Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Once upon a time I was intentionally writing down our kids' quotes. Here lately I've been storing them in my mind but that's a dangerous place for anything these days. The few I can remember are still there because they were just that, memorable. 

Mr. Personality has taken the lead in quotes and I've found myself saying things to him I never imagined I'd have to say. Levi, quit eating raisins with your toes. 

Please put the booger in the napkin. He obeys while looking longingly at the napkin and finally can't keep his thoughts contained, that'd be delicious

Reshma has had a few of her own with our favorite at the cafeteria where she had to pick out a green veggie at the salad bar. How many weggies, Mom?  

We lost Levi at church skate night a few weeks ago. After looking EVERYWHERE in the skating rink, I was panicked. Wouldn't you know the caped crusader was in the far corner of the arcade pretending to drive a race car? My words were on repeat: You scared me. Don't you ever do that again. To which he responded,  Mom, where'd you think I'd be?

The kids are into Disney Fairies lately. And in case you didn't know, the next movie comes out on DVD March 3rd, The Legend of the Neverbeast. {I for sure never thought I'd be advertising for fairies.} Every time Reshma tries to say pixie dust, I chuckle. It comes out more like piss-key dusk and we all go on just like that's the normal way to say it.

Lerah speaks, kind of. And somehow the siblings send signals through closed doors. She starts cooing in the morning and they're all up. But who wouldn't get up to spend some time with this precious?

Sometimes she's bummed school is cancelled. If snow is involved, there is nothing but smiles. 

When Levi thought he and Reshma couldn't hang out with their friend Kat he stomped away and I heard his words trail off, I am so fust-er-ated about this.

He didn't have to stay fust-er-ated long.

I'm committing to write the coming quotes down because some of the laugh-out-loud moments have been lost between my good intentions and poor memory. But for the few I remember, I had to share the smiles. They keep coming and as they do, I'll trust paper and an occasional blogpost to ensure we don't forget!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Six: The Synopsis

And, we're back. We reunited the new family of six last night and drove home in a half empty minivan. The only casualties of the week involved a palm plant that survived spider mites this summer but was no match for a daring two year old and a paci that got dunked in toilet water. One kid did jump in a full tub in clean diaper and pajamas but that being the most alarming thing equaled success in my book! 

The newest addition 

Kids can keep you laughing. A few of my favorite quotes from the week: 

When going in finding one cleaning the floor with a hand towel the kid admitted sheepishly, "I for-dot to aim my wee wee."

When served a new kind of noodles for lunch one said, "Smells like seaweed... Looks like seaweed... Doesn't taste much better than seaweed." I concurred and the healthy noodles got tossed for PB & Js. I'm all for being healthy but those noodles did not live up to their "tasty" Amazon reviews.

Play dough time during supper prep. 
Notice the two-year-old is missing-- never a good thing!

Nightly reading

Lots of muffin experts

Exploring and leaf boats.

We discovered a new favorite game that saved my sanity one night between dinner, baths and movie night. Reshma and her school friends came up with this simple, quiet statue game that kept kids two to ten quiet and engaged for 45 mins! 

Reshma's Statue Game

Rules for play: A leader is chosen to begin calling out an object for everyone to imitate. The leader closes his/her eyes and counts to five while all players assume a frozen position looking like the named object. The leader finishes counting and watches for movement or laughter and can even try to get people to laugh with the rule being that the leader can't touch any players. The first player to win five rounds becomes the leader. Here's what it looked like at our house:

Makin it happen... Exercise with five!

First trip eating at our school's cafeteria

Tonight we'll clean up a bit to prepare for meetings here in the morning and school to resume tomorrow. Lots of naps here this afternoon and smiles as we remember all that happened in the exciting week we just had.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

And then there were six...

Not to worry that this is an announcement that we're growing again. More like a declaration that our house is full of lovely little lives this week. With our close friends having their new baby, three of their children are at our place bringing us to a total of six kids-- 3 months, 2, 4, 4, 6 and 10. There's nothing like perspective and after this week having three might just feel like a cake walk. 

There are already stories. Hilarious moments when I've thought holy smokes this rivals the circus. This evening with Lerah crying, one complaining the boys had destroyed something, a laptop mysteriously on the floor and a two year old wiping his wet hands (picture him standing beside an open toilet with strips of toilet paper everywhere), I asked the obvious question-- what would my super organized teacher friends be doing different right now?

Yeah, it's craziness and a great challenge to master this organization/management thing. Stay tuned in the next few days for some of our favorite pictures, quotes and moments from our week with six!!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Ringing in the New Year

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Birthday (hear Cinderella's Gus Gus)!! Seems like it has been long enough to have to say all of that... Really and truly 2014 was a year of major transitions and growing pains...the hardest year for marriage, parenting and mentoring that we've had yet. But thankfully we've emerged from the fog into 2015 with gratitude, excitement and a growing family bond.  Here's our photo journal of these last few weeks.

December 23- First family pets! These fish arrived a few days before Christmas and are great for helping kids get really still and really sleepy.

December 24- Christmas Eve service & our first decent picture as a family of five.

Our two blessings from 2014.

December 25- We think our kids set a record for sleeping in by not waking until 8 am. With all of us scrambling to get to the family Christmas party by 8:30, we didn't get any pictures of the kids and their reactions to presents. Reshma's favorite gifts were a mendhi set, Frozen microphone and flying fairy. Levi's was a new bike and Bruder excavator. Lerah gagged on her new, fancy paci and didn't seem too impressed with any outfit or trinket that came her way. I carried the excitement for us both.

December 27- Family cabin time! Every other year both of our families come together for quality time. This year we got to celebrate Jason's youngest brother's recent engagement! This picture was taken in the middle of crunch time for check-out...thus the less-than-jovial, not-quite-ready faces.

January 1- Finally, we were about finished with the tree house! Building onto the treehouse Jason had as a boy, he collected free bits and pieces of wood and old swing set parts to make a great new place for the kids to play. 

January 2- While there will be a longer post on this coming, this day marked one year together with Reshma. Many call it Forever Family Day. We celebrated quietly by spending time in the kitchen making Reshma's favorite food, Chicken Biryani with yogurt sauce (raita) and chapati and playing some of her favorite games. A few days earlier she got to have her first pedicure as we celebrated a friend's birthday.

January 3- The kids have named their professions. Reshma, for this year, is pretty set on being a teacher if the artist route doesn't pan out while Levi has been proudly announcing that he'd like to be a doctor. Never mind that he physically covers his eyes when he's been with me and Reshma to get shots. And Lerah...we're thinking professor. Seems fitting after being born at a university, huh?! 

January 4- Aunt Bekah arrived for a week's stay while Jason headed out for another busy RA retreat.

January 5- My dad survived a heart attack! Bekah, Lerah and I drove six hours that Monday to be with him, and I was overjoyed to find he and Mom doing okay after the harrowing ordeal. 

My cousin Bekah manages a store for a large retail chain. On the drive down to see Dad she was on the phone with work when this happened. This wall came down filled with glass framed art. The timing was unfortunate with the vice president of the entire company set to arrive the next day. EEK!  

January 6- Meanwhile, Jason juggled meal prep and led sessions for about thirty people all with Levi in the mix to allow me time with Dad in Georgia. 

January 7- After driving another six hours back, Levi and I got to sit in on Reshma's Montessori classroom time which deserves a post all it's own because that classroom is AMAZING! Because I've become somewhat of a germaphobe this flu season, Lerah and a friend had a great time staying germ-free in the van!

January 9- Finally back from retreat, Jason got to relax with a few students doing one of his favorites- snowboarding in really cold temperatures.

January 16- And finally bringing us up-to-date, Levi has been begging to try gymnastics. We found a place to try a trial run on Friday, and he ran solid for an hour LOVING it!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Time, Memories and An Octopus

Several years ago a friend encouraged me that there was/is enough grace and time in every day. Some days that seems to match reality and others, I wonder. For years I've told Jason that time is his best friend and my worst enemy. I'm certain it has something to do with all those years of neglect and procrastination through high school and college. Jason, however, must have been treating it right. Yellow lights stand still for him, clock numbers bow at his feet. Me? They taunt me with every tick. Finally, after probably my thousandth time grumbling that time keeps refusing my friend requests, Jason let me in on his secret: "You don't make time your friend, you make it your slave." Aha!  The needed paradigm shift and, a timely one, with three littles needing attention.

A few things have occupied that precious commodity of time in these last few weeks. 

Like Thanksgiving break adventures in the woods, 

Road trips and I love yous from our youngest, 

And fun picking out a Christmas tree for our apartment complex.

Gumby legs courtesy of Mama
Helping scout for the perfect tree.

This year we did something new by taking pictures with Santa at our campus Christmas party. We have no intentions of being Scrooges but when it comes to the red suited man we do have some issues. While we don't stick our heads in the sand and ignore cultural celebrations, we do shake things up a bit. On St. Nicholas day we read about the real Nicholas talking about his story then and now. This year we even gave in to party pictures. But really, REALLY, we want to have a blast with our kids anticipating Jesus. The last thing we want communicated is that Jesus isn't enough to celebrate and that a red-suited man has to be added to make Christmas meaningful and fun. How culture wants to scream that to us in every area of life...that He could never be enough for fill in the blank but how terribly far that is from the truth. So, again this year Mary and Joseph are trekking through our house to be found each morning doing crazy things with messages about family activities and questions about why we do what we do at Christmas. This morning the couple was on a train heading to the pantry for some treats. In the evenings we're reading through an advent plan that's taking us through the Jesus Storybook Bible. Lights, trees, stockings and gifts all have their place, but hopefully we'll come out of Christmas with full hearts because there is a baby at center stage instead of tinsel, mistletoe and a red suit trying to fill a God-shaped hole.

In the midst of this Christmas season, Reshma continues to thrive at public school while Levi, Lerah and I hang out at home doing preschool and around-the-house chores. It's a tricky business with a four year old that requires an eagle eye around his infant sister. He's all boy and my fears of him being raised sandwiched between two girls have been all for naught. Some examples lately: asking his sister if she wants to watch him gag;  getting caught asking SIRI to show him pictures of poo; and handcuffing his sister while I grabbed a pen in the kitchen. And those are just the things I can share... He's full of life and quite entertaining in his living. Meanwhile, Lerah has started giving genuine smiles and all the more when Levi isn't carrying out one of his many schemes to startle her.

Just this past weekend at our college's graduation while I was talking to a graduate, Levi kept interrupting Jason. It seemed Levi had uncovered an octopus in the bushes. Not believing him Jason skipped the Don't Interrupt Adults speech and went to see what in the world Levi was talking about.

Sure 'nough! And what would any little boy do with a really dirty, life-like octopus? Terrorize his sister with it?? You got it!

Hungry baby plus screaming ten year old plus determined boy plus laundry piles equals a whole lot of making time memorable even if I have yet to master it!