Thursday, November 17, 2011

my sweet Kid1 and the girls! :)

Kid1 is an amazing big brother! He is home for all the special moments. He got up early and came home to take Kid4 to her first day of school. He comes home everyday just to hug these beautiful little girls. He has a heart of gold and I am lucky to call him mine. This sweet boy made me a mother and I thank GOD for him every day.

After we were done trick-or-treating we visited him at work. He had dressed up like another co-worker. The girls were thrilled to see him at work as always!

I love my babies!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

halloween girls...

OH MY GIRLS!
IM SO LUCKY!
What a special gift daughters are!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Halloween 2011

Oh MY WORD! These kids had a blast on Halloween night! My house felt like Halloween central! We have spider man, a beautiful dancer, IVY, a soldier, a vampire, V for vendetta, and a little pink and purple vampire.

What a night! After it was all over, there were fake teeth, fake blood, capes, candy, tutu's makeup, and costume parts EVERYWHERE!

The night was GREAT! Everyone had fun, got lots of candy and made unforgettable memories! Isn't that what it's all about? Making memories? I love special holidays!

Thanks guys for an amazing night of fun! :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

stabbing, skyping and falling jack o lantern faces!

We SKYPED with Daddy while we carved. I'll be honest Daddy is the KING pumpkin carver and I didn't do our pumpkin justice. I prefer painting pumpkins… Hard pumpkins, sharp knives and orange guts just aren't my thing. I carved away while Daddy cringed from all the way across the world afraid he was about to witness a massacre of orange and red… I jabbed and poked and carved while daddy and Kid4 enjoyed visiting. When I was done, the ENTIRE front of the face fell OFF!!!!!

SOOO… I was a pumpkin carving failure, Daddy was the glad it was over and Kid4 tried to glue it back together… but, our night was complete… because we got to spend it with Daddy.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

she's MY fairytale! :)

My little princess came home with a family project in the month of October. We talked and talked about ideas… I mentioned "Where's Waldo"… she said "Who's Waldo"?. She mentioned jack sprat and I said "How"? I mentioned hello kitty and she said "my friend so and so is doing THAT one". She mentioned Little Jack Horner and I said "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" We went back to the drawing board… I knew she wanted a fairy tale and she knew I wanted something cute… we brainstormed and we decided on The Princess and the Pea!

We cut and glued and painted and …

VIOLA!

My princess and her pumpkin princess! What a fun project!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

the best gift

This little lamb, Kid5 has been such a blessing to us all. She is lovely in every way. Every single day I get her out of her crib she is smiling up at me ready to giggle and greet the day. Every single night she cuddles me as I put her to sleep. Every single prayer I thank God for this beautiful blessing, a gift to our family that can never be repaid. We love you gorgeous girl.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Are your burdens weighing you down?


Have you struggled?
Are you tired?
Do you stumble?
Do you wrestle with yourself to move forward some days?
Is your load too heavy to carry?

Think about these things…

Isaiah 40:31
“but those who hope in the LORDwill renew their strength.They will soar on wings like eagles;they will run and not grow weary,they will walk and not be faint.” (NIV)

Proverbs 23:18
“There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.” (NIV)

Psalm 31:24
“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.” (KJV)

Proverbs 16:3“Commit your works to the LORD
And your plans will be established.” (NASB)

Give it to God friends, give it to God and he will take it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My sweet babies!


OH MY GOODNESS!
I haven't blogged in a month!

Have you ever met a REALLY REALLY sweet boy? I fear that boys get bad reputations from the "bad boy" type, but the thing is, boys can be THE SWEETEST! I own one of those super duper sweet boys and his name is Kid3… not really, he has a real name! My kid3 is so kind hearted. I have often said if I could have had twins I would have picked Kid3 to be a double because he is literally lovely to be around 90% of the time.

I encourage you to look at your boys, your nephews, your friends and seek out their kindness. Expect boys to be kind and sweet and they may surprise you. YES! They can be messy, rude and loud but they can also be kind, understanding and good listeners. Expect the best from the boys in your life and you just might be amazed at what emerges.

My sweet boy loves to love on his baby sister… isn't he a sweet thing? ;)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happy Birthday United States NAVY

My sailor :) (survivor of our 5 children)

My Grandpa (USS Drexler survivor)

If I had only known how influential the US Navy was going to be in my life I may have been a little bit easier about the bell bottom uniforms and UGLY pale blue works shirt those handsome sailors wore when I was a teenager. If I had only known that the US Navy would play such a HUGE role in my life I might have listened closer to my Grandaddy's old sea stories. I wish I would have listened closer, I wish I would have paid closer attention, I wish, I wish, I wish…

I could have never imagined that the Navy would have played such an important and wonderful role in my life. I could never have known that while gazing at my handsome Grandaddy as a young sailor on that picture wall of fame that I would one day marry a sailor. I could never imagine that while being nestled into my Grandpa's lap intently watching him organize reunions for the survivors of the USS Drexler that one day I would be anxiously awaiting the arrival of my own sailor after a long deployment.

Happy Birthday Dear Old United States Navy! Happy Birthday dear old friend! WOW, 236 years and counting! Thank you for your service, for your history and for all your amazing sea stories. I can't wait to hear a thousand more…

Thanking GOD...

I saw this on a friend of mine's facebook the other day and I have thought about it ever since. I have been praying diligently with Kid4 over so many things so that she may have peace about her Daddy, school, friends and so many other things that plague her little restless soul. I spend so much time listing things that we are thankful for that I often forget to ask God for help for the things we are struggling with. Sometimes after I say "Amen" she adds "...and help me to not have bad dreams…"

What do YOU thank God for every day? I ALWAYS thank God for my kids, their friends, for Batgirl and her family OF COURSE! I ALWAYS thank God for my home, our safety, happiness and the fact that we are free. I was thinking the other day after I read this about only waking up to what I had thanked God for… REALLY think about that…!

I adjusted my prayers a bit tonight! :)

Thank YOU GOD for everything! I love you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

fall in love with sisters...


Every day I FALL in love with my girls all over again.

Every morning I FALL in love with those little giggly smiles and bright eyes.

Every afternoon I FALL in love with the snuggles I get from a sleepy baby.

Every day after school I FALL in love with the pounding of feet running in the door from the bus after a long day of school.

Every evening I FALL in love with the singing and cooing that silly babies do as they learn to talk and communicate.

Every twilight I FALL in love with the jabbering and stories about life from my favorite school girl.

Every sunset I FALL in love with the splashing girls at bath time as they play and giggle and just be sisters.

Every nightfall I thank my GOD for giving me little girls to be thankful for and FALL in love with over and over everyday.

Monday, October 10, 2011

I *heart* teenagers!

This is what my kitchen looks like on any given weekend (and some weekdays).

What do you see when you look at this picture? Do you see just teenagers? Do you see loud noises, your food budget flying out the window and music so loud your ears are bleeding?

I absolutely love teenagers! I see happiness and pure joy, I hear laughing and developing humor. I hear how they express themselves through music. Have you ever really listened to what they are listening too? It's really not THAT bad. Teenagers are really the kindest, most soft hearted humans alive. They are in between jaded adulthood and immature childhood, which is the best place to be if you ask me. Teenagers are amazing listeners, terribly creative and truly kind hearted. They can have an amazing night of fun with 10 dollars in change and make memories that will certainly last a lifetime!

I love it when my house is full of teenagers, their off colored jokes and their amazing plans to pass the time, have a little fun or just do nothing at all but laugh like crazy.

I am blessed beyond belief to be surrounded by brilliant, beautiful, astounding teens and I love them each for different and unique reasons. I cherish the teens in my life more than they will ever know.

I love you all, thanks for making every day and most nights brighter, more fun and memorable! :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

my crazy girl… :)

Your Family

Your family must love you, no matter what.
Even if you often behave like a nut.
They don’t care if you’re lazy or if you swear.
They love you because you are theirs.

You can’t chose the family you’re born in, it’s true.
Sometimes the fit may feel quite askew.
But you have more in common with them than you know.
They’ve shaped your life much like bread’s shaped from dough.

They next time you feel like disowning them,
Take a moment to ponder before you condemn.
Without your family, you’d be more alone.
They’re the only family you’ve known.

by Angela Rose

(http://www.veryfunnypoems.com/funny-family-poems.html)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

count your blessings...

Im SO blessed to wake up to this teensy-weensy blue-eyed beauty every single morning. My beautiful kid5 you are the smiliest, giggliest, loveliest little baby girl EVER! Every morning you wake me up with a smile and I can't believe your mine to adore forever! I was thinking about an old song I use to sing in church when I was a little girl and it put some things into perspective that I have been struggling with lately …

… count your blessings name them one by one,
count your blessings, see what God has done….

When I count my blessings I can't even begin to list them, as I start counting, a smile creeps onto my face because I am immersed in many wonderful blessings. Lately as life has gotten hard and way too complicated to sort out myself I am learning to give the hard parts over to God and COUNT MY BLESSINGS one by one by thanking him for each of them. Kid5 is our newest blessing and what a special gift from God she is.

I am learning that it is better to spend time counting your blessings than doing anything else. When your struggling, thank God for what you DO have, take note of the special blessings in your life, your friends and family. Hold on to the blessings you have as they may not hold on to you as tightly as you would like them too.

Count you blessings,
name them one by one.
Count your blessings,
see what God has done….

Try it my friends, you might be surprised!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

She is of pure heart and mind...

Dear beautiful girl of mine,

I love a million things about you, but one of my very favorite things is how you are smitten by all animals. I absolutely adore how it doesn't matter how many years we have been away from these sweet horses you always remember what you named them the very first time you met them. (Allison and Brittany- remember THIS BLOG) . I love how you want to gently pet every single dog never missing one stroke, even the GIANT, KNARLY slobbery ones! I love how you are positive that every single fluffy kitten has a lovely soft mommy to cuddle and how every wonderful bird has a warm cozy nest to call home.

I love how your mind and your heart are connected, that is such a rare quality in a person now days. When you love someone or something you are devoted with your heart and your mind; my darling girl that is so few and far between in this world.

You my sweetheart are such a rare gem to be admired and enjoyed. Most days I feel like the luckiest mom in the world to have you, your literalness, your pure view of the world and humans. You call it like it is and always believe in the best. I can't imagine life without you and I am positive that God gave you to Daddy and I at a time that we needed you most. You are our treasure darling and I hope to never let you forget how truly adored you are.

I'll love you forever and ever and ever….
Love,
Momma

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

pick me! pick me! pick me! pick me! pick me! :(

Have you ever felt like this before?

Have you ever felt like every word you were saying no matter what it actually was, was coming out "PICK ME, PICK ME"? Have you ever felt so desperate to be chosen that you felt like your heart was literally reaching out of your chest towards another human being and grasping desperately towards their heart but just out of reach? Have you ever felt yourself begging but you couldn't stop because it was actually your heart and not your head?

I have found myself begging lately, begging for things I wouldn't in a million years believe I would be begging for. I have found myself begging my children to be forgiving, to look into someones heart with compassion instead of judgment. I find myself begging MYSELF to be stronger than any woman should have to be and to stand taller than I am. I find myself begging my boys to be men when they should be allowed to be boys. I find myself begging God for more peace than should be allowed one person. I find myself begging MYSELF to let go while still holding on to all my shattered dreams. I find myself promising my daughters a future I am just not sure about.

I hear myself shouting out "PICK ME, PICK ME" more than I care to admit and I hate it but I can't seem to find the strength to stop even though I know I sound pathetic.

When you hear your own voice shouting "PICK ME, PICK ME" maybe you can give yourself a break and remind your heart that you have already been picked. You might not be picked by someone on this earth but God picked you. Maybe you when your desperate and you can't stop yourself from begging, maybe when your heart is reaching for anothers heart and they won't reach back you can remind yourself that God has already reached out to you. He promises to protect your heart especially when you're hurting and dying inside.

Remember-

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

famous last words...

What if this were the last moment you ever had with her, the last time you could speak to her, write to her, hug her, hold her? What would YOU say? Would you take that time for granted? A selfish man would… a selfish man take it all for granted, confident it would always be there when he's ready. What if you treated your children like every moment WAS the last moment? What if you spoke to them with great care, listened like you were hanging on every word and couldn't wait for next minute you could spend with him/ her? Can you imagine emailing your kids on your spare time, writing them little notes, letting them know you love them? Can you imagine the impact it would have on their self esteems, their lives? Taking time for granted is inexcusable to me. You'll have all the time in the world when your kids are gone, when your asleep, when they are in bed and when your at work…



"I'll probably always want some time to myself…"

Don't you hear parents say the words "time to myself" SO OFTEN and giggle to yourself because you know that once you have children the "time to yourself" changes in so many wild and wonderful ways. I think it's different for moms and dads but there is certainly always a part of us that enjoys a little "time" to ourselves every so often.

Time for me changed when I had kids but time has changed maybe thousands of times since my kids have grown up. When they were tiny I just wanted a minute to myself to breathe, maybe take a nap but a neighbor of mine lost her baby boy in a car accident, she watched him bleed to death in her rear view mirror and could do nothing to save him. Time changed for me then, I was less selfish with my time and happier to be up at night nursing my Kid3 who was the same age as that precious little baby boy she would never see again. Somehow I didn't feel quite so tired. As my children grew I craved quiet and wished I could have a little time to myself without their voices and my nephew was hit by a car while crossing a highway and now we'll never hear his voice again. Time changed for me then and I was more thankful to hear the chatter of my adolescent childrens voices even when they were bickering at each other, at least I had them to listen to while my brother listened to silence. As they grew even older and they have become teenagers I have begged for a moment of "time to myself" just so I could have some quiet in my head and when I knelt that day over my Kid2 after she had been in a terrible car accident I thanked God that I wasn't getting the "time to myself" that I had so adamantly begged for. As I watched her being strapped to the gurney and wheeled into an ambulance that day while not knowing the extent of her injuries I found myself begging God for more time to hear her voice chattering on and on and "TIME TO MYSELF" seemed to come into perspective once again.

"I'll probably always want some time to myself" ~ famous last words of a selfish man

Friday, September 16, 2011

……silence…...

Have you ever been faceless, speechless, powerless? Have you ever felt like your words were taken straight from your brain and scrambled right before your eyes? Do you ever feel a little crazy, maybe because someone else has caused you to feel a little crazy? Sometimes I have felt powerless. Sometimes I have felt speechless. Sometimes I have felt useless and worthless. Does everyone feel useless, worthless and crazy sometimes? I don't know, I have only walked in my shoes. Somedays I don't know much but I do know this-

Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

IS the GRASS GREENER? ( Is it? ) *re-post*


Have you ever asked yourself if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence?
Have you ever asked yourself why the grass might be greener on the other side of that fence?

I have your answer!

YES! YES it is definitely greener. The grass is greener because you haven’t walked there yet my friend. Once you walk on that grass, it’s NOT as green, YOU HAVE WALKED on it!

I understand that there is the temptation of hopping that fence and trying out that beautiful plush green green grass. I beg of you, don’t do it! Don’t hop the fence, don’t try the grass. Remember when your mom told you “once you’ve done it, you can’t go back”? It’s true… once you have tried out the grass on the other side of the fence, you can’t go back completely. Yes, it’s true, you can hop back over and start again, but it won’t be the same.

You have to keep up your own grass! You have to stay on your side of the fence and you have to take care of it. If you don’t mow your own grass, who will? If you don’t plant flowers and make your own grass beautiful who will?

Are you getting the metaphor?

Might the grass be your marriage? A friendship perhaps? The relationship with your children? Your personal goals? Grass requires a lot of maintenance and it’s your responsibility to keep it up. You are suppose to groom your own marriage, take care of your wonderful friends, pay attention to your beautiful children and force yourself to set and keep goals.
Good luck grooming!

Monday, September 12, 2011

WHERE have my rose colored glasses gone…?


Do you know what it feels like to believe with all that you are in someone else? Do you know what it feels like to give your whole heart to someone and love them with all that you have in you only to find out that they are not who they say they are? Have you ever felt tricked, abused and lied too? Have you ever seen someone FINALLY for who they really are and felt crushed, like the wind has been knocked out of you? It's a surreal feeling really, like you have been knocked on your back and the world goes on around you but you can't quite get your breathe enough to stand. I keep taking deep breaths, I keep watching the world go by, I keep waking up to the same thing every day wishing this was all a dream but it's not. I find myself sitting for hours thinking about how it all happened, when it began and when I started pretending it was all okay… I wonder when I let it all go too far… I wonder when I loved too much and when I lost myself. I wonder how I let it all go so far, so wrong. Have you ever believed someone is something they are not?

I did. And I wish with all my might, and I pray with all my might that I could put my rose colored glasses back on and that I still believed it. I would take it all back in a second, but now my eyes have seen the truth.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 (repost from 2009)

So many have blogged about 9/11 and I wasn't going to because I wasn't sure I could write it, but I can summarize it and it IS important to "never forget".

8 years ago we lived in Colorado Springs and it seemed as if our lives were falling apart right before our very eyes. We tried desperatly to hold onto things near and dear to us and they were slipping away, right through our fingers, right before our very eyes and there was little we could do about it.

We shared a very small house with Mormon missionaries, they had their own little part of the house- and no, we're not Mormon. It was just one of those "different" kind of living arrangements. We ended up loving the "boys" as we called them. We never converted but we we're so close to many of the "boys".

Tuesday, September 11th was not a normal day at our house, I was home sick and had just delivered the kids to school. I went home and turned on the ol' boob tube and was shocked to say the least. It was smoke and fire and pure chaos- you remember I just know you do. It took me a minute to process that this was happening in OUR country, MY America. I quickly called Mr. B. who was commuting to Denver at the time. When I reached him in his office, I told him. I told him about the horror, and do you want to know what he said to me? "Honey you must be watching a movie, or mistaken." I was a little perturbed to say the least. I said to him "Why don't you turn on a T.V. and call me back"

While I waited for him to call me back, I went to get the missionaries. I can remember just what I said "Bowman, I know your not allowed to watch TV during your mission but you HAVE to see this, you HAVE to know whats going on" We sat and watched the Television together, cried and waited for Mr. B. to call.

He called back horrified, I was crying, he was in shock. A co-workers daughter was in New York at the time touring and he was terrified for her. I told Mr. B. that I just wanted to go get the kids and lock us all in the house all day long, maybe forever. Just then they were evacuating all the tall buildings in Denver. The last thing he said to me was "GO! get them- bring them home, Im on my way".

I rushed to school where I checked my babies out in a line of silent parents, standing there with tear stained faces, in shock, not knowing what tomorrow held, only knowing we wanted our children and we wanted to be home. I was terrifed and numb.

There were days and days and days of numb terror, I didn't want to leave the house, I didn't ever want to take my kids to school, I didnt ever want to do anything but sit on my couch and sob for my country, for those who lost their lives and those who fought for freedom- I was petrified. It was hard for me to go out after that. It took some time for me to go out after that day, time for me to go to Denver near tall buildings, time for me to feel comfortable dropping my kids off at school again.

Time helps you to be able to get back to your life, but it never heals all wounds- it can't. Time isn't meant to erase, to forget, it's meants to give peace, to HELP heal.

9/11- Don't EVER forget, but do allow peace to creep into your heart.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

chaos

My life feels a little chaotic right now.
Does this ever happen to you?
Im trying to breathe and remember that this too shall pass.
Im trying to buckle down and remember whats important.
Im trying to hold on to my babies.
I've asked so many around me to be patient with me while I keep my head above water.
Life can be such a struggle

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The graduate, a fantasy and one dream at a time...




You think it will be easy… the kid is born, you feed him, you diaper him, you play with him, you send him to school and VILOA one day he graduates and goes off to college… RIGHT?

WRONG!

That’s right! I’m telling you THIS MINUTE that all those car commercials are DEAD WRONG! Will some of your kids do that? Yes, yes… I’m sure some of you lucky parents out there will have some kids that will zip along through life and just be easy as pie. They will give you no grief and just skip along through school, drive off safely to college and THANK GOD for you because THIS IS NOT what has happened in our house.

Kid1 has not skated though much in his life. If I would have known that his first of day of kinder would be indicative of every single day of school until graduation I probably would have bought a house boat and moved to Fiji! I would have never guessed that the begging and crying would turn into begging and crying all through elementary, faking sick through junior high and then skipping in high school… :/

Onto the graduation-

He graduated. Kid1 walked across the stage that night with his graduation cap and gown on, not only did I feel like the blood left my body with an overcoming sense of relief I also felt overwhelmed with so many emotions.

He did it.

I did it.

We did it.

His father missed it.

I felt like he and I were the only two people in that big room that night.

How did this baby my first baby grow up so fast?


It seemed like yesterday that I was holding him on the steps of kindergarten while he sobbed and begged not to go. It seemed like yesterday that I was promising him that he would be okay if he just gave it a chance. It seemed like yesterday he was just a little tiny thing. How could he have grown so big? How was he on the verge of being a man?

I stood there almost afraid to blink, almost afraid to move fearing that if I did this would either all be a dream and all that we had worked so hard for would be untrue or he would be standing before me as a 30 year old man with a family…

My baby, My son, you made me a mother and I have said this to you so many times, I love you like crazy. There is no way to describe how it feels to see your first baby for the first time. I was so young, I was so scared but so calm. My son, you and I have something that is rare. You and I understand one another on a very deep level. I pray for you daily and want so badly for you to live life to the fullest and learn the valuable lessons that life has to offer you. I love you, I’m proud of you. Congratulations on quite an accomplishment. You are certainly ONE OF A KIND!

I love you,

Mom

Monday, August 29, 2011

even dogs...

Kid4 used stickers to tape this flag to our porch this weekend and when we asked her why she had put it there she responded:

"Because EVEN DOGS should worship America!"

We laughed because she always says the most profound things. I laughed, I smiled, I chuckled and I walked away and hoped that flag would stay there for a very long time because it meant something more to me than just a flag, a little girl and her dog, knowing though that someday it would fall. It spoke to me differently. She is right, everyone needs something, someone to adore. Now I doubt that our dog Max will worship, adore or admire this simple flag or even realize that he lives in a free country but so far every time that I have walked on to the porch I have teared up with pride and a little sadness knowing that I live in a free country, knowing that my husband is fighting for a free country and knowing that some things that I adore and admire I will gain and lose through no control of my own but I think thats all part of being truly free.

Freedom isn't free.
Little girls thoughts ARE free.
Love isn't free.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Welcome to the world baby girl


Kid5 was born May 15th at 10am and we were instantly in LOVE.
Of course we have a lovely and long adoption story and I will share parts of it but for now I just want to share her beauty and how we adore her.

The big kids are completely over the moon for her. They rush to her side if she fusses, the girls are dying for her to wake up in the morning. Kid4 feels like she has D.I.E.D. and gone to heaven having a baby sister.

Kid5 is a cuddly, lovely, blue eyed beauty. We feel like the luckiest family in the world. We are blessed beyond belief to have been given the gift of this beautiful baby girl to raise, nurture and adore forever and ever.

Welcome to OUR world baby girl.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

what have I been up too?


I'm not really sure I can list all the things that I have done this summer but I sure as heck will try to tell you. I can promise you that we had a fun and SERIOUSLY interesting summer. I can also promise you that you WILL NOT believe our adventures, our stories and the memories we made. I should probably start with the fact that we adopted kid 5 in May before summer even started…

ARE. YOU. SHOCKED. ???

We are so excited.

Her story will follow shortly…

Adoption, travels to Louisiana, growing up boys, moving out kids, tales of swimming, fishing, crabbing, and bad car accidents… this summer was an adventure with tales to tell, experiences to share… laughs, cries and probably some yawns. I'll try to catch you up on our world over the next few weeks.

I've missed blogging thats for sure! :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

HaPpY bIrThDaY young-old man!


Often my children bring me to my knees. Sometimes in an amazing way and sometimes I'm brought to my knees in horror, if you have children, you know this feeling well. Nineteen years ago today at 6:15 in the morning I was truly brought to my knees when my first son, my first love, the one who would teach me to be a mother was born.

That very minute, 6:15 am I couldn't have known just how profound he would be, the things he would teach me, the deep conversations we would have about life, love and God. That very hour that early morning hour I could have never guessed that he would lead me through the most beautiful and meaningful times of my life.

As I watched the nurses bathe him and wipe him clean his big blue eyes opened and shut staring wide at me. I had no idea that this little boy would be my strength, literally my breath through some of the hardest times of my life.

My oldest son is a big brother to MANY, a cherished friend to tons, but most of all he's my boy, my NINETEEN year OLD baby boy who I adore even though I don't tell him enough, even though I often parent him through sheer fear and make mistakes every single day because every day of his life I have fumbled through trying to make the best choices possible, begging God to show me whats right for him.

Happy Birthday Kid ONE, I ADORE you my boy, theres just no way I could ever tell you enough, I know we've had such a hard time lately, I hope I'm making the right choices for you. I'm on my knees son praying that I'm doing the right things. I love you so much, I want the best for you. YOU are my first child, you and I taught each other so much. I feel so blessed that God chose you for me.

I love you my boy. Happy nineteenth birthday.

Love, Mom

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


sometimes raising kids feels like building your foundation on sand. Did you ever sing that song in church? "The wise man built his house upon a rock… the foolish man built his house upon the sand…."

Somedays, some nights I feel like I built my foundation on sand. Do you ever just feel like your crumbling apart? Do you ever just feel like things, your house, your kids, your life is just slowly slipping away and like a sand through an hour glass and there isn't a single thing you can do about it?

Are your kids ever just so disrespectful that it shocks you? Do they ever speak to you so disrespectfully that it takes your breath away and makes you want to cry inside? Are there ever times when you can't believe those little sweet baby mouths could speak to you with such disrespect? Is it shocking? Is it sad? Does it bring you to your knees? Kids can leave you speechless can't they?

Does life ever take it all from you some days? Leave you spinning inside? Leave you wondering how tomorrow could be any worse? Does life ever leave you breathless, lifeless, limp? Does a hard day leave you feeling exhausted and worthless sometimes? It does me. Sometimes I think I can't take another night, another step, another breathe. Life can sock you in the gut sometimes.

As that sand runs out, as those kids wear you down, as life takes your last breath what do you do to survive? Do you pray? Do you take a walk? Do you meditate? Do you take a minute to breath?

Tonight one of my kids took the very last breath I had and disrespected me. She hurt for the last time today. She made me feel stupid and worthless. She hurt my heart and embarrassed me. I couldn't tell her because these aren't things you tell kids. Sometimes she makes me feel like stupidest person in the world, not worth talking to, not worth respecting. She is very hard to respect as she doesn't like to give respect. She forgets I am also just a human, a woman, a soft hearted mother. She often hurts my feelings and goes on like it's nothing. She's been hard to raise but strong and wonderful too. Theres no way for her to know my adoration for her. Theres no way for her to know how I would die for her. There no way for her to know how I preserve her pride by backing down instead of embarrassing her like I probably should. Theres no way for her to understand that I give her respect even though she doesn't deserve it. She's a very stubborn girl, I like her that way. I raised her that way.

I have to remind myself that a strong girl is a good thing… a strong girl is a good thing… a strong girl is a good thing… a strong girl is a good thing…. say it with me…. strong girl good thing. strong girl good thing…. strong girl good thing…….

your welcome to pray for me anyway... or take her off my hands…. ;)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

mageddon


This whole "carmageddon" thing has me thinking…

have you ever experienced a "Mageddon" of your own? Like you know when you have travelled for weeks and you unpack the car into your house and somehow as you unpack your vacation paraphernalia multiplies from one bag each into thousands? And you have vacationMageddon on your hands!

Or when you agree to a sleepover and at 3 am your daughters friends somehow turn from four to twenty or what may be one-hundred, there are no more snacks, glasses, sink space, bathroom counter space or floor space left in the house and what you have here is sleepoverMageddon!

Think back about how you felt when you offered to do someone you barely knew a favor like watch their house just to be nice but you didn't realize that they had 47 cats and one small litter box. Remember when you offered to cook your neighbors dinner but their family of 17.9 was there visiting and your stove quit working but you did it anyway because you COULD NOT SAY NO? yeah…… thats suckerMageddon!

When my kids were all little at once and had to be at three different schools at 8 am, that was momMageddon, and I miss those days because the teenMageddon I am not enjoying quite as much since the nothavingcontrolMageddon is not nearly as much fun as the babyMegaddon and the zombieMageddon from the nosleepMageddon due to newbornMageddon.

The bottom line is I think there will always be some sort of "Mageddon" in your life. I mean lets be honest here from newbornMageddon to teenageMageddon to collegeMageddon to engagedMageddon to grandparentMageddon… theres always some sort of "Mageddon". The key is how we deal with it.

So….
breatheMageddon
staycalmMageddon
prayMageddon
hopeMageddon

and

goodluckMageddon :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

learnin' to ride...


Tonight Im thinking that raising kids is kind of like teaching them to ride bikes. There are 3 types- or at least in my house there are 3 types.

Type 1 you can never let go of or they WILL certainly fall, it seems they are always looking back for you. You know the ones that cling to you on the first day of school, the ones who hold on tightly, who aren't excited to spend the night with their friends? You know the ones who expect that you will always save them? Type 1 will break your heart because as you try to let go he will cling to you and if you let him hold on it will only hurt him in the end when it's time for him to be a grown up. Type 1 kids usually have a heart of gold.

Type 2 kids are always running ahead of you. As you try to hold onto the back of those bicycles they are riding away from you, you are running behind just to keep up trying to convince yourself that YOU are actually helping… but you know deep down that they are doing it themselves. Type 2 kids are so independent. They are bursting into the doors of school, eager to learn and begging to spend the night away from home. You cringe in pain worrying sick that something will happen to them because you can barely keep up to keep an eye on them. These little Type 2's will be the apple of your eye but my goodness it's hard to hold them back sometimes. They want to grow too fast!

Type 3 kids are okay with whatever happens. They will ride their bike if you want them too and if you are ready to help them, but they are fine to wait until YOU are ready. These kids will do whatever, whenever at your pace and you can finally breathe again. They will let you walk, run or skip behind the bike- HECK they'll let YOU ride the bike if you want too! Type 3 kids will go to school if you want them to and go with a smile, but they are happy to stay home too. My type 3 kid is secretly stubborn as a mule but is the light of my life. This kid has been a joy since he was born.

So far… my kids are repeating these patterns… we'll see what happens… It's an odd thing to watch kids grow. It's heart breaking, heart filling. It's wonderful, magical and horrible all at the same time.

Tonight my heart is breaking in two as I am having to teach some really hard lessons to one of my babies. I hope he understands one day how I love him. I hope he can forgive my parenting and know that being stern and strict is in his best interest. I hope he can truly know how I adore him, how I have lived for him and how I spent hours and hours praying over him as a small child. Now that he's grown he has to fly.

Good luck my baby… I'll always be your momma bird if you need me.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

HELP!


My friends, my niece Audrey Bullington has been missing for over 10 days. Our family is worried sick about her. Please keep your eyes open for her. We are begging Audrey to go home tonight or to please let someone know she is safe.


Missing: Anyone with information leading to the location of Audrey Bullington , age 16, please notify the Springfield MO police department 417-864-1810.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Were summering and contemplating life… hows your summer?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

two roads…

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 20

I love this poem.. I always have. It speaks to me.
I have been afraid so many times over the years
that I have not taken the right path… neither one
has ever seemed clear to me...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

...





In Flanders Fields
John McCrae, 1915.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


Friday, May 27, 2011

drastic measures!


Do you ever feel like you have to take drastic measures? For instance in my house I have a regular pantry in my kitchen and I have a snack pantry in my closet because if I have the school lunch stuff out in the open THE KIDS WILL EAT IT ALL and when I make lunches there will be no food left… so I keep the school food and the food I don't want inhaled in my closet in a special pantry- DRASTIC, I know.

My girls have their own heating and cooling unit upstairs and kept turning UP and DOWN the heat all winter and it was driving me crazy, not to mention my electricity bill was ridiculous. Neither Kid2 or Kid4 will take responsibility for it and one morning after it had warmed up I went upstairs and the air was turned to SIXTY DEGREES and THAT WAS IT! I knew what I had to do.

Believe it or not neither of my girls have said one word about it. I think they both just pretend it isn't there… I love my girls!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

what are little girls made of….


Sugar and spice and everything nice?

I beg to differ!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

P.R.O.M.

I didn't blog about PROM like I should have because it was like admitting my kids were grown. When I took these pics of my son I had to blink back tears because this is IT. He's gone after this. This was his one event as a high schooler. He was never interested in prom before. Can you imagine how I will be at graduation? I stood there behind the lens and it was like his life flashed before my eyes. I know I have said this before but it really happens. It's like he grows up all over again right there in front of me and I can't believe it. I love his sweet girlfriend, the way she looks at him is priceless. I wanted to take so many more pictures but I just couldn't. It was so hard. The truth is all I could hear was the camera snapping so loudly. I couldn't even hear anyone talking around me. I could barely make out what was going on around me. I was trying so hard to just push the button. More than anything I wanted to rewind time and watch him run to me and hear him call me momma (although really he still does) I wanted to hear him ask for juice instead of gas money… Time has stolen him from me… but doesn't he look amazing? And isn't his girl a doll?

I have thanked my lucky stars for this beauty from the day she was born and I am so thankful that I have another year with her! I often blog about how amazing she is. I had an easier time taking pictures of her because thank goodness I have more time with her. Next year though I will be a blubbering mess … in fact I might just have to hire a photographer because there is simply no way I will be able to hold it together to take pics of this lovely girl! She fell in love with this dress and MANY others along the way! I think this one suited her spicy personality though and I LOVED it on her! I love having Kid1 and 2 close together and I love that they went to prom with friends. She went with a good friend of his because her boyfriend (who just happens to be the sweetest person on earth) lives out of state. They all had a great time. My kids are good kids and I knew they would be safe and sober prom night, which is a relief!

Prom for ME was a night of growing up kids, beautiful dresses and deep deep thoughts. My kids are growing/grown up. It's hard to let them go. I watched them for a few minutes at the Senior walkout and just watched Kid1 be a child one last time. He mingled with his friends, talked like a high school child would, threw his head back and laughed one last time in high school, one last time as a carefree kid…. one last time to be a child at a high school dance… it was hard. I wonder what he thought.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

whats in a name?

This is an OLD pic of those kids I named ;)

My love for names started in the aisles of a toy store looking into that well known green box. Xavier Roberts started my passion for naming babies and it took off from there. I spent hours reading cabbage patch doll names. And for as long as my mom would let me stand in the doll aisle I would . I read every single one of them. Some of the names would make me cringe and some of them would cause me to clutch my chest with joy, oh how I love a good name. I would spend the rest of the day naming my babies in my head. I use to want to name my baby boy Benjamin (anyone who knew my when I was young knows that I had a crazy ridiculous crush on a boy back then and I named my cabbage doll twins Benjamin and Kenjamin ((don't ask)) ANYWAY…. thank you Xavier Roberts for sparking my love of names…. and inspiring me to look deeper than Thelma and Louise when it came to naming my babies….

Why did you chose your children's name? Children's names are hard to choose! I chose my childrens names for various reasons. One of the kids is names after his father and after a famous actor. One of the kids I named after a gender neutral name I didn't care what he was, I just loved the name and his middle name is after my dad. One of the girls is named after a famous model, I love her and she is a timeless beauty and also after my sister. We also named one of them after my hot doctor - hey I was a young mom! One of the girls is named after my Great grandma and a dear family friend. I love choosing names for my children. It's so challenging and so wonderful. A name is a first impression, a life long commitment, it's often how people judge you. I love to hear people's names.

Plus when I heard my dad wanted to name me Roseanne I felt inspired to work hard for my kids to have good names!

THANK YOU VERY LITTLE DADDY!

Monday, May 23, 2011

my kids, personalities and bullies.


I was thinking about my kids personalities today and how different they are. I found a little note tucked away in Kid4's room the other day when I was cleaning it and it said "Dear Hannah, (a girl from school) will you please please be a little nicer to me, you are hurting my feelings. " I teared up when I read it because I hate the thought of anyone being mean to my little goose and I know she is a little different.

Kid4 is more of a scholar, more of a thinker type. She is a free thinker. She doesn't think like the other girls, she doesn't play beauty shop and pretend to bake. She actually bakes, she would rather do math, paint giant paintings in the driveway than be tucked in her room. She is me. When I realized she was me, my heart went out to her. Being me wasn't easy... but I like me. We have a different song in our head than others do, I knew she would be misunderstood by many.

I absolutely love to listen to her chatter, read her writing, look at her drawings. I understand her deeply. She is profound in so many ways. This morning I was thinking about her and about Hannah. She and Hannah use to be friends, Hannah is the cheerleader kind of a girl. Kid4 is the math club kind of a girl, but she would also like to be the cheerleader kind of a girl.

My kid2 was not the cheerleader kind of a girl either but the difference was she didn't want to be. If someone made fun of her for not being a cheerleader or made her feel like she should be she might just have punched them in the mouth for it. Kid4 will come home crying, I just know it. She isn't tough like Kid2. Kid2 never cared once what people thought of her, she was so strong and Kid4 is as sensitive as a child can be.

My big kids are very protective of Kid4 and unfortunately somehow when I wasn't looking they formed a gang… and one day if a cheerleading team is mean to Kid4 I fear for them because their mascot is SO looking at a crotchless uniform and the girls are SO looking at pom-less pom-poms!

Anyway I was just thinking about her, and about kids being mean and about personalities and how different my kids personalities are. Aren't kids amazing? I cherish my kids so much. I love each of them differently, yet each of them tremendously. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have each and every one of them.

My babies are such a gift. ;)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My little goosey makes me smile every single day!
I am SO lucky to call her my daughter!
I love my goosey pie.

I promise I'll start blogging again shortly.
Life is busy.
Oh' so wonderfully busy.
I miss you all!

Friday, May 6, 2011

I have writers block but...


LOOK HOW THESE TWO HAVE GROWN!!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

prom

PROM was hectic.
I'll write more tomorrow.
I felt a little more sad than I realized I would.
My kids are growing faster than Im ready for…
I think my baby may be grown.
:(

Saturday, April 30, 2011

...

praying for ALABAMA THE BEAUTIFUL

Friday, April 29, 2011

a re-post of my favorite picture! :)

This will always be one of my all time favorite pictures of my goosey pie!
I absolutely love this self portrait!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

charm. beauty. expression.

We started our girls only morning in New Orleans with beignets and coffee! It was an almost perfect morning… (I actually hit a VERY SMALL car in the parking lot with my not so small truck and well…. I'll just blog about that little inci-DENT later). The girls and I had not had beignets yet and we loved them. They were so good and a great way to start a day in a charming colorful city. And what a day we had ahead of us!

We walked and walked and WALKED… we saw SO much culture, heard so much music, tasted so many wonderful flavors. We enjoyed every second of this wondrous city.

I really can't say enough about the art here. It's so free, so expressive. I've seen it three times now and all three times it was different. The artists are different. Sometimes there are two or three of them sitting together. I really wanted to stand and listen to the air, to the conversations that went on around the artists, about the art… I just wanted to stand and listen… There never seems to be time to just stand and listen.

New Orleans has true beauty, breathtaking architecture, vivid color, pure sound, unforgettable smells, and many many tastes. I loved it, I'll go back as often as possible. I wish I had gone years ago. It's wildly charming, terribly delightful and full of colorful flavor!

My girls loved the masks!


Here we are about to try Alligator on a stick…
and to be honest it was GAH-REAT!

My lovely girls in a lovely city!

This beauty was the highlight of my day… today and every day! :)