Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Not a Good Junkie

   Five days out from a complete knee replacement I have made a few discoveries, the most significant being my inability to use narcotics. Although they are a necessity for healing and rehab, I find the feeling of altered awareness to be awkward. Never claiming to be normal (my life is proof), this crazy is....crazy.
 We had to go to the grocery store today, and not being able to drive, Isaiah gladly offered to take me. Walmart must emit some high pitched undetectable by human ears
sound when I plan to go. Every child comes running. To shop. Boys. I don't get it. (All of this does relate to the junkie part - just setting the stage.)
 After bumping elbows and carts with half of the people we know, all nine of us head out to the van. The kids take care of putting the groceries in the back while I climb in the passenger seat and Ezra takes my wheelchair back to the store.
  While traveling home I notice I had missed three calls from Walmart. I call back three times, give them my name and ask if they were calling because I had forgotten my wallet or something. The third time the lady informs me, "Honey, Walmart doesn't call people." Okay, ouch, I'm stupid.
  The kids unpacked the car and I came in and sat down to rest my poor knee when the phone rang. It was the secretary at my church. She drops the bomb. "Kate, my daughter is at Walmart with a police officer and Ezra.  You forgot him." I was shocked. We all were. No one had even noticed him missing and we live a half hour from the store.(I think this is Ezra's least favorite and most repeated part of the story. "You mean NOBODY noticed I was missing?")
  I spoke to the officer who didn't find any of this as amusing as I did and we were able to retrieve him. Ezra said the officer asked him if his mother had gotten mad at him while at the store. (No, actually I'm just that bad a junkie apparently.) 
 Now I'm on this pain medicine which is my excuse....did you notice how many other people were in the van with me? 

Saturday, 2 August 2014

That Kind of Love

   Today we made a trip to visit our boys very amazing biological mom. She made the choice a few years ago to let them live with us...a choice I know must have been more than difficult, but motivated by an unselfish love. She is involved with the boys, calling and sending cards and gifts. 
  We have become good friends over the years and I will always be thankful to her for allowing me to be part of their family.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Under the Sea with Maddy

  Upstairs in our house we have a girl's bathroom and a boy's bathroom and the boys don't go in the girl's and the girls don't go in the boy's.  It's a rule. 
  A few weeks ago our 2 year old granddaughter had to move in with us and as is often the case with grand kids, the rules change.(If you're a grand parent, you know it's true.)

 Maddy shares the boy's bathroom with them. Not only is their bathroom larger, it's also....cleaner. (sorry girls) Maddy's uncles have been very kind and tolerant. They have put up with all the things that come with a little girl - without complaint. They're even getting used to showering with mermaids. 

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Under the Stars

Camping out in the backyard is just as good as any campground for my boys. It only requires a few tents, a fire in the fire pit, lots of sticks and hot dogs and marshmallows. Oh, and someone willing to camp with them. Tents are way less comfortable at my age but I couldn't resist their enthusiasm or the sounds of the night.

  We started talking as we sat around the campfire and we went from scary stories (mine) to the boys telling me about what they loved, times when they failed at something, who they wanted to marry and what was important to them. It was a sweet time listening to these boy’s hearts and I wouldn't have traded it for all the king size comfortable beds in the world. 

 Well, maybe.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Testing the Edge of the Nest

  When our babies are new, we can't even think of leaving them with anyone. I don't think we had a sitter for my girls until they were about 6 and 7.
  But God has a way of preparing our children so that by the time they're ready to go out on their own as adults, it's not all that bad.

  Summer camp gives me a little taste of that.  Our three middles are off for the week at church camp and as I waved goodbye I thought about each one.                                                                                            Isaiah - I'll miss his very quiet, hysterically funny humor.  I won't miss teaching him to drive and wondering if he thinks it's okay to not put the brakes on until he's almost inside the trunk of the car ahead of us. 

Emma - I'll miss her wild, fun craziness. I won't miss her 16 year old girls moods.

Elijah - I'll miss his sweet hugs and kisses. I won't miss........actually he doesn't really annoy me at all.  Guess because he's much further from leaving the nest.

Enjoy the week my loves and don't grow up too quick.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Just Today

There is something sad about opening your calendar to the month of August to add an event. 
There it is in black and white....the end of summer.
Not once, before I turned 18 was there even a reason to plan things three months in advance - summer seemed endless.
Now I have to know who has camp which week, when everyone has a doctor appointment and when we start school again. 
Really sad.
So I try hard to not let any part of summer slip away.
I always say "yes" to swimming with the kids. The tents and lanterns get pulled out and we sleep outside in the backyard. 
Summer slows down when we hunt for raspberries along the road to put in our yogurt.
Summer and berries are only here for a moment.

Friday, 4 July 2014

All of Them? YES!

  When you have a big family there are some things that just don't happen. Not many people can invite you over for dinner, because who has that many forks? You can never sit together in a restaurant that has booths or park in down town Baltimore because your vehicle takes up 3 spaces. Your kids do get invited over for sleepovers, but you can send 4 or 5 away and still not have an empty house. 
  But there's that one friend. Mine is Jeanette.  She invites ALL my boys over for a sleep over....and she likes it. She feeds them dinner and even makes pancakes for breakfast. Our house is very quiet on those nights (wonderful) and I know, between her boys and mine, that hers is very not.  
            Hope you have a Jeanette in your life!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Recovery is Sweet

If you could choose when to injure yourself in a way that requires surgery, I would highly recommend doing so at the age of 10. 
  Although Samuel was a bit nervous before hand, his after surgery mood was .....pretty much excited! He did have an issue with the whole, "nothing under your gown-blue hat" thing, but otherwise, it was all kind of a lark for him. The call from his friend Ricky, gifts, cards, balloons and ice cream made the whole thing seem like he was the luckiest guy around, which of course, made his other brothers all try to think how they could score a surgery. I was the only one seemingly tired from the day. All that fast healing seems so wasted on the young!


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The Ouch that Won't Quit

What started as a fun Frisbee game on the beach, became a summer wrecker for Samuel a few weeks ago. Somehow he ended up with a torn meniscus that needs surgery. He has been patiently hopping around on crutches not being able to do much except swim. He was supposed to leave yesterday for California to play in the AYSO National Games, but tickets were cancelled and all he has to show for his big chance is a t-shirt. 
 Doing nothing has been hard, but he has managed to turn even this into a sports competition and has us all time him for how long he can stay suspended in the air between his crutches. (I should probably have stopped him, but there's only so much you can do.) Today is the surgery and we're off to the hospital. And his attitude is, as always, just fine.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Done and Over

   Last Friday finally arrived - the end of the school year. All the kids had their portfolio reviews and everyone passed to the next grade. So with that, we decided (you can do that when you homeschool) that we were done for the year. Books were packed away and summer dreams began. I had the kids all line up for the customary last day picture and all were excited, including the teacher behind the camera.

 Our last official school activity was the Mentoes in diet coke extravaganza. It was a dismal fail, so we made the best of it and celebrated by drinking the cokes and trying not to swallow the almost dissolved Mentoes in the bottom. 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

How To Do 92 Perfectly

  A few days ago we celebrated my dad's 92nd birthday, complete with a german chocolate cake that my mom (a much younger 91 year old) baked.  He didn't get a whole lot of presents because as he is fond of saying, he already has everything he needs. I don't know what wish he made when he blew out his candles, but I know that he is everything I could have wished for in a father. He's a pretty quiet guy and has the kind of soft heart that makes him cry whenever he talks about the things he loves. And if I am sure of one thing in life it is that he loves me. I should be taking care of him by this point but he still comes to my rescue all the time - driving my kids when I can't, cleaning our pool or mowing our grass when we're away. So happy birthday again Daddy. I love you!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Work with What You're Given

  As we're wrapping up the school year (I'm so ready to be done), we're looking forward to our annual trip to the beach. Moving this many people to the beach for 3 weeks requires enormous amounts of preparation, organization and boxes of cereal.  And as I have hopes to do as little as possible when I get there, I decided that this school week would be home economics.  Which means that my children would be chopping, measuring, stirring and assembling meals for the freezer.

 Did I mention that my help consists of 7 boys?  And boys are different - almost strange actually. They seem to think that everything must be stirred four hundred and fifty times more than is necessary and their chopping took on a ninja feel. There was a good bit of sifting through sauces to find missing spoons and I'm not real sure that there was much effort given to accurate measurements, but we did it!  I have dreams of sitting on the beach while my precooked meals are happily warming in the oven.

  And did I mention that we take a freezer fully loaded onto a trailer that is then plugged back in when we arrive? Seriously.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Our Dinner Table is Deadly

Superheroes are big around here. 
So it didn't surprise me when Samuel turned his mundane, setting the table chore, into a chance to be.....
And for those of you who are germ-a-phobes, no, I didn't rewash the knives before we used them. Judge me....I'm lazy.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Walking on Thin Ice

Yes, it was 1 degree out today. Yes, our pool is still open.
But today isn't Fools in the Pool. 
It's Shoes on the Pool.

How many people have the privilege of checking out ice in their swimming pool in January.

Really James, this in no way is me asking you,                                     "Just when exactly do you plan on closing the pool?".


Friday, 3 January 2014

Hip Hip Hooray for Literacy

  I walked through the living room yesterday and stopped short. My 10 year old, Jeremiah, was sitting in a chair reading. He wasn't reading for school. He was reading because HE WANTED TO. 

What!  Are you kidding me?!

 I've had many girl readers. They read all the series...Baby-sitters Club, Judy B. Jones, Hunger Games and the latest being the Divergent books.  They read when they should be doing chores and when they should be sleeping.  I get that...me too.  

But a boy that reads for pleasure??? My heart is racing.  Can it really be?  Okay, it is a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book - but nobody told him he had to.

There is hope for the male Aclys.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Pick a Card - Any Card

I've stolen  borrowed this great idea from my friend Leslie. Instead of throwing away all those Christmas cards we received this year, we're keeping them for prayer reminders. Each week we'll choose a card and pray for that family. Sometimes as we talk about the family and their needs, we're prompted to do something. Maybe an encouraging call or visit. Maybe they could use some help. So thanks for all the cards and we're praying for you!