Friday, February 24, 2006
The birthday boy and I spent the morning running (lots and lots) of little errands. By the time the last one was done, he was hungry and letting me know it.

The closest place that had any dietary appeal was a little Mexican place up the road from the library...great food, very little atmosphere, even less English spoken.

The owner took in my son's "Birthday Boy" baseball cap and "Look Who's ONE!" onesie (thank you great-grandma) and exclaimed (en Espanol), "Look at the birthday boy! Hey birthday boy!".

We settled in to wait for our food. Before our lunches came (grilled fish burrito for mama, quesadilla for the big boy), the owner appeared again with a huge serving of fried ice cream, complete with whipped cream on top. "For the birthday boy, from me. Please, eat", the man beamed at us.

What's a mom with a hungry baby to do? I decided to heed the age old advice, "Life's short, eat dessert first".

Little man's first year has not been an easy one. There's been a lot of days that we've just survived and not delighted.

So today, we delighted. We ate ice cream before our lunch. I celebrated in every sticky kiss and baby laugh that I got to share. I laughed to note that exactly one year from the time I was straining to push out that little head and introduce him to the world, he had figured out how to push himself through the cat door and into the sunshine of our back patio.

Happy birthday to my sweet little lunch date. We're so glad that we were gifted with you.

  posted at 2:35 PM  
  2 comments



Thursday, February 23, 2006
Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things *very random things*about THIS WEEK


1. I watched my oldest child place fifth (out of 4 spellers) in the regional spelling bee today! I am so proud of her.

2. I'm even more proud of how much fun she had--good attitude, relaxed, happy for the winners--than I am of her placement.

3. After boinking the word "whelk" in the practice round (she unfortunately drew the #1 slot), I was delighted that she regained her confidence and made it to the final five.

4. I finally tackled a big project that was hanging over my head. I got all the baby's too-small clothes sorted for donation and/or sending back east to my sister.

5. The blessing in this dreaded project was that I found an entire box of new and almost-new outfits in his current size.

6. I was blessed even more that afternoon when my mom and grandmother send him more clothes as a birthday gift.

7. Now I'm actively procrastinating getting photos, etc together for an upcoming Camp Crop-a-lot.

8. I'm also not ordering cupcakes for the baby's party this weekend :-).

9. I AM hard at work deciding what spa treatment to schedule when I go to Vegas with my sweetie next week.

10. Pathetically enough,this will be the first time in TWO years that we've had a night away...two nights to be exact!

11. I just got a surprise box of chocolate in the mail from my friend, Amy Wallace! Check out www.amywallace.com and you'll know why this is such an awesome , not-so-random act of blessing.

12. I spent much of my Monday holiday in the orthodontist with child number 2. He now has a palate spreader, a funny lisp, and we get to turn the "key" on his appliance twice a day. He's being a real trooper about it :-).

13. I just found out from reading my s-i-l's blog that my oldest nephew is graduating with his LPN this week. Way to go, D...look out world!
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1.

Susan



The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!




  posted at 4:36 PM  
  1 comments



Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Of course, my sisters could have told you this one...
Lucy
You are Lucy!


Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

  posted at 9:15 AM  
  1 comments



Saturday, February 18, 2006
Confessions of a Soccer Mom
I love to watch soccer.

This is a good thing, because three out of four children are playing this season.

However, I should probably restate the above more accurately and say that I only really love to watch good soccer. This poses a problem as my kids are all playing in a church rec league...while this doesn't really matter for the youngest (trust me, U6 is U6 no matter how much you pay or practice...they all look like a pack of puppies chasing a ball), watching soccer played badly by older children can be excruciating for anyone who actually understands the rule and strategy of the game.

It hasn't been a year with a lot of good soccer, just a lot of soccer. One memorable tournament weekend there were nine games to watch between the three players, and only once were they double booked!

I have found, in lieu of satisfying my inner rabid sports fan, I really enjoy "people watching" my kids and seeing how their personalities play out on the field.

Our firstborn is fast, aggressive, and utterly careless of personal injury, as long as it is for the cause of the goal (or the save when she's the keeper). While in "real life" she's as girly as they come, she lives by the motto, "No ladies on the soccer field" and has more than once told a team mate, "Don't apologize for kicking/taking the ball/etc....this is soccer". She's a leader, and not afraid to be unpopular for taking charge. Unfortunately, like her mother (cringe) she has little tolerance for those who don't contribute the 110% she does, on or off the field. Also, like her mom (cringe again) she'll flat out tell you that she's tired of the "As long as you're having fun..." attitude of many parents. Her take, "It's not fun when you get your butts kicked all the time!" She's more or less decided that next year she's going to club level or finding another sport to play, because the rec league isn't getting her the results she wants for her effort.

Our second child is a strong defender who loves to play goalie or back line, but shies away from the more aggressive front line offensive positions. His skills are strong, but his play largely depends on his mood. He's on or off on any given day, and much of his performance depends on how prepared for/familiar he is with the situation. He is capable of leadership, but has to be nudged into it by his circumstances, preferring to let someone else take over if he can. When he does lead, he has a strong encouraging bent. He's much less concerned with the game outcome than his sister, and spends more time just "kicking around" the ball with buddies before and after games for the fun of it. The level of rec play he's experienced this year is just about perfect for him, and he's expressed no desire to move up to the levels of club/traveling soccer (which suits mom and dad just fine!).

The self-monikered Princess Piggy loves to go to soccer practice "because its fun and we get to play games there". She is indifferent to actual games and always gives them up willingly to attend the seemingly unending stream of Kindergarten birthday parties she is invited to on any given weekend. When she actually goes to her games, her attention is more engaged by looking for her friends in the crowd and/or chatting than what her team is doing. Out on the field she cheerfully chases the pack and "defends the goal" (can you tell she has to watch a lot of her older siblings games over the years?), but isn't interested in wrestling the ball from her more aggressive (mostly boy) teammates. In her mind, the statements "I scored a goal" and "My teammate scored a goal" are identical. And for her, nothing is more important than the snacks at the end of the match! She's told us in no uncertain terms that she'd much prefer dance class to soccer next year, thank you. (Again, this will make mom and dad very happy).

Soccer season ended for our oldest today and will end for the other children next week. I think we're all ready. I may not have seen much World Cup level playing, but I've been blessed to get some insight into who each of these wonderful creations are and where we need to help them file off rough edges and mold their characters. That's worth many, many Saturdays of freezing/burning up/being wind burnt/ etc cheering (and cringing) on the sidelines.

  posted at 6:02 PM  
  1 comments



Thursday, February 16, 2006
Thursday Thirteen


Thirteen Things about my week:

1. I took both of my older children to the orthodontist...I found out that you can read many, many magazine articles and enjoy a cup of coffee (still hot!!) while waiting for a child to get top braces on. While I felt bad for said child's discomfort, I enjoyed the time to indulge!

2. Strawberries were on special at the farmer's market this week--word got around the kids' school that I was going to pick some up, and ended up taking "orders" for various teachers and friends. I got some really funny looks when I went through the checkout line with fifteen pounds of strawberries in my cart!

3. The strawberries were delicious...Especially the ones that we dipped in three different types of chocolate.

4.We discovered that the baby LOVES strawberries (sans chocolate, of course), however, they give him a yucky diaper rash.

5. I found out that my five year old and eight year old are really great sous chefs...they did most of the work on the strawberries.

6. Which is a good thing, because I baked a quadruple batch of homemade sugar cookies for school parties and a batch of my dh's favorite cookies for his V-day gift!

7. My ten year old has figured out that you can still eat most things she likes with her braces...if you chop them up into small enough pieces. (You didn't think she'd miss out on those strawberries, did you??)

8. I learned that it is SO worth the extra $$ to have the babysitter come to the house an extra hour early...I got to get ready for my evening out in relative peace and quiet!

9. It's also worth the $$ to go out on Valentines' Day and leave the sugared-up kids (hooray for class parties...sigh...) the the sitter. She's younger and has more energy!

10. Again...getting my kids Old Navy gift cards in lieu of candy and not having more chocolate to stare me down every day...priceless!!

11. We went on our first double date in ages with our friends. It was a lovely evening.

12. I got fed up with my hair and eyebrows and made an appointment at a new day spa to tame the monsters.

13. I bought myself flowers yesterday...I was picking some up for a friend's birthday and decided that I "needed" some, too!






Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



  posted at 8:04 AM  
  4 comments



Tuesday, February 14, 2006
When I least expect it...
...is often when the most delightful "love notes" come my way.

I confess to being both a hopeless romantic and a Valentine humbug at the same time. Why? Because I believe in true love (and am blessed enough to be married to mine), but I hate the false expectations about romance that the holiday blitz creates.

Let's face it, my husband is utterly amazing in the everyday aspects of service that really bless my socks off. But, when it comes to holidays, it's often, "Gee, you mean Valentines' Day is on February 14th this year??!"

However, when I miss all the day to day romance in lieu of some conjured up fantasy of a spa gift certificate, an box of gourmet chocolate and several dozen roses (this is a fantasy...I actually am very NOT into roses on V-day for many reasons, LOL), I fail to do him justice.

Now, before you get the idea that my knight is getting rusty, let me state for the record that I am received a beautiful love letter (albeit on very non-valentineish white paper!) and was presented with a booking for a Vegas getaway next month. The thought was more than there, even if the fancy wrapping wasn't.

My point is that I can choose to judge him by the standard of an industry that would tell me my husband's love can be measured by what he purchased for me in advance, and then pout and feel sorry for myself when he doesn't measure up, OR I can look at him in the light of the truth and recognize and be thankful for the way he chooses to love and cherish me daily.

I was discussing this with a favorite Titus 2 friend of mine, and she shared my feelings on this issue. Valentines' day really is every day when you are blessed to live with a godly man.

Then she handed me a gift certificate for a full scholarship to a marriage conference we've been trying to go to for years but have missed due to schedules, nursing babies, etc.

Wow...love notes from my knight and from the Lord. February 14 doesn't get any better than this.

  posted at 2:56 PM  
  1 comments



Saturday, February 11, 2006
It's been quite the week for my oldest princess...

On Wednesday night, she got her first "real" valentine.

From a boy.

And it included a bar of dark chocolate.

And did we mention that none of the other girls in the group got this type of valentine from this particular young man.

Sheesh, if it weren't for the fact that these two are ten and eleven and have been demonstrating a (very sweet and innocent) preference for one another for over a year now, I'd tell her to hang on to this one!

But I digress.

Tonight, her Daddy escorted her to a Father-Daughter sweetheart dance and presented her with her first grown-up corsage. Pink sweetheart roses with tiny pink blossoms, sprays of green, and black ribbon to match her dress.

Monday, she'll go and get her bands and her top brackets for her braces.

She's juggling soccer, yearbook, school, AWANA, nursery duties at church, music lessons, and trying to prepare for the regional spelling bee...and for the most part, she handles it all fairly well.

So well, that most days I forget that she's only ten...and other days I turn around after calling her name and expect the golden-curled cherub that she was to lisp "Yes, mama", instead of the leggy colt of a girl who can almost look me in the eye.

We're both in that "awkward age" right now. She's too old for dolls, but too young for lipstick, old enough to worry about her appearance, but young enough to still come home from school covered in the residue of art projects.

Me? I'm learning new steps of the ever-complicated mother-daughter tango each day; balancing my need to protect and shelter my baby with her need to ever-so-slowly stretch her wings. I know I can't do it alone...and I'm grateful I don't have to.

Father, thank you for loving my little one even more than her Daddy and I do. Help us to dance together, Father. When first valentines have faded, corsages have wilted, braces are off (and finally paid off!), may her love for You, and for Mommy and Daddy remain, the strings which tie her to us stretching as far as You would her go, but never breaking.

  posted at 9:30 PM  
  3 comments



Wednesday, February 08, 2006
This one's for Sooz...
Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen (very random) things about ME

1. I do most of my computer surfing while nursing my little guy.

2. I homeschooled my children for five years.

3. I stopped homeschooling because my refluxing, colicky baby needed more time than I could give to him and home education.

4. I'm strongly considering homeschooling again next year.

5. I have almost no willpower when it comes to a really good cup of coffee and/or high-quality dark chocolate.

6. Same goes for a DQ Georgia Mud Fudge Blizzard!

7. I have six nephews and four god children.

8. I take tremendous joy in acting as a doula...seeing babies born is an everyday miracle.

9. If I could go back to school tomorrow, I'd become a Physician's Assistant and a Hatha Yoga instructor, not necessarily in that order!

10. I'm a worship-lovin' charismatic trapped in the body of a conservative PCA-attending woman.

11. Even though it's been two years since my trainers have pounded the pavement, I still dream of running.

12. I would give up a LOT right now to be able to move closer to my (and my husband's) families.

13. Given unlimited cash resources, I have a not-so-secret list of plastic surgery I'd be willing to undergo.


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)



Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!




  posted at 10:06 PM  
  2 comments



"When in doubt, take a bath." --Mae West
It's been a rough day (two perhaps--I've lost count!). I feel like I'm surrounded by people in need.

In need of an ear to listen.

In need of a word of comfort, encouragement.

In need of homework help, clean laundry, lunch money, breastmilk ,clean diapers, and cuddles.

My heart knows that to be able to minister to friends and family is both an honor and a blessing, but the rest of me hasn't caught up. Ironically, I'm an introvert (you'd NEVER know it if you met me IRL!) and the last day or so has tapped me out. Unbalanced doesn't begin to describe it.

Off to my "retreat"...more commonly known as the bathroom. I love the rumble of the water pouring out of the tap, the softly scented bubbles. In the quiet echo of water brushing against tile, life slows for a moment and the still, small voice that bathes my spirit in refreshment is freed from its constant competition with the clamor of everyday life.

How good He is to meet me on the road, bind my wounds, refresh me, and send me forth refilled to feed His sheep.

All is well.



I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.
Jeremiah 31:25

A generous man will prosper;he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
Proverbs 11:25

  posted at 9:43 PM  
  0 comments



Friday, February 03, 2006
When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrow like sea billows roll...
Proverbs 31:25 (New International Version)

She is clothed with strength and dignity;she can laugh at the days to come.

Proverbs 17:22 (New International Version)
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Taken in the light of conventional wisdom; this has not been a week to find too much humor in.

Sunday, my sweetheart left for a weeks' travel, leaving me to deal with church and the end of a chock-full o' soccer weekend (one tournament times three children equals NINE games; all at different times on different fields). Did I mention that we were keeping an extra child that weekend (the goalie for my son's team) and that my eldest dd's team was getting consistently stomped despite some awesome playing on her part?

Fast forward to Monday. The baby decided to end the day by projectile vomiting all over his high chair...and me.

Tuesday, the body fluid fest continued. We went through an entire pack of diapers and three loads of laundry. My sister sent a pizza (via the web) for the older kids. It inadvertently was delivered to the church (20 min away in evening traffic) because forgot to modify my order history.

Wednesday was a blur of coddling a recovering baby and juggling the midweek rush.

Thursday, we'll just say was not my older son's most stellar day in the realm of academics; the baby refused to nap, and Princess Piggy spent the night rotating between my bed and the bathroom. (I have never been so delighted that a child could make it to the toilet by herself to throw up!). It was a long night.

My friend took one look at my undereye circles this morning and handed me a Starbuck's card. I drove through (two kids in tow) and ordered coffee for myself, her and her assistant, plus juice for the princess. I handed the the cashier the card. My total...over eleven dollars! The card she had given me had covered exactly $0.33 of my bill.

I had so many occasions this week to cry; to pout; to stomp my feet at the "unfairness" of my situation.

But God is so faithful.

True to his promise to allow me to find balance this year, he filled my mouth with laughter, and my lips with praise. This was most assuredly the Holy Spirit and not my own temperament...just ask anyone who knows me well. My beloved Abba calmed the storms long enough to meet me each morning and wrap me in the warm embrace of His promises.

How many blessings have I been able to see as people stepped forward to help with the multitude of logistical detail that my brood 's week required? How much more joyfully will I welcome my beloved home tonight against the backdrop of turbulence softened by humor?

The weekend ahead offers no respite from the chaos of life. We have a full schedule, three extra children to keep, and the ever present threat of the stomach flu striking our home again.

Bring it on...for like Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, I too, "dearly love to laugh".

It is well with my soul.

  posted at 11:46 AM  
  2 comments



About Me

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Heather


I'm a work in progress, a stay at home mom of four, a beloved daughter of the King.

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