Wordless Wednesday


Just dropping in to say...

we had a GREAT Christmas!

Did you?

We enjoyed






The boys got a huge Lego set to share
Ava got a new dolly
I accidentally got Marvin the wrong thing
Marvin got me...

 a new camera!!!!


My wonderfully creative, romantic husband wrote a long story for me
complete with pictures (that I had taken over the past few years)
interspersed with clues to open several gifts in a certain order

The last gift (or so I thought) was Photoshop

After we opened our stockings, he gave me another card with another story
complete with pictures
with another clue to open the REAL last gift.

I cried when I opened the package and saw my very own
{{Cannon 40D}}
all snuggled up in the bubble wrap

I had to just keep coming back and peeking in the box for most of the morning
until I got enough nerve up after lunch to actually take it out
It really didn't seem real!

I would have been  super excited 
with just Photoshop
that's not how Marvin rolls

Remember this post from last Christmas?
The one about making it *magic* for me?

Well, my magic man did it again
I once again felt like a
total dork
since it's nearly impossible to buy the guy anything
and when I tried this year, I bought the
wrong thing.

So, sweetie, if or when you read this, I want you to know...

I don't take you for granted
I never expect what you do
feel entitled or deserving
treat me like a princess
~~~~~I love *YOU* so much!~~~~~






from all of us


all of you!

~May you and yours find the true peace, love 
and joy of our Savior this holiday season~


{proof} and Steve

quickly snapped proof that absence indeed does make the heart grow fonder...
but they were so fond of their cookies that they wouldn't look at me!

who's Steve?
We are the King and Queen of campy nicknames and phrases...
One year, we randomly decided that because for us Christmas Eve was a holiday in itself, that the day before Christmas Eve needed a name, too.

So...in honor of the day before the day before a holiday,

happy {Christmas Steve} to you all!

update: tonight, in true Christmas Steve tradition, we took our annual Pajama Drive (it's where we bundle the kids up in their pj's right before bedtime and drive them around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights)

As we were nearing the end of this year's Pajama Drive, Ava suddenly remarked, "Look Daddy!  It's baby Jesus and His friends!"



Brittany's home! Wa-hoooooo!

Need some?

pictures, that is...

I noticed that I hadn't posted any for a while

Here ya go!

~The Tree Farm~
(and afterward)



Last weekend we had fun going to a tree farm for the first time and harvesting our own tree.

This weekend, not so much!

We spent the day Saturday cleaning and cleaning and cleaning, trying to crawl out from under all the Christmas boxes, laundry and toys that had built up over the past week.  We got all the decorations up, organized the toys in the office, and I started vacuuming before I took a shower and got ready for Marvin's work Christmas party that night.

At first, I thought my vacuum bag was full, because our normally dirt-thirsty sweeper was declining the offering of Christmas tree needles on our carpet.  After changing the bag and going over the area several more times, I got down on my knees to investigate.

The tree we chose had extremely sharp, stiff needles but we picked it anyways 'cause it was purdy (big mistake, won't do that again).  Those sharp, stiff needles were now imbeded, parallel to the floor, in every loop of our berber-style area rug!

I spent nearly half an hour yanking them out one by one like so many splinters out of a finger.  I begged and pleaded with Marvin to help me just roll up the rug until after Christmas so it wouldn't get worse, but he wouldn't have any part of it.  He tells me that he hates the way the room looks without a rug, and ignores me when I say I'll hate the way the room looks with a permanently prickly, pine needle carpet. Then he promises to pick needles each night after work. Ha!  I say.

He says give it till Wednesday and if the tree is dropping more needles and the carpet is getting worse then we'll roll it up.

Don't think it didn't cross my mind to give that awful tree a good shake or two each day while he's at work between now and Wednesday!

But wait, there's more...

Today, we left for church in a bit of a hurry, and I forgot about my very full bowl of purple, blueberry oatmeal sitting on the table.  Our dog has become slightly aggressive in her older age about scanning for table scraps under and on the table.  Not thinking that she'd go for blueberry oatmeal, I dismissed the thought that suddenly occured to me during the service.

When we got home, I passed the kitchen and mumbled "dang, the kids were messy this morning, look at the floor" under my breath. Then I suddenly turned and did a double take, when I realized that the mess I was looking at would have taken thirty toddlers to accomplish.

Upon further inspection, I noticed my no longer full oatmeal bowl sitting upside down and broken under the table.  My black and white tile floor was now beautiful swirls of purple and beige, thanks to the long, rough tongue of our German Shepherd.

Anyone ever tried to wash an oatmeal bowl that sat all day on the counter?  Uh-huh.  Try cleaning hardened oatmeal film off of a floor.  I mopped as best I could, but what I need now is one of those steam mops to dissolve the THOUSANDS OF LITTLE SPECKS OF PURPLEN-ESS that are all over the tile.

Maybe while I'm shaking the tree, I'll shake the dog, too!


Benji said...

"Mommy, did you know that it's not good for girls to go first?"

"Why is that, buddy?"

"Because if a pirate catches a boy and a girl, he'll say, 'ladies first' to walk the plank, and girls should not go first, but neither should boys."

Is it time?

I don't have the brain power to make this a cute post, or play with my words, or such...I just want to say something about my present state of being to whomever cares to read...

I was sick for nearly two weeks.  One of the weeks, I was completely bed-ridden, with vomiting, fever and diarrhea (I can never spell that right, thank goodness for automatic spell checker!)  The other week was spent with me wobbling between the bed, bathroom and kitchen in a daze.  Trying to figure out what to eat to make my stomach stop cramping, wishing that I had an IV of water because I was so thirsty, and in awe of the disaster that had come upon the house in my "absence".

During that second week, we also had a broken dishwasher, and we were down one car.  Not great circumstances to try and recover under.  Thankfully, my mom and my BFF Sarah were willing and eager to help out, and made me start to feel like myself again.

Monday the haze lifted, and I began picking up the pieces.  As I cleaned, I began to process mentally all that had gone on, and all that we had missed.

Here's the rundown:

We missed a wedding for which I had stayed up late countless nights, recycling an old silk bridesmaids gown into a beautiful dress for Ava to wear to it.

We missed Thanksgiving dinner with my in-laws, and the kids cousins, whom they rarely see

We missed a long-awaited lunch "date" with my bloggy friend and her family at her house, where our kids were supposed to meet each other and become fast friends

We missed an appointment for family photos with our extended family that had taken such grit and determination to schedule that it felt like being in labor

We missed our yearly tradition of decorating the outside of our house the weekend after Thanksgiving

Marvin missed countless hours of sleep, as he frantically tried to help me keep from throwing up, and worked late into the night doing dishes, etc. so I wouldn't feel overwhelmed

The kids missed their mommy, I hardly laid eyes on them for nearly a week, Marvin religiously kept them out of my room, envisioning how horrifying it would be if one of them caught what I had

Alec and Benji missed two weeks of school.  I am assured, however, by many homeschooling peers of mine, that this is just one of the wonderful flexibilities of home education, and they will be none the worse for wear.

We also missed Ava's birthday party, postponing it until sometime in January, when things slow down.

{on a side note, I don't miss the 13 lbs. I lost!!}

This lasted long enough to really start messing with my head.  Made me wonder, will I ever feel normal again?  What even is normal? How on earth do I normally handle parenting three kids and running a house?

Happy to say, that today, Thursday, I'm feeling fine.  Feeling capable, competent, energetic (most of the time, but I still need to sit down occasionally), and able to handle my full, beautiful life again.

But...is it really that time again?  Is it really Christmas? Somehow, with my head in the pillows, I missed that spark that ignites my heart every year. I'm not excited, not seeing beauty in our decorations, not eager to share once again about the Holy Baby, not catching the sparkle in my children's eyes.

I feel very flat.  Like we're just having bad weather at some anonymous point in the winter.  Maybe I'm still overwhelmed deep down inside, and not able to reconcile myself to reality.

I'm not sure what I'll do, but what I won't do is give up.  This time of year is such a special one, the rare time that those around us are open and willing to accept the possibility of something more, something special, something divine that would yank them out of their drab existence.

I want to participate in that again, to feel the pull of heaven on my heart just a little stronger than the rest of the year, to see another glimpse of understanding on my children's faces.  I won't give up, I'll put one foot in front of the other, load the dishwasher again, and put the rest of the ornaments on the tree.

It is time, the feeling will come.  It always does.


Wordless Wednesday


she's {3}

{you were}

born three years ago


i still can't believe i have a daughter

{you are}

full of life and personality

very funny

very girly

the delight of your brothers

quite precocious

a little bit spoiled

{you love}

long twirly dresses

anything pink

washing dishes with mommy

hugging daddy

playing dollies with nanna


sparkly shoes

kitties, puppies, and anything small and furry that you can pet

wearing your backpack and pretending you are Dora



letting mommy fix your hair
alphabet flash cards

your pink tea set


{you miss} Ozzie

created by Jesus
are perfect
exactly the way you are
are exactly the daughter
was meant to have
i love {you}
more than words can say
happy birthday, 
my little sugar bean!


Wordless Wednesday

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