Archives for June 2006

His wife better own a chicken farm

This morning I’ve been painting (and painting and painting). My arms are noodles as I type, that’s how tired they are. Around noon my 8 year old came in and said, “You’re still painting?”

“Yes,”I said, “and I’m getting tired.” I’m a results girl, after all. Instant gratification, y’know? Tedious edge-painting be hanged.

“Don’t you like to paint?” he asked.

“Yes,” I admitted. “Just not for a really long time.”

“I like doing things I like for a really long time,” he said. “Like, I like to eat chicken for a really long time!”

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June Perfect Post Award!

I’m participating once again in the Perfect Post Awards sponsored by Petroville and Suburban Turmoil. The object of the game is to spotlight some great posts each month. You can check out the above blogs for the complete list of awards for June.

A Perfect Post

My Award this month goes to Antique Mommy: Ode To Mary Tyler Moore. I actually found out that someone else nominated her as well, but I decided to keep it as my pick as well because it is just that hilarious!

The extravagance of it….

Three brand new swimsuits for ONE little girl this summer. All bought in one day, no less. I’d feel guilty about it except, you see, I found them at the dollar store. Yup, $3 for all three!



Go visit Steppin’ Heavenward to read about my sister Sophie and her work in Ethiopia. The infant in the very first picture is my daughter over a year ago. The tiny baby you see in the pictures was a very premature baby boy that she took care of while there. He weighed only 2 pounds and they did not expect him to live. But if you go here you can see that baby now! What a miracle!

PS– If you want to read about another of my sisters who just got back from Ethiopia, visit Ethiopia: Surprising Beauty Yet another sister of mine is adopting from Ethiopia and hopes to get a child assigned to their family sometime this year! I’m really proud of my sisters!

Think Pink

Months ago my (then) 3 year old told me she wanted her room painted pink. She has mentioned it every week or two since then. In May I promised to paint it after her birthday. That was three weeks ago.

Last night it hit me that at the rate I was (not) going, she’d outgrow the longing for a pink room before I ever got around to fulfilling it. And somehow, in 18 years of parenting, I’ve never painted a room pink. I realized that if we missed this window of opportunity, I’d be as sad as she.

So this morning we went to Walmart and picked pink paint. I showed her 5 paint chips that were in the range I had in mind and she instantly zeroed in on Watermelon. Happily, that was the one I liked best too, and within a minute we were on the way to the paint counter.

I spent the afternoon painting. I got a first coat on half the room. It glows. My husband is going to gulp when he sees it. But I love it. And most importantly she loves it.

My girl is getting her pink room.

What are you putting off doing with your child? Is there a good reason not to do it? Time flies–don’t let the opportunity pass you by.

Pictures coming…

Works For Me

Joining Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer playing Works For Me Wednesday today. Lately I happened across a few moms dealing with switching a toddler to a ‘big kid bed’, and I wanted to share how I’ve handled this challenge.

Usually what happens when you first switch a two year old over is the dreaded Jack-In-The-Box phenomenon. You get them into bed, head out to the living room for some hubby time, and within 5 minutes you hear the padding of little jammy-clad feet in the hall. Around the corner comes the two year old, doing his best to look winsome –or pitiful –depending on his bent.

Now what?

Here’s what I do: I stick the kid back in bed. Then I grab a book and a comfy pillow and camp myself outside the child’s bedroom door. I will be parked there until the kid gives up and goes to sleep. When he pops up, I’ll stick him back quietly and firmly. Over and over and over until he gets the idea that bed is the only option.

For a kid who is truly fearful of being alone (use your mom instinct), I will make sure I am within eyesight of the child, though I won’t participate in attempts at conversation. Once he seems relaxed, though still awake, I will often tell him I need to go run a load of laundry or make a quick trip to the bathroom. “I’ll be right back,” I’ll say.

I’ll keep my first trip away brief, coming back quickly to reassure him. Then in a few minutes I’ll leave for a little longer. Always I stay fairly close. If he gets up I will replace him firmly and quietly back in bed. Gradually over a week or so, I will increase my time away, so that he will eventually get used to falling asleep with me out of the room.

This tactic has worked for me!

Church camp

Our camp is up in the mountains near a lake a few hours drive from our home. One of the things that I love most about it is that it is a family camp. Sunday school classes are divided by age, and there are bunkhouses where bigger kids stay with counselors. But most times you see people of all ages hanging out together.

One of the things the little kids like to do most is ring the bell at mealtime. Tetherball is a favorite for bigger kids. In the background you can see the A-frame cabins that dot the camp.

Here are my big girls hanging out with one of their best friends.
And here is my littlest, delighted because she has just conquered the heights of the play structure. She was fearless on the slide, and went down over and over and over. Hard to believe one year ago she had just gotten home from Ethiopia and couldn’t even sit up!

Most evenings the bigger people stayed up late in the dining hall playing games such as Dutch Blitz, dominoes, poker, Apples to Apples, and Phase 10.

And then, of course, there was the lake. Here I am with my youngest. She wasn’t so sure about this cold water. A big hit every year is the inflatable rafts we always bring. We toss life jackets on the younger ones, and then tie the boat to a big rock with a long rope. Then the kids can row to their hearts content without anyone ever having to retrieve them from the deep, or tell them they’ve gone out too far. It is great fun.

While the little kids splashed in the swimming hole, the big kids went wakeboarding and tubing out on my uncle’s powerboat. And my hubby also got to take the 8 year olds fishing on the lake in our pastor’s little boat. They even caught some fish! All in all, a great weekend. So glad I got to share it with my family!


Viewing this photo, you might logically assume I acquired this nasty burn while camping at the lake this weekend. No. The entire weekend I was a mature adult. Not only did I use cups and cups of sunscreen liberally on my many children, I also slathered sunscreen all over myself. Over the weekend I didn’t even get pink.

No, this sunburn happened at home yesterday, as I spent 40 minutes in the pool with my little kids. Apparently I forgot that the sun here is just as potent as at the lake. Dumb, dum, dum, dumb. Grrr…

A Moment From Camp

I’ve been going through my photos today deciding which ones I’ll post and what to tell you about. I may get it all together tonight, maybe tomorrow. But I wanted to start by sharing one moment that was especially meaningful to me.

It is a family camp we attend. During chapel we all take turns randomly choosing songs to sing. There are lots of familiar favorites in the book we use. But at least once or twice during the weekend, someone, usually a little child randomly shouting out a number, will choose some obscure song that we all do our best to learn on the spot. This time the song came bearing a memory for me.

It was three years ago. Winter was ending, and my grandmother was dying. Various relatives were taking turns sitting with her in the hospital so she wouldn’t be alone, even at night. One night I stayed with her.

There had been the usual commotion early in the night, with the next shift of nurses coming in to administer medicine and record vital signs. Then there was the careful arranging of pillows around my grandmother’s tiny bent body, and finally, quiet came as she drifted off to sleep. I got settled in the pullout bed next to her, dozing lightly and waking often to listen to her breath and think of times we’d shared in the past.

In the dead of the night I heard her faint voice. I opened my mouth to ask her what she’d said. But she continued without waiting for my response, and suddenly I realized she was singing.

Singing praises. At 2 am. In a dark hospital room. I went to her, and added my voice to hers, feeling the warmth of her wrinkled hand, my heart full with the privilege of that moment.

“I will offer You praise when the sun meets the dew
And I will offer You praise at the noon’s brightest hue.
I will offer You praise when the starlight is due
And when I wake in the night, Lord, I’ll still be praising You.”

I’m baaaack…..!

Camp was great! I’ll share some pictures and tell you more about our weekend tomorrow. Only one other kid got sick. But the first one was better by Tuesday evening and the second wasn’t sick till early Sunday morning, so basically we were healthy all weekend. A big blessing! We drove home this afternoon, sighing that camp was already over for another year and my 14 year old said, “How many days till next camp?”

Once we got the van and trailer unpacked, a load of laundry tossed in, and supper in the oven, I made a beeline for my computer. (Marvelous restraint I showed, don’t ya think?) I had a lovely time reading all your fab comments and guesses, etc.

Avery had me laughing– go here and scroll down to his comment if ya missed it. It was great to hear from so many people, including many who’ve never commented before. I’ll try and come visiting tonight after kids are off to bed.

Now for the winners:

My VIP person this week is Amanda from following an unknown path. She lives in Taiwan, and says there are over 6,000 people per square mile living where she does. I have a hard time even imagining that! I’m so glad she shared that little tidbit.

And my yard sale winner this week is Radical One from Favorite Sister’s Thoughts. Her guess of $18 was exactly right.

Here’s the breakdown of what I paid.

Top photo (left to right)
-4 long sleeved little girls shirts–3 @ $0.25 each, 1 @ $0.50
-Pink tank (Children’s Place) –$0.75
-turquoise tee (Children’s Place)–$0.75
-denim shorts–$0.25
-3 big-boy shirts (2 Old Navy, 1 Gap)–2 @ $1.00 each, 1 @ $0.75

Bottom photo (left to right)

-Tan shorts outfit (being worn by my daughter)-$2.75
-aqua winter PJ’s–$1.00
-lavender princess dress–$2.50
-pink 2 pc toddler outfit–$2.00
-4 pair big-boy jeans — 2 Rustlers, $0.50 each, 2 Old Navy’s, $1 each
-Big boy polo (Old Navy)–$1.00
Shoes in front:
–Black flip-flops (well worn)– $0.25
–Blue and white shoes– $0.75
–Tan Adidas–$0.50

All the lowball guesses y’all tossed my way made me think I should have shopped better, but after looking at the pictures again, I think I did ok for my $18.

One final thing– if you haven’t gone there already, don’t forget to visit Larger Families to read my post “Open Your Mouth And Close Your Eyes…”