Monday, April 27, 2009

$16 or 16 cents

Zachary could barely sleep last night as he awaited his "garage sale". He decided yesterday that having a garage sale was THE answer to getting money to ... 1.) help fix cousin Sam's guitar hero drumset(that he broke) and 2.) help best friend Carter get his siblings home from Ethiopia(their story is at

He told me he was going to sell his toys for $16 or 16cents.... but after much persuasion, he agreed to write on his sign 25 cents : )

His grand total for the day after sitting outside for close to 3 hrs. was 26 cents!!! Our neighbor took pity on him and gave him a quarter and then Zachary found a penny on the ground.... he was absolutely delighted by his smashing success!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tribute to My Beautiful Wife and Mommy to Our Children

Marianne usually posts on our blog but I (David) thought I would share a few words of appreciation for my beautiful wife and uncomparable mommy to our children. I had the unique privelege of being the caretaker for our 4 children all day today while Marianne was at our church's women's conference. Let me just say to my wife (and all other stay at home moms out there) . . . you are amazing!!!

I started my weekend (before Marianne actually left) taking all 4 kids to a track meet of one of our Sr High youth group girls to watch her throw shot and disc. This was an uneventful couple of hours as the girls sat calmly in their stoller chomping on Ritz crackers while the boys were engulfed watching Shawnee compete. Next, we all went to McDonalds and played at the playland to kill some time before supper. Once again, the kids had a great time as Sarah and Emily took turns letting the boys help navigate them through the labyrinth of tubes until they descended down the slide together with smiles on their faces. With Marianne rejoining us for supper we spent the rest of the evening watching the animated movie Bolt laughing hilariously together at the goofy little hampster who was so passionate about being Bolt's sidekick.

As morning came and Marianne left I was on my own to keep the children alive. Before lunch Caleb watched a college girls softball game on TV (if it involves a sporting competition Caleb will watch it), Zachary was guiding his favorite Nintendo character Link through an icy land, Emily was napping, and Sarah was organizing juice boxes around the room downstairs while I worked a bit on bills. After lunch Caleb went with his friend Matthew to play a little baseball, Sarah and Emily napped, while Zach and I spent some time outside cleaning up the yard and planting some grass. Once the girls woke up we headed to Caleb's school carnival where we wandered the halls for three hours playing home made carnival games that the boys loved because they got a piece of candy just for stepping into the room. Once again, the girls were content the entire time with their Ritz crackers while observing all the people that we walked by. For supper, I ran a little short on money so I had to ask the lady serving food if I could buy a Torpedo sandwich with $.03 short of the $4.00 it cost for the sandwich (we're poor, I'm not ashamed to beg). This was AFTER we all went to the car to look for any spare change we could find to make up the difference between the $3.50 I had in my wallet and the $4.00 it cost to buy one crazy sandwich. Coming up 3 measly pennies short (can you believe it?), I had the boys looking on the ground for pennies or a nickel while we conceived the plan of begging for a sandwich with $3.97 on our way back into the school building. All that effort to feed all 4 children with one 6 inch Torpedo! Once at home we topped off everyone's belly, took baths and showers, and right now as far as I can tell everyone is peacefully asleep.

No disasters, no major crying fits, no trips to the hospital, no hungry children, just a normal busy day around the house. I do not say any of this in order to pat myself on the back but rather to say thank you to my wife for doing THIS every single day of her life! No time outs, no substitute, no vacation, no backup plan, no calling in sick, no "I don't feel like it today", no "I'm just gonna sleep in", no "I give up", and sadly . . . very little appreciation. The job of a mother is never ending and children definitely do not offer willingly their gratitude . . . instead, most of the time, it's an attitude. The job of a mother is irreplaceable . . . I can't explain why children usually cry, beg, ask questions, and tattle to mommy, but ironically I think it has something to do with how much they adore and love you. The job of a mother is monotonous . . . the repitition with food and diapers alone is enough to drive a person crazy, and yet I'm sure the smile you recieve after each little need is met manages to keep you going. The job of mother is selfless . . . you'd think after all the times you put eveyone else's needs first somebody would return the favor, but that's not why you do it, you do it because there is nothing else on earth you would rather do. The job of mother is life . . . it seems unfathomable that THIS is to be the substance of your life, and yet what could possibly be more ETERNALLY significant than being there moment by moment to walk your children ever closer to a relationship with Christ. The job of mother is hard . . . and I am so glad that you do it with a joy filled heart every day!

So, for all the days and weeks and months and years that I have not shown adequate praise and thanks for all you do to be a blessing to me and our children I say . . . THANK YOU!!! Your self-sacrifice and servanthood are deserving of so much more than I could ever express. My prayer is that God will fill you with an internal satisfaction and joy as you spend each and every day with the little blessings He has entrusted us with. May He grant you strength and energy to persevere during the times when you don't think you can't do it any more. May He remind you each day that there truly is no better job on earth than being a MOTHER!

I Love You

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter dresses, eggs and wars??

All dressed up:

Best pic of the bunch....
I wanted one of just the kids but the girls are too wiggly!

What would family pictures be like if everyone was cooperative??
The hunt:

Once they saw the eggs, there was no holding them back for pictures : )

Sarah graciously stole ( I mean "helped carry" ) Emily's basket for her. Emily didn't seem to care as long as she still got to chuck the eggs into someone's basket.

Purses, bags, Easter baskets... Sarah's your girl!


FYI: Egg Wars are a family tradition started on my Dad's side and a tradition my boys now look forward to more than the famous Easter egg hunt. Everyone gets a colored hard-boiled egg, usually personalized with their name, and the games begin. You basically get 2 chances with each egg since there are 2 ends of the egg. You challenge someone to an egg war by smacking one end of your egg to the other person's egg.... only 1 egg will crack. The person whose egg cracks, flips their egg to the other side and they try again. Eventually there is one egg left with no cracks.... and that is your WINNER!
Grandma Laurie lost with her first challenge to Caleb.

Zach and Daddy battling it out!

Sadly, G'ma Mom's egg didn't make it past round one....
Caleb was our Easter 2009 egg war winner!
( If the winner was anyone else but one of my kids, I would have contested since Grandpa Chip and Daddy conspired against me and made me drop mine on the floor!)
Hope everyone had a beautiful day remembering the Lord and celebrating His victory from the grave!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mothering Moments and Cutie Booties

Cutest little booties...

with their faces pressed against the glass watching Daddy go to work!

I really don't like this picture because I don't like the color of my walls at night(artificial lighting), I really only like this color during the day. Anyway, I wanted to show off our newest project : )

This is our "Family Wall". The chalkboard in the middle is for our family devotions at dinner and the 4 bulletin board frames are for each of the kids' mothering moments. Let me explain.

When I went to a Hearts at Home conference a few wks ago, I ran across this idea of "recognizing, recording, and remembering" mothering moments. The speaker had an example at her booth of a pretty picture frame made into a bulletin board. On the bulletin she had a picture her child had drawn, a picture of the child, a prayer request from the child and a "mother's paycheck"(just a cute way of saying a story or quote of your child on a pretty index card). And of course there were cute ribbons and embellishments of the scrapbooking sort : )

So with my husband's inspiration about the chalkboard for family devos, I added the 4 frames. The cool thing is that the same week we decided to do this, I got an email from the conference speaker saying I WON a packet of 50 "Mother's Paychecks" from her booth! I took this as affirmation : )

Here's an example from one of my paychecks:
Zachary has been working on self control when he doesn't get his way. This morning I told him to get his church clothes on and he proceeded to throw a tantrum. It did not last long but as I was buttoning his dress shirt, he said in a very calm voice,
"Mommy, I was really angry with you when you told me I had to get dressed, but now that I'm getting my clothes on, I feel like all my sins are washed away!"
Have a blessed week!
With much love, Marianne