Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Heard Around The...Christmas Tree

Reese: "Hey-stop that right now! I'M fighting the soldier. You fight the angel!"

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Quote of the Day:

"I'm just sitting around waiting for the future to arrive." --Cole, age 8

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Heard Around The....Volvo

Pulling up outside the Bellingham Amtrak station (Reuben got to go on a REAL train ride with his daddy for his 4th birthday):

Reuben: "LOOK, Mama, a NAZI!"

Mama: "WHAT? Where?!"

Reuben: "Right over there. A Nazi, Mama, look! Right there in front of the station!"

Mama cranes her neck to look around and sees no Nazis.

Reese: "Reuben---do you mean a taxi?"

Reuben: "Yeah, Mama, a taxi! Look!"

Monday, November 30, 2009


Is it too late to post Halloween photographs? Am I within some sort of 30-day grace period or something?

Anyway. Here's Ari. Reese said, "Look, Mama, Ari is Almanzo's milk-fed pumpkin!"
I bought this costume for Ari partly because I thought it was adorable but mostly because his brothers fell in love with it and told me I just HAD to buy it for Ari, I just HAD to. Which I thought was sweet. It might be the first store-bought costume we've ever had???

And here's the rest of the crew in their self-made costumes:

Reuben: a Ski Ghost

Cole: a Ninja

Sean: a Worker Man (we made his costume)

Reese: a Spider King.

I took them Trick-or-Treating in Fairhaven on the afternoon of Halloween, and despite the gads of people, we got quite a few looks. A group of Japanese tourists even pulled Reuben aside, posed him against a pole, and took pictures of him. Ha!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

When You're The Fifth Baby

sometimes you sleep in while Mama makes breakfast for your brothers

sometimes you just sit and experience the craziness of morning

sometimes you hang out in your jammies til 10

sometimes you actually nod off while waiting for your turn to get dressed for the day

...and sometimes a brother comes up from the playroom to find you sleeping peacefully in a quiet living room....

and decides to play a little joke on Mama...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

QOTD, Take Two

Another Quote of the Day:

Reuben: "Mom, do I have to wear shoes outside?"

Mama: "YES."

Reuben: "But I might kick someone."

Money Talks

Quote of the Day:

Cole: "Dad, can you hear me growing?"

Justin: "Yup. It sounds like a cash register."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fall Pinto Bean & Yam Soup

Hello! We are all still too busy to blog, apparently. I have big plans for the weekend that include posting some photographs of what we have been up to the last two months....

Ari is 8 weeks old today.


In the meantime, here's a recipe for a fabulous fall soup we tried recently--we loved it and I know you will too. This recipe comes from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook written by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre--our local co-op's resident nutritionists.

2 cups dry pinto beans, soaked overnight
6 cups water
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1-2 inch piece kombu seaweed
(my beans had bugs in them...ugh...I substituted with two cans of pinto beans from my pantry!)
2T extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
2 small yams, peeled and diced
3 carrots, cut into rounds
1T ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
8 cups water
28 oz diced fire-roasted tomatoes
2-3 ears of corn, corn cut off cob (I used a 16oz package of frozen corn)
1 small bunch black kale, finely chopped (I used collards--store was out of kale)
1 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 lime, juiced
sea salt or Herbamare, to taste
Rinse and drain soaked beans, place into a 6 quart pot with the water, garlic and kombu, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook for approximately 1 hour, or until beans are soft and mash easily. Remove pot from heat. Drain beans and reserve the cooking water.
To make the soup, heat olive oil in a large 8 quart pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and saute for about 5 mins. Then add the garlic, jalapeno peppers, yams, carrots, cumin, paprika, and chipotle chili powder. Saute and stir for another 5 minutes then add water. Mix well to remove any spices that have stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Then add the cooked and drained beans, tomatoes, cut corn, and chopped kale, mix well. If the soup needs more liquid then add some of the reserved bean cooking liquid.
Cover pot and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20-25 minutes. Add chopped cilantro, lime juice, and sea salt or Herbamare to taste.
Let me know if you try it!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


My favorite thing about three-year-olds is the way they say the most random things---with absolutely no context whatsoever. In honor of Reuben's upcoming birthday (and knowing it means he will outgrow this stage soon), here are a few I've heard lately--completely out of the blue:

"Do you want to look in my belly-button?"


To Sean (shouting): "SING THE BARBIE SONG!"


Running into our bedroom first thing in the morning: "I asked God to give me a dream about caterpillars, but He didn't. He gave me a dream about bees."


Crawling into bed, whispering: "God, I don't want to have any dreams. Don't give me any, okay?"


"Ella has nice teeth."


"I'm a human."


(holding a cup of water): "I am NACHO LIBRE. Remember? He has water?"


"When I was a baby, what did you call me?" ("We called you Reuben.") "OH."

Next day, looking worried: "When Ari is all growed up, what will we call HIM?!" ("Ari.") "Oh."


Wide-eyed, walking out of the bathroom wearing only a teeshirt: "I'm 'posed to have underwear on but I don't. IT'S MAGIC!"

Reese (bored): "You peed them dead."

Reuben: "No, I didn't."

Reese (moving on to something better): "You shot them right off."

Reuben: "No!" Runs back into bathroom and emerges holding the elusive spiderman pants.


Monday, October 5, 2009


It's seriously hard work being this wonderful.
But Ari would like you to know that he is up for the challenge....
right after his nap.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Renee from Little Earthling Photography is coming tomorrow to take some photos of Ari for me. Wonderful, yes?!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Still Here

The babe is nearly three weeks old already. I am in denial. I am feeling obligated to work steadily; to keep up on the housework, the cooking, the laundry... but all I want to do is sit and stare at him. I know how quickly these weeks disappear. He still has all those newborn mannerisms--the fluttering of the eyelids, the phantom sucking in his sleep, the squinched up faces--I am head over heels in love.

Hope to be back soon with some more photos to send your way...that is, if I can stop snuggling with him long enough to actually take some!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sneak Peek

Sunday, August 30, 2009


our new son!

Ari Nathaniel

born 27 august 2009
9:20 am
9 pounds 14 ounces
22 1/4 inches long

photos to follow soon!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Change of Plans

Justin and I made the difficult decision yesterday to leave the care of the midwives and make arrangements to deliver this baby at the hospital. There were many factors in our decision that I won't get into now--it mainly comes down to the fact that my blood sugars are becoming enough of an issue that we had to reassess what was going to be the best thing for the baby at the point of delivery...and in the hours and days that follow. I spent nearly all morning on the phone with physicians, specialists, you name it, and even had an impromptu "counseling session" with the endocrinologist--- and then spent two and a half hours in the afternoon at the childbirth center having the baby's heartrate, movement and contractions monitored.

We are on track (and registered!) for a hospital delivery and I found an obstetrician that has agreed to take us on. I was reassured several times by the doctor & labor nurse that Baby is healthy and happy! But we are not out of the woods, by any means---there are still many decisions that will need to be made over the next few days, and we appreciate any prayers you can send our way as we navigate gingerly through each obstacle.

We are super thankful to know that the baby is okay and to have a (tentative) plan in place. I am also thankful to be able to tell you that we both feel a lot of peace with the decisions that have already been made! More decisions will be made on Monday if we make it that far. If labor starts in the next couple of days, we may have to sort of "wing it"--so we are praying for grace & wisdom with those spur-of-the-moment decisions.

Thank you for your continued love and support! We hope to be able to announce the arrival of our newest baby soon!

Monday, August 17, 2009


I had a dream this weekend that I went into labor. Not an unusual occurrence for a girl 38.5 weeks pregnant, surely, but this dream was different in that I actually could see the babe I delivered--finally. It was a boy, a big, strong, healthy boy with a lusty cry, and I fell in love with him instantly. He was so familiar somehow. I took one look at him and knew that I had always known him.

In my dream there was another baby, too, also a boy, that I knew I had delivered the day before. He was smaller, quieter, weaker, and I knew he was the baby that we lost in the fall, but he was alive, here, and in the dream Justin and I made the decision to raise the babies as twins--even though we knew they weren't. (I also dreamed that I delivered the babies at Half-Price Books...but we won't talk about that here.) We packed up the boys to take them home and I remember feeling so overwhelmed at the blessing God had chosen to bestow...even though it was different than what we may have originally anticipated.

I woke from my dream finally feeling like we have (almost) come full-circle. It has been almost exactly a year since we started down the road of that first pregnancy--the one that was lost. One year. One long year! My dream made me realize suddenly that the birth of this child will finally close that chapter for us, for me. I don't think I recognized that it hadn't yet ended in my mind. This baby, this life, was meant to be. Just another little piece of our story--and a daily reminder to this mama that God works all things together for the good of those who love him.

Can't wait to look upon that face and know that somewhere in my heart, I have always known and loved him.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Buttermilk Blueberry Bliss

Happier words are never heard in this house than:

"Mama: I'm FULL!"

Saturday, August 8, 2009


[we are in the last weeks now...in the days that feel sometimes like they are playing out under water, where the voices and movements all come in slow motion and muted tones. the babe is still turning and kicking. i think that my belly can not possibly grow another centimeter...and still it does, consistently, ever allowing for the constant growth. my bones feel like they are no longer connected. i keep up with my chores throughout the day, but once the sun goes down, i cannot walk without hobbling, bent at the waist, trying to avoid putting any pressure on my right leg. my feet feel tight in my shoes. i am not wishing the hurt away; it is testimony to what the body and spirit can bear.

he is here, and i must depend on him more and more. he comes up behind me as i cook at the stove and puts his arms around my belly, holding it up against gravity for just a few moments, and there is instant relief from the pain--what one cannot manage is not too much for two. he is carrying all of us now, having to intuit where the gaps lie and fill them, smooth them over... and yet it is i--the one who has no strength left--who must rise up on that fated day and somehow find the effort to give life, and breath, and voice to that searing fire...]

"Our bodies are what we first give to each other as families--as husband and wife, in labor, in birth, and what we leave at death...In order to cherish the body--both those of others and our own--we must first recognize the inescapable fact that it will one day break down and turn to dust. This should trigger a certain urgency in us to care for one another's arms, feet, and face and to enjoy each and every stage a body passes through on its journey from birth to death.

"...Families everywhere must be fed, sheltered, warmed, and held...but in the end it is the way in which we do these everyday tasks, the spirit in which they are done, that determines the atmosphere of a family. It is the way we feed each other, bathe, groom, clothe and lay us down at night that makes a family...When a husband yells from the bathroom, 'Hey, want your hair washed tonight?' it isn't only hair that gets salon treatment, so does the whole self.

"...Families are complicated weavings of light and dark, of hurt and healing. We will hurt each other in ways we didn't intend. We will even hurt each other intentionally...but our hands can heal...anyone who lays on hands gets attached to life...unlike the mind, a body is never without sensing, even in sleep. A body will always remember" [exerpts from The Art of Family, by Gina Bria]

Sunday, August 2, 2009

When Daddy Cooks Breakfast

Cole says: "This tastes halfway like heaven. I think that heaven will be just like earth, but with different colors and missing some things."

Mama: "Oh yeah? Like what?"

Cole: "What do you want to know about? The colors, or the missing?"

Mama: "The missing."

Cole: "Well, I don't think there will be any ambulances, or fire engines, or police cars."

Mama: "That's probably true. But what do you think heaven will be like? Do you think there will be foods there that you have never seen before?"

Cole: "You mean like MOON CHEESE?!"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Assembly Line

Quote of the Day:

"Mom--do babies come from factories?" --Reuben, age 3

Friday, July 10, 2009

Already July

Wow, has it really been two weeks since I've posted on here?

Is it really already July?

Despite the apparent confusion--things in our house are going well. I'm a couple of weeks into my new diet now and feeling quite comfortable with checking my blood sugars & ketones regularly and making the appropriate alterations as needed to make sure all the numbers stay in a safe range. (I even figured out a way to get to have a bowl of popcorn with peanut m&ms in it as a treat last night--no starchy carbohydrates at dinner!) Important things, you know. Since my last post I've seen the endocrinologist once, the diabetes counselor (again), and had another prenatal appointment. All of my numbers are looking very, very good, and I've been told by the counselor that I don't have to come back and meet with her anymore as long as I keep up with the endocrinologist. Baby measured 35 cms this morning, and I'm nearly 34 weeks! How's that for catching up!

I'm feeling far better than I've felt in months. Lots more energy. I am happily eating copious amounts of steak and wild Alaskan salmon (sigh) and filling in the gaps with every vegetable I can set my sights on. I'm learning to curb my red potato addiction...and am trying not to think about all of the summer fruit that is currently, beautifully in season. The boundaries are a little difficult to adhere to at times, but the payoff has been so great.

The boys are spending their days playing in the dirt pit out front, catching flies out of the air with their bare hands, trying to find ways to earn money for Legos, and eating me out of house and home. The usual. We're s-l-o-w-l-y checking things off of our to-do list, trying to prepare for having a bit of "down time" once Baby decides to make an appearance--whenever that may be. Cole's birthday is on Saturday and we ordered---SHHHH---a junior (not TOY) metal detector for him, and it came in the mail the other day. I can hardly wait to give it to him and to go out "treasure hunting" with him for the first time. I think you're going to find us spending a lot of spare time at the parks and beaches in the coming weeks.

That's all for now, I guess. The two littlest ones are napping...I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and doze on the couch for a bit before entering into life here again.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Long(er) Update

I'm a little delayed in writing this post, but this past week has been full of phone calls and appointments and I am definitely still in the "gathering information" stage. So here it is: My diabetes test from last week came back positive. Blasted Crazy Juice! My glucose numbers are still just a smidgen high--but because technically they are still above normal range, we have all been working to decide what the next step is.

I'm not thrilled to have a positive diagnosis, obviously. But there is some relief in knowing why sugars have been bothering me so much during this pregnancy, and knowing that there are people out there who are able to help me keep my levels more in line. Just in the last few days, I have altered parts of my diet on my own and have noticed a HUGE change in my energy levels and overall well-being. It's empowering to feel like I can affect change so quickly. And I'm loving being able to focus on the boys more without feeling so loggy all the time.

So, the next question is: Where do we go from here? At this point, I still have a chance of delivering with the midwife, but that may change depending on how the next few weeks go. I had my regular prenatal appointment this morning and it was FABULOUS--this belly is still measuring 34 cm (only 2 1/2 cm ahead now!) and Baby is now head-down (there was actually a moment this week when Justin and I were talking and suddenly my stomach gave a huge gelatinous SHAKE--Justin said, "wow, did the baby just flip or what?!")....all good reports. We spent a lot of good time talking about gestational diabetes and what it all means, and I left there really feeling like everything was going to work out beautifully.

This afternoon, I met with the hospital dietician/diabetes counselor to talk more in-depth about my unique situation and what the options are for change. I think I went into it pretty well-informed, but still I felt like my head was swimming a bit when I left a short hour later (though that may just be my pregnant brain!). So I think the next few days will be key as I actually start putting some of this stuff into effect--watching my foods carefully and charting my blood sugar numbers. I have to meet with an endocrinologist on Tuesday and I am anticipating that I'll be feeling like it is all "old-hat" by then, ha!

I am so appreciative of all of your prayers as we navigate these new waters. There are still several things up in the air about how exactly this delivery will go, but I'm not feeling anxious about any of the details.

"Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; He has blessed your children within you!" psalm 147 12-13

Monday, June 22, 2009

Thank You, Wipeout

Quote of the Day:

"This looks like a banana hammock" --Reuben, age 3 (holding up a sliver of sauteed onion)

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Short Update

Everything went well today at the lab--thanks for those that were praying and sorry to those who were secretly hoping to see covert photos of my sugar coma, ha! The lab techs were all in Happy Friday moods and did what they could to keep me in high spirits. I got some good reading done of my (semi-boring) book, did what I could to stay relatively comfortable (though I got a few nasty looks for having my feet up on the coffee table--even though it was the one WAY in the back of the room) and even took a little bit of a walk outside during the last hour. Justin did great with the boys and graciously allowed me to sleep away the afternoon when I returned home. Now we just wait for the results and look forward to my prenatal appointment next week!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Glucose Laments

I forgot to mention in my last post on here that I had my glucose test on Friday--the one where you drink the Crazy Juice and then get your blood drawn an hour later to make sure your body is able to adequately deal with the vast amounts of corn sugar you just pumped into your bloodstream. Fun times. Thing is: I have become more and more sensitive to sugar with each pregnancy and my test this round made me want to promptly fall into a coma until it was all over. Which of course I mentioned to the midwife--and to which of course she responded that there was a chance my results would show levels of intolerance--and that perhaps this intolerance was affecting the baby's growth rate and contributing to my Giant Belly Syndrome.

I got my test results today and they came back one point above the level that is considered normal. Or safe. Or whatever. So...it's probably not much to worry about, but all things considered, it's best that we go through the next level of testing. I'll go into the lab and complete those tests on Friday. It requires an 8 hour (overnight) fast, an early morning blood draw, a new bottle of Super Charged Crazy Juice, and three subsequent blood draws at one hour intervals throughout the morning. (Sidenote: I have to take the Volvo to the shop that morning, and Justin and I giggled at the thought of me trying to run errands in between blood draws all hyped up and turned loose on the town in the loaner car...) I'm planning on bringing my Book Club book and getting some good reading done while hanging out at the lab for HALF THE DAY. Or, alternately, going into Said Coma on the floor there and drooling. We'll see how it all turns out.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Movin' On Up

...but more slowly now, thankfully. Baby is now measuring 34cm and I will be 30 weeks on Monday. We're closing the gap! The baby has settled nicely into a breech position, however, so I will be spending the next few days doing jumping jacks, standing on my head and the like trying to encourage a FLIP before he (she?) gets much bigger and runs out of room!

On a more comical note, I had a dream early yesterday morning that I was in a garden and everywhere I looked, there were HUGE green cabbages so ripe that they were falling off the vines, so ready were they to be harvested. Then I dreamt that I woke up from that dream, to find I was in labor with contractions 2 minutes apart. And I lay in bed (in my dream) and thought, "Hmmm, better call the midwife, she'll have to deliver here instead of at the birth center....WOW I wish I had cleaned my room!"

So if any of you are looking for me the next few days, I will be cleaning my room. And washing the newborn clothes. And setting up the cradle. You know--just in case!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


For all of you that have been stalking June 11th on your calendar to see how this Giant Belly Story is going to turn out (okay, that might have just been me): My appointment has been postponed until tomorrow! See you then!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Heard Around The....Volvo

Oh, the things one can hear on an innocent drive around town.

Are you ready for this?

Reese: "Hey Cole? When our new chickens die, do you think we will bury them in the same place as the old chickens?"

Cole: "Well, here's what I'm thinking." (Mama is cringing.) "I love them SOOO much, and I think they're SOOO pretty....how about if we cut off their heads, and keep them? You know, like in a glass box? With their eyes open?"

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Well, our trip to the birthing center yesterday was great. What a beautiful place that is! I am especially excited about the huge beds--loving the idea that I will be able to snuggle up with my husband as I am laboring. No more hospital beds for me this time (fingers crossed)!

The stats: Last time I met with the midwife, I was 24 weeks but the baby was measuring 25. That's normal for me--I always measure big, but I also have big babies. The strange part of it was that I didn't believe I was even 24 weeks along (because of my miscarriage in the fall we have been unable to determine an actual due date) so I was surprised to be measuring 25 weeks!

Yesterday, the midwife went to measure my stomach and seemed confused. She kept putting the measuring tape down, feeling the baby, measuring, putting the tape down, feeling again. Finally she wrote something down and then went for the doppler, checking Baby's heartbeat (140 bpm). So I asked: What am I measuring this week? Her answer: Well, you're a bit big. Me: How big? The midwife: 33.

Thirty-three! Holy moly. By all accounts I should maybe be 28 weeks along. Thirty three is a BIG difference. I've never been THAT far off before. Wowzers.

So here's what I'm thinking. Either I'm having a HUGE baby in August sometime, or I should be ready to deliver in, like, July. And from the beginning we've been thinking this babe would come in September.

So, that's where we sit. I think the whole thing is rather comical. It certainly gives credence to the additional aches & pains I've accumulated the last four weeks! I'm far enough along that an ultrasound wouldn't give any answers....so we're in the "wait and see" mode. I'll go back in on June 11th and we'll see what's happening then. Stay tuned!

Friday, May 29, 2009


Off to see the midwife again today, and to check out the birthing center, hooray! Can you believe that after today I'll be going in every two weeks already?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chickpea Stew

Here's another recipe that's just too good not to share: Chickpea Stew! This one is definitely up there on my list of favorites--it's one of those dishes that I start to actually crave if it's been too long since I've made it. (Plus I love any recipe that enables me to drink a glass of wine while I'm cooking!) When I woke up yesterday morning I was glad that I had bought the ingredients for it earlier in the week; Sammy and I had ourselves a little pizza party on Tuesday and I woke up yesterday feeling LOUSY. This body is way too sensitive to junk food when I'm pregnant! Two bowls of stew for dinner last night and I woke up feeling great today!

This recipe comes from my Vegetarian Planet cookbook, by Didi Emmons. These amounts serve 4--I usually make a double batch so I can eat it the next morning for breakfast, too (if we're being honest)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, sliced thin diagonally
2 large red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1/2" squares
2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup red wine
1 heaping teaspoon paprika
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup (or more) cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 1/3 cups water
1 1/3 cups couscous
1/2 tsp salt
In a large sauce pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Stir in the carrots, red peppers, tomatoes, salt, pepper & wine. Then add the paprika and cinnamon. Stir and bring the stew to a boil. Turn the heat to low, and cover the pan tightly. Simmer the stew for 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Stir in the chickpeas.
Meanwhile, make the couscous: In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil, and add the couscous and salt. Remove the pan from the heat, cover the pan, and let the couscous stand for 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous by lightly running a fork back and forth in the pan, starting with the very top layer of granules and gradually working your way down.
Stir the almonds, lemon juice and cilantro into the stew. Spoon the couscous into bowls, make a little well in the middle of each and spoon in the stew. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Heard Around The House--Thomas The Tank Engine version

Mama and Reuben are sitting on the couch (yes, other posts have started this way). Enter loud, scary tooty sound.

Mama: "Reuben! What do you say?"

Reuben: "Toot toot! TIME TO LEAVE THE STATION!"

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Okay, so, back in the day, when we only had one (surprise) baby, we used to actually sit around and talk about how many kids we might have. Granted, the conversations were never very long--I think we always had a sense that we would be more than just three. The "family planning" conversations always ended up at the same inevitable conclusion: Let's Wait And See. I remember countless times sitting around the dinner table with Baby Cole in his highchair, telling Justin: "I know it's so busy, but I feel like someone is missing..."

Same thing when Reese came along. We were over-the-moon blessed to have two healthy boys! ...but when I would set the plates on the table at night I often found myself grabbing too many out of the cupboard. We would sit around the table and dine, and though it should have maybe felt complete (I come from a family of four), I still felt a sense of loss for one that was missing. And by then Justin was feeling it too.

So over the years, this has been a common thread for us. With each crazy, loud addition, we still look at each other over our soup bowls and nod that yes, one is missing. But it has become more than that to me--more than trying to control what the size of this family might eventually be. It has evolved instead into a willingness to be open to what God is asking me to do within these four walls. Maybe (certainly) that will mean a baby for us this year. Maybe it will mean opening up a room (or a basement) to a family member or friend that needs a place to stay for awhile. Maybe it means foster care at some point in our lives. I'm not sure--but I do know that He is asking me to let go of my desire to define what "family" means and what its limitations are. He can do so much more than I can even imagine. I have stopped wanting to place roadblocks in the way of the plans He has for me.

I am trying to teach my boys that love is to be shared, and that children are a blessing. I tell them daily that they are gifts that God has given me. It's so important to me that they know that. So I get a little weepy when we sit down at Costco to eat our hot dogs for lunch, and see two children sitting a few tables away (whose mother is surely getting their napkins and straws), and hear Cole say, "Do you think those kids would like to come live with us?" Because in that moment, I think, he gets it. He knows that family boundaries are meant to be fluid, that beds can be pushed against walls to make room for another, that another chair can always be pulled up to the table. That another handful of beans can be added to the pot.

And this week, even though I have been very, very careful to never talk about feeling a "hole" in our family in front of my children, Cole sat down to the dinner table on two separate occasions, and immediately said: "Doesn't it feel like someone is missing?"


Meet the newest member of our family! I think he looks like Sean, but maybe that's because Sean still looks so much like a baby. Oh, and I use the term "he" loosely; no, we didn't find out; you'll have to wait just a little bit longer! Baby will be making an appearance the beginning of September. Ish.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Heard Around The House (the Who Are You version)

Cole: "You know, Reese, sometimes I can't tell if you are Cole or Reese."


Reese (sigh): "Cole, do you know what I wish I was?"
Cole: "What?"
Reese: "Human."

Monday, March 30, 2009

Let's Pretend

Quote of the Day:

"Let's pretend me be the mom. My name is Cranky." --Reuben, age 3

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I'm sure many of you are following MckMama's blog and already know that Stellan is back in the hospital...for those that are used to reaching her through the button on my blog, I have added the new one to my sidebar. We are praying for peace for Stellan's family, for a safe return home for the babe, and for the Lord's will to ultimately be done.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I Know That They Have To Grow Up

...but I love that Reuben thinks that his name is Little Chef

and I love that Reese thinks that the LGMs are a representation of the trinity, because they say they are one

and I love that Cole thinks the name of the crayon is "Violent Red"

and I love that Sean gets his monkey and climbs up and lays on the couch with me when I read at night

Thursday, March 19, 2009

February 2008 - March 2009

my three girls
in colder days
reuben sees the villain--
can you?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Breakfast Fare

Quote of the Day:

"Even things that look disgusting can make you bigger. But not sweet things. Sweet things keep you tiny." --Reese, age 5

(ages, for those who have asked: Cole 7, Reese 5, Reuben 3, Sean 1)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Our Mom, by Cole, Reese and Reuben

What is something your mom always says to you?
Cole: I love you.
Reese: (no answer)
Reuben: Let's go!

What makes your mom happy?
Cole: That her kids love her.
Reese: Happy face.
Reuben: Medicine.

What makes your mom sad?
Cole: When we disobey.
Reese: Being naughty.
Reuben: Sick.

How does your mom make you laugh?
Cole: By telling us jokes!
Reese: I don't know, jokes?
Reuben: Madagascar 2 caterpillar.

What did your mom like to do when she was a child?
Cole: Puzzles.
Reese: Play games.
Reuben: Play with my boys.

How old is your mom?
Cole: 40.
Reese: 22.
Reuben: 5.

How tall is she?
Cole: 6 feet.
Reese: 50 feet.
Reuben: Big.

What is your mom's favorite thing to do?
Cole: Take care of her children.
Reese: Pick berries.
Reuben: Play together.

What does your mom do when you're not around?
Cole: Take a rest.
Reese: I have no idea because when I go somewhere, I don't know what you do.
Reuben: The computer.

If your mom became famous, what would she be famous for?
Cole: Having 5 kids! (yes, we have one on the way!)
Reese: (no answer)
Reuben: Treasure!

What is one thing your mom is good at?
Cole: Taking care of her children.
Reese: The computer.
Reuben: Computer.

What is one thing your mom is not very good at?
Cole: Building houses.
Reese: Legos.
Reuben: Going.

What does your mom do for a job?
Cole: Takes care of her children.
Reese: To tell us to do the dishwasher.
Reuben: Doing the dishwasher!

What is your mom's favorite food?
Cole: Salad.
Reese: Those little cabbages, what are they called? (Brussel sprouts?) Yeah, yeah, brussel sprouts!
Reuben: Eggs and toast.

What makes you proud of your mom?
Cole: That you take care of us.
Reese: That you can feed us.
Reuben: Make mine birthday cake.

If your mom was a cartoon character, who would she be?
Cole: Batgirl.
Reese: A space man.
Reuben: Star wars.

What do you and your mom like to do together?
Cole: Do school.
Reese: Go to the Daisy Cafe.
Reuben: Play.

How are you and your mom the same?
Cole: We both have big feet.
Reese: Our skin is the same.
Reuben: Same kissing.

How are you and your mom different?
Cole: I'm young, and you are old.
Reese: You have spider veins, and I don't.
Reuben: You change into Dad.

How do you know your mom loves you?
Cole: Because she always has.
Reese: Because I always think about it.
Reuben: Me be special.

What does your mom love most about your dad?
Cole: He's handsome.
Reese: He gives you kisses a lot.
Reuben: Him special.

Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
Cole: To a fancy restaurant.
Reese: Red Robin for her birthday.
Reuben: At Robin.

Isn't having children enlightening?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Seven Year Old's Budget Reform

I found this in the house earlier this week (Ways To Sayve Money):

I'm considering having buttons made that say "Vote for Cole 2012"!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Baby, Daddy, Fat, Old

Our breakfast conversation this morning:

Reese: "So Mom, does it go: 'Baby, Daddy, Fat, Old'?"

Mama: "Excuse me?"

Reese: "Does it go 'Baby, Daddy, Fat, Old'?" (I love how they always repeat it verbatim...as though there is a CHANCE I might have the slightest idea what they're referencing)

Mama: "I'm sorry, Baby, I don't know what you're asking."

Cole (desperate to help): "You know, Mom, like living? Like the way we live? We start out as babies....then turn into kids....then daddies" (DOT DOT DOT)

Reese: "Then it goes to that other stuff...right?"

Now how would you have answered this question?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

And They Wonder Why I Forget To Get Dressed Sometimes

Mama (hearing a loud thump from the other room): "Reuben, are you okay?"

Reuben (from said other room): "What?"

Mama: "Are you okay?"

Reuben: "What?"

Mama: "Are you okay?"

Reuben: "WHAT?"

Mama: "Are you okay?"

Reuben: "What 'okay'?"

Mama: "Are you okay?"

Reuben: "What?"

Mama: "How are you?"

Reuben: "I doing good."

Mama: "Okay!"

He wanders into the room and sits down beside me.
Reuben: "Mama, why you say 'Okay'?"

Mama: "I just wanted to make sure you were alright. I thought I heard you fall down. Did you fall down?"

Reuben: "Oh!" (He chuckles to himself): "No." He gives a big sigh.
"I just fell down."

Monday, February 2, 2009


I think one of my favorite things about school this year has been the narrations: the boys create, and I write down their creations. Wonderful. Even a child that cannot write can tell a fabulous story! Here are a few for your reading enjoyment.

REESE'S PET, by Reese

Once upon a time there lived Reese. He walked along and found a little pond. He saw a tadpole and he picked it up with a bucket. It was full of water and he put in the tadpole. The end.


Once upon a time there was a turtle. He was swimming along. He scared hisself by getting caught by a net. A octopus saw the turtle! The octopus swam to the turtle. A froggy jumped down in the water. The froggy got to the turtle first. The froggy freed the turtle. And then it was the regular sea again. The end.


First some knights wanted to do a battle. They saw lots of other people doing battle and they really wanted to do one. The knights looked around for some bad guys. And the queen said, "Go find some bad guys." The knights looked around in the bushes. And then they found bad guys. And then they raised their shields and helmets and spears and swords and stuff like that. And they were finally fighting about a green jewel and a red jewel.

RED POEM, by Cole
Red is a strawberry
Red is a raspberry
Red is a jewel
Red is an apple
Red smells like a flower
Red feels like softness
Red looks like a red rose
Red is for the most wondrous thing you can find in the earth.

GOLD POEM, by Reese

Gold is a goldfish
Gold is a jewel
Gold is gold
Gold is a banana
Gold smells like bananas
Gold feels like a banana
Gold looks like a yellow cup
Gold bee.


One day there was a castle. And there was a good king that was two hundred years old. And he had two million knights guarding the castle. And one day a dragon came. It was a big, red, evil one. And he took the queen. And he took her two hundred miles away to the great evil castle. Which the evil king lived in the tallest building. And then below the big building, there was four small buildings on each corner of the big castle. And the dragon flew up to one of the small buildings which ten knights came to take the queen to the big building. And the stairs went around, and around, and around....there was four hundred steps. And they finally got the queen to the evil king's throne. Which the evil king said to her, "You are going in the dungeon for forty years. And when it's been forty years, if you are still alive, then we'll let you back to the castle. But if you are dead, then we will throw you in a pile of skeletons."

So they locked her up in jail with two hundred different locks. She stayed there for forty years. After forty years, the king had no queen at all, and then a woman came to the gate. It was the beautifulest girl the king had ever seen. And she said, "Your wife in jail is going to stay in there forever and I am the new queen." So the king married her and they had a lovely wedding. And there was a big feast at the end.

And then, ten minutes later, the real queen came home. And she said, "Let this queen go away!"

And suddenly the new queen turned into a bad guy witch. And the king was shocked to see how ugly this princess looked like! And the king called the guard as loud as he could. And they took her away. And the old queen said "I am the real queen." And then they lived happily ever after.
The end!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

When Discussions On Ancient Egypt Go Awry

Quote of the Day:

"Maybe if somebody dies....and they are our friend....we could make a mummy out of them?" --Cole, age 7 (said with great hopefulness!)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

This Morning

Justin has been on a trip for three days....I thought I was doing well this morning by getting up an hour early...in a quiet house...and making coffeecake for the boys as a breakfast surprise...

But I accidentally let a chicken out of the gate and had to chase it around the yard, dropped an egg when I was taking care of the neighbor's animals, gave the rest of the eggs to Cole and watched him drop one right outside the back door, refilled the water jug and got it all the way next door before realizing it wasn't screwed on properly (it fell apart and dumped water all over the ground), thought to check the mail for the first time since Justin left, hoping for a paycheck (our first check since mid-November) and was instead surprised with a huge STACK of overdraft notices from the bank since I accidentally put the money into savings instead of checking, opened a notice from the gas company threatening to turn off my heat on Monday because I forgot to send the check... and I'm utterly unable to do anything about it today since the CU is closed and I'm locked from doing any more transfers online. And then while I was fuming about the bills, Reuben stomped on my bare foot wearing his winter boots and I yelled at the top of lungs, which caused him to BURST INTO TEARS. And then I burst into tears and then we sat on the couch together and CRIED.

So I'll check the mail again a bit later. But I'm pretty sure that the Mom Of The Year award will NOT be showing up in my box today.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Room Enough

Oh, the days when I drew lines around my faith
To keep you out, to keep me in, to keep it safe
Oh, the sense of my own self-entitlement
To say who's wrong, who won't belong, who cannot stay

Cause somebody somewhere decided
We'd be better off divided
And somehow, despite the damage done--
He says, 'Come...'

Ever since I was a young child, I have always loved the image of huge, rustic banquet table. Yes, I love feasting!...but it is more that that--I love the picture of a table where no one is turned away. All are welcome, no one is cramped, and the wine and bread overflow. A celebration in its entirety.

My boys--Cole, especially--must have inherited this deep longing that I have for the fellowship and comraderie that reside in a banquet with food and room for all. He occasionally dreams aloud about the table in heaven and tries to estimate how long it must be! I love this because I believe that God's heart is for us to care less about determining where exactly all the little boundaries and differences between us lie, and instead to reach out, to love, to break bread together and live life in community.

Oh, the times when I have failed to recognize
How many chairs are gathered there around the feast
To break the bread and break these boundaries
That have kept us from our only common ground
The invitation to sit down
If we will come

There is room enough for all of us
Please come
And the arms are open wide enough
Please come
And our parts are never greater than the sum
This is the heart of the One
Who stands before an open door
And bids us 'Come'

I feel sometimes in this life like a child back in the schoolyard, hoping not to be picked last and feeling an ache in my heart for the one that is. Do we ever really outgrow this yearning to be welcomed into the fold? There have been too many times in my life--even as an adult--when I have been insensitive and uncaring to those waiting on the periphery for an invitation to be let in. There have been just as many times that I have waited, myself, for that invitation. The idea of a banquet table--my Lord's banquet table!--where there is a seat reserved for me, a glass of wine waiting in anticipation for my arrival, and One standing at the door to usher me in--well, it is almost more than I can bear. I can't think of anything greater than to be welcomed to the table of He who created the universe. I am absolutely humbled and terrifyingly overwhelmed.


Justin made me a table for Christmas.

It is seven feet long.

The table we have been using seats four comfortably. Four, and we are six...without any company! The new table is fashioned out of Justin's childhood table (in the middle, made of solid maple) and my childhood table (solid oak, cut in two and added to the ends). I cried and cried when I saw it. Not just because it is a "bigger table", but because it is a deep representation to me of the things God has been teaching me the last several years about having a truly welcoming and joyful spirit towards the people he brings my way--without reservation. It is the two of us, made better and stronger as one. It takes what was inadequate and makes it into something overflowing with purpose and life. God's provision for me abounds, and each time I am stretched, I experience more and more of his blessing. And as hard as it as gotten, that blessing is still so good, at its core, that I am absolutely unable to turn away and try it on my own! I am completely captivated by this life he has chosen for me.

There is room enough!

Thank you, Justin, for walking this journey with me, and for a gift that meets a need and speaks to my heart. It is functional and beautiful! I love every bit of it.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


....Seemingly too busy facebooking to blog.

Thanks, Jill and Kristie :)

New post to come--tomorrow!