Why blog? I don't even have a facebook account...it feels like it makes life so public. But then--blogging is kind of like a diary, isn't it? It makes me feel a little like Doogie Houser at the end of the day--collecting my thoughts and putting them down. I don't want to blog because I want my life to be public (though I don't mind wearing my heart on my sleeve, most of the time) or because I'm a narcissist, but because these days of our young family are so precious I don't want to lose them to a faulty memory. This time, this stage, these moments truly are 'a time to keep', and blogging is simply the most convenient way to keep them and share them.

I really didn't think I'd ever start a blog...but now that Mac has stopped calling firetrucks "fire knuckles" (he now calls them firetrucks, and I'm so sad!), I realize I'll forget that he ever did that if I don't write it down. So, the blog begins. Welcome.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Mac has officially entered the stage of childhood when everything that is broken--according to him--can be fixed with tape. I think this stage lasts until you're about 16. At least that's how long it lasted for me.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Some of Mac's (Current) Favorite Things (Will change tomorrow)...and Other Random Thoughts

This is a long post that goes from the mundane to some deeper thoughts on our life in general. Forgive the randomness of it all...

Some common refrains from Mac this week:

"Fixing baby Arden's room": After our complete renovation (down the studs) of Arden's room, and now that Mac has tools of his own (thanks Grandma and Grandpa Anderson!)--he daily "fixes" her room.

"What Do People Do All Day?"
Mac got this book for Christmas from his Nan, and is obsessed with it. We have to read the "doctor part" multiple times a day. He became enamored with this after our 4 visits to the doctor in 7 days a few weeks ago.

"See people working on roof!": A house down the street has been getting a new roof this week. We must "see people on roof" daily.

"Go park!": Every day we have the following conversation at supper:
Me: Mac, tell daddy what we did today.
Mac: Go park! (He says this always--even if we did not go to the park.)
Me: Mac! We didn't go to the park today. What did we do today?
Mac: Go home!
Me: Yes, we eventually went home...but what did we DO?
Mac: Go ...(grocery store, Miss Kate's house, library--whatever it was we actually did do.) Mac: What did Daddy do today? (Actually sounds more like, "Wha-d-dada-eww-do-day?")
Brad: I went to work.
Mac: Go work church!
Brad: Yes, I went to work at church.

The point is that each time you ask Mac what he did that day...no matter what it was we did...he always answers that he went to the park.

Speaking of Brad's job, Thursday of this week was the 8th night in a row that our family has had an unusual night because of Brad's job in youth ministry, and the11th night out of the past 12. Between youth group, Bible studies that we each lead, youth leadership team meetings, the middle school ski retreat, Christian Education Committee meetings...it's just been a really hectic time for us in ministry. Last night we were finally able to celebrate Brad's birthday because it was the first night in a long time we've not had another commitment. Tonight we're home with nothing to do!!! Hurray! Sunday night is youth group, then Monday we leave for a week-long youth ministry conference. We are looking forward to the conference, but I'm also quite excited for a few weeks (when we get home) where the only commitments we have are our normal 3 to 4 nights a week--rather than every night!

We just lead an unusual life, I suppose. I realize now that it's not just Brad in youth ministry--our family is in youth ministry. It's simply the life we lead--and most of the time, I really love it. I love our students and the amazing privilege it is to be part of their lives. I love the unique friendships we have with other families in the same field as us. I love that our children have the wonderful blessing of growing up with the "big kids" who love them, play with them, and provide an example to them. I love that we are able to open our home to teenagers weekly. (Speaking of which, when I make brownies, Mac automatically says, "Big kids coming!"--because I make brownies so often for them. Also--Mac LOVES when the big kids come over because it usually means he gets a sweet treat too. Sometimes I think that's the only reason he loves them so much.)

But the grass is always greener, isn't it? Sometimes I find myself wishing that my husband had a 'normal' job (is there really any such thing as normal anyway?), where he was home in the evenings and on weekends, where we could go to church as a family (he usually needs to be there early and stay later than our children--but we do get to sit together in the pew!), where we could be part of a Bible study or small group without actually leading it (we just don't have time), where we didn't have to deal with the messiness/opinions/criticisms that come with being in ministry...sigh.

Then the question comes to mind...what would I rather be doing? And the answer is--honestly--nothing! This is the best life for us, without a doubt. We get to do what we LOVE--how many people can honestly say that? We get a whole summer that is hectic--for sure--but when we get to go to Bonclarken for 2 weeks to hang out with teenagers (and our dearest friends in youth ministry), when we get to know new interns and have them in our home, when we get to go the lake or various pools during the normal workweek...just because my husband's awesome job allows us (me, Mac and Arden) to share in it. We have the blessing of knowing the sweetest teenagers on earth--watching them grow from awkward middle schoolers, to deep-thinking high schoolers, to all kinds of college students. (This spring, we will attend the wedding of one of our sweetest students--now graduating from college--that we've known since he was a freshman in high school! We're so proud of the man he's become.) We've had the privilege of knowing their incredible families and learning from so many godly couples who have raised godly children. We have the wonderful assurance (though we do doubt it in our darker moments!) that our late nights and whacked-out schedule make a difference in at least a few peoples' lives. I LOVE knowing that what we do MATTERS, at least in some small way.

I hope that we are able to involved in youth ministry--either professionally or as volunteers--our entire lives. It is the perfect niche for us, and I'm honored to be part of it.

Now...I need to end this post...because it's past 11 am and I'm still in my pjs and glasses (hey, it's a rainy Saturday morning!)...though I'm also wearing rainboots and a coat because Brad just called from the hardware store and wanted me to go outside and measure the size of a spigot that is leaking and needs to be replaced. I'm sure that was a sight--me in my get-up traipsing through the freezing pouring rain and messing with a random spigot. Hope no one saw me.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Arden laughed for the first time this weekend. Is there a sweeter sound on earth than a baby laughing??

Sunday, January 17, 2010

We have been laughing--hysterically--all day about this.

Mac loves to play in his closet. It's just big enough for him. He likes to shut the door while he's in there. We have begun to suspect that when he closes the door, he dances. So we decided to tape him. Our suspicions were confirmed...

...notice that he spots the camera and says, "Oh no! What's that?" So the dancing ends because he realizes he's being watched. He grabs the camera and brings it out to me.

PS--sorry for the poor quality. The closet light was on but it's not very bright. But you get the idea.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bedtime Prayer

We pray at bedtime with Mac, and have recently asked him if he wants to pray. He has always declined. But tonight when I was tucking him in (Brad was leading a Bible Study), I asked him if he wanted to pray and he said, "Uh-huh."

So I told him to go ahead. Then, the sweetest voice you've ever heard:

thank you...
thank you...
thank you...

I was wiping tears from my face. This is the first prayer he's ever said completely on his own, with no help from us. Such a priceless moment!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Baptism From Mac's Perspective

Since we've been in a self-imposed quarantine for a couple of weeks, Mac, Arden and I listened to church online yesterday. Some friends of ours were having their baby baptized--baby Evelyn. I thought it would be a good opportunity to explain the basics of baptism to Mac as we listened, since Arden will be baptized soon.

Me: Baby Evelyn is being baptized at church. Dr. Ferguson is going to put water on her head to show that she belongs to Jesus.
Mac: Blank stare.
Me: Soon Arden is going to be baptized too. Dr. Ferguson will put water on her head at church. It will show that she belongs to Jesus too.
Mac: Even blanker stare.
Me: When baby Arden is baptized, daddy will hold her and you'll stand in front of the church with daddy and me. You'll have to be very quiet when baby Arden is baptized.

Some time passes. Like, an hour or two. I suppose he had to process this strange new concept. After thinking it over, his understanding of our conversation was revealed:

Mac: (out of nowhere) Uncle Evan gets water on head at church!


On another note, Mac is so social, so full of energy and questions...I cannot imagine what will happen when we do have Arden baptized. Every time I think about it, I cannot foresee any scenario where Mac does not ask in a super-loud voice, "What's that?" during each step of the baptism. There is no "I-will-sit-quietly-and-listen" bone in this child's body.

Except when Elmo's involved.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Poor Baby!

(As a mom of young children, you lose all qualms regarding poo...talking about it, wiping it, washing it, finding it on walls, whatever. Poo. It's a part of life. So if you don't have young children, or never have had young children...and you have hesitations talking about poo...maybe don't read this post.)

So poo has been a theme today. First thing this morning, Mac informed us that he was pooping: "Mac pooping!" (Normal.) Then, he pointed at the floor and said, "Mac's poop!" (Not normal.) Sure enough...some of it had toppled right out of his diaper, down his pant leg, and on to the floor in a nice neat pile. Hello poop.

But the more serious poop happened this afternoon. I changed Arden's diaper and found blood in it. My sister had this happen with her baby, and I recently read that it's not uncommon--so I didn't freak out. But I did call the doctor. They told me to come in.

So I took Arden (and her latest diapers--evidence, you know) to the doctor. He looked at her, felt her tummy (she didn't seem bothered at all by that--a good sign), looked at the diapers, checked out her ears (she was in this week for an ear infection) and chest. He suspects that the blood is irritation caused by the antibiotic she's been on this week. They are sending her diapers to a lab to have them checked for bacterial infection--a rare occurrence, and apparently not terribly serious, but important to know. The kicker is that one of her ears is WORSE than it was Monday. So, not only are the antibiotics possibly caused some irritation, they also are apparently not working. They can't prescribe something stronger because it would only be more irritating to her belly...

SO, my little 10 week old ladybug had to get a big nasty shot of antibiotics in her leg. The nurse's exact words, as I recall, were , "Sorry the needle is so big. It's a thick solution. Now, it's going to burn going in." Followed by heartbreaking shrieks that were not quick (like a vaccine) but drawn out because it's one of those shots that has to go in slowly. And lots of blood because the needle was so big. Ugh. I wanted to take it all away.

And, it's likely that she'll have to have another one of these nightmarish sticks tomorrow, and possibly Saturday as well. Poor baby!! I wish I could take it all away, have the ear infection for her and get the shots for her!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Mom, Are These Tights Too Much?

Mac's New Tools

Merry Christmas! Here we are after the Christmas Eve service. Don't miss the adorable sweater vest on Mac and the sweet Christmas dress Arden wore. Oh, I love that dress. Too bad it's got Christmas trees and candy canes on it...guess we can't wear it now. That would just be weird.

Mac loves his new tools from Grandma and Grandpa Anderson. Here he is Christmas morning, doing some much needed repairs around the house.
Drilling in baby Arden's room.
Off to check that everything ship-shape in the rear of the house.
Taking these repairs seriously.

Hammer? Check. Wrench? Check. Construction hat? Check.
Pretend you don't see that his mouth still has breakfast on the edges. Hey, it's Christmas morning! Who cares if you wear breakfast?
Aww dad! More pictures?

Mac's New Twang and Other Cutie-Pie Moments

So Mac suddenly has a very, VERY Souther lilt to his voice. Where does it come from? Do I talk this way? Does Brad? I didn't think so...but it must come from somewhere.

Word: "there"
Mac's pronunciation: "the-air-yuh"

Word: "milk"
Mac's pronunciation: "me-yul-kuh"

Word: "that"
Mac's pronunciation: "the-yuh-at"

He also has a new obsession with mini-wheats and would eat them 24-7 if I didn't insist on sneaking in some fruit, veggies and protein. His little voice asking for mini-wheats is too cute: "Min-wh-eee?"

One more funny thing I've been meaning to record here: Mac loves his toy dump truck and trash truck. But the drivers are not trashmen or workmen...according to Mac they are mailmen. After all, they wear dark blue uniforms and drive a truck, right?

In other news, Arden is 10 weeks old and has an ear infection! Trying to give 3/4 teaspoon of antibiotics through a syringe twice a day to a young infant with a strong tongue thrust reflex is an adventure. She looks at me with those sweet blue eyes while pink medicine is dripping down her chin and bright pink bubbles erupt from her sweet little cupid's-bow lips. {Goodness this little girls has stolen our hearts!} She seems to be on the mend though. Thank the Lord for antibiotics!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

What I did today...

Held a sick Arden. That pretty much sums it up.

Friday, January 1, 2010

"Giraffe take shower!"

We keep the water/ice dispenser on our fridge locked (there's a button that locks it)--safe from curious Mac hands. (Funny, when we got this fridge, I remember wondering why on earth they put locks on refrigerator ice dispensers. I couldn't imagine why someone would need that. Obviously, that before babydom.)

So, last night, just before bedtime, Mac comes wandering into the den and I notice that his pajama sleeves are dripping wet. I asked him why he was wet. He grinned at me, in his sweet little boy voice declared, "Grr--wraff take sow-er!" (Translation: The giraffe took a shower.)

Someone forgot to relock the water dispenser...so mac took advantage of the moment to give his giraffe magnet a shower.

I love that he's starting to pretend! It's messy...but so cute!