Thursday, August 18, 2011

Update! Update!

If you rely on your blogroll to see new content my blog is not showing up unless you update the information!  I don't want to lose anybody in this transition from one blogging platform to another. 

Edit your blogroll by removing my old blog and clicking the button to add a new one.  Then type in http://blog.felcore.com.  Problem solved.  I've been having a lot of fun over on Wordpress.  Come join me!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I've Moved!

It's official!  I have moved from Blogger to Wordpress.  Nothing has changed too much except for the RSS feed.  If you subscribed to my Blogger RSS feed please go to my new blog http://blog.felcore.com to get the new feed.  It's the first item in the sidebar on the left. 

My Wordpress blog is still a work in progress so while the posts will probably keep rolling in like usual the design is still under construction.  I'm almost done though.  I just need to figure out how to get my archives into a menu page and finish my blogroll links.  Unfortunately I won't be able to have a blogroll that updates every time someone posts.  Oh well. 

Mealtime Say What

I love having an open Say What post that I keep adding to until I’m ready to post it.  After adding more today I realized all of these funny moments happened while we were eating.

Parker:  Does some carrots be called grandpa carrots and kids carrots?
Gwen:  And baby carrots!

Me:  How about if you guys put the toys away?  It looks like Santa Claus tripped and dumped his toys all over our house.
Heath:  Tell Mom to come up with a different joke.  We’ve heard that one before.
Me:  I am my grandfather’s granddaughter!

Gavin:  What did I have for breakfast?
Me:  Cereal. 
Gavin:  What kind?
Me:  You had Multigrain Cheerios.  Did you like it?
Gavin:  I feel like I threw up in my mouth.

Gwen: Oreo cookies just come from poop.
Me: What!
Parker: What!  That’s chocolate!
All my kids have been scarred for life because of the things we did trying to motivate them to use the potty!

If these Say What’s have left a bad taste in your mouth, I have one more about toothbrushes.  The story is Gwen was playing with all the toothbrushes.  By the time I saw, the toothbrushes were dripping with soft soap and were upside down in the toothbrush holder.  Needless to say we bought new toothbrushes.  The b0ys got Crayola toothbrushes while Gwen got a Dora the Explorer one.

Gavin:  When I brush my teeth I draw stuff on my teeth.
Me:  You do huh?
Gavin:  Yeah, cuz it’s a Corolla toothbrush!  

Monday, August 1, 2011

Parade of Shirts

shirts-008

We’ve been busy around here.  As always, feel free to click on any of these images to enlarge them and see more detail. 

shirts-002

The kids colored these shirts with fabric markers.  I already posted about that.

shirts-003shirts-005

This project finally got finished.  Gavin’s first speech in second grade was about his favorite sport.  He chose football but since he didn’t have a BYU shirt that fit him we made one.  The goal was always to make one for Gwen and Parker too but we forgot.  Several months later and the shirts are done.  Gavin’s shirt is no longer white and it really doesn’t fit him anymore either.  Maybe we’ll make another one for Gavin.  Or just buy him a BYU shirt in a few weeks.  Yay for football season! 

shirts-010

These are the patches I bought when I bought the coloring shirts.  Unfortunately the boys’ patches came off in the wash.  Fortunately I had fusible web for another shirt I’ll talk about in a minute.  Unfortunately I can’t find Gavin’s Buzz Lightyear patch.  Gwen’s Tinker Bell is cute and so is Parker’s Mater. 

shirts-006

Spraying shirts with fabric paint has been a work in progress.  I’ve learned as I went along.  Gavin’s shirt says “life is good” because it is.  Gwen’s butterfly was the first shirt I sprayed.  Parker’s shirt is hard to see the way he’s standing but it says “imagine” with the letters all jumbled. 

shirts-017shirts-018shirts-019

Parker’s shirt says “dream big think big” and I’m not happy with the way it turned out.  He wanted me to spray the front red but we had no idea the red would dry a pink color.  I was already thinking the term “dream big” was a little girly.  Well the pink didn’t help!  I sprayed the back blue like he asked and it didn’t seem to redeem the shirt.  That night I tried to make the red pink orange by spraying yellow.  It was dark outside and I didn’t have any good lighting.  I oversaturated the words then on a whim decided to spray the whole front yellow.  The shirt is stiff and crusty and I still don’t like it.  It’s too bad the front is ruined because the back is actually kind of cool for a first grade boy. 

Gavin’s shirt says “my life” around an open book.  Get it?  My life is an open book.  I thought it was a great idea until I tried to execute on it.  This was the last shirt I made and for all I had learned nothing seemed to work the way I wanted it to.  The paint bled under the letters and even though I had blocked off the rest of the shirt with papers to catch the overspray, there’s still lines of overspray.  Grrr.  The book turned out pretty well once I figured out how to put the negative space on instead of the positive.  It photographed really well!  I’m going to be ok with it and all the mistakes.  It’s a fun shirt. 

Gwen’s shirt is my absolute favorite of all these sprayed shirts.  Her first butterfly shirt I sprayed in the positive space.  This one I put down the positive butterfly to make an orange box that turned out perfectly straight.  When that dried I covered the orange with the negative space and sprayed the inside pink.  It turned out so freaking cute I still can’t get over how cute it is! 

Until I made

shirts-016

this.  I know right!  So darling it makes me want to cry.  I would like to thank the good people at Family Fun Magazine for their shirt ideas.  This one is easy.  Trace her flip flops onto a separate piece of fabric.  I bought a fabric remnant from JoAnn’s.  Then use fusible web to stick the flip flops on the shirt.  Then stitch a 9” piece of ribbon on each flip flop to make the top of the sandals.  It’s 3-D and oh so very cute. 

These shirts are so easy and fun to make and if your kids are anything like mine, they’ll love it.  My kids go crazy for new clothes.  All you need is contact paper to use as your template and fabric paint.  I found fabric paint in little hairspray looking bottles which made the paint so much easier to work with.  Otherwise you can dilute it with water in a spray bottle. 

Here’s the best hint:  cut out the images you want to use with a Cricut machine.  The contact paper cuts as easily as cardstock.  I cut out the words for the message tees from the Graphically Speaking Cricut cartridge.  The butterfly came from Walk in My Garden.  My sister is planning to do this project for her family.  She’s going to cut out the pirate ship from the Paper Dolls Dress Up cartridge for her husband’s shirt. 

If you didn’t know already, any of the “marts” sell packages of plain white boys undershirts for a good price.  I bought packages of 5 shirts from Target Mart.  The shirts are thinner because they’re undershirts but they work really well. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Underneath

In the deepest reaches of the soul are where the most secretive of secrets are kept hidden.  For some they are dark secrets tightly bottled up.  Others bottle up secrets too but the cork is about to pop releasing a powder keg of pent up emotion.  Some are not hiding secrets as much as unseen things held sacred; the very essence of their soul.  Items that are not to be trifled with but shared with the precious few who have scaled the walls into a circle of trust. 

Whether one falls into the secrets for secrecy sake or a debatable level of self preservation, we are all icebergs.  What is seen above the surface is nothing compared to the breadth of what lies underneath. 

Where one comes from as well as individual experiences, however insignificant, shape who people are.  This true identity is guarded tightly.  Why? 

Imagine how the world might be different if the metaphoric ocean dried up exposing every bit of the iceberg.  What truly lies underneath the surface and why is it kept there? 


In an uncharacteristic act for myself, I will end there.  Give you something to chew on for a while. 

To give credit where credit is due, this post was inspired by Randall Barber, a person I met on Google+.  My fingers were itching to type something but my original post idea wasn’t gelling.  Just to see what would happen I decided to ask for a writing topic on Google+ and Randall pointed me to this site link.  If you ever get stuck in the creative mud check out that site.  I went with the first word that came up for me.  What could you do creatively with a random word?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

That’s My Boy!

Gavin-baptism-invitation-059

If you ask me what I came to do in this world . . .
I will answer you:
“I am here to live out loud.”
~Emile Zola

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

There Are No Rules

Isn’t it interesting that for every rule there is almost always an exception?  Verb conjugation, plurals, spelling, fashion, social media, the list goes on.  Even science is not immune to gray areas.  Math is not only the great equalizer, it is always right.  With one exception.

Life with diabetes. 

The math may be correct but each equation has to be balanced with a secret number of variables.  It’s like being a contestant on a reality game show where exceptions are the only consistencies.  Hormones, mood, weather, stock market, and whether or not someone looked at someone else all somehow affect the secret variables of diabetes.  People are human beings not machines. 

My heart goes out to the medical community.  What a potentially frustrating job.  Think of all the diseases and conditions a medical professional has to know.  They have to memorize symptoms, cures, management techniques, and medicine dosages.  They do this all while under the intense scrutiny of people who look to medical professionals as all knowing gods of healing.  How dare they make mistakes?  Guess what?  They’re human too. 

This is why I’m not mad that my endocrinologist took years to suggest a magical cure to the blood sugar roller coaster I couldn’t seem to get off of.  I’m just thrilled something is working.  And I know that tomorrow may be the end of my week in Diabetes Paradise.  After all, I’m human too. 

Let’s talk about the perks of my Diabetes Paradise vacation.  In one week I have lost 4 lbs. while not even thinking of exercising.  Let’s just say that Devon and I are not on speaking terms right now.  He gave me an ultimatum.  Catching up on my reading for the Book of Mormon Summer Reading Challenge I’m heading up for the women in my ward congregation or getting my butt kicked by him.  I chose to read the Book of Mormon.  Well nyah nyah nyah Devon!  You made my weight increase while making me feel like total crap and a focus on my spiritual muscles caused my weight to drop.  Almost a pound a day. 

In one week my appetite has decreased.  I eat until I’m satisfied, which is a reasonable amount of food.  No cravings.  No snacking to try to prevent lows before they happen and ending up with crazy low blood sugar anyway.  No binging before bed with readings in the 150’s.  I now feel peace with readings in the 120’s before bed and I sleep all night without dropping low!  I stopped using my weekend basal rates because my blood sugars are consistently even Steven throughout every day. 

In one week my daily blood sugar range has gone from 30-400 to 60-190.  My weekly average dropped from 200 to 140.  In one week I have gone from feeling like I give up on diabetes to feeling confident and in control again.  Who knew a slight drop in a couple basal rates along with taking one unit more than the Bolus Wizard suggested would make such a difference? 

For all my happiness and success in this last week, I am a realist.  When it comes to diabetes there are no  rules.  I have never been a math fan.  Maybe the absoluteness of it all intimidates me.  There is no room for error.  I’m either right or I’m not.  I prefer the flexible challenge of English.  So it’s fitting for me to be the diabetic in my family.  I like a never ending challenge.  Today worked.  What will work tomorrow?  Every rule comes with an exception.  Including that statement!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Never Stop Wondering

On the way to the library today Gwen asked, “Who put the steering wheel in the van?”

Yesterday Parker said that Heath was really smart because he had wrinkles in his forehead when he raised his eyebrows. 

Both boys believe that at one point all three kids were inside me at the same time.  They claim to remember waving at each other before being born, one at a time, two to two and a half years apart! 

Gavin was carrying a roll of paper towels.  I asked what was up.  He said, “Oh nothing,” and disappeared upstairs.  I realized right away he wanted to clean the bathroom without being asked so I wisely kept my mouth shut.  Gwen came down and said, “Gowan is just cweaning the bafroom.”  Upstairs Gavin was saying, “No I’m not!”  Parker was on her heels.  “Gavin is just . . . he’s just doing . . .”  I helped him out by saying, “He’s just doing nothing?”  “Yes, Gavin is doing nothing!”

I hugged Gavin and thanked him for helping me out.  He beamed.  Then Parker, my normally helpful child who loves to clean, threw a fit that I wouldn’t let him play Wii until he cleaned his bathroom.  It took some time and learning that pretending to clean doesn’t cut it with me.  Both family bathrooms are clean now. 

The kids couldn’t understand why I would force them to play outside.  I locked the back door so the only way in was through the sliding glass door.  They would have to go past me where I was reading the Book of Mormon in my sanctuary.  Eventually they stopped fighting their fate and started playing.  The roly poly was the highlight of the afternoon.  Gwen wouldn’t touch it but she liked watching it crawl around. 

The last picture is now my desktop background.  Life is beautiful.  Never stop wondering. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Princess Tea Party

Gwen was invited to a princess tea party/birthday party.  We held the party ransom for a few behaviors we wanted her to modify this last week.  Yesterday I was pretty steamed when she made yet another mistake right in front of friends who were invited to the party.  This was after we had been talking about the party for some time.  I felt trapped.  Don’t tell me I should never make a threat I’m not prepared to follow through on.  Trust me, I know.  She is only 3 years old.  (And spoiled rotten)  Well, we went and I’m really glad because it was a very fun and cute party.

The invitation specifically said to dress up in a favorite princess tea party dress.  So I thought of ways to do a cute updo for Gwen’s hair.  I have no idea why I didn’t do this for Gwen’s princess birthday party.  It’s possible I thought about it at one point but since I didn’t tell people to dress up I think I tried to keep Gwen a little more low key and little girl than blinged out princess. 

On Thursday I practiced an updo.  I tried to pin the curls in place in a high bun while leaving a few romantic tendrils hanging out.  The barrel of my curling iron is way too big for the look I was going for so it didn’t really look all that great.  After about an hour Gwen asked for her Belle hair.  I love how she calls the unnatural pinkish red Ariel hair Belle hair.  If only that girl would have chosen brown Belle hair at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.  I may have let her wear it today.

This was Gwen on Thursday.  I had sent Heath a picture of Gwen without the hairpiece and he made it his phone’s wallpaper.  When I sent this picture he texted, “That’s special!”  I love this picture because it makes me smile.  This is my Gwen.  Feminine woman.  She has started referring to herself as a woman and it’s hilarious.  She also is a bit of a tomboy.  A tomboy in heels if you will.  Parker’s kneepads on Gwen have brought many smiles to our family. 

Princess-Tea-Party-003Princess-Tea-Party-004Princess-Tea-Party-005

This was Gwen today.  I used hot rollers this time and did a better job of pinning the curls.  I used almost every single bobby pin I own because after I pinned the curls I started shoving pins in the middle of the bun to create more texture.  Then I created a hole in the ozone layer right above our house with all the aerosol hairspray I sprayed.  It’s mega hold hairspray too, not even flexible hold.  It was a mistake can I bought back when I had the a-line bob hairstyle.  It sprayed like insta freeze glue in my hair and that’s essentially how it sprayed in Gwen’s hair too!  Her hair looked like chocolate flavored cotton candy. 

The party was so adorable.  It was very similar to the princess party I threw for Gwen’s birthday.  So cute.  Here are a bunch of pictures.

Princess-Tea-Party-006Princess-Tea-Party-007

Princess Freeze Dance.  Rebekah is in the yellow dress.  She also went to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and is wearing her hairpiece and tiara.  Her hair is about as long as the hairpiece is.  Only her mom and I knew she was wearing a hairpiece.  Anyone else would think her mom just curled her ponytail.  Baylee is the birthday girl in the Princess Tiana dress.

Princess-Tea-Party-012Princess-Tea-Party-013

The tea party portion of the party.  Left to right the guests are Gwen, Amanda, and Jillian in the first picture.  Then Rebekah, Baylee, and Abby in the second picture.  Kate must have been getting her nails done since I didn’t get her in these pictures. 

Brittany had made star shaped sandwiches.  Cheese or jam, I think.  She had cut tortillas into star shapes to be dipped in hummus.  There were baby carrots too.  The cookies were star shaped, circles, sand dollars, or star fish.  The basic shapes had pink frosting and the beach cookies were decorated to look like those creatures.  So impressive.  The “tea” was actually juice served in tea pots.  Oh my goodness I thought that was the cutest thing.  Brittany made everything for the party.  She made flying carpet coasters and little fans and glittery stars. 

Princess-Tea-Party-014

She also made these darling mouse cheese balls.  Seriously so creative.  There was a lot of food I know I’m forgetting.  It was a really cute tea party that the girls just loved. 

Princess-Tea-Party-016

Shelby, Baylee and Abby’s cousin, painted the girls nails. 

Princess-Tea-Party-017

I was concerned that Baylee already had a tea set when I saw the real tea party dishes that were used.  Her grandma has a princess tea set in the play room but it’s Grandma’s.  Brittany was pretty excited that Baylee had her own princess tea set to take with her when their family moves in a week or so.  At the end of the party all the girls had a blast playing with all of Baylee’s new toys. 

Princess-Tea-Party-020

Brittany did a great job of keeping the party very relaxed but also moving the girls on to the next activity when they were ready.  This activity was a princess walk.  She took the girls on a walk to the end of the street so they could parade their princess outfits for the neighborhood. 

Princess-Tea-Party-021Princess-Tea-Party-022Princess-Tea-Party-023

Walking back into the house.

Princess-Tea-Party-024

All the princesses posing on the steps before tiara piñata time.

Princess-Tea-Party-026Princess-Tea-Party-027

The tiara piñata.  Baylee’s brother Payton got the first swing.  Gwen is sitting on the steps with Shelby, one of her favorite babysitters.  On the drive over Gwen kept saying, “Shelby is big.  And you are big.  But I am just small.”  Everyone got two turns with the piñata before Shelby took a turn to try to break it.  Luckily she broke it so Ben didn’t have to take a turn.  Gwen ate a full baggy full of candy after the party. 

 

Baylee’s cake was Princess Tiana when she was still a frog. 

Gwen’s hair before her bath and after the updo was taken out.  Pretty. 

This is proof that Gwen is totally spoiled rotten.  Heath bought her this chalkboard vinyl today on a whim.  Parker was less than impressed that he didn’t get anything special.  I guess walking to Mr. Pickle’s with Dad and Gavin wasn’t enough for him.  Nor was all the fabric paint we bought for more t-shirt crafts.  Yeah, Gwen is spoiled and Parker has every right to be jealous of his little sister.  It doesn’t mean we love the boys any less.  Girls are just too easy to buy girly stuff for for no reason.  Maybe tomorrow Parker can chill out enough to draw with Gwen.  Today he was too tired and mad. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Overcoming Peter Pan Syndrome

Weird Al Yankovic wrote a really fun book. 

This is the cutest book with the most creative ideas and I love the ending.  After reading the book again to the kids last night they wanted to make their own books about what they want to be when they grow up. 

They are in love with this They Might Be Giants CD and DVD.  Between the ideas in these songs and the ideas in the book, they are having a blast coming up with potential jobs. 

It’s got me thinking too.  When I grow up what do I want to be?  A butcher, a baker, or a candlestick maker?  Should I live in a shoe?  Or sail around in a tub?  I want to fly in a rocket ship to outer space and teach the aliens.  That would be cool.  Maybe I can pixilate myself and join Gavin in one of his computer games, Tron Legacy style.  Or be a princess for a day with Gwen.  It would be fun to be a reporter and write an award winning article about Parker the Paleontologist Digging in the Dirt. 

When I grow up I want to be a meteorologist.  Did you know they travel in tribes?  I would be the Chief Meteorologist.  This is the best job because it’s ok if I’m wrong.  And I can take credit for the weather as if I have anything to do with it other than reporting it on TV.  I can act surprised by the weather.  “It’s unseasonably cool for May with possible rain showers.”  Meanwhile all the mothers are at home thinking, “It’s the last few weeks of school.  Of course it’s cold and rainy.  The only time it hasn’t been this way is when I didn’t have kids in school.” 

I want to be a professor at a college for obscure jobs, like lion tamer or or the person who melts the metal to make coins.  I mostly want this job so I can figure out how someone even applies to these positions.  Like the person who is the voice on answering machines and voicemail.  Don’t tell me it’s computerized.  That takes all the fun out of it.  I think it would be a cool job.  “You have two new messages.”  Even if it is computerized someone had to write the script for all those robocalls, automated systems, and GPS devices in cars.  “Turn left here.  No, you are an idiot.  Turn left here.  Your other left.”  Those robocalls are the worst though right?  Why not be honest and play a snippet of Paper Planes by M.I.A.  “All I want to do is take your money!”  Then the computerized voice can admit the organization is too cheap to pay a real person to talk to you. 

Do you ever feel like there are too many people who aspire to be doctors and lawyers when we need other jobs filled like reality show creator?  Or underwater welder?  Or who are the textile printers?  Cotton doesn’t automatically come with a repeating monkey pattern.  And who spins the wool for angora sweaters?  Who assembles medical supplies, or at least performs quality control?  Who captures the animals to be featured in zoo exhibits and how much do they make?  Does their pay come with dental benefits?  I want to figure out how one applies to be a scientist to improve Tide.  And who tests out sleeping bags so they can display the temperature range the sleeping bag will keep you warm at?  I want to meet the team who creates glue.  The glue section at the craft store is overwhelming with choices. 

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Method to the Madness

Every morning he greets me.  His little beady black eyes have a vacant faraway look.  His smile is stretched out and painted on.  His bill must be paid with flesh.  Perched on a nest of pink fluff, he watches my every move.  Waiting, smiling, ready to snap.  This is especially disconcerting because I’m naked. 

Method had some commercials that were pulled because they were a little off.  A woman attempted to clean herself while squirming to hide her body.  The whole time she is being leered at by leftover shower cleaning bubbles.  Scrubbing Bubbles perhaps?  They start chanting, “Use the loofah!”  The idea of the commercial is that if this woman had used Method shower cleaner there would be no rude residue left to get a free show of her in the morning shower. 

I didn’t realize the commercial was still on youtube.  Viewer discretion is advised!

This commercial comes to mind along with Ernie’s voice singing “Rubber Ducky” each morning I am eye to eye with that duck attached to a loofah.  Really the duck doesn’t creep me out as much as it cracks me up.  Because it belongs to my husband.  My big burly manly man bought this loofah on purpose.  Soon after buying himself a Costco sized bottle of body wash.  I am not making this up!  Nor am I making up the fact that he told me to blog about it.  Encouraged me even! 

To save face for all involved, I took pictures.

duck-loofah-002

Meet R.D.  Rubber Ducky.  The animal with a penchant for pink.  If his brain wasn’t oozing out of the top of his head as a nylon rope, he would say the pink is a strange chemical reaction.  You get what you pay for and if some guy wants to spend 39 cents on a child loofah the pink is part of the deal. 

duck-loofah-001label

It’s a tragedy that Dove’s body wash for men doesn’t include a brawny manly loofah.  Grunt.  Snort.  Spit.  Actually Dove provided no loofah at all.  Doubly tragic.  What’s the guy supposed to do?  Use his hands?  We have hard water so things don’t naturally suds up easily.  My experience with using tear free body wash on the kids is that I use three times the amount I need if I just use my hands.  So they all have their own creepy creature attached to pastel colored netting for 39 cents a piece.  Since the kids are still little with silky soft skin, the body wash suds up luxuriously on the loofah.  My experience is also that they smell yummy.  The coconut pina colada flavored wash is my favorite.  Mix that with a deep inhale of their freshly washed hair from the cherry or strawberry shampoo collection and my stomach growls for real fruit smoothies. 

duck-loofah-001

Dove took notes and created a body wash for men that smells divine.  Not fruity.  Not girly and floral in any way.  Manly pheromoney.  Dove describes it in minty green text as Extra Fresh.  In smaller print “cooling agent”; to tone down the reaction I’m sure.  Old Spice and Axe also use male pheromones in their product recipes.  As a woman, I must say they have successfully created a make my wees kneak fragrance!  Heath gets out of the shower and I sniff his body then take deep draughts of his pits.  Then I melt with my eyes rolled back in my head.  

On Sundays he shaves in the shower with the Gillette Fusion shaving cream and that smells good too.  Just to be clear, he does not use the pink handled razor in the background.  That one’s mine!  He uses a much more masculine razor in gun metal gray, not bubble gum pink in a chunky handle. 

Rubber Ducky may look silly in the master shower but he is the vessel that makes my man go from sweaty smelling to hummina hummina hummina smelling.  Occasionally I do worry that he’s laughing at me and opening his plastic mouth wider to nip at my shoulders.  I can almost hear Paul the Penguin Loofah in my Jacuzzi tub across the room chuckling too.  Is there no solitude for a woman in her own bathroom? 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sanctuary

gazebo-002

Birds flit through the air.  One lands in a tree and the other two squawk their grumpy discontent.  All three angrily chatter for a moment and become friends again as quickly as the discord began.  I smile.  Even birds get bored.  Their bickering is not unlike my own children.  Also like my own children the birds are beautiful.  A blessing from heaven just to behold. 

C0lors are so rich and intense.  Orange flowers on the trumpet vine enticing hummingbirds to take a sip.  Red geraniums contrasting so nicely with the bright green leaves of the four foot tall plants.  Water droplets glitter on the bejeweled grass.  Even the hiss of the sprinklers is melodious. 

Half naked bodies run back and forth burning off the excess energy that is so generously given to youth.  Giggles bubble with the occasional outburst of high pitched squealing.  To watch them pushing a dump truck through the grass, one can almost hear the wheels in their little minds turning. 

gazebo-006

Enclosed by mosquito netting in my bay windowed sanctuary my life is perfect.  I have the best husband.  Together we have three gorgeous and happy children in the exact birth order I wanted.  I live in one of the most sought after cities in one of the most sought after states.  The weather here is exquisite.  My yard is beautiful.  My house is large and has many features I have always dreamed of in a home.  So it’s not mine.  So what?  I pay to live here and the living is good. 

Inside is my office with the invisible walls.  Outside is my sanctuary. 

gazebo-and-Parker-6-bday-007

Twelve feet by ten feet of of shaded relaxation. 

gazebo-001

The gazebo with the bay windows, mosquito netting, and tea light chandelier. 

gazebo-and-Parker-6-bday-006gazebo-and-Parker-6-bday-014gazebo-and-Parker-6-bday-018

Even with my kids dancing, singing, playing, and imagining inches from where I sit to type this, I feel like I am sitting in paradise.  Like the office with the invisible walls, my sanctuary possesses the ability for occupants to forget the cares of the world and just be.  Just be deliriously happy sipping Diet Coke that tastes like the angels themselves made it and seeing one’s own family with the same clear eyes God does. 

As in the song Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads, I find myself in another part of the world.  I find myself behind the wheel of a large automobile, in a beautiful house, with {me being} a beautiful wife.  And I ask myself, “Well, how did I get here?”  In this moment I don’t care.  Past sacrifices and hard work to achieve this life have all been worth it.  I’m living my dreams.  How many people honestly say that?