Friday, December 31, 2010

This is EXACTLY what I needed to read this morning.

I found this quote this morning on a blog that I read. The woman who writes the blog touches my heart with her honesty about her life and the struggles that sometimes go with simply... living. As she writes about turning to the Lord with every bump (and boulder!) in the road, I'm finding myself really yearning for a raw hunger for Him and a need to let Him carry me through - especially as I am childishly realizing that I can't do it alone. I wasn't designed to. The following words put it into perspective perfectly.

"As this year draws to a close, receive My Peace. This is still your deepest need, and I, your Prince of Peace, long to pour Myself into your neediness. My abundance and your emptiness are a perfect match. I designed you to have no sufficiency of your own. I created you as a jar of cay, set apart for sacred use. I want you to be filled with My very Being, permeated through and through with Peace. Thank Me for My peaceful Presence, regardless of your feelings. Whisper My Name in loving tenderness. My Peace, which lives continually in your spirit, will gradually work its way through your entire being."

Sarah Young

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Word of advice?

Don't watch this movie when your husband is gone for 2 1/2 weeks, you're an emotional wreck and/or unbelievably worn out. Even if you've read the book and feel prepared. You aren't.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Carter Quote

While walking into Fred Meyer this afternoon, Carter grabs on to me and says, "Hold my hand so I know where to walk, Mom - I'm covering my eyes so I don't have to look at that darn GO DUCKS sign above the door!"

(Disclaimer: We *are* rooting for the Ducks next game - but that's the ONLY one. Ever.)

I try to sleep because when I'm awake, THIS stuff happens.

My week in bullet points:
(How do you do a bullet point!?)

My week in review:

- Christmas night we discover that the dog has fleas. No sleeping for me for days.

- Morning after Christmas, Jeff leaves for 2 1/2 weeks (hunting trip and then business trip all wrapped in one).

- All the while, the kids are on Christmas break and it's been pouring down rain. Every day. The pent up energy is going to be the death of me (if the stress of the fleas doesn't get to me first).

- Due to my flea paranoia, I vacuumed three times yesterday, did all the laundry, took all the bedding off the beds, bug bombed the whole house (after giving our 75 lb. dog a flea shampoo bath on our back deck in the freezing rain and giving him a dose of Fontline), and left the house for 5 hours with all three kids.

- I get home, vacuum (again), wash the floors, the counter tops and anything else I was concerned about (so, pretty much everything) and attempt to put the kids to bed on my bedroom floor in sleeping bags "as a treat" - they always ask to do this when Jeff's gone (which did not work well - at all).

- They finally fall asleep and I finally have a chance to relax after the long stressful day. I pour myself a bowl of frozen blueberries (with a tablespoon of vanilla coffee creamer mixed in - my favorite treat!), set it on an end table in the living room and proceed to put in a blue-ray movie to enjoy.

- Glass bowl (with the blueberries in it) makes a sound like a gun shot and EXPLODES all over my living room. Blueberries are everywhere. Shards of glass are everywhere. Tears? Everywhere.

- Kids wake up and come running to see what the commotion is all about.

- I do what I can only imagine any crazed, frustrated, stressed, emotional, and tired woman would do. I called my parents crying. Their advice? "Go to bed! There's no way tomorrow can be worse than today was!" So, I did.

PS. I just saw the "bullets" button to click on, so you have the real thing to look forward to next time. I'm sure you're beside yourself with excitement.

Monday, December 27, 2010

"I Might Have" Monday

I might have fed the kids cold pizza at 10:30am this morning and considered it both breakfast and lunch.

I might have walked past the picture frames hanging in our master bedroom and realized that we still don't have "real" pictures in them (they're still the pictures that come in the frames) - and I might have hung them up over a year ago.

I might have sat on the couch under my new electric blanket for three hours straight this afternoon with my daughter watching Anne of Green Gables. I might even do it again tomorrow later this week.

I might have discovered that our Labrador has fleas. I might have immediately wondered how my husband would react if he came home from his business trip to find a real nice goldfish instead of his dog...

I might have realized today that even though it's extra crazy around here (Jeff gone on a business trip, three energetic kids home all week for Christmas break, and trying to get rid of fleas!) that I am at peace in my heart.

"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you." Isaiah 26:3

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordess Wednesday (it is Wednesday still, right?)

Okay, I will admit it - I should never have a post titled "Wordless" anything because let's face it, I am not wordless. Ever. But it's catchy and I like it, so it stays even though it will never make sense... mmmkay?

These were taken today when I took the kids to my Grandma's house to learn how to make these little Danish bite sized cookies called... I have no idea what they are actually called. Grandma calls them "pepper-neuter." Grandpa used to call them, "pepper-neur," and all of us grandkids have always just call them "pet manure." Anyway, they are yummy. And a tradition. And I wanted so badly to learn how to make them!

Here are some precious pictures from our afternoon. I don't know who's sweeter - my amazing Grandma (whom I love and respect and hope with all my heart I grow up to be like someday) or my awesome kids who listened carefully, cut with real (sharp!) knives (carefully and under supervision!), and were so respectful the whole afternoon.

 Doesn't that picture (above) just melt your heart? Well maybe not, since it's not your Grandma or your kids - but can you see how it would melt mine!? Yeah, it's melted.

And if you've gotten this far, you have totally earned the privilege of knowing that Jack has gone potty in the potty for 3 days with no - I repeat, NO - accidents! He just decided on Sunday night that he was ready. And just like that, he was! Big boy underwear and all! My ugly cry did make an appearance the first time he did #2 in a toilet, I'm not gonna lie. This is the best Christmas EVER!

Actual conversation:

Me: I can NOT find my hand mixer attachments! Where could they be!?

Jeff: I have no idea... did you look in the "junk drawer?"

Me: I have looked everywhere! I guess the cookies I already made will have to do, I don't think I can make the last kind without the mixer things.

Jeff: You do realize that people have been mixing stuff with spoons for a whole lot longer than they've been using mixers, don't you?

Me: That's genius! I never even thought of just mixing it with a spoon!

Monday, December 13, 2010

"I Might Have" Monday

I might have put the kids to bed last night, sat down and watched a sad DVR'd Oprah show about a family tragedy, cried my eyes out, and then scooped up all three kids and brought them into bed with me.

I might have regretted it at 3am.

I might have regretted it even more at 5:30am when Natalie said, "Uh, what's wet?" and Jack says, "Sowwy, Mommy..."

I might not tell my husband I did all of that and it might be because Jack was sleeping on his side of the bed...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Really, lady? Really?

After church this afternoon I took all three of my little people grocery shopping. By myself. I was trying to keep track of all of them (they are prone to mindlessly wander) while at the same time trying to maneuver the over sized cart that a certain three year old promised he would ride in the whole time but didn't. While in the produce section, I caught a "glaring look" from a woman across the apple stand out of the corner of my eye. I tried to just shrug it off as I gave Carter the stink eye for rolling an orange across the floor to Natalie and then glanced at Jackson just in time to see him wipe a booger onto the underside of our huge cart. I looked back at the lady and nervously felt compelled to give some sort of explanation. Without thinking I just blurted out, "My husband is on a business trip."

While she's looking down her nose at my kids who are staring at her wide-eyed with their red juice mustaches and dried Sunday school glue still covering their chubby palms, she nods in their direction and straight faced promptly replied, "Well that explains a lot. I wouldn't think anyone would just volunteer for that."

Grocery store lady - wherever you are - I'm now feeling compelled to explain myself a little differently (now that I've got more of a clear mind). I feel blessed that I've got three amazing children to shop for and with. I'm blessed to have a husband with a job, even though it takes him away on these trips and it's hard when he's gone, I feel blessed that I can handle the home front calmly and completely collected survive solo when he's away. I'm happy that because he has a job, we have the funds to buy the groceries in that crazy cart. I'm especially blessed that today I was going shopping directly after church which means my heart and my mind were fresh with the reminder of the grace of my savior Jesus Christ - and it is only because of that fact that I didn't say the other first thing that came to my mind when a judgemental snarky lady ran into me and my crew at the grocery store and started staring us down. So, there's your "real" explanation.

You're welcome and have a nice day. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stuff I love... and not so much.

Love: That Jackson calls his elbow his "hippo."

Not so much: That sometimes I find myself unsuccessfully holding back frustration right before bedtime prayers as I beg through my teeth for my kids to "just be quiet because we are trying to TALK TO JESUS!" 

Love: That Carter has learned to read well enough to not answer me in words, but by verbally spelling out the words of his answer.

Not so much: That Carter has learned to read well enough to not answer me in words, but by verbally spelling out every. single. word. of his answer. Seriously.

Love: That I can be thankful for the fact that we (apparently) own enough clothing to put off doing laundry for two whole weeks and still be able to find something that doesn't even remotely "match" for the kids to wear to school. Please do not call the authorities if you see my kids today. They are well taken care of, I promise loved.

Not so much: The fact that it is now well into December and Jack is still claiming he can't sleep because the "faya-woks ah scawy" (as he has every. single. night. since the Fourth of July).

Love: That we don't have anything on the calendar in the evenings for the rest of the week, so we'll get family dinners at home four nights in a row!

Not so much: That our dog (who I often forget isn't even a year old because he's so flippin' huge!) has taken to pulling off Christmas tree ornaments and chewing them up when no one is looking. Hopefully Jeff's sweet Mother won't look too closely at the ornaments he "made" when he was little that are still barely hanging on our tree... oops.

Love: That (for the most part) Jack uses "nice words" (please, thank you, etc.).

Not so much: That when I tell Jack it's time to get dressed (or anything, really) he looks me in the eye and says, "No thank you, Mommy."

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, December 6, 2010

"I might have" Monday

might have turned 30 last week. (Still in shock.)

might have let the kids put all the ornaments on the tree last night and told them "great job!" only to take them all off and put them on in a more "balanced" fashion after they went to bed. Yeah, I might be that type-A.

I might have started Weight Watchers online this morning... Immediately after filling out all the "paperwork" etc. I might have fallen out of my chair when they calculated my "goal weight" at 129. I'm pretty sure I'd have a heart attack if I ever stepped on a scale and saw that number, which would sort of defeat the whole purpose, wouldn't it?

After I took the kids to the bus stop and came home to see that Jeff had already left for work, I might have  looked around at the aftermath of our fantastically fun weekend (aka: dirty-as-all-get-out house) and sat down at the computer to do anything but clean check my email and hop on Face Book for a hour and a half few minutes instead of cleaning... (That's why we have the 4:30 hustle, right? - Or am I the only one who does that?)

I might have worked out this morning for the first time in months - and even though it was "only" a half hour - it might have  felt like eternity HOURS to this out of shape Mama.

Happy "might have" Monday, everyone! Hope you had a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to.

My birthday was welcomed in this morning at approximately 2:30 am when I realized that my three year old's feet were wedged under my shoulder blades (when did he get in our bed!?) and that my eight year old daughter was standing next to the bed, mouth breathing over me trying to wake me up to tell me that her tummy hurt. Happy Birthday to me.

Once it was an appropriate time to actually be awake, I got up, made coffee, and decided that this was indeed going to be a great day. I have so many blessings I can't even count them all (although I should really try more often to actually count them) and dog-gonnit, it's my birthday!

Natalie came out of her room with a sly smile on her face. I asked her if she knew what today was. She stood there smiling and got really excited and finally exclaimed, "It's the first day of Hanukkah!" Not really what I was expecting, but honestly when you're a kid and it's not your birthday - you don't really care.

It will be a good day though. I'm determined to have this house spotless by noon (for my own peace of mind) and then go buy myself a non-fat mexican hot chocolate on my way to drop Jack off with my parents so that I can have a date with my amazing husband tonight.

Jeff will be watching the kids tomorrow night while I have a girl's night with his mom and sisters (YAY!) and then an Advent breakfast with my Grandma on Saturday followed by the civil war game in the afternoon (GO BEAVS!). Sunday we'll go to church and then pick up our Christmas tree, have lunch/dinner at my parents and then they will come to our house and we will all decorate our tree together and have cake and ice cream (because Natalie cried when she found out I didn't want a "party" for my birthday).

I got all of my I-will-never-have-another-day-in-my-twenties cry out this morning, and now I'm feeling ready to move on. So... Here's to thirty.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This picture just kills me. Zach took our Christmas picture (ugly Christmas sweater edition) and then the kids wanted a pic with him - what a good sport.

(Please disregard the previous two sentences so this can technically still be a "wordless" post.)