31 May 2011

Summer, summer, summer time...

summer sunset ]via my iPhone while on a run the other night

It's been like a whole week since I've blogged.  I'm not sure it will get any better now that summer is in full swing around here.  We are going to remain active and outdoors as much as possible.  With Six Flags passes and pool passes in our pockets, we may actually achieve our goal.

The gang on Betsy's kindergarten graduation day

This last week has been an exhausting one for sure.  We had to be on lock down at school pick up under threat of tornadoes,  Jake turned 10 {don't even get me started on that one}, Betsy had her last field trip as a kindergartener, Rosie slept over at my sister's house {twice}, Pete was...well, Pete, the cicadas are dive bombing us and piercing our ears with their chirping or whatever it is they do, and we wrapped it all up with a family BBQ.

Jakey's cake from his 'around-the-world' party made by my friend, Amy.
Thanks, Amy!

While I can make no promises in the blogging department during the summer months, I can promise you great stories/ideas/adventures here and there.  And in the fall, well, you may just be sick of me by December.  I'll be back tomorrow with some new music, and Thursday with some of our recent party details.

Happy Summer!

23 May 2011

Random randomness in bullets.

  • Thank you, Crystal for showing me the light, and by that, I mean 'cake batter rice krispie treats'.
  • Thank you, Trish for being concerned about us in Missouri.  Fortunately, we are hours away from the devastation.  What a heartbreaking tragedy.  Mother Nature knows no bounds.
image via MSNBC
  • I like engagement sessions.  Super fun!

  • I like to laugh.  Especially at Facebook.  I am its biggest fan and strongest opponent all at the same time.  Certain types of status updates are a favorite topic of conversation around here.

  • I cannot and will not stop listening to this song.  I love Johnny.  Love, love, love.

  • Last week of school means craziness.  Cuckoo, nuts, psycho.
  • That is all.

18 May 2011

Hump day ear candy.

Try "The Naked and Famous".

You will like them.

And you do not have to be naked or famous to enjoy.

By the way...Mum and his Sons have some new material floating around: HERE, HERE, and HERE.  I thought you may like to give a listen as we all wait for that elusive second album.  I will be giving a full report on their set list from Wakarusa, along with many, many photos...of us, not them.  Unless of course our plan comes to fruition.  That being becoming best friends with the band.  Then, the photos will be of us WITH them.  I would not hold my breath if I were you.    

15 May 2011

Every once in awhile...

They all get along perfectly.

More details from Pete's big First Holy Communion celebration to follow!

10 May 2011

A problem.

I have a confession.  I go to Hobby Lobby probably 3-4 times a week, average.  The thing is, I don't have an Etsy shop, I don't supplement our income in any way by crafting, I'm not a fabric hoarder, I don't scrapbook, and I don't really like their home decor items.  So, what gives?  Why do I harbor such an obsession?

Sometimes, I find myself pulling in the lot, walking in the store, and realizing I don't have a purpose.  Half the time I don't even buy anything.  If I did, it may be grounds for Jake to divorce me. If only he had such an easy out.  *wink, wink*

In my defense, it is right across the street from a plaza with Target, Wal-Mart {shudder}, TJ Maxx, Lowe's, and HomeGoods.  And, one of Rosie's and my favorite lunch spots {'Chipolte'} is right smack dab at the front of the parking lot of Hobby Lobby.  Sigh.

It's a constant internal struggle.

Am I the only one?  I think I need to know I'm not alone.  That someone out there has the same problem.  That might help.  If not, I may resign myself to sucking my thumb in the fetal position in the corner of our room.

Please, don't let that happen...

09 May 2011

Here's to the littles {and not so little anymore} that make us moms.

Without them our name wouldn't be 'Mom'.  Hope every momma had a fantastic day yesterday!

**all photos by yours truly**

05 May 2011

Pick up the pace.

The other day, whilst in Hobby Lobby with all 4 of my brood, I noticed Betsy was purposely walking slow and scuffling along to get us all to laugh.  Normally, this would have made us all laugh, but I was on a mission.  To get in and get out.  At the rate she was walking it could have taken the better part of the evening to get my 1/8 yard of fabric and 1 piece of 12x12 scrapbook paper.  Hey, if it were 1972 and legal, I probably would have left them all in the car that's how fast this stop would've been. {And, no, I don't feel bad for saying that.}

I was trying to not let my frustration show.  With Betsy, that only makes things worse.  {Normally, she shuts down and lays on the ground wherever she may be.  She weighs 75 lbs. and has low muscle tone, so you can imagine how difficult it can be.}  The other 3 could feel me about to boil over, I suppose.  Enter Pete.

He put his arm around her and turned it into a sort of game to get her to pick up the pace.  It worked.  Jake picked up on what he was trying to do, and helped in the 'game'.  Rosie loved it, too. Not only did it work, it instantly broke the tension.  We giggled and skipped through the store, and in 15 minutes {still longer than if I'd left them in the car}, we were on our way home with 1/8 yard of fabric, 1 12x12 piece of scrapbook paper, AND Skittles for all.

It is difficult to express how a situation like this one {which happens almost every day in some shape or form} makes me feel.  My normal reaction is sadness.  In many forms.  Sad for her that she doesn't understand typical social cues or that she isn't a typical kid, sad for myself because, at times, I show that I'm only human and wonder why this happened to me, why God chose me to raise a girl like her, sad for my other kids that they will not have a childhood like most children.  And then, after having a pity party, I get slapped in the face with guilt.  Guilt for feeling so ridiculous on all accounts.

We are lucky.  For many reasons, but concerning this situation, blessed beyond belief.  Some of you may not see the blessings in this story.  So, I will explain...

We are blessed, blessed, blessed to have Betsy.  Just to have her is the biggest blessing of all.  Sure my children may have more responsibility than the average bear.  It's not intentional.  We have all evolved because Betsy is in our lives.  The boys have stepped in for her so many times, when I simply cannot {think she's having a meltdown, needs a glass of water, and I have raw chicken juice up to my elbows}.   It's not like an older sibling helping a toddler: she's almost 7, she isn't potty trained {no, they have never changed her diaper or will ever be expected to}, she doesn't speak, she is extremely strong, she doesn't walk so great, she can reach things most 3-year-olds cannot, she develops much slower than a toddler, and the truth is, she may never be independent.  The list goes on and on.  And just like myself, they have learned how to 'handle' tough situations involving her by knowing what calms her down amongst other things.  They have been scratched until bleeding, taken down to the floor, squeezed, pushed, BUT they have also been hugged, tickled, laughed until they've fallen on the floor, kissed so hard it hurts.  All from that 75 lb. sister of theirs.  Their sister has made them, in a sense, blind to differences.  The notion that different IS normal.  I couldn't think of a better way to teach that lesson than with those 75 lbs.

I anticipate a time where they will resent her and me.  Possibly, go through what I hope will be a phase of rebellion when it comes to helping out with her.  And, I know it will be okay.  I wouldn't expect anything else from a hormonal, self-involved, teenager.  {My mom has said that God plucks the souls of teenagers, and gives them back when we become adults.  It's a joke, but with an ounce of truth, I think.}  At the end of the day, they will come to understand what a true beacon of light their sister is in their lives.  How just by her being there they have learned acceptance and empathy beyond what a typical kid or adult will ever know, and how they have the unique opportunity to share that lesson with others.

I will leave you with a final story...

Several weeks ago, we were all piled in our bed on a rainy Sunday afternoon.  I asked Lil' Jake if Betsy could live with his wife and him when he gets older and is married.  Very matter of factly, he told me that it would be okay with him, but he'd have to make sure it was okay with his future wife.  I thought that was a very diplomatic answer.  I know better than anyone what an undertaking it would be to take on full-time care of Miss Betsy Jane.  I assured him that was a great answer.  Pete had a different approach.  Emphatically, he said yes.  I asked him what he would do if his wife didn't want her to live with them full-time.  He said, simply, "I would tell her that Betsy lives with us, or you're out!".

His sister aside, I think Pete has a few things to learn about the ladies.

**Let me add, I would NEVER leave my babies in a car.  So, if you're new around here, and haven't gotten a handle on my sense of humor...know that.

02 May 2011

The Wall.

Sorry to disappoint, but I'm not referring to Pink Floyd.

I'm referring to a our off-the-cuff family gallery.  It is actually two walls, each with two of THESE oh-so-easy-oh-so-cheap shelves.  Jake made them in a matter of a couple of hours.

By the way, did you know you could add hyphens to any series of words and create your own legitimate 'word'.  True story.

Silly me thought I would have too much space to fill.  Too bad I still have a whole box FULL of photos and art.  I have decided I will swap things out as I see fit.  I have about 4 canvases I'm planning on ordering of photos I took of my littles.  Those will have top shelving priority when I get around to it.  Whenever that may be.

For now, the shelves are full of oldies, but goodies with a few posters and art that I love mixed in for good measure.

I love this idea that all of our photos are displayed in a large statement grouping.  There aren't any other photos in the house except on these two walls.  Okay, I lied...there is one other photo in the master bedroom.  See?  I can't be trusted.

I've read personal/family photos shouldn't be in 'formal' rooms or bedrooms.  I say, "Dumb.".  My house, my rules.  These two walls are the first thing you see when you come in the front door. Bam!  In yo face!

You can also see the right wall when you  walk down the back hallway where the kids' rooms and the main bathroom are.  Our floor plan is very open and the lines of formal and informal are blurred.  Better yet, they're non-existent.  Just the way we like it.

Now, my question for you, dear readers...should I paint all the frames white to make such a busy installation more cohesive, or do you like the mish-mash {there's that hyphen thing again}?

What is your take?

For alas, I can't make up my mind for chiz.