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those signs at the pool that say “no diving” in shallow water… guess what happens when you ignore them?


do you think she’ll do it again?


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yesterday–the midwest horse fair. today–cowboy and the girl hit the zoo.

do you have a cowboy–or a girl?

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we’ve been having so much fun learning greek, and much of the credit goes to this wonderful curriculum, published by greek ‘n’ stuff.


hey, andrew!

beginner words






have you ever learned a foreign language?

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it has rained most of the weekend here in southern wisconsin. following a winter with record-setting snowfall and several days of temps in the 50’s, this bout of torrnetial rain has created quite a mess. the snow in our yard was all melted, and we had mud everywhere. the car mats were covered in it, the kids were wearing it (clothes, shoes, skin, hair), the back entry was truly a mud room, and even the kitchen floor was ready for a mud wrestling event.


yes, there was mud EVERYWHERE!


then, sometime late this afternoon, the Lord gave us a beautiful blessing.  

 lilac bush


norway spruce

red pine


 bird feeder


as frustrated as we all feel about having to deal with another late winter snowstorm, it brought to mind the prophet isaiah’s words, “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…” (isaiah 1:18)


aren’t you thankful for God’s gift of grace that covers all of our ugliness?

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tomorrow night is our oldest son’s class fundraiser for the mission trip they hope to take next year.

i spent this afternoon helping some of his classmates make pizzas to sell at the concession stand, then took a peek while they practiced their class song (chris rice’s “go light your world”).


i told you NOT to take my picture...

that's a LOT of sauce


rack 'em up



the "set"

music practice


have you eveer gone on a mission trip?

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(an “old” friend from high school sent this to us this morning.)

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tisdagen–son vs. mom

i’m the meanest mom that ever lived. really. just ask my middle son.


the other day i had a weak moment and bought him one of those silly toys that all boys think they MUST have.




yes, handcuffs. they’re the dollar store variety. you know, the ones that include gratuitous keys, but can be released by just flicking a little latch on the side. (a friend of his recently got some “real” ones for his birthday from an uncle who’s in law enforcement. fortunately, his mom had the sense to take one of the keys right away, just in case…)


even though the set my son got was rather benign, i began giving him a list of restrictions for their use:

  • no using them on your younger siblings
  • no using them on your older siblings
  • no using them on your parents
  • no using them on the cat
  • no using them to freak out any of your friends
  • no using them around mom
  • no using them when mom’s not around
  • no using them to have fun in any way
  • no using them
  • just “no”


can you tell i was having major regrets about buying them?


to give you a little perspective, it might help to know that mr. middle son is an expert at technicalities and pushing me right to the limit without actually disobeying the letter of the law. we hope he grows up to be a lawyer someday, might as well put those qualities to some sort of use.


perhaps this story told by steve chapman will illustrate my fears. steve discovered one day that all of their basement windows were broken out. curious about what happened and why, he questioned his young son, who readily admitted to having done the dastardly deed. the young son didn’t seem to see anything wrong with his actions because, after all, he’d never been told that he wasn’t allowed to break the basement windows out. steve said that he spent the rest of the evening trying to think of all the things he needed to tell his son that he wasn’t allowed to do.


my middle son is his twin. i swear.


the very same day that dear son got  his handcuffs and the lengthy list of restrictions, he found a loophole. i forgot to tell him that he couldn’t handcuff himself to table legs. really, i did forget that one.


neverthless, one would think that a child with his (incredibly high) IQ could figure that one out on his own, so i happily confiscated them. did i say happily? yes, happily.


he has been asking for them back ever since. he has searched almost everywhere (too bad that same effort can’t be spent on missing socks!) and even resorted to begging and pleading. all to no avail.


yesterday afternoon he even tried this:


pleading letter



this morning i once again caved.


happy son!


then i noticed what his shirt said.


how troubling...



oh no! i’d better go check on the girls. QUICK!

what have i done?

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