Friday, November 30, 2012


This girl received good news from the doctor today.....all blood tests were normal with the exception of elevated levels in the Epstien Barr screen. She's recently had an infection. It will take some time for her body to recover but she's well on her way. Grateful. Very grateful.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Kate and Ty

While telling Ty the story of Jesus' birth using the nativity yesterday, Kate interrupted to let me know I wasn't telling the whole story. I assured her I was giving enough information for a three year old to understand. She wasn't pleased and told him she'd tell him the "real story" later. Seriously?

Kate had a cold this week. Her eyes were swollen and watery. Her nose ran constantly and she complained of a headache. She was pretty miserable so I allowed a movie in the middle of the day. She chose Santa Buddies. The creators of the "Buddy" movies are marketing geniuses....cute puppies who talk. Kate loves them. I'd like to donate them to the recycling bin. My father in law once offered to have Barney removed from the planet by hiring a hit man. Grandpa needs to sit through this movie and reconsider where to direct those funds.

On the way home from school the other day, we noted a donkey on a local farm. I've seen him in the past but at that moment, he was hanging out by the road, just behind the fence. No one else was on the road so I pulled over to let the kids see him up close. That silly donkey had a lot to say! He hee-hawed and snorted and showed his teeth in such a way that he appeared to be laughing. Ty and Kate were beside themselves with laughter. Ty has since been imitating the sounds he heard that day.  "Let's go see the donkey" is now regularly requested. I do have to wonder though, why would one want to own a donkey? Do they serve a purpose beyond entertaining local children?

Kate mentioned the clean-up fairy today when her brother was not cleaning up after himself. I had forgotten about that fairy. She only visited one time and that was quite awhile ago. Apparently she made an impression on Kate. I may have to find that fairy's cell phone number again soon to encourage a teen or two in this house to pick up after themselves! When the fairy visited she took with her a few trash bags full of personal belongings that didn't get picked up after Mom made numerous requests. Hmmm.......there is a strong chance I will find that number again.

As I was putting Ty in his car seat this afternoon, he asked me if he could drive. I have heard this question a quite a bit lately. I finally asked him if he knew how to drive and he assured me he can do it on Mario Kart.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Things that make me go "hmm..."

Last night Makenna casually mentioned a blackmail file in her iPod. I appeared to be the only one listening when that little comment was made and asked to see it. She has a file on her iPod cleverly named, "blackmail". As it turns out, it is a file full of photos and videos of Lauren. All of them show her sister in a rather unusual light with singing, dancing, being silly, being awkward and well, just being Lauren. Since the comment was made in a moment Lauren wasn't being very kind, I wasn't sure how to handle the situation. There are videos from over six months ago on this file. In other words, it's been a work in progress for quite some time. On the way to school this morning, Lauren told the kids we carpool with about the file which left Dylan a little concerned he may also have something to fear. Makenna had a satisfied smirk on her face. She scares me a little. It appears the quiet ones are the ones you have to keep an eye on at all times.

On the way to school this morning, we witnessed a man in a mini van with the back window busted out brandishing a gun at the box truck next to us! I kid you not....I was processing the situation as quickly as I could because we were in traffic with a blocked median on my left and the box truck on my right. I had nowhere to go but needed to protect the kids. The driver of the van punched the crazy passenger and exited the freeway. By the time the entire situation played out in my head, we were moving well enough along on our way to school but I have gone back to that moment several times today. I keep questioning myself. If the kids hadn't also witnessed it, I would have talked myself out of believing it. Thank God for His protection at all times.

Erin saw the doctor today. She's felt under the weather more often than not this school year. I assumed she had a severe case of "Senioritis" and let it ride quite awhile before making the appointment. Her friends from college were home for Thanksgiving weekend and she was too tired to see them, letting me know it was time to start digging deeper. Several blood tests were run. We will get results by the end of the week. Obviously, we are praying for answers and easy solutions. Erin bribed me with sushi to cooperate with the blood test because she is terrified of needles. Given Ty was with us, I decided it was worth the payout so he wouldn't be afraid of the doctor in the future. We had a nice lunch but Ty wouldn't eat his meal "because it was on fire". I thought he'd appreciate the entertainment value of the Hibachi grill. As it turns out, he wasn't impressed.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


 My Grandpa Hughes had a Christmas themed train that circled his tree every year. He had a few trains in his collection I always enjoyed seeing, not only as a child but well into my adult years. Santa themed trains have always reminded me of him. Given the on-going expenses of the Christmas season, a train has never made the priority list. This year though, I decided to shop around online a bit and found one really inexpensive set and splurged. I thought Ty would enjoy it almost as much as his momma. Unfortunately, it was so poorly made, we immediately returned it. There was no way that train was going to survive an entire month under our tree much less be a part of future celebrations. When I shared my disappointment with my parents, they decided to surprise all the grand kids with trains, one for my house and one for Theresa's. Looks like the tree is going up early this year. We need a place to keep the new train.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012


Why don't passenger seats have an optional brake petal when teens are learning to drive? I fear for my life in the van when Erin is behind the wheel. She has been driving for six months and is still not ready to get her license. Or I should clarify, I am not ready for her to have a license. She scares me. Really scares me. And....Lauren is ready to get her learner's permit. Lauren has been ready for ages. I am praying she is a better driver than her sister because I swear I find one crazy, wild gray hair sticking out of my head in a funky position every time I survive a driving session with Erin. At this point, I can still pluck the offending grays but with two of them on the road, I am a short step from the hair dye isle. And a prescription for my nerves.

I have started knitting again in hopes of keeping my hands moving. The stiffness caused by my arthritis has clearly worsened the last few months. I enjoy the's rather mindless and keeps my hands busy but allows my brain relax a bit. While knitting this weekend, Lauren looked at me and in the most serious tone declared I am 75 years old at heart. Chances are strong she is right. If the conversation were to have ended at that moment, I would have been left contemplating all the ways that could be a positive statement but before I was able to, Erin piped in asking why I dress like I am 75. She then added that I have been pregnant for 45 months so I must have grown comfortable dressing in maternity wear. I know why some animals eat their young.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sweet 16

Lauren Ellis Baughman burst her way into the world sixteen years ago today. She was born exactly thirty-seven minutes after my first tough contraction, without a doctor present or any pushing on my part. Chaos ensued as alarms were sounded and residents swarmed the delivery room where thank God, Grandma was available to catch my gorgeous, eight pound three ounce baby girl. She's been doing it her way ever since. She makes me crazy. She makes me proud. Life with Lauren is full of emotion, laughter, silliness, intensity and adventure. She is amazing. 
Happy Sweet Sixteen.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

This and That

We celebrated Lauren's upcoming 16th birthday last Friday night because she was out of school for two days and could help plan and prepare for it. She chose Elmo as the theme and had a good time. Today, during school hours, she called me, literally on the verge of tears and asked me if I had heard the news about Elmo. I had. She demanded to know why I hadn't shared the news with her. I answered simply, "so I wouldn't have to listen to you cry about it". She was not amused.
I would have more photos from the party but teens only like photos they take of themselves to post on Facebook and Instagram. Having your mother take your photo is embarrassing. Teens are delightful. They enjoyed the volleyball net wrapped in Christmas lights (we are officially red necks now), Twister, a thrilling game of Red Rover and a bonfire. It was a great night overall.

Kate is writing a play she expects her brother to perform with her. She's worried he isn't practicing his lines enough and continues to remind him he won't be able to use his script during the performance. He isn't worried, especially since reading isn't exactly a skill he's mastered yet.
We have started some Christmas projects. Little Miss is in her glory. She loves crafting. This has prompted some conversations about Christmas with Ty. He wants presents. In his presents, he wants boxes. And he gets really excited when he considers the possibility of a green bow on a present too. This is not exactly the kind of request Grandma Carol considers helpful as she attempts her shopping. My older kids claim they don't need Santa because they have Grandma. Ty will catch on by next year, I suspect.
I sewed a simple Christmas dress for Kate today and I will be making a matching one for her doll later. She was less than patient with the process so the doll dress will be made after bedtime.
I inherited my Grandma's sewing machine. I haven't been able to bring myself to pull it out of the storage bag yet. I thought I was prepared to try it today but decided I need to make something a little more conservative than a bright red sparkly dress with Grandma's machine. Although, I suspect if Kate had personally requested one from Grandma, she would have made it herself. In good time I will spend sometime getting to know her sewing machine. In good time.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Poor Daddy

I told Ty he needed to eat his lunch because he needs healthy food to grow big and strong. Kate added "like Daddy" to which Ty replied, "I already am".

Friday, November 9, 2012


These two were good buddies in preschool and have looked forward to seeing each other since Ty left at the end of September. It was a great day. Aren't they adorable?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Christmas Cards

So I had this crazy idea I wanted to use for this year's Christmas cards and today was the day we were going to take the photo. Shutterfly cards are 40% off this week, in case your family is feeling a little more cooperative than mine. Sigh. All of the teens were given two days notice to work on their hair because the good Lord knows I can no longer spring a photo on any of them anymore. Ty apparently did not get the memo and had a meltdown. It was ugly and I honestly considered taking a shot of the meltdown with a sarcastic caption as the Christmas photo but thought better of it when I decided photographing a three year old mid-fit would eliminate my nomination for mother of the year. I am most likely not in the running for that award anyway. Hmm...should have gotten that shot after all. Instead, I snapped this one as soon as the meltdown ended.
Silent night?  But seriously, even the dog was prepped and ready for the Christmas card photo! I swear his nails get more attention than mine.
While we were waiting on the teens to finish eliminating what's left of the ozone layer, Kate lost her second front tooth. Perhaps we have a new Christmas card photo idea?
 All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Recently heard in my house

*we'd rather find out you are getting a divorce than hear we are having another kid-Erin

*Dad, don't catch that ball, I want to hit you with it-Ty

*It was a great concert, but he didn't propose yet-Lauren after the Justin Bieber concert

*We're casting lots for Erin's room-Makenna and Lauren in reference to college next year

*I already know that bible story because Miss Amy taught it to me-Kate during bible this week

*Miss Jennifer gives me a lot of junk food and sometimes lets me drink Pepsi at her house. One time she let me and Shelby scream for ten minutes IN THE HOUSE! I replied, "she's rotten" and Kate answered, "no, she's awesome"

*"I can't tell you". "Can't tell me what, Buddy". He answered with a grin, "I have Pepsi". Erin then attempted to explain once again what it means to keep a secret. (They are both rotten.)

*And my favorite was submitted by my sister via text message. Theresa and Mason (age 5) were playing with Lego characters and chasing bank robbers. Theresa grabbed two guns and tried to hand one to Mason who told her he didn't need it, just handcuffs. He then said, "I'll cuff him and if he gives bad answers, you shoot him". She finished her text with, "I hope he doesn't want to be a police officer!"

Thursday, November 1, 2012


perspective: mine's moved quickly from gratitude to grumbling. I went from awe at the beauty of the world around me to the anxiety that consumes me during the holidays. Sometimes that anxiety is beyond my control, most often it is something I wallow in. This honesty hurts. I hate the upcoming season. I want to embrace it and enjoy it for my kids but I don't make my heart move past the pain and the stress. The pressure Greg feels at work mounted upon family demands and the financial burden it is, no matter how simplistic I try to keep it sucks the joy right out of the season for me. I try to finish my Christmas shopping before Halloween every year so I don't also have the pressure of dealing with other stressed out shoppers during the actual season but it does make me start facing Christmas plans way too early. At any rate, it is my perspective I need to work on. I am blessed. My family will be warm this Christmas. We will eat.

It was a tough start to the week. Three kids with stomach bugs, a water leak that has us staring at another over $300 water bill this month and the reality that another family needing childcare has not yet appeared has left me maxed out emotionally this week. Then we received news a little boy we love dearly got a life changing diagnosis and another friend entered ICU after months of unanswered questions. The days have been long and draining. I care deeply and feel strongly. I wear my emotions on my sleeve and this week has been hard. BUT.....on the way home from school this morning the sun was out and Awesome God was on the stereo and I realized I do love and serve an awesome God. Things aren't going to go smoothly and people are going to be mean to my kids and test results are going to be bad and life will hurt some days but in the end, no matter what else is going on, I have the option to keep my eyes focused solely on the God who loves me even when I am not loveable. I have the incredible privilege of trusting Him to carry my friend and show me how to love her in tangible ways. I have the knowledge that God provides. The reality is that I have to change my perspective if I want to be joyful this side of Heaven. It's November 1 and if I am going to make it to January 1, I have to choose to love and follow God no matter what life throws at me these next 60 days. After all, I posted on Tuesday night,  "Day is done. Thank God" on Facebook and within hours of waking Wednesday, I wished I could go back. Back to not knowing test results. Back to worrying about water bills and sick kids. Back to a friend on the mend and the normal teen drama that sent one kid to bed in tears. Those were temporary things, things that only mattered in the moment because I didn't have the right perspective.

And because I need to lighten the mood a bit. My son loves his footie pajamas. He has two pair. He has several pair of other pajamas but he only likes his footie ones. Monday night he wanted to wear them but they were in the laundry. He was not happy. Tuesday night they were clean and he eagerly got ready for bed. Wednesday he refused to get dressed because he didn't want his pajamas to go into the laundry.  He wore them all day, even under his Halloween costume and again to bed last night. He fought bath time this morning because I assured him the footie pajamas HAD to go back into the laundry. We have one more pair. Guess who's doing laundry today?

Erin took him Trick or Treating to a few homes in our neighborhood last night dressed as a UPS man. Given they only visited neighbors we know, everyone immediately noted he looked like his Daddy. Everyone started to comment that he looked "cute" but Erin was quick to cut them off and let them know Ty doesn't like the "C" word. Confused expressions were a plenty as people tried to figure that one out. There were several guesses that Erin was trying to prevent the word "crap" from being used but that didn't make sense in context. Erin quickly pointed out that he actually likes the crap word but he will literally cry if he hears someone call him cute....we can't explain it but assume he'll get over it eventually. Perspective. In his mind, being called cute is a bad thing.

I was at the hospital with my friend during Trick or Treat but Kate loved walking with Anne and her kids. It was a chilly night but a good time none the less. I am blessed to have such good friends. Adorable kids are pretty awesome too.