Showing posts from June, 2014

The Stuff Summer Is Made Of

I will tell you soon all about our adventures up to see our friends in Michigan, but for today, I present to you some pictures from the road.  This is at a most blessed little spot on I-55 called the Coalfield Rest Area.  We stopped there on the way up and we stopped on the way back.  Here are photos from the way back, when we stopped for a picnic dinner.  The weather was as delightful as it looks.

Tribute Tuesday: Ron Lutjens and Old Orchard Church Family

Hey, lookee here, a Tribute Tuesday. Haven't done one of these in a while, although not because I've run short of people to thank.  I didn't even do one for my own daughter yet and her birthday has passed. Mommy's falling down on the jorb.
Today I wish to pay tribute to Pastor Ron and all the good folks at Old Orchard Church in my hometown of Webster Groves, Missouri.   I grew up in this church (a Presbyterian Church of the PCA branch) from the ages of 6-18, and then went during summers home from college.  It's a smallish church and has a lot of longtime attenders, so whenever I come back I'm sure to see people who have known me since I was yea high.  The church also gets a lot of young families, thanks to one of the major PCA seminaries being in town.  We see lots of young seminarians and their young families during their time in seminary, so the church is always a very vital place for kids and adults.

You know how you never appreciate things until you don&…

Gearing Up for a Vacay Within a Vacay!

How lucky am I?  Not only do I get to have a few great weeks in sunny/stormy St. Louis, but I get to take a few days to travel up to my old hometown of Holland, Michigan to see my friends Rhonda (of Real Housekeeping fame) and Jared (of his own fame) and their kiddos!  I'm heading up tomorrow, but I did schedule a post for tomorrow, so stay tuned!

A car trip with three littles?  Could be scary, but I'm thanking my lucky stars and my friend Lauren for lending me the kind of portable DVD player that plugs into the cigarette lighter for power.  YES!  Nothing like a little brain cell rot to get across the Midwest, eh?

And I'm informed that our little guest room is already set up, complete with pack 'n' play, toddler bed, air mattress AND a shiningly clean and dust-free ceiling fan.  That's love, y'all.

Thanks to the Ortizes for hosting and thanks to my parents for letting me steal one of their cars for a week.


7 Quick Takes: Our first week in STL

--- 1 --- I was reading my friend Rhonda's seven quick takes today, and she was linking up with a garden themed topic.  It looks as if you're supposed to take pictures of your garden and show it off. So, here are a few:

If you think this is MY garden, then I have an email to forward you about a Nigerian princess who wants to bequeath you 10 million dollars.

This is my mom's garden, because we're visiting my family in St. Louis.  This blue house is the one I lived in from ages 6 to 18, although it has gone many transformations and renovations in that time and many more since in the 12 years since then.

My mom and her mom are amazing gardeners.  Me?  Well, not so much...although I am learning from a great series on Real Housekeeping.  I don't have any pictures right now of the yard at our new place, but trust me, it's nothing like this!

--- 2 --- We're having a lot of fun here.  Growing up, going to my grandma's house was the highlight of the summer.  We …

Glad for my kids' dad

At the playground today, Ruby was on the swings alongside a very bubbly and sweet little girl (age five and a half, she later informed me), and in her usual inquisitiveness, Ruby asked the girl, "What's your mom's name?"
"My mom's name is Sherry."
"And what's your dad's name?"
"My dad's name? I don't have a dad!"
"Oh, well, I have a dad and his name is Allen."

The exchange ended there.  The dadless girl was very matter of fact, as was Ruby. So far, she hasn't asked why the girl doesn't have a dad.  Truthfully the only thing I can say is that I don't know.  Maybe he died before she was born.  Maybe he was in the picture but left when she was too little to remember. Maybe he left before she was born.  Maybe he's in the army.  Maybe he's in jail.  God only knows.

But I'm very thankful that my kids have a dad and that his name is Allen.  I don't know if I'll do another long vacat…

Kids Say the Darndest Things: St. Louis Edition

This has to be a quick post because I need to take my youngest to the hospital to get his ears cleaned out in order to see if he has an ear infection.  I know how to have fun on my vacations!

So, tonight my dad made his usual and delicious homemade pizza.  He made two: one with sauce and cheese and pepperoni to please the young'ns and one that was a "white pizza" with various sauteed veggies on it, like carmelized onions and the like.  Yum!  Ruby even helped "decorate" the kid pizza.

She and Max happily ate their pieces.  Ruby then grabbed one of the slices of white pizza.  She took a few bites.  "What do you think?" someone asked.

"It's AWFUL!"  she said, with a pained look.

But wait! There's more!

A few minutes later, Max also tried a piece of the white pizza.  He plucked off a strand of the carmelized onion and declared, "WORM!"

"No, it's onion, it's a vegetable," said Toby.

"No! Dat WORM!"  …