Jul 22, 2008

My, Oh My, What a Wonderful Day!

Ice cream has a way of making any hot, sticky, humid day transform into a wonderful, delightful, cool summer day.

This little bird came right on over to join the party. He was looking for any little scrap or crumb that the kids might offer him. They weren't offering.

"Smile, kids!" (yeah, right, who wants to stop licking their cone and smile for a picture. Some of them gave a valiant effort.)

It was easy ordering when I stepped up to the window: "3 vanilla ice creams with rainbow sprinkles and 3 chocolate ice cream with rainbow sprinkles." The oldest two are just like their mommy. They have come to full maturity in realizing that chocolate is superior to any dessert in this world. The word "vanilla" just plain ole makes me mad. It's gaggingly gross. I hate that white stuff!

And you can just forget about the motherly duty of "licking down the cone, so it doesn't get all over my poor child's hand."

It just ain't happening.

Jul 19, 2008

The end of a chapter in our life

Psalm 118:21 "I shall give thanks to you, for you have answered me."

We are so thankful to the Lord that our house sold. Today was the final clean out before the closing on Monday.

It was a blistering hot day to be inside a garage, and a stuffy house with no air conditioning on. Read the temperature on the mirror. We were melting ice under our shirts, and rubbing it up and down our arms, legs and neck.

I was cleaning the bathroom when I heard Joel yell from our bedroom, "WHAT IN THE WORLD????" I ran to see what the problem was. How could our practically new pillow sham look like this?

He threw back the covers. Prepare yourselves, ladies!!!!!!!!!!

A BIG, FAT, DEAD SQUIRREL IN OUR BED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sure enough, didn't he just curl right up for a snooze. The heat must have killed him. We still haven't figured out how he got in the house, nor how he managed to neatly tuck himself under the quilt. He couldn't have been there long because he didn't smell horrible. -unlike what is pictured. Joel acted as if he just found some rotting animal in our bed with rabies or something......ummmmmmmmm, never mind. You can see on our quilt where the squirrel scratched like nutty -no pun intended- to get out. UT DUH! DOOFUS! Ya might have survived if you just climbed out the same way ya crawled in!

We tossed out all the blankets, shams, and dead squirrel, and continued on our merry way. I'm telling ya, I jumped and screamed at every squirrel that scampered by!

After the work was done, we walked through each room, reminiscing about living here. We laughed at the time that Mikey locked Matt and Mary and I in the basement and I had to call my neighbor to come get us out. Another time, we decided we wanted to have a picnic in the middle of a major snow storm. So, we put snowcoats on all the kids, carried a breakfast tray outside, lit a candle, and served chili and corn muffins. Then there was the time that I was tucking Emma into bed, and I asked her to pray. She said, "Dear Jesus...........Knock, knock?...... " (long pause) I looked up to see her with her eyes squeezed shut tight, and the biggest grin on her face. I just leaned over and whisperd, "Sweetie, I think He's heard them all. Let's move on."

Other memories include:
-raking the leaves into piles, and watching the kids jump in them.
-birthday parties on the back porch
-walks around the block with a baby in my sling, two in a double stroller, one holding onto my arm and another on his bike. (I'm sure we looked like the Macy's parade to all the neighbors.)
-camping out in the backyard that took all day to set up, and lasted about 5 minutes into the night, because they were too scared. (with the exception of Emma, who we drug in since everyon else left)
-the driveway covered in sidewalk chalk art.
-the smoke detector that always went off whenever I opened the oven, and steam came out
-sharing one bathroom among 5 people...thankfully two were in diapers.
-shutting the curtains at dinner because none of was wanted to watch Mr. Dewey work on his car with no shirt on
-roasting marshmellows over the outdoor fireplace
-the pellet stove that kept as warm for many winters. The kids would come running when a new bag had to be poured in. They loved the feeling of hundreds upon hundreds of pellets run through their little fingers.
-hide and go seek. This was the best house for hide and go seek! One time, the kids asked Joel and I to go hide and then pop out and scare them. We listened to them make plans, whispering and arguing who was going to venture out first. You'd hear them marching and then stop, shuffle, shuffle. "You go." "I'm not going to be first...you go." They had themselves so worked up. In the meantime, Joel and I are sweating profusely waiting for them. Finally, Joel yelled, "Let's go!" When they finally conquered their fear, they cautiously entered the room where Joel was hiding. He burst around the corner and yelled, "RAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!" They screamed, and scattered like little chicks every which way. Matt ran right into the room where I was hiding for safety. I crawled out from under the bed and yelled, "RAAAAHHH!" I thought the poor boy was going to pass out. He screamed, and ran for the door. The door didn't open right away, and he bounced off of it onto the floor. -I'm laughing as I type this. Really, you had to be there.
-swimming in our tiny blow-up pool. We were funny looking for sure!
-my homeschool room filled with books, papers and pencils
-the playroom that I was constantly telling the kids to clean
-sitting on the front porch, reading my Bible and sipping coffee
-watching Bailey, my neighbor's dog, through my kitchen window as I cleaned the dishes.
-standing at the fence having long conversations with my sweet neighbor, Joe, whose wife had passed away shortly before we moved in. Oh how he loved to talk about her!
-playing with these sweet girls who we have come to love. We watched them grow up these past 5 years. They helped me load up the car today, and when it came time to leave. It was a tearful goodbye.

Perhaps the most life changing memories is the fact that we brought two babies home from the hospital to this house. This was the nursery that they slept in. It was within these four walls, that I rocked them, sang to them and prayed over them.

All of the restaurants we came to know so well through those two pregnancies...

Craving: calzones and french fries

Craving: Chocolate ice cream with rainbow sprinkles.

Craving: peanut butter cup sundae with chocolate almond chip ice cream and extra peanut butter sauce.

Each room was filled with love...

Each room was filled with laughter.....

Although we know that a house is just something temporal, I am reminded that five years of life took place here for which we will stand accountable to God for.

At the end of our walk down memory lane, it was time to say goodby to our precious, little, blue house. We shut the door behind us, and turned to leave. I was filled emotion... both happy and sad. Happy that the burden of trying to sell our home in this terrible market has been lifted, and yet, sad that we will never walk through that door again. This chapter in our lives in now closed for good.

As every reader knows, the end of a chapter brings the opening of a new one. God has a new chapter for us, and we look forward to making new memories together as a family. Our story isn't over yet....
just "to be continued."

Jul 17, 2008

My Daddy's Hand

I like to take walks with my Daddy. He talks to me, and tells me how much he loves me. One time he asked me if I was ever going to get married. "Noooooooooooooooo," I giggled. My daddy is so silly. Sometimes when we're on our walks, he tells me how God is going to use me some day. I don't really understand what he is talking about, but I can tell it's important because he has tears in his eyes.

I love my Daddy!

"A father holds his daughter's hand only a little while, but forever in his heart."



Your family is your foundation. It's where your story begins. It is through the family that we learn how relationships work. It's where we place into practice things like, love and forgiveness. When I was growing up, I remember one mother asking me if my sisters and I ever fought. I said, "Of course we do." She laughed and said, "Really? About what?" I said, "Umm...the normal things...clothes, wanting to watch our show on tv, just generally...wanting our own way." Family is not about living the perfect life, and never fighting. The question to be asked is, How many times do you forgive? As a matter of fact, this was a question that Peter had. In Matthew 18:21-22, he said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus replied, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." We aren't suppose to keep track of how many times we have to forgive. It should be a continual process.

We may not always get along....

But, God calls us to edify one another, to lift eachother up....

We've probably all memorized this verse as a child. Ephesians 4:32, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just God in Christ also has forgiven you." -easy to memorize, hard to put into practice when someone has "pushed your buttons." Do you let bitterness build a nest in your heart?

Don't forget that someone may be watching you, and learning from your example how families and relationships work.....

We're all just one sweet word away from kindness, and one prayer away from forgivness.

Jul 15, 2008


The other night, Emma, Annie and I walked next door to Dad and Mom's to pick blueberries, or "boo-berries" as Annie would call them. Now, I'm going to have to come right out, and admit that I'm not much of a blueberry fan. I guess I can attribute it to the "blueberry girl" on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory. What kid would want to eat a blueberry after watching a young child being rolled away by Oompa-Loompas to be "squeezed"? Or, perhaps it was the blueberry pie eating contest that Dad and Mom entered me in when I was 6 years old at a nearby fair. It was the grand prize of $3 that lured me up on the stage with all boys, and several pieces of pie. And wouldn't ya know it! it was a "no hands" pie eating contest! So, there I was on my knees, hands tucked behind my back, boys on either side of me, waiting for the judge to start the race. "Ready...SET...GO!" I splashed my face into the pie like a kid diving into the pool. IT WAS THE SICKEST PIE I'VE EVER TASTED IN MY ENTIRE LIFE! No wonder they were paying kids to eat it. -probably cuz some poor Granny couldn't sell it at the bake off table! Being the good girl that I was, I did my best to "finish my plate" as my mamma had taught me. However, it was just too much. I continued to nibble. Apparently, my little buddy next door had the same thoughts, and completely barfed up his pie. My other buddy to the left...a rather large friend, had blueberries stuck up either nostril, and was asking for seconds. I looked up at the judge and said "I can't finish." So, they let me off the hook. They were probably afraid I'd toss my cookies, too. This story does have a happy ending, though....I got the $3.00 any way.

Well, thankfully these two have not see Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory, nor have they ever entered a blueberry pie eating contest. They enjoyed our evening in the blueberry patch.

Annie said, "don't pick the yucky gween boo-berries, wight Mom?"

As we all know, picking blueberries can be quite exhausting. Just think how many times you are using your thumb and index finger?

Mission accomplished, gals. Now, let's get to the kitchen!

You can't get much fresher than this. Yum, these babies were delicious! I used a new recipe that will be tucked away in the family cook book forever more. These muffins did not taste "heavy" at all. They were flakey and packed full of fresh blueberries...almost scone-like.

E-mail me if you want the recipe.

Jul 12, 2008

A Silly Night

Who in the world invented silly string? What would trigger the human mind to stuff string in a can and call it "silly?"
What next...
"ridiculous rope?"

Well, whoever it is, may I say a hardy, "thank you" for our very silly, fun-filled evening!

Annie opted out of the silly string silliness, and sat on the sidelines, thinking about her strategy. She didn't sit long when all of a sudden, she had a lightbulb moment. She summoned her daddy's help, and the war was on!

Clean up was a breeze! Joel yelled, "Whoever brings me the biggest, silly string ball gets a brownie." And hot-diggity! I was in the game!

And the winner of the silly string ball rolling contest is....MATTHEW. *one person clapping, very slowly*
But hey! don't forget! around here, we're all winners. Let's all say the family fun night motto... "If we all had fun, then we all won." Yee-ha! Brownies for all!

5 cans of silly string -$5.00
One box of brownie mix - $1.00
Family fun night filled with memories - Priceless. :o)

Jul 11, 2008

A Fun Summer Day

Today, we met my sister, my aunt and my cousin at the park.

It was a perfect summer day. Not too hot, not too cold. Our first stop was the "flower showers" at the water park.

There were those who loved the water....

And then of course, there are those who don't.....

Jack was among those who loved it! He thought he was hot stuff, hanging out with the big kids. You would think that he'd burst into tears being "trapped" in a sea of sprinklers. But oh no! he was having the time of his life out there!

If only you could have heard the little "slap, slap sound" that his chubby feet were making against the wet cement...

And Miss Maggie looks as though she just contributed to the "wet cement." She's got some type of funny secret going on here...

After the water park, Aunty Susie treated us all to a train ride.

The kids loved the train!

(You're good Jack...the sign didn't say "heads", buddy.)

One of my favorite pictures from the day. There is something so precious about that little, baby arm around his mamma's neck. These are the little moments that we just don't think about until they're past.

Such sweetness, such security in his mommy....

Enjoy that chubby, little arm, Liz. Soon, it will be a big muscular, hairy one. :o)