October 28, 2014

Bedtime Prayers

Every night before bed, I lean down and put my face very close to Mabel’s face, and I pray with her. I listen to her sweet breath go in and out while I talk to Jesus. I do not repeat the same prayer twice, but I try to make sure to cover many of the usual things we want our children to be grateful for.  So on this night I said our prayer into her sweaty curls and then sent her down to get into bed.  Shortly after, I went down for the official “tucking in” process of fluffing her quilt and lighting her unicorn Dreamlight and pulling her afghans up for snuggling. After tucking her and kissing and hugging her little arms, I told her good night and started to walk out. She said with her polite voice, “Um, Mama? I have something to ask you quick. Even though that we already did prayer, can we pray again?”

“Do you have something to pray?” I asked her. She nodded.

She cleared her throat and clasped her hands beneath her tiny chin. “Dear Lohhhrd,” she began - so cutely my heart stopped for a sec.  “Thank you for this day. Thank you for all of our blessings. Thank you for the delicious food we had for dinner and for keeping us healthy and safe.” She peeked open her eyeballs to see if I was still bowing with her, eeked out a baby grin at me as she was very proud of herself, and kept on. “Please help all of us to be better tomorrow than we were today. Please help me to get a sticker tomorrow at school, and also be good on the bus and at home with the boys. Help me to listen and make good choices. Thank you for dying on the cross for our sins so we can see you in Heaven one day. Amen.”

As I listened in the dark to my baby daughter who is not a baby anymore at all, I marveled at how she owned her prayers that night. For whatever habit, we start prayers with ‘Dear Jesus’ most of the time. On this night, she started her own prayer to her Lord instead. SHE did that. SHE made that choice out of reverence for her King! She, at 7, is beginning to know what the Trinity is all about. Praise God!

After she amen-ed, I had to lean over and hug on her again.  “You have the best prayers,” I said. “You keep praying whenever you feel moved to do it. God loves to hear from you.”

“And you give the best hugs,” she said, and squeezed my neck tight.

October 27, 2014

Dr. Mabel, a Vet or Etymologist

Mabelicious is in love with everything that has legs.

Especially bugs.

We live on water and this child is outside alla-time, catching and releasing who knows what. Last winter she caught a vole (fat field mouse-like thing) with her winter gloves ON, thankfully. That capture didn't end well because, "he was fine until Trevor tripped me and I fell on him. And then his eyeball popped out. Then I had to bury him, Mom." Ahem. Poor vole.

This past spring, Canadian geese families brought their babies to our lake for bathing. At one point I counted 15 goose families plowing through our yard. In case you're not sure how many goslings a mama and papa goose put out, it's about 10. So if you're keeping track, that means 150 geese were flopping their little flappy, black feet through the grass, which incidentally does NOT make daddy happy. But the goslings are to die for darling, all fuzzy and ugly! Mabel just adores them. She named about fifty.

One spring day she noticed one wandering down the street alone, just quacking for his mama.  Sadly, there was no mama to be found. So Mabel immediately checked for cars and rescued him. "I saved his life, Mom! He was going to be squarshed!" Trevor was afraid she'd pop his eyeball out, but she was very gentle and soothing. She patted him on the head and kissed his little fuzzy face eleventy times. He quacked for his mama and she helped him look for her. She invited him inside to take a bath with her forever, too. Eventually, Trevor and Andy convinced her to release him into the lake, which she did. But she watched for him out the window constantly.

She rescued a bird that fell from a tree while at her dad's over the summer.

And I think I've lost count of how many grasshoppers and frogs she's caught at the house since they've been back. Maybe close to 100. Seriously. She's fearless.

And the thing is? They're not afraid of her either. This little grasshopper stayed stuck to her hand for a very long time. She gave him a ride up and down the sidewalk on her bike.

There will be a snake soon, you watch.  Can't live next to cornfields AND be on water and not see some slithery things every now and then. Until then, the bugs keep her occupied.

Caterpillars are fun, too.

I'm certain she's pulled legs off just to see what happens, to see if they are like a worm and regenerate (um... they're not). We've talked about being kind to God's creatures, even the creepy crawly ones. Leaving the legs on and washing hands and 'please don't pick up snakes'. But she's so curious.

While Aunt Gretchen was over last week, Mabel was talking about Allie in Heaven. And seconds later, she reached out and caught a monarch butterfly with one hand, and then carefully handed it to Aunt Gretchen. It was like Allie herself appeared. So touching and sweet.

Still loves horses. And the cats, of course. Neighbor Dave's dogs - she goes to his house to feed them with him almost every day. She just wants to take care of everything she can. Now with the bugs. There are daily grasshoppers up in my house.  I'm okay with it, so long as she releases her critters and washes her hands.

Maybe she'll be a veterinarian or an etymologist. Or a dentist. Who knows? But I think her heart and curiosity would be wasted on dentistry.

October 23, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

1. If you are looking for a verse to read every morning over coffee, this is a great one.

2. A super favorite 6x8 Project Life layout I've been using for inspiration.

3. Simple workwear. Love.

4. Y'all know I'm a sucker for floraly arms. Love this one.

5. Love the polish and the rings. All of it.

6. I have made this big ass pancake and it is the bomb diddly. However don't do what I did and look at the little ingredients list and think that it won't be enough for you because, it will be. Do not be tempted to double this recipe unless you're feeling triplets. Just trust me.

7. Hey! This is what I do in my hot yoga sculpt class!

8. These look like yummy little zucchini pizza bites! Find them HERE

9. Any dining area with shell chairs steals my heart like pow.

10. Love this bedroom!

11. And this one. That poster and blue bedspread!

12. Oh midcentury modern dresser, my beloved.

13. *Faints*

14. Peonies are my very most favorite.

All images are Pinned for sources.

October 21, 2014

Combat Boots are Rad

Our middle girl loves the phrase "weird is rad."

She loves floral patterns of any kind and the color turquoise.

She loves to be different and stand out.

So when I was Pinning a few months ago, I spotted a pair of floral Doc Marten combat boots that screamed at me.

When Bryon and I were shopping before Allie's funeral, we saw a pair just sitting there, all in her size in everything.

She screamed when she opened the box. Then she sent me a picture the next morning while she got ready for school at mom's.


I understand the lure. I absolutely did have a pair of Docs in high school: all black, 8 eyelet, with the yellow stitching.

Combat boots are rad, man.

October 20, 2014

Moo Does Jenga

The birthday girl got some games this year, namely Jenga and Candyland.

After everyone left, Mabel saddled up to the island counter with her kitty surprise (oh my word, that thing). We decided to play some Jenga.

She said she is an expert because she played over the summer at her dad's. Okay then, sassafrass with the big girl teeth. Show me.

I learned that she is not an expert at using only one hand at a time (yet). But for our game, I decided it was okay.

Soon enough, kitty surprise had to move aside because homegirl got serious.

A few moves later, kitty joined again. Mabel's topknot looks delicious from this angle. She has such yummy hair. Anyway.

Unfortunately, the Jenga stack fell on her next move. She was not dismayed - not even a little. She's forever chipper, forever happy-go-lucky, and forever the child that will make my hair gray.

Happy birthday, Moolicious.

October 16, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

1. Favorite.

2. I am in search of this color, hard.

3. We have neared the close of the season for this dress, but I love it so much I had to post it. Just effortless.

4. Love this in between look from Damsel in Dior.

5. These skivvies make my skirt fly up. A LOT.  I am searching for them hard, too.

6. Zucchini lasagna!

7. This kitchen is amazing. White with the dark wood flooring and stainless appliances? YES.

8. There are a couple of rooms in our house where I consider wallpaper on a recurring basis, and the girls room is one of them. You guys, this looks like four different vintage rolls! Stunning. Just stunning.

9. I feel like the biggest ding dong. All this time, a potato?

10. This vintage, midcentury modern bar cabinet makes me want to wear a pencil skirt and drink a martini.

11. I may have to drive hours to get it, but I am seriously thinking of bring this fjalkinge shelving from Ikea home to live with me.

12. Maggie Holmes scrapbook lines are pretty amazing.  I love her new Open Book line. Those flowers, whoa.

13. One of my favorite 6x8 Project Life scrapbookers is Pam Garrison.  This page is a huge fave of mine.

All images are Pinned for sources.

October 14, 2014

Our Week Consisted of This

I wish I'd videotaped this (camerataped ? What is the proper description for that anymore?) so you could hear the giggling.  I had a third photo where Trevor almost had Bryon in a head lock - but it was too blurry to post. I'm not sure what will happen when Trevor gains another 50 lbs and their sizes are evenly matched, but I'm sure they'll figure it out. This is love for the two of them. Whenever either one is snippy, I sic the other one on him. Works like a charm. They both come up smiles.

We also visited Aunt Gretchen's house for soup and sandwiches this past week. Mabel ate two bowls of deer chili because her cousin Will did. Grandma watched the Huskers play football while we played dominoes and talked about Allie for hours. Aunt Gretch was Hayley's co-captain. It was great.

Andrew picked up his strat this week for the first time in too long. He is amazing with that thing. Lord I love that child.

Trevor is getting a lot of game time. Like, a lot. They've moved his position multiple times, but he usually plays safety or wide receiver. He doesn't play first string because there are multiple coaches and all of them have a son on the team - ahem - but when he plays, he kicks ass. So proud of him. He LOVES it and he's so, so good.

I love that Trevor is a mommy's boy. Not in the batshit crazy way, but in the really yummy and smooshy way. He comes to snuggle all the time, asks me to rub his back or his neck (especially when he has a headache). I've learned not to "notice" his snuggling because calling it out embarrasses him, but lawsie, I soak it up every chance I get.

I'm so grateful for all four of them.

October 8, 2014

The Moo is Seven

A week ago, the baby turned 7.  As in, SEVEN.

Wow is what I have to say to that.

Mabel kicked off her birthday with a sleepover with her best friend. They played Barbies and stayed up late talking about boys. Totally not kidding.

Then on Sunday, we had family over for a cookout and cake. Gluten free chocolate, at her request. God love my children.

There was Candyland and Jenga, and skating Elsa from Aunt Gretchen. And of course, Kitty Surprise.

We sang and she swooned, my girl with the messy bun.

I hope she wished for more years with her family and thanked God for all of us together. I hope she wished for lots of giggles and questions at bedtime. I hope she wished for more dry cereal, animals, and stickers. I hope she wished to be the same little girl we love, always.

She is mighty loved.

She is amazing and we love her so. Happy birthday, Moo Rae.