What We Have Been Up To

Rhea Lana.

For some reason, I rarely tapped into this fantastic consignment sale. And possibly my dear, little town of Hutchinson wouldn’t have been quite what I have been experiencing here either. Don’t know. All I do know is that…I am in love.

My first experience was this year in the spring. And the weekend I had been looking forward to for six months, we decided to get sick! And so I didn’t find myself driving up to the Cleburne Conference Center as I had been dreaming of every time I drove past for months…

But on Monday, which happened to be half price day, Amanda and I decided to go in and see what was left. To my surprise, I found that someone who had twin girls was selling a lot of her twin clothes pinned together! That simply meant that they were still there. Very few twin girl sets around, I guess. :) Thrilled, I outfitted the twins for the summer. I didn’t have as much luck with Bomani’s clothes. It was very picked over by then.

This fall, I fell into the category of “expectant mothers”. :) And so I got to print two passes, one to get in early at the very beginning, and another to get in early for half price day! Walking into that huge, open, well-lit room is like a little slice of heaven, for mothers. (Who don’t like to pay more than $5.00 per dress or $3.00 per shirt…) :) It’s like all the best of yard sales brought tenderly together and organized beautifully, with absolutely tons of clothes right at your fingertips. And the rest of the room filled with baby and kid gadgets, potties, cribs, toys, bedding…and so much more. And there are maternity clothes. And yes, you pay more than at a garage sale, but you get what you pay for. It’s lovely. I could just walk around and breathe it in. :) In fact, I did. Until my pregnant back was killing me!

And so, among other things, on the two days I went, I found most of the winter clothes I will need for the kids. Except for dresses for the twins. Somehow, those simply were not there. I am so grateful!


They had to wear their “new” winter pjs that very night. :)


Not everything is something I would have picked out new. But for a couple dollars, yes!

This, however, I would have picked new. I LUB it! I think Hazel chose it. She has a real sense of style, and if I’m not careful, she ends up with all the “cool” clothes. :)


And then, there were the twin “princess” dresses.

I am actually not a big “princess” person. My style in clothing has been and still is, simple, straight, and classy. (If you wonder why I don’t wear clothes that fall into that category, it’s because I’m still waiting on that ship to come in…) :)

But when I saw those two dresses, all I noticed was that they were gorgeous, they were long, and they had warm, velvet sleeves. And as church only happens once a week, the girls really only need one or two sets of church clothes!

BUT. They cost $25 each!!

This lady thinks a lot of her clothing. :) But then, I had to admit, the clothes are nice. Quality is high. But I instantly knew I would not pay $50 for two dresses. Ever. That’s just not me.

Then Raquel reminded me of half price day coming up. And maybe, since they were priced so high, they would still be there! I left, dreaming of lovely, twin dresses in pink and black, which would delight my girls beyond their imaginations…and left it in the hands of the Lord. Okay, so I thought about them often in the next two days. :) And prayed. And decided to be there on time. And make a straight line to that rack. :)

I only wished they were pinned together! Then there would be a lot more chance…

Half price evening Raquel and I went in together. She had been waiting on something to drop in price as well, and we both headed straight to our “places”. :) I searched. I did not find.

I searched some more.

There they were. Half price. $12.50 a dress. Still more than I ever pay for dresses, but…oh…so lovely.


I danced. Okay, I danced inside. :)

When I got home with my loot, I considered that they are more princessy than I had noticed. But then the twins put them on. And Hazel started twirling about the room…

And my heart melted with joy.



Little girls should have pretty clothes. They aren’t proud. They’re just happy. They know they are beautiful.

In fact, being beautiful is just a part of normal life for the girlies. After I comb their hair, no matter how fast and simple I combed it, they might go to their dad and say, “Am I beautiful?” :)

Or after I got myself ready to go to a party, and dressed nicely, and came out with a flower on my scarf, they will look at me and say, “Mom! You’re beautiful!” Never ceases to bring me warm delight.

And then there are my Bomani’s adorable feet.

I have always loved Bomani’s feet. Chubby, stubby, and just…my little boy…I just love them.



Aren’t they just darling?

Last year, I wore slippers in the house all winter long. This floor is bitterly cold in the wintertime! And I felt bad for the kids…but was really not sure they would even wear slippers if I’d get them. So then, you skip the expense, you know.

But as I was shopping at Rhea Lana, I saw them. And I said, “That is my Bomani.” It went into my basket. Straight.


He was incredibly proud of them. Not only did he have slippers like mom now, but they had all manner of balls on them! And he loves any kind of ball. :) I wished I could find some for the twins, but I just didn’t.

The second day I went, I traced their feet and took little, paper feet with me in my purse. :) That day, I found slippers for the girls! Today Bomani arranged them neatly in the bedroom…


Of course, Hazel picked the gorgeous, jazzy ones…


What fun. :)

And that is the end of Rhea Lana for this season!

What else have we been up to?


Flowers from a dear friend.


The seriously chocolate, chocolate bar. :) This was my second Edenway party, and it was awesome fun! Besides the seriously chocolate, chocolate bar, there were all manner of tea things to eat, tea, coffee, and so much fun. The evening ended with us sitting in a candle-lit room, sharing secrets and talking about things that would make the men run. :) It was lovely.


But that being the second night in a row that I excitedly left the kids with Craig at home, it was time to hang out on Saturday with my fave people! Bomani asked me as I headed out to that Friday night party…”Mom, why do you go everybody?!” Or something like that. :)


Now for the exciting winter preparations! We are actually seriously on the verge of building our dream stove/heater! This is called a Rocket Mass Heater. Please research it, as I do not feel like going into the details, which are still a bit fuzzy in my mind, of how amazing this heater is.


Craig did a bit of a prerun of the first part on the lawn Saturday afternoon.



Then, since we had such fantastic heat coming from it, we decided to grill!

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Begging. :)

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It was a lovely, peaceful evening.


They love their babies.


So, I heard this banging coming from the end of the hall. Upon investigation, I found Hazel, with the big hammer, trying to fix our door so that it stays closed! Dear child…


Daisy reclining on my new baby bath station. :)


And that is what we have been up to!

Our Day of September 10

It was a quiet morning. The kids slept until 8:00 or so. I read my Bible…drank my tea…

I considered the fact that today was a hard day to live. Craig was gone to morning prayer with the church men.

I felt very alone.

Just sayin’. That’s how my day started.

It was a relief when the kids got up and Craig came home for a bit before work.

I said, what am I going to do today? I don’t feel like doing anything.

So I didn’t. I did nothing all day, but get a bit of food around to eat, read, take care of the kids, and enjoy them.

It occurred to me in the morning, that my three kiddos are one way God brings me comfort. So I said, I will receive that of Him today.

So I left the kitchen with the breakfast dishes, and we walked down to the play-sets at the pre-owned lot. They thought this day was heaven!

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It was a fantastic morning. Sunny, yet breezy and cool in the shade. I sat on a little bench and drank it in. The kids whooped and yelled for joy and played wildly on the play-sets.

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The weather itself was so similar to that morning a year ago. I remember stepping outside and watching the sunrise to the east. I remember telling Craig how lovely it was…

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Then mom got hungry, so we went home. It was a lovely way to start the day!

Some more ways the kids brightened my soul on September 10…


He is my big helper in organizing the boots and crocs in the corner of the dining room. Sometimes he likes to stack them as high as he can!


I walked into their room, and there were their dolls, all gently put to bed. And there the twins were, each with a wooden spoon, methodically spanking their dolls. :) I laughed! Hazel was “bapping” her doll on the head… (and I’m having a baby soon??!)

In the evening, after Craig was home, we headed out to the nursing home to visit our hospice patients. Aww, they are so sweet.

Dorothy is the one with the funny sense of humor, only sharpened with age! We were telling her that we are having another baby boy. And she laid back on her pillow, eyes shut, very still. Then she said in her gravelly voice, “If I would have four boys, I’d cut my throat and go straight up.” We laughed! Craig said, “You had three boys, right?” She said, “Yes. Three boys. Then I stopped.” :)

John is the atheist who always says “yes” to Craig praying for him. He has had a lot of processing to do…possibly not quite the life he wishes he would have lived. How I pray for him… He seems to be going downhill. He always remembers us and is happy to see us. The kids, as usual, make him happy.

A number of our patients have died recently.

Sudie was the sweetest lady ever. She would usually be setting in the same place, out where everyone walks by. She would light up when we’d come, and tell the kids how pretty and handsome they are, and how much she likes their clothes. As we were leaving, she would tell us how much our visits mean to her. She was a pastor’s wife, and so full of Jesus. So gentle and unselfish even as she wasted away.

When I got sick in my first trimester, we quit going. John informed us that it was three months we didn’t come! Two weeks ago, we started going again. Sudie was gone…

Fay is another sweetheart. So upbeat and patient, even while lying around by herself for so much of her last days.

Jimbo is sad. A sad life behind him, often not wanting to talk much. His kids estranged. Sometimes not wanting Craig to even touch him. Sometimes the only thing we could get out of him was waving to the kids, and seeming happy to see them. Yesterday, for the first time, we found him in bed, uncommunicative. He is dying. Jesus, bring him peace…bring him to Your heart…

Craig gave me a fantastic shoulder massage last night before I went to sleep. My back is out of whack, and yesterday gave me quite the head aching. I know I need to go in for an adjustment…but I might wait until…it’s desperate. :)

And that was September 10.


This morning we were astonished by a sudden, gentle, lovely rain! Out of seemingly nowhere, the rain came in big drops, straight down.

It was preceded by a large, arching rainbow. The children were mesmerized. When it started raining, Bomani was afraid the rainbow would fall down!

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And then I made myself a fantastic mug of creamy, lemongrass chai. It was good to the last drop.


Thank You, Father God…You have been so good to us.


Of God

Who is this who obscures My counsel with ignorant words? Get ready to answer Me like a man; when I question you, you will inform Me.

Where were you when I established the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who fixed its dimensions? Certainly you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? What supports its foundations? Or who laid its cornerstone while the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Have you traveled to the sources of the sea or walked in the depths of the oceans? Where is the road to the home of light?

Have you entered the place where snow is stored? Or have you seen the storehouses of hail, which I hold in reserve for times of battle?

Who cuts a channel for the flooding rain or clears the way for lightning, to bring rain on uninhabited land, on a desert with no human life, to satisfy the parched wasteland and cause the grass to sprout?

Does the rain have a father? Who fathered the drops of dew? Whose womb did the ice come from? Who gave birth to the frost of heaven when water becomes as hard as stone, and the surface of the watery depths is frozen?

Do you know the laws of heaven? Can you impose its authority on earth? Can you command the clouds so that a flood of water covers you?

Who put wisdom in the heart or gave the mind understanding?

Who has the wisdom to number the clouds? Or who can tilt the water jars of heaven when the dust hardens like cast metal and the clods of dirt stick together?

Who set the wild donkey free? Who released the swift donkey from its harness? I made the wilderness its home, and the salty wasteland its dwelling.

Do you give strength to the horse? Do you adorn his neck with a mane? Do you make him leap like a locust? He charges ahead with trembling rage; he cannot stand still at the trumpet’s sound.

Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? Let him who argues with God give an answer.

Get ready to answer Me like a man; when I question you, you will inform Me.

Would you really challenge My justice? Would you declare Me guilty to justify yourself?

Do you have an arm like God’s? Can you thunder with a voice like His?

Then Job replied to the Lord;

I know that You can do anything and no plan of Yours can be thwarted. You asked, “Who is this who conceals My counsel with ignorance?” Surely I spoke about things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.

I had heard rumors about You, but now my eyes have seen You.

Therefore I take back my words and repent in dust and ashes.

And then God goes on to affirm Job. To bless him.

God worked in some extraordinary ways to bring me to read the last chapters of Job this week. For maybe the first time in my life, I feel like I have no questions for God. There are questions in my heart, yes. Why did the driver look at his map right then? Why was Anja not driving just a hair faster or a hair more slowly? Was this of God? Of the devil? Of just a fallen world? Is He testing someone? Me? Or is He doing something else far more wonderful than anything I have yet imagined? What and why?

There are questions. Yes.

But today, I don’t need to ask God anymore.

I ask myself Why?

Then I know. Because I have this God for my Father. And His wisdom and love is incredible. Not able to even be understood.

So I’m okay with that.

Peace to all my dear friends and family today…



A year ago, this morning, Anja and I gave each other a hug. I was heading to TX with the twins. We were ready to go, and drove over to dads to say good-bye. They met us between the seedhouse and the lane.

I remember Anja had just got up…early enough to say good-bye. Her eyes were still sleepy. :) I remember telling her to come visit us soon! She said, with a chuckle, “I have a feeling we will!”

I am thinking of the bond between her and Bomani. It wasn’t the usual aunt/nephew thing. Nope. This was different. Bomani spent a lot of his life at his grandparents’ house over the last of the pregnancy and after the birth of the twins. And Anja was a huge part of that. She is still very special in his little heart.

The other day I was sitting in the plum room. I was thinking about how many times Anja would have come to see us in the past year. I was thinking about how much fun it would have been to fix that room up as beautifully as possible for her. I was thinking about her delight in our house…had she come. How fun it would have been to do the detail painting together, that I wanted to do at the upper edges of some of the rooms.

Bomani was sitting in there with me. I often feel so…lost. How do you help a very young child with such a…grief? So I just asked him, “Bomani, do you miss Anja?” He said, “Yeah…” Then he totally spoke my thoughts. “We should make a bed for Anja to stay here.” Or something like that. I said, “Yeah…I wish we could.” Then he said, “Anja with Jesus, is far away.” So so far away. I did the best I could to talk with him about it. And then I just pray for him and trust my Father to take care of the loss in his little life.

It’s been a little while now since he has gotten desperate to see her. But there is nothing, nothing that tears up my soul like that. We all feel desperate to see her. But he has nothing to equal this with. Nothing to help him understand why he just can never see her. But I’m going to keep her memory alive for him as he grows. He probably doesn’t even need me to do that. Some things don’t die. And then someday, he will be with Anja again.


Thank you, Anja, for loving my little Buzz.


And my twins…how they love you.





I miss you so so much.

A 183

Can’t wait to be with you again, sis.


I’m thinking about you today. It was the last day, a year ago, that I was with you. I don’t want to think about tomorrow. I want to remember today.

Love you, so much, Anja…always.


What We Did on Labor Day

All weekend I would have these sudden inspirations of joy. Why?  Because Monday Craig would be home, and not even on call! The big question was: WHAT were we going to do?!

Monday morning was a happy morning. Of course, I needed to do a town run, and 98% of the rest of Cleburne decided to shop at HEB at the same time. And Craig mowed grass. Not terribly romantic, but necessary.

But soon after we were up, Craig came up with an idea.

You have probably realized by now, that Craig is the one with the “ideas” in this marriage. He has very good ideas!

I was sitting on one of the only two stuffed chairs we own, which makes up most of our living room furniture…drinking green tea. He said, “What can we do today that would be fun that wouldn’t cost any money?” I said, “I don’t know!”

A little later he said…”Let’s fix up the plum room into a coffee shop, and make drinks for ourselves and hang out and read!” I said, “Yessss!!”

And so, after our work was done, and our naps were taken, we did just that.

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Craig’s other idea was to make chocolate eclairs! I didn’t feel like all the work, so we settled for some cream filled doughnuts with chocolate from the bakery at HEB. The kids thought it was wonderful…

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Our first drinks in the coffee shop were made with fresh lime and fresh strawberries. Once again, the kids thought they were in heaven…

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It wasn’t quite…an authentic date atmostphere 100% of the time. :) But what can you say when such darlings want to share your space?


We had refills for free. :) And talked a long time. Sat quietly, drinking in the peace…

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I know, no pics of us. But they would have been on the edge of…appropriate. :)


After we ate dinner, we had our second coffee shop course. See, when you spend a lot of time at a coffee shop, you need to indulge in several different types of drinks…

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The kids were being babysat by Curious George. :) For their second drinks, they had milk with these chocolate straws that their Grandma had sent. Bomani feels very loved when he drinks chocolate milk. This is because of his Grandma and the good ole’ days. :)

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All in all, it was a fantastic day. We had so much fun. We read a lot, talked a lot, and enjoyed a coffee room for many hours. In fact, we like it so well that we left it as is. Now our living room area boasts one sort of comfortable piece of furniture: my glider rocker that speaks to you as it rocks. :) This morning we both had a happy quiet time together in the plum coffee room. :)

And that was Labor Day 2014!

What We Did on Saturday

My songbird.


I woke up Saturday morning, inspired! This marked a new era in my life. :) I was excited about cooking!! I decided to make a fat pizza. And make enough dough to do a fun loaf of bread as well. One of my favorite memories growing up, was when mom would give us each a pat of dough to make whatever we wanted to make. Ahhhh…the fun. And then we got to eat it! Bomani chose to make a small pizza. He had a lot of fun!

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They put the peppers on for me. :)


And then the girls and I did cinnamon, raisin, butter breads. They would have rolled that dough for hours…

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Daisy put a lot of raisins in hers. :)


The finished pizza.


Very happy and proud of his!

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The cinnamon bread didn’t last too long…

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And THAT was Saturday!


every step takes effort. It’s one of those days.

And when you get dressed, then realize that you are most definitely outgrowing your clothes.


So I gave up and went out to the shed and hauled in my box of maternity clothes.

The kids are currently trying them on.

I don’t want September 10 to come.

I won’t be able to say, last year this time, Anja was still with us.

It feels like I am losing her forever.

Dear God, help us…cuz it looks like we need to live this next month.

I have Made IT!

I Stand.

Ready to take the step.

Into my Second Trimester.

How poetic. :) I guess to celebrate, I am eating chocolate granola with raw milk, raspberries, and chocolate chips. :)

I guess also to celebrate, I felt terrible last evening. Like, more nausea than I’ve had in days! But I slept it off. By morning, I felt awesome! Possibly I worked too hard yesterday. I organized my laundry room, which was terrible. I did laundry. I made food. Not sure what all else, but I was tired!

This morning I got up, got the girls combed and dressed, did other morning like things, finished getting the house ready to be cleaned, then I left my kids with two of my neighbor’s girls, and went to the Birth Center to hear my baby’s heartbeat! While I was gone, the two lovely girls cleaned my house like it hasn’t been cleaned in weeks! Hopefully not months, but I won’t count. :) On coming home to a clean house, my morale hit the roof. :) I am feeling veeeeery happy. :) :) :)

As far as a baby bump picture, Maria…hmm. I don’t have much of a bump yet! It’s still in the wannabe stage. :) I am fiercely determined not to gain tons of weight this time around. But we’ll see. I feel like I know a hundred time more about nutrition than I did any of my other pregnancies, and I know what I should and should not eat, in order to feed my baby well, but not pack on pounds. You know…chocolate granola with chocolate chips… ;)

Maybe I should just post a picture of when I was pregnant with the twins instead. Just to make me feel…well…thrilled to be carrying one baby this time!

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I know. It doesn’t even look that bad. But it was. Every night I would groan. And wonder, can I get any bigger without…I don’t know? Bursting? Maybe actually the worst part, besides the fact that I am a small person, was all the arms and legs inside there. They would shift and I would take a deep breath, try not to freak out, and let everything settle back into spaces…

I am waxing nostalgic. :) As delightful as it is to have twins, and as much as I would never, ever want either of them to go away, I am SOOO happy to be carrying one baby! This is going to be pie in the sky. Thank You, Jesus. :)

I’m not even freaked out about a VBAC. Why be freaked out? I have a fantastic birth center full of amazing professionals! But far more than that, God has taken away my fears and worries. I don’t know how it will go. But I’m happy. He’s taking care of us.

The sun is shining! We had several inches of rain over the weekend. I cannot tell you how amazing and fantastic that was. You know you live in Texas when it thunders and rains and your Texas friends are one by one posting that it is raining!

Okay, lata!