Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The sweet young girl who befriended me most that week wanted to snap a photo of our group for her scrapbook. That was awkward. Um. No offense. But no thanks. I don't need to stand on record as having been the one to - you know. Decide that dude's guilt.
Anyway. There's a story I don't share often. But, it was (weirdly enough) one of the best weeks of my life. Isn't it ironic that I know I have worth here in my home. That I have the toughtest, most rewarding job known to mankind and I forget. Every day. And I screw up. Every day. And make bad choices. I choose fast, angry responses when I should choose tempered patience. I pray my kids would remember me for being a good mom when I should see that I am a good mom. And, too, I should see to it that I do make better choices. Because we can't take it back. The Bible tells us to be quick to listen and slow to anger.
You'll notice that a lot of my songs on my playlist are about how these years just fly by. Truly, my all-time favorite song is on Billy Ray Cyrus' latest CD and it's called that - Flying By. (But, sadly, Playlist doesn't have it. Or I'd have it at the top of my list every day.) And that's what this post is about. A reminder to myself that I don't need fancy clothes or highrise parking garages and bad guys to remind me that I am blessed. But, maybe a reminder that bad choices have consequences and I can choose to be better than those choices. Summer is the time my kids and I can kick back and relax. Without the stress of eating fast enough and dressing fast enough to get to the bus fast enough to get to our lessons fast enough to bathe fast enough to get to bed fast enough to wake up fast enough to eat fast enough...to instead. Be. Just Be. God wants me to Breathe in. And Breathe out Prayer. He listens. He respects. He encourages. He supports. The very values I wish to instill in my family. He already does.
Oh! How Great is Our God?
~The Mess. The Masterpiece. The Roost'er.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Someday I hope to make the perfect creme brulee!"
Zeke, from High School Musical, is my bosom buddy.
Did you know that about me?
I love to bake.
I'm pretty good at muffins and muffies.
I love to bake cookies.
I bake the best carrot cakes. (Right, Tom?)
I'm really quite good at making cupcakes.
And my baking days are over. I'm not kidding. After the month of May and all these birthday parties (Seriously? Three of them for the four year-old). We're going camping for The Baby's first. I'm on Baking Vacation.
Do you think I can get out of cooking, too?
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Here's the final product. He even helped with the packaging. (And yes, those initials are wrong - because really those are the bows of a pair of 6 year-olds. But I wasn't rewrapping just for the sake of a picture. You get the idea.)
I'm not good with change. For the most part, I insist upon keeping things the same. I'll miss seeing my bus buddy every day (Hey, Kara!) and chatting in all kinds of weather for an hour after the bus drives off with the kids. Next year, BiG Change - Full Day.
But, I'm not all sad this year. I'll be glad not to have to rush the kids through lunch anymore. Not to frantically search for clean socks or their shoes, or where is your library book, where is your backpack, oops, I forgot your snack again, I SAID GET YOUR SHOES ON!
I'm looking forward to this summer. To swimming. And day camps and camping trips. And board games and biking, and reading and worksheets to keep us smart. And all the fun that summer brings.
So, before all that, we say our good-byes. It's been a good year. But, I'm looking forward this time. Lots of great things ahead.
Thanks, Teachers. See you in 104 days.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Anywho, I digress.
So, Friday, I went to have my hair cut. And I said to my current special gal, "You think? You think these sides aren't just a little too long?" (You know, that 'special' person in your life who can cut your hair like no one else, right? Mine's name was Shannon. She spoke my language. She knew my hair fears and helped me past them. She created the cut you see in my profile picture. I love that haircute. I mean cut. [btw, my then-3-year-old daughter snapped that shot on a 100+ degree, 98% humidity midwest summer day a few summers back...See? I told you Shannon created miracles for hair]. But Shannon? One day Shannon up and moved away. I still have hair cutting dreams about Shannon. A love lost, I tell you.)
But, again, I digress. So, I found Brandi. She's good. I mean, she cut my hair into a good style. But it wasn't an "It's-summertime-so-let-your-hair-go-short-and-sassy-so-you-can-climb-out-of-the-pool-toss-and-go" kind of cut. So, after fretting over it all weekend and spending way too much of my valuable time on trying to 'style' it, I decided to do something. That's right. I did.
I grabbed a pair of Kindergarten scissors and my daughter's little MaryKay mirror. And with Baby S situated on my hip, I started to hack away, I mean cut my hair. And I hadn't eaten much for breakfast because I need to go to the grocery store, and really, with 4 kids, that's just a lot of work, and maybe I had a little too much caffeine and really not enough time because I'd fretted all morning about whether I should do something or not and it was time to make lunch out of...well, something. And, well. I just started cutting.
And I laughed my tail off.
Because, really? Only I would spend half my day trying to decide whether to go back and have Brandi fix it and the rest of the day trying to fix what I had done. To myself. And I don't actually think I look half bad. Shannon, I am not. But bathroom-mirror-self-photographer, apparently I am.
Look at me:
Friday, May 16, 2008
And lest you be foiled by that sweet demeanor. Here he as his alter-ego:
HAHA! He reminds me that Jesus loves me. And he prays at every meal for 'strangers' and for his friends to listen to their moms. He's a unique little character that has brought amazing light to our family by his presence. And his disturbances. But, I digress.
Here's the final picture of our door. Welcome Home, Family :)
And Happy Birthday, Baby M.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I borrowed Miss Manner's book from the library this time after a trip to the local Hallmark store brought me home with a sweet little guide to note-writing. I struggled with what to say to my friend who lost her little girl. I know I failed. But, I am interested in learning. So, I trekked the kids to the local library. Paid the astronomical fine (dad gum those 'grace periods!'). And brought home a bag full of books providing me with advice for Great Personal Letters for Busy People (I realized I'm really not so busy as to need that book); How to Say It (some good advice - darn if I didn't probably say half the things in the 'What Not to Say' section); and my beloved Miss Manners' Guide. She is thorough. She is straightforward. She is funny, if she's not terse.
Thank you notes - and even sympathy notes - are a dying art. Truly. In the day of emails and text messaging and even palm pilots and blackberries to guide our lives, we've overscheduled, overextended, over-done life to the point that personal communication is at a low. Now, I am not known for timely greetings. In fact, for a 'Stamp Lady,' I tend to not even have cards to send, let alone actually send the correspondence out to the necessary party. I think I sent a 'thank you' note to our neighbor for her extra-generous bags of Halloween candy for my kids around Easter-time. Fortunately, she didn't give them Easter candy. I'd be sunk.
But, perhaps our little friend Emma has changed me in this way. I am sending notes. I am sticking to the '3 day rule.' (Did you even know there was a 3-day rule?) We all love mail. My daughter squeals with delight when she discovers a letter addressed to her in the box. And honestly? I do to. At least on the inside.
So, thank somebody today. For something. Listen to your old, elderly Aunt Florance for once in your life and let her know you cared that she sent you that bar of Irish Spring on a rope for your birthday when you were 12. She only did it because she loves you. Let her know you love her, too. Send that special someone a thank you card. And do it quick. 'Cuz 3 days was up a long, long time ago.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
JT3's aunt makes these AWESOME monogram buttons - so I had her make me a pair and I think they turned out about darn cute. Never mind that my big toes are HUUUGE. Some lucky people are going to be receiving a pair of these soon! (a pair of monogrammed button shoes. NOT my big toes. HELLO!)
And! Today was The Day! After 5 coats of paint and a GIANT hole in my wall that looked like this:
My Before turned into...
(Men with hammers not included.)
Friday, May 9, 2008
some images above and below copyright Stampin' Up!
Here's my latest nest and birdie. He found a special spot in The Pretty Bathroom, as you can see. The Eldest Hostile made a point to pull me into the bathroom to tell me how pretty his bathroom is now with the new guest. And his twin sister asked why I hadn't posted it on the blog. So. There ya go, Little Mama. I put him on here for you! Thanks, to my mom, for the thoughtful gift!
Thanks for stopping by! Tomorrow I'll post before/after pictures of our stunning new front door!
Thursday, May 8, 2008
I love reading other women's on-line photo journals and realizing that I'm just not as inadequate as I tend to feel on a daily basis. Instead, I am...maybe a little bit normal. It is so refreshing to read the words that I am not able to express. Written in someone else's place. And knowing that they understand me. When we don't even know each other. It helps me be more open to the women in my life that I do know and love. And who love me even when they know my deepest, darkest secrets because they read my blog (YIKES!). Thanks, Ladies. For getting to know me.
I am so lucky. My daughter loves Jon and Kate Plus 8. So I get to watch it whenever she wants. And today (at least 'today' in DVR-land), Kate created a family mission statement. I'm going to do that. I'll have to think on it for a bit. And then I'll post it. Just like naming my Abby. Now, thanks to Sissy, I have to name my pear tree.
There's just so much to do! Fortunately, my list of real-life things-to-do is getting checked off. One. By. One.
Thanks for checking in!
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
In the meantime...When I photographed my Southern Living tray, my friend Pam asked me what else I had decorated in my home. I stammered my answer. But, basically, it meant, 'Nothing.' Absolutely Nothing. Nope. Nothing Decorated. But, The Nester has inspired me. (That, and the ridiculous feeling of embarrassment I experienced when I had nothing to tell Pam that I had decorated!)
I have always desired to decorate. I think I may have even believed I was decorating. Sometimes. I recall the Lighthouse-Themed Room. I was very big on themes when we moved into our home. (Which, if I named her, like Emily, what would I call her??) But now? Now I have four young kids and a one-income family. And...lots of 'ideas' that change too often to invest in decorating. But, somewhere, someone once told me to make a book of ideas. To look for inspiration in magazines. So, I've been doing that for a while now. And here are a few of my favorites. That didn't really cost too much to decorate. You know, the basement...the Dollar Store. They Rawk.
Here's to Home.
---chickified but downscaled since then! I think you can see the dust on my stars. I hung them straight from the front porch all winter and the back porch all last summer onto the main wall of my living room. I call it Character. The allergy doctor might call it something else.
--- last night I packed up all my curios to make way for our new front door (another post for another day!). I'd been 'shopping' for birds to add to that middle shelf for weeks. I found my grandmother's bird bells on the bottom of the curio cabinet and realized they'd be perfect! And they didn't cost me a dime!
The Pretty Bathroom
Not many would include a picture of their porcelain bowl in their post. But come on. Isn't she pretty? My husband gutted that room. He began from scratch and built it back to the pristine arena she is today. For the boys to miss. And the boys to splash. And the boys to spray. But, the elder hostile knows to wipe that pretty sink down. Every night. Bless his heart.
Home (My Abigail Grace: God's Joy)
casual & pretty - charming
safe & real
tidy ('though not always clean!)
Saturday, May 3, 2008
We walk for Our First Heart Kid --- painting the city bus.
We walk for Our Second Heart Kid --- enjoying the sites of the walk.
We walk for our friends.
And Silver ones.
We walk to remember.
Spencer, age 5 - who loved Hockey
AJ, age 17 - who loved to drive and loved to help the little ones
Sophia, age 3 months - with the tenacious spirit
Jackson, 1 year - the apple of his family's eye
Emma, 5 years - with the gorgeous hair and quick grin
We walk to say thank you.
To the nurses.
To the doctors.
We walk for the sights.
Even the tastes.
And maybe a chance at immortality. ???
If I just don't stop walking.