Monday, December 31, 2007

Navel oranges made an impression

"Are you making belly button juice?" Daniel asked while watching me peel a tangerine. My parents were here for Christmas and squeezed a whole bunch of navel oranges to have fresh-squeezed orange juice on Christmas morning. Apparently, one of the grandparents explained what "navel" meant. :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Quotes of the Day

Daniel is playing with the nativity set..."Oh Baby Jesus, we love you. We worship you. We adore you. We give you a train ride!" That is the ultimate act of worship for Daniel - to share his trains...

"I will be Joseph, Hannah will be Mary, and Caleb will be Baby Jesus." Daniel says quietly from the backseat. "No, Daddy will be Joseph, Mommy will be Mary, you and I will both be angels this time, and Caleb can be Baby Jesus!" Hannah's retort. She was recalling a few years back in our church's Christmas program that Peter, Daniel and I were the holy family, and she alone was a guardian angel. Role playing is big around here.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, if you don't hear from us before then!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Quote of the Day

"It's OK with me if Darius takes over the kingdom from Belshazzar." Hannah's thoughts as she closed a game of chess with Peter last night. They've been playing every night since Thanksgiving, and Hannah has named the pieces after her favorite story in Daniel 5. Leave it to Hannah create stories for the pieces to all have interpersonal relationships with each other!

Happy Days

Does anyone remember the theme song to the show "Happy Days?" I feel like I could sing it today.

We had such a terrific Thanksgiving weekend. It was such a treat to have Peter home with us for four whole days! Even though the kids and I were all under the weather with wretched colds, we were so happy to have so much Daddy time. We all walked around smiling all day long.

One night as we climbed into bed, vaporizers steaming up each room, I told Peter that that was one of the happiest days of my life - just having such family harmony. The kids were all so kind to each other. Peter and I sat and talked on the couch in the middle of the day (wow!). We brainstormed and planned for the upcoming year. We ate leftovers and take out food. We all went shopping at hardware store together... It was all no rushing, no pressure, and all just enjoying each other. It was the kind of day you dream about as a single person who has hopes to marry and have kids someday.

I guess it is just one more thing to be thankful to the Lord for.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Late yesterday afternoon, my dad got a call that their new home was ready - and would be here at 8am this morning. Wow!

So here it is, passing our front gate!
It is beautiful! Somehow I managed to only get video once it was put into place so you'll have to use your imagination for now. It also looks much bigger than I expected - it is like 1700 or 1800 square feet, but it just looks huge when you get up close.

We have so much to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Crazy Week #2

Thank you to everyone who prayed for our very busy week a few weeks ago. Here is an update:

We survived the termite tenting experience.

Peter and I had a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful weekend away BY OURSELVES(!) at a nearby resort. The kids had special time with Papa and Mimi, and then we all stayed with Papa and Mimi. It was so much fun! We've never stayed with my parents because we live in the same town, and we all enjoyed our time there.

Now, we have 6 dumptruck loads of rocks in our back pasture for the new septic system. My parents home is coming sooner than expected, so we are in a race to get everything ready. It may be here as soon as Friday!

Between homeschooling, holidays fast approaching, Caleb's chicken pox, sprained ankle and cutting 8 teeth all in 5 days, getting ready for my parents move here, Peter's business exploding with work, and my insanely timed redecorating the living room, things are hectic around here.

In short, please keep us on your prayer list. I am especially hoping that the other kids and I don't get the chicken pox...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

What a Week!

This is a crazy week. If you think of us, please keep us in your prayers!

On Tuesday, the barn was demolished.

On Wednesday, the foundation of the barn was ripped out.

On Wednesday the tree crew (finally) showed up and pulled out the trees that needed to be removed for my parents' new home.

Thursday (today), the Wonderful Werzinskis came and packed up everything for our house for...

The the termite fumigation on Friday!

The termites are a story in themselves. The only thing we can pass on to the world by way of advice is that the home inspections they do for termites are worth about as much as the paper they print them on. When you buy a home, you have to have a termite certification. This means that the inspector comes and looks for the pests and/or damage done by them. It does not mean that you don't have any pests or damage, OR that they can at all be liable for saying that you DON'T have any, even if you do. It just means they didn't see any.

Well, back in July, six months after we moved in, we discovered termite fecal pellets inside the house. The look like yucky little very hard things (they eat wood, you know). We called the people that certified the house. They came out and said 'Yep, you've got 'em. We'll fumigate you for a few thousand dollars.' Termites are great business!

Long story short, the tent goes up when exterminators come tomorrow. I can't believe I'm sitting here typing this, except that the Wonderful Werzinskis came and double bagged and sealed up every food item, medicine item, everything that might make it into one's mouth and/or be ingested, stripped all the beds (the vinyl mattress covers trap the gas), watered the ground around the foundation 12 inches out and 6 inches deep (to protect the plants near the house), and were just basically their wonderful selves. Thank you Werzinskis!

Since the only thing not packed is part of a lasagna, dinner is ready! All I have left to do is iron a few clothes for the kids for Sunday, and throw a few things in a suitcase for Peter and I!

Thank you to those of you who have helped in various ways, lending hands and PRAYING for grace and strength for this week. We're gonna make it! Please continue to hold us up in your prayers. God is so good.

The Barn is Down

Some of you know that my parents are getting ready to sell there lovely home in the city to come live in our back pasture. (It is not quite as bad as it sounds.) They have purchased a beautiful and spacious double wide mobile home, which should arrive sometime around Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for!

In preparation, there are many things that needed to pave the way, so to speak - among them, the demolition of our charming (if dilapidated) barn.

On Tuesday morning, this is what it looked like:

Then this Bad Boy showed up:

This is what we looked like, faces pressed against the gate:

This is what it did to the barn:

This is what it looked like on Wendesday evening:

For those of you who don't currently read toddler boys' books, this giant machine is called an excavator. Daniel says "ours" is different though, because "ours" has a giant claw arm, like Diesel 10 (from Thomas the Tank Engine). He's become quite the construction worker this week, running around with his little hard hat, digging up everything. That's our boy!

We'll keep you posted when the space gets filled with my parents' new garage.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Seeing the Light of Hope

I just finished reading the headlines of several major news sites, and have determined the news today to be in accord with the weather outside: bleak.

I was just about to be feeling down over the fact that our governor has just signed into law that boys can use girls restrooms at school now (to help those with gender identity confusion) (, that Algore has just won the Nobel Peace Prize (, that Turkey is set to go after the Kurds as well (,2933,301748,00.html), together with countless other quagmire news, when I remembered one joyful moment today...

Peter and I decided to put away the Jonah Veggie Tales movie, because Hannah is starting to think that that is exactly the way the Bible records the story. When she was looking for it, I explained that we were going to put it away for a while until she and Daniel knew the REAL story of Jonah in the Bible better than the characterization by the cartooned vegetables.

She didn't complain. Instead, she quietly went to the bookshelf and pulled down her Bible. She asked me to help her find Jonah. When I was delayed, she decided to read 2 Kings 2 instead. To hear her read the story of Elijah being caught up to heaven, and Elisha insisting on a double portion of Elijah's spirit, with perfect clarity and inflection, I had to sit down and quell the tears. She asked pertinent questions demonstrating that she was trying to understand this supernatural event, and continued through the chapter. What a beautiful picture it was, and what a blessing to have a sweet hearted daughter who has amazing phonetic ability beyond her years - she is 4 years old!

My children are young. They need to be shielded and protected and trained now. But I hope that one day our little arrows will pierce the darkness of the world with the Light of Hope that is our Lord. There is hope for tomorrow, and the next day, and the next...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Daniel Quotes of the Day

Daniel is becoming quite the conversationalist. He's three now, and he's proving that he's not going to be outdone by his big sister. Here is a snapshot of his thoughts:

"I go play with my big big trains for 44 minutes!" 44 minutes is eternity to this 3 year old.

"Asteroids are rocks that orbit the sun." He's right! He explained this after viewing a brand new planets placement. I asked him how he knew this, and he said "Hannah told me!" Apparently, homeschooling has a trickle-down effect...

And our most recent favorite --- "THANK you, Hannah, that was very kind of me!!!" He is mixing up 'of' and 'to,' but that just makes it all the more endearing!

We love you, Daniel!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Earlier this month we decided to round up as many "OBCL Family" friends as were in our area for a little get together. We ended up with about 40 people! It was nothing fancy, just a fun potluck with hamburgers and homemade ice cream. We had such a good time, we're already planning one for next year!

Hannah and Sally catching up on life

Peter, Jonathan, and Mark trading stories

Chris (& Jonathan and Mark) giving Sean relationship advice

Playing a little basketball in the front yard (Jamie, Mark & Peter above)

Hanging out and getting to know each other (Jodie and Brian)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

August Birthdays

My mom and Daniel both have birthdays in August. It seems right that they can celebrate together, since Daniel's best friend is his Mimi. He wants to go to Mimi's house every day. In fact the other day I told him that Mimi and Papa might move from their house to be our neighbors in our pasture. You should have seen the look of sheer bliss on his face! He checked with me several times throughout the day to find out if they had moved yet...

As a little surprise, we took the train boy for a short ride on the Amtrak to a nearby locale. Here we are as the train pulls up...Daniel is mulling the fact that real trains are bigger than he expected, and my mom is laughing at his comment "Look at the big BIG TRAIN!!!" (in his deep little voice). He uses a lot of double adjectives to get his point across.

Here we all are in front of our big big train. Hannah and Daniel didn't have to be told twice to stay close to Mommy! They were right beside me. The conductor was fabulous. Hannah had this paper luggage tag from the station that we told her to hold on to, and it somehow got dubbed "Hannah's ticket." When the conductor came through the car, I gave her the ticket stub for all of us, and Hannah pulled out her 'ticket.' The lady didn't skip a beat! She congratulated Hannah on being so alert, and promptly punched her 'ticket' as well. Hannah just beamed. I have it on video, but I haven't figured out how to condense it yet...
Speaking of not knowing how to do things, I'm not sure how this photo got in here. This one is at the zoo earlier in August. They are showing you how tall they are these days. Daniel actually had his 3 year old check-up this week, and he is definitely on the tall/thin side of the growth charts. He grew 4 inches this past year! (The average is 3.)

Back to the birthdays...This was taken at Daniel's birthday party. This is where Daniel can be found at any given play time outside - in the dirt. He is drawn to it like a magnet! I'm not sure what he's doing here, but it almost always involves moving dirt by fistfuls from Point A to Point B. We do have plenty of outdoor toys, but nothing can compare to DIRT. :-) Isn't he just so cute?!

We had a little kids Thomas the Tank Engine birthday party for The Buddy. Somewhere along the line, I decreed that I would not do a party for everyone every year, so they get to have a party every 3 years. This was Daniel's first one, and he had so much fun!

Hannah did too. A couple of her friends that are big sisters too came along to celebrate. They are (of course) playing dress-up. I think those feather boas were tied to the back of Peter's truck when we got married. We cleaned them up a little bit, and they made wonderful dress-up material. Notice the high heels too. You can't dress up without those! Those are shoes that I had from being a bridesmaid in several friends' weddings. It cracks me up to see Hannah get everyone all set up. This is Isabella, Hannah, and Brooke on parade.

Perhaps Daniel's favorite part of the party was the birthday cake. Notice the blue mustache...
I realized after the party, that this is probably the first time I've ever given Daniel his own plate of dessert. (OK, I know it is about time, but I really limit their sugar intake.) He was so sweet. He nursed that scoop of ice cream like it was the sweetest thing, and likely his last meal. He was still sitting there eating it while everyone else was up and running around, savoring each bite. It was a Thomas the Train Cupcake Cake.
If you want to see more photos from the birthday party click here. Veronica is professional photographer, and her shots are really good...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lini's Wedding

Well, we finally have our Lini Bell. Isn't that a great name?

The wedding was lovely, the bride was calm and radiant, the flower girls were nervous and glowing. As far as our little brood was concerned, everything went fine, except when Daniel walked up to stand with Mommy and the rest of the bridesmaids a few times. (He was in the front row with Daddy and Mommy was just too close to not go hug. I love him.)

Hannah's hours over the last 7 months of practice paid off nicely. She even smiled while she walked and scattered the petals! It helped that she had two bigger girls with her (that were probably equally nervous). Right before the wedding started I heard the oldest one, Lydia, say to Hannah "OK. We're going to walk. If we run out of petals before we get there, we'll just hold hands and smile." I couldn't help but smile!

Here is a shot of all of us before the wedding:
Lini was so calm and beautiful. It was like she was just walking out her dream. She and Adam are so cute together.

Speaking of walking...

Here she is!!! My big girl is in the center. This was her dream come true. You know, goals you can achieve, but dreams just happen. One of Hannah's dreams was to be a flower girl - this was before Lini and Adam were even courting. Peter and I explained to her that we couldn't make it happen, she would have to be asked, and we didn't know who might ask her. She was convinced that she would be one soon. Is that faith?

Finally, here's the 5 of us:
Congratulations, Adam and Lini! We love you!!!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Caleb's Great Escape

Before I go on to all of our July events, I just have to tell one hair-raising story about #3.

When we got to our condo in Florida (for Lini's wedding) the kids needed to a quiet activity, so I set the older kids up at the kitchen counter barstools with crayons and coloring books. Caleb was right there under my feet (where he always seems to be).

The next thing I know, he was gone. I started calling him, but he's at the age where he can walk fast but hasn't fully grasped the meaning of "come." I started looking through the condo, which wasn't that big, and realized he's not here. I shouted to Peter to come look for Caleb, and headed outside.

My first thought was the water out in the back. In Florida, they don't necessarily have fenced backyards, and standing water of some sort is always right nearby. In this case, there was a very nice lake/pond about 15 feet from the back door. I ran around the back of the condo calling his name - but no Caleb. There was just a man a little ways down sunbathing, squinting at me quizzically, as if I had just awakened him from a nice nap. Then I realized, the grass was probably 5 inches tall, and Caleb has short baby legs. He couldn't have come very far back here, and there is no movement in the water. I ran around to the front.

Peter was checking the side of the condo, where the trash area was. I ran to the front calling him, but he was nowhere to be seen. It was a surreal moment...Here I was in Florida, far away from home, we've only arrived 10 minutes before, and I've lost my baby boy. I'm thinking of the horror of not finding him...

Then, waaaaaayyyy down the street, I saw Caleb toddling out of the parking lot and into the street and some guy reaching down and picking him up!

I ran over there (with no decorum at all) screaming "That's MY baby!!!! That's my BABY!!!!," to which the guy started to bring him towards me. Caleb immediately reached down to me and kissed me with great delight, and the guy was clearly checking me out with this 'how could you be so negligent?' look. But I didn't care. All I knew was that he was home with me and safe. My precious little guy!

Following that, we started to deadbolt the door whenever we closed it. We don't know if we had accidently left the front door slightly ajar, or if he let himself out (the door handle was the flat kind that he can do).

When it was all over, Peter said "Well, I wasn't so much worried about the water, or the street...I was more worried about alligators."

Ugh. I don't even want to think about that.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Caleb's Summer

Caleb was the one to grow and change the most this summer. In June he learned to walk, and starting signing words to us. He also switched from chattering syllables to focusing on intonations. We're trying to get him to go back to words, but right now he carries on entire monologues with lots of inflection and tonal changes all with the sound "gungh gungh gungh," in the back of his throat. It is really funny, and hard to not copycat him! Instead we speak back to him what we think he's saying. Here are some photos to keep you up to date...

Here is Daniel running through a bounce thingy at a birthday party he and Hannah went to at Pump It Up. Daniel was very cautious about everything for about the first 45 minutes, but warmed up nicely. Hannah had no fear at all and was jumping down a 2 story slide almost as soon as we got there. Each of the kids are so different...

Jumping must run in the family. Here is Hannah in action! One day I accidently left Caleb's pool out on the back grass. Then the sprinklers came on, and then I let Hannah and Daniel out to play. Then Caleb and I heard the most delighted squeals of laughter in the backyard. Peeking to investigate, I saw Daniel filling the pool with dirt and pine needles, and Hannah delightedly "washing her hair" with the gooey mud. It was so gross and so funny, that I couldn't even be mad. I just had to grab the camera...

And here they are, the little partners in crime!

My handsome boy. He's quite an eater. When he turned 15 months in June, I compared his growth statistics with Daniel's at 15 months. They were the same height, but Caleb is 3 pounds heavier! That is a lot for this age. Still, Caleb is not fat, he's just sturdy. Look out kids when Caleb starts to jump!

Other notables this month:

- Hannah and Daniel got the 24 hour flu on the day I planned to work on potty training Daniel. Oh well!

- I attended my first home school convention. One funny thing was my silly notion of other home school moms. I had this major dilemna getting dressed for the convention! I thought home school moms must always wear denim jumpers, and I decided I was going to shatter that image and wear...capris. Much to my amazement, I don't think I saw any denim jumpers that day, as almost every other mom there was wearing...capris. By the way, we've started school with Hannah already. She is rip-roaring ready to read. I think she's learned by osmosis, because we just started consonant blending today, and she's reading first grade level books that she's never seen all by herself. I'm being a realist on this, I realize that her ability has nothing to do with me. She's just incredibly bright.

- Peter's car spent almost half of the month at the shop. I don't understand what went wrong with it. I just understand the gouging in the checkbook to the tune of over $3,000. Yikes!

- We attended the final adoption hearing of some friends who adopted three new children into their family, bringing the family kid count to a whopping 8. Amazing!

- Uncle Joe turned 28. That just makes me feel so OLD. I remember when he was born! Daniel sang Happy Birthday along with us - the first time he has sung with others! Joseph loved it. He is such a great uncle. The kids adore him.

- Dad and Peter's officemate, Jim Parks, retired. Our office seems so empty without him! Jim is "retiring" to spend more time on his other vocation - being a full-time pastor. I will miss him at the office. He has been like a second father to me since I started working for Dad when I was 16 years old.

- Peter and I learned country English line dancing at a friend's graduation party! It was fun. I don't think I could do it without some coaching again, but it was a blast.

Stay tuned for a soon-coming July report. It was more eventful.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

May Days

So so so busy! It seems like summer sped our lives up. I don't even have time to post what we've been up to! I'll start back where I left off, and catch up gradually.

We had the wonderful privilege to be visited by Peter's parents over the Memorial Day weekend, all the way from the the land of the Gators. We played outside, harvested our loquats, shopped for a new flower girl dress for Hannah, Grandpa and Daddy trimmed a LOT of trees, and we discovered new wildlife on our property...not the kind I wanted. Granny saw a garter snake, Grandpa saw a gopher snake, and we all saw SKUNK! Peter says that it was providential that they saw the slithering kind and not me, but seeing a humongous skunk was an experience too. It looked like an overgrown fluffy cat, ambling up on our lawn. We quickly went inside, and it hobbled away. I don't think it was aware of our presence as it came up, even though we were standing right there talking. Come to find out, they don't see well! Let's just hope we don't see (or smell) much of him again. Here is a photo of Granny, Grandpa, and Hannah and Daniel at the yummy California Pizza Kitchen.

The drama with Hannah's flower girl dress was that Lini had found adorable little dresses for the girls on ebay. How can you go wrong for $14.50? Well, we did. Granny brought the dress with her from Florida, and we all couldn't wait to see our little angel all dressed up. She was adorable - for about 5 minutes. That was as long as it took for her entire body to be covered with hives wherever the dress had touched her! After she had recovered, we sent to David's Bridal to find an emergency replacement dress. It was so cute to see her trying on these dresses in the midst of all the brides-to-be. We came home with an even better dress, that fits better AND causes no outbreaks. On top of that Granny found her mother-of-the-bride dress during her visit too! They both look so lovely.

The hives thing was just so weird. I've never seen anything like that before. The mother of the other flower girls told me that she had had a similar experience as a teenager, so at least I don't feel like I'm crazy.

OK, I need to take care of The Littles. I'll fill you all in on June next time. One hint, it's all about Caleb...

Monday, May 21, 2007


Just when I was starting to feel like my stay-at-home-mom line of work is not worth anything, I stumbled across this.

I'm feeling a lot better about myself right now.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Selective Role Play

Hannah and Daniel both have very vivid imaginations. It's wonderful---except when it goes awry...

Hannah: "Let's pretend. I'll be Jesus, and you can be my disciple."

(I smile while I hear a pause.)

Hannah: "OK, this is our Last Supper. This is my body which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.

(Another pause.)

Hannah: "Bud! Eat it!!!"

(I'm stifling a giggle in the next room.)

Hannah: "OK. This is my blood which is shed for you."

Hannah: "OK, now you can be Jesus, and I'LL GET THE LEATHER WHIP!"

At this point Mommy interjects from the next room to save said second born.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Win

I just have to brag about Peter for a second.

He got the news yesterday that he won his trial from a few months ago. I know he wouldn't tell you all, so I'm saying it. I'm so proud of him. I'd be proud of him even if he hadn't won, but he's happy, and giving God the glory, and I'm happy for him.

Friday, April 27, 2007


Hannah and Daniel have become friends recently. (Praise the Lord!!!) Now that Daniel talks, Hannah has started to include him in her little playworld, as well pour her somewhat vast (for a four-year-old) collection of information into his little sponge mind.

Here is some of what I've been hearing:

Scene: Kids are playing together outside on the teeter-totter. Having a great time. I hear lots of giggles. Hannah says: "Look, Daniel, we're orbitting! I am Venus and you are Mercury!" Daniel now calls himself "Mercury."

Background: Hannah has a placemat the 43 U.S. Presidents on it. She has been studying it and memorizing it. At breakfast, she quizzes me: "Mommy, can you tell me who the 8th president was?" Fortunately, Mommy can read and count. Correct answer is: Martin Van Buren. She praises me: "Good job, Mommy." Recently, I noticed Daniel at the table pointing to the presidents and saying: "Abe'ham Lincoln, George Wash'ton, Andrew Jackson, Richard Milhous Nix'n, Grace R'formed Bapt Church, Ron'ld Re'gan, George Dub Bush... In case you're wondering, the 5th one there is our new church.

Daniel is way overdue for a haircut. I usually cut his hair, but he's got SO MUCH HAIR, and it's so overdue, that I decided that we needed to take him to get a professional haircut. I talked to my dad, and we made a plan to go see his barber, so Daniel could watch first and then have his own haircut. All week, Daniel has been prepping himself: "I go see Big Tony. I get haircut. I be BRAVE."

And finally, a few minutes ago, I was on the computer checking email. Hannah walks in: "Mom, when you're 36, I will be 76 take away 70." She's right. (Wow!)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

60 and 1

March 29 is my dad's birthday, and now my son Caleb's birthday. We didn't plan it that way - in fact Caleb was due to be born on my grandmother's birthday (tax day), but we were just happy that he was OK when he was born a little ahead of schedule.

It seems a little unreal that it was a whole year ago that he was born. I remember feeling a little like my life was being lived for me when my labor was induced, and then rather foggy that he was having trouble breathing. It seemed like it couldn't be happening, and that I'd surely wake up from my dream at any time. I praise God that he is fine and so healthy that, aside from those days in the ICU, he hasn't had so much as a cold in his whole life!

Caleb is definitely my happiest baby. We call him The Smiler, because he is so friendly and contented. He loves his brother and sister, and watches everything they do, for surely they know where the most fun is! He cries when they go play outside without him, and he always wants to play with Daniel. I've noticed that he's very good about not grabbing from them. I think he knows his place, even at a mere 12 months. It is going to be fun to be with him as he grows up. I can't wait to see him play sports. He loves balls! He bats them with his hands and then does his speedcrawling to catch them. He is also starting to appreciate books. He is so sweet and fun, and we all love of our little K-Guy. (That's the name Daniel gave him.)

Papa is the name the kids call my dad. I'm convinced that my father is one of the finest man living. He is one of the wisest, and sincerest persons I've ever known, and the word "gentleman" embodies him. He loves my mother so entirely (of course, she's just as much of a gem, and who wouldn't?), and Dad has faithfully led our family as well as various other groups in his professional career without fail throughout his years. I am proud to have him as my father.

It has been hard to see my father suffering this past year as he copes with Parkinsons Disease. I see HIM, not his shaking. When I think of him, my memories of him are laughing and playing together in the pool growing up, driving home from my wedding rehearsal dinner with him, or Joseph and me as kids wrestling with him after dinner. I remember how he always made us go sit in the front row of whatever church we might visit on a family vacation (I'm rolling my eyes and smiling just thinking of how embarrassed I felt each time), "underwater speedy rides" in the pool, long talks at the dinner table, working together at the office, and his definite tastes in clothing and home decor - the latter traits not common to many men I've known. He is still that man, and will continue to be. I love him for who he is. I just wish more people could know my dad like I do.

This birthday was a milestone for both Dad and Caleb. One turned 60 years, the other 1. Those two really enjoy each other, and I know why, because I do to.

Thank you, Lord, for surrounding me with such wonderful family!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Daniel's Identity Crisis

Daniel is having a hard time putting a few things together. Here is evidence:

Daniel: "Mommy, I eat grass."

Mommy: "No, Daniel. You're a boy. You eat people food. No grass."

Daniel: "I a cow, Mommy. I eat grass."

Mommy: "No, Daniel, you don't eat grass. Grass is for animals, not boys."

Daniel: "I a horse, Mommy?"

Mommy: "No, Daniel, you are a boy.

Daniel: "But I a COWBOY, Mommy, I eat grass!!!"

Then the flash of recognition hit. Cow-boy. He likes to pretend he's a cowboy. He thinks cowboys eat grass because cows do... I love him.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Don't Run Shoes

While Peter races to the post office to mail the tax forms, I'll give you the Hannahism of the Day:

Hannah: "Would you like to know what kinds of shoes I have?"

Mommy: "Yes. What kinds of shoes do you have?"

Hannah: "I have jazz shoes, ballet shoes, tap shoes, and don't run shoes."

Mommy: "What are the Don't Run Shoes?'"

Hannah: "The blue ones, the red ones, and the gold sandals."

Mommy: "Oh! All the high-heeled shoes that used-to-be-Mommy's in your dress-up box!"

Hannah: "Yes, you always tell me 'Don't run in those shoes!'" :-)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

March Madness

March was a whirlwind. Here is some of what happened:

Trips to the zoo. We love the zoo. We have zoo passes, which I totally recommend to any family. With the Family Pass, we can get in two adults, and 4 children. Babies are free, so my friend Julie and I, our 4 kids and 2 babies got in for no charge! Hannah's favorite part is the petting zoo. It's like she comes home when she gets in the pen. She has to pet every single animal in there, and then when we finally have to drag her out, she has to bid each one farewell. Daniel on the other hand, well we're just trying to get him to not walk BEHIND the animals...

I decided to redo Daniel's room. Actually, I didn't really decide to, but I just decided to peel a bit of wallpaper off, and before I knew it, I had taken all the wallpaper down. Then I HAD to do something. I'm so thankful to my mom, and to our friend Sydney for coming over and doing what it took to get that room liveable again! I don't have an "after" picture yet, but I repainted the room, and we're doing a train theme in there. It made it totally worth it all when I took Daniel in to see it. It was like watching Extreme Makeover. He was ecstatic! He touched the walls, ran over to his bed, threw off the comforter and starting shouting "TRAINS!!!" as he traced the trains on his new sheets, detailing what color each engine was.

We had our fifth anniversary. You can read about that below. I'm still amazed!

For St. Patricks Day Peter made green eggs. OK, so Daniel looks a little pained in the picture, but let me assure you that he was just trying to get them in fast enough! It looked so disgusting that I just couldn't get any down, but the kids think Dad is a superhero now. Caleb became The Speedcrawler. He is into EVERYTHING. I've realized that since we've moved to the country, I no longer freak out at him getting a little dirty, or even eating a little dirt. Now I just try to "limit" the dirt intake. Fortunately, his favorite activity of the day is bathtime!

Daniel starting singing real songs. If I could post an audio clip, I would. He's got the tunes down. His favorite songs are "Doe, a Deer" (from The Sound of Music), the Doxology, and The Old Rugged Cross (he calls it "Cross Song"). "Doe, a Deer" sounds something like "Doe, a dee, a fee-a dee. Ray, a drop of golden SU! Me, a name, I call mySEF! Fa, a ong ong way to ru!!! (The capitalized syllables are emphasized heavily.) He also surprised us by quoting a Bible verse that Hannah had taught him when he wasn't being kind to her - Ephesians 4:32: "And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has also forgiven you." You go, kids!

Hannah has been so sweet and helpful. She wants to learn and "do school" all the time, but she's a good sport about waiting, when one of her brothers has an emergency to be attended to. Here she is doing Mrs. Potatohead while she waits for me. She also passed Level 2 in her swim lessons. We are so proud of her!!! Peter got his riding lawn mower. He is so cute. He has been wanting one of these, almost as long as he has wanted to live in the country. He just tools around with his ipod blasting sermons to him. He loves working outdoors. Good thing, we have a LOT to do keeping it up.

My cousins came! Actually, Allison is my cousin, but Hannah thinks that she is Allison's cousin because they are much closer in age. They came to help us celebrate Dad's and Caleb's birthdays! Dad turned 60, and Caleb turned 1, both on March 29. Dad loves sharing his birthday with Caleb, and Caleb thinks his Papa is so much fun. I'll write more about these 2 of my favorite guys at a later time.

The Gators won. For those of you not following the 'gatormania,' as I like to call it, this makes them back-to-back champions of the NCAA tournament. Peter and his dad are big Gator fans, so this was huge. I don't know how to insert a link to read about it, and Peter is not available to quote right now, so you'll just have to believe me, this was a big deal.

And that's all I have time for today!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

5 Years

Peter and I recently celebrated our 5th anniversary. FIVE years. Without a doubt, this has been the fastest and most full 5 years of my life, and I think he would say the same for himself.

In 5 years we have moved 3 times, borne 3 children, and (believe it or not) had not even 1 major disagreement. We've been to the other side of the world and back (Italy), but mostly just love our quiet nights at home with our Double Fudge Brownie ice cream. We've lost 4 grandparents, but gained countless new friends. The past 5 years have been full of the gifts and blessings from the Lord.

Oh the memories...

I remember falling in love with Peter. On our first date he set out to find out everything he could about me. Later that night my mom asked me how it went. I told her that I felt like I had been interrogated, and I hoped that he'd come back and see me sometime! Ha! He's so genuine. I still feel honored that he comes home to me every night. He does so much! He is so patient with me, and I have so much to learn. He is a thoughtful leader, and a loving husband, and I just love him.

For our anniversary, we went out to dinner and then (following our anniversary tradition) went to have our wedding rings cleaned while we were out. Here is a photo of us on our porch before we left.

P.S. I looked up the traditional gift for a 5th anniversary, and it is wood. We didn't get each other anything wood. I remember thinking when I was young that getting a piece of driftwood (what I pictured for "wood") wouldn't be very exciting. Who picks these gift ideas?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What Children See

Before I forget, thanks for the responses regarding Saddam Hussein's wives. Kevin's comments were very thorough and well written, as were the email responses we received separately. Thank you all! We have now set the record straight - although I just told her the name of the first/official wife.


Last week Daniel saw a photo of Britney Spears' new look (bald) on the computer screen, and came out loudly exclaiming that Daddy was on the screen. That made for a sad smile. I know nothing about her music, but I can't help feeling sorry for her. She can't even meltdown privately! After Daniel's comment, I added the pop princess to my prayer list. It's a sad day when a two year old mistakes a 20-something year old diva for his dad, based on matching hairstyles.

And speaking of hair...we got a real insight the other day from Hannah's artwork. She drew a very careful and detailed picture that included Jesus, John the Baptist, her friends Eddy, Isabella and Gabriella, and cousins Nicola and Lauren. I'm not sure what caused that grouping of people, but what caught my attention was that Jesus was bald - just like Daddy. I've heard that children project their image of God based on their father (and mother to some extent, but largely their father), but never in my life have I pictured Jesus as bald! (Outside of Daddy and now Jesus, I've never seen her draw anyone else as bald.) It was a good reminder to Peter and I that we're being watched and what we do counts.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Question of the Day

This came at me randomly from the four-year-old during lunch.

"What was Saddam Hussein's wife's name?"

Does anyone know?

Trial Update

Peter called and the trial has finished. There will not be a ruling for a few weeks, but he feels good about it (and especially to be DONE), so that is good. Tonight we're going out to celebrate. Yippee!!! Hannah prayed for Daddy's trial to "please get over soon" the other day, so I know we've all felt his absence.

Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Our firstborn has been pretending she is someone or something else other than herself. She was a tortoise this morning, slowly clawing her way down the hallway with a large book on her back as a shell. She scares her baby brother when she is a jaguar. She really is 'something else!' as she likes to identify herself.

On Sunday, after church, we put the kids to bed and headed down the hall for some rest ourselves. About an hour later, Daniel (who I know had been asleep before we went to bed) comes down the hall crying "Mommy, help! Mommy, help!" to which Daddy responded immediately.

He arrived down the hall to find Hannah hanging from the waist down off the top of the bunk bed. By the time he got to her, she was rather panicked. Her face was all puffy and swollen, and she had lots of broken blood vessels on her face. He rescued her, calmed her down, and put her back to bed.

When she woke up, still swollen and looking rather bad, we asked her what she had been doing.

"I was a bat...hanging upside down. But then I got stuck, so I woke Daniel up and he went to get you."

"Hannah," we said "did you learn anything?"

"Yes. I will not be a bat again."

Good thing. She was stuck where she couldn't get herself up, and was scared to let go and fall down. Who knows how long she had been that way?

Now we have a moniter in their room too.

Friday, February 16, 2007

What a Day!

My list today included:
1. Pay bills
2. Vaccuum
3. Unpack
4. Ironing

Instead, this is what has happened so far:
1. Leave breakfast half eaten on the table with 3 children in tow (two of which are still in pajamas) to rescue Peter. His car died on the way to court for a trial readiness hearing.
2. Deliver Peter downtown to court. Dress one child in the underground parking garage.
3. Come back to broken car. Meet tow truck man on the freeway off ramp.
4. Go to car repair place and explain the problem.
5. Go to Jamba Juice to have more breakfast. Dress third child. Have nice visit with someone I haven't seen in many years.
6. Go to Petsmart to kill time and entertain kids. Why not make the best of the day and have a field trip?
7. Leave in a hurry to pick up Peter, who is now on the west side of town at opposing counsel's office.
8. Deliver Peter to his office.
9. Come home. Nurse baby. Feed children picnic in the back yard. (Let me insert here that I have decided our backyard is theraputic. I needed it today too!) Come in to clean up breakfast dishes.
10. Notice that it is very quiet outside...
11. Discover children playing in the forbidden sandbox, full of spiders and cat poopoo.
12. Freak out.
13. Bannish everyone to inside for baths.
14. Bathe two children.
15. Put three children to bed.
It's not yet 3:00. We'll see what else we need to do today...

By the way, please keep Peter in your prayers. He is super busy at the office, even without a trial starting on Tuesday. Please pray for clear thinking as he works extra hours and gets less rest time, exercise and sleep, and for me with the kids. It feels like he's out of town even though he's here.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Tonight we are enjoying the sound of the rain outside, marveling at how two days of rain has suddenly painted our property green, and thanking God for the moisture and its part in keeping our well wet. Nature is taking on a whole new meaning these days!

Speaking of nature, the wildlife here has been more than I anticipated. Our first week here I almost had a heart attack when Peter and I saw a red fox hop up and run across our front porch as we drove out one night to Lowe's. A few days later, I was startled by a whooshing sound over my head and looked up to see a giant bird flying away. Chasing it with a baby under an arm, I recognized it was a barn owl! In addition, we've seen a pheasant, California quail, and two bunnies, and that doesn't include the wildlife that we've just heard outside. I didn't realize I was such an urbanite - it has been a wonderful change of life.

We are all very, very happy.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Moving Day

In two days, we will be the happy occupants of a lovely home in the country. It seemed like the trail leading there was long, almost like a child driving to grandma's house (are we there yet?), but now with lots of packing left, it seems like it is speeding up!

This morning I headed out there to read the gauge on the propane tank. Driving up, I got this is a clear day, and it looked like the mountains were growing out of our backyard! Then I pulled in, and discovered that someone had come and mowed, raked, and trimmed back the trees a bit. It was even more beautiful than when we first saw it!

Then we went around the back to put the trash cans away and found a burst pipe. Good thing it was discovered today...

Anyway, we're moving, starting on Friday and ending on Saturday. It's going to be a quick move. Thankfully, Peter's mom is arriving tonight to help with the kids. She is wonderful, and the kids are bouncing with excitement.

There is no DSL in the country, so my blogging may be few and far between using dial-up, until we can come up with a better solution.

It has been worth the wait to get to God's Plan A.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

So what is my name, anyway?

Listening to Hannah provides a lot of entertainment for us around here. For one thing, she has adopted her own names for most people. She goes through her photo albums and recites who the various people are, of course using the names she has given them. For the most part, she keeps the same names for people. Here are a few samples:

Real Name - Hannah's Name
Daniel = Michael
Caleb = Samuel
Hannah = Karen
Daddy = Lawya ("lawyer" with heavy Brooklyn accent)
Mommy = Brownie Sword (where did that come from?)
Granny = Canee (not sure how it's spelled, but it is pronounced like "cane" with a long "e" on the end.)

The interesting thing about the names for her brothers is that those are the names she preferred for them before they were born.

Periodically, we'll ask her who the people in a particular picture are. So, we asked her about the people in this picture:

This is what she told us: "These are the maids." A few minutes later she said "Actually, these are the nuns." Actually, this is Dearzie, Judy, Susan, and Dinah singing at the 2006 Rockwell Family Reunion in Colorado Springs. I guess that's one of the nice things about creating your own four-year-old reality: facts never get in the way of imagination and are often more interesting.

Friday, January 12, 2007

My Hannah

This is my Hannah, my girl, my first-born, my just-turned four year old.

She is so sweet. When I think of Hannah, I can't help but smile. Joy is her middle name, and it suits her perfectly. She's like a little butterfly flitting all over the house, taking it upon herself to be her brothers' self-appointed cheerleader, and Mommy's helper. She's Mommy's Girl 100%, unless Dad is on the floor to wrestle with.

Earlier this week, I had a chance to have some time with just my birthday girl. Per her request, we went to Jamba Juice and shared her favorite: Pina Colada. She insisted that we sit outside in the 40 degree weather under an umbrella like the last time we went there (which was in blazing hot August). She casually mentioned that Joyce (her imaginary friend of the week) was sitting at the next table over, and I told her to tell Joyce that she had to stay there, because we were having Special Mommy and Hannah Time. She beamed, teeth chattering. She climbed on my lap to warm up. Then we went to Borders and sat on the floor of the children's section and read books. We were making memories.

Since yesterday, she has changed her vocational direction 5 times. She announced that she would like to be a lawyer, next The President, then a teacher, then a veterinarian, and finally "a teacher for the animals at Sea World." (Daniel piped in "Dan too!") She has deep thoughts, like "Mommy, can Gram see the clouds?" (Gram is in heaven), and "Daddy, if you and your spouse both died, where would I live?" (Your spouse? Even without legal terminology that is an amazing question from someone who isn't even fully potty trained yet!)

Oh, my little girl, my joy! The pediatrician keep telling me she's the next attorney in our family. That's fine with me, but what I really want is for her heart to be attuned to the Holy Spirit. She's learning lots of knowledge about the Lord in our family devotions and other venues, but Peter and I want her to know Christ, and love Him with all of her being. She likes to tell us that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. She doesn't know yet, but that's our prayer for her: that she would glorify God with all her gifts and strengths, and know, love, and enjoy Him - as her Lord and Savior - forever.

Happy Birthday, my Hannah. I'll love you forever.