The People Make the Place


Caleb’s remarkably good drawing of Elephant and Piggy, of the Mo Willems books. Elephant says, “I’m scared.”

I thought this picture was perfect for that nervous, excited but sad, feeling that you get, just as you are about to move. We are four weeks out from the longest distance, most emotional move we’ve ever made.  This will be our 8th move. However, this is the very first move where our little boys are old enough to really get it.  We’ve been in the area for 5 years and in this house for 3.  We had NEVER lived in the same house for three years before! Saying good-bye is going to hurt this time.


the boys, 2 years ago

this yearDaniel and JD, last week



Anyone who has done even a little bit of moving around will tell you that the people are what make the place.  If you have an amazing community of friends, you can weather Siberia together and be perfectly happy.  If you’re living with a crooked bunch of questionable folks–Paradise itself will not be habitable.

So if people make the place, then this little D.C. suburban neighborhood has been a little piece of Eden for our family. We live on a street where the parents all socialize over our chain link fences, while we pull weeds (only don’t look too closely at my neglected gardens…), our children run from one house to the other giggling and carrying on, and I know when one of my kids stray, one of my neighbors will step in!! We have a neighborhood school, a park, and a pool.  Our kids all play on the same basketball, soccer, baseball, and swim teams.  Some of us even go to the same churches. It’s like a small town, in an urban area.


I made them wash the car–they loved it! I’m doing that more often.



Look, Mom! A slug! Oooo, Mom, are you scared??



“If I flick it (the slug) off, can I immediately go inside and wash my hands? Ew!  I touched it!  I touched it!!”



Joshua and Caleb both started kindergarten here. Daniel took his first steps here. JD was born here!  Geesh, I’m going to miss this place!

The people here are AWESOME, and that has just made all the difference. We have so many friends, we have so much in common, and they are all solid families with homes that I know I can safely send my children to.  I am just so thankful to have been a part of this!!!

Ok, you will notice I’m wearing the same outfit in a lot of these.  I had a little farewell lunch with some of my closest friends from our community this week.  These women, plus a whole bunch that are not pictured, are ALL incredible, and I can’t tell you how much I have learned from these gals. These are the “Park Moms” that got me through the birth of baby #4. They brought me meals, chauffeured my older boys, helped me with Daniel, and best of all–they were just there!! I will forever be a better person, just for knowing these wonderful women.

“17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17

DCFriends DCFriendsCollage


Also, in defense of Betsy and me, we were pregnant in a few of those last photos!!

I’ve always felt like God put us here to provide a safe little nursery for our children to spend their youngest years. Do you know how you start your tomato plants inside so they get a solid start on life? While the weather is still too cold for them, you keep them warm and safe in doors. Once they are hardy, and the frosts are over, you take them out into the elements and plant them in the dirt.

Does moving out west mean that I am taking them out and putting them in the dirt now??  What if they aren’t ready??  Will we find another community like this one?? Ah, the timeless worries of a parent! Let’s hope I will find another nursery for them. They are all still so little. I mean, JD isn’t even walking yet.

I trust that we will be just fine.

I just remind myself, when I start to worry, “God will provide.” Where he leads, I will follow. He hasn’t failed us yet.


matthew 6


So we say thank you one more time to our amazing friends, and not good-bye, because a.) we’re not gone quite yet, but also b.) we will see you again. And we press on towards the future, knowing that God is with us wherever we go.


Daniel, the Chuck E Cheese Mastermind

Hiccup’s mom, from How to Train Your Dragon 2

Joshua burst my bubble the other day. After a whole winter of people telling me I look like a Disney Princess (Anna from Frozen), and walking around feeling pretty good about myself……la-te-da…..

Joshua says, “You don’t really look like Anna to me.  You gotta take us to go see How to Train Your Dragons 2!  Hiccup’s mom is who you really look like!  I mean, you might look a little like Anna, but really you look like Hiccup’s Mom!!  Can we go??  Will you take us??  Will you? Will you?”

Eh. I guess she’s not such a terrible person to be compared to ……child abandonment aside…. Still, I’d rather be compared to a Disney Princess.  Let’s go back to that.

Frozen’s Anna–Who doesn’t love her?

Delusions are so much nicer than reality. : )  Let’s move on…

By the way, How to Train Your Dragon 2 comes to theaters in June.  Joshua is an EXPERT on when all movies and video games marketed towards little boys are released.  We don’t even have cable, but somehow he always knows these things.

Speaking of cable, we cut our cable a month ago, and we don’t even miss it at all!  Guess how much money it’s saving us…..NONE!  Disappointing, isn’t it? Our media services were all bundled up so well, that cutting cable would save us a whopping $10 a month, and since we’re moving in June, that makes it not worth the trouble of having to hunt down the cable store and return the box.  You know?  So we just unplugged it from the wall.

Actually, Alan plugs it in once a week and watches some Revolutionary War tv show he’s into.  Ha!  So I guess we just sort of don’t have cable…..

Guess what else happened last week that I was so excited about?  The boys did so well on their report cards that I took them to Chuck E Cheese to celebrate.  Caleb had his best report card ever, all good grades, and he is now on grade level for his reading.  WAhoo!!!  Go boys, go!  Yeah, Joshua wasn’t so keen on having his picture taken while eating.  In my defense, he moves too fast for me to take his picture when he’s not eating.

They had a great time. Daniel is a Chuck E Cheese Mastermind.  You can’t make this stuff up:  Daniel walked around to all the machines, collecting the tickets that other kids had left behind.  Before kids realize the power of tickets, they often flitter from one machine to another, without stopping to collect their tickets.  Daniel is our #1 Easter egg finder and our #1 ticket earner.  The older boys earned about 15 each.  Dan earned and collected 50.  Haaaa!



He still isn’t quite crawling yet….Instead, he scoots backwards great distances, but isn’t he adorable?

He’ll figure it out soon. I keep forgetting to mention that he is down to only two breast feedings per day.  He now eats plenty of solid food and drinks whole milk instead.  He would have no part of formula, so regular ol’ milk is working just fine.

Busy, busy week ahead, as usual!  Oh yeah!  Our EFMP paperwork was approved, and we have ‘Request for Orders’ in hand.  One step at a time.  We almost have everything we need to book a moving truck!!  Hurray!!

What’s everyone else up to this week? Hope you are all having a good one.  At least it’s raining and not snowing! April showers bring May flowers!  ; )

Best quote I saw on the internet this week:  “When you have a bad day, a really bad day, try and treat the world better than it treated you.”  –Patrick Slump





Charitable Chicken and Other Little Tales


Lots of little things are going on here in the House of Many Little Men….

This is the thing I’m most excited about:  JD is getting ready to take off.  Each day he finds his way onto his hands and knees just a little bit more.

He is also SERIOUS about his “standing practice.”  He just loves to be on his feet.  He’s extremely unsteady when you walk him, and yet the boy will randomly just let go of your hands.  Gutsy, this one.

Do you think we’ll have to hang gates before we move?  Right now he moves at the speed of sleeping turtles, so we’re good, but we have around seven weeks left in this house, and a lot can happen in that amount of time!


This is hands down the most stressful thing going on with me right now.  Here’s the deal:  we are a military family.  That means we can’t even book movers (set a moving date) until we have official orders in hand.

Alan has to report to his new duty station on June 30.

We have no orders.  This is April 24!!!

We keep calling.  It turns out that the EFMP is what’s holding us up.  What’s an EFMP, you ask?  Exceptional Family Member Program:  a PCS nightmare.  (PCS = Permanent Change of Station= Moving) Pray for us!  We can’t move until the EFMP people decide this is a good place for Caleb to live and get treatment.  Caleb has epilepsy.  I will be doing a post on epilepsy soon:  yes, another one, because I’m always amazed at the misconceptions that people have of it.

So that’s that.  Moving stresses me out to talk about, so let’s move on…

My #2 stressor right now is that I’m the room mom for Caleb’s class, and Staff Appreciation Week is coming up.  I volunteered to make this:

only with less Elmer’s and more pencils.  Plus, we’re adding a couple of fun gift cards for the teacher.

Do you think I can do it?  Let’s go with yes.  After all, I did make this last year:

and by ‘this’, I’m referring to the diaper cake to the right of my friend Betsy!  I forgot to take a close-up picture of it!! How do you create a masterpiece like that and forget to take a picture?  ; )

I’ll keep ya’ll updated on the ‘supply cake’!


Funny things I’ve seen/heard lately:

–I was going over my bank records, and I noticed a transaction that read  “Church.  $23:  charitable giving”

(Our bank categorizes our purchases.)

Alan was sitting beside me, and I thought this was an odd amount, and at a different location than our church.  I asked Alan, “Did you give $23 to a church?”

“No.  What’s the address?  Hmmm.  Let me see it.  Oh!  Ha!  Church’s chicken!”

So there you have it, folks!  If you eat fried chicken, it may or may not help you on your tax return!

One more:

Daniel was sitting down the other day, making his feet talk to each other.  Apparently they were having an argument of some sort:

“Your turn,” said the left

“Noooo,” replied the right, and it kind of just went on along those lines.  But then doesn’t everyone’s feet talk to each other?


1 28 29 30