Monday, January 26, 2009


It's no secret that I like to bake, and most things I make from scratch. In spite of my contempt for cake mixes in a box, there are 2 things I think are just fine coming from a mix: Brownies and muffins. Especially muffins to serve my purposes, i.e. a quick--but straight from the oven--breakfast for my kids.

Well, blueberries were on sale when I went grocery shopping the other day (half price in the middle of winter...who knew?!?!?), and tonight we did breakfast for dinner. Seemed like the perfect time to whip up a batch of homemade blueberry muffins. The boys--all 4 of them--DEVOURED those muffins! Even Baby, who eats nothing that doesn't fall into the mac & cheese or cereal categories, ate 2 muffins. Now that they know I can make them, I'm betting I never get away with muffins from a mix again. Sigh.

While he was finishing his dinner, Goliath said, "Mom, these muffins are good enough for you to be a famous chef. Can you save one for me so I can take it to school for show and tell?" And they broke into a rousing chorus of "Do You Know the Muffin Mom?"


Saturday, January 24, 2009

New Year, Better Me (and Other Goings-On)

I would have posted sooner, but I've been so busy keeping my New Year's non-resolutions! Here's a rundown of how 2009 is going so far:

*I joined a gym. If you know me, you know that this is HUGE. I hate to exercise, I hate to sweat, and I've worn the same pair of tennis shoes for 3 years. However, I also hate the shape my body has taken after 3 babies, 3 surgeries, and my intense love of carbohydrates. So...I'm off to the gym 5 mornings a week. So far so good.

*I resigned from my position as the Director of children's ministries at our church. Bottom line: fewer responsibilities and obligations=better mommy to my boys.

*The miserable sinus infection/cold that I had during the holidays has returned. Ick.

*Two things I'm addicted to (and waste a lot of time on): Facebook and iTunes.

*This Texas "winter" is driving me crazy. One day the boys are wearing shorts to play outside, and the next day we're searching for hats and gloves and roasting marshmallows in the fire. No wonder we're all sniffly.
*We took advantage of the long holiday weekend last week to do some home improvement. Little Middle and Baby's room got a major overhaul, including painting their bunk beds. It took the entire four days, but it was worth it!

*Hubby, who is a genius as far as I'm concerned, had some extra equipment lying around from work. He thought it would be fun and useful to install a Cisco phone system in our home. I'm not so sure...when my friend Lisa called the other day, he had to transfer her call to me. Weird.

*How did I live so long without a Bundt pan? I got a fabulous one for Christmas, and I use it all the time! Thanks, Mom!

*Goliath has had quite a time in social studies these last few weeks. He has become a mini-expert on Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Barack Obama. Check out his artwork:

I have a dream...that someday all men will have 2 ears.

Hail to the Chief...and his bright fuschia teeth.

*My mom, my sister, and I are making plans for a girls' getaway in March. Yay!

*Baby stubbed his toe and tore part of his toenail off. I'll spare you other details. It was pretty sore for a few days, so I gave him foot baths with epsom salt to help with the healing. He was so cute doing his "spa"!

*Baby knows his right from his left, and I have no idea where he learned it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

My Son is Seven!

Dear Goliath,

Happy Birthday! Today you are seven. I am astonished that seven years seem to have gone by in the blink of an eye. You were just an infant behind the hospital window with a crowd of people craning their necks to get a glimpse of perfect, beautiful you. You were just a toddler in the church nursery, convinced that your teachers, Ms. Mary and Mr. James, were the parents of the Baby Jesus. You were just a 2-year old, telling everyone that you got your baby brother at the post office. You were just in preschool, never missing the opportunity during your playground time to catch my eye through my classroom window and show me the "I love you" sign before you would run off to play. You were just five, riding your first roller coaster and going to school. You were just six, playing your first season of baseball and giving how-to speeches about your latest science experiment at the dinner table.

And now you are seven. I continue to be amazed--and sometimes alarmed!--as you continue to grow. Just this morning I confessed to your dad that being with you sometimes seems surreal--like I should pinch myself to be sure that this boy living in our house is the same baby we brought home from the hospital that cold January day. But you are, and I know I wouldn't trade you for any other boy. Here's why:

You are loving and kind. This year you have spent some time away from us on sleepovers or with your grandparents. Each time, you come home and say how much you missed us, and seem genuinely glad to be back in your place. You pray for Daddy each night when he is away on business. You go out of your way to befriend the kids at school who are new or shy or not as popular. Your heart is tender, and your feelings run deep. People like you. I love you.

You are strong. This year has truly been a season of testing boundaries, pushing limits, and exercising independence. More and more, you are stepping out from beneath the umbrella of Mom and Dad's protection. Sometimes your requests are out of the question and you get angry with us; other times they are reasonable for a kid your age and you take another small step on your own. (You don't get this now, but someday you will understand that you, as our first-born, were our parenting guinea pig. Everything you do is new to us.) You are a tad bit sassy with a touch of attitude lately...especially with me. But you are secure in your home and confident in our unconditional love for you, and that makes me feel good. The road to independence may be slightly rocky, but I am not worried that the result will be good.

You are smart. You have excelled at school. You get "real" grades now--and they are outstanding. Your teacher brags on you. You read very well! You have moved from Dr. Seuss-ish books to chapter books...lots more words than pictures. You are a deep thinker and you ask great questions. During the summer I helped you make a volcano with Diet Coke and Mentos. After the cola shower had died down, you got right in the middle of the stickiness to figure out how it worked. :)

For these reasons and SO MANY MORE, you are loved. I often think back to the day you were born--the day when you first lay in my arms and I felt the responsibility of teaching you all about life. In the short seven years since then, you have taught me instead. Just by being your mom, I've learned all about laughter. I've learned about joy and sorrow, fear and excitement. I've learned to give up things that don't matter, and fiercely guard that which is precious to me. I've learned to pour out the best of me and to not worry about what I will get back. You have taught me about love.

When you were a baby, I spent a lot of time just holding you. I used to turn on a CD and sing to you as we rocked. One of the songs I sang included these lyrics:

Before I knew your name,
Before I saw your eyes, your chin and your nose,
Before I counted your fingers and toes,
I asked heaven for someone as wonderful as you
Every prayer and a wish came true
I dreamed of you
Before I knew your name.

You were everything I prayed and wished for, baby boy...and you still are. Happy Birthday.



Thursday, January 1, 2009

Out With the Old, In With the New

In 2008, I.....
*had gallbladder surgery.
*witnessed a baby cow being born, WAY up close.
*forgave--but will never forget--Hubby setting the kitchen on fire, and the subsequent long-term flooring project.
*became a baseball mom.
*lost my Grandad to cancer.
*celebrated 10 years of marriage with my one-and-only. Babe, I love you!
*beamed with pride as my first-born graduated from kindergarten.
*made fantastic memories with my family on our vacation to Disneyland.
*survived my first earthquake, and hung Hubby's Associated Press article on the fridge.
*spent a fabulous summer in the sun, having fun with my boys.
*celebrated 1 year of being cancer-free!
*shared deep sorrow, great joy, and one really fun weekend with my Tuesday night sisters.
*experienced God's hand of protection during another cancer scare.
*thoroughly enjoyed a sweet time in Houston with my dad who played board games (?!?!?), my sister who is a new graduate with a bright future, my brother who has found tremendous healing and restoration, and my mom who has her Christmas groove back.
*spent my first Christmas at home and cooked my first-ever Christmas dinner.
I opened my eyes this morning to the first day of 2009. Happy New Year! I try not to make New Year's resolutions...I tend to set goals that are beyond the boundaries of the time, willpower, or ambition I have. It's a sure bet for failure--no thank you.
Instead, I like to think about the new year in a general terms. 2008 was overall a good year (anything beats '07!). There's always room for improvement, though, so here are a few things I will be working toward:
1. Simplifying
2. Quality, not quantity
3. Richness and depth in my relationships
4. True gratitude for life's blessings
5. Knowing God in a fresh, new way
Happy New Year!