Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Anyone who knows me very well knows that I'm not much of a pet person. Unfortunately, we have a pet. Anyway, Luke got his dad's love for animals, not mine lack thereof. So I wasn't surprised when I noticed him standing at the windowsill one day quietly talking to a ladybug he'd found. He told me its name was Ladybug the Tramp. Later, when he came out of his bedroom and closed the door, I asked what he was doing. He said, "Shhh, Ladybug the Tramp is sleeping." He'd tucked it into his bed. He went in to check on it later and told me with a chuckle, "He pooped on my bed!"

This kid cracks me up. On another pet-related note, my friend Bridget gave him one of those little creatures that you put in water and it expands. It was a turtle and Luke liked watching it grow. When we took him out of the water, Luke said something about his turtle named Soggy. What an appropriate name:)

Sibling Moments

Yes they are in a box, but aren't they cute?!

We moved Norah into a big girl bed in early November. She was very excited about it. Luke wanted to read a story to her.

Imagination at Work

When we were visiting my parents, I found the kids in this corner of the bedroom they sleep in. They had gathered a bunch of pillows on the floor and put the air mattress on top to make a "car." They were driving it and told me they'd get me a cherry Coke:)

I love Luke's imagination.

All Wrapped Up

This is how gift wrapping went when I was trying to get just a couple things wrapped...


A few years ago, the Tompkins side of the family decided that during our once-a-year Thanksgiving celebration, we would add some Christmas in too, hence the name Thanksmas. We've changed it up a little each year.

This year we had dinner out at the Casino Aztar, which is great because I didn't have to do any cooking or cleaning:) Then we went back to Grandma Tompkins' retirement home and had a Christmas celebration and played games.

Bryan's dad Geoff made it to the festivities but Stacy wasn't feeling well. The kids had so much fun hanging out with their grandpa. It didn't take them long to warm up at all. It was great to see the whole family.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

My Own Little Linus

Luke was in his first Christmas program this weekend. It was the Christmas story, complete with Joseph, Mary, shepherds, angels and wise men. At practice yesterday, Luke fussed and threw a fit because he didn't like his burlap costume. I finally ended up getting him to cooperate somewhat by bribing him with a Hot Wheels when we went to the store later. I wasn't sure how the actual performance was going to go.

Luckily, Luke's friend Logan wanted to come see the program, so Luke was really excited about that. And we told him Logan could come over and play for a while after the program if he cooperated. It totally worked. He wore his costume and carried his bunny and a car for security:) He could've been cast as a statue. He barely moved the entire time. After the performance, people asked me if we had drugged him!

He did a great job. Later when I was cleaning the play room, I overheard Lucy say to Linus on "A Charlie Brown Christmas" - "...and what kind of shepherd has a stupid blanket?!" Ours did:)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Three Little Turkeys

Luke, Norah and Audrey at Grandma's house
Thanksgiving weekend
Luke and Norah love playing with their cousin Audrey. Norah likes to put her doll in Audrey's car seat and in the baby swing. They all had fun hanging out together.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lots of Leaves

This was our idea of a good time a few Sundays ago on a beautiful November day. Fun!

Little Pepsi Man

This morning Luke casually said, "I miss Daddy. I want him to come home from Pepsi."
I thought Pup would appreciate that so I texted him and told him. He called me and said that he had to go out to the Expo Center to fill up machines but there wasn't much work to do out there. He said that Luke could go out there with him for a little bit.

Meanwhile, I told Luke he was going out to help Daddy at Pepsi. He said, "Do I need to wear a Pepsi shirt?" So I found him a navy fleece like Pup's navy Pepsi fleece.

I dropped Luke off at the Expo Center with Luke and he and his daddy worked together for a while. They looked so cute walking together in their navy jackets, Luke just chatting away.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


For Halloween this year, Luke dressed up as Max from Where the Wild Things Are and Norah dressed up as a cow. We took Luke to see the new Wild Things movie and although it was a bit intense, he liked it. He was really into being Max as we trick-or-treated around the neighborhood. He howled at every house as we left. Norah learned the word cow this month as we talked about Halloween. As I got her costume out of the closet today she said "MOO!" Very cute.

Rain Rain Go Away

It's been raining like crazy this week. Our basement flooded 3 times in 1o days. Like standing water flooded, not just got damp. Yikes. We think it's fixed now, but still... What a mess.

Anyway, after several consecutive days of rain and wishing I could splurge for galoshes for the kids, I got out what we had as we headed over to a friend's house Friday. Norah wore winter boots and a strawberry raincoat. Luke got to wear mud boots that his friend Sam handed down to him.

Finally Fall

This week was really rainy here, but when the sun came out and we went outside, the ground was covered with beautiful yellow and orange leaves. Our street looked amazing. I love this time of year - it's just too short!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Norah the Little Momma

When Nic and Audrey visited this week, Norah was really helpful. Nic called her the Little Momma. She would throw diapers away for Nic or pat Audrey's back when she was upset. It was really cute.

Luke always enjoys Audrey's company too. This morning I had Audrey in my bed with me after I fed her a morning bottle and Luke crawled into bed with us. He just kept saying to Audrey, "You crack me up." That girl has an older brother in Luke whether she wants one or not I think!

Time with my sis

Nic and Audrey came to visit for a couple days this week. I really enjoy the relationship my sister and I have. She's one of the few people in the world I can be totally honest, frank, giddy, grumpy, whatever around and still feel like she loves me. We can talk about anything, vent, cry, laugh about stupid things, and mostly just sit around and enjoy our kids together. It just takes a sonic cherry coke to make us both happy. It's always fun to be around someone who loves your kids as much as you do:)

Autumn Days

Today was a truly beautiful fall day here in Murray. It seems like the leaves changed overnight (or maybe I just noticed:)). We had plans to go to Malaika's 3rd birthday party and to the church fall party. The day was perfect for playing outside, taking hayrides and being with friends.
The kids loved decorating pumpkins at Malaika's party, then eating cake! They surprised us by not wanting to take a hayride though. That would've gone better if one of us had been on with them.
After the party, we walked home and the kids took a nap. Then we went out to the Reinhardts home for CCC's fall party. The kids had a lot of room to run and play. We ALL went on the hayride this time and it was really fun. Luke and Norah made some new friends that used to go to CCC. It was a fun time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rainy Day Play

We stayed in almost all day today. I don't think Norah has been feeling good, but the dr. couldn't find anything ailing her. She did say to not take Nor out for a couple days. When I found out that Pierson, who the kids had been playing with yesterday, had the flu, I was glad to stay in.
We made some roads with these favorite blocks. Then Luke wanted to get inside the box. Then Norah had to get in of course.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pottying Outside

Sometimes it's just easier to bring the potty to the kid than the kid to the potty.

Uno in the Tent

Pup put his tent up in Luke's room today as a treat to Luke. It's really big and Luke is enjoying it. He took a nap in there and when he got up I noticed he'd filled the inside pockets of the tent with his cars. We played Uno in there later. Luke won!

I would really like my kids to be board game players. We played dominoes at Aaron's house recently and taught Luke Uno a couple weeks ago. We have Chutes and Ladders but that takes some patience for Luke. He likes Memory, which is one of my favorites. He's really pretty good at puzzles; we enjoy doing those together.
I love just sitting down and doing that stuff together.

Sneaking Cake

Luke found this box of lemon cake in the fridge that Pup had been snacking on and just leaving open in the fridge. I'd caught him getting bites of it a couple times. Well, the other day when I took a bathroom break, I heard him in the fridge and knew he was getting a bite of cake. When I got out of the bathroom, I found him under Norah's crib with the box of cake and a jug of milk!

Sweet Moments

Luke and Norah love their baby cousin Audrey. Nic and Brad brought Audrey for her first visit in August. We all went swimming at Bridget's pool and had a big time!


These are some of the kids' friends. Luke and Norah spend a lot of time Cate. Kristin and I walk almost every morning, so the kids have seen each other almost every day for their whole lives! The hammock picture also has Evalyn in it. The kids love hanging out with her too.

The Carousel

These pictures are some of my favorite from our trip to St. Louis. The kids hadn't ever been on a carousel. If you get to the zoo when it opens, you can ride the carousel for free the first hour!

St. Louis - The Four of Us

We took a vacation to St. Louis in September and had a blast with the kids. We went during the week and it was great! We knew the kids would have a blast just playing in our hotel room and swimming in the indoor pool. After we got settled in our room, we drove to downtown St. Louis and ate dinner at The Spaghetti Factory. We were the first ones to be seated for dinner and the hostess let us sit in the trolley - Luke was thrilled!

Then we walked down to the arch. It was really pretty down there. The kids were happy to have a place to run their cars around. When we got back to the hotel, the kids were ready to swim.

The next day we went to the zoo. It was a gorgeous day. I was so excited to watch the kids see all the animals in real life. Luke was hoping to see the elephants and rhinos. Unfortunately the rhinos were asleep somewhere we couldn't see them. But we did see the elephants. And Luke really enjoyed the snake house. Yuck! Norah really liked the fish.

That night we got Little Caeser's pizza (yum!) that we never get to have in Murray. And the kids swam again.

The next day we went to the Science Center. We got there a bit too early so we played at the Science Park outside. The discovery room inside was especially for Luke's age and had lots of neat things to play with.
It was nice to take a vacation and come home not needing another one because we'd been too busy.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Another Boundary

I've made another boundary, one that I foresee will be harder to keep than my shopping one. This boundary is an answer to my unhappiness with my body. Nearly every naptime for 3.5 years I have sat down to relax with a snack. I think my momma roll is definitely being kept alive by this terrible habit. It's a terrible habit because I always want something chocolate or sweet (not carrots or celery or anything nutritious) and because it's basically just a reward to myself for getting through half a day! So, I'm going to try to replace this snack with blogging. Or reading or something. But blogging would keep my hands busy and solve the other problem I have of not having enough opportunity to blog! We'll see... If many days go by without a blog entry, feel free to call and interrogate me with what I've been doing with my time:)


Yesterday at church, I listened to the last of a 4-session conference by Norm Wakefield on marriage. The first three sessions were good, but certain points from the last one have really stuck with me. He talked about idolatry in a way that I had to really work at understanding. He said that anytime we are trying to get something out of others that is something God should be supplying, we are idolizing. This took a while to sink in but the more he talked, the more I got it. He pointed out that we manipulate and control people with our words, actions, etc. to get what we want, and when we don't get what we want, we don't really want to invest in them anymore. This really spoke to me concerning some of my closest relationships. He talked about how he and his wife were headed toward divorce after 7-8 years of marriage because they had been carving on each other and manipulating one another for years. He defined carving as the times when you use positive things like smiles, compliments, acts of service or negative things like malice, anger, pouting to get what you want. Of course the positive things can be very positive if they're not being used to get what you want.

All this left me with a lot to ponder and I was thankful for that. But one example in my own life really stood out. Last week, a few days of the week during Luke's naptime, he'd nonchalantly wander out of his room to find me reading on the couch. "What's up, Mom?" he's say. To which I would answer, "You need to be taking a nap." Then,"I want to give you a kiss." While I get my kiss, he hugs me and says I'm the best mommy ever. Of course this melted my heart the first day and he must've overheard me talking about it to a friend or Pup. Anyway, as much as I want to believe he loves me that much, he was manipulating me! Today, he came out and wanted to visit. Of course I want to visit with him, but not during naptime:) I guess my lesson learned is that this manipulation/carving stuff starts EARLY.
Not only do I need to be aware of my carving of other people but also and especially my children.


It has been true for me that some things with the second child aren't as exciting as they were the first time around. Norah starting to walk was exciting (and daunting) for me because she was only a little over 9 mos. old. Her first tooth was neat but I didn't keep track of all of them coming in as well as I did for Luke. But communication, that never ceases to amaze me. I love hearing Norah's little voice. She's mastered a few words like baby, bubby, momma, and daddy. But I love trying to figure out what she's saying and helping her communicate. Her communication is getting better every day. She's telling us when she wants up, down, or out of something. She has her own little abbreviated please and thank you. We're working on other people's names now. She and Luke went to my parents' house the weekend and I couldn't get much out of her besides Deb for my mom, but she was giving Pa a try and it sounded like "Pop-pop."

Today she confirmed her name for my dad when we walked out of the grocery. An older man with gray hair and a baseball cap was walking in as we were leaving. She waved to him and I heard her say "Pop-pop." No big surprise really. She's been quite a grandpa's girl since day one, but more and more the last few visits. This daddy's girl definitely understands:)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


The community of people we have in Murray is really important to us. It's awesome to have a small group of people we've known for 10+ years, a core group that went to college together and have ended up here in Murray. Our cell group at church that meets on Wed. evenings is pretty big now as more families have joined and families are growing. We currently have 19 adults, 9 kids ages 4 and under, and 3 babies due in the next few months. One thing our group has struggled with is how to have a meeting, feel like we're being productive, and really just be able to concentrate and have some worship time. The solution we have now is to have two older couples from another group watch the kids on a couple Wed. of the month, then two moms take a turn, then two dads. This is working pretty well. The adults get some time to worship and pray, and the kids get time to play and run around together.

Pup and I started reading this book called So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore by Wayne Jacobsen after I read a book by him that I really got a lot out of. It's a fictional work about a pastor who starts to really question what he's doing in ministry and an account of his conversations with a stranger he comes to know and thinks could be John the beloved. (It's fiction, remember?:))

Anyway, the pastor and his friends end up starting a home church that seems a lot like our cell group. John comes to talk to their group and answers questions about what to do with the kids in a way that surprises them. He pretty much tells them that maybe their meetings should look more like a family getting together than a meeting. If they are just having a meeting to feel productive, don't bother. God wants relationships and He wants us to be sharing our journeys with each other. I've been mulling this over.

Saturday night several of us from cell got together at Aaron's house for a bonfire. It got rained out prety quickly so we all made ourselves comfortable inside, the kids with a movie, the girls chatting, some playing cards. Kristin and I started playing cribbage, then others started dominoes. (We're a wild crowd, huh!) Later, Luke came up to the table and I asked if he wanted to play with us. We taught him dominoes and he actually did a good job playing. The whole time, though, I was appreciating that I could sit with my girlfriends on a Sat. night and they not only welcomed Luke joining us, but encouraged him as he played. I appreciate that he's getting big enough to play with us. I appreciate that we're spending time with people who are good examples for us and our kids.

That book I'm reading kept talking about not focusing on a meeting so much as sharing life together, the life we live in the Father. That's how I felt on Saturday evening when I was with my friends. To me, it was a better lesson for Luke to see us all playing and listening and talking about real things than most Sunday school lessons. These are just some of the things I'm pondering lately...


I started reading this book that is so so good for me called Boundaries. For a person plagued with people pleasing this book is perfect. I am learning that I have the ability to draw boundaries to protect myself from things that upset me. One example of my new boundary is avoiding shopping. No window shopping. I can go shopping when I have the money and list to go. This boundary keeps me from getting depressed when I shop and can't get the things I want. Kind of a no-brainer huh?

I haven't finished the book yet but am anxious to learn more. I am making more boundaries, but they are personal and I think they are really good for me. It's like standing up for yourself. I like that. And I want to be able to teach my kids that and not live with an awful helpless feeling sometimes.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Luke's Latest Antics

To the Batcave!

Here's Luke being a turtle. That's what he told me anyway:) See his couch cushion shell???

I love how Luke lines up his cars, trucks, and trains. It reminds me of something I'd do:) He is watching a Thomas movie and decided to line up his Thomas trains under the tv stand like they line up at the Shed in the movie.