In My Mind I’m the Hare but in Reality I’m the Tortoise

In My Mind I’m the Hare but in Reality I’m the Tortoise

Will it bore you to know that I am still working on my kitchen?  I used to be fast as lightening at these kinds of projects.  But that was when I was not only younger, but my kids were younger and I could just put them in a room with a new Lego set and a box of sugar cereal and they barely noticed I wasn’t paying attention to them.

These days my kids require more effort than I can buy with toys and Fruit Loops.  They need school lessons and to be driven here and there.  They have their own agenda that often requires my assistance, which can slow down a kitchen makeover.  And myself, I move more slowly.  It’s weird isn’t it?  I feel like I am moving at a normal pace.  But I am proven wrong when I am in front of one of the kids in the hallway and it causes a traffic jam, complete with honking.

I hope the fable is true, “slow and steady wins the race.”  If so, then I am going for grand champion.

I’d say we are 2/3 finished.  The white cabinets are all painted and ready to be waxed.  I like the look of wax over chalk paint.  I have been doing that technique since before it was cool and will likely still be using doing it long after Pinterest is flooded with a new trend.  It’s durable and looks professional.  The axing does add more work, but it’s so worth it!

This weekend, in addition to painting, we hung a new cabinet and new microwave.  It sounds great until you have to figure out how you are going to add trim to all of it to hide the flaws in your hanging skills and make it look like the rest of the old kitchen.  The shininess of the new microwave is already putting my electric range to shame.  But not to worry, it will be grimy in no time and fit in with the rest of my appliances just fine.

Yesterday was my oldest child’s 25th birthday, so of course I got very little done because I was wallowing in a deep depression.  I can’t figure out how this happened.  She was born, she hopped around the house with a pacifier between her teeth telling us all what to do, she was a grown up.  1-2-3.  Where was the middle?!

We did our usual special birthday breakfast where they get to choose anything they want to eat.  Then we opened gifts and just hung around talking.  The weather here has been amazing, so the doors were open and I put peppermint in the diffuser to keep us all uplifted.  It did help my general despair over how fast she grew and I got a bit of painting and cleaning done as well.  So hooray for peppermint and 75°.

Later this week we have another birthday (I may go into a puddled mess over this one….someone send Kleenex!) and some light plans.  We try to stay close to home and uncommitted toward the end of tax season to make it easy for James, who needs to completely focus on work.  And in case you’re looking for help, he has a website.

Last week I read on Facebook about a friend who fell asleep while doing her taxes.  That would be me.  Truth be told, the fact that he does taxes and bookkeeping is the thing that I find most attractive about my man.  I mean, six pack abs are nice, but what good are they when the IRS calls?

Have a great week!


What’s More Important than Balloons?

What’s More Important than Balloons?

Before I talk about important things like the unusual number of balloons floating around my house or how my hands are cracking from washing excessive washing, I want to stop and have a moment of silence for the hour we will lose this weekend.

moment of silence

Time changes are my nemesis.  Superman has Kryptonite, I have Daylight Savings Time.

Poor adjustment to time changes is one reason I would not make a good world traveler.  That and I basically only like to eat southern cooking or TexMex.

Now, back to balloons.  For some reason the people around me thought it must be the way to celebrate turning 50.  I got balloons from my kids that they drew fun pictures on, balloons from several friends and last night my besties took me to dinner in the city and what waited for me at the restaurant….a dozen helium balloons.  Plus there were another dozen in the party van that we got to fight with all the way to the restaurant.  I feel balloon nightmares in my future.

One friend left a weighted down bouquet of helium-filled mylar balloons on my front porch on my birthday, which I did not realize were there when I got home after dark and tangled myself in them.  I was carrying a few shopping bags, my purse and a water bottle as I made my way to the front door.  I felt something hit me in the face at the same moment strings started wrapping around my ankles and in seconds I was being taken hostage by this mystery jungle, slapping me left then right and taking me down.

Because I am so good in a crisis, my instinct was to save the bottle of water at any cost.  So I dropped all of the other packages and my purse (which held my phone and other breakable objects) and clutched the water to my chest like my life depended on it.  Brilliant.

Today my sickies are still feeling pretty cruddy.  For the past 4 days I prepare a pot of soup each morning, making it easy to feed anyone who asks for food.  Anytime I have even remote contact with each person, I wash my hands.  If I could boil them I would.  I have also become obsessed with giving every dish in the house a good scrubbing.  You see, our dishwasher AND water softener are both on the blink and our dishes all have a white film over them.  I discovered on Tuesday that if I scrub them with an SOS pad I can get the white film off so I have set my mind to de-filming every dish in the house.

And if you remember, SOS pads quickly rust, so I have to use a whole pad up as soon as I start it.  I don’t want to waste them, so I make a pile of dishes that need de-filming and set about scouring the whole pile as I wash the regular dishes at the same time.  This happens at least 3 times a day.

What does all of this mean to you?

Probably nothing, except that if you ever have a white film issue you will know where to turn for help.


My hands are not, however, enjoying the process so I have been keeping them coated in lavender lotion and sometimes I rub on a little coconut oil with a drop of frankincense in it.

I wonder if there’s an oil for having trouble adjusting to time changes.

Have a great weekend!


Count Your Blessings

Count Your Blessings

It’s been birthday week here.  The day after my birthday was one of my boys’ birthday and that means we pretty much do nothing but entertain ourselves for 4-5 days.  We can’t just stop after 2 birthdays in a row.  We’ll just roooolllll it into the weekend.

I had a nice birthday.  James and the kids really went all out to make it special for me.  What a blessing they are!  They got me some presents and made me a little book that’s filled with their thoughts about me (it’s called “What I Love About Mom” and you fill in the blanks).  I pretty much bawled while reading it.  They took turns filling in answers and really blew me away with their sweetness.  Several of them wrote that they think I’m wise……which makes me consider making a bunch of copies and framing them and hanging them around the house.  You know.  For the other 364 days when they forget they said that.

After the gifts and I read my little book, my oldest daughter handed me this gorgeous, hand painted, half-gallon sized jar.  One of my other daughters painted it and I just thought, “Oh what a cute jar…I love it!”  Then she told me it had notes of encouragement from friends inside.

She had contacted people and asked them to send me a note of encouragement.  That jar was PACKED FULL of the nicest notes a girl could even imagine.  I sat and read them, humbled by not only what each note said, but that my darling girl would go to so much trouble to tackle this project.  I couldn’t believe how crammed full that jar was.  Talk about encouraging!!!

If you’re looking for a special gift for someone, this is it….it will carry me through when I feel low.  I set it by my chair and whenever I want I can just pull a note out and feel the love.

A great idea to encourage someone for a special event or birthday!  #blessingsjar

(the little chalkboard art was a gift from one of my sweet boys and the flowers were from a friend)

You can’t really tell in the photo, but the jar is huge.  I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate and I felt like all of my friends that contributed a note or letter were right there with me.

Thank you so much if you were a part of this beautiful gift.

Now that we are past the birthdays and my husband is busy with tax season, it’s time for my annual project to begin.  I am going to paint the kitchen cabinets and do a small remodel project in there, just moving a few things around.  I have been keeping a list of what is not working for me in the kitchen and I am ready to do some repairs and sprucing up.  This will be my focus for the month of March.  It helps me forget that my husband can’t pay any attention to me and gives the boys a little money since I will pay them to help.

I’ll be spending the next week or so gathering supplies that will bring my ideas to life.  I’ll keep you updated….it’s so fun to perk up a draggy room!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a terrific weekend filled with joy and even if you don’t get a huge jar filled with notes, know that you are loved beyond measure by God and me and LOTS and LOTS of other people!

50 is the New FABULOUS!

50 is the New FABULOUS!

Well friends, I did it.  I survived for 50 years.  I know, it comes as a shock to me too.

When I was a girl I thought being 50 looked like this picture that always hung in my grandmother’s hallway.  These were twin sisters and I don’t know much about them except that my grandmother adored them.


But it turns out that 50 looks like this….


I can honestly say that I have been really looking forward to this birthday.  There are so many things about turning 50 that are wonderful that I have decided to make a list.



1. Contentment.  There’s just something about having this many years behind me that gives me a sense of peace and contentment.  I don’t feel like I have anything to prove anymore.  This is it.  And I like it.
2. Knowledge.  The saying, “The more you know, the more you realize how much you don’t know.”  Yep.  That.
3. Wisdom.  Wisdom is something that doesn’t automatically come with age, but it comes from God.  I have a long way to go and, hopefully, a long time to get there.  But I appreciate what little wisdom I have and ask for more every day.  I guess what I’m saying is that my appreciation for wisdom has deepened as I have aged.

Proverbs 3:13 “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold”

4. The loss of youth.  Truly, I look back at my youth and while it was fun to be young, I wouldn’t want to go back to that for anything.  This is where it’s at, man.
5.  Older kids.  Sure, I loved my years of having babies; it was wonderful!  But this time in my life when my kids are older and can take care of themselves is so, so sweet.
6. Health.  I have been so blessed with great health.  Even though I am less bendy than I used to be, I am loving my sense of well being.
7. Freedom from pleasing others.  This one took me longer than necessary to get to.  But I am blessed to have learned that if pleasing others is my goal in life I will never succeed.  If pleasing God and honoring the path that I believe He set me on is my goal then I can’t fail!
8. Wrinkles.  You know what?  I don’t mind my wrinkles.  They are a mark of honor and a blessing.  I think of them as well earned.  They are my beauty lines.

“And the beauty of a woman, with passing years only grows!”  Audrey Hepburn

9. Being established.  It seemed like the last 3 decades of life were about establishing ourselves.  My husband built his career and I worked on homeschooling my kids and my writing.  In the past couple of years we have felt that the groundwork has been laid and now we can move forward with more strength.  Although I don’t know if it needed to take this long….I am glad to be there.
10. Confidence.  It took a lot of loss and heartbreak to learn where my confidence lies….in Christ and Christ alone.  I will fall and fail and mess up and blunder my way through life.  It’s when I am able to stop leaning on my own strength and use His strength that I find a deep sense of confidence.  The older I get, the easier that is to do.
11. More suffering behind me = More Joy.  I learned a long time ago that suffering adds great joy to your life because it draws you nearer to God and you lean more on Him and less on yourself.  After 50 years I have had my share of suffering and I can say that I am all the better for it!

“Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties.”  Charles Spurgeon

12. Body image.  My body went south long ago and I stopped trying to hide it.  After many pregnancies and years of gaining and losing weight, stretch marks and saggy places abound on my body.  And you know what?  I don’t care one bit.
13. Laughter.  I laugh more easily than I used to.  I have always taken myself much too seriously and that has changed as I have gotten older.  I will probably always be a bit OCD, but now I find it funny.
14. I lose things and I don’t care.  The old thinker ain’t what it used to be.  I had something in my hand a minute ago and now it’s gone….sometimes forever.  But I don’t stress it like I used to.  It’s just stuff.
15. Stories.  The more time that passes the more fun stories I have to tell.  Accidentally wetting myself little when I laugh too hard with my girlfriends has happened to me more than a few times….it just gives me more to laugh about.
16. Dancing.  I have always wanted to learn to do the jive, so I am teaching myself through YouTube videos.  I may show you someday.  I even have a few hip hop moves thrown in.  You’re never too old to learn new things!

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”  Walt Disney

17. Going to bed early.  As I age I find it harder and harder to stay up late and you know what?  I don’t care what I’m missing.  I’m tired.
18. Discounts.  Yep.  This came in the mail….
19. Confidence for my kids.  I love how it boosts their confidence in being adults and helping out their old mom.  It’s positively adorable when they look like they want to pat me on the head.
20.  Looking like myself.  I can color my hair if I want or wear clothes that don’t match exactly or buy myself odd shaped glasses and just embrace being me!  I used to think about others when I got dressed, but now I just think about what I want to look like for myself.
21. Helping younger women.  Like it or not, I am generally the older woman in the group and I love putting Titus 2 into action.

Titus 2:3-5 “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”

22. Loving others.  As I age I find that I love others more.  I sympathize and care more deeply and forgive more easily.
23. Shaking off negativity.  Even though I forgive, I also more easily give myself permission to let go of toxic people.  I love them and want them to have joy-filled lives.  But I don’t let their negativity bring me down and sometimes that means letting people go.
24. No more rat race.  I am free of the idea that I have to keep up with anyone or do anything by tomorrow.  I just do what I can when I can.
25. Gluten-Free! My mid-life enzymes aren’t what they used to be.  I eat more carefully and frankly, I feel better than I have in years!
26. Loving my bones.  As long as I am eating better, I am also exercising.  My bones need it and I am loving my quiet time that naturally goes with my daily workout.
27. I know who my friends are.  I have gained and lost many friends over the past 50 years.  Some have been deeply painful losses and others came and went so quickly that I hardly noticed.  But all in all I have learned something from each person and I am better for it.  And I have learned to recognize a true friend and to trust my instincts.

“When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.”  Maya Angelou

28. No more oats.  I don’t feel like sowing any of those wild oats anymore.  Been there; done that.  Now I get to reap the harvest of my life.  Sure I will change things about myself in a million ways and try new things.  But I don’t have a sense of a life unexplored.
29. Cleansing.  I am ready to get rid of all of the junk sitting around that isn’t serving my life.  I don’t see any more reason to hang onto old stuff, but instead I am ready to open my world up to a clean space.
30. No more jumping  I do like jumping, but I can’t do it anymore.  (see #15).  That’s OK.  I can still jump with joy on the inside.  Some things you just have to accept.  Life’s too short to wish for things you just can’t do.
31. More to give.  The more I grow and accomplish the more I have to give to others.  I love, love, love helping others and I think my 50s are going to be my decade for giving and I can.not.wait!

Hebrews 13:16 “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have,  for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

32. Marriage strength.  After being married for nearly 29 years, I can say that it is better than ever.  We have a rhythm and understand each other.  Well, maybe not understand as much as accept.  And we’re still frisky.  Longevity in marriage is an incredible blessing!
33.  Oblivious.  I see the award shows or hear a song and I don’t recognize any of the artists or actors.  Unless it’s Meryl Streep or Robert De Niro I am lost.  And I don’t really care to find out who they are because I have other things to do that are more interesting to me.  I just let my kids load new songs on my iPhone (see #19) and leave it at that.
34. Being a real grown up.  Maybe I am the only one, but I always felt like a kid pretending to be a grown up.  Until now.  Being 50 gives me permission to say I am all adult and proud of it.  But I still act silly….don’t mistake being a grown up with never having fun.  I have the BEST kind of carefree FUN!
35. I remember the 70s.  I actually remember wearing bell bottoms and watching Sonny & Cher and the day Elvis died.  I am blessed to have lived in a time when there were no cell phones and no Internet and life was simpler.


36. Still young.  While I am not young in the sense of years, I am still able to learn to do new things and figure out how to use the Facebook.  I really have the best of both worlds!
37.  No more “lady days.”  It may be TMI, so men, if you’re reading, just skip this one, m’kay?  Ladies, I have passed through the menopause years and it is AWESOME!!!  No more cycles and I am loving this.  It wasn’t easy though….I have deep sympathies for those of you going through the change now.
38.  Travel.  I have always wanted to travel and couldn’t for various reasons.  Now that I am in this phase of my life I can do more traveling and I am thoroughly enjoying it.  Waiting for so long makes me thankful even for the parts that are less enjoyable, like being frisked by an airport security officer or squeezed on a plane.  I like every little part of it after waiting for so long to be able to do it.
39.  Knowing the Word of God.  With this much time to study, I ought to know a lot about what the Bible says.  I read it every day and I have been through years of BSF.  All of that has equipped me to have a better understanding of who God is and how He wants me to view the world.  I am looking forward to another 50 years to study and learn even more about the nature and love of God!
40. The grass is green on MY side. Looking at what everyone else is doing and comparing it to your life is for the birds.  I like it on my side of the fence.  I don’t even look on the other side anymore.

“Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men.  It then appears that we are among the privileged” Helen Keller

41. Finances are easier.  We aren’t loaded, but it’s been a long time since I had to count every penny at the grocery store.  I learned a lot from those days in my life, but I sure am glad they are behind me.
42. I wear any underwear that I want.  I feel no pressure to wear anything that creeps up my behind or makes me look attractive underneath.  My granny panties serve me just fine, thankyouverymuch.
43. I don’t need to win.  I used to be more competitive and I wanted to win games and push my way to the front of the line.  Now I chill.  I enjoy the time in line and I am happy if I in or lose.  I don’t care at all….that drive to win just went away as I aged.  And I am so glad.  (but don’t worry, if we are partners in a game I will still be fun to play with!)
44. I like lifting others UP!  There are very few things I enjoy more than helping another woman reach the height of her dreams.  If there is any way that a word or boost from me can help….I am all over that!  Seeing other women succeed, unlike the envy years of my 20s, brings me great joy!
45. I still love the movie “Grease”.  I know…it has a terrible message and doesn’t reflect anything I believe.  But I can’t help it.  37 years after seeing it for the first time (I’ll bet I saw it 20 times at the theater the year it came out because back then you couldn’t watch it on DVD 2 months later) I still can’t hold myself back from dancing when I hear those songs.  Hey!  Maybe I’ll do my jive (see #16)  to “We Go Together”.

“It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s what you do with your dancin’ shoes!”  Vince Fontaine in “Grease”
46.  I know myself.  I know what I am good at and I know what I am NOT good at.  There is so much joy in building your skills in the areas that God gifted you in and letting go of trying to be good at everything.  My strengths and weaknesses make me unique, and why would I want to be like anyone else?!
47. Early mornings.  The older I get the earlier I naturally wake up in the morning.  I don’t know if that’s true for everyone, but I sure do love seeing the sunrise!
48. Playing with makeup.  I have enjoyed discovering and trying new things from the makeup department.  My aging skin needs care and I like beauty products and I’m a sucker for those bright promises.  It’s a delightful indulgence that I’ve enjoyed even more as I get older.  And I have more time for my skin care at night too, since my kids can put themselves to bed (usually long AFTER I go to sleep).
49. I am calmer.  I don’t get as upset over little things and I calm down more quickly when I do get irritated.  If getting older has taught me anything, it would be that life is too short to fuss over little messes and disappointments.  I’ll probably never be completely easy-going, but I am definitely more relaxed than I used to be and I have hope of chillin’ even more in the future.
50. More life ahead!  I have so much left to live and I am acutely aware of the preciousness of every day.  I can see that the 50s are going to be fabulous.  Not because this time in life is trouble-free, but because it is a blessing to be alive and know who I am in Christ!

The little girl I was 50 years ago would never have believed that this was her future.  Nine children, homeschooling (of course, who heard of homeschooling 50 years ago?!), obsessed with natural health care and living in an old house on a little farm…it’s crazy that this is my life!

It’s better and richer than anything I would have dreamed for myself!




1L, 4Ds and 5K

1L, 4Ds and 5K

It’s been a girl themed week.

Last Thursday my 4 daughters and I went big city shopping.  It was a birthday shopping trip for my oldest daughter Grace since I was going to be gone over the weekend of her birthday.  We spent the whole day hitting everything from anthropologie to thrift stores.  The girls are now set for clothes for the rest of the warm weather season, which is a relief to me since shopping with them is a test in endurance.  Of me and my wallet.


For myself, I am on the search for t-shirts with sleeves.  Not long sleeves or 3/4 sleeves.  Just plain old short sleeves that are long enough to cover my arm flaps.  It’s a sad day when you nearly slap someone with your extra arm skin and I am trying to avoid that with sleeves and prayer.

Saturday and Sunday I went to Austin.  I ran my first 5K this weekend.  I did it with my sister….she gave it to me for my birthday and it was a double treat to get to spend the time with her.

I have never had any interest in doing any kind of running or, really, moving at all.  But after walking every morning since last July it was pretty easy.  And on a cool spring morning….almost heaven.

My first 5k

To keep the girl theme going I will be going on a photoshoot for my daughter’s 17th birthday this week.  Shopping is not her thing.  She asked for a photoshoot in the city and as an added bonus she wants to be there when the sun rises to get the best lighting.  Leave the house at 6AM….oh sure.  Because giving birth to you wasn’t enough of a sacrifice.

Next week I need to have a boy themed week.  Those are much easier.  Just dump some Legos in the living room and throw food into the middle every few hours.

Have a great April!

A Birthday Weekend

A Birthday Weekend

One of these days I am going to put my feet up and leave them that way for a week.  But then I think, someday the kids will all be gone and there I will sit with my feet up and wish I had things to do.  So I embrace the business.

Last Friday I took Grace and a few of the other kids to Austin for her birthday.  It was Grace’s 22nd birthday and there were some shops there that she likes, so off we went.  But not before the brothers and sisters gave her some gifts.

It was the most gorgeous drive.  The Texas wildflowers are in bloom and we just soaked it all in.  So, so pretty.  I could have kicked myself for not taking my camera.  These are from my phone.

Noah was dying to go to the Lego store.  He probably would have stayed all day if I would let him.

On Saturday morning Patience and I went out to a friend’s farm.  They were having a planting party for their enormous garden.  We went to take pictures.  I’m not much of a dirt person.  I will let Patience show you the pictures she took because I was busy sitting and fanning myself.  I can give you tips on decorating, but I’m not much help when it comes to gardens.

Yesterday I filled shop orders while the boys mowed.  Don’t you just love a freshly mown yard?  It smells so good and feels so crisp and neat.  Crisp and neat makes me happy.  I could live on a golf course.  Except I don’t play golf and I don’t want to.

Today is Patience’s 15th birthday so we’re off again to do some shopping.  She invited her sisters to go, so we’ll paint the town red and be silly.  I am sure there will be some Chick-fil-A involved and probably a lot of trying on clothes and wondering why they make everything so tight these days.

Maybe tomorrow I will put my feet up.  This is a lot of activity for this tired mamma.


My Brain is Broken

My Brain is Broken

My rememberer isn’t working these days.  I forgot an orthodontist appointment yesterday.  We just didn’t show up.  I have no excuse.  I forgot.  We were home just doing school and acting like we had nowhere else to be.  My orthodontist would get upset with me, except for the fact that I still have 4 kids that need braces.  So I’m probably forgiven.

It is my scientifically proven belief that breastfeeding sucks away your brain power.  9 kids nursing for a couple of years a piece….you do the math.  It’s a wonder that I can remember where the bathroom is in my own house.  By the way kids, you’re welcome.  Don’t say I never gave you anything.

This week we have 2 birthdays.  Grace turns 22 (but we aren’t discussing that) and Patience will turn 15.  My youngest girl is 15.  No more little smocked dresses and cutie pie bloomers around here.  My brain may not remember appointments, but it will never forget the little bonnets that the girls used to wear when they played outside.  They looked so sweet and charming.  Now they are all taller than me, which makes me depressed which causes me to grab Levi or Elijah every couple of hours and squeeze them really hard.  I don’t know why….I just feel the need for a baby squeeze.

They do remind me that they are not babies anymore while I am hugging them, but I pretend not to hear.

I didn’t forget to go to my friend Sara‘s annual spring party last weekend, which was wonderful!  Some girl time was exactly what I needed after a few weeks of not seeing anyone but my kids and my tax season affected husband.  Sara always does an amazing job on the food and decor, but it was the desserts that really got me.

This trifle was calling my name.

It called so loudly that I ate 2 servings.  After all….my new diet was starting the next day.  Good bye chocolate….hello cruel world.  And before you call me a big fat pig and a terrible party guest for eating 2 servings….I was actually doing Sara a favor.  She was starting her diet the next day too.  She didn’t need all of that chocolate around.

This is day 2 of my diet and so far so good.   I do miss chocolate.  But we must part ways or I will have this Dr. Seuss character shape forever.

If it works I will let you know all about it.  If I can remember.  Now what was I talking about?


The Trouble with Thirteen

Brrrr….it was c-c-cold here this weekend.  Everyone in our little town was excited about getting snow.  But we live a few miles outside of town and we only got hail and sleet.  The kids were bummed.  Slush isn’t nearly as much fun as snow, even if it doesn’t stick to the ground.

Saturday was Noah’s 13th birthday.  This, my friends, is upsetting to this momma who refers to him as “one of the little boys.”  The last 4 of my kids are boys so they are the “little boys”.  And now the first of them is an official teenager.  This is the one kid that I have been dreading his teen years.  Not because of the typical teen attitude, but because he doesn’t think before he acts and this leads to trouble.

At least once a day I can be heard saying, “Noah, why did you _____?  Did it occur to you that you should have asked me before you did that?”  “No ma’am,” he’ll reply, “I just thought that’s what I was supposed to do.”  It could be anything from unscrewing the screws that hold the deck together to turning the knobs on the stove….this kid will be the one that burns the house down.

The poor guy does really try, but his mind just doesn’t finish a thought.  It’s something we are working on and hopefully, by the time he’s 30, he’ll be ready to go out on his own.

He spent the day Saturday playing Wii.  Since the “little boys” are only allowed to play once a week for 2 hours, he was dying to just be able to play for a longer period of time.  Throughout the day the rest of us would wander in and out of the living room and play for a while.  I just watched because the only Wii game I like to play is “Cook or Be Cooked” and no 13 year old boy wants to spend his birthday pretending to chop onions and pour oil into a pan with his mom.

And no mom wants to spend her Saturday playing Lego Star Wars on the Wii.

And now that I’m down to 3 “little boys” I’m going to spend the week squeezing hugs out of Adam, Elijah and Levi until they promise never to turn 13 or mess with any of the knobs in the kitchen.

Have a great week!

How Can He Be Twenty?

How Can He Be Twenty?

It can’t be.  Today my oldest son is 20.  TWENTY.

There must be a mistake.  I only have to close my eyes and I can see him lying next to me in my bed.  So tiny, so new.

When I open my eyes again he is standing there 6’1″ tall….he looks like a man.  But it is too soon.

It was only yesterday that he was dragging Woody (with “Jacob” written on the bottom of one boot) everywhere with him.  I’d find Jacob asleep where he played…such a tired little boy.  He was always his own person.  He never felt the pull of peer pressure.

He was just a happy, simple kid.  He loved Legos, drawing and figuring things out.  He was always compliant and glad to do whatever I asked.

He would forget to take out the trash

This is how his brothers and sisters see him now….


It can’t be.

My Special Gift is Finding the Negative in Anything

Am I the only one disturbed by the fact that it is Thanksgiving week, 2011?

Frankly, the 2011 part is still shocking to me, forget that we have made it back around to another holiday season.

Thanksgiving in our home also begins our official birthday season.  Faith’s b-day is always the same week as Thanksgiving, thus starting a flow of birthday celebrations that lasts until May.  As a mom there is a lot of pressure here.  How do I make their birthdays stand out in the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle.

Since Faith is my shopping girl, she wants to go out on Black Friday as part of her birthday gift.  It seems she has forgotten her mother’s allergy to crowded places.  Oh, the sacrifices we make as mothers.  Not only do I have to fight the masses of holiday shoppers, but I must give up my annual day of lounging on the couch eating leftover pie.  I hope these children realize the suffering I endure for them.  If Black Friday shopping doesn’t convince them I can always remind them of the hours of labor I endured and how I allowed my body to be ripped apart so they would have life.

You can imagine what a joy I am to live with.

While we’re on the subject of joy, how upset am I allowed to get over the fact that child number 4 is turning 16?  One day I was pregnant, pushing a double stroller with three kids hanging onto my skirt.  All of a sudden I wake up to those same babies all taller than me and wearing my shoes.  OK, Jacob doesn’t wear my shoes, at least not that I know of.  But he does other annoying grown-up things like drive a car and have friends I’ve never met.

I am not happy about this situation.  Not one bit.

In this birthday season not only will Faith turn 16….but next month Jacob turns 20.  TWENTY.  This is the same kid that couldn’t remember which was the front yard and which was the backyard.  I mean every time I said, “Go out the back door,” he would run from door to door asking, “Which is the backyard again?”  And now he thinks he’s going to turn 20?  He’s got another thing coming.  I simply cannot allow it.

Maybe next year.  I will be too exhausted from the Black Friday shopping to deal with any other upsets this year.

I’m taking the Scarlett O’Hara approach to life.

I’ll think about it tomorrow.