Friday, July 19, 2013

Leaning

It has not been a big secret.  I'm a fairly open person.  My openness likely stems from having been surrounded by too many lies in my life before becoming an adult.  I let my life out so that others don't feel quite so alone.  Anyway, not a big secret that my life has been difficult and trying for the last year, more like two....But who's counting?  {me}

In that difficulty, I have not always responded the best I could have.  No, I have been at the bottom of the mothering and spousal barrel.  All of the challenges brought up old issues that I never knew I had or had buried altogether. 

Up welled the issues.  Down shot the roots of bitterness.  In set the justification.  Frustration was my morning brew.

I could see it happening.  It was like looking at a reflection.  The ugly girl was setting up residency, the girl who desired to be well and thankful banging on the glass to get out but wasn't strong enough.

Ugh.  That has been my life.  Until a month or so ago.  I was away at my Nanny's for the Color Me Rad race I was running with T and Hoot when Brett called really excited about some revelations he had.  Everything seemed to make sense.  Everything was going to be okay.  I could get behind this wonderful husband who had this renewed vision, this peace.

But.

Yes, there is always a but.  But when I came back to my real world, the one of frustration, disappointments, and bitterness...I still struggled.  It's hard to change when you are the only component in your world changing.  Still facing the same mean and difficult people.  Still facing the same disappointments. 

And Brett would encourage, "It doesn't matter.  Forgiveness will set you free.  God is the justifier, not you."

And Scripture after Scripture he shares.  Slowly, slowly a root loosens.  Day by day a wind of clarity gently blows through, blowing away the morning reminders of my frustrations and disappointments.

And while I'm still not the most solid girl on the block...er...dirt road, I'm getting better.  This morning I got up and read Isaiah 12.  The Lord is my strength and my song.  Even when I want to weep and complain, I have replaced the complaining with the Truth.  My flesh fails.  My spirit desires more.  And onward I move.  Seeking the more.  Seeking the Truth.  Leaning on my husband.  Leaning on my Christ. 


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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

And You Get a Gold Star!

"Would you like a sticker?"  That's what the older gentleman sitting on the stool at Wal-Mart asked all three times that we walked past him.  Each time my children shook their heads in unison from side to side while giving him a look that said he was clearly crazy.  This is always the case.  My kids don't go gah-gah for stickers.  I asked Brett why this was and he told me it's because we homeschool.  {Well, our style of homeschooling involves little to no stickers.  I'm sure there are lots of sticker-y homeschools out there.}

That made total sense to me.  We've never rewarded with stickers.  Oh, but Mothering Matters has.  And Chick-Fil-A has...I forget to confiscate them on the rare occasion that stickers come into our lives.  They inevitably end up on something important...or the truck windows on the third row.  What happens on the third row, stays on the third row.  I think there are some stickers from like two years ago or something that Hoot put up.  One day I was all, "Hey, who did that?!"  T-Bird was all, "Um, that's been there forever."  -------Third row void-------


Anyway, I'm not blogging about stickers today.  Not that you could tell.  No, it's about our chore chart and what rocks our world.  Back to school sales are sweeping the stores with all kinds of yumminess and even cool chore charts.  Pinterest is a haven of neat-o chore chart ideas.  But I usually start something great and let it fall away.  I'm a simple girl.  I can't handle that kind of awesomeness.  And to be honest, it doesn't drive my kids.

So what does?  Expo markers.  Lists.  Seriously.  We've been stream-lining our life in order to run smoothly.  Otherwise, this ship is sinking, people.  Sinking fast.  Brett and I have made a commitment to get ourselves together and be the best darn parents this side of the Mississippi.  Or something like that. 

Kids can smell weakness.

Let's say Momma gets up and starts her day.  Then sister #1 needs Momma.  Sister #2 realizes this and has an overwhelming need for Momma at the exact same time.  Momma settles her girls 30-45 minutes later.  What was she doing before?  She forgot.  Need to take care of brother #2.  Brother #2 is sad.  Brother #2 is taking it out on everyone.  Reset.  What was Momma doing?  The dog is going nuts.  Brother #1, could you go check on that?  Where is brother #3?  Brother #3??  Any day now kid!  Brother #3 eventually and mysteriously appears.  What was Momma working on?  Now that Momma has lost track of what she was doing she asks all 5 kids to go play outside.  Momma has been up for 2 and a half hours and has accomplished nothing yet is exhausted and the house looks like someone threw a rowdy party and suddenly vacated the premises.

I could spend all day just "mothering" and get nothing accomplished.  This has been making me nutty.  NUTTY.  I have a type A personality.  I like to give short and sweet orders.  So, if I ask for help with laundry once and the kids ignore me and I ask again and the kids ignore me....If I give a list of things to do and the kids put it off and I tell them again and they run outside...You see, I feel like I'm always barking at them to do things.  They get distracted because they are kids and their life is exciting and fun.  I needed something that delegated tasks without me barking orders, kept them on track, and allowed us to work together to keep our house running.

This genius was birthed and our house has never been cleaner and more orderly ever.  They love it.  They love drawing through the things they've done so far.  We have more chores that we do as a family, these are just the bare essentials to make sure we don't fall apart. 



Just a sheet of paper inside of a page protector hung on our fridge.  {Life changing}  Okay, maybe not life changing but simple and effective.


And that is what I need my life to be.  Simple.  Effective.

How about you?

Are you a Pinterestingly awesome bells and whistles sort of chore chart person?  How do you make your days effective?

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

My Thoughts on Mother's Day

Eleven years ago, a tiny blue bundle made me a first time mother.  Little did I know what an impact that would have on my life and that I would go on to give birth four more times.  Fives times a mother. 

Five.  I assure you, people feel free to tell me I have my hands full every time we clog up a grocery store aisle. 

Then I also have older ladies stop me and say, "Oh, that brings back memories.  I had seven.  Good for you and bless you."

When the "boy you have your hands full" people heckle me, I want to say, "No, my hands are not full.  I have one baby waiting for me that I never had the chance to meet.  I had a surprise pregnancy and a too soon, not fair, why did this happen miscarriage.  No, my hands are a little empty.  I should be even more tired, more frazzled, more stretched.  No, I should be driving a church bus to fit my family into."

And that is where my thoughts are this Mother's Day.  I'm so blessed to be a mother five times over.  But my heart weeps for the moms who have not yet been.  For the wombs not filled, for the adoptions not fulfilled, for the babies who didn't stick around for us to know.  For the women who have their hearts cry to be filled and to be a mother.

I pray for you.  If you only knew just how much I would love to give you a piece of my fertility, infertiles. 

And so as this weekend opens wounds and infertile women avoid the profuse Mother's Day posts on Facebook, I would like to say that you are loved and you are thought of on my mountain top. 

I hope you can find a peace this weekend.  That you can be loved as you.  That you can love as you, who you are right now. 




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Friday, May 3, 2013

The Adventures of MommyMan!

I'm just gonna go for it. I'm not going to excuse my non-blogging-ness or talk about how I almost walked away from my blog completely. Let's just get started. I'm back. And blogging.



I will talk about how my days seem extremely long.  I find a bit of sanity by letting the girls bathe in the kitchen sink.  Little Jelly Bean exited early.  I had asked T-bird to bring LadyBug some toys.  In typical fashion, he brought his old Ben 10 toys for her to play with.  That girl played in the sink for over an hour.

I could hear her saying something.  I listened closer and heard, "MommyMan!" 




Who needs to be Super Woman when you can be MommyMan?!
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Homeschool Files: Robinhood the Awesome (a writing exercise)

Nails on the chalkboard.  Did you hear them?

I usually cringe when it comes to having T-Bird write.  You never know where it will lead us.  That kid very much so, like, a lot dislikes writing. 

Brett took over the writing portion of our day today.  {Cheers to me!}

I heard T ask his daddy if he could write a rap instead of sentences.  See, already trying to not write.

Brett allowed it for today.  Hey, it's Friday, why not!?

This is what he ended up with.
Complete with picture:

Ch-ch-change the the cage. 
Ya man.  The the page got strange and kuz it got huge.
Rage on the stage.
Trace my face so you can see my age.
What.

by Robinhood the Awesome

Yes, folks.  I don't know what we'll do with our little rapper on the brink of greatness.  Wait, I mean, lil rapper. 

Let's not leave out the Professor's writing:

Bob got a spanking.
Bob was feeling smug.
Bob spit.
Bob itched his scalp.
Bob could smell the smog.
Bob can spell spin.
Bob smacked his mom.

I think the last sentence may be why Bob got a spanking in the first sentence.  He told me he had to keep using Bob as a name because it was part of one story.

What about Hoot?

He pulled this out of his hat:

Pup tossed an egg.

And then Hoot left the room.  As if that sentence was grandiose enough to get him out of anymore sentences. 


I'm going to call this a success.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Legos. Eat. Sleep. Do It Again.

Oh my word.  How behind can one woman be? 
 
I suppose the answer is...very.  Quite.  A lot.  Behind. 
 
Here's to catching up. 
 
We had the opportunity to take the boys to a free little Lego getaway.  (in September!  September 2012!!)  (behind)  (so behind)  Branson is just up the road. 
 
We hit the little vacation hole on the last day of its run.  Let's here it for homeschooling and being the only people in the building!  Woo-hoo!
 

I love love love love love this picture.  The way The Professor rests his head against the glass.  Looking at a whole Lego world, envisioning himself in there.  I love it.


 



 Even sister gets in on Lego action!
 Did you know I am so very in love with her.




 




 Creations front and center.
 
The kids had a blast.  I probably didn't need to say that...but...they did. 
 
Life mantra:  Legos.  Eat.  Sleep.  Do it again.
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Friday, December 21, 2012

Oil and Water Throw a Bubble Party

It's a love not so love relationship I have with Arkansas weather.  This has been a warm December, and while some are upset by the lack of bone chilling temperatures, I have been thankful for a play outside and enjoy our world mild temperature sort of month.

I heard a giggle party outside of the front door.  When I took a peak, this is what I saw.



Oil and Water were getting along, er..I mean, Lady Bug and Hoot.

World's Best Dimple!


Bubble Dust

You should have heard the volume of sound that went with these faces.

Calm

Crazy


I see you, too.

I always say it, I'm so in love with these kids. 

As I look at these pictures, I think of how magical that little moment was.  It must have been cosmic magical to them.  Childhood makes bubbles bubblier, colors brighter, whisperings whisperier,  giggles louder, days last hours longer than an adult's. 

If you become like the 5 people you associate most with.......I am in good company.  It's like a second glimpse of childhood.  I'm the mother of 5 enjoying my children's journey.  Good days.  Blessed days.
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Friday, November 9, 2012

I Got No Rhythm

I am a big fan of rhythms.  Schedules not so much.  And to be honest, we are not only off schedule, but we seem to be out of rhythm as well.  We added another baby, Brett lost his job, Brett found a new job, that job was horrible so he found yet another one, we are still in the tiny house awaiting the renovations on the big house, homeschooling, and some other crazy craziness and well...out of ideal rhythm.

But there are days when I look up, and that non-ideal rhythm is just fine.  Then I smile and try to find the sweet joy that this day has to offer.  To stop comparing my non-ideal to my mental perfect ideal is perhaps one of the greatest struggles I contend with.  This rhythm, this crazy is just fine, a season to enjoy.  A time to breathe and embrace the gifts that today offers while still hoping for a wonderful tomorrow.  A balance to not compare.   

This is what I see when I look up.  The Professor in his rhythm.  Reading can only be done on momma's bed.  Only.  No exceptions.  Ever.



And even if this is the only rhythm we have right now, I'll take it.  What a beautiful piece of our life. 

O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.  Psalm 90:14

And is anyone else singing Johnny Cash's Get Rhythm?  No, just me, huh?  Get rhythm, when you get the blues.  Ya, get rhythm when you get the blues......

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Friday, August 31, 2012

When Parenting Stinks

There are times when it just stinks to be a parent.

These little eggs represent a moment like that.  A moment when I didn't want to be a parent.


Aren't those beautiful eggs?

My T is a nature watcher.  He had been watching some Eastern Bluebirds for some time.  In his bird watching, he notice they kept flying into and out of a post.  He came running into the house one day, his face flushed with excitement.

"Momma, I have to show you something wonderful."

He hurried over to our fence post and told me to look into the hollowed out post.
This unassuming post held that sweet little nest and blue eggs.

T was thrilled to serve as grandfather to those eggs.  He monitored them and gave me daily reports.

Then horror struck.

As we pulled up into our drive after taking the boys to swim practice, we noticed the contracted electric company in the field behind our house.  A man with a bit of a Danny Bonaduce look about him met me at my truck as I was pulling out kids.

"We have your electric off for a minute while we reset the pole.  We had to pull around your car in front of the gate and knocked over your post but we reset that."

Panic.  Panic.  Panic.

"Which fence post?  Please not the tree post?"

"Ya, but we reset that."

"No, no, no.  That had a nest with new eggs in it.  My son has been watching them."

"Ah, sorry to hear about that."  And he walked away chewing on his toothpick.

T took off running to the fence.  The nest was there but no eggs.  We began searching the field.  No eggs.  No eggs.  Search.  No eggs.  No eggs.

Where did they go?

We held each other and cried.  Then we prayed for the birds knowing they are not human but that they do feel loss.  Then we talked about life circles and moving on.

We also hypothesized about where the eggs were.  Did the birds pick them up?  We kept seeing the birds go in and out.  Were they harvesting their materials for their new nest?

Here's the deal.  I have a crazy life that I grew up with.  I never learned to cope with anything.  I just tucked things away or fixed them.  Ya, that works for a while.  Until your early 20's and you have a breakdown.  Oh, that was just me?  My biggest parenting cause is to teach my kids coping mechanisms.  I will not allow them to wallow in sorrow or ignore it.  There is a balance.  There is a process.  And that is what we started working on.

We discovered that Eastern Bluebirds will lay another set of eggs each year.  We were hopeful that the nest of eggs lost was their first set.

T would come in and tell me daily about how the birds seemed very upset.  His own face reflecting deep sadness.

Fast forward two weeks.  I was sitting on the swing on our front porch talking to my mom on the phone when I noticed Mr and Mrs Bluebird hustling in and out of the post.  Something seemed suspicious.  Not the usual activity.

Honestly, I was nervous about looking into their little hole.

But I did.

Then I yelled.

And quickly ran to get Tristan.

All the while forgetting that my mom was being held in my hand.

I told Tristan to look inside.

Here, experience it with him.

 Double take.  Closer look.  For real.


A BABY BIRD!!!  And eggs under it!  How in the world???  I don't know, but we are so thankful and thrilled.

T's fight with the electric company was not over.  He made a sign that read: Do Not Disturb.  Baby Birds Growing.  And then provided an illustration of the consequences.  Electric men being attacked by birds.  

Brett thought we were a bit extreme assuring us that the electric company was finished with us and had moved down the line.  Haha, we had the last laugh.  The very day the sign was posted, they came back.  They read the sign.  They did tread lightly.  

Granddaddy T was looking out for his baby bird.  

But some moments are like that.  Stinky, sad, hide under the covers sort of moments.  Then sometimes they are made right.  Glorious, happy, shout from the mountaintop sort of moments.  And that's a good summation of parenting in general.

We fight the good fight.  No matter the day.  We parent on.  We love.  We teach.  We embrace.  Day after day.

{Bonus Game} My brain is fried.  I'm the mom to 5 kids.  Two being 19 mos and 3 mos.  I barely sleep.  I spelled yous for use, fas for face, and setting for sitting.  These are the ones I noticed and corrected.  But for your entertainment and enjoyment, feel free to notice my other brain slips. I did it for you.  {Just go with it, will you?}

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