Friday, December 23, 2011


Please pray for my dear friend Laura.

Please scroll down my sidebar and click on her name.

Her 3 year old son died suddenly two days ago.

I don't understand.  I question how God could take our babies before we've had enough time to love them well.  I struggle with wanting to ask so many questions, at the same time, I do not want to minimize God's sovereignty.  My Bible tells me that every judgement of His is right and true and pure and just.  My spirit tells me I believe it.....but still.  Why, God? Why now, why at Christmas? Why ever??

My soul aches deeply for my friend and the new world she will have to navigate in the coming days and weeks and months.  I wish with all that is in me that she wasn't asked to be the new mom in the Grief Club.  

Please, you mamas out there, please know that there is another mama in another state who is broken tonight.  Please, ask God to help you shoulder some of her burden, even though you don't know her.  Please get on your knees, go into your prayer closets for her.  Let's be the Body of Christ in action tonight, and in the coming days and weeks.  It will not be an easy road for her to navigate.....but I believe that God may make us cry and hurt and scream, but He also wipes tears and salves hurts and He hears and responds to every scream.

I love my friend Laura.  She is one of the sunniest people I know, despite the hand that she has been dealt in life.

Oh, and another thing: She's 9 months pregnant.  She needs the Lord to hide her under His wings.

Please pray with me.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

About Me

This post is going to be full of things you just always wanted to know about me.

Or maybe things you didn't want to know!

Whatever.  If you read my blog, I have to believe that you want to know more about me and what makes me tick. So here we go!

I despise divinity.  You know, that white candy that makes its appearance every Christmas season.  I loathe it.  Hate it.  I think it tastes like sweet play dough! Funny thing, it's my husband's favorite.

I think I'm going to buy a new perfume!! Now, if you know me, you know I'm a big Liz Claiborne girl.  I've been wearing Liz for like at least 15 years now...or more! I used to love Embrace Today by Mary Kay, but sadly I cannot find this perfume anymore except on eBay! So, I have two friends who smell absolutely scrumpalicious, and yes, I did ask what they were wearing and they both have the same perfume! It's called Coco Chanel Mademoiselle...and it's SPENDY! But I found a bottle in my price range online.  It's a warm, spicy, deep and rich scent reminiscent of Fall.  First, I have to make sure it smells good on me.  Believe me, it's fabulous!

I love Greek food.  Period.  I wish we had a good Greek restaurant around here.  My husband hates Greek food.

Wait, I think I'm just a food junkie! I love good, good food, and I'm not picky at all.

I have never done any kind of Christmas goodie baking.  I just can't stand the frantic, rushed we-have-to-make-14-dozen-of-these that comes with tons of goodie baking.  My family hates this.  

I'm not a good dessert or goodie cook.

Sweets are not my thing.  I'm a savory, real food girl. My husband has a sweet tooth that won't quit. Boo.

I do not like to be talked to while I'm in labor.  Especially in the last stages of labor.  And no music for me either.  I just want to be left all by myself during labor, thankyouverymuch! And I cannot abide the sight of all the stuff that comes out during labor and after.  I have never watched myself give birth. Eww.

I'm a Goodwill junkie.  And I simply adore a good, high quality children's resale shop.  Dressing myself and my children, head-to-toe, in all Goodwill or resale items is my modus oporandi. 

I simply adore coffee.  I love the smell of it.  I love the taste of it.  But I hardly ever drink it straight up.  I'm a decaf girl.  And I'm also a coffee snob.

My family thinks I'm snooty.  That's okay, someone in this family has to be!! Ha.  I do have very, very good taste in things and I am very picky about what goes on me and my family and what goes into my house! That isn't to say that I only buy expensive things......

I have never really had the chance to make a nice, beautiful home for us.  I have never shopped for home decor or furnishings.  Our homes that we have lived in have been peaceful and relaxed but never beautiful.  I do hope that changes soon because I feel that a beautiful home makes everyone happy and serene and relaxed and contributes to wanting to STAY there during the day.

I can't take a simple picture with any kind of camera to save my life!!! If you ask me to take a picture of you or anything around you, be forewarned, and if you still want me to, then it's your fault if and when I ruin your picture!

I have really nice handwriting.  I always have.  Not trying to be conceited, it's just a fact.  And I adore writing letters.

I'm a gravy addict! I love gravy on lots of things.

I wear skirts all of the time except to bed.  I love skirts. Long ones are my favorite.  I am in the preliminary stages of searching for a long brown corduroy skirt.

I once looked in the windows of a Pottery Barn store.  Love at first sight! Instant bliss.  A catalog can cause me to spend half the day in a stupor of ecstasy! I think that kind of stuff, that style, is my thing. Texture and clean, straight lines and lots and lots of candles is just my style.

I am the first and last girl my husband has ever kissed. And he is the most marvelous, most awesome kisser in the entire Universe!!! His kisses still make my knees turn to water and my tummy go topsy-turvy, even after 23 years of being in love and 18 years of being married!!! I think he's the sexiest man alive and I love to see him across a crowded room and know that he's alllll MINE!!!

My favorite candle scent is Clean Cotton by Yankee.  And I am a Yankee candle girl.

I haven't dyed my hair for 7 years.  This dark, dark brown is my natural color.  I don't think I'm going to start coloring my hair anytime soon.  

I had heart surgery when I was 20 months old for PDA, otherwise known as Patent Ductus Arteriosis, which is a heart valve that is permanently open, causing too much blood to flow through your heart.  I still bear the foot long scar under my left shoulder blade.  That's the only time I've ever had surgery.

I didn't walk until I was almost 2 and a half.  My feet turned in so far that my big toes touched each other and so I had to wear what was called, back in the 70's, a Charlie Brown brace on my legs each night.

I moved to Washington State from Southern California when I was 13.

I deeply love the ocean.  The ocean is intertwined into what makes me happy.

I have been singing since I was about 6 years old, in one form or another.

Someday I would love to tour Europe, especially France.

I would love and almost crave to have twins again. Or triplets.

I have a secret, deep desire to be fluent in French.  It was my favorite class in high school.  I took it until my school district cut French 3 in order to ensure the survival of the high school football team.  Bah!

I cook with wine almost every day.

I'm going to write my own cookbook.  I love to create my own recipes and take recipes and fool around with them to make it my own.  I have a weird ability to know what tastes good together and I often almost.....well.....for lack of a better description......I almost hear voices telling me what to do in the kitchen.  Hey, I never said I was normal!!

I'm fiercely loyal and faithful.  But I'm not very trusting.

I suffer from clinical depression and have since I was 12 years old.  Yes, it stinks.

I often feel overwhelmed and like I am way too small for the big job I have been given.  

I hate the Wii.  I have never played it.

I love Balderdash.

I wish I had a home library, complete with leather furniture and a big ol' desk.

Okay, I'm getting carried away! That's enough.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Long Thoughts


I'm Leanne.

I'm Leanne and I have 8 children.

Yes, 8.


Did you say I must be crazy??

Did you say I must be SuperMom?

You ask me if I'm filled with patience?

Wait, you said I must be perfect!

And I haven't answered your questions or addressed your comments, but I want to now.

Let me tell you that I've heard alllllll of the comments on our Big Family.  And my sanity.  And my marriage. And my sex life.  And craziness and patience and perfection and wait, HOW do I do it all??

So, here's my commentary on all of that.

The answer is, I don't do it all! And no, the last time I checked, I wasn't perfect and still am not.  I don't take meds for anxiety.  I feel totally, reasonably sane.  I'm not crazy.....

I'm just Called.

I'm doing what I personally, before the first star was breathed into the sky, was called to do.

I do not do everyone's laundry.  I don't wash everyone's dishes, 24 hours a day/7 days a week! I don't.

Gals, I've heard it all.  I've been on the receiving end of some pretty blatant, pretty rude, pretty prying comments.  Like:

"Are these alllllll YOURS!!! Shoot, I can't even handle the one (or two) I've got!"

"Did you birth ALLLL of these YOURSELF???"

"Wow, you must be perfect/crazy/SuperMom....(fill in the blank)"

"Haven't you ever heard of Birth Control?"

"Do you know what causes that?"

"Are these all yours AND your husband's?"

And on and on and on it goes......the truth is, and the answer I have learned to give, is that yes, I do know how this (as though having children, and lots of them, is some sort of horrible disease) happens, and I rather like the process!!! (wink wink)

The thing is, I'm not filled with patience.  I'm not a saint.  I'm not gracious or perfect or a shining example of Christianity! But listen, Christ in me IS!


The reason I do what I do is because He has called me to this time and this place, to be the Mama of these kids. ALLLL of these kids.

And I don't do it by myself! He walks with me, every step of my day.  HE'S the one who enables me to get up in the morning and put my Game Face on and raise this Family He has so graciously provided me with! HE'S THE REASON!

I'm not crazy, I'm perfectly in His Will.  He's my sanity.  He's holding me! He gives me grace for every single moment of my days.  It's all Him. 

Yes, I lose it! Sometimes, I have days where I lose it quite often!  I yell.  I threaten.  I get mad.  I even thrown Fits! (GASP!) But.....I'm forgiven. I ask forgiveness from my kids, sometimes several times a day!  They forgive me and He forgives me, and His grace fills in the rest.

He has such overflowing, abundant grace for me.  It's the ONLY way I can do this, because I'm nothing on my own.  HE makes me the mama I am!! I don't magically step out of my bedroom in the morning, make up on and Chanel wafting about with each move of my jewel-laden arm, to float through our days with perfect poise and control.


The thing is, we moms like to kill one another! With our expectations of each other.  With our sly, sideways glances when Play Group comes over and there's dust on the mantel.  With our clicking, sharp tongues.  With our rude, thoughtless comments.  We tear and thrash and bruise.

You do it.  I do it.  

Probably the most common comment I get, when I'm out-and-about, is the you-must-be-Supermom flotsam.  And I used to get so upset, privately, when I was back home, because oh boy, they just didn't understand! But now, I just laugh and say.......

It's Christ in me Who enables me to do what He has divinely called me to do!

Our God is not a God who holds us by one of our squirming, sweaty arms over the rising waters of our destiny and drops us.  Oh no. Haven't you heard that He has us, you and me, right in the palm of His hand, and that nobody, no enemy or peril, can ever pluck us out??

He didn't call me to be the mom of a large family and then just check out of my life.  

He's alllll over me! He's behind me and before me and under me and above me and beside me and around me!

I suffer from severe depression and doubt and panic and blah blah blah, and I've even wanted, so badly and so deeply, to quit.  I've wanted to walk out on my precious Husband and my fabulous kids because I've frequently felt so inadequate to do this thing He wants me to do.....when I'm trying to do it without Him! It's not something I'm proud of! But I am proud of the fact that I didn't walk out.  I didn't walk out on my kids or my husband or my God.

So, if you ever wanted to ask me, face to face or in an email, why or how I do what I do, the answer is, I don't! He does it through me.  As I set about to do what He wants me to do, He provides it all.

HE provides it all.  

I'm not crazy because He keeps me sane.  I'm not full of patience because I don't have to be. I just ask for Him to fill me with His grace.  

On a practical note, my kids are well behaved because we've taught them to be.  They aren't the bosses of the home and never have been.  They obey.  We don't let them push the envelope very far! We discipline them.  

Telling moms that they must be SuperMom is unfair.  The bottom line is this:

If you are doing what God has called you to do then He offers every kind of gift and resource for you to do just that, with victory! And in my opinion, the role of a woman is to be the keeper of her home.  I'm just trying to do that, and He's being allowed to do it through me.

And that, my friends, is what I say now when I am bombarded with rude, ignorant, inappropriate comments about my family.  

The End.