Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Exshausted From Thinking

I crashed today.

I've been consumed for the last week with eclectic emotions. Grief. Pain for those pained. Anger. Peace.
Excitement for what may lie ahead. Driven. A desire to right the wrongs. Soaking up all the wonderful moments from the holiday.


When and how much should I put myself into someone, and when is it best to let it go.

I thought I was done crying, but I need one more really good cry.

My High School friend died the most tragic death I could dare to imagine. As the memories ran through my head, I'm haunted by the words "I'll be there for you.." that we heard over and over to Chicago and back on tape? or radio? I'm not sure. After that road trip, I went to college and left her behind. And she must have needed people, not that she didn't have friends, but sometimes an old friend that knew you way back when is an asset. As I looked at her lifeless body, she was nothing like the young innocent child who took her first drink after our prompting. The one who encouraged me through my toughest year in High School. The one who discouraged our cliquish gossip. Yet, when you know someone, you always know someone. At least something about them. Maybe even something her more recent friends didn't know.

Does this change the way I want to treat my friends? You betcha. Wow, the thinking I've done.

Tomorrow my Great Aunt Verna will be buried. I can't go to the funeral. She was a wonderful woman. I didn't go to her sister's either. She was my Grandma Friday. I didn't say good-by to my Grandma Friday. I had the flu, and so did Savannah, then 7 months old. She wasn't the same either. She wasn't the Grandma that I loved to go stay the night with, no matter how tiny her house was. The one that gave us Tony's pizza and canned peaches. The one that always stocked her refrigerator with cases of pop in hopes that we would come by to drink them. The one who would talk to me on the phone. She was so old, just a shell of the woman I remembered. Aunt Verna reminded me of her, though. Now they dance together.

I would like to move to land that my Grandparent' s owned. That may or may not happen. Either way, the thought is exciting! Seven years ago, when she was still alive, I wouldn't have given it a second thought. Now a legacy seems important.

People are gifts. Grace makes them beautiful.

I love what Ecclesiastes says.

For the living know that they will die;
But the dead know nothing,
And they have no more reward,
For the memory of them is forgotten.

Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished;
Nevermore will they have a share
In anything done under the sun.

Go, eat your bread with joy,
And drink your wine with a merry heart;
For God has already accepted your works.

Let your garments always be white,
And let your head lack no oil.

Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
I returned and saw under the sun that

The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor bread to the wise,
Nor riches to men of understand,
Nor favor to men of skill;
But time and chance happen to them all.

For man also does not know his time;
Like fish taken in a cruel net,
Like birds caught in a snare,
So the sons of men are snared in an evil time,
When it falls suddenly upon them.

Ecclesiastes 9:5-12

From my thoughts, this is what I have the confidence to share:

Fall in love with God. Know Him, listen to Him, worship Him, and follow Him. Follow His plan, knowing that people are always part of that plan. Tune out anything that contradicts that plan. Put all of your eggs in one basket. Get excited about it, and don't be ashamed.

Don't try to win anything, just give your best in everything. Winning may or may not accompany your efforts, but blessings will. Do the things you love, for those are the things God as "put in your heart to do". Make your self vulnerable. God loves you, and nothing you do can strengthen or weaken that love, so don't ever try to. Just try to let others know that they are loved, too.

Laughing is okay. Doing fun things is okay. Girlfriends are okay. Buying nice things within your budget is okay. Being passionate is okay. Eating ice cream is okay. Dreaming is okay.

And finally, if you want to leave this world with a positive legacy, the best way is just to leave that up to God. For if you want to be used for the good, He will take you up on that!

I wish you the peace that God intends for every person under the sun.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


This is one of my all time favorite pictures. Funny how I just happened to run across it yesterday.

The Cheerleadi.
Riding the bus to games.
Painting signs.
Late to gymnastics. Again.
Cheer camp.
Post-game cruising.
Tattoos for prom.
You are my friend, you are my friend. You're a very special person, you are my friend.
Makeover in Mac.
Driving to Chicago to the tune of "Friends", digging for coins.
Cherry Limeades
Pizza Hut.
HHS tights.
Twinkle fingers.
And more.
Your friendship was genuine...which can be hard to find.

Even though our lives took us in different directions, you all are not far from my thoughts.
I hope the pain goes away, but that I will never forget the reminder to value the good times, love those close to me, love those not so close to me.

Monday, November 22, 2010

If You Let Wendi Clean Your Bathroom

If you let Wendi clean your bathroom,

she'll start by collecting cleaning stuff. She may or may not be able to find a clean rag to scrub with.

After she finally finds a rag, she will attempt various cleaning agents. Eventually she will conclude she might as well just scrub the entire shower with Comet.

When the entire shower has been scrubbed, she will attempt to turn on the shower and rinse the Comet away. The shower cannot reach every spot where the comet is, so she will alternate rinsing and wiping with her lone rag until every last speck of Comet has been washed down the drain.

When she is sure that all of the Comet has been rinsed, she will then follow up with Windex. When she is Windexing the glass doors, she sees gunk stuck in the little crevices of corners. She leaves the bathroom to get a bamboo skewer, when Max follows her back to the bathroom.

When Max joins her in the bathroom, he will attempt to unroll the entire roll of toilet paper so Wendi will remove the toilet paper roll and put it up high on the windowsill.

As she puts the toilet paper on the window sill, she notices spots of paint on her wood work. Then she will go to get a Magic Eraser. She will scrub with the Magic Eraser, but will not be able to get all of the paint off, so she will get a razor blade.

Max will entertain himself by opening and shutting the shower door, so she will dry the floor of the shower in order to keep Max from falling.

After the window sill is paint free, Wendi will clean the toilet. When she cleans the toilet, she notices how dirty the floor is. She looks for her rag. When she cannot find her rag, she will leave and go find another. When a fresh rag is found, she will spray the floor with ammonia, and scrubs every last millimeter of floor. Then she will hope that the ammonia didn't mix with the Clorox spray.

While she is scrubbing the floors, she notices more paint on the base boards, so she gets her Magic Eraser and razor blade to scrape off the paint on the base boards. She will probably be on all 4's squeezed between the shower and the toilet when Max climbs on her back and walks back and forth from her back to the toilet lid, her back to the toilet lid.

While Max is climbing on the toilet, he may notice the toilet paper on the window sill above the toilet and climb up the toilet tank.

When he climbs up the toilet tank, Wendi is forced to stop her paint scraping. She will pick him up, toss him on the bed.

As she walks back into the bathroom, she will see all the dirt on the white door to the bathroom. She will take about 5 minutes to find where she left her Magic Eraser, and then wipe down the door. By this time, Max will have probably made it back to the shower.

When Max climbs back in the shower, Wendi will need to shut the door and lock him in there until her cleaning is done.

Once Wendi finds her rag once again, she will need to rinse it out one more time and wipe everything down. She will want to put away all of her cleaning things, and get Max out of the shower.

2.5 hours later, the smallest room in the house is clean.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


The worst thought to wake up to:

I have nothing to feed the kids for breakfast!!!

So though a little out of the box, not too much but coffee cake is not a typical breakfast for us. I get out the recipe....notice we have all of the ingredients....start making.

I ask Brookie to help since she is the chef for this month. She measured the sugar and flour and unwrapped the butter while I did a few dishes leftover from the night before. The others were dancing to Veggie Tales Dance Dance Dance.I thought I was a genius.

Until I realize I was confusing two different recipes and had only added 1/2 cup sugar but the correct recipe called for 2 cups. Big difference. So I did a few things a little out of order.

Brookie is 4. She is not the neatest of my chefs, but she gets an A for effort. She measured, I mixed. She cracked the eggs, I fished out the eggshells. We both snitched. Somehow amidst the chaos of getting drinks, doing dishes, and managing my preschooler, I missed the fact that Max had dropped 3 eggs on the floor, was sitting in a pool of raw eggs, and munching on the eggshells.

I started to clean them up and threw the eggshells in the trash. As I went to get a rag to clean out the rest, he was retrieving the shells from the trashcan! I took him to the tub and asked one of the older girls to sit with him, which kept him occupied until the cake was mixed up.

After the cake was in the oven, I got him dressed. The older girls are very proud of the fact they are able to put a diaper on him themselves. I am very happy to have the help.

Back in the kitchen, my clean Max climbed up on the folding chair Brooke had used to cook. As I walked in I saw him dumping out an entire box of baking soda.

I threw up my hands. Pop tarts from now on. (kidding)

The finished cake had a peak as tall as a mountain on it, but it was good. Savannah said it tasted like coffee. ?

On the bright side, Brooke learned how to measure flour. I know this will benefit me some day.

P.S. I thought about snapping a few pics, but was afraid what would happen if I went to go find my camera...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Taking A Deep Breath!

Thank you to all of you who, despite yesterday's post, are still returning to read this. I wrote it purely for my own venting and I fully understand that if I am going to blog something others might read it and not very many people enjoy reading about complaining. But I think there still is some value to this- at least to me so maybe I can bless someone else as well.

Are you like me? I am on a roller coaster ride of emotions most of the time-either super excited about something and extremely positive or I crash. During my crashing times I need order and a clutter free environment, physically and mentally. And that just does not happen here! Then I resort to something creative which usually makes a bigger mess!

During those really down times, I am so thankful to know that my reality is not God's reality! I'm sure God is shaking his head saying, "there she goes again!" But He still loves me and knows I'll come around and He will be waiting there.

Pastor said something that is very thought provoking the other day. I hope I say this right. He said it is almost better to be immature spiritually than mature. If you are too mature, then you don't rely on the power given to us through the Holy Spirit. (e.g. Peter before Pentecost vs. Peter after Pentecost) That is very relieving to me because I remind myself of a two year old during my down times.

I have thought of a few more ways I could de-clutter. I took Savannah out to lunch. Just her and I. She said, "this is one of the best times with us together." We didn't have school, I took a teacher's mental health day and we cleaned instead. The girls are so much better at helping now.

I still want a bigger house with more bedrooms, a pantry, and more closet space. Until that happens, however, I will (try to) be content.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

States Update

My children are noticing state symbols and states on license plates, but you know we've got states on the brain when one announces, "Hey Mom! This chicken strip looks like Mississippi!"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The States Part 1

I have a vision of making a book about each state. We will research them and write down some facts and make a nice little book. Someday.

Until then, we have started learning about these United States through more everyday avenues. Brookie got this puzzle for her birthday last year and everyone loves it. It talks when you put the puzzle piece on, stating the name of the state and it's capitol. Each piece also has a symbol of the state. If your children do not know what a symbol is, you can play a game. Let's call it the symbol game.

You describe a symbol and they guess what the symbol is for. For example: Golden arches, a red target, or stars and stripes. Then they can try.

What are the symbols for your state? Kansas' are the sunflower, buffalo, wheat, cottonwood trees, meadowlarks, etc.

We also look at license plates. Sometimes they have symbols on them, too.

We have a jar of state quarters. I made a list of all the states and as we collect the quarters, we write what symbol is on each quarter.

It's a start! (and it's kinda fun)


This is just what's on my mind right now.

Perfect peace, in my mind, is just doing what is right and going about life knowing it will be okay.
But is okay good enough? And when okay is not good enough and we start thinking about how can we make okay better and then start to worry and the peace is gone.

We are told to make plans and work hard to achieve goals but living in that mindset just gives me unrest.

So I just become "okay" to whatever life hands me and live with less than I could have. Not that having a lot will make me happier, but having a little more may just make my life a little easier. I can handle not-so-easy things in life on certain days of the month, but the others....look out. Sometimes it is better just to go with the easier route, as long as your conscience lets you. (No, I will not send my children to school just to make my life easier. NOT that I think anyone is a bad parent if they do, it is just my personal decision that I will not forsake.)

Oh, but wait. I believe in God and He will take care of me. Absolutely. But there still is a balance somewhere between having faith and doing.

Finding that balance between achieving my dreams and staying at peace. That is what I wish for tonight.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Brain

I have more photos from Ellie's crazy fun birthday, but it took so darn long to put them on here. AND I lost a little excitement when we had a hard time re-acclimating to a normal not-so-fun life.

After the super duper day at the Arch, we went to the Butterfly House, came home from St. Louis, Ellie went and spent a few days with Grandma, and then we came to get her. Our visit included a trip to the pumpkin patch. Then I had to tell her "YOUR BIRTHDAY IS OFFICIALLY OVER!" and crashed.

I have about 10,000 things to do in this house but what I really want to do is shine my pennies we soaked in vinegar.

And the craziest thing of all (drum roll)
Never in a million years would I have ever decided it would be better to move back "home", but it suddenly sounds completely appealing. It hit me two or three days ago that my life would be so much easier...and why wouldn't I like easier? At this point, the only thing I would miss are really, really good friends. We shall see how the cards fall. Maybe in a week I'll go back to "not in a million years".

You know, I get so excited about home school and over plan. Then I get frustrated and worried and turn into a monster. Then I can't understand why everyone is fighting. Even Max is getting out spoons from the kitchen and spanking everyone....not that I ever would do that! ;)Now I'm back to simplifying. They really do learn more that way. I wish I could remember that somehow.

I was so filled with joy yesterday and today....blah. Go figure.

To summarize: Simplify. Don't always think the hard way is the best way. Fun times are hard work. Do what you want with that bit of info. Night.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

And Her Children Call Her Blessed

I know your children are the best in your world. Mine are the best in mine.

Yeah, they make me crazy but the blessings make all the bad times fade.

I had an impromptu meeting today, just because they were blessing my socks off.

Savannah had been striving...working so hard with school and then turned into a mad scientist afterwards. I told her she could do anything she wanted because she had worked so hard. She decided that science experiments are the best thing you could ever spend your time on. We made plastic and cleaned pennies with vinegar, but she didn't think any of the experiments from the book was not good enough. So she made up her own. I didn't understand it so I just let her go at it. Apparently she accomplished whatever it was she set out to do.

Ellie has been drawing pictures. I don't understand what they are for, but she shows them to me with such enthusiasm! Then she does a perfect handstand and I want to cry.

Summer was a princess/musketeer/chef/singer/dancer/gymnast. She was doing flips around the monkey bars outside, singing about as loudly as possible, her Christmas songs about Jesus. Sorry neighbors, I just won't tell her to pipe it down.

Brookie spend the day with Daddy and was walking on air.. even though she said they went to a boring place. They brought home ice cream. What a treat. Brookie...the things that come out of her mouth.

Max, let's just face it. He's a boy and the youngest. Everything he does is cute.

So I sat them down and blessed them. To each one, "YOU are blessed and WE are blessed to have you in this family!" And a few words about their specialness as well. They each wanted to bless Max.

After it was all done, Brooke says, "I want to say something about you."
"Okay," I say.
"I like what you did today. And I wish you were a kangaroo."

Friday, November 5, 2010

Checked Out.

Summer dear,

You are talking but I can't hear you. The answer is "yes" to whatever you want, as long as I don't have to get up. The answer is "I don't know" if you want any knowledge from me. If I don't answer...I forgot my clever response. I can't think and talk at the same time. I'm not lazy, I am just done. Oh, and I love you.