"The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."

~Robert Frost

Monday, February 28, 2011

Darlings at the dentist!

My girls had a new experience today, their first real visit to the dentist. And before you all start jumping to say how nearly criminal it is that I, a former dental assistant, could allow so many years to go by before taking my children to the dentist -- I know, I know! I could submit that perhaps the very fact that I am a former dental assistant qualifies me to provide unsupported dental care for them at home longer than most moms should.... (Or maybe I was just afraid of taking them all to the dentist by myself.)

Yeah. I do a lot of things with them by myself, obviously. I'm pretty sure God meant to build me with an extra hand, and he just forgot. It would have been helpful if he had remembered! The #1 comment I hear when the girls and I go out somewhere is overwhelmingly, "Wow, you have your hands full!" And though I'm blessed that our girls are growing up to be sweet and (generally!) well-behaved, it is true. My hands are usually very, very full. So you would think that taking them to the dentist wouldn't be too intimidating, right? I'm not sure why it was so very intimidating; I take all three of them to the doctor by myself, but somehow the dentist seemed less feasible.

Naturally, the day I finally took a deep breath and a deep swallow of my peppermint latte, and bravely sallied forth to the dentist with my hands full, we were in the midst of one of the biggest snowstorms we've had this winter. (In the last three days, we've gained two full feet of snow...and counting.) However, I could not have been more blessed by my girlies...they were eager for their appointments, quiet in the waiting room, sweet to the hygienist...ahhhh! One of those experiences when everyone is complimenting your children and it is more incredibly delightful than any compliment ever given directly to you. Such a joy!

Disclaimer: I don't have any pictures of Ashley because she went back all by herself. And she totally didn't need me with her. I could hear her sweet little voice chattering away as I waited with the other two girls, and I am so delighted at the person that my previously afraid-to-do-anything-remotely-new little girl is becoming. I did get fun pictures of the other girls....

Yep, she's pretty much a rockstar! She didn't love the cleaning part, but she was pretty fond of all the rest of the experience, so she hung in there.

Bethany was loving the sunglasses....

...but when it was time to lie back, she crossed her little arms and did.not.move. until she got to sit up again. It was kind of hilarious.

Yay for sparkling smiles and good new experiences, and for having my hands full with such precious girls!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


For the last two months, Lamont has been a basketball coach and referee for the Upward Sports program at our church. He coaches (with a friend of his) a team of 5th and 6th grade boys, and has refereed dozens of games from kindergarten through 6th grade. The kids in the program are ridiculously adorable and it's been so much fun spending parts of our Saturdays at these games!

I had never heard of Upward Sports before now, but it is such a neat organization. They do multiple sports (not just basketball) and also cheerleading, all for ages K-6. The kids have so much fun, and they get to feel like superstars...at the start of each game they run out through a big blown-up arch while an announcer calls out each of their names just like they do at a college game, and the kids just beam about it! They pray before the game, and at halftime dozens of different folks from the church have taken turns spending a few minutes sharing something about how the Lord has worked in their lives. The whole community is involved with their children, so it's a really neat ministry.

Lamont's team, the Mavericks, has had a losing season. To be precise, they had lost every single game...until this week. The team is undersized, has only 6 players to all the other teams' 8-10, and though the boys do have some real talent, they have generally lacked the drive to just go out and give it their all despite the disadvantages they're facing. But this week they came out with smiles and energy and determination, and not only did they earn their very first win, but they earned a final score of 26-12! Nice job, Mavericks! Lamont is insanely proud of them, and I'm insanely proud of him. :-)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

On dating when my husband is out of town...

I got to take my sweet Ashley on a date today! A little lunch, a little shopping, a little reading in the coffee shop, and a whole lot of talking and laughing and thinking "When did my baby girl get to be such great company?!" I really like her, which is pretty awesome because as bad as this sounds, I used to wonder if I would actually like my kids as well as loving them. (For the record, I like all three of them, not just Ashley...and suddenly this tangent is getting really cumbersome!)

It was a special and all-too-rare several hours together. My time with the girls is rarely 100% focused, one-on-one time, and when we do get a time like that I am always blown away by how incredible these little people are. What an amazing privilege it is to have them as my daughters....

Some sound bites from Ashley today:

"If I had a restaurant, I wouldn't make girls have french fries with their hot dogs, because it's better to have grapes with hot dogs and that's what I would give them."

"Mummy, you are the prettiest girl in the whole world! And Daddy is the most handsome man in the whole world. (long pause) And so can you even imagine how beautiful I must be?!" (I'm loving the confidence, but thinking we might need to work on humility!)

"I know those toys cost a lot of money (window shopping), but maybe if we go and ask nicely and make sure to say please, the people in the store will be so happy and then they will just give the toys to us!"

(Discussing 'Beauty and the Beast') "You know how the Beast was so ugly, and he would die if Belle didn't love him? She did love him even though he was ugly, and that's why he learned how to love her, and then he changed and wasn't ugly anymore and they were really happy. And that's just like what God does, isn't it?"

And finally...disgruntled after I told her that no, she couldn't scoop up those lovely dollar bills sitting on the table next to us because they were a tip left for the waitress, she muttered,

"I don't know why she needs to have a tip -- I clear my own place after I eat and I don't get a tip, and I'm just a little girl!"

Monday, February 14, 2011

On what I've been doing instead of blogging...

These three little monkeys have been keeping me pretty busy lately -- and leaving my blog lonely! Life is just so full in our family, and it has been a tad busier than usual the last week or so because of a three day trip to Spokane, and the resulting extra prep/reset time surrounding it. It was a lovely trip, though. We had two fun playdates and lots of coffee, I was able to be part of a girls' night out to celebrate a dear friend's birthday, and the timing was perfect for me to take a trip to Sacred Heart with another dear friend to visit her mom, who was just diagnosed with cancer. It was a God thing that I was in town right then, and I'm so grateful for that.

And we bought a new sofa for the upstairs livingroom! Lamont and I had an early Valentine's date and took advantage of the long awaited opportunity to go furniture shopping -- hey, keep your opinions to yourself, furniture shopping is very romantic, thank you very much! Our poor livingroom with one solitary couch is not very conducive to conversation, and we've been enjoying having a lot of company lately, so the seating situation needed to change. I was so excited that we found a beautiful light chocolate colored sofa (it's actually called "Tropic Java", how awesome is that?!) for well under our price range, and cannot wait to bring it home in another week or so!

This shot cracks me up...Bethany is SO pathetic! Unfortunately she has been on a fussy streak lately, and we're getting pretty tired of the whining and crying about silly things. I think it's just wearing when you have to be so frequently correcting an attitude -- the same attitude over and over again -- and don't feel like you can just relax and enjoy your child. Sad stuff! Hopefully she will pass through this time quickly, and we'll see more of the happy, silly sides of her again soon.
That's it for now; two weeks of inactivity on the blog mean I have so many words just dying to be released, but they will have to temporarily yield to the demands of laundry, and sneaking in some homework before the girls finish their naps!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mission accomplished!

"If at first you do succeed, try not to look too surprised!"

This anonymous quote perfectly applies to my experiment of 8 days without coffee. I really, really enjoy my coffee (I know, you're shocked!) and I honestly wasn't sure how it would go. Would I actually have the self control to stick to it, and not drink coffee for that long? Would I manage to do it, but be miserable the entire time? Would I make the people around me miserable the entire time??

Well folks...I did it! And while I cannot answer for the people around me, I really wasn't all that miserable. My first day was tough -- headaches and grumpiness abounded. (And actually, while Lamont was safely in Spokane that day, my friend Becky did have to deal with my grumpy, coffee-deprived self...she did it very graciously!) But by mid-day on the second day my headache was actually gone, and it never returned.

The craving lingered a little longer, but by the third day, even that was gone. I spent the remainder of my 8 days missing coffee, yes, but not feeling a particular need for it. Miracles do exist! This morning I joyfully celebrated the successful completion of my self-assigned project.
The tools of my trade....

Ah, the delightful brew!

And...beautiful peppermint latte perfection!!

This has been a good experience for me, and it was really eye opening to see how perfectly fine I was without daily coffee. And it didn't hurt that I lost two pounds, as well.... My stated goal for this exercise was to break my bond to coffee, and to keep my intake down in the future, seeing it more as a treat a few times a week than a daily necessity. I am so delighted that it has been a resounding success!
And though Lamont laughed when I told him I was writing this follow up blog post, and said that he didn't think you all were waiting with baited breath for my update and results...I knew you really were. ;-)