As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him--you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2: 4-5

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Being stuck in the house all last week with sick kids led me to some realizations:

1. Stay at home moms are awesome. And I am not. I do not possess the patience, the imagination, the motivation, nor the self control around food to be a successful stay at home mom. I love my girls, don't get me wrong. I love being with them. But's hard. I loved it for the first two days. And then I loved it for the first three hours of each day. By today, I really thought I would go insane if Charlotte screeched one.more.time. This probably says loads about my skills as a parent, but I freely admit it. God gave me the passion to teach for a reason.

2. Taking off the cover of a carseat to wash it may seem like a good idea at the time, but I have not the mental capacity to put it back together. Nor the humility to admit that I need help. In retrospect, spraying it down with the hose would have been a much easier/less confusing option.

3. Josh has two baby books and three scrapbooks devoted to the first three years of his life. Sarah has one baby book and one scrap book. Maddy has an empty baby book somewhere, and six pages in a scrapbook. Hannah--she has a scrapbook with her ultrasound pictures (that I made when I was on bedrest), a bunch of pictures on the computer, and the blog. She also has a piece of paper where I wrote down all the words she knew at about 20 months. Charlotte is a complete blog baby. Which means I need to start making sure that I start blogging more so I have something to remember her babyhood by, and she doesn't grow up feeling like she was neglected (like Maddy mightily accused us of after perusing Josh and Sarah's scrapbooks and then looking and looking for hers).

So without further ado...
Charlotte's very own list of words at 19 months

nana (Hannah)
ni ni (night night)
ba (ball)
ba ba (bottle) (sigh)
coco (cookie)
where'd it go?
dudder (Tucker)
kak kak (quack, quack or duck)
shoes (so proud!)
where hannah go?
tay tay (Kay Kay)
bub bob (spongebob)
teet (teeth)
tara (sarah)
daddy (maddy)
And then of course...anything and everything can be obtained by the high pitched squeal/clenched fists...just to make her stop!
Obligatory good mommy task completed.

What's a girl to do....

when you have to be at the airport for two hours with nothing to do?

You might dance a little
and be generally cute and happy at the beginning...
excited even...

You might even push the stroller around, just because you are such a big girl...

Until your big sister gets in...

and you might get a little perturbed, throw a fit even...

After about an hour of might get a little weary and just have to take a load off

Until Daddy decides to take you to the "city" to see the sights

For a while, all you'll want is your daddy...

and a nice soft bed...

Finally, after your big sister FINALLY comes through customs and makes her way up the escalator, you get to go home
Your sister is happy to be home...very tan, very happy, very sleepy, and a little loopy
You might fall asleep on the way home and get put right into bed, but if you don't, you might get some super cool presents from Jamaica.
(And if you are a particularly opinionated and spunky four/almost five year old, you will declare on the way to church the next morning that you don't like the cool gift that your big sister bought and brought all the way home from Jamaica because you "don't like her nose.")
Yay! Sarah is home!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I want to be that mom

I have always had the bad habit of comparing myself to others. And when I do, invariably, I fall short. And today is one of those days where I'm falling WAAAAY short. As I sit here at the computer this morning in my PJ's (which I admit smell a bit like baby puke), cup of coffee next to me, kid mess from last night and then compounded this morning surrounding me, reading the blogs in my Google Reader, I realize that if I took the best out of all the blogs that I read/follow, I would be just about perfect. (to those that read me...the following is a big compliment to you...for I aspire to be you!)

I would get up each morning before the kids arose to do my daily quiet time with God, take a shower, dress, do hair, make up, and put on clothes that do not contain elastic of any sort. ( Oh, and if I was pregnant (which I am not, nor will I ever again be), I would be able to find a piece of fruit to compare to the child inside me and my belly would be all that has grown.) I would be wearing jewelry and shoes, even though I would not be leaving the house.

Once I was up, I would be homeschooling my children. All of them. Even the little bitty ones. With too cute activities and a plethora of color coded activities. And in all my pictures that I take of them, my carpet would never look dirty, and I would never have to crop out any messes. My kitchen floor would be spotless as my little girls played with sand/rice/macaroni that, by the way, they would keep in the buckets and not throw in the air and yell, "It's snowing!"

I would take my kids on fun, educational field trips to keep them busy and engaged and would never plop them down in front of the TV with a bag of fruit snacks so I could get something done. For lunch, I would serve them only healthy and organic food in fun shapes in fun dishes. We would eat it at the table that would not be covered in my husband's tools or the kid's backpacks and we would have cute, educational placemats that would inspire stimulating conversation.

During nap time, I would clean, do laundry, and blog about deep and spiritual issues that inspire others to think, pray, act. Then I would start dinner, which would be fast, nutritious, and cost effective.

When my husband got home from the one job that he had, I would take a quick run in my cute running shorts and unstained shirt. I would not sweat and would look cute doing it.

I would come home and serve dinner to my smiling family. Everyone would sit throughout the whole dinner and not throw anything on the floor, complain about how we never have anything they like, spit anything out while simulatneously saying "yuck," or fight with their siblings.

After dinner, I would happily bathe the little girls and no one would poop in the tub. I would put them in sweet matching pajamas, and tuck them into bed at 7:00pm. Then I would go about my evening activities that might include scrapbooking, quilting, sewing myself gorgeous dresses to go to glamorous parties, or relaxing with my husband, cuddling on the couch.

When it was bedtime, I would go into my immaculate bedroom that has not one piece of laundry on the floor, and get into my bed that I made this morning, and read without falling asleep, dressed in my fancy lingerie.

Where's the blogs about messy houses, lazy mornings, and overweight, overworked, overstressed moms who don't have perfect houses, perfect children, perfect lives? Oh wait....that's mine.

Winter Break-continued

Day 2 of Winter Break--this is where the real fun began...NOT! It was a pretty monumental day, though, as my baby boy turned 19. Why does 19 sound so much older than 18????? It was a weird birthday day, because for the first time, we had to work around work, college, and girlfriend schedules. Usually birthdays in this house call for days revolving around the birthday boy/girl. I guess this is just a sign that they are growing up, huh? (insert a tantrum throwing smiley right here!)

Anyway, after a day of college classes and a lunch out with Maranda, we celebrated at our house. We had to do this in spurts--dinner when Daryl was home from school, and then cake when he was home from teaching at the college.

Hannah celebrated with pink eye. Fun stuff....
and Charlotte celebrated with what turned out to be the stomach virus and strep throat. More fun stuff.

Maranda's gift to Josh--a new electric guitar.

And what birthday would be complete without a call to Poison Control? See these two containers? On the right, is the container Kay Kay sent home with Charlotte for Valentine's Day--full of harmless mini gummy bears, which Charlotte loves. On the left--her gummy vitamins, which Charlotte also loves. Both were full when I left to go birthday shopping. Maddy gave the two containers to Charlotte to pacify her while I was gone. Luckily, they don't contain iron, and the very nice understanding Poison Control man told me there was no harm done and that she might be a bit nauseous.

Josh's cookie cake

getting help blowing out the candles

Happy Birthday to my very first baby!
On Wednesday, I spent most of the day at the doctor, changing my clothes to rid myself of various bodily fluids, trying to get tylenol/antibiotic/eye ointment in the appropriate places, and soothing grumpy girls. Hannah did, however, throw a ball. She picked out outfits for us all, and then we danced in the living room.

And just a picture of my pretty Maddy-with her silly daddy in the background!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Winter Break-Day 1

We had to get out of the house today so that Daryl could continue replacing the floor. We could have stayed, but it promised to be loud and messy, so we opted to have a girl's only field trip!

We started at Target so Maddy could get a new bathing suit for our trip back to the lake later on in the week. It won't be warm enough for swimming outside, but they have a nice indoor pool and Maddy had some birthday money burning a hold in her pocket!
Maddy, being the sweet sister that she is, bought the little girls some popcorn and a drink.

And then it was off to the park! We had originally thought we would try the sand park, but then we remembered that Charlotte hates the sand, so we opted by the park by Suder. Last time we were here, it was just a very pregnant me and a 3 year old Hannah. My how times have changed!

Since when did my baby girl get big enough to do this all by herself? Sigh.

This is Maddy, using the railroad ties as a balance beam. When I was a little bit younger than she is now, my dad had put railroad ties along the side of our driveway. I was at the height of my gymnastics fantasy life, and did the very same thing. I remember staying outside for hours, making up balance beam routines to the theme song from "The Rose." (Yes, I was a geek)

And then Maddy got the camera.

We ended our "field trip" with lunch at Wendy's and a trip to the grocery store. Fun Stuff.
Tomorrow, Day 2--Josh's 19th Birthday!

To Grandmother's House We Go

It's Winter Break for ELCA (but not for Henry County--boo!) so we took the opportunity to go to my mom's house when we knew Clare and Cole (and Kath of Jason of course!) would be there. It was a short trip--we left after Sunday school and were back in time for the Amazing Race--but it was well worth the drive!

Hannah's new big girl hairstyle. She needs a good bang cutting, but we couldn't find the time or the money, and it always looks like I did it with hedge trimmers when I try, so Maddy got her some headbands. I was so surprised by how big she looks!

Clare--so cute. She started running a fever while we were there-she always seems to get sick when we are visiting!
And Cole--what an adorable smile!

And my beautiful sister, Kathleen--their momma. (that still sounds so weird!)

Another highlight of the trip--BOOKS! My aunt sends my mom all of her books that she reads when she is done, and my mom let me pick some to take home. Being the geek that I am, I was just about giddy, searching through the big box. This came at the perfect time, too, as my Goodwill pile next to my bed was running low!

The "too cute car" makes its comeback! Hannah is just about too big for it (or in Hannah's words, "This car is getting to small for me!) Charlotte showed an interest for the first time ever--throwing one of her mini-tantrums when she didn't get her turn. Here is Hannah patiently waiting her turn (so proud of her!) and pushing her sister!

Daryl stayed home to work on the floor--since he was tiling the new breakfast room, he thought he would repair the tiles that needed it in the kitchen as well. We returned to this, and although the pictures are a little fuzzy, but yo get the idea!

When I texted him to tell him that we were on the way home, he texted back saying, "Just remember, sometimes to make progress you have to go backwards a little bit." Ha! He knows me well!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Week In Review

Our week started with Valentine's Day. The kids and I had celebrated at school on Friday, and Daryl and I had celebrated on Saturday night with date night, so really it was anti-climactic. But still, true to form, Daryl remembered his women.

Bears and roses for Hannah and the big girls

and for Charlotte too (she couldn't have the rose because of the thorns and her propensity to eat anything and everything, and Hannah claimed the bear as hers, but oh's the thought, right?)
and even me. I've become a coffee drinker of sorts since I gave up my morning Diet Coke, but had been taking it in the car in styrofoam cups. As a result, it wuold quickly go cold and just as quickly end up on me. (to anyone who knows me...does this surprise you?) I say I'm a coffee drinker of sorts...the sort that really doesn't like coffee unless you load it with cream and sugar and still just sips about 1/4 of it, but it's kept away the caffeine headache.

And for dinner? What says "I love you" more than grilled cheese and vegetable soup? Especially when said grilled cheese isn't cut into cute little hearts and my children wouldn't eat vegetable soup if their life or cell phones depended on it.

Tuesday-Thursday went by in a blur, and Frid
ay was our monthly Family Fun night. Usually it's on a Saturday, but this Saturday was leaving for a mission trip in Jamaica.
Can you tell how excited she is????
(In case....let me tell you. I have seen this pose with the words, "4 days to Jamaica, SQUEAL!" too many times in the last two weeks)

Daryl and the now traditional family night hamburgers

The rest of the night was playing a fun game of Pictionary Man and laughing til our stomachs hurt. We really stink at that game.
This morning, Sarah was up and at 'em at 4:30 am (YAWN), ready for her trip.

She's in the air now, on her very first plane ride to her very first mission trip in her very first foreign country. I remember when I got to be part of all these firsts!
In other fun news this week, yesterday, I got this!

Now I don't know if this book is any good or not, but that's the point. Goodreads sent it to me (for free!) and all I have to do is write a review for it for their website. How cool is that? Free book and I get to write about it.
And my girls. Inseperable, eating their morning cereal together.

And lastly, my boy getting ready to go to his new job as a cook at 15th Street Pub in McDonough. He still has his other job at Gamestop, and is going to school. He's finding it expensive to have a car and girlfriend, and is also trying to save to hopefully go to Toccoa Falls in another year and a half.

We're off for the next week for winter break--at least those of us who go to ELCA are. The rest of the family lost their winter break when we were out a week for the snow and ice. We'll be going to see the babies--Clare and Cole--tomorrow after church, then coming back for Josh's birthday (19--wow, how did that happen?) and then back for some quality Grandma and Grandpa time. Hopefully lots more pictures to come!