September 28, 2012

The Moo is 5

Bernard St. Pottamus had a birthday.

She celebrated with polar bear ears and a unicorn, and her Grandma Sharon presented the child with her first pair of clogs. Praise!

She asked me to tell her the story of the night she was born and so I told her my favorite parts – especially that she was so alert and stared right back into my eyes for hours that night. She was a force.

She is the loudest and the most fearless. Comical like Andrew but determined like Trevor. She is herself, 100%.

She is the most aggressive in the house, though in her own way.

Her heart is so near to Jesus that it pushes me to be a better mother to all of my children every single day.

She chirps constantly. She sings every song she hears on the radio. She bounces and dances to commercials on television. Her milkshake is always shaking.

She is uninhibited and passionate about every single thing she touches, loves, listens to, and befriends. Her imagination is great and wide and her mothering instinct makes me so proud. [She breastfed a baby doll the other day.]

Her favorite color is pink. Second would be ‘sparkly’ and yes, that is a color to Mabel Rae.

Every song that comes on KLOVE is met with, “They are playing my favorite song, Mama!”

She loves ‘macaroni cheese’ and asked me to make her a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles this year. She helps me cook as often as she can and she loves doing chores around the house. She wakes easily and goes to bed with the same routine that she did when she was a baby beside me.

She tells me that I am her best friend; I hope that never changes. She reaches for my hand to hold hers and crawls into my nook on the couch to cuddle. “I love you, Mom” while doing nothing.

Her favorite hairdo is braids and her favorite outfit is a skirt and tights. And she STILL wears a headband on her forehead every chance she gets.

There is a photo in our hallway of me and my father. I was about 7 in the picture. Right now, it’s a doppelganger for my little daughter. Her squirrely eyebrows and little smile – oh my. It stops my breathing. Bryon tells me all the time that she is a FORCE. She is the one we will worry both least and most about. She’ll want to dye her hair purple, pierce her nose, and spend a year in Europe. She’ll front a band or boss a lab full of students.

She lifts her hands in church, just like her Mama.

And she still wakes up with crazy hair and nuzzles into my neck while I carry her upstairs each morning.

This week, she turned 5.

September 25, 2012

Our First Family Vacation, Day 1

We stopped in Chamberlain on the Missouri, to skip rocks. Bryon found his dad in the water and Hayley overcame her fear of climbing down the riverbank.

We drove west, had awesome snacks (packed by the vacation super pro packer: MOI), and then got to the Badlands. The prairie dogs were waiting.

Wall Drug had a jackalope and photo props, and provided a photo of Chief Bryon that I think I'll see for the next 50 years.

After checking into our hotel, we drove to Mt. Rushmore for the lighting ceremony. It was their favorite. On our way home we asked each of them, and this nighttime visit to this beautiful national monument was their most favorite thing about the weekend. Mabel's favorite is George Washington.

80 during the day, and 40 at night.

Nobody argued. Everyone smiled. We had an amazing time. God truly blessed us with the extra patience needed to take 4 kids on a 10 hour car trip (think Griswold) without forgetting this was their first time seeing all of this beauty. We even made time for secret hanky panky. I call that a WONDERFUL vacation!

More later!

September 20, 2012

The Cartwheeler: The Thing I Love Today

So Bernard St. Pottamus is sort of addicted to gymnastics. Did you know?

On Saturday mornings she gets up and puts on her spandex. Teeth are brushed, her butt is scrubbed, and her hair is strapped up.

“My hair is getting so long like Rapunzel’s, Mama!” she said to me this week, as I elasticized her ‘polar bear ears.’

I’m not sure if Moo practiced gymnastics while she was with her dad over the summer, but it hasn’t mattered if she did not. She is back and making it count now. Only 3 weeks into the fall gymnastics class and she cartwheels all over the place. I swear, she’s close to a one-handed cartwheel, too. She does them with a running start outside, she does them with a booty hop inside. She’s even doing roundoffs (without realizing it, of course).

Often times, Hayley will come home from her Advanced 1 class and demonstrate what she’s working on for all of us. Walkover bridge, running cartwheel, or tuck jumps. Mabel watches Hayley, then walks to the living room (my child with no fear), and promptly does a walkover bridge, a running cartwheel, and tuck jumps. Hmpf. As you can imagine, Hayley is not so crazy about this copying, but Mabel is showing more natural talent than we realized. She’s years ahead of herself.

We put the girls into gymnastics because they wanted to jump and tumble. Gymnastics is fun for them. We could care less about competitions or Olympics or that whole thing.

Except on Saturday, the owner’s husband pulled me to the side and told me that Mabel is on their ‘watch’ list. She is demonstrating skill and body control several levels ahead of the class she is in, and she could easily be competing for their gymnastics team. She won’t be a Big Dipper for much longer. In fact, he told me she was going to pass Hayley very soon. Well, oh my.

As a mother with multiple kids, I am stuck smack between incredibly proud of my talented Mabel and slightly concerned about my sensitive Hayley. But God will work it out.

Mabel will start having some one-on-one time during her classes. We want her to learn to tumble safely, and we want her trained well.

If God’s given the Moo a talent to hop and jump and flip, well, I won’t say that I’m surprised. The child is fearless and full of energy. And she gets to wear polar bear ears as often as she wants, then.

[Click on the "play" triangle, Nana.]

September 19, 2012


Husband bought me flowers this week. The pink rose buds were the largest I've ever seen!

Did you know it’s scientifically proven that avocados naturally release endorphins in the body? I heard it on the news the other day. There you go. Another explanation as to why I’m so dang happy all the time.

It happened again. The elusive pink skirt. Mabel and I went browsing through the mall a few weeks ago. She tried on shoes and I tried on a pink skirt at The Limited. Highwaisted pencil, in fuchsia. Oh yes, I said fuchsia. [Did you know that I misspell fuchsia every stinking time I type it? True. Just keeping it honest.] I adored that skirt but I did not buy it. Since then, it’s haunted me. Every time I see ‘bold and bright’ marketing for this fall’s trends, I hiked my leg up and kicked myself in the ass. Do you remember the last time this happened, and it was a pink skirt found at Target for $8 and I hallucinated that it was more fuchia and less melon and dang if I didn’t just do it again. FUCHSIA. There. Whew. Well, all of this to say that the perfect pink skirt has eluded me since what, June? Right. So today I noticed that The Limited has a sale going on – buy any pant, skirt, or jacket and get another for free. I love their sales. I decided to tell them so by ordering this highwaisted fuchsia pencil [aren’t you all impressed I got it right that time] and getting a pair of paisley printed trousers for free. Take that!

Have you been to  If not, go. Get lost. You’ll be there hours. I have her book and I can only handle the awesomeness a few pages at a time; it is overload!. She is ah-mazing.

Ostriches are the ugliest birds.

Can y’all send my Lulu some prayers? She and her husband have been moved to open their home to children of all abilities and are fostering a sibling group right now. This is new and big and an outright shove from God on their hearts, which I fully admit being jealous of. They are pretty awesome. Their home of 11 needs more blessing. Friends, could you please join me in prayer for their efforts, for validation and love for Lulu as a stay at home mama, and for security and leadership for daddy?  Thank you.

We are taking a family vacation this weekend. It will be short but amazing. The kids will finally see the Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and hopefully, the northern lights! We’ll be stacking them high in the hotel room (not that we’ll be there much), and could certainly use your prayers for the driving and keeping our sanity among the ‘he touched me!’ and the ‘WOW look at THAT’ distractions along the way. I am planning to take my Decorate book and make some home decorating notes during the drive. That, and keeping a camera glued to my face.

I’m not going to lie. I’m kind of looking forward to picking out Minnetonka moccasins for my little girls. Bring it, South Dakota!

I’m having a hard time in some social circles right now. I actually had to temporarily unfriend some peeps due to political ranting. And I’m not delusional. The reason I don’t want to hear what they have to say is because I don’t agree with it, and can’t bit my tongue effectively. They have a right to their opinions. They do not have a right to takeover Facebook or conversations, or anything else aggressively. No thank you. Get on a government chat board, please.

Must. Schedule. Sushi night soon!

September 18, 2012

Between The Raindrops

Look around
There's no one but you and me
Right here and now
The way it was meant to be
There's a smile on my face
Knowing that together everything that's in our way
We're better than alright

Walking between the raindrops
Riding the aftershock beside you
Off into the sunset
Living like there's nothing left to lose
Chasing after gold mines
Crossing the fine lines we knew
Hold on and take a breath
I'll be here every step
Walking between the raindrops with you

Take me now
The world's such a crazy place
When the walls come down
You'll know I'm here to stay
There's nothing I would change
Knowing that together everything that's in our way
We're better than alright

There's a smile on my face
Knowing that together everything that's in our way
We're better than alright

Walking between the raindrops
Riding the aftershock beside you
Off into the sunset
Living like there's nothing left to lose
Chasing after gold mines
Crossing the fine lines we knew
Hold on and take a breath
I'll be here every step
Walking between the raindrops with you

September 17, 2012

His Wedding Band

I remember our wedding night and how I loved intertwining my fingers with his and feeling the hard tungsten ring on his left hand.

He picked the band out himself, wanting something different with crosses on it. I adore that ring. That ring SAYS SOMETHING about the man I married. It says 'I belong to Jesus.'

When we were first married, Bryon’s ring was too big for him and slipped around on his finger easily. This was uncomfortable, so he took the ring off a lot. He removed it to wash his truck, shower, sleep, garden, or clean the house. Considering how often he does each of those things, his ring sat alone on the countertop a lot. I disliked that spot for the ring, let me tell you.

I think there are a good many people in the world who cannot wear a wedding band because of skin irritation, dangerous manual labor, or some other physical reason – and I take no issue with that. But there are also a good lot of people who don’t wear their wedding band because they just don’t feel like doing it. That makes my hiney crawl, Peeps. Because there are ostriches out there who look at man hands and evaluate the presence of a ring. When you put it on, you’re symbolically married, and stating that to the world. That’s how my hearts views it, at least.

And so months passed with this leaving the ring by the sink thing, we had a few occasions where he left for work without it by accident, and I found it a few times in the laundry basket after falling out of a pocket. Enough of that horsecrap. And so I called up our jeweler and ordered him another ring, a half size smaller. Taking charge, that's just this thing I do, see. And when he put the new, smaller ring on his hand, everything changed, he said.

It’s so comfortable that he can’t even feel it anymore. "I can't imagine not wearing it," he said.

That was about a year ago. And now he wears it to wash his truck, shower, sleep, garden, and clean the house. He does take it off to clean it, or to shower if he’s particularly filthy – but it’s rare to see his hand naked. I love that.

Now I get to stare at it (and take pictures of it) anytime I want.

The other night we were driving home from work. He was telling me that he had to clean his ring soon because it was full of sediment and material from cleaning our braze oven at work. I reminisced about the days when he didn’t wear his ring to do things like clean the braze oven and he said something that stopped me.

“Well, I don’t ever want something to happen to me in that oven and me not have my ring on.”

Well, I don’t ever want something to happen in that oven period – but to know that my husband wanted to be wearing his ring if something scary happened? That was pretty awesome right there.

I love him. And his Jesus ring.

September 12, 2012


I can now say that a uterus has made an appearance on this blog. While frequently mentioned, never a visual.  This particular uterus was a treat at Hayley's recent Dr. appointment. I HAD to take a picture. I mean, it was a plastic uterus. With fallopians! And yes, I sent it straight to Mindy.

Andrew received a shiny new air soft gun this week, to practice with. Trevor is old enough to attend the required hunter's safety course here in Da Plains before hunting season begins. Andy will walk alongside Bryon and The Boys, scaring all of the pheasants up out of the corn with his usual loudness. Bryon's planning to pack cervelat sandwiches and Snickers bars. (Don't ask me; it's a Krutsch thing.) The kids are geeked up.  Not as geeked as Bryon, though.

The girls are loving gymnastics. Mabel did a handstand into a bridge the other night in the living room by accident. It's a shame Hayley's been working on that for 6 months. I suppose that's little sisters for you.

It's been new shoe week and I am not ashamed. 3 pairs of old heels went into the GARBAGE they were so destroyed. Couldn't even donate, they were so bad. On the good side a) new shoes were in Bryon's wedding vows, bless his heart, and b) he told me that flats don't do me justice. "You look like YOU with your new heels," he said. Be still my soul.

Only a couple of weeks until Grey's Anatomy, yo!

September 10, 2012


Today I’m green.

A little yellow.

Fiery red.

Loving pink.

Bruised and hurt purple.

This weekend was rough. It was a doozy in ways that I’m not ready to talk about really, but they are amazingly good and deep and real. I am blogging this so that I remember it; it may make absolutely no sense to anyone and I’m okay with that.

It was brutal. And awesome. It was the hand of God Almighty, knocking us down and then picking us back up.  

Pushing to climax some issues under the surface with an ostrich nobody saw coming. Freaking ugly assed birds, ostriches.

Why do we have to come close to losing something to see its value? (Even if we think we don’t need that lesson.)

Why don’t people fight harder for each other? Today I am reminded that I have a responsibility to FIGHT for the people I love in my life.

This weekend was a testament in how our Lord Jesus Christ turns a mess into something beautiful, how he weaves things together for His good and His glory. At the end you are so thankful for your wounds. And you remember to love like Jesus does. And then you beg Him to help you remember this weekend forever.

And dancing under the stars so much that the dew soaks through your socks, that is pretty awesome right there. Starting a fire at 1am and doing shots with your husband in the middle of the night – more awesome.

I am thankful today. I am all mixed up and full of emotion, but the greatest of those is THANKFUL.

September 5, 2012


Just so you know, Trevor Allen is a football superSTAH. Last night, he tacked on another touchdown. A wicked awesome catch, right in the heart, followed by a beautiful 50-YARD touchdown. Dad and I were jumping – JUMPING – “Go, Trevor, go! Run! Keep going, T!!!” on the sidelines. About 20 yards in, he turned back to look behind him. The opposing side was closing in and that kid kicked it in and smoked it all the way to the end zone. The way he ran was lyrical. Beautiful. And that moment… that moment when Bryon looked at me after. Oh my. That was pride right there. Mighty, mighty, given by Lord Jesus above proud. We were both teary eyed. And Trevor? Trevor was chest bumping his peeps in the end zone. Again. He’s sort of the top scoring player right now. Only 3 games in of course, but still. SuperSTAH.

I feel so incredibly behind lately. I just feel like I’m missing little things. Which is why I have no photos of Trevor’s actual touchdown – because my eyes were watching instead. Will I ever catch up?

Mabel played with a belly virus on Sunday. Which sort of eliminated attending LifeLight. But that's okay. She thanked me and Jesus for making her all better by bedtime. Well, okay then.

Andrew's new favorite thing to do is practice ab lifts with Bryon. It's bizarre, but they enjoy it. Whatever. Boys!

I am feeling a manifesto coming for my children. I wonder if I’ll ever get around to doing it, but I’m writing it in my head. It’s a combination of mediums that will most certainly include music, sort of an anthem representing my love for each of them. It will take a while. Maybe I’ll only ever write it in my heart and in my head… but it’s on its way. I can’t stop thinking about it.

Man, I love where I live. 

And I love who I live this life with. And who I live it IN.