Wednesday, September 26, 2012

breaks for breathing

today, i will take full advantage of the break in our week that is wednesday.  wednesday has become my weekend.  it's become my calming breath in the middle of all of my sprint gasps.  literally.  i did a bunch of sprints last night at soccer i feel like i can say that honestly.
our schedule this fall is the busiest we have ever had...and you add on top of that chad being out of town again...(this time, manhatten.  no fair.  that's like one of my favorite places on earth.)...and colt playing football...and the girls starting gymnastics...and you have the everybody-hurry-up-grab-your-shoes-grab-your-homework-grab-your-lunch-or-snack-or-dinner-and-get-in-the-car-cause-we-are-late-for-wherever-we-are-currently-supposed-to-be.  again.  and you all know what a house looks like when that is the case, day after day.  even a loved and cared for house.
home school has shot business into a different hemisphere.  teaching preschool for our home school co-op has shot it into the next stratosphere. (that's bigger, right?)
but on wednesdays...annslee is at granna and grandaddy's house for the day.  and after i get chase and aiden off to school, it's just me and colt.  we can sleep in a little.  we can do school with minimal interruption.  we don't have to rush out the door to be at co-op.  i don't have to teach anybody but him.  i can actually meet a friend for lunch...or make dinner for a friend who happened to break her ankle in our soccer game friday night.  i can blog.  i can put away the laundry and mop the floors or bathe the dog.  i can breathe.
not that i don't love my days teaching these guys...
but sometimes...when you're that makes it harder to enjoy the magical moments that can be found while watching two little girls chasing birds at a park;

and sharing a pad of lip gloss.

wednesdays are good.
breaks are good.
today...i am teaching colton how to write a short story...using plot and his favorite iowa state basketball jersey; lighting a pumpkin spiced candle; skimming pinterest for the best comfort food recipes for a broken ankle; giving the dog a much needed bath; dusting our furniture for the first time in 2 months; and baking something fall-ish.
i'm enjoying the break in the week...before co-op, and teaching preschool, and football practice, and spelling homework, and thursday book reports take over tomorrow.
and i'm breathing.
and very good.'s necessary.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

make it a good one...

"i want to work with kevin clash someday," he says.
my 9 year old is unlike most.
he isn't out on the football field today...fighting for tackles and touchdowns.
he is doing his own thing.  and i...for that.
i gave him the day.  i was his.  he got to choose breakfast.  he got to choose what he wanted to do.  no going to colt's football school dragging him to other kid's practices or making him sit and watch his siblings do their thing.  it was his day.  it was his call.
chad had an all-day meeting down town today, so colt had to assist.  he watched the girls for me while i took chase to hobby lobby, where we picked out paint for our clay frog and toad creations.  we walked up and down the isle...fingering amphibian habitats and B-24 airplane models.  he found a plastic frog replica that was a must.  and most importantly...had my undivided attention.
when we got home...we packed a picnic...upon his request...and hit the park.

we played a mean game of hide and seek...

followed the leader...

and watched trout behave himself...for once.

side note:  trout has developed these little, raw, bald spots that look like they would several areas on his body.  see the one at the top of his right leg?  does anyone know what these are??

this afternoon...we let the grandparents, UK and daddy represent at the football field for colt...and settled in to watch a little johnny cash.  chase got the best of johnny cash video for his birthday last year and was wanting to watch it again.
i made pop-corn, tinkered around the kitchen, and marveled at the fact that chase knows who people like, bob dylan; loretta lynn; the statler brothers; ray charles; joni mitchell; tammy wynette; and the tennessee three are.  i love that he knows what songs his great grandfather played on his guitar.  i love that he appreciates their art.  i love that he will sit and watch johnny cash play and tell stories.  i love that he is educating his siblings about this art form and these artists.
most of all...i marvel at the fact that he is not afraid to be himself.  he does not worry about what other kids are doing.  he does not try to be someone he's not.  he is not concerned with what other people like or dislike.  he is true to himself.  he is chase.  and he is remarkable.

and if God was smiling down and celebrating chase's day, himself...i got a text from my old, high school friend, ian.  it said to check the mail...that a surprise was coming for chase.
it was the documentary on kevin clash...the puppeteer and voice of elmo.
what a way to finish "his" day.
keep being YOU, chase.  because you are simply, amazing.
we finally found something that will hold flicka's attention.
she has a love/hate relationship with legos.
they seem to cause her either a great deal of fun...
or throw her into a complete dither.

and then there's the lip gloss.

this particular day...she did her own hair and make-up.
oh yeah...we went out in public this way.

we stopped by the library and got our first library card.  and bonus...ran into a good friend, debbie.
she is a dedicated blog reader it's only appropriate that she have a little guest appearance.
hi debbie!!!

happy weekend, friends.
make it a good one.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 it's finest

you wanna know what is suuuuuper relaxing?
attempting to take a hot bath...only to, all of a sudden have a 90 pound dog chasing a hissing cat through the bathroom...though the closet...through the bedroom...through the bathroom...through the closet...through the bedroom.
and then you realize that no matter how loud you scream for someone to come and get them outta won't do any good because the game is turned up so loud in the living room that i could be abducted by aliens and no one would know it until it was time to put the kids to bed and chad came to figure out why i wasn't on that. sink down into the hot water and close your eyes and do your best to pretend that the 3 ring circus isn't actually happening...only to, all of a sudden be startled into reality when the 90 pound dog decides to climb on up and begin slurping up your sudsy bath water...slobbering and sloshing and shedding all the while. what you call relaxing.
this weekend, i finally made good on my promise to help chase make frog and toad out of clay.
this was not an easy task...seeing as i barely made a B in my college pottery class.  the professor clearly didn't appreciate my creative interpretation of what a bowl was.

we got one of them completely formed...and we are waiting for it to dry so that we can paint it.  i can't tell a lie.  it looks amazing. painting skills are worrying me a tad.  it's likely to look like a big, green blob after the painting stage.
maybe you didn't realize how creative chase is.  the boy can create very realistic characters out of anything...and doesn't even need to look at a picture.  he created george washington and abraham lincoln out of random legos.  it was pretty amazing if you ask me.
i couldn't do it.

flicka has confiscated her sister's american girl doll.  she is now asking for her own for her birthday.  the dilemma is...
do we get her one like her sisters...because that is what she is expecting,
or do we get her one with blonde hers...and hope she loves it?

i just don't know.
it's a toss up, at best.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

happy saturday

i've got 5 kids here...4 mine...1, a friend...and the blind side on TV.
i love this movie.
i love everything about it.
my daughters start gymnastics this week.
and it's a good thing.
because this one is swinging off of everything in the house.
i'm thinking she's gonna love the bars.

she is playing with her "i spy" bottle that we made at pre-school.  i highly recommend the "i-spy" bottle.  this particular one goes with the book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear...What do you See?
you print and cut out and then laminate the animals from the book.  fill a water bottle with rice and then add the animal prints.  boom.  "i spy a brown bear."
you can print out the color sheets for them to color when they "spy" it as well.

she picked her own clothes for pre-school this particular day.  it's my dress from when i was little...and her apron. worked.

especially since we were making homemade applesauce in class.
we were learning about apples and grandparents this week.
our book was Amelia Bedelia's First Apple Pie.
on thursday, we invited our grandparents to the class room to enjoy apple pie with us.

chad stopped at a garage sale this morning and picked up this bike for flicka.
she was super thrilled about it.

and saturday means football.  we got to watch the big man play.
these sisters cheer on their big brothers from the sidelines.
and get really dirty in the process.

one cinderella high heel; one ballet slipper; a set of pom-poms...
and we're in business.

and lastly...
you never know when you'll round the corner and find indiana jones...
hard on the case.

happy saturday.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

a little bit of fall

if 90 degrees instead of 100 degrees is supposed to be fall...the fall is in full swing down south.
i found these at target.  but don't be fooled.  i'm waiting for the bags of total pumpkins to hit the shelves.  the autumn mix is not the same.  i can't be picking all the pumpkins out and ending up with a candy dish full of brown candy corn rejects.  there has been sightings of the full bags of pumpkins...but i haven't seen them for myself yet.  that's not to say that i won't drive all over town today looking for them.  but i just haven't done that yet.
i also enjoyed my first pumpkin spice frappachino of the season.  i paired it with a piece of the pumpkin loaf and shot myself right into full swing fall.

september not only marks the beginning of fall...but also national childhood cancer awareness.  just like pink is the color for october's breast cancer awareness is the color for childhood cancer.
i have been hesitant to write about how this is currently affecting our family.  however...because i firmly agree with raising awareness and supporting these children and their families...i am wearing a gold ribbon every day this month for a little girl named claire.
claire is a 3 year old little girl who is battling a rare form of childhood cancer.  she was showing symptoms of a cold that quickly appeared to move into her chest.  the doctors recommended a chest x-ray...suspecting pneumonia.  that is when they found a large tumor in her abdomen.
the cancer had already moved from her abdomen to her spine and after stabilizing her...they began treatment.
claire is now undergoing the hopes of shrinking the tumor in her abdomen to as small as possible before removing it...and completely ridding the rest of her tiny body of the cancer.
because of her relationship with our family...she is getting to be a part of my pre-school class by having all of the books and activities sent home to her personally.  she knows that she has a real "teacher" and real "friends" because we get to communicate with her through pictures and letters.
join me in believing that God does not make mistakes and that He is the giver and healer of life...and that He loves this little girl more than we could ever even imagine...and pray with me for absolute healing for claire.  and for the month of september...wear gold in honor of claire and all of the other children who are currently battling or who have battled cancer.

on friday night...i was "kickin' it" for claire.
and even though it sounds really corny...after the first goal i score...i thought,
"that one was for you, claire."

saturday was a big day for us.
annslee got her ear's pierced...which is a right of passage into little girl-hood, as far as i'm concerned.

i got to watch my boy play some football...where matched with the slightest cool breeze...said,
"welcome to fall."

the team wore orange socks in honor of evan, a teammate and friend who lost his battle with leukemia last year.  the entire cowboy organization is wearing evan's number 41 on their jerseys this year.  i'm glad that colt is a part of this organization.
our boy was one of the captains.  this sight was one of those that sneak up on you and you freeze it in your mind...allowing feelings of joy and pride to well up in your heart...knowing that you won't forget that moment.  something about it made me see my son as a leader...the leader that God intended for him to be.  i saw a glimpse of the man he is becoming.  and i was happy to stand on the side-lines and let him go.  even if it was for just that moment.

UK turned the big...35...yesterday.
i really out-did myself with his shirt this year.

he comes to watch me play soccer...which is such a good, brotherly thing to do.  because my number is 8...he calls me "ocho."

it's a keeper, for sure.
and so is he...if you must know.