Memorial Day at Home
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The greatest commandment
Monday, May 28, 2012

My small group of 3rd grade boys at church created these while we talked about "the greatest commandment."

Discussing love with 9 year old boys is interesting to say the least. They love video games. They love cheetos. They love Under Armour clothes. When one finally sheepishly offers "I love my mom more than any of that stuff", the others nod in silent agreement and for half a moment a serious mood of contemplation fills the room. One offers, "And God loves us more than we can ever love Him." Then the class jokester says "I love my sister too.... But I wouldn't trade my video games for her!" and takes us back to our normal atmosphere of loud, joking revelry.

And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. (Matthew 22:37, 38 ESV)


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Ryan turned ten years old today.

May 26th, 2002. I can vividly see that crying, wide-eyed perfect little bundle they placed on my chest. "There you are." I saw his perfect face clearly thru my tears; tears brought on by both the glorious agony of labor and delivery, and the unabashed joy of meeting him for the first time. He was remarkable. So beautiful that mere minutes after a hard delivery I heard myself say to Jonathan, "I can't wait to do this again."

That moment, his arrival onto this planet and into my arms, was ten years ago today. I remember it with more clarity than perhaps any other single moment in my life. Doesn't seem possible that a decade has passed.

He is, daily, a joy and delight. Sometimes his kindness and his insight make me tear up with the same emotion I had on that day he was born. That moment 10 years ago, I was a participant in the joy of his birth. Everyday since, I have had the joy of participating in the building of a man. I am so grateful for this young man of character that calls me Mom.

Electronic Age
Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"How much were all these?!?" my six year old asks, as I present my library card to check out our first summer-time haul of library books.

All these years, all these library trips...she thought I was giving the librarian my check card.

Being Mom
Sunday, May 13, 2012

Things about being mom that I adore:

-overhearing others brag on my kids

-that Dylan takes great pride in making my cup of coffee in the mornings

-that I've successfully taught them how to do some things on their own and I no longer have to cut boy toenails

-Lauryn asking "Can we lay in bed and talk?"

-Ryan emailing me to tell me he loves me and to share thoughts about scriptures he's reading (finally letting him have an email account has been such a great relational tool)

-group hugs

-learning small ways to make their day and then doing it even if they don't deserve it

-Ryan saying, "A kid at school asked me if I thought you were overprotective.  I told him 'No way. She's a great mom!' [pause] I really do think you're too overprotective mom, but that's none of his business."

-telling them each they are my favorite; or conversely, when they ask "why does she get to do that and not me?" replying "because she's my favorite"

-Dylan teaching me his best dance moves

-cheering obnoxiously in the baseball and soccer stands

-Lauryn giving me her opinions on my outfits; she's generous with praise as well as with her suggestions for possible improvement

-getting the giggles at dinner

-The day in and day out work of mothering. It's sure hard and I sure do complain sometimes, but I wouldn't relinquish this job to anyone.  The mothering of these three, that job is mine alone to enjoy.  And I am grateful.

puddle jumping
Friday, May 11, 2012

Two straight days of on-again/off-again rain meant that my 4th grader missed his field trip to the local amusement park yesterday ("We went bowling instead Mom, which was totally lame."), and my 2nd grader missed her field trip to the park today.

So trying to find a fun silver lining, I took the kids out puddle jumping as soon we got home from school today.

Super, super fun!  As long as you can push down stray thoughts of the exotic diseases they might potentially catch from the street run-off!  

It was just supposed to be puddle jumping.  Dylan turned it into a mud fight.

Clouds started to look a bit menacing, so we ran back home!

1-2-3-Jump! Landing the simultaneous splash!  

Scrapes and scratches are an essential part of childhood.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My kids are city dwellers.  There's just no getting around it; their comfort zone is fenced in backyards and sidewalks.

But sometimes I want them to get a little dirt under their fingernails.  Enter:  The Hill

That's what we've affectionately dubbed, well, a hill, at a park on the other side of town.  We stumbled on The Hill one Labor Day when were picnicking with friends.  There's trees, dirt, rocks (manmade busted up concrete), weeds, scurrying critters....and some trash and broken glass and probable homeless dwellings that one must overlook.  But we love The Hill!

I spent last Sunday afternoon playing on The Hill with the kids while Jonathan was home manning our Open House.  (Oh yeah.  Sidenote:  Come buy our house.)

The kids got beautifully scratched up legs and arms.  The boys immediately found big sticks (why do boys always do that?) to wave around menacingly.  They made up explorer names like "Toxic" and "Inferno", and "Bella".  Real intimidating Lauryn.  They made up war cries to call out to one another through the forest. They got dirty and stinky and put a few stains on their clothes.  And this reluctant city dweller Mama loved it.

Headed up the hill:

And back down:

Sounding the war cry (They were at battle against Lauryn and our foster child, only those two didn't quite know it...):

If you are not a native of Northeastern Oklahoma who has been transplanted to West Texas, I don't expect you to appreciate the magnificence of place with both a hill and trees.  But just trust me.  It's a near wonderland.  They should be charging admission.

Can you see the explorers there in the middle of The Hill?

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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