No and No and No

I couldn’t resist sharing this story and it gives you a glimpse of my daily parenting (the highs and the lows!).  Yesterday I happened to walk by Madden’s room where all the children were playing together (for some reason they LOVE getting to play in Madden’s room with all the baby toys…not sure about that one!).  At any rate, just as I was walking by, I see Miles jumping off the big rocking chair and diving into the floor below. Well, jumping off the furniture is a big no-no at our house and all the kids know this rule (including Miles, though he forgets the rules more than any other kiddo).  He caught my eyes, knowing full well that he was going to be disciplined and so head down, he made his way to me and we headed into the bathroom (this is where all discipline in our home takes place, I think in part because I watched my friend Erin discipline her kids in the bathroom so it just seemed normal). I decided to take a little bit different route with Miles in the way I explained the gospel and why its important to obey Mommy.  The following conversation took place:

Me: Miles, do you want to go to heaven?

Miles: No (shaking his head).

Me: You don’t want to go to heaven and live with Jesus?

Miles: No (shaking his head even more).

Me: You don’t want to live with Jesus? (at this point I’m thinking I have just utterly failed him and he hates God because as God’s agents we expect him to obey and do what is right).

Miles: No.

Me: Why Miles?

Miles: Because I like you.

Can I just say my heart melted a little?  He totally thought I meant he  was going to have to leave our home to go live with Jesus now and given that he’s already had to make a major move once, he wasn’t about to agree to do that again!! Not even for Jesus!  I then explained that I wasn’t talking about now but one day when he died and that Mommy and Daddy would be in heaven with Jesus and that we ask him to obey because we know that as he learns to obey and submit to us, he will come to understand how to obey and submit to God.  And while Miles’ was still disciplined for jumping off the rocking chair, I couldn’t help but give him one extra hug for just being my child.  And though I feel like a failure most days and explode in sheer anger more frequently than I should, Miles loves me and wouldn’t trade living here with us, even for heaven (though we’ll have to work on this later!!).  Thank you Lord…that’s entirely more than I deserve.

Eleven Months Old

Only one more month and my baby is one…aaghhh!!  I’m really so thankful he isn’t walking yet…it makes me feel like I can hold onto his baby-ness just a little bit longer!  This month Madden figured out how to climb the stairs and since our house is on the market, we don’t have any gates up.  But don’t worry…like a siren, Molly Kate yells out “he’s heading for the stairs!!” anytime Madden remotely looks like he might try to attempt the climb without adult supervision.  So he’s definitely well protected.  He also started waving this past week and tonight I caught him waving at his reflection in the oven door and laughing…cutest kid ever! He really does bring so much joy and delight to our lives…praise God for the precious little one!

Pardon the drool, but my mommy loves this picture of me 🙂
Lovey entered the photo shoot only to dive straight into Madden's mouth!
Showing off his pearly whites!
Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake - Madden's new fave!

Miles is Three!

Last week we finally got to celebrate a birthday with our precious son Miles!  After watching his first two birthdays from across an ocean, it was such a joy to be able to make last Tuesday a special day for our newest three-year old.  We’ve actually been stretching his birthday out for weeks now (I guess it was well-deserved…he came home last summer in time to see Molly Kate and Mikias have birthdays and then have to wait another 10 months for his to roll around!).  As pictured earlier, we celebrated with an elephant cake and gifts while at the beach with my family.  Nevertheless, we started May 10th with donuts and scrambled eggs, had a fun day of playing outside and then Kevin took Miles to an indoor play gym during Mikias’ tae kwan do class for an extra treat.  We ended the day with spaghetti (Miles LOVES pasta!), cupcakes and a few more gifts.  And somehow, in the midst of it all, we also potty-trained Miles last week…he is absolutely hilarious in his zeal over going “tee-tee in the potty” and is quite proud to finally wear big boy underwear like his older brother!

Miles was more excited about the balloons than the donuts!
A few tries, but eventually, all the candles went out!
Miles is admiring his new toy while the other two are secretly thinking about their turn to play with it!!
Our sweet birthday boy!

Pan-Grilled Pork Chops with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

I love this recipe for three reasons: 1) pork is a less expensive meat to fill up all these boys’ tummies; 2) it looks so fancy on a plate, but is so quick and easy; and 3) it is unbelievably delicious! Recipe taken from

Photo Credit


  • 4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices pineapple
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeño pepper
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Combine pork and 1 tablespoon juice; let stand 10 minutes. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pineapple and onion; cook 4 minutes on each side or until onion is tender. Coarsely chop pineapple and onion; combine in a medium bowl with remaining 2 teaspoons lime juice, jalapeño, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle pork with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done.