Monday, December 14, 2009

I ♥ Faces : Pets Only

Themba ("tem-buh"); Themble-fritz; Thembles; ...... these are the names of our dog. Though frequently annoying, he's a good friend to us. I think most of his downfalls are from being a horse trapped in a dog's body, trapped in a house in town. Poor guy.
His devotion to my husband nearly matches mine, and my little Speep would be lost without "Buh". In fact he said "Buh" (and actually reached for the dog while saying it) long before he said "Mama".
Themba is a lovely sight, as are most Rhodesian Ridgebacks, and frequently ends up the subject of my photographic endeavors.
The subject this week over at I ♥ Faces ( is Pets, so I decided to enter this picture of our precious friend.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I meant to

My grandpa ("Pop-pop") died this week. He was 90, and lived quite an adventurous life. He outlived 3 wives, the last one being my "Grandma". She was six years older than him, and passed away last year.
With my grandparents being so old, I've spent about the past 10 years thinking (and being told) "OK, this could be the last visit". We have always lived far apart, so visits were only made once or twice per year. However, I spoke to them on the phone every week as I was growing up, so we actually had a close relationship in spite of the distance.
Knowing the end had to be nearing, there were a few things I really wanted to tell them like:
-- Pop, thanks for teaching me that if I ever got swept away in high creek water, to curl in a ball and wrap my arms over my head so as not to hit my head on the rocks.
thanks for taking me up in your airplane to count all the blue speck swimming pools below.
thanks for always taking my arm in yours to cross the street; always opening the door for ladies; always saying "Thank You"; always being a gentleman.
thanks for loving grandma and for being exactly who she needed.
---Grandma, thanks for welcoming all into the family.
thanks for loving to giggle and have fun.
thanks for being strong, and still wearing your heart on your sleeve.
thanks for your example of empathy, sympathy, and compassion.
thanks for creating a lovely and peaceful home for you and your husband, and a perfect "grandparents' house" for me to come to.

I meant to tell them all of these things, but "I'll do it tonight" turned into "I'll do it tomorrow"; and 'nearing the end' became THE END............ there was never a question about how much we loved each other; I'm not going insane over loose ends left untied, but I do wish all those "I meant to's" were "I did's".

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Little Socks

Now that we have been married for eight years, I am accustomed to picking up Boyd's socks (truth be told, I actually pawn the job off on the kids these days:) )But now we have little boys (or should I say boyds) in the mix. Speep has never really been the destructive type, but he is definitely into everything. His new hobby is to get up after we put him to bed and play in the bathroom. Yikes! Scary I know. A whole range of nightmarish scenarios flood my mind when I think of what could happen between the cleaners, cords, razors, soaps, etc., water, and my two year old. Last week I heard him stomping around up there, and found him desperately trying to use toilet paper to clean up shaving cream that he had sprayed all over the place. When I got to thoroughly cleaning and investigating the mess, I discovered a brand new, but mysteriously empty econofamilyjumbo-size bottle of body wash laying on a shelf, and many many bubbles in the toilet. Literally money down the drain. The bathroom smelled great, though!

One night this week, I sent Speep back to bed a couple of times after various complaints and pleas. The final one was some mumbled issue about his pants.........the pants seemed fine to me, so "To Bed!" When I retired for the evening, I construed that the pants issue must have had something to do with the several jars of mineral makeup spilled all over the bathroom and toilet issue. I'm glad Speep was asleep at that point, because Boyd and I couldn't help but laugh. Of course there was discipline and a lot of cleaning up to do in the morning, but seeing that crazy mess, and his little footprints all over the tile was pretty cute.

I think we have the boundries about staying in bed all settled now. I'll let you know next week.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Flutter by

Today is a beautiful day! My mom informed me that the heat index over the weekend is supposed to be in the 100's. I'm trying not to acknowledge that.
Since it is so lovely outside, of course we went out and played. The kids love stepping out the front door and peeking over to "GB's" (my mom's) to see if she is on her porch. About 90% of the times she is there reading her newspaper, and about 90% of those times, we go over for a little visit. What a blessing for our children to be able to be so close to their grandparents -- in proximity, and in heart, too!
I really love watching the kids play out there in the front yard, and joining in the fun some, too. Sidewalk chalk; running races; grass and clover and dandelion bouquets; princesses dancing; princesses laughing; princesses playing dead in the grass until someone comes to kiss them; using jump ropes to hitch siblings up to scooters for a "modern-day"(?) horse and buggy......and watching butterflies. They all love to spot and chase butterflies.
When I was a kid I played alot of the same games, but with my friends and mostly my neighbor, since I don't have any siblings. I think our all time favorite, go-to game was "Goopy-Goop". Translation: mud pies. A majority of the time was actually spent shoveling and sifting dirt with our sandbox toys. The dirt had to be perfect -- free of rocks, bugs, grass, etc; lovingly and repeatedly sifted to form millions of tiny spheres of earth. Then we could add water. We could sneak around the garage to the other neighbor's yard and steal their gigantic wild onions. We could mix and slop it around. The end product was usually a pail- or wheelbarrow-full of grassily garnished and rockily decorated sludge. Of course it was a cake for some forest animal's birthday. Because we were orphans who grew up in the forest and befriended all the forest animals.............. you know, there in the back yards of our homes, in the middle of town. :) It was glorious.
So, what did you play when you were a kid?

Monday, July 27, 2009

One of those moments

When Peach turned two, we bought her a bicycle. It was a tiny one, but a full-fledged bike non-the-less. Again, she was two......... her birthday is in the middle of winter........ but I knew that somehow she would learn to ride that bike, and would be a pro by summer. Now Peach is five and half. She never learned to ride that bike, and now she can't even fit onto it.
Last winter we received a heavy duty, John-Deer-ish tricycle with attached trailer. In the Spring, we accidentally ordered about 1/2 a truckload too much mulch for a landscaping project. (oops!) Knowing that we couldn't leave all that mulch in the middle of the city sidewalk, but not knowing what else to do with it, we decided to dump it inside of our fenced backyard. Moving that much mulch is ..............a tongue twister!................. but it's also a BIG job! So, we drafted the kiddos and set to work. While Boyd and I filled and hauled the wheel barrow, Speep and Apple helped fill the tricycle trailer, and Peach rode it around to the back ............ about 496 times! Knowing how to pedal, turn corners, and the like were not an issue after that day.
Fast forward to last Friday. We found a "Big" bike for a good price. Peach loved it, Daddy aired up the tires, and off she went. Seriously, she just went. I couldn't believe it. The new bike has training wheels and all, but I still thought it would take a few tries (or maybe days............ we ARE talking about mini-ME here) to adjust from the tricycle to this big bike. But, no. She just hopped on and rode away. I was so shocked and proud that I just stood on the sidewalk with a dumb grin on my face. It was all kind of movie-like, too ---- All the kids were playing, she was riding into the sunset....... As I watched her I kept thinking "Remember this. Remember this moment. Take it all in. This is one one of THOSE moments in life."

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wish Bugs

Good news everyone! Peach informed me that the little dust particles that you see flying in the air when sunshine beams through your windows are Wish Bugs. Who would want to harm a harmless Wish Bug? Not me! Think of all that the wish bugs could do for you! I didn't get the whole scoop on these magnificent creatures, but I'm thinking they must be genie-like. In any case, I think we are all definitely off the hook. No more dusting! Save the Wish Bugs!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Round and Round He Goes

Over the past year I have been researching and putting to use more natural ways of doing things --- natural remedies and natural cleaners specifically. However, last week our big upstairs bathroom was looking pretty grungy, so I broke out the Soft Scrub with Bleach. Praise the Lord for that stuff! I scrubbed and scrubbed. Well, that evening, as I tucked my girls into bed, Speep waited in the bathroom for my help (he's potty training). I heard him repeatedly flushing the toilet, but I figured it was not that big of a deal, and I could get the girls hug and kisses in before tending to the situation. Upon entering the bathroom, nonchalance turned to horror! Each time the toilet flushed and the water swirled down the drain, Speep stuck his arm into the toilet as far as he could and swirled right along with frantic enthusiasm. NOOOOOOOO! Yuck Yuck Yuck! Don't do that! Yes, it was disgusting, but at least there was nothing in the toilet, and it had been cleaned just that afternoon. That makes it not so bad, right?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One Less

Water Parks................... I. Love. Them. I! Love! Them! On the way to church camp (which we attended last week) we pass a water park. I went to said park many times as a kid. On the camp trip, we also pass a resort that used to have a year-round, indoor ice skating rink (it wasn't very good) which has been renovated into a year-round, indoor water park (sweet!)
Unfortunately, my children will probably never know the relaxation (and skin blistering sun exposure) of The Lazy River; the adreneline rush from zooming and spinning down the tallest water slide (though they'll be spared the inevitable wedgie at the end --- you know, from plunging into the water so hard......... maybe only girls' swimsuits cause that.....anyway...); the confidence of finally surviving the deep end of the Wave Pool. When we drive past, it makes me sad that we will never take our children to a place like that, because it really is a good time.
But I am confident that, as we raise up this family of ours, God has turned our hearts toward a higher standard. When you go to a water park, there's a whole lot of nakedness. This is according to the biblical standard of bearing the thigh = naked (Exodus 28:42, Isaiah 47:1-3) . And if thighs are to be kept private, I'm pretty sure midriffs, cleavage, cracks, and backs should be covered, too. This standard is fairly opposite of the general standard in our society, but God calls Christians to purity of thought and conversation (lifestyle). We cannot honestly teach our children to cover themselves daily, but then pick one day to run naked at the water park. We cannot honestly shield their eyes from sexy ads, but then take them out for a day of skin watching.
There will be plenty of opportunities in our children's lives for each of them to walk the tightrope of temptation; to see things they shouldn't -- accidentally or on the sly; to choose between covered and uncovered...
We choose to provide one less stumbling block in their journey.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Big Bubba

I have been asked on a few occasions now, "What is the baby's nickname?" Well, we do have a definite nickname for him, but with it being such a close variation of his name, and my vow to "protect the innocent" :) I won't reveal it here. However, many many times a day, I say to him "Are you some kind of big bubba?" This could be for burping loud, pushing off of my legs with his legs, rolling over.......... just anything that impresses me. Since the question is always accompanied by flashy-eyed, mommy smiles, I always get a big, dimpled smile in response. It's great! :) He also has this thing of raising one eyebrow and smiling. It makes me think of something Joey (from Friends) would do......... or any guy who thinks he's all that, actually (and presuming he is "all that" AND has the ability to raise one eyebrow at a time). OK, now everybody who has tried to raise one eyebrow at a time while reading this post, raise your hand. :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Spaghetti Berries

Ever heard of 'em? Maybe they are only found in my house. :)
One day last week, Apple suggested that we have leftover spaghetti for lunch. Since we happened to have had some in the fridge, it was a go. Otherwise we would have had to make some spaghetti, refrigerate it, and wait until the next day's lunch to have leftover spaghetti for lunch. Phew! glad we didn't have to do that. :)
Anyway, while the spaghetti was heating, I gave each child a bowl of blueberries. Speep and Apple gobbled their blueberries on the double, while Peach saved hers to eat along with the main course. When we all sat down to eat -- thanks were given, napkins were tucked into collars, noodles were cut into bite-sized bits........... and peach dumped her bowl of blueberries on top of her spaghetti. (insert the sound of loudly squealing car breaks) Yes, she did this intentionally. There was much forethought involved. I usually don't bat an eye at the foods my children mix together or sop up with ketchup or ranch dressing. I want them to appreciate food, and realize all of the wonderful textures, tastes, colors, and aromas. But, this got a long stare, and an audible "That's disgusting" from Mama. Two of the world's perfect foods, but together........ a tragedy.
At least that's my opinion. Peach, however, ate every bite on her plate with a smile of satisfaction.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Can't wait to get to ________ ........

Where is it for you? Where is the place (maybe there is more than one) you can't wait to get to so you can relax; be yourself; take a deep breath; be around people who understand you?
Though this is starting to sound like the intro song from Cheers, that's definitely not what I'm getting at. :)
After a recent conversation with some dear friends, I have been thinking about church in this way. Church is where believers come together to worship God and fellowship together. To be completely transparent with everyone, there are many times that I feel burden and anxiety when I think about the arrival of Sundays. It's a long day for most, and especially so when you have little kids in tow. What should be looked upon as golden opportunities for service often feel like drudgery. Why is this? The most basic answer...... sin. Selfishness; laziness.
But going back to the conversation I mentioned.......... Our discussion revived in me a desire for church to be "home". It should be where I feel safe, and comfortable. It should be where I can go, and feel shelter, peace, and reassurance that we are all on the same team; moving toward the same goals. I should feel excitement at the prospect of assembling with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I should feel anticipation for the time when we can join together to sing praises to God, glean from His Word, and serve Him by serving each other. Trouble with the kiddos? Don't stay home because of it -- go to church where your family can help ease the burden and give support. Feeling discouraged by work or relationships? Go to church and allow your family to edify you. Tired from a long day, or week, or year!? Don't stay home. Go to church and be revived by the promises in God's Word, and good fellowship. Burdened by hardship or loneliness? Allow your church family to surround you with their care and prayers. Allow them to carry some of your load for you. God will bless you for letting them, and them for their willingness.
My mindset is changing in this direction. Can't wait to get to......... church tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Praise the Lord for lightbulbs!

This morning I stood in the doorway of my livingroom and looked out through the large windows. The bright sun highlighting our warm wood floors, and the jungley green grass outside. I felt energized and content; as if I had taken a huge breath to my lungs as well as my spirit. In this moment I pondered accomplishment.................
My second daughter is Apple. (Actually Apple Chubble, but we are trying to wean ourselves from the Chubble part, as I am sure there will be a day in her teenage years when she won't want to be known for the squishy, fluffy, lump of love that she was at birth). Apple and Speep are known for their finger sucking. They both suck the same fingers, but on opposite hands. Apparently my father-in-law sucked the same fingers also as a child. What a tradition! :) The children suck there fingers much of the time, especially when sleepy or upset.
Apple will be 4 next week, and I feel like the finger-sucking needs to end (at least during the daytime). Her current obsession is Strawberry Shortcake, so about six weeks ago I promised her a Strawberry Shortcake birthday party if she would stop sucking her fingers during the daytime. I thought it would be a challange, but she's done it! I feel as though a light bulb has turned on for her. The notions of being a big girl; being socially appropriate; taking care of her body.
In the past week we have begun Chore Packs ( . They are sets of cards with chores pictured on them. Each child has a small plastic pack with their own chore cards inside. Each morning the children do their chores after breakfast with the guidance of the Chore Pack. Amazingly, Peach has been the one having the most difficulty getting through her Chore Pack each day. She only has six chores, and two of them are Brush Hair and Brush Teeth, so I have been feeling a bit frustrated that she is the last one finished and still needs many reminders to stay on track, and to go back and re-do things that were done incompletely or half-heartedly. Today, however, a light bulb turned on in her. Both chores and school work were done in a focused and thorough manner, and with a very sweet attitude. Yay!
It seems even our dog has had a light bulb turn on in him. After three years, we are finally able to leave him out in the house when we leave. He has always been too rambunctious, destructive, and anxious for us to do this....... and what mom of four children ages 5 and under also needs an anxious horse-sized dog on the loose?? Not this one!! So, praise the Lord for our dog's light bulb or middle age or whatever has happened. :)

With all of these light bulbs, our week has been pretty bright.
So bright, I gotta wear shades!!!!!!!! Ha ha! I know I am totally going to regret posting that, but as a child of the 80's I felt obligated to say it. Now I'll sign out, before I regress any more.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Not on the flowers!!!!!!

My oldest daughter is my "Peach". We nicknamed her this before she was even born. At some point early in that pregnancy, I read that my baby was the size of a peach, and the reference stuck.
Peach is a funny girl; a thinker; a textbook "first born". She also seems to be a cat poop magnet.
Our neighborhood is overrun with stray cats. No yard is safe from their lurking presence or their "presents". A couple of years ago, some girls from church stopped by to watch a parade with us. Peach had a ball showing them around the house and yard. As we left the fenced yard to go watch the parade, I realized Peach had cat poop on her shoe. Not wanting to embarrass her, I held her back, and quietly informed her of the problem. She proceeded to yell, "Hey guys! I stepped in cat poop!". So much for discretion :)
Fast forward to this evening. Boyd and I sat in the yard while our children rode bikes, played bubbles and sidewalk chalk, and frolicked around in the grass. A beautiful evening, in both weather and sentimentality.........Until Peach walks up and I get a whiff of her new Disney Princess flip-flops. This time I didn't worry about keeping it quiet. I just said "Girl, you need to check your shoes! I think you stepped in cat poop". She did, and she had. So, she ditched the shoes and avoided the suspect area of the yard.
I didn't know she had retrieved her flip-flops from next to me, until some time later when she said something about wiping her shoes on the flowers (a peony bush next to the house). I said "What do you mean you wiped your shoes on the flowers? Why would you do that? You mean you wiped the cat poop flip-flops on the flowers????????????????????" She simply explained that she was trying to make her shoes smell better.................. :) Kids are too much fun!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Speep......... I am Speep!

Alright, now re-read the title of this post with a low, commanding, "I dare you" sort of tone. That's better. I'm sure the first time through you were thinking pastel, marshmallow-y thoughts. But now you've got the hang of it.
My oldest boy coined this phrase last Christmas. One of his gifts was a Cars race track that quotes Lightning McQueen saying, "Speed........ I AM speed!" At not quite two years old, my boy could only get out "Speep....... I am Speep!" Being his family, we thought it was adorable, and now, anything to do with the movie Cars is referred to as "Speep".
I've been mentally shuffling through nicknames (we have alot of them around here), and I think Speep will be my oldest son's alias for this blog. He's a wild man. He's learned to gallop, and there's no stopping him now! As long as the gallop and the stairs don't meet each other, we'll be safe for another week or so......

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Day 1

OK, so I'm going to start a blog. ( I wonder how many thousands of people begin their blogs in that same way.?.) Names will be changed to protect the innocent. I won't promise allot of excitement or breaking news, but I think it will be fun, and maybe SOME PEOPLE will stop hounding me to do this kind of thing ( --- I know this isn't exactly what you were talking about, but close enough ---- and this is more my style anyway.)

If you are wondering about the name of my blog, I'll explain.

In the beginning.................. and then we were married. During the first few months of our marriage I made a shocking discovery about my beloved. He is unable to deposit socks into a laundry basket. Not only that, but he is unable to deposit socks in any room of the house except the living room. I am not claiming to be a neat freak, or even to be naturally orderly, but this was more than I could handle. Everywhere I looked there were dirty socks crunched up in little wads -- next to the couch, under the couch, in front of the TV, under the desk, aaaarrrgh! It seemed that no amount of asking, coaxing, pleading, or even demanding could change this stinky situation. On laundry days I would go through the apartment gathering up socks while gritting my teeth and grumbling about the laziness and lack of respect for others.

Then, God impressed upon me that if I couldn't do this chore happily for my husband then I should just do it happily for the Lord until He could work it out in my heart to do it happily for Boyd (remember I said names would be changed). So, I began Picking Up Socks For Jesus. (Col. 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; )