Thursday, May 26, 2011


Here I am, NAK ("nursing at the keyboard" - no, I did not just make that up).  It's the epitome of life as a wife and mom of four children - multitasking, or better stated juggling multiple activities or persons at once.

Most of the time I feel very laid back and even confident about the training of the children and the running of the house - not that the kids are behaving perfectly or every meal is delicious, but there's a system for handling the issue or "doing the next thing".  More and more though I'm seeing the need to update the system, it wasn't designed for a house full of running children with school to be taught and a list of chores to be done.

The system is starting to fail more and more.  More days when one ball gets a little off and as I struggle to get it back in the right orbit, the others start to waiver as well. The next thing I know, all the balls have gotten away from me and are bouncing all over the place.  The kicker is, it's really not the balls that's the's me, my attitude, my reaction to the balls not behaving perfectly that's the problem.

So, come to think of it, a new system isn't going to fix it...I need a more Christ-like Jenn. 
A Jenn who is "swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" James 1:19.
A Jenn whose "love suffers long and is kind....does not behave rudely, does not seek its own" 1 Cor 13:4,5.  A Jenn who, as a servant of the Lord, "must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will" 2 Timothy 2:24-26. - Those being "in opposition" are the children or the dinner plans going awry (not that dinner can be repent and come to it's senses, but you get the idea).

This parenting thing continues to reveal more and more of my faults - yuck!  I so wish it was an easy fix like juggling lessons or a new and improved system.  Unfortunately it's me.  But, as Shepherding a Child's Heart is re-teaching me, "...that Christ came because we are sinful and needy people" in need of a savior; - it all goes back to the cross.

Most likely I will revamp my system. I'll seek out others for godly wisdom and advice for training the kids.  But, I will also come before the throne of God, fall on my knees again, and ask for His strength, His peace, His presence in my life.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mentionable Critters

We here at the Cutlip household have a love for bugs.  Well love might not be the best term to describe how I feel or have felt about all of them, but definitely an interest on my from those around me, namely one way handsome hubby who has passed on his feelings to three small people.

In the past I've posted about our pet wolf spider, Wolfy and our frogs, Giant and Sammy (who, by the way, I'm sorry to inform you, did not make it through the attempt to hibernate them over the wasn't pretty).

Here are some others that we've had over the past year or so:

Sometime shortly before Noah was born, our butterflies from Insect Lore school project hatched from their chrysalises and emerged beautiful Painted Lady butterflies.  There were four of them.  One had a deformed wing and couldn't fly.  It had not stayed attached to the paper disk as we transferred them from their plastic container to the butterfly habitat.  As per the instructions, we layed it on the floor of the habitat and hoped for the best. 

The Saturday after Noah was born we took all four butterflies down to Sedona where it was warmer to release them.  It  occurred to me as we were driving that, like butterflies, we had four children.  And, like our butterflies, one wasn't formed right.

Once we got to our favorite spot by the creek behind Tlaquepaque, we opened up the top of the habitat and one by one, the kids helped the butterflies out of the habitat.  We watched as three of them flew out over the creek and out of sight.  The fourth butterfly with the deformed wing, our Noah butterfly, held tightly to some leaves.

As the kids and Tom practiced skipping rocks across the creek, I stayed and watched the last little butterfly.  Knowing that it's chances of survival weren't good I had thoughts of keeping him and bringing him home with us.  But, I didn't think I could bare to watch him die in our home so I gently moved him to a different plant that had blooms and walked away.

Here's a random rabbit that Phoebe caught and brought to us.  The kids took turns holding it and then, with Phoebe safely locked inside, we released it near the back of our property.

The kids, my mother-in-law, and I took a day trip down to Strawberry to feed some goats with my friend, Bree.  We had a blast holding huge bottles of milk while baby goats pushed and shoved each other to get their fare share.

Praying Mantis
For Christmas this year we asked for and received a habitat with coupon for Praying Mantis.  We all thought it would be way cool to have one of those as a pet.

In February we sent in our coupon and a couple weeks later received our ball of mantis eggs.  After four weeks of waiting, out popped at least a hundred tiny praying mantis.  We put five of them in their habitat and took the rest down to Sedona (same place where we released the butterflies) to release.

Unfortunately, even though we bought the mantis fruit flies to eat (we couldn't find any aphids to give them), all five of them died.  Hopefully we'll have better luck next year.

Last but not least, this past week Phoebe caught four baby mice in our house.  We thought that they were oh so cute and put them in the aquarium to watch.  Sadly we thought it best to let them go.  After naps on Sunday we took them out into the woods.  Tom built them a nice little house and we said good-bye.  Livvy cried.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Jonathan - 1 month

I love all the little facial expressions little kids make.  You can't capture the whole kid in one photo.  When Livvy was just ten days old, I took several shots of her and combined them into one photo.  Since then I've taken monthly pictures of each kid, usually the first one at 10 days (because that's when randomly I took those first shots of Livvy) and then one month, two, etc. and made a facial collage.  I love how it shows more of who they are at each stage.

It's been awhile since I've put these together but I'm very thankful to be at it again.  Without further ado, here's our little Jonathan, Jon, little Jon, Johnny (or would it be Jonny?), Jon-Jon (we're still working on what to call this little guy) starting at 7 days, because, randomly, that's when I took the pictures.

Just for comparison sake here's the other kids at month one month:


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Handy-Man-Special Update

I haven't posted anything recently about our on-going project house.  The men are still working and some things have been completed, somethings are in progress, and still other things have yet to start - all in time, right?

Here's what's been done in the school so far:

One wall between two small bedrooms removed by a team of demolition experts:
One door framed in:
 One big hole created for new door:
 Old icky popcorn ceiling scraped off:
New drywall hung to cover holes:
 Old disgusting carpet rolled up and hauled out:
 Tack strips removed:
Walls textured and sanded:
 Walls painted:
 And padding for new flooring layed out:

Tom will most likely be installing the new laminate wood flooring this week.  Then will come trim and baseboard, and eventually french doors added (we're waiting for used ones to show up on Craigslist, so it might be awhile).  Then it'll be finito.  Timberdoodle here I come.  I'm going to need a budget to keep me in line.  I'm already drooling over their new catalog and dog-earing every other page.

Back to the house update, two weeks ago my dad finished the laundry chute.  Oh chute!  It is sooo nice!!  We have an access from the master closet for the honey and I, and from the hall for the kids.  It was a little tricky to frame but the men figured it out.  Check it out:

 The laundry, and only laundry, gets tossed through this hole in the wall (which is covered by a cabinet door):
Then it falls down this chute:
Comes out this hole in the laundry room ceiling:
 Just too cute! 
Which is hidden behind this functional corner cabinet, lands on the counter top (clearly it's working), and then is sorted by children into the two baskets on floor.  I love it!

One more thing to check off the list...umteen more to go:).

International Babylost Mother's Day