It’s been 7 months since we flew south, but we are always home.

It's been 7 months since we flew south, but we are always home.

Daniel had his first week of tee-ball. Alan didn’t sign up to coach this year, not even to assistant coach, but he went out there today and helped anyway. And you know what happened? Alan came home so refreshed and happy. It was a beautiful thing to see.

Alan says that Daniel will actually be one of the oldest, most experienced players on his team this year. Yayyyyy, Daniel!!!

Meanwhile, you know what annoys me? Pop culture.

Why? Because it has reached my children, at least one of them, and he has started saying “Dang, Daniel!” all the time. Insert me, looking like an annoyed vulture.

Now some of you have no idea WHAT I’m talking about because you don’t know anything about pop culture. Well, allow me to shrink your brain by catching you up. There was this video that went viral in 2016, originally on Snapchat, of these high school kids saying “D***, Daniel,” over and over again.

And go figure, the video-maker’s name is Josh. So of course, someone told him about it. So now he says, “Dang Daniel” all the time. He’s not allowed to say the original version. Of course, Daniel doesn’t get it at all. Only I get it.

(If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s the Ellen clip to explain.)

Speaking of my big boys, I thought this was hilarious. We spent last week hanging out at DaddyO and Nonna’s house r-e-l-a-x-i-n-g. It was wonderful. Check out the amazing amounts of sleep I accomplished, according to my Fitbit. I was so proud. (By the way, I noticed Amazon has the Fibit Charge II $20 off right now.)

Yep! Proud of myself

I wanted to find a funny movie we could enjoy with the boys. I found Father of the Bride and Father of the Bride Part II!!!!!  I talked up how uproariously we would all laugh at this movie.

Father of the Bride Part II

We watched half of the first movie, and then Joshua proclaimed, “You said this was funny! I don’t think this is funny at all!” And then he disappeared upstairs.

What? Not funny? This stuff is HILARIOUS.  I guess there’s an age range for this humor. Remember this?

It's been 7 months since we flew south, but we are always home.

It has been 7 months now since we moved in, and we are starting to feel settled. We’re using our GPS less and less, and the boys are asking to go back to California far less. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. It takes a year to fully adjust to a move.

I’d say it takes two years to actually get past surface-level relationships and put down roots. That’s the lonely thing about it. No one knows you well enough to relax, and you are still trying to figure out all the new people you’ve met.

I can learn their names easily, but sometimes it takes time to root out the kindred spirits from the high-maintenance ones.

It's been 7 months since we flew south, but we are always home.

I feel like Alan and I did this ONE particular thing right that’s going to be the thing that makes life fun and frequent moving doable. These 4 boys. I can’t really say we gave them each other because God did that. If I had gotten to decide it myself, there would have been a Gracie and a Josie thrown in, and then our whole family dynamic would be different.

But this is better because this is what God gave us. I can’t imagine our lives without a single one of them. We have two sets of best buddies, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. The younger ones are learning from the bigger ones things, for better and for worse, ha!, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. They fill our hearts with so much joy.

And no matter where we move they all have each other, and Alan and I have each other and these boys.

Best of all, we’ve never grown too comfortable with any one place or house. There’s no confusion about where home is. Home is not a building that can be taken away. Home is right here, wherever we are. Home is us. So we are always home.

It's been 7 months since we flew south, but we are always home. It's been 7 months since we flew south, but we are always home.

And now here they are, all telling me that Lego Batman movie premiered today, and they are just dying to know when I am going to take them to see it. Yeah…I might have promised them to take them to see that because Lego Batman is a serious obsession around here.

Maybe I can make it happen today……

A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”…            –Jesus  (John 13:34-35)


“Home Should be Heaven on Earth”

Home should be like Heaven on Earth.

Alan brought me my favorite beverage, flowers, and my favorite food for dinner: Clam Chowder in a bread bowl! Thank you, Alan! Love you!

I just have to record this moment. I was leaving the laundry room, and Joshua was in the kitchen digging around for his mid-morning snack. He hit gold when he found leftover Papa John’s cheese pizza in the refrigerator.

And then he said it:

“This house is like Heaven!”

Yeah, I know. He mostly said this because I was letting him eat pizza at 9:40 am and watch Garfield on t.v.

But still! This filled my heart with joy.

Of course, some of you probably don’t think pizza is nutritional…. That boy moves 90 miles a minute, believe me, he can handle the pizza.

I’m just happy he thinks his home is like Heaven. When we lived in Washington, DC, we had a wonderful pastor, Pastor Bill, who is also the pastor who married us, and I vividly recall that he used to say, “Your home should be like Heaven on Earth for your children.”

He didn’t mean that we should let our kids do whatever they want all day, every day, anarchy style. He didn’t mean that our home needs to be big or fancy. He meant that our home should be a happy place, a comfortable shelter, a refuge, a place where our children know that they are loved and supported.

Joshua’s words took me right back to that sermon, and encouraged me. We parents need all the encouragement we can get, don’t you think?

Pastor Bill and our current pastor are my two favorite preachers ever. Their sermons are always full of God’s love, wisdom, and truth. All of Pastor Bill’s sermons are even online, and you can watch or listen anytime: click here. He’s been overseas on a mission trip lately, so you have to scroll down to July 26 to get to Pastor Bill. I wish I had a link to the parenting one specifically, but I don’t. Sorry!

Home should be like heaven on earth.

This is what the boys did while Alan and I had dinner on our balcony, for our anniversary. No babysitter required.

If you’ve never read Growing Kids God’s Way or Preteen Wise, I love the way that this author encourages parents to set boundaries and discipline our children, but also reminds us not to frustrate our children. We should only say ‘no’ when it’s necessary, not as an automatic response.

The boys have all been so happy this summer. It has been such a welcome change from all the emotional hardship of last fall, with the moving and changing schools. Oy!

I’ve always said, and I’ve moved a LOT, that it takes a year to truly settle into a place, to have plenty of local phone numbers in your contact list, and a good sense of belonging. It wasn’t just about Alan and me this time. It took the boys a year too.

The biggest reason that I’m still home schooling this year is that I don’t want the boys to have to transition to a new school now, only to move next summer. With our Classical Conversations tutoring group, they already have security in the familiar, and since our life lends itself to a lot of insecurity, we’re going to stick with CC.

I just hope once the school year starts, the boys will still think that home is like Heaven, and I won’t be back on here whining about being called the ‘worst mom ever.’ Ha! The boys are so classic with their distaste for school work.

I’d love to get more ideas for FUN first-week-of-school activities! We start next week! Please share your ideas in the comments below.


By the way, this has been a pretty crazy week, between our 13th Anniversary, Alan’s business trip (He’s back now.), and my big opportunity to be on That was so fun and unexpected.

I have even better news for next week.

My Mom arrives to help with starting school!

*Cue the confetti!*

To celebrate, we will be hosting another giveaway on the blog. Wahoo!

Fun times, right? Here are a few photos from our last few weeks:

Home should be like heaven on earth.

Our Anniversary: Pizza for the boys, shrimp for Joshua, and clam chowder for the parents. It was officially a party.

Home should be like heaven on earth.

John David LOVES having Joshua as his big bro.

Home should be like heaven on earth.


We’ve been making our rounds, going to lots of playgrounds:

Home should be like heaven on earth.

Yes, they both really ate 2 snow cones.

Home should be like heaven on earth.

dragging his bat to the park to play ball

Home should be like heaven on earth.

July and August have been all about baseball.

Home should be like heaven on earth. Home should be like heaven on earth. Home should be like heaven on earth.

Yes, we’ve been pretty excited about their sudden interest in playing baseball. They play everyday in our side yard; occasionally, they play it at this park, as in the photos above.

I’d better go. If I don’t cook supper by 2pm, things get crazy, and all hope of a good dinner is lost.

Hope you all have a good weekend!

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.     Ephesians 6:10-13


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8 Things You Might Hear In a House of Boys….Obvious Ones Aside

Boys, boys, boys

1. “Boom! Knock!”  *giggling*  “Bang!”

“Joshua, what are you doing?”

I was fighting with the milk. It had boxing gloves, I tell you!” He shouted back.

“boom! Bam!” More giggling, yet there is only one boy in the kitchen causing all this ruckus!

When it comes to what you might hear in a house full of boys, there is no limit. If you can imagine it, it won’t happen. No, it will be weirder. Yet, no matter how weird it is, unless you write it down, you will probably never remember it.

I actually DO write a lot of it down, and I still only capture about 5% of the hilarity. No, it’s not all hilarity. Some of it is adorable. Sometimes they will even melt your heart, and other times they will terrify and shock you so much all you can say is:

2. “Oh, Sweetie, no, no, no. That is just not an appropriate thing to say at all. Please never say that in public.”

What do I mean exactly? Well, I really can’t tell you because if you already have boys, then you know, and if you don’t, then you will suddenly judge MY boys, and I’d rather you didn’t. 🙂

Today was one of those days when Daniel said something super, super sweet, which believe it or not, many little boys say quite frequently. It is wonderful. The hilarious thing was that he SHOUTED it across the baseball field to me.

That’s right. Dan plays tee-ball now. We’re all quite excited about it. We keep nerd-ing out by showing up as a whole family to cheer him on, AT PRACTICE. Most of the other parents aren’t even there. We are nuts. Anyway. It was the middle of practice. He grinned at me, and then he shouted to me, with the kind of innocence that only a pre-schooler can have,

Daniel, running the bases

3. “Hey, MOM!” as he waved his tiny baseball mitt at me and smiled, “Me love you, MOM! Me really love you, Mom! Me really, really love you, MOM!”

I about died laughing, but of course, I still shouted back, “I love you too, Dan!” each time. That’s what he needs from me right now. Do you know what else is cute? None of the other kids there even seemed to find it odd for him to do that. 🙂 I love this age group!

He’s the smallest little slugger on his team, which is such a new experience for us.

Dan is the little one, in the middle of the field, beside the girl, with the green shirt and the red hat.

4. “Mom! Caleb has a bloody nose!!  Mom, hurry! It’s REAL bad!”

Why do bloody noses have to happen so much? They just spontaneously burst it seems. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent, pinching a little one’s nose with a tissue!

5. “Can I eat it now? Can I eat it now? Can I lick it? Can I lick it when we’re done?”

dying cookie dough–One child could not stop eating it.


Making cookies: fun for boys too

6. “Can we make the rainbow cookies, pleeeease.”

“What! I’m not touchin’ that! Will you do mine for me?”

“Oh! Me do it!”

We have every type of person here. One couldn’t stop eating it. One didn’t want to touch it. One just had a ball because cooking is his specialty. See, boys aren’t always so different from girls. I mean, who wouldn’t want to make rainbow cookies? You can bet the one-year-old would have wanted in too, but he was asleep. I am smart about a few things. 🙂

Take my picture with it!

They turned out well.

Meet Oh.

7. “I’m going to do my best to talk like Oh from now on.”

So on Monday night, I took the three oldest to see the movie Home. It’s a super cute movie about an alien and his alien race that move to Earth. The voice of Oh is done by Jim Parsons, also the actor that plays Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory.

DaddyO, wearing the Bazinga! shirt

Sheldon’s character in the movie, Oh, sounds like Sheldon….but with mixed up grammar. He says things like, “Why do you has this thing? You has me for companion on this ship.”

So….the alien in the movie also sort of talks like Daniel. hehe

Of course, Joshua has never seen The Big Bang Theory, but it still bothered me a little bit to hear my son talking like Sheldon all day today..

all day long

I have only myself to blame. I’m the one that loves to impersonate people. Remind me to show you sometime. I can do a few really good ones, mostly just people I know personally.

Do you know what else I, and many good homes in the world have had to deal with this week? Easter candy and Easter candy withdrawal. Tonight, Joshua was just sitting on the sofa in the dining room…’s an unusual floor plan…staring at the space in front of him, doing…..nothing….and for JOSHUA, that is WEIRD. He is ALWAYS busy doing something.

“Are you okay?” I asked him.

8. “Oh! I just want more Mini Eggs so bad!” he blurted out, sounding a little like Sheldon. 

Bless it. Now a well- meaning, healthy,GOOD mother would have been comforting and guided him through this withdrawal of sugar that he was clearly experiencing.

Not me. I viewed it as an opportunity. *insert evil laughter*

I said, “Well, I do know where another bag of them is. I will give you 10 Cadbury Mini Eggs, if you put away one load of laundry.”

“And read one chapter from the Bible!!!” Alan jumped in from nowhere, and chimed in.

“Really! YES!!” he shouted, in glee.

And so he did.

Guess what Bible chapter he picked? He flipped and flipped until he found “a short one.” Also, I guess he picked it because of the subtitle “Saul kills himself.” Nice.

“Wow, Mom! They hung his head in the Temple! Whoa-ho-ho! I’m glad I didn’t live back in those days,” Joshua said, with enthusiasm.

“Yeah, that still happens,” I muttered, thinking of ISIS and company. Ew. It bothered me to even type their evil name.

Okay, that’s all the somewhat humorous things I can think of tonight. Does anyone have a movie that Joshua will love that will get a new character’s speech patterns in his head??? I’m thinking something like this:

Thor. Now there’s a role model.

Thanks for clickin’! 🙂