Scott and I see eye to eye on most things.  When it comes to parenting though, we have one major disagreement...


I think they are cute and cuddly and so adorable.

Scott thinks they are impractical and a complete waste of time.  "Why do we need to change them just to sleep,"  He asks.

I have a hard time coming up with a real compelling reason.

"Because they look so cute in them," is typically my reply.

When Scott has bedtime duty he rarely thinks this is reason enough to go through the hassle of changing three kids out of their clothes and into another set of clothes.  He typically sends them to bed in diapers and the shirt they wore that day.

And I don't complain, because I feel blessed to have a husband who willingly helps with the bedtime routine, who will let me go for a run while he gets the kids ready for bed and puts them to sleep. 

But come on, don't you agree... they look way cuter in their pjs?




I was not an athlete growing up.  I quit softball half way through my first season when I was 8 telling my dad, "I hate it.  You get all sweaty and dirty and stuff!"  (The fact that I had gotten hit in the face twice with a softball didn't help either).

In eighth grade I found myself at a new school and decided to play lacrosse.  My friends were all playing and it seemed like fun.  I remember the look of shock on my mom's face when she picked me up from practice the day this pictures was taken.  What happened to her little girlie girl?  Here I was covered in mud and smiling!

I had a great time playing lacrosse.  Basically it was time after school each day to hang out with my friends.  And I had to suffer through some running on the side.  Don't get me wrong, I wanted to be good, really I did.  But to be honest, the only reason I was on the team was because our school was small enough that they didn't have cuts.   I held the role of bench warmer aka team encourager.  I have many "spirit awards"  sitting in my box of high school mementos.  I sat the bench for 5 years. When the team was ahead by enough points, the coach would let me go in and play.  And my loving parents faithfully came to watch for those short moments in the spotlight.   I think they were the real encouragers.

Visit We are THAT Family for more blasts from the pasts!

Baby's First Ice Cream!!






IMG_5645 - Copy


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Anyone want to guess what this picture shows....


That is the roof of our "white" Ford Escape.  I guess you could say its been awhile since car washing made it to the top of the to-do list. 

You know it's time to go it again when your kid hears the term 'car wash' and responds with a giggle, "You can't wash cars!  That's silly!" 

Ummm....yea...the last time we washed our car this is what my son looked like.

 washing the car

2 years later... the picture has changed somewhat.


And we've acquired a little more "help."  Daddy's helpers

Seems the circus life has kept us a bit distracted over the past 2 years... Yes, I am embarrassed to admit the last time we washed our car was May of 2006.  Our middle daughter is actually older then our son was that last time.  Pathetic!

But now that we have such eager helpers, I am sure we will make it out to wash them again before our son is in kindergarten.  And maybe another 3 or 4 times before he is driving them? Maybe....

 playing in the soapIMG_5791

Check out 5 Minutes for Mom for more Tackle it Tuesdays.

**Updated...for those those that asked Movie Review Below**

I'm going on a hot date tonight with my hubby and I am SO excited!!  My legs are shaved, eye brows plucked, and I'm even going to wear a skirt and put on make up!!  Perhaps I'll even add a little jewelry for sparkle!!

This time we aren't going to Toys R Us!  I got free movie tickets at the grocery store earlier this summer so thanks to Sarah's raving review, we're going to see the new Batman Movie and eating dinner too (one where we don't have to cut food into tiny pieces, sop up spilled milk, AND we can even have a complete conversation)!

I love my kids TONS, but I am super duper excited to have a night out on the town with my man!

Since many of you kindly asked, I thought I'd share a few quick thoughts on the movie.  My hubby and I thought it was excellent!  It was well written and superbly acted.   I will say it seemed a bit long, almost like it ended at one point and it went into a second movie.  But it was really well done and I thought it had such an interesting plot that I didn't mind.   Bob, you are right, the joker is sorta depressing, but one of the things we like about Batman is that the bad guys are truly evil, there is no ambiguity.  Heth Ledger did an outstanding job of portraying a truly mad and evil man... I'd say it was an award winning portrayal.   You can see the effects of sin and evil on the town of Gotham.  If you want a picture of a city void of God's common grace, Gotham is such a place.    I would recommend the movie.  However, I would not recommend it for children, just wanted to set the record straight.  It is not called Dark Knight for nothing!

And to those that wondered, Scott and I had a fabulous night out together.  It was fun to get dressed up and eat and talk and hold hands.  Thanks to Nana and Pop for babysitting for us!

IMG_5706 I had a great post written "in my head" Saturday morning.  I was setting off to do a 6 mile run.  It would have been the longest run I had ever done in my life.  Before training for the Annapolis 10 Mile that I am working towards at the end of the summer, the farthest I had run was a 5K (3.1 miles)  So, this would have been about twice that. 

Ya know how they say don't count your chickens before they hatch?

Yea...don't write your blog achievements before you actually do them.

I learned a few more things on my run Saturday morning.

  • The later in the day you run, the hotter it is and thus the harder it is to run.  Sleeping in on Saturday was SO not worth it once I was running in the sun.
  • Starting on a hill is the way to go.  I clearly do not know how to pace myself.  At home I start going up hill which really helps.  This time I started down hill and then flat...I burned out fast.
  • When given the choice of running beside the water or under the shade of a building, I go with the shade.  Views are nice but when you are hot and tired, you'll slow down for every tree you find.
  • There is no stopping to get a rest for a minute... this is a deadly trap.

Yea, I tried that and I am sad to tell you I didn't finish my run.  I was tired, and I gave up.  And the long walk back to my family waiting at the playground stunk.

I have never considered myself to be a competitive person.  I played lacrosse in high school (by play I mean I wore the uniform while sitting on the bench).  I didn't really care if we won or loss, I was just there to have fun with my friends. 

But walking back from my run, I felt like crying.  I had a goal.  I wanted to run 6 miles that day and instead I ran less than what I had done in the past.  I couldn't blame it on anyone.  I had no excuse.  I stopped.  I didn't meet my goal.  I felt like for the first time I could relate to a receiver who was wide open but let the ball slip through his fingers, or the basketball player who missed the free throw one to blame but yourself. 

By the time I met up with my crew, I had a new resolve.  I would try again Monday.  I would not give up.   I have 4 weeks to prepare to run 10 miles.  Currently I know I can run 4 without a problem.  6 to go... Had I not set this goal for myself, I am confident at this point I'd give up.  I do not see that as an option since I have registered, blogged about it, and signed up with friends and family to run with me. 

So today I will try again.  I can only hope that the thrill of victory will be all the sweeter after tasting the agony of defeat this weekend. 

But I won't write that post yet...

There were a few blogs I read regularly this winter before I started blogging myself.  One of these is Confessions of a CF Husband.  Nate and his wife Tricia have had an incredible year, filled with many scary and uncertain moments.  It is obvious to me from reading their blogs that they love the Lord and they truly trust in His sovereign will for their lives.  It is both humbling and inspiring to read about their journey.

After reading his posts this week, I have been incredibly impressed with Nate and his wife Trica's strong faith during discouraging and uncertain times.  When the test results they received this week weren't the ones they were hoping for or expecting, he wrote with honesty and candor about their feelings, and yet truly praised the Lord through the difficult times. 

I want to encourage you to take some time this weekend to read his posts from this week, starting with this post and working through the week.  They are a great example of a couple deeply in love with each other and their Lord, trusting the Lord each day for each and every breath. 

Please also spend some time praying for his wife Tricia, and their daughter Gwyneth.  


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.

Ever play the game Mad Gab? One team holds up a card with a gibberish phrase and the other team has to translate it. Translating what my two year old says is a lot like playing this game.

Case in point, last week my daughter was teasing my mom. My mom wanted her to call her Grandma and she knew this so she would call her everything but that. As they looked each other in the eye their charade went something like this...

Grandma: Hi Girlie Girl (Giggle giggle)

Daughter: Hi Mommy (Giggle giggle)

Grandma: Ok, Hi Papa (Giggle giggle)

Daughter: Hi Tommy (Giggle giggle)

Grandma: Hi Daddy (Giggle giggle)

Daughter: Hi (I have no idea how to type this phrase phonetically. I am going to let you listen to it because what she intended and what is sounded like are two very different things. Click on the little triangle to hear ).

Yea... poor Grandma heard "Hi Retard" and didn't know what to say.  I swear you could have heard a pin drop after that as ever single person in the room seemed to hear it and freeze.

I quickly translated...

She said, "Hi race car"

Daughter:  Yea, Hi retard

Grandma and the rest of the room:  Huge sigh of relief as poor Grandma thought her two year old grand daughter had called her a retard.

Since the day he was born, people have been telling me that my son looks like his Daddy.  He's been referred to as Scott 2.0 and Mini-Me.   I don't argue that there is no debating who his Daddy is, but I will say that he's got my eyes.

Make that eye.

For photography.

Check out these pictures I took of my parents when I was in elementary school.  

Mom Christmas picDad Birthday


First we have my mom showing off her Christmas ear rings... at least I THINK that is my mom... it looks like her hands but I managed to cut off the top of her head.   Then we have my Dad showing us what I assume is his birthday gift, can't see it though.  I did get a great shot of our wall though with my smiling Dad off to the side.  Apparently when gifts were given, I got the privilege of holding the camera.  Big Mistake.  Clearly I struggled with framing the subject.


Now here is a photo my son took of his Mommy and Daddy at Christmas when he was 2 1/2.  See the resemblance? 


Yep, clearly he has his mothers eye.

Daddy takes way better pictures.  Like the ones he took here at the zoo, framed beautifully, heads all in tack.

I think my son might be a protegy though... at 2 and 1/2 he was taking pictures on par with my photography at age 9 or 10...wait, maybe that means he is like his father!!


Check out We are THAT Family for more pictures and anecdotes from the past. 

We have a tradition at our house that we do every day when Daddy comes home.  I don't know exactly when or how it started, but as soon as Maggie (our dog) barks to let us know he's home, my older two children dash and hide.  Daddy then has to find them.  I'm sure the words, "Daddy's home...HIDE!"  were just the words he longed to hear after a hard day of work, but he always plays along and looks "high and low" till he finds them and is greeting with smiles and giggles.  My son has actually gotten quite good at hiding, but my daughter still has a lot to learn. 

hiding under rug

hiding in closet

aren't we good hiders


Hmmmm.....where could she be?

For more Wordless Wednesdays, visit 5 Minutes for Mom.

I didn't used to be a procrastinator, but now that I have 3 kids, I tend to take care of the urgent first.  This means that sometimes my really good plans get altered when real life sets in.   I have found that if I want to tackle a large project or extra thing (extra being not laundry, groceries, cleaning, cooking... those necessities of life) I need to make a self-imposed deadline in order for it to happen.  It needs its own "urgency" so to speak.

When my first born turned one I made a scrapbook of his first year.  I finished it shortly before his first birthday so I was able to sit it out at his first birthday party for friends and family to skim through.  2 years later when my daughter was born, I made a similar book for her.  As I sat down every night for a month working on it I told myself with my next child I will work a little each month so I don't have such a monumental task in front of me with three kids vying for my attention at the same time.   I really intended to work on it a little each month. 

That's not exactly how book number three happened.  In fact, I didn't even leave myself a month.  I cropped the first picture only one week before her party and I spent every night last week working on her book.  I finished the book at 3 am the night before her party.  I knew that not many people would look at the book at the party but I also knew that if I didn't sit down and finish it before her party, chances are she would be graduating high school with a half finished baby book.   So,I cropped, taped, and laid out the pages of her book, driven by this self imposed deadline. 

IMG_5391 It worked!  I now have a completed 45 spread baby book for my baby girl.  I know without this goal, I'd be sitting with an empty book right now. 

The only way I can make progress on "extracurriculars" is by setting goals and working to achieve them.  Often times I give myself a monthly to do list.  This approach works for me, it keeps me from getting defeated when life gets busy.  For other tips that work for others, check out Rocks in My Dryer.

In college I had some friends who had wipe off boards and would write up some funny or amusing phrase they'd over hear and it would stay on the "quote board"  until the next memorable statement.  Anyone else do this?

Well, I guess I am using this blog post as my quote board... here are a few memorable ones from the past several weeks.


While drinking some water one hot evening my son said to me, "Mom, soon this is going to be pee!"


When my son was sick last week I told him not to get too close to his sisters so they wouldn't get his germs and get sick.  When my middle child came over to him later in the day he told her, "You have to stay away, I have germs."  to which she responded in a whiny voice, "I want germs... I WANT germs too!" 


I looked over at my baby girl yesterday afternoon to find her standing on the toy box.  This was not safe (since she is just learning to walk) so I took her down and every time she tried to climb up I told her no.  She'd look up at me and mutter some unintelligible babble.  But it was the same unintelligible babble each time... I swear to you it sounded like she said, "what's up with that?"  Her siblings were on the toy box (which they are now no longer allowed to do)  and each time she went over to climb up, I'd say, "No Baby" to which she'd look up at me and mutter, "whutzupitat"

Last week was a busy week around my house...with celebrating my birthday and preparing for my baby girl's first birthday party, I didn't have a lot of spare time left for reading the Internet. So, of course when I checked to scan the headlines, I only had time for one article. Which article did this homebound mommy starved for information on life outside of the circus, click on?

'It was like I was on Rollerblades,' says Miss USA

Yes, aren't you glad to know I take the time to read those articles that really matter?

For those of you that didn't take time for such pressing issues, she fell on stage during the Miss Universe competition.

As I read the article, I couldn't help but think, "Who knew I had so much in common with Miss USA?  Never in a million years would I see myself in a beauty pageant. However, if I was in one, I am fairly certain I'd leave a similar impression. Think I'm exaggerating? Too hard on myself?

Reading about her moment in the spotlight instantly brought me back to a time when I was on stage in front of friends, family, and classmates...

I tripped on stage at my High School graduation, after accepting my diploma. I clearly remember the response of one of my classmates as I sat in my seat to straighten my hat and situate those cords you had to wear around your neck. "That was classic, Crystal!" And indeed it was... let's just say I am not one who is remembered for her poise and grace.

That quick read last week in the middle of a day when I was busy cleaning house, washing puke off of myself and attempting to keep my sick son separated from his little sisters, totally made me smile... who knew this often clumsy, seldom dressed up, mommy of three shared something in common with Miss USA?

cool beaked bird

When I spend time in nature, be it gazing at the waves crashing at the shore of the beach, beholding a mountain peak in all it's might, or gazing at a star studded sky, each time, I feel compelled to worship my Maker. 

Spending the day at the zoo this week, was no different.

Watching the giraffe reach his long neck out to grab a leaf and witnessing a huge polar bear plunge into a pool of water both  caused me to reflect on the Creator of the Universe.   This may sound trite to say, but I love His creativity.  He didn't have to make so many different animals.  He didn't have to put color into this world.  Why did he make the beak in that bird multicolored?

As I walked through the zoo this week with my family, I couldn't help but praise the Creator of all things.

IMG_4761  polar bear


Genesis 1:20-24

20 And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky." 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth." 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

24 And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

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.

Just a heads up for anyone who might care, I won't be posting my weekend thought until Sunday. 

Tonight I am busy baking and decorating a birthday cake and finishing a scrapbook for my baby girl... we are celebrating her first birthday tomorrow!! 

4 days old

Where did this year go???   

Our precious baby girl


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.

Even though I am not up yet, please feel free to post a link!!

Ya know how they say Mom's have eyes in the back of their head? I'm not sure exactly when my extra set will arrive... do my children have to reach a certain age, or do I need to have a certain number of children? Seems that with a 4 year old, a 2 year old, and an almost 1 year old... I could really use those extra set of eyes...NOW!

Here is a video clip I took 1 month ago of my baby girl playing with a sword. Yes, when you have a big brother you grow up accustomed to such weaponry. I was actually on the phone with my mom when I saw her playing with the buttons on the TV and got out the camera. You can hear I was quite taken with her, cooing at her and what not. But, pay careful attention to what is going on behind me. That's right... look at the reflection in the TV behind her, there you will find the real nugget in this home video. Thanks to my hubby for the slow motion replay at the end of the clip.


Yes, that would be my son leaping from couch to couch.  See him running and jumping on my furniture?    Until reviewing the video this week I was completely oblivious to the shenanigans that had gone on behind me.  Guess this circus mommy isn't quite as good at multitasking as she thought!  So, while I am having a precious little video session with my baby sword fighter, it seems there is a whole other circus act going on behind me.  Wonder if that is what my baby is babbling to me about?   Yup, I definitely haven't reached the "eyes in the back of my head Mommy status" yet. Not sure where I need to go to pick them up, but I need them soon, before my kids realize the extent of Mommy's oblivion.

IMG_4522This week I celebrated my birthday.  As I mentioned yesterday, I love birthdays.  Even though I am a "grown up" now and I am not supposed to care about my birthday, I do.  A lot.  I don't just look forward to it.  I count down the weeks and days until it arrives.   When I was a kid I used to have my parents wake me up to say Happy Birthday at the exact minute I was born.  1:52 AM  (I have since outgrown that birthday tradition)! 



IMG_4513 My husband and kids went all out this year and treated me like a princess.  Can I tell you I enjoyed every minute of the attention and fuss?  I slept in and was treated to breakfast in bed... my favorite, home made blueberry muffins with milk chocolate Ovaltine.  I was then crowned with my tiara and flower lei which I wore all day. 



IMG_4758I had mentioned to my husband recently that I would love to see a penguin in real life.  We've been to the National Zoo twice with the kids, but never to the Baltimore zoo.  So my dear hubby took a vacation day and surprised me with a trip to the zoo.  This zoo had penguins, and polar bears.  I think I shouted louder than the kids when I saw the polar bear jump into the water and swim right in front of us.  It was amazingly close.  We found a quiet spot for a picnic lunch.   At the time we sat down not much was going on behind us.  Shortly after a whole camp of kids started crowding us out.  I should have realized that animals had arrived.  When I stood up to get out people's way, I saw that the once rather empty space previously occupied by a lonely rhino, had been filled with an African safari.    There was rhino, ostrich, and zebra all scurrying around behind us while we at our Subway.  I love the zoo.  Seeing the animals up close, makes me feel like a kid myself and I am continually amazed at our awesome Creator God as I observe the beauty and exquisiteness of His creatures.  My favorites today were the giraffe, elephant, polar bears, and penguins.



After a fun afternoon at the zoo, we went home I was treated to my favorite foods for dinner and my hubby and kids made me the  traditional cake and ice cream.   When I blew out my candles, I didn't even make a wish... my dreams have all come true already, what more could I wish for?


A few things that made me smile today...


  • IMG_4567While opening a musical birthday card.  My two year old's face lit up and she instantly started dancing.  When I opened my next card, which was a normal card, she took it, opened it again and remarked, "Uh-oh it's not working!" 
  • My two year old looked over at me at breakfast, pointed to my lei and said, "You're cute!" 
  • At the zoo, when my son saw the ostrich, he mistakenly called it a peacock.  I corrected him and told him they were ostriches.  A few minutes later he said, "Aren't these supposed to be pink?"  Wrong bird again.
  • My son sang me a song called Birthday Rock this evening.  When we asked him where he heard it he responded, "I dreamed about it a long time ago and have been waiting to sing it." 


IMG_4697While some of the pictures in this post will most likely make it to a scrapbook (even though the grown adult wearing her tiara on her own free will is great black mail material for someone), I think this lunch shot which captures 4 different people all taking a bite at the same time and each looking in a different direction, probably won't.  For more fun or embarrassing pictures and stories, visit Kristen at We are THAT Family.




swim 075


kicking my feet  swim 081


swim 073


For More Wordless Wednesdays, click here

or here for WW with a Twist.

Wanna know how to get your husband to remember your birthday, anniversary, Valentine's Day, or other special occasion?  I have a novel idea for you, that has worked well for me these past 7 years.    

Tell him!

My husband is horrible with calendars.  His mind just simply doesn't work that way.  Quiz him on the date of my birthday and, given some time to think, he will probably get it.  Ask him how far away that is and he will have no clue (He would need time to figure out which month we were in first).  He just lives each day one at a time and counts on me, his faithful PDA wife to keep him from missing planned events. 

I, however, could tell you the birth date of my elementary school friend whom I  haven't seen in over 15 years (can your PDA do that?).  And to top it off, I LOVE holidays.  I continually look forward to the next holiday... we've had Flag Day celebrations and cinco de Mayo dinners... but birthdays are the biggest deal of all.  (With Jesus' birth at Christmas being the number 1 celebrated event at our house)!  birthday 2My excitement for my birthday is very similar to that of my 4 year old sons for his own.  I really am looking that much forward to it.  I don't know what it is, but I have always been that way.  I love my birthday and love celebrating it.  I just think it is so cool that it is your day, the day you were born.  (Perhaps this makes me a bit self centered).

Now, I could say, "Well, if he really loved me, he'd just remember my birthday."   But, what kind of PDA would I be if I told him everything but the dates I cared about? And what good does that do me?  I know without a doubt that my husband loves me deeply.  I also know that if I didn't mention that my birthday was coming he'd get to the day or or day after and have to enter a date on something and suddenly realize he's in trouble.  Would this make me happier on my birthday? 

Instead, I tell him.  About a month before I say, "My birthday is in a month." About two weeks before (right about the time when I know shipping dates for online ordering start to matter) I say something again.   I actually do the same for him.  He would seriously have no idea that his birthday was only one month away if I didn't start counting down for him in late April (I can't even fathom such a lack of anticipation).

This could seem to some like nagging, but I can honestly say it isn't.    I remember our first summer of married life we were about 5 weeks from my birthday and I brought it up (not as a reminder but b/c I was just excited that it was coming up in 5 weeks)  and I said something like, "I don't think your excited enough about my birthday... it's only 5 weeks away!"  This totally made my husband laugh. 

In honor of my birthday this week,  I wanted to share what works for me with wives who have husbands that may not think in terms of days and months.  Lovingly remind him of the day, give him ample warning to prepare, and then enjoy your special day.  To find out what works for others, check out Rocks in My Dryer

I LOVE Chick-Fil-A.  I could go on and on about how family friendly they are, how good their food is, how I think Truitt Cathy is such a great example of a godly businessman... but I will save my love affair with Chick-Fil-A, the inventors of the chicken sandwich, for another post, or two...enjoying their free food

Friday was Cow Appreciation Day.  I know this because I subscribe to the Chick-Fil-A e-mail updates and I am in on all things up and coming at Chick-Fil-A.  (See, I wasn't kidding when I said I love Chick-Fil-A). How does one celebrate such an occasion, you may ask?   Well, Chick-Fil-A offered free meals to anyone dressed like a cow. 

So, I did what any good mother would do, I dressed up put my three helpless children in cow costumes and took them to Chick-Fil-A for dinner. 

we love chickfila


Their willingness to parade around in public dressed as bovines, combined with the free coupons I had allowed me to feed my family of 5 dinner for only $6.28. 

We had a fantastic time, eating our favorite fast food and playing on the in door play equipment.  Scott couldn't help but snap a few pictures of our family fun night.

enjoying her milk   IMG_4102 mooing for her supper

  Mooing for her supper!!


A good time was had by all!  My 2 year old didn't want to take off her costume... she went to bed dressed as a cow. 

We have a rule at our house.  No jumping on the bed.


Unless, we're taking pictures...

IMG_3836 (2)

This past week our church hosted Vacation Bible School. I love that we do vacation Bible School because it provides a tangible way for our church to reach out and serve our surrounding community. Parents eager for a mid summer break are offered something fun for their kids to get involved in. Kids come to play games, make crafts, meet friends, eat snacks, sing songs and the leave having had a great time. Its great to serve.

But its also a golden oppertunity. Childeren who might not otherwise harken the doors of a church building are made to feel welcome. While playing games they also learn about my Lord Jesus. What an opportunity to show Christ's love to them and to teach them the Word of God.

I have served in several different capacities over the years but this was the first year that my son got to be involved in the program. Watching it through his eyes was one of my favorite parts. IMG_3844 I looked forward to watching his preschool class wave to me as they walked outside to see the animals. Each day as my son eagerly showed me his completed crafts and told me about his morning, I was grateful for the volunteers who poured themselves into my child. As he enthusiastically prepared to go to church each morning and made sure I met his teachers, I was so thankful for people who were willing to invest in my child.

Children's ministry is a chance to serve not only the children of the community, but their families as well. When a parents sees someone give of their time and energy to serve their child, it blesses their heart. I know this first hand. So, parents that might not otherwise harken the doors of a church building come for 5 days and witness God's people sacrificing their time and energy to invest in their children. Many came on parents night to watch their children performs their songs, and they had the opportunity to hear God's Word. Serving at VBS is much, much more than just gluing popsicle sticks and painting cardboard with children looking for something to do on a hot July week. VBS provides a rare, golden opportunity for our church to demonstrate Christ's love and share His Word with our community.

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.

Since my son turned 4 I no longer require him to nap every day.  But to keep my sanity ensure that he has some down time, I do require him to have a quiet, rest time in his room while his sisters are napping.  Most of the time he ends up spiderman blogfalling asleep.  Other times, he reads or plays with toys on his bed.  On Monday afternoon he found a red pen in his room during this time and decided to  transform himself into Spider Man.  This is what I saw when I let him out of his room that day.  Like the Spiderman hands?


  He's informed us that when he grows up, he wants to be Spider Man.  He then asked me, "What does Spider Man do?"  Since I am not exactly a comic book expert, I replied, "climbs walls."  He then asked Daddy if he will build him a wall for him to climb like Spider Man.

Time for another Sincerley Fro' Me To You Post. Since my baby turns one this month, I thought I'd share a pregnancy anecdote with you.

In January of last year my good friend told me she was pregnant with her third child. Her oldest son is 10 months younger than my son, and the two of them are good buddies. Her second son is 4 months younger than my middle child. After telling me her news, she said, "Crystal, you gotta do this with me." I replied that while my husband and I knew we wanted a third child, I wasn't sure if we were quite ready.

2 weeks later I called and asked her how hard she'd been praying.

I was pregnant!

2 weeks after that my husband and I went for a dating sonogram, thinking we were around 9 weeks. When we looked at the screen my husband and I both exclaimed, "It looks like a real baby!" I am sure the tech thought we were morons, "what did we expect to see?" But, I was thinking I was around 9 weeks and 9 week sonograms look a lot more like baby lima beans. We could see our baby's hands and feet and head... we knew instantly that we were farther along than we thought. Turns out we were 15 weeks. We thought they baby would be due sometime in Sept or Oct, only to learn that our baby would be joining us in July! I had "skipped" my entire first trimester!!

I called my friend from the parking lot to inform her that not only was I going to be pregnant with her, but I was due a month before her!! Here we are showing off our pregnant bellies last summer!

I treasure these days when I am the girl in his life.

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Megan tagged me with this a little over a week ago, and I thought it was past time to play along.  So, in case you didn't learn enough about me on my 100th post ... here's more!!

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?
It was the summer after my freshman year of college.  My parents moved to PA so I was spending the summer with them and preparing to transfer from Towson University to Slippery Rock Univeristy.  My parents were in the process of building a new home so we were living in the basement while they were building the upstairs.  I had two summer jobs that year... I worked at a nursing home (one of the toughest and most rewarding jobs I've ever had) and I also worked as a waitress at a country club.  It was a tough summer.  My boyfriend (future hubby Scott) was in MD, I was in PA, and I had no friends in PA.  I pretty much just worked a ton to save for college.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?
1.Help at VBS-- I have to leave the house by 8 am (with all 3 kids)  YIKES!

2. I really, really need  to start on my scrapbook for my baby... her party is in 11 days and I keep putting it off... I think it just seems so big I don't know how to start.

3. Run

3. Do laundry  (You all know how good I am at crossing that off my list)

4. Tidy up kitchen and living room

5.  Take care of some of my MOPS responsibilities before our steering meeting next week.

3) Snacks I enjoy:
OREOS , ice cream, grapes, cereal, toast with home made strawberry jam on it, cookies and milk

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire: In no particular order...
*have a ton of fun finding organizations to donate to--particularly helping the poor and impoverished in the world, and the homeless in the US as those are two causes my husband and I feel strongly about.

* get waterfront property

* buy my husband a sailboat

* get NFL season package so I could watch all the Steelers games

*hmmm throw in the big screen, high def TV too

* and maybe get season tickets to go watch the games with my hubby and my parents

*send the kids to private school

* adopt several kids

* TRAVEL LOTS--- go to Europe, Hawaii, see all the National Parks in the US-- including in the Samoas

5) Places I have lived:
Ohioville, PA

Anne Arundel County, MD

Ohioville, PA

Anne Arundel County, MD

(funny how full circle my life went... I was born in western Pa lived there till I was in Kindergarten, then my parents moved to MD...I remember being devasted at moving so far from my grandparents and all my cousins... then the summer before my freshman year of college, my parents decided to move back to PA and I followed them after my freshman year... their house was 1/2 mile down the street from their first house)  When I got married my husband and I moved to Anne Arundel County MD. 

6) Jobs I have had:(OK this will be a seriously long list)



Summer day camp counselor at a camp for kids with special needs

I was hired to work at Shoney's and when I went to show up for my first day, found out they had gone out of business... nice, huh?

Bath and Body Works

School Library at SRU and GCC

GCC cafeteria

Nursing Home (yes, I had to give baths to men older than my grandpa and help them do EVERYTHING... it was so humbling and hard, but I also felt like I truly got to serve people and in some ways it was one of the most rewarding jobs I've had)

Waitress at Country Club

Telemarketer-- WORST job I have EVER had.... people are so mean, they cuss at you, hang up on you.... I always lost my voice by Wed of every week from talking all day 40 hrs a week.

Back to Chick-Fil-A again this time in PA with my little bro as my manager

Temp agency

Arnold Christian Academy as a 3rd grade teacher

Current: Full time Mom to three great kiddos

7) People I want to know more about:

Jessica , Monica , Sarah
I have a problem. Despite my best intentions, I seem incapable of returning library books on time. Upon returning home from the library, my husband often asks, "So, how much are these going to cost us?" It seems our library visits are taking a dramatic turn for the worst.

Even after our bad experience at the library , I took the kids back for books. This last time we weren't scolded for our "inside voices" so I thought all was good. BUT, when we got home our baby girl ripped one of the pages in our book. I told the children we'd have to tell the librarian when we returned it.

Our next trip to the library my son dutifully reminded me, "Mom don't forget to tell them what she did to the book!" I was sure to tell the librarian as we returned the book expecting we'd have to pay a small fine or something and they'd tape the page back together. I was informed we'd have to pay to replace the book the next time we cheeked out. I didn't think this would be a big deal and I we went off with the kids wondering what prices the library pays for their books.

Now in addition to returning one damaged book (BEFORE the due date) I also returned a few late books. When I went to pay my bill, I was told I owed $18.00!!!! YIKES!!! Seems the library doesn't buy books at They charge you the price of the book listed on the back cover. Guess libraries have some sort of deal with children's authors in which they pay the highest price possible for their books.

Thankfully, they let us go home with new literary backpack kits (a smart move being that they make so much money on us). Their investment paid off too. We will be visiting the library again tomorrow to return them - one week overdue. This time I did not actually forget but have instead been unable to find what we need. I had looked everywhere, checking through all the cases in our cabinet over and over. I finally found it tonight along with a sick feeling in my stomach as I thought about paying yet another reimbursement fee. It won't be as bad this time but I think I may take a break on checking out any further materials. The library circus act is getting a bit too pricey.
This spring I planted a garden with my kids. I use the term garden very loosely. We did plant seeds and some plants grew, but if you looked at my garden right now you can't really tell the weeds from the plants. In fact my son calls the actual plants, "good weeds." We planted the seeds in April. The kids and I were so excited. We weeded the garden, dug the row and planted the seeds. We knew it would take time. A few weeks later we checked back and could start to see little sprouts coming up. I've mentioned before that I do not posses a green thumb. A true gardener would water her plants daily. She'd check on them. She'd weed the garden.

I have done none of these things.

We watered our garden when we planted the seeds and that is it. We check on the garden about once a week. I have weeded it once since the initial time. To be honest, I've pretty much left the plants to fend for themselves.

I'm sure your not surprised to hear that none of my pea plants made it. I had about 4 or 5 plants sprout up, but nothing ever came of them. I had 2 green bean plants grow and from them, we got 2 beans. Not enough for us to stop buying produce and start living off the land quite yet.

My purpose in planting the garden wasn't really to supplement our grocery shopping. It was more to teach my kids about gardening. I wanted them to learn how to plant seeds, and to get to see change in the seeds and to get to see them produce food. I did it more for the experience of gardening, then for actual food growing purposes.

But, my experience in gardening is teaching me something as well. It causes me to reflect on the harvest  Christians should be anticipating. The Bible compares planting seeds with sharing the gospel. The seeds being seeds of faith. Galations 6:9 states,"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." In order for us to reap a harvest we need to not give up. It doesn't really work to simply plant the seed, then ignore it, and expect growth to occur. We need to feed it. We need to tend to it. We need to wait on it patiently. How true this is of us. When we as Christians are sharing God's love with others, it really can't be a one shot deal. If I told my children once about the Lord and his sacrifice for them on the cross, and then never modeled for them His grace in my life, I probably wouldn't see much growth in their walk with the Lord. I need to tend to the seeds. I need to nurture them and feed them. I need to read to them from the Bible, pray with and for them, take them to Sunday School and church, teach them how to worship, how to pray and do those things with them. I need to model to them my need for a Savior. I need to point out sin and its consequences in my life, our lives and our world. I need to point out their need for a Savior. I also need patience. I need to wait on the Lord's timing. I can't say, "Well I've tried and they aren't getting it so, that's it for me." I need to never grow weary of doing good. In the daily grind of parenting we need to be consistent and we need to continually point our children to the one true light in the World. Something this important can't be something we only do on Sunday or just on holidays.  And at the proper time, we will reap a harvest.

Don't give up!

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.
Over the years the fourth of July has become one of my favorite family fun holidays. We took the kids and both sets of grandparents to a local parade. The streets lined with children and American flags reminded me of something out of a movie. It felt like home town America. My favorite part is always when the Veteran's march past. As I stand and clap and cheer, I can't hold in the tears of gratitude for these men and woman who deserve honor and recognition. They sacrificed so much for our freedom. I just hope they know how appreciated they are and they can hear the cheers and shouts of Thank You!  Later this afternoon we'll have a cookout with the whole family again and then go to watch the fireworks. To us it's the fourth as it should be. I know there are many families that today aren't together b/c one or more of their family members is serving our country. To them and their families, I want to say Thank You. We're cheering for you!!