Random Facts You’ll Never Really Need to Know



I have several brilliant posts rolling through my head.  They are witty and thoughtful – or at least they could be.  You’ll never really know for sure because they are totally and completely stuck there, bouncing off the sides of my brain like pinballs.  Our house officially went on the market yesterday and keeping it in decent shape to show it is as close to a full time job as I’ve ever had.  Oh, and did I mention Lee is in New Jersey for two weeks?

Mama’s tired.

So today’s post is full of random facts you’ll never really need to know.  Facts about me.  Calm down, calm down…I know you’re excited.  Take a minute to catch your breath and maybe go grab a cup of coffee.  Ready?

– I have a secret crush on Hugh Grant.  I think he’s adorable and hilarious and no matter how silly the movie, if he’s in it, I’m almost certain to enjoy it.

– I have another secret crush on Will Ferrell who I am fairly certain might be the funniest person alive.

– Those are just my secret crushes, of course.  Not my out in the open celebrity crushes.

– I have always wanted to voice a cartoon character.  Back in the day when Disney movies were not soley voiced by already famous actors who bring their own star power to the movie, I was certain that my future would be as the voice of a Disney Princess.  *sigh*

– I hate running.

– I am training for a marathon relay that takes place this weekend.  I ran four miles last Saturday and in the process managed to destroy my left hamstring.  After running two miles this morning I can barely straighten out my leg.  I’m trying to decide if I’m truly a determined enough athlete to work through this pain and conquer the race.

– I haven’t showered in three days.  There hasn’t been time.  All you women who are single moms, my hat goes off to you.  You are heroes.  Now tell me, please, when do you manage to eat, sleep and shower?

– I get bored if life becomes too predictable.  I love a little excitement to keep things spicey.

– I have no idea what my natural hair color is.  I think the color likely falls somewhere in the palette of dishwater.

– I am definately more fun as a blonde than as a brunette.

– I feel like I stopped aging at 25 and can’t believe I’m creeping toward my mid-thirties.  Of course, my blown hamstring after one four mile run kind of gives away the fact that I’m no longer a spring chicken.

– Getting old kinda blows.

– I’m kind of a hot head.  Not real proud of that one.

– I really, truly, to the depth of my soul love being a mother.

– My favorite book growing up was Julie (Andrews) Edwards’ The Last of the Really Great Wangdoodles.  I’ve read it no less than 100 times.  It’s a great, great story.

– I looked out the window this morning and saw Landon riding his Hot Wheel on the front sidewalk.  He was so content and having so much fun, his mouth moving constantly as he chattered to himself and I felt deep gratefulness and happiness bubble up inside.  It is a mental snapshot and a feeling I’ve filed away for all time.

– I’m nervous about selling my house. 

– I long to travel the world and want to show my kids the world.  I’m not sure how much of the world we’ll be able to afford to show them, but I hope to instill in them an appreciation for other cultures and a love for adventure and travel so that someday they will want to see new parts of the world on their own.  I don’t want to just take them on lavish vacations, though.  I want to expose them to the world through missions.  I want them to see the need around them, in their own communities and abroad, and to be ready and willing to respond.

– I’m not sure our family is complete yet.  Someone still feels like they’re missing.  But who?  We are praying over that one.

– I really need a shower today.

– I have never broken a bone.  At least not technically.  I developed a stress fracture in my back when I was fourteen from gymnastics, but I’ve never worn a cast.  Knock on wood…

– Part of me wishes I had more energy and drive to expand myself as a business woman, but I have recognized my capabilities and know how much I am able to handle and still maintain my priority as mom without stress.  I have found a lovely balance and contentment in both business and work.

– I will never, ever, ever get over my fear of crickets.

I can think of no more random, boring facts about myself to share.  Now it’s your turn.  Tell me a few random facts about you!

The Debate of our Generation

I try to keep things light around here.  I don’t like starting fights and I don’t like confrontation.  I tried all of that some in the past and, honestly, wasn’t crazy about the drama that followed.  So I stopped.

But this is not something that I can keep silent about any longer.  I think this is an important issue that we should be discussing.  I think it’s time we all took a deep breath and had a reasonable conversation like the grown ups that we are.  This issue is very sensitive to some and I’m not sure that there’s a right or wrong answer, but I do know we need to discuss.

Watch the video and then let me know YOUR thoughts.  How do you feel about this issue?  This may be the debate of our generation so I want to hear what you have to say. And remember, we are all entitled to our own opinions. Don’t be afraid to share how you really feel. This is a safe place…

On Listening and Hallucinations

So often I think society short changes our youngest citizens.  We assume our youth to be in need of constant glitz and glamour and unable to grasp concepts without entertainment.  I don’t agree.  I think kids are fully capable of holding mature and in depth conversations without the need of flashy presentations.

Even junior highers, who, as we all know, tend to be a species all their own.

I thoroughly enjoyed the eighth grade students I spoke with on Thursday.  They were bright and engaging and terribly adorable.  They asked really great, insightful questions about writing, overcoming writer’s block, how to seek publication and so on.  Many of them were avid readers and were far more articulate than I ever was at that age.

Because Sloan was not feeling well (which, MOM FAIL, I thought was just a ploy to get some alone time with me for the day) he tagged along with me to the career fair.  I so enjoyed having him to myself for the morning.  No one told me that parenting would be so hard so young.  I knew that it would be a lot of work.  I didn’t know that it would be emotionally draining by the time age seven rolled around.

Connecting with him one on one was a blessing I didn’t know I needed.  And Sloan, in turn, learned a little something about me.  All that time I spend on the computer?  I’m not just playing games.

“You work?!” he asked.

“Yes.  I am a writer.  That’s what I’m doing when I’m on the computer…most of the time.”

“But only dads work!” he exclaimed.

Oh boy. 

So along he came, a few books in tow, to sit with me as I spoke with the kids.  He was great.  My first group was comprised entirely of pretty little girls, which sent Sloan into a flurry of embarrassed chatter and flirting.  It’s inate, the flirting!  So we had a little talk before the second group came along about not talking and just listening.

So he did.  He listened – maybe a little too closely.  He brought home one of the packets that the students received on writing.  These were some of the notes he took upon listening to me speak:



He also wrote me this little note, which just made my day weekend month.


Upon leaving the meeting, we headed home where Sloan promptly began running a fever.  This began two of the most dreadful nights I’ve had as a mom.  I was alone.  My son was sick, restless and hot.  Very, very hot.  Thursday night he peaked around 103.  Niether one of us slept much, in part because his fever was so high and in part because he kept flicking his expander in and out of his mouth all night without even realizing it which was equal parts disgusting and annoying.

Friday we laid low.  He ran a fever all day, but it wasn’t too terribly frightening.  I promised the kids we’d have a sleep over at their grandparent’s house (who are currently out of the country) and so we headed over with snacks and a movie.  As soon as the sun went down, though, his fever spiked.  He and I “slept” on the couch, which really means that I was up and down all night getting cool cloths for his forehead and neck.

At 1:00 I took his temperture and flipped out when it read almost immediately 104.9.  Sloan was very restless, couldn’t lay still and couldn’t sleep.  He was murmruing in his sleep and would occasionally sit up and say random things like “Give Sadie more water,” or “Tia move!”  Even in a delusional, feverish state he manages to fight with his sister.


At one point he sat up and started reaching for an invisible object, which sent me into all manor of panic.

I had quite the adventure trying to locate medicine to try and bring his fever down.  I briefly considered pulling a Ma Ingalls and packing him in a tub of ice, but though better of it and instead prayed and wondered at what point I was supposed to wake the other two up and take him to the hospital.

Laying next to him when he was that hot was almost as miserable for me as it was for him.  He wanted to be close, but didn’t want to be touched.  Imagine spooning the sun.  That’s what it felt like.  We made it to morning and hightailed it to the doctor’s office where she confirmed my suspcions: Influenza.

Two days of Tamiflu later and we’re down to a low grade fever and nasty cough.  And Lee should finally be home any minute now.

And I feel like I could conquer the world for surviving that.  Just as soon as I get a decent night’s sleep, of course…


Alternately Titled: I’m Goin’ to the Spa Today!

That’s right.  I’m headed to the spa today to unleash my inner girl.  The one who likes to be pampered and waited upon.  Who wants ice cold water with cucumber slices delivered to her outstretched hand in a slender, cylinder glass.  The one who likes the smell of essential oils.  The one who gets downright giddy at the thought of a facial.

You do remember my post earlier in the week don’t youI know you are all reading my posts diligently each day…

After the spa, I’m going to a hotel where I plan to take a short nap.  Then eat a snack before going to a movie and heading back to the hotel where I plan to sleep blissfully all night without an alarm clock or coughing child to wake me.  From there I plan to meander through getting ready then head to the mall and endure some retail therapy before heading to a swanky dinner. 

Then it’s back to the hotel for a second nights sleep, another lazy morning and the cherry on top: High Tea at the Ritz.

And the best part?

I get to do all of this with my mom.  It’s a little girl’s getaway, only we aren’t going away.  We’re staying in town, which means no travel stress.  Just total relaxation.

My mom and dad leave this month for London where they will spend the next six months galavanting and schmoozing and seeing the world through rose colored glasses…

Okay, that might be a stretch.  Dad’s working in Epsom, about an hour outside of London and mom will be the rock by his side.  Or the wife who takes off on daily adventures whilst he slaves away, anyway.  The glasses may not be rose colored and I’m not sure if my parents know how to galavant, but I do think they’re pretty good a schmoozing.

Or are they good at galavanting and bad at schmoozing? 

At any rate, I am going to miss them.  So mom and I are having one last hurrah before she heads out to conquer the world.  And it couldn’t come at a better time given the fact that I’ve been nursing a sick, sick little boy all week.  Can someone explain to me how Whooping Cough makes it’s rounds in kids when they are vaccinated for it?  I don’t get it…

Yes, Landon appears to have the good old fashioned ‘Hoopin Cough.  We won’t have the official lab results back until Monday, but all of the symptoms say that’s what it is, so that’s how it’s being treated.  Thankfully he slept all night last night because the night before last he was up all. night. long.  It was miserable for everyone, but mostly for him, poor kid.

So mom and I will be out this weekend, acting girly, shopping for clothes.  I also plan to buy up a few essentials for Tia’s fifth birthday party.  An idea is forming in my head.  It involves lots of pink and polka dots and lollipops and mason jars and ribbons.  And tea.  Naturally.  And a group of giggly little girls.

It’s gonna be fun if I can pull it all off, of course.

So with that, I bid you all adeiu.  I’m off to be pampered.  The angels – They are A-singin’!

Remembrance and Veterans

November 11. 

Veterans Day.

I never really understood the significance of this day growing up.  I didn’t get the impact that veterans had on our country.  Of course I heard about their sacrifice, but I didn’t really get it until I grew much, much older.  It was so easy as a youth to get caught up in the tales of war and not see them as a depiction of reality.  They just seemed so…commercial.  War wasn’t real to me.

Then I turned 23 and watched a few months later with the world as the Twin Towers collapsed in New York.  I sat on my apartment floor and sobbed.  My heart broke in two for my countrymen who I knew perished.  But it also shook with fear for at that very moment, my brother was stationed on a supply ship in the Persian Gulf.  Everything was uncertain and I have never felt such fear.

And that’s when war became real to me.  It’s also when I realized that our military men deserve every ounce of respect we can muster.  Earlier this year as I stood in line at the airport to fly to New Orleans, a soldier on crutches stood behind me.  It only felt right to let him take my place in line.  After all, he was placing himself in harms way so I could have the freedom to stand in that line.  I found myself increasingly frustrated, however, when the two families in front of me did not let him move to the front.  They saw him standing there.  He was in full uniform.  And he was on crutches.  I wanted to apologize to him for them. 

I am so deeply proud of this country and the men and women who stand in harms way for us.  To any of them who may be reading today, including my brother, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.  Thank you for protecting me and my family.  Thank you for your sacrifice.  And I thank your families as well because they sacrifice just as much.  I honestly can’t find the words to express just how much gratitude I feel…and that’s saying something because me?  I’m rarely speechless.

To read about Veteran’s Day from the perspective of a veteran, visit this blog written by our dear friend, Jeremy.

Happy Veteran’s Day.


My grnadmother with her youngest child, Tammy, on the island of South Caicos circe 1965ish.

My grandmother with her youngest child, Tammy, on the island of South Caicos circa 1964-ish.

This day holds another significance for me.  Today is my grandmother’s birthday.  Mimi would have been 80 today.  Instead of celebrating with us, however, she’s dancing at the foot of the King and has been since March of 2003.  All I can say is I can’t wait to get to heaven to see Mimi dance because for as long as I was growing up that was not an activity she condoned.  I want to see her shake her groove thang on the streets of gold.

I so wish that Mimi were here with us.  I wish she could have met Tia and Landon.  I wish she could have come with my mom and I to her beloved Turks and Caicos islands last year.  I would have loved to hear her talk about her years there as a young mom and missionary.  It would have been nice to hear more of her stories.  I appreciate her so much more now that I am a mom myself.  And I miss her.

Thankfully, I have some of the journals she kept during her years as a pioneer missionary in the Carribbean.  They are a window into who she was as a young woman and I love to hold such a precious key to my past.

I am so proud of the heritage that has been passed down to me through my grandparents and parents.  I am proud of all of my family. They are living out the Great Commission every single day literally all over the world.  I couldn’t be more honored to share DNA with such a fine group of people.

Today’s post is dedicated to Mimi, a woman whom I admire, respect, miss and love.  May I pass the torch of faithfulness to my own children, just as it has been passed to me.

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!!!

Because I’m just having so much fun with my new baby and because I know you just can’t get enough of their adorable faces…

Okay – maybe that was a bit presumptuous, but you have to admit, they are pretty dang cute.








I seriously love those kids.  Even if they won’t go to bed right now like they’re supposed to…

Good Friends, Good Fun, Good Year

We ended the decade last night with our neighbors, eating, drinking and dancing.  Adults and children all joined in on the fun as we played the Wii game, Just Dance.  If you don’t have this game, I recommend you get it – we will be after playing last night.

This has  been a good decade.  Exactly ten years ago, I was engaged to the man of my dreams.  Lee and I went to downtown St. Louis to ring in Y2K, watching the fireworks and waiting for the world to end.  I’m so glad it didn’t because our first ten years together have been filled with more blessings than I ever though possible.  We began our family with just the two of us in 2000 and we have now expanded to five.  We’ve made dear friends along the way and are more than excited to see what the next decade has in store.  If it matches this first decade of our marriage, then we are in for another good ride.

Happy New Year everyone! 

Chocolate dipped marshmellows on a stick?  Oh yes, 2010 will indeed be a good year.

Chocolate dipped marshmellows on a stick? Oh yes, 2010 will indeed be a good year.





FAME! I'm Gonna Live Forever...

FAME! I'm Gonna Live Forever...

It's 10:00 and Landon is beginning to wind down.

It's 10:00 and Landon is beginning to wind down.

He had one last dance in him though...

He had one last dance in him though...


We ended up the night at home, in our jammies, where we counted down to midnight then shared New Year’s kisses all around.



America the Bo-ring!

It was a packed weekend and there is just so much to share and document!  But by far, the highlight of the weekend was the annual Russian-American school Christmas party.  I look forward to this party every year.  It’s loud, chaotic and loads of fun.

I’m tellin’ ya – the russians know how to throw a party!  It just makes me happy because it makes them happy.  Seriously, grown ups and kids alike have a ball.  And who wouldn’t when characters like these come out for Christmas?


This is Winter.  She sang, she dance, she whooped and hollered and kicked up her heels.  Who knew winter could be so much fun?


See?  She’s having a ball.


Then there was this fella.  He was the MC and he sang everything in a warbling, Dean Martinesque voice.


Then, of course, there was Baba Yaga, the forest witch who’s always trying to ruin Christmas.  She sings too…


And what is Christmas without Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf?

Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.


And look how much fun they’re having?  Don’t you wish you were there?  And yes, that’s a singing tiger on the end.  I told you it was a fun party.


And then the older fella on the left came out (I’m not sure who he was supposed to be – his mic was muffled so I couldn’t understand him) and he went fishing and pulled out the singing fish, which you can see on the right.

And of course, the highlight of the party is the unveiling of Ded Moros (Father Ice aka Santa Clause) and his granddaughter, Snegurichka.

They sing too…


Sloan and Tia thought it was rockin’ awesome.


And why wouldn’t they?  They got to sing, dance, play toss the ring on the goose…


They didn’t dress in costume because I forgot about the tradition of kids dressing up for Christmas.  But other kids dressed up, like this little doll:


Who can resist a little blonde boy in a cow costume?

And at the end, Ded Moros, alongside all the other characters, gave out Christmas gifts.  Sloan came home with a digital photo ornament, which he thought was the bee’s knees, and Tia got a huge art set. 

Ded Moros gives good gifts.

I gotta tell ya, when I go to parties like this I realize how boring America is.  I mean, all we’ve got is Santa, Frosty and Rudolph.  Bo-Ring.  Give me a singing tiger and dancing bear and then we can celebrate Christmas!


S Razhdyestvom! (Merry Christmas)

Time to breathe? Not this week…

This was my To-Do list for yesterday:

Do laundry (I have roughly 26 loads that need to be done)
Clean up the house
Go to the store and buy food
Help kids finish Christmas projects
Take short nap
Go to the gym
Make dinner
Post to blog

This is what my To-Do list looked like at the end of the day:

Do laundry (I still have roughly 26 loads that need to be done)
Clean up the house
Go to the store and buy food
Help kids finish Christmas projects

Take a short nap (If you count just over 2 hours a short nap)
Go to the gym (I walked the treadmill at a painfully slow pace then went to the cafe and had a cup of hot tea.  Hardly a workout.)
Make dinner (Does warming up leftover pizza count as making dinner? If so, I can cross this off of the list.)
Post to blog

Needless to say, I was wiped after a long but amazing weekend.  The musical was spectacular – if I do say so myself.  It went so well.  We got a lot of compliments on it and it just made all the hard work and time seem worth it.

In addition to the performance being a blast, I also had the privilege of making new friends.  I feel blessed to have gotten to know people like this girl who is funny, talented, genuine and all around awesome.

And this girl, who just may be one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.

And many others within my church family who (whom?) I’ve seen before but never met.  I laughed a lot this weekend.  I laughed until my sides ached.  I also harkened back to my college days and stayed out till the wee hours of the night all weekend.  I forgot that I’m 29…ish (ahem) and have three kids at home who like to rise before the sun.  It made for some serious bags under the eyes, but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.

And so yesterday, despite my ambitious goals, I got little done except the massive nap, from which I awoke to the sounds of angels singing and white doves flitting about my house.

Just kidding.  My house is a mess and my in-laws are coming on Friday! Yikes. Barbara you may need to close your eyes when you come.

Today I will make a better attempt to manage my To-Do list.  Unfortunately it’s grown over night.  There are gifts to wrap, gifts to purchase, still a need for food, still mountains of laundry – oh and a shower.  I never quite got around to that yesterday.

Life is full – but it is grand as well.  How was your weekend?

HP Touchsmart Giveaway

Okay – it is so rare that I actually take the time to enter a contest online.  In general I feel like it’s a waste of my time because the chances of me winning are so very slim and I’ve never been a very lucky person when it comes to contests anyway, so I just don’t enter them.

But I couldn’t pass this one up because the prize rocks.  Five blogger mama’s are giving away HP Touchsmart computers.  I’ve entered all five of their contests.  I don’t know why – but I just felt like it today.  You can go here to see which ladies are giving computers away and to enter their contest.  Good luck! 

Now scroll down and partake of the cuteness that is my daughter in leg warmers…