Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What do you think?

So I was having a conversation with a friend. Good conversation - deep & meaningful conversation .... about life & suffering & how God fits into all of this. We have these conversations often & they always challenge me. I enjoy it. I never have the answers & I become very aware of my questions which forces me to dig & question what I believe. It's always a frightening moment to wonder if my faith feels a little shaky at times. But I'm not afraid to ask the questions & ultimately I find that the foundation is firm.. This person asks questions about suffering in the world & how when we see all the hurting & injustice that it is hard to believe that there is a good God who is taking care of things.
I get that.
It is hard.
Things seem unfair. And I can argue that "who sets the bar for what's fair?" because we all see things from our own point of view - but that argument doesn't hold much for me when I say it outloud. My friend says that he is sure that there must be evil in the world & ultimately thinks that there must be some greater power - but he has concluded that that greater power must not have much control.
All of these questions - many of which will go unanswered forever....in this life...are fair questions.
So with my questions in hand & the challenge from another friend to read the Bible in a year - I take it to the Scriptures. I read the Scriptures as history - for that's what they are. Just as I read history books - events that I was not there to witness....but I trust that they are true. This is not a great big 'let me explain the universe & all it's workings to you" kind of entry :). That's not an entry I would ever attempt to post...but these questions are real & I like real questions that make me dig & dig & get a little uncomfortable.....so I'm thinking outloud....sort of.
So as I read the Bible & as I sit silently asking my questions...often times frustrated that things won't just get better for everyone...I hear nudgings in my heart. Almost little whispers. And guidance - words popping out at me from pages I've read before.....clarity in some ways...for now. For I know that my mind cannot ever comprehend all that God is.
I can say that I have had some hard moments in my life.....but I can't even really focus on them because they seem petty in comparison that what other people go through....but I know this, I have been an instrument in some people's lives ONLY because of those struggles. I am able to link arms with people simply because I have been down a road that hurt similar to the way it has hurt someone else. So it gives my "suffering" purpose. I don't believe that we are meant for this world but that we have a heartbeat inside of us that longs for forever. And I think that we are eternal beings. I don't believe we are promised an easy life. I believe that having more often makes things harder - but having nothing would certainly be much more painful. And there are those with nothing. And there are those with nothing that choose to cling to hope. I don't understand it but in the gospels after Jesus in baptized by John - Jesus is tempted in the desert. satan says something to the effect of "all of this is his to offer" - what? this world is his domain? Satan's domain? Freaky. But it sure makes a lot of sense out of some things.....
Because if this world is damaged, which I think we can all agree that it is, then my hope is in a greater something that I will be a part of. I believe heaven is that. Hope. And if I hope for that ... believing that I am just passing through this damaged world & that I won't stay....I hope that I would not simply acquire more & more to make myself comfortable here....but that I would focus on the future. And hope that all would know that & stand on that also.
I have this longing to go to Africa....& I've had to figure out why. I used to think I could make a difference there - but I don't think that's really why I want to go. I think I want to go because there are people with nothing - that choose to believe in the hope of more. That kind of hope must be real. So instead of feeling sorry them - I want to feed them, love them & most of all....I want to learn from them. Because that's what it's all about. The stuff of this world is temporary. But this heartbeat in me - this spirit - feels like it will certainly live forever. But here's the deal....if we feel like we have been dealt a "fine" hand in this lifetime....that all has been hunky-dorey. Then we are missing the need for more. We have become comfortable & saitsified with where we are. If we don't feel the need then I think the search for more will come to seem unnecessary. And it's not unnecessary. We have just decided that for whatever reason - we get to make that call. To say "I'm happy & I choose to not bet on the hope for more" - I don't even really understand that. If this world is corrupt - wouldn't you side with the hope for justice & peace & love? It's the most redeeming story I have ever heard & I don't get why people have such a problem with hearing about it.....but it even reads in the Bible that people will violently oppose this idea that there is a Savior from all of the pain. If you see that others are in pain - wouldn't you want to be able to tell them that there is more - to hold on because your life has a purpose & God PROMISED to make this right. Wouldn't you want to give someone that hope....rather than ......I don't know, the alternative? To believe that this is all for nothing? That seems so cynical. What is the fear in believing that there is a God & that He made things right so that if we want to - we can jump on board & have justice, peace & love forever & ever?
Are we afraid of being wrong? BEcause, maybe it's just me, but I'm ok with that. My belief is just that.....belief & faith. And I believe I'm right - or I wouldn't believe. And if I'm wrong.....well, then I lived a life with a lot of hope. I choose to believe that my life has a purpose & that everything I think & do is important for my heart, for the people around me & for the people not around me.
What do you think?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Eve

OK, so it's Christmas eve & I realize that i have not done well at educating the girl about Santa. I mean, she was so freaked out about the guy that he didn't come up much in conversation. So I thought to myself, "Self, I think the Polar Express might be a fun movie to watch tonight to get EXCITED about Santa coming!" So Lee & the girl went to WalMart.
On Christmas eve.
At like, 5 pm.
Good times.
So they get home & we eat dinner real quick & pop the movie in. Now, all is going well. She's really into the train & how can you not get all jittery inside over that crazy hot chocolate scene!?
You may remember this story.
Well, this one turned out to be quite similar.
She was completely freaked out by the movie. As you can see clearly in the picture. I believe she was saying, "I don't like this movie. I just want to go to bed. I don't want to watch it anymore."
Me--------rry Christmas!
And, as a side note, I took that picture. Seriously. Who does that? My baby is crying because she's scared & the thought that comes to my mind is "oh, I should grab my camera - it's a kodak moment"
As I'm posting this I wonder if I ever want them to see this blog when they get older....I guess it could actually be very helpful as they walk into their therapists office - they can simply hand them a copy of this blog.
Anyway. We fast forwarded a bit & finished the movie. She was much better....but still a little afraid to go to sleep.
Christmas morning came & I think Santa redeemed himself......but I'm pretty sure we won't be watching the Polar Express any time soon.
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Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Monday, December 22, 2008

trees & cookies

Choosing & decorating the tree was not as exciting as we would have liked. We got so busy & it came down to the day before a Christmas party we were hosting with some neighbors. Lee grabbed a tree while picking up some last minute food items at the grocery store - Kroger - 35 bucks...I would say it works. We threw the decorations on there & I'm pretty positive that we're missing a bunch but I have no idea where they are & don't have the time to find them. Next year. And did I mention that the tree leans way to the left? It does & the Santa tree topper just seems to draw more attention to it. I would fix it but I have honestly grown fond of it like that. It reflects where we are right now. Just a little off, but pulling it together....
Anyway, back to the pictures.....we did decorate some quick sugar cookies. It was so late I was like - "Eat your cookies & go straight to bed!!!!"
"Hurry! Eat them! "
"Smile for the camera. Seriously. SMILE!!"
"Quick Quick Quick!!!!! Fa la la la la la la la la"

Why do I let myself get this way!?!?! My New Year's Resolution needs to be to take it easy. Make time.
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Christmas party

And then the day after the gymnastics class....we had the Christmas party at school. Baby was with a sitter so no threat of ruining the party. It was nice to give her my undivided attention. I put the boy in the drop off nursery & just spent that time enjoying the girl in her element. It's strange to see your kid's personality in an environment that you're not a part of - normally. "School" is a place she goes to for like 7 hours a week....but it's a big deal 7 hours. There are 2 other women who teach & model for her & 11 other kids who she is surrounded by. I am never sure of what she is like at school. She was precious to watch......
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Sunday, December 21, 2008


And the day after the baby screamed through the 4 year old's classroom birthday celebration, she screamed through the big girl's last gymnastics class. The one where the parents get to be in the gym with video cameras making a big deal out of our budding gymnasts. Yep - the baby screamed. This child who is normally so peaceful & calm....screamed as loud as she could for the gymnastics show, too. Thankfully, big sister didn't seem to notice & when I had to walk out of the room I made sure I waved big so she could see me.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

3 months

Man, is this girl a sweet heart. She is the smiliest (is that a word? My computer put a red line under it so I guess not, but I'm gonna need to just stay with it) baby I've ever known. Even in the middle of a crying fit she'll take a break and throw you a big toothless grin. I'm so completely in love with her....as sleepy as I am & as pulled as i feel being needed by 4 different people....I still am overflowing with gratitude and giddy love for this new baby! Thought you might want some updated pictures of the growing baby.
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She's 4!

Really? How is she 4 - already?! I told her the other night - "You're getting so big. You're growing up too fast."
"I WILL gett bigger, mom. I will." was her response. I mean, i know that she will....I just can't believe it's happening so fast.
While we've been waiting for the Santa pictures to come back we have had a LOT going on. We celebrated her birthday with her friends at school & it really hasn't stopped since then. I'll start uploading the pictures & telling the stories. Enjoy these in the meantime.
That sweet baby got to come with us. Her big sister was SO proud to have the baby there. I was so worried that it would steal her moment - I"m glad she wanted to share her moment with her sister. She screamed almost the entire time....but for whatever reason that 4 year old barely noticed.
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Monday, December 8, 2008


The pictures of the kids actually on the big man's lap will come later, but here are some teasers. You may remember last year. This year was similar. The screaming. The crying. It happened again. I really thought she would have a break through this year.....She was ready. Talked about going to see Santa a LOT! She wrote out her list. Asked questions....she asked me that morning if elves were scary. That's a tricky question, but I figured the right answer at that moment was "no. elves are not scary. " I added that they probably weren't going to be there anyway. We got to the place. The girl held my hand & walked with great confidence....bag in hand - she put her list in a gift bag that had a picture of Santa on it - i thought it was clever. We got about 6 steps form the door & she froze. Tears. "I wanna go home. I wanna go home." I know her enough to know that her fears are deep rooted - they go beyond Santa & she can't be talked down. The worst thing we can do is let her be afraid AND not go through with it. I'm a believer in being straight up with my kids. I will always be honest. We will always do our best to prepare & plan. And when push comes to shove - we will walk forward - scared or not. So I got down & looked her in the eyes & said, "we're going in. we're going to see Santa & it's cold out here so let's get inside & talk about it."
We walked up to check in & I informed them that my oldest would be screaming. "She's not the 1st" the lady said. They took pictures & I asked Santa if I could take a picture of him holding her Christmas list so that she would see that he got it. And then she put it in the mailbox as well. Those are the pictures I have for now. I"ll post the others as soon as I get them.
Have you gone to see Santa yet? Do your kids freak out or get excited?

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

IT's HERE!!!

We have been busy busy working to get ready for the show! The 5th annual Garden Market is THIS WEEKEND!!!! The photographer who will be there took some pictures of my kids today.....here's a sampling.

The sweet baby has been so sick - so she just hung out on a blanket looking cute. I don't guess you have to do much to get your picture taken, right?

And here's the info for the show. Please plan to come - you will NOT be disappointed. It is going to be great. Check out the MARKET BLOG for all the details on the artists who will be there.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

my little indian

And just so i don't leave you with that sad picture of my precious boy......he is definitely feeling better.
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Friday, November 28, 2008


We've had it in a calendar for months. We were loading the family into the minivan & headed west. First down to the new orleans area & then to jackson to see family - we were excited for the kids to be with that side of the family & also to eat some of the best food you've ever had. Both my mom & my dad are excellent in the kitchen. Thanksgiving food for me, as for many i suppose, is a lot about comfort. Comfort & variety & a lot of it. I love to see a large dining room table spread with tons of casserole dishes & a big turkey & canned cranberry sauce....i can't help it, i love the stuff. I've made the real deal before & for me, as gross & bad for me as i know it is...i choose the can. There are some staples that I can't live without for Thanksgiving - cornbread dressing is the main one. I don't do stuffing. I actually wasn't aware that there was a difference growing up. I just made the assumption that everyone ate cornbread dressing & some people just called it stuffing. I learned that I was wrong when I was invited to spend Thanksgiving with a friend whose family lives on the eastern shore of Maryland. Stuffing & dressing - not the same. Very different. And I need dressing.
But I digress....

I can't keep the days straight but I believe it was last Thursday (the one before Thanksgiving) that my boy woke up crying with a fever. He was getting a cold, for sure, but then there was this stuff in his eyes & at times they were swollen like golf balls. He was miserable & kept getting more miserable. See.....look.

So we made the call to not go & then we all started getting the bug one by one..... I don't deal well with last minute changes so I started "coping." I turned my panic into action.....we were not only not going west for Thanksgiving, we may not be going ANYWHERE for Thanksigiving....no big Thanksgiving spread of food. No people. No cornbread dressing! No turkey? How could this be?!

What was I to do?

I went to Kroger & started buying things. Turkey - on sale! Ham - on sale! Because a family of 5 with 3 kids 3 & under really NEEDS a turkey AND a ham. I gathered the makings for a few favorites & I was feeling a little better - a bit gluttonous, but still - a little better.
Lee (though he has lost his voice) was able to take the girls to his parents' house to celebrate & visit with family while I stayed back with the boy, who was definitely on the mend, but still contagious & not his best.....we played (made the kid an indian hat) & then I cooked. A lot.

Here's the enormous amount of food the Mitchell family lived off of - breakfast, lunch & and dinner for too many days to count....

I had a lot of favorite dishes to choose from - see at my mom's we usually have turkey, ham, dressing, spinach madeline, curried fruit, cabbage casserole, potatoes au gratin, chess pie, & more..... At my dad's we have smoked turkey, ham, dressing, broccoli casserole, this jello salad that is so amazing, sweet potatoes, pecan pie, & more.....
A chose 4. 4 casseroles, a turkey, a ham, canned cranberry sauce, rolls & a chocolate chess pie.

It was good - & I'm quite satisfied.....for now. I will be antsy again come Nov 2009.

black friday

OK, I have to know because all of the friday sale commercials on TV have completely stressed me out & it leaves me wondering......do you get up before the sun to go to shopping on the day after Thanksgiving? Or are you like me.....roll out of bed & grap a piece of leftover pie from the fridge for breakfast? For me, black friday is all about the leftovers.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sick & Thankful

Well, it's been a week. A week filled with runny noses & nasty eye stuff & even a little throw up. We had to change our Thanksgiving plans which led to some coping activities which have kept me really busy. And i have pictures of all of it.....and after a good night's sleep, I'll fill you all in.
But I know this. I am blessed. Blessed beyond belief. A house filled with germs & a husband with no voice & I'm a talker so it's been kinda lonely, a 3 year old who seems to think she's 18 & free to do whatever the heck she wants & a toddler who cannot quite communicate his desires with words so chooses to scream & stomp his feet instead...and I am so incredibly thankful for all of it. Happy Thanksgiving. Night night.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

wonderful memories

Only the big girl was awake one afternoon when my dad said he would stay at the house with the sleepers & Lee & I could take big sister to the beach one last time. She had been earlier in the weeek & had a blast, but for whatever reason she said, "I don't want to go to the beach with sand."
"Come on, we're gonna have fun!" we chimed back. So we loaded her onto the back of the bike & took a ride to the beach.
She was reluctant at first - head buried in her daddy's shoulder.

Then she warmed up a bit - up on the shoulders, smiling, gaining confidence....
And then she just started playing. Drawing in the sand. Laughing. We were having a blast - makin' mem-ries.

And then we started playing chase - me & the girl, that is. Lee was watching from the sidelines. She loves to run around & "Be crazy!!!" She says it all the time, "Let's be crazy!!!!"
So we're running...."I'm gonna get you!" squeals of true joy.
And then with the grace of an angel......my feet get tangled up somehow & I'm falling......I reach out my arm to catch my fall, my hand hits her back & I accidentally throw my 3 year old face planted into the sand.
Her face covered. Blood definitely coming out of her mouth.
We load her back into the bike...tears & wailing & this is what I heard the whole way back,
"Mommy pushed me down!" & "I don't want to go to the beach with sand!"
Seriously, what kind of therapy are we going to be paying for.....seriously.
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Mitchell 2048

There's my boy - sitting in the same chair that President Bush sat in for the G8 conference. We have high hopes for the little man & I must say he looks pret-ty comfortable right there.
Mitchell for President 2048
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and they will rise up & call me blessed....

Now then. I'm back & ready to post some pictures & stories from the beach. Let's start here.....
My darling children. As I said it was time to go, they cheerfully jumped into the stroller so obediently, I was so proud. It was one of those moments you never really forget as a mother.
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Friday, November 7, 2008


I'm sure you are all wondering where in the world I have been! All 2 of you who read this blog regularly :). But i am at the beach & caught the baby with a big smile on her face - staring at her granddaddy so the smile is quite understandable. She's getting so big!!
And how cute is that onesie??!! Our sweet neighbors gave that to her. Thanks again Kelly & Jimmy!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


My battery was dying on the camera for the morning pictures & then i left it at a friend's house for the evening pictures! The big girl looked a little different that night, but this is what she looked like the morning she left for school. Adorable, right?
We are not huge Halloween people - we love Christmas & Valentine's Day & Easter...we jump all over birthdays & believe whole heartedly in celebrating. But halloween isn't our favorite.....so she's in a t shirt. But she wasn't just begging to be anything special for halloween & I'm certainly not going to spend a whole lotta cash on a costume when I wasn't even sure if she would be interested.....and then the whole candy thing. Well, i'm exhausted from a child jacked up on sugar....and I am 10 pounds heavier. I have to say, though, she had a blast. Her laugh is contagious & I heard it often that night :).
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Thursday, October 30, 2008

that face

i could eat her up. i really really could. she can make me want to pull my hair out - don't get me wrong....but seriously....look at that face.
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Monday, October 27, 2008

loving arms

Lee was bathing the big kids & putting them to bed while I fed the baby girl. Everyone came down to say good night. I asked big sister to sit on the sofa, asked her to put the boppy around her waist & she held out her hands like I was about to toss her a football. I smiled & placed the baby in her arms. Big grins all around - except from the baby which is why there's a pacifier in her mouth. But she calmed down & eventually loved the arms of her big sister. Sweet moments in the house. I put the baby down soon after & ran upstairs to grab a blanket. On the way down I held the blanket up to my face & just breathed it in. That new baby smell. No, that's not it....it's the smell of my baby.
I am ovewhelmed -I've probably said that a few times....but I am overwhelmed with joy and with gratitude. 3 precious children......I pray in those moments of frustration & exhaustion, which undoubtedly come....sometimes daily....sometimes hourly....I pray that I will be reminded of this gratitude. Because my heart is stretched farther than I thought imaginable....a whole lotta love.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

rainy day

Today was nice. I loved looking at my calendar last night to see absolutely nothing written down. The baby slept well, the big girl slept well & the boy slept in until 915! Pretty sure that's never happened around here. We let him snooze. The big girl & I bonded - & she helped me fold some clothes & load the dishwasher...she's gotten to be such the big helper! I'm grateful. The big guy woke up & we made jello, they took baths, played ball.....i guess you don't need the play by play. The point is that we didn't GO ANYWHERE. It was nice. We sat on the floor this afternoon & had milk & cookies.....these are pictures from our time together. The girl wore that get-up all day long. And something abo ut that tiara on her head demanded royal attention - from her end....not necessarily mine.
Do you like the boy's stripes & plaids?? Yep, that was me - I dressed him. I knew we weren't leaving the house & I didn't through the possiblility of photos being taken - so there.

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