This is a post that dwells on the delightfulness of my children. :) Little snippets of life over the past few weeks. It’s not all catastrophic. :)
Sometimes I have to remember that!

[the most colorful tree is all the county is in our front yard]

fall photo shoot, memory game 130

You know, there are some weeks where I look back at journal entries I’ve written about my children… and just smile to myself…

fall photo shoot, memory game 133

Such as this one from a few weeks ago:

“I am absolutely LOVING the stages right now with my girls. They play together so well most of the time… ” [!!!!]

And then the opposite not too many days later:

“Zoe’s question to me yesterday: ‘Why are you not happy, mommy?’ I had been impatient with her last night, and honestly, quite a bit yesterday. It my paint day to finish up some things, and she wanted to be omnipresent, right there all the time, sticking fingers into everything. I became easily frustrated. Thus was her comment to me after she asked the zillionth question of the day. I had also just said I had a headache, and she kept on talking… ‘Why do you have a hea-gache? Maybe you have a hea-gache because you weren’t nice to me. Sometimes *I* get hea-gaches when I’m not nice to people.’ I sat there wincing. Ouch, ouch, ouch…”

Children are ever so extremely convicting.

[most of the fall/autumn scape is only brown.]

fall photo shoot, memory game 074-1

And a few days later:

“And my girls… I am just having love fits over them! They’re soooo CUTE!! Yes, they do have their fighting episodes… but right now they’re both SINGING at the top of their lungs – madeup songs by Zoe, while Olivia belts along with her. Off-key, of course [Olivia], but precious as can be! Life is good, life is sweet. Very, very sweet.”

It’s the life of a mother…
Learning to run to Jesus at all moments –
the happy ones,
the ones that feel like we can’t make it through,
the ordinary moments,
the exciting moments.

fall photo shoot, memory game 066-1

It’s a good life. It’s a sweet life. Very, very sweet. :)

fall photo shoot, memory game 049-1


The vocabulary of a three year old. It’s delightful.
It’s confusing.
It’s creative.
It keeps me laughing. :)

Fall photo shoot 081-1

This was the “chump,” “ponk,” “tingernails,” and “little mommy” that my title says. Yes, I’m getting to it eventually! :)

According to Zoe’s usage of these words, here are the definitions:

Chump” – to cut up in little pieces, or to flatten something with repeated motion
         example:  “I want to chump that egg in the pan.” [to flatten the yoke with tiny pricks]

Ponk” – to poke at, to prod with a finger
         “I ponked the kitty when I was outside.”

Tingernails” – a combination of fingernails and toenails
          “I want to paint my tingernails.” [hey, saves time smooshing them into one word!]

Little Mommy” – her phrase when referring to or talking to me
         “Don’t worry, Little Mommy. I’ll take care of it!” [when I spilled chicken and juice all over the kitchen floor]
          “Little Mommys, like you, really, really, really, love Jesus…” [she told me at naptime, and melted me in a puddle, because I feel like the past few weeks I’ve been an epic disaster as a mother. somehow she sees Jesus in all that?! it must be only God!]

When I was big and you were little…”
           After noticing a ruffly shirt I wore one day, “Ooooh, that’s sooooo cute! [pondering a moment] When I was big and you were little, I made that shirt for you!”

There are many times when she refers back to “when I was big and you were little”… There are times when we are almost worried about her living in an imaginary land, but you know what? She’s three, and she has a great imagination. If she’s 8, or 10, or 15, and still lives in an imaginary world, THEN I might be worried. But now, I just love the imagination. Hey, it keeps me laughing!

Fall photo shoot 078-1

Her little baby doll is also part of the imaginary world. Or no, let me re-phrase that: her baby doll is actually part of the real world. Truly, her baby is so real to her, it tickles me to death…

One evening we were entertaining guests, and they wanted to look around the house a bit while dinner was being finished up. I suddenly heard Zoe’ just waaaaaaaiiiiiiiiilling and she can running full-tilt into my arms, sobbing so hard she could hardly talk. I finally got her to calm down and she told me, “My baby is sleeping in your bedroom, and there are people going in there and I don’t want her to wake up!!!!!!!”

And the other evening we were driving down the road with the kids. An exasperated Zoe’ handed her baby to me over the seat, saying, “She’s SOOOO WIGGLY!” :)

Fall photo shoot 075

And after a great Sunday afternoon and evening at home, playing memory together, a fire in the fireplace, reading books, she prayed,

“Dear God,
thank you for this
very very very very very

Melt me in a puddle. That’s what really matters to a child.
Time. Love. Enjoyment of each other…

fall photo shoot, memory game 076

Zoe’s stack is the biggest. Yes, she won.
If you can call peeking-at-6-cards-during-one-turn winning. :)

fall photo shoot, memory game 080

She was quite pleased.
And I shan’t tell who those other respective stacks belonged to.
Because of all due respect, of course. :)

fall photo shoot, memory game 081



If I thought last week was falling down around my ears, this week was For those of you who have facebook, you may have seen my agitated and distraught post one day this week.

Monday morning started out with my camera sitting on the floor awaiting the weekend’s pictures to be uploaded to the computer. Olivia walked by, picked up the camera, and threw it on the hardwood floor. Cameras are no-no to begin with, and throwing cameras? Most definitely a no-no. It wasn’t until a few moments later that I realized my best camera lense was completely broken in half. It’s my 50mm lense. No, not professional, I’m not professional, but it’s my favorite one to use when I’m taking pictures. I went into the bathroom and locked the door before I said or did anything unkind to my semi-innocent 17 month old daughter! It seems as though the camera lense is ruined. I’m still going to check with a camera shop to make sure that they can’t repair it, but there are broken pieces and I’m very doubtful of recovery.

fall photo shoot, memory game 045-1

fall photo shoot, memory game 043-1

Monday night I was working on editing Christmas pictures on the computer. After I was finished, I turned off the computer for the night and went to bed. The next morning I turned the computer back on, and the wallpaper was different. I was going online to print out coupons before going shopping (yeah, trying to get back into that again!), and noticed all my favorites in my favorites tab were gone.

To remove several unneeded paragraphs, my computer looked wiped clean – everything from favorites to files to documents to pictures. It was unbelievable.

After calling Husband, we both agreed that a computer repair shop was in order. After running into the bathroom, shedding a few tears, and putting on my face, I immediately ran over to the smokiest, stinkiest, dirtiest computer shop in town. After describing to the tech what had happened, I told told him I need a miracle worker.

I awaited in great suspense throughout the next 24 hours until the much-longed-for phone call. I had approximately 80-90% of my pictures backed up, but nothing since August, which is really really bad. And no files backed up for the Bible Study I’m doing. I was thankful I had backed up as much as I had, but the remaining 20% was enough to send me for counseling if it wouldn’t be able to be recovered!!

Throughout the next day before the phone call, I kept talking to God about this…
Telling Him how sacred my pictures are to me. That other than people, they mean more to me than almost anything else because they hold so many memories. That I don’t want the last 3 months of my children’s lives to be lost just because I didn’t back up my pictures.

And also telling Him that I don’t want my pictures to be my idol. And that somehow, if He chooses to allow all those to be erased, that He will get me through it. Without a mental breakdown. He will still be good. Wow, how my heart was tested as I thought of all this, and pledged Him my love regardless.

And finally the call came. Talk about stomach-churning when I realized who the call was from. After great gulps of air, I talked to Mr. Smiley (really) and he told me the amazing news that everything was INTACT; what had happened was that our computer had gotten 2 viruses that had moved and hid all the files/documents/pictures, but everything was still there.

fall photo shoot, memory game 011-1

I could not get done voicing my gratitude. The dirtiest, smokiest, dingiest computer shop in town was also the most wonderful, in my opinion. I didn’t know how to thank him enough!

He could not get done exclaiming how many pictures I had. “You have an astronimal amount of photos on your computer!” he said on the phone. And when I picked up the computer,  he told me I have the most pictures he’s ever seen on a computer.

Which really made me chuckle to myself, and think what a small town I must live in. And that he must never have worked on a real photographer’s computer, like Marylou’s. :) And that most people in this town really must not take a lot of pictures. Just really tickled me.

So, the first thing I did upon opening up my computer at home, was insert my memory card and SAVE ALL PICTURES. That’s right. I think I’m going to be OCD about that from now on. I do need to get another card, because I wasn’t able to get quite all of them on…

So that was my scare and my happiness for the week…


After my previous post of talking about mothing, I’d like to say thank you for the comments and support! I think there are so many intentional mothers in my life right now, and I can’t even describe how encouraging that is.

Sure, we ALL have our bad days, with babies playing in toilets, where the house looks like a hurricane hit it, where it seems children cannot get along – you name it! We’ve all got our own nerve-racker, I’m sure! But what I want to hear from other moms is not, “My kids are driving me crazy!!!” [even if we wonder if we are about to lose it sometimes.]

fall photo shoot, memory game 056-1

Fall photo shoot 075Fall photo shoot 090-1

Rather, I want to hear an honest, yes, this may be a really bad day, and this is the hardest thing we’ve ever done, and I might have been crying over the plate of oatmeal that Olivia threw on the kitchen floor TWICE this morning, and the cup of coffee that she dumped over the jute rug in the living room yesterday,
 [yes, some of last week’s catastrophes continue on] 
but it’s also the most wonderful work we’ve ever been given,
and that we’re going to encourage each other and we’re going to make it.

[little charmer who is so precious and so naughty [without realizing it] these days…]

fall photo shoot, memory game 033-1

We’re going to stand together, we’re going to run to God for ourselves, and for each other. We may have days where we feel like we completely blow it as a mother, but we’re not going to end on that note.  We’re going to get on our knees, beg God for fresh mercy and strength, and try again. These may be some of the more weary years of our lives, but we’re going to take a day at a time, or sometimes one moment at a time, and try to find joy and delight in these days.

fall photo shoot, memory game 052-1 fall photo shoot, memory game 028-1

I love to hear from older mothers, those women who have done this before, and are willing to take the time to encourage us younger moms. Women who are humble and yet strong enough to admit their mistakes, and share those with us so that we don’t have to make the same ones. Women who have families I would like to be like when I grow up :) and who are humble and yet strong enough to walk alongside of those just beginning their own families.

Sometimes I wonder why a Ph.D. isn’t required before one begins the career of a parent. Because truly, it is a 24/7 job like none other on the planet.

There is no getting off of work,
there is no calling in sick,
there is no vacation time stacked up,
there are no paid holidays

It’s an always and forever job. And we have zero experience upon entering this career. Sure, we may have grown up in a family with a sibling or two or five or ten, which definitely cushions entering the field, and perhaps makes one feel more comfortable initially. But having a sibling, or being a nanny, or working in a child care center, is not even remotely like having your very own child.

fall photo shoot, memory game 028

But, I think the reason God allows us into it so green is so we seek Him above all else in raising our families. To where we don’t go to a manuel – we go to God. To where we don’t depend on logic – we depend on God. It really all comes back to God.

 I read a book by Dan Allender a year or so ago, entitled, “How Children Raise Parents.” It sounds like a strange title but it’s an excellent book. His main point was that God uses children to point parents to God like nothing else can.

S. Gingerich said one time [not exact quote, but general idea], “Isn’t it crazy how a two-year old can get a full grown adult to completely lose their temper? How can a little child do that? Who really is the strong one in that situation?” Saying that most adults don’t know how to control themselves in the face of a child who needs discipline, much less control the child, and they’re respond in anger instead.

I’ve been there.

fall photo shoot, memory game 043-1

I look back at my initial theories of child-rearing as an older teenager and even as a young married women. “If they’re good, you kiss them! If they’re bad, you spank them!” Of course I had more ideals than that, but it was basically summed up in those two theories. Let me just say, I wasn’t into motherhood long before I realized this was something much bigger than me! Sometimes when a child is grouchy, what she needs is not a spanking, but a snack, or a nap, or a diaper change, or some tylenol, or a hug, or a story read, or….. I still haven’t exhausted the exception clauses.

But I still stick to my theory that when they’re good, you kiss them. :) And hug them, and love on them, and tell them how happy you are that they’re yours, and rub noses with them, and look in their eyes and say you’re proud of them.

So thank you, my own dear mother, my old friends from way back, my new friends from recent years, my online friends whom I’ve ever met but have been so encouraged from – you all bless me!! THANK YOU. Truly, we need each other. *I* need other women!


And perhaps one of these days I’ll have a very short and sweet post again. :)

fall photo shoot, memory game 001-1



18 thoughts on “A Child’s Vocabulary

  1. appalolly

    I loved reading this, Clarita.
    So happy for you that your pictures were not lost.
    And relating so much to a lot of what you said about Mothering.
    And your daughters are SO adorable and have the prettiest blue eyes!

  2. loaine

    Your little girlies are so cute and look like they never give you an ounce of trouble! :)  I like reading posts that young Mothers write because it gives me a glimpse into how my life used to be.Because now I’m a Grandma and it really does seem like only yesterday I was surrounded by toddlers,diapers and runny noses.Treasure the moments,they are fleeting.All those pictures will be so precious someday!I wish I had something really profound to tell you about child-rearing but don’t really.I think it’s so important to have time away from the kiddos(date nights).Stay connected to your husband,someday it’ll be just the two of you again.And another thing that you probably hear often(in the area of discipline)is consistency,consistency,consistency!     Blessings!

  3. aretheyallyours

    What a sweet post!  Your little girls are precious.  Motherhood is the most difficult and most rewarding job on earth, isn’t it?  So happy for you that your pictures are safe and sound!

  4. fruitloops115

    something I’ve heard lately is “the days are long and the years are short” . I liked that. I also like what you said about hearing from older moms. There is nothing more affirming to me! I’ll take all the advice-from-experiance advice any day.

  5. baileyandme

    smashingly darling! can i just say it would be a sight to behold if our 3 year olds ever met?! i feel like they would be great pals right off.
    i LOVEd the darling stripey tights and white dresses. also the matching blondies. that`s something i don`t have since my girls don`t “match”. :) and they do`nt look good in the same colors either…
    great mothering thoughts. i`m always inspired by you.
    hus wants the computer. got to git! :)

  6. The_Carpers

    this is amazing,your girls are adorable, thier outfits darling. i have to ponder on this. i don’t take enough pics. heck i keep my camera in the car. i am so short fused … somedays i feel like a spark at the fuel pump. i want this phase to pass, but it scares the crap out of me. what if they don’t remember their mom as a kissy-kissy-huggy-smoochy-fun-loving person, i also want to freeze this phase without the chaos. i love the stage my kiddies are in! most importantly i need to embrace it for all it is … the good, the bad , the ugly, the funny.

  7. thebarn08

    Enjoyed your thoughts on mothering.  Thanks for the encouragement to seek God in the hard times as a mom.  I loved this post and all of them, really!  Charmaine Smoker 

  8. SouthernBackroads

    I enjoy reading your posts, they often inspire me or bring a smile. I also love the photos of your children!  I’m very, very glad for you that you recovered all your pictures, etc!! I know that sinking feeling of the computer going bad and not having all pics and files backed up.  And what is with these southern, small-town computer shops?? When I picked up my computer, the shop owner went on and on about how many pics I have on the computer! It almost made me feel like I had done something wrong. Lol


    I love hearing from others who are in the “thick” of mothering too. But I was telling Phil last night that sometimes I just need some *affirmation* from others too . . . esp. mothers older than me. Because we all have different standards and goals and ways of running our households . . . and so in spite of our differences, AM I really doing well? Sometimes I ask for advice and help, but last night I just felt *done* with that approach for a while because it feels like we are giving our utmost to work on certain “areas” in our children’s lives right now and it still isn’t producing the most glorious results at the moment. So, instead of criticism or trying to explain what we’re working on or hoping to see or, or, or . . . just please extend grace to us . . . and encourage me in some way if you can ~that’s what I feel like wearing on a sign around my neck right now! That’s a whole mouthful because I am the first to be critical of other people’s misbehaving children (and somewhere in my head is a theory to take care of their problem.), but I think that God is in some ways working GRACE into my heart for other people too.

    Thanks for your post . . . and I am SOO glad you got your pics back. These are LOVELY. I want a cute dress and tights like that for ME!! Looks so comfy. :)

  10. smilesbymiles

    I am just so, so happy for you that you got your pictures back!!! I love the way you embrace motherhood. It’s something I am learning, some days better than others. I love it on the good days … but somehow I want to learn how to keep perspective better on the bad days. Not necessarily to learn to love them, but to remember that it is a season / stage. I know it’s been easier with Liam than Adam b/c Adam is so much older and I realize that kids do finally outgrow some of those things that are so, so annoying …. and that they outgrow some of those sweet things that are so, so adorable, too. Which has really helped me to learn to fully enjoy the good and not get quite so put out over the bad. But somehow Adam continues to be the force that makes me pioneer motherhood in a new stage and I cannot seem to get ahold of that concept with him. I hope that makes sense. Anyhow, loved your post. Especially the part about going to God with it all. Because it really is about Him.

  11. twofus_1

    This is a great post. I soaked in the words on motherhood and nodded my head. :) I love your descriptions of life– Zachary also does the, “When you were still in heaven and I was a man,” thinking. :) Thanks for the reminder to journal and back-up photos. I haven’t backed up for months. :( and I’ve had a virus take lots of pictures. You’d think I’d learn.

  12. lonnasjoy

    Once again loved your post!  I would so agree that the wonderful times in motherhood so outweigh the frustrating times.  I find myself falling on my knees calling out to Jesus more in this time in my life than I ever have.  So thankful for Him and His strength, and for all the wonderful moments we call motherhood.

  13. ABAHM

    Your girls are so sweet and beautiful. I am glad that you are enjoying them and loving on them in the midst of all the caring that they need. I often felt as a young mom that I was to frazzled and didn’t get it right. Yet God covers me with grace and my 3 boys, now 27, 25, and 17 are wonderful and love us, and more importantly love God! God will continue to show you so much about yourself and your relationship with Him as you mother. It is amazing! So encouragement from me to keep on loving, be consistent, humble enough to say sorry when you blow it, and enjoy all the small bits of life that mean so much to your children. You really do wish you could be there again…it goes too fast. I do have a grandbaby coming in March…happy happy dance.

Comments are closed.