"Hey Mom! Take a picture of this!"
Friday, June 29, 2007

Mid-flight: A cool picture, but perhaps not my best parenting moment!

I let him jump off one more time because he begged to show his dad. Then I decided it would be difficult to explain a broken leg caused by allowing him to jump off the roof of a playhouse into four inches of water, and I told him not to do it anymore.

Since reading the book Wild at Heart, when I stop Ryan or Dylan from doing something potentially dangerous I always wonder "Am I being overprotective? Do I need to just let him be a boy and take chances and have adventures?" For any of you who have read the book, which I recommend, I'm sure you know what I mean.

Below are a few more pictures from our lazy afternoon.

I knew Ryan would eventually tire of the playhouse; but rather than abandoning it altogether, he just plays on it instead of in it.

Wasted Domestic Effort

Usually when I make Beans and Cornbread, I buy a bag of pinto beans...go through them for dirt clods....soak them overnight....cook them all day with spices and onion and ham.

This week I decided to make Beans and Cornbread (
a weird meal in the summer heat, but I was desperate for some variety), but this time I bought canned Bush's Brand Pinto Beans. I threw them in a pot with some ham and they were ready in less than the time it takes to make cornbread. (Jiffy boxed brand of course - never made homemade cornbread in my life.) My family loved them and ate them MUCH better than they eat the beans that are a two day process to make. I'm a little insulted.

A Lifetime of Friends
Wednesday, June 27, 2007

While I was in Oklahoma, I had the opportunity to visit with four old friends. I feel so blessed that I have friendships that have blossomed through all different seasons of my life. I was thinking today about how thankful I am that I got to do some catching up with them, and how they are all representative of such different times in my life.

The stories of Beth, Nadia, Margo, and Kelly:

preschool: I've known Beth since we were teeny tiny. Our parents were friends when we were small. We remained friends all through elementary school, Jr. High, and High School. We were roommates our freshman year in college and that year holds some of the best memories of my life. We had a great time. I managed to forgive her when she got married after our freshmen year and broke up the party. When Jonathan and I got married and moved into our first apartment, Beth and Robby lived right across the street. It was a fun time. They are now the parents of two gorgeous little girls who are likely future supermodels.

jr. high: Nadia I met at my church while in ninth grade, at the time in my life I started following Jesus. She went to the "rival" Jr. High in my town. She has the sweetest attitude and most humble spirit of anyone you could wish to meet. She is a beautiful worshiper. She and her husband Adam started dating in High School just like Jonathan and I did. We were friends through High School where we were both in drama, and we've reconnected the past few years via the magic of the internet. They have an adorable, sweet little boy.

high school: I met Margo in High School, when we were both competing in a little pageant called "Miss Striper City", that was open to the residents of towns surrounding Keystone Lake. (Were you as desperate for scholarship money as I was, Margo?) She lived in Mannford, a neighboring town, and she quickly connected with our youth group and became a friend. We have also been able to reconnect recently through cyberspace. She is now an awesome wife and mother to four adorable little boys.

college: Kelly I met in college. She was the girlfriend (and now wife) of Jonathan's best friend Joey.
(Whom I will always call Joey, even though I think he may now prefer to be called "Joseph". My brain just can't make the change.) Thankfully, Kelly and I hit it off wonderfully and we've had a great relationship with them going on 10 years. Kelly has known the Lord since she was small, and she was a great example to me in college of how to faithfully study the Word, be a person of prayer, and be a leader. Our families have taken vacations together from the time we were all penniless students and had to share an 8 by 8 foot hotel room. Good times. Kelly and Joey have a little boy and little girl who are both beautiful.

I'm thankful the Lord has brought all of these people into my life. He brought me friendships in preschool that remain to this day, and He continued to do so into my adult years.

Full Disclosure: This post was a pep talk to myself about the friends I know the Lord will bring me here in Lubbock. That said, we're off to a play date at a new friends house!


"Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig!"
Tuesday, June 26, 2007

(Does anyone else say "Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig" after getting home from vacation, or is that just my family?")

Everyone had an incredible time at camp. I can't say enough about Dry Gulch USA. All the high school and college age counselors that worked with our kids were wonderful. The facilities and activities were top notch. No one was ready to go home!

I missed a lot of drama by not riding the bus with all the camp kids. On the bus ride to camp, a boy got stuck in the bathroom. Something malfunctioned with the lock on the door and he was unable to get out. They had to find a place to stop the bus, and then pull a very distressed 10 year old out the bus window. I totally don't blame him for being distressed...my heart starts racing if I just think about being trapped in that tiny, stinky, hot little bathroom. Poor guy. He recovered quickly and had a good time the rest of the trip. The trip back home from camp was somewhat less eventful, but one little guy did get sick to his stomach right as the bus pulled into Lubbock. So all things considered, 8 hours in the van with my three kids listening to arguments over whether they would watch "Elmo" or "Cars" doesn't seem so bad.

While I was in Tulsa dropping off the kids before camp started, my grandparents took me and the kids to
The Incredible Pizza Company. It was, well....incredible. It's like Chuck E. Cheese on steroids. They have bowling, go-karts, mini-golf, and bumper cars, as well as a huge game room and toddler play area. My grandparents discovered that on Tuesday's, the buffet is only $3.99 for seniors. It cracks me up to think of them eating there without any kids with them, but I'm pretty sure they will.

Our kids loved staying with their Grandparents, and I don't think they missed us at all. Among other things, they got to play with their cousin Connor, wrestle with Uncle Brian, play on a slip-n-slide, watch their Papaw play softball, check out books at the library, make picture frames, and go to the Zoo. It might take Papaw and Mo a week to recover.

Living On Tulsa Time
Monday, June 18, 2007

I'm in Tulsa this week, visiting family and depositing my kids with their grandparents. Later in the week I'll meet up with Jonathan at Church Camp, where we're taking a group of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders from our church. Good times!

It was a long eight hours driving from Lubbock, by myself with the three kids. BUT, not nearly as long as it will feel for Jonathan later this week riding on a bus with elementary kids!

A Few Good Men
Sunday, June 17, 2007

Every modern sitcom on television seems to portray Dad's as bumbling idiots. They are typically overweight slobs who get themselves into messes that their beautiful, perfect wives must get them out of. They can't manage their money, they don't know how to cook a meal to save their lives, they don't even know where to find the washing machine, and they don't appreciate the good women in their life.

I am so thankful that this is in no way a reflection of my husband!

Jonathan is a capable, fun, caring, and intelligent father. He is in full time ministry and many demands are made of his time, but I have never once felt he has valued his work above our family. He values the time he spends with his children. The kids take it for granted that when Daddy gets home, they will have his full attention. Nightly "wrestling" is an expectation around here! And as Lauryn gets older, playing with dolls is taking up more and more of his evenings.

Happy Father's Day Jonathan! And Happy Father's Day to "Papaw", who continues to be an example of what makes a great Dad.

"Deliberate Kids"
Saturday, June 16, 2007

I highly recommend this CD for families. My boys love it. They sing along with all the songs, which is great, since many of the songs are directly from scripture. It's upbeat and fun, and I enjoy many of the songs as much as the kids do. As an added bonus, it has one song that has helped me at almost 30 years of age FINALLY memorize all the books of the New Testament.

Beauty on the Cheap
Thursday, June 14, 2007

I tried this homemade exfoliant recipe today: For any males still reading, an exfoliant is not something you eat; do not consume.

1 part olive oil

1 part coarse sea salt

Before turning on shower, apply mixture to dry skin. Use on elbows, knees, legs, and feet. After scrubbing for approximately five minutes, wash off in shower with warm water and soap. Careful, bathtub surface will be slippery.

I used 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup of sea salt, and it was more than enough. I felt a little oily after showering, but by the time I had dried off and gotten dressed I just felt extra moisturized.

Anyone have other homemade beauty recipes to share?

Poor Timing

I took the kids to the mall yesterday. Lauryn's routine for going down the slide:

1. Climb to the top and sit down.
2. Loudly say a nice long "Wheeeee!"
After finishing saying "Wheeee!", then proceed to slide down slide.

The other moms and dads in the play area started watching her and cracking up at her poorly timed exclamation. She is so funny. She must of heard one of the boys say "Whee!" on their way down, and wanted to include it in her slide experience.

When I finally got the camera out to take a video, she had improved her timing by a few seconds, but you still get the general idea.

Notice the big gorilla's on either side of the slide? Shortly after this video was taken, a really cute little girl who looked maybe 3 years old, wrapped both arms around a gorilla's head and started licking it all over like it was an ice cream cone. Yuck. I'm not sure why I share that, except that is was just too strange to keep to myself.

Happy Anniversary to Us
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Nine Years of Marriage.

Six Moves. Four Cities.

Nine Different Jobs.

Three Different Colleges.

Three Amazing Kids.

Many Ridiculous Arguments.

Numerous Lessons Learned.

Countless "I Love You's".

The Dreaded Event of Summer

What's this horrible task of which I dare speak? What is it that leaves many of my beautiful friends in tears this season? If you are a woman you likely knew as soon as you read the title: swimsuit shopping! I fear it so much that I haven't done it in five years. That's right, my swimsuit was as old as Ryan. So last night I steeled my resolve and headed to the mall...

After trying on what felt like every swimsuit at the mall (and by "every" I obviously don't mean the bikini's -
puh-lease), I have decided that swimsuits are designed by testosterone filled 16 year old boys. The only body type those suits could look good on are the girls that adolescences dream about. Some of my readers have that body. So please - immediately stop reading this blog and go out and use that bikini before gravity and child-bearing make bikini's a distant memory! (There are some of you who by diet and exercise still look awesome and bikini-worthy even after having babies. But I'm not speaking to you anymore.)

After a couple of hours I started totally disregarding the color and pattern of the suit, and concentrated solely on the style, or cut, of the suit. Basically, my only requirement was that I achieve coverage of my top half. (After three kids, it ain't what it used to be ya know!) Well, I finally found something acceptable. Unfortunately, the colors and pattern of the suit are bright and jarring and totally not my taste. But at least with one wrong move (or more likely, tug from one of my children), I won't be fully exposed for the world to see.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Jonathan and I took a "field trip" today with the kids from our church. We took about 65 kids, 1st thru 5th grade, to our little local amusement park, JoyLand.

I had a great time! The kids were so cute and were loving their "freedom". We were able to reserve the entire park, so the only people there were from our group. The kids could roam free and didn't have to wait in line at all. They could ride any ride as many times in a row as they wished. (Some of the kids misjudged how much their little bellies could take, and it wasn't pretty.)

One little girl was there who had never ridden a roller coaster. She really wanted to ride, but she was too short to ride without an adult accompanying her. I love coasters, so I volunteered to ride with her. As soon as the ride started, the poor little thing became terrified. Her face turned white...she gripped the bar across our lap...she looked up at the big hill coming up....and said loud, fast, and repeatedly for the rest of the ride "I'm scared, I'm scared, I'm scared, I'm scared, etc." I tried to my best to comfort her, but what can you really do once you're flying down the hills and zooming around the turns? Then, when we got to the end of the ride, the color came back to her cheeks and she released her grip and said, "I WANNA GO AGAIN!" You gotta love kids!

Oh how I wish I lived closer to this cutie-pie!

My nephew Connor apparently loves his outdoor swing. Wheee!!!!

I guess he's as tired of it as I am
Monday, June 11, 2007

Ryan: Mommy, do you know what we need to pray for tonight?

Me: What?

Ryan: We need to pray that Dylan and I will stop fighting.


When all our clothes are clean simultaneously, we don't have enough clothes hangers to hang everything up. Good thing it doesn't happen very often.

Mrs. Potato Head
Saturday, June 9, 2007

Lite Brite = A lot of work for parents of small children

Our neighbors are moving, and they have been bringing over things their kids have outgrown. The past few days we've gotten four board games...a step stool...a child size guitar
(lessons, Uncle Stephen?)...and last night, a Lite Brite. Ryan and Dylan thought it was really neat. For about five minutes. Then they asked Jonathan and I to finish the picture.

Carseat Tutorial

Our family went to the Lubbock Health Fair today. There were bounce houses, a climbing wall, and lots of booths set up with information regarding healthy living.

On our way out of the park, we noticed there was an area set up for a "car seat check"; experts were checking car seats to ensure they were up to current standards and were installed correctly.

The boys booster seats were given the okay...but it turns out Lauryn's car seat is no longer recommended for use! We bought the seat way back when Ryan was a baby, and apparently the "tray style" (with the padded bar that comes down in front) is no longer considered safe. (
Funny how things change...when we bought the seat we did internet research and bought what was then recommended as the safest style.)

They confiscated Lauryn's old seat and gave us a
brand new one. Praise God!

My brave boys
Thursday, June 7, 2007

We went to an "Exotic Animal Show" at our local Library today. The boys got to pet a huge Iguana and an enormous Asian Turtle. (They were offered the chance to pet an eight foot Python, but turned down that offer.)

Before we left home to go to the library today Ryan worriedly said , "Ummm...Mommy....Is a lion exotic?" I assured him that although a lion is exotic, I doubted there would be a lion inside our local library. We did see a scorpion, turtles, a snake, a monkey, and one of the little singing and dancing creatures from the movie
Madagascar - I can't remember the critters name.

"I like to move it, move it! I like to move it, move it!"

update: Ryan remembered the name of the critters: fossas

Desperate Princesses

Potty Humor
Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Disclaimer: The following is not appropriate for the sophisticated reader.

I have a beautiful little 20 month old girl. She loves to wear dresses, she's very particular about which shoes she wears, she brings me a hair bow to put in her hair almost immediately upon waking up in the mornings, and she loves to wear my jewelry and carry a purse. She is turning into quite a prissy little girl. However...She also laughs hysterically whenever she farts. She finds it funny all the time, but it's the height of humor for her if I'm in the middle of changing her diaper and she passes gas. I suppose it's a learned behavior from her two big brothers. And honestly, after watching the boys find flatulence so humorous for the past couple of years, I must admit that I find myself laughing right along with them. Forget about teaching some manners and telling them,
"Boys, that's rude! Don't laugh, just politely say excuse me!", when I'm cracking up like an immature child as well.

Jonathan usually just gets annoyed with all four of us. He's much too mature to find farting humorous.

Book on the Loose
Monday, June 4, 2007

I am in the middle of re-reading a book, and it has completely disappeared. I had it last night...today it's nowhere to be found. I have cleaned out the toy baskets and pulled things out from under the beds in an effort to find the book. (Come to think of it, maybe Jonathan hid it to increase my domestic productivity.)

When I had exhausted my efforts, I then bribed the boys to help me, by telling them I would give them a popsicle if they would help me find my book. (Is that normal parental behavior?) After looking for about five minutes, Dylan came and said:

"Mommy, your book isn't anywhere in this house. I guess it just got some legs and it's walking down our street." Then he laughed hysterically at his own joke before asking for his popsicle.

edit: After I posted this, Jonathan said, "If I wanted to increase your productivity, I'd hide the laptop." I may have inadvertently given him an idea...if there are no postings for a while, you'll know what happened.

Future Red Raider?
Saturday, June 2, 2007

A discussion between Ryan and I as we drove by Texas Tech:

"What is that place Mommy?"

"It's a college."

"What's a college?"

"Well...it's a place you go after High School to learn how to be what you want to be when you grow-up."

"Oh cool. I'm going to go there to learn to be a mountain climber."

"Really? A mountain climber? That would be a neat job."

"Yeah. Or maybe I'll be a doctor. And Dylan can be a doctor with me, and when you and Daddy are old we'll take care of you."

If I had to choose for him between a future career of a mountain climber or a Doctor, I would go with Doctor. But I'll try not to sway him! Maybe I'll just suggest the possibility of a Mountain-Climbing Missionary Doctor...

A chair to call her very own
Friday, June 1, 2007

Lauryn loves her new purple rocking chair. (Thanks Mo!)

Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



  • Crafts
  • Serious Laundry Lady Posts
  • Food
  • Friends
  • Home Management
  • KidMin
  • Speech Language Pathology


    Design by: soapbox.SUPERSTAR