Thursday, September 30, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday


Is this the cutest cub scout you ever saw?


I have mixed feelings about this Scouting thing. As you can see from the picture, Joshua went to Tuesday night's pack meeting with his shirt untucked.

We were also late.

I'm pretty sure we are a walking violation of the Scout Code what with its emphasis on preparedness and responsibility and all.


I know I promised parenting fluff today, but the truth is I just got nothin'.


Some weeks I find my kids ridiculously cute. Funny, endearing, precious, and all that. This has not been one of those weeks.


From the moment the boys came home from school today (Thurs night), Lauren and Ethan were on High Volume. There was shrieking and screaming, laughing and lamenting, howling and hollering.

All at maximum volume.

All afternoon.

And well into the evening.


Then there was bedtime. Amid cries of, "I need a drink of water," "My tummy hurts," "I'm scared," and "Ethan won't stop farting into his elbow," I finally heard one that got my attention.

"Mom, I never ate supper."

Since mom has had a raging sore throat, headache, and backache all day, mom retreated to the bathtub when dad came home. Mom asked dad to heat up some leftover chicken soup for the kids. Dad heated said soup, but apparently Joshua had a stomachache and did not eat said soup. Which he neglected to tell me until bed time two hours later.

Of course, Joshua's recollection that he never ate dinner triggered Ethan's recollection that he never did his homework. Normally, mom stays on top of these matters, but like I said, mom was letting Calgon take her away.

I think next time I should have Calgon bring me home sooner. Or keep me away longer. Either one would have worked.


I think I have decided for sure that I am not qualified to have three kids and a dog. Since I've gotten pretty attached to the kids over the years, I'm thinking it's the dog that needs to go.

Anyone want a really cute black/white dog who is completely house-broken, knows how to sit and lie down, and never, ever bites?

(Disclaimer: The aforementioned dog may or may not run away on a regular basis, dig dozens of holes in one's yard, jump on people with enough enthusiasm to knock over Andre the Giant, and chew up everything in sight, including but not limited to, socks, tissues, toys, rugs, coffee tables, and underwear. Dog comes with a lifetime warranty and money-back guarantee, but of course, some exclusions apply.)

Don't forget to check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Lie

File under: Posts that are better classified as sermons

If you're looking for fluffy, funny parenting stories, check back on Friday. Trust me, I'll have fluff. Tonight I have the opposite of fluff.
The Lie

When Satan deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden, he did so with a lie that has plagued people since.

Satan told Eve, "For God knows that in the day you eat from [this tree], your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Gen. 3:5)

He tricked Eve into believing that she was missing something. That there was more to be had than what she had already, which ironically, was God Himself. As if there could be more.

Prior to her encounter with the serpent, Eve had been at peace. She was already like God, made in His image, walking with Him, and exercising dominion over His creation. She wasn't missing anything.

But Satan attacked her in her place of peace. Her place of rest.

A couple of years ago I did a Beth Moore Bible study called "A Heart Like His." It's an excellent study of King David, and I highly recommend it. Since completing that study, I have found myself drawn time and again to the stories of David, Saul, Eli, Samuel, and Amalek.


Yes, it's a long story, but the gist of it is that God told Saul to attack Amalek, to "utterly destroy all that he has" and not to spare a man, woman, sheep, ox, etc. God was pretty clear about what Saul was to do, which was to leave absolutely no trace of the Amalekites. Saul, however, did not obey this directive; instead he killed everyone except Agag, the king of the Amalekites, and he spared the best of the sheep, oxen, and lambs. It was this disobedience that caused God not only to reject Saul as king but to remove his Spirit from Saul and send an evil spirit upon him instead. (Summarized from I Samuel 15 and 16)

Okay, if you haven't studied this, it all sounds pretty horrific. I agree; the world was a pretty brutal and savage place back then, and wars and destruction were part and parcel of the time.

But, there was something unique about God's wrath toward the Amalekites. There are numerous other incidents in scripture where God directs the Israelites to conquer another nation. He sent them into battle often, but His directive to utterly destroy the Amalekites is unique. There is something about it that caused me to want a closer look at why God despised the Amalekites so much.

To figure that out, I had to flip back over to Exodus where God had some pretty harsh words to say about Amalek: "I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven."

Wow, that's pretty strong.

What had Amalek done? Sure, he had attacked the Israelites, but so had lots of others. Why this invective against Amalek?

Here's what it says in Exodus 17:8 about what Amalek did while the Israelites were on their way from Egypt to the promised land: "Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim."

Of course, I had to look up Rephidim, and guess what it means? "Rest"

As far as I can tell, there are only two individuals in the Bible whom God has made His mortal enemies and promised to utterly destroy: Satan and Amalek

Here's what the two have in common: They both attacked the "Rest" of God's people. Just like when Satan attacked Eve's rest, causing her to believe there was more to God than she had, that she was missing something, Amalek attacked God's people in their place of rest, and God promised to utterly blot out his memory from the face of the earth.

God does not take kindly to one who robs His people of their ability to rest in Him. If we know Christ, we are okay with God. We can cease striving. We have eaten of the Bread of Life and need not hunger again.

When Satan deceived Eve, when He made her hunger for something she already had, God warned him that he would "put enmity between you (Satan) and the woman, and between your seed and her seed." I've heard it said that this verse is the very first evidence of the gospel, the good news that God is not content to leave us on Satan's side. He made us enemies of Satan and promised that the Savior (the woman's seed) would come and crush him.

And of course, God did eventually wipe out Amalek's seed. Saul let Agag live, and eventually from Agag's lineage, we get to Haman, who we're told in the book of Esther, plotted to destroy all of the Jews. Haman is a direct descendant of Agag who was a descendant of Amalek. Interestingly, Haman is the only name I have ever looked up in the cyclopedic index of my Bible for which there was no meaning listed. None. It is meaningless. (If you research it, you will find that meanings were later assigned to the name, but all the sources I could find are in agreement that the meaning is sort of just agreed upon and was not originally the meaning of the name. I'm not sure what the significance of that is, if any, but I found it interesting that the end of Amalek's seed was a meaningless man who was hanged on his own gallows.) Esther 7:1-10

My point is this: Do not let Satan attack you in your place of rest. He wants to rob you of your peace and convince you that Christ in you is not enough. It's not true. He is all we need. No more, no less.

If resting is not your strong suit, and you feel like you need to "do" something, try this: love your neighbor.

Of all the verbs God could have used to describe Himself (and He used a lot of nouns), He chose love. It's the only verb I know of that God associated with Himself. He called Himself the Way, the Truth, the Life, the Bread, the Light, the Resurrection. But only one verb: Love. (Okay, technically, "Am," which He did use, is a verb, but it's not an action verb.)

There's my advice to you if you are "hungry for God." Rest in the knowledge that you have Him, and love your neighbor as yourself.

You'll see Him.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Weigh-In

Pounds Down:

This week: 2.6
Total: 7.0

I am finally officially over my sugar addiction. It took a couple of weeks of no exceptions, but on Friday I had a few sips of coke and felt absolutely no compulsion to drink an entire 2 liters. It feels really good not to crave sugar all the time now.

Another rule I'm following: no eating late at night. If I can't stop thinking about food, I go to bed. Just like with the sugar, after a week or so, I stopped wanting to eat at night all the time. It's amazing how quickly our bodies can be conditioned.

And re-conditioned if we just find the right motivation. Which for me is my favorite jeans. :) I'm hoping to be in them by November.

Friday, September 24, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday


As I write this, I'm channeling Edgar Allen Poe: "The fruit flies! The fruit flies!"

Haven't I been complaining about fruit flies for way too long now? Is it even possible to have them for this long?

I'm on my way to a rubber room.


Shocking news: I bought Lauren a new outfit the other day.

I know, I know. Hard to believe what with how I can't go into any store anywhere in the world without wandering into the little girls' section.

So last week I was in Bon Ton and saw the cutest little outfit: black leggings with a dress that is black and white checkers on the bottom and black on top with silver necklace appliques. Very cute. Oh, and I may have also gotten her a Hello Kitty jacket. I can't help it; she loves Hello Kitty!

Of course as soon as she saw the outfit, she put it on and fell in love with it. She put the Hello Kitty jacket on over it and said she was zipping it all the way up so she could surprise Daddy when she unzipped it and showed him the "pretend necklaces" on the dress.

Imagine my shock when she says to me, "Mommy, when I show daddy the dress, I'm gonna go like this:"

(starts unzipping the jacket, smiling, and making googly eyes): "Heeeeey, good-lookin'"


Just insert utter shock here.


After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I asked her where she heard that, fully expecting to hear something that would incriminate the neighbor kids, the big brothers, maybe her fellow soccer players.


"From a story at school."

Apparently, they read a story wherein a character looked at the mirror and said to him/herself, "Heeeey, good-lookin'!"

The connection with unzipping the jacket was purely coincidental. I hope. Unless in her class at the Christian preschool, they were reading a book about a hooker.


In other conversation news, I had this one with David yesterday regarding whether I should keep my mouth shut about something that really burned me up:

Me: So, you think I shouldn't say that?
David: No, you're bigger than that.
Me: I'm not big. I'm small. Tiny.
David: Well, be big anyway.
Me (channeling Jerry Seinfeld talking about being a pirate): But, I don't wanna be big.

Sometimes the high road is not all it's cracked up to be. Especially when one's mind comes up with the zingers mine does. Seriously, the things I wanted to say were way too good to be wasted in just my own thoughts. They would have won the Pulitzer of Snarky Remarks.

Why, yes, the self-control I exercise is practically Herculean, thankyouverymuch.


We sing a song at church that contains the line, "I want to feel the hand of God move mightily inside of me." For the record, it's another song I intensely dislike. However, God speaks to me through anything he chooses.

A few weeks ago as we were singing it, I accidentally messed up the lyrics and sang "in spite of me" instead of "inside of me."

The truth was not lost on me.

"I want to feel the hand of God move mightily in spite of me." Judging by my clear need for a Savior (as illustrated in QT #5), I think this is actually a more meaningful and accurate lyric.

So, it's what I sing every time now.


Someone please nominate me for Parent of the Year. I assure you, I'm a shoe-in.

As long as no one mentions what happened at the doctor's office this morning.

Ethan had his six-year checkup (a mere 3 months after his birthday), and before going in the exam room, the nurse checked his vision by having him read the letters on a vision chart at the end of the hall.

He didn't do particularly well, especially with his left eye.

So we go in the exam room, the doctor completes his checkup and then consults his chart and says, "Oh, I see here Dr. G. recommended that you take Ethan to an eye doctor last year. Did you do that?"

What? Huh? No she didn't. Oh, wait. Oh, crap. That's starting to sound familiar. Oh, you're right she did. "Um, no, we didn't."

See what happened was at the time of his checkup last year, we didn't have any insurance. We knew we would have some a few months later, and he didn't exactly fail the eye exam, and clearly he could see, so we decided to wait until we got insurance and then take him to the optometrist.

Except we forgot. Completely. Until about ten seconds after the pediatrician told me about it this morning.

So yeah, maybe don't mention this particular checkup. Or the time I forgot to pick up Lauren. Or how she was unzipping her jacket and saying, "Hey, good lookin'." Or how many times I've called poison control.

Other than that, I've got this. It's totally in the bag.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


If you're not familiar with that number, you are obviously a better parent than I am you apparently have not had to call Poison Control as many times as I have.

I believe the first was when Joshua was about 6 months old and decided to suck on a dryer sheet.

Then there was the time 4 year-old Ethan made himself vomit from eating an entire tube of toothpaste.

Of course we'll never forget when 3 year-old Lauren drank a bottle of liquid Tylenol. (And I'm sure she'll never forget Supernurse who had to put her in a choke-hold to get her to drink the activated charcoal in the emergency room.)

I've called enough times now that it makes me really nervous when they want to know my name and all my children's ages. I'm just sure they are scanning a Most Wanted list looking for my name.

Nevertheless, laying aside my fear of having my mug-shot hung on a Poison Control window, I had to call again tonight.

PC: How can I help you?

Me: Um, I accidentally left the burner on my gas stove on without a flame. For about five hours.

PC: If the gas was leaking, you would smell it.

Me: Yeah, I do smell it. It's almost nauseatingly strong. My kids are all asleep. Do I need to wake them up and take them outside for fresh air? Please say no, please say no!

PC: Are the windows open?

Me: They are now.

PC: As long as you have the house well-ventilated they should be fine since they're not in the kitchen.

Me: But I can smell the gas upstairs, too. Even in their bedrooms.

PC: As long as no one has a headache or is nauseated or lethargic, they should be fine.

Me: Well, do I need to wake them up? Please say no. (I did make sure they were alive before I called.)

PC: Ahh, it couldn't hurt to wake the up and see how they're doing.

Me: See how they're doing?

PC: Yeah, just make sure they're not acting sick or lethargic.

Me: Make sure my sound-asleep children are not acting lethargic?

PC: As long as the windows are open, they should be fine.

This was without a doubt the least helpful call I have ever made to poison control. As long as my kids are not acting really, really sleepy when I wake them after they've been sleeping for three hours, they should be fine.

"Oh, and don't light any matches."

Thanks, I feel much better now.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday weigh-in

Pounds Down

This week: 2.4
Total: 4.4

I'm thinking it's a good thing I said no to the margarita Saturday night, but I apparently should have said no to the baked potato, too.

How are you doing?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ramblings on being friends with God

Lately our church has been singing the song "Friend of God" fairly often. It usually gets the congregation pretty pepped up, and the guy who leads it (T-Love . . . don't ask me. Apparently every person in this town has a nickname, and I'm aware of only a few actual first names.) does a really great job, so I enjoy it.

Today, though, I was moved by it.

"I am a friend of God. HE calls me friend."

Not exactly deep or theologically profound, yet it struck me today that God has only two types of relationships: friend or foe. He said, "You are either for me or against me."

Thanks to the blood of Christ, I am no longer an enemy of God. I am a friend. That means He and I are on the same side.


Friend or foe? Those are the only choices. He calls me friend.

It just so happened this morning that after "Friend of God," we sang "Our God Reigns," which I will readily admit is not one of my favorites. I don't generally care for songs with just a line or two repeated over and over. More on that another day.

Today, though, as we sang "Our God Reigns" right after singing, "I am a friend of God," it struck me how incredibly blessed we are to call God friend.

"Our FRIEND reigns," I began to think. I realize it may sound silly, but stay with me.

Have you ever had the unpleasant experience of being at the mercy of someone you thought had it out for you? A boss who didn't like you? A family member who couldn't stand you? You know the knot you get in the pit of your stomach when you just know things are not going to go well for you because you are at the mercy of someone who is against you.

On the other hand, how awesome is it to be good friends with the boss? (In my case, to be married to him!) To know that the person in charge has your back. To know that the "powers that be" are FOR you. No anxiety, no stress, no worries. Things may not always be perfect, but you know that the person in charge is watching out for you and not out to get you.


We are on the same side. He is for me. He is not against me. And He reigns.

I am a friend of God; He calls me friend.

Friday, September 17, 2010

7 (very) Quick Takes Friday


I love that I have been able to plan my work schedule lately to be home on Fridays. Lauren is in preschool in the morning, the boys are in school, and David is at work. The perfect time to really get the house clean.

Which is exactly what I am doing . . . soon.


It must run in the family. When my mom saw the picture in this post about me and my sunglasses, she burst out laughing and said that she had once done the exact same thing.

In case a quick trip to the DMV wasn't evidence enough, I'm leaning even more strongly toward belief in an "idiot gene" now.

Sometimes it sucks to live an hour away from everything. Like the dry cleaners. I drove an hour to drop off the clothes on Monday, but now I have to figure out when to pick them up. Tomorrow night David and I are going on a double date to the town wherein lie my clothes, but the cleaners closes at 2pm on Saturdays.

Foiled again!

I'm always a little befuddled on my drive over there, too.

Apparently, people in small, northern towns must be reminded to park. So much so that the word "park" is included in the name of just about everything.

Park & Shop

Park & Go

I, in my apparent naivety, have always assumed that the "parking" part was a given, but I guess not.

I particularly like the "Park & Go" in case anyone was confused about whether he was supposed to stay at the convenience store forever. The name doesn't mention shopping or getting gas, though, so imagine how many people must pull in, park, and then go. Just for lack of instruction.

I am looking forward to tomorrow's sunny 72 degrees. I just wish it were not going to be 49 in the morning because morning is when we have our soccer games.

The field where my kids play soccer is in a little valley between several mountains. The surroundings are breathtakingly beautiful, but seriously cold. It's always 10-12 degrees colder at soccer than in my back yard.

Which means no fun tomorrow morning, and it's only gonna go downhill from here. I totally get why soccer ends in mid-October here.

This whine brought to you by the letter "W."


I have ipod envy.

We bought Josh a (used) ipod for his birthday. (Don't tell . . . it's not till October!) It's a 5th Generation.

I've had mine for about four years, so while I don't know what "generation" it is, I do know that in ipod-world, it's ancient. I set Josh's up last night and loaded it with songs, and his is sooo way cooler than mine.

So, just give him the older one and keep the newer one for myself, right?

That's exactly what I would do if mine wasn't hot pink. Yeah, I'm a sucker for pink myself, but I don't think my 8 year-old son would be thrilled about a hot pink ipod.



Okay, cleaning . . . now.

But if YOU need a diversion from doing what you should be, head over to Conversion Diary and check out more Quick Takes.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Let's Just Be Real, Shall We?

I hate reading blogs by people who act like they've got it all together. Especially mommy blogs.

And I say "act like" because I just know it's an act. I choose to believe - I have to believe - that it's not truly possible to be a mom and have it all together. It's like a law of physics; the child to brain cell ratio is limited.

So, let me just go ahead and put it out there in case you have never met me haven't realized it yet: I do not have it all together.

There I said it. I often forget little things like going to the post office, making sure we have bread, picking my child up from preschool.

Yes, I did. Totally forgot.

That's why God created children to have two parents, right? One of us is bound to remember. Thank God today it was David.

I was in a meeting with a new client and totally lost track of time, so much so that when David knocked on my office door, poked his head in, and said cryptically, "Do you need me to take care of transport today?" I had NO idea what he was talking about. I thus forced him to resort to the less confidence-in-your-new-lawyer-inspiring, "Did you forget about picking your child up from school?"


All's well that ends well, I guess, and Lauren was picked up by her daddy right on time none-the-wiser.

And I went about my clueless day still not quite having it all together.

As evidenced by the fact that I left my office at lunchtime, put my sunglasses on my face, and walked to my car . . . like this:

It wasn't until I had driven around the corner and glanced in the mirror that I saw the above image reflected back at me. I will admit I burst out laughing at myself and can't believe none of the several people I walked past on the way to my car had not done so as well.

So there you have it.

My name is Becky, and I sometimes forget to pick up my daughter and don't realize that my sunglasses are missing a lens.

Like you're perfect.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Weigh-In

Pounds down: 2.0

Not bad considering I just started Thursday, right? Ugh.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Miraculous Love

Last night I heard a speaker talking about today's church. He made a valid point about the church today not walking in the full power that is available to us in Christ through the Holy Spirit. He talked about how our children see "power" in the world when they are bombarded with images of wizardry, witchcraft, and other supernatural powers on television or in books and movies, but that too often they don't witness the power God.

It is a shame, he said, for our children to be exposed only to the powers of darkness and not the power of Light.

I agree with him.

To a point.

I agree that it is important for our children to understand the power of God and to see that power manifest in tangible ways.

However, I think many of us are blind to the fact that we do encounter the miraculous on a regular basis.

Once I did not believe. Now I do.
Once I despaired and lost my hope. My Hope did not lose me.
Once I was broken-hearted. Now I have the joy of the Lord.
Once I was wronged. I forgave, because when I was wrong, I was forgiven.

Who's to say that it's a greater miracle for a lame man to walk than for a wounded heart to be healed?

God did not say, "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you lay hands on someone and her cure her cancer." As awesome as that may be, what He did say was this:

"By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:35)

Make no mistake about the power of God that is at work in our hearts in ways we cannot see every time the love of God flows through us. It may not be as fancy and exciting as a blind eye seeing, but it is every bit as powerful.

Probably more.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

'Tis But a Moment

I saw them sitting in Subway yesterday.

I had stopped in to pick up a sandwich for lunch, and when I saw them it was such a jolt that my heart nearly skipped a beat.

I don't know their names, but I do know what I saw: a glimpse of my yesterday.

Sitting at a table by the window was a young mom with three children: two tow-headed toddler boys, looking about 2 and 3 years old, and a baby girl in an infant seat on the table.

It was like seeing a snapshot of my life four years ago. Has it really been that long?

I used to be the mom who everyone smiled at with looks that were half-admiration and half-pity. "You sure have your hands full," I used to hear almost as often as I heard the theme song to "Go, Diego, Go!" With an infant, a one year-old, and a three year-old, there was never much chance of slipping under the radar when we went somewhere.

Now, my kids can order their own Subway sandwiches. They still fight about who sits where and who got more soda, but they know how to behave in a restaurant. I don't have to worry about what they're putting in their mouths or whether they're going to fall out of their chairs. (Of course they are.)

I'm not sure when I went from being a frazzled, inexperienced, young mom to being a frazzled, seasoned, not-as-young (can't say old) mom of older kids. No babies. No toddlers. Only one preschooler left.

A common conversation in our house goes something like this:

Child: Mom, I'm gonna miss the bus.
Me: Alright, hurry up and get out of here, but remember . . . do NOT grow while you are gone, okay?!

I admonish them not to grow while they are brushing their teeth or playing the wii or eating dinner. Thankfully, they still find this amusing, love when I threaten to punish them for growing. I am not unaware of the fact that soon they will roll their eyes and grimace at such childish notions.

I know that time moves relentlessly, and all the wishing in the world won't stop it. I know that just a moment ago I was that mom in Subway with the three tiny children who thought that I would never spend a day (heck, an hour!) alone again. I was she; and now I'm not.

Today I am a mom of three still relatively young children who can read and write and add but who still love climbing in my bed for a cuddle in the morning (or all hours of the night), having me on their team when we play a game, and being read to while snuggled on the sofa. I am a mom whose children still fight to sit next to her and light up over surprise one-on-one time with her.

Today I am that mom; tomorrow I will not be. The moment it happens will be indiscernible, but one day I will look at a mom with children who are 4, 6, and 7, and I will remember these days with a too-tight feeling in my chest and a longing to get today back.

Lord, help me to cherish where I am today. Help me to love my children at exactly the stage they're in because all too soon, it will be gone. Help me to remember that each day that passes with them is one that I will never get back again. Remind me that these children will never again be exactly the age they are today, and I help me to treasure it so that I don't look back and wonder when I lost it.

Thank you for these precious hearts of mine.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


That's how much I weighed when we moved to PA last May.

I won't tell you how much I weigh now, but suffice it to say it's more. Much more. In fact I weigh more than I have ever weighed in my entire life other than when I was carrying around another human being inside. I won't tell you how much I weighed then either, but let's just say I was very disappointed when Joshua came out weighing 8lb 8 oz instead of 35 or 40 lbs. That left a LOT of weight that was apparently less "baby" and more "ice cream" and "double-decker taco supreme."

But I lost it all. I weighed less when I got pregnant with Ethan and even less when I got pregnant with Lauren. And I lost the weight quicker after each child. (I'm pretty sure that's inevitable when you have three kids in three years. As I've mentioned before, that requires you to give up a few things . . . like eating and sitting.)

So, why am I writing about this? Because I need motivation to make my clothes fit again. Not my current clothes, but my entire wardrobe from two sizes ago that is currently taking up space on the third floor just waiting to become Lauren's dress-up clothes if I don't fix this.

I know, I know, you've heard this before. Remember I was going to teach kickboxing? And I was going to get in shape before Christmas? And Spring? And Summer?

None of those plans seems to have accomplished much, so I've decided to use this blog for accountability. (I tried having accountability with my mom several months ago, but that was so not enough pressure. Really. She's my mom.)

What's that? You come to my blog for witty stories and meaningful spiritual insights? Or at least pictures?

Sorry. It's my blog, and I'll weigh if I want to.

So, every Monday I am going to report back here with . . . how many pounds I've gone down. (You didn't actually think I was gong to say my weight did you? I tell you what, when I get back to 125, I'll let you know. It will be much less embarrassing after the fact.)

So, starting today, September 8th, pounds down: 0

(Feel free to join me in this weight-loss quest and let me know how you're doing as well. Unless you're already a size 2, and then I'll just have to shoot you.)

All About Lauren

Today was Lauren's first day of school. Since the day I began inquiring about preschools last summer, I have been hearing about Ms. B. Everyone whose child has ever been in Mrs. B's class talks about her as if she is the goddess of preschool teachers.

Now I know why.

At Open House last week, Mrs. B had all of the kids bring a teddy bear to keep in the classroom for the year. This morning, they were to find their teddy bear and that was their seat in the reading circle.

Mrs. B has a different theme for each month during the school year, and the theme for this month is "Sailing Into September." She personalized a sailor hat for each child and officially pronounced them sailors this morning.

Sailor Lauren (Mrs. B also took pictures of each child to go in the preschool photo album each child's parents will receive at the end of the school year.)

Lauren with Mrs. B (who usually dresses like a normal person but will wear anything for the sake of a fun lesson):

Lauren and her BFF Tori.

One end of the room decorated for this month's Sailor theme.

The other end of the room where the kids have reading and circle time.

I can guess which activity center will quickly be deemed Lauren's favorite:

Another activity center:

Yet another (notice the huge scuba diver on the wall . . . and this is just for this month's theme!):

And another:

The group table where all of the crayons, pencils, etc. are stored in a pirate ship for September:

I cannot tell you how excited Lauren was to start school today. She begged me all day yesterday to let her go ahead and start, apparently not believing me that there would be no one there since school did not start until Wednesday.

I am so thankful for how God has provided for our every need here in PA, not just in a way that is sufficient, but in a way that is perfect and abundant.

In other Lauren news, she is still LOVING soccer:

I love how this picture perfectly captures the essence of Lauren: active, sport-playing, dirt-loving . . . but always wearing a sparkly shirt and a skirt while doing so. She's definitely the only kid on the soccer field wearing a skirt every practice.