The 4 Things I have learned from my 4-yr-old!

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Maxwell says every day, “When I grow more bigger…”

Well, Maxwell, today is your “Grow More Bigger” Day!

You are here.


Happy birthday, our precious boy.

Hopefully, one day, you’ll be able to look back at this slideshow of the first 4 years of your life and say, “I MADE IT!  I grew more bigger.”

But, in the meantime, I want to share the 4 things that I have learned from you:

  1.  Live every day practically naked.  Who needs clothes when a naked bum or a good pair of underwear will do the job?
  2. Live every day simply.  You, my son, perhaps understand the value of life more than the rest of us.  Or at least most of us.  And this may be the reason why you are simply content.  Mud?  Water?  Insects?  Check.  Check.  Check!  All equals a life being well lived.
  3. Live every day as that pesky little/big brother.  Really.  You are a mess.  You are a boy.  Your dinosaur eats her dolly—you make her cry.  You are the middle now but will be the biggest one day.  You may be the pest now but will be the protector one day.  You are the grossest now but will be the humor bringer one day.  Live every day with your sisters as your best friends!
  4. Lastly, live every day eating bacon!  Okay—you probably eat a tad too much.  But you show me to savor what is given to me!  And that is you, Maxwell Loren.  A gift from God whose life was miraculously spared.  And we will never ever stop thanking God for the gift of Y-O-U!

We love you now and will forever, our boy. Sto lat,

Your Momma, Your Daddy, Your Adelyne, and Your GoGo Baby (aka Your Josephine)

Now for a classic…And, yes, Paul, we do say it is his birthday!

Celebrating in Poland!

Okay.  I am not kidding.  Tonight was my rockstar moment.  Forget that I am a 4-0 mother of 3, two of those being toddlers, I mean…really…this just happened!

For my 40th, people, basically my family in this foreign land, joined us at a restaurant where you eat in complete darkness.  It is an awe-experience because you can’t even see your finger on your nose if you touch it—you get to feel your food, taste it in the extremes, and understand others lives as you experience only a sightless celebration.  It is a must try.

And, in the atmosphere of the dark, you also communicate with great fun as you “hear” your friends more keenly.

Anyhow, after your meal, you return to the semi-light in an outer room while the chef comes and shares what you ate.  Oh. Yeah.  You don’t know what you’re eating in the dark!  Plain cool.

After the chef shared and we all laughed through our obvious culinary know-nots, we gathered for a group photo where the girls—yes, the girls—hoisted me in the air, singing Sto Lat, and then throwing me up and down.

Beasts they are!

You go, Ladies!!!!

It definitely made for a rockstar ending to a fantastic 40th birthday celebration night.

Here’s to 40+ more!

Sto Lat to me 😉

Celebrating the Mad Scientist…


(c. Dan Pan photography)

Actually, he’s my dad!  And today is his 71st birthday.  If you ask Adelyne, she’ll tell you that he’s turning 213.  Yes—we’ve encouraged her wild imagination.  Perhaps at times too much?!

My dad is a classic Mad Scientist—brilliant and an outstanding educator—yet there are so many other things that I have also learned from my dad.

Here’s a few gems:

Have fun…Life is short!

Play with your children…Life is short!

Go on adventures with your spouse…Life is short!

He also taught us:

Work hard…

Serve others…

Give generously…

Love endlessly…

Honor your spouse faithfully…

And love God wholly…

Today, as we celebrate his 213th birthday, I want to encourage you to be like my dad, Mr. J!

1.  Always invest in the education of children.


2.  Don’t be afraid to jump off a mountain in Austria (even if you did just have your hip replaced and you are 65 years old).



Image3.  Cheer wildly for the local football team in a foreign country, in a language you don’t even know, on the City Hall steps at midnight, with a bunch of intoxicated fans…and have a blast doing so!


 4.  Dance freely in a 2,600-yr-old settlement in Poland with beautiful ladies.


 5.  And support your children wholly…every step of the way…into a life of their own.


(c. photo Bill Holmes)

Sto lat, Daddy.  We love you so!