Monthly Archives: January 2012

It all started in the pediatrician’s office


True story:  A mom walked into the pediatricians office with her un-vaccinated baby.  The nurse asks, “How many children do you have?”  The mom tells her five, and that the oldest is just seven years old.  The nurse then asks, “And do you homeschool too?”

Why yes, yes I do!

I also live in the country, I garden, and I can my own food.  I eat grass-fed, free-range beef and chicken, and drink raw milk.  I can hang drywall and stack wood, and I know which plants to chew up and spit on a bee sting.  I breastfeed my babies and wish I could have DOZENS of kids!  The only reason I don’t own goats is because my husband said,”NO!!!”  (Just like that, too.)  And I try really hard to obey my husband.  Because I believe God wants me too.

What?  Oh, yes.  Yes I AM a Christian!  What does that mean?  I love Jesus, believe He’s God’s Son, believe He was born and walked this earth fully human and fully God, that He died on a cross so I wouldn’t have to pay my own death penalty for sin, that He rose from the dead, that He LOVES me, that His grace is limitless and free, that His grace ALONE saves me, that He intercedes for me at the throne of God, that when I die I will live forever with Him in heaven, a place where there is no more sorrow…

And while I’m on a rant… No, I don’t believe in “global warming,” per say.  I believe creation is groaning, waiting for Jesus to come back and destroy this sin-full world.  To reign over His new heaven and earth!

And WOW is that radical!

I guess being stereotyped isn’t always bad, if I could just remember to bring up Jesus.

P.S.  I still don’t bake my own bread.  And I buy Fruit Loops.  See?  I fit in nobody’s box!

Nurses are my newest heros. Heroines. Whatever!


To all my nurse friends out there:  My hat is off to you!  I’m catching a tiny glimpse of your life, and my life again when Dee and I are old and decrepit.

Dee had hernia surgery on Friday, and I’m trying really hard not to laugh at him hobbling around like an old man.  I also had to control my giggles at him waking up from drug-induced sleep on Friday afternoon.  I would SO not make a good nurse!  But I’m trying.  Helping him shower, dry off, get dressed… even flushing the toilet for him.  One thing I’m really good at?  Doping him up with percoset!

Actually, Dee’s a really good patient.  Or bad, I should say.  He hates not being able to do anything for himself!  This morning while I was still sleeping, he crawled on his hands and knees to the bathroom to wipe Cameron.  When I woke up, he was starting coffee and getting ready to make pancakes because that’s what the girls wanted for breakfast.  I (sweetly) yelled at him!  Banished his butt back to the couch.

And I thought my life was already crazy.

Dee is off work for four weeks, and I am dreading it!  What am I going to do with that man?!  Yes, I’ll love the extra time with him, but I can’t keep track of him and all of my kids.  As soon as he feels better he’ll want to roughhouse with the kids, load the wood furnace, paint the ceiling, change the oil in all the vehicles…  Because he’s a good dad and husband.  Totally NOT the lazy type!

Patrick, the cool anesthesiologist that wears a Steelers medical cap told Dee, “Just make sure you don’t cheat!”  No lifting.  Period.  Maybe I’ll have Patrick call every day?

The biggest problem right now is kid-related, but not what you think.  They’re doing a great job being careful around Dee, but they make him laugh!  And that hurts really bad.  He just yelled at me, “Take her away!  She’s making me laugh!”  Megan’s over there cracking jokes about Daddy farting, and then bursting into adorable giggles.  That comes from HIS side of the family — the farting and the jokes about it!

So.  A whole month ahead of us with Daddy home.   It is a little exciting!  And, I’m hoping… more help for me with school?  Dee can sit on the couch and boss the kids around.  I am all for sending them to the principal’s office, with books in hand!

I love muscles, and the boys that go with them


It seems that I’ve passed on my obsession with trees to my firstborn son.  He couldn’t stand the thought of burning our Christmas tree, so he claimed it for a backyard treasure.  Then, he went to the neighbors trash heap and rescued their Christmas tree too!  He dragged that tree across the neighbor’s field, across the corn field, across Grammy and Pappy’s yard, and right home to our front door.

I was so proud of him!  No, not for stealing a dead tree, for his sheer strength and determination.  Six-foot evergreens are heavy, and he dragged that thing far!  So I let him keep it.  After he went back and asked permission of the neighbors.

(Good thing we’re good buddies with these neighbors.)

I love that I can manipulate my boys by bragging on their muscles.  I don’t know if that’s a bad thing, exactly…  (I hope their wives one day are smart enough to do a little ego stroking…)  I just know that if I say,”Wow, Cory, I can’t believe you just carried that huge log!  Check out those muscles!” then before I know it my woodpile is stacked, the fire is burning bright, all dead branches and bags of trash are carted off to the burn pile, baby bouncy seats are carried upstairs, and any other job requiring muscle is DONE.

We filled our  wood pits up today, and both Cory and Cameron stuck with us until the job was done.  Plus, they were begging and fighting each other for logs to carry!  That’s another thing about boys — all that testosterone that creates competitions.   Sometimes it works to your advantage, and sometimes it drives you crazy!

Then there are the boy toys.

Cameron fell in love with a backhoe last week.  His pappy is buying a new tractor for the “farm,” so Dee and his dad took the boys along tractor shopping.  Both Cory and Cameron got to choose a piece of heavy equipment to sit on, and Dee even started it up for them.  (What was he thinking?!)  So now, Cameron considers this backhoe to be HIS.  He told me today, “When I get big enough to drive my backhoe home, I can use it to do wood.”  My Cameron has a low, drawly voice, and it’s just adorable.  (Of course, I don’t say “adorable” to his face, since he’s a boy, but he is stinkin’ ADORABLE when he speaks!)

In just a few years, I’m sure, we’ll have all the dirt bikes and four-wheelers my boys dream of.  Maybe even the monster trucks and sports cars too, if they find a good job and start working hard.  Like, now.

It’s not all muscle though.  Just the other day, I was asking Cory about the monster truck he wants to buy, and he said, “Maybe I won’t buy a monster truck after all, since they cost so much money.”

My boys, they’ve got the muscles and the brains!  And heaps of hugs for their mother.  What’s not to be proud of?

Birthday Letter


January 3rd, 2012

Dear Cory,

I can’t believe you’re 6 years old already!  I forget sometimes, that you’re only 16 months behind Kirstyn.  She gets a lot of attention as the firstborn, and such an outgoing, social girl.  But every day she grows older, you do too!

I’m sorry for those times when you have to live in her shadow.  Those times aren’t done yet, I’m afraid.  I pray that you will grow stronger and more confident instead of retreating into that shadow.  I hope that you use your sister’s strengths to showcase your own.  Show us all that you are different from your sister.  From any of your siblings!  Show us all what a unique and absolutely charming young man you are.

You are, you know — charming!  That grin, and that twinkle, your delight in the people around you, your delight in life in general, your sweet hugs and kisses…  I don’t know how anyone could not see what a treasure you are!  Just yesterday you climbed up next to me on the couch for some snuggle time, and I felt like the most adored mother in the whole world.

I watch you with your baby brother, the way you’re attentive to his moods, eager to make him laugh, and gentle in your play.  Zach’s whole face lights up with excitement when he sees you!  You were like that with Cameron and Megan too.  You won’t remember any of them as babies, but I want you to know that you have always been a wonderful big brother.

I’m proud of you for growing in your desire to serve others.  You often offer to set the table for me, help me fold laundry, carry stuff for me, and pretty much anything that you know would make me happy.  (You try to serve your brother and sisters too.  And we’re still working on gratefulness around here!)  Oh, like how you unpacked the Suburban after our family trips this year?  One time, Daddy and I got busy talking or something, and next thing we know, the entire car was emptied!  Even Daddy’s huge, heavy suitcase!  We were super impressed.  Not just with those muscles, but also your willingness to work until the job was done even though you were working alone.

You love to keep me company, and I think that’s the sweetest thing of all.  I’m almost positive that quality time is your love language!  I’m going to try really hard this year to keep you company too!  To say “Yes” when you ask me to do something or go somewhere with you.  It’s hard, isn’t it, being part of a large family?  My greatest desire this year, besides helping you love Jesus, is to see you as a unique individual in my pack of children.  I want to love you and your siblings and meet your needs as separate from each other.  Because you are so, so special to me!  I’ll always have bad mommy days where I don’t love you perfectly.  Only God can love you perfectly.  But, He’s working on me!  He’s working on you too, and I want you to know that I see it.  I see God in you.

If you ever need an extra hug or kiss, you can always find me!  I love being your mom, and I’ll whisper this secret that isn’t a real secret in your ear as often as you need it:  “I LOVE YOU!!!”

Hide your Chick-Fil-A cows, unless you want a visit from my two-year-old!


Anyone else still have Christmas lights and decorations up?  Good.  I love you!

My holiday celebrations are just now winding down for good.  My Massachusetts family (including married, boyfriend, and close family friend) spent five days with us, and we partied hard!  We’re talking about coffee by the gallon, a Krumpe’s Donuts trip at midnight, and 4:00am card games.  Sleep?  Who needs sleep?  As my Montana brother would say, “Sleep is a sign of caffeine deprivation.”

I had the best Christmas ever!  Having all the families together was a blast, and of course I loved my gifts. I’m  not gonna lie, and say that presents don’t matter!  I got an iPod, docking station, new music, jewelry, Starbucks gift cards, books, chocolate, and a brand new COFFEE POT!  It holds 12 cups instead of 8, so I think it’s pretty perfect.  We blew through 4 pounds of coffee while my family was here, and that new little pot held its own!

(The coffee maker beeps at me to tell me when the coffee’s ready, and Cameron grabs a towel and runs over to fan the smoke detector.  It’s hilarious!  Another Cameron funny:  I was eating leftover sauerkraut today, and he leaned over my bowl for a whiff and asked, “What does sauer-crap taste like?”)

Cory turned six years old yesterday, and my Massachusetts family stuck around all morning to help celebrate his birthday.  We also took the kids to Chick-Fil-A for supper, for a special birthday meal.  I love that most birthday meal requests are foods that I don’t have to cook!!!  (Tony’s Pizza is the top favorite.)

Megan LOVED THE COW AT CHICK-FIL-A!  Yeah, I typed that all uppercase, because I was trying to scream like Megan.  She shrieked with delight when she saw the cow-person, and followed him around the restaurant hugging his legs and petting his face when he finally picked her up.  A few kids screamed in terror at the sight of the monster cow, but I’m almost positive that Megan made up for the fearful children with her sheer adoration.

Oh, speaking of cows, I didn’t tell the chicken restaurant that we just butchered and processed a roughly 550-pound cow during Christmas week.  What a day!  Dee helped his mom, dad and sister in the morning at the butcher shop, slicing steaks and roasts, squeezing meat through the ground beef machine (good old Hobart!), and wrapping everything up in butcher paper for our freezers.  We also brought 100 pounds of ground beef home to turn into meatloaf and meatballs for our three families.  All in all, it was a long, 12-hour day, but tons of fun!  My 34-week pregnant sister-in-law was amazing.  She worked her butt off like she always does, even with a huge belly, tired body, heartburn, and gallbladder stones.  My hero!

I hope you all had a very merry and love-filled Christmas too!  Happy New Year to everyone!  I’m not making resolutions, because I don’t believe in them.  I’d end up with  a puffed-up or deflated self, and I don’t want either!  Just Jesus.