Thursday, December 23, 2010

the white stuff

The whirlwind of pre-vacation school events, family in town, and lots of snow have given me excuses prevented me from blogging.

My sister, her family, and my mom were all just here for a week during which time, about 60 inches of snow fell.

Amy and I skied as much as we could get my mom to babysit.

Here are some highlights.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

call GQ

Today The Hunter had a field trip to a theatrical musical at our local high school.  His teacher told the class to dress up for the occasion and my sweet boy complied to the max.
Here is the post field trip photo shoot.  FYI his teacher told him he was the best dressed student in the class.  (enter proud mama)
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This is when I mentioned the word "poop."P1010165

Sunday, November 28, 2010

let it begin

First we had this:

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Then a little of this:

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We enjoyed this:

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And now we're starting this:

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And this:

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More to come.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

it's five o'clock somewhere

2010-05-24 17.29.59

Shall I say "Part One?"

Welcome to my periodic series recognizing the end of a long day - or possibly even several trying days in a row - with a rant and a glass of wine (well deserved, in my opinion).

Our household has been passing around yucky-fever-cough-snot-congestion-can't-sleep-staying-home-from-school-whiny-fussy-watery-eyed-only-want-mommy-illness for the past week.

Our little Squirt definitely had it the worst with fevers nearing 104 degrees and lots of crying for a boy who normally does a lot of smiling.

A trip (with four kids in tow) to the pediatrician won him the prize diagnosis of an ear infection and a trip through the drive-thru... pharmacy.

During our prayer time this morning, Sauce prayed that Daddy would be sure to use lots of hand sanitizer on his trip - I'd say we're all sick of being sick if we're going to the Lord about hand sanitizer.

Our neighborhood is having some sort of water issue (picture brown tinged water coming out of the faucet) and we can't use our water to drink or cook with.  Another errand was needed to the fire station where a nice firefighter loaded up my trunk with gallons of tax payer funded free drinking water.  Two days of this and it still isn't resolved.

Call me a spoiled American, but if I have running water in my house, I would like to actually, ahem, use it.

There are some more little punks at school giving my eldest a hard time and I'm growing weary of guiding him to rise above their crap antics.  I'm about ready to tell him to unleash his recently acquired cuss words karate training on them to silence them - no matter the consequences from the principal.

My beloved is on the east coast receiving some specialized training for his job, but I sure could have used him here today to kick some butt when my two middle muddles, Sauce and Rufus, couldn't get along for the life of them (for no particular reason at all, I might add).

In an attempt to "aid" their reconciliation, they spent quite a bit of time holding hands.  Then they graduated to sitting cheek-to-cheek when they still couldn't find love for each other.  Sauce was still having a hard time cooling down his hot temper, so I'm sorry to say that he was shoved out on the front porch (high temperature of 29 degrees today) and his fed up mother someone promptly locked the doors behind him.

He heard the muffled instructions to, "Calm the heck down!" through the door.  After about five minutes of teeth chattering, he came in to reluctantly make peace with his younger brother.

I thought I was feeling better, but tonight I can't take a breath without an over exaggerated coughing fit.

But since my beloved won't return until late tomorrow night, I'm heading upstairs to curl up with my body pillow that fills his vacant spot - and a healthy shot of Nyquil.

Monday, November 8, 2010

the knucklehead chronicles - part one

I call my friend Erin a "girl mom."  Her oldest child is a girl and I think it doomed her to have unrealistic boy standards.  Her husband Dave is a man who says what he means and means what he says.

One day after hearing Erin's pure exasperation about the antics of their boys, Dave enlightened her with the truth about boys.  It went something like this:

"Boys are knuckleheads.  They are knuckleheads when they are born and they don't stop being knuckleheads until the age of 25, and even that is variable."

I completely and totally agree.  If there is one thing you can depend on from boys, it is that they are knuckleheads.

EXHIBIT A:

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"What is that?" you say.  The Hunter has a friend who's dad works for $kullcandy and generously gave pendant necklaces to the entire class.

Rather than wearing the above referenced necklace around his neck, my little knucklehead chose to stick his pinky through the eye socket.

Enter swelling.

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The ice was no use.  Butter, cooking oil, no luck.  My man had to bring out the big guns.

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To my knowledge, Erin hasn't had to bring out bolt cutters with her little knuckleheads just yet.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

not for the timid

What I wanted to say:

"Lady, your punk second grader punched my sweet little kindergartener on the bus today.  I took care of business and got in his face and told him to keep his filthy hands to himself.  If he so much as breathes on my son again I will personally show him what it feels like to be punched by someone bigger than him!!!"

What I really said:

"Hi Jane.  This is Laurie from down the street.  How are you?  I just wanted to take a second of your time to let you know that James punched my six year old Rufus in the back while on the bus ride today.  Oh, yes he is fine, no lasting injuries.  I spoke to James at the bus stop and told him that what he did is not okay and he needs to keep his hands to himself and treat others like he wants to be treated... so I was hoping that you could reinforce that at home."

I'm really learning that it takes guts to make people, both children and their parents, accountable for their behavior.  It would have been easier to comfort Rufus and talk to only him about how wrong the boy on the bus was.  It would have been much more simple for me to give him a hug and tell Rufus that he should simply learn from others how NOT to behave.

I hate conflict.  I try to run from it.  It gives me a 20 pound weight in my stomach, shaky appendages, and occasionally shingles.  But I (thanks to my husband's support and encouragement) am not going to let life happen to my boys.

I don't mean that I'm going to protect them from all harm.  I'm not going to drive Rufus to school every day because he got punched on the bus.

But, I can't teach them that they are accountable for their behavior and not hold others accountable for theirs.  It wasn't comfortable for me to call this little boy's mom and tell her what her son did.  But I think the phone call accomplished two things:

1.  My kids know I'm on their side and I will do the tough stuff for them.  If they need me, I'm there.

2.  They know that accountability is consistent.  They are accountable for their behavior because their parents will follow through.

Lastly, this book made a lasting impression on me that it all needs to be done in love.  Rather than avoiding this boy and labeling him as a troublemaker, I made a point of telling him and his mom that we really want to develop a friendship with him and have him over to play.

There are reasons in his life why he did what he did, and the truth is that he needs kids to see the good in him.  He needs adults to shower him with love and attention and invest in him.

And even though I really wanted to throttle him I plan to do just that.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

a new normal

A really good new normal.

We are in full school mode and it has been great all around.  I get up well before the kids each morning, but usually by the time I'm getting out of the shower and throwing on some clothes, they are either getting dressed or wandering downstairs to the living room for our Bible time.

Consistent.

Everything has consistency to it right now and I love that!

From our 6:45 Bible time to our friendly bus driver Joe pulling up to our street corner at 7:45, we are falling into a new rhythm.  The boys know what is expected of them, as do I, which makes us all happy.

And there are no complaints.

Although we're still in September and not January, everyone is excited for school and is much more eager to tackle tasks like, say, READING and WRITING, without whining and complaining.

No teeth pulling required.

The trade offs have been that our afternoons are not as relaxed.  I pretty much have to schedule time for the boys to chill and play before homework, soccer, dinner, and bedtime.

When I last blogged, Rufus and Squirt had yet to start their school year.  Rufus took on Kindergarten with gusto and hops on the bus each morning like he's done it every day of his life.

He did happen to start Kindergarten with a shiner though.  If he only would have listened to me about not running and jumping in a shoe store, he never would have taken a face plant into an ottoman... poor thing.

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Smiling with Joe, our happy bus driver who gives us the added benefit of returning to us all the stuff our kids forget on the bus.

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That very same day, Squirt went and became a big boy and started preschool.

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Not even a, "Bye mom!  I'll miss you!  Can't you stay with me because I'm your baby?  Here, I'll shed a tear or two to make you feel better."  Nope, plopped on the rug and loved every minute of it.

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Lots of people asked me what I was going to do with my very first morning with no kids at home.  I told them what I told my Beloved.

I'm getting a 60 minute massage for time served.

Then I went and ate lots of bon bons.  Because that's all I do now.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

yellow school bus day

During the last couple of years I could be often heard saying, "It's a yellow school bus day!"  That meant that home schooling was particularly challenging that day.

P1060054 Today was the real deal.  My fourth grader The Hunter and my second grader Sauce started school today.   And all the anticipation we've been feeling for weeks and months ended.

We had a great morning.  Mom woke up before everyone else due purely to nerves so I could get showered and ready first.  We woke up the boys at 6:45 and they hopped right up and got dressed in the clothes they excitedly laid out last night.

We then huddled up with blankets in our chilly living room for our family Bible time.  We took this recommendation from the book "Going Public" by David and Kelli Pritchard.  We've been reading together on and off all summer, but plan to do this every morning before school from here on out.  Five Psalms and one chapter of Proverbs each morning.

It's so fun to hear the examples that the boys apply to God's word.  There is truth at every maturity level.

Then they all hopped up to the breakfast bar and devoured some cereal.  I ushered them upstairs to get hair combed and teeth brushed.  We took the lunches that I made last night out of the refrigerator and put them in their backpacks and headed off for the bus.

A couple of neighbors were gathered at the end of our street waiting for our bus driver Joe.

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Unfortunately, Squirt is three-going-on-seven and thought he was going with his brothers on the cool school bus.

Not so, youngling.

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I didn't want to cry in front of the neighbors need to cry with all the tears that Squirt was spilling.  But I caught my Beloved choked up as the bus doors closed.

Friday, August 20, 2010

a debt



I decided to get decked out this morning with my three pieces of baby jewelry. The gift I received from my beloved after our little blond Rufus was born is a gorgeous sapphire and diamond bracelet.

The Hunter noticed it immediately because I don't wear it that often (I don't know why. I am vowing to wear it more often). He asked where the bracelet was from and I explained the story.

"Daddy gave it to me to thank me for giving him Rufus." I explained.

"What did you give him?" he asked.

"His boys!" I explained. "You all grew in my body and I gave birth to you."

"Yeah, but mom, he gave you the sperm!"

"Oh sorry, you're right. I should get him a thank you gift for that,
shouldn't I?"

I guess I am glad my nine year old still thinks sperm contribution is a big sacrifice for creating a family.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

one week left - summer highlights

One week from today marks the first official day of classroom school for my little men.

Ever.

I really have no idea what to expect.  I think they are going to like it and that they will have a great experience.  But, I have no idea how much homework will be brought home each night, how busy I will be during the week with school involvements, or whether it will be a great choice or a royal failure.

One more week of summer vacation, but today is a cold, rainy day making me appreciate the fun we had in the last couple of months.

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Our stream was roaring this spring and the boys came up with the idea to float down it in an old inflatable baby bath tub.  Keep in mind that this water is snow melt, in other words, no matter how warm the summer gets, the stream is always ice cold!!!

The stream is behind our house, but off the front of our house across the cul-de-sac is a city golf course.  Our street borders one side of the fifth fairway and the other side is bordered by a historical and beautiful farm property with the ski resort right behind it.  We had some great sunsets this summer.

Red barn pics 8-10

Thursday, August 5, 2010

can he really be three?

I've been hearing from more than one parent relative friend reader that I have been missed during my hiatus.  Unfortunately, my blog brings me no income, so it is not (yet?) a job for me.

Parenting my four boys, however, is my full time job and with our busy summer schedule of camps, swimming, playing, vacation, and some more playing, I simply released blogging from my list of priorities.  I really wanted my boys to enjoy their summer before they start public school this fall.

It felt good.  But I'm glad a few of you missed me.

P1050822 I must rewind and commemorate our little Squirt's third birthday in late June.  Our favorite Aunt Louie came out for a nice long visit to celebrate and enjoy Park City in the summer.

Being the cheapskate that I am, I've never really put on big productions for any of my kids' birthday parties.  But this is likely my LAST chance to celebrate a three year old in our home, so.....

This year, via a raffle, I wound up with a gift certificate for use of our town's indoor field house.  A perfect place for lots of little ones to run around.  For a small fee, I added some bounce houses to the mix and proceeded to invite everyone who I thought I might be able to convince to come.

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Squirt had been talking about an "Elmo Berday" for months, so Elmo was our theme.  Dorothy and Mr. Noodle even came along to decorate his cake.

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We wound up with nearly 50 people.  We had a blast.

See for yourself.

The birthday boy.

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Jenny, Deb, and Jessalyn with little Cordelia.

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Christa, me, and Jenny

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There were so many kids, it was impossible to get a picture of all of them.  Here's a handful:  Sawyer, Parker, Squirt, and Silas.

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Sweet Maggie playing with Squirt.

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The Hunter with his friend Ellie.  These two have been the best of friends since before they could walk.  Now they are starting FOURTH GRADE!!!!

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A long line of cake eaters.

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Gentry and Sawyer.  Little sister, big brother.

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This was the point when Aunt Louie said, "Maybe I could just move out here and you could convince all your friends to keep having babies."

To which my friends all shouted, "Okay!  Yes!  Please do that!  How soon can you make that happen?"

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Singing Happy Birthday to my little man.  This picture speaks volumes to me.  I tear up whenever I look at it because I can see how my heart felt.

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Make a wish!

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Yum!

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These were the three women who helped me labor and birth this big boy.  Erin, Ashley, and Jenny.

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P1050806Because we had such a large party, I had to carefully plan the subject of gift giving.  Squirt really did not need one more solitary toy, not to mention the stress and selfishness that comes out when a three year old opens gifts.

I also wanted to acknowledge in a tangible way our gratefulness for our healthy family, for living always in plenty, for never wondering if my boys were going to get enough to eat each day, and for so much more.

I made the request on the invitation to please not bring a gift for Squirt.  Instead, I gave the option to our guests to contribute to Compassion's Child Survival Program that my friend from college Julie and her husband have started.

We decided that we would match the funding that we received at the party and I am pleased to say that we will be donating a total of $170 toward these moms and babies in great need.

It was a wonderful way to top off our celebration.

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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