If you have visited here before, you can probably see that I have changed the name of the blog again. I started blogging at 4URuthie to tell the story of our journey to adopt our 1st daughter. I changed it to Mountains for Maggie when we were praying for God to move mountains on behalf of our 2nd daughter. Well now it is no longer just Ruthie’s or Maggie’s stories. It is now our family's story, and the stories of those we share life with, as we Conquer Mountains together. Both ConqueringMountains.net and 4URuthie.blogspot will lead here.

About Me

My photo
I am a pastor's wife, mother of 4 kids (2 adopted and 3 with special needs), physical therapist, and photography junky. This is where it all comes together for me. Feel free to join along as I process life out loud.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thank You Simple Life Responders

Thank you to everyone who responded to my post yesterday. You have ALL given me so many good things to think about.

The first thing that really struck me was Barbara's statement:
"Honestly, I don't think that God calls us to simple lives. I think that we are called to faithful lives."

Barbara that was good and so I am calling it "Corner Piece #1"!
And that got me pondering: then why is a simpler life seem so appealing and why does it feel like that would be God-honoring?

Then Naomi put it so well with , "I never forget that Jesus managed to keep His life simple in the midst of so much busy activity by spending time with the Father every day."

Of course, we are supposed to model our lives, as disciples of Christ, after the life of Christ. While Christ's life was simple, it was also busy. BUT... it was busy doing His father's business.
Corner Piece #2- You can live a simple life and still be busy but your activity needs to align with the will of God.

Another friend emailed and expanded this well with,
"BUT, Jesus' life was focused on one thing and that was doing the will of His Father. He says He never did anything unless His Father instructed Him. And for Jesus to know what His Father wanted, Jesus had to ask (or pray as we call it). He knew what was important. He was able to look at Judas' betrayal and see the hand of God. He was able to look at the little children and see the heart of God. He was able to walk along the road with two guys who were confused and see the work of God and He was able to go to the cross and endure persecution and pain and sorrow and see the love of God. He had His focus on Him who is in charge."

So then this morning, Trent quoted to me a statement from Dallas Willard, that goes something like, "Business is not a state of the calender but a state of the heart".

I get that because like my friend Jenny pointed out, farmers and homeschool mom's can be very busy in their days. It's not their calender that I envy, it's the heart behind their choices.

But still, my world is too noisy. There are too many stimuli and distractions begging for my attention.

My friend Kim said on facebook:
"One way I try to keep it simple is to make sure my kids (and me) have time to just "be" without the pressure to hurry up, finish up, put up, etc."

I agree Kim and I think we have to be really intentional about that because no way it is going to come naturally. I am going to call the intentional regular action of getting away to reflect and seek the Lord, Corner PIece #3. Some people, like the Mennonites, build that into their culture by refusing those things that distract the rest of us. Like you said, Wife of the Pres, that is not realistic for all of us, so I have to set time aside.

So to recap where I am on journey to simplify...
1. We are not called to live simple lives but faithful lives.
2. You can live a simpler life and still be busy but your activity needs to align with the will of God.
3. Simplifying involves being intentional about slowing down and finding times to block out the demands of the world so we can focus on the will of God.

So what's the 4th piece? I think I know what it is going to be, but that is still shaping out in my head and will come soon in another post I am sure.

Thanks again for helping me process. Feel free to add anything you think I left out. I am blessed to share life with all of you. See, if I were Mennonite, I would be missing out on all of this. :)

Today's Sidenote: I took these while the little ones were playing in a tunnel that my Aunt Penny gave them for Christmas. To my defense, Jack hates having his picture taken so I just am not able to get as many of him. These 2, on the other hand, really turn it on for the camera.




Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Simple Life???

Something has been stirring in my brain for some time now and it still feels like a bunch of puzzle pieces that haven't quite yet come together. So I am going to try and lay it out here and see if you can help me find the corners and straight edges.

Living here in suburbia, I feel this constant inner battle between my desire to simplify our lives and the influence of the world around me. I have been trying to figure out what it looks like to live "the simple life". Many of my friends here would say that I already live a simple life by the sheer fact that I don't own an iphone or a designer handbag, but I think there is more to it than that.

Oh where to start???? I guess I can pick an extreme.

One of my absolute favorite families that we traveled with to China was a Mennonite family from Kansas. I can't put into words how drawn I was to this family. I loved their authenticity and found them to be hands down some of the nicest people on the trip. I have not kept up with them since we left (they don't do web pages and pictures) but I received a handwritten letter from them this week. It was wonderful and I was touched as she asked me about things like the changing of the trees. She also mentioned the pig they found on the side of the road and had decided to raise. Can I just say that I have no idea if the trees are changing and cannot imagine opening my home to a pig?!? And you know what, that saddens me. My life is so busy that it no longer comes natural to notice God's creation around me, much less appreciate it. While reading her letter, I longed to load up my family and drive to Kansas to start over.

Here is the deal though. God hasn't called us to Kansas. He has called us to Houston. I struggle daily with how to live a simpler life in a city that is anything but simple.

My problem too is that I can't figure out what defines simple. Is it the size of your house? The view from your back porch? Whether or not you homeschool your kids? How many activities your children are involved in? The price of your clothes? Whether you cook all your meals (let's hope not because I would need to give up)?

All I know is that my heart longs for something simpler but I don't know what that is. I would love your thoughts.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Black and White Wednesday

Another blogger friend started participating in B&W Wednesday last week and I decided that is something that I can do. You see, a lot of people do Wordless Wednesday, but there is just nothing wordless about me. Others do Tasty Tuesday but that is not me either. I can't tell an herb from a piece of grass and if it doesn't start in a box, it probably doesn't come out of my kitchen. Sorry.

But Black & White Wednesday I can do!! I will try and throw in a few editing tips too.

As you can see there is so much to B&W. I used 2 different filters in converting these images and did a little something extra with each using Photoshop Elements.

In Ruthie's picture, I also used an artistic effect called Paint Daubs to change the picture and then used an infrared filter to convert it to b&w

















This super cool pic of Sam was taken by my friend Kimberly Sink. Originally Kimberly's shadow was in the bottom right of the garage door, but I was able to remove that with the dodge tool. I also used the burn tool to darken Sam's shadow and then I converted this picture using a cold tone.


















Here are the originals of those 2 pictures so you can see the difference. I have never been to a photography class and I am so not a professional, but as you can see, anyone can play around and do cool things with this program.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Good Results

We took Ruthie back to Dallas at the end of last week for another follow up with Scottish Rite. They were super pleased with not only how her surgical hand was doing but also how her other hand had improved.

When Ruthie was officially diagnosed with Arthrogryposis, I had several Drs. tell me that she would not improve without surgery because children like Ruthie only made gains in their first year. I then had other mothers of children with Arthrogryposis tell me that was NOT their experience and they had seen their children improve with therapy.

Well, we have been working with Ruthie and she has gained 20 degrees of motion in her non-operative hand and has increased strength and motion in her elbows and shoulders. I am so proud of my hard working girl. I have no doubt that she can do anything that she puts her mind to.


Today's Sidenote- HATS!

A neighbor of my Aunt Penny has traveled to China several times. When we were in Dallas, she gave this hat to Ruthie.





















Every child makes a hat out of their bowl sometime. I am just glad that the bowl was empty. :)



Friday, January 22, 2010

Gaining Perspective

God once again used parenting the other day to help me gain some perspective on worry. I hope this encourages you too.

My son Jack has a fear of fire drills at school that has only gotten worse as the year has progressed. The other day I was having lunch with him and I looked over to see him red in the face, tearing up, and physically shaking. Alarmed, I asked him what in the world was wrong. He said that he overheard someone say the word bell and he was afraid that there was about to be a fire drill.

I explained to him that a "drill" is just that, only a "drill", that I was there with him to carry him out, and that we could see the exit door less than 20 feet from where we were sitting. This did not help at all and he continued to grow increasingly upset. After I finally got him to calm down, I couldn't help but think how ridiculous his panic was in light of the fact that the situation was under control and I was there with him.

I was later sharing this story with my friend and mentor Julie when she so beautifully helped me see the spiritual connection and reflect on how God must look at us in all of our panic, fear, and worry and shake His head in wonder because He knows (and so should we) that the situation which so consumes us (adoption, finances, job change, health, etc) is also under His control and best of all, He is right there with us.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Digital Scrapbooking 101



OK so several of you have asked me about digital scrapbooking and photo editing. I am pretty new to all of this too, so this is definitely 101. Hopefully I can share some main points and some links to help you from there. I am loving photo editing and digital scrapbooking and best of all, I have found that it is pretty simple.

I use Photoshop Elements for just about everything. You can download a 30 day trial of it at Adobe's website. You can use this program to edit your photos and make your digital scrapbook pages, cards, blog backgrounds, or whatever you like.

Getting Started
Shabby Princess has some good tutorials. When you first look at Photoshop Elements, it is a bit overwhelming. These tutorials will help you find your way around the program.

Now to the fun part! There are several cool websites that you can use to get all your papers, embellishments, and kits. A lot of them are FREE! You can also buy them, but I have not found that necessary. Here are some of my favorites:
1. Shabby Princes downloads - They have several very cool free kits. They don't add kits often, but the ones they have are great
2. Digiscrap- This website is great. Basically they keep a record of different bloggers who give away their digital scrapbook kits. These are organized by date and are to get you to visit their sites. Usually the old dates are no longer free, but you can find some neat stuff if you stay recent.
3. Just So Scrappy - I love this lady's designs. She gives away something free everyday too.
4. DSE- This site emails me something free everyday. It is pretty good. You can also join for a fee and get more, but I haven't done that.

So now I have a pretty good supply of papers and stuff to make my pages. I made our Christmas card this way, Ruthie's invites to her bday party, this blog background, and my scrapbook.

PRINTING??
I know that is your next big question. I use Vistaprint for all my invites because they tend to be pretty affordable and give a lot for free. For my albums, I create a 12x12 page in Photoshop Elements and then save that as a jpeg. Then you can go to whatever Photobook website you choose and put that jpeg as the whole picture to the page. I hope that makes sense.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK QUESTIONS! I am not a graphic designer or even that creative. I just love preserving family memories. It is really pretty easy once you get started.





Saturday, January 16, 2010

Throw Party of the Year- check

Today we held Ruthie's 3rd Birthday Party and it was a big one. We hosted 115 of her closest friends in the church fellowship hall and brought Tumblebus and an inflatable to entertain the kiddos. It was loads of fun and we are beat. I am sure that I will have a lot of pictures to share over the next few days, but here is round 1.







Thursday, January 14, 2010

6 Months and 1 Year

Today is the 6 month anniversary since Ruthie's adoption ceremony in China and the 1 year anniversary for our referral call!

This is a big week for Ruthie because we are also having her 3rd birthday party on Saturday. Of course, I just looked and saw that the chance of rain went from 40% last night to 80% this morning so I am scrambling to adjust my entertainment plans. Nothing like an adrenaline rush at 7 am.

I made a video to show at Ruthie's party of pictures from her first 3 years. It was too long and too big to post in its entirety so here is 2/3 of it. The last 3rd is all the recent pictures that you have already seen anyway. The first 1/3 is most of her pictures from the orphanage that you have not seen. Enjoy!


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Otherness

I had one of those bring it all together moments in church yesterday that I would love to share with you.

BACKGROUND: A couple things happened last week
1. I became increasingly aware of the culture around me that says you have to start training your child very early to excel at something. I know way to many elementary kids who spend hours each week and year round to try and be the best at their already chosen sport. I have had 2 different parents in the last few weeks tell me that there child is "training" to be in the Olympics some day. It is just the culture around here. To prove my point, they started a soccer league here for 18 month- 2 year olds. We all desire for our child to excel at something and stand out from the crowd- Otherness.

2. We received a letter this week that Jack did not test into the gifted and talented program at his school. I have to say that this surprised me. Jack is a very smart kid and I really thought this would be his thing, but I guess when you go to a school made up of NASA kids, it is really hard to test into the top 3% (I was told there are kindergartners doing 3 digit multiplication- what is that about??). Back to my point- I was sad for Jack because that means he will not get to be involved in the programs that I thought might provide him a little extra shelter from this cruel world. It also left me asking, "If he is not GT, then who is this kid and what will be his thing- his otherness?"

BIBLICAL OTHERNESS REALIZED: Here is where God brought it all together for me. I love when He leads me up to something (and I don't even know it) and then drives home the lesson.
Trent preached yesterday on Holiness and it's 4 aspects- beauty, purity, awe, and otherness.
Stay with me...
Otherness is that thing that sets Christ apart from humanity. He died so that we could be Holy (and experience otherness or be set apart)
Eph 1:4 "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight."

Those who live by the world's standards define themselves or find their significance in their achievements and raise their children to do the same. If we are going to live by Christ's definition of otherness, we will raise our children to not be defined by what they do, but by who they know- CHRIST. This will truly set them apart.

Trust me when I say that I struggle with this everyday and that I am not trying to say that having your kids in extra curricular activities is bad. There is a lot of good that comes out of training your kids to take care of their bodies, learn self-discipline, set goals and achieve them, play on a team, and just stay out of trouble. Is it bad to be at the top? No. Here is the statement that I will have to keep telling myself as we find Jack, Sam, Ruthie's "thing."

When Jesus died for __________ to experience "otherness" it was not for him to be smarter or faster but Holier and that should be my #1 priority too.


And for us adults who should have this all figured out, right? I think Colt McCoy put it best in his I Am Second video. Our significance is not found in our accomplishments but in the person of Jesus Christ.

So Fun!














I can be a bit obsessive at times and one thing I am absolutely obsessive about is documenting my children's childhood. I scrapbook, make movies (using imovie and love it), print photobooks of our vacations, am starting to digital scrapbook, and now Blog Book. At the recommendation of my blog friend Jenn (Karleigh Mei's mom), I used Blog2Print to make a book of all my blogs for the last year. One reason I am so excited about how this turned out is that I am usually really bad about not journaling in my scrapbooks. I hate my handwriting and as a lefty I never learned to do all that cute curly writing that comes with being a woman (or so I thought). I just love the fact that printing my blog gave me a real journal of what God has done in our family this year.

So be warned- now that I know I can print my blog and preserve family memories in a such a cool way, I am going to be writing a lot more here.


Today's Side Note:

We are having the coldest winter here in 20 years. The other night I needed to put a hat on Ruthie but I didn't want to mess up her pig tails, so we came up with this.

The kids all got flashlights in their stockings this year. I couldn't find the 2 little ones earlier until I opened my closet to this.

Friday, January 8, 2010

How We Pray

There are a lot of ways to pray, but I think if we broke it down into 2 broad categories, we could say that our prayers either line up with our will or His will and if we are fortunate enough to be in tune to where God is moving, they can line up with both. I know that is easier said than done.

I bring this up because I am encouraged right now by the people who have commented here or emailed me to say that they too have felt led recently to pray for Jack's healing. When several different believers hear the same thing, that usually means that God is really up to something. Can I take that and run with it to say that God is going to heal Jack? I don't think so, but I can say that when we choose to involve our prayers and our lives with where He leads, we are in for an incredible ride of seeing Him move and I definitely think He is moving here.

I have a whole slew of things that I would like to pray for from financial provision to healing to direction, and I think that is ok. God wants us to express the desires of our heart to Him. However, I also love to stop talking and just listen, open my eyes, and follow His lead then respond by engaging my heart and energy where I see Him. I am thankful for where He is leading me right now and I am also thankful to get to share life with family and friends who listen to Him and then step out in faith too.


Today's Side Note:

She is smiling because she thinks she is getting away with something.

Pretty girl. It seems like her hair grew an inch while she was in the hospital. I think they must have put horse vitamins in her IV.




Tuesday, January 5, 2010

First 100 Days

Our church is emphasizing prayer in the first 100 days of this year. They are encouraging everyone to take one day each week and commit it to fasting and praying. During this time, Trent is preaching a series on prayer and I really believe that God is up to something.

The theme in my personal study lately seems to be coming back around to believing God. As I was reading the other day, I felt led to pray for Jack's healing during these 100 days. For those of you who don't know, my 7 year old was diagnosed with a degenerative nerve disease 2 years ago and it is gradually taking away the muscle in his legs while making his legs more spastic. We are seeing a real difference in the last month in his ability to run and keep up with his friends.

Praying for his healing is interestingly enough something I have never done before. I really believe that the issue is so close to my heart, that I have feared how it my feel if God told me no. For some reason, it feels different now and I feel as though not praying for his healing reflects a lack of faith on my part to trust this God who has shown me over and over that He wants to do big things.

So I am going to take the next 100 days and pray specifically that God will heal Jack of this disease and restore his legs to full health and that we will give Him all the glory for it. I can't tell you how scary this is for me. Would you pray too when you think of us?


My big guy with his adoring sister and 1 musical Santa


Saturday, January 2, 2010

HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY RUTHIE

Today is Ruthie's 3rd Birthday. She wasn't sure what to think when we were singing to her this morning, but she knew exactly what to do when her cake arrived.




We are waiting a few weeks to have her party since her birthday was so close to Christmas. I guess that just makes for a longer celebration!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Funny Things My Kids Say


I am going to use this post as a place to keep a list of the funny things my kids say in 2010

Sam- "Mom do you know how we know Santa can fly in rain?"
Me- "No Sam, how do you know?"
Sam- "Because he has REINdeer. Hello!"

Sam was playing the Wii yesterday and he asked me "how do you spell winner?".  I spelled it for him and then turned around to see what he was doing.   He was making a new character for himself and just went ahead and named himself "Winner".
Oh what I wouldn't give for that kind of self-confidence.

I asked Sam what he thought we should get Ruthie for Christmas and he said, "I know. I know.  Girls like flowers so we should get one and put it in the back of her shirt to make it more prettier. "

The nurses offered Jack so ice cream and he said, "No thank you.  I am trying to lay low on my sugar intake today."
I have no idea where he got that.

Sam has informed me that he wants a jet pack that works or a Putt Putt golf course for Christmas and Jack wants a meteorology station like the National Weather Service has.  Let's see if we can't also get Ruthie a life size replica of Cinderella's castle while we are at it. 
My kids clearly need to be brought back to reality

Me- "Sam when you finish lunch let's read a book together."
Sam- "Can I play Wii? I have already spent time with you today."

This is more of a favorite kid action of the week.
I was telling Trent last night about how I caught Sam climbing the tree in our front yard. So he proceeded to tell me how he had caught Sam trying to climb on the roof of the playscape that same day. Then that reminded me of how I had caught Sam jump from the 6th stair to the living room floor that afternoon.
I am starting think that Ruthie may not be the only one getting an arm cast this fall

Oh the language in the pastor's house.
I heard Sam yelling in the living room "You are mean Jack and you are not a follower of Jesus!"
Curious as to what could have caused such accusations, I checked it out and discovered that Jack had the audacity to cheer for the other guy on the Wii. :)
I have to think that God loves listening to children pray. I know it makes me smile every time mine do.

Here was Sam's prayer the other night, "God thank you for joy. Help me to win my next big karate tournament and ask Santa to give me a jet pack for Christmas. Oh and thank you for my food tomorrow. Amen."

Ok so this one is a little gross but too funny not to share.
Sam in the car on the way to church yesterday-
"Mom I was going to eat my boogger but it had blood on it so I wiped it on shorts because eating blood would have been gross. Right???"

I guess he hasn't figured out that eating his boogers is gross all by itself.

Last week, Trent caught Sam trying to make a zip-line, with a bed sheet, from the top bunk to this 4ft locker he has in his room.
Tonight I walked in and caught him moving the locker so he could jump from the top bunk to the locker. I explained that the locker is plastic and lightweight so it will fall over if he jumps to it.
He told me, "If that happens, my plan is to grab that"- as he pointed to the ceiling light.
I think we are destined to have a broken arm in his future

The kids were straightening up the garage while playing in it (in the rain) today.
Jack came in and told me "Mom, this is BS work"
I was shocked and grateful when he clarified, "Brother Sister work"

I told Jack this morning that his dad and I had decided to start giving him an allowance in response to him picking up some extra responsibility around the house.
I was super shocked when he said, "I am too young for that and besides, I have enough money." He then reassured me that he will still help out around the house anyway.
Works for me!

SAM- "I am trying to be a man, but it is just not working out for me."
ME- "What are you talking about?"
SAM- "Daddy can carry my backpack on one shoulder but when I try, it just falls off."

Sam was singing a song about growing up called "Little By Little" and he stopped and said, "Mom I am going to miss you when I grow up."
I assured him that I was doing everything in my power to stop that growing up craziness.

When Ruthie and I do her therapy, I motivate her with M&Ms. Tonight she stopped in the middle and said, "Give me food now!" I guess she has ME trained.

Sam- "You don't have to get me a graduation present if you will just let me stay all days with you"

Jack took his first field trip on a real school bus the other day. The night before, he told me "I don't want to ride on a school bus. Those things don't have seat belts and that is just not safe"
Boy thinks like his mom. Love it!

While playing in the backyard with the kids the other day I noticed bumble bees around our playground.
I was swatting them with a tennis racket while the kids took cover on the porch.
Sam- "mom I know why all those bees came to our yard"
Me- "really? why?"
Sam- "Because they heard what a great mom you are."
*At 5 years old my little man has already mastered the art of sweet talking the ladies

Our family is supposed to dress up as "what we want to be when we grow up" one night at family camp. So I asked Sam "what do you want to be when you grow up?"
He replied, "Whatever God wants me to be"
I was touched and told him that he was going to be able to dress up and I needed to know what he wanted to be.
He looked at me and said, "Well if I dress like it then I will be it and I only want to be what God wants me to be and He hasn't told me yet."

Sam got a magic trick the other day where you put a dollar bill in a roller and depending on how you rigged it, something comes out on the other side. In the video, the magician makes a $100 bill come out the other side.

Sam was begging me for $1 bills all day so he could practice making $100s. I just couldn't seem to make him understand that if it really made $100s, I would have been making them myself. I promise. :)

I had Sam in his room helping me put away his laundry and he said, "Look mom, I am going to show you how to fold my undies so next time you can just do it yourself."
Nice try kid.

I was giving Trent a hard time for his response to my dinner suggestion the other night when Jack leaned over to him and said, "Girls are so dramatic".

Sam- "Do you have spray to kill my boogers?"
Me- "No. why?"
Sam-"Because you said that if I eat my boogers I will shrink so I want to kill the bugs in my boogers that eat the food in my tummy."

I am so proud of Jack! He had AWANA store tonight where he gets to use the bucks he has earned learning his verses to buy things. He came home and had spent all of his money buying presents for the rest of the family and they were well thought out too. I was so proud of him that it made me cry. It is moments like these that make parenting so great.

Me "Sam look there is Mr. Terry floating in space."
Sam- "OK. Can we watch Peek a boo elmo now"

The other day Sam brought me a capsule that you put in water and then a sponge dinosaur pops out. He told me that he wants to give it to someone who is poor and doesn't have any toys. I smiled and told him "sure that's a great idea" and moved on. Since then, he has come up to me several times a day and asked when we can go give it to someone who is poor. Looks like we will be making a trip to Goodwill some time this weekend. :) Love that kid and his heart

This morning: Sam- "can I play Wii" Me- "No Sam, we don't play Wii in the morning, we watch the news." Sam- "I know some news I can tell you and then can I play Wii?"

Jack has the day off from school and so he told me,
"Mom I would love to stay home with you today, but have to go to work with daddy and help in the library with the preschoolers because they just love me and I kinda a big deal to them."

Sam was playing a game with his GranMary that got hard and so he told her that they needed to pray and ask Jesus to help them. They did and the game started working again. Later when it got hard again, GranMary told Sam that they needed to ask Jesus to help again. Sam replied, "Na I think Jesus is tired of this game"

Sam tonight at dinner- "Mom, I know the verse in the Bible"
Me-"What verse Sam?"
Sam- "I can do anything that strengthens me"
Me- "Sam I think it goes, 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me' "
Sam- "Oh yeah. I forget the Christ part.”
Ones I remember from 2009 and Status from Facebook in 2009 and 2010:

Ruthie called an onion a roll earlier and the carrots a hot dog. I need to expose that child to more vegetables. But you have to admit, rolls and hot dogs are better than onions and carrots any day.

I am having a hard time explaining to Jack how the Leap Frog Didj that Santa got him was broken and had someone else's name plugged into it. Seems that Toys R Us sold a returned defect to the elves. C'mon Toys R Us help a mama out.

Ruthie got big girl undies in her stocking that she keeps modeling for us and sticking out her bottom to show us.

I feel so bad. I just gave Sam the biggest lecture about keeping up with his things because we couldn't find any of his light sabers. Then Jack reminded me that I had bagged them all up and put them in time out last week. Oops. Sorry Sam.

I didn't like that tooth anyway. Now that Sam managed to knock it out (with the help of his brother), I won't have to touch it up on Photoshop anymore. :)

Ruthie has grown 4 shoe sizes in 5 months. It is all happening too fast.

I just caught Ruthie eating old grapes out of the kitchen trash with a big smile on her face.

Sam has decided to start putting items, like his telescope, in the refrigerator to see what it will do to them. Lord help us when he can reach the microwave.

I told Sam today that next week is Thanksgiving. He asked me "is that when we get presents?" I told him "no that is when we stop and think about what we are thankful for". He exclaimed, "Well, I am thankful for presents!"

The funniest moment during my trip to Dallas was when my aunt's neighbor met Ruthie and then tried to talk to her in spanish. Uh Mr. she is Chinese not Mexican.

Sam asked me tonight if he has to hug and kiss Jesus when he goes to heaven because he only likes to hug and kiss family you know. :)

Sam's thought process is so interesting to me. Yesterday we were saying the nursery rhyme for Humpty Dumpty. Sam stopped for a minute and then asked me, "When Humpty Dumpty fell and cracked, what kind of animal came out of him?"

FYI- I am learning that glue won't keep your kids patches on AWANA vests or cub scouts vests. Go ahead and break out the needle and thread. :) They really should make these things with some sort of adhesive though.

Ruthie has one club hand and another in a cast. Still she managed to open and dump out a bottle of lotion, unfold my laundry, unfix her hair (bow and all), and empty a present full of bags of candy all in the last 30 minutes.

I wanted Sam (and the neighbor kids) to think I was cool if I could flip like a Jedi so I did a back handspring in my front yard for him this afternoon and now my shoulder really hurts. I am going to feel pretty stupid if I tore my rotator cuff.

8:00 am- started my new diet, resolved to eat healthier from now on 3:00 pm- picked Jack up from school and took him to Marble Slab for strawberry shortcakes. :)

Jack just told me "When you are 40 or 50 and you die, I will go to your funeral and then let my brother and sister come live with me"

Jack is supposed to do a project on his culture for school. So I asked him today to tell me about his culture. He said, "Umm Mexican". WHAT? The boy eats so much mexican food that he thinks he is a Mexican. He is getting spaghetti tonight.

Jack just told me that I am not the boss of him and that God is his only boss. Not good.

For years all Jack wanted for his birthday was an elevator then last year he decided he would settle for a train that he could drive around the neighborhood. Obviously he has been a very disappointed little boy. Well this year, he wanted a stop sign. I found one today it was so great of a moment, that I had to blog about it. ;)

Sam woke up this morning and asked for dessert. When I told him that we don't have dessert with breakfast, he said "then just feed me lunch"

Do you think if I suggested to Trent that we have more babies so the church would keep bringing us meals that he would volunteer to cook dinner from now on?

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Last Monday morning, I was sitting in a Dallas hotel room with Ruthie (my 10-year old) watching TV.   She chose an OLD Christmas cartoon tha...

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