I wanna be a cowgirl…

August 14, 2010


there’s my little dreamer… watching the big horses stamp their hoves and roll in the dust as she holds her much-loved stick pony, whitey.  she wants a horse so bad.  of course, at this point she has no idea of the reality of owning a horse.  I’m sure she just imagines herself trotting along through the wide open pasture, stopping to pick some flowers and eat some triscuits and cheese slices…  she couldn’t even understand the expense or time or food or poop that is involved.  … … … kind of like me before I had kids. 

for now, whitey will have to do.  he gets plenty of excercise around here.  she gets him out and brushes him and runs him for laps around the house.  she even plays ‘kitty round-up’ with him, just like a real pony.  (the kitty does not like this game)  and… he’s bought and paid for, eats very little and poops even less.

someday little dreamer… and if not here in this life, in Heaven for sure.


tonight for our outreach project, through our small group, we were to visit a couple different elderly shut ins from our congregation.  a couple women and punkin went to visit a woman by the name of anna.

backtrack to this afternoon…  all I know is that punkin is going to visit a women named anna.  I suggest she colors a picture to take along and give to anna.  gabrielle chose an intricate easter egg picture from a pile of easter pictures that brian printed off last year.  gabrielle did a great job.  she even cut it out and glued it to a piece of purple construction paper.  she held tight to the egg all afternoon, as if she had made it special for her own grandma that she hadn’t seen in a great while. 

when we got to our meeting spot, gabrielle again guarded her picture and made sure that she signed the card that was going to anna’s house.

after I got back from my visit with a different couple that is very limited in their ability to go out, (which was a true blessing and a whole ‘nother story) a friend from the group that had punkin with them told me some amazing details.  apparently anna was from poland.  when she was younger she used to hand paint ukrainian eggs.  anna was absolutely delighted with the picture.

that gabrielle would be put in the group going to anna’s, only 5 people went and there are more than 50 people in our group… that she would pick that picture to color out of a pile of last years easter printables… that anna used to hand paint eggs… … …coincidence??  I think not.  God is in every. little. crazy. detail.


 all for the glory of His name.

just wrestling…

February 27, 2010

this morning I asked punkin to make her bed.  when I walked back by, the covers were up but the stuffed animals were all over the place.  I called for her and had her stand beside me and look into her room.  I said, ‘I think you need to get your animals all in row so they look nice too.’  without missing a beat she said, ‘mom, they have a big fight tonight!  they are just wrestling for practice.’ … and then she skipped off. 

the proposal…

February 18, 2010

so, it’s happened.  and way sooner than I thought.  a little boy asked gabrielle to marry him… there in the middle of kindergarten, with other little friends all around and a teacher busy in the background.  they were playing postoffice and he sent her a card and then she sent him a card and then I guess he just got all caught up in the moment.   🙂  of course she told him, ‘maybe’ … because she has another friend that is a boy and she might marry him.  I guess we’ll just have to wait to see how it all plays out.  when she told daddy he said she couldn’t get married until she was 30.  she said, ‘well mama’s only 32 and she’s been married to you for a long time!’  he said maybe 23 would be okay.  she seemed content with that and skipped off to her room to finish playing my little ponies.  oh to be 6 and have hardly a care in the world…

it was a pretty nice day.  all this fresh snow, fairly warm temperature, snowboots.  neighbors, snacks, games.  fresh sugar cookies, homemade buttercream frosting, red hots.  and then… it was bedtime. 

gabrielle just fell to pieces.  ‘I just wish we had luke with us.’ …  ‘I just we could call him in heaven.  I’d call him everyday when I got home from school.’ …  ‘how can we have christmas when our whole family isn’t here?’ … ‘I just wish I could have my baby brother here with me.’ … ‘I don’t know how I got so sad!’ … on and on it went.  for an hour. … not the christmas eve I expected or wanted. 

 I guess that saying, ‘if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.’, is true.  I’ve been trying to maintain the status quo.  trying not to cry in front of the kids.  trying not to say sad things all the time.  I guess there is just a feeling in the air.  they pick it up too.  I’ve been able to tell with dawson also.  he’s been hugging me alot lately and telling me that he loves me. 

we’ll see how we do over the next week.   pray for peace and joy.


October 29, 2009

tonight when I was rinsing out gabrielle’s hair in the tub, you know how they lay down in the tub and then you pour water over their heads, I dunked her a little too much.  she came up quickly and exclaimed, ‘whoa!  did I just get baptized?!?!’


I just about fell over laughing. … ahh the simple pleasures a small child can bring.  and so amazing how laughter heals.


October 2, 2009

there is a fear creeping up in me.  one that I know and have dealt with before.  one that I had hoped to not have and yet it shows up every now and again.

why is gabrielle so sick?  why does she still have a fever?  it has been 12 days!!  umm… I thought 4 days of fever was worrisome.  I can go 3 and not blink an eye.  day 4 comes and it is time to go in and see the doctor.  I know the drill.  but this is driving me nuts!!  we’ve been in 3 times and even had an echo done for goodness sakes.  I don’t know what else they would test her for, but it seems like there should be something.  an answer.

of course my mind can go crazy.  taking me down dark paths of ‘what ifs’.  what if it is something serious and they’re just missing it.  what if by the time they figure it out there will be unrepairable damage and they will just look at me, with a sad face and say, ‘sorry.’ ?  what if she is taken form me too????

I really don’t like being at the mercy of other people.  doctors.  I expect them to know.  to figure it out.  I don’t have a lot of patience, especially as the fear grows.  I just want them to give a prescription, a good  tasting prescription, that will make it all better.

ahh, so maybe you can tell I’m feeling a little frantic tonight.  I’m having a harder time pulling my self down to reality.  it’s taking me longer to try to remember that we have excellent doctors and hospitals.  we have insurance that covers all these things.  they have done everything they can think of and they are keeping tabs on her.  as the fear gains speed, it takes more and more effort to remember WHO is in control.  WHO is not surprised about her fever tonight.  WHO holds her very breath in HIS hands.

I hear Him saying… lean in.  I got ya.  everything will be just fine.  take a couple deep breaths.  she’s okay.  she’s just got mono and it’s gonna take a little time to get better.  really.  she’ll be all right.

of course, I don’t hear Him audibly.  I’d like to.  it seems like it would be so much more reassuring to actually hear  His voice tell me that it will be okay.  but would I trust Him more just because I could hear Him?  probably not.  if I could hear Him, then I would want to see Him, then I would want to touch Him.  and the list goes on.  and this is where faith steps in.  just trust.  just rest in the knowledge of God being a good and gracious God.  know that He is detailed and organized.  know that He holds the master plan and everything will work out for His glory.  He said so. 

okay… I’m feeling a little better all ready.  I just needed to talk myself down abit. 

part of this blogging thing that I like so much is the looking up of definitions.  I like to know exactly what I am saying.  so as I was writing this I looked up fear, fearful, fearsome…  fearsome meaning, ‘causing fear’.  the part that I like was that the very next word in the dictionary was feasible.  which means, ‘possible, likely, probable’.  so, what I’ve come up with is that even though this fever is fearsome for me, the likelihood of gabrielle getting better is very feasible.  I’m going to focus on the feasible and not the fear.

thanks for listening.  especially when I ramble.  : )


September 30, 2009

sept '09 046

there’s my baby.  laying across the table trying to be so brave.  all in all I would say it went pretty well.  she was brave.  the tech didn’t really see anything. 

 oddly enough, these things don’t usually bother me to much.  I’m guessing it is because I’ve been through a fair amount of hospital stuff with my kids.  I’m just not the mom that cries when the baby gets an immunization shot.  it just isn’t that big of a deal… in the grand scheme of things.  the harder part of the day turned out to be, of course, luke stuff.  the whole time I was looking at the sonogram machine all I could think about was the many times we would sit and watch luke’s heart beating.  how we measured every little beat.  how I feared the day I would lay there on the table and there would be no heartbeat.  and of course, gabrielle had a full conversation with the tech about how she has 3 brothers really.  2 in 5th grade and one in heaven.  ‘my mom had a baby this winter, but he died.’

 … … sigh … …  what am I supposed to say? 

 thankfully the tech was a very nice guy and just talked along with her.  he asked what the baby’s name was.  and told her how nice of a name luke is.  he said his family was just like her family.  2 boys and then a girl and 1 more boy.  he handled it well.  I should send a letter.  I probably will.  anyway, he was a blessing for just being normal.  for not clamming up and remaining silent the rest of the time.  for not turning to me and going, ‘ohh… I’m so sorry.  what happened?, if you don’t mind if I ask.’ 

punkin seemed to be better during the day and then about 5 she crashed again.  her fever went up to 103, under her arm.  she couldn’t stay awake.  her eyes are just soo red.  she has a hard time breathing.  I feel so bad for her.  she looks so pitiful.  so little lying there.  I just want to fix it.  I just want an answer.  maybe tomorrow will be the day.  the fever will break.  the doctor will have an answer.  my little sparkler will get some of her fire back.

I’d like to say let’s just pray and she’ll get better.  we just need to have faith.  but I’ve been through the fire with the faith and believing and healing thing a few times and I know that it isn’t that simple.  of course I still pray, but I’m prepared to take whatever comes.  whatever the answer might be, I’m okay with it and I’ve finally come to a place where I know, I KNOW,  her healing or not healing is not dependant on my faith.  that in and of itself is a great blessing and lightens my burden immensely.  I hope that you would know this too.

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’  Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this has happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.’

John 9:1-3

she’s still wondering why the guy rubbed ‘jello’ all over her.  : )

this was the conversation today as we headed to the doctor for punkin’s fever … again.


mom?  why is smoking bad?

well, it has lots of yucky chemicals in it and when you breathe it in all those chemicals stick to your lungs.  then your lungs get all black and sticky and you might not be able to breathe anymore.  you could die.

long thinking pause …. …. ….

so, maybe if someone wanted to die so that they could go to heaven and see their baby brother, they could start smoking?  maybe I could start smoking?

shock, sadness, bewilderment, amazement from me, with a long pause… … …

well, you have to be 18 to smoke.  you are not old enough.

oh.  well maybe when I am 18 I can start.


I guess some days she thinks about him more than others too.

I’ll fly away…

September 23, 2009

this morning, after I dropped dawson off at school and was headed home, I heard her singing.  looking in the rear view mirror, there’s my little angel, swinging here bare feet, looking out the window, singing ‘I’ll fly away oh glory.  I’ll fly away.  when I die, hallelujah by and by.  I’ll fly away.’


of course this makes me tear up.  oh the joy of her innocence.  I just want to hold her and love her.  could this be the way God feels when He catches us singing sweetly, honestly?  when no one is looking and our heart just let’s go?  when we hold the door for the mom with her hands full?  when we pay for the coffee of the person behind us to celebrate random kindness?  when there is no agenda? 

if I love her soo much that hearing her little voice sing sweetly makes me come undone with joy, how much more the joy of my Father when I am ‘caught’ singing?  when my soul pours out the things that I cannot put into words?

Psalm 5:11

But let all you take refuge in you be glad;

let them ever sing for joy.

Spread your protection over them,

that those who love your name may rejoice in you.


September 4, 2009

i love you 09 011

a girl after my own heart…

oh how long I prayed for this child.  4 years actually.  please God, could I just have a blue eyed girl with curly hair like her mama.  I got what I asked for… and then some.

a little more about punkin.  born september 4,  2003 by scheduled cesarean in the late morning.  beautiful.  absolutely beautiful.  a full head of hair, that never fell out.  big blue eyes.  not an easy child… ever.  never napped.  like the other babies who have a nice morning nap and then the 2 or 3 hour afternoon nap.  never.  she didn’t want to miss anything.  she would catnap here and there when it was convenient for her.  she didn’t ever really learn to sit, she didn’t have time.  walking by 9 months, not cruising along furniture, walking!  looking so odd at just 15 lbs.  and honestly, I don’t remember her ever not talking.  trying to sit on the potty by herself at 15 months.  we were afraid she’d fall in.  determined.  very determined.

as she is growing up, her character traits only get stronger.  she’s a pistol, a firecracker, a handful.  her good looks are balanced out by her mischievousness.  people tell her constantly how pretty she is, we try to tell her she is smart.  she is passionate and causes those around her to feel passionately too.  whatever the emotion she is evoking at the time, it is usually a pretty strong one.

she is turning into a good little helper.  she does things around the house for me.  she loves to be right by my side.  mostly  she likes to make stuff in the kitchen, especially jello.  she also loves to crack eggs.  she is a great help with cole.  better than dawson.  I’m not sure if it is just easier for the female to be an aid or what.  she copies what she sees our helpers do.  she reads to cole and plays with him and says kind things.  this morning as I was getting ready in the bathroom I heard her talking with cole and she was telling him thank you for the little brush he gave her to comb her dolls hair.  then she said to him, ‘that was  my favorite present cole.’.  : )  I’m pretty sure the doll was her actual favorite, but she tries to make him feel good and special.

what will she be, where will she go?  I have no idea.  I just pray that God harnesses all her will power and determination for good.  she could do mighty things out there in this big world as long as her heart stays true to Jesus.

I love her.  I just love her.


August 6, 2009

so Gabrielle wants to be a cheerleader.  that’s fine.  I figure if I am going to be taking her to practice all the time I might as well be the coach.  I do have some cheerleader in my history.  I know about toe touches, herkies, high Vs, and low Vs.  our first coaches meeting was tonight. 


 I was excited to go tonight… honestly… but then as I pulled up to the town hall and saw the other cheerleader moms waiting out front, I felt all of high school coming back.  I started thinking, ‘how do I look?’, ‘will I fit in?’, ‘are these moms, the cool moms?’ … I mean absolutely ridiculous thoughts.  but they did creep up.  thankfully, I was able to dismiss them quickly.  (I’ve grown up abit.)

now inside the meeting, I am not expecting much.  the usual code of conduct, background check for coaching kids, a list of cheers maybe.  I was mistaken.  there were some serious cheerleader moms there.  you know,  ‘cheerleading is a real sport and it should be treated that way!’  and  ‘we should have the same rules as baseball and football.. 2 misses and you’re off the squad!’  I was beginning to wonder if I was in the right room.  I mean these are just little girls and this is just a way for them to have a little fun right?  apparently not for this group.  next, I found out who those parents are that are demanding the kids practice more and that practice is mandatory.  part of why I wanted to be coach was so I could opt out of the optional  thursday practice.  that might not be happening now.  these little kindergarten girls need to know their form and practice their jumps and start doing little stunts, right?!?! 

anyway,  me and my 5 little cheerleaders will be playing, ‘cheerleader says’ and coloring signs and working on being positive and encouraging.  no deductions from me if you wear your pink socks instead of your white ones.  I won’t keep you from lettering because you forgot your pompoms.  we’re just going to be cheerleaders because it is fun.  *\o/*  go team!


July 26, 2009


tonight, gabrielle was having an absolute breakdown about our house catching on fire.  I mean crying and upset,just irrational.  (I’m guessing because she is overtired.) 

‘how will I get out?’ … ‘what if I get burned?’ … ‘what about my brown bear?’ … ‘where would we live?’ … ‘we won’t have any food, because all of your money will burn in the house!’ …  ‘I don’t want to have to drive to see my friends if we have to live in a hotel.’ … ‘I’m just so scared, and nervous, and worried!’ …

brian and I kept trying to reassure her.  to calm her.  I couldn’t figure out why she wouldn’t just believe me when I said, ‘it will be okay.’  ‘we will take care of you.’  ‘these material possessions are all replaceable.’  I even told her simple verses we know about being afraid. 

When I am afraid, I will trust in you.   Psalm 56:3

Be still and know that I am God.   Psalm 46:10

When you lie down, you will not be afraid.  When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.   Proverbs 3:24

I said a prayer with her through sobs and tears and held her close.  at this point, I really just wanted her to go to bed… I still had plenty to do around the house and it was 10:00!  I’m still thinking to myself, ‘she should just believe me. I know more than her.  she is being irrational about something that she really doesn’t even understand!’

… … … … … …

wait … … …  … … this could very easily be the conversation that God is having with himself about me as I finally get to bed at night, overtired, worried, nervous, scared. 

 ‘how will we pay all these medical bills?!?’ … ‘when am I going to get anything done before bible study meets at my house?’ … ‘maybe I should be homeschooling the kids this year’ … ‘what did she mean when she said that?’ … ‘why didn’t anyone ask how I was doing?’ … ‘I really need to do better at planning healthy meals.’ … ‘I really need to do better at brushing my own teeth for goodness sakes!!!’

this is where I changed my attitude.  I layed down by her, I realized I had nothing better to do at that particular moment then just comfort her.  I tried to change the subject, we talked about new school supplies like gluesticks, markers and little pink erasers.  I sang a couple songs with her.  (she picked ‘mighty to save’ bless her little heart.)  she calmed down, snuggled up and said I love you mama.

tonight I am thankful for a God that is all-knowing, comforting, compassionate, calming and ever loving little me through all my fears and frustrations.

baby mine…

July 22, 2009

sleepy punkin 002you know that song from the dumbo movie… when the mama is rocking little dumbo in her trunk through the bars of her cage.  it always made me cry, still does.  I do really like the song though and whenever I see one of my litte babes sleeping, it immediately comes to mind.

‘baby mine, don’t you cry

baby mine, dry your eyes

rest your head close to my heart

never to part, baby of mine’

as I was watching her this morning, at about 8:15,  and thinking how lovely she is… what a blessing she is… how she makes me laugh… how I just love her more than words could ever tell,  I prayed I would feel the same way the next time she comes crawling into bed with me at four in the morning and kicks off my covers and thunks me in the head with her arm.

just one job…

June 27, 2009

something that gabrielle told me shortly after luke died has so stuck with me.  and her faith and simplicity help me remember not to make things so complicated. so here’s that story…

we were leaving a friend’s house the sunday night after the funeral.  i was kind of crying.  gabrielle was holding my  hand and said, ‘mama i don’t want you to be sad anymore.  maybe there was just one job that no one else could do, so God needed luke in heaven.’

…… ……

I think I will start a new series by Gabrielle, ‘I love you so much…’ . 

 Today she asked if we would die at the same time.  I said maybe, but probably not.  And she responded, with great conviction, ‘Well if you die before me, I will just stop breathing so we can go to heaven on the same day.’

I always wonder if anything Iam saying goes into their little heads.  Do they remember the lesson they just heard at bible study?  Did they get that character building tip in the devotional?  Alot of times it seems like … no.  I’ll ask, ‘what did you learn today’ and get, “Mama, guess what!  We ate Cheezits for snack and we got to eat them outside!’ or ‘I don’t know.  Can we go to McDonalds?’  : /  You know, stuff like that.  But, when I hear ‘morning by morning new mercies I see.  all of my needs your hand has provided.  great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.‘ coming from the bathroom as Gabrielle waits for me to come and help her wipe … it makes me so proud.  I have to hold back the tears.

You have to wonder if God feels the same about us, his children.  Surely He wonders, ‘Are they getting any of this?’.  But, in those small moments, when the genuine overflow of the heart comes out … be it in song or prayer or praise or even an understanding … I am sure that it brings Him great joy.

send me to God…

January 31, 2009


today gabrielle got in a box and asked if i could send her to God.  she said, “just put me on the airplane and say ‘this one is going to God’ “.  if it were only so easy.

i asked if she really wanted me to send her and she thought for a moment and started to grin and said, ” can you ?” surprised she seems so willing, i say, “do you really want me to?”  she answers, ” i just want to see luke for a couple days.”  ….

how am i supposed to answer that? … put me in a box too?, …scootch over.,  stop asking me these things!…

God bless her and her simple faith.  i love her dearly and she is such good company right now.  i am happy that she was so willing to hop in a box and leave it all behind, if she could just go to heaven.

snow angel

January 20, 2009

here’s my little snow angel, gabrielle.  i don’t know that i’ve ever seen anyone make snowangels so joyfully.  she would just throw her self back into the snow like it was a pool, lay there with her eyes closed … smiling.  it made me smile to watch her.  

i’m so glad she is home with me still.  she keeps me busy and distracted, and…   that seems to be the best medicine. nov-dec-08-039