I Like The Way He Thinks

In the bathtub this evening, Sean was dunking his head under the water and proudly showing me how he could hold his breath, which I believe led to the following conversation. But with a four-year-old, you never really know. “Mommy, I’m glad I’m not a hippo because then I’d have to eat grass.” “Yes, that’s true, hippos are herbivores, they eat river grass and other vegetation. And what are lions?” “Carnivores.” “That’s right, they eat meat. And humans are omnivores. We eat both meat and vegetables.” “What about the crackers?” “Well, um, yes, crackers. Those fit…

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Guest Post by Cousin Tim Recently, I took a trip to Indonesia and India to visit the work our congregation and my family have been involved in for many years. I intended only to visit an orphanage and return with a report to the congregation on how the work was progressing. I had not prepared to make any speeches or preach any sermons, but God had other plans. A method of outreach in Indonesia is teaching English through Bible classes. At their request, I brought slides of a recent trip to Israel to show to the…

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Joy, Snips And Snails

The World’s Oldest Four-Year-Old

This is a picture of Cousin Tim, the world’s oldest four-year-old. The fact that he qualifies for AARP membership does not stop him from enjoying a homemade Slip N’ Slide. I really like that about him — that and the fact that he’s the original mangy varmint thug. Tune in tomorrow for a guest post from Cousin Tim.

Antique Crazy, Parenting Gone Awry

Chain Yankin’ Episode #7

One of the many many delicious things about having a four-year-old about the house is that you can really get away with yankin’ their little chain, because, you know, they are only four and they’ll believe almost anything you tell them. I know. I know. It really says something about you when you can trick a four-year-old. On the other hand, I once convinced my Cousin Cheryl that I had won a trip to Zimbabwe in a random drawing when I purchased some luggage at Foley’s. None of it was true – no luggage, no drawing,…

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Always Real

Mangy Varmint Thug

In the ten years I knew him, I never once saw Uncle Earl wearing anything but bib overalls. He was just that kind of guy, not an ounce of pretension in him. But what I think I loved about him most was that he called anyone he cared anything about a mangy varmint thug. It was his own special term of endearment. It meant you were family, you were one of us. And that could be good or bad, depending upon your point of view. Uncle Earl died a month before Sean was born, but the…

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Makes Me Sigh, Snips And Snails, Sometimes Sweet


One of the most delightful things about being the mother of a four-year-old is the opportunity to see the world through his eyes. The other day, Sean sat on a bar stool at the breakfast bar while I worked in the kitchen.  Seemingly out of the blue, he offered this observation: “Mommy, young skin is smooth and bright,” he said lightly rubbing his forearm. “But old skin is dark and bumpy and… fragile.” He looked up at me, into my face, as if to verify that he had been heard and understood. All I could do…

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Always Real

Make Mine DeCaf Next Time

Nothing will wake you up faster than a steaming hot cup of coffee. One morning not too long ago, I lay in my bed not fully awake and not fully asleep. AD had risen before me, an extremely rare occurrence as I am the early bird in the family, and I could hear snippets of conversation coming from the kitchen and a bit of rattling around and other kitchen noises. This is good I thought to myself. They are in there. And I? Am not. I am here in my nice warm bed. This is good…

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Travel Tales

And Then There Was Lots Of Laundry

So then, yes, most of you were right – we were in California. We started out in the San Diego area for the tall ships festival, then we went to the Zoo and then the Wildlife Park.  And this little four-year-old boy went ninety to nothing all day long, from early in the morning until well past bedtime the entire time and remained remarkably cheerful.  Everything thrilled and delighted him and that makes for a good travel companion. After that we headed up to Los Angeles to see Cousins Tim and Judy who co-taught kindergarten for…

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Photography & Photoshop

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright

A line from one of my favorite poems – anyone know which one? – besides Veronica Mitchell who is super awesome and the best read person I know and would know the answer and could probably even recite the entire poem in her sleep. Seanshine and I are on a little get away.  Wanna guess where we are?  Another clue tomorrow.

Always Real

Life Is A Beast

Swimming is not coming easily to Sean. Physically he is quite capable of swimming. He is naturally athletic. But he harbors some fear not understood by me or articulated by him that prevents him from mastering the water. This summer I’ve spent countless hours coaxing him into the water with me, chiding him about preferring the baby pool, pointing out other kids his age and younger who are swimming – AND HAVING FUN DARN IT! And honestly, sometimes I’m just flat out aggravated with him for not even being willing to try. "Just try dammit!" I…

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