11-30-17 The Brush Fire

When I picked the kids up this evening, I needed to drop by a friend’s house so we took the route we normally would have taken to the townhouse. As we drove along pointing out Christmas lights, I noticed we were coming up on something a bit worrisome. About two feet away from the road, behind the guard rail, in a very wooded area, there was a small fire. I’m not sure how it started, but my guess would be a discarded cigarette from a passing vehicle. Thankfully it wasn’t close to any houses, but I noticed that the area that was burning was dried leaves, which meant it would start spreading quickly.

I pulled over as soon as I had the chance and dialed 911. The kids thought it was the coolest thing as I answered the operator’s questions, and turned the car around to get a better look at the fire. When we passed it again, it had started to grow. We pulled into the closest road where we could still see the fire, but we wouldn’t be in the way and we waited for the fire trucks to show up. The kids thought it was awesome when they pulled up and started unwinding their hoses. Within a couple of minutes the fire was out, which was good because it had grown to about 5 times its original size.

The kids asked a gazillion questions about fires, fire trucks, etc and it was fun to let them watch it all unfold. I’m very grateful it wasn’t in a very residential area and that the fire department responded so quickly. The kids couldn’t wait to tell all about their adventure when we got home. 🙂


It’s such a bad picture, but it had gotten so dark out.


11-29-17 Daddy Shirts

Some nights go incredibly smoothly- every one eats all their dinner, they play nicely together, they use their listening. And then there are nights when you get stabbed in the arm with a pencil.

Considering this was Wednesday night, I’ll let you guess which one it was!


Big E has a quirk, well to be honest he has several, but his current obsession is ‘Daddy Shirts.’ He LOVES to wear Tim’s shirts, even though they are obviously way too big on him. In fact, when I try to put him in his own clothes he throws a fit- he wants to wear daddy shirts and no pants. Sometimes I cave (with the shirts, not the no-pants) and tonight was one of those nights.

For awhile I couldn’t figure out what he liked about them, but then I realized that he enjoys watching the way the fabric moves when he runs. As soon as he gets a daddy shirt on he takes off across the room staring at his feet. He is also specific about which daddy shirt he wants to wear, and he definitely has his top three. This evening he learned that if he stood on top of the vent at church, his daddy shirt would fill with air and puff out.

So if you see him wandering around in oversized clothes, don’t judge. It’s a battle I’m not fighting, and while he might look ridiculous, he’s comfortable and it makes him feel closer to daddy, so I consider it a win. 🙂

11-28-17 Potatos

“I love mashed potatoes now. I didn’t used to like them, but now I do. Mommy, what part of an animal does a potato come from?” Big E asked this morning on the way to his bus stop. I smiled as I explained that potatoes are actually plants, the roots of plants, that grow underground. The kids thought it was disgusting that we would eat something pulled from under the dirt.


11-27-17 Monday Night Ramblings

Outside of family, we really don’t get invited to many play dates. Our schedules are always crazy-hectic and most playdates happen during the day in the middle of the week, so I was really excited when my friend invited me over this evening for dinner and a chance for the kids to play. The kids ate and then played for awhile, wearing themselves out so that by the time we got back to the house they were ready for bed. I’m thankful to my friend for making the time to host my little family for the evening. We really enjoyed it!

Yesterday was my parents’ fortieth anniversary. They have been married 40 years! Wow, that’s a long time. One of the things that I love about my parents is how well they fit together. My dad is just as smitten with my mom as on the day they met and I find that so sweet and refreshing. I remember they had just celebrated their 30th when Tim and I got married.

Baby E fell out of bed last night. I should have seen it coming considering how top heavy the poor fellow is. Normally he sleeps with his head by the wall but last night he decided to turn himself around, leaving his large noggin perilously close to the edge of the bed. I guess gravity did its thing as he slept and in the middle of the night we were greeting with yells from the kids’ corner. When we got there it took a minute for my mind to catch up to what was happening and we found Baby E on the floor, crying, but still half asleep. Thankfully he went back to sleep quickly!


11-26-17 A Good Argument For Birth Control…

Yesterday I decided to attempt some clothes shopping at Kohls, and if you have ever been clothes shopping with small children, you know that keeping them entertained in a clothing store is next to impossible, and you soon find yourself searching for them among the racks of unmentionables, so my mom and sister offered to take them next door to Target.

While my clothes shopping ended up being a bust, I enjoyed the few quiet moments I got in the dressing room without an audience. When I was finished I walked over to Target. Tim was waiting for his drink at the in store Starbucks and I located the others. That’s when my sister told me the story.

As you can imagine, Target was busy, as it was the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. Not packed, just busy. Apparently my mom, sister, and the three kids were walking down the main aisle. Coming down one of the side aisles was a man pushing a cart, walking with his wife and teenage son. They had to stop at the end of the aisle as my family passed, and from what I understand the kids had to be herded across. When they finally got the kids across the aisle, the man and his family turned out of their aisle and were behind my family. It was at that point the man uttered under his breath, but loud enough to be heard, “Well, there’s a good argument for birth control.”

Excuse me?

As my sister recounted this story I felt a fire come alive inside of me. “Show him to me!” I insisted, but it had been awhile and she hadn’t seen him again. She described him and my eyes darted around the store, hoping against hope to catch a glimpse of him- eager to set the record straight. Now I am not a confrontational person, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have held my tongue if I had been there. Maybe I would have turned to him and said, “Lucky for you we lost one. Otherwise it would have taken about 3 more seconds for us to get across the aisle.” Or perhaps I could have looked him and down and concluded to his face that he was a “good argument for weight watchers.” Whatever my gut reaction would have been, I’m not sure, but it would have done none of us good for me to have been there.

You see, this man’s words were deeply wounding. This complete stranger just marginalized my children and their very existence. Of course, he wouldn’t have seen it that way, likely he thought he was being clever, but he wasn’t. He was being cruel. Maybe he was having a bad day. Maybe the anger he has for the demons he is fighting in his own life got redirected at my family. Whatever the reason, whatever the excuse, he was wrong.

I’ve spent a lot of time fuming over this man and his callousness during the past 24 hours, and in the end it has convicted me of the times I make offhanded remarks, without thought about how my comments will play out in another person’s life. I’ve uttered things under my breath, I’ve shot people nasty looks because I’ve been having a bad day. And in spite of my justifications, there is no excuse.

Because no matter how mad that man made me, no matter how much his words stung- he was made in the image of God and his life is intrinsically valuable. This ten second interaction I wasn’t even present for taught me a valuable lesson.  It has humbled me to remember to think before I speak, to be conscious of my words, and cognizant of the savage blow an ill timed remark can deal into someone’s life. Tread softly, dear friends, because others are listening. Tread softly.



11-25-17 Debt

One of the things that Tim and I looked at as we decided to put our house on the market was the ability to pay off some of our debt with the money we would receive from the sale. Thankfully the sale was enough to do just that and this evening we paid off both of our vehicles. While I loved seeing the larger total sitting there in savings, I knew the money we would be saving each month on car payments would make a huge difference.

Tim and I have been very fortunate that we haven’t carried a whole lot of debt during our marriage. We decided early on that we didn’t want to rely on credit cards, and keeping our debt ratio low has been incredibly important to us. We’ve had student loans, car payments, and financing plans on appliances, but not much more than that.

But each time we get the chance to pay something off, it is such a wonderful feeling, so today is a day worth celebrating!


After spending the past few days with Tim’s family we decided to spend the day with mine. We joined them for lunch and then we did some browsing and shopping. The kids enjoyed the furniture store we visited that handed out free fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies. 🙂 They also had a play area with slides and a tv. It was definitely the coolest furniture store I had ever been in. And no, it wasn’t Ikea!

I’ve started letting Big E dress himself more often, but this morning I picked out his clothes. I found his long sleeve Spiderman shirt and some slacks. However when we went to leave the house I noticed his coat looked extra puffy. That’s when I learned he decided to ‘enhance’ his outfit. So the first layer was still the spiderman shirt, but then he was wearing a suit vest. On top of the vest was a suit jacket. And on top of the jacket was a bright orange t-shirt. All of that was covered up by his winter coat. I smiled as he proudly stood in front of me. I love his sense of style and his bold choices! Ha ha!

11-24-17 Cousin Time


The kids have been fitting in a lot of cousin time the past few days and I have enjoyed watching them having fun. We are settling into our new living arrangement pretty well, and while the kids miss the townhouse, they aren’t dwelling on it. We still need to do some work to our basement area to make it less cluttered and messy, but we will get there. The kids still insist on all sleeping in the same bed, so for now I’m letting them do it. I’m so grateful for the long weekend and excited that we still have two more days to enjoy together.


Baby E and I have been sneaking some naps together, and while I expected that he would fight the idea, he actually snuggles up next to me and falls asleep pretty quickly. Man how I wish we could do that every day. 🙂

11-22-17 Flashback

Tim and I are approaching our ten year anniversary. I’m not exactly sure how that happened so quickly, but here we are! I was going through old photos today and ran across some from early on in our marriage (and some from even earlier than that.) They brought back a lot of wonderful memories, but there were even some I didn’t recognize at all. We’ve had a crazy ten years, but I am so grateful for Tim in my life. Life’s easier when your best friend is by your side!


11-21-17 “Happy Tanking!”

Traditions start somewhere, right?!? Well, I think the kids and I have a new tradition.

This evening I remembered that I needed to drop by the post office and check our box, so I parked nearby and we all got out. After our quick trip in, we decided to take a walk. It’s been cold lately so we haven’t been out much, but today was beautiful and I wanted to capitalize on the nice weather. We went to the local farm fresh store where the kids picked out more gigantic apples, some cherry tomatoes, and some peanuts. We took our purchase and walked down to the end of the pier for a picnic from our brown bag. The kids had a dance party and they ran around for a bit. Naturally it was too cold to stay out for too long, but it was a nice excuse for some exercise.

By the time we got back to the grandparents’ house we found out that some of the cousins were visiting, so the kids had a blast running around with them. They ran so much this evening that they should sleep well. 🙂

Tomorrow begins their Thanksgiving break and they are excited to be off of school for five whole days. 🙂


I’m guessing she was going for Thanksgiving on this one!



Dance Party!!