Friday, August 31, 2007

A Front Porch Day

Psalm 65:11-13
11 You give the year a good harvest,
and you load the wagons with many crops.
12 The desert is covered with grass
and the hills with happiness.
13 The pastures are full of flocks,
and the valleys are covered with grain.
Everything shouts and sings for joy. (New Century Version)

Taken from

Here in the midwest it is a glorious morning! After a long hot and humid spell, the air finally has a cool freshness to it. I could swear the flowers by the front porch are a little perkier this morning after being weighed down by the weather for so long. We've opened all the windows and turned on the attic fan to clear out the air in the house. A perfect day to sit on the porch and read the paper.

It's amazing how a slight change in weather can impact your spirits. I'm energized and ready to attack the day. Dare I say that I'm now anxious for the crispness of fall and caramel apples?'s still August, I'd better hold off.

Today reminds me of the unseasonable warm day of February -- a relief from the expected weather and just enough to instill hope for the season to come!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Faith Lifts

After a long 'sabbatical', I'm publishing my column at Faith Links again...check it out!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Unreasonable Expectations?

Well, I brought it on myself. I had great expectations that this morning would be different. After all, the boys are eight now, right? Surely that means they will be more mature, wake up happier, and won't fight at the breakfast table.

I know that this is unreasonable, but I expected that today would be better since it was a special day.

But no. Kevin woke up early and realized that his brother had stolen his pillow sometime in the night. He yanked the pillow out from under Chris as 'gently' as he could, and somehow Chris just woke up! I don't think I've written the warning in my blog NOT to wake Chris up any earlier than necessary...he's just not a morning person. I know he's too young to introduce morning caffeine, but he's really tough to live with before 8:00!

So the birthday got off to a rip-roarin start. Have I mentioned that I often pray through the day for the boys' teachers? Some days I think they need it more than others...this would have been one of those days, but at around 8:00 Chris decided that a birthday was worthy of a better attitude. He was all smiles by the time he got to school.

So, the birthday celebration worked to perk up his mood today...what can I use to entice a smile tomorrow?

And before any of you start thinking that Kevin is an innocent bystander in all of this...he told me about getting the pillow from Chris with a big gleam in his eye!

The joys of twins...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Last Seven-year-old Hugs...

13Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
14Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." 15When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there. Mt 19:13-15

Ok, it was shameless I know, but I did it anyway. Tonight is the last night that my adorable, obnoxious, funny little boys will be seven years old. So I made them give me their last 'seven year old hug' -- I told them I would never get one from them again as seven year-olds. As they limply wrapped their arms around me (they are boys after all...most times that's the best I get), they told me that this wouldn't be the last time...I can hug them again when they are seventy-seven! Whew -- that's a long time to wait!

Don't tell them, but I'll pull the same thing next year when they are eight for the last day! After all, I'm sure Jesus was rewarded with a hug or two from the children when he blessed it's just being Christ-like!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Glorious Rain!

It has been a rough August around here. The temperatures have been sweltering (not as hot as the South, but 103 is HOT), and everyone's grass is turning brown. We took Alicia back to school in Tennessee on Tuesday, and many of the trees on the side of the road are dying (well, hopefully they are just shedding their leaves to protect themselves against the heat, only to return next spring). But this morning we are having a wonderful, slow rain. It is a dingy sort of day, perfect for curling up in my big chair and reading.

I just received a copy of Lisa Bergren's books The Begotten and The Betrayed. You shouldn't start these books unless you have time to finish them! I'm hooked on her characters and the story line. Lisa is going on a 'virtual book tour' and she'll be visiting my blog on October 1. I was concerned that I might not have time to read both books before hand, but I was wrong. I'll write book reviews later, but if you are looking for a great read, check these out. They are available at Target in the "Breakout Books" section.

Well, it looks like my life might settle back into a routine again since everyone is back at school. I hope to do more writing and housecleaning (well, I don't really WANT to do more housecleaning, I just want it to be clean!). I have gotten out of the habit of creating my daily to do lists and as a result not much has gotten done. I am looking forward to my Fall Energy occurs at the same time the air gets crisp and the caramel apples show up in the stores!

I hope you are able to take some time to sit down and enjoy the day!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

So the Summer Ends...

School starts on Monday for the kids. I love school shopping...the overwhelming number of crisp new notebooks, ink pens, and glue sticks at amazing prices is sort of like being in a candy store! In addition to filling the lists sent home by the teachers, I always buy a few notebooks and pens for me, too.

Kevin and Chris are going into second grade. As we were moving things around in the basement today to remove more panelling so we could put up more drywall (it never ends...), I saw a photo taken of the boys about a month after they moved in with us. They were so little! While they give me fits and I still don't get this 'boy thing' (did I mention that Kevin has devised 8 ways to..umm..make 'tooting' sounds????), they still want me to sing and tuck them into bed each night.

Sammi will be a sophmore, and Becca is a SENIOR. Alicia is a senior in college. I clearly remember each of their first days of school. Alicia looked so small getting on that bus behind big sixth graders, but she was brave and excited to go. Becca went directly to the magnet school with Alicia (in third grade at that point), and I followed their cab all the way to South St. Louis so I could walk her to her class. And Sammi wore a cute green jumper and a cute floppy hat when she headed off to preschool at the magnet school with her older sisters...once again I followed that little bus all the way downtown.

I'm so proud of each one of our kids. They are very different (and I'm glad), and they are growing into wonderful people.

But I digress. The new school year still seems like a time for new beginnings...a new year, a new school, a new adventure. I have officially submitted my notice of termination at Boeing and I'm starting off on my own learning experience.

Although I've had two and a half years to practice being at home, it is a little different not to have a safety officially step away from a successful career and a lot of nice amenities (no more first class upgrades and international trips!). But I know that God has even better things in store, and I can't wait!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Windy City

Sammi and I took our first train trip to Chicago on Sunday. We spent two nights in a really nice hotel ( is great) right at the end of the Magnificent Mile. Although the weather report showed rain and thunderstorms, the only time it rained was while we were inside the Rainforest Cafe, and it stopped in time for us to walk back to the hotel.

If there was a theme to our trip (besides shopping), it was chocolate! We visited the Lindt chocolate store every day for free samples (the absolute BEST chocolate in the world. Their truffles are to die for). One day we went from there to the Ghiradelli's for samples and ice cream sundaes, then to the Hershey's store for more samples. We really did that backwards...having the best first! The other two stores hardly had a chance. We spent a good portion of our fun money on chocolate (it was on sale, of course).

Sammi finally found a couple of dresses and we spent a lot of time just walking through stores. I got some pants (believe it or not, 8 out of 10 pairs I tried on fit...a definite first), tops, and shoes. We visited five malls and lots of stand alone stores, and we probably walked close to five miles each day. Definitely a shopping success.

Sammi introduced me to the Sephora store...a fun place where you can try on all different kinds of make up and perfume. We stopped there every day, too, to get gorgeous!

We had a really good time together, and we decided that we need to take a girls trip (we'll invite her sisters) at least once a year from here on out.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Wow...has it been a month?

I knew I hadn't been writing much, but I didn't realize it had been this long. I've sort of taken the summer 'off' from any sort of routine due to the chaos of the house, and I'm really feeling out of sorts because of it.

July was a really busy month. Sammi got her drivers permit and got to go white water rafting in Tennessee. Becca went to Ecuador and got back yesterday (we are STILL waiting for her luggage to make it...). Doug, the boys, and I went to Great Wolf Lodge and later the boys and I went to High Hill Teddy Bear Camp while Doug played golf. Alicia was on crutches for two weeks and is still going to therapy for a problem with her toe.

We have hung drywall in half of our basement, put down a kitchen/breakfast room floor, started laying a family room/living room floor, and tiled about 1/2 the basement. We will be finishing all these projects in August (I hope), so writing may still be a little infrequent.

I have been playing with my new camera, and you can catch up with some of the activity here.

Though the mess and frequent activity kind of makes me crazy, God has been here holding it all together!