Thanks everyone for the words of encouragement and good advice on the stay at home business. 

In light of the suggestions, today I took a mommy break (big sis is at preschool and little bro is napping) and enjoyed a cup of coffee and a new book. I call this picture “ah a moment of sweet quiet and pure bliss”. 

PS isn’t my mug awesome. It was made just for by me from a local artist who also happened to teach at the same school I did. 

I am now ready to tackle the laundry basket that is in the background. 

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#The Struggle is Real.

For real.

I usually reserve that phrase for toddler meltdowns, because it is ironic. ¬†Let’s be honest, the struggle in her life is pretty minimal. ūüôā

But today, I am struggling.  In the header on of this blog, it says teacher, but for right now I am not teaching anyone but my 3 year old and my one (for three days now) year old.  I am staying at home with my two children.  And friends, this is hard.  img_4221

I knew that staying home wouldn’t be easy – summers are fun, but difficult because they haven’t been our normal life. ¬†But now, one month in, it seems like one big summer, and I am¬†struggling.

This is my struggling face – particularly with packing…

I didn’t think I would ever¬†not work, just because I didn’t think I would. ¬†I have always loved working (not always my job, but finding value in working), and I love teaching.

Out here, the jobs are a little more scarce…like 2 English teachers in this town as opposed to 200 in Wichita. ¬†So, by choice, I am home and wondering how people really do this. ¬†I have so many questions.


img_26191. What do you do all day?
At school, I have lesson plans, detailed plans, worksheets, powerpoints, quizzes, etc, so I know what I am going to be doing nearly every minute of every day. ¬†Since interactive powerpoint presentations seems to be a bit over my toddlers’ heads, what do we do to all day to keep me sane, the kids happy, and perhaps learn a little something along the way?

We go to the park – A LOT.

2. How many times a day do you empty your dishwasher?
I am now preparing 3 meals a day for 4 people – the hubs comes home for lunch most days – and for real, I seem to run the dishwasher at least once a day. ¬†And as wonderful as clean dishes that I didn’t have to wash are, I hate cleaning out the dishwasher…

3. Nap time…what do you do?img_4052
So the baby – I mean one year old (cue tears) naps twice a day still, and I really don’t know what to do during that time. Today, big sis is with Daddy, and I am writing this blog post. But I am also job searching, Pottery Barn dreaming (why does everything cost 50 bucks?), picture buying, recipe hunting, and email writing. I could also be planting mums, folding laundry, reading a book, doing homework (master’s class – 1 more class to go!), prepping for lunch, cleaning the floors, taking a shower, hanging pictures, unpacking… ¬†So how do I¬†keep from running around like my 5 second attention span¬†toddler¬†from one task to the next, and only kind-of finishing somethings and fully finishing nothing?

img_25484. When do you re-charge?
While this seems crazy, school was my place that let me do what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it and when I wanted to do it (for the most part).  Here at home everything seems dictated by the needs, plans, desi
res of my two crazy, but wonderful munchkins. When and how do you find time to be the grown-up version of yourself that you have worked so hard to become?

I just got my hair done. ūüôā ¬†Talk about re-charged!

So how about it, you seasoned stay-at-homers? What advice do you have for this newly crowed and totally stressed full-time, underpaid momma?

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The Time Has Come

After 9.5 years of (mostly) wedded bliss, 2 children, 4 jobs (for me), and so many wonderful friendships, Ryan and I decided to pack up our little family and head to a new time zone.  Mountain Time to be precise.


I have lived in Central Time for 32, almost 33, years and have enjoyed this little corner of the world.  It has been really good to me.  I have learned to live and enjoy life here.  I have been well-educated (nearly constantly since age 5) here.  I have learned to love here.

We built a house here.  We loved that house, and how it fit our family.  Whew we learned so much building our house.  But now we have a closing date to sell it to a new family, who will hopefully love it as much as we did and make it theirs.  We are excited to see how they change it.


Our wonderful and amazing friends are the things that made Newton our HOME. ¬†We love them so much and are going to miss them beyond belief. ¬†They threw us the most amazing going away party, that was wonderfully sad and fun all at the same time. They told us we were “One in a Melon.” ¬†They prayed sweet words of love, friendship, blessing, and encouragement over us and our little family’s new adventure.


As we settle into the mountain time zone, we will be learning all over again how to build a life.  We will need to re-learn the art of making friends, the art of fitting in, the art of new jobs, and what it means to rely on the God who sent us on this little journey.


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maelle – 12 months

* I just found this and it never posted…almost 3 years ago.

12 months

Wow!  Can you believe one year has passed?  You, Maelle, are such a joy and so, so much fun.  Just last night you were flirting with a much older man at Jason’s Deli, and both you and he thought you were quite adorable.


At one year old you are a little mover.  Since you began crawling (quite a while ago) you have not stopped moving.  Now that you walk, you are constantly going somewhere.  You have explored every room in our house at great length and are, unfortunately, most fond of toilets, toilet paper rolls, Finley’s water bucket and pillow, and a drawer full of random Tupperware that you push around the floor until you run into someone or something.


You talk ALL THE TIME.¬† You may or may not be following directly in the footsteps of your mommy and daddy.¬† We are a family of talkers.¬† However, you only say about 5 or 6 words regularly, the rest is simply baby babble.¬† The best part is you seem so, so serious about what you are saying.¬† You look right into people‚Äôs eyes and deliver your message in the most expressive way possible while actually saying absolutely nothing that makes any sense at all ‚Äď to us.¬† You, however, seem to believe that you have just told us the secret to life, and maybe you have… J¬† Words you are using are dog, shoe, book, mama, dada, NO and hello or hi.


You also love to read Рanother trait that we are super excited about.  You sit cross-legged on the floor and flip the pages to your heart’s content and read us the stories out loud.  You favorite is Peek-A-Who and Barn Dance.  But you will read whatever is near you including the Cabelas catalogue or Time and National Geographic.  You are obviously way ahead of the rest of your age group.

Finally, being outside is your favorite place to be.  Every time we go outside, you do your little jump dance.  You stick out your arms and legs and open your mouth really wide and jump.  It’s hilarious.  And you really only do it for a bottle or being outside.  It can be frigid out there but you don’t care at all.  You look directly into the wind, smile and squeal.  Maybe you have been taking lessons from Finley on that one.

This year with you has been humbling, amazing, hard, so fun and so many other things rolled into one.  We love you with our whole hearts!  

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the upside of jury duty: a revelation

the upside of my jury duty summons is a fully paid, non-vacation day, day off.  i was not one of the chosen 12 and was dismissed with a have a nice day and thank you for fulfilling your civic duty.

well, mr. judge with a humorous streak and a positive attitude, you are quite welcome and thanks.  thanks for a free afternoon to read a book and enjoy a frothed coffee beverage.

i saw the movie quite a while ago, and was so intrigued by some of the deep thoughts that downloadthe movie brought to light, that i decided i  needed to read the book to fully explore its contents.  i almost never read books after watching the movie, but in this case it was totally worth it.

while, i don’t agree with the character’s¬†religious beliefs, i still feel like some of the philosophical notes¬†run deep and demand attention.

“…it occurred to me that the voracious ambition of humans is never sated by dreams coming true, because there is always the thought that everything might be done better and again.”

this thought struck me. ¬†i read it about five times before it truly sunk in and revealed its meaning. ¬†but it’s there. ¬†it’s a harsh reality to face. ¬†we, as human beings, have dreams and desires, things that we long for, hope¬†for, pray for. ¬†and sometimes, our longing, hopes, and prayers are answered, granted, met. we count ourselves lucky and speak¬†prayers of thanksgiving.

and then we seem to immediately begin to long for, hope for, pray for something better, a chance to do it better next time, a bigger experience, so we live in a constant state of “voracious ambition” rather than in a state of contentment and thankfulness.

while it is not at bad to have dreams and desires, in fact, i believe we should. but we need to spend our time¬†experiencing¬†the beauty of the dreams and desires that have already been met. ¬†we don’t allow ourselves time to experience contentment or¬†joy¬†in our current state – good or bad.

Paul wrote to the church at Philippi,

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. ¬†I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound…” ¬†Philippians 4:11 – 12.

Paul also wrote, to Timothy,

“Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment…It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” 1 Timothy 6:6-11.

in the last year, ryan and i have faced tough decisions and some family trials. ¬†and in it’s wake i am looking back instead of grateful contentment i see my discontent, my continued desire for more. ¬†God has granted me many wonderful blessings and has brought me some of the greatest desires of my heart. and instead of resting in the gifts that he has given and the truth that he has spoken into my heart, i have chosen to rest in my insatiable desire for more.

in this book about teenagers facing death and facing the reality of a fallen world, they teach a valuable lesson, to notice the world around you, to find contentment in the life that you have been given, because like it or not, the truth is it is the only earthly life we are given.

joy and contentment will come when my deepest desires and dreams take root in the promises and faithfulness of my God and Savior.

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart…” Psalm 37: 3-5.

how i long for the desires of my heart to be in line with His desires for my heart. ¬†how i long to overcome the “voracious ambition” of the human heart and find the satisfaction of the heart of Jesus.

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feeling jaded

do you ever feel that way?

i am there.

thank goodness for Thanksgiving break.  i need some time off from kids that are not thankful for anything in their lives except maybe money and Kanye West and their latest pair of kicks.

it’s killing me.

sometimes it feels like it is me fighting against the world’s influence over these kids. ¬†and right now, i am losing. ¬†big time. ¬†seriously, it is hard to compete with the world, when i struggle daily to overcome it myself.

my sails are void of wind, and i find myself wallowing in the doldrums hoping for a brief but water stirring breeze.  something to fill me with the promise of hope, something to keep pushing me to invest my time and heart and energy into people who are seemingly just ignoring it.

i know i chose to teach.  and i love to teach.  i love kids and i am just aching because of the disappointment i know they will face if they continually base their happiness on what they see on tv and in the world.

so my friends, sorry to be the debby downer this week and after a long blog hiatus, but i ask you to do the following for the kids in your life:

  • teach them what true happiness is
  • teach them consequences
  • teach them love
  • teach them that life has a purpose
  • teach them good and bad, and that they will be both
  • teach them about Jesus.

I am trying to teach those things to my kiddo, but most importantly the last one.  If I can just show her Jesus, the rest will follow.  And that, is the answer and the hope РJesus.


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a summer trip

because i am only about 75 weeks behind on blogging, i am going to tell you about the summer trip we took and skip the other 74 weeks of exciting stuff.

we went to Cape Cod, Massachusetts (which is a word that i cannot spell, i get all the right letters, but not in the right order and sometimes a few extra…).

anyway, we stayed in a lovely little town called Mashpee on Seconsett (Se-con-sit) Island.¬†this was the PERFECT vacation for two little people and their families. ¬†we rented a house. ¬†this one actually, with all of the Frasier side except emily – she got to go to the tulip festival in the Netherlands instead…i guess we won’t hold it against her. ūüôā ¬†i’d say her trip was more glamorous for sure!


nevertheless, the house we stayed in was just perfect for our little family trip.  lots of room for 8 people to spread out, a great deck for eating outside, a beach a five minute walk down the road, a stocked kitchen Рtotally perfect.

we spent so much time outside, we were all quite tan – sadly it has faded by now, but imagine us still tan and enjoying the beach.


we also took a trip over to Martha’s Vineyard, you know where the Kennedy’s live. ¬†we clearly traveled over just like they do, you know, on the local ferry. ¬†ūüôā ¬†or maybe that was their private jet that flew right over our boat…but anyway, it was a really cool place to visit, in fact, i would love to go back. ¬†and i don’t usually like to go to the same place twice.

DSC_1211 DSC_1217

the world’s oldest carousel, transplanted from Coney Island at some point. ¬†thanks to Nana’s good luck we got a free ride, so Maelle could go again with Mama. ¬†she LOVED it so much.

DSC_1230 DSC_1232

these crazy, amazing homes are built on nearly 200 year old slabs that the Methodist Church used for their annual revival camps out on the island starting with canvas tents before the Civil War and then switched to these “cabins” because the canvas for tents became rationed for the war. ¬†there are several hundred of these little gingerbread houses, each with a different theme. ¬†most people own them and just do spring and summer on the island, as they have no insulation. ¬†the Methodist Church still has meetings there each summer along with many other faith groups.

DSC_1236 DSC_1243

it seemed like the gardens on the Vineyard and the Cape must have been taken straight out of the Garden of Eden. ¬†they were amazing, the colors and the varieties of blooms were just crazy. ¬†we were all jealous coming back to our drooping plants back home. ūüôā


this view was a common sight during our entire trip.  these two kids can pretty much sleep anywhere Рand they did.  they were amazing little travelers.

i loved the lighthouses. i wish i was a better photographer, so i could do them justice, but here are a few of my favorite lighthouse shots.DSC_131920140707_151942 DSC_1402 DSC_1420we also spent loads of time at the beach.  maelle and chisum were in love.  the sand was their best friend, and they tried really hard to bring as much back to the house with them as possible.  every little wrinkle and every chubby place was full of sand!

IMG_6267  IMG_6281

we had so much fun at the Cape and would recommend the exact house, exact trip to any and all who are looking for good food, good weather, good relaxation, and a good time.

hope to see you soon Cape Cod.


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