If you wanna feel better about your family, just read about ours...

Starring: a dad, a mom, a son & daughter-in-law, a daughter & son-in-law, a teen, a tween, 1 grandson, 3 granddaughters, 3 dogs, and a whole lot of love.

Family Story Pic

Family Story Pic


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Be Still

Apparently I missed this sign on my path with God recently, because I'm about to learn something.  Or I'm supposed to be learning something.  Or I should have already learned something.  I feel like I'm back in my 9th grade 'Intro to Conversational Spanish' class looking at the teacher like she's speaking a foreign language.  Oh wait...never mind.

Hopefully the lesson becomes clear.  And fast.

Here's the deal.  My husband planned a business trip.  He also planned to take me with him.  Half of that plan was carried out.  The other half fell through.  Guess which half didn't get to go?

I worked through all the emotions with that.  Rage.  Sadness.  (I played the Martyr Card for about a minute until I remembered how much I despise the Martyr Card.)  Disappointment.  Back to rage.  Then I decided that I liked the rage...a lot...I was really enjoying the rage.

I finally worked my way to acceptance and began making the most of the 3 days I'd have with my kids and also creating a very special homecoming date the day he comes home.  He's only gone Wednesday to Friday but we're never apart so that seems like a really long time!  Especially considering that it was supposed to be "our getaway."  (Uh oh, I just went back to rage for a second there.)

Yesterday, C and I dropped him off at the airport early in the morning, both of us in our jammies and neither of us wearing shoes.  We're classy like that.  The first half of the trip back home focused on trying to explain to C that daddy won't be home "tomorrow" but he'll be home "the next tomorrow."  At the halfway point, she announced she hadn't peed since last night.  Two minutes later, we were running into a dirty Rest Stop bathroom.  Barefoot.  *shudder*  Then we consoled ourselves with an over-priced Tim Horton's donut.  (A .95 cent donut should come lathered in Godiva Chocolate, NOT lightly scattered with multi-colored sprinkles.  Shame on you, Mr. Horton.) 

But the rest of the day, although bumpy, was productive.  I got most everything done that I'd planned and spent a fun Girls Night with my daughters eating Lee's Famous Recipe chicken on my bed while we watched The Bachelorette season premier on dvr.  We had a few bouts with a sobbing C, who misses her daddy, but we survived.

Enter today.  The busiest day that included a bunch of errands, lunch with a friend, the pup's first Vet appt, plans for C and her friend to get their ears pierced together, home for pizza with the kids and topped off with K & A's end of year choir and band concert.  This day was going to be productive, fun and most importantly, fast!  My husband comes home tomorrow!

So when I was making my coffee and heard C vomiting in the bathroom, my heart sank.  First of all, a flu-ridden 5 year old is very sad.  My heart breaks when any of my children are sick.  It comes with the mom territory.  But secondly, my day was just reduced to sitting in the rocking chair with my sick sleeping child.  Not productive.  Not fun.  Not fast.  Sitting and rocking. 

Clearly, I wasn't meant to be on that trip with my husband.  I'm needed at home.  I get that and I accept that.  But what else?  What am I supposed to do with this long day spent alone with nothing but my own thoughts?  God has obviously decided that today I will be still.

"Be still and know that I am God."  ~Psalm 46:10~

This is a hard week for me!  I just wanted time to move a little faster for a few days!  I know that you are God!  Why must I be still today of all days?  This week of all weeks?  So much to do!  The perfect time to get it all done!  

All it took was for my sick child to say, "Mommy, can we by-o in the chair today?"  And my world stopped.  The One who created me knew that it would.

Had He said, "Will you cancel your plans and be still for me today?"  Sad to say, it wouldn't have happened.

He knows me and today He wants me to be still.  I'm not sure what's behind it and I don't know why.  All I know is Who, and today that will have to be enough.

Monday, May 7, 2012


It's been a busy few weeks around here.  The remainder of April consisted of planning and carrying out my husband's surprise 40th birthday party.  Success!  Then it was a youth trip for two of our daughters and the month was topped off with Z's Senior Prom.  (Don't get me started, I'll cry.)

As busy as April was, May is much worse.  Everything always seems to hit in May and this year proves to be no different.  A is halfway through Driver's Ed, we're finishing up C's Gymnastics classes, her recital was this past weekend, the approach of A's prom, Mother's Day, a business trip for my husband, K's birthday, family vacation, Z's Graduation and the planning of his Open House, where the goal is to have a thoroughly cleaned house, beautiful yard and tons of his favorite food to host an amazing and memorable party for our son.  That's pressure.  (Oh my goodness, my little boy is graduating.  Okay, now I'm crying.)

Throw in the day to day cleaning, yard work, appointments, clients, kids activities and May is utter chaos.  And did I mention my early Mother's Day gift?  A puppy!!  A tiny black and white Llassapoo, who may or may not resemble a skunk, and is currently sitting on my lap trying to lick my coffee mug.  If memory serves, that's exactly how C got addicted to coffee as an infant.  But I digress.

Enter Pinterest.  The site that, with a simple scroll of your mouse, can make you feel hungry, inadequate, bitter and inspired all at once.  I don't have a Pinterest account.  I simply stalk, copy and paste.  A lot.  It's a great place to gather ideas and recipes for big events.  Pinterest was partially responsible for something I made for my husband's party.  It showed a little flower pot full of suckers with "Getting Old Sucks" stenciled across the front.  Cute!  I think I can do that.  Three weeks, 1,000 suckers and a 3-tiered topiary later, I had created what became known as "Sucker-Man", a 15 lb monstrosity who is sitting on our dining room table.  I tend to take things too far.  Shocked, right?

But one Pinterest idea seems to be working.  It's a Spring Cleaning schedule.  Cleaning is not my strong suit.  I like things straightened and surface clean, but don't look too deep....or run a white glove anywhere....or turn on the ceiling fan above the dining room table unless you want chunks of dust bunnies flying into your food.

I've tried to spring clean.  But, I'm easily distracted, going from one thing to the next while leaving a string of half done projects in my wake.  This schedule solves that problem completely.  The idea is to do one thing per day.  Don't get distracted by other things, because they'll have their day.

So in preparation for Z's party, I decided to give this a try.  I'm now 7 days in and I can't believe the difference it's making.  It's scary what I'd gotten used to over the years of living in our house.  Now it doesn't seem to matter if there's dishes in the sink or toys all over the floor, the house has a CLEAN feel to it!  And since Vinegar was the Pinterest suggested cleaning solution of choice, my house has a wonderful smell....kind of potato salad-y....mmmm.....

Here's what I'm doing for anyone interested in giving this a try.  I combined a few things to do on the same day to save time and some of it made sense to do together. 

Day 1:   Clean all light fixtures, ceiling fans, cobwebs along the ceiling and corners and dust all horizontal surfaces.  This could be broken down into 4 separate days, but I combined them so that I could sweep and mop the floors immediately afterward because, trust me, they needed it immediately afterward.  Side Note:  I had NO idea how many horizontal surfaces we have in our house until I made my way from room to room.  Don't forget the tops of door frames.  I also realized I need to look up more often.  *shudder*

Day 2:  Spot clean all the walls.  My stairwell was a disaster.  Apparently none of my children use banisters....or napkins.

Day 3:  Vacuum the furniture, wash all the blinds and remove and launder all curtains.  Again, you could break this down if you wanted.

Day 4:  Spot clean the carpet.  My Little Green Machine came in very handy!

Day 5:  Deep clean the kitchen, including sorting and organizing the cupboards, drawers and fridge.  This was an all day job for me that actually ended with the decision to repaint the kitchen. 

Day 6:  Deep clean the bathroom, including sorting and organizing the medicine cabinet, linen closet, and drawers.

Day 7:  Wash the windows and window tracks both inside and out.

Day 8:  Sort through your clothes and donate things you don't wear anymore.

Day 9:  Wash all bedding, including the bed skirt and comforter.  Sprinkle the mattress with Baking Soda and vacuum it up after 1 hour.

Day 10:  Repaint the kitchen.  (Sigh)  Obviously, that won't apply to everyone.

Day 11:  Hire a cleaning lady so this never happens again.

All you great house cleaners, please feel free to share ideas, helpful tips or anything I've missed so I can add it to my list!