“The Idiot Box”

So my kids were never allowed to watch SpongeBob Squarepants until Tristan was sick. Sometimes, while in the hospital, there was just nothing on TV, and Tristan started enjoying SpongeBob. Since then, all my kids (and I) have continued to enjoy SpongeBob. Yes, I know it’s supposed to make you dumber, but we are just as dumb now as we were prior to life with a little SpongeBob (I know that will be hard for some people to swallow!). Anyway, the episode I would like to discuss is called Idiot Box. In this episode SpongeBob and Patrick are playing in a large box. Using their imaginations, they are having a great time. Squidward, the Negative Nancy that he is, cannot figure out how they are making this box work. He doesn’t believe it is powered by their imagination. It kills him. With that said, Hailey, Adrian & Tristan are my SpongeBobs and Patricks, and Clara, Presley, J’onn & Cory are my Squidwards. The oldest three were always outside playing made up games. They used props, but they could catch fish in the sand or play pirates for hours. My younger set of children? Well, this is what they do when we “make” them play outside:

Yup. They take turns at the door. They’ll knock, kick, or just stand and stare. It is amazing. They don’t even understand the idea behind “using your imagination.” For example, on the way to Gramma’s house to dye Easter eggs today, as Hailey and I were discussing their similarities to Idiot Box,  Clara said she’d use her imagination to dye eggs while dying them. I offered to let her stay in the van and use her imagination to dye them while we went inside to actually dye them. “Ohhhh.” I think she got it. Since it is a beautiful spring day, I have kicked the boys outside. The only reprieve the girls have is that they have to finish their chores first. Maybe I should get them a big box. Then they could all stand around outside of it wondering how it works. At least they wouldn’t be kicking the door.

P.S. Here is my list of my favorite SpongeBob Episodes:

Krusty Towers (with cheese-my all time favorite- I LOVE IT!)

Shanghaied (Keep going, you’re good, you’re good! Don’t worry, Captian, we’ll buff out those scratches!)

The Camping Episode (Good thing we’re all wearing our anti-sea-rhinoceros undergarments!)

The Algae’s Always Greener (Goodbye everyone, I’ll remember you all in therapy!)

20,000 Patties Under the Sea (Hey, you can’t talk to my grandson like that. Someone oughta put you in a mental hospital. [Plankton] Someone should put you in a box floating down the river, Grandma!     You’re probably right.   – Ok, it is really funny in context!)

Dying for Pie (Sunsets always remind me of bowls of fruit. What do they make you think of, Squidward?      Explosions… I mean, erosion.)

Krusty Krab Training Video (Probably due to all my years at McDonald’s)

F.U.N. (F is for friends who do stuff together, U is for you & me, N is for  anywhere, any time at all, down here in the deep blue sea. F is for fire that burns down the whole town! U is for uranium- bomb!  N is for no survivors…!)

Single Cell Anniversary (Oh my Karen, Oh my Karen. Oh my computer wife Karen.)

Your Shoe’s Untied (Like bunny ears or a Christmas bow, lace ’em up and you’re ready to go!)

Have You Seen This Snail? ( Gary, I’m sorry I neglected you. Oh, I never expected you to run away and leave me feeling this empty. Your meow right now would sound like music to me!) To be fair, I have not seen many of the newer ones, I bet there are some good ones out there!

P.P.S.- Again, for the anti-SpongeBob crowd, J’onn loves SpongeBob the most AND he has the most active imagination of the youngest ones (he just doesn’t like to play outside) so I can’t blame Spongebob for sucking their imaginations out!!!

Happy Birthday, Clara!

Well, today is Passover- thank you Jesus for being our Passover Lamb! This year it is also Clara’s 12th birthday! She’s at her friend, Hannah’s birthday party though. She’s having a French themed party next weekend. This will include the transformation of our living room into a French Cafe, watching Sabrina, eating a French meal, and learning a mime drama with her friends to show the parents in the morning. I am ready for that to be over.

Emma and Zoe came over for a few hours today (they are easy to have over, they are both 4 months older than Clara & Presley). During this time, J’onn made a mess of his toys in his room. I asked him why he piled a bunch of toys up in his doorway, and he replied: “Adrian doesn’t like it when the girls go in his room so I made a barricade!”

I thought that was very sweet, since Adrian has been gone a week now at ALERT. I was so relieved to find a couple of pictures of him online on Tuesday, finally knowing he actually made it all the way there. They also posted the Prayer Calendar for Unit 53 (Adrian is in Alpha 1st Squad). Here is the link so you can see all 50 young men in this Unit, and you can pray for them:


I am super proud of him and so glad he is there. I know it will be so great for him and he will thrive, but my Mommy Heart is so sad! He’s been on vacation longer than this and I never missed him like I do now! In my emails and letters to him I have to be careful. I want to write all the Mommy things down: Are you brushing your teeth? Taking your meds? Doing laundry? Do you click with anybody yet? How is your Squad?… But I have refrained. Him going is partly about the separation he needs to take all those things on himself. And I am realizing that if he was here I’d probably never let him take them all on.

I’m just glad they’ll make him write home once a week. Both Hailey and I have written and told him we need details! I can see it now- “Hi family. Doing great. Food sucks. Tired. Gotta go. Love, Adrian.” Not gonna fly!!!!

In the wake of Adrian leaving, we’ve had to rearrange all the chores. Hailey has very few- just once a week type stuff. But in order to pick up the slack, Clara, Presley, J’onn, Cory & I have all added things to our daily routines. This is going…well it’s just going. Hopefully the kids get used to it soon, and I find the extra energy daily for the tasks I have taken up in Adrian’s stead.

Well, it is 7:17 pm and I am going to take a nap until 10 when I have to go pick Clara up. Twelve years old. Hard to believe. As in, hard to believe I’m that old!

Birthday girl!

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Mermaid birthday!

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It is always a big undertaking to get all the kids to the dentist. Hailey no longer attends the Children’s Choice, but the other 7 still do, and they schedule their checkups all at once. But we manage, it’s a good opportunity to see how the kids can behave as a group while we are all in the back and they are taking turns in the chair.

All the kids do really well, even Madeline, who, with some encouragement, opens wide and says AAHHHH! They were even able to put fluoride on her teeth this time! The shocker though, was Eva.

At 19 months old, Eva likes to brush her own teeth (so you can imagine how well they are getting cleaned), but refuses my help. Being so young, and not wanting to deter her from liking to brush her teeth, I have let that go. But today, and before she could watch her older siblings take their turns, she surprised us all.

Not only did she want to sit in the chair, but she let the hygienist brush, floss, and paint her teeth with fluoride! Then the Dentist came over and took a look, too! In fact, we had to then keep her out of the chair!

Here’s the proof:

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And in the spirt of the Dentist visit, and Tristan’s birthday, here is another video:


Happy Birthday, Tristan

March 23, 2015- Tristan would be 16 years old today!

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So Tristan loved giving gifts so much, that on his last outing with his Grandma and Grandpa Ray, he went to the store, able to pick out whatever he wanted; he chose party supplies and gifts for his siblings- wrapping paper and all. We have therefore made it a tradition that on his birthday, all the kids get a gift. This afternoon, we’ll take flowers to his memorial stone, and tonight, we’ll have a birthday cake and open gifts. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate him.

Happy Birthday, T. I love you. I miss you so much.

P.S. Thank you to those few precious people who remember Tristan with us on this day every year. We appreciate the thoughtfulness more than you know.


J’onn is a lot like his big brother, Adrian. Adrian has never had an easy time communicating. But as an older, wiser parent, I have been able to help J’onn learn at a young age to communicate better than I did with Adrian.

For example, yesterday J’onn was mad we would not let him and Cory play video games. His response is to draw a picture. This picture had 4 people drawn with their names written above them, Cory, J’onn, Mom and Dad. The names Mom and Dad were scribbled out. He then delivered the picture to me and I know that is a cue that he needs to talk. So I listened to him stutter out why he was angry, and then informed him while it was a good picture and I was glad we talked, he still was not playing video games.


Tonight we read a book, The Tale of the Three Trees, at J’onn’s request. Whenever I finish reading him a book, he likes to “read” it back to me in his own words. On this occasion, whenever he couldn’t think of the word he wanted for the story he was telling, he replaced it- very naturally-with the word “thig.” Yup, thig. The first time he said it, Clara and I just looked wide-eyed at each other, stifling a laugh. I told him I thought he meant “weak.” He agreed, corrected, and kept going. When he said it the next time,  I stopped him and he put his hand on his forehead, “Oh yeah, oops!” And he hit his head a few times to encourage the right word to come to the front of his brain.

We made it through the story with a few more “thigs”, and then he went to bed. That’s when I remembered a story Clara told me. Clara’s friend, Hannah (born same day, same hospital as Clara), reminded her while studying for the AWANAS Bible Trivia Challenge (in which of about 100 local kids, Hannah took first place & Clara took second!) about what a boy in their Sunday School class had said a few years back. They were going over the 10 Commandments and for number 7, the boy said “Do not commit the elderly.” I thought that was pretty funny.


Speaking of AWANAS, Saturday was the AWANAS Games at Whitworth University (my alma mater). Clara, Presley & J’onn played for Team Trinity (Trinity Baptist Church), that hadn’t actually participated for several years. Clara’s TNT Team came in second, and Presley & J’onn’s Sparky team came in first. It was so much fun to watch! I hadn’t been to an AWANAS games since I watched Hailey & Adrian with my mother-in-law 13 years ago! It was great, Go Blue!

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I know, it’s so small that it’s like playing Where’s Waldo. But I promise, Clara is in the top picture (arms folded- she was very intense), and Presley & J’onn are in the bottom one (J’onn standing on right end, Press standing about 5 kids over looking right)!

Daddy’s Girl

My baby is almost 20. I can’t believe how time flies. As I type, Hailey is sitting across the kitchen table from me writing down Bible verses in her effort to copy the entire New Testament by hand. (She’s 4 chapters away from Finishing!)

I sat down at the table when she asked me a question about people being saved after the rapture of the church. I discussed (passionately) Dr Fructenbaum’s lecture on the 3 groups of historical people (Israel, Gentiles, and the  Church). This led to the reason for the flood (getting rid of the Nephilim and other monstrosities), Atlantis, Bigfoot, Aliens/Spirits of Nephilim, Panspermia, the Books of Enoch & Jasher,  Evolutionists versus Catastrophists, The Restrainer and what He may be restraining, and many other things. It was a fantastic conversation- for me.

As I stated, I discussed this passionately. I told her I don’t want her to believe it because I have said it, she needs to look into it and learn it for herself, after all, if you believe in the Bible, you believe in many supernatural occurrences!  To which she replied that it makes sense and she does believe it. I also told her that we need to be like the sons of Issachar: “And the children of Issachar, who were men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do….” (1 Chronicles 12:32). We should understand the times we live in so we know what to do….

What if The Restrainer allows some “unbelievable” things to happen before the rapture? For example “Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” (Luke 21:26). Really? Something will come upon the earth? Something not of this earth will come upon it? Really?

If we do not know what times we are living in, and don’t know what we believe about these times, before the next level of craziness is reached, we will not stand. We could be like the majority of Christians nowadays: So self-consumed with getting through the day and our own problems that they don’t have time to understand the times like Jesus said we should (see Matthew 16:2-4), so when something crazy does happen, they will be blindsided and will have to think about how it fits into their worldview, or how to change their worldview.

The non-believer’s answer to them at that time: “You are just using a crutch to make yourself feel better. You are trying to explain away by your faith what I can see with my eyes.” I’m with them.

BUT— If you know what is happening (think Israel, UFOs, CERN…) and people know what you think about these things a priori , before it happens, then they might listen. I know this veers from my other posts, but these are important subjects to me. My links page can get you to a lot of this information- look it up on your own. As far as Hailey goes, she is a smart woman. She knows what is true and can hear the voice of her Shepherd. She’s just not as passionate about eschatology as I am.

In fact, she told me right after we talked that she knows why we don’t talk like this more often! That was a good laugh. Also, she can see why she naturally clicks with her dad better than she does with me!

In fact, she broke down all the kids for me: Hailey drifts toward Dad, Adrian toward me, Tristan toward me, Madeline doesn’t count, Clara- unsure, Presley toward Dad, J’onn toward me, Cory- unsure, Eva toward Dad (good thing she’s still nursing!).

I’m pretty impressed. She’s right on! But just because we don’t click as naturally as her and her dad doesn’t mean we don’t totally love and respect each other’s interests, viewpoints, and priorities. What a great thing to live in such a diverse home. All that matters is that we agree on the main point in life: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Can you imagine if we all had the same likes and dislikes? What a boring world this would be!

Thanks for listening to your mom passionately rattle on about her interests!

I love you, HeHe!


P.S. Just to be clear: Clara toward Dad, Cory toward me. Madeline toward me unless she’s in the hospital, then she’s all about her dad! And if you look at the gender ratios there, it all makes sense.


Due to a lack of internet in Montana, I did not get the posts out that I wanted to. However, there was something that happened in Montana that I definitely wanted to post right away. What happened was that J’onn jumped back and yelled after getting smashed by a ball in his…balls. He wasn’t hurt, just surprised, and jerked back quickly. That incident reminded me of a cute video that I have trimmed dramatically for modesty’s sake. This was taken about two months ago, J’onn was/is 6 in this video.


While that is cute, yet admittedly a little concerning that he fell asleep in water, what is even better is what Cory said the instant I stopped recording. He told me, “He was tired, so I washed him for him.” Which really was very sweet of him.

But the funny part is that after J’onn got hit by the ball in Montana, Cory said, “That’s what he did when I washed him when he was sleeping in the bath!”

Oh, I bet he did.

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What incredible bonds brothers share.

Airing Dirty Laundry

Since November, we have had about 2 (non-consecutive) weeks when there was not some cold, flu or other virus ravaging our house. Just as I was hoping Clara’s “smoker’s hack” was going to be the last of the sickness around here due to an early rise in temperatures outside, Eva got sick. She woke up with a fever yesterday, and had it all day long. At bedtime, she was sitting on our bed with her Daddy and started coughing. That coughing led to puking.

Now this is where my laundry comes in. We have sooo much laundry in this household! I have a sign in the laundry room that I often read and just sigh. It says: This Home is Full of Endless Love & Laundry. I have to make a planned effort to get extra loads done. Like my bedding for example. Just this Thursday, I was able to get my comforter washed. And yesterday, I got my sheets and all the rest of the laundry done, too. Although, “all the rest” lasted about 15 minutes, because four kids went in the hot tub and threw their wet towels on their clothes that had only been worn for 3 hours. Yes, those are the same clothes they should have put back on instead of getting new outfits out. Then they played with sidewalk chalk, and J’onn had to change again since it looked like he rolled around in it. So between 12 and 3, a whole load of dirty laundry was made by 4 kids. That is why when Eva started puking on my bed last night, I was panicking inside.

I suppose a truly selfless, loving mother would instantly think “Oh baby, I’m so sorry you are sick! Here, let me catch it in my hands.” But that was definitely not my reaction. I grabbed a baby blanket and threw it at Adrian (obviously to protect my fresh, clean linens), and ran for a wet towel. The thoughts tumbling in my mind mainly had to do with laundry- sheets, blankets, comforters, towels, and pukey pajamas. It is true, other thoughts popped in, like, “Oh, this might be a long night” (it was), and please don’t let anyone else catch this. And there was a “poor baby” thought or two that tumbled around as well, but in all honesty, my bedding worries were louder than the rest.

As I ran back into my bedroom, I saw Adrian with puke all over him. It was spewed across his shirt and dripping down his arm, but thankfully he was protecting my bed with the baby blanket. I expected a reaction of exasperation from him, but what I heard was, “Baby, you’ve got to start chewing your food. These noodles are too long!”

Eva finished getting rid of her spaghetti dinner, and I took the blanket from Adrian’s hand. When I did, my eyes took in the true horror of the situation: there was puke everywhere. It was on the sheets, on the down comforter’s duvet, on the top comforter- it was on every layer of bedding. In fact, about 90% of the puke was on my bedding! I don’t even know how that happened! When I threw the baby blanket to Adrian, it was like making a three-pointer! Right on target!

I just don’t get how this happened. My only guess is that because his thoughts were “selfless,” and his focus on Eva alone, he let the bedding slide. This was even more surprising to me because it was his side of the bed that got hit! On top of that, he probably has no idea about the laundry or bedding situation in our home. What a good daddy. (Notice I didn’t say husband- a good husband would’ve been concerned with his wife’s laundry!) Priorities, I guess. In the end, he had them in order.

I could write for a while about laundry, pukey kids and being up all night, but unfortunately, I have a lot of dirty laundry to wash today so I need to get started.


P.S. Eva is doing much better this morning, but I need a nap.


So I’ve had the opportunity to reconnect with friends lately. My daughter’s first home nurse (13 years ago), Amber, and I are still friends. She lives about 3 hours away but was able to visit the other week, and we always have fun. I was able to talk to my friend, Beth, who lives about 5 hours away, and catch up with her. I had to get off the phone with Beth when we arrived at our friend’s house to go to dinner. So David and Kari, whom we haven’t done anything with in a year, and Adrian and I sat at dinner for three & a half hours catching up, it was great. I was also texting with my sister-in-law, Stacey, this week which was encouraging and just plain great to communicate with her.

We even have been able to reconnect with Maui this weekend. Maui, as in Hawaii?! No, actually, Maui as in our blue pit bull we gave to friends- blue like the waters of Maui.

We have a rottweiler, Hector. He’s a great dog. We then got Maui from our neighbor. But two puppies (Hector is a year older, 3 now) was too much at the time, especially because Maui ate EVERYTHING. So Maui became Nala at our friend’s house where she has a great life. (Come to think of it, my old miniature schnauzer, Lacy, lives with Amber. There may be a pattern forming here.)

What we didn’t know when we gave Maui to Laura is that she was about 1 day pregnant. Laura came home to 4 puppies after having Maui for 2 months! Fortunately, their other pit had just had puppies right before getting Maui, so they were prepared- and I was even more thankful she was gone! This was a shock to us, we have NEVER seen Hector try and make babies to any dog, leg, thing period! Maui had been in heat once before, but she must have been “early” this round. (That’s how I got pregnant with Tristan, so I understand!)

Well, Adrian and Laura decided that Hector and Maui, sorry, Nala, made such cute puppies by accident the first time that they should do it again. So this weekend, Hector is reconnecting with Maui.

If this “reconnecting” works, Adrian wants one of their puppies. I just need to figure out which friend we will give her to one day.

Maui (Nala) & Hector


I love my son, Adrian, to death. He’s good with kids, a talented athlete (he loves racquetball and is a gymnastics/parkour coach), a hard worker (at the Gym, our McDonald’s, and as a care giver for his sister) and loves Jesus. But- and some of you will understand this better than others- he is a boy. At 18, he’s still a boy. We tease him (in love) a lot about being forgetful, unhygienic, and often brain dead.

For example, Sunday he went to Home Depot- TWICE- WITH SCREW IN HAND- for another screw EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE ONE HE WAS HOLDING, and came back with the wrong size screw both times. It is this “brain dead” aspect which makes this video so funny.

Eva is 18 months and a big talker. She’s been speaking in sentences for several months, and for the most part people (even outside our family) can understand her. But not when it comes to this one word. Apparently “Adrian” is difficult for her. But at the same time it is soooo fitting in our teasing of him.

So, our own precious “Idiot” will be heading off to the International ALERT Academy in about 3 weeks. He’s starting with their Basic Training camp for 9 weeks. It is an amazing growth opportunity for boys who need to turn into young men. I’m super excited for him, I think it is a great fit for him, but it is the first time I will have been separated from one of my kids for this long. Of course, Tristan’s been gone for 6+ years (since November 7, 2008), but that is not by choice! I miss Tristan desperately, and I know I will miss my Idiot, too, but it is time for this boy to take some big steps in his maturity and spiritual growth as well. Maybe by June we can teach Eva to say Adrian, and he will no longer be our little “Idiot.”

Now I get to go play “Invisible Go Fish” with J’onn for invisible money. My only child who will have more fun with pretend cards than the real thing.

–Thanks to Becca (one of Hailey’s best friends & Madeline’s care giver) for catching Eva’s Idiot on video for posterity’s sake!