A day in the life

By 5:00 every day, I am usually so thrilled to see Lee’s car turn into the driveway. Mostly because by about 3:30, my kids are tired of trying to entertain themselves and usually want me to play with them. So when daddy comes home, I leap for joy because the playmate is back and I can get a break (or semi-break since I usually have to start dinner then). Here are a few pictures of what happens when daddy comes home.

It all starts with a little tennis. Daddy and Sloan see how many times they can hit the ball back and forth.Next we move to the monkey bars where Sloan shows us how fast he can cross them all.by.him.self!Then we move to basketball where Sloan tries hard to keep up with daddy…We finish up with a little golf. Depending on the day, soccer or baseball can also be thrown into he mix…Generally Tia goes from looking like this before daddy comes home…To this because she is a huge daddy’s girl. She generally wanders around and plays intermittently with the boys. And Landon is usually taking his evening cat nap, which is why there are no pictures of him.

Sorry for all the black and white. I’m experimenting with my camera (thanks for the tips Becke’!) and I can’t seem to get away from the B&W. I need to branch out. Anyway, I’ve had a nice couple of days. Thanks for all the prayers and encouragement. Landon is finally doing better at night. As in he’s sleeping all night long, which is glorious. Sloan and Tia re doing better sharing a room. It still takes forever for them to fall asleep, but they end up sleeping a little later in the morning, which is nice. So all in all I think we are turning a corner!

Distance to Empty

My minivan has a kickin’ feature (anytime I can use the words “kickin’” and “minivan in the same sentence I try to ’cause it makes me giggle) that allows you to see how many miles you have left before you run out of gas. I hit it tonight and watched the miles tick down until a little star appeared at the 5 mile mark. I was kind of curious to see if I would really sputter out and stop after 5 more miles, but then realized my cell phone battery was dead and it’s 57 degrees outside and thought better of it. I quickly pulled into the nearest Shell station and put a little gas in the van. My car seemed happy about that.

As I drove on, I got to thinking about that little DTE button. I wish I had one of those. I wish I had a meter that told me exactly how much longer I had before I was completely empty. Instead, I’m like a clunky old VW with a screwy odometer and definately no DTE. I go, go, go until I suddenly seem to spit, sputter and came to a shuddering stop (how’s that for a little alliteration?). That happened to me today. I hit empty and I hit it hard. Unfortunately, the people who suffer most when I hit empty are my family. I’m just tired. And that’s not their fault. It’s mine. And now I’m tired and I’ve got a big old heap of mommy guilt to go on top of it. I was not a good mommy today. I was bad mommy. The kind of mommy that kids write books about when they get older. The Mommy Dearest kind of mommy (shudder). Maybe I wasn’t that bad. I didn’t beat anyone. I didn’t use a single four letter word…at least not out loud. But the tone of my voice was scary and the volume was louder than it needed to be. It’s not that they were being impossible, they were just being kids…and a husband. I hit empty. And when you’re on empty, there’s no jump starting the car to dodge the oncoming traffic. You sit there and wait for it to hit you. And my kids stink at dodging. Again, not because they’re little terrors, but because they’re kids. They seem to hit me while I’m down every time. A little trivia for you: Did you know that a car, though completely lifeless and empty, will still explode when hit at the right angle? I have no idea if that’s a fact or not, but it works well with my allegory. Most days I handle their little shenanigans well – but those are the days when I’m full, or at least have a little to keep me going.

I have just pushed too hard, for way too long. I’m tired physically. Just really, really tired. I feel like I’ll never be not tired again. I’m tired emotionally. Not because there’s anything super emotional happening in my life but because I’m so frustrated with myself and that makes me emotional. I can’t help it. I’m a girl. And, perhaps most importantly, I’m tired spiritually. I miss God. It’s not Him who left me – I’ve drifted from Him. Thus the big fat E staring me in the face right now. I’m tired. I so, so tired. And so I’ve decided to take the day tomorrow and fill up my tank. I need to be filled with the Spirit. I need to pour scripture into my weary body and allow Him to recharge me. I also need to fill up my kids’ love tanks. I’ve not loved them well these last few days. I need to speak grace into my husband who has been oh so patient with me these last few months. I will probably not post tomorrow. I need a day away from the computer, away from the television, away from everything that I substitute for the one thing that truly fills me up. I need a day to be filled. I’m posting something I wrote a couple of years ago when I reached a similar place in my life. I was pregnant with Tia and had terrible insomnia. I slept 2-3 hours/night and was not handling that well. These are the words the Lord spilled through my fingers into my journal. I sing them softly to myself tonight. I do not share this to beg for encouragement, though I always welcome that. I share it because it’s a way of holding myself accountable. And now, off I go to sleep and recharge my physical batteries.

Fill Me Up

Used to have brilliant words to sing
Now I drift like the wave
I crash to the shore
Then I quickly pull away

I miss sitting at your Feet
Listening to your tender words so sweet
How I long to surrender
To Thee Holy Lord
I yearn for your presence in me

Fill me up, Holy King
Light my heart, make me sing
Jesus call me out w
ith an Almighty shout
Father I bow down to Thee
Fill me up, Holy King
Sing over me, let your presence ring
Cleanse me from within, may I never drift again
Gracious Father, I bow down unto Thee

Now I sit in quiet dark
In the silence you still seem so far
Forgive me for my straying heart
Despite my failing moments, I know you’ll not depart

I give myself again to you
Father God, don’t let me go
Take my life, mold it to Your glory
Oh how I love you so

Fill me up, Holy King
Light my heart, make me sing
Jesus call me out with an Almighty shout
Father I bow down to Thee
Fill me up, Holy King
Sing over me, let your presence ring
Cleanse me from within, may I never drift again
Gracious Father, I bow down to Thee

Sloan Sayings

This weekend at Six Flags, Sloan was very concerned about the roller coasters. Our conversation went something like this:
Sloan: “That roller coaster is really high and goes super fast.”
Me: “Yep. That’s what roller coaster’s do.”
Sloan: “Is it scary?”
Me: “No, roller coasters are really fun.”
Sloan (eyebrows raised): “Then why is everyone screaming?”
Me: “Uhhh…Those are happy screams because they’re having so much fun.”
I don’t think he believed me…

Six Times the Chaos, er, I mean Fun!





Eric, Becke’, Cade, Eli and Sam came in this weekend. What fun it was to have them all here. Six kids = a lot of work. But lots of good times, sweet memories and precious moments watching the kids enjoy one another. They did great! We all spent the night at my parents house so we would have room to spread out. It worked out beautifully. The kids enjoyed playing together and driving us grown ups batty! We managed to take them all to the Zoo and Six Flags without losing anyone…or our patience. Well, we almost lost Tia for a brief moment. She’s not so good at looking ahead while she walks. She’s usually looking all around her, biting her nails, which means she tends to wander off. No matter because we ran back and got her. Don’t worry grandparents…it was all of 30 seconds of panic for us, not her. They had fun at Six Flags, despite horrible weather and a nasty storm. I think Landon is the only one who didn’t have loads of fun this weekend, but he went along with us just fine. He was a good boy. Anyway, it was a blast and we have lots of fun pictures to prove it. I’ll share a few here. For more, click over to Becke’s site!

I’m a Rock Star

I took the kids – all three of them – to Six Flags today…by myself. Along with 8 bajillion other people, 90% of them between the ages of 12 and 15. No, I’m not really that much of a glutton for punishment. I had a reason for going and did not plan on spending as much time there as we did, but whatever because I’m a ROCKSTAR! My brother and sister-in-law are coming to town this weekend and we told them that because we had season passes to Six Flags (which were given to us as a gift) we could get three of them in for free with our coupons. Ummm…I didn’t know that you had to actually enter the bowels of the park to get your season pass processed. I figured we could just get it done Sunday morning when we all got there, then we planned to use the Mother’s Day free friend passes because Six Flags is allowing us to use them since Mother’s Day was so nasty here. But, we had to actually get our passes and coupon books before Sunday, thus my reason for taking the kids this morning. I got there right when the park opened hoping to get the passes and get out quick, only to find out they didn’t start processing passes until noon. Nooooooo!!! So, we headed off to ride the kiddie rides. Except Tia was being a complete pill and wouldn’t try anything and just kept whining and crying. But, being the rockstar that I am, I did not lose my temper. I was cool and calm and kept it together. Even when we had to wait in line for forty minutes to get our passes. By the time we were ready to leave, Landon had had it and I was beginning to fade myself. Here is a picture of the kids as we were leaving the park – notice sweet Landon’s face:

And here is a picture of Landon by the time we reached our car:
And here is a picture of Tia when we pulled into our garage – I just left her in there to finish her nap. It was a beautiful day, nice and cool, and I think she slept great for another 30 minutes after we got home:

So now we are all very excited about going to Six Flags again on Sunday, and this time I will have three other sets of hands to help, not like I need them or anything though because I’m a ROCKSTAR, yeah!

So sad, prayers needed

Christian recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman lost his 5 year old daughter in a tragic accident yesterday when his son accidentally struck her with his car in their driveway. Please be praying for this family as I cannot imagine the grief they are experiencing – especially their son. That is a heavy load for someone so young to bear. If you want to read more, click here.

I’m an American Idol fan…

Sorry. I kind of say that shamefully, but I must say I’ve gotten sucked in over the years. This is the first year where I really watched consistently though because Sloan was so into it that it became our family night. Nothing says modern day family like sitting down with your kids, butts firmly tucked into the coushins (sp?) of your couch, hands covered in salt and grease from microwave popcorn and eyes swimming with the images of young, hip (that’s questionable) wannabe singers. Thank God for American Idol. Whatever did people do before? I am THRILLED with tonight’s result. Sorry to any Archuleta fans, but I was so over him. I liked him at first because there is no denying his adorableness. But somewhere along the way he started to rub me the wrong way. He’s like a cute little puppy that just won’t go away…the cuteness rubs off after awhile, you know? Anyway, the schmaltzy ballads were starting to really annoy me. Could the kid have been any more pigeon holed? Sheesh. But I liked David Cook. He’s cool and sweet, a great musician and, to be honest, he reminds me of my little brother so much. Something about his mannerisms and his smile…Brett would probably keel over in a gagging heap of horror if he knew I thought that. American Idol is not his idea of fantastic music. He’s one of those super music fans who knows anybody and everybody who ever sang every song ever created. And that may have been the most poorly constructed sentence I’ve written in a long time. Sorry. Anyway, I’m pretty sure Brett doesn’t read this blog, so I can say whatever I want! So, YAY David Cook. Sloan will be thrilled. He has liked David Cook from the beginning. I DVR’ed tonight so he could watch it tomorrow. Unfortunately our DVR is new (we’re just now entering the 21st century…it hurt to say goodbye to the VCR) and it cut off just as Ryan Seacrest said, “The winner of American Idol 2008 is…David…” And that was it!! A box popped up asking if I wanted to save this recording. Uh, yeah…but I also want to know who won the freakin’ show!!! I almost fainted. I had to call my mom to see who won. When I went back to rewatch the recording it did have Cook’s last name in it on the play back, then it cut off, so at least Sloan will be able to see his name announced. I’m so glad that show is over because I really hate being addicted to shows – there’s so much pressure to keep up. Well, except for LOST. I loooove being addicted to that show. I look forward to it coming on every week and I shall dearly miss it after next Thursday night. Anyway, I think I’ve revealed enough geekiness for one night. I’m off to bed because I’m tired. Go Cook!

Happy Birthday Mom…a few days late!

Don’t worry. I didn’t forget my mother’s birthday. I did actually wish her a happy birthday on Sunday, but I’m only now getting to post about it. I just wanted to say happy birthday to the most amazing mom in the world. My mom truly is spectacular. If I could only be half the mother she is, then I would consider myself doing well. She has modeled for me exactly what a mother should be. She has loved me unconditionally, supported me without wavering, been involved when needed and stepped back when necessary. My mom has become my dearest friend over the years as I’ve moved into adulthood and motherhood myself. I value her advice as if it were gold. My mom lives here in town and I admit I have become very spoiled by that. She is so helpful to me and is fantastic with my kids. If my mom was good at parenting, she excels at grandparenting. My kids adore her, especially Sloan. They have a special little connection. She’s so involved. She kept them all yesterday for me so I could get some things done. When I went to pick the kids up, she was outside playing with them. That is how she is. She gives 100% of herself without asking for anything in return. She always has.

Growing up, my mom was extremely involved in our everyday lives. She was a homeroom mom, on the PTA, Sunday school teacher and all around super mom. When I was in high school I remember getting annoyed by her constant presence. I realize now that she was just being smart. Because she was involved, she knew what was going on. It was hard to pull anything past her. That involvement saved me from making many poor choices. When I was 8 and Brett was 5, we lived in Wisconsin and we went skiing for the first time. After a morning in ski school, we were allowed to go up the big lift. Brett and I rode with the ski instructor and my parents rode up behind us. My mom was so concerned about us getting off the lift that she forgot to get off herself, so she jumped, fell and tore the cartiledge in her knee. She wore a brace for a long time and as far as I know, she never skiied again. That’s the kind of mom she is. She would do anything for us. I feel certain that if one of us needed her to walk to the ends of the earth, she would do it, without complaining. She has literally travelled the world to do things with us, going on band trips, to youth camps, traipsing through Ukraine with me in the dead of winter, sitting outside in the sweltering heat with Brett so he could hear his favorite bands play, and so much more. Mom, I love you dearly and am so grateful for you and all you do for me. You are the best! Enjoy Florida this week.

Like Father, Like Son and other Tales

Last Wednesday was Sloan’s last day of preschool for this year. To celebrate, we went to Chuck E Cheese after school with the kids from his class. Just as we were about to leave, one of the mom’s told me that her daughter has been talking about Sloan kissing her on the lips for a week. Sloan came over and heard us talking about it and right there in the middle of CEC, leaned over and smacked her on the lips again! No shame. All puffed up from the amusement/horror on my face the little Casanova turned and kissed another little girl, then turned around and kissed the first girl again! Jeez! But, before you think of my son as a little lady lover, you should know that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Lee apparently was known for his kissing abilities back in his day. I’ve heard plenty of stories of him ducking behind buildings at church camps to kiss little girls. From what I can tell, his lips got around! So Sloan is apparently a natural born ladies man. When I told Lee he just kind of smiled and nodded. He was all, “That’s my boy!” and “At least he’s kissing the girls!” He was no help. So Sloan and I sat down later that day and talked about who he could kiss (me, his grandmothers and his sister) and who he could not (any other girl). We agreed that when he was a grown up man and found one special girl that he loved, then he could kiss her. Until then no one else. Riiight. Since he appears to be just like his father, I suspect he’s got plenty of kissing days ahead of him!

In other news, we pulled the trigger and put Sloan and Tia together. So far it’s going okay, but not great. I suspect it will take a little time although I hope not too long because I live for bedtime and bedtime has been taking two hours or more. So we’ll see. Landon had a horrible night last night! Seriously awful. He’s had a cold for about a month now. If this is what happens every time he gets a tooth, I’m not sure we’ll survive the next two years. He just could not sleep last night so today I’m operating on about 3 hours of sleep. Momma doesn’t do good with 3 hours of sleep. Praying for patience!!! Do any of you know if lactose intolerance can cause cold like symptoms? I’m just wondering if maybe we need to switch Landon to Soy based formula. If anyone has wisdom, I’m all ears! One good thing coming out of Sloan and Tia sleeping together is that we may end up getting both of them night time potty trained at the same time. We’ve been trying for a couple of months now to get Sloan trained at night. Now he and Tia think it’s funny to get up and go potty numerous times, which drives me mad – but they’ve both been waking up dry! We may end up with only 1 kid in diapers. That’s cool. Anyway, we’ll see what happens with this sleep thing. This is still not my ideal long term solution. I’m hoping we can get a little room set up for Landon by finishing in part of our garage, then move Tia back into her room. Until then we’ll deal the best we can!

You never know what you’ll see at Walgreens!

Last night we had to make an emergency run to the Urgent Care for Sloan who was screaming with an ear ache. It was indeed an ear infection. After the doctor, we headed to Walgreens to fill the prescriptions. Poor Sloan was exhausted and in so much pain so I decided rather than go through the drive thru window, I would take him inside to fill the prescriptions, hoping that his “patheticness” would make them feel sorry for him and fill the prescriptions faster. That was a friggin’ stroke of genius! They had all three prescriptions filled in less than five minutes. All three pharmicists worked on it and got us in and out of there so fast. It was great! And Sloan really milked it. He laid across my lap half comatose, his feverish little eyes all pitiful and sad. I was so glad I did that.

This is only the third time I’ve actually set foot in Walgreens in the last six months. I usually just drive through the pharmacy if I have to. I think they are way overpriced so I never go there to buy stuff. But the last three times I have been in this particular Walgreens, something interesting has happened. The first time was in early December. Sloan and I ran in there to get a couple of things and while we were there, Jenna Fisher, the girl who plays Pam in The Office, walked in. I didn’t even know she was from here until I got home later and googled her. She went to Parkway – random. A couple of months ago I went in to grab some milk and a man dressed as a clown was standing at the register. I don’t know why he was at Walgreens, but he bought beef jerky, Coke and Tylenol. Again, random. Then, last night as Sloan and I were leaving, a little girl who had clearly just come from a gymnastics workout was tumbling down the isle. Seriously, she must have done four or five back handsprings in a row. She was very good actually! So anyway, if you guys are looking for an interesting experience, it appears that the Walgreens at Baxter and Clayton is a hoppin’ place.