It takes a 3 year old


Last week a good friend asked me if I would be willing to do a garage sale. She is currently in the divorce process, unemployed and living in a mother-in-law quarters at a friend’s home.

She has a 3 1/2 year old and a 10 month old. Her husband left her when her baby was 9 days old. He told her it was better off for “everyone” as they haven’t gotten along in years. It’s been a very ugly divorce, and to say the least, these past 10 months have not put him on my favorite person list. To be honest, there have been times I’ve just wanted him to “pay” for what he did to my friend and to her children. I couldn’t understand how he could treat his wife, who he promised to love and always be there for, that way.

So, Friday as we sat doing the garage sale, I began talking to her sweet little girl. We talked about all kinds of things like favorite colors and preschool and her baby brother. Then we began talking about what Jesus did for us, how he died on the cross and his reasoning? To forgive all our sins. I got excited to say to her, for you, for Lilla, for your brother, for Anna, for your momma…

And then she said, “For my daddy too?”

Talk about taking the wind out of you. Wow, in that moment I knew it was my heart that had been wrong. Because yes, isn’t that why Christ came and died in the first place? He died for sinners. I am one of those too, only saved by grace. The blood of Christ is for her daddy too.

I truly hope one day he will accept it and receive all that is offered him too.

10 Smile Tuesday

This past week has been a busy, tiring, quick, fun, sleepy…just a mix of all you can think of kind of week. I don’t have many pictures as most has been covered in sickies and jammies, so you will have to use your imagination to get that Kodak feel.

Wednesday, Michael was off work so we threw the kids in the car and went to the zoo to see the new baby giraffe. (Smile #1) Lilla got to feed the giraffes, which she absolutely loves about our zoo so that was a lot of fun.Thursday I was preparing for the garage sale all day. Going, going, going. A friend invited us to dinner (#2 smile), and then while I was trying to get Lilla to just take 3 small bites, she threw it up up in my hands. Mmmmm, yummy.

I then came home to finish preparing for the garage sale and make sure all was ready for our first MOPS meeting of the year Friday morning. (Smile #3)

Friday morning I was rushing around, making a sausage egg casserole for MOPS (Smile #4, soooo good!), putting everything out for the garage sale and rushing to help out any way I could with setting up for the MOPS meeting.

I got the kids in the car, went to MOPS and we had a really good first meeting. We had a fun little skit, welcomed in the seasoned and new moms and had a sweet nametag and binder craft for the moms.

We then came home to help with the garage sale. My friend and her mom had been holding down the fort and we’d already sold a couple of large items so that was a big smile to hear that I was on my way to my goal. Which, by the way, was to pay for the convention I’m going to in Nashville this next weekend for MOPS. My friend has a daughter, the same age as Lilla and a son the same age as Anna so they all had fun causing a ruckus, poor Lemonade all over and getting into the garage sale items. (Smile #5)

For the past year my husband has been trying to get on a more regular shift (he works 10 hour days 4 days a week, and has had that schedule for 2 1/2 years now) to no avail. Well on Friday he called to tell me it was finally happening and our life is going back to normal! Let me just tell you how that was certainly the biggest smile of the week!! (Smile #6)

On Saturday we spent the day finishing out the garage sale and made just enough to pay the convention fees. God is so good! (Smile #7)
Saturday evening Lilla started feeling sick so when her temp spiked we decided I needed to stay home with her from church Sunday. We were having a prayer walk of our whole town on Sunday though so I did get to do that. How awesome to get assigned a street I know no one on and just pray for every person in every house there. Pretty cool! (Smile #8)

So these past couple of days Lilla has been pretty sick so we’ve just kind of hung out at home. However, I still do have the smiles of…

A still producing garden. Not much left, but I have lots of red peppers to freeze, a couple of zucchini, some tomatoes and green beans. (Smile #9) Who doesn’t love fresh?

Watching Anna pull up on everything and anything. She’s a fast crawler now and she is taking steps forward when she pulls up on things. I’m amazed daily at how fast she’s growing and becoming our little climber! (Smile #10)What are you smiling about today?

Saturday Photo Hunt – Upside Down


I recently did an impromptu photo shoot for a friend that was having a baby the next day. She was such a good sport to lay upside down, in the grass, on a woodpile that kept falling apart…anything I asked. Super fun!

10 Smile Tuesday

So many smiles going around our house lately. Admittedly, some hard times too as we continue to face the struggles of three year old tantrums, baby bawling and mommy meltdowns. But that is what the best part of doing a 10 smile Tuesday is, although no one else in the wide world may see it, I can look back and remember the good things that happened, the smiles that we shared and the blessings God has given my family over the past week. Now that is something to smile about!

1. Today was Anna’s first story time at the library. You know I had to take a couple of pictures, but that camera is in the car so you’ll have to use your imagination on that one and trust me that it really was very sweet. Especially when the song required clapping and Anna got so excited she could do something and just giggled away, clapping and laughing the whole time!

2. Lilla also started a special storytime today, as she is in the preschool one now and goes all by herself. I actually didn’t realize it until the teacher told me when I walked in the door. Although she couldn’t tell me what they did she seemed to enjoy it, such a big girl!

3. Gymnastics. Lilla absolutely loves it. She has such a great time each week, although it gets her a little too excited some times. It’s just so cute to see her in her little outfit, doing the balance beams and bars. It was something I always wanted to be able to do as a child, and never did, so I’m glad she has the chance. Such fun!
4. The park. We go to the gymnastics at our local parks district so the playground is just a short walk from the building. Every week Lilla asks me if we can go visit and this week we did with some friends who go to gymnastics too. We had such a nice time just hanging out for a bit with our kiddos and enjoying the warm weather. Such a nice unexpected visit!

5. Chicken Parmigiana. You know, I just have to mention some delicous food I’ve had in every 10 smile. Apparently, eating brings me smiles! Anyway, Michael got a gift card for his birthday so we got to go to Carrabas on Saturday and eat way yummy food! If you have one near you and have never been, do yourself a favor and go! Their chicken parm is just fantastic…mmmmm!!

6. Vacation. For labor day weekend we were just going to take a short trip down to Tennessee to see my dad. Well, the three days wound up being 7 days, crazy I know, but it wound up working out because of Michael’s work schedule and being able to take a couple of extra days. It was a free trip down and free accommodation, so it was kind of silly to say no. And sometimes it’s just nice to get away…the kids had fun too!

7. Lilla got to go on rides…
Michael did too…

8. There was lots of swimming, thanks to my aunt and uncle and their timeshare.

9. We got to spend time with my dad, his new wife and my aunt and uncle. They got to love on Anna and watch Lilla make up all kinds of songs and dances.

10. And we enjoyed the apple barn on more than one occasion. If you have never been to Pigeon Forge and don’t know the Apple Barn, I’m very sorry because you are missing out. Mmmm…apple fritters with apple butter, gosh they are gooooood!

I’ve got some bonus smiles too…

Free tickets to Dollywood.

Free tickets at an amusement place where Michael took Lilla for some rides. They had buy one get one free tickets and then a lady that was leaving just handed Michael some extra ride tickets for Lilla. Love free!

Watching everyone dry off in the “heater” after Lilla convinced everyone to go on the water ride on a chilly, overcast day.

Seeing how much courage Lilla had as she went on every ride they would let all 37 inches of her go on. Amazing to see how she just has no fear!

An impromptu day spent with my sister’s family when we went to pick up our dog. They live an hour away so we don’t get by much these days, so it was nice just to sit outside on the swing and chat, eat homemade pizza and play Clue. Good times.

What are you smiling about today?

In Concert

So the other day Lilla starts making up songs, singing along to the beat of her own drum. Singing something along the lines of, “Anna. You sleep. Anna. You eat. Anna, you poop. And then dad cleans out the tub.” (Long, grosser than gross story there.)

So she wraps up this tribute to Anna and then looks at me and says, “Aren’t you going to clap for me?”

I, of course, ablige.

She then asks, “Why are you clapping?”

I say, “Well, you sang that song. You know, Anna, you sleep, you eat…”

She says, “Oh no, you can’t sing that. That’s a concert just for me.”

Because, you know, my 3 year old clearly knows what a concert is.