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Goodbye Sleep Sack

Sine Ruthie was born she has been swaddled or in a sleep sack every night.  A couple months ago the sitter stopped it at nap time for her, but she continued here at home.  When she was much younger we tried to stop wearing it but it ended in tears and we didn't think it was worth the fight.  Last night she said NO! when I went to put it on her.  She didn't want to wear it and wasn't going to.  Today has been the same, my baby is growing up all on her own!

Present over Perfect

I just finished this most excellent read. For those of us striving for achievement and success as our culture defines it, this is a reminder of where our true worth and purpose comes from and that His love is guaranteed.

My name is...

Since Elinore started preschool this past fall, she's been consisten in wanting to be called Elinore, NOT Ellie.  She says her name is Elinore and that is what she wants to be called.  I'm working on it, and am doing it more for her!

It all started when I asked how she wanted to be known in preschool.  She insisted it be Elinore and a few months later, still remind me if I screw it up.

I kind of LOVE that she wants it to be Elinore.  :)

For the Love

I just finished reading Jen Hatmaker's For the Love book.  It was a great read!  I felt like it was a pep-talk from a good friend.  There was a page in there (p.164) that I loved so much I took a photo of a text to a friend, this is me!  It was uplifting, validating and full of permission I didn't need to be who I am and be loved for it.

Pee Issues

Recently I had gone downstairs to scoop the litter boxes for the cats, when I found what looked to be a crazy amount of pee covering the whole top of one of the boxes.  After a phone call to Keith and the boys it was quickly confessed, Caden peed in the littler box. 

Cleaning litter boxes isn't exactly fun, let along when it is your kid's pee in there!




I was hole alone with the girls one night and Elinore asked me why she has to sit down to pee.  She said, daddy doesn't, and she can just pee like Daddy does.

WHOA!  Sit down girl!

2 Kings

I was able to use my lunch break today to finish reading 2 Kings.  I struggled to stay focused through the book, but found my stride about half way through and enjoyed it.

Ahaziah fell and was injured, he sent his messengers to ask Baal if he will recoverElijah intercepted the messenger and asked why he sought Ball of Ekron, was their no God of Israel?Ahaziah knew it was Elijah and sent captain and men to himElijah showed he was a man of God and God burned 1 up, then the next; the 4rd captain begged for respect of his lifeAhaziah died, Lord said through Elijah for his disbelief and gods of EkronJoram became KingThe time came for Elijah to be taken to heave, he and Elisha traveled place to place - Elisha was very loyalElijah parted the Jordan with his coat and asked Elisha what he needed before it was timeHe wanted spirit - double share - he said if Elisha saw him leave Earth it would be granted to him; otherwise there would be nothingChariots of fire came and took Elijah away, Elisha t…

Drawing = Tears

One day last month, Keith text me the following picture.  He said he drew a picture of Ellie.
A few moments later, he text me this picture. She said the drawing was horrible and didn't look like her!

Mere Christianity

I finished this C.S. Lewis classic today. It was wonderful. I think all Christians should read it. It was so identifying for me and eye opening in some cases. I wrote, underlined and circled my way through the book.Pick it up, enjoy it. Chapter by chapter  they are good easy reads, but them together for the big picture!

Checkbook

Ruth was being very quiet for some time this evening.  I went to find her, and she had gotten into my purse and emptied it out.  Then she took the checkbook and a pen and started scribbling.  Apparently she though she should pay the bills for me.
Yesterday morning we were on our way to church at my mother-in-law's church.  She'd invited us for their fall festival.  We were early in the trip and surprisingly the car was pretty quiet.  Then Elinore asked "Daddy, does Santa go poop?"  And Keith and I were silent for a minute trying not to laugh. 

A few moments later and Keith said yes, Santa poops.

And then for awhile Keith and I just laughed!

1 Kings

This may be a record that I finished a whole book of the Bible in just over a month.  I did really enjoy this book, and I've been really trying to be in it more often.  Daily is the goal!

King David is old and they find a young woman to come care for him; Abishag (he doesn't not have sexual relations with her)David's some Adonijah tries to become King instead of Solomon without David knowingBathsheba, David's wife/Solomon's mom, goes to David tot ell him what is going on at the prophet Nathan's directionDavid makes Solomon king; the celebration interrupts Adonijah's party and they are afraid and scatterAdonijah goes to the alter and pleads his life to Solomon, who agress as long as he is a man of honorDavid near death gave Solomon guidance to follow as king - reminded him of those who had done wrong and those that were kindSolomon takes control after David diesMany are killed for their wrongs as Solomon takes controlSolomon is building a palace and temple, c…

2 Samuel

This morning I finished reading 2 Samuel.  These are my notes from the book.

An Amalekite comes to tell David of Saul & Jonathan's passing and says he killed Saul because his injuries were so greatDavid has the Amalekite killed for he confessed to killing SaulDavid writes a song for Israel in mourning of Saul & JonathanDavid, his wives & men went to Hebron & Judah; there they came and appointed him King of JudahSaul's son was king of IsraelIsrael & Judah met & had a contest - field of knivesDavid & Saul's followers fought for a long time; David's strengthened, Saul's weakenedDavid had 6 sons at HebronIsh-Bsheth (Saul's son) spoke badly of Abner (Main leader of Saul supporters, against David)Abner was ANGRY and decided to help David insteadDavid agreed as long as he brought Saul's daughter, David's wifeAbner was to reunite Israel Joab & the army were unhappyDavid left Abner go in peaceJoab killed ABner to repay Abner for ki…

Old Friends

Over the weekend I was able to head out to the childhood home of a dear friend of mine.  Her mom and brother still live there and we were friends growing up.  Molly lives across the country now, and has for awhile now!  But I am glad I get to see her every few years when she's back in town. 

We've grown apart and back together a few times over the years and we certainly haven't been close all those years, but we've always been friends.  Email has brought us a little closer together again than we have been in awhile, and for that I'm grateful.  I admire what she's done over the years and what she's doing with her little family now.  You're doing well my dear!

It was so sweet to see my little girls and her little girls playing together in the yard.  And I hope to see you again in time!

Elinore - School!

Elinore has grown this summer in many ways.  She's grown much taller this summer; she's lost the toddler look; she's learned and advanced in her vocabulary and we know she's a very smart cookie.  But none of that can tame her fears about preschool starting soon.

She just had the realization that in a few short weeks she's going to preschool and she is not ready.  In her words, "but mom, I can't go to school yet, I'm still small!"  As she continued down this path, she also said, "mom, I can't go to school, I don't know my letters yet!"  We've been talking a lot about what going to school will look like for her, and who she'll know in the school building. 

We're looking forward to getting her class list so maybe she'll know a classmate or two.  She does like that she knows her brothers will be in the same school with her and will ride the bus home with her.  And she knows some of their friends, so she likes that to…

Ruth Update

Ruth is seriously a funny little girl.  She's still working on talking, but she's got a few words in her vocabulary that she uses when she wants to, which isn't very often!  Or when she uses them it isn't very useful, but she's still highly effective at getting her point across when she wants or needs something!

She's been trying to wink some, which comes out as the cutest little wrinkled blink face.  It makes us smile.  :)

She is super sweet that if Elinore gets hurt of is upset and you tell Ruthie, she'll go give Elinore a hug and a pat on the back.  Those two girls are close buds, and they always hug and snuggle before bed. 

Ruth is usually very good at following directions and loves to throw things away, even things that aren't trash.  But she's also good at pulling things out of the trash too. 

She LOVES to play outside.  She's an angry little girl who will pull on your finger and point to the door time and time again until you finally ta…

Well Checks

Earlier this week the girls went in for their well checks. 

At 4 years old, Elinore is 30.6 pounds and 39.25 inches tall.

At 18 months old, well really 19 months old because we went in a month late so we could go at the same time as sister, Ruth is 21 pounds and 2 ounces and 32.25 inches tall. 

They got 5 shots between the 2 of them; 3 for Ruth and 2 for Elinore.  They both cried and it wasn't so fun for mom either.

They're growing and doing well though!  We just need Ruth to start using a few more words!  She's getting closer and trying some now.

High Orange

Caden and Caleb passed their tests on the first try last night to earn their high orange belt. They've come so far in the last 4 months or so here and I'm so proud of them! I see them learning and growing and it's awesome. Way to go boys! I love you!

A Weekend Away

I've been so proud of my girls lately. 

The girls and I took our first solo road trip this weekend to visit a friend of mind just over 5 hours from home. 

Those girls were troopers for the drive; had a great time, and loved every minute of it!

The car ride there went smoothly; and the girls did so well on it.  They fit right in with my friends little boys and played.  Their manners were great, their moods, even better, and Elinore, well she stole the show.

She picked up toys without being asked, she said her prayers, talked up the adults and tried new things.  She got to walk the pony, feed the pony and kitties, hang out at the barn to watch them and she jumped in for all of it! 

This weekend with a friend was a much needed rest for this mom.  We had no scheduled plans, and just hung out together with out kiddos and caught up and rested.  It was relaxing and just what I needed before jumping back into the chaos that is our everyday. 








TEN

Caden and Caleb turned 10 at the beginning of last month.  TEN!

I can hardly believe how grown they are.  They are tall and lean and so independent.  They have each grown into their own unique personalities and interests, yet they are still brothers and come together on things too. 

We celebrated by letting them each invite 2 friends over for a sleepover.  I was going laid back on it, but they started collaborating and wanted a camping theme, so we got a little committed to that and had some goodies for them that were camping themed, flashlights, bandanas, glow sticks, etc.  We had a bbq grill on the ice cream cake and had campfire flames aka cheese puffs, and bear poop aka chocolate covered raisins for snacks.  We had a camp fire outside with marshmallows and even though it was in the 40s outside they played outside until 10 that night playing capture the flag.  Most of the kids eventually fell asleep, all but 2 anyway.  Two of them trooped ALL NIGHT.  I couldn't hang much after…

Do you have allergies?

Every time someone has sneezed over the weekend, Elinore asks "do you have allergies?"

Clearly she's learned about allergy season somewhere and is concerned about others and their allergies now.

It's cute.

Concentrate

Elinore doesn't like it when she isn't heard.  If she's interrupted, or can't get a word in, which in a family of 6 happens a lot, she'll say loudly "hey, I'm trying to concentrate!"

I don't know if she's going for have a conversation, or just that she's trying to get someone to concentrate on her, but it usually gets a giggle from someone when she says it!

1 Samuel

Saturday I finished reading 1 Samuel.  I think I've been in this book for quite some time.  I took a break from it to finish up Bible Study for quite awhile though.  Reading a couple chapters a week there was too much to keep up with this reading too.  A lot happened in Samuel though, and I look forward to see how much more happens in 2 Samuel.  The below is the typing of my notes from my reading of 1 Samuel.  The words in Italics are thoughts and notes I made on a more personal level as I thought deeper. 

Hannah prays hard for a childAfter Samuel is born and weaned he goes to the Priest Eli and Hannah gives Samuel to the Lord for his lifetime as she promised while she was praying for a childHannah gives tahnksEli's soms were evil, disrespectfulEvey year Hannah took Eli a coat she'd made for himEli warned his sons of their wrongful waysThe Lord had promised Eli's family they would always serve him, but now dishonor will received dishonor in returnNo man will grow old i…

TDK & Hobbies

Caden and Caleb are about 4 months into their new Tae Kwon Do place and are doing fairly well.  We are happy with what it is doing for them.  Caleb really enjoys it.  Caden won't admit it, but we think he likes it too.  He usually responds with an "eh" and shoulder shrug when you ask him, but he doesn't put up a fight to go.  I think he just doesn't want to admit it because his brother does like it. 

Caden doesn't like things his brother likes.  They are very different and we've seen a few times where if Caleb really starts to like something Caden will pull away from it to be different.  Caleb is into typical things like super heroes, minecraft, and video games.  Caden loves to decorate.  When he has money he buys decorations for holidays and his room and loves it.  This past weekend he bought a new party light for his room.

Outside

Ruth loves to play outside; since the weather turned, she's always wanting to go outside.  She'll walk one of us to the door pulling on our fingers and try to open the door herself so she can go outside.  We try to get outside in the evenings, but when the weather isn't our friend, she doesn't seem to understand!  It may be raining like crazy, and she still want to go out; she doesn't care if it's cold, she still wants to go out.  So on those nights we stay in she'll walk us to the door a few times a piece that evening trying to get us to go outside.  She screams and cries when the answers no!  She's a persistent gal!

Big Baby

Elinore has a sassy mouth sometimes, especially at bed time.  As she was refusing to listen there were consequences, so she started throwing insults about not playing with us anymore.  So Keith, as joke said, your mean comments will make me cry too.  She was crying about her consequences too. 

So she shouts by at him for his crying comment: "what are you going to be a big baby?"

Clearly only babies cry, and Daddy couldn't be a baby. 

Keith and I both managed to contain our laughter until she wasn't in the room anymore, but days later we're still laughing that Elinore called Daddy a big baby!

Application

A couple months ago I applied for Elinore to go to preschool in the fall.  She'll turn 4 this summer, and it's time!  I think we're both a little nervous about it, but I'm looking forward to seeing her grow and develop more.  I think Ruth will miss her some while she's off at school too. 

The application for preschool when I printed it, was THIRTY pages!  (I'm only applying for preschool not college here!)  I was also surprised to find I have to have dental paperwork turned in for her too!  I expected the pediatrician work, but the dentist was a surprise!  Now we wait to hear where she's placed and what her schedule will look like this fall!

Uh oh!

Ruth has started saying Uh Oh now!  She started it at the sitter's yesterday and continued through the evening!  I'm hoping it's the gateway to more words for her!  Currently her vocabulary is lots of sounds, mom and uh oh.

30

I was emailing with a friend earlier this week, and talking about how big our kids are getting and that it means we're getting older.

I turned 30 earlier this year; and as I told my friend earlier this week, I have to say 30 feels pretty good.  I realize 30 really isn't all that old, but I'd have to say it's some of the best yet!  I'm more comfortable in my own skin and confident than I've ever been.  I love my family and how we've grown over the years and look forward to the future we have.  I have a faith, a community and a feeling or purpose and belonging; some I longer for behind the scenes for years. 

30 is good. :)

Broken Tooth

Yesterday just before lunch Keith called me at my desk, which isn't normal.  The school had just called him because Caleb fell at recess and broke a tooth and the piece was lost.  The school wanted one of us to come check it out and see what we wanted to do.

So I gathered all my stuff and headed to the school.  My mind was praying and spinning in what ifs the whole way to the school.  There was so little detail in the phone call from Keith.  I'm thinking baby tooth, adult tooth?  With the braces on top or below without the braces?  Will it be bloody?  Please don't let it be bloody!  Will he be crying?  Lord, please let him be okay! 

I walked into the school and of course it was busy during preschool pick up time, but I walked into the office and he was sitting there with his backpack and coat on just waiting, no big deal.  I sat down by him and he showed me.  We talked.  His dentist was closed for the day; so I tried mine, they were closed for the week.  He didn't say…

Ladies First

Tonight at bedtime, Caden asked me:How come girls always get to go first? God made boys before girls.I asked what he was talking about a dozen immediately was thinking about women's rights and how behind we've been from men for, well, forever.He said well every one says ladies first and let them go first.

Open Discussion

I want to live in a world where the hard discussions that are taboo to talk about (politics and religion to begin) are accepted and encouraged. 

The way people are offended at everything in society today, I feel like we could easily spend out time tip toeing around others, afraid saying something will be offensive or upsetting to others.  While I will never argue that we should speak without thought and consideration for others, I do think we need to move back toward a more free speech pattern of conversation. 

We expect everyone to be like us, agree with us, share our beliefs, etc.  Pause for a moment and imagine what the world would be like if that were actually true.  I think it might be a little dull a boring!  We can't change the world, if we don't accept others. 

I don't want to avoid talking about the hard stuff.  When we have those conversations with others, especially those with views different than ours, I think we have a great opportunity to learn.  We as peo…

Cleaning

Ruth likes to get in the drawer for the dish rags and dish towels.  And she empties them out of the drawer.  She likes to grab one for each hand and crawl around cleaning the floor and other things. 

Tonight while I was folding laundry she got a wash rag and wiped down the entertainment center with it.

Missions

I spent part of last Saturday at a women's retreat at my church.  The focus and theme of the day was on missions.  We had a handful of speakers talk about their non-profits and the missions they focus on.  Then we did a couple small mission projects. 

My biggest take away from the day that has stuck with me nearly a week later is that the need in our world is so stinking big I can't even begin to understand it.  My heart hurts for it. 

It is easy to start down the path of thinking, the need is so big I can do so little to meet that need.  But the Holy Spirit has a way of changing your perspective and your thinking at just the right time doesn't he?  I may not be able to solve any major world problems, but I can love.  I can pray, and I can give.  I can give enough to significantly change the life of one and one matters.  We are each wonderfully made by HIM, in HIS image and HE loves us. 

Matthew 25:40 - New International Version (NIV)
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tel…
Keith went in to check on Elinore after bed time last night.  Make sure she's still in bed, not waking her sister or anything.  He came out and told me that she said "my babies don't go to sleep Daddy, because they aren't real." 

Of course Elinore has many babies in her bed, but she's dwindled the collection down a bit lately.

Singing

One morning on the way to the sitter last week, Elinore had a 30ish minute meltdown of tears and screaming because I dared to sing along to the radio and her music in the car! 

She informed me I was allowed to whistle, so I did for a song, but man, that's hard to keep up with for long!

Then I switched to humming.  She told me that was the most annoying sound and she didn't want to hear that ever again!

I didn't stop singing; I enjoyed it!  I told it was a way to praise God as we listened to Christian radio and her Bible Songs CD.

Best Valentine Ever

Thanks Caden.You are welcome from breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Vow Renewal

Yesterday, on Valentine's Day, in front of our church on Sunday morning, Keith and I, and a handful of other couples in our church renewed our marriage vows. 

Our kiddos were there, well Ruth ended up in the nursery, but even Camerin was able to join us and our mom's with there too.  And our church family was there.  It meant a lot to me to have our community in the church there for it for all they've meant to me over the last several years since we've joined our church. 

I was closer to crying yesterday at this than I was at our wedding.  Our love has grown and is so much deeper and we have a greater understanding of what it takes, what it means for us, our family, and we've grown in our faith too in the almost 6.5 years we've been married. 

Dear Keith,
I love you more now than the day we wed; and I expect to love you more in another 6.5 years.  Thank you for all that you are to me, our family, and our community.  You are awesome. 
With love,
Beth

Ruth

I finished reading the book of Ruth this morning.

There was a shortage of food in Israel, so Elimelech left with his wife Naomi and 2 sonsThen Elimelech died in the foreign landNaomi's 2 sons married in that land, then after they'd lived there 10 years, the sons diedNaomi heard of food blessed in Israel again and decided to return there, but told her daughter-in-laws to go back to their parentsRuth refused and stayed with Naomi and went to IsraelNaomi returned sad and told people to call her Mara because of her sadnessRuth goes out one day to gather grain behind harvesters and meets BoazBoaz had women workers in his fields and Ruth followed themBoaz allowed her to gather grain behind his workers and share water and meal until harvest endsNaomi told Ruth to wash and perfume and to go the threshing floor where Boaz was working one evening; Ruth was to lay at his feetBoaz awoke and found her, she requested he care for her (as kinship redeemer)BOaz said there was a closer relative …

Shoe Rack

We currently have a shoe rack inside our front door to keep the shoes on.  It's cheap and not well made.  It commonly falls apart and sits in shambles because I get frustrated putting it back together all the time.  I'd held off on buying one hinting heaving that I'd like a new one for Christmas last December.  Christmas came, and Keith had one under the tree for me!  However, it broke during assembly.  Apparently a well made shoe rack is hard to find.

So Keith decided he was going to build me a shoe rack out of pallets. 

He got a couple pallets from my parents and a week or so ago spent some time cutting it apart into boards. Yesterday, with the help of Caden and Caleb, they built me a shoe rack!  Caden and Caleb did a lot of the sanding on it.

Last night it was all assembled and ready to be seen in the basement.  He wants to stain it yet before use, so it isn't 100% done, but it looks like a shoe rack!  He took the girls and I down to see it, and Elinore was SO EXC…

Judges

Last week I finished reading Judges.  Judges was a tough book to tackle for me.  I think to start with it was the book I've read so far that I knew the least about going into.  I wasn't as familiar with its stories and specifics.  I only knew the big picture of what Judges told.  As I've been reading through the Bible book by book, this is the first I've though, I should re-read or do a devotional on to really grasp it well.  But, on to my notes!

Judah fights CanaanitesCaleb gave his daughter as wife to a man who captured the city for themCanaanites were pushed out or became slaves and some continued to live with themAn angel of the Lord told them the others in their land would be enemies because they made an agreement with them and didn't destroy their altersJoshua diesThe next generation didn't know God and what was right and wrong so they worshipped other idols; their enemies became robbers and defeated them because the Lord wasn't with themGod sent Judge…

Trash

Keith and I caught Ruth in the kitchen the other night picking up her shoes and her sister's shoes that they wear everyday and throwing them in the trash can.  I had to reach in the kitchen trash and pull them back out!  I was fortunate in that I'd recently taken out the trash and it was nearly empty.  We could have had a yucky encounter to get those out!

TKD

Last fall Caleb was heavily interested in taking some karate lessons.  We agreed that after Caden's soccer season ended, we could look into that as an activity for the boys.  It's been a journey finding the right place and program for us.  We're on our third one now, but it's finally one we seem to be comfortable with and enjoy, the kids and us as parents.  They are now enrolled for 6 months in a Tae Kwon Do program. 

The school now has been great for all of us!  The locations is alright, the price is reasonable and the kids are enjoying and doing well in it.  I think the structure, curriculum and practice of this is good for them.  On their second night they broke their first boards!  They have them displayed in their bedrooms now. 

I'm looking forward to watching them grow and develop in the program and it's great seeing them find something they enjoy!

A New Year

I haven't written anything here in awhile, but there have been some things in my head I have wanted to write about, so this morning I told myself I'd put some words on the screen and document some of the happenings of our family. 

I seem to be going to stretches of time not thinking about writing here and not missing it, but today, the urge struck and I have many ideas! 

I want to remember things about the kids, and there's so much, I can't remember it all.  I hope to have some of my words here jog my memory for future reminiscing and sharing with the kids when they're older. 

At the end of every year for the last several years I've printed this blog into a book of the year of my posts and I keep them as journals in my room to look back on some day.  I hope that they make us laugh some day and bring back memories for us.  I hope that some day my kids learn more about us as people and a family from my writings. 

Whether I write a little or a lot, I know I ha…