Monday, November 12, 2012


i feel guilty.

there was a time in my life that you completely overwhelmed every waking (and sleeping) moment i had with your screaming and high maintenance-ness.

those times i often turned to the blog to process.

or complain. whatever.

it was cheaper and much more convenient than therapy.

but now you have outgrown all of that and are actually quite a hilarious, funny, delightful, little boy.

and i'm just too overwhelmed with everything else these days to sit down and write about it.

so i'm sorry. someday you may look back at this blog to see what your childhood was like. (since your search for a baby book laying around the house will be futile.)

(don't judge. you were my 3rd child. and we moved. and then homeschooled. and then had another baby. and then mommy went to live at that psychiatric hospital...)

so anyhow, here is my attempt at redeeming your childhood.

because you are pretty much awesome.

for real.

you have recently renamed yourself moose.

and you are dead serious. you correct anyone who calls you mason.

the nerve.

you introduce yourself as moose with no shame whatsoever. you put your hands up as moose ears to your head when you pray, when you worship at church, for pictures... and pretty much just whenever you darn well please.
(this is your 4th birthday. never mind that i started working on this blog post long before this huge event and your birthday itself deserved its own post.)

when you first saw griffin at the hospital, you leaned in real close and whispered, "me moose. you baby moose." i knew it was love if you were sharing your sacred title.

your intelligence level impresses me. 
fortunately, for the sake of my own pride, i can take absolutely no credit in this. as i spend zero time each day actually attempting to educate you. sorry. but you figure things out on your own. such as the first 17 presidents, the books of the bible and random biology tidbits such as the fact that your lungs are filled with tiny air sacs.
(note to parents: don't underestimate the educational value of letting your children climb on your kitchen counter and play with water. it fosters creativity and creates geniuses.) (at least that's what i tell myself when i haven't the time to prepare a science lesson.)

you are obsessed with cars and legos, cereal and yogurt (and poop and behinds but never mind that...).

its funny to me that you will randomly declare you are tired some evenings or even afternoons and will just head on into your bed and put yourself right to sleep. i mean... what???? if anyone would have told me the first year of your life that this would be happening i would have laughed in their face.

or cried... and screamed, "don't tease me!"

it's super sweet how after i get griffin to sleep and lay him down in the room you two share, i sometimes turn to see you still awake on your bed with a big ol' grin and you whisper real quiet, "tell me a God story?" our snuggle times at night are some of my favorites.

but one of my favorite theological discussions transpired just the other night when we discussed heaven. and how you only get there by knowing Jesus. and other cool tidbits about heaven which you translated in your head and passed on to others, such as, "and then you walk around on top of your piggy banks! and you can just pick up pennies and put dem in your pocket!" and then i saw you laying on your tummy in the hallway trying to talk under the bathroom door and i hear, "but bennett! there are even all deez monster trucks and you don't even have to pay for dem!"

oh to be four...

your sheer honesty, when not completely frustrating, is actually kinda funny. like when dinner isn't up to your standards and you refuse to eat it and we insist and then you look at us completely serious and declare, "but me frow up!"

the way you demand stuff all the time as if the world completely revolves around you is really annoying (and a little bit funny)

i love that you need "gasoline" for your chapped lips...

and the way you brought me your plate after lunch and said, "fanks, mom" and then saluted me...

and your laugh. how it lights up your whole face and comes from down deep in your belly...

and then how you kinda sigh when you are finished laughing and say to yourself, "me so funny..."

i love how you completely love your family...
(ella, this was your eighth birthday. it was super fun and you loved it.) 

and how you wear your cowboy boots EVERYWHERE. everywhere.

the truth is, i could go on forever about how much joy you bring to this world. 

but this blog entry has spanned the last 10 months of interrupted computer time and is beginning to turn into a dissertation. and its currently 4:38 and i haven't heard from you in the past 45 minutes so i'm wondering what kind of mess awaits me and i also have no idea what i'm gonna cook for dinner and am slightly curious as to what ella and bennett are doing with griffin in their bedroom. so, this brings me to the end. for now.

i love you, moose. so much.

and so i conclude with my favorite prayer of yours:

"dear Jesus, thank you for me. amen."

Friday, September 28, 2012

life is good

still here. still wiping bottoms and reviewing vowel sounds and incessantly reminding my children to close the back door and wash their hands and to SHUSH!cuzifyouwakethatbabyi'llgiveyou500spankings!

school is in full swing. i've got a 2nd grader, official kindergartner, a would be preschooler if i ever got around to doing actual fun preschooly things (but i just found out the other day he has the first 15 presidents memorized so there's that...) and a 9 month old who hates to miss out on the fun so he'd rather not waste much of his day napping.

and they still wear clothes that need to be washed one million times a week and still actually need to eat. every day! sheesh. life is crazy. 

and its incredibly good. i feel like God is teaching me a lot this year. in the words of my dear friend lisa, a lot about "self-death" and the wonderful reward in being filled by Him daily and making the most of the opportunities to love my kids.

(even if it means fewer opportunities to blog and be a decent friend that returns phone calls...)

and while we've had many fun events happening in our life such as camping (not me! are you crazy? like i'd camp with a baby...) and beach outings and a super special visit from my amazing sister and her equally amazing family and many other fun memories... i'll just leave you with the pictures from tonight. 

i'm glad i have a husband who is actually fun and has energy and is excited to do fun things like take a picnic to the beach and roast s'mores under a full moon.

and if this guy were food i'd eat him up! i know i'm biased, but... come on. seriously!

btw, did you know how much energy little boys have? 

well, times that by 3. and then you won't need to ask me why i have dark circles under my eyes and i walk around in a daze.
 little dude CAN NOT get enough of the sand. he loves it. 

does it get any better than this?

Monday, July 23, 2012

joy. contentment. patience.

i'm not gonna lie. life's been a tad overwhelming for me as of late.

hmmm... can't imagine why.

this whole having 4 kids thing is crazy. and despite my best efforts to the contrary, my calendar just keeps getting filled up.

somedays i'm ok with craziness and kids running through the kitchen dripping wet from sprinklers and water gun fights.

but other days i fear the mess of my house will bury us all.

and i know, i know... there's a season for cleaning, a season for home cooked meals served on pristine platters, a season for sleeping, a season for responding to emails and returning phone calls, a season for blogging....

many wonderful, encouraging women have told me, "don't worry about your house. just soak up the time with your kids."

i agree.


people. when i lament the disaster of my home, its not anxiousness about alphabetizing the spice rack or organizing sock drawers. i'm worried about the possibility of mold growing on my kitchen counters.

for real.

alas, last week was my birthday. and there is something freeing about birthdays. while i don't want any wild party or extravagant gifts (unless of course you wanna buy me a housekeeper) i thoroughly enjoy a day to be completely guilt free. 

what dishes?

laundry? ha. 

homeschool prep for next year? not today. 

calories? as if!

responsibilities do not exist. 


i even did something wild and crazy.

i learned to surf.

(dont be fooled. i am not cool. me = poser) 

(however, my good friend on the right is. for real. but she's gracious enough to still be my friend anyway.)

so kat (cool friend) and her equally cool husband taught me to surf. and while you will not see me in any competitions (or another skin tight wetsuit) in the near future, i might just mention that i did indeed catch my very first wave on my very first try.

all due to chet. and his cheering wife. kat.

i love my friends. 

(and i didn't even get eaten by sharks. my biggest fear.) 

kat also called me today just to say, "how can i pray for you?"

she does this often. and i know she really does pray. and it means the world to me.

my answer is often the same. 

joy. contentment. patience.

in reality, i don't wish that my life to be any different than it is. (i mean, i would like to be skinny... but what woman who has birthed 4 children wouldn't?!? come on...)

i just want joy in the chaos. contentment in the overwhelmingness. and patience through the frustrating and long afternoons.

(oh, and to really be that cool friend who encourages others half as much as kat does me)

"... for a happy heart, life is a continual feast." proverbs 15:15

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

check this out

so yeah, i've neglected the blog for quite some time. been a bit busy around here. but had to share this video of our little buddy owen (mason's bff). guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

(and it's ok to wish you were as cool as a 2 year old)

Monday, April 16, 2012

sunday evening outing

hi there! yep, i'm alive over here. buried under piles of laundry, unfinished art projects and a sink full of dirty dishes. i have numerous blog posts started yet never finished and even more formulated in my head... inspired by such things as fruit smoothies being smeared all over the back window, anthony's son throwing mud balls at passing cars and me not knowing until some irate lady stopped to inform me, and being covered in spit up at 3 am and being too tired to change or even care.

life is good around here. but incredibly busy and i rarely have a spare moment when both of my hands are free.

yet last night, i decided to shake off my old stick-in-the-mudness and actually join my family on a sunday evening outing instead of seeing it as i usually do... a golden opportunity to sit in a quiet house and stare at the wall.

we had a super fun hike. "hike" being a very generous description of the trail on which we meandered.

the kids loved it and kept exclaiming "this is the best place EVER!"

gotta love nights like that.

there were sticks to throw and stumps to climb.

and even a bee tree!
which is super fun since we had just learned about them. (i recommend patricia polacco's the bee tree to you homeschoolers out there. and then you can come visit and see a real live bee tree for yourself! ahem angie) not that this picture is all that great or anything but it wasn't as if i was actually going to get up close and unleash a flurry of bees on myself.

we even met a horse.

ella is in love.

she proceeded to talk to me about how much fun it would be to have a horse. and how she would just love to take riding lessons.

yeah, well, i'd really love a nap but we don't get everything we want around here.

this one has become super camera shy.

which is a shame since he's so darn cute.

well, they all are.

and why does mason look like this whenever i ask him to smile?

do we still wonder why i wanted a girl?

oh well. i'll keep him.

and now i leave you with me and my little lovebug:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

a day in the life of a sleep deprived homeschooling mother of a newborn

i have the greatest husband in the world. every morning he feeds the kids, cleans the kitchen, goes to work. comes home for lunch where he does dishes and cleans the kitchen again. throws the boys around a bit and fills the role of "fun parent." comes home at the end of the day and makes dinner. cleans the kitchen. brushes kids teeth (the job i detest the most in all the world). prays with them and puts them to bed.

this leaves me to do what exactly?

i'm not real sure.

but i'll tell you what i don't do... shower, sleep, clean the house, iron (oh wait, i've never done that), return phone calls, blog... and yet, each day feels extremely full and goes way too fast and leaves me completely exhausted.

so basically here is a rundown of my day:

stumble out of bed with a crying baby and hear such things as "me eat." "mom, what is my schoolwork for today?" "mom, can we go somewhere today?" "me watch movie!"

change diaper. remind kids about such things as getting dressed and cleaning up their rooms.

feed baby while trying to also feed myself.

cry when anthony leaves for work.

feed mason again.

get griffin to sleep. leave him in baby swing in the kitchen since this is the room where i spend most of my day. that way i can stick the pacifier back in his mouth when he wakes up.

feed mason.

remind kids again about cleaning their room and getting dressed.

be thankful that they have yet to notice the irony that this rule apparently does not apply to me.

feed griffin. remind myself to brush my teeth when finished.


change diaper.

feed mason.

make coffee.

wipe rear ends. wipe kitchen counters.

make snacks.

start schoolwork.

feed griffin.

change diaper.

threaten kids to not wake up griffin, asleep in the kitchen.

attempt more schoolwork.

feed griffin.

feed mason.

it's lunch already? i still haven't brushed my teeth.

make kids clean up the schoolwork we never finished in order to make them a lunch they'll most likely complain about and i'll respond that if they don't show some more appreciation they'll have to eat mud cakes like the poor kids in haiti but it doesn't really change anything because we all know i'll never actually do that.

rejoice because daddy's home for his lunch break. and he doesn't even point out that i'm still in my pajamas.

take a moment to walk around in a daze and wonder what i should do first... brush my teeth, get dressed, wash my face, make my bed, plan a history lesson, wash a load of laundry... instead, i check facebook.

feed griffin.

impatiently attempt phonics instruction and yet give up and send my kids outside to play so i can get griffin to sleep.

make more coffee. my dear friend kat reassures me its ok because drinking coffee helps my sanctification. (this is her godly way of reminding me its ok to drink coffee all day so i don't turn into a raging psycho of a mother. i'm wondering if the same principle applies to tequila shots.)

get mason another snack.

change diaper.


feed griffin.

brush my teeth.

finally get a few minutes of schoolwork done. and then let the kids watch youtube videos of snakes eating alligators so the lessons of reptiles will forever stick in their heads.

feed mason.
(seriously this kid eats all day long)

threaten the children to not wake griffin, who is asleep again in the completely logical location of the middle of the kitchen while they run back in forth in their swimsuits into the frigid backyard, shooting water guns at each other.

change diaper.

feed griffin.

change myself. finally. since i have baby poop and spit up all over me.

feed mason.


rejoice because anthony is home for the duration of the evening.

do such things as eat dinner, feed griffin, clean up the house, tell my kids 1 million times to put on their pajamas and clean up and wonder why they have given up minding me and then watch them cower in fear when their dad tells them just once to do the exact things i've been asking of them forever.

read stories like George Mueller to my kids and remind myself that prayer is a powerful thing and God will do amazing things when we have the faith. pray my kids grasp this concept and other powerful spiritual lessons in spite of the fact that their own mother can't get it together enough to teach them a consistent bible study each day.

clock out at 8 pm. bedtime. hallelujah. i love you, you are a blessing and treasure from God. good night and don't come out of your room unless its on fire.

contemplate working out. bake brownies instead.

prepare for another unproductive day of homeschooling where we never get done everything we should be doing.

go to bed. wake up to mason's nightmares. feed griffin. change griffin. feed griffin. change griffin.


and repeat.

(ps i totally love my life and although its crazy right now, i wouldn't rather be doing anything else.)

(well, except for sleeping of course.)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

boys weekend

"Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children."
- Charles Swindoll

so anthony took bennett and mason on a camping trip last weekend.

it was all pretty awesome. they loved every minute of it.


frolicking in frigid water...

shooting guns...

and fortunately... not dying even though mommy wasn't there to prevent daddy from leaving you on the slippery bank of a raging river all by your lonesomes.
i'm thankful that my boys have a dad who loves them and invests time in their lives.

(and also that he will hold the tweezers to pull the tick out of mason's head and then spend his lunch hour taking him to the doctor to inquire if it really is an issue that the tick's head is still embedded in mason's scalp.)

(it's not, by the way. an issue, that is. it is most definitely still embedded...)

Friday, January 6, 2012

hard working man

my dad retired at the beginning of this year. after 34 years of working as a radiology technician.

34 years.

basically, for all of my life, my dad has worked the same job. every day. every week. every year.

and not all of those years were easy ones.

the man epitomizes hard work. perseverance. discipline.

when you are young, you don't think to say, "wow, dad. thanks for going to work every day and providing for your family." instead, its something along the lines of, "i wanna go to disneyland." and "why can't we just order pizza instead of eating bean burritos?" or "but everyone else is wearing guess jeans!"

but now that i'm older and wiser, i am more aware of the sacrifices that were made by my dad. the middle of the night calls he had to answer. the less than enjoyable supervisors he had to endure. (like that one who took the vacation that Kodak offered my dad for solving their film problem and the supervisor lied and said my dad didn't want a free vacation to the east coast and took it for himself! the nerve!)

he often walked to and from work so we could have the car that sometimes worked.

and there were all those coins he'd save for us when my sister and i would walk over to the hospital after school to wait for our ride home and we'd go to the gift shop and pick out candy and then sit in the waiting room and watch tv.

or sometimes we'd play in the storage room where everyone's x-rays were filed and we'd pretend we were doctors and stuff. and we'd pull out x-rays and look at them (yeah, serious HIPAA violations here).

and of course there are all those lives he saved.

no really. like the broken necks he noticed that doctors didn't.

yeah. he's amazing.

so anyhow, all of this is to say thank you to my dad. for his hard work. for his example. for his sacrifice. and for all he has done in his life for others.

(its also a chance to hopefully make up for the fact that i didn't send him a card or anything. sorry, i've been a bit busy with my newborn.)

(i also must note that my amazing mom retired last year from her job as a nurse. she is every bit as deserving of a blog tribute about all her sacrifices and lives she saved. or even a card. but it all coincided with my miserable first trimester.)

(clearly, i have plenty of excuses for being completely self absorbed.)