Header change

I thought I'd fill the header with some pictures from warmer times - okay it was pretty much 100 degrees while we were in Kansas - but it was totally worth it to be with family and relax together. Some of the pictures are from camping, another of Anna on the train platform before 4th of July. Good memories, all of them!

I actually saw signs of Spring at church today. There are daffodils and irises coming up! I am not kidding. I think my mood has improved about 200x. Yesterday I laughed for the first time in many days, it was very nice.


Dissertation is going!

Oh - yes, you read that right. Matt is making real, actual, measurable progress on his dissertation.

I won't attempt to fill in any details because I'm sure to get them wrong. But, I know that he is polishing his 30 some page proposal and should be handing that in soon. Then, the real writing will begin.

This is such a huge accomplishment for Matt.

His new job is so much less stressful and he has energy to put into his reading and writing. He is happier and calmer and focused. I am so proud of him, I think he should get a prize just for getting to this point. :)

Thanks to all who pray for him, he is finding clarity of mind, time and motivation!

(And I think I've gotten him to agree to never dress up as little red riding hood again.)

winter winter stinker

I just cannot shake this winter blechiness.

Matt says spring is coming. I'm not sure. I mean, it should come, but fresh snow is falling and my hands are cold. And the funk has settled on me bigtime.

Birds are chirping though. And I have yet to see one just fall out of the tree 'cause he can't take it anymore. So - I'll be okay.


I need those outdated fashions!

I need your help! Claire is having a "Dress up party" for her birthday and I need old scarves, jewelry, purses, dresses, hats, etc. Two of the girls she is inviting are much older than her, so all sizes will work.

I plan to hit the thrift stores but any help is greatly appreciated!

We'll have the party March 20th and I am getting excited. I ordered feather boas and mini sparkly purses for the guests and found a great website for ideas.

Claire came up with a huge list of birthday party theme ideas and then as she went through them one more time, ended up crossing them all off and writing "Gress up party" (G is for Dress?) in huge letters. Okay! For you, Claire, anything.


AZ returns to bite.

Not only was my trip to AZ spur of the moment, it was financially hard.

But, I truly loved getting to see my family and I should not complain about money...

The story goes -
Anna was so sick and I was very distracted the morning I left. I had to wake the very sick Anna up at 5AM and get her to the car and then get to the airport by 6:00. I was so worried about her and anxious about getting to the airport from my brother's house.

I ended up rear ending someone right before returning the rental car. I was going approximately 5 miles an hour and I did not see any visible damage. But, I haven't heard for sure if I will be charged anything.

Then today I got a speeding violation from the AZ Dept of Transportation. Ugh. At 5:51 AM the morning I left. Can't I get a break? And I have to pay extra because of it being in a rental car - some kindof administration fees.

And to top it off - the IRS is not happy that Matt sold more books last year and we have to shell out an enormous chunk of change. It's like trying to dig your way out of something while someone is throwing more dirt on top. But, I'm not planning on using fire or violence to deal with it. I promise.

Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord.


Calmer and funny

Sunshine - warm air, nothing planned for today...

I spent my time at the Y in prayer, I'm much calmer today.

I've been enjoying Katherine this morning. We headed to the library and then came home to sit and read books together. She loved to interact with the book. She wants to imitate any motions and talk throughout the book. I just love it. She makes me genuinely laugh - something my other girls weren't as good at at this age. They were cute and fun, but not really funny.

Katherine uses funny voices, enjoys being part of a joke, and imitates things her sisters do. She likes to play pretend. She asked me to "save her place" on the couch. I said "um, okay". And then when I told her a snowman and a dinosaur tried to take her place she said, "Did you push them away?". She was totally in on the game, loving the fact that Mommy was being silly with her. I hope I am providing her with what she needs.


My words fall short

My heart is heavy today.

God is faithful. I need to let him worry about things for me.

I think I'll let His words replace my own.

A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love...
Ps 33:17-18

My horses: planning, organizing, problem solving. Not bad in themselves - but certainly not the answer when things are out of my control. And they fail me more often than not.


A friend's travels

A friend is moving away today.

Ever had a friend that didn't require work? A friend who was just always there - it didn't matter if you didn't call for a few weeks, or forgot their birthday? They were just always there, like family. If you needed anything, they would jump at the chance to help. If they needed help, they would ask you for it. I didn't realize how much I took that for granted, or how I felt about her moving away until today.

Driving away from her house I felt the tears coming. Oh my. I'm going to miss her! I am rarely the one not moving. I'm not as familiar with this feeling. Usually I'm sad to leave people but excited about my new adventure. This time I'm just sad - no new adventure awaits. But I am so excited for her new adventure! Her chance to move out of the city. To have real closet space, a real kitchen and a yard!

I already pray for her and her family daily and I am so thankful for the 5 years of friendship so far.

Safe travels Becky! You are already missed. And, Yes - I'll come visit when you're ready for me. :)

Cami & Anna
May 2005 and Feb 2010

Natalie & Claire
May 2005 (w/ a friend in the middle) and Feb 2010


Valentine making

Yes - we are better. I took 2 kids to school (they were actually happy to go!) and went to Moms group with one in tow. It was card making Monday and I had a great time! I worked on the kid's valentines. They did the fingerpainting last night and I cut out hearts this morning (with help).

Katherine - post cleanup. She is 2 1/2 now.



I am home again.

Claire is not better - seems to be fighting through whatever Anna had. She's eating better but still has absolutely no energy.

I think I"ll get her some Gatorade now.

Anna is home - feeling better but still needing rest.

My head is pounding... I'm thinking of running around in circles just to get some exercise.


Two or three??

I have often recommended against having 3 kids. I have even told other moms to reconsider their thoughts to have more. The 3rd one just pushes everything from calm to chaos. You become outnumbered. Your orderly schedule and plans are thrown up in the air. You no longer do things quickly and easily. Someone is always straggling behind. It's just so hard.

Well, I have changed my tune. I absolutely love having three girls. I feel like I have a "big" family without the actually bigness that would be required. If one girl wants to do something quietly then there is usually someone else to play with. We don't have a lot of times where someone is left out. We used to when Katherine was littler but now the older girls usually find a way to include her too.

It is fun to think of what our trips and activities will be like as the girls get older. They will be old enough to play games, real games.

I'm happy to see that things have calmed down and I truly am thankful for my three. So - to all that I told not to have three - go ahead and do it! It'll challenge you and will force you to give up control, but these are not bad things. The benefits are worth it.

Keeping busy

Matt's working hard on his dissertation.

So, I have to keep myself busy.

I whipped these up last night, I suppose it took about 3 hours total. Not too bad for a beginner.

They were supposed to be for Anna but they ended up being too big. So - now they are for me! I'll try for another pair today that is smaller.

Not out of the woods

Ah yes - we are not done yet.

Anna has a fever this morning and she says her throat is sore. Strep is going around the school, but I am not going to get paranoid. Maybe.

Claire was up sick last night and is still asleep.

Katherine is bouncing off the walls happy.

So, plans are canceled once again. I start to wonder if the walls will just close in on me here. Can rooms actually get smaller the longer you are in them?

Good news, I am feeling much better and happier this morning for no reason. Only God could do that! I spent yesterday on the couch feeling horrible, I am so thankful for a new day.


Haiti hardship

I have been overwhelmed by the number of organizations asking for money to help Haiti.

But, this one really touched me.

Real Hope for Haiti Rescue Center

Go there and donate if you feel like I did.

(Note: It can be a bit graphic.)

The flu strikes again! Tuesday morning at our house.

Looks like the Y will have to wait until another day...

But, praise God for the beautiful snow to cover some of the dreariness around here!

And many thanks to Matt for shoveling and walking Anna to school.



Forced myself out the door to Moms group. I absolutely need to see grownups.

Mostly held it together.

I felt so silly feeling sorry for myself as the woman next to me described her grief over her husband's death (this is the anniversary month).

My blessings abound. I pray that God will bring me through the winter and help me keep things in perspective.

I know other Moms struggle with this too and I think getting together does help, even if it's the last thing you want to do.

Claire's home today, stomachache - so I'm going to go watch some cartoons.