Thursday, March 30, 2006

Hope in times of failure...

The storms are moving in. The rain is dancing on the roof. The smell is breath-taking. Spring storms remind me of my childhood home. When Eric and I lived on 3rd street in the big old house born just after the turn of the century we'd sit outside on the porch swing on nights like this. The kids would be safely nestled in their beds and we would sit in total silence enjoying the beauty in the sky as it lit up and thunder rolled over top. I love this weather. It also reminds me of harvests past when all wheat cutting would cease as a storm hovered over the fields. My dad would wonder how long it would be before he could get back in the field. What a great night filled with the awesome signs of spring (not your usual ones!) And...not the worries of in-coming tornadoes like Kansas! :) Iowa is becoming a home to us.

I found some reassurance after my bad mommy day. From Brennan Mannings, The Ragamuffin Gospel : "The mature Christians I have met along the way are those who have failed and have learned to live gracefully with their failure. Faithfulness requires the courage to risk everything on Jesus, the willingness to keep growing, and the readiness to risk failure thorughout our lives." I've failed but there is hope. (I've got a ways to go before the mature Christian part but still have hope!)

I'll end with a Lucy story -
I walked into the kitchen and there were piles of white all over my black appliances, inside my microwave, all over the countertop and on the floor. Eric asked Lucy why she would pour salt all over mommy's kitchen. Does she not like us and want us to clean up such a crazy mess? She looked at him square in the eye and gave a smart-alec reply, "God made me do it." Proving my point of things I've learned lately about my kids being sinners...should've added passing the buck onto God.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bad Mommy Scene #905,056,999

So, after chewing out Alex and Beth up and down tonight for running in the parking lot at the Y and almost getting hit by a car, I lost it once more and unloaded on Jake because he was talking back to me. Stunned, he sat there jaw-dropped and said, "All I wanted to do was go to the library because I'm out of books." If that guilt trip wasn't enough (I'm yelling at my kid because he's addicted to reading) when we got home I made myself a sandwich (I fed the kids before Pilates..can't eat before Pilates myself or I practically puke on the mat :) ) and Jake came into the kitchen and said, "Mom, you never eat. Why are you always making food for us and doing things for us but never for yourself?" Obviously, he hasn't seen my binging rampage during PMS week (he has an observation deficit). Then he went on to say that he was going to wake up tomorrow at 6 am and make me some oatmeal. He said this as he walked into the other room and tried to conjure up a following from his sisters to tag along on his early morning breakfast debut. And all the bad mommy in me could think was, Oh geeze, how messy will the kitchen be when they're done. So, tonight I am humbled at my ungratefulness and selfishness. Thanking God tomorrow is a new day and that He is the God of forgiveness, mercy and grace. I could use a little tonight...I could give a little tonight. I'm signing off in true Buller night-time fashion: Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite! Beep, Beep.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Things I've learned lately

  • No one in my house knows how to flush the toilet after having a BM.
  • Eric likes to sleep in on Saturday mornings...not clean (he is a little grumpy if he cleans).
  • Having a clean house isn't in the bible. (THANKS JAMIE)
  • I shouldn't worry about the state of my house if it prevents me from hosting someone.
  • Having people stop by is a blessing...even if the house is trashed.
  • Having four kids means I learn four times more about different personalities and how to interact with them and how to love them.
  • God loves a cheerful giver.
  • Open dialogue with my kids about sex is important. Tell them sex is a good thing, not a negative thing. (THANKS VONI)
  • My son shouldn't answer the phone anymore. Everyone thinks he's me.
  • Lucy should NOT have alone time unless she's asleep.
  • Little girls start talking about boyfriends when they are 4.
  • Some people like me because I'm me. I don't have to prove to them I'm worth it.
  • Reading 7 books at one time is overwhelming.
  • Make a deadline when starting a quilt.
  • Screaming isn't always in agony.
  • My kids were born to be loud.
  • The people who sit in front and behind us in church might always be annoyed with our kids. God loves my loud kids anyway (even when Lucy puts her feet on the seat in front of her and makes their head bob).
  • Kids are sinful and don't know any better until I teach them what's right.
  • My husband needs time to unwind when he comes in from work. His day is more stressful than mine.
  • Sex is good any time of day (Whoa! Just thought I'd throw that in there to see if you're still with me!)
  • Some people are good at faking that they are Christians. You never really know. Ask Eric how good he was at it. Pray for everyone I come in contact with.
  • 75 gallon water heaters are made to be fully used up.
  • Grounding Jake from reading is really hard.
  • My mom still does a good job of taking care of me when I'm sick. She can handle the whole package (four kids to get to bed for me!).
  • Real friends are friends you can go for months or a year without seeing and you can pick up where you left off.
  • There are too many kinds of foreign beers.
  • Dessert wine is really good.
  • No one reads long blogs.
  • AND...the most important thing I've learned lately: My kids are watching everything I say and do. I'm their biggest example (OH SH*T!).

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Whew! I'm exhausted. We were up half the night cleaning and had our not-so-small-small group in today for a dinner. It was a great turn out and I think everyone had a great time. Also had my favorite babysitters taking care of 13 of our kids that were 6 and under. They were lifesavers! The cleaning seemed to take forever yesterday. Don't know why the kids can't just get it done. In the end they do it just takes hours of prodding by mom and dad. Wouldn't it be simpler if they just obeyed us all the time? ha ha. Ok, so here's a Lucy and Beth story before I sign off for dream world:
I gave out the lists of to do's yesterday and then proceeded to "remind" the kids a few times. The last time I walked down the steps (it was the last time because they got their act together after) I rounded the corner into Beth and Lucy's room and it was more trashed than it was when we started. I glanced around the room and didn't spot anyone but saw evidence (still moving rocker) they had darted away when they heard mommy's footsteps. I grumbled a bit and yelled to Eric the report of the tornado that struck the youngest Buller girls' room. I turned to leave and from under the bed I heard a serious little voice say, "Uh oh, Beth. Busted." Lucy was admitting to Beth they were toast. Beth, still trying to fly under the radar, was keeping her lips tightly shut! It was another "had to be there" moments but cracked me up nonetheless.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Traditions...with a twist!

When I was little my mom used to clean the house every Saturday. Yvonne and I had our assignments and my dad was always gone to his farm to work (my brother got out of cleaning because he went to the farm for the manly work too). My mom worked really hard and spent Saturdays working even harder cleaning and baking (surprise, surprise). I got up early this morning, hit the Y, then the grocery store and ran some errands. I got back to the house as everyone was finishing their leisurely breakfast (which a tornado hit the kitchen while they made it...whole 'nother blog could be written on that one). Why is it when I handed their lists of "to do's" today they all scattered and are now avoiding me? Really, I'm just trying to carry on some traditions from generations past and no one appreciates it. :)

Friday, March 24, 2006

I'm the only one laughing...

I know I tell a lot of Lucy stories. You must wonder if the rest ever do much qualifying them for a "blog story" (Eric loves to see if he makes the blog). Just imagine about 3 years ago the same stories only replace Lucy with Alex's name and you'll have more Buller tales. Little Beth seems to stay fairly safe under the radar and Jake is too busy with books to care much about anything else. So, I love them all and none more than another. But some pull more off the wall stunts noteable as drop jaw moments in my day. I had another "Lucy" clip to entertain you with tonight but as I typed it in here it didn't sound as funny as it was at the time. Either I'm losing my marbles or it wasn't really all that funny. If I blogged the Lucy clip I'm afraid I'd be the only one laughing!

Sorry, nothing profound or entertaining in my head tonight (Ok, worse tonight than usual!). :)

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Ok, I have to catch up on all the stuff that's been happening since I failed to post for two weeks. Yesterday Alex got in the Suburban after school and said, "I told a girl I trusted who I loved and then she told everyone!" The tears began to well up in her eyes and she was really hurt. Yikes! I was sideswiped by this one. I tried to think back to my first love...was it Tyler Davis? Ok, so maybe Kindergarten wasn't my first love and 2nd grade isn't Alex's first love but the wake up call I got yesterday put me on alert that this girl stuff is coming fast and furious. Was she mad that everyone now knows who she likes or is she upset that the trust in a friend was broken?The emotions and hormones in this household are running high and are just going to intensify! I'm totally not prepared for this. HELP!


Every week I am excrutiatingly challenged during the lectures at Bible Study Fellowship. Today was no different. I was feeling "cruise control" taking over this week and routine going back to normal until this morning. I am made to think outside my normal thinking and reflect on things I wouldn't normally think to reflect on. From last week's study I realized that remorse and regret are fine and dandy but it doesn't amount to much until I truly repent and then can be forgiven. Two of the three principles given today put my thinking cap into overdrive. The first one was this: God trains his children through times of waiting. Over the last few years and I realized how true this is. I thought over how long we waited for a house to buy in town and all the lessons I learned along the way (of course at the time I wasn't so dreamy about the lessons I was learning). Upon interviewing for various jobs at HON the wait between interviews and answers has sometimes been months. These are little things but first to come to mind. The actual take home application I received from this principle today was that during these times of waiting we are to JOYFULLY submit and learn from God. I think the JOYFULLY submit part is hard stuff and I'm still in the process of learning this. The other principle was: God trains His children through circumstances and people. I thought about people lately I've had differences of opinion with. But looking at these differences and thinking what I should learn and what character building I need to do through this put the situations into a whole different perspective. And, while being alone throughout the week with four kids is sometimes entirely too lonely, I truly believe this is a learning and growing experience that I'll look back on someday and not want to trade for anything. Thanks God, for helping me stomach this stuff today!

More wedding pictures...this is it! I promise!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Old friends we miss...

Pole Dancer

Let's hope this Trolly pole is the only pole she ever dances around!!

It takes TWO to TANGO

Bet you never thought you'd see this...

Does this look like a few deer caught in headlights or what? Unbelievable stuff little Lucy Lu comes up with. Today I had to get her to unlock the bathroom door because I heard noise like a movie coming from the toilet. To my surprise she was taking a dump (yes, her dress is covering the necessities but notice that the seat is up) and she was watching a movie while she did it. And, somehow she roped her little boyfriend in on the movie scene. (no pun intended) All the girl needs is a bag of popcorn and she's good to go. Unbelievable.

Whew! We're home!

A long trip to Kansas, a fun weekend of bridal extravaganza's and pre-wedding excitement, lots of family and friends, and beautiful wedding climaxed our spring break. I think I left off my last blog the day before my birthday. Just another day this year with our family experiencing the flu but I did have some friends surprise me with special treats on the big day. I received a birthday song and giggles from the front porch (we were quarantined) along with a wonderful present and a specially-made yummy chocolate chip cookie cake. For lunch another friend brought my favorite food in and dropped off an extra huge diet coke. Wow. These gals loved me and it was really cool to know I have friends. I spent the evening going to Pilates and then a birthday supper with the family. The rest of that week was crazily spent preparing for the big trip south! The excitement was hard to contain. After a two hour late start Friday we were off and driving...and driving...and driving. We spent the whole day on the road but made it in time to Hesston to celebrate my brother's 40th birthday. The week of bridal showers, spas and primping flower girls was a great memory for all of us. Although Eric missed out on a lot of it as he traveled to Alabama last week, he did make it in time for the tux fitting, rehearsal...oh and more dress shopping for me. Yes, I hated the dress I bought, sewed one a few nights before the wedding I didn't like (both too tight in the chest but I'm the only one complaining about that problem) and spent the day of rehearsal shopping for another. Five dresses later I found one suitable enough, although it had a wide-neck problem that eluded to too much cleavage (again, I'm the only one who complained). The wedding was beautiful. Anne was radiant and Kyle was handsome. Lucy didn't pull too many Lucy tricks. The kids had a blast and enjoyed the whole shibang. We got home late Sunday night and unpacked the car, took the car top carrier off, washed some clothes and repacked Eric for and early 6 am flight. Two hours of sleep and we started back at it Monday morning.

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Plague

Well, we're gearing up for another night of flu symptoms...Lucy got in the car after preschool today and proceeded to projectile vomit all over the car. They had orange juice for snack today. I got her home, stripped her down in the laundry room, and then soaked her in the tub. She quickly returned to the normal Lucy, only decorated in pajamas instead of daytime attire. She ate a sandwich in the early afternoon and seemed fine. Then, on the way to guitar lessons, she started throwing up all over the third seat (it was the second seat the first time). Jake, the gagging king (sitting BESIDE the vomiting child), started repulsing and flew to the second seat while mom was still giving instructions from the front and driving down Isett at 45 mph. His quick barreling act only exasperated his other sisters as he landed on and around them. Lucy still wanted a little supper...ate lots of broccoli and ranch. We'll see what color the night brings. And who she passes it on to. I'm not feeling so good myself so maybe I'm due for some down time in bed tomorrow. And, just in time to take yet another sickness to Kansas with us this week and pass it around there. A trip to Kansas wouldn't be the same without a little vomiting on the road and cousins getting sick. :)

Taking life for granted...

Last night was our Perspectives in Missions class in Iowa City. We learned about different missionaries in history and the struggles they faced and how they persevered. It was so eye-opening. One guy had one of his kids die, then his wife went insane, then his wife died...and all along he was still faithful and worked for God and kept on persevering. He and his family rode on a boat for 5 months. They went hungry sometimes, their lives in danger, their motives questioned. But they still searched out God. I'm also re-reading the book "In the Presence of My Enemies" by Gracia Burnham. They suffered so much and were grateful for everything they had. In my BSF lecture last week the question was posed: Do I take for granted the access I have to God's word and to God? I am convicted as to how these things all tie in together for me today. There are people out there who haven't even had the chance to hear about God and have a chance to have eternal life and I'm oversleeping, scheduling things that are futile and taking for granted the access I have. My life hasn't ever been as much of a struggle as the missionaries I heard about last night. Am I being faithful and persevering in the small struggles I have?

Gracia Burnham had a quote from her husband Martin in her book (Martin was killed during rescue efforts after a year in captivity), "I wasn't called to be a missionary. I wasn't called to the Philippines. I was just called to follow Christ and that's what I'm doing."

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Here's my rockin' dude. He's totally cute, isn't he? I'm trying not to make this poor lonely brother a sissy with all these sisters by paying for manly talents. He's getting good too.

Prom Queen

Ok, so the girls talked me into letting them get out my old prom dresses and some dresses from our wedding. They had a fun night with friends dressing up in prom attire.

It's been a whirlwind of a week. Three of us down with flu at the beginning but now everyone is back up and kicking. Gearing up for the upcoming wedding...I think today was the deadline for the guys to have their tux measurements in (maybe yesterday) and we still haven't gotten that done! I hope they don't end up with goofy looking tuxes!