Monday, September 18, 2017

News!

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

"Brothers"


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.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Again With Job

My poor bible study partner has had to deal with my continuous wrestling over the book of Job repeatedly for the last few years. Somehow, no matter what we are studying at the time, Job makes an appearance. I am certain she is groaning at the moment because we are in week one of a new study and there he is, just waiting for me to lament the game God is allowing Satan to play with Job's life. On the one hand God obviously wants me to accept this book as a fitting piece of His character but poor Lana is ready to smack me.

So today I read the author's brief overview of Job and then she asked what moments in my life were Job moments that made me question my faith. And I froze. The truth is, I haven't had my faith challenged in trials and if you've known me very long at all, you know I have walked through some difficult seasons. Throughout Greg's accident and recovery, the loss of our infant son, miscarriages and the craziness of our rich and full life in general, God has allowed me to see the good. None of this comes from any holier than though pedestal. I have wrestled, pleaded, cried, yelled and shut down on God over the years. Like my whiny children, I have repeated "but why" too many times. But God has used all the challenges in my life to grow me. My faith is stronger as result of those seasons.

Here's the rub. Where I struggle with the book of Job is the arbitrary cruelness. Take Job.....do whatever you want". And Job suffers. There were no character lessons, there was no potter working clay involved. This was Satan hurting Job for nothing more than God saying in the end, "I win". Obviously I am expressing my own opinion in this and that too is something God is still working on with me but the point is this; I wrestle more with God on behalf of others. When I watched a friend fight for her life this year and then leave behind a daughter, I questioned why. When the kids lost a great friend suddenly, I struggled. When we learned a child we adore has been abused, I again cried, "why?".

Where I can see God growing me is when it comes to the pain and trials of others. Empathy, they say is a spiritual gift but it isn't an easy one to navigate. I feel other's hurts deeply. I need to trust His will still is perfect despite how broken I feel. If God can turn my most broken moments into faith growing, He is doing that in the circumstances of those hurting around me.

Without sharing details, we are in a season now where I feel completely out of control despite my will to dot I's and cross T's. I have complete faith we are in this situation for a reason and our hearts are fully committed. Our brains are still wanting details settled, plans made and nice tidy bow on top would be glorious. This is where God laughs.

As I wrestled with those details on a walk Tuesday evening, I fell. As I laid face down on the asphalt, I caught my breath, assessed whether or not I could get up and then laughed a little, "this is ridiculous". And it is because it never should have come to this. God said, "enough". So I cannot prepare food, drive, scrub the house (the control freak in me does not see this as the blessing most would) because as my charming husband advertises, my left hand is developmentally delayed.  I am now waiting week to week to watch alignment in my broken wrist, still hoping to avoid surgery. I don't get to control much except my response. Okay God, I am listening and I trust you.

I hope to have tea with Job in heaven. Maybe he can quiet my heart since I have struggled so much on his behalf. Until then, I trust God has a purpose for me to keep encountering this same book.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

What!?!

I started this week coming off an emotional weekend; the details something I cannot share but Greg and I found ourselves thrust into unchartered territory for someone we love. It was brutal.

I had the nerve to complain Sunday when I came down with a head cold because I don't have time for that right now. This must be the part where God laughed. You see, I have been spinning my wheels all year. As in ALL year dealing with on-going seasons of challenges, loss and change. I have experienced very real moments with God where I am surrendering, crying, angry or depleted. In other words, He is working on me.

I woke Tuesday completely convinced it was Wednesday. No matter how many times in the early hours of that day, one of the kids corrected me, my brain would not accept reality and I was off kilter all day. That evening, I walked with my neighbor to talk through some of my tougher thoughts and while on that walk, I fell. I still can't figure out how it happened but by all accounts, it appears I literally tripped over my own foot. On a flat road. Seriously.

I no longer bounce. I was in a state of shock in the immediate moments and thank God Leah was able to call Greg and hold Layla's leash for me. I busted my face on the pavement and was taken aback by the amount of blood pooling under me. Both Leah and I feared I had just knocked out my teeth. I did feel them jar but nothing is loose. Amen. My face has seen better days but that was true before I fell.

I realized; however, something was very wrong with my right arm. Greg took me to the emergency room while Leah waited with the kids until Makenna could be called out of tech to relieve her. I broke my wrist but had a doctor with a sense of humor, making the experience as enjoyable as possible. (I don't get out nearly enough.)

However, my right arm and hand could very well be the only arm I need because my left only serves to secure babies to my hip. Some things are about to change! Not only is the left hand lazy and under utilized, but it too is swollen and bruised. I have managed several tasks despite the odds of an old klutz learning new tricks and can apparently even chicken peck a keyboard long enough to find humor in an otherwise unpleasant experience.

I followed up with a surgeon today who surprised me by saying my wrist was close enough to being considered aligned, he was comfortable watching it with weekly xrays for a few weeks. Obviously I hope to avoid surgery so I will baby it as much as a busy mom can. And then he shocked me by not casting my arm! I went from a splint holding my arm at a 90 degree angle and covering my fingers to a brace! He anticipates additional swelling and doesn't want to cut off circulation. Freeing my fingers and increasing my range of motion had me fighting tears of relief.

Don't worry though. My family has been supportive. Greg has navigated meals, cut my food and talked me off a ledge or two. He is awesome even if he is a little bossy.

Ty willingly offered Benjamin to clean the bathrooms and Makenna questioned, "real talk. Are we going to starve?" Taylor suggesting I toss some essential oils on the broken wrist and then sharing encouraging lines like, "suck it up Buttercup" resulted in a call from Lauren today assuring us that Taylor will not make it out of labor and delivery alive if his response to seeing someone in pain doesn't improve!

In other words, all is normal here.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Weekend Review

Greg and I found ourselves alone with only one kiddo Saturday evening so we took him out for dinner and then to Lana's to swim.
He makes a pretty cute pool boy. His supervisor isn't too bad either. I have a little crush on him.
Sunday afternoon Benjamin came back and a wrestling match ensued. Greg was feeling like he lost by the time this ended. Two boys working together are a force to be reckoned with.
He returned ready to build muscles to impress some girls. However, he called my pink weights, "weak". We are still friends anyway.

Lauren lost eight pounds in four weeks so her doctor put her on medication to help get her through this first trimester. She has found herself surprised by her ability to cry easily. She asked me how long she will be crying and I asked her if she saw me at her wedding! Get used to it kiddo, motherhood is emotional.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

We have news!

Our baby is having a baby!

That little bean right there, is our first grandchild. We are so happy the word is out because it was not an easy secret to keep. Lauren is due in March. She has been pretty sick and has questioned several times how she has so many siblings. I laugh and assure her we forget these details after that sweet baby is laid in our arms. She does not believe me.
We selected our own names, Mimi and Pops. Ty was told on his birthday he was going to be an uncle and he was pretty excited; however, realizing that meant I was going to be a grandma, literally had him doubled over laughing for twenty solid minutes. Obviously this is hilarious.
We are quite excited and cannot wait to love on Lauren's baby. Our baby is having a baby. Life is rich.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Weekends are for togetherness


This weekend started Friday with the addition of some bunk beds to host our little friend Benjamin who has been spending a lot of time with us lately. His parents are a bit down on their luck and he is such a good kiddo, we are happy to have him hanging out with us.

Greg smoked both whole chickens and also turkey breasts this weekend as we celebrated Grandma's upcoming birthday. We also had smores around a bonfire since the weather was amazing and slightly cooler. Back deck conversations lead to vacation dreaming on the couch once the rain started.








 


I think it is safe to say, Benjamin fits right in around here! These two were smack talking during a rowdy game of Uno at bedtime tonight. This weekend was relaxing, peaceful and perfect.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

My Happy Place

Lauren and Taylor arrived at 11 Friday night with their fur babies in tow. On Saturday we had brunch with all our kids and their significant others.



With the exception of a security breach at Mimi's Pup Park where a wild pack of dogs greeted a neighbor walking their dog, the day was perfect. Having all the kids together at the same time is rare. I treasure this.




We had a bonfire and spent time with the telescope Saturday night. Sunday morning we reluctantly sent Lauren back to Georgia before tackling the walking bridge with friends.


Ice cream completed our outing and then we joined Greg at home for ribs. Have I mentioned how much I love him and his hobby? He feeds us oh so well every weekend.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Back-to-school Week

This week we celebrated Makenna's birthday, finalized a car purchase for her and started a new school year. It was a busy week which is apparently the only kind of week we know how to have. But I once again have sole custody of my van and know exactly where the tanks of gas are going.

Greg and I, not wanting to lose momentum on the closet project decided to tackle the top shelf one evening this week. We were both shocked to locate Brutus' medical records from Ohio in our stacks of paperwork. Greg was quietly processing while I fell apart. This shouldn't still hurt this much I tell myself, willing it to be true.


But that same project produced gems like this and the images bring back so many sweet memories.

The kids returned to school. We have a senior, a sixth grader in a new school and a second grader too. Kate and Ty ended up sleeping with me the days leading to their first day, both very unsettled about change. Every new school year leaves me a little anxious too. Trusting strangers with my babies isn't easy for me and I always watch the clock those first days waiting to hear all about their new teachers and friends.
Kate started the 6th grade at Lanesville Elementary in Mrs. Cole's class. Her new school is small and feels like a family. Elementary through sixth grade is a serious bonus too. She even gets recess unlike her friends in our local middle school.

Ty is a second grader at Georgetown Elementary in Mrs. Shiner's class. He hoped to return from the first day able to read comic books. His best buddy Kellen is in his class for the third year in a row.

And this is Makenna on the first day of her Senior year holding a photo of her kindergarten self. I shed all my tears the night before when I pulled that photo out of the album. Time is precious and fleeting.


And mid afternoon I received the following text from Makenna, "Senioritis is so real and it is really bad. The only class I haven't wanted to fall over and die in is tech". I shall stock the wine and chocolate accordingly. It just might be a long year!