Friday, May 31, 2013

Momma said

My son, A.K.A. Prince Charming jumped onto the swing our two year old neighbor fell off and then loudly demanded she move while she lay there crying. I was horrified. I didn't even know she was injured until I arrived to remove my son from playtime and discovered blood pouring out of Violet's head. My son continued to demand access to the swing. It was a parenting low.

I recently watched this Lysa TerKeurst video about motherhood and came away feeling a.)relieved and b.) in good company! Nothing humbles me more than the actions of my children; however, they don't define me as a person or as a mother. Praise God on both fronts. Of course, the flip side of that coin is that when my children succeed, I am not defined either but, I am grateful for those redeeming moments!

These two are finally wrapping up their school year today. I looked at Lauren this morning and exclaimed, "you made it!" She replied, "not yet, Momma. Check back in a few hours". That's optimism. It's been a marathon year full of a lot of "growth opportunities". Ahem. Lauren will be back to the Montessori school in the fall as a junior. Makenna will be attending our local public middle school as an eighth grader. We are calling it "boot camp". Sister needs to be motivated and we pray grades are the motivator. We also enrolled Kate in an online public school. I have used it in the past and loved the curriculum but our first attempt in Indiana was chaotic enough on the school's end that I left frustrated. Rumor has it, new leadership has created a much more pleasant experience and so we are looking forward to that in the fall for third grade. So, to recap, Erin will be at Ivy Tech. Lauren will be at Community Montessori. Makenna will be at Highland Hills and Kate will be at home but on a public school schedule. I have clearly lost my mind. Or will lose it trying to balance four different education calendars.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ohio will never be the same

We lost a friend Tuesday morning. Peggy lived next door to us in Ohio for the nine years we lived on Hile Lane. Peggy was an original. We shared an October birthday although she was a bit older than me. Her adult children were in fact older than me but we were friends non the less. Peggy was feisty and strong. She was ornery too. My kids loved her and she loved my kids. As much as she adored Greg, he was the one she chased around the yard with a switch while he mowed the yard because our freshly mowed lawn made hers look bad! Greg says he still looks over his shoulder while mowing. And believe me, if she had the opportunity, she would still show up to harass him.

Telling the girls broke my heart. Lauren finally composed herself enough to declare, "Ohio will never be the same". So true. The last couple of summer trips we've made there has found the girls sitting on Peggy's porch     confiding and laughing more than one evening of our visit. That porch was her perch and she kept watch over us all. That porch was the location for many many late night talks over hot cocoa after my babies were asleep and Greg left for work. I haven't had a cup of hot cocoa "with milk and not water" since without remembering her. Now those cups will be bittersweet. Rest easy dear friend. You will be missed.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


We've had a bee in the van twice this week. They find their way in while I load kids and by the time I am on the road, they're flying around spreading terror. The first time, I tried to redirect the kids' anxiety by asking them to think about life as the bee. Kate and I decided to write a story about a bee that is nosy and gets taken away from it's friends and family as result. The bee has quite an adventure finding it's way home. Sadly, that bee died in the process of being chased out of the van once I was safely parked. It was not exactly what I had in mind as a  "happy ending". Today, a second bee joined us in the van and rather than come up with another tale about adventure, Ty decided to negotiate with it. It took everything in me to keep a straight face as Ty told the bee that he should go back to his own friends because they were good friends and we were not. Ty says we are bad friends and bad things happen to bees in our van. It was true but sounded far more sinister as he told the tale of the first bee!

At the library today, I was checking out Lysa Terkeurst's book, Unglued Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions while my children bickered over who got to push Devyn in the stroller and whose turn it was to push the handicap access button to leave. My stress level was rising as the librarian searched for the book they had previously notified me was available. I couldn't help but laugh as I was handed the book. The librarian nodded in such a way as to agree that perhaps it was the perfect choice for today.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Holiday Weekend

Mom and Dad came down for Makenna's musical, Seussical on Friday. It was her final performance of five. She loved every minute playing the role of a Who in Whoville. Sadly, our photos are blurry but I am posting anyway. The camera will not win this little war.

Upon their arrival, Kate was surprised with her birthday gift. She loves it.

Mom and I incorporated some much needed Mother and Daughter time away on Saturday. Cheesecake was involved. We returned relaxed, refreshed and ready to have little friends over for smores. They were "sticky" by all three year old accounts. We spent the evening by the fire with neighbors and good conversation.

On Sunday, Mom went to the Indy 500 with her Aunt, per tradition and we entertained Dad with playtime at the park and a walk around the neighborhood after church.
We wrapped up our Sunday evening with a game of Thomas the Train Uno where Ty announced, "I'm winning and you guys are losting."  A sleepover upstairs with Grandma and Grandpa commenced and we sadly said goodbye this morning. They will be back in five days for Erin's graduation weekend. Grandma and Grandpa know that section of the interstate well.

And today, we spent the afternoon at our favorite farm. Candy's family has six kids, three goats, two cats and a dog. Add 10 acres, a creek, a cave and a pool and the Baughmans are a very happy crew.

This little sweetie said our Memorial Day dinner prayer after clarifying soldiers are super heroes. 

While Lyndsey took all of the kids down the creek, Greg and I each took a turn photographing something other than the kids. It was a new concept and not one we easily accepted. 

Did I mention Lyndsey took all eight kids alone? When he rounded the corner like this, I lost it. Hilarious.  Ty didn't think so. He was crying. 
 My handsome little man went to what his daddy referred to as the "Man florist" and yanked flowers off weeds for his mommy. He's pretty sweet.

The weekend is over. Our final school week has arrived. We are all ready for summer.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

This life

My world is chaotic. Always. Overall, it's a  good version of chaos but there are times I am left wondering if I have in fact lost my mind. Reading between the lines, one may be able to determine we've had a teen in turmoil for the last six months. One teen in crisis causes stress on other family members and the journey has been long. Hard and long. The last week or so has shown us there is light at the end of the tunnel and that daughter is sounding more like herself. Praising God. This parenting gig has far more to do with God training me than it does with me training kids, I am afraid. So while we exhale cautiously in celebration of the glimpses we've seen in her, it must be time for someone else to accept the spotlight.  

Erin graduates next week. Greg's parents are coming down to discuss her college plans and when I mentioned that upcoming conversation, she hit me with, "I don't think I want to go to college". Awesome. I kept my cool and very calmly asked about her plan. She doesn't have one but thinks she would like to travel the world, depending on the kindness of strangers to survive. We've heard this "plan" in the past and laughed at our "I" dotting, "T" crossing, uptight first born. She couldn't be serious. Turns out; she was. Again, awesome. Dear God, I pray she doesn't actually share that with her grandmother! It could happen. I am taking her to Ivy Tech on Thursday to sit down with financial aid and to schedule her classes for the fall. The counselor can once again explain how her general education credits will transfer to the University of Louisville in a year where she can begin working on her child development/psychology degree. Once she wraps up high school tomorrow and has the summer to work and play a bit,  I am praying she will be more settled and determined to succeed somewhere other than Subway the rest of her life. I am not judging Subway employees, it's just that I don't want her accepting less than what God has planned for her life because she's afraid of the open world of endless possibilities. 

While celebrating Kate on Friday, Ty informed her he was taking her birthday away because he needs one to turn four. That is our life lately. In the midst of celebrations, there is confusion. We find joy in it all, even if it's through some tears. I am back in the book of James. God has a lot to teach me there. I have noted last year's date scribbled here and there in my bible so I probably need to go back through my journals to see what lead me there a year ago. Chances are pretty strong, it was chaos intermingled with celebrations. Life. It's a wild ride. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Happy Birthday Kate!

photo by Aunt Kristin 
Eight years ago, just after midnight, Kate Ryan Baughman entered the world as my smallest baby of 7 pounds, 15 ounces. A few interns witnessed their first birth and were rooting for a boy, but, "it's a girl" was shouted out by one very excited intern as she emerged. The energy in the delivery room was bursting and I have to say, her birth was probably my favorite. Greg and I labored alone and the process building up to delivery was peaceful and quiet. Within seconds of her birth, Greg made a wise crack about the turkey timer having not yet popped so he wasn't yet ready to be out and perhaps he should be put back in until he was finished cooking. Dr. Sanghvi added, "the fifth time is the charm". I vowed to smack them both when I was off that table. With that, I was handed my gorgeous daughter and forgot about smacking anyone. New babies have a way of softening me.

She made a joyful, almost singing noise in her first days and our children's minister commented that she'd never heard a newborn sing. Joyful and happy are often used to describe our Katebug to this day. She is kind, forgiving, compassionate, inquisitive, artistic, creative and cheerful. Happy eighth birthday, Kate Ryan! We love you!

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Lauren started a random conversation with a request. "Mom, we need to work on something. I want you to repeat after me. No. It's simple. Try it.  Say no." My daughter is hilarious. You see, I find myself in precarious situations often. When sharing with a friend where I was last night, she laughed and said, "that sounds like something you would do". When I also shared that I was suddenly watching two additional children today because I agreed to a play date, she once again laughed....."that sounds like you". I have a hard time saying no. I am probably too nice. Boundaries are something I still struggle to enforce even after reading the book years ago with our young married couples Sunday school class.

Last night I helped a woman I only recently met at church leave her husband. My understanding of the situation was that he struggles with alcoholism and she could no longer condone his choices in front of her children. I didn't ask questions but went to support her. It wasn't until I was on the road that it occurred to me that I didn't know who would be there, what the husband's role would be or even if I would be the only one showing up! So, I called a friend and asked her to pray. I hoped God would protect my naive self because I went into this little adventure with the best of intentions. The husband was not home. I was not the only one there but it was hard. Really hard. We worked to move as much as this family would need to survive physically as quickly as possible. I had to fight tears. I don't even know this family and yet I couldn't help but grieve the brokenness. Those sweet boys were caught up in the excitement of the move without realizing their Daddy was not present. It broke my heart to make their little beds and organize their new space. Four and two years. Too young. My little man idolizes his daddy. All little boys should be so blessed.

Today, I woke grateful for my husband. We don't always see eye to eye and face challenges but we are committed to fighting for our family. It breaks my heart to see so many broken homes. And hear me, I am not judging because I do believe there are circumstances where it is wise for a parent to protect their children. There are times when fighting for your family means someone has to move out for awhile. I am obviously praying this particular couple can see God is bigger than their issues and can pull them through. I pray they can find the strength to be good to one another in their struggles. Those little boys deserve nothing less.

Today, I woke to plans for a play date with a little friend Ty made at the school last fall. His mom texted a few weeks ago that Gavin wanted to see Ty and asked if we could play today. When I asked her this morning what she had in mind, she informed me she would be dropping off both of her children while she went to work. That's some play date.....I tend to think of that as babysitting? I need to work on those boundaries.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

My son made a foam sign at church. It says, "MOM" and is decorated with foam stickers. He made it for his dad. He was also permitted to choose a flower for Mother's Day. It was his sword and in five pieces before we made it home. Again, he couldn't wait to show it to his dad. Sigh. My friend, Kristil sent this video this week in honor of our little boys. It's pretty sweet.

Greg and I each called our mothers and are looking forward to seeing them both in a few weeks for Erin's graduation. Greg grilled lunch before Erin headed to work and everyone else went about their day with friends. I plan to find a quiet room with a cup of tea and a book. But before I do, I have to share another video. It is beautiful.

Happy Mother's Day to all my brave Momma friends. You are mighty.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Erin's Senior Prom

Erin and her friend Austin are off to dinner at PF Chang with a group of friends before meeting for more photos, Prom and then finally an awesome after-prom at the school. She expects to have a great night.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The good day

The children were at each other by 9 am. It was constant and loud. I made a judgement call. Spend the day cleaning and blowing my imaginary referee whistle or get out of the house. I chose the latter. We first ran to our favorite farm to see what produce was available. None was. Not a single piece of lettuce or a berry was to be found. Disappointing, to say the least. We had our picnic lunch, fed the ducks and discovered the ice cream parlor was open. Of course it was.

 I think he liked it.
From there we ran an errand and then visited the local park where the creek was explored, monkey bars were mastered and the swings were utilized until someone accused  their mother of being "too old" to swing.

It was a good day.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Kate has been asking to paint the attic access door located on her side of the room since Erin painted hers a few years ago. Erin's was one of those, "ask forgiveness instead of permission" moments. Anyway, today I consented to the painted door because it's only paint and we've been creating an art gallery of sorts up there anyway. We may as well paint a plain door.

Erin's door:
Kate's Door:

 The little sign on the top left says, "fairies welcome". She is pretty pleased with the results.

Devyn Grace

You may or may not remember me lamenting the slow death of my ten year old camera. If not, please stop reading. If so, the camera is fine. The photographer? She's an idiot. It appears my ISO setting was manipulated and I didn't catch it. So that fancy DSLR camera I've been drooling over for years? Let's just say I clearly do not need something high tech. Ahem. So, to prove I "repaired" my camera, I played with it today and new little subject. Meet Devyn. She spends a day or two a week with us and will be turning two later this month. I love her big brown eyes. Her momma gave me permission to photograph her today.

 She was telling me "no" at this point and didn't like the bubbles. Two year olds are fun. Exhausting fun.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Count on our daughter to walk into the wrong Subway restaurant for an interview and come away with a new job anyway! Erin's been trying to find another job for a few weeks because her current position was less than pleasant (understatement) and offered so few hours. She was getting discouraged because several managers said they'd call her but never did. This afternoon, she planned to stop in multiple locations to inquire as to the status of her applications after a doctor's appointment. Before she could, a Subway manager called to set up and interview. I forwarded the correct information and she inadvertently walked into the wrong one. The store manager, having a much better sense of humor than her current employer took advantage of an experienced potential employee and interviewed her on the spot and then called the correct store to let them know she hired Erin. She starts tomorrow. She has only three remaining shifts with the original Subway. The funny side note was how the manager interviewing her today indicated Erin was a long-standing employee by that particular Subway's records. They are clearly known for their less than happy work environment.

Lauren served ten weeks as an assistant to our hairdresser for one of her school internships. Her final session was last Friday. She left that shift with a job offer as well. Rosie loves her and has decided she likes having someone there a few hours a week to help with odd jobs. Lauren is also thrilled to have a little spending money. She still hopes to land a part time job this summer too.

Ty has been hard at work lately. Tonight he was mowing alongside Greg and had a lot of issues with his mower. It continuously ran out of gas and had to be restarted. He finally wrapped up, just before Greg and parked his mower in Greg's spot. He was a little put out when his mower was relocated.
 If it's not lawn care with Daddy, it's dishes with Mom. He's a busy boy.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Quirky Kids

Imagine if you will, my very tiny neighbor lady taking four children to the local elementary school to surprise her daughter for lunch. Two of those children were Kate and Ty. Two were Laura's 5 and 2 year old kiddos. My son wore his cowboy boots with shorts. Her son, Grady wore his large rain boots with over-sized jeans. They were so big it appeared the giant boots were holding up his pants. And the icing on this particular cake? Violet, the two year old was wearing an inflatable inner tube float that was shaped like a fish. I couldn't stop laughing even though I had approached her to inquire as to her sanity level at that moment. I wish I had my camera. The kids had a great time surprising their friend and despite my concerns, all of the kids were well behaved.

Ty and his cowboy boots are becoming a regular occurrence  He believes he can wear them with anything, and I do mean anything. He has legs so white they practically glow in contrast to his beautiful golden skin tone on the rest of his body because despite wearing shorts most every day, he wears them with boots. He wears them with pajamas. He wears them to church and to the grocery. He wears them everywhere. He doesn't wear them with socks. They smell.

Anne texted this morning that her three year old daughter wore her flower costume to a restaurant for breakfast today. She then chose to attend church as Snow White. It must be three year old prerogative to wear whatever you want in public. They are cute enough to pull it off too.

Erin taught pre-k at church tonight. Ty tagged along. He loves any opportunity he can take to go to church. Afterward, Erin asked if she could take him to his favorite pizza place for a little date night. He once again was entertained by the train delivering drinks to the tables. Erin texted that the energy level was "beyond excitement". I am sure it was. She is an awesome big sister.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Karston, the little guy from the school is spending this week with us. Devyn was here Tuesday and Wednesday. As I prepared for my shower last night, I noted dried snot clear down my chest inside my shirt. I am certain it wasn't mine. I lead a very glamorous life.

The calendar says it's May. Kate's birthday countdown has officially begun. There is a little excitement in the air.

Erin's Ivy Tech courses have been locked up for three weeks. I finally got administrators on the phone today. Three hours later, Erin has regained access to her courses and will spend days getting caught up.

Lauren is going to church camp in July. It is expensive. She is participating in a fundraiser for the first time. If you happen to be in the area on May 18, swing by Zesto's for a free car wash. She's been busy asking for sponsors to help fund her trip.

Erin is making dinner tonight. I am looking forward to it! I think I may designate one day per month as someone else is cooking night. She even ran to the store for ingredients she wants to use in her dish.

I am making decisions about next year's course work for Kate. The task is daunting.

In working with tech support on Erin's school issues, I lost my browser and therefor no longer have any of my bookmarks. This makes me very sad. I like streamlined browsing and don't deviate much from my typical resources.....see course work notation above. It looks like I will be starting over. Yeah me.

Makenna is participating in Seussical on the 23rd and 24th of this month. Sister loves the stage. Her family appreciates her ability to channel drama to something productive.

Makenna will be attending the local middle school next year. I appear to need to have my children in multiple locations at all times. Makenna hasn't stepped up this year so will therefore be entering "boot camp" where grades count and leaving your desk to work is out of the question. We anticipate a long eighth grade year.

Lauren has been negotiating how to eliminate her Senior Year. With all the additional projects required for graduation from her school, it won't be possible. I suspect Erin's senioritis will be a cake walk compared to Lauren's given how anxious she is to be finished even though she is only a sophomore!

I started a bible study last weekend on the book of James. It's rich. My brain has turned to mush because I am not absorbing as much as I want. On the other hand, I am getting questions about the life of Jesus answered. Can you imagine growing up with Jesus as your older brother? When Lauren complains Erin is the perfect one again, we will direct her to the book of James. Trust me.....James can relate!

During the course of writing this little post, my son has flooded the bathroom, Kate has had three bowls of cereal, the girls have come home from school with news of disciplinary action and overdue projects and Greg's been wakened by the noise. I think I need to go. Once again, I lead a very glamorous life.