Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Went to Minnesota last weekend and had my parents take over the whole parenting bit. :) But when I pack for such a weekend, my bags are ready at LEAST 24 hours before we leave - minus toothbrush and things we will use up until the time we leave, of course.

So this weekend we are going to Keokuk. So bring on the laundry! And. Today. I. Pack. For. Six.

And if something - ANYthing is forgotten . . . guess who's fault it is - MOM's! And to the store we will go. . . within reason.

"Just In Case" is my packing method. lol, I am an overpacker. Just in case it rains, we will need ______. And just in case we go out at night, we will need _______. Oh, and it will probably be hot most days, so we will probably need 3 short outfits. And you have to plan for a couple spills on those 3 outfits, so we might just need to bring a couple more. Bandaids JIC, check. Medications JIC, check. Something to do if we ever get bored JIC, check. Swimwear including swim diapers and floaties JIC, check. Gardening and cardmaking magazine for the ride down and back JIC, check. Snorkel gear JIC we see some dolphins and rare fish in Iowa, check.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I Love James!

No, no - it's nothing like that.

1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

We had this verse read at Andy's funeral - and it still pierces my heart. Pure joy in the midst of all this? Amazing....

1:15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Gardening gives me special insight on full-grown.....SIN can be full-grown. I remember being there.

1:19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

Slow to become angry. So, when my girls are slapping each other back and forth I should be slow to get angry. And when I have heard this argument of "he/she's not helping me pick up!" "She's looking at me!". Slow, slow, slow.

I could live in the world of James - he just really "got" this whole deal.....fluent, I know. My favorite book of the bible - james. You're lucky I just posted about the first chapter. :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Laundry Day

So, Darin comes into the laundry room today and hands me his pj pants. "Here. Can you wash these?" These - as in specifically that one pair of pants.

Slowly answer "Why...?"
"Oh, (shrug) uhhh, because, ...." then holds them up to show me this brown smudge about the size of my one year old.

"What happened?"

"Well, I was eating one of those ice cream treats in bed last night and I fell asleep."

"Uhh, is it all over your bed too?"

"um, I dont' think so."

"Can you go check please?"

"Uhh.....yeah." Comes back down the stairs and says "Ya, the sheets are dirty too."

"Okay....................Would you bring those down for me to wash with the pants, too?"

"Oh, yeah!"

Just bought a new pack of paper plates last night and this morning as I went to put eggs onto a plate for all the little children, the plate package was already opened. I should have KNOWN! That Daddy.....owes me a new bottle of Shout!.

Who said the kids could eat ice cream in the living room and bedrooms when Daddy gives them a wink?? That would explain why my laptop keyboard was sticky last week......

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Word of the Day

Dictionary Word of the Day:


gamine \gam-EEN; GAM-een\, noun:

1. A girl who wanders about the streets; an urchin.

2. A playfully mischievous girl or young woman

Sunday, July 20, 2008

How Big.

Want to know how I really feel?

I miss him.

I miss his tiny cry and his little face and the body that used to fit into this onesie. I miss his fingers - his bent little pinkies. His toes. His squeaks as he nursed.

Friday night I cried myself to sleep. I laid his blue monkey hat next to me in bed where his head has rested next to me last. and I patted the comforter where his bottom always was. That would always relax him - then we could go back to sleep, and do it all over again when he got hungry ... in 3 hours. Held a teddy bear given to us for his funeral and cried and cried. Oh, how I miss my baby boy.

There is an anthill on the surface of his grave. And I watch, wondering how cold it is underneith. And oh, how I want to dig!! Did I wrap him warmly enough? He has a book and a webkinz just in case. And then I laugh for obvious reasons....a webkinz? and he wouldn't be reading a board book about heaven - he's THERE. And I close my eyes every time I go see him and ask God to take us. Come back for us, Lord. Come back soon. What should i do with this anthill in the meantime? How dare they - that's where my son is. He doesn't like bugs, either. If only I could just hold him for another day. Feel him wiggle, feel him warm, with no embalming fluid smell. Like mass-produced plastic. Ugh. But his beautiful little hand was perfect all the way from birth through burial. That didn't change a bit.

At the cemetery, there is a gravestone that has a worn look to it. Son of ______ Born and Died August 27, 1890. A lamb carved into the top. No flowers. And I look back at my son's stone with 4 boquets around it, pull a pretty arrangement from the ground, and place it next to this baby's stone. And I stand there and think - near 100 years ago, his mother stood in this very spot - asking God "why?". Why my baby? Crying over her son, and pouring her heart out - just as I was that day. And now, I bet she's with him again. And his stone sits unvisited, just as Andy's will be in 100 years. And just as I will be with him again.

I am going to be honest. I am haunted. Haunted by thoughts of Andy's death, finding him that morning when I opened my eyes. Pale and blue and cool when I touched him - wondering what on earth had just happened. Holding him so tightly - knowing I had never been so out of "situational control" in my whole life. He was perfectly fine 4 hours ago. CPR, Ambulance, Investigators, Questions, Funeral Arrangements, Burial, Gravestone Design. Something I never dreamed about when I went back to sleep after nursing that morning.

I don't quite know if I should be writing all this tonight, but I am just going to. If I don't hear my children for a few hours in the night, my heart sinks, and I stand at their door terrified to go into the room, and seeing flashes of what I might find. I walk in and stare at their bodies laying there until I see movement. Sometimes I will shake them a little just to see them respond. Hold a finger under their nose to feel their warm breath. And I wonder when I will stop.

I see potential dangers in a whole new light. There are movies that people see flash pictures of the future - that kind of thing. That is exactly how it happens. A close up shot of the danger, then them finding that danger, accident, dying, pain, arrangements, burial, and finding heaven ...unintentionally. Only it's not predicting anything - or helping - it's haunting. Although Andy died in his sleep, I see my other kids in accidents as well as sleeping. Or in pain - and I am unaware. I feel unaware of this life we live. and out of control. And every day I have to make a choice to submit and watch what He can do. Because if I didn't have that every morning when I walk into the girls' room, I wouldn't have anything.

I expected that God knew how He fit into the box I made for Him. Turns out, I don't think it was His favorite place to be. And He shouts - I AM THE BEGINNING AND THE END. But I LOVE you. Come and get to know me better. That coffee you are drinking - I created that. Those raspberries you are going to pick today - I made those. And me, I can rationalize that I will see Andy again, and I understand God's faithfulness and LOVE...but my little brain just can't get around this idea.....who is He? He gives and takes away ... but my heart will choose to say .... Lord, BLESSED BE YOUR NAME. In these storms of this crazy world - I want to cling to you, because that is the absolute only thing that I am sure about anymore. He is the only thing I am sure of.

No, I don't know how or why He works, but He is there, and always will be. And He LOVES piddly little me. Enough to tell me that I need to DISCOVER Him again. And that is where I am.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Define Weeds.

My boquet of flowers sitting on my table came from the ditch. That's right, the ditch! :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Queen For A Day!

I went to a women's conference at our church a couple months ago. There was a chance to nominate someone to receive queen for a day (spa day). I was overwhelmed by the nominations and the sweet, sweet words that were so selflessly given. Everyone in the room wanted to bless another with this day, and quite honestly, I felt a little guilty up there receiving this wonderful package. A spa day wasn't exactly "me".

1. Hair done however I wanted! My sister has always done my hair - since I can remember school pictures. I have only been to a salon once for me - for a wedding that I was a bridesmaid in.

2. Massage! My love languages are words and touch - so the whole "touchy thing" had me a little freaked out - being alone in a room not wearing much and touching going on??? Uhhh.... I had never done it - I am the one that gives the massages, not receives them - I used to rub my mom's feet for 10 cents. :)

3. Nails! LOL - I do NOT have pretty nails, blogging friends. What on earth would I do with a manicure? I was quite sure it should have been someone else. :)

4. Lunch with my friends. Now THAT I can do!

So here is the manicure. I had a GREAT time - this lady was very nice, we talked a lot about Andy and about the tornado disasters. She advised me to use a nail strengthener - LOL. Okay, okay.

Then we went to my favorite place ever to eat - a cute diner downtown - I am very partial to this place ........ I used to work here and LOVE it!! This is me and my sister, Wendy - she rocks.
And we met T and Mary (last post was September 2006! My blog slacker.) there - they are awesome - and we had such relaxing conversation....I just love them!! It made it a girlS day out!

Now for the massage I was so nervous about.....this was the room I was awarded! After I was ready, the massage therapist came in and laid it out there - "We can sure talk if you want to. I won't bother you - unless you want to chat. You can let me know if it is too much pressure, or too little, and feel free to ask any questions." :) :) thank you - I had no idea. It. Was. Awesome. We talked a little, but it wasn't weird at all - she was wonderful! :)
Then I cheated a little bit. I sent my sister to get her hair done. You see, she is a hairdresser and always cuts her own hair, colors her own hair, and does everyone elses. So she colored and cut my hair before our spa day, and she also got a cut and color! I was SOOO happy to see her SIT IN THE CHAIR! lol, she's the best!

I had the best day! And completely felt like a queen and a half. :) So thank you so much to my blogger buddies and you, visitor, ;) that were there and sent in a little pink slip for me - I. Love. You. And I had an amazing time!

P.S. I have not worn nail strengthener....I should really get on that....3 more broke today. :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008


An older, tired-looking dog wandered into my yard; I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home and was well taken care of.

He calmly came over to me, I gave him a few pats on his head; he then followed me into my house, slowly walked down the hall, curled up in the corner and fell asleep.

An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out. The next day he was back, greeted me in my yard, walked inside and resumed his spot in the hall and again slept for about an hour. This continued off and on for several weeks.

Curious I pinned a note to his collar: 'I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful sweet dog is and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap.'

The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar: 'He lives in a home with 6 children, 2 under the age of 3 - he's trying to catch up on his sleep. Can I come with him tomorrow?'

Monday, July 07, 2008

Virtual Garden Tour!

Corn (which may get some enhancements this year), Jalepono Peppers, Squash Varieties (which is where the circle fence and wire fence will allow them to grow), Brussel Sprouts (quietly anticipating this new veggie), Eggplant, Cucumbers, Yellow and Zucchini Squash, Green and White Beans, Asparagus Beans (?), Beets, Turnips, Radishes, Carrots, Onions (which are looking VERY sad....didn't come up last year either....?hmm...maybe my husband is throwing root killer on my onions when I'm not looking??), Okra, and 40 Tomato Plants (big beef, normal popular :), yellow, cherry, roma, and who knows what else - it's written down somewhere...)

6 Black Mulberry trees - we have frozen 20 cups already in a few short days...

Which results in this.....

These are starting to show their pretty faces.....Still trying to find some seedless sweet grapes to plant next to these!

And my yummy red raspberries are popping up again!! Yay!

10 apple trees, 2 pear trees, rhubarb........
Now HERE is the question!!! Can this land feed my family for a whole year?? Minus meat and dairy - cuz I am not ready to commit to a goat yet. Or a cow. Or a sheep. Maybe some chickens for eggs and meat....but we'll see about that! Do I do some farmers market this year, or can and freeze my little heart out to see how self-reliant we actually are?
I am not just saying this.....if you want some yummy fresh fruits and veggies, PLEASE call me - You pick it - you keep it! THIS IS YOUR INVITATION!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Sarah at Life in the Parsonage tagged us for this one-word MeMe...ONE WORD!! So here's the rules: All of the answers must be just one word, that's right - one. Now where is that thesaurus?

1. Where is your cell phone? Table
2. Your significant other? Comfortable
3. Your hair? Undone
4. Your mother? Advisor :) (Tee-Hee)
5. Your father? Goofball
6. Your favorite thing? Crafting
7. Your dream last night? Vivid
8. Your favorite drink? Coffee!
9. Your dream/goal? Self-discipline
10. The room you’re in? Messville
11. Your church? Addicting
12. Your fear? Childless
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Heaven.? :)
14. Where were you last night? Here
15. What you’re not? Confident
16. Muffins? Nah
17. One of your wish list items? Tubal-Ligation
18. Where you grew up? Iowa
19. The last thing you did? Maidsearch
20. What are you wearing? Coffee
21. Your TV? Channelless
22. Your pets? Tied
23. Your computer? Battery-challenged
24. Your life? Reviewing
25. Your mood? Behind
26. Missing someone? Andy
27. Your car? Vacuum-challenged
28. Something you’re not wearing? Bells
29. Favorite store? Clearance
30. Your summer? mosquito-ey
31. Like(love) someone? Always
32. Your favorite color? Pink
33. Last time you laughed? Yesternight
34. Last time you cried? Morning
35. Who will re post this? Puh....

This was SUPER hard...ONE word! If I can do this...I can do anything *wink wink*
I'd like to tag T and Angela.