Monthly Archives: February 2012

This boy’s beat can’t be found in music theory! Or anywhere.


I might be growing a missionary kid.  I sure hope he’s toughening up for something useful!

Derek made coffee this morning and then jumped in the shower before church.  I sat on the couch to gulp a cup of coffee before my turn in the shower, and noticed Cameron with a plate full of food and a thermos of drink.  Nobody else was awake and we hadn’t served breakfast yet.  I asked, “What’s that you’re eating?”

“Oh, just this leftover pancake.  I’m warming it up.”  (A half-eaten pancake, from lunch yesterday, sitting in a dried puddle of syrup and butter.)

“I see.  And what are you drinking?”

“I mixed water and milk together.  It’s pretty good!”  (Milk also from yesterday.)

Crazy kid.

He’ll stay outside in the cold way past the tolerance level of my other children.  Perhaps even in his bare feet.

If he says the freshly painted bathroom doesn’t smell like paint, then there is nothing you can say to convince him that, “YES, what you smell IS PAINT!”

If he wants to play with the neighborhood boys, then he will cross the field and knock on their door.  (Doesn’t matter that he’s already “grounded” for this very transgression!)

If he wants to bang on the stairs with a hammer, then he will bang on the stairs with a hammer.

So what do you think?  Mud hut in Nepal?  Maybe he’ll fulfill his mother’s childhood dreams?  He really should live in a fire-retardant house.  This boy has an obsession with fire!  The other week he opened the furnace door, lit a stick on fire, and was carrying it around the basement.  My other children say he was trying to light the couch on fire.

He keeps me humble!

I will never ever look another mom in the eye, or talk behind her back, about how her parenting needs to improve.

Some children just walk to a different beat!  I’m struggling to walk with him.  Guidance, not wrestling him off his path.  Tough.  Love.  Sometimes it’s hard, and I can’t even find it in my human mother’s heart to be understanding and patient and firm with gentleness.  (All those parenting magazines that say, “Take a deep breath and count to 10?”  Oh, I go the extra mile on my counting.)  So I go to God’s heart and beg for love and understanding for this child.

This boy, I seek out ways to connect with him.  So he feels my love.  Tangible.  A wink in church… a huge smile first time I see him in the morning… a bear hug when he starts flopping with irritation… his favorite spoon, even though it’s impractical… reading a truck book instead of Facebook statuses… saying “yes” to another hug and kiss or song at bedtime… playing a board game he has no clue how to play… letting him make up the rules when the rules are insignificant… because the heart-strings being tied are significant.  Lasting.

And if he catches even a glimpse of God’s unconditional love and grace, I’ve succeeded in my mothering.  God will win him into the Kingdom.  Not me.  I’m just going to fight for him, and with him, no matter how crazy his beat!


Friday Funnies


 “The Torys”  (by Cory)

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Mommy.  She went out into the woods to pick berries.  She brought them to her Grandma, and they made berry soup.  After she mashed the berries up, they put them in a pot, cooked them, and ate them.  But THEN, at night-time, a wolf came in their house and ATE the leftover stew!  The wolf took the stew to his house.   He ate it, he ate it, and he ate it.  He got so full that his belly EXPLODED!  When he blew up, he grew back.   Then he had a wife, and then his wife had a baby, and their baby was called Sophia.  Sophia ran off, so they had another baby.

They called “Sophia! Sophia!”

(They named their second baby Jedilias.)

Sophia came back and she was all scratched up.   She was so scratched that she died.

So the wolves had another baby, and her name was Pogus.

The End


“The Fox and the Kid”  (by Kirstyn Hunsberger)

Once upon a time, there was a Mommy that had three kids:  Melody, Cinderella, and Ruth.   And then, she had another kid.  He was the first boy.  The only boy!  His name was Louis.  He was as big as a water jug.  Everyone else was the size of a magnet.  Then he grew so small that his parents seemed the size of water jug, and he was the size of a needle.  He looked up at his parents, and his sisters, and he ran away.  He found a fox, and the fox was a nice fox, and the fox brought him back to his parents and sisters.

The End


Unmentionable Title (by Megan)

Once, a fox came to our house and he had a baby and he flushed Kirstyn in the potty.  And he flushed in the toilet.  And he flushed the window in it, and it went “Wheee!”  And then the fox ran around, and he tooted, and he slipped on the trampoline.  And so, Kirstyn flushed out the window.  And he flushed Daddy down the potty.  No, Daddy flushed his shirt down!  The toilet.  “EEE!  Amen.”  And he flushed down Aria’s shirt, and he flushed down himself.  And Jude.

The End

(Editor’s note:  There was a lot of poop mentioned in the un-edited version of this story.)


“Joseph” (by Cameron)

One guy named Cory.  He did a special job for Joseph.  He brought food for us.  Joseph and Zachy brought a lot, a lot, a lot of fridges and food for us.  Like food, and sugar.

Zachy and Megan took the compost out.

Mommy did a very good job feeding Zach.

Zachy and me did a very great job getting some pictures.

A toy found out a job, to bring a big house like the one we’re in to Pennsylvania.  A big house did a very good job bringing a toy for Zach!

A man put out the fire that we were watching with Daddy.

Big jug got some water.  A book got half of a cupboard.  A number brought a computer, and a guy brought some sugar.  Soundplay got some bottles.  A fan brought a toy for a guy to sit in.  And Joseph brought some bolts for the toy!

The End

What to do when the power goes out… (and you *already* have 5 kids)


February 22nd, 2012 

Our power shut down at 5:00am this morning.  I was snapping the third and last snap on Zach’s onesie, after an early morning nursing/diaper change.  I put Zach back to bed in a now eerily quiet room, and snuck back under the covers.  I’m thinking, “Wait for it… wait for it… AND there it is.”

Screams of terror from the upstairs bedrooms.  All four kids are shrieking about no night-lights or fans.  Cameron was the most dramatic!  He must have run out to the hall to flip the lights on, because I could hear his panicked sobs of, “It’s the hall lights too!  It’s so dark!”

Dee and I lit candles and handed out flashlights, and the tears subsided a bit.  Megan hates any kind of shadow, so the flickering candlelight was freaking her out!  She kept pointing at the ceiling fan shadows right above her head, saying, “Look at all those bad guys!”  I told her she could keep her flashlight on, but she HAD to go back to sleep.  I opened the window blinds and said, “Look, the sky is already getting pink.  The sun will be up soon and then you can see.”

(Too soon, that sunrise…)

Dee went to work, and I crept back to bed.  Didn’t sleep, really, worrying about the candles in the kids’ rooms.  “If a fire starts, will the smoke detectors go off soon enough?  Which child would I grab first?  Would I throw on a robe before going outside?  Maybe I should just get dressed now…”

The boys came downstairs at 6:30am.  All loud and cheerful.  “It’s light out, Mommy!  You said we could get up when it was light out!”  Zach heard his brothers, of course, and he wanted to get up and play too.  I plopped Zach in his bouncy seat and told the boys they could race all their matchbox cars down the basement stairs.  (Dee had said this activity would hurt the matchbox cars.  I’m like, “Are you kidding me?  Matchbox cars were created to be beat up by boys.”  He rescinded his rule.)

Racing matchbox cars kept all three boys entertained for a while.  I was half asleep on the couch, but since Cameron kept poking me in the face I never drifted off very long.

By 8:00am, my head was POUNDING from lack of caffeine!  (I guess I could have boiled water on my grill outside, and made french press coffee.)  I managed the pain until 9:00, and then woke the girls up and told everyone, “Get in the car because Mama needs coffee!”

We drove to Starbucks, and then McDonald’s for hashbrowns.  (My head by this time, as Cameron would say, “It hurts SO BAD!”)  I figured if the kids needed to poop or anything, we could dump it at one of these fine establishments.  But as the saying goes,”You can bring a kid to a restroom, but you can’t make him poop.”  (Okay, I made that up.)

I wasn’t sure if the power was on yet at home, and I knew I wouldn’t feel like doing school with a splitting headache  — plus plumbing complications — so we drove to the park.  My Suburban was still loaded with roller blades from our big skate-night this week.  (Does anyone else not unload their vehicle every trip?)  My kids were telling me I was the best mom ever!  It was chilly though, for my kids who’d chosen flip-flops and no coats, so we drove home for warmer items.  The power was on when we got home!  Whew!  I was beginning to worry.  (Like, Did they shut it off on purpose?  Are we on rations now?  Are things really that bad?  I’m not prepared for that!  And so on and so forth.)

A quick dash inside for shoes and jackets, and then back to the park.  (I also ran around the house turning off lights and flushing toilets.)

We had SO MUCH FUN!  Zach had his first solo swing experience.  Kirstyn pushed him.  If it had been anyone but his big sister, I would have been jealous, but they were so darn cute!  I pushed Cameron, and Cory pushed Megan.  Then Cory wanted to push me.  He wouldn’t even let me pump!  After I was going fairly high, Cory announced, “You’re really hard to push.”  I laughed, “A little harder than Megan, huh?”  He said, “A LOT harder!”

It was late tonight by the time schoolwork was finished, but I think my kids would agree that a backwards day was fun.  I had a blast!  (After my caffeine kicked in.)  Not saying I want the power shut off any time soon… let me at least run to Wal-Mart to buy 300 gallons of water first.

Of dust, heaven, and storybook mice


You know that story “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie?”  It makes you dizzy, right?  That was me tonight.  I’m not feeling creative enough to tell a fancy tale, but it happened in the kitchen, with the vacuum.

Or maybe it started with my baby, who has his first cold, so I had to hold him all day, so it took me a long time to chop potatoes and carrots for beef stew, so we ate late, so we watched a movie late, so the kids went to bed late, so after the kids were in bed, I finally picked the vacuum hose back up  (it was still out from vacuuming the dryer…) and went to work on my kitchen floor.

I noticed that the vent under my fridge was mighty dirty.  So I pried it off.  I sucked up quite a few crayons and rotini noodles.  I saved the puzzle pieces and markers.  Mainly because they wouldn’t fit up the vacuum nozzle.

So much dust!  You wouldn’t believe the dust monsters under my fridge.  Ugly, troll-sized monsters.  My husband happened by, after last hugs and kisses and drinks with the kids, and noticed my work.  (He stood there and “noticed” me for a while, before he gave me a hand, but that’s another story…)

He yanked the entire fridge out, and we found more dust.  Lots of it.  So Dee got a screwdriver and started taking panels off of the fridge!  We vacuumed every reachable inch of the fridge, and I loaded up a bucket of soapy water with lemon oil.  I wiped down every inch of the fridge, and since it was so close to my stove, I cleaned that too.  Then some back splash tile, and cupboard doors, and by then I was so close to my dishwasher that I went ahead and wiped that down too.  I scrubbed some crusty spots on the floor, and finally got back to behind the fridge.  I wiped down the wall and cabinets and floor back there.  My water was filthy dirty by then!

So I dumped it out, and picked up a toothbrush to scrub the fridge vent that I ripped off over an hour earlier.

It’s clean now!  I can finally check “Clean fridge” off of my before-Zach nesting list.

I don’t mind this late-night cleaning.  It seems to be a thing for me.  My wind-down time, if I don’t have a good book or I’ve watched all my Hulu shows.  I listen to Pandora, and sing about holy ground, and God redeeming broken pieces.  I think about how this right now — what I’m doing tonight — is holy ground.

And it’s broken pieces of Motherhood, because I never have everything clean, and I still yell at my kids, and I forget about kindness and love and patience.   But God takes the broken pieces I offer Him and redeems my imperfect mothering.  My scrubbing of floors and faces is just an offering of worship, not a prediction of how my kids will turn out.  God will “turn out” my kids!  But oh, how blessed I am to be a part of His plan for my kids!  I LOVE being their mother, and I love that we teach each other grace.

This is the stuff of heaven, the scrubbing of fridge vents and kissing of faces.

Does Johnny Depp change diapers? I don’t think so!


Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.  Could we even forget if we wanted to?  Probably not.  It’s EVERYWHERE!  You’d have to be living under a rock (and now I totally have that Geico commercial  in my head…) not to notice the pinkness and chocolaty-ness and fluffiness.  Valentine’s Day may be a pagan holiday, but I love it!  Even before I got married I loved it!  When I was a kid, my mom would have candy, chocolate and ice cream coupons sitting at the breakfast table for us kids.  Now she mails candy and gifts to my kids.

Having a man in my life definitely makes Valentine’s Day even more fun.  We don’t normally buy each other gifts.  Maybe a card, maybe dinner out… nothing fancy.  My man spoils me all year long, and that’s the way uh-huh I like it!

What do I love about this guy?  This man, he…

  • changes diapers  (Need I continue?  He changes diapers!!!)
  • makes coffee
  • goes grocery shopping
  • knows my favorite drink at Starbucks
  • empties the diaper pail
  • encourages me to write
  • helps with the kids’ schooling
  • reads and memorizes scripture with the kids
  • makes me laugh
  • changes the toilet paper, and puts it my way
  • keeps the bathroom stocked with new toilet paper rolls
  • keeps our wood pit stocked, and our house warm
  • turns the covers down just the way I like…
  • …and doesn’t sleep with socks on anymore, even if he’s cold, because he knows I hate it
  • never yells at me
  • compliments my cooking, my flower beds, my gardening and canning, my house-keeping, my body, my teaching, and my mothering
  • plays “Twister” even though he’s too tall to win   (It’s cheating to make me laugh so hard I fall over!)
  • sword-fights with the boys
  • plays Candyland and Go-fish!
  • builds bon-fires and cooks hot dogs and baked beans
  • makes a mean batch of pancakes
  • feeds and dresses the kids on Sunday mornings (after making the coffee)
  • keeps all the vehicles in good working order
  • drove old cars when he was a teenager, and all his friends were buying new cars, so we could own a house and all the “fixings” debt free
  • prays
  • comes with me to social gatherings (and ends up being the life of the party)
  • loves one-on-one time with me
  • would rather spend time with me than anyone else
  • washes dishes, sweeps the floor, and vacuums (even under the couches!)
  • cleans the shower
  • helps his mom and dad and sisters with whatever projects they’ve got going on, plus my family too
  • helps anyone out, for that matter, and usually for free
  • brings me flowers
  • asks about my day
  • opens my car door

… And maybe I’ll just stop before you all figure out that I’m head-over-heels for this guy.  He’s my best friend, and I love him!

Does anyone else prowl their house at 2:00am?


A shout out to my fellow night owls!

I paused for a moment, last night, before pouring coffee from the “highly caffeinated” thermos at Rutters.  Only a pause though!  Dee and I were starting a 2-hour trip home from some friends’ house, at 9:00pm.  I know this just sounds like an excuse from a coffee junkie, but ,we needed to stay awake, right?  Our kids’ lives were at stake.  Back country roads, in the dark, with my man, Selah on my iPod, kids sleeping in the backseat, that “highly caffeinated” coffee warming my hands, and 2 hours of talking.  It was wonderful!

We tucked the kids right in bed when we got home, since they were already prepped.  I learned the jammies/teeth brushed trick from my friend Michele.  So smart!

We unloaded the car.  I did, mostly, since Dee’s incision was hurting.  My car always, without fail, takes twice as long to unload than to load!   The junk unpacks and multiplies itself in the car.   Creepy, really.

I stoked the fire.

I Googled “who won the Superbowl?” and found out that the Giants won.  Don’t hate me!  Just invite me to a Superbowl party next year!

At 12:15am I started cleaning my kitchen.  I never have time to clean up before church, and I was gone all day, so all my Saturday messes (including pie baking) were still lurking in my kitchen.

Dee watched some “Jurassic Park” and then went to bed.  He felt bad letting me work all by myself, but I gave him plenty of kisses and danced around the kitchen to show him that I was WIDE awake!  I sang along to Pandora, hung up jackets, and returned food items to their proper places.  I still wasn’t tired, so I thought I’d sit and read my Bible.  Try to get sleepy.  I know, that sounds bad, right?

I wrapped up the night morning by cleaning my bathroom at 2:00am.  Toilet, shower, and floor.  When I finally crawled in bed, Dee murmured, “Do I smell the orangey aroma of cleaning products?”  I think he found it romantic, actually, and was a little in awe of my crazy, super-mom powers.

Tonight though?  I going to brew some coffee, prop up my feet, and veg with Dee for two hours in front of “The Voice!”