Saturday, February 26, 2011

Green Grass

On Tuesday, I was having a funk day. It was probably just fatigue after a jam-packed weekend, but nonetheless, every little chore felt monumental. I was sitting in a exhausted stupor after lunch watching the kids nag each other, despairing that all my training and hard work with them had been in vain. This came after a discouraging day homeschooling as Haley's backwards 5s and Zs almost sent me to the psychiatric ward. So there I was, thinking how I needed find a better job and dreaming about the green grass on other side of the fence, when the moment came. Darcy had put a saddle and reins on Haley and was riding her around the living room. Suddenly, the rodeo got violent, Haley reared on her hind legs, Darcy fell off backwards, and Haley stood up, exclaiming, "My tooth! I lost my first tooth!"

As I was cleaning up the blood, I thought how ironic it was that not only I WAS THERE for this landmark event, but I also was watching as it happened.  Sure, being at home with your kids can be mundane and discouraging, but it also allows for days like today.  I got to watch as Haley paid her sister two dollars for her assistance in getting the tooth out (It had been loose for months, but Haley was too scared to ever wiggle it!), and help Haley spell some words for her letter to the tooth fairy (Dear tooth farey, can you plese leave the tooth?  I realy like it.)  We also discovered that Gracie was getting her FIRST tooth, so it turned into an all-out-Tooth-Day-Tuesday celebration complete with balloons and bananas (hey, cut me a break;  they kind of look like teeth).

After getting a power nap that was cheaper and much more effective than a mental institution,  the day ended with this conversation:

Haley:  Mom, can you please sneak into my room after I fall asleep and leave me a little special somethin' somethin' under my pillow?

Me:  Well...uh....what about the tooth fairy?

Haley:  I don't believe in the tooth fairy.  I....I.....I just believe in God.

I think I'll keep my job.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Old Guard Fife & Drum Military Demonstration at Mount Vernon...

                                          ...and my two year old niece's reaction.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

President's Day Weekend

I don't think we've ever done President's Day weekend right before.  This year we did it justice, thanks to the Pennsylvania Garmans coming down for a visit.  The weekend included a twelve passenger van, twenty dollars worth of parking at the National Zoo (where we witnessed an ape repeatedly drinking its urine), forty-five degree weather at Mount Vernon (Brett, you told me it would be 70 degrees!), seven kids, three strollers, two hours at the Smithsonian Air and Space Center, and one failed bowling outing.  I think I smell a tradition starting...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Mom

Every February, my mom visits us.  This tradition started back in February of 2003 on a snow day.  I will still in my pajamas, and Colby suddenly got very concerned that we didn't have any milk.  He insisted that at the very moment, we HAD to BOTH go to Food Lion and pick some up.  I threw a coat on and followed him, feeling very confused.

We walked through the aisles, and I kept looking around, not sure what was going to happen.  Then it happened.  I heard the same dog whistle that my mother had always used to find us when we got separated in a store.  I looked over by the eggs, and there she was.  My mother, in a red feather boa, singing Let Me Call You Sweetheart (I sincerely apologize to everyone out there who does not have a mom who is nearly this fun).  So, the tradition began.  Last year, she even flew to Iceland for her annual visit.

This year's visit included Bull Run Battlefield in Manassas, lots of bargain shopping, and lots of episodes of The Middle.  The highlight of the trip, however, came when we were driving on 395 North to Reagan National Airport... and she tried to convince me that if we wore HELMETS in the car, the chances of us getting into an accident and getting brain damage would significantly decrease.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Always Missing

I think this picture pretty much sums up my life.

No matter how hard I try, there is always one sock missing.

The other day we had two appointments on the calendar.  I rehearsed with the kids our schedule for the day, I packed lunches, I made sure I had a bottle ready, and I even got the house all picked up so that it would look perfect when we returned home.  I was trying so hard.  We checked off all the subjects for school, we all had clean bodies and all the kids nails were finally trimmed.  Then, fearing that Colby's rather casual pace would make us late to the appointment, I tried to motivate him by using an abrasive tone and shame tactics.  In my desperate attempt to execute the day perfectly, I failed.

Lesson Learned:  I will NEVER have it totally together.

Not only will I never attain perfection, but neither will my house.

Even if there IS a moment
when the last of the laundry is folded and put away,
the kitchen sink is empty and shiny,
the carpet's vacuum lines are freshly parallel,
the bathroom smells good,
the dust has all been eradicated,
and the toothpaste has all been chiseled from the sink...

It will only last...until somebody moves.

Even if I did somehow manage to keep my house to looking like a museum, I will still fall short in my relationships, snap at my mom when she puts cups on the wrong rack of the dishwasher, or passive-aggressively punish Colby with silence when he chooses to read the Drudge Report instead of participating in garage-cleaning day.  And, if I'm able to make it a whole day where I'm not critical of my husband and I only rebuke my kids in gentleness and love, there are inevitably attitudes of my heart that still miss the mark of perfection.

One sock is always missing.

This is rather new concept for me.  Not that I wasn't taught verses like Romans 3:23 or 3:10.  I knew in theory that I was a sinner, but since I've become a wife and mother I have come to a new knowledge that has been both breaking and beautiful.  I realize now more than ever how desperate I am for Jesus and His grace.  I will never have it together and that's okay.  He is the only one who did.  As I learn to live in an imperfect world and in an imperfect body, I rest on His righteousness that makes me whole.  I hope you do too.

Gracie's Grandmas

I learned how to post bigger pictures...yes!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Latest...

Gracie has done PHENOMONAL the last 3 weeks since her open-heart surgery.  I took her to the doctor's on Wednesday and got the news:  I can start to treat her like a normal baby again.  For us that means picking her up under her arms, putting her in her jumper, and bathing her normally (Brett, I don't even want to hear it...).  

Here's what we've done recently to celebrate: