Monday, March 19, 2012

Joy, joy, unspeakable joy...

If a picture is worth a thousand words...I shall speak volumes with three simple pictures...

These are three of my seven beautiful children...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Too pooped to pucker (aka the Rip Van Winkel nap)

Yes, I used the word 'poop', or at least a derivative of...but I digress.

With BigDaddy having been gone for the last three weeks and all tasks, chores and responsibilities laid upon my weary lap I have become, well, wearier. (I know single moms do it every day 52 weeks of the year...I have been on that road myself)

There is something to adaptation. I have been a single mom but I had a simpler life. I had one child, most things were within walking distance; she was my only responsibility. I worked part-time or, for part of it, went to school, could keep up with housework, had no babysitter to worry about, had me and a 3-5 year old to feed...

I got married, inherited 4 more children, gave birth to two more, began working full-time, became a part-time photographer, became very involved in a church and the cause that it is working towards seeing...and became accustomed to having two grown ups splitting the running around and the chaoticness of days.

Now I am in school as well, taking a class through distance-learning...and my husband is gone every second week. Weekly reprieve is sweet.  This past month, it has all been placed in my lap and I have been too exhausted at the end of the day to study. I picked up my books, read the same 8 words repeatedly with no comprehension, set my books down, defeatedly, and slowly crawled into bed.

BigDaddy comes home today and I should be excited to see him and spend time with him because I have missed him, which I have, but...I am so tired, I am looking forward to him grabbing hold of the baton and running the next stretch of this relay while I fill the tub with steaming hot water, soak for 10 minutes, slither out of the tub, pour myself into my pajamas and pull my sorry butt the 10 feet to my bedroom where I will promptly channel Rip Van Winkel and sleep for hundreds of years...

...or at least 12 hours. {sheepish grin}

I know he will want a kiss when he walks in the door but I am afraid, due to a crazy schedule and a mush-brain due to studying, these lips are too pooped to pucker - at least until after my Rip Van Winkel nap

Thursday, March 15, 2012

And still my heart shall sing

Remember my uncle?

The one I photographed this summer

Please remember him in your fierce prayers of warfare.

Speak strength, healing and wholeness into his body.

I'd be ever so grateful.

Thank you.

Running the race

Yesterday my son, LilB put something on Facebook that reduced me to tears.  Good tears.  Tears brought by 3 years of prayers, of believing, of the feeling a parent has knowing your child is not on the path they are intended to be on; I have spent three years knowing who God is over the situation with my kids, standing in the gap for them, fighting, through prayer, for them... I have watched as I have looked into their eyes knowing that they know they are not doing what they know they should know that look in their eyes..the one is vacant, no spark...
Yesterday, that fight came to an end for me regarding one of my children, my oldest, LilB (I am not saying I have come to a place to stop praying but a moment has arrived where I can stop fighting with the intensity and heartache I have least for him.
I want to share with you the words he wrote; I hope they find you peace in the hopeless situation you find yourself in (whatever it is) or if you are at a crossroads in your walk with God, struggling with your faith - let the words of a 25 year old man who, as a child and teen, ran hard after God, hit some barracades in his life and made choices that have brought him to this revelation.
"When you make the conscious decision to walk away from God and do your own thing (don't let anyone fool you it is always a decision), when you finally decide to turn back its twice as hard to do simple things like pray, have faith, obey. In January it had been almost 3 years since i had tried to talk to God. I know i made the right choice to follow Him again. When i look at what God is doing in my... Friends and Family i realize what i almost through away. Now i am several laps behind in this race called life. I say all this to be a lesson to anyone thinking about walking away. Eventually you will see where you should be. The Question is how far behind will you be and how much struggle will you have in those years off the track? Learn from those of us who have turned away. Don't make the same mistake."
Do you know what is equally moving and heartwarming as his words? The words of support of the people he surrounds himself with and who we know and trust to love him. As some may remember, my eldest son lives in a different country, a 24-hour straight drive away from me.
I share, with you, their words as well.
Bryan R glad to have you back in the race, now see if you can keep up with me... :)
Sherry L I am crying right now at your words. It's not how fast you run, it is whether you finish the race. We will be running along beside you.
Lynette P Well you aren't running alone my friend!
Jeremy H Well said my friend!
Harold B  Love you!
James B What awesome insight man. After words like those I am wondering how far I gotta go to catch up and run beside you.
What joy floods my soul!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

60s Mystery Night

On Saturday, March 3 the adults of our church had a super fun night - a 60s mystery "Who dunnit" night.

I think the pictures have spoken enough...I don't need to say any more

other than...

THIS was so much fun and I hope we do something like it again!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Remember "the date"

that these two grinning kiddos planned for their dad and I?  The one I talked about here...

I have finally managed to tear myself away from studying long enough to get some pictures of the event up (as well as some other ones, as some of you may have been noticing. I have been a little less vocal on here as I could be but studying and life are taking priority these days.)

Check out the hand-written menu.

We each had our own menu to look at, written in Hilroy notebooks. Mine was pink and BigDaddy's was blue.

The decor was eclectic. An orange table was set in the middle of our living room with candles and a bouquet of flowers, candy fruit slices were scattered on the table and, as you can see a glittered, foam heart and a stuffed hedgehog named Teaspoon were propped against the table.

 We put Jellybean's photography skills to the test to get a picture of us in our date clothes...she has room for improvment on waiting until people stop speaking and begin smiling...ha ha ha

But here we are, in the clothes the kids picked for us to dress and all.

Our server was pleasant to look at and to speak with...his manners were simply delightful and it didn't hurt that his eyelashes are a mile long, his smile melts hearts and he looked at us with so much love and adoration while he served our drinks, meal and dessert.
I don't think I will ever forget the day my children showed me their true character, the true measure that is in their hearts and how much they love their mom and dad.

It was one of the best memories of my life.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Nothing like a big brother

And Jellybean and Bug happen to have two of them...

...Yes, Tuff is making a rare occurance on this blog. He is so uber busy with his work schedule and school that it is rare we get to see him...but, as you can clearly see, it doesn't mean we love him any less (or he love us any less)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Where'd my little girls go?


The following post contains girly information that some may find embarassing, offensive or too much information... You have been warned.

Today I lost my little girl. She threw a ginormous grin at me as she jumped out of the car this morning, hobbling her sprained ankled self into the school, ready to spend the day at the ski lodge gliding down the hill watching her friends roll down the hill as she stayed safe and warm in the lodge mending a bad sprain from yesterday's Pirate Tag...

Pirate Tag... yesterday, a young girl, carefree...between Barbies and ponies and nail polish and hairdo's.

She asked me, last night, if she could sleep in my bed with me - a heartbroken little girl who needed her mama to snuggle her through the disappointment of not getting to participate in, what would have been, her first ski trip ever.  So, we snuggled...she slept in the bed with much comfort and room and I slept with a size 7 foot nestled, ever so lovingly, against my cheek... {Grin} baby girl...

Upon picking the kids up from their friends' house (I had no idea I was suddenly in the presence of a young woman), a quiet, somewhat embarassed voice (because her little brother was in the car with us) whispered  "Mom, I think I got my thing..."

A quiet metamorphasis transpired in the blink of an eye. My baby girl, on the edge of awkward teenagehood, became a young lady on the edge of girlhood...a beautiful, rare, genuine, passionate, kind, awkward with an inner grace, merciful, compassionate, intense, loving young lady.

Where has time gone? In the blink of an eye, Jellybean has gone from a pudgy-cheeked baby to a ladybug loving toddler to a gangly pre-teen with a heart of gold and a desire and zest for a life full of life and hope...a toddler who, due to verbal apraxia, could speak only a handful of awkward (sometimes made up words) to a young lady who can captivate an audience or a hard-hearted gang member with her words and electrifying personality.

I don't put this out on the "interweb" to one day embarass Jellybean but to, one, mark time; two, share with other moms that open discussion with your girls (even boys) about the facts of life, of what to expect in life/from life and they will come to you with their questions, their concerns instead of going to their friends and other sources to get their information. Create moments and opportunities to build trust and foundations with your children that you become their go to person, that they know you will be open, upfront and honest with them in, of course, age appropriate ways.

I have spoken, in some manner or another, to each and every one of my children with open-ended conversations about every aspect of life and growing up. If they have a question, I will never dismiss it; I will answer it as best as I can  in the most age-appropriate manner I can.  There have been times I have said something along the lines of there being more to it but, that at their age, that is all that needed to know for right now until they were a little older or more mature and they honor that...

Because of that, Jellybean feels that she is able to come to me as she discovers things that shock her about growing up - people she knows turning "emo", cutting, friends with eating disorders and I talk to her about my experiences, share with her honestly, don't dismiss her...if she doesn't have the knowledge, hear the experiences, hear the truth as I see it and discuss with me the topics as she formulates her opinions of what she wants for her life based on  these topics, she gets lead, blindly by her peers. Do I really want her peers formulating her morals, her ideaology of what is right and wrong, her theology...?

Talk with your children...not to them...not at with them. Communicate. Interact. Engage. Make and take time for...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

One Year Old Beauty

You had me at the first moment I laid eyes on know, your first 10 minutes of perfect...

Last month, you turned one...walking, full of mischief and wonder, an expert at the "Elvis lip" perfect...


Monday, March 5, 2012

Science Fair (Round 1) Pictures

Jellybean's Science Fair...Round One.
She still has a Round Two to go as she won silver at the School level and is going to Regionals.

 The ingredients

 The display...looking all professional and, dare I say, cute and sassy.

Bug's Science Fair project. First one ever.
Magnetizing a nail with a battery.

Adorable...and professional...and VERY nervous...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bless his little bug heart

Last Sunday, during the offering message, I noticed that Bug was effortlessly writing page upon page of notes. I snuck a quick sideways glance and saw "God rocks God rocks God rocks..." 

A slight smile escaped my lips as I tossled his hair and continued listening to the message, thinking 'Boy, I am so blessed to be this kid's mom'.

After service I asked him if it was ok if he read to me all that he had written down in the back few pages of his Bible and he, happily, obliged.

This, my friends, is what he wrote, verbatim et literatim  (word for word letter for letter):

God rocks
God rocks
God rocks
God rocks
devil sucks
devil sucks
devil sucks
devil sucks
the devils lies stops becuase they suck. i'm not Going to allow the lies of the devil in my life. they half to leave right now because they don't have anything to do in my life so devil take your lies and go back to hell and never come back to my life cause they suck. Gods power is the thing i need. not your lies. so God come inti my life right now and i just pray right now for my mom cause she just told me that she had a dream. God rocks and is Awesome and he loves us. Gods mercy endurs forever.

(The dream I had had was a terrible dream about my dear Bug that was maybe a 45 second flash of a dream but was so real and sinister that it shook me to my core when I was shaken awake by its horror but I will not be shaken by it anymore because I will not speak words of negativity over my children but speak the life and power of God over their present and their future.)