Wednesday, March 30, 2011


he's home.  i make it a point, like i've said before, not to ever blog about chad being out of town when he is, in fact, actually out of town.  something about that goes against every bit of the "safety first" training that i received from my parents for the first 20 + years of my life.  furthermore...i hate it when i'm all "hush-hush-private-don't-let-the-whole-world-know-i'm-here-with-four-kids-all-by-myself" and then i notice that his facebook status reads, "havin' a blast here in cuba/ukrain/california/budapest/dallas/freakin timbuktu."  um...thanks for blowin' my cover!  he says, "only my "friends" can see that."  yeah...all 888 of your closest friends.  well, why didn't you say so??  now i feel safe and secure!"  i'm still convinced that facebook may end up being the anti-christ.*

anyways...let me get back on track. 

chad has been gone.  a lot.  a month, or so ago, he was in california for over 2 weeks for school.  and last night, he got back from being in ukraine, autria, and hungary for a solid week.  in between, there was a dallas trip.  he was also in florida (i think??) recently.  i could be remembering that one wrong.  i may have been somewhere else.  i can't keep it straight anymore.  and that fact, alone, should prove my point. 

the kids are 10, 8, 5, and 18 months.  they love their daddy. 

i am a tired stay-at-home-mom (who is not a 25 year old whippersnapper anymore.)  i love my husband.  i need my husband. 

he has always traveled.  when colt and chase were little, i would gripe and complain with the best of 'em and do annoying things like make my body go limp and hang on to his leg while screaming, "plllleeeeaaaasssse don't go." (not really.  but you get the point.) 

then, when aiden was a baby...i guess i just sorta got used to it.  i took on the i'm-a-very-capable-woman-who-can-run-this-household-with-one-hand-tied-behind-her-back stance.  i'm like supermom.  i should have a damn S on my chest.  i've coasted through the last 5+ years with that adopted approach.  and it's been effective. 

but this last trip...i noticed something. 

i noticed that the kids didn't ask when he was going to be home anymore.  i noticed that colton didn't cry (at least once) wanting his dad to tuck him in instead of me.  i noticed that annslee never, not once, said "dada."  i noticed that chase didn't pray for him as much.  i noticed aiden didn't say she missed him.  i noticed that i didn't wonder if i was going to get a text from him, asking if i was near a computer so that we could chat on facebook.  i noticed that we were not counting the days until he got home.  they didn't seem to need to know where he was.  they didn't seem to want to know what he was doing.  and, the one time that we did get to chat on facebook, when i called them all into the room to "talk" to daddy via instant message, they nonchalantly went back to their individual activities without any interest.  chase said, "that's not talking to daddy." 

and he was right.

that made me think.  it made me think about what was happening right before our eyes. 

believe me...i know we are extremely lucky.  there are people and families all over the world who have to be separated from each other.  i have great respect for military families (and the like) who have to say goodbye to moms and dads, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, for...sometimes...very long stretches of time.  don't think for an instant that i don't know how lucky we are.  but...this blog is about our family's reality.  and what has happened as a result of chad's traveling...whether it could  be worse, or not. 

we have slowly grown accustomed to it.  and i'm not sure that's a good thing.  maybe it is.  but something deep inside of my heart whispers that it's not.  it's not that they've learned to understand the importance of what their daddy is doing in those far-off's that they've learned how to detach themselves from it.  from him.  they've learned not to worry about when he is going to get home this time...because he will be leaving again anyway.

as he pulled into the driveway, i wondered how the youngest...the baby...the one who is the most forgiving would respond to her daddy, after not seeing him or hearing his voice for what, to her, is an eternity.

do you know what she did?

she walked out the front door; paused; looked at the man standing on the driveway; let it register in her sweet, innocent heart who it was...and RAN...with out-stretched fast as her little legs could take her, into his arms. 

see...she hasn't learned the art of detachment yet.

not that i want her to.

* i do not actually believe that facebook is the anti-christ.  please do not make this blog a forward to the church staff-causing an intervention like response.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Reason # 248

This is documenting reason # 248 why homeschooling Chase would never work.  I am currently sitting across the kitchen table from Chase, pleading that he write his 2 page research paper on Harry Houdini...a topic he chose himself.  All he has to do is copy what we have typed out together onto his lined paper that he was given for the report.  Let it be stated here...that in an attempt to keep Annslee quiet and entertained, I have given her miniature marshmallows to eat in her highchair.  I just looked up at her to discover that she has torn them all into tiny pieces and thrown them all over the floor and stuck them all over her face and arms and chair and hair.  I was not aware that these teeny marshmallows could be made teenier, and also stickier...nor that she was able to do this.  Well, they can and she is.  Now she is done and is screaming to get down. 

Anyhow, Chase had been sitting here for going on an hour; only had the title written, and was coming up with every whining reason why he certifiably COULD NOT write this report.  First he had a headache..."on this side" he said, pointing to his left temple.  Then he was cold.  Then he was tired. Then he said it would take 5 hours.  (He used that one several times and I always found it somewhat amusing the way he dragged out the word hoooouuuuuuuurrrrrrrsss.) Then his foot hurt.  Then his...and I quote..."ear had something stuck in it."

I finally said that if he didn't start writing, I was going to call his teacher and tell her that he was refusing to do the assignment.  He whined, "Noooooooooooo."  

That must have made some impact, because he wrote one whole sentence before he could no longer continue because Annslee was "bothering him" with her marshmallow game.  Finally, I sat down and asked him if it would help if I read it to him while he wrote.  He is now taking a break after writing the title and 4 complete sentences.  Only 19 more to go. What are the odds that we will get this thing completed before one, or both of us completely drop our basket...him crying and stating that I am, indeed the worstest Mom in the world or me making threats about him being grounded till his next birthday?

Any bets?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

surf truth

you know how kids can sometimes tell you something louder and clearer than anyone else could.  they can say things openly and honestly...with no manipulation, jealousy, ulterior motives, etc.  often, it's funny.  sometimes it stings a little.  but's just down right authentic, eye-opening truth. 

during spring break, we headed to the do all things beachy..  on the way, everyone took turns requesting songs.  i requested everybody's got their something by nikka costa.  this song just screams beach!  colton requested P.O.D.'s boom.  aiden begged for surfin USA...and then it was chase's turn. 

he confidently said, "i want to hear leavin town."

"because it reminds me of my daddy."


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

it's 5:00 somewhere.

this happened yesterday.  and it was not pretty.  in all my 10+ years of parenting, this has never happened before, and by will never happen again. 

my phone was charging in my bedroom when i heard it ring from the living room.  i've gotten a little too trusting of the puddin cup...therefore walked out of the living room and into the bedroom to answer the phone.  i was gone, like, .02 seconds before returning to the scene.  see, she's sneaky.  and miniature.  so, she can slip off somewhere and start getting herself into trouble before you even notice she's gone.  this is lesson number 1, from yesterday.  don't trust her just yet.  not until she's, like 4.  or 22.

still on the phone...i see her standing in the middle of the living room.  she has something hanging out of her mouth.  i walk over to her to get a closer look.  it appears to be toilet paper.  i'm not panicking or anything.  she has had this fascination with toilet paper for a while.  this is old news.  she likes to sneak into the bathroom and pull some off the roll and rip it into the tiniest shreds possible and leave trails for herself...just in case she gets lost and needs help finding her way back to the toilet paper roll.  then i notice that it's wet.  ok.  well, that's a little weird.  how did she get it wet?  i know she's a total brilliant mind and everything...but i also know she doesn't even come close to being able to reach the sink to turn on the water.  then...i realize where the water soaked toilet paper had to have come from. 

"gotta go!"  i hung up the phone, grabbed the toilet paper from her mouth and hands, which she began struggling, screaming, and fighting for instantly...and began prying it away from her as it dripped all over the place.  on a slightly different note, let it be noted that for such a little gnome, she is freakishly strong.  she followed me into the bathroom and as if chewing on wet toilet paper wasn't gross enough, confirming just where that wet toilet paper had come from...was. grossest parenting moment thus far was confirmed.  the toilet had not been flushed, and she had fished some of the used toilet paper out and began sucking on it.  there was a lovely pee water trail that started at the toilet bowl.  i scooped her up...still protesting and not understanding why i was panicking and screaming, "oh-annslee-gross-oh-my-gosh-gross-gross-oh-my-gosh-annslee-oh-no-gross-no-gross-gross-gross," put her in my bathtub and stripped her down to her diaper faster than a jack rabbit being hunted.  i found myself thinking, "get her bathed before she puts her hands in her mouth."  however, then i realized that ship had already sailed.  i took her diaper off to discover she must have just pooped.  i had no wipes, the water was running and then she peed all over the bathtub and plopped down to smear her own crap all over the tub while she slipped and slid all over the place.  she was now covered in someone else's pee, her own pee, her own poop and there was nothing else i could do but get my hands dirty in order to help my poor, little, poop and pee covered sugar plum.  i shrugged my shoulders, took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and went in.  after getting her hosed down, getting all the poop shoveled toward the drain and washed down, and the tub scrubbed with soap and my hand because i didn't have anything else in there and i couldn't leave her in that condition by herself because we've already discovered what she can do when left unattended, i bathed her.  i fought my urge to use bleach on her, and didn't even concern myself with the fact that every inch of my house was now contaminated with e-coli and maybe even the ebola virus.  i got the little doll out of the tub after a good scrubbing and reached for a towel.  in .001 second flat, she started peeing on the bathroom floor and then slipped in it and splashed it all over herself and the bathroom.  back in the tub you go. 

i put her down for a nap and began cleaning and taking a friend's advise, repeated to myself over and over..."that never happened...that never happened...that never happened." 

then i seriously thought about a stiff, adult beverage, and said to myself, "it's 5:00 somewhere."  and i would have had one too.  if i wasn't too busy cleaning and sterilizing to pour it.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

my little bluebonnet

the sweet pea had her very first soccer practice tonight and let it be said, that i was every bit as excited as she was.  let's be honest here.  when i went in for my ultrasound, the day before christmas eve when i was pregnant with this little sugar plum, and the technician looked at the screen and said, "it's a girl"...all kinds of dreams were conceived right along with her.  my dreams.  chad's dreams.  her dreams.  God's already dreamed dreams.


i played soccer...for the bluebonnets. soccer was one of my sports.  i loved soccer.  i was good at soccer.  and i want one of my kids to love soccer too.  i ask myself, "why?"  and furthermore...why am i a little more excited to watch aiden play soccer than i was either of the boys?  it hit me tonight, as i fastened the shin guards and laced up the cleats, that it is because i hope that i will see a little of myself in her.  she has her daddy's brown hair.  she has his analytical mind, and his non-emotional reactions. and i love that.  but sometimes...when i look at her...i squint to see some aspect or characteristic of me in her.

and tonight...

i did.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

speak up...copied and pasted

let me first say that i feel sorta weird doing this...because it's my first time.  that conjures up all kinds of interest, don't it?!  i have never, not once, in my life read someone else's written words and thought "you have spoken my heart's truth and i could not have said it any better myself" and therefore, right clicked, copied, and pasted to my own space in this world.  i read it to chad and we agreed that her words could have been born in my very own soul.  (well...except for the "bob" haircut and the attempting to evangelize a sister over a western bacon cheeseburger bit.) this is a post, authentically and brilliantly written by a girl named jamie.  her blog address is

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I hear you.

Every once in a while, I get an email or a comment from someone who knows me, like, someone who for real knows me, in real life, and they’ll say, “I love it when I read your blog because it’s like I can hear your voice.”

There’s something within that small statement that stirs my needy, little soul.

When I became a Christian, I thought the name of the game was conformity. I thought I was joining a club and the rules of the club were simple:

Dress this way.

Use these words.

Do this on Sunday Mornings and that on Wednesday nights.

Be appalled by this, this, this, aaaand that.

Get indignant about such and such.

Above all, pretend that everything is ok, even when it most definitely is not, because you have Jesus and Jesus takes away your problems.

So I went and got a bob, which seemed like the right haircut for the part. And I started wearing a cross all the time for no other reason than so people would know I was in the club. And then, in an effort to use all the words at once, I took my little sister to Carls Jr. and tried to evangelize her over Western Bacon Cheeseburgers and chocolate shakes. She got up to use the bathroom (or possibly to call for help) and the old ladies in the booth next to me leaned over to tell me what I good job I was doing. They were obviously in the club and had recognized me by my words… or maybe by my hair.

It was ugly. But it was me. That was who I was – the result of a lifetime of pretending to be someone I wasn’t so that I would be liked, or accepted, popular, worthy, wanted….loved. I had gotten pretty adept at speaking in someone else’s voice, using their words, playing by their rules. And walking into the church was no different. Except it was worse. Because when you go against social norms in the church, the people in the club will call you things like "dangerous".

I don’t know when, but at some point I stopped watching what the people in the club were doing and I started to look at Jesus. That dude broke all the rules.

I watched him sit in a market place braiding for himself a whip. And when he was done… He went ape-shit on a bunch of scumbags, overturning tables and going all Indiana Jones with that whip until the House of God had been restored to just that.

I watched him sit on the edge of a well in the countryside, where he had a quiet conversation with a sordid woman that would change her life and the lives of many around her. In that little chat, he challenged her honesty and invited her to become one who worships God in spirit and in truth.

I watched Jesus tell stories. I saw him talking to normal people about normal crap and pointing out God along the way.

And I started to realize that I had been created with a distinct voice and that God was calling me to use it, whispering, “Be who you are, Baby Girl. I made you. You were meant to tell an honest story.”

What a HUGE freaking relief. Permission to leave behind the empty shell of false pretense you’ve built up to be part of the church and BE YOURSELF. Live out loud. Share your struggles, your doubts, your furcked up-ness. And to do so in a legitimate non-douchey way that says nothing less than “There by the Grace of God go I.” Sweet, sweet mercy! There is no better feeling in this world than when someone who knows you, really knows you -because you haven’t been faking it- says, “I can hear your voice… and I love you anyway.”

What a gift.

Long before I ever posted a single word to this stupid blog, and way before I became a missionary, I stopped trying to be what the church wants and started trying to be who God wants – one who worships in spirit and in truth. Sometimes the club doesn’t like it. Sometimes a few members protest because they think I’m dangerous.

And I don’t care. It doesn't bother me because, when I look at my life, it’s like I can hear His voice....and I hope you can, too, ever since so long ago when God nudged me and said…

Speak up.

Sunday, March 06, 2011


chase is currently asleep on the living room full indiana jones costume.  from the looks of it...he fell asleep mid-holy grail hunting.  chad is asleep on the couch...with one leg hanging off to the floor and snoring every so often.  mmmm...what's not to want about that guy!!  :) colt is watching ESPN and asking me to scratch his back.  annslee is snuggled up and fast asleep.  and sissy aiden...the sweetest, sugariest plum there ever was and is and ever will at her very first sleepover with a friend.  she has had friends sleepover at our house before (only 3 times) and she has stayed at my parents (3,000 times)...but never has she spent the night at a friend's house.  it's a right of passage, of sorts.  and she was ready.  i packed her favorite gown, her favorite pillow, her favorite doll, her favorite tink (blankie), her favorite hershey (bear), and her sleeping bag.  i took a picture of her with her bestest friend and kissed her goodbye.  she didn't even act like she was going to miss me.  what's up with that?  she's independent...that one.


and i'm glad.

sleepovers.  quite possibly one of the best things ever invented.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

i love...

#81 a tv show worth looking forward to

#82 delightful surprises

#83 wearing green on st. patrick's day

#84 being partly irish

#85 sun dresses for the girls

#86 plaid shorts for the boys

#87 sweet blueberries

#88 watching the baby become a toddler

#89 annslee's blonde hair

#90 aiden's brown braids

#91 watching colton play point and sink buzzer beaters

#92 the start of baseball season

#93 theatrics

#94 chase's acting bug

#95 the promise of spring

#96 shopping with a friend

#97 charades (the game)

#98 a new outfit

#99 pink lip gloss

#100 cut-off jean shorts

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

truth vs. lies at the age of 5

* chad and colton were at baseball this conversation was between aiden, chase, annslee, and myself at the dinner table last night and is written exactly as it took place.

aiden (very matter of fact, in between bites): "i'm gonna have to sleep with you and dad tonight."

me: "you are??"

aiden:  "yes."

me:  "why's that?"

aiden:  "because today, dylan told me that bloody mary was coming after me tonight."

me (nearly choking on my toast):  "WHAT????"

aiden:  "he said that bloody mary was coming after me tonight."

(i wish i could accurately convey the way she was telling me this news.  ever since my grandpa died, she has been un-characteristically scared.  she is obsessed with making sure the doors are locked, and always talking about strangers stealing kids, etc.  we are doing our best to comfort her and make her feel secure, but she is handling things in her own way and i can see her coming to terms with truths about life and death and the very true fact that this world is not as magical as we once all thought.  sad, i know. she was telling me about why she must sleep with us, it was like, "this is what is going to happen...and i've come to terms with it...and this is what i've decided we are going to do about it."

me:  "aiden...i'm so sorry he said that to you.  that is a story that someone made up a loooonnnng time ago...just to try to scare kids.  i remember someone telling me that story when i was little, and it is NOT TRUE!!  don't listen to stuff like that.  the minute someone starts talking about stuff like that, you put your finger up in front of their face and firmly say, "that is not true and i will not allow you to try and scare me with lies."   and then, walk away.

aiden:  "ok."

me:  "you can sleep with mommy and daddy tonight."

aiden:  "thanks mom."