Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wisdom of the ages.

I think I'm going to close out a couple of my other blogs, so I wanted to move some things from them over to here so I don't lose them completely.


Elijah thought he might take his fist to the dog...

Mommy: "No! No, we don't hit the dog."
Elijah: "Because he get mad."
Mommy: "Uh-huh, and what will happen if he gets mad?"
Elijah: "He'll eat my arm, and everything."


Elijah came into the kitchen, shaking several rattling things noisily.
Elijah: "I'm a Christmas parade!" He crossed to the other side of the kitchen. "Now me not a Christmas parade."
Mommy: "No?"
Elijah: " I just a boy playing music."

Elijah: (walking into the living room, still shaking his rattling things) "Morgan, me a Christmas parade!" Several seconds pass.
Morgan (watching tv): "Elijah, you're being too loud!"......"Elijah, you're being TOO LOUD!!"

Morgan enters the kitchen. "MOMMY, Elijah's being TOO LOUD."
Mommy: "Well, so far I haven't heard you ASK him to do anything to change that. You're only telling him he's too loud. Maybe you could say something like, 'Elijah, could you be a little quieter so I could hear the tv?"
Morgan (on her way out of the kitchen): "Or maybe he could go somewhere else."
Mommy: "Or he could go somewhere else, but why don't you say both of those things, give him an option..."

Morgan (to Elijah in the living room): "Elijah, do you want to be quieter, or go somewhere else?"


Today, Elijah showed me the monster -- blue with purple spots -- that Morgan drew for him on a paper plate.

Carrie: Yeah, buddy, that's so pretty!
Elijah: No, not so pretty. So, so, so, so cool. Like a racecar.

Right. My mistake.


From November 12, 2009, when Matthew was 5 months old...

Let's see if I can remember how this goes. More often than not, I write these in my head first, when my hands are not available to type, so I have to try to remember them when I finally get to the computer.

My favorite place in the evening is at the computer. ...No, I should rephrase that. I actually love being on the couch, but usually I'm holding a sleeping Matthew, and the computer chair provides adequate support for my sleeping arm (the same arm that holds him while he's sleeping often falls asleep because of it) as well as entertainment for me until I put him down. I have learned how to type very well one-handed. (Jon has previously mentioned that I now type faster with one hand than he does with two. Eventually, however, the carpal tunnel will probably catch up to me.)

The past several evenings, Matthew has decided to be fussy. He'll want his bottle, eat very happily for about 20 seconds, and then fuss and twist away. So I stand him up, I talk, he fusses (and lately blows raspberries), and then in a few minutes we'll start over. I have found that, in these instances, he needs/wants to be convinced that he needs a nap -- this involves his very special blanket (almost the only one we've used since he was born, thanks Amy & Ernie!) covering his face, and being thunked on the bum very rhythmically. Eventually, he concedes. There is, however, something that makes this process go much quicker.

I watch him.

I look him straight in the face, and I watch his eyes. When I'm looking at the computer, he knows I'm not paying attention, and he fusses more. When I'm staring at him, he'll close his eyes halfway, open them again, look up at me, and close them very slowly. But very deliberately. Then he's asleep.

I'm watching him. I see everything. My entire focus is on him. If anything happened, I'd see it immediately, and thus take care of or fix it. All I'm doing right now is caring for him.

I've heard a thousand times that God cares for you (one of my children's recent Bible verses says so; occasionally they walk around the house reciting "God cares for you, first Peter five seven"), but it's another one of those instances when you know it, but you don't KNOW it. Tonight, I KNOW it.

God. Is. Watching. Me.

With all the other people who probably need more help than me, He's staring straight in my face. He's looking right in my eyes (even if they're closed). All His attention is focused solely on me. And if anything is going to happen to me, He'll see it immediately -- moreso, He'll see it coming! -- and take care of it.

*sigh* God is watching me. (*sniff*)


Morgan: You're dead. For the rest of your life.


On a Sunday morning...

Daddy: Elijah, did you find your shoes in your room?
Elijah: No.
Daddy: Boy, where did your shoes disappear to??
Morgan: California?

(in the church foyer)
Mumma: Elijah, get up and go sit there where I told you to.
Elijah: No, me can' stuck in a puddle.


Morgan: "I'm so talented. I'm full of surprises."



Tonight I went to Walmart (by myself) to buy Easter basket stuff for the kids (by myself). (I only mention it because it's something Hub and I usually do together, but this week is especially busy for him with being in the Living Last Supper on Friday: lots of rehearsals. The only day we'd be able to do it together is Saturday night, and that seems wrong somehow.)

I got the stuff for the baskets no problem, then started in on Morgan's tights, Elijah's shirt, and then thought I'd check for a shirt for Sabrina. She should have one, of course, but she's 13 and the chances of me finding something she'd think was acceptable were slim. But I looked anyway. It proved to be almost as much annoyance to do it without her there as it would be to do it with. It's not that I don't like shopping with her...when the time is right. But on the fly, it's not a pretty sight. Every shirt must be viewed, considered, and then possibly viewed again. Then, at the very end...she might have to look at shoes instead.

I was on the phone for the next hour, sending texts, sending pictures, asking which one she'd like better of the few I could find that she might like coupled with the few that we'd allow. After trying on two shirts of my own while waiting (BIG mistake, by the way; don't try on shirts while you're pms'ing, for one, and for another...just ICK...I was reminded again why I'm doing this Lenten journey), I decided I was just going to get this one shirt I was waiting for her answer on, and just take it back if she didn't like it, and go home.

I got home at 10:30. For the record, my ideal bedtime is 9:30, although I've just about never made it that early. One of our nephews was staying the night, so when I got home, he, Sabrina, and Hub were playing Mario. I joined in for a short while until Hub started using his Yoshi to bounce me all over the place, and then I gave up.

Just add it to the list of things you don't do while pms'ing. On the flip side, my kitchen table looks much better. ( did, until we got pizza for dinner.) Here's praying for a better day tomorrow! :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wannabe productivity.

My kitchen has reached overwhelming proportions.

The table is more than half full with Stuff (mostly papers, but also things).

Every piece of silverware is in the sink, and for two days we've been washing them as we need them (wash 6 forks for dinner, wash a knife and two spoons for breakfast, etc.). The trash hasn't been emptied so there's a shopping-turned-trash bag set up on the counter, on the toaster. There are four coffee tubs on the back of the stove, two with new coffee and two with used grounds. (I would throw the used away, personally, but it seems to be my in-laws mission to fertilize our pine trees.) There is a pile of plastic shopping bags on the floor so I can't get to the hutch with my cookbooks (hence the cookbooks piled on the table), and a shirt plus some other things stacked on the breadmaker in the corner next to the hutch. On it goes...

I have routines. I <3 FlyLady to death, but I'm bad at keeping my paper of routines open in front of me constantly -- mostly because I don't have enough flat surface to set out the notebook. I have a timer, but it's usually being used to time certain urchins' Wii and computer times. I could borrow my mom's...but it's not mine and that (wrongly) annoys me.

I am lazy. Active, but lazy, because the things I'm doing, by the end of the day, don't seem to have added up to much.

This morning, the kids and I took recycling to the dump, bought pull-ups and forks at Walmart, put money in my Pampered Chef account so I can start up my website again (yay!), and then went to the park for probably about half an hour (before I decided it was too cold to stay and Morgan got a nosebleed while warming up in the car). Those were productive things.

Then I come home to my weirdo sloppy kitchen, the one I want to start simple-ly transforming into a real farmhouse kitchen, and my insides go "urgablechsighdepressing" and all I want to do is play Mario.

Can you see me? I'm pulling on my cowgirl boots (that I own in some wonderful parallel universe) so that I have bootstraps to tug on. I'm swallowing my perfectionist pride and am heading over to borrow my mommy's timer.

Our inner selves.

It's impossible, of course, to get the exact likenesses of yourselves in these things, but I think this captures our spirits. :)

Thank you,!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Amish and the Tudors.

It would seem that the only way to really get my thoughts down the way I want them is to attempt a daily-ish recap of sorts.

That being said, today I've been thinking about things that bring me joy happiness (I hesitate yet to call it joy) and confidence. I have come to see that I have a real lack of confidence in myself - in my knowledge and place in life and worthiness of the decisions I make... Part of that is environmental: when you live with both your and your husband's parents, you intrinsically still feel under a microscope and as though every choice is being scrutinized, sometimes silently, othertimes not. (I'm not sure which is worse.) But I think part of that is also simply because I don't have a good grasp of the things I enjoy and truly, truly love. I need to consciously remember and study those things which seriously interest me, such that they're more cemented in my mind, and readily available if I want to think or discuss them, but more importantly so that I simply have a more confident mindset in that I know anything other than that 3 days of my boys' laundry will fit in one load and the very specific way to load my dishwasher and the pathway to my 1 year old son's crib in the dark. (All of those are extremely important, by the way, and I do truly believe in the intrinsic value of those things.)

Here are the things on my list just from this evening:

1) Design and function of the Amish and Shaker cultures, as well as colonial America
          Ever read The Ox-Cart Man? It's about life in old New Hampshire, and although admittedly I don't think I'd be good at all aspects of that life, I love the ideology. I want to have nothing on my floors and hang my chairs on the walls. I already have the open shelves in my kitchen. (Go, me!)

2) Tudor Enland
          For the record, I read The Other Boleyn Girl before it became a movie. I can't remember if this was the first book of this genre that I read, but since then I've become a giant fan of Philippa Gregory. I don't read her nearly as often as I should. Except for Wideacre. I started that one and didn't finish it. I didn't like it. Really didn't. But I hear that's how it pretty much is with that book, love it or hate it.

I intend to seek out these subject with more earnest in the near future.

Otherwise the day was...well, nuts. As always, but plus a little. At different times throughout, all 7 kids were here, and I realized that my new solution for Wii-and-computer times is not as brilliant as I thought. I figured two half hour per blocks, used any which way (one block for each thing, or both blocks on either one) but with 5 to 6 kids using the computer and Wii throughout the day, it never gets turned off. Clearly this is not a solution. I will have to ponder this further.

Now I'm off to rub a crick in hubby's neck.

I like this format.

Morning musings.

Random thoughts at 7:39am (according to my computer clock):

1. I'm very glad I got up at 5 to walk with Leslie Sansone. I'm not glad that it was my kids who woke me up, but at least it got me out of bed.

2. Making coffee has much more allure than standing around amid children getting their breakfast trying to make my own.

3. Whereas in the grand scheme of things, I don't really care what my kids eat and when -- it must be meal food at meal times, but otherwise they can eat lunch for breakfast for all I care -- at this very moment, I'm choosing not to let DS4 eat bologna and hot dogs for breakfast.

4. He also needs a haircut.

5. Nothing says good morning like the sound of DD7 sitting in the recliner, hunched over a trash can, gagging on phlegm.

6. I'm putting in my order now for sunshine today.

Monday, April 18, 2011


First of all, I want to say that I'm very grateful to my one follower. :) Having only one is depressing, but how depressing would zero be?

Second, this is going to be what I've learned is called a "microblog": a very short blog.

I love writing. I like physically writing better than on the computer, but I love that I know how to type and I'm very grateful for that. (I keep being told that I should be a transcriptionist or something else that uses typing, but I have yet to break into any such field.)

I have no great following of people, but I want to blog, and so I shall. If hubby agrees, I will soon be delving into the homeschooling venue, and hopefully then I'll have much more to write about. I'd love to write about what happens in my life every day, but what happens in my life every day keeps me from blogging. :) I'm not great at setting goals other than getting laundry and dishes done, but if I were to set one, that might be it -- to sit down and blog whenever possible.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pushy, pushy.

I have not been on my netbook in DAYS. How odd, for something I craved so much - for months - before I bought it. (Don't get me wrong, though; I didn't wait to buy it out of discipline, but out of pure lack of funds.) And life has set in, and my netbook for some reason at times seems u..n..b..e..a..r..a..b..l..y slow, such that I'm not always as excited about using it. Shame on me.

But now it's Wednesday night, we're home from the last Kids' Club of the season, and it's not even 9:00 - but I'm free and clear of children, and alone in my room! (Hubby is still at church rehearsing the Living Last Supper.) I have soooo much stuff swirling around in my head that I feel there's no way I can be the graceful, coherent, lexically-gifted person I yearn to be. I want to make people feeeeeeel what I'm saying. I don't know yet if that really ever happens. (If we're being honest, I'm not sure there's anyone reading this to feel it. :) )

I say stuff is "swirling"...what a funny expression, but things actually never "swirl" in my head. They kind of push in front of each other, jockeying for position, being ugly or sad or busy or stressed as they elbow each other out of the way. Even my writing feels like thoughts are pushing in without waiting their turn. I wonder how many thoughts are really in there...

1. I have this free time, but there my Bible sits with my devotional book. How I HUNGER AND THIRST for righteousness when quiet solitude with God is impossible, and how much more delightful Facebook or sleep looks when I find myself with a rare moment. However, I have learned several truths lately that tell me God still has time for me, even if not the other way around. One: "simply His." I saw this as a tattoo on someone's hand in a picture, and I've loved it since. What a blessed notion. Simple. I'm simply His. When I come to Him, I don't have to be pretty or have my eyebrows waxed or my teeth brushed or my chores done or my tummy sucked in. It's just us. Me and Him, and I don't have to follow any protocol or remind Him of anything or remember to use it as a teachable moment. He simply loves me, and wants to hear from me ~ anything from me ~ and best of all, it doesn't have to be like anybody else's relationship. And two: how often do I want my husband to be the one who adores me, who hangs on my every word, who thinks everything I say is important, who always remembers what I was saying (or that I was talking) or remembers later on what I had been talking about, who makes my life/feelings/purpose a priority and never forgets to make my Stuff as important and as valid as his Stuff... But my husband is a human being, just the same as me, and goodness knows I forget to make his stuff a priority sometimes, or I forget that he wanted me to bring something important with me, or I forget to chew with my mouth closed (a particular pet peeve), or that he needs to feel loved and appreciated, or that he's every bit as allowed to get stressed about financial matters even if I'm over it or want him to be The Strong One at the moment. But my need to feel those other things are still there! And they're valid! (I stomp my foot.) ...And God can supply every one of those needs. He hangs on my words and thinks every single one is important. He never forgets what I was talking about. He always has time to listen to me vent (and not only has time but wants to). He has made plans for me, BIG PLANS, and He promised He'd keep working on the plans for ME. He can fill every one of those spots where my husband every so often seems so me.

2. I'm not only still not eating junk food (read: dessert, or fried things, or yummy snacky things like Doritos). I do still drink my coffee. Usually about twice a day, and then my tummy doesn't like it anymore. And now I've added some kind of modified South Beach diet to it. I'm trying not to eat grains of any kind, though I did have a pretza-bagel this morning (because I bought them for my son and they smelled so superb that I wanted to know what they tasted like...they weren't that awesome, but he loves them) and I ate the roll that my sandwich came in tonight at Kids' Club. (But, for the record, I skated right past the bowls of chips, and never even approached the table when they brought the desserts out.) I want so much to get rid of my tummy. It affects everything ~ my mood, my self-esteem, how I view my friendships, how I assume my husband sees me ~ and I know the SB diet has good results, but I'm not seeing them yet (not even results from cutting the junk food back since Ash Wednesday). Hubby says if I'd stop drinking my coffee... (pppbbbttth) However, when Easter Sunday rolls around, not even two weeks from now, I want some chocolate and a whole bag of Spicy Sweet Doritos.

3. I think I've decided I want to homeschool my daughter next year. I'd love to homeschool both my daughter and my son, but he's worked so hard at potty training to be able to go to kindergarten, that it might be too hard to take it away from him now. And we kinda think maybe he needs one year to experience school, to get the idea, to see how the routine works, to have someone else be telling him where to go and how/when to do things, and to keep him accountable to rules I didn't make. Then I'm hoping to start him in 1st grade. I have been thinking about this for several months, and my reasons are much more positive than negative toward the school system...I guess in a nutshell, I just feel there's so much more she could be learning, I've seen what kids can learn, and I want to be able to fill her mind with noble things and holy things, and not have to fight through theories about evolution and options of yoga. I'm excited for what her mind can and will do, and completely unhappy that the silly 9th circuit court wherever it was decided that a parents' rights don't extend past the doors of the schools. (Pppbbbttth to them, too.) Now I just have to talk it over for the last time with hubby, and then figure out how to present it to her... (and her brother, since they won't finally be at the same school :( ).

4. I'm pining for a local AND like-minded sister in Christ. I want her to be special to me, and I want to be special to her. I don't want to be sitting on the outside, watching her little circle that doesn't involve me (oddly, they seem to be made up of skinny blondes, which only makes it more depressing). I don't want to be having a good conversation with her, only to be interrupted by someone else that ends up taking just as much precedence as me. I want someone who doesn't seem to have it all together, no matter how much she says she is a basket case like me but speaks and oozes life and organization (while I feel like most often I just ooze). You know, I'd settle for a long-distance like-minded friend if we could be kind of exclusive. Wonder what that feels go beyond sharing joys and annoyances of mother-life, into sharing joys and valleys of daughter-of-the-King-life? Hmmm.

5. And I don't know if I'll ever have another baby, because Certain People have inadvertently put that part (and several others) of my life on hold. (grr) There are times where my current situation seems to weigh so heavily on the living of my life that I feel I could just lie down and let life steamroll over me, but God continues to send me women and invitations that pull me out of the house and out of my Self Zone, when I have the courage to say YES.

6. I recently went to a day away for women, and every time I go to these (which isn't often, but occasionally), I wonder...what is it that other women are experiencing? They all seem to be laughing louder, crying harder, agreeing stronger, and, afterward, remembering sweeter than I. A beautiful friend of mine (who, incidentally, deserves to have a fabulous retreat) recently went to a women's conference and came back saying she felt like a new mom. Where are these magical events?? Why am I not experiencing this connection at the events I go to? Am I expecting too much? Does it have more to do with who you're with than what's happening around you? I know the focus is on God, and every time my goal is to go and just lose myself in the experience, to ignore all others around me and simply let God speak to me. And He does; I'm not completely devoid of sentiment the whole just always seems to somehow fall short of other people's amazing times.

7. And I want a house of my own where I'm free to make my own choices no matter what they are, to make my own mistakes and learn from them, to be entirely myself and create my family the way I want to, the way I feel God wants me to. (That thought wasn't really elbowing the other thoughts so much, but it's kinda always there, so I'm just saying.)

There are no solutions for all these issues, save that 1) God is God and I am not; 2) I am a work in progress; 3) God does have plans for me: plans to give me hope and a future, plans to give me a ministry in my own way, even if it's exactly the mom-ing and wife-ing I'm doing right now, plans to bring me joy and blessings, plans to bring me closer to Him; 4) I will not always be in the place that I am right now.

Easter morning always comes. And look...there's my Bible, and my God, still sitting there waiting for me.