Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Deep, Dark Secret Part 2

It is no secret that Daniel is darling.  It is no secret that he can charm the pants off teenage girls and blue haired ladies in the grocery store.  It is no secret he can do amazing things.

I shared my first deep, dark secret 3 years ago when this beyond strong willed child would not sleep through the night.  And now we have this.  The deepest, darkest kind of secret.  The kind that will garner chuckles and embarrassment when he is older.  Daniel is not potty trained.  This would not be a deep, dark secret if he were 2 or 3 but he is 4.  4!!

Not for lack of trying, coercing, and cajoling.  I have tried sticker charts, treat jars, grand prizes, cool underwear, and any other trick I can find.  No dice!

After a successful day two weeks ago when he went the whole day staying dry I thought we finally had it.  To no avail.  The next day he peed through seven pairs of undies and pants.  7 pairs!  I thought I might have a nervous breakdown.

I tried paying his older brother $100 to do the job but he gave up quickly, "It's impossible!"  Yes, a mission impossible.  When kind-hearted teachers mention that no kindergartners still wear diapers I reply, "They haven't met Daniel!"

I know the secret is tied to my pride.  My sense of success as a mom.  I am failing.  I cannot make this precious boy give up diapers and tackle the big kid world.  "I just don't want to," he declared one day.  "Maybe when I am 7."

We did eventually get the sleeping thing figured out.  He sleeps like a champ 3 years later.

He is a charmer though....isn't he?


Monday, November 30, 2015

Lessons Learned from the Dishwasher

1.  Sometimes things don't do their job.

2.  Things might look clean but beneath the surface there is gross gunk.

3.  A little prevention goes a long way.

4.  More soap doesn't mean cleaner dishes.

5. Deep cleaning requires effort.

6.  Running the machine doesn't get things clean; it just wastes water.

Strange things rattle around in my head.  Like, how my relationship with Jesus is often reflected in the woes of my dishwasher.  Perhaps it is the Divine speaking to me.  Perhaps it is the spicy avocado hummus keeping me awake to think too much.

I don't often do my "job"; my part of the relationship.  I still expect the blessing and the favor but neglect the praise, the seeking, the sanctifying.  

I often appear put together and okay but beneath the surface my heart is just as full of sin as the drain of my dishwasher was full of sticky, grossness.

Seeking the Lord each morning, praying thoughout my day, praising God in the hard and sweet moments goes a long way to preventing a full on break down.

Too much soap clogs a dishwasher just like too much culture, America, the good life clogs my relationship with Emmanuel - God with us.

A pin, a sink full of vinegar water and 3 hours is what it took to clear the solid build up of gunk from the drain basket of the dishwasher. I know the effort to clear out the sin takes longer; a lifetime really. It is a constant effort of prayer, asking for light to shine in the dark spots and effort.

Going through the motions isn't what I am called to in my relationship with Jesus.  It's just a waste of  time to fake it.  Jesus says in Matthew 15:7-8, "“You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me…’”   But," let us press on to know the Lordhis going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers,as the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:3.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Cheering for #85

We just wrapped up a seven game season of cheering for our favorite football player.  As a mother it gives me a stomach ache to send my guy out on the field in pads, a helmet, and fancy receiver gloves. Elijah is not the biggest player on the field.  He is not the fastest player on the field.  He is not even the most talented player on the field.
As a linebacker and a tight end, Elijah usually faces guys who are taller, bigger, stronger.  He does not let that stop him!

See!  This guy was as tall as me!
As a mother I beam with pride to send my guy out on the field with a set of skills taught at home and at practice.  What he brings to the field is attitude and effort.  An attitude of "I will try; I'll give it my all."  Effort unsurpassed by most of the other players on his team.

Last minute pep talk.
I love cheering for #85.  I love watching his dad give him pointers.  I love watching him see the play and make a move.  I love watching his baby brother yelling from the sidelines.  I love seeing him take a coaches comments and put them into practice.

Getting the tackle.  Way to go, 85!

"Go, YAYA!"

John spent most games brushing up on his running skills.  

One serious fan!  I love my #85. (Micah is hiding by the garbage cans.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Treasured Moments

Grandma and Daniel looked at a book for a long time; such sweet moments to treasure.

Football is consuming our Saturday's.  Elijah and his buddy Marshall are both so much fun to watch.

This guy loves to cheer for his brother, which is a good thing since we spend every Saturday at the fields.
  "Go Yaya, Go Yaya, GO!"  

Measuring Growth

Sunday was our quasi annual measuring day.  Marks on the wall in the kitchen inched upward as we got out the ruler and Chris' level eyes to see how much growth occurred over the course of the past year.

And while the marksclearly show physical growth it doesn't show the growth we are really more concerned with.  A quick inventory of spiritual growth shows a desire for intellectual knowledge in one of my boys.  A desire for relationship from another.  It shows a growing fascination with creation through the eyes of a youngster.  An innocent love of worship in a toddler's heart.

A deeper inventory shows struggles with what the culture says is okay versus what the Bible says is okay.  Struggles with the sins of deception, cheating, land anger bubble up.  There are struggles with insecurity, obedience, and fear.

The young people are not the only ones measuring growth.  Not the only ones who want to know, "Did I move up?"  Bible study has been hitting close to home and making us uncomfortable.  Taking stock is something of an annual event but lately it has been forefront as we wrestle with our time use, our hobbies, and our treasures.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Reaping what you Sow

Paul wrote to the Galatians to be careful because, "...A man reaps what he sows."  

My mom used to scold, "You made your bed, now lie in it."

I say, "This is a mess of your own making."

After my first visit to the dentist in five years the Spirit whispered this wisdom, "A man reaps what he sows."

I am currently reaping heaps of pain because I sowed neglect.

I am lying in a bed of financial distress because I made a bed of stupidity.

Ugh, I made this mess in my mouth because I HATE the dentist.

And the Spirit didn't stop.  My lesson was not over.

After a visit to the allergist I realized I was reaping an attitude of complacency because I had sown denial.

I saw that the bed of my attitude meant I had to lie in uncomfortablness with my kids' attitudes.  

In neglecting to sow the Father, Son and Holy Spirit into the fabric of my everyday I had reaped bitterness and depression.

Reaping what you sow should not be so profound but somehow I had lost sight of the cause and effect world I live in.  The cause and effect of the long term and the short.  

It is startling and a bit crippling to have that relationship brought into focus.  To see the bounty of bad where I had wanted good but failed to sow it.  

As Psalm 121 reassures, "My help comes from the Lord."  I start afresh, tilling and weeding and pruning what needs to die knowing that the harvest will glorify God.  I cast my anxiety about a month of dentist visits and the pain and uncomfortableness on Him knowing He will bring me the peace I need to stay in the chair.  I trust in the Lord with all my heart when it comes to my allergic son knowing that He knows the plans He has for him.  

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Being a Hero

When my phone showed a call from my neighbor I didn't think a thing of it.

When she asked if they should give Elijah a ride home I was confused.

"Chris is there.  At practice.  To get Elijah."  I stuttered.

When she explained about a horrific car accident involving a car, two kids, the helicopter, and a slew of emergency personnel I went to the dark place.  That place in my brain that immediately assumes the worst has happened.  In this case, it involved Chris hitting kids.  Or my nephews being hit.  Or...

I immediately called Chris who was giving a statement to police.

 He has been first on the scene.  He had seen flying bodies and heard cracking windshields.  He had been calm.  He directed others to call 911, to block traffic, and start assessing injuries on the young victims.  In his previous work he was an EMT and his brain holds all sorts of knowledge on injuries and treatment.  God gifted him with this incredible ability to remain calm in stressful and high drama situations. Like when the mother of the victims is hysterical by your side.

He arrived home with gloves on his hands.  Hands covered in the blood of a young girl.

He arrived home with tears in his eyes.  Tears from seeing the pain in the children.

He is a hero.  Placed at that place, at that time but God who sees and knows all things.

and I  love him and God for doing it.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Anderson Adventures Part 3

Whew!  We made it to the final adventure.  The pinnacle of all our travels and training and talking.

My dearly beloved completed the hardest physical feat of his life. 100 miles traversing gravel roads, goat trails, a mountain, and the horrendous Powerline climb that comes at the end of the race.

I completed a 6 mile run (I use run loosely) at 10,200 feet above sea level.  Did you know there is 30% less oxygen at 10,200 feet above sea level?  I needed that 30%, badly.

The boys made the best crew and support team ever.

My beautiful sister and family were the key to a less stressful trip by keeping the Moomer.

On a rock outcropping on the way up Colombine mountain

Above the tree line.  On the top of Colombine.

Daniel got to drive down with a little help from Joe.

The most beautiful and clear lake I have ever seen.  So peaceful and fun!

"Brr!  It is cold, Mom!"

Why we really went.  A short notice devotion and time of prayer brought in 20 athletes and family.

Our beloved Augie and Marcia

Sitting in a sage brush field waiting for our team.  These guys did so great!

Smiling in true Chris fashion.  The hard part is yet to come!

This is the last of the smiles for a while.  He would crash literally and mentally, thanks God for a team of brothers.

Friday, August 7, 2015

A Psalm

A lifetime ago I taught a Faith Formation class.  I rarely taught the same thing twice since each group of kids was so different but one thing we did each year was study the Psalms and then write our own.  I say we because teaching this class was just as much about my faith formation as it was about theirs. 

I came across the Psalm I wrote some years ago.  Not surprisingly it still rings true.

Your beauty is all around me,
yet my heart is not satisfied. 
Your love has set me free,
but still I am enslaved.
Why am I always floundering about -
searching -
when only You have the answers?
The desires of the world
push the desires of my heart
Holy Father, satisfy my heart.
Amazing God free me from slavery.
Faithful Friend help me seek your counsel.
I praise your HOLY name.
Strengthen me
sanctify me
fill me
Oh, Holy Spirit.
Set my focus on You;
set my feet on the path You blazed
I praise your HOLY name.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Anderson Adventures Part 2

Part 2 of our summer adventure brought us to Denver and Leadville, Colorado.  After a 10 hour car ride to Denver and a two night layover with good friends we trekked 2 more hours up the mountains to Leadville, CO.  The air was thin at 10,400 feet above sea level but the view was spectacular.

We hiked up the road from the "cabin" we were staying at.  These are the two highest points in Colorado, both 14ers.
No trip to Denver is complete without a visit to see the Broncos, even if they were not there.

Looking at fish at the Denver Aquarium.

Saying goodbye to our Denver friends.  Don't tell but the girl is Norah and we hope Elijah marries her.  He already asked her, when he was 4.
Touching sting rays
Looking at fish with Quinn
We rode a train to do some sight seeing without having to do the work.
Chris bought Daniel a cowbell because we needed more noise.
The reason we went the Colorado, to cheer on Chris during his mountain bike race.  50 miles this time, 100 in August.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Anderson Adventures Part 1

This summer holds a three part adventure for the Anderson clan.  The middle of June held Anderson Adventure Part 1.
The Anderson Men with the ever popular tractor
My men at the top of Harney Peak
Me and Micah starting out our hike up Harney

On Grandma Donna's front porch with the ever popular horse and motorcycles

2015 is the summer of bikes: We "ran" into our friend's the Stillers while in the Black Hills

The summer of bikes continues, Dad even found a bike race for the kids to do!

Daniel loved the dinos at Dinosaur Park in Rapid.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Cray Button

Elijah is in love with a band called Family Force 5.  I'm not partial to their music much like my mother was not partial to mine.  He belts out tunes about chainsaws, going berserk, and hitting the cray button.

No need to ask what happens when you hit the cray button.....

Monday, June 1, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015


We're a laugh a minute over here on Elm Street.  Here is a sample of some recent chuckles.

~ "How old are you?"  asked by a nice, older man at the store to my little man.
" I'm 6 but my Mom makes me be 3."

~ We had leftover cake one night after dinner.  We had been discussing cake for most of the meal as a way to get John and Daniel to eat their dinner.  At the end of the meal, in total surprise Daniel exclaimed, "We're having cake?!"

~"Mom, the bird died so we had a funeral.  I buried it in the dirt (my garden) in the backyard!" John

~Micah is learning new ways to communicate.  He has discovered that a yes to "Do you have a dirty diaper?" means he gets scooped up for a change so he has changed his answer to "Na."  This is better than Daniel's answer of, "We changed it yesterday."  Or the fact that he claims to be mostly underwear trained.  (He is not even close)

~John got a book of jokes from the library.  After he worked to sound out the words and put it together he muttered, "Well, that wasn't even funny!"

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Loving God

"Mom, would you still love God if Dad didn't come home safe?"

This question greeted me bright and early a few weeks ago.  It took my breath away.  Chris had been out of town for a few days doing ministry.  He would not be returning for a few more days.

"Yes, I would."  I replied, trying to hide how shaken I was.  Plowing ahead, I also shared that I would be really sad, probably angry at God, and lonely.  Looking only at my sweet baby, I delved into something I know in my head but have rarely had to put into practice in real life; I believe God is good and that no matter what comes my way He works it for His good.

And then a sweet baby we have been praying for died.  I'm a bit soft hearted when it comes to babies so when we heard that this precious boy needed a miracle we had been praying most nights for him.  Then I met him and got to hold his squishy hand in the nursery.  Then he died.

"Mom, do we still love God; the baby died?"

This question greeted me late in the evening.  It took my breath away.  We had interceded, expecting the miracle but God said no.  Snuggled together, tears flowing, "God is still good.  He knows what the baby needed.  He knows how this situation is going to be used for His glory."

I pray these questions and real life moments allow the realness of God grow in my boys hearts.  And in mine.  I never want the mistaken notion that life is always good for those who love God to take root in their hearts.  Or in mine. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ridiculous Things I Say to my Kids

In my head I have written this blog post no less than five times.  Chris has been out of town on the East Coast doing ministry for the past 5 days and single parenting makes me want to consume large amounts to ice cream and chocolate.

I was stuck the other day by the ridiculous things I say to my kids.  Here they are with what I am sure they are all thinking as they hear me say them.

1.  Do you want a (insert appropriate punishment here)?
              ~Why yes, Mom, I do want a (insert appropriate punishment here).  That is why I am doing
                this slightly naughty, high annoying thing, so you will punish me!

2. Tell your brother you are sorry!
              ~ Sorry (but I'm not sorry.  I'm only saying this because Mom just told me to and I am trying
                 to avoid the "Do you want a (insert appropriate punishment here)" question.

3.  Why did you do that?
             ~Uh, gee, Mom...

4.  Who left the toilet lid open?
             ~ Not me! 

5.  There is no dating until you are 25.
              ~ Dating?  Who wants to spend time with girls, unless of course it is the neighbor girls, they
                always share their treats!

6.  We're going to (insert destination here), please use the bathroom.
               ~ They do have several bathrooms or even a tree there, Mom.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Power of Friendship

This is Taylor.  He was a member of my first class at Harrisburg (although I did not have the privilege of teaching him).  His mom is my best friend.  

These two facts have led to an obsession with high school basketball.  Taylor and his team, the Hanson Beavers, are playing for the State B Championship tonight.  I know no other young man on the Beaver team.  Just Taylor.  Still, I found myself cheering and holding back tears watching them play last night.  As excited for other young men in Beaver blue as I am for Taylor.

Why?  Why am I nervous for a bunch of boys I do not even know?  Why am I in tears, my heart spilling over with pride in how these boys conduct themselves?  It all seems silly, the workings of an overly emotional girl.

The power of friendship.  Sarah is important to me so Taylor is important to me.  I have shared in his growing up for the past five years.  I have prayed for, hoped for, and seen God's guidance on his life.  Sarah and I have walked through a tough boss, job changes, babies, surgeries, Bible study, college choices, heartbreak, and more.

The power of friendship makes these games important to me.  Even though I can't be there, I cheer and pray. I exclaim out loud at text messages.  

The power of friendship opens the window to what may be in the future.  With four boys I can imagine sitting in the stands, praying for my sons to perform their best.

Tonight, our house is going Beaver crazy as we cheer for Taylor and the boys.  Ge Beavers!  Beat those Lions!

Sunday, March 15, 2015


When my blue-eyed boy learned to walk at ten months old I nearly had a heart attack every day.  That precious boy got himself in some humdingers!  He has rarely sat still since.  I spent most of last summer waiting for him to return from adventures in the "forest" or a bike race around the neighborhood.

Those sweet memories make this year's reality bitter.  Two years ago John got bit in the back of the leg by an over-excited dog.  For two years fear has been leaching onto John, slowly dragging him into a pit of fear.  His fear is one I understand well.  I was terrified of dogs as a girl.  There was a man-eating St. Bernard I had to encounter each walk to the park.  There was a vicious lab who terrorized the park.  Somehow I didn't let the fear keep me from adventures, although I do remember at least once my beautiful sister had to fetch Mom to rescue me from the vicious lab who had surrounded me while I was up on the slide. 

Fear has fenced John in.  Our neighborhood is teeming with dogs, all friendly.  Sometimes the furry friends get out of their spaces and run as wild as the children.  So John remains within sprinting distance of the house.   His fear convincing him that at any moment the licky-monsters are going to turn into "vicious man-eating dogs!"  His fear has convinced him that all dogs are to be feared, even dogs he layed in the grass with last summer.

It has broken my heart.  So we bring it to God.  Every night we pray together asking God to heal him from his fear.  When he goes outside we talk about being courageous and that God is bigger than his fear. 

And we, my blue-eyed boy and I, wait for God to answer....

Friday, February 27, 2015

Take-away's from #RealTime2015

~ Never underestimate how delicious it is to eat a meal you did not have to prepare or clean up

~ Bathroom humor + farting noises = hysterical.  Jeff Foxworthy can make a girl nearly pee her pants when retelling his colonoscopy story.

~ You can always find a friend when you are out of town with 1300 co-workers

~ Perspective makes a world of difference.  Case in point,  to a Northerner, 60 degrees means shorts and a t-shirt for a 6 am run.  To a Southerner, 60 degrees means tights, shorts, two shirts, and a fleece.  I had one Southern belle tell me she never works out outside if it is below 61 degrees.

~  Craig Groeschel taught me that the quickest way to forget what other people think about you is to become OBSESSED by what God thinks of you.

~ Dr. Tony Evans can preach and it is fun to be amongst those who worship in ways far different than me.

~ Hearing a prayer in a different language moves this girl to tears

~ Going to Sea World without your children and riding a roller coaster is a lot of fun.

~  Your face can hurt from smiling so much

~ If a supernatural power is within you then it should also come out of you.  The Holy Spirit is just waiting for the invitation.

~ Meeting new people is fun; as is their expression when you tell them you are from SD, or that you have four boys, or that your beautiful sister is taking care of them plus her own four.

~ Flip flops in February are fun

~ a stutter (Neal Jeffry), a hearing impairment (Tamika Catchings), or a massively, messed up childhood (Jim Daly) are not enough to disqualify you from ministry

~Mandisa can bring out your inner dancer without you even noticing.  Old dance team moves may or may not have slipped out.

~sometimes God can bring encouragement from people you don't even know.  One FCA-E huddle member shared how impactful a teaching Chris had done was on his life.  If, for no other reason then that, the weekend was worth it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dear Sister

I heart you! 

Tomorrow you are letting me get on a plane to fly away to a warmer place.  To do that you are taking in my four squirmy, germy, rambunctious boys.

I heart you!

You never bat a beautiful eyelash at the work it involves.  You just do it.  (Better than Nike, I might add). 

I heart you!

I heart you for about a million other reasons but right now, the opportunity to escape my life for a few days is the top of my list.

I heart you!

Monday, January 19, 2015


Dear future Daughters-In-Law,

I am trying!

With Joy,
your MIL

Thursday, January 8, 2015


We are already 8 days into 2015 and I finally feel like I know what God has laid on my heart for this year. Each year I seek one word to live out, to seek, to try to do well. It usually ends up less than I expected but more than I hoped for.  (If that makes any sense at all).

When asked what the greatest commandment was Jesus did not hesitate.  He did not think about it.  Love. The greatest commandment is to love God and love others. "All the Law and the Prophets hand on these two commandments,"  he explained in Matthew 22:40. 

As in the past I start of thinking I already got this word nailed.  I, of course, would like to think I am good at love. Love is easy. But then I look to God's description of love and I know I fall short.

Just take a look at the checklist given to us in the oft quoted "love" chapter, 1Corinthians 13.  "Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 

Ooftah!  Patient and not self-seeking.  Calm and forgetting those wrongs.  This is going to be a lot of work.  Work well worth the doing.

Here's praying that a year of working on love will produce fruit and growth in so many other areas as well. 

"He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I shall come forth as gold."  Job 32:10