Sep 282011
 

Hey folks!  I am Tiff Stauffer of Still Seeking Sanity.  First off,  know that Sarah is aware of the problems with the headers, but she isn’t able to log on to fix anything due to the move, so she will get to it as soon as she can.

I was so honored that she asked me to come post while she was away, and I have to say I am so very tempted to have a little bloggy fun and start putting typos in random places, but I won’t.  Because I love her.  But it’s sooo tempting!  (Don’t worry, Sarah, I really won’t do it!)

Well, let me tell ya a little bit about myself.  I am the proud mother of a seven year old daughter named Emma, four and a HALF year old twins named Grant and Ben, and two and a half year old Drew, who calls himself Baby Jack Jack and seems to have similar powers of craziness and levitation.

Seriously, I don’t know how he does half of the stuff he manages to get into.  I’ve quit asking “how in the world?” because it’s pointless.

I ran across Sarah’s blog sometime last year from a link of the Multiples and More site, I think at the time I was in the throes of potty training my twin boys and trying to find child-proofing devices that would actually stop Drew from getting into things before poison control called CPS on me; and I needed to feel sane.  What’s more crazy that four kids in four years?  Why, five kids in four years, of course!

I was hooked to her blog from the first time I saw it.  Sarah is a fantastic writer (as you all know,) and there is definitely that whole “if she can have more kids than I do, and still home school and bake stuff and go to the library and not be sent to the mental institution then I can probably manage to take a shower today” thing going on.

Seriously, she’s amazing.

I honestly don’t know how we came to be friends, it just happened over time as we realized we had a lot in common.  Jesus, photography, twins, cooking, a slight addiction to Facebook, a love of blogging and trying to love like Jesus are definitely things we share.  I have to say, though, that coffee is gross, sushi is nasty, and home schooling is fantastic but just not even remotely what God has called me to do.

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. ;)

I remember I once had a crazy dream about Sarah and blogged it here.  I thought that by blogging the whole thing, there might be a good chance that she would think I was a crazy stalker, but apparently she thought it was funny so thankfully she didn’t file a restraining order.

Anywhoo.

I have prayed for Sarah and Brian ever since I found out what was going on with their marriage.  I have been so enamored with Sarah’s posts, her heart is so incredible that you can truly see the love of Jesus shining out of her through her words on the screen.  I have spent hours poring through her posts on marriage as my own marriage has had some struggles, and I have been so encouraged about Sarah’s views on our roles as wives.

I work part time as a wedding photographer, which is a great way to hear all kinds of marriage advice on a regular basis.  At wedding I was at recently, the pastor said it best.

Our spouses are not our spouses for all of eternity.  My husband is my husband for a season, but he is my brother in Christ forever.  My job is to be his helpmate so that on Judgement day when he stands accountable for everything he has done, his life will reflect the fact that he had someone walking with him and keeping his actions focused on God.

I think Sarah really reflects this idea of marriage.  I am continually impressed by her wisdom and her ability to teach me biblical principals in a way that I understand and can relate to.  I have spent long nights reading back through her marriage posts, and several nights God has woken me up to pray for this amazing family.  I knew that God would bring this family back together, whole and healed, and I am still waiting in anxious anticipation to see what big things God is going to do with the restoration of this marriage.  I am honored to call Sarah my friend, although I have never seen her in person or hugged her neck like I would absolutely love to (and am planning to) some day.

OK, I’ve got to sign off now, as it has taken me four hours to get this far and in the process I managed to get so wrapped up in writing this that I completely missed getting my daughter off the bus, and my four (and a HALF) year old just peed on a tree in plain view of the neighbors.  We are surrounded by trees, but only one has a view of the neighboring houses.  Of COURSE that is the peeing tree.  I really don’t understand boys.

Come visit me at Still Seeking Sanity to hear the adventures of my four crazy kids, as well as how I am adjusting to coming home from a recent trip to Africa!

 September 28, 2011  Uncategorized Comments Off
Sep 262011
 

I posted an almost identical picture when the kids and I moved in April. Ha.

I guess it’s a tradition, now, stuffing the kids in a corner and putting a movie on my computer while I pack and clean. The funny thing about this picture is that the electricity had gone out right before it was time for a post-lunch movie. Luckily, my laptop was charged, and Up was already installed. The electricity came back on before the battery died.

You know what doesn’t work without electricity?! Coke machines. I promised the kids a Coke, but I was too cheap to buy fountain drinks when I picked up our sandwiches from the local deli. So, we walked to the nearest Coke machine (I’m supposed to call that something different, aren’t I? But I’m from Texas, so it’s a Coke machine to me). The first one we tried was broken, or so I thought. I got a little suspicious (but not nearly enough) when the second one was broken, too. Needless to say, I dragged home five extremely unhappy kids. I may, or may not, have yelled at the top of my lungs, right in the middle of Main Street, for everyone to “Straighten up!!” Of course, everything made sense when we came home to a dark house.

Baby Bear had to hold it for the first time on our walk, and I always think that’s the best thing for training bladder control, so I don’t rush too quickly to find a bush or a tree. He did great, but I couldn’t for the life of me understand why a child who had to pee would still stop to touch every tree branch and every shiny or colorful rock. I thought I was going to have a conniption. Oh, yeah, I did have one. Sigh.

Well, I’m gonna get back to packing the last remaining randomness and cleaning the baseboards. Next time you hear from me, I’ll be in Angel Fire!

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 September 26, 2011  Uncategorized Comments Off
Sep 242011
 

I’m still packin’ and movin’…and sweatin’. But here’s Renee, my absolute favorite (OK, only, but I’m sure she’d still be my favorite) grocery store friend.

Mi Querida Familia

As I came around the head-high display of Doritos and rounded the corner, there in front of me was the most pregnant and most beautifully glowing woman I’d ever seen.  (She will argue about the beautiful part, but this is my post, not hers, so there).  There was obviously more than one baby inside that tummy with the protruding belly button, and despite all knowledge of social norms, I walked right up to her and said dumbly, “I know you’re probably getting sick of this, but is it twins?”

She graciously smiled at me, nodding yes.  She was indeed, getting sick of it.

“Aw!” was all I could say, with the hugest smile on my face.

Then her husband – who was somehow glowing with pride more than she was – leaned in, put his hand on her tummy, and said, “This is our second set.  The first set is at home with Grandma.”

And then I had to scoop my jaw up off the floor.

I’m sure I said something really eloquent, like, “Are you serious!?!”  We chatted for a little bit and then one of the twins kicked her, and I marveled because I hadn’t actually seen a kick protrude from a pregnant belly before.  I’m pretty sure I did manage to keep from asking to feel the baby move, but just barely.

In the check-out line, Kingdom Mama and Papa Bear ended up behind me and so the conversation continued.  After several more socially unacceptable personal questions like, “When are you due?” and “Do you have any help at home?” I learned that she was actually still more than a month from her due date and no, she did not have any help at home, since her husband worked all day.  Then I had to turn back around, because it was my turn to pay for my groceries, but my wheels were already turning.

In the parking lot outside, I finished putting my groceries in the trunk, and noticed that the lovely couple who had more babies in two and a half years than anyone else I knew, were loading up their groceries too.  I closed the trunk and headed over to where they were.

“Ok, don’t think I’m weird, but…  after the babies are born, could my husband and I bring you guys dinner?”

She promptly replied, “don’t think I’m weird, but…  YES!!!”  We all had a hearty laugh.

The best part? Kingdom Mama then said, “That’s totally something a New Lifer would do.  Do you go to New Life Church?”

“Actually, yes we do!” I said.  You know you go to a rockin’ church when that’s the reputation it has around town.

We exchanged phone numbers and several weeks later, called them up and brought them lasagna.  I held Bay Bit and Alejandro held Lil’ Prince and we both just marveled at how tiny they were.  Tiny Dancer and Cuddle Bug climbed all over us.  At one point, all four of us had a baby in our arms at one time.  Ha!

We’ve been friends ever since.  We’ve slept on the floor of their mountain home.  They’ve played in our living room.  She got me blogging. We’ve prayed together, cried together, and held each other accountable.  We’ve been pregnant together.

She even photographed my son’s birth.  I love that the Valentes are so very transparent and genuine in their faith, their friendship and their fallibility.  They make you feel like you’re at home, no matter where you are and what you’re doing.

Who would have thought such a great friendship could be born in the junk food aisle?  God did, apparently.

I love you, Sarah!


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 September 24, 2011  Uncategorized Comments Off
Sep 232011
 

Hello KT readers!  Thanks for having me here today!  I thought Sarah’s idea to do a series of guest posts about how people met her was such a fun idea that I just had to join in the fun!

I’m Annie over at Arlington Mama.  Sarah had grown up in the town that I moved to college for, and she was in a church youth group with all of the same people that I was in our church’s college group with.  She, however, went away for a little while before I could meet her, so I’d hear stories in which she was included but didn’t know who she was.  I had also heard the prom/banquet story from two or three other perspectives, so it was great fun to read it on her blog, too.

Then Sarah came back to our town and started going to our church again, getting involved in our college group.  Well, if you know Sarah in real life, then you know that everyone likes her.  Back in college group all the guys were smitten with her, and all the girls wanted to hang out with her because she was so much fun to be around.

The thing about our church’s college group was that it was a bit….intense.  I don’t know if you know the phenomenon in Christianity of which I’m speaking, but it tends to happen a lot in college groups where people are idealistic and pedantic.  I can’t speak for Sarah, but I sure was, at least.

So anyway, Sarah moved away again, and we both got married and started having kids and didn’t keep in touch.  But I did hear some news here and there from mutual friends of how she was doing.  I heard of her struggles, and my heart was breaking for her.

We both started blogging around the same time, but hers got big-time and mine….notsomuch…haha!  I started following her blog, and I really saw how she had changed through the trying times.  She wasn’t in the safe cocoon of a youth group or college group.  She was in the real world, and it was a real relationship with a real God that pulled her through (not her works).

I saw other people in the college group spinning their own wheels with the energy from the intensity and idealism bred in the college group, and they totally burned out and quit following God.  I think that idealism and intensity are normal and natural for that age group, but without a real relationship with Jesus it’s fruitless.

Sarah’s relationship with the real Jesus (not an image of Jesus) really shone through her struggles.  She was real and vulnerable and transparent, and it revealed the true nature of her humble relationship with Christ.  I’m so blessed and inspired by her humility to be molded by God into what He wants her to become.

Thanks for letting me share, Sarah!

I’m over at Arlington Mama if you wanna stop by sometime to say hi!

thoughts,musings, outlet for frustrations

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 September 23, 2011  Uncategorized Comments Off
Sep 222011
 

So many things change when a woman becomes a mother (or a man becomes a father). For example, I used to preheat my oven for my fried zucchini slices without checking the oven first.

No, I don’t do that anymore.

Cause Mommyhood is everywhere (and, while packing, more places than you could ever guess)!

One of my sweet friends will be back soon with another, “How We Met” post, and I’ll be back with the ingredients for tonight’s pantry supper (I’ve decided to carry the game until after the move…though frozen pizza is in our immediate future). Until then, are there any special prayers for packing and moving?!

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 September 22, 2011  Mommyhood Comments Off
Sep 222011
 
Hello friends! When Sarah was looking for some bloggy friends to do a guest post for her this week while she packs, I jumped at the chance and I am so honored to be here!! First let me introduce myself. My name is Kristin and I blog over at The Smith Family Journey.

I know – original name right?! When I started this blogging adventure back in 2008 I couldn’t think of anything really interesting to call my blog. So I went with what was most obvious. Since then I have seen and read so many great blogs with such interesting names that I admittedly get a little blog envy.

But I digress.
I am the mother of 4 beautiful babes ages 14,7, 2 and 9 months. I work full time out of my home and am married to the boy I crushed on in 10th grade Driver’s Ed. Although he didn’t know me from a rock on the ground then and we later went separate ways and to separate schools for 4 years….God brought us back together in college and now here we are raising a family together in SW Minnesota!
Sarah asked that I share about how we came to “know” one another.  Just about a year ago or so I was reading a blog (sorry can’t for the life of me remember which one) and they were asking for prayer for a woman going through some very difficult family situations.
I clicked on the link and up popped Kingdom Twindom +1.
Rats another awesomely cool name…and she has not 1 but 2 sets of twins. Now I have “cool blog” envy AND “twin envy”!! You see I grew up on a block with 2 sets of twins from 2 different families. I told my mom that I should have been a twin as well. She apparently didn’t agree and while she was pregnant with me she told the 2 moms of twins that the buck stopped with her. Boo!
I was cheated don’t you know?! I mean the cool thing about twins is you always have someone to go home with and to play with. Sure I had a younger brother and sister but (sorry guys) they were not cool like a twin would be.  I just always imagined the fun that they must have had every night…while I suffered alone.
Sorry again with the digressing!!
Anyways – back to how I got here.  I read this post and was drawn in.  Here was a woman broken and weary and so open with her struggles in her marriage, and if that weren’t enough she was (at the time) raising 2 sets of twins + 1 more (hence the cool bloggy name) all on her own.
My heart was hurting for her. I had been there in some sense of the word at one point as well. I too had been through a very difficult season in my marriage. A season that almost ended in divorce. I knew the pain of feeling like we should do the “right” thing that God would have us do but also being so hurt and angry and bitter because things hadn’t worked out as planned.  We just couldn’t see past our own pain and focus on God’s plan.
And I found as I started reading her posts that although she felt some of those same feelings she trusted in God in an amazing way. She held fast to the promise that God redeems our ashes and makes them beautiful.
And Sarah stayed true to her commitment that God would redeem the broken. And He didn’t disappoint.  It doesn’t mean that Sarah – or I for that matter– have it easy-peasy every day. That just because God took something that was broken and made it whole again that things like the toilet seat being left up don’t irritate or that feelings don’t still get hurt and resentments sometimes surface.
Sarah never claimed that she had it perfect but that what she had could be made perfect in Christ and because of Him.
Such beauty from ashes. Can’t you see it?
And so what started as a little prayer request turned into another opportunity for community with a fellow believer. One in where our troubles seem divided amongst us and our joys multiplied between us.  We pray fervently for those we have never met in real life and celebrate for them with each miracle that is shared. And although many of these “connections” will never be met in person this side of Heaven, we know that there will be one heck of a reunion party when we all finally get there!
It has been so much fun spending time with you here today. I know that there is a reason each of you feel drawn to read the pages of Sarah’s blog – some may be very different from mine. But what we have here friends is a community and I feel so very blessed to be a part of it.
God Bless!

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 September 22, 2011  Uncategorized Comments Off
Sep 182011
 

How did you spend your Saturday? Me, I spent mine sleeping until just after nine, making strawberry crepes for the family, cleaning the kitchen, doing a couple of loads of towels, cutting several potatoes for french fries, grilling hot dogs on the George Foreman and doing absolutely zero other productive things. Oh, besides updating the kids’ pictures on my sidebar. I guess that’s almost productive. I had plenty of time to skip off to a coffee shop and write, but I decided to stay home instead. You might not think that going to a coffee shop, for the sole purpose of writing, necessitates a shower…but if you don’t, you probably live in a town with a population over five hundred. Or maybe you’re just not vain.

Tomorrow is Sunday, and I think we’re all well enough to leave the house. So, yea! Because missing out on a Sunday just makes the rest of the week kinda slumpish, doesn’t it? I’m not sure what I’m gonna do about Baby Bear and the nursery, though. I’ve finally gotten around to potty training him (not that he’s so old, but he’s been ready since about twenty months). I’m not sure if he’s ready for underwear and pants, though (he just wears underwear around the house, and no diapers for about two weeks now). Because we’ve been sick, tomorrow will mark the first full day that he’s left the house without a diaper. It’s fine if he has an accident, and of course I’ll pack him extra undies and pants. It’s just that he’s already hit the age of embarrassment, and I hate seeing his little face drop when he’s disappointed with himself. I suppose if I take him right before church starts, there won’t be much chance of a panicked accident. Fingers crossed.

Speaking of potty training, he’s still awake because he had a late (accidental) nap and we just had a little conversation about tomorrow…

“You don’t poop or pee in your underwear, right?”

“Wight, Mama!”

“And tomorrow, in Miss Joy’s class, you’re gonna poop and pee in the potty in the nursery, right?”

“Wight, Mama. Cause we don’t poop and pee in our und-e-wew, wight?”

“Right.”

“And we don’t poop and pee on de floor.”

“Right.”

“And we don’t poop and pee undu de bunk bed. Wight?”

“Right. But wait…what?”

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 September 18, 2011  Friday Funny, Things Kids Say Comments Off
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