May 31, 2010


Karen and the girls came over last night.
The older girls are in Missoula visiting Aunt Bekah, and I told Karen she could leave three of them with me overnight.

I overheard Emma and Hannah talking about why in the world Karen was so excited about only having one little girl to take home with her.

Hannah: "Maybe because the house will stay cleaner longer."

Emma: "No, probably because she won't hear us asking for popsicles all day."

Just a minute later, we all agreed on the real reason Karen was so excited.
Lily walked up to me with poop smeared all over her hands, rolling it between her fingers.....

"Ah poop, Sunny?"

Lil + poop = gross

May 27, 2010

Jack and Mary Ann

I've been working at The Highlands every summer for the last five years.
My favorite thing about my job is the people I work with. They're my friends, a family.
I've always hoped we'd be able to talk Jack and Mary Ann into coming to church, but I never expected them to come this far.
I admit, I'm faithless sometimes...

They came on Mother's day for the first time. They loved it, and have been back every Sunday morning since.
They love Tim's preaching.
They asked for Bibles. Jack reads his Bible every night before bed. He's made it thru John and is working thru Acts.
The other day Jake was in a mood, and I complained to Jack (I was joking, Jake). Jack said, completely serious, "Jake probably didn't read his Bible this morning. It makes such a difference."
Sorry for throwing you under the bus, Jake, but you have to admit, it's pretty awesome that Jack would say that.
They ask questions. They want to know everything.
They compare it to the Catholic church they were brought up in.
They want to tithe, be baptized, and start participating in church functions.
Jack even hummed during the song service:)
They are excited about all the new stuff they're hearing. Like, way excited!

I'm overwhelmed by them.
Glad to see their curiosity, their happiness.
Jack said he feels like he's been looking for something for a long time, and has finally found it.
He told me," I believe in God, Jesus, the cross, and all that. I know you guys believe in saved, I'm not there yet, but I see it coming for me. It's in my future sometime soon."
Mary Ann said everything just feels better now.

All I know, is that this is a miracle.

Jack and Mary Ann, you two have no earthly idea how full of happiness my heart feels when I see you guys on my pew.
I love helping you find your spot in the Bible (I will help you find tabs:), and seeing you listening so closely to Tim's preaching.
You make us all amazed.

May 21, 2010

My happy

Moma, Abi, Daddy, and Shelly

Shelly and kids, on the beach

Jason and Jenny, enjoying the night life:)

Curly Top, aka Mik

Me and little brother, Jackie

Marianna, Abi, Joshua, and Joy

Tim baptizing Lucy

Leah's piano recital......she was one of the best players there

Ladylike Hannah

Lily, chillin' with her green beans

Princess Emma

Molly and teeth!

Karen, my sister friend

These are my happy.
Along with:
 Watermelon, sunshine, fast internet, smiles for only me, Godiva chocolate.
Big fat kisses, big fat hugs, big fat cherry limeades, big fat bank accounts (which I've never had, but heard they're nice).
My church family, my friends, my job, fried chicken, new summer dresses, Adam's sense of humor.
Soup, people who cook soup, people who cook period.
Surprises, watching people at Walmart, not crying, no tan lines, getting a bigger paycheck than expected.
Et cetera........

May 20, 2010


Emma got a little parental discipline the other day.
She was being pretty bad (hard to imagine, I know).
She came up to Karen about 30 minutes later.
Huge crocodile tears pouring down her face, nostrils flared in self-pity.

"Mom", she sniffed, "I don't think I belong in this family."   Cue hiccups.

"Why not?"

"Because I don't like when you punish me", she wept.

Later on, Tim asked her where she planned on moving to.
She said either Bayley's or Traci's.
Tim told her if Chris and Traci are good parents, they would punish her for being bad too.

Emma has given up on the new family idea.
She decided it was a losing cause.

She got these in one of her Easter eggs. She looks confused. I would too.

May 08, 2010

my moma

Mother's Day.....
Where do you start with a mother who just is?

When I was around five or six I fell off a 6 ft. fence at my Aunt Sandi's house.
Face first.
Onto a concrete sidewalk.
It hurt. Quite a bit.
I climbed it because I thought it would be fun to be up so high. And my cousin, Marty, was watching. Peer pressure is like a gun to the head. I had to do it, but once I got up there, I was horrified by the height. The only way down was to fall.
So I did.
Funny, my common sense hasn't improved much.
Anyway, Moma rushed me to the family doc. He had to pick each piece of concrete out of my forehead with a needle. It was a big needle and I was scared. I stopped breathing.
Doc looked down at me with his squinty Asian eyes, and told me to look at Moma.
So I did. And in her brown eyes I could see my next breath.
She said, "Just look at me and breath real deep."
I didn't notice the needle anymore.
Moma had me, and I was fine.

I was going on five when Abi was born. We lived in New Boston, PA. Our house was really tall and skinny, five stories.
I stayed home all day with Moma, Jackie, and Abi while the others went to school.
The ritual was that when the older guys got home from school, we would all have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich together.
What four yr. old doesn't look forward to that?
On this particular day though, I didn't get a pb&j.
Moma was taking a nap. Weird. She never did that, but Abi had only just been born like two days before so....
I heard Abi crying frantically upstairs, and wanted to help Moma out.
So I went up to her room, dragged her out of the crib, and took off down the stairs.
I met Mother coming up the stairs. She looked at me standing there, clinging to the railing with one hand and Abi hanging like a sack of flour under the other arm.
She slowly stalked up towards me, took the baby away, and grabbed the hair on the back of my head. Grabbed it hard.
"You will go to your room now. You will not have a snack with the rest of us. DO NOT. EVER. LET ME CATCH YOU BRINGING HER DOWN THE STAIRS ALONE AGAIN!!! Go."
I was stupid, but not dumb.
I went.
She had insanity in her eyes.

We were always broke when I was growing up.
I never knew it though. Moma didn't act like we had nothing. She made do.
One Christmas before I was born, Moma wanted to get a Christmas tree, but she couldn't.
Dad wanted the money for something else. Typical guy.
Moma was stubborn though.
She figured, well fine me.
She pulled out the old ironing board and decorated it.
Lights, colored balls, tinsel.
Wrapped up the presents and put them underneath.
I have no doubt my dad felt like a heel on Christmas morning, looking at that ironing board.
And I have no doubt Moma was giving him her stubborn look too. Lips thinned down, chin pushed forward a bit, and brown eyes scolding.
I wish I had been there.

When I was seven, Bro. Lutrick worked for my dad quite a bit.
He was over one time when I pushed my Moma too far.
I don't remember what I did, but she sent me to "The Room" to wait for her. Ever notice how when it's spanking time, they don't just say the room? It's The Room. Capital letters, and a deeper, slower voice. The Room suddenly goes from being the place were you cuddle up with Mom, to the place of darkness and evil purging.
I hated spankings. I didn't get them very often.
Moma came in, pulled the old ceder board out of the drawer, and told me to bend over.
I was mortified that she would spank me with Bro. Lutrick there.
I went to my knees, hands clasped together. Begging with all I had.
"Please, please, please, please, pleeeease don't spank me, Moma! I love you. I won't do it again. Want me to wash the dishes for you? Brush your hair maybe? Start doing my own laundry?"
The tears streamed down my face. Profusely. A torrent.
Moma plopped down on the bed and laughed. She laughed so hard. Just sitting there, laughing and holding that board.
I was so relieved, I was safe.
I sucked down my tears, stood up, and went closer to her.
Big one mistake.
Just as I started to say I love you again, she grabbed my arm.
Chucked me over the end of the bed and spanked me hard.
I was astonished.
She was still laughing.

Every morning for as long as I can remember, I would get up in the mornings and look for Moma first.
She would almost always be in the same place.
On the living room couch, curlers in her hair, cup of Folgers in her hand, wearing her red checkered robe.
Reading her Bible.
Every time I saw her, I felt safe.

Moma's always been the glue, the resting place, the one to comfort us.
She taught me to love the outdoors. To love plants and flowers.
She tried to teach me to cook and sew. She taught me what it meant to be a lady.
She taught me to be faithful to my church.
She showed me what true unselfishness is.
She taught me how to love.
I  heart you, Moma.
I'm glad you had me for your's.
I love you because you loved me first.

May 04, 2010

happy birthday karen

Dearest Karen,

You're my heart friend.
My sister,
my mentor,
my conscience.

Because of you, I feel loved.

You're my ear to talk to,
my shoulder to lean on,
my tissue when I'm crying.

Because of you, I don't want to fail.

You're my reminder to get things done,
my nudge in the right direction,
my kick in the butt when I'm bad.

Because of you, I laugh.

You're the innocent,
the pure,
the clean.

Because of you, I have a home.

You're the one I stay up with until midnight, just talking about nothing,
the one I share my chocolate with,
the one I sit at the table with; eating a bowl of cereal, reading Baby Blues.

You're the one I get mad at for making me go shopping for so long,
the one I want to see when I'm sad,
the one I want to talk to when I'm mad.

You're the one I want to protect from stupid people,
the one who's side I will always take,
the one who's testimony made me want to get saved.

You've been the best sister God could've ever thought up. He used all His good when He made you.
I wish I had better words to describe what you mean to me.
I wish I could say how much I love you.
Three words don't seem enough, but they'll have to do.

I love you.

May 01, 2010

half a dozen

Karen decided to go shopping today.
With all six girls.
By herself.

*Impressed silence*

I could just stop there.
I think I could safely say we're all awed.

Anyway, Leah sent me these texts while they were gone.

Leah: hey sunny mom is having a hard time right now.
could you please think of nice things 2 do for her and tell me please :(
i'm really sad. i thought maybe a spa.
oh i could grab my spa stuff at the house.

Me: why are you sad? because mom is upset?
is mom just stressed with all the shopping and running around?

Leah: well emma dropped her hamburger on hannah's pants.
we went to krispy kreme and hannah and emma didn't like their donuts.
so that made mom pretty mad.

Me: yeah that would hurt my feelings too.
just make sure you help mom out for now:)
she's just stressed.

Leah: emma put her hamburger in the trash too.
i need your help.

At this point I thought I should call Karen.
I asked her if she wanted to come over to my place for dinner and a movie.
So she could relax.
" Yes, but I have to go now because I'm in the check-out line and Molly is trying to climb out of her seat. She has a poopy. And I have three kids in the buggy, the one on the bottom is trying to pull the buggy along with her hands. Stop doing that!"

Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them......
~Psalm 127:3-5