Saturday, December 31, 2011

top ten of eleven!

i've been planning to do this all week. it's been a little crazy around here ;) nothing like waiting till the last minute! this would be the top ten highs and lows of 2011!

10. what we not so affectionately refer to as "The Great Lice Fiasco of '11". five kids. five heads of lice. two heads shaved and countless hours of nitpicking later.... they got it again. a total of four rounds of washing everything in the house. three weeks of hell. hopefully to never be repeated!

9. our new van! first vehicle with a/c in 5 years! woo hoo! i never thought i'd be so overjoyed at a minivan. but i still say a prayer of thanks every time i get in it!

8. medical woes x 7! strep throats, hand foot and mouth, ear infections, surgery for me. but no ER visits, no hospitalizations, all minor illnesses. not bad!

7. breaking dawn! i have waited a lot of years to see that wedding. it was every bit as good as i imagined. which is why i had to see it two three times. only 11 months till part 2!

6. the passing of "old papaw". my last remaining grandparent. while we were sad to see him gone, we were rejoicing with him for being reunited with nanny!

5. good business in a bad economy. theMr's side business flourished this year. his best year yet with lots on the books already for 2012. proof that God is so much bigger than our economy!

~the final four are all good. because there was much more good than bad in this year!

4. four weekend trips away for me! january was my first weekend away alone in eight years. it was followed by two trips to the International House of Prayer, a weekend Beth moore conference, a women of Faith conference and a Twi-Moms sleepover! after ten years as a stay at home mom, it was good to find some time for myself this year!

3. the birth of a ministry (and not a baby!). more later on that one :) soon, i promise!

2. the official end of childbirthing. bittersweet for sure. but it was time.

1. the renewal and revival of our marriage. we took a long, brutal road to find it. i wouldn't want to go through it again for anything. but it was worth every tear, every heartache. sometimes in order to make something all it can be, God has to take it back down to the foundation and rebuild. and He did. i will forever be thankful that in 2011 i fell in love with my husband all over again. i eagerly await what is in store for us in 2012.

thanks for reading this year. thanks for caring what happens to our family. thanks for comments and emails and earrings and love. who knew blogging came along with a new "family"? what a wonderful surprise. cheers to 2012! ~theMrs

Thursday, December 29, 2011

happy new year

it's normal to reflect at the close of each year. the highs, the lows, what you want in the coming one. when i try to put 2011 into words, i find myself at a loss. it has been such a monumental year in so many ways. much of which i'm not even ready to express. yet i find myself needing to quantify. it's a trademark at my core. i always need to quantify things. it helps them make sense to me.

it was the year i found my calling.
and lost my last surviving grandparent.

the year that held the first time i thought my marriage wouldn't survive
and the moment i realized it would.

the year we felt the Lord's hand on our lives more clearly than ever
the year we learned what He meant when said He'd never forsake us.

a year that started with questions
and is ending with transitions.

new friends, new jobs, new homes, new cars, new vision.

what will 2012 bring? answers to many of these things... joy, peace, love, happiness, fulfillment, change, growth, renewal, passion, direction and hopefully a bit of grace.

another chance to start again.
to say thank you.
to hold a hand.
to chase a dream.
to move on.
to make amends.
to rejoice.
to LIVE.

at the end of the day, through the extreme lows and the mountain HIGHS, we are still here. we are healthy. we are a family. we are at peace.

that's all that really matters anyway. the rest is just details.

happy new year to you and yours. may you walk in the peace and blessing of your Savior's plan. may your days be filled with laughter and joy, hope and contentedness. may you count your blessings and endure your struggles with the faith that they will pass. may you smile at those who bless you and those who don't. may you find the Lord's favor upon your life.

from our family to yours....

Saturday, December 24, 2011

12 days of theMrs Christmas

12 shatter-proof balls...

11 stocking stuffers

10 christmas toenails

9 lights not working

8 chores not finished

7 moose(es?) waiting

6 snowmen smiling

5 Christmas Quiches!

4 Santas sitting

3 kids snoozing

2 days till Christmas

and a crown on the Christmas tree!

Merry Christmas from theMrs & a Blessed New Year!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

i see a lot of bloggers are sharing their Christmas traditions and beliefs so i thought i'd do the same. i've been in a bit of a slump anyway. i have a hard time writing when i'm really happy. much of my inspiration comes from either irritation or sadness. weird but true. when things are going really well, i don't have much to say! but i digress ;)

i have some particular views on the Christmas season and how it should be celebrated. ( i know, you're so surprised that i would have strong feelings on something, huh?) we choose not to do the whole santa thing. however, a few years ago the big kids decided they wanted to pretend santa is real so they could put cookies out. we were fine with that. as long as they know the truth i don't see any harm in pretend. last year they pointed out that the cookies were really for daddy and the carrots for mommy, lol. i'm also somewhat particular about not making Christmas about receiving gifts. for that reason, i don't allow a list made of what they want. while i don't inherently think there's anything wrong with it, i don't want the focus to be detailing all of the things you want. it's really not what it's about. so we don't do it. i know what they want without them making a list anyway. at our house, each child gets four presents on Christmas morning and one to open the night before Christmas eve (which is always a book). this helps me stay on task and keep it manageable. that's still 20 gifts, not including stockings! i will admit i go a bit overboard on the stockings. i love little gifts. each child gets a new toothbrush, a box of bandaids, duct tape and other misc items in their stocking. last year i couldn't fit it all in!

the night before Christmas eve, we let them open one present. this year we are starting a new tradition on that night of roasting marshmallows over the fireplace and watching a movie! i think they will be really excited about that. they like anything that involves smores... they get that from their mother!

on Christmas eve, we all take a long nap and clean up the house. that evening we celebrate Christmas with my side of the family. i love being in my parents house with all of my siblings. now that my brothers are growing up and off at college and whatnot, it's not often we're all together. it's always fun and there is something about it that makes me feel young :) we eat lots of unhealthy food and open gifts and have a time of worship led by my brother, Tony. we come home and tuck in the little people after they've set out the santa snack. we wait until they're sound asleep and put out the gifts. we don't have any under our tree until then. i think it adds to the excitement to wake up to that. plus i don't have to worry about peeking!

on Christmas morning, the kids wake us up as early as they can get away with. the rule is no earlier than 7! theMr and i get our coffee first while the kids vibrate with excitement. they open their stockings first and then take turns on the others. i give each child a tupperware storage bin to put their presents in as they open them so we don't have to separate after. with five kids it helps keep the chaos to a minimum. afterwards. they take their toys upstairs and play while we relax for a moment. we head to theMr's parents late morning and spend the rest of the day with them. we now have seven grandkids on that side so it's lots of fun. we eat and laugh and open presents and eat some more. by that evening, we are worn out! every year we hope that the kids are going to sleep in the next day but they never do!

what kinds of traditions does your family observe?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

school Christmas program...

Smile and act like you love each other

if you ever want to go home we have to get one good picture

i'll take what i can get!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

top ten ways you know you are done having children.

as you know, theMr and i made the decision this year to be finished having children. a lot of thought and prayer went into this choice, only a tiny bit of vodka (just kidding!). we made it official, uh, surgical, this past april. leading up to that point there was always a tiny fear that after all was said and done, i'd regret the decision. that i'd hold a new baby and mourn that i couldn't do it again. well guess what.... not at all! as time goes on, i find myself more and more relieved that i'm finished with that phase of my life. here are just a few ways to know if that's true for yourself...

10. any time you feel even remotely nauseous, you find yourself praying you are coming down with the flu!

9. you purchase bunk beds... for the master bedroom.

8. when holding friends' new babies, you are secretly thinking how glad you are that you can go home and get a full night's sleep!

7. you take great pleasure in getting rid of each piece of baby paraphernalia as your youngest outgrows them.

6. you are mentally calculating how many more episodes of fresh beat band you will have to watch.

5. you find yourself afraid to get to your pre-baby weight because that's when you always end up pregnant.

4. when talking to your doctor about any health issue at all, you suggest a hysterectomy. sore throat... dry skin... allergies... let's remove my uterus!

3. you now find new enjoyment in activities purely based on the fact that you can do them without lugging a baby! tonight i will attend my first ever school christmas program without a nursing baby! you'd think i'm going to a broadway play. i don't even have to take cheerios!

2. you're already looking forward to empty nest syndrome.

1. you begin to appreciate the perks of this new season in your family. planning outings without concern for naptimes, feedings and diaper changes. not needing a highchair. the joys of relationship with older kids. FREEDOM!

no regrets, folks. no regrets :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

love and other things...

when you're a teenager, you think you know love. you have fantasies of your wedding dress, your honeymoon, taking home your first baby. but as you grow older, you begin to realize that the big moments are such a small part of life. that life is in the details. that love is in the little things even more than the grand gestures. and the longer you are married, the more those little things matter.
love is giving your spouse the last bite of your drumstick cone, the one with the chocolate at the bottom.
love is meeting you at the gate instead pulling up at the baggage claim.
love is rubbing an achy back when you'd rather be watching tv.
love is getting up with the kids even though it's not your turn.

while days like the proposal or the wedding or the first baby are incredible moments, they are only threads in the tapestry of your life. it is the everyday that determines what your life turns in to. when the excitement fades along with the natural color of your hair, all of those minute details become the things we hold most dear. sometimes, it's only after standing on the brink of losing that love, that we realize how precious it truly is. how much we would sacrifice and give and bend and fight to hang on to it. we realize that at the end of the day, we are fallible and human, just like the ones we love. and true love isn't just roses on valentine's day. it's saying i'm sorry even when we think we're right and buying the kind of coffee he likes instead of yours. it's recognizing all of the blesses instead of focusing on the irritations. it's never thinking there are other fish in the sea. it's holding tight to the vows spoken for better or worse, through sickness and health, for richer or poorer, for as long as you both shall live.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

top ten gifts NOT to get your wife!

it's that time of year again! the season when men, with their purest intentions, will purchase gifts for their wives insuring they will not get lucky for the entire next year. i'm gonna help you guys out here. i know you want to get her something she'll love. let me lay down some things to avoid. please... take my word for it.

10. an exercise dvd. she's allowed to think she needs it. you are not.

9. a Victoria's Secret gift card.... come on... who are you kidding? that is not for her!

8. cleaning supplies... unless she specifically asked. which is ironic that i'm including this one as all i asked for this year is a steam mop. but unless she clearly told you that's what she wants, i'd err on the side of caution!

7. something WAY out of your price range. the delight fades in january when she realizes you'll have to spend all year paying it off.

6. nothing. i would think this is obvious (*hint, hint DAD!) but apparently it bears noting. if finances are tough, that's ok. you don't have to spend a lot of money. just make sure she knows that you love her and you tried.

5. a gift you've been wanting. (i'm starting to feel like this post should have been titled "dear dad, stop doing these things") she probably doesn't particularly care if you get her a blu ray player. don't kid yourself.

4. clothes that are way too small. or way too big. either will come back to bite you. (and not in a fun way) when in doubt, take her friend or your mom to help. unless your mom has terrible taste. then don't take her. i'm lucky my mother in law has flawless style.

3. stuffed animals. she's not 5. don't go there.

2. gift cards to restaurants. now i know what you're thinking... she'd love a date night! well you're right, she would. but do you know what a gift card says? i want to take you out, put no planning into it, and have you pay with your christmas gift. if you wanna wow her with a special date night, then make it a surprise and write something in an envelope. plan all of it. (sitter too!)

1. anything that infers that she should cook more, clean more, lose weight, start meditating or get more organized. look closely at your choice and ask yourself: what am i really saying with this gift? because at the end of the day, all we really want to be assured that you love us, that we are the most beautiful woman you know and that you are thrilled to spend another year with us. and we'd prefer you not say that with a new set of tires.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

oh murphy...

remember when we discussed the murphy's laws of mothering? well i'm about to give you a perfect example. it's the day before thanksgiving, so i have a thing or two to get accomplished. i need to clean the house. i need to do pre-cooking. i'm also making dinner for a friend who just had a baby...

oh yeah, and i have seven kids 5 and under here. let me break that down for you! Two 5 year olds, a 3 year old, a 2 year old, a 1 year old, a six month old and a 2 month old. Six boys and little ole Esme. Can you say time management? So by 1pm i managed to get dinner for my friend completed. the floors swept and mopped. kitchen spotless.

and all seven kids sleeping at one time. the youngest and oldest both sleeping in my living room because i'm out of bedrooms! i'm not gonna lie, i'm feeling pretty proud of myself. i make some lunch and sit down.

and then i hear it.

a chainsaw in my front yard.

my neighbors have decided that today is the perfect time to cut down the tree of theirs that fell in our yard three months ago. perfect.

because nothing says "naptime" like the sound of a chainsaw.

shoot me now.

happy thanksgiving :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

dinner 101

one of the joys of raising young children is the battle of the dinner table. while the goal is to teach children respect, obedience and good table manners; the process can turn your dining room into world war 3 every single night. in our early parenting years, we took a hardcore stance to eating habits. YOU WILL EAT ALL OF THIS FOOD AND YOU WILL NOT LEAVE THE TABLE UNTIL YOU DO! but like many things in life, parenting is a trial and error experience. so while we still feel the same, we did not like the unintended consequences of the battle. dinner time is one of the only times in a day where we are all sitting together around a table. one of our only times to connect as a family. kind of hard to do when you spend it fighting a two year old to eat green beans! eventually, our tactics evolved into what we do today! our rules are pretty simple, but effective.

1. you will eat what is served to you or you will be hungry. we will not fight with you. we will not try to cajole you or threaten you into eating. you can leave the table when dinner time is over. but you will get nothing else to eat until you finish that dinner.

2. if choose not to eat your dinner at dinner time, you forfeit your snack. even if you choose to eat later. you can come back and finish your dinner any time before bed, but you get no snack. sorry! (for a child that frequently chooses not to, you'd be amazed the effect if there suddenly are some really great desserts! they may not care they're missing out on a regular snack but a few times of something really special and they may change their tune :)

3. no complaining about the food is permitted. it is rude and disrespectful. you will thank the person who made it for you and be thankful to have it. we would never allow our children to tell another person they did not like the food prepared, why should they be allowed to say this to their own mother?

4. everyone eats the same dinner. no exceptions. part of life is learning to adapt and learning to be graceful and respectful in things we don't like to do. welcome to growing up.

5. dinner is not a time to argue. if you choose to whine, complain, argue or any other unpleasant behavior, you will spend the dinner hour in your room. we'd like to eat in peace.

while we certainly have our nights of frustration, for the most part our children are good eaters who eat with manners and no complaint. our dinner table is a much more peaceful place once we decided it wasn't worth the chaos to force children to eat. and with five kids, we'll take all the peace we can get!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

i'm baaacckkk...

sorry for the absence. sometimes i just don't feel like being witty or smart or interesting. i just wanna be blah. nobody wants to read that. we all read that blog that feels pressured to post every day whether they have anything to say or not...
anywho, how are ya? i thought we'd reconnect over a good story of how stupid i am! let's jump in, shall we? yesterday was a rough day. if it could go wrong, it did. by midday, i was over it. so i go to stir our dinner, which i put in the crock pot a few hours earlier, and it's cold. there's no power. the crock pot has shorted out and died. and also blown out half the power in our downstairs. including the fridge and my bedroom.

i check all of the fuses. nothing.
i flip them all anyway, just in case. nothing.
i mention of facebook that i am going to google electrical repair and to check on me if i don't come back soon. (which prompts concerned phone calls from three different people. thanks for loving me guys, lol)
i learn quickly why electrical repair requires a degree.
i plug my fridge into multiple extension cords and into the living room.
i plug my kuerig in the front room.
i plug my mom's crock pot (which i borrowed and haven't returned!) in the walk in pantry, which is the only functioning outlet in the kitchen.

by the time my dear husband gets home, 9 pm, i'm in our room with my laptop attached to several more extension cords and i've just about had it. i'm freaking out by this point that it will be some huge, expensive repair right before christmas. (not to mention my crock pot, which i can't live without!)

he takes his tools and his flashlight to the basement.
ten seconds go by and it all comes back on.
he tells me (in between hysterical laughter) that i flipped the switches the wrong way.
who would build a house where some fuses go one direction and others go the opposite way??

not this girl.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

the first of november

i like november 1st. do you know why? because it means halloween is over. which means i can stop explaining to people why we don't celebrate halloween. and then explain that i don't think they're going to hell if they do. it gets complicated. and i know that this next part is gonna come as a big shock but.... halloween is an issue that theMr and i don't agree on. i'll give you a moment to digest the fact that we are not perfect and we argue. i know, it's hard to swallow. see i grew up in a "don't celebrate halloween or trick or treat" family. but theMr grew up in a family where halloween was a big deal and they went all out for it. therein lies the issue. what does that mean for us? it means we've both had to compromise. we don't trick or treat. but we do let the kids dress up and attend alternative events. my husband is gracious enough to not push an issue that i feel strongly about, even though it means missing that event with his family. i try not to dwell on the fact that dressing up and getting candy is still awfully close to celebrating for my taste. but my kids look so darn cute in their costumes :)

a beauty queen, a ladybug, a soldier, a princess and buzz lightyear walk into a bar zoo...

even grown up princesses need their daddies...

the title of this picture is "I'VE HAD A LOT OF SUGAR!!!"

one (cold) happy family!

Friday, October 28, 2011

more facebook no no's....

we've already discussed this. i believe more than once. but people just keep giving me more ammo. i can't help it. i don't make the news, i just report it.

10. let's talk about pictures. here's a few that nobody wants to see: your placenta, your actual birth, your kid's poop, vomit...just to name a few. listen people, i'm a doula. i'm passionate about birth. but i still don't want to see yours on facebook.

9. status tagging. if we're at the park together, feel free to tag me. if you are doing shots and i happen to be at the same location, do not tag me. i don't drink and i'm friends with my pastor on facebook. i'm talking to you tricia ;)

8. don't tell me what happened on shows! i never watch them at the scheduled time. don't ruin it for me!

7. oh my freakin goodness the status updates that i have to repost to prove i love jesus/america/breast cancer/autism/being allergic to junebugs. Jesus knows i love him. i don't have to prove it to him on facebook. as far as those others, if it's an issue close to your heart, be my guest. but don't try to guilt me into it. only 1% of people will repost this....

6. the "you're going to jail/a haunted house/a mental hospital" statuses where you tag your first five friends or whatever. not funny. not even a little bit.

5. when commenting on MY status, could you try to refrain from massive profanity? k, thanks. (see #9)

4. if you want people to stay out of your business, keep it off facebook. i know, i know, we've gone over this. but it bears repeating. often.

3. don't be the eeyore of facebook. i'll just hide you from my wall. stop bringing everyone down.

2. don't post that you keep losing weight because you "forget to eat". i will cut you.

1. STOP SPAMMING EVERYONE! i'm happy for you that you got a free piece of cheesecake or you found out who's looking at your profile. keep it on your own page. thanks.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

top ten things the Bible didn't specify

the Bible has lots to say about marriage and life in general. if you didn't know that, you should check it out. however sometimes it's hard to take things written two thousand years ago and apply them to modern life. (but if you'd like some suggestions on great books that do that very thing email me at!) anywho, i've come up with a few tips that may have been in the Good Book had it been written today....

10. a wise man answers his wife's text messages.

9. a Godly wife works hard to care for her husband and children. she ends her day with reality tv and chocolate, celebrating a job well done!

8. it is better to live with a nagging wife than to sleep in your truck.

7. thou shall not tweet about fights with your spouse.

6. make a joyful noise unto the Lord... just do so quietly when the baby is sleeping.

5. a wise husband thanks his wife for his clean laundry. a foolish husband does his own.

4. you reap what you sow... on facebook.

3. love your neighbor as yourself, even if they have a confederate flag as curtains.

2. on the seventh day, God rested. this does not mean he watched football all day while his wife took care of the kids.

1. treat others the way you would like to be treated. this includes the internet. just because other people can't see you doesn't mean God isn't watching!

**this post is purely for entertainment purposes. it is in no way meant to add/detract from the Bible, nor to offend. if you find it offensive, you should probably stop reading here. **

Thursday, October 13, 2011

never judge a book by it's cover...

it's easy to make snap judgements simply based on appearance.
i find people tend to do that often when encountering a large family.
everyone knows you can't judge a book by it's cover!

this may look like the perfect home to raise a family in...
if only it wasn't a two bedroom, one bath!

you might think this little miss is upset because she is having shots. in actuality, she's angry because her mother didn't let her write on the doctor's office wall with a pen.

this little girl with the big blue eyes looks like an angel, yes?
she's mischievous. and sneaky. beware :)

you may think these two are the best friends, being the youngest in our family.
they fight like cats and dogs. all day long.

is this a male model?
no. it's just theMr.
(there is more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking.)

these two look way too young to have babies...
little did they know they were about to do just that!
(a few times over)

it may seem like this child is angry a LOT.
that assumption would correct.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Guest post by my BFF!

(this is a guest post written by one of my closest friends in the world! she is such an integral part of my life and one of my biggest cheerleaders. i am so thankful that the Lord brought her into my life years ago! and for the record, i tried to find the picture because it's hysterical but no luck!)

Let me start by introducing myself, I am the Miss, friend of the Mrs. There is photographic evidence that we have been friends since we were in Brownie troop #1586 together, though our friendship did not officially blossom until a few years ago. (author’s note: I would have included said picture, but it was before the Mrs. mom found out that you don’t brush curly hair and my own mother thought I was the head double for Rapunzel.) You could sum up our similarities by saying we love to laugh and we both love Jesus.

One of the joys of our differences means that once in a while I get to leave my cozy for one person and a dog place and head to the bustling nest of the Mrs.. She is always cooking something delicious and has even taught me to make a few things myself (I joke that It is her singles ministry). Someone is usually constructing something to climb up on or jump off of. If I stop by at night, the kids, one by one will sneak down the stairs (with a creative excuse) to say hi. They get in “trouble” but I secretly love their little welcomes. Each of her babies has come to mean a great deal to me. I am lucky enough to get to spend time with them and see the people they are becoming.

My first visit to the Mrs.’ home is still something we laugh about often. At the time, there were only three little people on the scene. The Mrs. was busy making dinner (because if you are single she does that) and I was chatting away with her in the kitchen. The princess was the only kid hanging around at the time. She sat across from me at the kitchen table, staring me down, with a grumpy/mean look that would have stopped even the toughest villain from messing with her mama. In truth, she didn’t feel too hot and wanted to be held and loved on. (I remember she was sick because it was the first time I had seen a grown up wrestle a child in the name of cough syrup). She was sad that the Mrs. was too busy cooking some stranger a calzone to hold her. I remember offering to let her sit with me. “You can sit on my lap” I added, “I promise we don’t have to talk”. Much to my surprise, she climbed on up. We didn’t say a word, just sat and cuddled while her mama cooked, and it’s safe to say that we have been buds ever since.

Za was going through a Kelly Clarkson phase at the time. He loved to sing Shrimpin’ and Gone, his version of Since You’ve Been Gone. He also performed a little number called Family Bills, That’s What You’ve Got to Pay (aka Beverly Hills). It occurs to me as I write this, that they must have rationed words in the Mrs. house at the time, because what the princess didn’t say Za more than made up for. The thing I admire most about Za is his uncanny ability to be excited about anything, literally, anything. I wish more people were so thrilled to face the day.

It’s safe to say that Za was known for his high energy level at the time. Regardless, I owe this kid any ounce of pride I have left. Remember, this was the first time I had been invited over (I live out of town). At some point in the evening, the Mrs. snuck out of the kitchen to attend to something else. No problem, I can handle small talk with a confused Kelly Clarkson wannabe. At the time, they also had a giant golden retriever, Goliath, who was probably the closest match to Za’s energy. While the humans in the house welcomed a new friend, the dog of the house had different ideas. As I ran around in a small circle in a relative stranger’s friend’s kitchen, being sexually assaulted aggressively welcomed by the family dog, Za stepped up and chased the dog, who was chasing me, and eventually pulled him off of me. No doubt saving my life reputation as a lady and assuring that I had at least an ounce of hope of being invited back. Za, being the perfect gentleman, never said a word of what happened. He is a good kid. Someone I would want on my team every time.

The Bean was her normal, polite, quiet (only at first) self that night. It wasn’t until later that she let me know that she was a giggling, kind, sharp witted little thing. A few weeks after this first visit, she invited me over for Easy Bake Oven cake. And, while I miss those teeny cakes, I am so glad to have a front row seat to see her grow into this amazing young lady!

A few weeks later, the Mrs. learned that the little guy was on his way. And while it has been a joy to have seen this family grow (and grow) I will always look back to my first visit, laugh, and know that it was the beginning of a friendship, not just with the Mrs. but with her family. I’ve been back since, for no good reason, to drop off some thumbprint cookies, or have a dance off (where someone lost a tooth), to do hair and makeup, to laugh and be loved on. So, Bean, Za, Princess, Little Guy, and Essie, thanks for letting me hang around and keep sneaking down those stairs when I visit after bedtime, I probably brought your mom some Schulers veggies, and that will keep her busy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

a tuesday afternoon rant...

i should be writing my next motherhood uncovered post. but i'm not. because i'm frustrated and i need to rant. i would like to offer the disclaimer that i'm not trying to argue with anyone's convictions. i'm not against standing up for what you believe in. i just need to get a few things off my chest:

~ i wish thousands of people would march in anger at the 13 million children a year that are victims of human trafficking.

~ i wish that Americans who are so indignant that their health care costs have risen would stop to think of the millions that die every year from preventable diseases due to lack of safe drinking water and simple vaccinations.

~ i would love to see a well planned uprise screaming out against the fact that there are more slaves today than ever in history.

~ i'm interested in hearing why last week few mentioned that while mr. jobs was definitely a genius, his very own company is responsible for such horrible working conditions that employees are asked to sign a non-suicide agreement before hiring.

~ while we're at it, did you know that in a recent interview johnny depp compared being photographed with being raped? do you know why celebrities can say such things? because we'll keep seeing their movies.

~ i'd like to point out that the poorest members of the US are still able to go to a soup kitchen and get a meal, go to an ER and have their lives saved and vote. they are also able to collect benefits for not having a job, send their kids to school without paying a dime and have a free lunch thrown in too. try complaining that you're "forgotten" like that to the people walking hundreds of miles across africa with their dying children in search of water. not health insurance, not better benefits, not higher stock market yields, WATER. for the record, i'm all for those programs.

most of all, i'd like americans to wake up. if you want to take a stand, take it for life. take it for child prostitutes. take it for slavery or famine or drought or sex trafficking. look in the mirror and realize how flippin blessed you are to be born in america. think about that next time you complain that you are having to increase your gasoline budget or pay off your college education (which you knew when you financed it) or spend more on groceries. thank the Lord that you have a gas budget and a grocery store and a college education. and reevaluate. that's all i have to say.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

leaving on a jet plane..

thursday evening i'm heading to the airport... and i'm really excited! my friend Angela and I will travel to the International House of Prayer for an adoption conference. We will be there for three days learning the ins and outs of facilitating adoptions. We hope to return and partner with our local house of prayer and pregnancy resource center to make this happen in springfield. While our passion is multifaceted, our deepest desire is to see the the abortion rate in clark country diminish as women are provided comprehensive adoption support and adoptions are made more affordable for the average household. In 2007 alone there were over 30,000 abortions performed in Ohio. That is an epidemic. As our economy continues to struggle, we must find ways to bring these numbers down in a time where people are feeling increasingly more desperate. The Zoe Foundation is committed to doing just that. And guiding others to do the same in their cities. the basic premise is that the key to lowering the abortion rate is offering better services to birth mothers while also making adoption affordable for normal families. Angela and I are humbled by the opportunity to be a part of this and to serve the Lord in this battle. Would you commit to praying for us?

so the next few days will be hectic for me as i prepare to leave. i'm thankful for a husband that does such a good job when i'm away! i try to have things as prepared as possible so he can enjoy his time with the kids and things will run smoothly. (as smoothly as anything runs in a family our size!) i will miss esme's actual birthdate, which i'm sad about. but she won't know so it'll be harder for me than her! i'm hoping i'll be so busy that day with the conference i won't have much time to think about it!

thanks for being my reader and for supporting me, vocally or silently! thanks for your prayers and for caring enough about my family to take time to read here :)

until next time!

Monday, October 3, 2011

her royal highness turns 2!

last night we had a birthday party for esme! her actual birthday is friday but i will be out of town. it's the first time in 12 years i've missed one of my kids birthdays! while i know she will have no idea, it still makes me a little sad :( however, what i will be doing is really exciting! (more about that tomorrow!) we had this little get together at our house with our parents and siblings. she loved every minute of being the center of attention! the theme was "esme's favorite things" so we served hot dogs, chips and veggies!

waiting for her guests to arrive :)

she doesn't actually like cake. so she licked the candle and threw the rest on the floor!

she got two babies in a double stroller. she's been taking good care of them and nobody is allowed to touch them but her!

two of my brothers with two of my kids!
(and my brother's sweet girlfriend!)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

how many kids do you have?

parenting is hard. whether you have one child or seven, it's all consuming, exhausting and hard. i frequently have people comment to me that they don't know how i manage five children. while it certainly increases the workload, there are certain truths that occur any time you have more than one child. here are just a few...

~you have to have several children to understand the trouble you're asking for if you let one child carry another child's happy meal from the car to the house. and never, ever, switch the toys. it doesn't' matter that they are the same.

~only a mother of young children can fully comprehend the terror in your heart when you walk into the bathroom and see three sharpie lids... with no sharpies.

~ you can get your body back (for the most part) after one baby. you can even do it after two. but five giant babies? forgetaboutit. your only hope is that you can get your muffin top down to a size that will fit in non-maternity pants.

~ you recognize that quiet children are children making a craft out of tampons and shampoo.

~you also have learned that there is little that a bandaid can't fix.

~ the best babysitter while you clean the bathroom is the bathtub.

~ it only takes a minimum of two kids to fight over the same cup! five kids arguing over one cup will make you want to start drinking at breakfast.

~ the noise level of a home does not simply double with a second child, it rises exponentially.

~ the above is the same for laundry.

~ supersonic hearing. i can now identify five different coughs during the night. my room is on a different floor than the children but i still can tell who is coughing.

~ you can love many, many children with the same devotion as your first. it's hard to believe when you only have one. you can spend many nights during your second pregnancy worrying about it. but fear not, it's true.

the more kids you have, the more strangers will stare at you, give unsolicited advice and judge you. but those strangers could never fathom how full your heart is. even if you haven't caught up on the laundry in six years.