Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts


How to Crate Train Your Child

Let me tell you a little story.

It all started with a puppy.  A tiny puppy.

Who clearly won our hearts.

We got her a kennel so she would have a place to sleep.

Let's try that again.  We got her...the PUPPY...a kennel so she would have a place to sleep.

They think they're pretty clever.  For the record, little ones can lock themselves inside kennels.  Please, don't tell the CPSC.  They might recall the kennel.  The kennel which clearly some of my family members love.

Just for kicks and grins, we're going to try this one more time.  We got the DOG a kennel.

Which eventually she was allowed to use too.


Our Family is Growing

Her name is Sasha. 


My Poor Old Man...I Mean Husband

Friday night, we were blessed to be able to go to the Sanctus Real/Addison Road concert. It was trip! Not an acid-type trip, but an "Oh my gosh my husband is becoming an old man" type of trip. And trust me, THAT is a trip in its own right!

First we had to get past the fact that the music was too loud for my old man dear husband. Seriously? You should HEAR how loudly my husband plays his production...or the TV. Yet he finds the concert too loud? Wimp! Just in case, I think next time we'll bring the ear protection he uses when he goes shooting. Then he won't have to hear a thing!

After we got past the hearing issue, there was the dancing.

No. Not my husband's.


And THAT was the problem.

Apparently he thought I was kidding or going through a phase when I danced at concerts while we were dating and first married. He thought it was a fluke that I was rocking out to Veggie Tales live with the kids. He thought perhaps I was just having a momentary lapse of sanity when I turned the music up & danced through the house.

Every weekend.

Or maybe he just hoped, prayed, and dreamed that one day I would no longer desire to dance to music. At the least, he held hope that I had not passed that gene down to our children. He found out at this concert that we are a hopeless bunch. We all like to dance. We may or may not be in rhythm. That's really irrelevant to us. We just like to have fun!

Unfortunately for him.

We know he loves us, he just doesn't know what to do with us sometimes. Like when we're embarrassing him at a concert and he can't hide in the crowd because no one could hide in the crowd when we're beside them dancing and singing.

If you ever want to know where we are seated at a concert, just look around. When you see the man with heavy, sound-proof headphones on looking around trying to pretend that he doesn't know the woman and children dancing crazily beside him; you'll know you've found us.

Come up & say hi to us. (Be sure to say hi to our fuddy-duddy too.)

Kirstie took a ton of pics on her phone. This is the only one I'm authorized to share:

Kirstie with Jenny from Addison RoadKirstie with Jenny from Addison Road


We're all hairless!

At least it feels that way! This past week, my daughters and I decided to donate our hair to Locks of Love. It is something we had talked about doing on many occasions, but had yet to actually do. Wednesday, we decided to take the plunge. Some of us were left with MUCH shorter hair than others.

I typically cut the kid’s hair & trim my own. I was comfortable cutting my oldest daughter’s hair this short because she would still be left with quite a bit. However, I wasn’t about to touch mine or my 8yr olds.

We would have both ended up bald.

Instead, we decided to go to Great Clips. If you’re donating to Locks of Love, Great Clips will cut your hair for free. The ladies there were great sports letting me snap pics just for you guys! Others in the place were having fun with it too.

Here's Kirstie (our oldest) after her cut. She had the most hair left. I didn't get a before of her.

Align Center Here's Whitney before:
And after:
Whitney After Donating to Locks of Love Thoughts of THAT MomHere's a pic of my hair ready for donation. What can I say? When Mom's the one who takes the pic, you don't get great ones of her!

Mom's Hair Ready for Donation Thoughts of THAT Mom
I would highly encourage anyone interested in donating to make the jump to do so! We miss our long hair, but don't regret giving a unique gift to those in need.


Grumpy Husband

We have one hard and fast rule at our house. It comes from the knowledge that my husband is a self-professed addict.

Coffee would be his drug of choice. Everyone knows the rule. If Daddy's grumpy, someone needs to brew some coffee...QUICK! Or some of us may not make it out alive.

A moment of this...

Grumpy Husband Gets Coffee us "happy Daddy".



Moving Box with Coffee
It's clear my family has their priorities in order. Who can argue with that?


Let's Talk Christmas

I know it’s only the last day of July, but if Hobby Lobby andother stores can begin putting their Christmas decorations up, then I can start talking Christmas. Frankly, I think now is a perfect time to start planning for this coming Christmas if you haven’t already done so. (Especially since many toys at Target are 75% off...RIGHT NOW!) This post will wait while you go shopping. Go ahead. It will be here when you get back. It's okay.

Did you enjoy shopping? Now back to this previously-scheduled post:
I usually start planning in January for the next Christmas so I can shop deals throughout the year to fulfill my Christmas list. Due to incredibly extenuating circumstances, that didn’t happen this year. So, for the first time EVER, I am nearing the end of summer and have just now begun to think about this coming Christmas. My husband needs to request time off, we need to figure out when that should actually be, I need to figure out who we have get to give gifts to, & figure out what gifts they’re going to get.
Truthfully, I’m not completely without ideas. I’ve been learning how to knit & crochet as well as getting back into sewing for the past year. As a result, I’ve got some things set aside that we will use as gifts. We’ve also been making homemade soap, homemade deodorant, & homemade laundry detergent. We’ve got a good bit of homemade gifts that we can fairly easily put together. We had a couple of things that we made with Christmas in mind, but we didn’t go much further from there.
Today, I actually began to make my list. What will we make? What will we buy? Who are we giving to? What about our kids? We always give a family gift which is a board or card game to add to our collection for Family Game Night. It’s a given now that my kids love. That’s the easy gift this year. I’ve got several to choose from thanks to Hasbro & BlogHer.
Now on to figure out the rest…
What about you? When do you start planning for Christmas? When do you start shopping? Are you done, or are you a last-minute “Is it really Christmas-Eve already?” shopper? What gifts are you giving this year?
What’s the “hot” gift? (Not that it matters to me personally. My children’s gifts are never the “hot” gift. Because I’m cheap that way.)
If you do homemade gifts, what kind of homemade gifts do you give?

I Need My Grandmother!

I'm thinking of flying her up here to Michigan. I do love her, and would love to see her as would the kids. I must admit, though, that I want her here for purely selfish reasons.

I want some Southern cooking. And no one does Southern cooking better than Grandmother. Let's face it. They can try all day long, but even Cracker Barrell doesn't have Southern cooking down right, up here in Michigan.

Right now I'm thinking chicken fried steak or chicken fried chicken. (I prefer the chicken.) (If you don't know what that is, then you should go find out. You will never be the same again. 'Course that may be because you gain 15lbs just by looking at it, but who's counting?)

Are you getting hungry right about now?

Top that chicken fried chicken with loads of thick cream gravy. Add mashed potatoes (again, with LOADS of thick cream gravy) and some crispy fried okra and you've got my dream meal right about now. You top that off with some thick "Texas" toast with which you sop up all the left-over gravy.
Doesn't the okra look scrumptious?
Did I mention that fried okra is my absolute favorite food?
I'm so deprived up here in Michigan.
What's a Southern girl to do?
And that gravy? It's best when you make it out of the chicken grease. You know, the fat & grease left over after you've fried the chicken? True Southern cream gravy is made with the grease, flour, & milk. The thicker, the better.

What? What's that you say about healthy eating? Yeah. Ignore that for this post. This is Southern food. Healthy and Southern don't exactly go hand-in-hand.

And breakfast! NO ONE fries crispy bacon like my Grandmother. Not even me. Add to that eggs (fried in the bacon grease, of course), biscuits, and of course...THICK cream gravy. Made the same for breakfast, lunch, & dinner. Again, made in the bacon grease! YUM!

Again, if you're reading this blog for health today, you'll want to leave right now. There is nothing even remotely healthy about Southern food.
Unhealthy is the POINT of Southern food. Today is not about health for me. It's about comfort. And NOTHING comforts (& fattens) like Southern food.

How about some Southern-fried catfish?

With hush puppies?
How about SOUTHERN cornbread? And folks. When we in the South talk about cornbread, we don't mean a sweet treat. We mean a dry-as-bone, completely bland bread that is only good when dipped in something else Southern such as pinto beans &/or gravy. (Anything is good with Southern cream gravy. Anything.)

To truly top off any Southern meal, one must have TRUE, Southern sweet tea. And by "Southern" sweet tea, I mean tea so sweet you wonder which it has more of: the tea, or the sugar. I'm not personally a fan of true, Southern-sweetened tea. (I know...the HORROR!) However, my mom is and to this day lives off of several glasses of sugar...err...I mean tea...a day.

Anyone else with me? Anyone want to cook me up some Southern food?



What are your thoughts on flying? Like. Today?

I'm hungry now. Excuse me as I go cook something. Southern.



Are YOU Guilty?

I must confess. I am. It appears that I'm not alone.

While I'm not the (can you use that word here?) theft that CNN mentions in this article, I do regularly take "disposable" items when we stay at hotels. We don't even usually use the hotel's "stuff". We'll use our own soap, shampoo, & lotion which is already opened & pack the hotel's for later use. Yes. I'm THAT cheap!

How do I justify my theivery? I figure these are items that they must replace after each guest anyway. If I wasn't taking it home to use later, I'd be opening it and using it while we were at the hotel which would mean they'd HAVE to throw it away. Does it really matter if I choose to wait and use the items at another time?

I was surprised yet relieved to hear one hotel manager say that they assume anything with their logo would be taken. Why the relief? No. I've not stolen any towels.

However, I had a favorite towel growing up. It had been taken my by dad (who shall remain nameless). I could be wrong, but based on the logo, I'm fairy certain it came from a Holiday Inn. While it was my favorite towel, I always felt a pang of guilt each time I used it...even though I hadn't been the one"borrow" it. Nevertheless, we...dare I say it? We actually prized this towel. Probably a little too much for something that had been stolen.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that we did not actually frame a towel. We're not THAT crazy...yet.)
I see my dad has amnesty in more than one place. In August 2003, Virginia Bush, senior public relations manager for the chain said that Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Williams intended for people to steal his towels. He saw it as a huge marketing opportunity. According to this article, people "stole" them to the tune of 560,000 a year. I know where at least 3 of them can be found.
Not only that, but Holiday Inn actually wrote a book titled, "About the Towels, We Forgive You: Absorbing Tales of Borrowed Towels".
I feel a new sense of relief now. I can safely tell myself that Holiday Inn intended for my dad to "accidentally" stuff that towel (& the other 2) into his suitcase.


(Note: No. I do not condone theft. I believe theft is wrong. However, based on this article, I will now no longer struggle over whether to have my dad sent to prison or not everytime I think about those plush towels.)


My Sweet Boy


My sweet boy. You're so precious. I smile every time I think about my blondie. I know you just wish your hair was like everyone else's in the family, but I love your blonde hair. Even though you can't see past today, I know that someday that blonde bob will be gone. And then you will be like everyone else; except you'll still be my sweet boy.

I love you so much. Thanks for cuddling with me every morning. I so look forward to that.

I can't believe you're 7 today! You're such a big boy now!

I'll never forget the first time you proposed to me. You were so disappointed to hear that I was already your daddy! Still, even at 3, you weren't deterred. You contintued to ask hoping that someday my answer would change. Just to try and convince me furthur, you frequently told me how beautiful I was. You still do. There's nothing more precious.

You have such an incredible, sweet heart. You are so giving and loving, and such a young gentleman. You try so hard to do what's right.

You are my monkey. I mean that in the best way possible. You love to jump, climb, roll, and move in any way you can! I love my monkey, and I wouldn't have you any other way!

Happy Birthday, sweet boy. Mama loves you. Think I'll go hold you now. Before you're too big.





My baby girl. My Tootsie. Are you really TEN years old now? Oh my gosh! You're growing so fast. Just 8 more years...

I can't even think about it. It makes me want to cry.

You have become such a responsible young lady. I feel so blessed to be called your Mama.

I love you. I hope you know that I will always love you. Even when I'm frustrated with you; I still love you. Even when we're butting heads; I still love you. Even when you've disobeyed; I still love you. Even when you're being just as stubborn as your mama (wonder where you got that?); I still love you. I will love you until the day I die.

I am so proud of you.

You're my baby girl. I remember when I found out you were in my belly. Daddy & I were so excited. I couldn't wait to hold you in my arms. Now, you've grown so much. I used to hold you in my arms. Now, you're borrowing my shoes.
You're so precious to me. I love your smile. I love your laugh. I love to hear you call me, "Mama". You're the one who started calling me that, and the others followed suit. (As is usually the case. Your brother and sister look up to you so much.)
You have such a good heart. You're always wanting to give to someone or help someone. I pray that you hear God's voice as He directs that giving spirit. You've always been that way. When you were little, you'd offer me a bite of your food. When you were 5, you heard someone at church say that they didn't have plates...and you wanted to give them some. So we did. Today, if you hear a need, you're the first to rush and fill that need...even if it means sacrificing of yourself.
Just remember to keep God first in your life. The Bible says to seek first the kingdom of God and all His righteousness. His word will light your path as you seek Him daily. There's nothing I love more than hearing you talk about Jesus. I love hearing you sing about Him as you go about your day. I love your heart and desire to get to know Him more by reading His word.
I am excited to see how God continues to grow you as you turn into more of a young lady.
I love you, sweetie! Happy birthday!

P.S.-For those who don't know yet, you can hear Tootsie's thoughts at her new blog.


Family Game Night

We love family game night. We love it so much that we don't just have one night designated to playing games. We might play once a week, or several times a week.

Most of you have figured out by now that we are quite cheap. Translation: I don't like to pay full price for ANYTHING if I can help it...and I can usually help it.

For about a year now, my kids have wanted Uno Attack. I had hoped to find a good deal on the game by Christmas, but I didn't. I found a good deal on Sorry so they got THAT for Christmas. That has become a new favorite. However, we still love Uno and Uno H2O...and they still wanted Uno Attack.

I was VERY excited to find Uno Attack for $1 at our local thrift store a couple of weeks ago. I was so excited, that I could barely keep it from my kids. I KNEW how much they wanted this game!

I was trying to make it to Easter.

Then, Friday came. We were off grid. We had the oil lamp and some candles lit. We were ready to play a game. Out came Sorry. Then, I broke. I pulled out "the" game.

We had a BLAST playing Uno Attack!

I'm so glad we didn't wait!



Off the Grid Living

This month, we are learning about electricity in school. Like most kids, ours think a light was meant to be turned on in the morning and not turned off again until bedtime…if then. In an effort to break this habit and at the same time teach them to value electricity, we are going off-grid…at least for a time.
Every Thursday or Friday during the month of April, we will be off-the-grid. What does that mean? It means that we will not consume electricity at all on that day. No TV even for school movies. No computer…even for school. No lights. No automatically-flushing toilets. Forget saving shower water to flush the toilet as a way to save money; it will be a necessity! No heat or air. We purposely waited until spring to start this so that shouldn’t be a problem. We don’t typically use the air conditioner in the summer here anyway, but we do use fans at night. We’re hoping it’s warm enough to not need heat, and cold enough to not need the fans at night! (So mama can get some sleep.)
For the sake of convenience, cleanliness, and my sanity, we will have some exceptions. We will still be able to use the bathroom sink to wash our hands. We will also still be able to use the kitchen sink to wash our hands and dishes.
We actually started this last week and used the oven to cook lunch and cooked dinner on the grill. This week, we’re going to be a little more extreme and will only eat foods which do not need to be cooked. Next week, we hope to teach the kids the basics of cooking on the grill. (It’s our version of the wood stove.) We just don’t have a couple thousand to drop on a month-long lesson. However, it’s as realistic as we can possibly make it.
We already had several candles, and are teaching the children about candle-fire safety. We also have a couple of oil lamps and are teaching them how to safely use those. (Although we do all of the lighting.) We also are getting a kit from Lehman’s to make your own oil lamp. You can use olive oil, coconut oil, and various other kinds of vegetable oil to fuel these lamps.
The kids are pretty excited to see what kinds of alternative energy are out there. They want us to install solar power! Yeah. We’ll do that when we have a spare several thousand…plus!
Have you ever gone off grid? Thought about it? We’d love to eventually be able to go off-grid completely through the use of a grid-tied solar system where the power company pays YOU for any extra energy you produce but don’t consume. And there I go dreaming again…


TV is Evil!

Okay. Not really, but I liked that title. Truth be told, TV, like many other things in our lives is simply a tool. Some choose to use that tool wisely while still keeping full access to services like cable &/or satellite. Some choose to use that tool wisely with limited services. Some, regardless of what they have on their TV, abuse that tool.

I grew up with a family that always had the TV on…and fought about the TV. Eventually, there were TVs in different rooms…all 3 being watched by different people at the same time. My parents weren’t trying to do anything bad; they were just doing what most American families did: Watch TV…and a LOT of it.

I didn’t want that carried over into my own family when I had children and told my husband so when we were dating. The only problem there was that he was already addicted. To TV that is. We had full cable for our first 6 months. After that, we either had no cable or basic cable only to save money. Still, there’s a LOT of TV you can watch even with basic cable or an antenna. And watch we did. I didn’t let my kids watch TV during the day much, but we watched a LOT in the evenings. At first, we’d wait until the kids were in bed. Then slowly, it got turned on earlier and earlier. Eventually, it was on from the moment my husband walked in the door after work until the time we went to bed which was usually much too late.

The kids were “shush’d” & sent out of the room so the TV could be heard. When Idol was on, I was just as guilty as the next guy.

As many of you know, this past November, we cancelled our cable…and disconnected the TV from all cables. We got rid of all TVs except the one in our bedroom which was to be used for DVDs & VHS’ for school purposes only.

It’s now been over 3 months since we “turned-off” our lives. We are utilizing movies for occasional entertainment, but while remembering that it’s just a tool…and NOT something that should be first in our lives.

It has been an incredible change. To say that our children like the change would be an understatement. They have enjoyed having Daddy play Barbie, Transformers, Cars, & Polly Pocket with them. Yes. My husband actually played Barbie & Polly Pocket.

We’ve not been perfect, but we’re headed in the right direction.

I would encourage you to evaluate your TV use. I’m not saying TV is evil (despite my title). I’m just saying to make sure it’s simply a tool in your home, and not a priority.




There are times when change comes to your life. Sometimes you plan for that change. Other times, that change happens upon you unexpectedly.

This week, our family has experienced quite a bit of change.

As you’ll see this coming week, all of us girls changed our hair. We had talked about doing what we did on many occasions. Wednesday, however, was the day we took the plunge. We did it for a good cause. I’m excited to tell you more about that this week…with pictures!

This week we’ve also decided to make a change to our kid’s bedrooms. We have been looking at trying to make this change for some time, but had not yet been successful. We pick up the biggest part of the change on Sunday. The kids are really excited. I’m excited to tell you more about it & show you some pictures this coming week.

We’ve also been making some changes in how we live our lives. Our oldest is gluten-intolerant, but can tolerate spelt. For years, we’ve been buying spelt flour in 25lb or 50lb quantities to save money. Sometimes, we’d find someone to split our order with. Other times, it was all ours. The problem with spelt, unlike wheat, is that it goes bad quickly. We’d fill up our freezer with glass gallon jars filled with spelt to extend its life. Now, we’re ready for something different. We’ve just ordered our first batch of spelt berries and will be milling our own flour. Stored properly, the spelt berries last years. Now, we’ll be able to save freezer space for other necessities and mill our flour when we need it. We’ll also be able to save money by milling our own cereal for her instead of paying $4-$6/box for her cereal. That alone will net us a HUGE savings.

We also had an unexpected, but very unpleasant change this week. My husband lost a good friend this week because of choices that friend made. If you’re a regular reader, then you’re familiar with what happened. That friend has been forgiven, but their relationship will likely never be what it was before.

Change. Good. Bad. Change. We all need change in our lives, we just don’t always know when or where that change is going to come from. We don’t always get to choose the change in our lives.




Drama, Blogging, & Comments

Something happened last night that disturbed me. It’s not often that I get rattled. I’ve had some interesting comments on my blogs before, but never did I get rattled. I’m just not easily rattled. (I’ll say it one more time: rattled.) I believe in the 1st amendment and the right of every human being to free speech. However, just as I believe in the right to free speech, I also get to dictate what and how people say things in my private residence. In this case, my private residence…is my blog. I have only ever asked that people be polite and respectful. I have countless times encouraged anonymous bloggers to reveal themselves. I find it hard to respect someone who won’t put their name behind their thoughts. Do you really believe those thoughts if you’re not willing to stand behind them? I have never, in 5 years of blogging, ever deleted a comment. Not here, and not on my old blog.

If someone doesn’t agree with me, I will sometimes (usually) respond. I always do so respectfully and tactfully. I don’t believe that calling people names or berating them does anything to further my views or theirs.

Last night, however, I drew a line in the sand. No one can question that line;
especially the person who decided to cross it. I guess I, like a lot of bloggers, had always believed there were certain unwritten rules about blog etiquette. No one really talked about them, but everyone seemed to follow them; with few exceptions. One of those hard and fast rules is, “DON’T MESS WITH THE KIDS!” Sure, you can say the kids are adorable or precious (as they are), you can tell your story, you can give advice if it’s solicited, and you can voice a genuine concern. I find that last one is violated a lot as people who don’t believe in homeschooling bash the socializing skills of the children who do. That’s happened on my own blog, and I didn’t delete those comments. Why? They were not directed square in the face AT my children. Those comments were fairly general &/or it was obvious that the poster was just mad and ranting.

Last night, I had someone post a completely unnecessary…and mean…comment on this post. Of all of my posts to comment, they chose THAT one. Whatever. It became quickly apparent that the post content was really irrelevant to them. They also left a comment on this post which I have not deleted. I think, for some reason, that they were just in the mood to rant. The problem with that?

It doesn’t matter how much you want to rant…you DO NOT RANT DIRECTLY AT A BLOGGER’S CHILD! And on a completely benign, harmless post no less!

Honestly, it floored me. What disturbed me even more was that this person was local. It didn’t take me long to narrow it down to being one of 2 or 3 people. There was no one else it could have been. We suspected based on recent events that perhaps it was probably one of those people. This morning, after looking at things in a fresh light…and seeing this person visit my blog again, I began to realize it wasn’t who we had thought it was. It was worse. It was one of the other people. It wasn’t just someone we knew personally, but someone we still had a relationship with.

My husband was really hurt by this. He wasn’t going to forgive this man until God reminded him that unforgiveness only hurts us. My husband was ready to take action to ensure he’d never have to see this man’s face again…at great expense to our family.

Me? I was shocked. I couldn’t understand how or why this person said what they did. Perhaps they were trying to make a harmless comment. It wasn’t threatening. Still, it was just plain MEAN! And who does that to a 6yr old? Plus, the comment was so wildly inaccurate it’s somewhat humorous.

Like I said in one of my comments, I have absolutely no problems if you post again. However, I will NOT tolerate comments like that about my children; no matter how harmless you may intend them to be.

I probably won’t stop using CAPS to emphasize points. That’s just me. That’s how I write. I’m a passionate person in real life, and when I write. It just comes out. If you aren’t happy with that, then read another blog. If you can deal with it, then I’d welcome you to continue reading.

Because you know who you are just as much as we do, you also know that your relationship with my husband will continue. It will likely never be what it was before. By admitting who you are (even though we already know) and apologizing you will go a long way towards helping to restore that relationship. You have been forgiven, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still apologize if you’d like. I know from experience that just because someone has forgiven another person doesn’t mean that person they’ve forgiven recognizes they were wrong &/or wants to change.

If you’d like to never speak about this again, that’s fine as well. As long as nothing of this manner ever appears on my blog again, then I’ll not speak another word of it. And the pieces? They weren’t hard to put together. Analyzing your blog stats is more than just getting an IP address.

I don’t want someone to get the wrong idea and think I’m stalking my readers. Far from it. If you think that you aren’t being tracked every time you visit a website, you are sorely mistaken. MOST bloggers have trackers on their blogs. Most, like me, usually just use those numbers to see how many have visited their blog and to analyze which blogs are read the most. Those are the 2 features I use daily on my tracker. I have absolutely no need to look at the IP address for anyone visiting my blog unless there is a problem. Plus, I don’t have the time to go into that much detail every day. Still, because of anonymous posters like yourself, that is a necessity. We need to protect ourselves so that if problems persist we CAN go to the appropriate authorities to take action if necessary. I know few bloggers who have ever had to actually utilize their tracker for such a purpose.

In short? Just play nice. You can say pretty much whatever you want about me and I could care less. You can rail all day long about my politics, my beliefs, my thoughts, or my blogs. The worst you’ll get is a lengthy comment response from me; which you may not even read.If you cuss I will alter your post to delete the cuss words. (Again…haven’t ever had to do that.) If you are hateful about or to my children, your post will be deleted. There’s no excuse for that. NONE!

I’m sorry to my other readers for this temporary blog interruption. It’s the first time a blog post has ever rattled me enough to steal some of my time. I probably shouldn’t have let it do that. Now that it’s happened, though, I’ll know better how to handle it should it ever happen again. Honestly, this would have been next to nothing had it been someone we didn’t know. But when it’s someone in your backyard (not literally), then it’s a whole other story.



My Peanut


My Gracie. I can't believe you're already 8yrs old.

Just yesterday you were crying (you did that alot) because you wanted to be held. I hadn't yet discovered the joys of a sling, then. So we sat on the couch. A lot. Because you just wanted to be held.

You still love to be held. You love to cuddle. Your "my" girl. You look like me. You act like me. You have my passion (and had it the day you were born). You also have my spirit...and the good...and bad that comes with it. You know how to bat those eyes and melt your Daddy's heart. He says you get that from me, too. You're also so sweet. Everyone always called you, "Sweet Whitney". Daddy called you his "Swiss Miss".

I think you have more nick-names than any of our children. My favorite? "Whitness" (with an "h" in there, of course). It speaks of your nature, in the best way a mama could hope for. You find such joy in telling others about Jesus. You're living your name. And who said the words we speak didn't have power?

Your Daddy & I both know you guys have been through so much more in your tiny lives than many kids will ever face in a lifetime. You're our "Ohio" baby. But you jumped out of your crib when you were 8 months...and we were living in Kansas. It was in Tulsa, OK. that you pushed open your window and covered our front yard with wipes...while you flashed the only a 32 degree weather. It's a wonder the neighbors never said anything! We were BACK in Ohio when you had your "dream" come true and Coco came into our lives. It was in Michigan when you lost your first tooth, and began to share Jesus with others.

I love you, Whitney. Someday, you'll understand how much...when you hold your first baby.

You have found Jesus. I pray that you never let Him go. Cling to Him in everything you do. You can't ever go wrong looking to Jesus.

I love your sweet smile, Whitney.

I love how you come into my room every morning before I get up and say, "Cuddle?" just before crawling into bed with me.

I love how you perk up at the sound of music...and start dancing around the house. My little ballerina.

I love how your best your little brother.

I love that you get to grow up with your sister. I love watching the two of you together. Making your "Sisters" scrapbook, planning a snow fort, or talking about growing up.

I cherish these moments because I know they won't last forever. Someday you'll grow up. Someday you'll get your own house and have that Alaskan Huskey. Someday, you won't come into my room and say, "Cuddle?".

Until then, come "cuddle" anytime. I'm right here. I'm waiting.

Happy Birthday, Whitney.

I love you. And I always will. No matter what.



We had a visitor

I stayed up late and just happened to see that we had a visitor at our house tonight. Our baby has just lost his first tooth. He was so excited. After watching his sisters get payout after payout lose almost all of their teeth, he was really starting to feel left out.

He has been eating apples almost daily, but not to keep the doctor away. In fact, he was hoping to see a little blood that would indicate success.

Today, was his day:

And so the Tooth Fairy paid us a visit. I didn't see what she brought. She said I'll have to wait until tomorrow morning.

Almost makes ME want to lose a tooth.



Another Girl's Night Out

I’m going to another girl’s night out tonight.

Based on our last outing, our husbands should be worried.

VERY worried…

Yes, chocolate will again be involved.

Frankly, after our brainstorming session last time, I'm surprised our husbands are still letting us talk...let alone have more chocolate together...after a long day of homeschooling.

I'll keep you updated.

Just in case, though, if you see 3 overweight women (1 of whom appears to be VERY pregnant) in bikinis in the next several days...

Hide your face. Quick!

And if you ask me about it, I will deny it.