Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summertime. . . and the living is. . . busy.

Happy Wednesday!

I MISS reading all of YOUR blogs! I haven't really earned any blog reading time, lately. The house is mess. Vacation is looming. We are just too busy having fun!

Today, Perler Beads. They are worth the mess. At least when I'm in a good mood!

We've also been enjoying our "Smore Maker". This was before it got blazing hot. Doesn't even sound good, now!

Here we are on my birthday. We had such a fun time! The Coach and our oldest were at a basketball game - they came back after dinner. I made this for dessert. Yum!

And although this deserves a post all it's own, Little Man has now perfected the skill of climbing OUT of his crib. It hasn't really been a problem. So far. One night last week, though, when Daughter (#2) went to bed (they share a room), she found him here.

In HER bed! With his shoes on over his jammies. Ha!

With the temps in the 100's, we are happy to be leaving on vacation, shortly. Colorado here we come!

Well, that's all of the time I have today. The kids headed out into the heat to play basketball. At least our court is in the shade. Probably only 102 instead of 120. Ha! Better get the cold lemonade and cookies ready.

Happy Summertime, Friends!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Life with a Two year Old

He finds that one spot by the back gate where the grass doesn't grow.

The Coach says I should count how many baths he gets every week.

But then he's so adorable I can't stand it.
And whether I give him two baths a week or ten, I'm glad I get to be his momma.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday from the troops!

Been awhile since I've checked in on Thankful Thursday. Boy have I missed it! Somehow it helps me get my perspective in line to finish a week well. By Thursday I am always SO tired! But Fridays a comin'. So I'm going to hang in there.

1. Summer. I can get up later than during school and still get some time to myself before the house wakes up. Divine!

2. Swimming. So grateful for friends who tolerate us and help me keep this crew (and cousins) cool on hot days.

3. The Coach. I know this is understood. You all know how amazing my husband is. But lately? I'm just overwhelmed by it. Love that man!

4. Family. I love that the Coach's parents walk by in the evenings. I love that we walk up there, too. I love that the cousins come by almost every day to play or swim with us. I love that my parents drop in every day at some point and that we spend so much time there, too. We are so blessed.

5. God's Grace. Seems the older I get, the more I realize how little I know and how big God is.

6. Responsible kids. Life is so very different now that we don't ALL have to go EVERYWHERE. Ahhhh. Loving my live in babysitters!

7. Vacation plans. As we all know, anticipation is half of the fun!

8. Pop Ice popsicles. I hate the sticky, I hate the plastic wrappers, but LOVE how much cool they offer for so little money! Yeah!

9. Snickerdoodles and Spice Muffins. Yum. And the house smells SOOOOO good!

That's all I have today, People. It's nothing deep. But I'm remembering even now that life is good in spite of being tired. Really tired. I may have more than is humanly possible to accomplish today. But life is good. Thanks for helping me remember!

Need a laugh? Go visit over at Jo's and take a look at her list today. I'm still smiling!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


We LOVE company here at the troops. LOVE it.

Well, I mean I love it. The Coach? He tolerates it rather well. After the company is gone, he's always glad they came. So, see? He loves it, too!

Last night a friend of the Coach's from college came to visit with his wife. They are newlyweds - married about two weeks ago.

First of all, let me say, kudos to them for being brave enough to come stay overnight with us. I mean, newlyweds? They actually KNEW we have eight kids, too!

We had a delightful time. Fun to finally meet this person the Coach has told me about. Fun to meet his new bride - she was really wonderful!

However, I breathed a huge sigh of relief when they left.

Why, you ask?

Well, normally our company comes toting kids. When one HAS kids, one tends to be more tolerant of kids. Understands more what it's like to LIVE with kids. You know!

I so wanted this to be a pleasant and restful visit for them.

Did I just say pleasant and restful in describing our house?

Which would be why I held my breath just a bit while they were here.

Would someone burp loudly at the breakfast table? Run through the playroom without clothes on? Holler from the bathroom, "I NEED TO BE WIPED!"? Sleepwalk in the night and confuse another room with the bathroom? Wet the bed? Or (heaven forbid) GET SICK?

I certainly didn't want them to walk out the front door, look at each other knowingly and agree right then and there not to become parents. Ever. My front porch already has enough history without being responsible for that!

Instead, we really did have a pleasant time. The kids were (as I know they can be) delightful, friendly and relatively well behaved. I didn't hear a loud burp the whole time they were here!

That, my friends is amazing.

They were enjoyable company, as well. Happy to take an interest in the kids, hold Little Man (he makes friends SO easily) and seemed to really enjoy being here.

So, if you're ever in the area and want to stop by, please do! We would LOVE it! I'll even make some homemade cinnamon rolls in your honor.

But please, oh PLEASE excuse us for being a real live family with eight kids. And if you could burp at the breakfast table? That would make me feel much better.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Life with a two year old

This morning I got up early to walk on the treadmill, something I haven't been doing very faithfully, lately.

When I turned it on, it made an awful noise.

I unscrewed the panel on the bottom and removed the following:

1 bouncy ball
4 colored pencils
2 regular pencils
3 strings from sewing cards
15 pretzels

I had black up to my elbows from fishing it all out.  I had to sweep up the mess on the floor and reassemble the treadmill.  And I was thirty minutes late getting started.

But this is life with a two year old!  

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Just you wait. . .

Can I tell you a story?

A little over six years ago, the Coach and I were thrilled to be given the gift of our third precious daughter. She evened things up at the troops. Three boys, three girls. She came soon after our fifth - they are just 16 months apart.

We should have known.
For starters, she didn't cooperate for the ultrasound.
My labor with her was one of my hardest.
She was, by far, our fussiest baby. By a long shot. She was healthy, gaining weight (even though she started a tiny 5 lb something), but not happy.

Wouldn't take a pacifier. No siree. But unlike our other two non-paci babies, she never found her fingers. She just cried.
In the grocery store.
In her bed.
In the car.
From her very first Sunday in the church nursery she hated it. Hated. Hated it.
She would climb up on my head when I tried to drop her off. Crying and grasping at everything she could get a hold of.
If the food on her plate touched, or heaven forbid, got mixed up, she came unglued.
She didn't like certain clothes because they felt funny or were scratchy.
If she had the tiniest wrinkle in her sock, it was the end of the world when you put her shoe on.
No talking to strangers for her.
Good grief - no talking to anyone! Sometimes not even her daddy or granddads. It was heartbreaking.

Along with her somewhat OCD behavior (wanting things just so), early on we found a pattern. She didn't like men.
It was tremendously upsetting. I began (in my oft-pregnant, always tired, out of touch mind) to worry that something had happened to her. WHY was she so afraid of men?

Finally the Coach, in his amazing wisdom and NOT out of touch mind, helped me see it differently.

Maybe this was God's protection for her. And WHY were we trying to change that?

So, instead of freaking out about it, I decided to work on her obedience and responding to things that upset her in an appropriate way. I began to picture her as a wife and mother. The most important thing I do with these kids is help shape their character into a wife (or husband) that will be a blessing to their future family, someday. Not a high-maintenance, difficult spouse.

When we moved three and a half years ago, she completely freaked out. I just knew something was wrong with this HOUSE, forheavenssake.

Maybe part of it was spiritual warfare. I believe that is a real battle we face. We did a lot of praying on our knees in that room.
But for her, I think a lot of it was the trauma of the change.

Occasionally we could get her to stay in her class in our new church. As long as there wasn't a man teaching that week!
She started Kindergarten last Fall.

It about did us in.

Of course, I began to doubt our decision. But the Coach stood firm. It was the best thing for her, he said, to learn to function without my leg to hide behind. I wasn't so sure.

But after about two months of it being really rough, she began to do better. Began to like it.
Began to thrive.

In the meantime, she's grown into the most helpful, industrious, hard-working little girl we could ever imagine. She is my helper. I know if I ask her to do something, it will be done quickly, efficiently and for a six year old, VERY WELL.

She's an amazing kid. Brings us such joy. Who would have thought?

For about a year she's gone to Sunday school class with the Coach and I. Sat patiently in an adult class rather than go to her own, which is taught by a wonderful couple (which includes a man).

Know what happened this morning?

She asked to go to her own class.

And tonight? When I tucked her in bed? She told me she would like to go from now on, if that's OK.

If I've learned anything, I've learned this. They'll grow out of most things.

I say MOST things because there are some things that deserve your undivided discipline and attention. No child will grow out of disobedience. Or lying. Or disrespect.
Those kinds of things need to be dealt with. The sooner the better.

But there are a whole lot of things that consume us as parents that are simply not going to be a big deal later on.

The trick, of course, it to know the difference.
Your best source of wisdom? God's Word. Godly Counsel. And the Holy Spirit. If you are a believer in Christ, you have the living Holy Spirit in you at all times. It will guide you and give you direction. And peace.

My point is, don't become discouraged with your kids. They have issues. We ALL have issues. Trust the Holy Spirit to help you pick your battles. Then have the wisdom to know that time does a lot.
I haven't told you half of the things we've struggled through with her. And I know she's only six. We still have a long way to go.

But OH it's worth it. If you could see her happy little self. The joy she has in being my helper. The fun she has greeting and hugging her granddad and papa. If you could have seen her curled up on the couch next to her daddy tonight. Hear her read books to the younger two.

When you think you can't do it anymore, just hang in there.

It's so worth it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Still here. . .

I know you've been worried.
Wondering if maybe that sinus infection got me.
Or maybe the kids declared mutiny and took over the computer.

Wait. I think they did. But that's beside the point!~

Truth is, SUMMER is here. And not THIS Sumer, (whom I also love), but the one that happens when school lets out for the year.

That delightful time of year when I resort to the following to do list:

1. Eat
2. Make sure the other 9 people in the house eat
3. Exercise (to offset #1 - particularly all of the ice cream)
4. Shower
5. Do laundry
6. Take the kids swimming as often as possible (depending on invitations received)
7. Wash towels and suits from swimming
8. Go to the library
9. Sleep

That's pretty much it! Blogging isn't on the list. Although I have picked up a book or two so far (finishing up When Joy Came to Stay, by Karen Kingsbury). The phone rings until the answering machine gets it. And I don't feel badly about that. Sometimes.

We've been eating food cooked on the grill. And leftovers that were originally cooked on the grill. And sandwiches.

We've taken two walks almost every day - one in the morning, one after dinner. We've watched seasons 3 and 4 of Monk for the second time. Become experts at air popped popcorn in the evening.

The house is dusty. And full of laughter.


And I haven't taken a single picture since the last day of school.

I miss you. Truly, I do.

I'm looking forward to putting the final touches on my money savings tips post.
And the next installment of "How the Coach Won My Heart."

But right now, the hot dogs are ready to go on the grill, a watermelon needs to be cut up and I need to pick up Son #1 at a lawn mowing job.

Life calls!

Hopefully, very soon, I'll be back. . .
But don't bother calling.
I won't answer it.