Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Whale There You Go

  I do love the Awana program at my parent's church.  I love filling my van up each Wednesday night with my kids and the grand-kids, a few neighborhood kids and my mom. I drop them all off, spend the evening ALONE  shopping, and then return and pick them back up. It's noisy and crowded but nice.
  Tonight was Hawaii night and my grand daughter Lauren won the prize for the best behaved. So along with all the kids and my mom, and the great deals I found at Goodwill, we also stuffed this very large, very amazing, prize whale into the van. 
  Luckily I only had to transport.  My daughter Lane gets to deal with it after we docked!

Monday, 27 April 2015

A Gentleman Must Always Changes His Underwear

I do the laundry around here....lots of it.... and I know stuff.
I know how many pairs of underwear are sent to the laundry hamper each week by each person.
Recently I have noticed an extreme lack of underwear from certain little boys.
My threat motivation to insure my little darlings put on clean under-garments each day is that I would gladly post each person's underwear count on my blog if it seemed too low to me.   This appears to have worked, as I am getting underwear that I haven't seen in weeks - probably pulled out from behind the dressers and other nefarious places.
Things should be smelling a bit better around here.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Mom's Day Off

  Our family has Uncle Kevin.  He came to us in an unusual way and we're all so happy he did. He is crazy fun with an emphasis on crazy.
A few weeks ago the littles got a letter in the mail from him. In it he challenged them to make a complete meal for me.  They had to think up the three course menu, get the ingredients and cook it.  Without my help. YES!  

The boys would have been happy just to do it, but Uncle Kevin sweetened the pot with $150 award upon completion. 

They got to work and came up with Roast Chicken, Spicy Baked Sweet Potatoes and Grilled Corn on the Cob with a lime-honey butter.  

Cooking day was busy and with a little advise from their three year old niece Leah, they presented me with a delicious meal!

Thanks Uncle Kevin...the boys are happy and so am I!!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Rose among Thorns

Emma being our very last daughter at home makes her stand out in the crowd of maleness here.  Although much lovelier than the boys she is not at all the neatest. Her room often resembles the remains of a plane crash with luggage and belongings scattered about.  She is hands down the "kid in charge" of fun, plans and moods.
She is presently working for the FDA at a fruit research lab and she LOVES it!  She came home yesterday talking excitedly about the genetics involved with peach trees and best of all - her own lab book. I was so so impressed!
As proud of her as I am, my best moment yesterday was when we discovered we had accidentally had a "twin day", and not only was she not disturbed by that fact, but loved it and wanted our picture taken.
With 17 year old girls you savor the little things too.

Monday, 20 April 2015

This is for the Birds!

We've been eating this giant bag of popcorn for some time now and it doesn't seem to be getting any smaller.  James suggested that we take some and feed the birds." He said, "The kids will love it!"
Love it?  I don't know about all that. "No", he insisted, "It will be great.  When I was a kid we used to go for a drive to feed the ducks and it was really fun."
I like ducks.  They're okay. But really, that's the day's event - packing up the car, getting the camera and bread and everyone heading out to feed them? 
I've fed ducks before. If my family was out doing some real thing and there happened to be a pond nearby and some hungry duck came swimming up, I might bite off a chunk of my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and toss it to him - and then we'd move on to whatever interesting thing we were there to do, like check out the lions in the zoo or climb to the top of the Washington Monument.
So thinking maybe I missed something about this, feeding fowl thing, a couple of the boys and I headed out to the back yard to feed the birds.  There was a few moments of tossing and laughing and then we started eating the popcorn again, because although it looks repulsive enclosed in a 3 foot plastic bag, it has a strange, delicious, kind of compulsive taste. 
No birds showed up which was anticlimactic, but maybe they'll come later for the feast.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015


I'm guessing that face painting is not so cool when you're older than ten.  No more cute tiger faces - no scrubbing them off at night with a wash rag and leaving that rim of black around their eyes that looks like creepy boy eyeliner. 

Now when we go to Chick-fil A on family night, we get arm painting. And no animals...just super hero signs. This is the stage right before tattoos. The good news is that these rub off - probably onto their sheets tonight if I forget to make them shower. 

Monday, 13 April 2015

He Makes All Things New

Windows are thrown open today. A warm breeze is swirling around inside changing the old air for some new promise that I remember from last April.

Florida is warm all year, but to earn a spring this glorious, you have to endure a winter. For each cold day, for each snowstorm and hours of shoveling and hats and boots there is a reward. They come in pink and yellow and new and fragrant and spring.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

My Head's in the Game time.  
Sitting out in the crispy spring air; water bottles and chairs loaded into the back of the van.  
Little boys with muddy cleats that drop dirt all over the car, shin guards and jerseys tucked into shorts that come too far above the knees.  
Practice time for them, is peace and solitude for me.  
Reading a book or daydreaming about nothing at all, watching the sun set and dusk creeping over the field. 
And the games! 
Cheering, clapping, yelling and talking with friends who I never get to be with for an hour at a time. Or putting on sunglasses and taking a tiny little nap when your kid isn't on the field and nobody knows because you tilt your head toward the noise.
I'm a soccer mom. I pack snacks and wash uniforms and love every minute of it.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Perfect Blend

  Last week we made a trip to Florida to visit my daughter Kirsten and her family. Swimming in the ocean in April was amazing -  walking around in shorts with very white legs was awesome - lounging pool side while the kids splashed around was great - but I realized later when looking over the pictures that the most incredible thing was our group of kids. 
Pictured above are five of my children and five of my grandchildren. 
Can't tell which is which? 
That's because when God sent along this last family to us, He decided to trick it up a little.  My kids are a perfect match with my daughter's kids...same ages and best friends..... two with the exact same first and middle name and two born on the exact same day and year. 
Is it harder to parent in your 30's or 60's? Kirsten has her youth and I have experience.  All I know is that we were both tired at the end of each day and that we loved it!