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

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sharing, Sound of Music, and 'me' time

I love that my children are active.  I love that they are involved in just about every aspect of the school and church.  But sometimes, just sometimes, I wish we had just one weekend where we didn't have to go go go.  I know the chances of that with five children are slim to none, but a girl can dream, right?
Anyways, these past few days have been filled with the Sound of Music.  It's involved a lot of driving around, picking up and dropping off, and so little time for anything else.

I did have a window of about 45 minutes at home yesterday and I did get this cute picture of Charlotte enjoying Hannah's birthday present.  Every time she sees it, she cries to get on it--and we, like the good parents/siblings we are, give in to her and put her on it and push her around the circle that has been made with the new addition.
 We missed Sarah's opening night because it was Hannah's birthday, but Daryl and I took in the show last night, and it was truly worth all of the hard work and practice.  Great show.  Here is my little Frau Schmidt in costume on stage.
 And this one is way blurry (Daryl chose this time to experiment with the camera settings), but this was her costume change.  They called it her "sexy housekeeper outfit."  It was a dress that I had bought for her thinking it was cute a few years ago.  It hung in her closet until she needed a "really ugly dress" for this scene.  Guess her idea of cute and mine are now in the vastly different category! Ha!  She does have on my shoes too--which we both agree are fab-u-lous--gray and black 1940's style pumps.
 After the show.  She did such a good job, but it really was a shame that she has such a beautiful voice and didn't get to sing one note in the play.  The part she had wanted had gone to someone else, and to be kind, her singing ability left much to be desired.  Sarah would have done such a better job, in my totally unbiased opinion!
and where does the "me" time come into all of this?  Well, that came for a measly (but very much appreciated) hour this morning.  I was driving to my weigh-in this morning (down another pound, thank you very much!), and thinking I would just weigh in and leave and not stay for the meeting part.  Maddy had been less than enthused at being woken to watch the girls this morning when I left, and I had laundry and cleaning and baths and schoolwork to do out the wazoo.  But when I got there, and the meeting topic was "making time for you!" I knew that I had to stay.  I spend all day every day taking care of, teaching, nurturing, meeting the needs of others.  Doing what needs to be done when no one else will.  Putting my needs last.  It high time to have a little time where I came first.

So I stayed.  And for 45 minutes, I got to talk to other adults about something other than children.  I got to sit with nothing in my lap, nothing to do in my hands.  I got to learn and laugh.  It was chaos as soon as I left as I rushed to get everyone the much promised breakfast and arrange drop offs, pick ups, and meetings.  But just having that time to myself made me feel a little less stressed and a little more equipped to deal with it.  After all, they (whoever they may be) say that when I'm older and grayer and I have no one to take care of but myself, I will miss this.  And you know what?  I think they might be right!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, Hannah!

 It is so hard to believe that my miracle baby, the child that I prayed so long and hard for, is five years old today.  It seems like only yesterday that we were bringing her home from the hospital, all 9 pounds 7 ounces of her.  That we were walking the floor, bouncing on the bed, swaddling, singing, shushing, ANYTHING to make her stop crying.  And now she is such a big girl.  A sweet, spunky preschooler with a huge heart, a quick temper, and a love of life.

She started her day the way all big five year olds do (not)--naked and in our bed. 
 The birthday girl-as she referred to herself all day-ready for school
 Opening one present from Grandma and Grandpa
 A Sing-A-Ma-Jig--a huge hit with her, her sisters, her classmates (yes, I sent it to school with her--ha!)
 When we got to school, her classroom was ready for the birthday celebration!
 And her teacher marked her chair with a special cupcake--I love it that her teacher tried to make her feel special all day!
 Her birthday crown
 After school, we rushed home, making it home by 4:00.  We haven't been home that early in months, if at all this year.  Daryl had to teach tonight, and Josh had to be at work at 5:00, so we did presents early.
Her big present from us was her nifty new Barbie bike
 This is when I love having the big kids and the little kids--she must have had the biggest posse on the street to watch her ride her big girl bike for the first time!
 After Daryl and Josh had gone, we had her favorite meal of hot dogs and macaroni and cheese, followed by this delicious chocolate cake (a la Walmart).  I had originally gotten all the ingredients to make it myself, but was stressing myself out yesterday wondering how I was going to get everything done, so I picked one up when I was birthday shopping.  Maybe next year...
 blowing out the candles
 The cake was mmmm....mmmmm.....good!

 Forgot to mention that Sarah was gone as well.  It was opening night for The Sound of Music, and so she was at school.  It was so weird not being there for her tonight and she hated missing the festivities, but such is the life of an actress.  This is her head shot/bio that was posted in the lobby.
Happy Birthday, my sweet girl!
I love you!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Her last day as a four year old

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Today, because I have nothing of value to say or show, I am linking up with OhAmanda for her weekly Top Ten Tuesday.  And I really don't even have a proper list of anything....just a few (or ten, I guess) random thoughts/questions that have been running through my head today.

1.  How long is it appropriate to wait before you RSVP to a birthday party?  We sent out invitations last week for Hannah's birthday party last week.  Her party is next Saturday and we've yet to hear from anyone. It breaks my heart into a million pieces to think she will be expecting all of her friends and no one will be there.  Shouldn't we have heard something by now?

2.  I had a disaster of epic proportions this morning.  I ran out of hairspray.  My girls told me I should not use hairspray, that I should let my naturally fine, thin, limp hair be fine, thin, and limp.  That it's the style.  That it would look good.  Better even.  My first student walks in and says, "What happened to your hair?  Did you know it fell down a little?"  Yes,...yes I do.  Thanks for noticing.

3.  Speaking of hair, I have become a bit obsessed with Charlotte's.  Some might say it rivals my obsession with my feet during my last pregnancy.  And they just might be right.  Case in point:  I just spent five minutes and 17 shots trying to get this picture.  Is that a bit of wave I see????!!!! :)

4.  My baby girl will turn five on Thursday.  Five.  When did that happen?  How?  And how did I get so busy that it's now less than 36 hours before her birthday and I've yet to bake a cake or buy a present?

5.  And how pathetic is it that I am having to take a few hours off of work tomorrow to go and bake said cake and buy said presents?

6.  This happens way too often in our house.

In case you couldn't tell, those are socks that my sweet girls are throwing into the air.  Socks from the sock basket, in which all of the socks that come out of the dryer go into until I get around to matching them and putting them away.

7.  The basket has been in our living room for going on three weeks. (and so has that laundry basket in the corner of the picture) When I borrowed my husband's car the other day, I found several packs of new socks.  I guess it's time to actually get to the sock basket (and that laundry basket).

8.  Because of the laundry habits in #6 and #7, I have nightmares that the laundry pile at the foot of our bed will someday overtake us in our sleep.

9.  I have similar nightmares about the mess around my husband's recliner.

10.  And finally, how do you fellow bloggers find the time for the blogosphere?  How do you work (in or outside the home), do the work you have to take home with you, take care of your home and children, spend time with your husband and  have time to keep up with your blog, not to mention the blogs you follow?

Hope you have had a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's no secret.  I do NOT like to exercise.  I don't mind going to the gym or the track or the exercise class.  I don't mind making a fool of myself with my major uncoordination.  I don't mind breathing hard and getting my heart rate up.  I love the way it makes me feel (after it is over).  I love the way it makes me look.  I love the health benefits.  What I don't like?  I don't like to sweat.

"Women perspire," they tell me.  They don't sweat, they "glisten."  And it's true.  Most women do.  I look around and see women with a slight sheen on their face, not a hair out of place, a nice blush creeping to their cheeks.  I see women leaving the gym, looking no worse for wear than when they went in.  I have friends who take showers after they work out, but stick to their every other day hair washing routine.

Me?  I was fortunate to be blessed with sweat genes.  My father is a sweater (as in person who sweats, not the winter weather staple) and I am too.  No sooner do I start my workout and I am soaked, hair included.  Not only that, but I turn bright red.  And lest you think I exaggerate, you may ask any of the eight people I passed on my way back to my classroom after working out this afternoon.  Every single one of them asked if I was ok, and two of them tried to get me to sit down and drink some water. (No, that's not embarrassing).

You see, I started with a new trainer today--my daughter, Maddy (aka the energizer bunny.)  In my attempt to encourage her to keep running now that track season has ended, I got myself a workout nazi partner.  After walk/running (running the straight parts; walking the curves) a mile and doing two stadiums, I thought I was going to die.   I survived, though, and I will suffer again tomorrow.

Because I am going to do this.   And if the blood pressure, the cholesterol, the bad knees, bad feet, and snug clothes aren't reasons enough, my darling daughter said this to me yesterday after seeing me crop myself out of a picture: "Well, Mama, at least your big legs aren't in the picture."  Out of the mouths of babes.
Plus, as Daryl so eloquently put it,  I'm "financially invested."  If I'm going to pay to do this, I'm going to do it right.  I'm tired of being the fat mom, the fat first grade teacher, the fat one at the family get togethers.  I'm tired of feeling bad about myself, and while I know that my friends and family love me for who I am on the inside, I'm ready to love myself inside and out...sweat and all.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011

Easter arrived at the Stone household bright and early this morning.  Actually, I was the only one who was up, and the only one happy to be awake.  All of the girls cried at one point or another before we made it out of the door for church, but we still enjoyed a lovely Easter morning together!

The loot

Even for Daryl and me...the card, for both of us.  The candy? Just for Daryl.  I will not eat the Reese's.  I will not eat the Reese's.  I will not eat the Reese's.  Think if I say it enough I will be able to resist? 

Charlotte really didn't know what to think of it all.

Hannah loved it all!

 Pretty Maddy (who was distraught because she didn't like the way her dress looked--I thought she looked gorgeous)

Pretty Sarah (who was distraught because she didn't have enough time to get up and take a shower and get ready and had to have wet hair.  Again...gorgeous)
 Finding eggs hidden in the living room.

My handsome hubby  (+ a moving kidney stone)

Once we got to church, Charlotte caught up with an old friend who was born just 17 days after her.  I will have to admit to some serious hair envy on my part!

She participated in her very first church egg hunt.  Last year, she participated in the long Stone tradition of being scared of the grass and cried.

Oh what a difference a year makes!

Hannah's class came out after the little girls had a chance to find their eggs.

My handsome boy showed up to see help his sisters.  Sigh.  Just seemed like yesterday I was doing this with him.

Both girls enjoyed egg hunting, but enjoyed the slide more!

Hannah and her sweet friend Wilberta.

And her boyfriend, Prince Reilly.

After church, it was off to Nanny's for some good food.

And some "craps." (crafts, in Hannahspeak)  Nanny's craft drawer is full of so much fun stuff!

Later, after Darlene and her girls got there, and Donald and Patricia came for a surprise visit, Hannah decided to perform...with a little help from little sister.

Then it was time to hit the road for naptime for Charlotte, movie time for the big girls, and outside time for Daddy and Hannah.  For me?  grocery store, laundry, meal prep for the week.  So much for my day of rest!
Happy Easter!

Time to Dye the Eggs!

Nothing like waiting until the last minute, and really...that's the way we do things around here, so last night after dinner, we fit in a little egg dying before the little girls went to bed.

Waiting patiently for Mom to get the eggs, etc.

Some waited patiently

Some did not!

 Finally, time to get to work!

 And what holiday tradition would be complete with at least one spill?
 Hannah, I think, enjoyed herself the most.  She stayed long after Charlotte had gone to take her bath and stuck stickers on all of her eggs.
A beautiful rainbow of Easter eggs!