summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Monday, June 30, 2014

hot weather, jump in the pool!

Before I even had my coffee this fine morning, I took a swim.

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, raisin sprouted grain toast with butter, and fresh cherries, and coffee of course. Aaron came over for a bit. Ten or so of the kids were in the kitchen, talking about the camping trip and plans to go to the drive in, planning to camp this summer, Sam coming home....

Then another swim with more of the kids....

Kathryn weeded the back garden, Evelyn weeded the front garden.

Now we are in the house with cold drinks (I passed out some cool water bottles and plastic cups with straws that I have been collecting, bought on clearance). A few kids are playing video games, we are just chilling. I love it.

I miss Paul, but I don't mind reading half the night away.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

in which she writes about the summer days....

No one cares about all the boring details, but I will say this: it is hot. Right now, at 10:46 pm, it is 80 degrees. It hit 90 today, and I was working at the baseball stadium, wearing that horrid elbow length bowling-style shirt, all thick polyester, and ugly. Not that Ugly makes one hot, but it was pretty warm. I worked yesterday too, all afternoon and evening. Phew, it was hot.

But. May I mention how much fun I had? See, we work at the Chicky Fry stand at a baseball stadium for our church. We volunteer. Our youth kids were all at a camping trip in Pennsylvania with the Detroit kids. So, the old people had to work this weekend. Last evening I worked with Angela, it was just too much fun. We put ice down each other's backs to keep cool, and discovered if we sneaked up on one another, the scream it produced was too funny. Our knees were screaming too, Angela has extra bad knees, but she was a trooper. (working for 7 hours on that cement floor...even one with good knees is achy.)

Anyway. I brought my three youngest over to our friends' house, friends who have three children, and have moved here from Norway. They packed up lots of stuff and spent the night there because I knew I would get home from baseball really late, and no one was here to watch them. When I got home from the game I stayed up even later with Mirielle, then slept in this morning...well, more like lying there feeling all the aches and pains....when I got up, Mali was here. We ate breakfast together out under the trees in the front yard, then floated in the pool for a while until I had to get dressed and go to another baseball game.....

Home, and all my camping kids are home now too. Margaret went out and picked up the younger kids from our friends' house. One of them informed me as soon as I walked in the door about how they threw up last night in the night. Oh dang, sorry!!! I asked the child..."Did you make it to the toilet?" no. oops. sorry.

Those younger kids of mine had the time of their lives. The camping kids did too. I also had a nice time, working with my friends....

Now it is quiet. Mirielle is working, the kids are either in bed or watching a movie, the dogs are asleep, and my eyelids are heavy....

I am thankful.

I am happy.

My feet ache.

It is hot in here.

But it is summer! I am here with my kids, and we don't have to go anywhere tomorrow!

The house is....a bit messy again. But I won't think about that tonight. :)

I miss Paul. He is in France now, and will be for the next two weeks. The only good thing is that I can look SO forward to him coming home again.....

And Samuel is going to his Fitness program tomorrow, finally. His orders got lost, and found....ah, the government:). It is going to be 97 degrees this week down in Georgia, so I will be praying for Sam. He may not come home right away either, after he finishes. He might go right to his duty station in the Old Guard in Virginia/Washington D.C. I miss that kid so much....

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

no more pencils, no more books

The last day of school for these little princesses, finally!!!

Today I went out and about with seven of my kids....Sonja K., Kappy Sue (aka Kathryn), Jonathan, Suze, Margaret, and of course Charlotte Claire and Camille. Evelyn was with Emily, Abigail at work, Mirielle sleeping because she works nights, Joseph doing artwork, Aaron probably sleeping, Benjamin out in Washington in the Army, and Samuel in Georgia in the Army, and Mali...starting her new job in a few days, just finished school...

So today I picked the little girls up from school, they only had a half day for the last day. We went to McDonalds, I behaved and ate two fries, a fruit parfait and three chicken nuggets. And some coffee. Then to the toy store because Charlotte Claire had a $3 coupon...apparently a few months ago she asked me when we could go and redeem it, and I said, "When school's out." This is a prime example of how smart kids actually are. They do not forget these things. Anyway, we got a few neat things there,like a toy broom, which Camille really wanted, but mostly had fun. The older girls Fake Begged for huge stuffed animals, the younger ones got in all the motorized cars. I had asked the older ones to be patient in there, but they went beyond that and actually enjoyed themselves. Oh, and I got 16 chocolate bars, 2 ounce Russell Stover, "It's A Boy" bars, for 24 cents each. :) No, we aren't having a baby. But hey, it's chocolate!

We then went to the dreaded mall because I had a coupon for Old Navy. While I was in there, Mali called me and asked me if I was going to her Pinning Ceremony for Nursing School. Um, I thought it was later tonight?! Nope, 4 o'clock. Bad Mom Award! There was NO WAY I could make it. I felt terrible, but she said it was fine. It wasn't fine. oops. Anyway, I bought a tank top and a shirt for myself, new sneakers for next year for the princesses, a few shirts for them, a t-shirt and flip-flops for Jonathan, flip-flops for Cam, a few shirts for Margaret, a few for Suze, and one for Kathryn...for $67. ouch. I didn't want to spend that much.

Next, BJ's, the warehouse store, for Activity Club End-of-year party stuff. And, some chicken, kale, and Oreos for us.

Home...ah home.

The youth kids (12 and up) are all preparing for their camping trip this weekend. They found out tonight that the campground doesn't have nearby bathrooms, you have to drive 2 miles. There must be latrines in the woods. Some of the girls aren't thrilled, but they'll survive.

They came home all happy from their party, the little girls had showers, we watched some old Bugs Bunny, then Kathryn and Suzanne invited the little girls to sleep in their room and watch Harry Potter. Oh, the Nocturnal Children of Summer starts again!

I had better get to bed soon too. The puppies will still want to go out in the morning, so I don't imagine I will get to sleep in much...figures, no more babies, but dogs that need me:)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

summer bucket list....

1. go to the beach at least 5 times. I have already gone twice, but not with the little kids so I won't count the Virginia trip.

2. Go camping. In tents, with at least 14 or 13 or 12 of the kids. And Paul. And the two dogs.

3. NOT go for ice cream. :)

4. Strawberry picking.

5. Blueberry picking.

6. Lose ten pounds.

7. Drive to Georgia to pick up Samuel when he passes that PT tests and gets the okay to take leave and get out of there.

8. Read tons of books.

9. Exercise every single day!

10. Take fun day excursions to some places we have never been before...perhaps Sylvan Beach.

11. Take the kids to Cape Cod with Mirielle to that beach she was so taken with.

12. The park with the scooters and bikes.

13. Lose another 10 pounds.

14. Not go for ice cream.

15. Keep up with the garden and not waste any fresh yummy stuff.

16. Get together with my sister, whom I never see anymore.

17. Keep my teenage girls busy, and interested in the world around them.

18. Relax.

19. When Sam is home on leave, float around in the pool with him and have a yummy relaxing beverage. If you are one of Sam's
superior officers, of course I am talking about Diet Coke.

20. Enjoy the moments. Truly savor them.

21. Invest time and energy in my marriage to my handsome husband. Husbands need lots of positive attention.

22. Not focus on housework. It will be hard, but I think I may be able to break away from it here and there.


24. Not go out and about as much, maybe do late night grocery shopping so I don't use all the days in stores.

25. Go to the drive-in with lots of kids.

And of course all the usual, less nagging, more patience, be a better listener....

Anyway, I am so so so glad for summer!!!!!! I love it. I don't like to keep track of what day it is. Oh, the blissful days of no commitments, spontaneous plans...adventures! I hope I never get to old too realize that it won't ever be like I envision it at the beginning...

Today: A doctor's appointment for Kathryn, paying the car insurance (this time for sure!), sending Jonathan's tablet in for repair, getting copies of the end of the year test results for Jonathan and Kathryn, going on my walk that I missed this morning because of the rain, not that I would melt, but it was really pouring for a little while.

Tomorrow: last day of school!!!! It's a half day, and I am picking the princesses up. We are going out and about, then home in time to get them to their end-of-the-year Activity Club party at church.

Yesterday we libraried, (ha, good verbing skills I have), so I read a Simon and Annie story to the girls while they ate their oatmeal this morning. I have a few books calling my name, too. I would like to crawl into bed this fine rainy morning and read...hmmm....

Monday, June 23, 2014

nice day....

Jon 10, Sonja Kathleen 12, Kathryn Grace 16, Suzanne Eleanor 13, Char and Camille in the front...(Evelyn is in Ottowa with some church friends)

We swam, we straightened the house, we got dressed and went to the library. They played with blocks while we browsed for books, checked out two huge stacks of books...then on to the bank to for money for the kids' camping trip this weekend, the grocery store, McDonald's for a coffee for me and a one dollar McCafe beverage for them (each, not to all split:)), to the gas station...and home. Blah, I got home and saw the car insurance bill I was supposed to pay today, oops. Dang it, it's too late, it's closed. Paul will surely ask me if I paid it today, I will say I forgot. Dang it, after all the stuff I DID remember, too.

Ah well. I try.

just plain thankful....

I love love love these girls. Janette is one of 14 kids, she's the one giving me rabbit ears. Anna is one of 7 kids. They are such good girls, and have blessed my family so much!

And, one with no rabbit ears. These girls are beautiful, inside and out.

My sister made this cake, plus the lovely chocolate lollipops, for her own daughter's wedding. She has seven daughters, Claire was the fifth to be married....

My sister's grandson, William. He has two little siblings, brother and sister twins. He is just an adorable little guy...

This is Linnea, one of the twins. She is absolutely beautiful. Sebastian didn't want to walk down the aisle:)

Grace and her little brother Davian, two more of my sister's grandchildren. I share them, since Miss Anya is so far away. I said I would be glad to have them over this summer if their Mama needs a day off, but only if I can call myself, "Other Grammy.":)

And, here is our picnic yesterday. It was supposed to be a gathering with Samuel, but since Sam is still in Georgia, we still had a picnic and talked to him on speaker phone. 12 of the kids were there, along with Paul's mom. It was a gorgeous day for a picnic!

We also celebrated Mali's graduation from Nursing School! Yay Mali!!!!

Suri and Joseph....

Saturday was amazing! I got up early-ish and went to buy the Italian bread for the wedding dinner. Emily was in charge of the food, and didn't manage to get it on Friday night, but Saturday morning meant fresher bread anyway. I really enjoyed the car ride all by my lonesome in the sunshine. It was totally impressive how glad the bakery guy at the grocery store was to slice all that fresh bread. Sometimes people just surprise me. The wedding was lovely, and the feast afterward was too. Emily made lasagna, it turned out delicious. Lasagna and Caesar salad. Em and I want to start a catering business. We know how to shop, and can prepare basic dishes. :)

Anyway, it was a fantastic day. Claire and her new husband are moving to New Zealand for a while, to help and serve in the church there, then probably back to Australia. It is sad but at the same time glad for her. My girls are going to miss her SO much. My poor sister, she has been so close to her girls, she is really struggling to take it right. Australia is SO far away, and with my sister's poor health, it is not feasible for her to travel that far. It's good we live in these days of Skype, facebook, ect.

Yesterday was our family gathering here. The kids wanted to celebrate Paul and my 30th anniversary, which came and went back in March. They got us a nice card, a bottle of local wine...then Emily asked her siblings, "If you were in Target and wanted to find something both Mom and Dad liked, what would you get?" I said a puppy, but Gramma said they don't sell those in Target. Em came up with a grill basket, so we can grill veggies. Very nice! The good part was when they went around and said things they were thankful to us for....Joseph's was my favorite, he is thankful we are so patient and are letting him pursue his art education. Camille's was good too, she is thankful Mommy is squishy, and that Daddy is nice. Squishy. hmm. Glad someone likes it.

So Camille thinks Satan has yellow and white checkered pants. I don't know why that's so funny, but we couldn't stop laughing about it yesterday.

Today is a Vacation Day here at our house. The middle school kids have nothing left to do at school, they finished exams last week. This week is...nothing. Field trip to the beach? No thanks. Charlotte Claire and Camille are here today too. They will go tomorrow for their last whole day, then Wednesday for the last day, a half day. I am picking them up on Wednesday to take them to get their free Happy Meals (yes, I found the coupons, and they didn't expire yet). And to do some other fun things.

Next weekend all the youth kids are going on a camping trip to Pennsylvania. Paul is leaving for France on Saturday for two weeks. I will be working some baseball games, figuring out babysitting arrangements for the three younger ones.'s summer!!!! I don't know how it got here, sometimes I feel like I am in a fog, going and going and going, and how did it get to be late in June already?

I took my walk this morning, and marvelled at how absolutely beautiful today is. Sunny and warm, cool in the shade, just perfect. I don't want to spend my days thinking about what I have to do next. I don't want to complain them away. I want to live in the moments, savor the conversations with the kids, make good use of my days.

Friday, June 20, 2014

friday friday friday!!!

The weather here in central New York state has been gorgeous. Absolutely perfect. Sunny skies, breezy, in the seventies. I spent too much time outside yesterday with Mirielle and Kathryn,and swimming with Jonathan. I never did take that walk, but I swam and did lots of stuff around the house....

And, I made cookies. Chocolate chip. The girls were going to a gathering, to say goodbye to their cousin Claire who is getting married tomorrow to an Aussie. She will be living in Australia, and since that's not around the corner, we won't be seeing much of her, sniff sniff. So I wanted to make a special snack for this gathering, instead of just telling Margaret to take a package of Keebler Elf cookies from the cupboard. Now, Camille is spoiled, and doesn't like chocolate chips, so before I added them, I put some dough in a different bowl and added whole oats and some white chocolate chips. I LOVE oatmeal cookies. I love them. And these were just right. Anyway, it took me almost two hours from start to finish, and it was after cooking and serving dinner, so I was ready to sit down and put my 48 year old feet up. Only my feet are that old btw, the rest of me is like...29. No, 16. Anyway. I put two of those oatmeal cookies aside for when I sat down. I had a few tastes (like four) of the dough, and yes, it was good. Then I was done, washed the bowls, packed and plated the cookies, wrapped some up for lunches....then looked at the two cookies. I broke off a piece of one, it was yum. Then I came to my senses, and sat down and put my feet up...without the cookies. I did not really need those cookies.

I know, I know, some of you normal people are like, "What the heck! It's only a couple of cookies! Just eat them already, and stop yapping about it!"

Lots of different things are going on around here. Mirielle took Mali on a trip to Cape Cod, last minute, to celebrate her graduation from Nursing School. Kathryn and Suzanne also got to go. Mali called me last night as they were entering Massachusetts, laughing her head off because all this time she thought they were going to Maine. I didn't see the humor in it like she did, but all four of them were howling about it, so I guess they were having fun.

Margaret is done with school except for tests, so she didn't have to go in today. So after the gathering last night, she came home and watched some episodes of, "Psych" with Jonathan.

She volunteered to get up with the girls this morning, too. I got to sleep in! Well, I didn't. I woke up, and tried to fall back to sleep...I heard the first bus come....I got up and looked out the window to make sure the girls were getting on it...and nope. Dang it, they didn't get up! I got dressed speedy fast, and drove Evelyn and Sonja K. to school, so they didn't miss tests today. Thankfully Margaret was getting the girls ready!

Never a dull moment, I tell you.

I need to go to the store today, we are having a get-together here on Sunday. And, we are almost out of milk and butter and bananas and half and half. Only 12 of us here now, but we still run out of things left and right.

Samuel texted me yesterday, said he is starting his fitness training next week. He is rooming with a guy who has been to the fitness place, and he helped Sam do 200 push ups yesterday. So he will be fine. When he graduates is still up in the air, he might be at FTU for a week, maybe soon as he passes a PT test, he will be good to go, and will be able to come home for a week. It's not easy for me to not know more details, I want to plan! Not knowing when I am taking a 19 hour trip to Georgia...well, that means I don't know which older kids will be able to help me drive, or what will be going on around here. Next weekend is a youth camping trip to Pennsylvania, so I am sort of glad he probably won't be ready to come home yet then. Ah well, it will all work out.

These things that seem so big and important will fade into distant memories. Sam has said a few times that though all this is hard for him, he knows in a few years he will barely remember it.

Wise words from an 18 year old kid.

Well, the drudgery of housework calls me, once again. I do not like to clean, but I do like the house to be clean. I try to console myself sometimes with things like, At Least I Can Walk, At Least We Have A House, and At Least We Have Running Water, ect. It doesn't make me love sweeping and mopping, but it does make me see how gross it is to complain. I mean, this is my JOB. Paul has his job, he would much rather be out in his garden, or taking the kids on a bike ride. But he doesn't complain. He says he is glad to have a job. I have been given too much to grumble about it all....

Thursday, June 19, 2014

even the toys are fatter!

The red dress girl was always one of my favorites, playing Fisher-Price with my little brother.

Neither of us wanted to play with, "Butch", as we called this kid.

The moms were so pretty! And I always "called" the blue dress girl.

I don't like the newer fatter Little People.

They are cute, and have lot's of detail, but...somehow the imagination has gone out of the newer Little People stuff.

And, they are fat.


Oh well. I honestly DO have better things to do this morning than compare Little People. But oh, weren't the older ones so nice?

Let's see, what's new here?

1. Our swimming pool is almost clear. Almost. It hasn't stopped us from enjoying it, of course, the fact that we cannot yet see our feetsies, but clear is nice.

2. Mali came over last night. Today is her very last clinical, and she is done done done with Nursing School! She starts her new job as an Registered Nurse next week.

Never mind the list. I woke up in the wee hours of the morning, checked the time, ugh. Way too early. I tried to fall back to sleep, but I kept thinking of important things like, OH MY GOODNESS, did I let the girls' free Happy Meal certificates from the school reading program EXPIRE? (no, they are still good to the end of the month).

I have been really headache-y lately. Mixture of sinus/tension/migraine...if there is such a thing. My ears are cloggy, I get dizzy when I turn my head too fast, and my head pounds when I lean over. It is almost impossible to work out when I am like this, but oh the excuses, they want to grow and flourish and take over. I haven't been walking because it hurts my knee, and I just feel blah. I am tempted to feel so sorry for myself that it's just so hard to exercise because it hurts my knee, and oh my pounding head....but. I can either sit here and cry about it, or get up and do what I can do. I KNOW I feel better when I exercise regularly. I know that. So today, I will take that walk, and I will swim in the pool, I will lift my weights. Today, I will. I don't know why I fall into these funks, but the only way out is to just get out, not to wait until I feel like it.

It is no fun to be an inherently lazy person. I love to read and relax and watch the sunset. I am in no particular hurry, and can while away the hours. Wait, I was only kidding, it is fun!

But today, the time has come to get this house into shape, and once I get going, I can do amazing things:)

Lest you think I am REALLY REALLY lazy, consider that I have already swept floors and washed dishes and counters and sorted laundry, and of course made sure six kids were dressed okay (it's more fun to close your finger in a drawer than to argue with a teenage girl about whether or not her skirt is too short. Because believe me, it is. And she does not think it is. It is even more fun when her sisters join in, whether for me or against me, it is just more fun.)Anyway, those six kids went out the door all dressed (nicely), fed breakfast, and with lunches. Except for Margaret, she has a Regents exam today, so will be home for lunch. She got to drive to school:)

I took the dogs out, put chlorine in the pool and backwashed the filter, skimmed out some more of those nice cottonwood fluffies, and fed the dogs. I remembered to send Sunkist Fruit Snacks with Camille for her class, even though oops, her snack day was the other day, she said her teacher had some for that day and I could send some in for extras, oops. How can I even show my face at school, the Mom Who Forgets Snack Day?

Ah well, a day late and a dollar short, as my mom used to say.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

half price at the thrift store....

Emily once said, "What's better than buying a box of Aldi brand Triscuits? Getting them 2 for a dollar at the dollar store!" Real Deals is a local dollar store, and they really do have real deals. Bags of Ghiardelli chocolate chips...for a dollar. Anyway. Today, the thrift store, with the Wednesday special of all the tag colors except one, for 50% off. Yay! I got Nike shorts for Jon for $2, and some books for summer reading for Jon and the little girls.

I did not know how today would turn out. I did not know if I would be heading to Georgia...and I am not heading to Georgia. Sam still did not pass the push-up portion of his PT test, so he is getting a huge break, and getting sent to a fitness program to help. He is the only one to get to go, the other guys who didn't pass are getting sent home. That's because he passed the other things so well, he said, the running and the sit-ups. So he will week? The week after? Time will tell. I told him to just go with it, and be glad he is getting paid all this time, it's better than weedeating at the school in the heat, like he did for the past few summers.

Honestly, though, I do hurt for him. He is so ready to just get out of there and come home for his leave.

Anyway. Emily stopped over today on her way to do the food shopping for her cousin Claire's wedding, which is this Saturday. Claire is my sister's daughter (one of her seven daughters). She went to Australia for a year, and met Mr. Right, and got engaged. He lives there, so she is staying there, but they are here for their wedding. It is sad, because it is SO far away, but it is happy because she is so happy, and her fiance is such a good guy. Emily is making the food for their wedding, and I helped her shop today. We went to the grocery store, the warehouse club, the thrift store, the dollar store. And of course for a coffee at Dunkin Donuts. No donuts though:)

I was SO ready to go to Georgia. I had the girls' school clothes out for the next few days, plans for their lunches, clothes out for them to wear to the wedding in case I didn't make it back in time. Now, I am not going, and it seems so weird. I don't really like weddings, but am glad I get to go to Claire's. Those girls grew up with my older kids, and were like my own kids to me. They shared my younger kids with my kids, you know, they were like big sisters to them. Claire is the fifth of the seven girls to get married!

Sunday we had huge plans for a family gathering here since Sam would be here, now he won't, but we will still get together. Things will work out fine, he will get home one of these days, why do I have to know all the details now?

The little girls need their after school snack, and I want to take them in the pool.

Oh, I bought a new vacuum cleaner yesterday. I hated spending $72 on it, because Eureka's suck, ha. get it? We have gone through so many cheap vacuums through the years. The Dyson lasted for a long time but the hose is broken, I have to order a new one, in the mean time, we need to vacuum here. The new Dyson was $299, just couldn't do it. I put that Eureka in the cart and thought, "First world probs..."

Anyway, the girls are home from school and want Mama.

Monday, June 16, 2014

never ever give up...ever.

I feel fat and ugly. No, really. I am twenty pound heavier than I was at my lowest, and by lowest, I mean in the last few years. I mean since I decided Enough Is Enough. I don't mean like high school or anything. No sir, I have not gotten THAT low.

Anyway. Poor me, I have gained back some weight and it isn't fair! I didn't have a cupcake, I had no pastries when we were in Virginia, none of those yummy muffins from the breakfast buffet. Okay, so I did have a few of the evening cookies. And I had cheese popcorn, and yeah, a light beer or two. I know I can't count what I didn't have, that doesn't lose me any weight.

My body has changed, my metabolism is different, I cannot eat like a Normal Person. If I were to eat like one of my teenage girls, even for a day, I would gain it all back instantly. It isn't fair.

But what am I gonna do, cry about it? Stomp my feet? Give up and give in and just not care?

No. I am going to fight. I am going to fight because of my blood pressure, because of diabetes, because of heart attacks. I am going to fight so I can walk and move and do things with my kids. I don't want to end up in one of those electric carts in Walmart.

Those pounds have crept back on. And maybe last week I said I was going to be ever so radical and behave, weight came off. But, today is today, and I cannot give up. Yeah, I know a good sign of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results.

The thing is, I will behave and deny myself sometimes for a whole day! A whole long day, ignoring the hunger that creeps up in the evening, the whispers of popcorn, the longing for chocolate. And the next day, I haven't lost a pound from that long day of suffering! wah. poor me. So, as I am telling myself at this very moment, the key is endurance. It isn't just one day, it is my life. My new life. I need to feed my body good nourishing things, I need to move and work out when I don't feel like it. I have to. So what if my original zeal wore off and I got slouchy. So what! Today is a new day, and I get to make choices today.

I already know what donuts taste like, I already know they are good. I do not have to have a bite to confirm that.

I know that ice cream is superbly excellently yummy, too.

This summer my treats will be watermelon and cherries and cantaloupe. And to be honest, as I type this, that little voice that wants to sabotage me is jumping up and down, raising it's hand, saying, "What about corn on the cob, please please please? Can corn be a treat too?"

So I have my work cut out for me.

If you are skinny, or if you don't know what it's like to plan for two weeks ahead of a wedding how to avoid having a piece of cake, or if you don't pick up a bag of something and multiply just to make sure how many calories are in the whole bag, or if you decline dessert because you don't really like pie or you are just too full from dinner, you might well think I'm crazy. Maybe I am.

So don't give up. I want to endure in this, not grow weary of staying on the straight and narrow. I don't want to have excuses for rewarding myself. I don't want to be fooled into thinking that I deserve a treat.

This summer is going to be a good one. I won't sit on my rear end in my comfy chair while life passes me by.

This whole post reminds me of #firstworldprobs. seriously. poor me, there is too much good food!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

happy father's day!

I spent a good part of the day working at the concession stand at the ball game, which was crazy! Crazy busy! Oh my goodness, the lines were long, we couldn't keep up. People were mostly nice about it though, and being busy made the day go by fast.

So...Sam MIGHT graduate this week, but we don't know until he takes his test on Wednesday. That means that if he passes, we have to start down there right away so we can be there on Friday morning. I checked hotels in the area, and most of them are already booked up. I found a decent one and reserved it for two nights, but I have to cancel by 4 on Wednesday or get charged for the first night. So. If Sam doesn't find out, or take his test by then, I will have to cancel and figure out what to do next. I will also have to make arrangements Just In Case, for the little kids, ect.

Ah, life is interesting.

My house needs to be cleaned. I got home Friday night, late, from Virginia. I left Saturday morning early for the church conference, and got home late last night. I got up this morning and worked on the pool, did laundry, washed some dishes, ate breakfast, and...went to the ball game. Home...I was too tired to do anything when I got home. Standing on the cement floor in the concession at the stadium really does my knees in. But, it was fun.

Here I am, feet up, little kids in bed, happy to be home, but looking around at lots of stuff that needs to be done.

We have no milk, no popcorn, hardly any apples or fresh tomorrow, grocery store. And clean the house. I do not like cleaning the house, but I like the house clean. :)

Oh. One more thing. Margaret was a nice big sister and made cupcakes with Charlotte Claire and Camille. Chocolate cupcakes. Oh my goodness, the heavenly aroma of baking chocolate....I did not have one. No sir. But before you start applauding, consider that on the way home from the baseball game today, I had a Mix In. If you don't know what a Mix In is, be happy. Because to know it is to love it. It is from Dunkin Donuts, and it is a large cup of soft serve ice cream with tiny miniature really cute baby M&M's in it. Mixed In. I wasn't going to get anything, just treat Joseph for going to the game instead of going to play practice, like he wanted. And Stevie and Adrian, boys from church, who really appreciate things like that. No, I was just going to buy, not HAVE. But. I had. And I ate the whole dang thing. So I skipped dinner. I don't know if it helps to cancel it out, but I did anyway.

Now I unravel the thoughts that led to me thinking it was fine to eat something horrid like that, I am pretty certain it was my consolation for working so hard, my celebration of a sunny day with friends, I earned that ice cream! But, that is not really true. I deserve to treat my body with respect, and eating ice cream is not good for me. Oh, at the baseball stadium, we are allowed to eat whatever we want when the game is over. There are fried chicken tenders with this sauce, called, "Boom Boom" sauce, oh joy. Today I ate a few of those, only two fries, no salt potatoes, no sausage and peppers, and not even a single bit of a pretzel or fried dough. Yup, fresh hot fried dough with cinnamon and sugar. I knew better than to have one bite, that stuff is just deadly good.

Anyway. All things considered, I guess the ice cream wasn't really that bad after all....

Saturday, June 14, 2014

first world probs #salvation

What is salvation? Is it a one time deal, where we ask Jesus to forgive our sin, then just go on our merry way? Just go and do what we want, then ask for forgiveness again, because hey, no one's perfect? Nope. Not me. I totally believe that Jesus came to earth for a reason, and it was to open a way for us to follow. A way to victory.

Each and every little problem, whether I joke about them or not, is a testing of faith, really. Because it isn't really the "problem" that's the issue, is it? It is the sin that the "problem" stirs up in me. Am I tempted to get angry? To blame someone? To get even? To complain? No one sees when I chalk up something against someone. But seriously, if I were to keep doing that, what would be the result? Would it be pure love and fellowship? No sir. It would be bitterness. Hatred. Very bad stuff.

What is my point? Well, I guess that I need to get much more serious about my spiritual life. I cannot worry about offending anyone. I have to be bold, to live for God, and not care about what anyone thinks of me. I have to be free from that.

I am not ending my blog. I will still write. But, I will write honestly, about my journey through this life focusing more on what is my true heart's desire, which is to follow Jesus and be an overcomer, to be a helper to those who are sick and tired of being bound to their sin. has some really good articles. I will still write about my daily life, about my battles....and you are still welcome to follow along!!

all sunshine and roses...

and rainbows and puppies. Not. I know, I live the charmed life. I often wonder what I muttered about before I heard of the twitter hashtag, "#firstworldprobs". Because seriously, the little things that bug me? Oh, our water is so hard and yucky after all that good hotel water. (in the hot shower washing my hair with Herbal Essence shampoo. poor me). Kathryn stole the washer before I even got in the door from our trip, and these sandy towels have to go in. The dogs woke me up at 6:30 am to go out. There are coffee grounds in the coffee, and I already added half and half and feel obligated to drink it. No one took care of the pool while I was gone, so all the progress I was making towards that sparkling clear pool...ugh.

poor poor me. Paul drove the whole way home. I offered to drive, but he said he didn't mind. I didn't mind either, I feel really self conscious when I drive with him, probably because he sighs and says things like, "We'll never get there."

Samuel has a weekend pass, so he can use his phone, and leave the base, finally, after being there since the beginning of February. He was on his way to I HOP this morning, in a taxi with 6 other guys, so of course I told him I hoped no one farted, to which he replied, "real mature, Ma.", to which I replied, "I forgot to tell you, I grew up while you were gone. Not. "

So he gets to be re-tested on Wednesday, which means if he passes, he graduates on Friday. Which means that if he passes, I have to jump in the car real quick and drive real quick, and get to Georgia by Thursday, so I can be awake on Friday morning to see him graduate. That means I will have to be sort of packed, with sort of a plan for the rest of the kids, with a crew of older kids willing to help with the drive....and if he doesn't pass, he will get re-tested next week. It's a good thing I am already a nail-biter! No lovely nails to ruin here! Sam says he won't get chaptered out of the Army just because of push-ups when he did everything else so well. I wonder if it has anything to do with the mess in Iraq, but I'm just sayin'. He says he will still get his post in Virginia. Oh the drama. And this is just with the one kid. :)

We have to leave in just a few minutes for our church conference, there are still teenagers in bed, and I have to pack us a lunch....

Thursday, June 12, 2014

so relaxing!

The beach, the sun, the wind, the sand, the waves...mmmm.

At Fort Monroe yesterday...Paul with the four girls with us, and Jonathan.

Sunshine...on my shoulder...makes me happy. John Denver:)

Yesterday, we went to Virginia Beach. The waves were powerful! I got knocked down, so I made my way carefully out of that water and sat on my towel in the sand and watched Paul romp with the kids, waves rolling over their heads. I talked myself into going back in, but not for long. The waves were just too strong, my knees were killing me as I tried to stand up when they hit.

After a while we got hungry, so we packed up our stuff, brought it back to the van in the lot we paid seven dollars to park in, and went to McDonalds, where the cones were 69 cents. I had a McDouble without the bun, and a cone. Not terribly bad, but not what I like to eat these days. I also had a coffee which was yum. We walked up and down the main street, not buying any t-shirts or fudge or salt water taffy. Back to the hotel for a swim, and in the hot tub...then dinner time. Panda Express, orange chicken, yum, fried rice, lo mein, and steamed veggies.

This morning we went to the Virginia War Museum, then to the beach again. Hotel, pool and hot tub, then pizza and chicken wings for dinner.

No cooking, no cleaning, no remembering who needs to go where. Of course, I really miss the little girls. And the pups. And Mirielle and Joe and the other kids.

There are so many interesting things in this world. Yesterday on the way back from the beach, we were stuck in a traffic jam, the guy in the truck next to us was reading a book as he drove. We went across a huge drawbridge near Newport News, and through a tunnel under the water near Hampton Roads. Ships and helicopters and beautiful houses on the water. There is too much going on here to write more tonight. Sam has been messaging me, he should have his phone tomorrow to call me. He is being re-tested next week....

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

more pictures from the sunshine and warmth....

Jonny in the water....

Jon is having the most fun!

warm in the sun....

So off we went, all spontaneous-like, to Virginia, near Hampton. Near the Chesapeake, near the ocean. We were all packed, and the girls were so devastated about Sam. I had all my babysitting lined up for the little girls, and notes written, the girls had already told all their teachers they would be out all week...we couldn't just go back in the house and unpack!

So, we said eeny-meany-miny-mo, spun around three times with our eyes closed, and decided on Hampton.

The weather here is glorious and warm. Our hotel has an indoor pool and a hot tub. Yeah, we are pretty happy.

Except for we should be with Sam this week, and we can't be. We still don't know what will happen, but Ben just called me and said that Sam gets phone privileges this week in the evenings, and his phone card ran out and his credit card won't work, so Paul bought him one and sent the number. He should be calling us soon, after he talks to Ben. It will work out all right.

We do feel a tiny bit guilty having this unexpected sunny holiday, but...:)

It's not all sunshine and roses...wait, yes it is! I didn't have to make dinner for 12 people, we had pizza on the way to the beach. Dinner was chicken tenders from the grocery store, celery and carrots and cheese popcorn, and a half gallon of ice cream for the kids. Plus, this hotel has free fresh baked cookies in the foyer all afternoon! Oatmeal raisin. White chocolate chip/macadamia nut. So yes, right here right now, it's all sunshine and roses. :)

And thank you all so much for the kind thoughts and prayers toward Samuel. No mom likes to see her child disappointed, that's the hard part for me. But I believe he will get through this and be all right.

Monday, June 9, 2014

and...a bit of sadness....

I am thinking of a good verse right now...2 Corinth. 4:8...We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed-

Sam did not pass his PT test. He called right as we were ready to pull out of the driveway. Totally packed, ready to go. I was honestly a bit shocked, I really thought he would pass. He said his wrist is still sore, he just couldn't do the push-ups. He did the other things fine. He said the Army is downsizing right now, and being selective. (When Ben went through basic, one of the soldiers didn't pass a single PT test, yet got through and went to Afghanistan with Ben.) Anyway. He doesn't know what will happen now. He will either be sent home, and get here in July sometime, or he will go to a second chance kind of thing where he is trained intensively and tested weekly, if he passes the PT test in the first few weeks he will graduate and move on, if not, cycled out and home. So he just waits now to see what they decide. He called me, and told me all this while Paul and the girls were getting in the van to leave. Because we really thought he would pass, and that we would be going to the Infantry graduation. Sam said that he has been talking to God a lot lately. He said that perhaps God has different plans for him. I could tell he was trying to be strong. He apologized for ruining our plans, and I just about cried. The only plans I care about are having my children grow up to trust in God. I told him that, too. Success, wealth, status...very nice, but guess what? In the long run, those things don't bring true happiness.

So his plans changed, and he is down there in Georgia, while the rest of his platoon gets ready to graduate. I want to cry, I want to hug him, I want to comfort him. He made it clear we should not drive down there, he does not have leave, and wouldn't be able to see us until possibly the weekend, and then he wouldn't be able to leave the base. So.

We didn't want to disappoint the girls even more, so we changed our hotel reservations, and are going to Hampton, Virginia. And, we are taking Jonathan too, since we have the open seat in the van since Sam won't be coming home with us. Paul and I, Kathryn and Evelyn and Suzanne and Sonja, and Jon, will get up at 3:30 am and drive...and drive and drive, to the ocean. Ten, eleven hours. It doesn't seem so long compared to the 19 hours to Georgia. But it seems sad.

I haven't cried yet, but I will. Probably when I least want to, something else will happen and I will lose it. Poor Sam. Because no matter what he believes, he will have some suffering to do. And he is my little boy. ouch, my soul. That's what love is though, hurting when they hurt.

Ah well, life is interesting.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

the six youngest and me, and my seven youngest....

This was at the parade the other with my youngest six kids.

Kathryn Grace 16, Suzanne Eleanor 13, Evelyn Joy 14, Sonja Kathleen 12, Jonathan Robert 10, in the front: Camille Anaya 6, and Charlotte Claire 8.

The years go by too fast. I am getting used to going to parades and malls without strollers and diaper bags, but my arms still feel a bit empty sometimes. Seriously, there are so many unwanted babies in this world, how can I get one?:)

and tomorrow we depart for Georgia!

Phew. I am so last-minute-y. I have to pack and and and, but also I have to go buy $300 worth of candy for the candy store for the church conference this weekend. I will miss most of it, but I will still buy the candy.

Anyway. About Samuel...I know that God causes all things to work together for the good for those who love Him. I know that if Sam gets cycled out of the Army because of this hurt hand/not passing the PT test, it will work out. But my heart will still break for him. He set his mind on being a soldier several years ago, and has never let the idea go. No, he was going Infantry. Didn't matter that he tested high enough to choose from lots of occupations in the Army, no, he was going Infantry. He counted the days to Basic, and has done really well on everything. He is a Sharpshooter, and seems to have adapted well to the brutal schedule and busy tiring days. But, apparently he has to do those push-ups in order to graduate. And if he finds out tomorrow that he won't be graduating, oh dear. My heart will break for him.

We are still packing up and heading south. What else can we do? If he doesn't graduate, he will hopefully get leave before the begin cycling him out, I guess it takes 6 weeks or so. There is also a possibility. they will put him in a 30 day program, a second chance type of thing. Tomorrow, we will find out.

In the mean time, life goes on. I have been cleaning our pool, we don't have a vacuum for it, so I scoop those leaves out, and skim the fluffy cottonwood fluffies from the top.

We have been outside alot. Paul ran over Charlotte Claire's bike yesterday, but we had Sonja's old one under the deck. It's bigger, but Char tried it and it's fine.

Paul hung one of those huge fat climbing ropes from one of our trees, the girls LOVE climbing it and swinging on it.

On the way home from church this afternoon, Kathryn promised the little girls she would make cupcakes with them. Well, we didn't have any cake mix, and I didn't feel like looking up a recipe, or baking anything at all, for that matter, but. I helped them mix up a triple batch of cookie dough. Some chocolate chip, some plain oatmeal, and some oatmeal with chocolate covered rasberries, white chocolate chips, and craisins. Now, I have not eaten one. I do not plan on eating any. I did taste the dough, because I substituted the shortening with coconut oil, and butter. yum. But. I do not want to eat cookies. Ten of our kids still live at home, and if I bide my time, the cookies will be gone, and phew, I will be okay. I wrapped some up for lunches, and left some dough in the 'fridge for Joe to either eat or bake for the little girls during the week. It smells so absolutely heavenly in here right now though, I can't even stand it. blah.

I ate well today. One egg and some Ezekiel toast for breakfast. Some grilled chicken breast and watermelon for lunch. A baggie of hot air popcorn and four almonds for snack. A burger with pickles and no bun for dinner.

It's funny, because I feel so much better when I eat well, both mentally and physically. But when I have a headache or am tired, the first thing I want to do is eat chocolate, or console myself with a little bit of ice cream. Not that I regularly give in, but why is it so in me to sabotage my own self?

I am writing a list for Joseph, so he can get the little girls out the door to the bus smoothly. Oh dear. I packed them each a bin of clothes for the week, so they can choose what they want but stuff that's already matched. If Joe picked out their clothes I would never be able to show my face at school again. That frilly party dress with sneakers because it's a gym day? Stripes and plaid?

I also baggy-ed up some stuff for their lunches.

Ah well, my thoughts are pretty scrambled up right now, and I do have a headache. It has been a really headache-y few days for me, perhaps all those fluffies in the air are messing with my sinuses, I don't know. I am tired though, and hope I can sleep with all these thoughts running through my brain....

Friday, June 6, 2014

friday evening breather....

Just a little break here, we are going to the firemen's parade in the village in a half hour. The youngest 8 kids are going with me, seven daughters and one Jonathan. Today Evelyn and I went out and about to get the oil changed in the van for our trip next week, to the carwash to vacuum it out, to the grocery store for some burger and strawberries and peppers and plums and eggs and half and half. And some new nail polish for Evelyn. Then to the dollar store so she could buy some more plants. A fill up at the gas station, and...oh wait, two different Dunkin Donuts! We stopped for coffee, and found out it donut day! I do not eat donuts anymore, but some of my kids do. I asked for two chocolate glazed, and oh it kills me to even type those words. The girl gave me two regular glazed, they were free, but still....I mentioned sheepishly that I had asked for chocolate ones. She said to keep the glazed, and gave me the two chocolate ones. Great. I had to drive around all afternoon with four donuts in the van, plus the chocolate frosted bavarian cream and the pink frosted with sprinkles we picked up at the other D.D. when we needed more coffee. Evelyn ate one, then there were five. dang. I did not have one. I did ask Ev to break off a tiny taste, and oh dear, yup, it was as good as I thought it would be. I need to just move out, and live by myself in a cave somewhere.

Anyway. We had chicken and cut up fruit for dinner, watermelon and cantaloupe and strawberries. The kids also had pasta salad. I took out a few olives and tomatoes, and left it alone.

I simply cannot mess around with things like chocolate, or peanut M&M's anymore. When my strictness melts into a little bit of permissiveness, watch out.

So off we go to the parade....daddy is working tonight, so it is just me...and lots of kids.

the very best a mother could ask for....

Samuel, oh dear Sam. He didn't take his PT test on Monday because of his hand, so he has to wait until next Monday, the day we're leaving for Georgia. I can't even think about his situation without getting all anxious-y, yet I know that it doesn't help, it isn't good, I have to trust God...then I get this message from him last night when I got home from the baseball said:

"All I know is that no matter what everything will work out for my best so I'm not worrying."

Now, what more could a mother ask for? A son who trusts God! He puts me to shame. Because I know it's not a magical thing, that he is automatically totally at rest about it. No, he is fighting the worry, and giving his life to God.

That is worth more than gold, it is worth more than being the most distinguished soldier in the whole Army.

It makes me happy.

I am not magically free from my anxieties, I just want to KNOW he is graduating, I am not very patient. But God sees what I need, what Sam needs, and we need these trials so we can be free from sin, and learn to trust Him.

So yesterday, ah yesterday, what a busy day! (Every so often I think of my friend saying, "Della does nothing!", and I want to scream, but it is rather funny.)

This is my sister's grandson William (my niece's little boy), with Jonathan and Charlotte Claire on Char's field trip to the science museum. I went along as a chaperone. Since there was no room on the bus, I drove and brought Jon and Will. What fun we had! We opted out of the IMAX movie, and instead explored the museum by ourselves. They had plenty of time to fly the in the simulated helicopter and airplane, and got to take their time exploring the toothpick sculptures and the anti-gravity bouncer thing-y. I am very science-y. ha.

We stopped at a different Walmart on the way home from the big city, and those kids were so good. We stopped at the 98 cent flip-flop bin to dig around for a pair for Jon, and William asked if he could have some too. Of course he could! He chose red ones. He is going into kindergarten next year, and there is going to be one lucky teacher. He wants to know everything.

Anyway, we got popsicles and new socks for the little girls so Joseph wouldn't have to match any next week when we're gone to Georgia. It does crack me up, thinking of Joseph putting those little girls on the bus...

I was home for long enough to put my feet up and have coffee and yogurt, wash up the sinkful of dishes and the bacon pan that a child I won't name left here, clean up the counters and give dinner instructions, then Joseph and I left for the baseball game. Our small city is struggling to get the attendance up at these games, and one of the things they do at the stadium is have One Dollar Thursdays. That means beer is $1,soda is $1, and hot dogs are $1. Our stand sold over 1400 beers and 544 hot dogs, plus lots of fried dough and chicken tender baskets and french fries. Busy busy busy. The good thing about Busy is that one can't remember how much one's knees ache from standing on that cement floor when one is Busy. phew. They hurt today.

I got home at 11:00, and since Mirielle didn't have to work last night, she was up, so yeah, I stayed up too late talking to her.

Paul is at the doctor today, his dreaded A-fib is back. He has an ablation done a few years back, and that rapid heart beat slowed right down to normal. Paul is one of those people who is totally fascinated with good health. He eats well, exercises, (he was doing Cross-fit before Cross-fit was cool. He used to drag that weighted tire down the road...). It's hard for anyone when things they cannot control pop up to mess up their lives.

The kids have half a day of school today, yay! The pool is struggling to get clean. Ha, that's impossible for a pool to struggle, but it is underneath too many poplar trees which grew up too fast, and dump those white cotton fluffies into it. And I mean DUMP. I go out and clean out the filter basket, scoop and skim the fluffies off the top of the water, and more float down as I do it. We need to cut a few trees down, but guess what? It isn't even on our imaginary list of Things We Should Do Someday.

Our garden is growing nicely though. Tomatoes and watermelon and peppers and radishes and lettuces and those pesky squash we didn't even plant. Our garden is haunted, it produces these hybrid squash that look like melons, but taste like summer squash. They aren't bad, but they are cropping up everywhere and we have to weed them out.

Duke was prancing around the tomato plants this morning, even though Paul put up a lovely fence with sticks and fishing line to keep the deer out. When I called him to come out of there, he snapped a few sticks. Good boy, Duke. rrrr. He came immediately when I called him, so I had to pat his stupid head and praise him. I do love him.:)

I have to buy the candy store candy this weekend, and set out school clothes for the little girls, and and and.

Paul talked to our son Benjamin and said Ben has to have some surgery done on his hip. A long long time ago, when he was 10 years old, and I was 8 months pregnant for Evelyn, he went on a boys' camping trip with Paul. Long story short, he fell of the front of the pontoon boat, went under the boat, and was hit by the boat motor. He could easily have died that day, the blade sliced him up good, but the fact that it hit his hip probably saved his life. His hip has never been the same since that day, it was pretty gruesome how he was patched up. He has had it checked out, and obviously to join the Army he was declared healthy and fit, but he had an MRI the other day which showed that something or other was severed, no wonder he has been in such pain. Anyway. Poor Ben, pain for almost 15 years.

Yes, they grow up, but it is still a full time job to worry about them all:)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

and the waiting continues....

We haven't heard from Samuel, but perhaps No News Is Good News. I think he would have called if he had failed the PT test and wasn't going to graduate. I think. So I start thinking that way, and go on in my planning, after all, we are leaving in six days to drive to Georgia. It's a 19 hour drive, and there are kids staying here who need meals and clothes picked out. Joseph is sending the two little girls to school four mornings, and he can't very well pick out their clothes for them. Their hair is going to look lovely enough. I want to send them with a little sign around their necks that says, "my big brother brushed my hair." And this is assuming that he will brush it, and not say that it looks fine like it is.

Anyway, I have things to do, if I am indeed going on a trip. There is a church conference that starts right when we will be returning to New York, and I have to buy the candy for the candy store. Four of my girls are going on the trip with us, and they are already trying on dresses for the graduation, they are so excited, yet aren't totally sure if they should be so excited. I keep hearing this question: "Mom, did Sam call yet?", and I keep saying Not Yet.

And I am not just sitting around wondering, either. Between general housework and laundry and and and, today I went shopping with Kathryn. We had to stop at the library to get some books, then to get my glasses fixed, the arm broke off. We meandered through the horrid mall, and bought Sonja K. a $6 skirt in Old Navy. Kathryn found some $6 jeans, too. We went into The Children's Place and didn't find anything cheap enough, then in Charlotte Russe where she found a lovely skirt for five bucks. We went into a huge shoe store so Kathryn could look at all the sneakers she cannot afford, and I could look at all the shoes that I cannot fit my fat feet into. We stopped for a coffee on the way out, and then started our grocery shopping....

BJs for chicken and cheese and coffee and Peanut M&M's and butter and bananas and deodorant. Then to Price Chopper for bread and peanut butter and juice for Charlotte's field trip to the science museum on Thursday, and bagels and chicken and turkey lunch meat and brown rice. Then...home. Ah, home. But there is No Rest For The Wicked, and none for me either. We put away groceries and I switched laundry and assigned the girls to make brown rice and cut up tomatoes and olives and and and, while I grilled some beef. I have not bought beef/steak in a long time because it has gotten so expensive, but it was on sale for $2.99 a pound. We sliced it up really thin and had it on fajitas with peppers and the other stuff. I just had a huge salad with some. yummers.

It seems like I have been going non-stop, yet I do nothing, ha.

Tomorrow I am babysitting for the baby of a friend. She is a lovely and sweet little thing, and she likes to be held when she sleeps, so I am not planning on getting much done. I was going to take Evelyn to the thrift store, but I guess I won't. I am looking forward to having a baby in my arms again, even just for a day:)

It was hot here today, but my silly kids wouldn't go in the pool because they saw a frog jump off the ladder into the water. You can't see to the bottom yet, the filter has been running all day, but there are still leaves in there, and the white fluffies from the cottonwood trees just floats down like it's snowing, filling the pool and clogging the filter basket. Anyway, they did not want to swim with a frog. A harmless little frog, says the mom who wouldn't go in either....

Monday, June 2, 2014

lovely monday morning....

This morning's walk was worthy of framing, if one could frame an experience. Like that song, "Time In A Bottle", I would like to bottle up and save this glorious weather. The trees swaying in the breeze, the birds singing, the squirrels flitting across the roads and into the underbrush. The coolness of the morning with the promise of the warm day as the sun peeks through the clouds...

Yes, a gorgeous day.

Life isn't all sunshine and rainbows, but the more I seek God, and believe that ALL things work together for my good, then the better my days go.

Samuel James called last evening. He had finished with a six day "camp-out" in the 90+degree weather, in full gear. He said, "You know how when you are at the beach all day and you're all sandy and all you want is a shower? Well imagine that for six days with only one uniform change, and no shower." He got through that, but sprained his hand somehow. And, today is a very important PT test. Sam has to do push-ups on a sprained hand. Talk about Life Isn't Fair! He has to! No choice! If he fails today, he gets cycled out of the Army! I told him not to listen to his hand, just to drown out the pain and do those push-ups. All his hard work and determination come down to one PT test! He says the Army is downsizing right now, so they are more indiscriminate about who they fail and who they put through.

Of course this is torture for my soul. I cannot bear it, cannot bear the thought of my Sam not making it, not being able to do what he has been so driven to do for so long. But. Like it or not, it might happen. And I am preparing myself to be a help to him by realizing and acknowledging that there is a higher power at work here, and no matter what happens, we need to trust Him.

I need to encourage him to hope for the future, there is a place for him in this world, and perhaps it isn't where he wanted to be, but it WILL work out. In order to do that, I have to believe it myself.

Then there's Caring What Other People Think. In theory, who cares? But in reality, it can be a battle to not care.

And of course, it may happen that he passes that PT test. He can still run, and do his sit-ups, and perhaps the drill sgt. will have mercy on him and overlook sloppy push ups.

Maybe I am putting the cart before the horse.

See, my kids aren't all little anymore, needing sippy cups and diaper changes, but oh dear it can be exhausting just being Mommy.

I want what's best for them, of course, but the very best thing is that come what may, they learn to trust God. Because those who trust in Him will never be put to shame.

So that is one part of what's been going on in my life. There are other things, other trials, then there are the good things....

Our pool is open!!! It isn't clear yet, but it's getting there. I spent a lot of time in there yesterday scooping leaves from the bottom:), then when I felt like complaining about it, I realized that duh, that's not actually a horrible job....

We had an excellent weekend here. Friday we went to the park, Saturday I took Evelyn Joy to her music solo early in the morning. She had to be there before nine. I waited in the truck for her, with a good book and a mug of coffee, poor me. Then I took her to buy a binder for a school project, so we went to the dollar store. I bought myself two shirts in there, from Target, for a dollar each. :) Then to BigLots, three of "needed" earbuds, funny how that happened, earbuds became a "need". Anyway, home for a nice day in the sunshine.

We had fires in our firepit both Friday and Saturday night, with marshmallows of course. Only one for me.

Jon, Char, Cam.

Yesterday we went to our friends' house for a few hours to celebrate a 60th birthday. It was a lovely afternoon for a party, warm but not hot, sunny but pleasant in the shade. Their children and grandchildren were there too. It was hard for me to leave my kids to go there, my kids were not invited, and when I was there I really wanted to get home to them. We are so busy here, I don't get to see them as much as I would like to, especially to ones who go to school.

Summer vacation is coming, and I seriously cannot wait.