Thursday, February 24, 2011


You and I are a lot alike. (Well, you've never done this, but just stick with me here.) Some mornings you hop out of bed happy. Your feet hit the floor, and they're already running. The birds are singing, and you whistle their tune. SuperYou! Right?

But then other mornings . . . not so much. Other mornings, if you're honest, you just want to pull your hair out.

You think to yourself, "Why am I even awake?" All you want is five minutes' peace, but there's none to be found.

So you pout, and you don't stop 'til you darn well feel like it.

Then suddenly it hits you: Nobody in your house even noticed you were pouting!

You slide to the floor, deflated. You quit!

But then it happens. Some(crazy)body makes you giggle, and the next thing you know:

You're laughing! You've got a full-blown case of the giggles, and you don't mind one bit.

Suddenly you realize maybe you're not as tired as you thought, because maybe what you needed wasn't peace and quiet after all -

but just the littlest taste of joy.

You've got your superpowers back.

Wishing you a super morning, every morning,

Shared here: Raising Homemakers

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Crazy Thanks

Our favorite Royal Princess has been sick. Very sick. Like, I-couldn't-get-her-to-eat-a-cookie sick. This is serious.

It all started yesterday after dinner when she demonstrated very clearly that her tummy wasn't . . . um, happy.

(Are you still there? Sorry about that!)

Anyway, the Princess and I ended up pulling an all-nighter. We watched an entire season of The Cosby Show while she drifted to sleep beside me, only to reawaken with panicked eyes and a sad belly. 

But finally - finally! - morning came, and she had color back in her cheeks. So today I'm thankful, thankful, thankful~

- That she ate four Saltines, and all of them stayed where they should've.

- For The Cosby Show, a cheerful companion on a tough night.

- For ginger ale.

- For my baby's giggling at her hilarious big brother.

- That 5-year-old Little Man makes an excellent mommy's aide.

- For tin trashcans. (Sorry again! Really, that's the last time.)

- For The Preacher, who took over for me today so I could get a long nap.

- For Children's Tylenol.

- For sleepy, feverish Princess's version of Jingle Bells.  "Jingle way, jingle way, jingle o-oh way! Oh wawa eeso wa oowowowowowo! Oh! Jingle way. . ."

Finding the Light Before the End of the Tunnel,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Plan B Chicken

Bad Day: 5pm rolls around, and I'm asking the same question my kids are asking: What's for dinner? They nip at my heels like starved lion cubs. Preacher gulps another cup of coffee to stave off hunger. Frazzled Becki longs to crawl back into bed. Do these people really need to eat three times a day??

Good Day: 5pm rolls around, and the house smells like herbed roasted chicken. Hungry but happy children dance like Fraggles and help set the table. Preacher smiles. Becki faints with joy.

Last week I bought chicken thighs instead of whole chicken because it was basically free. (Ok, so it wasn't free. But it was awfully close!) My plan was to make Jerk Chicken, but since I had absolutely none of the spices for it . . . well, you know. It was getting to be a Bad Day!

Suddenly, the cloudy sky burst forth with light, and I had an idea.

Welcome to Plan B Chicken.

3-4 lbs. chicken pieces
1/4 to 1/3 c. soy sauce
2 tsp. pepper (or to taste)
1 T. lime juice
generous sprinkling Sweet & Smoky Rub*
1 T. minced garlic

1. Mix soy sauce, pepper, lime juice, seasonings, and garlic in medium bowl. Add chicken to bowl, and stir to cover. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
2. Place chicken into crock pot, pouring marinade over all.
3. Cook on low 4-6 hours. In my crockpot, it took about 4.5 hours, but depending on the type of chicken, it may take longer.
4. Serve to a happy Preacher. Or whoever your hubby happens to be. :)

*Sweet & Smoky Rub is a grill rub made by McCormick, although you could make something very similar from scratch.
If you want to make it yourself, try brown sugar, pakrika, chipotle pepper, cinnamon, onion powder, and pepper in whatever amounts make you wanna sing.

The Preacher was very happy with Plan B Chicken. As for the kids, well . . .
They looked at it the same way they look at anything not made with peanut butter. Little Man ate it eventually, with Special Sauce.

Princess ate peas instead.

Choosing Her Battles,

Shared here:
Beauty and Bedlam

Sunday, February 20, 2011

When I Was 19

Today we went to a birthday party for a friend turning 19. (Happy birthday, Nick!)

If you've ever been 19, you know it's a different kind of year. First, it's your last shot at the whole "teenage" thing. When you turn 20, what's your excuse? Old age? Secondly, you're an adult. But you're not totally sure you want to be. (And you don't! Wait as long as you can to pay the electric bill.)

It was a while ago for some of us, wasn't it? I don't know about you, but when I was 19:

1) I bought my first car and finally got a license. (Don't judge! Dang parallel parking . . .)

2) I decided to change career plans. I was a chemistry major, preparing to go into medicine. In my exuberance, I forgot: Medicine is science. I had an epiphany in chem lab, where we were dropping sulfuric-smelling liquid in micro-milliliters from tiny pipettes: Science isn't my thing. Thank heaven for elementary ed.

3) I first checked my email. Using dial-up. "You've got mail!"

4) We found out my mom was fighting ovarian cancer. And she won. (Hi, Mom!)

5) I drove some girlfriends to the mall. On a trip with exactly two turns, I got lost. Twice.

6) I drove one of my sisters to a different mall. When we finished shopping, we almost called the police to report my car stolen. Then we walked to the other side of the mall and found my '88 Buick Skyhawk. Laughing at us.

7) My sister fell asleep on the drive home from that trip. I didn't; but I did get lost.

8) The Preacher talked to me on a college trip. He made me really mad once.

9) The Preacher made it up to me by saying something nice. You know that story, don't you?

10) I didn't know about these people yet:

Thankful to Be Old,

Friday, February 18, 2011

Accidents & OtherDents

Some of you never experience chaos. You're with Edmund Burke: "Good order is the foundation of all great things."

Here, I'm still figuring out what exactly "order" means. If you've been reading here lately (hello again!), you know what I struggle with sometimes - pushing for perfection where there's really just life.

If you're one of those chaos-free folks, I hate to upset you! (The Preacher says maybe I should write something controversial to warm things up around here, but I'm enjoying the peace and quiet!) So if chaos ruffles your feathers, just stop right here, bow your head, and say a prayer for us. I'll see you Monday! Amen.

For the rest of you, take a gander at this sassy Princess. Did you notice her cheeks? (You: *moved beyond words by her cuteness*) Now look behind her at that big pole in the background - the solid steel pole that holds our clothesline. Remember that pole.
Now look at this boy. Note his sweet face, his fearlessness:
Imagine this strong boy running full-speed. Flying free through the yard, laughing as he looks back over his shoulder. . .

Stopping suddenly as that blasted pole jumps right out in front of him. 


If I were a more organized blogger, I'd have taken a picture the night of the OtherDent. Happily, by the time I'd regained my senses this morning, Little Man was back to running full throttle.

Chasing order, running happy, meeting chaos, patching up, running happy all over again.

That's my Little Man's chaos theory. 

Not as Brave as My Son,

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

For Life

So by now you know (if you didn't before) that I'm married to a pastor. Which makes me *dun-dun-duuuuunnn* the pastor's wife. Oof.

And it makes my hubby, of course, The Preacher.

He hasn't always been a Preacher , although in a way maybe he was. But when I met him, he was mostly a student.

Even before we started dating, we'd chat on the phone for hours at a time. The Preacher's a natural talker, and I'm not; you can just guess who did most of the chattin'.

One of the first times we talked, he called me something that struck me as unique, and it's stayed with me all these years. It was this:


Now, some of you ladies had the misfortune of being called something by your pre-spouse, too, but it wasn't "adorable." Maybe they called you (Moms, cover your babies' eyes!) "sexy" or "hot." Or even "hott." !! How I feel about the misuse of "sexy" is a post for another day. But seriously, if your guy called you that when you were still just getting to know each other, you should've slapped him instead of married him. In my humble opinion.

Just kidding! Haha! (Sorta.)

The moral of the story is this: If you ever find a man who calls you "adorable" before your first date. . .

Marry him. Trust me.

In for Life,

Shared here:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tired Much?

Staying home with your kidlets is a famously non-prestigious career. After years of tutoring, teaching, and administrating, my transition to home was an anxious one. I wondered if I could figure out what to do all day (haha!), if my kids would want even to spend their days with me, if I would fall into bed at night feeling unaccomplished.

And to be honest . . . sometimes I do hit the pillow feeling that way.

It's in those moments that I'm grateful for a camera. Glimpses of our day remind me that small things aren't insignificant; right smack in the middle of our mundane, routine days - we live out joy and fullness.

Yesterday as I flopped down onto our ottoman, the Princess promptly climbed onto my belly. Soon, Little Man hopped onto my knees, and they proceeded to pummel me. My view of the chaos:

(And yes, I shouted to The Preacher to please bring the camera; I was never a Boy Scout, after all!)

Later, Little Man and I spent a few before-bedtime minutes creating dragons and ships and amazing aeroplanes out of thin air. Or Trios. Whichever.

(Here, Little Man presents the, er . . . hind parts of the dog he built.)

At yesterday's end, I was tired - like I'm tired today, and every day after food and play and stories and training and giggles, and all the stuff of our short-long days.

I realized something, though, lying tired under my blankets: Sometimes it's worry and sickness and burdens that wear us out.

But most days, it's just fullness.

If your life is full tonight, even if it seems a bit overfull at times, you have good reason to smile as you drift to sleep. A full life earns a good rest.

A full life is something worth your tiredness.

Hebrews 6:10-12

Full and Sleepy,

Shared here: Raising Homemakers and here:

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Mother's Love

Five years ago, a Little Man changed my life. He used to be really little.

Now, I have to ask him twice a week to stop growing so fast - not to stop, but just to slow down a bit so his old mama can keep up.

He never agrees. But I'm no quitter! I'll still be asking him when he's 87.

Everyone knows mommies show their love, in part, by feeding their kidlets. Yesterday an idea came into my head. Not a nice idea, necessarily. But an idea.

I fed him a Red Hot. (I love him, really I do! That's why it was just one.)*

Since he allowed me to catch his progression on film, I'll share the experience with you. (*applause*)

"This isn't so bad!"

"See, it's a Red Hot."

"Uh oh."

So he promptly bit the Red Hot and ran away from his Mean Ol' Mama. The end.

Bless his heart! (For those who aren't Southerners, that means, "Poor thing!") When I ask him if he wants more tomorrow, I wonder what he'll say? You never know with five-year-olds.

Mother of the Year,

*Disclosure: No children were harmed in the making of this post. When I first asked Little Man whether he wanted a Red Hot, he laughingly replied, "No!" Then I popped five into my mouth, and he found his courage. Ahmen.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cream Cheese Obsession

So I made a promise Friday night. Who remembers what it was? *crickets*

That's right, I promised to post a recipe for fruit trays! Yes, my kitchen skills are so recipe-dependent that I need a recipe to assemble fruit. I thought maybe you were the same? *crickets*

The problem was that I didn't want to chop any fruit. And I definitely didn't want to dip it into lemon juice. That's not my style! Translation: Too much delay between fruit purchase and fruit-dip eating.

The Preacher thought maybe I could use oranges. But I needed something people could dip into cream cheesy goodness, and it's possible I was just plain too lazy to peel them. (Sorry, Preacher! Happy Valentine's Day!)

In the end, I went to the supermarket and stumbled around until I fell into a berry theme. Plus grapes. But my real discovery was this fabulous, addictive, so-easy-even-I-could-do-it. . .

Cream Cheese Obsession Dip (Oh, and Fruit):

green leaf lettuce
2 lbs. grapes
1 qt. blueberries (or boosbees, as Princess calls them)
2 lbs. strawberries
8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
7 oz. marshmallow cream
2 t. orange juice

1) Wash fruit thorougly; drain and dry. Arrange lettuce leaves on platter, and place fruit onto leaves.

2) Make sure platter is out of children's reach as you assemble dip. Do as I say!

3) Using a warm spoon, thoroughly mix cream cheese, marshmallow cream, and orange juice. Get frustrated at tiny lumps, and use mixer. Resign yourself to lumps and lick the spoon. And the beaters.

4) Get a clean spoon and slide dip into bowl. Place in center of fruit tray. Enjoy!

After I figured out which fruit to use, which way was up, and my middle name - this was an easy addition to our Valentine's dinner, and my kids loved it.

Now if I could just stay away from the dip . . .

(Send help.)

Happy Valentine's Day, friends!

Ruining fruit with cream,

Shared here: Time-Warp Wife! 
And here: Valentine's Dinner at Home
And here: Beauty & Bedlam!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Five Things

A little trivia question: Who said, "You learn something new every day"?

That's right - my mom. (Hi, Mom!)

I've found this to be true, and never more so than here at home with the kidlings. They teach me, my inexperience teaches me, my own blasted distractedness teaches me something new each day.

I could share a hundred things I've learned today, but since we all have lives to live - how 'bout we just stick with five? (You: *Fainting with relief*)

1) I've come to like cooked onions. The Preacher has always loved onions, while they were on my list of Ten Most Hated Foods (along with beets, turnips, and "raw" marshmallows).

What lesson have we learned here? Your spouse will rub off on you. So before you young single folks marry your BFF, repeat this five times fast: "Every year, I'll become more and more like this person." If that scares you, run away. Amen.

2) A paper towel is not an acceptable replacement for a potholder. But no worries; I survived.

3) Some songs force children to dance. "Bad to the Bone" is one of those songs. (Don't judge; it was in a movie!)

4) I think I have a rare genetic anomaly. It's the only possible explanation for the fact that I cannot resist anything made with cream cheese. Confession: Yesterday I made a fruit tray. With cream cheese dip. Help?

5) My kids have an anomaly that makes it impossible for them to resist fruit. Scenes from the carnage:

Notice how depleted the blueberries closest to Royal Princess appear?And how jealously she's watching her brother gobble grapes?

On Monday I think I'll post a recipe for fruit trays. Stop laughing; I'm serious.

Crying myself to sleep,

The Trouble with Waterfalls

The Preacher and I have been married 10-1/2 life-filled, ever-changing years. For our anniversary last summer, we went to a cabin in Canaan Valley, WV; this was the view from our front deck:

(Funny side-note, just to remind you where you are: When we arrived at the cabin, we decided to head to the grocery store before check-in. Our  GPS was as lost as we were, so we asked a worker for directions to Walmart or Target.

She laughed. Hard. For days. Heads-up: When you go to Canaan Valley, don't ask a local about the nearest Walmart.)

On our second day, we visited Blackwater Falls. It was majestic. Incredible. Loud! We stood still while the waters raged.

The trouble with waterfalls is that it's tough to capture them. How do you shrink them into inches? My camera wants to grab each drop of water, but by the time the shutter closes - those drops are surging toward the ocean.

The majesty is in the movement; pixels have a hard time with movement.

But isn't that life? I capture moments, jotting thoughts and stories; and there's something solid in remembrance.

But the nature of life is movement. These jottings, in seasons to come, will bring me back to days past. In that, they're a gift (to myself? my Preacher? my kids?). But I don't stop time here, and I can't freeze life into words.

I guess instead I'll just catch the Moments as I can - in hopes that reading these ramblings will someday bring the roaring waters back to my ears.

Taking a picture anyway,

Thursday, February 10, 2011

5037 Words: The Pieces of Today

And I think the next line is, "They lived happily ever after, to the end of their days." 

*Photo credit of The Preacher goes to our son, who caught him looking very statuesque. 

Happy with today,

Linked up today with Becoming a Strong Woman of God!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Just for Tuesday: A Story

Today's Tuesday. (Bear with me; it gets better.)

Let's just be honest: Tuesday's probably not your favorite day of the week. Who loves Tuesdays? TGI Tuesday? C'mon. We all know Tuesday needs help.

So I brought you some! (You're welcome.) For your reading pleasure, I present a brief parenting adventure which may have happened last week.

This is my Royal Princess. Isn't she lovely? She adores babies; she doesn't know she is a baby.

Believe it or not, our Baby Royal Princess (BRP?) can talk up a storm. She knows a million words, and she'll repeat anything you say. So watch your mouth!

Last week, she was mean to her big brother. Really mean. She jumped on his face -- on purpose. Naturally, we told her to say, "Sorry."

Friend, do you know what she said instead? "No." (You can't believe it either, can you? She looks so sweet and compliant.)

But she ended up in baby time-out.

I went to check on the Princess after a minute and found her playing happily with dolls. Then I reminded her that she could come out if she'd just say, "Sorry."

Thinking maybe she didn't understand (it's possible, right?), I said, "Princess, say sorry. Can you say sorry? Sooorrrrrryyyyyyy."

For a minute, I really thought she understood. She got it. Victory!

But this is what she said:



Changing tactics, I told her to say, "Please," since I knew for sure she could say that. She said, "No."

I said, "Say please?" ("No.")

"Say nice?" ("No.")

"Say yes?" ("No.") *sigh*

"Princess, are you hungry?" (*hesitant, but hungry* "Yes?")

And so we came to a lovely compromise.

The end.

I think I should start a series on parenting, don't you?

Your Supermom,