I mentioned before, that Scott and I have not made any decisions regarding the size of our circus crew.  Some days we feel quite complete with our trio, others there’s that desire to add another little one to the crew.  So, we haven’t done anything drastic and we’re spending some time praying and thinking on it.  But the crew members are starting to share their feelings on the matter.  Not that we asked them their opinion mind you.

Last week the kids and I were walking to the park each holding hands and my son who was in the middle of his two sisters, says to me…

“Mom, it’s not fair that I don’t have a brother.  They both do and I don’t and I want one.

Me:  Well, if we did have a baby brother, he’d be a lot younger than you.

Son:  That’s ok.  I want to teach him things, like karate.

Me:  Hmm… well, there is no guarantee we’d have a boy.

Son:  Oh, well, then you could just have another and we could have 5 kids

(woah, slow the baby train down here… we haven’t even agreed to a fourth)

Me:  Hmm, well, I think it would be hard to fit 5 kids in our minivan

Son:  We could get a bigger van

Me:  Well, with all those kids how would I have time to spend with all of you?

Son:  Well, the baby’s take naps so when they nap you can play with me.

It appears he has this all worked out.  I was left with no arguments, so I believe I muttered something like, “Hmm, we’'ll see…” and left it at that. The girls haven’t felt the need to share their point of view, but I am sure before long they too will voice an opinion.   He brings it up fairly often though…again this morning when I was scurrying to put on 3 pairs of shoes and 3 coats and scurry out the door to drop my son off at preschool, he said, “Ya know I really want a baby brother and then we could have 4 kids and 2 grown ups which is 6 people in our family.”  Yes, on a day when I didn’t get a shower or even my morning glass of milk, and the girls are heading out with out socks, just sneakers and we are STILL late for preschool, that is an excellent time to discuss adding another one to the circus.   Jury’s still out…

My little brother celebrated his birthday this week.  And being the good big sister that I am, I thought I’d share some lovely pics of him growing up for my Fro Me to You post this week.  Cuz’ nothing says happy birthday like having your big sister post your picture on the internet for the world to see.

Happy Birthday Little Brother!

IMG_3235Here we are at one of his birthdays.  I am guessing he was five or 6, making me 8 or 9.  Looks like I gave him a dream team poster. 

We look pretty dressed up for birthday gifts, so I am guessing his birthday fell on a Sunday that year and he got to open his gifts before we left for church.


IMG_3236 And here we are on a family excursion to see the Cherry Blossoms in DC.  I am guessing I am in about fifth or sixth grade.  Please take notice of the turquoise shorts with the tucked in shirt and my favorite, the coordinating turquoise “koosh ball” earrings. I was stylin, don’t ya think?

He is my only brother.  While we definitely had our moments growing up, I’d say we were pretty close.  I have fond memories of playing Star Wars and GI Joes with him (I was always Princess Leah cooking food and cleaning house for the troops).  I was a bossy big sister and it took me awhile to figure out that he didn’t need “another mom” as he would tell me time and again.  Once I learned that, we were great friends. 

We were both in each other’s weddings and have been to the hospital to welcome our new niece’s and nephews.   I’m excited that our kids are close in age and hope that they the cousins will be good friends growing up.   


I am thankful to have him as my brother, friend, and my children’s uncle.

Happy Birthday Bro!  I love you lots!

I had a dream last night that I went to the movies and when it was my turn to order the tickets, I couldn’t remember the name of the movie we wanted to see.  For some reason they didn’t list them on the wall behind the register like normal.  I tried to call someone for help, but suddenly my phone had been replaced with a different phone and every time I hit the buttons for my contact list, it took me to some funky screen and I couldn’t find anyone’s number.  As the line behind me grew and grew I kept begging the man at the register, “Please, it’s about a guy and a girl… it’s a comedy, with a little romance…you know the one…what is it?” 

The funny thing is at the end of the dream when I finally found out the name of the movie, I said to myself, “Man, my memory is really going…it must be momnesia…I have totally gotta blog about this.”

And then I woke up.

What?  I am blogging in my dreams now?  I thought it was bad enough that when my kids say something funny and I laugh, that they ask if I am going to blog about it.  Or the fact that when I go to share a funny anecdote with a friend, I am often interrupted with the phrase, “yea I know I read about that on your blog”  But blogging in my dreams?  I think I may need some serious help. 

We have a few daily battles here at the circus which I have to mediate carefully.  One involves who buckled their top straps first in the car seat and the other is over who gets to eat off of the coveted plate at meal time. 

I made the innocent mistake of purchasing three different animal face plates last year at Target.  I also bought some basic color plates as well.   I was careful to make sure I got red and purple (my son and daughter’s favorite colors as well as 2 others since they baby didn’t yet have an opinion on colors and it was nice to have extras for when friends are visiting)IMG_3181.IMG_3186

I remember bringing them home with excitement, our first kid plates, weren’t they cute? 

And for awhile all went smoothly. 

But, somewhere in the last year my daughter decided her favorite things were whatever her big brother liked best.  So, since he wanted the frog plate at dinner, she too wanted the frog plate.  And poor mr monkey and miss lady bug were cast offs.  I suddenly had to keep track of who ate on the frog plate yesterday and whose turn it was tomorrow.  And when the frog plate is dirty, we then resort to colors.  The colors worked for awhile b/c my daughter liked purple and my son liked red.  For awhile I just hid mr frog because the colors kept the peace.

Until my daughter decided that she too liked red.

Now, I have to keep track of who ate off of the frog and who ate off of the red plate.

I have one saving grace though.

Noah’s Ark.


Not sure exactly where we acquired this plate, I think it was in a box of hand me down toys someone gave us.  But my daughter has latched on to the Noah plate because, “Hey, we learned about Noah in my Sunday School class.”  And since my daughter has taken such affection towards the Noah plate, my son now shows an interest in it as well. 

Of course.

But Noah does help keep the peace, because if my son has the frog, my daughter is happy if she has Noah.  And vice versa.

Inevitably there are days when Noah and Mr Frog are both in the dish washer and I have to keep track of the red plate and who ate on what when. 

Some days I say “Forget it, no one gets to eat off of the red plate, or the frog plate, or Noah plate.”  Admittedly, this is usually said in frustration and met with great weeping and gnashing of teeth as they have to “suffer” with eating off of the monkey or lady bug.  Some days, I don’t feel like negotiating and I just give the coveted plate to the baby, who doesn’t yet care.  Some days I keep track of who had what when.  Some days I patiently explain that we have to share and take turns and we can’t all have what we want when we want it. 

Most days I regret bringing home the cute kid plates and am wondering why I didn’t just bring home 5 plastic white plates and call it a day.  I’m pretty sure that’s what an experienced mom would have done.  And I’m pretty sure where communism got it’s start.


In a home with three children all fighting over the coveted dinner plate.

Found this on CNN headlines…it appears I am not the only mom living at the circus

Gotta busy Monday ahead of me, will try to post an update of our crazy circus life later today, until then you can read about this circus life.

Last week in church the pastor gave an illustration in which he mentioned the number of American lives lost during various wars in our history.  My son looked over at me and asked why he was talking about American soldiers getting killed.

This led to a discussion later in the week in which it was brought to my attention that my son was under the impression that good guys don’t die in war.   It was a sobering discussion I had with my four year old that afternoon that went something like this...

Son:  Mom, why did the good guys die?  I thought they killed the bad guys.

Me:  Well, sometimes they do, but sometimes the bad guys kill them first.  The bad guys are trying to get them just like they are trying to get the bad guys.

Son:  But Mom, they have camouflage so the bad guys can’t see them

Me:  True, and that helps a lot, but sometimes the good guys still get hurt.  That’s why they are heroes…not just because they hurt the bad guys, but because by doing so they are risking their own lives.  That is part of war…good guys and bad guys die.

Son:  But Uncle Jim didn’t die.

Me:  Yes, and we are so thankful for that, but that is why we were praying for Uncle Jim when he was at war, because we wanted God to protect him.

Son:  But Uncle Jim isn’t at war right now…he’s training right now to be a captain.

Much later that night when we were saying our bedtime prayers my son prayed, “please keep Uncle Jim safe.”

I found this whole incident to be quite sobering.  We have stressed over and over through the years that soldiers, and policemen, and firemen are true heroes and deserve honor and our gratitude.  I guess though we never stressed why they are heroes.  And in the sweet innocence of childhood, my son assumed that only bad guys get hurt.  Yet we live in a world where that is not the case.

And as this truth sunk in to my little boy, his response was to pray for the Lord to protect his dear Uncle Jim who serves as a soldier in our U.S. Army.  uncle jim

This served as a good reminder to me to continue to life up our soldiers in prayer.  While Uncle Jim is home in Texas right now, we are praying for our cousin Joel who is at war fighting for our freedom.  We are proud to have both soldiers as part of our family, modeling heroism for our children.

Last week the girls and I were at the auto mechanic waiting to get the oil changed in our minivan.  We were sitting nicely in the the waiting room reading books and enjoying some goldfish when suddenly I look over at the older one and shockingly find her standing in the waiting room (filled with people) with her pants and underwear down to her ankles.  I quickly pull them up and ask her why she did this and she explains that her “butt hurts.”  I quickly take her into the bathroom to fix this.

Today I took the kids to the park to enjoy our heat wave (45 degrees today).  As I was unloading the girls I look over to see my son with his drawers dropped, peeing in the grass. 

“What are you doing?” I shriek as I then make eye contact with the mom in the car beside ours.  “I have to pee,” he explains. 

As if it is ok to just pee wherever we want. 

For the second time in a week, I find myself hurriedly pulling up my child’s pants and ushering him away from the public spectacle we’ve caused.  Thankfully, we have our in van potty seat, which I find in the back of the van.   Apparently he really had to go b/c he tried to go in the parking lot when I set it on the ground.  I quickly get it in the van and out of the world’s view.  He asks why he can’t pee in the grass.  I say b/c it is gross and people walk there.  He then asks if he could pee in poison ivy (I know his logic is that no one would be walking on poison ivy).  I caution him that it isn’t a good idea to pee in poison ivy either.

Apparently I need to have a little talk with my children about decency and what behaviors are and aren’t appropriate in public. 

A few weeks ago Scott’s cousin was married in CA.  Since the groom was from Brazil, we were among many friends and relatives that weren’t able to attend the ceremony.  The family thoughtfully broadcasted the ceremony live on the internet.  I had never attending a wedding this way before. 

While we would have preferred to attend the wedding in person and share in their celebration with them, in some ways, it was the easiest way to watch the ceremony with our three kids present.

The kids were able to play during the ceremony without us having to worry about them disturbing anyone else.   My daughter made sure that all of the little people were present and lined up to see the ceremony,  while my son flew something around the room.


We were able to type messages to the bride and groom and they could talk back to us.  My daughter didn’t  quite grasp the fact that they couldn’t see her though.  Here she is holding up some signs for them.  IMG_2466

Eventually they got so out of control that even though they weren’t disturbing any of the other guests, they were disturbing us (first time I was ever body bashed while watching a wedding) so we sent them to their room to play.  IMG_2481

Every now and then they’d come out though.  At one point my son was marching through the room singing, “Pha-roah, Pha-roh, let my people go,  before God smites you with his hand” not your typical wedding song.  After the ceremony was over and we got to “talk” to the beautiful bride and groom as well as extended family members, we went back to the kids room. 


It appears that they thought a fun way to play quietly was to take every.single. paper out of their binders and scatter them over their entire bedroom.  Nice, huh?

We were so thankful that we had the opportunity to share in bride and groom’s special day from the other side of the country.  I’m pretty certain though that they won’t be including these pictures in their wedding album.  For more pictures that won’t see the inside of a scrapbook, check out We are THAT Family.

I recently discovered a way to entertain and delight my children, while also getting some help in the kitchen. 

I let them wash dishes in the sink by hand. 


I don’t give them anything fragile.   But at almost 3 and almost 5, they are quite capable of scrubbing pots and pans or large bowls…things I can’t squeeze into the dishwasher. 

They beg me for the opportunity and it keeps them content for up an hour. I figure I gotta take advantage of this while I can…having my kids beg for the chance to do the dishes is not something I anticipate lasting forever.  

I’ve learned a few tricks to keep this successful.

  • One child is on dish duty at a time.  (2 preschoolers at the sink is recipe for trouble). 
  • Be prepared to go through more than your usual amount of soap.  Seems the kids think you need a LOT of soap to clean those pots.
  • I limit them to two or three dishes.  I don’t want them to be overwhelmed or to get bored…bored kids armed with the spray house is another hazard.
  • Remove any important papers at least 3 feet away from the sink…splashing is par for the course.
  • Sometimes you gotta spot check them b/c even though they scrub that pot for 30 minutes, they can still miss quite a few spots.  (I typically sit them on the counter to dry and to a quick touch up later when they aren’t around)  They are still getting most of the hard work out of the way with all that soaking. 

IMG_2912 My son told me last week, “Mom, you never have to do dishes again.”  …If I could just get that in writing.

Check out Rocks in My Dryer for more helpful hints.


Check out 5 Minutes for Mom for more WW.

I am dealing with some serious reentry probs today, so my post is not only later in the day than normal, but will be more of a random tangent on life at the circus today.

The entire circus fam is fighting colds.  Runny noses, coughs…we felt them coming on at the end of last week but oddly enough standing in 15 degree weather for 4 hours did little to fight them off.  That coupled with the fact that the five of us spent 11 hours in the car together this weekend breathing in the same recycled air, has ensured that we are all equally miserable.

It’s not that bad though…if we are feeling too blue or grouchy all I gotta do is play my recently downloaded “Here We Go, Here We Go Steelers, Here We Go, Pittsburgh's Going to the Superbowl” song and all five of us are dancing and singing along.  I am sure we’ll have all the lyrics memorized by the 1st!

On our drive home yesterday we were stuck in two different traffic backups.  For the first one, we were able to get off, take a back road,and get back on our route.  In the other case, the accident was on the other side of the highway and we were in congestion caused by rubbernecking.  It was however, the worst traffic accident I have ever seen in my life.  A 40 car pile up on route 70.  It made me realize how much I take for granted our safety in the car.  How I rarely offer true thanksgiving to God for my safe voyage. Often if I remember to do anything, it is more like lip service, rather than heart felt gratitude.  Today I am truly grateful.

I am also thankful that today is Tuesday.  Tuesday is the one day of the week that we don’t have to be somewhere at any specific time.  I need this day, especially this week, as I have suitcases to unpack, laundry to do, ringtones to download, blogs to read, a house to clean…

In the midst of all this, I made time to record a new message on my answering machine thanks to my recently downloaded fight song.

We also took some time out to watch the inauguration.  Scott and I were talking yesterday about how much we take our government for granted.  Today, we had a change in power in our nation.  One government party and its philosophies and ideologies, was replaced with another, and it was done so without a military uprising.  How often do we take that peaceful hand shake for granted?

As I was pointing out the important political figures and explaining who was who and why they were being saluted, why they were wearing black suits (you know the important details and questions I wouldn’t think about without preschoolers present) I had a rather comical conversation with my oldest daughter.

I was pointing out George Bush and she said, “Not George the monkey!”

No I said, “George Bush”  and she giggled.

I realized in her mind she was probably looking for a cartoon character like George the Monkey only it was a little bush.  This little diversion made me laugh for so many reasons during this solemn ceremony.

Afterwards Scott called and we discussed the inaugural address.  It was so refreshing to have an intellectually stimulating discussion with my husband in the middle of the day.  There is no one whose opinion I respect more than his.  I greatly appreciated hearing his thoughts on things, asking him a few questions and discussing our opinions.  It lasted about 5 minutes, because then I realized that the house was way too quiet for having three circus children awake and when I realized the bathroom door was shut, I knew I had to go.  Turns out my son was reading “Pat the Bunny” to the girls while he was on the potty.

So, that is my hodge podge of thoughts for all who care…funny to me this whole bloggy world and how there are people out there that are actually interested in my runny nose musings.  I love it though.  Love these relationships I have cultivated through this crazy world wide web.  I am off to get some lunch and catch up on your lives (I hold you responsible for the laundry that does not get done today).

Game time 6:30pm on Sunday, January 18, 2009

IMG_4673Scott and I were in our seats by 4:45.  We were too excited to stay away any longer.  When we looked out into the stadium, it was obvious who the non season ticket holders were.  There was a sprinkling of us around the stadium.  Rookies eager to enjoy every precious minute of the event. 

As we sat down in our seat (only three rows back in the upper level) we could see everything!!  I looked over to Scott and said, “I think I just found a way to be discontent with our big screen TV.” 

The temperature was in the twenties and then the teens.  We came prepared though.  I was wearing…

3 layers of pants

4 layers of shirts

1 military issue arctic condition coat borrowed from my FIL

2 pairs of gloves

3 socks

1 stadium blanket

1 pair of boots (one of which lost its sole)

3 hand warmers

4 foot warmers


  I’ll be honest.  My hands and toes were cold.  And I could feel the wind on my face.  But otherwise I was really fine.  I’ve been colder than that running to my car and driving to preschool in the morning.  Amazing what layers can do…and emotion and adrenaline help too. 


Highlights for me included: 

  • watching Ben scramble out of the pocket, throw a pass to Holmes and then watching him run across the field, follow the blockers and score a touchdown… it was amazing to watch the entire play come together!
  • getting to see a Polamalu interception returned for a touchdown was a dream come true.  Our seats were on the 20 yard line so we saw that touchdown right before our eyes.  Scott and I were jumping up and down screaming like crazy.
  • watching the defense take a stand… man I’ve heard of the power of the 12th man, but to be a part of it was something else…seeing our number 1 defense hold them to no first downs in the first quarter and keep them under 200 yards for the entire game was awesome.  Hearing the crowd go wild when the defense was on the field was truly awesome! 
  • And then the rumpus after we won.  We’re hugging perfect strangers, high fiving… more jumping…dancing in the aisles, singing, more dancing…it was incredible!  Pittsburgh’s going to the Super bowl!!!!


We truly had the time of our life and didn’t want it to end.  We even stopped at Eat-N-Park on our way home just to make the night last a little longer (yea I got a few stares in my face paint…somehow removed from the celebration of the event, you look more ridiculous…but I didn’t care… We’re going to the Super bowl Baby and I watched them get there!”


A few weeks ago I was talking with a friend of mine about the Steelers game.  She had offered her condolences on our loss against Tennessee.  I told her I wasn’t too worried about it because we were going to the play offs. 

She looked at my kind of incredulously and asked, “Really?”

“Yea,” I said.

“Your going to the playoffs?  That’s crazy.”

I was kinda confused, we were after all the leader of our division, and then it hit me…

“We, the Steelers, I said, not we Scott and Crystal.”

We both got a laugh out of the miscommunication. 

But this time, I mean it.

We’re going to the AFC Championship Game.



We, Scott and Crystal are going to watch the Steelers play the Ravens in the AFC Championship Game this Sunday at Heinz Field. 

I can not even tell you how giddy with excitement we both are.  I’m talking jump up and down screaming in the living room when I won the bid on ebay, excited.


I was talking with someone at MOPS the other night and when she saw my Steelers Super bowl tee, she asked if I was a Steelers fan.  I of course told her I was.

The next day she was at my house for the first time.  When she saw the Steelers flag hanging in front of the house, the Steelers wreath on my front door, and what my friends affectionately call my shrine in our entry way (I have a  table which I sit seasonal knick knacks on and for play offs it has a Steelers blanket as the table cloth with an autographed pic of Harrison, a framed card of Bettis, a Steelers ketchup bottle and a piece of 3 rivers field with a wooden Steelers ball sitting on it) she said, “Wow,your like REALLY Steelers fans!”

You could say that.

As a kid I really enjoyed being on stage.  Had a rather significant part in our church musical when I was in third grade which led me to believe I had skill…even did a few plays in middle school (with embarrassing tales of their own to be shared on future Thursdays) but the high school band plays were my low points.

Each spring our school would put on a play written by our band director.  She was a kind lady with a heart of gold.  She wrote these plays set in the time of Laura Ingalls Wilder, with the small town charm and old dresses.  I believe there were two if not three of these productions.

Each year I’d go to try outs where we’d get to read through portions of the play.  And each year I’d be hopeful that this would be my year to land a significant part. 

Only each year when she would announce the parts, I was always given the part of a character who strangely wasn’t in the play when we did the read through.  Like magic I’d go to see the list of parts and find a new character had appeared on the cast and my name was beside her. My director would write in a part, giving me a line or two that used to belong to someone else.   Overnight the nice country family had an extra daughter named Carrie Jo!  I’d be sitting on stage during the family scenes, stringing popcorn or stirring in a wooden bowl and I’d get to say my line or two. 

stringing popcorn 2

I of course saw right through the Carri Jo facade and knew she was just being kind to poor Crystal.  While it was disappointing in some ways, in others it worked out fine.  I got to go to practice each day and hang out with all my friends while doing very little work.  Looking back I have nothing but fond memories of the times spent rehearsing observing in the church auditorium.  Though I do get a chuckle out of my made up role in the production. 



Check out We Are THAT Family if you’re interested in reading others blasts from the past!

Wasn’t able to snap a picture of this one, because it was too disgusting for me to do anything but stop it right away…

But if anyone wondered why I call it life at the circus…

…just caught my 18th month old brushing her teeth with her brother’s tooth brush, in the dog bowl…

gross on so many levels…


Check out 5M4M for more WW

Check it out…I am the featured tackle this week at 5 Minutes for Mom!!!  Go ahead and click here and read about what I tackled this week at the circus! 


My Daybook: Monday January 12
Outside my window...the sun is shining brightly and Christmas lights still hang on the front of the house (though no longer on the roof…we’re half way there)
I am thinking...I really need to stop putting off folding the laundry piled beside my bed
I am thankful for... the Steelers victory last night advancing them to the AFC Championship
From the learning room…working on Catechism questions
From the kitchen... Scott will be making pancakes for him and the kids for dinner tonight
I am wearing...jeans and my Steelers Superbowl XL Champions Tee
I am creating... I am not that creative, I do hope to tackle hemming my sons pants this week, does that count?
I am MOPS tonight at my church (hence the pancake dinner tonight)
I am reading... Love Walked in by Marisa de los Santos, The One Year Chronological Bible, Teaching Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
I am hoping... my kids wake up in good moods
I am hearing...the sounds of my dishwasher running
Around the house...the kids are all napping quietly in their beds
One of my favorite things...home made bread rolls fresh from the oven
A few plans for the rest of the week: catch up on laundry, try to plan some snowman crafts to do with the kiddos

Here is picture thought I am sharing...


Do you think we could fit something else into that bed with her?

Sometimes little snippets of the extraordinary appear in the midst of everyday life.  Right smack in the middle of a messy kitchen with trashcans overflowing, and kids walking around half naked, a conversation took place at our dining room table. 

Scott was having eggnog with the two oldest children and I had gotten the video camera out to catch my littlest one playing with the tripod.  She was walking around setting up the tripod and exclaiming, “Cheese.”  I wasn’t able to catch her saying it when the camera was on her but during this time, a conversation began which I soon realized I just might want to record.  Scott asked my son what the most important thing was…his answer touched our hearts. 

You’ll have to excuse the fact that all of our kids are half naked (we’d had pasta for dinner that night so I had taken off their shirts).  And I have no idea why my little girl is walking around with an empty milk carton in her stroller, we do have baby dolls, I promise.  Of course this most precious father/son conversation couldn’t have taken place on a night when the kids were dressed nicely (or even fully dressed for that matter) but that’s the circus life for you! And that is most certainly not the most important thing.

Take a few minutes and listen to what my four year old son said is the most important thing…

This conversation is a gift that we will cherish forever.  I am so thankful I was able to capture it and record it.  He knows the most important thing and that is all a parent could ask for.

If anyone came over today to see the last installment in the Eggnog Series, please check back later today.  I had some slight technical difficulties with my video clip and am in the midst of the long upload process right now.  Please come back again this afternoon to see the video of one of Scott’s most memorable father/son talks to date.  You won’t want to miss it!


Eggnog has always been a special drink at our house.   Since our son was just a toddler, he’s enjoyed sipping this treat with his Daddy.

Last winter as Scott and my son were enjoying this holiday treat,  Scott told him  that eggnog is a talking drink.  “You sip it slowly like a dessert and talk about important things,” he instructed him.

From this was born eggnog talks.

The next night my three and half year hold son asked for some eggnog, then looked up at his Daddy and said, “Dad, let’s talk…how was your day?”

And each time they sat and sipped their special treat, they’d talk about various things…most often questions that my son had.   He’s always good for a question or two.

After Christmas we were on a 5 hour car ride when out of the blue my son called to the front of the van,

Son: “Hey Mom, was Joseph a doctor?”

Me: “No, actually he was a carpenter.”

pause (Scott and look at each other all excited about the fact that our little boy was sitting in the back seat pondering the Christmas story).

Son: “Was anyone else with Mary and Joseph at the stable?”

(Hmm, suddenly I knew where he was going with this one…see the previous summer, 6 months prior, when he was asking all of his “how is the baby going to get of mommy’s belly” questions, one thing my husband and I kept stressing was that the doctor had special training and he would help get the baby out).

Me: “No, just Mary and Joseph”

Son: “If Joseph wasn’t a doctor, then how did he get baby Jesus out?”

I looked to Scott to answer this one (grateful that this question was asked when Daddy was around b/c I hate when he pops these doozies when I am flying solo).

Scott said, “You know that is a good question, why don’t you ask me again at our next eggnog talk.”

Smart move huh?  My son was satisfied and Scott knew that with Christmas being over he just bought himself another year to figure out his response.

A week later we are home from our trip and Scott and my son are out in the back yard.  I yell out that I am going to the store.  My son stops me and says, “Hey Mom, can you get some more eggnog?” and then looks at his Daddy and says, “We gotta talk.”

(yea…fat chance he was going to let it drop for a year)

I am continually amazed at my son’s mind.  It seems the wheels are constantly turning in there.  He recalls details or conversations from as far back as a year ago and then he applies these things and formulates new thoughts and questions.  He truly keeps me on my toes and I absolutely love watching him learn and grow.

Eggnog talks have become a special tradition here at the circus.  This year both girls have gotten to participate in the eggnog talks as well.  It opens the doors for the kids to sit and ask Daddy all sorts of questions.  Sometimes they talk about how things were made, or what they learned in Sunday School, or what they did that day.  Sometimes the kids ask Daddy the questions, sometimes he turns it around and asks them something (as you’ll see here tomorrow). It is much more than a tasty holiday treat, it is a special Father/child bonding time.  One I know their Daddy will treasure for the rest of his life.


Come back tomorrow to hear how about one of Scott’s most memorable father/son talks to date.


My son has always had a very inquisitive nature.  When I was pregnant with my third child, he was three.  He fully grasped the concept that there was a baby in my belly.  But, what he wanted to know was, how the baby was coming out.  At first I tried with vague, non specific responses.  But they weren’t doing it for him.  He kept bringing it up, again and again.  Then he started to get worried.  “Mommy, how will the doctors get the baby out of your belly?”  “Will they cut you up?”  Finally, after hemming and hawing several times over the course of several weeks, I told him that God gives Mommy’s a special hole for the baby to come out. 

This of course didn’t help to dispel his curiosity.

He then wanted to see it.  Which, of course, I told him he couldn’t.  I explained it was a special hole and it didn’t really open up until it was time for the baby to come out. 

This seemed to satisfy him and the conversation wasn’t mentioned again. 

A little over a month later, my baby girl was born.  Shortly after she was born, the kids were invited into the room to see their baby sister. 


They were so excited to see her.  They looked at her and said hello.  While still in my husbands arms, before even a full minute in the presence of his new sister he turns and looks across the room at me sitting in the hospital bed and asks,


“Hey Mom, can I see the hole?”


(Don’t you love the look on the nurse’s face?)

I’m telling you. This kid stays on top of things.  He doesn't just ask questions to ask questions.  He really wants to know.  And persistent too.  This story provides the much needed background for Friday’s post entitled “Eggnog Talks.” Be sure to come back tomorrow to hear the first of two conversations had between my husband and my son as they sip eggnog (aka” the talking/sipping drink” at our house).  

Check out Fro Me to You, for some more pictures and anecdotes from the past, that don’t quite belong in the family photo album.

IMG_2579 Click here for more Wordless Wednesdays.


IMG_2711I don’t remember what magazine or book I read it from, but a few years ago I found an idea for having a wise man celebration.  For some reason I recall it being on January 6th. And I decided it was a good idea.  But that year my entire family got struck with the stomach virus, so we skipped it.  But last year and this year we celebrated, thus making it a tradition at our house. 

We make stir fry or Chinese food (because the wise men came from the East) for dinner and we bake star shaped sugar cookies for dessert.  We wear crowns, like the kings and we watch the wise man movie (The First Noel).  IMG_2703

Since we are a young family, in many ways we are still shaping our traditions.  Since our first year of marriage we have hung a Jesus stocking.  In it Scott and I write a note about what we want to give to Jesus that year.  This year we decided to combine the Jesus stocking with Wiseman day.  We discussed as a family what we could like to do together as a gift for Jesus and the kids will draw a representative picture to put into the stocking. 

I like celebrating Wiseman Day because it provides another opportunity to tell and retell the Christmas story and to keep our focus on the real meaning of the season.   Typically the tree is down and the decorations are away by the 6th and it is nice to take some time to continue to dwell on Christ’s birth, after the “holiday season” is past.

Wiseman Day works for me and my family as it provides a fun family night with a focus on our Lord and on what we can give to Him as we worship Him.  To find more great ideas and helpful tips, visit Rocks in My Dryer.

Much like the decorating of the pumpkin, the constructing of the gingerbread house didn’t happen according to the traditional time line.  We here at the circus like to do things in our own time, thank you very much!

I mentioned before that this year I decided to go with the kit over baking from scratch.  I bought the kit in early December and kept waiting for that evening when we were all home and not already busy with something else.  I didn’t want to cram it in just to do it, I wanted to enjoy it. 

And so, the gingerbread house was built on January 5th.  Same day I got around to taking the ornaments of off our tree and our decor off the walls.  My son asked if we could keep the gingerbread house out or if we had to take it down too.  I assured him we could keep it up for a few weeks. 

IMG_2640 I was surprised by how much my youngest contributed to the project.  In addition to eating a corner of the the chimney and the foot and leg off of the gingerbread snow man, she decorated an entire side of the roof.  The kids all  had a blast decorating the gingerbread house.  We even survived the roof collapsing and one side breaking into two, with no tears! 

I told Scott next year I might just plan to build the gingerbread house after Christmas and go ahead and wait to buy the kit till afterwards as well.  We could save 75% on the cost and we all had just as much fun doing it in Jan as we’d have had in December (maybe even more). 

For more fun tackles, check out 5 Minutes for Mom.IMG_2631

I often don’t bother scrambling around the house looking for shoes before heading out the door.  We give a good attempt, but if we’re running late, I bank on the fact that we’ll be able to find a pair in the van.

One afternoon when my husband asked where to find my daughter’s shoe and I told him, these are what he found on the floor of our van (and believe it or not, there are more that just didn’t fit into the shot).


Yea..I’m busted…my days of being held accountable by the preschool pick up line are over…looks like the circus is keeping it real at preschool too.

Lucky for Maggie today is her special day, otherwise, I don’t think I’d have been so nice about finding this on my couch cushions today.


maggie in bed Our beloved pooch turns 6 today!  Where does the time go?  We got her two weeks after moving into our new home and before we had kids. 

One of my fourth grade language arts students loved corgi’s and did a book report on Pembrooke Welsh Corgi’s.  He got an A and I was sold on Corgi’s.  I distinctly remember him telling me that they were “light shedders and good with kids.”   He was a bit off on the light shedding, but couldn’t have been more dead on about the kids.  So, thank you Dylan!

For about a year she was “our baby” and she was very spoiled.  She ate at precisely the same time every day, she went on walks, she slept on our bed, we played games with her, we took her to the dog park…in a lot of ways she helped shape they way our days went.

  maggie collage copy


1) Welcome to the familyGradually as first one, then two, then three kids came into the picture, she fell further and further down the totem pole.  Now she is happy just to be fed, forget about what time it is!

From the minute we brought our son home from the hospital, she has proved to be a great kid dog. 

TakeHomePictures 100a




She was very curious about this new little one we brought home.  I love these shots of her peering up curiously at him as if to ask us, “What is this thing you brought home and how will this effect me?”



Little did she know that she would be pulled, poked, sat on, not to mention overlooked thanks to this new one and his soon to come sisters.

circus 058

2005 scrapbook188


And she has never complained.  She sits there patiently while they “love on” her and she never growls or snaps (though she is known to give a wet smooch or two). 


Granted, she has been rewarded with her fair share of Cheerios and remnant high chair food over the years.  When I took her to the vet a year after my son was born she had gained 10 lbs that year… that’s a lot of Cheerios for one dog to consume!



She still has occasional accidents on our carpet and she barks anytime someone walks in front of our house or rings the door bell, and I must confess in those moments my true inner Cruella Deville creeps out as I mutter under my breath.   But she is part of our family and though I rarely show it, I love her.

So for her birthday today we are taking her for a walk and going to Pet Smart for a bone and a new doggie bed…basically her special birthday treat is to be treated with the love and care she used to receive on a normal basis, PK (pre kids).  And after writing this post and reflecting on all of her many redeeming qualities and her charming personality, I’m convicted to make a new year’s resolution to treat Maggie with the love and attention she deserves (or at least better than I’ve been treating her).

Happy Birthday Maggie, I’m so glad you are part of our family!!

2008 was a good year at the Circus.

In February, I was blessed with a new niece.  You wouldn't have known this though because I didn't begin blogging until the end of March. The spring was also filled with fun family activities like going to a real circus, celebrating Easter, and watching the Blue Angels.   Summer held a trip to the beach, patriotic celebrations, my birthday, camping, sailboat races, and a reunion with friends.  My baby also turned one this summer.  How did that happen??  I trained for and ran in the Annapolis 10 Mile Race.  It was a big accomplishment for me and I was so excited to achieve my goal.

Fall marked a new stage of life as my little boy grew up.  Talk about time flying, he began preschool and soccer and suddenly didn't seem so little anymore.  We enjoyed a day at the farm, the county fair, and the pumpkin patch.  I also took a trip to Texas with friends for a MOPS convention (and sang karaoke for the first time).

And then the holiday season rushed in with costumes, turkeys, and a month long celebration of our Lords birth with the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes found only during the Christmas season.  Somewhere in there my oldest daughter became officially potty trained.  Yes, for Thanksgiving, I was given  one more thing to be thankful for...2 potty trained and only one kiddo in diapers!

2008 collage

As I look to 2009, I can only wonder what new circus acts await us.  There are a few 1/2 marathons I'd like to run this spring and fall.  We'd like to go to Texas to see my SIL and BIL this summer as well as do some camping in the great southwest.  My son will start kindergarten this fall!!!  I am still not sure if I will be home schooling him or sending him to school.  And there are many more adventures that I don't even have the slightest idea about.

Scott and I would like to be more intentional with our time this year.  We'd like to read  more and spend more time in the Word.  I'm eager to see how the Lord can use us for His purposes in the coming year.  I am excited about the fresh start and the new year.

By the way, this New Year's post, is extra special because it is also my 300th post!!  That means I have written 300 posts in only 9 months!  Thanks so much for reading and commenting; you don't know how much you brighten my day!

Happy New Year from the Circus!!