Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Just a teaser photo....

.... of our trip to La Jolla Cove. More to come!

Jet lagging....

Our mornings have been very slow since we got back from California. I have to drag us all out of the bed. Our school starts have also been slower. Not sure if its just the jet lag or the lingering congestion or both....

But its actually been pretty nice to start out slow and just not care. It's a "Mommy just doesn't care about the extras" week.

I guess that all started with The Hole above our kitchen table. I can look at it quite calmly and matter of factly at this point, so I shall tell you about it.

On Sunday night, I went out to replenish our groceries, and David bathed the boys, watched Ben, and tried to unpack their suitcases. (He was feeling ambitious and was being his usual completely involved and fully helpful self.) Well, he didn't notice that the boys had decided to gleefully throw large cupfuls of water out of the tub until the water was covering the whole bathroom floor by 1/4 of an inch.

When I went to put some groceries on the table after I came home, there was a puddle. What? Huh? I looked up and saw a large wet spot in the ceiling about the size of our tub. We called our trusty handyman, and he made a hole in the ceiling to help the water drain more quickly.

And the boys got to come down from their beds and see what their mischief had wrought.

I looked at the calendar, and I decided that a ceiling repair just wasn't in our schedule for two weeks. So  we'll be having birthday cake with the neighbors around the Hole, and the (mostly childless) ladies in my Sunday School class will be fellowshipping around the Hole. "Yes, ladies, when you have children, you too might get to experience the joy and humbling that is bathtime home damage!"

And I don't care. Nope. Just don't. David said, "You couldn't have left that hole there for 2 weeks 5 years ago. Hmmm, make that 3."

So if I drag myself out of bed each morning this week, stumble to the boys' room and throw their clothes on the floor, stumble to the baby's room and lie on the floor while he toddles around me for 15 minutes, and then stumble with him to the big boys' room and climb in the bottom bunk with Evan for another 10 minutes while Ben continues to toddle and climb on chairs and beds and anything else he can find.... that sounds just about perfect.

Friday, January 25, 2013

from Southern California...

I'm typing from Southern California this evening. We've been here visiting David's brother and his family about an hour outside San Diego. Ben is wandering around, toddling unsteadily with his hand stuck in one of his cousin's cowboy boots. Cousins are playing trains and knights in one of the bedrooms. I hear the sounds of dinner preparation in the kitchen. (Don't worry, I have helped, but I've also gotten chased out to rest.)

We've been here for almost a week, and we leave in the morning. Yes, we flew our entire family of 3 boys 5 and under across the entire country, and we hope to live to tell the tale after the flight home. I feel a sense of accomplishment to go along with the head cold and the exhaustion we're nursing.

This house of 4 adults and 7 children (ages 10 years-17 months) has steadily fallen ill. Our little family has colds. I was the last to fall. We've also had assorted fevers, puke, and sore throats. And yet, we're all still playing so nicely together... kids and adults! =)

I'm going to tell this story now because I'm proud of us, and I'll probably forget to mention it later. We decided to take just our family into San Diego on Wednesday morning to picnic at Balboa Park. Before we left, our snotty sons ate yogurt for breakfast. And then we put them in a car on winding mountain roads to drive for an hour.

I think you can see where this story is going.

5 minutes from our destination, Seth started crying and saying, "I need help! I need help! I want to go home to bed." And then he puked all over himself- shirt, pants, seat. We looked for the next exit in a strange city that we don't know, and we took it. And God provided a gleaming red bullseye.... yes, Target, shining like a city on a hill to the frustrated pilgrim. :)

We took the whole crew inside, Seth still covered in puke. I washed out his shirt, and then David washed off his pants. I spent a frantic 10 minutes buying him another shirt and pants, as well as saltines, Clorox wipes, and saltines.

By the time we had him dressed, he was happy as a clam. We cleaned up the rental van with Clorox wipes, and we kept going. Yes, we did. We didn't let a little puke rain on our parade, and we had a great picnic, tram ride through Balboa Park, and fun at a playground. And Seth got to see more of his beloved palm trees.

Traveling with young children is really hard. It just is. But you do it anyway, and you relish the fun moments in the middle of the crazy and the tired. We're glad we came. We've had a blast. But I'm ready to sleep in my own bed. The great pictures and the fun stories will come later when I get a computer on which to load and post them. Signing off for now...

See you tomorrow night, oh bed of mine...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

good things....

- Getting a bloggy award from Brandy at "Afterthoughts." I even attempted to write a substantive post on some of our favorite kindergarten reads after I saw it, but Blogger killed it. (I really hope that there is something like Windows Live Writer for Mac.) I'll try again later.
- Being inside on a this really cold, blustery, rainy day.
- Chicken fajitas in the crockpot.
- Reading my mom's copy of the 1952 storybook, "A Road in Storyland" by Watty Piper. Gorgeous illustrations and old fashioned fairytales about the Rabbit who caught the sun and Boots and his brothers and his magic ax. Google it for some images of the pictures. Book lovers, prepare to drool.
- My twinkly lights that I leave up on the mantel until at least March. I need the mid-winter pick me up.
- My packing lists sitting next to me for our trip to CA. We head to San Diego on Saturday for a week of fun with David's brother and his family.
- That Ben will probably not be as horrific on the plane as I imagine he will.
- New glasses. And that I don't have the continue to nurse the scratched, stepped on, glasses I've had for 8 years, begging them not to break on me.
- Ben's black tuxedo one piece outfit. I got it from a generous friend who shops Gymboree for her boys, and it makes me giggle. He really does look like he's wearing tails. =)
- Robeez and their generic equivalent.
- Zipping Ben into his sleep sack on my bed every day for afternoon nap and giving him kisses on his cheek until he smiles. It's our ritual.
- That I've finally learned how to make good pie crust. It only took almost 12 years of marriage. =)
- That my honey is home from work, and he may be home tomorrow because we may get SNOW!
- Imagining their excitement if we do.... =)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Week's end...

I'm typing this on the couch, listening to Seth teaching Evan "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus" upstairs. One of my Mamie's striped brown and green crocheted afghans sits over my knees. The Walmart bags full of groceries sit in the kitchen, waiting for David to come down so we can chat and put away together...

Seth declined my offer to do the shopping with me tonight. It was his turn. But that was Evan's cue to stand at my knee while I did the washing up and beg to go. "I want to go, Mommy. Can I go to Walmart? Please?" I wasn't sure I had it in me to take my 3-year-old tonight, but I said to myself silently, "He won't always ask to give shopping with me. Take him."

So I did. He loves to help. And when we're waiting at the deli, I sing "Winne the Pooh" to him. He smiles soooo big, and I stop singing before the "Pooh" each time on the chorus, and he sings it. I know he's probably thinking potty humor in his 3-year-old boy head, but maybe not. =)

Lots of playing in the cul de sac tonight. Smelling the neighbors charcoal as they start grilling, the neighbor's brother checking out our house to give us a quote on the painting we need to do this spring, listening to the kids squeal as they race each other on bikes and scooters around the cul de sac.

Tomorrow is another school day. We have gymnastics (which they LOVE), and more Five in A Row. We're "rowing" "How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World" this week. There are discs all over our big world map as we discover how we get the ingredients to pie from all over the world- Sri Lanka for cinnamon, Italy for wheat, Jamaica for sugar, etc. We've watched Youtube videos on wheat harvesting, apple picking, salt drying. We've done apple taste tests and salt evaporation experiments.

Tomorrow we bake our pie and do a little bit of recipe fractions to go along with it. Seth has been asking all week when we're going to bake the pie, and I know that his understanding of trade and groceries and food sources is going to be so much richer than any other time we'll bake together. I know mine will be. :)

David's back down, and I hear him starting to put away. Happy Sunday to you all.... and God's best blessings on the coming week.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Still computerless... sorta...

We're going on a week without computer now. Sorta. The Ipad with keyboard is mostly living here for now, and I can access Youtube videos for homeschool that way. But I'm ready to get back to normal. I miss playing Pandora in the kitchen while I'm fixing dinner, so that's a little relaxing pleasure that has gone with the computer.

Wow, its hard to get your hands on a 21 inch Mac! They have either been out of stock for days at the local Apples stores, or the one day that they got them in, I missed getting one by about 45 minutes. I'm getting disgusted with it. We may have to resort to 7-10 business days from the website....

The boys are napping (or drawing) quietly, so I get a few minutes to think about what's been good the last few days. What hasn't been good has been me waking up stressed every morning and wondering if I have the energy to keep everyone in line for that day. And the computer crash. And finding mouse  droppings in the pantry. And thinking that David may be going to Chicago one day. Yes, he is. No, he isn't. Uncerainty, etc. Blah.....

The good stuff? Identifying that I do feel under some kind of spirtual attack. I don't say that lightly. I'm a lapsed Pentecostal. But there have been a lot of little things messing with my equilibrium all of a sudden, and they are tempting me to doubt that I can do the job that I believe God has called me to do... homeschooling, mothering, etc. But realizing that I'm being tested is a good thing. It keeps me on my guard and reminds me to cry out for healp.

Other good stuff? Feeling like God has got my back. I was struggling with something last night, just kinda down, and I started talking to David about it. He said, "My friend wrote a blog post about exactly this topic. He posted it today, and I was reading it on my Blackberry about 2 minutes before you started talking to me about it." So I read it, and there were some good answers and some Christ centered encouragement there for me. How's that for a shout out from the Man upstairs? =)

We've had some really nice weather, and I took the boys to the park today after Bible study. I brought part of our lunch, but I went through the McDonalds drive thru for the rest. They were sooo excited about something as simple as getting chocolate milk.

At the park, Seth spent about 20 minutes pushing Ben on the swings and encouraging him to growl and scream in excitement. While he did it, he gave me a running commentary about how much he loves his baby brother, how much he likes playing baby games with him, and why his brothers are the best brothers in the world.

All the way home, I heard, "Mom, I love that we have 3 brothers. It's better than two, isn't it? I know now that I love them and I love playing with them."

It's hard work teaching them to play well together. It's tough always making sure that they aren't being too rough with Ben. But the time they get to spend learning with each other each day is precious to me, and its worth the very real sacrifice I feel some days. :)

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Writing from IPad...

Ooh, this is a weird layout. I'm typing this from the hubby's work IPad. Our 6 1/2 year old Dell crashed hard yesterday. RIP, old friend.

The coolest thing is that I'd had an external hard drive sitting in its wrapper for months in a cabinet. During our staycation this weekend, I said to David, "Honey, can we try and figure out how to use that external hard drive I bought?" We backed up the pictures and all our documents.

The hard drive crashed two days later. There was no warning this was going to happen. It was running normally beforehand.

That, my friends, is a giant hug from God. I don't always get these kinds of hugs from Him, so I'm relishing this one!

We had a great staycation. We had time to do exciting things like vaccum out our cars and paint brown spots on the ceilings where the old fans used to be and run errands and talk and talk and talk about everything and nothing and take cold afternoon walks in the woods.

And I'm really grateful that we didn't take that expensive-ish ski weekend we'd planned. I'd be sick now that we have to replace the computer.

We got refreshed and on top of things around here, and I feel like I've been able to dive back into school planning and parenting with renewed vision and excitement. That's a huge blessing. No more running on empty for a little while, I hope....

Posting may be spotty until we decide what to do on the computer situation. We want to take our time and make the right decision for our family. Do we spend more and go MAC? Hmmmm....