Tag Archives: Darcy

Chase’s Story [VIDEO]

Have you ever seen this video of Chase?

If not, I highly recommend it.  And even if so, feel free to watch it again…  We have been so blessed to partner with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation this year and are continually thankful for the platform they give us to share Chase’s story with so many.

-MbM-

[Our deepest gratitude to the incomparable Matthew Lackey for his mad, crazy video skills.  Also, a huge thank you to both Jane Hoppen and Kristen Thies for all they did to put together the finished product and the time spent filming it.]

Of Ending The Year With Our Foreheads On…

The year 2014 has less than a dozen hours left in it.  This year has seen us through many, many things and all along the way we’ve prayed for the strength to choose joy.  To that end -the joy part, or in this case, the hysterical laugh-until-you-cry part- I’ve compiled a series of actual status updates from my personal Facebook page; all of which were posted in 2014.  I chronicle these things (and have done so for some years) because life is too short and childhood is even shorter and there are too many parenting moments when you’re faced with the choice of either laughing or melting into a puddle of tears — so, as much as possible, we choose to laugh.  Many of the scenarios include personal hashtags: from the most common – #lifewithboys, to the most funny [playing off of our secret parenting fear that our children won’t get college scholarships] #notscholarshipmaterial, to a mini-series from our first family vacation for a wedding less than 48 hours before the October MRI#turningupinTulsa.  We’ve asked you to walk many hard things with us, so, for a brief moment, as we close 2014, enjoy our “normal“…

Note: due to the household including the addition of three boys in approximately three years, an abnormally large amount of the quotes have to do with bodily functions or bathrooms.  Consider yourself warned.

1.  “Don’t walk on the couch with a box over your head, Karsten.”  I just said this.

2.  My child just pledged allegiance ending in “...with liberty and crustless for all!”  We might be in trouble. #‎nationalismfail

3.  There wasn’t enough snow for snowmen, so the kids made snow heads. Can’t decide if the yard looks like Easter Island or a horror film.

4.  Someday I will understand the mysteries of the universe and be able to explain why there is a football in the shower.  Today isn’t that day.

5.  “Well I didn’t throw the toy at him…Uh, I dropped it and his head was just in the way!” #lifewithboys

6.  “Look, I don’t care if it IS the Death Star. You need to stop messing around and eat your orange.”

7.  “Uh, Mom? Uh, today…today, I’m going to uh, not spill my water three times at the table.” #‎aidangoals

8.  “Mom, I’m keeping this family picture so that when you die, I’ll remember you because you’re old and you’re probably going to die soon.”

9.  “I just came down from Kookie’s room to tell you I peed really, really big on the floor.”  The official moment you regret telling a child to come here if they want to talk to you.

10.  “Now we are engaged TO a great civil war…”: Aidan’s rendition of Gettysburg in which history lives, but prepositions take a hit.

11.  “Well, uh, Mom, I didn’t throw a Duplo at his head.  I threw the Duplo into the Duplo box and his head was in there because he was messing around.”

12.  “Mom, I didn’t trip him.  I was just standing there with my leg out and he, uh…fell over it.”

13.  “Graham crackers are for eating…not picking your nose!”  I need a raise.

14.  This is what Aidan does on his day off school.  Because when you jump off the toilet lid, you go big or go home… 

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15.  Bob: “Karsten, you need a shirt.“, Karsten: “Can I eat it?”

16.  As Karsten watches the Olympics, he yells “Come on, Bears!”…because that’s what you yell at a TV during a sporting event, right?

17.  Darcy: “Mom, Karsten’s being a disastrophe.” Grammar takes a backseat to conflict resolution.

18.  Early morning questions: “Hey Mooooom?! When I’m 60 or 29, can I pleeease watch ‘The Battle of Helm’s Deep’?” #‎lifewithaidan

19.  Mom Log, 7:09am: Boy enters with teeth marks in forehead and another boy close behind, screaming “It was an ‘askident’!”  This should be good.

20.  “Yes, he shouldn’t have licked your books, but you should never sit in somebody’s face!”  This is how “reading time” goes down.  Real talk.

21.  “I’m sorry, Aidan, but ‘Hey, look! There’s a giant hamburger falling from the sky!’ is not a viable conclusion to your class presentation on the history of Legos.”

22.  Chase and Karsten are arguing about whether “Alligator” starts with “B” or “C“.  This should go well.  And by “this“, I mean the next twenty years.

23.  “If you ever get the kitchen stool and climb onto the counter and drop the watermelon to the ground again…”  Well, that was a first.

24.  “Mom! I learned how to sort all the laundry and now I know from everything into which thing it should be sorted into.”  Next lesson?  Grammar.

25.  “Mom, if you let me have a cell phone when I’m in college, I’ll totally text you, but first, you’ll have to tell me how to spell ‘good’ so that I can tell you that I am good.” #‎lifewithaidan #‎notscholarahipmaterial

26.  “Bapa, you never played hockey, but Grammie can still put you in the penalty box, right?” #‎lifewithaidan

27.  And then the training sesh ended with the lesson: “…and that’s why you never run with an anesthesia mask over your face.”

28.  Me: Do you know who the president was during World War 2?Aidan: Abraham Lincoln?, Darcy: Who is the guy with the horse in the picture in the hallway? (George Washington), Me: I’ll give you a *major* hint…it was a Roosevelt. Which Roosevelt?, Aidan: “Oh, oh!! It was John! John Roosevelt!!”  #‎historyfail #‎notscholarshipmaterial

29.  Somebody found the medical supply cabinet… #‎trouble

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30.  “Well, Mom, *this* is why you had a daughter…because I’m always right.”

31.  “Kookie, you be Dark Vader and I’ll be Fran Cello, okay?”  May the force (and the knowledge of actual Star Wars characters) be with you, my boys.

32.  This morning, Aidan informed me that he could sneeze in Spanish.  So glad we can check that off the list of needed life skills…

33.  That time Aidan walked into a dining room chair and split his eyelid open…again.

34.  That moment you’ve been in hold forever with the US Postal Service and they finally ask you to say a command and all the phone computer picks up in the silence is the sound of the 2 year old standing next to you saying: “I have poop, Mom.”

35.  Darcy is reviewing family members’ names with Chase: “Uncle Dave , Aunt Meg , Captain America…”  Say what??

36.  “But you NEVER said I COULDN’T throw a chair!”  Helloooooo, Monday…

37.  Family pictures at the horse farm…, Grandma: “Aidan, did you tell your mom about your experience in the barn?”, Aidan: “I touched a horse!”, Grandma: “…and what else did you touch?”, Aidan [hanging his head]: “Oh yeah… I toucheded the electric fence too.” #lifewithboys

38.  “Do not drop your dinner plate on the floor for the sole purpose of doing an air guitar with your leg!” — parenting with Bob Ewoldt

39.  “Um…Mom? How old will I be when I’m 25?” -Aidan #‎notscholarshipmaterial

40.  “Hey, Mom? When Auntie Meg has her baby, can I burp ‘Rock-a-bye Baby’ to it? I promise to burp in English!” -Aidan

41.  Let me be clear about something…just because I never specifically said “Hey, don’t take the cap off the milk carton, put your mouth around it, and blow into the opening.” does NOT mean it’s an acceptable breakfast table activity. #‎lifewithboys

42.  That oddly poetic moment when the coffee you’re about to make becomes that much more necessary to your day… 

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43.  “Aidan, tonight is your first night in Sparks, and you should be happy about that, and I know that you’re a lot shorter than most of the other kids, but you should try to have fun, and it’s okay, and you’ll grow up some day.”  Older sister pep talks are the best.

44.  I just walked into a flooded bathroom and two guilty little boys who informed me that it had happened because one was “President Business” and the other was “The Piece of Resistance”.  Everything is awesome.  So awesome.

45.  One of my children really knows the meaning of the phrase “Go big or go home”.  In other, totally unrelated news, anybody have a failsafe recipe for getting black Sharpie permanent marker out of anything and everything…hypothetically speaking??

46.  As we discussed today’s [Columbus Day] historical significance…, Aidan: “Mom what language do they speak in Spain?”, Me: “Spanish. Why?”, Aidan: “No, I’m pretty sure that’s not right. There’s a Spain language.”, Me: “Yes, it’s called Spanish.”, Aidan: “No, it’s a [emphasis] Spain language…” #notscholarshipmaterial

47.  “Mom! Come quick! The boys put toys in the toilet and Chase is telling Kookie to flush them!!”  Thanks for the sucker punch, Thursday. #‎lifewithboys

48.  6:49AM – Chase gets mad at Aunt Carrie for possibly not sharing her wedding cake with him…in two days. Aidan asks when we are going to cross the Mississippi Ocean. #turningupinTulsa

49.  12:20PM – stopped for lunch in a food joint crowded with service people in uniform and while Karsten pointed and called them “Heroes” and we had a patriotic moment, Chase took a swig of the pepper shaker. #‎turningupinTulsa

50.  1:39PM – pulled out the brand new, educationally promising coloring books detailing things like “Explorers of North America”.  Gave myself a pat on the back for thoughtful parenting.  Listened to weeping and gnashing of teeth because Magellan isn’t Spider-Man. #turningupinTulsa

51.  3:47PM – left Mo for “The Sooner State” and discovered pieces of blue crayon all around Karsten’s chair.  I was informed it had been eaten because it was blue.  Having been on the road for 12 hours, I deemed this an acceptable explanation. #‎turningupinTulsa

52.  8:00PM – Aidan starts doing handstands off the hotel wall.  Discussion of appropriate hotel behavior ensues, the finer points of which may include parents lack of knowledge on the nearest ER. #‎turningupinTulsa

53.  6:42AM – After she let us know she woke up early to “relax on vacation”; we had a lengthy discussion with Darcy on “the wedding party” being a group of people rather then an event.  It went something like the famed “Who’s On First?” sketch. #‎turningupinTulsa

54.  9:05PM – Chase vows to grow up and marry Aunt Carrie.  Aidan vows to grow up and marry Darcy.  Time for the first “Why you can’t marry your sister” conversation…also the “Why you can’t marry your already-married aunt” conversation.  Good talk, good talk.

55.  1:18PM – Tried the educational coloring books again.  Got asked if I had a butter churn when I was little.  Education is not my friend this weekend. #‎turningupinTulsa

56.  Some are born great, some achieve greatness, some have greatness thrust upon them, and still others chuck the whole battle for a peanut butter sandwich. #‎lifewithboys

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57.  “Mom! I got super frustrated and totally freaked out and flushed my clothes down the toilet! …but then I took them out again and they’re on the bathroom floor. Is that okay?”

58.  [later the same day as the clothes flushing]  In this house, to have one gross, bathroom-related Facebook status per day is pretty standard. To have TWO gross bathroom-related updates in a single day is pretty amazing…even for the Ewoldt boys. Karsten, for filling the sink with water and “painting” the bathroom with the toilet brush… This one’s for you.

59.  Just because I never *explicitly* said “Hey, don’t take graham crackers and crush them with a hammer on the living room table.” doesn’t mean it wasn’t implied.

60.  Bob: “So children, what did you learn in Sunday School today?“, Aidan: “Hey! Do you guys know how to do arm farts?” #lifewithboys

61.  I shook the freshly delivered Amazon box [full of Legos] to give the December boys a birthday present hint today.  Aidan’s guess?  A box of sweaters.

62.  So, apparently, when you hear “Hey Mom! Come quick! Chasey’s all tied up with tape!”, it could literally mean that Chasey is indeed all tied up with tape.  In other news, the 6-year-old just had his taping privileges revoked for life.

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63.  “It’s okay, Mom… I only carry dishes while walking backwards with my eyes open and I’m very careful.”

64.  “Mom, we’re really sorry for breaking your ironing board, but now that it isn’t flat anymore, it’s makes a really good slide. Is that okay?” #lifewithboys

65.  Bob: “…and that’s the story of the gospel and our advent reading for tonight…any questions?”Aidan: “Yes! Why don’t we do piñatas for birthdays??” #‎stayontarget

66.  Grief counseling for small boys in traumatic circumstances: “Son, if you insist on bench-pressing a full bottle of ketchup over your head, things like this are likely to happen…”

67.  Without a doubt, the best bedtime excuse I’ve heard in a long time… “But Mom, I can’t go to sleep without my forehead on.”

Goodnight and goodbye, dear old 2014…

Moment by moment.

The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.  Psalm 16:6

Abundant In Power

One year ago tonight, I sat on the side of our home church sanctuary, watching Darcy and Aidan finish their Awana year.  In my arms lay a limp and sometimes whimpering Chase.  It was the tenth day since his last chemo cycle and his counts were obviously plummeting; but masked, attached to his IV, too weak to stand and in strong discomfort, he refused to leave until he’d heard Darcy and Aidan’s names read for their awards.

When Darcy’s name was called at long last (as Aidan’s had been called several minutes earlier), he sighed, fussed, and begged to go home – his little body starting to burn with fever.  Within an hour, we’d be one our way to the hospital and late this night a year ago, he’d be admitted for many days to fight infection and the chemo toll.

I’ve been thinking of those year ago moments with him in my arms all day today.  And now, one year later, THIS…

Great is our Lord and abundant in power. Psalm 147:5

Abundant indeed that he who should have no memory can stand and speak, having memorized these words.  I stand in awe

Moment by moment.

 

Of Sisters And School

Today, Darcy started first grade.

Bob and I couldn’t be with her, but I want to take a moment to acknowledge this amazing girl. In many ways, the recent changes in our family have hit her the hardest. All I can say is that she tirelessly adjusts SO WELL. Last week, I watched her follow Chase all over the house, carrying his IV bag over her shoulder so that he wouldn’t be hampered in his play.

Just today, as we talked on the phone after school, she heard Chase fussing and -rather than finish our discussion about her class- offered to have me put him on the phone so she could “settle him down”. (she did indeed settle him down…)

Our precious girl made an awesome decision to trust Christ as her Savior this past summer and has had to bravely face several significant things going into the school year.

For these, and so many other reasons, we are so blessed to have her in our lives.

Enjoying these precious moments …

Happy First Grade, Sissy!

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A Very Lincoln Weekend

Mrs. Lincoln speaks about the Battle of Gettysburg

This weekend, we went to Civil War Days.

Actually, I need to back up a little on this story …

This winter, Darcy’s school presentation assignment over 7 weeks was to work on memorizing a famous historical speech (her history major mother did a little happy dance, I assure you).  We settled on The Gettysburg Address and got about 2/3 of the way through.  This piqued a Lincoln interest in her and so we decided after a very Lincoln-focused Winter/Spring that we needed to try out Civil War Days.

I can honestly say that I’ve never seen anything like it.  In case you didn’t know this about me already, be warned: I didn’t just major in history – I’m a complete history geek.  As we strolled through the town along the green, I shared the street with the likes of Generals Custer, Sherman, Jackson, and Lee.  I also saw Mr. Jefferson Davis, and of course, our beloved Mr. Lincoln.

It's Mr. Lincoln!

Our time culminated with a view of an afternoon battle between really amazing re-enactors (or re-en-actors? or reen-actors?) posing as Union and Confederate soldiers.  Very real.  In fact, so real that my kids at 6 and 3 only made it past the first few minutes of the full artillery before they were asking if we could please take it all in from a sizeable distance.  Judging by my son’s grimace, I equate “sizeable distance” to some 50 miles give or take.  Luckily, they were both comforted with some kettle corn – leading to a discussion of whether the kettle corn they were eating was actually around during the Civil War (uh, sorry, FDA…) .

Enjoying the porch on the Mitchell Manor

Such a fun afternoon … even the discussion on 150 year old kettle corn.  If you ever get the chance to re-live history this way, jump at it!

A Wednesday in December

Wednesday: the first week in December, 2006

I walked out the door to the babysitters with a heavy heart.  I could still hear Darcy screaming inside, but there was nothing else I could do.  Not quite 8:00 AM; it had been an insane morning already!  My mom had been suffering shortness of breath for a several weeks and was in the hospital for heart tests that day — a thought that I was trying desperately hard not to consider the ramifications of as she was Darcy’s primary care giver when I worked — so I had to get Darcy to somebody else’s house, and get her settled and still get to work on time. 

There seems to be an unwritten law of human nature that it’s the morning you most need things to go smoothly that they absolutely do not.  Late alarm, crabby child, one too many stop lights, the necessity of a different babysitter, an early meeting at work, and the far too common freight train blocking the only road I could get to work by.  On top of the full and difficult morning, it was also the week of the Christmas concert, so I had two rehearsals before Sunday.  By the time I finally sat down at my desk to work that Wednesday, I could feel the tension in my temples.  Great, just great.

I was in the process of scrolling through all the morning’s emails when I saw something from Bob.  Smiling at what was sure to be an interesting and encouraging diversion, I opened it.  The email covered a variety of topics … his years spent in Africa, his parents continued ministry there, and a few other topics random topics.  However, the last paragraph was anything but ordinary.  I stopped, read, and re-read… He asked if his friendly email banter was bothering me, and then …”I want to ask you out on a date…”

He went on to outline how he didn’t know where I was at or if I was potentially already in a relationship with somebody else, but he had put his intentions very clearly.  He wanted to go on a date.  As I write this now, it seems ridiculous that I could have been so unaware of his intentions at the time, but I was …and so I was shocked, and not at all sure how to respond.  My eyes focused on the last line “…so feel free to slap me down” …

I couldn’t handle this today.

But how could I not handle it?  I was going to see Bob at the concert rehearsal that night!  There was no escaping this.

A little annoyed at his insensitivity (How could he not know what a crazy day I’m having?”), I shelved the email, determining to come back to it later that day. 

Later on, I called my mom to see how the tests had gone.  She explained to me through a fog of drugs that the tests went well and that the results were encouraging.  I’d never heard my mom so … high.  However, she wasn’t so drugged that she didn’t question the strain she heard in my voice.  Moms are special that way.  Responding to her query, I mentioned the email I’d received. 

Should I?

Why not?  He’s a nice guy.  Just don’t keep him waiting.

Don’t keep him waiting.  Thanks, Mom. 

I silently wished that I had more time.  Maybe I could stall just a little bit.  Not to a mean or cruel level, just to an “I need to catch my breath” level…

I emailed him back later in the day with a polite acknowledgement of his question and the response that “maybe we can grab coffee sometime”.  Not quite a slap down, but at least a slight stall that could save rampant awkwardness at the rehearsal.

I should have known better … characteristic of a trait I now greatly respect in Bob, he demanded the same upfront behavior of me that he did (and does) expect of himself… 

The reply to my email was almost immediate:

“So … was that a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’?”

So much for my stalling technique …

Friday Five as the Saturday Six

I was thinking about the “Friday Five” yesterday … I really was!  Somehow the day got away from me though. 

This week, it’s a picture kind of Friday Five.  It’s in the air or something.  And because I’m such a blog-crastinator, I give you the “Friday Five: as the Saturday Six edition” …

Bob: this is how you’ll often find my husband.  Deep in news, political, and/or theological thought; even while watching the kids.  The man’s brain is a sponge.   Don’t believe me?  You should check out his blog

Ellie:  because it was a crazy week, and because I was behind the camera and didn’t think about it, and because I’d really love for you to think of me this way and not as the crazed, pony-tail and glasses wearing, covered in throw-up, spit-up or some other kind of body function person … here’s my picture for the week.  This is what I really look like.  Every day.  As a I keep my immaculate house and cook my husband 5-course dinners every night.  [stifling maniacal laughter]  By the way, this is me with my cousin Emily – a gorgeous woman inside and out.  Sorry to wrangle you into this post, Em … I couldn’t find a picture of just me all dolled up. 

Darcy:  On Friday, Darcy’s accomplishment was undoubtedly dressing herself.  Let me just say … she does this by herself with great success in normal wardrobe choices all the time, but yesterday, something happened.  I don’t know what, but it was so completely clothes-tacular that I couldn’t resist documenting it here.  Darcy, I apologize to your 18 year old self in advance.  Here’s the front …

Note:  Yes, those are Christmas socks.  They’re actually adult socks that her grandmother gave to her to use as sock puppets or something and she loves them so much that she wears them year round, hiking them up to her knees with little “this is the place for your ankle” bubbles halfway up the back of her leg. 

And the back …

Truly a proud parenting moment. 

Aidan:  Aid hates the camera.  He loves looking at pictures after they are taken, but he has totally disconnected from the concept that you need to stand in front of the camera if you want to see yourself in a picture.  Which is why over 90% of our pictures look like this …

I *can’t wait* for the Christmas card picture. [please sense the dripping sarcasm]  In other news, Aidan is obsessed with ants.   I could grow a beard walking down the average sidewalk because we have to stop and look at EVERY. SINGLE. ANT.  He especially likes to try poking at them or picking them up.  Although, last night, he informed Bob and I that he was “petting the ant” -wait for it- “with his shoe“.  We laughed even as we heard the sound of future college scholarships getting flushed down the toilet. 

Chase: the big news for Chase is that he had his first hair cut this week!  [you should be both proud of me and relieved that I didn’t subject you to the “my baby’s first hair cut” blog as I’d originally threatened]  As cute as the old-man-hair-over-his-ears-meets-the-mullet look was, it was time … it was time. 

And since it’s the Saturday Six edition this week … here’s a picture of the youngest: clearly just chillin’.  Blissfully unaware of the crazy family he’s about to inhabit …

Have a great picture that defines your week?  Feel free to link to it in the comment section below.

Have a great weekend!

Child of Grace

March 5th: The baby could be anticipated with joy

And what is left of this story?  The baby

Darcy (“the one who dwells in the stronghold”) Charis (“grace”) was born at 6:59 AM on Tuesday, April 18th, 2006.  My prayer for her has always been that she would live to fulfill her name: that she would dwell in the shadow of the Almighty and forever be a testimony of His Grace.  She was and is a child picture of my grace as well.

And so I began … raising my daughter while working full time to provide for us both, trusting God to meet our every need, and feeling completely led to stay single and reach others for Christ with my story of God’s faithfulness.

More than once, I was told with well-meaning intentions (or so I choose to believe) that others were praying for a husband to “rescue” me, but I really didn’t consider myself a person to be rescued.  God loved me and provided for me more and better than any human husband could and between that and the many promises of the Word to the fatherless, Darcy and I felt incredibly covered in this season.

Yet …

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” ~ Proverbs 16:9

This was not the end of a story, but the close of another chapter.

 

**Missed the rest of the story (so far)?  It’s right here!**