Saturday, June 28, 2008


OK. So here's a little story before I get to my planned post:

Last night, my dear sweet man took the twins to a campout with the stars (I think we're renaming it Campout with the Ticks, but that's just gross, so I won't talk about that...) and my father-in-law hung out with Peanut #3, so I just had Fussy (and let me TELL you, that girl was F.U.S.S.Y., but that, too, is another story.) So, I'm home, basically 'alone' (so glad I have that mangy mutt. I mean cute puppy cuz) I sat down to type out this post and BAM. All the lights, air, electricity, my peace...and maybe my undies...went out! I had visions of The Mass Murderer coming to my door, since, you know, he'd cut out the whole grid of my subdivision to do his bid'ness. All I can say is: THANK GOD FOR THE DOG. That, and that the lights came back on ('soon' being a relative term) after that.

Now, on to

Du-Du-Du-Dah! (*cue music*)

In my last (meaningful) post, I wrote about motherhood. How it's the toughest job you'll ever love. (And this ain't the Army, people...although somehow they teach even wayward young men and women how to make hospital corners and I can't convince my little sweeties not to throw their ice cream wrappers on my living room floor...) (And we have NEW CARPET - EAT in the KITCHEN!!! ... oh sorry. I reverted to Mommy for a minute vs. Cool, Sophisticated, Writer Person)


So, it's hard. Motherhood.
But you know, it's really not OK to make that 'hardship' a burden to your kids. You know. The baby tags along behind you while you straighten the teddy bears and lost pajama bottoms and rip the sheets from the bed (only to find her emptying the 180+ markers onto the floor) and then she follows you while you pick up 180+ markers (only to find she's unrolling the T.P. onto the bathroom floor) and then she follows you while you're picking up the T.P. (only to find that she's rearranging the towels from the linen closet onto the floor...). But it's not OK to scream: You're making my life HARD!

No. It's really not. (And I didn't do that, by the way.) Because I know that the Bible says, yes, children, obey your parents. But also, it says Parents, don't be a burden to your kids! (Well, specifically, it says: 'Fathers [MOTHERS, too!], do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.' (Ephesians 6:4)

The 'Accountability' mentioned above has two parts. One, sometimes we need to listen to other mommies and say, 'yes. It is hard.' And sometimes we need to listen to Mommies and remind them that 'Love is patient. Love is kind...' And we really need God's discernment to know which time goes with which loving, Christian friend. Because, HELLO. Get the log out of your own eye before you tell your friend she's got a splinter in hers.

(In my head, that concept was a whole lot deeper. Now on to the REALLY deep stuff)
I love icee mochas. I think I've said that before. Well, at least in my profile, if you've ever read it. Or if you know me. After buying 'so many' icee mochas at my Favorite Place, you get a free one. First of all, Hubby says Nothing's Free. Whatev. I don't pay for the free one, so it's still free to me. And I get them free about once every two weeks. (Yes. That's a lot.) My new plan? One free one for the rest of the summer. That means only one icee mocha per week. Oh. my. Gosh.

I wasn't going to tell him. Yeah, yeah. It might be because I've told him before that I was quitting and he probably laughed me right out of the room, so I didn't want to face that humiliation again, and I decided I was only going to tell you. My pretend friends. The ones inside my computer. Computer people can't laugh (so's you hear 'em, anywho). So, it sounded like a good deal to me. I have people to be accountable to, and they can't laugh at me when I fail.

BUT I am NOT going to fail! I officially went 1 and 1/2 days without an icee mocha already. Until this afternoon. And the burden of picking 6 ticks off my beloved offspring did me in. But I digress.

So, here it is.
I shall have no icee mochas until Next Saturday. (that's not a holiday, right? Like, I can still go Saturday morning and get my fix I mean my coffee...OK, yes. That would be the 5th...although, oh holy moly. 4th of July parade without coffee....(insert *sweat*)...

Deep Breaths.


OK. Ladies. Game on.
Coffee out.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Dog Thinks I'm Mean

Lest you think my dog does not see me as a Giant Creep, get a gander of him here (notice him soaking up my cold air from that air vent):

His thoughts: Why don't you put on these fancy shoes and take me for a run?

My thoughts: Oh whadda cute widdle puppy...hey! Wait a minute! Get your drooly little mouth off my running shoes! I know where that mouth has been! And while you're at it, get off my air conditioning!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Be the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are

I just returned home from a visit with an old friend (Hey, Holls!). I had such a brilliant time sharing the morning with her (she's gorgeous and nine months pregnant with her third child. Hate her. When I was 9 months pregnant, I was neither gorgeous nor a gracious hostess. I was a big, uncomfortable whale.) and we shared some honest moments about motherhood.

It's hard to be a mother.

here i am in '81 'teaching' my class. i had 'my hands full!'

Did you know that? Did you know when you delivered your first bundle of joy that this job we call "Mom" is the toughest job you'll ever love? (Or do you know that if you haven't delivered that first baby yet?) Did you know it from watching your own mother raise you?

When the twins were brand new, I confided in my MIL that being a mother was not as 'fun' as I had thought it would be. It wasn't much fun at all. Now, I had two babies and one was extra challenging and neither of them wanted to learn how to eat very readily, so I had contraptions hooked up to myself and schedules next to my chair and no, it just wasn't very fun. It was hard.

here we are in 9/01. the babies were a few weeks old and we were headed out for 'a date.'

But the years have passed and I've had a few more kids and they all eat pretty well now, and the sick baby is healthy now, and our lives are pretty normal. And it's still really hard.

this was one of the first real babies i got to love. and give back to her mom.

Lately, I've found this job in the 'hood (Mother-hood) to be especially challenging. I don't want you to get the wrong idea. I absolutely adore my kids. And I enjoy being a mom, too. I am blessed beyond measure to call them my children. I believe that there are times as parents, as mothers, as Christians that we need to hold one another accountable. We might need to say: Hey. WWJD? (since we are to show our children Jesus through our words and actions...) Or just: Mommy needs a time out! At the same time, there are moments when we just need to listen. To empathize. Because this job is challenging. (Have you ever read I was a Really Good Mom Before I had Kids? Or seen the Oprah episode in 2002 about the reality of motherhood? As women, apparently, we feel like we have to be SuperMom. Admitting insecurities and imperfections might lead to vulnerability or...what? Our humanity versus SUPERhumanity?

I listened to an audio series last fall (I'll find out the name and post it) where the main concept I took away from the listening was that everyone is insecure. Did you know that? Don't you have that one friend of yours that just always looks like she has her act together? That one mom who bakes whole wheat bread, brings homemade crafts to all the school parties...well, let's just say the SuperMom down the street? Yeah. She's insecure, too.

I never realized motherhood was going to be this tough. I seem to either spend a great day with my kids or have the laundry folded. I don't seem to have both. And don't tell me the laundry (or the house) can wait. Because soon enough, the kids will need clean socks! There must be a balance. And I'm still trying to find it.

Last night, after catching up on Angie Smith's blog (if you want a good cry, to be humbled and inspired, go now and read Angie's beautiful prose --- but come back and finish my story here - soon!), I opened my Bible and said, not "Show yourself" to God. But, instead, I asked, "What can you show me, Lord?"

I opened my Bible and found Isaiah 40:28-31. And this time, I looked at one little subscript letter and noted the verse to the side and sought it. Psalm 147:5. And the commentary below it in my Life Application Study Bible says this:
Sometimes we feel as if we don't understand ourselves - what we want, how we feel, what's wrong with us, or what we should do about it. But God's understanding has no limit, and therefore he understands us fully. If you feel troubled and don't understand yourself, remember that God understands you perfectly. Take your mind off yourself and focus it on God...The more you learn about God and his ways, the better you will understand yourself.

And returning to Isaiah, the commentary here says:
Even the strongest people get tired sometimes, but God's power and strength never diminish. He is never too tired or too busy to help and listen.

After driving my daughter to camp today and on my way to Holl's house, I saw a sign that read:

Be The Person Your Dog Thinks You Are.

My dog pretty much knows I'm a creep.

But God knows me, too. And He still loves me. And in Him is my Hope and my Strength.

Monday, June 23, 2008

while i run

Maybe you drive. Maybe you shower (I do. Most days...Ever since my husband sniffed my hair when he arrived home from work and ... well ... he didn't make a handsome sound). Maybe you have time during the day where you just have time to think. And Be.

What do you think about? Are your thoughts pleasing to God? I thought about that tonite as I ran. I ran to our local high school's track, ran around it a few (read: 7) times, then ran home before it became dark and The Scaries came out.

First, let me address the running. I am so not a runner. We all know the type. They are slim. (I am not so much) They are healthy. (I am not so much) They are motivated. (I am not so much)...need I go on???

Now, while I was running around the track (and laughing at myself about how 'the 400' in high school was the longest distance I would ever try to go) I thought about my thoughts.

OK, first. Running (or 13.1 in general - read: 1/2 marathon) is my mid-life crisis. I do it because I needed focus. I needed a goal. I needed a life list that didn't include just laundry and phone calls to pay bills and to schedule maintenance visits (for the house. Not for me. Although, those go along with mid-life...)

Next. People. I see other runners on the track or along the sidewalk and I begin to compare myself (see above). She's faster than me. She's skinnier than me. She's not so much... HELLO! What am I doing?? God loves each and every one. Why am I better or worse than anyone running on this track? I'm not. God's Grace spills out for us all.

Moving on. Patience. I need it. I don't have it. My kids suffer for it. Good Heavens the Bible has a lot to say about patience. Well, that and anger. They sorta go together like sugar and cream. LaVerne and Shirley. (please tell me you know who that is...well, I know them from re-runs. I'm not that old. *wink*). Do you ever watch Jon & Kate Plus 8? I know, I know. My husband has no patience for Kate. But, I love that she has Bible verses plastered all over her kitchen cabinets and her walls. She's still a sinner. We all are. But I need constant reminders, too. The befallen looks of God's Boy means it's too late.

God is Good. All the Time. All the time. He is Good. He makes up for my inequities. I have loads of them. Lawsie I have a long life ahead of me (please, Lord, don't let me jinx myself!!!!). Cuz I have a lot to work on. He has a lot to work on in me.

I call The Baby 'a mess.' Here she is, being a mess with my husband:

Here she is being a mess with her big sister:

The Reality: I'm a mess. Let alone that little cream and sugar. She's a mama's girl. Me? I'm a daddy's girl. Abba's girl, that is. Abba, Father.

He's the only one that can help this thinker while she runs. Think about it. He can help you, too.

Praise God for that.

Living Life

Since I know you are probably missing my humorous banter, I thought I would just check in and give an update. We've been busy living life. Like nearly losing it during a severe storm in the middle of an otherwise placid and enjoyable picnic Saturday. And nearly losing a finger while preparing dinner for friends and family Sunday. [I'm OK. I just shoved it all back together and carried on like a trooper. Truly. --- I think I was a trooper, anyhow :) ] Not to mention holding and snuggling with New Baby after New Daddy's grill exploded in his face and sent him to the ER Friday night (on their first night home...). Poor New Daddy. Fortunately, All the Fam (even Me) is safe and sound this Monday morning!!!

So today I'm checking things off my life list. You know. The one that says pay the medical bills. Call the window company to fix the windows. Order that free stamp set (WooHoo - LOVE just have to decide which one!!!). Get the mail. Wash the clothes. Real Exciting Life List. OK, really you probably don't want to know what my real list is.

But, it's Smart Start Monday. So that means I have to put together the worksheets, too. And then my kids can practice getting smarter during their summer vacation. So I'd better get going. I need more coffee.

~The Roost'er

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Labor and Toil

After laboring for somewhere in the range of over 36 hours, my SIL gave birth to a boy! I thought my mother-in-law was joking when she called to tell me he was here - I was 100% convinced that he was a she all along. And, may I tell you, I have never been wrong in my guesses. Now, I have been wishy-washy at times when I can't tell for sure. But for this one, I was sure. And I was wrong.

And my dear sister-in-law and brother-in-law. What an ordeal for them. Their right of passage into parenthood was not a trip any of us relish (although the end result is lovely). But, taking it in stride, I believe BIL said: you make a plan and sometimes it just doesn't work out the way you've planned.
To that, I say,
"Welcome to Parenthood."

And while they toiled away at the hospital, I toiled away on a little project for them. And with the help of Mr. Computer (my husband) plus a few (OK, a LOT of) Google searches and YouTube tutorials (what did we do before Google?), I finally finished these newborn onesies:

~The Roost'er

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


OK. So the endless nights of decorating cakes has taken its toll. That and VBS and Babuloo at the library and swimming with friends and bathtime and dinnertime and bedtime and AAAAAAAAACK.

I'm tired.

But, I'm not as tired as my SIL. Tonite she's delivering her first baby. Oh Lordy. I don't envy that tired. That exhaustion. Those next eight weeks.


Well. Except for the mother's love of that first baby. When you kiss them from head to toe and can't imagine ever getting upset with her over anything. Ever.

HA! That goes away. I mean the never getting upset with them thing. Lawsie I can get frustrated with the little loves of my life.

And then I drop three of them off at VBS (the first time they've all 3 been away at the same time) and I feel the saddest kind of sad. The realization that they're growing up (already). What happened to my time with them? (And people. This is just VBS. I pity the first day of school. Graduation. Marriage. Their babies.)

YIKES! I need a nap.

So, Good Luck 'Mother Earth.' My heart pitter patters tonite for sheer excitement over your new road. Travel it Well. As I know you will.

And God Bless all the tired folks out there.
~The Roost'er

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I'm laughing my Roost'er tail off again. Here's my ...let's just say hypothetically speaking, anyway ... 'my' story. It may have been a friend of mine who shared it with me, but the jury's out.

So, one day my friend (OK, it's me - the 'friend' thing is going to take too long to type over and over)/ I read an incredibly enlightening post on Emily's blog Chatting at the Sky. I don't really even know how I came upon her blog. No single solitary idea - I wish I did, actually. But, nonetheless, I decided to comment about how she is me. And I am freaky Friday (but she is not - I just am because I'm telling some complete stranger in some other part of the world that we were soul sisters. Certainly separated at birth - I'd always wanted to have a twin (my two oldest are so lucky!) or a sister (my two girls...well, OK, they're lucky and I'll get back to my story). I couldn't comment without creating an identity. The easiest computer-illiterate thing I could figure out how to do was create a blog for myself. I told my husband about it and I was off and rolling.

Within a short time, I had a comment. From Joe. OK, I thought. That's kind of cool - a comment. After-all, I felt comraderie with my new don't-even-know-her-in-real-life 'friend' Emily, so comments on my new blog were welcomed. But, how did he find my blog? When I Google my blog name - it does not show up. So. Weird. But, I'll take a comment.

Then, the next day, Joe comments again. Hmmm. OK. I get that he's checking my blog now. Interesting. But why? And, I failed to add that when you profile him, there is absolutely NO info on him. I already sort of found that suspect. So who was he? What, an ax murderer? He couldn't create a profile, right? What would he say about himself? Or maybe a kind of character who likes looking at pictures of my kids? OK. Not so cool. I shared with my husband that it was cool to have comments, but this guy was sort of buggin' me out. Soon, I had a comment from Suzie. And a comment retracted. Um, why would Joe retract a comment? Or anyone, for that matter, if it wasn't Joe? I'm starting to get a little concerned and I'm questioning this whole blogworld thing. But I received a comment from Emily. She made my week. What a dear person. She gave me encouragement. And I forged on with my photos and mindless blather that I share with - who knows who? (although I do track you via StatCounter...I don't know who you are, but I know what part of the country you hail from. It's kind of fun. Maybe if I knew what I was doing with the computer, I could find you...but I don't know if that's true.)

Time passed, and Joe fell by the wayside. I recalled his comment about not getting 'into' the craftier side of my blog and I just figured he'd found another blog to haunt.

That is, until this past Saturday. My husband and I were chatting away - him on his computer stuff and me on mine (I have computer stuff now - WooHoo! ... although, I also have piles of laundry and dirty floors and dark circles under my eyes. But I won't blame blogging. Certainly it must be some other evil.) And it was Saturday that my husband said, "There's something I have to tell you that I didn't think you were ready to hear until maybe now." He proceeded to share that he wanted to support my blog and encourage my spirits near the beginning. So. He. Created. Joe. And Suzie. Because Suzie was a girl and Joe was freaking me out.

I share this story because I just laughed and laughed and laughed. And now I have 3 comments! And none are from Joe. Or Suzie! Funny - almost anywhere I go, a real live person I know will share that they read my blog. (THANK YOU - I LOVE LOVE LOVE those comments!) But they don't computer comment. So, I added my saucy little button. And I'm among the cool. The hip. Those who fear not Joe.

Amen. And keep checking in. {and commenting :) }
~The Roost'er

Sunday, June 8, 2008

All Partied Out

This is me tonite.

It's been a fun weekend packed with friends and family.

We ate. We Wii'd. We swam. We partied. It was exhausting.
Here are some of the food funs from today:

I love the latest issue of Martha Stewart's Every Day Food. I followed the summer picnic menu down to the tasty coconut pineapple loaf cake --- and I thought the whole meal was scrumptious (and all prepared in advance - no last minute craziness. WooHoo!). And, yes, my puppies, in the end, look a, well. Lop-sided. Or something. But, that's what you get at 3AM. I did try to plan ahead this time. And that's what I get for trying to plan ahead...3AM.

Nevertheless, fun was had by all, I'd say:

Everybody Wii's

Grandma gets Grandpa

And all to celebrate the birth one year ago of this little cutie.

Missed my mom. She's off to Sunny South Dakota (is that actually true?!?!...maybe flat South Dakota...except she's in the Black Hills. Which would be hilly.) for a mission trip. Love ya, Mom!

~The Roost'er

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Evolution of a Blog Post

Ladies (and One Gentleman),

I am so excited to write to you tonite! As my day unfolded, I contemplated the stories I would share with you this evening. As I drove home from a meeting tonite, however, I opted out of blogging. Exhaustion had set in. But I'd promised myself to try something. And try I did. And I just think it is darn cute. And I have to show it to you.

But, before that. Let me tell you about how absent minded I am. Literally losing brain cells by the day my children age. Yesterday, I withdrew money from the ATM to purchase Princess Pookie pompons from the fundraising table at her camp. I received change. I really did. Ask me where it is now. Go ahead. I dare you. Well, it's definitely NOT at the parking lot of the high school. It's definitely NOT in my cool new Bermuda shorts (I rarely shop for myself --- I am thrilled with my new outfit...but, I digress. I was talking about something, wasn't I? ... ... ) Oh yes. It's definitely NOT anywhere I might have foraged about for the last 24 hours, kicking myself with every failed attempt to find it. Now, lest my husband decide to read this little post, don't worry. It wasn't a LOT of money, Honey. It was just the principle of thing, really. Because this morning I misplaced my van keys RIGHT after having them in my hot little hand as I tried to get Pookie to PomPon Camp on time (like that's ever gonna happen). And just before that, I couldn't find my shoes. And I had to search the house to find the PomPonner (is that a word?) a pair of clean socks.


My van smells. Because my child left a water bottle in her backpack open and leaking upside down and it's like the Tropic of Cancer in our garage right now with all this rain and hot air. And my bathroom stinks because there's a towel in there that really needs to find the washing machine. But I can't find the washing machine because I have soooooo much laundry to do. It literally can't be found.

So, my help came. The boys spent the night with Grammie. God love Grammies and Grandmas. I seriously sorted, washed, and folded (not quite put away yet...) 3 loads of towels. Two loads of red clothes (who has that many red clothes?!?!) A load of tan clothes. A load of Blues. A load of whites. I lost track. I'm not even done. See my Leaning Tour o' Clothes?

OK. I know you wouldn't post a picture of your laundry on-line. But come on. How many clothes can one family go through? God and I didn't talk about this when I petitioned Him for that fourth child. He never told me it was going to be this difficult.

So, for fun, I started baking again. Well, who wouldn't when Mom shows up with a copy of this cookbook for her favorite daughter (OK, admittedly, I'm her only daughter. Good thing.) Get a look at the Bitty Twin's new dog. Looks like something you could buy from the American Girl catalog, doesn't it?

Guess What! It's a cupcake!!! How cool am I?

Oh - and those little eyes and nose? Let me just tell you about a little ol' midwestern sunflower shop - in, you guessed it, the Sunflower State (Kansas, btw) - who received a phone order for two pounds of chocolate covered sunflower seeds yesterday and Mr. UPSman delivered them toDAY! Can we say, "I love fast delivery"??? And I can now say, "I *heart* chocolate covered sunflower seeds!" They make cool Westie eyeballs and noses. And they. are. YUMMY!

~The Roost'er

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Here's to Peanut #1

Have I ever told you about my son, the eldest hostile? (He's eldest by one minute, a mere 60 seconds, but let me assure you that I now believe wholeheartedly - now that I'm a mom - in birth order, and he is the epitome of 'the oldest.') Mr. Responsible. Mr. I-Follow-the-Rules. And-so-must-you. Mr. It's All Black and White. Mr. Justice-Must-be-swift-and-I-will-administer-it-myself-if-no-parent-is-watching. My son.

He's a helper. A pleaser. A lover, not a fighter.

He is a thinker. A creator. A builder.

And that boy has a personal connection with Jesus. Not a superficial, repeat-after-me prayer. Not an "I follow Jesus because my parents do" follower. A sincerely motivated intelligent communicator with the divine maker. My son.

How do I know?
Because when he was 4 years-old, a soccer buddy fell on the field. My son ran onto the field and prayed over his friend.
How do I know?
Because one year for Lent, I gave up my coffee drinks and my favorite restaurant. As I silently committed to go the next day and break my Lenten promise and buy my coffee at my favorite restaurant because I am just that weak, my son began to pray outloud that God would give me the strength to keep my promises.
How do I know?
Because today as I struggled with a conflict, my son entered our house singing, "Let's be peacemakers" to the tune of London Bridge is Falling Down.

I call that cool.
I call that Divine.
I call him God's Boy. My Son.
~The Roost'er
Added: Oh, and because I just figured out how to do this (without The Family's Computer Genius), Here's to Moms (but first pause the playlist at the top...)

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