Everyone to his each

We have issues - and by 'we' I mean our children and our dog. There seem to be obsessions growing out of control.

1. Joseph and the bat and ball. All he wants to do is play catch or pitch and hit. If he can't find a bat he will use the closest thing - a golf club, a drum stick, a kazoo. Yes, a kazoo. Couldn't find a bat yesterday. I told him to go look on the shelf - he came back with a kazoo and assumed his batting stance. Which is pretty good I must say. One of my favorite requests from him these days is, "Come on mommy, pitch to me."

2. Olivia has layering issues. We finally had to pack her sleeping bag away in a closet a month or so ago because she insisted on getting in it even though it was well over 70 degrees outside. We would find her an hour or so later sound asleep and sweating buckets. She still insists that the covers be on even if she is sweating. Yesterday she spent the entire day in her underwear trying on ALL of the clothes we have just received as hand me downs. (I don't know how much money the Farley's have saved us the past 3 years!) I ate dinner with her in a snowman sweater, blue longjohn pants, and purple boot house shoes. Did I mention it was over 80 degrees here yesterday. The kid has no control.

3. And Ridley. Can a dog be obsessive compulsive? She has become quite the frisbee dog - she is really pretty impressive. But she won't stop. You could probably throw it for an hour and she would keep dragging her sorry self out there to catch it- midair! After Mike threw to her for a while tonight he put the frisbee in the wagon (we were out for a walk with friends) and she followed Olivia around in circles as she pulled the wagon - for a long time. Then she refused to walk ahead of the wagon on the way home - she wanted to be right by her frisbee. Mike finally picked her up and carried her because she refused to walk. Weird dog.

Mike and I have issues too - they just aren't as interesting. He has issues about his socks and I get all flustered if you "get in the nighttime in your daytime." Translation - get in bed in the clothes you have been wearing around all day. Yuck! Keep it clean - put that stuff in the hamper!

Sorry no pictures. My computer is running too slow these days to start an upload at this time of night. I need to go to bed anyway. See you Southies tomorrow!!


As we were going through the weekend I told Mike I kind of felt like I was just watching my life happen - I didn't really feel connected to it all, if that makes sense at all. I think I was probably just tired and a little overwhelmed with all that it meant that we had made it to this day, this weekend. Though there were some special people who were not able to be here, it finally all felt real to me when our house was full of people that we loved on Saturday night as we celebrated the Lord's goodness to us over the past 3 1/2 years. It is really quite a lot about the people and not even really so much the accomplishments. Not to dimish any of the hard work Mike has done. I am quite sure he agrees. The relationships we have made and the ways God has fleshed out all that Mike has learned through those relationships and our experiences here, is far more important than that little piece of paper.

A little cheese while we waited.Mike is the one on the stage, not the one walking down the steps.
The professors took turns doing the hooding. It was special that Dr. Douglas was one of the ones who hooded Mike. He has mentored Mike quite a bit the past two years, particulary in the area of church planting.

Remember Josie? She and Joe were with us in CA last summer. See that little pooch in her belly? They are expecting a baby soon!
Joe with O. Special buddies. I remember when Olivia used to call them Joe and Joe and Josie.

Mike's Uncle Bill made the trip over. Think they are related?
The peanut gallery.
We got to spend the whole week practially with the Gulletts. Remember, John is the one that married us.

A little uncle love

About Sage - a short story

Sage - the dog whisperer Sage - the fashion queen
Sage - the baby soother
Sage - loved by Olivia (and many others)
Mike was not the only one who graduated this week. Sage graduated Summa Cum Laude from the teaching program at Harris-Stowe. We were very proud of her.

Thank you!

Thanks, GT for the big wheel. It is getting a lot of milage in the backyard. Unsolicited help.

Thanks Toots! Mostly the bug catcher is seeing a lot of worms. Even fresh out of bed on his birthday he "oooo"ed when he opened it. And we LOVE the books! We opened those back when Mom and Dad were here. You really have a nack for picking out the best books.

Party on

Here are a whole slew of pictures from Joseph's little hoe down. Seems like we've done as much partying these days as working - that's the way it ought to be. Here is Annika (proudly wearing the skirt I made her) helping Joe with his presents. Little Sammy - party girl.
Audrey - much happier here than at her baptism yesterday. Pictures of that to come.

The birthday boy. I will appreciate every year that goes by that my children happily wear the things I make for them without complaining.
Isaiah - even the older boys abliged us by wearing their hoe down attire.

Levi was the sheriff I suppose - though I don't know who he is going to lock up with those mini handcuffs.
Hannah and Jane

Three Amigos or Stooges or something - these boys are all just months apart.

It would be fun to put thought bubbles over everyone's head in this picture.

Niki doing just one of the many things she does best - make my life more orderly. She coordinated our wedding and I am pretty sure Mike and I would still be on our way to the church right now if it were not for her.

Erin and Taylor picking nuts out of their teeth.
Crown turned ear warmer? (it was chilly out there) Or, just too much ice cream - we had to cut him off - he was getting a little crazy.
Happy Birthday Bub! Adios 1, hello 2! Speaking of two...he attempted to throw a tantrum this morning. Does it count when you go down one appendage at a time and then lay your head down and suck your thumb? Not in this house.

For moms

"I never thought that while some things in me faded away with motherhood, I'd be awakened to a more true version of myself."

This is a quote from a blog post by the daugther-in-law of a dear friend. I don't know her well, but I read her blog because her relationship with Jesus and how she talks about it and how she talks about life and the world and others encourages me and challenges me.

I don't stop often enough to think about the true, deep, meaningful things of life. I stop to worry or plan or nurture a grudge or... But I am not good at slowing down to consider the richer things. Mentally I am always multi-tasking. I don't think you can do that and really meditate on God and his ways.

I don't even know that I fully understand the depth of her statement quoted above. But it feels right to me. I have struggled with the fading away - I have fought it - and in the process squealched some of the peace that God gives as he is constantly molding and changing us into who he has called us to be. I spend a lot of time holding on to things rather than letting go and embracing the new things God brings.

Bit of an emotive post - mostly I just wanted to refer you to Linda's post if you are a mother. I think you will be encouraged.

What did I just say?

Something I never thought I would say to my 3-year-old:
"Olivia, get off your phone in the parking lot and pay attention to what you are doing!"

Recently I finally just gave in and pretend like she is actually talking to Annika on her phone. You would think they are teenagers already. She laughs, tells about her day, invites her over, asks about what they have been doing. It is getting a little out of control...so today I told her she would have to call Annika back when she got in the car - she needed to pay attention in the parking lot. Next I suppose it is phone restriction.

We recommend...

...chairs your children can carry. We spend a lot of time out doors as a family - I feel energy returning to my body just thinking about this. One less thing I have to lug around...and we are already pretty minimalistic.
The girl in the front of the quartet on the left (the violinist) is our friend Alison. She is an incredibly gifted musician. They were playing for a Thursdays in May free concert series put on by the St. Louis Public Library - it is down at the Old Post Office Plaza. Very fun.


This is such a great time for us. In the midst of all our craziness, we are getting lots of visitors and we love it. These are two girl friends from Atlanta that came last weekend. Niki and I have known each other since I was 13! That is our friend Taylor (with child) and her little girl Hannah (who Niki is holding). Nik, can you see you and Hannah in the background?

Come on...really?
Tandem dismount. At least they know the right side to dismount on.

Thank you all so much for coming. Such a boost to us during this time.


This is NOT the Botanical Garden

These are in our backyard!! Alice gave me a few bunches of them two years ago. Last year the late snow really got them. Now look! Two deep purple ones have blossomed in the back bunch since I took these pictures.
I will be sad to leave our little garden - irises, tulips, daffodils (though puny), a huge peony bush, and five rose bushes!