Things my little darlings say.

A few Laila & Elle-isms..


Today I let Sterling be in the Bumbo in the bath with the girls. They thought it was the greatest. I decided to brush my teeth since I could do that while still being in the bathroom. (Elle waved her hands a few times and told me to go and “do the stuff with the laundries”. Trying to get rid of me so you can mother my boy!- ha!) Yup, as soon as I turned around, and my mouth was full of foam, Elle ran hot water (she is very legalistic about her bath being HOT ENOUGH), and Sterling started screeching. Poor baby. His feet were under the new, hotter, running water. I flung my toothbrush across the room (no I didn’t) and hurried to massage his feet (like that helps) and said,

“Oh dear! Elle, how HOT was that water?!”


Elle: “Oh. About one pound…?”


My oldest girl is A.D.A.M.E.N.T. that she will never marry. NEVER. She caught wind of the fact that it means she moves out and lives with a stranger and never lives with us again. This horrified her. When I *forget*, and make a comment about someday her daughter… or someday when she has a husband… she always says,

“MOM! I am NOT getting married, I will be a (horse) Rider or a Marine Biologist (Wild Krattz).”

(She also wants to be a “pop star for Jesus”– she told her class about this, and being the prudes that we are, it embarrassed us greatly. So now she calls it a “vocalist”.)

And then I tell her well you can be a mother AND a rider but she will have none of it. Her and Laila both are fit to be tied when I try to explain to them that someday they will be sisters AND whatever occupation they want. To them that is like heresy. You cannot be a sister when you have a job, that is for little girls that live with their mommas.

Anyway, so it was a proud day full of sunshine when Laila declared (out from under her rulership of Elle- bold!) that you know, she would like to be a momma. Yes… she would!

Elle got out her best teachLailasomething voice (it sounds like how Americans sound when they talk to any person that cannot understand English) and said,

“Laila! that is nice. AND GUESS WHAT? Next. time. you. have. a. BIRTHDAY, when you blow out ALL the candles…. The ones that are left and NOT blow-ded out… ARE THE AMOUNT OF HOW MANY KIDS YOU ARE HAVING!!”

I said,

“Well, now I am not so sure that’s–”


“YOU ARE THE BEAST OF THE KING OF BOOBIES!!” Elle screamed this at Laila during one of their very intense fights. I’m pretty sure she just took all the words I told her aren’t okay to say, and put them all together.


Laila: “Mom! Elle said we are in Indiana, BUT IT’S MILLERSBURG!”

Elle said, “Well Laila, I am just pretending that it’s a space ball that comes to see us and our bears.

Me: “So like, an outer space thing?”

Elle: “Yes.”

Me: “Laila, you’re right though. We DO live in Millersburg.” (She smiles through her tears.)

Later I overhear:

Elle: “Welcome to our place! We love that outer space can come to see our bears!”

Laila: “Welcome to Millersburg!”


Elle (in her teachingLailasomething voice): “Blind is SUCH a cool word. It means two things– when you cannot see anything, and when your hair is yellow!”


Last night when I tucked them in:

Me: “So would you rather that momma and daddy LOVE eachother, OR let you do whatever you want?”

(What kind of a question is that? A trick one?)

Elle says milkily: “LOVE eachother…”

Me: “Awwww, Elle that is nice and it’s true–”



Galen: “Welch’s grape juice is just. so. good. I wish I could win a year’s supply. In fact, I think if I was given the choice between a lifetime supply of Welch’s or a $5,000 vacation– I think I would pick the juice.”

And that was because my husband is cute, and I like to give him a little face-time on my blog too.


Here is another Galen special:

G was gone for the weekend. I get a text early in the morning: ”

“Good morning, Beautiful, how was your night?” (Yes, this is the cheesiest song line ever, but it is also a very old inside joke of ours. The inside joke is not romantic at all, just a stupid thing that happened probably 8 years ago that had nothing to do with us.)

I texted back: “Mine was…. terrible. We slept 3 and sometimes 4 in the bed last night. I have a backache, headache, crick in my neck and the blankets were all a jumbled mess in the morning. I would so much rather sleep with you.”

He texted back: “Ahh! Go downstairs and… PAMPER YOURSELF! hehe”

(Because the downstairs was trashed and he knew it.)

It made me laugh so bad. He knows just when to be a droll and sarcastic and well, he just gets me and what I think is funny in life.


a few pics…

^ My camera’s flash is broken. This is the corner of our house where I can get good natural light, so yes, that is why every picture is taken on this couch.

^ Making treats (party mix) with momma while Elle is at school. This is kinda Laila and my “thing” on Thursdays. She is so totally destined to be a bake-shop owner someday. Baking makes her COME ALIVE– something which I cannot identify with AT ALL.

^ Ha! A picture from Christmas Day, right before they got to open their gifts. Laila was being so sweet. Something made Elle mad and she is trying to “stay mad” but inside she is very excited about her presents.

^ Take two. Must include this gem as well.

^ Poor Sterling. Here he is baby Jesus, I think. (In the manger)

^ No flash remember?

^ All the stuffed animals are out to celebrate with King of all the Toys (Sterling).

^ A picture we took at Christmas.

^Yup, this perfectly illustrates Laila’s deep, passionate, and pesky love for her brother.

^ “My mom is totally awesome” in that she doesn’t make me comb my hair until 12:00.

^ Aw…. I. just. love. my. boy.

^ Life as a boy with two older sisters…


Over and out! jenny


A book & a movie.

I received this book for my birthday (not from my husband either).  If you saw this book at Barnes and Noble in the “Religious” section, would you pick it up to page through it? Not me, it has the kind of bookcover art I cower away from.

It looks kind of like a book that elderly ladies would have on a side table in the late 80s– a doily would be under it, some fake velvet roses beside it, and a pair of smoked eyeglasses laying atop of it. And the book would be a little dusty. Like dusty because even the elderly woman didn’t feel like cracking open this vanilla book again. But if you did open it, it would be full of Stepford Wife-ish sentences that would read stuffily like,

“Delight, delight in thy husbandman! Be thine lovely darling forever. Oh, I beseech thee young woman woo your husband with thine hair, thine delicate little hands, and thine fair voice forever and ever!”


OK. but it’s not like that. At all. Although I admit, the cover art is not the best idea ever. Or maybe calling it an “idea” at all, was a compliment.

I read it eagerly because a few women I am close to, really raved about the book. When I told my one friend that I am now reading it, she said, “I am reading it through the second time now. It has CHANGED MY LIFE!”

Am I sellin’ it yet? Am I?! No, for real.

The author of the book was born in 1920. Here she is:

You can read her bio here on wiki. Isn’t she a lovely little thing?

“A loving marriage is the foundation of a happy family and a happy family the foundation of a stable society. Most of the problems in this world stem from troubled home. If we are to have peace in the world, we must begin at home.” – Helen Andelin

And now I will give a few thoughts on the book:

1. As I read it, I thought of some women that would kind of hate the book. You might….

OKAY. So don’t drink the Kool-aid! Actually you should never read a book and drink ALL the Kool-aid. What I’m saying is- take everything with a grain of salt and see what you can learn from the book. I would call her style “plain common sense”. I am only half way through and I am going–




2. I like it because it is written a little old fashioned. In a good way. Yes, I laughed when one testimonials mentions that after practicing the principals in this book, her husband bought her a “beautiful nightie”. The book was written in 1963….

But back to the style of the book- she uses classic literature and real testimonials to tell her perspective. So fascinating.

3. My last thought is that since it was written so long ago she does not use “politically correct” terms when it comes to today’s standards for women. I often read and could not help but think, someone out there is horrified at THAT sentence. But you have to excuse her, and look at the whole bulk of meat of what she is saying. Read the whole book and then look back and process with a smoked eyeglass, rose  tinted glasses contemplative mind. That is what I am doing. I was never offended at WHAT she said, but maybe cringed sometimes at HOW she said it.

Such truth- wow, this woman is insightful. Like, I want you to read it so bad, I feel like I might beg you to.


Okay, now a movie to watch. Galen came home and said,

“I want to show you something that is going to make you SO MAD.”

I said, “At who?”

Then he made me watch this video. I hate watching stuff like this, it makes me so mad and when I am done I am not sure– am I still breathing? I can only imagine the white-hot anger God must feel. I can just see Him rising up out of His throne in Holy, Righteous indignation….

So anyway, watch my video, okay? Then we can pray together to destroy this deadly spirit of murder, racism, and greed.

Sorry, those two things is what I have on my mind this Friday… jenny


An Irish gentleman & a fun puzzle for you.

Meet Sterling, the kind (but moody) Irish Country Gentleman.

He owns a farmer’s market and sheep-shearing business in Waterford. He has a wife named Inga (she hails from Scandinavia) and a super-tiny son called William.

 “INGA! Where is my newsprint? It was laying right there… Madra caorach dÚsachtach ith mo pháipéar!!”

That night in bed,

“Darling Inga, tá brón orm go raibh mé chomh tras leat. Iarraidh ar mo tae ar maidin a dhéanann frightful dom!”

(What a happy ending!)

*wink, wink*

“Scéalta grá fíor riamh endings a bheith acu.”


The end.

Visit here if you want to know all that the Irishman said.


Maybe a title will come to me later…

Sometimes I’m not sure how to feel about Wednesdays. They sit there in the middle- not fun enough to be a weekend, but too open to really be a heavy work day. I do half my cleaning on Mondays and then get groceries. Tuesday we concentrate on getting Elle to school, and then I finish the cleaning. And then it’s Wednesday- a day where I loiter and then gasp to catch up. Today is Wednesday.

Yesterday I went to the dentist. What she said would take one hour ended up taking 2 1/2. There was drilling near my brain, my tongue snuck over and “felt a peek” at what was going on with back tooth upper right. A gaping shell was what I felt. Another cap goes on. I realized as I grow older I deal with more little urges of anxiety. I don’t really mind the dentist, but as she assessed me I realized, like the rest of me, my teeth are on the way to decay. They are not progressively getting new and better. I laid there, thought a lot- I had time!- and that former thought unsettled me a little… and then I felt a little anxiety. Life is temporal, I was made for decay.

Today I realized I am a happy, loser-mom. The following kinda made my day: I found a quarter in the washer. ONE QUARTER. I saw it and thought, That is so sad. When I found this quarter I know I felt instantly happier. 

And now I feel sad. My baby is crying and I can’t finish this paragraph. Such a rollercoaster of emotions!

Back now–

I have this fascination with pirates right now and that is: Why are child educators so in love with using pirates to teach everything? Veggie Tales, The Wiggles, Sesame Street, Phil Vischer’s Buck Denver is even a fan. (Using the pirate-voice to explain the origins of the Bible is just odd to me.)

A.N.Y. DVD series you pick up will have a segment somewhere, using a pirate to teach something, and than everything in that lesson will be some form of “Arg! Matey! Arg! Walk the plank! The letter R is dressed like a pirate!” It is so weird- just why?

And I always wonder, did every single pirate talk like that, or was there just a famous one (Captain Hook?) with a strong accent/speech impediment? Or did none of them talk like that? Is it a dialect? How many of them had an eye patch? Was it mandatory to have a stump leg to be a pirate? Did they really have hand-hooks back then? I bet not one of them resembled swarthy Johnny Depp. And weren’t they ruthless killers and looters? So why don’t we have Poacher, Mob Boss, Nazi, Abortion Doctor, Zombie, or Vampire themed birthday parties and Bible lessons? Oh. wait. a few of those are already a thing.

I just think when I see a banner for a pirate-themed Vacation Bible School for instance: that is just so weird.

moving on…

You know how “they” (who is they, I always wonder?) say it shows a lot about where your values are, by what you are willing to part with your money for? What does it say about me that I will buy Tide for our clothes, even if I have to skimp on family meat? But, I will always buy the cheapest toilet paper. Maybe that I want our clothes to enjoy a good, long life, but not my children’s bums?

You want to hear a household tip that will make your day? For a long time I have been a Plant Killer. Finally,  I came to the conclusion that my plants die because I water them so oddly. Like they will get bone dry, I will feel bad, and soak them sopping wet. Apparently, they hate this because soon after, they give up the fight. Somewhere I read that a tidy, concise way to water a plant is to lay an ice cube on the plant’s dirt. As it melts, it waters it. And the great part, it is waters it a tiny bit at a time. Plants seem to like that. So right now, since our house is so dry- big plants get two cubes a day, little plants get one. And they are thriving. I am so happy about this! I really adore plants in decor.

Three of my plants- can you tell which one is the fake one? The other two are real.

And can I just say  word about that Boden catalog up there? It. is. so. awesome. I want to marry every outfit, and frame every page. If there was ever a piece of eye candy that gets my creative juices flowing- this edition is it.

Here is a picture of my girls doing exercises. Elle is the instructor, boy, she worked poor Laila hard.

And there is my son. Oh I love that boy. He is so sweet. If you would pick him up you would say, “Wow, he is a big boy!”.

He is already bigger feeling than my girls when they were babies, they were always such skinny little lovies.

Yup, all the people I love.

What is it about your naughty child that makes you love them extra much? She will not always have this label I know, 3.5 is a hard age. Poor kid. To me, it’s harder than the notorious terrible-twos. Laila is mart enough to feel hurt about things, but not quite advanced enough to be productive.

Elle told her last night, “Stop being a normal brat and be a nice lady!”

Elle has really blossomed since she started school. She kinda knows more who she is, I think. She is still shy, but less so. Right now she is sitting at the table with her Lego Friends and she is following the directions page by page and it’s coming together nicely. I am soo proud of her. But she is very frustrated with Laila- “Lego breaker” she called her.

And I am proud of my little Lego-wrecker too. And yes, we run through apologies all day long… Sigh.

Anyone else ever get tired of making your kids do the forced apologies thing?

Can I share my New Years resolution that I am SO excited about? Here goes.

Well, cooking for my family is not one of my joys in life. Rarely do I get excited about being in the kitchen. It bothers me- I hate it that I feel annoyed at 3:00 when it’s time to make supper. So… I decided I am going to pick my favorite cookbook (this one) and make one new recipe a week from it for a year.

So far, I have made a good 10 recipes from it and it makes it FUN. Yes, I said FUN.

Obviously I do not make the recipes in a row (the order they run in the book) because that would mean we would have 5 different kinds of Chicken Alfredo in a month’s time.

I just thumb through, pick one,  and when I make a recipe, I write the date beside the recipe and any notes or comments on how we felt about the meal. I feel very “Julie and Julia” which coincidently I have here from the library right now. Making a new cookie or playdough recipe from the books counts as the “one a week”. I figured since I do not make desert for my family, I can try those recipes when we have potlucks or company.

Yup, I am excited! It feels good to kick a bad habit (hating cooking) in your life, and grow a little.

What areas have you been growing in lately? I would love to hear. I really admire people that are always growing, not afraid to change, not afraid to get better. People that take hard stuff  in their life and just grow sweeter, more humble, more tender, and more in touch with God and the feelings of other because of it. Mmmmm. 

This is a character trait I am so admiring in others right now. Welcoming growth, not settling for stagnated.

Ok, well I am out of here.

Holla! Nope, you are 33.


{i love you, my little hunka love!}



My gift to you…

… watch and be moved.

“May Christ remain your treasure and joy this Christmas season!”


It’s beginning to look a (little) like Christmas…


hi, well, it’s christmas eve! i have this post sort of uploaded for probably a week now. i guess if i don’t post it tonight, then who really cares about my piddly christmas post. (who cares anyway- ha.)

i really did not decorate much- it all kinda stressed me out this year- yes, i have a 6 week old baby. i love that excuse! but i thought lights behind a curtain created a kind of cool affect.

we made a few batches of cookies. not much. not anything fancy. i really should not be eating cookies, and people always give us a lot. looks like i finished these shortly before 2:00. it leaves so many questions though- was it am or pm?! one will never know.

i thought lights along the hardfloor was a cool, and LAZY way to display lights. until… galen came home and said the girls were plugging and unplugging them and he thought them a real safety hazard. so that turned out to be a lame-o idea.

i hung a wreath on my one cupboard door. it cheers me when i am in there making food…

one of my friends brought her 4 children and caroled for us- it was the cutest thing ever- they even rang little hand-bells. my girls got these ornaments from her- i thought they looked cute in this fish bowl. (that galen gave a little goldfish to me in, when we were dating. how cute, right!)

i ADORE cozy, bright spots to read and sip in.
HAHAHA! who am i kidding though- i never read. if i read, it never fails they all 3 come pile on me. well, sterling was probably there in the first place.  but if i sit– they come.

elle heading to her school christmas party. she was very happy.

today she was wearing those boots and i noticed she unraveled the one pom-pom on her boot. these kinds of things irritate me.

me: “WHAT did you do to your BOOTS?”

elle; “yesterday at school i saw a long string and i was so SO curious. so i pulled it and it came apart.”

me; “well, that was not a really cool thing to do.”

elle: “but i was so CURIOUS.”

i know her, she totally thought she could win me by using a word that i would like.

i didn’t take this picture for the book- but it’s a really good read. and i am kind of a picky book reader- i really hate cheesy or poorly written books. i am soooooch a book-snob. (read that in a really snobby, irritating voice, because i am a little bit mocking myself.)

but no really, i liked it because it is a great outside eye-ball of how american society looks to one other (in this book, the french) culture. she makes observations of the people she meets- they are witty, snappy,  and oh, so fascinating. it’s not a biblical book, but i felt if using a grain of salt, a lot could be learned from reading it.

i covered up the door/books with burlap, it looks way better. so much better in fact, that the man i live with commented on it.

my mantle that presently looks nothing like that anymore.

painted a cheesy gold frame white- looks so fresh and better.

i love plants so much. they bring life to a room.

one of so many family pictures we tried to take. it went a little rough.

i took this picture because i really like this currier and ives winter print.


our elle is getting so tall.

me and my little loves.

girly-whirls… <3

another family attempt- it’s ok, just not super cheerful.

i think it looks like galen and i get real happy when our kids are sad. mean!

sterling wasn’t looking at my camera. these helpful hands kept showing up to help him to find his way to obedience.

i love this picture- so typical of how they look about a half an hour after G gets home from school.

(because i believe that every working man deserves to be greeted every day by small children dressed in their sunday best. it takes us half the day, every day, but it’s WORTH IT.)


shy laila and cheeky elle with their grandparents.

i guess we put our hands in our mouths when we get nervous. and worst of all, ocassionally our dress hem too.

blurry, yet sweet.

well, this may be my fastest written post ever. also the least thought-out.

 i held a grexing (homemade word?) baby the whole time i was typing. i am a multitasking magnate.

merry christmas to all of you from the kauffmans! we love you all!



Getting you in the mood…

After attending the school Christmas Story Journey last night (where Galen works and Elle attends Kindergarten) I feel blown away by the Christmas Story like maybe never before.  It was so so good. I walked through with my sister Julana, her kids, Laila and Sterling. Watching the wonder and awe on their little faces made my night too- they were SPELL-BOUND.

This morning I was thinking about a few of the cool things I have come across online this Christmas (nursing baby= more time online!) that I have really liked and thought I would share just a  few.


This video:


The simple beauty of this blog: Keeping It Cozy.

and also,

Dreamy Whites.


Then there was this Focus on the Family episode I was lucky enough to catch while driving. I can’t say enough good about it. It was the most interesting, fun, thought-provoking piece I have heard on the history of Christmas. YOU SIMPLY MUST TAKE TIME TO HEAR THIS!  The linky:

Focus on the family: Teaching your kids about Christmas.


I have heard many raves about the movie The Heart of  Christmas… then a few days ago my friend Carmen offered to loan it to me. I plan to watch it tonight.

Here is the trailer if you want to get a sneak peek…


My friend Stephanie pinned these Nativity Story coloring pages on Pinterest and I quickly printed them for Elle and Laila, I though it was the darlingest thing ever.

Find them here.


My ‘Christmas Ideas’  Pinterest board keeps inspiring me.


And lastly, an old favorite, but still dear as ever…


love, jenny


Thanksgiving Weekend.

Thanksgiving was at my parents this year. It was really special. I’m sure having a new baby had something to do with this- but I just felt OVERWHELMED with blessing this year.

My mom had these pretty, festive tables set up.

We have a tradition– that before we eat, we drop kernels of corn into a tin cup, and say what we are thankful for. When it was Elle’s turn, she said,

“That our family can be together for Thanksgiving.”

She was really proud of coming up with that herself. The next day, I asked her the favorite part of being at grandma’s house was, and she said it was when we all said what we are thankful for- and then she repeated what she had said. 🙂

We Millers love our flavored creamers. What a cozy, FUN day!

Brother in laws talking eachother’s EARS off…. such deep chatting was happening.

(Calling for the sarcasm font… get over here!)

Little Sterling- who always makes my day even sweeter.

My mom made this chalkboard and Kendra (my brother’s gf) wrote the menu on it. I thought it was a great show of combined creative talent.

Fun people, fun conversations. Of course, I wouldn’t know because I sat at the little table. 🙂

Jordan’s snacky in the afternoon~ Coffee & Pumpkin Torte (made my Julana).

The next morning- little angels?

THIS IS WAY MORE REALISTIC. They fight over him so. bad.

Every eeearly morning starts the same- two girls not wanting breakfast because they are fighting and begging to hold their brother. Picture two little girls sharing a Mountain Dew and all that extra energy is angst the whole day to consume him with their love and devotion (No, they don’t drink MD, that is what it feels like). Its sweetly stressful.

No really, it mostly just feels hair-pulling stressful.

The day after Thanksgiving, Galen’s parents came to stay with us for parts of three days. They came to see baby and us. They just blessed us like crazy.

My mother-in-law made every meal we ate, even breakfast.  It was just one delicious meal after another. She even brought more freezer meals and snacks along from PA from my SILS. Also, she brought her own towels and bed sheets so I would not have to wash those after they left. I told her I need to keep a memo and learn from her- I really want to be this thoughtful to my grown children/spouses someday.

Another thing she did that G and I thought was really thoughtful: when she first got here, she asked Elle about school… then she also asked Laila how she is liking Sunday school.

I didn’t really think about it, but later Galen said she wanted to ask Laila a question too since middle children often get lost in the middle. This meant a lot to me, because Laila has really struggled since Sterling was born. I mean really, really struggled. I think she feels really lost and doesn’t know how to act. It’s like I don’t know her lately- she is more insecure and gets angry/HURT easily. It makes me sad, because I love her so much, and sometimes I don’t really know how to help her feel better.


Sheldon & Joann and their family stopped in a little one afternoon. It was fun to have them!

Kauffman time.

Elle and grandpa doing a find-a-picture from the Nature Friend magazine.

Grandpa reads them a story.

My girl’s favorite thing their grandparents played with them was called “Turtle”- it was such a cute little game. If you ever see my girls, ask them to play it with you. 🙂

Sterling is crying- I will say goodbye!

Love, jenny


Why yes, I did have that baby.

Sterling Grey
birthdate: 11/8/12
time: 7:51 am
weight: 7 lbs 12 oz
length: 20 inches

Yeah my baby is 2 weeks old tomorrow. I kept thinking that I never updated by blog about it (not the end of the world or anything)– so since my sister has my girls for a cousin’s sleepover tonight, (bless her) tonight it shall be.

(Meanwhile: everyone on Facebook, “Shut up about your baby already!”)

This is getting hard already, my back hurts suddenly, and Sterling is not happy with the amount of milk he apparently did not get.  So he is sniveling and crying over there. Rare for him, actually, he is either part gem or part Jesus- because he is one good and sweet baby.

I guess now I will post a bunch of pictures, since I can hold him and do that at the same time.

Five minute old Sterling comforts momma during the last part of her C-section. It was a terrifying and beautiful experience.

Yes, it can be both.

I don’t think I had quite fallen in love with him yet at this time….

…but by the next morning- WHEW, I was IN LOVE.  (I usually bond with my babies that first night, feeding and sleeping with my baby).

Home! To these happy and EAGER little girls.

Elle looks super drugged here. She wasn’t. She just gets really annoyed when I take her picture, and can ignore photographers like you wouldn’t believe.

Laila, oh Dear Laila… she adores and loves her brother but her rough, irrational ways with him have been a real toughy.

Elle is over-the-moon smitten with him. Or if I want to say obsessed, I could say that as well. If she could, she would sleep with him, take him to school for show and tell, bath with him, carry him around, make him her dolly, and just (s)mother him in general, all the days of her life.

I trust her with him- she is a big help to me.

Some over-the-top fighting was going on with these two. So their punishment was Elle “reading” stories to Laila. They ended up liking it. Score-sies.

Laila, I love you. This week has been a rough one for us.  Next week we will keep trying to get it right.

The girls have a constant art project going at this table.

One cool thing about having a baby is, you see friends you should see way more often!

Shelly and Erika came over- I can’t tell you how good it was to see them again.

Little Sterling. Here he looks like a friendly little chap. The kind that would offer a pregnant lady his seat on a bus.

(Speaking of which, you would be shocked at how many men do not offer a pregnant woman their seat these days, I thought of it often in the past 9 months.)

Here. Not so friendly. The kind that would scoff at the poor, and look down on the rest of the world in general.

What? Oh, ok.

He says it was just gas, and please don’t judge his character by this picture.

So thankful I have such a sweet daddy for my children? Kids? Littles? Small ones? Youngsters? Small fries? Nestlings? Tykes?

I have really grappled (not really but…) with what to call my children, now that I can’t just say “the girls” anymore.
Somehow all the words above are just not me.

I come from a family where we were not allowed to say “kids”.

Well, that made us feel cool saying it, forbidden, you know. It just rolled off the tongue all rebellious-like, so at times, I would drop it in, “… us kids are…” and e.v.e.r.y. time my dad would say,

“Children are NOT baby goats. Kids are.”

So I guess that stays with me.

A father with his Small Sprouts.

When I took this picture of Laila she said three times,

“I did not come here for a picture! I just came here for playing!”

That Sterling! A chipper,  old man with a wry sense of humor. He always has a great old corny joke in his pocket to pull out.

Elle, my proud little Native American.

Her eyes look all swollen furrowed, I think it’s just the headband.

Little brownies.

Ok… Well, I need to go. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I am so excited. So. I have gotten out very little the past 2 weeks and I am just so ready to hang out with my family! My brother’s girlfriend is coming in from Indiana, all the regulars will be there, and of course, I am excited to have little S-man there too. He makes my day every day… in every way.

You! Have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! I feel blessed abundantly tonight.



Fall & Family…

Well, this morning has been successful so far. I woke up before the girls, drank a little coffee, turned on some worship music and worked on catching up on my correspondence. Now Laila is up, and she seems to be in a good mood. Everything was “funny” this morning according to her. She also picked up the playroom, and now she is playing with her Little House on the Prairie paper dolls.

We’ll see how the day goes from here out. My fingers are purple from crossing them so hard.

My two girls and I have struggled to mesh a little lately. I cannot figure out why. I have sat them down to talk face to face, heart to heart, and they reveal nothing troubling. I was hoping for a “coming to Jesus moment”– but, none. So I am going to call it a: ‘stage of life we are in’ and leave it.
Oh, before i forget!

Here is a beautiful song to play while you read the rest of the post:

I thought I’d post a few pictures from last week….

You know that feeling where you feel you have just been dragging your children around with you wherever you go? And you think maybe they aren’t having any FUN in their little lives?
Yes, well, last Friday I woke up and decided it was their day. I asked them what they each want to do for the day.

Elle could not come up with anything besides, “Go to Gracie”s house.” (I already asked her to meet us at the park and they had other plans.)  So finally I said,

“Hershbergers? You always beg to go there.”

“Oh. YEAH. let’s go THERE!” She said.

Laila picked the library. (Probably because I told her the zoo was out- jk.)

Here they are at Hershbergers- a farm animal petting place and the best baked goods on this earth.
Puppies…. well, they are a huge hit.

Elle said for the one millionth and oneth time,

“I just don’t know why we can’t get a puppy. I just don’t know what’s so much work about them. You just have some food and water and… what else?”

I said, “Well, you are getting something like a puppy, in 2 weeks– she/he can be your little pet.”

She was dubious.

Feeding animals with these little cones of grain is bravery manifested for my girls.

Laila: “Psst…. Elle. ELLE. I feel an eavesdropper.”

Elle: “Laila, be cool, we have only one chance to make this shot great.”

(Which as it turns out, was not true at all.)

Little Goaties. Many new head-tilts coming up….


I told G the other day when they were wearing these skirts, “We are doing our best to keep the ruffled denim skirt company in business.”

I got a “huh?”

Usually he says, “In the interest of turning over a profit, I’m sure they made more than one.”

He says that to me infinite numbers of times in life, like when I say, “Hey look, they have a van like ours.”

Pony rides from a delightful, young, Amish boy.

Jk, we really didn’t get to know him.

Here I channel my inner Pioneer Woman Photography skills.

Play area. Must stop.

This photo speaks of coldness… and obligation to pose for mom because she is the biggest of the 3 of us.

The girls had some cider, donut holes, and kettle corn (made by real Amish people from a real fire and kettle).  I can only imagine how that sight must make the tourists all giddy… because I know how giddy it makes ME.

“Whatcha thinkin’ ’bout, Elle?”

“Oh, just pun’kin stuff…”

More goaties.

Three gourds looking cool like pears.


Other cozy shots.

Elle my bread baking buddy, in all her morning glory. If she was 16, she would likely have not let me post this picture of her….

Yes, the girls helped me make homemade bread for the first time.

Fresh, it got a rating of 10. The next day though, I thought it went dry a little fast and had sunk to a 3.

I made fruit filled french toast with it for Sunday dinner though, and it was delicious. Now what? Croutons? Stuffing? The trash can?

Sweet unexpected mail from an online friend. Peachy keen!

Channeling my inner teen, “taking pictures with my mirror” shot.

I only have 10 days to go! So very excited…

The girls ready for church, coloring at the little table n chairs I picked up at the Antique Festival here in town.

This picture is so them: Laila, friendly, bright and sugary. Elle, engrossed, articulate and creative.

If you see her hair in a bun: it was either by bribing or by coercion.

A few of Laila’s drawings. They are so sweet and simple.


Before I go, I want to quick write down an Elle-logic quote. I have lots of them.

I was talking to her about a new movie of hers that we will have to pitch, because they talk about a witch and casting a spell in it.

She thought that was dumb and why. So we talked about it further. I told her that I feel witches and wizards etc. do not work for God, they work for satan.

Well, that got her– she is NOT a fan of satan.

Then her face brightened and she said,

“Well, I just do not know why, if witches are bad, then why doesn’t God use them to do bad things to Satan?”

Good logic there, kitty.

“Well, this day won’t start itself.”




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