Lately some friends from church have been having babies and it is quite humorous to observe all the face book stalking that takes place now a days when one is in labor.  Even just 3 yrs ago when I had my youngest, it wasn’t like this.  Now when your in labor you update your status before heading to the hospital and then the whole world is checking your page and your close friends page looking for updates.  So much productivity for all your friends and relatives is lost as people keep checking profiles hoping for status updates.   3 years ago we would call a few close friends on our cell phone and let them pass the word along via phone chains… so old fashioned… now all 258 of your friends (some whom you haven’t seen in 10 yrs) can know at the same time with a simple status update on your laptop or phone. 

As I watch (and read about) my friends having their babies and with my due date just about a month away, I can’t help but think back on my previous three birth stories.   My next will probably be recorded live, on facebook, so I figured I’d use some Friday Flashbacks to record a few recollections from the past and a few lessons learned in the process.  

We’ll start at the beginning, with my son. I was so excited about his upcoming birth. I knew that it was incredibly unlikely my baby would arrive on the due date but there was still part of me that deep down inside thought I’d be one of the special ones.  I marked off the week of my due date on the calendar so I could sit around and wait for my baby to arrive.


Lesson learned:  Make plans, make lots of plans for the week of your due date.  Plans fun and exciting things… girls day out with your girl friends, special date with your husband, family fun with the kids… do not leave the week open.  If you have to cancel your plans b/c your have a baby, no one  will be mad.  Seriously, is there a better excuse out there for canceling plans then, “Sorry, we’re going to the hospital to have the baby, we’re going to have to cancel our lunch.”    No, I don’t think so.

But, I didn’t know this lesson… so my due date came and home I sat.  Nursery set up… bag packed…house cleaned… car seat ready….  With nothing to do I thought I’d make a birthday cake, hoping to inspire the little one to make an appearance. 

baby cake 008

Still no baby… so, I took walks, got General Tso’s chicken for lunch…took more walks… and grew very frustrated.   

Due Date +1 … Scott went to work and I sat at home waiting for labor pains.    Really, really long day.

That night Scott was up late working on grad school homework, and since we did a classic Pooh theme for the nursery, I decided to watch The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.  (what can I say, I was in Momma mode).   One of Scott’s co workers had told him that day that when his wife was in labor she woke him at 3 am to tell him she was in labor.  I don’t know why that story was particularly note worthy, but I do know that before I went to sleep that night, Scott said to me, “Feel free to wake me at 3 am and tell me you’re in labor.”

No lie… around 2:30am I woke with contractions.  Having never been in labor I was  not sure if this was it or not.  I tried hard to remember everything I read… they felt like cramps, seemed to be coming consistently… I went to the bathroom, laid on the bed for awhile, and then around 3 am… I woke Scott to tell him I was in labor. 

Poor guy, had just gone to bed a little after 1, having stayed up to try and finish his grad school work.   He stirred a little but didn’t register what I was saying. 

A few minutes later I stirred him again and he looked at the clock and said, “Oh my, it’s 3 am!”  (He had thought I was just waking him for a normal work day).  He was up and ready to time contractions for me.

This part was tricky.  Scott is an engineer.  He likes formulas.  He likes cold hard, cut and dry facts.  And it’s pretty simple, you go in when the contractions are 6 minutes apart.  But here’s the thing.  Contractions don’t really work like that.  I had a hard time telling when my contractions were starting… they were kinda slow at first and then would build in intensity and then slowly die down.  It wasn’t like I could tell him exactly when they started and when they stopped.  Do I tell him the moment I feel something or wait till they hurt really bad?  I didn’t know.  And this confused him somewhat… how could I not know what I was feeling.   Scott literally wrote down the exact start and stop time of every.single.contraction on 3 sheets of notebook paper from 3 am till 7am when he called the Dr.  He even wrote documentary style anecdotes beside some of them such as, “this is definitely the real thing,”  and, “pretty sure I am getting that epidural!”  (I had been previously non-committal).  

According to our detailed documentation my contractions were getting father apart rather than closer together so we were fairly certain when the Dr told us to come by the office, he’d be sending us home before sending us to the hospital.

I have never been so happy to be wrong as I was that morning!   The Dr. sent us to the hospital!!

Scott got me a wheelchair, but then one of the elderly volunteers informed us that it was her job to push the wheelchairs and Scott couldn’t push me.  I didn’t want grandma pushing me in a wheelchair so I walked.   Not sure why that mattered so much… nice of her to volunteer I guess.

So walk I did… right up to labor and delivery.


The Dr eventually stopped by and broke my water around 10 or so.  (I think… this was 6 yrs ago, so the details are fuzzy).   I do know that they were really nice and gave me the epidural long after the point where they are supposed to say it’s too late.  I am so thankful too because I had been dry heaving a bit from the pain and the epidural was like a breath of fresh air (Having seen my transformation Scott now says he doesn't understand why they are optional). 

A few things surprised me about the whole labor process.  I had no idea that the nurse was pretty much assigned to you for your entire labor (or at least for her shift).  I had no idea that it was the nurse, not the Dr. who you would bond with, as the nurse, not the Dr. was the one that was really with you for the process.  I saw the Dr. at the office, again when he broke my water, and then again when he came to catch the baby.  

In my head, I had always envisioned Scott up by my head holding my hand while I had the baby.  In actuality, Scott was down there, with the nurse, totally coaching me through the entire process.  He was my life line… I looked in his face and I felt like I could do anything.  He totally talked me through every push. 

I started pushing around 3:30.  At around 4, the nurse said the baby was ready and she called the Dr.  The Dr. was with another patient and said for me to “hold it.” 

Yea, as if I was a 5 yr old kid who had to pee in the middle of the grocery store.

How does one hold it when a baby is crowning?

What do I do?  The nurse was obviously ticked.  She called the Dr multiple times.  I sat there “trying not to push” and waited over 10 minutes.

My son was born at 4:14PM but I promise you, he could have been born at 4:00PM.  Look at his face, it’s as if he’s saying, “What took so long, I was ready 15 minutes ago!”


I had a slow and painful recovery9lb 5oz bundle of joy.  I don’t know if this is because I sat for 10+ minutes with a crowning baby or if it is because I had a  9lb 5 oz baby, but I will tell you, that I did not use that OB practice with my next baby.  Not only did the Dr make me wait, but when he did come in, he was on his cell phone while catching my baby.  Talk about feeling like merely a number.  Clearly this office, had too many patients and not enough doctors.

Of course all of that quickly faded into the fuzzy memories of the past, as I gazed upon my sweet baby and Mom I will never forget the look in Scott’s eyes when I pushed my son out and as we heard his cry, Scott said to me with tears in his eyes, “It’s a boy!”  My life has never been the same since.  034

For more Friday Photo Flashbacks, click here.

In the past week I’ve had some humorous discussions about my ever growing belly.  I had forgotten the funny things kids will do and say to a women with a big belly.  I was teaching 3 rd grade when I was pregnant with my son and my students were a never ending source of comical observations on my pregnant belly.

But, my own children are quite used to pregnancy.  They get it more than most.  I realized the other day that for my son I have been pregnant 27 months of his life… that means that for over 2 of his 6 yrs he’s lived with a pregnant momma.  (poor guy I know)!

Last week I was one of the parent volunteers at my son’s tutorial.  An adorable 4 yr old girl asked me why by belly was so big.  I told her it was because I had a baby in there.  She then asked, “Did you eat the baby?”

The girls in the kindergarten class seemed unable to keep their hands off of my belly.  Every time they saw me, they’d come over and rub it and say, “Your baby must be SO BIG!” 

My own daughter was commenting on the baby this week.  She is convinced the only way to talk to the baby is through my belly button (so she always lifts my shirt when she wants to talk to or sing to the baby).  When looking at my belly button the other day my 2 yr old said, “I hope the baby doesn’t get lost in the hole!”

On Saturday when Scott and I were delivering lunches with our church to the homeless in Baltimore,  my belly provided an ice breaker of sorts for starting conversations.  Sometimes I have a hard time knowing how to strike up a conversation when we’re there but many asked about my baby, what we were having, what names we were thinking of, it was a wonderful conversation piece.   When I told a few of them we were going to be surprised as to what we were having, one man replied, “Yea, I wouldn’t get one of those sonograms…the babies don’t like it.”  I told him we had a sonogram just didn’t find out what the sex of the baby was.  He commented on how the babies are always screwing their faces in weird positions probably b/c they don’t like the sonogram waves going through them.  I am never one to argue so I just kinda smiled and nodded.  He then said, “How would you like to have those waves go through you?”  I started to say something like, I guess I wouldn’t, when both of us realized the humor in his statement.  He laughed and said, "I guess you would know since it would have gone through you too.”  We then laughed and the conversation was over.

I’ve got approximately 5 weeks left to go in my pregnancy.  And  I seem to have reached that stage where people feel I am so big, I must be ready to pop any second, and thus the comments begin.  People start assuming that the time is “any day now” and when I reply that I have 5 weeks to go, they kinda stop short.  I then say something like, “yup, just gonna get bigger from here.”  The comments truly don’t bother me.  In fact, I think it is quite comical to watch people put their feet in their mouths and then try to get em out. 

When I was pregnant with my daughter I had someone tell me she was sure I was having a girl.  When I asked why she said “because people always have big butts when they are carrying girls.”

Hmmm…. thanks….

When I was carrying my son, I was often asked if I was having twins. 

Again I really don’t mind the comments, I just think it is so funny that people feel so comfortable walking up to a stranger and telling her she looks big.  I am a “keep to yourself kinda girl.”  Not one for small talk and never one to initiate conversations with strangers if I don’t have to.    So I find it so baffling when strangers feel comfortable coming up and sharing their thoughts with me. 

Am I alone in this or have any of you had some funny comments come your way when preggo?

We took a lot of pictures of my son’s first baseball game of the season,

baseball collague

but without a doubt, this one is my favorite.

this look says it all

His look truly says it all.   Is that the face of a happy ball player or what?

This is what little league is all about…the pure love of the game.  May he never outgrow it.

Visit here or here for more picture fun.

Last week my son was reading a list of words in one of his readers.  One of the words was “keg.”  He asked what a keg was.   I was trying to figure out the best way to describe it and so I said it was like a a big container with a spout that you could get a drink from. 

“Oh,” he said with a look of recognition.  “I know what your talking about, like what we get lemonade from at church.”   That’s what I get for trying to be vague instead of just going out and saying it was for beer.

Whoever put the word keg in a kindergartner reader is the one I will hold responsible when my child shows up at church asking for a keg. 

For more innocent childhood blunders, visit Tiny Talk Tuesday.

Green Mama: The Guilt-Free Guide to Helping You and Your Kids Save the PlanetIf you were interested in the book and didn’t win, you can always order it here.  (by clicking through my site you will help support refugees in Sudan)




Now for the winners… (thanks to random number generator)

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-04-27 00:31:20 UTC

#6- Nicola

#14- Happy

#18- Heather

#19- Your Mom

Congratulations!!  Use this pic2to contact  me  and send me your mailing address so I can get your copy of the book out to you soon!

As the kids and I frolicked around the local farm park with friends the other day, I couldn’t help but smirk at my youngest in her “farm girl” attire.


As she eagerly peeked in on the baby piglets in with her dazzling shades and hot pink purse…


IMG_7650 She wrinkled her nose and said, “Mommy, something is stinky!”

IMG_7652 I couldn’t help but think of Za Za Gabor in Green Acres.

Anyone else notice the resemblance?


Today I’d like to give a shout out to my maternal grandmother, whom I have lovingly called, “Mema” for as long as I can remember.  I have this vivid picture in my mind of me in high school showing her and my Pap how to work our computer.  I recall her being completely baffled by it and saying something to the effect of, “You’ll never catch me on that thing!” 

I remembered there being a picture of the event and when my parents were visiting last week I asked my mom if she knew where it was. 


Funny how my memory of the event didn’t include my ginormously puffy bangs… hello early nineties…

The thing is Mema was wrong… completely wrong.  Not only have I caught her on that thing… but she owns her own (and a laptop too).  And not only does she own her own laptop but she e-mails her grandchildren on it, she faithfully checks and comments on my blog, and she even has her own face book account. 

I love the fact that she didn’t let technology overwhelm her or pass her by.  I love the fact that despite the fact that she doesn’t always understand it all, it doesn’t stop her from trying.  I love the fact that she makes an effort to keep in touch with her children, grand children, and great grand children by hopping on board with the technology of our generation.  I love that even though we don’t get to see her face to face as often as I would like, she can still keep up with the happenings of my family.  And I love that she scans her old pictures and shares them with us.  I am so thankful for the computer and how it enables me to stay in contact with out of town family.  I am even more thankful for my grandma who has taken the time to learn how to use it and to stay involved in our lives.  I hope when I am her age, I will be as forward thinking and open minded as she is.

For more flashback fun, visit Alicia’s blog

In the interest of keeping it real, I’m going to tell you that I have not really been much for the whole green fad that has swept my generation.  While we do recycle, that’s about the extent of it.  Then a few years ago my pastor gave a sermon during a series on stewardship that hit home for me.  He talked about the fact that while God did make the world for us to enjoy and inhabit, it didn’t mean he made it for us to squander and trash.  He talked about stewardship in terms of taking care of God’s creation.  I realized that I had been treating this would with a sense of entitlement and with little care to how I effected the environment or creation. 

Recently, I read the book Green Mama… the guilt free Guide to Helping you and your Kids save the planet by Tracey Bianchi. 

I really like this book b/c it is real and down to earth.  Tracey isn’t preachy and doesn’t make you feel like scum if you aren’t using cloth diapers or organic sheets.  She’s a mom of 3 living in a Chicago suburb who is passionate about taking care of God’s creation and shares that passion in a very practical, applicable way. 

She comes across as a real mom, one I’d meet on the playground or sit next to at a MOPS meeting.  She does not carry an air of superiority that is so often a real turn off to me.  I like real people.  I don’t like people who portray perfection and make you feel like scum if you don’t do everything the way they do it.

In the beginning of the book Tracey shares her reasons for “going green.”  She gives an analogy of our role in taking care of creation, that I thought was so perfect.  She says:

“The weight of saving the world does not rely solely upon us.  God can save the planet himself.  Actually, he already has, which is tough for me to swallow because I like to think God needs me.  Ultimately, God is interested in your heart and movement towards wise living and responsible stewardship, not how many gallons of water you saved this month.   He created this world and then invited us to partner with him in caring for it.  He wants us involved in the process just like I want my children involved in projects I design for them.  Of course I can make the chocolate-chip cookies myself (and honestly it would be much so much easier that way),” … “We learn magnificent truths about our Creator when we care for God’s creation.  This is what God wants for your family when it comes to taking care of the earth.”

I thought this was such a beautiful picture of our role as Christians in taking care of creation. 

At the end of each chapter Tracey encourages you to reflect on one thing you’d like to apply and one you’d like to throw out.  She also encourages you in the book to find one big thing to focus on, rather than trying to change your whole world at once.  I like this because it is practical and doable.    Overall, that’s how I’d describe her book.  If you’re like me, and you know you haven’t been living as “green” as you should or like, I think this provides a wonderful introduction.  I also really appreciate the time she spends discussing the motivation for going green. 

The circus hasn’t completely changed everything… in fact, I am still slowly digesting things.  But, I can feel God tugging on my heart.  I love the beauty of His creation.  I love spending time in it.  I want to be a part of taking care of it and I want to raise my children with attitudes of service rather than entitlement. 

We live near the Chesapeake Bay.  Each summer our family spends countless hours swimming, fishing, and boating in it.  Sadly, bacteria levels in our bay get so bad that it is monitored weekly and some days we aren’t allowed in it.  I’d like to find some projects that we can work on as a family to help the bay.   As I teach my kids to enjoy this resource God has given us, I also want to teach them to take care of that resource.

I think I am also going to look into switching to reusable bags.  Tracey said that each year the typical American family uses roughly 1000 plastic bags a year. 

Tracey has numerous other ideas and information, some of which I am going to try to apply, some of which I will probably “throw out” as she suggests.   

I contacted Tracey and she gave me a copy of the book to read and review for myself.  She in no way compensated me for my review of the book.  These are my thoughts and reactions to her book.  She also generously gave me 4 copies of the book to give away to my readers!!  I am so excited to share this with you.  I think you will be challenged, encouraged, and inspired. 

I will randomly choose 4 winners on Monday, April 26th for the books.  Please leave a comment below to be chosen.  You can receive extra entries if you tweet or face book this post (and leave an extra comment to tell me you did so) or if you sign up in my reader  or follow me on google friend connect (again leave me a comment telling me you did so).

10 years ago we came…spread a blanket out on the sandy shore to watch the sunset. 

Today we came, with sandwiches and Doritos.  This time there was a picnic table where we had spread our blanket.  And we watched the sunset mirrored in the faces of our three children.


10 years ago it was quiet… we held hands and sat close on the blanket.

Tonight there was sand in our shoes and children squirming….

10 years ago we sat up all  night and talked and dreamed of our future together.

Tonight we held our future in our arms (and my belly). 


1o years ago we spent the day in Washington D.C., then topped it off by watching the sunset at our park.  Scott got down on one knee and declared his love for me before asking me to be his wife. 

And tonight we celebrated that anniversary with a picnic dinner at sunset.


Thank you Scott for asking me to be your wife 10 years ago today and thanks for making all my dreams come true.  I truly, truly love being married to you!

Read more about that special night 10 years ago, by clicking here.

My daughter really is a very patient teacher’s assistant.  She will sit quietly without ever saying a word and listen to her big brother as he sounds out the words to read the Bible story each night.  It is quite precious.

And the other day I discovered that having her quiz him on flashcards is the perfect way to let her be involved in school.  She happily sits and holds the cards up for him and will praise him when he gets the answers correct.




Leaving me free to fold laundry or eat bon-bons…whatever the case may be!

More picture fun can be found here or here on Wednesday!

As I’ve already made well aware, I am not exactly a fashion guru.  You won’t find me flipping through the pages of Cosmopolitan in my free time.  My nails are rarely done and my idea of styling my hair involves taking the time to blow dry rather than air dry.

I wanted to look cute when Scott and I went on a date a few weeks ago.   I was so excited because my friend had just lent me some adorable maternity clothes so I didn’t really give my thought to my wardrobe till about 30 min before we were going to leave when I began to change.  Only to discover that those cute dresses were not going to fit over my very pregnant belly.

No problem, I’ll just wear that cute jean skirt she threw in there with a maternity top. 

Only that cute small jean skirt wasn’t looking so cute on my not so small hips. 

With 4 outfits discarded on the bed and Scott due to arrive home in 15 minutes, panic was starting to set in.   After all, I didn’t want to wear my sweats and my Indian tee to the Cheesecake Factory!!

I found a maternity dress that I thought would work but the problem was it had spaghetti straps and the weather outside was rainy and in the 50s…

Here is where my insecurity and lack of fashion sense creep in.  Can I just throw a cardigan over it and call it a day?  Is that cute or lame?

I don’t know.

And to be honest, I don’t think my husband would know either.

Thank goodness for technology.  I quickly texted my SIL in Texas and told her I was e-mailing her a pic and I desperately needed her fashion advice.    See Karen is my go to girl when it comes to fashion.  She has a good fashion sense about her, but not only that, she knows and gets me, so she doesn’t try to make me into something I am not.  She is my favorite person to go clothes shopping with because she will be honest and say, “No, Crystal, do not get that.”  (which I sometimes need)  And yet she helps me find things that are me, so I don’t feel like I come home with a closet full of clothes that aren’t really my taste. 

As the sister I never had, I knew I could trust her to tell me if this outfit was acceptable or if I needed to try, try again.

I attempted to snap a pic with my smart phone to e-mail to her…. But every pic was either of my head or my chest, neither of which would help her determine if I could wear that dress or if I could wear the dress with that sweater.

So, I asked my son to take a picture for me with my camera phone.   Seriously, what did we do before technology??

And I quickly sent out this S.O.S. from Annapolis to El Paso.

from: you

subject:  HELP!!!!

to Karen

Do I look like a whale?? Can I wear this sweater with this dress?? Be honest...I need help


I then texted her again to say, by the way, I know I need to blow dry my hair, just pay attention to the dress and sweater.

Within 10 minutes my phone was ringing and help had arrived.   Not only did she provide fashion consult… telling me the cardigan provides a slimming effect….but she was also super cute and encouraging… instilling confidence in the insecure girl who had a bed full of discarded, too small, inside out, clothes.  I know the dress isn’t the most flattering, but it was all I had and at least I had the confidence of knowing it wasn’t completely ridiculous.

Hooray for technology….it truly bridges the gaps and shortens the miles…providing the “across the hall” type fashion consults for sisters who are miles a part. 

You know warm days are once again upon us, when you stumble across your bathroom sink looking like this.


Probably had something to do with the hours my kids spent digging in the dirt in our backyard this afternoon.

IMG_7426 While they didn’t quite make it to China, they were thrilled to dig down to clay. 

IMG_7425 I love spring… even with the rings round my tub and the dirt deposits left in my sinks.

weekend of April 16-19 006

6 years ago, I was also carrying a baby in my belly.   (In fact, this picture was taken exactly 6 yrs ago to the date). 

The nursery was prepped, the hospital bag had long been packed.   I was basically sitting around waiting to have a baby. I do not recommend going with that strategy… what a long week of waiting that was.  Now I try to plan things right up to and past the due date, so I am not in that hurry up and wait mode. 




I had no idea how my world was going to change in the next week.  You think you know, you think your ready, but until that moment arrives and you’re holding that precious new life in your arms, you just don’t know.  Birthday 034b

Even though my son slept like a log that first night, I barely slept at all.  You know how babies hit that deep sleep, and you can’t wake them for anything, shortly after being born?  I know wisdom would have had me sleeping while he slept, but I just kept staring at him.  Wondering what he’d be like when he grew up.  What would he  like to do?  What would we play?  I just kept staring at him.  My heart was full to overflowing with gratitude and happiness.  Scott and I kept singing him songs and praying and pondering this new little person in our arms.  

Dreaming of Sailing

I can’t believe 6 years have come and gone already.  His personality and gifting have really started to shine through.  We’ve passed infancy, toddlerhood and preschool.  He’s almost a first grader!  He’s a big brother (3 times over).  He has a real and passionate relationship with God.  He loves baseball and fishing.  He’s a deep thinker and has an amazing memory.  He’s one of the most thoughtful and patient little guys I’ve ever met.  He is detail oriented and loves to draw and color.  He is not a risk taker.   He is literal and sees the world in black and white with no room for grey.  

6 years have come and gone and I still find myself overwhelmed with gratitude and thanksgiving.  I still ponder his future and wonder about the man he will become.  I still can’t believe that I have the privilege of being his mom.     IMG_7149

So much has changed, and yet so much is still very much the same. 

For more flashback fun, visit here.

This weekend my daughter had her second soccer game and I am happy to report it went MUCH better than her first.  No tears or pouting and lots of smiles and cute waves to Mom and Dad on the sidelines.  She enthusiastically went after the ball and always cheerfully raised her hand to kick off or make the corner kick when they asked for volunteers.   Like I said, a drastic improvement over game one


What a joy it was to watch her smiling face as she ran after the ball on Sunday. IMG_7413

I think it is kinda funny to watch the kids in the background of this shot.  I cropped them out for the above picture so you could see her action shot without distraction.  But, I can’t help but show you the bigger picture as well, b/c it makes me chuckle. IMG_7413 The kid from the yellow team looks totally dejected as she runs past with the ball (that’s my girl) and I love how her team mate appears to be summoning his super powers to propel her up the field.

More picture fun can be found here or here.

Do you shop at Amazon?  If so, please click here to read more about how you can help me help those suffering in Sudan without costing you anything more than a click of your mouse.  Together we had raised $280 dollars total as of January, but since then thinks have drastically slowed down.  Just wanted to remind you of this simple opportunity to help as you purchase birthday gifts and other things throughout the year.

A few years ago a woman from my church passed out these prayer cards written by Bob Hostetler to the ladies in our MOPS group.  Each card had 31 Biblical Virtues to pray for your children, with verses included. 

I thought this was a great idea and instantly tucked it away inside my Bible.

Only to forget about it and lose track of it with all the other papers stuffed in there.

While doing some cleaning recently I stumbled across the card again and decided to put it up on my fridge instead.  Because the kitchen is pretty much the center of my home and where I spend the majority of my time it seems. 

With the card up on my fridge, I see it throughout the day and am prompted to pray for that days virtue for my children.  I am so excited to pray more specifically for my kids.  Not only does the card help me with that, but it also has helped me to focus in on the traits that I want to be instilling in my children.  It serves as a great reminder to me of what we are striving for. 

I’ve also gone through the list and picked out a specific trait that I am consistently praying for each individual child.  They are traits that I see them currently struggling with and it has helped me to focus on working on that with that child.

So, we are working on self-control for one, kindness for another, and respect for a third.  With these in mind, when I discipline them and correct them I am trying to really hone in on those virtues and also to praise them when I see them exhibiting these traits.    As they grow, or as new needs arise, I am sure I will find other traits to focus on, but for right now, these are the areas I am concentrating on with each individual child.

And I love the prayers that go with them… just listen… (or read, I suppose)

For self control:  “Father help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be alert and self-controlled in all they do.”  1 Thes 5:6

For kindness:  “Lord, may my children always to try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.”  1 Thes. 5:15

For respect:  “Father grant that my children may show proper respect to everyone, as your Word commands.”  1 Peter 2:17

There are so many wonderful prayers on here… for salvation, love for God’s word, heart for missions, courage, purity… it really has been a wonderful tool for me over the past few weeks and I hope to keep up with it. 

I want to be an intentional and prayerful mother.  That is my goal.  Some days I just survive and make it through, but this little card on my fridge, is helping give focus and direction to my mothering.

If your interested in the card, you can click here and download the card for free.   I highly suggest putting it in a place you look at often, as that has definitely worked for me in following through with the prayers.

Do you shop at Amazon?  If so, please click here to read more about how you can help me help those suffering in Sudan without costing you anything more than a click of your mouse.  Together we had raised $280 dollars total as of January, but since then thinks have drastically slowed down.  Just wanted to remind you of this simple opportunity to help as you purchase birthday gifts and other things throughout the year.

I went in to wake my daughter from nap time today and found her like this.


I’m not sure if she fell asleep while playing or if she was just doing all she could to keep herself from falling asleep. 

Either way, looks rather uncomfortable to me.

Then there’s her sister.

We looked down during a soccer game a few weeks ago and found her like this.IMG_7007

Yes, that would be my youngest asleep ON the soccer field, during a game.


And, yes, I took a picture of her sleeping on the field, before I removed her.

Seems, if they are tired enough, my girls will sleep in the most unusual positions. 

Dear Sweet Baby of Mine,

Every time I sit down or lay down I can feel you move around inside of me.  You are more active than any of your sisters or brother were in the womb.  Perhaps you are trying to tell us already that you are eager to jump in and join in the chaos and fun that is our family.    The feeling of you turning over or kicking and punching my sides…it’s almost as if you are saying, “Hey Mom!  I’m here!”  Since I am fairly certain you are the last baby I will carry in my womb, I treasure each of these movements.  I wonder if I will miss feeling you inside of me, once you are here.

I want you to know dear one that while none of us have yet laid eyes on you, nor held you in our arms, you are already deeply and profoundly loved and cherished and a very real part of our family.IMG_7385

Your oldest sister is always quick to point out that we have 4 kids in our family and if ever I have to leave your brother or sisters behind to go somewhere, she will chime in, “But not the baby… you take the baby with you!”  She loves to put her hand on my belly and feel you move inside of me.  Her whole face lights up when you wiggle or kick and she tells me she felt it.  Just the other day she laid beside me in bed and felt you punch 5 times.  Perhaps you were slapping her five!

Your next sister loves to lift up my shirt and talk to you through my belly button.   Sometimes she will serenade you with her repertoire of songs.

Your brother too is very eager to meet you.  He is so curious to know if you will be his first brother or another sister for him to care for.  He has already told me that either way he will love you and help take care of you.  He is always brainstorming potential names for you as well.  And he prays for you and thanks God for you, the baby in Momma’s belly.  He’s been wanting you for a long time…long before God had even knit you together inside me, he was asking for a new baby to join our family.

We have about 2 months to go before you will be ready to enter the world.   I look forward to meeting you, to holding you in my arms and smelling your sweet newborn scent.  I also can’t wait to introduce you to your adoring sisters and protective big brother, to watch them take care of you and smother you with their love and affection.  I am eager to see how you fall into place with them.  I can’t wait to see you sitting around the dinner table, chasing after them in the back yard and to hear your sweet voice call my name.

Until the time is right, I will savor this precious time while I have you to myself.  The time when we are connected in such a profound and mysterious way.  The only time when you truly never leave my side and I know your every coming and going.   I will marvel at God’s goodness to us in blessing our lives, our family with you.  And I pray, dear sweet one, that as you grow you will always know how deeply loved you are, by Daddy and myself, by your brother and sisters, and most importantly by our heavenly Father.    May you seek Him with all your heart and mind, all the days of your life.

Love, Mommy

This weekend was full of family fun and excitement!  Saturday morning the kids went to the neighborhood egg hunt with both sets of grandparents, while Scott and I went to a wedding reception.


The kids had a blast finding eggs and getting their faces painted.  DSC00559

(some enjoyed the face paint more than others)

That evening (after my son and I got back from a trip to the the after hours clinic where he was diagnosed with pneumonia), we gathered the grands again to dye Easter eggs with us!

Since last year we were in Texas for Easter, this was the first time my youngest got to participate in egg dying.  Can you tell she loved it? IMG_7252

Don’t you love the intensity in his face?  Check out that tongue!


And my oldest daughter really got into it this year as well.  She was quite pleased with her art work.


Then on Sunday, we had everyone together again for an Easter lunch after worshipping together at church.


After lunch, everyone went home and the circus family all took naps.  Naptime was followed by an egg hunt at home with Mom and Dad and time spent playing together in the back yard and enjoying the beautiful weather.


This year I bought a different package of eggs for each kid… my son had baseball eggs, my oldest daughter soccer ball eggs, and my youngest had sparkly eggs.  Each kid was only allowed to gather their own eggs.  This worked wonderfully because I was able to hide my sons eggs in more challenging locations and my youngest in plain sight.  I will def repeat this idea next year.   The kids had so much fun sorting and looking at their loot.  And to their credit, they didn’t eat any of it until after dinner when they were allowed 2 eggs each.         IMG_7338

Visit here or here for more Wednesday picture fun!

Since before each of my children were born, my hearts deepest desire has been for them to know the Lord Jesus as their Savior.   My son has demonstrated to us numerous times through various conversations that he recognizes he is a sinner and Christ died on the cross to forgive his sins. 

IMG_7023 My girls have not come to that point yet, but this Easter season we got one step closer.  We did the Resurrection Eggs with the kids this year and the way we did it was to start 12 days prior to Easter and open one egg each day leading up to Easter Sunday, opening the 12th egg, Easter night.  We would spend time review the previously discussed eggs each night, with the hopes of truly solidifying the Easter story in their hearts and minds and helping them to grasp the significance of the events leading up to our Lord’s death and resurrection. 

One night we were discussing the cross and my husband asked my oldest daughter some questions. 

“Who died on the cross?”


“Why did he die on the cross?”

“Because he loved us.”

“What did he die for?”

“Our sins”

“Whose sins?”

“All of our sins”

“Did he die for your sins?”

“He died for EVERYBODY’S sins”

It took several rounds of discussing and questioning to get her to not just answer everybody’s sins, but to get her to say that he died for HER SINS.  And this was a crucial first step towards her coming to a saving faith of her own.

This is a huge point, that in my opinion is well worth spending time on.  It can be easy to say, “Yes, Jesus died on the cross for all of our sins.”  My girls can even tell you that sins are the bad things we do and that Jesus didn’t do anything bad.  But, until my child recognizes that she herself is a sinner, that Jesus died on the cross to take the consequences of her sins, until she makes it personal, she won’t recognize her need for a personal Savior. 

My prayer for my kids isn’t simply that they grow up with a sound head knowledge of Christian doctrine.  My prayer is that my children will have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  That they will call Him Lord.  This relationship is possible only because Christ, who had no sin, took the consequence of our sin upon Himself when he died on the cross.  With the consequence paid, the perfectly just creator God can be united with me and my imperfect daughters.  Jesus is the mediator between us and God, but only if we personally acknowledge our need for a mediator. 

Before my girls can have that personal relationship with our Lord, they need to first recognize that they personally are a sinner.  That their personal sins were enough to require Jesus to die on the cross.  He did it for them.  Once they recognize that point, then they can grasp what is means to call Christ their personal savior.  Then, once Christ is their Lord, they can go on to live the life of purpose God intends for them.

I eagerly await that day.  We’re one step closer.

_240_360_Book.165.cover When it comes to books and movies, one favorite category of mine is crime drama.  If the back cover mentions CIA, FBI, or any other government agency, you can bet I’d give it a try.  I was quite excited when I had the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Lis Wiehl’s book Hand of Fate and review it on my blog. 

The book centers on 3 friends, (one a crime reporter, one a federal prosecutor, and the other an FBI agent) as they work together to solve the death of radio talk show personality, Jim Fate.  His death prompted panic in the city of Portland, OR, as terrorism was suspected.   This type of book is right up my alley. 

The book was a quick read.  I easily read it in two evenings.  It wasn’t overly captivating, and I must confess I did not find myself staying awake all night to finish it, like I have with some other crime dramas.  Though I will say that I didn’t  expect the ending.  I love when books have a surprise twist at the end and it didn’t disappoint with that.  

To be honest, I’d give it a 4 out of 10.  Not bad for a night or two of entertainment, but not in my top 5 of fiction crime novels either.   The book is her second in her Triple Threat novel series.  After reading this one, I’d be interested in going back and reading the first book.  

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.