Sunday, January 31, 2010

the penny

It was a little while after dinner. I had just finished cleaning the house and vacuuming. We also took apart the girls beds to try and find Lily's 4 missing binki's and de-book Eloise's bed (she's book hoarder at night).

I left Eloise's comforter on the floor and the girls invented the new game, "cheesy roll-up" (we go to Taco Bell every Sunday). They would roll the other person up and pretend to eat them. They get huge creativity points here.

I was on the couch holding Sam when suddenly Eloise comes running out, "Mom, Lily just swallowed a penny".

Are you kidding me? She swallowed a penny.

I quickly lay Sam down and go running hoping she isn't choking. I get in there and she's sitting in the 'cheesy roll-up' with a shocked expression on her face. I get down and ask her to breath and if she's okay. I asked her if she swallowed the penny and she bursts into tears. "I ate the penny", she says.

I take her out to the couch and on my way I'm trying to explain that we don't eat penny's. I told her we needed to figure out what to do. And she tells me, "we need to go to the post office".

No post office, but maybe a call to my friend Mary, a pediatrician, to figure out what to do. All is well, it will simply "pass".

I should make mention here that her mother, yes me, swallowed a nickle when she was 12. I was paranoid I was going to have surgery to get it removed. I had x-rays done and from what I know, it's no longer in there.

We all sat down on the couch and talked about all the tiny things that don't go in our mouths, nose, and ears. We figured we needed to cover ears b/c it's the one hole left in our head that hasn't been filled with something, remember the shoe.

As we were finishing up our conversation Eloise says, "If we put Sammy in our mouth. Sammy will come out in our poop". What an interesting observation.

Here's hoping for no more objects in places they don't belong.

Friday, January 29, 2010

favorite link friday

I've found some interesting reads this week. Some encouraging, thought provoking, and inspiring. Let me know what you think?

*A great post from a mother with boys and her view of Victoria's Secret. I could not agree with her more. The moment the catalog comes to our house it goes in the recycling outside. It's a way to protect my husband and, in the future, Sam. A pure heart and mind is a good thing.

*For those who are organizationally challenged - here is a good place to start.

*Thinking about reading this book but I'm hesitant. If there is one thing that gets me fired up, it's more pressure on mother's to be perfect and rise to the occasion at every moment. But I'm curious and wondering what they might have to say. Anyone read it?

*I'm going to attempt to make this for Dave's birthday on Monday. It looks incredible rich, but I gave him other options and he chose that one.

*And I'm planning on listening to Mark Driscoll's sermon on Haiti this week. I'm hoping to carve out an hours time.

Have a great last weekend of January.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

who needs toys

Who needs toys when you have the drapes to play with. I mean, didn't you all know they could be so entertaining?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

a longing to play

The girls wanted to play outside the other day, which is the BEST in my book. They needed to burn on some energy. Sam was fussy so i set him up to see his two favorite people (besides his mom, of course). No more fussy Sam.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

a sweet system

I love watching my kids be able to help with chores. Rather, I love watching them help with things that I normally do, which means one less thing on my list.

Take putting the toilet paper away, as an example. Enter teamwork by two girls. It's a beautiful thing.

Now we just need to work on that chore chart so these two can make some serious cash for the dollar store.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

space management

lately, i've been in an organizing frenzy. I want to get rid of things and maximize the small space that we have. I love throwing things away, LOVE IT! There is some kind of gratification that comes from living off of less. I can't say that this rule applies to clothes. But to all other items, toys, nick-nacks, and decorations, less is more, in my book.

So I started searching for better ways to organize. Really, I just need to go to IKEA and have them plan out one of those model houses they have. That's my dream. But until then, I'm left to my own devices.

I came across this tiny house tonight. Now that is some serious maximization of space. If it was just me and Dave, I might be able to do this.

And I've always been inspired by this family that fits 7 people in a two bedroom home. That is simply amazing.

But this is what I really want to do. Overhaul a closet and make it as useful as possible.

That is what is happening in our house this week. 5 people CAN live in a 3 bedroom house and we're going to be doing it with less. Let the games begin.

Friday, January 22, 2010


It has been one crazy week in this house. Dave's first week back at work and my first week being a full time mama again. So far, it's good. But I'm looking forward to spending some time with Dave and the kids.

*Been following Marc Driscoll on his trip to Haiti via Facebook. Here's some video of him and another pastor who are helping with Churches helping Churches. Very moving.

*I'm going to make some of these when my moms comes with her sewing machine. I think they might be good toys and also little warm fun snugglies for bedtime.

*I found these cute flowers for the wall in the girls room. I'm REALLY tempted. I was planning on painting some but I can't find the right materials.

*Cute little crafty storage blog that my friend Anne is a part of. I'm drooling just thinking of the organization I could do.

*I'm making these tomorrow for our marrieds church get together. The trick. Stick them in the fridge before baking. No more flat cookies.

*Is anyone else freaked out by this? The extensions are just putting me over the edge. Really?

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Last night our house was filled with stuffy noses and kids who couldn't sleep. Amid running from room to room, moving beds, and sleeping with fidgety children, I was reminded to be thankful.

While I was holding Sam in my arms at midnight b/c he couldn't sleep with a stuffed nose, I prayed.

I was thankful that I had a warm house with soft beds. Thankful that if all I had to deal with tonight was children who were mildly uncomfortable than lest I complain. I gave thanks for 3 healthy children who are safe under my roof. A home that I was blessed to buy with the money from a job that is a mark of provision.

I prayed prayers of peace for mother's holding their children in darkness. I prayed that they, as mother's, would be raised up to be the strength they need to be for their family and children during a painful time. I prayed for the woman holding an infant just like mine, in the middle of the night, like me, but without a comfy rocker and only cold pavement to sit on and no home to return to. I asked God to give her a community of people to rise up and be a sign of hope that they have not been forgotten by the other mother's of this world.

The people of Haiti need our money, but they need our compassion and prayers even more. They need us to remember that in our plenty, to be thankful. Thankful that we have above and beyond our basic needs, that we have plenty and can share with those who need.

Tonight when I am up, I will pray for those mother's again, hold my tiny baby in the middle of the night, and not be slightest bit bothered by his awakening, but rather take joy.

Friday, January 15, 2010

favorite link friday

it's back and I'm back. Time to start sharing the internet love.

*Found a new blog - I've really enjoyed reading her posts - especially this one. She also wrote a great post over at (In)Courage.

*I love all things organization and this might just be the project for me.

*Tulips and Valentine's Day - it's just around the corner. Tulips make me smile.

*I'm a huge fan of Artisian Bread in 5 minutes a day. I made their whole wheat dough and whipped up their pizza lollipops. The girls loved them.

*Lemon poppy seed is one of my all-time favorite muffin/bread flavors. I'm going to have to try this one out.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Just want to make sure you all know that Dave is NOT working with or for Greg Oden. My sister-in-law was confused so I thought i would clarify. They were at P.F. Changs and he happened to see Oden from across the room.

If he was to work with Greg Oden, I don't even know if I could use a word to describe his excitment. His dream job is to be a color commentator for the Blazers. We'll see how that works out.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

wonders never cease

It never ceases to amaze me how good the Lord is to us. I am always hoping that he will bless us with just what we need, but he blesses us far beyond what we need and for that, I am thankful.

So, Dave has a job. It's not set in stone yet, but after a month, it could be.

Here's the back story:

When Dave got laid off in July, we really didn't know what we would do. Two weeks after Sam was born he started working for a friend in construction to help offset some costs and to see what would happen with his previous company. Since he was union, there was the chance that he could get called up at anytime. We had a few sparks of hope when he would get called back for a week or so, but as time went on the calls back were less and less.

Just before Thanksgiving, we found out that the construction work would be less as well. We didn't know how much less until the middle of December. At this point, we found out there would be no more work at all. We were back to the starting point again with no options.

Dave hit the ground running at the first of the year and went on a few, less than promising, insurance interviews. Craigslist was his daily camp-out and it was reaping less than desirable options.

Last Friday a friend, through many different circles, contacted Dave to have lunch. (While there, he got to see Greg Oden. A good sign this lunch date was headed somewhere good.)

This friend owns a company, this company. They talked about what it would look like for Dave to fill a position, Producer, and if it would be the right fit.

First, Dave is not artistic, trendy, or creative. But he has lots of drive, heart, and motivation. So after a weekend spent in prayer, both parties thought it a go and we'll try it for a month. If at the end of the month, things don't look good, we move on with one month's income and continue our path of trusting that the Lord has something else. If it does work out, he'll get hired on full time.

WOW! This is not only really cool, but far beyond what we could have ever imagined. God is SO GOOD! We were eagerly awaiting his leading and He had lead us here. I believe great things are going to happen and I'm excited to see Dave flourish in something new.

He jumps into this new adventure on Friday. It's downtown, and those who know Dave know that he is not a downtown guy (we might need to buy him a scarf or something). He was joking today that every office needs the goofy, chubby guy. At least he brings humor, right.

Thank you to all those praying for us. It has surpassed our expectations. Thank you.

Monday, January 11, 2010

it's time for some pictures

I've been taking pictures lately of daily life to make sure that I document the creative and hilarious ways we make it through the day. First though, I need to add a few Christmas.

An attempt at a sibling picture. I love Sam looking at Lily.

Finally successful

A trip to my parent's cabin up by Mt. Rainier.
I'm pretty sure Lily has to go pee in this picture.

Look at that sweet face. She didn't want to come inside.

Playing in the fire

Lunch on the chairs in the kitchen. Why not?

Cute little boy in the bath.

These two enjoying rest time together

Lily climbs on everything.
She figures if Sam gets to sit on the table, so does she.

Friday, January 8, 2010

favorite link friday

FLF will resume next week. It's been a busy one around here and I can't seem to wrangle the computer away from Dave...that's a good thing b/c he's looking for jobs.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


As a follow-up to my last post, i want to make sure you all know that we feel like we are doing great. Lots of laughter and joy here amongst alot of uncertainty. In fact, Dave and I were just going through craigslist looking at jobs and cracking ourselves up. We feel like we might be doing odd jobs for the rest of our lives.

Another point, living on food stamps is not horrible, except when I actually have to swipe the card (that really is the worst part). In fact, the government has a ridiculous idea as to what it takes for a family of 5 to live on. About 3 times what my normal grocery budget was. Nonetheless, I'm learning to be a good steward of it and maybe I'll teach other people on food stamps how to coupon. Who knows? The possibilities are endless.

Thanks for letting me share what's on my heart and mind. It's a great way to not only document where we are at, but process it as well.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I am that person

i understand that there are many opinions about people who live on public assistance. I'm not one to ignite debate, so I've closed comments. Our decision was one of necessity and not taken lightly, and we believe that this is for a season and this is my thoughts on that season.

When Dave found out that he no longer had a job, he had one more day left and I was due to have Sam in 10 days. I was standing in a friend's pool when I heard the news and I felt like the world had just fallen. What were we going to do?

We had been smart with our money. No consumer debt and a small amount of savings for a rainy day. But this small amount wouldn't get us very far. We had a choice to make about government assistance and we had to make it quickly.

We needed medical assistance for our children, but would we take the food assistance? A battle raged in my mind. What would that look like to others? Were we not trusting God to use our community to take care of our needs? How would it look to our friends that we were on food stamps? All stereotypes of food stamp people ran through my mind. They were the ones milking the system, they wanted to be on this for life, and they wanted a hand-out, not help out of their situation. I did not want to be that lady in the store.

I am that lady now. I am the one on food stamps in front of you. I look like any other normal, thiry-something mom. And here's what happens to me when I swipe that card.

I hold the card hidden as to not let any other people in line know that it's not a debit card. I quietly mention to the cashier the card that I'm using and hope she doesn't say it louder. The moment I swipe that card, the cashier, so friendly before and making conversation, suddenly turns cold. I am now all those assumptions she has in her head. I am the one milking the system and not looking to be free of this system. I try to smile and reply back kindly, but it often times doesn't garner a response. And all this usually happens at the cheap grocery store, where I feel like I fit in more. When I go to the fancy organic stores for deals on good flour and other foods, the response is much colder.

I want to wear a sign that says, "My husband lost his job suddenly before I had my third child. He looks daily and we are trying to make ends meet. We don't have debt and we're doing all we can to keep from losing our home. I don't want to be on this". I even use reusable bags, do coupon deals and buy healthy food.

It's sad that I feel like I have to do this with so many people in our economy in our situation. I know I'm not alone. The food stamp line is no longer 'those' people. It's me. A stay-at-home mom who loves to go to Target, drink Starbuck's Americano's, and wear really comfy shoes that I find at Nordstrom. People like me are losing their homes and we desperately DO NOT want to be here, and we question what we could have done differently.

Despite all this, the lessons I'm learning are ones I can only learn in this place. I appreciate a full shampoo bottle or package of toilet paper. I now make the entire peanut butter jar stretch rather than just the last couple tablespoons. And with all this creativity in stretching material things, I find greater joy in things we have that are not tangible, like family time, dinner with friends, and coffee at friend's homes.

I am going to make the best of this time. I'm going to reap all the lessons I am learning and help pass them onto others. And my first lesson, is not to judge those whose situations I do not know or understand. I am going to be as kind as I can to those cashier's who make assumptions about me and teach others how to live in this place with joy instead of shame. I believe that my decision to choose joy will make a lasting impact on my children and we can look back and say that the Lord taught us great things during a time of great need.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


At church this morning, our leaders asked what we felt like 2010 would be about. Did we have any convictions that the Lord has brought to mind? What did He want this year to be?


Trust will define our year.

Trust in the small stuff -- energy for the day, patience for my children, creativity in parenting, encouragement for my husband and children.

Trust in the big stuff -- a job for Dave, money for the mortgage, a place to live if there is no money for said mortgage.

And along with that trust, rejoicing when we see provision. And being humbled that He has provided great things.

I have no idea what life will be like this year. I don't know where we will be in 6 months, let alone 2 months. There are so many unknowns that to stop and think about them all makes me start to panic.

But then I am reminded that my God is BIG, GOOD, and incredibly LOVING.

Commit your way the Lord; trust in Him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.

~Psalm 37:6-7

More thoughts on this can be read here, written by my friend, Katie. We had lunch the day after Dave found out he would no longer have work. Our conversation was encouraging.

Friday, January 1, 2010

favorite link friday - most memorable moments of 2009

I thought I would like to all my favorite happens of this year. Since it's New Year's Eve and I'm going no where but the couch, why not catch up on it all.

Here goes

*We found out we were having a boy!

*the tiny little shoe in a tiny little girls nose - who could forget that one.

*I wrote a guest post for Rocks in my Dryer - I loved doing that.

*a Mother's Day filled with Hello Kitty band-aids

*the curve ball of losing a job - we could still use one.

*the arrival of our sweet baby boy - SAM

There are those and so many more. Thank you all to read my blog. I appreciate your kind notes, caring about my family, and walking through this crazy journey of motherhood with me. You are cherished. Happy 2010!