March Inn

Why"March Inn?" March Inn was the name of that magic place where I spent my summers growing up. I have alluded to this place before, and I probably will again. March Inn is no longer standing. The waters of Katrina rendered it unlivable so my children will never know that "March Inn." That makes me sad. In fact it brings me to tears whenever I think about it. I want my children to have their own "March Inn," and I want to capture our lives as they are growing and changing. I invite you to "march inn" to our lives. My hope is that you will catch glimpses of the real world. You will see our creations. You will see our chaos. You will see our affection. You will also see our frustrations, fears, and disappointments. Enjoy your march!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

 What's your New Year's Eve tradition?
Ours typically involves the lake with family, friends, and a bonfire. 
This year it was just family and the fire.
 We missed our friends, but it was still fun!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Pooka Bear

Wow!  Sweet boy, I can't believe you are four years old today. 
I've heard it said that four is a magic age. 
I don't know about that, but I do know that three is a hard age - trying is what I think the literature says.  It is, as my dad has so eloquently stated, the first adolescence.  You want to do it on your own in your own way yet you aren't quite ready.  That has been particularly true for you my third child or maybe it is just fresh in my memory. 

You want to hang with your big brother and sister and you do so beautifully, yet you still want to be my baby boy.   
I'll be the first to admit it was a LONG summer
and there were moments that I didn't think we were going to survive.
But we did!  
We made it to the first day of school for Mary Frances and Stephen and your rose to the occasion in a big way.  I'm not sure if it is because you are growing up or because we were doing age appropriate things for a three year old, but you became the big brother and "Mr. Responsible."
You love to help me in the kitchen, go on adventures with your brothers, listen to stories, play with your cousin, talk on the phone, eat bread, and sleep with your blabla.  You don't like for me to wear exercise clothes, eat vegetables, sleep by yourself. or clean up.

Here's your birthday video...
Happy Birthday Pooka Bear.  I hope you have a fun-filled year... I love you and am so thankful that you are a part of our family.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Lingering Christmas Cards

One of my favorite things about the season of Advent is receiving cards from family and friends.  I love that I get to see my friends' children ~ especially those friends who I never get to see in person.  I also realize how hard they have probably worked to get a picture to put on that card, and I appreciate that.  I feel honored that they wanted to share that with me. 
This year I am putting the cards we receive on the large bulletin board in our mudroom.  It is so fun to see my children go look at the cards and see their friends.  Inevitably, I'm called in to answer who someone might be.  I love when it is the family of an old friend so I can then share a story of our past.
For those of you who receive a Christmas card by mail from our family, you know I ended up sending one of the entire family.  We've never done that but there was no reason not to.  And it really was the best picture of all of the children. 
I'm still working on Steve's list and a few straggling addresses from my own, but hope to knock that out today.  Oh yea, and all the neighbors that I intend to deliver by foot to save on postage.  There is nothing worse than a lingering project.  I like a nice clean check to signify completion.  Maybe I can accomplish that today!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Star Light, Star Bright

Hello out there ~

I sure do have a lot of life to catch you up on, but for the moment I will start with today ~ the present, the here and now, what's happening currently or at least the last couple of days or maybe even a week.

Last Sunday after church, Betsy and I took a moment out of preparing for a neighborhood block party to play peek-a-boo.

It is such a blessing and so much fun to have neighbors who we love and want to spend time with.  There has been a fair amount of turn-over on our street over the last couple of years.  Not everyone knows each other so Frank and I decided to host a block party where we could "mingle and jingle" while grabbing a bite to eat and getting to know one another a bit better.  It was fun, if I do say so myself.  These boys would certainly agree!
Monday, we had the pleasure of hosting our small group for dinner.  No pictures but a good time was had by all.  They are some of our favorite people and they certainly know what is going on in our lives more than anyone else.

On Tuesday, Betsy and I helped out in Stephen's classroom as they sampled each other's favorite foods.  Interestingly, there were lots of noodles and sweet breads but no cookies.  My favorite was Santa Fe Soup which is something we all love in this house. 

Wednesday, um, I don't remember.  Oh yea, I went to the doctor for a physical.  You know I would never think of missing a well-child visit for my children, and I always see my OB once a year, so I knew I needed to make this a priority.  Then the big three had dentist appointments after school.  For the first time ever, I wished I had a cool phone that would take pictures.  The dentist's office probably didn't know what hit them when our clan arrived.  Not only did we have three appointments to get teeth cleaned, but I had to have a cavity filled.  Sweet Betsy put her head on my chest, and remained that way the entire time my tooth was being filled.  Then it was time for Dr. Jason to check the children's teeth.  The boys climbed in the chair together and were checked in tandem.  Definitely picture worthy!
And then there was Thursday, which served as the inspiration for this blog title.  First off, Betsy received her third set of tubes while having her adenoids taken out.  It was a long morning for me and for her.  She had on this same hospital gown, and I was trying to pass the time while we waited, and waited, and waited some more for the doctor so I was singing everything that I could think of with the word "star" because of the stars on the gown.  Go ahead sing along "Star light, star bright first star I see tonight, wish I may wish I might have this wish I wish tonight."  And well then I was actually just singing anything I could think of to engage her and keep her mind off of the fact that she couldn't have her cup of milk.
After a nap for Betsy and a shower for me, we went to Walker's Christmas program.  This was the first year that they did something more than singing.  They put on a version of The Christmas Story, and it was pretty cute if I do say so myself.  Check out Walker giving us the high sign.  

He was hilarious.  We were sitting towards the back so I didn't have a great view, but I could hear my little boy belting out the words to Away in the Manger and Silent Night as well as some other Christmas favorites.
 This sweet girl really just wanted to be in her bed...
 I thought a cookie might help...
 ...and it did eventually!
 Thursday evening Mary Frances lost her 8th tooth.  She is getting so BIG!
That brings us to Friday which we affectionately call "Mama Day."  Did you know that left-over pancakes make an awesome snack?
On mama days, Walker gets to help decide what we are going to do.  This week it was the McWane Center to see the trains.
 ...and a picnic in Daddy's office.  Fun times! 
So after all that I had to say I doubt that you stuck around but if you did you will know that I hope you have a great Saturday.

And if you were wondering, I'm wishing that this will be the last set of tubes Betsy needs and that they keep her comfortable and capable of hearing.

Monday, December 3, 2012

If I Were...

If I were going to put a picture of my whole family on my Christmas card, this would be the one...
 ...or maybe this one!
But instead, I'll select one of just the kiddos for the card.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Unfeignedly Thankful

A General Thanksgiving
ALMIGHTY God, Father of all mercies,
we your unworthy servants give you most humble and hearty thanks
for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all people;
We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your inestimable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ,
for the means of grace,
and for the hope of glory.
And we beseech you, give us that due sense of all your mercies,
that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful,
and that we show forth your praise,
not only with our lips, but in our lives;
by giving up ourselves to your service,
and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom with you and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory,
world without end. Amen.
The Book of Common Prayer
As we enter this Thanksgiving Day, I am reflecting on all of the many things for which I am thankful.  I am blessed beyond measure and have so much to be thankful for, yet I forget and I can certainly take these blessings for granted.

In recent years, as I recite this lovely prayer my ears take notice of the phrase, "unfeignedly thankful."  I pause and recall all the many things for which I am genuinely thankful.  While it may seem cliche, I am thankful for so much and recognize that these blessings could be taken away in an instant.  I am thankful for the here and the now but also for those who came before who helped shape who I am today.  I aspire to have a grateful heart and to be content in all circumstances ~ to remember all of the blessings of this life and to be thankful for the moment.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What a Wonderful Class

Today we received what I thought was a really kind e-mail from Stephen's teacher. 
It said that she had 15 new friends to be thankful for this year.   
She went on to list each child in her class followed by a character trait that she is thankful for in each of their individual personalities.
It brought tears to my eyes, because she does have a really great class and a lot to be thankful for.

I have the opportunity to volunteer in Stephen's class a couple of times a month, so I get to see firsthand how awesome they are.
They are full of personality and ready to learn.
They have fun together and they really seem to get along well.
Without giving names here is the list she sent:

* easy going-ness * creativeness * enthusiasm * excitement * 
* smile * sweetness * kindness * artistic-ness * independent-ness * 
* cheerfulness * dependability * laughter * politeness * gentleness * humor *
Can you guess which one was Stephen?