Friday, July 18, 2014

A Rose By Any Other Name

I finally know what I want to be when I grow up, take two.

A paint/nail polish color- and hand soap/lotion/candle scent-namer.

Is that a thing?

It has to be.  Someone has to be shut up in a cubicle somewhere churning out winners like these:

Drab (nothing says 'homey retreat' like drab)
Almond Toast (I'm pretty sure my entire downstairs is some version of this color)
Insect Wing (ew!)
Frog Belly 
Mistletoe Kiss (stolen kisses have a color?  who knew?)
Arsenic (who wouldn't want walls reminiscent of poison?)
Jessie  (??? The gal in the cubicle finally got to name one after herself?)
Scarlett O'Hara (well fiddle-dee-dee)
Popcorn, Biscuit, Candy Box (I think Jessie was getting hungry now)

And nail polish colors!  I think the gal naming these must be sunning herself on the beach, drinking, with a tall handsome man nearby. . .

Show me the ring
Guilty Pleasures
Jamaica me Crazy (I say this all the time to the children - true story)
Fish-net Stockings
Mojito Madness
Smooth Sailing
Lady Godiva (this one just makes me want chocolate)

And several I can't even mention, since children read this blog!  I rarely wear nail polish - I had no idea how how much the "sex sells" campaign was at work in this industry!

And finally my personal favorites, soap/lotion/candle scents.  The gal naming these, I envision, must be sipping fruity wines amidst a floral garden whilst baking snickerdoodles.

Mango Madarin  (mmmm)
Lavendar Camomille
Wild Passionflower (can't ya just smell it?)
Brown Sugar and Fig
Frosted Cupcake (what the gal is baking next)
Citrus Sunshine
Sundrenched Vineyard (the "office" for the gal writing these)
Pear Blossom Air

Now these names make me happy.  They're pretty creative, but they elicit warm fuzzies, and also make me hungry.  

So!  Who wants to hire me?  I am certain I can come up with names just as good as the ones above.  Let me try a few:

Totes Adorbs Teal

Glowing Halo 
Church-pew-brown (I'll try to clean up the nail-polish-naming industry)

Lilac Loveliness
Citrus Simplicity

Yes!!  I think they're awesome!!  I'm sure I'm a shoo-in.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

On Why I Often Have a Headache

I recently read a little blurb about how many questions young children ask per day.  Any guesses?  Here is the shocking (or maybe not-so-shocking!) answer:

About 300!!

Does that make your head swim?  When I first read it, I thought, "No way!"  But then I did a little five minute count and realized it might be right after all.  The study went on to say that four-year-old girls top the charts at almost 400 questions per day.

Know what?  I have a four-year-old girl.  And I think this study has credence.

Just now, as I am typing this, my sweet four-year-old girl came by and fired off these:

"Can I ride my bike?"
"Are these shoes on the right feet?"
"Can you imagine if I walked all the way to the Y?"
"Can you take me to ride my bike?" (asked of her brother)
Repeat above question
"When you're done mowing can you take me?" (asked of bro again)

That's seven.  In about a one-minute time frame.  She may exceed the average.  I always knew she was above par.

The other day we were driving in the car and she was chatting away and asking questions about her birth (but nothing too stressful!).  I told her she was born via C-section and briefly how that worked.  She followed up with, "Did they use a sewing machine when they sewed you up, Mommy?"

And the last question I'll share with you today from this adorable white-haired over-achiever:  "Mommy?  Doesn't your mouth ever get tired of talking?  Mine does!"

Monday, June 30, 2014

Random Musings from my Frenetic Mind

Summer's in full swing, which means the cray cray is at full tilt.  So jumbled bits and pieces are all I can handle currently.  A few of those, below.

My youngest son and I have a ritual that goes something like this:

Me:  "I love you!"

Him:  "I love you more!"

Me:  "I love you most!"

Him:  "I love you more than you love me!"

Me:  "Impossible!"

Him:  "Possible!"

Every time, the same.  Usually followed by a giant kiss and hug.  It doesn't get much better than that.

My "monkey in the middle" son turned ten last week.  We've enjoyed a whole decade of that awesome kid, and I know I'm better for it!  It's hard to believe it has been so long since that tumultous time.  Sometimes I look at him in wonder, recalling the fragile baby he was.  He's incredibly strong and healthy and active, but more importantly, kind and thoughtful and generous.  He's a true blessing to our family!

On a much different note, I LOVE my paddle attachment for my kitchen aid mixer.  (I warned you this post contained random musings!!)  Just a few minutes ago, I used it to shred chicken I had in the crock pot all day, and it was bliss.  I am not even being dramatic.  Dare I say that the whole mixer was worth it, just for this ability?  Does that go too far?  I'm not sure.  Shredding meat with two forks was the bane of my existence.  But the paddle attachment?  Glorious.

I have diagnosed my self with Plantar Fasciitis.  I have used the inter-nets to do this.  I am certain this is what ails me, since I read it on the inter-nets.   My daughter is not so sure that my methods are sound, but I think I'm on the money.  The symptoms all line up, and did I mention I read it online?  Anyway, my right foot hurts quite a lot, especially when I have been resting it for a long time (such as in the morning or if I get up in the night).  I am trying to stretch it often (guess where I got the idea to do that?), and wear good shoes as much as possible.  There is a possibility I should see an actual physician soon about it, instead of just WebMD.  Maybe.

Must finish this ├╝ber-thrilling post now, to serve dinner (consisting of shredded chicken) that probably 3/5 of my offspring will complain about.  Such is life!

Monday, June 16, 2014


We do a Bible story, prayers and blessings together with the four youngest kids each night.  Often, it is a focused time and the kids are really listening and intently praying.  Other times. . .not so much.  A few recent prayer-time moments:

One of my older children was praying that the Russian takeover of the Ukraine (how on EARTH he knew about this is a mystery, since my current events knowledge is abysmal) would stop.  My youngest son leaned into me and whispered, quite seriously, "But I want Russia to take over!"  I'm guessing he also has no idea what is happening in Russia, but for some reason, he's really pulling for Russia here.

Another night, someone was praying and said "Everybody. . ." and then paused to finish his thought.  Without missing a beat, my youngest son (him again!), stage whispered into my ear  ". . .dance now!"

And yet another night, someone was in the midst of earnest prayer, only to be interrupted by (you guessed it!) my youngest son's Burping Pumbaa stuffed animal.  During the child's prayer, we suddenly hear "Slimy, yet satisfying!"

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Home Run!

Since it has been a week since I last posted (that is due to children!  in the house!  every second!  and neighborhood friends!  and messes everywhere I turn! and massive hunger all the time!), and all my recent posts have been me boo-hooing over all the changes we're experiencing over here, I'll deviate this time. Slightly.

To baseball.

Yes, dear reader, to the sport that is taking over the world.  Wait, what?  It's not taking over your world?  Hhhmm.  Well, we are eating, breathing and oozing baseball at our house.  We're practicing (at the fields, in the yard, in the local parks), we're going to games, we're washing uniforms (and of course by we, I mean me, but you knew that, didn't you?) we're packing snacks (see the previous explanation of who we refers to), we're cheering, we're making new friends. . .

And we're enjoying it.

The schedule is still a bit rigorous, I admit, and rainouts (like we've been given tonight) are a welcome respite to the 5/6-day-a-week program we are getting used to.  But still.  It's fun.  Last Saturday, one boy got to pitch for an inning.  And I was so very proud.  His form was a thing of beauty to my mamma's eye, and he did quite well for his first effort.  And another son had a couple of solid hits and made two runs during one game and I was so very proud.  And the third boy, who is still learning it all, made a triple the other day and got the game ball!  And I was so very proud.

And more than once, you'll not be surprised to hear, their performance on the ball field has caused me to tear up.  I cannot seem to help myself.  Thank goodness it is sunglasses season and hopefully no one notices.  I told my mother-in-law during one such emotional moment, "When my children do reasonably well at something, I feel I might explode with happiness!  What if one of them becomes a star athlete or singer or mathematician?  I might lose all ability to control myself."

Sitting on the bleachers for hours on end is turning out to be a thing of beauty.  Cheering for my dudes is bringing me immense happiness.  Hearing their coaches tell me they appreciate my boys' attitudes, or natural talent or humor makes my heart swell.

When I first started receiving texts and emails and phone calls about the boys' practices, I wondered what on earth we had signed up for.  But the boys are growing and challenging themselves and learning to give something all they've got.  And I'm enjoying watching them do all of the above.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Changing Lanes

Yesterday was 8th grade Baccalaureate and Graduation, though my daughter still has two days of school left.  What a beautiful day it was.  Surrounded by her extended family, she received a few awards and her diploma.  I am so very proud of the young lady she has become.


Since preschool ended last week, one of my kids realized that last Friday was the last day all my kids will be at our Lutheran school together.


Oh my, oh my.  I do not, have never done change well.  So many years has this school and church been almost our entire life!  My husband works there, the children go there. . .that building has been our go-to for most everything.  And now, we are branching out.  We are sending our daughter to a nearby Catholic high school, and I'm excited about it.  Truly I am.  I think we are going to enjoy very much becoming part of the family there.

But still.  My heart is aching for the passing of an era.  Where all our kids are together.  My view in the rearview mirror of the Suburban - all my kids on the way to/from school together.  These days are very nearly over.  And my heart hurts for it.

At the same time, I am able to see past my tears and at the exciting days that are ahead.  Not long ago, I was putting a cart away at Target (why that is relevant, I can't tell you), and suddenly I was overwhelmed with the joy that is to come in our lives.  High school, college, marriage, new homes, grandchildren, careers, travel - and much more that I can't even imagine, Lord willing.  So many changes are on the horizon, and I know so many wonderful experiences are ahead.

When I graduated from high school myself, I had many of these same feelings (I told you I never handled change well - I used to cry when my parents changed the living room furniture around!).  A good friend comforted me with this verse:  "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)  These words soothed my ragged emotions then, and they soothe them today as well.  No matter the changes we are experiencing, I can take solace in the fact that Christ is a beautiful constant.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Reflections on my 8th grader

My daughter is graduating from our Lutheran School this weekend.  Sniff, sniff!  I have many emotions about that, as you might assume. . .but I'll save those for another post. For now, I want to share what I wrote to her 8th grade teacher last fall.  Her teacher requested from all the parents any information that would help her better understand her students.  I loved reflecting on my girl, and bragging about her at times, like all parents do!  Below are some excerpts of what I wrote.  

A was born on St. Patrick's Day, 2000.  After a long labor, she finally made her way into the world and stole our hearts.  Our lives have never been the same!

From the time she was very little, A has always liked to keep the peace.  When she was a toddler/preschooler and was asked to do something she didn't want to do, she would do it - begrudgingly, saying "Da-da-da-da!  I'm doing it!"  She was incredibly frustrated, but couldn't bear to be naughty enough not to obey.   As our family has grown, she continues to play the peacemaker in our home.  She smooths ruffled sibling feathers, intervenes when siblings are arguing and even tries to cheer us up when we're down - even if her comments are ridiculous and far-fetched!  A will step aside to let her brothers or sister have something that she has (sometimes to a fault and I have to correct her and remind her not to be a doormat!).

A loves spending hours in her room, both because she needs space from our busy house (read: loud brothers) and because she loves her room!  She sews, crafts, sings and reads.  She, however, is not so hip on cleaning her room.  We have seen some improvement in this area in the last year or so, though. . .marginally.  

Going to bed early is not A's thing!  She can't seem to wind down until much later than a 13 year old should!  She is always resurfacing in the family room after we have told her to head to bed.  She takes after her father in this area!  I have told her more sleep usually leads to better grades - and since she already does well, if she gets 12 hours of sleep she might be a child prodigy!

A is wonderful with her siblings, and very helpful to me.  She is usually kind and considerate if I need help with something around the house, and she always babysits for the kids (sometimes we pay, sometimes not, depending on the situation).  She is her littlest brother's buddy, and loves doing girlie things with K, the sister she longed for as we had all the boys!  They all love her and she gets along with everyone.

Every night, she and Daddy do "Bible Story" together (usually around 10:00!), which isn't really a story anymore, but a passage, discussion and prayer.  They have done this for years and it is time-treasured by both of them.  When he isn't home I fill in, but it isn't the same.   I love their relationship.

The older she gets, the more we laugh together.  She reminds me of my mom and sister, since we can laugh ridiculously about inane things that strike us as funny.  I look forward to that only deepening as the years pass - which they are doing, all too quickly. 

I have been spending some time reflecting about my daughter, her past in grade school, and her future in high school.  And I imagine as each of my children reach this milestone, I will have the pleasure of doing it with each of them.  

What a blessing this child (and all our children!) is to us!  How wonderful it is to think of her unique personality at age 13/14.  I cannot wait to see what God has in store for her in the coming years.