Friday, October 30, 2009

A Pumpkin Story

We have pumpkins here on the farm. They are truly beautiful this year. As my husband was surveying the fruit of his labor there on our front lawn, I reminded him of the very first year we sold pumpkins. I remember it well, he did not recall it.

It was 2001 I was pregnant for S2, that long ago. It was the first time Hubby had planted pumpkins and they had done phenomenally, a sea of orange on our front lawn.

It was also the first time Hubby had ever worked nights. Not a big deal, I didn’t mind having the whole bed to myself. But on this night, it was sheer panic.

To understand the story, you must realize that our house sits on little hill off the road. At the time, we had a HUGE maple tree right smack dab in front of the house. It has since had to be cut down and I cried but that is another story. Anyhow, our bedroom window looks right out toward the road. And the sea of pumpkins.

It was October 31st, Halloween night. S1 was tucked into his John Deere bedding and I was nestled in the big bed alone. I noticed a truck moving slowly down the road, it turned around and headed back by our house ever so slowly.

Hubby then got a panicked call from me. “I think a truck is stalking our house” I whispered panicked into the phone, because, of course, the evil driver could hear me calling Hub, I was sure.

“What do you want me to do about it?” he asked, “They are probably just after all the left over pumpkins.” “They can’t take our pumpkins!” I said aloud, completely aghast.

“It’s probably just some punk kids looking for pumpkins to toss. I would have with my buddies.” Buddies looking for a good time or not, I was scared. “Get the gun if you think you need it,” he instructed me.

“I don’t even know how to shoot a gun!” I screeched. Yup, this country girl doesn’t shoot guns. My boys are willing to teach me, I prefer to keep the princess theme going for just me.

Back to the story.

“Well,” he said, “you could always get my paint ball gun. It’s still loaded. Just hide behind the tree and pelt the truck when they stop to load the pumpkins. You won’t stop them but we sure will be able to figure out who the thieves are by the paint splattered truck. Just hide behind the tree and pelt them.”

“What if they come after me?” I asked, trembling.

“Just shoot them with the paint ball gun. Believe me, it hurts. That’ll stop them.”

He had a lot of faith in the paint ball gun, I realized.

But I was still scared and there was nothing he could do for me, driving his big truck in the big cement city half an hour away from me at the least. So I told him I was calling our pastor.

Odd, you may think, but our pastor was an ex-cop. I was sure he would come out to the house and set up a perimeter and he and his boys would set up a mini militia to keep me, S1, unborn S2 and all our beautiful orange pumpkins safe. I knew I would be safe with him watching over us. And after all, I was part of his flock and he had to answer to God for my safety, I was certain.

“Pastor Mark, hope I didn’t wake you….” I began. Then I stumbled out my story. He was silent a moment and then he said something profound that I had not thought of. “What do you plan to do with all those leftover pumpkins?”

I was silent a moment. “Um, feed them to the chickens, I guess.”

“Then I guess if these kids want to pick up your pumpkins to have some fun with them, they are saving you some work.”

I hadn’t thought of that.

I had double checked all the locks. My faithful dear dog, Dixie Lou, wouldn’t let anyone near me, I was sure. And so, I went to sleep.

In the morning, not a single pumpkin was missing. How my Hubby had forgotten this story is beyond me.

And why Pastor Mark didn’t think I was insane is still beyond me!

Monday, October 26, 2009

S4 has Issues

S4 has issues. He wakes in the morning; he wails an “It’s still dark and we have to get up?” and stumbles down the steps to the table where he declares he has issues.

“I have lotsa issues, Moma” he wails.

“Really?” I ask. “What are they?”

“I am itchy and scratchy and my tummy says I am hungry.” He will be slumped over, his hands hanging to his knees.

Just how do you not laugh at that?

Whenever he is tired lately, whenever he is thinking he may be tired, whenever he thinks he needs bubble gum from Family Farm and Home or the little store down the road he starts in with his ‘issues’.

I really don’t know where it started. I suppose I inadvertently taught him. I’ll ask him on a tough day “do you have issues?” if he has been whining. I thought it was funny. He has taken it to a new level.

The other day we were headed home from church and he was starving and he was over tired. “Moma,” he wailed, “I have lotsa issues and I don’t know what to do to make them go away!”

And just what do you say to that?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

When Moma Is Down......

I am sick today.

Not miserable, just under the weather sick. Just enough to hang out in yoga pants (I don't do yoga, not like I have anything against it, just don't know how and don't know if I ever will but the pants are sure comfy), my farm girl tshirt and my favorite long like a blankie sweater.

I have drinken numerous cups of coffee and hot cocoa today.

It is funny to see how this plays out on the family. I laid in bed with my awful headache this morning and hubby offered to get me some Motrin. Except he didn't know where it was.

He did, however, go get the funnies out of the Sunday paper for me. Very sweet indeed.

S2 had worn his clothes all day long, slept in them and was going to wear them to church. I told him he needed to change. When he arrived home, I seen what he was wearing. Camo pants, camo PLAY pants, on backwards. All I can figure is he pulled them on without checking because there was no way he would have done the zipper and button backwards. And a striped fall sweater, his favorite sweater. I'd take a photo but it would embarrass him. I would show you another picture of just his sweater so you can picture in your head how hideous this looks with camo pants but all my pictures were lost when my computer crashed and burned.

S3 and S4 stayed home with me. They cuddled up in bed with me and was sure I wanted to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I took a bath instead. A bubble bath. It was wonderful. I drank a cup of hot coffee in my tub and no one bothered me because they were watching Mickey the Mouse.

When the older three boys arrived home (hubby, a very grown up looking S1 and an eccentric S2), Hubby was starving. I had made them up goulash so their day was saved from starvation.

And I never had to tell the boys to set the table. I laid on the couch all cuddled up and they set my plate, two napkins in case I lost one, all the silverware and a cup with ice. And I didn't even eat dinner. Apparently the lesson was learned yesterday.

In other news, S1 moved his hunting spot. Even Hubby is excited at the outlook of this one. If he gets a deer, yes, I will be posting with pictures.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Moma Lost It, the to be continued part

Well, S1 did his very best to shoot a deer. The day wasn’t totally awful on the boys. Their Daddy took the two older boys into town today to buy bullets and arrows, really, how much better can it be? S2 came home with a football, he was gleeful.

As dinner approached, there were many tears. S3 ran to the basement to get the noodles and the sauce and offered to help any way he could just for a bit of spaghetti.

It was pitiful.

There were tears. There was begging. I had shadows following me as I made dinner. Hubby started to feel bad for them. I was pouring on the sweetness to my hubby, set our plates at the table and no one else’s. S3 and S4 climbed the counter to reach the plates for themselves.

Husband prayed, and all thru the prayer there were sniffles and quiet sobs. I cheerily piled his plate high and got mine, very aware of three sets of eyes on my every move.

We caved. Hubby gave the boys a stern “what did you learn” talk and then we loaded their plates high with food. It was the quietest dinner we have had in a long time. They were so busy eating that they didn’t speak.

When we finished dinner, S1 came in from hunting. He hadn’t even seen a thing. Good thing they weren’t waiting for him to bring home dinner!
I’m not sure what good it will do in the long run. But for the time being, at least for the night, any thing I have asked them to do they have jumped to do. I think they are hoping for brownie ice cream dessert tonight while they watch the Red Wings. And I felt so sorry watching S4’s sad eyes follow me around telling me all the funny things his tummy was saying about being hungry that I will be dishing out the brownies and ice cream.

Moma Has Lost It

S2 was headed out to play football with IM (the boy next door) and explained to him “Moma didn’t get a cup set at the table for her so now we just have to wait for S1 to shoot a deer before we can eat anything.”

S4 is looking sadly at me. “Moma,” he says in his saddest voice, “we will starve.”

Yup, Moma has lost it.

This is how it all began.

It’s Saturday. We all slept in, WONDERFUL FEELING, because due to rain and H1N1 we had all soccer games cancelled. We stayed up late watching TV and I wrote a few blogs and saved them for upcoming post….one is on pumpkin thieves…and never went to bed until after midnight. Hubby had requested bacon and eggs so I started the bacon, I made the coffee, and I did all the normal things of the morning. I made the fresh from chicken eggs for my hubby and everyone had all their eggs done and starting on their next as well as the second pile of toast and almost a pound of the bacon was gone before I got a chance to sit down and an begin to eat. I went to get a drink and I had no cup. “Well,” S1 said, “we figured you always have your own cup we don’t need to get one for you.” While I do usually drink a glass of water all day long, lately I have been drinking juice or milk. So, I had to get up and get a cup.

When I sat back down, S4 needed peanut butter for his toast. It wasn’t on the table. “That okay, Moma can get it” he said.


I offered honey and that was acceptable to S4’s standards so I had to pour it for him and he drips it all over the table. On accident, I might add. But no worries, Moma is here to clean it up!

I hadn’t even eaten yet!

So, somehow this turned into S1 explaining that Moma’s job is this and that and I am supposed to do this and that and I just gave him this look.

And suddenly he just stopped speaking.

So, I told them that if they wanted dinner tonight they would have to shoot their meat, skin it, gut it, grill it and then they could eat it. I did not smile when I said this. That was truly difficult.
Then I looked at Hubby and said “I’ll make you chicken parmesan”.

“With spaghetti?” he asked.


Because we ate breakfast so late, we ate no lunch. Panic has set in. When they ask what is for dinner, I tell them it is whatever S1 shoots for dinner. They don’t say anything to that, their eyes just get really wide.

S2 spent a good hour outside looking for anything to shoot to eat.

As I write this, the chicken smells wonderfully. I am going to set a place setting for just Hubby and me. I am making enough to feed everyone, of course, but I am thinking that the thought that they have to take care of themselves just might, MIGHT, cause them to appreciate me a bit.

I’m not asking for much, just a little courtesy. This may totally back fire on me, but it sure is fun today watching their brains think this all through.

S3 has already offered to set and clear the table every day and be a big help if he could just have some spaghetti.

S1 is excited he could possibly put meat on the table now that he is an official hunter now. But his brothers are loosing faith in him as dinner time approaches quickly.

To be continued…………………..

Meet The Farmer's Wife

I have been following a blog for awhile....well, not that long really. I secretly followed it at first, then I realized this woman is my sister separated at birth, I am certain.

We have been emailing recently and after the boys kept asking me what new things they had shot and Hubby was asking me a bunch of techno questions I hadn't thought of, so I sent her off an email that began with "we have questions for you". After I sent it I wondered if she would find me a bit crazy. Hubby informed me that the time to worry about such a thing had long since passed.

Please allow me to introduce my dear blogging friend, the Farmer's Wife.....

All Alone

I am alone here on our little farm. I am still surrounded by the boys, still making coffee for Hubby and me, still cooking the big dinners, still listening to Mr. Goose and Miss Goosey playing with the rotting pumpkins outside but I am all alone here on our little farm.

My mom is on vacation.

We have a favorite aunt. To all my relatives who read this, well, you should have been able to tell by now that Auntie is our favorite. We love Auntie so much! All my life she has traveled with Air Force Uncle and this time she is in Virginia, and her oldest is getting married. Mom and my sister, DP, and Baby Backup headed down for the wedding and support for before, during and after the wedding.

I am a grown woman, I am happily married, I have all these boys who call me Moma but my Mom packs up to leave for ten days and suddenly I feel all alone.

I was okay with her leaving. Truly, I was. She and I had our crack berry’s (um, blackberries) and I knew she would be emailing me pics of where they were and what they were up to. I was just fine with them going, there wasn’t anything pressing for them here and I was happy they could go. I had tried to rack my brain for a way to go but there is no one who has a vehicle large enough for three extra boys to tag along to school and not to mention all the work there with them even if I took S4 with me. There was just now way.

And I was fine with that.

Until I was accidentally called.

Mom has a habit of accidentally calling me. She will not mean too, her phone just figures it had better call me. And so she did today. I answered it and heard them chatting in the back ground. I could here Auntie calling my mom “Sister!” just the way only she can. I could here DP singing some terrible awful song in some hideous opera tone of voice. I could hear my mom talking about some outfit and a fan. I just kept saying “hello?” over and over again. Backup must have heard me because she would giggle with glee and she sounded very close to the phone.

I hung up and would pick the phone up again and I could still hear them. They must have all been in the same room because I could hear their chatting even if I couldn’t make out the whole conversation.

This went on for a few minutes. I couldn’t figure out how to disconnect the call, and really, I didn’t want to.

It was then I realized how far away they were and all I was missing.

GM, Jr’s Moma, my sister in law, called to tell me she was on her way to pick up Jr and it was her call that disconnected the call with my mom.

So what did I do? I called my mom.

“Hi, Hon!” she answered cheerily. I knew she had had the phone near her because she got it on the second ring.

“Any chance Backup had the phone?” I asked.

“I don’t think so, why?”

“Well…..” I took a deep breath and rattled off, “I hope Auntie finds a fan for your room but glad to hear you have a nice breeze with the windows. DP should not be watching whatever TV show is on because her singing stinks. If Auntie is trying on a new outfit, I need pictures. Backup must be having fun or else she thinks I’m great because she keeps laughing at my hellos.”

By the time I finished my spleal, she and I were laughing so hard I could hardly breathe and I am sure there were tears in her eyes too.

And that is when I really missed them.

Family, I am so thankful for mine.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Too Busy with a Perfect Day to Blog

Sometimes I am just too busy to blog because it’s a perfect day.

Here, where we are, the H1N1 flu has hit our community hard. We have numerous school closings and we know three children who are down with the flu.

We are also experiencing the coldest, wettest fall we can recall. It is looking like we are in for a doozy of a winter. They are comparing it to a winter I do not recall, having not been born yet, but I have heard stories and as soon as I mention the winter to those older than me, they all have stories upon stories upon stories of how awful it was.

All of this was preceded by a cooler than normal summer. Truly disappointing, even our crops had a hard time growing not to mention the beach days we missed out on.

But back to H1N1. Many of the local schools have closed to help kids get over the flu. R.C.’s kids’ school was closed and she called to see if I could watch her two boys, CC and MC. Since CC and S2 are on the same soccer team, the same church class and so on and so forth, they are good buddies. MC is S4’s very very very very bestest friend, and he gets along great with S3. So, the boys were ecstatic they were coming over, until they realized they would be in school.

When we watched the weather, we seen that after days of spitting snow flakes, thirty and forty degree temps, we were going to have a day that was nearly seventy degrees. Seventy. That is darn near tropic.

Hubby has been working third shift all week long and that night as I called him to tell him goodnight I all but begged that the boys could have a skip day of school. “I’ll have RCs boys and it would be so much easier if I had our boy’s home too. Especially when I watch Jr later in the day. They all would play so well and, well, it’s going to be the very last nice day of the year!”

I nearly fell when he said “Yah, I guess they could.”

They have never ever had a skip day.

All the boys were in bed already so I never told them till they awoke me in the dark morning to find out if their school had been closed too…three of our closest schools in the area were closed from the flu already. “You get to have a day off today, and be sure to thank your Daddy.” I mumbled to them.

They shrieked in glee. They can shriek very high pitched and it’s even louder when you haven’t even been awake for a full 60 seconds yet!

As I stumbled to the kitchen I was surprised to see it was raining. Rain had only been a very slight possibility. And here it was all drizzly and dreary out. But there was no turning back now.

We made chocolate chip pancakes; CC and MC were very impressed. By the time it was all cleaned up the rain had about ended. Just when the boys were getting a bit rowdy, the sun was coming out. I sent all six boys out to play.

And play they did.

They played football, soccer and catch. They gathered wood to make a pretend campfire only to realize that they could make a fort….and that is when the fun really began. At the thought of making a fort, well, that was a lot of boy power!

The day reached nearly seventy. By the time Jr arrived at one in the afternoon, I had been outside most the morning clearing out all sorts of dead flowers from my front flower gardens. When had I let them get so bad? I can now use that front door, without letting grass in. It cost me getting poison ivy on my arm, but it was defiantly worth it!

When the bus arrived to drop off the renter’s (IM, fourth grade along with his sister, high school), the boys gleefully waved to their friends stuck on the bus on such a sunny day. IM got the low down on the new fort and it wasn’t long before all seven of them were out to build it up some more. When they were tired, they played soccer or football. Because, when you are tired that’s what you do, right, run around playing? When Jr was awake from his nap, we went out to check out the fort. I pushed him around in the stroller. It was as if even a five month old little boy could appreciate the gift of the day.

Dinner time came and I made sloppy joes, fried potatoes and left over mac and cheese from lunch. Never have I seen food disappear so quickly. I was finishing making Hubby’s lunch while they scooped out food. Five minutes late to the table and I was literally scrapping the bowl to make a sandwich, usually we have enough left over make lunch for two more days!

All throughout the day, one of the boys would comment on how beautiful it was, how nice it was out, how great it was to be home, how this was the greatest day ever.

And it was a great day. A treasure day. A day to not soon forget.

It was a truly perfect day.

But perhaps these photos will help you realize why there are days in a row why I just don’t have time to blog. But I assure you, it was worth it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

S1 Can Hunt !

Over the weekend, my Dad took S1 to hunter’s safety. It was an all day Sunday, test Monday evening sort of class. Husband had a church obligation and I, well, I just wasn’t sure they would appreciate me showing up with S2, S3 and S4 in tow for hunter’s safety! S1 loved the class. He says he never knew learning could be so much fun!

On Sunday night, he could hardly stop talking about the class and all he had to learn and know. He sat at the table studying until I made him go to bed, only I am sure he was still studying in bed too. When I got the boys up in the morning, before he was even dressed he was spouting all sorts of information to me. When he packed his back pack, he made sure he had all his notes safely tucked into his back pack and checked it a few times for good measure.

He was sure the school day would take forever.

When he got home, he gave me his lunch box. It was nearly full. This boy is on his way to out eating his daddy so I was shocked. I offered him a piece of cake. “Oh no, I’m fine, I’m not really hungry. I have been studying all day, Moma, and I didn’t get as much studying done as I thought I would. Do you think I’ll be okay?”

I assured him he would be fine, amazed he was so nervous he couldn’t eat!

When the boys had finished with the cake (keep in mind, it doesn’t take too long. S3 had handed me his glasses, slipped from his coat that still had the back pack attached to it, let it fall to the ground and had cake in his hand in mere short milliseconds), and the dog had gotten to eat all the ‘oops’, I told the boys to hop in the suburban to drive to my parents for S1’s class. S1 RAN as fast as he could to get in, hollering at his brothers to get in, he buckled his brother in record moments and we were off.

I am sure the ride took him forever!

When we arrived to my parents, he jumped out and hurried into the house where, to his horror, his grandpa wasn’t even home from work yet. My mom offered him food and then nearly dropped the sandwich she was making when he turned down the fresh chicken sandwich.

S1 began to pace.

I got the boys loaded up to head home to finish our dinner making when in pulled my Dad, his truck nearly overflowing with manure to be spread on the field. The horror and panic in S1’s face at the sight of that truck was laughable. I knew my Dad would leave the manure for later in the week, but S1 didn’t yet. He trotted after the truck and I am sure my Dad would have had that truck unloaded in lightening speed if he found out it had to be unloaded before he could go!

Instead my Dad loaded S1 into the 49 Panel truck with the cool horn and the turquoise visor and headed to town with him.

They arrived home at 9:45, 45 minutes after my bedtime, not to mention my Dad’s. S4 was awake with me; sure S1 would forget to make it home so while I putted about the house he worked on making his letters. When my Dad pulled in, S4 was all about throwing open the front door and screeching his happy hellos.

S1 was beaming. I wasn’t sure he could grin much more. He had left his pacing self behind and now this boy in front of me was strutting into the house, strutting about showing me all his papers that say he passed. Since he was four he has lived for this day, when he was finally able to officially hunt. I am sure we will be getting his license today and all the brush he has painstakingly moved away for a good shot of a deer. Any deer he gets will seem a monster to him, I am sure. But there really is a monster buck out in our field and I would love for him to shoot it. How thrilling would that be?

Extra special thanks to my wonderful Dad, who truly made S1’s dreams come true. S1 had the most fun spending time with you…….

And one more note, thanks to my hubby for my lap top so I can type out this blog while the main big computer with everything on it is infected with some sort of nasty awful virus. Thanks to RR to working on it for me, you know I'd be hopelessly lost without you for it!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Writer's Desk

Today I arrived home from a writer’s retreat. It was called Breathe and it was truly wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am sure I will be writing more on it later….explaining to you all the things I learned and how to read good directions (I promise you, this is a truly hilarious story).

At the very end of the retreat all the teachers get together to answer questions, any question at all, for us. One of the questions asked was “where do you write?” and the panel began to answer with descriptions of white carpeted sanctuary’s that are built for seclusion and retreat.
This is what my desk looks like. Even I recognize it as awful enough to have a photo taken of it. As long as I can see what I am looking at on the screen and can reach all the keys on the keyboard, I am able to type away cheerily. I type amid Sesame Street, hockey games (although I usually try to see those), while my boys are racing Tonka trucks thru the house, while customers for our farm our knocking on the front door (which this desk can’t get any closer to the door). I was sure I was some weirdo in the group as they began.

Until one writer, who has written numerous articles and books, mentioned she worked for years in her basement, complete with spiders. Another mentioned that her office was a spot carved out for her in her noisy house and that she does have pretty things in her office, but they are completely covered in dust and everything she works on is in there….somewhere. It was fun to hear all the descriptions of how people write. Some write in complete isolation, some write in a noisy coffee shop, some write going down the road!

No one mentioned writing while baby sitting S3’s baby chickie, but I guess that is what makes me unique.

I write this blog for you because I love to write. If no one read it, I would still write it. However, having you all read it sure makes it fun. My top priority right now is my family….and hey, without them I am just another girl typing away. God surrounded me with inspiration in ways that make me want to scream sometimes…but man, God really knew what he was doing.

And why should that surprise me?

Stay tuned, I have much more to say about these boys. Just this weekend while I was gone much happened! Thanks for stopping by today…..

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Can See Clearly Now, Part Three

This day just got better.

S3 has pink eye.

Hooray for us.

I Can See Clearly Now, Part Two

So, real quick, S3 came home minus his glasses. I nearly panicked when I couldn’t find them in his back pack, but there were there all zipped up safe and sound.


His teacher called then about as soon as all the boys got off the bus. She wanted to let me know how it went today with his glasses, telling me he took them off and cleaned them and put them in the case so often and she wanted to know if he had to wear them all day (yes) or just sometimes. She had him give a class demonstration on how to clean and care for his glasses and we are both hoping the newness of the glasses and case wear off soon.

But, funny story. He was headed to lunch when he looked at his teacher and said “oh, I had better take my glasses off now for lunch. I wouldn’t want to spill food on them.”
Here is another photo from this morning. I wasn’t going to use it, but then again, it shows S4 in action so perhaps you will all understand school mornings more. Keep in mind that baby Jr was in the car seat next to me for this photo.

But, hooray! We survived day one with glasses!

I Can See Clearly Now!

Today is S3’s first day at school with his new glasses. We had to go get them yesterday after school, he was thrilled. The glasses have been on back order and the office agreed with me it was better to wait for the glasses S3 picked out then get a new pair. His teacher has noticed that he is having a difficult time seeing in class so I have been anxious for them to arrive.

It turned out to be a good idea to wait for the glasses; he was so excited to put on his DARK BLUE GLASSES. Although, there at first, I wasn’t sure what impressed him the most, the dark blue glasses, the cloth to clean the lenses or the handy creaking to a slamming sound glasses case. Everything was ‘awesome’.

When he first walked in them, he had the perception that there was a big hill he had to walk over so everywhere he walked in the optometrist office was a huge step. Between his excitement, S4 thinking the tinted glass meant no one could see in but he could see out so he had to knock on all the windows and wave hello and S1 trying to figure out the best sunglasses for hunting or fishing and S2 secretly wishing he had glasses so he was trying on every pair he could in hopes he would suddenly see thru them so dramatically better we would have to get him a pair too, we were quite the hit at the office.

As they all climbed back in the suburban, I had S3 sit in the front seat, the most coveted seat of all in the suburban on any and all trips. It was so fun to see him drinking up all the sights around him, as if he were seeing things for the first time. I remember getting my glasses for the first time and thinking the same thing.

That night we had Word of Life club at church and when he walked in, everyone made a big deal of his glasses. R.C. introduced herself to him and showed the proper amount of shock that she knew him already and raved how handsome he looked. Then she said the best thing of all, “the sides of your glasses remind me of blue and red snake skin.”

Oh man, life could not have been better in that moment for S3. He was grinning before, but now his grin seemed to nearly crack his face.

Today at school I took photos like it was the first day of school for him all over again. I am hurriedly writing this because he will be home soon and I will get to hear all about how ‘new’ school will have seen to him today. I can’t wait!

But as I dropped him off at school after we had a morning of him taking his glasses off and putting them in the case, taking them out and wiping them off, putting them on and pushing them on top of his head, wiping them down, putting them in the case, putting the glasses back on his face….it’s amazing we made it to school at all this morning…I reminded him to be careful with his glasses today. I have checked the insurance policy on the glasses yesterday and while there is one, it is by no means a boy proof insurance. He needs to wear them all the time, but still I feel I must need to stress the importance of being careful with them – which will be hard as cool as these dark blue glasses are.

I think this is the beginning of a long, tiring journey.

Anyone with tips for us, I’d be happy to hear them!

Getting Your Vision Checked

I wear glasses. Well, actually, I wear contacts because I don’t like to wear my glasses. You would think something so close to your eyes would not get banged into, but when you have boys you are always getting banged into and glasses are not a safe thing to wear.

S3 began kindergarten this year. In order for him to go to school, he needed his vision checked.

See how the rest turns out at Praise and Coffee !!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Girls Don't Even Stink

This morning nothing went as planned in our home. After the evangelist meetings at our church, the boys came home to watch hockey and it was so bad they went to bed before the game was done…although if Daddy had said they could stay up later to finish the game I am sure they would have…and it was a good hour past bedtime when they went to bed.

So no one was overly excited to get up this morning. It’s cold. It’s dark. We are tired. And it’s only Wednesday.

S1 informed me of all the wrong things his brothers were doing. S2 didn’t want anyone to speak to him. S3 wandered aimlessly trying to swat flies and bug his brothers. S4 couldn’t decide what breakfast to eat, and then decided he needed a lunch packed like his brothers.

We had to bring pumpkins for an elementary school teacher and when S1 escaped his bickering brothers to pick them out, S3 realized it was time to leave and he had no shoes and he had no idea where they were and he was sure we would leave and where are his socks and does he have a coat and his crocs weren’t his favorite and he was not ready and it was sheer panic and tears on his part.

We quickly drove down the driveway to pick up S1 and five pumpkins. He was sure I was about to leave him and was torn between running to the suburban to make sure I seen him and knowing you should never run towards a moving vehicle and so he stood there with a panicked look waving his arms his arms in the air.

As I am trying to load up all the pumpkins, make sure S4 is buckled, trying to get the dog to jump in the suburban because we forgot to lock her in the house and I didn’t have time to take her up to the house and it’s just complete chaos. I look up to see our elderly neighbor who is leaving for the winter today. I like A.V. a lot. I waved hello and told him to have a great trip. I am sure he walked away shaking his head. It was truly like one of those moments in ‘Fireproof’.

S3 whimpered all the way to school. We got to school and he brightened right up. Everyone but S4 grabbed a pumpkin and S1 grabbed two, which was manly of him. It seemed the morning was going to be okay, we weren’t too late to school and the morning was all coming together now.

Until we got to the preschool room. S4 walks into the room growling and snarling and stomping his feet like his is a giant dinosaur. The first little girl we seen was half the size of S4 and her eyes got huge and her little lip quivered in fear and confusion. S4 wasn’t listening to me to hush so I grabbed his arm and forcefully told him to ‘knock it off. You are scaring the little kids.’ Now, these kids are older than him but he is bigger, I suddenly realized. Instantly he hangs his head.

I know I am in big trouble now.

He grips the hammer loop of the bib overalls I am wearing and shuffles to the table. I make a quick exit with the boys. As soon as we walk out of the room, S4 begins to wail. He wails down the hall all the way to S1’s locker. I hear a little girl ask S1 “what’s wrong with your brother? He sounds like a hound dog.”

We go to S2’s locker. He refuses to hug his brother. Then he changes his mind, thankfully. I have to chat a moment with S2’s teacher because he has been sick the last two days. S4 whimpers the whole time and then refuses to walk out of the room. I carry him out, set him up on his feet and force him to walk to S3’s room.

S3’s teacher sees me coming and just starts snickering at us. She says hello to S4 who hides and puts his head down to pout. He refuses to walk out of school, but S3 was ecstatic to walk into his room.

I have to carry S4 out of the school. He is straight as a board. I set him on the sidewalk and he transforms into normal boy, takes my hand and says “where to now, Moma?”

“Home, where I think I will send you back to bed.”

“But,” he whines, “I don’t even like home.”

“I don’t even care.” I pick him up, set him in his car seat and begin to strap him in. “You were grouchy and you didn’t even want to hug your brothers.”

“But I just don’t need to hug them,” he explains, “just girls think that.”

“Well, they are your brothers and they are your brothers for forever,” I continue arguing with my three year old, “you had better hug them because you are not going to see them until three thirty tonight. That’s all day, mister, so you had better tell your brothers goodbye and hug them.”

“But, Moma,” he says in an ‘I can’t believe I have to explain this to you’ voice as I settle into the drivers seat to head home, “that’s just what girls think. Girls have to hug. They aren’t strong like boys. They don’t even stink. Moma, girls don’t even STINK.” He looked out the window, conversation over.

As if that explains it all.

I just wanted to bang my head on the steering wheel. Instead, I just drank some more coffee and drove home, secure in thinking that as a girl, I will never stink.
I leave you with this image of S4, the epitamy of wisdom and quite obviously, style.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

First Frost

We had our first really truly hard frost last night. I was awakened by S3 whispering in a giggle way, "Moma, come look! The whole outside it white out!"

I realized I was going to need more heat today cranked in the house.
We stumbled out of the bedroom and I looked out and sure enough, all the flowers were dead and black and curled looking. Sigh, winter is very close at our door. But if I looked it thru my son's eyes, it was white and magical everywhere. Green grass looked like white ice cycles. The fancy grass bush I have was covered in white and looked transformed. The entire yard looked like a new place.

It was pretty.

I always liked, as a kid, the story of Jack Frost who would come and breath his cold breath to make things freeze so kids could wake and scratch designs into the windows. Something friendly about that elf. Of course, we were raised not to believe in elves or Santa Claus, but the story is sweet just the same to me.

S4 woke up the same way as he always does. Loudly. While S2 and I were busy making hot cocoa for everyone, S4 looks out the window and exclaims "WHAT? WHAT IS THIS?" He runs to every window. Then he struts authoritatively into the kitchen and declares "Moma, tell me we are going to get a Christmas tree today."

"No, we are not."

"How about tomorrow?"

"How about after Thanksgiving?"
"Is today Thanksgiving?"

"No, about six weeks."

"Six DAYS, okay!"
Sheesh, it's gonna be a long six days for him.

This is the tree S4 wanted to get last year but we wouldn't let him. He wasn't happy about that.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Moma's Night Out

So, I got a night out.

Every six weeks there is a Praise and Coffee night. I love them. I love helping plan them. I love sitting in the back watching a room full (65 including me, Sue and her daughter) of women getting to know each other, praise God with all their heart, cry tears over something poignant, and drink gallons of coffee. It truly is a beautiful thing.

Last Praise and Coffee, I had a sick little guy and never made it. I have had a countdown for this get together. And to add to the mix, one of my very dear friends was sharing her heart, just a sliver of it, with all the women there. I didn’t want to miss it.

So it would be this week that my handsome hardworking hubby got put on third shift. For one week only. This week. The week of Praise and Coffee.

I was not about to call my mom to help me out. Even if I had she couldn’t because she was out having a girls night out of her own. Nor could I load four boys up for a girls night. So, I was home. Alone with four boys. Again.

Until I thought of the new renters, the ones I didn’t scare away ( ), and the teenage girls that seem to adore my boys.

So, for the first night ever in my life, I hired a baby sitter.

It was rough to decide, not due of the baby sitter because I trusted her totally, it was the ‘is it worth it to drive out for Praise and Coffee’ (that's seemed late for a first time being left with a baby sitter), ‘is it wise to leave the boys at bedtime’ and on and on. S2 had soccer practice and I knew he had a ride home, but he was fighting a cold. S1 was capable to watch the boys and keep them in line and help the baby sitter out finding things. S3 was told he could only hug the baby sitter one time (which he told her about and did as soon as she walked in, because he loves this girl so very much and I was afraid she would be hugged out by the time she got home). And S4, well, as long as he had chocolate milk and knew he wouldn’t be cut off he know he would be fine.

But I couldn’t decide. The baby sitter probably thinks I am about the most indecisive woman she has ever met. I hope not, but I am sure that is how I came across. An hour before I had to leave if I was going to leave, I committed to it and she didn’t seem too surprised by that.

I put on my big girl earrings, the huge hoops I wear when I am feeling sassy and fun, and decided to be like my sister, DP, who would tell me to go out, have fun, shop, drink an extra coffee and live it up. Sometimes you have to listen to your little sister’s voice in your head. That’s why God gave me my sister, she is opposite of me. My hair that had been pulled back in an exhausted bun turned out to be wavy curly looking. You can’t let a good hair day go unnoticed.

But leaving I thought of the football movie I had left for them to watch and thought to myself, “what if the boys decide to act out the football moves they see on TV….that. would. be. bad.”

And I am glad I went. I got there an hour late, cried tears over the story of my good friend’s story of her eight year old son’s year and half journey with cancer (he is cancer free now) and the stress it put on her marriage and the heartbreak and the joy and the truly awesomeness of God.

When I got home at 9:30 (I left early, as much as it made me sad because there were so many women I knew. Social interaction, I crave it, like I crave coffee….but, I am a mom…) all the boys were still awake. All of them. I was sure they would have crashed out exhausted, but they were just zoned in front of the second movie I had picked out for them just in case they had time. They did. And the baby sitter did great, the boys did great, my hubby was glad I went, I was so thankful to be there for my friends (even if I was just sitting in the back after arriving late and left early).

So why did I share this all with you? Because, I just want to encourage ya’ll to get out a bit. It’s good for you. Put on your sassy earrings and meet up with some girlfriends. Sue tells you how to have a Praise and Coffee in her vlog, check it out ( You can’t go wrong when you are praising God and drinking strong coffee! Especially when it is a Pumpkin spice latte. There are women out there with a story to tell, a story of how God is using them, and it’s good to hear them, to be encouraged, and it is good to laugh. Laugh till you cry.

So that is my thought for you all as I am severely caffeinated before I go to bed to get up at four am live in my ‘real’ life again.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Repost.....Talk About a Joy Ride

This morning on the way to school we were listening to Buck Howdy again and the boys were all singing along. When we got to school. S4 was hopping over every crack in the sidewalk and every red square on the linolieum in the school singing "Big John" loudly to himself. I got a lot of looks at this, and then a bunch of smiles.

I had to run to the office a minute to drop off a note for a file and a mom stopped me to tell me that she had been behind the bus when it dropped the boys off at home recently (it always amazes my husband and I just how many people have figured out where we live now) and S4 had come running down the driveway in nothing but his grundies screaming "Guys!!!!" with his arms outstretched. It had made this mom's day!

As I dropped all the boys off at their classes and got back in the vechicle to drive home to more Buck Howdy tunes, I got to thinking of this post I wrote for Sue over at Praise and Coffee. I figured since I wrote it she wouldn't mind if I borrowed it again! :) Don't forget to check out her Praise and Coffee nights, she has one coming up October 8th and this is one you so do not want to miss. Most defiantly do not want to miss this one at all!

So, it's a repost. But if you don't mind, stop by Praise and Coffee and thank her for posting my blogs in the first place. Hope you enjoy this morning was so like this evening I wrote about that I wanted to share it again.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Life with 4 about a joy ride!
Guest post:
(By the way, Denise came over and we got her started on her own blog, you have to go read about her past Sunday ( !!!)Here's another guest post by Denise:

Have any of you heard of Buck Howdy? You can check him out at Buck Howdy.I have gotten his cds from the library before and currently we have the album called Chickens playing to and from school in the suburban. Actually, it plays wherever we go but back and forth to school is a constant trip. Anyhow, he is just great.He sings songs like “Don’t let Granny in the door” and “Big John” and “Hey, you, get off of my cow!” and “You are my sunshine” and “Chickens, chickens, shore do love my chickens!” and “Baa, Neigh, Cock-a doodle-doo”.Okay, you get the idea about him just from the song titles by now, I’m sure. And yes, I am still singing the “I love my chickens” song in my head, it’s my favorite.We love this cd, as you can tell. I should just buy them, but I keep getting different ones from the library and rotate them for the boys to listen to. I cannot help laughing, no matter what stressed state we left the house in I can almost guarantee a good giggle.It will be completely silent in the vehicle, well, other than the chattering teeth of a cold winter morning, and suddenly one will belt out “Don’t let Granny in the door!”. How can a giggle not escape you on that one?

One night we were headed home from Word of Life club and every one of the boys was singing. Our oldest sings with a twang just as he hears Buck Howdy do. The next one sings adds little ‘add on’s’ into a song, making it his own. The third listens carefully to everyone else singing and attempts to do a little of all of them, trying not to make a mistake. The youngest goes as loud and proud as he possibly can belt out from his car seat.It sounds awful, but to my husband and I it is the silliest and sweetest time! It’s one of those moments you just want to hold on to for forever.Cherish it and look back and recall it to memory, it’s that great.I usually start giggling so hard I can hardly breathe and tears form in my eyes and it’s just great. But it is truly awful, especially if we join in to sing loudly along.But they sing with all their heart. They love it, it’s so much fun.

What do you think God thinks of us when we sing? Do we sing our songs on Sunday morning or to our praise cd or station thru the week with passion or ho hum? It’s worth thinking about. Because, I seriously doubt that he is going to critique our tone and sound. If it’s from our heart it’ll bring Him more joy than our boys singing to a Buck Howdy cd.

I can’t help but think that no matter what stressed state you started to sing to God in, the songs reminding us of God’s greatness can’t help but calm us.Just something think (or sing) about!(In case you missed her first article, check it out here: Denise’s introduction)
You might also like:

October Praise and Coffee Giveaway AND Awesome Guest Post!

Guest Post from Denise ~ Take the Jump!

Introducing Denise!

Posted by Praise and Coffee at 2/05/2009
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Mel said...
oh that is so true...the words soak into us as we are singing along...
February 5, 2009 7:26 AM

Heather C said...
Amen... make a joyful NOISE! :)We love the "Seeds of Praise" CDs. They're straight Scripture set to music... my 8yo is so proud that he can rattle off Philippians 4:6-8 like nobody's business! I love that the truth is soaking in... and there is nothing sweeter than hearing praise on the lips of your children! Music to my ears!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mr. Cranky Goes to School

On two days a week, I watch Jr. It is always fun to go to school those mornings. Even though I have been doing this for over four weeks now (trips into school), someone always stops, counts the boys, looks at me, has a weird questioning look on their face and walks on. Kids don’t. They come right up and ask me, “what, you have another baby? How many more you gonna have?”

“Just my nephew”, I say.

“Huh, you should have some more kids. That’d be fun.”

“Then you would have to move in with us to help me take care of them all.”

The little boy looked at me, thought it over, and then said “No, I think your four is enough.”

We make quite a scene at school anyhow. All the boys are in full boy gear. We drop S3 off at kindergarten, then we all move down the hall to drop S2 things off in his locker and then we walk down the other hallway to drop S1 off at his locker. That’s when the hugs begin. They all must hug S1 goodbye. And not, “oh, here is a hug because I love you”, they must do it with full boy force. In order to hug your brother, you must pick him up, squeeze him till his eyes bulge and then drop him on the ground. If you have been in a silly mood to your brothers, all three jump on one. If you are one of the little brothers who gets hugged, at times you may get knocked to the floor.

We do this every morning.

Yesterday morning, S4 woke up cranky. He was in a bad mood from the moment his eyes opened. He whined and cried and stormed thru the house. When we got to school, I was hoping he would ‘behave’. I was carrying Jr, I was holding onto S4’s hand, I was carrying S3’s back pack because he had run off with out it; I had a vase of flowers for S3’s teacher. In front of me were two boys; in back of me was one. This is part of the reason we cause a scene. There is a bunch of us.

And they are always loud, always racing, usually singing some Johnny Cash or Buck Howdy song on the way in.

Jr loves morning school runs. He firmly believes that all the kids and parents in the whole school are there to view him. He coos and smiles and is the cutest little guy a little guy of nearly five months can be. He is adorable. He also screeches. If he thinks he has your attention, he will screech hellos. If he does not have your attention, he screeches to get your attention.

S4 stormed into the kindergarten room. I stopped to chat with S3’s teacher while the rest of the boys began the daily trek. S4 ran to go after his brothers, decided he had better ask me first, got my permission, ran to catch his brothers but they were too far ahead of him so he came hollering back to me.

He hollered all the way down the hallway. “The guys left me!” he wailed.

Jr screeched his happy hellos.

Everyone, I kid you not, parted the hall and let us through. Every child stared. Every parent ushered their children away from us.

Once we caught up to the guys, S4 gave them all a piece of his mind. There were hugs and then we went to drop S2 off. S4 decided he would not hug S2, he had left him behind in S3’s classroom. We took five steps away from the room and S4 begins a high pitched wail “I didn’t hug him! I didn’t hug him!” I hissed to my son, because by now school had started, to come out and hug his brother. The teacher, a dear friend who could see my frazzled look as I tried to balance cheery Jr, hold S4 up because he was in such sorrow over no hug he had fell to the floor and keep S4 from hopping from floor square to floor square on the schools patterned hallway floor as he obliviously waited for the drama to be over so he could be off to his friends in class, offered a shiny pencil to S4 in hopes to cheer him.

S4 hid behind my leg (hooray for getting up off the floor) and hid behind my leg. “No thank you” he mumbled.

S3 was all over the pencil. “I’ll take it! I want one!”

So, S3 got a shiny pencil. I made sure that S4 hugged S3 goodbye when we got to his class (very late), pulled the hood up over Jr’s cute little red head, and walked out the door. S4 sweetly put his hand in my hand and said “Where to now, Moma?”

“Home.” I felt like Dorothy in that moment “there is no place like home…..”

Upon arriving home, Jr was sound asleep. I looked at the clock, not quite 8:30. “Honey,” I tried in my sweetest voice, “How about we go lay down for a little bit. You can sleep on Daddy’s pillows.”

He complained, crawled into bed and we all took a nice long nap. All before nine in the morning.

This is why I always have coffee at my house.