In The Stillness

Uncategorized By 12/20/2008 No Comments

It’s Friday night and I am finally winding down (now 10:45pm). My house has been quiet for almost three hours and I have enjoyed two hours of mindless TV and a little good reading as my babies are fast asleep and a nice quiet weekend awaits us with open arms.
A little while ago I put my book down and decided to do something constructive. I could feel a “second wind” coming on and I knew I should get some things accomplished around the house while I had the time and energy. One thing that needs to be done every single night is, what we affectionately call, “a whole house sweep”. That is when every room in the house is combed over for stray toys, laundry, and dirty dishes. Usually I don’t get to this task until the kids are in bed, so I have to make a little pile of toys somewhere in the living room, then I’m off to sort the dirty laundry and start the dishwasher.
Tonight, as I put a load of laundry in the dryer, cleaned up the kitchen and hand washed a few pots and pans, a sweet peace came over me. I stood at my sink with the kitchen window wide open. A cool breeze, with the light scent of clean laundry, blew through my hair as I closed my eyes and suddenly became overwhelmingly aware of how content I am with my life. I love where I am. I am enjoying my children more now than ever before. I am approaching my seventh wedding anniversary to the man of my dreams who still, after three children, five moves, and the stresses of everyday life, loves me unconditionally and treats me as his princess. I enjoy the little moments of quiet at night when I can sit on the couch with ‘My Love’ and catch up on a few loads of laundry, mop the kitchen floor, or fill three little sippie cups so they will be ready for the boys in the morning. By God’s grace, I never seem to grow weary of these little tasks that are really more a pleasure to me than work. I feel I am living the roll God created me to fill; to nurture, love, guide, and protect. To be an encouragement, help meet, and respectful admirer of my husband.
Yet in the midst of this bliss is an underlying excitement for the unknown of what lies ahead.
Just a few months from now, the dynamic in our house will completely change. We will be housing two little children who have been thrust from their own birth parents for whatever circumstances and we will choose to love and care for them until they can return to their home. I may have many sleepless nights ahead as someone else’s infant or toddler lie awake in a strange house with strange people, and only myself and my husband to comfort them. I will fight to remain balanced in the attention and love I give to my own children as we adjust to our new house guests. And I can’t help but think that we will likely have foster children in our home this time next year. Thanksgiving and Christmas will no longer be “just the family”. I can’t even imagine my children, being as young as they are, having to be away from everyone they know and love, especially at Christmas time. I am in almost constant prayer for the many children that the Lord already knows will come through our home over the next year. It is quite a task that lies ahead, but I feel it is my task for the taking. I will embrace my new roll as God continues to give me peace, wisdom, and inspiration in preparing my home and my family for what is to come.
Therefore, I will treasure these moments of quiet stillness. Change will soon be here.


Thank You.

Uncategorized By 12/14/2008 No Comments

Dear Father,
I want to thank you for the three little coats that I re-hang in the closet several times a day. Thank you for the endless laundry that results from having a beautiful family of five. Thank you for the dirty dishes I have to wash after each meal because, as always, you provide food for us daily. Thank you that my husband leaves our home in the dark each morning to go to a job that you so graciously provided him with. Thank you for the stretch marks that remind me of the three beautiful gifts you’ve given me. Thank you for the wrinkles under my 26 year old eyes that are a result of laughing so hard I feared I’d wet my pants. Thank you for the friends and sisters in Christ that cause me to laugh that hard on a regular basis! Thank you for the four beds that must be changed weekly and for the many rooms of carpet that I vacuum almost daily. Thank you for the outragous cell phone bill (that Josh’s company pays!) every month because I have a mother who also happens to be my best friend and I have the priveledge to talk to her (on the phone) several times a day. 🙂 Thank you for the sandpaper that are my children, gently (and sometimes not so gently) sloughing away my faults and short comings to reveal the godly wife and mother that You created me to be. Thank you for busy days and crazy weekends that are full of family get togethers and church functions because you designed us to have fellowship with one another and to bring You glory through it all. Most of all, thank you for the cross and for the ultimate sacrifice of Your Son, that all might have the opportunity to know You and spend eternity with You.
May I never grow so weary in my every day routines that I forget all that You’ve blessed me with and all that I have to be thankful for.
P.S. I highly recommend Kate Gosselin’s book, Multiple Blessings. I’ve cried through every chapter at God’s incredible miracles of life, love, provision, mercy, and grace. It will certainly cause you to watch their show in a different light and be thankful for all the little things in life that we likely take for granted. Read it!


Just Laugh it Off.

Uncategorized By 12/12/2008 No Comments

Do you ever have those days, or events, when one rediculous thing happens after another? Last night was one of those times for me. As you know, if you’ve been reading the last few posts, I’ve had sick kids for going on two week now. My friend Kristen has been in the same boat, except her babies are newborn, one, and two! Wednesdays are usually my favorite weekday. Kristen, her sister Erin, and their four babies come to my house for lunch and a play date. It is so much fun. We take turns cooking, the kids play, and some weeks, it is the only adult conversation we’ve had ALL week! Due to Thanksgiving, sick kids, and being out of town, we haven’t had our Wednesday lunch in three weeks. I miss my girlfriends! So I called Kristen on Wednesday to make sure she was still alive and we both laughed about our weeks and how little adult conversation we’d had over the last two or three weeks. At that moment, we decided to meet for coffee (and laughs) Thursday night at 8pm.
I was rushing around my house to finish up dessert with the kids (we were decorating Christmas cookies) and trying to get out the door by 7:50. That did not happen. I left my house at 8:01pm to pick up Kristen. It had been pouring rain for 48 hours by now. There were flooded areas everywhere. Did I mention this was the first day since Sunday that I had actually dried my hair and put makeup on? On my way to her house, I spritzed a squirt of body spray in my car because I’m always paranoid that my car smells like dirty little boys and diapers. Well the smell was overwhelming at first, so without even thinking, I cracked both front windows to let in some fresh air. As the rain began to pour in, I immediately rolled them back up…except, the passenger window wouldn’t budge! Rain continued to pour in that window as I drove down the road trying not to plow into the car in front of me. I called Kristen, let her know what happened, and suggested she bring a trash bag that we could drape over that door so she wouldn’t get wet. Boy, did I feel stupid!
We arrived at Starbucks around 8:20pm. We ran through the rain soaked parking lot with my giant polka dotted umbrella and Kristens flip-flops sloshing through the puddles that seemed more like small bodies of water at this point. It was as if all eyes were on us as we entered the very crowded, very small Starbucks. We were laughing by the time we hit the door because my umbrella was not wanting to fold up and I was getting caught up in the door as rain poured down on us. We ordered our little cups of rest and relaxation and took the only two seats left in the building. We talked and laughed histerically for what seemed like only a few minutes, when in reality, we were there for an hour and a half. At one point, there was a sweet young couple, obviously dating, and they were exchanging gifts at the tabel beside us. Apparently they were wanting a sweet romantic moment and we were entirely too loud for that, so they got up and moved to a quiet corner table, away from the loud mouths (that would be US). We were actually laughing so hard at one point, Kristen, who is still breastfeeding her youngest baby, feared she was about to leak all over her shirt. That, of course, made us laugh even harder as we joked about running outside in the rain so the rest of her shirt would get wet too and no one would know exactly where the “leak” had sprung from. Finally, as the clock approached 10pm, for fear of turning into pumpkins, we packed up and ran back out to the car. As we jumped in and slammed the doors behind us, my van windows fogged up almost instantly. I couldn’t see out my windshield even a little bit. It’s okay, I thought, we’ll just sit here for a minute while the windshield defrosts. Well, what I didn’t take into account, was whether or not my defrost would choose to work that night! You see, my van, at the old age of SIX, tends to have a mind of it’s own. The automatic doors don’t work when it’s cold or raining, the heating and air only works half the time, and wouldn’t you know, this was one of the times it most certainly did NOT work. We sat in the parking lot of Starbucks for almost an hour as my windows slowly cleared up enough to see through. I still, however, thank God that I have a van that gets me from point A to point B, fits all my children and a few friends, and most of all, that I can now fill my gas tank up for a mere $28!!!! Thank you Lord, I can handle no air and manual sliding doors!
Although the night was histerically comical, it was much needed and we both went home refreshed and rejuvenated to finish out our week with the best jobs in the world. Sometimes you just have to have those moments with someone who understands exactly what you’re going through. Someone to laugh with you when you really feel like crying, someone to tell you they experienced the same thing the day before and no, you’re not crazy or a bad mom. God gives us different friends in different seasons of our lives. Some friends fade into the distance during some seasons of life, and in the right moment, they return as if no time had passed at all. Girlfriends are definitely a gift from God. I thank God that he’s given me a handful of precious sisters in Christ. We are there to carry each other through the hard times and laugh our way through life’s ups and downs. Laughter is definitely key. You can’t take yourself or life too seriously, it just wouldn’t be any fun.
P.S. Kristen let me borrow her copy of “Multiple Blessings” by Kate Gosselin. That is the family from TLC and the show Jon and Kate plus Eight, in case you didn’t know. I haven’t been able to put the book down. I’m already looking forward to Owen taking a nap this afternoon so I can cuddle up in my bed and read some more. Thanks girl! Love you!


Poor Jesse (and Owen)

Uncategorized By 12/01/2008 No Comments

It is so wonderful to be home after a nice long weekend at my parents’ house. I had quite a few things planned for today. Mostly errands to run, a little house work, unpacking the suitcases, Joshua’s piano lessons…you get the picture. Instead however, this is what the first part of my day looked like…

…I slept like a baby last night (for the first time in almost a week!) and woke up around 8:15. I walked in the kitchen and prepared hot chocolate for Joshua and Jesse. Owen was still asleep. As they drank their hot cocoa and watched a cartoon, I sat down to check my email. Within a few minutes I heard Jesse yelling from the bathroom for me to come and “wipe his booty”. Well, I don’t wipe his butt anymore! He’s four and a half and he knows how to do it himself. Then I heard him add “I have diarrhea!” So I went in and helped him wipe clean (YUCK!).
While I was in the bathroom with Jesse, Joshua had heard Owen fussing from his room, so he went in to see him and say good morning. This is a sweet everday routine for the boys. They love to run in Owen’s room in the morning and entertain him and give him kisses through the crib until I get him out. Well this morning was a little different. As Joshua opened the door to Owen’s room, he was hit with the smell of puke and the site of Owen (and everything in his crib) covered in vomit. It wasn’t just any normal discolored vomit either. There were large chunks of hotdogs and boiled peanuts everywhere!!! I held my breath and ran to his room to strip him down, pull the sheets off the crib, throw everything into a pukey pile and swept Owen off to the bathroom where I put him in the tub. Within five minutes, I could hear Jesse crying from the living room. What I heard next set the mood for the rest of my day…yep, you guessed it, Jesse puked all over my couch and living room floor. While Owen was in the tub, I put his nasty laundry (including his pillow) in the wash and cleaned up Jesse and his mess from the living room. Okay, I thought, that was nasty, maybe that was the worst of it…yeah right! Dream on!
About thirty minutes went by with no drama. I unloaded the dishwasher, got Owen out of the tub and into some clean jammies, and put the laundry into the dryer now. Then I heard Jesse crying again. This time he had pooped in his underwear by accident (yep, more diarrhea). So I helped him from the couch (MY POOR COUCH!!) to the bathroom and I brought him a clean change of clothes. As I took his poopy underwear and pants to the laundry room, I heard him crying again and saying, “nnoooooo”. At this point, I was afraid to go back in there. What in the world will I see this time, I wondered??? I opened the door to see Jesse sitting on my nice, large, black rug, completely naked and covered in puke. It was on Jesse, all of the clean clothes I had just brought to him, the training potty, and my nice rug. LOVELY! More clothes went to the wash (including my rug…I hope it comes out okay) and Jesse reluctantly went into the tub. Thank the Lord, through all of this, Owen seemed to be over it. He hasn’t shown anymore signs of sickness.
Over an hour went by and Jesse hadn’t spewed anymore, so I decided to load the kids in the car to run a mile down the road to the bank…it’s Monday and I HAD to make a deposit. I was smart, however, and I brought Jesse’s little trash can, lined with five or six grocery bags…just in case! Sure enough, as soon as I pulled through the line, he started vomiting again. Unfortunately for Jesse, he is kind of a pro at puking, so he always makes it to the trash can if one is available. At this point, I figured, we’re already in the car and he’s puking anyways, so why not improve my day slightly by getting some Starbucks? At least then I’ll have lots of energy to keep up with all this cleaning, laundry, and puke! So I got my espresso fix for the day and we made it home in one piece. Once we were settled in, I got out my Little Green Machine (thank goodness for those miracle workers!) and steam cleaned my couch cushions and the living room floor where Jesse had exploded. I sat down in my room, with the door closed, and drank my coffee in peace. It is now 1pm. No one has puked in the last hour and a half and it’s almost nap time. Wish me luck with the second half of my day! 🙂 The good thing is, even with all that nastiness, I have laughed all day. I guess I’ve learned over the years, I might as well make light of all situations, as much as possible. Otherwise, I’ll go insane! I hope your day has been better than mine, with not as much laundry and bodily fluids.



Back to Life, Back to Reality

Uncategorized By 12/01/2008 Tags: , No Comments

It’s Monday and we are back at home sweet home.  Luckily, I completed my “before going out of town” routine and I had the privilege of coming home to a clean and tidy home.  I even had time to do all of our laundry before we left my mom’s house, so now unpacking will be a breeze and won’t leave me with three loads of laundry.  This was the first time we’ve gone away for four days with all three kids…we had a LOT of “stuff”!!  One HUGE suitcase that weighed as much as a large horse, two kids suitcases so jam packed, I thought the zippers were going to burst, a pack-n-play, three pillows, and two bikes, a toiletry bag, and my recipe box (don’t ask me why I didn’t put that in our suitcase)…

…I wrote the first paragraph of this post at 8:30am…it is now 9:15 and two of my children woke up puking.  So now I have a couch cushion to clean, about two loads of laundry to do, I already bathed the pukers, and I need to be on my knees praying that the rest of us don’t get it!  I hate to say it, but that just freed up my day!  Joshua can’t go to piano lessons now, I’m not going to bother doing school today with two sick kids, and now I need to clean the boys’ bathroom and bedrooms.  Well, like I said in the title of this post…back to life and reality!  Fortunately, we haven’t had any pukers in a long time.  This stinks!! 

The good thing is, once I clean up the hazardous areas, I can have a “nothing day” with my kids and nurse them back to health.  I hope you all have a marvelous Monday!



Counting It All Joy

Uncategorized By 11/17/2008 No Comments

As I’ve said before, I love Mondays.  There is just something relaxing and refreshing about a new week.  My parents took my older two boys from Thursday until Sunday of last week.  As always, they had a wonderful time and we were glad to get them back and spend time with them last night.  Joshua, my five year old, had been complaining of an ear ache while at my parents’.  They assumed it was probably a result of being out in the cold all weekend (they had a neighborhood block party and my dad took the boys hunting).  Joshua was in pretty good spirits last night and I had him lie down on the couch with sweet oil in his ear for about 30 minutes.  Thats an old remedy I got from my mother-in-law.  Well, Joshua woke up sometime in the middle of the night (I didn’t even look at the clock) because he had to go to the bathroom, but didn’t make it in time.  When he came to tell me he had peed on the bathroom floor, he was burning up with a fever.  I’m a firm believer that fevers are our bodies way of fighting off what doesn’t belong, so I only give medicine for fevers when my child is really uncomfortable, hurting, or the fever reaches 105 (believe it or not, we’ve had fevers at or above 105 three or four times).  Anyways, Joshua being sick changes the course of our day.  We normally have a relaxing morning on Mondays.  The boys eat breakfast, watch cartoons and play out back while I do housework, then Joshua goes to piano lessons at 11:00.  After piano, we run errands and go home to have lunch.  The day flies by after that.  Very rarely do I have a day of nothingness.  What is a day of ‘nothingness’, you might ask?  I would consider that a day when I don’t have an agenda, I don’t have a big to-do list, I may not even leave the house, and I would likely spend most of the day just chilling out with my kids.  You would think that a stay-at-home mom would have days like this quite often, but for me, that is just not the case.  However, I am going to make a conscious choice to have a day of nothingness today.  I really missed my boys while they were gone, and I even “let the house go” a little because I went to Atlanta on Saturday and didn’t get back until late.  We need a day of true rest.  I still plan to change all the bed sheets and do the dishes in the kitchen, but everything else that I would normally do on a Monday will wait until the boys go to bed tonight, or maybe even tomorrow.  As much as I love cleaning and having my house in order, I recognize the importance of letting it all go in order to do the truly important things, such as spending quality time with my children.  It is so important for us as women, to set the mood in our house.  The old saying, “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”, is completely true.  If I choose joy when I open my eyes in the morning, if I make a conscious decision to ‘count it all joy’, as we’re instructed to do in James 1:2, then 9 times out of 10, we have a great day in our home.  I don’t always feel happy and joyful, but so much of that is a matter of my heart.  My pastor recently said, “It’s much easier to act your way into a feeling than it is to feel your way into an action.”  I will never have a joyful spirit if I simply sit back and continue to yell at the kids, fuss about my husband, and whine about the budget.  I can, however, be thankful that I have three beautiful healthy children, a loving husband that treasures his role in our home, and enough money to pay the bills and put food on the table.  Have you ever noticed that the poorest people you know are sometimes the happiest?  Or how about the opposite, when the wealthiest people you know are also the most unhappy?  It is a matter of the heart.  Are you choosing to dwell on the little things that you may or may not have the power to change, or are you choosing to acknowledge all the blessings in your life and choose joy and thanksgiving?  I challenge you to expect to have a GREAT week, regardless of what you have planned or what you expect might happen.  Choose joy!  Remind yourself of all the things you are thankful for.  Purpose to have a great week and a merry heart.  

Have a BLESSED week!



Here’s Your Sign!

Uncategorized By 11/07/2008 Tags: , , 1 Comment

I wish I had gotten this conversation on video, I just might have won $10,000. 

The boys and I were out running errands when we pulled up to a stop light at an off ramp.  There was quite a bit of traffic, so we were probably ten cars back from the light.  Keep in mind, there is a LOT of construction going on in our area and there are signs everywhere about where to go, where not to go, what you can and can’t do…you get the picture!  I heard Jesse ask, “Hey, what does that sign mean?”  This is what he was looking at:


Joshua, being the very intellegent, know-it-all that he is, replied very matter-of-factly:

“Jesse, that means there is no ‘p’ there.”

Jesse replied, “What do you mean?”  so Joshua went on to explain, “You can’t get out of the car and pee on the road right there!”  I guess Jesse simply accepted that answer because he just said, “oh, ok.”  and that was that!

I feel I need to inform some of you that this is coming from two boys who, before we had a very serious conversation about it, would pee absolutely ANYWHERE!  If we were outside, it was male ‘pee’ territory.  Oh yes, they’ve dropped drawers in the church parking lot, walmart parking lot, the neighborhood playground (on a tree of course), our front yard…you name it, they’ve probably ‘marked it!’.  So, to Jesse, this sign was giving him valuable information about where he definitely could NOT pee.  🙂



boys.  🙂