Friday, February 17, 2017

When Walker, weeks shy of becoming 5, was about to start kindergarten in Pensacola, a neighbor advised me solemnly that I should prepare him. What? 

He didn't know how to count, his ABC's, what street he lived on, his birthday. Oh, my.

I started out with something simple.

"What's your name?"

"Walker."

"What's your other name?"

"Dollahon."

"O.K. You have THREE names. What's the middle one?"

"Ma-jean."

-Mimi

Thursday, February 16, 2017

She shrugs her frail shoulders 
And stands against the tide 
She acts as if words don't hurt 
That stares don't make her hide 

She prepares herself from torture 
Something she remembers from long ago
When she let the world defeat her 
When she trembled and didn't say "no"

She feels each deadly poison knife
Each cold and brutal hand 
Strength isn't what you overcome 
It's what you can withstand 

Monday, January 2, 2017

One of the ways I fell for Walker: I used to get a Word of the Day emailed to me, some random word, with the definition. Periodically I would forward one to Walker and his friend Dave, and they had to compete to come up with the best sentence (which would often turn into an essay), and I would judge the winner. I would often cry, cry I tell you, CRY with laughter.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Bethie: Mom, leggings are not pants.
Me: These aren't leggings, they're YOGA pants. They're okay.
Bethie (scrutinizes, then shakes head): No Mom. Those are leggings. And leggings are not pants.

Monday, November 21, 2016

I forgot that if you tell a 13yo boy 'I'll give you $10 if you drink this" that even if you were joking, they'll take you up on it.
Tepid water that had been used to boil hot dogs. I almost threw up. He did throw up. But he got his $10!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Turns out Bethie is obsessed with a mole on Eva's stomach named Moses.
Bethie: MOSES!
Eva: No Bethie!
Bethie: Moses is my only friend.
Eva: Bethie that's CREEPY.
Bethie: You make Moses sad!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Eva: I spy with my little eye... something black.
Maggie: That chair?
Eva: Nope
Maggie: That shoe?
Eva: No.
Maggie: Your soul?

Monday, June 27, 2016

whether i see you or not
you still are
whether i obey you or not
you still command
whether i love you or not
you still love
whether i heed you or not
you still speak
whether i seek you or not
you still seek
whether i praise you or not
you still glorify
amen

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Ike gets up on the pulpit after church and says 'I'm gonna give a speech! Freedom for everyone! EVEN THE WOMEN!!'

Um....

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Maggie: Ike! You're so mean to Bethie! You scream at her and stuff! ALL the time!

Eva: Guess it runs in the family.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Getting Into the car for church:
Me: Ike! You can't wear that! You wore those clothes yesterday and they're completely covered in food & dirt!
Ike: so what's wrong with that?


When walking to school:
Eva: Ike, is Camryn still your giirlfriiiend?
Ike: No! We're just friends! Anyway, she and Pierre were meant to be. Not me. Plus, I'm too cool for her. And weird.

#toughlove

Friday, April 29, 2016

From the time I first found out I was pregnant with Shep, I knew two things: that he was a boy, and that the Lord was calling him to something special for his Kingdom. The verse we printed on his birth announcement and had read at his baptism was I Samuel 1:27-28:

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord answered my prayer. He gave me this child. And now I give this child to the Lord. He will serve the Lord all his life.”

Verse 27 is lovely and sweet. Verse 28 has always scared the heck out of me. Giving your child to the Lord can mean anything. For Hannah, it meant sending her only son away when he was three. It's a dangerous prayer.

Lately, Shep has been asking hard, hard questions about his faith, and about the Jesus he has always loved, and the bible we have always poured into him. And he's been struggling with doubt. And he's gotten some ideas that maybe Christianity is silly and foolish contradicts science and reason. WhileWalker has said over and over that these questions are not only normal, but good, it's not normal or good to me - I have the gift of faith, a rare gift I realize, but one that means I have never, ever seriously doubted. So Shep's questions have made me very nervous, because my greatest fear is that one of my five children not know the Lord.

So a few months ago when I heard that apologist John Lennox was coming to speak at UT, I asked Shep if he wanted to go, and he said yes. I wasn't sure if he would like it, if it would be over his head, if he would be bored.

Hearing Lennox, professor of math at Oxford University, brilliant, winsome, yet so intimidating an apologist for the faith that the atheist physicist who was due to debate him flaked at the last minute, ignited my son in a way that I've never seen. And Shep begins to say things like "I want to be a bass playing apologist now."

Then after the talk, we ran into Andrew Coleman, and old, very dear friend of mine and Walker's, who is also one of the most brilliant people I know, who translated space manuals into Russian for NASA, and who is also such a winsome apologist for the faith. Who needed a place to sleep sometimes when he came up to Ratio Christi at Univ. of Texas Austin meetings. So last night Andy stayed with us and kept Shep up way past bedtime discussing why astronomy and physics and science and the bible are completely compatible. And Shep was elated and encouraged in his faith.

And I went to bed remembering that I gave my son to the Lord. And that the Lord is in charge of his destiny. And that the Lord knows the plans he has for Shepherd and knows exactly how he intends to accomplish them and is the author and perfecter of his faith and his sanctification, just like he told me 13 years ago when I felt him kick within me, just like he knew about 20 years ago when I first met Andy at Metro Bible Study in Houston.

And I'm so thankful for the encouragement that our sweet, sweet God sent to this momma's heart.

Ike's Ipad and my phone share the same brain. I'm sure I could fix this, but I kinda like it. He regularly changes the name Siri calls him.
Which can cause strange things to occur. Like, at church, in the middle of a poignant sermon by our pastor Tim, Siri will loudly comment, "I'm not sure I understand, Booby Face."
Stuff like that.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Eva: once I stole a bracelet from the lost & found at church, and you found it, and you made me bring it back and talk to the pastor about it. 
Me: and you never stole again, did you?
Eva: Nope. At least, not from church.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

(Bethie sneezes)
Bethie: Bless me.
Driving to school:

Eva: Hey Ike, how is your relationship going with Camryn? (Ike's 2nd grade crush.)

Ike: It's complicated.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

-

I've started asking Shep to write mini essays regarding his various infractions...basically to give him an opportunity to reflect on "Why Not Coming Home For Dinner On Time Is Bogus".  Here's his response.   Like the smart ass line about how if he's not at dinner it's "ridiculously boring" and he is there to "lighten it up". 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Ike wanting to buy an app on his iPad: It's only .99  cents.
Me: Then give me a dollar, and I'll buy it for you.
He hands me one.
Me: Where'd you get this?
Ike: From your purse.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Me: Where's the motna?

Bee: In your butt? (tries to lift up my bottom)
Recent Maggisms:
Has anyone ever died of puberty?

When discussing Tim Gunn:
Me: He actually tried to kill himself in high school.
Maggie: Why? Was he goth and depressed?

Monday, September 21, 2015


The note Maggie is receiving tonight, after losing three teeth in one week:

Dearest Maggie,
 

I am so very sorry for not retrieving your tooth (or should I say teeth!) sooner. I would’ve been here right away if it weren’t for the very fact that in Fairyland, everyone had been superbly busy lately. I believe it’s all the children around your age. Their teeth seem to fall out of their mouths like raindrops fall out of the sky! Because of this very unusual dilemma, the Fairy Queen has decreed that all fairies shall retrieve the teeth when at least three of them have already come out of the same child’s mouth, but as you can see that doesn’t help the issue much.

I must tell you some splendid news! I am to be married! Yes, Jack and I are very excited. I do believe that Jack is your dear brother Ike’s tooth fairy! He speaks very pleasantly of him, but he waits for him to lose more teeth.
 

Well anyway, Jack and I are to be married by December. I do not wish for it to happen in the winter months for in the winter we fairies have to wear protective coverings over our wings. I must say that is not very attractive – or comfortable – in my opinion. I will discuss with Jack whether or not we can arrange the celebration earlier, like maybe in November, or even perhaps October. Well, actually October wouldn’t be good. I won’t have enough time to plan…
 

I am so sorry! I got off track! I have a tremendous problem with that. To get back on schedule, I must say that I cannot write anymore. I have 156 other children tonight! I fear I will not be ready by morning. Ciao!

Sincerely,

Calista Meriwether Flyingfeather VI

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Walker was out, maggie couldn't sleep, so she crawled in bed with me as I watched The Family Stone, which is not appropriate. At one point we broke for the kitchen to get cheese. 'This cheese is good' I said. 'ALL cheese is good' she answered and we fistbumped.

I'm starting to see that the endless nights of vomit & teething & night terrors are redeemed when they turn about 9. It's still hard. Hormones loom on the horizon and they can make teething look like babyplay. But then there are the moments when your kid shares your love for stinky cheese and laughs at appropriate times in grownup movies and you go, oh yeah....this is why we had you. Cause you're so cool, and I so love hanging out with you, in bed, watching movies and eating cheese.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

'Ike, if you don't let your lizards go, I think they're going to die soon.'
'Yeah, but Jack & Nate and I decided that when they die we can, you know, learn more about 'em.'
Future surgeons or future psychopaths? Only time will tell...

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Me: "How did this beautiful Ethiopian girl end up here in my arms?"
Bee: "Jesus."

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

We watched The Bible with the the 3 oldest a couple nights ago. Maggie's questions "How could dey film them when cameras hadn't been inbented yet?" were much, much easier than Eva Rose's "But I don't get it! How could Abraham have a baby with Hagar when he was married to Sarah? How? Tell me now! I need to know!"
It's time for The Talk. Lord help.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Maggie and I, talking after some kids had gone to her room and made a huge mess:

Me: This is why we discipline you, when you think we're just being mean, it's because we love you and we don't want you to grow up to be a brat.

Maggie: You don't want me to be a lonely old cat lady.

Then she asked if we could pray for those kids and their parents.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Shep: For the first time in forever, they'll be music, they'll be light. For the first time in forever...
Maggie: I can poooop alllll night

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ike just informed me that his name is Mr. WeinerButt ToothFart. You can call him that, or, you can call him Ike, he's okay with either one.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

I told Ike something and he said, "Okay, I will tell that to my brain and it will remind me. My brain tells me things. Like watch: what's 2+2, brain? Four! What's 8+8, brain? Sixteen! See, it just told me that!"

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Because Frieda Pitts Hooks
broke her back recently, our Thanksgiving was cooked by Luby's this year. My mom ordered a roast, a ham, and a turkey for the week. And for the first time in my 40-something years, I was responsible for cooking thanksgiving, as in, taking the food out the containers & heating it. Easy, right?
I got two meats out and put them in the oven to heat up for 2 hours.
The beef, and the ham.
So for the first time in the history of ever, we had no turkey this Thanksgiving.‪#‎momfail‬
Maggie, frustrated with her math homework:

I'm in the Capital of Terribleland!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tonight when discussing the ten commandments with the kids:

Me: "We don't build golden calves anymore, but people make idols of lots of other things today. Can you think of some things that people love more than God?"

Eva: "MONEY!"
Shep: (whispers) "Women."
Maggie: "Being a princess. Some people will do anything in the world to be a princess."

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Maggie: Mom, what kind of homework did you have when you were little?
Me: Lots of spelling, and we had math. We had big heavy math books.
Maggie: (very concerned) That's just sad!!!! (as she does her math homework on the laptop)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

'God is just like cheesecake. He's delicious and everyone wants to eat him.'

Guess which Dollahon said that.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bethie is talking more and more. Two of her favorite new sentences:

"I wan Momma buy me dat!"
and
"{insert sibling name} bein mean-a-me!"
Maggie: Doc McStuffins is just like Jesus - she never sins, on all the shows.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Ike: How old is God & Jesus?
Me: older than anything ever.
Ike: like eighty sixty-three?
Me: bout that.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Winston to Walker: 'You have the hands of a homoerotic Belgian poet.'

Apple --> Tree

Sunday, August 17, 2014

If I had a nickel for every time this summer I've had to say 'No, Maggie, McDonalds does NOT serve horse meat!'

Big brothers = cruel

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

'Some people text even when they are standing right next to each other. I think they're called introverts.' - Maggie

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Ten things I am glad Missy didn't know about me before she agreed to marry me... 1) I've never had a sentimental attachment to an animal, 2) I hate popcorn...the taste of it, the smell of it..., 3) I love using ellipses when writing, 4) I am not handy...in fact I'll make it worse, 5) if left alone I'd never change my clothes all day no matter what I'm doing, 6) I hate talking on the phone (and talking in bed...Missy gets chatty at bedtime...come to think of it, Missy is always chatty), 7) I enjoy cigarettes, 8) I am a huge skeptic of all new, faddish science and dietary "breakthroughs", 9) I'm bad a finishing lists...

Friday, July 25, 2014

Just found this email that I sent on 9-5-12, Eva's 8th birthday:

"This is when my faith gets tested. Not when people have cancer or whatnot, but this:

We have to wait for UCIS (immigration) to approve our update for a child up to age 5. Right now we are only approved for a 0-23 month old.

We really don't want a baby anymore. Have been saying that now for months.

So Natalie Bowen emails me and says, to clarify: if, between now and the time that your UCIS is approved (a month or two at the most, hopefully), if a 0-23 month old comes up, do you want us to skip over you, or go ahead and present her to you?

????????????????????????????????????????????

If I say no, then, no. If I say yes, we could get a baby. Which would be harder on some levels, easier on others.

This is when my superstition and doubts re God's sovereignty go BALLISTIC."

Walker was out of town and unreachable, OF COURSE. So I asked Eva what to do. She answered, "I just want any little girl. Tell them yes and let God figure it out."

So I emailed her back and said, okay, just go ahead and don't skip us.

Little did I know, they had asked me to clarify because they were working on the paperwork for a little 23 month old girl, who they presented to us three weeks later.

So glad we said YES to this baby girl :-)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

"Eva, lately, every time I say something to you, you argue with me."
"No I don't!!"
Who tooted?
Bethie: IKE!
Ike: NO! Boys do not toot, boys fart!

Monday, June 23, 2014

 Today they were here swimming and Maggie said 'I think Danny Davis is in love with me. Must be my new hair cut.' Shoulder flip, shoulder flip. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

I'd have to say the highlight of my week was when my Jen showed up on my front door, saying her embarrassed four year old Whitton owed me an apology. After ten minutes or so of encouraging/cajoling/threatening, he finally whispered, "I'm sorry I peed on Ike."

Monday, June 16, 2014

Maggie: I hope that when Bethie grows up, she marries a black man. 
Me: why?
Maggie: So that we can get some real black people in this family. This family is too white.
Me: well, you could marry a black man.
Maggie: but then my kids won't be really black, just some black, like Barack Obama.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Helping her brother write a letter to the Tooth Fairy

Monday, June 9, 2014

At baby Alice's baptism:

Ike: Mom, when can I get communion?
Me: When you confess that Jesus is your savior and you want to follow him for all your life.
Ike: Will I have to be nicer?
Me: Well, if you're following Jesus, then, yeah.
Ike: (shakes head) I'm always gonna be mean to Maggie.