Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Time for change

We have lived in this house for 11 years.

11.  Wow.  We were in our house before that for almost 8.  That's a lot of time.

This was the house.  We had looked and looked.  Checked out various cities in every direction.  Scanned by multiple listings and drove by countless homes.  Not to mention the ones we actually stepped inside of.  Nothing felt right.

I kept thinking we would know.  But had begun to doubt that.

And then we drove by this one while looking at a different one in the area.  There was this feeling, this strange 'I've been here before' feeling.  And when we opened the front door to see the inside, I already knew this is where God wanted us.  I didn't even need to look around.

Each time over the years I have questioned our decision to buy a too small house in a not so super fabulous area, I remind myself of that feeling.  That knowing.  That presence that said this is where God had picked out for us.

I was 29 years old.  Allyson was 4.  Dan was 33.  We had one dog- Daisy Mae.  Facebook didn't exist and 9/11 was still very raw and real and recent.

I was a different person.  My family was smaller.  My faith was still in it's infancy.  My marriage was so hard, mainly because of me.  And I was still praying and expecting babies.

I painted my bathroom purple.  Light lilac purple.

And last week, I cracked open a new can of paint and I coated over what felt like the best decade of my life so far.  The one full of babies and laughter and realizations and growth...........and although it was just paint in a bathroom that can be painted 100 more times, I was saying goodbye to that portion of my world.

And then somehow the most perfect selection and plan of brown paper bag brown and safari brown paint turned into dang near black..............

Yup.  Things have sure changed.   I turn 40 in just a few short weeks.  F O R T Y.  I have never ever been one to freak out over birthdays..........but I have spent my entire life looking forward to my thirties.  And they have been awesome.  But now, turning the corner to forty puts me into an area of my life I have never ever even thought of.  I am now the one who can remember actors that the young moms haven't ever heard of, I will never hold a tiny baby inside my belly again, and more frequently than not the young baggers at the grocery call me 'mam'. (no I do not need help to the car, thank you very much).

A new area of my life.  And a black bathroom.

But before you worry I am entering a mid life crisis, rest assured I am not.  Just preparing for a new trip into uncharted territory.  One that will involve quiet dinners out without crayons or kids menus........or kids for that matter........where my husband remembers why he chose me.  One where I sit in the passenger seat as I instruct my children how to operate a vehicle.  And one where wrinkles and gray hairs are more frequent than not.

I am certain that this next section of my life is going to be even better than the one we are leaving.  And that just like my bathroom, I will probably like it even better than before.

Good bye lilac purple.  Hello safari brown.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Thursday, June 5, 2014


In my front flower bed there are waterballoons and a bottle of bubbles.

On the front lawn are my two chairs that were used for soccer goals.

Sitting on the front porch is a pair of mud crusted shoes.

Emilys bicycle is laying in the side yard.

There are at least five basketballs all scattered around the goal.

To say this is not what I envisioned my home looking like when I grew up is an understatement. 
Except its better.
Because each of those things, although carelessly scattered and showing a complete lack of irresponsibility on my childrens part, they represent laughter, and joy, and fun.  And my healthy children that get to be out there playing.

So today I am going to focus on being thankful.  Because I was overwhelmed yesterday and that got me no where.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Peeling hotdogs

When ally was little and learning to eat real food, I peeled the skin off her grapes.  And then cut them into quarters.

I was certain there was danger in those grapes and she needed my protection.

Have you ever peeled a grape?  Not an easy task at all.  I peeled her hot dogs too.  Again I was certain she could not chew it without the skin being removed.  Then as she grew, she only liked them without the skin.  I peeled her hot dogs until she was five years old.
Even when she was little, I could sense a need for protection.  Extra protection, more than normal.  I can only explain it because I do not feel the same urgency for Emily or Sam.  Sure, I protect them.  An love on them.  An watch out for dangers.  Probably put too much neosporin on boo boos and pray too much for things God already has covered.  But I don't feel anxiety over staying ahead of them for everything they do.

But for ally?  It has always been there.  And I can't even begin, nor do I want to, to explain the countless times this child had put herself in dangerous situations.  Scary horrible tv drama kind of situations.  And no matter how hard we try we keep seeming to circle back.

Back into the yuck that keeps surfacing.  And here we go again, back into battle.  And it is a battle, a spiritual war between what is evil an of the enemy and this world against God and the beautiful things He prepares for us.

It will never be explained to me any other way.  We are at war.  I am certain that all of this ugliness is going to build a beautiful testimony in my daughter.  And it is going to be amazing.  But we just seem to be struggling to get her there.  

And it is far from over I'm afraid.  Many times I know The Lord has reminded me to suit up and stay prepared, it's going to be a long journey.

It makes me laugh sometimes to remember all of the things we do for our babies to keep them safe.  Little do young parents realize the true dangers they are up against down the road.

I am thankful to God for His provision.  He is the One who is loving enough to peel my grapes for me.

Pray for your children daily.  Young or old- they need your intercession.  Listen to what He says in response.  And when He doesn't respond, keep praying.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Perfect Day

Yesterday was going to be the perfect day.  Until it wasn't.

Let me tell you, don't go planning perfect days.  They have to just happen on their own.

Homeschooling has its challenges.  Keeping to a schedule is one of them.  And last week we had so much 'fun' stuff scheduled we may have not gotten to our schoolwork like we should have. 

So this week, I was determined to not allow that to happen.  Up by 8:30, school at 9.  I warned everybody multiple times over the weekend.  And at 9 me and my sleepy kids were at the table doing our devotions.  Then it was time to crack open our backpacks and hit the books.

Ally and Sam both said they would be right back, their packs were in the van.  You know, the van that Dan dropped off at the service center early this morning.


We improvised.  We left for the library with a borrowed algebra book to run copies of assignments and check out a new To Kill A Mockinbird bird.  Throw in a couple fish books and a leaf guide book and we had enough material to get on with our day.

So by 11:30 we were back around the table ready to get cracking.  Except it was lunch time.  And on it goes until we finally wrapped up school at 2:30.  Which is a far cry from 11 when I planned to finish and clean my house.

My house that I had a dream I woke up to sparkling clean, even the kitchen counters.  Which was OBVIOUSLY just a dream.....
Today is another day, take two!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pollo is chicken in Spanish

So you know two of our three chickens turned out to be roosters.  Which totally explains the lack of fresh laid eggs going on around here.  And still makes me giggle to think we trudged through the snow all winter and strung heating lamps in sub zero temps (where my nose hairs froze just walking water to them several times a day) for absolutely nothing. 
Two roosters and one hen is a recipe for disaster.  They really do fight to try and be the top dog.....or rooster in this situation.  So we found a home for one- and not a 'home' where he would be baked, broiled or fried.  An actual coop with a dozen chickens to tend.  The kids picked Pollo to leave our coop and that we would keep Kevin Spike.

One rainy morning, because only weiners capture chickens on beautiful sunshiny days, we chased pollo around for an hour with a stick and a plastic tub until we finally cornered him and trapped him inside.
Trust me when I say this is how all of the big time chicken farmers transport their chickens. 

Because we were concerned about air, we left the lid cracked.  And then the kids and I drove 20 very long minutes worried an angry rooster was going to emerge from behind the seat and peck our eyes out- which didn't thankfully happen.

So long Pollo, I already miss you!!!  But I'm sure you are loving your new digs!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Happiness is blurry iPhone pictures

Words can not even begin to describe how these children make me happy......

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Chickens- a documentary

So because chickens have entered our lives I feel the need to catch you up to speed.  

Last march we got 8 baby chicks.  
We put them in a guinea pig cage because we had no idea what we were doing.
Then they got bigger and we moved them into an official chicken tub.  The kind you get for free from family because their deck cushion holding box is cracked.

I would formally introduce you to them but the only one I can identify is Walmart.  She's the white one.  Or the not brown one.  

She was picked out by ally.
Because I am a good chicken momma I would take the ladies outside to learn how to be not in a chicken box.
And then we would take turns seeing who could hold all 8 at one time, because it just seemed like the right thing to do.
Then we built a chicken coop and painted the inside purple!!!  And the kids took turns putting custom paintings on the walls for our girls!

And then kind of like children they were huge and ready to move to their new accommodations.  Far far away from their momma and their chicken tub.  Sniff.
My flowers never had a chance.  We ended up renaming that hen flower box sitter.........because she was always sitting in the am flower box.  You can call her flower for short.
Walmart grew into a beautiful fluffy silkie!

The ladies have always made me so happy!!!  I love watching them out there in their run!
Here is Walmart the day ally painted her finger nails. The other chickens wouldn't quit pecking at her feet.  So she and her friend decided to paint all their nails so they only pecked at their own feet.  Future problem solver of the world.
And then one glorious day it happened.  Late summer we got our first eggs.  And the ladies were on fire- egg producing machines!
Here is Dan eating the most expensive egg sandwich in the history of egg sandwiches.  I'm pretty sure it was the best he'd ever tasted.

I can't remember exactly all of the next details but one chicken flew over into the yard and Rosie shook it to death.  And then a hawk got into the coop and killed two- one of which was Walmart. 
 We all cried. 
One play date of SAMs ended with them seeing Rosie kill a hen that got too close to the gap in the gate.
I say none of this lightly- it was all horrifying.  Apparently you can't train a dog not to want to catch birds.

Dan surprised us with two adult silkies.  Ugliest things I've ever seen and my girls hated them and wouldn't let them in the coop.

 Then a hole developed in the gate and six hens hopped through into the yard and met their fate- Rosie was probably super excited that day.  But we were all devastated.  One of the new silkies survived only to die a day later in our garage.

And Dan surprised us with a few more baby chicks from a friend.  But that left squatter, out last surviving hen who was lucky enough to be laying an egg during the chicken massacre, all alone in the coop because the babies were too small to go yet.

Enters Red- a mature past her egg laying time hen.  They get along just fine.  Till squatter hopped the fence, dang.

The babies were just teenagers.  A little too small to move to the coop but we couldn't leave Red all alone.

So we ran netting over the chain link and moved the four babies in.  And two slid through the fence into the field and were never seen again.

But then the sweetest thing happened.  Red decided to mother the two remaining teenager babies- and each night she would tuck one under each wing.  Until eventually they got to big to fit.

What is hysterical (to the rest of the world, not so much to me) is that the two babies both grew into roosters.  We wondered when they started fighting all the time- but now it is obvious.  Kevin Spike and Pollo are not hens.  And although they fight over who gets to eat what and when and where.....neither one messes with Red.  She can do whatever she wants.

Scene ends, curtain closes.  Lights dim to black.

And this past week we added six more baby chicks to our journey.  We are learning and modifying and changing, and we are hopeful that we can keep these guys safe.  And that they are girls.  Because dang we sure don't need another rooster around here!