learning life

Lovin the life that brings me home.....

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thankful Challenge.

I have been challenged by Renee Jonlick to speak what I am thankful for. Since I typed it all out, I thought I'd paste it to my blog. This is a five day, three a day challenge that I am going to just pound out here. Feel free to scroll past it. No particular order here: 1. I am thankful that even though this world is extremely broken and sick, there is still hope, joy, and peace. All said, I am thankful my Savior has allowed beauty to arise in the midst of some of the ugliest times. 2. Home schooling. Allowing us the flexibility to linger in subjects we appreciate, pound out the things we don’t want to make time for (like typing a list of things to be thankful for). It is a process for all of us and I am not ashamed that I am learning along with my 9, 7, 4, and 1 year old. I am so lucky to be paced by my children, not by the worlds standards. 3. My kids. Titus- whose name means “God protects”. It SHOULD mean comfort, joy, laughter. Always a joy to wake up to. The way he lets go of all muscle control in his cheeks when he runs, letting them jell-o about, putting all his energy into his squatty legs taking him where he needs to go. Claire- Who is hilariously and painfully gifted with emotions and hidden on/off ‘switches’. Smartest kid I’ve ever been around(which is sometimes to her demise), Beautiful. Lauren- Who is so much like me, it hurts. I can look at her and feel what she’s got going on inside cause I’ve been there. The best little mama around. Baby lover, hippie chic, dreamer, and innocent as all get out. She says “ I wish I was the sun…. so everyone could see me.” She has so much joy to share. Silas- Who thinks on the inside. The man of few spoken emotions, but large in character and conversation. Loves music, theatre, helpful and protective, very kind hearted. The perfect first born. 4. My husband who allows me to stay home with the kids who are my life. Though we’ve had much and had little, has remained solid on the notion of our kids needing their mother home. Hard working, and loves his family. 5. Brookings, The best place to be any time of the year. The natural recourses are topped by none other. My road literally dead ends at the breathtaking ocean. Tide pools, beach glass, and hiking. With cool CLEAN river destinations less than five miles from my house, who needs a swimming pool? Then there are the redwoods. A campers dream. 6. Community in a small town, Waving at someone I know almost everywhere I go. Waving at someone I DONT know almost everywhere I go. I LOVE when people honk a hello to me when I’m out running. So if you don’t already… DO IT! It encourages me to go those few more step! A massive community home school support, Dependable neighbors. 7. Family, Support from near and far. A father in law whose life belongs to my children, Grandma who send gifts, love, and phone time day or night. Who shop pays for almost ALL of the Peeps wardrobe. Grandpa who’s always good for a dollar store run and a donut. All of them loving each of us to pieces and cheering us on! 8. Siblings Chris, You are so incredibly musically talented, I can only hope to have one kid who takes that after you. Your aspirations are indeed overwhelming and inspiring. If you are ever more famous, maybe I’d try body surfing at one of your concerts again. Didn’t work out so well with CFI. Nick Nick Nick Nick Nick Nick Nick Nick…. Nickelodeon (thought you lived that one down?) I can’t wait till you find what you want and finally are able to do it! Your soft spoken, but protecting heart personality makes you a real catch! It was amazing to see how much you’ve grown and improved over the last three years! We really need to spend more time together! Drew, You are such a tender soul. Sorry if your cool buddies see this, but your best (in my opinion) and most obvious quality is your kind heart. It is unique and awesome to see the way fishing drives you crazy. Not many kids your age are character that way. Learn from your older sister and brothers mistakes and make your own- you Baker! Jaysta Boosta, You were always the cutest of all the brothers…The only brother I can REALLY remember as a little baby. So sweet. Last summer, watching you play uncle to my kids was so impressive. You really have grown and matured into kindness. The one who can always make me laugh, gets my inside jokes, and is good for talking cooking-Codes Kayla- Strong and protecting, yet gentle mixed in. very set in your convictions. Michael.. good to hang with. Light hearted. Becoming quite the ladies man. Lets see who he chooses. Yasab, such a tender sweet soul for Jesus. You can do great things. You are BEAUTIFUL! Don’t forget it! Someday, I’ll dress as cute as you do! Anna, Miriam, Messy, Tuabesh, You girls are such a joy to visit with. The way you help with the ‘littles’ is priceless and conditioning you to do your best as mothers. Even if you don’t choose that path, you will always have that in you. 9. The overall general health of myself that allows me to play with my children, and my children’s health that keeps them happy. The healing power of play. 10. Chicken strips and Coke. A meal of champions. 11. Hearing any of my kids’ belly laugh. The oxygen depriving laugh that sends them wildly flailing about. 12. Gardening- Harvesting, planting, chickens. Pretending a little bit country. 13. The moments when the reality of time hits me. When I remember to take a mental snapshot. All these precious times when it hits me, and I soak in the essence of what is really happening. Thinking about it being a part of the grand plan of life, and remembering how fleeing that second is, making me really absorb the wonder and awe of one single moment. 14. Wisdom. The kind that comes with age. Can’t be spoken into someone. Tears down pride and faith in self enough to realize the magnitude of how you perceived something for so long and realizing how things really are. The kind that allows for grace to finally step in where the arrogance and judgments once were. The kind of wisdom that renders c gratitude for a good decision-a good thought, Not creating pride in my own abilities. The patience and love I have received while aging and figuring this out. 15. Bed time. Checking on my kids sleeping and lingering a while. Kissing their sweet limp fuzzy cheeks. Knees in and bottoms in the air. Moving the sprinkler around the yard, locking up the chickens. Finally quiet enough to hear that ringing in my ears. I guess if I had a 16, I would thank Renee, our sweet Grandma for challenging me to write this all down. I wouldn’t otherwise do this. I will however NEVER accept the challenge to dump a bucket of ice water on my head

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Spring up the well.

Tonight of all nights is the epitome of why I do what I do here in Lovin My Peeps.
Even though I don't do it very often,
To remember.
Some things are just worth charting down.....
to give you a fore ward,
I''ll let you know what's been on and off of Claire's mind lately....
She has been making random comments lately like
"Mommy I love you so much! Your the best mommy ever! Please don't die!"
''Would you be sad if I died?''
"Are you going to die soon?''
All to which I have answered plainly and truthfully
"No Mommy probably wont die for a long time but only God knows.
Of course I would be sad if you died!"
Sometimes it has been a bit all consuming and heavy for a four year old.
 And I distract her into a generally lighter topic.
The beauty of being 4 is that distraction comes really easy and doesn't take much thought on my part.
I am not anxious or uneasy by these conversations ,
Nor am I surprised by the intelligence and complexity of her question.
She has always been sharp-witted,
And around our house, death is matter of factly spoken about.
Not often, but not discouraged.
We have had and lost many animals,
We have gone as a family to provide comfort to grieving friends with a lost love.
 Basically pointedly incorporated little droplets of this reality into some of our exposures.
Because Jake and I wholeheartedly embrace that death affects us all repeatedly
throughout life
Until ultimately the passing of ourselves.
It's not a subject to be ignored.
It is the topic that springs our faith into salvation as we know it.
And so respectfully observe from time to time, all that is born, grows, evolves, cycles, then passes.
Leaves, seasons, animals, and so on
Including us. 
All that to say that I had a most insightful and intellectual conversation with my
4 year old darling little Peep.
While mopping the kitchen floor,
I tell her
"Take the ball out, and I then we'll play with it together when I'm done."
Claire comes up with her usual style:
"Mommy I love you so much! Please don't die!'
Realizing that right now,
she loves me so much because I am going to be playing ball with her soon and that's just giddy,
I say my usual rhetoric
" Mommy is young and I probably wont die soon."
And in my head thinking 'go out child!'
"Only God knows Mommy right?"
"Yes. Only God knows."
So she decides to keep this ball rolling:
"When you die, can you please pray to God?'
"Honey I can't pray to God when I Die! I pray to him while I'm alive, then I won't have to pray to him, because I'll be with Jesus! That's why I pray to God now, because I want to be Jesus when I don't live here anymore."
still mopping, but wondering where this is going and why.
"Then when you die, you get to go to Jesus so you don't have to die forever?"
" That's right! He died for me and now I don't have to! You're so smart!"
And she is,
 Because I have never given her those lines she just spoke.
Never in that order.
"How do you pray to God so you can be with Him Mom?"
She utters and my heart stops,
Because one thing I am passionate about,
Is not drilling her with words of conviction.
And I have been waiting for the next of my three kids to bring on this subject.
SO I thoughtfully scrub the floor and wait a moment
Pondering and ordering my words.
And the most curious thing happens:
She waits for an answer.
I know the answer, but its a bit unrehearsed and jumbled
 Due to the enormous spotlight I've been thrust under.
"Well, you believe in God,
Believe in His son,
Believe He died and died for you,
And you tell Him!"
" Do we believe in Jesus Mommy?"
I can tell she means believe like other people believe in Easter Bunnies and Santa Claus
"Well, I do"
 I say, casually and frankly, now looking at her.
"I do too because I LOVE Jesus!"
Then promptly says
"So what words do we say?"
Then again thinking up quick and understandable words
for a very comprehensive four year old,
Something very abrupt and typical happened.
She bellowed in the loudest groan ever:
" Silas, put that ball down!
Mom and Me aw goinna play when she's done moppin!
I Nevew said you could touch it."
and I swear she said it like a police officer performing an arrest.
The most demanding and pistol spitting attitude 
That is the usual Claire. 
And she was gone..
And despite my desire to sit her down and talk more about it,
I decided to wait.
And I was left to finish the 'floow moppin'
And settle in all the wonder that just happened.
Because I want this for her,
But I want it for her own,
Not mine.
And I believe in timing that is not my own.
Then I mop and marvel at how simple this process is for me,
Because of how complicated HE made it for himself.
"Believe On the Lord Jesus Christ and ye will be saved"
Not a mystery
It's all she HAS to know right now.
It spreads into the wonderful world of knowing and loving,
But ultimately begins with belief.
And though we as parents purpose to guide and teach,
Most assuredly continuing this conversation,
 the heart of the matter is that the rest is between
God her Maker,
 and herself.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The sun was here.

And oh it was glorious.
Just wanting to post a compilation of pics from those scant sunny days...
When our house routine was put on complete halting stop
In order to celebrate the light and warmth,
We avoided the disaster that was our home.
and lived out of the car.
Which in turn spilled disaster with every open door.
Girl loves her ketchup.
It was worth every stubbed toe in the dark room for a goodnight kiss. 
Don't judge him,
He dreams on food.
Camping out and using all the blankets in the house,
Multiple loads of beach towels,
Watermelon, lots of watermelon.
All these things + a laundry room the size of a master bedroom,
Sure gave us space to spread out the disaster.
First trip in the kayak.
A seriously posed picture,
They were not having fun.
The laugh of the summer:
First time brother fell asleep in her arms.
Wanting sister to be able to wear earrings like big sis,
Lauren made Claire some stick-ons
I just love how her lip curls open on the side.
There is indeed life in this mess,
Love in this mess,
Little moments of snapshots that make this mess gloriously sticky.
This is my mess.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

4th of July.

We spent much of July being very sick.
Titus finally got to meet family back home.
We inevitably came home with some extra seasonal allergies gone wrong.
Maybe it was a cold, gone wrong,
but it ended up ear infection, bronchitis,asthmatic, eye infection, for more than one kid.
All had some of the above,
Titus had all of the above.
We managed to surface for air during that time at a high point in the game.
Just long enough to celebrate Independence Day.
For the last few years,we have participated in or watched the children's parade.
This time, we were (I was) going for gold.
Silas got to stay up extra late the night before making this happen:
How patriotic is Abe Lincoln?
You can't see Claire's get-up here, but she was a Pioneer girl.
More specifically from the American Girl series.
She had amazing brown boots with tassels on them,
Along with a thick leather belt to hold up her sister's skirt.
She walked the dog who carried a sign labeled:
"American girl 1860's"
Then, there is my masterpiece:
I hand dyed Jake's t-shirts
upcycled a toy echoing microphone,
and fashioned a cardboard headband into Lady Liberty.
I thought at least this would take one of the umpteen prizes.
She was so adorable!
Silas was hilarious,
Alomg with the Abe Lincoln suit,
He  added a little Richard Nixon wave:
He told the judges
"Government of  the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth"
That's his Abe quote to 'wow' judges!
Claire ended up carrying the dog sign that Bentley was freaking out about.
Glad I didn't go for the dog pulling cardboard plow.
They had so much fun!
Silas ended up winning 'Most Patriotic'
Claire won 'Cutest Pet'
Lauren left with a ribboned participation award and a smile on her face.
Mission accomplished,
And what a great time!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

NIne Months.

I did this.
Actually photographed his "month" birthday!
All the other months after monthe three,
It's a day- to a week after the actual day.
These were taken about two and a half weeks ago:
This boy does miraculous wonders to the heart.
His smiling face is true soul food.
In keeping with tradition of not blogging ever
And promising myself that
For the sake of my children,
I will blog more than never,
But then going back to tradition,
I felt I owed him some back logged facts about himself.
SO, here are nine things about him:
1. He STILL only sits up. Though SOMETIMES on full moons (once),
He pulls (pulled) himself up to standing position.
Sorry son, I'm trying to make you look good.
2. Wait, he rolls too. since 2 1/2 months-
 so that makes up for him being a freeloader.
Yes, he is a taker.
3. He loves his water.
 He screams when someone is in the bath without him,
And refuses to be in the baby carrier when were anywhere near the river.
4. The man-babe can put down more food that his almost 4 year old sister,
And weighs only about ten pounds less than her,
At 9 months wearing 18 month clothes,
He's a real gun show.
There is a pull-up in his size.
5. He's sweet on his big Sis Lauren.
I can't tell the others,
But he looks past both of them just to get a glimpse of her.
Can't say that I blame him.
6. She's dropped him three times now.
For a total of 4 drops.
Biggest number of single baby droppings
In the history of our homestead.
7. I suppose he is the iconic American looking face.
A handful of people have mentioned to me that
"He reminds me of my son when he was a boy"
"That kid looks like my Brother  did when we were kids"
"Total Gerber baby."
Funny thing is,
What do you say??
Long thoughts lead me to ill-timed responses:
" How is that brother?"
" Did you like him (your brother)?"
" How do you feel about the Gerber Baby?"
8. He's very friendly, 
A flirt,
And super cuddly.
Charming smile,
All Pieper.
9. He loves this dog to pieces.
To pieces.
Big fat handfuls of hairy  kind of pieces.
She loves him from arms length away if possible,
And behind his back.
She offers him true solid protection
He offers her leftover egg yolky cheeks
At just the right height.
From behind of course.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Since It is Friday night,
Since I am all hopped up on Nutter Butter Frozen Peanut butter pie,
with no sleep in sight,
I thought to write  quick jaunt about our Easter weekend.
But first,
Check out the pie.
It's as awesome as it sounds.
As a kid I ate this often.
Mom got the recipe from the inside of a box of Philadelphia Cream cheese.

Nothing like watching the kids enjoy a recipe from your past.
I can regrettably claim to have eaten over half of that puppy.

Since it is only one week late,
And around here that's not bad right?
Back to our Easter.

I was inspired by this picture a little over a year ago:
Isn't is lovely?
My problem last year was that I didn't find this in time to sprout my own grass.
So I saved it for this year

This time, 2 weeks before Easter,
Still no time for grass growing
I almost threw in the towel.
Whilst contemplating an alternate plan,
It hit me:
I have nearly an acre of already sprouted foliage!
Complete with those cute little daisy weeds and everything,
Insert voice in my head:
I can do this!
All I need is a big round Tera cotta tray.
One that I would most likely use,
Then store,
Then hopefully dig out in one piece for next year.
Actually I think I need three because the Peeps won't want to share such small spaces,
And who can blame them?
This is the sensible you talking here,
Stop buying so much junk and
Use something else!
So I did. 
I used a cookie sheet big enough for the three kids to share.
Who needs three troll sized gardens
 Floating around the house?
No One!
 I am learning.
The first week,
The tomb was just empty:
Then on good Friday,
Which is the day observed for Christs death,
We wrapped our Jesus
(a daddy figurine we had from a dollhouse)
in cloth
(toilet paper)
then covered the tomb.

Then on Easter morning,
We made 'ressurection rolls.
Best described here
and uncovered the tomb,
removed Jesus from the cloth,
And put the empty cloth back into the tomb:

Wow what a hit!
At no extra charge to me!
Kind of made up for the rack of Lamb I bought that was too tough to chew.
So Since it is Weekend,
And since I am sort of on a blogging roll,
I am stoked to punch out
 The few unwritten ways we observe Easter.
Because the best thing ever offered to humanity
Is celebrated on this day:
New life.
On a side note,
You probably happened to notice the adorable fuzzy baby bunny in Silas' arms,
We were the proud new owners of three cuddly little yard hoppers.

That lasted for three days total.

Then had visitors.
A thieving cat and dog duo
 Came a' rambling through the neighborhood
And had their way with the poor little cotton tails.
It  was a fun three days,
And one sad traumatizing day to find them to be gone.

We are also the proud owners of many firearms.
Specifically a BB gun named

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


If you have ever tried 'sprouting' alfalfa or flax, you know how fast they shoot up.
Like withing days.....
It seems like Titus has made similar leaps and bounds.
(one hour)
And how horrible of me to not be documenting his every second?
(One day home)
All these great ideas and plans for picture taking,
and not a moment seized.
Honestly, I don't see a remedy on the horizon.
(About one month)
He loves his brothers guitar playing,
and riding on his sisters hip,
naps in the hammock,
 (about 2 1/2 months)
The best baby brother a prayer could answer:
(first story time with big brother)
(first trip to the beach)
Since the last six months has practically passed light a lightning bolt,
I thought it was only fitting to share six things about him in no order:
1. He is SO easy.
'Kick back' is the name of his game.
Loves just watching  the commotion.
His poor eyes just adjusted to the flash-kid that just happened, then it was gone. 
(first trip to the river)
2.  He looks like his Daddy.
Its true.
I hear it every day.
Everywhere I go.
Daddy is so proud because this is his only spitting image child.
He is oh so sweet and handsome.
 3. He is a Mama's boy.
Stares me down with his puppy dog eyes.
How do you walk away from that?
Let me tell ya,
You don't
With those eyes,
He may sleep in my room till he's ten.
 (first mustache)
4. He has one long curl left on top.
It's kind of reddish too.
The last of his hair from utero.
 5. He has stinky man-feet.
No getting around it.
Its impressively repulsive.
(First friend)
This friend is more than a month older. I have big babies!
6. He's a jumpy son-of-a-gun
Ever since he laid eyes on ol 'Johnny jump-up',
He's a convert.
Just makes his life that much more exciting I guess.

Wow that was surprisingly hard to choose and write about!
Everything I was going to say wasn't really about him.
Just how he makes us feel, what we do with/to him,
What we like most about him.
Suppose him to be Raggedy Andy of sorts.
Other things that come to mind is the fact that he may never crawl.
Why would you when there are 5 other people fighting over who is going to carry you EVERYWHERE?!
The Most important thing in my mind is how amazingly God answered our specific prayers with a brother. We knew it was a boy before we actually knew!
This overly coddled, larger than real life, joy giving, life bringing offshoot,
 Is an absolute
divinely hand picked by request,
 Gift of a legacy- from the Father who hears!