Month: November 2010

  • Chump, Ponk, & Tingernails; A Child’s Vocabulary


    This is a post that dwells on the delightfulness of my children. :) Little snippets of life over the past few weeks. It’s not all catastrophic. :)
    Sometimes I have to remember that!

    [the most colorful tree is all the county is in our front yard]

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    You know, there are some weeks where I look back at journal entries I’ve written about my children… and just smile to myself…

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    Such as this one from a few weeks ago:

    “I am absolutely LOVING the stages right now with my girls. They play together so well most of the time… ” [!!!!]

    And then the opposite not too many days later:

    “Zoe’s question to me yesterday: ‘Why are you not happy, mommy?’ I had been impatient with her last night, and honestly, quite a bit yesterday. It my paint day to finish up some things, and she wanted to be omnipresent, right there all the time, sticking fingers into everything. I became easily frustrated. Thus was her comment to me after she asked the zillionth question of the day. I had also just said I had a headache, and she kept on talking… ‘Why do you have a hea-gache? Maybe you have a hea-gache because you weren’t nice to me. Sometimes *I* get hea-gaches when I’m not nice to people.’ I sat there wincing. Ouch, ouch, ouch…”

    Children are ever so extremely convicting.

    [most of the fall/autumn scape is only brown.]

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    And a few days later:

    “And my girls… I am just having love fits over them! They’re soooo CUTE!! Yes, they do have their fighting episodes… but right now they’re both SINGING at the top of their lungs – madeup songs by Zoe, while Olivia belts along with her. Off-key, of course [Olivia], but precious as can be! Life is good, life is sweet. Very, very sweet.”

    It’s the life of a mother…
    Learning to run to Jesus at all moments -
    the happy ones,
    the ones that feel like we can’t make it through,
    the ordinary moments,
    the exciting moments.

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    It’s a good life. It’s a sweet life. Very, very sweet. :)

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    The vocabulary of a three year old. It’s delightful.
    It’s confusing.
    It’s creative.
    It keeps me laughing. :)

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    This was the “chump,” “ponk,” “tingernails,” and “little mommy” that my title says. Yes, I’m getting to it eventually! :)

    According to Zoe’s usage of these words, here are the definitions:

    Chump” – to cut up in little pieces, or to flatten something with repeated motion
             example:  ”I want to chump that egg in the pan.” [to flatten the yoke with tiny pricks]

    Ponk” – to poke at, to prod with a finger
             “I ponked the kitty when I was outside.”

    Tingernails” – a combination of fingernails and toenails
              “I want to paint my tingernails.” [hey, saves time smooshing them into one word!]

    Little Mommy” – her phrase when referring to or talking to me
             “Don’t worry, Little Mommy. I’ll take care of it!” [when I spilled chicken and juice all over the kitchen floor]
              “Little Mommys, like you, really, really, really, love Jesus…” [she told me at naptime, and melted me in a puddle, because I feel like the past few weeks I've been an epic disaster as a mother. somehow she sees Jesus in all that?! it must be only God!]

    When I was big and you were little…”
               After noticing a ruffly shirt I wore one day, “Ooooh, that’s sooooo cute! [pondering a moment] When I was big and you were little, I made that shirt for you!”

    There are many times when she refers back to “when I was big and you were little”… There are times when we are almost worried about her living in an imaginary land, but you know what? She’s three, and she has a great imagination. If she’s 8, or 10, or 15, and still lives in an imaginary world, THEN I might be worried. But now, I just love the imagination. Hey, it keeps me laughing!

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    Her little baby doll is also part of the imaginary world. Or no, let me re-phrase that: her baby doll is actually part of the real world. Truly, her baby is so real to her, it tickles me to death…

    One evening we were entertaining guests, and they wanted to look around the house a bit while dinner was being finished up. I suddenly heard Zoe’ just waaaaaaaiiiiiiiiilling and she can running full-tilt into my arms, sobbing so hard she could hardly talk. I finally got her to calm down and she told me, “My baby is sleeping in your bedroom, and there are people going in there and I don’t want her to wake up!!!!!!!”

    And the other evening we were driving down the road with the kids. An exasperated Zoe’ handed her baby to me over the seat, saying, “She’s SOOOO WIGGLY!” :)

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    And after a great Sunday afternoon and evening at home, playing memory together, a fire in the fireplace, reading books, she prayed,

    “Dear God,
    thank you for this
    very very very very very
    SPLENDID day…”

    Melt me in a puddle. That’s what really matters to a child.
    Time. Love. Enjoyment of each other…

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    Zoe’s stack is the biggest. Yes, she won.
    If you can call peeking-at-6-cards-during-one-turn winning. :)

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    She was quite pleased.
    And I shan’t tell who those other respective stacks belonged to.
    Because of all due respect, of course. :)

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    If I thought last week was falling down around my ears, this week was For those of you who have facebook, you may have seen my agitated and distraught post one day this week.

    Monday morning started out with my camera sitting on the floor awaiting the weekend’s pictures to be uploaded to the computer. Olivia walked by, picked up the camera, and threw it on the hardwood floor. Cameras are no-no to begin with, and throwing cameras? Most definitely a no-no. It wasn’t until a few moments later that I realized my best camera lense was completely broken in half. It’s my 50mm lense. No, not professional, I’m not professional, but it’s my favorite one to use when I’m taking pictures. I went into the bathroom and locked the door before I said or did anything unkind to my semi-innocent 17 month old daughter! It seems as though the camera lense is ruined. I’m still going to check with a camera shop to make sure that they can’t repair it, but there are broken pieces and I’m very doubtful of recovery.

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    Monday night I was working on editing Christmas pictures on the computer. After I was finished, I turned off the computer for the night and went to bed. The next morning I turned the computer back on, and the wallpaper was different. I was going online to print out coupons before going shopping (yeah, trying to get back into that again!), and noticed all my favorites in my favorites tab were gone.

    To remove several unneeded paragraphs, my computer looked wiped clean - everything from favorites to files to documents to pictures. It was unbelievable.

    After calling Husband, we both agreed that a computer repair shop was in order. After running into the bathroom, shedding a few tears, and putting on my face, I immediately ran over to the smokiest, stinkiest, dirtiest computer shop in town. After describing to the tech what had happened, I told told him I need a miracle worker.

    I awaited in great suspense throughout the next 24 hours until the much-longed-for phone call. I had approximately 80-90% of my pictures backed up, but nothing since August, which is really really bad. And no files backed up for the Bible Study I’m doing. I was thankful I had backed up as much as I had, but the remaining 20% was enough to send me for counseling if it wouldn’t be able to be recovered!!

    Throughout the next day before the phone call, I kept talking to God about this…
    Telling Him how sacred my pictures are to me. That other than people, they mean more to me than almost anything else because they hold so many memories. That I don’t want the last 3 months of my children’s lives to be lost just because I didn’t back up my pictures.

    And also telling Him that I don’t want my pictures to be my idol. And that somehow, if He chooses to allow all those to be erased, that He will get me through it. Without a mental breakdown. He will still be good. Wow, how my heart was tested as I thought of all this, and pledged Him my love regardless.

    And finally the call came. Talk about stomach-churning when I realized who the call was from. After great gulps of air, I talked to Mr. Smiley (really) and he told me the amazing news that everything was INTACT; what had happened was that our computer had gotten 2 viruses that had moved and hid all the files/documents/pictures, but everything was still there.

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    I could not get done voicing my gratitude. The dirtiest, smokiest, dingiest computer shop in town was also the most wonderful, in my opinion. I didn’t know how to thank him enough!

    He could not get done exclaiming how many pictures I had. “You have an astronimal amount of photos on your computer!” he said on the phone. And when I picked up the computer,  he told me I have the most pictures he’s ever seen on a computer.

    Which really made me chuckle to myself, and think what a small town I must live in. And that he must never have worked on a real photographer’s computer, like Marylou’s. :) And that most people in this town really must not take a lot of pictures. Just really tickled me.

    So, the first thing I did upon opening up my computer at home, was insert my memory card and SAVE ALL PICTURES. That’s right. I think I’m going to be OCD about that from now on. I do need to get another card, because I wasn’t able to get quite all of them on…

    So that was my scare and my happiness for the week…


    After my previous post of talking about mothing, I’d like to say thank you for the comments and support! I think there are so many intentional mothers in my life right now, and I can’t even describe how encouraging that is.

    Sure, we ALL have our bad days, with babies playing in toilets, where the house looks like a hurricane hit it, where it seems children cannot get along – you name it! We’ve all got our own nerve-racker, I’m sure! But what I want to hear from other moms is not, “My kids are driving me crazy!!!” [even if we wonder if we are about to lose it sometimes.]

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    Rather, I want to hear an honest, yes, this may be a really bad day, and this is the hardest thing we’ve ever done, and I might have been crying over the plate of oatmeal that Olivia threw on the kitchen floor TWICE this morning, and the cup of coffee that she dumped over the jute rug in the living room yesterday,
     [yes, some of last week's catastrophes continue on] 
    but it’s also the most wonderful work we’ve ever been given,
    and that we’re going to encourage each other and we’re going to make it.

    [little charmer who is so precious and so naughty [without realizing it] these days…]

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    We’re going to stand together, we’re going to run to God for ourselves, and for each other. We may have days where we feel like we completely blow it as a mother, but we’re not going to end on that note.  We’re going to get on our knees, beg God for fresh mercy and strength, and try again. These may be some of the more weary years of our lives, but we’re going to take a day at a time, or sometimes one moment at a time, and try to find joy and delight in these days.

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    I love to hear from older mothers, those women who have done this before, and are willing to take the time to encourage us younger moms. Women who are humble and yet strong enough to admit their mistakes, and share those with us so that we don’t have to make the same ones. Women who have families I would like to be like when I grow up :) and who are humble and yet strong enough to walk alongside of those just beginning their own families.

    Sometimes I wonder why a Ph.D. isn’t required before one begins the career of a parent. Because truly, it is a 24/7 job like none other on the planet.

    There is no getting off of work,
    there is no calling in sick,
    there is no vacation time stacked up,
    there are no paid holidays

    It’s an always and forever job. And we have zero experience upon entering this career. Sure, we may have grown up in a family with a sibling or two or five or ten, which definitely cushions entering the field, and perhaps makes one feel more comfortable initially. But having a sibling, or being a nanny, or working in a child care center, is not even remotely like having your very own child.

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    But, I think the reason God allows us into it so green is so we seek Him above all else in raising our families. To where we don’t go to a manuel – we go to God. To where we don’t depend on logic – we depend on God. It really all comes back to God.

     I read a book by Dan Allender a year or so ago, entitled, “How Children Raise Parents.” It sounds like a strange title but it’s an excellent book. His main point was that God uses children to point parents to God like nothing else can.

    S. Gingerich said one time [not exact quote, but general idea], “Isn’t it crazy how a two-year old can get a full grown adult to completely lose their temper? How can a little child do that? Who really is the strong one in that situation?” Saying that most adults don’t know how to control themselves in the face of a child who needs discipline, much less control the child, and they’re respond in anger instead.

    I’ve been there.

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    I look back at my initial theories of child-rearing as an older teenager and even as a young married women. “If they’re good, you kiss them! If they’re bad, you spank them!” Of course I had more ideals than that, but it was basically summed up in those two theories. Let me just say, I wasn’t into motherhood long before I realized this was something much bigger than me! Sometimes when a child is grouchy, what she needs is not a spanking, but a snack, or a nap, or a diaper change, or some tylenol, or a hug, or a story read, or….. I still haven’t exhausted the exception clauses.

    But I still stick to my theory that when they’re good, you kiss them. :) And hug them, and love on them, and tell them how happy you are that they’re yours, and rub noses with them, and look in their eyes and say you’re proud of them.

    So thank you, my own dear mother, my old friends from way back, my new friends from recent years, my online friends whom I’ve ever met but have been so encouraged from – you all bless me!! THANK YOU. Truly, we need each other. *I* need other women!


    And perhaps one of these days I’ll have a very short and sweet post again. :)

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  • Tissue Paper Balls

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  • Weekend Sweetness.


    This was a truly beautiful weekend.

    [mosquito-bitten feet in cozy slippers]

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    The first Saturday home as a family in two months.

    [my latest read: The Scottish Chiefs]

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    The first fire in the fireplace.

    [apparently not too far into my book.
    and just in case these pictures speak "perfect day" let me just say this:
    it was a truly beautiful day,
    I had literally 5 minutes of time alone Sunday afternoon
    in which everyone was napping at the same time
    in which I documented it with pictures.
    rare things mean picture documentation.
    as much as I would like to say it was a3 hour stretch, I can't say it was.]

    autumn 4

    A surprise package in the mail from a sister. ♥

    Biscotti baking and pumpkin roll baking.

    [my mantel-less living mantel, with teetering decor balancing on the edge]

    autumn 7

    Time change, which gave us an extra hour Sunday morning
    [definitely a good thing. Sunday mornings can be rather harried here].

    autumn 8

    [this picture looks very strange to me.
    yes, i'm in the south.
    sweet tea,
    woolly slippers,
    and a fire in the fireplace, thank you.]

    Happy little girls who were delighted with have several days with their daddy at home.

    [headless child pausing a rare, brief instant to allow me snap a picture of her tights]

    autumn 10

    Ben’s parents and siblings at home that came for Sunday lunch of a Belizian meal.

    Creative little minds who pretend they are making oatmeal on a Monday morning…

    Autumn 2

    [little bed-heads whose mother failed to comb them]

    Autumn 3 Autumn 1

    I just want to re-live it again.