Sunday, June 29, 2008

Precious Art Work Project

"Stoplight" Luke's light is ALWAYS green!!! Age 4
An Ellie Original - Age 7
This is more typical of Ellie than the other one. Most of her drawings have DOGs or other animals in them!!!

"Walking the Dog" - Age 7
Too precious. Luke's "Butterfly for Kami" - age 4

"Happy Girl Reaching the World" by Kami - age 8 Luke and Mommy at Walmart" (uh oh, I'd rather that be "Luke and Mommy at somewhere other than Walmart" This tells the sad, sad story of where Luke and I spend lots of quality time! But Luke's characters look awful happy!!!) - Age 4
"Mom at the Mall with Her Hair Blowing in the Wind" Ellie - age3 (one of my FAVORITES!)
"Goldfish" by Ellie - age 7
"Sisters" by Kami - age 3.

"Skyline" - by Kami
I do not consider myself a pack rat, but yet I have drawers overflowing with stuff the kids have done. And I'm telling you, I throw loads and loads of it away! The guilt as I stuff them in the trash can!!! But I just cannot and will not bear to get rid of some of them... they are like flash drives of memory.... each one holding it's own little story, it's own set of emotions, helping me connect to a moment in our very recent, yet fading past.

So, I'm starting a project. And I will keep you updated as I tackle it. It involves a 4 X 5 piece of plywood, 2 flush mount hangers, buckets and buckets of Mod Podge (I've come to love the sticky stuff) and my upstairs hall wall. Get the idea?
If you can't picture it, it may end up looking something like this:

By the way, I totally cannot take credit for this idea. I am copying it 100% from a house I saw a few months ago. I didn't know the owner, which I guess is good. I feel a little less guilty for stealing the awesome idea and making it my own.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Full Circle Moment

I thought that on Wednesday, I had experienced a full circle moment. But then I began wondering about that term, where I heard it and if I could possibly be tinkering in the New Age beliefs being preached by Oprah and others.... SIDENOTE: I watched for awhile today an Oprah episode "Overcoming Fears" and it was focused on finding out who you were in a past life to help you deal with fears and phobias. Sorry, but I am just not that openminded. But I digress.... so to fight my fear of becoming New Age (I must have had some kind of negative experiences with New Age beliefs in a past life), I looked up the term "Full Circle Moment" on Google. There is actually an entire website devoted to Full Circle Moments, and here is how they are beautifully and accurately defined by Jane Genede: "I believe we have all experienced Full Circle Moments. They deepen our lives and, once shared, enrich the lives of others. They are at once personal and universal. Full Circle Moments happen when we revisit a situation or circumstance in our present life that occurred in our past. (NOTE: NOT A PAST LIFE!!!) The event of the second experience creates a circle in which we view both perspectives — past and present — simultaneously. Viewing the “there and then” and the “here and now,” seeing their relationship and connection completes the circle and creates a richer, fuller life experience." Many years ago, I worked at Kanakuk, a Christian sports camp in Missouri. Though I say "many years," it only seems a hop and a skip and a jump ago. My camp experience is as fresh and clear and beautiful as a splash of water from Table Rock Lake. Although I absolutely loved my experience there, I never dreamed of sending my kids there at that time (I was completely unattached, light years away from meeting Tommy Boy.) And since then, the camps around town have totally satisfied me and my kiddos. But a window came open and Kami crawled through. So as suddenly as an unexpected stoplight, I found myself, 16 years later, dropping my precious daughter off at a place that meant so much to me. As much as I loved it as a Kitchikomo (yes, I worked my buns off in the kitchen with my hilarious sidekick and current close friend Jessie), I can imagine that being a camper (or Kamper as they like to put it) must be absolutely fantastic. You should have seen the place. I can't wait to see her and hear all about it next week!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Unintended Insult

Luke (to mom as she was tucking him in one night):

Mom... come closer.


I want to smell you.

Sniff. Sniff.


(what? she asks, feeling loved and adored)

Mom... you smell like asparagus.

You really smell like asparagus.

Luke, Lauren, and Lincoln Logs

Some days, it seems that we could take up residence on the top floor of FAO Schwarz and the kids would still be bored. They'd still walk around, shoulders down, sighing, "I dooooooooon't haaaaaaaaaave anything to dooooooooo." GRRRR. As a mom, this goes all through me. But then are those magical moments when the air is just right, no one is tired, and they are feeling creative that they get started on something and just GO. Such was the case when Luke and Lauren got into the Lincoln Logs and became little architects, making a model of..... can you guess? Look really closely and think back a month or so....

It's BIG CEDAR!!! They worked for hours and hours to recreate the cabins, the stables, registration, and even added some creative touches like a shelter (in case of tornado) and a rock climbing wall.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dad's Day

Is there something about doing the same things at the same times each year that make it extra special and cement it firmly in the mind? Oh yeah, it's called tradition. This is our 3rd year of going to the club with Kim and Scott on Father's Day and having a super relaxing, absolutely enjoyable, wonderful time of fun with Dad and the kids. So, the pictures are pretty much the same as last year, but for a few differences. 1) Luke got up the guts to jump off the high dive. Afterwards, he pulled his dripping body out of the pool and did a funky dance, using his hips a little eye-poppingly too much, singing, "go Luke.. uh-huuuh...that's awesome." 2) The picture I captured of Dad this year was from a moving car.... of a moving car. Sometimes, it's awful hard to get a pic of that guy. I feel like the paparazzi. 3) Maggie is walking this year and more beautiful than ever. It's impossible to take a bad picture of her.

Thank you Lord for the Fathers in my life.

A Father Missed

I know it sounds weird to say you miss someone you never knew. But with every cell in my body, I miss Tom's dad. I know him only from pictures and stories, but David, or Grandpa David, as the kids may have called him, is very much in my mind and heart.

There are times when I smile at his mischievous personality as I did the other night when Tom told the kids a Lucky the Fox story, a brand of stories about a rascal of a fox....a brand of stories concocted by Tom's dad and told to Tom and his brothers when they were little.

There are times my heart aches as it does the times that Tom has to again explain to the kids that he lost his dad when he himself was a little boy. They always want to know more about his dad.

There are times when I am alone driving in my car and I begin reflecting on all the special times we are missing with his Dad. I then feel like a ridiculous, emotional woman as I find myself crying tears over a man I never met! I think he would have loved going to the kids' sporting events, and I can just picture him teasing them and loving them. I miss him for the kids. I miss him for Tom. I miss him for Carolyn. And I miss him for myself.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Our Own Magic Bean

.... you know, the magic beans from Jack and the Beanstalk. Ellie "starred" as one of the 10 darling, little, Spanish speaking beans in the Missoula Children's Theater production. During this week, she usually does basketball camp like Kami, but I'm glad this year that we made the extra effort and helped her do something different, something that might be more up her alley. Ole!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Country Kids in the Big City

My friend, my very cool, hip, urbanzied, big city, sorority sister friend, married a cowboy some years ago. And since then, she has become quite the country gal herself. She reminds me of one of my favorite bloggers, Ree. She grows a garden, cans pickles, owns chickens, and helps with harvest, all the while wearing the most chic heels she can find. She has not forgotten her roots and has stayed true to herself, while raising two fabulous children in a city (town?) of 1,000. They visited us not too long ago, but it was a blast to have them back with us for a few days. Payton and Kami did basketball camp together, while Luke and Brennon, well... they did some serious boy stuff. And Kerry and I, we just laughed and laughed and laughed. There's something that really makes you laugh when you can sit there and watch your kids play with the same person you cried big tears to about your loser ex-boyfriend. I am worn out from all the laughing. It was a great weekend.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


These kids learn quickly! I gave the girls a handful of tattoos and a wet rag and told them to have fun. 10 minutes later, they had set up their own tattoo parlor, with 5 handmade signs and their own special tattoo applying station made of 2 water coolers. Cost: 50 cents per tattoo! So, the boys ran inside to.... guess who... and the next thing I know, I'm digging for quarters so my own son can get tattooed by his sister with the tattoos that I bought!! Ellie, Hallie and Brooke each made about 75 cents, after splitting their profits. I should have made them give me a piece of the pie!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Monday, June 02, 2008


Maybe it's just because as a college student, I experienced many spiritual mountaintops in Missouri at Kanakuk Camps..... but this area of the world brings me closer to God. Big Cedar Lodge is just a short drive away from Kanakuk and situated on the same pristine Table Rock Lake. And I decided this year that every moment I spend there is just a testament to the magnificence of God. Our week of vacation there reminded me of this passage (though I had to search for it... I thought it was a verse in Psalms and forgot it was part of an actual story in Luke).
Luke 19~

35They brought the colt to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

37When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"[b]
"Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"

39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"

40"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."

I promise you, the stones, the trees, the flowers, the wildlife, everything screamed of God to me. Every time someone would say, "Wow... those flowers are amazing..." Yup... God did that. And the hills, and the fish, and the waterfalls and the leaves and the caves and the rock formations and the smells and the sounds... yup, it's all of His Hand. I know it sounds obvious, I mean... God's creation is a basic scriptural truth of childhood. But, I just felt there should be signs that read.... "crafted by God," and "fashioned by the Hand of the Creator." I thought that even those people who may not believe in God, but are intrigued by nature....something within them is still testifying to the uniqueness and power of God. Our little fishergirl. She would fish 24/7 if possible. Also, quite a horse lover. See the serious look on her face? She was soaking it in. Part of "the crew" of the 10 kids we had there. Yes, they outnumbered the adults.Testament.Still working on my photography skills. I can definitely sense when the light is right... that tiny window of time before the sun sets. Not bad with framing the picture , but aperture and that stuff is like a foreign language. I'm an old dog, remember? And I really have tried. It is not such a great moment when you realize that your big butts are completely obscuring flowers you were trying to capture. The kiddos working on their architecture skills using the enormous and genius Lincoln Log table at Registration. This kid is tough. Ram Tough. And talk about testaments. Kyler is a talking and walking one. Wheee! Kelly had a great time!
Chameleon eyes. When he wears a brown shirt, his eyes are brown. Gray shirt, Gray eyes. Green shirt... well, you get it the idea. I love those eyes.
Nana's are the best. Especially when their cabins are a few steps away and they pay $ to the first child who gets still and falls asleep at night. (It seems that everyone usually falls asleep at exactly the same time.)
Another testament. Isn't she stunning? I can say it because she's not directly mine.
Nana's idea of a simple birthday cake that I didn't have to bake, just build. Loved it. Also love the picture that I totally didn't mean to take. I mean I meant to take the picture, but I love the exposure on it... which was a random occurrence and had nothing to do with the photographer. And a Final Testament.