This weekend, I surprised  Scott and the kids with a high seas adventure in Annapolis. 

After donning their costumes 

  Are pirates supposed to be cute?

And getting their tattoos

almost two year old pirate

We were ready to board the ship and set sail in search of our treasure

Daddy and his girl count treasure

The kids used their loot to purchase ice cream for dinner

A good time was had by all.   Though I fear the pirate life may agree too well with them.  Don’t they look quite fierce?

We all scream for Ice Cream

For more Wed fun with pictures, visit here or here.

The one piece of parenting advice I wish I had adhered to better is to “write down those cute things your kids say b/c you will forget.” 

Me forget?  Come on… there’s not way I could forget those cute little things my kids say… I’m super mom.

Yea, I also never thought I’d bring my kids to church with mismatched shoes and no diaper bag…but

5 years and 3 kids later and super mom has left the building. 

So, when I found out about this carnival, I thought it sounded like a great way to write down those things my kids say which I swear I’d never forget and quite often by the time Scott is home from work, I've already forgotten…they may not be incredibly profound or hilarious, but years from now I am sure I’ll be glad to have them recorded. 


3 year old says to me at dinner on a swim class day, “Mom, I got wet when I went swimming.  Every time I go that happens.”


5 year old son, “Mom do want me to grow up?” 

me:  “Well I’ll probably miss the days when we could sit and snuggle together when you were little.”

son: “Don’t worry mom, when I am a grown up I will come over every day and snuggle with you.”


23 mth old, (reaching hands to sky) “can’t reach moon… can’t reach it!”

5 year old brother says, “Don’t worry, when I grow up I’ll take you there b/c I am going to be an astronaut.”


After watching the Orioles lose to the Red Sox my 3 year old was on the phone with her grandpa and said, “It was a bummer the Red Sox won, but I still had a good time because we brought food.”


After going on a pirate adventure for our father’s day celebration this kids all retuned home with gold coins.  The next day my 5 yr old son was carrying around his sack of coins and asked I could help him with his “tax appointment.”


And while it isn’t exactly a quote, it cracked me up nonetheless… on Saturday morning after I made pancakes for breakfast, I sent my sweet little daughter in to wake up Daddy and tell him breakfast was ready.  When I got no response, I went down the hall and found this….

rise and shine toddler style

Nothing says rise and shine like your little girl standing over you with a toy rifle.

Thanks for all who wrote last week with your thoughts and suggestions on my dinner time dilemma.

No worries though.

Tonight my kids sat down and ate their dinner without one complaint.

Not one. 

And let me tell you there was no dilly dallying. 

They sat on the curb, gobbled it up with relatively little mess and we were on our merry way, walking around downtown enjoying the boats and the harbor.

See, I had it all wrong before.  Slaving over the hot stove, struggling to find new recipes, serving up balanced meals of protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates. 

Tonight after a fun father’s day celebrating on the high seas we stopped for some ice cream

ice cream for dinner

And as we drove home with our bellies full of milk and sugar, my husband pointed out to me that we hadn’t bothered to feed them any d—i-n-n-e-r tonight.

oops…how did it get to be so late?

By the time we caught fireflies and went inside it was past eight o’ clock.  No one was hungry, so we chocked it up to special occasion and summertime and put them to bed.  Nothing like a bowl full of sugar before bed to ensure a good night of sleep for all. 

Yes, please just send the mom of the year award to Crystal…aka Circus Mom… I’ll start working on my acceptance speech now… starting off with my tips for healthy, well balanced diets for preschoolers. 

Last summer I took a Sunday School class in which  I was introduced to a concept called solidarity and I realized I had very little of it.   Before that class I was really very uneducated and honestly uncaring about events and situations going on in other parts of the world.  If a plane crashed in Illinois, I’d be all over reading the footage and following the case.  “How tragic,” I’d think.  But if I read of a plane crash in Mongolia, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t even click on the link.   Why?  Why do I care more about the fate of fellow Americans than of those in another continent?  As a Christian, I should care a great deal about the suffering of any fellow human being.

While in DC last week, we saw this quote on a world war II memorial near the capital building.

The lessons learned must remain as a grave reminder of what we must not allow to happen again to any group

As I read it, I couldn’t help but think about the fact that despite all we learned from the Holocaust, similar events are going on in the world with very little being said or done about it.

I can remember when I was in school and I read of the horrific events which took place during the Holocaust, I kept wondering why it took so long for America to get involved.  “Why,” I’d ask.  “Why didn’t we do more?  Why didn’t we care?  Why did we wait until Pearl Harbor before we stepped up and ended it? “

And I can’t help but wonder why, despite all we learned, and despite all we have as Americans, are we doing so little now for the hundreds of thousands of people in Uganda and Darfur who are suffering and dying due to extreme acts of violent genocide and complete starvation?

Why aren't we “mobilized” on this?  Why does it seem that Hollywood cares more about the hundreds of thousands of people be murdered in Africa than evangelical Christians?  

Why?  What will it take?  Surely there is something I can do to ease their suffering.

That’s what I am pondering this weekend.

Weekend Thought Button

What are you thinking about this week?  Heard a song lyric that touched your heart?  Read something in a Bible study that got you thinking?  Why not use your last post of the week to highlight something a bit "deeper" then the average Momblog fair?  I’d love to read your thoughts.  Please feel free to write and link up a new post below, or to link up a thoughtful post from earlier in the week.

I am done!

Whew!  What a week at the circus!  This was not one of those stay in your pjs all day and relax by the pool kinda weeks. 

Not at all. 

Rather it was one of those, get the kids up, fed, dressed, in shoes (no s1 year old loves being on the sailboatmall feat for the circus crew) and to the soccer field by 9 am every.single.morning.  Hello?  Even during the school year, it was only M-W-F for us.  Then after two hours on the soccer field it was time to walk home, fix lunch, get the kids down for naps so that when they woke up (or I woke them this week) we could get our swim suits on and head to the pool for swim lessons.  After swim lessons, we got all 4 of us dried off, changed, back in the car and home in time to make dinner and get ready for whatever evening activity was on our schedule this week.  And this was one of those weeks where we had something every night, be it CPR class for Mom and Dad, watching Daddy sail in Annapolis, or going sailing on Nana and Pop’s boat. 

IMG_9017It was jam packed.  SO tight in fact, I don’t think you could have fit another thing in there.  And we didn’t… laundry and grocery shopping were completely foregone and we scrounged by with whatever food I could put together from the back of the pantry.  Thank goodness they got tee shirts at soccer camp… that bought us one day’s outfit!  

While I would not want to keep up at this pace all summer, the effort this week was worth it.  The kids had a blast.  They ran hard, laughed lots, made great success in the pool and formed new friendships.  I left the week with 2 new e-mail addresses from mom’s I found close by to meet up with at the park.

No longer sitting on the sidelines, my middle child got to participate in a soccer camp of her own this week.

Daughter kicks soccer ball into goal

This picture right here is a huge deal… HUGE!!


Son put whole body under water - Hooray


5 year old some comes back up from being underwater

Yup, my son went under water.  Last year he sat on the side and cried about putting his feet in.  Now he can go under all by himself.  Worth mooning the entire pool for 6 weeks. 

Not to be outdone, here’s my middle child putting her face in while swimming! 


So, I’d say the stressful mornings and pathetic dinners were worth it.  But I am glad we have a unscheduled week next week to recuperate before Vacation Bible School the following week!


“How are you?”  This simple phrase is uttered countless times a day.  Though typically without the asker really wanting or waiting for a reply.

“Hi How are you?”

You say it the grocery store clerk, the man on the sidewalk, the telemarketer…and yet, honestly, how often do you wait or listen to the response?

The expected response is “Good, How are you?”

My kids could have been screaming at the top of their lungs , the dog just pooped on the rug again, and my sink is clogged and over flowing, and yet I smile and answer “Good, how are you?” to the stranger on the other end of the phone whose calling to get me to donate money. 

Almost every single time I’m asked that question, my answer is fine or good.

My kids on the other hand are a different story.

To that sweet old lady behind us at the grocery store who smiles at my daughter as she sits in the grocery cart, my daughter will respond.


To the mom at the pool as we get ready for swim lessons, my son will say, “Bad.”

To the waiter at the restaurant whose serving my daughter her drink of choice…

“Bad,” my 3 year old will say as she looks up and smiles with delight.

Someday, somewhere, for some reason, one of my circus crew got a reaction from some sweet, unsuspecting person when we were out and about.   And as is the case with most habits, particularly those less than desirable ones, all three children follow along. 

So…really, honestly, how are you today? 

We keep our digital “point and shoot” camera on the counter.  My 5 year old calls it “his camera.”  He has permission to run and grab it to snap photos when something catches his fancy.  Every now and then I’ll download them and enjoy a glimpse of life around the circus through the eyes of my eldest. 

He was so excited about this puddle that he found on the deck a few weeks ago.  He had Daddy stand and guard it so his sister’s didn’t destroy it until he snapped a picture.  Can you guess what animal he saw?

Answer: Lion

I love the fact that when you look at this picture you can tell it was taken from a photographer who was under 4 ft tall.  I also love that we are off centered… it makes me smile.


His beloved birds and the nest he built for them last week.


Here his little hobby came in handy in getting Mom’s attention when his little sister was getting into trouble.  I hadn’t noticed her mischief until I saw him grab his camera.  After grabbing mine, I got her off the table!


Isn’t that the coolest strawberry you’ve ever seen?  I thought it looked like a star, he sees a butterfly.  What do you see?


Our little photographer himself.  Gosh, how I love that smile of his!


Visit here or here for more Wednesday fun with pics or check out his other photography here.

imagesDinner time….the family all gathered around the table, enjoying a delicious meal, talking about the day, laughing and enjoying one another…statistics say that families that consistently eat dinner together tend to raise healthier, more well behaved children, then families that don’t.   So, what are we doing wrong?

More often than not the Circus Family eats breakfast and dinner together as a family.   More often than not our dinner “hour” is more like a dinner hour and a half.  I wish I could say it as because of our scintillating conversations.  However, my kids are what I fear the slooooowest eaters on the eastern seaboard.  (unless it’s dessert or some other food they particularly enjoy).  But give them chicken and you can pretty much forget about doing anything other than getting ready for bed after dinner that night.

This causes great frustration to my husband and I.  The kids and I typically wait for Scott to get home so we can eat together.  This means we usually sit down around 6:00 for dinner.  If the kids stretch things out the average 1.5 hrs than we aren’t getting up till around 7:30.  Leaving us no time for that walk around the neighborhood, or trip to the park after dinner.  It’s usually just time for a little playing on the floor and then teeth brushing, fluoride, and bedtime stories.    Scott would love to have more time to spend playing with the kids rather than watching them stare at their plates. 

We have tried various tactics to shorten the time around the table.  They have worked to various degrees.  My question for you all, is “how long?”

How long does dinner typically take your family?  Am I alone on this or is it merely par for the course at this stage of our family life? 

While most of America celebrated Father’s Day yesterday, the circus family did not.   Shh…Please don’t tell the circus children.  They think Father’s Day is next week, because that’s when we are celebrating it.  We paint pumpkins in Nov and build gingerbread houses in Jan, so why can’t we celebrate dear old dad one week late?  Yes, we are shamelessly pulling the wool over our innocent children’s eyes.

Scott and I wanted to get away for a weekend alone, just the two of us, as our  gift to each other for our 30th birthdays this year.  While Scott’s birthday was at the end of May and mine is in mid July, the only weekend between the two that would work for us happened to fall on Father’s Day weekend.  Scott said he didn’t mind celebrating a week late and we figured the kids were young enough to not notice the difference, so away we went. 

We dropped the kids off Friday afternoon at my in laws and headed for a short drive to our nation’s capital.  First stop…Chick-Fil-A of course!  (in my rush to pack the kids, the dog, Scott and me, and get myself primped and prettied, I ran out of time to fix lunch for the two of us). 

We stayed at the Gaylord National right across the Potomac River from historic old down Alexandria, Va.  The newly built hotel was luxurious!  We enjoyed an evening on the waterfront on Friday and a day in D.C. on Saturday.  We had so much fun! 

U.S.Capital Building We’ve both been fortunate enough to grow up close to the nation’s capital.  We’ve seen the monuments and museums on numerous occasions.  But we’ve found over the years that we appreciate them all the more as adults.  We enjoy taking advantage of our proximity to the district.  Saturday we spent some time walking around the capital, enjoying lunch at a local microbrewery, and then the afternoon at the art museum.  Scott and I visited the National Gallery of Art for a field trip in High School, but haven’t returned since.  We’ve been wanting to get back there, but it isn’t quite circus children proof!  Can you just picture my little “artists” loose in there?  No, thank you.  This was a perfect date activity (and it’s even free)!  We enjoyed talking about the paintings, picking which ones we’d want on our walls if we could. 

It might surprise you to learn that Scott has a deep appreciation for modern art.  He was particularly taken with this one.

Burgoyne Diller's First Theme, 1964

This however, was the one we both liked the best of all we saw that day.  Notice the painting within the painting?  Anyone want to buy it for our living room?

Rene Magritte's La condition humaine, 1933

I was taken with the Small French Paintings.  I was particularly struck by the fact that I was standing right in front of a piece of art that the real Monet, or Matisse, or Degas painted many years ago.  These weren’t prints.  These were the real deal!  The same artists I read about in school, some of the same prints I had studied, were there, right in front of my face! I am not an art connoisseur by any stretch.  But I did have an appreciation for the beauty and history before my eyes.

After an afternoon with the art, we took a walk to the WW II Memorial.  We’ve been wanting to visit it since it was built a few years ago, but hadn’t made it over that way.  My favorite part was seeing a real WW II veteran walk through the memorial.  Scott ran over to thank him.  I wanted the whole place to give him a standing ovation.  While I noticed he did get greeted a few times, sadly he went unnoticed by most of the visitors. 

It was one of the most perfect days I’ve had with Scott in a long time.  I am thankful to be married to my best friend and for the time we got to spend away together.  However, I was very eager to see my children this morning!   I missed them a lot!

I look forward this week to preparing some special things for Father’s Day next Sunday and the day we’ll spend as a family honoring Scott for the terrific Daddy he is!  Some people march to the beat of their own drums, here at the circus we celebrate at the whim of our own calendar!

Just a heads up that we’ll be saving those weekend thoughts for next weekend.   My husband and I are heading out the door for a weekend away and I’ve got no deep thoughts for you….other than thoughts of me and my hubby being whisked away for a weekend alone.  But,I’ll be keeping those thoughts to myself, thankyouverymuch!

If you’re anything like me, you don’t really need one more reason to enjoy carbs.   Yet, I can’t help but share my favorite.  One of my mom’s most highly requested recipes growing up was for her strawberry jam.  She always got a kick out it when people asked her if she would please share it.

So, here’s the family secret.

Sure Jell freezer jam

Yup, buy yourself a box of Sure Jell, add 4 cups of crushed berries, and 4 cups of sugar, and you are set!   It really is as easy as pour and stir!

Can you figure out who is stirring this?

After berry picking with the kids last week, I was eager to stock up my freezer with our favorite jam.  Unfortunately, we ate all of our labor, so instead I used a bag of frozen berries from the store.  Truth be told, I think it tastes just as good. 

IMG_8683Now that I have eager kitchen helpers, I have tried Ball’s version. Unlike Sure Jell, this one requires 1 and a half cup of sugar and the pectin doesn’t need to be heated.  This is really my favorite part, as the kids are able to participate in each step.  I will be honest though,  it isn’t as good as Mom’s original.  It is more soupy and tastes more like crushed berries on your toast, rather then true jam.  This year I decided to make both kinds, so that the kids could participate in it AND I could have the good ol’ jam of my youth. 

Even the youngest circus member contributed to the delicious spread!


Of course, there’s is something I didn’t tell you…only at the circus, would you find all three kiddos making jam in their undies at 3:00 in the afternoon!! 


And since I’m sharing circus bloopers with you, why not throw in this pic as well?  Whose daughter is that laying out on the table like a bikini model?  (Notice my son’s hand in the bottom left corner?  He grabbed his camera to take a pic and when he did then I  noticed her mischief… After grabbing my camera, I then scolded her to get off the table)!


Life on the sidelines can be rough.  I know, I’ve been there.  Sat the bench for 4 years of high school lacrosse.  But unlike her mother, my little girl sits on the side because she is too young, not because she isn’t good enough.


My daughter is dying to play like her brother.  It is so cute and yet so painful to watch her on the sidelines.  When the coach calls the team to line up at the bench during practice, she is right there with the rest of them.  When he sends them to run laps, she tags behind.  She will sit riveted at the sidelines watching them.  She can’t wait to play soccer and baseball like her brother.  And while I know it is a bit soon to tell, she seems to have some natural athleticism in her. 

My son wants to play soccer again in the fall.  And so does his sister.  Sadly, you have to be 4 to play.  Which means she has one more season on the sideline.

Or does she? I e-mailed the soccer commissioner this afternoon to see if he was planning to have a program for 3 yr olds this season.  Our league hasn’t had one in the past but many leagues in our area do.   I was just checking because I figured it didn’t hurt to ask. 

Here was his response:

“If you wanted to lead the way, I could put you in charge of it.  We would have to setup the parameters of what it is...something like:

1) one day a week...set time Fridays or Mondays would be best.

2) shirts provided

6) We would need some parents lined up as "coaches", Soccer authority on the field.

It would be kind of like an organized play date.  About a $20 cost for shirts, insurance and overhead, painting the lines on the field.

Ha ha… wait a minute… me head up a soccer program? 

The only thing funnier than that thought is the fact that I didn’t say No right away.

I’ve never even played a soccer game.  My expertise in soccer comes from wearing the proud title of soccer mom last fall when my son ran up and down the field pretending to be an airplane

Am I crazy?  Why am I even thinking about this?

Because I love her.

And, if it means stepping out of my comfort zone a little to let my little girl have a chance to play soccer once a week, well, that may be worth it.

Am I crazy?  Should I pursue this or run to the hills?  She’s only 3, she can surely wait a year I know.  I just know she’d enjoy it so much and so the e-mails sits in my inbox as I wait to reply.  What do ya think?

I’ve been a mom of three for almost two years and I have yet to figure out how to successfully take a good pic of my three kids together.  And yet, I keep trying…call me hopelessly optimistic, stubborn, or just plain slow to learn, but I keep holding out hope that one day I’ll snap that illustrious shot of my circus crew.

Here we have two sideward glances with a smirk and one squinter in the sun.


ok two out of three isn’t bad…


Miss America waves to her adoring fans off camera


Mom, puh-leeze, can we just get back to picking strawberries?


This might be my fav… a look of disgust, a pucker and a closed eye shot.


To see more of my failed photography attempts, click here.

Or click here or here to for more fun with pics!

This spring I declared that this summer, summer of 2009 would be the circus family’s summer of swimming.  The past several summers I’ve either had an infant or been ready to pop and really haven’t devoted the time necessary to teach my crew how to swim.   I’ve given some half hearted attempts, but the bottom line is my kids can’t swim.

And when you live near the bay as we do, it really is a necessity. 

So in I signed the oldest two up for swimming lessons back in April at the local Y.  I was thrilled with the progress they were  making, so I signed them up for the next level.  I also learned that I can pay a small fee and swim in the same pool with my youngest while her older siblings were getting lessons.  This really was the perfect situation for us.  My oldest two were getting instruction and my youngest was getting one on one time in the water with mommy.  (A treat  neither of her older siblings received with this regularity and at this young age).

For two days a week for the past 6 weeks or so the four of us have gone to the locker room, changed into our suits, paraded down past the swim team lap pool, and into the pool where we had our lessons.  After which we paraded back down through the lap pool and all those high school “Micheal Phelps wanna be’s” and into the locker room to get changed and head home for dinner. 

Every week, twice a week for about 6 weeks.

Last Friday was to be the culmination of all of our effort.  I took the kids to the beach in our neighborhood.  We had a grand time splashing in the water, floating on noodles, playing ring around the rosie… I was loving it.  “We’ll do this every week for the whole summer I promised, at least twice a week.”  We dug sand castles, buried treasure, found the treasure…all the while I am marveling in the perfection of the situation.  Beautiful sunny day, kids comfortable in the water, this is the stuff dreams are made of.  The kids are gonna look back on these years of playing in the river with such fondness.

I called my husband and told him to meet us at the beach after work.  The kids and I played some more while we waited for him to join us. 

Now I have to tell you that like most girls, I am not all that crazy about walking around in a swim suit.  Let’s face it, my body isn’t what it was when I was first married and wearing my bikini on our honeymoon.   But, I didn’t want to let a little self consciousness ruin the wonderful time I could have with my kids.  So I told myself, “Just embrace it.  Don’t tie a towel around your waist, just have fun and be you.”

Well, Daddy came and joined us at the beach, much to our delight.  We showed off our new found water confidence and swimming skills.  Then Scott yelled over to me with a voice of concern.

“Crystal, come here now!”

I instantly panicked, but saw all three kids safe and sound.  Wondering what could be his cause for alarm I ran over to him.

“Crystal, your bathing suit is completely see through in the back,” he told me.  I instantly ducked down in the water and he ran to get me a towel.

“But, I’ve been wearing this to swim lessons the past two months…”

Ah, the horror!

I kept putting off buying a new suit.  I already told you I didn’t swim much over the past few years.   And I had this old one in my drawer from high school.  Truth be told, I’ve hated this green suit since I bought it for 9.99 at Walmart back in the mid nineties.  But, who really likes swim suit shopping and  since it was was stretchy, it fit and got the job done…

or so I thought

I went out this weekend and got a new suit (Scott told me I could leave right then on the spot if I wanted and he would take care of the kids. Yea it was THAT bad).   If this is going to be the summer of swimming, then I gotta have a suit that gets the job done, for real.

Sometimes a mother’s ability to multitask isn’t a good thing… as I attempt to juggle one to many balls, I find that I can accidentally drop one and not even realize it for several hours.

Last week while I was talking on the phone and cleaning up the living room, I noticed the kids sitting on the floor with some stuffed animals and scissors.

I keenly observed that something looked amiss, so I grabbed the scissors from my sons hands, quickly told him that they needed to be used only at the table, and went to the other room.  I noted that my son gave me a guilty look and made a mental note to have a chat with him later.  I figured he had cut his stuffed animals hair and wanted to make sure I reminded him that scissors were for paper only.

Phone call over, another argument between children settled, and a few messes cleaned up, and it was suddenly time for lunch and naps.  Before I knew it the kids were down for naps and I taking advantage of the peace and quiet.

All too quickly that was over and I was snuggling with my middle child when I looked over on the floor and noticed a pile of hair.


Red flags quickly went off as I realized that was the same spot I had confiscated the scissors from hours earlier.“Please be cabbage patch hair, please be cabbage patch hair” I inwardly pleaded.  

It wasn’t.

What on earth would make my five year old think that it was ok to cut his little sister’s hair? 

My youngest child is fearless. 


When we go to the playground she’s off and running, climbing to the top of the big slide, coming and going without looking back.   She’ll slide down the stairs of my house with the speed of a bob sled racer.   She tries very hard to keep up with her older siblings and she does it well.

The other day we were at a cookout and the kids were clamoring around a tree stump catching toads.   My friend wondered how my little girl would do in a trust fall.   So, Daddy stuck her up on the stump and had her fall backwards into his arms. 

She went without hesitation. 

Like almost every thing with our crew, once one kid does it the others want to follow in suit.  The older two then followed. 

But unlike their little sister, they looked back the first time to make sure Daddy was there.

As my friends and I were looking on we wondered if my youngest gals ability to free fall was truly trust or if it was due to her fearless nature or her age. 

While her leap of faith may have looked more impressive, I think it was my cautious son that actually displayed true trust.  As he stood up on that tree stump, he recognized how high he was.  And he looked back to see if Daddy was there to catch him.  Once he saw him, he fell freely into his Daddy’s arms trusting that he would indeed catch him when he fell.


Not because he is my daredevil who loves a good thrill. 

Because his Daddy has proven himself worthy of his trust over the past 5 years.  His Daddy is a man of his word.  If he says, he’ll catch him, my son knew he would.  His Daddy is strong.  He’s held him in his arms before, carried him high and never let him go. 

And so, my son trusted him and fell back into his arms.

It reminds me of myself and my heavenly Father.  I’ve known the Lord most of my life.   I have seen His hand of providence time and time again.  And I know God is who He says he is.

So, when I face situations where I need to trust him I can.  Not because I don’t know the stakes.  Not because I have no fear.  But because I know that my heavenly Father is always there to catch me in his most capable arms. 

What’s been on your mind this week? Read something in a Bible study that got you thinking?  Heard a song lyric that touched your heart?  Realized something about yourself that maybe you hadn’t thought of before?  Have a great “aha” moment?   Please share.  I’d love to sit and have a heart to heart with you dear friend.

I am an old fashioned girl.  If you want to get a hold of me, your best bet is calling my land line.  Yes, we have an actual land line (b/c my cell phone is typically buried at the bottom of my purse and the battery is quite often dead).

My cell plan is simply that - a cell phone.  While I can send and receive texts it costs a pretty penny.  I don’t even want to think about what it would cost me to get online with it.  No twitter or face book updates coming from my phone.   

In fact, I receive texts so infrequently that today when I received one, my son immediately ran onto the back deck.  He had no idea what it was and thought it was a fire alarm (what a good boy).  If that doesn’t say something about the infrequency of my texting, I am not sure what does.

I have one friend who texts me.  Nothing makes me feel more like a middle age woman then when I try to have a conversation with her via text messaging.   I might be turning 30 next month, but if you were observing me during our exchanges, you would swear I was pushing 60. 

IMG_8667She’ll send me a little paragraph of info and then I will start hen pecking her back.  I promise it takes me at least 10 minutes to type out… “I’ll be at the mall at 4.”  I will search for a good 3 minutes to find that stinkin’ apostrophe only to give up and write out “I will” instead. 

I will no sooner hit send on my carefully scripted message when 30 seconds later I get a good 4 sentence reply complete with smiley faces.   Smiley faces?  Really?  Where’s she get off with the fancy schmancy punctuation? 

I then ignore my hubby and kids as I scramble to peck out my response.   Feeling like a grandma I am completely unable to talk and push the buttons on my phone at the same time.   And it’s not like she is oh so much younger than me.  I’ve got a mere 2 years on her.  That’s it.  But you would swear it was at least 20.

How about you?  Are you txt’n like a teenie bopper, dialing like a Grandma, or somewhere in the middle?

My kids made an important decision this week.   After much deliberation, they’ve finally figured out their Halloween costumes for next fall.  And really, not a moment too soon… what with 146 days till Halloween, it’s a good thing we’ve got it settled. 

My son will be Luke Skywalker (he told me this week that he wished when he was a baby we had name him Luke Skywalker).   My 3 year old will be Princess Leia.  And Daddy will of course be Darth Vador.   My youngest child and my costumes are still up for deliberation… R2D2 and C3PO have been proposed.

We did a practice run through on my daughter’s hair this week.  You know, making sure we’ve got it just so in time for October 31st.   What do you think? 

As we talked about Princess Leia, I realized it is a role that suits my daughter quite well.  She’s feminine and royalty and even gets rescued from time to time, but she also has some spunk, speaks her mind, and can defend herself quite well.  Yes, that suits my girl, to a “t”. 


Looking forward to seeing how things improve at the circus after she finishes with her quiet reading time.


Visit 5M4M or 7 Clown Circus for more fun with pictures!

I knew being a mom wouldn’t be easy.  And I’ve survived the middle of the night feedings, the tantrums of the terrible twos, the struggle for independence…but that all feels like child play compared to the task of this week.

This week I was reminded of the fact that sometimes there is very little a mom can do to protect her young from getting hurt.  Sending your children off into the world, is like sending your heart out there, exposed for the world to trample on.

I may be exaggerating… but only a little

This was a tough week for my five year old.  First some of the kids at baseball practice were teasing him.   They kept calling him “pretty”.   It was one of his first times being the butt of a “joke” and it bothered him.  


Then, when I picked him up from Sunday School he told me one of his “friends” from class didn’t want to sit beside him that day.  He apparently even said, “I don’t like you”.  My poor son just doesn't understand how to deal with this stuff yet.

Double ouch!

As much as I wish I could step in and point out to these boys, many of the wonderful characteristics about my son, I know that wouldn’t help his situation.  At all

Instead, I try my best to comfort him.  To poke holes into their jabs and to delicately explain to him that in life, everyone isn’t going to be nice to him all the time. Everyone he meets won’t be his friend.   I try to reassure him and encourage him and point out how words can hurt and that we need to be careful about what we say to others. 

But, man is it hard.  My mother bear instincts raise up and I wish I could shield him from the hurt.  But I can’t.  Sheltering him won’t work either.

And so it begins…I’m guessing it’s not going to get any easier.

I hate this part.

There is something alluring, almost magical about the buttons on an elevator.  My kids enthusiastically clamor for the opportunity to press the shiny buttons both outside and inside of the elevator. 

We have a routine when entering elevators which typically works flawlessly. 

One child pushes the button on the outside.  The second child then pushes the same button. 

Once inside they each get a turn pushing the button for the floor we want to go on.  It’s a great opportunity to work on number recognition. 

And of course, the youngest can’t be left out in all this button pushing fun.

Typically elevators are equipped with a little door under the buttons which has a little key lock thing.  We tell her that is her button and she can push it.  She’s happy, and we don’t have to worry about hitting the fire alarm or calling security. 

Most of the time

But all good plans have their flaws, don’t they?

Friday the kids and I were in Borders Bookstore.   Because who doesn’t want to bring their three children to a store full of bookshelves and cd’s and other fun items to toss onto the floor? 

No worries though because this time I came prepared with the double stroller. 

Of course the double stroller also ensured the need to ride the elevator.

We rode up, each kid taking their turns pushing the buttons, however this elevator didn’t come equipped with the decoy button.   No problems though b/c my youngest found a nice black button with a phone on it to push. 

Of course I didn’t realize this until we were getting out of the elevator and I maybe heard a speaker phone thing come on. 

It wasn’t me who ignored that muffled voice b/c I was already half way out of the elevator and eager to get our errand over with. 

After wandering up and down each of the cd rows and coming up empty handed, we returned to the elevator.  Probably 5-10 minutes after we left it.

As we entered the elevator I could hear that same muffled voice repeating, “Hello this is security is there a problem in the elevator?  Hello, this is security is there a problem in the elevator?”

“Hello, I answered, we just entered the elevator, no one else is here, someone must have pushed the button earlier and left.”

(No idea who that could have been…. Not Me or my circus crew)

Weekend Thought Button

My friend and I were riding in the car one day when the song “Creed” by Third Day came on.  I told my friend something to the effect of, “I love this song, it’s like everything I believe.”

To which she laughed (not exactly the response I was expecting) and said, “Your kidding right?  You know this is the Apostles Creed.”

No wonder I was so impressed with the statement of faith.  Seems it was not written by the band Third Day or Rich Mullins, but by the early church centuries ago.

I liked the song not because it was the apostles creed and thus suddenly more holy or special.  I liked it because it succinctly summarized what it was that I believed.

Every time I hear the song now, I gotta chuckle.  But I wanted to share the words and the song with you this weekend b/c I think it is important for us to think about what is it that we believe.

What do you personally believe?  Not your parents, not your spouse, not even your church, I want to know if you know where you line up with what you believe.  Do you know?  Have you thought about it?  If not, I encourage you to take some time to do just that.

And if anyone cares, here’s what I believe.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.

What’s been on your mind this week? Read something in a Bible study that got you thinking?  Heard a song lyric that touched your heart?  Realized something about yourself that maybe you hadn’t thought of before?  Have a great “aha” moment?   Please share.  I’d love to sit and have a heart to heart with you dear friend.  And thanks to this world wide web, I can.  So do tell, either by linking up below or posting a comment.   I’d love to hear your thoughts this weekend.

1. Muthering Heights
2. Homegrown Strawberries
3. A Traveling Thought

Mr. Linky is still not working this week.  If you have a weekend thought to post, please leave a comment below.  I will then go to your site and if I see a WT there, I will link it up here.  (note: if you don’t have a WT, still feel free to comment) :-)

Pigtails on toddlers


Polish on toenails


Dirt covered faces


Band aid mustaches


While you might think that the potential pink eye, multiple ear infections, and laryngitis would scare me away from ever taking the circus crew on another national park vacation, it doesn’t.  Just call me crazy!

I’ll admit, parts of our Texas vacation wasn’t all we hoped and dreamed it would be.

But, I am glad we went and eager to visit some more national parks.

So this afternoon I sat down to map out a potential trip to Florida.

To see two incredible parks.

Nope, probably not the two your thinking of…

Everglades and Biscayne

I am so excited…we’ll get to see alligators, manatee, sea turtles, porpoises, and much more.   I think it is going to be incredible!

But, it’ll take approximately 18 hours to get there.


18 hours  of driving with a then 6, 4, and 2.5 year old.

Yea… we’ll be needing to break that up a bit. 

No problem, I’ve already started on that… there’s a national park in SC and of course Chick-Fil-A headquarters in Atlanta.  I kid you not I have been dying to visit there for YEARS!  I don’t care that is slightly out of the way.  I am going to visit the home of the original chicken sandwich!! 

We’ll also be passing through a little town called Orlando.  Ever heard of it?  We do plan to take a Disney vacation one of these years.  I think we’ll hold off a little longer though so all three kids can enjoy the rides and attractions.  We are contemplating a one day stop at Magic Kingdom.  Any advice?  Is it worth it for one day, or should we hold off and wait till we do the whole Disney experience?  Would our time be better spent at Sea World?  It sure would fit the maritime activities of the rest of the vacation.   For those that have been, I would love to hear your thoughts on this.  I’d also love your opinions on when the best ages are for Disney.  I want to go when they aren’t to bashful and shy to want to approach the characters, but yet not too old that the magic is lost on them. 

I have been known to stop for lunch in Times Square, NYC on my way to a wedding in CT.  I am not afraid of a little crazy.  I’m willing to do a one day stop at Magic Kingdom on our way home from the southern Florida national parks.

But I want it to be worth while. 

FYI… we’re way early in the planning stages… as in just started talking about it last night, but right now I am thinking spring 2010…wanna hit Florida before the humidity and mosquitoes set in.  Is spring the  best season?

Since yesterday was our anniversary, the kids asked if they could see my wedding dress.  After my mom made my dress 8 years ago, I remember us discussing whether I should get it preserved or not.  Her advice was not to so that I could get it out to look at and enjoy over the years.  I am glad I took her advice.

There was something very special about pulling my dress out of the back of the closet and showing it to my children.

They thought it looked like a princess dress and begged me to put it on.

At first I protested b/c I knew I wouldn’t fit in it like I did 8 years ago. They rebutted that the dress looked really big (the train was completely baffling to them… why is mommy’s dress so long?).  I decided I could put it on even if it didn’t zip up all the way.

They wanted me to twirl and my oldest daughter instantly wanted to put on her princess dress and wear my crown and veil.


Then the two of us eagerly waited to surprise Daddy when he got home from work.

My son greeted him at the door and said, “Dad, you’ve got to see mom, she is SO beautiful!”

Dad came home with a dozen roses and we talked about the beautiful flowers Mommy carried 8 years ago.


Weddings are special.  The kids are grasping that already.  And while marriage is about a whole lot more than flowers and pretty dresses, they still hold a special place in marriage as well.  Sometimes you gotta mix in a little of the wonder and excitement in the midst of the cooking, cleaning, and everyday living.