Friday, July 31, 2009

Photo Editing

This is the picture that I posted today over at my Day by Day blog.
Now if I hadn't been quite so hasty and had taken a few sec to "perfect" the photo, it would have looked more like this...
Just getting that silly bunk bed out of the picture makes a difference.
My favorite part about taking this picture (aside from how sweet these kids were being with each other) was Meredith yelling down the hall, "You should put that on facebook!" Apparently I have an addiction that my six year old noticed.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Don't Ask

Just know that my children are not allowed in the basement for quite a until they are leaving for college.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Overheard Today

Jeffrey: Are we going swimming?

(Mind you today it is 72 degrees, overcast and windy)

Friend of mine at the park with us: Oh no, you would freeze your tail off!

Jeffrey: We don't have tails! (as if that makes it okay to go swimming)

Monday, July 27, 2009


I know this will come as a shock to some of you, but I was a bit of a princess when I was younger. I know, shocking isn't it? I'm so glad I'm over that...really, I am.

But I can clearly remember times when I was walking around proud of the good I was doing and thinking that everyone should be so grateful that we (the royal we) were in their presence. About that time my mother would grab me by the ponytail - probably because it was the only thing she could catch as I sauntered past quickly to find the next group of people to oppress with all my goodness. She would get my attention and impart some gems of wisdom that would pop my princess bubble...lovingly.

This morning, God grabbed my ponytail.

I Have Been Trained - Part 2
By Missy @ It's Almost Naptime

So I'm driving the long 30 minute drive to VBS last week and
something makes me think of this whole bible study thing, and how this is not
the season for it, and how someday it will be, but how now - as I told Lisa - my
first priority is my family. And the mountains of laundry that they
accumulate. But some day, some day, I will get to lead my bible

As I am pondering all this, I glance in the rear view mirror at the four
little souls in the four car seats behind me, singing along to their CD.
Then the silent but deafening voice of the Lord whispers to me, You are their
bible study. I think, yes, I am. I know this. I know that
after years of teaching other young women and other people's children, my job
right now is to teach my own little ones. And what a blessing that
is! They have learned so much! I begin to think about all the
Scripture they already know, between Seeds and the
book that we use, not to mention what they learn at Sunday School and VBS
to which I so diligently take them. Those tiny little kids already have so
much scripture hidden in their hearts...I guess I am doing okay at leading this
particular bible study! My heart rejoices at this. My heart even
gets a tiny bit - just a tiny bit - of the P word going. You know the P
word. The one that rhymes with bride.

And then the Lord whispers, that's not what I'm talking about. You
are their bible study. Immediately a flashback: the previous morning, when
Shepherd had left out a screwdriver. A tool, which he has been told
a thousand times is not a toy. A tool that he had retrieved from the
toolbox in the garage that he has been told a thousand times he is not to
touch. A tool that he had left on the couch, and his baby brother
had gotten, and was chewing on when he fell into the couch. The tool that
caused Ingram's lip to bleed. The tool that caused me to panic when I saw
the blood, imagining that the baby had stabbed the inside of his mouth with the
screwdriver. The tool that caused me to completely and utterly lose my
temper, to yell loudly at my child until he sobbed his apology, the tool that
hardened my heart even as I hugged him and lied to him and told him that he was

You are their bible study. My child can say from memory Proverbs 15:1
, A soft answer turns away wrath. He can also recite Psalm 34:13, Keep
your tongue from evil. How many times have I quoted to his sister
Ephesians 4:26, In your anger do not sin. I have taught them to forgive
one another seventy times seventy. Yet I negated every one of those bible
teachings in five minutes one Tuesday morning.

You are their bible study. How much easier would it be to just lead a
group bible study! I could prepare for you a wonderful lesson on
Philippians 2 about putting others above yourself. Then if on the drive
home I refuse to let someone cut into my lane of traffic, you'll never
know. I could research and teach you what the original Greek text
of Ephesians 5 says, then come home and chew out my husband for not
taking out the trash while I was gone, and you'll never know. I could give
you a wonderful exegesis regarding exactly what God meant when he said "Thou
shall not steal." And if the next morning, the teenager at the grocery store
charges me for regular apples rather than the more expensive organic ones and I
don't correct him, you'll never know.

But if I tell my children that I love God and seek to obey him, and then
dishonor their own grandmother with my tongue, they will learn more from my
hypocrisy than from the Word. If in my anger I choose to punish instead of
to discipline, then bible lesson for that day will be on vengeance, not
grace. If I teach them to do all things without complaining and disputing
- Philippians 2:14, another one they can rattle off - yet constantly gripe about
having to clean up their messes, then my lesson for the day is selfishness, not

I am their bible study. I am not saying that the Holy Spirit will not
and does not work on their hearts in spite of my actions. I am well aware
that the double edged sword that is the Word of God is a million times more
powerful than my sin. But, oh, dear Jesus, do my actions sometimes cause
the Holy Spirit to have to work harder? Are there days when the Lord must
work around me, instead of with me?? Oh Lord, forgive me and help
me! Remind me to practice what I teach! For this I have been
trained!! Amen!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Number 300!

Wow, that kind of shocks me...especially considering I can completely ignore this blog for weeks at a time!

Well, I have started something else to distract me from this blog...another blog.

I know, crazy, but this one has another purpose.

I have long since realized that I am not a photographer. I have many friends that take AMAZING photos. Some of them have picture-a-day blogs or sites. While they are fabulous, that is not my goal. I like that they take pictures of me and my family!

What I hope to accomplish with this new blog is two things.
  1. I want to document what happens in my family. I realize that there are really months...missing from our photo library. And what little pictures there are are locked on my computer. Many things in my life that I am trying to improve (reading my Bible, exercising, eating right, cleaning my house) are things that require me to work at them day by day. This is no different.
  2. Many days I struggle to ENJOY my family. They are a lot of work! I have felt like God was encouraging me to ENJOY them for several months and I just didn't know how to. I hope that by taking more pictures I will be able to see some of the enjoyment. That even those pouty faces really are sweet.

So this new blog is my version of a picture-a-day. Since I am afraid of failure, it is very scary to announce this project. I don't want to get to day 16 and discover that I forgot 13, 14, & 15! So there may be many late night last minute pictures of sleeping children...but they are definitely sweet then!!

So I am on day three and you can see it is already challenging...but I am having fun.

Check it out and let me know what you think...and if you have any other suggestions for ENJOYING your family.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Some days you just have to admit that you can't do landscaping; you can't decorate; you can't make your children obey; and just do the things you do well...laundry and cleaning. It may not be a pretty house, but it can be a clean house.

**EDIT: I can't clean my house either...

Saturday, July 11, 2009


The entrance to the campground and marina just outside Lovell, WY.
Meredith at the swimming area. Grandpa put the boat in the water and it would not start, so we swam instead. They even had a lifeguard!

Next to the swimming area was a huge playground and picnic area with at least 20 picnic tables - enough for a crowd.

Meredith and Jarrett


Meredith mastered the monkey bars.

Jarrett escaping a game of tag by climbing on top of the playground. Why must they all be monkeys?

The wind picked up about 5pm and was probably 40mph. Too windy to have a campfire or even be outside with the dirt blowing for that matter. Morgan decided to color.

Jarrett and Mikalah played cards.

The next morning while Grandpa went into town to check on the boat, Mike, Grandma, the kids and I explored the rest of the National Park Area. There is a Wild Mustang Preserve. One hundred and twenty mustangs run free.

We saw big horn sheep. A baby nursing. Big horn sheep grow a ring per year on their horns and do not shed them like antlers. These sheep are not very old.

A view of the canyon that connects to the lake that we were camping at. From this viewpoint, the water is 900 feet below. The water at that point is over 150 feet deep.

A floating outhouse - necessary when the canyon is fifty miles long.

Jarrett, Meredith, Grandma, Mikalah, Morgan, Mike & Jeffrey. Judson was at summer camp.

The family - minus Judson, but including Morgan's babies that go everywhere with her!

My little girl that's not so little anymore. She regularly reminds us that she will be 13 in just two short months!

More big horn sheep. I take pictures of people...Mike takes pictures of animals and scenery...we make a good team.

Boat is ready and we head out to the lake! The hotdog is the younger kids favorite!

Grandma and Mike relaxing as we head into the canyon. Meredith tired out after swimming for a bit.

Morgan...finally resting. She is a ball of energy!

About fifteen miles into the canyon the boat stopped. Mike and his Dad worked for 30 minutes trying to get it started again. Because it was the middle of the week the area is almost deserted. We hadn't seen another boat for almost an hour. I was thankful for lots of towels and the cooler of food we had brought when I started wondering if we would be stuck out there over night. Somehow, I ws pretty calm even though I was frustrated and a little nervous.

But God answered prayers and another boat came along. They towed us back to the marina. However because we couldn't go very fast it took us almost two hours. At least it was a pretty trip!

Another view from above. You can see how the canyon winds through.

What happens when Morgan takes a picture. She was so proud of her picture of the fence.

My wonderful family!

***Pictures from our recent trip to Horseshoe Bend near Lovell, WY. They show people having fun. This in no way proves that the blog author now enjoys camping. This disclaimer is in place to state that vacation - true relaxation - includes a five-star hotel and a spa treatment.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Polish Boy

Tuesday we did major shopping at...of course...Costco. The nectarines and cherries are BEAUTIFUL and so delicious right now!!! I was going to start telling you what special finds I get at Costco, but this was truly a "stock-the-shelves" trip. However, there was Dove shampoo on sale for $4.97 with a free conditioner included. Gotta watch those prices that end in $0.97. Those are the lowest price that Costco will offer. There's my tip of the day.

However, my favorite part of the trip was lunch...and not just the hundreds of samples. Otherwise lunch would have been bread, pina colada sherbet, chips and salsa, ham, black licorice, hummus on a chip, and salad. I guess you could probably call that a well rounded meal.

But, no. our lunch was eight polish sausages for $1.50 a piece and each comes with a drink. Can't beat lunch for the family for $12! Mike got sauerkraut on his polish dog. Jeffrey in a loud voice in the middle of a huge lunch crowd whines, "I want sauercrap too!" Priceless!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thank you

This Gotcha Day is dedicated to my birth mom.

For your sacrifice.

For the hard choice you made.

For giving me...everything!