14 October 2009


Dear Blog,

I know. I've neglected you horribly. You poor thing. I bet you thought I abandoned you altogether. The truth is that life has just been soooo crazy and full, lots of wonderful, lots of what Evangeline calls "a whole lot of Super No Fun", not enough time in the day for me, and then my computer finally went to the Big Motherboard in the sky. Excuses, excuses. I know. I promise to get back on the Blogwagon and give you a good sprucing up, too. Soon. Deep apologies from

Your old friend,

21 August 2009

Two Girls, Two Days, Two Celebrations!

Two years ago on August 19th, 2007 we met our daughter, Elianna Ray, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia!

The next day, August 20th, her big sister, Evangeline Ellen, turned 1!

Now, these two beauties

who bring us so much joy

are the best of best friends.

And, we are so grateful to our Heavenly Father for them both!

12 August 2009

It's the First Anniversary of My Thirty-nnn...nevermind... Birthday

And, I thought last year was bad.

First of all, I'd like to thank my mother for always being there for me, for supporting me, and loving me, and I'd like to tell her I'm sorry that because of me she can never excitedly jump up and down without... Well, that's another "never mind"... I love you, Mama. Sorry.

Secondly, yes, that means it's my birthday.

Third, what about it?!?

Kidding. Kidding.

I don't mind having a birthday. Just don't send a bunch of waiters over to sing to me. And don't buy me gag gifts like a cane, or dentures, or exercize equipment unless it's a treadmill because I need a new one. And don't send me a cake made out of adult diapers either, or fruit, or flowers for that matter. I want a real cake. Lemon. Or chocolate. Butter cream frosting. Sprinkles. Single candle. And I like funny cards, not mushy ones or musical ones unless they're extra funny. And I'm not wearing a birthday hat so don't even think about it. Or a "birthday girl" award button with hot pink frillies. Not gonna happen.


It's OK... I'm alright now.



On the positive side, though, at least celebrating my 39th's second anniversary next year will be a whole lot easier!

Thankyouthankyouthankyou, friends and family, for the ridiculous amount of sweet birthday wishes... I am so very blessed with wonderful people in my life!!!

29 July 2009

Most Embarrassing Kid Moment Ever

STOP! This post has been rated PG-25. Funny, but not appropriate for tender eyes. You've been warned.

(Facebook friends have already heard this story, but I have been commanded to re-tell it.)

Evangeline and the Androgenous Person

There is a person we run into relatively often who is... well, kind of a Pat. Male? Female? It's hard to say. Recently, I was with the girls and Evangeline noticed him/her and, being a curious 2-year-old without a ton of volume awareness, asked quite loudly,

"Mama is that a boy or a girl?"

This person heard her and so I immediately gushed out apologies but, thankfully, he/she responded so graciously to the embarrassing question!

"It's OK. I'm a girl, sweetie."

My precious little cherub then proceeded to look at her very skeptically and asked,

"May I see your vagina?"

I almost died.

She replied, "Err... umm... well... No... Remember, that's private..."

Yep. Most embarrassing kid moment. Ever.

24 July 2009

Hiawatha's Update -- The Haus Remodel That Ate Summer

Remember Michael's teeny tiny oopsie & the ensuing flood? Well, we're finally reaching the end of our remodel... the one that ate summer.

Flooring was ripped out, cabinets demolished, walls knocked down. Jack hammers, crow bars, sledge hammers, oh my! Out went the dining room! Out went the kitchen! Out went the butler's pantry! Family room! Scotty Potty! Three hallways! The laundry room! The entry! Everything got yanked. Plastic sheeting everywhere. The dust, heavenly days, the dust!

And, every single day I was reminded that contractors don't flush. What's with that?!?

BUT, in a few short weeks the remodel will be finished. Yucky tile GONE! Icky carpet OUT! New stone will have been laid. New cabinets, new marble countertops, new new new everything!

Now that I think about it...

Maybe I should give Hiawatha a project in the master bedroom so I can get an entirely new upstairs in my wigwam, too!

My very own Hiawatha at Minnehaha Falls in Minnesota!

21 July 2009

Update on Poppy's Surgery

All is well! Poppy's open-heart surgery (to replace a bicuspid aortic valve - pictured above) lasted about 5 1/2 hours and went "exactly as planned" according to the surgeon. He also said that the valve was a stiff as a fingernail and he didn't know why Poppy was still alive! God is SO GRACIOUS to have preserved his life.

By the way, it just cracks me up that he asked the doctor to take pictures during his surgery and that the surgeon DID! It's such a Poppy thing to do! I'm not really looking forward to Show and Tell. ;)

We're so grateful for the prayers, love, and support of family, friends, and Church family... Please continue to pray for Pastor John McClure, especially during the first 48 hours after surgery which are the most delicate. Thank you!

Poppy (far right) with his youngest brother, Ron McClure, and Marg

20 July 2009

Please PRAY for Poppy!

Evangeline hanging out with Poppy on Sunday afternoon

And my God shall supply all your need
according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)

This morning our Poppy (dad, John McClure) is having open-heart surgery to replace a bicuspid aortic valve.

"See, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh;
is anything too hard for Me?" (Jeremiah 32:27)

A dear friend sent the beautiful image above and it's exactly what I've been mentally picturing is going on inside the OR.

"For the Lord is a sun and shield;
the Lord will give grace and glory;
no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly." (Psalm 84:11)

Thank you for your prayers. We will update as soon as we have news. Trusting, praying, believing in faith...

Praying for Poppy (and eating grapes)

17 July 2009

Jackie's Secret Agent Camp & Exciting News

OK, I'm trying to catch up a little bit... Don't laugh! So, here's the skinny on Secret Agent Camp... It ROCKED! Jackie had a WILD time... Full military camouflage, secret operative identity, rifle & shotgun paintball, war games, ziplining into "enemy territory"... Excellent boy stuff. He came home out of his mind happy and stinking to HIGH HEAVEN after crawling through mud, stalking through the woods looking for the "bad guys", and still covered in face paint! I seriously nearly burned his gear before it got into the house. He won Last Man Standing two weeks in a row as a "good guy" and successfully infiltrated the other team once... My future Marine. Makes a mama proud!

Also, we just recently heard that Jack was ACCEPTED to St. Catherine's Military Academy! He is, and we are SO thrilled! This boy who has been enamored by all things military since he was a zygote and fully intends to matriculate at West Point or Annapolis is going to ROCK St. Catherine's! HOO-AH!

07 July 2009

Loving the Land of Lakes and Lakes and Mistakes and Mistakes

Mistake #1: Minnewhiny

Looking back, I realize that traveling with four kids (Jackie was at Secret Agent camp which rocked! I'll tell you about it later.) on a red-eye flight might not have been the wisest choice. Arriving at 5am with two cranky toddlers, two crankier teenagers, and one crankiest husband may not have been using the best forethought. But what's done is done.

Mistake #2: Minneseekashorterline

Secondly, I shoulda been using the old noggin and remembered to renew Marg and Ricker's passports before it got to be too late to do so in LA because as soon as we arrived in MN we took our first field trip to the lovely passport office in downtown Minneapolis. By the way, they are brand spanking new, very efficient, and I recommend that you go to Ms. Delia Bottomsworthy's window... She's a peach.

Anyway, with that finally out of the way and our Minnesota trip officially begun, of course, we went straight to the Mall of America! I personally could have done all my field tripping there for the rest of the week.

We really enjoyed the fascinating Historic Fort Snelling, especially after learning that that is where Dred Scott (of the famous Supreme Court Case) lived.

Ray Ray in the flower fields at Fort Snelling

We toured the Minnehaha Park flower gardens and historic buildings as well as

Minnehaha Train Depot. Isn't it darling?

While visiting the State Capitol, Michael loved finding out that there's a county McLeod in MN!

Just so you don't have to walk back to the car and lock your Glock in the trunk, you should know that no guns are allowed in the Supreme Court although they are everywhere else. Talk about uptight!

Oh, and one more thing, I hereby humbly apologize to all Minnesotans...

for Evangeline pooping on the front lawn of the Capitol Building. Sorry!

Papa & Ray Ray in downtown St. Paul

On Father's Day we took Michael to the MN Twins baseball game in the Metrodome.

Father's Day kisses for Papa!

Walking around downtown

Minnesota is really cool. Stunning homes, great restaurants, beautiful parks, rivers, and lakes, and cool museums! SO much to see and do. We didn't have nearly enough time to do all the things we had planned. We're really looking forward to coming back again next year!

Besides the Ethiopian Mehaber and several really great field trips, we also visited some of Michael's relatives (his brother and sister-in-law, and their two sons), but darnitall, this is the best photo I got of Jon & Liz...


Ummmm, wait a minute... It's probably not smart to post this since they have an unfortunate photo of me on their boat hiding behind a beach towel going Number One into a plastic cup.

Mistake #3: Minneweewee!