Dec 19, 2012


This is a LONG overdue post!  Yesterday I sat up and realized that I haven't blogged haven't written about all the little things Bruce does and says that I don't want to forget.  I am at serious risk of over-using exclamation points.  That's how much fun this kid is. 
He's 2 and a half now.  That went so fast!  He is seriously the sweetest child.  He's laid back, until he isn't!  Then everyone knows he isn't happy, including the neighbors, I think!  See too many ! already.  He is cuddly, loves everyone, checks in with me while he's playing - just for a hug.  He wants to sit on my lap and read, sit on my lap and watch a video, sit on my lap and drink his milk, sit on my lap and snuggle in while he wakes up.  I can't get enough of him!
He's starting to talk too.  But he rarely uses the first sound of a word.  He calls himself Uce.  Of course it's entirely dependent on context. Uce also means juice.  He says uuk too.  That one really has many meanings!  Look, book, cook, you get the idea.  My favorite words he uses though, are the ones that make his daddy stop worrying about him when he puts on a tutu to show off for company (like his sister).  Ools - tools, Mer - hammer, at - hat, ball, Lllela - Stella, Ops - PoPs.  They are the cutest! 

He makes me laugh all day.  If I pick him up and say "are you my baby?" He'll say no, if I ask if he's my big boy he says "No, Uce!"  He's Bruce.  Love that kid.  He's a helper too.  He's not particularly obedient if given a command, we're working on that, but if I "ask him to help" he's all in.  And if I've asked him to do something he's fiercely possessive of the task.  If Stella tries to do something he's supposed to do he lets out a blood curdling shriek.  There is no other word for it.  It usually gets my attention pretty quickly! 

That's not the only time we hear The Shriek though.  Oh, no.  He also uses it if she's trying to take a toy, or if she already has one that's a special toy (the toy du jour).  He's still carrying and chewing his puppy.  PoPs calls it a bacteria bomb.  He's got at least two names for that puppy too.  Ruff when he's pretty calm, and Baby when he's worked up.  Sweetness personified.  He likes to walk around with it ear in mouth, the rest draped over his face and head, so he can barely see.  He thinks it's funny, which it is.
He is my most wonderful gift, this baby who is not baby or big boy.  He's Bruce.  My Buck-man.  

Oct 10, 2012

To Stella: On her 5th Birthday

Hey Kiddo!   I love you.  You know that right?  I love you for being you.  We've had this conversation alot lately and I just want to make sure you know.  Tonight when I tucked you in, I told you I was proud of you.  And I am.  You asked me why.  These are some of the reasons.  I am proud of you when you are kind, to your brother and to your friends.  I am proud of you when you do right.  I am proud of you when you choose to love God.  I am proud of you because you are compassionate.

I love you, too.  I love you for all the reasons I am proud of you, plus some.  I love you, most of all for being You!  You  are funny and smart.  You try hard, you love hard.  You have high highs and low lows.  You use words that make adults laugh. You say things like "well, as you know..." and "was there bad traffic?" and all sorts of other, very grown-up sounding words and phrases. 

You make me laugh all the time. I can't wait to see what this year holds for you! 

Love you, Girlfriend!


Jul 9, 2012

Some quotes from One Thousand Gifts  that make me think or say AMEN!

"Rejecting joy to stand in solidarity with the suffering doesn't rescue the suffering.  The converse does. The brave who focus on all things good and all things beautiful and all things true, even in the small, who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now, they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world."

Wow, that grabbed me.  To help the suffering I need to choose joy? To help the suffering I need to be truth and grace and light.  Well now.  I need not choose suffering, to make a change.  Isn't that what Paul says in Phillippians 4:4-8?  Choose Joy.  How do I choose joy?  By focusing on the good, right, true, noble, pure.  Which when you boil it down... is God.

"That life is so urgent it necessitates living slow."

This is easier said than done.  It also seems contradictory.  But the point is you need to slow down, and pay attention to the details of life because that is where thanksgiving and joy are found.

" It is suffering that has the realest possibility to bear down and deliver grace."

Mmm, thought provoking.  This is beautiful and frightening.  I need to think about this one more and what that really means in my life.

That's an affiliate link up there.

Jul 7, 2012

Choosing Joy

Have you read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp yet?  You totally should.  This post is about the book, and the thoughts it is triggering in me.  It's "part 1" because I'm only halfway through the book, and a review-ish will be happening on my other blog when I'm done.  But for now, I want to write these things here.

I love this book.  It makes me think.  She writes in a way that I can not.  She uses words beautifully.  But she uses more than I would.  The descriptions are distinct and it makes me feel like I am entering her world, which is very different from my own.  I had a hard time getting through the first chapter.  I really had to get used to the way she writes, because it is so different, but once I wrapped my brain around her writing, I really have enjoyed the book.

I told my mom, who has read it, twice, that I am torn between scarfing it down, or forcing myself to slow down and savor the writing and ideas.  Now, perhaps what someone else takes from this book will be slightly different from my reading, but for me, her decision to look for gifts and a focus on thankfulness translates in my brain and life to focusing on joy.

I have started to look for gifts, started my own list.  I'm not very far, and it's a hard discipline to develop, but it's good.  The gifts I'm finding are truly the thins that make me pause and smile.  And sometimes that make me smile in my heart, not just my face.  Things like midnight cuddles.  I'm not so happy about it in the moment, but the joy that I get from snuggling and comforting a sleepy, frightened child... that's joy.

Somethings are simple, lightening bugs on summer nights, children laughing together, the kids "reading" to each other.  Those are the easier ones to see.

I have learned that when you choose to focus on joy you have joy.  This intentionality, it makes the difference.  I am, by nature, an optimist, a romantic, I am always looking for the silver lining.  But when I intentionally focus on joy, it's different.

My senior year of college I was a Resident Assistant.  My partner and I chose Joy to be our hall's theme  for the year.  I believe that was the best decision we made that year.  By all accounts it should have been a very difficult year.  We had some theft problems, a "flood" on the 3rd floor out of a clogged toilet (YUCK!), and several other things that were going on that should have made us both frantic, stressed out maniacs who were sorry we had ever signed up for this job.  But we were focusing on joy.  That was probably the best year of my college experience.  I was not focused on the problems surrounding me, but the God who was big enough to handle them.  I wasn't worried about the things that should not have been happening, but on the joy of living aware that these are not defining incidents in my life.

All that to say that choosing joy, and thankfulness, and peace, which are all tied up together in my mind, makes life different.  It is this choosing joy that makes us stand out in a crowd.  Is it choosing joy that makes us holy?

That link, way up there at the top, yeah, that's an affiliate link.

Jun 28, 2012

Things that make a Mama happy

This morning Stella came in my room, sat down on my bed with her bible and said  "Lesson 31. Your God's in the heavens, The strength of God, the power of Jesus, and the goodness of the Holy Spirit."  I love that that is how she thinks and what she knows. 

Jun 23, 2012

A letter to Bruce on His 2nd Birthday

Dear Bruce,

Yesterday you turned 2. I cannot believe how fast it went.
 You are the sweetest boy I know.  You love to play with balls.  And Trucks.  You want to do EVERYTHING your sister does.  She's usually a good sport. You love to wear hats.  And play in the dirt and be outside. You are blonde and blue eyed and dimpled. You melt my heart with your smile.  And pierce my ears with your screams :)  I love you more than you will ever know.  You are dramatic, and curious, and HATE the word no.  You make us wonder always what you will grow up to be.  The thoughts we have now lean toward working with your hands, maybe engineering, or a mechanic.   You love to inspect things and figure them out.  You are helpful, and usually kind.  You like to "fight" with daddy and cuddle with mommy, and read with anyone who will! You are quiet and observant.  You still chew on puppy's ears and tail.  He smells terrible, you don't care.

This spring I did a lesson with some moms and it was about loving your children.  They asked us if we could come up with one thing, that one thing that we loved most about each of our children.  That's tough!  I love all those things about you that I've already said.  Daddy and I talked about it and we each love different things about you most!  For Daddy, it's your inquisitiveness, that curiousness and thirst for knowledge that makes you look under the hood of Scottie and Nathan's Powerwheels car to see what makes it go.  For me it's your love.  You love deeply and cuddle hard.  You still cuddle with me, at an age when Stella had given much of it up!  I like to wrap you up and snuggle you close and feel you relax into me and let me smell your head.

I love you Buck-man!

Jun 20, 2012


Yesterday I had this text conversation with a friend who had taught the craft at VBS on Monday (Day 1).

M: Stella last night after I complimented her coloring skills "Thanks! I color so well because I have ALOT of smartness" !!  Typical little homeschooler!!! Haha!!!

Me: Oh Dear.

She's a trip that one.  It's a good thing she's cute, and It's a good thing my friend is A: a good friend, B: also a homeschooler, and C: good humored!

May 17, 2012

Visiting with family

One of my favorite things about our trip to Florida was that we got to see lots of Sid's family.  I know in recent posts I mentioned his brother, Adam, and of course his Mom (Grandma), and Diane (Nonna).  As well as his dad, Bruce.  We also got to see his grandfather on this trip (Papa Bud).

I love to see family, especially with my kids.  I love for them to know that they have a whole, big family that loves them.  There is so much security in that for them.  I know it breaks Sid's heart that we don't see his family more.

This was the first time we have seen Adam and Papa Bud in over two years.  It was really good to see them.  I loved watching Adam with the kids.  He loved them.  He really seemed to enjoy his role as Uncle Adam and let them get away with things!   

Fort Clinch State Park

One Monday while we were visiting Grandma we decided to go to the beach.  I love the beach.  Love. It. Anyway, Sid's brother Adam was home on leave and he came along with us.  It was quite the family affair.  We went to Fort Clinch State Park, which, Surprise, has a fort.  It's an unfinished Civil War era brick fort.  We decided to check out the fort before we hit the beach.  It's pretty neat.

This shows half the depth of the walls!

Adam teaching Sid something.
Then we went down to the beach. We had lunch, and walked up and down the shoreline in the surf, looking for cool shells and shark teeth.  My kids had a blast, and so did the adults.  

Bruce hitched a ride from daddy.

May 16, 2012

A trip to the zoo

While we were in Florida we went to the Jacksonville Zoo. We had a very good time. We saw some animals, went into the butterfly exhibit and got to touch some sting rays. That was Grandma's favorite part. They also have a large play area for the kids which was quite enjoyable. Stella's favorite part was the train ride. No surprise from my cranky girl. We *may*!have had the kids out a little too late the night before. We also ran into Sid's cousin Tory and her two adorable kids. We didn't spend much time with them, but it was good to see them.