Friday, March 26, 2010


I had another experience with my teenage Chloe... Some pictures I took recently demonstrate again how grown up she is.. Or acts, at least. :) In reality, she's a beautiful, thoughtful, fun-loving, crazy, smart girl... She loves to laugh and also cries for no reason at all. She doesn't like to articulate whats bothering her, although I partically blame myself for that. She likes to be free - to dance, to sing, to twirl. She is great at hula-hooping and running and I'm really praying that we can get her involved in gymnastics or dance like she wants. She would be so good at them! She pushes me, she likes to give me gifts, she gets frustrated with her sister, and she sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. Even though she's beginning to rebel a little, she is just an all around good girl. One that I think we're gonna have to keep an eye on. :)

New Job

I have moved to the day shift. I wasn’t sure how I’d adjust, but so far, so good. I asked my boss for a new schedule because my father-in-law was supposed to go go back home in about a month and so Lowell and I couldn’t remain on the same shift. My boss proposed a compromise – if I took a different position, I could get a new schedule. So, my new title: Jobs Coordinator. I am responsible for helping our residents with resumes, providing them with interview attire, transporting them to interviews if necessary, and doing whatever I can to help them find employment. As is true with the rest of the nation, the job market in Phoenix is definitely sub-par which makes my job both frustrating and challenging. In my first week, I’ve helped with printing fliers for a woman who wants to clean houses, assisted with filling out an application for a woman who doesn’t speak English, outfitted two women for interviews, and a myriad of other tasks that somehow fill up my hours.
Since we've got a schedule that allows us to take care of the kids on our own, Chug decided to head to California earlier than he had planned. So, this week finds us back on our own. We're discussing what we're going to do with the bedroom that Chug vacated - is Nathan going to get his room back or will Chloe get a room of her own for the first time? Jillie wants to move into the master with Lowell and I so maybe Nathan gets his own room and Chloe will stay where she is with Jillie in with us... I'm not super fond of that option. :) Mainly because I don't like sharing a room but also because I don't want her to become dependent on me. I'm really big on independence... I believe it is my job to teach these babies how to fly... I don't want to clip their wings... And I'm really blessed that Lowell works very hard on just letting them be kids. I know I've said it before, but I really think we make a good team. :) Let's hope the kids think so.

Such Blessings

Yesterday I had a wonderful experience… As I always do when I’m driving, I had the radio tuned to KLove. The kids were talking, laughing, fighting and just being themselves… And then “Here I Am to Worship” came on the radio. Immediately, the conversations stopped and all three voices in my backseat starting singing along. For a little while, we all sang together about coming before the Throne of the King and bowing down in humble worship… Then I looked in my rearview mirror and saw the little arms of my 5 year old raised toward her Lord. I know that she has seen this modeled at church and I doubt she even knows why she did it… But that’s okay. She’s learning how to worship, how to pray, and how to love God. They all are. And these moments are perfect teaching opportunities for me to tell them about my walk with God, and to answer their questions about Him. I am so blessed that we’ve found a church that will nurture them and will teach them in a place where they feel comfortable and are excited to go.
Shortly after this was the conversation, “Look, the ice cream truck!” “I wish all cars were the ice cream truck. Except ours of course.”


Spring has sprung in Arizona! There are wildflowers by the side of the freeway and the weather is consistently in the mid to upper 70s. We bought a kite, bubbles, a hula hoop and a football. We’ve been spending a couple hours a day at the park and we all have new summer shoes! Nathan got fun silver flip-flops, Chloe got cute little white sandals with a rainbow flower on the top, Jillie got Tinkerbell flip-flops and, well, Mom needed some summer shoes for work, right? J
In addition to bringing warmer weather and more color to the desert, Spring also brings Easter. I am sad that we are not going to be able to continue with our tradition of going to Gramma Hippo’s house for an egg hunt. We are going to have our own hunt at the park but it definitely won’t be the same. Miss you, Gram!
A new experience for this Easter was suggested by our pastor at church last week. He encouraged us to use the Easter season to invite people in our neighborhoods to meet Jesus. So we picked up some door hangers from the table outside the sanctuary and we're all set to walk around the neighborhood tomorrow and pass them out. We already invited our next door neighboors. I have to say that while I'm glad they're friendly and seem really "normal", I have to say that I'm a little intimidated! They homeschool and they have 6 children - and all the kids are great!! Mom stays home and teaches the kids - well, she did until this year. The kids just started public school. One of the daughters plays competitive softball and they travel around with her... I have my assumptions about them, and I have to say that I feel a little inadequate! I haven't been in their house yet, but I can almost guarantee you that their house is cleaner than mine... And I am jealous of the fact that the mom stays home with the kids.. I'm working on reminding myself that God has placed me where I am for a reason and that I'm being obedient to the plan that God has for me. And I'm trying to be confident that what I'm doing is enough. Trying is the operative word here... :)

Jillie's Birthday

Monday the 15th was my baby’s birthday... Jillian turned 5. We had a small party on Sunday afternoon. We had cake and presents and then went to the park. The weather was beautiful and the park was pretty empty. We played at the park here in the neighborhood and then went to the bigger park in Buckeye. Jillian got a phone call from Mamoo, Grandma Hippo and Mama’s Daddy Grandpa. She also got a package from Auntie Leeda and Uncle Bread as well as one from Mamoo.

Teachers I Appreciate

On the radio recently, the djs asked a question about teachers and how they impact the lives of their students. I was very, very blessed in my voyage through school. From kindergarten through high school I had teachers who were incredibly talented and actually interested in the success of their students. My sixth grade teacher, Mrs Young was just a joy. She always had a smile on her face, and laughed frequently. Seventh grade and eighth grade I was taught by a husband and wife team… Mr. and Mrs. Nelson; Mr. Nelson for math and Mrs Nelson for English. (“Math is fun, Math ain’t funny”) They made it their mission to expand the horizons of their students over and above the requirements of their lesson plans, especially when it came to the arts. We frequently listened to musicals in class. We heard Guys and Dolls, Phantom of the Opera and Cats. And I fell in love with them all. The Nelsons took a personal interest in me, too. They actually took me to San Francisco to see Phantom of the Opera at the Curran Theater. Those years I was also involved in an advanced math program with some of my closest friends and a college prep course at a local state school.
In high school, I had an Honors English class where our teacher encouraged us to look beyond the little world of high school. We were required to watch 60 Minutes every Sunday and report on worldwide news stories. Watching stories from Rwanda, New York and China reminded us that the world was much bigger than our cliques, our classrooms and our own lives. I had a piano teacher who pushed us to excel, who worked to show us the sophisticated side of life and who took the time to get personally involved when I went out on a limb for a dream. I had a math teacher who was amazing; smart, funny, multi-talented (he also took over the yearbook) and very popular. Some of my best memories come from the hours I spent in Trigonometry… That’s sort of sick, isn’t it? J

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


After school today, it was my plan to take the kids out and let them ride their bikes in the front yard. (Due in part to the numerous peach flavored rings consumed by my already active 4 year old... See next post.) Also, this little one has learned to ride without her training wheels and she is really enjoying practicing her new skill! I need to get some pictures of her.. Hopefully I'll post some soon... The kids were thrilled with the plan and I was pleasantly surprised when our new neighbors joined them. Three girls (and their parents) have moved in next door. They are between 8 and 16 years old and they excitedly joined in a game of Nerf football and then tag with my little ones. I was really grateful for their patience and for their interest in my kids. I think they all had a good time and they've made plans to do it again soon! :) The family seems very friendly and "normal'. :) That's Lowell's way of saying that they're not snooty or arrogant. The kids and I made chocolate chip cookies and took them over to say Welcome and then a couple of days later, we got cupcakes in return! :) Its good to have neighbors.


I took Jillie to the gas station with me after we dropped of the kids at school.
"Where are we going, Mama?" she asked. "To Loves." (That's the truck stop's name)
"Why?" she asked. "To get Mom something to drink."
"Oh... Well, I want something. I already covered in peanut butter so what difference does it make?" This is the logic of my 4 year old.. :) And so, she walked out of Love's with a bag of Peachies. After all, what could it hurt? :)