The Ultimate Timeout

Category : Devotions

Gary and I are always looking for ways to improve.  To improve our marriage, to improve our parenting, to improve our meal planning, to improve our home.  We are far from perfect and when we work to improve on one thing, another thing falls so it’s a continual balancing act.  You get the point.  We’re always on the look out for better ways to do something and our devotions together needed a big face lift.  We’ve read books together, done a little devotions together at night but found that when we got into bed our focus turned to sleeping not focusing on what we were reading and discussing.  So we had a date night on Saturday and for part of the night, we stopped by our favorite bookstore, Schuler’s.  It always has a friendly, inviting feel and along with that, we really like their very berry yogurt smoothies.  :)   So we hung out for awhile and towards the end of our time there, I thought we should look at the devotionals together since we didn’t have to worry about kids running all over and pulling books off the shelves.  We found a couple that looked interesting but I found one that both struck us.  The Chronological Bible in 365 Days.  Now we already have this Bible but it’s not broken down into days which is what we really liked about it.  So we agreed and purchased this little, very thick Bible to tackle throughout the next year.  Along with that, we’ve decided to do our devotions/discussion after we put the girls down for bed and do it in the living room, rather than laying on the bed.  So far, the 2 nights we’ve done it, it’s worked out really well and has sparked different conversations.  So to hold us accountable, I hope to write a little ditty about each day and what came up during our reading.  I know it won’t always work out perfectly but we’re certainly willing and excited to give it a try.

I think I’ll recap what we read first, maybe just a string of thoughts/stories and the follow up with our conversation.

Day 1:

The story of creation (night, day, water, land, sun, moon, birds, fish, land animals, man, rest) and the fall of man (Satan telling Eve it’s ok to eat of the fruit on the forbidden tree, finding shame in their nakedness, working the land, painful child births).


- Being in parent mode, the command from God to not eat of the forbidden tree was only given once.  And only once did they disobey.  God followed through on his command on their first time offense by giving them the ultimate time-out.  As parents, we’re teaching our kids that when we say something once, it should be followed after the first time commanded to do so, not after the 5th time.  We’ve realized that we’ve been slacking in the follow through on our threats and have made sure they know that we mean business when we ask them to do something.  I know it sounds harsh, but if they understand when mom and dad ask something of them, they’d like it done right away not after the “but I’m just….”’s  :)   Just as God told Adam and Eve only once to not eat of the tree, He followed through with the ultimate punishment of working the land instead of it always being lush and green and not allow for painless childbearing to fill the earth, but painful ones to always remind us of their punishment that day in the Garden.

- Gary brought up the fact that how many kids would we have if child bearing was painless?  Or how many people would really be on this earth if women could not have labor but just a beautiful, calm birthing experience.  I’d imagine we would have packed this earth a long time ago.

- Reading the story of creation brought back memories of grade school Bible classes at Calvin.  I don’t remember specifics but just of making the days of creations on paper plates, drawing bright suns, deep waters, all kinds of animals.  It was fun hearing the story again directly from the Bible.

And there you have it, Day 1!

My how time does fly…..

Category : In Memory

Each year that this date comes arrives, it brings up swirling emotions.  Some years I’m pretty reflective and happy, other years I’m a bit weepy.  I’m a bit in the middle this year.  Today marks the 8th anniversary of the Lord making my mom whole again.  I think about not just this day but the year that surrounded it.

You know how there are songs, items of clothing, mannerisms or a look that brings you right back to a particular moment in your life?  I have a few of those for my mom and I’d like to share that with you or least put them out there for me and my family to look back on.  Maybe a list would be more appropriate so here goes:

- Those awful white lace up Reeboks were the only tennis shoe she’s wear, well really the only shoe she’d wear aside from Sunday shoes.  She said nothing else fit her feet right and for years and years we’d hunt for those silly little shoes.  I thought they were ugly but she didn’t care much about fashion.  I don’t know if they still make them or not, but I kept her last pair.  Worn and grey.

- Michael W. Smith : Freedom CD, anytime I hear music from this CD it takes me back in to the big, grey Buick of my friend Andrew Schaap.  Many times he’d take Alex and I downtown to Northwestern Hospital (15th floor) to see my mom.  He’s always have an array of Michael W Smith, Sting and the Gladiator soundtrack playing while we drove down Stoney Island.  Our friendship stemmed from our disdain for each other growing up but as time went on, we became great friends.  I still talk and occasionally see (and even do some work for him) Andrew, but him and his family live in Florida these days.  But our families friendship has remained close to me.  Thank you.

- Farmers Market flowers : Just last weekend we went to the Fulton Street Farmers market for the first time in quite awhile.  It brings back even more memories for me than just my mom but that’s for another time and place.  What struck me there and then again at home were the gladiolus we purchased.   Gary saw these right away and wanted to take some home.  I didn’t argue.  We took them home and filled a vase with brightly colored stems that gave such life to our lonely little corner of the dining room.  The summer my mom was sick, I was still doing Farmers Market for Smits Farms (which I’d do in a heartbeat all over again, 5am’s and all!).  At the end of each market, Kathi and I batted our eyes at our market friends to bring home their goods (at no charge of course!).  I always brought my mom home beautiful bouquets of flowers for her that now sits on the same hope chest I have in my home today.  I know it brightened her day to have fresh flowers around each weekend.

- Her array of hats : I gave my friends and family the task of sending her hats from their colleges and beautiful fancy hats to sit upon her fuzzy head.  She usually wore her navy beret and the occasional Dordt hat.  I’ve also put those away in my treasure box.

- My college aged Bible study group that summer : The support, the love, the prayers, the hugs of that group that ended the same week we found out my mom was sick ALWAYS has had held a huge part of my heart.  The emails (the Hotmail has since destroyed forever….) I treasured so through my junior year of college, the cards sent to my apartment on campus are boxed away for another time, the memories that are held in those dear but some not as close friends are so special to me.  Words cannot express how providential that group was to me even before I knew why.

- The last night at The Roundhouse in Colorado : What a fun night we had.  The stories shared about what my parents did for their siblings, what my mom did to drive my grandparents nuts, the cheek hurting, gut wrenching laughing we had while sharing wine with my husband, brother, cousins, aunts and uncles certainly filled my mind with their fond memories of her.  All the while be surrounded with the quilts she started and finished was certainly something I’ll never forget.

So with 8 years passing, filled with new relationships, new family, new experiences, I think fondly of those things that bring memories back and also the people who hold memories that I never knew of my mom.  It’s been a good 8 years and I thank my mom for that.

Love and miss you always, mom.

Gary, Christie, Anna and Izzy

P.S.  Check out my posts of years past:

The other fairy sister

Category : Anna

The tooth fairy has a few years before she visits us, but we did have her sister visit us last month.  The pipe fairy!  No, it’s not someone to fix our plumbing.  We call that thing to tide over the saddness, crabbiness and sleepy time, a pipe.  Not a binkie, nuk, plug or whatever other weird word is used for it, just a pipe.  Sounds more…. mature.  Yeah.  Ok.

Anywho, Miss Anna has been warned delicately talked to about said Pipe Fairy coming to pay a visit.  She began this journey awhile back when the only time she could have it would be at nap, bed and in the van on a long trip.  Then Ms. Michelle and Anna had an agreement.  Anna had been sleeping in another room for nap at daycare, in a pack n play and Michelle found that it was time to move her out with the bigger kids to get used to a little more noise.  When she was setting up her pack n play, Anna said she didn’t want to sleep in that anymore.  She wanted to sleep on a mat with the big kids.  So Michelle said ok, but you have to throw away your pipe b/c big kids don’t have pipes.  Without a fight or anything, she walked over and threw it away.  See ya.  Good-bye.  We praised her high and low and went to the store to pick out a treat.  They lived up to the “kid in a candy toy store” emotion as both Izzy and Anna wanted to throw everything into the cart.  In the end, Little People Ferris Wheel won out.

So after the week of no nap pipe at daycare, we hit the weekend.  Napping at home is far different than at daycare.  From no kids, own room, different routines.  So it was a little bit of a struggle, that first nap at home.  But we lived!

The following weekend the Pipe Fairy let mom and dad know that she would be stopping by to pick up Anna’s pipe to give to another little baby who needs it.  So we got a special bag, wrote a letter to her tell her that Anna is a big girl and wants to give her pipe to a little baby.  Oh and to leave her a treat.  Hehe.  So Anna filled the bag and put it out on the front porch so the next morning to see if she left us a treat!

Well she did (and we lived through the night without the pipe)!  The Pipe Fairy was very kind and left her a set of dishes and a lovely red tablecloth so she could serve us a delicacy of wooden food.  :)

It’s been great every since.  She asks for it from time to time, but has a smirk on her face knowing that she’s a big girl and it won’t be coming back.  And even if it was just a few weeks ago, thinking of her with a pipe seems like years ago.  ::Sigh::

New Videos!

Category : Family

We’ve had a video camera for almost a year now and for whatever reason, I can’t get the videos off the DVD’s and publish them.  They work super in our DVD player, but no where else.  So after a few hours of trying, I gave up and gave up videoing the girls.  I didn’t like the idea of not having them recorded so that one day we can all fawn over their high squeeky voices and cute ways to say things.  Enter Chase Reward Points.  So we don’t use a credit card for most things and if we do, we pay it off right away.  We also use it for big purchases and side work purchases so the points have added up!  So I checked out what we could get and found that we could get a new HD Flip camera and have a few points to spare.  It came just before we left on vacation, so we messed around with it and took a few videos while we were out in Colorado.  I’ve started to add some this week and hope to have everything up by the weekend.

So with all the blah blah blahing up there, click on the V icon in our header (on the right side near Anna) and it’ll take you to our Vimeo homepage where you can view the latest antics of the Tidd family.


Aaannnddd….. we’re back!

Category : Family, Vacation

So had the greatest of intentions on writing up a whole bunch of posts while I was on vacation, but….. I was on vacation and that didn’t happen.  So in the busyness of getting back to our daily routine, I’m going to start getting some posts in the hopper.

We had an amazing time in Colorado.  The girls traveled really well, thanks to some lap desks and a lot of mommy planning.  We saw the windmills and hills of Iowa, the flat plains and rolls of hay in Nebraska and the amazing mountains, streams and views of Colorado.  We spent much time talking with relatives of whom most we haven’t seen in 6 years, lots of good home cooked meals, game playing and turning dominoes into “elephones” and cameras.  We hiked up 2.2 miles, 1000 feet with 2 kids (one of which spent a lot of time in a backpack graciously carried by Dan) to see the beautiful valleys and mountains with those we love – all only happening because of our lifestyle change almost a year ago.  We rode the Cog Railway up to Pikes Peak to see Colorado Springs and the plains of Kansas.  Raffled off quilts that my mom loving started and some completed to raise over $800 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and to all find new homes to be shared in for years to come.  Thank you.  We bonded with those we’ve never talked with before because maybe we were too young to care or are now old enough to appreciate.  We warded off “man eating” dogs, tooks walks, swam in the pool, tried to get on the internet all week just to have a little taste of what was going on in the world, did lots of crafts, colored lots of pictures, made lots of puzzles.

It all was really just a refresher course on what was really important in life – being apart of an amazing, huge extended family, not always needing Facebook to be fulfilled, sharing in God’s amazing creation with the mountains, short burst storms, vivid rainbows, acres of forest, long streams and beautiful wildlife, figuring out the path God may have for you and hopefully one day realizing it.

Thank you, Klunders, for another reunion I’ll never forget.

Check out our week in pictures here!