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Sammy and Eli both love to hide in a nook of our kitchen or snuggle in there and play. Sammy often requests that I take pictures of them and acts very cute for the pictures. After they’re taken, he always wants to look them over. I think his ego might be getting too big…but he’s too cute when he’s in that mood to let the photo opportunity pass by!
Eli’s tickled about something
Cracking up over the kiss

We went to our first Salem Red Sox game last night with Charlie’s company. We all had a great time! Sammy and Eli were pretty interesting…they both loved the experience, but for different reasons.
Can you guess what Eli spent his evening doing?
Sammy was actually pretty focused on the game
If you look closely, you can see the Cracker Jack under Eli’s shoe that he’s trying to eat rather than step on. He spilled his bag and we spent the rest of the time (sort of) trying to keep him from eating off the ground. I guess it’s all part of the baseball experience.
Cheering on the mascot!
We almost had a group shot, but then Sammy decided to hide behind Charlie and crawl away?!? Toddlers are weird.

Sammy, Eli and I were getting ready to head out to Target tonight when I remembered we had a burned out bulb in our bathroom. Sammy was inspired by this, I guess, so he got his guitar and said, “I’m going to sing a song.” He does this sometimes, but he was really feeling it tonight and his song included more than just a word or two repeated over and over.

Sammy’s song:
Sometimes they light up
And sometimes they make my eyes bright!
Lightbulbs, lightbulbs, yeah!

I was very impressed, and sad that I don’t have a camera recording at all times to catch these priceless moments.


Today is Mother’s Day, and Thursday was Gretchen’s 30th Birthday. In honor of her at this special time I have decided to lavish praise on her for some of the things that she does that I, and her ungrateful children, rarely if ever recognize:

1. Recently she started babysitting a little girl named R’roeona that lives in our neighborhood. She met a young mom in our neighborhood who was about to begin her final semester of high school but was unable to find someone to take care of her 4 month old daughter during the day. Consequently, she was planning to drop out of school. Gretchen offered to watch this girl’s baby five mornings a week for the rest of the school year so she could graduate. Anyone who has had small children at home can understand what it means to willingly add an infant to the mix with our two “spirited” boys. And not only has she enabled this young lady to finish her high school diploma, but they’re also developing a very nice relationship. The other day they went to the park together and just talked for several hours while the kids played.

2. Almost a year ago I quit my easy and relatively high paying job to work at a restaurant. The change in schedule and compensation has been drastic and she has been nothing but supportive. My schedule is completely unpredictable and it’s almost impossible for us to make plans more than a week ahead of time or travel at all. I’m either gone or completely wiped out at home most of the time now, and it’s not too unusual for me to get called in at odd hours or on my day off. She has had to make significant changes to the way we spend money (there’s a lot less of it to spend), and she’s had to adjust to everything in our lives revolving around my sometimes ridiculous schedule. She does all of this without complaining, and she’s quick to encourage me about my job when I’m feeling discouraged. In fact, she hardly ever complains about anything. I know that she’ll read this and say “Oh yes I do!”, but she’s wrong. She is selfless in her attitude, quick to forgive and overlook my mistakes, and consistently gracious about my many faults. If you know me well at all then you’ll agree that I am not an easy person to be around sometimes. The fact that such a sweet and genuinely caring person as Gretchen can live with me everyday is pretty fantastic.

3. We live in an old run down house and yet she manages to make it a comfortable home for us. It’s over 100 years old and sometimes it feels like the walls are falling down around us. It’s hard to clean and even harder to keep clean. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter and there aren’t any closets. She is constantly picking up after the boys and wiping/scrubbing/scraping things that they’ve been abusing. We have no money to spend on repairs or decor, but she still makes it feel like something special. Somehow she makes all the flaws and half finished projects just seem like “character”. So much so that now I have a tough time imagining us living anywhere else.

4. She’s a good cook and she’s getting better all the time. She makes cookies for me to take to work and share with all my employees. They love it and always talk about how great her baking is.

5. My Mom lives here in Roanoke just a few miles away from us. Gretchen cares a lot about her and treats her like her own mother. She stays in touch with her and visits and lets her spend plenty of time with the boys. Truthfully, she treats my mother better than I do.

6. She runs and does yoga just about everyday despite the serious demands our kids make on her time. She is in great shape, especially considering that she has been pregnant for most of the last four years. She can leave the house and run for miles, all while pushing 75+ pounds of children and stroller. While I’m getting fatter and balder all the time she is looking younger everyday.

7. She let me buy a big ugly truck that she hates just because the boys and I thought it looked cool. She selflessly continues to drive a very uncool and mom-ish minivan.

8. She handles our finances carefully and thoughtfully without being a Nazi about it. Beyond transporting my paychecks to the house I have nothing to do with managing our money at all. She takes care of all the bills, all the budgeting, all the savings, all the taxes, etc. Our income has varied greatly during our marriage, as have our financial needs, but our standard of living has remained pretty consistent thanks to her careful saving and sacrificial spending. I don’t know many families that live on one income right now, and even fewer who make as little as I do. She isn’t too stingy or tight-fisted though, and she always finds money for us to be generous when the opportunity arises or spend a little on ourselves when we need to relax.

9. She is fun to be around. She has a good sense of humor and she laughs a lot. She likes to be silly and sing and dance around with me and the boys. She’s spontaneous and willing to try new things, even if the last fifteen things I suggested we do ended in disaster. She has good taste in movies and television and she likes to watch the same episodes of The Office or The Wire over and over again like I do. We can spend hours talking together on the porch or playing Scrabble or just doing a jigsaw puzzle together. I am never bored with her and I always look forward to being together.

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RSS Verse of the day

  • Philippians 2:13
    For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.