Thursday, October 28, 2010


 The Swing

How do you like to go up in a swing?

Up in the air so blue?

Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing

Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,

Till I can see so wide,

Rivers and trees and cattle and all

Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,

Down on the roof so brown -

Up in the air I go flying again,

Up in the air and down!

Robert Louis Stevenson

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

The kind of male bonding that every mother hopes for: a dad with his sons.

Join the Wordless Wednesday Fun

First bites

I wait until my children are 6 months old before I feed them solid foods. You know... so that they are really ready:

Yep, there's no force feeding here. Priceless pictures, huh? I love it!

Actually, I breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months of age because it's the best thing for baby. It seems to be a little known fact (given how many young (and old!!) mothers look at me in shock), but really exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months is the recommendation across the board for feeding infants (and I'm not talking about Le Leche League here either). Maybe people are just shocked that my little moose child got so bulky on mama's milk alone... afterall it looks like he's been sneaking a few Twinkies on the side. 

But seriously though, this little guy would probably be content to just nurse for a while-- he is such a snuggle bug, and obviously he's thriving on breastmilk (weighing in at 23+ lbs at 6 months!!). But his ability to grab things mingled with the baby phase of putting-everything-in-my-mouth has made it impossible to hide.

So on we go to a new phase of life... feeding 3 little boys at the dinner table!! Don't even ask what the floor looks like after a meal. Ahhh!! :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

The hardest part

After a whole day of managing the house and the children, I find that when 5pm rolls around I want to flip the "being responsible" switch and take a break. My energy, my skills, and, yes, I'll say it, my temper, have reached the limit and I'm ready for auto pilot. No thinking, no disciplining, no doing anything that involves effort.

And truth be told, so often my husband, in his graciousness, allows me this much needed reprieve. He comes home from work, plays with the kids, steps up to chasten and admonish them when needed. He often cleans the dinner dishes before wrestling that last bit of energy out of the boys so that bedtime can go smoothly.

This is yet another reason why I love my husband. And yet another reason why I'm missing him while he is away. Am I wrong to think that being a single parent might very well be the hardest part of Army life?

Of course, I miss my husband and best friend for so many other reasons (adult conversation, protection, physical touch, regular encouragement), but I right now I'm really missing him as "Daddy."

The last week, though it has flown by, has been such a challenge. I have found my strength and stamina dwindling when it comes to child rearing. Why is it so easy to let things slide when you're the only one? I tell myself, it's no big deal to let my son talk back just this once... but then is it really okay to let it go three times in a row? Or what about turning a blind eye to family devotions, telling myself that "I don't want my husband to miss out on several chapters of Proverbs" that we'd read in his absence...when really in truth, I don't feel like trying to keep the boys sitting still and listening for another 15 minutes?

Unfortunately, the list goes much longer than this, bed time, chores, spankings... why is it so easy to feel that we'll get back to "real life" when Daddy's home again? And during this in-between-time, this single parenting time, it's okay to be lazy and let things go?

Well, let me tell you. It's NOT.

I'm reaping the "rewards" of what I've sown. After a week of sending my children mixed signals by sometimes letting them to their own devices and at other times following them around with the rod of correction... I'm finding that neither them nor I are taking me very seriously.

Yes, I could use a break. I could use an easy button. And I could use an iced white mocha right about now. But taking a break is very foolish when it comes to parenting... especially when it involves being inconsistent in discipline!

While it is good to have times of quiet from the hustle and bustle of the the daily grind, as a Christian, I must never stop confronting sin in my life or allow myself to use "single parenting" as an excuse.

And now I pray,

Lord, forgive me for being inconsistent this week. Please keep me strong to complete the tasks you have laid before me. Help me to remember that I must be steadfast, regardless of my energy level. Thank you for causing me to reap what I've sown as a lesson and reminder that I cannot let sin take root in my life.

And thank you for my husband who makes working hard so much more bearable. Miss you, Sweetheart!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Picture Perfect

As most parents of little boys know... it can be quite a challenge to get quality pictures where all the little boys are smiling AND looking at the camera. 

But the other day, as evidenced by the pictures below, I pretty much lucked out.

Especially considering that I shot the pictures on my own without a prop person standing behind me making goofy faces (otherwise known as Nick).

Stay tuned for the "matching shirt" pictures I'm hoping to take this weekend. And yes, that means just what you think-- I'm one of those mom's that loves matching outfits. A few weeks ago, I started the hunt, and found matching shirts (Thank you, Carter's Outlet Store and my dear husband for taking me there!!) in each of the boys sizes. Who says you can't play dress up if you have boys??

As a random side note, if you'd like to see the boys in matching outfits too, please feel free to send 5T, 3T and 12 month matchy-matchy clothes my way. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Communication Skills

Noah has been learning to "talk" in all sorts of ways and lately he's really honing in on his non-verbal communication skills.  

Take today for instance. I asked him, "Noah, do you think Mommy should spend her day doing the dishes, mopping the floor, vacuuming the house, and doing the laundry?"

To which he obviously responded:

So then I asked, "Well... what about mowing the lawn, paying the bills, and running errands?" 

And he said:
"No way!!"

Amazed at his brilliance, I then asked, "So what are you trying to tell me? Really? You think I should go shopping for new living room chairs instead??"

To which he said:
"Absolutely, Mom!"

"Well, Noah... if you say so."

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and ???


My husband bought me an amazing new camera for my birthday back in September. (Though I suppose the word "amazing" could describe both my husband and the camera. Thank you, Dearest). In my husband's usual style, he researched, phonecalled, hunted, and bought me the best camera he could find.

I love my new Canon. It takes incredible pictures and I am learning new things I can do with it all the time. Wow. I love it.

So you can imagine my horror when something terrible happened to it yesterday.

The boys and I were playing in the backyard. I set Noah down on the back deck, and Isaiah, on his own accord, came and sat down next to him. Then Joshua followed too. They sat their together playing happily, laughing and giggling away. And then, as most mother photographers will do, I ran for my camera.

Perfect photo op.

I ran inside, ran back out, and snapped a few pictures of ALL the boys smiling AT THE SAME TIME. Excuse the caps lock, but as those of you with 3+ children know (double this if they are 3 busy boys), this is quite the feat!

As the boys got restless, I reviewed the pictures on the camera, set the camera down on the back porch and went to push the boys on the swings. They rode the swings for quite some time, we laughed some more, talked, and sang. Yes, we sing while we're on the swings. And I'll tell you, it will be one of my lifetime favorite memories I'm sure.

Shortly thereafter we went inside for dinner, at which point I realized that I didn't have all the ingredients for the soup I was making for lunch with friends the following day. So as soon as we were done having devotions, I loaded the boys into the car for a quick trip to Wal-Mart.

By the time we made it home, it was not only raining but completely dark out. I got the boys ready for bed, brushed teeth, sang songs and kissed them one more time.

After I finished tidying up the house, I went to grab my camera and upload the picture I'd taken earlier.

Which is when the sudden shock and panic hit me-- my camera was not in the case. Where was it? Ahhh!!!!!! Hence the title of this post!

Oh no, oh no, oh no! I'd left it on the back porch. Surely it's been stolen, I thought. (while we live in a very safe neighborhood, parts of this city are really not so hot). My heart sank as I fumbled with the back door lock, opened the door, looked out and realized that the porch was not only soaked in rain, but my camera was NOT where I left it.

Double AHHHHH! You know that feeling that you get in your stomach when something terrible happens? It was happening big time. My NEW camera!! OH NO!!!

I quickly ran over to the swing set, hoping I'd left it there. Not there.

I scanned the porch again and again. Not there.

If my neighbors could have seen me running around like a mad woman they would have laughed. Or called the police. I'm sure I looked crazy.

I ran back inside and scanned the play room. Not there.

Then the kitchen, living room, dining room... not there.


I think I was about to start crying when I saw my camera sitting on the mantle over the fire place. Safe and sound.The relief was overwhelming. Whew!! Safe and sound. Not stolen, not rained on, not lost, but safe and sound. Praise the Lord!

It reminded me of the parable of the lost coin in Luke 15:8-10:

8"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' 10In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

I know the context and the comparison don't quite measure up, but I was blessed to remember it nonetheless.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Our house has been full of accomplishments lately. I'm so proud, I decided I better share a few with you.

  1. Isaiah (who just turned 4) is really taking off with reading. Every day I see him looking at letters, sounding things out, and asking me questions like "Does "C" say "kaaah?'" It's so exciting to see him learn! Wow!
  2. I took some amazing pictures in which the boys are all looking. An accomplishment for sure.
  3. Noah had his 6 month check-up last week and rocked the growth charts to the limit. He's weighing in at 23lbs 11 oz. No joke! He's part moose!!
  4. The boys started sleeping in till 8am. Which hasn't happened in this house for years. At least it seems that way. Nice.
  5. Joshua is a potty trained poster child. He's been dry through the night for 4 nights in a row now. I think I can officially get rid of the diapers! Yeah!
  6. Noah is scooting around like a, well... like a little slug. I mean, caterpillar. (That sounds better, doesn't it?) He mostly scooting backwards which is quite amusing to watch. But... he's also up on all 4's and rocking back and forth. It won't be long before my 6 month old is up and at em.
  7. I'm a single mom again (thank you, U.S. Army!!) which isn't an accomplishment in itself, but... what I mean to say is that I'm running the house, the kids, the bills, the everything on my own right now. And its going fairly well. The Lord has been very gracious to us in Nick's absence. I have a deep ache in my heart for my husband and eagerly await his return, but for the time being we're staying afloat!
  8. Isaiah is my little helper. This morning he helped Josh get dressed of his own volition. And they both have their shirts and pants on the right way around. Nice.
While the list isn't overly impressive, isn't it nice to see progress?

Monday, October 18, 2010


I know these sorts of pictures are out there in abundance right now... but what can I say? There is something simply wonderful about this time of year...

The bright and beautiful pumpkins

Children's happy faces as they look and point and choose their very own

The joy and excitement of a hayride...or if you're a one of my little boys, is more about the John Deere tractor than anything else...

and don't forget the taste of pumpkin!! Not that I've ever tried it this way, or have I? Mom?

No wonder innumerable blogs, Facebook pages and everything in between are sporting their brilliant Fall memories right now. There is just something about Autumn, isn't there?

As a fun side note, last year we were living in MO and I was happily pregnant with Noah during our pumpkin patch adventure. The year before that our pumpkin trip took place in CO, Nick was deployed, and Joshua was about Noah's age now. Wow!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oh where, oh where

has the time gone? Has it really been a week since I last posted? This is definitely not the way to grow a successful blog.

Which, in case you haven't gathered from my frequent attempts at blogging this last month, is my hope. Perhaps it's a bit crazy, but I must say that in the last month the number of hits has tripled, as have my followers. 

And yes, I know I only have 17 followers, one of which is me... haha...but you know, it's still progress! Tripling is still tripling, whether its from 6 to 18... or 300 to 900. And one thing I am continually reminded of is not to despise the day of small beginnings.

Which reminds me of a story... my oldest son turned 4 in September. Four years old. I can barely believe my baby, my child, my little one, is FOUR YEARS OLD. It seems like only yesterday... Does everyone do this now and then, whether over their job, their home or their loved one? And marvel at how the time has flown, how life has changed, how that day of small beginnings has now blossomed and grown to an intelligent, independent, four year old?

Oh where, oh where has the time gone?

So yesterday, my 4 year old, Isaiah, woke up first. As is my boys' morning habit, he came running to find me and said, "It's time for your morning hug, Mom!" Oh, isn't that sweetness in itself? While it happens this way nearly every morning, my eyes almost filled with tears. Mentally I flashed back to those sweet baby cooings and first toddler words and said:

"Oh, Isaiah, you are just getting so grown up! You remember everything! From morning hugs, to where I hid the spanking stick. And look at you, how big you are getting--you're almost as tall as Mommy and you can nearly knock me over with your big morning hug! You are just so big and strong! Oh, where did my little baby go?!?"

Isaiah quickly said, "I know where your baby went, Mom." And he grabbed my hand and went running into Noah's room. And said, "There he is, Mom!"

Now the tears were really welling up in my eyes. Yes. Noah is my baby now. You are my big boy, Isaiah. And I am so proud of you and the boy you have become. I will never ever underestimate the day of small beginnings... the day I first heard your newborn cries and saw your sweet baby face. You started out so small and needy, and look how responsible and intelligent you have become... in 4 short years.

Oh where, oh where has the time gone?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Yes, he really has almost his entire body off the ground--even his legs!!

Check out the Wordless Wednesday fun

September Books

 I'm a little embarrassed to post the books I read in September... but... here they are anyway.

Yes I know that I didn't keep up with my "book a week" goal, and I know that other than the Bible all I read was Harry Potter.

I have a number of good excuses for why I didn't get much reading done (believe me, I read in a lot of other books, I just haven't finished them yet). But I won't bore you with them. However, I suppose the main cause is really because September's calendar looked like this:

And yes, if you can read the fine print that did include a Craig Morgan concert on the 17th.

The excuses aside, I did finish reading the Old Testament and am now working my way through the New Testament--right on track to read the Bible in a year. Yes!!

I am also really enjoying the Harry Potter books. I admit that after attending a conference on the infiltration of Paganism into the church and our culture by Peter Jones I wondered about reading them or not. It was a very interesting conference, I'd recommend it, and any of his books.

But back to Harry Potter: these books, while well written, need to be read with good Biblical discernment. I think too, after attending the conference, and reading more of the Potter series, I've officially taken a stance and will not let my kids read them till they are grown (high school??).

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday

As is frequently the case, my husband and I are working out some big (to us) issues in our home. It seems that no matter how many decisions we make, there are still more looming in the distance.

Who said life was easy, right? Actually, I don't know that anyone said it was easy, but Mama did say there'd be days like these. (go ahead and listen while you read!)

So here's the scoop for Top Ten Tuesday
Top Ten {Tuesday}

Ten decisions we're in the middle of making

  1. How many kids should we have? Now that I fit back into my skinny jeans and we've settled not only into our new home, but also into having 3 children, the question has been on our minds: when should have the next one? (yes, I know that my youngest is not quite six months old!!) And when should we stop? What is "the" number? What is "the" reason? If you've been down this road recently, I'd be interested to hear your godly feedback.
  2. Where and Whether we should take vacation over the holidays--now that we live on the East Coast we have relatives that are much closer in proximity than our immediate families. So... do we visit our aunts and uncles? Or fly cross country to see grandma and grandpa?
  3. Could we, should we, take a vacation without the kids?
  4. Whether to buy new family room furniture now or wait till the boys are passed the "spilling/climbing/pulling on everything" phase? Okay, so this is really just an issue on my mind. My husband thinks the ratty, dirty, white chairs that we have in the family room are "just fine." :)
  5. Whether to home school our kids or not.
  6. What to cook for our dinner party on Friday. Oh, the possibilities!!
  7. Should I go back to work part time as a nurse? I'm so happy to be a stay at home mom right now, yet I admit that part of me yearns to be back in the hospital running a Code Blue and titrating drips. Am I crazy? When the other kids were born, I had always gone back (one day a week) to work by now so it feels strange to not have begun that transition.
  8. Whether or not to put our kids in sports at young ages. The Little Kicker club looks so perfect for the boys... but then if we start the sports obsession at ages 2 and 4, will that be a good thing? 
  9. Whether to discipline our 2 year old for "I didn't even try to make it to the potty in time" accidents.
  10. Did Mama really say there'd be days like these?

The list could go on. But inspite of all the decisions on our plates, there is still much to be thankful for.

For one, the BIGgest questions in life have already been answered because I know what my only comfort in life and in death is and who I will join myself to in marriage. And for two, it is such a comfort that God is sovereign and in control of all things!

Monday, October 4, 2010

A little Army pride

Just recently, we had the opportunity to see my husband's college football team play. And play they did. The United States Military Academy (USMA) football team is on fire this season!! Army's Black Knights played an awesome game-- much to the delight of my dear West Point graduate. Go Army!!

Before we headed to the stadium, I puzzled over how we could show some USMA pride at the game. I couldn't seem to find any appropriate paraphernalia in our closets for the boys, but then I came up with this brilliant plan:

 I can't tell you how many people smiled, laughed, and commented at my brilliance cleverness creativity my sweet little boys in their United States Military Academy t-shirts. The boys loved wearing their "special" t-shirts and loved it even more when someone patted them on the head and said, "Go, Army!"

Okay... so Nick and I liked it a little more than they did. It was so cute!!

The game was amazing. Army creamed their opponents, the boys behaved marvelously, and we didn't spend a penny (well... we didn't spend a penny on tickets, the icecream stand splurge cost a few (hundred) pennies, but it was well worth it).

Isaiah (4yrs) and Joshua (2 yrs) were delighted to watch all the fanfare, the cadets, the flags etc. While we watched the game, I felt a few twinges of emotion at the thought of them really joining ranks with Daddy and attending the most prestigious military academy in the world at West Point.

I think I'll cry for weeks if they ever join the military.

Hence my death grip on Isaiah in this picture:

On a lighter note...

I don't think I have to worry too much about my youngest joining up... he couldn't have cared less about the game or his Daddy being a USMA graduate.

 All he needed was a good place to lay his head.

Friday, October 1, 2010

How embarrassing...

After paying at the check-out of the local commissary (grocery store for military), I waited for the bagger to follow us out to the car with the groceries. She was distracted putting the last bags on the cart, and didn't immediately follow us.

My dear 4 year old son, Isaiah noticed her reluctance as well and quickly snapped his fingers over his head, and said, "Let's GO!!"

Could I have blushed any redder? How embarrassing!

To make matters (internally) worse, I realized that he learned the snapping fingers and "Lets go, Lets go, Lets go!!" from yours truly. There goes the "Kathryn is so patient" myth that you all believed, right?

I guess someone in this house needs to set a better example for her kids. Ouch! What a way to learn.


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