Tuesday, April 26, 2011

He Says, She Says

Do you ever have those weeks?

Maybe in your marriage it’s when you have one of those days, or one of those mornings
Well, Dennis and I have sets of those weeks.

It’s no fun, and we both contribute to it; even when he’s more wrong than me.   Oh wait—I think I just contributed…

Several weeks ago, we were really struggling.  Struggling to get along, struggling to keep our heads above water.
You know the old adage, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” 
Yes, well…sometimes silence communicates a lot of not-so-nice things, too.

Get the image here?  It wasn’t good.

So, my dear husband (now I call him “my dear husband”—at the time I would have probably left out the word ”dear”) came in early from chores, came up behind me while I was doing dishes and said, “We need a date.  I’d like to go to Subway.  Can you be ready to go in five minutes?”

I thought a minute, and then agreed. 

But he could tell I wasn’t really agreeing.  More like, going along with it.

And so began what I refer to as “stupid fighting.”

It went something like this:

He:  Unless you don’t want to go…
Me:  No, I’ll go.
He:  Don’t feel like you have to.
Me:  It’s fine.  I just need more than five minutes.  Can’t you see I’m right in the middle of doing dishes?  It’s not like I can put them in the dishwasher. (terrible mean wife reared her ugly head—throwing in the you-haven’t-fixed-the-dishwasher-yet jab.  That’s called “not playing nice.”  And too often, I don’t play nice.)  I also need to get the kids ready for bed yet—then I’ll be ready.”
He:  That’s fine.  Just hurry. 
Me:  Yeah.  I’ll get right on that.
He:  Do you not want to go?  You don’t seem like you want to go.
Me:  Are you kidding me?  GIVE ME A BREAK!  We’ve barely spoken for over a week.  You come in here, give me NO warning, at one of the busiest times of my night and expect me to what, fall at your feet and say “Take me away!”
He:  Actually, I’ll tell you what I was thinking.  I was thinking, boy—we haven’t had a very good couple of weeks.  I think it would be good for us to just slip away for a bit to your favorite restaurant.  I already arranged it for the kids to be ok while we are gone for an hour and a half.  That’s what I was thinking.
Me:  Oh.

So we went.

It took awhile for me to get rid of my icky attitude, but by the time we got back home, we had reconnected a bit.

My point in sharing this story with you is this:  what he says and what she says may very well be the same thing—and yet very different. 

We all know this, but it’s hard to do:  we need to learn to see things from the other’s perspective. 
He knows I’m about as far from spontaneous as—as—well, I can’t think of a good simile here, but suffice it to say, I’m not spontaneous.  So, it doesn’t usually go well when he wants to “surprise” me with an outing.
However, I could just get over myself and my schedule and all my pressing responsibilities and just say, “ok.”

We both need to be better at understanding—and giving credence to—the other’s natural bent.

I’m glad he was still willing to take me that night.  If I were him, I probably would have said something like “You know what?  Forget it.  I don’t want to take you.”  Thankfully, he’s the one in charge of date-decisions.
Of course it could have had more to do with how much he really wanted a chicken-bacon-ranch sub at Subway than with how much he wanted to spend time with me that evening after I acted so lovely and all, but I'll take what I can get. :o)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Big Shoes to Fill

Ruby's loves to wear Linnea's shoes.
Whenever she does,
I remind Linnea that Ruby wants to be like her in 
just about every way
and that that's a big responsibility.

Ruby watches how Linnea does her hair,
how she sits,
what she wears,
how she talks,
and whatever else she does.

When I look ahead,
I think about how when Ruby is Linnea's age now,
Linnea will be 20.

My 10 year old daughter
will have a 20 year old sister--
who will hopefully still have a lot of influence on her.

What a big role Linnea can play in Ruby's and Ivy's life.
And those are big shoes to fill. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

"Moooommmmy, Come Fiiiiiiiiind Meeeeee!"

I was changing Ruby's sheets 
and had stepped out of the room for a moment
when I heard,
"Moooommmmy, come fiiiiiiiind meeee!"

It took me awhile,
but I'm pretty good at hide-and-seek.

Which is a good thing,
since she was so well hidden and all.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Isn't It Surprising

Do you ever go through the pictures on the camera
and find some that you didn't take?

Yeah.  Me neither.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The "Why" About Homeschooling

I'd like to recommend an excellent post by my friend Gretchen.
Click on over to
The "Why" About Homeschooling.

Then come back and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sunday Sports?

I'm going out on a precarious limb here...
I just want to ask for your opinion.

I'm asking in a "what do you think of me re-painting the bathroom?" sort of way;
not in a "Wow.  So, did the guy in Seven Pounds make the right choices?" way.

I'm not looking to debate deep theological issues.

Please don't get defensive--I'm not asking on the offensive.
Of course I do already have an opinion, but it's merely that:  my opinion.
And now I'm asking for yours.

Deep breath.
Here goes...

What do you think of organized/public school sports activities scheduled on Sunday mornings?

Here's what I think:  I don't think they should do so.
I think it's asking families to choose between church/worship and their sports team.

I was recently party to a conversation that basically went like this:

Sports Parent: "It's a hard choice to make, but when you're part of a team, you have to show up.  You can't let your team down."

Other Person in Conversation: "You know, I read an article that said that skipping the game to attend church actually hurts your witness...y'know--trying to make it seem like church is more important than being there for your team."

At this point, I had to step away because my kids required my attention so I'm not sure how it ended.

I need to say VERY CLEARLY here that I know you don't get a little celestial attendance sticker every time you attend church and a big black frowny face if you miss.
I just think it's too bad that these things are scheduled for Sunday mornings.

So now I ask--what do you think?

Monday, April 18, 2011


In each of our lives, there are seasons.
I have wrestled with this concept for many years but I think I am finally coming to grips with it.

In different conversations, I hear "well, I know you get up earlier than me...I'm just not as good as you." or "Whoa--you make a menu?  I'm so inadequate." or "You homeschool?  I could never do that.  I'm just not that organized."
In my 15+ years of being a wife and mother, I have already been in and out of many seasons/stages.
Just because I'm doing something "well" right now, doesn't mean I always have.
Conversely, just because I may be struggling with something now, doesn't mean I always will.

There have been seasons in which I wake up at 5:45 each morning.
And seasons in which I sleep until 8:00.

There have been seasons in which I have all my meals planned out.
And seasons where we consume a lot of macaroni and cheese.

There have been seasons in which I am able to keep the house really quite clean.
And seasons where I've threatened to call social services on my own family.

There have been seasons when school starts at a good time each day

And seasons when I find out a child hasn't done any math for a week because it turns out their math book was in the shoe bin. Hm.

There have been seasons when I exercise each morning
And seasons when I can't remember the last time I used the bathroom uninterrupted, much less found time to take a walk.

There are seasons when grocery shopping is a draining exercise in frugality.

There are seasons in which I can barely keep my tears, fears, insecurities, and inadequacies at bay during worship.

What I keep having to remind myself of is this:  it won't always be like this.  Or that.
When my kids are older, it will look different than it does when they are younger.
When I'm pregnant, life will run a little differently than when I'm not.
When you have a newborn, it will be different than when your youngest is 5.  Or 25.

When it comes right down to it--it won't always be like this AT ALL...because one day, Jesus Christ will return for His Church.
That's ME!  I'm HIS!
He's coming back for me!
Even if the struggles of my earthly life never seems to change, this I know:
He has ransomed me and one day, I'm going to live in Glory.
Heaven, boy.
Now that's going to be breath-taking.

Friday, April 15, 2011

But Do You Know Him?

My younger children will sometimes ask me if so-and-so is a Christian.
It might be someone in our extended family, a friend, or someone from church.

Sometimes I'm able to answer.
Sometimes I don't know the answer.

I finally came up with a response for my children, for the times when I don't know what to say about the person in question.

I ask them:
Do you know who the president is?   Yes.
What's his name?  Barack Obama.
Do you know him?  usually a slight hesitation and then...Yes.
If I showed you a picture of him, you'd know him, right?  Yes.
But do you really know him?  As in, he's your friend and you could walk right up to him and he would know your name?   Uhhhh, no.
So what you really mean is, you know who he is, but you don't know him. Is that right?  Yeah. That's right.

Sometimes people think that because they know about Jesus, or have heard about him all their life, or grew up in a home where prayers were said and church was attended, that they know Him.
But they really only know who He is.

In order to really know Him, you must accept Him as your Savior.

It is the prayer of my heart that each of you reading this would make that decision--the one that will make sure that your name...YOUR NAME is written forever in the Lamb's Book of Life.

If you need help knowing what to say, the following may be helpful to you:

Lord Jesus Christ,
I admit I am a sinner and that I have done wrong, both in thoughts and actions.  My sins have separated me from your holy presence.  I am unable to save myself.

I believe that you love me, and that you came to this earth and died on the cross for my sins.  You suffered and paid the price for my sins and offered to be my Savior and to forgive me.

I confess my need for a Savior to you.  I ask you to help me repent of my sin and surrender myself to you and to your holy will.  Please forgive me of my sins and cleanse me.  Please come into my heart and be my Savior and Lord.

I will acknowledge my relationship with you to my friends and family.  Please help me not to be ashamed of you.  Thank you that you have promised to not be ashamed of me.

In Your name I pray,


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Where I'd Rather Be

This weekend is our state's BIG homeschool convention.
I really wish I was there.

In our six years of homeschooling, I've only gotten to go once--and I'm not sure you could even count that as "going".
Dennis thought it'd be a great time to meet up with a business associate--you know, kill two birds with one stone.
We did, alright.  He met with the guy and we didn't take in more than two sessions at the conference.
We ended up leaving the first night.

Each year, I present the idea of going.
He says, "We'll see."

And like a silly child, I think to myself, "He didn't say 'No' so there's a chance."

I get the conference brochure, I pour over it, longingly reading over the descriptions of each session.  Oh, how I would LOVE to go listen to these people speak about homeschooling and all that goes along with it!

As the date of the conference nears, I bring it up to him again.  "Is there any way we could go?  Or even just me?"
And he says, "I'm not sure.  We'll have to see."

And like a silly child, I think to myself, "He didn't say 'No' so there's a chance."

I may ask another time or two, and when he brushes the issue aside, I know:  I won't be going.

I want to be like a 10 year old who says, "but DAD---EVeryone I know is going!"
I know full well this would make no difference.
But I still want to say it.

So, today I'm kind of melancholy.
I really wish I was headed to the conference.
But I'm not.

Monday, April 11, 2011

This One Always Gets Me

Each time we've announced a pregnancy,
invariably someone asks something like
"Are you SURE?  Have you been to the DOCTOR?"

Each time, I've simply taken a pregnancy test.
(Ok, sometimes I've taken several pregnancy tests.
Especially since I found you can get them on Amazon for super cheap.)

If it lends credibility,
my doctor once told me that if you have
a positive home test,
you are pregnant.

It's virtually impossible
to get a false-positive.

if I've told you I'm pregnant,
I'm sure.
Yes, I'm pregnant.
And (most likely) no, I haven't been to the doctor.
I'm still pregnant--even if a doctor didn't "diagnose" it.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I Want You to Know

Since we've shared our news,
I've caught a little flack.

It doesn't surprise me when I do,
but I wish I didn't 
feel like I have to defend myself.

I probably will use this blog
as a way to talk about
some of the things people say to me.

It's a way for me to process...
a way for me to talk about 
how others' words
affect me.

The first one I'd like to address is:
"Whoa--you sure didn't waste any time telling people!"

I used to think
(and this probably came from my grandma)
that you had to wait a magical three months
before announcing a pregnancy.

Is this the "just in case" factor?
Don't tell anyone about your new baby
"just in case" you miscarry?

I have never experienced a miscarriage,
and I hope to God I never do.
But I think that the same people that I would tell about a coming baby
are the same people who would share in mourning the loss of a baby.
I see no reason--for me...for us--to wait to tell people.

I am excited about this new baby.
I want you to know about him/her.

This may sound ridiculous,
but I think it applies.

Is my 13 year old
more of a person
than my 2 year old--
just because he's older?

Uh, no.

So just because this baby inside me
is very young
doesn't mean that he/she is less of a person.

If I run into you in the store,
I will introduce you to all the children who are with me--
that includes the one who resides within me.

Should I not tell you about my 1 year old--
"just in case"?
No--she is a person.
She has an eternal soul.
I want you to know about her.

In the same way,
I want you to know about this new baby.

So, please...
please don't make fun of me for
announcing this new life within me so soon.

I want you to know...
I want you to know about him or her.

Friday, April 8, 2011

While at the Line

Oh, how I've MISSED my clothesline!
I'm so GLAD it's nice enough now to be using it again.

When I'm hanging out the laundry,
I get to hear
~birds singing
~my children and husband getting the cows up and in the barn
~the tractors starting
~cows lowing
~goats bleating

I don't hear
~the sound of cars
~neighbors' dogs
~the school bus waiting

I can talk to God about 
so many things while at the line.

Little things,
my little ones, 
big things,
my bigger ones.

I think about what I need to accomplish today.
I feel like I've accomplished a lot 
when I look over all the 
barn clothes
all neatly pinned to the lines.

It's a little order in my life.
And I love it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Let's Talk

When I posted a link to "Things You Should Never Say", I did so because I thought it was a funny post.
I did not do it to be pointed, I promise!

As I was reading through the comments on her blog, something I rarely, if ever do, I found that many people were kind of offended that she had written such a post.  Hm.  They somehow took it as her saying "shut-up about my family" and didn't think that was very Christ-like.  Which is true--saying "shut-up" is certainly not Christ-like.

But that's not what she was saying.

Her main point was that questions are generally ok--if you are asking me about my family because you are genuinely curious about some choices we have made, I can tell you are asking because you are genuinely curious.

If, however, you are asking me a question because you want to make me feel stupid, I can tell that, too.

Some "questions" are not a question at all.  Take "You DO know what causes that, right?"
That's not a question--that's a mockery and an insult and implies that we are somehow clueless as to how the reproductive system works.

The adoption ones she mentioned really stood out to me as over-the-top.  "Which ones are your "real" kids?" COME ON!!!  Are you KIDDING me???

Would you ever walk up to a woman and say "What size do you wear?" or "How much do you weigh?"
I hope not.

Those questions are intrusive and none of your business.

Why, Why, WHY do people always ask if we're "done" now?!
Dennis' favorite response is to say, "Done doing what?"  (perhaps that's not very Christ-like either, but watching the person stammer is a tad fun.)
To me, and maybe it's just me, but that question is intrusive and no one's business.

But it does give me the opportunity to say, "Well, we don't know how many kids we'll have--we have chosen to let the Lord plan our family.  If He wants us to have more, we would welcome them!"

This usually leads to some sort of Duggar family reference, but, whatever.

I know we attract attention--and not just 'cause we're so good looking. :o)
Walking into to church (late) with my tribe--good grief, we're going to get noticed.  You just can't "sneak in" with little folks, and you can't sneak in with 10 people.
Some blessed folks just smile and nod...some with an understanding of what the days were like when their children were small and always seemed to trip right before they could enter the pew to sit down thereby stopping the whole procession until the child wearing the cowboy boots that are 10 sizes too big for him can pick himself up off the floor and make his way into the pew.
It's the disdainful looks that are hard to bear.  
Mercifully, I haven't seen many of these. 

It comes down to this:  let's not be rude, people.
I KNOW that I have in error said something that I didn't think or know was rude.  I KNOW I have.  And perhaps that person walked away seething at my ignorance.
I would hope, though, that they would recognize my question/comment as coming from a heart that was genuinely curious--and not one that was trying to "put them in their place" or trying to make them feel stupid.

If you'd like to read more about what Courtney had to say, click here:  A little more from yesterday

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

And Baby Makes Eleven

Remember this post?

Well, I find it smilingly funny that literally three days later, I found out

I get to have another baby.

We are so happy...

Monday, April 4, 2011

and THEN he said...

Another installment from
"Guess What 'Lijah Said Today"

"Mom, I don't want to go to heaven."

"Elijah!  What makes you say that?"

"Because, Mom--I HATE wearing sandals!
And Jesus is always wearing those sandals!"

Sunday, April 3, 2011

At Least He's Modest

Elijah: "Mom, I wish I could be a baby again."
Me: "Really. Why?"
Elijah: "'Cause I looked really good when I was a baby."

Saturday, April 2, 2011

In the Words of Elijah

Elijah:  "I am really mad. I'm going to build a heli-toppler and fly away to live with Uncle Aaron.
Could you please buy me some wood?"

Friday, April 1, 2011

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