Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Moments at the Mad House

I've not been a very good blogger lately. It's not because there isn't anything going on, there is so much going on it has been hard to find a few minutes to write about it.

I know I told you that Joseph was working only 20 hours a week, but I was lying. He actually works 8. Yep, no typo, 8 hours a week. We have had so much fun having him home. When he returns to more normal hours next week, I will be going through some serious withdraw of my third, fourth and fifth hands! He really is so wonderful and I have gotten so much scrappin' done. I so wish that he could find a career where he only worked 10 hours a week and loved his job. Very wishful thinking..

The kids are all okay. We have all had some crud that we have been passing around. Currently, Ella and I have the crud right now. And we are very vocal about it! Luke had fever over the weekend and was feeling really bad. Lucky for all of us, he is feeling better.

Caleb was intently coming his hair in my bathroom yesterday, while I was brushing my teeth, and I watched him for a few minutes thinking about how grown up he looks these days. I go next Monday to register him for school and am feeling quite nostalgic about him going and leaving me and growing up. (I actually cried today when I was reading his list of school supplies - I know, I need help.) So on the way to school we had the following conversation:

Me: Caleb, I love you.
CJM: I love you too Mommy.
Me: Do you know why I love you?
CJM: (silence) Because I'm your first baby and that makes me special?
Me: (chuckle) Well, that's one reason...Why else do you think I love you?
CJM: (silence) Because I have been obeying lately?
Me: (full out laugh) Well, I love you even when you don't obey, but is sure is sweet when you do! I love you because God chose you, out of all the boys in the whole world, to be my baby! Isn't that cool?
CJM: Yeah, but did you know that police cars have special locks inside them to keep the bad guys from getting out?

I guess that was the end of our moment...

That was then and this is now...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Oh, how I love my men!

The boys have an alarm clock in their room that is set for 7:45 am. Please make no mistake in thinking that they sleep until then! The alarm clock is merely an indicator to let the boys know that they are allowed to leave their room without Mommy Dearest losing her mind because they are interupting her "personal time".

The other day Caleb comes bursting into my room, as usual, at 7:45:15 with his flight suit on. He stops in the middle of my room and stands there staring at me. After a few seconds of a staring contest, I finally gave in and said, "Good morning Caleb". To which he responded, "Guess what I did to Lukie?" (An...interesting phrase for a big brother to say.) He then motions to Luke to come in the room and Luke comes in with Caleb's old flight suit on. He looked adorable and proud. Caleb saluted him and Luke saluted back. Where is the stinkin' video camera at when I need it?

Luke and Caleb wore their matching flight suits to school. Below is a picture of that they wanted to take with their Daddy before he took them to school.

And then this next picture is a total Luke pose! That kid is a nut!

Livin' it up!

It has been a glorious January and February around the Mad house. Joseph did a Plastic Surgery rotation last month that had really good hours and this month he is doing Research and works about 20 hours a week! That's right, 20 hours a week!! And that would be a high estimate! It has been glorious, just glorious!

We haven't had him home this much since our Minot days, when he worked 7:30-4:30 (m-f) and came home every day for lunch. I was so spoiled and I didn't even know it. Those were the days. I had a rude awakening when we started med school, but even that didn't prepare me for last year when he worked 90 hours a week. It was terrible. And I was so sick, pregant with twins, then he was out of town all the time and then I had the twins and he was still going out of town...yeah, I'm already getting anxiety thinking about all that. Before we moved to Maryland I had never been away from Joseph for longer than 6 days. Now, I know what it's like to have him gone for 6 weeks! So yeah, I think we deserve this little hiatus from the real world. We will be back to it soon enough!

Since he is home so much, I am getting quite a bit done. I have started scrapbooking again and love it! I have this new craft table that folds in itself to become a cute side table. I'm getting a lot done and having so much fun doing it! I have also been able to go to the gym, run errands and Joseph and I are going on lots of "dates" together.

Joseph has been hanging out a lot with the boys too. They have been doing some "male bonding" activities weekly. Last week he took them to Chuck E Cheese, a place where all my boys love. That really is a great "boy hangout" - they get to play video games, drink soda and win prizes. They love it! Luke used to just stick tokens in the machines, and was thrilled to do that, but Joseph said that now he actually plays the games and has a couple favorites.

Today they put the tent up and are camping out. And boy, are they excited. Caleb is wearing his hunting gear and Luke is even decked out in camo! We are going to try to have a movie night tonight with the kids and let them watch our home videos. We all love that!

I wish I had pictures of all these events, but my camera is broken! I'm not sure how long I can go without a camera...

Anyway, this is a nice "calm" before next years "storm"!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Our 9 month old sistas!

It's that time again! My girls turn 9 months old today! And as I say every month, I can't believe it...they are growing up way too fast! We are all having so much fun with these little girlies! Here is the latest on their little lives:

  • They are STILL sleeping in the same crib. I know, last month I said that this would be the last month, but I just can't seem to split them up. They aren't hurting each other and lately, when we go in after nap, they are right next to one another. They have been sleeping together for 9 months now and I'm afraid that they will be lonely when we split them up. This may be the last month though...
  • The little girlies are just that - little! I haven't had them weighed in the last couple of weeks, but when we went in, when they were sick, they didn't even weigh 14 pounds! We will go in this month for a check up to make sure that they are okay. They are thin, but long. Boy, I wish someone could say that about me!
  • They are very ticklish...especially Ella.
  • They are both completely smitten with Caleb. When they hear his voice they immediately turn to find him and once they see him they break out into the biggest grins! And Caleb is definitely in love with them. He calls them "princesses". Is that the cutest?! Luke asks if can take them to nap with him. That thought is frightening!
  • They aren't crawling yet. This makes me sad, but Joseph is just fine with that. I think the idea of chasing the two of them around (while chasing down Luke and Caleb) is enough to make him very nervous! And he's not the nervous type!
  • Their personalities are really starting to come through...and they are VERY different. Lily is more fragile, doesn't like strangers, won't let anyone she doesn't know hold her, cries when strangers try to talk to her, eats very danitily, babbles in a high pitch voice, sucks her thumb and giggles. Ella babbles in a low, growling voice, yells at strangers, eats like...well, you've seen pictures of that, will let anyone hold her, sucks 2 of her fingers backwards and belly laughs. They are pretty opposite!
  • Ella is looking more like Luke and Lily looks more like Caleb.
  • They sleep 12 hours at night and take 2 - 2 and a half hours naps. They are still cat-napping right before dinner for an hour.
  • I am still nursing them, but this may be my last month. They wiggle around, are easily distracted and are getting harder to nurse. I'm, shockingly enough, actually really sad that this may be it!
  • They love to be outside and love to take rides in the car and their stroller. That's good because they are in both very often!
  • Neither like to be on their stomachs. Lily will rollover immediately and Ella flops around and complains.
  • They aren't interested in drinking out of a cup much at all. I'd really like them to drink out of a cup before I quit nursing them.
  • They are actually pretty good eaters. I'm just not sure where they put all the food! Green foods are still not their favorite, but they will eat them if camoflauged with carrots.

I was cleaning out my email inbox and ran across an email that I wrote to my close friends the night that we found out we were pregnant with twins. Re-reading that email brought tears to my eyes. I sounded so overwhelmed, tired and sick. And I was. And now I can't even begin to imagine how different life would be without my baby girls. They complete our little family. We are all in love with them and feel so blessed to have them in our lives!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A post worth reading...

There are many blogs that I like to read and among them is the very popular Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer. She's funny, hosts awesome giveaways (I know, I should have shared them with you, but then my chances of winning decrease!) and she is an awesome writer.

She has been one of the lucky bloggers who have been selected to blog her experiences in Uganda for Compassion. Her post yesterday was beautiful and made me cry. Go read it. Go on. If it doesn't propell you to action, I don't know what will!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Men of little words!

We went to open gym today, at a gymnasium close to our house, with some friends and the kids had a blast! Often our playgroups are with kids Luke's age and younger and Caleb never really has anyone his age to play with. In some ways that has been good because it means that he plays with Luke and their brother bond gets stronger. I do feel sorry for him at times, though, because he does need kids his age to hang around with. It's just hard to find kids that both he and I like and are a good example for him to hang around.

Today he got a special treat and a new friend of his got to come with us. This friend is his age, comes from a home school family and - the best part is - this little boy is being raised by parents who love Jesus and teach him about Jesus. Caleb and his friend had so much fun playing together and this child was so easy to have around. While we were driving to the gym, the following is a conversation that I heard in the backseat:

Austin (Caleb's friend): I'm a Christian...are you a Christian?
Caleb: Yeah, I'm a Christian. I love God.
Austin: Yeah, so do I.

And then they moved on to fire truck sirens. Now if that isn't an example of men sharing their faith, I don't know what is?!?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love, Love, Love

All we need is love!

Happy Valentine's Day! It has been a delicious one around here. Joseph and I had a lunch date at Pappadeaux's and it was delicious and delightful! We also have a babysitter tonight, so are going out again! Two dates in one day...does it get any better than that?! Joseph got me an awesome Valentine gift that will be revealed in a couple of days here on my blog!

The boys had a Valentine party at school today and came home with lots of loot. Luke loves to say, "Happy Balentimes" because he has figured out that when he says that someone is usually handing him some candy too!

When I woke up this morning I was thinking about the people I love and thought about our sponsor children, Hashakimana and Happy. I was trying to remember how long we have been sponsoring them. It started at a Caedmon's Call (my favorite!!!) and Jars of Clay concert. They had a whole table of kids from Compassion International that needed sponsor families. Joseph chose one boy and I chose one too. It has been amazing watching them grow and getting letters from them over the past 5 years. We haven't been the best at writing them even though Compassion makes is SO easy through their website. We have gotten better after the past letter that Hashakimana wrote to us "thanking us for chosing him as our son". How sweet is that? We would someday love to go and meet our boys in Uganda. We get letters from them where they tell us how they are doing and what they are learning at church.

I love that these boys of ours whom we haven't met, but prayed for many years are learning about Jesus and his love for them. Compassion is an amazing organization that I can't speak highly enough about! We have friends that work there and they testify to the fact that Compassion has a desire to reach these impoverished children, help them and their families, and share Jesus Christ with them. Compassion and our sponsor boys have blessed us in many ways. They have taught us how blessed we are here in the US. Our sponsor boys have also taught us a lot about prayer. They frequently ask for prayers for their crops and rain. They are so thankful for the small monetary gifts that we send them and their families. They also share scripture verses and songs they learn. Our small financial promise to Compassion is changing lives - ours and theirs.

This month is "Compassion Blog Month" and they have 15 bloggers in Africa right now blogging their experience. If you are interested in sponsoring a child it is so easy and not expensive. Go to Compassions website for more information on how you can help a child learn about Jesus!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ella, Ella, Ella

Seriously, Look at this little girlie! Ella cracks us up when it comes to eating. I really hope her table manners improve before she starts dating!! Bless her heart, she just is a MESS when she eats. Food everywhere! E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E! And when she gabs the cheerios, she goes for all of them - at once. And then tries to shove them in her mouth all at once. And ends up with most of them on her face. She is so cute!! I can't stand it!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Howdy Partners!

It is Rodeo time here in the southwest! We rounded up the 2 cutest cowboys and cowgirls and headed out for a family day at the rodeo. It was so much fun! I love that we get to take the kids to do something that I did every year as a kid. In Houston, where I grew up, the rodeo is a must and we went there on field trips every year. And now my sweet kids get to go too! Here are some pictures of our adventures...

The boys didn't wear their "cowboy" duds to the rodeo, but here they ae dressed up for their rodeo day at school.

At this rodeo they had an entire area just for families. They had this whole area of huge, themed, inflatable slides. Batman and Nemo were a hit. I loved watching the boys maneuver their way around together. When they go anywhere together they stick close to one another and play really well together. I pray they always stay best friends!

The rodeo had the coolest petting zoo that I have ever seen. And that's saying a lot because we have been to many petting zoo's. They had the most amazing animals, from deer to wallabies (kangaroo!!!), that were all so docile with the kids. Seriously, it was so cool to see the wallaby hopping around all over the place. And they had 2 tents of animals to pet and feed. Caleb was mesmerized! Afterall, this is the kid that is obsessed with Animal Planet!

They also had a bird exhibit that Caleb was thrilled with. Caleb loves birds and they had hawks and eagles on stands that were so still they looked fake. This one bird pictured with Caleb is a hawk (I think that what Caleb told me!) and it was so gross. It had a dead rat that it was just holding - not eating, holding! If you know me, you know I have a serious aversion to mice, rats and rodents of all kinds. It was repulsive, but as you can see from Caleb's face he found it fascinating!

How amazing is this? A bald eagle! It looks fake, but it was real. I like how on the picture in the left it is looking at the flag. Very cool!

This is what my sweet girls did the whole time we were there. Sat sweetly for a while, had a bottle and cried at any male that tried to talk to them. Sometimes they attract a lot of attention when we go out and other times they don't really get noticed. For soem reason at the rodeo, they attracted a lot of attention. Luke was content to ride at the front of the stroller and do what he does best...SNACK!

Here is cowboy Caleb hooking rings around his steer. He got his first one on his first try! He was intrigued with the cowboys and their lasso's. When we got home he tried to lasso me with Titan's leash. The metal clip of the leash doesn't feel so good when you get hit with it!

It was a great family day and we all had a blast! This rodeo was so cool! We saw, tasted, ate and conquered all before the crowds got ridiculous!

This one is for you, Mama!

Friday, February 08, 2008


I figured that since I have brought you into my drama, I should at least give you an update on how my dad is doing. I have been thinking about writing this post for a couple of days now, I just haven't been sure of what to say. There is so much to say, but at the same time I feel out of words.

My dad was let out of the hospital on Wednesday night and returned back home. My step-mom has put the divorce on hold and wants to try to work things out with my dad. My dad will be getting lots of therapy and the doctors are changing his medications. I want to believe that all of these things will be the catalysts for change and that things are going to be different, but I don't believe that. Years of experience won't let me believe that.

My emotions have ranged from deeply saddened to completely furious over this whole situation and at my dad. I don't really want to talk to him. I don't have anything new to say. Joseph reminds me that I can't apply logic and reason to someone who has mental illness. Every time I get mad at him, I feel justified and then that feeling is closely followed by guilt for being angry at someone who is so sick.

I have lots to figure out. Boundaries are at the top of the list. I'm not good with setting boundaries and this situation is forcing me to learn how. Another thing that I need to learn is to unconditionally love my dad. Both are going to take time and both will take God.

Yeah, so that's the update. I love your prayers and covet them.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

What every boy needs...

A treehouse!! And they are lucky to have one cool, super handy, engineer-turned-doctor for a daddy!

We had decided that if we got residency here then we would build a tree house in the back for the boys. We are super blessed to have trees (there aren't many in this region) and a great back yard for boys. All that back yard needed was a treehouse and now it's complete.

(Well, Caleb would have liked a pool too, but that wasn't in the budget so he's happy with a treehouse! )

Check out my manly men hard at work:

Do you love Caleb in his coveralls? This child is more Alaskan than his father, who was born and raised there!

The treehouse all it needs is a little paint!
Caleb really wanted to paint his treehouse camo, but we settled on a nice green for now. Everything in this childs life is camo...EVERYTHING!
My little painter hard at work. His job was to paint the inside of his treehouse. It was built so that no adults can go in, so painting inside was all him. When he painted to roof, he got a little wild and a lot of paint on his head! It was time for a haircut anyway, so I just cut that green on out.
Daddy did the outside of the treehouse. Poor Joseph, he hates to paint and to top it all off he was sick. But he really wanted it to be a project for him and Caleb and didn't want to dissapoint Caleb or make him wait any longer to paint. Way to take one for the team!
Luke wasn't really too interested in the treehouse project. He was content to bring his safari animals out and play with them. Isn't he cute?!
One of my favorite design elements to the treehouse is that it is two story and has steps on the inside leading to the roof. Joseph built railings all around to hopefully keep them from falling off.
And here is the completed treehouse...

Yeah, so our house is the house that all the neighborhood kids hang out at. Before we had kids I always hoped that my house would be the neighborhood hang out, but I really had no idea what that would entail. I had just imagined kids serenely playing and my children sharing Jesus with everyone. I never would have imagined that being "the house" would mean feeding and watering the children, finding enough guns for everyone, as well as dealing with the mini-drama's. The treehouse has been a hit in the neighborhood!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Caleb and his Daddy updated his blog over the weekend...go check him out! And if you do please leave him a comment because he loves them!

(A link to his blog is on the left of the page)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Life goes on - thankfully!

First, thanks to all of you who have left comments, sent emails and called to check up on me. I am blessed to have so many people who care about me.

It has been a long weekend. I self-medicated, yesterday, by doing what I do when I am sad... ate chocolate, surfed YouTube and (my favorite) cleaned! I scrubbed, scrubbed, scrubbed and Joseph let me. He lovingly took care of the kids while I spent hours hand scrubbing my kitchen floor, while intermittently asked him questions about God, faith, my dad, life and then fought with him because I didn’t like any of his answers and was in a bad mood. He's so amazing and he knows me so well. He let me be sad and baby'd me. After I was so tired from my cleaning marathon I decided to surfed YouTube. There are some crazy people out there that made me laugh. Then Joseph made some chocolate fondue – not just any chocolate fondue, but the replica of my favorite one at The Melting Pot. He also had strawberries, marshmallows, rice krispy treats, bananas, and brownies for dipping. The perfect ending to my sad day.

I didn’t want to go to church today, but Lovey made me go and I’m glad he did. We sang great worship songs and it was good to see some friends.

I took an awesome nap this afternoon, Lovey took over the laundry and the boys had a blast playing with the neighbor kids for hours. I love that they have friends to spend hours roaming our street with.

We watched the Super Bowl tonight as a family and the boys were adorable. Luke really got into Tom Petty at half time! He tried singin’ along and was stinkin’ adorable! Caleb showed us some of his dancin’ moves, that he should probably keep under wraps until he can perfect them – and he has a long way to go until that happens! I want to point out I was rooting for the Giants going into the night and am thrilled my team won. I love rooting for the underdog! We at yummy pizza, chips and queso and had peanutbutter cup cookies! One word - Delish!

It was a good weekend spent together as a family. I am so blessed to have incredible friends and family! Blessed.

Friday, February 01, 2008

When you have a blog one of the hard things to figure out is what is too much information to share with your readers? It's easy to share your cute pictures, funny stories and the "perfectly happy" side of your life with people, but does anyone really want to know the darker side? And if so, is it because they truly care or is it more out of curiosity like rubber-necking. Rubber-necking is easy because you don't have to emotionally invest yourself in someone's troubles. You can look from afar and be glad that it isn' t you. For me, the beauty of my blog is that it really doesn't matter to me if you want to rubberneck on my journey in life. It's hard for me to be fake and smile when life is hard. And life is hard right now.

My dad tried to kill himself in the wee hours of yesterday morning... My step-mom filed for a divorce and I guess he couldn't handle that. There is really so much more involved...isnt' there always? I could try to psycho analyze him and the whole situation, but won't. I stopped doing that many, many years ago and accepted the fact that he loves me in his own way and I have to find love and acceptance in my heavenly Father. Okay, maybe I haven't fully accepted that, but I'm trying.

I wish that I could say I have no idea why someone would want to kill themselves, but I can't. 13 years ago I swallowed a bottle of Tylenol in an attempt to go to sleep and not wake up. I felt rejected, hopeless and weary. Very weary. I had my stomach pumped, spent days in the hospital and many days with a shrink and then started a downward spiral into a whole other life. A shrink couldn't help me, medicine couldn't help me and I hadn't encountered The One who could. So I spent years running from the pain and when I could no longer run I dulled the pain.

So, as mad as I am at my dad, I understand his selfishness. I had a brief moment of depression, my dad has had a lifetime. I have been blessed beyound measure; God has placed amazing people in my life that He has used to change me and show me His character and love. I am no longer the person that I was 10 years ago. My dad has not been so fortunate. He has not met the Abba that I know. And I don't even know the full measure of God's character. Not even close.

I do pray that one day my dad has an encounter like I had or like Paul (Acts 9) had and that it changes him from the inside out. It's hard for me to say that because it is hard for me to imagine that he could ever change. But, do I believe that God is who he says that he is? I do. And if not for the prayers of my mother, would I be who I am today? Probably not. And if that's not conviction enough, I don't know what is??