She knows me well.
Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tonight we had blueberry delight for dessert.

Lauryn decided she wanted to eat it with a spoon, instead of the fork I gave her.

To get the spoon, she walked all the way into the kitchen backward, so she could keep her eye on her pie. The unspoken message was that she didn't want me sneaking a bite.

If her back had been turned, I totally would have. Smart kid.


Holy Cow. This post inadvertently turned crazy long. I need to hire an editor to help me say things a bit more succinctly. Sorry. Stick with this post only if you have some time to spare. Or if you know and love me in real life and fear I might ask you if you read it. Just kidding.

It frustrates me for my kids to be unreasonably fearful of things or experiences. (Of course I get to be the judge of what's "unreasonable".)

Ryan, being my first child and therefore somewhat of a guinea pig, was unfortunately "pushed" into doing some things he most certainly didn't want to do.

The first time we visited the beach, Ryan was not quite two years old and he was content to stay about 50 yards from the water, playing in the sand. He didn't want anything to do with the actual ocean. Wouldn't even put a toe in the wet stuff.

This would not do. I knew that if I could convince him to try it he would love it! My heart was set on seeing him gleefully running from the waves just as they started to lap at his toes! That's what happens on beach vacations!

After all my verbal coercion failed to convince him, I finally just picked him up (kicking and screaming and obviously scared to death) and stood ankle deep in the water with him. Eventually he would calm down, right? Eventually he would trust me, right? Nope.

He spent the rest of that day on the beach avoiding me, running for the safety of his Dad any time I got close to him.

He never did get wet on that trip.

And I'm left to wonder if he would have eventually warmed up to the ocean if allowed to do so on his own time. Probably so.

I was disappointed because I knew he would have fun if he just tried it.

But I was also frustrated that he wouldn't trust me. I realize the ocean is loud....and big...and was completely foreign to him....but I was telling him it was safe! That I would hold him tight the entire time! That he would be fine and have a great time! I wanted him to believe me. I wanted my words to be enough to help him overcome his fear. "Mommy is telling you it's fun and safe. Why won't you try the water with me?" (Yes, he was a teeny toddler, who didn't even understand the concept of "safe". I was a brand new mom with lots to learn.)

Since that trip I have learned a lot. It takes some major restraint, but I've learned to give my kids the time they need to try new things. A few summers ago at the pool, it was all I could do not to peel Ryan's arms from around my neck. He wanted to be held...I wanted him to try swimming with his arm floaties...but I couldn't convince him. So, he stayed around my neck. And by this summer, he's a little fish, diving to get things off the bottom of the pool. Without the trauma of me forcing him into it.

Since becoming a parent, I realize how often I act like an untrusting toddler. God speaks, and I respond like an untrusting child.

"Go and make disciples of all nations...."

I sure like it here in my nice, safe home in Lubbock.

"Sing to the Lord! Proclaim his salvation day after day."

I want people to be able to relate to me. I don't want to be that person who is always being super spiritual.

"Train up your children in the way they should go. Teach them my commands when you are at home, on the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

I need Sponge Bob to entertain the kids again this afternoon so I can get some things done around the house.

"In humility, consider others needs above your own."

I really don't have time for this phone call from a friend in need.

God is the perfect parent. He never picks me up kicking and screaming and forces me into his will. He waits on me to trust Him in my own time.

I wonder how often I'm content to sit in the sand, when there is an entire ocean of adventure and abundant life right in front of me. If I will only trust Him.

By the next summer, he was ready to tackle the waves.

It was bound to happen.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008

We finally got Ryan's ball return set up in the new backyard. He's been playing with it pretty regularly for the past three or four days.

Today he ran in the house holding his eye and crying.

(I was all ready to punish Dylan for hitting his brother in the face, because that's the kind of day we've been having around here. But Dylan wasn't the culprit. This time.)

But finally between tears, I was able to discern that he threw the baseball in the net...then caught the baseball with his face. Right in the eye socket.

It appears he needs a little more practice with the baseball glove.

Between every sob he said "It was a really, really great throw mom!"

Ducks adore us.
Monday, July 28, 2008

Visiting the park and feeding the ducks are two items on our agenda pretty much weekly.

The park by our house has a large field, perfect for chasing a squealing, laughing Lauryn. Who, by the way, wore that pink tutu the entire weekend, removing it only for bathtime and church. Right now the tutu is adorned with both Pizza Hut and Rudy's Barbecue stains.
She's a glorious, wonderful mess!

Fun with my camera's bells and whistles
Saturday, July 26, 2008

Figuring out the "color accent" feature on my camera...

I'm learning. These are the first attempts at isolating one color while the rest of the picture is in black and white.

EDIT: I've gotten a lot of emails and comments asking what kind of camera I have. It's a Canon SD1100IS. Not terribly fancy, but it has some fun features and takes pretty good pictures for a camera that will fit in your pocket!

Us! In our bright shiny kitchen!

Our first picture together in our new house. Not sure why we stood in front of the microwave. We should have picked some where a little more traditional. The fireplace maybe.

I'm still thrilled that both of us can fit in the kitchen at the same time, so on second thought maybe it's a totally appropriate location. (Thanks M for sending the pic!)

We're completely unpacked and mostly settled. We're entertaining my in-laws this weekend, (technically thus far they're entertaining us, considering they picked up the tab for dinner tonight) and for the first time we have the space for them to comfortably stay with us instead of getting a hotel room.

Which means I've been training the kids that as soon as they wake up in the morning they should go give Papaw and Mo big kisses. (And in doing so, give Mom and Dad a few more precious minutes of sleep. Papaw and Mo may get a hotel next time.)

Here comes Peter Cottontail
Thursday, July 24, 2008

My mom has put herself on the reservation list to purchase a Smart Car. She should be the proud owner of her new wheels in 12 - 18 months.

I think it's great. It gets 50 miles to the gallon, and she burns up the road between Arkansas and Oklahoma quite often.

But I also think the car looks like an Easter Egg. I told her she could make some extra money dressing up like an Easter Bunny and delivering baskets to all the little children in Northern Arkansas.

I'm not sure she appreciated my comedic genuis in this particular instance.

The kids and I saw a Smart Car in a parking lot in Lubbock so I snapped a few photos for her.

Disclaimer: I don't generally take the boys around town shirtless, but we were leaving a hotel where we had been swimming with some out of town friends.

Sing it with me!
"...Hippity, Hoppity
Easter's on it's way..."

Unintentional Humor
Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Today Ryan was playing a new video game on the xbox.

"Ryan, do you understand how that game works?"

"No. But it's okay. I watched Daddy play yesterday and he didn't know what he was doing either."

Ryan wasn't trying to be funny. But it still made me laugh.


Then later today we had an Abbott and Costello rountine going when Ryan said,

"Mom, I need help spelling something."

"Okay. What do you need to spell."

"I need to spell something."

"I know Ryan. What do you need to spell?"


It went on for a ridiculously long time before I realized he actually needed help spelling "something."


boo for the bald man
Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Discovered today (the hard way) that the "Mr Clean Magic Eraser" takes the paint off my walls.

I have lost a dear friend.

And the bald man and I did not part ways amicably.

Luckily the paint he removed was low on the wall near the baseboard, in an obscure part of the house. (About where a little boy wearing cowboy boots might kick the wall, for example.) But it was still a dirty trick Mr. Clean pulled, after earning my trust by gently removing scuff marks for so many years.

Edit: I realized I was using the "50% stronger Magic Eraser". I'll test out the regular strength version, and see if me and baldy can't have a reconciliation.

Summer Camp
Saturday, July 19, 2008

The best summer camp happening in the country is Camp Mopaw.

The kids take field trips, do arts and crafts, eat healthy snacks and great meals, get a bedtime story every night, and even come home with new clothes. The cost of Camp Mopaw is zero dollars, so it's a pretty great deal.

Unfortunately, camp directors Mo and Papaw are only accepting four campers at this time. There is a possibility they may accept more in the future. But only if they are given any more grandchildren.

One side note: In spite of rumors you may have heard, kids do have to bathe while at camp. (This was learned much to camper Dylan's dismay, as he was heard telling Camp Co-Director Papaw "I did NOT think we would have to take bath's at Camp Mopaw!")

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Oops. (Times Three)
Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ryan is standing dominoes on edge, lining them up in a row, and then pushing the first one to make the whole line topple.

There has a got to be a shorter way to describe creating a line of dominoes for the purpose of making them fall in rapid succession. Couldn't think of one though.

Anyway - I have been politely asked not to help.

I got down in the floor to play with him, and three different times accidentally knocked over a domino before we were finished lining them all up. Oops.

I have been banished to the couch and told to watch from a distance.


This is embarrassing. But for the sake of keepin' it real here at Lost in Laundry, I have a confession to make:

My kids have been known to go for ____ days without being made to brush their teeth.

Stop judging me! I know it's awful!

I don't know what my problem is. I mean, I do brush my teeth daily - several times a day in fact.

I really gotta get on the ball, huh? Tooth brushing: Kind of an important habit to develop in children!!!

I can only credit their healthy teeth (thus far!) to the fact that they eat very little sweets, drink no soda, and are constantly drinking water. I heard once that eating apples helps too, so maybe add that to my plus column.

But I don't think any of those things substitute for applying actual toothpaste to the teeth at least twice daily.

So today I'm making a new commitment to my kids' oral hygiene. If you see my children, feel free to inspect their molars and smell their breath to see if I've kept my word. Do so at your own risk.

I had that blank up there in the first sentence filled in at first. But then I totally lost my nerve. One of our best friends is a dentist. If I filled in that blank, I could never look him in the face again.

Here's Ryan at one year. Back when I was a brand new mom,
and somehow stayed on top of things like fingernail trims and tooth brushing.

Yes, he has brushed his teeth since this picture was taken.

Sweet Dreams
Monday, July 14, 2008

I'm sure that henceforth these six decorative pillows will be spread all over my house, instead of adorning the bed. But it's nice to at least have a picture of what the bed could look like, if not for three little kids who love to have pillow fights.

Lauryn has been enjoying this new cute bedding from her great-grandma, know around here as G.G. The bedding could not suit Lauryn more. Pink, purple, and more pink. On the fourth of July, every time a firework with a tinge of pink was shot off, Lauryn yelled "Oooo! Pink! That's my favorite!" She also, strangely, tried to convince her Papaw she had pink hair. Maybe that's in her future one day, but it will be many days from now.

Dylan was reluctant to have his picture taken in the midst of all this fluffy pinkness, and took cover behind Lauryn.

Her Daddy is a little more secure in his masculinity. Or maybe just too darn tired from a week at camp to try and avoid the camera.

Between my friend Tina who donated the bed (clearing out her guest room to create a nursery for baby number two!), and my grandma who bought the bedding, Lauryn is sleeping in style. Many thanks to our generous benefactors.

Unless the Lord builds the house
Friday, July 11, 2008

Today's guest post comes from my friend Kelly. I've known Kelly since college. She and her husband Joey are that rare couple that everyone hopes to have as friends - Jonathan and I both get along great with both of them, and love to spend time together with their family. Their two gorgeous kids are every bit as fun as they are. We've travelled on vacation with Joey and Kelly while we were in college...newly married and pre-kids...and now post-kids. Everything from camping out as poor college students, to sharing a beach house as parents of wee ones. Lots of fun memories and hopefully many more to come.

I've recently been complaining to everyone I know about the fact that we have to replace our "hail" damaged roof with a new roof. Roofs are stinking expensive now days. Add to that the fact that our insurance seems to think that since we bought the house with an old roof, we don't deserve to get much help replacing the roof. In my frustration over this issue, I began to daydream about just picking up and moving to a new, nicer house with a brand new roof already installed (and come to think of it...maybe a bigger living room, better neighbors, more storage list could go on and on.) Instead of being grateful that our insurance was willing to at least pay one third of our new roof and that the Lord has given us the ability to pay the other two thirds, I was acting poopy and complaining about having to spend all that money on this one project. Until today.

Today I asked Jonah if he loved our house. Very emphatically, he replied "YES!" When I asked why, he began to list off all the toys he liked in our house. He was quick to point out the TV, his games, his room and the backyard. Then I asked him if he would still love our house if none of those things were in it. He said (with a bit less excitement) "yes." Why? I asked. His response - "because we have Jesus." That's my boy. Put all of this into perspective for me Jonah. Way to go. Love ya. (See what I mean when I say my kids both teach and tickle me?)

Read the rest of Kelly's post at

Indepence Day Ramblings
Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Today's guest post is courtesy of Mrs. Lisa J. Cash, my favorite missionary in Japan. Former English teacher to American high school students, current English teacher to Japanese adults, mother of three children, wife to one man, and the most loyal friend you could ever hope to meet. She's engaging her culture... teaching the Word...learning a new language... ministering in song... and sending a traditional Japanese hot lunch to Yochien (Japanese pre-school) with her children each day. You can read her blog anytime at

Call me unpatriotic to say this on the 4th of July, but I think independence is overrated.

I've been thinking about independence, partly because my husband Keith is leaving the country in two days, and I'll be forced into it for two weeks. I always miss him terribly when he's gone, and I have the hardest time sleeping (or even functioning at all) without him. He's my decompresser, the only person on earth who really, really sees me, and who knows how to handle me. Plus I just genuinely like to be near him. He is so loyal and dependable and loving and gentle and funny. Keith is a joy to submit to because he loves me as Christ loves the church. I feel safe under him and I don't want to be an independent woman. I LOVE to depend on him. When I was in high school, and a wannabe feminist, that would have made me gag to hear a thirty year-old stay-at-home mother of three say that. But I've learned a few things since then.

And I've also been thinking about independence because I'm preparing to sing a few songs for "Women's Equality Day" in August, and I'm feeling a little antagonistic about my song choices. All these woman power songs have really gotten me a little riled up, to tell the truth. One of the songs I'm considering, "I'm a Woman" is a celebratory rant about how women can do anything and everything all at the same time. Let me refresh your memory:

Well I can wash out forty four pairs of socks
And have 'em on the line.
You know I can starch and iron two dozen shirts
'fore you can count from one to nine.
I can slip up a great big dip up of lard
From a drippings can.
Throw it in the skillet, do my shopping,
And be back before it melts in the pan.

Well I can rub and scrub
'til this house shines just like a dime.
Feed the baby, grease the car,
Powder my nose at the same time.
You know I can get all dressed up,
Go out swinging with the M-A-N,
Jump in bed at five, sleep 'til 6,
And start all over again.

Well now if you come to me sick,
You know that I'm gonna make you well.
And if you come to me all hexed up,
You know I'm gonna break the spell.
And if you come to me hungry,
You know I'll feed ya full of my grits.
And if it's loving you want,
I can kiss you and give you the shivering fits.

Well, I got a twenty dollar gold fee
That says there's nothing that I can't do.
Well, I can make a dress out of feeding sacks,
And I can make a man out Of you.

'Cause I'm a woman...
I'll say it again.
I'm a woman...

Just thinking about THAT woman exhausts me, and trying to be her leaves me sorely disappointed in myself and utterly empty of spirit. Some days, I can feel myself trying to be her--to do it all, be it all. And on those days I try to remember a little nugget of advice I was given a few years back: "Women can do it all, just not all at the same time." Lord-willing, I've got plenty of years left, but for now, I'm inexpressibly happy that I get to spend these few years with my kids, as storybook theater superstar, first-class chauffeur, homeroom mom, personal assistant, private comedian, lifeguard, spiritual advisor, and the make-everything-better specialist. I'm so blessed to be able to joyfully take off the working woman hat for just a bit to savor a few years with these beautiful children. These "blasphemous" thoughts, as well, would have offended my former sensibilities, even just a few years ago. But I think I've learned a few things since then too.

So I'm not the picture of the independent woman for sure. And I'm feeling okay about that. Better than okay, actually.

Originally posted on CashClanJapan on July 4th, 2008.

I really thought I'd use that hor'devours platter.
Monday, July 7, 2008

Today's guest post comes courtesy of Catrina Edgar. Some of her many achievements include running a marathon, climbing Dog Mountain in the Colombia River Gorge (with a toddler strapped to her back!!), and taking breath-taking photographs on the beauty surrounding her in Oregon. She is mom to two beautiful children, wife to a husband just named chief resident of neurology, wine connoisseur, hiking enthusiast, and blogger extraordinaire. You can find her writing and incredible photographs at Sipping Chardonnay.

As I was in my garage the other day glancing at some of the unpacked boxes that didn’t quite make the cut for occupying space on the inside of our tiny house, I realized (after taking a very quick mental inventory) that most of the contents stored in those boxes are the rarely (more like never) used appliances and gadgets Eric and I received as gifts on our wedding day. Gifts that we actually selected as part of our wedding registry. “How did this happen?” I asked myself. And how many young couples are falling victim to scanning just about anything with a barcode when it comes to the gift registry, only to render it completely useless six months after the I do’s? Surely we weren’t the only ones. SURELY.

“But how do you get around such an issue?” I contemplated even more. Then suddenly it hit me, like a swift kick to the rear. Wouldn’t it be more practical to shower a newly married couple with gifts, say, just after purchasing their first home together, or when they’ve been married long enough to at least know who’s really going to be doing the cooking, cleaning, and caretaking—and what items will be needed to effectively accomplish such tasks? Because if that were the case, I am fairly certain I wouldn’t have a food dehydrator, bread machine, and quesadilla maker (just to name a few) collecting dust and taking up precious space in my garage. Rather, I’d be marveling at the quickness in which I can dice an onion with knives sharp enough to sever a finger. I’d be sipping my wine from beautiful Riedel stemware. And I’d totally be sawing logs on 700-thread count satin sheets for crying out loud!

Pure BRILLIANCE!!! Right? Well, at least my fellow non-conventionalists out there are nodding in agreement. While I really don’t think anything like this would ever come to fruition, I would whole-heartedly embrace any of my yet-to-be-married friends brave enough to even suggest it. But regardless of whether or not you concur with my proposed amendment to the current marital constitution, I’m sure you have some of those “what were we thinking?” items laying around your house, or packed away in your garage--or better yet, already donated to charity. Spill it. We want to hear all about ‘em!

Another treasure re-discovered in the move.
Thursday, July 3, 2008

This started the love of all things George.

A greatest hit's cassette tape. I'm pretty sure I swiped it from my Grandma's house when I was in about third grade. The date on it is 1986.

In Elementary school I kept my cassette tapes lined up in an old shoe box. I wrote the artist's name on the top of the tapes that wound up with missing cases, so I could see what tape I wanted at a glance. Nerd.

We don't even own a cassette player anymore, but I'll hang on to this relic anyway. Some day my kids will laugh at it they way I laughed at 8-tracks.


I posted awhile back about the QT Squart, which should be familiar to anyone who grew up around Tulsa.

Someone found a picture! It's exactly how I remember it, down to the handy phonetic pronunciation. (skwort)

(Thanks to commenter 'Dan' who left the link to the picture on the original post.)

Stay Tuned!!!
Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Dear Lost in Laundry Blog,

I feel I have been neglecting you lately.

I'm sorry blog. I am swimming in unpacked boxes from our recent move. And strangely, laundry doesn't stop needing washed just because you suddenly have a lot more than usual to do!

So between my normal domestic duties, unpacking, and preparing to leave for a week and a half for a trip to Oklahoma combined with taking 50 kids to Kids' Camp, you , Lost in Laundry, have fallen by the wayside.

I apologize. I will hopefully be back to my regular posting soon. But in the mean time, I have asked some dear friends to submit some guest posts. I hope that can partly make up for my neglect.


So stay tuned readers! I have asked some friends to submit some guest posts that will be up on Lost in Laundry next week. Some have already agreed, and I'm hoping that ones who haven't will feel pressured by this post to do so. You know who you are.

And if you would like to submit a guest post and didn't get an email from me, click on "contact me" and shoot me an email with your idea!

May we all have a moment of silence...
Tuesday, July 1, 2008

...for the loss of a favorite earring.

I bought these earrings a little over two years ago to wear to my brother-in-law's wedding. They quickly became my favorite earrings. I wore them all the time - if my outfit had the slightest wee bit of black, I was wearing these earrings.

I don't know exactly why I loved them so much. Perhaps it's because they brought me into the world of long dangle earrings, and finally ushered me out of the small hoop style I had clung to for too long.

Or maybe I loved them because I wore them to a beautiful wedding, and I was so happy that my brother-in-law married such a great girl. (Okay, okay. I'm totally not that sappy. That's not really why I loved the earrings. I just wanted to give a bit of love to my sister-in-law who really is an awesome, lovely person, and a faithful blog reader. Hi Steph!)

At any Ryan's last t-ball game of the season I lost one of the earrings. It was in the car ride home after the game I realized it had fallen out. It was a sad moment.

I never pay more than about $7 bucks for a pair of earrings, so it's not like it was a financial loss. (And obviously, the reason I never pay more than $7 bucks is because my 2 year old daughter is better at keeping track of her jewelry than I am.)

I have kept the lone, single earring that remains, just not able to make myself throw it away.

I guess it's finally time. Goodbye, you black dangling beauty. I'm sure all my friends will be grateful that they many finally see me with some new accessories.

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)



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