Monthly Archives: June 2013

Happy Birthday

Dear Tommy, Travis, and JJ,

Today you are 14 and it’s a good thing that you are at camp/school because your mama is a little weepy as she sits in a quiet house and looks at pictures and remembers a slightly chaotic morning many years ago when her daddy held her hand and we prayed that your daddy would make it to the hospital in time to see you born.

Your grandpa does many things very well but pregnant daughters in labor just about put him over the edge.

And in a matter of minutes you were all here and we were outnumbered and we began life as a family. What a beautiful life it has been. We have played together, from Peek-a-boo to Pokemon, we have sung together, Jesus Loves Me to Bohemian Rhapsody, we’ve laughed and, yes, sometimes yelled, but we’ve always said “I love you” and meant it every single night before you’ve gone to bed.

Your shoulders are broad now. You can sleep through an alarm clock, wear the same clothes three days in a row and make Ramen which means you’re well on your way to being successful in college. But even though you tower above me, in my heart you’re still these little boys.


This is my favorite picture of the three of you because it speaks to who you are. JJ, it shows your eagerness to learn and try new things. Tommy, how can we not see your compassionate, loving nature as you hug your brother? Travis, your joyful spirit shines the glory of God to the world around you.

You’ve come so far, facing and overcoming obstacles with courage, patience, tenacity, and strength. I’m so proud of you and look forward to watching you grow (Tommy, you can stop now) this next year. Sweet, sweet boys, you are the delight of our lives. May the Lord richly bless you as you have us.


Oh, hi!

I’m teaching Vacation Bible School this week which means I’m screaming out the door as soon as the kids get on the bus so I can get to Starbucks to church in time for the opening session. We are having a blast and I love, love, love my little first graders. They are darling, sweet, kind, enthusiastic, and come in every morning eager to draw, listen, play games, and help each other work through the various planned activities.


Father’s Day was delightful. We went out for hamburgers at Red Robin because nothing says “We love you, Dad” like unlimited fry refills. Then we all traipsed to the movie theater to see Man of Steel which was very good because things blew up AND cute Superman so everyone left happy. Except for three hours later when J was up-chucking the entire bag of mini Kit-Kats that we told him not to eat and please see above re teenagers and listening.

In other news, this afternoon we took the kitty to see the vet and we have officially confirmed that it is a HE which makes me happy because a) now I don’t have to change his blue bed and b) neutering is cheaper than spaying.

This “free kitten” thing is a lie, I tell you, a LIE.

That’s all the news for now. I have to go study my lesson for tomorrow morning because several of the kids in my class are homeschooled and, lemme’ tell you, they know their stuff so there’s no fudging Bible facts with this crowd; they will call you out.

Game on.

Have a nice day.

Five on Friday

Well, running a little late in posting The Five today for two reasons which happen to be related to each other.  The first is I’d set a rule that I couldn’t blog until I’d done my workout for the day and the second is that I had to think long and hard about whether or not I had the physical and emotional fortitude to climb the stairs to go to my office when it was all said and done.

P90X: Destroying your will to live, one day at a time.

Today’s Five is Things That Happened This Week.

1.  We survived the Potentially Dangerous Situation that came through last night.  The meteorologists had been warning us for several days that Thursday we were going to be at an elevated risk for severe weather and all day long, we lived in this sort of dreaded state.  A little after 5:30, I went out to the driveway and took this picture of the building thunderclouds.

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Less than 5 minutes later, it looked like this:

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And then I went inside and it got daaaarrrkkkkkk. And the wind gusted through and it lightninged (that’s a word, spellcheck) and stormed for about fifteen minutes but other than my bird feeder getting blown out of the tree and two ferns knocked over on the deck, nothing happened and I feel gypped.

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Beautiful post-storm sunset

In other words, a long run for a short slide.

2.  I finished the little summer banner I was working on last week and hung it in Travis’ room on his bulletin board. Next up is to cut the vinyl letters out for the verse that he wants put on his wall.  I can’t remember if I’ve shared the story but a few months ago when Mom and I were doing some decorating in his room, we decided it would be a good idea to put a verse on the blank wall between two windows.  Travis loves Scripture (he’s memorized every verse from every VeggieTale movie) so I asked him what he’d like it to be.  Without hesitation he answered, “I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Yes, that made me cry.  

Since I’m new to this sort of crafting, I thought I’d practice on a couple of smaller projects before tackling that big one, so this week I printed out a few words of encouragement for the boys to read as they went out the door every morning to go to school.

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It makes me a little twitchy that it’s not perfectly level but it’s coming down next week because they responded so positively to seeing and reading it every day that I’ve decided to change it frequently with new thoughts or reminders that I think they need to hear.

Like “Flush the toilet” or “Did you change your underwear?”

3.  I made sloppy joe sandwiches for dinner last night for only the second time in my career of cooking for this tribe.  The kids (and Dad) INHALED them and I’m thinking of adding them into the rotation a little more frequently because they were so easy.

My sauce recipe is:

1 c. ketchup

2 heaping spoonfuls of mustard

1 ts. garlic powder

2 heaping spoonfuls of brown sugar

Mix together and stir into browned ground beef and onions and simmer for 15 minutes.  Serve with split, buttered, toasted buns.

4.  While we’re on the subject of food, here’s a hint as to why we aren’t shedding any excess pounds around here.  Craig went scrounging in the kitchen after dinner and I told him to bring me a LITTLE snack and this is what showed up.

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P.S. Am completely in love with the Boar’s Head Peppered Salami.  The end.

5.  Speaking of love, we are still over the moon crazy about our kitten.  She has grown a lot in the last few weeks, learning new skills along the way.  She’s decided that Travis is the weakest gazelle in the herd and tries to jump on the table to steal his food and sneak a lap or two of his milk (which T thinks is hilarious, by the way) so we’ve resorted to locking her in the laundry room during mealtimes until I can find a squirt bottle to put a little smack down on her and show her who’s boss.


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Day 1

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Day 36

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All Day Long

I hope your weekend is delightful.

Have a nice day.

Everybody was Kung Fu fighting

Craig is usually a very quiet sleeper and doesn’t flip and flop and take over half the bed and he would say it’s because someone else has already taken that real estate and he knows it’s useless to even try to encroach the territory.

I may or may not be a little restless through the night. I could blame changing hormone levels but I’ve been that way for years. The perfect sleeping position eludes me. I’ll start out on my side, then my shoulder will hurt, so I’ll flip to the other side until it starts to complain, then on my stomach for 2 minutes and then on my back until that gets boring and then the cycle starts all over again. Craig just rolls over and goes to sleep. No drama, no constant cover readjusting, and rarely any dreams that he can remember in the morning.

Early this morning I was startled from my sleep by a sound best described as a gurgling howl and as I started to clear the fog to figure out where it was coming from, I got karate-chopped out of nowhere by a slumbering husband who at that moment was dreaming that someone was peering through the window. Could he not have talked to that person? Asked him to go away? Called the police? No, apparently he had to go all Hong Kong Phooey on him.


So after that abrupt start to the day, things can now only go up. I’m currently sitting in the waiting room at the mechanic’s for an oil change and then I’m headed to church for a meeting about the next women’s conference, and then it’s off to Michael’s to get some craft adhesive and some decorative ribbon for a project I’m working on.


It’s been a crafty sort of week already. I spent most of yesterday morning in the resource room at the church working on some room decorations for Vacation Bible School next week. We’re doing the Colossal Coaster World theme this year and I totally ripped off my friend Cissy’s idea for her room and drew a big coaster with a Ferris wheel peeking out behind it. It takes up most of one wall in the classroom which was my chief goal because now I can fill in the smaller spaces with some posters I bought at Lifeway because they can draw pictures better than I.


They’re calling back to say my car is ready, so I need to scoot. Hope your day is delightful.

Have a nice day.

Five on Friday

1.  I have no theme today.  Try to contain your disappointment.

2.  Did anyone watch Graceland last night?  It premiered on USA Network and I think I’m going to like it.  It has intrigue but not too much, action but not too much, and a mystery that isn’t too scary and, yes, I am the milquetoast of TV watchers because I don’t like shows that are too much edgy or dramatic because it stresses me out.  I need to laugh, not have to watch through my fingers, and be able to go to sleep afterwards without having to spend hours trying to figure out what happened.  

I’m looking at you, LOST.  

And Mentalist every time there’s a Red John themed episode.

3.  Dinner last night was an absolute bomb.  I mean, how bad can chicken farfalle with basil walnut pesto be?  Bad, people, BAD.  I found the recipe in a pressure cooker cookbook and I thought, “Pasta?  In a pressure cooker?” and the intrigue overrode the warning signals my brain was sending out and it was so foul that I didn’t finish it and the boys politely ate but I know they didn’t like it because this morning they said they’d rather buy industrial chili dogs  from the school cafeteria rather than take the leftovers.  

And I gladly forked over the lunch money and may or may not have added a little extra apology money to make up for the disappointment.    

4.   I’m looking for reading recommendations.  I will read most anything except for gory, scary, intensely action packed thrillers because see #2 above.  A friend recommended The Brothers Karamazov and I am struuuuugggling through it because a) I’m not as smart as he is, b) I don’t think like a Russian and c) supposedly there are underlying spiritual themes and I’m stressing that they aren’t readily apparent and d) it’s all just a lot of pressure for a summer read.

5.  I ordered the Silhouette machine last night.  Be prepared for craftiness galore in the weeks to come.

And to my sister-in-law, be prepared for texts asking how in the world to use it.

Have a nice day.

In which I try to make a post out of ordinariness

Not a whole lot to say about what’s been going on in Raleigh for the past few days.  I sit down to write a post and then realize there’s not a lot to be written about making meatballs, washing clothes, and thinking of new names for the he cat that turned out to be a she.

Seriously, I’m going to have to rename her Princess Buttercup or something equally girly because I cannot unsee a boy every time I look at him.

I mean her.

Craig returns tomorrow from his week-long trip to California.  He left the house at 3:00 Sunday afternoon and didn’t arrive at his hotel until 2:00 Monday morning after weather delays required rerouting him to a different destination where he had to get a rental car and drive through the middle of the night to his destination.  His luggage arrived 48 hours later.  Since he’s 6’7″, it’s not as though he can wander into his friendly neighborhood clothing store and find pants that are long enough but fortunately there was a Nordstrom nearby and they carry the length he needs and boyfriend really doesn’t need much of an excuse to shop  was able to go into the office looking semi-respectable Monday morning.

I’ll be ready to have him back.  We’re usually not super chatty in the evening (I’ve run out of words by then) but I miss having him on the couch next to me late at night while we’re simultaneously watching Food Network and chit-chatting about the bits of news scrolling through our Twitter feeds. 

We lead an exciting life, is what I’m saying.

I’ve been running a few errands this week.  The boys’ birthday is fast approaching so I’ve been on the lookout for gifts.  In some ways it’s hard to believe they’ll be 14 but in others it’s clear that my boys are growing up.  This transition phase has been tricky and I’m not super confident that I’m handling it well but I’m doing the best I can with what I have and trusting the Lord to step in and redeem where I have failed.  Yesterday I was reading BooMama’s book, A Little Salty To Cut The Sweet, and she was talking about a mighty struggle she had and some good advice that a friend gave her to remember times when the Lord had been good to her and when He had worked mighty things in her life and how that was such an encouragement to her to go back and recount His faithfulness.  It was just the word I needed.  I could fill a book with chapters left over as to how He’s been faithful to me in so many ways and it was a good reminder that the same God who guided and protected me through so much in my life loves my children as fiercely as He loves me.  He will not fail.

Didn’t mean to go off and get thinky there on you but it has been that sort of week.

Moving on.

In other earthshattering news, I got new tires on the van yesterday so I won’t hydroplane all over the interstate when Tropical Storm Andrea comes through town in the next few days.  I didn’t want to wait in the tire center while the men worked on my car because the fumes from the rubber make me sick to my stomach so I wandered over to Marshalls to kill time and ended up buying a denim skirt because I think it may be the summer of skirts and dresses instead of shorts because I cannot decide on a shorts length that I like and we all know how The Management feels about capris.

Then I went to Archivers to look at a Silhouette Cameo machine that I’m thinking about buying because I need a new crafting hobby because I’ve clearly mastered the four hundred and thirty-seven other ones I’ve started and abandoned. 

This is what happens when you have right-brained friends. They convince you that you, too, can be right-brained when IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN, SISTER but hope springs eternal.

And then I met my friend Amy for lunch at the Vietnamese place that’s my new favorite hole-in-the-wall and we had some sort of noodle dish while we talked about our problems and decided that taking a tropical vacation was the solution to most of them.  And then, in lieu of taking said vacation, we walked over to the Dollar Store and bought plastic snakes to help her get rid of the birds nesting by her front door. 

Sometimes the best solutions are easy.

Have a nice day.