Friday, July 30, 2010

Me and my baby

Typically my 3 little boys take afternoon naps. And typically they take their naps all at the same time.


I just had to repeat it.

It works out this way almost every afternoon, although Isaiah is just about past afternoon naps I think. But the Lord is so gracious in allowing me a little reprieve every afternoon. (Isn't it amazing how He cares for all those little details of our lives?) I use the 1-2 hours to do my devotions (if I didn't wake up early to do them) exercise, clean house, and dinner prep without little ones underfoot (literally!!)

But this afternoon, Noah woke up a bit earlier than the other boys, so we enjoyed some "mom and me" time together-- just talking, laughing, and smiling at each other. Oh, and I should mention there was a fair amount of kissing too.

Afterall, who can resist cheeks as cute as these??

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Alone time

Last night I went shopping.

The kind that doesn't involve a shopping cart and groceries. The kind where you browse and linger. The kind where you try on clothes and matching shoes. The kind where you aren't trying to keep 3 kids quiet with pretzels and lollipops.

That's right. The kind of shopping that only takes place when you're ALONE.

And what a pleasure it was.

Don't get me wrong: I love my kids so much that it brings tears to my eyes. I love my kids. But I'll tell you, last night, "real store" shopping brought tears to my eyes too. Yes. It was that good.

My house guests said I could go again tonight. Ahhh. Don't pinch me, lest I discover its only a dream!!

My little reader

After tiring himself out in the backyard pool, Joshua wandered inside

and this is how I found him

It still cracks me up that the books trumped the swimming pool. The super cool alligator pool at that.
I'd say he's just like his mama, but then I think if it was me, I'd do both at the same time. There's nothing like reading a book while dipping your feet in the pool.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

May, June, and...

Should I just include the July books in here as well? Or should I say, book (singular). As you may have guessed, I didn't do so well reading in my spare time the last month or so. But then, what spare time?? We packed our entire house, moved across the country, unpacked our entire house, had 2 vacations, and pretty much started over in getting settled and calling a place home.

That aside, I'm looking at the stack of books above, and I think there is still 13 books there!! So as far as the total goes, I'm still racking in a book a week... I just haven't completed reading a book the entire month of July. Yet.


  • The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings-- perhaps one of the best written novels I've read in quite some time. A beautiful story that is both clearly and capitivatingly written (is that a word?). It's a Pulitzer Prize winner as well, which it definitely deserved. Great story. Long book. (400 pages??)

  • Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya-- another novel (!!!). The story is set in India and replays the life of an Indian woman and the daily trials and challenges she faces.

  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carol--I've read this book before and never much liked it. And I was reminded of that again this time too. Literary nonsense just... doesn't make sense to me.

  • Redemption Accomplished and Applied by John Murray--this book is not an easy read!! However, it is still well written and gave me not only greater knowledge but also a greater appreciation for the greatness of our salvation by our Redeemer.

I finished off the Laura Ingalls Wilder Series and had a great time strolling down memory lane. No matter how many times I read these books, I think they will always remind me of my childhood.

  • By the Shores of Silver Lake
  • The Long Winter
  • Little Town on the Prairie
  • These Happy Golden Years
  • The First Four Years

Then I also read:

  • Christian Baptism by John Murray-- okay, so I only read a portion of this book and I'm not sure when I will finish it. But it sits on my bedside table just waiting for me to open it.

  • Turning on the Light by Carol Ruvolo-- this is a great book that guides and instructs on how to read the Bible. It provides an excellent grounding for studying, interpretting, and applying God's word.

  • The Crazy Makers: how the food industry is destroying our brains and harming our children by Carol Simontacchi--- a very interesting book about how the food we eat (and the food we feed our children) affects our growth, development, cognition, among many other things. It dealt with things like preservatives, organic foods, baby formula to name a few. I found the book to be really quite fascinating and eye opening. I can't say that I jumped on the bandwagon, but it definitely encouraged me to think twice about the food I eat and what I feed my kids.

  • Mothers of Influence ---this book is one of those gifty kinds of book that people give you at a baby shower. It is filled with short stories about different people (mostly famous ones) and how their mother's helped shape their futures (e.g. Corrie ten Boom, Condoleeza Rice, Laura Ingalls etc). I learned a lot and enjoyed the stories.

And that's about it. But... July is not over and I have a couple other good reads going. I do so love to read. If only there were more hours in the day!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

The straight and narrow

Lately, for Isaiah, it's all about opposites. Life is about being righteous or evil, going to heaven or hell, or following God or Satan. Last night was a prime example. A sweet and amazing example. 3 year olds don't miss much, that's all I can say.

As I was getting boys ready for bed, Isaiah came and sat next to me on the floor. He put his legs out straight in front of him, and wiggled his toes.

"Mom," he said," I'm just going to put my legs out straight...and I'm not going to bend them. I'm going to keep them straight"

"That's great, Isaiah. It's fun to sit with straight legs," I replied.

He said, "Yeah, because... I want to keep my legs straight, and not let them be crooked. Because, well, I want my legs to be straight, like the straight and narrow path to heaven. And I'm not going to have my legs be crooked... because the crooked path leads to hell."

"That's right, Isaiah!!"

"And... Mommy?? I don't want to have crooked speech either. Because bad guys have crooked speech. And that means that they tell lies. And that breaks God's law."

I love these deep conversations with my 3 year old. And I'm so glad that he's been paying attention in our family devotions through Proverbs. The book is so full of contrasts that capitivate my young childs mind.

Proverbs 8:8-9

"All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them. They are all straight to him who understands and right to those who find knowledge."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

10 lbs

I'm a goal oriented person. I love to set a mark and then aim to reach it.

Perhaps its the nurse in me that has always helped patients to work and regain strength and mobility, or the military wife in me that needs to find a way to get through year long deployments...

Either way, I'm a goal oriented person. And among other things, I've given myself a 10 pound challenge during the 3 weeks my husband is away. Yes, that means my plan is to lose the last 10 lbs of pregnancy weight before he comes home. I'm not sure if its an over zealous goal or not, but thats my story and I'm sticking to it.

I even told my husband that that was the plan--what was I thinking??

I thought about posting a "before" picture, just so that we can all see the progress, and the true difference 10lbs can make... but, I'm way too wimpy.
Here's to 10 lbs lighter, skinnier, and 3 weeks!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

There's an alligator in my back yard

There's an alligator in my back yard... we picked him up at Wal-mart. He may have cost twice what I wanted to spend. But then, how many little boys can say..."There's an alligator in my back yard!"? So we bought him anyway.

Our alligator has already provided hours of great summer fun. He lets the boys jump off his back and slide down his nose.
He's a very longsuffering alligator.

Our alligator taught the boys bravery... and patience to wait in line...

He let the boys swim in his stomach, and didn't complain when he was splashed by their spray.

We have a good alligator, what can I say?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Goodbye for a while

My husband left this morning for several weeks of military training. And even though we're an "experienced" military family, I never quite get used to it. To being alone, that is.

Nothing is quite right when he's gone. Already the house has a certain emptiness to it; as though it possesses the knowledge that he won't be home tonight.

The kids laugh and play, not quite understanding the difference between goodbye for a bit and goodbye for a while. I'm not sure I quite understand the difference either. Is saying goodbye ever easy?

Sure, hello's and goodbye's are all part of life. Not just military life, but life in general. We all say them. And we get used to them within a routine. From the mundane, "Hello" at the grocery store check-out, to the whispered "Goodbye" as your spouse leaves for work.

But don't our hearts open and close with those words? Doesn't something move and stretch and pull within us, as we welcome people into our lives and then see them go? Don't we leave something behind every time we "meet and greet" and "hail and farewell?"

The goodbye this morning was a tearful one. I had worked hard to hold back and tie down my wayward emotions over the last few days. But as the moment approached, as always, the reality hit. This is goodbye for more than just a few hours, or just a few's goodbye for a while.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


By the way, thanks for all the comments and emails lately. It's nice to know people are reading and I sure love to receive responses!

Thank you!!

Southern Sweet Tea

Due to popular demand...

Here's my best southern sweet tea recipe. You'll laugh, because after trying all the "exotic" sweeteners, I ended up sticking with sugar!! :)

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 6 tea bags (regular size, I do half decaf tea and half regular---hows that for a coffee lover?? Forget half caff lattes, I can make half caff sweet tea!!)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (more or less, I do this to taste)
  • 6 cups cold water (more or less, I actually gauge how much cool water to add by the color of the tea)

Steep baking soda, hot water, and tea for 10-15 minutes. Remove tea bags. Add sugar. Stir till dissolved. Add cold water. refrigerate and/or serve on ice.

This is PERFECT!! The baking soda keeps the tea from becoming bitter, so don't skip that step!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010


These pictures just make me so happy. Boy, do I love these boys!!

I can't even express how much they mean to me, or how thankful I am for their presence.
Lord, thank you for my boys and their sweet little faces.

Isaiah 3 1/2 yrs, Joshua 2 yrs, Noah 3 months

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sweet tea

My latest thing is sweet tea. Sweet iced tea, of course--with this humidity and heat, theres no way I could drink it hot!
But seriously though, sweet tea is IT!! I may have lived in the South less than a month, but already it's cool refreshingness has captured my fancy.
Big time.
I'm considering giving up Starbucks. And for this Seattle-native, thats quite a jump. At first, I'd just order it at restaurants (they serve it up here as frequently as water), and consume inordinate amounts at church potlucks... but now I'm making it myself. Having tried many varieties, and many sweetners, I think I've finally come up with the perfect blend... ah yes!!! Sweet satisfaction.
Who knows, I might be a southern girl yet!

Friday, July 9, 2010

3 months is...

My youngest son is 3 months old today and as I snapped these pictures I started to think... 3 months is...

  • too old-- I see my baby growing up before my very eyes. Each day learning new skills and making new expressions. Rolling over and raising his eyebrows. Giggling and babbling. Yes. It's too old. Can't you stay a baby forever, my dear little Noah?

Yet 3 months is also..

  • too short-- can it really be only 3 months that I have known him? Only 3 months that I have been holding him and snuggling him in my arms? Is it only 3 months and a day ago that I was a waddling pregnant woman? Waiting with anxious anticipation for Noah's arrival?? It seems like so long ago. Yes. 3 months is too short for all that has happened, for all that has changed, and for the depth of my love for this child.

3 months is also...
  • too little---for how BIG our little guy is. Noah is as big as most 6 month olds, I think. The 0-3 month clothes have been passed by long ago, and half the 3-6 month clothes are bursting at the seams. The size 3 diapers are likely to be upgraded to the size 4 very soon (arg!!). Yes. 3 months seems much too little for his size.

But then again...when you see this face, 3 months is...
  • just right
  • just perfect
  • just absolutely the cutest time in the world

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fat rolls

I was almost too embarrassed to post this picture. But then... I thought you all would enjoy marvelling at Noah's roundness!! :) Isn't this the one time in life when its cute to be chubby? And no one frowns or grimaces at big thighs or double chins?
At least, I hope you're not frowning and grimacing... :) Laughing is more like it, right?
I'm laughing too. What can I say, I LOVE the fat rolls! I can't keep myself from squeezing those thighs or kissing those round little cheeks. There is just something about chubby babies that is so precious to me.
Maybe its the fact that this little one is my own. :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


The good

The bad

The ugly

(and just in case there was any doubt, Joshua was drinking chocolate milk...we were in the bathroom washing up when I decided to take the picture)


Fourth of July weekend never looked so good.

I'm so glad we live near the beach! And many gorgeous beaches at that. This one was 2 1/2 hours away, but worth every minute in the car to get there. The weather was perfect (85 degrees), the accommodations amazing (2 bedroom villa at The Marriot's Ocean Front Resort-- complete with a incredible military discount that made the very pricey room actually affordable!!!), the beach right outside, and the only draw back was that I was fighting off a chest cold. But really, it was an amazing weekend. I still cannot believe how warm the ocean water was, or how much fun it was for the boys to splash and play.

A taste of heaven for this beach loving gal. Praise our wonderful Creator for His incredible handiwork!!

July already??

I was talking to my sister the other day about summer plans. She was telling me about some trips and events she had planned for July. I listened interestedly. I love summer trips. Then I asked, "What about June? What are you doing in June?"

She replied matter of fact, "Sister!! Today is July 1st"

Sigh. Say, what?? July already?? Wow!!

June flew by. I am still reeling with how fast it went. The month is a blur.

And I still can't barely believe its July already. Summer is half way over and we haven't even had a watermelon yet (I bought one today) or grilled on the BBQ (Nick's buying a new one as we speak).

Super Mom's and a trip to Blueberry Hill

I can't say that the house was quite ready for me to leave it for a day and go blueberry picking (why does it take SO LONG to get everything unpacked and put away??), but we did it anyway. On our road trip east, right before we arrived, we saw signs along the highway that read: "Blueberry Hill U-pick." And I couldn't help it, I had to exclaim to the boys, "Blueberry Hill!!!!"

Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey, is one of the boys favorite books. It was one of my favorite childhood books as well. We read it often. As we would read the pages, I'd tell the boys that one day, we'd go blueberry picking on blueberry hill ourselves! They were always delighted at the thought. So, when I saw the signs so close to our new home, I had to announce it to the boys. We all smiled hugely. Blueberry Hill!!

I had mentioned Blueberry Hill to a friend (with a newborn baby girl and 2 year old son) that live here, and we decided to make a day of it and head up there together to pick blueberries.

The morning of the event, everything went as planned. We got out the door, 3 little boys and their mom, in record time, dressed, fed and our "little tin pails" in tow (quotation marks indicate a direct quote from Blueberries for Sal). We made the 50 minute drive without a single wrong turn and on the way I remarked a number of times that it was the perfect day for blueberry picking. The sun was hidden by a thin layer of clouds and the temperature was only in the mid 80's (compared to the high 90's we'd experienced since we arrived).

But just as we arrived, a few raindrops started falling. Our spirits refused to be dampened. A few raindrops never hurt anyone.

When we pulled in, we saw a sign that said, "Closed for ripening, reopening this weekend." But again, our spirits rose when we saw our friends already there and heard their announcement that they had talked with the owner and we could pick blueberries even though they were not technically open. What a relief!!

We unloaded and got ready; 2 moms, 2 infants, and 3 little boys and started picking blueberry's.

It drizzled a little. The baby's cried a little. But we kept at it.

The boys took great delight in Blueberry Hill, and especially in picking blueberries and dropping them, "ku-plink, ka-plank, ka-plunk, into their little tin pails" (another direct quote). At least for a while.

Then they resorted to playing in the mud, throwing rocks into the pond, and pulling each other in the wagon. They really had a great time. Aside from Isaiah falling down in the mud, causing the wagon (loaded with Joshua) to roll on top of him, many shed tears, and getting absolutely soaked in a torrential downpour.

That's right. It poured. The rain came and dumped water on us like nothing else. We could have brought soap and had a shower. It poured. We got soaked. But at least it was still warm.

The baby's cried some more. We stopped and fed them. The boys got into trouble some more, and we stopped and calmed them.

The blueberry picking was slow going. But... my friend and I cheered ourselves talking and fellowshiping together. Hurray for faithful friends!! At one point, we talked about the pioneer women who must have walked 5 miles to pick blueberries with multiple children in tow, (before the days of strollers and Baby Bjorns), spent just as many hours picking blueberries as we did, before walking home 5 miles, only to cut wood, to start the fire, to simmer down the blueberries, to can them for the winter--all while washing the laundry by hand and putting it out to dry in the back yard, hoeing the garden, and milking the cows. Then our 50 minute drive, picking berries in the rain, with 2 babies, 3 little boys, and water dripping off our necks didn't seem so bad. :)

And it really wasn't that bad. We had a good time. We picked a gallon of blueberries each (6.5 pints) and our family was able to enjoy the fruits of our labor (literally) at dinner time that evening.

Our move east

Like many military family's before us, we picked up, packed up, and moved for the 2nd time in less than a year. We enjoyed (almost) every minute of our 11 months in the beautiful state of Missouri. While we enjoyed the location (the gorgeous green trees, the amazing shades of autumn, the rivers, the wildlife, and yes, even the humidity) we enjoyed the people even more. God blessed us with some of the best friendships we've ever had, and for one of the first times in our lives we were able to have Army friends that were also Christian friends. I still can't get over the fact that our closest military friends (with which we shared the camaraderie and challenges of deployments, moves, and who know all those lovely Army abbreviations) were also members of our church. Wow!

But, as I said, we picked up, packed up and moved. Since Nick had some extra time off work since he completed his Masters Degree, we thought it would be the perfect time to try a DITY move. That is, a Do-IT-Yourself move.

So, as I said before, we picked up (ourselves), packed up (ourselves) and moved (ourselves) to our new duty station

It went really well. Really really well. I won't say it wasn't a lot of work, but still, it was definitely worth it, and I think we'd say we'd do it again.

The boys loved the moving truck and took turns fighting over which one of them would drive it (as though either of them would actually drive it... funny the things little boys fight over...).

It was a bit of an ordeal to drive the 26+ ft truck towing the Jeep 900+ miles to our new duty station. But that was an ordeal that Nick underwent on his own. :) Haha. All I had to do was drive 900+ miles in a minivan with 3 kids, 3 years and under. Did I mention one was a newborn?? Yes. Nick and I both had our work cut out for us.

And God blessed us and protected us every mile of the journey. First, He sent my dear sister in law Kimera to help. She arrived the day we loaded the truck and stayed with us till we arrived at our destination. What a blessing that sweet wonderful Aunt Kimmy was!! I enjoyed her fellowship, her maturity, and her babysitting skills.

God blessed us with great traveling mercies as well. Kimmy, the boys and I drove ahead of Nick (who had to maintain a lower speed limit due to the heavily loaded truck hauling a trailer) and encountered a lot of weather (tornadoes!!) on our journey. The rain poured and the wind blew like nothing I'd ever seen. I was afraid to pull off the road, because we could barely see the road, so we turned on our hazard lights and inched along. It was pretty scary. It was only afterwards when we stopped for dinner in a small town that we heard the townsfolk talking about the tornado that had passed through. Yikes!! The amazing thing is that the 20 minutes Nick was behind us on the road, removed him from the severe weather (Thank you, Lord!!)

Although, Nick encountered a near miss on a car crash himself. The roads were soaked and a pick-up truck hydroplaned right in front of Nick. The pick-up hit the guard rail going 60+ miles and hour, spun out across traffic, and thank the Lord, Nick was able to stop the heavily loaded truck in time. The accident literally happened right in front of Nick, so Nick got out to help and wait for the emergency vehicles to arrive. Thankfully it appeared no one was obviously injured. God is good.

We drove through some gorgeous country and made it safely to our new home.

We couldn't be happier with our new home. It's a roomy 4 bedroom ranch, with a spacious kitchen, beautiful deck and large backyard. Not only is our landlord kind and gracious, but we're getting the home for a real steal (we seriously think our landlord could rent the home for $300 or $400 more a month). The neighborhood is beautiful (and safe!!) with well kept yards and lovely homes all around. We are SO thankful!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Time is short, so here's the scoop:

We made it (to our new post)

We love it (our new house)

And we thank God for it all


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