thinking about them. I couldn't stop crying for them. I couldn't hardly think. When someone would ask, "How are you doing?", I really didn't know. I was just sad for Molly and Abraham. They had suffered through the loss of their little baby girl, Felicity, who was born still and silent and beautiful and flawless. I wanted to do something, but felt any attempt to reach out to them would be futile and maybe even it might make me feel better somehow, but still leave them longing for the little girl that no person could replace.

You've been there. Closer. Standing by your suffering friend. All words that come to mind seem so incredibly trite and useless. All the actions you come up with don't bring that suffering to an end. In your heart, you join in the grief and pain, but feel like it's a sacred thing you're supposed to keep a distance from, perhaps. You want to bring comfort, and yet, allow for open grieving at the same time. You fear that by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, you could actually grieve your friend even more.

A few weeks ago, Molly started writing a series called, "How to Help Your Grieving Friend". It's touched the lives of so many grieving women. It's incredibly insightful and helpful to those who are suffering alongside. This series is a window to what is likely going on in the mind of your grieving friend. I encourage you to read along and be blessed by this series.

Also, somewhat unrelated, here is one of my favorite posts ever. It's also by Molly. If I could have, I would have written it myself. But, alas, just know that I agree. I want you to feel welcome here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

too many thoughts, not enough coherence

I'm plagued with incomplete thoughts. If you have heard me talk, you know the words fly out fast. My brain is like a race track...the thoughts buzz by lightning quick. Lately, I've had SO much going on in the ol' noodle that I can't hardly communicate.

So, here's my random thoughts. Oh...and a disclaimer: Blogger is not letting me format this the way I want to! It keeps messing with my spacing. dang it.

One brain sucker is that I'm waiting. For what? For God's the form of a financial package from the school that the boys might go to next year. The two options for next school year are so extremely different. Either they go to a very good Christian prep school, or they will stay home and be educated by...ME! Not knowing this portion of the future is kind of paralyzing for me right now. Either I'll be spending nearly every moment with my boys, imparting wisdom (pearls, people!), being sanctified in a grueling way, doing chores with them, pushing myself to the limits it seems...OR, I'll take them to school, missing all the joys of watching the various lights go on, enjoying a sewing project here and there, enjoying coffee with a friend now and then, enjoying time alone when Jillian naps, but feeling like someone else is getting the best hours of my sons' lives, and thus feeling like I'm missing out on a huge chunk of motherhood. I've been wondering and waiting for a month now. And any day now, I should receive the answer in the mailbox.

In the meantime, I've been trying to declutter. When we moved to Minneapolis, we left our home half packed up, not really knowing how or when we were going to pack it up and get our stuff here. Well, my parents and the family (who bought our home and who are friends) graciously packed up my house. They packed everything. In other words, (no offense Mommala and Pops), they packed stuff that I'd have thrown away. For instance, they packed stuff that was set aside for a garage sale. Anyway, we moved our clutter from St. Louis 600 miles to Minneapolis. nice. The idea that I might have to home school next year contributes to my compulsion to purge my environment of unused, broken, never-was-my-style, ex-garage sale junk. But, of course, as you declutter, you have to deal with sweet little memories like snowflakes that are inspired by the first letter of your children's names:

stop. take a picture. recycle. repeat.

Or just shove in a bag and take to Goodwill. Our trash pile was at least twice as large.

Part of the reason we didn't go through stuff right away was the seemingly infinite amount of house projects this little abode offers. We closed on our house on December 21st of 2005. Want to see a picture of me on Christmas night a few days later?
nope. that's not fecal matter,
it's five layers of wall paper.

Yeah. At the time, it felt like we could get so much done and get so much behind us. But here we are, 2 1/2 years later, barely truckin' along. Here's the bathroom we thought we'd get done right away.

I think I actually kind of like the tile now. But how about that sink and counter combo? Yeah. The tub is a different shade of yellow. She's a beaut.

Oh. And what have we here? Ah yes, we've been trying to turn this space:

Into our SECOND (that's right, friends...we have only ONE) bathroom. It's taken almost a year to get it to look like this:
look closer... lots of work to do.

Speaking of work, here's Brent doin' doubletime.
Moving's something I think about almost everyday. Very random.

(in the grapefruit and lemongrass scent)

Smells like this:


Another thing. Commitments. I'll admit, I don't like to commit. Seriously. But, somehow I managed to be in three studies that require workbooks. These have a lot of fill in the blank questions...most of them are still blank...and they will most likely stay blank. Oh and speaking of's my nightstand:

These are just a smattering of books I'm reading...not finishing...enjoying?...learning from.

And here's something that's sure to make me feel awful every time I pass it...for the last nine months:

look close. you'll probably see your name. it's my WAY overdue "thank you" note list.
I'm forcing myself to draw this to a close. I'm making myself post this...even though it feels incomplete and unfinished much like the books, the thank yous, the decluttering, the decisions, the laundry, the dishes, the bathroom, the point...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

a post for long-distance grandparents

This includes ALL of them! They check this blog with hopes to see their grandchildren and instead get a dose of my randomness. Sorry, folks. So, Nana, Pop Pop, Grandma, and Gramps: This post is for you!

7 1/2 years of being a parent. Right there.

Avery's always making sure she's supported!

She's not satisfied merely crawling. She tries to get up on her feet.

Brent teaches Jillian air drums. But not in this picture. Just thought I'd let you know.

Loves to be up on her feet.

Looks like I'm on an invisible horse. Giddy up!
Momma can't take a good picture to save her life!

Friday, April 4, 2008

needing to sort through things...

i have been and will be laying low. things have piled up around here and i'm in the midst of decluttering.