Monday, January 31, 2011

Road Trip

I've been on a road trip this morning.  When I got up this morning, I didn't know I'd be hitting the road.  That's just the nature of this life right now - everyday brings a new adventure.  As I was still warm and cozy in my bed with the littlest little, I heard Will yelling for Jack.  Now this is a no-no.  We do not under any circumstance yell to wake up our brother.  He knows this, but apparently had a lapse of remembering how not pleasant mommy can be when a rule is broken so early in the blankety-blank morning.  I SHHHHHHSHHHHd from my room across the house, cause it was simply too early to get up, and also I'm lazy.  That seemed to do the trick.  For a minute.  Then there was a little face in my face.  I dragged him up into my bed, ignoring his complaints of not wanting to go back to sleep.  Tough boogies.  Try.  Cause I'm kind like that.  Finally after another 30 minutes of baby feet in my back and toddler breath in my face I gave up the fight.  I'll sleep some other year.  From there it all went downhill.  Fast.  Faster than my IQ since having children.  All I can do on days like these is buckle up my seat belt and pray.  I've been on this trip before, this road trip to hell.  That's where we are right now.  Ryan has only not screamed about one thing today and that was grapes (that sentence was possibly the worst constructed thing I've ever written:))  Will is finally turning into a human being - he too had a bad case of the screamies and the hitties and the pushies and some other made up wordies.  EK really hasn't been too bad other than complaining about wanting to live at the beach since we're about to get dumped on - 4-10inches of snow?????  Ice too.  Jack woke up whining - I'm not kidding.  The first thing out of his mouth was "my head hurts," to which I promptly replied, "if I had a head like that it'd hurt too."  See above about my unending kindness.  The rest of the morning was like watching the instant replay on the ref's cam at a football game.  Rewind.  See the same thing again.  Rewind. Watch.  The kids had a megadose of anti-mommy medicine last night.  They are invincible to my sighs and eyerolls today.  bad news for me.  I'm too tired to actually apply any discipline other than threats that sound something like, "if you keep doing that, you'll never have another piece of candy ever in your life ever."  Effective, I know. 
So  I tip my hat to Rodney Atkins who wrote my theme song for this day:
If you're going through hell, keep on going
don't slow down, if you're scared don't show it
you might get out before the devil even knows you're there

Catch you on the flip side peeps.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Tonight was Jack's first Bible Quiz.  After months of practice, we are pleased to announce that Jack and his teammate H won first place for their book/division! 

AWANA has been amazing for our kids.  It's pretty rigorous, if you want it to be, but the scripture memorization is amazing.  This time of preparation for the quiz was harder on me, I'm sure, since I'm so stinkin' competitive.  But Jack is as laid back as his dad, so it no big thing to him.  At least that's what he said up until tonight.  Then, as we were discussing how he was feeling about the "competition," he started saying it made him feel like he had to pee!?   What a goofball!  Thankfully, he hit the restroom before the quiz began, so all was well.  We did get a laugh as we pulled into the parking lot and looked back at Jack to wish him luck one more time and noticed that the lollipop he had just eaten had turned his entire mouth and lips blue!  Ha! 

You can kind of see the remnants of his blue mouth here - he rinsed his mouth while in the restroom to take care of the aforementioned nerves:)
Poor Jeff spent the majority of the time corralling the littles - but it was a fun time and a great experience for Jack.  We're proud of his effort and hope that he'll push himself even harder next time!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Varmints On My Porch

There is a dead squirrel on my back porch.  Courtesy of Ashley, formerly known as Angel, now known as John the Baptist, or perhaps Judas.  The story goes like this:  there once was a kitten that hid under the Bronco's hood.  I was suckered by the kids into feeding it.  It is super wild and only after months of feeding it did it ever let us near it, not that anyone other than Ella-Kathryn was really all that hot to hold it.  During the really cold nights recently, I did feel rather badly for this kitten, even though he/she had fattened up quite nicely due to our apparent inability to not feed it too much.  Nightly, I would open the back door, it would start to run then turn back looking longingly to the warm house.  This game would continue for at least 30 min, it would come right to the door, meow, rub against the door, I would try to coax it in and then it would back off.  Finally one night I won and managed to grab it and promptly through it in the garage with Pip our other stray/tame cat that adopted us (cause we are too stupid to stop feeding stray animals - side note, Jeff has requested that he be omitted from the stupid group since he told us not to EVER feed it.)  The bad news is that Pip is male and we just weren't sure what the new cat was.  Not that we don't know how to find these things out people!  It's just that wild and hardly stands being picked up at all let alone inspected.  So, we find ourselves now with this cat which I'm afraid is pregnant or will soon become pregnant if I don't quit putting the da** thing in the garage with an unfixed boy cat! 
Side note (again) - while in Memphis after xmas, our neighbor was caring for Hap and my friend M was coming over to care for the cats and fish.  Apparently at the last feeding before we came home, the back door was not latched all the way and when my neighbor brought Hap back the day we were due home, she found the door open, but since nothing else was out of whack, she assumed it just was never locked.  As she was leaving though, she did notice that the fish bowl was surrounded by water.  Odd, no?  With no other clues as to what had happened, she just cleaned it up, fed him and left.  Well, when we got home later that day, Jeff had jumped in the shower, and I was unpacking.  We had been home a good 30 minutes when Chewie started barking at this skirted table I have near the front door.  I walk over and barely see something darkish behind the fabric and start freaking out thinking there's a stinkin' mouse or something in the house.  Well, no.  It was Ashley, formerly known as Angel, now known as John the Baptist or Judas.  Good gravy!  That cat had been in the house for who knows how long and that certainly explained the water around the fish bowl:)
OK, back today.  Jack comes running in to tell us he nearly had a heart attack.  Ho Hum.  No parental freak out over that drama.  He then tells us there's a dead squirrel by daddy's police car.  Of course we all have to trek out to the see the dead critter and sure enough it's a squirrel and it's dead, it's throat having been ripped out surely did the trick.  Yuck.  Fast forward a couple of hours, we're at the dinner table, with my back to the back doors I notice something out of the corner of my eye.  Wished to St. Patrick that I hadn't.  The squirrel killer thought that since we hadn't adequately thanked her for her gift, she needed to bring it right on up to the door and then toss it around a bit.  Dinner and a show!  Jeff reminded me that cats often do this to delight their owners - oh yes, can you sense my delight?  We all stood at the back door and applauded her efforts hoping to convince her to take her prize elsewhere.  No go.  Then I opened the door and told it how appreciative we were of her hunting prowess and that we were assured that we would never starve with her around.  Still no budging.  Oh well.  After a deerless hunting season, we felt good that at least one member of our family could take care of business.  The only good news out of all of this it that it finally got itself in a contorted enough position for us to verify that indeed she is not a she, rather a he!  Praise God!  No kittens - thank you very much.  Hence the name change.  EK wanted John, which became John the Baptist because of his wildness, but after his refusal to remove the gift, I'm seriously considering Judas.  I mean is the food that I serve you not good enough????

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Birthday - Man vs. Food

We've really gotten into the show "Man vs. Food."  Adam, the host, travels around trying out the favorite local dives that serve huge portions or weird combinations of foods.  It's a fun show for the whole family and Adam is a trip!  So, for Jack's birthday party we decided to do a Man vs. Food party.  We grilled up some hot dogs and then served the fixings for super spicy chili dogs (all toppings optional of course:))  Then, rather than cake, we made a ginormous ice cream sundae, served up huge portions, and then let the kids eat it without a spoon!  (thanks for that idea K!)  The boys really had fun, while the girls outright refused to not use a spoon!  Ah, the differences between the sexes;) 
Here are some pics of the great day.  Jack is truly blessed with some great friends and all of the Simpsons were able to come too!  Thanks to all for such a fun time!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy 9th Birthday Jack!

The day you were born.  I was, quite literally, in awe.  Of you, of your birth, of our new family, of the amazing blessing of your life.
Proud daddy!  Oh, how young Jeff looks:)

Your first birthday - in our first home on Brompton Ln. 

Your 3rd birthday.

4th - from left, Zachary, Madeline, Ella-Kathryn, you, and Noah.

Sadly, I couldn't find the 2nd, 5th, or 6th - there around here somewhere!  Today has been quite a day too - I forgot to use the bigger cake pans while baking your cake - cake burnt on the bottom of the oven making the house smoky for about 6 hours!   Ryan decided 30 minutes was long enough for a nap, when 2 hours is the norm, and then you fell and busted open your knee while riding you bike!  Oh my - the goodness is that you got to go hunt with your dad this morning and we're having your favorite chicken pot pie for dinner, followed by that chocolate cake that I managed to piece back together with an ungodly amount of vanilla buttercream frosting:) 
Jack, you are 9 today!  Amazing! 
  • You love the Lord and are seeking Him daily.
  • You love everything about God's creation - the animals, the woods, the ocean, all of it. 
  • You are a great big brother. 
  • You love your friends too.
  • You love your family - such a sweet, tender way that you want to be with your family most of all! 
  • You're a deep thinker, especially when it comes to theology.  Sometimes too deep for mommy - I need to go to seminary just to help you wade through your walk:)
  • You love candy and sweets (come by it honestly too.)
  • You are a great help around the house and are becoming an asset to daddy as you learn more about cars, yardwork, woodchopping and more!
  • While reading still isn't your "thing" you do love a good story and enjoy our read-alouds.
  • Your doing great in math!
  • You have quite a knife collection going and while it makes mommy nervous sometimes, you've been  very responsible with them.
  • You have an awesome artistic streak - can't wait to see how it develops as you continue drawing and painting.
  • You're a dreamer:) 
There's so much more to you sweet Jack!  Daddy and I love you so much and are in awe of who you are becoming as a young boy.   It's been fun watching you grow these past 9 years and we can't wait to see what's in store for you this one!   Happy birthday Jack!

Monday, January 10, 2011

H to the Holy, S to the Spirit - or as I like to call it my cheer for the HS

I'm sitting in a quiet house.  Yes, it's my house:)  Ryan is napping and the other three are outside enjoying our dusting of snow.  They truly delight in even the tiniest evidence of that white stuff!  I am enjoying a cozy fire, full belly, and the moments of peace.  As I was washing the lunch dishes, I was thinking about Ann's post, from  She is one of my favorite bloggers, primarily because she exudes a quality that most often eludes me: peace.  She is soft-spoken, but speaks boldly.  She homeschools her 6 (I think it's only 6) with a calm that always seems right beyond my reach.  I realize that I'm setting her up on a pedestal, but I'm ok with that (although as you get to know her through her writing, you would soon realize that it would make her most uncomfortable!)  So, she often posts about scripture memorization, having a quiet spirit, and making prayer intentional throughout the day.  UGH!   I am already running smack into the wall of failure. Which then brought to mind the message from Sunday; in John 14, Christ tells his disciples that he will be leaving soon, but that he is giving them a counselor, or helper.  Ooh.  Ooh.  I want one of those!  Our choice for Christ allows us access to this advocate and friend.  Praise be to God:)  Furthermore, my decision for salvation, I am allowed to go to heaven.  In my decision for submission, heaven comes to me: "if anyone loves him, he will obey my teaching.  My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home in him." John 14:23.  How wonderful is that?  So here's my teeny tiny hurdle:  myself.  Stinks right?  I mean I can't get away from myself...well legally nor without heavy narcotics.  But I digress - shocker.  So as I'm standing at the sink, I'm thinking about every single stinkin' day when I arise with the very best, most heartfelt intentions of being calm, patient, quiet, slow-to-anger, quick-to-praise, joyful, grateful, etc.  All of the things which should be outflow of my unabated love for Him and what he's done for me.  Honestly, there are some days where I think I do pretty well.  I fall into bed and smile smugly thinking "hey, today wasn't so bad.  I didn't yell (alot) and I made sure to tell each kiddo how they rocked something or other."  And then it hit me.  As I'm scrubbing the cast iron skillet, really having to use some elbow grease, I've missed it again.  I've made myself the star of the day.  Not my heavenly Father who dwells within.  Not the Holy Spirit who is my heaven-sent helper in the obedience department.  Not Christ Jesus himself, whose wounds still gape from my sin. In this New Year I've made no resolutions, only cried out to Him that he would show me abundant grace as I lean heavily on the Holy Spirit and really scrub off those nasty stains of pride, anger, ungratefulness, unbelief, et al:)  Three cheers for my counselor and friend the Holy Spirit!