Sunday, February 12, 2017


Tuesday night a friend of Lauren's stopped in under the guise he needed to speak with me about a situation at his work. I was cleaning the kitchen when he walked through the front door and then I heard a voice that sounded just like Lauren's. Makenna looked up and burst into tears. I stayed frozen in the kitchen convinced my mind was playing tricks on me. When I finally rounded the corner, I saw Makenna crying in Lauren's arms and still couldn't trust my eyes. Lauren was home and I was shocked. She had been planning this trip for a few weeks but told no one except Taylor and Spencer. About the time it registered she was really here, she was off again to go surprise Erin.

The next day, all my little ones were also surprised to see Lauren. She has been popping up in places all over town surprising friends and family. When I asked her why she didn't tell me she was coming, she said it was because I would have told her not to make the sixteen hour drive alone. She is right. I don't like the idea of her on the road alone. But she is here and I love it.

I went grocery shopping for all of Lauren's favorite foods and planned everyone's favorite dinner Saturday night. We had Thanksgiving for Valentine's Day and it was perfect despite having to replace our three year old oven on Friday. The new one was installed a few hours before our feast so Greg got to smoke a turkey and even the most particular kids were impressed.

Our Valentine's were celebrated, loved and together.

In other news, Lauren and Taylor rescued a couple brothers in Texas. Meet Cheech and Chong, our grand-pups. Rumor has it they are as well behaved as Layla. Also, I am not yet taking kindly to being called Grandma and have insisted Mi-Mi is about the extent of what I will tolerate at this point in time.
Kate started campaigning this morning for a girls day at the outlet stores. Sister has had money burning a hole in her pocket since Christmas. All the girls met for shopping and ice cream because they are all always ready for time together and bargain shopping. It was the perfect way to spend a gorgeous 60 degree day in February.

And while we were out, Greg surprised Ty with a matinée of the new Lego Batman movie. Our little Batman was pretty excited, to say the least.

It has been a whirlwind week around here and the weekend could not have been more perfect.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Ninja 101

Greg is on vacation this week. We usually tackle a project around the house when Greg takes time off but this wasn't supposed to be a working vacation. However, Ty had plans.

Our little ninja is thrilled with the results. It was an afternoon well spent.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Weekend Review

Erin and Jake came over for dinner Saturday. Before they left, Erin rummaged through the cabinets looking for a snack. Ty leaned over and whispered to Jake, "Erin always steals from us".

Makenna and I drug Ty to our favorite thrift stores. He brought a book and informed us he would be reading and ignoring us. His plan was perfect for all involved. However, he did score an awesome shark for 77 cents, which was not exactly what he aimed to purchase. The tooth fairy isn't interested in inflation so his $1 wasn't going to buy a video game, much to his dismay.

Greg and I slipped away to join friends for lunch Sunday and then I was able to visit my friend in the hospital for a few hours. Friends should fill every weekend.

Erin gave me an hour massage for Christmas and I used it Saturday morning. It was incredible.  And then Greg and I took Ty to play indoor putt-putt. The course was glow in the dark. It was a fun little date. On Sunday he completed Valentines for his classmates. He cannot wait to share treats with his friends.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Tooth Fairy Visits

Ty has been anxiously awaiting a visit from the tooth fairy for about a year now. Given his opposition to ever having his fingers in his mouth because he is deathly afraid of germs and how turned off by blood he can be, we were bracing ourselves for a drawn out and dramatic experience. He surprised us. Once the dentist assured him it was okay to wriggle teeth, he set to get the first of two loose teeth out of his mouth. Ty lost his first tooth tonight and was so excited to share the news, he had Erin on the phone after just one rinse of his mouth. After a very lengthy and detailed conversation with Erin (the only family member who appreciates the gory details), he called Lauren and Taylor too. He knows who will join in celebrating milestones alongside him even if they aren't actually present.

He woke in a salty mood today and wanted nothing to do with school preparations this morning. He literally sat in front of the cereal cabinet for a solid five minutes with a blanket on his head, hiding from the world. The drive to school was silent which is rare given how talkative Ty is usually. However, when I pulled up to the school, he spotted his best friend and barely allowed me come to a complete stop before he flew out of the van and ran up to catch her. I was a little amused, to say the least. We hear an awful lot about that particular little girl.

And then this afternoon we saw these two pictures in his backpack. Each is from a different girl in his class. Ironically, he also had a progress report from school stating he is distracted. I can't help but wonder if perhaps things might be related.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Hump Day

My alarm rings at 6:15 every weekday. This morning by 6:45 I was more than ready to go back to bed. This day was shot and I had already displayed a less than desirable side of myself. The dogs came in from a mere ten minutes outside smelling of something dead, really really dead. The odor was so intense, I cried out, "oh holy hell" more dramatically than my son has ever heard me react to anything. He was holding his blanket over his nose until he decided the blanket must smell badly too and put it in the wash. Greg came home a few minutes later to me still panicking about the road kill aroma filling my house and grabbed his flashlight to find the poor critter the dogs recently discovered. Too bad for our neighbors who aren't usually up at 6:30 in the morning because their dogs were not happy about Greg walking around with a flashlight in the dark and set out to put a stop to it. I let our dogs out to lead Greg to their "friend" and they eagerly rolled in an area on the side of the house. No remains were located. I am ill thinking about how that's going to end for our dumb dogs. Lord help me. I refused to let them back inside as all my babysitting families were arriving to an energy none of them are used to seeing first thing in the morning and an odor none of them will soon forget despite all efforts to do just that. Greg gave the dogs sponge baths because it is way too cold to use a hose and there was no way I was allowing them back inside until they were clean. He brushed their teeth and Norwex cloths were used in hope of absorbing the remaining odor. The dogs weren't any happier with me than I was with them. Around ten, Lauren called and as I shared the story, she started laughing and the more she laughed, the harder I laughed. It took a while for me to see the humor in this one but once I did, I literally had tears running down my face as I recalled the look on Ty's as I screamed a profanity I honestly don't think I have ever used before. This morning was not my finest hour but we all survived.

Later in the day I asked four year old Anna if she could go talk to her one year old sister who had woken up while I fed five month old Deacon. Anna hesitated. She questioned if we really had to let Ava get out of bed today. Anna thought it would be best for everyone involved if I just kept Ava confined. I asked Anna if she would like to stay in bed even if she was awake all day. That girl looked me dead in the eye and asked, "would Ava be there?" I died laughing.
The moment you realize you have continued buying snacks for that kid who always raided the chips and salsa despite the fact she moved away.

We allowed Kate to join my parents on a trip to Texas to see Lauren this week. First, I cannot tell you how much I miss the extra set of hands she provides and second, I am so jealous. I sent her with enough school work to cover the week she is missing in lessons with me. Rumor has it she had some complaints about me ruining what was supposed to be her vacation. She is starting to sound a little more like the rest of her sisters these days! Overall though, she is still pretty sweet.
Sometimes I think Anna might be on to something. Keeping this one confined would eliminate a lot of stress for a lot of people. There is a reason she is pretty.

Makenna was called into the office last week and asked if she was hacking the school wifi system. She smartly answered, "no but do you think I would tell you if I did?" Awesome. And if that weren't enough, she also told them they should have hired the kid they expelled two years ago who could effectively override the school's system because he was smarter than the techs they currently use. Those techs happened to be present for her unsolicited advice. Lord help me. By the way, she hasn't hacked anything. There was a glitch on her phone. But some days I really do wonder where it all went wrong.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Almost Wordless Wednesday

We went to Lexington this past weekend to watch my nephew play basketball in a tournament. Ty now needs Nike shoes and wants to play too.

The bathroom has been repainted and is now the same neutral color I have throughout the rest of the house. And the flowers survived for three weeks, making me very happy. 

Page one of five in Ty's first journal of first grade. It came home this week and made me cry.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Just Another Day in Paradise

Lauren called Sunday morning to tell on Taylor for pulling her fingers. She did this because I threatened him with bodily harm if I caught him grabbing her fingers again after he dislocated one last year. He quickly took the phone and whined, "but Mom! She was poking me!" and I cracked up. They are adulting.

Erin sent us word Jake stated Moe's was better than Qdoba. She hates to tell us but this means he most likely isn't "the one". She is emailing the CEO of Tinder about their neglect in not including that particular question in their screening process.

Ty gave Makenna some driving advice because he is obviously an expert on the subject. "All you have to do is ride the brake down hills and watch for cars. It is just like riding a scooter."

Saturday night Kate called Greg a Butt. Name calling hasn't been Kate's style but we were bound to ruin her at some point. Anyway, Greg quickly responded by declaring that would make her a turd. Makenna burst out laughing and told her father he says one funny thing every couple of weeks so he should just be quiet for awhile.

I tried people. I really tried. I raised these children in church, with wholesome television and homemade food. I banned Sponge Bob and chef boy r dee. I checked all the good parenting boxes and yet I spend an awful lot of time wondering where it all went wrong.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Still here

Santa gave her stilts. And it still freaks me out a bit when she walks up behind me, much taller than she should be.  She has great balance, roams all over the house and rumor has it she wants to start learning how to do tricks with them. And to that news, I have a gentle reminder. Our deductible reset on the first. Please be careful because Makenna has now surpassed all I would ever like to spend on orthopedic care. Thank you very much.

There was an incident recently involving an open and very full bottle of black nail polish. I was able to remove it from the counter, floor and toilet; however, the wall and baseboard needs to be painted. This is not a project I anticipated. In fact, the master bathroom was the one we hoped to tackle in the near future. Sigh. So we are trying to decide if we will get a similar if not the same color or take the opportunity to try something new. In all honesty, I just am not feeling very inspired right now and the fact we know there is some minor dry wall damage above the shower means this little painting project will be anything but little. Isn't this typically the case?

Lauren and Taylor had an interesting move. They encountered several glitches along the way including multiple delays in getting Taylor out of his dorm and into their house with Lauren. She was not happy but is getting more settled. I suspect it will still be awhile before they see humor in all they have overcome in just a few short weeks. They have learned a lot and someday I hope they can laugh about it.

January and February are typically difficult months for me because I require a lot of sunshine and fresh air. This year we have added the sudden loss of the kid's friend, a breast cancer diagnosis for a friend of Erin's and the New Year's terminal diagnosis of my close friend to exaggerate those feelings. I have started another gratitude journal inspired by One Thousand Gifts in hopes of focusing on life more positively.  I meet weekly with my bible study partner and try to maintain my workouts but I am not going to lie, I have felt pretty low a lot of the time. This has not been an easy couple of weeks.

Makenna's recovery has gone smoothly; much better than we anticipated. She walks around the house without her crutches already, can now shower alone (she won't miss that particular level of bonding) and is managing her days at school so well, she often spends time with friends afterward. We anticipate an excellent report from the surgeon later this week. Layla missed Makenna sleeping with her for a solid week and made sure we all knew it with her constant whining and pacing. Peace has been restored now that Makenna can navigate the stairs.

We had the opportunity to play in an elementary school gymnasium because we are friends with the teacher and he knows my son well. Burning energy on cold, rainy days is always a good option.

We wore EVERYONE out. Afterward, Makenna and I purchased her prom dress and I once again wondered how junior prom is even a remote possibility  already.