Sunday, September 30, 2007

Work and Play

I went back to work this week. It made for a very messy house! I feel that we have been flying by the seat of our pants. You would not believe how early I have to get up to be at work on time. As long as Steve is here it only takes me an hour to get up semi ready and out of the house. I usually let my hair dry in the car and might put makeup on at work. But one morning a week he has a men's bible study that starts at 6:00. On this morning I get up at 5:30 just to be at work by 9:00! Can you believe that? Seems insane to me. So needless to say I love the mornings that he helps me so much. He is definitely appreciated!

I have changed my work day by skipping lunch and leaving early enough to pick kids up from school. It relieves their stress and mine! Sarah worried every day last year about who was going to pick her up. Now she knows it will be mommy. I also love the time we spend talking in the car. I had a friend tell me she sees me pass her house all the time and can tell we are just all talking away! I like that. I love hearing about recess, spelling test and what so-and-so did that day.

This weekend we went to our old house and packed the rest of our things. I had stuff on high shelves and things on walls that we never packed. We are trying to hire the repairs and yard work done so we can just work around here. There are enough leaves to bury an elephant in and fall has not really started!

Fortunately we have taken the last couple of weekends and spent most of it playing with the kids. We have a camping trip planned soon and the kids are really excited about that. We are going with a lot of friends and their kids. It should be a blast as long as the weather holds out. We have reserved a large family/group camp site and it will have it's own restrooms and is kinda separated from the rest of the campsites so the kids can play a little more safely. Still not sure how camping with a very young infant is going to work. Sleeping in the van and a hotel down the street are my backup plans! One other couple has an infant a month older than ours. I guess we will figure it out together.

Well, I need to go. I smell a dirty diaper and I am about to attempt to help Hogan learn to ride a bike without training wheels!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Simple Update

Tonight I just want to give you an update on what is going on in our lives.

Sarah is loving school, which is a huge relief. She had some bully type issues last year and did not much like going to school. This year is off to a great start though. When asked how her day went, she now often replies "Great!" This makes my heart sing! She is also making really good grades in spelling. We have parent teacher conference Tuesday, so I hope we are not surprised! She is also in dance for the 4th year! She muddles through until the recital, then she loves it! The week will be all about her. Trying on the costume to make sure everything is there, practicing make-up and her hair-do, and carting her back and forth for practice and show time. She continues with her Jiu-Jitsu lessons and frequently wrestles daddy and brother! She is also on a fall soccer team. She LOVES soccer. I know this sounds like a lot, but fall is our really busy time. I wonder every fall if it is too much. But soccer goes by in just a few weeks and then it is over. We miss some dance and Jiu-Jitsu during soccer season to keep things at an acceptable run.

Hogan is in his last year of preschool. He loves words, rhymes, and letters in general. He is great at coloring and loves to play with his friends. He is on pee wee soccer team as well. He played on Sarah's team last year and did pretty well. They divided the age groups up a little better this year and he is doing really well on his team. He is not afraid of getting hurt, which makes him a great goalie! Not always a mother's favorite thing! He also takes Jiu-Jitsu and we are often told how strong he is by the teachers. They say he is one of the strongest they have seen in his age group. (This makes his daddy's chest puff out a bit!)

Josiah is growing. He is awake more and more. He sleeps better at night, although we are up every 2 hours usually. He is smiling some now too. He actually smiled for the first time in the hospital! But it is more common now and reactive. He loves to cuddle still and I have a "Moby", which is a HUGE piece of fabric I wrap around my body several times and tuck him in to carry him around. The minute he goes in this thing he falls asleep! I love it and wish I had discovered it with the other two. It is a little warm, but other than that very comfortable.

Steve and I just run around burning tons of gas to get kiddos where they go on time. We did replace the carpet in the bathroom (carpet in a BR is a terrible idea). Right after we moved in I could not stand the carpet in that bathroom a second longer and decided bare wood was better than the nasty carpet, so I riped it up. To my surprise there was old tile underneath. I tried to clean it but it was so old and stained. It was hopeless with out possibly re glazing it. So we bought stick on tiles and slapped them down last night. They are really cheap since we plan on remodeling this spring. But at least the kids have a cleanable floor to walk on now!

I will head back to work this week:-( I do not look forward to it yet, but it will be better once I get back in the swing of things. Besides, how do you complain about 2 days a week?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Quest

I wrote this for Angie a long time back, so it is a bit of a retread, but I try and surprise her every once in a while. Maybe this showing up in a different place and time will put a smile on her face. I wrote a couple of things for her inspired by the fact that God made Eve just for Adam, and he definitly made Angie just for me. I love you Angie!

The Quest

A valley stretches out below surrounded with snow crested peaks like jewels on the crown of a princess. The pungent smell of the fir trees rise on the warm breeze from below, their dark green bows painting the grey and white of the mountain’s lofty slopes like mosaics on a palace wall. A sea of scarlet and saffron stretches to the depths of the valley below; where the trees parade there exquisite attire. The deer bound across meadows of sage, gold and umber. Rabbits disappear into the emerald undergrowth as if they were fairies in a child’s tale. How can I help but to descend into the depths of the beauty before me? Plunging into the twilight of the forest, exhilaration over takes me as the elk bugle and a symphony of birds joins the chorus. The sun sends out streamers of blazing orange across the sapphire sky, and pierces the forest darkness with shafts of pure gold. An eerie fear sneaks up on me as the air comes alive with the cry of a distant wolf. Stumbling, running and struggling ever forward I grow weary. My soul yearns for something of which I can’t put into words. My heart aches for unknown places. Then like bells on Christmas morning, I hear water playing across stones, dancing its way across the stage before me in a ballet like none ever seen. I yearn for just one taste of the water’s sweet coolness. The coolness of the stream soothes my parched throat. My mind wanders to the source. If I could only interrupt its journey but for a moment, and inquire of the source of its great joy. Where is this coming from? Why does the water draw me like the sirens song? Enchanted I find myself lying beneath the arching limbs of the forest above, craving their protection and strength. The soft warmth of the moss covered bank caresses my face, as I rest my head in its cradling arms. The earthy smells of the forest floor lilt across my face on their way to greet the angels in the heavens. Sleep overtakes me, and I dream of my quest. The fantasies form one after another romancing and intoxicating my mind, drawing me into their spell. Whether I can ever reach my goal, I don’t know. Who can say what that the goal of my journey is even real? But in a place like this, how can I ever abandon the quest. The quest has become a part of me, a quest for the secret garden of Eve’s soul.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Well, Joshiah and I have both hit cranky, or as Hogan puts it "Cwanky". Josiah seems to be crying unless he is asleep or nursing. We are going through a lot of Mylicon (anti-gas drops for babies). Thank goodness it helps some.

So knowing that you now know I am tired and a little stressed...........

On top of that my van is in the shop. About a month ago my van started making this awful noise. Steve was afraid it was dangerous to drive it, so we drove straight to the fix-it man. It was after hours, so I basically just drop it off and leave a message on the machine. When I talked to the man the next day I was embarassed. The life threatening noise that stopped our world was a meanicing stick! He removed it from under the van and magically the noise stopped. But while I had it there he did some much needed maintance as well - so all was not lost. Then about 2 weeks later the check engine light came on. Once again I just show up at this poor man's house. He was in his jeep going to the bank and stopped to check it out. The computer said it was something I can't remember with the transmission. He asked if it was acting funny. I said no. So he turned the light off and said it would be an unusal problem for my make of van and if anything cropped up to let him know and he would hook up the "big" computer. Well don't you know I drive out of the shop and down the street and the transmision does start slipping. So I bravely ignore the problem! So I finally decide we need to have it looked at and take it to the transmission shop and they have had the van now for 2 days. If you know me, you know that it is torture for me to be without transportation. I apparently am not able to stay home. I have always said home represents work, so I flee!

So now this is day two at home. I have accomplished a little of the work too by the way. But this morning I get Steve and Sarah off, and cooked breakfast for Hogan. (Yes, you read it right, I cooked him eggs!) Then he is sitting quietly in front of the TV and Josiah is sleeping. I am tired and still not out of my night gown so what should I do? Now is the perfect time for a shower. But I can't go anywhere until Steve comes to get me this afternoon. So I crawl back into bed and snuggle up the baby and quickly fall asleep thinking I am sneaking in a nap! Next thing I know Steve is home. He forgot something for work and had to come back to get it! Why have I never been able to be sneaky? I could never get away with anything as a kid or teenager either. Oh well, I guess it keeps me honest.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How to make your kids smile in the morning!

Okay, so I go to the bible study for moms at our church last night feeling pretty good about myself. I had gotten everyone to all activities on time, cleaned the house up, done laundry, played with Hogan, went to the grocery store and arrived for the bible study carpool on time!!! All major accomplishments for me (except playing - I do that very well!) The pastor's wife begins by having us make a collage of our life. Mine of course portrays chaos! How else can you describe the last year? I have a disjointed woman jogging with a phrase "out of whack?" and a dog with a shredded roll of toilet paper etc. As we are sitting there visiting the lady next to me begins to talk about milk. Well okay I don't usual talk about milk but I am game. She is explaining to another friend (who grinds her own wheat) that you can buy skim milk and mix it with heavy whipping cream. I am thinking why in the world would anyone do that? So I listen and learn that neither are homogenized. Never really gave this any thought. She states that since you need the fat to metabolize fat soluble vitamins she mixes the two to get a small percentage of fat. Stupid me chimes in with something like I thought that was what McDonald's was for - metabolizing fat soluble vitamins!!! She looks at me and laughing says they will continue to work on me. I laugh and the wheat grinding friend laughs looks at the other lady and says she, referring to me, is laughing but she is not kidding. No I am not kidding, I love Big Macs. I know they are terrible for you, but they are so good to me. I even get the large coke when I eat one!!! If you are going to keel over from fat you might as well have some good old caffeine and sugar on board. The rest of the evening is pretty much the same. These ladies talk about homeschooling, cooking, mixing various milks, cleaning etc. All very foreign topics to me. I keep thinking about the frozen foods I bought to heat for my family, all the house work I left undone, did we read with Sarah yesterday? At least I buy organic milk! :-)

Fast forward to this morning. I am rushing around with stringing wet hair, makeup bag in my hand trying like mad to get everyone out the door on time (Steve had an early meeting this AM- so I am flying solo). Sarah begins to tell me she did not eat breakfast. Then she asks for McDonald's (don't know where she learned that bad habit from). Now she is crying because I said we don't have time. I look frantically at the green bananas, reach for a jar of peanut butter, spoon, bag of chips, cheese dip, and caffeine free Dr. Pepper. Sarah gets the peanut butter and spoon, Hogan gets the bag of chips and cheese dip. Both get a glass of good old caffeine free Dr. Pepper! (Sorry Grandma Marcia!) I shove them in the car and they are beaming now! There are no more fights, no whinning, no fussing, no tears, just silence and a few happy sounds.

So now I am thinking okay, after this I must go mill some wheat, mix some milk, grow some organic vegetables and kill a roaming chicken for supper to make up for this. I will clean house all day, wash the car and walk the dogs. Reality - I run errands, work on Plastag, attend a meeting, visit Steve at work for a few minutes, pick up kids, take care of more of mom's affairs, come home pop a frozen pizza in the oven, offer chips and spinach dip, yogurt, or pickles as snacks while we wait. Pop popcorn after dinner and bake pre-made cookies! I don't guess I will be getting mother of the year awards - unless my kids get to vote!

Disclaimer: Just so you know I really do admire these women. I don't know how they do it. They juggle so much and seem so serene. Truth be told, they are probably better educated than myself because they are educating others. I don't know when I last thought about a proper adjective. (Can you tell?) Homeschooling mom's have to be mom, maid, cook, teacher, and coach all at the same time. I think they are wonder women! And I still need to learn more about that milk thing.


I just sent an email to a dear friend of mine whose mom passed away a year ago yesterday. I feel terrible that I missed calling her on this unbearable day. I have already had so many emotions leading up to our one year anniversary of events. I am sure this day is difficult at best. Then I log onto my blog and read today's scripture which is Philippians 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!" Rejoice? Can I really say I am rejoicing for her or for me? No at this very moment I don't feel a bit like rejoicing. I feel cheated for us all. These were two wonderful women. They served God with all their hearts, all their lives... regardless! Neither one had perfect lives, but they laughed, loved, and brightened days for many. How could two such precious people be taken so early. Don't we need them here, isn't there enough bad stuff around already. Why take such good Godly women so young? I think about all the ways we try to explain this stuff and I still wonder. But I know I will trust God and what He has allowed to come into our lives. A song by Natalie Grant (I think) titled "Held" comes to mind. It talks about how life is not perfect or fair, yet this is when we realize that God is holding us and loving us through the pain and sorrow. It speaks to me on a very deep level. This life is full of so many valleys, some much deeper than others, yet God is always there. Another friend that has suffered more sorrow than I told me, "this comes as no surprise to Him". He is watching and caring for us without fail, without taking a break, without forgetting us, without losing concern, without missing a fraction of a second in our lives. We may not be spared grief just because we love Him, but He promises to always love us. This love is palpable at times if we can just stop and feel. Is it easy? No. Am I grateful? Yes. Will I rejoice? Yes, I will commit to rejoicing even though the tears flow now, I will rejoice and I pray my dear friend will be able to rejoice too.

MamaBear I love you and your family. I loved your mom. I rejoice for two lives well lived and a God who loves them. May that love carry you through the next few days once again.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

How to have an (almost) Romatic evening!

Our church is focusing on children and I guess families as a whole this year. So in honor of that, they are providing a few nights of free childcare for couples to go out. We were so excited. I am still not in shape after a baby, so I dress up the best I can which means maternity jeans and a nice shirt. We dropped off the two older kiddos at 6:30 and went to the sanctuary where they had a band playing, flavored coffee and couches set around and several tables with candles etc! Very nice. We see our friends sitting around holding hands, laughing and gazing into one anther's eyes. Soon they had someone on stage talking about marriage and its importance in a family. They had a cute skit, a few jokes and then some fun little games to win a free dinner. This all lasted about 30 minutes, then we were on our own for 3 more hours! We decided to try a nice little cafe several minutes from the church. You know somewhere we normally don't go. I feed the baby and we head into the restaurant - just the three of us. We are looking at the menu discussing what to get and I am holding a sweet sleeping baby thinking how blessed I am to be out with two of my favorite men. Baby begins to squirm and I feel warmth on my hand. I look down and his little diaper has failed me terribly. I look at Steve with what I am sure was pure panic and said something to the effect that I needed to make it to the bathroom quickly. As I slid out of the booth, I notice a trail that I am leaving behind. I panic more. I have clothes for the baby, but none for me. I am out with Steve on a rare date and I have you know what on my pants!!!! I rush to the waitress hoping the bathroom is at the front of the restaurant, they shake their heads and point to the very back - past lots of people. I am mortified as I go to the bathroom and every one is drawn to us by crying (I won't say who was crying me or the baby!) I get him on the changing table. He requires a full outfit removal, multiple wet wipes, a trip to the sink for soap and water, a new diaper, new clothes, new blanket and he is set. Now I make another arduous trip through the restaurant where people are now stopping me to see the baby and ask how old he is. I give him to Steve and carry the diaper bag back to the restroom with the hope of hiding the mess. I use all the paper towela in the bathroom (there were few) and most of the wet wipes I have in the bag, along with soap and water on my pants. Now I have this huge wet spot going from my back pocket to the front of my leg and I'm questioning how clean I really got it. I buck up and head back out to the table. Steve had to wipe down the booth seat with wet wipes and wash up while I was in changing the babe!!! I have never felt so romantic as this I must say.

In the meantime some couples come in smelling of alcohol and sit behind us. They were obviously not close friends as the conversation was all introductory, mainly from the very talkative man right behind us. So there is now no staring into each others eyes and talking quietly to one another as you see in movies. We are trying to enjoy whatever Steve ordered while listening to this man tell his life story in our ears! I can tell you he "respects old stadiums". Whatever that means. Don't you earn respect? Can an object earn anything? At least I didn't have to sit there and act like I was interested!!!! :-)

We finish and head back to the church to get the kids an hour and a half early. I am feeling rather cheated in my rare night out. I am wondering what everyone will think of the poor couple that could not even be creative/romantic enough to stay out the full 3 hours. I think I was sulking a little to be honest. We pull in and just as I am about to really feel embarrassed I notice there are several of our friends already heading back to their cars with their kids! I am sure none of them have wet pants and hopefully did not sit so close to mister loud mouth, but I feel more normal now. I figure they must have busy family days tomorrow - just like we do. They have little ones that need their sleep - just like we do. So it might not have been the dream date of my youth, but all in all we had a great time talking, resting, laughing, and even holding hands!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Another moving day!

Today Anna and Brian are moving into mom's house. I guess from here on we will have to call it something besides mom's! They have already moved most of the boxes and there are a hand full of guys to move the furniture. Then we will begin fixing the house up to put on the market! It will be nice to be down to just one house! It will be even nicer to not have someone on the waiting list to be moved! In the last 2 months every last one of us has moved! When we went to see the atty the other day we had to update everybody's address and contact info! Seemed kinda strange. Anyway the next few weeks will be spent organizing Anna and painting cleaning our house. So much work left but the light at the end of this tunnel appears bigger and brighter every week!