Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I’ve been tagged. Ted Gossard asked me to share eight random things about myself or my spouse.

1. My husband works for Apple Computer.

2. Yes. The iPhone really is all that.

3. I once joined a church because they had comfortable chairs and Starbucks coffee.

4. I am embarrassed to admit number 3, and I don’t embarrass easily.

5. My most embarrassing moment is too painful to recount, but it involves a breast pump. And my Pastor.

6. And since we’re on the subject, I’m embarrassed to admit that I hold a degree in English Literature and I cannot spell the word “embarrass” correctly without relying on spell check.

7. I don’t like doing crafts or sewing. When I was in MOPS I never actually did any of the crafts. I would just sit and drink my coffee in blissful peace while everyone else made the craft.

8. I just finished the latest Harry Potter book. It was my favorite of them all, and I’m dying for my husband to finish it so we can talk about it.

Monday, July 30, 2007


Baby b. turned one on Saturday. We celebrated with a trip to the children’s museum and messy cupcakes.

I cannot believe he’s already one. It seems like just a couple of weeks ago I was as big as a house, waddling around our house trying to imagine myself as the Mother of three boys. The day he was born, I woke up early and knew—today’s the day. (I’ll spare you all the details of how, exactly, I knew!)

As I labored quietly all day, I played game after game of UNO with the noisy boys. I was excited, scared, and a little bit sad. After all, it wouldn’t just be the three of us anymore, and I didn’t know how it would all work. As we played games, I tried to fill them up with enough of me to last the few days I’d be gone, and tried not the think of the millions of things that can go wrong in childbirth.

We invited my husband’s parents over for dinner, since I knew that at some point, we’d need to leave. I made dinner at 5 o’clock, then went upstairs to lie down. I didn’t know if it was time to go to the hospital or not. I didn’t want to go too early, since I was doing a VBAC. I prayed to know the right timing, since I also didn’t want to give birth at home. Shortly after this prayer, my water broke.

Baby b. was born just two hours later. The delivery was so smooth, it kind of freaked us out. When the nurse handed us our boy and said, “Have a good night,” we just stared at eachother in disbelief. That’s it? And now we have a baby? And you’re actually leaving him here with us? We were on cloud nine.

And in some ways, we still are. Baby b. is a gift from God. He is the happiest baby I have ever met, and fits into our family beautifully. I cannot image life without him.

Happy birthday, littlest one! You are a joy.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

learning to fall

No more training wheels for Twin A.! Last weekend Llama Papa patiently worked with the noisy boys and their two-wheeler bikes. He ran beside them, declared himself too old for it all, but kept going anyway. Twin A. fell and got up; fell and got up; then took off and hasn’t looked back since. Twin B. still needs some practice.

One of the uniquely difficult aspects of raising twins (once you get past the tandem feedings and gazillions of diapers) is helping each of them to form their own identity apart from their twin. We are blessed with boys who are best friends, and while I want to nurture the special bond they share, I am also aware of their innate differences. I want to help each of them grow to their full potential and find God’s purposes for their lives. We work hard to not compare them to eachother, but as they get older, that’s not enough. They compare themselves to eachother, which makes it difficult to encourage one without discouraging the other. It’s a constant balancing act.

Twin B. doesn’t want to keep practicing on two wheels. He wants to give up. He’s afraid of falling. He feels dumb fumbling along next to his brother, who is zooming around our court effortlessly.

As I reflected on this today, the Parable of the Talents came to mind (Matthew 25:14-30). In the story, the master gives out different sums of money to his servants, and expects them each to use what they’ve been given, whether the gift was small or large. And his response to the servants at the end of the story tells me that the point is not really what they produced, it’s that they tried at all. The servant that was held back by fear was chastised—fear is no excuse.

As I watch Twin B. and his struggle to ride a bike, I think of my own struggle to use the gifts God has given me. Often I am held back by fear or a sense of inadequacy. I compare myself to the people around me and feel like giving up. And yet just as I know Twin B. will fall and struggle as he learns to ride his bike, my Heavenly Father is well aware of my weaknesses and struggles. He knows that as I venture out into new territory, using the gifts He’s given me, I’ll make mistakes. I’ll feel dumb. But I believe He is pleased with our efforts. He wants to teach us. He’s delighted with the unique way He made each of us, even me, and as we take risks in spite of our fears, He runs alongside of us, cheering us on.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

last night

For a brief moment, I allow myself to feel smug. After all, my husband is away and I still prepared a nice, healthy dinner for myself and the kids. As I clear the dishes away, the noisy boys begin a massive lego building project in the family room. Teamwork. Cooperation.

I’ve got this motherhood thing down.

That’s what I was thinking when I realize I have no idea where baby b. actually is. He was playing in the kitchen just a minute ago, and now…wait…what’s that noise? No. It’s not.

The gate is open. I run to the bathroom and there he is. And he’s quite pleased with himself. He squeals with delight when he sees me, lifting his arms out of the toilet and splashing water all over himself and the floor. That would be, um, toilet water.

Oh my.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Finally. A good night’s sleep. Between a tag-team flu bug and a middle-of-the-night domestic disturbance next door, it’s been something like four days since I slept all the way through. And I am not a good person without sleep. Seriously.

Twin A. and I stayed home from church yesterday. He had been sick for a few days, and even though he was feeling better, you never know.

After the rest of the family left, we played some card games and cuddled up on the couch. We chatted easily, and at one point, he asked to turn on some music. As he was looking through the CDs, he held up his VBS music and said, “This is the one! I’m in the mood to worship, aren’t you, Mom?”

Indeed. No sleep, vomity kids and a messy house. Let’s worship!

We sat on the couch and sang together:

“You are my strength when I am weak;
You are the treasure that I seek;
You are my all in all.
When I fall down you pick me up;
When I am dry you fill my cup;
You are my all in all.
Jesus, Lamb of God,
Worthy is your name!”

My children teach me so much, when I slow down long enough to listen.

“Taking my sin my cross my shame;
rising again, I bless your name;
You are my all in all.
Seeking you as a precious jewel;
Lord to give up I’d be a fool;
You are my all in all.”

“Where would we be without Jesus?” My son asked.

Where indeed.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I really appreciate everyone’s thoughts on the “church stuff” post. If you follow this blog, but haven’t read through those comments, let me invite you to do so.

I am for childcare. Each Sunday I am in church and my children are lovingly cared for, I am appreciative. And because I know what it means to a Mom to have a squirmy child lifted from her arms, I am quick to jump in when I can to provide this for others—whether at church or in my home.

We are the church. Let me say that again—we are the church! Isn’t that liberating? It frees us from complaining about the structure of our particular place of worship and allows us the privilege of jumping in and making a real difference in the lives of others.

For those who are leaders in our churches, I humbly offer the following thoughts. When planning events for women, childcare is a critical component. There are many women who will be unable to attend an event if childcare isn’t provided.

With that said, sometimes churches aren’t equipped to provide childcare for every single activity. As a Mom, I’m comfortable with that. I may choose to not attend the event, pay a sitter so I can attend the event, or volunteer myself to provide childcare for that event so others can attend. I have three children five and under. I’m going to miss some stuff, plain and simple. And that’s okay.

A question I think we need to carefully consider: are parents being held back from ministry because they have no one to care for their young children? I’m thinking of the comment from menzach in my “church stuff” post, in which he describes an event that both he and his wife were serving at. They brought a sitter with them to the event. I read that and wondered, “Where was I that night?” Probably home with my own babies. But maybe I shouldn’t have been. Maybe I should have been at church with my babies and THEIR babies too, allowing them to serve more freely.

There are no simple answers or one-size-fits-all solutions to the issue of childcare in the church. But these little ones are a part of His Church too, not a nuisance or a problem, but a blessing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

hold that thought

I’ve been so interested in everyone’s comments on my last post. If you follow my blog, but haven’t read those comments, I encourage you to do so.

More on that soon. I promise! Right after I wash three sets of barfy sheets and get my family healthy again.

Why does the barfing always start in the middle of the night?

Quote of the night: “Maybe I shouldn’t go to swim lessons tomorrow.”
--Twin B. after puking for the fourth or fifth time.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

church stuff

The church I belong to is a small, start-up church comprised of mostly young families. For several years I went through a period of great discontent with my church for a variety of reasons, including a lack of “programs” for young moms. Basically, I had (have) needs. A lot of them. And none of them were being met by the church. A consumer mentality seeped into my spirit, and I felt I deserved better. I was entitled to better.

And then something happened. Or maybe it wasn’t just one thing, but a variety of things and I began to see this muttering for what it was: sin. I began to replace complaining with prayer, hoping God would change my church. But He changed me instead. As I cried out to God, I began to see my church as His Church. Leaving would cause damage to people and relationships, and finding a “comfortable” place to settle in and raise my children would do little for my own spiritual growth. Oh, and one more not-so-minor detail: it's not all about me.

A friend recently emailed me to ask for my opinion as a mother of three. She’s a leader in her church and grappling with the issue of providing childcare for everything. “Should the church provide child care for all events?” She asks.

Not an easy question to answer. I’ll save my response for another post, but leave the question open for comment. What is the church’s responsibility to parents of young children?

Friday, July 6, 2007


I stare at the last pot in the sink. I just can’t do it. I’m done. Beyond exhausted.

“Honey?” I ask, “would you please wash this last pot for me and get my coffee ready for the morning? I’m exhausted.”
“Sure, no problem. Good night!” He responds cheerfully from his perch in front of the television.

I double-check the crockpot—already getting hot. I’m making slow cooked bbq pork and bringing a meal to two families from church tomorrow. All I have to do in the morning is shred the pork, add the bbq sauce, and make a simple fruit salad. I’m getting a haircut at 9:30, so I plan to deliver the food early. It’s a busy day with my husband getting ready for a backpacking trip, but dropping off a simple meal should be no problem.

I sleep soundly, but when I wake up I notice right away: the house doesn’t smell like anything is cooking. I jump out of bed and race to the crockpot.

It’s unplugged.

I open the lid, incredulous. Warm, rotting meat with a lovely bbq rub stares back at me. “Honey?” I call out. My husband comes in and gasps. “I am so, so sorry.” He says.

And I know that he is sincere. He unplugged the crockpot to grind the coffee beans and forgot to plug it back in. It was an honest-to-goodness mistake that anyone could make. Even me, Miss Organized and Efficient.

I sit down at the kitchen table with my coffee and cry for about three minutes. And then I grab my notebook of summer meals and flip through it, looking for something that I have all of the ingredients for. Anything. Ah! Here it is! Low-fat Fettuccine Alfredo. And I’ve even got leftover chicken to throw in. I’ll turn the buns I bought for the bbq into garlic toast, and voila. Dinner.

With that decision done, I get to work. And then I make the most important decision of the day: the decision to forgive my husband. Not to just say “it’s okay,” but to forgive him. To let him off the hook. I ask him to grate the parmesan cheese for me, and I tell him I forgive him. The burden of anger lifts from my shoulders, and we work together to get back on-track with the day.

This morning he left at 5 a.m. for a week of backpacking in Yosemite. As I reflect on the events of yesterday morning, I am so glad I didn’t waste the day in anger and hostility and resentment.

Does grace live at your house? I am so grateful that it lives at mine.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Fourth of July

Simple Limeade

Limeade concentrate

1 cup fresh sqeezed lime juice
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups water

Mix sugar and water while heating, add lime juice.

Limeade (makes 3 cups)

1 cup limeade concentrate mix
2 cups water

You can adjust the sweetness to your tastes, of course, by adding more or less sugar. Delicious!

Now, turn your computer off, invite friends over, and enjoy the fourth of July!

(Local Tip: Market Fresh on 75th is a wonderful new supermarket. The produce is incredible and the prices will make you very happy!)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Are they all yours?

We’re taking care of our nieces for a few days while my sister-in-law and brother-in-law get away for their fourteenth anniversary. (Happy Anniversary, R & L!) I love having their girls here. At ten and eight, they are big help to me, and so much fun to hang around with. We’ve been having a blast! The girls and I even used a Polish dessert mix to make a complicated-looking-on-the-box cake. (Which is, of course, inedible. But we had a really good time trying to figure out what “soku owocowego” was!)

The five kids and I were out briefly this morning; we got lots of stares, and one outright question: “Are they all yours?” (Said with that freaked out tone of voice.) I just smiled and said, “No, but I wish they were! They’re all so much fun!” But inside, I was annoyed. Why do complete strangers feel the need to know this information? Seriously. This question ranks right up there with the “How did you end up with twins?” question. (Would you believe people are still asking? Of course, my favorite response is a whispered, “S – E – X.”)

I realize people are just curious, but can’t we all show a little restraint? Whether someone has one kid, nine kids, or no kids, stop and ask yourself: is this any of my business? Unless it’s your spouse you’re talking to, probably not.

Now. Let’s role play. You see a pregnant woman leaving the supermarket while you’re going in. She’s got four kids that appear to be under the age of six with her. What should you say?? Quick??

Everyone repeat after me: “Let me get that door for you.” Trust me. Say it with a smile, and you’ll make her day!