Saturday, June 26, 2010

Truth Be Told

I don't like reading blog posts from people that speak as though they have it all together. I don't believe it to be realistic, and will at times begin to feel inadequate and resent their sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. I think it's naturally easier to lament with another's sorrow than to share in another's joy. I wish that were not the case, but for me it's really hard to overcome my cynicism. I believe most human beings, (especially those with children) have bad moments, days, weeks, seasons, years... (take your pick).

My method of coping with the negatives of life is to usually brood, vent, then laugh. For me laughter is the very best medicine. I will admit that there are areas in my life (usually the reoccurring issues) that are harder to laugh at... but it's true, the joy of the Lord is my strength.

So I will now share some truths that I want you to know about me:

*nobody listens to me. ever. (I know, I know, you're not supposed to say things like always, everytime and never... but let me tell ya, it certainly feels like never). The positive side is that you can then tell people that you told them about something even if you really did forgot to tell them... cuz deep down they know they don't really ever listen to you anyway.

*I homeschool my kids, but they are not geniuses and I am not ambitious. Yes these things can go together, and it makes for some interesting (or not interesting) situations... but it's still better than public school and I always give my kids the appearance that I know exactly what I'm doing.

*the older I get, the more people annoy me. I'm destined to be a crotchity old lady I think because my list of irritating people keeps growing. But I'm really fun to the people I like... so try to stay on my good side.

*my kids provide me with the most frustrating circumstances (just experience a van ride with us sometime, you'll catch a glimpse...) as well as the most laughter and joy. Some people say I need to write a book... ummm, I seriously think that would be one huge collection of the mundane... like a joke with a long lead in but a weak punchline. I'll stick to short stories.

*my marriage is the hardest thing I've ever had to work at... some days I wonder if I'm on candid camera.

*I like to cook, but I can never remember what I cook... meaning I tend to get stuck on the same 5 meals... it feels a little similar to the Monty Python spam bit. "We can have chicken and rice, or chicken and noodles, or rice and chicken, or rice with rice and noodles and chicken..."

*my house is usually a mess and I often times just try to convince myself that a messy house is a mark of a busy and intelligent household... but the truth is that I'm usually doing nothing of consequence and things aren't put away because some of my children aren't even sure where things (like the dishwasher) are...

*I long to be all healthy and natural but will rarely turn down a fountain coke and will slather my made from scratch whole wheat pancakes in butter and syrup... yes, I'm a granola girl, but my granola is made with high fructose corn syrup.

*I feel like my blog is full of "debbie downer" complainy type posts, but for the most part I live a happy life! I really just long to laugh more and more each day. So remember, you will never come to this site to read about a family that has it all together... (because we don't) and really, where's the fun in perfection? (I only see it in dysfunction)

Thursday, June 24, 2010


be very, very quiet. My kids are still sleeping... well, everyone but Avery. They're right at 12 hours right now. I was out on one of my girl dates last night and when I came home Steven said that the kids could barely make it through supper they were so tired... 7:30 bedtimes across the board. Yay for swimming.

We invested in a pool membership for the first time and we really are enjoying it. It's nice to be able to pick up and go to a pool almost anytime you want to and know people there that your kids can play with. Everyone is getting so tan... except for me. I'm getting sunburned and rashy. (really, I do wear sunscreen, but forgot to screen my legs one day and then was able to take some rare moments to sit on a pool chair, instead of stay in the water to watch over Lillie... not a good combination - even if it was just for a few minutes.) And then the rash is just on my arm, and I don't know if it's pool related or not, but I'll blame it anyway.

But we are having lots of fun.

I packed away a bunch of the older boys' toys this week. I was tired of them. Tired of all the stinkin' little pieces of lego and play mobile and every other tiny little piece of whatever stuffed under the bed and bookshelf and all over their floor. So I packed them up and put them in the attic. Yes there were a few tears, but they also realized that when mom had asked for the 50th time to clean up that making a big pile and stuffing small pieces under furniture isn't what she has in mind.

We will live, and be better for it. I'll keep ya updated on that little saga. At this point, my crew has opened their sleepy eyes... I knew I would jinx it. Off to go swimming!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Gearing Up For An Awesome Week

All the factors are in play...

1. We just got back from a weekend trip to Iowa. Steven's cousin was getting married in Ames. It was a beautiful wedding, nice to see family, we had an awesome hotel room (a suite with 2 rooms and a kitchenette - which for a family of our size, really helps the stay be a more pleasant one...), and we all survived the trip there and back (I'm not gonna lie, there were some ugly moments, but the key word is survived). A trip like that always primes the kids to be ready to just be home. Plus our house is clean, because we cleaned it for my parents (our chicken watchers) before we left - and two grown adults don't trash a house in a few hours like a brood of small children. So #1: My house is clean and the kids are mildly content.

2. Fun new things. We have one baby chick. Right before we left for the weekend one of our 8 chicken eggs hatched out. Yeah, the other 7 failed to launch - not sure the reason, the factors are so fragile - but we are pleased we got to witness the process with one. Here are some pics...

A picture of the original 8

Here is the lone chick freshly hatched

And here it is just a few hours later looking much cuter

Plus, we brought home two Betta fish from the wedding reception. They were the center pieces and needed homes... so of course we couldn't pass them up. So #2: We have new critters to occupy us.

3. It's officially summer. Which yeah, we've had the weather for it up til now, but this week is predicted to be clear and hot, and that is perfect pool weather. We have a membership to a pool club for the first time and boy are we going to use it. Today we are picking up a little friend and heading to lounge by the pool for the afternoon... (well until Sonic happy hour anyway :) Plus summer movies start at the theater. We have Toy Story 3 as a viewing option as well as $1 movies for the kids in the morning. Most of them are not appropriate for my little ones, but there are some bright spots in the summer schedule. Plus I'm thinking of taking the kids on a little field trip to a local hatchery so that we can get a few buddies for our lone chick and also see the process at a larger scale... we'll see if that works out but, #3: We have entertainment possibilities.

4. I have girl date nights scheduled this week! Phew, not a moment too soon. I still keep up with some friends from high school and we usually head out for dinner every 6-8 weeks and catch up with each other. This week is the next scheduled event and is at one of my favorite restaurants no less. Plus a friend that has been too super busy for me for several months now is on the schedule as well... and I'm really hoping she won't have to cancel at the last minute... cuz I MISS HER!!! So the possibility of 2 nights out before me after a long desert season of none makes me very happy. #4: Mommy break time.

5. The church construction process is in the home stretch. By Sunday I should have all of my new classrooms constructed, painted, and furnished as well as my own office painted and graced with brand new flooring. So the season of throwing classrooms and supplies together from week to week is coming to a close. #5: My work-life might become sane again.

*Sigh* I'm gonna love this week.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Yeah, I've Been Playin'

Everyone else was doing it. Lots of blogs I follow have changed their backgrounds recently, so of course I was bored enough to piddle around for about 5 minutes and find something else I like.

Bored. That's the word of the moment. I'm not sure why I'm so bored, but I am. I guess, that may not be the word I'm quite looking for... I have enough to do. I stay busy, but it's pretty much the same ol' stuff. I need excitement I suppose... but not too exciting. I have a feeling that my writing right now is totally reflecting my mood. Just going around in circles without anything spectacular.

Guess we're heading into the lazy days of summer.

Let's see, what's been going on...

Our chicken eggs are beginning to hatch. I suppose that's kinda exciting... but they are being pretty slow about it - which makes a person a bit anxious. 2 of the 8 have pipped their shell... but nothing more. Today is day 21, the final day of the process, so I'm hoping that they will get a little more active over the next 24 hours. I've already prepped the boys that not all the eggs will probably make it, but of course inside of me I've been hoping that this information is wrong and all 8 will hatch nice and healthy, cuz really who wants to tell a kid that the eggs they've been watching over for almost a month aren't gonna become chicks.

Lillie fell again and bonked the same eye that she blackened a month or so ago. I thought for sure we were in for another black eye, but it looks like we'll just have a bit of road rash. She always has to try to keep up with those boys. The other day I looked out the window to see the girl in her flouncy dress along with rubber work boots, a backpack and a gun. So of course I took a couple of pictures.

And here's a good close up of that eye... (and the dirty mouth from supper...)

I'm still without my regular break from the kids and it's wearing a bit. I love my kids, they're good kids but I kinda feel like they gang up on me. Ok, so maybe they aren't organized and vicious like that... but here are some examples of what I'm dealing with.

Lillie - constantly says my name... like a gazillion times a day. "Mommy, it lunch time, mommy?" is a classic example and it's not done in a strong big girl voice, it's the whiny helpless baby voice. Ugh.

Avery - doesn't appear to comprehend a word I say. Example: today I told him to get a cup out of the dishwasher and he goes over to the appliance and says, "This dishwasher?" Ummm, yeah. It's the only one we've got.

Huston - is getting kinda bully-ish with his younger siblings and is pretty much an annoyance at times with his constant noises and attempts at being funny. It grates.

Isaiah - well he's pretty much hosed, cuz anything he does combined with the previous three sends mommy over the edge - poor kid.

Luckily the pool is helpful and we've finally been able to take advantage of it. We spent right at 2 hours there yesterday and everyone came home exhausted - unfortunately only one of them slept and the other 3 just were a bit grumpy (ok, 4 cuz I fit into that category as well...) but at least everyone was a bit less energetic with their grumpiness.

That's all I can think of regarding our happenings. Riveting, I know. I promise the next post will be more uplifting. I'll find that boost of excitement somewhere!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

When It Rains, It Pours...

which is quite an appropriate title since it is pouring outside today.

This money stuff just grows on trees anyway, right? No need to hold onto it too tightly? Good, cuz we can't right now.

1. Car - Steven bought the car a little over a year ago now. Got it pretty cheap - this last month we sunk more into repairing it than we did to purchase it - it's still a good car and will hopefully now serve Steven well for a good amount of time without having to think about repairs.

2. Van - Yes, we have a swagger wagon, but our swagger is now close to 11 years old and is limping a bit. Struts, a/c, slow oil leak, and a sliding door that is being difficult (handle broke off even!) all added up to a huge repair bill as well. Right after paying for the car repairs. Nice. We didn't fix everything and are hopeful that a mechanic friend of ours can help us with the remainder.

3. Air Conditioning - is it really necessary to have this in order to live comfortably during the summers in MO? We will soon find out, cuz we can't afford to fix ours at this time. We try to wait until the last possible moment to switch it on as the season begins, and Friday was my breaking point, namely because we were having guests over and I wanted them to be comfortable. Switched it on. Blowing hot air only. The repairman came today to tell us the coil is shot. $1500 to replace the coil on a really old machine... but the better alternative (to him) would be to replace the system... and yeah, that's more than $1500. Ugh.

4. Lots of little things - seems like every time I turn around there is something else... and these kids eat constantly too - what's up with that? ;) Anyway, we'll be alright. Steven is good with the money. I just hate to see so many large bills hit at one time. That's usually the way it goes though... and it's a great way to see how God provides the small stuff as well as the big. He's a great umbrella.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Recapturing the Moment

Have you ever had some sort of event happen in your life or in the lives of your children for which you were unprepared... and before I go any further, I want you to know that I'm not talking a huge life altering event... more like an "oh my goodness I wish I had a camera to take a picture of that!" type of thing.

Several weeks ago at church on a Sunday morning I experienced one of these minor and humorous events for which I was unprepared. I head into town pretty early on Sunday mornings to get classrooms and supplies ready for the kids' classes at church. I hardly ever take Lillie with me. She's just too little to be of any help and she pretty much just slows me down cuz I feel like I take off in 5 different directions trying to get things into place. Before I leave home, I usually lay out clothes for Lillie to wear to church. Steven's there with her, he is a grown adult and he is a smart man. He's capable of dressing his daughter, but our ideas of *cute* and/or even *appropriate* are two totally different things most of the time. On this particular Sunday I didn't bother to lay anything out, cuz really I thought that might be a bit patronizing to my husband to not think him capable of dressing our 2 year old.

There are many times on Sunday mornings that I don't see my kids until I go to check on their classroom, and this particular Sunday was one of those crazy mornings. I walked into the 2 year old class and I hear my little girl's excited cry of, "Mommy!" as she comes running across the classroom to see me for the first time that morning and instead of paying attention to giving my girl some lovin's, I am totally distracted and struck by the outfit that my husband has chosen for her. My mouth drops open, I immediately start laughing (and start wishing that I had a back-up outfit available for her in my office...) but I had no camera to document it. That was almost more disappointing than the fact that my daughter was at church dressed like a street person.

So without further delay here is the outfit recreated for your viewing pleasure, and for my remembrance... (and yes the shirt was as wrinkly then as it is now)

Isn't it just a sight to behold? Notice the white summer sandals with the off-white fall/winterish colored tights? Priceless.

And here's the view from the back... her little hiney exposed for all to see. As I'm taking these pictures Huston says, "that outfit is a little strange..."

I didn't really say anything to Steven about it, I mean really what would it change? The guy saw that she was covered and in his defense girl clothes confuse him - which way is the front?, is this a shirt or a dress?, how do these buttons go? all of these issues have cropped up in past dressing experiences. The ruffle at the bottom of this little shirt does give it a dress like appearance... but the length? and the tights? with the sandals? yeah, I can't explain those things.

Anyway, luckily Isaiah and Huston noticed that the outfit seemed a bit odd... but Avery? Well, Avery was very helpful and took it upon himself to dress his sister just the other day....

Yeah, we may have an inherent fashion disaster gene among us.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rough and Tumble Gals...

I would propose that this family has a couple of ladies that could fit into that category. Now I'm not saying that Lillie and I are the toughest of the tough, but we don't sway from challenges to easily most times.

We have a portion of our yard that we let grow out to seed - so yeah, it currently looks like it could be baled. We have cut a path into the grass so that the kids can have a prairie trail and run to their hearts content. Yesterday they decided to try a new game - hide and seek in the grass. It made me itchy just looking at them. And guess who was altogether willing to join in the game with those big brothers? Yep.

Here she is after the game was finished and a bath was given. She didn't complain once, had a blast the whole time and will probably again plunge into that field of grass that's taller than her in a heartbeat.

As for me? Well, remember that list? I've added to it. I've killed some mice (didn't enjoy it, but had to do it.) I've cleaned up after chickens and I've pet salamanders. Yep, I should be feared. Oh ok, I'm not that tough.