Sunday, November 30, 2008

Take three hundred and sixy two...

I tried, unsuccessfully, to snap an informal photo for Christmas cards.

I may be biased, but I think I have really cute kids. They just aren't very good at all being cute at the same time. Eyes closed, eyes open, one smiles, one is crying, all are crying, my hat itches, I am hungry, why do I have to, what are we doing, can I have a fruit snack...this is nuts. I know why people pay photographers for this sort of thing, only I am not sure I could emotionally handle a photo shoot right now. I think I will just send a link to my blog and say if you want to see the kids look here. Merry Christmas.

My sister was home this weekend. It was super great and wonderful. I miss her so much. She held the baby and put her to sleep and I actually folded laundry. We visited all day together. I felt so blessed. My bathroom even got cleaned, but that is another story.

I wanted to go to Crooks to visit the Christmas house that helps the Make a Wish foundation. I had really good intentions. But, we had a full family meltdown at suppertime and it just wasn't going to happen, maybe another night?

great grandkids

Lester and the girls

Making apple turkeys at Grandma Bonnie's.
Baby Nora makes an even dozen grandkids (I have two brothers and one sister) with the oldest being 10 years.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Splish Splash

Guess who decided it was time for her bath?

Other appropriate titles considered for this post include;

  • How to make your older brother really mad.

  • How to scare the dickens out of your mom and your dad.

  • How to make your mom and dad look pretty darn stupid.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekend Photos

Every morning Nora wakes up with both legs in one leg spot. One night she wore one of those baby bags and woke up with the zipper in the back. She isn't really that small, I think she just misses being a ball.
Maleah must have pulled Addi up the hill 100 times. I guess I would love being outside if all I had to do was sit in a sled,too.
A quick mommy forced shot that didn't turn out too bad.
Snow bunnies!
Addi is in her usual spot, she loves to eat!
Eyes wide open, I don't think they are gonna be blue.
She does this all the time, now. It cracks me up. Don't look at my messy floor :) Ahem, I think she got my junk!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why we had Chinese for afterschool snack...

That would make a good book title, don't you think? This post is for Karen, you better get your blankie are gonna need a whole night's sleep after this if!

This is a true story, no one's names have been changed and I even left out my typical exaggeration because, believe it or not, I couldn't even make this stuff up.

I woke up this morning with good intentions. I hummed my morning song, learned years ago in church camp from Pastor Krueger and his lovely guitar...
"Good morning God,
Good morning God,
and not good god it's morning.
Good morning God,
Good morning God
Dear God it's a beautiful day, "

That is one moment in history I would return to in a second. Church camp rocked!

I went through the motions of morning like I usually do. Make the coffee, get out the cereal bowls, unload the dishwasher, change a diaper or two, lay out clothing and toothbrushes. Then I heard a sizzling sound...I forgot to put the carafe in the coffee maker! Hot coffee all over the counter top and dripping to the floor.

So, I get things cleaned up and sit down in THE CHAIR. That would be the nursing spot. Soon I hear a splash and a ting. Someone spilled their cereal. A very tiny voice floats from the kitchen, "I'll clean it up mommy, don't worry."

Get the first-grader out the door and switch nursing sides to see a visitor at the door. An uncle looking for dad's help. Dad is sleeping 'till noon, I say and decide that while I am up and the baby is screaming anyway I should make supper. So I cube a round steak and throw some of my garden canned 'maters and carrots and potatoes in for a stew. Baby is still screaming so we take a nursing break. Before long it's 11 am and I have to shower. Got to get to town for a !@#$ haircut that I scheduled BEFORE dad picked up the night shift. So I pump, wake up daddy, jump in the shower, put clean clothes on and head out the door with wet hair for the second time this week, hey at least people know I am clean!

Get to town, get the hair cut and come out to a FLAT TIRE! I am not kidding. Just another typical day in mommyville. So I drive real slow like across the street to HyVee gas. I pull up to the free air box and get my cold, no jacket or gloves, body out to get the hose. I undo the cap and push the thingy on the other thingy and hear a faint wheeze. Nothing happens. My new do is blowing in my face as I contemplate that the tire actually looks flatter now than before. I notice the attendant boy looking through the window at me, oh what I would give to be 9 months prego again. I get back in the car, speed dial the hubby and ask him what to do.

"Did you turn the compressor on?" WHAT? You have to do more than unscrew the lid and put the thingy on the thingy? HUH? Curse, curse, cursity, curse, curse... CURSE. I scan the car and find some huge black gloves. I put them on and venture out again in my damp clothes with my damp hair blowing in my face and no it doesn't feel like a Pantene commercial. I look at the FREE AIR box.

Down at the bottom right hand corner it has a round button and this word,


Curse, curse, cursity, curse, curse... CURSE.

I fill the tire with air. I am starving and head to the Chinese counter for lunch. My kids love Chinese food, it is such a treat for us. I buy the family meal with an extra side of fried rice that costs me more than a whole box of brown rice. I cringe.

About an hour later...

We are sitting at the table at mowing down on Chinese food when my first-grader comes in and shouts, "RICE! Mom, you make the best after school snacks."

That beef stew will be even better tomorrow night for supper, don't you think?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday musings...

We received some adorable baby gifts this weekend. I wish I was a newborn, I would look crazy good in pink and chocolate brown polka dots, I just know it ;) The new Carters line is all so cute and all the other brands are following suit, I think.

I have been kicking myself all morning (sorry to cry on your shoulder, Carey) for missing out on a great deal on a Britax carseat at This time of the year there are SO many online deals you would have to be on indefinitely to see all of them. Anywho, I found out the deal was a misprint anyway so I didn't really miss out on anything. A whole lot of stress for nothing, what else is new.

It is frigid here. Addi LOVES to be outside. She would sit in that stroller all day if I let her. Her nose gets so red I think it may fall off, but she doesn't complain at all. I think she will be a daddy's girl...always out and about. I have told more than one person this week already that she is the glue that keeps this family together. Nothing helps make things better like a good laugh and she lives (and loves) to crack us all up. We adore her and totally make fun of her. Just tonight she stepped in a box of kleenex and couldn't get free. Here is a video sample of her antics from yesterday...

Nora is getting better at sleeping in chunks of time instead of only an hour or so. Last night I think she may have slept 3 hours. I can't really remember, I was too tired to look at the alarm clock. It felt like a longer amount of time between feedings.

Gavin is out hunting with dad. The meatloaf is in the crockpot and the cheesy potatoes in the oven. Maleah has a reading rally tonight and I may actually be able to attend if the baby allows it. Wish me luck, will ya?

ps - actually got the thank yous written this weekend now we will see if they ever get sent

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

just so you know

When I was cleaning the computer desk/hutch out today I found my list of who to send thank yous for Addison's baby gifts and baptism cards. So, I think there is probably no hope of me ever getting anything done this time, as I have yet to even make a list. Nora gets baptized tomorrow in a private service at the church because Daddy works weekends. I will forever be behind.

Just so you know...

dancin and singin and movin to the music

The other night Maleah put her headphones on Addi. She immediately began walking around and dancing. I think she walked a mile that night. My amateur videographer skills will require you to turn your monitor on its side to view most of this amazing feat. But, I think it's worth it...if you can get past my laughing, and my messy house and Maleah having to follow her around the whole time...maybe it's not worth it. Why don't you just tilt your head slightly to the left, a little more...perfect, now push the play button;)

The only photos I have of little baby Nora ALONE are of her lying in her bed. Otherwise she is always in somebody's arms and that someone (any one of the other kids) is usually hamming it up for the camera, too. So here she is all on her own...wondering what in the world all that noise is outside those four tiny walls of her bassinet?

Friday, November 07, 2008

It's cold outside...

The snow is here!

Communication is the key to a positive family environment. That's why when I found this on my camera I was shocked...

First that he knew how to record a video (he may have recruited a partner) and second that he didn't tell me in person.
Two days later he showed me together, we recorded this.

I think he did a better job on his own ;)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

small stuff

I haven't showered since Saturday night, nor vacuumed. I keep thinking I WILL when the girls are sleeping or when I get a free moment. I thought that yesterday was going to be a day of free moments.

Ryan, on the other hand, showered three times yesterday. Now that may seem selfish, but he was also gone from the house 9-7 except to shower. The pager went off early calling the volunteer fire men to a house fire. They thought they had it out a couple of times, but it kept flaring up on them.

I finally went the local store last night around 7:45, right before closing. The owner checked me out and she worried that my husband may have had to go to work after fighting the fire all day. "Nope" I replied. She said she felt awful that the family wasn't able to get more things out. Every time they thought the fire was extinguished and gave the all clear to go in, another smoke stream or spark would show up and they would have to evacuate again. "I just feel bad about the snow globes." she said. I looked at her with a funny look. She explained to me that the family had been collecting the globes for their 5 year old daughter. It must have been quite a collection.

I said to her that we should be happy that no one was home and no one was hurt. Things can be replaced, I said. She shook her head and said not all things. She's right. Photographs, first baby shoes, records, collectibles. This is all small stuff; like a shower or a freshly vacuumed floor. Small stuff that matters but we can live without them, can't we?

When Ryan came home for supper and we prayed, he prayed a prayer of thankfulness for the house over our head and the safety of our family. Little stuff we so often take for granted. I thanked God for a busy home full of life so full that it often doesn't leave time for small stuff like showers, naps, and cleaning. What a blessing in disguise!

While I was out of the house for a few moments, I delivered a box of clothing and pajamas for the family. I hoped it would help with the night and the next few days, anyway. It was a small gesture but enough to make a difference, I hope.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to...

It was a long night. Every night lately has been the same. It's wearing on me and my family.

Early this morning I took Nora into the shower with me. I held her tiny body and massaged her cradle cap and her tiny arms and legs until she was completely relaxed and sleepy. I thought about how wonderful she is and how blessed I am and tears came to my eyes.

At 7:30 my mom called. She said that her mom would always sing to her on her birthday and so she sang to me. She said she felt foolish. I cried.

Maleah got up early and came downstairs to wish me a happy birthday. She presented me a handmade card with a rainbow and hearts that said I love you mommy. She also sang to me. I hugged her close and cried again.

I logged on this morning, which is pretty special in and of itself, and I tried to read my dear friends blogs but my eyes were all misty so I gave up.

Today I get to vote for life. If I can dry my eyes up enough to make it to the polls, that is...

My older kids are all caught up in the election. Maleah says she is voting for John "Michael" because he likes tacos and has lots of pets. Gavin is a "Rock" Obama fan. He just likes saying the name, I think. But the fact that he plays basketball can't hurt much.

Dry your eyes and get out today and vote. It's my birthday and I'll make time.

See you at the polls ;)

Monday, November 03, 2008

It ain't over

It's November, kids. But we are still celebrating the last day of October and we have been for over a week. The kids have been (and still are) dressing up and 'trick or treating' at each others bedroom doors for candy. This morning they put the one year old Addison in the stroller and 'mom and dad' (Maleah and Gavin) went to the store to 'buy candy for the trick or treaters'. They made a haul on Friday night. It was beautiful here and the little spooks were out in full force. I was out of candy by 8 pm. The local family diner had a haunted house and free supper. Dh's sister took the kids and they had a ball. I had this adorable felt treat bag for Addi to use but she demanded a plastic pumpkin like her older brother and sister. She is stubborn. have. no. idea. where. she. gets. it. My husband jokes that the smaller you are around here the more apt you are to get your way and fast.

*You may have noticed I used names, I am tired of calling my little ones numbers. I am putting it all out there, laying my cards on the table so to speak. The new baby is Nora, by the way.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

I'm rearranging again...

The sermon today was on stewardship. Your first thoughts are about money, right? I was pleasantly surprised that Pastor wanted us to focus on stewardship of our whole person. Our head, hands, and heart mostly, then the pocketbook.

It's amazing I get to listen to the sermon these days. I am nursing a baby while watching my mother wrestle a one-year old and grandpa handle the older two. It's a zoo. But, I am thankful for those helpers or we wouldn't even make it to church these days. Truth is, I got most of my knowledge of the sermon from Pastor's email and not from the words he spoke from the pulpit this morning. When I got to put my pennies in the can this morning (I have a birthday this week), Pastor asked the congregation to guess my age and I blurted out "90" because that's how old I feel. I know it's just new baby lack of sleep, but I am exhausted, and I have the circles under the eyes to show it. Who has time to apply makeup?

My quick wit reply to Pastor's email read something like, "thanks for understanding that I can barely remember all my kids when we leave the house on Sunday morning let alone my offering envelope and I hoped you would see my filling of the pews as a big part of my stewardship." Thinking back, I hope Pastor saw the circles under my eyes this morning and wrote my reply off as complete craziness from woman who hasn't slept more than 3 hours a night in weeks.

Nursing gives me a ton of time to sit and think. Mostly about what I should be doing the minute I lay the baby down. On top of the daily grind of dishes and meals there are maternity clothes to be packed up and rooms to be organized and projects to be finished. There is the budget, oh the never ending saga of not having enough money. I wish we could all be more content with our position. We are in the middle of an amazing group of human blessings and I can barely find the time to spend with them. There is always a nagging to do list.

Since the hubby started full-time weekends, Sundays are my hardest. I have no energy left. The house is a mess, the dishes aren't done, the clothes are piling up in the laundry room and my brain is fried. Today is a beautiful warm summer like day and I haven't been out except to walk across the street for church. It's a darn shame. So today, after church when grandma took the older kids to a benefit breakfast I put the babies down for a nap and thought about rearranging.

My priorities are all messed up.

Matthew 6:32-33 says "Your Heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.

Do you have any idea how much of my day is spent worrying about my needs and the needs of my family? I think it's about 99.9%, about 100% too much. Talk about shame...

I need to put God back at the top of my list. He is so great at handling the small stuff, if I would only let Him. If I can just focus on Him all those other details will fall into place. It's a lot harder than it sounds. No screaming at the kids or feeling worthless or way out of the Jones' league. Letting those worries go is pretty darn difficult but lucky for me He's not concerned with how long it takes me to get it right just that I focus more on trying.

I am trying to make God more meaningful in my WHOLE life. I need to move Him from my head to my heart to my hands.

I think I like that arrangement.