Tuesday, December 29, 2009


i learn a lot when i listen to my children pray. i love their perspective. the simplicity. the innocence.

ella: "dear lord, thanks for the chance to have a nice day. thanks for a house with pink rooms. please helps us to be kind. amen."

bennett: "dear lord, thank you for that there's dirt outside. AMEN!"

"let the little children come to me and do not hinder them for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." matthew 19:14

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

CAUTION: picture overload

what can i say? joanna is simply amazing...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


"mommy... you are SO lucky."
"whys that?"

"because i will never, EVER, forget about God!"

and now, before your heart gets too warm, there's this one:
"i do NOT like church!"


"because God is very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, VERY, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, VERY, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, VERY MEAN!"

"why is he mean, bennett?"

"because i don't want to go to church!"

"but why is God mean?"

"because I. don't. like HE!"

but never fear. his new favorite song these days is one he learned in that terrible, tortuous place called sunday school. he started singing it the other day but couldn't quite get the words right. his face lit right up when anthony helped him out: "our God is awesome God he reigns..."

bennett was shocked. "you know that song?"

yes, bennett. any christian alive in the late 80's definitely knows that song.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

christmas decor

when at my parents for thanksgiving, my kids had the opportunity to "help" grammy decorate the tree. the assortment of sentimental ornaments ranges from the slightly tacky clock (chad's favorite) to adorable little creations of her children through the years. its sweet, actually, that my mom still saves the things we made her years and years ago. and every year when i see them, it brings back lovely memories.

so now, ella has gotten the idea to decorate our tree. she's pretty creative. here's one of her best:
oh, not sure which one? yeah, its white. about half-way up. the one made out of napkins and staples. slightly gigantic. says "happy christmas."
she's very proud of it. and why shouldn't she be? it even has little flaps hiding secret snowballs.i'm thinking we'll start mass producing these babies. sell them on ebay.

any takers?

Friday, December 11, 2009

the gift of life

i was sitting down at the ole computer, ready to share all the fascinating details of the "company" christmas party (a company, technically, anthony isn't even a part of but fortunately shares office space with and therefore we are included in all the fun that abounds and embraced by all the beautiful family members)...

i was going to tell you all about the adorable kids

the life of the party
the pizza, the gifts, the sugar high...
but then i got an email from my dear friend cara, who happens to be a nurse in a cancer ward at a hospital in seattle. and it really got me to thinking.

she was telling me about the bone marrow registry. and how, right now, you can register to be a bone marrow donor for free. (it usually costs around $50). and its super easy. you go to this website, fill out some information. they send a packet in the mail for you to swab your cheek and you send it back in a postage paid envelope. simple, really. and yet, it could save someones life. quite an important opportunity if you think about.

and actually, i haven't really thought about it before. i've heard about it, of course. and thought that it might be painful and pretty involved. but never really gave it much direct thought.

the thing is, i've also never had to sit and watch one of my children suffer from cancer and pray that a bone marrow match would be found. but if i did, i can only imagine what i would tell the current me. get over yourself and please make an effort to save a life.

so, please, on behalf of those who are desperate for hope, give a little of yourself this christmas. go here.

pass it on.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

so impatient

there is a reason that december is the only month i actually check my mail everyday.

christmas cards.

i love it. i love hearing from the wonderful people in my life. seeing your pretty faces. reading little tidbits about life in your neck of the woods.

here's the problem. so far, i've only gotten 2 cards. 2!!!

yeah, i know its only december 8th. what can i say? i'm impatient.

come on, people. don't forget about me out in california. (if you don't have my address, then i'll happily email it to you. its just that there is a perfectly good reason i don't put my address, or my last name on the blog: pedophiles.)

we have a tradition in these parts. each night when opening the advent calendar and learning a new tidbit of the arrival of our savior, we say a prayer for the families of the christmas cards received that day.

lets just say, bethany and christina, your families have been thoroughly covered in prayer.

now its time to share some blessings. so, get on it. send me some cards!

(i know what you are thinking... where's yours, stephanie? details, my friends, details. coming soon. i promise.)

Monday, December 7, 2009

determined and resourceful

when putting the advent calendar on top of the fridge in an attempt to end the "who gets to open the baby jesus square" battle...
be sure to hide pillows and all stacking items as well.

Friday, December 4, 2009

why do today what you can put off until your child throws up?

so today, we are supposed to be at a birthday party for jesus.

but we are having a pity party instead.

(we actually being only i, because i've learned not to get my kids excited about upcoming events until the very last minute. they were still unaware of the plans for the day. plans that included friends for them, fellow mommys for me, and tasty tidbits of sugar. oh yeah, and a very fun way to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, of course.)

because yesterday evening, mason decided to throw up. all over me. all over the living room. all over the kitchen.

so we canceled out on jesus. bummer. it was bound to be a good time. but i don't think passing along the stomach flu to other preschoolers is a very effective way of making a good first impression on potential new friends.

anyhow, poor little guy.
poor me. i really have a hard time with vomit. i mean, lets face it, no one enjoys it or anything. but i'm actually not faking it or exaggerating when i start gagging and heaving all loud and dramatic-like. it just really is that bad for me.

so ella walks out right as mason finishes up.

"can you go see if daddy is awake?" (anthony had come home from work early because he wasn't feeling well. he'd been in a coma most of the afternoon.)

ella leaves and comes right back. "i don't think so, mommy. the door is shut."

"ummm... can you open the door and see if he's awake?"

ella comes back. "yeah, its dark in there. i'm pretty sure he's sleeping."

ok. can you turn on the lights, jump on the bed and then scream as loud as you can: daddy, are you awake!?!

i was on my own. and it wasn't pretty.

the good news here is this: the floors have needed mopping for quite some time now. i had a serious debate with myself yesterday at nap time about tackling the job then. my laziness won and instead i curled up with my book and read all afternoon. good thing too. because can you even imagine what a waste of time that would have been had i mopped everything, only to have to redo it a few hours later?

procrastination pays off.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


when you say to someone, "call me if you ever need anything." do you mean it?

i mean, really, do you mean it?

because if you don't, then make sure not to ever say that to us.

saturday night, as the sunlight was dwindling and the (ahem) incompetent AAA couldn't even figure out which state we were in, we sat in our darkening car on the side of I-10, praying and generously putting candy and juice boxes in the hands of our eager children in order to keep them happy and to preserve all sanity.

that's right. our car broke down. the alternator called it quits somewhere between nowhere and nowhere.
our contemplation of "what are we going to do?" somehow must have morphed into "whose friendship can we take advantage of...? who can drive hours out in the desert to rescue our little family?"

our dismissive waves of permission each time our children held up a new piece of candy to consume only added to the over-excited energy flowing from our now dark car. its one thing when you are in college, on a road trip, and everything is minor and fun and there really aren't too many cares in the world. its quite another when you have 3 small children and AAA says they'll only transport 2 of us to a gas station. sure. hey, anthony, go ahead and pick your favorite kid. i'll stay with the other 2 over there by the barbed wire fence and mesquite bushes.

once the highway patrol came to our rescue, i considered asking him for a picture. you know the whole, "this would be great on my blog. and actually, here, can you hold my baby? maybe perch him right above your firearm?" but it was cold. so we stayed in the car and ate sugar instead.

so the tow truck, with the large cab, came and took us all to a remote little gas station and parked our car right by the red curb. "if the police give you problems, you just tell them don said it was ok."


recently, bennett picked out a book on tow-trucks at the library. we learned all the lingo, like the "arm" and the "boom" and the "control panel" (its a book for kids, come on). so imagine our delight at the opportunity to learn first hand! oh, what an enriching experience... we are ever so grateful. thanks, don the tow-truck man.
so here is where i begin to wonder what is wrong with me? i remember to take pictures of our broken down vehicle and the bush that became our camping-style restroom:

"don't forget to flush!" ha ha ha (sorry, inside joke between me and my preschoolers)

and yet, i completely forget to take pictures of our wonderful friends who went above and beyond to help us out.

you, who left your mom's surprise 60th birthday party to drive over 2 hours out to pick us up late at night and then back again to civilization to drop us off at a hotel. i know i promised you my first born, but i was wondering if you were up for negotiation. she is actually a pretty good sleeper these days. would you be interested in trading for this one:and you, who, although you were miserably sick, came the next day to pick up anthony and car batteries and drive all the way back to our van and rig it so it would make it back to phoenix to our awesome friend and his trustworthy mechanic. you who also brought food, and water, and baby wipes, and pink eye medication so ella could open her eyes.

and you, who let us stay at your house in spite of the fact that we wore dirty clothes and were suffering from 2 day sugar highs and emotional dramatics just so that we could save money on another hotel and get to spend time with your lovely family. you, who made us beds and fed us and didn't even curse (at least to my face) when mason woke up 3 times crying in your house in the middle of the night.

and you, who, upon hearing i was venturing to the mall for the day, 3 hours before it actually opened, because i didn't want to inconvenience anyone else with the existence of me and my little kids while anthony got our car fixed, insisted i come to your house where we had coffee and the kids played and you fed us and communicated that us being there was a special treat for you and not a total nuisance.

and mom and dad, who got on the internet and found us a hotel and looked for car rentals and wanted to give us their vehicle and would have come to get us anywhere at any time, and even had the premonition to load us up with all the snacks that pacified my children while stranded.

and all of you, who called and prayed and were willing to drive us to california and give us money and do any and everything we could possibly need.

i may not have remembered to take your picture. and maybe i haven't fully expressed my gratitude to you for all you have done and are willing to do, but i'm not sure there are even words to tell you how much it means to know that people love you enough to do whatever needs to be done.

thank you. you made what could have been a nightmare a much easier experience. a fun little adventure even.

not to say we didn't have our moments:
but God is good.

and its not too often we get to have the fun hotel experience. so we made the most of it.

PS oh yeah, thanksgiving was pretty awesome too. its bound to be, with the fantastic family i have. and meeting my future sister-in-laws family who are also pretty cool themselves. all around, it was good times with cousins, baking with grammy,watching "chitty, chitty, bang bang" (which, of course, i encourage the repitition of because the 3 year-old translation of "ch" to "sh" makes me giggle. yes, i know, juvenile, isn't it?), wrestling with uncle chad, stories and memories with grandmas,
and just your typical hanging around
and silliness.
we have so much to be thankful for. God is so good to us.