Monday, November 29, 2010


If you are the owner of FUDogInc, would you please email me at
We need to have a conversation.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


At the end of the summer, we began to gather downstairs in the bunk room with all the kids to say prayers and tuck everyone in.  That nightly event evolved into one night downstairs and the next night upstairs, as school began and the girls' beds were moved back upstairs.  Over time, it evolved further to everyone sitting in the living room praying, and then one or both parents retiring to kids' rooms to tuck in.

The boys are really the funniest when it comes to this routine.  And by funny, I sort of mean ritualistic.  At times verging on blatantly frustrating, but always adorable ~ thus my desire to remember it.  I'll head downstairs after prayers ~ which require a post in and of themselves.  And they'll insist I get on their beds with them.  And 'snuggles' begin - where we share eskimo kisses and then, "A Kiss!  A Kiss" will cry Meiners after the nose rubbings and then, "A Hug!  A Hug!" he goes on.  And he throws his arm around my neck and attempts to keep me snug in his embrace.  I'll pry myself out of his strong little arms and jump over to T's bed and the same pattern ensues.  Finally I'll break free and T will call out, "I love you Mom!  Please tell Dad I love him too!"  And I say back, "I love you boys.  I will!"

It's awesome to be loved by such sweet and amazing kids.

The girls are a little less cuddly once I return upstairs.  Most of their routine is insisting they are thirsty and requiring immediate liquid relief.  And Pookie will be reading in her bed with a flashlight, listening to Delilah.  The boys had been doing that late in the summer, early school year, as well ~ but more often than not lately, I just hear them talking and laughing...but the girls are sweet and give kisses and always come out to the living room for "just one more kiss/hug/drink of water."

I like the bedtime routine we've made for ourselves this year.  I don't know that we had one so unwaveringly in the past.  And though many nights I call over my shoulder, "Enough!  Go to sleep!" I just wanted to take a minute tonite to remember this sweetness.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Having a Bigger Vision

I loved reading what you all are doing to make our world a better place!  Last week I watched a video by Rob Bell in which he shares this statistic:
"Experts say that in order to provide water, basic health, and nutrition for everyone in the world, ... estimates say that it would take somewhere around 20 billion dollars, which is how much Americans spend in one year on ice cream."
Friends of ours, Nathan and his wife A, from our Faith family moved across state earlier this year not for a job or hope for a better life for themselves physically.  These friends felt called to work against human trafficking and left St. Louis to go where there is a major human trafficking hub ~ Kansas City.  They left the familiar and the safe where there was a home and friends and a full-time job to go to a less familiar, unknown place to rent a house and look for any job that would bring them closer to those impacted by this real world atrocity.  I think I speak for many when I say we thought in one way that these guys were nuts.  At the same time, we knew they were exceedingly special.  Yet, God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.  That is proven time and time again in history.  But also, he doesn't call just some of us.  He calls all of us.

In David Platt's book Radical, the author cautions against rationalizing Jesus' words in the Bible into safer contexts and meanings.  He goes so far as to say that Americans are beginning to 'redefine Christianity' into a version that is more comfortable, one where we find "[a] nice, middle-class, American Jesus." 

Another friend I've found through blogging shares her heart here.  She and her husband have two daughters of their own and adopted a son from Guatemala.  Feeling led to adopt again, Jami and Clint sought a domestic adoption.  Through a number of trials and numerous times waiting for a 'yes' and receiving a 'no,' they felt their hearts being led to foster care.  They now have their three children and are Home to three foster children, as well. 

Yeah.  I know.  They are special, too, right? 

I'm inclined to believe they don't think themselves any more special than you or me.  The difference in my opinion is that they listened, just like Nathan and A, when God spoke.

God is speaking today.  Let's take some time to listen together.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What I'm Talking About

I am gearing up for Christmas.  Aren't you, as well?  The world is telling us it is time.  I see chocolate people dancing to Christmas songs on TV and stores all aglow with color and lights.  It's the most wonderful time of the year!

This fall, I read a book that changed my life.  I enjoy reading books that not only add to my perspective, but alter me from the inside out.  It's changed my entire way of thinking.  And I am not alone.

I have more to say about this and have been waiting to get it in print.  But first, I'm thinking ahead to Christmas.  And of you all, my friends and family.  I've decided to forego presents for me this year.  I'm asking my family to consider giving financial assistance, instead of tangible gifts, to make a positive impact on the world around us.

Please watch this video, then join me this week as I share more of this perspective with you.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Eager Entertainer

So I haven't even gotten the chance to tell you about the other part of our weekend here at Chez No.6 Cottage!  Mid-week last week, my dear sweet friend from college messaged me via Facebook that she and her family were headed to the StL!  Could we fit them into our Saturday?  Do cows fly?!  HELLO!! 

I haven't seen Erika for 12 years.  12 years.  Seriously.  She's my "Will You Be My Friend?" girl.  She stood beside me when I married the mister (thus the 12 years thing).  And she and her mister and her StarWars fan and her Pretty Princess were coming to our house!  Now, there would have been a time in my life where I woulda freaked out and gotten all nervous.  Cuz I am so seriously like that.  But I told the kids, "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful" a la' The Nester (I bet they didn't even notice all those piles of clothes lying around waiting to be traded for cold-weather stuff), and we decided to just have sandwiches and chips for lunch a la' The Reluctant Entertainer ~ and boy howdy we had the best time!  {I sure hope they did too!}

I'm thinking they may have.  Since her mister sent me a note this week asking me to forgive him for taking a squirt gun to Pookie in the middle of the living room.  Oh.  And for taking Princess and Pookie's pretend pet rabbit hostage and running through the house screaming.

Yeah.  We had fun acting silly.  Good times.  Good times.  But seriously, thank you to the Erika Crew for taking the time to head over to the StLMO side ~ I cannot wait for the next time!  Love you guys!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

on where it went

On Being Uncharacteristic

Saturday night, Make A Wish continued to spoil us by inviting our family to their Night of Wishes ~ a gala event at the Ritz Carlton in St. Louis.  Beautiful music was played by wish kids Elizabeth and Isaiah.  We were wowed by not only the music, but also the food, and the entertaining painting skills and theatrics of Dan Dunn.  About half-way through Mr. Dunn's performance, my husband walked to my side of the table and whispered into my ear, "I'm going to bid on one of his paintings."  I looked at him twice.  Uh-huh.  It was Mister.  I easily agreed and sat back to watch the remainder of the evening unfold.

in our defense, this was late @ night  :)

I'm not sure this photo does the size of this painting any justice.  I'm off to rent a UHaul to bring our new friend Ray Charles home to roost.  And that's all I'm saying.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Something New

I'm starting a new side endeavor to this blog-o of mine-o.  I'm calling it Cooking By His Design and you can find it here (eventually I'll have the link in my sidebar).  I'm planning to post recipes and thought the kids would enjoy helping me write critical analyses.  (That should be interesting.  From The World's Pickiest Eaters hands down.)  We made a new dessert last night.  Before Mister eats it all it disappears, I'll take photos and post the recipe soon!  In the meantime, enjoy the weekend!


P.S.  If anyone knows how to get minima stretch as a template with the new blogger design, will you please let me know?  THANKS!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

North Shore Coconut

Meiners and his Coconut
I love this picture of Meiners from our last night in Hawaii.  I really wanted to get a picture of the entire family on the beach at sunset - I actually looked into hiring a professional to take photos for us, but when he saw the price tag, Mister said, "No way," so I packed the tri-pod (and maybe threatened the kids that if they didn't smile...).  Anyway, the last night, we drove up to the North Shore - famous for it's awesome waves and surfing scene from October through April ... and now we know why!!!  (Yikes!  MONSTER waves!  We almost lost a kid or two from the currents while we took a few photos of just me & Mister!)  We arrived just in the nick of time - man the sun sets fast in Hawaii ;) - and captured the perfect shot for our Christmas cards this year!

Me and Mister @ the North Shore
Anyway, back to the coconut.  I love this picture of Meiners because it reminds me how he is always finding treasures.  (Like the acorns I found under his bed last winter...and the weavils I found all around those acorns...).  He was the one who found plumeria flower after plumeria flower and always insisted I put them in my hair.  And made sure I placed them on the correct side so all the Hawaiians would know I was taken.  The last flowers he gave me came from the plate of his first class ice cream sundae.  I brought them home and laid them on my kitchen window sill so that I would be reminded of his chivalry.   They're wilted and wrinkly now - probably need to be tossed like those infamous acorns before they wield similarly unsavory friends - so I wanted to document it here.  And also, because no story of Meiners and Daddy goes without a little laughter.  As we recall how the two of them tried to break open that coconut to sample real coconut milk.  Indeed.

Channeling their inner survivor man

Notice what happened to the rock ~ while the coconut remains unscathed

As close as they ever got to coconut milk
 Yeah - one look at that balcony.  It's no wonder they voodoo'd our dolls.

Monday, November 1, 2010

VooDoo Dolls

So after Pooks highjacked my blog last week (I really was pretty busy with all those parties), I tried to convince T to do the same today.  There's one more story of Hawaii that gives him the giggles every time we mention it.  He was a no-go, though, falling asleep before the sun went down tonite along with his little brother (WHAT?!?!  Yeah, it was Halloween last night for sure!)  SO it's up to me.

You see, Pookie took her American Girl doll to Hawaii.  Her sweet li'l Mini-Me with the vibrant blue eyes and graceful blonde hair.  When we returned to our hotel room after the first day, we didn't think much of it.  The maid had sort of placed MiniPookie on the pillows at the head of the bed.  Everything seemed to be in order.  No problems to note.  Pookie snuggled with her doll and fell fast asleep.

Day 2, we returned to our room at the end of the day and MiniPookie was a little tossled at the head of the bed.  Her legs weren't exactly perpendicular to the cotton sheets and her hair was maybe a wee bit mussed, but again - not too much to notice.  I thought she looked a little rougher than expected, but Pookie picked her up and loved on her a little and we all fell fast asleep.

Now, before I move to Day 3, let me back up a moment.  In our Make A Wish paperwork were suggestions of tip amounts for the staff at the hotel.  Now, my husband travels a lot on business and hasn't really made a point of leaving a tip for the cleaning staff.  I have to say I've never done so in my lifetime, either.  So, I mentioned the idea of tipping to him, but, again, we didn't think too much about it.  That is, until Day 3.  When T dropped a truckload of sand out of his swim trunks after returning to the room.  Onto the bathroom floor.  And then so did Meiners.  And maybe Pookie did, too.  We're talking SAND, baby.  Lots of it.  So we left the maid a tip.  And The Mister spoke to her apologetically about the mess on our way out and mentioned the cash left for her.  Oh, she waved us on and said, "No problem!"

And that night, when we arrived home, MiniPookie's hair had been brushed smooth as silk.  And her little hula clothes straighened just right.  And she sat prim and proper at the top of the bed just so. 

When what to my wondering thoughts should appear:  Day 4.  Apparently, we hadn't left quite the mess on Day 4, so we may have forgotten or decided against a tip on that particular day.  But our staff had not. forgotten.  Because when we arrived home at the end of Day 4, here's what we found of MiniPookie:

We left a tip the rest of the week.
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