Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Floor

Our church sanctuary has blue carpet. It has since the day it was built.

Next week the carpet will be removed and the sanctuary will be redone.

Tonight our pastor challenged us to start thinking, because we are going to have the opprotunity to write on the concrete.

A favorite Bible verse. A challenge. A hope. A dream. A promise.

Praise to our Lord.

It will be there, under the new carpet.

I know when I sit in the Sanctuary I will know what I wrote and where I wrote it.

I have been thinking about it today, wondering what I will write.

I'm imagining what it would be like to find our names down the road.

Will we say, "Deacon, Roman and Lincoln. Well, those are the first 3!"

Will be pause as we look at a name, remembering what we once had.

What will the future bring?

I have no idea.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Joshua 1:9

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's Monday

I'm gearing myself up for working a couple of shifts...

I'm excited about being off after that for almost 3 weeks...

I'm glad that my new niece has been born...

I'm looking all over for a sink/top that will match our base (any suggestions?)

I'm asking my children why they are all suddenly naked (apparently they are now dinosaurs, living in dinoland and a volcano is coming).

I'm trying to plan a vacation...

I'm wondering if I will ever get through my filing cabinet...

I'm wishing I could have some time alone.

sidenote: We have to put the vanity in so that we can finish the bullnose. We can't put the toilet in until the bullnose is done. We can't caulk the shower until the toilet is out of the shower.
The problem is, our vanity is 40 inches wide which is apparently not standard so we can't find a noncustom sink/countertop to put on it. And we don't want to pay too much because, honestly, it is not on the top ten list of where we want to spend money. It holds our toothbrushes and lets us wash our hands.

home improvement is never easy. Or cheap.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Plan

I am a planner.

I always have a plan for everything. Sometimes it is in my head, sometimes it is on paper.

Noah is not a planner.

We compliment each other.

Last spring we had our 3 little boys, we were training for our first tri, our house was on the market and we had fingers of volunteerism in a lot of different things. We were both working. It was pretty stressful.

Not pretty stressful.

Very stressful.

We took our house off the market in August and completed our tri. Noah rotated off the Elder Board, and I quit nursing the baby.

And we started trying to figure out what to do next.

Do we add on to our existing house?

Do we buy the lot next door?

Do we try to sell again in the spring?

Do we just wait and see what happens for now?

Do we make modifications without an addition?

And then the economic situation kept getting worse.

And I couldn't get as many shifts.

And Noah had/has shut down days at work.

So we finished our basement room.

And we are redoing our bathrooms.

And we hope to put a new deck on this summer.

We closed on our refinance last week.

We got a great rate.

So now we are just going to wait.

And be content.

Today I drove past the house that I have admired since high school.

And buying a house like that is a dream.

But my plans and my dreams are not always the best.

I wonder what God has in store for us in the future.

It may not be what I planned.

But I kinda think it is going to be amazing.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Walls painted: check!
Tiles cut: check!
Tiles mortered: check!
Tiles grouted: check!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

When The Neighbors Knock

We moved into our house nearly 5 years ago. It was our first house and we had just a 6 month old Deacon at the time. We looked forward to meeting our neighbors and I had visions of borrowing a cup of sugar, or an egg if necessary.

Our neighbor to the south was a middle aged couple on a huge lot. our neighborhood has been built up as the older homeowners sold off land, so there is a wide variety of time periods in which the houses have been built. Anyway, this man had a huge garden, apple trees and appeared to be slightly obssessed with his yard and his land. And we come to find out, his fence.

Shortly after we moved in our dryer quit working. I had all of these clothes I couldn't dry, so I put up a makeshift clothesline in the backyard to dry some of them.

Then I left for work. Or shopping. Or something. Anyway, I wasn't there and I left my baby in the capable hands of my sister.

The neighbor's wife knocks.

We hadn't actually met the neighbors yet, so my sister didn't really know who it was. The woman firmly informed my sister that I had attached my clothes line to her fence. My sister went out and disconnected it from the fence separating our properties.

See, I didn't know how to figure out who actually "owned" the fence between two yards. Silly me. I know now.

So life moved on. Theneighbor apologized to Noah for it a couple of days later, and offered to help Noah put up a "real" clothesline in the backyard. Noah explained that our dryer had just been broken and that it was repaired now.

I resolved not to ask them for any sugar.

About a year later we got another knock at the door. The babies and I opened it to find the neighbor standing on my front porch, smoking a cigarette. I was annoyed about the smoke blowing into my house and my babies faces.

"Is Noah home?" he asked.

"No, I am sorry, he is working."

"Do you know anything about my fence?" He demanded.

I looked over at the his fence which was dividing our property. The top rail was decidedly bent.

"No, I don't." I answered. After the clothesline incident I had not come within 2 feet of his fence and didn't let my kids within 3 feet of it.

"Does Noah know anything about it?" He demanded again.

"I don't think so." I stated, "but I will ask him, and if he does I will have him let you know."

The conversation ended. I asked Noah about it. He stated that he had noticed it was bent when he left for work, but that he didn't know what had happened.

And we thought the issue was over. After all, it was made very clear to us that it wasn't our fence, so we shouldn't be responsible for any repair, right?

A few days later Noah was approached by the neighbor. The neighbor was in a bad mood. He was all yelly and threatany. To make a long tirade short, he basically thought that it was "unneighborly" of Noah not to come over and "discuss" the fence situation with him. He then went on to accuse us of tying a rope to his fence, hooking the rope up to an elusive brown pickup and then driving a few feet and bending the fence.
The truck tracks had been in our yard.
And the truck had been in our driveway.
Or not.
Every morning I would wake up expecting to see crime scene tape surrounding the fence and CSI's swarming the fence, looking for clues. Instead the neighbor sold his land and they put a road through and divided it into 6 lots.
Shortly before he moved and they bulldozed his house I came home to discover that he had removed the fence.
I hope he needed it at his new home.
Now we have an empty lot next door. My boys climb in the trees and "camp" there.
I still look over my shoulder.
Our neighbors to the north are wonderful. They are about my parents age, with daughters about my age and grandchildren around our kids age. They get little presents for the kids. We have had them over for supper. We get their mail.
But 2 days ago there was a knock on the door. Our nice neighbor was standing there.
"I don't want to be annoying, but I am concerned about Deacon's safety. He is leaning out, talking to us."
I immediately apologized. "oh, I am sorry. We talked to them about standing on the top of the chainlink fence and peering into your yard."
"No...I mean, right now. He is up in his room and he is hanging out the window talking to us. I don't want him to think I am tattling on him, I just don't want him to fall out."
Noah was up the stairs.
Sure enough he found the screen half out and Deacon hanging out.
I thanked the neighbor.
We had another discussion. It included windows, screens, fires, little brothers, possibilities of death and how to avoid invading the privacy of our neighbors.
When the neighbors knock, I cringe.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Easter Pictures part 1

Reaching for an egg...
Lincoln and his bucket (really, who needs easter baskets anyway?)

Cousins Kelly, Molly, Deacon and Roman (Lincoln refused to participate in the posed pictures)

Lincoln and his paper mache prize egg

Checking out the stash. Apparently Roman rolled down the hill or something.

Friday, April 17, 2009

It's Friday!

I'm still laughing about watching Roman give Lincoln an underdog at the park this morning...

I'm wondering how long my refrigerator/freezer is going to last...

I'm contemplating the best/most economical option for building the kids a backyard playset this summer...

I'm wishing Noah was home...

I'm getting ready to take the kids swimming...

I'm considering eating lunch...

I'm trying to convince Roman that going swimming would be fun...

I'm unsure of when I am going to have a chance to clean my house...

I'm looking forward to the "tile: phase 1" being done...

I'm impressed at how great the floor looks...

I'm looking into lawn mowers...

I'm overwhelmed by deciding which items should take priority (money and time)

I'm waiting to meet my niece (but I am sure my sis in law is waiting more! :)

I'm excited to find out Monday if Renae's baby is a boy or girl!

I'm frustrated about all the stuff we have going on this weekend...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Being a Stay at Home Mom

It has been beautiful here the last few days.

I love the sun.

I love the warmth.

I love the short sleeves and sandals.

And I love being a Stay at Home Mom.

Yes, it is hard.

Yes, there is a lot of whining.

Yes, there are a lot of dishes and other mundane chores.

But seriously, to spend most of the day hanging out in the yard or park with neighbors and friends all summer? That rocks.

This week I will continue to be outside by day and tiling by night. But after today?

Except for one week of VBS, I have cleared my schedule.

You will find me in my backyard or cruising the neighborhood with sticky, dirty little boys.

And we will all be happy.

Yay for summer!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Julie on Love and Pain

I was driving home the other night and Brad Paisley's new song, Then came on the radio.

I know it is from the male perspective, but I couldn't help but think of Noah and I.

Back in 8th grade I remember telling a friend that I was pretty sure I loved Noah. I laugh now, because seriously, what does an 8th grader know about love?

(deleted paragraph in which I tried to relate love to a hospital pain scale)

Anyway, Noah, I love you way more now than I ever did in 8th grade. And I thought I loved you then.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Festivities

He loves orange, and sprinkles...
and he has a lot of facial expression (especially while decorating cookies!)

so does he...

After the cookies we painted paper mache easter eggs. The boys had helped my mom make the eggs, and she had stuffed them with candy.

This is Lincoln and his Great Grandma Joyce. She assisted Lincoln in keeping his paint near his egg and then drew a pirate ship to keep Roman occupied.

They love to paint!

Next we dyed Easter eggs. The most popular and vibrant option was to apply drops of food coloring directly to the egg. Lincoln opted out of this one.

They won't eat the eggs, but the fun is in making them, right?

Monday, April 13, 2009

This is what we like to see...

We are finishing up a crazy long weekend. It has been productive and fun. At least for me :) But no time to blog! Or to run...

Friday, April 10, 2009

How is a Mother to Think?!

I feel really scattered this week.

It is hard to go from titrating a 3% gtt at work

to setting up a pup tent

to getting baby poop on your favorite sweatshirt

to watching as the baby throws the CD player down the stairs and all the buttons fall off

to hearing, "Roman and Lincoln are in the backyard, can I go out too?" WHAT?!?!?

to hanging in the sun with friends while the interior condition of your house (and it is not currently CONSTRUCTIVE clutter) deteriorates.

to discovering on facebook (from your husband's coworker) that your husband's boss let everyone go home early and your husband will be walking through the door at ANY MOMENT!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ghost blogger - QOTD

“Gentlemen, your goal is not to stand before God and tell him what level you got to on World of Warcraft.” - Mark Driscoll

"That's not the secret, but I know what is: Everybody dies, but not everyone lives." - Superchick song Cross That Line

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." - Jesus the Christ, Son of God

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

In Honor of Constructive "Clutter"

When I was a kid we had a big dining room table. It was always a busy place. There were homeschool books/papers, craft projects, freshly baked cookies, Sunday school curriculum, VBS decorations and maybe an occasional incubating chicken egg taking up residence on the table.

I never considered our house messy. Apparently my mom did because she had books and systems: Messy's manual, filing with finesse etc.

But our house was filled with constructive clutter: necessary tools of lives fully lived.

As mommy bloggers/facebookers/twitterers we are always despairing about our laundry, our housework, our sticky walls. And we are always wondering how so and so does it, how can their house be so clean, fresh and clutter free?

And I am all for clutter reduction. It is something I struggle with, but something I want to succeed at. But I am against constructive clutter reduction.

I want to have paper for my kids to be creative with.
I want to have "junk" for my kids to make robots with
I want to have VBS nametags, schedules and bags of craft supplies in my kitchen.
I want to have an open Sunday School book on my table
I want to have growing plants on my counter
I want paint chips taped to my walls, floor samples on my floor
I want books where I can reach them.

Because just as where I spend my time shows what I value,

What is at my fingertops shows what I value.

And what do I want to value?
-Spiritual learning opprotunities
-My children and their creativity
-Volunteering my time and space
-Learning and growing
-Change (refusing to stagnate)
-Education (for me, my husband and my kids)

I want my children to say: "my mom let us have fun, she let us create. Our mom valued people and helping others more than she valued a spotless house. My mom made stuff for others instead of always for herself. My mom always had books she was reading, new stuff she was learning. My mom always was looking to move forward. My mom was willing to teach us things, even messy things. And most of all, our mom valued our spiritual education and the state of our hearts."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits

Here is a good reason to have a brother:

We were at the park today and Roman got hung out to dry on a bar. Basically, he must have been swinging on it, lost momentum and was unable to get his feet back to semi solid ground. So he was hanging there calling "mom, help".

I did what any mom of 3 boys would do, I called, "dude, your feet are like 2 feet off the ground. Just drop!"

"help! I am stuck!" he called again.

Slowly, I got up from the bench. Don't judge me. I like the bench. This is the first time in 5 1/2 years of motherhood that I can sit on the bench. No one is eating woodchips. No one is diving off equipment, and the baby can climb the rock wall and up a slide safely.

In fact my boys favorite activity is for all 3 of them (and friends if available) to run up the twirly slide and then all go down at the same time and land in a pile. Yes, we are that family.

Anyway, Roman is still hanging.

And I am walking toward him, urging him to just let go.

Deacon beat me to the scene and got on the bridge above him.

"drop!" I heard.

Then Roman's feet hit the ground and off he ran on his quest to be a superhero.

I called after him, "Roman! Way to go! That wasn't so bad was it?"

He glanced back at me but made no comment.

Deacon walked up. "good job encouraging him!" I said.

Deacon was wiping his hands together like he had just completed a job well done. "I let go for him, mom. I just peeled his fingers off."

The boys have been playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. No, they have never seen the show or movie but they saw a picture of one, asked a lot of questions and are now making up their own plots loosely based on the TMNT facts that they know.
Those facts are:
-Teenage turtles became superheros
-they like pizza
-they live in a sewer.
-the man hole cover is one of the round ones, not a square one.
-they have a leader who is a very large rat (I told them he was a wolf, but their dad corrected us all. Very large rats kind of look like wolves, don't you think?)
-They each have a weapon
-one of them is in charge of driving vehicles
- one of the weapons is a "woodchuck". No matter how many times I correct him, he insists that is what it is.
So today Deacon put his knight breastplate on his back to be his shell and off they went to the "sewer" to get their plans ready for fighting the "bad guys". They did something and I heard Roman's little voice say, "sorry other teenage turtle."
Notice that the above list doesn't include names. I kind of like "Other teenage turtle".
Deacon had a dream last night. He was fighting a bulldog in front of our church. Dekes finally got the upper hand and pushed the bulldog into a laundry basket. The bulldog died and all that was left were his bones. We put the bones in the car and drove it to a museum where they reassembled the skeleton. I guess he remains at the museum to this day.
In other news, we have finalized the tile for the downstairs bathroom and I think I have picked out a paint color. Let the demolition begin! I hope that Noah and I find tiling therapeutic because I would like to do my backsplash in the kitchen and tile in front of my sliding glass door too :)

I am here

I've been busy

-saving lives
-containing messes
-reading stories
-trying to sleep
-making heroic attempts at being unflappable in the midst of chaos

but, I will try to have a new post up soon

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, April 3, 2009


"Mom, sugar is kind of like milk. If you get sugar in your eye it is itchy, just like if you get milk in your eye." - Deacon

And the Question of the Day:

If you had to pick one art tool with which to express your picture coloring creativity for the rest of your life, what would you pick?

Markers, crayons, colored pencils, chalk, paint? Something else?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Goals

I always get super energetic in the spring. However, since the weather deteriorated this week, my energy and my mood went right along with it.

Today though, I decided to write out my list of April goals. You probably don't care, but along with the weather and my energy, my comments are dwindling too. So for all I know, you are no longer even out there. Therefore I can write what I want with no regard for you.

April Goals

-continue tri training
-Go to Dr. and Dentist (preventative care appts already made!)
-Tile upstairs bathroom, new countertop and paint
-Tile downstairs bathroom, new countertop and paint
-fix fence so children can no longer escape (Deacon has orders to tackle Lincoln and haul him back, if he ever observes an escape manuver that I miss. Did I tell you that Linc almost got hit by a car last week? That kid is speedy and he watches and waits for opprotunities).
-Do some minor repair to our bedroom wall and fix a couple outlets
-clean up yard (kids and I will work on this during day if it EVER GETS WARM!
-planned evening with different friends (in addition to regular friends we have over)
-Easter festivities (spring cookies, dyed eggs, etc)
-An out of the ordinary date night with Noah
-Walk through the Bible seminar
-Keep working on preschool
-finish Awana strong
-When I am going to start an IV at work I will say, "I am going to start this IV FOR you so that you can get your medications" as opposed to "I am going to stick this needle in you, so I can pump mind altering drugs directly into your system" or "Excuse me while I jab this needle in your arm, maybe you can tell me where a good spot would be since you appear to have had some experience with needles and your own veins". I refuse to use the words, needle, stick, sharp or hurt. They may have negative connotations and increase anxiety.

Good goals, don't you think?
Noah, stop sighing and shaking your head. The boys and I can probably handle the yard clean up ourselves...