Monday, February 22, 2016

Is February over already?

The weather this month has been abnormally warm and we are loving it. The kids have been playing outside every day and making clubhouses in the strip of land over our fence.

David is still working hard on his doctorate. His estimated graduation date is June of 2018. And considering that June will be here before we blink, it means we are about only two years away. It is sad and exciting all at the same time. I am tired of saying "Just get through the day/week/month/year/phase of life". I feel that I am waiting our lives away and then I will look up and the kids are grown and out of the house. And I will cry because I miss it all and wish I could relive it. So to circumvent that event, I am making a focused effort to enjoy where we are in life.

Here is the status quo:
Elsie 3 1/2 y.o

  •  loves baby dolls and playing pretend. 
  •  is enthusiastic about everything, including her likes and dislikes. If she doesn't want it, she will let you know in no uncertain terms. 
  • still only weighs about 25 lbs. She is so, so petite. 
  • is finally potty trained.
  • is a morning person. She wakes up from bed, bright eyed and bushy tailed. But DO NOT EVER wake her up from a nap. She turns into a bear, grumpy for hours. 
  • She hates having her hair in a pony tail. Which means that I have to put it into a pony tail about every other day because I refuse to be dictated to by a 3 year old. Plus, I want to nip that habit in the bud. I can just see the arguments over clothing when she is 14...
  • She wants to be a cowgirl ballerina when she grows up. 
  • She loves to draw and color and has very good hand-eye-coordination for her age. I think she might be showing some talent in that direction. 
  • She can play the piano by following the scales I have taped onto the keys. 
  • She prances instead of running. 
  • She is still in the baby stage which makes me happy/sad. What if this is the last one? So I am soaking up all the little hugs and squishy kisses I can get. There is nothing quite as lovely as a hug around the neck from little chubby arms. 
Ian 5 y.o.
  • is obsessed with Paw Patrol, Octonauts, cars, trains, and any kind of construction equipment. 
  • loves to give physical affection. He is my snugly boy. 
  • can ride a bike with training wheels. We are planning to teach him to ride without them this summer. 
  • loves to play protector roles in make believe. 
  • has been begging me to learn to read so we are currently a third of the way through our reading lesson book. He has finally clicked to they only take up about 5 minutes a day. He should be reading on his own by the end of school. I am looking forward to taking him to the library this summer and showing him the shelves full of books he can now checkout on his card.
  • just got his own library card. The librarian even let him sign the page himself. He was very proud. 
  • is begging for a wallet in which to keep his library card now. 
  • not a morning person. He will drag himself out of bed and stumble in the room, half asleep. He is his father's son, for sure. 
  • played his first year of basketball this winter. He loved it and we are already signed up for t-ball this spring. 
Lillie (almost) 9 y.o.
  • loves her ballet classes, art, sewing, crafts. 
  • still practices piano even though we are not taking formal lessons. She has beautiful hands for piano.
  • has reached the age where she begs to sleep in whenever she gets the chance. 
  • reads, and reads, and reads. She takes a book every place we go. She would probably take them in the tub if I let here. 
  • pours over every American Girl catalog, wishing for new clothes and accessories for her doll, Samantha. 
  • is becoming more of a young lady every day. It is frightening to see how much she has matured this year. She accepts more and more responsibility and is so sweet and obliging when I ask her to help around the house. 
  • can make pancakes from scratch now. I have been letting her take on more of the kitchen chores and she is a very careful and precise cook. 
  • has a fish whom she loves and cares for tenderly as if it were a baby. 
  • also playing basketball but not loving it as much so she probably won't do it again next year


  • trying to avoid eating all added sugars, including honey and pure maple syrup.
  • trying to avoid eating bad carbs. 
  • and so far am succeeding. *fingers crossed*
  • wishing my piano was tuned so I could play without making my ears cringe.
  • feeling the need to learn something new and stretch my brain. I inherited my Papaw's old clarinet. If I can get it a new reed and a tune up, I may try to learn to play. I have always loved the reed instruments. 
  • still stuck on chapter one of the Hobbit. I feel like I need a concordance just to understand it. 
  • planning a weekly menu for my family that stays in our budget, is healthy, and actually might taste edible. 
  • on again - off again exercising
  • almost always sleep deprived. 
  • getting itchy fingers to garden again (don't laugh David).
  • fending off baby fever. 
  • tutoring once a week at CC
  • babysitting three days a week
  • teaching here at home
  • still in school. 
  • working late every week counting and sorting beans. 
  • teaching himself classical guitar when he has the time
  • finding time to read for pleasure before bed
  • getting up before work early enough to study
  • has kicked the caffeine habit! *round of applause*
  • gives the kids a ride to bed every night
  • working with me to live a healthier lifestyle. I hope he knows how much I appreciate his willingness to eat healthy food. It would be so frustrating if he balked and was picky about what I serve at mealtime. 
  • offers to watch the kids so I can get out of the house (isn't he the sweetest?).
  • is also sleep deprived much of the time
  • fits in exercise when he can to keep himself healthy and in shape.

So yes, our lives are full and busy. But I don't want to wish them away too fast. I want to savor this time. It is full of work but it is also full of love and fun and the innocence of childhood. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Death becomes me.

Comments overheard during make believe play by the younger two, while discussing the couple who live in the wooden block castle:

                  "They need to be really old. You know, like 30."
She nods in agreement vigorously
                 "Yeah, 30 IS old."

                 "And the Grandpa, he can be...almost 35."

So it is official. 30 is the beginning of the end.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Where has all the silence gone?

Life has been non stop around here. Between school at home, school at CC once a week, ballet, two different basketball schedules, babysitting, and normal everyday responsibilities, we don't have many quiet evenings at home.

Which is why this past Saturday afternoon was lovely. We made it home from basketball games by noon, and then I took an hour and a half nap. After which I felt like a new woman. And I realized, as I stood in the kitchen making chicken enchiladas, that the house was calm and quiet for the first time in weeks. David was on the computer working, the kids were playing on the living room floor and there was not much talking going on.

I forget how important silence and calmness are for peace of mind. You need the empty moments to let your brain decompress. Not to mention, the chance to actually think thoughts, ponder life, contemplate your family and blessings. I am making a mental note to schedule in more quiet time and less other stuff. And so I challenge you. Take a moment to just be.

No television.
No radio.
No Instagram.
No Facebook.

Just find a monotonous household chore and do it in absolute silence.

And let your mind stretch its bound muscles.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

I Apologize In Advance

          No one liked Bertram Finch. He was a wiry old man with wisps of grey hair sticking up all around his bald plate. Hunched over, he walked with an wooden cane which he would shake at all dogs and small children who happened to come too near.
             However ugly his outward appearance, it was nothing compared to his inward appearance. Bertram's sour puss was outmatched by his sour attitude. Scowling at every neighbor, yelling at passersbys from his front porch, he spread a circle of gloom all around him. His most repugnant feature, however, was his treatment of his home health care worker Debbie. She came every morning like clockwork to check his heart arrhythmia and give him his medicine. She also acted as a chauffeur of sorts, hauling him around town whenever he had errands to run. She was a quiet woman, kind and soft spoken. The neighbors often wondered how she stood the treatment she received at the hands of the old man. Bertram took a fiendish delight in making her job as horrendous as possible. He would always do the opposite of whatever it was she asked him to do, would make rude noises and spit in her face whenever possible, but he took the most joy out of mocking her every word.
           Debbie would say "Mr. Bertram, it's time for your heart medicine." and Bertram would mimic back in a nasty voice "Mr. Bertram, it's time for your heart medicine." He would then make fun of the sound of her voice, the way she spoke, her grammar. Any and every way he could humiliate her, he did.

One morning, the neighbors were awoken by the sound of sirens. They pulled back the curtains to see police cruisers parked in front of Bertram's house. As they watched, their mouths dropped open as Debbie was led in handcuffs out of the house and placed in the back of a police car. One of the neighbors, Mr. Duff, ran out to the Sergeant and begged to know what was going on. Why had they arrested Debbie? What had happened?
     Sergeant Foster, a ten year veteran of the force, explained the situation to Mr. Duff. They had received a call from Debbie not an hour ago, asking for police assistance. When the police arrived, they found Debbie standing over Bertram's dead body, a bloody butcher knife at her feet. She immediately confessed to the crime and they arrested her for first degree murder. Mr. Duff was in shock.
       "I can't believe it Sergeant. She was such a sweet soul, the last person I would have thought capable of a murder."
           Sergeant Foster scratched his face and replied with a sigh, "Well, Mr. Duff, to tell you the truth. I'm not shocked. We all knew how Bertram treated her. After all these years, I figured sooner or later, she would have to kill the mocking Bert."