Friday, April 24, 2015


- I attended a ladies retreat last weekend. And when Doug asked how it went I told him I survived. It really was good. The ladies were so nice. But for me, I feel like I survived a huge obstacle. The challenge of being in a house with a group of ladies where I barely knew anyone. It was a long day, but a good day. It is good to do hard things. Especially when it brings us closer to others in our community.

- Henry boy picks me flowers and a nearly daily basis. Jack wanted to join in the fun the other day and walked over and picked some blades of grass and gave them to me. Henry quickly corrected him and told him that he did not in fact pick a flower. But I told Henry that I loved Jack's blades of grass just the same.

- Every single morning, Henry brings in the Ipod and turns on Mewithoutyou rock music, turns it up as loud as possible and throws it on the counter and gets this teenage boy look on his face like "what are you going to do about it, Mom" and Jack throws up his rock fist and dances.

- Doug went on a baseball trip to Dallas with his coworkers for a night. He enjoyed the time with his co-workers and pushed through a pretty lame baseball game where they were cooking in the sun. He soaked up so much encouragement and wisdom from respectable men that are a few years ahead of where we are. He has been told "Just do the work" about a million times and that is what he is doing. He is working so hard. I feel like we have our head down and are just pushing through these hard first few years. I rest assured that one day we will pick our heads up and look around and breathe lighter and be able to see the fruits of his hard work and these hard first few years. I also rest assured in knowing that He knows our needs and if He is faithful to feed the squirrels in our backyard, He will be even more faithful in feeding and taking care of His children's needs.

- Sister Emily has been living with us since December and I am not sure the boys will ever let her leave. Jack gets the biggest smile in the morning when he hears her in the bathroom and toddles in to give her a big hug and watch her blow dry her hair. Henry loves how she plays hide and seek with him and talking her ear off about anything and everything. And I love living in the same house as her again. It has been over 10 years since we have and it has been fun being sisters as adults in the same town.

- Weekends have changed our lives. The consistent two days together has been life giving, soul enriching, and changing the dynamics of our family in a very positive way. Henry knows that Dad does not have to work on Saturday and Sunday. We go to church and are filled up and encouraged. We rest. We almost always eat pizza and pancakes at least once every weekend. We have togetherness.

- The boys and I have gotten into a good groove with our Mother's Day Out program. Jack and Henry both love their classes. Henry has made some friends and always informs me what the other kids bring for lunch ("Nile had black beans and hummus. Merrick had pillow sandwiches. Cora brings hot dogs and olives.") And the Lord orchestrated my class perfectly and I am in a class with two other ladies that we all click well together. It is natural and easy. And being able to be out of the house, have adult interactions, and get paid is pretty ideal. Plus no childcare costs and I get to see them all throughout the day really is a nice bonus.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Jack's Car:

I got this car at the Salvation Army for three dollars. It is faded and cracked. Pieces are missing. The wheels are wobbly. But it was three dollars. And Jack does not even know all the flaws. All he knows is he can go go go. And the next favorite thing is to push Henry in the car. 

And the headband. I don't know. He found it and wanted it on his head. And I would be crazy to not let him look so adorable. 

Our Really Really Good Village:

We had the play dates of all play dates a few weeks ago. We did not really set out to have such a big get-together but as time went on and people kept saying "we should invite..." before we knew it we had 10 ladies and 11 children and 2 babies to be born.

We had a potluck of sorts for lunch and cookies and coffee. The groups changed as people moved from room to room. Some feeding children. Some rocking babies to sleep. Some making sure toddlers were not eating rocks. We took turns holding each other's babies, snacked on sandwiches, and talked. As Doug likes to say "When a bunch of hens get together they cluck, cluck, cluck". So I guess in his words, we clucked.

People came and went as schedules allowed. The big boys ended up resting in our bed while watching a show and eating Cheez-its in the afternoon. And Teresa and W&E even joined up for heated up lasagna for dinner before hitting the road. It was a full day of fun and friends.

I know when I look back on this stage of life I am going to think of this group. These friends. These babies. These kids. And know that the only way we made it out alive is because of the love, support, and encouragement these friends have brought me and our family. It takes a village. And we have a really really good village.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Family Park Dates:

The past few weekends we have ventured down the street together as a family to the neighborhood park. We passed a dead squirrel in the road that turned into a great teaching moment and now Henry has told a million people, "We saw a dead squirrel in the road. He died because he did not look both ways. He looked one way, but not the other". Harsh realities of the world according to a three year old.

Jack just really loves the sand/dirt/most likely litter box for the neighborhood cats.

Henry likes the slides and the seats that spin you around really fast.

I like looking at my husband. Especially when he is playing with our boys.

Grandpa's 85th Birthday:

Grandpa Jarl turned 85 and we got to join the celebration! We gathered around tables with TU balloons and pom poms. We talked with family members we have not seen in years. We got to meet some of Grandma and Grandpa's sweet friends. And our boys loved having a buffet of never ending fruit, cheese, and crackers. Pretty sure that is what Jack's dreams are made of. We had a sweet time of sharing about our wonderful Grandpa. We did have to wrestle wriggly children through the sharing time, but the great thing is I really don't think anyone minded. Especially Grandpa. His love for his people is very evident, especially the smallest ones. 

Doug shared sweet words about how much his conversations he has had with his Grandpa over the years has meant to him. He is a man full of wisdom, compassion, and a very hard worker. He cares for others. Has a generous heart. And makes one of the best steaks one can eat. He builds things with his hands and has built a legacy with his heart and mind. We love you, Grandpa Jarl!