Saturday, July 30, 2011

That's Me

I'm a lot of things...wife, mom, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, teacher, Christian, and more. But of all these things, one of them I am reminded of more than any other. Mom. Because at least a million times a day I hear the word. "Mom, I can't find socks/ipod/baseball glove." "Mom, what's for breakfast/lunch/dinner?" "Mom, where's my puppy/kitty/baby/book?" "Mom, I'm hungry/thirsty/hot." "Mom, can I watch tv/play video games/have a popsicle?" "Mom, he hit/poked/looked at me!" "Mom, can we go to McDonald's/the park/Pappy's house?" "Mom, do I really have to clean my room/brush my teeth/take a bath/ go to bed?" And on and on and on it goes. Some days I really don't want to even hear the word again. I want to say, "Ask your dad." Or, "Don't even think about asking me one more question today." But I don't. I answer the question or find the puppy or start supper. Because I am, 100 percent, totally and completely Mom.

Last night, after being asleep for a few hours, I heard over the monitor a sleepy, little "Mommy." I know to wait a minute because it's probably just sleep talk. And it was. But lying there awake and having heard that word again, I decided to take it and put it in a little box in my mind. A little box that I can pull out one of these days when I have a day where no one calls me Mom because my children are not living under my roof or dependant on me for all those little things. That day is a long way off since I still have a preschooler at home. But I also have an almost 12 year old, so I know all too well how fast the years fly by. That day will come. And I'll miss these days.

So today, after being called on a million times, I will smile and put the million and first one in my "Mom" box. And save it for a day when I need to hear it once again.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

10 Things Thursday

10 things I've seen on the playground this week.

1. Spongebob Squarepants game where the kids chose the characters they wanted to be and then chased each other around the play equipment inexplicably.
2. An argument over who was going to be the abominable snowman.
3. Campfire building lessons with everything but the actual fire.
4. Bug catching...grasshoppers, caterpillars, ants, butterflies...
5. Scooter riding. Except for Julianna who rides a "cooter."
6. Lots of little bare feet. And even though it's totally against school rules to run around barefooted, I'm letting them. It's summer. I run around barefooted, too.
7. My daredevil daughter climbing everything in sight including playground ladders, up the slide, and monkey bars.
8. A rhino/squid. The big brother said the little brother was a squid while the little brother insisted he was a rhino. I voted for rhino.
9. Human and dragon sacrifices. Pretend of course. I'm still not sure why or to whom they were sacrificing but it was very near the fire building pit as to be more effective.
10. Lots of kids having lots of fun. Yeah for summer!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


After over a week of no posts, rambling seems appropriate.

I've been working some extra days at school. The other teacher is in the process of buying a house and has needed some time for paperwork and packing. Anyone who has ever bought a house knows that it's a full time job getting through that.

Working this summer hasn't been too bad. The kids I care for are well behaved (mostly). My kids get to play with other kids. I have time to work in my classroom. I get paid. Except for the getting up early, it's pretty much win/win.

Although I have had the worry this week that without some time off, completely off, I may get tired of school before next school year is over. Maybe I'll try to get a whole week off before September.

Yesterday Julianna was wearing a little skirt/shirt outfit. Adam asked me if she had shorts under her skirt. When I told him "no," he said, "Mom, that skirt is too short to not have shorts under it." I'm going to be glad to have him around for her teenage years.

Josh went on a youth group outing on Monday. Swimming at the lake house of a couple from church. He had a great time. Loved it, as a matter of fact. I was excited for him to get to go and actually encouraged him to. Until about halfway through the day when I realized that my almost 12 year old was way, way, way too big. And growing up right before my eyes without me having a thing to do to prevent it.

I got to spend some time with my sweet sister yesterday afternoon. The busyness of life doesn't allow for nearly enough of those times for us. She is pretty amazing. Right now she is growing my new nephew and being a real trooper about being pregnant all summer. And her kids are such good friends to mine. I love that all the cousins adore each other. The boys play like boys and have such a great time together. And the girls...well, they are the cutest thing ever when they get together. The days when we went swimming together are gone. But now are the days when we watch our kids do the same thing. I couldn't help but smile when Aidan was showing me his handstand in the water...just like his mommy did all those summers ago.

And speaking of swimming, Julianna didn't have a swimsuit to swim in the pool in my sister's backyard so I let her go in her underwear and tank top. Which worked out fine, until her unders got wet and she decided to go without. Ummm...yeah. Let's not run around half naked.

The rest of today will be spent cleaning my house. Well, that and playing with the kids. And maybe a short nap. And the watching of So You Think You Can Dance. And starting a new book. Okay, so I'm going to spend 15 minutes cleaning. It is summer vacation after all.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Blessed Sunday

If you know me at all or have read my blog for even a little while, you know that I adore my children. They are a great blessing and one I have counted for Blessed Sunday on several occasions. For almost nine years I only had boys. And I love having boys. I don't mind at all the noise and dirt and bugs. I've even gotten used to Hot Wheels and Legos in every corner of the house. I was thrilled to be the mommy of boys and boys alone. Boys are energetic and curious and absolutely made of all kinds of snips and snails and puppy dog tails. And my boys make me so happy with their distinct personalities and quirks. Josh is smart and sensitive and is becoming a great companion in all kinds of activities. Adam is silly and thoughtful and completely hilarious and fun. They are amazing in so many ways and certainly a blessing.

And after all those years of mommying boys, I was frankly a little apprehensive about having a girl. What in the world was I going to do with a girl? I am not a girly girl. What if my daughter was? I didn't know how to put in a decent ponytail and hadn't painted a nail in more years than I could remember. Dresses and bows and tights and sparkles? Really? But of course I fell in love with my daughter before she was even born and all those concerns melted away. And on the day she was born, I knew she was something special. I told Arrty as we were contemplating her name on the day she was born, "Julianna is quite a name. It's going to take quite a girl to fit a name like that." But I knew looking into her tiny, sweet face that this little girl was going to be quite a girl. And she is. She is smart and funny and observant and just a little bit stubborn. She is, in fact, a girly girl. She wants to wear at least some pink every day and has very specific footwear and hair accessory requests. Which I do my best to fulfill. She loves her babies and stuffed animals and wants at least a million in bed with her every night. She loves to be outside and is curious about the world around her. She can't stay away from animals and hugs and often kisses any that will allow it. And she pretends. My boys never were much of pretenders. But Miss Julianna pretends all the time. To cook, to feed her babies, to be a cat or dog or frog, to be a princess or a mommy or a photographer. It's fun and fascinating to watch and sometimes she even lets me play along. Mommying Jules is so very different than mommying the boys. And I love it.

This difference was apparent once more yesterday. I was lying on my bed reading and she was in and out of the room playing and talking and climbing all over me. After a while she discovered a storage box sitting in front of my dresser and asked if she could stand on it. When I told her she could, she climbed up and immediately spotted my jewelry box. She then asked me if she could look in it. Now when I say jewelry box, you should know that I don't wear jewelry and therefore the box contains a bunch of stuff I've collected or been given over the years that pretty much only has sentimental value. So I told her that she could look in it. The girl spent a good hour looking at and trying on all the rings, necklaces, and bracelets. She whispered to herself and sat down and climbed up a hundred times enjoying her play. I spent more time watching her than reading and was amazed once again at this little girl that God has loaned me. Julianna Grace is a blessing. And having a daughter is a blessing. A blessed abundance of sugar and spice and everything nice.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

10 Things Thursday

10 summery things I love.

1. Watermelon
2. Long days
3. Sunshine
4. Popsicles
5. Green grass
6. Butterflies
7. Sandals
8. Freedom
9. Sundresses
10. Porch sitting

Bonus: Lightning bugs. Even though we don't have them here.

Monday, July 11, 2011


If you are wondering about my math skills after seeing that title, don't worry, it will all make perfect sense soon.

You see, 19 years ago, on 7/11/1992, I got married. I was 20 years old. He was 21. We had known each other since I was in 5th grade and he was in 6th. We had been dating for 3 1/2 years not counting the middle school crush and silliness. We were both in college. We both lived at home. We were oh so young. And oh so in love. So on that 11th day of July with the sun shining and me in my JC Penney wedding dress, we said, "I do." And have been saying the same thing every day for the last 19 years.

We have been through the poorer more than the richer and our fair share of sickness. But the better has still outweighed the worse by a long shot. We have grown up together. Not just our shared childhood, but since we've been married. At 20 years old I felt plenty old enough to get married, but now when I think back I was still so very young. We were both in college and working close to full time. It was a busy time and a wonderful time. For 7 1/2 years it was just the two of us. Frankly it's hard to remember, or even imagine, those years before kids. It's all kind of a blur of growing and learning and becoming a wife. And being happy. Almost as happy as I am after 19 years.

And if I had to do it all over again, I would still walk down that aisle and say, "I do." I would hold his hand and know that he was my lobster. I would smile knowing what was to come for us. I would kiss him longer and not worry about what the old people thought. I would enjoy every second because I would know that that day was just the beginning of something wonderful.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

10 Things Thursday

10 things you could find at our 7th annual 4th of July party:

1. Some of my favorite ladies sitting in the shade, drinking Diet Coke (or water or tea), visiting, and laughing.

2. Video games. Josh and Adam really hit it off with the exchange students from China who joined in our celebration. It was great fun having them there. Even if we had to communicate using sign language. And even though they put watermelon on their hamburgers.

3. Horseshoes. What's the 4th of July without horseshoes? Luckily we didn't have to find out.

4. Cotton candy. Warren and Lynn brought George's cotton candy machine and made all the kids (and some of the adults) very happy.

5. Happy kids. Happy, sticky kids.

6. Friends. Julianna loved playing with Katie. They bonded over cotton candy and bug boxes.

7. Did I mention sticky kids?

8. Kim. One of those "favorite ladies" I mentioned who was especially happy about the appearance of cotton candy.

9. Smiles. This is just one of the many smiles I saw that day. It was a good day.

10. Fireworks. Julianna had a love/hate relationship with the fireworks this year. She loved to see them, but hated the loud noises. She was thrilled to see her three favorite colors: pink, purple, and green. And she especially liked the "sfarkly" ones.