Archives for May 2007


Mom, before sending the 2 yr old out to the pool: “Did she go potty?”

Older child: “Yes, she just went #2.”

2 yr old, excitedly: “…and 3 and 4 and 5!!”

And all these years I’ve been thinking there were only two types….

Just because.

Proving once again that kids are ungrateful wretches

In a fit of frustration, my 3 year old nephew told my sister that he didn’t want her to be his mommy anymore.

“Oh, really?” she asked, amused. “Who do you want instead?”

“Grandpa Ron,” he declared quickly. Obviously he’d given this some thought.

Works for Me: A Few of My Favorite Things

A few years ago at our house kids seemed grumpy and impatient with each other. I realized we were needing a morale boost and some positive energy flowing between us. I decided to try an idea that a school teacher friend had done with her students.

Each person in the family wrote down every other family member’s name on a piece of paper, and then after each person’s name they wrote down one thing they admired about that person. Big kids did their own writing and I let the little kids dictate to me.

I then compiled all the positive things about each person onto one sheet of paper and presented each person with this list of good things about him or herself. This simple exercise turned out to be an amazingly powerful moral boost. Each and every one of us found it extremely interesting to read the things that our family members valued about us. Years later, most of us have saved our letters.

Just the other day I was noticing some cranky attitudes between various ones of the children….. hmmm…. maybe it’s time to revisit this exercise and remember there ARE good things to admire… even in a sibling?

Encouraging family to appreciate each other: works for me!

More winners

Here are the winners for my Saturday contest. I enjoyed hearing some of you favorite memories of family trips. The Golden Keyboard this week goes to Antique Mommy for this gem of a moment:

One of the most memorable trips for me was the first time we took Sean to Illinois to visit my parents at their house. My parents still live in the house that I grew up in and there was just something magical to see him snuggle with my mom in the same chair she snuggled me and to eat in the same kitchen in which I ate when I was growing up. But more than anything, I will always remember watching my 76-year-old dad and Sean jumping in rain puddles in the street together. I could almost see the little boy that my dad was in his face and also in the face of my little boy at the same time. I felt that somehow just for a moment, God let me see time through His eyes.

I also get to give away a 6 month membership to Netflix. I had my birthday boy pick a random number between 1 and 19 (the number of commenters) and he picked #18. That means Jenn of red thread road has won 6 free months of Netflix (3 movies out at a time.)

Thanks for playing, everyone! I still have three more Netflix memberships to give out, so check back Saturday for your next chance to win.


This evening we had a birthday bash for our son who just turned 9, which meant that this afternoon we found ourselves scurrying around pulling sweat socks out from under the couch and wiping fingerprints off windows and scrubbing jam off dining room chairs. (Oh, AND installing lovely new porch lights on our front porch, because two hours before you’re expecting 30 people at your house is always the perfect time to start ripping bits off the front of the house.)

My oldest two daughters, fingers worn to the bone from making cupcakes and scrubbing bathrooms, declared their intention not to clean their own room. “Don’t bring the little kids into our room,” one of them sternly told their four year old sister.

“Why not?” she asked indignantly. After all, when you’re four and a born socialite like my daughter, part of the delight of having many small cousins coming to visit is being able to walk from room to room magnanimously allowing your cousins to finger every delightful item your older siblings own.

The teenagers explained that they didn’t want their five year old cousins playing with their stuff, but the four year old wasn’t looking like she shared their concern.

“It won’t matter,” said my 12 year old glumly, shaking his head. “They go in everyone’s rooms even when they’re not invited.” Sighing heavily he added, “They’re worse than social workers.”

The things we moms say over and over….

Go here and get a laugh.

Gardasil: More harm than good?

You decide.


2 Corinthians 12:19

(The song in my head when I woke up this morning.
Read ‘Weak‘ first if you haven’t already…)

I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
But sometime I wonder what He can do through me
No great sucess to show
No glory on my own
Yet in my weakness He is there to let me know

His strength is perfect when our strength is gone
He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on
Raised in His power, the weak become strong
His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect

We can only know
The power that He holds
When we truly see how deep our weakness goes
His strength in us begins
Where ours comes to an end
He hears our humble cry and proves again

His strength is perfect when our strength is gone
He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on
Raised in His power, the weak become strong
His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect

–Steven Curtis Chapman


This afternoon I’m doldrum-filled and restless. This coming week is important. On Tuesday our girls will get their welcome bags from us, so that finally they will see our faces and begin to imagine themselves with us. This coming week also our paperwork will probably be submitted for approval by the Ethiopian Children’s Commission. Hopefully we will pass quickly, so we can go on to Ethiopian court. Once we pass court, the girls are ours. For real. For good.

I alternate between pricing airfare in August, and trying to shake an uneasiness, a fear something will go wrong. This morning a few minutes apart I read this, and heard this., Instead of feeling strengthened, I felt weak — afraid the message had come to prepare my heart for adversity.

The odd thing is that I feel totally ready for adversity after the girls come home. I do not expect it to be easy to help them settle in and I long for the chance to begin that work. Whether I am well-prepared or fool-hardy I cannot tell. But for this moment I do not fear that challenge.

No, the thing I fear now is not being allowed to bring our girls home. Right or wrong, they feel like mine in my heart. And yet I am so aware that it is not done yet. That still doors could close between us. Doors that could stop us from ever meeting. The cord connecting us now feels fragile as glass. And though intellectually I know that God knows what is right for our family and that He’ll steer us right, I fear He might choose to divert us down a path I do not want to take.

John and I have prayed that if this path is not meant for our family that the door would close. But now I feel I’m too far down that path to endure a change of plans. I want to snatch back that prayer. My heart is with these children. Slamming that door now would shatter the fragile piece of my heart that is already stretching across miles and oceans.

And so I sit here. Weak. Faith-poor. Always conscious of the two who are missing from our home. Longing for news that all is well, that we’ve made it to the next step. That they are ours forever.

Oh, how I wish I could be strong.