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Oh, Adelynn. Oh, Ava. Oh, Ollie.

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We are listening to a sermon and it says “As the deer pants…”
”Dad. Guess what.” Ollie says.
”What?” Dave asks.
”Deers can have pants!”
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After eating fast food: “If you get grease all over your hands – which I just did – your hands will be sparkly.”
– Ever the optimist, Ava.
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Adelynn is wearing a shirt that’s too small. It has 3/4 sleeves. I tell her it’s the last time she can wear it. Ava offers her opinion.
“Yeah, it only has one-quarter sleeves now.”
(It wasn’t quite that small…)
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I can tell Ollie needs to eat based on the way he is acting. “Ollie, let’s go get a snack.” I suggest.
Ava overhears and asks “Mom, can I have a snack?”
Before I can respond, Ollie fills in the blanks “Ava, I’m whiny.”
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Ava is talking to Stitch (our kitten). “Don’t hit Sundae… it’s not the holiday spirit.”
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The girls were gathering quarters to put in the toy machines at our local sushi place. They were reading the years on them.
“Two thousand eight.” Ava said
”Nineteen ninety nine!” Adelynn said
”Two thousand zero.” Ava said Smile 
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A very serious Oliver.
“Mom, Ava hit my heart and broke it.”
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Overheard from Ava while playing: “I’m a chef… my name is Peach.”
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Ollie is chasing Ava around our square kitchen island. “We are going in squares!” he squeals.
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Ollie walks past me and I pat him on the back. “Mom, my back feels better after you pat it.”

Oh, Adelynn. Oh, Ava. Oh, Ollie.

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Our Amazon Echo had a green light on and I was trying to figure out why.
Me: Alexa… What’s up?
Silence.
Me: Alexa… read me my messages.
Silence.
Me: Alexa… what are my new notifications?
Silence.
Ollie comes in and I fill him in on what’s going on. So he takes a turn.
Ollie: Alexa… do you need duct tape?
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Ollie is upset Dave told him we had to leave. “Mom, dad messed up my feelings!”
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We caught a huge spider. Huge. The size of my palm. Anyway, he was in a jar and was standing on his back legs with his other legs sprawled up and out. “Look! He’s doing yoga.” Ava observed.
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It’s bright out. “The sun is going to melt my eyes!” – Ollie
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Ollie asks Ava to fill up his water cup. She does, hands it back, and he responds “Atta girl, Ava!”
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Ollie asks me to get the slime out/
”Before I do that, I need you to put away your play doh.” I say.
”But I too strong!” He argues.
*blink* “You’re too strong for what?” I wonder.
”To put away my play doh!”
I really should consider his abilities before I insult him by asking him to do things that are below him.
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Ava is singing a song in an octave too low for her. I tell her to sing higher. So she starts belting the song!
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Ollie is mad at me. “I don’t like you talking when I’m screaming!”
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It’s foggy out. “It’s dusty outside!” Ollie observed.

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Ava is pretending to be a dog.
”Come on, Tom!” Ollie says.
”Wait, you named me Tom?!” Ava asks.
”Yeahh!” Ollie shouts enthusiastically.

Oh, Adelynn. Oh, Ava. Oh, Ollie.

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I walk into Ollie’s room where he’s playing alone.
“Mom. Get out my room.” He says defensively.
”Why, did you poop?” I ask.
”No. There’s just a sneaky poop smell in my room. Step out my room.”
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Ava said she quit eating breakfast so she wouldn’t be late to school and so she’s still hungry. I told her I wish I had known that so we could have gotten her something to eat in the car. But I also pointed out that it’s a good thing she gets a snack at school. Her response was “Yeah! At least I’m not food-less!”
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Ollie walks over to the girls calmly and casually “Hey girls. What’s shakin?”
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I’m reading Ollie a book where one character startled another by loudly saying “hut two!”. Ollie is confused. He looks at me. “Mom, do you have hiccups?”
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I’m getting Ollie’s jammies on. I tell him not to move while I go get something. But he moves his feet and explains “I need my stabilizers.”
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We have a poop emoji keychain (no clue where it’s from). But it’s cartoon-style poop with facial features. Ollie calls it “poop head” and he’s not wrong!
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Ava had no air conditioning at karate class.
”Were you hot in there?” I ask.
”Yeah, I was sweating!” She answers.
”I bet!” I said.
”He said sweating is good for you. I was like ‘I do not believe that’.”
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Ollie had been watching a bee. To himself he says “Where did he go? I guess he just bee’d away!” This took me a a minute, but flies fly, so bees must bee!
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Dave asks Ollie who should put him to bed. His response: “Mom is not a good candidate for that. Dad is a good candidate. That’s a great idea!”
I’m so impressed he used that word correctly! Even if he didn’t pick me!
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Ava wants the dentist to pull her two loose teeth. “Maybe the dentist will pick them.” She used the word “pick” instead of “pull”. I mean, it has roots like vegetables!

Oh, Adelynn. Oh, Ava. Oh, Ollie.

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During a t-ball game Ollie is standing on first base instead of playing outfield. We call him over to be with the out-fielding huddle.
”There’s a spider over here!” He calls.
”Well, then come this way!” I say.
”No, I don’t want him to be alone.” He argues.
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Ava walks into my room pointing to her neck. “Do I have a bump right here?”
“Yeah, it looks like you do.” I tell her.
“Maybe it’s one of those pop-out freckles.” She guesses.
”A mole?” I ask.
”Yeah, a mole.” She walks away toward Adelynn “Hey Adelynn, I have a mole!”
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Ollie has a cup that has a water drop coming out of the straw. Ava had pointed it out previously and notices another drop. “Oliver’s volcano cup is erupting again!” Ava observes.
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Ava knows about negative numbers and positive numbers. “Mom, what’s before negative numbers?” She asks.
”That’s it. Just positive and negative.” I answer.
”Maybe they are God numbers… like God-1, God-2…”
Well, He is the beginning and the end, so that does make sense!
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I tell Ollie it’s going to be nap time soon.
“I don’t like naps. They make me so sad. And it’s Tuesday, not Saturday!” He argues.
Obviously he can’t be sad because it’s not Sad-ur-day!
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“Sometimes having three kids is like… odd.” – Ava

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We are having poolside popsicles. Ollie turns to his Grandma and asks “What kind is yours?”
”Lime.” She answers.
He turns up his nose. “Slime?”
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Dave says he will warm up a hot dog for Ollie and Ollie appreciates that. “You’re a great guy, dad!” I mean, saying thank you is overused. 
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Pickup truck = hiccup truck. (Ollie)
Ravioli = rolly-ol-lee. (Ollie)
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The picture above was taken right after the scene I am about to describe.

We are trying to get Sundae to like the skateboard so she can learn to ride it. She’s chewing on it and has a teal toy hippo right next to her. I don’t want Sundae to associate any negativity with the skateboard, so I don’t want to get after her for chewing on it, but I also don’t want her to chew on it. “Ava, don’t get after her for chewing. Just get her hippo instead.” Ava has no idea what I am talking about. She looks everywhere. I point to the hippo. “Right there. Just grab her hippo.” She is so confused and literally started grabbing Sundae’s left hip-bone. Then, when I started laughing, she grabbed her right hip-bone. I was laughing so hard!

Hippo = hip bone. (Ava) 

Lessons From The Turquoise Table

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I am on season 2 of the Turquoise Table gatherings at my home. I don’t feel like I have experienced everything yet, but I have learned a few things along the way.

This week held a Turquoise Table first.

No one came.

IMG_9877Here’s the table from this week. But this isn’t where I was supposed to be. 

My first thoughts are inward “Should I have sent more reminders? I hate bugging people.”

My next thoughts are for my kids “They are so disappointed. They had plans to hang out with their friends today.”

My final thoughts are “What is God trying to teach me through this?”

IMG_9903My heart swelled when I walked outside and all three kids were carrying things in without being asked!

And that is when a blog post appears! Like I said, I’m no expert. But the Turquoise Table came to me when I needed a simple way to invite others in and a way to reach out tangibly. And in this short time, I have learned so many valuable life lessons.


1. Making it about you is prideful.

If I sat there that morning and pitied myself or felt sad for my kids… what good would that have done? You know what I did? I got up and left the house and found others to pour into. I had an incredible conversation with someone because I left the house. That would not have happened the way it did if I stayed home. If your ministry is about you doing things only in the way you want to… if your ministry focuses on you … is it a ministry?

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2. It can feel lonely, and that’s okay.

I’ve been in this season of rest lately. I’ve been learning what sabbath truly means. I can absolutely pour into people when my cup is full. But, that also means I’m alone in it sometimes. When you invite people in, you might be the only one at the table. But you are being obedient. It’s not that your fellow table-dwellers aren’t obeying, but they are either otherwise occupied – potentially with their own ministries, or they don’t feel the same calling. Which is perfect! Because if God made us all with the same calling, then what would the point be?

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3. Worrying is the thief of joy.

Every week Adelynn asks me who is coming. I always tell her what I know – which is usually that I don’t know! Sometimes I can give her one or two names, but I can never fully answer her question, and it leads to wonderful surprises when friends show up unexpectedly. What if I worried because I couldn’t answer her questions? What if you worry you’re not a good host, or your space isn’t big or fancy enough, or clean enough? Well, all that needs to be enough is your heart. Not everyone who hosts lives in a million dollar home with HOA and lawn care. (I’m raising my hand, here. My weeds prove I pay no one to pull them!)

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4. You don’t have to have it all together.

I once was invited to a friend’s house and she literally gave me her family’s refrigerated leftovers for lunch. I cannot tell you how much that warmed my heart. Seriously! That was years ago and she would die of embarrassment knowing I said that. But what that really said to me was that I was enough. She didn’t have to impress me. She knew that.

I use mismatched and leftover paper products at the Turquoise Table every week. We used our leftover wedding napkins last season! Currently it’s Thomas cups, Circus plates, and 80’s napkins! (Guess our kids’ birthday party themes from 2019!) I don’t think anyone feels like I don’t care about them because I don’t buy matching paper products. I think it’s quite the opposite. I think they know I want to offer what I have. I do clean my bathroom each week for them, but this week I definitely left the dump trucks in the corner of the bathroom instead of hiding them in the shower! In addition to all of that, I think God dwells in the ordinary. In fact, I think He likes it.

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5. The enemy does not want community. It’s a spiritual battle.

“For where two or three gather in my name, I am there with them.” – Matthew 18:20

I believe the enemy also puts worries in our heads about our ability to lead or to gather, even. He lies. He’s a liar. It’s what he does. I believe he attempts to take out those gatherings. He will tell you no one likes you. He will tell you what you have isn’t good enough. The truth?
If you are called, you are qualified.
You are worthy, because He has given us every good and perfect gift.
You are chosen, because all authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to us.
You are enough, because of the cross.
You also have authority over those lies and can speak it out!

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6. God is doing in the undoing.

When you become transparent, when you lay your life, your mess, your worries, your junk, your potentially stale food, and your random reject Band-Aids to kids who fall, you might feel like a clumsy mess of a woman who is unqualified, undignified, and embarrassed of some of the cobwebs in her life. But that’s where Jesus shines. That’s where you come undone, and Jesus mends the broken pieces. When you lay it out there – verbally, or physically – that you are just as broken as everyone else, that’s when people want to be around you.

If you met that one amazing celebrity you follow on Insta, in real life, you know, the one that has perfect pictures and filters, and children, and vacations… you might be star struck. But would you have a relationship with her? Would you tell her how you washed a disposable diaper and pulled all the pieces out of the washer? Would you tell the story of that one time you left your kid at Target? Are you allowed to have faults around people who seemingly don’t have them? Nope. And that’s what community is for. That’s why God gave us authentic relationships. We get to be messy and broken and ultimately healed together. That’s why we gather and we bring our leftovers. Sometimes, our leftovers are all we have to offer. And that’s always enough.

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Oh, Adelynn. Oh, Ava. Oh, Ollie.

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Ollie: Mom?
Me: Yes?
O: I want you…(and he snuggles up next to me. My heart melts.)
O: … to get me a snack.
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Ava notices a rainbow “Mom, I want you to take a picture of the rainbow and send it to miss Jessica (karate teacher) because it’s in a wide stance!” So observant.
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Overheard while playing “I’ve never potty trained a dragon!” – Adelynn

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Ollie is talking a million miles an hour as he’s playing with his trucks in play doh. He wants my attention AGAIN. I’m making noise as I’m cleaning and I can’t hear him.
“Mmhmm.” I respond.
Ollie says “Mom! It’s not ‘mmhmm’! My transporter is stuck in the muck!”
Busted.
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Ava: I really want you to get… how do you spell ice cream?
Me: Why do you ask?
A: So Oliver doesn’t know what I’m talking about!
He’s sitting right next to her in the car.
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Ollie is in denial about all the rain we have been having. “Man, Ollie. It’s raining again.” I say.
”No. It’s just dusty outside.” He defends.
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Mighty is in the girls’ room while Ava is getting ready for bed. She said she needs him out because she needs privacy. I said “Well, you see Mighty naked all the time.” And her response? “Actually he has a coat!” … She’s not wrong!
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Ollie has been in bed – alone – for quite some time. He comes out of his room to complain of foot pain. “Mom, you stepped on my tiny foot with your big foot!” … I did no such thing.
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Ava has her Marvel dress on. The characters don’t have all of the features that the real life characters have. I explained that they were someone else’s interpretation of the character. And she’s seen comic books compared to shows or figurines, etc. So she gets it. Anyway, her response after I said they were someone else’s interpretation was “Oh! Like The Greatest Showman Reimagined?” YES! The musical equivalent of exactly what we are talking about. Atta girl! 
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Ollie picks up one of my books.
O: Can I read this to you?
Me: Sure.
Ollie gets exasperated after opening it “Aaaahh! I can’t read!” 

Oh, Adelynn. Oh, Ava. Oh, Ollie.

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It’s time for an update on the darndest things my kids say!

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Ollie saw me actually sitting still: “Mom, why you in time out?”

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I’m not sure who originated this, but I’m thinking it was Ava. She blends together party-pooper and fun-sucker. The girls call us party-suckers when they don’t get to do something fun! I guess it’s less awkward than the alternative! Smile

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Ava has a pom-pom and is about to be a cheerleader. “Mom, how do you spell KU?”

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Ava: Adelynn’s teacher said if you don’t drink water for 3 days you’ll die!

Me: Yeah?

Ava: Yeah. So I need my cup.

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Ollie doesn’t use the word “don’t”. Instead he uses the word “can’t”. Examples: “I can’t like it.” “I can’t want to.” It’s cute.

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Regarding the fact that we live in a neighborhood, but it’s like the country Ava said “It’s like the country-hood!”

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After we moved, Dave and I were talking about the fastest routes to take to get places and speed limits and stuff.
Ava: What is this called?
Dave: The freeway.
Ava: So you can go as fast as you want?
Logic.

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Listening to Ava dictate birthday thank you notes. “Thank you for my Rapunzel.”
Ollie repeats “Thank you to my puzzle!”

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Sometimes when Ollie falls asleep in the car we say “We lost him.” I didn’t ever think much of it until the time Ollie’s eyes were heavy in the car and Ava said “Ollie’s almost lost!”

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Ava is doing art.
Ava: You know what’s the rarest kind of flower?
Me: I don’t. What kind?
Ava: The kind that is made by people. Red heart

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