Tuesday, January 26, 2010

won't you join us?

we are praying for a miracle for this awesome little dude.
please be a part of the miracle and pray along with us.

"i will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; i will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. i will be filled with joy because of you. i will sing praises to your name, O Most High." -psalm 9:1,2
read more about my nephew here.

soccer observations: week 2

1. 2 hours is a looooonnnggg time to keep a toddler in a stroller. thank goodness for fruit snacks, granola bars, sunglasses, chapstick lids and all miscellaneous items i've yet to clean out of my diaper bag accumulated over the last year. or 3.oh, and of course, thanks for the proximity of the soccer field to the airport. airplanes are a fascinating novelty when you are 16 months.

2. some children are aggressive. some run full speed ahead, without concern of falling, running into another child or getting hurt. and some run like my daughter. on her tiptoes, sorta skipping through the air, more or less like a princess. with her mouth in a sheepish smile and her tongue sticking into her cheek. all she's missing is a teacup in her dainty little hand. pinkies up! 3. "what!?! i have mud on my face!?!" mud is not as much fun when splashing on my face while running. however, its completely awesome while playing in the ditch at halftime. 4. if you want your 3 year-old to actually run at the game, just skip ahead to the end where the parents do that silly little tunnel thing. its amazing to see just how much energy must have been in reserves. its like a race to see how many times you can get through it before the fun ends. 5. it must be nice to have supportive parents at your game. unlike those poor kids on the other team with the psychotic parents, yelling at their kids and arguing with the ref. seriously, people. chill out. its too bad all those kids can't have normal, perfect parents like me who will never ever embarrass their kids.


Saturday, January 23, 2010


... always investigate the silence.
(and... be sure to keep your bathroom clean. you never know when you might need to photgraph your 16 month-old standing on your toilet, cleaning his ears...)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

a few rainy day mistakes

my first mistake was never child proofing the kitchen drawers. but i don't keep bleach or razor blades in there, so no harm, right?

my second mistake was ignoring the silence.

its just that we were really enjoying beatrix potter and all her bunny adventures under our fancy little tent in the living room. the absence of mason's whining was a special treat on our rainy day. so i didn't go investigate.

then came ella's notification of, "oh. wow. mom, i sure hope you don't need anymore waxed paper..."
when i grabbed the camera, bennett grabbed the broom. what a sweetheart...
but the waxed paper did provide much fun and entertainment.
it works well as wedding dress...
its perfect for playing horse races...
and its makes for a nice helmet/hijab
and for my 3rd mistake of the day...

i actually believed my children when they pleaded for the chance to sleep in a tent at nap time because, "we promise to sleep so good, mommy!"

and after much giggling and threatening they actually did fall asleep...

just barely, until the box and heavy (but not heavy enough to hold the sheet up) books came crashing down on them in their sleep when the tent collapsed and scared them to tears.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

soccer observations: week 1

so ella and bennett have become soccer players. that makes me a soccer mom.

no shocker there. it was inevitable.

i do drive a minivan after all.

the soccer experience is hilarious.

but let me begin by thanking our dear friends the leamans for the soccer gear. yeah, all that stuff adds up. so imagine how thrilled we were the night before ella's first practice, when we happened to be at their house and they had a bag of shin guards, socks, and 2 pairs of cleats that just happened to fit the feet of my 2 kids. thank you God for your provision. (and thank you that the leaman girls don't like soccer so we could benefit from their generosity. amen.)


observation #1: be aggressive
its ironic to teach your children to be generous and sacrificial and offer toys to kids, share, have a servant's heart, don't take things from others, etc... and then try to prepare them for their first ever soccer game. "be aggressive! get that ball!" so, be nice kids. except for in sports. this principle became very apparent when bennett was happily kicking the ball down the field, just to have some big 3 year-old meanie come kick it away from him. he stopped playing immediately, burst into tears, and remained in anthony's arms for the duration of the game.
observation #2: all those people
3 year-old games are awesome. i had no idea to prepare for all the parents on the field. these poor kids are so overwhelmed. they've hardly seen a soccer ball before, let alone played in a game. and then all their family, siblings, grandparents, distant cousins, neighbors, godparents, etc... come and cheer for them. there are 6 kids on bennetts team. and like 50 spectators (give or take...). half of these kids are in tears wanting to hide in their parent's arms. therefore, the parents can go on the field with them. love it.

observation #3: mommys, keep your mouth shut
don't cheer for your 3 year-old. its overwhelming and scary. especially when he's doing such a good job with kicking the ball. don't yell louder. or he might burst into tears and say, "mommy, don't say anything to me!" and then refuse to leave daddy's arms.

but hey, maybe that's just my kid.

observation #4: the super-soccer mom
always sign up for team snacks the first week. the goal here: set the bar low. which was of course my motivation for offering to bring snacks to bennett's game.

however, mom-of-the-year over at ella's game brings these big ol' personal bags for each child. filled with enough fun snacks to last the entire week, passing out orange slices on the hors d'oeuvres tray at half time. fine, lady, you can be the favorite mom. i'm not giving into parent peer pressure and going into debt to impress a bunch of 4 and 5 year olds with my snack providing abilities. no, i'm not going to do it. i'll bring something boring when its my turn.

and you moms over on bennett's team, you can go ahead and thank me. there's nowhere to go but up from generic granola bars and target juice boxes.


you're welcome.

observation #5: the human blob
are there magnets in the shin guards and the soccer ball, attracting one to the other? all these kids running around in one little huddle on the field... this would be incredibly boring to me if it weren't for the fact that its my adorable kids out there. seriously, they are so awesome. who would have thought spending saturday mornings at the ymca could be so much fun! to think, i used to be able to sleep in and enjoy leisurely breakfasts and lazy weekend days...

then i had kids.

"so bennett, did you have fun?"

big smile, "yeah." and then he catches himself and looks like he might cry. "but that was NOT very nice when that boy took the ball from me. that. was. SO. MEAN!"

(yes, my kids are the ones in denim shorts.


there weren't any soccer shorts in the leaman bag. you didn't think i was going to go out and actually buy some did you?)

Monday, January 18, 2010

life goes on...

i often think of the scene from hotel rwanda where don cheadle's character (hotel manager/rwandan savior), after viewing images of the rwandan genocide captured by joaquin phoenix (cameraman/journalist/hottie), says to him, "how can the world not intervene when they witness such atrocities?"

"if people see this footage, they'll say, 'that's horrible!' and then they'll go on eating their dinners."

and how true that is. whether its genocide (rwanda, darfur, etc...), earthquakes (haiti, china, etc...), tsunamis, wars, poverty... we see these images and our world is changed. for a moment. a few days. maybe a few weeks. but then, since its not on our soil, since it doesn't affect us directly, we go back to our own lives.

we give, we pray, we cry. but our life doesn't really change. we read an article that today, years after first hearing about darfur, people groups are still living on the slippery edge of being annihilated by corrupt, government assisted jangaweed. women are still raped, men are still killed, children are still beaten. not a whole lot has changed there. its just no longer in our headlines.

and 5 years after the tsunami, i'm certain there are still mothers who are haunted daily by the memory of a child they couldn't hang on to in the raging water. and in beslan, russia, children are still tormented by the terror they experienced when islamic extremists held them hostage for days at their school.

the list goes on. every day, ella prays for the people of haiti. "Lord, help them feel better." "help them fix their buildings." "help the children find their parents." "help everything to go back to the way its supposed to be."

but someday, she'll stop praying for them. not because she doesn't care. but because she'll forget. and i won't think to remind her. because our lives have gone onto something else.

like today, for instance. i'd much rather look at the best/worst dressed slide show of the golden globes than more pictures of the devastation of haiti. its not that i don't care. its just... well... depressing.

and i guess i don't like to be depressed.

you know, its kinda all about me. not that i want it to be. but isn't that how we live?

i mean, life just sorta goes on, doesn't it?

for me, anyway.

not that i'm supposed to force myself to be depressed over haiti. and not that i can't enjoy things in life while others are suffering. it's just perspective here. i desire to have the mindset that puts others first. that the injustice and suffering around the world doesn't leave my radar screen and orphans and hurting people are daily in my prayers.

i just want it to be less about me.

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' "
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

pray for haiti

it just seems pretty absurd to post the pictures of our recent beach excursion today.

i simply can't imagine the horror people are facing in haiti right now... trapped under concrete rubble, desperately searching for loved ones. injured people unable to get help. children screaming for parents.

so please, take a second and pray for them.
(reuters photo caption: "A injured man carries his dead daughter...")

Monday, January 11, 2010


me: "hey ella, lets try to put our hair ties back in the bathroom drawer when we take them out of our hair." instead of wrapping them around your dresser knobs or stuffing them under your bed...

ella: "mommy, i am so sorry. i will really try to work on that. its just that i used to be a really good remember-er. but now that i've gotten older, i've become quite a forget-er."
bad news 5 year-old. its all downhill from here...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


mason finally said his first solicited "mama" today.
its not that he hasn't said it before. its just that he won't say it when i ask him.

he'll say it when he's mad or fussy or whiny.

but when i smile at him and say, "mason, say mama."

he looks back at me with a mischievous smile and wicked eyes and says, "dada."
then he giggles.

i say, "mama."

he says, "dada!"

i plead, "mason, can you say MA-MA?"

wicked smile, "DA-DA!"

over and over.

me: "mama?"

mason: "dada!"

mason, can you say 9 months of uncomfortable pregnancy?

mason: "dada"

can you say, emergency c-section and brutal recovery?

mason: "dada"

can you say sleep deprivation and exhaustion?

mason: "dada"

can you say fussiest baby i've ever laid eyes on who was held for countless days (and nights!) on end by MAMA?!?!?

mason: "dada"

yeah, you're welcome you little monster. i love you.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

being intentional in 2010

its that time of year again...

time to put away the christmas decorations and take all those precious christmas cards and stick them in a big fat envelope to put in a box to look at again next time we move. (which, unfortunately, is way too often for us. but that's another story...)

my kids have really gotten into the whole idea of praying for the family whose christmas card we received each day in december. so it got me to thinking about how we can continue that focus.

while reading through christmas letters and such and looking at the loved ones on our little wall o' cards i have really been thinking. there is such an assortment of things going on in the lives of these smiling faces.

pending adoptions, loss of loved ones, expectant births, major upcoming surgeries, job changes, life changes, etc...

and, to top it all off, i've really enjoyed looking at these pictures all month. it seems a shame to box them up and mostly forget about them.

so, i saw this idea, and wanted to turn our christmas cards into a prayer book for the kids. we can flip the page each week or so and display the book in a prominent place in our house. (not to mention i'd have a minibook of pictures to keep forever and ever and ever.)

then i sorta simplified the idea in my head, because lets get real. no scrapbook is going to be completed any time soon by yours truly, and lets get on with the praying already.

so i'm going to make magnets. i have some magnet sheets. i'm going to cut out the picture on those cards (or the name on those cards without pictures), glue it to the magnet, and we'll draw a family or 2 out of the basket each week. stick them on that awesome magnet board my husband made which is prominently displayed right in the kitchen. and then we get to see all the amazing ways God works in the lives of our family and friends. and my children get to understand the importance of prayer.

its time to be intentional. because i do believe that God wants to do big things in all of our lives. and all we have to do is ask. so please feel free to join in the praying fun. ("you don't have what you want because you don't ask God for it." james 4:2)

and to steal a prayer from my 5-year-old nephew, "Dear God, please help us to understand you better and let us get to see some miracles."

so, how about a 2010 full of miracles?

"training up children in the way they should go, to know and follow God, is the most responsible job in the universe. teaching them to pray is one of the most important parts of that training process. the faithful prayers of these little ones can actually change the universe - and their world." - vonette bright

Friday, January 1, 2010

happy new year

we very well may have alienated some of our only friends here last night.by throwing quite possibly the most boring new years eve party there ever was.

in my defense, for my poor party planning skills, i did almost die this week.

(and by that, i am of course just trying to communicate that i was really, really sick. sick enough that my kids might actually have mr. magorium's wonder emporium memorized. its seems to be the one movie they don't get sick of watching over and over and over and... and i don't get sick of it either. its quite a cute movie. and not annoying. more than tolerable, i must say. especially when anticipating the explosion of my head while moaning on the couch.)

but back to the party...

don't get me wrong, i actually do find it fun to look at facebook pictures of people i've never met and hear stories about the college i didn't go to. and truthfully, i wonder how i ended up to be so lucky. it appears as though i found the only man to ever graduate from this bible college without finding his wife there. everyone else seems to have gotten hitched to so-and-so's roommate, or my best friend, or that one girl who hung out with that one girl. not anthony. he held out for me. he must have a soft-spot for girls attending those heathen state-run universities.

i find sitting around conversing (aka quality time) to be my ideal love language. lets talk about our hopes and dreams and how particular successful men in the world will always be scum in our eyes since they can't honor their marriage vows, i don't care how much money you make, how talented you are or how good the economy is, tiger and bill and such like you all...

but i realize that this party wasn't exactly hopping.

however, it is worth noting that our children did exceptionally well.

case in point:
toasting at midnight. yeah, they stayed up the entire time with no drama, fighting, etc... they played super well together. (and special thanks to christina who helped them line up just right at the line of the kitchen so they could watch the ball drop at midnight without actually spilling their sparkling pear bubbly drink in the living room.) (also note, bennett has no idea why the huge ball dropping and everyone kissing each other on tv is such a big deal. apparently i never prepared him for such things in life.)

so anyhow, happy new year!