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!

For friends and family/Farm Day/(the motherload)/part 2

Hi again!

I hope you enjoyed seeing the first half of the pictures from our fun day at the farm. If you missed it, here’s a link:

Farm Day, part 1

Remember, (the motherload) is in the title for a reason; this is a lot of pictures! If you don’t know us, I won’t be offended at all if you go read somewhere else. This might be a little much. = )


Here again, you see the girls in another long line…


But this was the attraction this time!


There were smaller lines for smaller tractors, but no-siree, they’d wanted the biggest one. (And I did, too, but the line was really long. Think small children who don’t want to get out of the tractor once they get in, and parents who are trying to reason with them that other boys and girls wanted to go, too.)

Once we got to the front wheel, we took fun pictures of the girls. The wind was blowing so I think most of them are trying to hold their hair back.


And we finally made it!

Sophia was the first to the top, no surprise there.


Hope looked the most like she knew how to drive.


And Gracie tried to buckle her seat belt as soon as she got in the seat. I love when kids do things that totally surprise you!


Then we took more pictures in the much larger back wheel. So fun!


Just when you thought the day couldn’t get any better… they gave away free ice cream to everybody! We had so much fun sitting on hay bales and eating ice cream.


Yum! Get it all!
Yum! Get it all!
Oops! The red vest wanted some, too. = )
Oops! The red vest wanted some, too. = )

IMG_2135IMG_2138This picture represents a nostalgic mommy moment. Hope asked if she could go throw her own ice cream carton away. I said that that would be fine, but watching her go away and stand and move around the other kids made me realize how big she is. She looked so sweet, and happy, and grown up! It made my heart happy and sad at the same time.


What a lovely day!

Believe it or not, Mckayla was perfectly content the whole time in the stroller. I was very thankful for that. That stroller was not made to push through tall grass and barn shavings; I definitely got my workout that day! Sometimes I just picked the stroller up with her in it to get over a hump or something.

Also, there are a few pictures that I can’t find to stick in here… Sophia milking the cow, Gracie eating her ice cream, and one of all of us together. If I find them, I’ll stick them in and let you know that I did.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Thanks for reading…

For family and friends/Farm Day/(the motherload)/part 1

Hello to all!

First I have to say that it feels like forever since anything has been posted around here! But thanks to all who have been reading the last few days anyways, I really appreciate it!

If you’re wondering what (the motherload) was doing in the title, here is the scoop: this post has a ton of pictures.

If you are a grandmother, aunt, close friend, or angelic babysitter… prepare to be very, very happy. If you cannot claim any of the above-mentioned titles or anything close to any of the above-mentioned titles, prepare to be very, very bored. You will not hurt my feelings at all by clicking away. Just so we’re clear. = )

We happen to live in a really, really cool place with lots of things for families to do. A nearby university hosts a “farm day” every year and we finally made it this time!

You know it’s a good activity when you hear your kids saying frequently and without solicitation, “This is a really fun thing to do.” “I’m having so much fun.” “This is so cool!” “Thanks for bringing us here to do this, Mom.”

It was tiring! But rewarding! A really good, fun day.

So without further ado, I present you with part 1 of our Farm Day pictures.

The first thing the girls did was hold baby chicks. Gracie was not interested.


IMG_2088Here are all the girls… excited about all the things they’re going to see.


Next we went outside to see a horse demonstration which was actually just someone on a horse talking. But the girls did have the chance then to stand in line to pet the horse. When I asked them if they wanted to do that, they answered, “Yes!” Gracie was not interested in petting the horse, but the friendly helper picked her up and touched the horse with her hand anyway.


Back inside we got to see a one month old foal and his mom. Needless to say, the girls loved that. We saw some cows and saw a line to milk a… fake cow? I didn’t think they’d be interested; but apparently my mind doesn’t work like a preschoolers because they definitely were interested! Interested enough to stand happily in line for a long time!


Mckayla wasn’t quite sure what all the hullaballoo was about.


Hope made good use of her time by practicing her photography skills.


And finally, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! I mean, the pail of milk under the white and black painted box! I have to admit, it was worth the wait. The girls thought it was so cool (except for Gracie, who wanted to do it until it was her turn).


Back outside again, we saw a “REAL BABY DAIRY COW THAT WAS GOING TO GROW UP AND GIVE MILK!” Yes, a baby cow reclining in some bark really was that exciting after the milking experience! (Did you know that a milk cow can produce 80-100 pounds of milk per day? I’m pretty sure I need one.)


And did you know, that there are such things as “hair” sheep? As opposed to “wool” sheep. Here’s proof. (Gracie again, not interested. {by not interested I mean content to look, but terrified to touch})


Inside again, they caught sight of another fake cow! Hope made sure to tell me that it wasn’t really real because she could see inside and it was a person. Shocking.


And then, a breeze began to blow. The clouds began to part. Soft music began to play.


Because we headed to the bunnies.

And at the bunny cages… Gracie fell in love.

She’s touching it! She’s touching it!


I thought my heart was going to melt all over the ground. She was completely taken, transfixed. She would pet them as long as I would let her. Hope and Sophia were so excited for her; it was quite the sweet, sweet, very sweet moment. She told many people afterwards, “The bwack one didn’t let me pet him. He just (sound effect) “ooped” away. But the bwown one and da white one let me pet them. Yeah, I like the bunnies.”

We went back a second time and this time Mckayla got to look, too. She was very excited with it all, but not quite as gentle as Gracie. = )


And so with this, I close part 1 of our Farm Day picture post.

Hope you enjoyed it! I will try to post the other one either later today or tomorrow.

Love to all,


What the fly on the wall heard

Welcome to “What the fly on the wall heard”! This is where I keep track of all the silly things said around here as we go through our life with four girls five and under.

Sophia quickly shoved a bunch of newly picked grass in my hand so she could run down the sidewalk as we were on our way home from playing outside, “Mom, can you hold these for me? It’s my fresh garlic!”


This afternoon at lunch, Paul and I were conversing about ranching life, how it’s dusk to dawn, day in and day out; how there’s so much work to be done; how it must help people to avoid the pitfalls of idleness to be so busy…

Sophia chimed in (with very excited tones), “And because they live on a farm, they don’t even have to stop to eat breakfast if they’re really busy; they can just go to work, grab one of the animals, kill it and eat it!!”

Gracie had a little something to add, “And they probably get a kitty-cat, and they’d kill it and eat it, and then put it inside the fence. And that makes perfect sense.”

I’m not lying! That’s what she said!

So just to review, they’d kill a cat, eat it, and put it inside a fence. All that would make perfect sense.

Got that?

Extending grace to your children, graciously

Pictures 2 389I don’t know how many times I have heard parents say, “This is grace, kid!” (or been tempted to say it myself)

Today, we had a long morning at the Social Security office and got home for lunch about an hour later than normal. When we pulled into the parking lot, I thought to myself, “Lord, please help me patient with these girls. They have been so good, but I know they’re going to have tons of energy when we get in the house and with my headache and rushing to get lunch on the table there’s bound to be some trouble.”

God gave me the grace to just smile at their louder-than-normal pitch as they rambunctiously played while I prepared a hasty lunch. I even thought of something to feed them that I knew they would like and consume quickly.

To my surprise, Gracie did not eat her food well. (If you knew her, you would think this was surprising indeed) I didn’t pay too much attention, or ride her about it as I had already decided that everything except complete rebellion was going to slide because of the crazy morning.

The other girls finished well, and I offered them applesauce for a treat which they loved. Of course, Gracie wanted applesauce, but it’s a pretty hard and fast rule at our house that you don’t get anything extra after a meal unless you’ve finished all your food.

I went around the corner to get the other girls treat ready and pulled out a bowl for Gracie, too. It would be okay if she didn’t finish her lunch this once. I wanted her to eat something before naptime, and for that matter, I just like her and wanted her to enjoy some applesauce.

“All right, kid, this is grace!”, I thought. At least this time I didn’t actually feel that way. But I did start thinking about how we give grace to our children.

When God gives grace, it’s free and loving and without a rebuke or a reminder that, “You don’t really deserve this, you know. Just remember that.” How many times am I guilty of that graceless attitude?

The grace I receive from God is so lavish and unassuming that very often I completely miss it. It is above my childish understanding; I just go on assuming I deserve all good things. At least a two-year old genuinely doesn’t understand.

When we extend grace to our children, it should be patterned after how God extends grace to us.

“Here’s your applesauce, Gracie.”

Series coming soon: Taking care of four little girls alone (while my husband goes on an amazing study trip to Israel)


1. We have four little girls ages 4,3,2, and 1.

2. I take care of them all day while my husband works full-time to support us and attends seminary classes at night.

3. You could say this is somewhat taxing.

4. I do get relief when my husband comes home at night and I get to exercise my mind with the theological concepts he relays.

5. But it’s all going to end… for two whole weeks.

6. Because he’s going to Israel.

7. And I’m staying here.

you better believe I’ll be blogging about this one