Family Update: This is your time

It has been forever and a day since I have written a blog post…and even longer since I shared any type of update of our lives.  With all the reading I have been doing on time management and scheduling, I rarely say, “I don’t have time” anymore.  Instead I say I use my time for other things.  Which is in fact true.  God has given each of us the same twenty-four hours in a day. We all use those hours differently, right?

Somehow time is slipping away and things keep changing.  Did I really just register my youngest for kindergarten?  Is it true my oldest does not want to play in the Playland at IKEA anymore?  Since when did everyone’s shoe size get past the children sizes?

I have seen this the most lately in my oldest.  Last year we drove to swim lessons and she spent the entire car ride talking about My Little Pony.  Pinkie Pie is an earth pony.  Fluttershy is a pegasus.  Zecora is a zebra (which is confusing…how did a zebra get into Pony World?).  There are times I will see her get the ponies out and let them prance around the family room, but most of the time it is with her little sister.  She wants to listen to the rock station in the car and I am grateful I am (most of the time) content to listen to it with her.  She actually bought me a Taylor Swift CD for Christmas instead of buying one for herself.


I sometimes mourn the little pudgy cheeked girl she used to me.  But more of the time I am grateful for the beautiful young lady she is becoming.  I have always had a heart for middle schoolers and have been doing middle school youth ministry for years and years.  It is exciting (and a little nerve wracking!) that she is slowly getting to that age.

She is so unlike me.  The day she was born my mom took one look at her and said, “This baby doesn’t look a thing like you.”  She has been Daddy’s girl since she was an infant.  She thinks like he does.  Her hand writing looks like his i.e. hard to decipher.  She loves to cook and has her own drawer in the kitchen with her own knife, measuring cups etc. She loves to make lunch for everyone and has cooked a few meals.  When I was nine years old I doubt I could be trusted with any type of kitchen machinery or my own knife.  She plays piano beautifully and is self disciplined and self motivated…again she did not get this from me.  She likes to run but I don’t know if it will be her passion like it is for me.  Then again I didn’t really become passionate about it until my 20’s.  She enjoys basketball, wants to try soccer again, and still likes to swim.  She loves theatre and acting.  It is fun watching her try many different things.

My son is the child of which I sometimes feel like I am reliving my own childhood.  His big blue saucer eyes remind me of “little me.”  I hate to admit I thought he would struggle in school.  When I home schooled him for preschool many years ago, I pulled out alphabet flashcards.  After a few cards he groaned and said, “Mom can we do something else?”  He never got into Sesame Street and was not a big reader like his older sister.  I was very wrong.  He is an advanced reader now and brings home A’s.  Math comes pretty natural to him at this age.  He works very hard at school.  He has a great sense of humor and a big heart.  He reaches out to the kids who are hurting or left out.  He loves animals and like me cannot handle movies where animals get hurt (I guess we’ll  never watch Old Yeller together).


He is very extroverted and likes having extra kids around the house.  He and I both a share a need to be outside and we get stir crazy on rainy days.  I love to run and bike with him.  He loves legoes and hot wheels.  Like me, he hates mushrooms and olives.  I asked him how he thinks we are alike and he said, “We both have the same feelings.”  Which is very true.  We are both pretty emotional… sometimes to a fault.

He had an experience in school in February that mirrored a situation I had at almost the same age, it was uncanny.  The class had to make heart-shaped animals for Valentines Day.  It required them to fold construction paper in half to make hearts.  He could not figure it out and tried repeatedly.  He got overly frustrated.  When he told me about it when I was putting him to bed and he got very upset.  When I was in second grade we had to make hearts folded in half.  We had to staple two hearts together and put memory verses we learned in the hearts.  I could not figure out how to cut a half heart shape with folded paper.  I tried so hard and gave up.  The teacher laughed (which made me feel even dumber) and gave me one she had already made.  I told that story to my son and he said, “Mom you’re not dumb. We just couldn’t figure it out.”

I wondered when the third child was born if she would be like her sister or her brother.  The answer to that question is she is not like either one.  She is who she is.  She was a strong willed toddler that constantly kept me on my feet and challenged me in many ways.  That made her into an independent girl who makes her own lunch every day without my help (she’s five), picks out her own clothes, and is learning to read (and do some basic math too).


She is truly an artist.  She takes paper creations, pipe cleaners, paint, magazine cut outs, stickers and makes things.  She will do this for a whole morning.  What she comes up with is incredibly creative.  I am much more “arts” than “crafts” and I appreciate the “not having to follow directions.”  I would much rather have a blank canvas and some paints.

Like her brother she loves to ride her bike and get dirty outside.  She is still very much wrapped up in the world of My Little Pony and Barbie.  She is still strong willed.  I have to tell her to tone it down and not tell her friends what to do.  Yet I see some leadership in her.  I am excited to see how her little personality is going to continue to develop.  I am not sure if she is more like me or my husband.  Most days I see a bit of both.  Sometimes she reminds me a lot of my sister and my niece which makes me smile.

As for my husband and I…when we first moved to Oregon we were in our late 20’s.  30 seemed normal and 40…well old.  Now we are inching closer to 40.  Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am in my late 30’s and I’m not 28. I don’t feel old most of the time.  Maybe sometimes when my middle school youth group kids have no idea who White Snake or Van Halen is or what life was like pre-Internet or that our family shared a phone that was attached to the wall.  There is something fun about sharing those stories of pre-technology age.

The husband and I both listen to indie/folk music pretty regularly now.  I don’t know if that is because we are in our late 30’s or it is more popular in the Pacific Northwest.  When I was driving my middle schoolers to go bowling I said, “You can put it on whatever radio station you want.  I have it on the indie/folk alternative station.  I am not sure you have heard of it.”  She said, “No I don’t listen to it but my mom does.”  It is a different experience when your youth group kids moms are your age and even your friends whereas when we started youth ministry years and years ago we were actually closer in age to the kids.


The husband is about to graduate with his doctorate which is pretty amazing.  He made trips all the way to St. Louis for 2-3 weeks each year for classes.  He wrote a dissertation that included interviews and tons of reading and hours of research.  All while being a full time pastor, husband, and dad. And author…he wrote a book in there too!  I honestly think he could teach a course in time management.  I asked him what he is going to do with his spare time once he is completely finished.  That might include more reading, writing, and possibly model airplanes.

As for me I feel like my life this spring has not been this “run around crazy one thing to the next circus” like it has been in the past.  Maybe my husband’s time management skills finally rubbed off on me after 14 years of marriage.  I work almost full time doing in home child care, but I do have time to read, connect with friends, and of course run a crazy amount of miles.  I will be (Lord willing) running my fourth marathon at the end of May and this time with my sister.  I desired friends who run and even prayed for running partners over the years.  But I still was (mostly due to my unpredictable schedule with kids) the lone runner.  I have found people to train with and it has been a tremendous blessing.  I shared more about this on my running blog  where you can also follow my marathon training.

In this phase of life being a stay at home takes on a new form.  I feel like I still need to be at home, but I am not doing the changing, dressing, picking up their toys (most of the time they are supposed to pick up their own) etc.  We are doing more together outside of the home that are things we all enjoy (like going to a movie, bike rides etc.). More often than not, I am the mom on the play equipment or the trampoline or in the tree (that was a little much–I wasn’t sure how I was going to get down). I don’t expect every mom to be like me, but I am grateful for my energy and need for activity.

I know this post is getting super long…I am nearing 1800 words…yikes.  But tomorrow I leave for Michigan for my grandma’s funeral.  She was 96 years old.  I am reminded again how precious time is.  I am grateful for all the memories I had with her.  She was an amazing grandma and I am grateful I got to know her so well.  But we don’t live forever here on earth…time does not stand still.  It is time to say good-bye at least on this side of heaven.


 So I close with this:  Don’t let time pass you by that you looked back and questioned, “What did I do with those twenty four hour periods God gave me?”  Create memories.  Make a meal together.  Go for a bike ride.  Paint a picture. Jump on a trampoline. Dance to 80’s music. If that’s not you–figure out who you are.  Even though there is pain, brokenness, anxiety, suffering, and fear of the future, don’t discount this beautiful life God blessed you with.

My Child Care Journey…

DSC09085If there is anything I have learned in life, it is that you should not say, “I will never do that.”  OK maybe if it is something crazy like bungee jumping off a bridge…but don’t put that one past me.  I am the type who might actually do that.

We make our plans, of course.  God often has a better one that leads us through twists and turns, mountain and valleys, and to places we swore we would never go to.  Child care was one of those for me.

I was a child care sub in a public school district in 2002.  It was a second job and “my real job” was youth director at a local church.  Child care was secondary in my life.  So when I lost control of a group of 20 preschoolers, I knew this was job was temporary.  The following year I took a job as an after school care leader in a small Christian school.  This job was a better fit and I worked it for two years.  However, my passions were with the youth in my church and it was always a “second job” to supplement my part time income.

The following year we moved to Indiana and I had a brief stint of working in an actual day care center located in a business park.  I felt claustrophobic in the small classrooms with twenty four year olds.  The playground was a quarter of the size of the school playground where I worked previously.  When I lost control of a group of four year olds, I knew I could go longer work there.

I was a little too preachy about child care after that year, yet I was also confused about my calling.  I took on some traditional values even though I am not your typical stay-at-home mom.  I was never one of these college girls who wanted a “Mrs. Degree” and be a stay at home mom.  I wanted a career of some type and wanted to work outside of the home.  My desires and my values were all conflicted with one another and it is something I struggled with for years.

I stayed home for several years after having children.  I felt like it never came naturally to me, but I found my style eventually.  Two years ago a friend of mine wanted to send her daughter to our little Christian school we send our kids to.  Kindergarten dismissed an hour and a half before the time she finished work.  With no after care program at the time, I offered to watch her daughter until she finished work.  I only did child care about six hours a week, but I learned quickly that 1)  I loved having extra children in the house.  2)  I grew up on a neighborhood where there were always children to play with.  My kids do not.  This would be a way for them to develop friendships.  3)  God does not call everyone to be a  full time stay-at-home mom.  My friend was doing amazing work in God’s kingdom.  God was using me to help her do her work.

So come that spring I had a few families ask if I wanted to watch their kids the following school year.  I knew it was from the Lord.  Last year I had four regular child care kids.  This year I doubled that to eight.

Yes, now I am your typical stay-at-home mom.  I hang up my laundry on the clothesline outside.  I do crafts with my kids.  I bake muffins.  I sweep the floor at least four times a day.  I am OK with it.  Because I am supporting some amazing moms out there doing kingdom work.

I don’t think in terms of “real job,” “real career,” etc.  anymore.  And by the way I still do lots of youth ministry…mostly volunteer.

But this is me right now.  I love owning my own business.  I love having a loud chaotic house full of kids.  I love having a baby in the house.  I love watching my three kids love on these babies and toddlers.  So it’s a win win for everyone.

So my friends, never say “never.”  Your “never” might be your next adventure.

Weeks #8, #9 & #10

Today was our last night of a 30 day pool membership and I feel like I am mourning the loss of summer…or maybe just the pool.  We have three full weeks of summer left, but it feels like the first hints of fall are in the air.


But since I have not blogged in a couple weeks, I want to back up.  Week #8 of summer was a unique week.  My husband and my oldest were on the other side of the country in Philadelphia with a small group from our church.  They helped with a camp “our sister church” puts on every year.  It was an amazing experience for both of them.  It was very strange having a full week with only my younger two, but I bonded with them as well.  We went swimming every single day.


Our main reason for getting a pool membership is we all love to swim.  I always envisioned spending hot summer days with my family at the pool or the lake even before I had kids.  Since we don’t live near a lake anymore like we did back in our Michigan days, this is the next best thing.  My son began the summer hardly being able to hold his head above water.  He was still wearing arm floats or a life jacket at the beginning of the 30 days.  


The unstructured swim time was much needed.  He can now jump off the diving board without a life jacket on (which he was terrified to do only two weeks ago) and swim to the edge.  He can swim underwater and we’re working on floating on his back and blowing bubbles underwater…he will be back in structured swim lessons in a week.


My oldest has progressed in her diving.  I am finally figuring out breaststroke and am not embarrassed to swim it when I swim laps with my friends.  The best part was quality family time which made the membership worth every penny.


While my husband and oldest were away, the younger two enjoyed lots of free play time. My son taught the youngest to play Stratego.  They play the board game version and then they go outside in the backyard and play their own reality style version and they are the Stratego pieces.  It is quite entertaining.


I am thrilled they have not outgrown Little People yet because I have fond memories of playing Fisher Price Little People as a kid.

The husband and the oldest came home very late on a Friday night.  The following Saturday I went on an 80’s cruise with friends from my mom’s group.  We were celebrating my friend’s birthday.  I think dressing up in the 80’s attire was almost as fun as the whole cruise itself.



I love that this group is adventurous and will try these kind of events.  Going out for coffee has its place and we do that too…but getting a little crazy once in awhile helps keep things interesting.


The cruise went from 11 PM – 1 AM.  I was home shortly after 2:30 AM.  I have not stayed up this late in a very long time and it took me a couple days to adjust to the lack of sleep…I’m getting old.


Week #9 of the summer was a very busy week for my husband.  After being in Philly and getting caught up again…and getting ready for two full weeks off.  He still managed to take the kids on a walk to get Slurpies.


It was wonderful to have the full family together again…


The highlight of my week was taking three of my middle schoolers and one adult from our church rafting on the Deschutes River.  I had not whitewater rafted since 2001 when I took the youth group I was leading at the time to Tennessee.  I loved being on the river all day.


I only fell in once and we were not in a rapid.  We were playing a balancing game our guide led.  We all climb to the back of the raft and he pulls a rope putting the raft in almost a ninety degree angle.  We have to be still and not make sudden movements.  On Attempt #1 two of my middle schoolers moved and took me and the guide in with them.  Attempt #2 we were successful.

Originally we were going to camp two nights, but unfortunately my co-leader broke his tibia while in Philly the week prior.  It was too late of notice to find another adult to replace him so we turned into a day trip instead.  It was still well worth it.

This past week which would be Week #10 is the husband’s first week of vacation.  It was the staycation week of the “vacation.”  Normally during staycations we take a break from “people from church” not because we don’t want to see our friends…but pastor families need alone time.  This week we saw quite a few people from church and I even worked on church projects which I swore I would never do when he’s off from church work…but I felt totally OK about it.  I enjoyed it.  For pastor’s families, I think so much depends how tired and exhausted you are from church projects, issues, or people.  Right now I don’t feel as tired.

We played street hockey Wednesday night with friends from church.  This is something we’ve done every Wednesday night when we are able since June.  



Every Thursday night in August, our local running club hosts “cross country nights” at a local park.  They have four different races for kids and adults.  There are some very elite runners there–kids who can do 6 minute miles.  There are many running families who have kids that compete year around and travel out of state to meets.  We are not that family and never will be.  We just don’t have the talent to compete at that level and I am totally OK with that.  We love to run. We do it for the healthy benefits, the mental strength, and the time spent together.  My younger two did the 500 meter and did very well.



IMG_1285My oldest did the mile run.  I timed her at the track two weeks ago and she did about a 13 minute mile running the whole way.  I have no idea how to compare this because I never ran a mile at age 8–we just didn’t do that kind of distance back in the day.  I remember running my first one in seventh grade and getting 8:37.  




Because she ran with elite runners, she started very fast.  She almost quit because she could not breathe.  She stuck with it anyway and shaved two minutes of her time and got down to 11.  I didn’t care that she was one the last.  I was so proud of her.  I’ve learned with athletics is not to try to be the person or family that you are not meant to be–but still push hard and do your absolute best.  Set goals and try to reach them.  

The younger two have gone to VBS all week at another church and the oldest attended a Christian theatre camp.  It was her second year attending.  She got more of a main part this year and loved it.  They did Winnie the Pooh and she played the part of Christopher Robin.



Now it’s on to vacation.  Then a full week.  Then the following week I start child care already…just easing into it with one child here two or three times until school starts.  I haven’t done any back to school shopping yet.  I am still in denial.

Week #5: Water and Lemonade Stands

Can I just say how much I love summer?  I love swimming with my kids.

IMG_1144Last week Monday my friend invited us over to swim in their lake.  Because we all love the water, we cannot turn that kind of invitation down.  This is the same lake I trained for my triathlon on.

IMG_1150The water and warm temperatures were perfect.  We had hot dogs over the fire afterwards and smores.

On Tuesday my husband had to do a visit in Silverton so we came along.  We swam at the Silverton Reservoir where I also did a few training swims for my triathlon.

IMG_1154Because it is mostly a fishing area, we had to be very careful about fish hooks and glass.  The kids had to swim in their shoes.

IMG_1160There was a little place to jump off the bank into the water.

??????????????????????????????? I even got a training swim in.

I get a little more concerned with swimming with my kids in the open water.  Even thought my oldest is an excellent swimmer for an eight year old, I still have her wear a life jacket.  We’ve had a large number of drownings in the area the past couple weeks.  Many of our lakes and rivers have not warmed up yet and people don’t expect the cold temperatures.  Our swim areas tend to be more rustic and not as user friendly as the Midwest beaches I grew up going to.  You have to be cautious about drop-offs, rocks, and currents.

On Wednesday we met friends at a local park and on Thursday we relaxed at home.  I did not take any pictures those two days.

On Friday the kids had their annual lemonade stand for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

IMG_1181They had it from 4 PM to just after 5 and got lots of customers.  Everyone was coming home from work.  We also made M & M cookies.

IMG_1179I race for Prostate Cancer awareness because my grandpa passed away from it in 1989 when I was in junior high.  My dad is a survivor.

IMG_1183 Friday night we saw the most beautiful sunset.

Saturday was my triathlon. Sunday we had thunderstorms all day.  For us thunderstorms are somewhat of a treat because we rarely get them.  We have had abnormal humidity this summer and high temperatures.  Some complain about the heat, but I kind of like it.  It makes it feel more like summer.



Week #4 4th of July Week!

It was 4th of July week and it started out with temperatures climbing into the 90’s.  So that meant cooling off at West Bennet Park.

IMG_1099The kids love the spray ground which is located right next to the playground.  So they can easily run back and forth.

IMG_1101Some silly kid (not one of mine) got this bright idea to stick a towel in the drain clogging all the water thus creating a wading pool.  Not a bad idea, really.

IMG_1103The beautiful thing about Oregon summers is that its gets hot, but it doesn’t stay hot all day.  A breeze and cooler temperatures come in the evening.  So the oldest and I drove to Keizer where we biked along one of the few bike paths (we really need more!) in our town.  It’s a small 3-4 mile stretch that goes along the Salem Parkway, but you don’t have to deal with traffic and many intersections.  I love it that we can now bike together.

IMG_1108 On Tuesday we cooled off in the comforts of the library.  They had an afternoon transportation crafts session.  I am really trying to stay on top of summer reading.  I failed the last two summers.  😦

IMG_1111 On Wednesday morning the kids all decided to play My Little Pony together and wanted a group photo of all the ponies.  Two of them are my ponies from when I was little–unfortunately one is tailless.

IMG_1115Somehow Batman and the Joker were included the ponies activities…which works when you have a boy and two girls.  I LOVE watching my kids play together–LOVE listening to them making up stories.

IMG_1116 Yesterday was the 4th of July–one of my favorite holidays.  For the past three years we have gone to the Independence-Monmouth Parade.  We sat closer to Independence like last year.  Thankfully this year they did not run out of candy until they got to us.

IMG_1119 The kids wanted to wear red, white, and blue bandanas.  Which was great because it protected their heads from sunburn.

IMG_1131Our original plan was to go to our friend’s house after the parade and spend the rest of the afternoon and early evening there.  They always put on a fabulous 4th of July celebration.  Due to some unfortunate sickness, they had to cancel.  We had friends come to us last minute and we set up the slip and slide.  We had a nice outdoor dinner with them.  Then just our family headed downtown for the fireworks–the first ever 4th of July we all went to a fireworks show as a family.  I had not been to a fireworks show since 2006!  This is a picture of everyone standing for the National Anthem.

IMG_1126We got there early enough so we did not have to fight for parking spaces.  So we had time to read stories.

IMG_1128And play Uno.

IMG_1133And dance to music from a local band.

IMG_1137And enjoy fireworks!!

The kids did fine with the change of plans and all in all had a great 4th of July.

Next week is supposed to be HOT again.  We don’t have as much planned, but I am sure we will find plenty to do to keep us busy.

Proud of her

Kids need individual time with us.  I am not talking about driving them to sports practices and volunteering in their classrooms.  These are good too and of course you are connecting with your child during these events.  I am talking about “one on one” dates with your child.  My dad called them “turns.”  We call them special times out.

In these times your children will open and share things that they would not normally share in the chaos of your day or in front of the whole family around the dinner table.  If we are not intentional about giving our children this time, we miss those special conversations.


This week I took my oldest for a bike ride along a local bike path.  She could practice shifting gears and getting on and off her bike (which is still a tad too large for her) and I could practice biking in clips.  Afterwards we went to Jamba Juice which is my new favorite restaurant. I could have a peach mango smoothie every single day if they weren’t so expensive.

She told me months ago a girl she knew was being teased because of the way she dresses and wears her hair.  This little girl was told she is not popular enough and needs to try harder.  My oldest told the little girl that she didn’t have to listen to the girl who was teasing.  That she looked great and to simply be herself.  It was in that moment I was proud of her.  It took some trials of her own to understand those truths.

I think it hit a chord with both my husband and I because we remember moments of being the one teased and not feeling “cool enough.”  I don’t think you fully escape that pain, but thankfully you heal and find your confidence.

I know we are nearing the tweenager face and girl drama is going to increase.  I pray that her confidence continues to grow and that she can be a light in her classroom and out on the playground.



Second week of summer

Week #2 of summer.  The unfortunate thing about this week was my seasonal allergies got so bad that I had a pulsing sinus headache that knocked me out most of Tuesday.  The fortunate thing was the kids are old enough that I could sleep while they played on their own. Especially because I took a Sudafed PM on accident instead of AM…so that pretty knocked me out all afternoon. The kids can work the TV (and they know only 1 hour in the morning), make their own snacks, get their bikes out of the shed, etc.  The husband works next door to our house so he could check in on them every hour and was home for a full hour during lunch. The oldest knows how to use the phone. It was a little anxiety ridden for me at first–“They’re unattended!”  Yet they are 8,6, and 4 now…it’s not like the days of laying on the couch sick letting toddlers run around and hoping nothing gets destroyed.

But that was only one day…one day of an overall pretty good week.


It is the week before VBS and I am directing again this year.  What seems to be a daunting stressful job for many has become doable…and even fun…for myself.  It took many years of trial and error to get to this point.  While I know I won’t direct forever (I already warned my church this is not a permanent thing!) it has been a great volunteer position for me this year.  Lots of people stepped up.  Because my oldest is doing odd jobs to earn money for her mission trip to Philadelphia this month, she helped me sort volunteer t-shirts, name tags, and helped my friend set up decorations.


After being sick on Tuesday, I was itching to get out of the house.  The weather was beautiful!  My head still was not quite right in the morning.  By 3 PM I decided to bite the bullet and take the kids biking.  I knew they would go slow and we could take breaks as needed.  It was our first bike ride together on a trail.  My youngest’s bike is not in the greatest condition and the training wheels don’t stay in place so that created a few falls…and stops.  But overall everyone had a great time.

ImageIt is difficult for me to bike with all three of them because I have a racing road bike.  I bike in clips (though I am still a rookie and learning how to do this).  I am too nervous about biking slowly behind them especially when they stop suddenly…not sure I could clip out that fast.  So I wear my 90’s style roller blades…and I still get a good workout too.

ImageBecause I was feeling so much better, I decided to play street hockey Wednesday night.  Some guys from our church started a Wednesday night hockey night in our church parking lot.  I don’t like to play volleyball or basketball–but I won’t turn down a game of hockey…even I have not played since junior high intramurals…and we’re talking over 20 years ago!


I took the kids to the Public Works Day at the local park.  It is when the Public Works department comes with all their big trucks and educate the children about what they do.  There is also some bike safety education, games, face painting, and free lunch.  My kids went last year and loved it…so we had to go again.


We have been trying to teach the children about other cultures.  One of the best ways to do that is with food.  The husband made a Korean barbecue and then we had the kids read a website about the country.  We quizzed them about what they learned.


I am not sure what country we will do next.  Ethiopia?  Indonesia?  Greece?  The kids want to do Mexico, but I would rather do one that is going to be more of a challenge…and different.


We ended the week by going to Eugene for part of the day.  My friend Linda who was in the youth group I lead back in Michigan was playing in an ultimate frisbee tournament there.  I visited her over Spring Break in May in LA where she currently lives.  This time she got to see the husband again and meet the kids.  We were able to watch her game and go out for pizza…this is a picture from when were in LA together.  I was a dork and left the camera memory card pack home in the PC yet again.


Now on to VBS week–where our week will be pretty much be VBS and not much more!