Friday, November 28, 2008

Flashback Friday

This flashback is for Emily!

Click to play Emily in the hospital
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Truly Thankful

I meant to post yesterday, but we had such a wonderfully busy day. We did not walk in the door until after midnight last night.

We usually spend Thanksgiving with Chris' family. His uncle Peyton closes his restaurant and cooks for all of us. It is such a good time for the family, and I know it must be stressful for him, he and his wife Gayle. Being a part of this family has really taught me about relationships and service. Thank you all!

Then after we left that family, we went over to some friends of ours that have become a part of out extended family over the past year. The McCammack's had us over for an after Thanksgiving feast and game night. We ate left overs from the dinner that Ed had made their family earlier in the day. The kids played very harmoniously with very little incident, and we drank wine and played games. Emily, however did come home with marker all over face, but what can you do? Ben stayed and had a sleep over with Cadence.

My camera was not charged up for the occasion, and for that I am very sad. I would have really enjoyed posting some pictures for everyone to see.

So you are probably asking yourself what I am truly thankful for? Relationships! The older I get the more I realize that life is all about relationships. It is our relationships that define who we really are.

Now I must finish getting ready to stimulate the economy by going out at the ridiculous hour of 7:00am to go shopping with my mom-in-law and Cher. These are two relationships that I treasure. However, I do worry about my mom-in-law's sanity because she wanted to get started at 4:00am, and just called to say that she has been out since 5:00am. Sheesh.... :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Flashback Friday

I realize this is not the best photo in the world. It is so dark. There are just very few pictures of me. I am usually behind the camera and taking pictures of others. This was taken about 9 months ago at the Sweetheart Dance at the kids' school. There is one of me and my sweetie as well, but I am saving that one for a later post. Look at how cute Emily is! You will notice that my hand is balled up into a fist. This is not because I am mad, but because Emily has a habit that drives me NUTS! She has done it since she was a very small baby, 4 or 5 months, I believe. She will take my hand and pick under my fingernails with hers. As I am typing this it is giving me the willies. So whenever she has access to my hands like that I have to hide my fingernails from her. She has gotten better, but if she is stressed out she still does it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Have you ever just felt grumpy? There really is no reason for the feeling, but you have it anyway. I am definitely having a grumpy day. Days like to today I can really sympathize with my preschoolers. It does not make me feel any better, but I do understand why they are sometimes just grumpy. It's a beautiful day, and I have a lot to be thankful for. However, I can't seem to shake this grumpiness. I find myself wanting to bite every one's head off even though they have really done nothing wrong. I keep telling myself to snap out of it, BUT...

So I post, maybe this will make me think of something cheery. The only thing that keeps coming into my mind is the kid's memory verse that we have been practicing. We practice it every time we get in the car, when we say our prayers, and during dinner. They know it so well.

In everything give thanks. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Should I give thanks for the grumpiness? hmmm...probably not! I think the point is probably that I need to give thanks for what I have and it will cheer me up. So hear goes...

I am thankful for my family and friends.
I am thankful for my health.
I am thankful for my husband.
I am thankful for my relationship with the Lord.

There is so much more I am thankful for, but I do feel better so I will end here for now. Enjoy your day and remember:
In everything give thanks. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Here is an old picture of me and the kids. This one does cheer me up a little. Look at Emily's bald head at about 18 months, and isn't Ben handsome.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Discretionary burdens

It has been a couple of days since I posted last. I haven't really had much to talk about. Life has been mostly quiet for us, but praying for lots of people in our lives that have been affected by lay-offs or sickness. I am just so thankful that we are able to provide a helping hand where we can.

One of the blogs that I read is an organizing blog. This blog is written by a professional organizer and she offers her services through her website called Clutter Diet. It is in my cool stuff list over on the right if you want to check it out.

Anyway...I totally digress. (this is a big problem for me, btw) Her last post was called discretionary burdens. I was totally intrigued. She quoted yet another blog from someone who had written a story about discretionary burdens. She talks about how she loves to carve pumpkins on Halloween, but on the particular day that she had planned to do it this year she had had a very full day and was looking at this activity as just one more chore. Here is a quote:

"There are all kinds of tasks and experiences that will take a certain amount of time no matter what our frame of mind: traveling to a business engagement, attending a community meeting, visiting an elderly relative, even carving a pumpkin.

But the nature of our experience depends on whether we approach it from an overburdened sense of duty and obligation or with a lighthearted sense of joy and service."

So today on the way to work I started listing the things I looked at as discretionary burdens:
taking the kids to school
picking up the kids from school
monthly bunco game
cooking dinner
making christmas gifts for people i love
reading trade magazines for work
posting to my blog (yes sometimes this feels like a burden)
playing games with the kids after a long day at work
my writing time everyday
my quiet time with the Lord

WOW! My challenge for myself this week is to start looking at things as a blessing instead of a burden. I get to do all of these things.

If you want to read the full article you can go to:
From the e-zine, 'PAUSE '. Copyright 2008 Patricia Katz, Optimus Consulting. (877) 728-5289 or

Do you have any discretionary burdens?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Proper Flash Back Friday

Click to play Ben 2304
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I'm in love....

I know this is my third or fourth post today...but I am totally in love! Check out the Smilebox site on the right in Cool Stuff. I love to scrapbook, but I DO NOT have time. This is awesome! You can see the sample below of our trip tot he pumpkin patch. They have albums, cards, scrapbooks, etc. and you can post them to blogs, send them electronically, and even print them out. I am totally in love!

This is COOL!

Click to play Pumpkin patch
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Okay, so I was talking to a very good friend of mine, Sandy, on the phone yesterday. She said that my blog reads like we never have any problems with our kids, they never fight, and our house is always harmonious. She says that I should "keep it real". Well this post is for her, even though she knows first hand what it is really like in my house!

Here are some things you should know about me and my family:

I am probably the most sarcastic person you will ever meet, except maybe my husband. We don't really try to be sarcastic, actually it is quite the opposite, but it always seems to come out that way. So over the years we have just embraced this quality about each other and tried to make the most of it!

Well as you can probably guess our sarcasm has come out in our parenting. We have tried very hard to shield the kids from this horrible habit that we have, but it has been to no avail. I suppose you can't even fool your kids. (I actually secretly love it that my 4.5 year old understands sarcasm, and can use it correctly. But don't tell him that, I still have to be his mom, right?)

There are a lot of other things you should know about our family, but I am going to stop there for now. I could go on and on about our flaws, but, this post is going somewhere and I know I am losing you, so...

I don't remember when this actually took place, but this story is HILARIOUS! and it characterizes our household pretty well.

Ben does something to Emily. Emily is mad and screaming, I am about to lose my mind because this has been going on all day. But I somehow pull it all together and tell Ben to apologize to his sister and the following interchange takes place:

B: (air quotes)"sorry" (dripping with sarcasm)
E: mommy, he is being carcastic again! (more whiny than any mom can really handle at any time)
(mom and dad on the side lines trying hard not to crack up and high five each other because we have obviously taught him well)
D: Both of you go to your room.
B&E (simultaneously): "sorry" (then stomp out of the room)
Mom turns to dad: did you see that? he even used it correctly! he is so smart!
D: he IS gifted!

So just in case you were wondering...we are totally normal.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Flash Back Friday

I had this set to post yesterday, but....I got distracted. This one is for Ben. Enjoy.

This is Ben at about 6 months. Wanna bite? It might make you feel better mom, it always helps me!

Check out all those rolls! Bath time was always his favorite. Luckily, he was strategically bent over so I was able to share this one!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Okay, I know you probably think I have lost my mind, but stick with me for just a minute.

Last night on the way home from school the kids and I got into a conversation about the moon, sun, stars, planets, and yes, aliens. The kids were asking me what the moon was made of and if you could touch it. Then they asked me what the sun was made of and if we could touch it. Our conversation continued to what the earth and other planets were made of, and of course why.

Toward the end of the conversation Ben asked me if I believed in aliens. I told him I did not believe they were real, but that some people did. I told him that I thought movies and books about aliens were fun to watch and read, but that I thought they were make-believe.
Then I went to cook dinner. As I cooked dinner I thought about the conversation in the car. It made me wonder why God would create a universe with eight or nine planets, depending on your position on Pluto, and not put life on all of them. Why just Earth?

Then it occured to me that maybe He created the other planets for the sense of wonder that they create in us. I mean think about all the books, movies, and songs that have been written about the contents of our universe. I have never met a kid who wasn't fascinated with space for a least a little while. Then I thought about how it feels to see the sense of wonder in my own children. It must give Him such pleasure when He sees that in us.

Or maybe He created them to provide us with the opportunity to think about something bigger than ourselves. There is nothing that makes you feel smaller than looking up into the very dark night sky full of stars and planets.

Just food for thought. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I think that we are so lucky to live in a country that so many men and women are willing to sacrifice for our freedom. Even if I don't always understand the reasons that we fight wars, I am still very thankful that people are willing to sacrifice for my right to disagree with it. There are many men and one woman that I love that are veteran's. I thought it would be appropriate to acknowledge them in my post.
  • Strother Marks (Grandaddy Marks) - he fought in the Battle of the Bulge in WWII and came home after he had his feet frozen and was never able to drive again.
  • O.D. Glass (Grandaddy Glass) - he packed parachutes in the Philippines during WWII.
  • Anna Louise Glass (Granny) - she was a nurse on an army base during the war and treated soldiers getting ready to leave and coming home.
  • James Millard (Uncle Jim) - Drill Sergeant in the Marines and did two tours of duty in Korea, and three in Vietnam, and career military.
  • James Harris (Uncle Jim) - Navy, rumored to be in the Seals, but no one knows for sure. He was in Vietnam, and career military.
  • William Harris (Uncle Bill) - Air Force in Vietnam.

I have tried to remember them all, but I know that I probably forgot some. If I did and you read this, I am so sorry. Please know that I value your sacrifice just as much!

Remember to say thank you to all the veteran's in your life today and say a little prayer for those that are over there fighting for us right now!

Monday, November 10, 2008


Memories cloud my mind all day. I find myself trying to remember everything. However, I am afraid that I have forgotten more than I have remembered.

Today the memories of my maternal grandparents are bubbling over and I cannot contain them. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of them, and there are a few things that I hope I never forget.

  • My grandma rolling out dough to make noodles on the back porch.
  • My grandma's African violets growing on the other side of the house.
  • My grandpa sitting in his shop working on his airplanes made out of aluminum cans.
  • The smell of their house in the summer time.
  • The way my skin looked under the lights in the kitchen as we played cards into the wee hours of the night.
  • My grandpa telling me to NEVER change horses in the middle of the stream.
  • My grandma's hands as they used a paring knife to cut up an apple for me.
  • Watching my grandma hang clothes on the line as I handed her the clothespins.
  • Listening to my grandpa snore in his chair as he watched the baseball game and then say, "I was watching that!" when you tried to turn the channel.
  • Eating soup every day for lunch during the summertime because that is all my grandpa knew how to cook and grandma was working at Bonanza.
  • Getting up at 5:00am to go to work with my grandma at Bonanza after my grandpa retired.
  • My grandpa coming home before he retired and giving me a "spanking".
  • Grandpa mopping the floor to surprise grandma when she got home from work.
  • My grandpa teaching me how to "fight".
  • Always feeling loved and welcome as soon as I turned down their street.
  • Both of them teaching me about love and life.

My grandparents were married for about 60 years before my grandma passed away. I remember when we got to the house after grandma died and he was sitting in the kitchen at the table crying. I had never seen this man who was a giant in many ways, cry. Even when I think about it now it makes me want to break down. He was never the same after she passed away. Then eighteen months later on my grandma's birthday my grandpa passed away. The two of them made me who I am today. Their forgiveness showed me how to forgive. Their faithfulness showed me how to be faithful. But most of all, their love showed me I am loved.

This post is dedicated to the memories of my grandparents, Collis and Ruth Harris. I love you both and can't wait to see you again.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Turkey Cookies!

This morning we went over to Lilly's house to make Turkey Cookies and have lunch. Garrick is out of town so mommy went over to help with the twins as well. I am not sure how Tracy does it with a three-year old and 14 month old twins. She doesn't even seemed stressed. She is my hero.

Here is what our Turkey cookies will look like when we are done. Yeah, right! :)

Emily and Lilly putting on their turkey eyes. Lilly decides that her big turkey needs four eyes!

Here are Ben's turkeys. What a great pose!

Lilly just learned that she would only be able to eat one cookie and the other two would be saved for later.

Emily finally got to eat her cookie because it took her so long to eat her lunch. You will notice that Ben and Lilly have left to play in the window.
We are so lucky to have such wonderful friends. We truly love all of them. Friends are a blessing from above! We are so thankful!
What are you thankful for?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Flashback Friday

I don't have much to say this morning so here is a picture of the kids last Halloween. Check out our little kitty cat and Buzz Lightyear! Aren't they just adorable?

Check out those cool pumpkins! We actually got around to carving one last year and I forgot all about the witch stuff to put in a pumpkin this year. Hopefully, this will help me remember. Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My heart hurts...

We were coming home from church last night and Ben starts crying. I mean REALLY crying, not whining and complaining, but full on tears. Already my heart just starts aching for him. He has never cried much and when he does it just makes me want to grab him and hold him. So, that's just what I did.

When we got inside I sat down on the couch with him and ask him why he was crying. He told me it was because he tried so hard to be kind to his sister, but it just wasn't working. It worked at church, but for some reason it wasn't working in the car. You see this is something that we pray about every night. Ever since Ben learned about the fruits of the spirit in Sunday School he has been praying for God to help him with all of them, but especially kindness.
So my heart is already just breaking for him, but then he precedes to tell me about his best friend at school and how no one wants to play with this little boy. He tells me that he thinks it is good to play with all his other friends, because everyone is his friend. (And if you have ever met Ben you would know that this is definitely true.) But the other little friends don't really like this little boy and are a little mean to him, and then he tells Ben that he won't be his friend anymore if he plays with him.

Well...I will tell you that my heart is hurting for both Ben and this little boy. I try to explain in terms that my son will understand that sometimes you have to stand up for your friends even though I might seem hard. But it is also okay if he wants to play with his other friends. By the time the conversation is over I want to cry and I feel like I have not helped him at all. However, when I ask him if he feels better he says yes and that he wants to pray for his friends.

Even though my heart hurts I am so glad that he is so empathetic and hope that he continues to be such a kind and loving boy. Being a mom is so hard!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Defining Moments

The Road Not Taken
By Robert Lee Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I fell in love with this poem the first time I read it in high school. I remember using it in a speech when I was a junior in high school. But, when I read it today it has a totally different meaning to me. It is amazing how our lives are made up of these defining moments. We must choose one road or the other. Not ever knowing for sure which is the right way or how things will turn out. My hope is that one day I will look back and know that I took the road less traveled and that it has made all the difference.

What are your defining moments?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Each day of our lives is filled with uncertainty. I think this is difficult for each of us to deal with when we are forced to stop and think about all the uncertainty that life contains. I believe that most people are thinking about the uncertainty of life today especially. Election day usually brings with it a measure of uncertainty. Sometimes this uncertainty looks a little like expectation, and sometimes it looks a little like fear. If we are honest with ourselves each of us probably feels a little expectation and a little fear today.

No matter who we are voting for in this election it is perfectly clear that we feel there is a lot riding on this election. We are worried about the economy. We are worried about brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers that are half a world away in a war that most of us do not understand anymore. We are worried about our education system and the changes that will be made during this administration. And most of us feel like the person we are voting for is the answer to all these worries, and continue to have hope for change and a better future for our children. I, like you, have all these hopes and fears.

Yesterday many of my friends and colleagues lost their jobs at the company that I work for. We all work for an educational publishing company and it is feeling the economic problems of our country like everyone else. They had to let go of about 30 of their finest people in order to cut costs and keep the balance sheet in order. I, luckily, still have a job for the time being. Uncertainty has permeated the morale at our company today and it is tough to continue being productive when the person sitting next to you is no longer here. There is definitely a grieving process on both sides.

However, in the midst of all this uncertainty and sadness I was reminded today that I am not in control, and for this I am thankful. You see whatever is going to happen today we can have hope and peace in the sovereignty of Our Creator. On the way to drop off the kids at school we always pass this pond that we like to walk around and have picnics at. I was waiting by the light at the corner and noticed that all the trees around the pond were changing colors. And they were the most beautiful browns, reds, yellows, and oranges. At that moment I realized that He is in control of that, and if he can turn all the leaves into beautiful colors at the same time of the year, and somehow keep our world spinning in orbit, surely He can take care of all our uncertainty and give us hope in the midst of all the real worries that we face each day.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. (James 1:2-3)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Emily and the Emergency Room

she had to pose with her "cute" outfit.

So...We have been to the emergency room with Emily about 5 or 6 times since she was born. Yes, she is only 3, so this probably seems like ALOT! As a mom, I will tell you that it is alot, and I absolutely never get used it to it. is the story of our visit on Saturday morning.

My wonderful husband let me sleep in on Saturday because I can never seem to get enough sleep these days, so I got up at 9:00am. This is really late for those of you who do not have kids. I am usually up by 6:30am at the latest, even on Saturday and Sunday. Anyway...I totally digress. I stumble out into the living room where everyone is watching cartoons and totally vegging waiting for me to get myself out of bed. I see Emily dressed in the outfit that daddy has let her pick out all on her own. For those of you who REALLY know me, know that this was already difficult to deal with. Her pretty pink pants had monkeys and Christmas candy on them and she had on her favorite purple dress. So, I sit down on the couch to decide what to do about breakfast and Emily comes over to me.

Emily: "Mommy, I am a monkey!"

Mommy: "You are?" rubbing the left over sleep out of my eyes hoping that I can somehow wake up.

Emily: " I am, watch mommy!" ooaa ooaa, hop, hop, ooaa,ooaa, SPLAT! Right into the fireplace.

Now, I want to tell all of you that we have made it 4.5 years without any real injuries with our fireplace, AND I had put a quilt on it the night before for the twins. Apparently only about 30 minutes earlier she had pulled the quilt off for her "babies" to sleep on.

Well...immediately I am TOTALLY awake, and rushing over to her and running to the kitchen to get ice and a towel. When I pull the towel away I see the gash in her right temple by her eye. I tell Chris, "Looks like we are going to the emergency room!"

Ben was very disappointed that I interrupted his morning of lounging in his underwear and t-shirt, but eventually we were all in the car, me holding Emily and breaking every seatbelt law there is, on our way to the ER.

Turns out she did not need stitches, but they put some steri-strips to hold it closed and cleaned her up a bit. Then we all went out for donuts, finally, breakfast! As soon as we got home Ben says, CAN I PLEASE TAKE OFF MY PANTS? Well, at least he has his priorities under control!

Emily is fine, but she looks like someone beat her up since she has a bruise on her eye. Now we are even more alike, I cut my eye when I was five on a drawer. I had stitches though, very traumatic. Then all day she kept falling into stuff, Oh Emily!

More Halloween shots


Okay...I know that I am super late getting this posted, but we do have a good reason. I will elaborate on this in the another post. We had some wonderful friends that we love over on Friday night. We made homemade pizza, which is our tradition, and got ready for trick or treating. We ended up with six goblins. We got lots of candy and enjoyed running up to houses, even the scary ones. Ben told us he wasn't scared of anything, not even the dark, because he knew none of it is real and God is always with him. He is so sweet, sometimes! ;)