Sunday, May 31, 2009

Think About What You're Saying...

One of the most famous stories in our household is of a day long ago.

The kids and I were in the car doing our Meals on Wheels route. Landen at age 10 had been participating in such benevolence for half a decade. As we drove to the next house on our route, he evidently began to contemplate the nature of such a well organized system for transporting food to home bound friends.

Suddenly, connecting familiar terminology with new found clarity and meaning, he blurted, "Meals ON Wheels!" We passengers were startled by his outburst. So he explained, "We're taking everybody MEALS in our car - which is ON WHEELS!"


Oblivion must be a really peaceful place to reside for years at a time.

As a result, Luke has often quoted that story to mock those who have a difficult time making seemingly obvious correlations with words.

But I believe after today, he will not.

This afternoon, Luke and I were relaxing and watching the French Open on television. We enjoyed the last several minutes of a couple pivotal matches. He asked a lot of questions about scoring and ranking. Then, surprised that the competitors were not wearing cleats on the red clay, he began to assess the wardrobe and equipment necessary to be a champion of this unfamiliar sport.

In all sincerity, my bright, articulate son asked, "So, do they make tennis shoes?"

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm In Love With An Older Man

Philip turned 38 yesterday! Why do I love him so??

1. Blue eyes...can't get enough of 'em.

2. Accented slang...he talks like a hick, and ironically, I dig it.

3. Friendly...he's just a really friendly guy.

4. Strong hands...he refused to use the bar of soap in the hotel because he couldn't wash his hands with "something that snaps in half every two seconds"...brute?

5. Affectionate Dad...all the kids bask in his tenderness.

6. Hard work...he possesses not one ounce of laziness.

7. Home Run maniac...that boy got skills.

8. Blossoming musician...he has always had a song in his heart, and after years of my "nearness", he can actually sing on key.

9. Fixer-guy...I never pay a repairman, rarely a mechanic, only seldom a plumber. I tell ya - the boy got SKILLS.

10. Optimist...things in Philip's world are either "all good" or "awesome".

11. Provider...I never have to wonder if we'll have what we need. PTL

12. Chatter box...he uses twelve thousand minutes and 700 texts per month just making people feel known and needed.

13. God lover...though I truly feel loved by Philip, I always have the sense that he loves Someone else more...and I wouldn't want it any other way.

Counting the other 25 reasons that are way too private for a blog...
That puts us at 38 fabulous reasons why I love Philip!

Thank You, God, for Philip. You bless me every day with new oportunities to grow and love and be loved. Thank You, thank You!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, May 25, 2009...

Outside my window... a warm sun sets to start a shortened week.

I am thinking...that I am grouchy. I don't really want to be. Well, sometimes, it seems like the easy way, but it's almost like I want to stop and I can't. I just stand over in a corner and watch myself gripe and moan and complain. Double Yucky.

I am thankful for...this past weekend away. The whole family (plus one of Luke's teammates) loaded up and headed for a Big League Dreams Tournament. We were able to watch great baseball, dine with great friends (new & old) and do a great deal of family chillin'.

From the learning rooms...everyone is good to go. This will be a three day week, and I intend to concentrate on Ash during these last few weeks leading up to the baby.

From the kitchen...all the coolers are unpacked, and we're neat and tidy to start our week. Ashlin asked if she could sweep the floor. It didn't really need it, but I let her have a go at it. She is pleased with her work.

I am goucho dealies...isn't that what I was wearing last Monday?? blue texas tee shirt, pony tail, and glasses.

I am creating...notta lot.

I am going...a doctor's appt tomorrow. Three weeks from Friday, we're ON!

I am reading...notta lot.

I am find a musical for next year's kid's choir. I would like to have it settled before baby, but I won't "settle". Prayer, prayer, more prayer.

I am hearing...Ashlin & Mari Alice chatting as they fold wash cloths and towels. They are waiting for me to finish this post and then they want to play

Around the's just the little girls and I. Philip took Luke and Ardyn to clean out the car and give it a bath. Landen is playing basket ball outside with some friends. Oscar is still at the boarder. We'll anxiously go get him when they open in the morning.

One of my favorite hearing my girls sing together in the back seat. They just break into song and it's so sweet. This morning's return roadtrip began with a medley of "Jingle Bells, Holy God Almighty, and Where is Thumpkin".

A few plans for the rest of the week...keep my ENORMOUS feet propped up as often as possible. Complete as many chores/responsibilities while remaining committed to that primary goal. We'll see.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, May 18, 2009...

Outside my window... Cool breezes, bright sunshine, and no humidity. It should be a VERY good day.

I am thinking...that I'm having a baby in a month. Yikes. That's a very big thought.

I am thankful for...waking up to a tidy living area. The family pitched in last night for a few concentrated moments, and we removed all signs of our high-traffic weekend.

From the learning rooms...this will be our first full week of lessons for this year. Lord, help us find diligence and delight.

From the's the land of leftovers. I made a pork roast Saturday night with twice baked potatoes and corn on the cob. Yesterday I served Crunchy Chicken Casserole with tossed salad and peas. Then last night JW brought in leftover spaghetti from his Senior appreciation luncheon. Whatever shall I do with all my extra time??

I am wearing...lime green tee with raspberry cami with dark blue knit pants. (co-lor-ful!) I think my mom would call these "gouchos"?? They are not very slimming, but shoot, they are some more comfortable!

I am creating...a chore chart and allowance schedule for this year. I want to have everything settled before the baby comes. (read: I don't want to discuss chores or money until Thanksgiving)

I am take Oscar to the vet/groomer in a few minutes. His hair looks worse than mine.

I am reading...magazines today. I have to read them cover to cover within a few hours of their arrival, or it will never happen.

I am be kind to the kids. I can't seem to control my griping. I only seem to comment on improvements that need to be made, and not on the host of successes that surround me. Lord, help me PLEASE.

I am hearing...Landen clanking a cereal bowl in the kitchen, Ardyn and Mari making their beds, Luke in the bathroom, and Ash...better go check on her.

Around the house...a drowsy little family gearing up for a fulfilled day.

One of my favorite things...cream cheese with jalapeno jelly on triscuits. I have some on my artichoke server, and it brings me great happiness just to see it in the fridge. My joy is complete when it makes the perfect snack.

A few plans for the rest of the week...we have preschool friends coming to play this morning, a homeschool friend tomorrow, choir appreciation dinner Wednesday, baseball Tuesday and Thursday, Mom's day out on Friday?? and then there are rumors of a family weekend away to attend a baseball tournament.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...Clinical denial forbids me to make official mention that Landen will be attending the youth group this Wednesday. My baby handsome young man.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Busy Bodies

Mari Alice had been sitting in her booster seat for a little too long. In hindsight, I believe her feet had fallen asleep - though she had no established vocabulary for such an occurrence.

"Mom! My feet are BEEZING."

(continuing to chop veggies for the salad) "What, baby?"

"My feet. They are BEEZING so bad!"

(a couple more stalks and I'll be done...) "What sweetie? Beezing?"

(impatiently exasperated, but not enough to limit any of her grand hand motions)
"YES! What do bees do? They buzz around and then sting you. That's what's happening on my feet! What do I do? My feet are BEEZING, you know????"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Moms have to watch it.
It is our responsibility to be a consistent source of encouragement to our children.
However, it is also our privilege to offer a constant source of honesty and truth.

Since last week, my children have been bringing me thoughtful gift, after cheerful greeting. I've heard the phrase, "Happy Mother's Day" no fewer than 88 times recently. What a blessed woman I am. Seriously.

I've cheerfully accepted old undershirts decorated with pink construction paper and scotch tape that read "World's Greatest Mom". I've tapped my toes and clapped my hands to innumerable renditions - using countless stylistic approaches by way of props and wardrobe - of "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star" performed in my honor.
I've patiently smiled as I am offered a "Mother's Day Surprise" - which turned out to be a hand packed mud pie, complete with my own pet crayfish recently harvested from the drainage ditch.

But yesterday was different. Ardyn and Ashli were playing outside. They kept coming in to ask me questions.
"Do you think this clover smells lovely?"
"Can I borrow the honey dispenser?"
"Do we have an extra spray bottles?"
"May I have one of the lemons from the fridge?"
"Do you think THIS clover smells wonderful?"

At the end of the afternoon, they came inside with muddy shins and sweaty brows. They ran to me with adoration and glee...sloshing a light brown liquid with blades of grass and clover floating along the top.

"Happy Mother's Day! We made you PERFUME!!"

I was poised and ready to receive the gift with gratefulness (for the time and effort) and mercy (for the sloshing and the shins). But they persisted.

"Put some ON!"
"Do you think it smells beautiful?"

They forcefully offered the cup toward my face. I couldn't fake it. It smelled like dirt. Crawfish infested, weed itchin' dirt. I wanted to let them down gently, but sensory overload would not permit.

"Girls. Thank you so much. You are sweet, but I don't really want to..."

"Mom! Doesn't it smell great? You said you liked lemons! You said the flowers I brought in smelled nice! You love water! You're going to love it! Here! Try it!"

I stared at them from the corner of my eye, with my nose angled away from the "Eau De Toilette" with just a hint of Muck & Mire. In desperation, my honest approach may have been a tad abrupt:

"It smells like dirt! Do you want me to lie?"

Both girls ran away sobbing. I looked at JW and the boys for feedback. They were laughing hysterically. Not helpful.

I gently gathered the girls. I held them close and explained that I LOVED the idea that they thought of me the whole time they were playing. I LOVED the fact they worked so long and hard to bring a gift that would be special. Then I told them that I LOVED them too much to lie or withhold the truth. I told them I didn't mean to hurt their feelings. I asked them if they agreed that we needed the freedom to be honest with each other.

They sniffled a shy agreement.
"It kinda DOES smell like dirt, but what are you going to do with it now...just pour it down the drain??"

No more honesty.
Just hugs.
Long, heart-felt, change-of-subject type hugs.

Father God, thank you for my precious, sweet children. Thank You for the love you've given them for me. Help us all as we live in the tension of honest encouragement. Thank You for being full of Truth and Hope.

I wonder if my offerings of devotion always delight You...or if You ever feel like screaming, "It smells like dirt; Do you want me to lie?" Help me continue to come to You with humble, enthusiastic, childlike faith. Search my heart. Give me a hunger for Your Truth.

Monday, May 11, 2009

JW's Puppet Theater

(You'll have to scroll down and pause the playlist to hear the video)
(But it's goofy, so you may just want to go on about your business:)

Late one night...

VERY late...

SO late, that people were prone to find nearly anything comical.

Master Puppeteer & Narrator: James
Props & Studio Audience: Luke
Cinematographer & Supporting laughter, wheezing, and choking: CDJ

Simple Womans Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, May 11, 2009...

Outside my window... Rain. The neighbors behind us accidentally ripped down a section of our wooden fence while clearing some brush over the weekend. The plan is to work together to rebuild. Until then, we have soggy sod, and minimal privacy.

I am thinking...that my kids are great. They are great communicators, cheerful helpers, and kind friends.

I am thankful weekend away. Some friends and I attended a home school book fair in Arlington. Even though it might have seemed we primarily adhered to a repetitive routine consumption of gourmet meals, we were actually able to enjoy several seminars and browse through endless displays of materials and supplies. (while merely accumulating a mind-boggling net weight gain of 1/2 a pound!)

From the learning rooms...Ardyn is currently finishing up day 3, which will afford her the rest of the week off. The boys are scheduled to begin their lessons Wednesday. Ashlin is concentrating on reading books and playing math games.

From the kitchen...Landen made pancakes and eggs for lunch. He and Philip are going to Shreveport to do some electrical work this evening, so they'll be "sack lunching" it. The rest of us should be satisfied with last night's taco soup and some chips. I'll resume cooking activities tomorrow.

I am slacks, red shirt, and jewelry! (I had an appointment with my doctor this morning, so I really went all out:)

I am fun stuff on my blog. You like the playlist?? Philip surprised me with high-speed internet while I was gone. It appears that the sky might indeed be the limit.

I am purposefully put into practice the lessons and encouragement I received over the weekend. I want to be a cheerful mom. I want to keep priorities straight in my head and heart so that my mouth doesn't ruin our day.

I am reading...that book on communication from the library, The Bible, and a new book I bought at the fair entitled, "How to Be a Good Wife...Even if You Homeschool". I heard the author speak and he is 14 kinds of funny. Should be a good read.

I am be more consistent with Mari Alice's discipline. Philip sweetly admitted to me last night that after spending the weekend with her, he realized that she is rotten. There you have it. "You let her get away with way more than any other two year old we've parented, just because she's so cute and cool."
This morning I explained to her that when I tell her "no" about something, I need her to say "yes ma'am". She paused for a moment and then gently explained, "I know, but I just like to say 'please' two times to see if I really can."


I am hearing...the phone ring occasionally even though I'm on line. Strange. There may have been a few perks to dial-up.

Around the house...Mari is napping, Ardyn is doing school, the boys are hanging out in their room - mourning the loss of a sunny afternoon just prior to resuming lessons- and Ashlin and Oscar are snoozing in the living room.

One of my favorite kitchen outlet stores. We shopped a bit on our way home from DFW and I found the CUTEST dip server & spreader set shaped like an artichoke. I also found a pear themed sugar bowl. Sadly I chose to pass up the honey server shaped like a bee hive, several tempting snack mixes and coffee flavors, and the $15 delux rubber spatula.

A few plans for the rest of the week...choir rehearsal, baseball games, and I need to back up my digital photos on discs. By next week, we'll be in full swing with school, so this is the week to tie up loose ends and enjoy the slower pace.

Here is picture thought I am a little girl at the is a grown woman with high-speed internet.

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

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Tuesday, May 5, 2009...

Outside my window... muggy and gross. The ground is sloppy, the air is thick, the clouds are gray.

I am thinking...that swollen ankles might be THE most unattractive characteristic of my outward appearance. And let me say that my hair does not look good, my face is splotchy, my legs are flabby...but them cankles do beat all!

I am thankful for...clean bathrooms and a tidy home...and the friends who say they'll come for lunch and therefore provide the necessary incentive to motivate me to bring such wonderment to fruition.

From the learning rooms...Ardyn was so excited to receive her first batch of dvd's, she has already completed 2 days of school and says her teacher is "very beautiful". (not a huge difference from her teacher last year - not counting the ankles)

From the kitchen...sloppy joes, homemade peanut butter-oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies, and a clean sink.

I am capris, green fish camp shirt, ponytail and glasses.

I am creating...not so much. I think I'm all created out. the bedrooms are finished except for wall decor. Everyone has curtains, so that's it for now.

I am a home school book fair this weekend. I am so excited about the encouragement available through good friends, gifted speakers, and an entire convention center filled with BOOKS!

I am reading...a book on communication and The Bible.

I am be kind, tender, and compassionate with those nearest and dearest to me.

I am hearing...Mari play with the new song cube that Kathy bought for the baby. It plays one of six songs spontaneously based on how it lands. "Five little monkeys, jumping on the bed...all around the mulberry bush...if you're happy and you know it...if you're happy and you know it...old McDonald had a ...Five little monk...the eensy weensy spider...five little...five lit...five little monkeys jump...all around...the wheels on the bus"

ACTUALLY I'm hearing myself lose my mind. Thank you, Kathy. May you be blessed with the same consideration and sensitivity with which you've treated me.

Around the house...everyone is at baseball practice, so it's just Mari Alice and me...and Oscar dog...and the song cube:(

One of my favorite things...Clorox toilet wands. They clean really well, and are easily discarded. I also enjoy TUMS. I could not have survived the past 7 months without them.

A few plans for the rest of the week...choir rehearsal, baseball games, then I'm gettin' outa Dodge! And when I come back, it's Mother's Day! Will anyone in this home realize/remember that? who cares. I'll still have my "weekend away" glow.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...the photo wouldn't upload. I'll try again later.

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