The year was 2002 and I needed an email address.
I don’t recall if we had internet in our home yet, maybe dial-up.
So I signed up for a one hour computer slot at the public library and began the process of
registering for an email address.
The most stressful part was choosing the email address name because
technology was new and one wrong move meant being saddled with a
terrible email address FOREVER.
I’m a percolator meaning snap decisions aren’t in my DNA.
Naturally, I am in a library, needing to make a monumental decision and the only thing
bubbling up in my mind were the popular Bud Light commercials at that time.
Do you remember these guys?
Over the years, I have used NetZero, Hotmail, Yahoo and GMail all proceeded by
It has become my “forever” email address and the source of laughter when people
have a flash of recognition.
Here’s a bit of WASSUP Helen?!
Caleb left Sunday for a week of outdoor school.
He is our final child to experience this 6th grade milestone.
There are 5 or 6 outdoor school sites for our area and it is amazing to us that
all three kids will have gone to Camp Howard.
No matter how long one has been a parent, goodbyes are never easy.
Six days feel long.
It’s good for all of us.
No screen time for him but instead trudging around the great outdoors and
learning campfire songs.
No carpool, practices, youth group and the “do you have homework” question.
It is a sweet blessing to press the pause button for a few days yet I know we will be
anxious to have our boy back home despite the loads of laundry to come.
While Caleb is gone, Carl and I have an added responsibility.
Caleb has wanted a guinea pig or hamster for the last two years, at least. Or a puppy.
It took us some time to completely warm to the idea.
As I have written often on this blog lately, this is a time of transition for our family.
One such transition involves Caleb being the youngest by a couple handful of years.
When we learned we were to have a third child, we heard some unhelpful comments:
“Did you plan this?”
“Oh my gosh, I am so glad it’s you and not me!” and often there was silence,
followed by hysterics.
However the helpful comments were of this variety:
“My brother was born when I was 16 and we are very close as adults.”
“I loved having a little sister so much younger than me.”
“My sister is 12 years older than me, she fascinated me.”
It’s evident, I remember both sets of comments.
But those comments steeped in experience,
I shellacked them to my front and back, propelling me
towards unknown territories and harnessing me with secure hope.
Carlen and Courtney have been the such a sweet and crazy force
in Caleb’s life.
They have remained present in his life even when it meant a lot of juggling.
I am sure part of it is because it is what we do as a family.
We try to show up for one another. But I also believe they remember how
often Caleb was in the back of our van or stomping around bleachers or being told
to be quiet during their school events.
His sisters are in their 20’s and forging their own paths.
Part of getting a guinea pig was to give Caleb his own thing and a companion.
We got Grover for Caleb.
But we all adore him.
He has a very sweet personality and his guinea pig antics are hilarious.
I had no idea.
As a parent, we try to do the best for each child and for each season.
We try our best to make everything equal but in reality, nothing is ever equal in
every season. There are patches of time when one child simply needs or demands
The only aspect in parenting that must be consistently equal is the size of love.
I was reminded by one child how we never got her the lizard she wanted.
Her recollection was that all she had to do was clean her room.
Mine was that it was not to be a one time event 😉
Good thing Grover is so cute.
He has covered over a lot of parental missteps and taught us all a lot about empathy.
Carl and I have been working to give our basement family room a
It has affectionately been called the cave for years because of the wood paneling.
Painting over the darkness created a brighter and more spacious room.
One side of the family room has a built-in bookcase.
We spent weeks sorting through our book history.
There were yearbooks, encyclopedias, textbooks, cookbooks, a few too many
diet books, fiction and a lot of non-fiction books.
We parted with bags and crates full of books.
I am not saying it was easy for this book lover but it was necessary.
I kept only books I loved, would read again, still want to read or have significant
sentimental value to me. (Shhh…I still have more favorites in my office.)
I removed and recycled all the book jackets and this small act completely
changed the look of each book.
Then I organized them by spine color as is so popular now.
We could use some less loved and saggy furniture and few other items to complete the room
but I am realizing how often I avoided this area because it didn’t bring me joy.
A couple of gallons of primer and paint and some deep cleaning and a new room was born.
It will be fun to continue to work on this space over the next few months.
I needed a way to bring focus to my 24 hours.
The top notebook contains the 5 W’s which have begun to bookend my days.
I thought about 3 important areas in my life and ended up with 5
to govern my moments and for ease of remembering
found words bearing the same first letter.
Word (soul care)-be intentional and consistent about being in God’s Word.
Walk (health)-be active, make and schedule ways to add movement into my days,
even if it is simply stretching.
Work (job, household, hard things)-be a worker of excellence, do the work, be grateful,
do my best, be a blessing, extend grace, share the love of Christ, be fearless.
Write (passion/creativity)-be the caretaker of my dreams, make progress everyday,
always be an encourager.
Welcome (vessel living)-extend welcome to those who live within my four walls or come
into them. May I exude welcome wherever my feet take me and look for
I am not perfect with this “system”.
Please know this.
If I was perfect, there would be no need to make an entry.
No reason to look back and see the places Perfection came to
the rescue when I stumbled over my attempts to carefully craft life.
I endeavor to write the date at the top of the page either in the morning
or at day’s end and jot a few thoughts or insights related to each W.
Some pages are crammed with words and others have empty spaces,
just as it should be,
just like life.
I will end with a book read and one I am reading.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane-I have meant to read this book for such a long time. I am so smitten by this book and it jumped up and made me cry on the final page.
Perfect read aloud.
The Miracle Morning-I may never be a natural morning person but there is such value in rising early. This book has already given me a new mindset and some hope of putting to bed
my habitual snooze button pushing.
Well, you know what I mean. Wink.
WASSUP with you?!