Monday, November 30, 2009

things I should have blogged about - birthdays

Time flies by in my world surrounded by men. Two of my men had birthdays this fall.P1040766 Our Sauce turned SEVEN in September.

I can't believe that my surprise baby turned SEVEN!!!

This boy. Oh, this boy has a slice of my heart.

He has turned into such a caring and loving person. He has undying enthusiasm for sports and a magnetic smile that just draws people in.

He is so caring and loving with younger kids and babies. Our Sauce loves to snuggle and really loves to wrestle with his dad and brothers.

And that baby that was more difficult than my first, has turned into the easiest kid in my bunch. He has proven to me that kids will just go on changing season after season. I never would have guessed that he would wind up as my dream boy.

To celebrate his seventh birthday, we had a little bowling party. Sauce invited three of his favorite friends, plus his three brothers equals a party!


Marin and Sauce are pen pals and great friends. I would like to get some legal documents in order for an arranged marriage, but My Beloved says we should let Sauce choose. Hmmm. I'll think about it.


P1040856Then in October, our Rufus went and turned FIVE on us even though I canceled his birthday and told him he had to stay a four year-old forever.

Luckily, he has Aunt Louie wrapped around his pinkie finger and all he had to do is ask in his sweet little four year-old voice for her to come from Atlanta for his birthday.

Abracadabra. Like magic, Aunt Louie appears.P1040864

This boy has continued to prove tough as nails. He is working so hard to be one of the big boys, but still needs some tender, loving, little boy care.

I sometimes forget that he needs more sleep than his big brothers and allow him to wear himself out beyond repair.

He is one of the funniest kids in the bunch. This boy can recall movie quotes like nobody's business. He can also make up some knee-slappers of his own that have sent us all into fits of laughter.

I look forward to watching his personality blossom and feel truly blessed by having him as my boy.

Another chunk of my heart lives outside my body - gone!

The best part about turning five in our house is that Dad will finally take you hunting. You must be at least five years old to join the hunt.

And chew gum.

Watch out elk. There's another Sweeney out to get you.

Have I mentioned that the boys are taking archery lessons as well?

I might need another freezer in years to come.


Happy birthdays all around. Now stop growing up.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

so thankful

As I get older, I'm finding that I'm actively thankful year round for the charmed and very full life we live.

Thanksgiving just becomes a formal celebration of it all.

Happy Thanksgiving from me and my surrounding men.boys porch sepia

Sunday, November 22, 2009

jack of all trades

And a master of none.

That is going to be the most recent job title on my resume when I go back to work outside the home someday in the future.

In the past week I have:

  • Attempted to refinish our living room furniture via sandpaper and stain.  I solicited vague instructions through texting a friend I wish could come do the project for me I could see more and just dove into it. 
    We hosted Bible study at our house last night an I'm hoping the compliments weren't fake lies blowing smoke up my you-know-what anything but genuine.  I think it will make an improvement to our out of date living room at the very least.
  • Prepared meals, cleaned up messes, taught school and shuttled kids to activities.
  • Refused to accept lower than usual water pressure in our home and after a few days called the local water company to come check on our pipes. 
    After checking the meter at the street, they generously came down to our basement utility room and pointed deep into our disgusting crawl space to our "PRV" or pressure regulating valve. 
    Now, when we first moved in four years ago, I made a public declaration told my Beloved that I would N.E.V.E.R. be venturing into the dark, dirt filled crawl space for any reason under the sun.  Yet, somehow I still found myself crouching down in the dirt praying that dead people wouldn't pop up from the ground with various plumbing tools in one hand and a flashlight in the other to seek out the above-mentioned PRV and remedy our water pressure problem.
    The water guys asked, "Are you the mechanic in the family?"  I looked at my Beloved and laughed as I replied, "We don't have a mechanic in the family!"
  • Prepared meals, cleaned up messes, taught school and shuttled kids to activities.
  • Endured negotiations with Honda an un-named van manufacturer to get my SECOND new transmission installed under warranty after the first new one we paid $3600 for a mere three months ago started malfunctioning.
  • Prepared meals, cleaned up messes, taught school and shuttled kids to activities.
  • Fell behind on my "Mountain of Laundry Saturday Madness" when I took some time to chill with these girls.  It fills me up to connect with these women - and I came home feeling like I had done 1000 sit ups because my gut was sore from laughing so hard.  She may seem all sweet and innocent, but Ashley is the queen of sarcasm and one-liners.  OK, they all are just hilarious and I love them. 
    Beyond humor, they are full of wisdom and encourage me to be a better mother, wife, and friend.  They challenge me and inspire me and I wouldn't be the woman I am without them.
  • Prepared meals, cleaned up messes, taught school and shuttled kids to activities.
  • Endured and gritted my teeth when my Beloved's decision to get all the kids' ski gear out of the basement closets and set up for this season turned into pulling every blasted thing out of each closet, cabinet, and crevice of storage in the basement for "pruning."  Suddenly there was a pile as tall as me and just as wide of, "things to make decisions on." 
    I have no problem clearing out junk and giving away things we don't need, but when he holds up my junior high school yearbook and says, "Do you ever look at this?" I tend to object because although I may not take it out and admire my zitty brace-face, my grandchildren might want to.
    Don't erase my existence, man.
    An answer wasn't necessary when he suggested we put the bouncy seat in the give away pile.  The look on my face made him find a place for it in the back of the storage closet.
  • Prepared meals, cleaned up messes, taught school and shuttled kids to activities.
  • Realized that my stand alone freezer in the garage was not keeping our antelope meat completely frozen.  I procrastinated as much as I could, but then I got the appliance repair service out here to fix it so we didn't waste all that food.

These are just a few things off the top of my head, but I think I'm not alone in feeling like it is a daily challenge to keep all my plates spinning.

Simply keeping the house from looking like a tornado hit it, and making meals and cleaning up the aftermath, as well as getting the kids where they need to go is a lot.  But adding extra projects like furniture staining and water pressure repairs can really throw the balance off.

And imbalance is hard to manage.

Multi-tasking becomes a stay-at-home mom's middle FIRST name.  My days are so full and any extra request for my time, effort, or attention can sometimes be overwhelming.

I wind up feeling like I'm not really good at any one thing.

Can anyone relate?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

she's the best

I live in the mountains in Utah.  I love it here.

We lack some things here: high taxes, rush hour traffic, crooks obscenely corrupt politicians, city lights, and a congested airport to name just a few.

I don't miss any of those.  I grew up in the Chicago area and thought seeing a handful of stars in the sky was a "wow" clear night.

(can you hear me chuckle?)

I didn't pay the bills when I lived by the windy city, but now that I do pay my own way, I compare our property and sales taxes to Illinois residents' and think, "ouch."

We do lack one thing here that I miss, well two things.

Bears and Cubs.

OK, well we have the real thing out here in the Rockies, but I'm talking NFL and MLB.

The other thing I really miss?  Family.

I got an unexpected package in the mail yesterday.  It wasn't for my kids or my hubby - just me.  I saw it was from my sister Amy - I had no idea what she could be sending me.

My birthday was two months ago and Christmas is still almost two months away (thank God, I'm not ready!).

P1040902 This little gem was folded up tightly in a padded envelope with a post-it note on the tag:P1040899

Aren't sisters the best?

I was having a moment of joyful appreciation of my relationship with Amy and went to show my Beloved what she had sent me.  He misunderstood me a bit (what? a man, misunderstanding a woman??) when I was exclaiming how great sisterhood is.

"So, you wish you had a daughter, is that what you're telling me?" he interjected.

"No, but if you're offering, I'll take you up on it," I replied with a smile and
a wink.

He quickly exited the room quietly laughing and shaking his head.

I'll take that as a firm NO.

Monday, November 2, 2009

a year

Today marks a year since the life changing accident that took our friends' baby from this earth.

There hasn't been a day in the past year that I haven't thought about it.

To remember Major in a tangible way, I have watched his tribute video a handful of times. I have thought a lot about the song that was chosen.

It is titled, "After the Last Tear Falls."

I have thought about the fact that there is always a last tear that falls. There will someday be a last tear that Major's family cries for him.

There is sure to come a time when memories of him trigger sweet memories, but enough tears have fallen.

"After the last year that's just too hard, there is love." This year has been just that for our friends and it has been painful to watch.

I have wrestled with the obvious "why" question. Why such a tragic accident? Why to such a great family? Why not someone else?

Why not me?

I don't have complete answers. But I do know this: Major's accident does not change who God is.

And the Bible tells us that He is both loving and sovereign.

These are two characteristics that I struggle to understand how they can co-exist in a situation like this. How could our loving God who has all power and all sovereignty allow this to happen?

Then I remember Jesus. The perfect example of a loving God who loved us so much that He sent His very own son to die an undeserved and brutal death so that we may have eternal life with a holy God.

"The tears that have fallen were caught in the palms of the giver of love and the lover of all."

So, I also remember as Darcy herself told me one day. We have the perspective like ants in an ant hill, and do not see from the viewpoint of the one who stands above looking at a much broader view.

Only, the difference is we are not ants. The One who stands above us created us with a plan for our eternity.

And He loves us with "oceans and oceans of love."

About Me

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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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