Sunday, May 31, 2009

Day 41

Have I seen the hand of God in my life today?

Click on the above link to watch a video that a friend shared on facebook today. It changed the way I viewed my Sunday. Here's my answer to the question:

Yes, I saw the hand of God today...

When a dear friend came into the church foyer to help me with my kids (I was just about to turn around, give up on church, and go home).
When a violinist played "Where Can I Turn for Peace" during the sacrament service.
When the kids and I sat around the kitchen table and laughed.
When Baby C smiled and cooed.
When my heart was softened during a lesson at church.
When I talked to my dear husband and he expressed his love to me and the kids.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day 42

Today I learned that I cannot do it all.

The day started out well. Madi and Leasie decorated their bikes so they could be in the town's annual parade. While they attached pinwheels (left over from the unfinished science fair project) and laced streamers through their wheels, I fed Baby C and got ready for the day. We loaded the bikes and five kids into the truck and took the girls to the firestation. Once I got the two big girls settled, I drove the twins and baby back to our house so we could watch from a shady spot.

The parade was pure home-town bliss. Firetrucks, boy scout troops, a fifth grade float, tractors, dogs, a goat, and of course, my bike-riding girls.

After the parade, we walked to the park and bought hot dogs for lunch. We didn't stay long because...we had to rush to Madi's soccer game! AND I was the snack provider (which I didn't remember until I was half way through lunch). Slight panic. Mad rush to get home, find soccer gear, collect water bottles, get Baby C fed & diapered, and stop at Giant for soccer snacks.

Madi made it with ten minutes to spare.

At five o'clock tonight I started getting the kids ready for the 4H meeting which I thought started at seven o'clock - like it has been all year long. I just happened to check my email where there was a reminder about the four o'clock meeting! Four o'clock! Huge panic. Mad rush to get shoes on (T-man ended up wearing his Sunday shoes), load kids, and drive to club meeting. We arrived and realized we'd left the rabbits at home. We got there just as they were dismissing everyone for the refreshments. We completely missed the meeting. I felt quite flustered, flaky, and embarrassed. The EXTREMELY nice leaders gave us the condensed version of the meeting.

We got home. Tub time. Family Prayer. And now, I am so grateful that this long day is done.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 39 Haircut!

Got my haircut today. LOVE the highlights, but the cut is going to take some getting used to. I haven't had it this short for two years. The good thing about hair: it grows! :)

Other sad sister's trip to visit us got canceled. Her husband's grandma died last night, and the funeral is this weekend. So I'll just have to do without the adult conversation, extra help, shopping extravaganzas, late-night movies, and spa pedicure that I was looking forward to.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day 38

"AAHHH! Let me out!"

I put up the baby gate today...much to Baby C's frustration. When the twins were this age, we fondly referred to the baby gate as "baby jail." In this picture, C is protesting loudly.

Poor C. She watched all day as her siblings unlatched the gate and walked right through. She would get excited, crawl as fast as she could with her head down, only to arrive at the gate and have it locked again.

But happy me! I made dinner tonight without tripping over C. I did finances on the computer without worrying about C biting the computer cords. And I picked up the front room without having to monitor C's daredevil attempts at climbing the stairs.

My sanity and C's safety is well worth her frustration (sorry sweetie).

Successes: Followed directions that might as well have been written in Chinese (I stuck to the pictures), used a screwdriver, and put up the baby gate.

Casualties: Baby C's freedom to roam.

Day 37: Memorial Day

Somehow I lost count of the days! I looked at a calendar today and was thrilled to see that Monday was day 37. We are now beyond the half way point.

Our family had some wonderful moments this holiday weekend. We had the treat of talking to Owen twice. He is doing well - working hard. He told us that he has grown a beard. His mustache is so long that it got really messy when he tried to eat an ice cream cone. The girls thought it was funny. T-man was less enthusiastic. He kept telling Owen, "PLEASE shave!"

On Memorial Day morning we caught some of the Washington DC festivities on PBS. Madi realized the significance of our family's situation, and she and I had a lovely discussion about freedom and sacrifice. I am honored to be a tiny part of the great work done by faithful men and women who have sacrificed so much for our great country. I felt a kinship with the military families who support their loved ones who are serving overseas. I love America.

We attended the annual Memorial Day picnic sponsored by our ward. The good people in our church chipped in to help me with the kids. Richard helped Meya get food. Ashley Baird and Sarah Barker took the kids on the hay ride. And Baby C was passed from one person to the next so that my arms and hands were free to load up on all the yummy food. Perhaps the most touching part for me was that I never had to ask for help - people just stepped in.

About two hours into the picnic, we watched a huge storm roll in. We had our own natural fireworks display with lightening and thunder. The kids played in the rain while Baby C and I enjoyed the storm from the shelter of the pavilion.

Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


My photographer friend, Corinne, just email this picture to me. It was taken mid-April, when Corinne and her family came up for a visit.

Madi is normally a very fiery, vivacious girl. Always on the go. Pulling funny faces or tackling a project. So to capture her in a calm, even serene, moment is worth saving. There are two past-times that cause Madi to slow down. The first, is when she's lost in a book. The second, as shown here, is when she's holding her beloved rabbit, Flash.

Day 33&34

The three girls went to the beauty salon this week. And everyone (even Madi!) wanted short hair. This is the first time Madi has cut her hair above her shoulders...ever. Meya said she wanted her hair cut up to her ears. We didn't go quite that short, but close.

Who are these grown-up girls??

Friday, May 22, 2009

Day 31&32

No, T-man is not trying to poke his eyes out. He's conducting music. One of his favorite past-times is leading his sisters as they sing primary songs. He also becomes extremely animated when we put on our Mozart CD.

Watch out Mac Wilberg - we've got your replacement in training!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day 30

Madi and I cleaned out the bunny cages today. I will spare you the details on the clean-up (normally my hubby tackles this fun job) except to say that Madi really worked hard.

A couple weeks ago we put a few fly traps in the shed - the kind with the long sticky tape that hangs from the ceiling. Well, as we were putting the cages back in the shed, I accidentally knocked into one of the sticky tapes. Since it had been there a while it was full of dead flies. My hair got caught in it. I screamed - a blood curdling, horror movie type scream. And I kept screaming long after I'd freed my hair from the tape. The heebie-jeebie factor was just horrible. I think I scared Madi nearly to death.

After I calmed down, I decided I better think of a "story" to tell if any neighbors came to investigate. I decided I'd tell them I saw a snake in the shed. But, luckily, no one came to investigate. And now, the real story is in writing.

Success: Rabbit cages are clean.
Casualties: Some lost hair, a sore throat, and a new found phobia of fly tape.

Day 29

The twins had their preschool graduation ceremony. They sang "This Little Light of Mine" and "Turkey in the Straw" - a nice combo of secular and non-secular :). Then they marched across the stage as their teacher called their name. T-man was the first in the class to be called. I was biting my nails, praying he wouldn't be too shy, and he did great. Meya, as you can imagine, jumped up when her name was called and smiled at all the parents as she made her way across the stage. What a ham!

My only teary moment was when the principal got a little weepy as she announced, "We've known some of these children for half their lives!" Wow. I feel blessed to have had all four kids attend such a wonderful preschool.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Days 27&28

Successes: soccer game, took girls to see community theater production of "Crazy for You," dinner with friends today, went running on Saturday, and all dishes are washed.

Casualties: T-man's acting-out and disobedience is at an all time high, laundry is piling up, bags under the eyes are growing.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Day 26

Not even half way yet...

I'm recovering from the post-mom-visit. Having my mom here was so wonderful. I'd forgotten how nice it is to not only have someone to share the daily chores with, but to have someone to talk with. Now that she's gone I'm re-acclimating myself. I teetered on the depression fence for about 24 hours, but I think I've come back to the "work hard and try to laugh" side again.

Successes: Reading to Baby C, running 3 miles, laughing with Leasie

Casualties: Dinner - I broke down and took everyone to Subway

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Day 25

Yesterday was Kindergarten registration for the twins. I went to the elementary school cafeteria in high spirits. I was thrilled to sign them up, and I was anticipating the wonderful counting down to their first day of school. I think I was the only mother at the sign up completely beaming with joy and anticipation. Three hours five days a week! Wahoo! Someone pinch me.

It wasn't until I started going through pictures for this post that I started to feel a little pensive...and the tiniest bit melancholy. Is it too cliche to ask "Where has the time gone?" "Wasn't it just yesterday that the twins were stereo crying and crawling towards me in full baby-attack mode?" And more poignantly, "Did I read to them enough?" "Did I laugh and play with them enough?" "Did I appreciate the full-time mothering of these sweet children?"

The twins have been the biggest challenge of my life. But they have also been one of the biggest blessings. While I was gung-ho about the sign up, I am sure that watching them board the bus together will be a bittersweet moment--one filled with smiles and, no doubt, tears.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Days 19 to 24

For the last five days my mom has been here! We went to Williamsburg and enjoyed a day at Busch Gardens. Here's my mom dancing with Baby C during the German dancing performance.

And here are the kids in Ireland.

For Mother's Day we had a tea party complete with cupcakes and pink lemonade. The last time I got to be with my mom for Mother's Day was back when I was a senior in high school!

The kids lavished me with homemade gifts and cards. I feel very blessed and loved. I am grateful to be a mom.
It has been such a nice break having Mom here. She's played with the kids, done daily craft activities, and washed my dishes! Hurray!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Day 17

After T-man saved his money for a couple of months, we were ready for a trip to Target. Today T-man enjoyed literally hours of fun!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Day 16

Rain, rain go that my basement will stay dry!

Yesterday afternoon I went down into the basement to find a pool of water the size of a twin-sized mattress on the floor. I went outside to check the front gutters that my hubby had worked so hard to get working properly. And sure enough, they were clogged with maple tree blossoms. Water from the roof poured over the side of the porch in waterfall fashion.

I turned on the news hoping to learn that the rain was ending soon - no such luck. We're going to have rain for the next two days.

Rescue for me and our basement came in the form of two teenage boys (pictured above). Brandon Peterson--on the right-- is one of our hometeachers. He and his brother, Mark, answered my desperate phone call for help and came over at about 9PM. They handled a ladder like pros, and dug out all the gucky cloggage. Then in an act of true service, they went on to completely clean the gutters, scraping them clean and rinsing them.

I stood on the lawn, holding the white garbage bag for them to drop the guck into. And I marveled at these two young men. Their work ethic and cheerfulness (especially considering the yuck factor) were amazing. I am so grateful to them.

It's been raining all day today, and my basement is dry.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Day 14&15

This is the cherry tree my husband planted four years ago. He had ordered the tree from one of the gardening magazines and it arrived in a cardboard box. When he put it in the ground it didn't even come up to his knee. It looked like a stick stuck in the ground.

Last year we harvested just enough cherries to make one pie.

This year. Well, do you see all those white blossoms? Those are our future cherries. Looks to me like at least a three-pie tree. We'll harvest them in mid-July and enjoy some delicious sour cherry pies.

Over the last two days, I've tried to see beyond the "stick" stage of our life. Right now, with Leasie's diagnosis on top of our other challenges, things seem a bit bare. But like our lovely cherry tree, if I focus on the future fruit--what we're becoming as a family and hopefully what I'm becoming as a mom--then it doesn't seem so bad.

We've been so blessed with good friends and wonderful family members looking out for us. I feel closer to my children, more appreciative of my husband, and more grateful to my Heavenly Father for our blessings.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Day 13

We learned today that Leasie has Lyme disease.

Leasie had flu-like symptoms and a strange rash last weekend, and I took her into the doctor on Monday. The doctor sent us home saying it was just a virus. Tuesday she was worse, and I had a nagging feeling that this wasn't "just a virus." I took her in again Tuesday and the doctor looked more closely at her rash. It extended on both sides of her face, like sideburns, and went under her chin. It was a large bullseye rash which is often manifest by Lyme disease. The doctor ordered blood work, and we got the results today. (We also think that the sickness she had last month and the ER visit was also due to Lyme disease.)

The good news is that we caught it very early. She will go on an agressive antibiotic treatment for the next 28 days. Then they'll do another blood test. And hopefully, it will be gone.

My poor girl. Now that I've read about Lyme disease I realize just how awful she must have been feeling last weekend: headache, fatigue, nausea, even depression.

I have faith that all will be well. We'll do our best to take care of her so she can fully recover.