Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mother's Day Out --with half a dozen darlings

A fun, full day...

I had an appointment with the dermatologist in the town where my middle brother has been spending his holiday. He met me in the parking lot and graciously took my carload of kiddos to a lot of parks. Simultaneously generated good reports.

The kids and I then went to scope out the seemingly endless opportunities to spend Christmas monies. We started slowly at Sam's by browsing entertainment and apparel, then making utilitarian purchases such as salad, broccoli, and vanilla. But after a bountiful luncheon at the pizza combo check-out, we were energized to explore further options.

The boys desired some concentrated time at the sporting goods store, so the ladies and I diligently sought fashionable bargains at a nearby department store. As it came time for Elizabeth's lunch, we scaled new heights of effective time management and multi-tasking. The boys teamed up to run into the grocery for several random yet necessary items, and we stayed in the car. I fed the baby while Ardyn read aloud from a Wishbone book, and Ash texted Grammy. Mari quietly delighted in her new toys.

Within twenty minutes we were back on track. We drove back into town and stopped by our favorite consignment shop. Each of the children were thrilled to find terrific deals on stuff they've "always wanted". Since I had a credit balance, I granted many wishes and spent zero "real-live" dollars. Nice.

Finally -after being at large for more than seven hours- we scurried home to prepare dinner for the previously mentioned uncle and his precious family. Parmesan Baked Talapia, Tossed Salad, Creamed Sweet Potatoes, Seasoned Black Beans, and Aunt Kathy brought her FAMOUS Spinach-Artichoke Dip. Cookie bars with coffee and the crackle of a fire brought the cozy evening to a gentle close.

4 out of 6 Johnson children made bedtime statements similar to: "Today was really fun, Mom. Thank you."

I whole&happy-heartedly agree.

(Understandably, the littlest ones were too fatigued to remain so optimistic)

Thank You, God, for my children and for Christmas and for being so Good. "Today was really fun. Thank you."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Great Gramma Johnson

Nov 29, 2009

Night on the Town

1 Tim Hawkins concert
+2 handsome man cubs
+3 [nasty] taco bell gorditas
+4 chatty little sisters at home with dad
= 'perfect 10' mom/son datenite!!

"Dear Lord, help my boys continue to grow in their love for You...and may their standard for datenite food GREATLY improve before You initiate 'the real deal'."

Hotel for Baby

She tried to sleep in this bed, but it was TOO full...

She tried to sleep in this bed, but it was TOO stinky...

She went to sleep in my bed and it was JUST right.
Look-- She's still there!

Thanksgiving trip to Colorado, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Sunday, December 13, 2009...

Outside my window...foggy, cold and damp.

I am remembering...past Christmas seasons when the boys were little. So little money. So much joy.

I am thankful sweet, sweet husband who went with me to the church house to play with a group of kids for a little while. He's simply the best.

I am creating...(we'll go past tense on this one) Ardyn and I collaborated on a wipe-off clip board for her bff, Abby. We mod-podged old photos along with scrapbook papers and stickers then covered the whole board with contact paper. We tied lots of froofy ribbons along the edge of the clip and tied a pen to a length of ribbon. Quite cute, I must say.

I am Tim Hawkin's concert Friday night with Landen and Luke. We are FIRED up!

I am reading...December magazines and the Bible...not always in that order:)

I am hoping...the kids and I can happily find our groove tomorrow.

On my mind...the sounds of this morning's Christmas music. One song in particular repetitively rolls through my thoughts carrying great hope: "Hallelujah! We've been found. A child is born to save us now..."

From the learning rooms...last week before Christmas break. Wah-HOO!

Noticing room could not be any messier. Seriously. We are AT capacity for clutter.

Pondering these words..."My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. His mercy extends to those who fear him...He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts...but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty." Luke 1

From the was "National Eat Leftovers or Eat Not" Day. A difficult choice for some. However, "leftovers" did graciously include the last bit of Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pound Cake that Luke baked for Ashlin's birthday. Yum-to-the-Me!

Around the house...three fellas enjoying televised football in the living room, four darlings working on their first hour of beauty rest, one schnauzer wondering why no one wants to play, and one peaceful girlie click-clackin' at the keyboard.

One of my favorite things...kind words. Today I shared some and received some. Either way it's just good stuff.

From my picture journal...

To participate or simply enjoy more daybooks, visit The Simple Woman.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, November 30, 2009...

Outside my window...cold and rainy. I've left the soft crunch of Colorado snow for the mushy squish of East Texas mud. sniff, sigh.

I am dad. He was a very fun guy.

I am thankful for...our quiet week away. Well, "quiet" like no computers, tv's, or phone calls. The actual volume level approached "raucous" at times just 'cause my family is hilarious, that's why.

I am creating...a celebratory environment for Christmas. (which is joy-code for "I have to vacuum the fireplace bricks & mantle today.")

I am going...somewhere special tomorrow...not sure if I can really say...but I've been looking forward to it for weeks. Nope, I can't tellya.

I am reading...through a pile of advent books...hoping to come up with this year's "plan". Yes, I know what tomorrow is.

I am hoping...the kids and I can happily find our groove today.

On my mind...all the things that need to be done today, and all the fun we had at Horn Creek.

From the learning rooms...we have one more day of holiday today. Then two weeks of lessons before our Christmas break. Should be "nothin' but a thang".

Noticing lips no longer need an hourly application of chapstick. (Finding joy in humidity!)

Pondering these words..."Being thankful is therefore always more than a glib note of gratitude or a warm sentiment in general; it requires something far more personal. It not only chooses to recognize the gifts before us, but recognizes that there must also be a giver. There is Someone to thank. There is indeed One from whom all blessings flow." Jill Carattini, Slice of Infinity

From the kitchen..."starting from scratch" says it all. The kitchen has been empty and still for a full week. Maybe "up and running" says some of it:)

Around the house...Laundry bulges out of every hamper, but otherwise we are officially "unpacked". The tree is up but bare. The children are barely up.

One of my favorite jalapeno pepper jelly with crackers & cream cheese.

From my picture journal...a few out-takes from the Christmas photo shoot

To participate or simply enjoy more daybooks, visit The Simple Woman.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Kathy took Christmas photos this weekend. Here is a sample of Mari Alice and Elizabeth. More to follow. (yay)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

One Way or The Other

You know when you're facing a tough decision...
There are pro's and con's...
Cost to benefit ratios...
A right way and a wrong way...

I wish life's choices were clearly marked: horrible ideas would appear red and really great ideas would seem green. As I look at the options, I feel like they might be color coded indeed.

But at present, I am color blind.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What is the Deal?

For the last couple weeks, I've been stopping by Bloggerville - wondering who has posted recently, and my sidebar indicates that I am alone in the land of updates.

With a couple clicks around, I find this to be completely NOT true. Several friends have published recently, but my dealie-bop refuses to inform me.

Happy to find I'm not alone.
Frustrated that I've been missing out.

ok, so since we're sharing...

Ashlin came to me the other day and rattled off a bunch of information pertaining to her upcoming birthday celebration...the one I have not even thought about. She wanted to tell me what we were getting for her friends, she wondered aloud if so-in-so would be able to come, and she needed to show me what she might wear plus finalize the menu.

Slightly dazed, I explained, "Ash, we haven't really decided what to do to celebrate your big day..I don't really know what you're talking about...I don't quite understand..."

She stared at me with a hint of displeasure, but with a touch of patience. "OK, Mom. Do you want be to start over and speak slower?"

Thank You, God, for blogger. (You know I'm serious) I need a vent and this has served me well...even if it is a little high maintenance and unreliable (aren't we all?) Thank You for Ashlin. I look forward to submitting to her skillful preparation for Thanksgiving 2032 as she hosts it in her well-managed home.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, November 15, 2009...

Outside my window...the wind is whispering a wintry welcome.

I am many times I lost my cool today. Lord, forgive me.

I am thankful mercies for tomorrow! Thank You, Jesus!

I am creating...packing lists for Colorado.

I am clean my room tomorrow is it's the ONLY thing I do.

I am reading...too many things. I need to slow down and focus.

I am hoping...everyone stays healthy for our trip.

On my mind...the children in the World Vision catalog.

From the learning rooms...completed assignments are means to an end: hunting, playing with friends, and travel plans.

Noticing toenails need to be painted.

Pondering these words..."Whether we think of, or speak to, God, whether we act or suffer for Him, all is prayer, when we have no other object than His love, and the desire of pleasing Him." - John Wesley

From the kitchen...Pasta e Fagioli for family and friends followed by the joyful baking of banana bread and dark chocolate-craisin pumpkin bites.

Around the house...few chores and several children. (satisfied grin)

One of my favorite crushed ice. Year round.

From my picture journal...

To participate or simply enjoy more daybooks, visit The Simple Woman.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Well Stated

William Temple: "Worship is the submission of all of our nature to God. It is the quickening of the conscience by his holiness; the nourishment of mind with his truth; the purifying of imagination by his beauty; the opening of the heart to his love; the surrender of will to his purpose—all this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Synonyms & Weaponry with Mari

Yesterday at the lunch table, Mari Alice reported, "Big, Honkin', and Huge mean all the same thing."

Every time Luke and I get into a pretend scuffle - you know the kind where I've got him in a pretend choke hold & he's talkin' trash & pretending not to be in pain - Mari runs to her pretend kitchen and hurries back armed with a large wooden rolling pin. "Here, Momma, beat him with this!" Then we all just laugh, 'cause where did she even get that idea??

Monday, November 02, 2009

Hey Diddle Diddle

The cow...
...jumped over the moon...

...and the dish...

...ran away with the spoon.

Fall Festival 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009


Last summer I tried and tried to convince Landen NOT to wear the black tank top with his swim trunks. Beyond girlish tan lines and the conjured images of Bing Crosby in a 1930’s beach musical, it was just strange. He had a decent enough reason for wearing a shirt: the tag at the back of his shorts was “itchy”. Tucking the undershirt into his waistband solved the problem. Oh? I hadn’t mentioned the black tank top was tucked in?? Yes sirree!

Anyway, gentle prod after pointed discussion brought about ZERO change.

Until…he attended a Jr. High lake party. He magically returned home cleansed of all his warped stylistic preferences. In Landen’s words: “This girl with blond hair looked at me weird and I asked her what she was looking at and she just looked at my shirt one more time and said, ‘Nothin’.”

Super. I WISH I could have been part of the solution, but ultimately, as long as he’s not flaunting the “tank ‘n’ trunk” ensemble anymore, I’m pleased.

Next issue. For months, Landen has had a rash of sorts behind his ear. He scratches it all day and it gets raw and then spreads. We have seen the doctor twice about it. We have some medicine that keeps the skin clear as long as it is applied consistently. Therein lies the problem. Landen is 13. Consistency is not his strongest suit. It’s not really my strongest suit either, but I’ve already got an infant and a preschooler who NEED me to gear any consistency I’ve mastered toward the forefront of their personal hygienic maintenance. I’m only one woman!

Over the months, my frustration with his chronic “grossness” behind his ear has led to several different tactical approaches. I threatened to shave his head if he didn’t stop scratching it. I promised to withhold meals if he hadn’t properly applied the medication. I even authorized anyone who saw him scratching his ear to slap his hand…hard! I preached and I nagged. I begged and I griped. I pleaded and punished.

Then… a couple weeks ago I noticed he had clipped his fingernails down to the quick. He said he did it so he wouldn’t scratch his ear. “AH-HA! I’ve made a break though!” I congratulated myself. In the following days he began to proudly display the clean and clear skin behind his ear. My naive assumption that my eloquence and influence had won him over to a life of cleanliness was short lived.

Yesterday in the kitchen, I told him how pleased I was that he was making such consistently mature decisions about his ear. I waited for his “Shucks, Mom, you really are the best for patiently proving to me the importance of personal hygiene!”

To my disgrace, it sounded like this. “Well, Mom, you know a couple Wednesday nights ago? I was sitting in Bible Study and just as I reached up to scratch my ear, this blond girl behind me kind of coughed. I’m not sure if she saw my ear and thought it was gross, but I stopped scratching and pulled my hair over my ears just in case. When I got home I cut my nails and washed my ears really well and put the medicine on. I’ve been putting it on about 6 times a day since then. It’s working!”

A blond girl clears her throat, and the boy has revival in his life.

I’m done. I’m hirin’ me a blond girl with squinty eyes and a tickle in her throat. I’m gonna give her a list. She’s gonna change my world!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I am convinced that the Good Lord gave little girls long, tangle-prone hair so that once or twice per day, they might be afforded the much needed opportunity to "cry it out".

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Tuesday, October 27, 2009...

(By the inspiration of my lifelong hero, I'll attempt to complete each entry in less than three lines...cheer for me...I usually can't give my name & address in fewer than 200 words.)

Outside my window... The last rays of warm, bright sunshine cast long, broad shadows over our marshy meadow of a yard, while chilly children run and romp along the driveway.

I am thinking...that "needing to let your food settle" is an excellent excuse for avoiding almost anything...even the dinner dishes.

I am thankful husband who loves me when I'm not very lovable and shows patience when I've lost mine completely and remains committed to me despite the notion that I might need to BE committed.

From the learning formal education today. MOPS, "Phantom Tollbooth", Monopoly, GoFish, snuggling and chatting.

From the kitchen...Green Chili Venison Stew over brown rice with turnip greens and baby peas. The crowd has mixed feelings about the veggies...I love them both!

I am sweats, Texas tee, and's chilly.

I am creating...a recipe notebook. We decorated binders at MOPS today. Brown and Cream Toille! Happy fabric!

I am AWANA, Bible Study, Fall Festival, and Church...and probably to W@lM@art at some point, wouldn't you imagine??

I am reading..."Turn" by Max Lucado and my Fall magazines before bed. It's time to go to bed just a minute or two pile is mounting!

I am maintain good health - family wide! So far so good with operation: Dodge the Flu.

I am hearing...Preschool worship dvd in the living room and older kids happily hollering outside.

Around the house...messy, messy. This is the price we pay for a truly relaxing day. We'll get'er tidied up after baths.

One of my favorite things...giggling with the kids. I'm too serious too often. I'm a fun girl, and I need to act like it.

A few plans for the rest of the week...lessons, house cleaning, finalize plans and make some lists for Thanksgiving and live abundantly.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...Baby "LizBeth" (The kids have shaved two whole vowels off her name...not really what I meant by nickname)

To participate or simply enjoy more daybooks, visit The Simple Woman.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, September 19, 2009...

Outside my window... Bright and Chilly. The lawn is drying out after last week's flood status and is in desperate need of a trim.

I am thinking...that I have a kajillion chores to do, but the kids are all doing theirs and I would prefer to blog. Later we'll trade: I'll do chores while they read & write. :)

I am thankful for...two strong weeks of good food and exercise. Life is just better when you're not acting like a fool.

From the learning rooms...The three older ones have recently exploited my diminished involvement in their day-to-day learning. Assignments dodged, Quizzes overlooked, Reading ignored. Comprehension NOT checked. We had a little "come to Jesus" meeting last Thursday and I believe we've had revival & renewal...the restitution may take a few more days:)

From the kitchen...the dishwasher has been broken for a few weeks now. Evidently, my darling purchased the Mercedes Benz of dishwashers so we're having trouble locating a certified technician and replacement parts. So we wait. And I wash. Each person drinks out of the same cup all day and we eat lunch on paper towels. And once or twice a day, I enjoy the gentle roar of the faucet. My hands automatically scrub and rinse each dish, bounce it twice in the air to remove the water, and set it gingerly along with the others to dry. All the while, I get to chat with my Heavenly Father about all things we feel are important. Good times.

I am wearing...jeans, last year's MP3 shirt, and tennis shoes.

I am creating...Fall Festival of my favorite expressions of frugal creativity. Ardyn attended a costume birthday party Saturday, so we got a bonus run at the craft. With less than 10 minutes and $0 she was transformed into a Japanese doll. She wore my red silk wrap-around robe with a wide black sash around her waist. We smeared diaper medicine and baby powder all over her face and accentuated facial features with bright red lipstick and black eyeliner. We poked two black pens and a sprig of silk flowers into the bun on top of her hair. Lots of fun.

I am take Elizabeth to her 4 month check-up. She is such a great baby and growing so fast!

I am reading..."Turn" by Max Lucado and my Fall magazines before bed, and "Phantom Tollbooth" after lunch to the's really not a read aloud, but it was referenced by a character in our last book, so I was interested to read it. They are enjoying it too.

I am hoping...that MP3 does a great job next Sunday with the adult choir. I love those little worshippers!

I am hearing...the chattering children and muttering motion of several chores being accomplished simultaneously...and Ashli humming "Holy is the Lord God Almighty"...she ALWAYS sings while she works:)

Around the house...there is so much to do. I should wrap this up.

One of my favorite things...making Philip laugh. Strangely, it doesn't happen often. While he finds me beautiful, industrious, and intelligent, he fails to fully appreciate what I would consider my finest examples of humor and wit. But last night I got a good, hearty guffaw out of him - I don't remember what I said, or how I said it, but he laughed a wide, toothy laugh. Very satisfying.

A few plans for the rest of the week...lessons, costumes, house cleaning, and hopefully a family day in the garage to transition from baseball to deer season.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
She said she was a big girl and could listen to TWO chapters.

To participate or simply enjoy more daybooks, visit The Simple Woman.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Flashback Foto

A day at the Pumpkin Patch in 2005...when the two littlest Johnsons were in the mind of God. Thank You, Lord, for Harvest!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

People Last

Today I was chatting with a friend about selfishness. She reviewed her recent efforts to be a blessing. "I give money to God, rescue animals, donate to the library, and...well,...and people last, I guess." We chuckled at her honest, albeit disturbing list of priorities.

Those two words caught my attention. "People last." Isn't that such an easy approach to life? Do the work. Get the stuff. (Rescue a hound or two.) Make your way. Do your thang. And, at times, relational investment gets squeezed into the mix almost as an afterthought or coincidental bonus.

In the midst of interpersonal dealings, how tempting it is to consider our own preferences and potential benefits before an other's. "Me first. Other people last." Or if we're REALLY honorable, "God first (yay! even the Grammy-recipient rappers get this far) Me next. People last."

But with a few repetitions and a tilt of the head, it can sound completely different. "People last." "People LAST!"

Humans are eternal beings. The manner in which we treat one another has everlasting effect. Bless or curse. Gather or scatter. Confirm or deny. Peace or strife. Love or hate. Stuff in this life will be either eaten or destroyed. Souls are for keeps.

I struggle to find a righteous balance between productivity and personability. Too often I discard or ignore time with people just to get a couple more things done. I value the routine of responsibilities more than the household of hearts. I set my mind on earthly tasks and time while eternity holds everything of worth. The only way to access that treasure now, is to set my heart toward the Creator and the ones He has made in His image. Love God. Love folks.

In Matthew 22, Jesus says, "Love the Lord, your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, 'Love your neighbor as yourself'. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Then in John, He shares with His followers during their last supper, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another....Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

Next time I'm tempted to put people last, I hope to remember: people last.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


I think I may have forgotten how to blog. It's been so long. Several times a day, I think of some freshly illumined truth, or surprising connection and I say to myself, "Self, you should blog that!" And then the day continues. My thoughts continue. But I never find the time to sit and write it out. When I do sit down to "pen some words", I can't quite remember how the truth or the illumination occurred, and in a late-day fog, I can't quite piece together the sequence of surprise, much less, the connections. I forget. I blog to remember, but at some point I must remember to blog:)

But this is what I know for sure. God is good all the time. He is Truth and Light and Love and Purpose. Unpredictable, yet Reliable. Uncomfortable, but Comforting. Simply Complex.

I found this photo on my camera. Evidently, Luke snapped it while I was walking.

"From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, the Name of the Lord shall be praised!"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Love it!

My sweet sister in law turned me on to this site. I baked these muffins Sunday. I added a little sour cream to the batter for good measure. They were WONDERFUL!

I'm so glad it's officially Autumn. I love cool, crisp, spiced life!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Sunday, September 13, 2009...

Outside my window... Dark and rainy.

I am thinking...that it's been two whole months since I posted a daybook. "Time's fun when you're havin' flies!"

I am thankful for...healthy children. When our pediatrician cared for Elizabeth after her birth, he said he didn't even realize I had been pregnant. I immediately thought, "Wow, 9 months with no doctors appointments is pretty good considering the statistics of five kiddos!".

I took Elizabeth to the eye doctor this week. She has a little blister on her cornea and the area of her iris just around it was discolored. Evidently, these are two unrelated cases...neither of which is a real problem. The blister is a sty of some sort that should go away on its own, and the brown section of her grayish blue eye is a birth mark. Weird, but cool.

From the learning rooms...We enjoyed Fall Break this past week. It was nice to be "just Mom". We were able to sort through all the off season clothes, make a list of needs, and shop to check off the list. VERY productive.

I was pleased with Ardyn's approach to her wardrobe. She had everything she needed for Sundays except a pair of black shoes and a black turtle neck for a Christmas jumper. We stopped by the consignment shop to see if they happened to have either of those two items. They had a great turtleneck but no shoes.

As we looked, Ardyn found "a DREAMY brown and aqua polka dot skirt with a LOVELY coordinating shirt and cami...and she even found the MOST PERFECT brown wedge shoes to go with it!". I quietly reminded her that another Sunday outfit was not on the list. She said that she would buy it with her money if she had enough in her account. I told her the store had a lay away plan and I explained how it worked. She seemed pleasantly satisfied.

I paid the 25% down and she has 30 days to pay the balance. When we returned home (a little saddened not to be HOLDING the PERFECTLY WONDERFUL dress) she checked her bank account and figured that she would need two more weeks of allowance to give her enough to buy the dress and leave enough in the account in case she were to need to buy a birthday gift for a friend.

From the kitchen...the boys made pancakes and eggs tonight before going to church so the counters are a little less than tidy, but I'm grateful for the self-sufficiency.

I am dress slacks and a short sleeve sweater. I've TOTALLY lowered my standard for "what my hair must look like before I leave the house". This morning my choices were stay behind and "do" my hair or wear a ponytail and go with my family to early worship. I chose worship. Wise. Not very cute at all, but wise.

I am creating...lesson plans for MP3 and art holders for Ardyn made from pant hangers and cup hooks.

I am walk this week, dagnabbit. I always feel so good after I walk or work out. I simply must do it. As my darling would spur, "No one's stoppin' ya!"

I am reading..."The Penderwicks" to the kids after lunch each day and "Your God is Too Safe" to myself before bed.

I am hoping...The kids rebound into our school routine tomorrow morning. I'll get up and cook something for breakfast. Surely that will help.

I am hearing...the end of the football game echoing from the living room. Despite the stormy weather, Philip was able to spend the entire day with us. (Thank You, Dear Lord)

Around the house...children are in bed, Philip is lounging in the recliner, and I am happily blogging. Life is good.

One of my favorite things...watching Elizabeth roll and scoot across the quilt my Gramma Billie made. The kids say she's crawling. They are terribly impressed with their seemingly gifted & talented 3 month old sister!

A few plans for the rest of the week...lessons, put all the consignment clothes on hangers, WALK alot, prepare for next week's MP3, hug children, cook meals, wash clothes, and live abundantly!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

To participate or simply enjoy more daybooks, visit The Simple Woman.

Friday, September 11, 2009

You Might Be Raisin' a Redneck...

Mari stubbed her toe on something and hollered, “OW!”.

Ashlin asked what happened.

Mari said she didn’t know.

Then in an abrupt change of subject, Mari exclaimed,

“Hey! That’s cool! ‘ow’ and ‘ow-n’t know’ rhyme both together!”

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Elizabeth Anne is 3 Months Old

Labor Day Weekend...helping dad coach the tournament

First visit to the church nursery

"Hobbies and Interests"

(We're still taking suggestions for nicknames...I can't possibly continue to type out her full name with each reference. I read "The Penderwicks" to the kids last week and one of the characters was named Elizabeth after her mother...they called her 'Batty'. No deal.)

Thank You, God, for Elizabeth. You have blessed us through her precious life. Help us as we care for her and teach her and love her. You are AMAZING and WONDERFUL and she is lovingly made in Your image.

Saturday, September 05, 2009


So, perhaps you've heard the news about the sculpture being shown in Norman, Oklahoma this week. Obviously, the piece is shy on modesty and discretion...I assume that was most of the artist's objective. However, I applaud the attempt to energize the discussion of breastfeeding in public.

I am currently nursing an infant for the sixth time. I have been encouraged by pediatricians, pressured by lactation consultants, and understood by like-minded friends. Other than that, breastfeeding has always made me feel like a social outcast.

When running errands, my choice is to limit the trip to just a couple hours or find a place to nurse. In winter, the car works fine. But last month I was in L'view shopping and it came time to nurse. I went to the car out of habit, but it was 104 degrees in the shade and the car was NOT an option. I began to brainstorm and drive around to find some suitable place. "Do I go to Books-a-Million?" "What about the corner booth at Wendy's?" "WHERE should I go?"

I ended up in the dark, cool, unoccupied lobby of La Quinta. (pretty genius, huh?) I walked in with my infant carrier, and asked the clerk if I could sit for a few minutes in the empty breakfast room. Both ladies behind the front desk seemed pleased to offer the surplus space.

The challenge continues even at church. Unless I wish to pump regularly, I am unable to attend both Bible Study and Worship Service on Sunday mornings without nursing. There's really no appropriate place to do this. Contrary to its name, the "nursery" is a hubbub of activity with all rockers occupied by caregivers. I typically end up in a vacant Sunday School room sitting on the floor against the door in solitude.

I nursed Elizabeth the other day at the ballpark. I covered both of us with a blanket but still shuddered with anxiety as a strong breeze flirted with our veil. I was overcome with dread that someone might catch a flash of my brazier or a glimpse of flesh. But then I looked around and saw half a dozen teenage girls on "bra strap parade" with cheeks hanging out of screen printed shorts. So perhaps public breastfeeding is not so big a deal. Perhaps it is, but remains a noble choice considering the gutterish standards for "public display".

What's a modest momma to do?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mari Alice is 3

M akes every day an adventure
A lways reminds us to pray
R ides in the stroller around and around the block
I dentifies numbers and letters like "em,ay,ar,eye" and "chickalay"

A ddicted to PBS kids
L oves her brothers and sisters and Oscar
I s no fun to read "I Spy" with
C ooks with playdough for hours at a time
E njoys her soft pink blanket even more than her soft purple one.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Have Thine Own Way

"The best way for a man rightly to enjoy himself is to maintain a universal, ready, and cheerful compliance with the divine and uncreated Will in all things." - John Smith

Thou art the Potter, I am the clay!
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting yielded and still

Hold over my being absolute sway!
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see,
Christ only, always, living in me.

By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name." - Hebrews 13:15

Thursday, August 20, 2009

This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Two Months Old Today!

Our little Elizabeth...

rather enjoys a nice, tight swaddle,
sleeps six hours at night,
smiles and coos when she's full,
has finally found her reflection in the mirror above her chair,
and is enthusiastically adored by her big, happy family.

Weekend in Dub-Town

Ardyn loved the rope swing...

I taught Mari Alice to swim without floaties...

Ashlin listened intently to Sean's tales of heroic feats...

while Elizabeth and Philip wondered why no one packed ballcaps or bonnets.