Saturday, April 27, 2013


My day started at seven yesterday morning, with constant running until eleven last night. At two pm, I finally pulled through Panera's drive thru for a salad that I less than gracefully inhaled in the parking lot in order to prevent getting the kids in and out of the van ONE. MORE. TIME. My beautiful son told me the salad looked like guts. I ate it anyway.

One of our errands was a stop at the beauty shop for haircuts. Ty, just five weeks ago refused to cooperate and fussed throughout the haircut. Rosie's shop is for girls. Rosie was ready for him yesterday. She presented men's haircut books for Ty to explore. Mr. Big Shot climbed up into the chair and explained he was ready for a big boy haircut. He wanted to look like Justin Bieber. Seriously. Poor brain washed boy.

Throughout our day, he would touch the top of his head and announce his spikes were still there. It doesn't get much cuter. Ah, but it does because I was literally only home for two total hours all day, we stopped for a quick dinner. While waiting in line at Qdoba, little man patted his pocket and announced he didn't bring his money for our date.

Church camp was a blast. A church full of three and four year old kiddos and their parents learning about God, singing and camping provides an awesome ending to a very frantic day. I would have more fun shots but my camera is slowly dying. Lately for every one shot that turns out, twelve are deleted due to fuzzy and dark images. Momma wants to camera shop. Sort of.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Who I am

Beyond Mom, who am I? I feel as though moments with Greg are quick and almost stolen. Time with friends similar and what do we all talk about in those brief conversations? Parenting. I love being a mom. Spent my wishing pennies at the mall fountains as early as age six praying for real babies because my dolls weren't quite cutting it for me. Mom. It's huge. It's important and I want to do it well. However, I also need to know who Sherri is in the midst of discipline, nurturing, guiding and care-giving. Left to dwell on that for very long and I feel a little melancholy. Fortunately or perhaps not, I don't often have much time to consider.

As I approach my fortieth birthday, I am growing more and more comfortable in my skin. I want my girls to feel that comfort long before they are approaching their fortieth year! Kristin sent this to me yesterday. It is beautiful and well worth the three minute investment. Go ahead and watch it. I'll wait for you.

forensic sketch artist video

Why do we do this to ourselves? Sister, no matter your age, size, color, hair style, eye shape, are beautiful. Stop believing the lies you tell yourself in the mirror. God said He made you in His image. Believe His truth about you. You are beautiful.

Monday, April 22, 2013

This and that

It was a beautiful weekend full of friends and relaxation. Yesterday, a high school buddy of Greg's brought his family down from Dayton for the day. There were five red headed kids running around with our brunette group and it was a blast. Rumor has it three cameras and four iPhones were available but no one thought to take a picture of these two awesome dads with their ten children. I blame the whole, "we lose brain cells with placentas" theory I fall back on when I forget simple things.

It was nice to commiserate with another mother walking a similar path as mine. She is also parenting teens and toddlers; which we both consider proof God has a sense of humor.  It isn't for the weak, for sure. Navigating the turbulent sixteenth year with girls while keeping up with three year old boys leaves a mom depleted. And in need of a good long, uninterrupted conversation now and again.

Saturday, I rode along with Erin in her new car so we could transfer her title and registration. Her graduation cap tassel is hanging by the review mirror. I waver between pride and sadness. On one hand I am ready to watch her soar. On the other, I want to hold onto time.

Kate has always been fascinated by bugs and loves science too....enter the tent caterpillars nesting in our tree line. The babies were discovered today. I now have buckets full of them on the patio. Kate had her trusty sidekicks aiding in her gathering while she filled her journal with sketches and data she researched online. Pulling away from traditional worksheets for the afternoon proved worthwhile.
I have my nose in a hard and beautiful book, The Language of Flowers. News from Boston hit the kids' newsfeed last week and classroom discussions commenced the following day.  Our world is full of both good and evil and the girls struggle, like me to find balance in loving and caring with boundaries. I want them to grow up in a world where everyone is kind and goodness is repaid with more goodness but the truth is, I have to equip them to conquer evil as well. Not everyone in their lives will deserve to be there. Not every hurting person will respond to love; some will lash out in pain. They need to be able to discern where to draw the line in their personal lives; much easier said than done.  Reconciling "be nice" with "you can no longer be a part of my life" challenges me. Every good Christian knows we are supposed to "do good unto others" but I also know from experience we are called to serve God, not man, and that line is fuzzy at best. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Makenna Grace

If you give a girl a new dress, chances are she will let you take her photo. Teenagers are expensive.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ty David

Mischievous. Ornery. Hilarious. Chatter box. Endless energy. Imaginative. Smart. Ty David, you amaze me and exhaust me. I think we probably should have gone with Kate's name choice of "Bear" for you. It fits. Oh boy does it fit! I am smitten.
Guess who didn't want to have his picture taken

Seriously? He swears he didn't want to participate. Little ham!

I often wonder what he's thinking.

 And my personal favorite......
I think I will print this one for my neighbor who asked me if Ty ever stops talking.

Kate Ryan

She's planning a birthday next month. Eight. She secretly still enjoys playing princess and dress up but won't allow friends to know. They like Monster High dolls. Her mom doesn't. The first of many "but my friends do" disappointments. Her sisters will validate. Growing up is hard. Sometimes she is in a hurry. And at times, she still wants to be small. The mystery of the tooth fairy still inspires but deeper faith questions are emerging too. Kate Ryan. You are incredible.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Weekend

In addition to the excitement of Erin's new car, Grandma and Grandpa were able to enjoy getting out and about with the kids. Grandma took the girls shopping where Kate scored a needed bathing suit and Kenna was treated to a dress for this week's school dance. Grandma, much more generous than Mom purchased it after Mom directed her to the closet full of Purity Ball dresses just waiting to be worn again.
While the girls were hanging out together, Ty and I took Grandpa to find play sand. Ty made his first ever purchase with money Grandma Carol sent him for Valentine's Day and Easter. Little man loved, "paying the lady" and the special time with Grandpa. Watching him dig his "two monies" out of his jean pockets with a deeply set furrowed brow as he concentrated on being big was beyond cute. Greg later took Grandpa and Ty to the new Cabela's in Louisville. Ty said he never wanted to come home and was shocked to learn he didn't have enough money for the really cool toys there. I suspect Greg felt similarly.
The weekend provided Spring. All the brown has transitioned into fresh green, trees have blossomed and flowers have bloomed. Greg's mowed twice already, providing a source of great joy for Ty. Allergies are inciting havoc and artificial air is needed only in spurts. We made it through another winter. I am breathing deeply.

Fast and Furious

Grandma and Grandpa arrived Friday night with Erin's new car and she's pretty pleased with her purchase. (And that, my friends would be a significant understatement.)

It appears Grandma also still likes red impalas. Erin says they are "car girls" with matching "hot rods".  Hot rods? Lord help me. We have assured her any speeding tickets and increased insurance costs will be her expenses since her lead foot didn't attract as much attention when she was driving the half dead mini van or ten year old pick up truck. Let me tell you, if she is fast, her parents will be furious. Having never seen the movie, I can only assume that was the theme?
In reality, this just symbolizes for us just how quickly time is slipping by. Our little girl is growing up and earning more and more independence. It's bittersweet.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


I recently read that parenting teens is mentally exhausting while parenting preschoolers is physically exhausting. I concur. I am wiped out and run down. "Let me process that and get back to you" has become my response to quite a bit lately as I can no longer think as quickly on my feet. Although I likely forget half of what I am supposed to be processing! I used to say I lost brain cells with placentas as an excuse but I honestly believe it's the constant parenting wearing me down. It is always something. Always. 

Last night I had two back-to-back appointments. On the way home from the first, the van broke down. We are now juggling another repair with our already stretched schedule and budget. That second appointment was not something I was looking forward to and spent hours in prayer before arriving, afraid the broken down van was setting a stressful tone. Another momma and I met to discuss our teens' relationship. She was gracious and gentle. I was kind and firm. Together we acknowledged our child's role in the destruction and how we could work together to enable them to either turn this into something healthy or walk away without further drama. The meeting was good. We both entered with fear of being cruel but also wanting to be honest. It's never easy to hear your child is making poor choices nor is it enjoyable to tell another mother the hard truth you know about hers. I regret calling him a toad on this blog. He is someone's son. He has a mother who wants to raise an upstanding young man and is holding him accountable for his decisions. I judged unfairly and left the meeting relieved. I would typically empower my kids to work out their own problems but things were so far out of control, both of our families were negatively impacted. I am grateful we are on the same page; saddened by the same issues and concerned for our child's character.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Brutus' World

Rumor has it I have been discussed on this blog thing. I am not impressed and think it's high time I have my say. The boss lady of this house likes me, even if she rarely says so out loud. She sneaks me treats but acts like it's an accident. She makes the little people in the house open the door for me a million times a day while I monitor both the yard and the house. My job is exhausting. The people here....all seven of them are all over the place. I can't keep track of everyone all the time and wear myself out trying. Occasionally I have to leave the yard to find one of them and then find myself in time out. If they would just stay in one place, together all the time, my job would be so much easier and I wouldn't get into trouble. Much.

When I was first chosen to be a member of this family, three little girls adored me. Of course they did! I am adorable. Anyway, boss lady liked me too and said a lot about my sweet puppy breath. She doesn't say that anymore. In fact, sometimes the things she says about my breath are rude and my feelings get hurt. Anyway, I loved curling up on her lap to nap when my fan club played too hard for too long. The thing is...I was growing quickly and somehow, her lap was getting smaller. One day, I no longer fit on her lap and something in her belly kicked me off! Boss lady thought it was funny. Then one night, boss lady left with boss man and when they came home, a new little person was with them. I was suddenly not the baby in the family anymore and I had a big responsibility. I had to keep my eyes on that noisy little person all the time. Whew. I barely slept and when that baby cried, it was my job to make sure boss lady made it stop. Once the baby started getting big, I decided she was okay. She fed me lots of people food. Unfortunately, most of it was Cheerios. BORING.  And don't even get me started on what the boss lady calls that kids' "puppy proctology" phase. Hello! What was that about? I like her now but there were days I thought Kate should be kenneled.

Anyway, Lauren is the one who helps me get into trouble. She says I am perfect. I couldn't agree more. If it weren't for boss lady, I would sleep on real beds and enjoy lounging on the couch. Lauren lets me when boss lady is busy. When we get caught, Lauren and I both hide our faces and show big brown puppy eyes. I have an advantage in that department. I mean seriously, I am cute. Erin takes me for walks and I love that but boy does she get mad if I get on her bed. And Makenna loves me. She also says I am perfect so I think she is a smart girl. And the newest member of the family is pretty fun. We find adventure together. He takes me exploring and to play in the fields. I am glad Ty was chosen to join the family too.

But, back to my job. I have a lot to do around here. It is so hard to keep track of everyone. They come and go constantly. Sometimes I get dizzy trying to keep up. I can't tell you how many naps I need to take just to manage it all.  And training boss man? You have no idea how much work he takes. I have to remind him constantly that I NEED to eat when he comes home from work and when he gets up. I swear he forgets EVERY DAY.

So, about the rumors you may have heard about dog hair on the floor, drool on the furniture and evidence I have been on beds while everyone is out....just know that I work pretty hard around here and boss lady likes me. I know she does.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Hit that ball

Erin met a new little friend in a waiting room this week. Four year old Jaycee was wearing ruby red slippers like the ones Erin wore for about three years of her toddler/preschool life. She also had a "twirly skirt" she enjoyed showing off. Erin asked her about her outfit and learned she'd just come from tee ball practice and would be playing her first game the following morning. Jaycee reported she told her coach she would curl her hair, put on her favorite lipstick and hit that ball. Sounds like pretty good advice to me. Basically, pull yourself together and do what you have got to do.

Ty's version involves a cape. He's a super hero. Reach for the sky little man.

Motherhood this week has been something I have merely survived, not enjoyed. I hate admitting that. I literally felt like I was running around putting out fire after fire, not taking anytime to reflect, refresh or respond. I was in reaction mode all week. Some of it was circumstantial and some of it was a pattern I allowed myself to slip uncomfortably back into. As I sat in the library yesterday morning with a book while the kids played on the computers, Kate asked to get a drink. Ty was engaged and would have a serious melt down if interrupted. I took the lazy route. I allowed Kate to get the drink without accompaniment. Ty continued playing and I sat; literally out of exhaustion. I honestly reasoned that if someone were to abduct Kate, she would go by the doors in front of me with huge signs that say an alarm would sound if they were opened. Perfect. If someone was taking Kate that way, I could sound the alarm, get Kate back and Ty would still be safe playing on the computer. Unless there were two kidnappers in the building at that moment. I took the risk. Kate returned safe and hydrated. Ty continued playing quietly until lunchtime and I enjoyed a few minutes of relative peace. Peace from external elements anyway. My brain....that's another story altogether.

This weekend will be spent collaborating with Greg about our girls. There were too many balls to hit this week. There were too many big decisions made in the heat of the moment. It's time to make some changes.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Momma said there would be days like this

Some days are hard. Really hard.
And so are some weeks. As much as I need to vent frustration and find humor in challenges, I simply don't think it's wise to put my thoughts in print tonight. So I will head to bed and pray my brain allows me to rest as well as my son. Not much is bothering him at the moment.

Monday, April 1, 2013


Our post vacation alarm rang this morning. Groans followed. There were belly aches, bad hair days and stacks of school books waiting for us. Monday was not invited but showed up anyway. It took a few extra cups of tea but we coped. The countdown to summer has begun. Seven and a half weeks remain for our Senior. Nine weeks for everyone else. Ambition and motivation are hiding. I fear we must find them to survive.
Greg grabbed the camera before we headed to dinner last night because the kid's clothes were clean and I put on lipstick for the first time in weeks. We have high standards. Ty refused to participate. We always have at least one unwilling participant.