Tuesday, August 24, 2010

So...again...still no blogging, but at least a snapshot update.

Wow. Time is flying.
Today this little girl started preschool 2 days a week.

She could lead a class on scholastic enthusiasm.

And in 13 weeks little girl #3 will be here and there will be lots of coordinating outfits.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I am in desperate need of some blogging but it is 1 am and far past my bedtime.

Here's at least one little piece of news well worth a quick blog post which I am sure will be apart of much blogging to come...



Saturday, May 15, 2010

Make way for...DUCKLINGS!

There are times as a parent, where the kid inside of you floats to the surface. My "kid" moment started Thursday when a friend said we should come see her ducks. Immediately I thought, sure, kids love feeding the ducks outside...What she actually meant was, "You should come see and play with out 2 live pet ducklings living in our house!" I started feeling "kid-ish."

It was love at first site for my girls when they laid eyes on 2 baby ducklings. I knew my oldest would be an instant fan. From as early as I can remember, "animal lover" would easily describe Aislynn. As a toddler, Aislynn took great offense to a baby crying while being side tackled by a dog was perfectly acceptable. My youngest falls at the other end of the spectrum. "Suspicious of animals" would easily be in her character description. She would much rather try to sooth a crying baby than have even the tiniest puppy run at her let alone attempt to side tackle her.

The wheels started turning after I found out that Rural King sold ducklings in sets for $3.99. Who can resist an adorable, cheap, and TEMPORARY pet with such an easy exit strategy? Seriously, they swim away. Immediately, a childhood of temporary pets flashed through my mind: Our third grade zoo: Mice, newts, and a tarantula...hatching chicks and taking one home..,my next door neighbor ending up with kittens in his garage...guinea pig babies...And so I thought, we'll just go to Rural King on Friday to check out the situation.

We went to Rural King on Friday. We checked out the situation so thoroughly, that we left with 2 ducklings, some feed, and a heat lamp. My tiny entourage, in addition to myself was excited. We decided to surprise Daddy, and thought all our excitement would definitely rub off on him. I have been known as an "animal surpriser" at times. Surprise Mom! I bought my sister a guinea pig, Surprise Mom! I bought 2 guinea pigs! Can you take care of them while I student teach?....Surprise roommate, I brought a kitten home for us to find a home...Usually these surprises did not quite elicit the enthusiasm I was hoping for at the time. Perhaps I have a need to surprise everyone after my childhood longing to be surprised with a puppy under the Christmas tree in a box with a red bow on it went unfilled. A void which I am more than happy to KEEP void now (no puppies right now please for all you who were planning on mailing me one).

It may be hard to believe that I do not want to own any pets on a long term basis at this point. The thought of caring for a dog or even cleaning out a fish tank sounds exhausting and unappealing. And cats, we just won't go there. But somehow, a temporary duck pet sounds intriguing. Perhaps this intrigue will wear off in a week! I'll get back to you on that...

After being married to me for almost 6 years, my ability to shock and surprise Andy with my adventurous side has dulled a bit. In other words, I think it would take quite a lot for Andy to be surprised by me. I am so full of surprises, I think he expects it. Andy came home for a quick lunch break to the greeting, "Daddy! We have a surprise for you!" The girls unveiled our newest house guests and Andy of course remained a good sport. As long as the ducklings do not escape in the house, poop on anything, and eventually-sooner rather than later-swim away, I think he will be fine.

My master plan: Care for our new friends indoors for a few weeks. Then, as the weather warms, and they grow into tweens, let them outside in the backyard, then eventually take them to a duck pond and let them go. The girls already know that when our babies grow bigger, we'll take them to the pond to, "swim away and find new friends," as they like to put it.

Needless to say, on this first day home, our newest families members had quite an eventful day...probably more eventful than their Rural King days.


Being the cruel mother that I am, I told the girls they could not hold the ducklings until their toys were picked up. They opted to sit and stare longingly at the ducks for awhile before beginning, what appeared to be a painful process, of picking up toys.

Meet "Sam," (Aislynn's) and "Ming Ming," (Isla's). Aislynn wanted to name them "Pam" and "Sam," but being a gracious older sister, allowed Isla to name her own duckling.

Our ducklings became well acquainted with being carried around in a bucket, swimming in our water table, wheel barrow rides, and more...

Aislynn read them a book, sang them a song, and put them to bed.

Rest up little duckies! You'll need it for tomorrow.
Perhaps our new friends will fly away sooner rather than later after a week with us!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Changes: #1 Location.

Over 3 months ago I lived in Bloomington Indiana as a renter. I now live 4 hours north as a homeowner. Definitely a BIG change for our family. I miss Bloomington and all the amazing people living there. Even though we lived there for one short year, I'd like to think we made some lifelong friends and forever memories. In my mind, Bloomington feels like a summer home from the movies, where the people in the movie all live in summer cottages. They live a different life with new friends all up at the lake and they all have a blast, but at the end of the summer they all go back to other lives. It was a short visit in Bloomington in the whole scheme of the timeline of life. I may not own a summer home, but don't worry B-town, I'll be back for a visit.

I feel like ever place we live as a family, turns out to be the perfect place for us at that exact stage we are at in life. It doesn't mean everything is ideal about the place or the circumstances, but it meets our needs as a family. In each of these places, I always meet a few forever friends, and a whole bunch of friends for that stage in life. These are people that influence my life for the better, and make me happy. Amazing people, you know who you are. Thanks for rocking my life.

Right now we are on to the next place, actually an old place at a new phase in life. I never dreamed I'd be back in my old college stomping grounds. But here we are. Its strange to have so many memories as a 19, 20, 21 year old, and now be making memories here as a wife and mother. Its familiar and unfamiliar all at once.

In processing living in my familiar and unfamiliar surroundings, I find myself thankful. "The college years" stir up so many memories good and bad. Its great to remember all the hilarious things from college and even to reconnect with old friends from back then now as couples and families and moms. I am loving this! I am thankful for the college years that introduced me to my future husband. We never dated in college, but that's where it all began-the friendship, meeting, the groundwork. But not all the memories are good ones. Being in a familiar place makes you remember all kinds of things, and some things aren't so great. I have a pile of those kind of memories as well: Broken relationships, bad choices, hard times, growing points.

But, I am thankful.

I am so thankful to see the bigger picture. Now 9 years later I see that the broken relationships ended, and opened up space for new exciting life long ones. I see that bad choices don't always control your life and can teach you important lessons about who you are as a person. I see that hard times and growing points are a part of life. I understand what healing, forgiveness, and living a life of integrity mean. I see that when it felt like things were uncertain, confusing, and stressful for a 20 year old girl, they ended up certain, clear, and pretty great with a husband and children I love more than anything I loved as a 20 year old girl.

3 months ago I never dreamed I would have a beautiful home with a fenced in backyard surrounded by friends and family. And I definitely never dreamed my best friend and some other pretty amazing friends would be our 60 sec away and 45 sec away neighbors within weeks of our move. Life feels crazy, unpredictable, and awesome sometimes. A year and a half ago we were in quite a different place. Unemployment, uncertainty, and unknown described our situation. I don't think we dreamed a year and a half down the road we would be here. But if I look back, I can see things a bit more clearly. Life doesn't always make sense, even in retrospect when you have more answers, but sometimes things seem a whole lot more clear. I'm glad our journey brought us here.

Its amazing what happens in 3 months. And that's just the beginning.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Under Age Reading...

There are those moments that come along from time to time that scream, "Blog about me!"

Tonight was one of those moments occurred.

A little background first.

Aislynn is four years old. At three years old she started reading. Gasp! I know, this is obscene and not particularly the norm. Believe me, I know. I taught kindergarten once upon a time. Don't worry, my two year old thinks the letter "I" is a "2." Perhaps I will write about this early reading thing another day, but for now it is important to understand that I have a little reader. Don't worry, this is not a "brag hag" post that will make you puke. Stay with me here. Aislynn reads everything she sees, including some "expressive" thoughts on public bathroom walls, and inside park playhouses. I think you get the picture. As you can imagine, this poses a problem at times.

Which brings us to tonight. And this was a first.

It all started with this.
That's right folks. The Berenstain Bears.

Not long after I put Aislynn to bed did I hear a bedroom door slowly open and my four year old's little face peek into my room. She usually looks at a few books in her bed before falling asleep.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Mom, I have a problem," she announced with deep concern in her voice. She then handed me The Berenstain Bears Clean House. Should I be taking a hint here? Aislynn opened the book to this page and said, "Look."

Yep, the "I Can Read Books" index page. No one usually cares about this page, except my child.

I was not at all sure where this was going, drawing a blank, uh...I asked, "What's the problem with this page?"

"This book is haunted mom. See!" she pointed to the title that read, This Book Is Haunted, under author Joanne Rocklin.
I looked at her little face full of concern. This was no joke to my daughter. While trying to take this situation as serious as she made it out to be, I also tried to hold back some laughter at my early reader's interesting discovery.

"Ok," I started, "This book you are reading here is named The Clean House. This page in the back of your The Clean House book tells us a whole bunch of names of other books, see?" I pointed to the list of names including the unmentionable.

Crickets. Blank stare.

"But Mom, this book is haunted, oh no!" she persisted.

At that point I said a brief thanks to my excellent parenting combined with Nick Jr combined with the month of October which apparently had instilled in this four year old a definition to the word "haunted." Through some harmless Halloween-ish themed episodes of Wow, wow, Wubbzy-oh-and honorable mention to Mickey Mouse Club House on Disney. Thanks. (Sarcasm)

"Aislynn. This book is NOT haunted. And the word "haunted" is just a silly word that people use sometimes at Halloween (close enough to the real definition)," I added as a sub point to my original explanation.

"But Mom, see right here, THIS BOOK IS HAUNTED. We have a problem," she persisted with sincere urgency this time. I could see we were not going to get anywhere down my path of reasoning. Time to call an audible.

"I have an idea!" I said very excitedly. As a mom and former kindergarten teacher, I learned a long time ago, that if you say anything in an enthusiastic voice to children under the age of 6, they grow very excited and thrown off track.

Aislynn perked up, "What Mom?"

Eyeing a black pen on my dresser, I took matters into my own hands.

"See, is that better?" I asked
"This book is HAPPY!" she shouted. "Yes, Mom, this is so good."

Big Sigh.

"See, now we don't have a problem," I said. Aislynn was clearly happy with my edit.

"Thanks Mom," she said as she headed back off to bed.

I didn't realize I had to sensor the Berenstain Bears books...But then again, Sister Bear does play "spin the bottle" at her six year old birthday party in Too Much Birthday...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Not a "tween" romance...

Lately I wanted to write something meaningful and authentic...but nothing came. I don't think I have "writers block." I think actually think I'm dealing with "writers blockage." There is so much inside my head-ideas, thoughts, feeling, etc. that I can't actually focus in on any one thing clearly creating quite a build up. So I guess I'll just write anyway and hope I can get things unclogged!


It always started with a song. Actually, it started with some sort of "drama" that usually involved a boy. Then came the song. The song had to be a major downer, usually a popular and depressing song, and it had to be played on repeat. Of course this scenario also required a locked room with dim lighting or candles. The perfect scene for melodramatic teenage episodes with lots of tears, usually about insignificant problems in the whole scheme of things. Oh to be a teenager again, or not!

When the "teen years" come up in random moments at family gatherings, my father in law can always be quoted saying ,

"Oh, I'd do those teen years over in a heartbeat with the boys (my husband and his brother).

My response is usually a look of disbelief followed by, "Yea...I don't think my parents share those same sentiments."

I was not quite the model teenager. I was the perfect model of sneakiness...except when my mom caught me attempting something sneaky. She said you always have a sixth sense about your kids. Being the ripe age of 29, I now look at "tweens" and teens alike, and think,

You look like you are 5 years old! You should not be holding hands with boys! Let alone doing other things with boys...

I am constantly telling my husband I need a good 1o years to chill out before dealing with two teenage girls. I technically only have 9 years until I am faced with my first teenage girl. I am hoping my sneakiness has not genetically passed to my little ladies.

Lately I notice myself listening to songs about love. The songs are not about a superficial love, a lame boy girl drama, or something absolutely pointless. The songs are about a real, true, and unfathomable love.

I think about my teenage definition of love. How do you define something so shallow? I gave my heart away far too many times. It usually ended with a song, a candlelit room, and many tears. I remember being sixteen sitting in a car with my boyfriend, about to be x-boyfriend, pleading and crying for us not to break up, so afraid of what it would be like to not have his "love." Not the proudest most confident of moments! But there is NO fear in love. I John 4:18 says, "...perfect love expels all fear..."

I grew up in a Christian home, with a loving family, in a Christian school, memorizing lots of verses about God's love. And somehow, I still looked for love in a variety of places. Sometimes knowing something is not enough. You have to really believe it, and feel it, and practice it. I feel like it took me years to "get" that, to get "how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his [God's] love really is Ephesians 4:18." It's a constant struggle to remember this fact and to believe it, feel it, and practice it.

This year I hope to believe, feel, and practice the real love of God in all its hugeness.