Monday, March 31, 2008
We balance each other in so many ways.
Those of you who are married know what I mean.
The Coach isn't, by nature, much of a detail person.
I am obsessive compulsive in many ways.
Turns out, being OC makes for a lot of overwhelming discouragement.
The Coach's laid back nature is much easier to live with.
Particularly in a house full of children.
So I'm learning to let things go and he's learning to pay more attention to the details.
He's also extremely humble. Anyone who knows him, knows he's always kind and never judges.
I tend to think I'm always right. (Why is this working out to make me look bad?) We had a joke in our house when I was growing up. We'd practice saying, "I don't know." It didn't come naturally. For anyone in my family.
The Coach is also extremely frugal. Remember the milk?
I'm. . . well. . . NOT.
But I'm learning!
Being the baby (and only girl) of three children, with a very generous father did not make me a penny pincher by nature. However, necessity is the mother of invention. And after 13 years of being a teacher's wife and mother to many, I've developed quite a system for saving money.
For the most part, I just don't spend it.
But on the other hand, the Coach is learning one of my family's strongest traits: If you are going to do something, do it well. It's not a great partner to frugality, this quality, but it's possible for them to live happily together.
Just like the Coach and I.
So this weekend we painted the girl's room. Actually, Saturday afternoon.
Is there a sport called "Speed Painting"? Or, "Paint as fast as you can before the rest of the house falls down around you?"
We hadn't planned on doing that this weekend. In fact, when the Coach and I walked Saturday morning we talked about how we might not get to it for a few weeks. I've gotten so laid back that I was OK with that (are you laughing?).
But then after our company left on Saturday afternoon, he said, "I think I could at least get that ceiling painted today."
I should have known.
At one point, he asked me if I was "OK" with the paint we already had. I realized, in a moment, that it was now or never. The paint I had already purchased, or no paint at all. So I took the leap of faith, and said, "Go for it."
By 10:00 PM it was a done deal. And it's beautiful. I'm so happy with it. And it's done.
Well, except for rehanging the pictures and replacing the outlets and light switches, and a new window treatment. (Oh those details!)
Maybe not "done". But certainly PAINTED.
The Coach and I, we've painted a lot of walls. Whole houses full. And we have a great system.
I don't care for rolling paint - it scares me. I would get it all over myself and everything within 20 feet.
He, on the other hand, doesn't care for the tediousness (is that a word?) of taping.
So I prepare the walls, he rolls them and we both cut in the edges.
All in all, it works well.
And it's a good picture of why God put us together. And why we need each other.
But I would have you know, that the head of every man in Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. I Cor. 11:3
PS - Pictures to follow. . .
Thursday, March 27, 2008
1. That even though Daughter (#2) dropped and broke my camera tonight, God's grace was sufficient and I didn't get angry. Just sad.
2. That Daughter (#6) and Baby Boy survived their well-child visits and immunizations this morning. How fun to run into my friend from The Anderson Zoo at the Doctor's office!
3. That Baby Boy is up to a whopping *19* pounds! Woo hoo! Even if that is only the 5th percentile. He's growing!
4. For the warmer weather today and cooler weather tonight. Lovely!
5. That Son (#3) finished his "make your own paintbrush" project tonight - just in time for tomorrow!
6. That Daughter (#2) and Son (#3) both received the character award in Chapel yesterday for:
7. That tomorrow is Friday!
8. That even though Daughter (#2) has something weird going on after losing a tooth, the dentist said, yesterday, that it's just fine and will heal on it's own.
9. For my BFF Crazy Daisy who has taken on the huge burden of keeping me accountable for taking better care of myself: eating right, taking my vitamins, exercising, drinking water, etc. She's such a blessing to me!
10. For all of YOU who read Mrs. Troop and encourage me every day by your interest, thoughfulness and just by taking the time to care about my chaotic little life! Thanks!
Leave me a comment and tell me what YOU are thankful for this week! I love hearing it!
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I remembered my sister-in-law's mother (who is a nurse) used to have paper towel holders in the guest bath. Hmmmmm.
Then I realized that we probably spread a LOT of germs on our hand towels. 10 people, times countless hand washes each day. Combined with hands that have been sneezed into, pet the dog, played on the playground at school, etc.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
(I'm giving you a minute to let that sink in.)
I guess back when Son (#1) was a baby I used to go to the store with one small child. But not any more. Usually I leave Baby Boy at home with the Coach and take any number of children with me. Which is always exciting.
We had a fun time.
If Wal-mart can be fun. Which it can. Because we are there so often. And if it weren't fun then a significant part of my life would be not fun.
I'm still laughing, though. I'm used to the attention that we get at the store with eight kids. Looks. Second looks. Audible counting. But with one?
No less than four people told me what a cute baby I have. One even called him a girl. Which, in my opinion, he's pretty enough to be, but something about the striped polo and jeans should have given it away.
One nice lady stopped me in the parking lot to tell me, to "enjoy it, because they grow up so fast." She then told me she had a 7 year old boy and 5 year old boy twins. Wow. Twins. Can't imagine having twins.
Years ago I would have smiled and said thank you and walked away. But I enjoy the shock factor way too much, so I said, "Oh, he's our EIGHTH."
Truly the response is worth it every time.
She was very nice. Even told me I look "amazing" for having eight kids. Which I'm not sure is a compliment. I mean, what SHOULD I look like after eight kids? Do I look amazing if I only had two? Nope. Thought so.
But back to the store. I needed to pick up a few things for dinner. But my main reason for going was to get more Zrytec.
I ran out of my last prescription, and it's not a prescription, anymore. Which stinks. My insurance used to cover 50%, and now I have to pay for all of it!
But that got me to thinking. . .
How about sharing some of our favorite products? Not that Zyrtec is one of my favorite products, but I've been taking it for 7 years and the last five days without it, I've been miserable.
So here's one of my VERY FAVORITE:A couple of years ago, Daughter (#2) started having trouble sleeping. Miserable for all. We tried Benadryl and eventually, since she was older, resorted to Simply Sleep. But I HATED giving her drugs. Hated it. She's not old enough to need a pill to go to sleep! My mom found this, and it really works! I'm so grateful. You can get Peaceful Night here. It's not cheap, but it's WAY better than drugs.
One of the other things we love here at the Troops is our Swivel Sweeper.
We have tried so many things to clean the floors after meals. After several bad experiences, we were back to the broom and dustpan. But it's HARD for kids to do that well. Then I found this. I'm sure I was watching an infomercial late at night while up with a baby. Can't remember, really. But I ordered it! And we love it! We have worn out three of them, but it's worth it to have the kids able to do a good job cleaning the floor. You can even use them on the carpet for a quick clean up before company! Love it.
SO. . .
Be thinking of things you love and we'll have a linky party here in a few days to share them all. It's so helpful to me, as a mom, to know what works for other families. Saves all the trial and error to figure it out myself!
P.S. THANK YOU for the paint color help! I'm going to get motivated to work on that project again, really soon. I think. And I'm so glad to know who to ask!
Monday, March 24, 2008
And not just any Monday, but the Monday after Spring Break. We've been "school-free" for 9 days. Minus the "About Me" poster I had to make for Daughter (#5) this weekend.
And not just the Monday after Spring Break, it's also Baby Boy's First Birthday!
On the other hand, we took the wallpaper off in the girl's room last week. Yeah! I've only been wanting to do that for 2 1/2 years. It looks great! We were going to paint, too. But after spending an entire morning looking for paint that I liked, buying some and bringing it home, painting it on the wall and not being totally happy with it, we're taking a break. There just wasn't time to go through the whole process again. What with all of the company we had.
One more thing. I've had it with sippy cups. I mean, really. Baby Boy is one today and still drinking from a bottle. I've tried 3 or 4 different types of sippies. He enjoys playing with them all, but doesn't make much progress drinking from them. Truthfully, he's had eating issues from day one. But why do ALL of these non-cheap sippies LEAK? Like crazy. No matter what I do. How hard is it, People? I'd love any suggestions that you have. Although I'm not worried about Baby Boy. He's taken a little longer than our others to do things and I'm OK with that. He's still catching up! And NO, he's not even close to walking. He hardly has a chance to try around here!
FIRST: I talk to moms almost every day that are discouraged. So I keep it real, here are Mrs. Troop, to let you know that everyone has their struggles. Life's a lot of work. And you're not "failing" if it is.
My mom gave me a wonderful quote the other day (I'll have to ask her who it's from):
"Oh the JOY of a trial accepted."
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man in renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. II Cor. 4:16-18
Have a blessed day!
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
The change of routine, the sleeping late (yes, really) - and oh sweet loveliness - having the COACH HOME all day.
It's true bliss.
Not to mention that I haven't packed a single lunch bag or signed a single school paper.
Today we headed back to the farm.
And for our 7 kids (and I'm sure Baby Boy would chime in if he could), it's all about FOUR WHEELERS.
And RANGER RIDES.
We used to say, "We JUST GOT BACK from taking a Ranger ride, wait a few minutes for another."
Now we just go.
Because it's fun.
And they are kids.
And life is short.
Even Champ the wonder dog got in on it. He seems to love to ride all over the farm on the seat of the Ranger with a kid's hand on his back.
Who would have thought?
And Baby Boy? Well, to tell you how much HE liked it, on Sunday he FELL ASLEEP. On the BUMPIEST ROAD EVER. With the blazing sun on his face and the wind blowing his wispy hair.
My kids were born for speed and dirt, apparently.
We had a great time, again, today.
But I can't get over how thoroughly everyone was COVERED in grit.
The bath water? Disgusting.
But they are all clean and fresh and tucked into their soft beds.
And the Coach is watching basketball.
Life is good.
Just in case you have no idea what a Ranger is:
Monday, March 17, 2008
I've given it up now the we have children old enough to participate.
Friday, March 14, 2008
We celebrated with lasagna, chocolate cupcakes (topped with M&M's), Grandmother and two Sweet Sitters.
There was a time when I didn't know if Daughter (#6) and I would survive 5 years. But what a blessing she has become!
She is my child that will work beside me after everyone else has wandered off. She cleans, cooks, helps with the baby. All cheerfully and with boundless energy.
We've had a lot of sleepless (her, anyway) nights together. Bonding, right?
She was my only baby that cried herself to sleep every bedtime until she was 2. Never took a pacifier or sucked her fingers (like two of ours have). She would cry all through the grocery store and there was just nothing to do about it.
Unlike our other children, she was completely bald until about 2 1/2. Just a little light blond fuzz! And she's the only one whose blond has lasted this long. I love her blond hair.
She's a tough cookie. Endures all kind of bumps and bruises without a peep. Has a love/hate relationship with most of her siblings. She and Daughter (#7) play together all day. As long as they don't boss each other! They are both "in charge"!
I tell her about 10 times a day that Mommy is the boss in this house. Most of the time she replies, "I thought Daddy was." She's forever getting into debates with me.
But OH how I love her. She still loves to sit with me, rock with me, and needs lots of hugs everyday.
Lord, please give me the grace I need to show her Your ways and Your love every day of her life.
Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
7. For a hair cut coming up this afternoon. Hope I don't fall asleep in the chair!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
As a mom of young children, we really LIVE the little things. We are consumed and overwhelmed with them.
You know what I mean. The meals, laundry, the diapers and baths. The bad attitudes, the obedience, the fatigue. The loving and hugging and holding and rocking. The fevers and coughs, the dirty shoes on the living room carpet (I speak from experience). Even the flu and new puppies.
And although I believe with all of my heart that the LORD is in all of these little things, that He cares about each of them, sometimes the little things are so huge that we forget the big things.
The Coach and I attended two weddings on Saturday. As I was sitting there listening to those vows (twice) and the admonition to the bride and groom (twice), I thought about what they were saying.
The "love, honor, cherish". The "submit", the "laying down of one's life for the other". One wedding even mentioned "considering her feelings" and "submitting to his decisions." Good stuff.
Those of us who are married know that you stand there and promise things that you realize (if not then, then certainly after a few years) that you will sometimes fail to keep.
Yes, I know (and my heart desires) to submit to every decision the Coach makes. But when I said it over 13 years ago, I was thinking about the big things.
And turns out the little things can be just as hard.
When he promised to love me, he didn't know how grumpy I would be when I'm sick and pregnant. Or tired caring for a new baby. Or just overwhelmed. I hadn't been any of that when he made the promise. And now it's all there is.
We don't know what life will hold when we promise those things. We don't know about the babies coming 14 months apart. Or the week in the hospital with a five week old who has RSV. Or the broken bones, stitches or illnesses. Or the baby that will be in heaven with Jesus before we have a chance to hold it. Or the early arrival of a tiny baby to a sick mommy and the long recovery that followed. Or even the loss of hearing.
Those promises (even though we sometimes fail in them) are the hope of what is to come. Not that there won't be hard things - "richer or poorer, sickness or health" - but that the hard things won't change our committment to one another. In fact, I would say (and I know the Coach would, too) that the hard things have brought depth to our love for one another.
Last night my uncle died. He's with Jesus. He was ready to go, after battling MS for most of his adult life.
He left behind a grieving wife, children, five siblings (four older) and a mother (my grandmother) who, I'm sure, never expected to outlive two husbands and her next to the youngest child.
"Lord, help me to see you in the BIG things, so that I can trust you in the little things, too. Your grace is sufficient for them all."
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Cor. 12:9-10
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Last Fall we added an awesome basketball court, and now the dog pen for Champ, and they are out there ALL THE TIME.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Monday, March 3, 2008
Especially with all of the presidential garbage being thrown about these days. Wears me out. If I didn't know that a Sovereign Lord was in blessed control of it all, I'd move. To another country.
On a lighter note. . .
I tried a different grocery store on Saturday.
People tell me all of the time how much they hate Wal-mart and how I would save so much if I went here or there.
After making my way through unfamiliar aisles, picking through horrible produce, not finding BIG sizes of things I like, only finding name brands and fighting some kind of weirdly large crowds, I'd had it.
I purposed to enjoy the service of having the groceries bagged and loaded in my car. Then realized that I really am crazy because I wanted to do it myself so it would be RIGHT.
At least now I can say I've done that and it DID NOT save me any money and I still had to go to Wal-mart, anyway, to buy my favorite White Cloud diapers and Parent's Choice formula - which is a great deal, by the way.
We are catching up from last week.
I've had a huge amount of energy, which I can only credit to the fact that I slept more than I was awake last week. Saving it up, you know. Which is a good thing because the piles were so big that I needed a backhoe to dig out last night. Found school notes that were late, mail that was unopened.
Not to mention how COULD there have been any clothes in the DRAWERS with all of the laundry that I washed, folded and put away?
The Coach and the boys built a dog house on Saturday.
O.K. More like a dog mansion.
In preparation for the arrival of "Champ" the German Shepherd later this week. Exciting times, I tell you.
And just as I was thinking we were done with the flu - I have two boys (#3 and #4) home from school today, Daughter (#7) has been running a fever since Saturday afternoon and I made a trip to the doctor with Baby Boy this morning to discover an ear infection.
Fortunately, I'm rested up.