Last month the topic of our MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers) meeting was patience.   As we shared in our discussion groups, one mom shared a verse that she had read which had really helped her control her anger.

James 1:20

"for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." 


When she read the verse every mom around the table sat up.  "Woa, that's a good one, where is it?"  Turns out it is the verse following a more well known verse on patience and controlling our tongues.  "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (keep reading, here's that verse again) for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

Don't you just want to write that on a 3x5 card and stick in on your fridge, and on your dashboard, and perhaps over the potty? (We spend lots of time there these days as we are potty training).

Man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.  God does desire us to live a righteous life.  As a wife and  mother I have a huge influence and impact on 4 very dear people.  

And as a mother of 3 kids 4 and under, I have a lot of opportunities to practice patience.  (as we hustle to the door scrambling to find 6 shoes (hopefully matching) and 3 coats and get everyone buckled in so we can get there on time....or when my oldest two are fighting over who beat who to the door...of when my child is wailing on the floor because *horror of horrors* I took the yogurt lid off and didn't realize that today he/she wanted to do it even though yesterday they wanted me to do it...or when my baby wanted to "help" and emptied her sisters potty seat for me....or when my daughter is literally screaming and standing on her head while I am trying to brush her hair so we can get out the door with it looking somewhat decent....  

While I do need to teach my little ones obedience and kindness, I need to do so without becoming angry.  I need to speak to them with a quiet and calm voice as I sit them down and explain to them their sin and its consequence.  If I yell at them out of anger and frustration, I will not bring about the righteous life that God desires both in myself and in my kids.  Any my heart's greatest desire is to glorify the Lord with my life and raise my children to do the same. 

So this verse is now going up throughout my house, so I can meditate on it and apply it to my life.  James 1:19-20  "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." 


Weekend Thoughts:
My posts typically relate funny anecdotes about the happenings here at the circus  but, 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 you are thinking.


My son told me he knew what I should wear on a tee shirt.  He came up with this slogan out of the blue the other day.


"I run like a mommy and my kids cheer all the time when I run

and my husband works so good like a dad, he's awesome!"


I'm not exactly sure what it means to run like a Mommy. 


But after recently receiving the photos from the race photographers, I realized that I learned a valuable lesson at my A10 race which I applied when running my half marathon.  


No matter how tired and close to death you may feel,

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Put on a happy face when you see the race photographers. 

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This week the assignment for THAT Family's carnival, was to post a scary pic from the past.  So, I started looking through some old Halloween photos trying to find just the right one... 

I was never much into scary, though I did sport a mask in this costume when I was 4 or 5.


My son however, seems to take the prize for his scary costumes...

Here he is at 6 mths sporting his ferocious dragon attire. (If you look closely, you can see that laundry has never been high on my to do list).


The next year the Ravens were playing the Steelers on Halloween Night  for Monday Night Football.  What would be more scary to wear in Maryland, then a Ben Roethlisberger jersey?  He had those Ravens fans trembling!

2005 scrapbook201

And who can rest with this terrifying lion on the prowl?ROAR!!

Before you check out We are THAT Family for more scary photos, tell me which costume you think is the scariest?

I cracked up laughing when they came down the hall like this.  Don't they look like a couple of bank robbers?  The best part is that later that week when I went to put this pair of underwear on my son, he told me, "Mom, I can't wear these, they are my mask!"



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Isn't she a cutie? I'm embarrassed to admit that twice in the last week I took my poor baby girl out in these shoes.  Yea... go ahead take a closer look incase you missed it at first.   Same style, but ummm different color.  The first was on a Sunday morning.  I was doing that mad dash for the door b/c we were already going to be late and I was literally just grabbing whatever shoe I could find with hopes that by the time I reached the door I'd have at least one match in my hand (and banking on that fact that if I didn't, the other half would be waiting in the van). 

Yea... no such luck. 

I absently stuck both shoes on her feet "just to get to the van"  with the plan of taking them off before I dropped her off in the nursery.  But, as I handed her over to the nursery worker, I looked down at her feet and realized I'd never taken care of that detail. 


IMG_9061Later that week we were heading to the grocery store and I was scrambling to get shoes on everyone's feet and get out the door before it was too close to nap time to be reasonable enough to go, when the only shoes I could find were the misfits.


So, when my poor daughter grows up with no sense of style or fashion, she can justifiably blame her mother.


As my kids were getting ready for their bath the other night the following conversation took place.

Sister:  What's that?  (she's pointing at his nipple)

Brother:  It's the thing you guys (pause) girls have to give babies milk when they don't use bottles.


I know that I shouldn't be, but I am continually amazed by how much the information kids absorb just by watching the world around them, and how much they remember!    It has been a pleasure lately watching my son take on the role of teacher to his younger siblings, whether it be lessons in the alphabet, catechism, or even anatomy.    As long as they don't do any science labs anytime soon, I think we'll be ok.

sisters (2)

I was brushing my daughter's hair the other day when I noticed how long and pretty it was getting. 

Me:  Wow, your hair is getting long and so pretty

Daughter: No I'm not

Me:  Why not?  What do you want it to be?

Daughter: I want to be nice and kind.

(My son starts giggling at this point)

Me: Hmmm that's good, but you can be nice and kind and still have pretty hair.

Daughter: No

This conversation can mostly be chocked up to the stubborn desire of a two year old to go against whatever her Mommy was saying, BUT... there is some truth to the words.  

1 Peter 3:3-4 states, "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."

While there is nothing wrong with being pretty, our focus should not be on our outward appearance, but on our inner self.  As I raise my daughters, I hope I can raise them to be truly beautiful women of God.


Weekend Thoughts:
My posts typically relate funny anecdotes about the happenings here at the circus  but, 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 you are thinking.

I am all about keeping it real, folks.  And Jessica at Farm Fresh Iowa has a carnival called, It's Real Life which I totally love because it's all about showing the real you.  This week the assignment is to create a real life video introducing yourself to the blogging world. 

I wish I could tell you that we staged the video because I just thought it would be so funny for you to see my kids fighting with each other while I am videoing.  Yea... there is not acting in this video... it is truly, the real thing. 

For better or for worse. 

If the video leaves you wanting to know more about me, click here for my about page with many fun details about life at the circus.

And check out Heart of the Matter, if you wanna see some more bloggers in real life.


one tough princessWith Halloween in the air, I decided to post one of my favorite trick or treating pictures of my middle child.  It was taken last year when she a little over 18 mths old. 


She might have been little, but she could hold her own.   Check out the grip on her trick or treating pumpkin.  And the look on that face says, "No body go near my loot!" This isn't a damsel in distress kind of princess; she can handle things herself, thank you very much.


For more pics from the past that make you smile, check out We are THAT Family.

Having a blast

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IMG_8726 Last week the kids and I were looking for something fun to do during that difficult time of day between nap time and dinner.  We went in the yard to collect some leaves for leaf rubbings and I got another idea of what to do with the leaves when we were finished with our rubbings.   


IMG_8729We gathered leaves of various colors and types from the yard.  I then took some strips of clear contact paper and peeled the backing off of the contact paper, leaving it sticky side up on the table.  I had the kids lay their leaves down so that the colored side was on the sticky part and the backs of the leaves were facing up.  They got to stick as many leaves on there as they wanted and put them wherever they wanted.  When they finished they sprinkled some red glitter around on the contact paper.

IMG_8739I then picked the contact paper up and stuck it to my sliding glass door.  It made a cute fall decoration for our dining room.  There was little mess, and we all had a great time.  Easy, fun, minimal effort fall crafts work for me.  For other great tips, check out Rocks in My Dryer.

Today the following conversation took place between me and my 4 year old son as we were driving home from the store.

Son:  Mom, can I see a real brain some day?

Me:  You want to see grain?

Son:  No a BRAIN

pause (and I had been trying to figure out where to find grain...if only...)

Me:  I don't think so, that would be pretty tough

Son:  Well, if someone died and then we cut their head open, then we could see what their brain looked like

another pause...(Did my sweet, innocent little  boy just say that)?


Me: True, but that would be pretty gross, don't you think?

Son:  Yea...

So, I am hoping that this little conversation can be taken as an indication that my son will grow up to be a brain surgeon some day because the alternative is down right scary!

Bil Keane originally published this in the 60's...isn't it great to know some things never change?


What is it about baby animals that pull at a MommIMG_8895y's heart and make a genuine Cruella Deville like myself yearn to take them home?  Seriously, I am not an animal person.  You won't catch me bending down to pet your dog, ever.  And yet I found myself asking my husband if we could bring a goat home because they were "so cute".   Really they were... a mere 4 weeks old...look at them!  Don't you want one too?  And the piglets... a mere two weeks old had me ooing and aahing.  Pigs!  But I felt much like Fern as I looked at their cute little pink bodies all huddled together. 

As we drove home from from our trip to the petting farm today, I realized, that I am really just a big kid.   I was going on to my husband telling him all about my favorite parts of the morning.  I was so excited that I had goats eating from my hand and I got to hold a baby duckling!   I truly felt like I had just as much fun as my kids did.  And like a kid, those cute little, furry animals made me think, "Oh I want one."  forgetting about the extra work of cleaning, feeding, and taking care of them  As if this circus needs any more animals in it! 


I know we went to the petting zoo for the kids and I am so glad that they had a good time, but between you and me,  I think it's entirely possible that Mommy enjoyed it more than they did.  And it's all because of those babies!

  Most scrapbooks include pictures of baby's first steps, first food, first drink from a sippy cup... but where do you put the picture of the first time baby ripped the wallpaper border above her crib? IMG_8556

In our house it's become a sort of right of passage.

Thank goodness we had lots of extra border from the first time we did the nursery.  Poor Winnie the Pooh has been ripped 3 different times!

When my son ripped it we didn't bother replacing it until we moved him to his big boy room and got the nursery set up for the next baby.   Shortly before my daughter was born we replaced it and Pooh was fine until my daughter was a little over a year old.  One day she too noticed the border puckering out at the bottom and took a nice rip out of the border.   By this time I was pregnant, again, and we left it that way until she had moved into her toddler bed in her new room with her big brother.  And, shortly before baby number 3 was born, we fixed the border, again.  I guess it became one of our routine baby prep chores...replace border above crib before packing hospital bag!

One day last week I went in to get my youngest daughter from her crib after her nap.  I had heard her babbling in there for quite a while.  Turns our she has now reached our unofficial family milestone. 

I guess something about that border just begs to be torn as my little tots lay in their crib staring up at it. 



Now the question is, how long will the border stay like that if we don't have a hospital bag to pack first?

For more pictures that won't see the inside of a scrapbook, but beg to not be forgotten, visit We are THAT Family.

Jessica over at Farm Fresh Iowa is sponsoring another It's Real Life carnival this week.  The assignment this time is to do a post with a photo tour of "an ordinary day."   So, step right up and come see an ordinary day in the life at the circus...

Our day begins here typically around 7 am or shortly after.  My son is usually the first to wake, followed quickly by our middle child. They often come into our room and snuggle with us for a few minutes.  Then the kids watch one TV show (lately it is either Syd the Science Kid or Curious George)  while my husband and I get ready for the day.  It's then a quick race to get everyone fed, dressed, and my husband lately is out the door by 8 or 8:15.  3 days a week we begin the LOOOONG adventure of going from the upstairs, to the downstairs, get shoes on and all 3 kids buckled in their car seats so we can drive the 2 minute drive to drop my son off at preschool.

The girls and I are home by 9:10 and I typically put my baby down for a nap by 9:30.    I then take a shower while my 2 year old watches either Little Einstein's, Word World, or Mickey Mouse.  Then my 2 year old is my precious shadow for the next hour and a half while I tidy up the house, do laundry, or some other chore with baby doll in tow.  It is a nice, quiet time for the two of us.

We almost always have to wake the baby at 11, to get ready to pick up my son.


Sometimes she is happier than others about this.


Today was a "not so happy day."

After the carpool pick up line, today we headed home for lunch.  Sometimes we run some errands on our way home.


It's then potty and diaper time.  (I only have 2 in diapers, but baby doll often requires a change as well).




I love the clean and quiet of nap time.  It's when I eat my lunch (in peace) check blogs, do some writing, and catch up on other tasks.... like laundry, or MOPS e-mails, dishes, or cleaning... depends on the day and what is most urgent that day.  Today was a blog day.  :-)

After the kids wake up from naps, we typically do something fun... be it a bike ride to the soccer fields, drawing, playing on the deck, story time.... today we did some fun art and crafts with fall leaves.


Then it is time to get dinner ready.   And my usually easy going baby, is not typically happy at this time of day.  On an ordinary day, this is the view I get when I look down at my feet while prepping dinner.  Typically dinner is prepared one handed while she is on my hips, because I don't enjoy walking around the kitchen with her clinging to my legs.


I have found that other than dinner prep, I can't really multi task at this time of day because we are all tired and impatient.  Today my daughter passed the time waiting for Daddy to come by by standing on her head and perfecting her flips.


DADDY'S HOME!!  Our current homecoming greeting for Daddy, is quite loud.  As we chant, "Yea Dad-dy Yea...Yea Dad-dy Yea.  Wo-he-who-he-who" and play our drum, tambourine, and maracas (with Maggie's enthusiastic barking accompanying the noisy greeting)!


We eat dinner as soon after Daddy gets home as possible.


Clean up time!  Don't ya love my little helper? She seems to have lost her clothes somewhere between dinner and clean up...


Daddy makes a great jungle gym... the kids love to climb, stand, sit, whatever on him and he lets them.  This is the cool kind of play, that they never get from Mommy.  Daddy told me tonight he thinks this is is the easiest way to play with them, because they have a blast and all he does is literally lay there.  I am not sure how easy it is though to have a child standing on your face, another sitting on your lap beating a drum and a third pushing off of you as he attempts to scale the wall.


Time to get ready for bed.  You can not put the baby to bed without her getting enthusiastic hugs and kisses from her brother and sister.  Sometimes she welcomes this love and attention and other times her face seems to say, "Love hurts!"


My older two get a big thrill out of carrying the bathroom stool to the hallway so my son can get his toothbrush off of the mirror.  They literally beam from ear to ear as they carry it out and back and say, "We make a good team!"  (If only they always worked so well together)!


And after the teeth have been brushed, water drunk, and fluoride taken, it is time for the special Bible story and lullaby.


On an ordinary day, the kids are typically in bed between 8-8:30.  Then my husband and I talk, watch TV, surf the Internet, and I of course do my blogging.  We typically go to bed between 11:30-12...sometimes later if I am staying up to post on a carnival.

So......there you have it Jessica.... that was a glimpse of an ordinary day in the life at the circus.  Was it what you expected?

Check out It's REAL Life to read about other bloggers ordinary days.

IMG_8522 She kissed me!

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