My daughter was playing with another girl recently. They last played together 2 years ago and for the life of me, I couldn't remember her name.
When we were getting ready for bed I asked, "Did you have fun playing tonight, Tallyn?"
"Yes!"
"What's that girl's name again? I forgot."
"Manners."
I thought it was odd, but figured she heard it wrong or got her wires crossed. I'd just ask her grandma the next day...
Later that night Trent asked me, "Did Tallyn have fun playing with Patience?"
I about died laughing! Tallyn associated the girl's name with something I'm always harping on her about!

If you try to time getting new carpet with life events like puppies and kids (seasonal monsoons and the mud that follows, seasonal ash, dust, smoke), you quickly realize... You will never get new carpet.

Which is why I have this sign in my kitchen: "Sorry about the mess, but we live here."

My mom recently sent me a sign: "My housekeeping style is best described as, 'There appears to have been a struggle...'"

...Then there are the days when pausing to eat or go to the bathroom feels like I'm wasting my time.

My daughter and I were in a waiting room and the cleaning lady was working around us.
Me: "You know, I used to be an office cleaning lady."
Tallyn: "I know."
Me: "What do you mean 'I know'?? You haven't been around long enough to have heard all of my stories and experiences!"
Tallyn, completely straight-faced: "I was with God watching you then."

My 5-year-old daughter and I were enjoying ice cream in the yard. She said, "The bottom of the cone is the best part of ice cream."
"I agree. Although I'm not sure there's a bad part about ice cream."
"Yes, there is. It melts!"
Touche, Baby Girl!

Our (now two-year-old) butterfly-chasing wirehair Frank was at our pond for a walk. He'd had limited exposure to deep water up to this point, so it concerned me a little bit when he fell in. We've never had a wirehair sink before, so I figured he'd be fine. I watched him cough, panic, sputter, and then he appeared to be having some kind of siezure. His head darted all over and he started swimming in circles. Then zig-zags. Then he started snapping his jaw like he was eating. It took almost two minutes before I figured out Frank was chasing and trying to eat
...Dragon flies.

One day at a time. Because NO ONE can do more than that.

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."
Biggest lie ever told.

While getting ready for bed one night, my almost-five-year-old daughter Tallyn and I were in the bathroom. Tallyn was playing quietly and I had a soapy washcloth scrubbing my face, when all of the sudden she screams.
"BOO!"
I jumped out of my skin, got soap in my eyes, and screamed, "What happened?!"
Sweet and innocent as could be, she said, "I had the hiccups..."

After reading Bible stories to my almost-five-year-old, we said prayers and she was working me over trying to get me to read her one more. I have a hard time saying NO when it involves my kids WANTING to learn about God, so I was ready to cave when she started pouting. Full puppy-dog-eyes and pouty bottom lip.
"I can do that too," I said, and scrunched up my face. "It's called the sourpuss face." My diversion worked; she started to laugh.
Then she says, "Do it again! Do the sourkraut face!!"

"You like someone because. You love someone although."
~Henry de Montherlant

Trent-ism; This quote effectively ended a lively debate about whether baseball is fun or work:
"Fun is a byproduct of hard work and doing well."

Papa-ism (Wisdom of Papa Dale) #58 Inspiration to move faster: "We're burnin' daylight!"

Papa-ism #106 Always seeing the bright side: "Well, that's still better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!"

These days my daughter only naps when she's not feeling well. Last weekend she not only napped, but didn't wake up when I opened her door. After giving her another 20 minutes, I went in and woke her up.
"You must have been tired! I tried to wake you up earlier," I said.
Sitting up, she rubbed her eyes and said, "Well, you didn't do a very good job."

Ever have thoughts so loud you realize you're arguing with yourself...out loud... and you're not sure when you started?

After some rough calculations, we discovered that we need to use bagless vacuum cleaners, and empty them back outside. On the property.
...Or risk losing about an acre per year.

If Sandra Bullock's portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy is even 75% accurate, I know who I want to be like when I grow up (THE BLIND SIDE. Outstanding movie!)

...And you can know for a fact you're not quite 100% grown up yet when the music you blare in your vehicle (when you're by yourself) shakes the OUTER rearview mirror... to the point of distortion. :D Pretty soon you'll be blaring it because you can't hear it, but for now it's just because you WANT TO.

My mother just called me "OLD SCHOOL." I don't see that as a bad thing.

After 5 days of repeated conversations about how Christmas is about GIVING-- not GETTING-- my son happens upon a ripped $5 bill in a snowy parking lot. We exchanged it for one that wasn't ripped at the service desk. Before we hit our next grocery stop, he decided to put it in the Salvation Army bucket.
I win. :)

Yesterday's Thought of the day: You're the mother of a 4-year-old girl; glitter in the carpet should come as a surprise to no one.

After 5 days with my 4-year-old talking non-stop and not following any instructions I had for her, I had run out of patience.
"Honey, you're pushing all of my buttons tonight and about 18 I don't even have!"
She looked at me, cocked her head, and said, "I'll give them back. Here's five."
(I had to walk away covering my mouth so I wouldn't laugh in front of her.)

It is better to be admittedly human than seemingly perfect.

Thought of the day: Do deer stumble on the rocks like I do?

Yesterday's thought: How does a bathroom rug that doesn't move gather so much debris underneath itself?

Be prepared for that moment in the future when you look back and wonder, "WHAT WAS I THINKING?!"
Could be in reference to your hair, your style, your opinions,...
Some perspectives take a lifetime of experiences to forge; to understand that you weren't always right.
Be prepared.

There's a big difference between acting OLD and acting MATURE.

Very real debate: Do the daily chores...or wait and see if this year's wildfire burns my house to the ground?

I realize after the fact that our house is completely safe; dirt doesn't burn!

Everything happens for a reason.

I guess you're all grown up when you see the value in silence.

The Olympics are proof that not everyone is a winner.

The Olympics are also proof that hope drives determination, which fuels hard work and practice, which feeds sacrifice and perseverance and more hope. All of which are essential for success.

Sometimes on the way to a dream you get lost and find a better one.
(~source unknown)

There are really only 2 reasons to light your oven in the summer:
Pizza and homemade blackberry pie:)

41 years and I never once pondered the shape and function of a cowboy hat. Herding dogs up the road on a quad in 100-degree heat and a headwind and all of the sudden it makes complete sense.

Question of the day courtesy of my four-year-old: Does God have a truck?
Me: No, God doesn't need a truck.
Her: Then how do we get to heaven?

At this point, I'm torn between cleaning my floors... and throwing down seed and growing some corn.

Say what you mean and
mean what you say.

Never get so consumed by trying to look cool that you don't try hard at everything else.

It's been 105 degrees the past 3 days, and in the 90s the week before that:
Me, to my son: "Trajan, you're out on the patio every day; why didn't you tell me that this section of lawn in the front was DEAD?"
"Well, I try not to complain..."

It saddens me to know that there are folks out there who will never know the value/pride/feeling of a truly worthwhile, yet hard day's work.

When faced with a large, difficult task,
1. Do your research.
2. Get prepared.
3. Then take it one step/mile/task at a time until it's done.
You don't cross the country taking all 2,000 miles at once. But you can take THIS mile. Then the next one...

I missed the memo;
What age is it that moms become too cool to swim and play with their kids at the pool?

Our 1-year-old wirehair chases butterflies. He points them, chases them, and eats them if he catches them. ...I'm not quite sure what to do with that.

Startling realization: If not for the fact that my son needs a clean baseball uniform, our laundry would never get done.

Always be positive and encouraging when cheering on a sporting event. You never know when the wind will switch or stall and then everyone can hear every word from your spot in deep left field.

I miss a news program that begins at Objective and ends near Positive. I miss Paul Harvey News and Comment, The Rest of the Story, and For What It's Worth.

Question of the day courtesy of my almost-four-year-old: Do germs have teeth?
(Me, mouth open, brain scrambled: uh... ah... Daddy! Do germs have teeth?
Daddy, laughing: Ah... I don't think so?)

2 daytime hours to myself for the first time in weeks and what do I sit down to watch with my glass of wine? "Bluey". Why? BECAUSE I MISS MY KIDS!

Vacuuming is a lot more fun when the dogs think it's alive... and after them.

My son told me tonight he's HAPPY.
I win :)

It's taken 41 years and two kids, but I'm finally cool. My 3-year-old wants to be just like me because I know all the words to all the songs I play in my truck and I booty dance in my seat.

Being 3: Remember when the most difficult thing we had to do was lie completely still and close our eyes and try to go to sleep?

Life is too short to make all of the mistakes yourself.

The blessing and the curse of it all is this: NOTHING LASTS.

Love is watching the same movie 2,000 times because your kids love it.

At the end of the day, you may not always like how you feel, but you need to like WHO YOU ARE.

If you don't like the way the world is going, step back and look more closely at the people and things right in front of you. Consider the smaller victories.

...Then there are the days that can be fixed with an awesome playlist.

...Then there are the days that dressing a 2-year-old girl should be an Olympic sport.

Peace is the mental distance you put between your thoughts and your current predicament.

As the Mom, you're taken for granted until you're not there and/or everything falls apart.

As the Mom, you are the glue keeping everyone fed, bathed, alive, and together.

Always act kinder than you feel.

If you cannot FIX IT, CHANGE IT, or CONTROL IT, then LET IT GO. (As heard on the radio.)

I am convinced we were not put on a planet bursting at the seams with people to suffer alone. SHARE YOUR JOURNEY. You will lighten your load and others will not feel so alone.

After taking some pictures (impromptu family photos) and viewing them, I thought, "Ugh! I look old."
When those exact words came out of Trent a moment later, I asked, "When did we get old?"
"RECENTLY!!"

Bravery or ignorance?

I've lost the parenting war. One crying over incorrectly done homework, the other banished to her room for her attitude....And then she sneaks out of her room to comfort her brother with a hug.
All is not lost.

I need to approach life more like my 3-year-old singing Frozen 2 songs: What she lacks in talent, she makes up for in GUSTO!

As the Mom, all of the reasons I do anything and everything boil down to: BECAUSE I LOVE YOU!! (Fact taken from Bluey Episode "Sticky Gecko")

It is a good thing that we don't know what's coming. And that time only moves forward.. And that everything changes.