Saturday, May 29

ease and quiet

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”
Helen Keller

I have had this quote taped up in order for me to see it, on a regular basis, for years now. I love it because it is so true and it gives me a good whack over the head incase I start to whine and complain over little things. I know my younger boys have a lot ahead of them in order to develop character. I pray that I don’t rescue them out of the necessary learning experiences they need in order to grow into responsible, young men.


Tuesday, May 25

no more glue

The next time I need an adhesive, I am not grabbing glue. I will not reach for the craft glue, wood glue, hot glue, ceramic glue, instant glue or the fabric glue. No, from now on, I will reach for a box of plain cheerios and some milk. The popular brands of glue have nothing on milk-soaked cheerios that harden. Any, mother can attest to that fact. I was trying to scrub a lone piece of cereal off our floor from breakfast and I almost needed a spackling scrapper to release the stubborn cheerio from its mighty grip. Wow! That final compound makes an incredible adhesive that I think should be marketed.

Monday, May 24


Saturday was a day of celebration for someone who is dear to our heart. She has brightened our lives in many ways and I wanted to congratulate her here on my little blog.

Congratulations, Paige, on your college graduation!!! You made it!!!

Friday, May 21

five, four, three, two, one....

The boys and I made a “Portable Control Panel” today. It is just something to keep little hands busy and to spark the imagination. We used an old scrap of wood and juice tops from the recycling bin and a handful of nails. I let the boys take turns hammering the 'control knobs' on (which they absolutely loved) and drawing some of the controls and dials. My four-year-old insisted that we have a knob for ‘air’ and my six-year-old noted that we needed a knob for 'speed'. I also cut out some arrows and circles from plastic, coffee lids and see-through plastic lids. If a part of the nail came through the bottom of the board, I just hammered it completely flat so it would not catch on anything or anyone. They had a blast coming up with ideas to draw on the panel and also what form of transportation they could attach this on transport them to other worlds. So far, they have a submarine, rocket, helicopter, military tank, invisible spy vehicle and, of course, the Millennium Falcon! Who knows what other ideas the long summer days, cousins and friends will provide!

Wednesday, May 19


I was so tired on Sunday from my medication. I just wanted to nap all day. The boys played beautifully outside for a long time. Just when they thought they were finished playing outside, I painted little lines on their cheeks and wouldn’t you know…they went out and played for another hour.

Monday, May 17


I need to limit the amount of material I am reading at the same time. They are mixing together in my dreams and leaving me dizzy when I awake.

My latest dream…

I am in Pakistan, descending K2, it was more than a rough night and I am physically exhausted. A panda comes in my tent, eats a sandwich and shoots in the air. As the panda leaves, Anthony Robbins skips in and asks me what I am proud of in my life. I offer him some mint, onion tea as I wonder in which of the five love languages I should answer him. “At least my tent is fireproof” I think to myself. As I descend down the mountain, I realize I need a bridge first, not a school. I stop to snap a Polaroid of a breathtaking scene. Hopefully, I can reach the Stone Table before I run out of oxygen and get my needed supplies. I order painted butterflies with my blackberry before I go further, when I realize my online account has been hacked. Is hacked an onomatopoeia? Are hackers good or bad? Hunger overwhelms me, and I drop my light saber, as I chew a piece of bland, grilled chicken which I carefully wrap in a FAFSA form. A Fruit of the Spirit would taste so good right now. “Just be thankful you are wearing your foxgloves, Inge.” How long do foxgloves bloom anyway and do I have to feed them too? Anderson Cooper pokes me, and I try to figure out if “Cooper” should be one of my six-year-olds sight words for the double “oo” section in his phonics book. This descent has been most difficult but nie nie has harder days than this. I must push on. If only I could PhotoShop an airplane to rescue me from this unforgiving cliff, I could meet with Dr. Sears and discuss this whole recall thing!

Upon awakening, my jaw is throbbing and I realize it’s not a bridge for Korphe students that I need but a bridge to help correct my TMJ. Ugh, I need a nap.

Can you tell what I have been reading?

Friday, May 14

"Do you know who I am?"

I have a boy who loves hats. We have acquired many hats over birthdays and holidays. Through out the day, he skips past me with a hat on and says, “Do you know who I am?”

I can’t even guess how many hats we have now.

That’s how I feel when I try to count the hats I have worn over some weeks, and sometimes in just a day. Short-order-cook, nurse, secretary, exterminator, teacher, plumber, neighbor, veterinarian, wife, psychologist, wardrobe coordinator, daughter, sister-in-Christ, taxi-driver, a shoulder, an ear, gardener, grand-daughter, friend, nursery attendant, sister, accountant, aunt, seamstress, magician, lion tamer, contortionist, O.K. you get the point!

As women, I am impressed but not surprised how many different hats we wear over a lifetime. The roles we fill and the people we come in contact with require us to juggle and stretch. I pray that you enjoy the hats you are called to wear today and that you can wear them with a smile.

Thursday, May 13

an arm and a leg...

I am still recovering from preliminary dental work and needles in the mouth. Yikes! I actually have the best dentist in Baltimore and he is fantastic with sensitive, dental patients like me. When writing my check at the dental office this morning, I just wrote “an arm and a leg” rather than the actually price. He thought it was funny.

Here is a picture of one of the items my kids got in a goody bag from a party last week. I have no desire to bite or chew on anything right now but it looked pretty winking at me on the kitchen table!

Monday, May 10

:: attention :: if you don’t like needles, skip this post : )

As life goes, unpredictable, but ah…adventurous, I welcomed Mothers’ Day in the hospital. I’m fine. I just had some symptoms to get checked out. Extreme jaw pain (dentist and x-rays could not see anything else, but possible grinding), muscle neck spasms (which a chiropractor worked on) and a pinched nerve in my thumb which drove me absolutely insane. As the symptoms grew worse Saturday evening, I reluctantly gave in to a late night visit to the E.R.

Back labor, migraines, sciatic nerve pain and getting needles are my top four worst sensations I have experienced to date. I am not afraid of getting a needle. I am afraid of the unqualified nurse that is using me as a pin cushion as she “learns” how to stick a large, sharp, metal, object in my tiny, delicate, sensitive vein. After the two newbies did needle point on my hand for fifteen minutes, Angie, the veteran, came in and got it on the first shot. I love you Angie!

After, tests, more x-rays, two CAT scans (the first one was botched), and some lovely pain meds, I was sent home glowing green but smiling. Final verdict is some dental work and a fancy night guard to fix the TMJ, some more chiropractic care and a little TLC!

:: Good Times ::

So these are pictures of the first half of Mother’s day in the hospital.

And the next set of pictures, are from the second half.

And to you, a belated Mother's Day, to all of you who nurture others in the daily, unseen tasks that sometimes only you and God see. Bless you all!!

Saturday, May 8

my mother

Dear Mom,

Whenever things get rough for me as a mother, I just stop and think, “My mom stayed in the house tending to her five, little chicks, which were covered in chicken pox from head to toe, for an entire month!”

An entire month!

No car, no family near by, no cable, no DVD’s, no computer, no cell phone, just pure survival skills, a Can-Do attitude, a hands-on, team-player husband and a lot of prayer!

“So, if my mom can do that for a month, I can push on a couple more days too!”

Thanks, Mom, for the big and little sacrifices you made for us. And most importantly, thank you for showing us God’s grace and mercy during difficult times!

Love, Inge

Friday, May 7

they have no fear

I am not a huge fan of bugs, insects and spiders, but I do try to act relaxed and interested when my boys thrust a crawling lump of legs and such inside the radius of my comfort zone. I “ooo” and “awww” and use my best acting voice and face of total relaxation with out giving away a hint of my palpitating heart and my intense urge to run very far and very fast, with a little squeal to boot! They have no fear. I don’t really mind that charming side of boyhood. Besides, I need them to be my brave knights to rescue the poor, spindly souls that accidentally wander into our house.

Inside the house, the phrase, “Mom, look what I found!” could mean the discovery of a lost game piece. Outside the house, the same phrase takes on a whole new meaning. So, I bought the boys bug boxes in order to encourage them to gently pick up and drop whatever species they find into the clear containers. It was not only to contain their subjects to further study them, but to selfishly protect myself when they run toward me almost tripping with excitement and clutching something wiggly and alive. Here are a couple pictures I bravely shot last summer. Who knows what we will find crawling outside this summer!

Wednesday, May 5

Surprise guest!

This morning we had a surprise guest arrive at our house! My oldest son saw a small turtle in the middle of the road and decided to rescue it from imminent danger. He knew his younger brothers would be thrilled seeing a real turtle and brought it to show the boys. He was right! They were ecstatic! They squealed and laughed and studied our little guest for hours as it explored our back yard!

Of course, the boys wanted to keep it. My husband agreed to let the turtle stay for a week and then they could let it go near a stream down the road. They fixed a small wooden home for it and the boys put in a small wading pond and found grubs, worms and green, juicy leaves for it to eat.

From what we’ve read, we think it is a boy. It is a good thing because the six-year-old already named it, Tommy, and the four-year-old already named it, Robin.

Later in the day, my youngest son told his oldest brother, “You made our day!” And he did!

Good night ~ Tommy/Robin!

Sunday, May 2


It is very rare, that I don’t have a container of bubbles in the house. Bubbles are fun, happy and inviting. Reluctant children warm up, strangers smile and everyone is a kid again when they see bubbles. You don’t have to be athletic, smart or creative to blow a bubble, it is just plain, simple fun.

I like experimenting with objects I already have in the house when the wands inevitably wander away. I have used plastic, cookie cutters, the green, plastic, strawberry containers, wires, pipe cleaners, and our favorite, a plastic cup with the bottom cut out! So far, the cup can produce the biggest bubbles and the most enjoyment!