Sunday, December 27, 2009

i get rather excited about little successes

Yesterday, I re-taught myself how to use a serger. I hadn't used one since college. For those of you who don't know, it's that machine that has four big spools of thread on the back. It looks like this:

I told Brent I felt like this:

yeah. I know. It's so appropriate for the moment, right?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

How we were rollin' on Christmas Eve...

Costumes (Avery's idea), carols (Brent's idea) and the story of Christ's birth (God's idea) made for a perfect Christmas Eve.

Hoping you have a blessed Christmas!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

perhaps i'm raising a little dwight schrute (yes, i just changed the title)

Me: Avery, you need to stop tattling on everyone in the family. You're like the gestapo.

Avery: I'll take that as a compliment.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

three movies, without which, i don't know what my childhood might have been like...

We loved these movies. We quoted these movies. It wasn't the mark of our family but it was a mark. And I can't help but think that knowing these movies inside and out and quoting them at just the right moment bonded us together.

Did you grow up on movies? Which ones?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Am I the only one COMPLETELY FREAKED OUT that Christmas is in, like, a week?!!

that's it. just freaked out. not ready. but, i WILL say that as i'm feeling the anxiety levels rise, i'm reminding myself that JESUS came to be THE LAMB OF GOD. so, so, SO thankful for christmas. i DESPERATELY need a Savior.

Monday, December 14, 2009

i probably would have rebuked me

Today, I felt loved when Brent listened to me talk about how (irrationally) angry I was without trying to correct my thinking. Love is patient.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

one of my favorite pictures of aunt annie and uncle wayne...and...brent, is that you?

*because you must know...This picture was taken in 2001 with regular SLR camera...NOT digital. His prank was discovered after my Aunt Karla had her pictures developed. Brent doesn't limit this little prank to family, he loves to jump into the background of strangers' pictures as well.

Friday, December 11, 2009

three reasons i'm surprised this book has survived on our shelf

Here's the culprit. Looks innocent enough.


Huh. At the very least, this feels awkward to read.


This picture upsets me. The flame is DEFINITELY consuming the bush. Charring the bush pretty much takes away much of the miraculousness of the event.


Really? I'm not saying it's not important, but hm...I think I'll take God's FREE GIFT of ETERNAL LIFE over the law, thanks.

I doubt I'm the only one who cringes at many Bible-like children's books. The worst one ever was called Waldo the Whale and was all about Waldo's self-esteem issues, until God had mercy on the whale and gave him a sense of purpose by giving him the task of--you guessed it--swallowing Jonah. Yep. And, at the end, God thanks Waldo.

But, don't worry folks! We've got some great Bible storybooks for the kiddos, too!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

three closing lines for emails

1. A version of a typical closing line from ministry leaders at my church:

"Looking forward to glorifying God with you for the joy of all peoples through this ministry,

2. The way I sign off most of my emails:


3. A version of how I might sign off with close friends:

"Apathetically, you greasy hoser,

How do you sign off on emails? Always the same? Or do you change it up?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

three shows i'm watching these addition to "the office", of course

I'm not proud of the fact that I'm keeping up with at least four shows this season. I usually watch one or none. But, thanks to Hulu (until 2010), I've been laughing along with Brent watching these comedies:

1. gLee Why is this show so addictive? Is it the musical numbers or the teen drama? I'm embarrassed. Let's move on.
2. Modern Family Two characters make this show for me: Cam and Phil.
3. Community The dialogue has gotten so tight on this show. Sometimes, the lines are so funny that I'm not even laughing. Instead, I'm jealous that I didn't write them! Ridiculously quirky characters. Probably my favorite on this list.

What are you watching? Be honest. You love gLee, don't you?!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

three favorite toddler words + one more for good measure

1. Avery said Dobba-Duba for Bob the Builder.

2. Miles said chep-up for ketchup.

3. Jillian says, sim-soup for swim suit.

Do you know any words that you said when you were a tot? Or, what are your favorites that you've heard over the years? nephew, Samuel, said a-dodo-bo for adorable. love that one!

Monday, December 7, 2009

three questions...forcing myself to blog #2

I think I'm going to try this all week....short little posts.

1. Do you have a favorite Christmas gift from your childhood? I think mine was a three story Barbie house with an elevator. Not electric. It was manual. But, I loved it. My parents had a tradition of always giving a big non-wrapped gift. It was pretty magical to walk downstairs and see the huge display of gifts and lights and my super rad Barbie mansion.

2. Are you going to do a Christmas card this year? I really want to because I LOVE getting Christmas cards. And I really enjoy composing a Christmas letter and reading our friends' updates. But, how am I going to have the time to gather, address and stamp those cards? And WHEN am I going to get a picture with all of us? I know it's not realistic for me to get one done this year, but I'm still holding out hope. It sure would be fun to exchange Christmas cards with some of my blogging friends, too. dang...still hoping....

3. Do your kids believe in Santa Clause? I don't think ours do. We've pretty much never really gotten into it. I don't remember believing in Santa, and feel like it doesn't enhance Christmas necessarily. I'm not super opinionated about this, though. How do you handle this? And is there anyone out there who caved after their kids reported that the kids at school informed them that Santa is not real. Our kids fully believed in the tooth fairy until recently. Kids at school gave Avery the scoop and we initially did not confirm or deny those allegations. But, within 24 hours, he was informed that WE were the tooth fairy. He was so bummed and--because he is so frugal--tried to give the money back to Brent!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

three thoughts...forcing myself to blog

Yep. I need to practice writing here more. But, this line item doesn't count as one of my thoughts.

1. Everyone asks, "How is it with four?". I love it. Jillian is the most difficult right now. She's two and climbs, marks on everything with markers (usually washable), puts her REAL dinner in the PLAY oven, loves to "see how Phoebe's doin'" wake Phoebe up, make random calls and texts on my cell phone, etc. The rest of them are easy. But, this season will be gone before I know it. I just realized this morning that Jillian is HALFWAY to Kindergarten. See? Poof! Life is a vapor. Oh...and, in other news, Jillian also provides tons of entertainment. My favorite quote of late is when she announced, "I like me!"

2. Everyone asks, "Are you done?". Hm. Probably? I know this is one of those questions where people feel like it's nobody's business, but we always want to know. We're all just a bunch of freaks wantin' to know stuff we can't really know.

3. Everyone (in my family) asks...for more pictures. Hm. I just uploaded some, but in the transfer to Blogger, the quality looks so poor. I don't know why, but all my photos look like camera phone pics. Oh well. Here's the kiddos.

Looks like Jillian was playing with Phoebe. she's free!

Avery asks to hold Phoebe everyday. It's sweet!

Miles likes her, too!

Jillian is going through a cheesy smile phase...but I think it's kinda cute!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Miles is REALLY thankful...and so am I

1. I wasn't expecting to be at the top of the list...even though, he makes it clear with his last item that they are not in order of importance. But still, I made SIX appearances on this thankful list. I'm thankful for that. I don't deserve that.

2. Fifty-four items, people. Serious stream of consciousness thankfulness.

3. Brent and I love how much is misspelled. It's adorable.

4. We were surprised by some of the items. Really? Rugby, plastic and crossword puzzles all made the cut? nice.

5. You can click on the images if you want to see the list more clearly.

Here's my quick list of what I'm humbly thankful for...

Totally undeserved. Thank you, Lord.

Friday, November 20, 2009

i like to know what i'm eating

I was looking through recipes when it occurred to me that I don't like recipe titles that include the word "surprise". To me, "surprise" in this context is a euphemism for "you'll never guess what freaky ingredient is in this!!!"

So, when I read Golden Potato Surprise in the Taste of Home mass email dealio, my mind translated it to Potatoes That You Would NOT Eat if You Only Knew the Truth!!!

Incidentally, when I actually looked at it, this recipe did not have any freaky ingredients.

pathetic highs

I guess it doesn't matter if you're job is primarily in the home or corporate or in school. We all have little things that give us a rather pathetic high. Just a moment ago, I thought, Sweet! I'm going to treat myself to a load of sheets and towels! A whole load of laundry, but MUCH less to fold.

seriously. super and lame at the same time.

How about you? What lame thing gives you a minor thrill??

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

hello out there (quiet echo) hello out there...(repeat echo even more quietly...)

My Mom called today, following up on letters she wrote to the boys, wondering how they liked them. A friend called and asked the other day, "Was the meal I brought okay?" Last night, my friend Allison called and stated quickly, "Just need a health report."

So, yeah. I have had major communication fail these days.

So, the last post was the day before the FLU--yes the FLU, and maybe THE Flu--hit our home. Wow. Phoebe wasn't even a week old, and we had fevers of 105, puking and lung-convulsing coughs in our home. lovely.

So, yeah. That's where I've been. So far, Brent, Phoebe and I have NOT gotten sick. Jillian still has sniffles and a nasty cough. She's heard everything from, "Cover your cough with your arm," to "Go cough in that room," to "Honey, if Phoebe gets your cough, she'll die." (I don't have a reputation for my tact, k?)

Here's some brain dumpage on one general topic: Changes

1. My hair. A.) What the heck has happened to it? Is it my age? A fourth pregnancy? It's fuzzy and stringy at the same time. It totally requires the use of a flat iron. B.) I'm actually willing to take time to do my hair. Up to this point, I've required THE lowest hair maintenance of ANYONE I know. Seriously. I DON'T OWN A BOTTLE OF HAIRSPRAY. I do have a spray that is used for flat-ironing. And it's getting used. Even with all the newborn/flu stuff going on, taking time for my hair (so that I don't scare the children) has become necessary.

2. Newborn fingernails. While we're on the subject of personal hygiene, I'd like to mention that I trimmed Phoebe's super long nails the day we came home from the hospital. None of this emery board silliness. I think that's just one difference between Jenna2000 and Jenna2009. I'm using nail clippers on my newborn dang it.

3. Before I had the baby, I thought I was nesting because of all that cleaning I was doing. No. I think I'm just a changed woman. I think that having SIX members of our family in a small home has made me a freak about keeping a clean home. There is simply no time, nay...there is NO ROOM for crumbs, mess, dirty dishes, GERMS and so on. In fact, that's another reason it's hard to sit down and write. I could be cleaning right now. so tempting...

4. How many times can I tell you how much I love the boys' new school??? Huge change. I LOVE IT! I NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER thought I'd be satisfied with a school. So glad I was wrong.

5. Change. me not make sentences very good. That's how I feel when I talk to people these days. I left the most awkward voice mail yesterday. Make that (at least)
two awkward voice mails. I actually got feedback from one friend that I sounded DRUGGED. nice. I'm not even on ibuprofen, people. I feel like a schmuck that I've dropped the ball and hardly called or facebooked or emailed anyone. But, me not make sentences very good. I'll get better soon. Perhaps when I get a four hour stretch of sleep, okay?

I'll write this quickly (because I'm delusional if I think I'll get it done any other way in the next 48 hours):

I have LOVED getting packages in the mail! Thank you, A & W, Mom and Dad, Carol, Mom #2, Priscilla & Dave and Joy & fam! (I probably missed someone!)

Also, we have LOVED every meal that has been dropped off! Ah-MAZE-ING, people. Delish.

This is not to replace official Thank Yous. I have actual thank you notes I want to send, but in the meantime, just know that we love our gifts and not only have the meals NOURISHED us, they've tasted delish-y-oso!

Ending post abruptly (it's "publish" now or never, friends!!)
pictures coming soon...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

two good answers

So, while Brent was out at the grocery store with Jillian last night, I asked the boys,

"Does my belly look smaller yet?"

Avery: "Yeah! It looks a lot smaller."
Miles: "No...(long pause) wasn't that big to begin with."

Monday, October 19, 2009

and she has a name

We've been known to change our kids' names (even after coming home from the hospital!), but we're pretty certain that we can confidently introduce...

Phoebe Joy Scheetz

Phoebe means "radiant" or "bright". The meaning of Joy is obvious, but it means more to us because it's the name of one of the dearest souls you could ever meet.

Psalm 34:5 "Those who look to Him are radiant, and there faces shall never be ashamed."

That's our hope for Phoebe Joy, that she would look to God her whole life.

She has dark hair and blonde eyebrows. Is this normal?
She's very sweet. Seems calm. We'll see if that holds.

And she's totally punk rock.

Oh, and I can say with all confidence that I would have lost my mind without those three standing behind me. In fact, I DID lose my mind about 10 times and they brought me back to reality!!! note. I'm sorry if I'm not making calls. I've slept all of two hours since yesterday morning. It's easier to type than talk. For those of you who I'd normally call, please know we'll catch up soon.

fast and furious, the baby arrives!!!!

So, dear friends! Thanks so much for standing by! And THANKS FOR PRAYING!!!! Turns out those contractions were the real deal!

Can't upload pictures yet, but this is what I can tell you.

Contractions started while I was grilling chicken around 5:30 p.m.
They continued as I wrote emails and posted on the blog.
Around 10:00, it seemed necessary to get to the hospital.
Got to the hospital around 10:30.

Our baby was born 1:25 a.m. on October 19. I'm still in shock that it's real.

We have a baby girl.
9 lbs 12.6 oz
21 3/4 inches (or so, Brent thinks...I don't even know!)
Lots of hair.
Very sweet.

I had the best labor and delivery team, including our doula Karen and my stellar husband, Brent.

Oh, and the baby came too fast for an epidural. More later.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

my little stumbling block

Okay, so, confession: I haven't been paying attention as much during dinner prayer times. I peek through my fingers and watch Jillian. But, how can I not???

Hope you're as entertained as I am as we wait...and wait...and wait! I think I'm feeling a few contractions...hope this means something!

Friday, October 16, 2009

friends don't let friends...

So, I never thought I'd let Jillian have a femullet (female mullet). But, sometimes, love is truly blind.

How could I not see it?? I mean, this isn't the best picture, but you can see, right? Actually, Jillian's hair was growing to a point like Joan Jett or something...maybe even--dare I admit it--it was rat tail-like...

Just replace this pacifier with a cigarette and the hair works. But, that's not the look we're going for....

I convinced myself that the once every two months I managed to keep her hair up like this made it all worth it. But, I was kidding myself. She pulls these things out quicker than you can say "sit still".

So, Molly, thanks for the little subtle hints, which lovingly told me I had fallen back on my NO-FEMULLET pledge. You'll be happy to know, I snipped off the rat tail and she is now sporting a bob.

I'd show a picture, but my camera is in the (still unnecessary) hospital bag in the car...argh!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

this "due" date feels more like a "do" date

Well, folks. This is the first time that I've ever been pregnant ON my due date. It's kinda strange.

But, I must say that even though there is a measure of disappointment, I'm grateful, because I'm still pregnant with what I'm hoping is a healthy baby.

The boys are home from school today and tomorrow. I was dreading this, because they can be quite a burden with their arguing and constant nagging. I mean, they're kids. That's their natural bent. But, Brent gave them VERY clear instructions to help me out today. And,

Avery has...
dusted a bookcase
unloaded half the dishwasher
straightened up the basement
made his bed
changed his pillow case
straightened up his room
taken out the recycling
written a thank you note

Miles has...
unloaded the other half of the dishwasher
read countless books to Jillian
played games and entertained Jillian
vacuumed the family room
made his bed
changed his pillow case
and also written a thank you note

Jillian has...
skipped her nap
put her hand in her poopy diaper for the first time
received a long, soapy bath
put glue stick on like chapstick

Unborn baby has...
squirmed around

I have...
had a resurgence of energy and cleaned maniacally most of the day. I don't think this means I'm going into labor since I've been like this most of the last month. Just saying it feels more like a "do" date than a "due" date.

I appreciate any prayers for a safe delivery.

Monday, October 12, 2009

being self-absorbed led to this belated birthday wish!

Okay. So, ALL day yesterday, I thought, "I want to have the baby today, because it's Aunt Carol's birthday!"

The day came and went with no labor or delivery.

The day came and went without even a BIRTHDAY CALL TO AUNT CAROL!!!

Oh. My. Goodness. Could I have been more self-absorbed????

Dearest Aunt Carol,

You are the coolest! You remember all of our birthdays AND faithfully remember our anniversary!!! You send care packages. We always feel so loved by you!!! The boys consistently mention how, even though you are their GREAT aunt, you are SO YOUNG! (It's true.) You are so tender and sweet and we love your constant smile.

I am SO SORRY that we didn't even CALL yesterday. Honestly, I promise, we were thinking of you all day!

Thanks for putting up with us!

We love you to pieces!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

okay. i'm ready. c'mon baby!

So, the hospital bag is mostly packed.

The baby bed is set up.

The nursing cover is made.

The windows are washed, the floor is scrubbed, the laundry is caught up.

The wardrobe is truly dwindling.

The--I'm not kidding--shopping lists for double coupon Wednesday are set.

I've run out of things to keep me busy.

Wait...I see a smudge on the mirror and some lint on the wood floors--see ya! Gotta keep cleaning....

And, don't worry, Mom! I'll call you when I go into labor. And, you blogger buddies, you'll get an update as soon as I'm able. You ARE my BFFs (bloggie friends forever!).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

thoughts at 39 weeks pregz

1. Do you know why I love Avery the most? (Okay, I don't really have a favorite, but I did for about five minutes this morning.) On the way to school today, he said, "You don't look pregnant enough to have the baby."

2. I am still in shock and denial that I'm pregnant.

3. The last thought is somewhat surprising because, wow, I have gained a lot of weight, I can hardly breathe, and I have one outfit that I like to wear.

4. I don't like blogging about pregnancy, because it feels insensitive to those who would really, really like to be pregnant right now. At the same time, it's a major reality for me. I'm torn.

5. If I should go another 24 hours pregnant, this will be the longest pregnancy I have experienced. That's right. I've never had to go the full 40 weeks before.

6. I thought that I'd get an epidural this time, because I've had back labor (read: hell-on-earth-kind-of-pain) during the last two deliveries. But, I'm truly freaked out by the needle going into my back. We'll see.

7. I've had three children before. I can't imagine having a newborn. Figure that one out.

8. I have not set up the baby bed or fully packed a hospital bag. denial, denial, denial...

9. I am most tired between 4 and 6:30 p.m. I can make dinner, but I feel like I'm in a waking coma at the table.

10. Did you know I make nursing covers?? (of course.) Yeah, I haven't made one for myself. Maybe I should do that.

11. Most common question: Have you named the baby? Honest Answer: Not really. In fact, we've never named a baby officially before they were born.

12. This is the coldest weather that I've had to endure during a third trimester. Miles was born in October. But that was in St. Louis. Generally, there aren't forecasts for flurries in St. Louis in October. I don't have a maternity coat. It's cold.

13. It's really hard to have a positive tone when you're this pregnant. That's another reason I haven't blogged much. I kinda just feel grumpy and don't want to subject you (too often, anyway) to this negativity.

14. I think we can attribute #13 to LACK OF SLEEP.

15. Please don't say, "That prepares you for baby." It doesn't. There is NOTHING that can prepare ANYONE for a newborn...except for previous experience. It is generally easier every time, depending on the health of baby and mom.

16. Did I mention that Jillian doesn't nap anymore. It sucks. It really, really sucks. I am also in denial about this. I still put her in her crib and say, "night night," and just let her deal for awhile. Eventually, her chit-chat turns into, "MOM!!! MOM!!! I mot a cacker! MOMMMMM! I'm ah done. Come hAre!!!" oh brother. Lord, help me. It's more mind-numbing to hear fussiness through a monitor than in person. Amen??

17. If I give birth this weekend, Jenny W. or Jenny R. better bring me some Sunday papers. I still want to clip coupons!!! ;-)

18. I decided about a month ago, that I'll deliver the baby October 9. That's tomorrow. The doctor and baby are not aware of this decision. And God didn't necessarily agree to this plan either. hm.

19. I started a sewing project for someone a LONG time ago. I'm convinced that God loves this person so much that he won't let me go into labor until it's done. I'm gonna try to get it done tonight.

20. Jillian is yelling "MAMA!!! I am AH! DONE!" Better go. Good news is that Brent called earlier to say, "Don't make dinner. I'll take care of it." THANK YOU, BRENT!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Before Felicity, there was Paige

There are people you meet who change you. And then there are those who haven't met--who have never even had a first breath or cry--who change you. Today, I'd like to honor the life of Paige, who was born on October 6, 2000, by sharing how her life and death changed me deeply. I am so grateful to God for her and look forward to meeting her when I get to heaven.

Nine years ago, one of my dearest friends in the world, Joy, called me at 6:30 in the morning crying. I arrived at her house shortly after to care for her son. She left for the hospital unsure of whether the little one she'd been carrying for 17 weeks was going to make it. Other than a huge supply of tears, I felt empty as I dreaded what seemed imminent.

I have never known a darker day than this one.

It was so dark. And I was so inexperienced with grief.

I had no idea what to say...what to not to communicate my deep grief. There were so many questions that day and the days that followed I hadn't ever dealt with before. Was I allowed to grieve deeply as I felt like grieving??? Should I bring up Paige? Should I just wait to see if Joy wants to talk about it?? Should I ask to see Paige's pictures? What do I write in a card? Should I give flowers? If the flowers die, will that make her more sad?

It felt like every option of entering into Joy and Craig's grief was risky. It felt like I could fail at loving them by saying or doing the wrong thing.

I praise God for Joy, because it wasn't long before she called to check in. She didn't wonder what she should say. She shared the story of Paige's birth...about getting to the Emergency Room, the horrible bedside manner of the first doctor, the comfort they took in trusting God even after learning of Paige's death, the painful labor and delivery, the beautiful little baby that they were at first afraid to meet, and how they loved her so deeply, about the true presence of God they both felt in the hospital room. I wanted to know every detail, but would have felt invasive asking. I wanted to know as much about Paige's life as I could. I wanted to hold on to the details of her short earthly life.

In the days that followed, Joy would share with me how people at work wouldn't say anything. They didn't ask how she was, or share their sadness with her over the death of her baby. They just awkwardly entered her office to ask a question, and then took off. (Not all, but many.)

I felt convicted, knowing that I might have acted the same way. And so, I determined to not be that person.

I learned from Joy, through the life and death of Paige, that it is good and right to enter into grief with those who are grieving. It is good and right to take risks that express love, even if I doubt my eloquence. I learned that I don't have to have a close relationship with someone to express my own grief over their loss. I learned that it's better to say something, than to remain silent because I'm afraid it might make them more sad.

I still wish that Paige had lived her first 80 years, or so, of life here on earth.

But, I am grateful to God that He used her life to teach me how to love others better.

Friday, September 25, 2009

confession: i'm drinking the coupon kool-aid and loving it!

It's true. I have plunged into the depths of the couponing underworld. It'''s a phase for now and I'm enjoying it while it's fun. Thanks so Jenny at A Latte Talk for inspiring me.

Are there any fellow coupon lovers out there? Here's a test for you:


1. Much of Friday you think, "Just ONE more day before I can get the early edition of the Sunday paper!"

2. Every time your two-year-old sees a scrap of paper, she says, "Yook Mama, a pookon."

3. You have a minimum of 10 boxes of cereal...which you either got for free or got for mere tuppence!

4. You're more inclined to take pictures of your groceries than your children.

5. You are unashamedly talking about the pleasures of couponing on your blog...or you abandon your blog altogether for the joy of clipping and grocery shopping.

What else???

Sunday, September 13, 2009

what was a brain dump became a school update

1. Howdy peeps! When I haven't written a post in awhile I get the same feeling as when I miss church. I come back and think, "Where have you all been??" oh. that's right. I was the one who was gone. yep. That's how I feel right now.

2. It's official. Summer is over. In Minneapolis, they shut down the pools BEFORE Labor Day. Oh, and just so you know, they open them WEEKS AFTER Memorial Day. I would have grumbled and complained about this, but for the fact that it wasn't even hot enough to actually go swimming. Speaking of cool weather, I saw some Canadian Geese in a V-formation flying south today and felt like an idiot for living here. But, really...I do love it.

3. Actually, I REALLY love it here. Even though we're politically in the minority, I feel like I fit here more than I've ever fit anywhere in my life. Have I ever told you that I get teary-eyed when I see the skyline after I've been out of town? It really feels like home in this frozen tundra.

4. Oh yeah...back to my original (although not even touched on!) point from #2. Summer is over... in terms of school! The boys are in school. And guess what?! We're all pretty happy with it. Did I tell you we switched schools? Did I tell you that we were going to homeschool? No? Here's the story:

For various reasons, in February of this year, we felt like it was time for a change of school. As I had done for the last two years, I applied hopelessly for the charter school of my dreams. Kids get in based on a lottery system. (But, once they're in, they're in. It seems obvious to me, but it's a common question.) So, we revisited the home school possibility. After reading some helpful books and having some really insightful conversations, we decided "YES!" home schooling is the way to go! But, dun-duh-duhhhhn!!!! The next day we were VERY surprised to find out that Baby Scheetz #4 existed. I waffled back and forth for a month about the home schooling decision. I know other people do this newborn/homeschool thing with success. They are amazing. But, I couldn't...and I found out eventually that I didn't have to because, BOTH BOYS GOT INTO THE SCHOOL BY LOTTERY (aka God's sovereign will!)!!!! So. As you might have figured out, this was a HUGE relief. Did I mention that our great friends and neighbors attend the same school? Yeah. That's right: instant carpool! And, did I mention that MANY families from my church attend this PUBLIC school? Yep. It's awesome. Public school. Classical Education. Lots of Christian families. Uniforms. And, after one week, my first grader is talking about the Fertile Crescent. And my third grader is taking Latin. I'm in love.

4. Dang. That was long. I'll do you a favor and stop writing. But first, I'll leave you with a few pictures. I hope to have part deux posted soon!

I said, "I know it's bright...just close your eyes and on the count of three open your eyes." And then this is what my boys did. See Corene? Yep. She opened her eyes. Now, look at what Avery and Miles did (or did not!). I was pretty convinced I did something this past Summer to make my boys stupid. (stop with your, awww...don't say that...look at the picture. they look d-u-m, dumb.)

That's my boy. My little man. The first one who called me Mama. I just love him!!!

Here's a sweet one. I love, love, love uniforms. They're just so adorable!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

lines of hymns (modern and ancient) that get me...every time.

There are certain lines that put a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes every time I hear or sing them. Here's just five of my most favorite lines of hymns which brought tears even now as I typed them. What are your favorites?

1. "When Satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within;
Upward I look and see Him there, Who made an end of all my sin."
from Before the Throne of God

2. "When through the deep waters I call you to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow.
For I will be with you, your troubles to bless,
And sanctify to you thy deepest distress."
from How Firm a Foundation
(actually, I love cry through every word of this hymn)

3. "Jesus paid it all"
from Jesus Paid it All

4. "My chains fell off, my heart was free
I rose, walked forth and followed thee"
from And Can It Be?

5. "I will weep when you are weeping.
When you laugh, I'll laugh with you.
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we've seen this journey through."
from The Servant Song
(this really got me last time...the commitment to be there emotionally for our brothers and sisters in Christ...not to push them through, but to share in the joy and sorrow until the end!)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

a shout out to the two psycho old ladies we encountered today

1. Dear Crazy Lady from Target,

Thank you for sufficiently freaking out my children today. When you approached me with your hands clenched claiming, "I've been a good girl...please give me a couple dollars," my eldest son's heart was racing and he got a "tingly feeling" up his spine. Way to go! It's commendable that you don't discriminate against ridiculously pregnant women accompanied by three young children with two shopping lists in hand. sweet.

2. Dear White-Haired Lady Buying 4 Loaves of White Bread And a Wedge White of Cheese,

I assure you (AGAIN) that I did not see the "15 items or less" sign. But, I do appreciate you making a nasty comment and rolling your eyes at me several times. Also, I think it's swell that you watched me unload my cart and also waited for the cashier to begin scanning my items before mentioning my error. That was good, because at that point, I COULD DO NOTHING TO REMEDY THE SITUATION. It's a wonder how a woman who can HARDLY maneuver her body through the check-out lane with three children, could miss a sign that the cashier kindly admitted was often missed! But, you're right: I did have more than 15 items. You are right.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

blogs i don't read

1. I don't read blogs that have no sense of humor (Except for jokes on the DG blog! Of course, truth be told, I only read 1 out of 7 of the posts.). I don't get online to experience catharsis. I do read posts which induce real tears, but almost every blog I subscribe to is written by someone who has a sense of humor.

2. I don't read blogs that always have super long posts. And I feel guilty when I write them. Who has time to read, much less WRITE, a super long post unless you're retired. And, the only retired people I know are WAY to busy to even maintain a blog.

3. I don't read blogs that are basically facts. We did this. We're going to do this. This is what we look like. That's great and all, but unless we're really good friends, it just doesn't get me right here (fyi, I'm gently pounding my chest with my fist).

4. I don't read blogs that appear to be perfection. I appreciate the vulnerable blogger...even if the person writes, "I just can't go's too painful." Okay. That was honest. I choose vulnerability over veneer.

5. I don't read blog posts about running, but I do read blogs by ultra runners. Okay. I read ONE blog written by an ultra runner, because he writes about other stuff, too. But, I don't generally read blogs that are about one main topic. (crafting, cooking, saving money, etc...)

6. I don't read blogs that are all about theology. Is that okay?

7. Nor do I read blogs that are political. Should I be embarrassed?

8. I don't read blogs that I actually like to read, because I keep forgetting to subscribe to them!!!!

9. I don't read blogs that seem to be super popular like Challies, 9marks, Pioneer Woman, etc. I don't know why. I just don't.

10. I don't read blogs of total strangers. I do read blogs written by people I've come to know through the blogosphere. Contradiction? perhaps. Does it makes sense? not sure. Either way, it's been fun getting to know you!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

gum has never tasted better/pregnancy is weird

This is the most sensational pregnancy I've had. My enjoyment of smells and tastes is so intense. I LOVE gum. I LOVE brushing my teeth. I LOVE the smell of my super cheap industrial laundry detergent.

The last one is the one that really scares me. Every time I do the laundry, I can hardly keep my nostrils away from the powder detergent. I could almost eat the little granules!

Anyone else out there had the urge to eat your detergent? Or, maybe less freaky, chew an entire pack of Fruit Stripe gum? (I haven't done that, but it sounds amazing!)

On the flip-side, this has been the most physically painful pregnancy, too. Walking hurts. Standing hurts. Sneezing hurts.

All would be well if I could just be on bed rest with the most amazing, fabulous, sensational gum in the whole world.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

confession: things i said to my kids today

While playing cards with Miles...

Miles: I need a three of hearts.
Me: What? Oh. It sounded like you said "three of farts"
Miles: hee-hee
Me: What if you said you needed a King of Farts?

While trying to start reading The House on Pooh Corner...

Avery: I don't want to read that. All I think of is poop when I hear it.
Me: What if all the dogs in the neighborhood always pooped on our corner. Then WE would live in The House on Poo Corner.

So, there. I never said I was a perfect Mom, did I? By the way, I did say other things, too. Good things.

(And I read the book anyway. And we liked it so far.)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

When we were young...reeeeallly young

So, now that I'm 31 weeks, I think I'm letting myself wonder who this baby is going to look like. Here's the family from oldest to youngest.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Grandma was in town. We finally visited this famous landmark.

We've only been here almost FOUR years and we finally went to the famous Sculpture Garden. It was fun having Brent's mom in town from Ohio. She visited back in JUNE and I'm finally post this. (Can y'all tell I'm the biggest procrastinator ever?) She inspired some gardening by getting me a bunch of perennials. Best part is, I'll think of her every time I look at my flowers!

Friday, August 7, 2009

overheard by the kids

As they were enjoying the baby pool on our deck.

"Ugh...those pools are awful. They are such a waste of water..."

pagans. killjoys. hippies. neighbors. people i'm called to love.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mourning for Micah

As many of you from Bethlehem Baptist already sadly know, a family from our church has suffered a huge loss. Micah was a beautiful healthy little boy who went to be with Jesus just over a week ago. My heart ached to read the sad news. My eyes burned with hot tears to read the beautiful words about him in his obituary. And I have thought about his parents who lost their only child so abruptly. I don't know them, but we are members of One Body, and I'm mourning for Micah, too.

With their permission, I'm passing along the link to their blog, so that those of you who are experiencing this intense sadness for Cory and Heather, can come along and love them and encourage them and cry with them through this journey of grief and hope.

the boys are learning new words

yesterday it was Miles....

Miles was trying on his new school uniform. The shorts were a little big. He kept saying, "They're HUGE! I need to get on the staircase so I can fit them." After he said this a few times, I asked, "What do you mean you need to get on the staircase???" He said, "You know! That thing that makes you bigger?" HUH? "You know, like baseball players use them, but they shouldn't?!!" ooohhhhh...steroids!!!

Yep. back story: We happened to pass this huge Target the other day and he heard me say, "That Target is on steroids!" And then, for some reason, I defined steroids.

and here's Avery's story...

About a month ago...

We're piling into the van when Avery says, "Hey Mom, dudes have turd." Totally caught off guard, I asked, "What are you talking about??"
"Mom, it's like you said, 'dudes have turd'."
"I'm quite sure I did NOT say 'dudes have turd.'"
"Yeah...remember this morning? Dudes have turd!"
" mean Dudes with 'tudes! Yeee-ah, 'turd' means something else altogether."

Monday, August 3, 2009

why i'm tempted to never ask "how did the fight start???"

Me: So, Miles, can you briefly explain how the fight started?

Miles: Yeah. Well, Avery and I were playing cars (ok). And his car could release a hawk (huh??) and so he became the hawk (obviously) and was attacking my leg (riiiighht...), and so I was trying to push him away and then (bye-bye...I'm off to my happy place....).....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

summer brain guessing game

I'm not reading or writing much in the way of blogs these days. How 'bout playing Guess Who Ate That Bratwurst! with me. In our home, no two people share the exact same taste when it comes to dressing a dog...or brat in this case. (I can't decide if this post is funny or lame. Probably both. But, play along.) If you can match the right family member to the (highly NOT recommended) Cheddar Brat (from Aldi), you win. And what will you win?? Braggin' Rights. enjoy.


B. (ummm...duh!)