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Monday, August 31, 2009

Miracle Monday

It's Miracle Monday!

Today I would like to share with you a miracle that Michelle from Scribbit posted on her blog. If you've never visited her blog you should. Michelle lives in Alaska and writes about her life there as well as a multitude of other things - including cooking, knitting, crafting, parenthood and writing.

But back to her miracle. Her son Andrew was on a Boy Scout camping/rafting trip when the raft her son was in as well as another raft full of scouts hit a tree branch and tipped over. The leaders and the scouts were thrown into the icy Alaskan Kenai river. Two of the boys were swept down the river.

They were all rescued from the water and were safe and sound.

And as Michelle put it, "By the time he called me they'd all been rescued and emergency people had shown up to make sure no one was hypothermic and that everyone was safe but I think it shook them all up a bit. Isn't it crazy how life can do that? Everything is going great then one second later you're in a life-threatening situation. It could have gone so horribly but I tell you that is what PFDs (personal flotation devices) and prayers are for. You don't go on a river without either."

Michelle's right. You should never go rafting without prayers or personal flotation devices. In life you have to do what you can to keep yourself safe and then you have to ask the Lord to take care of the rest.

Thank the Lord for protecting Michelle's son and all the other scouts that day!

If you want to participate in Miracle Monday, it's easy. Just write a post about a miracle and link it back here using Mr. Linky. Feel free to copy and paste the Miracle Monday button into your post and mention my blog.

Friday, August 28, 2009

What will you be doing with all of that free time?

Now that the kids are back in school, it's time for me to get to work.

And I mean that literally. That's right. I have a job!

I'll be working at the same preschool both of my kids attended as the teacher's assistant in the three-year old class. I'll be working two mornings a week.

This job is perfect for me because I can make a few extra dollars to put into our new-used car fund while the kids are in school. The preschool operates under basically the same schedule as the kid's school so they won't even know I'm working and I'll be so busy I won't have time to miss my kids.

I'll also be volunteering in the kindergarten Enrichment program like I did last year. I had second thoughts about doing it again but Sarah really wanted me to and I really like the fact that now I know all of the kids Peter is going to school with. So I'll be doing it again this year. Yikes!

In addition to being occupied 3 days a week, I have a to-do list a mile long. I won't even bore you with all of the closets, drawers and cabinets in my house that need to be sorted, organized and overhauled.

And then there are all of my pictures dating back to 2006 that need to be dealt with.

So, what am I doing with all of my free time now that the kids are in school?

I think I'll be wondering where it all went.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Awesome! Cool! Only 178 more to go!

Well I think she had a good day.

She came running off the bus this afternoon and gave me a big hug. Then she said, "Kindergarten was awesome! It was like preschool - only better!"

And then she proceeded to talk my ear off for the next ten minutes. I couldn't even keep up. Something about a new friend, walking to the bathroom in a line, reading "The Kissing Hand", practicing writing her name, eating lunch and playing in the gym.

And she said she wants to go back. Which is a good thing because not only does she get to. She has to.

When Peter got off the bus on Tuesday afternoon he said, "First grade is cool! The teacher brought Rice Krispie Treats and watermelon! And in first grade we have PE before lunch!"

Food and playtime. He gets it honest.

And she's off!

As I shook a groggy Sarah awake this morning the first words out of her mouth were "I'm scared to go to kindergarten." I hugged her tight and told her it was o.k. to be scared.

And then she hopped right out of bed and into a new dress.

As she was eating her breakfast she said, "I'm scared to ride the bus." And then she gobbled up her pancakes.

As she was brushing her teeth she asked with a giggle, "Were you scared on your first day?"

And as I told her I couldn't remember she jumped up and down with excitement.

And here is my "nervous" baby girl just minutes ago posing for the annual first day of school pictures...

And she's off!

Good luck, Baby Girl.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Who is this?

Who is this little first grader I put on the bus this morning? He looked the same as always when I kissed him goodbye, but now as I look at these pictures I snapped in the rush of the first day of school, I barely recognize him.

Through my blurry photography I struggle to make out something, anything, that resembles the baby boy I once held in my arms. Everything about him seems foreign to me now - the long legs, the freckles on the left side of his nose, the snaggle-toothed grin, the slender feet, the adorable ears.

Someone came in the middle of the night and quietly replaced my baby with a first grader.

Be still my heart.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Everyone's a critic.

The kids and I were in the car this afternoon. I was taking Peter for an "Oops! School starts tomorrow and my kid's hair is poking up in all sorts of crazy directions and I don't want the teacher to think he's a dunce" haircut.

I was in a good mood and I started singing. The radio was off and it was just me and my voice. And as I was singing I was thinking how good I sounded.

And then I hear a soft little voice from the backseat timidly say, "Mommy, can you stop doing that?"

"Doing what, Peter?" I asked.

"That singing. Can you stop doing that? It doesn't sound very good."

Is it any wonder that I'm excited that school starts tomorrow?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Miracle Monday (The What? I Thought She Stopped Doing That Edition.)

It's Monday and I come to you today with my head hanging down a little and my hands shoved in my pockets.

It's been four weeks since my last Miracle Monday post And for the last 4 weeks prior to that, no one has even posted a miracle.

Every week I was trying to find something to write about so that even if no one else posted a miracle at least there would be something to read...something miraculous...something that would make at least one person's skin tingle and make them shout "Amen!" or "Praise the Lord!" or "Hallelujah!"

But I've been in a funk this summer. I started to dread Mondays. It was getting harder and harder to find miracles to write about. And I just didn't feel like spending a lot of time looking for them either. Nothing came to me for four weeks so I decided to let Miracle Monday fade quietly away.

And every Monday I felt a little tinge of guilt.

And then Liz from These Are The Days stopped by my blog and started looking through the archives and left a comment about Miracle Monday and she seemed excited about it.

Someone was excited about Miracle Monday? That hadn't happened in a while.

And then I felt even worse for letting it die a slow death. So my guilt has gotten the better of me and I have decided to open it back up.

So, if anyone has a miracle, big or small, please post it.

And in the meantime, please visit Tracie Miles' blog for lots of inspiration. She is a wonderful writer. This post made my skin tingle and made me shout "hallelujah!" Hopefully it will do the same for you.

If you want to participate in Miracle Monday, it's easy. Just write a post about a miracle and link it back here using Mr. Linky. I've even dusted off the Miracle Monday button. Feel free to copy and paste it in your post and make sure you mention my blog.

Sarah and BOB

I know I am a little late posting this. But I've been trying to get a picture of Sarah reading these BOB books all summer.

But since she knows I want a picture of her doing it, she won't pose for one. And if she even sees me coming towards her with a camera while she is reading she gets up in a huff.

But I have persisted because I don't want her to be mad at me in 20 years when she is looking over the blog and realizes that I posted a picture of Peter reading after preschool.

So in the interest of fairness, equality and me not getting yelled at when I'm 60, here is a picture of Sarah reading.

I got these BOB books for her at the end of preschool and they are absolutely perfect for a beginning reader. The sentences are very short (no more than three or four very short words), the words in each book have the same sounds, there is a lot of repetition of the words, and the books themselves are very short.

It's very easy for a beginning reader to get frustrated, tired, bored, or a combination of all three and that doesn't happen with these books. She feels a huge sense of accomplishment when she completes one of these.Look out kindergarten! Here we come!

Friday, August 21, 2009

A first grade approach to life.

Yesterday was Meet The Teacher Day. And even though I'm not a good small talker and never know what I'm supposed to ask or say at an event like this, I think it went smoothly.

Although as I reviewed the meeting in my head last night, I realize that my questions my not have been the best ones. I asked the teacher about PE and lunch when in retrospect I should have been asking about the curriculum, homework load and what is expected of me as a parent.

Instead I asked about food and play. You know, the important things in your child's education.

Peter is disappointed that his friend Colton won't be in his class this year. But he took a glass-is-half-full approach when he excitedly told me that "at least Colton's class is right next door to mine!"

At bedtime last night I asked Peter if he was excited about starting first grade and he said yes and began listing off all the reasons why.

"My class is next to Colton's class and the computer lab. My class is right across from the bathroom and the water fountains and we get real desks this year Mommy! Not tables like they have in kindergarten. Real desks where we can put all of our stuff!"

I think Peter has it all figured out. All we need to be happy in life are the basics - a good friend close by, easy access to a computer and a toilet, and a place of our own to keep our pencils and crayons.

I think he's going to have a great year.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I've got one. Do you?

A mommy tan that is.

I remember the days when I used to wear a bikini and when I used to go to the the tanning salon.

Looking back, I realize what a nice tan I had. It was deep and fairly even with my back being as dark as my front.

I never appreciated that tan though. It was never dark enough. Never rich enough. Never even enough for me. My skin and I have always been at odds with one another. (Just ask the wrinkles and zits that currently fight with one another to take up residence on my face.)

Ah, but how I long for that tan now.

Every morning after my workout, right before I hop into the shower, I glance at my naked body in the mirror and I wince.

I am lily white on the top. If you looked quickly, it would almost appear as if I was wearing a bright white tankini in the shower.

My arms are fairly tan and so is my chest. The front of my legs have a bit of sun on them but the back of my legs are pale.

This strange tan comes from sitting at the pool in a chair and watching my kids, making sure they are safe.

I can't lay flat on my back or my stomach to get an even tan because in between my duties as lifeguard, I am fetching snacks, applying sunscreen, searching for goggles and helping with trips to the bathroom.

So the end of summer is here and yes, I have a mommy tan. Do you?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sugar and feathers and a yo-yo. Apparently that's not what little girls are made of!

What is this you may be wondering?

It's a bowl that Sarah filled with the following ingredients:

a yo-yo
a necklace
a pencil
an American flag
a ball

What's it for?

Well isn't it obvious? Sarah is trying to make a girl!

She put all of these things in a bowl this afternoon and now she keeps asking when the girl is going to get here. Poor thing!

Peter has two little boys next door that he plays with every evening and Sarah is left to mope around on her own. She used to play with all three of them last summer but I think their games have finally gotten a little too boyish for her and I think she has finally gotten a little to girlish for them.

I guess Sarah finally realized I was serious when I told her for the 100th time that I wasn't having another baby so she decided to take things into her own hands. Now that's one industrious little girl!
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice, and everything nice,
That's what little girls are made of

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'll tell you how my garden grows. With mildew and blight and dead plants all in a row.

Our poor little garden is a mess. Our zucchini plants were attacked and destroyed by squash bugs. Our cucumbers succumbed to powdery mildew. And now our tomatoes are being overcome by the blight.

The blight! That sounds so old-fashioned!

We didn't mind giving up the zucchini. And we ripped out the cucumbers and recently planted more. But we aren't giving up on our tomatoes as easily. We are fighting the blight with chemicals in the hopes of saving them. (I've never understood all the fuss over organic anyway!)

Last year we had tomatoes into November. November! This year, we'll be lucky if we have tomatoes for one more week. And to add insult to injury, a couple of nights ago as Sarah was eating a bowl of my delicious homemade tomato soup she said, "Ewwww. This doesn't taste like real tomato soup."

And if by "real" she means tasteless Campbell's tomato soup, I suppose she's right. Because for my not real tomato soup I roast the tomatoes with garlic and onions and red peppers before pureeing them with my emulsion hand blender. (Thanks, Aunt Cathy!)

Perhaps one day she will appreciate my tomato soup. But for now, I guess we will stick to Campbell's - it's easier anyway!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

This is what happens when you have a fickle, five-year-old business partner.

Aunt Cathy, I thought you should know that yesterday Sarah informed me that when she's older the two of you are going to open a restaurant.

Then she told me the restaurant was going to be named Nachos.

I just wanted to let you know that if you've had dreams of opening a quaint little bistro/bakery, it's now been turned into a Mexican joint.

But don't worry. She's only five. By tomorrow she will probably change the whole concept and call it Chicken Nuggets.

You can’t have one without the other!

You can’t do this…

IMG_5001 IMG_5002

Without coming home and doing this…


Delicious Blueberry Pie


  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 (9 inch) deep dish pie crust
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter


  1. Combine 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, and salt. Add eggs, sour cream, vanilla and lemon juice, stirring until blended.
  2. Place blueberries in pastry shell, and spoon sour cream mixture over berries.
  3. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup flour. Cut in butter until mixture resembles course meal. Sprinkle this mixture over sour cream mixture and berries in the pie shell.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50, or until lightly browned.

WARNING – The only bad thing about this pie is that you will want to eat the entire thing by yourself. So if you are going to make this, please be sure that you have lots of friends and family around that you can share it with!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bubbles...the new burning bush.

"Sarah!" I exclaimed in my exasperated tone.

The bathtub was full of bubbles. They were coming up to the edge of the tub threatening to cascade down the side. Sarah had decided that she should be in charge of putting in more bubbles after I had already put in what was a more than generous amount.

My exasperated tone is one that I seem to be using a lot this summer. I'm not sure why but this summer has been a hard one for me. At 5 and 6, the kids seem to be at ages where they have mastered talking back, whining, complaining, and bickering.

And by the second week of June I had become so tired of it all that I just gave in to them too many times. It's easier to give in to your child than to correct them, punish them and get them to ask forgiveness.

As I was grumbling at Sarah she said, "Mommy, you just have to train me!"

I froze. My blood ran cold. The soapy towel hung dripping in my hands and I asked her to repeat what she had just said.

"Mommy you have to train me to take a bubble bath the right way."

Proverbs 22:6 echoed in my head. Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

I didn't need to see a burning bush or to hear trumpets to know that the Lord was speaking directly to me through Sarah.

I have spent the better part of this summer listening to my kids bicker and fight instead of doing anything to correct them. Or pretending I did not see them roll their eyes at me when I issued a command. Or ignoring the fact that they did not do something I had already asked them to do and just doing it myself.

And why did I do this? Because it was easy.

By not correcting them, looking the other way or ignoring their disobedience, I have taken the easy way out in the short run. And ultimately, in the long run, what I have accomplished is that my kids grumble more, argue more, back talk more and are becoming more lazy, more rude and more selfish.

My job as a stay-at-home mom is not a glamorous one but it is an extremely important one. I am in charge of training two little people and helping them to grow into teenagers and ultimately into adults that will hopefully be loving, generous, respectful, kind Christians.

And I realize that I can't do this on my own so I will be now be starting each day with this simple prayer, "God, please grant me the wisdom and patience today to train my children in the way that they should go."

The kids and I need to be retrained - I just hope it's not too late!