Friday, October 28, 2011

project 52:43 - making music

Jack is also learning piano this year.  It's not his favorite thing to do, in fact, I've decided it would almost be considered punishment in his mind ("you hit your sister? Go practice piano for 15 min!!!"), but when God dumps a free piano in your lap, it seems there's little excuse for not having everyone take lessons.  Jack is growing, expanding his brain, creating a building block that may turn into something when he's older.  If nothing else, he's learning to sit still for 15 minutes a day. 

I love my piano.  It's old and not so fancy, but it's ours & it came to us in a unique way.  I love learning how to play it alongside Macy & the music that it makes.  Even if no one is up to great masterpieces yet, it's still music to my ears.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

project 52:42 - snacks

Midnight snack...womb service...crazy it what you want, but this momma is needing her extra calories. Haven't sent the husband on TOO many runs to the store for ice cream at 11:00pm or something weird and random that we are out of (raw potatoes), but there is still time.  Haahaa!

We are half-way to baby day.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My wake-up call

I take the kids to school four out of five mornings a week. This is my reward.

Every day (until the time changes, darn it) we get to witness a beautiful reminder of God's majesty and without the responsibility of driving kids to school I would most definitely miss out on this "wow".

It helps get me out the door!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Little Catholic brother humor

First, a definition or the joke isn't anywhere near funny.  
Stigmata-bodily marks, sores, or sensations of pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus, such as the hands and feet.  There are over 60 people the Catholic Church recognizes as having had the stigmata.

Now, some background...growing up Catholic, you just have more options for get to celebrate mass with your siblings, baptize dolls, put on detailed Good Friday plays...and then there's the saints.  A treasure trove of stories about people who had amazing things happen to them and who did amazing things all because of their faith in Christ.  Our kids love stories of the saints & tend to remember the more gory details over the mild ones. 
Moving on...the other night we were in the process of moving furniture and it involved a power drill.  The kids were buzzing about, interested in helping because it concerned their bedrooms.  Well, dad has to go out to the garage to get some screw or tool (aka kids lose interest & start roaming).  I was in the kitchen & I hear Jack pick up the power drill, revv it & yell at the girls "Who wants a stigmata????  Rar!!"  All girls proceed to run screaming & giggling.  Mission accomplished.   I have to commend the kid-I mean, that's pretty creative.  And hilarious in a sick kind of way.

This little boy turned 6 Tuesday.  
Birthdays always leave me feeling inadequate in the words do you sum up a special person on their special day?

Jack was the little toddler that held on to my leg when we were in a crowd, cautious to jump in until he was comfortable with the setting.  He was the baby that was continually spewing milk from one feeding to the next but was grinning through it all.  He was the preschooler that wore his clothes & shoes backwards, preferred pjs to clothes ALL the time, & tested us beyond our limits and really threw our parenting ideas out the he's six.  Still precious in his own quirky way, still sometimes a test to our limits, but cherished and loved and perfectly made.  He's one of the best swimmers in his class & his teacher swears he's a perfect angel during school.  He suffers through piano to play the Wii and loves to cuddle with his daddy at night.  He has this funny sense of humor and a tenderness to Ava that makes my heart smile.  He loves to build.  With wood.  And a hammer.  And though he might hesitate to admit it, his best friend is his big sister.  

I love you Jack.

Monday, October 17, 2011

project 52: 41 - updo's

Sunday mornings mean lots of hair to fix in a short amount of time.  With three girls, there's a lot of bows & pony tails & dog ears & braids to go around.  Macy is big enough to manage her hair most days but special requests do come along still.  Sometimes there are tears and no cooperation, the dog ears end up a little crooked, the pony tails not so smooth.  Most of the time it all gets done (before daddy is pulling out of the garage!) and we look great!   

Friday, October 14, 2011

Perfect Timing

We were missing the mountains and it happened that my husband could take a long weekend, so we decided to make the journey up there.  Thinking we might get to see some fall foliage, but never guessing that we picked the perfect weekend to be there, we were in for the most beautiful fall weekend we have spent in years.  The mountains looked as if they were on fire-they were breathtaking, beautiful, awesome.  The weather was perfect-cool, but not freezing, and just made for long walks & hikes up the mountains.

Even before we got to our destination, God gave us a glimpse of what was in store...He prepared a very magnificent sunset for us to gaze upon.
 I see the moon...the moon sees me...goodnight moon...goodnight me.

And in the morning, stepping out onto our deck...we took in this.  Wow.

The little town that is usually void of people after Labor Day was teeming with crowds...all of us there for this reason.
Who could resist a drive in the mountains when they look so beautiful?  There were people stopped everywhere, all along the roads, taking pictures-everyone from cell phones to point-&-shoots to professionals with tripods.

One of the afternoons, we loaded up and went for a hike up a big mountain...making it as far as the little ones could go.

This one could hike up to the top-I feel sure.  She has amazing strength & stamina.  She also carried her littlest sister part of the way because said sister was throwing fits & refused to walk.  Macy helped give me a break!

Jack becomes quite the shutterbug up in the mountains-it's rather funny.  About every 20 steps he stops, poses, & says "Mom!  Take a picture of me!"  Ordinarily he runs from the camera, so I take advantage of the face time.

Lily didn't mind walking, just would get tired she hitched a ride some.

This is where we made it overlook where you can see for miles and miles in both directions.  It's amazing how high up you are-the mountains waaay in the background of this picture are about 60 (or more, I'm terrible with distance) away.

Her ears do this always.  It's her signature look.  I think it is the funniest, most charming thing.  Brooke loved the walk, the smells, barking at unknown objects, animals, and people.  It was actually very comforting to have her there.  Not that she could take down a bear or mountain lion, but we felt she would give fair warning at least!

Words just couldn't describe the beauty and over & over again, we kept saying "Wow, this is amazing."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

project 52:40 - wiggly

Finally, this past week I felt the little life within me-proof that he(or she) is growing, getting stronger...

Thinking about names, wondering will this one have my husband's beautiful dark hair for keeps, or his green eyes instead of my blue, is this one a brother for Jack or another sweet sister...what will the interests of this child be-will they imitate an older sibling or be something totally new (like skateboarding, goodness, we have no clue!!).  All the questions will have to wait to be answered and it's so amazing to find each one as they develop.  

project 52:39 - a gift

Allowing yourself to take pleasure in the gift of holding a sleeping child...that is beautiful.

I would classify myself as a "busy" mom-I always see what needs to be done instead of letting things pass.  Many times, when I go to play with one of the kids in their room, I find myself after about 5 minutes of playing, picking things up & cleaning their room!  In fact, I used to (maybe still do some?) take pride in the fact that we have trained all our kids to put themselves to sleep-very handy when you have "stuff to do".  But then there's Ava...sweet Ava is such a cuddly baby & has taught me so much more.  One thing being how dear it is to actually have a child fall asleep in my arms (the rest of them never would) & to stop for a minute-take a time out-and just be still and quiet and think and smell this sweet head.  

I think one of the neatest things about having more and more kids is that each time you get to put into practice all the things you've learned-we are different parents than when we started this rodeo.  Don't know that we are better at it, but just different.  And it's fun.  So many of my (& our) philosophies & ways of doing things have changed, shaped not only by experience but also through the wisdom of other moms (& dads!) and that's pretty cool too.

Just reminding myself to stop...put on the blinders and not let special ordinary moments pass without notice.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Visiting Grandma

The other part of the day that made it so special was that while we were in town for the reunion, we got to stop by and see my mom's mom in the nursing home she lives in.  I haven't seen her since she moved & really enjoyed surprising her that evening.  She was waiting by the door when we came in & it took her a minute to place me...but then she was so happy & said "I was just sitting here, hoping someone would come visit me this afternoon!".  We were blessed to be the ones to make her day!

This picture is so cute!  It shows how happy she was to have company-

 Lily was a sweetheart & climbed right up in her lap & let her cuddle on her.

But, Lily was a little sick of the pictures...there were several pictures of us trying to get Ava to sit on Grandma's lap that didn't take, but the faces that Lily was giving me were hilarious.  When you are spicy, you just can't help but show it.

Surprise Family Reunion

My husband & I like to do things spontaneously...often.  We have been known to buy vehicles, go on trips, paint things, with very little warning.  We do think about it first, it's just that it doesn't take us a lot of hashing over to come to a decision.  Like this past weekend-we decided to go to the mountains for an extended weekend 3 days before we left.  Some would say that it's because I'm a tad bit impatient (no comments from mom or husband needed).  I will admit I don't like to look forward to things for very long periods of time.  Wonder where Jack gets it...

ANYways...another example of our spontaneity-we decided an hour before it started to go to my paternal grandmother's family reunion a few weekends ago (3 hrs away).  I'm so glad we did.  The family that was there was so much fun to talk to & see-some of them I hadn't seen since I was a little girl.  My grandma's sister was there, the one that I remember thinking as a little girl was just like my grandma.  And, I admit it was so emotional seeing her.  She told stories, sang songs, bonded with Macy (Macy said when we left that she was pretty sure she was a lot like Gerry because they both liked horses & dogs & singing-kindred spirits), and reminded me of what my grandma used to be like.  There were my dad's cousins & they were lots of fun to talk to-it's neat to make a connection with someone who knew your dad growing up.  And, a couple of cousins from my generation were there too, Denise that I remember playing with at these very reunions when we were little!  Now we have kids of our own!

The day was such a blessing.

(My disclaimer:  The other side of me is the side that meticulously plans things, sometimes-often?-to a fault.  Dear hubs was making fun of me & my mother because we already have planned out when to have this baby, when Nana will be here, where the kids will go, what she will cook...and I'm not due until March. It's all about balance in your life, right?)

Happy spontaneity to your life...or perfectly laid plans.