So much

I knew it had been a long while since I’d blogged… I didn’t realize until this morning that it had been nearly a year.  Today is a day of remembrance for me.  Last night as I sat around the table playing cards with the family, I was smacked with deja vu and realized that exactly a year ago, today that we’d been playing cards and I’d received word about my great Aunt Betty nearing the end of her life.

When I opened my blog just now, I was forced to read the words I’d written recounting the story. I cried silent tears, reading it over, reliving it all over again.  I find myself amazed at the year that’s happened. So much has happened since then.  It’s hard for me to think it’s been a year. A year?! If I close my eyes, I can see her. I can see my darling aunt, lying in the bed, her thin wispy hair a mess, her eyes somber, her smile genuine, her body so frail. If I close my eyes, I can see the hallway of the hospital, I can almost smell the terrible stale air, I can see the flurry of activity in her room. As the tears spill fresh again, forgive me. There isn’t much rhyme or reason to this posting just that it’s been a year. That tomorrow morning it will be a year from her passing and I didn’t think it should go unnoticed. My heart is truly forever changed.

Last night, I couldn’t formulate words to try to explain the total amazing way the Lord surrounded me at choir practice that night after I’d witnessed her death. I can see myself, out of body almost, and see me rocking back and forth, tears never stopping, arms raised high, praising Jesus. Part asking Him to take my pain, part thanking Him for allowing me to see such a marvelous thing.  I’ve twice witnessed life being born (besides my own three darlings) and I’ve also sat as one took her last breath, I’ve witness life leave this world. Both are miracles. Both are truly gifts the Lord has given me. I am changed by each experience.  As with daily activities, surviving one moment to the next, we make marks in time. Some good, some bad, some indifferent, some forever resonate with our souls, some change us for the better, some change us for the worst…. oh that my life would be a light that shines so brightly.

How can I keep from singing?
How can I ever say enough, how amazing is Your love?

I can smile and thank the Lord that He is an amazing God of love and grace and mercy. A God love forgiveness, a God a second chances. A God of hope.  I can smile and know that I can never ever say enough how amazing is His love.

I took this picture that night, a year ago… in the middle of the night, one of the times, my hand wasn’t holding hers, it was resting on her bed, touching her leg, letting her know I was there.  But more importantly than my presence, was His. That He was there. That He loved her.  And thankfully, so much more than the knowledge of any of the rest, that she… loved Him.

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My Purpose

A month I’ve put off writing this post.  Some of it I texted myself an email the day of, so I wouldn’t forget. Some of it, I’m writing for the first time…

I’ll just tell you now, you’re going to need kleenex.

On, Jan 27th, my husband and I were celebrating my Father-in-law’s birthday.  We’d been out to dinner with my inlaws and arrived back at the house to have cake and play cards.  As we were sitting down to play, I received a text from my mom. It simply read “Your Aunt Betty may not make it through the night.” This is a daunting text to read, regardless of whoever the “who” is… The day before my mom and I had been talking about how she wasn’t doing well. She was in ICU. I’m actually fuzzy on the details, so I wont make any up here. She’d been battling cancer with chemo and it was killing her. She’d been terribly sick due to the chemo.  The October prior, I’d seen her. My grams, her sister, had come to visit me for the first time in the ten years we’ve lived in Georgia… and we took her to see her sister who lived about 2+ hours from me. it was a nice visit. My mom, grams and my youngest and I all went. We met Aunt Betty at a McDonalds and we had a coffee and chatted over and hour. Then we went across the street to an Appleby’s and chatted some more while we had lunch. It was such a nice day. Watching my grams, who’ve I known my whole life interact with her sister was comical. We kept laughing at them laughing at each other. Aunt Betty told Grams how much Micah looks like my grandpa. That was the last time I’d seen Aunt Betty… at Grandpa’s funeral… December 2003. Why do we do that? Why do we take our family for granted? Why don’t we drive even if it’s “too far” and visit? Why don’t we “take an extra day off” even if it’s an inconvenience? … I don’t know… and I will forever regret not getting to know Aunt Betty even more.  ….

So there were were… playing a round of cards and I received that text. I quickly text back “Where is she?!” I wasn’t sure if she’d been in ICU in her town or if she’d come to the atlanta area. My mom responded. She was in her town… 2.5-3 hours from me… “Who’s there, is Danny there?” I responded to her… We’d just talked the day before. THE DAY BEFORE! And I’d asked her to let me know where she was that I wanted to visit her. She told me she called Betty’s son Danny (her cousin) but was waiting to hear back from him. I hated that I’d found out she had been in the ICU and I hadn’t know about it or even knew where she was… My mom replied no. That he was on the way, but he may not make it in time. “Do I need to go?”  I typed back. I lept up from the table. I dialed my mom. “Do I need to go?” I repeated to her… I can’t remember what she said. Something like “if I could” or something. I don’t know. I just remember thinking that I was heading to Blairsville.  I told her I’d call her back and I threw on my tennis shoes, made a full cup of coffee, and grabbed a banana. Jamie had been on the phone with his brother and I flailed at him and mouthed “I’m leaving!” He got off the phone, and I filled him in. Praise the Lord, he is such an understanding soul. Also so thankful that Jamie’s mom was right there. I asked her if she’d handle the kids in the morning, if I didn’t come back that night. She was so sweet. She said she’d go with me, if it weren’t for the kids. I never even thought about that. I hugged her and told her I was so glad to just know I didn’t need to worry about them. That was what was needed. Jamie was googling me directions to the hospital and I was literally on my way less than ten minutes later. I made a couple calls to key people as I flew up 285 and called my mom back.  She was so grateful. She said that Danny was still in MO they were on the other side of St. Louis heading my direction. Okay. Get there. Get there Get there. That’s what went through my head. Get there. I started singing loudly. It’s the best kind of medicine when you’re scared or stressed… So I sang. I am grateful my husband had printed great directions getting to the town. I had to call him twice before I got to the hospital but it was my own fault I passed a turn. It took me about 2.5 hours to get there. I wasn’t sure they were going to let me in the ICU but by golly, I was the only blood relative in the state. I announced to the lady at the emergency desk that I was here to see my Aunt in room such and such. She seemed uncertain but told me I had to go to this floor and see that person. Ok. I did. I was led to a room that wasn’t ICU. I was a large room, with a flutter of activity.  And my hands are shaking as I recall what I saw. My sweet great-aunt Betty barely looked like herself. There were tubes and wires and beeping. There was a medical student shadowing her nurse, and there was another nurse in there at that time, I don’t remember for what, but the room was crowded.  There was another woman there. She had been there since noon.  I was so relieved. All I could think about on the drive was how there was a family member of mine in a hospital room alone.  I hugged her friend. A sweet family friend, I learned later. I put my purse down and told the friend I was going to stay with her until Danny came.  She wasn’t so sure at first but Aunt Betty recognized me. I asked her if she knew me. She nodded. I wasn’t sure if she was nodding yes she knew me or if she was just nodding… The nurses wanted to know who I was, So I announced loudly that I was Kate her great-niece, Millie, her sister’s, granddaughter. Aunt Betty reached for my hand.  She squeezed it. I told her I thought we had a bit more fun at Appleby’s back in October. She squeeezed me again.  The friend seemed convinced then I guess, and she put on her scarf and coat and said she’d be back in the morning.  I told her I was going to just tell my mom I made it. I stepped in the hall and dissolved into tears. Trying to pull myself together. I quickly called mom. Told her I was there. Told her about the friend.  Told her I’d call her later. It was nearly midnight.

The next 4 hours I will forever treasure in my heart.

I sat with her. I held her hand.  I told her how grams was doing and how big Micah had gotten since we’d seen her last.  I told her little things I can’t recall now. She’d either squeeze my hand or close her eyes or pat my hand… She didn’t talk, but I didn’t care. I kept on talking.  But at one point, I think I ran out of things to talk about… And I asked her if she wanted me to sing. She nodded. I asked her if Amazing Grace was okay. She nodded and closed her eyes as I began singing. I didn’t care who was in there. The nurses came and went. They checked her vitals, they gave her sponges of water, the did whatever else nurses do, in and out, in and out. I wont go into it all. Sometimes I had my eyes closed fighting back tears, sometimes I was looking into her eyes.  I sang for probably an hour. I sang hymn after hymn. I don’t know how I even remembered all the words to all of them.  I just sang and sang. I figured I’d keep singing until someone told me to stop. I kept thinking the nurses would “Sush” me, they never did.  One, later told me in the hallway, that she had to leave the room at one point because she started crying. I never noticed. In that hour, in that span of time, it was just me and Aunt Betty. Sometimes she would pat my hand. Sometimes she would close her eyes and barely smile. Sometimes she would squeeze my hand so hard. One song, she didn’t like. I started “In The Garden” and she started shaking her head. I was so surprised. I stopped singing. I said “oh okay. You don’t like that song?” she shook her head again. I asked her if she wanted me to stop singing though, and she shook her head again. So I laughed. You know that nervous laughter? Well it came popping out! She gave me a half smile and I started humming something else. I sang and sang and sang. Then she pulled on my hand. I remember trying to figure out what  what she was doing and it dawned on me. She was trying to pull my hands together. I said “Aunt Betty, do you want me to pray?” She nodded and closed her eyes. I prayed. I don’t’ know what I prayed about but I remember praying. I remember grieving in my spirit that Danny wasn’t here. I remember thinking I was going to watch this beautiful lady die in front of me. It was the most incredibly painful yet surreal and amazing mix of emotions I’d ever experienced. When I finished my prayer, the bustle in and around the room seemed to stop. Aunt Betty’s eyes remained closed.  I felt myself drifting. I stayed by her side, and dozed on and off for maybe the next hour. Around 4am, she started moaning.

She was pointing to call button. I tried to figure out what she wanted, bed up? Down? She kept shaking her head. She’d been cold earlier, I asked if she was still cold. She shook her head. I didn’t know. I pushed button and asked nurse to come in … Nurse came in, she determined Aunt Betty was hot. Okay, hot.  We removed the extra blanket from earlier. They took more vitals and then re-positioned her on her pillow. The nurse asked her if she needed anything else. She shook her head, but then in a raspy whisper she struggled to say, “I want to talk to Katie.”

I blinked. She hadn’t said a word the whole time I was there…
The nurse repeated: “You want to talk to Katie?”
She nodded.
Nurse asked her, “You want us to leave?”
Aunt Betty shakes head no.
I found my voice, “I’m here Aunt Betty,” I said as she squeezed my hand and said, “why you love….” her voice fade off and I couldn’t make out the last part of her question.
I asked her, “why do I love what?” looking at the nurse who shook her head, she couldn’t make rest out either.
She tried again in a very soft whisper, “why you love to have so many little children”?
I smiled. She could have asked me anything. And I didn’t know what to say to this question! “I donno Aunt Betty. I just do. God gave them to me huh?  Three boys.”
She squeezed my hand so hard. She nodded. I looked at the nurse who shrugged back at me. We both waited. I will never forget this next sentence for my whole life, as long as I live I will carry this with me in my heart…. She said, “I think you love to have them so you can bring them to the Lord.”
Suppressing a need to cry out I whispered, “I hope so Aunt Betty.” Barely audible I made another attempt “I hope so.” Tears leaked out both my eyes. (They spill again now). She squeezed my hand.
And closed her eyes. “I don’t wanna talk no more,” she said.
“You don’t have to. I’m here. I’m not leavin” Aunt Betty nodded.
“Danny’s comin’.” I said. She nodded…
I squeezed the top of the nurse’s hand, she had laid it on my shoulder. She squeezed my shoulder.

My Aunt never opened her eyes again.

I have never experienced anyone’s last words before this.

I will carry her with me forever.

As I look at my children, and see these gifts God has given me, I will hear her words in my heart. As I retold this on the phone with a friend of mine after it happened, my friend said, “If you ever doubt your purpose, you just remember what your Aunt told you.” How could I not? Whenever I feel low, or inept, or lost… whenever I feel like life is spinning out of control, and it will… I need to just close my eyes and hear her sweet voice telling me my purpose. If I do nothing more than to lead these babies to the Lord, I will have done a great thing. I ache that her own son, my second cousin, didn’t get to hear her speak one more time. I am so saddened for his loss and his desire to get there… she died with no wires or whistles attached to her . She waited for her son to arrive. She knew he was there. His wife, Madeline, sat on her bed and talked to her at length. She squeezed Madeline’s hand. But she never spoke again. She didn’t smile or open her eyes. She slipped quietly to be with the Lord around 10:30am.

I left the hospital around 1:30pm, with promises to return on Friday for her service. I pulled in my driveway just before the bus arrived. I hugged my mother-in-law and crawled into bed. I slept until Jamie woke me for church. I cried my eyeballs out during choir practice. I’ve never felt the presence of the Lord so surround me as He was during choir. I wish I could remember the whole set but the one song I remember singing that night was exactly what I needed to hear/sing. “How can I keep from singing your praise? How can I ever say enough, how amazing is your love? How can I keep from shouting your praise? I know I am loved by the King, and it makes my heart, want to sing….” The end of the bridge says “I will sing for I know that I’ll sing with the angels and the Saints around the throne.”… And that is where my aunt is now. She’s in the presence of the Father. She is singing with the angels and the Saints who have gone before her. No more pain. No more sorrow. No more cancer. No more chemo. No more crying. Just praise. Sweet endless praise.

I find the date timely, that I write this up today… I’ve tried to write it out multiple times and haven’t been able to finish. I will finish today.

As I can barely breathe, my chest is so tight…

Tomorrow marks the anniversary of our second angel baby gone to Heaven. Even though the years pass. The pain when exposed is still raw.  My heart is full, my home is happy, but my loss is still loss. I am thankful for the beautiful children the Lord has blessed me this side of Heaven, but I do yearn at times for those I’ll never know.

Perhaps my great grandma, who I know is up there rocking our babies, has lent one to Aunt Betty. And perhaps Aunt Betty is telling him or her all about the beauty of the Lord God Almighty.  Who was, who is, who is to come.

And I will do all I can to lead these three to the Lord this side of Heaven. I will spend my time on earth in the hopes that I fulfill the purpose that Aunt Betty saw in me. And gave to me.

My purpose.

What kind of letter does your life read?

“Have you ever thought of yourself as a living letter?”

The guest pastor asked this question on Sunday…

“A letter is written to convey a message,” he said, “so the question becomes, what message are you sharing?”

What? Wait a minute… what are talking about?

Our lives… as Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 2 that we are an epistle of Christ, written on our hearts, known and read by all men, written not with ink, but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, (or paper, or even on computer files) but on tablets of flesh– our hearts (vs 2-3 paraphrased).

You know the old song… “and they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, and they’ll know we are Christians by our love…” Well it’s sort of the same thought process, but a different word picture. The pastor asked when was the last time we sat down and wrote a hand written letter and mailed it. Well for me, that was an easy answer, I wrote five letters/cards last week and mailed them. I write to my compassion international sponsor child routinely. I make my son write to his pen pal (maybe not as often as I’d like but some *wink).  I write my husband love note and my children silly ones. I actually enjoying writing letters. So the idea of my life being a letter that others will read…. is interesting… I can say some days I probably don’t want my life letter read. But it makes me think. It makes me want to do better, be better, try better, do more, be more, try more… It makes really think about it. I know I don’t always do good. I fail. I mess up. I make plenty of mistakes. But maybe my letter reads more of love and joy and compassion than the mistakes, than the mess ups. And if it doesn’t, maybe there is hope that it can. Maybe I can edit my letter for the better, for next week, tomorrow, for the rest of today….

The pastor said that Jesus is most often judged be what message we share with others, and we need to be careful that our letter is legible.  What we share with others. What others see. What they read.  So what does my letter say? Oh, I want my life to be a letter of love. Of patience. Of kindness. Of helpfulness. Of considerateness. Of hope. Of light.

What kind of letter do you want your life to read?

I’m thankful for the reminder from this man who may never know the impact of this question he asked Sunday morning.

Oh that life would be a letter pleasing to the Lord….

That time of year

There there. Sad neglected blog. Pat pat. I keep meaning to sit down and take time (ha!) and post things that swim round my head but the day is long and the time to sit down and take time is invisible. However, I found myself with a few moments right now so I am stealing the time, two full laundry baskets are staring at me but I’m hoping if I don’t look at them, they wont win….  We had our annual family photos taken and I had to share some on here to preserve them.

Matthew. My silly boy. The Tall One.  Tall Boy.  Man alive he’s so smart and equally silly. I pray that in the new year he grows more and more in the Lord (I can’t keep pants on him, so I know he’ll grow taller still) and more and more sweet. He is so sensitive. I pray I can nurture that in a way that wont harm him.  I pray he will grow into a tender young man. I’m blessed every day by his sweetness and his hugs.

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Mark.  My Shark.  The Charmer.  Markie Sharkie. My Doodle-bug.  Oh his eyes kill me. He is the life of the party. Mr. HAM IT UP. So sweet. So helpful. Such a love and a lover boy. I pray that as he grows this next year (and I DO mean taller), that he would also grow in strength and in humbleness.  Pride is an enemy I hope we can dissolve young.  I pray he finds full confidence in the Lord and decides whole heartedly, as Matthew has before him, to serve the Lord all his days.


Micah.  Oh my sunshine. Mr. Blue Eyes.  Micah Bear.  Baby Bear.  He carries a song in his heart every day. He is light. I can not wait for the day when the Lord of Light resides inside this boy as a made decision to accept He who made him, Micah will positively shine!  I pray in this next year to come that he will grow into a helpful attitude and learn the hard lesson of patience.  I’m so thankful for this little dear in our home and can’t wait to see who he grows into as time passes.

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Oh my boys. I pray for each of you that though you will have hardships and challenges ahead of you, that you will shine the light of Jesus and that you will make wise and good choices. That you will learn from mistakes and not remake them. That you will treasure time with one another and grow to be each other’s best friends.


My darling husband, thank you. Thank you for letting me be your wife, letting me raise your children. Thank you for trusting me with this task each day. I know there are days I don’t do well, and the house suffers for it. But there are other days I feel like I’m making this happen. I can do it! — with you by my side, I can do this. I’m so blessed. I am so loved. I’m praying in the next year, my love, as we see where the Lord would lead you, that we will remain strong, fixing our eyes on Him and cling to one another. I can not wait to see where you will go and where you will take us as He leads you on this journey!


While this post may seem funny if you have read the previous one where that particular day I was having a rough moment… and felt alone… because I am totally filled with love today. Is it a perfect day? No.. Of course not. It can’t be! But I can try. I can keep trying. I can make choices and do my very best. And when I fail (and I will) I can ask for forgiveness, learn from it and try more.  I couldn’t ask for a better family. I couldn’t ask for a better job. I couldn’t ask for anything more. I am so blessed, I am so full. While there may be days when I feel alone, today isn’t one of them!  My family is a treasure. And I’m so grateful to be exactly where I am today — surrounded by them!


that feeling… that you’re all alone in the world…

I walk through life busy. Extremely busy. The only time I have to schedule a meeting with someone of importance is “after the kids are in bed” because that is all the time I have left to give. “When’s good for you?” he said, “Monday Tuesday or Thursday are all options.”  And I panic. Monday is this and Tuesday is that and Thursday is more of the that. I’m surrounded by children and their activities. Heck! I’m surrounded by my activities. And yet sometimes, I feel alone…  I walked over 14,000 steps today. I had a walking date with two new walking buddies both with their own strollers in tow. And yet, sometimes, I feel alone…  I dropped my stroller sitter off at preschool and went to my “second” church to help out. (I do this on Wednesdays when possible. Walked all over that building, lugging boxes, bags, carts full… organizing, counting, refilling, smiling at the passerby, singing along to the songs on my phone…) I came back to preschool and collected Mr. Stroller Rider and took him home. We read books on the couch. We fought over nap time. I won. I had 42 minutes of quiet before the Bus Riders came home. In that 42 minutes I ate both breakfast and lunch. I worked briefly on my new business, I emailed caught up and Facebook notification caught up and switched the laundry. I watched the beginning of a recorded TV show and finished the last 3 pages in my book AND talked to my mommy.  It was a FULL 42 minutes.  And yet, sometimes, I feel alone…

When the Bus Riders came home, there was the normal flurry of activity as we finish lunches (siiiiiiigh) and do homework… and eat chips… and do chores. Each child has their own 2-4 chores to do each day depending on the day. This is an excellent idea. Started it up full throttle in August. NEVER GOING BACK. However, I derail. …. We sat, read books, talked about the day, etc. I let them play Fruit Ninja on my tablet, I did dishes. As I awaited my husband to come home, I read through a catalog. He came home, we drove to my (first) church [home]. I chatted in the halls with this friend and that. I was surrounded with people as we sang praises to the Lord in preparation for Sunday’s worship service and then worked on Christmas music. …. People on every side. People smiling, cheerful, happy. People waving and saying “Goodnight, drive safe”… As my children and I waited for Daddy to lock up (his turn to do so), we played a loud game of tag on the church lawn. We laughed and ran and made merry. I loved a moment of carefree fun with the boys. Of course until I managed to corral Medium Shrimpy Boy into the church ivy bushes, because he was watching me and not watching where he was going… it was fun besides that. oops. We all got winded. And I’m thankful I am not alone…

No one wanted to get in the car when Daddy was ready to leave. On the way home, we stopped off for free coffee. Thank you national coffee week. I was amazed at the onslaught of people waiting their turn at the free coffee choices. So many choices. Laughter and politeness filled the room. People here, people there. And then we drove home. Medium One fell asleep swiftly. Tall Boy complained about this or that most of the way and Small Child doesn’t make  peep as long as the music doesn’t stop playing.  It was mostly silent after about halfway home and I began planning how I’d updo tomorrow’s hairdo appointments! … We arrive at home and I carry Medium One in the house sound asleep. The other two manage with their own feet. We get them to bed. The music plays. Daddy feeds the fish. And goes to the office to study. I have plenty to do but find myself unable to do anything productive. I’m alone. Alone with my thoughts. I am so very busy all the very time that I rarely have time to just sit and just be. And as I checked on Facebook I took notice of my cover photo… a photo that has made me stop and stare at it more and more and more lately. And I know I’ll never be alone…

A photo I’m so blessed to have been able to snap and preserve such a moment. … Couple weeks back I had the joy of returning to my college campus and sing with a choral alumni retreat of sorts. A reunion just for choir members. Any choir members who ever were. Even though I didn’t graduate, I loved this place. I wasn’t always great “in school’ but I found myself at Jewell… in more ways than just academically. (thankfully, right mom?) I found out how to truly care for another person there. I learned how to seek a sweet quiet place and sit and listen for that still small voice. I learned how to find the Lord, if I searched for him with my whole heart. I learned how to love and how to be loved…  I found a place that was home in my heart… And I think this picture so perfectly shows God’s artistic beauty as He painted a “welcome home” sign for me as I walked up the hill to the quad that Thursday night and found myself awestruck at the masterpiece in the sky. This photo that tells me even when I feel like things may be spiraling out of control or even if they are just going on in a steady drone of ho-hum, I’m not alone.

I am loved by a tender thoughtful living Father who adores his children and longs to have them come home… Isn’t He a marvelous painter? Isn’t He so patient and kind? Will we have bad days? yes. Will we have great days? yes. Will we have the boring repetitiveness of “same ol same ol”? yah, probably. But he will be there. Every step of the way. Loving us. Fighting for us. Encouraging us. Protecting us.

I don’t write all this to have people wonder if I’m depressed. (I’m not. Quite the opposite in fact!) or hormonal (you’re guess is as good as mine) or or or… I’m fine. I really am. I’m just overwhelm with emotion. Thanksgiving in my heart that my God loves me so much. Chose me. Wanted me. Wants me. And he loves me so much that He chooses to show me. Over and over and over and over! Whether in the loudness and craziness of every day passing of the busyness of life or in the calm untouched quiet moment of a beautiful sunset when you’re all alone. And yet… this photo…


…is a  photo that reminds me that even when you have that feeling… that you’re all alone in the world… you aren’t.

you aren’t.

right from wrong

My life is crazy town. And I don’t say that lightly, I mean my life is literally nutso. With three small boys, a husband who works full time and is in seminary full time, my schedule is complete with dinner theater practices (me), soccer practices and games (them), events with my new purse business (me) *more later*.  We have science projects to work on and bible studies to do. We have cookies to bake and muffins to make. There are mountains of laundry. Oh mountains I say. If you have smallish humans at your house (or once had) you know what I mean… the dishes are always dirty, the laundry is always “to be folded” and there aren’t ever any towels. The socks stay in “the sock basket” unmatched and you’re sure you put your glasses somewhere you’d remember when you needed to actually… read, right?!

Well, as I’m couch bound (and have been for a few days) due to bronchitis and croup complements of M3 and my own upper respiratory infections coupled with an ear infections (I mean what could be more fun right?!), I thought I’d take a few minutes of my hours of time doing nothing that needs done… from here I see a stack of clothes to be hung, piles of folded clothes to be put away, a game half played, still out, a sock… dirty? a book someone will forget in the morning to return in their backpack if I don’t, my calculator that someone else keeps walking off with, not to mention the piles of dishes I’m sure are in the sink because the dishwasher was to “hot” for the one who’s turn it was to empty it this afternoon while I was laying near subconscious on the couch…. to write you a few of the thoughts floating in my head.

Right from Wrong…

This has been an on going discussion in our house. Your too? I hope so. My kids need to learn the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong. We need to learn to listen to our internal gauge that shouts at us at times and whispers at others… basically yes, I’m speaking of “following the rules”. I am a rule follower. Suuuuuuuure I like the exception sometimes, who doesn’t, but most of the time I’m a rule follower.  In the mornings lately, we have been having BIG conversations about this. You see, we come from our house to the elementary school and the school is on our left. Well, you aren’t supposed to turn left any more into the school’s carpool lane. So, if you’re coming from the direction where the school will be in fact on  your left, you need to drive past the school, past the carpool line, to the first street on the right, drive to that street’s culdesac and turn yourself around and come back so that your car will be in the correct (right) lane. Sounds simple enough, huh?


I do not understand how we as “mature adults” (HA!) can possibly teach our children to follow the rules or to obey what’s right…. when they see repeated offenders left and right. You may think, geez, Kate, this isn’t a big deal is it? …. Well… here’s a glimpse of a couple different mornings recently for you…

Me:  ugh.
Matthew: What?
Me: Nothing, that car is just being rude.
Matthew: Why?
Me: (three cars back, waiting to pass the school, while someone is trying to turn left into a long line of cars not letting him in) You’re just not supposed to turn here, he should go around to the circle. It’s okay.
Mark: he needs to wait his turn.
Me: yes baby.
Micah: we are waiting for our turn?
Me: yes baby.
We proceed to the street, drive to the circle, turn around, come back around, get in line, when we reach the “safe zone” in the parking lot, I allow them to unbuckle and typically I’ll say: Who’s going to pray today?
Mark goes: ME! “Dear Jesus, thank you for today. Please keep us safe at school and help us be good and follow the rules and not be rude like the rude grown up. Help the rude grown up please, amen”.
Me; (Choke choke.) Bye boys, I love you. That was a nice prayer Mark.

Next day, we round the corner…. you know how sometimes, when something happens, kids get fixated on that something…. yah…. well…
Me: Who’s going to pray
Micah: Me! “Dear God thank you for my boys. Keep my boys safe at school and help the rude grown ups. amen”
Me: Thank you Micah that was a nice prayer. Bye Boys! Be good. Love you!

Next day, we round the corner…. we drive down the street, we turn in the circle, we come back and get in the right lane… and guess what happens? … Yup… someone tries to cut in front of us, turning left across the lane of traffic that we aren’t supposed to turn across and that we didn’t turn across. I tried not to make a big deal, I motioned a circular motion with one finger, as if to say “no no, please go down like I did and turn around”. This motion must have meant yes, please come closer to my car completely blocking traffic and now I can’t go anywhere. To which the smallish human people in the backseat start saying things like “Why is that car being rude?” and “Mommy why don’t they have to follow the rules too?”

Smash head on steering wheel.
I don’t know.

I don’t know why some people CAN NOT follow rules or think that rules don’t apply to them. I wonder how people can expect their children to go to school and follow the rules when they themselves can’t drive another what 500 yards to the next street drive less distance down that street turn around safely, legally and without blocking traffic or cutting anyone off. It’s just not that hard.

I’ve tried to dumb down the annoyance but it is really about every other day probably we either see someone cutting off someone else, someone trying to cut us off, someone driving past us who couldn’t wait patiently, which means driving on or over the double yellow lines which my kids know you aren’t supposed to do which  means I hear about that guy too…. *yes, that’s a lot of which-es

I realize this my be a petty thing on a big wheel of bigger things to worry over. But I’m trying to teach my kids right from wrong. Everyone day other people (even grown ups) are showing them they can do whatever they want. I’m saddened. It’s just not that hard. We all have kids we all have to get to school. If we follow the rules, and do it safely, everyone will in fact get to school, and none of us will be stressed we’ll be hit in the process.  If you however can’t abide by the rules, never fear, my boys will be praying for you as you feel it’s more important for you to cut in front of others rather than be safe and respectful.

no one to eat the raisins

So my doodle bug is off to school… he’s a big boy, riding on the big school bus with his big brother. it’s a pretty big deal no? sniff. I love him so much. I of course love all my boys so much. I have almost gotten used to Matthew being gone, now in the third grade, I can sort of remember when he was home, but that was a few pregnancies ago… those memories are faded… with Micah being a good napper, Mark and I have been hanging out just us for a long time. Him and me. Candy Land, Buggy Bingo, Memory, Uno… there were books to read, there were chores to do together… but now my little helper is gone. Hes off to school. He’s running with the big kids.  He’s so smart. He’s so brave. I’m not quite that brave. And at two weeks into this school all day thing, you’d think I’d be fine. I would have shed the tears last week right? Nah, last week everything was new. And I had plenty to do. But  now that we’re getting into a rhythm, it’s hard because there are things that remind me of Mark all day long. Today I burst into tears at Chick-a-flay because as I was putting my salad together, my Doodle bug wasn’t there to give him the raisins that I don’t eat. … sniff sniff… no one to eat the raisins. 



It’s July

It’s July. 

It’s in fact the last week of July. 

The very last week of July.

Anyone else following along? 

Anyone else know the madness I speak of? 

Anyone else know just how much I want August to start so that school will start?!

You know it’s the last week of summer before school starts when you don’t even care WHY they are arguing anymore, you just beg them to please be quiet. 

You know it’s the last week of summer before school starts when you decide to “walk around the grocery store” for “something to do” because being trapped inside with those people is too much to bear. 

You know its the last week of summer before school starts when you ask if you can take a family walk after dinner even when you’ve already gone to Zumba class that morning just so you don’t have to hear them say “I’m bored” one more time. 

You know it’s the last week of summer before school starts when you’re on the phone and the squabbling gets loud but as long as no one is crying sitting in a pol of blood, you keep talking and the other person on the phone doesn’t ask what’s wrong because the smaller people in her house are also squabbling loudly and everyone knows the answer anyhow. The answer is “it’s July”. 

You know it’s July when the toddler tells you he’s ready to put himself to nap… what?  Yes. This really happened today. 

Anyone else feeling it? 

It’s JULY!

hello, Georgia, well hello, Georgia

… to the tune of “Hello, Dolly” … it has been way too long, my cup runneth over, I am so blessed,…. but also so busy. I barely have time to stop and think let alone sit and blog… 

However the fact that the last posting was Mark’s graduation, and the summer is nearly over and school will be starting back up is a little sad. Surely there should be time in there for something! 

What a whirlwind summer we’ve had… the boys and I traveled for a month visiting family and friends in Missouri and New Mexico.  I wont recap all of it, but here’s some highlights…  First up, KC Zoo ,we spent a week with my best friend in KC, and this was a highlight…  (we also celebrated Matthew’s birthday there, but most of the pictures are on my tablet and I need to still get those over to the laptop)


Secondly, we spent two weeks at my sister’s house in New Mexico. Love it there. Love it there…. the sky is so blue… the clouds are so white… it was so much fun. I took nearly 1000 pictures so this was hard, but here’s a few favorites… 

Selfie with Sweetie


We had a great Sunday afternoon while there, we visited a nursery and took pictures in their gardens, oh my goodness, it was beautiful. Just beyond gorgeous… the kids had fun and didn’t wear out too much, we took hundreds there… here’s a very few favorites from that day… 





The next postings will probably be about potty training fears, traveling tips, my new buisness (stay tuned!), my new kitchen walls (stay tuned!), things I’m learning, books I’m reading, and who knows what else… I will try to update more regularly… and give plenty of updates on these strong boys of mine…  I love them all so much.

Happy Summer y’all.



Mark’s graduation

Before I post anymore about the beach trip, I don’t want to forget about my little graduate. I was so proud of him… every child in his class was awarded a medal with a word the teacher picked out to describe each child. (They did this for Matthew’s class too, his word accurately was “intelligent” *I couldn’t even spell that word without spell check*). Mark’s word made me cry. It was “helpful” and couldn’t be more telling word to put on my little charmer. He is my helper in and out. He is eager and willing to help with chores or to help with whatever just to be with me. He is my do-er. He is a pleaser. It pleases my heart so to know that even when he’s away he’s still being a helper.

I have now gotten the blessing to sing at both Matthew and Mark’s graduations…. I am hopeful to sing for all three at this point, and wonder if I’ll even be able to open my mouth before tearing up at Micah’s! But here’s a video of me singing for Mark’s graduation. Watch to the end. The last 8 seconds are worth the whole four minutes. You can click here or go to

Here’s a few pictures of my graduate. I can’t believe he’ll be going to kindergarten next year. I can’t believe I’m losing my little helper to full day school five days a week come August. I can’t wait to see “the places [he’ll] go” ~


humor and irony go hand in hand

So, I was all set for a few days unplugged right?  Right?  Everyone remembers that right? I mean we have no laptop, no smart phone, no kindle, no nothin… ready for a few days of playing cards, reading paper books, going for walks (I went once), sitting on the beach and watching the water….

And we were were gifted a smart device while we were there! Micah superbly enjoyed “typing letters on the big phone” and uh, um, so did I (I didn’t really type letters, but I did like setting it up and figuring out the settings and apps and such!)… oh well. So much for unplugged!




Went back and forth between titling this “Silence” or “unplugged” … 

Jamie is currently without employment. This will be short lived… as he starts a new job, a new chapter in our lives, next Friday… but for now, he has turned in his previous company’s laptop and blackberry… We will be “unplugged” for the next several days. We’re beach bound this weekend and I’m looking forward to every moment of it. Normally we have the laptop with us and we play mindless games (plants vs zombies, anyone?), we “check email” so that the spam ones don’t pollute the inbox, we “check the weather” and “look for places to eat” (or get delivery from).  We “check facebook” and we “surf the net” … this trip, however, since we don’t have a data plan and are a smartphone-less family… we will be unplugged. unglued. Yes of course we will have the DVD player for the van, because HELLO does anyone travel in this day and age without the DVD player in the van? But after that, we’re going to have SUNLIGHT and a deck of cards to entertain us. Do people know how to do that any more? Our kids don’t know how to be bored. They don’t know how to “play until it gets dark” or how to invent games on the spot. I’ve got one that’s good at making up his own rules, but the boredom sets in pretty thick around here. 

Past two days I’ve been prepping them for the silence I’m mentioning… yesterday we (the little two and I) were outside for HOURS. and I don’t mean a bit over an hour, but for HOURS…. like 4-5 hours. I think we went out just after 10ish and I brought Micah in to nap at 2:15. Mark and I stayed out until about 3pm when Matthew came home off the bus. We chalked until that was boring. We blew bubbles until most of it was spilled. We dug in the dirt filling up buckets “for Daddy” and looking for worms until we were tired of that. We filled up giant buckets and watered the potted plants, the elephant ears, the apple and pear trees, the pine straw, the anything, until we ran out of things to water. So we filled up the bucket again and started having “outside baths.” This lasted until we were too wet and cold to have fun, so I stripped them outside, got new clothes on and hung the wet clothes on the fence. (They found themselves wet again, as you can imagine). We even ate outside like at a picnic. They kept looking at me like “Really? we can’t go back inside”? Nope. I kept finding more things for them to do.  Today even, with Matthew home (finally !!!! * Side note! HURRAH! My tall boy is promoted to third grade. WOOOOT! *) we went back outside, I dragged the chalk wagon out again and we traced all our bodies, we made patterns and shapes and alphabets up the driveway, we ate lunch picnic style. A friend stopped by. She was like “oh that’s a neat idea, eating lunch outside.” I told her, “you know, sometimes lunch tastes better outside.” Our kids want to hop from one screen to another screen left and right. They finish a movie so they want to play a computer game, I tell them time up on the computer so they want to play the Wii. I tell them that’s enough screen time so they ask to play the Leapster. When that’s done they can’t play anything else so they want to watch ME play Candy Crush…  … I mean it’s on going.

So. Next week. With no laptop in tow… we will play “Go Fish” and “War”. We will go for walks, we will swim until we’re pruney and have “drested hands” as Micah calls them (I think that means twisted hands or wrinkles, basically.) We will lay int he grass and watch the clouds. We will stare at the ocean. We will play “I spy” and invent new games, I hope.

We’ll sit in silence all week.


Yet, maybe in the unplugged silence, we’ll actually have super loud family fun.

…. I for one, can’t wait! 

I can do this

It’s been a while. 

(pat pat)  

There there sad blog. 

I can’t believe I still have followers. 

Anyone seen the movie “Moms Night Out” yet?  I think all of us Mommy bloggers should totally run and see it. We’ll appreciate our 17 or 28 or 253 (not me) followers even more after we do.  I saw it tonight. I cried. I laughed. I snorted. I think I spit at one point, I was laughing so hard. Gut wrenching truths followed by comical moments were precisely on target. This movie gets a 100% in my book. I kept waiting for the cursing, the crude humor… nope. Just real life. But not hollywood’s version of the super models as parents real life with a house keeper and a everyone walks in heels all the time and the husband is perfectly toned and the wife is as big as a toothpick… no. real actual real real life. The questions of what are you doing does in fact matter. And I wont spoil the movie here so don’t click away, but as I look in this room alone… the piles of paperwork, artwork, the comforter haphazardly falling off the futon, toys scattered about… I’m sure if I step out of order leaving this room, I’ll step on something… puzzles with pieces missing, a favorite toy with a broken part, children’s artwork decorating the walls instead of polished pieces in glass, coffee cups and used tissues, bottles of lotion unopened on my desk, wanting to be used… anyone else see any of this in their rooms? I’m betting I’m not the only one… I sigh. A stack of receipts to be entered stares back at me. I can’t find my jump drive. I know I had it here somewhere. I think about the fact that the toilet needs scrubbing and I don’t want to do it. There is a basket of laundry to be folded on the couch (has been for three days), a load in the dryer (it will have to be “fluffed” before it comes out), and I’m sure everyone’s hampers are full. Etc, etc, etc… 

But you know what… I don’t think any of that truly matters. And in 5 years, 10 years, it surely wont matter. What matters now and what will matter then… will be did I stop and look at the artwork someone (usually Mark) drew for me? Did I stop and kiss the boo-boos to make them feel better? Did I get down on the floor and play a game when asked or am I constantly saying “later” or “wait” or “I’m busy” or “in a minute”? …. When Micah said “Mommy I needa hold you” this afternoon but I was trying to get dinner going, it will matter that I picked him up, held him, kissed his cheek and put him ON the counter to “help” me cook. It will matter that Matthew had dental work done today and instead of shooing him back to school, I let him have mommy time after. We went to Sonic and I let him get a chocolate shake. We dilly-dallied. I enjoyed letting him know that I was paying attention to him. 

This job is hard. 

The days are long. 

There is no end in sight. 

But I am exactly where God wants me to be. 

And He will equip me for the job He’s given me.

And HE doesn’t make mistakes. He gave me these three children. He allowed me to be their mommy. And blast it all, I plan on being the best mommy I can be for these little people. Thank God for these kids. Thank God for my husband who wants me to stay home with our kids and do this thing called motherhood. To quote a line from the movie, Mom’s Night Out, “it’s crazy hard” … but man alive is it ever worth it. 

Every day is littered with hidden blessings, if I’d take off my stressed out glasses to see past the mess and through the stress and find the treasures waiting for me. 

Can you? 

Can you find the blessings? The treasures? 

I can do this! 

Yes. I can. 

So can you.

Spring Break Blues

Spring Break! Wooo! we’re off to the—- 

Nope. Not here. There is zero fun happening in Hobbsville for Spring Break this year. I had all these plans: library events, Zumba every day, bowling, CFA ice cream, playing at the park… bah humbug! Poor Matthew started the yuck on Saturday night with the stomach sickness. AKA: Bubonic plague.  Just when you think you’re in the clear, someone else starts it up again. Ugh. Worst awfulness ever. At one point yesterday, I was laying on the floor of the bathroom and realized my children hadn’t eaten anything in 7 hours besides a poptart I had Matthew locate for them about four hours prior. Oy.  I tell you what though, they were champs about it… we have the most awful case of cabin fever, hopefully we can get some outside time tomorrow…  I think in the past two-three days they’ve watched around 20 movies… some on repeat, but seriously, it’s been the Spring Break of Movie Marathon here.  

Anyone care to guess what the top runner is? 


Best movie made in years… we really loved “How to Train your Dragon” when it came out and we’ve been equally devoted fans to “Tangled” but this movie… beats them all.  Tonight in fact, since we’re missing movie night at church, I told them we’d watch Frozen yet again and then head to bed… I was met with cheering and racing for the living room.  Thank you very much, Walt Disney. You’ve done it again!  At least we’ve had Frozen for Spring Break. At least we’ve had that. 


For those who may be curious:
It took me more than three weeks to lose another pound. So Monday I was down my 9th pound since… and now two days later I was down two more. HAHA not exactly the way one would want to lose weight but hey, if it stays off…  *wink