Fashion forward

Anyone who has met Josie knows that she has her own style. She knows what she likes and she lets no one tell her otherwise. After having three boys, I had no idea that a five-year-old could be so particular about clothing. The thing about Josie is she likes to accessorize. She must not leave the house until she has at least one piece of jewelry on, or a headband, or scarf…anything, just something to add a little extra flair. A purse is almost always included.

Last Friday I thought it was picture day at school. You know the day. The one where you must carefully choose what shirt will make you look outstanding up against that bland blueish-grayish background because it will be the photo that hangs on the wall all year (if you live in our house). It’s the photo that represents that year in your life forever and ever.

Josie and I talked about this the night before, as I carefully tried to coerce her into wearing something I wanted her to wear for her school photo. Much to my surprise, she didn’t put up much resistance. Cute green, flowered dress (they were supposed to wear something green in her class), with black leggings underneath, so as not to freeze, and a little white sweater, since the dress was sleeveless. Done. Easy enough.

The next morning, she put on the dress, leggings and sweater with no questions asked, but I should have known better. As we were all piling in the car, she yells out, “Wait! I’m not ready yet! I have to do one thing really quick.” Here we go. We wait. Then out she walks, trading her black leggings for fluorescent pink with white polka dots. The white sweater was replaced with a different shade of pink and cream striped sweater. The added accessory? A hot pink flower barrette in her hair with a black and white polka dot feather. There wasn’t one matching item on her body.

“There,” she said. “That’s much better.” I just had to smile. Of course she couldn’t walk out all matchy-matchy. It just wouldn’t be right.

Someone told me recently, after seeing Josie in one of her eclectic outfits, that wearing different patterns together is totally in right now. I didn’t believe them. They were just trying to make me feel more accepting of Josie’s style, I was sure.

Today, I found out that this person was not just feeding me some dumb fashion line. I saw this on the internet. And if the internet says it’s true, well, you’d better believe it.

I’m pretty sure this trend would not be so well-received if this were a middle-aged woman wearing teddy bear pajama pants and a polka-dot blouse. There must be some rule to this madness, one that I’ll never understand. But Josie does. It’s real, guys and Josie’s been rocking this look for over three years now. Here’s Josie’s own trend-setting ensemble…

And as a side note, picture day was not last Friday. I don’t know when it is, which means all that was for nothing. 

Exciting News!

Don’t you love reading emails/blogs/texts/facebook posts that start with that title? The exclamation point adds extra anticipation! If the writer is a woman, guaranteed you think she’s announcing a pregnancy because what in the world else could be exciting news with an exclamation?! Rest assured, we aren’t adding to the earth’s population with anymore Hirschman’s.

So…here it is…we are starting our own church. I mean, we are starting our own church!!!! Most of you have already heard this news, so this might be anti-climatic. I apologize. We’ve known this is happening for awhile, but I thought I’d take a minute to explain where things are at this point, and how we got here.

Many things have happened leading up to now, but here’s the gist: Andy has felt, for awhile, that God might have something different for us. I was resistant because I don’t like change. Why would God want anything different for us when I’m perfectly happy right here? So Andy prayed. And then I thought I should pray, so I did. I didn’t want to be a pastor’s wife, oh wait, I guess I already am. Well then, I didn’t want to be a senior pastor’s wife, because that might mean I have to do more stuff, be available to more people, wear floral patterns and love collecting tea cups…oh, sorry. Isn’t that what every senior pastor’s wife does? No? Phew. I guess I’m good then.

Back to prayer. The more I prayed, the more I felt like maybe Andy was right and really did hear God speak to him. Yikes. And through another series of events, I knew. Yep, this is gonna happen. And I knew it was right.

Some say they’ve heard an audible voice from God, which I’m guessing sounds very deep and calming (I’m thinking James Earl Jones, although I’ve never actually heard it) or some just feel a calm peace and knowing in their heart that something is right. Others ask God for a sign, then flip open their bible and whatever verse they fix their eyes upon, there’s the sign.

My hearing from God was more of a peaceful feeling that this change is right and good. How do I know this was from God, you may wonder? Well, like I said before, I don’t like change and I don’t like not knowing the exact plan. This decision involves both of those and I not only felt okay with it, but ready for it. No freaking out here, so clearly, that has to be God.

There are still many questions to be answered, but for right now, through the end of this year, we are having weekly prayer meetings at our house with a small group of people. We spend time talking and praying for direction and provision, but mostly we pray that God will go ahead of us and teach us how to love others more with the love of Jesus. I find that the more we pray for those things, the less nervous I get about working out every detail. After the new year, we hope to start Sunday morning services.

This decision requires much faith, lots of prayer, and anxiously waiting to see how the Lord works it all out. That’s the most exciting part, watching His plans unfold.

It happened

My baby started kindergarten. All four of our kids are now in school. How did we get here? It doesn’t even seem possible. Josie had been looking forward to this day for about two years now. I can’t count how many times we would drop the boys off at school and she would ask when it was her turn.

Her day finally came and she couldn’t be happier. She is actually disappointed when the weekend comes and she has to stay home for two whole days. Wonder how long that will last.

Charlie is in 8th grade, Coleman in 6th, Judah in 2nd and Josie is in half-day kindergarten, which means I get a whole 2 hours and 40 minutes all to myself. I’ve discovered that 2 hours and 40 minutes is just enough time to run a couple of errands or clean the house or just sit and read a book, if I so choose. It’s amazing. Like Julie Andrews running through a green meadow, singing The Hills Are Alive…kind of amazing.

I have to hold back my enthusiasm when my home schooling friends ask me how it is having all the kids in school. I want to tell them the truth, but I feel a little guilty. “It’s nice.” I just leave it at that.

Charlie rolled out of bed in time to take the younger ones to school, since 8th graders are super awesome and get to go to school late on the first day.

First to line up and ready to go

Too cool for school 8th grader who wouldn’t pose for a picture

Full circle

Here I sit, on the very couch that I sat our four kids down on when we had our Berenstain Bears moment two months ago. We survived our summer without movies/TV shows/video games…mostly. There were some exceptions to the rule. Overall, we did it. There were some great things that happened; the kids read more this summer than they have in the past 4 years, they came up with some extremely creative games, they spent tons of time outside, and they played together more than ever. Mission accomplished, right?

Oh, wait. When it comes to parenting, mission never accomplished. Silly me.

I don’t regret for one minute our decision to not spend our summer wasting away in front of the TV. That decision did bring about some of the results I had hoped for, but the truth is, there aren’t enough creative activities in the world to keep those kids from getting on each other’s nerves.

So last night we all sat on the couch, once again, and we gave our same talk that we gave two months ago, only this time I had Andy to give them what for with me. Same story; too much fighting, too much selfishness, too much tattling. Every parent feels my pain. I guess this is just the way life works. We’re all jerks from time to time, really.

The good part is, the kids had a fantastic summer. We all did. The experiment was good for the whole family. It didn’t turn our kids into perfect children. It sure as heck didn’t turn me into a perfect mother. But we enjoyed each other, in between some arguments.

As we continued doing our parental duty and lecturing, or discussing, to make it sound nicer, it hit me. Our kids love being with their cousins and family more than anyone else. They’d spend every day with them if they could and I knew why.

I shared my epiphany. “You guys are super close with all of your cousins and love spending time with them, right?”


“Do you know why you are so close with them?”


“Because I am close with my siblings. We all love hanging out with each other and with our spouses too. We fought, just like you guys, growing up. But we still love each other. Family sticks together and looks out for each other, even when you disagree. You get to spend time with your cousins because your parents all want to be together.”

There it is guys. Plain and simple. Sure, I may have broken the Bible Trivia game board over my brother’s head in a fit of rage. Doesn’t mean I don’t love him. Now I go and watch him play drums on a big stage and cheer like a crazy, proud sister should. I can only hope that one day our kids will do the same for each other, minus the board-breaking episode.

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