sharks + remora

My awesome husband says I should post this. I generally find that following his direction works out pretty well, so here I am.

Today we ran into a common parenting problem, at least around here. One of our children kept having little tiny sins pop up all over the place. As soon as we’d deal with one, another one would appear. This is something that we encounter with relative frequency, particularly among the more compliant children. No major throw-downs, but just a lot of little tiny weird problems. For instance, my favorite from today, “Sibling X said that they were going to tell Sibling Y that they could use my towel.” Seriously upset over this. Another one was something like, “I’m mad because Sibling X keeps asking what these commas are. I am SICK of it.” Okay then.

This is a great indicator that something else is really going on. It’s not the towel and it’s probably not the commas either. It’s something else that’s a lot bigger and much more universal to mankind. Some kind of something like jealousy, envy or pride, that kind of stuff. Rachel Jankovic has a great post on the run-of-the-mill feminine version of this over here. You should read it. It’s pretty important to figure out what the underlying sin issue is, and as the kids get older, it’s vital that they learn how to do this themselves.  Today I was hitting a wall trying to help this child identify the hiding sin. They just kept throwing up more wacky little misdemeanors. (“I really wanted a donut this morning.” Me too.) I think I said “underlying” about eighty-six times and then realized that we really weren’t getting anywhere.

Enter the sucker fish.

I pulled up this picture on the Interwebz and explained how (some) remora need sharks. It’s how they get around and where their feasts of leftovers and parasites come from. Yum. I then proceeded to name each fish in the picture after one of the tiny transgressions. Then I said that we needed to figure out what the shark was. If we can kill the shark, the remoras will disappear.


So anyway, in the hopes that this could help someone else, I offer this blog post. Stop killing remora. Kill the shark.

And since the suspense is probably killing you, the shark, may he rest in peace, was envy towards Sibling X. Not shocking to an experienced sinner like myself, but very eye opening to our kid as they figured it out themselves.

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too long for twitter

Our baseball obsessed son is amusing. This morning at breakfast he was educating his sisters about the future of his baseball career. “When I turn 8, I get to play in Middle League. It’s like Little League but bigger. But it’s not Big League. And you know what? They have empires there.”

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happy birthday to our favorite annie grook!

That’s right. It’s Annie Grook’s birthday, people.

At least, I hope I get this posted before her birthday is over. Yikes.

For (part of) her present, I present (hahaha) you all with these darling pictures of her darling youngest niece modeling Annie Grook’s recent darling yarny deed. I’m typically a complete louse when it comes to delivering pictures of her gifted showing off their gifts, but this time I’m only two months tardy! Quite an impressive gift, huh?

See, it’s so exciting, Keelah can’t look away.



Here’s a nice shot of the whole dress. Can you believe she made it?! I mean, she’s typically pretty amazing and all, but this is really just stupendous.



I guess it doesn’t hurt when your model is this cute. There are more pictures over here if you are interested.


Annie Grook, happiest of Happy Birthdays to you! We miss you and can’t wait to see you again. Thanks for all the yarny love.


P.S. Please excuse Keelah’s lack of shoes. She has quite the long skinny feet that are difficult to fit. Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll find something before the first snow. She’ll be fine.

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big day

Well, this has to be fast because I am getting up at five tomorrow morning. FIVE. Sick. Here’s why:

uniforms + backpacks

That’s right, the two eldest Higgins offspring start school in the morning. We are very excited. Okay, some of us are also a little sad, but mostly we are excited.

This is the first time I will be involved in a classroom (not counting junior college…and that was in the hood, so really a completely different sort of experience) since I was seven. SEVEN. I think I’m more nervous than either of the kids.

For those of you that don’t know (and care), we’ve been teaching Maggie (and Cal a teeny bit) at home, doing our best to give them a classical Christian education. For a variety of reasons (that I may or may not blog about at some point), we have realized that it’s time for them to be in a day school. The quick summation is this – we are fully convinced that a classical Christian education is what is best for the Higgins family and it is basically absurd for us to keep trying to do that on the homefront. It’s really, really hard. And only going to get harder. Like I said, maybe I can expand on that later.

Providence Classical Christian School has been fantastic so far and we are really looking forward to the year ahead. If you think of it, pray for us as we get adjusted in the next few weeks. We want to be faithful in directing and participating in our kids’ education while we delegate to other faithful believers who are well equipped and experienced.

Oh, and have you all seen (americanized) bento lunches?! So much fun, and all in a plastic box. And don’t get me started on school supplies. I think I’ve sorted and packed their backpacks four or five different times.


Good night!

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meal plan

Calvin (while doing unrelated copy work for school), “Do you think that we would have to have lamb in heaven for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day?”

Me (while wondering why he was thinking about this), “Probably not.”

Cal, “Yeah, probably chili sometimes too.”

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Alright, people. This is not the promised craft post. I’ll mention a few crafts, but you’ll just have to keep standing around waiting to see said crafts.

Again I’m going to give you two weigh-ins at once. Last week I didn’t hit 153.3 like I wanted, but 154 was pretty close. Yay!

Then I delivered the baby shower and it was fantastic. The craft post I keep teasing you about will show you some of that. Until then, check out Keri’s post. Yes, Keri decorated the bottom of the Hershey’s Kisses. She’s awesome.

Then I did our taxes. Yes, I know that it’s past April 15. It’s quite a long, involved story involving Keelah not having a social security number, me being years behind on financial paperwork and finding out that my driver’s license had been expired for six months. Some other things about the adoption tax credit are involved as well. Who really cares about that. (Nerds like me, but it was a rhetorical question.)

I enjoyed having the taxes off of my plate for about an hour and then realized that we were LEAVING FOR OHIO IN FIVE DAYS. We’re driving there. We have four kids. Ohio is far away. I had done nothing to prepare. No, it’s really far away. Like 2,500 miles or something ridiculous like that.

As a side note, I was chatting with a friend whose family is also heading to Ohio the day after we leave. I mentioned that I had no idea when I was going to get around to packing. She then mentioned that she was done packing. Last month.

Every time I relate that story I get stuck pondering that statement. I never really come to any resolution, I just ponder.

So, then I had another weigh-in. This time I was truly astonished to see 152. Let’s just say I was not tremendously focused on weight loss this week.

Then I made some back-of-the-van-seat organizers for all the fun we’re packing on our way to Wooster. And I shopped for some of that fun. And we had our van fixed. Twice. In fact, I’m pretty sure it needs a third fix, but we’re just gonna go with it, dinging oil light and all.

Packing, you ask?

I’ll get back to you on that. I’m hoping to be at least partially packed by the time we leave on Monday. Well, that’s not fair, I did already hang up the seat organizers and put the coloring books in them. So I guess I am packed a little. But I did renovate the booster and car seats to avoid the numb-butt syndrome that’s been floating around our children after just a couple of hours of riding in the van. And I took tonsil girl to the doctor as it’s becoming apparent that we are mere days away from full blown tonsillitis (again)…probably arriving just about the middle of South Dakota. So now we’ll be packin’ some Zithromax heat.

Okay, that’s it for now. Need something really great to read? This would be it. Think you don’t need something really great to read? You’re wrong. Read it. Seriously. Rachel is consistently really good on all this parenting stuff, but this kind of reminder is the kind that is needed frequently. I was reminded of the overwhelming (potential) strength we are bringing up in the Higgins oxen. God has blessed us with more life in these four littles than we can handle. That’s not supposed to be easy. Or, more to the point for my current temptations to impatience, that’s not supposed to be quiet. That kind of life is deafening. That post is helping me be excited to take our ear-splitting tent of rejoicing on the road.

If I could just get us packed.

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not a bird or a baseball skill

Well. Aren’t you glad you moved with me? I mean, with the flurry of posting over here I’m really supplying you with a wealth of viewing / reading material.

I have a lot of excuses. Most of them involve a baby shower. And I’m not kidding about that.

So I’ve missed two weigh-ins. The first one (now eight days late) was 156.5. I thought that was decent, seeing that I had definitely slacked off. And then the next week was worse. I really, really slacked off. I’d tell you those excuses, but they are so silly you wouldn’t believe me. So my second weigh in was shocking to me as I was pretty sure I’d be back up over 160. Nope, 156. I guess my eating plan is helping! Yay. I’m back being much more intense for the next few weeks. I’d love to be at 153.5 this week, making it ten pounds total.

Alright. That’s it for tonight. I am going to squeeze in a post this week showing off the fruit of some recent crafting flurries. I’ve got sort of freaky (but cute) little girl t-shirt nightgowns, a yellow handprint, a few things featuring bunting (both my dad and skh didn’t know what bunting was…do you?) and revised flip-flops for giant toddlers. Oh, and a head full of box braids. Fourteen.

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157.5 (yay!)

Yay for my new site! (Thanks, skh, you’re the man.)

Yay for 157.5! That was six pounds in the first two weeks, and I’m very glad.

Tomorrow’s weigh-in is probably not going to be quite as happy, but that’s okay. I’m very encouraged and ready to keep on working at it.

Just to round things out to a nice Trinitarian three, this is a great message from Doug Wilson. Sean passed it on to me and now I continue the favor. “This is what the life of faith consists of – exalting in victories before the battles.”

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has everybody picked a moving buddy?

Okay. It’s kind of completely not finished at the new place, but I’m moving anyway. No more blogspot in my name! Please join me at

If you are one of the seventy-seven people subscribed to hobbsandbean, please update your feed. But seriously, seventy-seven? There is no way that is right. I counted up everyone I could think of and I got six. I think feedburner is broken. And to be completely honest, I *think* you have to update your feed, but I’m not sure. I don’t understand any of that stuff and the ever brilliant skh did it all for me. I just know that that really is the right feed. Cause he said so.

If you come on over to the new fancy site, you’ll get to finally see my six-day-late weigh-in! I know you’ve been waiting for that. I’ve also got some completed (yes, that’s right, completed) crafty things to show off. But that won’t be till tomorrow. Or sometime in November.


NB: I lost the comments on my last few posts when we moved…please note the importance of having a good moving buddy. Sorry about that!

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160.5 and other pinteresting news

So, I know I said I’d be updating at the end of the two weeks, but I think the added pressure accountability will help me keep moving along. Besides, the original plan was for me to have a weekly weigh in until I get wherever it is I’m going. I lost three pounds the first week, and I’m very thankful and pleased. The first couple of days were brutal, but I think I’m decently adjusted to the plan at this point. I do really like the structure and am finding that I’m thinking about food a whole lot less than I was, which is a very good thing.

In unrelated news, I am loving Pinterest. It’s great. You can find me here. Pin awesome things for me to admire. skh and I were talking about ladies and social interaction and have noticed that just like in real life, it’s generally better for us feminas to have something to do while we chat. Keeps our hands busy and our mouths less likely to go places it shouldn’t. Ravelry totally wins in this respect for social media for me, but it’s quite yarn specific and Pinterest is doing pretty well in my book. It might be a horrible idea if you struggle with envy, but I love having a place to visually file all the little bits and bobs floating around in my “someday/maybe” list and my bookmarks. And there are lots of people there with really great collections of beautiful things to peruse and be inspired by.

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