Monday, January 31, 2011


The eggs, bacon and potatoes were nearly demolished (we like our breakfast for dinner around here) when The Husband and I started discussing The Rock Star's parent/teacher conference which would be held the following day. A worried look crossed the face of the preschooler in question. "Why are you meeting with my teachers?"

Pulling his leg, I responded, "They want to talk to me about all the time you've been spending in timeout."

Last year, when he was just three, The Rock Star was in a class with a child who, unfortunately, spent countless minutes in the timeout chair. He was the child that the rest of the parents used as an example of who not to be like. When I would pick my son up from school I'd ask, "Did you have to go to timeout?" He would answer in the negative and I would continue, "Did Billy*?"

Garrett would reply, "Yeah. Two times." Or three. Or Four. Or 129.

My son never went to timeout last year. I assumed the same was true for this year. However, when I teased that his teachers wanted to see me because of his naughty behavior his face immediately fell. He looked up at me with big greenish grayish cobaltish (whatever is he going to put on his driver's license?) eyes and whispered, "Oh. Yeah." Then he quietly shoved a bite of eggs into his mouth.

Troy and I caught each other's eye across the table.

And then we pried.

The details became incredibly muddied. It was difficult to separate truth from story from confusion from memory from reality. At one point he told me he'd been in timeout three times and one of them was for throwing up on the carpet. I knew really hoped that wasn't true since I'd never been informed that he'd barfed at school and I'd yank him out of that preschool faster than lightning if he got put in timeout for vomiting. We decided I was going to have to wait until the conference to get a completely straight answer.

I pulled him onto my lap. "Why didn't you tell me you'd spent some time in timeout?"

"Because," he cracked mournfully, "it was before Christmas."

"Okay." I responded.

"I really wanted Santa to come." He whispered. "I really wanted my Dragon World Fortress." He paused. "I thought if you knew I was naughty you would tell Santa."

It was hysterical. And heartbreaking. Simultaneously.

As it turns out, Garrett has been sent to the time out chair one time in a year and a half of preschool. It was just before Christmas. Everyone was being overly rambunctious. The Rock Star was leading the pack. His teacher asked him to sit in the timeout chair until he could get rid of the crazies and calm down.

When I got home I called him downstairs.

"Twenty-five times?" I asked.


"You've been sent to timeout 25 times?"

His eyes grew wide as saucers. "It's been that many times?"

"Garrett! No! You silly kid. You only had to go to timeout once--for being hyper."

He replied, "One time? Well that's not so bad."

"Yeah. Let's keep it at one time, okay?"

*Not his actual name

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Two Year Anniversary

Jen left this in a comment on today's post about Matthew being 23 months old (as of yesterday).

Jen said...

I can't believe it's been almost 2 years exactly since you first posted about his birth mother wanting to meet with you. Also, I agree, overalls on little boys really are adorable!

That got me thinking.

So I went back into my archives.

It was exactly two years ago today that I first spoke to Matthew's mother on the phone. It was exactly two years ago today that I first knew a little, tiny bit about who my son would be. It was exactly two years ago today that everything changed. I didn't post until the next day but you can read about it here. My favorite part of the post is where I say something about how Garrett's world was about to be rocked. Yeah. Uh. His wasn't the only one.

Thanks, Jen, for reminding me.

In some ways it's been the shortest two years of my life.

And, in some, it's been the longest.

And continually I praise the Lord for the great things He has done in our family.

Three and Twenty Months

Dear Matthew,

There are five boys at my house right now. Ryle, age 6. Web, age 4. Garrett, age 4. Ben, nearing 3. And you, the baby, age 23 months. You're holding your own. The dads are all out helping a couple from the church move. There's truck playing and popcorn eating and sword fighting. There's thumb sucking.

Oh boy is there ever thumb sucking.

It's become a problem.

All the time, your thumb is firmly planted between your teeth, slowly making your tremendous overbite that much more, well, tremendous. Yesterday we had a battle all the live long day for you to, "Get your thumb out of your mouth!" It inhibits whatever limited speech you actually have. It's starting to make your thumb whitish and shriveled. It's...becoming a problem. So I'm fighting the battle. Suck away at bedtime or nap time--I don't so much care about that. The rest of the day, if you could be a productive member of society without your thumb in your mouth, that would be great.

You want so desperately not to be the baby that it astounding just how frequently you stick that digit in your mouth and go to town. You want to do whatever your big brother is doing, whenever he is doing it. Now that his bed is back in the room you sleep in, you crawl into it at night, pull the covers up around you and grin--as though I won't care that you've taken over, as though I'll just put him in your crib and call it a night.

Whenever we take your brother to the church or school to ride his bike, you follow behind on your tricycle. Trouble is, you can't reach the pedals. So you sit squarely on the seat and run along behind him, Flintstone style.You are talking more and more and will, at least, repeat just about anything we say. And, of course, the incessant babbling hasn't ceased. Monologues escape your mouth many times a day. You're also very fond of pointing your finger at me and saying, "No! No!" It's a charming little experience, you lecturing me.

When we tell you to fold your hands before we bow our heads to pray, you instantly throw a hand over each eye and sit quietly. It's priceless. It certainly isn't the folded hands that we're asking for but you are slowly and surely learning a reverence for the Lord.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, you have the strongest little personality. Yesterday a friend told me that if we get you pointed in the right direction you will be unstoppable--for good. I replied, "Yeah. Heaven help us all if he ends up pointed in the wrong direction." Seriously. I thought your brother had a strong will. Then I met you. It's alright. I've always maintained that strong-willed kids were the best kind, that they turn out the best in the end. Something about my own past lends a certain fondness for kids who know what they want and stick to their principles. If your stubbornness over wanting your own thumb when you want it is any indicator, your morals will be undeterred.

I love you.

I love your morning cuddles, your kisses and hugs, your infectious squeals of laughter, and, not least importantly, the way you look in overalls.

Son, whenever you want something from me, put on a pair of overalls. Your sweet smile, chocolaty eyes and a pair of overalls are a trifecta I simply cannot stand up to. Although I do have a feeling that this is limited to your youth. When you're eighteen and want some money, don't put on overalls. I think they may have the reverse effect and I would be doubled over on the floor laughing. Although, your sweet smile and chocolaty eyes will likely always have a powerful effect on me so the adult overalls are worth a try.

It is unbelievable that you'll be two in less than a month. The time has somehow escaped me. Diapers, smiles, steps, baths, snuggles. Too many of each to count. Too many blessings to measure.

As you grow into a boy, know that you will always be my baby.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Yoplait Giveaway

Click here to enter my Yoplait giveaway!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Little Artist

Daddy and The Rock Star were sitting at the table working on Bible homework for Kid's Club. Mommy was in the kitchen, making dinner, to keep the hungry troops happy. The Little Buddy was down in the family room, in full view of Mommy. She thought he was being incredibly well behaved and self entertained. She decided not to question it.

That was her first mistake.

Daddy and The Rock Star continued to work. He repeated his verse, Jesus said, "Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men." Daddy helped him learn the reference. Mommy cooked. The Little Buddy moved to the short staircase that separates the family room from the kitchen. Mommy thought it was strange that he was being so quiet, so still, so good. She decided not to question it.

That was her second mistake.

Daddy and The Rock Star finished his homework. Daddy got up and walked past The Little Buddy. "No. Oh no. No no no no no no!" Mommy had failed to see the three inch marker gripped tightly in The Little Buddy's hand. Her quick glances in his direction as she cooked had not allowed her the time to process that he was busy making murals out of her walls.

Daddy scolded. Mommy grabbed cleaning supplies.

If she'd known how easily it was going to come off, she would have surely taken a picture. But she didn't have the presence of mind. She cleaned the wall and, when done, turned to walk up the stairs. That's when she saw the other wall. And the floor. He'd created quite a masterpiece right before the very eyes of his mother, father and older brother. The last of which would have gladly tattled had he noticed.

It wasn't until after dinner that it was discovered that The Little Buddy had also drawn marvelous artwork all over one of Mommy's books. And the couch.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


A small portion of today's reading:

2 Chronicles 11:18-21 "Rehoboam married Mahalath, who was the daughter of David’s son Jerimoth and of Abihail, the daughter of Jesse’s son Eliab. She bore him sons: Jeush, Shemariah and Zaham. Then he married Maakah daughter of Absalom, who bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza and Shelomith. Rehoboam loved Maakah daughter of Absalom more than any of his other wives and concubines. In all, he had eighteen wives and sixty concubines, twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters."

What the. Whoa. Back this train up. Sometimes I get all bleary eyed when I'm reading about Mr. Weird Name marrying Ms. Weirder Name That Sounds Like A Tropical Bird and having a gaggle of weird named children. Sometimes I glaze over the details of passages like this. Not today. Today it hit me, full force, that this dude--Solomon's son--had 88 children. I mean, math wasn't my strong suit but I know that when you add your 28 sons to your 60 daughters you get two eights.

And that just gives a whole new meaning to the term quiverfull.

Girl: Can I have some money?
Rehoboam: Who are you?
Girl: I'm one of your daughters.
Rehoboam: Who isn't?


This is insane. My mind is blown by a portion of Scripture buried in Chronicles. I can barely keep up with my two children. But then again, I am just one woman and I don't have to share my husband with 17 other wives and 60 concubines. And that, y'all, is just nasty and sick and wrong on so many levels. Apparently he took notes from his father. I'm not even going to get into that here. After all, I try to keep this blog family friendly. We'll just leave it there.

But 88 kids? Imagine feeding 88 mouths. Imagine paying for 60 weddings? Remembering 88 birthdays. Forget that, how about remembering 88 names?

Oy vey!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Knock Knock

After helping me shovel the snow off the driveway, Garrett, who'd been wearing sweat pants asked, "Can I take off my pants and just be in my underwear?" He paused and added, "My pants are really soggy."

At the table during lunch.

G: Knock knock.
Me: Who's there?
G: A plant.
Me: A plant who?
G: A plant with flowers.

He understands the concept of a Knock-Knock Joke but he doesn't quite understand how to make them humorous.

Me: Knock knock.
G: Who's there?
Me: Banana.
G: Banana who?
Me: Knock knock.
G: Who's there?
Me: Banana.
G: Banana who?
Me: Knock knock.
G: Who's there?
Me: Banana.
G: Mommy, someone is supposed to be there. Not just banana over and over again.
Me: Knock knock.
G: Who's there?
Me: Orange.
G: Orange who?
Me: Orange you glad I didn't say banana?
G: (after a long pause and with a strange look on his face) That doesn't make sense.
Me: (chuckles)
G: Knock knock.
G: Oh, Matthew's playing. Who's there?
G: I said, "Who's there?"
M: Abababaguckspa!
G: (pause) I don't get it.
Me: (dissolves into laughter)

Apparently, Matthew and I do not understand how this game of Knock-Knock is supposed to work.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Would You Call Me Brooke Fraser If I Asked You To?

Do you know Hillsong? I don't mean personally. I don't mean, do you attend their church? and I don't mean are you friends with members of the band? I mean, do you know their music?

Because, if you don't, you need to.

I'm speaking in the San Diego area in March. They wanted my input on worship so I was looking through their selection. When I discovered that they had Hosanna I audibly praised the Lord. Because I beg you to listen to that song and not feel yourself humbled before the throne.

Break my heart for what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdom's cause
As I walk from earth into eternity

(And, also, I want to be Brooke Fraser Ligertwood when I grow up. Yeah, so she's younger than me. Whatever. What's your point? I could stand to take a few years off. And her voice is absolutely A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.)

Also. The song Soon. You read it here first, when I die I want it played at my funeral. I know, I know, it wouldn't make sense if I was already dead but you could all imagine me there. With satisfied soul, walking with my Savior.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Born That Way?

I didn't teach my son to be inherently male. Maybe society did. Maybe he was just born that way. When we were in Oregon for Thanksgiving, everyone was gone. I was alone at the house with my son, my niece (age 7) and my nephew (age 5). They were playing some kind of make believe game where the world was ending and bad guys were coming and doom and destruction were, apparently, imminent.

Garrett: (Running down the hallway) AHHHHHH!
Colby: (Chasing Garrett) Oh no! Hurry!!!
Gracie: (Following behind them) They're coming!
Garrett: I need to get my helmet on!
Colby: I need to get my helmet and my sword!
Gracie: (After a short pause) I need to save my babies!

Right now my son is enthralled with knights and battle and saving the world. I haven't nurtured the warrior in him. I am rather convinced that he was born that way.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Goodbye, Swing

I just sold my baby swing.

And I plan to sell more of my baby stuff in the coming days. Matthew isn't getting any younger and, as a rough and tumble nearly two-year-old, there is really no need to save infant paraphernalia.

My heart is heavy.

My heart is light.

And I wonder, can it exist as both for a time? Heavy for the sadness that this, in all likelihood, is the end of an era that spanned five years of time and brought such joy to us. Light for what is to come with these two boys as they grow and play and become men before my eyes.

I kissed the side of the swing just before the woman got here to take it home to her daughter. I told Garrett how special it was that his swing--and Matthew's--would be comforting a new little baby. But I'd be lying if I said that moments of the past 4 and a half years didn't flash through my memory.

The swing, empty and brand spanking new after I'd just built it, my abdomen full of my first born. Garrett, tiny and asleep in it as it rocked back and forth in our living room in southern California. Garrett, seemingly huge, wedged inside of it as I set it up to await Matthew's birth. Matthew, tiny and asleep as it rocked back and forth in the playroom upstairs and I sat, distraught, in the rocking chair and begged my voice not to betray my emotions as our lawyer walked me through the next step. Matthew, bigger and giggling as he batted at the toys on the tray and watched his big brother playing.

How do I begin to say goodbye to a swing that rocked my babies? Because they were babies once, these little boys. So you give it a kiss and send it on its way. It was doing no good sitting in my garage. Better for it to sway and curve with a new little life. Better for it to make new memories.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Halfway to Nine?!

Dear One,

Four and a half. Garrett, that seems about as possible as the fact that I'll be thirty in September which, in case you're confused, is not possible at all. It was yesterday that you were incredibly small and making that weird snore-grunt sound with every exhaled breath. Yesterday that you looked up at me and smiled for the very first time. Yesterday that you took your first steps across my bedroom in California.

In reality, it was yesterday that daddy picked you up from preschool and you spouted all your knowledge about octopuses. The magic letter was U, which, of course, says, "uh" and "you". And, once again, you informed me that Web is your best bud ever. Of all time. Forever.

Last week we got information in the mail about Tae Kwon Do, t-ball and soccer. You went practically berserk over the chance to play soccer. It doesn't even start for a month but you ask, ten times a day at least, if you can, "go play soccer on my team right now, mommy? Right now?" Part of it is probably the fact that you and daddy went and bought new soccer shoes while I gone this past weekend and you are hopelessly desperate to wear them. Son, you should know that mommy is not a fan of soccer. She is secretly hoping that you'll excel at football or swimming or, even, curling. Anything but soccer. Alright, truthfully, I'm a little excited to watch you bumble over the field, in a clump of preschoolers, chasing the ball in your new shoes. I'm pretty thrilled that it's indoors because last April, when you played t-ball, it was really not warm. So, go. Go play soccer. Have fun. Score a goal for me.

You are, by far, my favorite four-year-old. This is a fact that I make sure you're aware of. "Who's my favorite four-year-old?" I ask, mid cuddle.

And you grin your precious smile at me--the one that's been melting my heart since you were a couple of weeks old--and reply, "I am."

I also tell you, repeatedly, the story of a mommy and a daddy who wanted a baby so so so so bad. But God made them wait. The mommy and the daddy didn't like waiting and the mommy cried a lot. They prayed and prayed that God would give them a baby. After they learned a lot about waiting on the Lord, He blessed them with a baby. And...

"That baby was me!" You exclaim with a twinkle in your eye.

See, I believe in remembering. I believe in not letting you grow up without knowing what the Lord has done for us. I believe in generation upon generation praising His name. So believe it, to the very core of your being, when I tell you that the very best gifts, my son, are worth waiting for.

You say the funniest things, ask 12,000 questions a day, insist on helping me in the kitchen, dress up like a pirate on an almost daily basis, beg me to take you swimming or sledding constantly, and love to listen to me read to you out of chapter books. You're spiritually sensitive and, sometimes, I think that you're teaching me more about the Lord than I'm teaching you.

It is just not possible that in six months you'll be five. While I might be having a personal problem with how quickly you're growing up, I am proud of the little man you're becoming. I love you all the way to the moon and back.


Four and a half-Year-Old Interview

I've decided that while he's little, I should interview him twice a year.

1. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE T. V. SHOW? Dragon Tales and Lazy Town and Little Bill

2. WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST? Cereal and a cup full of milk.

3. WHAT IS YOUR MIDDLE NAME? John. John. John. I mean, John the Baptist. I've been learning about John the Baptist. (Um. We did not name him Garrett John the Baptist. I promise. His middle name, however, is John.)

4. FAVORITE FOOD? Pancakes.

5. WHAT FOOD DO YOU DISLIKE? Mashed potatoes (Same answer as last time. And so very true. Although he ate some last night without complaining.)

6. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR? Brown and black and blue (The blue part is new and might have something to do with it being my favorite color.)

7. FAVORITE LUNCH? Bananas and toothpaste. (I told him to be serious) It's grilled cheese.



10. FAVORITE SPORT? Soccer ball!

11. WHEN IS YOUR BIRTHDAY? In July. (Apparently the day is not important to him)


13. PETS: Beck and Ollie.

14. ANY NEW AND EXCITING NEWS YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE WITH US? I like to play in my playhouse, read the newspaper and I'd like to have a mouse

15. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP ? A paleontologist. (He's wanted to be this for awhile. It doesn't help that we just went to the Dinosaur museum and he got to dig up dinosaur bones. I hope he realizes he's going to be hot and dirty all the time.)

16. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CANDY? I like hard chocolate candies on a stick. (All I can think of is that he likes See's suckers.)


18. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK? The Little House in the Big Woods.

19. WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? That I got my Alphabet crown! (It was a proud moment, son.)

20. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE? Narnia. (Two weeks ago I would have told you that it was How to Train Your Dragon, hands down. But then he became obsessed with Narnia.)

21. WHICH CAME FIRST, THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG? The egg. (Then he said, "Am I right?" I told him it was an opinion question.)

And, for fun, I asked him the same questions that James Lipton asks at the end of Inside the Actor's Studio.

1. What is your favorite word? thank you
2. What is your least favorite word? saying sorry to people
3. What turns you on? (I rephrased with, "What do you like?") riding my bike
4. What turns you off? (I rephrased with, What don't you like?") I don't like saying stupid.
5. What sound or noise do you love? elephants squirting water and crocodiles going snap, snap, snap and coyotes yelling (Well alrighty.)
6. What sound or noise do you hate? People saying, "Everybody is stupid."
7. What is your favorite curse word? (I asked him what his favorite bad word was. He responded with) dumb (First I had to explain that it was okay for him to answer and I wouldn't be mad.)
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Being a Grandpa (Melt my heart.)
9. What profession would you not like to do? Be a karate kid
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? (I omitted the "If Heaven exists" part) Well done. You died. (When he said, "Well done," I just about passed out from thinking my kid was adorably amazing. He paused and then, with this dramatic flat voice, declared, "You died." And I laughed hysterically.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

90 Days & 4 and a Half

Around the Word in 90 Days.

Officially four days in.

10 books down.

56 to go.

The good news: I've finished the Pentateuch (and beyond) so I'm through the Levitical law and all that fun stuff.

The challenging news: The major prophets are still to come.


In other news, Garrett is going to be 4 and a half tomorrow. Can someone explain to me how this is even humanly possible? Because I kid you not, I just gave birth to that kid. For serious. He was just 6 pounds 10 oz and cuddled into my body. There is no possible way that it's been 4 and half years. No. Possible. Way.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Weekend

I got to San Diego on Saturday afternoon. I came back to Salt Lake on Monday afternoon. It was a quick trip with one thing in mind, to attend my friend's San Diego wedding party. Marissa was my maid of honor nearly seven and a half years ago. She was married last October to her husband, Gene.

I couldn't make it to her wedding because it was in Maryland. I didn't have airline miles that would get me to her because, for some reason, airfare from Salt Lake to Maryland was ridiculously expensive. Her parents were planning to throw her and her new husband a party so that people in San Diego could celebrate with them. So we talked and agreed that using airline miles to get to San Diego (Long Beach, actually, but my parents were kind enough to come pick me up) in January would be better than borrowing money from somewhere to get to Maryland in October.

So that's what I did. And, well, I sent a nice gift. Another thing that would have been severely compromised had I gone to Maryland.

Except that the day she got married all I could think about was how I should have been there. It really kind of killed me softly. Or slowly. Or something.

But then January came and I flew out to see her and meet her new husband.
Clockwise from left: Jayni, Gene, me, Marissa.

First of all, when did I actually start looking 30? Is it the hair? Because you know what, I don't want to to look 30 but when I saw both of these girls they literally flipped out about how much they loved it and insisted that I don't do anything to change it. Ever. Well maybe not ever. Maybe when I'm 80 I can get one of those old lady haircuts where you go in for a wash and a style weekly and don't really touch your head any other time. But, wait, do I look 30? Or is it, maybe, a figment of my imagination?

It was a Chamber of Commerce day. Really, the entire weekend was probably high 70's. I might have momentarily thought that I'd died and gone straight to heaven.

I've known Jayni for 22 years. She came to my eighth birthday party.

I've known Marissa for 18 years. She moved in up the street from me and we were joined at the hip for our teenage years.

I've known Gene for three days. But I sure enjoyed spending Sunday afternoon with him.

It was so good to visit with Jayni and Marissa. We always seem to pick up where we left off. And I love them both dearly. And I'm so glad that I had air miles.

And I'm decidedly not wearing short sleeves anymore.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Am Blessed

I was away for the weekend--more on that at a later date, when my mom emails me a picture. Because, you know, I had a camera and didn't use it. So I was away. And my boys held down the fort. Troy took a picture of them on Sunday morning. Their hair was done and they were dressed for church. See, we do okay was the caption. The Rock Star fell and got a bloody nose last night. The Husband took care of it.

So what we learned is that I'm really not overly needed around here.

Except that when they picked me up Troy said, "This weekend proved that I can do the single dad thing but I definitely prefer not to."

I was gone for two days. And my boys faces were all so perfectly handsome when I looked at them. Their smiles so much more sparkly and wonderful than I remembered.

It's good to get away without them from time to time.

And it's so good to come back to them.

Friday, January 14, 2011


The Rock Star used to say Biss--and sometimes Bissy Biss--instead of juice. And, really, he said it in place of anything that might be in his cup. Anything, that is, except for milk which he called mehp. He used to say all sorts of sweet baby words. He used to say bana. I promised that I would always use the correct word, being banana, but that I would never correct him. It was one of his few remaining baby words and I couldn't bring myself to tell him he was saying it wrong.

Yesterday I realized that he's been calling it a banana for who knows how long. He realized that this discovery left me broken hearted. So he curled up on my lap and repeated, over and over, "Banana! Banana! Banana!" Then he giggled incessantly.

I told him I was never going to let him get off my lap because he was growing up way too fast. He answered by looking deep into my eyes, scrunching up his face and squawking, "BANANA!"

He jumped off my lap and ran away laughing.

I gathered The Little Buddy into my arms. "Matthew, can you say Banana?

He shot his eyes, immediately, to the place on the counter where the bananas are. "Nana!" It wasn't exactly, Bana, but it was still the sweet voice of a child learning how to talk. My four-year-old might be filling out college applications but at least he has a little brother who is just starting to speak.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Witch

Confession: Every single time I watch The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, I really want to be The White Witch. That is not to say that I want to be evil or that I want to be Tilda Swinton. I simply wish I'd been the one to play the witch on screen.

Also. Am I the only one who wants to bury my face in a CGI lion's mane and ask him to hold me?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Around the Word in 90 Days

Our church is doing something called Around the Word in 90 Days. Some of us are reading the entire Bible. Others are choosing to go through the Old or New Testament. We started promoting it at the end of last year. I thought it would be ridiculous for me to try to do the entire Bible in such a short amount of time. See, I have a speaking engagement in March and another in April. Typically, I spend a great deal of time in preparation for a conference or retreat. Plus, I'm still participating in women's Bible study which means I have homework for that as well. However, my husband asked me to at least try to commit to the whole thing. Generally, he asks very little of me. Make dinner, balance the checkbook, be sure the children don't kill one another. That's pretty much it.

He asked me to start early and see how far I could get by the middle of April.

I did the math. If I gave myself exactly 90 days (we officially begin on Sunday) I would have to read just under 11 pages a day in my Bible to finish on time. I started early and I'm reading roughly 10 pages a day. It takes about a half hour. If I'm not interrupted that is. It's considerably less of an undertaking than I thought it would be. I'm not following the outline provided by the church which gives us readings in both the old and new testaments each day. I've read the Bible that way in a year before--skipping around. What I've never done is read the Bible cover to cover, without skipping around, in just over one hundred days. So that is what I'm going to attempt to do. And I'm putting it here so that maybe I'll feel publicly accountable.

I want to challenge you--my readers--to choose one of our reading plans. If you don't have a half hour a day to read the entire Bible, do you have 23 minutes a day to read the Old Testament? Do you have seven minutes a day to read the New Testament? Who knows, maybe you read faster than I do. Maybe you don't have a four-year-old who interrupts you.

If you want to commit to one of these plans, I challenge you to leave a comment with your commitment. Trust me, you can still continue to do your personal Bible study. You can still prepare for your conferences--if you have conferences. I've been doing all three. And it's been really, really good. And, you know, if no one jumps on my bandwagon, that's okay. I'd just like to encourage you to consider it.

I'm going to list my progress in the side bar so that you can see how I'm doing. You certainly miss small details when you read the Bible at this pace, but you definitely get the comprehensive overview which is important to growing faith.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Now Is Now

Bunk beds are in my sons' future. Someday. When Matthew is no longer in a crib.

It's been awhile since we moved The Rock Star's bed into the playroom. The Little Buddy started his midnight parties filled with giggling and squealing and Garrett simply couldn't sleep through it.

But then, two weeks ago, they shared a tent with my dad and Matthew did so well that four nights ago we let Garrett sleep on the floor of the bedroom, just to see how they'd do together. The oldest, remarkably, didn't try to sneak into our room to sleep on the carpet next to Troy's side of the bed. The youngest, even more remarkably, didn't throw a party in the wee hours of the morning. Well, actually, he might have. According to Garrett, Matthew woke up and started to play. He claims that he said, "Matthew, go back to sleep." Whether that happened or not will remain a mystery. There's a video monitor but after four years of learning to tune out the small noises of sleeping children, a symphony could probably drift through it's speaker without waking me.

The next night we did it again.

And the next.

"Garrett," I offered tonight, "would you like to move your bed back into the bedroom?"

Oh. Boy. Did. He. Ever.

So after dinner we spent an hour rearranging both rooms. Every five seconds The Rock Star would ask me if he could please go to bed right then. Every five seconds The Little Buddy would grin and babble something that I think had something to do with his big brother's bed being in his room.

I lowered the railing on the crib thinking that maybe we'd just see what happened. Go big or go--uh--to bed, right? After I'd read the boys their Bible story and we'd prayed I laid Matthew down in the crib and I crawled into the bed with Garrett. I've been reading half a chapter a night out of Little House in the Big Woods and I knew we were going to finish it tonight.

The moment I started reading, Matthew sat up, looked at us, and was over the side of that crib in record speed. So much for that. Garrett giggled, "Uh oh." His baby brother toddled over to us, climbed up onto the bed, and laid directly on top of him. Garrett smiled and scooted over, allowing enough room for the three of us to fit--incredibly snugly--in the bed. I read. They listened.

I was thinking of what a sweet moment it was, of how peaceful our nights have been since they've been sharing a room again, of the way my heart skips a beat when I'm blindsided by a snapshot of perfection with these brothers.

I was already having a moment, is what I'm saying.

Pa's strong, sweet voice was softly singing:

"Shall auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Shall auld acquaintance be forgot,
And the days of auld lang syne?
And the days of auld lang syne, my friend,
And the days of auld lang syne,
Shall auld acquaintance be forgot,
And the days of auld lang syne?"

When the fiddle had stopped singing Laura called
out softly, "What are days of auld lang syne, Pa?"

"They are the days of a long time ago, Laura,' Pa
said. 'Go to sleep now."

But Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa's
fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind
in the Big Woods. She looked at Pa sitting on the bench
by the hearth, the firelight gleaming on his brown hair
and beard and glistening on the honey-brown fiddle.
She looked at Ma, gently rocking and knitting.

She thought to herself, "This is now."

She was glad that the cosy house, and Pa and Ma
and the firelight and the music, were now. They could
not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It
can never be a long time ago.

-Laura Ingalls Wilder

I will not forget the fourteen months leading up to Matthew becoming a permanent part of this family. Like stones from the Jordan river, I will remember what the Lord has done for me. But I am thankful--ever so thankful--that now is now.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Belated 22

Dear Matthew,

I didn't forget that you hit the 22 month milestone more than a week ago. I didn't continue to tell people that you were 21 months old still. On the contrary, for some strange reason, when people ask how old you are, I generally just reply, "He'll be two at the end of February." I have no idea why I do this. 22 months is a much shorter answer. So I didn't forget. I promise. It's just that we left on the day after Christmas to visit family and I didn't really blog while we were away. Then there was the whole matter of The Tink (otherwise known as The Great Hair Massacre of 2010) needing to be explained.

So you're 22 months old but you may as well be two because you certainly act like it. You hate having your diaper changed in the morning--a fact which I just can't wrap my mind around--and for the past many months you've given me heck about it. You'd rather be playing. Or snuggling. Or eating. Or anything but getting your soggy diaper removed in favor of a dry one. A few mornings ago, when I laid you down on my bed and started to take off your pajamas, you frowned, sternly said, "No!" and then proceeded to point your chubby finger at me and continue, "Un. Do. Fee." Apparently I was in trouble and you were giving me three seconds to respond correctly. Believe me, honey child, this is a direct result of the ten thousand times a day when I point at you and count to three. Make no mistake. You act like a two-year-old. The tantrums are epic. The tears, Oscar worthy.

If we're at home, you always have drum sticks. Or pencils that serve as drum sticks. Or a whisk and a spatula. Every household item is your drum. You've got rhythm and your moves are excellent. Often, they involve sticking your little bum out and bobbing to the tune in your head. But when we're listening to music, you bob on beat, baby. You are still walking about the house singing, "Ingabeh. Ingabeh. Inga ah beh!" (Translation: Jingle bell. Jingle bell. Jingle all bell. Which, you know, aren't the actual lyrics but whatever--you're only 22 months old.)

Matthew, you love to give kisses, cuddles, wrestle with your brother, ride the dog, chase the kitty, and watch Timmy Time. Except the episode where Timmy wears a mask. That one terrifies you and you break into hysterical sobbing if it comes on. Meaning, if we turn it on. Which we've only done two or three times. Because it's cruel and unusual punishment. But it is super hilarious to watch you dissolve into a puddle of despair because a lamb puts on a paper plate mask. Alright, in fairness, if I saw a lamb wearing a paper plate mask I might be emotionally disturbed as well. You love to have books read to you. You love to eat cardboard books. This is a strange phenomenon because you're not otherwise a very destructive child. You love your sleep and for that reason mommy loves you to bits and pieces.

Well, that reason and the fact that you're delicious. Especially when covered in shea butter. And your giggle is infectious. And the way you say, "Mommy!" is heart melting. And today, when I dressed you in new overalls and a striped turtle neck, I almost couldn't handle how cute you were.

You think you're a big boy. While we were visiting Grandma and Grandpa, you got to sleep in the tent with Papa and your brother for the first time. As I tucked you into the covers you looked up at me, grinned, and said, "Nigh nigh!" The next morning you were still sacked out in the tent when Papa and Garrett got up. Several minutes later, you appeared, holding your beloved stuffed monkey. "Hi!" you smirked. And it was a smile that seemed to say, "I've arrived."

And, in many ways, you have.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Tink: Take Three

I tried to think of other things I could do to my hair to keep this going. I could, for example, use an outrageous amount of product and turn it into a faux hawk. I could curl it in teeny, tiny ringlets and get in touch with my inner Shirley Temple. Although, I don't really think I have an inner Shirley Temple. I could flip it out and do my best tree top impression.

I could, at the very least, get a better picture of what it actually looks like. I could take a picture that doesn't have a giant poof residing over my right ear. I could take a picture where I was paying attention--even the smallest amount--to my squinty eye.

Have I told you about the squinty eye? I never noticed that one of my eyes photographs thirty times smaller than the other one until my wedding pictures came back. Horrified*, I thought maybe it had been a wedding day phenomenon. So I looked at my engagement pictures, my 12th grade pictures, swim team pictures, and on and on and on. All of them. Squinty eyed. The real wonder was that I didn't notice this until I was nearing 22.

I've since learned a few tricks. Turn my head, ever so slightly, so that the squinty eye is forward. This makes it look larger. Smile gently so that the over zealous cheek doesn't upstage the eye quite so much.

But when Troy snapped this picture, I turned the squinty eye away--for reasons unknown.

It should also be noted that both Troy and I like my hair exponentially better a couple hours after its been styled. It has time to relax. When its freshly styled its all, Well, hello there, World. Look at me. When its freshly styled its all up in my business. And by business, I mean face.


In any case.

Drum roll.

There you have it. But, look away from the hair and squinty eye. I know it's hard to take your eyes off of it. But try. For the sake of my collar bone, try. Because, let's face it, if there's one good thing about that picture, it's the collar bone.

*I love my wedding pictures, despite the fact that I look like I need to be wearing an eye patch.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Tink. Take Two.

Good gravy (which is, after all, a fun, down home Southern cookin' alternative to good grief)! Alright already. I'll post a picture. The thing is this. This is the thing. The thing is--no I'm not stalling--I actually thought it was somewhat manageable on Sunday. Then, my husband saw it for the first time when it was completely unstyled. He cocked his head this way and that and examined me as though he was a plastic surgeon and I was his human canvass. Later that night, my stick straight, wet hair was plastered to the sides of my head. I was hunched over the toilet where I'd just recently thrown up more than I thought my body could even hold. Yes, it's true, two nights ago I, the world famous barfer, was at it again. But come on people, focus! This is about my hair! So there I was, clad in flannel pajamas, draped over the toilet like it was my conjoined twin, hair still wet from the shower--and, truth be told, probably a little vomit--and my husband says, "Your hair looks cute in a messy I just barfed kind of way."

And I'll be honest, it made me feel good about myself. Not so much that I was, apparently, rocking the post wretch hairdo as the fact that I have a husband who loves me so much that he will look at his wife who is curled up with a toilet still full of her own stomach contents, and compliment her lousy cut. If that's not living your wedding vows, I don't know what is.

Well. Yesterday I wore my glasses all day, looked a little wan, and had zero desire to style my hair. This morning he caught a glimpse of it, actually done, for the first time. There was a weird little lump in the back that I could not, for the life of me, get rid of, but otherwise I was actually kind of proud of it. It's nothing I'd have done on purpose, mind you, but it was decent. I felt confident.


My husband cocked his head this way and that. Then he, who has only ever had the shortest of short haircuts, offered a helpful suggestion, "Maybe if you just pull the straightener down and barely flip it at the end?"

"You mean, exactly like I did? Maybe I should do exactly what I just did?" Emphasis on exactly. "You only like my hair when I've just finished throwing up!"

"That is not true!" He backpedaled. He told me it wasn't bad. He promised that he doesn't hate it even though yesterday he did send me a text message with a picture of Tinkerbell bubble bath. He convinced me that he plans to stay married even though I have suddenly aged thirteen years and gone back in time several decades.


Without further ado...

I give you...

My hair...

It's awesome. Right? Please stop making fun of how ridiculous my face looks. I was taking my own picture in the bathroom and it's just difficult to take yourself seriously when you're staring into a mirror and a camera lens, simultaneously. Wait? What? You're not laughing at my face? You're laughing at my hair? I know. I told you. It's absurd.

But at least you can tell that it is terribly short. This gives you some idea, does it not? Are you satisfied?

If you aren't, perhaps tomorrow I'll post a picture of what it really looks like.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A statement

Scene: Somewhere on the 15 in Provo. A car drives North. Two children are in the backseat in strapped to their car seats. A mother is in the driver's seat.

Matthew: MOM?
Me: What?
Matthew: MOM?
Me: What?
Matthew: MOM! Agabababanonoflundenflock!
Garrett: Matthew, that is not a question. That is a statement.

Progresso Soup Giveaway

Over at my other blog I'm hosting a Progresso giveaway.

All that could be yours. Just visit the giveaway blog and enter for your chance to win two coupons for Progresso soup, a soup bowl and spoon, a spoon rest and a can organizer! The giveaway will close on January 12 at 3:00 MST.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Tink, Explained

It only takes one snip to know it's all over. That's what happened back in high school when I was growing my bangs out. They were down to the end of my nose and, with one cut, the stylist undid all that hard work.

I had my hair cut over the summer. I was tired of long locks that, more times than not, I threw up into a ponytail so that I could resume chasing my boys. I had it layered and used the straightening iron to give it a fun flip. While I'm sure there were people who hated it, I got many compliments. Repeatedly. And I loved it. The best part was that I couldn't put it in a ponytail. Not even if I wanted to. So I had to make an effort with my hair and this was a good thing.

But it hadn't been cut in four months. That's a lot of growth y'all. And my hair doesn't even grow fast. A little known fact that had me in the fetal position not six days ago.

So I got it cut.

Oh. Boy. Did. I.

"So, just a trim?" She'd asked me.

"Yes." I'd returned.

A few minutes later I said, "I haven't had it cut in awhile so..."

And she interrupted, "So about an inch?"

"And then some." This was clearly where I went drastically wrong. "I don't want to be able to put it in a ponytail." You see, recently, I'd been able to. I rarely did because I've come to terms with the fact that you can be a mom to small boys and still make an effort but the fact that I could concerned me. What if backslid? What if I fell off the wagon?

She smiled. And snipped. And I saw the chunk of hair in her hand. The chunk that was probably somewhere between three and four inches but I hallucinated and imagined myself with a crew cut. When I'd said, And then some, I'd meant between an inch and two. Not four. If I'd meant four I would have said four. Clearly my mistake was using a phrase that seemed to give the stylist sole power over my head. So, I attempted to retrieve every acting lesson I'd ever had. See, rarely have I been disappointed with a hair cut but when I am, I try not to say anything to the stylist. The cut has been made. The bleeding cannot be stopped. There's just no point in making the poor girl feel bad. So she whacked and chopped and severed. It'll grow back. Which is exactly what I kept repeating in my head. Like a somewhat crazed, hairless mantra.

And I kept thinking, Maybe I'll like it.

It was short. Very short. Oh, who I am kidding. It is short. Shorter than my hair has ever, ever been since, well, since I started growing hair to begin with. Babies are born with more hair than I have. Okay, that's an exaggeration. But only a moderate one. My mom entered the salon. I don't think that I imagined her widening eyes.

It was styled.

"Do you feel naked?" The hairdresser asked. I was so afraid that when I answered her, my voice would betray me.

"My neck definitely does." I smiled. I then accompanied my son to the restroom.

"Mommy," he said, "I love your hair!"

"You do?" I questioned. It would later be determined that he liked my hair because he thought it made me look like a tree top. Apparently my now visible neck was the trunk. That wasn't the effect I'd been going for.

I was a dramatic nut case in the car. I called my husband and nearly cried. I reminded him that he'd said, "For better or worse." My mother kept telling me that it wasn't bad. It was growing on her. It was fine. It had potential. My son asked me why I didn't like it. "Oh, honey. I love it. It's going to keep me very humble." I'd replied.

The next day I tried to flip it the same way I was accustomed. It looked like I'd stuck my finger in a light socket. My mom walked up behind me. "I figured out who you look like?"


"Julia Roberts in Hook."

"TINKERBELL?" I'd screamed. "Tink? I look like a fairy?"
For the record, my bangs don't cover my forehead. They sweep dramatically to the side. And I don't have elf ears poking out. Well, okay, so sometimes I do. But that's hardly the stylist's fault.

That's when we affectionately dubbed it The Tink.

The next day I stuck a headband in it and left it alone.

The next day--Sunday--I had an epiphany. It was much too short to keep flipping out. That gave it a decidedly electrocuted look which was not what I was going for. So I flipped it under instead. That actually earned a few compliments. I was still met with the occasional strange look as people decided whether or not to comment on the new do. But, thankfully, the few compliments were welcomed and very much needed.

I'm working on growing it out as we speak.

And if you think I'm going to post a picture you're crazy. Just understand that Tinkerbell up there is doing a fine job of modeling it.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


While you are all waiting for Lori's return and the chance to view her new hairstyle, the understudy (husband) has been conscripted to fill this space with a post or two just in case you wondered what was going on in the land of Doozleberry.

Certainly, I'm not as entertaining of a writer, so in addition to the picture of the boys above I'm going to enlist a video from the Rock Star taken about a month and a half ago. Now before you view this video I feel the need to tell you that sometimes the Rock Star morphs into the goofball. He has all sorts of strange faces, alter egos, and voices. The other day he was pretending to be a sheep. I don't know why. It might have had something to do with all the practices for our church nativity play which did include shepherds. Then again it might be because Little Buddy wants to watch Timmy Time non-stop.

At any rate, when Garrett turns into a sheep this is what it looks like:

At least he's rarely ever a sheep. Full of it quite often, but not often a farm animal.