Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Calm before the Storm

Do you ever feel like that?

A quiet moment. So nice. Yet, you know what is ahead.

Before the storm hits, here at the troops, I thought I should check in with you.

Son (#4) won an art award at school last week.

Daughter (#2) and Daughter (#7) won Honorable Mentions.

And my Easter Lily that my Daddy brought me? Just LOOK at it!

So fun.

I've been working really hard to get ready for the BIG TRIP! The same trip that the Coach took with Son #1 last year. Remember? I wasn't sure I would make it. And when he came home? Makes me tear up just to think about it.

Except THIS TIME, I'm going. Taking Daughter (#2) on HER sixth grade Washington DC trip. I can't believe it.

It's the Coach's fault. Either he felt way guilty for leaving me for 10 days last Spring with a one year old and a new dog. . . OR, perhaps he thinks I'll really enjoy it.

Yeah. That's it.

So we are heading out early Thursday. I'll take lots of pictures. And enjoy seeing Williamsburg, Valley Forge, Philadelphia and our nation's capitol. Very exciting!

If it weren't for leaving my Coach and the other seven kids for 9 days.

I've left meals, a clean house, laundry that's caught up (or will be), sitters for the little ones, a detailed schedule and calendar.

They'll be fine, right?

I miss them, already.

Happy Tuesday, Bloggy Friends! I'll miss you, too!

Hopefully I can post, again, before I leave. But don't hold your breath!

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Kind of Scary

My mother does an amazing thing. Well, MANY amazing things, but one in particular. She writes a letter to each grandchild on their birthday. Throughout the year, she keeps track of significant things in their lives and our family. Then she tries to capture their little personalities, funny stories, etc.

It really is quite a gift.

Since the baby books aren't particularly up to date.

I'm just sayin'.

Anyway, one of the things she does with the older kids, is to interview them and write down their responses to some questions. Such as . . . favorite food, favorite color, best friend, favorite toy, etc.

It's so fun to have all of this down! Each letter is in plastic sheet protectors and we add them to a three ring binder as she gives them to us. Each child has their own notebook and they love to look through them. They can read about the day they were born, what they were like at 2, etc. She also includes significant world events and leaders.

SO. . .

Last week was Son's (#4) birthday, as you know, and he turned 9.

I was intrigued by the answer to one of the questions my mom asked him.

Grandmother: "What do you and your siblings usually fight over?" (this was a bonus question, I suppose)

Son #4: "Nothing. We just fight for fun."

Grandmother: "Why is it fun?"

Son #4: "Because you get to beat them up and they get to beat you up."

And THAT explains a alot.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday in Pictures

We had a FUN Easter weekend here at the troops.
Well, actually, we spent most of it at the Farm!
Grandmother brought ingredients to make Resurrection Cookies.

We celebrated Son's (#4) 9th birthday!
I always let the birthday kid pick their meal and dessert for our family celebration.
He picked lasagna for dinner and root beer floats for dessert.
And no boy's birthday is complete without Legos!

We took a lot of Ranger rides - even though it was chilly.
(They don't wear helmets on the Ranger, but Little Man and Daughter (#7) LOVE to put on the four-wheeler helmets and just SIT - waiting for a ride!)

We had a glorious Easter back at home, with early service and a quiet afternoon.

Here's the Lily that my Daddy brought me last week. Isn't it pretty?

Later, we went to my parents with my brothers and all of their family for Easter dinner.
In the rain!
We still have a big hole in the wall in the dining room.
(for the soon coming hutch)

We got a gift from Grandmother of a BIG world map and plastic to cover the dining room table. We are having FUN finding things on it and deciding who gets to sit by Antarctica every night.

After we got back from the farm on Saturday, we reorganized the garage.

Moved all of the coats and shoes and backpacks outside - to create more space in the laundry room.

So nice.

Of course, this morning it looks empty with everyone at school.
And here are the two little ones.
Watching Curious George.
While I blog.
It's their favorite 7:00 AM pastime.
As soon as the big kids leave for school, Little Man runs in the house saying, "George, George."

And it's time for me to get going, too.

The dishwasher and dryer are humming, George is long over and the grocery store is calling.

Happy Monday, Friends!

I pray you had a blessed Resurrection Sunday, celebrating the hope of eternal life that we have in Jesus Christ.

He lives!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday at the troops

Daughter (#5) home from school coughing.
Son (#3) at school, sporting a new "splint".
(He broke his arm Friday night.)
Daughter (#6) at school with a badly burned thumb.
(yes, we seem unusually accident prone here, lately)
Laundry caught up.
Dinner started.
BIG HOLE in dining room wall for soon coming custom made built in hutch from my daddy.
Lists made for the week.
Son (#4)'s birthday on Friday.
No school on Friday.
Two doctor's appointments (Broken arm and Little Man's ears) this week.
Little man down for his nap.
Girls down for rest time.
I'm joining them, now.
Happy Monday, Friends!
Thank you for your prayers, your love, your encouragement.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The "Why" and Banana Bread

Although this blog isn't full of great photography, amazing writing skills, or even particularly useful information, it DOES have a purpose.

Motherhood, with all of it's joy and wonder, can be rough. For one thing, I never knew it would be such hard work! Physical WORK. And tired? I didn't know it was possible to be as tired as I've been over the last 14 years.

If you're like me, you love your kids, pour your life into them, pray and train them to be used by God for His glory. You believe that being a wife is an amazing opportunity to support, encourage and help your husbands.

All of that has tremendous rewards.

But some of those rewards take awhile to be seen.

And in the meantime, we have to LIVE this life of a woman, wife, mother.

With the sickness, the dirt, the laundry, the food, the budget, the baby weight, the selfish children and good grief - the relationships!

Then there is THE GUILT.

Let me get rid of it for you right now. No one has a perfect life. No one. That's why we need Jesus.

And our desire to do it well - this thing called motherhood? That's a GOOD thing, when we take it to the Lord and ask Him to show us what needs to change, be let go, be a higher priority.

THAT is what this blog is about. My desire to let you see me, our home, our family FOR REAL. The growing, learning, changing, seeking.

That we can be thankful even when things go wrong. That God is working His will out in our lives every day. Even the rough ones, when the sun doesn't shine, no one says thank you and the house is dirty.

My life is amazingly blessed - but it's not perfect.

So that's what it's all about here at Mrs. Troop. Running this race for His glory, praying God's will for our kids while training them to obey the Lord and serving our husbands so they can be successful by God's standards. I've got a long ways to go.


OK. Here's the promised banana bread recipe. I've tried tons of them. This is our favorite. Enjoy!

Banana Carrot Bread

Beat in electric mixer:
1 C mashed ripe banana (I use three)
1 C sugar
3/4 C vegetable oil
2 eggs

In a separate bowl, measure:
2 C flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Slowly add dry ingredients to wet.

Fold in:
1 C finely grated, peeled carrots (I use baby carrots that I've grated in my food processor)
1/2 C chopped pecans.

Pour into two greased, medium sized loaf pans.
Bake at 350 for appox. 55 min - test for doneness.


And while I'm keepin' in real, here at Mrs. Troop, today, I should mention that I was up most of the night with my two year old. Don't know why. He was just screaming. Always fun.

The sad part is that the kids had a late start to school today because of a banquet we had last night. My opportunity to sleep in was lost. I finally gave up at 5 and just got up with him.

So while you are making banana bread today, go ahead and forgive me if my eyes took a long blink and I forgot something (even though I've checked it over and over!).

Little Man has fallen asleep on the couch. At 8:30 in the morning. Which gives you an idea of how tired he is.

Think I'll join him.

Happy Friday!

"Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry." Hebrews 10:35-37

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Here are my four girls (they aren't this little, anymore!) after the 2007 ESCE

It's that time.
I dread it twice each year.
If only I could put it off indefinitely.
But I can't.
They have to wear SOMETHING. Easter is coming up quickly.
You DO know what I'm talking about, right?
the Extreme Spring Clothes Exchange.
Not to be confused withe the EFCE (Extreme Fall Clothes Exchange).
You who know me well, know how much I hate switching out the kids clothes. It's an overwhelming and long process. Yet it must be done.
I'm also working on getting over having everything ELSE caught up before I tackle the clothes. Because if I wait until then? It won't happen!
Today I'm going to be grateful we HAVE clothes to switch out. Grateful that my list of "to buy" needs is always short. The Lord's provision? It's abundant.

(Pictures to come.)