Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Prophetic Prayer

The prayer went something like this.

Eli: "Dear Jesus. Thank you for my daddy, my mommy, Brady, Cara, and Allie. Thank you for our wonderful day."

"Oh, and thank you for the candy canes that mommy will give me for Christmas. Amen."

Okay buddy. Point taken:)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

2 Days of Shopping and 1 ER Visit Later

It was that time of year again! Time for Megan and Matt's annual 2 day shopping trip extravaganza!

As Matt said this weekend, "I look forward to these two days all year!" Me too! We leave our kids behind and spend the night near some sort of shopping area. Usually we go to Syracuse to catch an Orangemen game, but this year, they didn't have a home game. Instead we headed to Rochester to one of our favorite malls.

But alas, it is never that easy to leave this house. In a twist of fate, as we were just about to bid our offspring adieu, I heard a thud and a shrieking cry from the dining room. Who could it be? But of course, our brave hero Brady. While running to show grandma our newly decorated tree, he slipped on his socks (he had just taken his slippers off against the advice of his momma) and bonked his head on either the hutch or the chair in the dining room.

Since his treatment days, Brady goes into instant duck and cover mode with any boo boo. When I got to him Grandma was holding him and he was holding his hands tightly over his forehead and left eye. As I carried him into the kitchen I knew that a few minutes of snuggling would get my boy back to normal.

That is, until I saw blood oozing from between his tightly clasped fingers.

When I finally convinced him to let me see it, I called for Grandma by saying, "Well, we have B-L-O-O-D!" She took a look at it, I got tears in my eyes knowing where we were headed, and she agreed that indeed this gash warranted a trip to the ER.

So off we went, Matt, Brady, and I. Brady can be melodramatic. Brady can be whiny. But my oh my, that kid can pull it together when it counts. This, I think, is his 3rd ER trip in the past year or so, and combined with his cancer days, he handles the hospital like a pro. We left for the ER at 10am and got home around 1:15pm...so things went slowly, very slowly once we got there.

I was praying that there would be no needles and thread involved in the fixing process. Thanks be to God that my prayers were answered. A very nice PA examined the wound and agreed that some of that super-cool glue stuff would do the trick. A few minutes later she reappeared with the glue and another nurse. The other nurse told me that I would have to let go of Brady who was laying with his head in my lap watching TV. She wanted me to hold his legs while she held down his arms so that the PA could apply the glue. I thought about this for about...3 seconds...and then politely asked if they could just do their job while I held Brady. I tried my best not to play the cancer card, but did say that given his sorted medical history that we try to minimize scary hospital situations as much as possible. I also told them that I was confident that Brady would not have to be restrained. After all, he is super duper brave! Remember the time he just laid there while they did a CT of his head after a fall?!?!

The nice PA agreed that we could do it my way. She said that she had read his history and understood my concerns. So I held Brady boy, who true to my word, didn't move a muscle and only whimpered momentarily once or twice.

He is now sporting a hockey-style eyebrow gash covered in crusty glue. I'm sure his preschool friends will be impressed. I'm just relieved that I already have their Christmas card pictures done. Phew...

In the end our shopping trip started off about 4 hours later than expected. I'm just thankful that we were home when all of this happened!

We shopped til we dropped, ate meals just the two of us, and laughed a few times about how this is what life was like "before kids." It was fun while it lasted, but coming home to our babies was even better.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to All

I think that my four little turkeys enjoyed themselves today.


We started our day by watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and putting up our Christmas tree.

We got all dressed up, took a quick nap, and then headed off to grandma’s for dinner.

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The food was great…


But the time with family was even better.




It’s hard not to look around our Thanksgiving table and be thankful.

Thankful for health. Thankful for the blessing of children. Thankful for our family. Thankful for our Savior and for His continued love for us.

Have you counted your blessings today?


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mommy, I Didn’t Do It!

Can you guess the story behind this picture?


Better yet, can you guess the WHO involved in the story behind this picture?

A certain child of mine calls scotch tape, sticky tape.

And this certain child often stumbles upon the sticky tape and has a little fun pulling it so that 5-10 feet of it is stretched out and twisted up in a big sticky wad.

Which brings me to this story.

This darling child of mine came to me in the living room yesterday and said, “Mommy, I didn’t pull out the sticky tape on your table. I didn’t!”

Besides the fact that this child was lying through her teeth right to my face, I found this admission of non guilt very cute and certainly hilarious. Before going to investigate what had happened, of course I went and got my camera.

And do you know what I found?

This cute, I mean guilty, little face!


“Look mommy! Your sticky tape!” That is all she could say:)sig

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Couldn’t Help Myself

I know, I know. It isn’t even Thanksgiving yet.

But my schedule allowed for a little time to start the process of Christmas decorating!

I decided to start a new tradition this year. I set up a tiny tree in our dining room and told the kids that it would be “their tree.” I bought some tiny ornaments and they helped me decorate it this afternoon.

They could barely contain their excitement as they got to hang each little ornament. It was all going perfectly until Allie saw the white ball ornaments that I had bought. She picked one up and shouted, “Look mommy, little eyeballs!”

Oh my, I laughed so hard my belly hurt.

After we hung up all of the tiny stockings, cupcakes, and even eyeballs, we had nothing left to do but turn off the light and enjoy the pretty glow.


You may not agree, but I think a little Christmas cheer a week or so ahead of schedule is a great thing:)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

This Old House

I really love my house.

It’s not big. In fact, I’ve had some ask me, “How do you fit everyone and everything in that little cracker jack box?”

It’s not small either. It’s one of those houses that looks small from the outside. I like that about my house. I always think that it looks like a cozy place that I would like to hang out in. Lucky for me, I can!

Long ago, I used to really doubt if God was truly working out the details of my life. I never really saw the great “connecting of the dots” that other Christians would describe where they were certain that God was working things out in their lives for good. Of course in the past 4 years I have come to realize that God most certainly is at work in my life. He is there in big ways and small ways! Big ways like when my mom was battling cancer for the 2nd time and I was pregnant with triplets. I have shared this part of my life with a few women’s groups when I have given my testimony. There is no doubt that God orchestrated His timing so perfectly for my family and I during that time. And then there was the time my son had cancer. Certainly I can’t deny His presence and provision then! But those are the big things.

I love it when I am able to see God at work in the little things. This little house of mine comes to mind when I think of God at work in the details. When Matt and I bought this house back in 2005, we decided that we had better add on a large kitchen, expand some closets, and make another full bathroom upstairs. Little did we know that 3 years later we would have 4 kids and need space for them and all of their stuff. We had the perfect little niche in the kitchen that fit 3 highchairs side by side. My house has some odd window openings between rooms. I can’t tell you how many times a day I look through the window from the kitchen to the playroom to check on things! When we bought the house we thought that the 3 bedrooms would perfectly accommodate the 2 or 3 children we planned on having. Now we have a plan for a boys room and a girls room with a bathroom in between. Maybe God had this house in mind for us all along. He knew what was coming in our lives:)

This house certainly isn’t perfect. One issue that we have had since we had our children was the lack of a functional mudroom. We have a very small mudroom that has a stairway leading to the basement right when you walk in. It was never safe to have the kids coming in and out that way when they were very little, and the tiny closet made for absolutely no room to move. So, we have always used the door off of the kitchen as our main entrance and exit. This consists of a 2X3 rug, a shoe basket, and a set of hooks on the wall. As the kids have grown and have more “stuff” coming and going with them, I have grown increasingly annoyed when I find the 6 of us all standing on the 2x3 rug at once, trying to get out shoes off. It just wasn’t working.

I had big ideas that would solve this problem. First, we would build another addition off the back of the house. We could design this great mudroom with lockers and benches for the kids. While we were at it, I would love a pantry and of course, we should move our laundry to the first floor. Yes, a little addition would be perfect!

My always-frugal husband however, quickly reminded me that on one salary, this was not going to happen. We put this on our “maybe someday when you go back to work list,” and Matt got to work rethinking our not-functional mudroom.

And…the mudroom redesign is working out great! I wish we would have taken pictures all along, but I never considered this space photo-worthy until now! It is the simple joys that really make my day…like hooks, and cubbies, and a place for things when we walk in the door!

Matt installed hooks pretty much everywhere. Some are so high that I can’t reach them, but he can! Some are at adult level, others are low enough for the kids to reach.




The small wall space going down to the basement is where Matt hung a shoe rack for my shoes. He puts his on the landing going down the steps.


Matt’s idea to just take off the front wall of the closet and remove the doors was awesome. He extended the stair with a low bench that provides a place for small buns to sit while they get their shoes on and off. There is storage underneath for Allie’s shoes.


On the other side are cubbies for the big kids’ shoes. Boots are on the top, and each child has their own row of cubbies.



Thank you honey for your hard work. I promise to put my “grand addition” dreams on the back burner for a few years. And thank you God for always providing…even the small things;)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hello Out There

Eeek! I’ve been completely absent from blog land for a few days! I’m sure you understand that sometimes a girl’s real life is just too consuming to allow the time for blogging:)

I’ve been super busy with Tastefully Simple these past few weeks. Many of my wonderful customers are having some terrific parties in time for the holidays. It is a good problem to have, but needless to say I’ve been burning my already weary candle at both ends.

Today we spent some special time with our honorary Grandma Lynn and Grandpa Wes. They are just about to head south for the winter, and my kids and I will sure miss them. Something tells me we just may be seeing them in a couple of months. Hmmm…any guesses?

Of course the kids were so excited when Grandma Lynn gave them their Christmas present a little early. She told them that there was just one present, but 4 things were inside. Well, the kids sure figured out that the only way to get to their own gifts was to tear that package open fast!



Inside the kids found 4 super cool dress up hats. Just like that, they worked out whose hat was whose. DSC_0837




Yes, Grandma Lynn hit the nail on the head with these gifts. There is no lack of imagination in this house:)


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pictures and Scripture

Photos courtesy of Kristen Hamm Photography

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith and not by sight




Psalm 127: 3-5 Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.





Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful! (This is the kids’ memory verse for Sunday school. There is a lot of talk about God, creation, and beauty in our home lately!)






Proverbs 15:13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful.




1 John 14:19 We love because He first loved us.

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Monday, November 8, 2010


So we are still trying to eat up that Pluto cake. Still trying to finish up the puppy chow. Still singing happy birthday and even still carrying around the trick or treat buckets!

It has been a while since I updated on each of the kids. For historical reasons (read: I don't do baby books, this is all I got!), I like to make sure I write down a little bit about each of them every few months.

Eli is loving life as a 3 1/2 year old. He spends 90% of his day at home engaged in creative play. By that I mean, he wears a bandanna, a pirate hat, or any costume he can find and runs around the house in character. Eli LOVES his shows and not only watches them, but he analyzes them. He certainly is a big thinker! But like many creative minds, Eli sometimes doesn't know where to draw the line between imagination and practical things like getting dressed. It isn't unusual to have 3 kids at the breakfast table and Eli still in his underwear!

Cara is loving life as a girly girl. She started tap dance class this fall and looks forward to Mondays every week when she and I get to walk a few doors down for dance. Cara can often be heard singing to herself and playing with her baby. She and Allie are just starting to realize that they can play all-things-girly together and it is so adorable to watch them interact. She can certainly tests our patience when it comes to going to sleep and staying asleep, but when Cara is at her best, there is no one sweeter!

Brady can best be described as the ring leader around here. Most days he is either paired off with Eli, or Cara, but he is never the one left out! He likes to do whatever someone else is doing that appeals to him! Brady still will ask to hang out with me once in a while, especially while I'm working in the kitchen. He continues to meet some and exceed some of the goals that his PT has set for him. We have noticed a big improvement in his jumping. Brady boy has quite the stubborn side to him, but his silly side is the best!

Allie is 2 going on 4! In the past few days she has been telling us to potty train her--she really has told me that exact phrase! She is able to pee on the potty when we put her there. Allie is the most mischievous child we have ever had, but I guess that is not surprising. She easily will go with other adults and doesn't mind at all to be away from her siblings when they are at preschool or during church. She is very verbal and says just about anything. Matt and I always comment that she is definitely our toughest child (that is not surprising either!).

In other updates, Cara had her follow up with the eye specialist last week. Her vision in both eyes tested normal, which is an improvement for her left eye. She continues to tilt her head when looking at things in the distance. The specialist did not see any abnormal eye movements during the exam, and isn't sure why she is still tilting her head. He does not want to repeat the surgery that she had last year unless other symptoms emerge. So for now we keep watching it and will go back in 6 months.

There you have it! They are changing all the time!