10-12-17 Cousin Fun

One of the great things about staying with my in-laws is that there are often cousins visiting throughout the week, and this evening was no exception. The kids were excited to find a couple of them here when we got home and the evening devolved quickly into silliness and laughter. The boys played superhero while C worked on her homework, but once she was done, she joined them. Before I knew it she had talked them all into a fashion show. Ha!

 

10-12-17 Mixed Emotions

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I get annoyingly attached to things- be it a stuffed animal from my childhood, a scribbled drawing from my children, or our lovely townhouse. Today we confirmed a contract for our townhouse with an additional one waiting in the wings if this one falls through. In the past two weeks we have had a great number of showings, multiple offers, and a lot of go between. I know it isn’t a done deal until we go to closing, but it is certainly feeling pretty permanent as I sit here. So now the sadness is sinking in.

Three years ago we started a journey to own our own home, one we thought we’d live in for years and years. And we’ve lived a roller coaster of experiences since we’ve been there. Baby E was only a few weeks old when we went to closing on the house, and it’s the only one he remembers. C and Big E both started school from that house. We’ve spent hours at the stinky bridge, the beach, and in the court playing with the neighbors and cousins. We’ve joined in the community and made friends. Most of this blog has been typed within those walls.

It is also the house where we learned about Hazel and its rooms provided protection as we healed from our loss. It’s the place we hunkered down to ride out the many illnesses that struck our family. It’s where I broke my finger, and it’s where Baby E learned to walk. It’s where Tim was the tickle monster that hid in the closets before bedtime. It’s seen a lot of laughter and a great deal of tears.

And guys, deep in my bones I’m going to miss it. I know I’ve been vague about our future on this blog, but honestly our future is vague. We are feeling our way through uncharted territory, but we are also incredibly confident that God is working a plan in our lives, our marriage, and our family. In the months to come, that will come into focus, but until it does we trust and we wait, no matter how far from our comfort zones we wander.

10-11-17 Don’t Leave Me

I took the kids to church this evening, and with the last few Wednesday nights fresh in my mind, I decided to change my approach to the evening. I got Big E all dressed and ready with his book, but I told him he did not have to go if he didn’t want to. So we signed in, dropped C off in her class and then we walked Baby E over to his class. I decided that tonight I would stay in the class with him in hopes that will help him get more comfortable with being in there, and one day soon I can just leave him for the hour and a half. So I tried to stay out of the way and just observe, but literally every 60-90 seconds for the first 45 minutes, Baby E would turn to me and say “Don’t leave me, mommy!” I assured him that I was sticking around this evening and he finally seemed to settle into his class and have fun.

As we left, the boy took a tumble down the stairs, and when we got home he fell head first into the bathtub. He came out of it all with a bleeding scratch on his face and arms, but otherwise ok- such a clumsy kid.

I think the boys are having a more difficult time adjusting to our new lifestyle. I know they miss their home and their beds, and they have both been a little more anxious than normal. Add to that the fact that Big E is in school now and Baby E feels left out without his siblings around all day. They are having more separation anxiety than I have ever known them to have, and more outbursts than usual. I know they are dealing with some pretty big emotions right now, and they are feeling out of control, so I am trying to be as understanding with them as possible. We talk often about what’s going on and we work through some of their fears and uncertainties.

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If you could lift our family up in prayer that we can face our unknown future with confidence, grace, and courage. We trust a God that has gone before us, for in him there are no uncertainties. Thank you.

10-10-17 The Shortening Days

The time change is just around the corner, but even still the days are quickly getting shorter. Considering the horrendous winter/spring that we endured, I promised myself that we would take advantage of every nice day that we could, so we jumped on the opportunity to make it to the beach (again, I know) while the weather was pushing the high 80’s today.

The kids enjoyed the long walk down the path to the beach and spent a good deal of time playing in the sand once we got there. I love watching my kids on the beach, especially when they don’t have toys with them. It gives their minds the opportunity to be creative, to make up games, and entertain themselves. They do very well at it, and are often quick to jump into each other’s games. They don’t need much encouragement from me, I just keep an eye that they don’t go too far into the water (especially Baby E) or run too far down the beach and out of my line of sight.

We stayed much longer than we intended, and by the time we were ready to leave the beach was deserted and dusk was setting in. While there had been ample leftover light at the beach, the walk back to the car was on a tree covered path, which had very quickly turned dark. The kids were nervous as we walked our way back to the car, but we told silly stories and I encouraged them to be brave.

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Yesterday I became an aunt for the 17th time. Wow, what a blessing it is to be a part of such a large, close knit family. I’m looking forward to meeting my new niece soon, but in the meantime we got to spend a little time with her big brother this evening before bed. 🙂

10-09-17 This sweet boy…

“Which flavor should I get? The red ones or the purple ones?” I asked Big E as we stood in the grocery store staring at the freezer that held the Uncrustables. I know very well that he prefers the purple ones and that his big sister prefers the red ones, but she wasn’t with us so I was curious as to how this was going to turn out.

He stares at them for a minute and turns to me, “Well, I really, really don’t like the red ones. I like the purple ones. So I think that we should get the… (long pause) the red ones.”

“Why should we get the red ones?” I ask him.

“Because those are the ones that C likes best,” he answers.

Guys, this kid amazes me each and every day. I’m constantly shocked by his sweet heart and the way he loves the people in his life. I’m so thankful to be the mom to this amazing guy. As a reward for his selfless act, we bought both kinds, and I also let him get a Hot Wheels car.

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10-08-17 Adaptable

I’m not adaptable. I’m not a roll with the punches kind of girl. I like to know that everything is in place before I take a step in any direction. I want all the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed. I don’t like being caught off guard. I value a good back up plan.

With that said, the last few months of my life have been anything but predictable. Just when I think all my ducks are in a row, something happens to throw it all into chaos. Well, chaos is probably too strong of a word, so I’ll stick with uncertainty.

But the crazy thing is, the more unpredictable my life has gotten, the less internal chaos I have felt, the calmer I have become. I think it stems from thinking that I can control certain things, and coming to the eventual realization that so much is out of my control, (even the things I thought I had a handle on.)

So each day is a lesson in being flexible. I don’t need all the answers of how and when, I just need to trust that the One who has those answers is working, irregardless of what I can see. 🙂

 

10-07-17 The Shark’s Tooth

When we woke up this morning I decided to take advantage of yet another beautiful day, so we headed to the beach closest to Tim’s parents’ house. We went before breakfast, and there were very few people on the beach. The kids really enjoy this particular beach because there are so many fallen trees on it, which provide them with ample things to climb on. As usual, I scanned the ground for sharks teeth and I was pretty excited to find the biggest one I’ve ever found. 🙂

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Wow, that must have come from a big shark!

We spent over two hours there, and I really enjoyed watching my kids use their imaginations. The tree trunks turned into boats or mythical creatures. They hunted down dead horseshoe crabs, and Big E labeled himself the official destroyer of jellyfish. They ran, they laughed. It was wonderful. By the time we left we were very hungry, so we made it back home, ate breakfast, and Baby E and I laid down for a nap.

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Since we had breakfast so late, and we had taken that nap, our timing was all off, and it was late when I realized we needed to eat lunch. Having no food in the house I did the unthinkable… I took all three of my children to a local pizza restaurant… BY MYSELF! I was pretty proud of us that we made it through the meal relatively uneventfully. After lunch we headed to the townhouse and subsequently to an impromptu play date/dinner with the cousins three doors down. The kids have missed seeing them and I know they really enjoyed themselves. It was nice for us adults to get together as well!

The boys are completely enamored with their youngest cousin. 

 

 

10-06-17 Don’t Lick The Floor

The Time I Took Them To McDonalds…

On Wednesday evening on the way to church I decided to drop by McDonalds to get the kids some dinner. I’m always a little wary of taking all three children in to public with me, especially around any meal times because we all get a little hangry. So before going in I asked them a series of questions to gauge their mood and possible behavior. Things like, “Who’s going to use their listening ears?”, “Who’s going to run away from Mommy?”, “Who’s going to fuss if they don’t like their toy?” I also threw in a few silly ones like, “Who’s going to lick the floor?” Thankfully the kids responded appropriately to each of the questions even though they giggled through the silly ones. I could tell they were in a good mood, so it was worth a shot. I parked the car and we made our way inside.

I was in the middle of ordering our food when I turned around to make sure I had eyes on the kids. That’s when I noticed it. There in the middle of a crowded McDonalds, Baby E was laying flat on the floor with his tongue out LICKING THE FLOOR. Yes, you read that right… my kid was LICKING THE MCDONALD’S FLOOR!!!!!!! And there were people watching him. In horror I scooped him up and chided him (growled in his ear) that we DO NOT LICK FLOORS! No floors. There is no acceptable floor to lick. And besides, he had just promised in the car that he wouldn’t lick any floors.

Oh wait. Oh dear. That’s when it sunk in that I had given him the idea. With all the silly questions I had asked in the car, this was the one he decided to put into action?!?!?!?

Meanwhile, I was still in the process of ordering my food so I set him down, finished my order and paid. As I waited for the machine to read my credit card I turned around in time to find him BACK ON THE FLOOR… LICKING IT! Again, there were at least a dozen people all standing around watching my kid lick the gross, disgusting, horribly unclean McDonald’s floor. I wanted to gag. I scooped him up again, mentally panicking at the situation and explaining the best I could that we DO NOT do that, all while trying to keep a calm demeanor (because you know, we were in public.) He found it all very amusing, but I just wanted to grab our food and go hide under a rock.

Moral of this story, don’t even jokingly suggest something you don’t want your children to do… EVER.

 

Frog Legs

As we drove home one evening we got on the topic of strange foods and I asked the kids if they knew that people eat frog legs. Naturally this grossed them out and Big E wanted to know if I had ever eaten any. And while I had the opportunity as a child one time, I didn’t actually partake, but I told him that I heard they tasted like chicken, to which he piped up and replied that wasn’t true. “They taste like lily pads, because that’s what frogs put their stinky feet on.” I didn’t argue, for all I know that’s what they taste like.

 

Dead Moose

We were walking along the beach this evening when we came across a very strange thing in the sand. It looked like it could have been a plant, but it also could have been a dead animal. It was the size of a cat and it had some things crawling on it. Big E was fascinated by it and leaned down to touch it. I stopped him before he could, but when I asked him what it was he thought it was probably just a dead moose. When I pointed out that we don’t really live in moose country he informed me that maybe this area, (you know, the beach) used to be a farm that had moose. It’s Friday night and I was too tired to argue.

 

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10-05-27 The Misadventures of Miss Molly

A friend of mine contacted me last night and offered to take in Molly during our transition out of the townhouse. This is a HUGE help because we are always concerned that the cat may become an unintended hinderance to selling the house. And on top of that, Molly has been very lonely there without us. So we made arrangements for me to take her over to her new home this evening. While at work I got a message that they were going to show our house at 4, so I took the opportunity to run home early and get her out before the showing.

And that, my friends, is when the chaos began.

When we first adopted Molly we were given one of those cardboard animal boxes to transport her home. It worked great and so I stuck in on the shelf in Tim’s closet for future use. This afternoon I took it down. After I got everything Molly related removed from the house I turned my task to getting her in the box.

She had no idea what was coming as I scooped her up and placed/gently pushed/ urged her into the box. But she would have nothing to do with it, and as I got one side of the box secure, she escaped out the other.

So, I tried again. Since she had caught wind of my plan I actually had to chase her down to get her, but much to my delight I managed to get her in the box… for about 2.5 seconds when she squeezed out as I was closing it. Grrr. Apparently this was a two person job.

I contacted my next door neighbor and she came over and helped me. Within a  couple of minutes, Molly was in the box and I was heading out the door. I had to drop by and pick up the kids on the way to delivering Molly, so we headed down the road. I was on a pretty twisty road, going about 40mph when I noticed that Molly was fighting hard to get out of her box. The problem was that her box was made of cardboard and it sounded like she was destroying it. Clearly she was protesting her situation. She whined and cried and scratched at the box walls. And as I rounded a particularly sharp corner she burst out of the box with a look of terror on her face.

Uh oh! I have a terrified kitty that’s ready to leap on me as I’m driving. There’s no way I’m getting into an accident because of this kitty so I find the closest turn off and pull over. In the meantime, Molly has extracted herself completely from the box and is clinging for dear life on the top of the passenger seat. I examine the box and see that it is destroyed. There’s no way to get her back into it. So now I have a dilemma. Do I continue my journey with a freaked out kitty perched on the seat, pick up the kids on time, and deliver aforementioned freaked out kitty to her new home, or do I count my losses and take her back to the townhouse. It occurred to me that my neighbor might have a better carrying case for her, and sure enough when I contacted her she said I could borrow one. So I turned around and headed down the windy road back to the house, Molly kitty screaming her protests from her perch.

When I pulled in, the neighbors helped me get her in the carrier and I was on my way again, only a few minutes behind schedule. The drop off went smoothly and I’ve received a few photos from her new home. She seems to be settling in very well, which makes us all very happy!

After dropping her off, I took the kids to the beach for a few hours. There was a film crew nearby that made their way to the beach after we had gotten on. The kids found it very fascinating to watch. I got to explain all the equipment to them and the kids asked me a bunch of questions. I kept them at a distance so they wouldn’t be in the way. We were there as the sun was setting, so we hurried home for dinner and homework.

Our day finished off pretty uneventfully, and that’s fine by me. I’m just so grateful that Molly has some new friends tonight!

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10-04-17 You pray wrong!

“You pray wrong,” Big E said to me after his teacher said “Amen” in his Sparks class tonight. “You pray with your head down, but God is up there!” he said, pointing to the ceiling. “So you should look up when you pray.”

Big E had a rough time this evening and absolutely refused to stay in the class unless I was there, which was difficult because Baby E refused to stay in his class without me there as well. In the end, I grabbed Baby E and went in Big E’s class and stayed near the back. That didn’t keep Baby E from trying to answer ALL of the questions that the teacher asked. He would shout his answer over all the kids, and while it was usually a word associated with church, it was never a word remotely close to what the teacher was looking for! But my how he tried. “Bible!!!” he kept saying when the teacher asked something about the resurrection. “Bible!!!!”

“God!” he piped up for another questions whose answer was most certainly not God.

I’m hoping the boys settle in soon to their Wednesday night routines. It’s a long day for us, and it is much harder if they put on the brakes. I’m hoping with a little coaxing, Big E will be comfortable going on his own in a few weeks!!

The weather has been beautiful the past few weeks, so last night I took the kids to the beach. It was nice to have the sand between my toes again and watch the kids splash in the water and play with new friends.

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