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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Carter Quotes

Carter has had some doozies lately.  I have to write them down before I forget!

{Watching the end of the movie Annie - characters are singing and dancing in the street}
Carter:  "Why aren't they embarrassed?"
Me:  "What do you mean?"
C:  (looking slightly disgusted) "They're all....dancing and singing in the street....."
Me:  "It's called a MUSICAL, Carter....." 
Like father, like son.

{At baseball practice}
Coach:  "Guys, we need someone to be a catcher.  But if you want to try catching, you need to wear a cup.  Do you guys know what a cup is?"
Carter:  "I DO!  It's something you put your drink in!"
Coach:  "Well....if you're not sure ask your dad or mom...."

{Hanging out in the kitchen}
Carter:  "Mom, what is a showerhead?"
Me (confused):  "It's the thing that the water comes out of in the shower...."
[Quiet minute....he's thinking....]
C:  "No, I mean, what is a showerhead....spelled c-h-o-w-d-e-r-h-e-a-d?"
Me:  "Chowderhead?  Wait a minute, is this from Calvin & Hobbes?"
C:  "Yes. [pause] And also....what is a moron?"
Me: (feeling like the mom from Calvin & Hobbes, head in hands) "Ughhhhhh Carter...... "

 I can always count on Carter to keep things interesting around here. :)

Monday, February 9, 2015


So I  have a love-hate relationship with change.

Part of me (the part that is like most of us humans) hates the idea of things changing.  I like status quo, comfort, knowing what to expect, routine, schedule, "normal." 

Then there is another part of me that loves change.  The part that loves adventure, travel, new experiences, jumping into "the great unknown." 

Both are very much a part of me.  When I look back on my life, really, the times I am most proud of  myself are those brave moments when I did what wasn't "safe" or "expected"....like trying out for things in school, or moving 10 hours away from home to go to college, saying good-bye to a dating relationship that was comfortable but not "right", taking on graduate school at age 21, living in my own apartment (& paying all my own bills), changing jobs, giving parenting talks to groups of parents when I wasn't even married yet (true story), going on missions trips (especially that one where I didn't know a soul & had to travel to meet up with my team in Texas by myself)....then having children was a big brave jump.  One that I always wanted and will never regret, but truly - while getting married was a change, it has nothing on the change that parenthood brought about in my life, and in me. 

The last 10 or so years of my life have really been all about my children.  They were babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and they needed me.  They needed me to feed them, clothe them, brush their teeth, wipe their bottoms, take them places, kiss their boo-boos, dry their tears, hug them tight, read them books, teach them manners....the list could go on forever. 

Things are starting to change though.  I know my children will always need me.  Yes, just like I still need my own mom.

But over the past few months?  Well, it's changing.

There's that word again.

You see, all 3 of them go to school now - 5th grade, 2nd grade, kindergarten.  Next year- all 3 will be gone, all day long. {Eek, one will even be in middle school!}  It seems like I have been looking forward to "the day I will have time to myself" for a long time. I am getting a little taste of it this year as Chloe is in kindergarten. 

And now, believe it or not, I am not sure how I feel about it. I am finding it to be bittersweet. And maybe even a little lonely and boring.

On the one hand, I love being able to go to the Y and exercise.  I love shopping in peace. I love that I can tidy my house and it will stay that way for about 6 hours.  I can watch DVR'd shows if I want to.

The problem is this: I almost don't know what to do with myself.  And I can't believe I am even writing that. 

A lot (okay, most) of my friends still have small children.  So galavanting about the mall and lunches out with friends just isn't gonna happen (well, not in a relaxing way that doesn't involve kid meals & play areas). :) And galavanting around the mall alone just isn't quite the same.  I thought I would do all those "house projects" I've been putting off for 10 years....but I am realizing I don't even really love house projects. I find them overwhelming and I don't even know where to start.  I truthfully feel like I am not being very productive, and it leaves me feeling uck-y.

So I am praying about what this next stage of my life holds.  Do I continue to be a stay at home Mom?  Because there are still certainly plenty of things & tasks for me to do at home, and I like being able to be a part of my kids' schools and such.  I can have a lot of my "chores" done when the kids are at school so that when they are home I can spend time with them. I really enjoy leading a Bible study.  I have the freedom to help people when they need it.  And maybe (even if I don't love them) I should work on some house projects.

Or, do I begin working outside the home again?  Part of me misses this part of my life and identity.  I could do something fulfilling and make some extra money for our family as well.   There are times this sounds very appealing to me....

But....I don't know.

So, I am doing what I DO know right now. I am praying, listening, & waiting for what God has for me in the coming years. I know He has a plan. I know He has a good plan. And meanwhile?  I am putting one foot in front of the other and doing what He has for me today.

Even if that is dishes, laundry, & making dinner. :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Winter Band Concert

Tonight I completely enjoyed watching the strings & band performances at Audrey's school.
Audrey has been playing the clarinet for the past year and it is so fun to see her growing and advancing.
One of her best friends (and our neighbor) Emma also had a solo in the orchestra so we got to hear her as well!
I'm probably biased....but I think the 5th grade band is actually quite good for a bunch of kids that are only a year into this instrument-playing business.
AFTER the performance.
She was excited to get flowers after the performance too. :)

My favorite memory of this whole night though was after we came home.
We ended up sitting on the couch and eating pretzels and watching some of Survivor.
All with her snuggled up to me with her arm around me.  :)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Chloe's Special Day. Finally.

So toward the end of the summer, the kids asked to each have a "special day" with Mom.  (I think this had a lot to do with constantly having to have my attention divided amongst all of them all summer).  Audrey got a trip to go school shopping (shocker there), Carter took a mini-golf trip to Waltz Farm (shocker there too), and then we went away on vacation, school started, and here we are in October.  Last week Chloe reminded me that she had never had her special day, and she wanted to go....to the mall. (As Audrey said: "she's just copying MEEEEE")  Yes, but the mall it was. So we planned her mall trip for after school one day.

When I picked her up from school that day, she proudly pronounced "Today I was the pawprint winner at school!"  (It is a good behavior award.) She had this special pencil to show for it:
Then we were off to the mall.  Chloe wanted to eat lunch at Chick-fil-a.  They unexpectedly gave us ice cream!  Score!
 Mmm, that was a fun surprise!
 I asked her where she wanted to go next....she said to the fountain. :)
So we went and threw pennies in the fountain.
And rode the escalator about 25 times.
 We went to Bath & Body Works and bought sanitizers (and some Christmas presents...) then we wandered through a few other stores.  Rode the escalater again. Then we went to look around Build A Bear.  
We didn't really plan on making something, but I thought - why not?  This is Chloe's special day!
And she has only been here one other time (which she doesn't really remember).
 She picked this rabbit and named it "Rainbow" because, well, it is all rainbow-y.
 She especially loved taking it to the bath station. :)
An Icee and a Build a Bear....what more could a 5 year old ask for from her special day?
I have to say - when I look at this picture, I can almost picture her carrying Starbucks and some shopping bags one day.
What fun days those will be!

It's hard to communicate with pictures, but this was such a special day filled with so many special memories for me, and I hope for her too.  
Next year we won't be able to do this on a weekday afternoon. :(  
But I am enjoying it while I can.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Dear Kids, This is why I have no brain cells left....

Today I got "the email" from the principal.

(Before you gasp....so did everyone else who has a child in my kids' school. It's just the weekly info email.)

And every week it seems there are more and more things for Mom to remember.

This week Chloe has a field trip to the pumpkin patch mid-week.  It might rain, so I will need to remember old shoes or boots, a rain coat, maybe an umbrella, warm clothes so she doesn't freeze, etc.  AND I need to remember to dress her in her cute pumpkin shirt. Also I have to remember to pack a plastic bag with handles with her name and her teacher's name printed on the side to put the pumpkin in. Luckily I already paid for the trip so I don't need to remember to send money.

However, I DO need to remember money to send with Audrey & Carter on Thursday for school store. Then Friday is "pretzel day" so 50 cents each on that day .  Because heaven forbid they show up empty-handed and the ONLY KIDS who don't have money for this stuff....

This week there's also the band performance Audrey has with the middle school band on Tuesday.  She needs to be there at 5:30.  However, the concert doesn't start til 7.  So either I twiddle my thumbs for 1.5 hours or I go home for an hour just to turn around and go back.  Meanwhile, on the same evening, we are hosting our small group at 7:30 so I need the other 2 kids fed and ready for bed before I leave so that they can just jump in bed when I get home, and meanwhile Chad will welcome our guests til Audrey & I return.  (I admit, this was just poor planning on my part but I didn't realize this concert was in the evening until I got "the email" a week ago!)

Also, Carter has Lego club after school on Wednesday.  Which I forgot about last week.  Fortunately when he didn't get off the bus at the end of the day, I realized I needed to pick him up in an hour....

And Chloe has gymnastics on Thursday afternoon.  Which I ALSO forgot about last week.  (No comments please...)

Next week is Pumpkin Day on Friday.  So Carter needs to decorate a little pumpkin like some kind of character, hide it in a brown bag, and get it to school in one piece.  This would be easy for Audrey but for Carter?  I hope it doesn't get left on the bus....I am helping at Pumpkin Day as well so now I also need to get a big pumpkin to bring, along with a bunch of utensils so kids can help me scoop out the seeds.  But who are we kidding?  I did this with preschoolers last year and NOT ONE KID wanted to touch the goop inside the pumpkin.  So guess who will probably be scooping junk out of pumpkins solo??

Then today I got "THE EMAIL" from school about next week, with this attachment about Red Ribbon week:  (cut and pasted verbatim....)

"In an effort to get students involved and committed to leading a healthy life, we are encouraging students and staff to participate in our “theme of the day” all week long:
Monday, October 20- Team Up Against Drugs and Bullying Day- students may team up for the fight against bad choices by wearing their favorite sports team attire to school
Tuesday, October 21 -Follow Your Dreams to Stay Healthy -students may wear appropriate pajamas or robes, but please no slippers (sneakers only).
Wednesday, October 22- Dress for Success-Wear your favorite college or university gear.
Thursday, October 23- Work it Out, Keep the Drugs Out! -students may wear their sports gear, exercise clothes, or active wear…we challenge everyone to walk or run an extra 5 minutes at recess!
Friday, October 24- Let Your True Colors SHINE -students can wear their favorite color and/or shiny, sparkly clothes.
Monday, October 27- Red Ribbon Week Finale- students should wear red to celebrate the end of our lessons, and continuation of many good choices!"

Seriously people.

SIX. WHOLE. DAYS. of remembering to have all these different clothing combos clean and ready to go for 2 different kids. For the love. And college gear? We have NONE.  (Sorry kids, unless you want to wear Daddy's old Wheaton College t-shirts....)

Did I mention there's also a middle school open house next week?

And Halloween is coming?

And that my in-laws are coming to stay for almost a week in the middle of this?  Thankfully they are EASY and will probably HELP me remember all this stuff.  Because I'm not sure I can keep it all straight anymore...

And this, dear children of mine who complain I always forget things -- THIS is why I have no brain cells left. 


PS.  I wouldn't have it any other way.....it is crazy trying to keep up with all this but I am really so thankful for all the opportunities you have at school and in life.  Except for maybe the 6-day clothing ordeal.... :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Snapshots: Sweetness

I will never tire of finding these sweet notes on my bedside table & under my pillow....

Friday, September 19, 2014

September Snapshots: Carter's New Hobby

Carter has always liked domino rallies but lately he has taken it to a new level.
Now it involves watching YouTube videos (which - holy moly - who knew how many hours are spent by people on this planet setting up elaborate domino runs??? I mean - hundreds of thousands of dominoes!)

It also involves trying to recreate some of what he sees by making domino runs on our coffee table.
There's this one....

and this one he worked on a few days ago.

Unfortunately his domino runs are limited to the one set of dominoes we own.
Think I know what he may be getting for Christmas this year! ;)