My little Pharisees

My girlies love clothes. And you can imagine with four of them that we go through a lot. Their Nana loves to shop for them and also gets great hand-me-downs from a friend of hers who has a granddaughter just older than Hope. (how convenient!)

Last time we were at Nana’s house she gifted us with a huge bag of clothes! Which we couldn’t look through for several days! And the girls were going crazy! But I didn’t want to have a mess at an inopportune time! (and do they ever make a mess trying on all those clothes… but they have fun so it’s all good)

When the day finally came for us to go through the stuff, I gave the girls specific instructions: “Girls, I’m going to put the little girls down. Do not touch the bag until I come back out!”

When I returned to the living room, I was shocked and amused at what I found:

IMG_1444The girls had literally made a fence around the bag. “We put all the rocking chairs and ottomans around it so we would make sure we didn’t touch it, Mommy!”

I laughed so hard, took a picture, and thought, “I’ve got to write a post about that!”

Pardon a quick history lesson: Have you ever wondered where the Pharisees came from? They’re nowhere to be found in the Old Testament, and then they suddenly appear unintroduced and unexplained, playing a major role in the gospel narratives.

The Pharisees were the upholders of the law, the self-proclaimed keepers of the kingdom. In their zeal to keep the law and insure that the people of Israel would never again fall into polytheism, the Pharisees had built fences around the law in the form of new laws. These new laws were meant to keep people from disobeying the original laws. But then, those weren’t good enough, and more were put into place. Eventually, the Pharisees made their law-keeping a law unto itself. The purpose of the law in displaying God’s beautiful character was completely obstructed and opposed.

Paul has an awesome “rose garden” illustration about this, but you’ll have to ask him about that.

I cannot explain the depth of my amusement at the fact that my children made a literal fence around something they weren’t supposed to touch. Their childish version of Pharisaism didn’t bother me at all; but wow am I ever going to have an awesome example to use with them when they’re older!

What the fly on the wall heard

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photo credit

Good morning!

Here are a few funny things that were heard around here this week ~ hope you enjoy!


This morning, Gracie got out of bed a little earlier than I wanted to. So after taking her to the restroom, I brought her in bed with me. One of my favorite things to do with the girls is to ask, “What is your favorite…?”

“Gracie, what is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?”

“Strawberries and eggs.” No surprise there; she’s said that before.

“What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?”

“Macawoni and cheese.” Again, completely normal two-year old answer.

“What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner?”

“Pizza.” I quite agree.

“Gracie, what is your favorite thing to eat for a snack?”




We were driving home from eating dinner out this week when Gracie interrupted the conversation to complain…

“Mommy, I’m hungry!”

I reasoned with her, “You can’t be hungry, Gracie. We just ate.”

“I’m hungry from the talking!”


And the grand finale (in my mind). = )

Hope and Sophia were cleaning up their papers and crayons after coloring one afternoon. Sophia held up two cut-out figures that closely resembled a man and woman for me to see.

“Wow, Sophia, those are great. Who are they?” I asked.

Her voice became very excited as she held up the woman who I could now see had a beautifully colored dress, “This is Aunt Laurie at her wedding!!!”

“Oh wow!” I said.

She held up the rather long, skinny figure of a man, “And this is Uncle Aaron. He was so excited he turned into a microphone!!!”

Only Sophia. = )

What the fly on the wall heard

Hey everybody! I have another somewhat funny thing that was said in our house today…


(Sounds of Mckayla crying around the table)

(me) “Gracie, what happened?”

“Mckayla was trying to get up in my chair.” (Gracie)

(me) “Did you push her?”

(Gracie) “Yeah, but I’m okay.”

(Oh good. That was my concern all along.)

Gracie’s plan for the day

DSC00976A couple mornings ago, Paul was holding Gracie on his lap talking with her before he went to work.

“Gracie, what are you going to do today?” he asked.

“Eat breakthast.”

“Then what are you going to do?”

“Eat lunch.”

“What are you going to do after that?”

“Eat dinnuh.”

Well, sounds like a plan.

Gracie’s stages: I don’t like bugths!

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Gracie is, or can be… a little contrary. Let’s just say she seems to enjoy not liking things more than she does liking things. Bubble bath? The other girls can’t get enough of it. But Gracie shakes her head and says, “I don’t like bubblths.”

Perhaps if you’ve read much here, you’ve caught on that Gracie and I have a special time of mother/daughter conversation while she uses the restroom before her nap. Strange as it might sound, it’s one of the most entertaining, (dare I say, favorite?) times of my day. This conversation basically consists of her monologue-ing and me just saying something every now and then to keep her going. One day, early on in the two year old stage, she began to tell about things she didn’t like.


“Yes, Gracie?”

“I don’t like bugths!”

“I don’t like bugs either, Gracie.”

“Yeah, them gwoss!”

But it was cuter than that. Imagine her scrunching up her nose and shaking her head when she says, “Bugths.” It continued.

“I don’t like beeths.”

“I don’t like waspths. ”

“I don’t like anths.”

“I don’t like ca-ta-pil-wa-ths.”

“I don’t like butterflieths.”

I had to disagree here. “You don’t like butterflies? I like butterflies.”

“Mm…no, I don’t like butterflieths.” And the nose scrunches and the head shakes.

It was too much.

I don’t know how long we would ask her, “Gracie, do you like bugs?”

And she would tell us.

I’m trying to keep track of the funny stages Gracie goes through as a two year old. Last time I wrote about “Birthday Woo!” and “Boy run!”

The awkward blue belt for the cute maternity dress story

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Do you like surprises? I LOVE surprises. Always have.

One of the coolest surprises I’ve experienced in my adult life are the things that make you feel loved. You know, like really loved. Like how you imagine that girl feels in the movies when the guy takes her hand, or meets her in the middle of a field and professes his undying love, or brings her flowers when she’s stuffy and sick.

When I imagined being married and experiencing things that really made me feel loved… I probably thought of candlelight dinners, snuggling, dancing to soft music in the living room, holding hands while we drove down some random road. But after being married for even only a year or so, I realized that it was totally different things that really made me feel loved.

We became pregnant very soon after we were married. There were a lot of reasons that this was exciting, but one of them for me was the chance to finally wear maternity clothes! I had been waiting my whole life! Seriously, I was the girl that would always look at the maternity section first in catalogs and daydream about browsing through maternity stores when I passed them in the mall. A little weird maybe, but that was me. Little by little, I began to pick up pieces; but one day, I found IT. The cutest blue maternity dress ever. At Target. Ridiculously priced. But that was okay because my sweet brother had given me a gift card. Happy sigh.

Okay, I can tell you’re needing some help picturing how cute this dress was. It was a solid blue; smoky, pearly, grayish, very wonderful medium blue. Knee-length with a pretty collar and buttons all the way down. Classy, but cute. (No elastic anywhere!) And… it had this awesome blue belt for right above the belly. I love belts! I love bows! I love knots! I couldn’t wait to get home and try it on for Paul.

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And that’s the end of happy Act 1. Let’s just say, the dress looked great; the belt looked horrid. But maybe I was just doing it wrong. It had to work, it was so cute! I tried everything I could think of and it all looked awful.

So I went to Paul with downcast heart and mopey face. I explained my frustration and how I just couldn’t get it right.

Then he started trying. Yes, him.

He tied it in the front. He tied in the back. He tied it on the side. And for good measure on the other side, too.

He tied it in a bow. He tied it in a knot.

He tied it above, below, and across my belly.

And somewhere in the middle of all that… I began to feel really loved.

At first, embarrassed. Then worried that I was taking too much of his time. But then I looked at his face, all concentrated. And I knew that he cared.

Something that was so small, so ridiculous, so impossibly removed from the important matters of the world, mattered to him in that moment. He gave me his time and creativity and didn’t make me feel even slightly silly.

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We never did figure it out.

I ended up wearing the dress without the belt and it was just as cute. Paul doesn’t remember this happening; even though I’ve told him about it three or four times since then. But I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

What a surprise, that you’re husband fooling with getting your belt to look right for fifteen minutes could make you feel so loved.

But it did. And I love him.

It’s a bracket party! (and what the fly on the wall heard)

Well, March Madness is big stuff around here. According to Paul, “It’s Christmas for me!”

So we have had a blast educating the girls about this tradition. Here are some of the funnier things they’ve said, or (mis)said. = )

Gracie pointing to the cheerleaders, “There’s the cher-ries!”

Sophia, who’s picked Florida Gulf Coast to go quite far, “I’m going for Florida Ghost Town!”

Mckayla, while watching the computer screen, “Go! Go! Go!” (not sure where she learned this one) = )

Gracie, when she thought Duke should be doing better, “Duke you have to be better! I want you to Come On!”

Hope, upon finding out that both of her championship teams had already lost, “It’s okay, it’s just a game.”

Gracie, “I wh-eally love popcorn! Boo-ha!”

(The key to keeping four little girls interested in basketball games is POPCORN!) = )

Actually, they barely see a whole game a day. With Paul at work, they maybe catch a few minutes before bath time; but man, can they put down the popcorn!


We had such fun helping the girls fill out their brackets. It was a big deal, complete with popcorn (Boo-ha!) and fruit punch (a very rare treat).

Paul would ask the girls match by match and I would write down their choices. Hope understands now about higher seeds and lower seeds, so it was pretty cute to see her ask Paul, “Who is the lower number?” Sophia and Gracie pretty much pick whatever team you say second. Except for Duke; they always chose Duke. = )

After the first day, Gracie was close to the top of our extended family’s bracket contest. Yay! We won’t talk about where the rest of us were.

Here are the pictures of our bracket party:


Serious business
Serious business
Remember, she wh-eally loves popcorn. Boo-ha!
Remember, she wh-eally loves popcorn. Boo-ha!
Mckayla's favorite place to be
Mckayla’s favorite place to be

A lovely weekend to all.