Friday, December 21, 2012

waiting for christmas

everything is slow here.
everything is finished.
it feels like a waiting game now.
that is a nice feeling.
 
i have a few things to wrap, but someone might unwrap them.
so i think i will wait to do that.
 
 
husband got home way late last night from another far away class.
i'm glad he is safely home.
today i am going to the grocery one last time.
tomorrow i can start baking.
 
i guess this might be what the jews felt like waiting for their king.
... 
 
connor said this rope turban thing was his wiseman hat.
 


 look, he's wisely doing his homework.
 

 
yes, our tree now leans thanks to bo christian.
that tree is 13 years old and survived my other 4 boys.
i guess it is time for a new one next year.
 
enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

14 years

today is our 14th anniversary.


this is one of my favorite pictures of us.
bronson took the picture.
 
that day was a warm sunny sunday afternoon with a perfect blue sky.
we had been to mass and were waiting for something on the grill to cook.
all the other boys were in the pool.
husband only had on his swim trunks - his outfit of choice in the summer.
i had on my moo-moo.  some people would call it a bathing suit cover up,
but really it is just my moo-moo.
 
anyways.
 
14 years.
wow.
when we got married i thought marriage would be really hard.
but, i knew i wanted to spend the rest of my life with this boy.
the happy surprise is being married to him has really been easy.
he is that good to me. 
 

husband wanted to wait to get married until i graduated college - he already had.
so we did just that.
i graduated saturday morning and we got married that night.
i wanted my mother to have one stressful day instead of two.
no not really...
i was in a hurry to start the rest of my life with him.
 
i loved him then.
and i still do.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

a band concert

bauer had his first band concert.
a very impressive christmas performance.
 
it was the most beautiful thing he has ever been a part of.
(besides receiving his sacraments)
hundreds of kids who just started playing 4 months ago making music together - breathtaking!
 
i could not see bauer's face during the concert.
but, i could see his turquoise shoe tapping to the beat.
 
 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

thoughts

today is the first day i have been able to mentally handle reading anything about Connecticut.
it is all just so uncomprehendable to me.
the students, parents, teachers -
the whole community.
i can not imagine.
but honestly, i really haven't let myself go there.
it is all numbing.
 
something i came across today,
it made me sad and mad in a whole different way.
sad for all the mothers in this situation.
and mad at our health care system.
 
and since i am not an eloquent speaker, i do not know how to end this.
life is precious.
the end.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

errands yesterday

yesterday i had errands to do.
some things happened.
 
normally i don't mind parking at the back of parking lots.
but yesterday it was cold outside and i wanted a spot close to the store's entrance.
there was a spot!
so close it was right beside a handicapped spot.
i thought i had hit the jackpot.
 
as i pulled in, i saw the reason no one had taken this spot.
 
picture this:
a small sedan.
pulled forward too far into my spot.
with a christmas wreath on the front of it.
with a big o'girl laying on the hood of the car on her belly
straddling that christmas wreath
peering into the little car.
and 2 preschoolers playing in the front seat of that car.
 
yes, strange.
and funny too.
 
i just eased forward in my minivan
hoping the girl would get off the top of her stupid car.
 
well, she didn't move.
and i left the butt of my van hanging out in the aisle.
 
i felt the situation i was in told me that it was acceptable behavior these days.
you know, to leave your butt hanging out in odd places.
 
while i was getting bo christian's stroller out, i learned more things about this girl:
she was loudly playing some crazy game with those kids - who were still in the car.
i could hear the kids laughing and she sounded happy too.
and she was smoking her smokes...
oh, so that explained it all.
 
they were all happy, happy, happy.
(as phil robertson would say)
 
anyways.
 
when i came out of the store
the girl with the smokes and the kids were still playing.
yep, she was still on her hood smoking away.
maybe a bad day?
maybe her car wouldn't start?
or maybe she was just happy, happy, happy.
 
next stop was the car wash.
i haven't paid for a car wash in 7 years.
last time i went connor was 1 year old.
it scared him and he screamed the whole time.
since then i have always taken my minivan to the fire station
where husband kindly washed it for me.
but, you know, he has this new job with an office and meetings and stuff
so he can't wash my van for me anymore.
 
you can imagine my surprise
when that computer lady told me it would be $6.
what???
for some water and soap???
all i'm going to say about that is
y'all could save yourselves lots of $6
if you would marry a fireman that actually works at a fire station.
 
i will say the car wash soap has gotten fancier in the last 7 years.
the soap was all different colors.
i felt like i was in the middle of rainbow brite's rainbow-
the way the sun was hitting my van 
with the colored soap covering all the windows,
it was kind of magical sitting inside my van.
it was pretty and weird and expensive all at the same time.
guess i'll now be spending more time in the middle of rainbow brite's rainbow
if i want a clean van.
 
and that is the end of all the things
that happened to me in less than 2 hours.

those are some awesome boys.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

a glorious evening

people, i am bragging.
totally.
last night was like something you only see in movies.
 
after dinner, the big boys all read at the same time on their own.
 
 
yes, bronson is in the playpen.
it is very comfy i've been told.
the 3 middle boys like to sit in it while they do homework.
it also keeps bo christian out of their things.

 
then, bauer started practicing his trumpet.
they all sat around and listened to him.

i *love* how connor is holding bo christian back
while holding bauer's music book.
 
 
at one point bauer played jingle bells
and the other boys sang together.

i so enjoy moments like these.
 
 
they are glorious.

Monday, December 10, 2012

me the scrooge

i have discovered that i am a scrooge.
 
let me explain.
i really enjoy parts of christmas.
i like all the decorations.  to me it feels like we all decorate for a whole month just for a very special birthday.
i really enjoy christmas mass - it seems so magical to me.
oh, the food.  the baking and special treats.
 
but, as you have probably guessed, i am not big on the gift giving part.
we do buy a few things for our boys.
and i buy a few other small gifts.
i just have a really hard time throwing a bunch of money
on presents for people who really do not need anything
when there are people in this world that do not have clean drinking water.
it just seems like a huge mix-up to me.
 
because of that one reason i think i've turned into a scrooge.
 
i was reading something somewhere that got me thinking about all of it.
 
i am judging people for how they celebrate christmas.
i think only my way is the right way.
it doesn't matter which way is right or which way is wrong.
my attitude is all wrong.

if i really want to "keep Christ in christmas" then i need to act like Christ myself.
i need to love people just how they are...
 
my oldest and my youngest.

Friday, December 7, 2012

this week

what we've been up to this week:
 
 
us at the town square.
the sweet lady that offered to take our picture...
she didn't know what to do with us.
we were not very pose-able.
 
and one of just the boys.
 
 
someone has been doing way too much of this
 



and this.


which leads to...


working on caden's family literacy project.
at least the teacher called it what it was.



and watching duck dynasty.
uncle si is our favorite.
because of him, my boys now say hey! multiple times in each sentence.
 

 
 happy weekend!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

advent

i really enjoy advent.
for me it takes away from the commercialization of christmas.
 
each year we have done something different depending on the season of our life.
that is just a fancy way to say it all depends on what i can handle each year.
 
in the past we have done
a jesse tree,
just a simple countdown and
we have even done the lego advent calendar.
 
this year i got a new idea.
these little bags.
they have the the jesse tree readings in them
with a piece of candy for each of us.
 
 
the boys helped me make them.
i felt all super-momish, like i was really getting it together.

until i realized i only have 20 of the readings
and
they are out of order.
 
 
we are already on day 10
and we read about isaac before sarah and abraham.

eating my humble pie is a good idea for advent too.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

rejoice

i just know you woke up this morning wondering what my favorite christmas decoration is this year. 
 
i think the nativity trumps all other decorations.
even the beloved christmas tree.
 

our nativity looked all brown and boring.
it looked sad.

i added the word rejoice up there.
just because it was an easy cheap way to add some happy color.
that one word has become my favorite christmas decoration this year.
so many times i have caught myself singing
rejoice!  rejoice!  emmanuel...

that is all the words i can remember to that song,
but it keeps reminding me of the real meaning of christmas.
i like that.

so, i encourage you to go add a "word" to your home
 that reminds you of the real meaning of christmas.

Friday, November 30, 2012

...this is over

 
today i am thankful that this thankful every day of november is over.
this was way different from laying in bed each night telling God
thank you for...

it took a lot of time and mental energy to put all my thoughts into words.

but, this really has been a great exercise for me.

my life isn't perfect, i have so much to be thankful for.
 

besides, who wouldn't be thankful for a man who can hold a baby and make gravy at the same time?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

...glasses

bronson got glasses.
he's adorable!
 
 
in the car on the way home, over and over he said:
this is so stinkin' cool.
i had forgotten how cool it is.
 
 
at one point he said:
"isn't it amazing that somebody put some glass and wire together to help people be able to see."
 
i would have to agree.
i wear contacts.  husband and now bronson wear glasses.
today i am thankful for contacts and glasses.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

...a day off

today i got to spend the whole day with my man.
he took the day off from work.

we did all of our christmas shopping this morning.
then he took me to the most amazing greasy cheeseburger place for lunch.
he knew i would love their french fries.
they did not disappoint.

it was a very happy day.
i am thankful for husband's day off.
he didn't want you to know,
but it might have been his birthday.

bo christian turned one!

bo christian turned one on sunday.
 
husband tried to teach him to blow out birthday candles.
by using a duck call.
what a great toy - NOT!
  

bo christian can now blow the duck call.
but he never did blow out his candle.

 
happy birthday bo christian!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

...my body

(not a very good title)
 
it is cold outside.
too cold for me to be exercising outside.
so, i went and bought a workout video yesterday.
 
 
i chose this video because somewhere on the back it said 20 minute workout.
i thought i could 'move' in front of our tv looking like an idiot for 20 minutes.
 
i don't know much about this jillian,
but i do know she really doesn't care if you need to bend over to pick up your baby.
yesterday she told me she was going to transform my body.
from what i can tell, i am going to be transformed into a geriatric.

this morning husband said it looked like jillian beat the crap out of me.
i can feel muscles screaming out in pain in places i forgot that i had them.
 
i think i may have bought the wrong video.
 
but for real, i am thankful for my body and all it allows me to do.

Monday, November 26, 2012

...mass

a few months ago our boys' behavior was slipping during mass.
since this is the most important thing we do all week,
we had one of our family meetings to discuss the problems.
 
during this meeting the boys did all the talking.
one boy couldn't sit by this boy because they would talk.
no one wanted to sit by one brother.
and one brother just wanted to be by himself.
 
my resourceful boys came up with a seating chart for us.
not in a million years would i've thought of that.
i was thinking more along the lines of punishment for bad behavior.
let me tell you, i have a love-hate thing going with that seating chart.
our behavior is so much better now.
but i never get to sit beside my man during mass!
 
every sunday, we file into the pew like this:
connor
me
caden
bronson
husband
bauer
and then throw the baby in there somewhere.
 
i know that one day all my boys will be gone doing their own thing.
then i will be sitting by my man again.
but, for right now i am thankful that we are able to go to mass as a family with a seating chart.

all of us not in seating chart order.
 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

...sleeping late

today i am thankful for a baby that will occasionally sleep late.
like after 8am 2 days in a row.
oh, thank you so much bo christian!
 
 
bo christian knew today would be hard and i would need the extra sleep.
he's 1 year old today.
 
i've tried to make cupcakes for him this morning.
this is them still in the muffin tin.
 
 
obviously, the flat things will not do for a first birthday.
bauer asked if they were cookies.
why are cakes so hard for me?
 
i've gotta bake some more.
 
and no my baby does not sleep all night long.
he wakes up once for some momma's milk.
and just so you know,
he does not wake up for daddy and a sippy cup of water.

...my mother

my mother.

she didn't want her picture on here.
so, use your imagination...
she looks a tiny bit older than me.
with shorter hair and glasses.
yep, that would be her.

the one thing that i admire most about her: 
she always does what is right.
even when it isn't the popular thing to do.
she keeps her eyes on the real goal.

wish i was more like that.
i am thankful for my mother.

*i did not get this posted yesterday because of my father.
he introduced my family to the tv show duck dynasty.
we watched reruns every time we had a few free minutes.
oh my.  there is hope for american tv!
that show is funny and clean.
i laugh so hard that i cry.
we are hooked.

Friday, November 23, 2012

...my dirt

this thankful is a hard one to write.
but i think i should feel it.
because it is the truth.
 
so i guess i'm just gonna
...fake it 'til i make it...
 
even though i am always honest,
i will never share all the dirt in my life.
 
however, i do think i should be thankful for my dirt.
if i truly believe what i say i believe, i should be thankful for all that dirty dirt.
 
i do know that during the hard times i pray more.
i do know that the difficult things make me lean on Jesus more.
and i do know that digging through all that dirt the way God wants me to, makes me more like him.
 
but, honestly, it is very hard for me to be thankful for that dirt.
in theory i know that i am totally undeserving of anything good.
i am a sinner after all.
but in my humanness i want to think i only deserve the best.
obviously i need to work on being humble.
 
so today i am going to
...fake it 'til i make it...
and i am going to be thankful for all the dirt in my life.


and just because a happy picture is needed-
a place where there is only sand, no dirt:
summer 2011
 
 

...my thanksgiving day

this year I got to spend thanksgiving with my whole family.
 
husband, our boys, parents, sister, nephew,
grandmothers, aunt and friends.
it was good.
 
i didn't take a single picture as usual.
first we eat. no one wants their picture taken while they are eating.
then we clean the kitchen. not really a time to take a picture.
finally we sit down to visit. just doesn't seem like the best time either.
 
thanksgiving evening we went to visit our very most favorite friends.
we ate an unbelievable pumpkin cheese cake and talked and laughed
while our 11 children played.
 
and i didn't bring my camera.
 
even though i will not remember every detail,
i will always remember the happiness i felt.
 
i am thankful for spending thanksgiving with the people i love.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

...limits and priorities

 
me and my best buddy are eating chocolate chips while i type this.
because isn't that what you do when you have too much to do???
i need to get off this computer and spend real time with him.
 
today i am thankful for knowing my limits.
and my priorities.
 
and today i don't have the mental energy to type anything meaningful.
this is it.
 
today i am making rolls, cookies and an apple butter pumpkin pie.
yummy fun for me!
my big boys are out of school today.
i really do like it when they are home.
oh, they have requested that i make cinnamon rolls too.
i better get busy!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

...creativity

i heard something about God and creativity once.
and since i didn't write it down -
i can't remember it exactly.
it went something like...
God is the author of all creativity.
because you know He did create everything.
 
anyways, it made sense to me.
and somehow from that i figured out that we are all creative.
even me.  it was then that i began to see my creative side.
 
my creativity is a lot like me.
it is neat, orderly and not too messy.

i just finished sewing a little pouch.
i've been wanting to make it for a while.
but, it needed a zipper and i didn't know how to do zippers.
it turned out perfect!
 
 
today i am thankful for my creativity.

Monday, November 19, 2012

...duckin'

husband took the 2 oldest boys duck hunting for the first time.
caden called it duckin'.

they left the house at 2:30 am.
and came back with 3 dead ducks.
the boys said husband can sling his gun off his back ninja style
and blast the ducks before they can even get their guns into position.

exhausted.

they said it was boss!
...that means lots of fun in middle school lingo.
they already have their next 2 hunting trips planned.
 

i am thankful husband is able to take our boys duckin'.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

...pearls

i am not into current fashion trends.
i have my own style...
it includes lots of white shirts, linen in the summer, sweaters or fleece in the winter,
scarves year around, minimal jewels, always comfortable and always affordable.
 
i have been wanting some pearls for a while now.
i finally found some that met all my requirements:
so big that they are obviously fake,
a good color - at least to me,
not too long,
and matching earrings.
 
today i wore them for the first time.
 
 
i wore them granny style - the necklace and earrings together.
with a denim jacket - totally not granny style.
 
today i am thankful for my new pearls.

Friday, November 16, 2012

...grocery store day

today is grocery store day.
 
i only go to the grocery every other friday.
i go to three different stores.
it takes planning, but so worth it for many reasons.
 
last night i started stressing.
my lists were not in order - i might be anal or efficient, you can decide.
bo christian wanted lots of attention from only me.
spelling words still needed to be studied.
then i realized the real kicker.
i had scheduled doctor appointments for bronson and connor at noon today.
 
how in the world???
the baby would need at least a morning nap!
but, i got it all figured out.
you know, since i am efficient and all.
 
since i am thinking thankful thoughts this month
i realized how thankful i am for my grocery store day.


i can't imagine my husband going to work hungry.
or one of my boys ever being hungry.
i can't even think of too many meals that i have missed.

sometimes i don't feel like driving to the grocery
and pushing my baby around in a cart
to gather all our food.
there are women who have to carry a baby on their back
while balancing a bucket on their head and walk miles
just to get sort of clean water for their families.
 
and sometimes i don't want to eat what i have bought.
there are women who just wish for plain rice for their families.
i should be embarrassed.


i am thankful for my grocery store day.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

...adoration chapel

our adoration chapel at church is one of my favorite places.
i like to sit in the silence.
it is the best place for me to hear God.

 
since bo christian was born, we have not been going regularly as a family.
we have just started going again.
our goal is to stay for 10 minutes each time.
that is a long time to keep a baby quiet.
but this time we got to stay for 18 minutes.
miracles do happen!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

...just a bunch of stuff

last night bronson had a school program.
 
 
there he is - the cute blond boy in the middle.
they sang patriotic songs.
i only teared up once.  those children sounded so pretty.
bronson can now sing a song that lists every state in the usa.  wish i could do that.
 
 
bauer and caden wanted to come watch bronson.  i think that was sweet of them.
after school bauer had a soccer game.  then he came home and immediately started his homework.
he never complained about being tired - even though i know he was.
caden saw his favorite teacher.  he gave her a hug.  that takes a lot of guts when you are a 6th grader.
 
 

connor saw the program earlier in the day during school.
he sat quietly and drew mario and a quarter the whole time.
 

husband surprised me and came home early from work so we could eat dinner as a family before the program.
he knows how important that is to me.
i messed up the surprise.
i wasn't expecting him so we had already eaten.
 
bo christian had a blast.
he had to leave numerous times because he was clapping and "singing" way too loud.
and he kept insisting on standing on the table so he could see better.


proof that i was there.
 
i am just thankful for all of it.
for the boys' great schools, everything they are learning, their teachers.
for my boys who love each other.
for my man who tried to give me a wonderful surprise.
for his new job so that he could sit beside me and watch bronson too.
it was a good night.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

...my husband

 

see him??
i love him.
he is my most favorite person in the whole wide world.


all you need to know is that he is the best
and i get to spend the rest of my life with him.
 
i am so thankful for my husband.

Monday, November 12, 2012

...to be able to stay at home

i never know how to say what i do.
i don't like the word housewife.  i'm married to my husband not my house.
i don't go to a job to work and get paid, but i do work all day long.
at the same time i like what i do (most of the time), so it doesn't feel like work.
when people ask if i work, i usually say nope, i'm just a mom.
being a mom is all i've ever wanted to be when i grew up.
husband has always worked very hard for me to be able to stay at home.
i am living the life i always wanted.
i am very blessed.

who wouldn't want to eat lunch with him every day!
i am very thankful i am able to stay home and take care of my family.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

...first graders

i help in a first grade religious ed class on sunday mornings.
oh, how i love those little kids.
they are like little rays of sunshine.
i am thankful i start my sunday off with them.
 
 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

...our weekends

we have never ever had a weekend.
a fireman's schedule just does not allow it.
when a man works every third day -
he's working on friday and comes home saturday morning
or works on saturday and comes home sunday morning
or he works all day sunday.
 
but now that husband has switched divisions...
oh my!  we have a weekend!
well, except when he is on call.
 
i am thankful that we have a weekend now.
it has changed so much for our family.
it is good!

Friday, November 9, 2012

connor turned 8!

yesterday was connor's 8th birthday.
 
 
happy birthday to my connor d!


...our home

husband built our home.
he dug the footing, framed it, did the electrical work, laid the tile, put in all the doors and trim, and a bunch of other stuff.
our names (except for bo christian) are written all over the studs.
sounds romantic doesn't it?
 
well, he didn't build it for us.
he built it for us to live in for 2 years and then sell.
it never did sell.  we were stuck.
i never wanted to build this house and for years i didn't even like it.
we were living in a little house that i liked - husband had built it too.
i couldn't keep it clean.  i couldn't imagine keeping an even bigger house clean.
the sweat equity in this house was not worth it to me from the beginning.
all i saw was my man was never home and i had 4 babies to raise by myself
while he built a house that wasn't for us.
(that sweat equity is worth almost nothing now.)
yes, i picked most of the things out in it.
but, i didn't pick them out for us. i picked them out to sell the house.
we've had lots of arguments over this house.
but, they never amounted to anything.  
the arguments weren't worth our time or energy since we are in this forever.
 
a few years ago i started liking my house.
it started becoming a home for us.
i learned a home is so much more than a house plan, address or decor.
the house became more to me than just a mortgage payment and a roof over our heads.
i started changing small things to make the house more me.
i painted.  husband put up shutters for me and moved cabinets around in the laundry room.
my boys have beat up the wood floors (and a bunch of other stuff) with their toys.
a few months ago husband ripped out a door.  he didn't like the way he put it in the first time.
my friend left him a note on the door frame.  i *love* that missing door.
 
our home isn't perfect or anything you would find in a magazine, but it does tell the story of us.
it tells the story of how a husband can build a house.  a house that a wife didn't like and eventually it became their home.
 
 
i am thankful for our home. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

...the boys' schools

in the morning from the time i leave our home, drop off my boys at 2 different schools and get back home -
it takes me less than 15 minutes.

 
yeah, they were really into taking a picture this morning.
it is just an ordinary thing, but i am thankful for how close their schools are to our house.