Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Wordless Wednesday - Psalm 139
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:13-14

for more Wordless Wednesday go to Five Minutes for Mom.

P.S. Happy Birthday to sweet Caiden. Grammy loves you!

  posted at 1:00 AM

Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Leaving a Bigger Mark

"I thought about the whole notion of "reproduction," and what it really means to replicate yourself. Is it merely about the passing on of eyes and chins and hair color? Or is it, rather, the replication of the heart? Do we leave a bigger mark by passing on our genes, or our thoughts?"

~ Shannon Woodward, author of
Inconceivable: Finding Peace
in the Midst of Infertility ~

As I'm writing this, my daughter will give birth in a day or so to her first child, Landon. We've seen his shadowy image on an ultrasound. What he really looks like remains to be seen. (I can't wait!)

Will he have dark auburn hair like our daughter? Or more of the sandy color of my son-in-law? I wonder if he will be long and lean, like his mother. He might look like a football or wrestling coach's dream, more stocky like his father. It's likely his eyes will be hazel. We, his family, will believe and declare him beautiful. Really though, he'll be a bit funny looking, in that precious, brand new baby, red face with a few odd marks here and there, kind of way. What he eventually looks like, later down the road, is of little consequence to us, his grandparents. He will be family, and that's all that matters to us. He gets to be in 'The Club'. Whether he wants to or not. Likely his parents feel the same. Right now they're just praying for the right numbers of everything, in all the right places. Parents of a newborn aren't real picky or objective.

He's here! Perfect we think...

We wonder - will he be as loyal as his father and mother are - standing by his family and friends, through thick and thin? Will he be honest to a fault, once he gets beyond that childlike "lying to cover my tail" stage? We wonder if he will be exuberant, a bit talkative, like his mommy, or will he be shy and quiet like his father. (Our family could use a few more of the latter!).

We don't wonder, we pray, he will see his parents and extended family living lives that honor God and all that is truly important. We pray he will be impacted by the day-to-day choices his parents make. Choices based on knowing what they do matters in the scope of eternity. We pray that early in life, he will make an eternal choice to be a Christ-follower. All other choices pale in comparison.

We pray he will "be willing to stand, even if he has to stand alone" as our senior pastor puts it when he dedicates infants. (I love it when he says that.) Likely, at some point in his life he will have to do that - stand alone.

Because he is biologically made up of Leslie and Jeremy's genes, he will resemble them, maybe her nose, his forehead, or vice versa. If he were biologically from other parents, he would look different. That which really matters will largely be determined by the parents given the gift and challenge of raising him, not what his gene makeup is.

Scripture tells us we are like "fading grass", here for a moment. These earthly shells we're given don't last very long. What we look like while we're passing through is of little consequence. The mark we leave behind - that matters. What we look like when we step into eternity - that matters too. I'm confident Landon will bear "a bigger mark" - that of the two godly parents who are reproducing in him what really matters.

Stop by CWO to see other bloggers' takes on this quote.

  posted at 10:00 AM

Monday, August 28, 2006
He's Here - They're Great!
Landon James arrived at 1:57 pm, 8 lbs 6 oz, 20" long. A bit of sorta dark hair, Leslie said he's a bit of a conehead. (We've confident that will take care of itself...)Mom did great - baby is doing well. I was out buying paint at Lowes, knowing she was probably delivering him - nothing real romantic about that, is there? Struck me how unromantic some of the big things in life can be. I got a call driving down the road, answered my phone to see a video playing of her with this little bundle, saying Hi Mom. Made me instantly blubbery, mascara melting into my eyeballs and had to pull off the road. So she and I talked while I sat on the side of the road wiping mascara off the middle of my nose (how on earth it got there?)

No real photos yet - just that one video on my cell phone. They promise photos by tonight, which of course I will post tomorrow. Of course.

Thank you to each one who was praying for these first time parents. So many emotions today - I'm whipped, but then I didn't get to have an epidural. Bet sleep comes easy tonight. More tomorrow. You're all just the best! xoxoxo

  posted at 7:23 PM

Friday, August 25, 2006
Glad You're Family
Our daughter, Leslie, didn't date much in high school. She had a few crushes but they never culminated into many nights out at the movies. That was fine with her Dad and me. Right before she started her senior year, she was invited on a blind date. We'd never heard of him. She'd heard of him - he had been the quarterback at her high school, a fact that didn't necessarily endear him to her heart. Leslie truly could have cared less if the sport existed back then.

She'll tell you now the only reason she agreed to go on the date, after we'd looked him up in the yearbook, driven by his house, and asked around a bit, was this: her dog had just died, a few days before. If you've read any of her posts, you know she is a wee bit strange when it comes to animals. She decided maybe a date would be a distraction. That ended up being the understatement of the century for the two of them.

I won't tell you all of their story, but he thought her hair was too curly and she thought him a bit rude. Typical blind date. They decided to see each other the next day in spite of first impressions. Holy mamoly baboly, as Lauren would say! We couldn't get rid of the guy! Madly in love, they fell, and he's been around ever since.

Today's Jeremy's birthday - he's 27. When we met him he looked like this. He was a few days shy of 19. Shy, quiet, soft-spoken.

I don't know many people who can do this. Is it the shape of the nose?

Now we know a Jeremy who is a psycho Steeler fan. He'd rather be in the woods, or on the lake, than anywhere else in the world. He's due to be a first time father any minute. This next Monday, Aug. 28, if not sooner. You can follow their story at And Baby Makes Three. (Don't expect frequent posts, because they'll be brand new parents. A little busy.) I was voting for Landon to arrive today, on his Dad's birthday. I know they're going to be best buddies, and sharing birthdays would be a nice way to start. This is what he (and Leslie) look like today.

He's shy at first, but when you get to know him - watch out! There's a lot of boy inside that man, and our family thinks that's a good thing. Happy Birthday Jer. xoxoxo

P.S. Leslie has since been affected - she's now a crazy Steeler fan too. Sunday's you'll find her with black smudges under her eyes, wearing a black and gold jersey - deep in the heart of Texas.

  posted at 8:59 AM

Monday, August 21, 2006
Kid Meme
Katrina over at Callapidder Days, tagged me to do a meme - "Three Things About Each of My Kids." I didn't even have to pay her to ask me to post on a favorite subject. My kind of blogger.

Note: Dan, fresh home from the hospital and already howling.
Look at the faces on the other two!
Make him stop! How do you make him stop?
We had no clue.

Starting at the top, Sarah, our oldest.

#1 Sarah was born during the bi-centennial year, when I was still a child myself. Having her at age 20, we did some growing up together, both of us, for about the first fifteen years.

#2 She would have been left-handed, if I'd let her. I wanted to teach her to embroider, crochet, and write without her hand all bent over, so I forced her to be right-handed. She's still a bit ambidextrious. If I tried to eat with my left hand, I'd have food on my face. I would also likely be skinnier. (There's a thought...). She embroiders and crochets, both right-handed, both beautifully, if I say so myself. She can also eat with both hands, in lady-like fashion. If eating with both hands could be called that.

#3 She really, really is a better mom than I was. So far. (The teen years tell it, I think. They also introduced me to Hydriance.) Her children are really well behaved. When we go to Walmart and see other children, it's confirmed. She somehow manages to be consistent, firm, yet loving and fun to boot. I was more firm, yet loving. Not as much fun. Her kids are blessed to have her for their mommy. I'm blessed to have her as my daughter.

College for Sarah, teen years for Dan and Leslie.
They look nice, don't they?

Leslie, the proverbial middle child.

#1 Our family generally refers to Leslie as "the weirdest person we know." She is. She's actually a lot like her cousin, Mandy, who was born 27 days before her. She happens to look a lot like her sister-in-law, Janae, who is two months younger than her. That may be part of why her brother married Janae. Tall, beautiful brunettes, both of them.

#2 She has a weird attachment to all animals (see item above). She's brought home more stray, wounded, pitiful animals. Infested with fleas. Some a bit creepy. She always insisted we keep them, nurse them back to health. Now that she's an adult, she still does that. I think it shows her heart. She has the gift of compassion and that extends to the four-leggeds of the world. I love that in her, especially now that the animals go to her house, not mine.

#3 She's about to jump into motherhood, any ole day. Landon is expected September 1. I expect the first item - her weird approach to life, will make him one blessed baby. I also hope he gets some of his Daddy's freckles and football ability. We're already looking forward to sitting in the stands somewhere, cheering him on someday.

I can't tell you how much two of the three hate this photo. Okay, maybe all three.
Notice the matching dresses for Sarah and Leslie, THAT tells you how long ago
this one was taken.

Dan, "the baby", (all 6'3", 200 lbs of him).

#1 Both the girls tell me he's "the favorite". He'll be quick to confirm that for you. (Mothers don't have favorites, but don't tell him that. He'd just argue with you.) He IS my favorite boy in the whole wide world. I'm also glad he's my only boy. I wasn't woman enough to raise two boys. Hats off to my mother, who raised four! She earned the right to have a bit of twitch, yes she did!

#2 He started out as a wild, wooly baby. Dark, thick, crazy hair, flat nose, funny looking although I thought he was beautiful. He didn't care about personal hygiene for the first 12 years or so. Wore hole-in-the-knee sweats to school for years. With mismatched t-shirts. Amazing to me still, he turned out very handsome, well-dressed , and takes showers as needed.

# 3 This kid made me read "When You Feel Like Screaming", "Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours", and "Strong-Willed Child." (All good books by the way). He was a rolling dirt-ball of noise, temper, and competitiveness. Knock me over with a noodle - he turned out to be quiet, soft-spoken, tender hearted, a gentleman who says 'Ma'am' and calls me regularly. Wish I'd know that when he was four. Likely, most moms of 4 year old little boys would like to know that.

Taken a year or so ago, they won't like this one either, but I do.
It's my blog and nobody is in their underwear or anything, so it's staying.

Our three kids - took all we had, sometimes when we didn't have it. Worth it all. Wish I could do it again (okay - not really, but it sounds nice.)

Thank the Lord I didn't have more than three, blogger is completely possessed today, and loading any more photos would have taken the whole livelong day. Today's to do list includes a few nonessentials like clean, laundry, bills, and, as always - paint a bit.

I'm tagging Barb, my Mom, Sarah, Krissy, and Mandy, who has a whole classroom full and should be able to tell us a few things about them. I believe school is back in session today. (Mandy, I'm trusting you to tell us about the whole group in general, not 21 entries...or nobody will ever tag me again!).

  posted at 11:31 AM

Friday, August 18, 2006
Sort of Makes You Sick
Told you so.

Note to certain parties...this does not express agreement to post photos
of this author without her express permission.
Esp. the one of me with those dorky bangs you cut for me the day BEFORE school pictures,
and certainly none of ME in a bikini. Too skinny, too white to even think about.

Disgusting. Did I already say that?

  posted at 10:42 AM

Blow out the Candles
It's really corny. Sometimes, when I think of my sister, Barb, I think of this:

"Sisters, sisters
There were never such devoted sisters,
Never had to have a chaperone, No sir,
I'm there to keep my eye on her
Caring, sharing
Every little thing that we are wearing
When a certain gentleman arrived from Rome
She wore the dress, and I stayed home
All kinds of weather, we stick together
The same in the rain and sun
Two different faces, but in tight places
We think and we act as one
Those who've seen us
Know that not a thing could come between us
Many men have tried to split us up,
but no one can
Lord help the mister
who comes between me and my sister
And Lord help the sister,
who comes between me and my man."

Seriously, I do. I see feather boahs... (Yeah, I'm just a little bit C.O.R.N.Y.)

She was born first, then came two brothers. Then me. Then two more brothers.
I was sandwiched smackdabinthemiddle of four boys!!!
Makes you really appreciate having a sister.
Just the fact that she's not another brother.

She's five years older than me.
She's better at almost every single thing we both do, really.
I'm okay with that, especially since she's, did I mention?
F.I.V.E. years older than me.

This is us, 30 years ago. I was pregnant with Sarah, but didn't know it.
Check out her gorgeous hair. Check out how skinny we both were.

Blessed Beyond Measure & A Chelsea Morning, back then.

This is my all-time favorite photo of her. SheIS a supermom.
If the shirt fits, wear it.

I would have liked to post the photo I have of her walking on the beach, waist-length hair blowing behind her, in a green bikini. She would have paid me to, she looked that good, if I could have found it. As I said, she's better at everything than me, including filing away photos.
It would have made you sorta sick anyway.

This is us a few years ago. With our sweet husbands. Truly, two of the nicest men to walk the planet. They put up with us. They put up with us being sisters.
We're off to see them in October.
It's been over two years, and 5,000 emails since we hugged each other.

This is one of the "every single stitch is perfect" things she made me.
It sums it up between us.

Today's her birthday - send her a cyber/blogging hug for me.
Happy Birthday, big sister.
I love you.

  posted at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, August 16, 2006
All brides are beautiful. What I remember most about this day, beyond all the details, flurry of activity, your brother almost passing out at the altar, the heat, etc. - what I remember?

You beamed the entire day. I still remember the look on your face.
Happy Anniversary, Chris and Sarah. xoxoxo Mom

  posted at 9:00 AM

Thursday, August 10, 2006
Thursday Thirteen -There's No Place Like Home....

I've been in Texas for 9 days now. I fly home tomorrow. Addison is doing well now, smiles and coos on a regular basis, and Sarah and Chris and the boys are probably ready to reclaim their house, schedule, life - not necessarily in that order.

This is my third trip to Texas since May 5. In something like 100 days I've spent 30 of them in a state I don't actually live in. I will be home for 20 days, then I'm heading out again - to T.E.X.A.S. Our middle daughter is due to have her first baby around Labor Day (how appropriate is that?!) I was also here in February to celebrate Sarah's 30th birthday, so the next trip will be #5 of 2006. I will, at the end of my next trip, have been in the Lone Star State 45 days. That's more than 1/12th of the year. A little crazy for a supposed "stay-at-home mom".

I've been thinking about some of the things that just might need to be done when I get home. What might need a little attention; upkeep. Or maybe just what is my soul crying out to do. Here are 13, off-the-top-of-my-head things I plan to do when I walk off the plane.

#1 Kiss my husband, and immediately allow him to buy me dinner and at least one margarita at Don Pablos on the way home from the airport. Very possibly two.

#2 Put the suitcases A.W.A.Y. I don't care that I'm taking them out again in less than three weeks. I need to not see them for a bit.

#3 Buy stock in whoever makes Swiffer products, since I'll be using about 500 of them to dehair our house. We had Leslie and Jeremy's australian shepherd there for 4 weeks. I left to camp, came home, and left for here. Leaving a hairy dog and cat behind. It's either swiffer ad nauseum or start weaving rugs out of it all.

#4 Figure out what on God's earth to do about the fact that the cat I actually love is now doing her "thing", daily, in the middle of my laundry room floor, next to her catbox. Do you think she's maybe a tad bit honked off at me for never being home???? I keep telling her what happened to the last cat that did that, but she's not listening.

#5 Pay bills, balance the checkbook, and file til I turn blue in the face. I so understand why wealthy people have accountants. I like having the cash flow, just not dealing with it.

#6 See if any of the neighbors have moved. They could have and I wouldn't know it. I'd be okay if a few did. Like the ones who save enough fire crackers from 4th of July to shoot them off the live-long year just to keep my dog in a constant state of agitation. On the other hand, I pray the ones to the right stay right there. I need them, very regularly, to care for our pets, since we're never home lately.

#7 Buy some groceries, and cook, and eat dinner with my husband, on the deck we so love but haven't spent much time on this summer. There could be other people eating out there and I wouldn't know it. Honestly I wouldn't care as long as they're gone by the time I get home.

#8 Start counting points from Weight Watchers, again, since I took someone's WFMW advice and joined online. I've been living under the rule that anything eaten, in bed, after 10 pm does not have points. Points or no, it's showing on my rear.

#9 See if any of my friends remember me, and still like me. If I were them, I would have moved on.

#10 Cancel any appointments on my calendar if the first thought I have when I see them, is, "I need" rather than "I want".

#11 Call my Dad, my Mom, my sister, each of my three brothers and hear their voices because while email and blogging is great, it still doesn't compare to hearing someone say, "I love you" and saying back, "I love you too."

#12 Walk over to my fridge that doesn't have any edible food in it, see our kids' and grandkids' photos, and realize while I'm ecstatic to be in my own home, it's perfectly normal to already miss them.

#13 Click my heels together, sans ruby red slippers, and say "There's no place like home." I NEED to do that. Just a little.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

  posted at 6:00 AM

Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Take a Deep Breath!
When my sister, Barb, told me she was working on her "100th post", I had no idea what she was talking about. I was ignorant. I had no idea there was an actual thing, a place, a point.

Apparently I blew right by it. If I'd known, I might have written something resembling humor, or a deep thought, or something profoundly moving. My actual 100th post, back in July, was this Thursday Thirteen. I know a few of you out there think Thursday Thirteens are a little strange, I've even heard it called the "TT cult". I'm not really the cult-joining kind; while I'm a bit of an extrovert if the group isn't too big, you won't catch me running up and down aisles twirling anything while speaking gibberish with my head shaved and wearing a flowing robe, or discussing casting out demons and weird black snakes coming out of human orifices, or raising the dead or almost-dead, or handing out brochures at the airport.... or however you might like to describe a cult. I'm more of a right-smack-dab-in-the-middle, between left and right, kind of girl. But I really, really like Thursday Thirteen posts. Nice and simple, yet you can stuff a lot in them if you want. You can also coast through if the laundry is piled up, the bills aren't paid, the majority of stuff in your fridge resembles a science project, or there's nothing in your fridge. They go with the flow. It's fun to see what others did with their TT each week.

Off and on today, I thought about how my sister handled hers. Apparently, if you see it coming you list 100 things about yourself. I read hers, then I thought, "How on earth am I going to tell them I skipped school more than I went, I smoked and cursed quite a bit back then, hate listening to TV preachers, except Billy Graham? He's the only exception. When he dies, I'm done.

Can I confess I used to be buck-toothed and knock-kneed, just a bit? I'm afraid of everything in the world that has more than 4 legs, and quite a few of those too. I really only like babies who are related to me. I truly love the smell of skunk stuff.

How do I admit to these nice people I let a friend poop in the locker of a scorned boyfriend in junior high to get even, I can't whistle, dance, yo-yo, do math, sing, tell a joke, light our grill, find my way back from anywhere, I cry over almost everything in the world, including when jerks win game shows, can't stand anyone to be upset with me, would own 10 cats if it wouldn't label me as weird, can put my hands into almost anything but would not eat a bug for a $1000, nor bungy jump? What on earth will they think?

Can I tell them I drag my feet going downhill on my bike, talk to myself - a lot, esp. when I'm balancing my checkbook, used to have a serious southern drawl, despise sushi, squid, escargot, less than well-done fish of any kind, hate almost any form of exercise, don't really like chocolate except when I get really tired, or stressed, or PMS which isn't that often anymore?

Should I share that I wear size 10 shoes, and overall don't understand matching shoes to clothes at all, prefer sweats or jeans to dressing up, don't really like chick flicks, love almost all action adventure movies, but am truly terrified of scary movies? Will they kick me out of the Captivating study if I admit I complain way more than I should, pray every single day although sometimes it's pretty random and while I'm driving?

Will they know I'm a nerd if I share I've read probably 20 books on personal finance, type over 100 wpm, still remember shorthand and use it to take sermon notes? Will I appear a bit grinchy or neurotic to say I despise being tickled, or flicked with water, and almost wrecked my car once over a moth; can identify birds, most trees, and am psycho allergic to poison ivy? Will they picture a permanent bun on my head if I admit I generally have 10+ books on my nightstand, most of my books are overdue, like to cook and bake, cross-stitch, oil paint, quilt, grow herbs and flowers, mow the grass, paint inside and outside the house, don't generally enjoy Bible studies, and when we go to the movie I eat an entire large bucket of popcorn myself, every time? (Do NOT ask me to share!!!)

Will it gross them out to know I'll mix diet coke with diet pepsi, or tea, or lemonade or whatever, type with my toes when people talk or preach, got a D- in biology, adore scrabble, used to play bridge and love all board games although I rarely get to play, and, even more rare that I win? Can I admit I don't have a competitive or sport-inclined bone in my body, but like to watch football, basketball and baseball? Wrestling looks gross to me (I don't understand why they don't all pass gas all the time or break their necks...)

Will they believe I had a job where I looked for and picked head lice off kids' heads, learned to swim with little kids when I was 15, try to jump off the diving board once a year so I never get scared of it, can still do a cartwheel, have knees that sound like crushed eggshells when I walk?

Can they relate to the fact that I ran away from home once just to be with my brother, used to practice kissing my pillow, don't understand eye shadow, take scalding baths, hate water that doesn't have a blue concrete bottom, am terrible at canoeing, truly believe marrying my husband was the best thing that ever happened to me, love my kids to a scary level, adore my grandchildren, love my extended family, blogging and God, not in that order?

Nah, I'll stick with my TT post. Makes you wonder what's growing in my fridge.

For more 100th posts, go to Overwhelmed with Joy. If you're not completely worn out from being here.

  posted at 6:00 AM

Monday, August 07, 2006
Completely Full
It's amazing how different life was just a few months ago; what we didn't know was ahead of us. Why anyone would want to know the future is beyond me. Today is enough. At different times our kids have had big things in their lives, and they'd say something to the effect that they wished they knew what was up ahead. My pat answer for that - God gives us manna for today. When the Israelites were stuck in the desert, He gave them manna enough for that one day. They couldn't try to gather enough for tomorrow or it would turn to maggots. Only at the end of the week could they gather for their day of rest. Sort of like thawing and cooking Sunday's pot roast Saturday night. I've told our kids, He gives us manna for today because He wants us to live life one day at a time. He'll be there tomorrow, providing manna for tomorrow.

I'm thankful 5 months ago we didn't know what all was ahead of us. Heck, I'm thankful 35 years ago I didn't know what was ahead! Five months ago we thought Sarah wasn't looking very big for being at the end of her pregnancy. She's not very big anyway, but she still looked small for a woman about to bring forth a child. Little did we know what that tiny tummy held, literally.

The night before she was to have surgery I rocked this grandchild in my arms. In a quiet corner of the house I laid my hand on her little chest, and prayed over her in whispery tones, "God, I know you're going to fix this little heart. She'll be good as new when you're done. I'm trusting you for that." I knew the next time I saw her there would be a scar, a testimony to answered prayer, not just mine. Thousands. Literally. (If you were one who prayed, thank you from the bottom of my heart.)

Yesterday I visited Miss Addison at the hospital, with Sarah and Chris' two boys, an aunt and uncle, and a few friends thrown in for good measure. Seeing that precious little baby lying there in her little bed, an impressive incision, but only a few tubes and wires left, I can't tell you the feeling that washed over me. When Sarah phoned me 3 months ago from the hospital, Addison was 4 days old and they'd just been told she had a hole in her heart. I started to fall apart a bit, and Sarah told me, "Mother, (a name she uses for me when she's very serious) dry it up. If you fall apart I'll fall apart and I don't have the luxury of falling apart right now." With just a small exception last week when my sewing group of friends prayed over me and reduced me to a blubbery mess, I've held it together, kept it dried up, almost to a fault. Honestly, I've been afraid to let go for fear I'd wash away some small town in the valley below.

Leaning over that little crib, Addison locked eyes with me. She was alert, her coloring was good. I held out my one finger for her little hand to grab, and said, as I do to all our grandbabies, "Wanna hold hands?" She held onto my hand, and then she looked right into my eyes and smiled. Cooed just a bit and smiled.

I don't think anybody saw, except Addison. I melted. I blubbered quietly. I fell apart - just a little.

Addison should come home today. I don't know if there will be any actual festivities, but we'll be holding a party in our hearts at least. Sarah and Chris will leave the hospital with a heart, broken, for parents still there. They will walk through the doors of their home a very different couple than they were only a few months ago. My husband and I have said several times there's no telling how having Addison in our family will change us all. For the better we hope and literally pray. I don't know what the future holds. I don't want to know. I'm completely full on the manna for today.

  posted at 7:00 AM

Saturday, August 05, 2006
And Baby Makes Three

Our middle daughter, Leslie, is due to deliver her first child, Landon. Soon. I'm in Texas now, to help with grandchildren while Sarah and Chris are at the hospital with Addison. I leave next week, heading back to Pennsylvania for a whole 20 days. About that time Landon should be on the scene, and Papa and I will be back for more baby-business. 2006 has had a LOT of baby-business!

Leslie, begrudgingly, joined her crazy family in blogland a few months back. There's not a bandwagon-jumpin' bone in her body. We pushed, prodded, bugged, forced her into it. She just wasn't having much fun being there. Then she won a new template (sorry, I'd give credit here if I knew who to give it to). She decided to make some changes. New template, why not a whole new blog? Her new one will be dedicated to their family, more specifically what's up with their new baby, Landon. Right now you can go to And Baby Makes Three and see their new nursery. (Just please don't ask me to sew you bumper pads...) Everything's ready, just waiting on him. You likely won't see Leslie doing memes, Thursday Thirteens, WFMW, etc. You'll see a lot of baby business. She thinks that's manageable for her, especially since she returns to teaching this week. We, her famiy, are tickled she found something that works for her. And shows us recent photos of the newest member of our family.

Right before I did this post I went over to My Quiet Corner to read her most recent post. It's a nice place to have a cup of morning coffee. She had just come up with the idea of a central place to welcome new bloggers. So if you're new, that being May 2006 or more recent, you can go there, leave a link, and watch the welcomes roll in. If you'd also like to check out some new blogs, this is the place to go. Sort of like welcoming the new family who moved in, down the street, with a freshly baked loaf of banana bread. Without the baking. I hope you'll check out Leslie's new sock monkey theme blog, and also run over and say hello to all the neighbors. Make them feel like they can knock on your door for a cup of sugar or a couple of eggs. To bake banana bread.

  posted at 10:00 AM

Friday, August 04, 2006
Full of Life
It would be a vast understatement to say yesterday was a full day. Somehow I expected today would be calm. Not so full. Just a me-staying-at-home-with-the-boys-while-Sarah-and-Chris-are-at-the-hospital-with-Addison kind of day.


I came down to Sarah just about to walk out the door, headed back to the hospital. When Sarah left, I almost asked, but you just don't want to speak some things over yourself. I almost asked, "what if anyone calls to see the house?" Nah. Don't even go there. We're gonna have a calm, nicely structured day.

Fifteen minutes after she drove off, the phone rang. Could they please come by to see the house in 45 minutes? After phoning Sarah and getting the list, the list that tells you how to make the house look like something from House Beautiful, I hung up. When they phoned back to give us an extra 30 minutes I truly looked up at the ceiling (you know where God lives...) and said, "Thanks, I needed that." We - Caiden and I - pulled it off. Good towels out, dog out too. Pick up, put up, etc. Where, oh where to go with the kids for an hour or so? We head down the road, destination undecided. Caiden and I discussed the options - I suggested Target. He spoke like a true male, "You just bought groceries." Only a male would think we go to Target for groceries... He spied the Petco sign, and said, "Can we go to the pet store?" My immediate thought - free zoo. Absolutely, we can go to Petco. The first place we headed was the reptile section. There was a tank with frogs all over the place - these funny looking, flourescent green, polka dotted frogs. He got right up to the tank, pressed his face against it and soaked it all in. "Grammy, that tank is just full of life." We got to pet a bunny, discuss the pros and cons of ferrets, watch dogs get haircuts, see love birds duke it out, and Nemos galore. Coming out of the store, I couldn't quite remember where we'd parked, or exactly what Sarah's car looks like. I walked up to a minivan, clicked the remote to open the door. Nothing happened. Ah ha, not our car. The next one wasn't either. Looking across the parking lot with just a wee bit of panic, what if I can't find the car in the 100 degreee heat with these two little boys? I saw it. Their minivan sitting across the lot, all the doors open.

We ended our excursion at Chick-Filet. The second they handed me the food, Caiden had to go to the bathroom. Of course. I asked them to keep our food. We'd be back. When I got back, they'd given us cokes instead of milk. I considered going back in the bathroom to see if "clueless" was stamped on my forehead. Do I look like the kind of person who is going to give two little boys caffeine and sugar before naptime? Before we got the food out of the bag, Caiden started bargaining with me to go play in playland. I explained, less than 99 times but more than 20 why he absolutely could not do that on my watch. He didn't understand why we couldn't just leave Grayson in his little chair. By himself. As I watched the little boys (they were ALL boys, his age) crawling all over creation, I just didn't have the heart to stick with no. I told him he could climb up two times. T.W.O. He flew off, and as I walked in, with Grayson (we didn't leave him in his chair), I overheard Caiden saying to a little boy, "Nice to meet you Alex." When he came down the slide, he gave me this look that so said, this is my second time down and she's going to know it and make me leave. I asked him, "Was that your second time?" He said no. I said, "I'm pretty sure you're fibbing to me. We don't fib. Tell me the truth, then you can go down again." "It was my second. " One more trip down and we were off.

On the way home, we listened to a Curious George CD. We saw a police car, with another minivan, pulled off the road. I told Caiden, "Look." He loves to see police cars who have 'caught people.' He said, "Somebody broke the law. The police man might be taking them to jail. Or he might be giving them another chance, or they could be paying a vine (yes, vine) so they don't have to go to jail. I know this because once, when I was in a car, (to remain anonymous) got pulled over for rolling through a stop sign. The policeman told them, you don't have to pay a vine. You don't have to go to jail. You get another chance. So they might be getting another chance. Because sometimes policemen give chances." I literally laughed outloud to not only hear him tell me this story; I thought back to how many times our children spent the night at friends' houses, the stories they likely told on us.

It was not the "calm, nicely structured morning" I had envisioned. It was Full of Life. Just like the cage of frogs. Full of life is oh so much better than calm, nicely structured.

  posted at 2:00 PM

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    Girl Raised in the South

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