December 29, 2008

Blog Cabin

There is a show I love on hgtv called Blog Cabin. It shows the various building stages and takes votes for various aspects of a cabin in progress. I thought I would create my own little "blog cabin" and if there is something Alan and I are at odds about, I might just throw in a reader vote to resolve it;) So here it is. . .or at least, here it was. . .

This is what we started with:

Then we put in the driveway

Then they dug out the foundation and we had ourselves a great big dirt hole

The foundation was poured

And finally it is starting to look like something. . .

This will be the view from our front porch. If you are looking for me, you can find me in my rocking chair here. . .

We truly feel that we have found a little piece of heaven on earth here. It is a place it explore, a place to imagine and daydream, a place to get dirty and soak your feet in the creek, a place to come closer to each other and a place to draw closer to God.

Last time we were there Sadie spent a long time building a birthday cake out of rocks. Eva and Lance saw a mysterious bird and looked it up in their "bird book" to discover it was a turkey vulture. Their minds, and ours, truly unwind here and they become carefree children again. Our door (once we have one) will be open to all.

December 17, 2008

I Didn't Make any Friends Today

In fact, I think I made some people really mad instead.

After my kids got home from school I thought that I would take them to the pool at the gym for some "mom swim school". Excitedly, they loaded up in the car - goggles and floatation devices in hand. We got to the gym and the kids jumped in the pool and began taking turns with mom practicing their strokes. About 3 minutes into our fun, Lance snarfed some water down the wrong pipe and proceeded to puke all over without warning. And it just kept coming up. I waded through all of it to get him to the side of the pool, included the heave that landed all down the front of my swimsuit. I got the girls out of the pool as Lance continued to puke on the deck. Eva began crying because we were going to have to leave the pool, the lifeguards had to immediately close the pool, including excusing the two swim classes of eager 3 year-olds that had just gotten in the water on the other end, the half dozen lap swimmers were notified to get out and they sounded the emergency pool alarm (really, did they have to sound the 350 decibel alarm?). I used all of the towels we had with us to mop up the slop and took everyone into the locker room to collect our belongings, only to share the same space with the 20+ frustrated moms who were getting their little ones dressed only again only moments after they had just gotten them suited up. I expressed my sincerest apologies and they all said in their sugary mom voices that they didn't mind, that it could happen to anyone. I'll pretend they all meant that. Since we used up our towels, I put the kids clothes over top of their soaking wet swimsuits and marched us in a dripping trail back to our car, still smelling the vomit fumes.
I got us all home and bathed everyone, including myself since I took the brunt of one "episode" while I put a frozen pizza in the oven for dinner (when things like this happen I consider it a guilt-free ticket to a frozen pizza night). I must have taken too long showering everyone because I came downstairs to one very charred pizza. I served it up anyway and made up for it by putting a straw in everyone's drink.

Just before bed Eva asked me to do one more thing with them. I can't even remember what the request was now, but I simply replied that I couldn't because I was tired and this day was over. She asked why I was tired. I told her that I knew it was hard to imagine sometimes that moms can get tired, but I was. I told her a fraction of what I did today, which included getting everyone dressed that morning, making their breakfast, packing their lunches, getting them on the bus, cleaning up the breakfast and the disaster in the kitchen from the day before resulting from making 9 loaves of pumpkin bread for a party, 4 dozen cookies for a missionary lunch and baking the pieces to construct 3 homemade gingerbread houses, sweep and mopped the kitchen floor, tube fed Bridger, washed and folded 6 loads of laundry (still not sure where that is all coming from), restored my craft room to working order again after wrapping up the chaos of 1 very unimpressive homemade Christmas gift (sorry Tyler, I don't think that you will realize upon opening it that it really did take about 50 man-hours), made Sadie an "office" of her own and helped her with her first office assignment of paper clipping a billion sheets of construction paper together, did 2 hours of therapy with Bridger, waiting for another bus, made the kids lunch, read to Bridger and put him down for a nap, returned to clean up from lunch, did an hour of administrative insurance paperwork, answered some emails, tube feed Bridger, painted girls fingernails, more therapy, hauled some Christmas boxes downstairs before the day soon comes that I will need to haul them up again to put away Christmas stuff, more laundry, make homemade cookies for the kids to eat when Lance gets home from school, get everyone ready for swimming, THE WHOLE POOL EXPERIENCE, come home and bath all the kids, clean up vomit suits, serve pitiful dinner, tube feed Bridger, jammy everyone, brush teeth, read books, scriptures, prayer, deny Eva's final request because I'm too tired.

After describing this partial list of things I did today to her, Eva said, "That's ALL you did today mom? Really, that's ALL?!"

I actually considered today to be a mild day on my calendar. So yes, Eva, really, that is all.

December 12, 2008

The Best House Guest Ever

In December our family hosts a delightful, magical little guest. . .


The power this little guy holds over our household is too much of a crack up not to share. Chip is an elf that comes to visit us on the first of December and departs on Christmas morning. Chip is Santa's eyes and ears. He reports what he sees in our home, what the kids are doing (and not doing), the status of their rooms, what voices they are using with each other and to their mom and dad. Each night he flies back to the North Pole to report to Santa and returns every morning to a new "observation point" in our home. The kids anxiously awake each morning and run around each room in giddy anticipation trying to find his new hiding spot. Chip's magic over our household is what I love the most. Witness his magic:

Chip is dangling in the chandelier over the kitchen table, Lance exclaims, "I really appreciate this dinner you made for us mom!! Even though I don't care for it I will eat my whole plate up anyway!"

Magic: Eva comes home from school and has to rush upstairs to her room proclaiming in a loud voice for "everyone" to hear, "I must keep my room clean and care for all my toys because I am grateful for them!"

Magic: I am in the kitchen when someone appears and asks if they can empty the dishwasher. Chip, of course, happened to be in the kitchen that day.

If, on the rare occasion, someone forgets about our little guest and starts saying something rude to me, I simply call out for Chip and the behavior is immediately reversed with a little look of panic on their face.

You cannot touch Chip, this makes his magic disappear. You can leave him notes to take to Santa that night, and sometimes Chip will even have a letter tucked under his arm for you -- written in miniature 1 point elf font that you need a magnifying glass to read, of course.

No other house guest, be it grandma, a favorite uncle or beloved babysitter has ever had as much of an influence over our home as one 6 inch elf.

December 05, 2008

National Cookie Day

Did you know that yesterday was National Cookie Day? Countless baked good lovers probably jump right from Thanksgiving to Christmas not realizing that there is another important holiday worthy of recognition in December. Never one to miss out on a chance to celebrate something, we paid tribute to National Cookie Day.

I went to the grocery store and selected one of each of the cookies behind the glass display that the kids are always begging for and never are allowed to have. When they got home from school they found the platter full and in very serious "family meeting" style, I sat them down and solemnly explained the significance of December 4th. Then we had a gluttonous sampling of all the varieties -- discussing the consistency, texture, sweetness and significant ingredients of each cookie we were honoring. In the end, even I was a little sick to my stomach.

I'm sure there is a National Green Bean Day, a National Squash Day, and probably a National Jogging Day. I don't seem to have those on my calendar, nor do I care to. For now, we will stick to celebrating National Cookie Day!