Thursday, December 15, 2011

Blue Elephant: A Year In Review

Blue Elephant turns FIVE today! Here are the highlights of your "fourth" year in picture review:
First Viewing of Star Wars: A New Hope, complete with popcorn. Daddy Elephant was delighted to share this with you!

Second year of Cubbies in the church Awana program begins. You LOVE "Earn E. Elephant" (surprising, I know! lol)

Your first day of Kindergarten! Blue Elephant, I was met with alot of raised eyebrows when I decided to homeschool you, and when we started you at FOUR. BUT you are excelling!

Building your "new" red big boy bed with Daddy... men and thier tools! You love this bed, and are proud to be growing up!

First Predators Hockey Game as a family. You and Pink Elephant had alot of fun. You are acting silly for the picture, of course!

We spend alot of time creating imaginative toys/pretending at our house. Here, you and Pink Elephant are playing Firefighters in a repurposed box!

We love to bake and make cookies! Here you are making "mini fall leaves"... I think between you and your little sister, half the cookies got eaten before they made it to the oven!

You are growing so fast, it is hard to believe that you are already 5 years old, today! We love you, Blue Elephant!! Happy Birthday!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I'll Fly Away

This morning we had our breakfast time Bible story, as usual... today we had reached the story of Jesus on the Cross. Daddy Elephant was home for breakfast this morning, so he got to read the story. Both little elephants, mouths full of scrambled eggs, looked at the pictures and listened.
I took the opportunity to connect the dots for Blue Elephant, and explain about salvation again, as we have talked about it many times throughout the last few months.
Did he understand Passover? Did he know what that lamb's blood did for the Israelites? Yes, he "got it"... Did he know when Jesus got "whooped" (love little one's point of view!) before the cross, that it was so bad, there was blood from cuts? Did he understand what THAT blood meant? ( I explained)... Did he know that HE could be saved from Hell  (yes, we have talked about what that place is and what it means) and have Jesus help Him choose to do right, and not "sin"? (yes, the little elephant understands what sin is... he is way smart for a 4 year old!)
Did he want Jesus to live in his heart? Yes, he did!
At this point, Daddy Elephant and I were both crying openly.
He repeated a prayer after Daddy, and I asked a few more simple questions, to see if he really, truely, did comprehend what he had just done.
We sincerely believe that he does... And now, my precious Blue Elephant,

Some glad morning,
When this life is o'er,
I'll fly away!
To a home on God's celestial shore...

And you, as well, my beloved one, will fly away to Jesus when your life is done!
Being present for the salvation of my precious BE??
Priceless memory!
Thank you, Jesus!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sleep in Heavenly Peace

Pink Elephant is in that between stage. You know, the "I still need a nap but there is NO way I am admitting it" stage. I've tried all kinds of things... being on errands at naptime so she just dozes in the car, trying in vain to get her to just plain nap in her room, letting her use my bed as a treat, skipping naptime and putting her to bed earlier (which just means she's up even earlier the next morning...).
Today I got her to lay on the couch and cover up with a blanket, and I put in Babe for both PE and BE to watch.
Well, success! In 23 minutes, PE was out like a light... and BE was doing headstands on the couch- right next to her! Goodness, if it ain't one thing its another with that little male elephant! so now that BE has been sent upstairs to play legos, PE is dozing on the couch. Going on almost 2 hours of straight sleep, now! YAY for naptime actually happening in our house for once.
I don't think i can swing this routine everyday, with our crazy schedule and with BE already trying to come downstairs at least 5 times (just since i started writing this!) but it works for today.
which reminds me of a saying that my mom has repeated to me multiple times since i became a mother...
"whatever works in the moment, do that"... and with children (er, elephants..) I am so inclined to agree!
Today PE will sleep in heavenly peace.
Today I will not get to share in that heavenly peace...
Today BE will keep trying to come pell-mell rumble-tumble downstairs and risk waking her up!
But for this moment, its working... so we are gonna take what we can get!
Happy napping, my sweet Pink Elephant!

Monday, November 28, 2011


in thinking about a new year coming up, i realise that i need to simplify. i want to wipe the slate clean and start fresh.... ive got so many irons in the fire, and so many responsibilities right now, its hard to keep track of my days sometimes.
January brings a new year, and new challenges. what will i be committed to? what do i need to let go?
i'm tenatively starting a small business (tupperware consultant.. i said it was SMALL! lol). but i dont know if i should pursue it or let it go. it could majorly subtract family time in my week, and that is not something i am ever willing to sacrifice...
teaching sunday school is very iffy for next year. the church has changed up the sunday schedule, and the idea of being there from 8 a.m. til 12 then turning around and being there from 4p.m. till 7:30 is... well, its no day of "rest" that is for sure.
my weekly Bible Study is getting more difficult to make it to each week, and with hubby out of a job, i wonder if driving across town each wednesday is worth the gas money we dont have, and then i have added volunteer babysitting for them once a month, since, you know, "I'm not doing anything"...
the doctor appointments once a week keeping me running... and i know those have to stop in January whether I need them or not. no insurance+united states health care system= can't afford it on our own....
Pink Elephant has to quit preschool... there is no $$ for it, now. so that will give me two elephants home, 7 days a week, looking to me to fill the time, and educate them.
oh yes, and there is the "small amont of time" (haha) homeschooling 5 days a week...
all of these things are pulling at me, making me busier and pressed for time, and even grumpy!
what is a mama elephant to do?
oh my goodness, what is wrong with me???
somewhere in the middle of all this rehashing of schedule and woe, i forgot the most important element, the key ingredient... HOPE.
where do i get that hope?
"I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? my help comes from the LORD, the maker of Heaven and Earth."
where do i get hope? from the ONE who gives me help!
i am not doing all these things on my own. i am not facing the unknown of unemployment, uninsured kids all on my own. i am not alone. i am held by the creator, the maker of heaven and earth. he will help me. and knowing i am held in the palm of his hand, i have hope.
i know January is rushing headlong to meet me.... and that life is changing at a lightening fast pace for me and the elephant herd. but i know that the things which HE has called me to will be made clear, and the doors HE wants to open will be open and no one or nothing will be able to shut them. i know the ONE who gives me hope for each and every day, for every minute of every activity i find myself involved in. i know HE will show me where my dedication and my commitment should be.
but where does my calling lay?
here with "hearth and home"... or "herd and home" in my case..
my two precious, growing elephants. they are my calling in life.
the rest is all "peanuts" to me... and i know the Father will help me figure it out.
and with his reassurance, i have HOPE.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Battle of the Needles

It's on, my little green plastic enemies.
Battle of the needles, 2011, has begun...
Daddy Elephant and I put up the Christmas tree yesterday... and out they marched.
The thousands.. tens of thousands... of  1 inch, jolly green static-cling-enabled carpet huggers.
They swarmed from the box, desperate to hide inside my living room.
i think they have contests to see who can "stick around" the longest.
Daddy Elephant vacuumed everything up last night... but i am dead certain that there are "die-hard" troops in carpet foxholes laying in wait for my groans during housecleaning, long after the tree has been tucked away and warm weather has returned.
i think the record holding needle from Christmas 2010 was the single green goblin i found in september... really, needle, september??
I am certain that the parade of the greenery will be a constant battle this season, as not only are the two little elephants touching all over the shrub, but the felines are getting curious and reckless already.
I'm half expecting to hear the tree come crashing down overnight any day now.
Maybe then all excess needles will relinquish their hold on the tree, and i can vacuum them all away... maybe there wont be a grand war with multiple battles this Christmas season.... yeah, right. who am i kidding? I'm already steeling myself to find those rouge pointed soldiers come July.... beware my little friends, i've got a hoover and im not afraid to use it!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Winds of Change

The winds of change, they are a-blowin' around here. as i write, my hubby elephant is off at his new job. i am certain he is loving it, even though his feet are bound to be tired when he makes it home late tonight.
i am glad for him, getting to be even one small part of something that is a passion in his life. i will always be proud of my husband, and i will always believe that he is a great leader of our herd, able to make wise decisions and to find a way to support me and the little elephants.
thank you, lord, for such a wonderful mate!
its almost over, 2011. oh, we have a few weeks, but the whole year has flown by so fast, it feels like tomorrow i will wake up to new year's eve. with the end of a year, you start to think back over the last few months. and i've been doing alot of thinking. maybe too much. but i see how every major area of our lives has been disrupted in the past 3 months, and i also see a lot, a LOT of changes dead-ahead for this herd. i'm over the "fear and trembling" stage of the change. i'm onto the "hopeful and excited" stage, now. you see, if life has taught me anything (and i think its taught me a few lessons here and there, most of which were cruel and hard-won but worth it) it's that immediately after the winds of change die down, this thing called hope begins to grow. and not so immediately, sometimes even years later, this thing called "hind-sight" comes into play. the pieces fall together, and you can clearly see the PURPOSE for the shifting changes in life.
change is not always pleasant, but it is very necessary for growth. the LORD knows what he is doing, even if i do not understand it.
I'm relying heavily upon "trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not on thine own UNDERSTANDING. In all thy ways, acknowledge Him and HE shall direct thy path." proverbs 3:5-6
I may not understand NOW the reasons, but i know the faithfulness of the ONE who is leading the way. i know HE is directing the path for this herd. and i know along the way there are road blocks and bumps, voices of disagreement and waves of doubt that will try to waylay us.
But i know he who has called us to this path is faithful, and he will guard his own.
so, change?? Bring it on! :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sneak Them In

I've found an awesome way to sneak in another veggie to my elephants' diet. Zucchini. And its not in muffins or bread! They eat it, and they LOVE it! How do I do it, you ask?
It's called Veggie Pasta, and it is a huge hit! In fact, even Daddy Elephant has requested it as a side dish- at Thanksgiving! (wow!) How did I conform even the adult-not-into-eating-green-things Elephant to a Zucchini lover? Well, here goes.....

3 medium to large zucchinis
1 large (green variety) pear
2-3 T of butter spread (we use Smart Balance)
2 T sugar
heavy dash cinnamon and nutmeg (to taste)

Peel all veggies and fruit. Discard peelings. Julienne (however you spell that!) cut everything lengthwise, to form long strings of "pasta". place in 8x8 glass baking dish  (no need to spray, the butter melts..) Sprinkle sugar/spices on top. and add dots of butter.
cover with aluminum foil, bake at 400 for 25 minutes.

The pear juice, butter, and spices combine together to make an amazing "sauce" for the pasta.
Tell your elephants to take a bite, and think about "apples"... its sure to be a crowd pleaser!

This recipe serves 4 as a side-dish. Increase amounts on a 3:1 ratio for larger serving size.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


my elephants are currently 3 and 4. they are of the age when nighttime is a toss-up. in the last month, someone has cried out nearly every night, almost always because of "bad dreams". as i type this, there is a short blonde beauty dozing in my lap, after yet another "bad dream". I do not know if its just the time of year (even Super Why has Halloween themes right now) or if its just a phase that happened to hit us in October. We are generally really careful about what they are exposed to television and media-wise.
all that to say, its been a nightmare festival around here lately for the poor elephants.
I know right now that i can draw them up into my arms and cradle, rock, cuddle and sing away these nightmares for my elephants. In the morning, the world is right again, and its time to play. the shadows of the night are forgotten.
Its the nightmares of life that i know i am almost powerless to protect my elephants against that keep ME up at night.
what about my kids being bullied? what about my daughter's self-esteem? what about thier choices regarding drugs and sex?
oh they are so little right now, why worry about those things?
if you are a parent, you have worried about them, too.
what if they get married and it ends in a messy divorce and they are heartbroken?
what if they reject the ideals of Christianity we are raising them to embrace?
what if they are in a horrible car accident and are permanently injured?
what if? what if? NOT MY CHILD...
but, what if?
what if the nightmares that we fear for our children really do come to pass?
what will we do?
what will I do?
what would you do?
thank God there is hope for us to have peace in Jesus Christ!
HE is the one who will keep us in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Him.
I do not have to worry about the nightmare list of "what ifs" for my children, because I know the Lord is watching over them both.
I know I cannot prevent anything from happening to them.
But i know that if and when it does, i am not going to walk through it alone.
when both my elephants were just weeks old, they were dedicated to the Lord.
No, thats not salvation for them, that is their own choice to make. (but this is not a theology lesson).
when Daddy Elephant and i dedicated our children, we made the commitment that their lives were in His Hands. He knows what is going to happen to those elephants, we don't. We are just along for the ride, so to speak.
If and when the nightmares of life happen to our children, I know the first place i can turn is the my Abba Father, and ask Him to please pick us up in His strong arms and rock us, fill us with His comfort.
But for now, i will take holding PE in my arms and rocking, bringing an innocent lovely one peace that all is well.
He is in control.
All is well.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


it helps in life to have great friends. and i am so very, very thankful for the wonderful ones that i can call my own.
there are some people who are meant to be in your life, because the Lord knew before you were born that you would need them. they are the ones who always listen, always give a needed hug, who are ready with a word of encouragement and are willing to admonish you if you need it. they are not ashamed of you, will stand up and call you a friend to the world, and will stand by you when the world tears you down.
i am blessed, very blessed, to have these kinds of friends in my life.
because they more than make up for the pushing and shoving and judging this world hands out.
i am very, very thankful for real, authentic, life-long friends.
without them, it would be easy to give into the idea that what i do and who i am is not important. good friends are a reminder that i am valued, i am loved, and i am appreciated. respected, even. and that, my real friends, is refreshing.
if you are my real friend, you know this shout-out is for you. i got your back, and you've got mine. thanks, buddy! <3

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Pair for Life

Traditionally, Elephants in the wild do not become lifetime mates. The woman elephant (why oh WHY did they have to name them "cows"??) will have babies by multiple male elephants throughout her life. Well, bedhopping just isnt my thing, so I got married. (Haha, its a joke, calm down...)
Today is my 6th anniversary married to the wonderful Daddy Elephant of our little herd.... and I am so very very thankful for the one that God gave me!
My hubby is everything that I ever dreamed of, and more....
He works hard so that we can realize our desire to have me stay home with the Elephants, he doesnt complain about it, either, he will help around the house without even being asked, he is a very present and involved daddy, he loves his kids so much and tells them both daily, he tells me he loves me mulitiple times a day, he truely values my opinion, he is very affectionate, he is so fun to be around, with a great sense of humor, he loves my family and accepts them as his own, he is caring, he listens, he cuddles, he thinks of little ways to make me smile, he sticks by me in the rough times, he chooses me over the world's opinions everyday, he is a man after God's own heart, he is willing to serve at church, he is great with all kids, he is easy to talk to, he is a leader in our home, he has intelligent and wonderful ideas about our life and how our family should face the world, he is compassionate to the needs and hurts of others, (I am really trying to see how long I can make one run-on sentence!lol)...
My hubby is the greatest!! I truely mean that, its not just flattery. He has stuck by me through alot ALOT of difficult times, and ALOT of opposition in our lives! There are those that wish he and I were not married, but he tells me everyday that he loves me and he is glad we are together for life.... me too, honey, me too!
If you are married, you KNOW it comes with its own challenges and heartaches and difficult times! You know you wonder sometimes how on earth you found yourself in the life you lead... but even on THOSE days, I KNOW that my husband was chosen for my by the Lord.
You see, theres a little story that we dont share with everyone, cause some people just wouldnt believe it...
One night, very early into our dating relationship, we were attending a college Bible study. We were all asked to walk around the sanctuary before it began and pray for that night's study time. Well, the boyfriend and I split up and went to opposite sides of the room, and did our own praying.
While I was knelt down talking to God about the study, it was clear as a bell in my mind and heart that the Lord said "you are going to marry him, for I have chosen him for you."
Well, THAT was off topic for the prayer and totally out of left-field, I was a bit surprised....
Later that night after the Bible study (which was awesome!) we were driving home together, and it was an interesting conversation in that SUV.
Boyfriend clears his throat, and says "So, God kind of told me something tonite."
My heart started pounding... "God told me something, too," I said. "But, you go first."
I did NOT want to look like one of those crazy Christian girls who says "oh, God says we are getting married!"....
Boyfriend stammers around for awhile (I know now he was afraid of scaring me...) and said "It was the clearest I've ever heard God speak to me about anything..... He said we are supposed to get married. He has chosen you for me."
TRUE story, ladies and gentlemen!!!!
Of course, I was in awe... we actually heard from the Lord, on the same nite, same place, same time, same room, independently from eachother's thoughts, that we are MEANT for eachother!!
Doesn't get much more amazing than that!
THAT is the foundational reason I return to when the waves of tough times come crashing against our union... the Lord Himself called us to be married, it is His plan for our lives for us to stick together and be husband and wife.
So today, September 10, 2011, I celebrate the day we made our vows official, and followed the Lord's direction. And it is clear to me every day that my Hubby, the Daddy Elephant of this herd, is truely meant for me, and the biggest blessing in my life...
I am committed, now and forever!
I love my hubby!!! :) He is my lifemate! :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Days of the Princess

One of the things that I love the most about being a SAHM is that I am here to witness all the cuteness that my children manufacture every day. Right now, both BE and PE are really into dressing up. Today i had lunch with a princess at the table. (A cast-off Easter hat, warped out of shape, a fluffy pink tutu, and bejeweled slippers from the Dollar Tree). My daughter is sooooo girly and adores pink. Its really quite cute! :)
My Blue Elephant is really into being a Super Hero these days. Although, sometimes he is a human, and sometimes he is an elephant. (I personally would LOVE to see a flying elephant, other than Dumbo). I absolutely must get to work on a cape for BE. Right now he uses a backwards child-sized apron from Lowes. The cats always chase the strings on it as he runs, and I can just invision him being choked! (oh, the random things the good old mom brain can come up with to worry about!)
I am so behind right now! Normally by this time of year, I have both Halloween costumes finished and ready for the end of next month. (Some people call me an over-achiever, but I prefer to think of it as anal). I am certain this year PE will go as "Belle", since anything less than Princess is unimaginable. BE will be going as "Super J"... I just have to get his costume together.
All that rambling to say, I truely love the days of the Princess in my house, because I know these times of innocent pretend are swiftly passing with each day. How I love being here, being present, and being privileged to observe the sweetness (and craziness) of my elephants! :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pulled At

I feel very tugged upon, lately, and I don't know if that is a good thing. Oh, not from the Lord. When He does it, it always ends up being a good thing. I mean from other people in my life, and from expectations and desires for me and how I spend my time. I am involved in alot, I admit. I didn't really think it was "too much" until just recently. Maybe its a by-product of the homeschooling, how more of my day has to be focused on certain things than it used to be.... perhaps I just have to learn to even out my juggle with this extra ball in my hands. Perhaps I should give it more time to adjust.
We are making alot of important decisions for the health and future of our Elephant family, and I would honestly appreciate any prayers you can find time to say on our behalf. Things are just tough all the way around... hard choices to make and stick to, and necessary changes to see through to the end. Some of it eases tension, some of it increases more.
But the more I think about where life has me lately, the more I just desire to simplify. Maybe I am over-committed, I don't know. Maybe I just need to drop a couple balls here and there to make things less rocky.
I just know I don't like to feel the pull of other people's ideas of how I should spend my time, and what should fill my days. My number one "job" is my children (notice I did not say "focus" that is Jesus) so I know I have to do my utmost to be committed to them above any other activity.
Which leaves the choice of whether or not to have any purposeful "me" elements to my life. I know the whole "take time for stuff you enjoy" mantra. And I do try to. Yet it does seem that theres a definite squeeze on how much time I have for anything "for me"... I am willing to give up alot of "me" things, activities,and time for my children.
Its not like ignoring my husband. I make it a POINT to spend time with him daily.We are growing closer each day. But less of "me" and more of "us" and "them" is a fair trade off for me. When the kids are grown, I will still be here, waiting for "me" to catch up, after all.
 Maybe I just need to have a bit more self sacrifice...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Elephants and Elders

Today we had my older brother over for his birthday. Its always fun when he's here, since the Elephants are crazy about their uncle. Its also always fun when he turns another year older than me...  :)
I'm proud of the way that my elephants behaved... well, thats only half true. I'm really proud of Pink Elephant. She understood "eat all your vegetables and you will get cake".. and happily complied, with a "please may I have some cake" the minute she had finished the veggies.
Blue Elephant, not so much. After much reminding and prodding and tons of resistance, we finally told him he would not be getting cake. (and yet he did STILL have to finish his veggies).. Blue Elephant was NOT happy about that.
Tough as it was to listen to the whining and the crying and the disappointment of BE not sharing in his uncle's cake, it was the right thing to do. We told him if he didn't eat them, he couldn't have cake. He hemmed and hawwed and made funny faces with beans sticking out of his mouth (which I can NOW laugh about since he is in bed!) but he knew he was disobeying. And he knew the consequence. Yet he persisted. He tested the limits, and questioned our authority over the matter, and we answered him.
It was hard, and I was sad for him with his disappointment. But I have to say, I was rather encouraged when my brother stole a moment to tell us in private that he was proud of us for staying the course and not backing down and giving in.... its always refreshing to have someone see that we are really making an effort to parent with a purpose in mind: turning out decent kids that will grow into decent adults!
Missing cake won't make BE an angel, nor will it teach the "actions have consequences" lesson once and for all. I'm certain we will be repeating THAT like a broken record, right up til the time he leaves for college....
The Elephants do need to know that they should (and will) show respect for their elders, and mind what we say.
Call me a mean mommy for witholding the treat from a disobedient Elephant. After all, it was a special occasion, and he shouldn't have to miss the fun, right?
Its okay if you feel that way, I'm cool with that. No cake for you, either. LOL. J/K.
I'm not looking to be my elephants' best friend. I'm looking for teachable moments each day in their lives that show them the benefits of obedience, and the rewards (eg:cake) that are in store for them through it.
It's a short step from understanding this obedience to our earthly Fathers and applying it to our Heavenly Father. Sure we can choose not to "eat our veggies" when God asks us to obey through the tough parts of life, but in doing so, we miss the "cake" of deeper blessings that He could be giving us through lessons learned and stretched faith.
I for one am very, very fond of cake.
Be it the cake in celebration of my OLD-ER brother (heehee) or the "cake" of blessing from the Lord.
Discipline and "veggies of discomfort" are a part of life, both literally and spiritually. But the rewards of obedience are SO worth it!!! :)
I'm pretty sure the next time the "veggies and cake exchange" comes around for Blue Elephant, he will be cleaning his plate! After all, an Elephant never forgets....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


It's a monumental day here at the Elephant house.... Pink Elephant happily started her first official day of PreK... she ran inside without a hitch, leaving me the only one with a lump in my throat. Blue Elephant began his very first day of Kindergarten!  Going off of some good advice from another homeschooling mom, I made just as big a deal out of his first day as I did for PE's. They got their pictures taken, and last night we made special "first day" necklaces out of pasta and yarn. (I don't think I can get away with them wearing them when they hit middle school, but this year they donned them with smiles!)
BE is a willing and involved student. He wouldn't last a day with other kids in a normal classroom, though. At least, not at this age and maturity level. He was skittery and took alot of reigning in to keep him focused. But I knew to cut him plenty of slack... its not everyday that a four year old takes on Kindergarten, and its not every day that his teacher was the one that changed his diapers! ;)
BE and I have had a blast today! We talked about the letter "I" and the sound it makes, the definition of a community, the numbers 1, 2, 3... ( the curriculum isn't going to catch up to BE's level till late in the year) and the concept that God created everything in the world with a plan in mind.
My BE is capable of adding and subtracting, basic reading, and writes all letters in fairly good print. I wonder if I went overboard with him before we even pulled out the curriculum? But then again, I stop and remind myself; this precious elephant is only 4 years old. His brain is wired differently from other kids his age, sure. But he still has all the time in the world that the other kids do to accomplish 13 years of education. We might be "slowing it down" for awhile at the start of this year, but I think its good for BE to develop a "I can master this" concept toward school in general, so that when things do start to become a challenge, he already believes he is up to the task of learning!
I am proud of both of my elephants today. My little Pink Elephant was so confident and brave and excited! And I know she is having a blast... God really blessed us when He led us to the preK where both our elephants have attended. Still, my heart aches that my littlest elephant is old enough for the world of PreK. Didn't I JUST give birth to her, like yesterday??
We have a Kindergartener, a Preschooler, and (gulp) a teacher living in this house, now.
I started today with fear and trepidation regarding becoming an "official" school teacher... and after day number one of my teaching "career", I can definitely see where God's Hand of help was guiding me! Thank you, Lord, for the blessing and opportunity to help my child with his education. May I never take for granted that I am helping to shape a little elephant for the future!
I LOVE my elephants! :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

when I grow up...

When I grow up, I want to be just the way I am. Okay, maybe like 500lbs lighter than me. With better teeth. But, other than that, I want to be like.... me. Shocking? Maybe. Now that I am old (insert eye rolling for those older than me that keep telling me I am young, yet).. I realize that I am who I am, and doggone it, this is just me.
I find I am alot like the coconut. NO stop the "nuts" jokes now, people. Ahem, as I was saying, I find I am alot like the coconut. Have you ever met anyone who thinks coconut is "just okay"? Nope, me neither. Either you really like it, find it delightful and enjoy it, or you think its gross, annoying and gets stuck in your teeth.
I find to the rest of the people in this world, I am alot like the coconut.
That Bonny girl? (oh, OKAY... "lady"..) Yeah, she's just weird. I don't understand her. She's too loud. What a strange sense of humor. I don't like her. She's too opinionated. She's just harsh.
Oh! Bonny? Yes, I LOVE her, she's such a sweetheart! Gives the best hugs... so friendly, always looking to help out.
Where or when have I ever met anyone who has said "Bonny is alright. I think of her as a pretty nice girl, she seems okay."  ??
I've been told I am "extreme"... (hey, I've also been told I'm mentally ill... no, really, they were mean enough to really mean that!) that I just dont have a middle of the road kind of personality.
Well, I find this to be true. But I'd like to know this...
What is so doggone terrible about being somebody who lives life with passion?
When I have reason to rejoice, I rejoice. I can cry at things that make my heart swell with happiness.
When I have reason to mourn, I mourn. I can cry at things that deeply hurt my heart.
I move through my life with genuine, deep emotion. When things are good, they are very very good. When they are bad, typically, they ARE horrid.
What is so incrediably noble about the art of a "fake smile" in a situation? What's to be admired about hiding out and crying only in secret?
Are we not to be who we are? When did being yourself, for the world to see, become undesireable?
Transparency has a tendancy to make other people uncomfortable. I get that. So, since I do not cover my life with a "front" or a "mask" I guess that is why I make some people incrediably uncomfortable.
Will I be changing who I am or how I go through my life for the sake of a handful of people who "just don't understand me"?? Uh... nope.
When I grow up, I want to live life to the fullest. I want to be able to look you in the eye when you ask me how I am and tell you 'Life is wonderful!" if it IS. Or, "Life is really hard right now, and I am struggling." If I AM! When I grow up I want to be genuine. I want to be transparent. I don't ever want to be afraid to "feel".
If I have offended you, then you are probably among those who just dont get me as a person. I'm sorry. :)
But as I grow up, I am gonna keep the personality that I was blessed with, and I am gonna be me. After all, if I were trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ Jesus. It is my aim to let my life and actions please Him above all else. :) 
Whenever I see that I am a coconut, I remember that Christ is like one too... Jesus? Yeah, you either adore Him or you can't stand Him.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Read Any Great Parenting Books, Lately?

Ha ha. Me, too. And me, neither. Now, lest I be chastised right out the gate (oh, who am I kidding, every move I make offends somebody, somewhere).. I have given multiple books a fair shot. The problem is that they are all saying the exact opposite from eachother. Spank. Don't spank. Show 'em who's boss. Let them lead the way. Be easy going. Be firm.
With all the contradictions out there, and still the same children to raise, what's a girl to do?
Take it day by day, I guess. Each day brings its own challenges, its own events, and its own struggles. One day its little Miss Sunshine and Mr Happy Pants the next its Crabby Face and Pouty Pants....
I admit, my own moods vary from day to day (some people would tell you that I am just down right neurotic, but they are the haters, just sayin'). and I should expect that my children's moods will, as well. I can totally allow for that. What I can't allow for is house rules being disregarded just because BE and PE dont "feel" like obeying that day. Respect is a huge must in our house.
We say please and thank you, yes ma'am and yes sir, excuse me, and I'm sorry. Did I get that idea from a parenting book? Nope, just old fashioned manners.
What happens when the kids disregard the rules? Well, now that is what is currently being tweaked at our house. How will we choose to respond?
All the "best" parenting books in the world cannot provide a fail-safe method for raising great kids.
But I really love what my friend told me the other day "the only book that is 100% accurate is the Bible, so go with that". 
And it is that concept which I will strive to remember.
-Ephesians 4:14-16 NLT

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The end of my youth??

Tomorrow I am turning 30. 
Tomorrow I say good-bye to my 20's and hello to the doorstep toward Middle-Aged Land.
I know most ppl in my life who ARE over 30 are laughing at me, telling me to "come on in, the water's fine!"... I don't really have a choice BUT to come wade into the water.. I can't turn back time (and if it means being Cher, why would I want to?!BUT I digress..)
I have spent 12 months knowing tomorrow would come, and dreading it.
But I haven't been idle with my time.
I've done alot of things that I have wanted to do for years...
I am taking piano lessons, to learn an instrument (and I really enjoy it!)
I am actively trying to learn how to roller-skate! (yes, already fell!)
Yesterday I got a perm for the first time in my life.. and I DO love the way it looks! If I'm gonna get old, at least I can feel beautiful doing it...
You could say I've kinda had a mini-29-yr-old life crisis.
So much of what I have focused on this year has been "before I turn 30"...
But now that day is a mere 11hours away, and I look back over the last 12 months, and you know what??
Twenty-nine was a great year for me!!!
And I stop, catch a breath, think about all the ways I am truely blessed, and know that walking into my 30's,
well, I'm gonna be just fine.
I've found love... the kind that lasts a lifetime...
I've been blessed with these two amazing Elephants to watch and help grow...
I've got the basic necessities of life covered and don't want for anything truely necessary to life....
And most important, I've got my Savior to guide me on my journey.
Yes, I may be saying goodbye to a decade that holds a spectrum of amazing memories (college life, falling in love, marriage, babies, growing spiritually) but I am truely hopeful about the time AHEAD, knowing that "further up and further in," (see C.S. Lewis) is where the greater joy of this journey of life awaits.
I am getting old.
Tomorrow I turn 30...
And I can smile about that!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Best for Them

All I really want in my parenting is to do the best thing for my kids. The hubs and I have made many decisions for the sake of the "best " for these two little Elephants, and I know that many of them go against the flow of the general population...
We are going to homeschool. We enforce vegetables, and dont believe in "picky eaters". We will spank if the situation warrants it (gasp!!). We are doing without alot of "things" for the sake of Daddy spending more time at home, being very present and involved in their lives. We cut out influences we don't agree with (we did not go see Cars 2 based on the needless violence). We are not popular....
But still we press on.
Now, do I think that all of these choices are going to miraculously keep my children from some evil harm? Why would I assume to be that niave? In reality, I know they have friends in public school, and are going to "hear" all the same stuff that the other kids do. I know they will rebel about something, at some point, and that is normal. They do put up a fight about the broccoli at dinner. (they are kids!) They do not appreciate the swats on the bottom for disrespecting us. They have seen movies/t.v. shows we don't approve of. Our kids are in the real world.
But still we press on.
Because in this world of "whats right for me may not be right for you, but thats okay we are both still right".. We still believe in absolute truth. There is THE right, and THE wrong. There is THE truth, and THE false. And embedded in the choices we have made about how we raise our family, the core of it centers around Jesus Christ. NO I AM NOT SAYING that all of our choices are superior. We are homeschooling because we feel its the best educational fit for a too-smart-and-mischevious-for-his-own-good little boy. It happens to work out that we can impliment the Bible and Jesus Christ into our school time, since we have the freedom to do so.
I do NOT think broccoli is going to get them closer to Heaven. But a good nutritional base now increases their chance of having a strong, healthy body for serving the Lord later on.
I do NOT think spanking is for every child, or that the Bible says not doing it everytime is wrong. Some kids are too emotionally sensitive to endure that type of correction.
We don't think we have all THE answers or the FINAL word about how to raise children.
But we do the best for OUR two elephants, because we want to raise them in an environment that upholds Jesus Christ as the Lord and THE answer, and THE truth. And the choices we have made for them are NOT popular. (Trust me, we have gotten lots of comments).
But we press on.
We will do the best for them.
Because He called us to. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

multiple trunkless ones...

After little over a month of being a one-cat family, my hubby decided that Licorice needed a playmate. This is the same man who, when we married, "hated" cats... now he wanted 2!? It was an easy decision for him, seeing how he is at work all day, and I do all the pet maintenance around the house. So, after a short talk, we went to the same friends who had given us Licorice, and brought home Stripes yesterday evening.
The little Elephants are already in love, again...
I do have to say, its interesting having two pets when for so many years all our pet aspirations amounted to the idea of fish, and one sad attempt at a turtle out in the back yard.
The problem with these two cats is that, as of right now, they are NOT too thrilled with eachother. Although, we are experiencing a minor victory as I type this... they are both asleep in the same room. Other than that, they have spent all their free time squalling and squabbling about the territory issues. I have given Stripes his own space in the upstairs bathroom, with a litter box and bed and food dishes... Licorice doesn't agree that Stripes should be allowed past the edge of the bathroom door frame. I beg to differ, little kitty. We will keep trying to get them to agree and at least come to ignore/avoid eachother if they can't be friends.... but really, my felines, I just have to know... "Can't we all just get along?!"...

Friday, July 22, 2011

I do exist! :)

It's been almost a month... sorry!!
In this month, we have had a blur of a week of VBS at church (nine kids came to know Jesus, yay!!), thrown Pink Elephant her 3rd Birthday... a Belle Tea Party, overflowing with Disney Princess paraphenalia.... (or however you spell that word) ... I've been in a minor car accident and have been dealing with the phone calls and chiropractor appts resulting... All that to say, here I AM! I do exist! :)

Summer is quickly ending. This week I bought Pink Elephant her backpack for her first year of preschool. She wants to wear it everyday, and always asks when she gets to GO to preschool. I'm not ready for my baby to be this old, yet... sigh.

One great activity that we do from spring to late fall is our twice a week trips to the Farmer's Market.
I LOVE the Farmer's Market! We get our eggs and all our veggies from there. Shamelessly, I also enjoy the homemade jams and Amish treats available. :)  My kids LOVE to get "honey sticks" . One of the vendors sells honey and makes flavors and colors and puts them in plastic straws.. like a honey pixi-stick. Every Friday, BE and PE get their quarters and pick their flavors.

This summer has been full, and I'm sure in the few weeks remaining it will continue to burst at the seams with activity and adventure. I love it, though. It may be frenzied, it may be hot and hurried, it may be stressful, but it is a summer in both my precious little ones' lives that won't come again. I love to make memories with my treasured children. If I have to be over-busy for a season, its worth the sacrifice! :)

Alas, I shall strive to not sacrifice (so drastically) the time between my blog updates! :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

running in circles

So for the 3,000 readers that i have (ha ha, minus 2,097) i haven't dropped off the earth, ive just been doing the summer circles dance. you know, the days where you arent sure what happened but its suddenly bedtime and you have spent maybe 45 minutes at home? yeah, thats the dance. we are off and running and doing this and that and "enjoying" the summer. at least, i am taking mental snapshots of my children's delight at the activities that i rush around getting them to on time. they seem to be the ones having all the fun. i seem to be the one doing all the sweating and worrying in the humid car (with the yet again broken AC) as i weave in and out of the minivan parade of all the other frenzied summer activity mothers....
oh for the days of childhood when i was enjoying the swimming pool and the drippy popsicles, hanging out in my wet swimsuit all day....

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

the littest elephant has no trunk

Well, we bit the bullet. We got a kitten from a friend who was giving them away. In fact, said kitty is cuddled up on me as I update right now. He has decided that I am his "person" to replace being gone from his mommy.
He is all black, a fluff ball of sweet tinyness. Maybe 9 weeks old? He was the runt of the litter, and my friend took such great care of him. He still is on the tiny side, but he is a sweet thing that I think will make it just fine.
Our elephants are soooo in love with him. My BE wants to pet on him constantly, and PE is always making sure of where he is...
Now, poor hubby is allergic to cats. Come to think of it, BE is supposed to be, as well. Except that he has sneezed like twice, all day. That makes me very hopeful that he will develop an immunity to our little one, and easily so!
We are excited about our new member of the family. I love watching the kids "play" with him. Actually, for being 4 and almost 3, the kids are doing a great job being gentle and sweet to Licorice.
Hoping Hubby doesn't live to regret the decision to let us have this sweet pet, he is already ingrained in our hearts!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I saw myself tonite

We were sitting on the bench swing in the back yard while our kids ran around, barefoot in our yard, drawing with sidewalk chalk on the patio, swinging on the playset, etc.
I looked at my PE and my heart took a snapshot to remember.
Messy ponytail, tank top with a stain from dinner, chalk on one palm, shorts pulled back up just a bit crooked, barefoot, three little almost-healed bug bits from last week on her legs...
Instantly I was transported to summers of my childhood. Getting in the last few minutes of daylight right before dusk, in the cool of the day, carefree and running from one fun thing to the next. I didn't miss being a kid, persay, I just had a pang of nastagia for the innocence and worry-free times from back then.
People (the non-biased, honest ones) say that my PE is a carbon-copy of me. I saw tonite what I must have looked like on the cusp of turning 3, enjoying a summer evening in the backyard. And my heart was full.
How much the Lord has blessed me with, this full circle of seeing a reflection of me from the opposite perspective... to be the adult now, knowing the road of joys, struggles, pain, heartache, challenges, and adventures that I walked to get here, and I know my littlest love has all of that yet to walk.
I have a head full of prayers to pray for her, a heart full of hopes and dreams, and a moment tonite of pure bliss watching her delightful face.
Thank you, Lord, for the past that has shaped me, the present that blesses me, and the future ahead that amazes me.
I love my elephants. :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Down for the Count

It's been going on the whole week.... Monday, PE got sick at breakfast. BE started to throw up around the afternoon. Tues they seemed fine. Wednesday evening we were headed to church, and PE threw up (in the car... ewww). Then again in bed. Today, both kids seem right as rain. Guess who's been under the weather?? Yep, they got me sick! :( Poor hubs had to come home from work this morning to take care of the kiddos, since getting out of the bed made me feel horrible. Hopefully by tomorrow I will be feeling a bit better...this seems to be fast moving.
It's just really frustrating to get out of the bedroom after almost a whole day and look around the house after the hubby has been in charge. It makes me realise all over again that theres certain things only a Mama will keep up with. But I can't really justify complaining, he DID come home from work. He did keep the kids out of the bedroom so I could rest and sleep. He did go across town to get my favorite soup from a great local restaurant. He has been very attentive to help me all day.... I can definitely overlook a few crumbs on the counter and floor, some snack dishes left in the livingroom, toys scattered, no ponytail on PE, etc.
He helped. And he did it in his own Daddy kind of way. Even when I am down for the count, I know the little elephants and the house will be in good hands. I am really thankful for such a great husband!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why the blog?

I've done the linky on Summer Jo's blog, so now I'm answering the question "Why did you start your blog?"

I didn't start blogging because I'm an amazing writer. Not because I support some amazing cause. Not because my family is incrediably unique and amazing. Not because I have something huge to say. I started this blog simply for the fun of sharing about my family and our "adventures" of daily life.
My son, Blue Elephant, absolutely loves elephants. I am not sure why or where the obsession came from, but he draws them, plays with them (uh, toys... we do not own an elephant) wants to BE one, asks if we can get a pet elephant.... its really cute, actually.
I was wracking my brain for a blog name, since I couldn't start without one... and I looked across the room where my son had built the words "Elephant Tales" out of connext (sp) blocks. Yes, he also will build the words out of blocks and spell them out with playdoh as well. (Did I mention he is 4?) If you haven't heard of it, Elephant Tales is the name of a movie... my BE's FAVORITE movie, of course. I thought to myself, "why not 'Elephant Tales'??" He is my "elephant" and these are the "tales" about our lives.
(Naturally, little sister became Pink Elephant to keep up continuity.) And that's about it, that's how my blog got it's name.
 I can't promise any fancy, themed posts or any kind of spiffy give-aways, but I can be honest about our lives. We love God, are beginning homeschool this fall, (excited!!) are very involved at church, and are branching out this year to become what I like to call "a pale shade of green"... we have a small strawbale garden in our yard, and we just started recycling.
I may not lead the most extravagent or amazing life, but I'm quite happy with it! :) I treasure each day with my Elephants.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Trip the the Zoo!

So, yesterday we played hooky from church.... and went to the Zoo for some family time. (Don't judge, the hubby works 6 days a week!!) We had a blast! Aside from the humidity, it was a great trip. We brought plenty of water, though, and stayed hydrated...
BE got to see an elephant, just steps away from us. He was entranced, and I was enchanted watching him! We watched the elephant drink from the pond, itch its foot with the other foot, twitch its tail to get rid of flies, flap its ears to cool off, throw dust and dirt on itself, pick up a huge log with its trunk, eat some hay... I remember all of these actions because I remember the delight on BE's face and his sweet comments of joy. I loved being able to "take the day" and spend time making memories with my two sweet ones.
And, we did go to church last night. Which, I'm assuming, is where PE picked up the bug she has today. Thrown up twice now, can't keep water down... :(   My poor girl, hate it when the babies don't feel well!! Glad that we got to have a good time yesterday, just sad that here we are at Monday and the reality of the inconveniences of life comes to call all over again!
Feel better, PE! And what a grand time we had at the Zoo!! :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Elephant Homeschool

BE is already asking "When am I going to be homeschooled?" And I keep telling him not till the fall, when the leaves change. He is adament that he doesn't want PE to go to a year of preschool... "I want PE to stay at home with me and homeschool." I tell him it will only be for one year, and he gets ME (Mama Elephant, not "me" ) all to himself for all of Kindergarten. I've got him sold on the homeschool, he just doesn't seem to want to walk that road alone, sans sister.
I am alot more optimistic about homeschooling BE than I used to be. If there is one way to engage him, to get him to focus, its when we are talking letters and numbers. BE loves to learn, and he soaks it all up so quickly! I really think  this first year is going to be less difficult than I first imagined. Of course, I see the rosy side now... happy, laughing reading together, going to the park for p.e., a trip to the Zoo for science class... all enjoyable. I know theres the "other side" looming just out of sight... the days of "I don't want to!"  "Can I watch a movie instead?" and many concepts that will be brand new and won't fall into place naturally without alot of cooperation on BE's part. I know its going to be tough. And I know its going to be wonderful. And, I know its all going to be worth it!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rare Breeds

So I've been thinking alot lately about BE and his "differences". We are about to explore another round of getting him re-evaluated again, for IQ and also any spectrum disorders. BE is the light of my life. Every day that kid does something to amaze me. And yet I clearly recognize that even as he stands out among the crowd of 4 1/2 yr olds with his artistic/musical/laguage/writing/reading skills, it is blaringly obvious that he is of his own, rare breed.
At church this past sunday, the pastor spoke on "how to handle situations beyond our control". Gee, God, thanks for the obvious nod to my recent thought patterns! :)  Basically, pastor ended up concluding that we can put all our time and effort into the struggle to control the uncontrollable, or we can get wise and give the reigns over to God, and TRUST that He is big enough to take care of us thru the situation. And I realized that alot of my exasperation with dealing with BE's "differences" is due to the fact that I am trying to wrestle this huge situation down to something managable and controllable, and I have NOT, in fact, "let go, and let God." 
Well, God and I spoke about that Sunday. And giving that over, and giving up my shadow of attempted control has done wonders for my outlook on the situation. The Lord spoke to my heart and told me BE is perfect, he IS the way I made him, and he is this way for MY purposes. I really don't want to waste my energy trying to fight God on that one. So now I am taking the advice that a mentor friend gave me. Everyday, I make it a point to THANK the Lord for BE, just as he IS, instead of hassling God and giving into the voice of my fears. I am determined to "let go, and let God". And I trust that He will lead me to the right doctors/specialists/evaluations/diagnosis for our family.
I always thank the Lord for the blessing of both BE and PE, and now I am learning a valuable lesson in how to deal with control issues. I guess its true that having children teaches you more about life than you ever imagined.. and that having a "rare breed" is a blessing all in itself.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

In Memorial

In memorial of my grandfather that  I never met, Mr. Ray Gargus. Thank you to my grandfather (my mother's dad) for your service in the army. For the fighting you did for our country. For the part you played in ensuring our freedom. I never got to meet you, you passed away long before I was born. But I honor you every year this weekend for the sacrifice you made. For your family, for my family, for the lives my children are allowed to live today. Thank you, Grandpa Gargus.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Well today was the cousin playdate and it was loads of fun! Lunch at McDonald's, then a couple hours of play at our house. Of course when it came time for playdoh BE had to have BLUE or he wouldn't play.... imagine that!
Talked with my sister about BE and my concerns about his behavior "quirks"... she agrees with the pediatrician, that having him re-evaluated for spectrum and/or intelligence tesing is a good idea. Just so I know how to deal with my one-of-a-kind Elephant.
Daddy and I have a date tonite, with a bonifide babysitter coming over and everything. I can't remember the last time my hubby took me out on a Friday.
We are having a "progressive dinner"... appetiser at one place, main at another, and dessert at our fav ice cream shop.. just for fun, and to get "out" of the "Zoo" for awhile.
I adore my Elephants, but Mama is ready to hit the town!! :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sneezy Trunk

Poor Blue Elephant... such bad allergies this time of year! I took him to the pediatrician (what a God-send to have a wonderful ped!!) who switched his meds and we are hoping that will alleviate some of BE's symptoms! Summer is official, and today we had an old friend visit, tomorrow we will have our first of numerous "cousins" playdates, and we are also going to farmer's market! LOVE the FM!! Both BE and PE love to get a 25cent honey stick from this sweet older couple that run a honey booth... every friday from May til Oct we are there  for our blue and purple honey sticks... basically looks like a pixie stick but the plastic straw is full of flavored honey. Simple pleasures, but building fun memories for my kids!

Speaking of allergies, I have heard that its possible for an allergic child to build up an immunity to an animal if they have it from a young age. Well one of our friends is giving away cats, and we are thinking of taking the plunge to see what may happen... hopefully a kitty would be small enough to not scare PE who has an animal fear. I guess if we decide to do it, we will see what the little elephants think, first... maybe a kitty preview....

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Growing Like Elephants

Today is my blue elephant's last day of preschool. He came home sugared up from a party and ready to be entertained. Here comes summer, ready or not! I'm excited to get underway with lots of outside and water play times, (appropriately sunscreened and hatted, yes) and to do countless art projects, library trips, friend playdates, sandbox clean up, etc etc.

What I am NOT ready to face is the idea that my blue elephant will now be heading toward Kindergarten. And also that my (littlest) pink elephant will be turning 3!! Why can't the sweet ones just stay LITTLE? I think that maybe alot of the fear is in facing homeschooling for BE and preschool for PE. I'm all for playtime to continue on to infinity, but the practical part of me knows they are growing up, whether I want it to happen or NOT!

These "little" days are passing so swiftly away before my very eyes. I better get off the computer and start snapping pictures like a mad woman, lest I look up to find them both teenagers!