Tuesday, June 30, 2009


So, the more I have been thinking about this the more annoyed I am getting. Yesterday I had my 6 month follow up appointment to my cervical biopsy. (I have to go every six months now until I have regular paps.) Anyway, we were discussing things like babies and getting time alone etc. (I was a little disappointed because I was able to get in and out of the doctor's office in about an hour. I had brought a book to read and thought for sure it being a Monday morning they would be REALLY busy!) Anyway, the topic of birth control came up. She asked me what we were using. At first I didn't really care about her question. It is the OBs office. It is a valid question. But, she really didn't like my answer. She mentioned that she was going to make a note in my records about my choice and that she had encouraged me to "make the call." She said she didn't want to see me back in the office saying "oops." Ha, ha we both laugh. Then I got to thinking, what the heck business is it of hers what I do for birth control AND so what if I want a million kids (which I don't.) I know it is her job to prescribe birth control. BUT, I am a 41 year old, married woman with four kids. I am pretty sure I can do what I want with my body. If I want more kids at the age of 41 that is MY business.

She wasn't overtly against my decision. She wasn't ugly or judgemental. She was just kind of underhanded. Not once did she ask me if I was going to have more children (I am not.) Not once did she ask me what my hubby thought of more children (he does not.) She just kind of assumed. And, the more I thougth about it, the more it annoyed me.

To some degree, I am not the norm. Four kids, including a 7 1/2 month old and in my early 40s. It is my husband's and my decision. Nobody elses business! Nobody . . .

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ready, Set . . .

crawl. Well, not quite. But it isn't for the lack of trying. She is getting up on her knees and rocking back and forth. She wants to go. She just can't get everything working together. She then gives up in matter of seconds and rolls where she wants to go. Whatever works . . .

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Frustrating Friday

My Friday started out like any other day. We are right in the middle of redoing our guest bathroom. So, currently it has nothing on the walls, no paint or paper. And the floor is cement. So first thing in the morning we met daddy at a tile place to find a tile we could both agree on. (Thankfully daddy is working in our area of town.) After about 45 minutes of looking we found one that we both liked. We checked out a sample and brought it home. We decided it would look great in our bathroom. Yea! We were on our way to completing the latest of our home improvements! After lunch we then met daddy at Home Depot to pick out paint to match the tile. After about 10 minutes of comparing and discussing we were able to agree on a paint color. We were on a roll!! That was about 2PM. I left Home Depot and was going to go order the tile and the kids and I would get the paint in the morning. I was sooo excited. (I think you are suppose to have tile and paint picked out before you tear up your bathroom.)

Anyway, there is a road from the paint store to the tile place and it is 55mph. It drops down to 35mph in a matter of a block or two. If you aren't paying attention and you don't travel the road very often, it is easy to speed along the residential part of the street. We take that road all the time. I know how quickly the speed drops. Plus, the kids are always asking me "Mommy, are you speeding?" So I really do try to watch my speed. I am sure you all know where I am going with this. I check my rear view mirror and darn it if I didn't see a TPD car with its lights flashing. C***!!!!! I pulled off to the side of the road. (Hoping he wasn't following me.) I really wasn't sure why he had pulled me over. I was certain I was slowing down. I know the road. Little Mama started to cry. I assured her there was nothing to worry about. The officer came up and asked if I knew why he had stopped me. I told him honestly that I wasn't sure. He said it drops from 55 to 40 then to 35. Apparently I was going 50 in the 40. I said "Geez, give a girl a break." (With a big cheesy grin.) "I know I needed to slow down." I was trying to be respectful. Of course, I had to call daddy and because he was in the area he was on his way. When the officer came back he told me I didn't have my license sticker on my car, I was going 50 in a 40 AND my license was expired more than 4 months which was a criminal and arrestable offense. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? You are going to arrest me with my 4 kids in the car?? I told him who my hubby was and that he was on his way. By the time the officer was through explaining everything to me hubby had shown up and they started to chitchat. He ended up cutting me some slack. I needed to right then get my license taken care of, show proof of it to DSMV and to slow down. Daddy followed me home because now that I knew my license was invalid, if I got stopped again it would definately be a criminal charge!

Coco was going to babysit for the kids. Mickey was going to drive me to the DSMV. But before all that happened I was going to order the tile. When I called to do that the price was twice as much as hubby had expected. Oh boy was I bummed. Not only could I not drive anywhere but now we had to start all over on the tile and paint hunt!! I don't know which one frustrated me the most. One problem at a time. First the license. We got to the DSMV. I had waited maybe a minute then they called my number. Yea!! One last hurdle, please, please don't take my picture. So as I was going through the questions the lady says "Please step over there for an eye test and to get your picture taken." I begged her "Please no!!" "Can't I keep the picture I have." "Yes, if you had done it on line." Ugh!!! My picture on my old license was from 12 years ago. Right after I got married. I looked GREAT!! Blonde, long, curly hair and a tan. Makeup on (including lipstick) and a nice suit. I was smiling and looked fresh and healthy and rested. Yesterday, I hadn't even showered yet. My hair was greasy and in a pony tail. Not a stitch of makeup on. I didn't even have my purse to put on chapstick. I had a black T-shirt on. Pasty white and black circles under my eyes. The end result looked like a mug shot!!! So, so embarrassing. I think I would have rather paid a huge fine. Just kidding, sort of!

Chuckle for the day: "Due to the economy, the light at the end of the tunnel has been temporarily turned off." Don't think I got it exactly right. Don't know who wrote it but you get the general idea. To be continued . . .

Friday, June 26, 2009


First of all, I know I am a little off as far as parenting things go. I have strange ideas sometimes. Well, last week was one of them. We rented from Netflix an opera. When I mentioned this to my friend yesterday she gave me a really quizzical look. And she knows me pretty well. Let me explain. (I like to explain.) For Christmas, we got a children's book full of abbreviated opera stories. The kids loved the stories. I read them to Little Mama (and Boop when he would sit still) and Nature Girl read them at night. So, we rented the Magic Flute because the kids new the gist of the story. The kids tolerated it, sat through it quietly but did not ask to keep it when I got ready to put it the envelope to return it. Thankfully it was only 42 minutes long. I suppose I was a little disappointed. I was hopin' to git 'em some a that thar culture. But, as I thought about it a little more I realized I really don't like opera either.

Well, yesterday, I frustrated because it had been another hotter than hades day. Which means the kids didn't want to be outside (couldn't blame them.) I even called daddy to come home because we all were going stir crazy. ;) Of course, I knew the answer would be "no." But, it never hurts to ask. :) Sometimes it just makes me feel better to ask. Can't explain it just does. Anyway, after lunch I hear Little Mama singing "don't want to be alarmed, don't want to be alarmed." I look at Nature Girl and she has part of Boop's sword on her behind and it is a stinger and she is pretending to be a bee chasing Little Mama. Boop is running around yelling. They had, what I called a little opera going on. As Little Mama was running and singing words and acting, I told her that is exactly what an opera is. They thought it was kind of cool. EG was even getting in on it by "ya - ya"ing as the kids would run by her. So, they decided to put on an opera. Nature Girl was the director, of course. Her version was a little bit more swing or hip-hop. I gave them a 5 minute limit for a performance. They got dressed and did a little show. Not quite what it was originally but what the heck.

My initial reaction when the day wasn't going well was to turn on the TV. I resisted and am so glad I did. I would have missed the premier performance of "Don't Want to Be Alarmed" put on by the cast and crew of the Connell Family . . .

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tidbits for Today

We were playing Yahtzee the other day. We had just bought it so I needed to teach the girls. It was amazing to me how quickly Little Mama picked up the concept of the game. It still intrigues me how each child learns.

For days before Nature Girl went to horse camp she walked around in my cowboy hat. Wish I would have gotten a picture because she looked adorable.

The kids would be sitting at the breakfast table when Mickey would come out of his room. Boop would yell "Hey, Mickey D's!!" Like he was surprised he was here.

We went to the activity pool for a party the other night. They had the big slide open. Neither girl had ever been down it before. So daddy took them up. The bummer part was daddy couldn't go down with the girls so they had to go by themselves. There was a lifeguard on top and a lifeguard in the water at the bottom of the slide. Nature Girl did not hesitate. Little Mama needed a little encouragement. Daddy told her if she went down on her own he would buy her some Tic-Tacs and then he gave her a little shove. She loves the slide now. And does it all by herself - over and over and over again.

Our dining room table fits 6 comfortably. It is kind of long and because there was only 5 of us at the table when we sat down for dinner it was hard to pass stuff on one side because of the empty chair. Boop calls it a missing link. Now Mickey fills that chair - he is the missing link :)

Nature Girl - "I can't wait until I am 30 or 10 so my ears won't get infected."

EG hums when she nurses.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

John and Kate Plus 8

First, I have only watched the show maybe three times. To be honest, the way Kate talked to John hit a little too close to home. (I didn't see the show last night. From what I understand John was in "poor me" mode because he is 32 with 8 kids.) Second, I don't advocate divorce. But, to some degree, I don't blame John for hittin' the brinks. Let me explain myself. As I mentioned in my second sentence, the way Kate talked to John can be a little bit how I talk with my hubby. I am a control freak, I like things done my way and if you don't understand what I want I tend to lose my patience. I KNOW I need to change. I KNOW my behavior, reactions are not right. And honestly I am doing a little better. And now, every time I open my mouth to be disrespectful or henpeck or nag, I realize that any day my very patient hubby could say enough of this ____. I am out of here.

I guess my point is, every one deserves respect. As I mentioned in my first sentence, I have only watched the show maybe three times. I am sure the Gosslin (spelling) relationship has many more problems then just the way they relate to each other. But, having dated and been married to the same man for over 17 years, I feel the need to express that constant disrespect to your spouse takes its toll. And I would say that if the husband started to talk to his wife that way, the wife probably wouldn't tolerate it.

My husband is a patient, laid back man. He doesn't have the same priorities as I have. He doesn't worry about the things I worry about. He thinks brown and navy go together :) He doesn't feed the kids the way I do or discipline them the way I do. And you know, there probably isn't a day that goes by that I don't mention (not very kindly) the differences to him. But you know, I am really starting to realize he doesn't have to take it! If he said to me tomorrow, I have had enough I am history I think to some degree I would know that I drove him away. Now, I don't think he would ever do that but every time I disrespect him I am driving a wedge in our marriage. If I don't realize that I am wrong and if I continue to year after year treat him like a dog and he doesn't leave he is going to be MISERABLE. And he would probably find some kind of happiness somewhere with something or someone. That is the truth of it and a chance I don't want to take.

I have a fabulous husband and father. He is not me. He is not meant to be like me, think like me, handle things like me. I can't even imagine our household if he were impatient and a control freak. Our kids wouldn't have a prayer :) God has called ME to be respectful and obedient to my husband. He has called ME to be his helpmeet. He has called him to be the leader. If my husband chooses to lead in a different way, handle things in a different way, care about things in a different way then what I expect of him, that is then my problem.

I think, maybe, many of today's marriages start off on the wrong foot. Many young couples feel that it is a 50/50 relationship. I know I did. I remember the pastor who married us said if one day hubby wakes up and says we shouldn't go to church anymore, I was to obey him. Crazy. But now, 12 years later, I understand what he was trying to tell me. Only one can lead. And Gog intended it to be the man. It is especially difficult if you are a woman with a strong personality, opinions, thoughts about the way things should be done, a control freak, impatient (I am describing myself by the way), the struggle to be a good wife can be very hard (I know.) But after listening to many women talk about marriage and reading the Bible and many other marriage books, I know what my role is. I AM NOT CLOSE TO BEING PERFECT. I have a long way to go and honestly know I will never really get there. But, I think my hubby knows that I am working on it. I try to be humble and obedient and respectful and understanding and loving. I try to let him lead. He will lead if every decision he makes doesn't get criticized. (Don't misunderstand, hubby and I come to many decisions by the two of us talking about them.) I know that if I have concerns, I need to broach them with respect and love. And I am starting to realize it isn't my way or the highway.

Do I agree with John Gosslin for leaving his family? NO WAY. Should he stick it out and work through it? YES. Should he have gotten his ears pierced and get an apartment in New York? NO. But I do think the whole episode can speak volumes to what can be wrong in some marriages. Husbands who are unwilling to lead and the wives who are unwilling to give them the chance.

I don't intend on being a doormat. But I hope to have a relationship that is built on obedience in love, respect and humility.

Of course this is strictly my opinion . . .

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I am not always honest I am sure. But, it is something I try really hard to work on. The other day a friend of mine said how much she appreciated my honesty. We had been talking about family, marriage, life. And I am sure I said how hard it can be. How sometimes my children drive me crazy or one of the other millions of things that aren't perfect or that I struggle with in my life. So, it made me think. Why do I go to such lengths to "tell the truth," almost to a fault. Don't misunderstand me, I am sure I lie or gloss over things or don't always tell the whole truth. But I make a big time conscious effort not to do those things. One of the biggest reason is, as I try to teach the kids, all we have is our word. It doesn't matter what type of house we live in, what we wear and even what type of personality we have. But, once we lie, don't tell the whole truth or exaggerate, people will stop believing what we say. Also, one of the biggest reasons for me is I don't ever want people to think I am something that I am not or that my life is something that it is not. I don't know why that is so important to me but it is. I guess maybe I think one of the dilemmas that families have nowadays is that we always want to show that everything is OK. That life is good and everything is under control. Lest we not be handling things as well as the next guy. We wouldn't want anyone to judge us. I think that can back fire because, really, is any one's life perfect? Just think of the things we could learn if every one were willing to share the bad things along with all of the good things. Of course, this is all just my opinion :)

I always shudder when people ask my opinion or ask my advice. Because I am not good at thinking on my feet. If I disagree or think something should be done different or if I have advice, I usually do not hesitate to share it. If for no other reason, then I just can't think of anything else to say. A couple of months ago, a friend asked me advice about a homeschooling issue. I told her, my thoughts, opinions, ideas etc. A week later she came up to me and said "Thank you" for being "tough" with her. My heart sank, my face fell and I immediately started apologizing. I had done it again. I had over stepped my bounds. I just kept apologizing. I didn't mean to be tough. Unloving. Uncaring. She assured me I was fine. That I was loving and caring. She really was thankful that I was willing to be honest with her. A few others had either thought like her or weren't willing to give a different opinion. I was so glad she didn't think I had been forceful with her. I know others who share their opinions but make it sound like there are not other options - theirs is the only way. I didn't and don't want to be like that. If I share my opinions I want it to be in love. I want whoever I am talking to to know that it is just my opinion. I have another friend that laughs every time she hears me start to apologize because she knows I think I have "done it again." :)

I don't ever want to not tell the truth. I don't ever want to hurt some one's feelings. I am working on and struggling with saying whatever I have to say in love. Working on myself and my children. No matter who we are, what we have, where we are, we always, always have our word. And once it is gone it is very, very hard to get back . . .

Monday, June 22, 2009

Me Time

Thankfully I am not one that needs a lot of me time. Don't get me wrong, I love it and would like to have more of it but I don't worry about it if I don't get it. I think with that attitude, when I do get it I am especially thankful. And it happened this past Saturday and boy was it great!! My sister came in the morning to watch the kids so I could use a gift certificate I got for Christmas from my dad. I was able to get a massage, a facial and a pedicure. The massage was awesome. As I lay there, I was trying to think of what I needed to think about. There really wasn't any thing pressing that I needed to sort out so I decided to pray for my family. Of course, by the time I finally relaxed and my mind was empty the massage was over. Note to self, get a full hour massage next time. Then I got a facial. The smells of the lotions and oils she used were wonderful. I think that was the best part. Lastly, I got my feet done. That is truly the way to my heart! Plus, as an added bonus I met a really, really nice young lady (she was the one doing my feet.) She knew from the age of like 15 she wanted to do pedicures. Now she is late teens, early twenties. She is trying to finish up her two year degree. She wants to be a family therapist and she just enlisted in the Navy! I loved talking with her.

When I got home my sister was planning on taking the bigger kids for the afternoon. So it was just me and EG. I suppose I could have cleaned, did school stuff etc., etc., etc. But instead I chose to finish "Babbit." What a great book! Anyway, daddy had been out of town over night and if they were going to make it back Sissy and Mickey were going to babysit so we could go out. By 5 o'clock my peaceful house was filled to the gills with people and the best part was daddy and I got to go to a movie. Don't think we have done that in almost a year!

I don't expect me time. It isn't part of my job description. But, boy when I get it, I sure do love it . . .

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Silent Sunday


Saturday, June 20, 2009

It's Over

Well, the last day of camp was a success. I dropped NG off first thing in the morning. They had lots of activities planned for the day. One of which was a trip to a miniature horse farm. We went last year with our homeschool group and from what I can remember it was pretty cool. NG enjoyed it again this time. One of the miniatures pulled a cart with some of the kids in it. That was a big hit! Back at the ranch, they got to paint and decorate the horses they had been riding and grooming all week! I think they put crowns on them and gave the horses polka dots :)

The kids all ended up with nicknames. Nature Girl's was "Giggle Box." If I had a nickle for every time that girl giggled we would be very, very wealthy. Some other names were Lunch Box, U Foul, and one boy had the name Samantha. Of course the did all kinds of crafts: a wooden horse puzzle, a horse wall hanging and a mosaic type stepping stone. NG promises me that Ms. Leslie will send pictures.

Speaking of Ms. Leslie, did I mention that she use to babysit my kids? I think it was a little before and right after Boop was born. The wonderful thing is, she is now married with a baby of her own. Just about EG's age.

Nature Girl would like to continue on with the horse thing and wants to go back to camp next week. That isn't going to happens but I told her if she still has the passion in a couple of months we would talk more about lessons. Heck, I might even take them with her . . .

Friday, June 19, 2009

Last Day

Well, today is the last day of horse camp. I have mixed emotions. I am sad for NG that it is over. She really has enjoyed herself and I think has become very confident around horses. Which is a big thing. I am a little thankful, though, because summer can finally begin. Since we stopped school at the beginning of June we have been running every morning and we are not use to that. It is taking its toll on the kids (and me). We are all exhausted!

There have been some neat things that have been kind of side notes. One of which is Little Mama and Boop's relationship. It has grown. Most times they get along like oil and water. I am not really sure why that is. Mostly, I think, because Boop is spoiled but I am sure Little Mama feeds the fire just a little bit. I don't realize how much I need NG at home to keep the peace until she is gone. Anyway, yesterday Little Mama and Boop got along great. Yesterday morning the swam for close to an hour. Then they played games like Twister and Mancala. Granted I think they made up their own rules but I certainly didn't care. Little Mama was a great help with EG. I tried to do special things with LM and Boop while NG was away. Like letting them have Popsicles in the morning :) Or playing Candyland with them.

Hopefully tomorrow or some day soon I will have a picture to post of NG at horse camp . . .

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Great Place to Live

I wanted to be able to scan my pictures of where I use to live before I got married. But I can't figure out our new printer :( So I have taken 2 pictures of two pictures. I know, I am a goof! Anyway, it literally was in a barn. My roommates were the 5 horses that lived downstairs! It was relatively cheap and part of the deal was I had to be able to look after the horses when the owner went away for a couple of days. Right up my alley! It had one large bedroom, a living room with a window that over looked a paddock, a tiny dining nook and tiny kitchen and a tiny bathroom that when I would blow my hair dry in the morning the horses would stomp their feet. It was way out in the country. Probably 20 minutes from town. The drive was beautiful. In the morning the mist would sit in the trees and it was so peaceful. The apartment was on a farm called Southern Breeze. The driveway was about a half a mile long and you had to go in and out two gates. Not a problem unless it was pouring rain and I had to get a rain slicker and rubber boots for opening the gate. I had to wear a separate pair of shoes in and out of the house because otherwise my heals would sink in the dirt. I would have to park my car inside the last gate so the horses wouldn't chew on my bumper. I would walk out my apartment door into the hayloft (although it wasn't filled with hay) and you could walk to the hayloft doors and open them both up. The view was spectacular. The doors opened up to the rolling pastures where the horses grazed. In the afternoons I would sit in a chair and read or just watch the horses graze or frolic. Aaaahhh such memories! There are many days I wish we still lived there.

My mom came up one weekend to help me decorate. I swear it should have been in Country Living when she was done. It looked so great! We actually had my office Christmas party there. I had a TV but there wasn't cable and I wasn't going to pay for a Dish so most nights I would read. It was a little bit of a bummer during football and basketball season though.

A couple months after I had moved in, hubby and I got engaged. He agreed to live there for a short time after we were married. But, his work was clear across the county and he did not relish getting in and out of his truck twice at 5AM. In addition to all that, the apartment was made for a single person so was a little cramped when both of us were home. There was no central heat and air. Just two stand alone units. One in the bedroom and one in the living room. The one in the living room was on a timer so at about 3:30AM it would turn on so daddy wasn't freezing or totally sweating depending on the season.

After we moved out the whole farm went up for sale. I really, really wanted to buy the piece of it that had the barn on it. Redo the barn into a house and have a couple of horses. But we ran into some snags. One of which, there were not any covenants and the last thing we wanted was a beautiful home unsure of what would be surrounding it. Plus, truth be told daddy didn't want to live way out. As outdoorsy as he is, he likes the creature comforts of being in town. Maybe some day when the kids are grown and we are retired (ha, ha) we can live "way out" . . .

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Horse Camp Continued

She lays her clothes out the night before! Cracks me up. Granted she has to get up at 7 and we are out the door by 7:40 so there isn't a lot of wiggle room for tracking things down etc. And most everyone is still sleeping while she is eating breakfast and I am drinking my coffee. I have a new found respect for those who have to get out the door first thing in the AM. I just don't think I could do it. It is way too stressful for me. But anyway, back to NG and horse camp. Yesterday she rode Dakota (nicknamed Bob). I guess that is a big deal - who you ride. Last night she was playing a game with the other kids - Who am I going to ride today?? One horse's name is Yuck, then there is a Princess and a Montana.

Yesterday they learned about whips. Interesting piece of equipment. I had one for working with Shorty in the round pen. I never did quite get what the kids learned about it. Except maybe that it makes a lot of noise and it hurts if you are not careful. They got to ride and groom the horses again. Poor Nature Girl has callouses on her hands and feet. And her booty hurts a little. She doesn't understand why that is. I have explained that when you use your body in ways that it isn't use to muscles ache etc. She doesn't like that very much. Can't say as I blame her!

Another thing she is learning is the difference between English riding and Western. I ride Western and the two times she has gone she has rode Western. Right now she is learning Western. She just asked me, "The girls who wear the things on their legs are they English?" "Yes." NG has jeans on "We wear these?" "Yes." "Those girls things are ugly." "It isn't about how you look." Did I ever mention the reason she didn't like T-ball was because of the pants? Well, we are off for day three. Hope every one's day is as adventurous as hers will be . . .

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Horse Camp Update

So all went well yesterday. Of course, Nature Girl had a fabulous time. They groomed the horses and did a little riding. NG's horse's name was Tator Tot. She thought that was interesting and so did I. They put orange caution cones down and the got to ride around them. Some of the kids were learning to jump and, of course, she wanted to. I had to explain that she needed to ride a little longer and a little better. NG said they had the kids broken up into two groups. While one group was learning to groom and ride the other group was doing a craft. Then they switched. All the kids got back together again for a little TV, lunch and swimming. NG said the whole six hours felt like one. I told her that is what happens when you are having fun. Of course, she met a friend. (I knew she would. She finds a "best" friend where ever she goes.) I tried to get the girl's name from her but either she had a very unique name or I just didn't understand. My money is on the latter. I kind of felt bad because she wanted to talk all about it when she got home and we tried for a little bit. But then life got in the way. So, to remedy that, I took just her this morning and asked all kinds of questions and just let her talk. And then we prayed together thanking God for giving Ms. Leslie the heart to teach kids and for every one's safety. It is hard to give everyone the individual time they need most times :(

So, when we pulled in today we were one of the first people there. There was one other family and no teacher type people there yet. I asked NG if she just wanted to sit in the car and wait for a teacher or more kids. She said "no" that she wanted to get out. She really has no reservations about new/different things. So not like her mama. When I had the mental energy I would totally stress about stuff like that. Where I was going, who I knew, what we would be doing etc., etc., etc. I am glad she is not like that. Sure she is a little hesitant but she doesn't let it get the best of her. She is also so honest. She told me that one of the teacher's had to ask her to stay close to the group. She said she didn't go very far and just wanted to see the horses, take a look around. But, I explained how important it was to listen and obey. Horses are dangerous and the teachers are responsible for her. She seemed to understand. It is good for her to be away from me for a little bit. For me and for her . . .

Monday, June 15, 2009

Theme for the Week

Horses. Well, for most of the week anyway. I dropped Nature Girl off this AM at horse camp. Mixed emotions. I am glad she is taking an interest in a passion of mine. But, I don't think I have ever dropped her off for the day before (and she goes all week!) She didn't know a soul and all the other kids knew each other. But she was ready to go. I had to ask for a hug and a kiss. I watched her walk down the hill. She was the youngest and the least experienced from what I could tell. I wanted to take pictures but I practiced self control. I think that would have made her (or me) feel even more conspicuous. So, no pictures today. I am staying close to the phone, though. And I will post more tomorrow about her experiences.

Today is about my passion for horses! I have loved horses ever since I can remember. Not just riding them but watching them run and eat and stand still. I use to wish for one for Christmas (of course we lived in a city.) I even lived in a barn once (more about that later this week.) When I owned a horse one of the things I loved the best was just grooming him. His name was "Shorty". He was an unregistered Quarter Horse. Very stocky. Hence the name. He was a sorrel which means reddish body with blondish tail and mane. When I washed and groomed him he shown like a copper penny. He was a great starter horse but he did need to know who was boss. I road him once to Publix (a grocery store) with a friend of mine. In hind sight probably not the brightest idea. But a wonderful, fun memory none the less! I was in my early 30s before my dream came true. Married with no kids. I took roping lessons and even thought about competing in barrel racing (and I still might someday ;) I used to go on trail rides for days. We would ride horses all day and sleep in a conversion van (the ones with beds in the back.) The trail ride was 5 days long and would end in a parade in some small town leading up to their rodeo. The most I ever made though was three days. I was working up to the whole week but then I got pregnant. I suppose I could have kept on riding but I didn't want to take any chances. In fact, we decided to sell Shorty. Keeping a horse is very expensive. I remember very well the lady we sold him to. Hubby and I went and saw Shorty and his new owner ride in a local parade. Shorty looked so handsome. I cried! I can't believe that was nine years ago. I have always been very appreciative to my husband for making a dream come true. I hope to one day live that dream again. Maybe with one of my children . . .

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Movies, movies, movies

With the onset of summer, movies are a topic of discussion in our family. In keeping in line with my teaching philosophies and other biblical considerations, I am pretty picky about the movies we see. It seems like most movies that are brought to our attention don't make the cut. But for many, many reasons. First, animated kid movies that are not really for kids. Huge pet peeve of mine! A couple of summers ago I took the kids to a G rated animated movie for a buck. In the movie a teenage boy was wearing his pants down low showing his booty crack. I was so totally offended by the whole scene. I am not a prude. But, really?? What was the point?? Second, I am a huge modesty person. I would rather my girls (and boy I suppose) not see a lot of bare skin on girls, women, etc. If a movie is worth watching surely the girls can keep covered. Third, is quality. The kids watch Oklahoma! and all kinds of other musicals. We watch Holiday Inn and White Christmas. Quality actors with great stories. Lots of dancing and singing. We have watched Shakespeare stories and have operas on our Netflix list. Fourth, I am not big on a lot of gratuitous violence. Fifth, language and attitude of kids in the shows is huge too. I don't want the kids watching other kids with disrespectful attitudes. Unless, there is a heart change by the end. And lastly is scary. Scary is big for me. As a kid I saw a couple of movies that gave me nightmares for days. So, when choosing movies I worry about the nightmare potential. These are just guidelines and not absolutes. There are exceptions which I try to use as teaching points when necessary. Which brings me to our movie choice for last night. The kids (and daddy and nephew) have been lobbying for Night at the Museum. I, of course, have been somewhat opposed. Daddy and I saw it in the theater many years ago and loved it. Well, as a treat I got it from Netflix this week and last night we watched it. Sure, there were parts that I objected to just a little. And yes, I was concerned I would be up half the night with nightmares. But, that wasn't the case and honestly, I enjoyed seeing it again. In fact, we are watching it again this morning. My plan isn't full proof for vetting movies and I have to remember what is really important when making choices. But, for now, the kids are happy with my latest decision. We will see how the rest of the choices go . . .

Friday, June 12, 2009

Toddler Time

One of the bonuses of swimming lessons is that on Tuesdays and Thursdays they have Toddler Time at the activity pool. And it is free if you are taking lessons. It is always one of the first questions the kids ask me when we get to the pool for lessons. "Can we go to the activity pool?" This year I didn't answer right away. We had lessons for 2 weeks so I had a little time to figure out if we were going to go. The first week came and went. The second and last week started and I had to make a decision. In the past daddy has always had one of those Tuesdays or Thursday off but not anymore. I remember the first time I took the girls. Little Mama was a baby. Well, maybe a toddler. I was by myself and I was putting sunscreen on them. I got it in Little Mama's eyes and she cried and cried. She was inconsolable. We had to leave. So the thought of taking all four by myself was just more than my little brain could handle. But, the flip side of that was telling the kids "no." And I didn't really want to tell them "no." In all honesty that just wasn't going to happen. So yesterday, after swimming lessons, we went to the toddler pool. And I had help. My nephew graciously said he would come with us. Yea, an extra pair of eyes! I had wanted to take pictures, but, I was just thankful to get sunscreen on etc. They kids had a big time. It really is a neat little pool. Even EG and I got in. She seemed to like it. About 15 minutes into our swim she fell asleep. Who could blame her. The sound of the rushing water would have put me to sleep. The big kids played on the slide and mushroom. They practiced their swim strokes and bobs. We stayed for over an hour. I am glad we took the plunge . . . :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Nature Girl's Evaluation

I am just now looking at the computer. I haven't checked my emails and obviously haven't blogged yet. And in 20 minutes we have to leave for tumbling. I just said to Mickey "Where does the time go?!?!" Anyway, yesterday was Nature Girl's second grade evaluation. (Little Mama doesn't get evaluated until next year.) Maybe I should have been a little more concerned about it but I am never nervous. I am totally confident and comfortable with what she has learned. We have a great evaluator. Yes, she is a friend but I am pretty sure I told her last year that I want to hear the good and the bad. I don't want my kids to "get by." If there are ways we can improve I definitely want to hear about it. The evaluator brought Nature Girl a writing journal, that if she does the evaluations next year, she would like to look at it. So that was cool. NG loves journals. This year's evaluation went something like this: she goes through all of NG's notebooks and looks at examples of all of NG's work. She asks me questions about our curriculum. About writing and math and science. She asks NG if she likes being homeschooled and what her favorite subject is :) Then she has NG read. In turn, I ask her lots of questions. It takes maybe a little over an hour. And it is usually very insightful. Helps me to think of how to do things different (or the same) next year. I now have a 3rd grader and a 1st grader. Way to go girls . . .

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


As I am sure I have mentioned previously, my kids have 13 cousins. We are blessed to have two of them live across town. We get together occasionally but honestly not enough. Yesterday was my niece's 9th birthday so we went to her house last night to celebrate with dinner and cake. And my girls just absolutely adore her. She is counted as one of their bestest friends. When my girls see her they scream her name and immediately run up and give her big hugs! It is like she is a rock star! (We should all get such a reception :) There are plans in the works for a sleepover sometime this summer. I am thankful we have family in town. . .

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Whoda Thunk

As we get ready to leave the house for the sixth day of swimming lessons at 8:30, it has become abundantly clear how things have changed for me in the last year or so. This is a totally superficial post. There was a time when I would never have dreamed about leaving the house without make-up much less a shower, the kids hair not brushed etc. But as we get ready to walk out the door this morning, I am thankful that I have semi-clean clothes on and my teeth are brushed. When I was pregnant with Boop and even Little Mama I am pretty sure I wore lipstick. Such a stretch from what I see in the mirror this morning. The only thing I care about this morning is that everyone is fed and that I have had my coffee. My priorities have definitely changed. At least temporarily . . .

Monday, June 8, 2009

So True . . .

I have a good friend who blogs and is an avid reader and a mother of four. She reads a lot of memoirs which I don't usually read. On the side of her blog is a list of books she has read, is reading and is going to read. All that to say, she has just finished a memoir called The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan and commented about it on her blog. She posted one of her favorite paragraphs from the book. And it was so true to my life I asked her if I could cut and paste the paragraph on my blog. So here it is! It so speaks to my life right now!

"The way I see it, if you have four kids, you really don't have to do anything else, ever. Three kids is a handful, but one that many people manage to hold. If you are a mother of four, you definitely don't have a career or volunteer for the school fund-raiser or even bring an appetizer to the dinner party. In fact, people give you lots of credit for wearing both earrings and knowing how to spell chaos and antidepressant. Four kids gives you a pass for every forgotten birthday, overlooked appointment and missing form. Plus, you can be late for everything the rest of your life and never return phone calls. Who's gonna blame you?"

I cannot WAIT to read the book . . .

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Silent Sunday

P.S. Happy Birthday Daddy!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Eventful Day

Yesterday the big girls were invited to a tea party. (Well, EG was invited as well but is was during her nap time ;) Anyway, it was in the home of a family that we really enjoy spending time with. There are two girls Little Mama and Nature Girl's ages and they are two of the sweetest girls. There were two other girls there as well. One of the girls is a family friend of ours and another little girl belongs to a mom that I have just recently met and absolutely love. Just a really great group of girls. We left EG and Boop home with Daddy and Mickey and we had a nice girlie afternoon! The girls had "tea" in real tea cups and the mamas had great female conversation. It has been over a month since I have been out with a couple of mamas so I had a real nice time chatting! Which was an added bonus.

Then last night for dinner we had visitors from Alabama. The family that visited us use to live here but moved away about 2 years ago. We have managed to maintain our friendship long distance. Mostly by the effort of my friend. She is so good at calling and keeping in touch. They have relatives that live south of us, so when they go to visit their family they always spend a night with us. The kids love seeing each other and it is like they have never been separated. And the adults, of course, spend much time catching up. We met up with them again this morning at Chick-fil-a before they headed out of town. The time spent is much to short but just long enough to realize how much t we miss them . . .

Friday, June 5, 2009

Rules vs. Relationship

I am a rule follower. Example: At the gas station I turn the car off when I get gas. This drives my husband crazy. He fills his patrol car all the time and never turns it off. He tells me all the other deputies do the same thing. He says it's safe. I don't care. The sign says "Turn off engine." Therefore, I turn off the engine! My rule following goes much deeper than that. If I am a rule follower it seems to me that everyone in my house should be rule followers. It is easy. You don't have to think about it you just do it. We have certain rules in the house. I don't think they are frivolous rules. They are rules to keep everyone safe (Don't go on the blue tarp that surrounds the pool so you don't go near the pool so you don't drowned. Brush your teeth twice a day so they don't fall out of your head. You get the idea.) Then there are rules about manners. These are important to me so that my children are well behaved. (Don't talk with your mouth full. Asked to be excused from the table. Use silverware. Don't interrupt adults when they are talking or on the phone.) I could go on and on about my rules. Put dirty clothes in the laundry etc., etc., etc. They all serve a purpose and function in our home.

I have found recently that maybe my rules get in the way of a relationship. For as good as I am with following rules, I am not so good at maintaining, sustaining, encouraging, understanding relationships. And I am mostly talking about my relationship with God, my husband and my children. I shake my head numerous times throughout the day when I hear the children being selfish. How many times have we talked about how important it is, how God calls us to put others before ourselves. It is a rule! What I fail to understand and impart to my children is that it is a rule born out of a relationship with Jesus.

I was talking with a good friend of mine the other day who has done a terrific job raising his children. They are homeschooled but not raised in a bubble. Yet, they for the most part make good choices, are respectful and kind. A lot of the things I want my children to be. So I questioned him about it. He related it all back to a relationship. How whatever choices we make we should always be trying to please God. Something similar to when you are dating someone new and everything you do in the beginning is to make that other person happy. When you begin dating someone rarely are you selfish. He kind of gave me the idea it should be that way with God and he was trying to teach his children that way. Everything they do or say or think should be pleasing to God. Building a lasting relationship with Jesus. I have a hard time relating that to my children because I have a hard time with that myself. I don't fully understand my relationship with Jesus. That it IS a relationship. I know that in my head but I have a hard time translating it to my heart. BUT I can follow the rules :) If I focus on the relationship then the rules just naturally come. Because I want them to not because I have to. Because I want to please God.

There is much talk about why children of Christian homes go astray. I can see that if the relationship part is missing and we are just following rules without a reason then it is very easy to make wrong choices or different choices. I see it happening with me and I can see it happening with my children. At some point there has to be more than "because I said so." It is easy to get caught up in rules. It looks good. It is something you can see. Something you can monitor. How can you really check the heart?? I don't have all the answers. Most of the time I am not even sure of the questions. But, it has been brought to my attention in so many different ways recently that I know I need to work on ALL my relationships. Not just for my kids but for me as well . . .

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sleep Blissful Sleep

For all the things we have going on around here these past couple of weeks the biggest one, for me any way, has been the lack of sleep. It was getting increasingly worse at night. EG has been waking up every hour, hour and a half and just basically nooshing. I would pop her off when I felt like she was asleep and her little lips would make this big round "o" and she looked like a little bird looking for a worm from her mama. Now in the middle of the day it is one of the cutest things a mom can witness. Three, four in the morning for like the 3rd time isn't quite so adorable. As with a lot of things when your a mom, you know when it is time to make changes. When you just can't do a certain something anymore. For every mom it is different for each set a circumstances. I had had enough of the middle of the night feedings. I knew it was needed to maintain my milk supply and give her extra calories so I continued. (I have since added two additional feedings during the day.) But over the course of the last couple of days, I knew I had had enough. I was ready for the tears and the crying. I know you have to teach babies to sleep. Some are easier to train then others. Nature Girl and EG the hardest. Little Mama and Boop the easiest. We started on Monday or Tuesday night. I was just so completely exhausted and in every fiber of my being in the middle of the night I knew I was done. It was time. The first night I was so tired I would hear her cry (nothing frantic just mad). I actually fell asleep and would wake up like a half hour later and she was quiet. (She is in Boop's room and I am on the couch. Actually I start out in her room and after the first time she wakes and I nurse, I go sleep on the couch. Can't sleep in the room with her anymore. She is so noisy and active.) The second night I ended up getting up with her twice. The second time she was more frantic and I just couldn't bare it. But she went right back to sleep after I fed her. Last night she woke up at 11:30PM and I nursed her. I then went on the couch and I never heard from her again. Yea!!!!! I am not going to kid myself into thinking we have some kind of pattern here because I no better. But, I was just so thankful to sleep. I even dreamed!!!! I am not giving up. I am on a mission now, for the two of us. Sleep, blissful sleep . . .

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Young People

Last night we had Sissy and Alex over for dinner. This isn't an unusual occurrence. They come over at least once a week. I love this for so many reasons. And now with the addition of Mickey we are surrounded by young people. I swear it keeps me young! I have said many times to many different people that if it weren't for Sissy keeping me up on all the latest trends, I would be in a time warp. Last night was lively talk about stuff we probably wouldn't talk about with just a table full of kids. Not bad stuff just different more grown up stuff and not necessarily family stuff. As I was drifting off to sleep for the first time last night, it just made me smile to have a table full of people (links as Boop calls them) of varying ages, varying experiences. All just eating, talking and smiling . . .

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Rock and Roll

Last night during bath time I spent most of the time chasing EG! She is mobile in the most unusual way. She rolls every where. I know for babies it isn't that unusual but I don't think I have had one that has done that before. She points her head in a direction and then rolls, rolls, rolls. One second she is in the middle of the room and the next she is perilously close to the entertainment center. I laid her down in the middle of the hall outside the bathroom where Boop was taking a bath. A minute later she had rolled all the way into his room!! I think it is time for the playpen. I also noticed that she is now capable of moving her toys from one hand to the other. Last night I was watching her do it. I swear she had this proud look of accomplishment on her face. Like she knew she had just completed one of her baby milestones. She is lucky she is being so cute during the day because her nighttime sleeping habits leave much to be desired ;) . . .

Monday, June 1, 2009

Swimming Lessons

Today is the start of swimming lessons for all the kids except EG. It is Boop's first time! We picked 8:50AM classes to avoid the heat and sun. I have to admit at 7 this morning I was kind of wishing we had picked a later time! We got there with a minute to spare. It is a big class this year and the pool sure was busy for that time of morning. The director called all the kids names and Little Mama and Nature Girl were eager to get started. The conversation in the back of the van on the way over was how cold the water was going to be and why didn't they heat the pool. I explained when it is 90 degrees outside nobody wants to jump into a 90 degree pool. I assured them once they started swimming around they would get warm. Boop was a little apprehensive to go with his class. He wrapped his legs around me like a monkey. Honestly I don't think he has ever done that before and I wasn't expecting it. Thankfully he and his coach shared the same name so that was a great ice breaker for Boop! He eventually warmed up to the idea of swimming lessons and by the end of class had a smile on his face. The girls took like fish to the water. They both have improved a lot since last year. We get to do this for the next two weeks . . .