Friday, October 6, 2017

The Week

All my little friends returned this first week of fall break. I took advantage of their photogenic faces to get some camera time. I missed this.

The week wrapped beautifully. Three out of four of them were sporting food babies after Greg's grilled chicken and homemade mac-n-cheese tonight. That fourth belly though, is our little grandson. I happen to think he is already adorable.

Monday, October 2, 2017

A Birthday

Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me. The toilet is spraying, the children are bickering, the toddler is screaming and the preschooler arrived in his underwear and peed on the floor. Also, rhyming is hard.

I wrapped up with this crew in time to host bible study. Birthday bible studies include wine because if it was good enough for Jesus, it is good enough for us. Being carded for said bottle of wine was a bit of a birthday highlight.

Greg took Kate and Ty to see his parents today because Kate has been pretty insistent she wanted to visit Grandpa's farm over fall break. I have taken more than enough time off in recent weeks so I stayed behind with the little ones and enjoyed a very relaxing evening with friends. As far as 44th birthdays go, this was a good one.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

September In Review

After six weeks in a brace or cast, my right arm is free. It is weak, sore and some swelling remains but it is so nice to hold tea cups in that hand again. It's the simple things in life they say that redeem the hard moments.

When I entered this latest season of life, I was tired. Really tired. The year has been full of challenges and changes and I haven't weathered the storms as well as I should have. Lauren's move, Makenna's surgery and recovery, the sudden loss of the kid's friend and the brutal and painful way I lost Jen left me depleted. Those were just the big stories, with lots of little themes woven throughout. Life with five kids is always full of additional stressors. I no longer found joy in the things I used to and felt I was simply surviving. It was time for me to rest and I resisted.

Rest doesn't come naturally for me but as I navigated these past weeks with more quiet time than I can recall ever having in my life, Greg and I started dreaming of our empty nest. I am not in any hurry to grow my last babies out of our home but there is something sweet to anticipate in those days. In addition, I found I appreciated the peace and embraced time alone with my own thoughts.

I picked up my camera again today. I missed it. The sprinkle coated caramel apples bribed the most reluctant eight year old into cooperation and of course, my Kate Bug was an eager participant. Very recent changes to Greg's work schedule eliminated my handsome husband as my date to a friend's wedding so I have a stand-in. Ty says he isn't dancing with me and isn't old enough to get me a glass of wine but he is pretty cute. And then he also has a bedtime so we won't be having too much fun while his Daddy works.

Once again, we are learning to roll with the punches and making the most of the moments we have together.

Friday, September 22, 2017

It's a BOY!

Lauren and Taylor are thrilled to announce they are having a baby boy! We can't wait to meet our grandson! 

Monday, September 18, 2017


I got the all clear from my surgeon last week. I will not need surgery! I am supposed to be wearing the brace for another two weeks and will have one final xray in four weeks to make sure everything continued to heal as anticipated. I won't even require physical therapy which is wonderful news because I have taken more than enough time off with my babies and therefore couldn't easily make time for regular appointments anyway.

Benjamin returned for the entire weekend after going back home two weeks ago. He was missed around here. I am happy we get to remain a part of his life. Because we had Lauren, Taylor, the dogs and Benjamin sleeping arrangements were at a premium. Ty created his own accommodations. Layla loved it.
Ty's guidance counselor at school sends home information every year about creating an emotional safe place with cozy blankets, stuffed animals and favorite items to help children calm down when they are upset. Every year, Greg and I roll our eyes because we consider our entire home a safe place. So I sent her this photo. I hope she too is fluent in sarcasm. All mommas everywhere need a safe place more than the children determined to make us crazy.
My favorite time of year has arrived if you believe my front door and the candy corn basket I cannot keep filled. Please pay no attention to the 80+ degree weather. I'm not.

Makenna's Senior year headshot for the theatre department came in. This from the kid who refers to herself as the ugly Baughman. Seriously.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Friday, August 25, 2017

Recent Development

The following letter was sent in response to a teacher requesting proof beyond my signature of completed homework this week. That note came home the day it was confirmed I broke both wrists rather than just my right one. Life has been challenging, to say the least.
Hi ladies, first thank you for the investment you are making in the lives of these boys. I recently attempted to teach them how to help me clean the bathrooms and left that grueling experience convinced teachers will have the most jewels in their crowns in heaven. I am in awe. I am reaching out to make you aware I fell and broke both of my wrists last week. I am promising I will continue reading with the boys, we are working through math facts and word study words. My lofty goals of healthy food around our dinner table, daily showers and mostly groomed children remain in tact despite the challenges of living a busy life with a house full of children. My signature looks like forgery and if discipline letters were sent home, forgery has in fact occurred. :) I am simply letting you know I am winging a lot these days. Sticks and stones creating spelling words will not be making the cut, nor will photographs of children laying on their backs using their legs to form words. I appreciate the attempt to make learning fun and am enjoying the math games but again, proof of practice will be arriving in the form of an ugly signature. Please call or email me with any questions or concerns. Again,  thank you for all you do for Ty and Benjamin. Sherri Baughman
Both teachers were gracious and I am grateful. Plan B involved sticks and stones being used to spell out an unkind response. Sarcasm is my primary language and I have teetered delicately between laughter and tears frequently these last days. Those anxious feelings don't often reflect my more gentle side. No mom has time for something like this but I have been blessed with wonderful friends, understanding families who have found themselves seeking alternative childcare and a pretty great husband who feeds me well. I am no theologian but it appears God said, "rest".

Sunday, August 20, 2017


He dreams day and night about a drone he hopes to build. It's been several weeks and his design is increasing in complexity.  Do I happen to know any engineers? I need back up. This is not my field of expertise.

He has decided Benjamin is like a brother and likes the idea of no longer being the youngest. Benjamin seems delighted to be the baby of our family so it works.

Once they decided they were  brothers, we heard proclamations of "no brother left behind", "brothers have each other's back" and "brothers till the end". We used to think girls were dramatic.

I walked the boys over to a new road they could ride their bikes on. Benjamin was shocked, "you're going to walk?" I confirmed so he offered to stay right next to me in case I fall again. I tried to assure him I have been walking for 43 years and had only one accident. He wasn't dissuaded.

We pulled the boys off a dirt pile they had been exploring and sent them in for showers. Both boys asked in unison if they needed to use soap.

We are loving this.