Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I thought it seemed appropriate to make my thankful list a day early this week. Here's what I'd share around our dinner table today if I could go on and on . . . and on:

  • Healthy, precious children
  • A husband who loves me and whom I love.
  • A husband who loves our children as much as I do and wants to be involved in their lives, from playing with them to teaching them to disciplining them.
  • My health, including the noteworthy fact that I am currently on NO blood pressure medication.
  • Leaves and kids who love to rake them and jump in them
  • Kids who love to help me cook
  • Banana pudding
  • A house . . . though I'd really love a buyer for it, too!
  • Great weather on this gorgeous Thanksgiving Day
  • Redeeming love and mercy
  • Heat in my van
  • That my kids love to snuggle with each other, and the boys love to tuck Lauren in at night. (She loves it to.)
  • Family
  • Friends

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Look, mom!

If I had a dollar for every time I heard those words, I'd be a millionaire. This morning, it was Ethan excitedly running into my room to share with me the groundbreaking news that he had found both of his Spiderman crocs. For some reason - maybe because it was only the first time I'd heard "look, mom" today - the significance of those words struck me in a way it ordinarily does not. Plenty are the times those same words have elicited annoyance and irritation after having heard them at least 3 dozen times already in a day. But, today my heart was soft, and the Lord reminded me what a treasure those two words are.

Look, mom.

It's amazing all that's communicated in those two little words. Not only is my son telling me that this thing he's sharing is important to to him, but that I am the person he wants to share it with. Sure, this morning it was a Spiderman croc, but just as often it's a treasured find - a rock or lizard needing care only a mother can give. Frequently, it's a newly developed skill - reading, adding, or doing double somersaults off the sofa. Sometimes it's mundane (Lauren poured out the Rice Krispies again); other times it's momentous (my tooth came out!).

If only I could find a way to maintain my perspective and treasure each "Look, mom" for what it really is - an invitation for me to share in the thoughts and feelings of a person more precious to me than life itself. An offer to come along side and experience what he is experiencing, see what he is seeing, love what he is loving. How long will that invitation stand? I know that at some point, that enthusiasm and openness will inevitably wane, and I will be left looking for a window into the heart and mind of my child. How thankful I am to have it effortlessly right now.

Lord, help me to cherish the "Look, mom's" even when they interrupt my thoughts and tasks for the thousandth time. Show me how to keep this most priceless invitation open for as long as I can, and let me never quench my child's enthusiasm or crush his spirit as he shares his thoughts, skills, discoveries, and treasures with me. Even if sometimes it is just a Spiderman croc.

Way Back Whensday

Lauren will be three next week. It is always with mixed emotions that I look at pictures of her as a newborn. She was my only girl, my last baby, and she had to be induced three weeks early due to my high blood pressure. Every mom feels protective of her unborn/newborn baby during delivery, but with Lauren, I felt even more so. To make matters worse, I missed most of the first few weeks of her life because of my out-of-control blood pressure, which caused me to be hospitalized without her from days 4-8 of her life, and then it was still several weeks after that before I could take care of her well alone. The upside is that she bonded with my mom and my sister-in-law in a way that she never otherwise could have. She spent the first few weeks of her life with her Gaga and her Aunt Nae doing most of her middle-of-the-night feedings and diaper changes. I sometimes felt like they knew her better than I did . . . which I realize is a pretty silly thought when you're talking about a 3 week old, but women who've recently given birth aren't always the most logical thinkers. After two 8 1/2 lb boys, she seemed like such a fragile little peanut at 6lbs 5oz. Which, if you know Lauren at all now, is a pretty hilarious thought. She's about as far from "fragile" and "peanut" as one can get. But, she's still awfully special. She's still my last baby. She's still my only girl. And, she's still beautiful.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Not sure she gets the whole cross thing

On the way home from taking Josh to school (and David to work because I left his car battery on all weekend) this morning:

Lauren: Mommy, why did the song say, "Jesus died?"
Me: Because He did. He died on the cross, remember? But, did He stay dead?
Lauren: No?
Me: That's right; He came back to life.
Ethan: When we die, we'll stay dead, right Mommy?
Me: Well, our spirits won't, but our bodies will. Our bodies won't come back to life like Jesus' did.
Lauren (very excitedly, having just come up with the world's most brilliant plan) : Well, mommy . . . I can help y'all get off of y'all's crosses when I get off of my cross, and then we'll all be alive again!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thankful Friday

  • These three precious faces
  • A great friend for a neighbor. Lauren gets to go play with Bethany this morning while I go to Josh's Thanksgiving party at school.
  • That Ethan gets to go see Seussical the Musical with my mom and Lesey this morning
  • Two people are coming to see our house in the morning. It would be great if one of them makes an offer, but the very least it will cause me to have a clean house.
  • Warm clothes
  • Medicine . . . without it I'm sure we would have even worse coughs and even runnier noses. Just trying to think positive here.
  • A short week for Josh and David next week
  • Joshua's reading - he read Lauren's bedtime book to her last night. Very cute.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Homemade ice cream recipe - no ice cream maker required

So, just the opposite of a diet pill post, huh?

I came across this recipe recently and thought it seemed like something fun to try with the kids. It is not low-fat. It is not healthy. It is easy. It is yummy.

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat whipping cream with hand mixer until thick.
Beat in condense milk and extract.
Freeze at least 5-6 hrs.

Delicious. I think I'll try it with almond extract, too.

A new diet pill perhaps?

I've been having trouble sleeping lately. A lot of trouble. So much so that David is going to cut up the credit cards soon because, in case you didn't know . . . My name is Becky, and I have a problem with infomercials. P90X? Check. Shark cordless sweeper? Check. Magic Bullet? Check.

So, in the interest of our family finances (and of not ending up like my grandmother who apparently owned 27 vacuum cleaners when she died), I went to the doctor and obtained some Lunesta. (Which is the happy, peaceful butterfly ad, not the talking Abe Lincoln and beavers ad . . . that's how I decided.)

So, I've taken Lunesta for the past 2 nights, and let me just say . . . it's not a fun pill. The packaging says it may cause "bad taste in mouth." Um, understatement of the year. About 25 minutes after taking it, it tastes like a piggy bank gave birth in your throat. And, even worse, it continues throughout the following day making everything - especially water - taste like the babies born to said piggy bank. I actually threw away a bottle of water yesterday morning, thinking something was wrong with it before I realized the problem was me.

So, now I have to choose. Sleep or eat? I think I'll take sleep and perhaps dream of a way to make money marketing Lunesta as a diet pill.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Guess this one's an outtake

Good call?

Way Back Whensday

Regent's Barrister's Ball 2001. Weren't we young?

And, just for the girls. Always the FFFM's. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

At least someone does

Tucking Lauren into bed tonight, we sang a few songs as is our nightly ritual. Afterward as she was giving me her usual giant snuggle-hug, she said, with great enthusiasm I might add, "I LOVE singing with my mother!"

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sleeping and snacking - what a combination

Is there any better way to fall asleep than on the couch in the middle of stuffing your face with Ruffles?

I knew when she woke and fell asleep again because I heard a moment of chewing and then the return of silence.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Chivalry is not dead . . . thank God!

I went out late last night. Yeah, I'm talking left my house at 9:15 PM and didn't return home until way past . . . 11. Okay, so I'm not a teenager anymore. I'm in my, ahem, late twenties. (Hey, it could be true if you adhere to a literal definition of "late.")

So, already last night I was out of my element in so many ways . . . out past dark, on my way home from a blues club (Broad Street Blues in Phenix City - my brother's band was playing there and will be again on 12/6. Like that plug, Dan?), and driving someone else's car (David's because, ironically as you'll soon see, my heater doesn't work).

Now, about the heater . . . it's the darnedest thing. The heater in my minivan (so just gave away my age fib, didn't I?) stopped working week before last. It blows air, just not hot air. Being on top of things as always, I have not gotten around to fixing it, and really, it has not mattered since the heat has not been necessary lately anyway. Until last night.

I left the house in David's car for the sole purpose of having heat. Imagine my surprise and chagrin when I couldn't get it to blow warm air. Nothing but cold. Normally, I would have called David and asked how the heck you turn his heater on, but given that I was having the exact same problem with my van, I started to think maybe it wasn't the vehicles after all. Maybe I was just an idiot. I mean, what are the odds that the heat would be broken in both of our vehicles when we've had them both for years and never had a temperature problem of any sort. Maybe having not used a heater since early spring, I'd just forgotten how. So, I kept fiddling with the buttons, and finally about halfway to the blues club, I pressed a defroster button I had not pressed theretofor, and the heat came on. Great, problem solved; I was indeed just an idiot.

Well, on the way home that defroster button did not work such magic. Nor did any others. Still thinking the problem must be me and that it's not a big deal anyway, what with the awesome seat warmer with which David's car is equipped (no such frivolities on my van, mind you), I persevered on my late night drive home freezing, but with a warm butt at least.

And then I saw it.


A lot of smoke.

I was stopped at a light waiting to turn onto the final highway toward my house when I noticed smoke in my rearview mirror. "Hmm," I thought, "wonder where that smoke is coming from." Looked around. No other cars in the turning lanes. Just me. That can't be good, I thought, but still not 100% sure it's me (yes, I'm a little slow), I decided to go ahead and start turning onto the on ramp and see if the smoke followed me. Of course, it did. Not only was it following me, it was coming out of my hood. So, I swerved into the other lane and turned into a gas station instead. By the time I parked, the smoke was coming into the car from under the dashboard.

Trying not to panic that my car was about to explode, I reminded myself of the independent, problem-solving, un-damsel in distress type woman that I am. I would just pop the hood and take a look. Well, um, I couldn't pop the hood. That's right . . . couldn't even pop the darn hood. Something told me that that fact, combined with my complete and total ignorance as to how a car works, did not bode well for me.

Thank God for chivalry. Two young guys in pickup trucks, one wearing a camouflage jacket and hat, saw my newly acquired damsel-in-distress status and offered their assistance. Turns out the radiator cap was not screwed on all the way, so the antifreeze had leaked out and spewed all over the engine. (That sort of sounded like I know something, didn't it? You'd never believe how long it took me to determine that this "antifreeze" and "radiator fluid" they were referring to were, in fact, one and the same.) So, I bought some anitfreeze, and my rescuers filled the radiator for me. Which was a good thing because apparently this task involves gloves and a funnel, both of which I neither possessed nor would have considered using.

So, please, if anyone tells you chivalry is dead, rest assured . . . it is not. However, just in case it does succumb to sudden death, I think I'll find out how a car works. Or at least the heater.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thankful Friday

  • Three potty trained children
  • Ethan's safety. He got "attacked" by a dog Wednesday night when he and David went for a walk. It bit at him and tore a hole in his pants but did not get his skin. Thank you, Jesus.
  • Date night tonight. And my mom for making it possible. (I should just put "my mom" on a template for my thankful list each week!)
  • Unexpectedly getting to spend time catching up with Melissa on Wednesday.
  • Playdough
  • How great Ethan and Lauren have been getting along the past few days. They love playing together.
  • The holidays approaching . . . can't wait to decorate for Christmas. Only 13 days until Thanksgiving.
  • David and the kids being home on Tuesday - a great day together in the middle of the week.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Snuggling with Lauren, my still 2 year old (for 3 more weeks), on the couch this morning.

Me: Ooh, I love you. I'm so glad God gave me a daughter. When you grow up are you going to be my best friend?
Lauren: Um, I really don't think so.
Me: You don't? Why not?
Lauren: Well . . . because I sort of don't want to.

A worthwhile investment

Disclaimer: I've hesitated in hitting "post" on this one because I don't want anyone to think I may be referring to them in the following self-pity wallow. Chances are good that if you're reading my blog, I'm not talking about you at all. Please know that.

I love to invest in people. Time, finances, skills (the few I have) . . . it is one of my greatest pleasures in life to spend those things on other people, often without their knowing. I take joy in it. If I were guessing at my love languages (having not read the book in more than a decade, though apparently I can take a 30 second quiz), I'd say my primary two are acts of service and gifts. In doing things for other people - be it babysitting, cooking, writing a note, running an errand - I hope I am communicating to them that a.) they are important to me and b.) I have time in my life for them. (I could write a whole other post on the tension that arises between my desire to serve other people and the need to be present for my own family and serve them first and foremost. I'll save that post for another day.)

I have long been frustrated . . . no, that's not the right word . . . saddened is better, by what I perceive as a lack of return on my investment. Don't get me wrong; I realize how selfish that sentence sounds. I don't perform acts of service for others so that they will be reciprocated . . . that would be just the opposite of the motive I truly have. But, I am wired in such a way that longs for deep and meaningful friendships. (For the record, I am aware that I have 6 of the best and closest friends a person could ever dream of, but sadly 5 of them live far, far away, which doesn't help me much today, does it?)

The human, self-pitying part of me longs to know what more I can do. What is the point of caring so much and getting what feels like so little in return? This morning I feel like God revealed at least part of the answer to me. Of course, I've always known the textbook answers . . . Do everything as unto the Lord, seek not the applause of men, your reward is in heaven, etc, etc. But, this morning as I was talking to my kids about why we were putting together shoe boxes for Samaritan's Purse, it hit me . . . even if no one else ever knows (and I hope they don't) about all the time and effort I've put into the people around me . . . not only does God know, but so do my children. They see me day in and day out investing in the lives of the people around me. They know that I care and that the tangible evidence of that is in doing, giving, loving . . . often without obvious return. How valuable a lesson this is for them, I cannot even guess. It is my hope that they will grow up doing for others, serving, as naturally as breathing.

And, if that is the return I get on my investment, I will be a blessed woman indeed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

She did it

Sometime Sunday evening Lauren had a breakthrough. Apparently the light bulb finally flashed, and she figured out how to use the potty and has not had a single accident since. I know in light of the significant and unprecedented events taking place in the world right now, this seems like a trivial announcement, but trust me, in our household it's the top story.

Now to figure out how to find some balance. She seems to have gone from one extreme to the other. Three days ago she wouldn't sit on the toilet without crying that she didn't want to and couldn't go. Now, I can't get her to wait more than 10 minutes without going potty again. A good problem to have, I suppose.

Two conversations from yesterday:

While I was making lunch Lauren came up to me out of the blue and said, "Mommy, I'm really proud of you." "Why," I asked? "Because sometimes you go on the potty, too!" Sometimes?

As she's exiting the bathroom after her 37th trip yesterday, I hear a rustling sound. She has her hands behind her back, so I think she's holding something.
Me: Lauren, what do you have?
Lauren: Nothing
Me: What is that noise? Show me your hands.
Nothing in her hands, but I see something sticking out of her pants.
Me: Did you put a diaper on?
Lauren: No.
Turning her around, I discover she has stuffed a, um, "feminine napkin" into her underwear. Trying not to laugh hysterically, I ask her why she has that in her pants.
Lauren: I need it because I'm a big girl now!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Another blessing

Yes, I know this seems a bit like phoning it in, but these two songs I pray and sing over my children are truly precious to me. This is another Dennis Jernigan song (He's an awesome songwriter; you'd know him from "All in All" (You are my stength when I am weak . . . ). He's worth checking out if for no other reason than to hear and learn the words to the song "This is My Destiny" - a life changing song for me.) However, that's not the song tonight's blog post is about. This one is called "I Bless You," and the words to this one are framed and hanging in my boys' bedroom. We sing and pray it often.

I Bless You
by Dennis Jernigan

I bless you with joy and peace
And love that won’t let go
I bless you with grace and faith
And fire in your soul
I bless you with dreams and visions
Most men don’t know of
I bless you with deeper knowledge
Of our Father’s Love

I bless you with the heart of a warrior,
Grace to stand and fight
I bless you with brothers
Who will stand right by your side
I bless you with courage
Till the battles have been won
I bless you with the faith to hear your Father say,
“Well done!”

I bless you with joy and laughter
I bless you with a steadfast faith
I bless you with the hopes and the dreams
That your heart goes after
I bless you with amazing grace

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I'm a fan of blessings. Maybe it stems from my early childhood love of Fiddler on the Roof . . . who knows. But, I especially love to speak and sing blessings over my children. There is something powerfully moving for me - and I hope eventually for them - to hear out loud the prayers of my heart for them. There are two songs by Dennis Jernigan that I sing/speak over my kids the most often. I thought I'd share the lyrics for anyone else who may be interested in praying these powerful prayers over your children, or any loved one for that matter. The one I'll share tonight is called, appropriately, The Blessing Song and was sung at mine and David's wedding while our fathers prayed quietly for us at the altar. I have the words matted and framed in Lauren's room, and I have sung this over them so many times that they know most of the words.

The Blessing Song
by Dennis Jernigan

May the Lord answer you in the day of your trouble
May the name of the Lord be your strong mighty tower
May He grant you your heart's deepest dreams and desires
May He answer each time you call
May He pour out the blessing of heaven
May you cast your cares on Him and daily fall
May you live to see your children's children
May Lord Jesus be your all in all

May the Lord Jesus Christ satisfy beyond all measure
May His Word light your path and
May His peace guard your heart
May your days be filled with gladness,
Joy and peace through any sadness
Filled with love that will not depart
May your strength be renewed like the eagle
As you run the race, may joy flood every part
May your memories all be sweet in each parting
May the peace of Christ rule in your heart

May His Word be to you health and life, joy and treasure
May your home be a light, and may the Lord guard your ways
May the Lord be your Shepherd
May His goodness and mercy follow after you all your days.
May His mercies be new every morning
May His grace and Holy Spirit help you stand
May you live your life to die for the gospel
May you hold to His unchanging hand

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thankful Friday

Delightful children and the ability to laugh with them. Though it was supposed to be bedtime, who can resist a giggle at the sight (and the enthusiasm) of Underwear Men and their sidekick,

Longhair Pants Girl. (all named by Joshua)A fun afternoon of playing at Burger King and having great conversation with my parents and our dear friend, Rita. (How do you like that, Ree? A shout-out for your first blog-reading?)

Pizza/popcorn picnic movie nights. Tonight's selection was Dinosaur.

A much needed return to my women's Bible Study yesterday. It's been a few weeks since I was able to make it, so I was totally unprepared, and no one cared a bit.

Our house got shown twice this week. Granted, one was this afternoon with 15 minutes notice and 4 kids in tow, but traffic is traffic, right?

A six year-old who loves to vacuum. Came in handy today.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

War ain't pretty, soldier

Joshua spent some of his birthday money last month on a set of toy soldiers. It included dozens of soldiers in various positions/stages of battle, tanks, bunkers, a helicopter . . . you know, all the usual little green pieces of plastic needed to accurately replicate an activity in which humans blow one another to smithereens.

Yesterday the boys and I were setting up a battle in the driveway. Putting all of our little soldiers into place, I noticed Josh setting a few aside. When I asked him why, he said, "Because those guys are just cutting the grass." Huh? I looked at the soldiers in question, and I suppose to innocent eyes they did indeed look like they were swinging weed-whackers:

I had no idea toy soldier sets had come such a long way since we were kids. I remember them all being in the same position holding the same type of gun. Now there are guys on their bellies with rifles aimed, guys holding radios and pointing, guys looking through binoculars, guys with all manner of different weapons from bazookas to grenades. Here's where I think the realism went a little over the top:

Yes, they came out of the box that way. One missing everything except a trunk and the other missing his feet. Thanks a lot, Hasbro. On the bright side, it made it easy to explain what the mine-sweeper guy was doing, right?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Glad I Could Help

Josh: Mom, I don't like this skateboard I got for my birthday. It's too hard. I keep falling.
Me: Maybe you don't know how to do it right. Here, let me show you . . . whoa . . . aaaaaauugghh . . . crap . . . OOOOWWWW!
Josh: Mommy, are you okay?

Way Back Whensday

Beach 2006. Lauren was 6 months, Ethan not quite 2, and Joshua 3. We all had chubbier cheeks back then.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween 2008

The princess on her bike.

The kids each went through 2 costumes on Friday. Josh was a skunk for school:

In the afternoon my mom and I took the kids to Toys R Us for what they billed as a "parade" plus goodie bags, treats, etc. Let's just say it was not all it was cracked up to be, but the kids still liked having an opportunity to dress up in more than one costume. Here is Darth Vader, Southern Belle, Optimus Prime, and a princess with Geoffrey the giraffe from TRU:

Here they are again outside:

For the actual trick-or-treating, Josh wore Darth Vader again, Ethan wore the skunk costume, Lauren changed into Snow White (but I forgot to get a picture before we put her coat on!), and Lesey as the Southern Belle.

The skunk costume from the back so you can see the tail.

Vote for Julia Slater for DA

Yes, I'm using my blog as a political forum now. No, I haven't posted in almost a week because we have all been (and still are) sick. Yes, I know many of you have voted already. BUT, for those of you who live in Columbus (or the surrounding counties: Marion, Harris, Chattahoochee, Taylor, Talbot) and haven't voted, here is a commercial for Julia Slater who is running for DA. David used to work with her in the DA's office and now works with her at his firm. I also worked with her before I quit practicing in 2004, and David and I both fully support her campaign for District Attorney. If you haven't voted yet, vote for her.