I think everyone should be so lucky as to be married to an engineer. While it is true that purchasing large or technical products such as televisions, cameras, or computers will take longer as we'll he'll have to research the various brands, settings, options and figure out which one is the best price and has the best features for us, when any of those things breaks he is not afraid to open them up and fix them (and since he spend a larger portion of his childhood taking a part such items he actually knows what he is looking at and how to fix it).   Last week when we had our phone fiasco he was able to open the phone up and work on the motherboard and fix it.  For a few days we had to deal with no ringer (I wouldn't know that someone was calling my house until I heard my answering machine pick up at which point I'd have to quickly make a dash for the phone) but last night he got out his soldering iron and within 10 minutes the ringer was working!   Isn't that so cool?  His mind totally amazes me.  I have never wondered what the inside of a computer looks like, but because he has, when our screen broke, he wasn't afraid to unscrew a few screws and install a new screen, or keyboard, or hard drive (mmm, yea, we are a little hard on our laptop I am afraid to admit).   If a toy isn't working, even after I finally got around to changing the batteries, he'll just unscrew the top, do a little soldering and wa-la, the drum is back to playing that annoying little jingle when the kids beat on it.   I'm so thankful he asked why and how all those years and that his parents patiently answered him instead of just responding "because."   Hmmmm.... looks like I gotta start asking why so when my children ask me I will have something brilliant ready to say when asked, "How do the words in your e-mail end up on Daddy's computer at work?"

Recently my 2 year old daughter has decided that a good way to pass time in the car is to scream really loudly. It's also a really good way to annoy her older brother.

Typically we start driving down the road and she starts making some annoyingly loud noise and then 2 second after she starts, my son starts screaming, "Yell A Little Bit Quieter" followed by, "Mom, she's not yelling a little bit quieter," over and over. Not long after this the baby starts mimicking the noises she hears and, well, it gets quite loud. Typically, I just tune it out and keep on driving for at least several minutes before asking them all to quiet down. I can actually go several minutes with this chaotic noise in the background before I realize how loud it is.

Here is a 30 second clip of this circus act. Listen and tell me what it reminds you of.

It reminded me of the scene in Dumber and Dumber when he asks the hitchhiker if he wants to hear "the most annoying sound in the world." As I watched this clip I found it is quite similar to a ride in my minivan. The petty fighting.... (lately my daughter will say to my son "no Mam" when he asks her something which drives him insane because it should be "no Sir" since he is a boy and they fight about it incessantly) This clip totally brought out a chuckle. I can't help but think the man sitting in the middle is very much like my poor baby in the backseat silently screaming "Guys, guys, ENOUGH!"

What do you think? Does my daughter do a good Jim Carrey impersonation?

...your son won't sit on your lap because your legs are "too spiky."
My four year old son told me yesterday that my legs "are prickly like a cactus."
You better believe I made sure to get up early enough to shave my legs before leaving for church this morning. They are silky smooth now (a fact that my son and my husband are both glad about).
This week I wrote about my daughter's hang up call to the local police station. We have no idea how long we were "on the air" before she hung up. I immediately started thinking, "What did they hear during that time?" Thankfully It wasn't one of those meltdown moments when everyone was whining and crying, but what exactly did we say?

I remember the day we discovered that our baby monitor could pick up the signal of our neighbor's baby monitor. We immediately changed it so as not to eavesdrop but we also became very concerned that the system would do the same thing in the other direction. After that discovery we became very good about unplugging the monitor when we weren't using it. I didn't like the idea of my neighbor being able to hear everything that is said and done in our house. This is of course a reasonable concern since hearing only gives part of the story (consider the sounds while disciplining a two year old). But, there is someone who not only hears but sees and even knows our motivations.

Psalm 139: 1-4

1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

When I say I want to live a life that glorifies my Lord that means I need to do it all the time. There is no turning off the baby monitor or hanging up the phone. There is no putting on pretenses when He is concerned. The fact is, if it were not for the forgiveness I received through Jesus Christ, my Heavenly Father would be very disappointed in what He sees. But he has sent his son and he does forgive my sin. I am thankful that God knows the real me. He knows my attitudes, my motivations, my desires, my limits. And knowing all this, He loves me still. This summer, as I spend time in His Word, I want to get real with my Lord. To confess my sins to Him, knowing that "He is faithful and just to forgive me from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9.

Weekend Thoughts:
My posts typically relate funny anecdotes about the happenings here at the circus.  While my days are seldom “normal” enough to leave me without a “post worthy” moment, I use my last post of the week to highlight something a little more “thoughtful” and significant. If you had a thoughtful post from this last week, or choose to make a new one, please feel free to add a link in the comments section below.  I’d love to hear what others are learning.
My sweet sister in law, Jessie , tagged me with this "Share the Love" award in which you tag the blogs of people whose blogs you enjoy reading.

The rules are to tag bloggers who make your day, make you laugh and smile, and/or leave uplifting comments on your blog. You then include a link to this post , and ask each person you tag to do the same!

Soooo, time to share the love my friends!

Hmmm, well the blogs I read daily, that make my day are typically other stay at home mommies who find humor in what many might consider the mundane. I feel like many of you are kindred spirits and if we lived in the same town, I am certain we'd be friends. Some of you I know in real life, like Sarah - mom of three boys, and Megan mother of two, both of whom I know from college, 2 different colleges, mind you. Others of you I only met in bloggyland, but I consider you friends as I read about your love for your Lord, your husband, and your children. There's my friend Monica whose been married a little longer than me and has kids about the same age, but her husband is deployed in Iraq while she holds down the fort in Germany. Then there's Jessica , who lives in a beautiful farm house in Iowa and is pregnant with her third child. I also get to read about life as a mother and preachers wife in "Tinytown" on Sarah 's blog. And WGM makes me laugh with her antics of life with 5 (and I thought my life was a circus)!

I can't forget Kristen . Her blog was the first blog I visited with frequency that wasn't some one I knew in real life. I remember telling all my friends about her, because she was so down to earth and seemed like someone we would hang out with in real life. After about 2-3 weeks of lurking on her blog, I ended up writing my own and then realizing the importance of commenting and thus started commenting on hers.

And last, but definitely not least, my dear family members. Both of my sister in laws, whom I love like sisters, check my blog daily and comment with frequency. They boost my self-esteem when I wonder if anyone is reading this. Jessie is married to my brother. She writes with humor about the joys of being married to my little brother and raising two beautiful little girls. I married Karen' s brother. She writes of life as an army wife and shares her crafty projects (which make me jealous that I am not so talented) and fun anecdotes.

So, thanks dear bloggers for writing so faithfully. You are all in my google reader and I eagerly look forward to reading about your lives each and every day. So consider yourselves tagged.

I was shopping at BJ's the other day with the kids when we passed the jewelry counter.

My son asked, "Why is there jewelry at BJ's?"

I responded, "So people can buy it."

He then said, "Yea... I guess if they were getting married and didn't have a ring they could come here."

Hmmm.... clearly this Mommy doesn't wear much jewelry, since my son thinks wedding rings are the only kind of jewelry one wears. It's not that I don't appreciate jewelry. I do . But my morning routine is typically a race. I put the baby down for her morning nap and the "big kids" get to watch one show from our TiVo while I take my shower. I'm racing the clock to get showered and dressed because once the show ends they wonder down the hall and my time is up. I'm happy to shave my legs and put on deodorant, let alone "accessorize"...

How about you? Do you wear jewelry everyday or just on special occasions?
Its Thursday again and time for me to go into that box in the closet under the stairs and find another picture that didn't make it into a photo album. I found a classic that is truly timely. This is a picture of me opening gifts on my 13th birthday (I think, might be 12). Can't tell what I am unwrapping, but my brother behind me is definitely interested. Like my dangling shell earrings? How about those bangs? They were a work of art don't you think? There was something else of note about my 13th birthday. It was the year that I got my first phone for my room. Yep, it was a memorable moment - I was a teenager and yes I was the stereotypical type that monopolized the phone all day long. I guess you could say it was a coming of age of sorts.

Here is another picture I have and this one shows the phone. Wow, to think of the hours I have logged on that phone. The girlfriends and boyfriends I spent hours talking to (and my brother will tell you they were always, "very important things"). Ahh the memories.

This is the phone that keeps on giving too because there is something else noteworthy about that phone picture. It was taken this afternoon as it sat as the only working phone in our circus of a house. Yep, it was only two days ago that one of our two portable phones made their blogging debut in this post involving my youngest daughter and her new friends at the police department. But alas, they have been claimed by the circus. I looked away for a moment and tuned back to see my middle child "wash" both of our portable phones in a basin on the deck. I found her holding them up, with water dripping out the bottom. Nice, huh? These were the only phones we used in our house. I knew when I had two girls with my genes that we would have our share of issues over the phone but I had no idea it would start so soon!

I was temporairily left with no land line at my house. Then I remembered my old faithful phone from middle and high school. I remember when I got this phone over 15 years ago, I thought it was "so cool" because it was clear and you could see all the wires and bells and stuff but now, after using nothing but portable phones for 4 years, this hand held one felt so huge! I didn't realize how often I used caller ID until I didn't have it. How strange to pick up the phone and have no idea who was on the other end! I thought talking on the phone with three kids awake and clamoring for my attention was difficult, but not being able to walk around (or out of the room) with the phone made it even more of a challenge!

This week I flashed back to the days of nothing but land lines with no call waiting, and no caller ID. For more musings of days gone by, check out Sincerely Fro Me To You at We are THAT Family.

I just couldn't resist sharing these pics from our recent trip to the beach.

For more Wordless Wednesday's, visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

When my oldest daughter was born my son wanted to get her this musical turtle he saw at Target for her crib. Every time we went to Target he would push the buttons to make it play music and he would ask if he could get it for his sister. We didn't think it was necessary.

He was still insistent about it when our third child was born so we decided to let him get it for his sister for Christmas.

He was right, we were wrong. She loved it instantly. She'd play with it when she woke up or as she was falling asleep.

I always played a cd of lullaby music for my other two kids as they fell asleep. This can sometimes be a pain when we are away from home, especially camping, and we don't have access to a cd player. With the baby we lay her down in her crib, push play on Mr Turtle, and it plays a little song for approx 15-20 seconds. If she wants more music she hits it once or twice more. It is portable, so we have brought it with us camping or on other over night trips. It's easy for her to use so if she wakes up in the morning and can't fall back asleep she can push the button herself. (Doesn't need Mom to get out of bed and come hit play on the cd player). This fact alone makes it worth the $20 we spent on the toy. I often hear the music playing in her room before it's time for her to wake up. (Now that the crib is lowered and Mr Turtle rests on on the bottom, she sometimes rolls into it while sleeping and once we heard it playing continuously because her head was against it. Didn't seem to bother her a bit though).

Mr Turtle has provided a simple way for my baby to listen to music as she falls asleep, self sooth when she wakes up in the middle of the night, and easily provide the continuity of her normal routine when we are away from home. It works for me!! If your looking for more helpful tips, visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.
Kids like buttons. At least ours do. Our son was the first addict. We could keep him happy quiet for long periods of time by giving him the TV remote (with the TV off) and letting him just pound away. Him being the first, we were always careful when he got the phone. Wouldn't want him to call someone unintentionally and have someone listening to uncensored Life at the Circus. He never really called anyone though, because life with one isn't quite a circus, he just hit buttons. Naturally, when it came to baby number two we got a little more lax with the phone. Our daughter was a less enamored by the buttons, but she knew that the shiny one in the center made it light up and bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. We'd just periodically hit the off button. By child number three, we are quite a bit more lax. We'd just give her the phone and go back to our business. It's not like she's really going to call someone anyway, right?

Thursday morning we received a call from the police. Seems little miss figured out how to dial 9-1-1. (I wonder how long we were "on the air" and what circus noise they heard during that time) Ooops! Mommy's going to be a little more careful now.

Isn't this a great picture?

It's just a down to earth action shot of us all eating dinner. It's me and my one, two, three, four?, five?.... wait a minute, that's too many. Your right, I only have three kids but we gained two new members to our circus cast this weekend as we watched the children of our very good friends while they went away for their anniversary. I got to experience life with 5 under 4 for a day and overnight! It was a ton of fun. There was one moment when I had everyone melting down at once, but I have moments like that with 3 and it was only a moment. It's really true what they say, once you get used to having 3, adding more isn't that much different. You (and your kids) are already accustomed to the fact that you can't meet everyone's needs immediately. Also, having friends for the kids to play with actually makes things easier in many ways rather than harder. I will say I had way more poopy diapers than I am used to. In addition to having two extra kids to change, my baby decided to go 3 times what she normally does in one day. I wonder what I fed her? Also, I didn't attempt any errands or trips out of the house with the little ones. I wasn't quite ready for the stares I knew I'd get at the store. (yea... that's why I didn't go to the store with 5 small children... not because I was outnumbered 5 to one, or because I couldn't fit them all in the cart or because I knew it would take 30 min just to get them into the car...not at all) Instead I saved my milk run for after Scott got home from work.

It's was a delight to have our friends here and we were sad to see them go.

(Ok - you know who you are and I know what your thinking. Scott and I are not pregnant nor are we thinking about it. We are happy with the three we have - at least for now :-)
You know I've complained before about having nothing to eat. I posted a picture of my fridge and said it was "the end of the world as we know it." But the truth is, I know nothing about going hungry. When I look at my fridge and complain about making dinner, there are millions of mothers who would look at the contents and shout with joy. I can't even begin to imagine the heartache of watching my baby go hungry. Watching my children suffer as they literally waste away, while I am helpless to do anything is something beyond my comprehension. If my kids go to bed hungry, it is because they decided the food I prepared for them wasn't to their liking.

Millions of children in the world are going to bed hungry tonight. According to the Compassion International website, "The higher prices are forcing people who survive on just $1 a day to spend upwards of 80 percent of their budgets just on food." I'm sure we've all noticed and felt the toll the rising food costs have taken on our family budget. But while many of us are having to give up some of our luxuries, readjust our vacation plans, or think about how we're going to "make our trips count" so many in the world don't get to enjoy these options. Instead they are making choices such as which meal to skip, or even worse, deciding who in their family will go hungry.

On June 25th, Compassion International is having a day of fasting and prayer for the victims of the Global Food Crisis. I confess I am too often self absorbed and I typically focus on my day and my family. Lately though, God has been placing the poor and impoverished on my heart. As I reach in the fridge to fill up a sippy cup with milk, I think about the moms who have nothing to reach for when her baby cries for food. It breaks my heart and humbles me. These poor moms did no more to deserve their situation than I did to deserve mine. Please join me and others in praying for these individuals on June 25th and remember when you sit down and say grace before your meal, to truly thank God for that food and not just mumble the words we've been saying since we were children.

Weekend Thoughts:
My posts typically relate funny anecdotes about the happenings of a stay at home wife and mom with three kids. While my days are seldom “normal” enough to leave me without a “post worthy” moment (i.e. read here), I intend to take some time on the weekend to highlight something from my week that’s a little more “thoughtful” and significant. If you had a post from this week, or choose to make a specific “Weekend Thought” post, please feel free to add a link to your post in the comments section. I’d love to hear what others are learning.
My son really took an interest in golfing this weekend while watching my husband follow the U.S. Open. My husband rarely golfs but does have a set of clubs and after very persistent requests, my husband let my son use his clubs in the back yard. He taught him the different types of clubs (drivers, putters, irons) and when they are used. My son had a blast hitting the ball with the putter (which was almost as long as him) in the back yard and then running over to putt it into the pretend hole (between my husband's legs).

At one point he really started just randomly swinging at the ball and not really being intentional about it so Scott slowed him down and said,  "you really need to focus on the ball before you swing". Here is a clip of what my son did as a result. I had a hard time not laughing while taking this video clip. Note the intensity my son displays.

That boy makes me laugh.

Besides playing very focused golf, my son is also quite the critic.  While watching the U.S. Open on Father's Day, I overheard the following conversation.

"Dad, is that Tiger Woods?"


Tiger then makes a huge drive to get the ball onto the green.

My son sees that the ball is near the hole, but it didn't go into the hole.

"Dad, I thought you said Tiger Woods was good. He didn't get it into the hole."

Well son, he is good. You aren't always able to hit it right into the hole. It was good that he drove the ball 300 yards to get it near the hole. Then, he'll hit it in.

"Oh," - my son wasn't as impressed with this talent.

On Monday my son had the following conversation with me.

"Mom, is Tiger Woods real?"

"Yea, why?"

"Because I saw him on TV"

I realized then that most of watch he has seen on TV has been cartoons and we have been very careful to make sure he knows they are not real.

"Yes, Tiger Woods is real, you were watching pictures of him golfing in real life."

"Oh, does Daddy golf with Tiger Woods."


"No, Daddy's never golfed with Tiger."

"Has he golfed at the same grass?"

another chuckle

"No, Daddy golfed at a different course."

I love the innocence of youth.

Our pastor has been talking a lot lately about being transparent. As a Christian I too often present the world with a false squeaky clean image that gives the appearance that I think am perfect. Of course, everyone knows that no one is perfect so, when they see me ACTING perfect they know it is a false charade. What kind of credibility does that bring? No, I am far from perfect. I fall short of God's standard every day and it is only by God's grace that the consequences for those shortcomings have been paid by someone else - Jesus. Grace is a gift and no charade of perfection will do anything to justify this gift. As a Christian I do strive for holiness but I do it as a way of saying thank you to the God who loves me. NOT in an attempt to earn his love.

Why do I say all this now? Because this blog (and particularly this post) is a way in which I try to keep things very real and transparent. Far from perfect, I could never even achieve the worldly standard of the ideal homemaker. Don't get me wrong, I like a clean house and I truly wish my house was cleaner then it is. But stuff happens, kids don't nap as long as I think they will, friends invite us over for an impromptu cookout, sometime I just feel lazy. In the end, those good intentions so often fall to the way side. I want people to feel comfortable enough around me, an imperfect mom, that they can be themselves. I love the kind of friends that you can invite over and not stress all day about cleaning every last corner of the house first.

When Jessica announced a "keeping it real" carnival on her blog I knew right away that I wanted to play along. She has posted a list of things to take pictures of around our house AS IS, no primping or touching it up first, she wants Real Life.

So, here's are the pictures from her list... This is the real me.

My fridge


I decided to keep it REAL, real and show you my baby's closet. It's been on my to do list for quite a few weeks now, but as you can see it keeps getting pushed off...

My Kitchen Sink


Lid up, can you tell my son went potty last? He also left behind his pants and his teddy... nice, huh? (The list did not stipulate that we had to show the inside of the toilet and I just couldn't bring myself to be that real. Let's just say that my son does not always flush so there is a bit of a ring)

Favorite Shoes

Ok, I really don't have that many shoes... running sneakers, high heels (not even close to my favorite), clogs for winter, and my crocs for summer. I desperately need to go shoe shopping and find some cute sandals. For now, these are the most comfortable and the ones you are most likely to see me wearing, so I guess you can call them my favorite.

Favorite Room

My favorite room in our house is our guest room. We have it decorated with pictures we've taken on our National Park trips. The pack-n-play is set up because my 2 year old naps here every day.

What your kids are doing

OK, technically right now while I am typing this, they are all asleep because I write my blog posts after they go to bed at night, but when I was running around the house taking pictures for this post, this is what they were doing.

And just one more of that... do they have a cool Daddy or what? And don't you love how my little super hero is protecting himself instead of his baby sister? Yea, Daddy had a talk with him about chivalry after this incident.


If you're a faithful reader, then you know laundry is not my high point. But I was so excited to take this picture, because I just have one basket waiting to be folded (ok and one batch in the dryer and one basket waiting to be washed) But still, it is MUCH better than this day.

Here's my self portrait

(I followed the rules and took it as is, didn't even look in the mirror first)

So, there you have it, my real life.

I sometimes wonder why it is easier for me to "keep it real" with the whole blogosphere, but when it comes to people I know it is a lot harder. I've posted some pics of my sink and fridge that I'd never show face to face to someone, but in the "anonymity" of the blogosphere, it somehow feels safer. The ironic thing about that is that my extended family on both sides all read the blog pretty regularly and a few weeks ago I had a man come up to me at church saying, "I've been reading your blog..." so much for that anonymos blogoshphere.

My Sincerely Fro Me to You post this week doesn't go back quite as far as my others... it's actually not even a month old. We went on multi family camping trip. There were 8 kids 4 and under between the 3 families. Friday night we had a blast. The kids enjoyed playing with tent poles in the dirt while we set up camp. Then they went looking for sticks to roast their marshmallows.

We woke Saturday morning at around 4 am. Believe it or not, we got more sleep than we had expected with 3 kids in our tent and 2 kid filled tents nearby. By 5:30 we ventured out of our tent when we heard our friend's kids talking. By 7 am we were all up eating pancakes with kids running circles around the tents.

And then the rain came...

Why is it that ALL of my memories of camping growing up involve rain? It seems they go hand in hand. And yet, I love camping and continue to go back. It is hard to explain.

We expected to get wet. But this wasn't just wet. This was hours of torrential down pouring. My husband and son went fishing for several hours in the rain. My son really wanted to fish, there was nothing else to do, and they were completely soaked anyway so they just stood exposed in the rain and fished (didn't catch anything). I stayed at the site with the girls. Here is what our camp site looked like by mid day. My arms were tired and my back was killing me because, as you can see, there wasn't really a place for me to sit my baby down. By lunch we were standing in ankle deep water and it was time to evaluate the situation. One of the tents had been flooded already and the forecast was telling us it was going to rain the rest of the day with thunderstorms that night. We rather reluctantly decided to pack up and try again another time. Could we have stuck it out? Sure... but, if people weren't having fun, then pride alone seemed like a bad motivation.

We noticed a break in the rain and decided it was a good time to pack up our tents. After quickly packing up and loading our wet stuff into our van, we are on the road. As we drove away, this is what the sky looked like.

Yup... a clear blue sky the whole way to my brother's house .

So much for that weather forecast.

To see my other Sincerely Fro Me to You posts click here , or, in celebration of my latest blogging milestone, check out my 100th post.

I mentioned here, that I started running this summer. I am following a training schedule to help me reach my goal but it keeps changing the distance that I must run each day. Instead of guestimating (surely it's been a mile by now) or driving the route with the car (like I really feel like loading the kids another time) to try to calculate the distance, my wonderful husband, the engineer, found me an online application made using google maps that is a HUGE help! I simply go to google pedometer and type in the starting address and trace out on the map the path I want to run and it calculates the distance for me (along with calories burned).

I do all my running on roads but if you wanted to you can switch to satellite view and trace out your path through the woods or city park. My husband told me it could even overlay a topographical map but that was beyond my interest level. Today, I had to run 3 miles to stick with my schedule, and I was able to type in my address and plan a route that took me that exact distance (padded with some intentional cool down time at the end). It worked perfectly (though next time I will check the topography to avoid the hill)! The picture below is the graph it generated telling me the elevation change.

Pretty cool.

Stick around and check out my 100th post!! or, to find out what is working for other people, check out Rocks In My Dryer.

I was cooking dinner last week, when the kids called out from the toy box,

"Mom, don't you want to get us out and play with us?"

For More Wordless Wednesdays, check out 5 Minutes for Mom.

To learn more about me, check out my 100th post!

It’s my 100th post, so I thought I’d post a hundred things about myself…

  1. I love the smell of play dough.

  2. I like to have a night light on in our room at night.

  3. When I am baking cookies I tend to eat at least half of the dough.

  4. I hate vanilla ice cream.

  5. I also don’t like cake, especially chocolate cake.

  6. So, you don’t think I am crazy, I do have a weakness for ice cream, especially hand scooped, particularly chocolate peanut butter.

  7. I am a COKE girl all the way, and not matter how badly I am craving a soda will drink water if the restaurant only sells Pepsi.

  8. I detest Diet Coke and would rather drink less Coke, less often, and get the real thing.

  9. I was a huge fan of the TV show Alias when it was on and would actually have dreams where I was Jennifer Garner and could go out and whip up on terrorists.

  10. If you actually knew me you would think that was funny b/c I am a big fraidy cat.

  11. Still in my mind, I’d picture myself with purple hair, and a mini skirt kicking butt.

  12. I am a huge, raving fan of Chick-Fil-A and even showed up on cow appreciation day dressed in cow print with my children dressed as cows, all to get a free meal.

  13. I love to watch football, and am a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

  14. I hate the Ravens almost as much as I love the Steelers.

  15. I taught 3rd grade for 3 years.

  16. I tripped when walking to my seat on the stage at graduation after receiving my diploma.

  17. I don’t cry when I am happy.

  18. I wish I did, because I feel like it makes me look like a stoic.

  19. I love the smell of coffee and begged my husband to get addicted so that our house could smell like coffee in the morning.

  20. I’m from Maryland.

  21. I’ve only had crabs once and when I did I dipped them in ketchup.

  22. Heinz is hands down the best ketchup and you really can tell the difference between it and others.

  23. I have 5 colleges on my college transcript.

  24. (2 were from community colleges that I went to during the summer)

  25. I changed my major twice in college.

  26. I still graduated in 4 years.

  27. I got married 2 weeks after I graduated college.

  28. This was my motivation for taking those summer classes and graduating in 4 years.

  29. I think TiVo is one of the greatest inventions there is.

  30. I think golf is one of the boringest things to watch on TV (hmm can you tell my husband watched the US Open this weekend?)

  31. My husband and I went to see Toy Story on Ice before we had kids.

  32. I think we were the only people in the arena without children on our laps.

  33. For my first date with my husband, he came to my house and we watched the movie Toy Story.

  34. Thunder storms scare me when my husband isn’t at home.

  35. I love holidays and my friend once described my house as like a giant elementary school bulletin board.

  36. Christmas is my favorite holiday.

  37. It kills me to wait till the day after Thanksgiving to turn on Christmas music.

  38. When I was in kindergarten, I took two color by number papers from school (instead of one) when the teacher was passing them out and took the extra one home and told my mom it was homework.

  39. I felt guilty about this for 3 years and in third grade I confessed to my mom that I “lied and stole.”

  40. I don’t iron. Ever.

  41. More often than not I leave the house without having blown dried my hair or put make up on.

  42. I have a weakness for OREO’s (but only with milk).

  43. I am truly and literally a steak and potato kind of girl.

  44. For as long as I can remember I’ve known Jesus as my Savior.

  45. I’ve only lived in two states my whole life. Pennsylvania and Maryland.

  46. Growing up my mom was my best friend and I told her EVERYTHING.

  47. I pray that I can have that kind of closeness with my girls.

  48. I love to listen to Oldies stations on the radio. I also love to sing along and always think it would have been fun to grow up back then.

  49. Snakes and bats freak me out and I will scream like a girl if I see one or if you tell me there is one nearby.

  50. I feel the same way about mice and when we had them in our apartment I was that girl who stood on a chair and squealed.

  51. When I was in third grade I told my Sunday School teacher I wanted to be the first female president.

  52. I no longer have that aspiration.

  53. I drink a glass of milk with chocolate malt Ovaltine every morning for breakfast. “More Ovaltine please!” (yup that’s me)!

  54. My husband and I want to visit each of the U.S. National Parks.

  55. I really like hot pink.

  56. Little Women and You’ve Got Mail are my two favorite movies.

  57. I am afraid of heights.

  58. I love to go camping. I think being in Creation away from everything and sitting around a fire eating smores is well worth all the stuff you have to pack, the walk to the toilet and the dirt.

  59. I am horrible at parking. Forget parallel parking, I haven’t done that since my drivers test, I am horrible at pulling into or out of a parking spot.

  60. I have parked too close to the car beside me and had to wait for the person to leave before I could get out of my spot. (this has happened more than once)

  61. No, I don’t drive a Hummer.

  62. I can’t go to sleep without peeking in on my kids sleeping in their beds.

  63. I can go to sleep without brushing my teeth.

  64. I’ve done so more than once.

  65. I’ve never had a cavity in my life.

  66. I played with Barbie dolls LONG after I wanted to admit to anyone that I was still playing with dolls.

  67. I don’t like to drive and happily take shot gun and navigate almost every time my husband and I drive somewhere together.

  68. I am the coordinator for a MOPS (Mothers Of PreSchoolers) group that meets at my church.

  69. I played basketball for half a season in eighth grade.

  70. My coach had to pull me out of the game b/c I made the free throw shot and was so surprised and excited that I couldn’t stop jumping up and down.

  71. I don’t like just plain chocolate, as in Hershey Kisses, Hershey bar, or a handful of chocolate chips.

  72. M&Ms however are one of my favorite candies.

  73. I also really like peppermint patties. (also known as Charlie Brown Candy by my son)

  74. I’d happily eat cereal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner if I didn’t have other people to prepare food for.

  75. If I wasn’t “the mom” I would eat the good, candy coated cereal, but since it is too hard to hide that stuff and eat it in secret, I just buy the healthy stuff and most often stick to my Ovaltine instead.

  76. I am a planner. I like calendars and dates and lists.

  77. I don’t like Ricotta cheese and when I make lasagna for dinner I always leave one third of it without the ricotta and my husband knows that when he cuts the lasagna, the low deflated portion is mine.

  78. My middle name is after my mom. Sue.

  79. I have one younger brother.

  80. I like to take pictures, lots of them, often. We have 2 external hard drives because of this.

  81. Nothing beats warm, freshly baked bread with melted butter on top. Mmmm……

  82. I gained over 50 pounds when I was pregnant with my son.

  83. I lost all the baby weight before getting pregnant again.

  84. The girls were nicer to me.

  85. But I still have 11 pounds to lose from baby number 3.

  86. (most of you will hate me for this one) I didn’t throw up once with any of my three pregnancies.

  87. One of my favorite things to do on a Sunday afternoon is curl up and take a nap with my hubby while the kids are all sleeping.

  88. One of my favorite flowers is a daffodil because my grandma gave me daffodil bulbs when I was a little girl.

  89. I’d rather be hot than cold.

  90. When I sleep I always like to have a blanket on me, but I hate to have my feet covered.

  91. I have a hard time eating my veggies.

  92. I often splurge on Bath and Body Works soap because it just smells so nice and seems worth it.

  93. I have never smoked a cigarette or cigar and don’t ever care to.

  94. I never drink the last swig or two from a soda can. This isn’t a conscious decision. I guess I hate when it starts to get warm or flat. This drives my husband crazy as he has often spilled soda on the floor when he assumed the can was empty.

  95. My favorite Girl Scout cookies are Thin Mints (especially frozen) and Samoas.

  96. I love to sing praise songs.

  97. I had a NKOTB Birthday party once. My invitations read, "Hang Tough at Crystal's New Kids on the Block Birthday party" Yea... I was so cool!

  98. Most people think I am an extrovert, but I’m really not. I can be outgoing, but it drains me.

  99. I lam madly in love with my husband!

  100. I was a big fan of Saved by the Bell, Full House, and the Brady Bunch growing up. When I watch them now, I can't believe I watched them so faithfully time and time again. Except for Brady Bunch... it's classic... even the made for TV movie reunions.

Wow! Did any of you stick around to read the whole list? What surprised you? What do we have in common? Leave me a comment… they make my day!

Thanks for reading my blog. Can’t believe I’ve written 100 posts already.

The other morning I came around the corner to find my 4 year old son unscrewing the screw from the switch plate of our light. He had gotten his chair, pulled it up to the light switch, found the right size Phillips screw driver, and had gotten the screw mostly off. I noticed he had been quiet for awhile when I peeked around the corner to check on him and saw this.

He wanted to see what electricity looked like.

Of course I told him to NEVER, NEVER, EVER, take off light switch plates or outlet plates, EVER, EVER. This event horrified me. This was no kidding dangerous. I praise God he did not get farther then he did. Just last week I said he was smart enough to get himself in trouble someday and this was almost that day. He asked a lot of questions during the power outage and apparently learned a lot.

I couldn't help but think of the Dilbert comic my husband, the engineer, had forwarded home from work before. Looks, like he too might have the knack....

Looking for more laughs? Check out Absolutely Bananas.

(P.S. I yelled at him immediately, the above picture is him screwing the screw back in...forever)

I love my children immensely and would do anything for them. When my children disobey, I do not love them any less. My love for them is not based on whether or not they behave in the store or if they place nicely with each other. I have loved my children since before they were born and the moment I held them for the first time that love multiplied and has grown daily. When my children behave as expected and treat each other with kindness, it brings me great joy. It brings a smile to my face, it blesses my heart and endears them to me. But, I do not love them more because of it.

Realizing this as a parent has given me a new appreciation for how our Heavenly Father feels towards His children, only He does it perfectly. Because of Jesus' death on the cross, when He looks at me, He looks at me like He looks at His perfect Son. His love for me is not based on how good or bad I am. When I act selfishly to my husband and children, when I fail to put God first in my life, he doesn't love me less. And when I obey His word, when I correctly prioritize my life, when I patiently discipline my children, He doesn't love me more. No, having children has helped me to see that when a child obeys it brings a parent great joy but it doesn't earn love. I want to live the kind of life that brings joy to my Father. I want to live my life in such a way that when my Heavenly Father looks down on my actions, He has a smile on His face.

Ephesians 1:5-8

He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will— to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

Weekend Thoughts:

My posts typically relate funny anecdotes about the happenings of a stay at home wife and mom with three kids. While my days are seldom “normal” enough to leave me without a “post worthy” moment (i.e. read here), I intend to take some time on the weekend to highlight something from my week that’s a little more “thoughtful” and significant. If you had a post from this week, or choose to make a specific “Weekend Thought” post, please feel free to add a link to your post in the comments section. I’d love to hear what others are learning. (Oh, and please don’t feel like you have to have a blog or post a link, to leave a comment ;-) )
Last week I registered for a 10 mile run at the end of August. For over a year now I've been wanting to do this. I ran a 5K for the first time when my son was a year old. I ran two more when my 2 year old was 6 mths old. Until last Tuesday, I hadn't run since.

I waited through one of the mildest winter and spring seasons I've seen here and decided to start running during the week of record breaking heat. Yup, I'm a smart cookie.

I am following Hal Higdon's guide to training for a 15K. If I stick with the program, I'll be all set in time for my race, with even 2 weeks to spare. Good thing I had those cushions worked in there because last week I went strong on Mon and Tues and then when the power went out on Wed, I kinda got off track. I used the excuse that I didn't want to excercise if I couldn't shower afterwards. It made sense until Friday when the power came back on and I still didn't go running.

So Monday, I was back to trying out week one. So far this week I've followed the schedule on Mon, Tues, and Thurs. I had to run 2 miles each time this week, so I am a mere 1/5 of the way toward my goal. Next week I am up to 3 miles which is pretty much the most I ever ran in my life. I am intimidated by this goal, but will feel SO great if when I accomplish it.

So far I've learned a few things from the process.

  • You shouldn't go running in the morning on trash days. The stink of garbage lingers in the trashcans even after the trash has been taken.

  • Running with an MP3 player makes the run pass much more quickly.

  • Having accountability to exercise makes a HUGE difference (Thanks Karen and Jen for registering with me!)

I'm sure as the summer progresses, I'll have more profound wisdom to pass on to you.
For as long as I can remember my Dad and I have bonded over sports. While most kids were getting quizzed on states and capitals, we'd play a game where he'd say a city and I'd have to name the baseball and or football team from that city. I loved this game! As evidenced here, he raised me as a Steelers fan since I was an infant. When I moved to MD he would tape the games not televised here and mail them to me so my husband and I could watch them mid week. We try to watch at least a few games together every season and typically talk on the phone at some point during every game.

It's not all about sports though, I have been truly blessed to have a Dad who cares about his family. He always made his family a priority and was there for us. He worked long hours to provide for us. He took time out of his work day to watch my band competitions, come to my lacrosse games (even when I sat the bench for the entire game), and he drove my brother and I to and from school. My dad is also a great shopping partner. He would patiently walk with me from one end of the mall to another as I would shop for clothes or shoes or whatever. He never complained no matter how long I took.

I have been blessed to have a Dad who loves the Lord, his wife, and his children and I am grateful for the closeness we've shared my whole life. Happy Fathers Day Dad!

For more blasts from the past (probably less sappy than this) check out We are THAT Family.
In honor of Father's Day this week, I thought I'd use one of my favorite Daddy pics of my hubby as my Wordless Wednesday.

Check out 5 Minutes for Mom for more Wordless Wednesdays.

"Ew, gross!" "I don't like it!" How many of you have had this response after working hard to prepare a new dish for you family? It can be quite frustrating especially if you know they'll like it b/c they like every single one of the ingredients in it or worse yet, they devoured it the last time you made it and now won't even try it.

My husband and I have always insisted the our kids at least try a bite of whatever it is we're eating. This hasn't always gone without a bit of protesting though. This December my husband's cousin was in town and he told us about the "No Thank You Bite" that they use at their house.

It plays out like this... You put dinner on the table and the child says they don't like it. You respond, "That's fine, you need to take a No Thank You bite and after eating it you can politely say, No thank you I don't want any more OR if you like it, you may have more."

The kids now know that even if they don't like what is before them, they have to take a No Thank You bite. They accept this as fact and will generally do it without complaining. In fact, the other day a friend of ours was babysitting our children and she served them lunch. She later filled me in on the following conversation.

My son told her that he didn't like baked beans.

My friend replied, "That's ok, you don't have to eat them."

My son then responded, "Can I have a No Thank You bite?"

My friend said, "You don't have to have a no thank you bite you can just not eat them."

My son then said, "Please can I have a No Thank You Bite?" He then proceeded to eat his No Thank You bite and say, "No thank you, I don't want anymore."

The No Thank You bite works for us, to find out what works for others check out Rocks in My Dryer.
When asked what it was like to get the power back on Friday, I replied " A lot of work."

After throwing away the spoiled food inside of my fridge and freezer, this is what I faced.

After an hour of scrubbing...

Here are a few tips I learned from the cleaning process.

  • If your power goes out and everything in your fridge spoils, clean out the freezer BEFORE the power comes back on and all the melted stuff in your freezer refreezes.

  • When you pour hot water in the freezer to melt the ice, don't just dump an entire glass full of hot water into the freezer. Instead, just slowly pour what you need to melt the ice (because you will have to wipe out all of that water before it freezes).

  • When cleaning out the freezer door be careful and don't let your baby daughter sit under you, because everything you wipe out will drop in the crack of the door and onto your poor baby girl (thus lea ving you to give her a bath AND mop the floor after you finish with the freezer.

This week I tackled my fridge and freezer, not exactly by choice, but they haven't looked this clean since we moved in. To see what other people are tackling, check out 5 Minutes for Mom.
I love my son's imagination! He is at age where I wish I could just freeze time.  He cracks us with his antics these days.  Check out last week's comedy routines.

My son was playing on the deck when I suddenly heard him say, "Help Mom, I'm stuck."  I turned around to see this.

As I got him out of the basketball net, I asked him what on earth he was doing?  This looked like more than a slam dunk go awry.  He told me he was pretending to be a bug stuck in a web.  Of course, why didn't I think of that?

On another afternoon he took the spinning top hat off of this little M&M guy he had received for Christmas and put it on his nose announcing that he was now an airplane.

Pretty good don't you think?

He  totally cracked himself up on this one.  I asked him to go get dressed and as he came down the hall I could hear him giggling (I LOVE that sound).

He may not be headed for stand up quite yet, but he definitely knows how to make himself and his family laugh.

Looking for more laughs?  Check out Absolutely Bananas.

*Updated with posts below to people willing to contribute to Weekend Thoughts!*

Psalm 100:4

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name."

I often take things for granted and then when something happens and they don't go as usual, I feel a sense of entitlement and am quite put out. I was listening to the Christian radio station today and someone was talking about a ministry (Blood Water Mission) they work for which helps provide clean water to people in Third World countries. He said, "Where you are born should not determine whether or not you have clean drinking water. " This really made me pause.

The events of this week helped me realize that I fail to thank God for...

  • clean water

  • flushing toilets

  • being able to wash my hands after changing a diaper

  • clean dishes

  • an empty dishwasher

  • night lights

  • indoor plumbing

  • rolling over in the middle of the night and knowing what time it is

  • fans

  • being able to open the refrigerator and not worry about causing my food to spoil

  • cold drinks

  • ice

  • hot showers

  • air conditioning

  • instant communication with the outside world

I want to cultivate a thankful spirit in my life and in the life of my children. This week I was reminded of the many things I take for granted. Now that the power is back on and I have my conveniences back, I hope that I can remember to give thanks for the MANY blessings I have. I want to model to my children a thankful heart. I don't want to raise them to think we deserve or are entitled to these luxuries, just because we've always had them.

Week End Thoughts:
My posts typically relate funny anecdotes about the happenings of a stay at home wife and mom with three kids. While my days are seldom “normal” enough to leave me without a “post worthy” moment (i.e. read here), I intend to take some time on the weekend to highlight something from my week that’s a little more “thoughtful” and significant. If you had a post from this week that was reflective in nature, please add a link in the comments section. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Check out these thoughtful posts, posted this week on other blogs.

Daily Dwelling: My Ten Thousand Beside

Muthering Heights: Already

It was a big day for me. I know your thinking, yes, we know already, you got your power back. And yes I did, but that is not what I am referring to. I pulled into the parking lot of Target (which is 20 min away) with all 3 kids, at 8:30 AM. If you have kids, you recognize the monumental occasion this is.

Wanna know the secret to my record breaking time?

Literally, the kids woke up and we stuck them in the car as is. Since we were without power and my 2 year old needed an asthma treatment, I had taken her to the car to give her the nebulizer while my husband got ready for work. He showed up at the end with the other two kids because he was going to head out. He was not intending them to go anywhere. I mentioned that I wanted to run errands, (I had been thinking later on in the morning) but since they were all there at the car (and as you may know that is half the battle) I seized the day and decided to leave then. No shower for me (48+ hours and counting...)  I ran inside to quickly get out of my pjs, grab the stroller, a box of cereal, baby food, and some plastic cups.

This is how we looked. Pretty picture huh? Like my baby's outfit? (pink and white stripped top with purple and white stripped pants)

I fed my baby in the car after we finished at Target. It wasn't until we were inside the next store and my son announced that he really had to poop, that I realized he hadn't even gone potty when he woke up or before we left.

So, there you have it. I've proven it. It can be done. We can get out the door and to our destination by 8:30am. All we have to do is skip the showers, leave the kids in their sleepwear, eat breakfast on the road and forgo the potty. I don't know why we don't make it out that early more often!

As my husband mentioned here, we lost power this week. The first thing I did when the power came back on?

Brush my teeth?




Go to the bathroom?


I posted this on the internet so "the world" could know we are back. Aren't you glad to know I've got my priorities right?

It's been a fun few days around here. Really, it could have been so much worse. With the windows opened, it wasn't that hot. (It the evening after the sun went down and the windows were opened, our hall thermostat read 80 degrees)! We have a gas stove, and a gas grill, so my husband grilled burgers on the first night and I made quesidillas on the second night. I told my kids it was like we were camping (only our beds are more comfortable) My husband pointed out to me later, that at least when we are camping we can have access to water to wash our dishes and flush our toilets and at most camp grounds you can even take a hot shower. (Hmmm, good point... we have a well so when the power goes out we lose all water as well). The other big drawback to the power outage is that our generator quit working and thus we lost everything in our refrigerator. Yes, this post is a vain attempt at putting off cleaning up that enormous mess.

As well as this mess waiting for me in the sink.

Well, the baby is up from her nap and I still have a fridge to clean out, so this will be it for now... I plan to post some pictures later today of our fun during the power outage, as well as get back to reading and commenting on people's blogs... I have a lot of internet checking to catch up!!!

After 44 hours with no electricity and thus no running water, phone, or internet, I am happy to report, that we are back in action!  WAHOO!!!!   I have lots to post on our adventures over the past few days, but right now I have toilets to flush and hands to wash... but I am working on getting the kids down for their nap and then you better believe I'll be online.  :-)

As we pulled into the driveway and saw the lights on in our house my kids exclaimed, "Power!  WAHOO!  No more camping, now our clock in our bedroom works!"  Yes, it really is the little things we miss, isn't it?
We lost power at about 4pm on Wednesday. Losing power really wouldn't be so bad if it didn’t mean that I had to loose water too. It makes you realize how often you run to the sink to clean up messes the kids leave in their wake. the kids have been handling it really well. I told my son that the electricity was out and about a hour later the following discussion took place.

Son: "Mom, I can stick my finger in here now!’ (He's pointing at an electrical socket)

Mom: "NO! son, you can never stick your finger in there. That is very dangerous."

Son: "But mom, you said the electricity was out so there's no electricity in the wall - right?"

Wow. I tell you. For being 4 years old that kid is smart enough to get himself in a bunch of trouble someday. Wish me luck.
I thought I’d post a picture from my honeymoon since 7 years ago today I was in St Lucia with my hubby. Being married to Scott has been a grand adventure. He’s taken me lower and higher than I thought I’d ever go. Whether it’s exploring the world below sea level, or hiking along a glacier, he’s pushed me to do things I’d never have thought of doing on my own. He’s patiently held my hand and been kind during my panic attacks, allowing me to see and experience some of the most breath taking portraits of God’s creation.

Here we are scuba diving on our honeymoon. To this date, this is the most adventurous thing I’ve ever done. My husband has his scuba license. I had never even been snorkeling. My husband suggested we sign up for the scuba session offered at our resort. I was rather apprehensive. He encouraged me to sign up and stressed that at any point if I wanted to drop out, we could no questions asked. We signed up on Monday for the class on Friday.

This first part of the class is in a classroom. So far so good. Then we moved to a pool to practice with the scuba gear. Thankfully Scott had taken me snorkeling earlier in the week, which allowed me to get used to the concept of breathing normally while under water. (This took a lot of practice, at first I kept holding my breath every time I went under, it was so hard to remember to breath). After the pool portion, I was still nervous, but part of me wanted to do this. Scott suggested we go out on the boat, reassuring me I could drop out at any point.

In order to get into the water we had to fall backwards off of the edge of the boat and into the ocean. This was the part that I was the most afraid of. The group we were diving with all went to one side of the boat to help it lean closer to the water. This made it so that I was practically touching the water when I leaned out of the boat. Scott stayed by my side as I got ready to go and then he went to the other side (which was up in the air) and dove off so he could meet me in the water when I “landed.” With him by my side, I conquered my fear and saw beautiful coral and sea creatures. It was amazing!

He’s continued to hold my hand as we’ve journeyed through caves, along glaciers, up mountains, and as we brought 3 babies into the world. He is a supportive, encouraging, and inspiring coach. Without him I’d have missed so much; with him I feel safe and secure.

For more fun stories and pictures from the past, visit We are THAT Family.
Traveling for 5 hours in a minivan with 3 young children and one dog sounds like a kicking good time, doesn't it? Since my parents live a little over 5 hrs from us, we've gotten quite adjusted to the trip. And surprisingly, it isn't that bad. We've had our bad trips (like the time my son got the stomach flu the morning we were heading back home and puked every 30 min the entire way home), but overall we've found the key to happiness is letting the kids entertain themselves.

On our last trip my kids amused themselves in a variety of ways.

Dancing! Crank up the radio and let everyone, dance, dance, dance!!!

I Spy (Preschool Version: someone says, I spy a bus or I spy a green sign and everyone else shouts when they find it).

Race Car Races: My son and my husband pretend to be driving race cars (complete with the sound effects)

FYI: my son won, b/c Daddy backed in (aka parking upside down) making my son closest to the front door.

More Pretend Play: Here's my daughter wiping her baby doll's bottom b/c her diaper was yucky.

When it gets dark, I give them light sticks (you can find them at the dollar store) They have a blast waving them in the air.

We have found that at this age our kids don't sleep reliably well during car rides, so leaving at bedtime and driving through the night so the kids will sleep, doesn't work for us. We tend to plan our treks so that we leave after they are well rested. Then we pack snacks, toys, fun music, and we engage with our kids in pretend play and the car rides are actually quite enjoyable. "Are we there yet" is not a phrase we here all that much on our car rides. It Works for Me! To find other boredom fighting tricks, check out Rocks in My Dryer this week.