Are you a Soaky McSoaker?

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“The treadmill routine of the week is: washing, baking, ironing, fixing dried fruit, airing clothes, sewing, cleaning, baking and cleaning again. So it goes week after week. Eating and drinking, cooking and cleaning, scrubbing and scouring we go through life; and only lay down our implements at the verge of the gravel!…You bake, and boil, and fry, and stew; worry and toil, just as if the people’s principle business in this world was to learn how much they could eat-and eat it.” Jane G. Swissholm, Letters to Country Girls, 1853.

I love Helen Nearing’s book Simple Food for the Good Life. Filled with recipes and pithy sayings, I selected the above quote from Nearing’s book because it sums up my average day.¬†I try not to find drudgery in homemaking and consider a skill, a privilege and a science. Our world has belittled the career of motherhood and domesticity. Most of us don’t teach these skills to our children and then don’t understand why our kids can’t take care of themselves, eat horribly and have homes in disarray when they are older. My three sons are ages 22, 18 and almost 16 and they know I’m on a mission to change that. They make a mama proud. God gave me three olive shoots for a reason and in general, I like how they’re sprouting up to be competent, Jesus loving, strong men who can also throw down.

But today I want to write about pre-soaking grains and seeds literally. I am a total neophyte in this arena. A caveat, please correct any of the information I am going to share as my desire is to contribute to the discussion. Add to the conversation also, I want to learn.

But first, did you know about 15 years ago, I had a funny flax seed story published in a book? It’s true! I shall soon share. It’s about Nate, brownies and a little bit of trickery on my part.

Do you want to hear a super creepy story in the interim? I had a friend whose boyfriend had his wisdom teeth extracted. He ate pizza a few days post-surgery. A few days after that, the guy went into the bathroom and screamed to his girlfriend to come right away. She rushed right in and there he was mouth agape. He said, “@*&@!!,” pointed and she spotted it. Back where one of the wisdom teeth had once lived, a tiny sprout had grown in its place! Can you imagine what it would have been like to pull a small plant out of a hole in your mouth! I would have Instagrammed it.

If you thought the only time you sprouted a seed was before you planted it or following dental surgery (!), here are some things to know.

Sprouted seeds

Sprouting biologically activates the seed and makes the plant proteins, essential fatty acids, starches and vitamins bio-available.

Flax seeds are hard for our body to digest. They have natural enzyme inhibitors which prevent digestion. There is much to love about flax seeds – their crunch, color, flavor, even tactically, put your hand in a bag of flax seeds before and after you buy them from Whole Foods and you’ll notice their silky texture. Let’s just say I “know” someone who does this. You’d really like her. ūüėČ

Despite a flax seed’s many attributes, though I don’t need a stomach ache. My family will usually try anything I make but if they have a bad reaction or don’t like it, I’m done. They won’t revisit it. Ask them about kale cake. Gigantic epic fail. If you’re sensitive or allergic to certain grains, soak your whole grains beforehand, in a salt brine, anywhere from 7-24 hours and it will probably lessen the symptoms. Oh, and don’t ever make kale cake. Ever.

Use warm water. It coaxes the enzymes out of their little crusty shell. Don’t soak them too long or they will grow bacteria. I think I did this for you, so trust me. Last year I made a batch of granola. I was a Soaky McSoaker and soaked the oats in a mixture of keifer, coconut oil, butter and water. Recipe said overnight but I pushed it a little. This resulted in a granola which brought facial expressions reminiscent of kale cake. I fed the trash can, not the Hubs or my OS that time. Duly noted.

SueGregg.com puts it this way,¬† pre-soaking, “allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to not only neutralize the phytic acid, but also to break down complex starches, irritating tannins and difficult-to-digest proteins including gluten.”

Here are some great websites with additional information. I’m giving them mad props for their discoveries and information. They’re not quite as humorous but super helpful.

Passionatehomemaking.com

The Nourishing Gourmet

and in case you’re interested in soap nuts, which are not edible but organic, biodegradable and incredible, 100% natural laundry soap, there’s always

Olive Shoot Institute!

Let’s be Soaky McSoakers, kk?

An American mom wonders about voting

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I have some sincere questions about voting. To me, voting is a privilege and a personal responsibility but I’m really struggling about something. Maybe you can help.

“Voting is a big decision,” Ike contemplates the significance of his choice.

Cue reverse time travel machine…Twelve years ago, I took my three OS with me to vote. Our county had a kids’ voting program which I loved. It was truly adorable to see each of them check off the candidates they wanted to be in public office. Of course at the time, I influenced their decisions. They wanted my opinion which I offered but I also reminded them that it was THEIR vote ultimately. They could check any boxes they liked but just one per political office. Nate, Aaron and Ike were 12, 6 and 4 respectively and it was a big deal. We celebrated the right we ALL had to vote.

Now I have two OS of voting age. As many of you know I have a 2012 West Point graduate who is an officer in the Army. He’s also a comparative politics major. For Nate, politics is the intellectual equivalent of a bowl of slightly melted vanilla ice cream with warmed caramel sauce and sprinkles on top or a massaged kale salad depending on how you roll. I roll both ways sometimes during the same day.

And it¬†will be Aaron’s first time voting as an adult! Not that he is especially excited about either of the presidential candidates but we have long taught our OS that they must vote. It matters. I’ve been on both sides of the political aisle. The Hubs and I have cancelled each other’s votes in the past. (That doesn’t happen anymore, we are both in agreement on most political issues). I wear the “I Voted” sticker all day with pride and have even transferred the sticker to another shirt if I spilled something on the previous shirt¬†just so everyone would know that I had declared my preferences. Dare I say, I have choked back a few tears as I have left polling places, I’m not exaggerating. My grandma worked at the polls for years and instilled in us the importance of voting. She was quite proud of herself and I loved that about her.

I’m just so confused about why we don’t have to show an ID when doing this. The first time I went to vote here in my hometown, I was ready to produce my ID. It took me aback when they told me there was no need. How could that be? Couldn’t someone pretend to be me and just show up and take my “voice” away? In this digital age, it seems easier than ever. If you have to show an ID to board a plane, pick up a prescription, heck, get a Sam’s Club card, why shouldn’t people wishing to vote be required to show a picture ID?

“One day I’m going to West Point and be a comparative politics major and have huge muscles!”

I understand that a homeless person might not be able to vote if s/he didn’t have an ID. That is unfortunate. I want people who have polar opposite opinions to be able to put their voice in the mix. Still though, a homeless person would have to have some kind of identification if s/he needed social services, right? What am I missing? I just don’t get it.

Everyone should be able to vote but it’s baffling how producing a reliable form of ID prohibits a person from doing so. Honestly I see it as the opposite. Using a form of identification allows MY voice to be MINE. Your voice to be yours.

Respectful thoughts most welcome…

Five Minute Friday – Wide

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I will cherish this moment always

I think most of us have had a few bad church experiences. Some are worse than others. Some people never set a foot in a place of worship again until they’re dead. This must really anguish the Lord. One of my sayings is, “We’ve got to be better than the bar.” I mean, I have got to find more support, love and encouragement in church than if I wore a too short mini-skirt and a too-tight tank top and bellied up to the bar with all my troubles and woes. It’s one of my finest sayings! ūüôā I never hung out much at bars and no one ever came up to give me a drink when I did but getting back to the point, it is so sad when people mess up God’s plans.

So I contemplate the word “wide” on Five Minute Fridays with a sense of trepidation. The word “wide” feels sad to me right now. Deep fissures have erupted in places that mean a lot to me. I don’t want to be too specific but if you know me and there is a pang in your heart as you read this, you have correctly identified one of the “wide” areas in my life. I pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance. Without the Lord, I’m sure to botch things and sadly still stumble even though Christ lives in my heart. I love the idea of how God’s forgiveness is “wide.” I even accidentally made a Guinea Pig Girl Doll to unintentionally demonstrate that. But I prefer closeness in most other aspects of my spiritual, emotional and physical life.

This world is not my home

Many years ago, before I came to know Jesus, Mark and I were attending a church. Mark was on the “Board” at the church and they had monthly meetings. We got a new pastor and he said something one day in a sermon that offended me so much, I told Mark, probably during the service, I had it. I’m never going back to that church again. I didn’t care if he went or if he was on the board, Nate and I would never enter that church again. I meant it. I never did go back though I think I let Mark take our toddler with him a few times. Obviously, this created a lot of strife between the two of us and I never had closure. Eventually Mark left the church. It was awkward, I can’t remember if the pastor wanted to talk to us/me before the final departure. Regardless it never happened. Honestly I’m not sure if the pastor said the same thing now if it would tick me off given where I am with the Lord. I don’t think I made the right decision, I created the rift in a sense. ¬†The Hubs and I needed to be of one accord and we weren’t.

Tabitha who is now living in Nepal reminds me about Psalm 103 “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”

So this is what I pray, “Heavenly Father, could you fill this wide gap over here and the chasm over in this other place? You never disappoint and your ways are always true. Not with the spiritual equivalent of a gin and tonic but with something good and real and true?¬†I pray this not only for myself but for the many I know and love who are also hurting. Amen.”

Thoughts?

What color was your dinner?

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“Hey everybody, this is important!”

Food is on the table

Getting ready to pray

When I look at the spread before us

And notice

Hey, this is a bi-color dinner!

Quick, grab the camera!

People need to know!

Edamame – green

Massaged kale salad – verdurous with splashes of bright yellow (mango) and sage green (pepitas)

Italian quinoa salad – social butterfly yellow, green pepper green, yellow corn

This is my unintentional bi-color dinner, everybody!)

Within arm’s reach, a shaker of homemade celery powder, made in my dehydrator

Over to the side

Popcorn Рhints of soft yellow amidst the white explosions speckled with Fire Dancer seasoning

Then I realize, WHOA!

Coincidentally

The plates are

Green plate swirls

Garden spot green

Witty green

and

Optimistic yellow!

The Pyrex bowl containing the roasted kale (brown green), you ask?

Cut the Mustard gold

I love all the beautiful colors in Pyrex!

I exclaim, “Hey, guys! This is really important!

But no one else noticed,

Neither, the Hubs nor the orange hair, freckle face OS cared.

They were just hungry. Phooey.

This blog post was brought to you by the colors yellow and green and by the word observant

Find your colors at Sherwin Williams and this amazing app on Sherwin Williams ColorSnap. I didn’t know about this app until I started writing this post. But you can use¬†your smart phone to match real-world colors with paint colors. All for free!¬†You can take a picture of your dinner (like I did) and it will tell you the names of the corresponding paint colors! How cool is that!¬†

Scrubbing Bubbles and the middle school maid

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To make money for clothing and important things like makeup and Bonne Bell flavored lipgloss, I babysat and cleaned houses in middle school.

Stay away from me, Mr. Scrubbing Bubbles!

Scrubbing Bubbles was a new product and the commercials with cartooned, mustachioed scrubbing bubbles made me chuckle. Do you remember the birth of Scrubbing Bubbles or is that before your time?

Well one day, I was cleaning a shower stall. The shower door was closed and I began to coat the tile with a thick layer of Scrubbing Bubbles. As if I were attacking a blaze and holding a fire extinguisher, I doused that sucker. Every tile square received a foamy blast. I wanted to unlock all the cleaning power contained in the Scrubbing Bubbles. As an adolescent fashionista, I needed to keep my job; customer satisfaction, don’t you know.

In the shower stall with the Scrubbing Bubbles can, I prepared to remove all the goo and grime off the tile but then I began having trouble breathing. I didn’t collapse but I began to choke. Since I was a boy crazy, junior high girl, I doubt I had the wits to know to open the door. If Michael Jackson, Keith Partridge or Bobby Sherman would have come to rescue me that would have been a different story but that didn’t happen. I had an epiphany though, something in those Scrubbing Bubbles was rockin’ my world/body. With the door closed, I surely inhaled a fury of aerosol and chemicals.

Screen shot of Scrubbing Bubbles info on the Environmental Working Group

The more I read about chemicals and toxins in cleaning products, the more I wonder exactly what I breathed in that afternoon. When I use soap nuts, I don’t have anything to worry about. I use Extreme 18X¬†(which is a super concentrated version of soap nuts that goes a long way) or make some soap nut “tea” and I don’t need rubber gloves. I’m never concerned about adaquate ventilation either. Did you know that according to the Environmental Working Group, many of the Scrubbing Bubbles products are rated D or F? In my extended family, we have asthma, COPD, migraines and allergies – my loved ones don’t need to be breathing toxins any more than I did as a middle school “maid.”

Obviously I don’t have the original bottle of Scrubbing Bubbles. But this is what the label says now¬†CAUTION: EYE IRRITANT. READ BACK PANEL CAREFULLY. / CAUTION: EYE IRRITANT. Contains lactic acid, solvents and surfactants. Avoid contact with eyes, skin and clothing. Wash thoroughly after handling. May cause respiratory irritation if used with inadequate ventilation. FIRST AID: EYES AND SKIN: Immediately rinse eyes and skin with plenty of water. If irritation persists, seek medical advice. INHALATION: If breathing is affected, get fresh air. CHEMICAL HAZARD: Never use or mix with bleach-containing products or other household cleaners as hazardous fumes may be released. KEEP OUR OF REACH OF CHILDREN AND PETS.

“One day, gf, you’re gonna write about that weird time when Scrubbing Bubbles nearly jacked you up.”

Funny, isn’t it, the weird memories our minds retain? For me it was this strange encounter with a cleaning product. There are greener, safer alternatives for cleaning our bodies, homes and clothes. Soap nuts work. They are 100% organic, biodegradable and effective. Your family deserves someone to be an advocate and a savvy consumer and that’s probably you. Take a look at the products under your sink, read the labels. Look beyond what the brand name company websites tell you about the chemicals they are using. Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts. I welcome them, this is a journey. Here are two other independent reviews of soap nuts also. Check out spoonfulatatime¬†and naturallifemom. I highly recommend these websites for their wealth of information in general.

What makes you buy certain cleaning products?

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laundromat in France. Thanks to Paul Filleau for supplying this cool pic! Merci bien!

I never really considered the chemicals used in everyday cleaning supplies and laundry until January 27, 2012. That’s when I became a half-century old and my first order of soap nuts arrived.

Now I pay attention. I read labels, get angry and frankly, feel kinda duped about all the crud I have unknowingly put into my body and offered to my family without any concern.

I don’t appreciate people overwhelming me with scary facts if I’m not ready for them. Maybe you’re the same way and I totally respect that. But here’s what I want to do and I hope to be consistent.

I want to occasionally offer blog posts about cleaner, greener living and help you as my friends become more savvy, questioning consumers.

Here is the ingredient used in soap nuts…SOAP NUTS! That’s it!

The soap nuts thing intrigued me because I thought they sounded funny. Soap “nuts,” really? I’m the mama of three boys so yes, I did chuckle and you probably know why… I had never heard of such a thing. How could some soap nuts, berries from a tree in the Himalayas clean my family’s clothes? When they arrived, I was skeptical but eager to try them. Even though it was my birthday, I sacrificially scrounged up some dirties and put them to their first challenge. I’ve been a soap nut nut ever since. The concept of cleaning my clothes more naturally appeals to me as a wife, mother and consumer.

How’s this for vague product labeling? Hrmph

One thing led to another and in August, I began my own business, Olive Shoot Institute selling soap nuts and related products. It’s a weird compilation of olive shoot stuff but yeah, somehow it works.

All I wanted to do was clean some clothes but this has unleashed a passion. Armed with knowledge, maybe I can help you make informed decisions. I don’t think we should be bamboozled or especially trusting of the cleaning/beauty/personal care industry.

Here’s something to look at the next time you are getting ready to do a load of wash or clean your house. Read the list of ingredients in the product you are using. It’s pretty sad because I guarantee you, it won’t take long at all.

A quick perusal of left-over cleaning supplies still around my house led me to see this. I gathered all the products together. I turned the bottles over and over trying to find a list of chemicals/ingredients used and guess what?

I could read instructions in English, Spanish and sometimes in French, but in many instances, no details about the chemicals/ingredients were found. Why is that? It’s a $14 billion annual business for goodness’ sake! Don’t these corporations have enough money to type what is in these products? Shouldn’t consumers know? Specifically, shouldn’t YOU?

A¬†New York Times article¬†reported that¬†in January 2009, manufacturers of detergents and household cleaners voluntarily started to disclose much of what is in its cleaning products. But just this morning, I went to the grocery store to do my own “research.” And here’s what I noticed. In many cases, the actual ingredients aren’t really listed. Some have an 800 number and I guess you can inquire but they don’t list the chemicals specifically. That is stupid. Check out this popular laundry detergent and see why it got an “F” from the Environmental Working Group¬†(EWG).

So many families have loved ones suffering with childhood asthma, cancer, lung conditions, multiple chemical syndrome, auto-immune diseases, don’t we deserve to know what we are using in our homes? It’s taken me 50 years to care about this, I wish I would have started sooner.

I’d really love to hear from you. If you want soap nuts stuff, I’m your girl but I am truly curious. Why do you purchase the laundry and cleaning supplies you use? Is it price? Brand? Coupons? Smell? Effectiveness?

I look forward to hearing from you. If you have any specific subject you’d like covered or have a question, please tell me, I’ve got a million ideas but would welcome yours.

The girl with the funky arms

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Karen and her hubs

Karen is packed and ready to go to Nepal today.

Tabitha, an “ambassador” for the Guinea Pig Girl doll collection, is with her which is super exciting.

But Tabs (as her friends like to call her), almost didn’t go and that’s because she has funky arms.

I was piecing Tabitha together and fishing her legs and arms out of the side of her fabric frame

When suddenly I see her funky arms

“CRUD!” I think to myself.

Tess the original Guinea Pig Girl doll and Tabitha spend cherished time together before Tabs goes off to live in Nepal.

She looks double-jointed

Seriously

They are so funky Tabitha could be at a state fair in one of those sideshows

or a performer in Cirque du Soleil

“Wow. Tabitha’s got funky arms,” I mutter to myself.

Sitting there on my couch, fairly disgusted at my lack of sewing prowess, crestfallen.

How can I give her to Karen?

But then I heard God’s whisper as He reminds me of a truth. Karen was just a regular wife and mom and now she’s also an anti-human trafficking agent. Through Tiny Hands International, (please, please click here to read about this incredible organization), my friend will encounter many broken people. Tabitha will fit right in.

And then the Lord assured me, I’m a broken girl too. So is Karen. But we are redeemed, precious in His sight. Blameless. Holy. Pure even. In God’s eyes we are saints in fact which is quite surprising considering I’m quite familiar with my flaws. At times they are more obvious than Tabitha’s two funky fabric arms. So it’s all good.

“Let her go,” God said.

But the Lord wasn’t done with me so I espy Tabitha again.

Karen kindly offers Tabitha a few nights in her house to help transition to life in Nepal. Since they will be traveling together, it might be nice to get to know one another. Good thinking, Karen!

“Daughter, look at her funky arms and remember me.”

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

Psalm 103:11-13

Now I see this Guinea Pig Girl doll differently. Tabitha’s arms are open wide, really wide for a reason. She and Karen must to go to Nepal. Tabitha’s funky arms might bless a tiny hand. Their plane leaves in just a few hours.

Please pray for those I care about specifically Karen and JD as they are traveling to places far away this week. May their arms and hearts be stretched wide open to offer love and compassion. Let all who encounter these folks find ultimate freedom and redemption only Christ can give.

Thank you, Heavenly Father for teaching me something again today through sewing. I’m no longer embarrassed by Tabitha’s funky arms.

Five Minute Friday – Focus

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Here I am workin’ it in my “progressives” hanging with my Soldier, Nate and my goofy, orange hair, freckle face OS Ike.

I swallowed my pride this year and got bi-focals. Thankfully I waited until they began calling them, “progressives” so I was able to feel better about myself and another sign of my mortality.

I wanted to get “progressives” because I wanted to see. Yes, I have high expectations.

It was annoying to put in my contact lens (I just wear one) and then run all over the place to get my “readers” for more up-close things.

My world opened up more easily with the new glasses because I was able to see up close and far away.

Sometimes I would really appreciate spiritual progressive lenses. I see things in my personal life that are blurry. They don’t make sense, I want resolution and selfishly, I want peace and restoration. Or at least MY version of what that should look like.

And then it’s frustrating because I can’t see far away, what will happen next, how things will turn out. Turmoil close to home, with people I care about. Turmoil in the Middle East. Terrible things going on so I try to slip on any pair of “glasses” I can find but ¬†there is only one prescription that works.

This is the kind of focus we need to remember in times of trouble.

I go to God’s Word and ask Him for help. He has perfect vision and sees all things clearly. Motives, background, history, past, present and future, it all makes sense.

Today I’ll continue to do my Bible Study in Psalms. Father, help me FOCUS on YOU in this unclear earthly world.

To participate in Five Minute Fridays go here, it’s really fun.

Sew far away – Guinea Pig Girl doll memoirs

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So many beautiful faces just like this one

I had to go to the bathroom.

#1

in the outskirts of Lima, Peru

Dust-covered village, not a porta-potty in sight – understatement

so I ask my translator and soon we’re following a man to his house

Dirt steps, hollowed out rooms, feels kind of like the Flintstones

The father tells his family someone is here and they come out to briefly greet us

Yes it’s awkward

because I have to go to the bathroom

#1

Over to the side is a makeshift curtain

And I step inside and observe a hole on the ground

which I use

This was the common landscape in Lima

And soon I thank the family who has graciously offered a stranger into their house

But in the corner

over to the side

So many moments like this meeting people and sharing the love of Christ – I will never be the same

I see

a doll

that looks like it belongs in a dumpster

but it is in a house

Is this filthy doll a little girl’s toy?

That image has stayed with me, humbling me many days

Years later, I sew and I pray sometimes

“God, use my simple sewing skills for others, keep me open to your ways.”

I wish I had been making Tess the Guinea Pig Girl dolls back then

because I would have given her one

or two

or a dozen

Tess and Esther, Joy and Leah hang out together. On Friday, Tess’s friends will begin their journey to live in Madagascar.

I want the Guinea Pig Girl dolls to go places

Near and far

Mission trips

Operation Christmas Child boxes

Regular places too

To be loved

and hugged

Three of them go to Madagascar on Friday

Esther, Joy and Leah will meet the Mahafaly people 

On Saturday, Tabitha, another Guinea Pig Girl doll,  goes to Nepal with an anti human-trafficking advocate

Can you imagine?!

Although Tess will miss her greatly, she’s excited for Tabitha and her big move to Nepal.

To bless a little girl or a hurting soul

In my own comfortable land or continents away

My sewing machine feels happy, just wish “we” would have started sooner.

“Heavenly Father, mightily use my human brothers and sisters in Christ. Protect and anoint every aspect of their journey. And for my fabric friends, Lord, whoever receives one of these little dolls, may she receive it with the love with which it was made and sense the everlasting love which only comes from you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Read more about my friends’ travels here and here, I hope to have some pictures of the GPG in their new homes.

To order a Guinea Pig Girl doll, check out my website at oliveshootinstitute.com.

Five Minute Friday – celebration time, come on!

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As much as I miss the high-pitched voices of my OS when they were little –

As much as I cling to those chubby snuggles and hilarious toddler sayings,

I’ve got to say, there are things about this stage of life that have perks!

“Woo hoo! Gonna take my beautiful sweetheart out for a date night!”

I got a text from our oldest OS on our 25th anniversary. A $100 gift certificate to Ruth’s Chris was on its way!

He and his brothers had pitched in to make this possible

When I was a kid, I remember celebrating my parents’ wedding anniversary but my OS haven’t done this before.

2/3 of my OS even publicly acknowledged our special day on their facebook pages and it sincerely made me happy.

Because it’s not like we made 25 years easily.

In the past, we threw the “L” word and the “D” word with regularity. When my oldest OS was a toddler, we took him with us to the marriage counselor.

He played with a little toy on the floor as the Hubs and I sat on separate couches. We were at impasse. Would we stay together or would we go our separate ways? As we celebrate this hallmark anniversary, I can still see that toe-headed fella on the carpet. He is now an Army officer.

I began reading the card and then Ike took it from my hands and said he wanted to read it out loud to me. ‚̧

So as the orange hair, freckle face OS stood in front of me (the Hubs had to go to DC¬†to attend to a speeding ticket (!) he got on the way home from Nate’s graduation from West Point), Ike presented me with a homemade anniversary card.

It’s unlikely Ike will be a great artist in the future but we love him anyway. I love these goofy cards and I really, really hope I don’t look like this in real life!

Funny how his drawings look kinda like Tess the Guinea Pig Girl dolls

Here’s what he said,

“Dear Mom and Dad,

Thank you for setting a wonderful example for us on what a faithful marriage is. Raising 3 great children and the last one possibly being the great is not easy to do.   You have shown us what leadership and sacrifice is and have blessed us by walking beside us in our Christian walks. We love you and thank you for the love you have given us. 

Isaac, Nate and Aaron 

PS. Thanks for making us”

Ike has always been such a funny guy!

Ike’s drawings look quite similar to my Tess the Guinea Pig Girl doll collection, don’t you think? Not sure what to do with that!

Jesus alone has salvaged the Hubs and me. Individually, the Lord has also redeemed my children’s lives when they repented of their sins and asked Christ into their hearts. Aaron and Ike exist today because of the mighty work Christ has done in this really human family.

My OS know our story and they see our flaws on a daily basis. And they celebrated our marriage anyway. I’m looking forward to a festive date night.

Here’s the link if you want to see more of the Guinea Pig Girl doll collection!