Saturday, August 30, 2008

an introduction

Hi. Let me introduce myself.

I'm Exhausted Mommy.

I've just finished my first week of being the "learning coach" for my second grader and kindergartener who are in a new virtual charter school. There are no words for how hard it was to get my children back into the school mode this week.

My husband is gone deer hunting for the third weekend in a row and I'm tired of being "ON" from morning until night, seven days a week.

I don't care if we ever eat again and I have given up sweeping up the kitchen floor after a day's worth of meals are over - because they will just be there again tomorrow.

I can't bring myself to wipe the food smears off the breakfast bar where my boys eat many of their meals, because again, they'll show up tomorrow.

I'm Exhausted Mommy because I stay up way too late at night when I'm alone, doing nothing productive, because I simply crave some moments that are about me (while I'm awake).

I'm also Short Tempered Exhausted Mommy because I've been hobbling around for a month with lower back pain that gets a little better and a little worse, depending on the day. Simple Mommy duties such as laying the baby down in his crib hurt me.

And the pain is exhausting me.

The to-do list hanging over my head is exhausting me. Like the invisible dog fence that needs to be repaired and the leaking sprinkler valve that we need to figure out and our television that is at the repair shop will need to be picked up some time this week... I haven't balanced our family budget in two months, and I don't know where that leaves us financially.

I'm tired just thinking about it.

We have five more weeks of soccer (five games a week). The kids LOVE it. But it is a lot of effort for me to get us all there.

I have thank you notes to write and I have a blanket crocheted for my new niece - in my head, because every time I get about a third of the way done with it, I hate it and pull it all out.

It's 8:32 p.m. and the kids are all in bed. My kitchen is as clean as it is going to get tonight.

Maybe I should knock out that budget...

Nope, I'm putting on my jammies and climbing in bed.

"His mercies are new every morning."

Friday, August 29, 2008

breaking their daddy's heart

P1020794I overheard Sauce and Rufus playing this morning.

Sauce: "I'm Mr. Anderson."P1020744

Rufus: "NO! I'm Mr. Anderson."

Sauce: "Alright. I'll be Kenyon."

Rob Anderson is our good friend who drives a cool truck and makes fun noises when the boys give him five (wa-pish!).


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Vivy and Livy

viv7 Well, last week I couldn't blog about anything because my sister was in labor and my heart was with her, not here on the keyboard. I have been savoring every picture that has come to my screen of my new niece, so now I will share them with you!

Vivian Elise was born last Tuesday, August 19th. She weighed in at 8 lb. 11 oz. and 21.5 in. long. Amy had a completely natural labor and delivery in the hospital and is doing great now at home recovering.

I am going to see her in a couple weeks and I can't wait to get my hands on the little munchkin!

Vivian's twin sister, our sweet little Butterfly, arrived shortly after her. Amy and Terry gave her the name Olivia Kate, which is particularly sweet to me and I can't post about it without crying because Kate is my middle name.

Olivia weighed 10 oz. and was 10 in. long.

Although I wasn't there, I was told that everyone got to visit with Olivia and say tender goodbyes to her that day.

On a really sweet sidenote, Amy and Terry went to the funeral home a couple of days ago to arrange the cremation of Olivia's body. The funeral director spoke with them about options for the ashes after the cremation, and mentioned that if they planned to bury them, why not just have a burial to begin with?

Enter suspicions that funeral director is trying to make a few extra bucks.


When they asked how much a burial would cost, he explained that 15 years ago his wife was pregnant with twin boys and lost one twin.

The plot at the cemetery would be $75 and the rest "was taken care of."

They were as shocked as you are. When they tried to respond with some chain of words that might make sense, he simply said, "If I could change things for you, I would, but this is what I can do."

There are truly kind people in this world and it is nice to be reminded.

Olivia Kate will be buried this Thursday, August 28th at 1 p.m. central time. Please keep their family in your thoughts and prayers.

And enjoy the pictures.




Monday, August 25, 2008

mid-thirties... here we come!!

I took Hunter to his soccer practice Saturday morning and sat with five other moms while the coach ran the practice. Through the course of what seemed like normal conversation, I found out that all five of them were divorced.

It rattled me a little bit.

Five out of six women divorced? Ouch.

My parents divorced when I was ten years old. Any way you cut it, divorce is hard. No matter the reason, no matter the process - it is hard all around.

While explaining some of the reasons for her divorce, one of the moms leaned over to me with a big jovial smile on her face and said, "You just have to do what is best for the kids, right Laurie?"

She did not want me to answer that question. So I stayed silent and smiled.

One the drive home it struck me how marriage needs to be protected. No one is exempt from a crumbling marriage.

Although, in general, Kenyon and I would both consider our marriage strong, we had a rough previous 24 hours, so my heart was a little tender. He spent the weekend out in the woods with his bow and arrow, so I spent a lot of time appreciating the great things about him, and resolving not to pull bricks out of our wall of marriage anymore.

It also occurred to me that his birthday passed while we were traveling and I never took the time to do a birthday post for him. Here it goes!

Happy birthday to my Prince Charming! In honor of your 34th birthday, I'm picking (only) 34 things (some quite random and I'm sure you haven't heard before) that I love about you.

1. I love that three of our four boys favor your looks.
2. I love that you carried your energy level from your childhood into adulthood.


3. I love that you don't let people call you Ken.
4. I love that you were a blondie as a baby.
5. I love how your mom talks about how you exhausted her with your energy as a little kid.
6. I love that your mom got so frustrated with you and your brother that she dumped a bucket of ice water on you and locked you out of the house for a little while. It makes me feel a little better about my parenting.


7. I love that even though you may not naturally be good at something, it doesn't mean that you won't keep trying to get good at it.


8. I love that now as a dad, you communicate to your dad how much you appreciate him.


9. I love that you get so good at things that you get bored and elevate the challenge to a new level. Like you went from alpine skiing to telemark, and from rifle hunting to muzzleloader to bow and arrow.
10. I love that you update your skiing look every couple of years (and that you didn't hang on to the 80's).

kidk211. I love that you have been responsible and hard working from a young age. Like the story about you and your brother wanting a dog so badly that you earned the money to buy your Westie, Clover.


12. I love that every so often you tell the same story over and over again, like when you and Tom S. were teenagers and were hired to paint some lady's house and it took you about a whole week and she only paid you $350 - and you had to split it!


13. I love that you didn't give up on house painting even though she screwed underpaid you.

14. I love that you constantly think up new ways to do things that may seem impossible.


15. I love that you really studied and got great grades in college.
16. I love that you transferred colleges three times but still graduated in four years.
17. I love that you listened to your dad and didn't drop out of college to become a missionary.
18. I love that you still entertain the possibility that we may hit the mission field together someday.


19. I love that you stopped studying so hard when we started dating.
20. I love that you almost didn't graduate because you missed so many Spanish classes.
21. I love that you missed so many Spanish classes because you were at my apartment.


22. I love that you almost didn't get your first job offer because you were hanging out at my apartment so much and you never checked your messages.
23. I love that from the second I said I loved Rottweilers, you loved them too.
24. I love that you brought dogs home despite my objections and despite all common sense.
25. I love the fact that even though you came from a relatively small family, you still gave me the big family that I wanted.
26. I love that before our garage gets messy, you get frustrated with it and reorganize it (about three times a year). OK, I don't love it at that moment, but I love it inbetween those times
27. I love that we compliment each other - I want things clean, you want things organized.
28. I love that you don't care what I cook for dinner and have never complained about what we eat.


29. I love that you accept that you cannot handle seeing the total at the checkout at Costco, so you take the kids over to the food court and live in ignorance about how much it costs to feed this family.
30. I love that instead of moving our family for a different job, you are getting your MBA to keep your mind challenged.
31. I love that even though you have a packed schedule, you still volunteered to coach soccer.

32. I love that you adore your grandmother.
33. I love that you kept your roots, but grew wings.
34. I love that those wings include cheering for Chicago teams because you know that I love them and that is where my roots lie.


Happy belated birthday Kenyon. I could not ask for any more than you have given me!

Through thick and thin... I'm yours always.

P.S. I'm savoring my 18 days of being your young, hot wife before my #34 comes along!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

the trip that wounded the Silver Bullet

I didn't even finish blogging about the end of our trip to the midwest... we came home and two days later we went to Jackson Hole, WY for two days and the next morning I took the boys to Young Life's Frontier Ranch in Buena Vista, Colorado for a weekend of family camp. I went with some friends of ours, one of which is the area director for Young Life in Park City.

Kenyon had a commitment with some deer and his bow and arrow, so he didn't join us this time.

We went to check it out for next year.

Although it was a somewhat lengthy drive (8-9 hours), our friends Todd and Kate Fischer decided to drive with me and the boys in the minivan Silver Bullet.

Sidenote: they don't have any kids.

Result: they don't want any kids.

They were helpful and tolerant to all the bickering, hair pulling, complaining, screaming (sweet, sweet Squirt) and "are we there yet's?" (about 8,463 times).

We had movies on Opal, my trusty laptop. We had bouts of hunger and thirst, Benedryl overdose exhaustion, peeing in a bottle (benefit to having all boys) and LOTS of 90's music on the blessed XM Radio.

Our first activity was riding horses, and I thought it was appropriate that I was assigned to Annie (get your gun), seeing that my beloved was out bow hunting.

What we DID NOT have was warm, summery weather. Unfortunately, I packed pretty inappropriately and the boys and I wore the one set of pants and long sleeves that I packed - ALL WEEKEND (clean undies though, in case you were wondering).

As you will see in my little montage, I donated another cuss word to Frontier Ranch thanks to THE SCREAMER.

I think they should call it "The Cusser." I'm just saying, there were no screams from me, that's all that came out.

Maybe they should interview me more thoroughly next time before they accept my registration form.

The crew from Park City traversed the high ropes course, which was really fun until I had to jump from a wooden platform about 50 feet in the air to "try" and grab a trapeze bar that was up and out about 10 feet away.

Yeah, I don't care that my harness was clipped to a rope with a super-experienced-oh-so-dependable college kid on the other end who would never let me fall.

I cried. I included photo evidence to prove it.

Our last big activity was racing the Ridge Runners - I say racing because I beat Kate on the track even though I had a three year-old on my lap.

Dirty, cold, loud - fun.

I also experienced Young Life "club" for the first time. We sang fun songs and fell in love with Captain Awesome and Sally the Magnificent. We played fun games, and one not so fun one where Hunter didn't know any of the trivia answers and I wound up with about 8 clothespins painfully clipped to my facial features.

Our family has supported this organization financially for several years because we love what it does, but we had never experienced it first hand.

Young Life introduces kids (in this case families) to God in a non-threatening, entertaining and fun way. They also boast that you'll have the time of your life at their camps. (Come on, you know you're curious... click on the link and check out YL in your area!)

Our experience was no different.

Oh, and the Silver Bullet??? Well, during our marathon race to get home to our own beds, a large rock jumped out of a construction zone and ripped through her air compressor resulting in a nice $650 vacation at the repair shop for her!

I'll be back with a "rewind session" full of witty banter and boys antics.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm back...

I'm back and have so much blog-worthy material from all our travels, that I'm a bit overwhelmed by it.

But, I am more overwhelmed by the pile of laundry, barren fridge and long list of "to-do's" amongst five nights a week of soccer distributed between three boys.

Plus, my sister is having her baby today, so I can't focus my mind on anything but that right now.

I just wanted you to know that we're alive, we made it, and I'll be in touch soon!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

in case you missed it

Hi my name is Laurie and I am a thirty-something year old groupie.

They are the best bunch of college drop outs you'll ever know. They are my favorite band (my husband's too, coincidence? I think not.). We've seen their concerts all over the USofA throughout our moving extravaganzas over the years. We will drive any reasonable distance to see them when they come out west (is 9 hours reasonable?), which isn't often enough.

Mac even shook my hand at the last SLC concert.

I had a seat in the second row - sorry to the front row ticket holders who I jumped over to make that happen - ok, I'm not that sorry.

My five year old knows the lead singer's voice and names him in five notes. I can't wait to take my boys to their first concert.

New album came out July 29th - featured on The Tonight Show that night... Third Day BABY!

Love them!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

fish, sand, family and fun

After an 8+ hour drive from the suburbs of Chicago to Erie, PA we have been enjoying Kenyon's old stomping grounds and the people he stomped with. Pop Pop and Hunca Munca always make our visits so special for the boys. Although we don't get back here very often, the boys don't ever forget it.

Kenyon's mom Lila works at the local library, and every year she gets all the boys a t-shirt from the latest reading promotion. She passed them out when Kenyon's cousin Devin and her daughters came over for a visit.

Here are all the cousins sporting their new t-shirts. In the back are Elisa, Hunter, Mariah, Sauce. In the front row are Nora, Rufus and Squirt.


Pop Pop said that it always rains when Hunca Munca turns on the sprinkler to water the garden. He was right - so they took out all the umbrellas and went for a walk in the rain.


Here we are - what a crew!


For the last couple of years, Hunca and Pop Pop have done treasure hunts with the boys, taking them all over the peninsula and sometimes on boat rides across the bay of Lake Erie. Last time we had a frog theme, and this year it is a pirate theme.

We have three scurvy pirates waiting for their treasure hunt this afternoon. They have gotten quite comfortable in their pirate gear though.


Last night we had homemade pizza made by some expert chefs. Delicious!



In their backyard garden paradise they have a little pond loaded with fish. Sauce spends most of his time with the net trying to catch one. You can't really see it, but there is one in the net.


There is also a little sandbox built just for our boys and this year Hunca and Pop Pop hid sea shells, colored glass stones and other treasures for them to find. There was also a big bucket of colored sand for them to mix in and play with. Why would they ever want to go home?

I'm wondering how many treasures and blue sand we will find when Rufus's cast comes off next Wednesday!


Yesterday we also got to see Kenyon's uncles and aunts when they came over for brunch.


I neglected to blog about the "Midwest Regional Barf Relay" we entered our family in before we got to Erie. Squirt must have picked up something on the plane rides here (active non-walker on confined airplane - yuck!) and was throwing up intermittently in the night when we were at my sister's house.

I was the next lucky participant to yawn in technicolor on Saturday night. Squirt made his last entry about two hours into our drive across the midwest.

Yum, feeling sick and cleaning up puke pooling in the corner of a carseat at the same time!

I started receiving text messages over the next couple of days that my other family members we just left were now joining in the relay. Amelia took the first turn, then Jeff and Eva grabbed the baton and barfed all Monday night. Little did they know that my brother in-law Terry was doing the same.

Sorry guys.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I'm missing out

P1020476 We had Amy's baby shower for baby Vivian last night. Earlier in the afternoon we went with Amy's daughters for pedicures to get all gussied up for the par-tay that night. I had a moment of pms induced teary eyes when I realized that this is something I'll miss out on by never having daughters.

I guess that's why I have four nieces.


The shower was great and she has enough clothes for Vivian that Amy will not have to do laundry for the first six months.

Cake cutting:


Me, Amy and our mom:


The boys watching Vivian dance:


Now if Vivian would just be a good little girl and come out and meet me while we are visiting, I would be so appreciative!!!

Friday, August 1, 2008


P1020407 We're here in Illinois making the big cross country visit to both of our families.

We survived the plane rides with surprisingly few stories to tell. At one point, Sauce looked down on the clouds below us and said, "Mom, now I know what the whole world looks like!"

Life's good when a five year old has seen the whole world!

Right now we're staying with my sister Amy and her family. Amy's husband Terry works for Chicago Sea Ray as a sales rep. One of his MAJOR perks is that he is able to use new demo boats at his leisure.

She obviously married well.

Yesterday we spent the day "yachting" on Lake Geneva on a 40 foot Sea Ray Sundancer.

Mighty fine, people. I could live like this.

When I saw the price tag, I told my kids NOT TO TOUCH ANYTHING. Because it's worth more than our first three houses combined. Here's a glimpse:


Yes, that's a granite countertop!


Lucas was wiped out so he retired to his state room.


Anyhoo, we had such a fun day. Everyone did a lot of swimming and jumping off the boat.

Anyone who knows my husband is aware that he does not do anything halfway.

Jumping off the front or back of the boat was not enough for him, he had to climb up on top of the roof of the boat and jump from there like this:

P1020459 P1020460

P1020461 P1020462

During the first attempt, he was unaware that his dripping wet body made the roof of the boat somewhat slick. As he took his pushing-off step, his body slid off balance and we all heard a loud, "OH SH#T!"

My mom was sitting on the front of the boat with my older boys. Sauce immediately asked her, "Grandma, what does SHIFT mean?"

"To change course quickly." was my reply.

Good times with family.

About Me

My photo
Messy and wonderful perfectly describes my life as a wife and mom of five. I'm passionate about advocating for orphans by telling their stories and encouraging adoption and orphan care. My schedule is messy and wonderful as I am charged with four sons and one daughter. We love living in our little mountain ski town. We do a little camping, a little skiing, a little hunting, and a lot of laughing and loving. Life is dirty and loud around here but we wouldn't want it any other way. Okay, maybe a little less dirty!

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