Saturday, May 28, 2011


This is my Grandma, my Mom, me and my two girls. Four generations. My Grandma lives 12 hours away so when I found out that she was going to be 3 hours from where I live for a wedding, Janell and I came up with a plan to see her. The wedding was in the evening so there was plenty of time for a lunchtime picnic in a state park.

It turned out that my family, Janell's family and Brian's family along with my parents, my Grandma, 3 aunts, 2 uncles and one of my cousins met at the park. It meant so much to me to be able to see my Grandma. It also meant so much to me that the aunts and uncles coming to the wedding also wanted to see all of us. I've never lived close to them so I appreciate the effort they made to show me and my siblings that they care.

I'm so lucky to have a big family. My Mom is one of seven children. I have a whole bunch of cousins and now the cousins are grown up and having children. If the immediate family were together at the same time there would be over 60 people. Family, even extended family, is special and, I think, should be highly valued.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I didn't think the thoughtful post mentioned yesterday was going to come so soon, but this I must write down and remember.

I was driving, alone, this evening. The radio was on, but I wasn't really listening to it. The voices broke in to my thoughts because I recognized them. They were New Life hosts, but it was wasn't the right time of day for the radio show that I really enjoy, New Life Live. It turned out that Dr. John Townsend and Dr. Henry Cloud were on Focus on the Family. I didn't know what they were talking about, but as soon as I started listening carefully they said,

You don't have to be a perfect Mom to raise healthy kids.

I was about to cry. I know I'm not perfect. That's not my issue. One of the deepest questions of my soul was answered in one sentence. I have the ability to raise healthy kids. I need to say it again....I HAVE the ability to raise healthy kids! (Ok. Now I'm crying.)

Because I bond with my children, am warm, give them security when they are fearful and boundaries to keep them safe, give them opportunities to learn, grow and leave there is a very good possibility that they will be healthy adults. (So every person in the world has issues of some sort, but I can give my children the tools they need to process those issues.)

This is going to be posted above my sink. I deeply need this reminder.

You don't have to be a perfect Mom to raise healthy kids. (Holy Spirit, thank you for speaking this into my soul this week when I needed it the most.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

6 Months

Jeremy took some 6 month pictures of Anna tonight. While the older two were having a rough evening, Anna smiled away.

Anna is not quite sitting up yet. This was the longest she stayed up! There were no smiles, she had to concentrate.

I think she is just beautiful.

PS. One of these days I'm going to work up the energy to write a more thoughtful post.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Anna--6 Months

I was going to post a video of Anna rolling and talking to me, but Blogger didn't like it. I posted that video on facebook instead. I think I should be used to how fast children grow up by my third, but I still can't believe Anna is 6 months old already!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Headed South

Not far South, just South of our home. Every other week or so, the children and I spend a day at my Mom's house. It is nice to have a change of pace and change of scenery. Now that my grandparents are moved in their apartment this day includes a visit with Great Gramma and Great Grandad. Great Gramma has had shingles the last couple weeks so it had been a while since our last visit. I think we made up for it today! Aliza and Josiah went running over just a couple minutes before I was ready and when I walked in they were both BUSY!

Josiah and Great Grandad were intently looking at a coffee table book about tractors.

Aliza was busy unpacking a box of books. She loves to help Great Gramma.

Anna enjoyed the books. She was quite busy also.

Then Great Gramma decided it was time to read some books. There are more books for Aliza to unpack next time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Back to Home

After a long, fun weekend no one wanted Daddy to go to work today. Thunder woke them up early this morning and, as expected when we come home from Grandma's house, there was a morning of adjustment. It's always miserable and just when I'm about ready to ship them out it is nap time. And then everyone feels so much better and plays much more nicely together. In fact, so nicely that I got this picture....

They are practicing to be flowergirl and ring bearer in Joel's wedding. Josiah LOVES his black dress shoes. They are holding hands!!! After the practice, Aliza asked Josiah to marry her. He said yes and they continued to parade around the house holding hands!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Another Weekend of Parties

Joel graduated from college! He has a degree is Communication and New Media with a focus in new media and a minor is early childhood education. (I think that is close anyway!) Joel is 10 years younger than Jeremy and he has been making me feel old!

Jeremy was able to attend the ceremony. Timing worked out for them to meet the children and I for ice cream after the ceremony. Everyone looked at me when I walked into the little, old fashioned ice cream shop with 3 children in tow. They behaved really well until Uncle Joel walked in....he has that effect on them.

Joel is marrying this girl in just a couple weeks. I love her. I love him. It's a happy occasion. But they still make me feel old. Let's just say that Joel was only 12 when Jeremy and I got married and 10 when Jeremy and I started dating. (I'm over it. I promise I won't bring it up again!)

Sunday we attended Brandi's church. We took our children to McDonald's for lunch so Grandma could get ready for the graduation party. The graduation party was fun. Josiah went without a nap--almost. He fell asleep on couch for a few minutes. Anna slept through the whole party.

After the graduation party Joel, Brandi, Jeremy and I had a moving party. We moved Joel out of his student apartment. It was a bonding experience. Brandi and I packed up the kitchen while Joel and Jeremy packed up the bedroom. It was raining. Joel lived on the second floor in the dead middle of the hall. We all worked hard. It paid off that we are old (sorry. one last time.) and drive a mini van. Jeremy laid the seats down and we moved everything in one trip.

Good times. Good memories!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

His Doll

I bought my boy a baby doll. (His Daddy had no problem with the purchase.)

Some how we do not have an overabundance of dolls in our house. Aliza has her 2 special dolls and that is about it. When Josiah started playing with his sister's doll it only created big problems. Aliza came to me begging me to please buy Josiah his own doll. I happened to be going to the store that evening so I bought him one. Josiah was very pleased. He has taken care of his doll. He keeps track of his doll the way he keeps track of his special stuffed cat.

I know buying a boy a doll is a bit controversial. This was my rationale. Josiah is a full fledged boy. No doubt about it. Hard working. Dirt under the fingernails constantly. Some day he may be a Daddy. He will need to know how to care for and nurture a baby. He tells me that his baby is crying and runs to take care of her. And I tell him that he will be a very good Daddy.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Since the introduction of our family mealtime rules some things have gotten a lot better. Aliza eats SO much better. We also have adopted a new method of mealtime conversation. I read on a blog that this family asks their children the same questions each night at dinner about their day. We have started asking Aliza and Josiah, "What was your favorite part of the day?" They love it. Each of them tell us something about their day and they love having everyone's attention on them. Then, usually Josiah, will ask Daddy what his favorite part of the was. No one asks me! (It's ok.)

We were at Grandma and Grandpa's house and mealtime was getting a little hairy and out of control so I asked Josiah what his favorite part of the day was. He said something about tools or tractors or scooters and then promptly asked Aliza what her favorite part of the day was. Then he asked Brandi. Then Joel. He sat still and engaged the family in conversation. It was a proud Mommy moment and made for a much more pleasant meal. Not that he ate much more, but at least his company was more pleasant!
The meal ended with Joel's niece and nephew ganging up on him!

Aliza and Josiah pray for our meal. Separately, but the same prayer. "Thank you Jesus for our food. Amen." They have added their own twist to the amen. Aliza says, Amen for Princesses. Or Amen for Daddy. Josiah says, Amen for tractors. Or Amen for lawnmowers. I look at it as them saying Amen for something they are thankful for. Interesting. Maybe I'll adopt the habit.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Walks These Days

It's blurry, but I thought it was cute that Anna was smiling at herself in the preview screen.

Aliza rides her bike. When she gets stuck Josiah proudly runs to her and gives her a push.

Josiah pushes his bike. He stops quite frequently to check the tires. He has no interest in riding the bike.

These walks are only a part of my post pregnancy weight loss plan. My plan goes something like this. Run up and down the stairs as frequently as possible. Get up off the couch as soon as I sit down. Take walks carrying about 16 pounds. I have three little personal trainers who take their job very seriously.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Big Weekend Events

This was a weekend full of fun events in West Virginia. It all began on Friday evening when I watched the 20/20 special on the Royal Wedding. I have a DVD of the full wedding that I intend to watch in several sittings so more on the Royal Wedding later.

Saturday was the Ladies Tea that has become an annual event for Karen and I. This year the event was titled Celebri-Tea. It is not really a "tea", but it is a wonderful luncheon with an atmosphere decorated to the hilt. This year it was all about celebrities, movies and fashion. I'm not really into any of those things so I sat down and just enjoyed the food. It was really good food.

I was starting to looking forward to the chocolate fountain dessert when Project Runway was announced. Each table became a team and each team was designated a work station where we were required to incorporate at least 4 of the items into a dress. Each team needed to designate a model and a lead designer.

You can only imagine what happened next. Yup, I was designated the model and our team started to disappear and those left had only a few ideas. My mother-in-law took matters into her own hands and made me a dress. Now, my mother-in-law and I have gotten very close over the 12 years we have known each other and she has helped me with a lot of things....but I have never allowed her to dress me or choose my fashion....much less a fashion that I would model in front of a group! That all changed. I can now say that she made a dress for me...out of materials that we had no control over. She did a good job too!!!
We had this lovely shade of orange? peach? salmon? to work with.
Initially, the designer and model walked on to the stage together and the judges commented. They called our dress "Simply Elegant." Then, of all things, our dress was one of the finalists. I had to go back on stage. By myself.
And then I had to walk down the red carpet they had in the center of the room. Ultimately we came in third. Not to shabby for a model and a designer who were only trying to be good sports.

I had to quickly eat my chocolate fountain dessert while I was waiting off stage to find out if I was a finalist. We couldn't find napkins so I was wiping chocolate off my face. Clearly, I'm not runway material. haha.
And the dress in all its glory!

On Sunday afternoon, Karen, Aliza and I got to attend a surprise bridal shower for Brandi. I was so glad I got to be there and there was the added benefit that Aliza got to see the church aisle that she is so very "nervous" about walking down. She is the flowergirl for Joel and Brandi's wedding and she played the part perfectly at the shower. She was cute and friendly and made her Mommy proud. Brandi asked her to help with her gifts and Aliza was pleased to have a job.
Aliza wanted to give her present to Brandi first. She had colored a picture and wrote a note on the back. To Brandi I love you. From Aliza I wrote it on a piece of paper and then left the room while Aliza wrote it.

After gifts Aliza was in a picture taking mood. She stood by Brandi and smiled for every picture. It looks like the Miller family adopted her!

Brandi, her mom, sister....and Aliza
The Bridal Party

Brandi, her Grandma, sister...and Aliza

It was a super fun weekend for us and the children. Aliza, Josiah and Anna were all exhausted when we got home. Anna was in bed at 7pm. Josiah was asleep by 8:30pm and Aliza fell asleep on the couch with me a 5:15 so she fell asleep for the night a little later. We had a couple cute moments in the car coming home. Josiah and Aliza were arguing over who could have Joel as their favorite. After several hours of driving Aliza asked, "Mommy, do you think Grandma and Grandpa are crying because they miss us?"

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Anna is peeking over the crib bumper to see what her sister is doing.

Is it really possible that these two are only 6 months apart in age?

Smiling at Grandpa

Aliza took this picture. Anna likes to try to fly!