Wednesday, December 23, 2009


"Who me? What is what?..."

"What, this? In my mouth?...."

"It's a really, really, really BIG jingle bell, of course! It's Christmastime. What else would it be?! (Grownups ask the silliest questions...)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ben's Baptism

This was some amazing weekend. Thanks B & V for making the looooooong, not-so-scenic trip. We sure loved sharing Ben's special day with you. Thanks for all the fun, cousin time - let's do it again soon!

9 kids + 2 days + 1 small house = not much sleep and a whole lotta fun!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hanna Barbera, the Bard and the Babe

Remember this episode of Tom and Jerry? The sitter is talking on the phone and the baby makes a b-line for the great outdoors and crawls all over creation with Tom risking life and limb to save him? I say "him" because I happen to know that baby was a boy...and his name was Caleb!

Every time a door opens - front, back, garage, whatever - that kid's face lights up and he tears over to try to make it out before anyone can snag him. I have a very clear mental picture from that cartoon of the baby's little backside waggling back and forth as he crawled down the sidewalk and I have seen it repeated several times now in real life, but at about twice the speed.

"O wonder!
How many goodly creatures
 are there here!
How beautious mankind is!
O brave new world,
        That has such people in't!"

(Yeah, he's partial to Shakespeare, this one..."Na na na na na, you can't catch me...")

Even just coralled in the back yard the other day, he managed to crawl through the knees of his first pair of pants - definitely an important milestone in any boy's life.

There's a whole lotta world out there to see, buddy, but for now, please just wait a minute. I'll get my shoes and then we'll go take a look at it all together.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Great to be Eight!

Ben is getting baptized this week! Holy cow, he's growing so fast. And man, I love that kid.

Here are some shots from the "photo session" (read: mom following you around with the digital camera for half an hour while you do what you do) for his announcements.

He started off with his patented
"because I'm humoring my mom"

Starting to loosen up...

A smile! A smile! (almost...)
I think he actually stood on every rock there at one point or another.

That's Ben...

...aaaaand that's a keeper!
 (So is he.)
Love you, Bub!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


So, despite all my well-laid birthday plans, yesterday did not go as anticipated. We were sick. Very sick. Even the birthday boy. I won't go into detail, but we were in pretty pathetic shape, trust me.

Today as her daddy and I slowly recuperated, Alaina woke up shiny and bright and ready to jump into the day like nothing had happened. I tried in vain to get her to rest or take a nap or even hold still long enough to read a book, but she'd have none of it.

After her brother came home from school and they both went to play outside, I heard her little three-year-old voice getting higher, and louder and more frustrated by the minute. Finally, she came rushing up in a storm of tears declaring that he had hurt her. "I said I was sorry!" came the distant interjection from the backyard. Somehow unmoved by this heartfelt apology, she climbed up on the couch by me. Her little limbs and face were chilled through and I wrapped a blanket around both of us and held her close as I smoothed her hair back from her tear-streaked face. She was out in less than a minute.

So, I guess the moral of the story is, if we stop running around and fussing and are still for just a minute, maybe what we really, really need will catch up with us.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Today is my husband's birthday. Not so long ago on his 30th birthday, we came home from the hospital with our first son (top that for a great gift!) and our lives changed forever. We'd been married for more than eight years when Ben finally came along, and we found it interesting that people basically consider you to be newly weds until you take that big step into the brave new world of parenthood.

It was just us and Ben for four years, and then in the course of the last three years, our family has grown to five. There's a dramatic change, for you!

I was sitting in the living room earlier this evening watching Larry and the kids bustle around, and for just a moment, I had a crystaline realization that my whole world was in that little room. I tried to take a mental picture because if I've learned anything about kids, it's that everything passes by so quickly and they change in a heartbeat.

So now, for just a minute, Ben is a tall, thin gradeschooler - all knees and elbows - beginning to figure out who he is and how the world works. Alaina is a precocious, dancing three year old who will talk to anybody anywhere about any subject that comes to her active little mind. And Caleb is coming up on a year (already!) with the fastest knees in town and a ferocious curiosity that is balanced with a tender appreciation for his siblings, his Mom and his Daddy.

Oh, his Daddy! All he has to do is walk into the room and that kid grins from ear to ear, does a funny little wiggle of delight and then lunges at him for some attention. Larry is a rock star as far as that boy is concerned. And I have to say, seeing him with our children, watching him be the kind of dad he never had himself, I love him more and more.

Happy birthday, Larry. I love you!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Anniversary of a Goodbye

The fateful night was dark and cold. A storm was on the way.

Our friends stood by, we laughed and cried and hurried on our

Chores to get all packed and scrubbed and boxed with bubble wrap.

A decade lived in one small house; you get a lot of

Memories, with dear, kind friends who’ve seen you through whatever.

Although just several hundred days, feels like it’s been

Four years ago, we hugged you all and bid a fond farewell.

We loaded up into the truck and headed off to

Arizona, land of sun, where palm trees dance and sway.

We love it here this time of year, but miss you every

Now and then, like on dark nights and days that end in “y”.

Farewell to Logan, once again. We’ll see you by and by.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Juicy Things

The rest of you may be surprised to hear this, but God created oranges especially for our Caleb. It's true! He's nice enough to share with the rest of us, but no on has ever loved them more than this kid! He's nine months old now and still has no teeth (although he seems to be working violently on a debut pair today), but he gums the wedges to death and can polish off a whole orange himself in about ten minutes. Now that's something to smile about!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dance Hall

Last night we celebrated the first day of Fall. I wanted to commemorate surviving another Summer in the desert. No small thing when temperatures top out around 118 and only drop into the 90's at night. So even though we will still be in triple digits during the day for a while longer, I decided to take advantage of the cooler evening and Larry and I sat on the patio late last night and shared some sparkling cider in grown-up glasses. The stars were very bright last night and it was a delicious moment.

This morning, Alaina anounced that it was time for her to dress up like a princess and dance. So she designed a fabulous outfit (she has quite a nack for accessorizing) and whirled around the living room to Elvis' "Hound Dog". I don't know how princess-like it was, but I love her zest for life.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Small Things Reconsidered

Life is speeding up. And despite my best efforts to simplify and spend more time doing the things I love with the people I love, it is also getting busier and more complicated.

These are all reasons that, in the past, have kept me out of the blogsphere. The last thing I was looking for was one more thing to add to my to-do list. But recently, I've been craving a way to focus on the things that matter the most to me.

Anais Nin once said, “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.” So I'm hoping that by writing about it, I'll be able to savor and share the small things in my life that are actually the things that matter the very most.