Tuesday, September 29, 2009


One of my favorite quotes in life came in a wedding card.

"May your life have enough clouds to make the sunset beautiful."

My great aunt wrote those words in her weak handwriting. I can still see the words on the card as though it was in front of me. A few words, a huge perspective.

I've been thinking about storms. Especially the one's I've been privileged to see on the ocean front. I love standing with my toes in the edge of the ocean feeling the current pulling the sand out to sea. I love watching the lightening reach its long fingers across the sky. And the wind. The cacophony of its notes sends chills down my spine. It is terrifying and beautiful.

There are two things I love after a storm. Watching the sun come out and bathe the land and sea. There are sparkles of life that were absent before the storm. Everything seems magnified in its wake. Beauty for ashes. The dust and dirt are washed away and there is a chance for new life.

The second is walking that same shore to see what new treasure has been washed up. It requires a powerful storm to remake the shoreline. I don't know about you, but my life needs remade and reshaped. Every day.

I was watching the sun set after days of rainy weather. We were heading to my in-laws house when I saw it begin its slow decent. The sun was not visible. There were far to many clouds for that, but through a small break I could see the rays of the sun stretching toward the ground. Without the clouds there would have been nothing to focus my eyes on that one spot. I would have missed the beauty of that moment. Later as we left the clouds were clearing and the sun was hiding behind a long lazily moving cloud. As I watched I was again reminded of the need for clouds to make beauty; the need for dark days to appreciate the light.

I'm thankful. I'm thankful that the sun always shines again. I'm thankful that the Maker of my life finds value in renewing it. I'm thankful that the clouds of these days added to the many storms we have yet to face will make a gorgeous sunset.

I'll pray the same prayer for you if you'd like. Leave me a comment and let me know if there's s storm you are facing or a joy that is radiating through your life. I'd love the privilege of lifting it to the Father with you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chips Off the Old Block

Doug's is really close to his maternal grandparents. I love to see the bond they have and the bond growing between them and my children. They never take anyone too seriously so I've learned not to step in the proverbial kitchen if I can't take the heat.

When Mom #2 was well, about once a month Grandma and Grandpa made dinner and come over to my in-law's place and we would all have dinner together. Grandma (Marge) makes a mean pie...and I'm not a pie eater. Because of health conditions Grandma always asked for a "sliver" of pie. Doug always gives her a tiny sliver to spite her. It's a long standing joke they enjoy.

Last night we were eating cornbread and Ty asks for a piece, but only a small one. Becca with a gleam in her eye says, "You mean a sliver?" Ty quickly retorts in his best Grandpa imitation, "No, Marge."

I'm surprised my mouthful of sweet tea didn't end up in the next room.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cracked Me Up

The last two weekends we have made the drive to my parents. The round trip is only about three hours and it gives Doug and I chance to talk.

We had stopped at a gas station and while he went to get drinks I decided to clean the windows. Something in the parking lot smelled horrible and Doug asked me if it was the window cleaner. Without thinking I smelled the sponge and said I didn't think so.

The look on his face was priceless. His comment?

"Why do women go through life like it is a scratch and sniff sticker."

I still laugh thinking about it. So I want to know, am I the only woman who puts the sniff test to more than a diaper?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happy Thoughts

Nothing like a sunny fall day and a parade to take your mind of sad happenings. We went to our local downtown on Saturday for the Fall Festival Parade. Really it's more like we went for the candy, because the parade is really pretty sad. (Don't tell the kids I said that.)

The fun of playing with my new camera more than made up for anything the parade lacked. And the kids had a blast. Hope even dropped her beloved paci once she realized it was candy being thrown

The bagpipers are one of the bright spots I always look forward to.

What can you really say about a man in a kilt. There's just something cool about that.

I must confess. I was getting a little proud about my ability to find my way around the settings on my camera. And then we walked down to the parade (only about a block) and I realized left my memory card at home. My sweet husband went back for it while I watched the kids. And then I couldn't remember how to get it out of monochrome. So there were many pictures I took that did not get recorded. That humble pie is served all too often 'round here. Thank God for my gracious man. Even if he doesn't wear a kilt.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

For Today

I really get Ecclesiastes. Nothing is new under the sun. All is vanity.

Daily answering a child's questions about God, heaven, and life as it relates to the death of a loved one has changed who am I. I hope for the better.

Weekly listening to someone's thoughtless remarks about death and dying, often in the presence of my children, has challenged me. I do not think I have ever prayed more fervently asking the Lord to place a seal on my lips. And I praise Him that He does. I seek forgiveness often when I fail.

Watching my husband balance work, home, and caring for his parents has taught me new strength. I see in him fruit born of the Spirit. I see soul changes happening in his life and I rejoice.

I always knew I wouldn't have Mom #2 for long. I just didn't think it would hurt so much to say goodbye. I didn't know what helping a child grieve would look like. I didn't know how it would feel to kiss my first baby girl and have our tears mingle in that moment. I didn't know I would have to answer deep heart wrenching questions so often.

I'm glad I didn't.

My children won't accept the standard pat answers, so I dig. Deep into the Words that hold healing.

"He who began a good work will carry it to completion."

"I will not leave you or forsake you."

"Is anything hard for God?"

"Now we see dimly."

"In my Father's house...."

Ancient words. Words that are neither pat nor contrived. When the world is neither black nor white. When gray is the only color to see, those are the Words that matter. Those are the Words that bring hope into our lives.

For today, we wait. Knowing someday soon, she will go Home. And then, as my little girl said, "she will be perfect."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Because it's funny

Hope is at the "popcorn" stage in verbal development. First a few words, than a few more and now she is going strong. Last night as I sat down to dinner I heard her saying "hot sauce." I may prefer my Mexican food rather bland, but the two men in my house like it hot. Burn your tongue to ashes kind of hot. Eyes watering and spilling over hot.

Becca has followed my lead and I think the boys are determined not to be out numbered in the heat department.

The jokes on them though. She really wanted sour cream.

Hot sauce indeed.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kid in a Candy Shop.

Yep! That's me. Guess what? My camera does monochrome. And I'm even more in love. I found the setting today over lunch break. The kids eating, I'm reading my manuel (yes, I'm a nerd). So lunch break was a little long today.

Now I just have to get the fine tuning part down. Amanda, want to help a girl out?

I've been playing around in a few different programs so I have yet to figure any of them out. I edited these in Picasa 3.

Becca doing "something silly." Yes, I'm creative in getting my kids to do "something."

Little bit was sleeping after a morning of screaming. I'll have to try to capture her on film later. The peace was blessed. Ty and Becca seemed to enjoy it to. "What about this, Mommy." I'm enjoying these last few "Mommy's" from his lips. They are far to rare these days.

What are you enjoying about life today?

I'm enjoying my kids. My loving husband. And the beautiful fall weather.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm Not Blue or Red

I'm not Republican or Democrat. I'm just an old fashioned American.

I believe in the Declaration of Independence. I believe that we are all created equal. I believe that we should be free from tyranny.

I believe the Constitution was meant to be taken literally. I do not believe it is a living document.

I believe that we are a Republic. We are not a democracy. We do not all get a vote every time an issue is important. That's why I believe it's important to elect good people to vote in our stead.

I believe in freedom of speech. It has been my experience that those who prize it most, say the least. Those who fight for it, do not take it lightly.

I believe that the second amendment is for all people. That is why I am a proud gun owner.

I believe that the office of presidency requires respect. I do not believe that all who have held that office treat it with the respect it deserves.

I believe that no American should bow to another king, another dignitary or foreign official. Too much blood has been shed and too many people have died to give us the freedom to stand on our own two feet.

I believe that America is blessed. I do not believe we are blessed because we deserve it. I believe we are blessed because God has a purpose for our nation.

I believe that there is no such thing as separation of church and state. It isn't in any of our founding documents. Take a look.

I believe that just because I don't like a popular politician, I am not wrong. I have the same rights as those who love that person. And I'm tired of being told to shut up about it.

For eight years those same people were never silent. And I don't plan on being silent either. In fact I plan on talking. And learning. And caring enough about the freedoms that so many have sacrificed to give me and my family. I'm an American. And I'm not ashamed to say I'm proud of that. So I'm going to talk about it.

That's what I believe I'll do.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fun Times

I've been looking into getting a DSLR for a while. I love my point and shoot camera, but I have really missed the artistic aspect of using different lenses and having a little more control in my photgraphy. Doug knew this and gave me the go ahead to search for the best deal I could find. And I found a great deal.

My camera just came in and I'm just a little bit excited. Or a lot a bit excited. So just 'cause. Here's some of the first pictures I took.

Goodness, gracious can't you just eat them up?

I'm so not ready for my little boy to be this big.

My babies. Only two of the three would be opposed to this title. :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Things I Never Thought I'd Say or Hear

Homeschooling is an adventure. Even with my experience of being taught at home, nothing quite prepared me for life as a homeschool mom. And yes, Mom, I realize it's just beginning.

I hate bugs. Really, really don't like them. I even get a little creeped out a bit by lightening bugs. Butterflies fall into a category of their own. Moths (even though they are in the same order) do not.

So when the kids announced they wanted to study bugs I was less than thrilled. Really? Apparently so. So trying hard to swallow my fear and not let the kids see my distaste, into the bug world we have ventured. We have labeled the parts of an insect. Discovered, much to Tyler's chagrin, that all the drones (male honey bees) die at the end of the summer. Learned the word proboscis. And even captured a few. Today we found a moth in the house and launched into the study of it. Was it truly a moth? Or was it a skipper? How was it's body shaped. And much to my delight the kids all jumped on a chair to chase it in beautiful light. See?

In this study I never thought I'd say, "Oh, look. The cricket just pooped on me?"
Nor did I expect Tyler to say, "Look, Mom, there's moth poop on my hand."

Reason number 2346 why insects are not my favorite study. Just don't tell the kids.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Making a Splash!

Wow! I cannot believe how quickly time is flying right now. This past weekend feels like almost a blur. We went to see my sister in Michigan and got to hang out with her beautiful family. I cannot wait to post pictures. Megan graciously is sending them to me as they are all on her camera. I couldn't believe I forgot mine.

One of my favorite things about hanging out with them was watching Hope and Marley play. Marley has the cutest little curls. Hope stared and stared then finally touched them. Much to Marley's annoyance. Marley is learning right from the start, you don't touch curls.

I was so touched/ convicted to watch Jim, my brother-in-law, with Tyler. Jim's quiet ways and listening ear were exacty what Ty needed. As I watched I realized I have a lot to learn about parenting. Jim just sat and listened to Tyler's endless conversations. Sometimes I lose patience and move on to what "needs" to be done failing to truly listen to my son. I felt like watching Jim with my son was God ordained. The need to be still and listen, to learn, to wonder with my children is so pressing and yet I miss it often.

Becca has a love affair with her Aunt Megan. She loves to follow her around and imitate her every move. I love that Megan always has time for her.

Thanks, Meg and Jim for a wonderful weekend. It was the respite we needed.

And now for the title. I was honored to be given the splash award by Meghan from The Daily Drama

The Splash Award is given to alluring, amusing, bewitching, impressive, and inspiring blogs.

When you receive this award you must: Put the logo on your blog/post. Nominate up to 9 blogs which allure, amuse, bewitch, impress or inspire you. Let them know that they have been splashed by commenting on their blog. Remember to link to the person from whom you received your Splash Award.

So without further ado here are my nominations.

Amanda at I Am Mommy
Coloring Outside the Lines
Laura at The Bignell Family
Cari at To Bring Him Glory
Cristi at The Dehoff Circus
Jeri at Family Life with Us

Thanks, Meghan! I'm going to follow your example and not list nine blogs.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Do You Know...

What a fender is?

That was my question to Tyler after he correctly read the word and divided it into syllables.

"Of course." says my confident boy.

"Tell me." says I.

"It's a person who plays on the defense." he informs.

I think it may be time help Grandpa D. a little more in the garage.

P.S. Stay tuned for a giveaway coming soon!