Something So Big

Friday, October 31, 2008

Falling for FALL!

Fall is my favorite season, and it goes by too quickly. All of a sudden you notice that it isn't summer anymore...and it's time to break out the warmer clothes. But then you have to shed some of those clothes as the day progresses and the sun warms the leaves into breathtaking shades of orange, yellow, and red. And brown. Brown is my black, I always's one of my favorite colors!

We have been fortunate here in southwest Wisconsin to be enjoying a little patch of beautiful warm autumn days. God seemed to reserve the sunniest afternoon for our after-school Christian Kids Club Fall Harvest Party a few days ago. Instead of having club at school that day, we had early-release time and everyone headed out to our place. My co-leader brought the treats, and I set up a 10 Commandments Obstacle Course/Bible Blitz (quiz). Everyone who came had fun, I think, and each child earned their Moses Bible Patch!

The best part was probably when my cousin Bob called during the party and said, "Hey, I freed up -- do you want me to come over and give the kids a hayride?"
Praise God for unexpected acts of kindness! :)

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. --Psalm 19:1

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We Love Pringles at our house

It's a big production when we start making projects at our house. I used to do so much more of it --looking over Ally's baby and toddler pictures, I recall the daily projects we did (painting, scooping, creating) and I am SOOO busted. The little girls, especially baby Wynne, don't get much of that from Mommy anymore. I used to be so big on all that stuff--then a few years and a few kids later, I just want to keep the peace and avoid the clean-up! Just another confession of a Slacker Mom.

But last weekend OH did we CRAFT. We crafted and crafted! We hot-glued, cut, drew, designed, and created till the cows came home. Ally signed our family up to decorate the tables for our church's fall we HAD to make a mess. It was inevitable.

And it was totally worth it!
Now if I could just think of something people would be willing to shell out big $$ for, we could turn our dining room table into a little sweatshop.......

God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. --Genesis 1:31

Monday, October 27, 2008

Conference Champs!

Last Thursday night we defeated last year's conference champs, giving us a share of this year's conference championship. It was pretty special for us, especially considering that it was Mark's first championship in all of his years of football (playing in high school, college, and coaching for 15 years).

Coach gets a big hug from his mom!

And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. --Romans 5:2b-5

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sugar & Spice

Ask anyone who visits with us and they will tell you how we have gobs and gobs of dress-up clothes. Relatives and friends pile 'em on us. Okay, I have my moments of garage-sale-indulgence, too. (BONUS: Being a theatre minor and former drama director, it feeds my need to have a costume stash.) I think our largest category of clothes would fall in the ballerina line. It had been a while since I took a picture of the girls dancing, so here's the latest.

I can't tell you how bittersweet this picture is for me. On the one hand, 3 of our little ladies are radiating the joy and inhibition of dance...and I love it! What I DON'T love is the fact that their big sister (now 10) is feeling "too old" for this sort of thing. Sure, she likes to dress up once in a while...but only when the mood strikes her. In fact, just last night she was telling me how she was NEVER going to wear her brother's camouflage shirt for camouflage day at school (Red Ribbon Week dress-up days) because it would make her look dumb. !!INSERT CRYING MOM ICON HERE!! Where did my little girl go? Thank the Lord I have 3 more -- hold on to these moments while you can, folks!


Hey -- this accountability thing works!! (Don't ask me what else I got accomplished yesterday, because it wasn't a whole lot, but still...) Maybe I should blog about some other goals now! I've been reading Debbie MacComber's book "Knit Together" and she says the first step in reaching your goals is to STATE them OUT LOUD to somebody. Now if I just had the courage and clarity to share my bigger dreams...

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. --1 Corinthians 14:33

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


This is a job I've been putting off for years...

It's not that I enjoy messes. Just ask my kids. They'll probably put "Are you making big messes??" on my tombstone.
But dangitanyway, when you accumulate so many sheets, blankets, and stretched-out-mattress pads from family & friends & yard sales throughout the years, it's a chore just figuring out what size everything is. (I have pipe dreams of everything neatly folded and placed in tidy stacks with labeled shelves "twin" "baby" "full" "fitted" etc....) And don't get me started on how many times the kids have raided this closet for their forts and beach parties. (Now I know why, growing up, it was a cardinal SIN to enter the linen closet without my mom's permission. It was grounds for capital rear-end punishment!)
Okay, so here it is -- my messy linen closet -- exposed for all the world to see (as if the whole world reads my blog). It's official; my linen closet needs cleaning and now I HAVE to get it done. Mark my words: On October 21st, 2008, Amy vows to get her linen closet organized so you can shut the door. By ____ ??

Friday, October 17, 2008

3 Things I Learned Today

1. Store-bought chocolate frosting is really good. (CHOCOLATE.)
2. You really CAN burn hard-boiled eggs.
3. Toilet cleaner makes a paper cut hurt even more than you can imagine.

Birthday Surprise

One of the many blessings of being a stay-at-home-mom (and sending your children to school) is getting to take a room like this...

...and make a birthday present like this!

Do you know how hard it is to find matching comforters for a twin/full bunk bed??
I searched for months! Happiness is finding what you've been searching a long time for AND it's on clearance!!

It took me roughly 4 and a half hours to paint those circles. (Keep in mind we have TEXTURED walls. And a two-year-old who likes a two-year-old. Darn distractions!!)

Her smile was worth it, though!!

I thank God every time I think of you. --Phillipians 1:15

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Letter to My 10-Year-Old

Dear Ally,
Thank you for being such a blessing to your dad and me. Ten years ago you initiated us into the world of parenting, and for the most part, you've been pretty easy on us. You were such a beautiful round baby girl, a perfect example of God's love and design. Being the youngest in my family, I didn't have much experience with babysitting or infant care, so parenthood was extremely overwhelming for me. Thank you for teaching me so much, honey!

It didn't take long for your big brown eyes and easygoing nature to melt our hearts.

One year came and went before we knew it!

You started working on computer at an early age (21 months, to be exact). (Good thing Webkinz weren't around back then!!)

You must have known you were going to be a fantastic big sister. You started training early on for the job. (with eyelashes that won't quit)

Every little girl dreams of their wedding day, and you are no exception. I love to lie on your bed at night and talk with you about your dreams of the perfect dress, the color scheme, and most importantly --the young man I pray for who has Jesus in his heart, with you a close second.

Your birthday lands in the middle of football season, but you don't mind. You and I are your dad's team's biggest cheerleaders!!

Kindergarten was a special year for us. The day you entered school was the day that our life went on extreme fast-forward. Good thing you have the patience and caring heart to put up with your little brother and sisters, and to remind your mother that true joy is found in the little things.

All of a sudden, you turned seven and were decorating your own birthday cakes and helping Mom get ready for a new baby! Thanks for always taking the time to set up games and playlands for everybody. Even though I complain about the "mess", I know that you are going to be responsible and kind enough to clean up later. (And how can you discover your creativity without getting a little messy?)

By the age of nine, you already understood the benefits of giving over receiving. You buy your siblings presents--not just on their birthdays--and you donated your beautiful long, wavy, dark hair to cancer patients in need. You are sensitive to other's needs, and sometimes we have to remind you to stand up for yourself!

You love being with your family, including your many cousins. Your spirit shines through your eyes and through your actions. You are silly, sensitive, smart, sweet, hardworking, helpful, and fun-loving. You are everything we could ever ask for in a daughter...and more. My only regret is that I don't tell you often enough how proud I am of you, and how much I love you.

Happy Birthday, Pookie!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Bummer Weekend

Dingdang, we lost the football game the other night (and probably the conference title to be called ours and ours alone). We didn't play our best game, and the opponents did -- it's as simple as that. Time to pick ourselves up, learn from it, make the adjustments and move on!

Then we discovered that our new plumbing is leaking in the basement (not too much, but enough to not be good). Plus the truck (which was fixed last week) is still not fixed. And the pumpkin patch/family fall fun day I had planned for after church turned out to be a big let-down....I thought this would be a great weekend to take advantage of the glorious fall color and 80 degree weather; let's go to the Harvest Festival at a local vineyard (which was not as local as we would have liked--took an hour to get there, the kids were hungry, and their "free" hayrides were not free, nor were they giving away food (Okay, pretzels and cheese dip samples, but $4.00 burgers?? come ON!!! Don't advertise as "fun for the whole family" if you're going to charge $4.00 a burger and $2.00 per person on the hay wagon. I'll go get my dad's flatrack and pull it with our lawn mower!!)

In the immortal words of Charlie Brown....ARGH.

If this is all I have to complain about, life is pretty good, isn't it!!

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.--James 1:2-3

Thursday, October 9, 2008

His Love Endures Forever

Our pastor serves as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy. He just spent the greater part of this year with his batallion in Iraq. We missed him dearly, but are also so proud of him and his comrades for all of their service to our country. I know I take it for granted--all that we have in America.

Anyway, last night some of the congregation gathered on the parsonage front lawn to welcome home Pastor Mark and his lovely wife Catherine. It was AWESOME to see him again! HOME. Praise God!

I can't help but think of the Christian song "Forever" taken from the world's greatest Book...
Give thanks to the Lord
Our God and King
His love endures forever
For He is good, He is above all things
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise...
With a mighty hand
and outstretched arm
His love endures forever
For the life that's been reborn
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise
Sing praise, sing praise

Forever God is faithful
Forever God is strong
Forever God is with us

From the rising to the setting sun
His love endures forever
By the grace of God
We will carry on
His love endures forever
Sing praise, sing praise
Sing praise, sing praise ... (chorus)

Here's a shot of our Sunday School families at a local parade last weekend. God is good! All the time!

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.--1 Chronicles 16:34

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Girl Power!!

Congratulations to Uncle Doug & Aunt Paula as we welcome another baby girl into the family! Welcome Madyson Ruth!!

Oh Lord, how wondrous are your works! In wisdom you have made them all- Psalm 104:24

Let the Recording Contracts Come Rolling In

A very generous, kind family at church gave us their piano. They wanted it to go to "a good home" (not sure we have that all of the time, but I can dream, can't I?)
I grew up taking organ lessons and went on to play trumpet and sing. Music is a huge part of our lives and so I'm very grateful for the opportunity to learn piano and try to teach it to our kids. They are all so musical (I think most kids have a natural affinity for rhythm & melodies).
Thank goodness my husband's 4 brothers were around this weekend to help haul this thing. Yes, pianos really ARE atrociously heavy.
So here we are, about 24 hours into having a new piano in the house, and they're composing a musical production just in time for Halloween. I think they
call it "The Haunted House". (A better title might be "The Messy House" or "The Upturned Linen Closet".)

The ghost did a good job of blending into the piano, I think. Not pictured were two little witches who joined in with the chanting of "Boo! Boo! what was that? what was around the corner?" in their best scary voices.
Their father and I are fielding offers right now... gotta go paint the Partridge Family Bus!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

A & W (our bookends)

We were blessed with beautiful weather for homecoming last weekend. It's feeling more like fall this week! But here are some shots my friend Carolyn took of our eldest (Ally) and youngest (Wynne)......

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:8