Tuesday, May 31, 2011


He does something funny. Or not funny. Or cute. Or not cute. Or anything at all, really. "Mama, yook ah me!" If I don't look right that very second, "MAMA YOOK AH ME!"

"I see!" I say with overdramatic enthusiasm. Otherwise he'd furrow his brow and stick pouty lips out at me. "Come here."

"No. I dunt wah too!"

"Matthew, come here." I say sternly.

"No. Stop!" He shakes his pointer finger at me. "I dunt wah too!"

"Come. Here. Now." I accent each and every word of the command. His demeanor changes. His faces crumples. He staggers toward me, crying.

"Saw-E, Mama." He offers.

"I forgive you."

"Cuh-doh?" He asks.

I scoop him up into my arms. Because I'd cuddle with that boy all day long if he'd let me. He sees the cat go running by. "Key-cat! Where key-cat go?" He squirms out of my arms. "Key-cat! Ah-we! (Kitty cat! Ollie!) He locates him, laughs. "Come ear, Ah-we!" He giggles.

"I love you!" I smile at him.

"I wuv ew!" He grins. "Where Butter go?" (Brother.)


"Kay. Bye Mom." Says the kid who wasn't saying much of anything three months ago.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

When we went to Hawaii nearly four years ago, we spent the majority of our time on Kauai. We added a stay on Oahu to the beginning of our trip so that my husband could go to Pearl Harbor. I wasn't overly excited about it but my husband, being a major history buff, wanted to see the site.

It was an incredible experience.

I'm so very glad we did it.

It made me appreciate my grandfather, who served in the Navy, even more. It made me appreciate all of our service men and women even more. On this day we remember our fallen soldiers and we remember all of those who have served our country.

We salute you.

And thank you.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Only I

Only I am an almost 30 year old who still sucks her old fashioned candy sticks (when she has an old fashioned candy stick which is next to never) into points. I happened to buy three of these for a dollar yesterday at Wheeler Farm and I happened to decide to eat mine this afternoon.

Only I have been obsessively awaiting the rebirth of our fifth and final caterpillar. Only I was starting to think that poor Prince Caspian was dead in there because our literature said between 7 and 10 days and it's been 13. Only I accidentally knocked the dish soap into the side of the net this morning, dislodging him from his vertical position and hurling him into a horizontal position on the floor of the enclosure. Only I was so concerned about this causing butterfly brain damage that only I have been watching his net like a hawk all day.

Only I went in to the kitchen to check on him for the 80,001 time today, saw a partial butterfly lying on its back, vigorously trying to free itself from any memory of being a caterpillar, and yelled for The Rock Star to come quickly. Only I declared, "I'm going to go get the video camera!" Only I turned to run up the stairs while holding the candy with the exquisite point on the end. Only I somehow managed to ram said candy halfway through the part of my face between my lip and my chin. Only I could do something so ridiculous. This stuff just happens to me.

Only I didn't bother to stop the bleeding until after I'd filmed the butterfly. Only I reached up when the rebirth was complete, touched my face, and pulled away fingers covered in blood. Only I, folks. And I'll be here all week.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I sold most of my baby stuff over the winter. Some of the items were a little hard to let go but I accomplished the task. This made the state of the garage much more manageable. Yesterday I was out there attempting to organize it. As I moved some of the boxes around I stumbled upon my stash of maternity clothes. Lemme just tell you that I don't think anything could make my uterus flip flop more than looking through that wardrobe. There's a pair of pants that still has a tag! They're practically begging to be worn. This is because Garrett was born in sweltering July and I didn't wear maternity clothing until early May. Pants weren't really a necessity.

But the point is that my womb did the jitterbug. It was all like, "Whoa, there hasn't been an occupant in here for almost five years! What cute clothes. Let's wear them!" And I was like, Dude, Womb, get a life. You couldn't wait to stop wearing those clothes and get back to your normal size and have your baby already!

This baby. Hi baby!

He's, um, not really a baby. He's already asking for money to go to college on the wagon ride at Wheeler Farm.

And he'll only sometimes humor me with a smile when I point the camera at him. Especially when he has better things to do. Like eat an apple. And feed the ducks. And pet the goats. And play in the tree house.

Yesterday he asked me why all my clothes were in a box. I told him they were maternity clothes. "Huh?" He asked with a puzzled look on his face.

"Pregnant clothes."

"Oh. When I was a baby in your tummy. So they're your fat clothes?"

Charming, son. Really. Try that one on your wife someday. And good luck with that. Let me know how it works out for you.

"I'll try it on her," he thinks. "And then I'll flash her this when she least expects it."

Because, let's face it, he's been charming from the beginning.

Sigh. If that future wife is anything like me, it'll be infatuation, blind adoration, all consuming crazy insane love at first sight.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Troy's parents were here last week. They took us to dinner, took us to lunch, filled our gas tank!, played with the boys, went to Garrett's soccer game and swimming lesson, and went up to the dinosaur park in Ogden. The day they went up to the park, I stayed home (since we'd otherwise have needed to take two cars or someone would have had to ride on the roof) and cleaned the house. It snowed on them so I'm not particularly sad about staying home.

Despite the rain and brief snow, the boys had a great time.

This picture cracks me up. According to some people it is absolutely impossible to be a fan of both Oregon and Oregon State. I also think that, according to some people, it's impossible to get along with anyone who cheers for the opposite team. My children and father-in-law are demonstrating that fans of both teams can even be seen in the same picture without someone suddenly bursting into flames.
Garrett decided he was a Beaver fan because, well, he likes beavers. Duh.
The boys had a good time with their grandparents. We'll be seeing them again shortly as we're roadtripping (I convulse at the thought of the money we'll spend on gas) there in July.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

To Choke Or Not To Choke?

I can still vividly remember the last time I ate an artichoke. I was about nine, maybe ten. I was over at my best friend's house and her mom made an artichoke. If my memory is correct, it was made as an afternoon snack. Her mom, sister and her gathered around the artichoke, giddy with excitement. I don't remember that her other sister, the toddler, participated in the consuming of the strange vegetable. I remember eating a petal and thinking I might just die from the awfulness. They assured me I'd like the heart. I didn't. I do remember that Brittany and Megan fought over who got more of the heart. I'd recently gagged on it so this disturbed me on a number of levels.

Like I said before, I was a little concerned about receiving artichokes in my Bountiful Basket. I wanted to be a good example to my kids--these are, after all, the same kids who are forced by their mother to eat whatever appears on their plate. So yesterday I began The Great Artichoke Adventure.

First I selected two of my four artichokes.
I put a few inches of water in my pan and added some bay leaves and some garlic salt.

I cut the stem off of the artichokes, pulled off the tiny petals at the base, cut a little off the top of the artichoke and trimmed the pointed tips of the petals. (Is it called a petal or a leaf or what?)
Then I put my steam basket into my pot and placed the artichokes inside. I brought the water to a boil and then reduced the heat so that the artichokes simmered for about 45 minutes. I melted butter to dip them in.

We had chicken wraps, leftover Luau rice, crushed pineapple and artichokes for dinner. I realize this a very strange combination but I was so preoccupied with the artichokes that I kind of forgot we needed a meal to go with them. In the end I needed to whip something up that would be finished at about the same time.

So, the question remains. To choke or not to choke? I documented each of our reactions.

The Rock Star was very interested in the strange looking vegetable. He's also had to eat enough things in his short little life that he's pretty willing to try new things. So I was perfectly fine with letting him go first.

Obviously he liked it. He then proceeded to narrate the rest of our videos with his, "I want more!" "I'm going to eat it all!" "Can I have more?"

Next up was The Little Buddy.

He thoroughly enjoyed it as well. So much so that he started to shovel pieces of it into his mouth. This result in him attempting to swallow the entire thing. I had to start scraping his pieces with a fork and only giving him the edible portion. He ate it ravenously, much faster than I could scrape it. He also wolfed it down without any butter and kept asking for more.

When Troy and I got married he would eat canned peas, corn, and green beans. And, I kid you not, I'm pretty sure that's about it. I began introducing him to broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini and other such veggies. He doesn't love all of them but I think he tolerates all of them. Well, maybe not cauliflower. On another note, I'm pretty sure the only kind of lettuce he ever ate was iceberg. He's broadened his taste buds to include green leaf, red leaf, romaine and, perhaps his favorite, spinach. I'm very proud of his willingness to try new vegetables even as he approaches--gasp--forty.

He later told me that he found it pretty bland and gave a shrug as if to say, "Eh. I could take it or leave it." But he ate it without complaining or making faces. There was no gagging or choking. This I count as a success.

I'm thrilled with my video. I'm thrilled that I didn't think the camera was on and I debate this fact with Troy. I'm thrilled that I'm sporting not one but two happy zits that will not go away and felt the need to star in this episode of Lori Eats an Artichoke. I'm thrilled that I didn't have the good sense to actually do my hair yesterday.

At first I found myself in Troy's Bland Camp but, as the night went on, I found myself eating more and more of the artichoke. I decided it tasted like a subtle asparagus. We got down to the choke, discarded it, and shared the heart. There was no elbow throwing like I remembered from my last experience but it was soft and rather tasty.

Later, The Rock Star got down from the table and went to play. When he came back he climbed into his chair. The kitchen had been cleaned and he moaned, "Hey, where did the rest of that thing go?"

"The artichoke?" I asked him.



"OHHH! I wanted to eat more of it!"

"Well, there are two more in the refrigerator for another time."

"Yeah!" He shouted.

We continue to try new things. We continue to realize that our palates change over time. We continue to be impressed by our children's willingness to eat what is put before them. To choke or not to choke, that is the question. In this case, yes, we artichoke but no, we don't choke on them.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


The Mom: A blogger who is rapidly approaching the need to change her blog's subtitle from The ramblings of a twentysomething pastor's wife to Somehow I'm now a thirtysomething. She is medium height, slender when not stuffing her face with cookies, and has a hair color that is undefinable. She has tried with such explanations as Potato Peels Floating in Dirty Dishwater and Fiery Field Mouse. Her eyes used to be a deep, chocolaty brown. Now they are a fairly unnoticeable blend of light browns.

The Rock Star: A boy of four going on twelve. He is slender with short dirty blonde hair. His eyes are impossible to define. They are sometimes green and sometimes hazel and sometimes a steely color. They are deep. So deep, in fact, that one might get lost in them and feel the obsessive need to go swimming. He very busy and rarely, if ever, stops talking or moving. He tires easily with tedious tasks such as reading and writing but remembers each and every moment of his life with incredibly accuracy. He also has an affinity for documentaries which can be attributed, almost entirely, to his father.

The Little Buddy: A boy of two. He is stocky with dark, curly hair. His eyes are deep wells of delicious chocolate. His skin is dark and almost always toasty warm. He is light on his feet and his movements can be described more as flitting or hopping and less as walking. He repeats everything with adorable intonations and has the most infectious laugh. While riding in the car, he can often be found with his thumb firmly planted in his mouth. He is obsessed with taking his shoes and socks off as well as climbing everything in sight and performing acrobatics.

Scene: Friday morning. 11:15 am. The car. Driving home from school.

The Rock Star: Can we see England people someday?
The Mom: What?
The Rock Star: Can we see England people someday?
The Mom: What do you mean?
The Rock Star: England people!
The Little Buddy: Peepo! Sock!
The Mom: You mean, people in England?
The Rock Star: Yes!
The Mom: You want to go to England someday?
The Rock Star: Yeah! Like, on vacation.
The Mom: Maybe someday.
The Little Buddy: DAY!
The Rock Star: Okay. Good. (pause) But, Mom, do they speak Spanish in England?
The Mom: (stifling laughter) No. They speak English.
The Rock Star: (clearly, very relieved that he wouldn't have to learn a new language) They do? They speak English in England? That's just like us!

Go figure.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I heart preschool.

For two years The Rock Star has come home spouting knowledge about paleontologists, various species of animals, and our solar system. When I tell him the names of the planets he laughs at me. Apparently, nowadays, they're pronouncing the seventh planet Yer-ah-nis instead of the way I learned it. "You're saying it wrong, mom!" he tells me.

No, you're saying it wrong, I long to tell him but don't because, really, I'd rather have my kid saying Yerahnis all over town than the alternative.

He brings home papers with his name on them. He practices writing three letter words. He makes paper turtles. He gets a sucker when he's the magic helper. He learns, creates, and grows each and every day.

He whispers, "Mommy, a fart is the same thing as a toot. And pee is the same thing as potty. I know. I learned at preschool." And, while I wonder what else those kids are teaching him, I'm willing to deal with the peer influence.

Because of the learning, the creating, the growing.

And because my son is becoming quite the artist.

I love my thick, meaty arms. I love my two stubby legs that shoot out at a 90 degree angle proving that, on paper, I am incredibly more flexible than in reality. I love the permanent look of shock I wear. This is depicted by my circular mouth which looks exactly like my round, blue nose. I love the fact that I am only clothed between my head and my shoulders. It's as though I'm wearing only a drape used for nursing an infant. Or a muumuu made for a toddler. Most of all, I love my hair. I love that, apparently, I'm sporting a flat top. Unless, perhaps, that's a crown. Does my beloved firstborn fancy me a queen? Or maybe, just maybe, I'm the Statue of Liberty.

I love that my four-year-old drew a picture of me. I love that he came bursting out of the classroom waving it around. "I drew a picture of you!" he shouted through a giant smile. And, truthfully, I wouldn't love any portrait more. It's a masterpiece. It's his masterpiece.

I heart preschool.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


This is the best way I can explain the personalities of my children:


That line through the middle, that's The Rock Star. Of course he has his moments but he's usually pretty steady. The M's and W's are a series of zigzags. That's The Little Buddy. Extreme ups. Extreme downs. His personality is a lot like watching contractions on the machine in the labor and delivery room. Wonderful. Sweet. Just fine. Uh oh. Up. Up. Up. Higher. Nearly unbearable. Teeth gnashing. Down. Down. Down. Whew. Just fine. Sweet. Wonderful. Predictably unpredictable.

He's hot. He's cold. He's sugary sweet. He's angry. He vacillates between being the happiest and grumpiest toddler in the world and he can jump from one to the other in less than a second. It certainly keeps us on our toes.

But whether steady or zigzaggy, nothing is sweeter than their snuggles. I cuddled up to The Rock Star last night, the one I sometimes refer to as Honey Bunny. I'm certain that in two years he'll look at me, roll his eyes and tell me to stop embarrassing him right then but, for now, he let's me. He'd been asleep. He picked up his head and stared at me with only slight recognition. "I love you, Honey." I said.

"I love you, Bunny." He whispered. It sure was quick thinking on his part. Especially for someone who was only semi-conscious.

The Little Buddy has started whispering. It's really funny and his voice is ridiculously and adorably husky when he tries it. I was snuggling with him on the floor a few nights ago. He joined me in Jesus Loves Me and, when we were finished he whispered in a gravelly voice, "I wuv you."

So, yeah, nothing else really matters as long as I get my snuggles.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Pevensies and the Lady Bugs

On Saturday we decided to release our insects. This had everything to do with the fact that I did not want bugs to start dying on my watch. I knew good and well that if we had dead butterflies and lady bugs on our hands we'd be performing funeral and burial services for each and every one. Plus the poor little loves were flapping around that cage, longing to fly more than five inches before they banged into a wall.
We let the lady bugs go first, releasing them onto our tomato plant. One of them took an immediate liking to The Rock Star. It crawled up his arm, onto his pajama sleeve, and then camped out for awhile.

Then it was time to let the Pevensies out of their cage. I'm sure that the fact that Garrett named the four butterflies Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy has absolutely nothing to do with his obsession with The Chronicles of Narnia.

Lemme take just a second to explain to you that a day around here is rife with armor and swords and battle cries and the insistence that I refer to my oldest child as High King Peter. Together we've read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as well as Prince Caspian. We're on The Voyage of the Dawn Treader now. We own the first and third movies and have been borrowing the second from friends for way too long. Seriously. It's high time we give it back. "For Narnia and for Aslan!" is a battle cry heard often around these parts. With this obsession comes the incredibly exciting opportunity to discuss symbolism and biblical principles with our four-year-old.

Just the other night I read, How can I have forgotten? It was about a cup and a sword and a tree and a green hill. I know that much. But I can't remember and what shall I do? A few pages later it continued, "Child," said Aslan, "did I not explain to you once before that no one is ever told what would have happened?"

"Yes, Aslan, you did," said Lucy. "I'm sorry. But please--"

"Speak on, dear heart."

"Shall I ever be able to read that story again; the one I couldn't remember? Will you tell it to me, Aslan? Oh do, do, do."

"Indeed, yes, I will tell it to you for years and years. But now, come. We must meet the master of this house."

And I think it is incredibly clear that the cup is from the last supper, the sword is from the Garden of Gethsemane, the tree is the cross, and the green hill is Calvary. And I love that Aslan says he will continue to tell Lucy the story--much in the same way that the Lord pursues us over and over. So when it comes to the High Kings he pretends to be, I could do much worse than the kings of Narnia.

So we sent Peter the Magnificent, Susan the Gentle, Edmund the Just and Lucy the Valiant out into the world.

And that very same day our little caterpillar who was reluctant to become a butterfly, crawled to the top of the cup and began his transformation. I am hopeful that Prince Caspian will emerge in seven to ten days ready to take flight.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bountiful Basket

This morning I picked up my first ever Bountiful Basket! I had to be at the main entrance of one of our malls at 8:30. Since my MIL is in town, I brought Troy with me and she watched the boys. Here's the thing about these baskets. You don't get to choose what's in them. It's like a surprise grab bag of produce. I find this somewhat exciting. It doesn't speak to me at all as a focused, planner, type A personality but it does speak to me in terms of possibly introducing my family to new things.

Our children are just flat out not allowed to turn their noses up at things. (This doesn't always stop them, of course, but despite the fit they throw, they will eat what is put in front of them.) Certainly there are things they don't like. Garrett hates mashed potatoes. This doesn't mean he doesn't have to eat them. It just means that when I make them, he only has to eat a very small portion. More than the fact that we want them to have broad taste buds, we want them to eat what is put in front of them at other people's houses. I was taught, from a very early age, that we were expected to eat whatever someone else served us. And guess what? We didn't die. Of course, if we'd had a food allergy that would have been different. But, in the same way, I want my children to eat what is served to them. This develops food tolerance and, more often than not, over time, the individual actually comes to acquire a taste for foods they previously hated. Sometimes, it takes a lot of time. Take, for example, my distaste for onions. While I still have a hard time eating crunchy onions, I find myself cooking with the smelly beasts more and more and more. As a kid I hated Chinese food. Now I could probably eat it morning, noon and night. My mom used to make a meatloaf that made me want to hurl. Whenever I had to endure the entree, I chewed without breathing and drank copious amounts of water in between bites. Suddenly, one day, I realized that I wasn't dreading the dish. And *gulp* that it actually tasted good.

So this Bountiful Basket surprise produce situation had me pretty excited in terms of teaching my kids about new things.

Here is what I got for 15 dollars.

10 apples. 1 cantaloupe. 1 head of romaine lettuce. 3 green bell peppers. 10 Roma tomatoes. 1 package of blackberries. 6 ears of corn. 2 cucumbers. 1 pineapple. 3 mangoes. 10 onions. 4 artichokes.

And here is where I tell you about how I loathe and despise artichokes. Yeah. That whole thing about trying new things. Oops. Artichokes are nasty. I mean, they have the word "choke" in their name for crying out loud. What, on earth, am I going to do with four of them? The last time I had an artichoke (outside of dip form, that is) I was maybe nine years old and it almost made me cry it was so disgusting. I pondered this as we drove home. And then it dawned on me. The last time I had an artichoke I was maybe nine. Maybe, just maybe, my tastes have changed in twenty years.

So what am I going to do with those artichokes? We're going to cook one. And then we're going to try it. I owe it to my boys to introduce them to it. Maybe they'll like it. Heck, maybe I'll like it.

I'm very excited about the rest of our basket. It may have been a little heavy on the onions but you know what they say, "When life gives you onions, make onion rings." Wait. Maybe that's just what I say.

Now, if only I had a food scale. Then I could check my savings. I think it was probably substantial.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pizza Place

My mother-in-law is flying in this afternoon to spend about five days with us. Troy will pick her up at the airport around 3:30. Garrett has a swimming lesson at 4:40. Troy has a softball game at 6:30. What with driving all over the place, I decided to get a pizza from Papa Murphy's so I don't have to squeeze "making dinner" in to a five minute time frame. Troy can throw it into the oven while I'm with Garrett at his lesson.

No. This blog hasn't gone into the realm of chronicling every moment of our lives. While that would be astoundingly exciting, it would be way too time consuming. But this is just another funny thing Garrett said.


As we were driving home from preschool I said, "Should I stop at Papa Murphy's and get a pizza for dinner?"

Confused, Garrett exclaimed, "Papa Smurf's?"

I started laughing and said, "No. Papa Murphy's. It's a pizza place."

He said, all matter-of-fact, "Ohhhh. Papa Smurfy's."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Two nights ago I received an email from someone who is considering transracial adoption. She had a few questions for me and I basically wrote the poor woman a book in response. I closed the email to her with a story that I'd been meaning to write about.

This story doesn't have anything to do with transracial adoption. It just has to do with adoption in general. I was brief in conveying the story to her. I'll expand it here.

I'd be lying if I said that adopting is the exact same as having a biological child. It isn't. While I felt instantly connected to my second son, it was a very different experience. Garrett grew inside me and, short of something happening during his delivery, I had no fear of leaving the hospital without him. He was born and placed, immediately on my chest. I was his only mother. Matthew grew inside his first mother, he was taken to the nursery for two hours before I could hold him. Our world erupted and the very first time I held him I had no idea if I'd get the opportunity to raise him.

Garrett's first year was all peace and poop and crawling and nursing and bliss. Matthew's first year was all crazy and poop and crawling and turmoil. But both children had a mother who cuddled them, loved them, changed them, tried to understand them. Still. I've wondered. Do I love them the same? I've agonized over it. Is my love the same? I don't think it is. I hope that, when all is said and done, they feel that I loved them equally but the experience has been so different that I don't know how I could love the same. They are different. I am different.

But a little over a week ago it suddenly hit me that he is mine. In the way that Garrett is mine. Despite the differences in their coming to be members of this family.

I was working in the church nursery. There were seven two and three-year-olds and, together, they got the idea to line up the little, blue toddler chairs in a row. Then, they walked, crawled, and slithered from the first chair to last. One would reach the end and run around to begin again. In this way, they played follow the leader for a good twenty minutes. Matthew was thoroughly enjoying himself.

Of course I watched all the kids, as they were under my care, but I really, intently, examined Matthew as he played. I thought about how deeply I love him and how proud I am of him. I love him more than the rest, I thought, somewhat subconsciously. Because he is mine.

Suddenly it hit me. In the physical sense, he is no more mine than any of them. In fact, if our DNA was explored, he is probably the least like me. All the rest of the children were Caucasian. I'm sure that any elementary aged student would tell you that Matthew looked as though he belonged to me the least. But as I watched him play, my heart was joyful, it swelled with pride. I wanted to gather that one child--out of seven--into my arms and kiss his chubby cheeks and spoil him and teach him and raise him. Biologically, he is no more mine than any of them. But I would throw myself into oncoming traffic for him. I would sacrifice everything for him. Why? Because he is mine. He was the only one, of those seven children, who is my son.

The same way Garrett is? No. Because of the nature of the way Matthew came into our lives, the extensive biological family he has and the situations he will face as he grows up as a transracial adoptee, I will, to an extent, raise him and love him different. But it is equal. And I think that's what matters.

Monday, May 9, 2011


On Christmas day, my boys opened a gift from my aunt and uncle. Long after the boys had moved on to something else, I was still sitting in the middle of the living room, examining the present, eager for warmer months. The boys had been given a butterfly habitat along with a ladybug enclosure. They both came with a code to get the ladybug larvae and caterpillars in the mail.

I decided to put the habitats up in the closet and wait until April.

About two and a half weeks ago, our insects arrived.
It's difficult to take pictures of itty bitty caterpillars and even smaller larvae. The ladybugs have been really interesting to watch but the butterflies...they've been fascinating.

We were sent five caterpillars. For some reason one was much tinier than the others. The first four all grew at about the same rate and, after about nine days, two of them crawled up to the top and made a chrysalis. The next day, the other two followed. I transferred them into the butterfly enclosure, cleaned out their excrement, and left the fifth caterpillar to eat himself to oblivion on the leftover food. I'm hoping that he'll make a chrysalis and I'll be able to transfer him into the enclosure after we've released the others.

Yesterday, just as I was walking out the door to head to church, I realized that we had a butterfly! I'd been eagerly anticipating these painted ladies since December so I was really excited to see one. Of course, the boys were thrilled as well.

When we got home from church there were two more butterflies. We're still waiting on number four. Its reluctant to emerge, apparently.

This process has been so much more incredible and rewarding than I ever thought possible. In a little short of three weeks, I've watched a faith affirming transformation. It isn't that I needed caterpillars to remind me that I serve an awesome God but it certainly hasn't hurt. How anyone can look at metamorphosis and question an almighty Creator is completely beyond my comprehension.

First we started with these fuzzy, crawling, worm-like creatures. They had a bunch of sticky little feet. They were black. They ate and ate and ate. Then, instinct led them to the top of the cup. They hung upside down and twisted their bodies into a shape resembling a J. Within a day, they were hard and waxy looking. They resembled neither a caterpillar or a butterfly. They were in transition, vulnerable, changing. Yesterday they emerged. Gone were the feet. Instead, long legs. Gone was the worm-like body. Instead, vibrant wings. It took nine days. Nine days to undergo a complete transformation. Forget the miracle of human life. Forget the miracle of a gorgeous landscape. Forget all the huge, in your face, proof of God. As far as I'm concerned, it only takes a butterfly.

Furthermore, they serve as such a beautiful example of what we can be if we let the Lord work in our life. We begin as a simple fuzzy caterpillar. We go through life, consuming. Something, who's to say what, compels us to search for more. Instinct? A still small voice? We try to find more. We try to fill the God sized hole. We take a leap, securing ourselves to the top of the cup even though we don't have a clue why we're doing it. We've never done it before. We've never known that there was so much more waiting for us. We've never known that God was waiting to do a complete transformation in our lives. We suspend. Caught. Between being a caterpillar and being a butterfly. And God changes us.

We emerge. We are different. Better. We're a great many colors. We've grown. We're no longer recognizable. There is no going back into the chrysalis. There is no turning back into a caterpillar. We can still walk, as before. We can still climb. But now we can fly.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I Love My Boys

So. The Rock Star wanted to bring me green eggs in bed. It's just that this is really not a good idea for Sunday mornings. Generally Sunday mornings are a tornado of clothes flying, hair gel squeezing and toothpaste blobbing. Usually, someone ends up crying. Garrett and Matthew always seem to eat in reverse on Sundays. Or the dog throws up. Or someone spills down the front of their shirt or rubs banana in their hair. Seriously. On Sunday mornings stuff just happens. But the kid had his heart set on a Dr. Suess themed Mother's Day.

Yesterday I was being incredibly lazy. I kept telling myself to get out of bed but, since no one had beckoned me with news of a lost limb or the necessity of stitches or, at the very least, a misplaced stuffed animal, I just stayed in bed. Suddenly, there came the sound of the door knob turning. "Happy Early Mother's Day!" a certain four-year-old came in, bearing breakfast. Toast. Bacon. And the quintessential Mother's Day food, green eggs.

Later, they traipsed off to the store. I'm told that the following conversation took place.

Dad: What do you want to get Mommy for Mother's Day?
Son: A hunting knife!
Dad: Uhhh. How about another idea?
Son: A gun!
Dad: Those gifts are too expensive. How about another suggestion. (Although, I must say that nothing screams Mother's Day like a hunting knife and a gun.)
Dad: Hmmm...maybe I can help out with some ideas.

What I got was a Jamba Juice gift card. When I opened it this morning, The Rock Star exclaimed, "Now you can take me and Matthew to Jamba!" And, I'm pretty certain that's the way it will go down.

I also got these beautiful flowers.
I got something else just as I was walking out the door. But that story will have to wait for another day. Let's just say that it's something I've been anticipating.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Words Keep Coming

I miss my baby.

But I love the explosion of language that makes him a little boy.

Matthew really (read: really, really!) likes to pass gas and then announce it to the world. (What a total man in the making.) So. He'll let out a little squeak and then yell, "Toot!" Until very recently this word rhymed with foot instead of boot and melted my heart even if he was talking about gaseous emissions.

Lately he's been burping and then yelling, at the top of his little lungs, "TOOT!" I keep reminding him that if it comes out of the mouth it's a burp--I sincerely hope--and not a toot but he refuses to accept my instruction.

He's learned how to say, "Ow, dat hurt!" and he says it about everything. Today, I gently kissed him on the cheek and he screamed out, "Ow, dat hurt!" Later, we were walking in a store. Nothing touched him. "Ow, dat hurt!"

His favorite question is, "Where _________ go?" Insert any word he knows how to say in the blank. "Where daddy go?" "Where Ghrt go?" That is the absolute closest way I can possibly spell the way he says his brother's name. It is as though all vowels and superfluous consonants are completely unnecessary. "Where monkey go?" "Where Beck go?" "Where kiddieca go?" (Kiddieca= kitty cat.) "Where bankie (blankie) go?"

Anything sweet is a coo-kie. The answer to everything is "no" unless it is something he really wants. Then the answer is an emphatic nod and a "yah" said as though he's a part of the southern California surf scene. He often wants to "eat" and that word is typically accompanied with him sticking his finger halfway down his throat to properly convey that he wants food in his mouth. On the other hand, when he wants a "dink" he does not attempt to make himself throw up, he just stands in the middle of the kitchen and demands, "dink, dink, dink," until someone shows up and hands him a cup. "Please" still sounds like "peas" and his hand still quickly rubs his chest when he says it.

I think that he says something new several times a day. Of course, nothing he says makes me laugh quite as hard as his toot burps.

Conversation with The Rock Star...
G: Mommy, can you do this for me? (He wanted me to run a tiny ball through a plastic party favor maze.)
Me: I'll try but these things are even hard for Mama.
G: They're hard for Grandma?
Me: Well, I said that they were hard for Mama but, yeah, they're probably hard for Grandma, too.
G: Really? She is super old!

For the record, my mom is not super old. Two score and thirteen. She's, like, a baby as far as grandmas go.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

That Day In May

I sort of hate Mother's Day.

I've already explained why.

I'll say again, for anyone who doesn't read the link, that I love my own mom. She is worthy of honor. She's incredible and amazing and the small gift she's getting from me doesn't even begin to express what she means to me. But I certainly hope that I make her feel appreciated on Mondays and Thursdays and the entire month of October and every day. I hope she doesn't need a commercial holiday on a Sunday in May. I hope she knows that I'm only doing this long distance thing, that I'm only forging a life away from her, because I have to. I hope she knows that there are days when I just want my mommy to go with me to lunch or the store or to come wipe my nose for me. I really hope she knows that when I call her forty-five times a day it's because I need her--or want her--and I'm glad she's just a phone call away. So if society says that I need to take this one day in May to tell her all these things, so be it. I will tell her and honor her and hope she knows that it isn't because Hallmark told me to. See, it's not the honoring my own mother that I find ridiculous.

I've seen a lot in my seven years of ministry. I've been through a lot. I've seen women crying on Mother's Day because their own mom died young or abandoned the family or yelled a lot. I've known women who have lost a child, placed one for adoption, or struggled to achieve motherhood. I spent several Mother's Days longing to be a mom and fielding questions. "So, will I be able to wish you a Happy Mother's Day next year?" "Don't you want a flower in church next year?" "When are you gonna have a baby?" I spent a Mother's Day agonizing over whether the next year I would be remembering Matthew and wondering where he was and what he was doing. I know that Mother's Day--that honoring all these amazing women--can be really depressing and painful for so many people. For that, I kind of hate Mother's Day.

My husband asked me today what I want to do on Sunday. I told him that we don't really need to do anything. Aside from ministering to people who are really hurting on Mother's Day, I simply do not understand why I'd be honored. I chose this. This was my heart's deepest desire. Why would I then be celebrated for wanting children so badly I could barely breathe without them? God answered my prayer. A day devoted to me just seems absurd. I know that Garrett is making me something in preschool. He's very excited about it and asks me, "Is today Happy Mother's Day so that I can give you the present I made you and bring you green eggs in bed?" (Apparently, he's confusing Mother's Day with Dr. Suess.) He is so joyful about celebrating me and I would never want to strip him of that excitement. But everything in me wants to make my boys macaroni necklaces and serve them green eggs in bed. (Except, oh the bed carnage if I did that.) Because the presence of them is what makes me a mother. Bandaging their owies, filling their tummies, making them smile is the greatest earthly gift I ever could have been given.

And I don't need a day. My husband makes me feel like the greatest mom all the time. He overlooks my yelling, my following behind the boys and cleaning as they destroy, my neuroses. He tells me, when I'm questioning my parenting ability and when I'm not, "You're a great mom." And I'm actually starting to suspect that he means it. My oldest son tells me, "You're my favorite mommy." Unlike Matthew, I happen to be Garrett's only mommy so I'm not sure who I'm being compared to but I appreciate the feelings behind the words more than I could ever appreciate flowers or lunch out. And, as has been well chronicled, Matthew is the biggest mama's boy in the history of civilization and makes me feel, on just about every given day, that his world would simply implode if I wasn't holding it together. So I simply do not need to be celebrated on a day in May when they're doing such a good job appreciating me the rest of the year.

And I really hope that all moms secretly feel the same way I do. Because, really, if you need to be celebrated, motherhood was probably not the best career choice to begin with.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Living Proof Live!

On August 26-27 Beth Moore will be here in Salt Lake.

Beth! Moore! Will! Be! Here! In! Salt! Lake!

If you live within driving distance of this town I am commanding you to come. If you're a woman, that is. Because, let's face it, if you're a man you'd just stick out like a really sore thumb. I don't care if you're an evangelical Christian or not, what the Lord speaks through this woman is life changing.

And even if you don't give a flying Fig Newton what she has to say, come anyway because nine times out of ten her outfits are a sight to behold. She's just incredibly put together. And hilarious. And southern. And is there a better combination?

So she's coming. In August. The event is 65 dollars and, believe me, it will be 65 dollars very well spent.

So I'm not even kidding, if you can get here...GET HERE!

And if you want more details, ask.

It's gonna be incredible.


Monday, May 2, 2011


The Rock Star has been telling jokes for about two years. They usually go a little something like this, "Knock knock."

"Who's there?" I ask.


"Potato, who?"

"Potato face!" He screams and dissolves into a fit of laughter.

So, by "telling jokes" I mean that he's been making up ridiculous lines that are absolutely not funny in the slightest. Except, well, he's small and he's mine and just about anything that comes out of his mouth makes me laugh.

I've written about this before.

Let it be known that today, May 2, 2011, my oldest son told a joke that cracked me up. We were sitting at the dinner table. Out of the blue he set his cup down, looked at me, and said, "Knock knock."

Oh, here we go again. "Who's there?" I asked.

"Yoda," he replied.

Intrigued, I raised an eyebrow. Alright, honestly, I raised two eyebrows because I have the distinct inability to raise only one. And it doesn't matter how many times I try. I've worked on this. Many times, even. In front of a mirror. I just end up looking like a constipated garden gnome.

"Yoda, who?" I asked with both eyebrows raised.

"Yoda yoda hee who!" He sang to the tune of, well, an Alpine folk yodel.

I started laughing hysterically. My mirth was twofold. First, his complete massacre of the yodel. I do not think that moving to the Alps and becoming a mountaineer is in his future. Second, the fact that he told a knock knock joke that made sense--or would have with an actual yodel-ay-EEE-ooo.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Trevor Update

Trevor was supposed to leave the hospital yesterday. I haven't received an update as to whether or not that actually happened but I have no reason to doubt that it did.

God answers prayer. Sometimes He answers in ways we don't like. Sometimes He grants us exactly what we're asking for.

Praise His holy name!