Sunday, June 30, 2013

Painting Project

This is the story of a couple who couldn't agree on a paint color in 2007. He wanted dark chocolate brown and she wanted something light and airy. They compromised and this medium shade was the result.

Later they added beautiful dark floors and a large dark entertainment center making the medium tone walls feel even darker. He was happy. She was not. After a long dark winter living in what felt like a cave, she said to him, "I cannot live like this another winter" to which he grunted, "me like" and she sweetly answered, "happy wife equals happy life".

So she went to the Home Depot to buy paint. She was well protected by two very cute super heroes, Bat Girl and Bad Boy. (Someone wasn't hearing his sister well and chose his own name.)

She has spent nine hours painting and this is the progress so far. In the end, the hallway, foyer, living room, stairwell, dining room and kitchen will be light and bright. She is happy. He grunts. It is growing on him.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Did you know a train jumped over our neighbor's house today and we have a bear on our ceiling? It's okay though because Brutus ran onto the roof and chased him away just before turning into a dragon who breathes fire. This information was brought to you by Ty at bedtime.

As I type, he is singing VBS songs at the top of his lungs. It is two hours past bedtime. It appears his afternoon nap had a price.

Ty tells a lot of stories but my favorites are introduced with the line, "One day, when I was little....." It simply doesn't matter what details follow that statement because I am already smiling.

"Praise Him, Praise Him, Praise Him in the morning and praise Him in the noon-time....." was sung by my favorite three year old while he sat on the potty today. We are supposed to praise Him in all that we do, right?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Sometimes as a mom I feel like a superhero running from one crazy scene to the next. And then there are other times I feel more like the villain. Yesterday was one of those days and by one of those days, I mean it involved tears alongside my 18 year old who was also in tears. We were in a fitting room in the bathing suit department. Those places were not created for the weak of heart. Who needs water-boarding? Put suspected terrorists in bathing suits and make them look at themselves in three sided mirrors. Female terrorists would cave. Immediately.

My beautiful daughter is not much fun to take shopping. She is difficult to size. (Dad, this would be a good place for you to stop reading and just look at the photos). Erin is a very blessed 34 DDD but a size 6 otherwise. Bathing suits that cover her chest are impossible. This is the second time she's hit me with "I need a bathing suit by tomorrow to go to King's Island"; immediately inducing panic. We settled for one at Dillard's that isn't providing quite enough coverage but we were out of options. I spent entirely too much money for "not quite right" but my kid was literally begging for a breast reduction surgery in the fitting room at that point. This is the same girl who remained eerily calm throughout her accident a week and a half ago! As I said, terrorists would cave.

There are times I can be tough and strong. Then there are also times I need to rest. Even superheros need time out occasionally and have limits. Mine require I avoid bathing suit, bra and dress shopping with my daughter.

Today Aunt Theresa was the superhero in our house. She sent more toys home with Ty this weekend and the tent was a success. All the kids love it.

And finally, some sweetness. Brutus was worried about Makenna who had taken a walk. Kate was there to comfort him while he kept a watchful eye out for her return. We all have our superhero roles.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A little R&R

Five hours total drive for eight hours of playtime, relaxation and precious time with family was a wise investment.

Cousins played and adults reminisced. It was a perfect Saturday.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Some Sweetness

Erin sat down to play a board game with Ty today. He handed her the red game piece and said, "you can use this one because it never wins". Erin gave me a raised eyebrow in response. I grinned. It's been awhile since Erin last played with Ty and the rules have changed. A few plays into the game, Erin told Ty he was cheating and Ty eagerly agreed, completely unaware of what cheating means but then added, "it's okay Erin, you can cheat too but I am going to win".

I took photos of Ty eating corn on the cob because it was so cute, almost nostalgic. Lauren laughed and pointed out that most second children aren't photographed at all but I am taking pictures of the fifth EATING! I can't help myself.

Colby brought his family to "Sherri's house to play with Ty's toys" on Sunday night. It was good for my soul to spend time with them. Their visit was much too brief but we have plans to connect again next month.

And these awesome shots were captured because Lauren headed out to brush Brutus' teeth and invited Ty to join her. Ty went running through the house with his toothbrush and toothpaste so I had no choice but to grab the camera and follow. Ty would like to report his "teeth were almost yellow but not anymore".

Erin's totaled car means Mommy is grounded. Whereas I have enjoyed the respite from constant errand running, we are out of toilet paper. Tomorrow, we tackle the list of things to do the few hours I will have a vehicle. Erin is getting some mileage out of her "sweet ride". The mini van grabs laughs and my girl is laughing right alongside them now. The final paperwork wrapped up on the accident indicates it's time to move forward.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Erin made it a full 48 hours without "losing it" after her accident. God is good because I had worked through my emotions and was flying high on my baby is alive when Erin broke down. We make a good team.

Erin drove the truck to work on Sunday,  missing her car. She was calm getting to work and managed a stressful shift at the first Subway because some mis-communications left them short handed. Upon arrival to the second Subway for the evening, she was met by the owner, who is frankly nothing more than a bully. He demanded she go to another store to retrieve bread and she refused. I knew immediately she was hit with the anxiety of driving the same route she'd taken Friday. She found herself crying and shaking in the middle of Subway. The owner was once again referring to her as "stupid girl" and she had reached her limit. She turned on a dime and let him know he would no longer be speaking to her like that. She spewed. She yelled and she cried. She was angry with herself for losing composure but later laughed that if anyone deserved to be the target of her spewing, it was him. She has tried to resign several times but he keeps talking her into staying. She is resolved that she will not tolerate being treated so poorly anymore. Amen. It was beyond time.

She came home sore and sad. We were surprised last evening by special friends and the distraction they offered was welcomed. By the time the rest of the family was in bed, Erin and I were able to make some concrete decisions about the car's future and hers as well. Erin will be accepting assistance to get another car. Her ego is taking a hit but Greg's parents have been pursuing a way to support her. Their generosity a blessing, for sure.

The car will be salvaged by the shysters who towed her out of the ravine Friday. That story is another blog post altogether. God is in those details too but Sweet Jesus both goodness and dishonesty are pretty easy to recognize in people when you are at their mercy.

Ty is trying to figure out what all the drama this weekend has been about. He has talked about how sad Erin's car is because it's broken in lots of pieces. He plays "wrecked" and says his toys are in the hole so we can't see them. It is all very cute, unless you are Erin who says, "it's too soon".

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Feeling grateful to be family today, Lauren indulged me in a mini photo session. We have to capture her in a favorable mood to gain cooperation.

This weekend, sisters were closer. Kindness more present and I pray it lasts longer than the anxiety of letting Erin pull out of the driveway again.

Daddy Day

We have drawn in for a quiet weekend celebrating Greg and counting blessings. A full family dinner was enjoyed, which is not as common as we'd like in these days of teens with jobs.
The fire pit has been used. Lots of laughs exchanged and a few naps indulged. Greg, we love you. Our family is blessed.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


At 11:40 pm on Friday, I answered the phone to Erin who said, "Please do not freak out. I am okay. I promise, I am okay but I need you to come get me". For the record, simply saying, "don't freak out" sort of starts the panicking process for me. Erin was in a serious accident approximately 40 minutes prior to that call. She lost control of her car as she merged onto 64 from 265. She was airborne after bouncing off the guardrail and then landed 40 feet down an embankment. She literally walked away without a scratch. Not a scratch! She said she didn't even feel like she was bounced around. She remained eerily calm and collected, directing emergency personnel to her location and thinking to honk the horn when her flashers couldn't be seen from the road due to the dense foliage and trees. The responding officer and firemen continued to reiterate what a miracle she was. The last call they made to that location was a fatality. I am so incredibly grateful. All the what ifs are playing in my head and I know every other scenario ends tragically. The fact that she couldn't be seen from the road has me the most shaken. If she hadn't been able to call for help, we wouldn't have found her. God had His protective hand on my baby last night.

As I arrived on the scene, the officer saw me coming and asked if I would be mad. Erin said, "no, worse...she'll cry". He laughed and assured her she had backup if needed. They told her to call me so she would have a ride home. She really didn't want to make that call. The call to grandma will be hard too.

Two cars followed her onto that stretch of highway, one was tailgating but neither stopped. The fact that she had cell service to enlist help is shocking. We lose it there regularly and adding the 40 foot drop makes it a miracle. I am angry with the people didn't stop or call 911. If she were unable to call for help, God only knows how long it would have taken us to find her. We are so grateful she was protected. She is grieving the condition of her car. I am grateful she was in a car big enough to protect her. She isn't even sore today. She is a walking miracle.
Today, I can't stop shaking or crying. I am sleep deprived, nauseated and emotional. My baby is okay and I am blessed.
According to the tow truck driver, we are being charged for the tow and storage by the day but he has no idea what those charges will be. The owner is out of town this weekend. We've called a body shop to see if they could give a professional opinion about what it will cost to have it repaired with used parts. They are also closed for the weekend. Another option is selling it to the tow truck company for parts.....God will lead on this one too. We are out of our element. But, my baby is okay.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Wednesday evening I invited Greg to join me for one of the last errands of the day. It was time to drop little ones off at VBS. On the way there that it occurred to me that we were going to be alone for a few hours because all of the teens were either at work or with friends. What luck! I suggested dinner out. He proposed parking. WE WERE IN CHURCH! We went to dinner. It was a date. On a Wednesday. We spoke in complete sentences and enjoyed a meal someone else prepared. One of us left a bit disappointed. He really wanted to park.

My little guy loved VBS. The theme was "Hay day" and all things farm related were present. Everyone believed he wore his boots in honor of the theme. VBS was not at our church so most didn't know that boots are worn everyday, regardless of the event. Leadership took it upon themselves to remove the chain from a play size riding tractor to prevent children from riding it off the set. Ty told a few adults his mom could fix that if they had a screwdriver. He pulled Anne aside on Tuesday and showed off the blisters on his hands. He earned them practicing flips on the monkey bars at home. They were painful but by the time he had adults to impress, "they were because I have been working really hard". I love this little man.
He painted this picture by rolling tractors through paint and then rolling the tractor across the paper. He is so proud of the picture that all the magnets need to support it.

Kate's daytime VBS program collects food and personal care items throughout the week for a local food bank. It is always an impressive pile by the week's end but this year, Kate became competitive and insisted on a grocery run for the cause. At first I thought she was just being considerate but then learned the group who contributed the most would get candy on Friday. She's cute.

Lauren discovered last week that one of her co-workers at what Ty calls, "Old MacDonald" is the girl who jumped her at a party in October. Happy days. She's holding her own but wishes the circumstances were better. She likes the atmosphere otherwise. She had a minor incident driving to work the other day. Mom scored "keeping it cool" points and deep breathing exercises were implemented but lessons were learned.
12 month old Karston is spending the summer with us. He's been such a good baby especially with our crazy schedule.

Monday, June 10, 2013

This week

Remember this photo?
It was taken on Friday. Sadly, the lettuce, carrots, cucumbers and spinach were in the fridge. 

This one was taken today; just before I went back to the grocery store. Someone please tell me this is normal. Someone PLEASE show me a cheaper way. I don't want to confess how much more quickly junk food would have vanished. 
Lauren started her new job with McDonald's on Friday. She worked 9 hours on each Friday and Saturday. She likes it but comes home exhausted. So far, Sundays are her only day off. Today, she worked for the hair salon before putting in a full shift at McDonald's. Sister is saving for a car and can't get enough hours this summer. 

This week is Vacation Bible School week in our area. Makenna and Audrey are participating in Destination Unknown again this year and loving it already. Today, they went bowling and Audrey scored the highest among her peers. Kenna? She bowled a strong 21! I love that athletic girl. They don't know where they are headed each day but have looked forward to returning since last year's adventure wrapped up. 

Kate is participating in the same program she's enjoyed for the last three years. Her favorite friend is once again in her class and we discovered tonight that I know her favorite friend's mother so additional play dates can be planned throughout the summer. And...because life can always stand a little more activity, I signed Ty up for an evening VBS at Anne's church. He wasn't quite old enough for the same one Kate enjoys but I didn't want him to miss out, given how much he loves church. Kate also wants to tag along so I am running those two in the evenings. In between VBS drop offs and pick ups, I have Lauren working two jobs and needing rides in and out of town. Karston and Devyn spent the so much time in car-seats today, I felt guilty. It's going to be a busy week. I was clearly delusional when I prepared for the lazy days of summer. Summer is anything BUT lazy so far. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

This boy

This boy loves his daddy and likes to "help".
Well, at least until helping becomes boring and a dirt hill beckons.

Pretty sure there isn't enough stain stick on the planet to clean those clothes. 

This boy is the reason I said, "please don't throw rockets at Mommy's head while she's driving" today. The foam rocket was a 5 cent garage sale treasure. And I find myself speaking in third person a little too often.

This boy woke up on Friday discussing Avry's fourth birthday. He determined, "Avry got to have cake because he was all done with his three". He followed that up with letting me know Avry was big so he wouldn't fit in our washing machine without breaking it. Ever wonder what's going on in that head of his? Little insights frighten me a bit.

This boy was riding around polar bears on his bike last night. He later reported that he didn't run over any; his weaving pattern on the driveway mastered.

This boy is exhausting joy.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Huber Farm

 Strawberries were ready for picking
And quite juicy!

So were the peaches!
I spent a small fortune and likely won't have anything left to show for it by Monday. Welcome to my family where we make it our mission to inhale all produce within hours of purchase. Literally. The blackberries didn't even make it home.