Monthly Archives: December 2012


when you were a kid was story time your favorite part of the day?

i think it is for my kids.

it is such a joy and delight to watch davey read.

to watch his face LIGHT UP when he figures out a difficult word.

to listen to him say a word but not yet realize what he’s saying.

to teach him some of the “mechanics” of reading.


i LOVE kindergarten.

i LOVE watching him learn.


today we (finally) read the book he brought home from the library last week.

kindergarteners are not allowed to check books out of the library at school.

for real.

but davey (and a few classmates) are the exceptions to the rule.

it’s part of the reading program. and the kindergarten “readers” are too easy.

and the first grade “readers” are too easy. so now he gets to choose books from the library.

and we read them TOGETHER. they might be too hard for him to read alone. but the new goal is comprehension.

so he brings home a book (currently it has to have a YELLOW sticker on it).

we read it.

he takes it back to school and takes a little quiz on the computer.

and after ten books….

he moves up to the next color.


today we read this book:

correction: DAVEY read this book.

he made it all the way through.

and then i read it (to help with comprehension).

and we talked about what happened.


and we’ll read it again tomorrow and he’ll take it back to school on Thursday (library day this week).


But along with the joys of reading,

he’s THRIVING in his writing.

in fact, at the parent/teacher conference a few months ago,

davey’s teacher told us he’s the best writer in his class.


LOVE that news.


so it’s not really a surprise that two weeks ago he sat down and wrote a story at home.

for fun.

on his own time.


what IS surprising is that it’s a story about cats.

and that he wrote another story (also about cats) the next day.


(translation: “My cat can fly. I like cats. My cat is pink. My cat is outside. My cat is in a bubble.”)

just another one of THOSE weeks

have you ever had one of THOSE weeks.

you know what i mean.


the kind where things go wrong. you’re frustrated. you’re disappointed. but life keeps moving forward so you persist even though you want everything to stop while you try to “figure it out?!”


that’s been this week.


i’m so thankful to have amazing friends in my life.

both near and far.


friends who are good with texting.

friends who are good with phone calls.

friends who are prompt responders on facebook.

friends who e-mail me.

friends who pray for me even though we rarely talk.


i love them all.

they are ALL blessings from above to me.


and here in arizona, God has gifted me quite a few Godly women who are a good influence on me and whom i love. here are two of them:

that’s jenni on the left and casey on the right.

their husbands work with my husband.

and we have kids the same age.


and they skipped out on their families last friday night to support me at the Craft Boutique. and they stayed late and helped me pack up. and then we went to Chili’s (at 10pm) and enjoyed queso (with chips, of course) and margaritas.


and this week, they have both loved on my children,

fed my children and/or me,

and listened to me as i shared some of the details that have made this one of THOSE weeks.


thank you, jenni & casey!


and to carrilee and julie back in washington, thank YOU for listening to me, too. and for praying with me. and for me.



very, very belated – Samantha is FOUR!

My amazing first daughter, Samantha, has been four years old for more than a month now. And I haven’t yet provided you with a review. I’m horrified that it’s taken me this long, but better late than never, yes?


Dear Samantha,

At 4 years old, you are full of smiles, hugs, laughs, love, life, energy, energy, energy, and more energy.

You love your family and your friends with a fierceness that impresses me. You adore your “baby” sister and you like to hug her, tickle her, play with her and (many times, unfortunately,) pick her up and carry her around. [It's much like the scene from the book Olivia where Olivia (the pig) picks up and carries her cat around the house.] You play very well with Davey, too, and I know you really miss him when he’s at school.


You love anything having to do with princesses, whether it be dressing up, watching movies, reading books, playing with little figurines, eating off princess plates or drinking out of princess cups….. Some of your other favorite toys are Hello Kitty, Dora the Explorer, Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop, dress up, baby dolls, puzzles, coloring, stickers, using scissors and glue sticks. You also love to play outside (especially on your bike, scooter or at the park in the sand). You LOVE to run and do everything FAST. You have a “cool trick” which is basically a back bend that you do starting from lying on your back on the floor. You also love to do head stands on the couches and ottoman. You are a bundle of energy and you never stop!


Despite all your energy, you are also ALL GIRL. You choose dresses and skirts over pants and shorts. The more “twirly” the dress, the better (you call them “great spinning dresses.”)You love pink, raspberry, magenta, bubble gum, carnation, rose and every-other-shade of pink a girl can imagine. You adore jewelry and hair clips (especially head bands and barrettes) but you hate having your hair brushed. You prefer girly sandals or mary jane shoes over flip flops, crocs and sneakers. You love to watch me put on my make up and you usually ask for blush and then you shy away from the “ticklish” blush brush!


You have officially given up naps. For months and months now, actually. However, after a few weeks of “difficult times,” you now play in your room (somewhat) quietly for “rest time,” which is usually 90 minutes to 2 hours long, depending on the day. And despite the giant messes you make during those “rest times,” it’s worth it for my sanity and for you to learn how to play on your own a bit.


I do think you’re growing up too quickly. When you turned 2, I knew you were turning 2. When you turned 3, I actually thought you were turning 4 and I kept TELLING people you were 4. Oops. Now that you’re 4, I keep thinking you are 5 and I’ve almost told other people you are 5. In a recent photo of you, you look so mature, so grown up. I can imagine you looking like that now (at 4) and again at 11, 15, 19 and 22. Please don’t grow up TOO quickly, sweet stuff!


You’re trying very hard to keep up with Davey in the knowledge department. You recognize all the letters and you know all their sounds. You’re still learning how to write them. You can count quite high, though you’ll never do it for anyone upon request and you can write some of your numbers. You are DESPERATE to be in school, but with a late-October birthday, pre-school wasn’t really an option this year. You’re smart enough and you seem “old enough” to test next summer to try to start Kindergarten a year early (that’s our plan).


You can hop on one foot, jump really high and balance on a bicycle and your scooter. You’re learning how to pump your legs on the swing and how to skip. You are adventurous – very adventurous – with little fear. You love to dance and to do gymnastics… perhaps it’s time to find you a class somewhere? You love to throw rocks and sand (thankfully you don’t do that at the park anymore). In August, you fell off the porch swing and broke your arm. You are the FIRST person in our family to have a broken bone. I’m still so thankful you only had to wear your (pink, glitter-covered) cast for 3 weeks! Despite all the GIRLY GIRL that’s inside you, there’s a bit of a tom-boy, too. And your dad and I love that about you. You’re the best of both worlds! You really enjoyed swim lessons this year but you’re not ready to swim without your floaties yet. And you are a little bit timid in and around the water, which I appreciate.


You used to eat a turkey & cheese sandwich for lunch every day, but you’ve changed to PB&J more recently. You still like to eat spicy foods with daddy (which makes him SOOOOOOO proud) but it all depends on your mood. Some days you complain that something is “too spicy” (even when it’s not). This, my dear, makes you a true female. You also used to eat a string cheese stick every day but for the past few months you have NOT been interested. You still love yogurt in a tube. You’re outgrowing raisins and craisins but fruit snacks are still high on your list of “YUMMY FOODS.” You’ll now eat a slice of pizza whole (as opposed to me cutting it into bites) and you love hotdogs from Costco. Your favorite fast food restaurants are Chick-Fil-A, In-n-Out and McDonalds (even though we’ve only eaten at McDs ONCE since moving to Arizona 10 months ago). Your favorite thing on any menu is a strawberry milkshake though you don’t get one every time we go to one of those delightful eateries.


You enjoy being home to play with your toys but you also love to be OUT and about. You enjoy shopping and running errands; the more stores we visit, the better in your opinion. You love child care at the YMCA and you were sad when mommy ended that membership earlier this week. Don’t worry, sweet one, we’ll join the gym here at Spectrum next week and you’ll get a chance to go to child care again. I love that earlier this year (when Davey first started school), you called it your “class.”


You LOVE going to church on Sundays. You DELIGHT in going to your “class” during church. You are a good listener and you are kind to others. You also seem to have to go potty right at the very end of class EVERY week. :)


You stil give the BEST hugs in the world and I’m so thankful when you want to share them with me.


You are not a perfect child, not by any means. You have problems with your attitude, temper and respect for mommy & daddy. We struggle with you on a regular basis with your behavior. But you also have a tender and loving heart. You are kind and generous and you love to share. We will continue to pray that God fills your heart with His love and mercy so you can pour out your inner beauty on others.


At 4, you are a delight, sweet Samantha. Daddy and I are so thankful you are in our family!





guess what dave found on his old work laptop when his new one came in a week or two ago?


THIS photo:

it’s from our crazy-insane 3.5 week road trip across the country in july 2011

with a 1, 2 and 4 year old

(when we started the trip they were ages 11 months, 2 years and 3 years)!



it was going to be our Christmas card photo last year.

[insert deep sigh here.]

instead, it disappeared and we could never find it.

i looked through all of the photos on my computer (around 25,000!) and dave looked on his computer.

and it was lost forever. gone.

i was crestfallen.

and now, here it is. in all it’s touristy, funny little kids, too-many-hours-in-the-car glory!

and because i’ve had to wait a year and a half to share it with you, i’m going to show it to you TWICE in one post:


or maybe three times:


there. i think that’s enough.

for now.


it might have to make another appearance soon.