Sep 20, 2008

Chinese Telephone

Remember the game called "Chinese Telephone?" You whisper a secret to the person next to you, and then they whisper the secret to the person next to them, and around it goes until it reaches the last person who gets to tell everyone what they heard. We played that game with the kids tonight. For some reason, the secret was always falling apart right about here:

When we figured out the problem, Joel said, "Ok, I think we have a bad connection in our telephone wires....Hey, Annie, why don't you go move next to Matt."

Well, things didn't get much better.

Cuz we were left with this "connection" on one side of the table....

And this one on the other....

Why is it that "potty humor" seems to crack them up every time?

Sep 17, 2008


This week has been "one of those weeks." (and it's only Wednesday, for crying out loud!) With the kids back in full swing of school, all of us are still adjusting to the new schedule. Yesterday, I had to confiscate a Raggedy Ann doll, an oversized horse, a plastic sword, a pumpkin and whoppers that had found their way into our little classrooms. I have laundry piled to the sky that has been screaming at me to be washed. I have countless projects started and stopped. One of them being, the dreaded "switch all the summer clothes for the fall/winter clothes x 7 bureaus." On top of it all, we have sickness going around. I was beginning to feel overwhelmed today, and then I read this...

Psalm 62:8
Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.

Sometimes things just don't go the right way for us. Maybe we even feel "taken off guard."

The neat thing is that God promises to always be there for us, and He does so in different ways. Sometimes He strengthens us in the moments when we need it most. Other times, He sends along someone to help us get through our problems. :o)

I'm just thankful that I'm never alone in these things!

Sep 10, 2008

Fall is in the air, and so is school

I love Fall. I especially love Fall mornings and how cool and crisp they are. I love them even more with a hot cup of coffee in my hands. We've officially started the new school year. We kicked it off with a "Back to School Party." Hey, we're always looking for a reason to party around here. -even if it's someone remembered to brush their teeth without mommy hounding them 3 times. We'll party over it!

The boys are playing in their first soccer game this Saturday. They were outside practicing today.

Mikey has never played on a real soccer team before. He is so excited. He has asked me each night at bedtime if his soccer game is in the morning.

If soccer isn't his thing, we could always sign him up with the Rocketts. My goodness! I'm surprised he didn't pull something with this kick!

This past weekend, Matt kept himself busy with several decks of cards. I can't tell you how bad, I wanted to walk over to him, and go "Ahhhhhhhhhh-CHOO!" :o)

I certainly can't end this without mentioning my birthday peeps. On September 1st, my nephew, Josh turned 15...ok, it's hitting me now. *sniff* someone pass the tissues. I can't believe he's 15! We continually remind him that all of us aunties use to sit him on the lazy susan in the middle of the kitchen table and spin him around and around, just staring at him in awe. He was the first baby of the family, and our pride and joy! We use to fight over who would hold him in the "snuggly" when we all went out somewhere public. He so big now, he's giving hand-me-downs to Joel. You've always made me proud, Josh, but seeing the young man you are growing into makes me even prouder! I am happy to announce that Josh just confided in me last week that I am indeed his favorite aunt. (hey, as lord of this domain, I can say whatever I want.) Happy Birthday, Josh!

And to Josh's sweet mamma and my dear sister, Tricia: Her birthday was September 6th, but I won't announce your age, Trish. :o) Have any of you ever seen "Little Woman?" Well, meet Meg...the oldest sister, and the motherly one. Trish is the sister that is always gathering us under her wings if something should go wrong, or if someone looks at us the wrong way. She is always willing to help, even if it means sacrificing her own comfort. She cares so much about others! Trish and I often laugh that we don't really have very many childhood memories together because I was so busy playing Barbies and she was off at college. When I got married and became a mommy, our sisterhood grew into a friendship for which I am eternally grateful for. I love talking to her on the phone and getting her ideas about things...big or small. It could be a potty training tip, a dinner recipe or how to mother in a Godly way. She keeps me sane during my crazy mornings. I love to call her and just chat about whatever. It's comforting to know she's always there. Thank you for always taking care of me, Trish! You are so thoughtful and caring! I love you very much! Happy Birthday!
Funny enough, just today while we were talking on the phone she confided in me that I was her favorite sister. :o)

And onto Kristine...her birthday is actually tomorrow, but I'm gonna go ahead and just get her outta my way. -hey, kidding man, totally kidding. Again, if any of you have seen "Little Woman", meet Joe....the tomboy. I'm happy to report that Krissy has grown out of her 7th grade phase, where she slicked her hair down, and wanted everyone to call her, "Chris." Like Joe on Little Woman, she'd do anything for anyone. She cares about others. Her life is dedicated to caring for those who cannot care for themselves. She would tell you that she is doing what God created her to do. Her love for these precious ones is evident to all who know her. She makes us all laugh. She is an encourager, a motivator and an "upper lifter." -is that a word? I guess, it falls in the encourager category. You are a wonderful sister and friend, Krissy. Have a wonderful day tomorrow. I wish we could be there with you. Hey, you know we're always looking for a reason to party! :o) I love you very much!
Oh, I almost forgot... I won't tell anyone about that favorite sister thing, Kris! Don't worry, your secret is safe with me. :o)

Sep 2, 2008

A Camping Birthday Party

Saturday, August 30th was Joel's birthday, and he thought it would be fun to take the kids camping. We packed up all the camping gear, chairs, wood for the campfire, back packs, food, bug spray, sunblock, warm clothes, blankets, 7 pillows, 7 sleeping bags, 2 air mattresses, (that was the only way he talked me into it) a chef and 2 servants, (ok, kidding, but you're getting the idea that I'm not much of a camper) paper goods, 9 gallons of water, 6 fishing poles, 3 tackle boxes, bait, 4 flashlights, lanterns, stuffed animals and coloring books. (It was nice to NOT have to pack diapers, wipes, burp clothes, 1,000 onesies, pacifiers, a pack-n-play, bouncy seat and bottles.) We shoved all the stuff and kids in the car and off we went!

When we arrived at our camping site, we were a bit disappointed to find that it wasn't in the best area. We were on the main road to the bath house and were circled by one too many other camp sites that were filling up fast. We did have a bubbly, happy, little creek running behind our site, which was nice. Emma found it within the first five minutes...which was not nice.

Joel set up the tent, I sprayed 6 people with bug spray, and the party was on!

(Emma was gagging because she can't take the smell. Mikey didn't have too much sympathy for her.)

After the last one was sprayed with bug spray, the tent was up, the campfire crackling, and the kids off playing, I cozied down into one of the chairs. I was ready to relax! -"clicky, clicky, clicky."- "What's that?" I asked my husband. "I don't know," he said. About 10 seconds later, we heard it again. -"clicky, clicky, clicky." We figured it must have been people setting up their campers. -"Clicky, clicky clicky." And again, "clicky, clicky, clicky." It was strange that everyone seemed to be setting up their campers 10 seconds apart from each other. Then we heard it again..."clicky, clicky, clicky." It was loud and extremely annoying. We were tossing ideas off of each other wondering what this noise was. We heard it again and again, AGAIN and AGAIN!!!! After over an hour of listening to this rythmatic clicking, estimating 10 seconds apart, I was going absolutely NUTS! Mary and I set out to solve the mystery of this annoying clicky sound. Just beyond one bush from our camp site, Mary said, "It's her, Mommy." I looked up to see a lady and her husband in their tent playing YAHTZEE!!! Oh yeah folks, you read that right...Yahtzee!!! You know, the game where you shake the plastic cup filled with dice. It was echoing all through the woods. At times, it felt as if she was shaking it right in my ear!!!!!! As we walked back to our site, my husband said, "What is it?" I threw my hands up in the air and yelled, "We've got a Yahtzee player over here." I sat down in my chair next to the camp fire... "clicky, clicky, clicky...." I looked at Joel and said, "Oh my word! someone give that lady a set of UNO cards!" -clicky, clicky, clicky- "Phase ten!" -clicky, clicky, clicky- "OLD STINKING MAID!... ANYTHING!!!!!!!" While I was holding my spinning head,trying to think of the best way to confiscate this crazy game, Annie came running up to me and quickly crossed her legs, "I need go potty!" When that happens, I've got 52 seconds to get her to the toilet! Thankfully, the bathroom was about 100 yards away. I told all the girls to get into the car. If one had to go, I'm sure they all did. I drove up to the bath house. Mary got out and said, "Mommy, why is that man looking over here?" I saw the park ranger had pulled up next to us. "Hey Mom," he yelled, then he grabbed his seatbelt and pulled it out in front of himself, "Next time, try one of these." I stood there, dumbfounded. Was he really serious? He went on, "I saw your kid in the front seat. She didn't have one on." Since I was running extremely short on patience at this point, I looked at him wide eyed and said, "Ohhhhhh-kay...I've just come from right there, so I didn't think it was necessary." By now, my Annie is about to wet herself. Not backing down, he said, "Still a good idea, ya know." I took my girls hands, and walked away. "What's the matter with him, Mommy?" my sweet, innocent girl asked. "OH WELL, I'LL TELL YA WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HIM....SOMEONE FAILED STATE TROOPER SCHOOL AND IS TAKING 'KIDDY COP OF THE PARK' QUITE SERIOUSLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT'S WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HIM!!!!!!"

- I blew it. A moment where I could have shown our child how to "let patience have her perfect work," and I threw all patience out the window. Quite frankly, I would have loved to throw Mr. "Kiddy Cop of the Park", and "The Yahtzee Nazi" out the window as well! I had to apologize and tell her I was wrong. Sometimes I forget it's in these minutes, I am teaching the most. Through my example, I just gave a lesson on "How to react in a pressure filled situation." I don't want them growing up and acting as I just did, so I had to fix it. Rather than using myself as a good example, I had to use myself as the bad one to teach her.

After I set apart my rotten attitude, things got...well, worse. You thought I was going to say, "things were great" right? They didn't. It was about 8:00 pm when the dogs and babies started showing up at the sites surrounding us. We continued listening to the Yahtzee throughout the night, and now all the barking and crying babies were added to the list. Did I mention the train that went by several times that seemed 18 miles long? Finally, it was time for Joel and I to head to bed. I couldn't wait to lay down, and put my head to rest. We climbed in the tent, and literally had to jump over five sleeping kids to get to our beds. Then....the rain came....hard pouring rain....all night long. My poison ivy flared up and I was itching like a dog with fleas. Annie woke up and started crying, "Someone turn the lights on, turn the lights on, turn the lights on!!!!!!" I pulled her close and snuggled her, "We can't, baby, we're in the woods." Mary turned on a flashlight which seemed to help. Once Annie fell back asleep, we turned it off. Then, an hour later, she woke up crying, "SOMEONE TURN THE LIGHTS ON!!!" The rain didn't let up, neither did my poison ivy and Annie. Then some of us had to "use the facilities" the rain. At one point, Joel and I just laid there, laughing hysterically. Really? could one more thing go wrong? I once heard someone say, "Don't ever ask for patience, unless you're ready for a heap of trouble." :o)

The next morning, was Joel's birthday.
(Well, we're certainly glad you're all well rested there, Annie.)

We were ready for a party after our rough night. So out in the middle of nowhere, we decorated the trees, and had ourselves a birthday party.

(Joel was trying to convince Emma to tell him what was inside. Although she looks pretty confident, she had no clue what his gift was.)

We took the kids fishing for the rest of the afternoon. We didn't catch a single thing, but the view sure was pretty. It was nice to just sit back, and watch the kids. They didn't have to be catching fish to be having fun. The fun was just in being together.

After fishing, we went back to camp, packed up and headed to our friends, Seth and Liz's house. She had called me earlier and said, "Hey, do you want to come to our house after you guys are done camping?" I said, "Well, we'll see how it turns out and whether we want to spend the extra night at our camp site or not." Thank the Lord they were 15 minutes away!!! When we left camp, I called her and said, "We're on our way, and we smell." She very graciously took us in, gave us soap, water, towels, detergent, delicious home cooked food and comfortable beds. Now, why didn't we just go straight there in the first place? I can see the fun in camping. We'll just have to do our homework next time and:
-find a good campsite WITH happy park rangers and no trains
- check the weather
-and make sure that dogs, babies and Yahtzee are NOT allowed.