Month: May 2008

  • The Baby Ate My Contact Lense… and other fun life events


    Let me begin the post by saying I have the most splendid company anyone could ever have. Well, maybe you can’t call family company, so maybe I should say that I am spending my week with the most delightful  people I have ever known! My sisters Ervina and Claudia flew down on Sunday to spend the week with us, and we are just having a smashing time, to use Ervina’s pet word. We will complete the Sisterhood next week when we meet Jana on our week-long family vacation! Oh, these are just wonderful days!

    So here are a few pictures…

    At the lake on Memorial Day
    The beauties themselves



    Our supper of grilled chicken strips, potato wedges, and Olive Garden Salad


    I had forgotten to take anything along for Zoe to sit on or play with [and she couldn't sit on the grass because of Fire Ants], so Ben came up with the brilliant idea of sticking her in the picnic basket. It worked quite well.



    Out on our back patio




    Zoe’ is so excited to have her aunties here, she hardly eats or sleeps. She wants to play all day! :)


    And in other news… The onion fields have recently been reaped. Or whatever you say when they take the onions out of the ground. Oh, Ervina says its “harvested.” That sounds more learned. Not that these fields hold any personal meaning for me, but I thought they looked rather impressive.






    And last week I went over to Gloria’s house, who is 2 weeks away from having a baby, and gave her and her seven year old daughter pedicures. It was a lovely time… Gloria is a dear heart, and I have learned to love her dearly…

    Kaleigh’s toes…



    And the lovely ladies of the house…


    and little Mr. Evan, who just had a bad accident on a “train” the day before



    On Saturday I went to a, um, dare I call it a store? Technically an antique shop, but let’s just say it’s more like a scavenger hunt. It’s in a house, but inside the house there is only one pathway going through each room – all the rest of the house is filled with stuff. Oh, the night after I went there I had nightmares dreams of all the vintage dishes and articles. I had only my purse with me, Zoe’ was at home with her daddy, but even that one lone object was enough to send some of the “stuff” flying in my attempt to keep my balance through these little pathways. I AM NOT EXAGGERATING! It was unbelievable…

    Then I asked if I could see some of the furniture outside in the shed, and she told me there were actually threes sheds, and I could go and look around. So I did, and I should not have been surprised when I opened ALL THREE of the shed doors to find stuff piled right up to the door. I figured if she told me I could look through it she wouldn’t mind if I, er, rearranged some things, so I moved a few items just so they were low enough that I could climb on top of them and walk on the first layer of furniture around the sheds. Needless to say, that isn’t the best way to check out furniture. In between trying to keep my balance and trying not to be paranoid of Black Widow spiders that might have been lurking in the depths, I didn’t find much in there. And I wasn’t really dressed in a kung fu uniform –  what would have been needed to move everything.

    But I did spend a good bit of time there [what would you expect, I still only looked through 10% of her items] and came away with a few treasures.

    This is only part of the stack of dishes, most of which I need to return because they didn’t fit in the space above my cupboards like I was hoping…


    Some of the plates I ended up keeping… I liked the colors on the above picture, but don’t want a contemporary look, and after I brought them home I was afraid they would look so.


    And these vintage canisters… Are they not the coolest things ever?? I paid a meager $8 for them, something I was more than happy to do…


    And since the first one was painted red, it gave me the idea to complete the idea on the rest. I also put new drawer pull knobs on all of them.


    A little more vintage than my kitchen was before, but I am charmed.


    I also found a tiny little bucket, which, though it will have to be painted [any ideas on the color?], will be perfect for berry picking and such things. You just can’t pick berries in a plastic container and have them taste as scrumptious.


    And I’ve also been door-painting. I have a fetish for red doors. Or blue doors, or black doors, or almost any other color door. As long as it has a color. This time it was red. And I do think it cheers this grey house up a bit.



    need I say “after”? but should I paint that little while side panel thing?? It looks rather… strange as it is.



    While I was painting the door, Zoe’ was so grouchy I brought this washtub inside the house and she splished and splashed ever so happily, I was able to paint and door and more!



    Ben has been finding rather strange creatures in our yard… This week he brought this rodent in. [Well, it's probably not in the rodent family, but I view it as such].


    And while I was adjusting the camera, the father even allowed the baby to touch this awful creature. I was mildly horrifed.




    And perhaps I should clarify that title sentence with the story behind it. It all ended well, but let me just say that it did not begin well…

    It was one of those nights when Baby didn’t want to settle down for the night. Bedtime is usually 8pm with a 12-hour night – sleeping straight through. Absolutely wonderful for this mother. Feels like I am finally getting my  energy back again! But as I was saying, it was one of those nights. Baby was put down for the night probably 3 times, each time meeting with wails and shrieks of all kinds. This particular mother was fooled at first, thinking her baby must be deathly ill to be carrying on so. But after the first time or two, meeting Baby’s triumphant smile upon entering the bedroom to see what WAS the matter, I learned it was just “one of those nights.” For some reason, Baby wasn’t tired. Finally, around 10pm, I decided it is TIME for bed, whether she likes it or not.

    So, after she had been playing a while, we went off to her little room, settled ourselves in the creaky rocking chair, and began rocking. Baby did not take to this idea very well. She was still too wide awake for such sleepy time, and began moving about quite vigorously. Meanwhile, I continued rocking in the creaky rocking chair, hoping she would remember this is what normally makes her sleepy.

    I suddenly felt her little hands flail around, hitting my face in several different areas, trying to keep herself awake. Moments after the attack, I realized I couldn’t see correctly, and was horrifed to further realize my contact must have been popped out by my child. I quickly put her down on the floor, turned the light on, and with my one good eye searched frantically on both child and myself for the missing contact lense. No wondrous find was to be found.

    I was already having nightmares of wearing my coke-bottle glasses, so off I rushed to the bathroom to see if maybe it was still in my eye but just up inside where I couldn’t find it easily. After searching there as well, I decided I had better go back to the bedroom to see if I had missed it there.

    As I entered the room, my little child grinned up at me, ever so happy to be awake and have yet another reason to stay up. As she grinned, I saw a shiny object on her tongue. Yes, you read correctly, her tongue.  I entered the room faster than I had ever entered a room before, and didn’t even have time to pray I could rescue my contact lense before it went down the tube. I slipped my finger inside her tightly-closed gums [she hates when I stick my finger inside her mouth - I'm forever having to rescue things, but this was definitely the mostly costly rescue], and pulled out the $80 contact lense just seconds before she swallowed it.

    For those of you that wear contacts, you can sympathize greatly, I’m sure. For those of you that don’t, you probably don’t know that heart-sinking feeling of realizing your eyesight may be gone for the next few weeks.

    The babe was wide awake after that episode, so the sleeping ritual had to begin all over again… in another hour or so. Meanwhile, I packed Ben’s lunch and let the baby take her bottle on the floor…


    So that’s the “Baby Ate My Contact Lense” story…


  • Date at the Concert


    What a fun night we just came from! Ben surprised me late Monday night by saying he wanted to take me to hear a classical concert sometime this week.

    Let me give a bit of background by saying we live in a town that produces a newspaper only bi-weekly for lack of news, that gives all the police reports from the past few days, and that dedicates a full page to the recent happenings in NASCAR but not a word is given to any events other than that in the rest of the world or the United States, political elements heated now or not. Obvious what is important to folks down here. :)There are a lot of radio stations we are able to get here; your choice of many country stations. Maybe one rock station, one Christian station. No classical or jazz stations nearby. Ben tells me the real Southerners like their music as whine-y and grunty as possible. Again, it’s obvious what matters to these Southerners.

    So when Ben told me Monday night he wanted to take me to hear an orchestra, I was rather surprised. Shocked is more like it. There is no such thing for several hours around, unless a school orchestra counts, so I knew we’d have to drive quite a ways. Ben himself had never been to something like that, so for him to decide to go and actively search for something was a big deal  – to both of us. He even said he wanted to use some of the gift money he got from school students for the big night out in the city. I couldn’t believe it!

    At first he told me he was looking at a performance for Friday night that was dinner and a concert under the stars. But that cost $1000 per person, so we opted for $35 tickets instead. There was actually something playing on Tuesday night, and though it was rather last-minute to try to find a baby sitter for Zoe’, Mama Yoder and the aunties were very willing! So we dressed up all classy-like and enjoyed being snazzy and intermingling with the rich that night. We hadn’t had a date like that in a long time, and especially not one that formal and dressed up.

    I hadn’t been to a symphony orchestra since we lived in Lancaster, where those kinds of things are frequent and your choice of many styles and places. The music was just gorgeous… For those who care, we heard Beethoven’s Symphony #5 in A Major, and Concerto #3 for Violin and Orchestra by Mozart, with Elmar Oliveira on the violin. It was amazing. Such beauty that is so exquisite it’s almost painful. Music stirs my soul like nothing else can…


    // after the concert in the beautiful arts center. just look at that massive pipe organ//


    This was an extra-special evening for me because that is not Ben’s primary idea of a fun time – although he did say afterward that he enjoyed it. Before we got married he had never heard of The Messiah or other wonderful pieces. He kept me in stitches through the evening though – he had never been to anything so grand or so, um, classical, before, so his comments were so funny.

    Him: “What’s that stick thing out the side of his mouth?”
    Me: “Oh, that’s a flute, Babe.”

    Or his cracking up over the dramatic clarinet player and the way he had the eyebrow-raising and body-swaying going on. Or his declaration that Beethoven must have been ADD because his music style is so unpredictable. I told him I doubt that because otherwise he never would have had the patience to write such lengths of music – and this was only one of his pieces. By the end of the concert Ben was actually using musical terms and asking which “movement” we were listening to, and I was so proud of him I forgave his insulting comment about Beethoven.


    It was fun explaining to him the first and second violins, showing him who the concertmaster was, the difference between the violins and the violas (and how to say ‘viola’ and ‘concerto’ and ‘Mozart’ correctly), and between the basses and cellos. And even though it was all new to him, he did well in being the part of a dashing male companion.

    // a bit fuzzy, but inside the hall//

    The harbor was just outside the Performing Arts Center, so we went out afterward and watched the moon rise over the lighted bridge and took pictures of the city lights. So so fun!




    //my modern art shot of the bridge and moon :) not really, I had just set the shutter speed way too slow and this is what happened//

    Evenings like that are just lovely. So thoughtful and reflective. It does my soul good. Wish we lived choser to something like that and could go  more often.

    When I hear things like that last night I wonder why I’m not involved in the music world. Not that I have the ability now, but why didn’t I go to college for music and the arts like I wanted to?? I think I’ll always wish I would have… One of those things I may never understand why God never gave me the go-ahead, but that I simply need to rest in the Lord, that He is good, that his purposes are only good as well.


    But it was a lovely evening – one that I hope can be repeated in the future!

    Maybe next time I can even persuade him to go listen to an opera. Ha!

    Cheers for classical music!


  • Pondering Feminists and Motherhood… and liking our Mary Janes


    I know it’s several days past Mother’s Day, and I’ve been wanting to write about some of my thoughts about that, but I’ve had other priorities besides xanga this week… I’ve been thinking a lot about women, their role down throughout history, my role right at this time of my life…

    I feel so fulfilled as a mother, perhaps the most fulfilled I’ve ever felt in my life. And there have been plenty of other adventurous things I’ve experienced that were very fulfilling for me. Somehow this little 20-pound person has waltzed into my heart and stolen every part of it. Her dancing blue eyes, sweet sunny smiles, throaty giggles, and just the complete dependence she has on us has made me fall in love. Hopelessly in love. A mother’s love has got to be one of the strongest forces on earth…


    I understand my own mother so much more… Have so much more respect for her position, for who she is, for the unending hours of service and love she gave me. I recoil at the thought of any memory of disrespect or dishonor I ever showed toward her. In my heart and mind she now deserves nothing but the highest praises!

    I am a mother of but one child, but so often my heart has swelled with a love for this child until it became an ache that actually hurt! This glorious miracle, this baby, is mine to hold gently and rock tenderly, to kiss away her tears, and sing lullabyes.

    This is my baby…To show her all sorts of new, beautiful things she’s never seen before:
    …a rain storm, and let her feel the raindrops
    … sand at the beach
    … dirt between her toes in the garden
    …  flowers in the spring
    … feel the wind in her face
    … teach her to sway to the rhythmn of music
    …read books to her and teach her different animals and their sounds (the rooster is her favorite and she’ll do her best to try to crow)
    …tasting an ice cream cone
    … letting strawberry juices flow down her chin
    … sing songs of Jesus and introduce her to this Friend of mine
    …tell her about this Jesus and how He loves her
    … the list is endless!







    What a sacred privilege and responsibility! One I hold very sacred. Some are not given this lot in life, and they are given other sacred privileges and responsibilities. But to me this lot has been given. And I receive it with open hearts and a lump in my throat. Because when I stop, I realize what an amazing task I have been given – not only to kiss chubby cheeks and feed a hungry child, but to have the character of my God in my own life so that I may show her who this Jesus is like – it brings me to my knees with tears in my eyes. For this task is not just to have them grow up to be cute kids or well-behaved children, but to be men and women for God who will be Knights and Warriors and Fair Maidens in His kingdom (I’m a hopeless romantic, I love analogies like that). People who will make a difference for Truth and Righteousness in the world they live in.

    IMG_2099 IMG_2092 IMG_2087 IMG_2096 [Mother's Day afternoon in the backyard]

    I thank the Lord for changing my heart, for showing me more and more what He thinks of this thing called Motherhood. For I didn’t always look at it as a privilege. I used to be more career-minded, one who wanted/expected to be single until my 30′s, so I could fulfill my dreams of what I wanted to do. To settle down and be a little housewife early in my 20′s definitely wasn’t on my agenda.In fact, it looked pretty boring. I could’ve shown you my 5-year goal plan when I was 21 to prove it. Marriage and family wasn’t on there. Not that I didn’t ever want it, I did certainly hope for it one day. I think every woman has that desire deep down, if she’s truly honest with herself. But I looked at it as a lesser thing than many other careers. This was no fault of my family, and definitely not the example of my mother, who has never done anything but fully embrace her calling as a wife and a mother. She is truly a woman of God.

    But the feministic way of thinking had entered my mind, and I responded to that. I think the Christian Church today doesn’t speak enough about the calling of Mommyhood, and doesn’t encourage enough those mothers that are able to stay at home with their kids, whether fulltime or part-time as they’re able. Sometimes I’m still made to feel that “Oh, you’re just at home, then?” Whatever that means. “Just at home” certainly has more multi-tasking skills necessary for survival and thriving than perhaps any other job outside the home!  And as God leads and blesses, what could be more important a job than caring for individual people, little people with souls that will one day face God Almighty. I think every mother deserves the Noble Peace Prize! And is a Super Mom!



    In saying all this I in no way degrade those whom God has called to be single or childless… The calling of God is not a matter of importance or levels of privilege – but the blessing lies in responding to whatever His calling may be for each of us in particular.

    But I wanted dreams fulfilled first and adventure before all that. So when God introduced the thought of marriage and asked me if I’d be willing to give up my dreams for the future and be willing to accept His dreams, I struggled. It wasn’t an easy thing for me. But I surrendered, and honestly, some days I still surrender the same thing back to God. Sometimes a career away does look more glamorous, but as fulfilled as I am in my calling as a mother, I know I couldn’t abandon this to go back to my old dreams. Some of those dreams are still alive, but may not be fulfilled in this life. No, I don’t believe in reincarnation, but Randy Alcorn’s Heaven stirred my thinking in that sometimes, maybe more often than we realize, dreams are given by God to be fulfilled in Heaven. Really got me excited about Heaven in a new way!

    IMG_2065       IMG_2054       IMG_2058 [matching for Mother's Day]

    But after my surrender and God working in my heart, I determined in my heart that when God leads me to marriage and a family, my career would then to be care for my family. And I throw my whole heart and soul into that. I’m thankful we are able to make it on one income, and I can stay at home with my baby full-time. I know not everyone has that opportunity… When I became a mother I determined in my heart that my God would be first, my husband second, my children next. And all housework, even friendship, cooking, excursions, cleaning, xanga, emailing, etc. etc. came after those Three. I don’t ever want less important things to come before my children, and my family. And already with one child I have to guard against that - I can easily become frustrated if I am trying to clean my house (or catch up on xanga/emailing, or —you name the task) and Baby isn’t happy. It feels like I can’t get anything done some days! But to simply realize my house isn’t going to stay clean forever anyway even if it does get cleaned today… Or more importantly, my baby will never be this age again. So why not pick up grouchy Baby, shower her with kisses, and give her a bath in the middle of the day? Baths can cure almost anything at her age…


    So interesting too… I picked up a celeb magazine one day [not something I do much at all] because I saw Jennifer Lopez gave birth to twins recently, and I wanted to read her take on the whole mommy thing. Of course there were pictures of the most gorgeous, amazing nursery and the two $2000 each baby “strollers” [the really old-fashioned, now new kind], and all kinds of other things to make your eyes pop. But I was fascinated, because even from a secular standpoint, when asked how she feels about having children and being a mommy, J Lo replied that this is the most wonderful thing that she’s ever done. Better than any movie she’s ever played in, any awards she’s ever received. Being a mommy tops it all. Pretty cool, I thought! But shows how true God’s word is, and how the desires He’s placed within us hold true…

    So on Mother’s Day in particular, and the rest of the year, I honor the Lord as the Creator of Life and as the Designer of Womanhood, Motherhood. He knows the Perfect Role for which we/I were/was created, and nothing short of that, and nothing less than accepting/embracing that role, whatever it may mean for each one of us, will bring true fulfillment. For me it means being a mommy, and because I am called to this, nothing else will bring me the fulfillment God desires for me to have if I don’t embrace this calling.

    I pray that God would continue to reveal to my heart more of how He views me as a mother. That He would make me truly secure in where I am, that my heart would be truly satisfied in Him, and as a wife and a mother. May my mind continually be transformed into His way of thinking about Life and being a wife and a mother, and not be influenced or swayed by the world’s way of thinking, or by the feministic movement that pervades society and even church at times. I want to be truly content in His calling for me, to provide a haven for my family, a ‘throne’ for my husband to return to at the end of a long day at work. Loving to give even simple pleasures to my family, like a Cheesecake Strawberry Smoothie with Chocolate Drizzle… And loving to create a place of beauty in our home for my family to want to return to.


    I also highly recommend the book Passionate Housewives Desperate for God. I always think “Desperate Housewives” at first, but it’s not. :) A terrific book that addresses the issues of feminism and femininity. One of the authors is a former feminist, and offers a very interesting perspective on the issue…

    So  – here’s to women and mothers! Whether we are one or both, may we embrace our calling as Givers of Life to the people around us! And by the Grace of God, live faithfully to His calling…

    And Happy Mother’s Day to all my mommy friends out there!