Sunday, June 28, 2009


I realized today that I don't talk about Janie much on here.

I may not talk about her a lot on my blog, but I think about her a lot. Lately, I've been thinking about her much more.

May 10th marked the 5th anniversary of her flight Home, and May 13th was the 5th anniversary of her being born still, no breath, small, delicate as a breeze, into my heart.

I knew it was coming. I was thinking about it back in January, even as I was about to give birth to Lucie. Janie's just in my heart like that, all the time.

I find myself really thinking about her this year. 5 years is significant in so many ways to me. I think back on how her leaving us just shook me to the very marrow of my bones. I think about how you can never be prepared for the loss of a baby, a child. It sneaks up on you and blindsides you, right in your deepest being.

5 years ago, it hurt to even draw breath. Every day I was sure I was going to shatter into a million pieces. I marveled that the world didn't stop and that all creation didn't mourn with me.

5 years ago I could actually taste the pain. The daily, minutely, incessant heartache was bitter, acidic in my mouth, like the metallic taste of blood when you accidentally bite your tongue. Food did not nourish me, because I knew I was dying too......

5 years ago I didn't know what 5 years down the road would look like. I couldn't imagine living life for any length of time without my Janie. To think of not being able to hold her, nurse her, breathe in her smell, I thought it was more than I could handle.

5 years ago. Such a lifetime ago, it seems.

What is life like now? Well, I can tell you that I do miss her. I do hurt for her at times, and yes, sometimes it will take my breath away for a moment, just a moment. I suddenly feel, when we're all gathered together, that someone is missing........

But I'm still alive. I didn't lay down and die. Gradually the breaths I took got deeper and longer, until the air I breathe is fresh and clear again, and my lungs could handle life again. Yes, I still carry the pain, but it's a softer, more gentle ache now. It doesn't hurt to stand up today. I can know stand and I can think of her, most of the time, without gasping aloud at the sharpness of grief.

I can say that she is the fabric of who I am. I carry her with me like a treasured locket around my neck. Her life inside of me is a part of me, and God chose me to be her mom for the purpose of showing me a knowing, a kinship, if you will, with other moms with whom, before Jane, I never desired to walk.....

But now I'm one of them too. I carry a legacy of deep pain, of scars, of countless tears, but this deep pain, the scars, and all of the tears I've cried in the last 5 years are not unknown. I am not alone. I think the consolation of knowing that there are others out there who are seasoned travelers along this road is strangely comforting.

I take great comfort in the fact that my Janie Rose sits at the feet of Jesus, able to clamber up in His lap, to gaze deeply into His fathomless eyes, to touch His face, to run and jump and breathe the essence of Heaven without this world's pain! Yes, I wish that she was here! But how can I want her back so much when a part of my heart thrills to know where she is?

And I know, in the scarred hand of Jesus, that He holds a bottle. I know, in that bottle, for all eternity, are all of the tears I've cried for my girl. Each tear has a name, and each single, small, salty offering in that bottle, each word written on those rivulets, He knows. I know this with a certainty!

So now, I go forth from this 5 year path stronger, more steady, knowing that grief does not kill, and pain, that pain that I used to think was my worst nightmare, has only been another level to my becoming. I carry that baby in my heart like the Lord carries me in His heart......

And I go on.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Such a weird title for a post, I know.....

But it hooked ya, didn't it??

I bet you're just wondering what I'm going to say, huh?

Here it is:

Lately I've been needing some skin care items. I have really dry, dull skin, and I also have sensitive skin too. I have to be careful what I put on my face. I've used some fantastic organic products in the past, but right now, I can't afford any of them. My poor face has been suffering for lack of care too!

I'd been looking at some of the products I used to use, and something within me just couldn't pay those prices.

See, I've gone all frugal and stuff......well, maybe not exactly frugal cause I don't make my own toilet paper and I don't make spaghetti out of tree bark, so let's say I'm trying to go thrifty, being inspired by Gayle's super way of cutting her grocery budget. I'm trying people, I'm trying!

So I got to thinking about my face and started searching the 'net for homemade facial stuff, and I came across lots and lots of recipes that you throw together at home, and on a super tight budget too! Most of the stuff you already have in your pantries!

One thing that I've tried before is yogurt for my face (thus the title of this post! I'm getting to it!!). I've put plain yogurt right plop on my face before and it feels soooo goood! It's super cooling and refreshing on a hot day, and the good bacteria in it just kill all of that dead skin that so dulls my face! I love it! But I needed a bit more scrubbing action, so I decided to make up my own scrub, and ladies, get excited, cause I'm gonna give ya'll the recipe right here! I know, calm down out there!!! Here it is:

Leanne's Sugar and Yogurt Face Scrub:

3 TBSP plain yogurt (I love Nancy's brand)
1 TBSP sugar (I use Turbinado Sugar, and it's perfect for this cause it's kinda rough!)

Just mix those two ingredients really gently together in a small bowl. Now, you don't want to go all hog wild on the mixing, cause you want the sugar to stay, well, sugar-y so it can do its work on your face. Put your hair up in a ponytail and your bangs back in a headband, cause you don't want to get this mixture in your hair, believe me, it makes your hair all sticky! So you just put this on your face, with a little scrubbing motion so the sugar can get all the dry skin, and then you lay back for about 10 minutes. Close your eyes and think about islands, the ocean, and a tall, cool drink in your hand...or whatever makes your eyelashes stand on end. After 10 minutes, rinse off the concoction with warm water. Your skin should feel soft as the proverbial "baby's behind"!

I love this stuff, and because I have really dull, really dry skin, I use this about three times a week. I keep in it my fridge in a little bowl and I use it when I *remember to* wash my face in the mornings (maybe if I had a fridge in my bathroom I'd remember to wash my face more often!!!). I actually follow this with a bit of extra virgin organic coconut oil as my moisturizer, but that's another post for another day!!

So there you have it! Cheap stuff for your face.

Use it! Then tell me what you think! This mixture will NOT harm your skin or cause you to break out, and you will not smell like a smoothie either! There is no fine print for you to read and your credit doesn't have to be approved before you use it either! you don't have to take out a loan for the ingredients, and you don't have to worry about looking like an alien from the outer limits when you use it.

Go therefore and wash thy face!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dirty Looks


Last month we had a showing of Come What May in Gresham, at Dave's aunt's church. While driving there in almost 100 degree heat, I began to smell something really stinky.

Suddenly the cold, refreshing air that was blasting out of the air conditioner turned to foul, warm air! Ummmm, I don't know anything about cars, but I'm fairly certain that a) if there's a foul smell, and b) if cold air was blowing out and it turns hot, then c) there's something wrong.

So we proceeded to drive down the freeway with all of the windows open! At least, all the windows were open that COULD open, for alas, the passenger side window is broken.

Anyway, we got home and made arrangements the next day to have our van looked at by the repair shop.

We knew it was bad when we called to ask about what was wrong, when they said:

"The mechanic will talk to you when you get here."

Yep. The A/C went out on the van, to the tune of almost $1100.

But that's not what this post is about.

Last week we took the van into the shop and we had it fixed. I decided that the kids and I, when it was ready to pick up, would walk there to get it. It isn't a far walk to our repair shop, it was a beautiful day, and we were up for the journey.

I popped the baby in the verymuchloved Ergo, put Sofia and Kellie in the wagon, and off we went, into the wild blue yonder.

We had a splendid walk. The kids remained in great spirits and it was quite the good exercise for me. Incidentally, did you know that if you walk briskly while pushing a stroller, you burn between 15-20% more calories than regular walking? Hmm, I wonder how many calories baby wearing burns? Lucie fell asleep halfway there and like I said, it was a sunny, beautiful day.

However, the most memorable thing about our walk was not a new thing. It certainly wasn't an unfamiliar thing, at least for our family.......

The Dirty Looks.

We got so many nasty looks, so many shaking heads, and so many shocked faces from passing motorists. One lady actually stared at me with such a look of disgust on her face, she actually made me laugh.....

Actually, they all make me laugh. Laughter used to not be my response of choice to those types of people. I like to think that I've grown up.

And oh, how I wish I had had a camera that day!

I could just read all of those people's minds:

"WHO is that crazy woman with all of those snot nosed, dirty brats? She must be on welfare, or maybe it's a daycare. What a total freak she is! She's a total lunatic! Doesn't she KNOW how THAT happens? Ugh, I just hate people like that"

And you know what?

I actually felt sorry for those people that day. When my kids asked me why they were staring at us, I told them it was because they were jealous because we were having so much fun, and they were just dying to have as much fun as we were.

I meant that.

I used to get a lot more dirty looks and rude comments, but I decided a long time ago to minimize stress in my life, so I eliminated from our travels the places in which all of those things took place.

And you know what? I couldn't care less if they think I'm crazy. I don't give a rat's patooty if they hate me. I don't care what they think of me. I'm doing God's will for my life. By His grace, He has allowed me to have this wonderful brood of lots of kids. And we are going to walk around this town and any other town with our heads held high and a smile on our face.

And for the record, yes, I DO know how "that" happens.......

And it sure is fun!!!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


If any of you are still with me, I know it's been a really long time since I posted!

It's just that, with my fabulous, glamorous life winging here and there for shopping, dinner and the theater, I just haven't been able to post!


But seriously, I have soooo many posts that involve dirty looks, babies in the grass, attitude problems, and recipes that I don't know which to post first!

Wait for me, I'll be back after we fly to Paris for the week!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Big Deal

Okay, everyone.

I've made a deal with myself.

I've decided to get back into exercising.

I've finally convinced myself that I am sufficiently recovered from giving birth to Russell 14 years ago, and now my body is ready to exercise.


I love Leslie Sansone. Maybe I've said that on here before, forgive me if I have, my brain has taken a permanent hiatus......but anyway, I do her Walk Away the Pounds videos, the 1, 2, and 3 mile ones from a few years ago. LOVE THEM! It's a lot of fun and actually a really, really good workout. You know it's a good workout if you are sweating afterwards!

Anyway, I decided that I was going to exercise every day.

Every. Single. Day.

Well, except Sunday.

And I really want to lose 15 lbs.....But I have a weakness: Blended Big Trains.

*Be still my beatin' heart*

My weakness was NOT helping me with losing the weight.

So I had to resort to drastic measures.....

Cut out the Big Trains, baby.

Ahem, back to the subject of this post: The Deal I Made With Myself...right.

"Self (I says to me...yep, I talk to myself, but at least I admit it!), enough of this having a Big Train every day! Here it is, straight up: If you exercise every day, Monday thru Friday, you may have a Big Train on Friday!"

Myself agreed.

I worked out three days last week, 2 days the week before, and this week, today will be my fourth day this week!

I can just taste the icy, frosty Kona goodness cascading down my throat!

Beloved Big Train, here I come!!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pain With No Purpose

Yesterday, the girls and I were doing "The Body Book", which is a reproduceable book with drawings of the different systems of the body that the kids cut out while you teach. We pretty much love this book, it's by Scholastic, and I really do recommend it. (before ya'll go beating yourselves up because you think I'm the perfect teacher and I'm so on top of things, let me tell ya, we do this book about once every, oh, pink moon, so don't be thinking I've got it all together!!!!!)

We were learning about the skeleton, and while the girls were cutting and taping their skeletons I was naming each bone (yeah, I'm kind of an expert on this, since I DID take anatomy in HS and did love learning all of the 50 letter words for different stuff, uh huh, yeah, expert, yeah, that's me!) and came to the knee cap, aka the patella, and I was telling the girls that I had dislocated both of my knees and that it was just painful.

I said that childbirth was pain with a purpose, but a subluxated patella was just pain without a purpose, when Hannah looked at me and said:

"Maybe the purpose was to teach you to be more careful, Mama."

Out of the mouths of babes.........