Friday, December 28, 2012


Merry Christmas and goodbye 2012.  What a busy, crazy and rewarding year.  I would love to try and list all of my highlights - but while trying to type this with the baby marching on the kitchen table - I probably should do a condensed version.
I finished my master's degree and went through the graduation ceremony with my family there supporting me.
Will I use it?  I am not sure... we are kind of on the fence of where our careers will take us.  My husband is sitting on his master's in en (pause to get baby off table for fear she might fall when running circles) gineering.

I will complete my obligation to my teaching contract this May.  I will never have to teach clinicals again, never have to be gone Tuesday and Wednesday nights again.  (pause to read baby a book)  This means maybe - finally - my husband would be free to explore his job options.  He has never once complained about being locked at home, but has always considered it a blessing.  It will be nice to at least have the choice after May, to not be tied in anymore and be able to choose based on what we want, not on what we have to do.
(pause to fix Maggie spaghetti and cheetos)
My oldest started the swim team and I have loved watching her become so focused on something other than school.  It has occupied four nights a week for us, but has been worth it to see the changes in her.  She has also become the social butterfly and we have to beg to get time with her.  This Christmas she requested make up of all things.  (pause to get drawing paper and art kits out)
The boys are in a basketball league and loving it.  We love it for the fact both boys practice on the same night at the same gym.  Praises for the small things that make life easy!  (pause to get baby a few cheetos and answer the phone)
Maggie started kindergarten and (pause to get Maggie some tape for her art project) has had an up and down year.  I think she has had a hard time leaving her family all day long, five days a week.  It does seem like a long time for a five year old to be away from her home.  (pause to break up fight about where the tape might be)  She had a recent progress report that talked about her having a hard time not bossing the "little" girls around at her table.  (pause to break up fight about boys making fun of how Maggie coughs)
We are working with her ability to be kind and respectful, even though she might really believe she is the best little thing that ever walked through that kindergarten classroom door.
Annie turned one.  (pause to rescue Maggie's art supplies from the baby, who can crawl up on anything these days)  She has been the biggest amount of work, exhaustion and blessing we could of ever hoped for.  We realized this last night while we were sitting on the couch after all the kids were snug in their beds.  There was a little tea set, a little kitchen and a tiny baby doll cluttering our floor.  Had she not come along - our living room would not have any of this fun little baby girl stuff.  No chubby little baby hands working her new toys. (pause - break up a big fight between baby and Maggie over art supplies)
This biggest lesson learned in a very hard way after the Connecticut shootings was to enjoy every day.  I am ashamed to say that many days before that harsh lesson I was really focused on keeping my house clean, working extras, getting it all done.

 I have realized that its not so important to keep up with pinterest, but to be a present parent in their lives.  Let them cook with you, get down and play kitchen with them, color, read, love, hug, break up fights.  Be there.  I will never ever get this time back, and there are no guarantees in this life.  Focus on the big things.  Every morning wake up and reset - with that plan on action in mind.  Every night go to bed and pray, thank God for his gifts and show appreciation for them.  I'm so blessed its ridiculous, and I hope to go into the new year fulling realizing those blessings. (pause - time to go play kitchen with the two littlest girls who are currently playing tea party there together - my cup runneth over for certain)

Friday, October 26, 2012


you know what's really rotten?  i went to maggie's halloween party today and picked up all the kids afterwards, since it was almost time for car riders to be released.  i was going from classroom to classroom gathering up all my little ones and i got to carson's fourth grade class and remember picking up molly in fourth grade.  i felt my chest squeeze thinking about going to the sixth grade room to get her.  its the last time i will go get her from a class party in that building.  ugghh.  i wanted to send her back to fourth grade so they have a few more years all together.  i hate how fast they are growing up and i can't stop it.  i can't have any more, and i can't stop the ones i have from growing up.
i know i must of blogged about this a hundred times, and i can't help it.  i know that it is inevitable, and that i will love them big also.  i just really really love them little.  i love them even though they wear me slick.
i love them little even though i look like a crazy lady chasing them all around the grocery store and bribing them with candy.  even though i lug eight gallons of milk into my cart every week.  i was thinking the other day while i was unloading my van of costco food how sad i would be when i only had one gallon of milk to buy at the store.  funny how i complain about it, but i know deep down i love it.  i love having a household to shop for and cook for, i love having 2-3 loads of laundry to do a day.  i know my husband loves it too.
because every morning you have five sleepy heads sitting around the table eating breakfast together and chatting about their day.  every night i have five little bodies hugging me tight and kissing me good night.
i know its so cheesy and sounds so crazy but its so true. believe me there are rough days, messy days and days i snap at them for being so self centered.  for the most part it is good.  loud, sloppy, shoes all over the living room and crumbs all over the floor good.  i choke up thinking about them growing up and not wanting to kiss me good night or beg their daddy to carry them up the stairs.  my oldest who was oh so independent and moved to the basement, has now returned where she belongs, upstairs sharing a bed with her five year old sister.  i love that they snuggle into bed every night and have each other.  i will soon have to figure out a way to slip the baby in with them when she outgrows her crib.  she is already wanting to climb into their bed and lay between them at bedtime, and gets her feelings so hurt when we pull her out.
she is kind of rotten and gets her feelings hurt about most everything, so i don't take it too personal.
i can't stop the clock from ticking, but i can remind myself to enjoy every day i have now.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

parent teacher conferences x 4

today was the marathon of parent teacher conferences.  four children, four classrooms plus their gifted teacher.  i always go in a little nervous, not knowing if somebody is doing something i am unaware of.  i could not of been more proud of my kids as i walked through their school today and had a lengthy conversation with each of their teachers.
i found out that my kindergartener who can be extremely loud and spoiled at home, is kind and helpful in the classroom.  she helps her friends and worries over them.  she is ahead in all of her reading and writing skills, and has an "excitement for learning that cannot be bought."  awesome.
i found out that my second grader who can be a little introverted at home, is social and has a great group of friends at school.  i found out that he scored well above genius level on his series of IQ testing for the gifted program.  he is quiet, but respectful and always smiling.
i found out that my fourth grader is a "born leader" in the classroom.  who would of known?  he always seems to be thinking about his next meal or recess in my mind, but in his teacher's eyes, he is smart, courteous and performs well in everything he does.  she is a really young teacher, and really positive and nice... maybe a more seasoned teacher would have a little more constructive words to say.  maybe i am just too hard on him.
i found out that molly is not only doing her thing academically, but is blossoming socially as well.  she is a friend to everyone and has a quiet confidence about her.  her teacher said that molly is comfortable in who she is, and others know it.  she does not conform to the popular girls social games, just always does what is right, and gains respect for it.  she said, "molly is a born teacher, but i know she will do something much bigger in this world."  our job with molly is to help her not take herself too seriously.  she stresses quite a bit about little things... hmmmm... could that be my genes?  rats.
i hope that we can be the kind of parents these little ones deserve, not breaking their spirits along the way, but encouraging them. i think we both feel that while grades and test scores are important, they are not even close to being what really matters.  what i hope and pray for my children is that they are kind, respectful, and love jesus.  i want them to have true joy, and not chase the fleeting things that bring you happiness on any given day.  don't follow the popular crowd, don't ever go along with something just to get a laugh.  always do the kind thing. not every child has a family who loves them like yours, so try to show patience and empathy.  don't do as i do, do as i say, right?  as molly always says, right is right no matter if you are the only one doing it, wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.  no compromise.  now if they can all live that motto,  we will be very proud parents indeed.

Friday, October 12, 2012

still here

molly reminded me today that my blog serves as a scrapbook of sorts for our family, and that i have not updated in quite a while.  so - is that because nothing has been happening that is blog worthy?  quite the contrary, i think we have been moving and shaking so much that i haven't been able to sit and write.
lets see.  annie is fourteen months now, sweet as she is rotten.  she giggles when she sees her siblings, runs from her daddy in a game of chase which usually ends in her wiping out, still loves her mama and occasionally still nurses to soothe herself.  no we have not fully weaned, and no it doesn't bother me a bit.  she is my last baby (for real this time) and im i have learned from the past four, there is no point in rushing any aspect of it. 
maggie is now doing well in kindergarten after a kind of so so start.  she wasn't really sure you had to actually do the work there, but now that we have cleared that up, she is behaving quite well.  her very giant personality barely fits in her little blonde headed body, and i thoroughly enjoy being around her.  she is not quite as sassy as she used to be, i mean - there was no miracle or anything, she is just kind of getting how to fit into the world with the rest of the mere mortals when she is just so "all that".  i actually pray that she will carry that confidence with her into her teen years.
ashton is his sweet smart self.  so self sufficient, so independent.  he comes home, picks up his book and gets his mandatory reading time done right off, then skips out the door to play with whatever neighbor child is around.  he is not picky and loves everyone.  he is the most grateful little boy i have ever met, thanking me over and over for any gift he receives.  he has his heart in exactly the right place.  he is starting basketball in a couple of weeks and im excited to see how he changes when given his own special activity.
carson is still my handsome little ornery boy.  he is very smart but doesn't really care to push that too much.  he is all about being a boy and is outside getting sweaty any chance he gets.  he loves to start a big game of kickball and will stay out until dark every day if allowed.  he is sweet and always remembers to hug me when he sees me.  he is learning to be more grateful and appreciative of the world around him, as he kind of gets lost in his own desires some days.  most days.
molly is a busy little lady, taking on choir, student council, babysitting, volunteering in the church and joining the swim team.  she swims four nights a week, keeps up with friends, family, church and babysitting on the weekends.  she is still an amazing grownup packed into an 11 year old body.  she recently brought me her savings from months of babysitting and told me to ship it to uganda to katie davis, a missionary.  such a kind and generous heart.  we could all learn a lesson in humility, gratitude and grace from miss molly.  im still amazed at the things she says and does. 
as for us, jeff is busy every day chasing annie and driving children too and fro.  he keeps up everything around here, helping preserve my sanity and being an amazing father.  i know for a fact i would not have the loving, smart sweet children i have without his presence in their daily lives.  he finds every little moment and turns it into a teaching moment, something i admit i just don't take the time to do most days.
i am busy teaching clinicals and working weekends.  i love my hospital job and am learning to love the clinicals, but i do not feel teaching is my calling in life.  maybe someday, but my heart lies with the little ones at home, and that is probaby how it will remain for a at least five more years with my sweet anniroo still home.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

sweet annie

in a couple of hours it will be my baby's first birthday.  as always, it is my intent to capture my true feelings, so that my family can look back on these little posts some day and see the truth of our lives.  its not my intent to be politically correct or cool.  its just my real self - writing down the very uncool feelings i have about baby number five turning one.  that being said - it might get a touch emotional.

i am here to celebrate this birthday with half of my family away at camp.  i know it is just killing my husband to be away from her for so long, especially on her first birthday.  i will try to make it a happy day for her - which would simply involve me carrying her the entire day and feeding her ripe peaches, peeled and cut into big chunks.  that seems to be her food of the week.  peaches, not really even a taste of anything else.  she still nurses frequently, and will now take a bottle and sippy cup.  big progress.  im sitting here thinking about anything else she loves, and there is a very short list right now.  she number one loves me, then her daddy, then her siblings, then the dog, and that is it.  she will play for short periods, but much prefers to be carted around in my left arm.

i love her so much it scares me - as i do my whole family.  i remember finding out we were pregnant with her, jeff not believing me, the doctor telling me i probably was not pregnant after all, the sonogram with no heartbeat, the tears, the stress, the genetic counseling, and the sonogram with the tiny heartbeat.
 its that moment that makes the crushing stress and sadness of the moments building up to it, so worth it.  that moment which leads to the multitude of moments to follow.  the first day i felt like i was going to vomit at the site of hamburger (meaning hormones must be reaching a healthy level), the first time she kicked, the not finding out her sex, anticipating the delivery, and that day.  i love that day.  i remember every detail so clearly.  the shirt i wore, the drive to the hospital, the joy that filled the room for hours before she arrived.  it is quite possibly better than any drug that could ever be produced.
i vowed to love every second of her babyhood this time.  i have immersed myself in her, put other things and people on hold to cater to her.  i could of ruined her - as evidenced by her not allowing a single person to hold her other her mom and dad.  nobody.

so in a couple of hours, she will no longer be counted in months, but in years.  its so cliche, but goodness it goes by in a blink.

 i love you sweet annie claire, bigger than i can ever put into words.  you have made my heart grow exponentially larger in the twelve short months i have known you.

Monday, July 30, 2012

im just smarter

my husband selflessly volunteered to be carson's church camp counselor this week.  he will be hoofin it in the 100+ degree heat with many dirty boys in toe.  he did this for many reasons, but one of them was that i couldn't bear for both of my oldest to go away for an entire week without one of us there.  over protective, maybe.  it just put my mind at ease to know he was there, keeping an eye on them.  with the crazy heat - im so thankful he is - carson would run himself until he shriveled up into a dry heap if somebody did not remind him to stop and take a drink, and a breath.
while he is gone doing that - i am here with the three youngest.  i admit that i do not have a lot of alone time with the children.  he is always around to help, i work, and when i am home, im rarely alone.
its strange to be here solo.  nobody to bounce ideas off of, no adult to talk to, nobody to watch tv with at night when you finally get them asleep, nobody to share the parenting, housework, etc...  many of my friends do this regularly, but not me.  im pretty spoiled. don't get me wrong - i am enjoying them.  we are walking, playgrounding, shopping, swimming, baking, snacking, olympics watching and giggling.  tonight they were kind of rotten and i told them so.  when i put them to bed, i found this on my counter.

that's my mags, constantly making sure she stays front and center in my heart.  one of the rotten things she did tonight was talk sassy to ashton.  he asked me what the black lines on the road were.  i told him they were repairs.  she says "i already knew that ashton."  i said, maggie do not be mean to your brother.
she said - without pause "mom - i wasn't being mean, im just smarter."  goodness.

 i don't think this little one stands a chance... they are kind of inseparable.
 and she is already fiercely determined.
where's ashton you ask?  hiding in the house.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

little things

Just a couple of the little things taking up all of my  time lately.  This one in particular.  But that is ok.
She forces me, sometimes against my will to sit back and just enjoy her sweetness once in awhile.  No moving, no laundry, no housework.
Just sweetness.