Tag Archives: family

We’re In This Together.

You know how you get into a season of parenting and you just love that season you’re in? I’m in one of those. Parenting is fun and exhausting and heart-wrenching and hilarious. And, so many more things. I love it that I’m in a season where I can have parenting fails, and my children recognize it as a parenting fail….and, they are able to shake it off and laugh about it. Yesterday was one of those days. First, in the check-out line at Ingles I noticed Jett put something in his pocket. He pulled out a lollipop.

Me: “Jett, do you know that’s stealing?”

Jett: “Yes.”

Me: “Do you know what happens when you steal?”

Jett: “You get rich.”

John Henry looks away, because he knows Jett doesn’t need to see him lose it. I try to reconcile the situation, and I still buy the lollipop. You may call buying the lollipop bad parenting, but I call it “It’s Monday, and Mom is tired.” So, whatever. At least, he now knows we PAY for candy. That’s my justification, and I’m sticking to it.

On the way home, I get a phone call from Kris filling me in on Anna and her appointment with the ENT. Anna, who has had chronic sinus infections for the past two years, apparently has her adenoids to blame for it. She also has her enlarged adenoids to blame for her inability to breathe well. I cannot tell you how many times she has told me, “Mom, I can’t get a good breath,” and I have responded, “It’s all in your head.” Swear. I am winning. You can imagine the hay day Anna had on the whole, “I TOLD YOU I COULDN’T BREATHE, MISS IT’S IN MY HEAD!!!!” I said, “At least you’re not allergic to chocolate!” She sort of laughed. Sort of.

Then later, I tell John Henry about some friends of ours who recently lost their dog. He knew this dog and loved this dog and spent time with this dog. I thought I was preparing him before he hears from someone else. Instead, he responds, “Oh my word, Mom. Why did you tell me that? You’re awful! I didn’t want to know this! You are having so many parenting fails today!”

I told John Henry I wasn’t trying to win any parenting awards. He said, “Clearly,” then he laughed.

We finally settled into the evening, and after putting the little bandit to bed, I decided to get him out for a family UTV ride across the farm. It was hard getting Kris on board, because he was all tired and acting like an old man. But, I was all I just wrote a blog post on living an adventure, so get up, people. A sleepy Jett got on the UTV and said, “Just so you know, when I go to bed, I’m tired.”

We made a memory. And, we forgot all about my parenting fails that day and took pictures of the beautiful, dusk sky. We remembered that at the end of the day, we are all in this thing together. Homework, projects, attempted thievery, surgeries, losses, wins, celebrations, disappointments, funny stories, doctor appointments, laundry, and even bad parenting moments. Sometimes, you need to pause them all and just be. Be in the moment. Be in something different than the day to day routine. Change it up. Be spontaneous. Be content.

Just be.


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Filed under Kid Stuff, Motherhood, parenting, Uncategorized

Before You Were Born.

I really do need to be still.  And, apparently quiet.  I’m sure if you asked my husband and children, they’d bear witness.  Take last Thursday morning, for example.  I was certain my two children were hiding from me, and it was time to go to school.  I turned into Monster Mom and threw out a warning or three.  Kris immediately turned to me and pointed towards our family room. 

“They are sitting on the sofa,” he said softly. 

“Ohhhhh,” I replied lacking all ability to redeem to myself.

I then heard my husband tell the children, “Come on kids.  Let me take you to school where it’s safe.”

Hence, my theory that they would appreciate some stillness with a little quiet on top.  But, the unpredictable mood swings will all be a distant memory before we know it, yes?  We have finally begun to get ready for the arrival of Jett.  That’s his name, by the way.  We are in the process of turning our guest room into Jett’s nursery.  My other two little people refer to the guest room as “Nan’s room.”  Anna has thought it unfair that Jett gets Nan’s room.  Last night, she locked the guest bathroom door.  When, we questioned her about it, she said, “I don’t want Jett to come out and mess with Nan’s stuff.”

It’s a whirlwind here, folks.  But, it’s a good whirlwind.

Because, God is right in the middle of it. 

I’m growing this awesome baby boy. 

Who is going to bring so much joy to this family.

My prayer is that he knows how excited we are to meet him.  How much we love him.  And, more than anything else, how much his heavenly Father loves him…..Who already met him long ago.

I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.  Before you were born, I set you apart…. Jeremiah 1:5

You see?  There are no accidents.  Because, God knew YOU before YOU were born, too.


Filed under God Stuff, Kid Stuff, Motherhood, pregnancy

Welcome To the World, Liam!

Hooray for new additions!  Leiv and Lindsey, our brother and sister-in-law, have given us a new nephew, and I CANNOT WAIT to get my hands on him.

Liam Soren Takle entered the world (and melted our hearts) Wednesday, December 15th.  I get to meet him in person very soon.  All 7 pounds, 12 ounces, and 20 ½ inches of him.

I’m sure Liam and his soon to be born cousin will give me plenty of writing material as they grow up together discussing aviation, medicine, and, of course, farming. 

I love my family.  And, I love Liam already.

Welcome to the world, Liam.  You are sure to make it brighter.

Every good and perfect gift comes from above.  James 1:17


Filed under life, Love

Our Weekend In Pictures.

I’m officially the mother of a seven year old.

JH - 7yo wp

Er, soccer is back.

Anna - weekend wp

Daddy Bryan came out to celebrate.

Bryan - JH weekend wp

So did Nan.

Mom - weekend wp

My husband rocks. 

Kris - JH weekend wp

But, he rocks every weekend.

And, this is what 15 ½ weeks looks like.

Pregnant 15 wks wp

Well, it’s what it looks like on me. 

Let’s be honest.  There are probably a few of Kris’ homemade cinnamon rolls in that picture, too. 

It was a fun weekend filled with a ton of love.  I am thankful for a Nan is who continues to be a great mom.  I am thankful for a daughter who lets her fun personality show in her pictures.  I am thankful for a son who makes my heart melt.  And, I’m thankful for two dads who love that one son so much that they even enjoy one another.

Oh, and I’m thankful for the littlest Takle.

That’s my weekend.

How was yours?


Filed under gratitude, Kid Stuff, Motherhood, pregnancy, Relationships

Coming Soon!

Takle Family 5

It’s true.  We did it.  Well, Kris and I did it.  We are going to be a family of FIVE, oh, sometime in March of 2010.  And, yes, we did it on purpose.  Neither of us just felt our family was quite complete.  But, I have a feeling that this third addition will seal it for us.  Can I get an Amen?  Praise Him.

We discovered our newest, soon to be released, little person over a week ago.  We just told big brother and big sister a couple of days ago. 

Here is John Henry when we told him followed by his response:

Baby news - JH

“Are you kidding me?”

And, here is Anna, who lives in Annaville, followed by her response:

Baby news - Anna

“I want the girl kind.”

They are both excited.  We all are.  Of course, the funniest response came from BigMama:

“Ooohhh nooooooooo.”

“Oh no, BigMama?”  I asked her.

“Well, did ya want another one?”  She defended.

“Yes!”  I explained.

“Well, alright then.  If you’re happy, I’m happy for ya.  If you’re sad, then I’m sad for ya.”

She makes me laugh.  Always.

So, there you have it.  And, here I grow.


Filed under Kid Stuff, Motherhood, parenting

Our Christmas.


We’re not busy one single bit during the holiday season.  Right.  We do tend to make our rounds, but I love making those rounds.

Christmas morning, two little heads peeped in to see what the fat man in a red suit delivered.  Santa was unprepared Christmas Eve for the ten million stickers and parts that made the Barbie Party Cruise possible.  He, or SHE rather, was exhausted by the time she made her way back up the chimney.


Oh, how I love those sleepy faces on Christmas morning.



We enjoyed lunch with Bryan’s family {John Henry’s dad}.  We like to say that we put the FUN into dysfunctional.  Except, we don’t call it dysfunctional.  Just our normal.  And, we like our normal.


Above is Bryan’s dad.  Look at sweet Paw-Paw lovin’ on both my children. 

I am asked so often how we do what we do.  In other words, how our blended family dines together, laughs together, does life together.  Simplest answer?


Our Christmas.  Well, it was special.  And yours?



Filed under Kid Stuff, life, Love

I love Jesus and Santa Claus.

The title of this post is courtesy of a comment my dad left on my blog yesterday.  In the spirit of Christmas traditions, Dad simply said his favorites were “Jesus and Santa Claus.”  Way to go, Preacher.  Way to go. 

Unfortunately for Dad, he probably won’t love Santa Claus this year due to some serious financial cut-backs and such.  I reminded Dad of the recession at the North Pole.  He responded with a resounding, “I have everything I could ever want.”  And, the readers say, “Awwwwww.”

Truth be told, many are feeling the effects of our current economic climate.  Howevah, we still live in the most blessed nation on.the.planet.  Perhaps, this is a good holiday season to think beyond big, bright packages with ribbons and bows and enjoy the people God has placed in our lives.  

This year, why don’t we all decide to make some extra indulgences into spending time with those who make our world go ‘round.  Maybe use a little less sarcasm with a family member.  Tell that friend WHY you love her.  Play an extra game of UNO with your son.  These are the moments that last.  All of the tangible gifts will fade away. 

“’Maybe Christmas,’ he thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store.  Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.’”  – Dr. Seuss ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’.

And, a big Happy Annniversary to Mom and Dad.  My greatest two examples of living out a life rich in things that really matter.

How are you going to enjoy the people in your life this Christmas?


Filed under Friendship, giving, Love, Relationships

Across the Atlantic – Part Four

I know the past few days have been heavy.  They’ve been even tougher to write.  Writing a story of such magnitude while praying you are honoring a family is no easy task. 

I wanted to conclude with a few things I think we can all take away from Andrew’s story.

1.  When life knocks you completely flat on your face, get up.  Even if it’s slowly, just a bit at a time, get up.

2.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Enjoy it.

3.  We never have an excuse to say, “No, I can’t.” 

4.  Savor every moment with the ones you love.  No one has been promised tomorrow.

5.  Love deeply.

6.  Stop focusing on things that don’t matter.  Invest your time into things that will matter forever.

7.  Hug your children.  Every.Single.Day.

In Andrew’s words:

“The only reason I can carry on is I have no guilt – no guilt for the time that they were here, because I gave it everything.  At the weekend, my phone was always switched off from work.  Have we all got jobs that are so important that it cannot wait until Monday?  If I had not done that I would not have the memories I have today.  And, those are the only things I have left….

If there is one thing I could tell people, it is never to take your family for granted, never make excuses that you have to work to provide what you think they need.  All they really need is your time and that costs nothing.  All the toys and presents that I bought have all been thrown away.  All I am left with are my memories.  And, the only reason I have those is that I spent the time with them.”

I cannot pretend to comprehend Andrew’s loss.  But, I can say that his life is a testimony to what it means to invest into your loved ones and what it means to move forward.  It is also a reminder to us all that every single second counts.  It doesn’t make the pain less.  But, perhaps, more bearable.  I am humbled by his strength and his permission to tell his story.  And, I am proud to call him my friend. 

Andrew continues to inspire me from thousands of miles across the Atlantic.

I hope his story has inspired you to live in the moment.

What is keeping you from enjoying today?  Are you letting things that have no eternal value rob you of investing into what really matters?

What will you take away from Andrew’s story?

Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.  Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is.  You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.  My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.  Psalm 39:4-5


Filed under disappointment, life, Love

Across the Atlantic – Part One

This series of posts will no doubt be the hardest I’ve written thus far.  The subject is difficult.  And, the story is real.  This is the story of my dear friend, Andrew Gitsham.  And, with his permission, I’m telling it to you. 

I’ve known Andrew for more than twenty years.  A true Brit from Worcestershire, England, he came over to the States as a teenager to experience American life for a couple of years.  That is when he became a part of my life and the lives of a few of my friends.  We always enjoyed Andrew – even his British confidence became endearing.  And, the fact that he thinks he speaks “English” while I speak “American” is…..well, let’s just say it’s tolerable.  When he left to go back to England, we kept in touch, albeit infrequently.

I visited him in England in 1994 then again in 1998.  It was my last visit that he introduced me to Stacey.

Stacey was a beautiful girl who stole Andrew’s heart – a feat many of us doubted would happen.  Andrew has always loved life – living it as large as any human being possibly can.  So, settling down just didn’t seem in his blood, if you will.  Much to my surprise, this handsome Englishman finally tied the knot with Stacey in 2001.  On June 27, 2003, they gave birth to Joshua (the namesake of a mutual precious friend who had passed away in 1998.)  Two years later on September 19, 2005, a baby girl made them a family of four.  They named her Georgia – a name reminiscent of Andrew’s time spent there. 

Andrew had become a real, live family man.  And, he could not have been happier.  He could not have been more fulfilled.  But, on December 8, 2005, his life changed forever.

On a Thursday afternoon, Stacey, his two year old son, and his 11 week old baby girl, were all killed when their car burst into flames after having been hit by a truck on England’s A1.  At that moment, everything was taken from him.  In one brief moment, his worst nightmare stared him cold in the face.

I learned of Andrew’s loss three days later.  I remember going out for a family lunch that Sunday afternoon and being filled with grief for him.  I looked across at my own three year old and 1 year old and tried to imagine what that kind of loss feels like. 

But, I couldn’t. 

I don’t think any of us really can.  To even put ourselves there mentally is too much.  Just trying to wrap my brain around that kind of devastation makes me grasp for my own breath.

Shortly after, I finally spoke with Andrew on the phone.  “Dusty, we were so very happy,” I recall him telling me.

The days that followed would not be easy ones.  And, you can imagine the days where he wondered what there was left to strive for.

But, he kept striving anyway.

To be continued…


Filed under disappointment, life, Love

Celebrate Good Times.

I’ve spent a lot of time this week getting our house ready for John Henry’s birthday celebration.  My parents arrived yesterday, and my dad had his list of restaurants he needed to hit before departing the great state of Oklahoma.  Daddy Bryan arrives this evening. 

We decided to make the weekend a family affair for the most part, and John Henry didn’t seem to mind scaling down his bash as long as Optimus Prime made an appearance on his birthday cake.  No, I didn’t ask for Kris’ assistance.  The Super Target bakery will do just fine, thank you.

We all get to watch John Henry play his first game of soccer tomorrow morning.  It should be a wonderful weekend centered on a tender-hearted, soon to be six-year old. 

Not much sweeter than time with family.  It’s that kind of love that gives our children a foundation that will weather anything.

“There are two lasting bequests we can give our children.  One is roots.  The other is wings.”  – Hodding Carter, Jr.

What are your weekend plans?


Filed under Kid Stuff