Friday, August 19, 2016

A pox on your house

When I imagine children catching chicken pox, I imagine them getting it from other kids - like in daycare or elementary school...but yo, my kids got it from me.
I had the shingles (see the last post) which isn't contagious as far as giving other people shingles, but it is contagious to those who haven't had chicken pox {Although it's an ironic fact that my grandmother developed shingles around the same time as I did}. Anywhoo, my children are incapable of not touching me - and it's direct contact with the blisters/puss that spread the virus - so lo and behold, they've been running the gamut of chicken pox symptoms. Of course, this is in spite of my "Don't touch my spots!!" warnings...although I confess that I was more concerned about the children not touching them because they HURT than I was about them getting sick. But sick they are and have been.
And in quarantine we are and have been. The four of us haven't left the house in two weeks. Hopefully, the girls will be able to go to church on Sunday.

Do you ever feel you have no idea what day of the week it is because your week hasn't been punctuated by church services? I sure do.

All in all, I'm glad for them to have it while they're young. I'm glad that these hot hot days of August have been for our staying at home (because missing out on Spring or Fall weather hurts my heart).  I'm especially glad that it looks like everyone will have time to recover fully before our beach trip in a few weeks.

Can I just say, Hallelujah for beach trips! We have been SO excited about going to the Florida panhandle for Months. It's been about two years since we've had any beach time and we're well overdue in my book. And as soon as Elijah starts to round the bend of his sickness, this mama is going to kick into planning mode and getting everything situated.
I'm so stoked.
Just writing about the upcoming trip makes my blood pump a little faster. Hooray!

And one more thing, I'm not ready for fall y'all.
You can keep all your pins about colorful leaves and warm sweaters and pumpkin everything - which, ahem, started showing on Aug 1st - it is STILL summer in this family. And I'm certain fall tones won't begin to drop from my lips till well after we return from the beach. So there.

Just hold my bouquets of sharpened pencils a while longer. {If you can't name that movie reference, shame on you! Hint: it's a Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks}

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Worth every cent

Some stories are hard to know where to start. In fact, this happens to me often, "Let me go back. Wait A little further back" - more detail, more story. To Emery, this is an over abundance of words. He looks at me like, "What on earth does this have to do with the statement you're trying to make??" Well, sometimes the correlation is very slight, but nonetheless it IS a correlation in - in my mind anyway.

Let's just go with right now. Ah nope, a week back should do.
I got a mysterious rash. Like poison ivy. Irritating, but probably no big deal, right? Well, this rash blistered and started giving me some nerve pain - at which point I accept the fact that this is shingles. Ugh. Last night, Emery and I jumped on the interweb looking for natural helps to fight off this virus. And then he makes me up a hot compress and loads me up on appropriate vitamins -- while making a note of other supplements that are helpful.
Now, today. My prince charming went to the vitamin store and comes home with everything I might possibly need or use to conquer this thing.

This is love. This is my sweet man telling me, "I cherish you. I care about your wellness. The cost of these supplements is no matter. You are worth it."

I forget this sometimes.

But today his love rang through beautifully clear. Especially as he made an extra trip home to deliver the goods in the middle of the day.

sweet, sweet husband. Thank you, Lord for my precious husband.


In very unrelated news: we had grilled cheese and tomato soup the other day. I was going to blog about it, but y'all I didn't have time. Listen up. Being gluten and dairy free, I don't know when we've indulged in grilled cheese with tomato soup - oh so good! What a pairing! I can see why Tom+Chee works as a restaurant (though I haven't actually eaten there).
Of course, we had vegan cheese, gluten free bread, and homemade tomato soup. It was such a treat. And how silly does it sound for such a common thing to be so special to us, but it was and it was enjoyable for sure!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Pink tastes better

I've long held the opinion that pink food/beverages taste better. They must!
Pink Cake - perfection.
White cran+strawberry juice - my fav.

{I understand this is a bit of a predicament for myself as I usually eschew artifical colors...but things colored with beet juice become nicely pink, too. On an unrelated note, I've been throwing "eschew" around like everybody uses it often. They - y'all - probably don't, but you might by the time I get off this kick.}

Anyhoo, I've got a nice PINK smoothie recipe for you today.

Watermelon Lemonade Smoothie

I used a lot of leftover watermelon - maybe 3/4 of the blender full of it
Several tablespoons of lemon juice, perhaps a 1/4 cup
a bit of stevia
one banana
ice cubes
{And I throw in probiotics and ecchinacea powder for an added boost)

I saw a watermelon mint lemonade drink at Aldi - which I almost bought, but decided not to - and from thence came the inspiration for this if you've got some mint, I think that would be an added deliciousness factor.
Hattie and Elijah and I enjoyed this, Adele and Emery weren't overly keen. A house divided. Oh well, maybe you'll enjoy it too.

Saturday, June 11, 2016


Listen up, self:

Satan wants to steal your joy. You get to choose whether to let him.

 Real time, y'all. Everything can be rocking along just fine and dandy, and all of the sudden your mind starts to wander and you end up, "Why wasn't {so and so} there for me in that situation?" and "Why did no one teach me these things when I was growing up?" And "He's probably thinking I'm taking too long of a shower."
I WAS taking a shower when thinking all these things. And the baby did wake up, which I why I figured I was being judged and was honestly starting to get defensive over the fact that I was going to finish my shower And get dressed before coming to soothe said baby.
Isn't that absurd?!? To start to get upset because of what your think your spouse is probably thinking -- when you're in a different room, for crying out loud.
You tell me Satan's not at work. He is. And he hates family and marriages, and he wants to destroy them - if you let him.
All of these questioning things coming to my mind were putting little rifts in my heart between my dear, wonderful family member....whom I love tremendously, regardless of what waters went under the bridge 15 years ago. And I am refusing to dwell on past hurts tonight. Satan wants to bring these bygone things to our mind's eye and throw past sin in our face, but KING JESUS has put these sins away as far as the east is from the west. We are NOT condemned. We are washed in the blood of the Lamb.

Satan can't have my joy. I'm going to choose to fight for it. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Where Monday found me

Normally, I don't mind Mondays too much. I don't like that Emery has to be back at work after the weekend, but I kind of like to jump right into the chores and such that at Monday a home requires.

Today wasn't my day. My A-game must have packed up and gone to Bermuda because it certainly wasn't with me today.

The majority of the day was spent trying to clean up messes that happened while I was trying to clean up messes.

So on the one hand I was happy that the girls were playing sweetly and not crying and I was being productive on one side of the house, only to find puddles of water and spice water (read: dig through spice draw and shake spices into a BUCKET of water). Okay, number 1, why don't these people tell me when they've spilled water that is beyond their skill level to clean up? {Yes, you're right, because that would probably make them adults with no need of me whatsoever} And number two, why, just why does the spice water need to be tested in every plastic vessel in our possession? {that might be a slight hyperbole, but never the less}.
Anywho, Clean that up. Clean clean clean...walk to the back of the house to find my room turned into a beach with ten towels spread over the floor. Ok. Might as well organize the linen closet while those are out. Only to then find.............I could go on all day.
I won't.

In between the sweet play there was a lot of crying. {I see you baby number 3!} And said baby busted his lip before the evening was out, and amidst the blood and tears I'm standing there wondering if his new little teeth are loose. I sure hope they aren't, but they did cut into his lip.

Lots of crying.

Frazzled Mama.

I was texting in for prayer support. I needed it!!

End of the day, my house is still struggling but at least the dishes are washed. I don't know about you, but I can't even think with a sink full of dishes - which was the situation all day, and so maybe I can therefore blame my bad attitudes on my kitchen problems. but hey, a heart problem is a heart problem.
And sin is sin.
And Hallelujah, where Sin abounds GRACE does much more abound.
Mama needs some second helpings of grace.

The messes are not the biggest deal. The messes mean my people live here.

I'm thankful HIS mercies are new every morning, and tomorrow I can attempt to model before my children how to work with a joyful heart, and a smile, and an encouraging word. I sure fell flat today.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Of a journal

While it might be considered a mortal ill to some, I don't keep old journals around. I toss 'em like last Tuesday's leftovers. Know why? Because I hate to see the person I used to be...I know that sound awful and hard, but really - been there, done that, got the t-shirt and moving on. And I don't like clutter or boxes full of old notebooks that I'd be embarrassed for someone to read.

But sometime in the last few years, things shifted in my journals. The "I think", "I feel", "all about me-itus" that always left a bad taste in my mouth when perchance reading on old entry became more "I pray..."

And writing my prayers has been a great thing for me -- because I sure can't keep up with my train of thought if I can't see it. And this year, I've jumped on the scripture writing bandwagon. And flipping through a journal filled with {answered!} prayers and segments of scripture is a happy thing.

Now, I'm a ONE notebook/journal girl. I can't deal with a book for this and one over here for that. I've GOT to keep it simple. So, my journals with prayers and scripture also come with recipes and to-do lists and addresses and ideas and goals and meal plans. It's all mishmash in there, with handlettering practice scrawled across one page and the children's artistic endeavors, and yet it's like a little portion of my brain. There may indeed be forty things going on, but their my goings on, and I like them.

I do a lot less reflecting on life and a lot more actively living it these days. My journals evidence that. I do think some personal reflection is beneficial, but I don't have time for it much now. I do have time to think and plan and pray - and to live more in the present, than mulling over and recording what's already happened.

By the time all of the pages are filled, my catch-all notebooks are usually thoroughly worse for wear. But they've done their duty faithfully. As I picked up a journal from earlier this year tonight, I smiled to see it all. I'm not ashamed to reread anything there. I probably still won't keep it very long. I'll flip through and rewrite the recipes and other such tidbits in a more permanent place, and then -so long little journal, you've served me well.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Photo Mania

Y'all. I'm bad at managing my photos.

I'm a "carry the camera around every day and never use it" kind of girl. It's abysmal, really. But, I balance this out by not having any skill at taking a picture and then letting these bad pictures sit on my SD card for eternity. (Which I guess means I succeed in taking a few pictures once in a great while. Maybe on birthdays.)
Anyhoo, I have some fab family with a much better camera than I possess, and said family also usually has more free arms than I possess, and both of these qualities lend to better pictures of my children, which I greatly appreciate.
And now, photo dump. :)
Red curls! Which have since been cut off...

Last June:they look tiny!


Feb of '15

playground fun

I think he's enjoying the wind in his hair here

Newborn Elijah. How was this over a year ago!?!

Adele and Chickens last October. Sometimes chickens think Adele is a chicken - being near their height and often having a parents' rooster has gotten a little aggressive toward her from behind his fence.

These children think "say cheese" means frown and usually look anywhere but the camera

Christmas in our new house!

1st birthday

1st birthday

my FIVE year old!

Jolly boy

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Rainy Tuesday and a Note of Clarification

We haven't had rain in weeks. Afternoon thundershowers would be in the forecast, and yet they always fizzled with nary a drip for us. Our Maryland family, on the other hand, has had rain for 3 weeks solid. Yikes.
So, today in soft showers and heavy ones at times, we've had rain. A little thunder. And it could only be improved upon by raining at bedtime. That's the very best time for a rain as far as I am concerned; it's so much nicer to snuggle up under the covers with the steady patter of rain on the roof.
The rain has also given me an excuse NOT to go grocery shopping. Never mind the bareness in the fridge, we'll figure out Something. Getting soaked whilst loading groceries into the van isn't appealing. So we've stayed home and lounged. And it's been nice.


You may have noticed my allusion to Sweet Gum House in my last post. I haven't told you, but we've named our little abode, and Sweet Gum House it is.
We don't have any sycamores in the yard currently, if we did I'm sure the name of our home would have involved a Sycamore, but we do have a prominent Sweet Gum tree in the yard, and we all agreed that Sweet Gum House fit nicely.

Hattie hold that if we were to open a restaurant in our home, then we could call it Sweet Gum Table. And I like that too, though I don't intend to open any restaurant. Hattie tends to give effusive compliments to my cooking when I serve dishes like hotdogs or fish-sticks. "Mom, you make the best {instant} oatmeal in the world!" or "You're the best hotdog cooker ever."
She's sweet and sincere, and I appreciate any compliment I can get, however it'd be nice if she gave accolades over home-cooked meals.  Oh well. :)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

the honeysuckles of Sweet Gum House

For days, the heady aroma of honeysuckles in full bloom met us as we came out the door. Strong and fragrant, and seemingly invisible, for I hadn't detected any blossoms in our walks around the yard. Until one day as we were driving away from the house, I spotted those white and yellow flowers tangled up in some bushes.
Then began the fun. Of stopping on our walks to pick a few - always one or two for now, and one for later (for Hattie, anyway) - and of jumping out of the van to grab a honeysuckle before going inside. If we weren't so sensitive to flowers indoors, I'd have picked a large jug full to permeate the house as thoroughly as our yard was with the fragrance.

But the honeysuckle days seem to be drawing to a close. They've bloomed their little hearts our and filled our world with their presence and now we'll file in our memory banks picking the flowers and tasting their nectar. The taste and smell of May.

Someone told me once that you can't remember a smell. A smell can trigger a memory, of course, but you can't just think of... apple pie for instance, and smell it -- you know of course that it smells of sweet, cinnamony apples and freshly baked to perfection pie crust, but no matter how much you think of it (or how hungry you get in the process) you can't smell it.

A few weeks ago, on the eve of Elijah's birthday, I was eager to soak up my memories from his entrance to this world. To remember the voices, the sights, the exhaustion, and even the smells. I pulled out a bottle of lotion that a dear friend had rubbed on my feet during his labor. It was a lotion I liked, and was glad to have, but after it being associated with HARD labor, I was NOT keen on using it for quite awhile. In fact, the smell was almost repulsive in the early weeks following his birth. So I put it away, to just keeping it for looks mostly (an attractive bottle IS worth something). But on the night before his birthday, that lotion, I found, smelled good again.
And it felt full-circle.
This little boy asleep in his crib is so far removed from the newborn who was such a struggle to give birth to. He's jolly and boy-ish and often hungry and toothy grins and walking and Delightful.
Maybe it's beauty from ashes that keeps getting more and more inexplicably beautiful with every passing day.

I know I'm rambling, I know I don't really have a point I'm trying to make - I keep trying to find one - but this one is just the feels. My daddy says you can't think and feel. So tonight I'll feel, and save the thinking for later.

One more thing I'm feeling. JOYFUL.
Really, really.
My house is clean. My dishes and laundry are washed. My children are pleasant and fun to spend my days with. My husband is wonderful.
I hope to be so much more evermindful of God's bountiful, unending blessings.

PS - Today we played an extravagant game in which my name was Marie Calendar, and let me just say that Mary John and Callie were very valiant to fight Ana Ocho - the monster - and to brave the wiles of a harsh school marm, for their father, Mario, had died and their mother was unkind and they were sent to live with me - Marie. {This was the state of things ALL. AFTERNOON.} It was hilarious, and I love these little imaginations - and that they roll right along with the loops I throw into the story, too.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Adventures with Waffles

This week, we began a new book. Who am I kidding? We began about twenty new books, except most of them were picture books and quickly finished. {I love our library!}
Three of them were chapter books from Sonlight's kindergarten book list...I know Sonlight doesn't really want you to just place holds at the library for all their books, but hey, it's a lot cheaper. And the books are great.
So... Adventures with Waffles.
With a title like this, I didn't have ANY idea what to expect, but we were quickly enthralled. A boy and girl duo get into all kinds of imaginative scrapes, similar to Anne of Green Gables - except set in modern times in Norway.
I was charmed with the physical descriptions of the fjords and the mountains, and honestly, it made me want some heart-shaped waffles.

I've never had heart shaped waffles, but it seems they are quite common-place in Norway and I'm positive they must be delicious.

So positive, in fact, that I've ordered a heart shaped waffle maker!
Do you know, in these nearly 7 years we've been married, we've never owned a waffle maker? We were thrilled when Kroger started carrying Gluten Free frozen waffles -- because we were raised on Eggo Waffles (Leggo my Eggo!), but those are the only ones we've had. NO HOMEMADE WAFFLES AT. ALL. Isn't that a shame? I know it is.
But I have this idea that with my heart-shaped waffle maker, I'll be able to whip up such a lovely and delicious breakfast, and with greater ease than perhaps homemade donuts -- which I also love, but baking is a real struggle for me right now. My three helpers and conversationalists make it difficult to think And read a recipe And give orders about what's to be done. But waffles, I think I can manage.

Maybe I ought to tell the family it's my mother's day gift? ;)
That would be fine and dandy with me.


I ordered myself some red saltwater sandals, finally! I've been eying them since last summer. I picked them up from the shoe store this morning. It's so nice to have a pair of shoes that I trust will travel many miles with me. And Hattie felt she would love it if I bought her some too, so we're twinkies - save hers are silver.
{I never heard anyone call two matching people twinkies until I moved to MS, maybe it's a regional thing, but I'll carry it forward. ;)}
I was going to look for some saltwaters for Adele too, but they only had white in her size, and she already has some white sandals, so we got her some glittery silvery crocs -- they're like the jelly sandals we used to wear as kids, but so much more comfortable. She's happy with them, and with her taste in fashion - I consider this a miracle, she's so hard to judge.


Asa and his family were down for a visit last week. We had a ball spending a few days with them, and it's been so funny to listen to how much more Elijah is talking and jabbering. The girls used to do the same when we lived out of state, they come home with words they'd never said before....all from a visit with cousins.
Unfortunately, we must have also shared germs while they were here. We've been battling fevers and congestion this week. Hopefully, we've just about run our course for this round of sickness. The more children you have the longer it takes to cycle through a bug like this and I certainly hope it didn't take hold in Asa's family and his six children - for that might take 2 or 3 weeks to run its course.