Thursday, June 26, 2008

I'm soooooo TIRED!

Have you ever been so tired you could cry? Well, I am that tired! but I'm not crying-yet.

Every year my 8-11 yr old girls participate in a 3 day camp. It's called Activity Day Girls Camp. They take 6 different classes everyday and have tons of fun. The classes this year were Hip Hop, Cooking, Babysitting, Beautiful You, Crafts, Sewing, Choir, Outdoors (rope tying, whittling, compassing, obstacle course etc).

I've been in charge of the craft class for the past 3 years. The camp ended today. Planning, preparing, executing, teaching, managing and cleaning up after 80 plus girls crafting everyday can be exhausting and I tell you-I'm exhausted!

This year we did a service project on the first day. We colored, cut and laminated flannel board stories. We are sending them to childrens organizations in Peru, Bolivia and South Africa. The girls made over 80 kits on that day.

The second day, each girl made a journal and a darling paper clip bookmark.

Today, the girls made mini clip boards that are the perfect size for post it notes. The three days involved tons of adhesive, paper, ribbon, punches and ink. If I ever get up again I'll take some photos and post them.

My big challenge every year is staying within my little budget. The budget this year was $100 for all three days and the total spent was $99.87. Sa-weet!
It was a great time for everyone...and I tell you-I'm so tired I could cry!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pagie loves

Paige! What a girl.

She is my second born, a peacemaker, she always calls me mommy loves, is extremely talented on the piano and is an amazing singer, a huge help and I find her to be very funny.

One day I was babysitting a friends baby. Paige had taken over caring for him. I asked Paige after several hours what the baby's name was and Paige responded by saying "I don't really know." "Well, what are you calling him then?" I asked. Paige replied " I've been calling him Bob!" That cracked me up. Good for you Paige for just making a decision and making it work. The baby's name was Benjamin by the way. That is so typical of Paige. She is quite the little problem solver and she can make most situations work out.

Paige is really fun to have at home. I love to watch her mind wrap around a new concept and see her apply it to different areas. It's so exciting for me. She gets so excited as well when she understands something which she has categorized as hard.

This is Paige doing a headstand in the snow! I tell you-she is funny!

I love you Paige!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Last Day of 6th Grade for Kylie

STOP reading this post if you don't want to hear me go on and on about my oldest daughter. I want to give her a Shout Out! for a job well done and a very successful year. So... move on if you don't want to be part of gushing, ohhing and ahhing. You've been warned!

Well, school is out! Kylie my oldest, attends middle school. She attended 4th grade and now 6th grade in public school. She has had an awesome year. So, to brag about Kylie-she finished school with a 4.0 for the entire year. In fact, her lowest percentage was 97.5 and that was in gym-figures! She is in a challenge program and excelled in it. She had great teachers, great friends and a great experience. I'm so happy for her. She loves to learn. She only stressed me out about 5 times this year when she would give me a paper to type at 10:00 at night that was due the next morning. The rest of her work she took care of on her own. I'm so glad she has the personality to organize her time, workload and fun.
All of her teachers commented on how respectful and kind Kylie is. (gushing happening now)
In her non-school hours, Kylie is on a Performance Dance Team and takes Jazz and Ballet. This is 4 hours of dance class a week. She is also involved with a church group every Wednesday and is the President of a service organization. I'm gushing I know! I'm just so pleased with how she has handled and excelled this year!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Look Mom! No training wheels!

This morning after Sam announced he was done with school for the day, he raced outside to play. A few moments later, I heard shrieks from the lawn. Paige was shouting for me to come right away. I couldn't see Sam. He was behind the van. I was afraid that someone was hurt. Before I could ask, Sam came out from behind the van riding a bike! He taught himself to ride a bike! At first he would hold onto the van to gain momentum and then ride onto the grass.

Within 4 or 5 minutes though, he figured out how to push off while pedaling. It was so exciting. By the time his dad got home from work, he was riding all over the cul-de-sac, making turns, braking to stop etc. It was so exciting to see his determination and joy.
In thinking about this I'm reminded of a few things. Kids have an
amazing capacity to learn on their own. To think out problems, find solutions, try it out, try it out somemore until they are satisfied with the result. Sam without any parental assistance taught himself to ride a bike. He told me his best friend Zach would push off to pedal-thats how he came up with that. He learned from watching Zach several months ago.

I have much to learn from this real life example of child led learning. Children will learn when they are ready. You can force them to learn but when it is on their own terms, the knowledge is so much more tangible and there is an excitement to it that can't be reproduced when it is on a parents timetable vs. the childs. I am posting this for my benefit. So I can remember. So I won't forget that I'm leaving my comfort zone for something better. I must remember.
Funny side note-the only bike helmet we had out front was Lilly's. A pink barbie helmet. Sam wore this all day. However, by the end of the day he determined he could no longer ride until he got an appropriate boy bike helmet because barbie just will not do for a 6 year old boy.
Sam practiced all day learning to ride around the man hole cover-look at that sense of accomplishment spread over his face. I love it!

What in the world happened here?

I just downloaded over 600 pictures off of my digital camera and found this:

This sad, little photo of Sarah who is normally so bright and cheery.

Now, I have several questions about this photo:
What in the world was happening that sweet Sarah looked so sad, concerned, devastated?
What is in Sarah's hand?
Why is she clutching her coat?

I know that this was taken at a T-Ball game that I did not attend (ankle). No one claims having taken this photo. It just makes me wonder. Poor, poor Sarah!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

What a mess!

Well! I made the mistake of going dowstairs today. A place that I haven't seen in several weeks (ankle ya' know). What a huge mistake that was. Imagine 5 children under the age of 12 having complete, unsupervised access to the large play room/craft room/tv room for several weeks. It's sooo horrifying that I cannot even take a photo of it. Books, toys, DVD'S, craft supplies, blocks, cups, spoons, bowls, more cups, clothes, games everywhere!!!! and the list goes on.
Upon seeing this horror I did the only sensible thing-I promptly turned around and went back upstairs. I'm convinced that if I stay up here long enough, the downstairs horror will disappear altogether, I'll realize it was a bad, bad dream and it really is what I envision in my mind...a place of joy, laughter, learning, tranquility and cleanliness. I'm not taking any chances of running into that monstrosity of a place again. I'm up here until it can be proven that cleanliness is back. Wish me luck! and by the way-help!


My son Sam plays T-ball! My dear hubby is the coach. Today was the last game of the season for the Thunderbolts. I have missed every game due to the ankle until today! I finally got to attend a game. YEAH!!! (I am waving my arms in excitement while exclaiming loudly) It was a GREAT game! I yelled and shouted and got in all of my cheering that I had missed this season in one game. (my throat is a little sore :) My daughters were horrified! My son loved it. In fact, Sam loved it sooo much, everytime he came up to bat he asked me to keep cheering and "don't stop until I run." That's the spirit Sam! Know that you are going to hit that ball and run. I LOVED cheering him on and everyone else that was playing because face it, I needed to make up for lost time. It was great fun.

Now this is a look of concentration! Go! Sam, Go! Go! Sam, Go! Go! Sam, Go! (do you get the idea?)

Sam is a funny guy. He has the ability to distract everyone who comes to his base by talking to them. Before they know it, the game might as well be over and they are on a playground chatting away...but it always happens in the middle of a game. Hysterical!

Sam also loves to play catcher. Once Sam goes down to the ground to get a ball he stays there until he has possession of it. I call it the army crawl of baseball. It's very funny to watch.

(the ball he was crawling after was at the fence line-look closely and you can see the fence far off in the distance)

Today he was dying because it was 'soooo hot'. It was 64 degrees in Seattle. Hot! Ha!

After the final game, we all went to Round Table for pizza. We were the last ones to arrive-of course. Coach Dad was packing things up and we had to drop some tired children off at home and...and... Anyways, we finally get our pizza as they begin handing out trophies and thank you gifts. Sam gets distracted and before he knows it, a worker comes and throws away his pizza. The poor kid was starving and crying. Well, the worker got him another pizza in short order. Yea! for cheese pizza. Sam actually asked if he could play t-ball next year. A miracle!

Friday, June 13, 2008


So, I've been in a funk lately due to my ankle surgery...long story short-I broke my ankle 11 months ago and I've had problems with it everyday since that fateful July 11th, 2007. Finally had to have surgery 8 weeks ago and it has been very difficult. Mainly because I'm a mother of 5 children, homeschool, try to overachieve in all sorts of areas and this being down for months has really challenged me mentally.
I've spent a lot of time online checking out blogs. I have to say that I've found 3 that have truly been lifesaving:
trust the children, nurtured by love, confessions of a pioneer woman

When I say lifesaving, I genuinely mean that. It's been more productive than therapy, I'm sure. For these people to let me sneak into their lives and help me let go, become, cry, make new goals and just be okay with what is happening has been great.
Pioneer woman is soooo great. She loves her husband soo much that it makes me want to shout from the rooftops: I love my husband too! This ankle has been such a strain on our family and our marriage-I've become very, very negative because of how little I have done to contribute to our family and to be honest, I feel incredibly guilty for everything that has fallen on hubby's shoulders. He seems to be fine with it. I, however am not! Thus the strain.
Ree (pioneer woman) has re-kindled my desire to be more loving and vocal about it. To remember that hubby is the greatest thing in this world and that I adore him! Ree loves her life! I love my life! I have forgotten how much I love my life (ankle ya' know) I am going to try to mimic Ree's example until it becomes my own.

If you read this-which I know that there are two people that do (thanks Kim and Rebecca) head over to pioneerwoman-read their love story. It's fantastically fun and I laughed out loud several times! She's also a fantastic photographer-makes me want to put on some cowboy boots, ride a horse and go wrestle a calf! Yee Haw!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Baby Thoughts

I just received a phone call from Joe. He and Beck just had a baby. A beautiful big boy named Jack Foster. That is a great name.

I just read a blog at Kristins place. She and David finally were able to adopt after several years. Baylie is her name. She is beautiful and a different race. Kristin realizes that this will affect her beautiful baby and is pondering the racial tensions in this country.

I watch closely my dear, dear friends EM. They have been married for 6 years. No children. I know it is not by choice. I know that there is sadness and longing for behind their kind eyes. They don't say a word however and keep it private.
Recently, I walked into a room at church and knew immediately upon seeing my friend Kim that she was experiencing death-the loss of a 17 week pregnancy. I recognized the absolute grief, fear and confusion that were in her eyes and in her shoulders. I only know because it took me back to my own experiences with the same death.

All of this makes me reflect on my own experience with babies. In the first 5 years of marriage - 4 miscarriages. Months and sometimes years of infertility between pregnancies. Such sadness and longing and feeling 'ripped off'. Then 5 pregnancies over 10 years that worked. I did feel joy but I didn't know a body could be that sick-feeling on the brink of death-for so long. I didn't know if I would survive or if I wanted too. Why was this so hard? Why did I do it so many times? Why? I guess because the longing and desire won out. I guess because I experienced death of a little one who I didn't even hold. I guess because they called to me and told me they were worth it and please do it for them. They reminded me in my dreams.

I want to hold Jack Foster close and say welcome to this beautiful world. I want to hold Kristin and let her know that she will do this! She will protect her daughter from the injustices and unkindnesses of this world and God will protect her little soul from breaking. I want to shout out to EM talk to me! I know! I understand! Keep trying for that little one. I want tell Kim again-I'm sorry!

I look around at my munchkins-grateful for their chaos, tantrums and love. I wish I was brave enough to do it again. But I'm not. I asked in prayer that the dreams stop. That my 9 pregnancies be enough. The dreams stopped. I think I'll go visit Jack Foster!