Saturday, August 30, 2008

my timeline - the first decade

So, one of my commenters, had this idea on her blog, which she also snagged. I like it. The idea is that for every year of your life, you mention the first few associations that come to your mind. You'll get the idea as you read.

Age 1: Somehow, I busted my forehead and now bear the scar, which is mainly noticed by observant children. There are no pictures of me at this age as far as I know.

Age 2: Aunt Karla and Uncle Tup are at my second birthday. There is a picture this time. I'm crying because I'm forced to wear a party hat. I think this dramatic experience is why I have never craved ice cream cake.

Age 3: While sitting in church next to my sister and tired of being the baby of the family, I inform Neely, "I remember when I babysitted you once."

Age 4: I'm pretty sure I puked on my sister's Crayola backpack. Also, this was back in the day when Mr. Potato head had a pipe. I pilfered a can of powdered hot cocoa mix and used Mr. Potato head's pipe as my serving spoon.

Age 5: I was so excited to go to school I could hardly sleep. After attending school, I decided I hated it. Also, I leafed through Sears catalogs dreamily with the hopes of one day having a beautiful Easter dress with a short sleeved jacket and gloves and a hat and a matching purse.

Age 6: We moved to St. Louis. My mom married my step Dad. We were happy and secure and I experienced the smell of Autumn and Spring and the dead of Winter, though I don't remember that as much. After my first day at my new school, I got off the bus and a boy hollered through the window at me with information regarding boys and girls private parts. Shocked, I hollered back, "I know!!"

Age 7: I cried when dropped off for second grade. Had a very unstable teacher who cried a lot throughout the school year. She had Farah Fawcett hair. The class "problem" (for he wasn't a clown by any means) was a recurrent classmate for years to come. So disturbing that you wouldn't forget him. The last time I saw him was on the local news being arrested for murder.

Age 8: Mr. Kyle was my favorite teacher. He was chocolate brown and like seven feet tall (to me anyway). He was the most respectable teacher I ever had. I think I'll google him now. (dang. no luck.) Oh. And big deal: I was adopted and now when I talk about my Dad, I'm talking about my Dad because he's my Dad. Get it?

Age 9: Got my ears pierced. Loved Whitney Houston's "Wanna Dance with Somebody". Wore shorts called Jamz. Was nearly obsessed with desire to watch the movie Footloose (on VHS at the time), but my parents wouldn't let me. Had the soundtrack on record and would spend hours choreographing dances by myself in my room.

Age 10: Rented "Top Gun" for my birthday because it was my favorite movie at the time. Favorite dinner was Hamburger Helper's version of lasagna. Would later find out in my adult life that authentic lasagna was NOTHING like Hamburger Helper.

Now, if you enjoyed this at all, please make your own timeline post and let me know about it in the comments section of this post. I can't wait to read all about you!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

yet, another reason why i like my husband

A few weeks ago, he took the boys and Jillian fishing on the Mississippi. Although he'd worked a full day, and hadn't ever been to this place I was describing, he was willing to pack everyone in the van and go for an adventure, allowing me to stay home and enjoy quiet. More over, he got these beautiful pictures.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

confession # 10 - who's counting?

I have no idea how many of these I've eaten today. I just kinda realized I was eating them.

yeah, and these were a gift, too...from Keitha...i'm spoiled rotten!!

Thank you, Allison!!

My dear friend, Allison, gave Jillian these cute shoes (both pair!).
I thought this picture was too cute not to post!
Love you, Al!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

confession # 9 - i like birds, but i'm not an animal person

I feel like such a villain sharing this with you. I was THRILLED to find out that Miles is allergic to cats and dogs. These domesticated mammals are not my bag. Here's just five of my many reasons.

1. They poop, pee and vomit unexpectedly on your floors.
2. I'm not interested in wearing what my animal has shed.
3. They hump.
4. They go through garbage...and they like the grossest kind!
5. They are expensive to buy, feed, vaccinate, medicate, hospitalize and "put down".

in case you were wondering, i DO love my third child

She's not as bloggable, but we love Jillian quite a bit. She's a very mischievous little girl. She climbs the stairs and climbs on chairs. She tries to eat out of the garbage. Although we feed her almost constantly, she signs for "more" [food] incessantly. Jillian looks more and more like Brent every day. She has a favorite blanket which was knit for her by one of Brent's coworkers. When we put her down to sleep she always looks for it, grabs it and brings it to her face. She loves baths and pools. She likes water so much that when I wash her hands in the sink, she manages to get her feet in there, too! She walks most of the time, but is still pretty unstable. We all love her very much!

So, this is what she looks like these days.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

His eye is on the sparrow...or cardinal in this case

A Mama Cardinal made her home five inches from our family room window awhile ago. I recall the day I saw her gathering twigs and birch bark and thinking, "Yes, Lord!! Thank you!!". For I know that He rules over all including little birds.

And was I at all surprised that the eggs hatched on August 22? Not really. I was just pleased.

Here are the little babies in action:

back to school daze

Today, Avery returned to school. He was void of extreme emotion about this. He didn't seem excited or nervous or bummed or anything. He's pretty easy. His only concern was punctuality.

Tomorrow is Miles' first day of school. Honestly, I'm not that emotional about all this. I mean, I've been with my kids almost nonstop all Summer. Do I have in-town grandparents who come to the rescue? Nope. Have I used a babysitter ONCE during the daytime this summer? Absolutely not. I think the biggest break I had from being a Mom was the day of Joy's birthday when my dear friend Allison and her husband took the kids for eight hours. The last time Brent and I spent 24 hours alone was FOUR YEARS AGO. I'll be honest:

I'm pretty burned out.

So, how could I conjure tears for this beautiful thing called, "school"???

Today at Miles' orientation, the teacher said, "Oh, tomorrow, when you drop Miles off, please stick around for a few minutes. I have a book that I like to read to the students and their parents on the first day of school."

At the mention of this my eyes welled with tears. "Don't worry," she said, "I have Kleenex boxes all over the room."

Monday, August 25, 2008

confession # 8 - I'm more Minnesotan than I want to admit

I've only been here 2.75 years, but get this conversation.

Me: "Miles, get your shoes and socks on!"
Miles: "Mommy, what are sax?"

Friday, August 22, 2008

He's Here! He's Healthy!

Check out Abraham's blog to see this baby you prayed for!!!

And even better, now, Molly's blog!!!

prayer request

Please pray for Molly and Abraham. Their daughter Felicity was stillborn eleven months And now they are in the hospital preparing to deliver a baby this very morning. Please pray for all things obvious to pray for!!! Many thanks for stopping to pray even now!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

a night on the town (if by "town" you mean "arden hills")

So. How do I explain this? You know we had Youki living with us. You didn't know about Nana (pronounced Nah-Nah). She was staying with our neighbor who is our really good friend, who's husband was also our realtor, and they go to our church. The husband's really YOUNG aunt is Dawn (she and her husband, Lee also go to our church...actually we all go to their church, because they were there first!). So, Dawn, Nana, Youki and I all went bowling . I thought I'd share the pictures.

I have to laugh at this picture because I didn't have a strike the whole night. This might have been after a gutter ball for all I know.

Here's our Youki!

"Aunt Dawn", but just Dawn to me...well not just Dawn. She so much fun.

And Nana!

Okay. We are all fun, but look at Youki! So much spunk! So much character. I really love her like a daughter. I'll tell you more about her stay sometime soon, I hope. I'll just say we miss her very, very much.

And she makes the best faces! Seriously. Hopefully, I'll get her permission to do a post of "expressions from Youki". This one make me belly-laugh every time.

Ah. Nana felt like sisters with Dawn and Jenny. So sweet.

She's actually celebrating a strike in this shot!

Well, I had such a blast even though it was probably my WORST bowling score ever. I didn't break 100...not even 80, I think.

confession # 7 - i'm not as quick as you might think

When I saw this tragic headline today:
"At least 45 reported dead in Spain runway accident"
I supposed that 45 super models must have had a faulty runway or something.

11 Things I love about Brent

1. He prays with me and for me.
2. When he comes home, he greets the boys and takes Jillian from my arms.
3. He has let me sleep in most of the weekend mornings for I-don't-know-how-long.
4. He doesn't complain. ever. I'm serious.
5. He has never called me while I'm away from the family merely to find out when I'm coming home or to report that the baby really needs me.
6. Brent never removes his wedding ring.
7. He takes time to share the details of his day with me. He loves to debrief.
8. He has one of those page-a-day calendars where you rip off the page. It's "The Office" quotes. He collects all his favorites and brings them home periodically and reads them to me. His best impersonations are Dwight, Angela and Toby.
9. He likes my cooking and likes taking leftovers to work.
10. He calls me during the day to see how I'm doing or report anything interesting. And he calls me at the end of the day to tell me the EXACT time he'll be coming home.
11. He's still pretty intense about me as if we've just started dating and as if I haven't said the stupidest things in his presence, or been overly harsh to him, or as if I don't have crows feet, grey hair and a mom body. After 11 years of marriage*, he treats me like I'm this fresh and exciting thing in his life, of which he just can't get too much. I love how he loves me.

*We celebrated our 11 year anniversary on August 9...11 days ago.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

email crisis update

1. You all rock. Thank you so much for you helpful advice.
2. I started a gmail account and it's the same username, but it's now Very easy.
3. I was going to do Outlook, but there's like some techy pop3 thingy lacking in free hotmail accounts so that wasn't an option (as far as I could tell). But, I learned that you can do Outlook with Gmail, so I might do that. Also, I'm going to download Flashblock per Abraham's suggestion.
4. As I read all your helpful comments in my email on my hotmail account, I almost wanted to vomit at the ads featuring girls clad in white tank tops giggling as they checked email and then would glance at the camera with a fake surprised look suggesting that they just had no idea they were being watched. It's just repulsive. And now I'm free!!!

Thanks so much for helping me out of the hole that was HOTMAIL!!!

stop, stare, flirt????

It makes me livid. That "stop, stare, flirt" ad that comes up on my window every time I check my hotmail account. I have no control over this as far as I know. So, I'm forced to see these moving, flashing--and now add AUDIO--ads while I check my email. I feel like a victim. I'm going to change email. I'm thinking Gmail is the way to go. Do you have any advice?? I'm desperate. I don't care if I know you, just please tell me which free email I can use that doesn't advertise for dating services or interest-only loans using some ridiculously bad dancer popping and crumping all the way to the bank.

I've been to busy to blog. (Who isn't?) But, this is an emergency. I need help!!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

confession # 6 - breakfast this morning

-half a slice of zucchini bread
-a handful of animal crackers
-a small scotch-a-roo
-3 cups of coffee (with cream and sugar, of course)

stupid question

Do you consider yourself a native of a certain city if you spent most of your life there or if you were born there? Which is it?

I consider myself a St. Louis native, but I spent the first six years of my life in Florida.

BTW, there's a LOT of potential for "stupid question" to become a recurring post, but I'm not going to commit. We'll just see...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

confession # 5 - is it trash because it's in the garbage or because it belongs in the garbage?

Seriously. I have art that dates back to junior high. Why can't i just trash this stuff?

Okay. Now, it's your turn. What are you holding on to?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

these moments in motherhood brought to you by....BOYS!

Thank you, Miles. Now I know where the rubberbands "went".

Thank you, Avery. Now I have a new fear of giant spiders in the fridge.

dirty and cute.

clean and cute.

I love them so.
But now i need to go tell them to stop trashing the house!!!!

Our new teenage daughter!!!

Oh, we love Youki (pronounced: You-key)! She is from Tokyo and we're hosting her for two weeks. She's seventeen. She calls us "Mom" and "Dad"! I know, right? I feel old, but in a good way. She is so much fun. Slowing down my speech and making myself clear has been a great exercise for me. I've been more aware of the boys' need for me to stop and ask if they understand my words. More than I would have expected, they've required more explanation.

So, here's some fun Youki pics!

Monday, August 11, 2008

confession #4- i'm afraid i'm not the proverbs 31 woman

Even worse, I think I'm the Proverbs 14:1 woman.

"A wise woman builds her home, but the foolish woman tears it down with her own hands".

The following pictures are all examples of projects that were started on a whim, with no real plan or time line for project completion.

The wallpaper (I've confessed this before)

The broken bathroom fan, which the boys called, "the dying moose" (Brent has since replaced this, but this bathroom is FAR from redone!) Yeah, I just started unscrewing this and ripping out that. It was great.

This is what was revealed after pulling off the paneling, chair rail, baseboard and quarter round. I used a crowbar. It was my kind of thrill. I love demolition.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

hoops, hip hop and the gospel

So, my homeboys (no, literally, the boys from my home) went to this event and returned with a c.d., which they expected to be a sampler of Christian rap. It is, in fact, 13 tracks of gospel-focused sermon excerpts by three different pastors (C.J. Mahaney, Josh Harris, and John Piper) set to hip hop beats. After I realized this, I felt badly that our family had snagged one, because our boys listen to tune out Piper every week. But, then something marvelous happened. My boys really liked it. They kept asking for "that John Piper c.d.". Avery was really drawn in by the hip hop beats. And I could hear him quoting scripture along with pastors. Are you kidding me? It's like the Ovaltine of gospel messages, except better!!! Thank you, WHOEVER YOU ARE, you, who gave a lil' flava to these gospel messages!!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

confession #3 - the reason i waxed my eyebrows at almost midnight

As I looked across the living room into the dining room mirror, I thought for a moment that we had a Frida Kahlo portrait in our house.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Fabulous Friend #3

It's finally time for another Friend Talkers post! You've "met" Kim and Joy. And now, I'd like to introduce you to my dear friend, Sarah! Many years ago, I told her that she was the answer to prayers that I hadn't even prayed faithfully. I didn't even know the half of it then.

Sarah is iron. The kind that sharpens. The kind that God delights to use for his glory.

I had been a Christian for a long while, but, until I met Sarah, I didn't know real Christian fellowship outside my family. I didn't know how to be my comedic free-speaking self and be my Jesus-needing, God-glorifying self. It was confusing. To me, Christian women seemed quiet, homely, boring, quiet, studious, serious, quiet and also excruciatingly quiet. (And there were no blogs that I knew of to prove to me how many wonderful, hilarious, honest, God-fearing, God-glorifying Christian women there really are!!!) So, naturally, I didn't know how an extroverted woman really fit in the church community.

Until I met Sarah. She was intensely earnest about her Creator. And she was always ready to throw her head back and laugh.

Sarah would call me to ask me to pray for her. Sarah told me that during the nursing months, she "just felt like Booby McBooberson". Sarah confessed specific sin in her life. Sarah laughed wonderfully loud. Sarah prayed with me. Sarah told me it was years before she realized that "The School of Hard Knocks" was not actually a school. Sarah shared what she learned in quiet times with me. Sarah taught me that making Tuna Helper was not actually cooking. Sarah introduced me to the phrase "purity in thought life". Sarah would run and kick her bum and flail her arms just to hear me laugh out loud.

Sarah was not self-protective. She gave no pretense of being the model Christian wife and mother. And, yet, in so many ways, she was the God-given model who showed me that being a Christian means that we do not hide. We do not hide our faith. We do not hide our personality. We do not hide our sin. We do not hide our fears. We do not hide our weaknesses. We do not hide our gifts. We are an exposed people.

I learned this by Sarah's example.

In the first few years of our friendship, we spoke everyday and saw each other at least once a week. Five years ago, Sarah and Kurt moved to Los Angeles. And just a year ago, they moved again across the country to the Pennsylvania (to her hometown and the hometown of "The Office"!). In the last five years, Sarah and I have had four reunions ranging from 3 hours to 4 days. The Lord has been good to protect our friendship through life's many trials and transitions while lacking the daily contact we enjoyed during the foundation of our friendship. Just a few weeks ago, we had one of these reunions when my sister flew her to Minneapolis. Here are some pics:

Me, Sarah and Neely at Palomino.

Sarah being snagged by one of the dueling pianist at SHOUT! after requesting none other than "Sarah" by Jefferson Starship. Snagged for what?

Oh the irony of Sarah being forced to dance to "I like Big Butts". She has no junk in the trunk. But, she DOES have a sense of humor! Thanks for playing along, Sar!

Posted once already, but worthy of a repeat. I love you, SARAH!

And in closing....
3 random Sarah facts:

1. Sarah has made me more ham sandwiches than anyone...even my own mother!
2. She took my profile picture.
3. She and I put on fake British accents for the hotel staff in del Mar...just a year ago. And, yes, we knew we were being junior high. It's that kicking-your-bum-flailing-your-arms kind of freedom that I enjoy with my dear friend, Sarah.

Friday, August 1, 2008

picking up the pieces

This morning, I hurriedly whipped the cap off of my diminishing deoderant, only to have the pieces fly across the bathroom in every direction. What's a girl to do? Work it like a jigsaw and get those pieces back in there. And try, try, try to remember to put it on the grocery list.

p.s. I'm going to make the list right. now.