What do you get when you combine

1 founding father


2 princesses


and one super hero?


Enough candy to last you till Easter!


One last question:  How many licks does it take to get to the center of Tootsie Pop?


When you get married, you marry more than just your spouse, you marry the whole family.  And in the case of Scott’s grandpa, I sure lucked out. 

I think I was smitten with him the first time I met him at our high school graduation.  I told Scott, “You have a Werther’s Original” grandpa.  I loved that he had a elbow patched sweater.  He just seemed like the classic picture of a grandpa.  Probably because he is the classic picture of a gentleman.

When we were engaged and heading back to college, he told Scott he was sure we’d be using the “armstrong heater” on our way back.  When I asked him what that was he demonstrated by putting his arm around me. 

On our wedding day he greeted us after the ceremony with a hug and then he said, “In case you want to know, I looked at my watch when the preacher pronounced you man and wife… you were official at 4:15.”   I would have never thought to seek out that information and yet I’ve truly appreciated knowing it. 

I can’t really tell you when, but sometime since then, he went from being Scott’s Grandpa, to Grandpa.  IMG_8635I truly couldn’t love him more if he were my own blood.   He has become such an active and vital part of our family.  He is a fabulous great grandpa.  Watching him with my kids has been one of the hugest blessings.  He has played such an active and engaged part of their lives.  He’s been to our house for every Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, kids birthday party, baptism…He’s been to soccer games and baseball games.  He went to the hospital after each kid was born to hold his newborn grandchild.  In fact for child number 3 and 4, he was the one we left the older siblings with when we drove to the hospital in labor.  I loved the way he played with them.  He doesn’t sit on the couch and watch them from a distance.  No, you find him wielding a light saber, holding a sleeping baby, carrying a toddler.


I have always appreciated the bond he has had with my oldest daughter. 


On her third birthday she sat on his lap while eating her cake.  There she sat happy as can be while she ate her entire piece of cake.  And there he sat happy as can be while she did.  I do believe it was a good 20 minutes before she finished and then he got his piece.  IMG_3395

When my 1 year old sees him he instantly holds out his hand to slap him five.  He’ll happily crawl on his lap and slap his hand till it goes numb.  Today I actually heard him call him Grandpa when he saw him in his bed.photo (5)

Earlier this week we went to the nursing home to celebrate his 88nd birthday with him and 5 days later we returned to say goodbye.  As I type this Grandpa is still with us but it has become apparent that his hours with us are very limited.  Scott and I really struggled as to whether or not we take the kids to say goodbye or let their last visit be his birthday party on Sunday.  But, the kids wanted to go and I think they actually needed to go to say goodbye.  They love him and are going to truly miss him.  While we all know he’ll be in heaven soon with Jesus and Great Nana and we are happy that he’ll be out of pain and able to walk around like we remember him doing before his strokes, this process of saying goodbye is very hard because, in the words of my youngest daughter, “I want him here… where I can see him, walking around our house with us.”

My oldest son seems to jump from obsession to another… You can almost mark each year of his life with a theme…when he was 4 it was Spiderman… he was Spiderman for Halloween had a Spiderman birthday party when he turned 5 and everything we played/talked about… was Spiderman…. until the next year when he was Bumblebee for Halloween had a Transformers birthday party that spring… then came Star Wars and hat was an EPIC obsession… I swear for a good solid year all and I mean ALL we talked about was Star Wars… I learned so much about the characters and movie plots during that year.  Literally every question and almost everything out of his mouth during our Florida vacation was Star Wars related. 

I kinda thought we’d never leave that Star Wars obsession, what with the Clone Wars on the Cartoon Network, Lego Star Wars on the Wii…and the many life long Star Wars geeks fans I’ve seen out and around.

While he still does really enjoy Star Wars,  his obsession for year 7 of his life has become the American Revolution.  Now that he is an avid reader (a fact that I still can’t stop smiling about) his obsession is quite easily fed with books.  I find myself making trip upon trip to the library checking out every book in his reading level I can find relating to the American Revolution… he loves George Washington, Nathan Hale, Benjamin Franklin…he’s watching Liberty’s Kids through Netflix, listened to the Founding Fathers Adventures in Odyssey enough times we can all quote it and as I listen to him play downstairs I hear him call out, “Make ready, Arms… pre-sent arms… Don’t fire unless fired upon… don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes.”  We discuss the ranges of cannon fire and what a bayonet is… we discuss gunpowder and muzzle loading….  My favorite question he’s asked so far concerning the American Revolution is

“Why did they call it the Revolutionary War?  Shouldn’t it have been called a Civil War since we were technically English and fighting against England?”

He decided in the beginning of September that he wanted to be George Washington for Halloween and I am so thankful my mom was willing to make him a costume b/c it isn’t easy to find in the Halloween section of Target…  He’s also decided he wants to have an “American Revolution” themed birthday party when he turns 8 this spring.   I’m going to have to get real creative to pull that one off.

I love his current obsession and am doing all I can to feed it.  I love the fact that he came about it all on his own.  I didn’t force it on him.  In fact we’re not even studying it in school this year.  And I love that he asked if there was an American Revolution Lego game for the Wii. 

As my 4 yr old sat coloring in the waiting room this afternoon the mom beside me commented on her neat job of staying in the lines. 

Then we both did a double take and looked over at each other. 


Don’t mind the fact that the dress is green and should “really” be yellow… I love the fact that my girl goes against the flow and colors it how she wants… sure give Belle purple hair and a green dress.  Why not?

But, what is up with that neck line?  Seems a bit low cut don’t ya think?  I am hoping that somehow the coloring book missed a line or something.  But it sure looks to me like she was coloring it in correctly…

Never expected that from Belle… Ariel maybe, but Belle… with her nose stuck in a book… ya gotta watch those good girls I suppose!

On the wall in my bedroom, tucked away in the corner on my side of the bed is a shadow box in which I pressed some dried flowers from my wedding bouquet.   I’ll confess I don’t look at it often, but when I do I smile and remember that special day.

My children, however, don’t share my sentimentality.

The other day my 5 yr old and I were sitting on my bed and she said, “Mom, why do you have those old dead flowers hanging on your wall?”  I told her that Daddy had given me those flowers on our wedding day.   I of course thought this obviously answered her question.   But she looked up at me like I was crazy and said very matter of factly, “But now they’re dead.”    (as in so why do you have them hanging there now Mom?) It was then obvious to me that she thought her mom was crazy for hanging dead flowers on her wall.  I then remembered the conversation I had with her brother a few years ago when he asked me why I had poop hanging on my wall.  I told him it wasn’t poop, they were dried flowers from my wedding.  “Oh,” he replied, “they look like poop to me.” 

Something tells me 50 years from now when the kids are cleaning out our house and divvying up our our belongings, none of them are going to be fighting for the right to take mom’s dead flowers to their homes. 

The other day I was driving my oldest two children home when they suggested I text their Nana to see if the younger two were asleep so we’d know if we needed to enter in the backdoor.

I told them I couldn’t text while driving, but maybe if I got a red light I could send her a quick txt.  (I know, I know….)

Well the light was green and as we got rather close to our street my 5 yr old daughter says, “Mom, you gotta send the text!”  “I can’t,” I replied, the light was green. 

“Well Mom, I’ll watch the road for you and tell you if your going to hit something.”

“Thanks, but it doesn’t work like that, I need to be watching the road myself.”

“Why Mom?  Don’t you know this road pretty well, you drive on it all the time?”

I then went on to tell her while I know the road, I don’t know what the other cars are going to do on the road.   And even though she promised to keep an eye for me, I think it would be better for me to watch.

Can you just imagine?  Well, officer, I know I wasn’t watching, but she was my lookout…yea… my 5 yr old in the back seat… she promised to keep an eye out for me….

September 27th—He’s officially walking.. No longer just two or three steps then fall down, but plodding on his own across a room before he stumbles.

October 7th- 10 days later -


Watch out world! This boy is ready to play.

Scott and I got away last week, just the 2 of us, for 3 nights in the Windy City.  It was a belated 10 year anniversary gift to ourselves.IMG_6570

And it was WON-DER-FUL!!

IMG_6743The city of Chicago is beautiful.  The buildings are unique and interesting… truly works of art in and of themselves.  We had so much fun walking around the city and taking in its beauty. 

The weather was overcast and it rained off and on while we were there.  But, thankfully, we were able to enjoy a gorgeous evening observing the skyline at the Navy Pier our first night. 


IMG_6497We had a great time at the Art Institute of Chicago.   One of my favorite dates with Scott is going to the art museum.  We have fun looking at different paintings… picking our favorite in each room, or picking the one we’d hang in our house if we had our choice.   It might surprise you to know that Scott’s favorite is always modern art.  Before we were married, I’d never have pegged him as a modern art guy.  (I know this picture isn’t of modern art…but it was our favorite picture in that room, and I liked the picture of Scott observing the painting).  We also attended the symphony, another rare treat for us. 


The clouds parted and the sky opened in time for us to head to the top of the Willis Tower (formerly called the Sears Tower)… the highest structure in the U.S.    You might recall I am not a big fan of heights…but I didn’t want to miss out on the adventure. 


So glad I didn’t… how cool is it to kiss the man of your dreams at the top of the world?


We did lots of walking… lots of talking… shopping…eating… there was no schedule.. no place we had to be… no demands… just time to enjoy my best friend all to myself.  And I did… every minute of it.  IMG_6725

I learned this weekend that a friend and former MOPS mentor mom of mine passed away suddenly in her sleep.  The suddenness and surprise of her passing took me quite off guard.  My heart has been so heavy since I heard the news. 

Aside from my grandparents who both suffered long illnesses before their death,  this is really the first person close to me that I’ve known whose died.  She wasn’t just a person that I recognized or said Hi to on Sunday morning.   She was a friend. 

This women hosted our steering meetings month after month in her home.  She even hosted our entire steering retreat in her home (when she was out of town).  She always said, “this is God’s house, use it, please use it!”   Honestly, that was how she lived her life.  She was a true servant.  For as long as I knew her she was always actively and joyfully serving and leading in our church.  She loved her husband and was a true example to us all of a godly wife.  She loved her children and grandchildren and talked of them often.    Most importantly, most vividly, she loved her Lord and she was such a transparent example to us of a woman who whole heartedly served God with her life.   She always a had a big smile, and hug for each of us.  During my leadership in MOPS, I went through a particularly difficult circumstance as a leader, and she walked with me through it.  She was a huge source of support and encouragement to me as I stepped into my role as leader of our group.   I am thankful for the chance I had to learn and grow from her.  I am thankful for the impact and influence she’s had on my life and the lives of so many other ladies I know.   She leaves behind her a godly legacy of a true and faithful servant and she is missed greatly by all who had the pleasure of knowing her.