Wacky Things My Kids Have Said: #5


You know you live in a Slavic country when your 5-year-old points to a picture of a group of world-famous cartoon characters from the Hundred-Acre Wood and says,

"Look, Mommy! Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger and Piglet and Igor!"

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Other wacky things my kids have said.

Come On In!

Boys creating chaosI just had an epiphany. Why is it that it bothers me when guests drop by unexpectedly, and I haven't had a chance to clean the apartment beforehand? I've never questioned the embarrassment that fills me as I hastily move piles of unfolded laundry to make room on the couch, while clearing toys off the floor by kicking them toward the wall, before I run to the bathroom to make sure that no one has peed on the floor or left traces of poop in the toilet bowl since the last time I was in there. I've never questioned that embarrassment, until today. After all, what in the world have I got to be embarrassed about? I have three preschool boys at home, for crying out loud! Of course my home is a perpetual mess! Who am I trying to fool?

And that's when I had my epiphany. Continue reading

The House is for People

We recently had lunch at the home of a friend. When we entered she told us that we didn't need to take off our shoes, because her floor wasn't very clean. She said this matter-of-factly, without a hint of embarrassment or apology. When we still removed them because we felt awkward about wearing shoes inside, she suggested that we don houseslippers. We did, and she immediately gave us a tour of her house, making us feel at home. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch while our kids and her 5-year-old son played inside and out in the expansive yard.

The house and grounds boasted two cats, three kittens, one dog, a pen of chickens, and two flocks of geese, including a bunch of goslings. After we finished eating, our hostess showed us her chickens and collected ten eggs to send home with us, then she walked us to her vegetable garden, where she harvested some radishes and green onions for us. It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon, and we didn't mind her dirty floors one bit. As we were leaving, she said something that has stuck in my mind. Continue reading

Making Memories


I remember one evening when my sister and I were young. We were staying with our grandparents for the summer, and Grandpa was to put us to bed while Grandma was out at a church function. But after we got ready for bed and had climbed the stairs to the loft where we slept, instead of tucking us in, praying with us, and rubbing our backs as he usually did, Grandpa said, "Let's make a memory." I asked what that meant, and he explained that it meant doing something with people you love so that you could look back and remember it later. Continue reading

Kids Are People Too

Yesterday we had seven children at our home. Five boys and two girls. Ages 1, almost 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I wish I had taken a picture, but I was so busy trying to keep order, cook, and retain a semblance of internal calm that it never entered my mind that the experience might make a good blog post and I would need pictures. The almost-2-year-old, 4-year-old, 6-year-old, and 7-year-old belonged to another family, and their parents were out of town for the day, so my husband and I got to practice large-family parenting skills for twelve hours. I'm so grateful that my husband was around to help out, because I'm not really good with kids. Continue reading

Wacky Things My Kids Have Said: #4


This morning after I put my youngest down for a nap, I curled up on the couch with my Bible. This ritual is one of my favorite parts of the day. Samuel and Kiyoshi were playing quietly, because by now they know that when Mommy is reading the Bible, they are not to disturb her. Or so I thought. Before I was halfway through, Kiyoshi began to bounce around my little retreat, making all sorts of little boy noises. I put aside my reading for a bit to have the following exchange:

Me: Kiyoshi, what is Mommy doing right now?

Kiyoshi: Reading the Bible.

Me: And what do you need to do when I'm reading the Bible?

Kiyoshi: Flush the toilet?


I just want to know―how would you have responded to that one?
I have to confess that I laughed. It just burst out before I could stop it!

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I would be honored to have the privilege of encouraging you on a regular basis!

Other wacky things my kids have said.

Combatting Guilt . . . and Dirty Windows

It's a beautiful spring day here in Western Ukraine. Nevermind that the temperature is hovering right around freezing–the sky is blue, and the sun is bright. It seems appropriate, as here in the Eastern Orthodox world, we'll be celebrating Easter this coming Sunday, April 15. But as much as I love the celebration of Christ's victory over death, this week always has the capacity to fill me with guilt. That's because this Thursday is Chystyy Chetver, or "Clean Thursday," in English. You see, at some point in the history of the Orthodox Church, someone decided that it was a sin to have a dirty home on the day of Christ's crucifixion, and the tradition of Clean Thursday was born. This week Ukrainian women will labor feverishly to ensure that their homes are spotless by Good Friday, with the majority of this spring cleaning taking place on Thursday. If you took a walk in our neighborhood this Thursday, I guarantee that you'd see many people busy washing their windows. In fact, as I sit here typing, I can see one industrious neighbor already hard at work on hers, and it's only Tuesday. 

To help you understand my guilt, I have to let you in on a secret. I don't do windows. I don't mean that I dislike window washing or that I'm too lazy to do it or even that I'm too busy to make it a priority, although perhaps all those statements have an element of truth. No, what I mean is that at some point after having children, I made a calculated decision to stop washing windows. I still clean up the little fingerprints and wet nose art that appear on the inside of our windows, but I only wash the outsides of windows that open into our apartment or give onto a balcony, and in our current living situation, those surfaces comprise only about 50% of the total area of windowpanes. As for the other 50%? Well, I guess I just count on summer thunderstorms to keep them clean enough that they won't become a complete eyesore.

Why do I do this?

Continue reading

Ranting and a Bit of Vinegar

I promise this post will get around to being pertinent to mommies, but first I just have to get a little something off my chest? Okay? I guess I just need a sympathetic ear. Thanks.

Two nights ago an acquaintance called my husband and asked if he could see us. Though it's not unusual for people to want to come over and talk (my husband is a pastor, after all), this guy attends a different church, so we were curious and maybe a little puzzled. It's not like he doesn't have his own pastor. When George asked why he wanted to come over, he said that he just wanted to "bless us." We were a bit nervous, since he was so vague about his intentions, but we set a date and waited.

He came this morning. He started by giving us a thoughtful and valuable gift, and I relaxed. Then he began to tell us, sometimes with tears in his eyes, about different ways that God had worked in his life and about how we had been a blessing to him. He even shared a few Bible verses. I had just settled back in my seat for a leisurely and pleasant conversation, when he said it.

"I'm a businessman, and there's this company . . . "

Continue reading

Wacky Things My Kids Have Said: #3

I started this series of funny quotes from my kids many months ago, but then I stopped posting my children's bizarre comments after #2, even though I had several others in the queue. And really, many of them are worth sharing. So here, for your reading enjoyment, is the continuation of
Wacky Things My Kids Have Said.

Kiyoshi hugging his bear on the toilet

Kiyoshi, age 2: "Look! The poops is hugging each other in the toilet!"

(Ahem, this quote had nothing to do with the hugging in the above picture.
He was really talking about his poop in the toilet.
I didn't look to see if they were actually hugging or not.)

If you enjoyed this, please consider subscribing here.
I would be honored to have the privilege of encouraging you on a regular basis!

Other wacky things my kids have said.