Giving Thanks (inspired by)

Thanks be to God, Father, Son and Spirit, for the abundance of good things he pours on His children.
We are but few, but His blessings are many.

Friday, September 30, 2011


Two boys, a saw, and a gun.
And a huge Marcus smile.
Definitely trouble going on.

(PS Kathryn W, if you are reading this, sorry we haven't called you back! 
Lorraine will call you tonight- and yes we got your notes, 
and we loved them!)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

KG open house

 Seth, a special evening with you tonight:  the kindergarten open house.

Peter was sick, so daddy and all the others stayed home while you and I had a night out at the open house.  It was just you and me and three bottles of 7up:  a very light load.You were so excited to show me around the room.  You pointed out your polka dot sock art, your gorilla, and your person (with a red shirt, and blue eyes.)  You showed me your seat, next to Gus and across from Addy.  You got a snack, and asked me if you could have some Coke.  "It's your special open house night, honey.  Sure you can have some Coke."  You gave me a surprised half-smile and then happily went off for your Coke.

You played loudly with the blocks and the boys for awhile.  Before long you became concerned for me, looked to see where I was chatting with adults, and begged me to stay by you.  We sat at your little table while you colored me a pumpkin picture.

Back and forth you bounced, from friends to mom and back again, until it was time to go.  

You noticed it was dark out, and smiled big when I told you that yes, the other boys are probably in bed already.  You held my hand as we walked home in the near dark.  "Mommy, I love Kindergarten.  I love Kindergarten open houses even more, when there's no work and we just go to play.  And I love Coke too."  You continued to count your blessings until you saw the bright pink sky behind our house-- you squeezed my hand tight as you said, "Oh mommy! Can we sit on the swing and watch the sunset?" 

Also reluctant to end our quiet mommy-date, I said yes.  We snuggled on the swing in the cool air for about 90 seconds.  Then you were ready to go in and finish the spider picture you'd started at the open house.

We entered the house, and I again  picked up my heavy load (sick baby, arguing boys, long todo list, missing stuffed animals...)  You finished your spider, then proudly brought it to me along with your pumpkin, making sure I noticed the inscription on the back:

"These are for you, Mommy, because you and me had so much fun tonight."

 I love little big kids. :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

apple works field trip!

Aggie's obvious (and scowly, hahaha!)
Who can find Seth?  He is there...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

To Aggie, on her seventh birthday,

Seven years ago today I was in the worst pain I had ever imagined.  Labor with you was horrific.  Daddy was in Iraq.  It was not good.

And then, you:

Aggie Sue, the little girl who turned a day of pain into a day of joy.  Your mere presence transformed a hospital room, a hard day, a sad heart.  It was your debut as a joy-bringer. 

 You continue to be that joy-bringer, even now at age seven.
God's gifts to you pour out of you freely and bring joy to everyone who knows you.  I cannot count them all, but I will name some of my favorites.

Your big heart:

One night we snuggled and listened to "Horton Hatches the Egg."  I asked you girls if you would sit on the egg for that lazy Maisy bird like Horton did.  "No WAY.  It's HER egg, and SHE should sit on it!" Lorraine insisted.  Then, you quietly whispered, "...but she asked nicely..."

I love the way you are always cleaning and organizing your room, and sometimes your brothers' room.  (Or, as you call it, "sortinizing.")  You smile so big when you run to get me (or them), and insist that I close my eyes when I walk down the hall so you can surprise me with the room that you made so beautiful!

Your cheerfulness:
You are constantly RUNNING home from school to tell me (loudly and quickly) about all the WONDERFUL  and AWESOME things you  did each day.  On an especially happy day you told me, "My smile was up to the ceiling! "

Your honesty:
One night before bed you gave Peter a huge goodnight kiss.  "Goodnight my sweetie little sweet baby Petie Pete!  Sissy loves you!
Eldon was not noticed though he was right next to him; so I said, "What about Eldie Aggie, do you have a kiss for him?"
 "But mommy, he's not so cute anymore."

One day I yelled, "AAAHHH! Eldon is peeing on me!"
And you said quietly,  "but it is a little bit funny though."

Another day you stood jabbering in the kitchen, and while your sister shot you the loudest BE QUIET look she could muster, you told me,  "Mommy, sometimes we get up in the night and spray the spray butter in our mouths..."

Your creativity:
You are constantly singing.  Sometimes you make up songs, or modify them to your liking:
"When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie... then it will poke your eye out..."

One day I downloaded a bluegrass song that made me think of you, called "Ode to a Butterfly."
When I played it for you, you started dancing like crazy, as if bluegrass was the music your heart had been playing all along!  Then you said to me, "Mommy, I love this song!  It sounds like me when I'm running and trying to wrestle a turkey to the ground to eat it!" 

Aggie, on your seventh birthday, I thank God for the seven-hundredth time, for you, for joy, for the way you make all who love you smile "up to the ceiling."

Happy birthday Aggie Sue.
Love, Mommy

Friday, September 23, 2011

party starting...

It is a nice change to have this house overrun by girls!

The one structured thing we are trying to do tonight:
craft time!

Link here for this easy craft- embellished flip flops!

I get carried away...

I have been having so much fun today 
getting ready for Aggie's birthday party sleepover!

We are expecting 3 1st graders, plus 1 3rd grader for Lorraine-
6 girls tonight!

The dress up clothes are ready to go:

 And of course, the dance floor...

We tried it out last night :)
I had to laugh at myself, as I was tinkering with the music, 
shuffling from here to there fixing electronics, 
carrying speakers around, putting up lights and streamers...
When did I turn in to my DAD?!?!

I definitely inherited the party gene.
(too bad I did not inherit the voice.)

While I got carried away decorating, 
Eldon fell asleep on the couch.
I think a nap is a good idea, son.
I'd better put it on my list before the fun starts..

We love the Vanderkids!

These two are learning to be quite good friends!

Making "ice cream" for each other.

This sweet "baby" Deandra weighs as much as Peter I am sure.
But she is more willing to sleep on me.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

smother brothers

So much brotherly love these days...
can there be too much?

And where IS that line between hugging and choking?
Loving and wrestling?
Playing and murdering?

Pete will have none of it.
I feel your pain, kid.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011



Sometimes they speed you up:

Sometimes they slow you down:

But not for long.
Marcus thinks almost falling, seeing other people fall, and falling himself are HILARIOUS.
He will conquer the wheels yet.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Why Bother?

I say that about most of the housework I do, but washing the windows is the worst.
Especially with this guy on my heels.

Your welcome Peter.
I'm so glad you have something clean to slobber on.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Petie in the wild!

Perhaps the stick tasted bad?

Are you comin' mom?

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Peter found a great place to watch the Colts game this afternoon!

We are so blessed to have Mary Anne as our dear friend/neighbor/auntie!
It amazes me to see her love our kids like we do!
(see her blog here!)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

safety plans

To prevent further concussions,
I'm thinking this might work:

(This was his idea, but he locked himself in there, 
so of course I had to laugh and take a picture before I helped him.) 

Or maybe I'll just make him wear his helmet all the time.

And yet, this face 

makes me think he would find a way to injure himself even so.

Oh, my Marcus.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Flu vaccine day

Took the boys to the doctor for a flu vaccine!  What a fun way to start the day!

Actually it wasn't so bad.  Only Peter had to get a shot- the rest of them got the flu mist!  I am SO grateful for that new technology!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

kitchen help

A special treat: A pink kitchen helper! :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

a new friend

Her name is Brandy,
and she lives across the street.

We were asked to feed her a couple weeks ago...

they are in love!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

biggest big kid

Oh Lorraine,
when did you grow up?

 She's looking more like a teenager every day!

God bless this young woman as she grows!

Monday, September 12, 2011


My little explorer has become increasingly wiggly,
and hostile to snuggling.

So the girls have found a way to sneak in the snuggles,
in the car!

Haha, you can't get away from sisters when you are in child restraints!

Why would you want to anyway?

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Apparently my dog can also count to three:

Marcus is recovering just fine.  Watching him swing after a concussion reminded me of watching Aggie play on the playground after brain surgery.  Wow, little kids are resilient.

You can tell he is still "on the mend" because he doesn't jump:.  (He was forbidden of course, but the fact that he listened confirms my theory that he is not yet 100% better.)

He went to church and sunday school today (though he insists his forehead still hurts!)
I am at home with the littlest baby, and my biggest baby.  Lorraine has the stomach flu.

It just doesn't quit!

May the rest of us be spared!!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Last night Marcus slept well.  We woke him every couple hours and he was fine.  He even stopped throwing up for the evening!

This morning he is still complaining of a headache but has a good deal of energy and "sparkle" back.
He eagerly ate some jello, but didn't keep it down.  Then Aunt Mary Anne brought over pancakes and sausage! I was hesitant to let him eat, but he begged so sincerely that I gave in.  (Fully expecting to clean it up a few moments later.)  He ate 3 sausages and 3 pancakes, and he kept them down!

Now, he is switching between "My forehead hurts" and "Tickle me mama!"

(and even: "Tickle me mama, so then I can puke on you... hee hee hee!")

That is progress!
Thank you all for the prayers!