"…And she smiles at the future." ~Proverbs 31:25

Posts tagged ‘smiling’

A note from the hysterical committee

It’s been a hard week for me, and I know others have had it much, much worse. Sometimes we need to remember that it’s OK to smile during the hard times, too! On a recent trip to San Marcos, we went a *little* out of our way (read: New Braunfels) to visit the newly-opened, world’s largest Buc-ee’s. (Because, after all…it’s the world’s largest Buc-ee’s!) As we were leaving, I noticed this sign on the outside front wall:

(Yes, I laughed out loud. I’m sure my kids were so proud of my little public outburst!)

I do hope you’re smiling today.

Thanks for stopping by!


From the mouth of a munchkin

Our three-year-old daughter keeps us in stitches. Her misnomers and botched idioms keep us giggling, and her questions often catch us off guard. (You’ve read some of them here and in various other blog posts. Find more by checking out the That’s Funny! category in the sidebar.)

And now, for your enjoyment, more quirky quotes from our priceless preschooler:

Look! The sunset is out!

Will my name still be Remi when I grow up?

(Threatening her sister:) If you don’t let go of my hand RIGHT NOW you’re gonna have to………..do a LOT of RESEARCH!!!!

Are dogs allergic to water?

My new toothpaste has fluoride in it. I’m a grownup now!

What country is Chick-Fil-A in?

Do I smell like a dog?

(In response to my silly walk:) Mommy! I like your MOVES!

What is water made of?

OK, Mommy, she (pointing at Addy) is the mommy, you be Remi, and I’ll be “Vaborizer.”

Mommy, can you fix me a looooooong snack?

(Warily, on the way to a cookout:) Are hot dogs made out of…like…DOGS?

(Dreaming aloud as she looks out the window while riding in her car seat:) Mommy, if one day I find a big bag of candy in a box, do you promise I can have it without asking?

She is fascinated with the "curly phones" they have in hotel rooms.

She is fascinated with the “curly phones” they have in hotel rooms.

(While her sister was away at a sleepover:) Mommy, will you send a text? Say, “Bring dear Addy back home soon.” Do you know how to spell that?

Is Michael Berry real? (Exactly one second later:) Is he STILL real?

What does eBay even LOOK like? (Since none of us have ever bought OR sold anything on eBay, I have no idea where this came from!)

(In response to me saying I wanted to spit my gum out:) Well, I wanna spit MY gum IN! (Meaning, “Can I have some gum?”)

Why I say short prayers is because I can’t keep my eyes closed very long. Because I’m a little child.

Of course, her little-child prayers are never, ever boring.

Thank you, God, for flies.  (???)

Thank you for the Statue of Liberty.

Please help every dog that runs away from home.

I’ll close today with this conversation I heard in the backseat:

(Remington:) Mommy, I love you more than a MILLION trucks!

(Addison:) Do you even LIKE trucks?

(Remington:) Well, no…..

Thanks for stopping by!

Christmas tree quandary

Sometimes things just don’t go quite the way we planned, and that can make over-planners like me a little crazy. But, I’m working on just taking things as they come…the perfect with the imperfect; the chaos with the calm. I recently wrote here about my very typical, imperfect life, and this week has provided yet another example of how things go wrong in our family just like they sometimes do in yours.

Before I tell the story, you’ll want to know a little background on how we “do the tree” each year, so be sure to read this first.

Back to this year….

It actually did start out as one of those seemingly perfect evenings. It was a night we’d been waiting for: the big, tree-decorating event of 2012. Of course, the top priority for this, as well as most other events we enjoy, is the snacks, so Chandler got busy making the hot chocolate…

…while Remi helped make the special cookies she’d picked out for the evening.

Don’t you just love her placement?

The “kid cookies” were a hit with the girls…

…but we also needed some more adult-friendly ones, so we made peppermint sugar cookies, too.

Then we added some cocktail shrimp…

…some mini-crab cakes…

…and some random (but requested) garlic bread.

Once the snacks were all ready, we put out the cute Santa napkins, cranked up some holiday tunes, and got busy on the tree. This year the three older kids cut the tree down, set it up in the house, and did all the lights themselves. {Happy!}

One of my favorite parts of the season is our tradition of remembering where each ornament came from as we hang it on the tree. Usually I am the one who pulls each one out of the box, and we all chime in with, “Oh, remember when Connor made that back in second grade?” or “Hey, that’s the one Wes & April brought us from Hawaii!” This year, Addison decided she would help me with the handing out of the ornaments while the other kids hung them.

So, we reminisced about each one, and as usual I let the kids put them wherever they wanted. Remington was thrilled about helping this year…

…and added lots of charm to the tree with her special, three-year-old style. Most of the ornaments she hung were either right on top of each other…

…or completely backwards…


And yes, I left every single one of them right where they were!

I even left the ornament Chandler decided to run upstairs and make out of old baseball socks, T-shirts, and apparently his little sister’s hairbands. (But we were all a little bit scared of it. Aren’t you?)

He didn’t seem to think it was very funny (??) that when he came downstairs the next morning, he found pins sticking out of it. {insert giggle}

But, back to that evening…

We got every single light and ornament on the tree, and even put the topper in place…..and then it happened. The entire tree slowly started falling forward. Thankfully we were all still standing there and were able to catch it with only a few ornaments slipping off.

Nervous that it could happen again, I removed some of my more sentimental (and breakable) treasures from the branches and placed them on the piano nearby. Three nights and three days went by, and I decided that the tree’s early attempt to fall must have just been a fluke. So, I put those special ornaments back on, turned off the pretty white lights, and went to bed.

We didn’t hear the crash during the night last night. But we woke up to find that the tree had toppled completely over. Here is a portion of the mess we found:

Needles were everywhere, and the water had spilled out of the basin of the tree stand onto the carpet. The tree skirt was soaked, and newly decorated with the paint that ran from the now-wet shoes that were sitting on it. (I realize that sounds weird. But when we lived in Holland our boys painted shoes—both leather and wooden ones—to leave out for Sinter Klaas. I just can’t get rid of those tiny shoes, even now that their feet are so much bigger than mine!)

Things like this happen. They happen to everyone. And, they are disappointing, to say the least. But really, this is such a minor catastrophe compared to what so many people are going through. Hunger, the loss of loved ones, major financial setbacks….THOSE are things people are understandably sad about. A toppled tree doesn’t deserve to steal our joy. We cleaned it up, we’re letting the carpet (and at least one present) dry out, and we’ll try again. One day we’ll laugh at this relatively insignificant tragedy, and in the meantime we’ll still enjoy the season and all the fun and wonder to be had this time of year.

I know it’s a crazy, busy time of year, but I hope you’re still smiling. In case you need one more reason, I’ll leave you with the clue I found that let me know I had some decorating assistance from a tiny helper this year:

(Because there’s nothing quite like the sight of the aforementioned tree topper gazing lovingly into the eyes of what I affectionately call “the Christmas rat,” and vice versa!)

Thanks for stopping by.

Reason enough

To keep my three year old occupied in the pediatrician’s waiting room, I brought along a book of Bible activities and coloring pages. Here’s the conversation we had after she did this page:

“Good job, Sweetie! And what makes that one different from the other pictures?”

“It doesn’t have ears.”

(This was, of course, said with one of those looks…you know, the ones that say, “Did you really have to ask?”)

By the way, don’t you just love her little “circle?”

I hope you are smiling today!

Thanks for stopping by.

Hungry much?

I found some old Bible class papers from when Connor was little. This was one of them:

That child. He’s always been Connor.

Hope you’re smiling today! I’d love to hear why…

Thanks for stopping by.

Happily stuck with them

They’re home! My family is all together again! And yes, I am smiling!

(Photos by Larissa Thompson)

Two weeks ago, Addy went off to visit her cousins for several days.  I really missed her! Then the boys were gone to camp all last week. I missed them, too! But even as I was missing them, I thought back to a time when I didn’t expect to feel that way….

It was more than eleven years ago. Our firstborn was almost old enough to start school, and we’d been examining our options. I’d become convinced that homeschooling was the way I wanted to go. I’d read the research. I knew the advantages. But, I had one BIG hangup.  One hurdle I wasn’t sure I could take. Can you guess what it was?

They’ll always be with me.

That’s what I couldn’t get over. Our first two were born just twenty months apart, and I remember vividly how HARD it was having two babies.  I had consoled myself in the toughest times with this thought: This won’t last long. Before I know it, they’ll be off to school and I’ll be able to catch my breath again.

But now I was looking at the possibility that they wouldn’t be going OFF anywhere. That school would be here, which meant they’d be here…all the time. Which, in turn, meant there would be no going out shopping alone for me; no lunch dates out with friends; no actually being able to clean the house and have it stay that way for a few hours. On and on I went, trying to figure out whether I could handle always having the kids around.

Well, we took the plunge, and a funny thing happened. The more time I spent with my kids, the more I grew to like them. Not just to love them, but to really LIKE them. I enjoy them now. I like who they are. We have fun together. I treasure their uniqueness and their sweet personalities. I learn so much from them. I cherish our time together–it’s going by too fast!  And yes, when they’re gone, I actually miss them.

I do enjoy getting a break sometimes. In fact, I need those breaks, and so do you! But it sure makes me sad to hear parents lamenting the coming of summer because their children will be home with them. It breaks my heart when I hear people complain about the approach of spring break, since they will have to spend–*gasp*–a whole week with their kids. Really? Are these not wonderful opportunities to enjoy the children that are growing up way too fast? Wouldn’t it be fun to actually get to know them as individuals?

Maybe our outlook only changes as we come to truly believe the psalmist’s words:

“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord. 

The fruit of the womb is a reward.”

Psalm 127:3

If you have children, I hope you cherish each moment with them today, recognizing them as His gifts to you. You just might be surprised how much you enjoy them!

Thanks for stopping by…

Real moms open blinds

While the big kids were all off with friends, my husband and I decided to brave the heat and take our two-year-old to the playground for the afternoon.

After playing for a few minutes, she became very concerned about all the sand that was getting in her “flipper-floppers.” I remarked, in my very best take-note-of-this,-it’s-profound voice,

“If you want to go to the playground, you have to be willing to get some sand in your shoes.”

I immediately went into deep-thoughts mode, mulling over the reality of how the very best things in this life are usually the hardest, too….and yet they’re so very worth the “sand.”  (Think: Christian living, relationships, raising children, and so on.) But never fear, I won’t go further. This isn’t going to be that kind of post. Because, you see, my toddler wasn’t feeling the least bit philosophical with me. She just wanted to play.

She invited me into her “house,” and I happily obliged. We sat down on her “couch,” which she told me her husband had built for her. When I asked who her husband was, she thought for a bit before answering, “His name is Emily.”

So we sat together on the couch and I asked her, “What do you do in your house, ma’am?” Her answers:

I open the blinds.

I drink coffee.

I eat food–vegetables, I think.

(The adult world as seen through the eyes of a toddler…..If only it were as simple as that, right?)

When asked how else she spent her time at home,  she said, “I have a child. I read lots and lots of books to my child. And my child listens.”

Here’s my very favorite shot of the day, of the week, and of the month so far:

I hope you’re enjoying the sunshine. I hope you’re smiling today.

Thanks for stopping by!

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