Monday, February 28, 2011

Give me all of you

"Give me all of you!!! I don’t want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work. I want YOU!!! ALL OF YOU!! I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman, but to KILL IT! No half measures will do. I don’t want to only prune a branch here and a branch there; rather I want the whole tree out! Hand it over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them ALL over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self---in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart."

— C.S. Lewis

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Yeah, but...

As I put everything on the table for lunch today, Jack was jabbering away. Saying made-up silly words. Not a problem till a word we don't allow came out of his mouth. He said the word, "Stupid."

This was not the first time it came out. I had reminded him a couple times already that I didn't want him to use that word. So... I pulled a Jay Boshart and told him to go to the bathroom for a mouth washout.

Yuck. I remember those. Dad always went to the sink with the worst tasting soap. (Can I get an amen Boshart kids?)

Me, I'm lazy, I went to the closest sink.

We walk into the bathroom and Jack looks up at me with an expression I would describe as "cautious and thoughtful."

"Mom," he says.

"Yes Jack," I answer.

"Was saying 'stupid' a sin?"

"It was a sin because I told you not to say it and you disobeyed me. Disobeying your parents is a sin."

He looked up at me, possibly thinking he had found a loophole, or maybe just trying to understand sin better. His reply:

"Well, Then Jesus already paid for it."

Nice try Jack.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What I like about You

To my knowledge, Sharon Galyon has never planted a petunia.

She's planted lots of other thing though. I know because I walk past them every day. Most all of you know that two months ago we moved down the street to a new house. It had an extra bedroom and we just felt like God was giving us the go-ahead on moving. So we moved into the four bedroom house with tons of flowerbeds. It is the house the Galyon family had recently vacated. When Sharon lived here she was always working in the flower bed --pulling weeds, planting shrubs, watering. One fall she tossed a package of wildflower seeds into the bed that ran across the front of the house. The next spring she had the most beautiful display of wildflowers that I had ever seen.

Yesterday I was in the front flowerbed (I too, love to garden). I was pulling up all the dead foliage, cleaning out the beds, getting ready for spring. I looked down at one particular plant and thought, "Am I going to kill this one by pulling out the dead stuff?"

I didn't know which plant I had, but I did know who had been working that bed.

Sharon had.

And Sharon doesn't plant things that aren't going to continue blooming year after year.

Sharon didn't plant annuals in her garden and she didn't plant them anywhere on the street.

Her time on Montana St. was spent planting seeds that will bloom for years and years, possibly even generations and generations.

She met her neighbors.

She walked her dog.

What does walking a dog have to do with doing things that last? Well, when Sharon walked her dog she walked by every house on the street. When someone was outside she:


She talked with us. She encouraged. She asked what was going on in our life. She asked when my husband would be back home. She asked if we needed anything. She gave me advice on plants, on children, on marriage. She humbly told me what God had taken her through. She told me what things were hard and how she wasn't sure if she'd make it through. Then she'd laugh and offer hope.

Planting seeds that will last.

Why? I mean, good for you Sharon, but why does it matter?

Because, contentment will only come from doing lasting (or eternal things).

And what's going to last?

The only thing worth pursuing is Jesus.

Read this:

Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. -1 John 2:15

Did you skip over it?

Go back.

Everything I say on here is rubbish compared to the powerful, TRUE, Word of God.

Since I just plucked that verse out of an incredible passage in 1 John, I want to add that you can only please God if you have been saved from your sin through the only acceptable payment: Jesus.

Please, please go back and read the entire chapter of 1 John 2. It is so cool. If you don't have a Bible, google it.

For those of you who are followers of Jesus, I encourage you to look around and think. How can I sow seeds that will last.

Follow Sharon's example, don't look at your yard [neighborhood, workplace, home] and think:

-We're military.
-We won't live here long.
-I won't ever see this as a beautiful mature garden.

Instead ask:
-What can I do to make this beautiful?

Then do it.

We've gotta do better than this.... we've only got one chance.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Do better.

We gotta do better than this cuz we only got
One chance to make a difference
We gotta do better than this cuz we only got
One life that we've been given

-Natalie Grant "Human"

Sunday, February 13, 2011

There are no ordinary people

"There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously - no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption."

-C. S. Lewis


The boys around here were looking more like girls so I felt it was time for a haircut.

I had been holding off on Ty's haircut because we were waiting for them to study the letter "M" at school. Usually they bring something for show and tell that starts with the letter for the week. Ty was going to arrive with a mullet. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we were sick for "M" week.

No more delay, the hair had to go.

Ty was going to get a trim, but couldn't sit still. The haircut I had planned was not going to work. I pulled out the clippers and gave Ty his summer cut three months early. I think the short hair looks cute on Ty so I'm ok with the buzz.

I took him to the bathroom when his hair cut was finished and he took one look at himself and then collapsed to the floor and started wailing.


Finally, when he could talk he told me he did not like his hair he wanted it back on.

He wanted long hair.

I assured him that he was still handsome.

I named off all his male heroes who had short hair: Daddy, Dustin, Jared, Steven, Hunter...

It didn't help.

I got him into the tub, couldn't make the kid happy. The water was too cold, the water was to hot, then it was too cold and too hot.

He calmed down to a pitiful blubber and then told me.

"Mommy, I don't want to be handsome..."

I don't enjoy it when my boys are sad, but I'll be honest. That was really cute. I thought he was done with his statement but then he added:

" my Daddy."

How sweet is that? Aww... I was smiling in my heart, praising God that in the midst of all my labor, that often goes unnoticed by my children, I get to witness such preciousness that no one else gets to see.

But then he continued....

"I want to be like you."

Hold on a second, Mister. What's THAT supposed to mean?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Who's makin' sausage?

The boys have had the flu this week --not a joke.

I've been making a thankful list. That is something my friend Amanda has always encouraged me to do. And she's right. It's helping keep my mind on thankfulness. And that is always best.
Here are a few things that made the list:

  • a humidifier
  • a good doctor
  • nursing pads that don't fall apart in the washing machine
  • Mike's now scuba certified
  • friends who brought us lots of yummy looking food
  • online shopping
  • a neighbor with tons of movies
  • coffee
  • good health coverage
Thanks to the military's amazing health insurance we were able to get Tamiflu for the sick boys (Austin and Ty).

That stuff is amazing. They were practically well for the whole week we were quarantined in the house. Wonderful for Ty and Austin, not that awesome for me. I still had to keep the kids in the house, entertained, and resting while there bodies fought off a sickness it was hardly aware it had.

Cool stuff.

Mom told me she never bought it for us when were little. I was amazed they even made it way, way, way back then. She told me it was too expensive even with insurance. Maybe I believe her, or maybe she just enjoyed the peace and quiet when her eight kids were sick in bed.... hmm... just kidding Mom! I think the real reason you didn't get it for us was because of the gas and diarrhea it brought on.

It was real.

It was intense.

We were out driving around last night, just to get out of the house, and while we were in the car, someone let one loose.

The preceding conversation went as follows:

Me: "Do ya'll smell that?"

Ty: "Yeah."

This sounds like a dumb question, but I haven't taught them a word for that bad smell. I just think it's funny hearing what they say when it happens. So I always ask...

Me: "What do you think that smell is?"

Jack: "Smells like someone's makin' sausage!"

Now that's one way to put it.

Ty: "Yeah! Who's makin' sausage!?!"

That may be what we call it from now on. What do you say Mike?

I mean, if you picture it (but don't)... kinda makes sense.

Monday, February 7, 2011

They always hurt

Yesterday something unusual happened.

Ty whacked Jack in the head with a toy.

Usually it is the other way around. Jack is my rough and tumble needs-to-be-taught-gentleness kid. Ty is the punching bag.

I am constantly getting on to Jack about the way he man-handles his brothers. I tell him how I will not let him hurt his brothers. It is absolutely not O.K. I am continuously explaining to Jack how we need to take care of the precious gifts God has given him (gifts being the brothers).

Today, however, the guys were playing on the floor when Ty hurled a toy that smacked Jack on the forehead. I was close enough that I could be on the scene immediately. I jumped in, told Ty to "duck and cover" then distracted Jack, before the "THIS IS WAR" look on his face translated into a bloody nose for Ty.

Whew! Just in time.

Internally, I celebrated Jack's small victory in self-control.

I turned my attention toward Ty, leaving Jack to rub his head. Ty received the speech usually reserved for Jack. I told him how hitting someone on the head with a toy hurt. I told him how Jack is important and we need to be careful how we treat each other. I told Ty that Jack was one of God's gifts to him and we need to be thankful and treat the gift with special care.

I went on and on. I wanted Jack to hear me speak of his value. So often it has to be about the other boys.

Jack's heart softened.

Ty's response to all this was, "It was just a joke," -spoken in the cutest little boy voice ever. I don't doubt that it was. There isn't a mean bone in that boys body. A lazy one, yes, but a mean one, no.

I told Ty to kiss Jack on the head and tell him he was so, so sorry. Ty did and play resumed.

They began casually talking and as is typical of firstborns, Jack picked back up where I'd left off and started again explaining to Ty that throwing a toy at his head was a bad idea.

He ended his speech with this:

"Ty, two things always hurt people: hitting with toys, and sin."

Who knew he'd been paying attention all these months?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Maybe that sounded better in your head

This week two different families on our street invited us over in the evening to dine with them them.

For real.

I consider that one of the acts that will get you mad props with Jesus. Inviting a "single" mom and her three loud, ravenous children into your home puts you on the short list for a seat at Jesus' right hand. It's up there with moving to Tanzania and starting an orphanage, dying for your faith and doing the drama for a retreat.

There are few who attempt it.

That's why it was such a special thing to me for my neighbors to open their homes up to us.

The first dinner went pretty well (I'm talking about behavior).

The second?

Not really.

It was partly my fault. (Who am I kidding. I'm the mom. Everything is my fault.) I had not considered the fact that we had missed naps and had a pretty stimulating day already.

We eat, then the boys head upstairs to play in their friend's room.

I stay down and visit with the grown ups till about 7:15 or 7:30, then decide it's probably time to go home, thinking: "If we leave now, we can avoid meltdowns."


My friend and I head upstairs to have the kids pick up toys.

We arrive in the boys room and it is, as we expected, covered in toys.

"Alright boys, time to clean up."

It appeared no one heard the command.

I bend down to my two and put my hand gently on their backs. "Jack, Ty, I need you two to help clean up the toys."

Ty acted like he might pick up a couple things. He headed under the loft bed, out of sight. I was going to give him the benefit of the doubt and see if he was going to clean up that area.

Jack, without looking up says, "I don't wanna clean up."

hmm... he must have thought I was posing a question. I bend down, put my mouth next to his ear to clear things up a little bit: "You can either clean up toys or you will get a spanking when we get home. You choose now. Clean up or spanking."

I sat back up and began to put the toys in baskets.

Jack sat up a little straighter, paused for thought then turned to look me directly in the eyes.

He then responded with:

"Mom, I want you to choose to quit talking or I'm gunna spank you."


Now what would you do here? I had to decide quickly. After all I'd just been given a choice.

Instinctively, I wanted to slap him in his sassy mouth, but that ultimately would not produce the desired result (result being a respectful, Christ-following adult).

So I just looked him back in the eye and said, "Do you think that's a good idea?"

He continues his gaze, shakes his head and answers: "Nope."

"You're right." I reply.

I go about my business cleaning the room. Jack never decides to help. I thought it best not to challenge Ty and run the risk of having another child tell me exactly how he felt.

We fumble out the door after finally getting socks, shoes, and coats on three very tired, fussy children.

We cross the icy road, carefully step over the mounds of slick snow and walk into the house.

I shut the door...

...use your imagination.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Faithful to me.


You are all so sweet.

I want you to know that although our status was accurate, we are doing spectacularly well.

I did not intend for my last post to sound whiny, but humorous.

And everyone who reads this blog knows that disaster = humor.

So please. Don't cry for me.

Sarah, I am not saying that I wouldn't love for you to come sit for me. I am not saying that at all. I wasn't implying it and am in no way refusing your offer.

Not at all.

But seriously, we are so blessed by our loving and generous heavenly Father.

He is meeting all of our needs.
He is sustaining our emotional need (as we miss Mike).
He is meeting our physical needs --through many of you.
He is meeting our spiritual needs.
He is all we need.

And He is faithful.

I'm so grateful for the way I get to see
God's provision in our lives through the way YOU love our family:

Shellye and John having us over for dinner.
Lindsay offering to get groceries for us.
Chris and Sarah checking on us via the phone.
Jack S. shoveling our driveway.
Ashten calling, offering anything weneed.
Grandma calling to make sure we were keeping warm.
People offering lattes :-)
People offering espresso machines!!!!
Belinda praying for us.
Amanda calling me out/encouraging me.
Anissa inviting us in to her home.
Lacey and Matt having us over for dinner.
Bridget and Lacey coming over for tea and a game.
Stan and about 15 other people informing us that our email had been hacked.
Pretty much all my family calling to check on us/visit.
Sweet words from so many of you.
Kerry begging us to not drive on the ice.
Mike on skype --pretty much all the time. (It is easier to get ahold of him now than it was when he was in the country.)

And there is more...

God is so good. I am so thankful.

And just so ya'll know, the pipes have thawed, the laundry is put away and the rash is almost gone!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Murphy's law

If Murphy had a wife, and if Murphy was a serviceman, then his law would have looked more like this:

"Anything that can go wrong during a deployment, will go wrong."

Ask any wife who has ever gone through a deployment.

ANY military wife.

She'll agree.

As soon as the plane takes off, the ship weighs anchor or the bus rolls away, you turn to get back in your car and it won't start.

Don't be alarmed if this ever happens to you, it's completely natural.

Then you'll arrive home to find you have a busted pipe, your floor is buried under two inches of water and the dog is eating your couch.

So your first phone call will go like this:

"Hi Honey! You made it there safely? Oh good. Well, I'm glad you called! We're all doing fine, but we do have a few household issues. The _____ won't start and the _____ is leaking some weird looking fluid. Oh the check engine light came on in the ____. Then later this morning the ____ went out. Did we buy the warranty for that? I can't remember. By the way, when was the last time you saw our property insurance documents? I need to call the insurance company."

And that's how it goes.

How's the status at our house? Funny you should ask. As of right now:

  • The kitchen faucet won't work.
  • Jack's got a weird rash.
  • The dishwasher won't work.
  • The boys bathroom tub won't work.
  • The dryer's broke.
  • The check engine light is on in the van.
  • The baby smells nasty despite the fact that he got a bath yesterday.
  • The roads are frozen over and it would be foolish to leave the house with the children (we're going on day three of house arrest.)

Know what would make this all better?

A latte.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

If only

Do you ever get an idea in your head of something that would make your life, "Oh so much better?"

You know, something that would really change your life if you had it. Let's say you're a single car family. "If we only got a second car... that would make life so much better."

Or maybe you were like my mom and dreamed of a clean garage and a working automatic garage door opener --complete with a remote. "Oh that would make life so much better." (Yes, I am putting the words in her mouth.)

Or maybe, like our family, you are a military family. Maybe you, like us, are constantly being disturbed by the upheaval of the daddy. One deployment after another, months passing, grey hairs and children growing, adjustments, change... "If only there was some stability in our home... that would make life so much better."

Today has been one of many days over the last year where I've had an "If only" day.

It's border line obsessive.

Nothing like parenting alone on a snow day to make these feelings rise, yet again to the surface.

"If only I had an espresso maker... that would make life so much better."

[slowly nodding]


I've been obsessed with this idea for over a year now. No kidding, ask Hannah. Last deployment I spent hours looking online, checking craigslist and ebay.

Is it too much to ask for?

A top-of-the-line, fully automatic, "precision of a barista with the touch of a single button" espresso machine? One that in no time at all, grinds the beans, brews one or two cups of espresso to my exact specifications and ejects the used grounds?

It would transform morning coffee into a culinary experience.

I would get up early, make me a latte and then sit down with Jesus. I can't think of a more perfect way to spend the six o'clock hour.

Currently it's just me, Jesus and coffee from a $9.99 Mr. Coffee.

sigh... think of how much better my quiet time would be if I had Jesus AND a latte?

I'd probably start speaking in tongues.

I'll bet all those charismatics drink lattes with Jesus.

That's why they are always so... charismatic.

"If only...."
If only I wasn't a quality snob and would except nothing less than a really nice one.

Earlier today, Jack came in from playing in the snow and asked for some hot chocolate (twice in fact).

"Sure!" was my reply. Then I thought: "If only I had an espresso machine and could use it to steam the milk."

If only....

Again and again I think about how handy it would be. How my life would change.

I'd probably have more friends.

Who wouldn't want to come over to my house, shew the children to the back playroom, plop down on the couch and have a coffee house beverage delivered to them? And I wouldn't even charge them. I'd be busier than Starbucks. I bet I could even trade babysitting for espressos. They'd be breaking down the door.

If only....