Thursday, September 29, 2011

aylaroo's first steps

she's a toddler.

in a moment, my baby girl became a walker. and even though she was months and months behind her brothers in acheiving this great feat, it still seemed far too soon.

one glance at the precious elation on her sweet little face and all growing pain is erased, leaving behind joyful celebration.

jesus, may you walk with her on the path you have so lovingly laid before ayla jo. may her steps lead her to your throne. may her journey bring glory to your awesome name. protect and guide those beautiful feet.

rub a dub dub

tuesday, another day of school ahead for my oldest, and some special time planned between bear and grandma lampen. add to that the fact that the boys assisted brad in some manure hauling the night before and we have plenty of reasons for a bath. the boys, however, were not as easily convinced. truth be told, they were not dirty, but remember those kids in school who lived on a farm and kinda smelled like it? yeah, me too. i do not want that for my kid. so to the tub we go.

tubs always provide ample entertainment for ayla jo, so i allowed the giggles to ensue and took advantage of that time to pick up breakfast. suddenly the laughter escalated and shouting joined the cacophony of noises. when i rushed over to the scene, this is what i found.

fully jammied, baby blue climbed herself right into the water with her brothers.

it actually worked out super. this way her clothes got clean and so did she.

just kidding.

Monday, September 26, 2011


this season has some of the best combos ever

soccer and saturdays

coffee and morning

tractor rides and boys

cozy socks and crocs

candy corn and peanuts

jeans and hoodies

hot and apple cider

colors and crisp

apple and everything

pumpkin and yum

we intend to enjoy it all this fall.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


after another victory for the silver team, a game in which max had a breakaway in the wrong direction, we regrouped at home over donuts and booked grandma and grandpa lampen some tickets home for christmas. our objective accomplished, brad and i decided to take the family for some free fun at the sturgeon release at the new richmond bridge. have you ever seen a sturgeon becuase it is a mix of dinosaur fish, gross, and creepy. brad discovered this exciting event while reading the flashes last week and we were hooked. (fishing pun definitely intended)

being the prepared mom that i am, i looked online to make sure we would not miss the festivities and noted the excitement was scheduled from 10-2. unfortunately, i failed to notice the fact that the fishing and sturgeon release ended at 12 and that was really the only goings on. so when we rolled in at 12:30 to masses of people walking back to their vehicles, i was a little concerned. thankfully, those sturgeon were not real eager to explore their new habitat, so some random little girl caught one for us to investigate up close and personally.

we walked off our adrenaline rush and headed over to the bridge area. brad told me the history behind this area that was a little village once upon a time but is now well, nothing really. during this lesson, a band struck up some jazz music and we started to overhear talk of the bridge turning. brad and i quickly deduced these peeps were crazy, the bridge was connected and boardwalked. yet the bridge did in fact swing out and move while that band played on. wowsa. we did not wait around for out turn to ride as the kids were getting restless and there was gossip about a free meal back by the sturgeon beach area.

not willing to pass up a free meal, we got in line and entertained the people behind us with our adorable peeking baby and whiny boys. chili was on the menu and tho it looked amazing, it tasted awful. like brad could not even eat it awful. we kept trying to get mostly spoonfulls of crackers and cheese and just a smogely of chili but even that was disgusting. the chili was boiling, literally, before they served it and apparently it was overcooked by far.

so we filled up on the cornbread and took in a sight of native americans performing some ritual over the river involving a chant, some smoke, and what appeared to be a plate of chili and goldfish but really was some ceremonial stuff. interesting. not sure how they like my boys attempting to spear the lingering sturgeon with sticks and us parentals repeatedly asking then demanding then shouting that they stop.

not the experience we were expecting, but a beautifully pleasant way to spend an autumn afternoon enjoying creation and kids.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


praise the lord!

maxer bravely accomplished day one of preschool. literally, not one tear was shed. i was amazed as even his first soccer game was preceded with tears of confusion and fear. not so with preschool: he was ready.

over our poptart breakfast, we discussed what school would involve, circle time, the same bible story we did for devotions that day, some playtime, etc. maxwell accepted this info with a composed attitude and asked if he could watch a show. i indulged.

after the show, we played outside, shot some hoops and had a picnic lunch. then we frantically threw somewhat acceptable clothes on the younger ones and decked maxer out in a handsome ensemble i had picked for the occasion. i went for the confident, farmeresque, blue jean look and i think he achieved it perfectly.

we all washed our hands in the bathroom, preschool protocol, and waited patiently for the teachers to open the doors to learning (the classroom). we marched in together, max found some blocks and began to play. i said goodbye and announced my love for him again and he responded

bye mom

and then we left. wes cried because he wanted to stay by his bruvver. i had previously assured maxwell that i would be waiting in the veen for him. and i did, but i went home first for a bit to clean up the picnic, read some stories alone to bear, and bathe weston after his tractor ride with daddy. i whipped together some things for supper and packed up the veen with half an hour to spare before max was done.

as we sat in the veen awaiting three oclock, i thanked the lord once again for his faithfulness in bringing peace into this potentially stressful situation. when i glimpsed maxer through the door of his classroom, he smiled a sweetly brave and proud smile of accomplishment. adorable. he waited patiently until his name was called then ran right into my waiting arms. actually just one arm as i was holding ayla jo in the other.

once we were in the veen, maxwell was rewarded with a present; some john deere decals for his room. he was more excited about the tiny catalog of available toys that came along with the decals, but he was happy nonetheless. upon returning home, we discovered daddy haulin some manure. so maxer got to ride and discuss the cute girls in his class.

god is faithful and maxwell is schooled. praying for an equally smooth school day today in which i actually remember to sign him in and out. maxwell will be better equipped as well now that he has his very own big lots backpack to take along. i know, fancy.

Monday, September 19, 2011

endings and beginnings

preschool starts tomorrow for my firstborn.

i am in shock despite having had almost 5 years to prepare for this moment. last night, my heart was heavy. i am sending my son, my precious firstborn little boy, out on his own without me. this cherished child, this boy who stole my heart the instant he was born. this miracle who has the most engaging giggle when he is being a little naughty. this adorable kid, tenderhearted and thoughtful, sweet and silly. this future farmer well schooled in the way of tractors and implements and fieldwork. this incredible golfer, with his consistent shot and contagious smile.

maxwell's teachers are super sweet and super capable. but, they did not devote countless sleepless nights to rocking baby maxer when he was ill. they did not anticipate his first smile, giggle, tooth, word, steps with a near painful overwhelming delight, then praise the lord for his beautiful faithfulness when he reached each milestone. they do not know that max is fearful of the unknown, fiercely loyal to his fam, and still likes his milk warmed up. they have not snuggled him near, scratched his back and sung him lullaby after lullaby every night of his sweet little life except two. they have not prayed fervently for protection, blessing, and a life of glorifying god over maxwell alan meiste.

i have.

well here i am. with a preschooler ready to learn. a son who will no doubt benefit from structure and activity geared solely for his advantage. a little boy apprehensive about what is to come, but fully able to engage in school.

here i am with a god who will carry us both. a god who knitted maxer together in my womb who has never left his side. who sings over max continuously with the grace and peace to empower maxwell to overcome anything in his name. a god who knows the plans he has for maxwell, plans to prosper max and not to harm him. a god who is god of all gods, lord of all lords yet remains intimately aware of every beat of max's heart and every thought in his head.

a god who blessed me with a child and with the grace to let him go... even if it is just to preschool.

so tomorrow, i will rejoice that my son has reached this place. i will provide an environment where it is safe for maxer to courageously move forward alone, with all the support, encouragement and love a mommy can give while he is gone, and when he returns home. rather than mourn the loss of a baby and toddler, i will celebrate the blessing of a preschooler.

thank you jesus. it is in your name and with your power i embrace the glorious day before me.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

so in love

this morning, maxer went from this adorable big haired boy

(pic taken after his first soccer game. check out that precious pride)

to this neat and trimmed up preschooler.

(pic taken this afternoon in the sandbox. he also has a look of pride about him here because he convinced me to purchase that dump truck at a garage sale on the way home from the haircut. another win for max)

how i love that eldest boy of mine!

and this youngest little cupcake.

today she would not allow me to take of her cute litte boots. though they fit incredibly snuggly. as soon as i unzipped them she held them up and kept putting the boots in my hand. i obliged the baby blue's demands and she is clunking her way through crawling and balancing.

bear basically demands my love and he defintely has it all. his love language is hitting and ramming and poking. getting him dressed for the day is a wrestling match in which i always win but bear the bruises of the battle. he is so busy launching his little bod into mine and slapping and hitting my arms and face with love. he is a magnet for bonking his head and the poop river is a magnet for him. both boys have already had one bath to wash away manure and i am gearing up for another after this night of riding in the honey wagon.

oh and my main man

love love love my prince charming. we had a romantic dinner alone last night. some quality time with that handsome devil sends my heart all pitter pat again.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

hairy revelations

sometimes, the state of my day is directly related to the state of my hair.

take today for instance. i put my hair in a high bun as soon as i returned from work this afternoon. currently, my hair is sadly drooping to a low side pony. here are the reasons why:

"mom, there are frogs in the poop river"

apparently the pig barn is full of manure and we now have a poop river complete with an ecosystem all its own

this colder weather is forcing me to exchange the bright colors of summer to the vibrant earth tones of fall. gathering up the adorable sun dresses, cute t's, and short shorts and replacing them with jeans, cords, sweaters and long sleeves is proving quite the task. everytime i try to bring a pile to the storage room, aka hurricane lala, the boys see a beloved shirt or short that they must wear immediately. a change of clothes ensues and i must stealthily get back up the stairs. at that point i have 1.7 minutes before, one by one, the kids find me and start pulling things out of every nook and cranny they can find. the result is one large pile of big boy, little boy, and even baby girl clothes, shoes, and tights. makes me a little frantic.

brad is hauling the aforementioned manure resulting in stinky boys, two littles and one big.

my cute little non-nurser is now a stair climber and uninterested napper as well. ayla jo scales the steps quickly and only goes to sleep after repeated attempts to snuggle that little cupcake amid her blee blee's.

the fall air is bringing a myriad of cravings to my darling hubs. peach crisp still in the fridge and he is pleading for pumpkin bars. thankfully, i have lots of help. by help, i mean i have lots of kids sitting on the counter cracking eggs, dropping shells, mixing, and tasting. always a little bit of a miracle when anything comes out tasting remotely like my intentions.

harv caught a woodchuck. he hunted it right down and brad busted out his gun and that is the end of that story. except that harv continues to try to find the carcass back. so everytime one of the boys lets him out and he makes a break for freedom to locate the dead, i sprint after him screaming come so i do not have a dog who smells like gross.

good news, we get a date tonight. thank you auntie beans & uncle austin! your payment tonight will be in pumpkin bars. get. excited. i know i am :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


my friends enrich my life.

this past week was saturated in the blessings of relationships. a weekend of camping in community with some of the greatest people i know, followed by a morning of visiting with a dear friend living in new mexico made the paste several days incredibly beautiful.

today, as i fold pile after pile of laundry, i am thanking the lord jesus for his provisions in my life. for he uses the amazing people in my life to show me glimpses of himself. and. he. is. completely. awesome.

he rejoices with our joys and grieves with our sorrows.

he comes alongside us, meeting us where we are to build something incredible with our lives.

he clothes us in his righteousness, providing us protection and comfort. (thank you dear friends for clothing my kids)

He blesses us with life, and with friends who bless our life. (jessica brought cake and sang with emma to our 3 year old birthday boy weston bear)

He guides our way for his name's sake.

he opens our eyes to the beauty and blessings around us, none of which we deserve.

thank you lord for friends. thank you friends for reflecting our lord.

Friday, September 2, 2011

rejoicing in the lord

this afternoon we are celebrating. nothing like the raucous night of partying at the park we experienced last night with my fam. rather, this rejoicing is the beautiful normalcy of lunchtime chaos at the meistes. we are praising the lord over leftover pizza and mac and cheese for his faithfulness in ayla jo's life.

this morning, very early, we went to the dr for baby girl's 1 year well child visit. for some reason, i thought that having the first appt of the day would be a grand idea. so there i was, awakening my babies one after another and carrying them to the veen with promises of donuts to appease their whines.

ladies and gentlemen, we were on the road at 7:30. arriving at 7/11 around 7:45, and in to the office right on time, 7:55. that in itself is a miracle.

while pulling child after adorable child from the veen, i happened to notice weston's apparel. all kids went to bed with their clothes on so we could just get up and go, but bear's jammy outfit slipped past my critical fashionista eye. he paired a collared lightening mcqueen shirt with blue jersey sport shorts. reminded me lots of my uncle mick who adhered to a strict comfortable pant with button down shirt dress code during my entire stint employed at vogelzang hardware. interesting. and another thing. since when does bear have two pairs of crocs the exact size and color? i brought two left feet shoes and he would not wear them on his right foot. this from the boy that only wears them on the wrong feet typically. drama

all the action of arrival and anxiety over ayla jo's 4 pokes was starkly contrasted with the beautiful simplicity of hearing my baby is doing just perfectly. my little darling impressed and enchanted the room with her gabs, waves, smiles, and claps. aylaroo's growth and development are right on track and she is healthy. cannot ask for more from a well baby visit. thank you jesus!

celebrating over my cupcake's dr visit was just what my heart needed to mend from brokenness that overwhelmed me earlier in the week. wed morning aylaroo woke up and refused to nurse. she cried in fact when i attempted. armed with the knowledge that this is my last time for nursing a babe, i determined to really cherish this beautiful bond with my quickly growing daughter. headstrong already, ayla jo made her decision and was done.

i struggled and still struggle, hoping that it was just a phase and she would be right back to snuggling close for comfort and nutrition again the next feeding. but each attempt was met with protests and grief. what a difficulty it is for me to surrender! i tear up whenever i share this latest development. i am aching from being so full and from being so unnecessary in my baby girl's life. i know i am whining, i apologize. i know also that i am so fortunate to have nursed successfully for so long. this big milestone scares me, for this marks the time when my mom stopped really mothering. when her baby was grown enough not to depend on her so fully, she began to climb into her depression and addiction. though i do not feel any draw to either of those voids, i do feel that i have not witnessed in my own life a fab example of parenting older kids. god graciously provided families in my lifetime who are incredible parents to their beloved kids and i glean from watching them. still, my fear remains.

i surrender that fear. i surrender my weakness and selfish desires to continue breastfeeding a baby who no longer needs it. i surrender my feelings of inadequacy and hurt feelings. thank you lord jesus for taking from me these burdens. in this freedom i find joy and celebration and beauty.