Monday, May 30, 2011

The Changing of the Clothes in Crazyville!

So yesterday...

A lovely Saturday morning...

It had to be done.  

I could put it off NO longer, even though I really, REALLY wanted to just go find a pool!

Yes, it was time to rally the troops and do the dreaded "Go Through Your Clothes And See What Still Fits" chore.

You moms understand the time and patience involved in this don't you?  You understand my dread right?  Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks they might be committed at the end of this duty!

I couldn't keep putting it off because we are due to leave for vacation at week's end, and I have to know who needs what!  So...alas...I jump into the madness.  

And I know it's gonna be madness because I have done this for too many years people!  I know what lies ahead!  

(And before I get any "hate mail" that I should just be thankful for the abundance of clothes we have, please know I FULLY realize that fact, but it doesn't make the job any less crazy!) (Now, let's all smile and just enjoy the story.)

I should have video taped it.

Seriously, we may have been an overnight You Tube sensation with the comedy that occurred.

Picture it:

Here they come.  All three of them. Hauling their mounds into the living room.

They take their corners.

Instruction is given.

Weird son #1...who in the past has always been obedient and these days goofy and trying to find his sense of humor...which frankly...I'm just gonna say it...drives his momma a lil bonkers some days.  

From his poor voice that sounds like a seal that needs put out of its misery to his mile-long extremities that seem to flail in all directions...he's just awkward right now.  

It's all very...well...weird to watch this puberty process (which his little "bothers"-as he calls them- have named Pubetor) (Do they realize they are headed to the same destination?  I do not think so!)

Okay, I instruct..."Weird Son," (and do not fret that I am messing up his psyche by calling him weird because he LIKES it...he likes that we think he is strange now!)..."Darling, try on all your clothes, and if they do not fit, please throw over to the pile of I'm Too Cool For Anyone/Anythang Right Now Son #2.  Thank you Dear!"

"Son #2 (Too Cool)...please try on all of your clothing and whatever does not fit you, toss over to I Cannot Seem To Stay Focused For More Than 30.2 Seconds Son #3 (Space Cadet).  Thank you Precious!"

"Alrighty...Space Cadet, Honey....Sugar Bear, over here, look at Momma's eyes...okay Baby...please try on all of your...uh you hoooo...over here Buddy...that's right look at Momma...please try on all of your clothing and place whatever is too little or you do not like into the Give To Cousins heap. Okay? Thank you!  Trey?  Trey.  TREY!!!  TREY DID YOU HEAR ME!!!  Oh yes, okay, Little Guy...there you are!  Stay with me now Sweet Cheeks!  Let's focus okay?"  (Adorable crooked-toothed smile, followed by, "Yes, Ma'am!" Oh it's a good thing you're cute Space Cadet!)

(You also have to imagine the voice I am talking in during this.  We call it Mom's Happy Voice!  It's a high-yes higher than my normal one-pitched voice that I use to help me talk really nice when I really wanna yell.  It annoys all of us, but it keeps me from being a raving lunatic and well, it adds some comic relief to otherwise horrible moments!)

Oh, my friends...the frenzy that ensued next I can't even find enough adjectives to describe!  Seriously wish I would have rolled video...especially as dear I Can Block All This Out Like It's Nothing Dad sat at the table eating, working/playing on his phone and computer, and yes...even laughing!

Clothes are flying. Boys are laughing, modeling, dancing half-naked, whining, wrestling, laying down, juggling...IT WAS INSANITY!  

Momma is raising her voice, commanding, pleading, promising, trying not to laugh, then doubled over laughing, frustrated, giddy, offering dollars to whomever finishes their piles first! (Yes I did! Don't judge me!)

Dad is laughing!

Too Cool wants to know (accusingly) why the inside of his aqua blue shirt is purple-y.  I don't know!  HE is in charge of laundry!  "Too Cool, did you wash your shirt with something purple or red?" "No? Hmm..."  

Oh yes...then it hits me!

"Ummm...Too Cool...could it possibly be your belly art?" (referring to the GIANT face drawn with black and red Sharpie's around Too Cool's belly button...which he colored in black!)  

Dad looks up and says, "His what?"  "Oh Dad, thanks for popping into reality out of your technological coma to visit us in Crazyville!  How nice of you to join us."

"Yes, dear...Too Cool's belly art...named Brad.  See?  Honey?  You hoooooo! Babe?"  Oh, gone.  Back to Cyberspace.  (Anyone putting 2 and 2 together here and seeing where Space Cadet might get his focusing skills?) 

Space Cadet has for months been complaining of frustration trying to keep his closet and drawers straightened.  Turns out that all this time, if Too Cool didn't like any article of clothing, he would stuff it into Space Cadet's closet...even if it still fit him or didn't fit his little "bother."  So sweet little Space Cadet was OVERFLOWING with clothes!

Now Space Cadet (#3) weighs a bit more than Too Cool (#2) so BOTH are in need of shorts because Weird Son's old ones won't fit either!  


And Weird Son (#1), well, he keeps outgrowing everything in a month's time right now!

AND, if this wasn't enough, THEN we had to have some lessons during the whole "See What Still Fits" session about why a 13-year-old needs to make sure his shirt is long enough to cover his uh... "area"...while wearing athletic shorts and why at 8.5 years old that doesn't really matter...THAT WAS A FUN TALK~which ended in Weird Son going to put on his uh...protective garment from football season!

L E T' S   J U S T  S A Y, it took a LONG time to get all this wrapped up, but NOW all "bothers" have outfits laid out for the trip and after my precious neighbor Renee (SHOUT OUT GIRL!) came over with an armload full of clothes from her son, we only have to buy a few pairs of shorts!  


Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Some Random Recent Pics

Here are some pics from Garrison's birthday celebrations...
 13 PANCAKES!!! (He didn't want to eat them all!) (And he didn't really want me taking his picture!)
A family dinner out at Roosters...his fave restaurant to get wings.  Tom gave him the NBA XBox game he wanted.

 He couldn't stop watching the games on the TV screens to pose for his momma!
 My nephew had a whole group of waitresses come sing to him...even though that restaurant doesn't usually do that!
 He didn't want this chocolate thing.  He wanted apple pie!
 So he shared with his baby brother...ahhhh!  Trey LOVES chocolate!
 This is our friend Donovan.  It was his birthday too!

 A sleepover and almost was Derby Day here and the lanes they were going to were not open! They made the best of it though!

I took these next two just because I looked up from reading during school one day and this is what I saw.  The camera was next to me so I thought I would snap a memory of what "school" looks like to me!

And last...while Rebekah and I were having Bible Study one Monday night, the cousins decided they were hungry for some sugar cookies!  Here they are "baking"...if that is what you can call the rowdy mess that was goin' down in my kitchen.  They made some BIG cookies too!

 Love good memories (and good cookies)!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

There Will Be Trouble, BUT...

Finally a little time to get some thoughts out.

It's been a rough road for me lately.  I don't know that I can put much of it into words even, but here's my shot because this is our family journal.  Though I write a lot about my precious sons, I feel one of the greatest gifts I can give them is to let them know the inner thoughts of a woman...a wife...a mom because one day they may be called to be a husband and father...certainly a friend and brother.

This is the place that I goal to chronicle the moments that we call "life."  I love to capture the happy times, but that, we know, is not all life here on this fallen planet is about.

Sure...I could simply do this in private instead of a public forum, but I know how much other women have helped me on my journey simply by letting me glimpse their reality.  Maybe my reality can help another to glimpse my Hope.

I know a lot of women...

I have known women who feel the need to look like they have it all not share any personal even see crying as such a weakness that they hate when they do it in front of others!

I have know women who try to one-up others around them...who criticize and judge and gossip...who are so negative that it brings you down just to be in their presence.

I know women who are always grouchy, mad at the world, and never take responsibility for anything.

I know women who are nice as can be to your face...who smile and wink at you, act like they care, but want to correct your behavior when they see any flaw and tell others how they distrust you.

I know women who jump to conclusions, accuse, and assume...who lash out screaming or bite you in the back quietly to others.

I know women who air all their business and see nothing wrong with slaying their spouse and children with sharp tongues in front of an audience.

Thankfully, I also know women who have overcome all these things...who have humbled themselves, shared their biggest heartaches, and prayed with me in my own pits.

I thankfully know women who have lost babies and were resurrected into beauty from ashes...who have been cheated on and abandoned and still found the courage to trust again.

I thankfully know women who have been beaten, starved, violated, and even shot, but have found the strength to still see the good in their world.

I thankfully know women who, even though they daily battle the consequences of trauma, can still reach out in love on their strong days.

I thankfully know women of all ages from babies to elderly who have been through all kinds of things and taught many lessons to those who take the time to learn.

I am thankful to know all kinds of know there are sisters in my circle that I can confide in, talk with, walk with, listen to, and lean on.

All that being said...there are different seasons of our lives that we go through and sometimes, no matter how many women you may know, your heart can seem lonely.

Ever since the houses in our neighborhood have started getting robbed (and they still are), I have been fighting depression pretty badly.  

I know what triggered such fear in me is that this happened when I was ten years old.  Someone came into our home while we slept and robbed us.  

He did it again a year to the day later.

It has taken me YEARS to get over the fear this caused in be comfortable home alone with my kids.

In one day, all the fear I remember as a child came pounding down on me when I held my crying neighbor who had her home violated in the night as she slept.

I cannot fathom having my physical body violated.

I could not help but think of all the men, women, and children this is happening to all over the world.  I could not help but think of all the little children my friend Heather sees in a week in Cambodia who she knows are being violated by sexual perverts.

I could not help but think on the state of this fallen world and all that is going on.  Thoughts bombarded me all hours of the day and night.  

I felt helpless and hopeless to be honest.

At the same time this old wound was freshly opened, I had to walk through betrayal of people I thought were friends and the fizzling out of something that I surely thought God had started.

It has left me feeling somewhat numb and somewhat utterly sad.

To only chronicle the happy and fun moments of life would be a disservice to many women and my sons.  

Life just isn't peaches and cream. 

Hurts happen.

"In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart!  I have overcome the world!" John 16:33

I like the Amplified version even better:

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

I know this is truth.  Why is it so hard for me to walk out in faith?

Because my physical senses have to fight what looks to be directly contrary to it CONSTANTLY.

Anybody else struggle with this?

Boys~This life is full of all kinds of things that can hurt your soul, but I rejoice that you know that your Creator holds your heart.  Nothing can separate you from His love, but you can choose to walk away.  I trust that you won't.  I know you have all had personal and intimate encounters with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  But I know there will come times when you question where He is...why He doesn't seem to be answering your prayers...why the whole world seems to be falling apart! It's okay.  God can handle your questions, insecurities, frustrations, and fears.  The key to peace is learning to run to Him when these things perplex or bombard you...not run from Him.  I pray you will have strong friendships to help you in these times.  I pray you will learn how to be leaders to your families in these times...and be compassionate to women in your lives even when you cannot understand their emotions!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Baby Bird Conclusion

What a blast we have had watching these little creatures!  We took photos each day.  Enjoy seeing how they continued to change.

 This has been such a wonderful experience! It was 13 days from hatching until the last little bird flew the coup!  As you can see, the bigger they got, the messier my window became!  A pressure-washing is much needed now.  But, wow!  How amazing to have a front-row seat to this development. It was so cute watching them fight over a worm, learn to make sounds, get a feel for their wings, and get the courage to take off and soar! We finally figured out the skinnier bird with the longer neck was the dad and the mom was still a little chubbier.  The parents didn't hang out at the window much at first when we would look.  Eventually they became used to us and didn't fear.  I loved watching the last little one trying to get the courage to leave.  The dad stayed on the deck railing and paced back and forth chirping.  It made me think of a little child who is afraid to jump into the pool, and the dad keeps coaxing!  Sadly I didn't get to see any one of the four babies fly off, but I sure miss them.  (I will not miss their nasty little mess though!)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The New Babies!

It's wonderful when you get a homeschool project that you don't even have to plan or work for!

The last week of April, as I was doing the dishes, I noticed a bird on the window ledge behind the sheer curtain.  I pulled the curtain back and to my delight, there was a robin looking into her nest which contained four blue eggs! (You can click on the pictures to make them larger.)
I immediately yelled for the boys and Adalee and we were all very excited!  I mean, it was RIGHT there for us to watch!

We waited and waited while she sat and sat.
THEN...on the morning of Garrison's birthday, I found the babies hatched!

And Momma found me finding them!
Isn't she cute!  I love her look like, "What do you think you are doing?"

They were so tiny.  I had never seen baby birds before. They didn't even look real!  Adalee told Nanny she had naked birds at Aunt Mindy's house!

We have been watching them grow each day.  They like to eat A LOT!
One wakes up...
Then he wakes up his brothers...
And there she is...just like a good mom...already prepared to take care of her babies.  See the worm sticking out of her beak?
And like most brothers, they fight over the food!

They change so quickly...even from morning to night they look different!
Their skin is turning gray here.
Can you see the one sticking his neck out?  That's because they are barely fitting in the nest!  They are getting covered with fuzz and their gray skin is turning black.

And Mom just keeps hunting for food and bringing it back.  I think her newborns are making her tired!

The internet says that about two weeks after hatching they leave the nest.  We are keeping a close eye!  I pray I can catch them as they leave!  We will let you know.