Tuesday, May 31, 2011

top ten things I want to do this summer

Summer is here (in my opinion), and even though I am a stay-at-home mom to non-school-aged children, I do not want to waste the season.  So perhaps if I write it down & keep it simple, I will accomplish some things/have some fun in the next three months.

1. Take Bubby swimming - make use of Chow and Me's apartment pool before they move as well as locate and blow up his kiddie pool from last summer that we did not use.
2. Put something on my living room walls.  I have ideas...must do a couple of them.
3. Get some sun on my legs. Pictures from this weekend revealed I have not really seen the sun in two or three summers.
4. Get back into the library storytime routine.
5. Take Bubby and Bugaboo to the zoo. I have horrible memories of zoo-field trips both as a student and a teacher, but I am willing to give the zoo another chance for my sons.
6. Visit family. Trying to even figure out a way for us to see The Hubs' family this summer - I don't know that it is feasible, but I am trying to brainstorm how we could.
7. Learn to use my sewing machine and do a project.  I will need my mom's help to figure out what is wrong with my machine - oh and to teach me to sew.
8. Finish Bubby's 1-2 year album - I kept up with it pretty well. Just need to add May pictures, edit, and order.
9. Grill, grill, grill - and try new grilling recipes.
10. Keep sane while The Hubs works and takes summer classes.

The one (yet inevitable) thing I DO NOT want to do this summer is say good-bye to several people who are moving away.  In the words of Lloyd Christmas, "I hate good-byes!"

Top Ten {Tuesday}

Monday, May 30, 2011

birthday and dedication (and MM630-650)

The weekend was a whirlwind of festivities, celebrating, and food.  My boys are blessed to have so many people who love them.

630. safety and shelter
631. more than enough
632. winning a Dayspring giveaway
633. reading to first and second graders
634. clean bathrooms
635. Convoy of Hope
636. new steps towards new connections
637. my dishwasher
638. The Hubs mowing and weeding
639. friends and family who share in our celebrations
640. looking out and seeing a great church family
641. amazing, yet emotional, intergenerational service
642. the seriosness and sacredness of vows and promises
643. late night discussions with my mom and The Hubs
644. continued peace about closed doors
645. true joy (though bittersweet) for the open doors for so many this upcoming summer/fall
646. sound of a viola
647. His Eye Is On The Sparrow and the memories that song evokes
648. two years of Bubby in our world
649. Babu running with/pushing Bubby on his new trike chasing Sasha and the squeals of delight in such simplicity
650. overwhelming emotions when thinking that God trusts me enough to bless me the way He has and given me the responsibilty of being mommy

Thursday, May 26, 2011

convoy of hope

We bring water and other supplies
and write a check
but it doesn't feel like
So many have lost everything they own
and worse
so many have lost too many that they love.

And I sit on my computer with my roof
and my couch  and my clothes
and my comfort
and two little boys
that keep me from driving the hour to pick up debris
that used to be someone's life.

So I'll do what I can from here
and ask that you do what you can from where you are, too.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

top ten books I've read since becoming a mom

In just a few days I will become a mom of a two-year old.  Where does the time go?? Since becoming a stay-at-home mom, I am surprised that I actually have some free time (depending on the day/week/season/phase)- different than the free time I had when I was working as school teacher. And in that free time that I sometimes able to get, I often choose to read. Probably because it offers an escape, it teaches, it encourages, and it can be done in little snippets - which is how my freetime usually occurs - in snippets.

Top Ten {Tuesday}

This is my first time participating in Top Ten Tuesday, so here are my top ten reads from the last two years: (I hope I didn't forget a favorite)

10. In The Land of Believers: an outsider's extraordinary journey into the heart of the evangelical church - Gina Welch - I agreed with this atheist on a lot of her commentary (though not all) - very interesting read
9.The Mission of Motherhood - Sally Clarkson - gave me some things to think about as I entered this new phase of my life
8. The Christmas Sweater - Glenn Beck - even if you don't like Glenn Beck politically, this is an easy read, a simple but sweet story - warmed my heart - had nothing to do with politics
7.The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Shaffer and Barrows - LOVED the characters in this book - I wanted to be their friends
6. Living With Less So Your Family Has More - Jill Savage - the title really says it all
5. Forgotten God - Francis Chan - in many ways completely different than what I thought it was going to be about - huge fan of Chan
4. The Help - Kathryn Stockett - amazing characters, historical story - if you can only read one novel this year, read this one
3.Twilight - Stephenie Myer - yes, I finally gave in and watched the movies (which I am a book-first kind of a girl), and then have started the books. delightful. yes, I used the word delightful about a vampire book
2. Daniel - Beth Moore - technically more than a book, it was an 11-week study - my first Beth Moore study that I actually COMPLETED. I would do this one again it was THAT good.
1.One Thousand Gifts - Ann Voskamp - life-changing.

Monday, May 23, 2011

how to keep counting (MM 605 - 629)

The death toll climbs and the pictures are devastating just down the interstate from us. And I wonder how I can keep counting my gifts - big and small - in the midst of other people's loss and pain? How do I celebrate beauty and joy and laughter when tears come as I watch the news, listen to the radio, read prayer request from friends who are there in the aftermath. 
The gifts of the last week seem trivial now - but I will keep counting anyway because it only takes moments for everything to be lost.

And I am reminded again that as wonderful as the little blessings in life are, they are just reminders of what is really important - family, friends, faith and the Giver of them all.

605. out of the blue texts & emails of encouragement
606. trusting we are here for a reason
607. dreams
608. exhortation to take a step of faith
609. transparency from others
610. the Lord's prayer sung in service
611. learning to better memorize truth
612. sunlight streaming
613. sharing a muffin with Bubby
614. Beth Moore and Alicia Chole quotes posted and reminding me
615. chocolate cake for breakfast and chocolatey kisses
616. onions and tomatoes and mushrooms and peppers used in a few ways this week
617. choosing to let go
618. Bubby turning a paper towel roll into a trumpet and a sword
619. mom-made afghan pulled out
620. payment plan from hospital
621. Bugaboo eating his first foods
622. chunky baby legs
623. free photos
624. heart-stirring
625. "Auntie Me" calling to watch the boys so The Hubs and I could have a date
626. child-free dining

627. browsing bookstores
628. hands free to open car doors and to hold
629. walk in the park with my three favorite people

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I had a post mostly drafted before tonight's storms, and I hesitated finishing/posting amidst all the tornado devastation going on not-so-far-from-here. But the storms are a reminder that life is short. So short. So I will write and share.

I am done sitting on the sidelines of insecurity and excuses, and I want to be used for the kingdom.
Pastor Jennifer's message, Andy Stanley's video, Francis Chan clips, books I have been reading this month, conversations I have had ---  I want to be intentional with my thirties - not in a Bible-thumping way, but in relationships and in the words I speak/write. I spent much of the last six-ten years saying, "When such-and-such happens, I will ______." I don't want to waste my life.
I am getting glimpses at some of the details - or maybe details isn't the best description. I am getting a clearer vision.  Nothing has changed in my outer circumstances. Same location, same situations, but each day is becoming more of a gift, or rather, each day I am REALIZING the gifts I have been given and that I am called to be available and willing to serve and give right where I am. I want this transformation to continue.

Please keep our Missouri friends in your prayers as so many have lost so much.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

God is stirring something in my heart that I think has been there for a long time, but it is a louder stirring now.
This message from Francis Chan just confirmed the stirring more.

I am hoping God shows us some more details soon.  I don't want to live my life clinging to the balance beam.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

5 months and first food

So I am a little late with posting Bugaboo's five month pictures. By the way, when we had to take him to the doctor for his eyes this month, he weighed in at 14 lbs 8 oz.  They did not measure his length.  Anyhoo - the five month pictures:

He is growing up too fast.  Today he had his first food - mashed up bananas leftover from Bubby's lunch.  Bugaboo LOVED them and ate them like a pro, "chewing" and moving the food around and swallowing without thrusting the food out like babies usually do if they aren't ready.  He is apparently ready, so we will start some cereal this week, too.  Happy and sad for mommy.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


The Hubs has his last (of three) finals today. Anatomy and physiology.  He has been rockin' this class and his chemistry class this semester. Then he has a couple of weeks "off" (he will still be counseling) before his two summer classes begin (A&P II and some other science class). This fall he finishes two more prereqs, and Lord willing, he will begin his accelerated nursing program in the winter for sixteen months.
Please continue to pray for us as we keep stepping out in faith for the bigger picture of our future.  It is spiritually (and mentally and emotionally and physically) exhausting. We also covet prayers for provision of various needs and maybe a few "wants," too.
Two more years here.  I think I can, I think I can, ...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

MM 584-604

They came in on Thursday and left mid-Saturday.  A blur of celebration and food and time together as we recognized my not-so-little-anymore brother's hard work and accomplishment. Master's in Accounting.
Where's the little brother I bossed around?

Where's the crazy teenager in school musicals who answers to the name Lugz?

He's still here, but these days you can find him all grown up, reading stories to his oldest nephew when we come over for a visit.

I am so proud of his hard work and the type of man he has become.  We have our moments of disagreement from time to time, but I know that when push comes to shove that we have each other's back.  I could not ask for a better brother.

Joining with Ann celebrating the big moments and the everyday blessings

584. Bubby's barefeet FINALLY, FEARLESSLY frolicking in the grass
585. Bugaboo's hair damp as he snoozes on my neck
586. chopping onions for a new recipe and dinner together
587. Bubby sleeping while praise music pours through his room
588. leftovers that The Hubs says taste better than the original day
589. The Hubs bringing home dinner when I ruin what I was making
590. mama-gut confirmed by pediatrician
591. opening for next day appointment w/ pediatric opthomologist
592. Bugaboo's healthy eyes
593. knowledge of what to look for over the next few months in his eyes thanks to the doctor AND a friend who should have an honorary MD
594. open doors for loved ones
595. best friend turning thirty ... twenty years of friendship - what a gift that has been to me
596. homemade dinner rolls right out of the oven.. I almost make them as well as mom does

597. air conditioning
598. heat :)
599. old people smiling at my boys
600. master's degree celebration
601. grandparents playing with grandbabies

602. squeals from Bubby as he plays with his favorite dog, Sasha
603. Mimi playing Legos with and reading to her great-grandson
604. some one-on-one time with my grandmother

604. table filled with love and laughter

Bubby's birthday details

Bubby's birthday is coming up, and we are going to celebrate on May 28 at our house.  If you know us in "real life" feel free to come and help us celebrate around 5:00 that day.  Just let us know you are coming so I know how much food to prepare. :)
Also that next day is Bugaboo's dedication. Details are here if you missed them.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

behavior and beliefs

For the past few weeks I have been independently studying the book of 1 Timothy.  The last couple of days I have been reading 1 Tim. 5, the beginning part of which speak on caring for widows.  Paul writes (in the context of speaking on how the Church should act, spefically towards widows), "Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (v.8)
I don't think this is just financial/material provision, although in that culture that was a large concern for widows.  I think it was also giving of time, attention, friendship, love.  I could write paragraphs and point fingers about people who call themselves believers whose behaviors do not match their so-called beliefs, but I must also ask myself - what am I doing with my behavior? Do my beliefs and my behaviors match? It is not just a checklist because if that were the case, I could check this one off - cares for widows - check.  It is an attitude. And beyond just widows - orphans, the poor, the oppressed, the lonely.  What can I do in this place in my life to make sure my behavior and my beliefs match up?  What more is God asking of me? No, not asking, commanding of me?
In light of this verse, I have to say that I am ashamed of how some people I know treat widows. I completely understand what Ghandi meant when he said, "I like your Christ.  I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ."

Monday, May 9, 2011

MM 569-583

The thirteen hour solo Friday, the carnation my toddler put in the toilet, the diaper that exploded in the carseat after church - the memories of these are starting to fade already as I move Bubby's sweaty little head away from the bars of his crib and as Bugaboo finally falls asleep next to me.
Living a thank-full life takes effort.  Just when I think I have it down, my attitude, my circumstances get the better of me.  But I have a choice.  Wallow in negativity and thoughts of how I'll never get it perfect or give myself the grace to pick the gratitude up where I left off.  I choose grace, not just for others, but for myself.  Grace. Thanks. Joy.   Lessons I keep learning from life and from Ann and from so many more...

569. less ants this week
570. the way Bubby says "baby" in a high pitched voice when he talks to Bugaboo
571. One Thousand Gifts - finally my turn from the library
572. Bubby napping easily on a cranky day
573. saying "oh well" at failed muffins and eating a couple tops anyway
574. beautiful May days

575.watching Bubby build lego towers
576. the smell of Play-do as I roll snakes to my toddler's delight

577. Bugaboo's sweet snore

578. Bubby gobbling up "rocky" (broccoli)
579. sweet pea body wash
580. sharing ice cream on a spring night
581. driving with the windows down
582. the way icing drips on the lemon pound cake
583. the hums of lawn mowers

584. the ability to bend to pick up crumbs and having a child who gets crumbs everywhere
585. speech/language results
586. all of us up to see The Hubs off
587. plethora of Mother's Day cards to send - better late than never

588. Bubby's "signature" on cards and the way he loves the privilege of using a pen
589. Mother's Day nap for all four of us
590. March of Dimes walk with some of my favorite people

591. almost all of the ABC's learned
592. finally warm enough to wear coordinating Easter outfits

593. giving myself some grace

Friday, May 6, 2011

Bubby's speech/language assessment

Bubby had his speech/language assessment today.
Speech (articulation)
The way he is hard to understand is normal toddler stuff.  There is not a norm for articulation until 2 1/2- 3 years.  He is making all of the sounds he should, and even though he mixes some up, that is normal at this point.  There are even sounds they don't worry about until schoolage.  If the articulation doesn't improve, she can come back in 3-6 months.  It made me feel better that my initial gut was right - he is just a toddler.
The therapist gave me some ideas to help with the articulation, which are actually all things we are currently doing.  It helps having a background in education.

Language - right on track - he was even above the mean in all areas. :)
Receptive language - tested at 2 years 1 month
Expressive language - tested at 1 year 11 months

And now my verbal guy is down for a very rare morning nap because he woke up an hour early today and nothing else cured his crankiness.  I sure hope he naps this afternoon or it is going to be a long Friday for this mommy.

some randomness

Want to read a great engagement story? This gal made me laugh.

This gal made me want to go shopping and on vacation. sigh. My summer wardrobe is severely lacking.

Yesterday was an EXCELLENT Thursday.  I had errands to run, but I didn't because the boys were SOOOO good that I didn't want to mess up the goodness.  Therefore, everyone's Mother's Day cards will probably arrive Monday or Tuesday.  Oops! Sorry.

Bugaboo napped twice yesterday. Bubby played with his legos independently.  The boys "played" nicely together (which means Bugaboo wasn't fussy and Bubby didn't poke him in the eye.) Bubby and I had play-do time.  I made dinner AND an iced lemon pound cake because The Hubs would get a slice of it at Starbucks everyday with a peppermint mocha frap double blended everyday if we were rich.  I have never made a poundcake, and it turned out pretty much perfect.

I am reading three books at once thanks to my awesome public library.  The Help, Radical, and One Thousand Gifts.  Reading happens when the stars align and the boys nap simultaneously and my housework is (mostly) done.

There was another bug yesterday that met his match with me and the Swiffer.  It was smaller and not quite so nasty. But he was on Bubby's ceiling, so he had to be dealt with.  Bubby then spent the next five minutes imitating me by raising the Swiffer over his head.

I better get out of my cupcake pajama pants.  Bubby's speech assessment is at ten, and I have things that need to be done.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

buggies are not my friend

Bubby was napping, Bugaboo was sort-of napping, and I was chopping vegetables for tonight's dinner.  For some reason I looked up at my kitchen ceiling, and I almost screamed. A very nasty looking bug was there just hanging out- in my house - where I am constantly cleaning off counter and table tops, and dishes are always put in the dishwasher and the floors are vacuumed every other day - so there should not be any bugs.  But there he was, taunting me because I had no idea how to get him down without having him fall on me or run and hide somewhere.  I called The Hubs, but as luck would have it he was between classes and a client, so I had to put on my big girl panties and take care of it.  (The Hubs did suggest using The Swiffer to get the bug, which was excellent because it provided some distance between the bug and me.) Armed with a paper towel covered Swiffer and hurrying because Bugaboo was now up and crying, I attacked. The bug fell onto my floor.  I whacked him again, but he kept moving. Two more hits, and he looked dead, so with more paper towel I went to grab him. But you know how in scary movies the bad guy some how leaps up from the ground to get one more round in even though he should be dead - yeah - the bug waved his leg (or antenae) at me and managed to catch me off guard. Whack! I smooshed that nasty thing and threw him in my trash.  And I still feel like I could throw up.  I hope if he has any friends they got the message and are not going to enter my house.
Blah. I really could throw up.

 Encourage someone today with the gift of laughter, of joy,  of springtime!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

bath time for Bugaboo

Bugaboo LOVES taking a bath.  He hates getting out of the tub.  Isn't he so stinkin' cute?

what are the MacBoys up to?

In less than ONE month, Bubby will turn two! I can't even think about it right now.

So what are the boys up to these days?
  • sleeping through the night consistently from about 1030ish to at least 7:00 - sometimes 7:30 - and if I am REALLY lucky 8:00. But usually around 7:00. won.der.ful
  • his hair is getting lighter, though it is still brown (even though it shows up slightly reddish in some pictures)
  • smiling more.
  • rolling occasionally front to back
  •  desperately wanting to roll back to front
  • getting better at tracking
  • trying to scoot - doesn't get very far - though he does move a little bit - and the other night he turned himself 90 degrees in his bed
  • moved out of the bassinet portion into the regular portion of the pack'n'play (yes, he is still in our room)
  • went to the nursery for the first time this weekend at MOPS and then Sunday at church - I had a really easy time not worrying about it because Mrs. G (my former professor-Dr. G's wife) was in there
  • loves smiling at/"talking" to his big brother
  • learning more names of people - was talking about his friend, Luke, yesterday :) and then after MOPS today he kept saying "Cody, Addie" which were two kiddos in nursery today
  • learning more letters from his blocks/books/toys
  • new song this week - "This Little Light of Mine," which he calls, "Shine" - he likes the part where we hide the candle and the part where we blow it out best
  • getting so much better at using a fork - I seriously think the fork usage is going much better than the spoon usage
  • will have a speech assessment on Friday
  • loves to pretend to talk on the phone - he especially loves to pretend call Babu, Boppy, Mimi, Sasha, and Airy...aka Erinn
  • is fascinated with the toilet - as in trying to throw things into it - we need the space-toilet contraption from BabyMama
  • is now being given the consequence of the "naughty rug" when he disobeys - so far the first 24 hours of using it have gone decent 

Monday, May 2, 2011

I could waste a lot of time here

My friend and former colleague blogged about pinterest.  I was skeptical, but intrigued enough to sign up.
This stay-at-home mama can dream and plan and wish and windowshop and keep track of cool ideas/inspiring items all from the comfort of the couch during naptime and not spend a dime.
So since it was a gray, rainy day AND I had everything done I needed to do today except vacuuming (which I can't do during naptime anyway) AND I got my invite, I had some online downtime.  This could become an addiction. Luckily it costs nothing but my time. And I promise I am going to limit myself to how much perusing I do. (Oh, how I am loving perusing other people's boards.)
I. love. it.
Once life hands me more time (for projects) and more money (for my dream home and my dream wardrobe), my pinterest board will come in very handy I think.  Time and money are at best two years away - and more likely five or six or more- so this will do for now.

it's never too late to be thankful (MM 550-568)

For a few months now, I have been doing my gratitude list on this blog every Monday.  It helped my
Mondays to pause and be thankful. But this last week I started jotting them down (almost) daily in a simple spiral notebook.  It is hard to be down for too long when at some point during the day I have to stop and think of the good things, the simple things.
continuing to join with Ann's community
550.frosted sugar cookies
551. sounds of Bubby napping
552. huge box of diapers in the mail
553. great deal on Cheerios and paper towels - both of which we go through quickly
554. answer to prayer
555. March of Dimes walk donations - and remembering WHY I walk - for Bubby and Bugaboo and their friends, Luke and Caleb
556. seeds
557. calm in stressful moments
558. a couple of days with sunshine
559. a walk in the park
560. learning to control negative thoughts
561. making it to MOPS and hearing just what I needed from Pastor Jennifer
562.  the sweet ladies in the nursery who make it easier for me to put Bugaboo in the nursery for the first time
563. Saturday evening with friends of The Hubs
564. conversation with new friend who can relate
565. clean sheets
566. daily load of laundry eliminating stress
567. remembering the fingerprints and lip prints and Cheerio crumbs on the coffee table are just for a season - enjoy EVERY baby/toddler moment
568. justice served