Friday, March 30, 2012

The most most happiest!

I was wrong.  Turn out HE'S the happiest of all that she came back!

Rollercoaster ride

Yesterday we realized Snickers was missing.  Nobody had seen her all night, and she always greets the first person to wake up.  Long story shorter...the kids and I searched the entire house and couldn't find her.  She loves to be with us, so it would be very unusual for her to be hiding somewhere.  I admit that I worked myself into a froth and went into freakout mode.  It's only been four months since Jason died, and I can't do that again already.

Noah reminded me that only the day before, in our devotion time, we had talked about how worry is never an appropriate response.  Noah caught me panicking and reminded me that we should just pray and trust God to take care of Snickers.  I relaxed a little, and I'd like to say I never gave it another thought, but I just dialed it down a notch and worried more quietly.

If you ever doubted that I married the most wonderful man, catch this next part.  He came home from work early to look for the cat!  He turned everything upside down and determined that she must have gotten outside.  He searched all around the yard and even rode his bike all around the neighborhood, looking for the body.

Before bed, the kids prayed again that she would come home, and soon after, she appeared at the back door!  Take a look at the pictures and tell me who you think is happier:  the cat or me.

It's me; I was the happiest for sure!  We still haven't figured out how she got out.  She never sneaks around and tries to dart out, so it's a mystery.  We're all super thankful to have her home.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wed. night

Crazy Hair Night at Awana. 

Mike and I hung some siding by the light of the moon.

Sometimes school can be fun

My little pretzel girl needs to stretch while she works.
Sometimes she does her lessons with her feet.
Keeping Noah happy in school has become a real challenge lately.  Today he's doing gorilla chest pounds when he answers a flash card correctly.
He's happy here because I let him listen to his angry music while he alphabetized words.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Can't a mom get away with anything?

I snuck outside tonight with a box of thin mint cookies. It was after ten o'clock, so I should have been safe, but just in case, I went out the front door but went around to the back yard. I was happily listening to frogs, watching lightning, and munching my way through an entire sleeve of thin mints when the light came on outside the back door, and Noah's face appeared against the sliding glass door. I couldn't believe he found me. Apparently I'm raising a detective. But it was dark out there, and there's no way he detected the thin mints, so I slipped them behind my back and headed for the back door. My bloodhound child sniffed the air and said, "I smell mint...what, are you eating Girl Scout cookies? Did you eat the whole box?" I assured him that I only ate half, and then he said over his shoulder, "I found her, Dad! She was outside eating cookies!"

Monday, March 26, 2012

2 Chronicles 25:2

I asked God to make His word come alive to me as I did my morning reading, and when I was on only the second verse, He stopped me in my tracks.  It said the king did what was right in the eyes of God but he sometimes resented it.  I do the same thing.  I do a whole lot of things that I really don't want to do, just because I know I should.  I serve at the food pantry at church, not because I'm full of love for God and His people, but out of a sense of duty and guilt.  I definitely don't enjoy working in my kids' classes at church, but I do it because I feel obligated to, not because my heart is overflowing with love for those kids.  I want to be an example for my kids of someone who serves God and helps people, but am I being hypocritical?  I know that the best way is to obey God out of a heart full of love for Him, but is it better to do what's right resentfully, or not to do anything at all?


Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn paddling down the Mighty Mississipp.
There was some talk of kayaking or walking through the pipe.  They shot into it a few times "to kill any water moccasins" but never ended up going through it.
A third one joined the crew, which proved too much for the kayak...
They ended up in the drink!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

What is it with boys and guns?

Noah is very much into guns anymore.  It started with Nerf guns, which I thought were harmless, until I was shot in the eye with a Nerf bullet.  Now he's into Air Soft guns, which is a total misnomer, because when I got shot in the neck, there was nothing soft about the pellet that struck me.  And these things look like real handguns.  It's rather disturbing to be sitting in the back yard on a nice, peaceful day and see kids running by with real-looking guns.
One in the holster, one in the hand.
The trampoline now houses guns and ammo.
Using the lid of the hose cart as a shield.

Ancient sleepover

Noah and Sarah have been begging to have a sleepover, and tonight's the night.  They have their sleeping bags all set up in the basement.  I said, "I never not once ever had a sleepover with my brother."  Sarah said, "That's because they didn't have sleeping bags back then."

Siding--Phase 2 begins

Time to call in the experts, "the Grandpops", as Sarah calls them collectively.
Consulting the instructions.
Crawling around on their knees. 
The first piece of siding going up!
Noah took it from there.

Siding--Phase 1 complete!

We finally pried all the battens off the house, and Noah axed them into small enough pieces to burn.
Some of the pile to to burn
We started burning for hours and finally finished today.

Friday, March 23, 2012

My kid knows me too well

The kids and I were in the living room when I thought of a book I needed to return to the library.  I wanted to get it from the bedroom before I forgot, so I took off running down the hall (my memory is THAT short-term anymore).  From the living room, I heard Sarah ask Noah, "Why did Mom just go running out?" and Noah answered in a bored voice, "Oh, she probably just started her period.  Don't worry about it."

Doing my part

Out of nowhere, Sarah asked me, "Mom, wouldn't you like to do your part to end world hunger?"
My mom-brain worked to process that.  What does she know about world hunger?  Did she see a commercial?  Does she want me to send money to some shady organization or call a toll free number or...
While I'm processing, I'm stammering things like, "Well, ummm...I, do you mean?" and she responded, "I was thinking you could make me lunch." 
I should have guessed it was all about her and her stomach!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First day of spring fun

Mixing paint
Doing a little exterior decorating.
My only rule was don't paint the window.

They soon started painting each other.
Washing off on the trampoline.
Getting a drink. 
Doing some yoga.  She calls this one "the ninja".
He was fascinated with the water droplets under the trampoline, which led to my favorite quote of the day:  "I forgot I was upside down and I spit, and it went right up my nose!"
This picture captures Sarah's personality perfectly.

Dancing elephants

My piano student was plodding along, practicing a minuet.  I explained that a minuet is a graceful dance and should be played lightly.  I said, "Play it again, and this time think elegant dancers, not elephant stampede."  He said, "I can't think about dancing elephants.  I have to think about playing the right notes."

Blasting through math

Noah does not enjoy doing flash cards, but he loves guns.  I told him he could shoot every flash card after he got the answer right.  I have to keep changing tactics to keep up with them.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Dog vomit

Last night Mike and Noah went to Winter Jam, so I had several hours alone with Sarah.  We wasted our precious time together.  She stared at her computer, and I stared at mine.  We argued.  She spilled a whole can of powdered lemonade mix all over the kitchen, and I told her she could never have lemonade again. We fought.  I criticized her about the condition of her room.  We didn't do our usual bedtime prayers.  I didn't end the day with "I love you" but just a crossly spoken "Go to bed!"

This was only one day after my great Hearts at Home experience.  Didn't I retain anything?  Can't I be good for more than one day?  One of the speakers had quoted Proverbs 26:11 "As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness."  She said don't be like that dog and go home and forget everything you learned today and start doing the same stupid stuff you've always done.  I realized that I was the stupid dog returning to my vomit, and I went to bed feeling yucky.

This morning, God reminded me that Lamentations 3:22-24 says that the Lord's mercies are new every morning.  When Sarah woke up, I smiled at her and said, "Good morning! I love you."  She said the same to me.  Then she said, "You're probably going to say no, because I know I can't ever have lemonade again, but can we make fresh-squeezed lemonade?  I know a good recipe..."

I told her I didn't have any lemons but I did just buy a whole bag of limes, so maybe we could make limeade.  She was excited about that, so we did it, and it was delicious!  Way better than dog vomit. 

Hearts at Home

Here's my seat in the balcony, listening to the Duggars in the morning session.

I could have waited 2 1/2 hours in this line to meet the Duggars.  I really wanted to meet them, but that's not why I went to Hearts at Home.  I would have had to miss two workshops, and I went there to learn and be encouraged.  
So I didn't get to talk to them, but I got close enough to get this picture, and Jim Bob waved and smiled at me.  They are amazing people, and it was a privilege to get to listen to their wisdom and see Christ's love that just emanates from them.  
This year was a record high attendance.  Even with the men's restrooms converted to women's, the lines were still huge.  I tried all my usual tricks (leaving the main building and going to one of the smaller buildings, going at off times), but with over six thousand women there, the lines for the restrooms were constant.
I waited as long as I could, but it was a time of month when I had to have access to a restroom, so I finally decided to leave the campus and walk down the street looking for somewhere where I could use the facilities.  I'm not sure I've ever been so excited to see an old Methodist church as I was when I saw this sign.
The sign above the door on the left says "sanctuary", but I think they need to switch it with the sign on the other door, because that restroom was the best sanctuary I've ever visited!
Overall, it was a great day, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to go.  More about that in my next post...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Work crew

We started prying the boards off the house today, getting ready to put up vinyl siding.  The neighbor kids started appearing and wanting to help.  Wish we had more hammers and crowbars. Kids are really good at destruction!
Sometimes it takes three kids to pull out a stubborn nail.  
The inspector showed up.
She snuck a drink from the foreman's cup.
The server brought the foreman a new drink. Lemonade this time.
More drink misfortune: a bug drowned in the lemonade. 
Gave up on the drinks...and broke the hammer head.  
Noah and neighbor boy gave up on the whole project and went next door to put a play house together.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Someone gave us an iron for our wedding.  Every few years, I need to use it for a craft project or something, and it always takes me awhile to locate it.  I don't think I've ever ironed clothes with it. 

Noah has been receiving little iron-on stars from his basketball games.  I notice most of the other kids on the team have them ironed on their shirts.  I've been keeping Noah's in a pile until I have time to search for the iron.  Tonight I found it, set it on the kitchen table, plugged it in, and then the doorbell rang.  I thought, "Whoever is at the door is going to think I'm ironing!  They're going to believe that I iron on a regular basis!"  It was a proud moment.

Friday, March 16, 2012


I came into the kitchen to find Noah wrestling with the garbage can and finally sitting on top of it.  I asked him what he was doing, and he said he was trying to throw something away but the lid wouldn't stay down.  I said, "Do you ever consider taking the trash out when the can is that full?"  He said, "No, Mom.  That never crosses my mind." 

About an hour later, I'm going to throw something away.  I open the garbage can lid, and garbage spews out all over the floor.  I pull the bag out and hand it Noah, who says, "What should I do with it?"  I gave him a look.  He looked blank.  I said sarcastically, "Put it in your bed." 

Later I'm going by his room, and sure enough, there's a bulging garbage bag tucked into his bed.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

This is winter?

The dreaded day has arrived.  I got too hot in my fuzzy pajamas today.  I went from footie pajamas to barefoot in one day.  Usually it's more of a gradual progression.  Next thing you know, I'll have to take the fleece sheets off my bed.  But I refuse to do that while it's still WINTER!  On this winter day, I grilled pork chops and killed full-grown insects, and the kids played in the sprinkler.  If this is winter, I don't want to think about summer...

Pie makers

All suited up and ready to go.

We made 70 pie crusts for the Mennonite relief sale.