Saturday, October 30, 2010


Pea in a pod and stinky skunk.

I remember going trick or treating one time when I was little. My family tried to stay away from the ghoulish side of Halloween, and by doing that, we skipped dressing-up altogether. So this year, since Oliver is old enough to notice other kids celebrating big, we had a decision to make.

The origin of Halloween is unclear. Some say it's an evil celebration dating back to the Druids and Celts in the fifth century, B. C. Other studies link it to a Christian/Catholic fete. The research that I did (not deep, by any means), usually began with, "Legend says..." Conclusion? There is no evidence to back anything up. We've concluded on our own that it isn't condoning the evil of that surrounds the holiday by dressing our kids up and taking them out and about. There's fun to be had in dress-up. Some of my fondest childhood memories were made wearing Mom's old bridesmaid dresses playing make-believe with my sister and cousins. Imagination is lost on most children in this age of videos and video games. God has designed us to learn and grow as we imagine who we could be or how we could accomplish the seemingly impossible. Does that correlation make sense?

That being said, happy Halloween from the Toftnesses!
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Friday, October 29, 2010


Georgi and cousin Lori, my 2 PA assistants.
Jess wearing a t-shirt of Scott at the dance. Hilarious.
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Mr. ring bearer
Have you ever seen a more radiant bride?! The groom is looking rather dapper, as well.
Uncle Jimmy and Auntie Susie with Oliver after mass.
Anna's bridesmaid hair. I think it's my favorite ever.
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Mom, Cocoa and Scott, Life

I'll start this post with a side note: when you tell your mom your password, she takes liberties in adding pictures to your posts. This advice is given with the voice of experience. I'll add that not all mothers are as slick as mine, so you may get something offensive on your blog. I've been fortunate to be only pleasantly surprised to find my blog has been blogging without me.

Next subject: Cocoa and Scott's wedding. The photo Mom put up was from Friday, October 22 - a day of joyful celebration for my dear cousin, Nicole, and my new cousin, Scott. God gave glorious weather for a most glowing bride and beaming groom. I am so happy for these two lovely people - and they are so happy, too! Oliver and I had the opportunity to have a front row seat at the festivities by way of personal attendant/stylist and ring bearer. What an honor! The morning went swimmingly, with only a few minor glitches in the hair-doing. Pictures went well (even though Olives insisted on carrying a puppy around for most of the morning IN HIS WEDDING ATTIRE...he was never even peed on. Whew.). The more gory excitement started after pictures, before the ceremony. Forty minutes before 'Here Comes the Bride,' I was in the church doing my personal attendant duties, while the wedding party was chilling outside. A groomsman calmly came in to report that Oliver fell down and his head was bleeding. I had just told him to calm down and not scratch his face. An uncle of the bride rushed in, holding my bloody boy at arms length, swiftly hauling him to the bathroom. My dear Anna, nurse on-site, said, "Elizabeth, remember, head wounds bleed profusely even when they're not profuse. The cut isn't very big, but it's deep. He probably will need stitches, but he'll be fine." My first thought was so selfish it's embarrassing. *Nuts, no one is going to see my beautiful son walk down the aisle, and I'm going to spend the rest of the day at home with a crying kid.* Isn't that awful?! However, the next few minutes were an amazing display of think-on-your-feet action. Someone called for the clinic number (the clinic being a block from the church!), while another person punched the numbers. A call was also made to my cousin for another shirt (as Oliver's was dripping red), but the mother-of-the-bride said nah, she could wash that out in the sink (what?!). Mom came to drive us (me holding my three year old in the front seat...shhhh), while my cousin held Georgi in the back. On the way Oliver was crying, not because of the injury, but because he didn't get to carry up the rings yet. Ha! Upon arriving at the clinic, Mom did paperwork with the receptionist and I followed the nurse with my whimpering victim. He had two shots to numb, two pieces of hair cut to clear, and one staple to mend. Done and done. We flew back to the church to find Oliver's CLEAN, dry, ironed shirt waiting for him to slip into and he walked down the aisle. There was of course some funny fidgeting that went on during mass, but for the most part the rest of the afternoon was non-eventful (other than, "I now present Mr. and Mrs. Scott Wacker." YAY!). We celebrated long into the night and even the wee hours of the morning. What a day. Beautiful, fun, crazy, unpredictable, blessed. Tired.

Life continues to take us by surprise at every turn. I guess that's what happens when you have children...well, more so, anyway. But in my humanity I want everything to be expected. I want to control my environment and the influence it has on my family. This was a convicting realization when a friend asked me if I had said a prayer of grace for the day Friday. I hadn't, but God - in His mercy - gave grace when it was needed. I think I spend too much time wishing and hoping things will go well, instead of going to the One who is in control of circumstances. I have a cross-your-fingers, hold-your-breath kind of mentality, thinking I'll jinx the situation if I pre-pray it. Why wouldn't I just give things to God? I can't change His mind or plans anyway, why not just align my thoughts with His will through prayer? I'm learning this more and more as I consider the world I live in. Things will happen to my family that I don't see coming. MOST things are out of my realm of control. Don't fear the future, trust God with it.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord.
"Plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rolling Stones audition

So, who else thinks I look like Keith Richards in my 'Blessings for Beth' bandanna? Mom kindly put this photo as my thumbnail for blogging. Woof. At least Josie and Georgi look good!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

O oliver

Now, let me tell you first-- Georgi is doing plenty of fine things, too, such as giggling, cooing, playing. Those stories usually merit only yawns from all others who aren't the babe's mother. Though, if you could see her today you would want to squish her even tighter than usual. Olive, George and I participated in a 5k benefit for one of my brother Jess' friends (little Beth who has cancer) this morning. The wind left Sissy's cheeks so rosy she looks like one of Santa's elves. Squish. Oliver had me running most of the 2 miles, which I was planning on strolling casually through. Squish him, too.

Here's the reason for this post: After Bible study Thursday Oliver said to me, "Mom, wanna know what we learned in class?" I was excited about some insight my boy was going to reveal. "What?" "We learned not to touch our neighbor. But there aren't any of our neighbors in my class." Trying to suppress a giant hoot, I explained to him that I thought the teacher probably meant the person sitting next to you in class, not our neighbors at home.

Back to the subject of Beth. I just ask that all who read this would say a prayer for this precious 15 year old fighting to beat cancer down. I got emotional today thinking of all those people (over 900) who showed up to support this sweet little girl. Pray for God's peace, comfort and strength.

The photo above is of Jess and Oliver with Beth at the benefit run for her on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

One more

This story involves a green rubber golf ball, a pair of bib overalls, and an Olive who is a boy.
The Olive brought the ball to his nana's for a morning of play. When it was time to go, this silly boy thought a good location for the ball was his back pocket. His mom told him that was not a great idea and that he would feel that lump under his bum the whole way home. As the car backed out of Nana's driveway, Boy Olive says, "We have to pull over, I'm sitting on a lump."
His mom's reply, "I told you that would happen, but you made the choice to put it there anyway. We're going to drive home."
"Drive fast."

Friday, October 1, 2010


*This is a redeeming photo hoping to set your heart aflutter before you read this post*

As we strive to raise the smartest, God-fearing, respectful children (not to mention most attractive), we are finding ourselves suppressing chuckles and hiding grins and pure shock at the things our son comes up with.

1. "Grandma, where are all the frickin' airplanes?" This was during a trip Oliver and Mom took to the airport this spring when Isaac came home for a visit. The rest of the conversation...
Grandma: *shock* We don't say 'frickin',' Bud.
Olives: Mommy says it. [I do not. I say freaken. There's a difference...isn't there?]
Grandma: Maybe we could say 'funny' instead.
Later on...Oliver: Look at those funny airplanes. *Pause* Hey, Grandma! I didn't say 'frickin'!'

2. Andrew had cut the top off a milk jug to scoop the dog food. Oliver found it and a toad, and put the toad in the jug. He brought it in the house, but promptly went back outside as I shooed the two of them out- boy and his toad. I told him he probably shouldn't pick it up because they pee on you. I know that's a dumb thing to tell a little guy - to not touch something gross - but I couldn't help it. My mommy instinct came out and I said something that couldn't be obeyed. Sorry. Anyway, a little while later Oliver shows his daddy the toad...on the end of a stick. He had shishkabobbed it. "I like it so much, and I didn't want it to get out, so I killed it."

3. While staying at Mom and Dad's, Oliver took a bathroom break, during which my brothers, Jess and Jonny, had a little scuffle. Jonny was just complaining to Mom about how Jess (who weighs upwards of 75 pounds more than little Jon), was pounding on him, when Oliver walks out of the bathroom and says, "You're a pansy, Jonny."

4. Again, at Mom and Dad's...
*Oliver drawing at the kitchen table*
Jonny: You pickin' up the Legos, Oliver?
Olives: Does it LOOK like I'm picking up the Legos?

So how do you think we're doing with our parenting? Oh brother.