Tuesday, May 30, 2006

God is Good

Good Morning everyone! I hope you all had a nice Memorial Day weekend.

Ours was quite nice. I won't go into minute detail, but in general, we had lots of community happening at crazyacres. We had my mother in law visiting from California, all the neighborhood children were over various times through the weekend, and an impromptu party Sunday evening. The kids played just like kids should ~ outside, running, screaming, getting sweaty and dirty, and hungry and tired.

Yesterday we went to our friend's home for a cookout. We met two other families and enjoyed ourselves very much. The four families together had 24 children between us. The kiddos swam and played capture the flag, and generally had a terrific time.

A very idillic weekend. God is good!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Question ~

Why did God design it so moms have to deal with adolescents and pre-menipause at the same time??

O Son of God, who didst ascend in glory, save us who sing to Thee, Alleluia!

"O Christ, You have come down from heaven to earth. Being God, You lifted up Adam's race that had been brought down in the prision of Hades. Through your ascension, You raised it up again to the heights of heaven and established it in your company on the Father's throne, for You are merciful and the Lover of Mankind."

(Troparion of the office of the feast)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Over The Hedge

Our family participated in the "othercott" this weekend and supported "Over the Hedge". I took six of my children and 3 neighbor kidlets, and off we went!

We took up an entire row in the theater, I bought one popcorn for every 2 people, and no drinks. During the gazillion previews, my four year old son kept asking, "Is this Over the Hedge?" Each preview garnered the same question. Finally the movie began. About 20 minutes into it, he leans over, "Is THIS Over the Hedge?" Poor kid!

Overall, I found the movie quite enjoyable, laughed out loud a few times, and I must say it kept all 9 children engrossed. The ages were 12 to 4, and all of them enjoyed it. My favorite part was the possum, played by William Shatner. This possum is overly dramatic, and plays dead repeatedly. Perfect role for Mr. Shatner, who seemed to relish making fun of himself.

I recommend the movie, it wasn't a waste of time or money, there was no crude jokes that I wish my 4 year old hadn't heard, and I found it funny, with a pretty positive message over all. A good antidote to the "other movie" that we won't mention.

Anyway, two thumbs up from me!


My dog woke me up this morning with her shelty-howl. It's ear splitting and always sounds like an emergency. She has done this since she was a puppy. We bought her 6 weeks after our first baby was born, and I maintain that, as she has seen 6 more babies join the family, her howls have grown louder just so she'll get fed and let out and noticed once and a while. Now this 13 year old dog is deaf, and if it is possible she howls even louder. Needless to say, I woke with a start and hopped out of bed.

Or should I say I thought I was hopping out of bed, but what actually happened is I hobbled out of bed. You see, yesterday was an aggressive work-in-the-lawn day, and, oh yes, I did work.

I cut off about 10 big branches from a large pine tree in our back yard. The branches were hanging so low it was very trecherous to walk into the shed next to it. I had to use one of those hand saws on a pole, with a built in clipper controlled by a string. I worked at that for few hours, with my hands over my head, sawing, clipping, and using muscles that had forgotten they exhisted. I only had the very branch I had just cut fall on my head twice, only popped myself in the face with the string handle once, and only yelled at the stupid, stupid saw five or six times.

Then I began cleaning out the shed, with the help of my kids. Winter clutter had obscured any order that may have existed, and I had been spending more time looking for items in the shed than actually using any of them.

Then I continued hand digging our large garden area. Usually my dad brings over a roto-tiller and does this for me, but this year one of us was busy til June and it just didn't happen. Yesterday my daughters and began to hand turn the soil. After 10 or so minutes of that we were quite discouraged. My husband zipped off and rented a tiller for me, began the work and showed my how to use the machine, and off I went. I can not believe how hard it was! The upper body strength required to control the machine, the grip necesarry to keep it moving, and the trunk strenth one must posses to stabilize the machine as it pulverizes the soil was amazing to me. After a few hours and many breaks, my husband came home from work and finished the job.

First, I cannot believe how easy my dad made this job look.

Second, my husband is MUCH stronger than me.

Third, today it was physically impossible to hop out of bed.

My hands are so sore, I can barely lift my coffee cup. This serious, people! But let me tell you, do I have a beautiful clean slate in my front yard with which to work! I have already bought 8 bushes, and will try to plant them today. I have a lovely hosta garden with some huge plants that need splitting, and tons of ostrich ferns from which my oldest son and I can choose a few to go out front. I am going to get quite a few perennials from my mom and fill in much of the space. My two oldest daughters are going to put in their vegetable garden there, and then I will haul mulch to the area to keep the weeds out. Just typing these words make me sore (really, my hands hurt that badly), so I can't say how long this will take, but I will say progress was made in the yard, and toward this goal. Particularly this quote ~

"Here's the way I look at it. I would like to join a gym and get in shape. Can't afford it, don't know where the time would come from.

I would like to hire landscapers. Can't afford it.

So, I will get a work out for free, landscaping my yard myself, for free. Makes sense, eh?

Today, I got all the mental work done. And now I wait for warmer weather. And a lot more energy. And a few more muscles."

Mission begun!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Two years ago on May 20th....

My first look at my daughter *sigh*

at 18 months

Two years ago tomorrow, my baby was born. Just like everyone says, I can't believe it was two years ago already! How quickly the time went. Such a cliche, but what else is there to say?

There is something about marking the years with children's birthdays that makes the passing of time more palatable, yet more heart-wrenching. While my little one is beyond-words cute, the toothless, drooling, chubbers is long gone. She decided to wean a few months ago, so no more long mornings in bed, with her rubbing my face while she nursed, and while I drank up her sweet baby smell. She doesn't grab my face and suck on my chin anymore. Now she hugs me hard around the neck, kisses my cheek, and says, "I lub you, mommy." Can't really complain, can I?

And yet despite the happiness of having a happy, healthy two year old, I feel a sadness. The sadness of the end of an era. Never have I had a two year old without having another infant, or at least a gi-normous belly just waiting to deliver us another joy. I know I may still have another baby, but what I know is I may have another baby. In the previous years, I never had time to wonder before I knew I was having another baby.

And even if I do have the blessing of another baby, the era of rapid fire additions to the family is over. The tangle of wee ones, with chubby legs, cushy cheeks and baby teeth, this is past. I have gangly children now; tall, large toothed, approaching-rational children. Only two little chubbies left.

When I look back at the photo of all seven of them the day the older children met the baby, they were all so small. In two years, my landscape has changed dramatically.

Never-the-less, this little two year old is a delight. She is the princess of crazyacres, and her subjects adore her. She can say everyone's name when asked, but only calles herself "Baby". She yells 'Night mom' over and over after I place her in bed, until she can no longer hear my response. She calls the older kids, "Guys", and loves getting read to by her nearly 13 year old brother. She calls the little hair band that keeps her bangs out of her face her "pretty", and has a great affinity for shoes. She loves dolls, and cares for them tenderly.

She has what I consider an extraordinary sense of humor for a child her age. She is outgoing, laughs loud and deep, and knows how to get what she wants. She is orderly for a little one, loves books and birds and kitties and music and church. She knows she is loved, she is certain of her place in the world, and she is never alone. Baby, my prayer for you is that you don't loose one iota of these attributes, but build on them as you grow in the knowledge that all these wonderful gifts are from your Heavenly Father, who loves you without reserve. May He hold you in his hand and bless you abundantly and steadily with His loving embrace. I love you, little one, and am so blessed to call you my daughter~

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Home again, home again jiggidy jig

I am back! The trip was terrific, lovely, refreshing, and restful. My last day there I spent at my aunt's pool, swimming, sunning, reading, drinking mimosa's and eating fresly picked oranges off the tree. I listened to the sounds of the birds and the pool filter. No children in sight.

Someone asked me if I missed the kids while I was gone. Honestly, no, I didn't. I was quite delighted to see them upon my return, but so enjoyed my time alone, missing them didn't occur to me.

I did miss my husband from time to time. I realized how much fun I have with him, and how much I bounce my ideas off of him. So I did miss him, and was very happy to be back with him again.

In the last 13 years, I have not taken a vacation without my husband or children. The best part of this trip for me was getting aquainted with me, the person, without the screen of husband or children. Just me. That was fun. I had forgotten what I was like when I was just me. I had forgotten to have long, uninterrupted conversations about not-child related issues. I found out my brain does still work the same way. I found I haven't changed as much as I thought. Children have only made me better in regard to how I relate to the world. All the gifts I held previousely are still there, I found.

So there you go. A good trip, a nice reunion with myself, and a great little suntan. Bliss!!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Friday Five and Hello from Sunny California!

Hey y'all, I forgot my hostess has a computer I could use, so I can still blog. I don't have much time, but I will say I went SHOPPING today at Coldwater Creek, J. Jill, Chico's, and Eddie Bauer. This was a new experience and it was alot of fun. I bought some lovely things on sale, and had a nice lunch with my mom and aunt.

Anyway, Alexa did a Friday Five, and I thought I would share it and my answers. Feel free to answer here in the comments. Thanks Alexa!!

Friday Five
1- If you make coffee in the morning do you make a full pot? How many cups?
2- What are your plans for the weekend?
3- When was your last haircut?
4- What is the outside of your house composed of? (color/material)
5- Do you ever wear a hat?

My answers:

I make a 4 cup pot in my bathroom first thing in the morning, then an 8 cup pot in the kitchen mid morning.

I am going to see my brother graduate tomorrow!!

I got my haircut on Friday, one week ago.

Our house is all brick, with stucco on the top half on the new addtion.

Yes, as a matter of fact I just bought one today to wear to the outdoor graduation tomorrow. It is a wide brimmed brown straw hat.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


I'm outta here until Wednesday. Until then, blessing to you all!

God Grant him many years!!

As previously mentioned, today is my youngest son's 4th birthday. In honor of this, I am reposting something I wrote about him last year. This particular child was like a life raft for me at a very scary time. I will be forever grateful for him. Of course, all my children were well timed (not by me) gifts, each in their own way. But this life raft I am still holding onto, and so here is the rest of the story:

This is my sweet three year old son. He is a joy, and, I believe, a miracle.

It all began 4 years ago, when my dh quit his job, for ethical reasons. He had a healthy bonus coming, so to avoid conflict of interest, he quit prior to finding a different job. He also was getting fatigued in his chosen profession, and thought he might try something else. Didn't happen. Dh's ex-boss was furious to loose the brains of his organization, and accused dh of embezellment. Long story short, this all ended up with our bonus tied up in court, with dh having no job, and us having to deal with all the ugliness of a law suit.

Then, on September 10, 2001, dh opened a business account with most of the money we had left, and started his own business, as the luxury of doing something else had vanished. Of course, we all know what happened on September 11th, and all the fear and grief that accompanied that grim day.

On September 12th, I found out I was expecting my 6th child. This wasn't in the plan. This shouldn't have happened according to my charts. This just plain, old shouldn't have happened. Was I being cursed? Punished? How could God do this to me?? I mean, I live trying to trust God, remain open to life, yet could there be any worse timet to have a baby?: WHAT WAS HE THINKING??? This is what went through my head as I lay awake, night after night, and fought sleep day after day.

The pregnancy dragged on. I had high blood pressure, high blood sugar, had to switch insurance providers to save money, and therefore had to pay for the birth ourself. Meanwhile, dh's business is tanking in the post-9/11 stock market mess.

This is a really long story.

So I will skip most of it, except to say that God took the most exquisite care of us. We never had a need that wasn't filled. Somehow, we managed to go nearly two years with no income, and suffer no permanent repercussions. We found how many dear friends we had in our life. We found that our church was a refuge and a strength for us. We were able to turn to family for help without shame. And, we got our dear, sweet son, who couldn't have come at a better time. He soothed my soul, gave me joy, gave me the sweet simplicity of a new, lovely baby, at a time when the world seemed so complicated and dark.

People often assume that our seven children were a choice for us, you know, good for you, if that's what makes you happy, and all that. No, this really wasn't what I set out to do. I didn't have any desire for baby number 6, thought I was being punished, and was beside myself. When he was born, I realized that God did know better, and knew exactly what I would need at exactly the right time.

Now, things are better, dh's business is still surviving, we have another baby, and all the legal and financial mess is ancient history. And we still have this little precious boy, a gift, and a constant reminder to me of God's tender care.

Why I love my Church

We had a frightening experience here the other day. I didn't blog about it earlier because I was still so upset.

Our nearly two year old ingested some mineral spirits. How? After working on a project, a container was left in her reach. Why? I don't know. I saw it there. I made mental notes to move it. But I didn't. And then she found it.

After a frantic poison control call, and lots of gut wrenching "watch and wait", she appeared to be fine. But the next morning she threw up, and smelled strongly of mineral spirits from her breath. There was no coughing, which is the biggest danger. Apparently, if she had aspirated any, she would get pneumonia, and that would be serious.

At this time in the morning, my husband was going to daily Liturgy. I was a little afraid to have him go. What if she suddenly got worse? He assured me he would stay in contact, and that he would pray for her healing, and my spirit to be soothed.

After Liturgy, my husband called and said Father was coming over to give the baby and I communion, for the healing of soul and body together.

When Father got here, he had also brought anointing oil, and said this lovely prayer over her while anointing her head and hands:

"Lord Jesus Christ, who entered into this world as a child and who, althought You were God, subjected Yourself to Your eartly parents: bless Your child, N. We beseech You, look with favor upon her and Your great and unmeasurable love grant her relief for her pain. Send Your angel from heaven to guard, cherish and protect Your child who is sick at such a tender age. Restore her to health so that she may reach the fullness of years and serve You gratefully all the years of her life. For You are the Physician of our souls and bodies and to You we give glory, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen."

And then he gave her communion, gave me communion, and we all settled down in a great peace.

My little one improved all day long, and after consulting with a doctor, we were told she was reacting in a very healthy was to such an assault on her system.

So, there you have it. A near tragedy, fear, and guilt. Christ laying His hand on us through His church, healing our fear, and being present to us in such an intimate way. *sigh*. God is so good!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Reality check

Well, reality check here. I do not have time to meal plan, and come on, no one dies from eating too much pizza anyway. And, my husband is really quite a bit more capable than that, so I trust his judgement, and am leaving the eating up to him. I will shop for the basics so he isn't out of food, but that's all.

Tomorrow is my sweet youngest son's 4th birthday. I smooched him up many times, since this is his last day of being 3. He is also my last son (currently), and just in case there will be no more 3 year old son's in this house, I had to soak him in today.

School scheduling has been accomplished by telling everyone, "Do one lesson per day in each subject. I'll check it when I get home."

Packing? Still have no idea what to bring, or what not to bring.

Laundry? Still mountainous.

Wish I could be a little more profound, but it just isn't in me at this point. Blessings to you all!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Happy Monday!

I want to thank everyone for your encouraging words and prayers.

We had a terrific, busy weekend, and now I have declared a "teacher's-in-service" day so I can get the house and school schedule up to date. I have so much laundry, I can't find an adequate word to describe it.

I am going out of town to California Thursday for 4 days for my brother's graduation.
I have to keep school going when I am away so I have to leave my husband a good, specific list of assignments. I have to plan meals, shop for the food and leave him a good, specific list of available food, or they will eat pizza for 4 days straight.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Really.

I have to wash and iron my clothes, so I can roll them up in a carry-on because I am not doing checked luggage. So is it possible to pack a 4 day trip in a carry-on? This is the first trip I have taken without children in ... ... ... ever.

Anyway, I don't really have time for much more posting today. I just wanted to check in, say "hi" and wish everyone a blessed day!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

One of those days...

Today was one of those days... you know the kind. The kind where I wasn't good at anything I did. Everything was a teeth gritting experience. Every "Mom?" I heard made me want to screetch, "Leave me alone!", and sadly, I believe I did say that at least once today. Every project I began was unfinished, and every energetic idea I possesed this morning was left unfulfilled. *sigh* The kids are all in bed now, and I have to still pay the bills (is it the 3rd already??) and finish a load of laundry.

Today was one of those days where every project that needs tending to, both in school, in the house, in the yard, in the shed, in basic home management, was screaming to me for attention. I kept telling myself, "I need to make a list", but then something else would come up and I would get sidetracked and no list ever appeared. I had that silly notion that everything that needed to be done needed to be done NOW and only I could do it. I know that is silly, and I told myself so, but the nagging continued. So,
I am going to pay the bills, finish the laundry,and go to bed. I will get up in the morning, and try again to order my day, and approach my life one tiny bite at a time. I took such big mouthfuls today, I have indigestion. Here's to a little alka-selzer and a good nights sleep. Blessings!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The news is GOOD!

Little David Joseph is doing well today, and he and his momma will be going home tomorrow. Thank you all for your prayers. I spoke with Denise today and told her about your prayers, and she thanks each of you. I get to go see them on Friday, and get a big 'ol whiff of newborn baby. Nothing beats that wonderful fresh-from-God smell.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Attention, please!

I somehow deleted my previous prayer request for Denise at eight is enough. As an update, the baby was born this evening, weighing in at over 10 pounds!! He is having mild breathing difficulty, so a few more prayers would be appreciated. If you get a chance, pop over and welcome the little guy. Thanks everyone!