We had the opportunity to fellowship with some dear friends tonight in our home. The Good Family lives here in Monterey and The Steel Family lives in North Carolina, but were here visiting. We ate pizza, I didn't cook, and cupcakes which Mrs. Good did cook! Such a sweet time to treasure God's gift of Friends.



It's so hard to believe that Colby is 13 years old now. Yet, when we sit and wonder where the past year has gone, it's not surprising that the past 13 have flown by just as fast. Colby is a delight to our family. We celebrated him yesterday with lavish eating and gave thanks to the Lord for these past years of parenting him. Today we made the trek north to San Jose to visit the Lego Store so he could spend some money he was given. It's so much fun having a family, people to celebrate the good times with and loved ones to weep with when harder times come. We look forward to many more years of doing both.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!


Those Cookies

It occurred to me that I posted a picture of Silas licking the cookie beater clean, but none of the process of making the cookies, nor of the finished products. Christmas cookie baking is such an excellent way to incorporate a little fun loving in the kitchen, and also is a good test of where my heart's greatest affections are. Do I prefer a picked up perfect kitchen all the time, or can I too, "let my hair down" and allow the kids to have a heap of fun and then devour their heaps without batting an eye. I passed the test again this year. I find the more I let them live and learn in the kitchen the less I flip out when the messes appear and remain. Sometimes a mess is a beautiful thing, because it means life has been there!
"Where no oxen are, the manger is clean.." Proverbs 14:4



something is wrong with my children.


Samuel's Stats

So in Doctor terms, my boy is dropping down in the percentiles... He weighed in at 16 pounds 2 ounces, which is in the 25th percentile for his age. This was a bit of a kick in the gut, as I have been exclusively nursing him with only a bit of cereal to supplement.. Clearly the growing lad needs more chow and the numbers don't lie. He is 75th percentile for height and brains! He also cut his first tooth and the second one is giving a close chase. If he was grumpy and miserable all the time, I'd be more concerned, but he's not.

He's still my sweet boy and will have a fuller tummy starting today!


A Very Small Request

In keeping with tradition.


Enjoying Life Now

It's not very often that I make a cookie batter without eggs. Only at Christmas when we make the delicious kid dough. So of course Silas, being the perfect age to fully immerse himself in the mess of the dough paddle, was given the chance to lick away. And away he did. When he handed the paddle back to me it was warm and sticky from his great love of it. Little bits of dough on his face and wrist were all that was left.

Teddy loves his Toes.

He found his toes some time ago and I've been meaning to catch some pictures of him enjoying them. I didn't catch the photo this morning either.. I received an important call from my man and missed the op.. I did, however gather these sweet photos of my little boy. The swaddled photo is extra..


Sometimes I Wonder

Why I don't enjoy the small things more often, just look how happy he is!
Why I didn't start making yoghurt years ago. It's so fulfilling to get a batch done and know my husband will savor it.

How my dog could look this cute in print after he's peed on my Pottery Barn pillow.

Why I don't make scones more often knowing how soothing they are to me.

What exactly happens to all the apple skins while I'm peeling them.
If Samuel is really enjoying being strapped to my chest during a hike.
What I look like when I'm talking to other people. :(


Thanksgiving Photos

Samuel excited
Waving goodbye to my folks
Poppy and the crazy kids
Just the girls
My sweet folks came out for Thanksgiving this year. It was refreshing to have visitors and doubly awesome for the kids to have their meme and poppy come for the weekend.


Samuel 6 Months more of the Same Little Boy

A couple of sweet things about this dear little boy. He loves massages. After bath time he is so pleased to be rubbed down with baby lotion. Can you tell by his face? Samuel is still being swaddled at night. He won't sleep if he isn't bundled up nice and tight. He is so snuggly. I love to hug the little guy. Sometimes if I squeeze him too tight he spits up on me..


Samuel 6 months

It's happened. My baby has turned 6 months old. It bewilders me how quickly this last half year has gone by. It seems like just yesterday I was a nervous wreck, getting ready to leave the home I loved so much, saying goodbye to friends who had seen my family and I through two deployments, and of course awaiting the day for our baby to be born. The Lord called Samuel Theodore forth by means of induction June 2. Waiting 15 days past my due date I was ready to meet our new baby. Now here we are 6 months later. New home, trying to make new friends, and thankfully doing it with the same sweet family.

Back to Samuel, he's a sweet, sweet baby. He rarely cries. I could almost say never cries, but he did fuss a bit when he was sick this past weekend. Everyone adores the little bundle. Sweet Lib especially is smitten with him. She loves to clamor for his affection and attention, even if it means screaming..

The picture above is from Thanksgiving. He hung out in his chair bouncing and excited over the feast we were all enjoying.


Baby Josephine Claire Higgins

Isn't she beautiful?

My Brother is a Father!

I have no pictures to share yet. My sister, Claire, gave birth last night to a healthy 8 pound baby girl. Her name is Josie Claire Higgins. Looks like Thanksgiving has come a bit early to my brother's home this year.



We had some great success yesterday. No foul words or messes! Praise God to both. Silas even had his first poo in the toilet without putting it in the bathtub. He's doing great with his training and is peeing consistently with and without help. He has even figured out how to pee 5 different times in under 10 minutes.. All of this for the love of fruit leather. That's been the reward of choice since the oreo incident. Louisa was the only other child to figure out she'd be rewarded even for the smallest drop. So, now we are only giving bites of fruit leather if there is a significant amount of pee. I think that by weeks end we'll be in underwear during the day.

Way to go Silas! Hoot! Hoot!


Let's Smile Together, Shall We?

Check out those chubby cheeks!

The Sad, Stinky Story

This post is not for the faint of heart, nor those given to gagging easy, nor for the sinless soul..

or mommy says her first potty mouth word in years! I've confessed and repented to the Lord, but I said a bad word tonight.

It all started when Jake mentioned more than a few times that Silas is ready for potty-training. Haha, the Lord was thinking it was time for some training in patience and humility on my part. I have discovered that the best way to potty train the boys is just to let them run naked. That way when they pee they can see what's up and I can direct them to the toilet and so on and so forth. Today was day 2 of PT for Silas. Let's just say I really didn't want to have a day 2 after day 1, but once I start something I must finish it! Yesterday Silas decided to go number 2 under the dining room table. The only problem is I'd been rewarding him with oreos for his peepee efforts so things weren't as they should have been. By the time I discovered what he had done he had come to me with poo up and down the legs, holding it in his hands and there was a trail of it through the house... it was the worst mess I've seen in years. The kind of mess one screams about when they see because it reminds you of a horror flick. It was so bad that the big boys were dry heaving and running to their rooms and the girls were standing on the couch, the only clean place, squealing with terror. Silas just stood there and cried. This would have all been manageable had I not seen what happened next. It was Salt under the table, where Silas had been. What to do? Should I continue with taking Silas up to the tub or get the dog out. I screeched about the dog and one of the girls released him to the back yard since the boys were hiding. Thankfully I cleaned up the mess and the house was spit spot in a matter of moments.
Then tonight matters went downhill. Silas went to the bathroom upstairs in the toilet which is great. The only problems were a.) I didn't know he was going to the bathroom b.) Salt knew he was going to the bathroom and c.) there had been such a terrific mess in the tub yesterday after I cleaned up the boy that he naturally thought his poo might should be placed by hand of course into the bathtub. Louisa was the fortunate one to happen on the scene and I could tell by the shrieks that ensued that something of terror and horror was happening again. Sure enough it was. I ran up and saw the mess and starting cleaning it up and the boy up.. and I then I said it.. the bad word. I couldn't believe I said it, but I did. "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." Such conviction was poured on my head as God's words rang true. So much for loveliness and grace.. which is what I had prayed for this morning. Thankfully I have another shot tomorrow as Silas still isn't trained..

In case you were wondering where Jake was in all of this, he was studying in the den. When he heard the commotion he came out of the den and heard me exclaim about the dog and the boy's you know what. So, he took Salt downstairs and washed his mouth out with soap. It was the funniest thing I heard all day. Poor Salt.

Jake and the Sourdough Starter

So, here's Jake in the engine and the sourdough starter I told you about. Gross huh? Not as gross as what's been happening in my house the last two days, but that's another sad story.


A Sad Revelation

Back to the ball. The older couple pictured sitting near us, The Flores', are a very sweet couple. Benjamin is a former Marine and something about the brotherhood of Marines draws them to each other, so it didn't take long for Jake and Benjamin to hit it off at church. Elizabeth is an amazing woman and spends her time volunteering at the Pregnancy Resource Center in Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is an extremely liberal city where anything and everything goes. It's estimated that a mere 4% of people who live there attend church. Therefore the PRC draws a lot of volunteers from the local christian community as it is a great way to reach lost women.

During dinner I spent a good deal of time getting to know Elizabeth better. The men had gone off to smoke cigars and tell war stories, that left the ladies at the table alone to hang out. Elizabeth was inquiring about our family, the size of it mainly and our beliefs about having children. She was sharing with me her first hand experiences, with people who come in to have an abortion, at the PRC. Mind you she didn't share personal information on particular people, but the mind set of people who come in to the center. I was shocked as to what she told me. You see I've had it in my mind that people who get abortions are either very young girls, or those who hate children and live wanton lifestyles. On the contrary, much opposed to my thinking, the majority of people who come into the center choose to have an abortion because it would upset their lifestyle. This is a shocker because, you know what? I have heard countless people in the church choose not to have children or more children because it would upset their lifestyle. ie. They don't have the money to support children, this could be an argument, but the problem is the people who have said this make just as much as Jake does or close to it... clearly that's not a truthful statement. Or They want to wait until they're a little bit older... Hmm, there are all kinds of excuses one could give as to why they don't want to have babies. The fact is the excuse coming out of the mouths of believers are the same as the excuses coming out of the mouths of those who are ready to hop on the abortion table.

This is so sad. God has designed men and women for marriage and the reproduction of themselves for the glory of Him. This is fact.

And Another Thing

This one is much heavier, physically that is. The engine in the classic chevy has died. Something about coolant and oil don't mix, but they did. So, this means that a new winter project has emerged. I found Jake in an old flight suit sitting in the engine compartment dismantling the thing. I grabbed a quick look at the mess and it looks like a sourdough starter overflowed inside the engine. Oops. I guess I'll have to wait a few months for a hot date with my man... Though when he takes me out in the thing again I'm thinking we'll have a much louder, faster ride!

Something has Invaded Our Home

Louisa was down with a fever near 102, with an intense headache and aching stomach.. Tonight we had two others, Ben and Jackie, sprawled out in the living room under blankets with red eyes. Then upon getting into bed, Colby declared, "It feels like someone's squeezing my brain." Judging by the look of his eyes, I'd have to agree.

Better we all get it now than deal with the whole taking turns thing.


Oh Libby,

You're not really homeless are you? Sweet little Libby, though I try very hard, she tends to appear as a little homeless thing in half my photos. She's such a dear little thing, but with rag-a-muffin tendencies that are hard to undue.


Kids Being Kids

Benjamin and Louisa digging
Samuel waiting on me to quit playing with the camera
Jackie hanging out on a limb

We're Smarter than That!

I got to chuckling when I checked out the picture of my malfunctioning shoes. We don't really name our children after my shoes. ;)


Marine Corps Ball

Jake and I
Benjamin and Elizabeth Flores
borrowed the above photo from the Good's blog :)
malfunctioning shoes

or mom gets out of the house for a big date and her wardrobe malfunctions..

We had so much fun at the ball. We sat with our good friends the Good's and also some new friends from church the Flores'. The evening was lovely and the setup was beautiful. There were bagpipes to start and end the ceremony. It was absolutely amazing. I've never been so close to bagpipers before. The sound literally radiates through your body.
Then of course there was a fine meal and music. The music normally starts off fun and then something happens after 10 pm and the music gets louder and wilder. Before the wild music had taken over the DJ played the Cha Cha Slide. I'm a sucker for line dancing so I had to go out and dance. I was having a great time dancing with Maryn and a bunch of other folks when suddenly I came unglued. Literally! My dress shoes are/were several years old and they suddenly came unglued. All the straps decided at once to detach themselves and be free from the sole. The only strap that remained was the one around my ankle. So that shoe was stuck to my ankle and there was no way to get it off without having a seat. I hobbled off the floor with the shoe dragging behind me and the other shoe still very much intact. Oh well. At least I danced 3/4's of a dance. Later I managed to break free from my shoes and danced a slow song with my man before going home. We still had such a blast and I was thankful that nothing else in my wardrobe malfunctioned!