Thursday, June 26, 2008


Here is my 3 yr old angel, see how sweet she is:


Abigail: Mama, what's for dinner?
Me: Chicken nuggets, rice and broccoli.
Abigail: That is sooooo lame.
Me: Excuse me?
Abigail: Chicken nuggets are lame-o.

My mother says that she is my payback for being a sarcastic smart aleck. I'm guessing she'll be the one we send to military school.

Monday, June 23, 2008


We just returned from a ten day vacation and the kids were thrilled to be heading home to their own beds and toys. As we crossed the Red River into Texas, I asked, "Do you know where we will be when we get across this river?"

Nate pipes up, "The Promised Land?"

Some Texans think so.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bra talk

Susannah asked me the other day if she could wear a bra. I asked her why and she said she wanted to be more of a "lady".

I suggested she start with sitting with her legs closed in a dress.


Inspired by the rockin' awesome AV poems over at Stuff Christians Like, I wrote some haikus just for you:

Carry your own bag
Of dolls, cars, toys, balls, dinos
Mom's not your sherpa

Nursing in the morn
Blissed out sighs and dribbles of
Liquid love seep out

Please, kids in the back
Don't hit/punch/bite/kick/scream/wail
Mommy is driving

Okay - your turn!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

If it stinks....

We were riding in the car yesterday when I detected the odor of skunk wafting through the van. I commented to the children, "Ewww, skunk!" (Even though I secretly enjoy the aroma of skunks, in limited amounts of course). Nathaniel objected. "There's no skunk! I have excellent eyesight and I don't see a skunk. If I don't see a skunk there isn't one." Despite the olfactory evidence to the contrary, he would not change his mind. Dh and I thought it was pretty funny, as he was quite vehement in his protestations.

Isn't this how we are though, when someone confronts us with an area of sin in our lives? We don't want to admit that we have a weakness or blind spot. Despite the evidence of sin in our lives (broken relationships, strained fellowship with the Father and our peers, etc), we insist that there is no sin. Because we cannot see it. But if other folks are smelling a skunk, maybe there is one. As Proverbs 27:6 says, "Wounds from a friend can be trusted."

I am praying for courage. So the next time someone tells me they smell a skunk in my life I won't pull a Nate and insist that there isn't one because I don't see it. I want to be brave enough to accept criticism and take it to my Father, who will lovingly help me to see if it applies and use it to mold me into the likeness of His Son.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lonely flooring?

This morning Susannah was lying on the floor in the living room. I asked her to please get up and help me with cleaning up after breakfast. She looked shocked and said, "Mom, I am pretending to be the floor! You wouldn't want the floor to be lonely, would you?!?!"

Um, yes. Yes, I would.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dangerous relationship

I was talking to a friend recently about her birth plans (she's due next month). She's an observant Orthodox Jew and has hired a friend to be her doula. She was telling me to pray that she doesn't go into labor on the Sabbath because her friend is also Orthodox and will be severely limited in what she can do on the Sabbath. Anything that could be considered "work" is forbidden, so the doula will be unable to give massages and they were trying to decide if "work" included opening bottles of essential oils or preparing baths.

I surely don't want to slam her faith (in fact, I find her devotion a thing of beauty), but I was immediately struck by the difference between our faiths. She follows a set of rules in hopes of forging relationship with an unknowable God. Her rules are unbending. The put the focus on the outward action instead of the heart motivation.

We, in contrast, serve a Person. A God who wants to be known by us. Who desires to reveal Himself to us and asks us to follow Him with complete trust and utter abandon. Which can be more dangerous than just following rules. Rules are simple. They are black and white and don't require is to interpret shades of grey. Following a person is much more difficult. Sometimes we get things wrong. We think we are hearing a still small Voice but are only hearing our own desires. But Jesus has called us to trust that as we follow Him wholeheartedly we will learn to hear His Voice and will follow more closely. What a thrilling privilege this is.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The "D" word

The children heard the word "damn" on television and decided to try using it around the house. I sat them down and explained that it is not a word we should be using. I told them that it meant that you wished that person would go to hell. I then told them that the fifth chapter of Matthew says that when we say that it is like murdering someone in our hearts, and that we should love one another instead.

They were quiet for a minute.

And then Susannah pipes up, "Well, I know who I'm going to say 'damn' to. The devil! 'Cause he should burn in hell!"

Can't argue with that. So I agreed and told her that princesses don't say "damn" because it's not ladylike.

She agreed not to say it, since she's a princess (just ask her!)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

10 minute rule

I have this love/hate relationship with the Flylady. Sometimes I do really great with my control journal, sometimes not so much. But I do agree with the idea that you can do anything in fifteen minutes. For the kids, because they are young, I've modified this to 10 minutes. So we have a new housekeeping procedure. We start by reading one chapter of our book (right now we are reading The Magic Treehouse books). Then I set the timer for 10 minutes and the kids and I race around and try to clean as much as we can before the timer goes off. Then I read another chapter, followed by another cleaning race. The kids love it and we get a lot done. Try it with your kiddos and let me know how it works for you!

Middle names mean business!

Nate asked me yesterday what my middle name was. I told him and he ran off. Later I hear him shriek from the other room, "Mommy LYNN Pfanstiel, are you even listening to me?"

Oh my!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Swimming in the deep end

We decided that it is high time that our children learn to swim. Frankly, it's a bit embarrassing that we have not taught them yet. By the time I was Nate's age I was a practically a fish. So, to that end, we bought passes to a local water park this summer.

It is rockin' awesome! I took the kids twice on Monday (by myself! I know, crazy!) and we all went yesterday. The wave pool is perfect for the older three as it deepens very gradually. They seem to have gotten over their fear of water and no longer cling to me like drowning monkeys.

So I just sit at the edge of the water with Gabe in a sling and let Luke walk around in the very shallow (5-6 inch deep) water. The problem is, Luke hates the water. He screams and fights me if I try to help him walk any deeper than his ankles. Monday night Gabe went with Daddy to a meeting, so I was able to focus more on Luke. After 30 minutes of alternately wailing and scowling, I was able to slowly ease Luke out into the deeper water in my arms. And, lo and behold, he liked it. He splashed and laughed and grinned. Just like I knew he would.

When we returned the next night, I was hoping he would remember that he liked the water. Nope, we get within a foot of the water and the screeching recommences. Oy. So I guess this will be a work in progress.

But isn't Luke just like all of us? God has so much He wants for us to experience. He calls us to walk with Him into the deep end and trust that He will keep us afloat. But we fight and wail and screech and generally make things much harder than they need be. We lean on our own understanding and forget that He has been to the deep end and is a great judge of what we can handle. So, He hangs out in the shallows with us, knowing that there is so much more we could be doing, until we are ready to ease our way in.

And then we take a leap of faith and land squarely in His arms and find delight in the deeps.

But do we learn? Nope, the next challenge comes up and we screech again and refuse to go farther than ankle deep. Praise God that He is patient and waits on us, even though He knows where we could be if we would just trust.

Yes, these pics are from last year. He is a bit bigger now.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Nate had made some comments about my big behind. I told him Mommy was sensitive about her weight and asked him not to do it.

Later, we were working on his reading lesson. He read a word incorrectly and asked him to sound it out and try again. He looked at me and said, "Mom, please don't point out the wrong words, I'm sensitive about my reading."

Oh brother.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


I was reading the news yesterday at work (it was a bit slow for a change) and came across this article. It really struck home with me. We've heard so much about the human rights issues in China. Steven Spielberg pulled out of the Olympics planning to protest China's dealings with the Sudan. Other countries have called for boycotts of the opening ceremonies to protest human rights issues. And yet, for the most part, the issues they are concerned with are Tibetan autonomy and military supplies to the Sudan. While both of these issues are important, a figure that bothers me is this: in several recent years, the abortion rate in China has passed 10 million a year. Yes, that is correct. Over 10 million Chinese sons and daughters, people made in the image of God, are killed each year. Many of these are unwanted abortions, forced through China's one child policy.
When we think about China over the next few months and see the sparkling cities of Beijing and Tianjin at the Olympics, let us be reminded to pray for China's little ones and the genocide that takes place in the mothers' wombs.

Meaning in life

Today my dh was watching the MTV Movie Awards and I sat down to nurse Gabe. As we watched I was struck by how self-aggrandizing the whole thing was. These stars get together to basically worship each other's fame. Adam Sandler (who was getting some sort of "life time achievement" type award) even sang a song about how awesome he is. And everyone thought it was hilarious. If that's not idolatry I don't know what is.

Aren't you glad we have a purpose in life? That we are not here just for ourselves, but have an eternal purpose that is much bigger than our tiny lives? I am so grateful that God chose to save me. That the eternal and infinite King of the universe chose me to be His friend and gave me a unique purpose for this life and the one to come. How blessed we are to have a destiny that is greater than glorifying ourselves.