Thursday, May 31, 2012

Future Attorney?

This beautiful boy renegotiated his potty training contract today. He drives a hard bargain. Since finding out his friend was getting candy for using the potty, the mini marshmallows simply weren't cutting it. We ended up at Walgreens today and he now gets jelly beans. In reality, he often forgets about his treat and is content to announce his success to all who can hear. He even asked the clerk at Walgreens if she puts her pee and poop in the big boy potty (by the way, she does). It's a pretty big deal.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I don't like roller coasters

I am not a fan of roller coasters. I don't care to have my life flash before my eyes. Ever. I don't seek thrills or need danger to feel alive. Nope. I prefer things smooth, easy going and predictable. I rode in the minivan as a passenger today while my oldest drove for the first time. I only screamed once. I had a death grip on the arm rest and door handle. I couldn't breath. I am certain a snapshot of my face would have made one think I was on a roller coaster, fearing for my life. I am not cut out for this. Her father has trained "knuckle heads" to drive fork lifts. He is much more qualified. I pass the baton. Honey, you're up. Even Ty declared at the end of our "bumpy road ride" he was "scared in the van". Mommy was too but Erin finally decided it was time to get her permit. It really was time given all of her friends have been driving for two years but we were in no rush and neither was she. I suppose allowing her to actually drive will take time too!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Poop GPS

He has a natural ability to locate poop in the yard and it's his favorite job to supervise prior to watching Daddy mow the yard. Ty would love to see the yard mowed daily. He has the entire routine memorized and is all too excited to talk about each step as he sees his Daddy preparing for the task.
This weekend became potty training boot camp for our little poop detector. He spent Saturday naked, happy and successfully using the potty. He was pretty thrilled with the mini marshmallow reward. Sunday, we added underwear and he forgot the goal. Sigh. He wears underwear now and has the cutest little tush. I mentioned his friend Ashlyn is also using the potty and wearing panties. He asked if she got marshmallows too. She gets candy. He quickly went looking for his shoes. He was ready to walk to Ashlyn's, pee on her potty and get some candy! That boy is always thinking!

It was a quiet, relaxing weekend overall with quality family time, water fun with neighbors and seeing friends. Closets were cleaned. We no longer qualify for an episode of Hoarders but the trash men will not be pleased with us tomorrow. We reflected Memorial Day's meaning. We are a blessed nation and family.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

This and That

Ty looked at me with the most serious expression on his face and said, "That's it. I am not coming here anymore".  I quietly thought to myself, "me either". I wouldn't actually run away but an hour alone wouldn't hurt.  When Aiden is upset with Ty, he threatens to leave and not come back. Ty has yet to realize Aiden does get to leave each day whereas he is rather stuck with me.

Start to count toes for Mr. Colby and that sweet boy says, "two" and then seconds later adds, "three". He also likes to talk about toes, feet, Ty, Mommy, trucks, choo-choos and most importantly, snacks to which he always needs "more". His vocabulary is growing daily now and it is so much fun to watch him learn and express himself. He is a toddler growing and learning in a house with older boys who don't always play nicely so he knows things like smacking others to get what he wants, how to tell adults "no" and what it means to sit in time out. The toddler years have arrived but I still find him adorable.

Kate and I started reading all the American Girl box sets after Christmas this year. We've completed four sets so far with Kit being our favorite. Once we finish each set of six books, we donate them to Kate's class at school where several little girls are are also enjoying them. I will miss this season with her and can't believe we've passed through it three times before. Somehow I don't think Ty would be as enthused. (Nor would Greg!)

Makenna joined Lauren at school tonight to watch a musical. I love how Lauren is taking her sister under her wing to introduce her to friends, teachers and administrators prior to starting school in August. Tonight the director spent some time getting to know her and teasing Lauren. Community Montessori doesn't wrap up the school year until next Friday which is a challenge with all their neighborhood friends already on summer break.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Gathering my sheep

So may baby wrapped up her junior year today. She is officially a senior in high school. How is that possible? Wasn't it just last week she was wearing her sparkly ruby slippers with all her "pretty cute" outfits and "precious" ensembles? Yes, Erin spoke like that as a toddler and it feels like it was just last week. I can still hear her little voice. And then I blinked.

Last night we lost Kate. Not one of our finer parenting moments but certainly one of the scariest. We assumed she went into her friend's house to play around 4:30 when I last saw her. When I noted she was no longer in the yard I thought to myself that I would have a talk with her about letting me know when she goes inside Mabry's house so I know where she is at all times.  An hour and a half later when I called her home for dinner, I was told she left with a friend when Mabry came home. My heart stopped. My mind raced and multiple horrendous thoughts passed through my mind in seconds. What "friend" would have taken Kate? I went screaming into her room praying to find her asleep and didn't. Greg called back to ask more questions as I ran around the house and yard screaming hysterically for her. Lauren and Makenna were running through the neighborhood banging on doors of possible "friends" and I found myself crying into our next door neighbor's sliding glass door begging them to have her. Everyone there came out to help search. All of about five minutes had passed when I was grabbing my phone to call 911 and something made me stop and think to call Erin who was babysitting in the neighborhood. She answered to her frantic mother pleading, "please tell me you have Kate!". She cautiously replied that she did. She had taken her to play with a friend after mentioning it to one of her sisters. Praise Jesus. I shook for a solid hour. We had a family discussion about communication. Exhale.

I can barely put one foot in front of the other right now. My awesome husband sent me to bed for a few hours this evening while he managed the running of kids so I could have more energy to take care of them tonight. My arthritis flares aren't passing as quickly as they used to. I pray the slower paced days of summer help me recuperate as I can't imagine going back on the medications I've successfully avoided for three years.  I suppose too many milestones with my kids mixed with some drama, the end of what feels like a marathon school year and a little added stress has worked together to create the perfect emotional cocktail.

I just finished working through James in my quiet time and started 1 Peter. Both books have really hit me where I've needed to be "hit". There is a song that has been playing on repeat in my head for a few weeks. I hear it often on the radio.The chorus says, "All I know is I'm not home yet. This is not where I belong. Take this world and give me Jesus. This is not where I belong." I'm grasping to keep hold of time but also crave the peace my future with Jesus promises. It's a period of growth and change for me. It isn't comfortable, but needed.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kate is 7

I woke her singing "happy birthday" with tears in my eyes. How can she be seven already?  She stretched and casually climbed out of bed. I kissed her and wished her a happy birthday. She smiled and headed down stairs where Daddy waited to also greet her with birthday wishes. She threw herself into his arms. I'm feeling the love.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


We just sent our baby to prom. She looks stunning and will have a great night. How is she old enough to go?


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Strawberry Picking....

Even though the highlight was clearly the wagon ride to and from the strawberry patch, the boys enjoyed our outing. We didn't end up with as much fruit as anticipated but once again, they had a great time and that was the goal. The flags used to mark where pickers have left off were used in a pseudo tag game, the fish were well fed from our picnic and the peaches we stumbled upon in the market ended up being the real treasure. It was a beautiful day.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

This and That

Colby and Aiden are napping. Ty is on a walk with Makenna and they have an adventure planned at the neighbor's house for the next hour. I threw in a load of laundry, because I can always throw in a load of laundry and looked around at what needed attention. I immediately drew the conclusion that I needed attention! So I poured an iced tea and well, here I am.

Last night Kate asked me to help her clean her room to make it look "grown up". I agreed because anytime one of my kids is willing to part with papers they've drawn a single line upon or possibly de-clutter a bit, I am on board! I had no idea what Kate had in mind but I was not prepared for the next hour's events. My sweet girl is turning 7 next week and has decided she is ready to part with toys. She honestly doesn't play with them anymore but there was something comforting about having them in her space. We packed up all the toys and removed the toy box. I was emotional enough that she sent Daddy up to give Mommy a hug at one point. So much for thinking I was keeping up my poker face! The toughest moment for me was putting away the doll house that has been a central part of play time in our home for 15 years. I know it will be back out for grandchildren someday but it was not an easy piece to send into the attic.
The book case used to contain doll house toys, doll clothes and bins of smaller toys.

Yesterday I smelled smoke as I was wrapping up my morning chores. My immediate thought was that I jinxed myself when I commented on how long I've owned my current vacuum a few days ago (6+years, which happens to be twice my record!) but quickly discovered the water heater was smoldering. Thank the Lord we were home to cut off the power. Thank the Lord once again we were able to get our favorite repair man over today. We have a new water heater. Yeah us. I swear if we put $500 into savings, something worth $1000 will break. It's just they kind of math we do around here.

Greg ran a few errands with me Monday morning. We took the boys. They were really well behaved for the boys but at the end of the morning Greg, in all seriousness told me he thought I was a saint. I laughed and asked if he wanted to trade places for a few days. He said he'd consider it if he could still be married to himself. He's a gem.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree......Erin ran into a gas station while out with a friend last week to get a new tea she likes. It happened to be in a case next to beer. As she was reaching for her tea, a man in his 30's reached in for beer and asked her if she'd like to join him for one. Without a second's hesitation she simply told him she was a solo drunk and high tailed it out of there. I was blown away by her quick thinking, the nerve of that man (buddy, I wish I was there!) and know without question, that child is her father's! I still don't know what I would have said in that situation.

A quick shot for Lauren who swears this member of the family is ignored. Trust me, this old boy is anything but neglected.

And finally.....because the laundry needs attention and my tea glass is empty, I will leave you with this adorable photo.
The chain falls off the tractor pedals regularly and they are convinced they can fix it. It simply doesn't get much cuter.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Just Add Water

 Seriously boys,  can I get just one shot of smiling faces?
I guess not.
And the coke bottle? Aiden's dad brought it to a cookout we hosted this weekend. It has become the favorite pool toy. Once again I ask, why do we buy toys?

Sunday, May 6, 2012


He says he's a fan but every Sunday afternoon looks like this.....
We call it the "Nascar Nap".

The weekend was full of friends, sleepovers, cookouts, birthday parties, swimming pools and relaxation. We're refreshed and ready for the week ahead.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

To Do....or not.

I started my day with a list of the things I believed I needed to accomplish today. It was a rather lengthy list as I had a lot going on yesterday and the house was neglected. I started a load of laundry and quickly noted a few irritable moods among the boys. It was going to be a challenge to accomplish anything on that list if that little ship didn't get turned around so I mentally noted just how much time I would need to wrap up my chores and decided to change course for the morning. We packed lunches and headed to the park for playtime and a picnic.

Once our playtime wrapped up, I initiated my favorite time of the day.....nap time! Aiden and Colby were quickly asleep but Ty decided today was the big day he'd start using the big boy potty. And potty he did! ALL DAY LONG. My house is a disaster area but my son is proud of his accomplishments. Dinner was late. By the time we sat down to dinner, I no longer cared about the floors and took Kate up on her offer to walk the trails behind the neighborhood.

Bedtime took an extra hour but ended sweetly. One precious boy asleep in my arms while a daughter confided. Life has a way of becoming a list of things to do and those things do need attention, but there are times the list needs tossed aside. Today was a good day to ignore the "to do" list and simply do what matters.