Wednesday, April 29, 2009


For Lawson's Awana Cubbies lesson tonight he had to draw pictures of three things he thought would be in heaven. He drew...

1. food
2. angels
3. Baby Cora and Konley

So sweet.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


My day was going much better,
until I was backing out of our driveway and did this...

And then fell down our front porch steps in the pouring rain after I came to get Corey.
Did you know it was possible for someone's rear end to swell?
I didn't really know that was possible.
But it is.
My butt is swollen.
And there is a pretty nasty bruise where I hit. Hard. 4 times. (4 steps)

The very nice black Jeep that I crunched had no visible damage.
If you really looked you could see a dent in his side door.
I put a note in a Zip-Loc bag (since it was pouring rain) and he came to our door a couple hours later.
He was very nice. Very, very nice.
He gave us his card and we'll have our insurance guy contact him tomorrow.

It could have been worse. Much worse.
Thankful that it wasn't.
Thankful that the only thing that was hurt (besides my butt) is my pride.

I texted my friend (that I was supposed to be picking up to go to Sonic) and said, "I just hit a car and fell down the stairs. I'll call you later." She called right away to see if I was okay and then came over... to bring us dinner. This is my friend who just had a baby two weeks ago. My friend that is a new mommy of three. And she is bringing me dinner. As I'm asking her, through tears, why she is bringing us dinner, she says because she knows I am exhausted and frustrated and she knows what it's like. She was making this dinner for her family anyway, so she just made a double batch.

Love her.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I'm stressed.
Really stressed.
I hate feeling like this.
I hate how it affects everything in my life.
I hate that I can't be the kind of wife and mother and teacher that I want to be.
I hate hearing about things second hand and not being involved in decisions that directly affect me.
I hate that I let the decisions of others and the actions of others stress me out.
I just hate stress.

A friend sent me this email awhile back. She subscribes to a daily devotional called "Girlfriends in God." I read it and thought, "Yes. Exactly. That's exactly how I feel."

"Come away with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." Mark 6:31 bills...making phone calls...going to you ever feel like running away from being in charge of everybody and everything!?

Maybe, like me, you've realized that what causes the most stress in life seems to be the accumulation of those common daily hassles. Honestly, those daily things pile up and drive you nuts! According to research, I've read, women do pretty well dealing with those major life events -- but it's the daily conquering of our never-ending "To Do Lists" that sends us over the edge.

Girlfriend, God has a word for you! Yes, all of you who are teetering on the edge of Freak-Out and for those of you who already have plunged over that cliff! His word comes through the psalmist in Psalm 131:2. "But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother."

Oh, the simplicity of being still; sitting down and being quiet in the middle of chaos is the way to regain your composure and strengthen your heart.

How quiet is your soul? Your soul is your mind and emotions. And if you're like most women, your soul is running all over the place! Maybe you've mastered the art of sitting down physically and even appearing to be quiet. But on the inside, your soul is charging ahead -- making plans and thinking about everything that has to be done. Any sisters out there?

I liken it to the perpetual little Ms. Pac Man -- running all over the place trying to gobble up all those stress ghosts before they gobble you! I remember so well when my boys were young and I'd pull them away from the video games, sending them to "the quiet place" so they could calm down and unwind. Sometimes it took quite a while for them to recover a quiet demeanor after being jerked around with all the agitated stimuli on the computer.

How about you, dear friend? Are the stressors of life jerking you around, leaving you agitated and jumpy? Well, I invite you to take a stress break. Quiet your emotions. De-escalate your soul. "Be still and know that He is God." (Psalm 46:10)

Yes, be very still and really know that He is God!

Okay. So right now, I'm going to take a few moments to deep breathe. Instead of charging frantically ahead to the next stress-stop, I'm sprinting into the arms of my God. He's the only One who can quiet my spirit and settle my nerves.

Let's Pray
Lord, I'm catching my breath; I'm catching my breath in You. Instead of charging ahead with my plans, I'm rushing to You! Teach me how to be still and know You are God!
In Jesus' name,

I need to quiet my soul.
I need to catch my breath in Him.
I need to rush to Him when my plans are falling apart.
I know that this is what I need to do.
Why is it so hard?

belly band.

This has been my favorite pregnancy thing so far...

I love it!

My sister bought a black one for me at Target. (thanks, Kristin!)
Last week I bought a white one.
I think I wear one of them everyday.
When it's pulled down, it just looks like a layered shirt.
But it hides the fact that my pants are unbuttoned and/or unzipped.
They advertise ways to wear it all during your pregnancy.
$17 at your local Target.
Totally worth the money!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Corey has been talking about taking the kids fishing for a long time.
Saturday we finally did it.
I think his visions of how it would go were a little different than the reality, though.

We started out with smiles...

But they quickly decided that fishing wasn't very exciting.
Corey tried to convince them that this is what people like about fishing... sitting quietly, relaxing, just holding a pole... but they weren't buying it.

They started having a little more fun when I convinced him to let them try casting on their own...

We spread them far apart from each other and I scooted my chair back a few extra feet.

The clouds came and the wind picked up and it did get pretty chilly.

We packed it all up and decided to look for a place next time that can offer us instant gratification... do they let you take poles into fish hatcheries??

the ugly duckling.

I went on a field trip with Lawson last week to the Children's Theater.
I could get used to mornings like this...
I slept 30 minutes later than usual.
The kids got to sleep 30 minutes later.
We left the house 30 minutes later.
Dropped Sophie off at school and got to chat with her teacher for a few minutes. (I didn't have to rush back down the hall to my own classroom!)
Lawson and I came back home... did a couple things... ran a few errands... drove through Sonic for Mommy's morning caffiene fix (Diet Dr. Pepper) and made it to pre-school by 9:00.
So much more relaxing than my normal morning routine!

I've only been here twice, but was really impressed both times.
The plays are cute, funny and very age appropriate.

See the cute little redhead in the front row?

Lawson's favorite character... the cat, whose name was "Butch," but the lady who owned him couldn't see very well and didn't know he was a boy. So she called him "Pretty Kitty" and dressed him up all fancy.

The Ugly Duckling gets reunited with his real swan family (who obviously got a baby duck by mistake!) Cute, cute show and a fun time with my little man.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


It is amazing to me that the life of this sweet baby is still changing the hearts of people around the world.

A friend posted a link to the Focus on the Family website and the following article...
You can read it below or click on THIS LINK.

Fly to Jesus
Posted by Jim_Daly on Mar 23, 2009 9:55:45 AM

It was supposed to be a routine checkup for an ear infection of their first child. But last month, when Joel and Jess McClenahan took their precious 11-month-old baby girl, Cora Paige, to the pediatrician, they discovered Cora had stage-four cancer. Two weeks after the diagnosis, Cora died, leaving the McClenahan’s with a mind-numbing grief and a host of unanswered questions.

And yet, Joel and Jess clung to their faith in Jesus to sustain them. On their blog, which they created the day Cora was born for the benefit of friends and family, Jess wrote: “Joel and I can’t make it through this on our own, but we know we can with the Lord walking with us each step of the way, ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,’ Psalm 46:1.”When they began to blog about Cora’s diagnosis and treatment, Cora’s story went “viral” on the web and, almost overnight, the events surrounding little Cora’s life and death was followed by concerned visitors from around the world. A reported 800,000 hits from 17 countries has produced a groundswell of condolences and support. While Cora couldn’t speak a word, her story has already touched the lives of people the world over.

In honor of Cora’s life, the McClenahan’s are planning to build “Cora’s Playground” on the grounds of their church, Grace Community. Speaking to Channel 12 Eyewitness News in Newton, KS, they explained, “We just felt like there was nothing more important than little kids hearing about Jesus so [building the playground] would be a little way that we could contribute to that.” Of the needed $45,000 necessary to erect the playground, $31,000 has been raised to date.

This week has been especially difficult for the McClenahan’s. Jess is honest about her suffering and wonders “how long I will feel like my heart is crushed. [I’m] wondering if life will ever feel ‘normal’ again. Wondering why God allows us to go through such painful things.” And yet, she explains “My relationship with Christ and the HOPE that I have in Him—that is what is getting me through these hard, lonely days. I long to read the Word each day because it comforts me in a way that only HE can.”

If you think of it, pray for Joel and Jess this week as they mourn the loss of Cora. And, if you don’t know the Savior who gives His people a peace that passes all human comprehension—even in the midst of such pain, contact us at 1-800-AFAMILY. We’d be honored to introduce you to Him.

catch up.

We really did celebrate Easter around here.
And we really have been doing things in the evenings and on the weekends.
I'm just way behind on blogging.

I'm through the first trimester now, but I'm still waiting on this baby to give me back some of my energy.
Maybe I should be blaming 21 seven year olds, instead???

Either way... tonight I play catch up.
Prepare for some reading.
And a whole lot of pictures.


Easter baskets...

We went to church and then drove an hour to have lunch with Grandma and Grandpa.
Grandma made some really yummy dessert. Sophie and Lawson were so excited with their tiny little glasses.

Since it was cold and wet and rainy outside, we had to hunt for Easter eggs inside. I had a hard time getting pictures, though. They were all blurry!

I realized too late that this was the only picture I got of the kids together on Easter.

Her hair's a little crazy... but Sophie looks so big to me in this picture. I think it's the permanent front teeth. She'll be 7 when this baby comes! She's going to be such a good helper.

Hugs for Great Grandma before she heads home. (probably for a nap... they were very energetic this day!)

We left in the late afternoon to go see Grandma Jones and have an early supper. We headed home around 7:00 and I'm pretty sure both kids were asleep by 7:15. Quiet drive home. (which is always nice!)




Saturday, April 18, 2009


I think this baby is a girl.
I really don't care one way or the other.
Just healthy. (and happy would be good, too! and sleepy.)

I told Corey the other night that I am so ready to be past this first stage. Just feeling exhausted and sick and sore and tired and worn out... Then I looked at him and said, "It's probably a girl." Someone at school asked if I felt this way when I was pregnant with Sophie. I said no, not really. But I feel that way around her now. :)

I love the little girl to pieces. I really do.
But she can be exhausting.
So much drama. So much attitude. So much sass.
And she saves it all for me.
Lucky me.

Things have gotten better.
Mornings were the worst. I called Corey one morning and told him that it was a good thing my blood pressure wasn't a concern. Oh, we've had some battles in the morning.

But things have gotten better.
We're trying some new things...

*fuzzy ball jar
Jessi started these at daycare last year. The kids each have a jar and they can get 3 fuzzy balls in it each day. The first one is if you are good for mommy in the morning. Totally changed our mornings last year. This still works for Lawson, but it obviously wasn't an incentive for Sophie anymore, since she doesn't go to Jessi's. So she now has one at school. She looked through my prize box at school and found some things that she liked (after she argued with me about whether or not I actually had a prize box.) She can get one in the morning, if she is sweet, one after school, and she can get extra ones if she actually talks to other adults and teachers that talk to her! (still working on the shyness.)

* wearing clothes to bed
Sophie only gets to wear pajamas Friday and Saturday nights now. She loves pajamas, so I thought this might be kind of a punishment, too, but she seems to like it. We almost always picked out her clothes the night before, but now we actually put them on and she sleeps in them. Tights, dresses, jeans, everything. It's made our mornings much less crazy, because there was always something in the morning that didn't feel right or didn't fit right or sleeves that were too short, etc.

* leggings
I had almost decided to never let Sophie wear a dress to school again. But we would still have the same problem Sunday mornings. Tights. The toes were always feeling funny. Which led to all sorts of crying and drama. So I bought her footless tights/leggings. She loves them, and the toes never feel funny. We did have a little drama about shoes, because I made a rule that you cannot wear socks with dress shoes. But we got over that and they really do look cute.

* early bedtime
We don't do this consistently (especially since I have pretty much been on the couch every night the last several weeks and SuperDad is doing bedtime solo.) But for awhile, she was going to bed 30-45 minutes before Lawson. And crashing. Yes, she's 2 1/2 years older than him, but, he stills takes a nap each afternoon. We would tell her, "When you can be sweet like Lawson in the morning, then you can go to bed when he does."

I'm feeling very encouraged after a talk with a good friend the other night. Her teenage daughter (who is our favorite babysitter) is delightful. She was bragging on her, saying how great she has been lately, how helpful, such a good attitude, etc. After her mom had surgery, she was the best. But... her mom told me that when this girl was Sophie's age, it was a whole different story. Attitude, drama, crying, yelling... it sounded so familiar. And really gave me hope that maybe we will get all of this out of our system now. Maybe I really will survive the teen years. Because I have said more than once, "If six is this hard... I can't imagine what 13 is going to be like!"

Sassy as she may be... I do love this little girl.
And only 20-some more days... and all our morning drama will be over.
At least for the summer.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

cora love.

It's been 2 months since sweet Cora went to be with Jesus.
We knew this would be a hard weekend for Jess.
So this morning, about 25 of us gathered together at her mom's house for a surprise brunch.
We had delicous food (thanks, Kathy!) and got to present Jess with this...
a basket of "Cora Love."

We had all been buying things off of the Cora Paige Etsy site, and collecting them... just for Jess.

Very impressive poem, Kendall and Amanda! You two are talented!

Cora's Grammy saved a couple of her creations... since their Etsy shop sells out in a matter of hours!

A precious quilt made by Cora's other grandma... so soft and sweet.

Jess was excited to see her "Megan pillow!"

"I am encircled about eternally in the arms of His Love."

You are loved by so many, Jess.
Your life and your faith continue to be an inspiration to so many.
I'm so glad we could spend this morning with you, celebrating your precious Cora.

It was great to see you...
and great to see your smile.

so kind.

Our church just started a new ministry this year.
They've had Mom to Mom for several years... mentor moms, matched up with a group of younger moms, meeting one morning a month for support and encouragement.
But this fall, they started Mom to Mom, Evening Edition.
I think it's a wonderful ministry... one that has been somewhat neglected in the past.
We working mommies need all the support and encouragment we can get!

Yesterday, I got such a wonderful suprise...
The mentor mom from my table group called earlier in the day, and asked if she could bring supper to us that evening... just because she knows I haven't been feeling great and I am so tired in the evenings.

Corey wasn't home for supper last night, so we saved it for tonight.
A yummy looking chicken casserole, bread, salad and grapes.

Thank you, Becky, for being so sweet and thoughtful.
You truly made my day.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I know some friends of mine aren't crazy about Facebook.
But I will say one thing about it...

it keeps people from forgetting your birthday!

I don't think I've ever had so many birthday wishes in one day!
Thanks, Facebook, for reminding everyone!

Happy Birthday to me! :)


Saturday morning, all the ballet classes from Angel Feet performed their recital dances at a nursing home near the studio. Fun for the residents, and a nice little practice for nervous ballerinas.

I got to attempt my first bun in this baby fine hair. Some gel, hairspray and lots and lots of bobbypins... but it held. (even in the 40 mph wind!)

I watched the classes that danced before Sophie's group and marveled at all the different faces. Concentration... nervous... smiles... serious faces... and I wondered about Sophie.
She's a pretty shy little thing. She doesn't like to be the center of attention. She's not very comfortable around strangers.
I wondered how she would look.
Nervous? Stone faced? Scared?
None of these would have surprised me.

This not only surprised me,
it brought tears to my eyes...

That smile.

Most of my pictures were out of focus, but even through the blur, that smile is constant.

She looked like she was having so much fun!

The costumes were adorable.
The dance was sweet.
But that smile was my favorite part.
To see her out there... dancing away... truly enjoying herself.
Absolutely priceless.


This was the weather last weekend... the day before Lawson's birthday.
A week before this, we were having a picnic in the driveway, wearing shorts and going to the park. Crazy weather.

Two kids and one dog were very, very excited to get out in the snow...

and Daddy's a really good sport.

We thought Marley might miss her big furry coat in all this snow and cold, but she didn't seem to mind one bit.


We had a bit of a "dirt" theme going on for Lawson's birthday this year.
Appropriate for my messy little man, I thought. :)

He took these treats to pre-school and daycare...

Chocolate pudding... gummy worm... crushed Oreo dirt... and a flower.