February is here.  I am happy to say I’ve finally put away all our Christmas decor and while it isn’t completely conquered, I have tamed the laundry beast and gotten somewhat of a grip on the house chores and school work. 

For now

So, with this new month, I’ve set some goals for some things I’d like to get done around the house.   And thanks to two different blogging friends, I have some accountability and inspiration.  Thanks Andrea and Becky!!   

Andrea is hosting a sew along.  She’s been posting some adorable dresses and pants with pockets and all sorts of cute things she whips up in her “spare time.”  I typically look at them, drool, and think, “if only” and “perhaps I should forward the link to my SIL or my mom, people who actually use their sewing machines!”  But, then she introduced this concept of a sew along and I was intrigued.   

This is her plan:

Week 1: Know your machine- This is for absolute beginners and for those who haven't sewed in a while. This will require that you have a machine (yours or borrowed), the manual, some scrap fabric, scissors, a seam ripper, and thread.

Week 2: Gather your supplies- We'll discuss pattern selection, notions, fabric, and tools. I'll have suggestions for a few different patterns (adult and child) but you are free to use whatever pattern you want. Don't be afraid to make something for yourself! I'll be teaching using a basic dress pattern with a zipper.

Week 3: Cutting out your fabric- Learn about measuring and selecting the correct size as well as nap and grain and other fabric terms. You'll also learn what all the symbols on a pattern are, how to prep your fabric, and how to cut out the pattern. I have a few tricks up my sleeve to show you.

Week 4: Begin sewing! We'll take the plunge together and begin sewing. We'll discuss the seam ripper and how to follow the pattern directions. We'll learn about the different ways to finish seams as well as how to understitch, overstitch and other necessary garment sewing stitches.

Week 5: Finish it up! We'll talk about zippers, buttons and hemming. The fun stuff! That's right you'll have a finished garment by the first week of March!

I know she talks about garments, but I have been wanting new curtains in our master bathroom for 6 years now, so I am starting there.  (plus, no zippers are involved in the making of curtains)!  :-)   And now that my husband is almost finished fixing the plumbing in our bathroom,  we’ve made a goal to have our bathroom fully usable and even nicely decorated by the end of the month! 

These were here when we moved and  I have never liked them.  Nor have I liked the fact that the rod sticks out inches beyond the window… that too shall be fixed by months end.


As if tackling a sewing project isn’t a big enough goal, I’ve also decided to join in Becky’s WOW Carnival.    I’ve done this before…. remember when I finally got to weeding my flower beds last spring?… I owe it all to Becky.  Basically, you set a goal for a project you’ve been wanting to get to, but keep putting on the back burner, and you tackle it within one week.  This week I’d like to tackle our 2009 Family Scrapbook.  (because truthfully, I want to get to our 2007 and 2008 books as well before baby number 4 arrives to the circus in a few months).  I plan to make it digitally using shutterfly.com  I am not sure if doing the whole book in one week is too lofty of a goal, perhaps I should say this week I’d like to organize all the pictures for our 2009 scrapbook.  But, I am going to aim for getting a good chunk of the book done this week, and I’ll check in with you later this week to fill you in on the progress.  Here’s hoping I make such great progress that I keep on scrapping 2 yrs more of memories!! 

Feeling inspired?  Feel free to join me in either or both endeavors.  Becky is even offering a Starbucks gift card to one lucky WOW participant this week.  Non bloggers are still welcome to participate, just leave her a comment letting her know your joining in the fun!    And for those of you who have more talent and comfort than I do with a sewing machine, you may want to consider checking out Andrea’s other carnival.

I’d definitely appreciate the encouragement and support as I take on these two tasks.  I promise to post updates on the progress.

My oldest two have gotten into the habit of “e-mailing” each other at the beginning of nap time.    And by e-mailing they really mean they are drawing pictures and writing messages back and forth to each other.  We’ve worked out a system in which they are allowed to e-mail for the first 30 minutes of nap time.  Then, they have to have quiet time in separate rooms for the remaining hour and a half.  

I have become a huge fan of the e-mailing time.  It is quite precious as a mom to hear them whisper and slipping messages to each other under their doors.  It is the most peaceful, argument free time of my day.  And sometimes I permit the e-mail time to extend past the designated 30 minute time slot.

These e-mails are not paper less however and quite a lot of drawings and messages are created each week.  I simply can not save them all as we’d be drowning in paper trails. 

But, from time to time I set aside some gems that I simply can’t part with.  Some for sentimental reasons, some because I am impressed with the art work, some because they just make me smile, and serve as momentos of days gone by.

Here are a few recent ones my son drew for his sister.

I loved this one because it was obvious, to me, upon seeing it who he drew.  Can you identify the princess he drew for his sister?

snow white

Then there is Dora’s mom.  This one gave me quite a startle.  It was one of the original e-mails he drew months ago.   I had no idea Dora’s mother was so heavily endowed!

Dora's mom

I know I have mentioned baby Eli here before.  Eli is one of my children’s cousin’s and he is adored here at the circus.  In fact, both girls  have renamed their baby dolls Eli.  And my son has taken on the roll of Eli’s dad. 

Here is a picture my son drew of my daughter when she had baby Eli at the hospital. 

baby eli

On the left side, you’ll notice the doctor and my son holding baby Eli.  Then there is my daughter on the hospital bed in the middle.  And lastly there is my daughter holding baby Eli.

I greatly enjoy seeing the drawings my son makes for his sister.  I never know what he’ll come up with next.

Isn’t it funny they call this e-mailing instead of letter writing?  Sign of the times, I suppose.

The other night as we were driving home from out of town friends, our youngest complained that her belly didn’t feel good.  A few minutes later I heard a cough and knew instantly what it meant. 

We pulled over and began clean up.  For once I was thankful for our less than clean minivan as it provided numerous things for us to use as barf bags and clean up rags for the remaining hour drive home. 

Once home, we got her clothes in the wash and got the kiddos ready for bed. 

Scott and I began preparations with militaristic regime and efficiency.   We instantly had the kids get all of their beloved stuffed animals and blankets off of their beds.  Each kid was allowed to sleep with one blanket and their washable lovey.  I wanted to limit the amount of laundry that would need done if the inevitable occurred. We convinced my son not to sleep on the top bunk.  We gave each kid a bowl “just in case” and we braced ourselves for a long night ahead. 

My poor little girl was sick most of the night.  She went from every 10 minutes to every 30.  Finally at around 4:30 her misery seemed to end and I was able to go back to sleep for a few more hours, while Scott got ready to go to the airport for a day long business trip. 

Once the kids were awake, I took things slowly.  I let my daughter drink water, but only sips in 10 minute increments.  I’ve learned the hard way that if you let them gulp down too much water on an empty stomach, they only throw it all up again. 

I set a timer and each time it went off she was allowed to take another sip.  After an hour or two of this, with her holding it down, I let her drink more. Once it seemed that she was able to keep down the water, and after much begging for food, I let her eat some toast and dry cereal.

So far so good.

As for the others, I was pretty convinced they could fall at any time, so I did my best to prepare for it.  I scrubbed down the bathroom and washed all the linens from the night before.  I let them eat, but kept the menu bland and didn’t allow them to have dairy. 

The biggest risk with the stomach bug is dehydration.  So, I did my best to keep the kids and I hydrated incase we  were to fall next.  I made a chart with each of our names on top.  I told them we’d each get a sticker for every glass of water drunk that day. 

This worked perfectly for my competitively driven children.  All it took was seeing their sibling get a sticker to induce the other child to quickly drink his or her glass.  By day’s end my son had drank 6 glasses of water and my daughter had drank 5. 

This worked so well, I am thinking of having a water chart up every day to help remind us to stay hydrated! 

It’s been over 48 hrs since my daughter first showed signs of being sick.  As I type this, Scott is working to put the car seat back together after we took it apart to wash the straps and liners.  (What a royal pain those car seats are)!

Much to my great surprise, no one else has showed any signs of being sick.  I am thinking if we wake tomorrow with an event free night, then we are in the clear. 

I don’t think any of our preparations prevented the rest of us from getting sick.  Though we did wash our hangs after every time we touched her and kept the sanitizer close at hand.  I was also very careful to keep my hands away from my face.

I do, think however, think that if we had gotten sick, our preparations would have proved useful.  Being prepared worked for me this week.

One thing my husband and I try to stress to our kids is that life is not all about them.   We love them dearly, and pour much of our time, love, energy and attention out onto them.   But, because we love them, we also try to teach them that life does not revolve around them.

We are a family of soon to be 6.  So, in a lot of ways this is a lesson that is taught early on out of practicality.  We just can’t meet everyone’s needs all the time right when they think they should be met.  Sometimes you have to wait.  And sometimes you have to go to places and events that you may not want to go to.  But, if you cry and throw a tantrum about either, you will calmly be told, “I am sorry you are disappointed and don’t like this, but life is not all about you.” 

With this in mind, I thought it was so funny the other day when my almost four year old said to me quite out of the blue, “Mom, ya know, I wish life was all about me.”   I wanted to chuckle, b/c like I said it was totally out of the blue… it wasn’t like a few minutes prior we had discussed this.  In fact, I think she was sitting on the potty, truth be told. 

I love her honesty.   Truthfully, don’t we all wish the same thing?  I know even in my roles as wife and mom, selfishness creeps in poisons my attitude and outlook.   I often need to remind myself that life is not about me.

All that being said, she is quite excited about her birthday in a few weeks.  Because birthdays at the circus are a big deal and they are a day when things get to be all about you.  (Within reason of course as my son quickly pointed out the other day, even on your birthday it’s really all about God, not you).


That’s right after her total regression back to diapers in August (after a completely embarrassing trip to the grocery store which involved my wiping pee up off of the floor--twice, the shopping cart, not to mention our groceries….I thought I would never leave the house with her in underwear again) but after Christmas we decided to give the ol potty train a  try once more.  My mom told her at Christmas it could be her New Years resolution.  To which she replied in her sing songy voice, “resolution?  I don’t have any resolutions!”

She was ready this time.  We’ve been accident free during the day for several weeks now and this week we took the plunge and starting putting her to bed in her underwear.  

It’s official folks…after 5.5 years…the circus is diaper free (for 4 months anyway).

January has been hard for me.  We have our Christmas decorations down, but still not put away.   There is a underlying sense of clutter and chaos lurking around the circus, rather than the clean slate, fresh start of a new year.    I long for a good, deep clean to get things in order, top to bottom and help me to feel on top of things once again.   But, it seems each day I am pulled by the more immediate needs of the day… sick kids… volunteering at school, entertaining guests, New Years cards (never got to the Christmas cards, did print New Years cards and really wanted them mailed before Feb), and school work.  At the end of the day, I am working on dinner and cleaning up dinner and then this pregnant momma has no energy to tackle the deep cleaning… or to be honest, even the laundry for that matter.  And so, I plop myself down on the couch and watch some of Lost season 5 with my hubby, before retiring to bed, hopeful that tomorrow will find me with more time and more energy. 

This morning, I had had it.   One can only turn her head on the mess so many times.  I was eager to dive in and take control of the house.  Win it back from the evil clutter monster and rid myself of the stress. 

But it was Bible Study day. 

And thus began the inner struggle. 

If I go to Bible study, we’ll be gone for 2 hrs, the key 2 hrs of the day when the kids play nice and I can usually accomplish something.  I’ll come home and it’ll be time for lunch, then naps, then school, then dinner prep.  And another day will go by with the couch overflowing with laundry to be folded, the hallway filled with clothes to be washed, and bedrooms strewn with toys. 

Every day of the week it has been something.  Monday, my turn to volunteer at the tutorial… out of the house till 2, Tuesday… our day at home… I made a dent in things, even got the Christmas New Years cards ready to go out, but then the afternoon was spent with baths, and a visit to two friends homes.  Wednesday I dropped my son off at school, took my daughter to gymnastics, did a quick grocery store run, then headed home to unload groceries, make lunch, and go back to pick my son up.   Tomorrow morning we have to go to the pediatrician to get my daughter’s stitches out and Saturday and Sunday are booked solid with plans. 

All of these things are good things, but when will I tackle my house? 

So, I really didn’t want to go to Bible Study and I told my husband.  I wanted to stay home, let the kids play while I cleaned and then do schoolwork in the afternoon.  But I knew that was not a good reason to skip.  I knew I should want to go to Bible study.  And my kids learn so much from their classes.  Am I going to really choose cleaning house over the spiritual development of my family?

I really wanted to.

But, alas, we got dressed, fought over brushing hair, found shoes, and scrambled to the van to scrape the windshield and arrive 20 min late to Bible study.  I sent my husband this e-mail as I raced out the door.

Subject: leaving for bsf

with grouchy kids, stressed mom, and a messy house...

pray for my attitude.

love, me

I’ll be honest.  I typically do not put in all the time and effort required to full glean from my Bible study.  All too often, I am merely warming the seat.  And when it comes time for the lecture on the passage… I quite often mentally check out as I think of the tasks awaiting me at home.

But today, today, God had a message for me.  I know he wanted me there.  The sermon (for lack of better word) had me.  I could totally relate it to a situation in my life.  And I was convicted of my lack of faith in this area.   I was presented with an opportunity for growth and even for encouraging someone else in my life, and I would have totally missed it, if I had stayed home to clean.  And even though none of me wanted to go this morning, and my reasons for going weren’t holy or devout, God still mercifully spoke His message to me today.  The Holy Spirit touched my heart and gave me a word of hope and encouragement.  One I would have missed to stay home with grouchy kids and a messy house. 

My son always has tons of questions about the world around him and the way things work.  Most of the time, I am at a loss as to how to answer these questions.  For example, the other day he wanted to know about signals and how we could see them.  As in, radio signals or cell phone signals.  He wondered if they were like infrared light and could only be seen with special glasses or if we can’t see them at all.  I had no clue and suggested he bring the topic up with his dad b/c, “Daddy knows a lot about signals and things like that.”   I’ll be honest… quite often, I have to suggest he bring his question to Daddy b/c Daddy knows a lot about that subject.  Like how e-mails make it from our computer to Daddy’s work….or infrared light making the remote tell the tv to turn on…and countless other things.

So, I found it particularly endearing the other night when the two of us were driving to catechism and he says, “Mom, what’s something you know about that Daddy doesn’t?”  I had to think a minute b/c to be honest, I think Scott is quite a bit smarter than I am b/c he has spent his life questioning things and finding out how things work and why they work.   But, here was my 5 year old seeking me out, to find out what he could ask me about that I would know the answer to.  It totally warmed my heart. So, I said, “Well, I know a little about cooking and Daddy doesn’t.”   “Tell me about cooking, Mom,”  “What do you know?”  Hmm… how does one answer such an open ended question.  For some reason, I started telling him about cooking things from scratch over using a mix.  I told him with a boxed mix, you typically just add a few ingredients, but when you cook from scratch you have to basically make the mix.  It often takes more work, but typically it tastes better than a mix.  We talked about cookies and brownies and how we don’t make brownies that often.  (I am more a sucker for chocolate chip cookies than brownies).  

2 days later I was looking around the kitchen to make a dessert to take to our friend’s house for dinner.  I found a recipe for mint chocolate brownies on the back of the mint chocolate chip bag.  As the kids and I began to bake them, my son said, “Hey, is this baking from scratch?”  Indeed it was. 

I love that my son wanted to take the time to learn from me and and get to know more about my interests and “expertise.”  And I loved how he recalled that conversation a few days later.    It was one of those bonding moments, that I want to savor. 

mpm-1 I have found that by planning my meals for the month, I can drastically reduce our families grocery spending.   It takes time and a whole lot of effort though.  And to be honest the past several months I wasn’t so good about it.  But, then Scott and I sat down and took a look at our spending.  And we realized that we needed to be a whole lot better about sticking to our budget. 

And so, the first thing I did at the beginning of the month is sit down with google calendar and plan out my meals.  I made my grocery list based on this meal plan.  Then I took a trip to Walmart to stock up on a months worth of groceries.  I kid you not three separate people looked at me and my overflowing cart and one actually laughed at it. 

Some may think planning your meals out for a month isn’t flexible enough.  Basically, it is a rough estimate.  I can still switch things up a bit, but I know that aside from milk and produce, I have everything I need for the months worth of meals.  If I want to switch the meal from the 13 to the 27th, there is not rule saying I can’t.  And I don’t have to wrack my tired brain at 5:00 each day trying to figure out what we’re having for dinner.

We’re half way through the month and so far we’re on pace for sticking with the January grocery budget!  So, I thought I’d share what’s working for us at the circus as well as our meal plan for the week. 

Sunday- breakfast for dinner:  waffles

Monday- lasagna, rolls, green beans

Tuesday- dinner at a friends house, I’m bringing dessert… any suggestions? I am trying to make something without having to go out and buy any new ingredients…otherwise, I’d totally make this.  Anyone have a yummy desert recipe I can make with ingredients you have on hand around the house?

Wednesday- Sarah’s Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup, home made rolls

Thursday- I am going out for a girls night with my SIL and good friend… we’re eating at Chipotle, then watching this movie, and enjoying some “Gilmore Girls style” junk food. 

The fam, however, will be eating pepperoni bread, applesauce, and corn.

Friday- chicken pot pie (or as my kids call it… vegetable pie…they are excited b/c it is sure to make their ears taste disgusting)

Saturday-  French toast, sausage

You can check out org junkie for more menu planning ideas.

Sometimes the music in my car radio really serves as nothing more than background noise to the chattering or squabbling going on in the back seat and the to do lists and other random thoughts going on in my brain. 

One day though something about the lyrics caused me to take pause and listen.  I turned the radio up and even though I’ve heard the song countless times before, I listened to it for the first time.

It was called “The Change” by Steven Curtis Chapman.

Well I got myself a T-shirt that says what I believe
I got letters on my bracelet to serve as my ID
I got the necklace and the key chain
And almost everything a good Christian needs, yeah
I got the little Bible magnets on my refrigerator door
And a welcome mat to bless you before you walk across my floor
I got a Jesus bumper sticker
And the outline of a fish stuck on my car
And even though this stuff's all well and good, yeah
I cannot help but ask myself

What about the change
What about the difference
What about the grace
What about forgiveness
What about a life that's showing
I'm undergoing the change, yeah
I'm undergoing the change

Well I've got this way of thinking that comes so naturally
Where I believe the whole world is revolving around me
And I got this way of living that I have to die to every single day
'Cause if God's Spirit lives inside of me, yeah

I'm gonna live life differently
I'm gonna have the change
I'm gonna have the difference
I'm gonna have the grace
I'm gonna have forgiveness
I'm gonna live a life that's showing
I'm undergoing the change

It made me think about the way we as Christians portray ourselves to the world around us.  So often we are concerned with letting everyone know we are Christians and making sure we look like “good” Christians.  But, I can’t help but think that if we spent our time and energy living our lives as Christ did, then they would be able to tell without us having to tell them.   They could see God’s work in our lives by our actions.   It is my prayer that those I encounter in my life would notice the change taking place in my life.  And that then I would be “prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have.” (1 Peter 3:15)

Weekend Thought ButtonWhat are you thinking about this week? 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  “thoughtful” post below.  You can write a new post or link up one you wrote earlier in the week.  Please include a link back to here in your post.

Didn’t take many pics around the circus this week, but when I downloaded pics off of my camera this afternoon,  I stumbled across this gem from last week. 


Please help me pick a title.  My brain is a bit mushy this Friday afternoon.  Winning caption gets put at the top of my post!   I know that’s an honor your all scrambling to achieve, so please… tell me your thoughts and brighten this circus mom’s day with some comment love!

And while your thinking, I’ll throw this one in for giggles as well.


This morning I woke to sounds of my daughter coughing…I stumbled into her room to comfort her and set up her nebulizer, thinking to myself that at least I had gotten 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  Then my eyes focused a bit more and I took a second look at the clock.  It was 6:15, not 1:15!

We slept through the night!  I felt much like a new mom the morning after her baby makes it all night without a feeling!  Instantly rejuvenated with the mere knowledge that I had a full night of sleep!

More exciting that a full night of rest was the realization that the girls had made it through the night without any major coughing episodes.  My middle child,  who struggles with asthma and was diagnosed with pneumonia yesterday (that’s right she tackled stitches and pneumonia in the same week) had gone 11 hrs without needing a breathing treatment!  As I put the medicine in her nebulizer and set her up, I couldn’t wait to e-mail Scott and tell him our good news.   Scott’s been away on a business trip for the past few days, sadly leaving me alone for the long nights of sickness. 

But God is so good.  I have truly felt the prayers of friends and family who prayed for healing and stamina and strength.  And today, I am focusing on the many, many things I have to give thanks for this Thursday  morning. 

  • a good night of sleep for all of us
  • Scott comes home today
  • good doctors
  • medicine
  • drive thru pharmacies
  • the fact that we’ve been able to manage my daughter’s asthma this sickness without her having an asthma attack or needing to use the strong medicine reserved for when she’s really struggling
  • our cell phone which allows Scott to make and e-mail little video greetings to the kids—they love these and watch them over and over, making the separation much easier
  • our cell phone which allows me to e-mail and call Scott to keep him filled in on the events at home—making the separation much easier
  • did I mention Daddy comes home today??
  • for the first time in 4 days, both girls woke with no temperatures!
  • for the first time in 4 days the girls slept through the night
  • God’s strength and stamina
  • the fact that I wasn’t sick this week and having to care for sick kids while feeling sick
  • the baby I feel kicking around in my belly
  • the fact that my son wasn’t sick this week as well

Today, I feel blessed and cared for and so thankful.  Sure we still have some “cough-es” as the girls call them and my youngest is still quite drippy and a tad whiny, but, we are on the mend… rounding a corner here at the circus.  And I praise God for His care for us this week.  With all that is going on in the world, the fact that our creator God cares about me and my little family is overwhelming and I just have to say thanks. 

Psalm 100:4

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
       and his courts with praise;
       give thanks to him and praise his name.


Visit here or here for more pictures!

Super Girl flies inOur little girl really is super girl and she proved it last night.  She is crazy tough.  So let me cut to the chase and say that her injury was pretty bad.  The need for stitches was obvious but even the doctor had not realized at first that it was so deep it would require both internal and external stitches.  My girl had been cut deep.  The coffee table/toy box had cut all the way to the bone.  What’s amazing is that the by the time I got home with the car she had stopped crying.  Blood all over the phone and table.  I felt like crying.  But my girl.  She’s tough.  I didn’t know fully how tough she was until Scott got home from their trip to the “boo boo doctor”and filled me in on the details of their visit. 

photo5 When they got to the office, they filled out the necessary paper work and waited in the room.   This is her as she happily entertained  herself with a bag of cheerios and our phone.  Seriously, if you didn’t look at the back of her head, I don’t think you’d know she was hurt.  (Scott took that picture too but I can’t look at it let alone post it for all the blood).  

The doctor examined and flushed her wound, then put some numbing stuff in their and bandaged it up.  Scott said she was really brave.  She just put her head down when they told her too and never moved or acted out throughout the process.  Even when it hurt. 

Then the doctor and nurses came back with this big blue board that they had to strap her into for the stitches.  Can you imagine?  It would have been completely reasonable for her to react to the unknown of the strange contraption.  If nothing else it was already well past her bed time and you know what that can mean.  But she didn’t.  Scott said she laid down like it was no big deal.  She kept flashing him smiles.  Later she told me about “the blue thing that was like a hot dog bun.”  The doctor thought at first he’d be able to close the wound with staples, it was at this point that he realized it would need internal stitches as well.  Poor girl. 


This is the part that my mommy brain and heart doesn’t like to dwell on. 

Scott said this took awhile.  The nurse and Dr. were prepped to restrain her head during the process but Scott had told her they were going to play the “still game” (apparently the rules were similar to the quiet game she plays in the car but you have to be still) and she did a really really good job being still.  For a long time she just laid there staring at Scott and smiling.  Scott assumed the gel they put in the wound must have removed the pain and so for a while he just smiled back.  But then, after about 10-15 minutes of probing around she started really grimacing.  She was clearly in a lot of pain but even still she wouldn’t move.  As a few silent tears flowed from her eyes and Scott was only able to hold her elbow and talk about fun things they had done that day.  Scott said to her, “Where’d your smiles go?  They were my Daddy medicine.”  To which she did her best to smile through a grimace.  As the doctor continued stitching her wound closed she never once screamed or fought it.  From now on I believe the cliché should be, “Take it like my little girl”

My almost 4 year old daughter is braver and tougher than me.  Hands down!  I knew she was tough, but this blew me away!  photo3 As I was tucking her into bed last night, 3 hours after her usual bedtime, I gave her a hug and told her that Daddy told me she was really brave and really good that night.  She looked at me with this sheepish grin and said, “He really said that?”  “Well, I did cry a little when I was in the blue thing.”  I assured her it didn’t mean she wasn’t brave.  She was a super star!  

The next morning I was asking her how she was to see if she needed some pain medicine.  She answered very matter of factly, “Well, it does hurt where I bleeded yesterday.”  I am fully convinced that my tough girl wouldn’t have told me unless I had asked.  Our little super girl never ceases to amaze me and I am so thankful to God that she wasn’t hurt even worse than she was. 

Tonight is one of those nights when I am extra thankful that God has given me a helpmate in life.  And not just any helpmate, but one of the best.

My three year old was getting on the couch this evening, and if you know my girls, you know that they do this with much exuberance, so somewhere during the twirl she slipped and fell back, hitting her head on our toy box/coffee table.

I was out at the time and so I received a call saying I needed to come home with the car b/c our daughter needed stitches.  I was already in the car and ready to head home, so I continued on my way.

My son and I prayed for his sister as I drove home. 

I can honestly say I wasn’t panicked though.  Because I knew Scott was home and in control.  If anyone else had been with her, I know my Mommy heart would have been breaking.  But, I felt complete peace knowing that Scott was home managing the situation. 

As I got close to home I called to let him know and to see if we were all going to “the boo boo doctor” (our nickname for the After Hours Doctors)

He said he got an appt for 8:40 and he’d take her and I could stay home with the other two.

When I got home I gave my girl a hug and Scott showed me the injury.  He asked if I would prefer to go.  He was willing and ready to go, but he was fine with me going if as the mom I would feel better being there.

I told him to go.

photo1Because, there is no one else I wanted to be there with her.  He’s perfect in situations like these.  He’s calm and collected, logical and rational.  And yet he can make her laugh and smile.  He has an amazing ability to talk our kids down when they are worked up.  He remembers to ask the follow up questions that I never think to ask.  And really, if I was hurting, I know who I’d want there to comfort me… non other than his loving, and strong arms.   He is the perfect picture of a Daddy’s love.


Last night I finally got around to updating my circus cast page….it was LONG overdue and quite outdated, not to mention incorrectly formatted!  Take a minute and let me know what you think of the changes! 

I had my youngest as the mime b/c when I first created the page, she wasn’t yet speaking.  I am considering making number 4 my mime instead, but don’t know what circus role to give to my third child.  Any suggestions?



This morning we had our sonogram appointment.  While it is our fourth pregnancy, I try as hard as I can to not take anything for granted.  I don’t think I realized how much I was “holding my breath” so to speak before the appointment.  Words can’t adequately express the feelings of thanksgiving that overwhelmed me when the tech and then the doctor told us that everything looked healthy and normal. 

As if that wasn’t blessing enough, we were blessed with an amazing, go the extra mile, super kind tech.  We brought the whole circus with us.  She let us point out things to the children.  She then printed a picture of the baby waving for each kid and even typed their names on each picture so that they each got a picture of the baby saying hi to them.  This totally melted my mommy’s heart.

And the baby completely cooperated put on a show for us.  The baby waved, put his her hand on his/her face…grabbed his/her feet… and even yawned.  It was truly amazing to watch.  I don’t recall any of the other children being so animated during our sonograms. 

imageIt was a precious moment of bonding for our now family of 6 as we stared at the screen this morning.  I am so overwhelmingly thankful…for the life that lives inside me, for the lives asleep in the room beside mine who are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their baby brother or sister, for their Daddy whose smile lit up the room when he saw his baby for the first time, for the technology that provided this wonderful bonding experience and the tech whose patience and care made the visit all the more special. 

Psalm 139:13-15

       For you created my inmost being;
       you knit me together in my mother's womb.

       I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
       your works are wonderful,
       I know that full well.

       My frame was not hidden from you
       when I was made in the secret place.
       When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

This year we celebrated New Years in two parts.  We did a family fun night with the kids concluding at 8 with followed by a date night with the two of us to officially ring in the new year. 


Here are some pictures of my son cutting it up on the impromptu dance floor in our living room.  He was having a blast, as I am sure you can tell.





Visit here or here for more picture fun!

Vacation was wonderful.

Honestly, it was more of a “staycation” and stay and cation I did.

Scott redid all the plumbing in our house this past week.  He also used his new Christmas gift-a smoker to make us dinner twice.  IMG_4962

I, on the other hand, staycationed.

And as I surveyed the house this morning, boy did it show.

With Scott plumbing all week, I actually had a reasonable excuse for my laundry neglect.  And you know me, all I need is an excuse and I am good to go… IMG_5208hence the GINORMOUS piles of laundry lurking in the hall, the kids room, our closet, the work room, the guest bedroom…

Today, Scott went back to work and so did I.  Cleaning the house, doing laundry, finally getting around to taking down the Christmas decorations…

Note:  If you cut your tree down right after Thanksgiving and then leave it up till after New Years, you will have a canister and a half of needles to vacuum up! 


It was also back to school time. 

And now it’s time for my mom confession.  The tutor sent home a treasure box incentive sheet before vacation.  She does these from time to time.  The kids have a task to complete, such as memorizing their address and phone number, and when they do the parents sign the paper and the child gets a prize from the treasure box.  The latest task was learning to tie your shoes.  A skill my son desperately needs to master and I know that the teacher sent home the slip with him in mind… as she has to tie his shoes for him several times a day.  I had very good intentions of teaching him to tie his shoes over break.  But, one has very little occasion to tie ones shoes when one stays in their pjs most of the day, as we did that last week of vacation.

And so, today, I sent my son to tutorial in his winter boots, even though there isn’t any snow on the ground, b/c I was embarrassed about the fact that I neglected to teach him to tie his shoes over break.

Some homeschooling mom I am, huh?  I’m wondering how long we can get away with the snow boots?

I’ve got a lot of catching up to do this week… while,I made a good dent in it today, I still have a long ways to go before I am done.  Hopefully, I’ll be cIMG_5154aught up by Friday… And hopefully my son will learn to tie his shoes before spring so he can get out of those snow boots!

Here’s a glimpse of the smoked chicken Scott did for us on Sat.  Doesn’t it look fabulous?  It tasted even better than it looked…can’t wait for him to use his Christmas gift again…perhaps my gift to him was just a little self serving?



I was so excited at the end of the year when I checked my earnings report from Amazon.  Since my last update on Nov 8th, we earned $89.32 more!

World Vision Earnings Report - 2009

Thanks to all of you who clicked through my site first when doing your Christmas shopping at Amazon this season.  I was so excited to make a donation to World Vision’s Sudan Food and Care fund for $180!  Combined with the previous earnings, we have worked together to send $280 to aid the refugees in Sudan.

World Vision Donation 2


Remember this was money raised simply by shopping at Amazon.  It didn’t cost you anything, other than a quick stop by the circus, before heading to amazon.com. 


Remember the money we’re raising goes to help the refugees in Sudan.  Read what World Vision’s website says about the Sudan Food and Care Fund.

300,000 people have been killed during the ongoing conflict in Darfur. And across Sudan, more than 360 children lose their lives to hunger, disease, and other causes every day. Your gift today multiplies 15 times to help save children in Sudan.
The Darfur conflict has forced 2.7 million hungry and frightened children and families from their homes, leaving more than a million without food or medical care. As the largest relief organization on the ground in South Darfur, World Vision is working hard to help these innocent victims by providing food, water, medical care, and other urgent assistance to 500,000 affected people in the region. More than 315,000 internally displaced people in Darfur rely on World Vision for monthly food rations. But we need your help to continue this important work in Sudan.
Can you help us save as many lives as possible? Thanks to government grants and donated goods, your gift will multiply 15 times to provide emergency food, clean water, and other urgent assistance in Sudan, as well as medical care in Sudan and surrounding areas. You can be the difference between life and death. Thank you for sending a gift to save lives and please remember the children of Sudan in your prayers.
In the rare case that World Vision is unable to continue working in Sudan, your donation will go towards urgent humanitarian needs in the same region.

Since all money donated to World Vision’s Sudan Food and Care Fund is multiplied 15 times to help aid the children in Sudan, we’ve actually worked together to raise $4200!!  And it didn’t cost you anything!!  I can’t tell you how exciting it is to me to be able to do something to help those suffering in Sudan.  We have no idea what God can and will do with these offerings!

Thank you for clicking through the circus when making your purchases on Amazon.  I ask that you help me to continue to spread the word and tell others so they can join us aiding the refugees suffering in Sudan.  Please twit, facebook, or post about this on your blog.  Help me get others to join us, the more people that are involved the quicker the earnings accumulate into meaningful contributions.  Here is a pre-made tiny URL that can make it easy for you to twit or facebook the info.


Please continue to pass the word!

In 2009, we raised $280.  I’d love to see what we can raise in 2010!

Thanks for joining the circus in this endeavor! 

As 2009 came to a close, we spent some time as a family discussing the highlights.  It really was a wonderful year!  I feel so blessed for the many opportunities for family fun that we had in the past year.

IMG_4674 In January Scott and I were able to go to a Steelers  home AFC championship and watch them beat the Ravens and make it to the Super bowl.  Shortly after we hosted a Super bowl party with our family and watched our beloved Steelers bring home a 6th Super bowl victory.  What a way to start the year!

This past spring we took a family vacation to Texas.  We had a wonderful time visiting family and spending time in God’s magnificent creation. IMG_6634

Our son was able to play baseball this spring…a dream come true for him!  We also got to go and see the Baltimore Orioles play twice at Camden Yards.  batter up

IMG_8786Scott and I both turned 30 this year and we celebrated by treating ourselves to a weekend away in Washington DC.  We both enjoyed the time away together.  

We  spent a good deal of time as a family this spring and summer swimming and fishing.  Both were highlights for the kids.


During the summer we welcomed two new nephews into our extended family.   My brother and his wife and Scott’s sister and her husband each had a baby boy this summer.  We were able to visit with them both shortly after they were born and we are delighted to have them in our family!   IMG_0351 IMG_1449

In the fall, we began homeschooling our son using a local tutorial.  This was an answer to prayer, as a year ago, we were not certain what we’d be doing for kindergarten this fall.  It has been a true blessing to our family and a IMG_2002delight for us all as we learn together. 

Our oldest daughter finally got to participate in a sport of her own this fall…gymnastics…it is a perfect fit for her and I can’t begin to describe the joy I get in watching her out on the floor.  My favorite is watching her on the bars!  





My baby girl is hardly a baby as she is learning and growing and absorbing new things like a dry sponge…I have a hard time reminding myself she is only 2.  She  loves to sing and read books and keep up with her older siblings.  We also learned this fall that she won’t be the baby for long!  As we look to the new year the thing we are most anticipating is the arrival of baby number 4 this summer!


As the new year begins, I encourage you to take some time to look back and reflect on the past years blessings.   Too often it is easy to  focus on the urgency of today or the plans of tomorrow.  But, there is much to be gained from looking back as well.  For me as I look back this week, I am filled with immense gratitude.