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Monday, August 31, 2009

Bike Jump Life

“Go as fast as you can, don’t worry how you’ll land.”

These words were words of advice from our oldest son (S1) to you next youngest son (S2).
Get ready to jump over to
http://praiseandcoffee.blogspot.com/2009/08/guest-post-from-denise-take-jump.html

to read the rest of the thrilling story!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Beware of Monster Moma

I recently had two completely non related conversations with two people who don’t know eachother and yet both their recent conversations collided on me on the same day.

GD, a wise mentor dear friend of mine, told me I should write in my blogs about bad days too, things I am struggling with concerning the boys.

RC and I were swinging on our porch swing and we were talking about if we had someone who followed us around all the time, keeping us on our best mommy behaviors, what better mothers we would be.

Added to this mix, the rental house on our farm had the renter we have had decide to get out of her lease early and we were searching for a new tenant. It is very difficult to find a new renter to live so close to us, and I spent a lot of time in prayer and a lot of time setting things up to rerent the rental. We found a new tenant, a truly sweet woman, and her kids. All week we had been in talk with her and she was due to move in the day our other renter moved out.

Which leads me to the monster moma part and how all this comes together.

S2 was laying on the couch petting our lovely long haired cat when he informed me she had fleas. I freaked. I hate fleas. I called the vet and go the medicine to treat her and our dog. The vet assured me that fleas had suddenly invaded and they were bad this year.

S1, never have informing me or his Daddy this, goes on and on and on to my family how we have fleas and they are in his bed because the dog lays there and the fleas are biting them all the time in their sleep. Thankfully he tells this to my family only but I am still mortified and tell him this is not something you tell the world and if he had told me I would have washed their bed sheets and this I did.

And when I did, I realized how trashed messy their room was.

So, for one solid week they were told every day to clean their room. It was a rainy week, what else was there to do? When they were done, my husband and I would put up bunk beds in their room and I could sort their clothes for the upcoming (groan) school year.

A week later, their room wasn’t cleaned at all. Well, one shelf that I told S1 couldn’t have anything on it because we would need it for the bunk beds was expertly decorated with all his treasures. I was so discouraged over it all, I cried. I cried that the house was a disaster looking, flea infested place and that I couldn’t get our boys to clean. My husband didn’t know what to do with me. For the first time in the eleven year we have lived here, we decided to bug bomb the house.

I told the boys we did not need to share this information with people. I was mortified just at the thought of having to do it, feeling like a failure of our home. We chose a day when the boys had dentist appointments and we could spend the rest of the time at the park.

At the dentist, S1 informed the dentist how we were bug bombing the house and the fleas were eating his and his brothers legs and all over their beds.

If the ground could have swallowed us all whole, I surely wish it would have.

We went to the park, S1 informed the entire park population that we were there because we had bug bombed our house.

I was seething.

When we got home and the fleas and all other bugs were in deed dead and the house aired out, I took on the task of cleaning all that we had left out and all surfaces to take off the residue. In the boys’ rooms, you could not even see the carpet and I had decided to take away all the boys toys. If they can’t keep their room clean, if they can’t even begin to clean their rooms after a week, why should they have all their toys to play with? My husband and family and GD all agreed it was a brilliant, although painful for me to live thru, plan. I remade their beds with clean sheets and blankets and then called it a night.

So on the fateful rainy Thursday morning following the awful bug bomb day, I decided to put the plan into action. It’s a watch Jr day that day but I figured the boys could get a good start, I’d help them finish and we would be done quickly. I tried to think of ways to explain this to them as firmly and sweetly and as ‘learning experience to help you grow into strong men’ as I could.
Jr had a the first fussy day he had ever had, all out screaming before he fell soundly asleep. By nine in the morning, I was a cup and a half into my second pot of coffee, and headed upstairs to see how the boys were coming along. They were all on the only made bed up there playing with trucks.

I snapped.

“YOU WILL CLEAN THIS ROOM RIGHT NOW! YOU ARE GOING TO BOX UP ALL YOUR TOYS BECAUSE THEY ARE GONE NOW! AND THERE HAD BETTER BE BAGS OF TRASH YOU HAUL OUT OF HERE! MOVE IT! MOVE IT NOW!”

As they began to hustle, our dog began to bark and I looked out the window to see a car in the driveway.

Our new renter.

The night before, our old renter had moved out and the new renter was there to clean the house. I had never heard her pull in (how could I when I was yelling?) and because all the windows were open to air out the house, she was directly under the window and had heard every word of my awful rant with the boys.

I really considered hiding, but, let’s face it, she obviously knew I was there. And S3 and S4 were downstairs already with the first pile of dirty laundry. They were ‘moving’ just like I had ordered them to, and in doing so were talking with our new renter, J, already.

J said she understood, she had kids of her own, but still, I felt awful. If I would not have talked to the boys that way if I had known she was at the door, why did I do it in the first place?

I got J in her new home, downplaying it all best I could, and went back to help the boys. What a mix of emotions that was! They had a constant armful of laundry headed downstairs to be washed and then we began to clean. S4 thought this was just the best fun, moma helping him clean his room. He and S3 found a million long lost treasures that they thrilled to be reunited with. S3 kept peeking in on his older brothers and seen we were getting more done than them and kept giggling “we are beating them! Our room will be clean first!” S2 gave me hugs, lots of hugs and made me three yarn bracelets throughout the day without ever really saying a word to me. S1 sat on his bed, tears and snot running down his face, looking purely miserable. He and S2 piled their dressers high with treasures, until I stressed again EVERYTHING but bedding, alarm clocks and things on the wall were going to be packed up. Then I got questions like…

“What about our coin collections?”
“Nope, pack ‘em up.”
“What about our wallets?”
It would be cruel to keep those. “You can keep them.” Quiet cheers from them spurred them on to ask a million other “can we keep this?” questions. All to which I gave a “don’t ask me again” toned ‘no’.

Finally, S2 in a very small voice squeaked out “even our Bibles? Will you make us pack those up too?” They got to keep those too, as if we would pack them up!

In the end, we had six bags of trash. All their toy boxes were filled to over flowing and moved into the room we have just for storage and toys. When they go back to school, I will sort thru the toys, throwing away the broken ones and we plan to let them have one toy back regularly when they have made their beds and done required chores around the house. After I get the carpets cleaned, S3 and S4 will get some of their favorite toys back, at five and three they don’t understand why they were boxed up.

But this morning, the day after the awful day, they spent the morning out in the sand box playing making roads. When they got a brief little rain shower, they went upstairs where they were able to wrestle and play.

And in case you think I was exaggerating over the mess of the room, here is a photo of JUST the clothes that were on the floor, this isn’t including toys and blankets.
This is the laundry I had washed already.
This is the laundry I have yet to wash that is just normal every day wear. With the rain this week, I can’t use the clothes line and so the wash is going constantly.

I don’t know how long it will take J to forget her first glimpse into our ‘regular daily family life’ but I hope she realizes I am not the ‘moma monster’ of that moment regularly. And because this is a truly ‘bad moment’, I decided to share it like GD said I should. And because I wish I would have had someone following me to remind me to keep my mommy p’s and q’s like RC and I had chatted about, I decided to add that bit of advice to.

And my sister, DP, who heard this happened, groaned in pain for me and then started laughing so hard she couldn’t hardly stop and my husband called regularly just to see if I was okay to talk or if I was too busy yelling at the boys.

There’s my monster moma story for you.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Float Away Shoe

A new camping story!

On the day that my mom, DP, baby Backup, GM and Jr left me at the campsite while they all headed for home, I took all the boys down to the beach to wait for their Daddy to arrive and camp with us. We were all super over tired from all the days of camping and I was perfectly content to let the boys fish and jump in the water while I finished reading a could not put down book set in France.

The boys were doing some serious jumping into the lake. We had moved down from the main beach so as not to hook anyone (that would be so bad) and there was a bit of hill that was great for jumping in the lake. All were having a great time until S2 suddenly screamed “my shoe! My shoe!”

Now, to fully understand what is about to happen here, we must back up a bit further in S2’s history. He loves Croc shoes. Preferably camouflage. Last year we searched high and low for these shoes and finally found ONE pair. This year I started searching BEFORE the snow was gone, determined to get a size for this year and next. We searched and searched and searched and searched. I searched on line, in the stores, I called regularly to stores, and we could not find these shoes.

Finally, just before we left for camping, a store found a pair in S2’s size at the big mall uptown. A friend of mine with said she would pick them up for me, which is good because I haven’t been to the mall in ages and I would hate to break that streak! So S2 finally had his camouflage crocs. He would have slept in them if I would have let him. And it was these shoes he took to the beach, left near the shore and when jumping into the lake, and was knocked into the lake and being the floating type of shoe it was, quickly began to float away in the windy weather. Because it is a CAMOUFLAGE shoe, we didn’t even see it at first. S2 began to shriek just when it was at that point of realizing it was nearly away for good.

I am not fond of seaweed. I am not fond of swimming. I do enjoy soaking up the sun rays and working on making sure my hair is lighter at the end of a beach day than the beginning – it saves on hi-lite expenses. You girls, you know this. I save my hubby money every time I get my hair lighter at the beach!

So, that is why I looked to S1, who is a very good swimmer, and said “Quick, rescue your brother’s shoe!” S1 looked at the floating further away shoe, looked at his now screaming brother and decided that it was just too far away of a swim. “Take the life jacket!” I called to him as I seen the doubt in his eyes. He kept his eyes on the shoe as he began to pull on the life preserver and the wind carried the shoe a little farther out. “Quick!” all of us began to call.

He jumped in the water. We all held our breaths. He swam with strong strokes, got nearly to the shoe, and turned back to look at the shore. I know it’s not the same, but I got a glimpse of Peter when he was walking on water toward Jesus and just froze and began to drown. S1 was nearly to the shoe and he just froze. “Keep going!” I hollered out to him.

S1 panicked. He seen a fishing boat and tried to flag it down, even though it was quite a ways out there. This was not good because I knew he was fine (just over his head) and if he panicked I would have to pull him to shore.

I would have to touch seaweed.

Sternly I yelled to him, “YOU CAN DO THIS!”

I could see him take a deep breath and push forward. His family on the shore cheered for him. In just three more strokes and he had the shoe in his hand.

We went crazy. We were jumping up and down, we were hollering and cheering. S1 was swimming triumphantly back, his head held high above the water, pride radiating from his eyes.

I could have cried, my little ten year old had faced his fears and conquered them. He was getting bigger right then, right in this moment, and we were there to witness it.

S1 got the biggest heroes welcome as he handed S2 his shoe – which he immediately put on his foot. We slapped his back, we hugged him, we cheered him, we gave him a mountain dew.

And we decided we had better call it a day and head back to camp.

He spent the rest of the camping trip retelling the story with great animation. We all kept a very close eye on the shoes from then on too.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Colored Toes

We all went camping this past weekend, again. Haven’t finished my first batch of camping stories and here we packed up and headed off for the weekend again!

While camping, I repainted my fingernails and toenails. They needed to be done very badly and even though it was so hot they bubbled a bit, I felt much better when they were done in the dark blue color I had chosen. S3 looked them all over for me and declared they looked like blackberries so he liked them. S4 and S3 had a long conversation with me how boys can’t paint toenails and fingernails, it’s a girly thing to do.

We had this conversation and I thought nothing else of it. I should have.

On the rainy Monday we were home following the camping trip, S4 got a washable marker and colored all over himself. The boys held their breath; sure S4 was in huge trouble. It was hot, it was sticky, I was tired of arguing with the boys to clean their room and too tired to even care he had colored all over himself. Besides, it would all wash off anyhow. “Nice,” was my only response.

The boys were in shock. Moma had basically had no reaction to S4 being fully colored in a red marker!

Later that day, when the sun was out and I had shoved the boys out to play because, really, who wants to be cleaning ALL day long in a hot sticky house? Besides, they weren’t really cleaning anyhow and I had to get dinner ready and didn’t need them all coming down to ask AGAIN for another snack and me answer AGAIN no, that I was making dinner and they would not starve.

S3 and S4 suddenly came in the kitchen door and I could tell this was going to be bad. Really bad. In their hands was the turquoise PERMANENT marker my husband and used to make vegetable signs for our road side stand. On their bodies was the cool lines they had drawn. But what were unmistakable were their feet.

“We did not paint our toes, Moma,” S3 explained quickly.

“No,” S4 added, shaking his blonde head for emphasis.

“We colored our toes.”

“See?” S4 stuck his toes out for me to see.

“Girls paint, boys color. We colored them boys colors,” S3 explained seriously.

Now what do I do? Take pictures and hide the markers.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How Baby Backup Got Her Name


As I have been asked quite a few times lately, I thought I had better take a break from camping stories (we have the lost shoe story, Jr’s story, getting home all left for sure) and explain to everyone how Baby Backup got her name.

Backup is the first baby born in our family after all our boys. My sister and brother in law found out what they were having, agonized like all couples over the name, and then named her a wonderful old fashioned name, one of my husband’s favorite girl names. Her middle name honors my mother and I both.

When I told the boys her name, S3 and S4 could not pronounce it, not for anything in the world. It came out “Back up” and as she was a little itty bitty baby, she became Baby Backup.

Because the name sounded so hilarious, because the boys were saying it all the time, because it sounded like we just kept a back up baby around here for the boys to see once in awhile, we kept the nickname.

The boys can pronounce her name now, but rarely do they use it. We normally just call her by her nick name, and it’s only cuz we love her….and she can’t stop us!

It’s the most fun to be out and about with her and here the boys call for her.
When we were camping (oh look, this IS a camping story!) S4 (who my husband calls Big Baby), did not take kindly to Backup playing with his toys or eating his cheese puffs. He would cram all his toys in his arms so she wouldn’t play with them. Towards the end of the week, he shared much better, even letting her (gasp!) play with his beloved Thomas (but never his CARS). The thing is, S4 is also always trying to be sweet to her, she is a baby and he has always been the baby so this is cool for him to be the oldest. It’s so funny to hear him take this sweet, high pitched voice to explain something to her.
When we went to the beach, Backup discovered the boys Tonka trucks and just fell in love with them. On one occasion, the boys put her in one of the trucks and RAN her from the vehicle all the way to the beach. They were careful with all bumps and she grinned like a crazy baby the whole time. By the time they arrived to the beach long before all us moms loaded down with food and towels and spf 50, they had the attention of everyone else at the beach. It’s hard to miss S4’s siren voice, or the fact that they were all saying “wasn’t that fun, Baby Backup?”

Monday, August 10, 2009

Baby Backup learns to Eat!

Sunday we all went to Lake Michigan. By “we” I mean the six of us, my Dad and Mom, DP, her husband and Baby Back-up, GM, my brother (her husband) and Jr. We had a great time but watching Baby Backup eat reminded me that I was going to blog about her. (My sister is groaning in protest, I’m sure, but since she has no internet maybe she will never know. HA! HA!)

At Christmas, there is a commercial where two sisters are advertising for a vacuum cleaner or steam cleaner. One sister has a perfectly clean house, perfectly clean children and she loves her vacuum. This is my sister, DP. The other sister has kids swinging from the ceiling and jumping on furniture, she also loves the same vacuum. This is me.

My sister is a great baker. She makes all her meals from scratch. They are made with whole wheat rolled oats ground by hand organic type food. I am envious of her on this. I wish I had the time, or even cared. I buy Spartan brand flour in the biggest bag they have to make all my cookies with granulated sugar and Hershey chocolate chips. She does not, everything they have to eat is healthy.

Her biggest weakness is ice cream, where she does take Baby Backup and goes very regularly to the dairy farm/ice cream shop/really cool place down the road from her home.

So, when we went camping, DP packed the organic juice and healthy food and her splurge for Baby Backup was fishy crackers, which my boys loved and gobbled down the first afternoon of camping. I packed cheese balls, hotdogs, licorice, smores, cheese in a can, potato chips, fruit roll ups, mountain dew (camping trips mean you can drink soda), hot cocoa with marshmallows OR whipped cream in a can. My mom thought to get pudding cups, that don’t need to be refrigerated, and S4 called ‘puddles’.

When Baby Backup seen our food, her eyes widened. When she tasted a cheese ball, her eyes widened even more and her mouth made an "ooohhhh". Have you ever seen “Over the Hedge”…..yah, she became Hammie and I became the world’s greatest Aunt.

This clean little niece of mine discovered sugar and ‘bad’ food and had a ball. She ate and ate and ate and ate and ate. DP said she has never seen her eat so much food in her life! We would go to the beach, licorice (which is very good fish bait, by the way) would drop in the sand. Never fear, Baby Backup was near! She would gobble it all up, sand and everything, before we could get to her. She loved cheese balls, shoving a whole one in her mouth to make sure no one could take it. She loves m and m’s.

Baby Backup might have been the one to have the best time of all of us camping.

When she arrived home, DP gave her a bowl of whole grain cereal. She looked at her mommy as if to say “you want me to eat this?” and promptly dumped it on the floor.


(eating breakfast, a moment of cleanliness)

Now, in case you think that I feed our boys junk food all the time, please understand, these are boys who munch pickling cucumbers for snacks, pick blueberries from the field to eat and eat home made dinners and lunches nearly every day. But when we go camping, we pack munchie ‘special’ snacks to enjoy. Only during vacations do we become little piggies.

I had some cheese balls left from camping and brought them to the lake with me Sunday. She was never so happy to see us all as when she spied her cheese balls.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Technology Camping

If you bring technology camping, are you really camping?

I brought my Blackberry camping. As if I would not. It’s my cell phone, someone may need to get a hold of me!


Actually, it’s just my husband.


We had more fun this week being away from eachother than ever before. I would send him a picture of the fish S2 caught, the dinner we were grilling or I would type him out an email on the phone “I am awake, the raccoons ate our trash”, or “I am at the beach working on getting blonder hair and darker skin” or some other very meaningful message. He emailed me photos of the tomatoes greening up, the fact that he got our favorite Chocolate Malt Twist ice cream from the Schwans man or some scene from work.


S1 informed me before I left that it’s not camping if you are on your phone.

And then he asked if he could talk to Daddy or if I could email Daddy his picture.


When my husband arrived to camp with us on the weekend, I didn’t send but two emails…to my mom.


I tried not to be on facebook too much, but we have a house for rent and questions were sent my way. And R told me to read this really great book and I HAD to tell her I had read it and it was great!


When it was time to leave camping, my husband was shocked I wasn’t ready to go yet. I was wearing jeans that had sand in all the creases, my toes were freshly painted orange but you couldn’t tell anymore, all my towels were hanging on the sides of the camper. But really, all I missed was my computer. My blog. How sad – or how grand – is that? All I need is sun, water, my family, coffee, my dog and my blog.


My mom called me today to inform me that DP and GM think we (my mom has a blackberry too) on our phones way too much.


But we had weather forcasts right at our fingertips, literally! I read the story about the rattlesnake in someones basement and the high speed chase on the highway by our house. You have to know these things, right?


Well, some of them you do.


So, to me dear lovely sisters, I am sorry if you thought my phone was more important than you. Because it wasn’t. I had way more fun with you two and your two little ones.

And to my husband, I had more fun with my phone this week than I ever have before, I am soooooo glad we have them! And to the blogosphere, I sure appreciate you all! Thanks for giving me reasons to write out all the fun stories in my life and sharing them all with you!


And DP, I grill better than you! HA!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Here fishy fishy fishy!


At the campground, far away (really, it takes two full songs to get from campsite to beach while driving) is the most beautiful, clean, fun lake I have ever encountered in my life. While swimming, if the lake is not busy, large carp will come up to the shore to swim around and look for food. Scary at first (you hear Jaws music in your head), it truly is cool.

The boys are fascinated by these fish. The take nets down to the beach and have long learned the fish’s favorite food, licorice and cheese balls.

On this camping trip, the two older boys brought their fishing poles. We set up for the beach days on the opposite side of the beach we are normally on because there is a grassy knoll there that the boys could fish off of and not bother swimmers and yet are so close we can keep a close eye on them.

Using a cheese ball for bait, S2 caught this whopper of a fish. He was the hero of the beach. Kids and parents and teens all flocked over to him to check out his fish. He was the coolest little guy. After a few photos, we let him go.

After that fish incident, the boys got much more aggressive about catching fish. That and the water was a bit chilly for swimming. GM (my sister in law) bought the boys some worms and they began to catch eatable fish. I don’t like fish, can’t eat fish, they make me sick. The boys had forgotten to grab a bucket so (thankfully) they had to let them all go.

When my husband arrived to camp with us, he jokingly told the boys that if they caught enough he would make them up for them. Now, being the ingenious boys they are, they knew they had no bucket and moma wasn’t about to give up the dishes bucket for smelly fish so they came up with a rather creative plan. Backing two Tonka dump trucks together, they began to keep the fish in there. With them backed together, it was less likely the fish would jump out.

In doing this, they really created quite the crowd. They had a swarm of kids around them who were more than willing to keep running with a plastic cup down to the lake to fill the trucks up with water. These kids had never seen a fish caught and S1’s chest stuck out a little farther with grown up authority as he explained to kids how to catch the fish and yes, there really are fish that live in this lake and S2 would then tell them about the whopper he had caught earlier in the week and the kids eyes would get buggy eyed, run to tell their parents and then run back to dump more water on the fish.

No one caught a monster again, but they did catch enough for lunch. They had ever so much fun cleaning the fish, frying them on the campfire and gobbling them up. S1 declared they were better than fish sandwiches at McDonalds, and then wondered to him self how it was McDonalds caught all those big square fish.

And as much as I detest fish, I have to admit that it was great for the boys to have an experience only their daddy would share with them, a memory they will not soon forget, I am sure.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What is the Problem Going on Here?

I woke up sleepily to hear the older two boys wrestling on the living room floor. S4, who was snuggled sound asleep next to me, jumped up, ran sleepily out the door and declared authoritively, “What is the problem going on here?”

He was promptly screeching while his brothers tackled him to tickle him.

I smiled to myself, rolled over and studied the clock. I had ten minutes to get us all out of the house in time to take S2 to summer school.

That was the problem going on here.

I quickly hollered at the boys to “eat fast! Get dressed! Wake up your brother! Move move move!”

We scrambled. I pulled on a pair of jeans under my husband’s t-shirt I had been sleeping in. I would have just put on my glasses but they are still in the camper. I quick downed a glass of water and the boys, cereal dripping from the mouths of the two oldest while the two youngest cried they were starving, and we were running out the door.

I asked S2 if he would mind S1 taking him down to his class. He began to tear up and so I decided I would do this. I could do this. I could walk into school sleepy headed and drop him off at his class. I mean, really, I only ever see maybe one to three people in the hall in the morning. Everyone has bad days….

We pulled into school and the whole entire summer school group was outside the front door, singing songs and doing exercises. Every teacher watched me walk up with S2, kiss his hat and wave goodbye.

I am so setting my alarm for tomorrow. I so wish we were still camping.

More camping stories to come tomorrow.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Mean Old Yellow Mike

We decided to go camping.

When I say we, I mean me, the four boys, my mom and her dog Maggie, my sister (DP) and her daughter (whom the boys call baby Backup), my sister in law GM and her baby, Jr, whom you have all ready met in previous entries, and GM’s cousin, whom the boys call Africa. It’s a play on her name.

That means we have four adults, one teenager, six kids and one dog.

We were quite the sight, I am sure.

Getting set up is an adventure. Not one of us girls is good at setting up tents, we have two to set up. My husband was making sure our camper was as solid as could be (four boys in and out, you really want to be sure you are well set up), GM and DP were staying in a cabin and my mom stays with Maggie in the 1953 Vacationette my Dad found and it’s just the cutest little set up, especially so since he hauls it around with his 1949 Panel, that is turquoise trimmed out so they really stand out. The boys are so excited they are jumping up and down, shrieking, riding their bikes, asking for food and literally being a blur. I am already figuring out where to put the coffee and wondering if I can sneak a nap, packing up has worn me out and the last part of the morning when my husband took the boys to church so I could finish packing had me literally running thru the house and yard.

Slowly, night falls. My Dad and my husband leave and it’s just us girls. All four boys beg to go bed in the tent and S1 especially has a hard time with this. This is HIS tent to share with S2 and views the ‘little boys’ as an intrusion.

Because this moma doesn’t like that idea, I say all the boys can sleep in the tent.

S1 knows not to mess with moma – well, sometimes.

I was certain S4 would never make it very long and would change his mind. I was pretty sure S3 would crawl in the camper too.

I had hard time falling asleep that night, listening for them to wake up……

At three in the morning, S4 beginnings screaming “Daddy, shoot it!”

This is not a way to wake up.

He has stumbled out bed and is fumbling with the zipper screaming bloody murder. I get him, his blanket and his cow in the camper and the tent zipped back up. He curls up on the couch muttering “my Daddy will shoot you!” and falls right back to sleep.

In the morning, we get the meaning of this whole experience.

The night before we left, my husbands brother (who has no kids) that in the campgrounds there lurks a scary animal man named Yellow Mike with a skunk head and a turkey butt.

S4 was sure his Daddy would shoot the thing that was lurking in his dreams.

For the whole week we heard about mean old Yellow Mike.

I was nearly cursing my brother in law.

Except, it gives me this story to tell you.

S4 was riding his bike or running or jumping or something and he fell. He scuffed his arm but didn’t notice and since we were running four Band-Aids a day I figured I wouldn’t mention it.

A few days later, he realized it. “Moma! What is this?” he cried as he held up is elbow.

“Oh, just an old owie. It’s fine. No blood.” (because if there is blood, we need Band-Aids)

“I know how I getted this, Moma. That mean old Yellow Mike, he snuck up and he grabbed me and I threw him on the ground and scared him and he runned off and I got this little owie. But it’s fine now.” He jumped up from the beach towel and ran off to play, problems all solved.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Want to Go Camping With Us? and Rockin' Worship

We are back after a week of camping. It took us a week to get ready for camping leading up to camping and then the week camping and now it’ll take two weeks to recover! But it was worth it, we had a blast. And the benefit for you all is that while I have been away I have been thinking a million times “ohhhh, this is going to make a GREAT blog!” So hooray for all of you…you all get to go camping with us (well, sorta)

But right now I have laundry to do. Four boys plus seven days equals much laundry.

Here, however, is a little story for you…

S4 has taken it upon himself to make up new songs. Tonight we were eating dinner and he says “want to hear my new song?”

He begins singing (he would sing the song whether we wanted him to or not) to the tune of Johnny Cash’s “Get Rhythm”

“Get roundin’ so you can get some tacos
Get roundin” so you can get some tacos
Get roundin’ so you can get some taaacccooooooossss”

My husband begins singing the real words to “Get Rhythm” to which S4 begins to cry “DADDY!!!!! Don’t ruin my song!”

Oh no, we would never do that.

I’m off to drink more coffee…..I’ll be needing a lot. Here is the story Sue posted over at Praise and Coffee while I was gone…enjoy! Hey, don’t forget to visit http://www.praiseandcoffee.com/ I can’t rave enough about her blog!

Rockin’ Worship

I had to clean my porch. Well, let me start farther back than that. We live in a very old farmhouse, and the front of our house is an old porch that the previous owners remodeled with windows to connect it as a room of the house. It has no insulation, it slants toward the door, it has no electric and it is my second favorite room in the whole house. The reason I fell in love with the house in the first place. The ceiling is robin’s egg blue and I painted the trim super bright yellow when we moved in and the floor is chipped dark blue. Everyone loves my porch.

We used it as a mud room this winter for the first time. It was a little odd to take a cute room and make it into a ‘drop’ room but it worked. And it has stayed that trashed drop room since winter and it was well past time to clean it out. It was so nasty I ended up just taking the garden hose into the porch and spraying it down. It was gross. Dirt I didn’t know existed came pouring out.

I took everything out of the porch, cleaned it and brought what I needed back in. It’s all cute again with two rocking chairs just waiting to be rocked in and chat with someone special. Our youngest was exceptionally impressed with the rocking chairs. “Come sit wid me!” he said to me, rocking back and forth.

“I really need to keep cleaning,” I’d say, but I did think he sure looked cute in the big rocking chair. I kept to task and soon S4 was rocking again, “Come sit wid me, Moma. I got you a piddow.” And sure enough, he drug the pillow from the couch to the rocking chair for me.

“Oh, okay,” I agreed and sat in the other chair. He rocked away with a smile.

“This nice, Moma,” he told me.

And it was. It was sweet rocking there with my little boy on my clean porch. I had been so busy putting it back together that I hadn’t realized just how nice it was to just sit there.

Later in the day I was frantically getting around for the Praise and Coffee night. I was so late! I hurried out the door without dinner; I made it too late to help out, too late for a sandwich but in time for coffee. Which I needed because I was so tired from all the work of the day.

Trinity FTL was playing and I had been looking forward to this day. But as they began to play I just kept thinking of all the busyness of the day, the things I had left undone at home, the things I had yet to do when I got home. And while the music was unbelievable great, I wasn’t ‘feeling’ it.

All the sudden the sun came thru the window and shown brightly on me just as Sue was praying for the Holy Spirit to be felt in this place and they began to play a Kari Jobe song I most love. It was one of those “frozen in time” moments, surreal. And I thought of my little boy sitting in the rocking chair asking me to sit with him. And it was like God said to me, “Are you going to give Me any of your time?”

And just like I had used the hose to clean out the ick of the porch to get to that moment where I could enjoy some special time with S4, God just hit me then, showing me all the ick that was blocking me from truly worshipping Him.

I cried. I don’t cry in public and I stood there and cried.

Thank you, God, for giving me a son to show me more of You! To show me how to have a “rockin’ worship” moment with You.