Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What I Haven't Been Doing. . .

My cell phone rang the other day, and there was a sweet surprise wrapped up in a sweet little voice on the other end of the line! My friend, Sarah, called, and I love her, love her, love her. We chit chatted for a minute or two before our conversation turned to how busy we both are! I read her blog, so she can't hide the fact that she gets more done in a week than I do in an entire year. So, I had to add a comment about the fact that she somehow manages to make quilts, homeschool, and decorate her house while I feel like I am drowning in my everyday chores. She laughed at this and added that we don't post about the things that we don't accomplish ~ we post about all the things that we do accomplish. She said I didn't know all the things that she wasn't doing in order to finish her projects.
And, I agreed. My boys may have fresh, made from scratch cookies to eat, but they are lucky if they can find a clean plate to eat them on! :-) Priorities, people.

So, in honor of our conversation, I decided to post pictures of a few of the things I am not getting done around my house. Here goes. . .

My laundry room counter. . .

Every single time I do laundry, I wish that I had clear counters to fold and sort my clean laundry on, but it never happens. They remain full of clutter even though I feel as if I might die of claustrophobia every time I go in that silly room. Oh, and to be perfectly honest with you, opposite the counters sit my washer and dryer on pedestals. And, atop those wonderfully useful machines sit two baskets overflowing with junk mail and a basket of clothes to be ironed. . . sometime in the next decade. All that to say, it isn't just the counters that are cluttered ~ the whole room is pretty much, for a lack of better words, junked.
This is a little corner of our living room that I keep telling myself that I want to work on ~ only I never get to it! I need to go through the baskets of kids books and take some to the boys' bookshelf upstairs. And, the basket under the table, yeah, I need to go through those magazines and recycle the ones that I don't want. One day, I'll sift through them. . . one day. . . But, somehow the pile of magazines keeps getting higher and higher. You can't see it in this picture, but the poor basket is actually sagging under the weight!!!

Moving on. . .

My baseboards. . .
Enough said.

Let's go outside and play pretend! Let's pretend you were coming over to my home for a fun little visit. We could sit comfortably, talk deeply, and sip savoringly ~ from steaming hot cups of Bifferdoodle Decaf, of course! And I won't forget to offer you some French Vanilla Creamer! :-)
Well, I have two pots that look like this to greet you at the back door. . .

And, you would come to the backdoor because backdoor guests are best!!!! The pansies have gone to be with Jesus ~ God rest their souls. And, I have some boxwoods and some begonias to put around them. They have been ready to plant for about 3 weeks now. Oh, wait! No, it has been more like 9 weeks because we bought them before Erik's parents' accident. Pitiful. But, please come visit me, anyway! The coffee and conversation will make up for the lack of beauty. I promise!!!

Now, if you were standing in the breezeway waiting for me to open the door to you, you might turn to the right to look out at our backyard and if you did you, I would hope that you would stare at the sunlight dancing on the pond's water instead of being distracted by this. . .

our beautiful, fragrant gardenia bushes completely smothered in weeds ~ not to mention all the weeds pushing their way up through the cracks in our brick walkway. . .

And, lastly, let me welcome you to our garage. . .

a.k.a. the place where riding toys come to die. Now, in our defense, we actually clean our garage out every 6 months or so, but it only takes about 2 weeks before it looks like this again!!!

I could go on and on and on, but I have to stop somewhere. I'd post a picture of my closet, the place where wire hangers come to die, but, thankfully, Erik Daniel is asleep in there ~ so I have a good excuse to keep that part of my life hidden!! :-)

My boys may not have a perfectly clean or organized home, but somehow they still manage to be happy and have a lot of fun ~ go figure!!! :-) Now let me show you some pictures of what I have been doing. . .

Building forts. . .

Keeping this little turned down ear guy company while he watches his big brothers play. . .

Serving snacks. . .

Protecting basket-head here from incoming balls. . . :-)

Reffing bubble wand sword fights. . .

These are the things that keep me busy, and I am so happy to do them!!

I'm not sure by what standards you rate a successful day. But, I rate a successful day by how many kids fall asleep before dinner.

I mean, really, if they have had so much fun, spent so much energy, and had the sun and the pool suck so much life out of them that they fall asleep while sitting up at the bar ~ that constitutes a good day in my book. Nothing feels better to me than completely exhausting my children with a day of fun out in the sunshine ~ nothing, not even a completely organized laundry room or a beautifully landscaped yard. Although, I must admit, those things would be nice. But, I have faith that we will have an organized home and a landscaped yard again one day. Just not this year, and I am okay with that! In the meantime, I am enjoying the ride of my life with these lively little men! And, I wouldn't trade them for a clean house any day.

Scribble Scrabble

I can't seem to forgive myself for something. I've lost something, or, to be honest, thrown away something, and I cannot get it back. Ever. It is so silly, but to me it means so much.

I can't remember the date, but I know it was early in the fall because Joshua was sitting at the bar doing homework. And, they quit sending the kindergartners home with homework in September due to a paper conservation effort. (Yay for us!:-)) Anyway, JCT was sitting beside his big brother. Joshua was doing a writing assignment with a #2 pencil, so I gave JCT a pencil to doodle with and a piece of white paper. There they sat working feverishly while I made dinner glancing at Joshua's work every now and then. JCT was doing what we at our home call "scribble scrabble" ~ just wild scribbling. But, all of the sudden he stopped and proudly held his paper up for me to see. "Look, Mama!" I glanced up, saw some scribble scrabble, and said, "Yes, very nice," and continued on with my dinner preps. But, he was insistent, "No, Mama! Look! J. . .C. . .T!! I wrote my name!"

Now that got my attention, so I stopped what I was doing and took his sweet little paper in my hands. And, sure enough scattered amongst the scribble was a J. . . a backwards C. . . and a T. I squealed and jumped up and down! I had not taught him how to make those letters, or any letters for that matter. With Joshua I started working on all that very early, but with JCT my hands had been full, and I let all that slide a bit. But, watching his big brother, he figured it out himself. I dated the paper, and stuck it in my drawer. . .

Then, last night I went to a Southern Living party at a friend's house, and I told JCT's story in response to a question a friend asked me. I had completely forgotten about the incident until my sweet friend asked me about JCT's writing ability.
So, when I got home, I immediately began searching for the paper. I could see it in my head, and my hands desperately wanted to hold it. I looked through my drawer. . . not there. I looked through my scrapbooking armoire. . . not there. I looked through the papers in the utility room. . . not there. I looked through the bin of his preschool work. . . not there. I looked through a little box of Joshua's artwork ~ just in case I stuck it in there. . . millions of Joshua's 3 year old drawings of Bob and Larry but no J. . .C. . .T. Erik could sense that I was getting increasingly panicky, so he started helping me search. But, there was nothing that anyone could do. It was gone. Most likely, months ago I looked at the precious paper, saw only the scribble scrabble, and threw it in the trash. A memory ~ now gone forever. I was crushed. . .

I can't believe that in my neurotic need to throw away paper and clutter I threw away my baby's special paper. I think I was so upset partly because I lost his special paper, and partly because in some way it symbolizes him to me. And, I felt that I had cheated him, slighted him, let him down. I wanted to run upstairs and hold him and tell him that I love him and kiss him and hug him and push the hair out of his eyes and make him look at me and tell his sweet green eyes that I treasure him, really I do, even if I don't have 6,000 of his drawings safely kept like I do his big brother's. My heart hurt. Badly.
I thought about having him do it again, but I would know the truth. As I searched frantically for his paper, I did find this one from the middle of the school year, and I guess it will have to suffice. . .

At least his "C" is still backward. I thought I'd never get the darling boy to make his "C" the right way! But, last night as I was searching desperately, I would have done just about anything to see one of those silly backward C's that I worked so hard to correct. I'm just thankful that I found this one even if it isn't "the one."

So, if it is possible for this guilt-ridden mama to take something, anything, positive away from this situation, then this is it. . .

Keep it. If there is a question in my mind, I'll choose to keep it. And, I am going to Wal-Mart very soon to buy four large notebooks and plastic page protectors, and I am going to begin putting papers in them faithfully. My boys love to color, and they always have a story to tell that goes along with their picture. I want to be faithful to write down those stories and keep those sweet papers. I always imagine myself old and gray looking back at all those precious memories with a little tear in my eye and a heart full of praise to the sweet God who gave these little ones to me. I am so thankful to be a part of their lives.
And, I guess, I should, as well, take away from this one other challenge. And that is the challenge to slow down and take my sweet time. If I had not been in such a frantic hurry (a state I live a lot of my life in), then I would have noticed the J. . .backward C. . . T on the paper instead of just noticing the scribble scrabble. Every now and then I need a little reminder to slow down and breathe. Another lesson for me to live in the moment instead of always being a hurry to get to the next thing on my to do list.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Home Sweet Home. . .

Last Wednesday night as Erik and I were saying our bedtime prayers with the boys, Erik prayed, "And, give us safety of travel as we go to New Orleans tomorrow." Erik and I had talked about the possibility of all of us going to New Orleans with him Memorial Day Weekend, but I didn't think we had decided for sure. And, I didn't realize that he had taken Thursday and Friday off of work. I assumed that we would leave on Friday. . .

But, I was wrong, and I was ill prepared for the journey that lay ahead of me. I had to seriously scramble to get everything together and ready to pack up and leave Thursday morning! Whew! Thursday morning I left a home with no one to feed my fish, with a highchair tray still crummy, and coffee grounds still in the coffee maker. I am usually much more prepared. I laughed to myself as I surveyed my Thursday's to do list sitting in the front seat of my mini-van headed south. The dry cleaners and car wash/vacuum were going to have to wait!!!!

We had a good weekend, but that is a post for another day when I have more time ~ time to look at my pictures and time to sit down without seeing at least 6 bags that I should be unpacking. We had a great time, but it is so nice to be home. Two babes are snug in their beds for nap time, and two big boys are sitting with their Daddy on the back porch waiting for the heavy rain to clear, even just the tiniest bit, so that they can go swimming for a few hours. And, me, I am content to sit for a moment and savor my first cup of Bifferdoodle in 3 days. I am always amazed at how the flavor of the cinnamon literally jumps out of the mug and kisses me when I have been deprived of a cup for a few days.

Home. The smell of our three gardenia bushes greeted me at the backdoor as if to say, "Welcome!" And, summer, I think it came while we were gone. It has to be at least 80 degrees outside! And, I am happy to report that as I have been typing away the clouds have cleared a bit and the sun is peeking its sweet little face out and shining on my two little loves and my one big love! :-)

Quick update on my in-loves. . . Pop is doing awesome ~ walked over a half mile with Erik yesterday! And, Grandma is doing very well, too. She may not be able to talk, but her personality shines through anyway! I bragged to her about Pop's half mile walk, and she half smiled at me and rolled her eyes! So cute! I was just glad to see that her sense of humor is still very much intact! Lots of stuff going on with her and possible transferring to another hospital in New Orleans or, cross your fingers, a brain injury rehabilitation center in Orlando (which is her home ~ so that would be a huge answer to prayer :-)).

Thanks for your prayers, and I will be back one of these days when I get time to post, post, post! This is my family's scrapbook, and I am so behind. I have missed several important events over the past few weeks, so I seriously need to get with it! But, it is summer, and all I want to do is PLAY with my boys!!! I can't express how happy I am to have my Joshua home with me every single day of the week!!!!! I will catch up one day but not at the expense of fun with my little ones!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Joshua's Weekend

Joshua went to New Orleans with Erik last weekend. He has been begging to see Grandma and Pop for weeks now, and Erik finally obliged. Joshua was thrilled, thrilled, because not only did he get to see Grandma and Pop, but also he got to spend a weekend alone with Daddy. And, Joshua adores his Daddy. I always tell Erik, "You're his hero, Baby," because he is. In fact, last week when I took Joshua to get his hair-cut, he told Mrs. Ann, "Cut my hair like my Daddy's," and she did while I bit off all the fingernails on my left hand. Yikes! But, he looks cute, grown up, but cute.
I wonder how much of the weekend Joshua will remember. Most of it, I think. . . I hope. It was special. . . for both of them. Joshua got to spend some quality time with his Pop, and he loved that. He also got to see his Grandma and talk to her. But, what I didn't anticipate was the unique and precious time he and Erik would have together. Erik took him to see the mighty Mississippi River and a huge battleship. They took their first long distance run together ~ 3 miles total, but Joshua had to stop and walk here and there. Erik said they probably ran a little over a mile and a half of that 3. They ran at night, and after they were finished they took a little walk in the moonlight around the seminary campus. Erik showed him where he used to sit on the steps of Leavell Chapel and pray. He showed him Martin Chapel where we were married. He took him to the fountain where he proposed to me and they sat in the dark and prayed together there. The trip was special for more reasons than I can name.
While they were in New Orleans, Pop complimented Joshua on how perceptive he is. And, Erik added as he told me this, that Joshua is a very tender and emotional boy, so he perceives other's emotions and is thoughtful in reaction to them. I can't wait to see how God will use that for His glory! Joshua is tender and seeing his Grandma was good but difficult at the same time. He cried a lot of tears his first day back. He would just say, "Grandma. . . Grandma. . ." and cry and cry. He misses her so much, and he should because she is a wonderful grandma. She loves so much she just can't keep it all in!
He drew this picture on the back of one of his papers at school Monday. . .

Sorry, it is sideways. But, you can see his grandma with her trach hooked up to suction, etc.
On another note, the new hair-cut is growing on me. I think it makes him look a little like Poppy??!! I'm not sure, but one thing that I am sure of it. . .

It looks great first thing in the morning! Rock star material! I love that cute face!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It is in the Choosing. . .

First, let me apologize, this is like four posts in one. It is pictures and thoughts ~ a jumbled mess, actually! All my little men are napping!! Yay! And, I am celebrating the peace with a hot cup of coffee!

I was convicted today that I haven't given an update on my in-loves in a while. So, for those of you who aren't following Jason and Erik's posts on the Caringbridge site, here is a little update. . .

Erik's dad is doing awesome. He walked over 200 feet today! Hurray! They are planning to discharge him on Monday!!!!! He will, of course, have outpatient rehab for a good long while, but, hey, he is doing amazingly well! He's a little go getter if I've ever seen one! Erik's mom is staying awake a great deal of the day, and when she sleeps it is not coma sleep ~ it is simply restful sleep. So, yay, for that! She is not able to talk. . . yet. She can, however, move her feet, but nothing else really. Well, except for her head. She can nod yes and no. And, she can wink which has been fun for Erik and Jason! And, she is smiling a sweet little half smile. Caleb, Jen's oldest, is there this week with Jason, and both grandparents are thoroughly enjoying his cheerful presence! The only bummer thing is that Erik's mom has an infection in her blood ~ MRSA. They are treating her with 6 weeks of Vancomycin. Please continue to keep them in your prayers. And, I will try to remember to give updates now and then as things progress.

As for us, life is anything but normal. In fact, my life feels completely foreign to me right now! Erik is in and out of town all the time, and I am trying to make home run like usual and trying to make it as peaceful a place as I can for Erik's sake. But, if you have ever raised 4 boys 6 years old and under, you know that peaceful is not the first word that comes to mind. . .

But, still, home is good. It may not always be peaceful, but it is full ~ full of joy, laughter, and constant entertainment. I am trying my very best to choose joy. And, if there is one thing that I have learned this week alone, one thing that I learn almost daily, it is that joy is a choice. Just like some days I choose to have a pity party, and that is okay every now and then, some days I must put my feelings aside and choose joy.

When I had been married just over a week and the honeymoon was over, I started to get a little homesick. Two states and about 8 hours separated me from my parents. I remember missing my old home and moping around my new home for a few days. I was trying to process the fact that this house, which had always been Erik's house, was now my home. My home was no longer with my parents. Erik allowed me to wallow in my pity for a few days, but I vividly remember a conversation we had one night sitting on our bed. I had tears running down my face, and he took my hands, looked me in the eyes, and in a firm but tender voice, he said. . .

"You just need to suck it up."

Seriously, that is what he said. Thankfully, God gave me a sense of humor, and I remember laughing when he said it. I looked him in the eyes, and all the while trying to be mindful of the fact that he was not raised with a sister, I said, as if to teach him the ways of a woman's heart, "It is not a good idea to tell a girl, especially a fragile, crying girl, to 'suck it up.' It might work on the basketball court, but not here. Just so you know."

But, honestly, it was the next thing he said that changed everything. He said, "You have a choice to make. You can choose to be sad or you can choose to enjoy what you have here. But, know that what you decide will determine how we remember this time in our life."

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

And, you know what I accepted his challenge, and we had what we both refer to as one of the best years of our lives.

Now, our family is going through another challenging time. So, if you are someone out there who prays for us, pray that we will all have the strength to choose joy because some days it is so hard. I usually go the pity party route for several days, then I snap out of it and choose joy. Then, I take the joy route for several days. . . and on and on.

And, now here are some pictures and memories from this past week. Sometimes I don't so much choose joy as I have it thrust upon me. . .

Mother's Day was ironically not my finest day as a mother. Erik wasn't home, and I was tired. of. it. And, to make matters worse, two of my precious little ones decided to throw temper tantrums at church. One chose the parking lot and one chose the main hallway in front of the sanctuary for their place to throw down. I was horrified. embarrassed. angry. You name it, and as I drove home with a screaming two year old in tow, I muttered to myself, "Happy Mother's Day." It was that kind of day. After lunch, I put the little boys down for their afternoon naps, and I gave JCT a free pass on his nap ~ in hopes that he and Joshua would play together and let me sip some coffee and read. That is all I wanted to do. That is it. That is all I wanted for the (hopefully) two hours of little boy nap time. I wanted coffee and a book to go with the perfectly peaceful rainy day.

But, no such luck. Joshua and JCT quickly came to me with one request after another. First, they asked if I would make them "strong man costumes" because they wanted to "play circus." Since I had the extra hose and poly-fil, I looked at my watch and reluctantly agreed. Making their costumes took a little longer than I had hoped, but they were more than pleased!

Next, they needed someone to help them build a circus tent (guess who) and then they needed a lion tamer (guess who, again) and a clown (guess who, yet again) and a volunteer from the audience (yeah, you got it!) :-). Bye, bye hot coffee ~ by this time, my mug was sitting on the counter somewhere between room temperature and cold.

I don't care how much I was feeling sorry for myself at this point, they were still cracking me up!

Okay, new subject. . . I can't take credit for this idea. I think it was Joshua's, and it was nothing short of brilliant in my opinion. It kept the boys entertained for at least 20 minutes, and that is a long time for little boys!!! They made cookies out of play-doh. Perhaps, you girl mamas do this sort of thing all the time, but it was new to me ~ and very fun! They rolled out the dough, cut their own cookies, placed them on cookie sheets, and cooked them in a make-believe oven!

This was the "oven". . .

I actually considered letting them use the real oven, but I was afraid that I might forget them and then preheat the oven for dinner later. . . thus, the pretend oven! And, when they were done, I let them use my cake stand to display their cookies.

My babies! Oh, how they are growing up!!! Here they are enjoying a book together! I can't wait to watch their sweet friendship grow!

And, in case you were not aware, the Lord's Army is serious business. . .

YES SIR! Not to be taken lightly! Here they are shooting the artillery. Notice Elijah's little hand in the background! He's learning!

And, I'll end on a clean note! :-) Erik Daniel's first bath with the big boys!!! Rub a dub dub ~ 4 men in a tub!!

I can't believe how time flies! It makes me appreciate today so much more! Life is hard right now for me, not just because Erik is gone off and on, but just running a home with four boys can be challenging in and of itself. The challenge to be selfless and think of them first. The challenge to get even the basics done any given day. The challenge to remember that there is a whole world outside of my seemingly all-consuming home. The challenge to focus on Erik and love him well when so many little hands are pulling on me, wanting me. The challenge to not lose my temper. The challenge to stop working and read the boys a book. The challenge to be a person that I want my boys to imitate. The list goes on and on. And, most days I feel like I am failing in each and every area. And, Satan tells me that I am. I hear it over and over in my head. I asked God the other day, "Lord, why I am fed all these lies? Why does that voice in my head keep telling me that I am failing?" His answer was quick and to the point, and I heard it as clearly as if He had been standing directly in front of me. . .

"Because you listen."

The voices keep talking because I keep listening. I am beginning to realize the control that I have in that area as well ~ the choice to listen or the choice to not listen.

This morning I was entertaining the boys by showing them a few home videos. And, as I watched the videos and heard their laughter, God whispered to my weary discouraged heart, "This is what I see. See what I see. You are raising joyful carefree spirited little boys. Sure there are moments you aren't proud of, but all in all, you are doing well. They know they are loved and they are secure in that. You see the back of the tapestry. I see the front. Choose to rest in that and trust Me."

It is all that I can do. Thank You, Lord. Goodness, I love You!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Just Call Me the Llama Mama

I'm just not sure how to take this. . .

I bought this really fun farm animal book for Elijah at Barnes and Noble a few months ago. He loves farm animals, and his favorite thing on earth for me to do is to quiz him on animals and the lovely sounds that they make.

So, a few days ago I was quizzing him on the animals in this cute little book. We finally came to the llama section. I pointed to the llama in the picture and asked, "What is this animal?"

He answered, "Mama."

I said, "No, llama. LLLLlama."

He said, "MMMMama."

"Not a Mama, Lij, it's a Llama."

"It's a Mama!" He said adamately.
A simple mistake, you say?

Now, here is why I was not so crazy about his confusion. . .
This is the picture I was pointing to. . .

I'm really trying to tell myself that he is just having trouble pronouncing the "ll" in llama! But, a little laughing voice in my head said that maybe, just maybe, the picture reminded him of his own mama!!! :-)
I guess I shouldn't let it get to me. After all, when I asked him what animal this was. . .

He said, "Dat's Rain!" (Our weimeraner!) :-) And, I must admit the long ears do look a bit like our sweet dog's ears!

As we read along, Lijah got so excited that at one point he jumped back and hit the back of his head against the bone just under my eye. And, for a moment, just a moment, I thought that I might go to church on Mother's Day with a black eye given to me by my sweet 2 year old son!!!

Now that would have been a good story!!!

Not that we need another good Lijah story. We have plenty, and I have a feeling that there are many more to come. Life is never boring with little Lij around!!!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Duct Tape Is a Single Mom's Best Friend and Other Stories From Our Weekend. . .

I am very behind, as per my usual. But, I have a good excuse. I have had 2 field trips, a church choir banquet, and I had to make food for teacher appreciation day at Joshua's elementary school ~ not to mention take care of 4 little boys!! Whew! What a week! I can't believe that the weekend is almost here again!!!!! This is what we did last weekend. . .

Joshua started crying several days before Erik had to leave for New Orleans last weekend. So, I was determined to make the weekend as fun for the boys as possible. I asked the two big boys to sleep on the floor in my room so that I wouldn't be lonely while Daddy was away. They thought that was a great plan!

Friday, we made sweet tea, chocolate chip cookies, and ate cheese dip with dinner! After dinner the boys played dinosaurs and superheroes on the back porch while I sipped sweet tea and watched them. It was restful, actually.

Elijah thinks that there is only one way to wear a baseball cap! Backwards, of course!!!!

It makes me smile because it totally fits his personality!!!

And, this little one. . . Oh, me, I could eat him up!!!!!! I glanced up from my glass of sweet tea, and what did I see? This little cutie looking at me. . .

I took this picture of Erik Daniel while we were outside because I think that there is nothing cuter than a baby wearing only a diaper!

I love, love, love his fat rolls!!!!

And, then came Saturday!! Oh, Saturday, it rained and rained and rained. And, I had this silly little itch to go to Wal-Mart and buy this. . .

And, so we did. It was sprinkling when we left the house. And, by the time we got to Wal-mart, it was pouring, but I was determined. So, we braved it, and the boys love their new table!!!!

This is what it looked like outside when we got home from Wal-Mart. . .

We have a pool with a retractable cover. We just flip a switch when we want to use it, and the cover rolls back. But, we have to keep a water pump on the cover at all times to keep from having a pool on top of our pool. Well, when I got home, we had a pool on top of our pool. Apparently the pump was clogged with leaves and debris. So, I settled the boys in for naps and quiet play and went out to assess the situation. I unclogged the pump, but when I threw it back out into the middle of the cover, the hose that drains the water broke free from the pump. No biggie, right? Just reattach the hose. Nope, the plastic part of the pump that attaches to the hose broke. And, it was pouring rain and I was soaking wet, and the pool on top of our pool was getting deeper and deeper. So, what do I do?

I called Erik, of course, and had a minor panic attack. Because he can do so much to help, since he is in New Orleans and our pool is at home. . . But, actually, he did help! He called Sean and Deana who were in a larger town not too far away, and they agreed to go by the pool store and get us a new pump. But, they were not going to be back for an hour or so, and the water was rising quickly. So, I thought hard, what could fix this???

Duct tape was all that I could come up with. . .
They say it can fix anything. . .
Now, I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I am 33 years old, and I bought duct tape for the first time a few weeks ago. There was a hole in the boy's rocket ship tent, and I thought, perhaps, duct tape might be able to fix it. So, I went to Wal-Mart seeking duct tape, you know, the kind with the cute little duck on the wrapper. Who knew there were so many kinds of duct tape and colors, too! I was overwhelmed. I picked up the industrial strength duct tape and put it in the cart - 5 dollars. I strolled a few aisles over and decided that I could better spend 4 of those 5 dollars ~ since the regular duct tape was only .99 a roll. So, I went back and swapped the industrial strength for the regular. I mean really how strong does it need to be to fix a little boy's tent.

Little did I know that I would need the tape to hold water! As quickly as the idea to use duct tape to fix the pump came to my mind, the thought that I should have spent the extra 4 dollars and gotten the industrial strength kind came came to my mind! Ugghh, oh well, there was nothing that I could do about it now. I just had to try it, to try something. So, in desperation and in the pouring rain, I wrapped the pump and hose in duct tape.
And, you know what?

It worked.

I am now a believer.

Duct tape really can fix just about anything.

I won't wait another 33 years to buy duct tape again. I'll buy it tomorrow when I do my weekly grocery shopping trip. I may even add it to the our family's official grocery shopping list. Yes, I may just do that. I was so impressed! Who knew!

After I duct taped the pump, the boys decided to play outside in the rain in their bathing suits! Where do they come up with this stuff?

Oh, yeah, that was my idea!
Anyway, by the time I got everything together and got them out the door, the heavy rain had turned to a mere sprinkle.

Here they are watching some busy ants try to rebuild their home after the flood nearly destroyed it! Oh how I wish the flood had destroyed it!!!!!!
Joshua decided that we should have a luau for dinner! And, since I didn't have a spare pig in the backyard to roast, we ate chicken nuggets and a large variety of fruit. Then, we all did a little hula dance. The boys borrowed a few of my peasant skirts, and I put flowers from the backyard in their hair! Fun! Fun!

Here they are doing a little hula dance. . .

Daddy came home from New Orleans with some happies for us!!!! The boys got CP3 jerseys!!!

And, I got an awesome new coffee mug. I have used it the last two days straight! It is my new favorite!!!

It was a busy and fun-filled weekend. I enjoyed almost every single minute of it. But, as fun as it was, as much as the boys and I enjoyed sleeping in the same room, hula dancing, watching movies, eating cheese dip and chocolate chip cookies, playing in the rain, sitting at the new picnic table, and sipping sweet tea, there was no denying that something was missing. . . or someone. . . We love you, support you, and pray for you, but we simply cannot help missing you when you are away. You are treasured and loved beyond what you will ever know. But, then, so are your parents, therefore we don't mind giving you up because we know where you are and what you are doing. And, we are glad for you to be there. We love you tremendously, sweet one.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Happy 7 and 8 Months, Sweet One!

I am so amazingly behind!! I apologize my sweet little one!!! I haven't written a post for you since you turned 6 months old! And, a week ago you turned 8 months old!!!

16 months ago I started feeling a little queasy, and my period was a little late, but I knew for a variety of reasons that there was no way Erik and I could be pregnant again! So, I waited and waited and waited, and finally after being a little bit nauseated for a week and a half straight, I decided I better take a test just in case. I didn't really think it would be positive. I had an 8 month old baby in my arms for heaven's sake!!! Logic told me that I was crazy for even wasting the money on a test, but as soon as I took the package off the shelf, I knew. . .

As I drove home from Wal-mart with the test untaken and still in the bag, I praised God, and I knew. . .

I knew it was going to be positive.

And, it was.

And, the rest is history!

God gave us you, my sweet little one!

And, I can't imagine our home without your sweet peaceful presence. You have your Daddy's layed back disposition, and you look like him, my little brown eyed baby boy!

Erik and I took you to New Orleans last weekend, so you got to be the only child for a few days! Now that was fun!!! Mrs. Sheila kept you off and on so that Daddy and I could visit Grandma and Pop in the hospital! Mrs. Sheila is about to become a grandma for the first time, so I told her she could practice on you! I think she kind of misses you!!!! You are an easy baby to babysit ~ you take a pumped bottle very well, and you don't really care who holds you ~ you seem to like just about everybody!! You made Pop smile huge, and that made your Daddy and I so happy!!!!!

You are sitting up, and just the other day, you finally started crawling!!!! Way to go, little man!! You are also eating two meals a day! You love sweet potatoes and bananas the best!

Just the other day, you started getting a little rolly polly while I was changing your diaper. I had to give you a toy to keep you still. And, this reminded me that it won't be long and you will be a little boy ~ active, playful, and full of energy!!! I can't wait to know you better, little one!

I love you,

Your Mommy
My photo
Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.


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