Her Favorite Sunday

There are many reasons why I love our church. If I could even put it into words just how much I love it, I would have lots to write. Because seriously. L-O-V-E.

This week, Annalise unknowingly illustrated a few of the reasons why our church is so wonderful…

Last Sunday, she and several other little people from her Kids’ Bible Class recited the scripture passage they’ve been memorizing (Isaiah 40:25-31).

*Sidenote. That sentence alone demonstrates THREE of the many reasons why we love Sunrise. 1) Emphasis – for ALL ages – on memorizing God’s Word. Because how can we really live it if we don’t really know it? 2) Kids’ Bible Class. An amazing class for little people taught by a precious woman of God, who does an incredible job of making God’s Story come alive for them. Seriously, every church needs this class… And Renee. Except we’re not willing to give her up. 3) Little people getting the opportunity to share God’s Word with others? I like the priorities.

So they recited their passage as I sat there in the front row, beaming. And crying. Obviously.

A few days later while we were on a walk, Annalise said to me, “Mommy, Sunday was my FAVORITE church day EVER. Because I got to say God’s Word to the WHOLE CHURCH… And Auntie Nee was there… Aaaaannnnd I could see Mrs. Enright smiling at me… Aaaaaannnd Pastor Phil was smiling at me, too… And Mommy? YOU were crying happy tears. And Daddy was videoing me, because he was so proud.”

Yep, love my church. Love Kids’ Bible Class. And even though I know they weren’t looking just at her, love Auntie Nee, Mrs. Enright, and Pastor Phil. And all the people here that help us grow.

And really love that my girl’s favorite church day ever is the one where she gets to share God’s Word.

We are blessed.

Isaiah 40:25-31

25 “To whom will you compare me?
    Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
    Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
    and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
    not one of them is missing.

27 Why do you say, oh Jacob?
    And complain, oh Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the heavens and the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not faint.

Watch them here:


30 Minute Meals?

Try 5. Yes, Five Minute Meals.

I’m just that good.

Five minute meals that produced CHEERS… From BOTH kids. Yes, you read that right. Even the boy cheered for dinner!

Kid cheers and lavish compliments, such as, “Mommy, this is the best dinner ever.” And, “Mommy, I LOVE this. You should make this more often!” And even, “Mommy, this is so good. Thank you for making us such delicious food.”

And no, I’m not even kidding.

These compliments are helpful, because yesterday after I picked them up from a friend’s house, I was told, “Mommy, she makes the best food. It’s always so creative. Like today, she put thinly sliced pickles on my tuna sandwich! I just love her food. You should try to make food like that sometime.”

So yeah, the compliments ego boosts came at just the right time…

I make the best dinners ever. Delicious food. And in five minutes.

Tonight’s Best Dinner Ever menu:


Burnt grilled cheese and a giant raw carrot.

Eat your heart out, Rachel Ray.

Belated Birthday Treat

Yes, it took a painful amount of time.

Yes, I had to spell EVERY word for her out loud. Slowly. Except for “Daddy” “love” and “Annalise Joy.”

Yes, I had to calm 3 near fits after she didn’t form the perfect “G” “K” and “5”.

Yes, I had to give her a time-out for banging the table and snapping “No! I DIDN’T!” when I said she had made a good letter R.

Yes, I got “in trouble” at various moments for: 1) Spelling too quickly. 2) Spelling too slowly. 3) Offering help. 4) Not helping enough. 5) Suggesting that yes, in fact, she can do it. 6) Suggesting where to put it when she was done.

And yes, she’s doing this on Mother’s Day. And she’s using my coffee card that I got for Teacher Appreciation week.

But seriously? MELT.


Stuff like this. It’s why I love being a mom. So really? It’s a Happy Mother’s Day to ME! Because I got myself such an awesome kid. (TWO awesome kids!)

And P.S. My favorite? The Es with lots of bars. Bless her.

Oh yes, and sorry, future Kindergarten teacher. I’ve tried to work on the lower case letters. But honestly? I don’t get paid enough. (Although, neither do you. But she’ll be nicer when you teach her.)

Puppy Love

You know those parenting moments you don’t really look forward to, but you know are coming and there’s nothing you can do about it?

Moments like when your child gets his/her driver’s license. Expected, a good thing in many ways, but also terrifying and maybe a bit sad as your “baby” is nearing adulthood.

Moments like when your child moves out of the house to go to college. I cry just thinking about it, and mine are only 5 and 3.

Moments like the day your son or daughter comes home and says they’re getting married. Hopefully, you’re elated and this is all a very wonderful thing, even though it might be very emotional at the same time.

Tonight, I got to witness one such moment. One of those “I knew it would happen sooner or later, but how did this happen so fast?” moments.

Matt is still in New York helping with hurricane Sandy relief efforts.  He calls nightly, and while the kids miss him terribly, they haven’t been super chatty…

…until tonight. The second he called, Annalise asked to talk to him. Her conversation went pretty much like this (names have been removed to protect the innocent):

“Hi Daddy! I have a problem. THREE boys want to marry me. THREE. I knew about the other two, but one I just found out tonight that I’m his girlfriend. The first one is _boy#1_. Then _boy #2_ who ALWAYS says he’s gonna marry me – UGH – and tonight, I gave _boy #3_ a hug good-bye. But then he whispered in my ear, ‘You’re my girlfriend!‘ (giggle) So I don’t really know what to do… …Daddy, _boy#3 is REALLY nice….”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   I get the phone. Matt says, “Really? THIS is the bomb she drops on me while I’m on the OTHER SIDE of the country?”

Hours later, I’m still laughing picturing his look of shock and total bewilderment.

Prayers appreciated. Looks like Matt is gonna need them.

Happy Dramatic May Day

I posted this on Facebook this morning:

It’s 8AM. We’ve already had enough drama to fill several days. My children. They were not blessed with calm, unruffled, phlegmaticalness. (Yes, it’s a word.) Bless them.

Who am I kidding? Bless ME. And give us grace on this very dramatic average Wednesday. We could use a heap.

But oh how I love these dramatic littles. Their drama (sometimes) brings me much laughter… resulting in further drama. Apparently, I’m not allowed to laugh. Or at least not at them.

So just a couple examples of the average Wednesday drama:

Child 1, while discussing the possibility of doing May-Day flower deliveries, throws herself on the bed in a heap of tears. Because HOW DARE WE leave flowers WITHOUT SAYING HELLO. When I let her know that is just exactly the point – to surprise people who are expecting to see someONE, but just see flowers – she only cried harder. Because that just CAN. NOT. HAPPEN. Ever. “Mom! I can’t NOT say hello when I am at someone’s house that I just love so much! (sob) I mean, how COULD I???? (sob sob, loudly sob)”

Child 2, while getting his ginormous claws clipped after ripping holes in my skin by accident, announces in his most dramatic tone with dramatic facial expressions and dramatic one-handed-motions (the other was being clipped), “MOM. You HAFTA stop. dis. now. Because I am SO DONE getting my nails cut. I have stuff ta do.” Of course you do, 3 year old. Just cutting me to shreds isn’t on the to-do list today.

Child 1, while playing (dramatically, of course. Because all her play is like a stage production), suddenly bursts into tears again, “MOM! I just don’t understand… WHY would you want me to ring the doorbell and RUN AWAY from someone I love so much? (sobs and more sobs)” Oh dear. We’re still on this. It’s now a thing. Bless her.

Child 2, after I got him dressed and walked out of the room unintentionally leaving him alone, he sings – yes sings (and rather well, I might add) – this song from Les Miserables (Castle on a Cloud”)… “Please do not leave me on my own. Not in da darkness by myself…”

– Let me pause here. Because what just-turned-three-year-old ON EARTH sings songs from Broadway productions to communicate to their mother just exactly what is happening? Mine. MY just-turned-three-year-old does this. Yes. We are dramatic in this house. –

So then I post my comment on Facebook. The one above. A few kind friends post encouraging words. And then this conversation happens:

  • Paul Kuzina Love you Holly–your honesty is refreshing, and you will glean much prayer support as a result of it. Holding you up in prayer—Dad
  • Holly Priestman ^And dad, were you not totally and completely PROUD that I used such a BIG word? Phlegmaticalness. That’s like a dozen syllables or something. I MUST be your child.
  • Paul Kuzina I was wondering if it actually IS a word!
  • Holly Priestman Ummmm…. YES. Although FB doesn’t seem to think so. Whatever. Look it up.
    (I have waited YEARS to be able to tell you that! YEARS!)
  • Holly Priestman ^Probably even decades. Because I am officially THAT old.
  • Paul Kuzina I don’t own a Funk and Wagnall’s. Sorry! (Mom did that to me! She mocked my predisposition to loquaciousness, and this is the result!)
  • Holly Priestman Funk and Wagnall’s? You might be dating yourself. I’m not certain of that, since I don’t know what it is, but I’m guessing so…. Try this new thing called GOOGLE, dad. It’s even better than old Funk.
    And you just trumped me. Because now I have to look up “loquaciousness.” Whatever.
  • Paul Kuzina Okay, I apologize for ever doubting my teacher daughter. “Phlegmaticalness” is, indeed, a word. (Loquaciousness” is also, I might add.)
  • Paul Kuzina Syn: verbosity, garrulous, logorrhea, prolixity, etc.
  • Paul Kuzina I personally think “logorrhea” is a good one. That sounds a lot like “diarrhea” of the mouth.
  • Marie Scanlon HAHAHAHAHAHA! I love this convo. I love words!
  • Paul Kuzina And one last thing…how dated do you honestly think I am, Holly? I just used Google to verify those words. So there! Your old man isn’t too archaic!
  • Paul Kuzina BUH-bye!
  • Holly Priestman I HATE it when dad says a big word that I don’t understand and ask him to define, only to get a string of words that I also mostly don’t know. Dad, you WOULD like logorrhea. (FB doesn’t think it’s a word either. Underlined in red.) I expect it to come up in conversation soon…
  • Holly Priestman My FAVORITE part of this entire conversation: The man who uses the word “loquaciousness” without having to look it up, then leaves the conversation with the “word” BUH-bye.
    I have absolutely NO IDEA where my kids get their dramatic flair.

Dramatic flair? Yes. And maybe also his flair for words. One of my favorite words they say is “butcept.” They use it regularly…

“I LOVE this doll, butcept it’s hard to change her clothes.”

“Mommy, you look really nice, butcept you should probably fix your hair!” Um, thanks.

And so I end with this:

My life is a bit dramatic. Of the 3 and 5 year old kind. It’s the best kind. I so love those dramatic littles (and their just-a-wee-bit-dramatic grandpa who makes me laugh in his wordy drama all the time.)

And maybe, just maybe, I inherited a bit of said drama. And maybe even dumped it by the bucketloads into these children I birthed.

We reap what we sow.

Butcept I am so thankful. Their drama brings so much joy and entertainment. I am blessed.

Now, on with this dramatic Wednesday…