Friday, February 29, 2008



It's Chad's birthday today. He turns.....well, I'm not going to say. I will say we're not celebrating birthday number seven or nine. But I'm not sayin' anymore.

Happy Birthday, Honey! I LOVE YOU!!


Katybug tagged me with this fun little game a few days ago and I'm finally getting it up. Here are the rules:

1. Grab the book you are currently reading and turn to p. 123

2. Go to the 5th sentence

3. Post the next 3 sentences

4. Tell the name of the book and author

5. Tag 5 others

Since a few days have passed, and I generally read a book a day, here is what I was reading at the time of the TAG.

Taken from The Briton by Catherine Palmer.

"At her last word, the man released his grip. The knights surrounding them stared agape at the woman who dared curse their lord. The Norman warrior reached up and lifted his helm from his head."

Since then I read Reconstructing Natalie by Laura Jensen Walker for the third or fourth time.

"'He does make it a little more palatable,' I agreed. 'Emphasis on little.'

In the mood for some male eye candy after that taste
of my Nurse Gorgeous look-alike, Merrit stuck on Ocean's 11."

And now I'm sitting down to re-read Miss Invisible, another Laura Jensen Walker book. Here's the bit from that book.

"He snorted. 'Heck no. With my mom's cooking, it's a matter of survival!'"

So, now to tag some others. I choose Travis, Jen, and anyone else who feels like joining in the game. Just let me know in the comments section if you're posting a snippet from your current read.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

7 AM Theology

I was standing at the kitchen counter pouring cereal into my kids' bowls and congratulating myself on my excellent display of coordination at Too:Early o'clock. Coffee was a wish yet to be granted and I was caught in that hateful place between sleep and awake. My body was vertical and propped against the counter, but my mind kept insisting I go curl up in my nice warm bed. It began.

Connor - "Mom, did you know that God gives us the strength to love our enemies?"

I blinked at him. "Uh-huh."

Benen - "Mom, why would God want us to love our enemies? They're bad."

Me - "Uh, 'cause the Bible tells us to."

Benen - "Hm. Mom, what will happen if we don't do what God tells us in the Bible?"

Me - "You will make God very sad."

Benen thinks for a minute. - "Yeah, but what will God DO to us?"

Me (hedging)- "Uhhh...... he'll be very disappointed and sad."

Benen - "Mom, will he damn us?"

Me (eyes pop open) - "What? What did you say?"

Benen - "I saaaa-iiid, will he damn us?"

Oh. My. You try explaining heaven and eternity to your son before 8:00 a.m. Without the help of caffeine.

I managed to get it out of him where he had heard the phrase. I explained that we don't use that word in our house and then went on to tell him about salvation. Kind of. It was a very simplified version because, well, he's four. And I hadn't had my first cup of coffee and not all my synapses were firing yet.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Oh, What a Night.

So. Last night I didn't get any sleep. Not. One. Wink. There is nothing more frustrating to me than laying in bed, desperate for sleep, watching the minutes tick away without being able to relax into blissful slumber.

I don't understand. Was it because I had just finished a book and couldn't get the characters off my mind? Or was it because of the full moon and lunar eclipse, as was suggested to me? Who's to say.

But here's what I learned. Misery really does love company. I woke my husband at 5:45 a.m. Why? Because I WAS AWAKE! And had been all night! Here's how it went.

"...And that's what it was like kissing Adrien."

The end. *Sigh.* What a great book.

Looks at the clock. 2:15 a.m.

Ooh, I'd better get to bed.

Climbs into bed at 2:30.

Okay, it's 2:30 and the boys will probably be up by around 7:00. No problem. That still leaves .... about 4 1/2 hours of sleep. I can do this. Okay, just relax....deep breaths....don't think about the book. Must not think about the book......

Paris is so lovely and so romantic ..... hmmmm, he takes her in his arms, the love pouring out of his eyes and ...

Wait! Stop thinking about the book. Relax. Focus on relaxing. First your toes ..... that's right, deep breath, relax each toe .... sheesh, it is HOT in this bed. Why is the room so hot? Maybe I should check the thermostat. No. Wait. Stop. You're relaxing. Where was I? Oh right, relax toes....okay...... relax your right your left foot....breathe deep.... yes, that's it, now relax your calves..... hmm, my legs feel prickly. Ouch. The hairs on my legs are hurting. How is that even possible? Wow. They hurt just brushing the sheet. Oooh, they're itchy. Okay, don't think about it. Just forget it. You're supposed to be relaxing. Man it is HOT IN HERE! Okay, relax ....

My legs hurt. Maybe I should just get up and shave them. I'll feel better. Is it weird to shave your legs at ....

Sits up and checks the clock.

...3:02 in the morning? Okay, yes that is just too weird. You are NOT going to shave your legs at this time of night. The running water could wake the kids. And, it's just not right. Okay, stop thinking about this and just relax ....

Scratches legs.

I need to change position. My shoulder's numb and tingly.

Rolls over.

Okay, now just keep your mind blank. No more thinking about anything ......hmmmm.... that's better......yes ......... wait, relax your eye muscles ...... there you go ...... hmmmm.... deep breath ...... deep breath ..... deep breath ..... Why is he giving off so much heat?! Argh. Okay, no biggie .....

Kicks off blankets.

There that's better ..... relax...... deep breaths.......DARN IT! I'm COLD now!

Pulls blankets up and rolls away from the furnace.

I gotta pee.

Goes to the bathroom then climbs back in bed.

Dear God, please let me sleep! I need to sleep!! I got so much I gotta get done tomorrow. Bathrooms, laundry, planning music. You know I have three boys that are gonna wake up early in the morning.

Okay, pray for the boys. Yes, that'll help you relax. Put you right to sleep ....Hmmm....bless Connor ....and, um, what's his name? Right, Benen .... and...Oh it's no use. Might as well get up. Read the Bible.

Gets up, goes and sits in a chair and picks up the Bible, letting it fall open where ever it may.

Alright. Joshua ..... hmmm, good stuff ...... yup ......... I'm on verse 18? How did I get there? What did I just read? Boy, my eyes feel like they have sand in them.

Blinks twice.

Wow. There is, like, absolutely NO moisture in my eyes. Maybe if I blink really hard....nope. Didn't work. I'll try rubbing them.

Rubs viciously.

Huh. That's weird. They actually feel like two sandboxes in the middle of my head. Should I get the eye drops?

Looks at clock.

Nope. It's 3:58. No one puts eye drops in at this time of night. Wait! It's almost 4:00? In the morning?! That only leaves about ..... 3 hours of sleep left. Less, 'cause Chad's alarm is going to go off at 6:00. Oh, this is not good.

Okay, be positive, be positive. I should really clean the bathroom. I'm up anyway and that would be one less thing for tomorrow 'cause I'm gonna be waaaay too tired.

Nope. Crazy. You don't clean bathrooms at 4:00 a.m. Buuuut.... well.... okay, yeah I'm gonna do it.

Gets the cleaning supplies and scrubs the bathroom.

Phew! Done. Good. Now I can stop thinking about it. But I worked up a sweat and am too HOT! Gotta cool down. I'll read more of the Bible.

Sits in chair and reads more, though none of it sinks in. Finally crawls back into bed at 4:30 feeling exhausted.


Hears movement over the monitor.


Shuts off monitor.

Relax..... relax...... ahhhhh..... I wonder what it would be like to vacation in Paris. History, arcitecture, paintings, sculptures.... hmmm.... pastries, cheese, open markets....Wait. Stop. No more thinking. Relax.....oh man, I gotta pee again.

Goes to bathroom.

Okay.... not going to worry..... not going to look at clock..... hmmmm.....

Sits up and looks at the clock.


And that's when I woke Chad. Mostly to complain and get sympathy, but also to beg and plead with him to stay home from work. It is NOT my fault I couldn't sleep. I tried, really I did.

He couldn't stay home. Today was the most important day of the job he's running and he HAD to go. People to meet, things to plan, work to do.

He's working late.

I've got band practice.

I'm gonna go make another cappuccino.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

If It Doesn't Work...

We have this old dishwasher that buzzes when it runs. It's not that quiet to begin with, but when you add the annoying humming/buzzing to the racket, it escalates to headache inducing proportions.

I'm sure the problem is a simple lose screw or nut or thingamabob and the fix would be equally as simple. But it would require me laying on the floor and straining to peer under the machine for the source of the noise.

I find it far simpler to kick the darn thing. Kick it wrong and you will get a few seconds of reprieve followed by an escalation of noise. BUT, if you kick it just right, the buzzing will stop.

Until you have to run another load.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I'm not really sure what to say. I couldn't even title this blog for the lack of words. Two wonderful blog friends have given me the greatest gift this week - Blog Awards. Okay, you may be saying, "That's your idea of a greatest gift? What about a plasma t.v.? Trip to Hawaii? A million dollars?"

Yeah, I'd take those, too, but bear with me and I'll explain why this meant so much. To begin, Becky left me a comment saying she had something for me on her blog. I popped over to see what it was and found this ...

I began reading the post directly below and was overwhelmed by the sweet things she was saying. I thought to myself, "I wanna meet this person." And then realized she was talking about me. Wow. I was totally amazed.

But Becky is like that. Sweet, kind, caring, funny, encouraging. She is always ready to laugh with you, find the best in you and encourage you when you need it. She has truly become a friend and I consider myself blessed to have met her. Thanks Becky for this award.

Now, it is my privilege to pass this award along to two other blogging buddies.

*Deb at The Daily "B" is a fun, loving woman of God who inspires me. She loves big, laughs loud and does it all for the Lord. She has a great sense of humor and has made me laugh to the point of tears.

*Sing4Joy has a wonderful blog where she shares about parenting, faith, love and life. Her posts can range from humorous, silly, poignant, artistic, inspiring, uplifting. She covers it all. She's also an amazing photographer and her pictures are absolutely beautiful. Seriously. She turned bathroom fixtures into a work of art.

And then, after being overwhelmed by the first award, I was given this by Deb.

Huh. Wow. I had to read this one twice for it to sink in. Thank you, Deb! My door is always open and when that vacation comes, I'll show you all the fun things you can do with the cold and snow. Like curl up with a nice hot coffee/chocolate and a good book. We can watch the huge snowflakes fall to the ground from the comfort of my living room couch. If we get adventurous, we can take a quick slide down the hill on a crazy carpet. And yes, you pretty much have to be crazy in my book to attempt such daring feats. But we could try.

And now, once again, my pleasure to pass this on to two deserving ladies.

*Katybug is a treasured friend I met through an author's chat forum we both belong to. She has great taste in books and is one of the most generous people I know. She's actually sending me some books to borrow. Putting them in the mail and sending them all the way to Canada. Her courage astounds me! I wanna be sweet like her someday.

*His Girl writes a fabulous blog about family, faith, friends and so much more. She's a creative genius sometimes, an inventive cleaner (wink, wink), and a great blogger. I'm a little in awe of all she does. Her posts are filled with humour and for some reason, there's a lightness, a gentleness to her writing.

So, there you have it. The awards, the recipients. And now here's the other part of this post.

Why did these awards seem like the greatest gifts ever? Because they came a few days after I had been at my most petty, not very kind or gracious. I had grumbled, I had moaned, I had basically been a pain in my own...butt.

I had begun having thoughts about how sucky it was always having to be the good girl. I had been fantasizing about what it would be like if the giant WWJD zipper was removed from my lips, and my thoughts and words could fly unchecked. I wouldn't have to turn the other cheek when the girl at the check-out counter gave me a condescending look down her very looooooong and snooty nose. Pun intended. I wouldn't have to wave patiently at the little white haired lady in the driver's seat of a boat-on-wheels while grinding my molars and trying desperately to keep all fingers firmly attached to the steering wheel while she sloooooowly pulled out in front of me.

Yup, I was at my most un-Christian. In thought at least.

Then, I turned on my computer and found these awards. I double checked to make sure they got the right person and it wasn't some big mistake. And I was overwhelmed by the sweet words of these two ladies. I felt completely undeserving. Someone actually thought these nice things about little old petty me?

I got all choked up, shed a tear or two, and felt some of the week's bitterness slip away. So, thank you!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mind of a 4 Year Old

"Look! I can pop out my tummy like Grandpa Sturge!"

These were the words that poured out of our four-year-old's mouth one evening. I had to get my camera and take a picture. It's a pretty good likeness.

**Benen: "Know who keeps me safe in jail? God." People, what am I supposed to say to that?

**Benen: "I still love ya mom. Even when you give me trouble." Yes, well.

**Benen (speaking to his auntie): "You know, October 16 is a long ways away." Someone's a little jealous of his brothers' February birthdays.

**Benen: "You ever have snow fall on you?"

This kid is truly, down-to-the-core hysterical. I'm talking FUN-NY. In a single day he can bring me tears of frustration, tears of joy and tears of laughter. Several times over. Seriously, the things that pop out of his mouth are just too much.

He's also too charming by half. This causes serious problems. He flashes those big eyes at me, says he loves me and suddenly I go from nearly tearing my hair out to wanting to lay the world at his feet. One Sunday school worker put it nicely. "You know he's gonna get through life by using those eyes."

Huh. You don't say.

Here's a prime example. We were at music lessons Monday morning and Benen was having a hard time sitting still. More specifically, he was climbing on my back. Over and over. He had exhausted his "three warnings" many times over. I had warned that there would be no candy from Grandpa's work (which happens to be across the parking lot) after lessons if he didn't sit still. He would look at me in all sincerity and say, "Okay, mom. I'll sit still. I promise."

And that would last for about one minute.

By the end of the hour, after trying to help my two kids while keeping up with all the other mother's with only one child, I was understandably frustrated and tired. I piled the boys in the van and drove the fifteen feet to a closer parking space. Yes, I really did.

We went into my dad's shop and the boys did their usual run down of their lesson, telling Grandpa what they had learned. Okay, Connor told Grandpa what he learned while Benen repeatedly chirped, "can I have candy now?"

Still tightly wound after an hour of slow torture ... er, music lessons, and after the third time he begged for candy, I ground out, "I'm still not sure you're getting any candy. I haven't decided if you deserve it."

My dad looked at me, puzzled. "He wasn't listening during music lessons," I explained.

He looked at Benen. "Were you doing some bad things?"

Benen thought for a minute. "Um, yes."

"Oh. That's not good. Maybe you shouldn't get any candy if you weren't listening."

Benen got all serious, thought for another minute, then turned to look up at me with the most adorably confused and questioning pair of eyes. And I was helpless. "You can only have one piece of candy." As opposed to the two he usually has.

Yeah, I know, not my most stellar parenting moment. But really, if you had been there, you wouldn't have been able to say "no" either.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Happy Birthday!

The Big 2 Year Old
Happy Birthday, Kolten!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Who's There?

The doorbell rang at 9:28 yesterday morning. WHAT?!

This does not happen. Should, in fact, never happen. I do NOT do surprise house calls. People dropping in without phoning will not receive the most sincere of welcomes. Oh, I might put on a smiley face, chat and seem all pleasant, but deep down I'm squirming.

Why, you ask? Because these kind of surprises inevitably happen when I'm unprepared. Morning, noon and night, they will always find me in my pajamas and housecoat, hair like Medusa, face blotchy from lack of make-up and breathing potent coffee breath. My house will be a disaster, every available surface covered with discarded clothes and pajamas.

NOTE: Boys do not just take off their clothes. They rip them off, swing them around by a sleeve or leg and, once they have acquired enough speed, release them into "infinity and beyond." I know. I'm still looking for the matches to seven pairs of socks.

So now you understand the panic that hit when I heard the doorbell ring - without warning - while I was in a less-than-desireable state. Should I answer it? Ignore it? Sneak a peek out the window? Hide under the bed?

In a rare show of courage, I decided to brave the mockery and humiliation to self and extend some hospitality. I came down the stairs to discover my front door was open and I was looking through the glass of the screen door.

Imagine my shock at seeing my four-year-old standing on the other side of the glass, peering up at me.

In his winter boots, in the snow.

With no coat.

In -20 degrees.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

And the Winner Is ...

So, I did this the old fashioned way. I wrote the names of everyone who commented on a piece of paper, threw them into a basket and asked my completely unbiased, almost-six-year-old son to draw a name. And the winner is ........


Congratulations on winning a copy of Cheryl Wyatt's A Soldier's Promise. I'll contact you for your mailing information. Thank you to everyone who participated in the blog tour and contest.