Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lost Boy

I lost Will today.  He was found, but for about 1 1/2 gut wrenching minutes, I had no idea where he was.  Let me start by explaining that our church is huge - thousands upon thousands of people attend our church.  We know lots of people there, but those number a mere fraction of the folks who come in and out of those doors.  So, I had picked up Jack and Ella-Kathryn from their rooms, then went downstairs to get Will.  We all walked across the building to get Ryan, checked him out and then proceeded to head out towards the center of the building.  We stopped there to visit with a family and as I'm talking with her, she says, "hey, aren't you missing one?"  I look down, see Jack, Ella-Kathryn, and I'm holding Ryan, but Will is not there.  I spin around, don't see him, ask Jack where's Will?  He was supposed to bring him along when we left Ryan's room.  Now, let me say here, that I am NOT blaming Jack.  Just asking him if he was with Will at any point.  Jack tells me that will was right with him.  I tell Ella-Kathryn to stay put on the bench withe empty carseat, b/c I'm still holding Ryan.  I search the hall, classrooms, Will.  As I come back around to the check-in center, I see one of our friends holding Will - thank you God!  Apparently he had just moved along with the crowd, and after Jack stopped at the bench with the rest of us, Will continued on. All of the way, OUT OF THE BUILDING!!!!  I felt sick to my stomach.  Thankfully, a dear couple who has served in the early childhood building for years noticed him, ALONE, and brought him back in.  He was fine - didn't seemed at all scared by the whole thing.  I felt awful.  There's another mark in the worlds-worst-mother column (along with letting them play with a dead bird:)).  I called Jeff and told him the whole thing, adding, I guess it was bound to happen sometime!  Just kidding - I am usually very conscientous about knowing where they are at all times.  The sad thing is that when we got home  EK and Jack came in, I brought in some groceries, unbuckled Will, got him out of the car, came back in the house with some more stuff, then went out and got Ryan.  Came in started unpacking the food when Jeff says, "Where's Will?"  Good grief!  I run outside and he's just standing in the front yard looking out across the street at our neighbors.  Um, hey buddy, could you come on in the house now?  Mommy didn't even know you were out here.  Yikes!  So, he's had his "scare the crap out of mommy time" and now it's all smooth sailing, right? 

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Um, time, could you slow down a tad?

Whew!  What in the heck is going on?  Time is a flyin' people!  I remember when I was a kid, my dad would say that time went faster the older you got (or something to that effect, sorry if I'm misquoting you dad).  He is right!  Shock:)  How often does he get to hear that, right?  Well, I'm tellin' ya, we're hanging on by our boot straps around here.  I look at Jeff and the end of the night (sometimes the beginning of his:)) and just shake my head and say, "we made it.  Another day gone.  Ok, so let's get ready for tomorrow!"  Of course, he's headed off to work, so really it's just me getting ready.  I seriously do this - I put out the bibles for morning reading, put the vitamins on top of each bible, make sure backpacks are ready, shoe are untied and all set to be put on in the last minute rush out the door.  It all makes the morning go so much more smoothly.  I will say, this is one of the things that I am most looking forward to with homeschooling - not having to "be" anywhere straight away in the AM.  I much prefer to ease into my days!
So, where are we:
Jeff and I have decided to make a concerted effort to eat mainly meatless meals. Much to discuss here, but the gist is that in response to information we recently received about how our meat is raised/processed/delivered we are no willing to support this industry.  We are investigating buying a 1/2 of a cow (the kids were very interested in how this would work!) from some friends.  I checked out a ton of Vegetarian cookbooks from the library, many of which I have already used and copied recipes from, and will be branching out from things that I would normally not gravitate toward.  With this, I am hoping to log our meals on the blog to keep track of what was a success and what bombed.  This is not going to be an easy transition in some ways, since we're all accustomed to eating meat 5/7 nights and the kids eat it at school, plus none of us are huge bean fans.  I hope that with some time our palettes will adjust.  And, we're not going completely meat-free.  Jeff's deer, and a pretty inexpensive non-Tyson chicken can be bought at our Wal-Mart.  I am seriously going to miss bacon though.  I Love Bacon.  We have a friend who bought a pig to be raised by a hog farmer, slaughtered, and then has a freezer full of pork now.  It's around $250 to do this, but you get the whole daggum hog, so it's not a bad deal.  A possibility.  As usual we will try to balance our food choices, our budget, and our family's preferences.  We'll keep you posted!
Will is really talking up a storm!  It's so fun to hear him putting more words together and imitate our conversations.  Keeps us honest!  I made a comment about Jeff's, well let's just say his flatulence, and said that it stunk like a rotten egg. Well, Will has really picked that one up!  He goes around saying, "shew, stinks, like rotten egg."  Too funny:)
Ella-Kathryn is doing a phenomenal job reading.  She tested really well on the STAR early literacy test and is just taking off with phonics and remembering words.  She picked out a Stuart Little early reader and I was just blown away by how well she's doing.
Jeff is enjoying his Bronco.  He installed some rear seat belts so that all of the big kids can ride.  They all clamor for a chance to ride in the bronco, and as Will says,"Fun, daddy bronco!"
I walked into my bedroom a few minutes ago and laughed.  I've always been one to keep a stack of books on my bedside table.  My bible, a non-fiction selection, a novel, and short story collection etc.  The table pretty much looks the same now, but is overwhelmed by the Rainbow Resources catalog (for homeschooling materials), two books about HS on loan from a friend who was kind enough to meet and talk with me about her own journey in homeschooling, a new copy of Jeanne Guyon's Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ (a book I have been wanting to read and now have but have no time!), my New Short Stories from the South (xmas gift from dad), bible, journal for keeping up with my 90 day reading through the bible plan which rocks by the way - I'm finding this a much easier way to read even though it requires more actual reading time, it helps so much with context and the global perspective that tends to get lost when only reading a chapt. or so/day.  So, I have a glut of great reading material and a complete and utter lack of time during which I can read!  UGH!  Oh well, there are far greater travesties in the world.  Praying for the people of Chile as they deal with the aftermath of the earthquake and for Hawaiians as they prepare for horrible quake-related weather.  I told Jeff, when our news pops up after logging on to the computer, that REM song plays over and over, "It's the end of the world as we know it..."  Hope it's not:)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

6 months

Ryan's 6 mo. checkup was last week and all was well.  I reported to our doc that he was often rolling over to his side, but had not yet gotten completely over onto his front.  Well, of course, on fri he finally did it!  He still does not enjoy being on his face like that so he usually just rolls back and forth - he especially likes to be on the floor with the other kids and me.  He laughs at them and just smiles - so happy to just be a part of the action!  He is suffering a terrible cough right now, but after a ped. visit on Mon, we are assured that it's just a cold/virus and not RSV.  I just thank my God every day for this boy:)
Ella-Kathryn is still fighting the sassy demon that has at times seemed to take over her whole person!  Whew - she's a pill that one.  My dad caught her making some wicked eyes at me when I was trying to help her with the Wii one day. But, in the next minute she can be precious and sweet, and funny!  Like last week when she told me I was a "cake fruit" - so close little girl! 
Jack is doing well, although when we got his work home yesterday, we noticed that he had done very poorly on his science work.  He continues to excel in spelling and word study, math has improved a bit, but if there is in-class work that requires some intense concentration/attention to detail, it seems he still struggles.  I think, too, that since they don't do science on a regular basis, it takes him a while to get back in the groove.  His test is today, so we'll pray for focus!  He wants to do well, and that's a big step for him. 
One of the factors in the pro column for homeschooling is that we can more efficiently use our time.  As it is now, they get home at 3:30 and we get snack, play for a bit, do homework, eat dinner, get ready for bed, read, and then it's time for EK to go to bed.  Jack and Will stay up til 8 and we often have to do more work with Jack until his bedtime.  He's in the 2nd grade!  I shudder to think about how little time he will have to himself in upper grades.  They get 1 recess a day and have PE 1x/week. And that only decreases with age, although they can participate in extracurricular sports, at the expense of study time.  I am still struggling with this decision, but I think more for concern about my abilities and fear of the unknown, rather than knowing that it's best for our family.  More to come....

Saturday, February 13, 2010


How do you know when you love someone?  When, on a saturday which you have really designated "buy groceries to restock your completely depleted pantry/fridge/freezer and then clean your REALLY dirty house day" becomes hey let's pack up 4 kids and drive 3 hours to go look at an old possibly not purchase-worthy Bronco because the love-of-your-life/father-of-your-children has a car fetish that is at the very least jealousy inducing if your an insecure wife.  Whew!  Seriously people (or person who ever reads this) 3 hours, one of which was solely dedicated to Ryan screaming becuase he's getting 2 teeth and has re-caught the cold that has become a fifth child in our home b/c it has lived here so long. At one point my inner not so nice wife came out and said,"Jeff, do you think that God is trying to tell you something?"  Um, not my finest moment ever, but hey, I'm only human.  And did I mention we got pulled over for speeding too?  Yeah.  Luckily my hubby is a member of the "Order" - that is they can smell each other and just know  that the other guy is a cop (and Jeff did mention it). So, no ticket, some friendly chit chat about why we were high-tailing it to some random suburb of KC and we were off.  In the end, we did come home with the cutie little Bronco - just don't look inside and squint when you look at her body so you won't notice the rust spots.  I think she's embarassed anyway, so Jeff said he would take good care of her.  I can totally see myself driving her around.  Especially since as of now she doesn't have rear seatbelts, so darn, no I just can't take the kids with me to the store...

Monday, February 8, 2010


Growing up in our family, exposure was the key.  Exposure to all sports/instruments/activities/clubs/travel.  Our parents, I believe, wanted us to have more experiences than they had an opportunity for and even more than that (b/c both were very well-rounded people) just the chance to see a bit of it all and be able to see what sparked for us.  This was an amazing childhood - full of "educational" vacations (Civil War battle sites, check; Early American colonies, check; skiing, check; beach, check; well, you get the point) - and as a parent myself, I desire the same for our kids.  I want them to see it all, experience all that this planet has to offer.  Here's the catch though.  I am not a driven person, in that I don't think that I have ever had that intangible something that makes people do great things - invent, create, win.  I would often start things/lessons with much gusto, only to peter out once I discovered how truly difficult it was to become a master/winner/leader.  I have lived here in middleville for the better part of my life, pondering what it means to be mediocre.  I can hear my dad yelling at the computer now, "But you graduated at such and such point in your class and you had a 4.0 in grad school!"  Yes, I'm not saying I'm unintelligent, rather that these accomplishments, I don't feel, took an extraordinary amount of effort/skill on my part.  My, I'm really using the heck out of that backslash today:)  Anyway, here's the point.  Becoming a follower of Christ means that the luxury of hanging out in the middle is gone.  If you truly love Him and desire Him to live in you and you in Him, then sorry sister, you gotta get out of that comfy spot on your couch.  You will be called to visit with that neighbor who drives you batty.  You will be called to serve your husband and children in ways that exhaust you physically and emotionally.  I told Jeff this morning that I had already died a thousand deaths my 9 this morning!  Becoming a parent forces you into a place where, if you want your children to know Christ and be able to make a choice for themselves to follow Him and to be able to articulate and argue their faith in the world, passion must exist.  Passion must rise up within you every morning, without fail, to meet these little people and be Christ to them - daily.  Yes, I will fail.  Yes, I will lose my  patience/temper/cool/calm/sanity.  But, I finally have a passion.  For Him. For them. 

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Learning to remember

This was on a blog that I check in on frequently.  It really stopped me in my tracks (and of course made me cry!) since with Ryan in the house, I still feel myself in "baby" mode.  Yet, I look over at my 8 year old Jack and can see how the years melt away.  Since mom's death almost 2 years ago now, I have tried to be more intentional about enjoying each day with the kids.  No pressure for what that day should look like - if it fills the bill, then great, but if not, well I'm sure there was something special about it regardless.  Anyway, this moved me and I wanted to share with you.  Even if you don't have kids of your own, it still speaks to our desire to be connected with others in a deep and intangible way.  Don't forget to scroll down and turn off/pause the music on my blog!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

First Cold

My sister came in for a visit last week!!! YEAH!!!! We had a great time, despite being housebound by a winter storm, the likes of which I have not seen around here in a while.  It snowed ALL day Fri.  Thankfully, her flight got in early enough Thur. that we were able to get out and about then - lunch (no kids!), shopping (although I don't think either of us bought a thing), and then Starbucks where she was the lucky recipient of an extra cup of coffee due to a mix up in orders.  Usually a great thing to get a bonus cup from them, but on this particular day my poor sis had already had coffee, diet coke (several with lunch too) and then the coffee.Needless to say, wine was a pleasant evening drink to help settle the shaking hands:)  I too enjoyed some of Wal-Mart's finest!  Fri school was canceled so she got some extra time with the kids.  We also got her addicted to Band Hero - she's going on tour with us as our drummer.  We ate too much candy and random "snowed-in" foods, like cocktail weenies, chex mix, and spinach dip. Will finally figured out that he could call her Aunt KK - he's struggled with Karen from the get go, and one of her other nieces/nephews calls her KK, so we gave it a try and he got it!  The downside is that boy howdy does he know how to say it!  I miss her terribly - hate that she's so far away, but am hopeful that they'll be moving back this way someday soon.
During our snow days, we also noticed that Ella-Kathryn's cough was worsening and Ryan's little nose would not stop running:(  Monday school was canceled, so we managed an appt at our clinic and while thankfully Ryan does not have RSV, he did need antibiotics, as the Dr. noticed some wheezing in his lungs.  Poor baby!  EK too got some drugs and cough/decong. meds and is much better.  They both were just beat down with whatever they had - their noses were just raw!  I am, however, very impressed that Ryan has made it this long with relatively little illness, a minor cold here and there, but b/c of his premature birth and fragile lungs, we were very concerned that our fall would be wholly about Ryan and a host of ailments. Praise God for protecting us from all of that, and of course we continue to be vigilant with the hand washing etc.  He's just so stinkin' happy, and we found out at the Dr. heavy!  He weighed it at a whopping 17'14" - no wonder my wrists hurt all  the time!  Lugging him around I should be a bean pole.  If it weren't for that daggum candy and chex mix...