Sunday, April 29, 2012

The first watermelon of the season

We just had our first watermelon of the season!
Watermelon always reminds me of being pregnant with Lana.
We found out we were expecting in December,
and one of the things that made us go pick up the test
was that I was craving watermelon.  
I couldn't get enough.  
Dan was driving around to grocery stores all over the town,
trying to find me a watermelon...any kind of watermelon.

I ate an entire watermelon every few days the entire 9 months
she was in my tummy.
So just the smell of them now instantly takes me back.

 My babies love watermelon still!

Tucker said "I tired of sitting, Daddy.  You lay down pees."

 What a life!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Family Movie Night - a date with Daddy

Tonight was Family Movie Night at Lana's school.
They were showing Dolphin Tale on their inflatable big screen,
providing popcorn and drinks,
and the whole school was invited!
We have been so excited about going.
Sadly, Tucker got sick with a virus yesterday,
so Family Night 
became Daddy/Daughter date night.
Very sweet, huh?

Look at how fun! 
Everyone brought blankets and chairs and snacks
and just piled out in the grass.

She was so into the movie!
And the gummy worms that she requested when I asked her what sort of special snack she wanted to take.

They got back home around 10 p.m.,
and both declared it to be a wonderful date.

It's not all sunshine and roses.

This is my facebook status today:

A few weeks ago, Dan & I found a great deal on a trip for our 10 year anniversary this summer. I mean a really really great deal to vacation on an island off the coast of Belize. We had the money in savings, and were so online to buy it, and it was sold out. : ( We were so disappointed.

Yesterday, we found out that our tax accountant made a major mistake, and we owe thousands of dollars to the IRS. Thankfully, we still have that money in savings because we didn't spent it on booking a vacay.

So, so thankful that "in his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines His steps." (Proverbs 16:9)
Such a good reminder to trust the Lord, even when it doesn't make sense and is disappointing.

You'll notice that I waited 24 hours before I posted this.
Yesterday I wasn't able to see quite this clearly.

This morning the Lord set my heart right.  

I am still sad, so sad.
We had that money earmarked for a 10 year anniversary trip,
and to have our yard landscaped.  
Both of those things are verging on the point of needs for us.

We have been so busy since the moment we moved here, with the very best and most wonderful things things, but we're in desperate need of some time to slow down and reconnect and recharge together.  Just the two of us.

And have you seen our yard?  The homeowner's association is going to start putting ugly notes in our mailbox soon, and neither of us have a green thumb.

It appears that neither of those things are going to happen, or at least not the way we expected them to.

However, even in my disappointment, I am learning to be thankful.
This girl is being sanctified, and glad for it.  Even when it hurts.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Throwback Thursday: the early years

I posted a couple of pictures yesterday of my sweet babies,
and then just had to post these pictures of Dan & I as kids.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Assignment: Write about your favorite person.

My favorite person is my little baby brother Tucker.  I love Tucker because he brings me my vitamin every morning.  I love him because he loves me, too.  And we love to play together.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

So you want to date my daughter?

I read this here today, and just have to make sure it's in my blog book so my children will have it to refer back to one day.  Love this so much.  So many implications for my daughter and my son.

So You Want to Date My Daughter?
1. You must love Jesus. I don't care if you're a "good Christian boy." I was one of those too. So I know the tricks. I'm going to ask you specific, heart-testing questions about your spiritual affections, your daily devotional life, your idols, your disciplines, and the like. I'll cut you a little bit of slack because you're young and hormonal and your pre-frontal lobe isn't fully developed yet, but I'll be watching you like a hawk. I know you. I was you. You will think you can fool me, and you likely have fooled many other dads who didn't pay much attention to their daughters' suitors, but I will be on you like Bourne on that guy whose neck he broke. Which guy was that? Every guy. So love Jesus more than my daughter or go home.

2. You will install X3Watch or Covenant Eyes on your computer and mobile devices and have your regular reports sent to me.

3. I will talk to your dad and tell him I will hold him responsible if you don't treat my daughter like a lady. If he thinks I'm a crazy person, you fail the test and won't get to date her. If he understands what I'm saying, that bodes well for you.

4. You will pay for everything. Oh, sure, every now and then my daughter can buy you a Coke or something and a gift on your birthday and at Christmas. But you pay for meals, movies, outings, whatever else. Don't have a job? I'm sorry, why I am talking to you again?

5. You will accept my Facebook friend request.

6. If it looks like you need a belt to hold your pants up, I will assume you don't have a job. See #4.

7. Young people dating are putting their best face forward, so if you appear impatient, ill-tempered, or ill-mannered, I know you will gradually become more so over time. I will have no jerks dating my daughters.

8. If I am not your pastor, I will talk to the man who is. If your pastor is a woman, why I am talking to you, again?

9. You don't love my daughter. You have no idea what love is. You like her and you mightlove her someday. That's an okay start with me, so put the seatbelt on the mushy gushy stuff. Don't profess your undying love, quote stupid love song lyrics to her, tell her you'd die for her, or feed her any other boneheaded lines that are way out of your depth as a horny little idiot. A lady's heart is a fragile thing. If you play with hers, I will show you yours.

10. If you ever find yourself alone with my daughter, don't panic. Just correct the situation immediately. If I ever catch you trying to get alone with my daughter, that would be the time to panic.

11. It may sound like I'm joking in threatening you harm, and while I might not physically hurt you if you offend my daughter or violate her honor, when I am addressing the issue with you, you will not be laughing.

12. You may think all this sounds very legalistic. That's fine. You can be one of the many antinomians not dating my daughter.

And then another friend sent me this link, which contains perhaps some of the truest words that I've ever read about marriage outside of the Bible.

A Letter to My Children About Marriage

Dear Children,
Should the Lord give you the good gift of a husband or wife, and I hope He does, there are a few things I want you to know. Things that you may not hear from anyone else, and certainly not on TV or other media. Sadly, your church may not even tell you.
Marriage, sweet little people, is not for the purpose of your happiness. Happy as I want you to be and hope you will be, you must yet understand that marriage is God’s design and His purposes must be pursued in order for you to be truly happy. His end is holiness and He will use all things in a life devoted to Him to fulfill that end.
To my girls:
Marry a man whose first pursuit is Christ. After that, he is not hard to please. Admire him, cheer him on and show gratitude, and he will fall over himself trying to please you. Smile often, speak well of him always, and do whatever necessary to try and maintain a pleasant mood about you so that it transfers to your home, making it a place where he and your children love to be.
You’ll have bad days of course, crying days even, and that’s when you go to your bedroom, kneel on the floor and beg the Lord to carry you. Then get up, get a fresh perspective (crayons will come off the wall), and try again. Above all else, make a home.
To my boys:
Marry a woman whose first pursuit is Christ. After that, she may be hard to please ;-) only if you don’t know “the secret”. What is that? I’m glad you asked. The secret to pleasing your wife is to make her feel safe and treasured. You may have to move out of your comfort zone to do this at times. She won’t always readily translate the oil change to love, though it means that. But let me give you a “secret question”–a question you need to ask her often. It’s not just in the asking, though. Be sure to focus your eyes on hers, maybe even touch her shoulder or face, and then ask: “What’s on your mind these days? “ And then be ready to listen. She wants you to draw her out. She will perceive this as your protection over the matters of her heart. Tenderness, listening, protection. That’s what she wants.
To you all:
If your wife or husband does something really stupid, forgive. If they do it again, forgive again. Forgiveness must be the propelling force in your lives each day. Dwell on the strengths, push out thoughts of their weaknesses. Take every thought captive–choose to love.
Here’s that part you are not going to hear often:
If you find yourself “not happy”, having lost attraction, disinterested, etc., you are not permitted to even think about a divorce. If you find yourselves arguing more and more, don’t think for a minute that “the children will be better off out of this”, because they won’t.
The vows you took on your wedding day were not suggestions. They were covenant vows, before a Holy God, family and friends, to stay with this person the rest of your life, even if you don’t feel like it. You swore a solemn oath and if you can’t live up to it, don’t get married. Decide up front that your marriage is irrevocable. There is far more motivation for getting along if your “marriage house” has no door.
Do not share intimate thoughts or feelings with anyone of the opposite sex. Do not find yourself alone for any length of time with such either.
Divorce is not a “private option”. It will affect multiple families for many generations. When you “separate what God has joined” you permanently injure far more than just yourself.
Guard your marriage as fiercely as you would guard your own life. Treat your spouse as an extension of your flesh, just as God sees you. Treat your spouse like other family members. You know, “you gotta love ‘em, they’re the only family you’ve got”.
I want you to be happy, I surely do. But I will pray for you to be holy.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mommy love.

I love when people blog about "favorites."  
Favorite books, favorite toys, favorite baby items, favorite activities - 
it doesn't matter what the topic is, I just think it's fun.
So for no reason and with no particular theme,
here's a post on "Mommy Love" - things this mommy is loving these days!

*Topping the list are my adorable children, of course.  I am sad at the fact they're not babies anymore, but I am loving getting to know them better each day.  They are really delightful little creatures, and the fact that I get to be their Mommy still makes me catch my breath.

*Naked Green Machine Juice Smoothie.  Although it's ridiculously expensive, I will sometimes treat myself to one of these in place of a meal.  (Usually while I'm grocery shopping at lunchtime and I'm I pick up this....otherwise, I would open up a bag of cheetos and eat the whole thing.)  I love all the good stuff in it, and I love that my Tucker will drink half of it with me!  It does make me miss my Trader Joe's Green Food Juice, which is just as delicious and much less expensive.

*my Sanuk Yoga Mat Sandals, for they are the perfect shoe.  with soles made from recycled yoga mats and padded straps, they are my go-to footwear.  Most Sanuks have rubber soles, so don't get confused.  You want this Yoga Mat version.

*Tahiti, Sweetie lotion from Bath and Body Works - this stuff smells like summer in a bottle, and it feels dreamy on my legs after they've been baked in vitamin D. The monoi oil thing kinda worried me at first, because I can't stand to feel oily, but it's not a bit like that.  And did I mention how it smells?!  If you're one of my friends who wish you lived closer to the coast, you need this lotion.

*Dr. Teal's Epsom salts in my bath - the perfect way to end any day.  I'm semi-idolatrous about bathtime.  It always happens after the house is quiet so I won't be interrupted; I always have a book in hand; I sometimes include chocolate.  It's my little island of serenity in what can otherwise be wild, fun-filled days.  I love epsom salt baths in general, so many good things about them, but Dr. Teal's just take them to the next level.  They smell so good....not that fake flower smell that so many bubble baths have.
My favorite is "Relax," probably because I love eucalyptus.

* - If you're a reader, then you should check out  Now, if you're one who loves to buy books and put them on a shelf and own them, then you might not love this site like I do.  But I only read most books once, so I prefer to borrow them from the library.  However, the local library doesn't have everything I want.  Paperbackswap has almost everything!  It's so simple: you list books that you don't want anymore (at least 10 to get started).  Then you search their database and request books you want.  They have everything: fiction, non, hardback, softcover, children's books, textbooks, cookbooks, biographies, audio books, TAG books, and more.
Each book is 1 credit.  So you get 1 credit for every book that someone requests from you, and every book you request is worth 1 credit.
You pay for postage to mail your books out (media mail, usually around $2.50), and the sender pays the postage to mail the books you request to your house.
So I request, read, then post the books, keeping a steady stream of credits for me to read the books I want.  Love it!

*Crystal Light has a new line of drink mixes out called "Mocktails."  They come in flavors like Margarita, Appletini and Mojito, and according to Kraft, they're around for a limited time only. The mojito flavor is my favorite!  Obviously alcohol-free, it tastes quite a lot like really good lemonade, with a delish minty aftertaste.

*Mudbound by Hillary Jordan is one of the best books I've read lately.  Written in the style of The Kitchen House and The Help, this book was one that I couldn't put down.  I have a strong affinity for Southern fiction and for debut novels, and this one was a stand-out for me.  The kind of book that when I finished the last page, I began missing the characters within.

*My very favorite fast food these days is The Pita Pit.  We recently got one on Nine Mile Road near Target, and I could eat there every day!  Have you ever tried it?  My favorites are the Buffalo Chicken Pita Wrap and the Gyro.  I love the wheat pitas, and whatever I order, I always have them put on some artichoke hearts.  It's all so fresh and yummy and I can eat out without totally blowing my calorie count for the day!

*The neck pillow by TempurPedic
I bought one of these about 5 years ago, and it changed my sleeping life forever.  When I would sleep on a regular pillow (whatever kind...and I tried every kind), I woke up with neck/shoulder/back pain.  Sometimes the pain would be significant enough that it would limit my daily activities or require medication/treatment.  This pillow changed all of that - reduced the occurrence of my neck/back pain by 75%, at least.  It has lasted a good long while, but for the past few months, I've had a stiff neck in the mornings, and knew it was time to replace it.  I got some birthday money and used it to buy a new one.  Glorious.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Soccer Saturday

Look who came to watch this morning's game!

Too bad the other team didn't show.
We made the best of it - 
they had a great time scrimmaging each other,
and played hard!
They were well-deserving of the beloved Parent Tunnel
that we create at the end of each game:

It was my turn to bring snacks for after the game.
We had Capri Sun and cheese crackers,
but these were the biggest hit:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Our children.

  • Tucker is awfully possessive of his Mommy.  If he sees Dan & I hugging for too long, he comes screeching over..."Dat's MY Mommy!"  
  • Lana is working hard on riding her bike.  She is still not confident about it, and doesn't want to take off her training wheels yet.
  • Tucker is working on riding his bike and scooter when big sister does - he can actually push the pedals on this bike and scooter himself around pretty well.
  • Lana got her latest report card at the beginning of the month, and it was amazing!  Two E's for Exceeds Expectations in Writing and Reading, and the rest S's (for Satisfactory, although she says it stands for Super.)
  • Tucker loves going to Mother's Day Out on Tuesdays; he talks about his friends all morning, and runs right into his classroom without looking back.  His teacher give us glowing reports about what a great helper he is, and how he loves to clean up.
  • Lana doesn't like chocolate.
  • Tucker loves books more than ever, and now that Lana is a fluent reader, he will bring her book after book and beg her to read them to him.
  • Lana's favorite inside activity is to play board games or with her dolls.
  • Tucker wears 18 months shorts and 3T shirts.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Your vacation spot is my home.

We don't take it for granted, not for a minute.
That we live in paradise.
That we get to spend whole days in paradise
with friends.
eating and laughing and playing and sunning.

that these are our friends 
long and deep and wide.

that some people drive for days
and save money for weeks and months and years
to spend a week of vacation time
in a place within driving distance of our home.

that the heavens declare God's greatness,
and the oceans cry out to Him,
and the mountains bow down before him,
and we can join with the earth and sing our praise.

that little boys can be amused for hours
with nothing more than a net and each other

that smiles like these
are given freely and abundantly

that from the rising of the sun
to the going down of the same
the name of the Lord shall be praised.

that we have each other.
our immediate family, the four of us,
and even more:
we have friends who are like family,
that we see each other through hard and easy
and good and bad 
and thick and thin,
that we fully recognize we are all sinners
in need of a Savior
and we choose to do life together in spite of that.
or perhaps because of that.

that we make memories of
the first taste of cheese puffs
and digging for sand fleas
and getting burnt to a crisp
and fish sandwiches on soft bunny bread
and frisbee that keeps us all laughing
and digging in sand dunes
and swimming out to where the sharks are
and the smart ones not getting wet
and learning what baby powder is really for.

that we live in a place where we can leave the beach
and drive right to the "Hot Now" sign.