Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Guys' Night Out

Landen, Luke, Philip, Lee, Josh & James
Monday night in Arlington
Go Rangers!

Friday, July 24, 2009

This says it all

Besides my passionate commitment toward Philip, and beyond my deep devotion to God, THIS says it all.

Enjoy today!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Of Course!

As I placed the ears of corn into the pot of water, Mari asked excitedly, "Are we having corn for dinner?"

"Yes, we are," I replied.

She immediately began to dig around in the utensil drawer.
"I'll get the cobs!"

I was confused.
"The 'cobs'?"

She pulled out several pair of yellow, corn-shaped skewers, and placed them on the counter.
"Here they are! Now we can have 'corn on the cob'!"

"Well, of course, we can!"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fresh Perspective

Landen and Luke are out of town until Monday. Ardyn and Ashlin are enrolled in art classes every day this week. When James realized that he would be out of town this week too, he marveled at how easy it might be for me: "Wow, Cari, we'll all be gone and it'll just be you and Mari and Elizabeth...what are you gonna do with yourself?"

I sharply replied, "How interesting that in 1998, caring for a 2-year-old and a newborn counted as my full time you act as if it might be a vacation!"

After two days of the lightened load, I will admit it is very different. Not altogether easier, just a different balance. There is no one here who demands to debate my ideas, but there is no one here to strap the little girls into their carseats. (So I enjoy the peace as I scramble into the backseat to buckle belts.)

There are no stinky boys who go outside and come back in smelling of puppies, or worse. But there are no "go-to" babysitters who could hold down the fort in order for me to shower or take a walk or even run a quick errand. (So I keep my own watchful eye upon my darlings in a fresh-as-springtime atmosphere)

There are far fewer folks for whom to prepare meals. But there are far fewer folks available for kitchen duty. (So I cook a less and clean more).

I miss the boys, but they seem to be loving their change of pace. And even though it is strangely quiet without the girls, they are digging their daytime fun with friends. I'll be glad when we can spend our days together again, but for now, I am relishing the opportunity to play playdough for an hour straight - and most importantly: the reinstatement of early afternoon naptime!

Thank You, God, for today. Keep us close to You as we venture off this week. Help me find balance and purpose as the house fills up again next week. Thank You for loving us!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hopefully Devoted

For several days...even weeks, I've been asking...even begging the Lord to strengthen me so that I might be available to share devotions with each of my kids. I feel hopelessly defeated in this area of life. I scratch and claw to "remain" in Him, but only seem to gather enough grace for selfish survival. I want to bear fruit. Shine light. Overflow into my kids' lives. But it seems I'm spinning my spiritual wheels.

Fortunately, our God is an awesome God and He is alive and at work around us.

This morning He showed favor in a surprising way. I had some quiet prayer time with three of my kids...through NO initiation of my own.

Ardyn simply walked into the room where I was nursing Elizabeth. "Could you do my prayer journal with me, Mom?" We read John 17 and talked about how Jesus prayed. I noticed that when he prayed for God to keep his followers "safe" it referred to unity, not lack of harm.

After finishing breakfast, Ashlin walked through and asked, "Mom, can we do my praise book next?" We read Psalm 139:13-16. We had an insightful discussion about her appearance and her worth. She is indeed "fearfully and wonderfully made".

Just as Ashlin and I were wrapping up our time, Luke walked in to see if I had time to help him with his Scripture memory. He is memorizing James 3:3-10 (about controlling the tongue) along with 2 Timothy 3: 14-17 (aobut the effectiveness of Scripture and discipleship) and interestingly, Psalm 39:13-16 (about being fearfully and wonderfully made).

I could not believe the ease and joy with which they approached me. I was afraid to say too much - for fear I would ruin the morning's vibe.

Thank You, Father God, for ordering our steps this morning. I am so unworthy of Your mercy and patience, but I find comfort in the promise that in my weakness, Your strength is made perfect. Thank You for my children. Thank You for beginning a good work in each of them and being faithful to complete it. I want to join you in what You're doing. We honor You, Lord, Jesus!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, July 13, 2009...

Outside my window... Who knows. Who cares. Triple digit temps squelch my already minimal interest for the outdoors.

I am blog has turned into a weekly simple woman's day book. A pitiful blogger am I. But I press on. I'm tired and I won't remember any of my days unless I document them here, so I welcome the weekly checkpoint.

I am thankful for...Philip (AGAIN) He took the five verbal children to a swim party this evening. We had planned to attend as a family, but after yesterday's full-to-the-brim level of activity, I simply needed to stay home alone. He knew that and he "made it so".

From the learning rooms...Everyone had some unexpected opportunities arise, so in order to stay on track, people are working feverishly to complete more work than usual. We will all enjoy a bit of a break over the next couple weeks.

We cleaned out "arts & crafts" over the weekend. (Mari's mispronunciation had become the reality...she calls it "arts & crap".) I found some manipulatives that I had forgotten about. I promised Ashlin we would "play" with them today. We did. We sorted, ordered, and made words with phonics tiles for almost an hour. She kept saying, "This is so much fun!" I'm glad she liked it. I'm sad I haven't been doing that with her more often. We have several more "re-discoveries" to play with throughout the week.

From the kitchen...swept floor, empty dishwasher, and a bright & shiny sink storing an empty salad bowl, an empty ice cream bowl, a fork and a spoon. (My bi-polar dinner mess)

I am gym shorts, baggy tee shirt, and yesterday's hair. Not a pretty scene.

I am creating...I just can't stir up anything. Very sad.

I am my 6-week check up Thursday. I had hoped to be at my "before" weight, but I just don't see it happening. Last week was a complete set back. My metabolism has shifted from high alert nursing status to bummed out, severely fatigued, munch around the clock status. Better effort this week, I trust.

I am reading...a devotion book that has an inspiring balance of Scripture, poetry and quotes from classical literature. It is my first choice as a nursing companion...except some of the poetry escapes my temporarily dulled mind. If I don't get it after two readings, it's on to the next quote.

I am hoping...Elizabeth sleeps through the night soon. Hope with me, would you???

I am hearing...the low, comforting lull of solitary silence. No questions, no debate, no multi-media, no chatter, no spin cycles or dryer clunks...just thick, absorbent quietness.

Around the house...the couch is at capacity with two loads of towels and Philip's work clothes. I plan to fold them during "House" and deliver them on commercials. My room is a wreck. Perhaps I'll need to finish the laundry during the first few scenes, and then watch the rest back here where I can sort a couple piles and straighten up some files...rhyming all the while.

One of my favorite pretzels and Blue Bell. I wish I had the energy to run off the extra calories, but it ain't gonna stop me from lovin' it.

A few plans for the rest of the week...taking the kids swimming tomorrow, family coming Wed, DR appt Thursday, more family coming Friday. Fun! Fun! Fun!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...Philip baptized Ashlin yesterday. It was very sweet. "I baptize you, my daughter, and my sister..."

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

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


If Michael Jackson had passed away a month ago, I may have never known. I live in a bit of a bubble - an blissfully uninformed, media-free bubble. But in this season of nursing an infant several times a day, I have caught the newscast morning, noon, and night.

Is ANYTHING happening in the world aside from MJ's death?? I remember similar frustration when Luke was hospitalized as a three-week-old...eighty seven cable channels in the hospital room and only a few televising anything other than Monica Lewinsky.

One morning last week, I was dreadfully shocked to realize that I was brushing my teeth to the tune of "Beat It". Enough!

Yesterday was particularly disturbing as the morning news anticipated the memorial service. While the actual memorial service monopolized the daytime broadcast, the evening news recapped the service, and then special tributes replaced primetime. Enough already!

I tried desperately to ignore the goings-on, but several quotes caught my attention and brought true grief to my heart. I mourn for a planet filled with people who pour out their worship and praise for one so undeserving, while they systematically set aside the One who is Worthy.

(references to MJ during yesterday's show)

"He's gone from us now, but he will live forever and ever and ever."

"We will never understand what he endured, being judged, ridiculed. How much pain can one take?"

"He made us love each other...He opened doors...He tore the curtain."

"He was a true gift."

And in the cacophony of global influence...the incessant references to royalty...the murky blur of emotion and eternal reality... there was the processional music:

"Soon and very soon, we are going to see the king...Hallelujah! We're going to see the king."

Lord, have mercy...

Monday, July 06, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, July 6, 2009...

Outside my window... The sun hides behind clouds of cool rain while brittle blades of grass turn a supple shade of green in the soaking shower. (And there are golf clubs, softballs, empty water bottles, a frisbee, and a pair of crocs littering the yard from yesterday, but who cares...I sorta do.)

I am's hard to believe Elizabeth is four weeks old today. We're gonna make it, I believe. She is more alert each day. Her eyes are wide with recognition and the vast possibilities of communication. In time.

I am thankful for...Philip. He is leading our family with contagious enthusiasm. I depend on him for so much, and he is fabulously faithful!

From the learning rooms...the older three are on auto-pilot. Ashlin is steadily improving her reading & writing skills. As I was recording grades last week, I jokingly asked Mari if she had finished her school yet. She promptly replied, "I don't do school, I only scribble-scrabble."

From the kitchen...lunch plates and drinks are on the table - kids are "free to eat when their rooms are tidy". Leftovers tonight, then Garlic Shrimp and Grits tops tomorrow's menu.

I am stretch pants and vbs shirt from a couple years ago. I hit the unavoidable wall this week with weight loss. I'll have to lace up the nike's and hit the streets. Should be fun!

I am creating...nada durn thang.

I am pray more this week. I've been weary and worn, and incredibly wasteful with the mercies that God avails each morning. Pray, pray, pray. Joy, joy, joy.

I am reading...this month's HomeLife and last month's Southern Living.

I am hoping...everything works out for Philip to baptize Ashlin this Sunday. What a blessing.

I am hearing...the gentle squeak of a bulging wicker basket as Mari loads it with dirty clothes, Landen's math teacher explaining ratios, and the girls discussing where they should store their fine artwork.

Around the house...the quiet execution of delegated! It will surely last but for a moment...

One of my favorite things...the foot cream I received as a gift in the hospital. It is so thick and wonderful and smells DEElightful.

A few plans for the rest of the week...print out new chore charts, keep planning next seasons' MP3, nurture children, and love a husband.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...My nephew, Johnathan, on his way back from the zoo this weekend. I mean really... on a scale of one to ten, HOW CUTE IS HE??

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