Friday, July 29, 2011


Crumbs - my fragmented thoughts

Honeysuckle shrubs are delightful to kids. I forgot how wonderful they can be! I shared the ability to find the nectar with my kids and now we must stop each time we pass the honeysuckle shrub.

Sometimes I want to delete the Like button on Facebook. I want to post something bold or completely trivial and not give anyone the ability to like it. The more I think about that I realize that means I want to say something without a response... better just go back to talking to myself.

My kids keep pretending to be Smurfs. Their games make me feel both old and young again at the same time. I was 8 when the Smurf TV show aired for the first time. Saturday mornings consisted of getting up early to watch cartoons. Whoever got up first (I am one of 3 girls) got to choose the channel but it was always turned to the Smurfs when the time was right. I had a Smurfette pillow that I slept with every night. It was so long ago... I'm glad the Smurfs are back. I hope the new Smurf movie is cute.

My hair is finally long and I want to cut it. This morning I was thinking about dying my hair. Right after that I began to wonder if I am having a midlife crisis.

There's something endearing about the first three minutes of snuggling in (a double) bed with 4 kids. It gives way to "Ow!"s and "Stop!"s and yet I know one day I will miss moments like this:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday Thanks Tank #159

Each Thursday I try to make a list of my thankful thoughts. Sometimes I jot it down on paper, sometimes I share that list here, and other times I just highlight one or two things that I am thankful for. This is my Thursday Thanks Tank.

I am thankful for this and that- my thankful thoughts are all over the place tonight- big things, small things - there are so many things to be thankful for!

My Thankful List:

Facebook: I know- everyone loves (or hates) Facebook. But, today I am thankful for it because I liked the community page of the town we just moved to weeks before we moved. By doing so, I found out about soccer sign ups and I was able to register my kids. Soccer practice started this week.

The pool: The apartment we've been staying at has a pool. This has been a life-saver for me. We love it.
Me at the pool this afternoon

Two of my boys at the pool this afternoon (Yes, it was crazy- 95 degrees and we were the only ones there!)

My Mom: She birthed me, she nurtured me, she taught me, and she loves me still. Today is her birthday. I am super thankful for her.

Friends: It's been a long week. I've been a bit... um, lonely. I've looked through pictures over and over and I have some amazing friends. I miss them all. I know I will make new ones in this new place. But, still, I am very thankful for all of my friends.

The week is almost over. As funny as it seems, this week was really long because my husband was out of town. Oh, I know he's been working away from the family for the last 9 months or more but this week seemed super long to me. Maybe it's being in a new town, not knowing anyone, being in an apartment with four kids... maybe it's that. I'm glad that tomorrow is Friday!

Sarah's Home! My niece came home from the hospital on Tuesday. I am very thankful that she is home and recuperating. I am also extremely thankful for the prayers from friends that were lifted up for her. She has a ways to go to recover from the surgery. And, we are all still waiting on the results from tests and her recovery. (Keep praying for her to be free of pain!)

Group pictures of my kids. My kids have willingly let me take lots of pictures of them lately. I love getting group kid and family pictures. Here's the one we took for my mom today while we were at the pool.

I had more- many more- thankful thoughts today but I am getting tired and I want to go read my new book.

Take time to be thankful. It's time well-spent!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"Can I do it again?"

The Scorpion: A four-story half pipe that drops you right into a free fall and quickly up the other side and back down again.

Friday, July 22, 2011

We keep laughing

16 years: 8 moves, 6 states, 4 kids
Good thing we keep each other laughing.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Surgery Update

Update yesterday afternoon from my brother-in-law John:

Sarah made it out of the OR. The doc put in a few more stitches (on the inside) in the same area that he did in March.
The only real out of the ordinary thing he found was a lot of swollen/large lymph nodes on the mesentery (artery around the intestines for you pilot types)
They took some biopsies, and scratched their collective heads as to why the nodes were there and in that condition.
More to follow. We see this as an opportunity to show that God fixed her not the doc.
She has a feeding tube, IV tube, epideral, and catheter in her right now (and probably for a few days).

Update this morning from my sister, Carrie:

Don't know what to say...surgeon found more questions (stuff that didn't look right), biopsies were taken, other stuff ruled out. Sarah is in a lot of pain (unknown if it is just recovery related or if old pain is gone/still there). God is here. My Lord loves her more than I do.

Thank you for your continued prayers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sweet Sarah

Tomorrow my 4 year old niece, Sarah, is having her 9th surgery at John Hopkins Hospital.

The surgery starts at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time.

This surgery will be her biggest yet—she will be cut all the way open (across her tummy), with major recovery time. She's expected to stay in the hospital 7 days.

The surgery is to find and fix stomach/intestinal issues. The problem so far has been that the doctors (and these are some of the best in the world) have not been able to determine what is causing her intense pain. During the last surgery, they discovered bile in her stomach. They know there is something wrong. They just have not been able to pinpoint the cause of her problems.

I won't go into medical details here but she has been in pain all of her young life; she has also had problems with reflux and aspiration (requiring to have all liquids thickened).

Please, please cover this surgery in prayer.

Pray the doctors will discover what causing Sarah's pain (and bile reflux) and they will be able to fix it.

Pray that once Sarah has recovered from the surgery, she will have no more pain.

Pray for Sarah, my sister, Carrie, my brother-in-law, John, and my nephew, Matt.

Please feel free to pass on this prayer request.
Thank you. My family appreciates the prayers.

I would be ever so grateful if you would leave a note of encouragement for them here on my blog. Or, if you are more comfortable doing so, feel free to email me or msg me on FB so I can pass on notes of encouragement.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


My hair was blowing in the breeze. The music was blaring. I was singing with Bono. The scenery was a mix of breath taking beauty and barren expanses of land. I was driving by myself from Oregon to Nevada. It was a blessing. Time to myself. Loud music. The wind in my face. I didn't expect it to feel so good. It was rejuvenating.

The air conditioning on my van wasn't fixed when we had it serviced two days before we left. When we stopped for lunch, all of the kids deserted me. They all wanted to ride in the truck with dad.

I made the most of the empty van.
I was imagining myself in a convertible the whole time. I was in my merlot Miata... and it was beautiful. (Miata picture taken pre-kids, probably 12-13 years ago.)

Pictures from the roadtrip

Monday, July 18, 2011

I am home

I am sitting at a table for 4 in a furnished apartment. We need to get 2 more chairs. I've had breakfast. I had toast with some jam that my neighbor from home sent with me. The jam was delicious. It couldn't help but feel nostalgic as I ate it. I am waiting for my daughter to wake up. I am not sure what we will do today. My husband had to go back to work. He had a wonderful week off from work to help us move. We are moved but we are not settled. We are at home in our little apartment. We have a relatively small amount of our stuff. In some ways, it is nice. I recognize we own way more than we truly need. At times, it is annoying. I need this or that and I don't have it. I am thankful for our provisions. I am thankful for the generic coffee cups and the toaster that burnt the first round of toast because I am not used to its settings. The kids are happy. Oh sure, they've been exhausted at times and expressed their fatigue in the most childish ways. We don't have a normal right now. But, they are amazingly content in our new place. The well-anticipated move has happened. We still have to find our house but we are together as a family of 6. That is satisfying to all of us. Cliches irritate me. I don't want to be cliche - ever. But this morning I find myself soaking up the reality of the old saying, "Home is where the heart is." I am home. It's a good place to be.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Thursday Thanks Tank #158

Each Thursday I try to make a list of my thankful thoughts. Sometimes I jot it down on paper, sometimes I share that list here, and other times I just highlight one or two things that I am thankful for. This is my Thursday Thanks Tank.

I spent time off and on today being thankful.

Here are my thankful thoughts:

1. Book Club: Tonight was bittersweet. I went to my last book club here in Oregon. What a fantastic group of women. I love this group! I am thankful for it because it provided me a fun night once a month, without responsibility or obligation. Also, because the women are from all sorts of walks of life and beliefs, it provided me with thought-provoking discussions. (I will really miss this group!)

2. A successful garage sale: I had a garage sale last weekend. It went wonderfully. I sold more stuff than I should have (yep, I've had to apologize to 2 kids for selling something that I didn't ask about selling) and sold some stuff that I can't believe I sold (wow, I am amazed at what people will buy and take... so thankful to get rid of that lawnmower that hasn't run for about 2 years!)

3. MOPS friends: I have been surrounded by a wonderful group of women these last 4 years. I haven't been as involved this past year and still, some of the ladies wanted to go to dinner before I left. It was thoughtful of them and very kind. I love my MOPS friends!

4. Donations: I have been giving stuff to a few people. It makes me want to do it more often. Quality items, given kindly, can really bless others. (It also makes me want to take inventory more often. If I am not using it, can someone else use it?)

5. Starbucks cards: I was cleaning out a junk drawer (oh-how-I-wish I didn't have junk drawers) and I found a Starbucks card with $10 on it. $10!!

6. Friends. Wait, what? Didn't I already say that? Well, yes. But, I am thankful for some friends that watched my kids for me a couple of weekends ago so I could have a weekend away with my husband. It was extra nice. We were in our new-home-to-be (or town-to-be) and it was nice to check things out sans kids.

7. The end of this single parenting chapter. Lord have mercy. I doubt I will sign up for single parenting again! My husband will be here this weekend and we will be headed to our new town this coming week. I am ready to be a family again. I am thankful for the unity we've had while we have been apart. I am even more thankful that we won't be apart any longer.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Craig's List and Things that make you go "Hmmm"

I used Craig's List for the first time this week to sell items. In the past, I have used Craig's List as a tool to advertise sales.

I've decided - Craig's List is awesome.

Take pictures. Write a description. Wait for contact. Take Money and hand over goods.


Now for the Craig's List Things that Make You Go "Hmmm" -

Broken Futon - Sold for $45

Pile of Unused Toys - Sold for $30