Sunday, August 28, 2011


When your Daddy is a farmer and has to fix a part on a tractor, grain drill, or disk, you beg to go to work with him. When your Mommy is grumpy and needs a break at the same time, she will look at your Daddy and do something funny with her eyebrows. It will work almost every time.

When you come home from school on a Friday afternoon and your Mommy discovers you have a fever, and then your sister gets a fever too, your Mommy will be sad at having to miss a wedding that night. You were going to have to take a bath and get all dressed up. She will also be sad about having to miss her date with Daddy the next night. You were going to play at a friend's house, and you are very sad too. And then your Mommy will say that it's time to make pig cookies again, and that she is glad she can take care of you. But she will fuss about the crumbs on the floor.

Cute Pig Cookies

1 c. butter or margarine, softened (I use part butter and part Crisco)
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 c. sour cream
1 t. vanilla
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt

1/2 c. butter, melted
4 c. powdered sugar
2 t. vanilla
6 T. milk
3-4 drops red food coloring

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool.

Decorate cookies with frosting, pink sugar wafer cookies, halved large marshmallows and Reese's candy bar sprinkles or whatever you can find at the store.

Oink away.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's Time

Three weeks ago, we found out we're having a boy! He looks healthy so far, but I'm having a hard time simply believing and hoping that everything will turn out according to the way I want. I want this baby to make it to my due date alive, survive the labor and delivery process, and be totally healthy and normal, where my worst problems might be colic or regurgitation issues or a bit of jaundice, but I know that I'm not guaranteed anything. I have a more in-depth ultrasound scheduled for next week with a perinatologist. My regular OB assures me that although this pregnancy is technically considered high-risk, he is treating me as a low-risk patient with the exception of referring to Dr. Maher, a consult which I requested.

When our 17-week ultrasound showed male anatomy, my heart sank. I had hoped so much for a little girl to step into the empty nursery that Quinn wasn't able to use, to wear her special clothes and to use the girly things I had made and bought for her. In a bizarre sort of way, I thought having another girl would keep me from having to sort the baby room, keep me from going through memories that I didn't want to face, and allow me to deny how great a loss we have.

Our gigantic church yard sale is coming up next month, and with that in mind, something clicked inside me. Without a lot of forethought, I walked into Quinn's room, opened up drawers and started removing all the baby girl things. Pretty onesies, pink sleepers, cute pacifiers, hair bows, tights--all on the floor. I opened her wardrobe doors, and the pink hangers went flying. I soon called Helen to help me, and we admired all the little clothes that she had worn as a baby. Somehow I was able to handle all those precious things without sitting in a puddle of tears. I had angry moments and sad moments, but overall it felt good.

And then I saw this:Quinn's sweet, sweet dress that my mother-in-law made for her. Ruth had picked out the fabric, and I chose the cut, smocking pattern and colors of embroidery floss. She used antique buttons from my stash to close the back of the dress. It was and is precious, and it's not going anywhere.
At the MOPS Convention in Nashville, I had the privilege of hearing Mary Beth Chapman speak about the loss of her five-year-old daughter. Those were tender moments, but believe me, I saved my ugly cry for meeting her at the book signing. Oh yes. She said that her grief had been like a dark forest that she didn't want to leave, for fear of leaving Maria behind. God showed her that all around the forest was a beautiful meadow of flowers, and that Maria wasn't in the forest, but in the light, joy-filled meadow. Leaving her intense darkness behind was actually a step toward her daughter. She also said that you never get OVER it, but you get THROUGH it.

Here's the thing: Heaven is real, and Quinn is there with Jesus. She is not living in my memories. She actually is alive in Heaven, right now. As someone told the Chapmans, my future with her is definitely going to be longer than my past with her! It's those truths and the grace of God that help me move forward in hope. Knowledge of an eternity in Heaven helps my situation fall into perspective.

So I do wait in hope for this new baby boy, with the confidence that God's grace and compassion are perfectly sufficient for me in any situation. (And we're still stuck on the name!)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Looks Who is in First Grade!

Owen was so excited to start school this year, and he is still excited after the first week and a half. He started his first day right with a pancake (from the freezer.) This mama is not in the habit of getting up earlier than 6 am to fix fresh-from-scratch pancakes for her darlings! I did put one candle in it though.
New uniform pants, new school supplies, new box of Kleenex and roll of paper towels! (That is NOT toilet paper in the Winn Dixie bag.)
New teacher, new classroom, new curriculum! We pray this is another great school year for Owen.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jack and the Birthday

Whoa Nelly! We've been so busy this summer I forgot all about posting pictures from Jack's third birthday--way back in June. That little man has been such a joy for us, and he has also offered his share of challenges. He brings a lot of humor to our family, both the wacky physical feat kind and the complete sentence variety. He had a great year of being 2, and it was hard to let him grow older.

Jack loves cows, second only to roosters. I don't know why. He had been insisting on a brown cow cake for months in advance, and since I had never baked him our family's traditional lamb cake, I thought the two were close enough for a go.Although maybe not. But at least it was eaten quickly. And at least there were plenty of hay bales to distract the naked eye. Poor anatomically incorrect Jersey cow.Daddy gave him a boost for the candle blow-out,and continued to hold him for the obligatory first bite of lamb-cow cake.But cousins are really what make birthday parties fun! As are empty Elmo backpacks borrowed from brothers.

A few recent and/or odd Jack-quotes:

"Good morning, noodles!!!" (running into the kitchen and seeing fresh pasta hanging from a drying rack)

"Old MacDonald's taking a shower." (declarative on the Atmore McDonald's indoor waterwall)

"Mama is a lady...'cause she gives us treats."

(praying) "And Jesus, this is my pedometer I wear when I'm picking up toys. It tells me what to do. That's what it do's. Yeah."