Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The World We Explore

Feeling brave. Maybe.

Everyone wears a tu-tu when they wade into a creek, right?

Heaven help me.


It's too bad picking them doesn't kill them.
He keeps my tea cups full of flowers. He did not inherit that trait from his father. Just saying.

Work Hard, Play Hard, Rest Hard

Maverick found digging in dirt to be serious business. His momma also appreciates dirty kids at the end of the day. The dirtier they are, the more fun they've had.

It was a full week of outdoor work. We've tackled the landscape bruised and battered from a hard winter. We've built a raised garden bed but are waiting on spring showers to cease so soil can be hauled in. The kids were so filthy at the end of each day, I threatened to hose them off outside before allowing them into the shower.

We have two special people in our lives in the hospital combating on-going serious conditions. We've made the rounds between Home Depot runs smelling less than appealing, I am certain. I hope hospital visits fall into gift giving rules of, "it's the thought that counts".

I have been battling spring fever and don't want to be the responsible mother who cleans, cooks, grocery shops and keeps someone on task in school. I just want to read my book in the sunshine. Being a grown up has its downfalls even though I believe childhood is hard work too.
Greg has been experimenting with my dad's old charcoal grill and his new smoker. Ribs have been mastered and we're moving onto our next favorite. I love this hobby of his! And eating outside? Yes please.

Speaking of growing up, on Easter Sunday I was agitated. I was worn out from two days away and Greg wisely sent me to bed for a nap. He literally pulled the locked door behind him with strict instructions to not come out until I had napped. I started to object because "he is not the boss of me" but quickly reconsidered the implications. A nap? Whoa! I think I could use one of those. After all, whereas there is a four in my age, it isn't the only digit and had to bravely attempt to behave more maturely than my son. I tried. I really tried but heard every complaint, mess being made, argument and ultimately left the room twenty minutes later grumpier than I started.
Erin didn't make it into the house after a particularly long day at work. This is where I found her at dinner time. Sister knows how to nap.

Last night Makenna was baking cookies for a teacher leaving the school today. Somewhere in the middle of batch three, the oven blew up. Literally. The pop startled me two rooms away and Makenna let out a scream that brought everyone else out of bed to investigate. In my next house, I have one new requirement. A landlord. I want to call someone when things like this happen and say, "you have a problem". As I said, being a grown up is not always a good time.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Miss Kate

She sees no reason to incorporate adjectives into her writing. If she can speak her mind in two sentences, why should she continue to express herself in order to meet the five sentence minimum in her daily journal? However, when she tells a story, there are times I could beg for a quick and direct approach.

She wants to marry Luke Bryan and knows all his songs, even the ones her mother prefers she not belt at the top of her lungs to prove she has memorized the lyrics. Tone is not something she has mastered but volume is demonstrated every time. 

She is Anna in an Elsa world. She is free spirited, fun loving and too trusting. Her feelings get hurt but she doesn't often mention it. Empowering her to stand firm and expect authentic relationships is taking a long time and I am concerned she won't have those skills when she is older. Anne tells me it isn't in her personality to stand up to people so perhaps I need to pray for her friends and future husband to respect her despite her inability to set boundaries.
 She is modeling the dress we found in Mom's attic last weekend. My parents bought it for me when I was her age while we lived in San Antonio, Texas. I always loved it but Kate has gently let me know it isn't her style.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Our morning started off a little rocky with Ty waking in yesterday's clothes, wanting candy for breakfast and demading upon his Mario tee shirt rather than a dress shirt for church today. I insist very rarely everyone dress up but Easter is one of those occasions and Ty didn't get the memo. Once we arrived at the church in the park service today, all moods were restored and we had a great morning worshiping our Savior. For Greg and I, that meant grilling while music and bible reading took place. We were well liked as everyone appreciates a free breakfast.

Ty Time

Kristin and I met Friday for lunch and an afternoon at EnterTrainment Junction with our favorite four year old boys. Avry, armed with chocolate to share in order to expedite the friendship Kristin and I are determined to see bloom for our sons came ready to have a great time. Ty warmed up quickly and they were buddies throughout the museum, although button pushing competitions got a little out of hand a time or two. Boys are rather competitive creatures, aren't they?

The tilt room was a highlight for the boys; however, the grown ups were unable to enter as instant vertigo set in.

Then Ty and I headed up the road to my parent's house for the night. Ty has never had so much undivided attention and he loved it; however, he repeatedly mentioned Kate. A quick text home revealed Kate was missing Ty too. Mom and Dad took us to the Air Force Museum to see air planes and rockets before a quick lunch and then to see Mr. Peabody and Sherman at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

Mom and I cleaned out her attic and discovered a bag of keepsake dresses we both enjoyed exploring. We found Mom's wedding dress, her Hawaiian dress, my Mexican dress, several special occasion dresses from mine and Theresa's childhood along with little handkerchiefs and a tea towel from great grandmothers. It was an awesome discovery; one we didn't anticipate. I brought home my Mexican dress for Kate, as I was her age when we went to Mexico from our home in San Antonio, Texas when my dad bought it for me.

After a Goodwill run with a van load of donations, we grabbed dinner and then Ty and I headed home. Pulling into the driveway at 11:00 pm on the eve of a holiday was not the plan, but the time spent bonding with my parents and Ty was worth it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This and That

We woke Tuesday to a slight dusting of snow. Heads were buried deep under covers; all were more than reluctant to face the day. It is Spring. We'd spent the weekend enjoying seventy eight degree sunshine and refused to accept Mother Nature's latest curve ball. My five children share two closets. They each have their own dresser but let me assure you transitional seasons are tough on this uptight perfectionist. I like to have everything neatly put in it's place. Coats and shorts do not share the same space well.

Ty smashed his finger Sunday and will be losing a fingernail as result. It only bothers him in his sleep, when he is still long enough to notice pain. We've had a few long nights.

The kids and I have spent our Monday evenings with inner city kids the last few weeks. It is a rough crowd that breaks my heart. Kate and Ty love the energy and are making new friends. I don't yet have an official role but serve alongside some pretty remarkable people. One inquisitive fourth grader asked me how old I was and before I could answer, suggested "twenty five". I told him I would like to accept his offer; however, I am forty. He yelled, "whoa!". Sometimes it is still a shock to me as well.

I recently read a blog post written by a woman who lost her mother when she was young. She reflected she thought true love was a cup of tea. Her father was an early riser and her mother was not so he woke her daily with a cup of tea. Sounds familiar. My true love wakes me almost daily with a hot cup of tea. And at the end of the day, I wake him with coffee. Love demonstrated so simply.

Ty has been watching Kate take care of some food prep and has decided he too can help in the kitchen. He made Gleason's sandwich on Tuesday and was so proud of himself. Once again, the transition isn't easy on the uptight mother who cringes at the mess but he is paving the way toward independence and that needs to be celebrated.

Lauren has also taken a determined lead in dealing with some adult issues. I have wanted to step in numerous times and yet, she's handled it. She has thrived under pressure once again. I am so proud of her but allowing my kids up to be more independent is scary at times. Kate started riding her bike throughout the neighborhood last weekend. She was so excited and ready last year but it takes me time to let go. The goal is independence and yet, the result is bittersweet for me. And I may or may not have parked myself strategically where I could see her round each corner. Ahem. Baby steps count.

Ty sings constantly. Sadly, Justin Bieber is his artist of choice followed closely by the Frozen sound track. Daddy is less than thrilled and I suspect there will be an "accident" with a few disks if we can't convince him there are more worthy artists available.