Wednesday, April 30, 2008

wrinkly fingers and toes

water on the floor
giggles heard a mile away
the lingering taste of soap suds
wrinkly fingers and toes
breath lost, breath caught
bathtime with my brother

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Red and White House

This is the first house that I remember. It is fall. I smell the Windex as Mom sprays the television screen generously. I watch the streaking of colors that interrupt my daily cartoon routine. I am temporarily mesmerized by the slashing of brilliant hues across the smudged, fingerprinted screen. I like to feel the static on the television screen. It is fuzzy and my hand bounces on it until it shocks me. It is morning. She cleans and listens to Fleetwood Mac and Eric Clapton. We live in the little red and white house. Dad painted the house. I suppose he chose the colors to honor the Hoosiers. Windy and I lay on our bed procrastinating the inevitable nap to come. Feet pressed together, we cautiously giggle as our legs become a human bicycle. “Roll over!” I knew that she would catch us; I heard her footsteps rounding the corner. We quickly remove our feet from the air and face opposite sides of the room. I stare at the light streaming in through the blinds illuminating the crayon murals on the wall as I impatiently wait for sleep to take me. It is almost summer. The smell of lilacs is present. I hear soap operas in the living room. Mom makes sun tea on the back porch as the clothes are whipping in the wind on the line. The windows are open and the house feels ready. There are horses in a barn next to house. Windy talks to them and prays for a mouse that she saw in there last week. She doesn’t want it to get hurt. She is so sensitive, caring, and innocent. I miss her. Mom assures her that the mouse will be fine. He has a home inside the barn and is okay. Windy takes her words and uses them to get her past this moment. Although, she really thinks it would be best if she went in and rescued the helpless creature herself. In a lot of ways, she turned out a lot like that little mouse trapped in a world with hooves clamoring down, promising to end your life in an instant. It is the afternoon. We have a little pool in the front yard, the plastic ones with unbelievably hard sharp edges. I watch the grass blades whirl in circles around the edge. I wipe them off of my shins and run in the grass. The train is coming. Windy comes running as her long brown hair flips around her sunburned shoulders. She has a crush on the train man, Mike Astoll. I see a look on her face as the tanned, light haired, masculine fellow approaches. She is shy. She smiles and her beautiful crooked teeth peek out from behind the curtain of her lips. She says nothing. I tease her. Mike says a few words to Mom on the porch and it is over. We play in the pool. I start kindergarten. I refuse to eat my cereal because I can tell Mom had to use evaporated milk again. She tried to hide it. I am proud of myself for figuring it out, while unaware that she probably felt defeated. Not defeated because I figured it out, defeated for having to use government issued evaporated milk. I get dressed for school. I think it is a place with flowers and candy where we play in a maze of a garden. I was wrong. I beg her not to leave. I can tell that she really doesn’t want to. She leaves. I find my place on the letter circle. Mrs. Hiatt has a warm smile and a soft voice. We sing “I’ve been workin’ on the railroad.” I like Adam Hiatt’s crayon box, it is wooden with his name engraved in gold. I have a cardboard flip top box from the dollar store that Mom let me pick out. I am ungrateful. I look forward to milk time, even though it’s lukewarm. I make Mom walk me to the doors at the school until 3rd grade. I hate to leave her every time. Mom had Patty Myers take me home from school once. She dropped me off and headed up the street to her house. The door was locked. I felt fear and panic. My heart was pounding and it was hard to breathe. Then, I saw Mom and Windy in the yellow station wagon. They drive slowly past the house. I start running and trying to scream but the tears are welling up preventing anything from coming out. I am trying to catch them while my backpack sways side to side slowing me down. I drop it. They leave. I run up to Joe and Dodie Smith’s trailor. I am sobbing. Joe goes and looks for Mom while Dodie calms me down. It smells funny in their trailor. Mom comes and gets me and says she is sorry. She tells me that she thought I was a raccoon. I am confused but overwhelmed with relief to be back in her arms. We took the yellow station wagon to watch Ghostbusters at a drive-in theater. We folded the back seat down and Windy and I watched until we fell asleep. Slimer was my favorite. He was nice and not scary. Mom and Dad find a note from Mrs. Hiatt in my bag. They talk softly and look apprehensive. We go to meet with Mrs. Hiatt later. She brings out a drawing that I did of Dad. They talk with me about the drawing, asking me questions. What is he doing? Where is he going? Then they point to the drawing and in a sober tone ask me specifically what this is... “his tie” I replied. They laugh and act as if this whole thing was foolish. Once, when I was at school, Dad killed a snake with a shovel. I was jealous as Windy recounted the excitement of the event. I felt alone as they told me about how big the snake was and remembered all of the details. I wished I had been there and hated that I was at school. It is winter. We are watching television after dinner. Mom made salmon patties and cherry cobbler. I liked to crush the little round bones in the salmon with my fingers and I only eat the crust and cherries in the cobbler. I don’t like the soggy bottom. We see headlights in the driveway. Mom opens the door. Windy and I are pressed against the icy glass of the screen door. We watch as a woman in a long coat walks up our sidewalk with brown paper bags in each arm. She is our Christmas angel. The light and exhaust from the car made her look like she was walking out of the clouds of Heaven. She brought us toys. Dad helps her with bags and many thank yous are spoken. Windy and I sort through the toys, ecstatic with our surprise. That Christmas I opened a present when I wasn’t supposed to. I waited until everyone went to sleep. It was small and wrapped in red paper. It was perfume for Mom. I tried to rewrap it and put it under the tree. I hid it instead. Mom asks me later if I did this, I lie to her and tell her no. She let it go.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I love to watch God work in our lives. But I have to say nothing beats watching God answer my son's prayers (or desires... we are working on the praying and understanding it thing.)

So, yesterday we went for a walk. Pretty typical, we do quite a bit of that. When we got home, Oliver didn't want to go inside. Also typical. We went in the front yard and let him swing. Then our neighbor, Cyrus, and his Daddy came over too. Cyrus is 2 1/2. He was riding in his new big Power Wheels Jeep. I watched Oliver's eyes light up as they approached. He wanted out of the swing and into that Jeep, and quick! As I watched him driving Cyrus around our yard and through my flower beds, I felt ashamed. I was ashamed for not being able to shower my children with big gifts like this one. I wanted to bring that kind of joy to his face. Not 2 minutes after those thoughts had crept into my mind, I was reminded that it doesn't take toys to bring joy. But all the same, I wanted my kids to have more than I ever did. Then God happened. Cyrus' father offered to give Oliver and Liam their old Power Wheels Jeep! Holy Cow! They wouldn't take anything for it. Amazing. I don't know why I am blown away, I knew God could do it. I guess I thought God might be more caught up in prayers about Global Warming or the BPA scare. Either way, Oliver and I were thanking God "lots and lots" today. We figured we would make some cookies and a thank you card for Cyrus.

And, yep there is an AND... Today, Liam had a check-up appointment at 11:30. First, I didn't know what time it was scheduled for. I didn't have a car. Justin's mom let us borrow hers. One hurdle jumped. So, I left at 10:45 just in case it was at 11. I went and picked up my mom to sit in the car while I checked to see what time the appointment was for. The computers were down. So, they will call me to re-schedule. No biggie. Headed home. Wait, I have laundry waiting on me at home. I don't want to go home. Ok, let's go get Oliver some french fries and visit my dad. Drive by Dad's, not home. Bummer. Go to turn around and I find this in the trash! A TOYBOX! I have been wanting a toybox for over a year. I don't have extra cash to buy a new one. I was just looking at garage sales without any luck. Then God happens and... Whammo! A free toybox! I didn't even have to clean it up. It is just awesome to know that God had all of this worked out perfectly. He set up the down computers and the french fries and Dad being gone, all just so that I could run across this free toybox that He knew I wanted. I just wanted it. He takes care of what we need and what we want. He spoils me. Thank you God.


Well, this is what I worked on yesterday. It is no secret that I am not a great chef. So, to celebrate the birth of Bella, I didn't bring the family food to help out. Jeremy (the father) is a bit picky about food if memory serves me right. So, all the more reason to skip out on this tradition of bringing dinner. Okay, so maybe I just feel guilty for not doing this and I am trying to talk myself out of feeling bad. Either way, this is what they get. If they get really hungry I am sure they could eat the photograph. Although, I wouldn't suggest it.
Edit... you can click on the photograph to read the poem...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008



You MUST go enter for a chance to win this remarkable handmade quilt! Make sure you mention that I sent you that way! :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Did somebody say sunshine?!

Boy howdy! It is about time for some nice weather! We were outside in a jiffy. Then Andrew, my nephew, came by for a visit also. I am ready for summertime and tons of fun in the sun.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

head fakes...

A man that I found to be rather profound and inspirational. This is well worth the time spent watching it.

All of this has made me think. About lots of things. Mortality. Achievements. Forgotten Dreams. God's Will.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


The first photo is me right before Oliver entered the world. The second is Oliver on his birthday. The third photo is me right before Liam was born. And the fourth is Liam on his birthday. I am feeling really guilty and blessed tonight. I have taken the blessing of raising my children for granted. God has put people into my life to help me realize just how special everyday and every moment in this life is. If you are reading this, please stop and pray for the people that are hurting right now due to a loss. Destiny, Leah, Angie, Lisa, Annie, and I know that there are so many more. One brave woman documented her family's journey to meeting little Audrey Caroline. I invite you to take some time and get to know them. You will be glad that you did. She has forever changed my life.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Wake-up Call

Well, my perfect record is tarnished. Drat.

I wake up Sunday morning, around 7:30 ish. Feed Liam, while I lay in bed and wake up a little. (Yes, I am still nursing. And I love it.) I get the boys' outfits laid out. And take a shower. Justin gets up and gets them dressed and gets a shower. I finish getting ready and try on about 10 different outfits. I hate my closet and my stupid body. Anyway... Finally get the diaper bag packed and head out the door to church. I am in a bad mood. I have to squeeze in the back seat between the boys, so that I can feed Liam some baby food on the way to church. We pick up Brandon and I have to be the one to tell him no to going to McDonald's. I am so sick of being the grouchy bad guy. I don't want to be late to church. We get to church and Oliver cries when we leave him in the nursery. He had been doing so well. I am pretty sure it is because he is a brat. But also because the poor guy has had an ear infection for a couple of weeks. Those hurt. We finally get into our seats and I am trying to force myself into a state where I can focus my attention on worshipping God. And it just wasn't happening. I can usually ignore off key singing or other people not paying attention... but not today. So, I am more aggravated. During the message, my mind kept wandering...How is Oliver? I want to volunteer to help with VBS, don't forget to sign up...What time is it?...Man, I am hungry...Did they just say "do work!" I know Justin and Brandon are thinking about Big Black (A show on MTV called Rob and Big)...You get my point. So, now I feel guilty for wasting God's time on me. I just wasted this service and I know that there were things that were meant for me in there. Drat. Now, I am ashamed. Service is over and Justin and I go get the boys. Much to my relief, they were great. Liam was asleep in a crib even! We chat for a little bit. I am wishing that I wouldn't have swallowed my gum. My gut hurts now. As we are getting into the car, Justin could tell I was irritated. He volunteers to sit in the back. I am more angry at Brandon for not volunteering. He is the skinniest one of the group after all. But I let Justin take one for the team. So, I am driving home. We decide to take a spin past a house that we like and stop at a gas station to get some drinks. Then we were on our way home. The kids were mildly grumpy. It was nap time. So, I set the cruise and looked forward to putting on some sweatpants and eating a brownie. We are about 2 blocks from our house when that State Cop passed me. I knew I was a goner. My legs went numb and felt jiggly. I began to sweat profusely. I thought I was either gonna puke or fart...I pass gas when nervous. Sure enough he pulled a u-turn and sped up. He didn't put on his lights. He didn't put on his siren. He sped up next to me and motioned for me to follow him. GREAT! I have NEVER been pulled over before. I had no idea what to do. He pulled me and the car in front of me over. I am fighting back tears. I don't know where the registration is and I left my license at home! Brandon is telling me that I should have just floored it when I saw him making a u-turn. Justin is telling me that I should have just turned at the block to go home. I just want them both to shut-up. For some reason I have this fear that the cop will hear them with his super-human hearing and think that we are up to something. I ask them to just be quiet and give me the registration. I am doing okay, I am not crying, puking, or farting. That is a relief. My heart is going crazy and I know I looked scared. The cop walks up and it is the same guy that pulled Justin over a few months ago. What are the odds? He says, "Do you know why I pulled you over miss?" I nod in compliance. "It is because of your speed mam." He replied. "Do you know how fast you were going?" He asked. "65" I uttered. I know this because I had my cruise set. "He looks at me and said... more like 66." Alright already, I know I was speeding. He asks for my license and registration. I hand him the registration and confess to not having my license with me. I explain that I haven't ever been pulled over and I apologize for acting like a baby. He says, "You've never been pulled over before...why not?" I can honestly say that I don't even remember what I said to that... I mean what do you say, "You never caught me before, sucker!" Or how about, "I am a flawless driver, and today was my first offense sir." Like he would buy that anyway. So on with the story... He takes my name and birthday and goes back to his car. After an eternity, he comes back and gives me a verbal warning. I am so relieved. I still can't feel my legs. I don't even want to drive home. I just want to crawl into bed. We go to my mom's house to drop Brandon off and I use my turn signal to pull into the driveway. Justin teases me. Brandon teases me. And I felt awful. And so, my perfect driving record is tarnished by a verbal warning.
All of this taught me something though. Even if I am having a rotten day, I am the one letting it get to me. I can't control every situation, but I can control how I respond to every situation. My speeding could have caused harm to the ones that I love. An accident could have happened due to my impatience and intolerance. My bad mood could have hurt their feelings. Oliver and Liam are very intuitive. And poor Justin squished his 6 foot 1 in self into the back seat to accommodate my mood swings. And most of all, I hurt my God. My inability to dedicate a few measly hours of my time, hurt Him. He took care of me though. I didn't get a ticket. Thank goodness. But I did get a wake-up call and for that I am grateful.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

a little something on Wednesday

Just posting a couple of things...
...the boys playing in the fort.
...Oliver's birthday present from Momma, a new blanket.
...Easter pants for the boys (made by Momma, aka the Easter Bunny) These are super easy to do just go here. the way, check out the book Oliver is reading, to cute!