August 2008

I hurt my toe this week.  Really Badly. As in, it’s not a pretty picture, all black and blue and bleeding.  Gonna lose the nail.  See I told you it wasn’t a pretty picture!

I realized this week how much I take that little toe for granted.  Until it started hurting, I didn’t realize the impact one little phalange could have on the entire body.  (I also didn’t realize how many times a day my feet are stepped on by my kids).

One little toe can inflict pain on my entire body.  It can make me limp.  It can send throbbing pain throughout my body.  It can make me cry. 

One teeny little toe

As I reflect on all the harm and discomfort one teeny little toe can cause to an entire body, I do not want to be like that toe.  One teeny little action, or word, or broken promise, can inflict deep and lasting pain in the life of another.  It can leave them limping along, throbbing in pain. 

I must be careful of the words I say and the attitude I portray to my family, for it can have a lasting impact.  I’m with my kids all day, every day.  As in early in the morning when I don’t feel like getting out of bed, and in the middle of the day when I am yearning for some peace and quiet and at the end of the day when I’m fixing dinner while juggling 3 hungry kids and waiting for Daddy to come home.  My facial expression when my husband comes in the door can set the tone for the entire evening.  One little glance has the power to make him feel appreciated or on edge. 

As one part of the body of Christ and of the body of my family, I want to be intentional that my impact is positive.  I don’t want to be noticed because of the pain I inflict.  Even small parts can have big impacts, positive or negative.    

Romans 12:4-5

“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”


Weekend Thoughts:
My posts typically relate funny anecdotes about the happenings here at the circus. While my days are seldom “normal” enough to leave me without a “post worthy” moment, I use my last post of the week to highlight something a little more “thoughtful” and significant. If you had a thoughtful post from this last week, or choose to make a new one, please feel free to add a link in the comments section below. I’d love to hear what you are thinking.


Why We Love Camping

August 28, 2008

in Motherhood

Here are the top 10 reasons why my family loves to go camping.

10. It’s cheaper than a hotel

($20 a night versus $150 a night)A mother daughter moment

9. Smores!


8.  It ensures that the ground will get the water its been deprived of all summer long.

camping and WV 034

7. Beautiful views


6. Togetherness

camping and WV 048

(look how cozy our beds look in there…we almost always wake with at least one kiddo snuggled up next to us)

5. Dining al fresco


(some people pay big bucks to eat in the great outdoors)

4.  Everything tastes better when it’s cooked over a fireIMG_6887 

(note the distance between my daughter’s hot dog and the actual fire…not exactly cooked)

3.  Daddy does most of the cooking


2.  The kids can play freely and without worry of breaking things.

camping and WV 008

(lest you think we are horrid parents, this was NOT the fire pit we used for the campfire)

1.  You don’t have to be clean 


(anytime one of us went to take a shower or clean up while camping, my son would say, “But Mom, when your camping you don’t have to be clean!”)


We went on a few camping trips this summer and made many priceless memories.  To read what other people did this summer, check out Kristen’s Sizzling Summer Vacation Spectacle.


 Jessica has a fun carnival where she helps keep us bloggers real.  The deal is you gotta take pictures of the assignment as is, no tweaking for the cameras.  This week she wanted to see “how we roll”  as in what our vehicle looks like.

The funny thing about this is that when I saw the assignment I thought to myself, “how lucky for me I just cleaned the van out last week when we got back from camping.”  Ha-ha funny thing is I forgot how much junk a van can accumulate in a week and a half! 

So, take a look inside my minivan.  I took these pictures today as we were heading out for some errands.  Meant to take them earlier this week so I could post this early today, but that’s real life for ya…


We’ve got a 12 pack of diet coke for my hubby that I failed to bring in yesterday when I went shopping…also have baby doll, diaper bag and assorted books and toys to entertain the little ones.


You can see we put the oldest two in the back seats (here they are entertaining themselves with a Steelers car flag and my son is racing a match box car on his wooden gun)  We leave the other middle seat out of the van b/c it makes it much easier to get the kids in and out of their car seats.


And on the other side of the van we have the baby (see her sad little skinned knee)  Note the happy meal box (can’t throw it away b/c it has Star Wards on it) and I believe we have some spare clothes lying down there.

IMG_4355 IMG_4354

Moving to the front seat… I was getting ready to take a meal to someone from my MOPS group and also had a lunch packed for the kids to eat at a play date this morning (see them sitting on the passenger seat)?  On the floor we have a lighter (b/c we went to a cookout the other night) the Sunday paper, a map, some books, MOPS fliers for me to drop off at the library and a roll of paper towels (this was very handy last week when my baby got car sick)


And my trunk needs to be emptied out before our weekend away tomorrow.  I have some paper products to return to church from our MOPS cookout on Sunday and several huge bags of clothes that my friend passed down for me to use for the girls (I am SO excited about this, we should be set for awhile now)! 


Last but not least, the back side… I told you I was a serious Chick-Fil-A fan… how many moms do you know with an Eat More Chicken sticker on the back of their minivan?  Yea, I am hard core!

 IMG_4358 IMG_4359

And finally my friends and family will be happy to note that I got around to adding the last fish to our minivan.  About two weeks before my baby girl was born I went out to get “Jesus Fish” for the back of the van.  I thought it would be cute to get one for each member of the family.  Well, I didn’t want to put the baby’s on till after she was born, then after she was born I was a bit busy what with nursing and changing diapers and chasing around the toddlers.  Then I misplaced the fish.  Then I had to actually wash the van (which I gave up on and instead my husband cleaned the back side a few weeks ago when he gave his car the once every 3 year wash) (I kid not)!  After many, many jokes from friends, “So, which two kids do you love?”  “What’s the baby have to do to get a fish?” and several inquiries from my MIL… today, as I was preparing my real life post, I finally added the last fish.


So, those are my wheels.  Not as clean and organized as I’d like, but very, very real.


The Lucky Ones

August 27, 2008

in Me to You

Remember back in high school when you were positive that you were going to stay BFF with your group of girl friends?  You were positive you were going to marry your high school sweetheart… When I was in high school my friends and I dreamed of growing up, getting married, and living in the same neighborhood.

While that dream didn’t exactly pan out, our friendship has remained strong.  And 5 of the 6 of us actually went on and married our high school boyfriends.  Still working on the neighborhood though.

Cabin2002 In the mean time we’ve set aside Labor Day Weekend as a time when we get together with our families for a weekend of fun.  It started in 2002 as the 6 of us and our husbands.  We all had such a great time that we thought we should do it again, and thus a tradition was born.  Labor Day weekend seemed perfect b/c  it is a guaranteed 3 day weekend for all of us and it isn’t a holiday filled with family obligations. 

6 years and 13 (thirteen!!!) children later, we are all looking forward to another weekend together beginning tomorrow.  

While we’ve changed locations, some things are constant.

  • Late nights talking
  • Settlers (Board Game)
  • Guys Poker Nights
  • a trip to a local ice cream shop

Yea for Tradition!

  • playtime at a local park
  • torturing our kids with group portraits

 2005 scrapbook173Trying to pose 7 kids under 2 is not easy


While it isn’t exactly a relaxing get away with 12 adults and 13 children (each 4 or under) all staying under the same roof.  It’s truly refreshing.  There’s no set schedule.  We sit around talk, play games, hold kids and have fun.  We divide up the meals so each family prepares a different meal for everyone and we all bring snacks and drinks to share.

gotta love the chaos There’s something truly rare about this group of friends.  We’ve known each other for over 15 years.  And while our conversations have changed from “how will I know which way to tilt my head when I get my first kiss”  to “does is hurt as bad to nurse the second time around”, there’s something special about a friendship that has the memories of the past while still being in the present.  While we have some great memories that we enjoy laughing about, we have more than that.  We are friends in the present.  We talk about our roles as wives and mothers.  While we don’t’ all see eye to eye on everything, we have a mutual respect and admiration for each other.  I always leave our times together thinking, “there’s a reason why we’ve been friends for so long.”


I know we are the lucky ones and I am so very thankful.The Whole Gang


Each year I keep saying I want to make a scrapbook of our weekend get together’s, in the mean time I’m posting this on Kristen’s Sincerely Fro’ Me to You Carnival.


This is Cute!

August 27, 2008

in Circus Shots

Yesterday my son called for me to, “Come quick Mom and look, she’s so cute!”

… I think he’s got a good eye, don’t you?


For More Wordless Wednesdays, check out 5 Minutes for Mom.


Harvest Time

August 26, 2008

in Gardening

Despite the fact that I lack a green thumb and raise suicidal plants, I still attempted a garden this summer with my kids.  Some may call me a hopeless optimist, to others I am just naive.  But, my oldest two children were particularly excited about this new venture and I didn’t want to let them down.

This April we planted a row of peas, a row of green beans, a row of pumpkins, two tomato plants, and two pepper plants.  

At first we had several pea plants sprout up.  I didn’t know you had to stake them though, so they eventually withered away.  I had two green bean plants pop up, and I got a whopping total of 2 green beans (and a whole lot of weeds).  

Later we had pumpkin plants pop up and even produce nice yellow blooms.  I really held them out as the promised plant, the ones destined to bring forth great produce.  I imagined the golden pumpkins sitting on my stoop all in a row this fall.

They failed to germinate and the blooms eventually withered leaving me with green leaves and dead blooms. 

IMG_7320 But, my tomato plants have not let me down.  We’ve had about 7 or 8 tomatoes so far this summer.  Today we went to check to see if we had any more red ones and we had the mother load waiting for us!  Check out our tomato harvest!!  And we have at least as many more on the vine waiting to turn red!

While we didn’t exactly raise enough to live off of the land this fall, at least our grand experiment wasn’t a dismal failure.  We got something pretty for our efforts, and it might be just enough to motivate us to try this again next year. 

For more tackles, check out 5 Minutes for Mom.