Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Giving thanks this month for the following:

The Smell of Burning Leaves.  I know, some of you may hate this smell, but I adore it!  It brings back vivid memories of standing in the yard of my childhood home, watching my dad burn our (many) leaves at the curb.  We live within city limits here, and we are wonderfully able to blow them to the curb and the city workers magically (re: paid for by our tax dollars) remove them, so we don't burn them ourselves.  But whenever I drive by someone burning theirs, I am transported back in time.

Modern Medicine.  One of our kids recently had a procedure done that will be huge for him.  If we lived fifty years ago, it wouldn't have been possible.  What a blessing it is to have doctors and research and medicine!  Praise God!

Days Home Alone.  I have three full days this year, sans children.  I am rarely unscheduled for any of them, but every now and then the stars align and I am home all by myself.  Today was one of those days, and I got several things done and enjoyed the peace and solitude (and Christmas music and Law and Order reruns).

Extended Family.  We will be seeing ALL the cousins, grandparents and aunts and uncles for Thanksgiving and everyone is beyond excited.  That will be thirteen children and ten adults in one house for the afternoon.  It will be loud, crazy, wild and not a bit boring.  This is the stuff childhood memories are made of!

Old Friends.  And by old, I don't mean old. . .I mean long-established and time-honored.  I am getting together with my college girl friends this weekend and I can't wait!  We will spend time catching up, shopping, eating and generally enjoying each other's company.  We started this tradition about ten years ago, and it is something we all look forward to each year.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Good Night Nurse!

As I have previously written, putting the kids to bed is not my best work as a mother.  I get crabby, short and tired.  No one seems to listen, there is bickering, horseplay (did I just write horseplay?  How old am I??) and general naughtiness.

Falling into bed is one of the best parts of my day!  How can the children not see the pure joy in resting one's head on the pillow and stretching out luxuriously, knowing 10-12 hours of slumber await? It is a true mystery to me.

There are glimpses of beauty, though, in this routine that challenges me.  The children who are quick to apologize for their behavior, the sweet kisses good night and the urgent requests to cuddle.  And the blessings from my youngest daughter each night.

We give the children a blessing each night, and my little four year old has taken to blessing me every night as well.  She makes the sign of the cross on my forehead and says a little prayer that melts my heart each time.  It usually starts with "Dear Jesus, Please help Muthuh. . ." and goes on to request some sort of creature comfort for me, or pray for my general safety and happiness.  One night she made the sign of the cross on my head and recited the entire Pledge to the Cross as my blessing!

For tonight, Daddy is finishing up, and I am typing in the dark quiet of the living room.  I hear sounds from upstairs as the children settle in, Daddy moving from room to room.  Soon our house will be still and silent and bedtime chaos forgotten.  All's well that ends well, yes?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Loads of Fun!

I do laundry every Monday and Thursday, almost without fail.  I fold everything and have the laundry ready for the kids to put away as one of their after school chores.  I adore rhythms and while I don't exactly love the laundry, it is my least disliked chore (how's that for passive aggressive?).  However, there are days when I wonder, even with seven clothed people, how this occurred:

Did everyone wear layers every. minute. of the last four days?  Did people change two to three times a day?  What's up with this kind of volume?  I am glad my family doesn't walk around naked, but really people.  Less is more.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

This and That

Once again, blogging in bullet form.  I'm pathetic.  Love me or leave baby.  Well, please don't leave - just try to get over my lack of ability to form a full coherent blog theme.

  • The token behavior plan is working. . .if one wants to say that the children never getting screens again the rest of their natural-born lives is considered working!  The boys earned some tokens early on and received screen time. But the last couple of days have been bone dry in the screen department.  No tokens being earned, and whole days being taken away for the first offense seen.  It may be weeks, months, before these children ever play with their beloved electronics again.  And I'm not complaining.  And actually neither are they!  They seem to realize that getting to use them is in their hands, but they aren't trying very hard to behave.  I'm hoping that eventually they will realize what needs to be done to restore order to our house get their precious screens back.
  • I was thinking about the Elf on the Shelf the other day, and how he is going to make a comeback in just a few short weeks.  And the mere thought of him drained me.
  • Out of the mouths of babes:
    • "Spy would be a perfect job for me because I have white hair. " (pause) "And that is the exact opposite of the color that they have to wear!"
  • I'm working on updating all of the kids'  pictures for our portrait wall in the family room.  I have two kids done so far.  How is this so hard?  I am just taking them to JCP or Target due to the Freedom Budget (I am free to make choices!  Free to choose (usually) sub-par photography options!), but finding the time is proving quite challenging!  The thought of taking all the  kids to a studio for one of the kids' pictures sounds a bit exhausting.  I'm relatively certain tokens would not be earned, if you get what I'm saying.  At least I have two done (though one of those is actually cheating - it is one of his confirmation pictures from last spring - I call that being resourceful).  Three to go.  By the time I get those three done, the first ones will be outdated.  Sigh.
  • I am very much enjoying the phrase "for realsies".  I am using it in place of the prosaic phrase "That's true" or the slightly more hip "for real".  I have taken it up a notch.  "For realsies" makes me sound like a cool mom - my kids love it when I say it, especially around their friends.  My husband often tells me how he wishes I would say it much more often.  Basically, everyone thinks my vocabulary is off the charts.  I even got my small group saying it!  For realsies!!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Come on! I could live to be 90!

Redheads are going to be extinct in 2060.

My son's reaction to that news:

"They are?!?  Aw, mom!  Well at least you'll he dead by then."

Followed by a huge smile and a bear hug.

I love this kid!