03 September 2009

Six Years Ago, Today

Six years ago today, I was lying in a hospital bed in the maternity ward, exhausted from a VERY quick birth. I was so anemic, I couldn't raise my head up to eat. My dear mother sat by my bedside and fed me my turkey sandwich. And we were the only two in the room. That precious bundle we had waited so many months, was somewhere else in the hospital complex. Sitting on the table in front of me was a picture of a chubby, adorable baby, with countless tubes, monitors, needles, and other paraphernalia strapped to him. And the words still ringing in the air, "He's not responding the way we want him too. We think it is better to transfer him to Children's Hospital."

Our family spent the day separated from one another. Heath and my Dad stayed by our son's side, watching him being tested time and again, and never getting any answers. Mom and I quietly sat in my room, completely rocked to the core by the days events. The worst part of the entire day, was when the hospital needed room for more births, and asked if I would mind moving to one of the observation rooms, "since it's just you and no baby in this room."

I could go on for a very long time about the next 17 days. My amazing mother-in-law, Sue came and lived at our house for those three weeks, and took care of my three older children, while I spent my days hovering at the hospital. Our little gift was put on ventilator three different times, and I lost count how many times he needed small amounts of oxygen, feeding tubes went with the vent.

The joyous day came when our six and a half pound son, Heath Jr., was allowed to come home. We spent the entire winter in a quarantine of sorts. They did not know what had caused all his problems, so they were sure that a minor cold could very well be deadly. It was a rainy September day when I put our son in the car and drove him home (His father was home, sick).

I look at my never ending ball of energy this morning and cry fresh tears. Tears of joy, of appreciation, of love. Tears that my Father knows and understands. For He was there, healing my son, healing my heart, holding my husband up. So rejoice with me today. Rejoice for six years. Rejoice for a God who loves us. Rejoice for the Father who holds us. Again I say it. REJOICE!

14 August 2009

In the Blink of an Eye

My sweet child, just a few blinks ago.

Be still my heart! Where did the time go?

Blink again, and he'll be out the door. *sigh*

13 August 2009

Pretty in Pink

Look at what I discovered in the bathroom this last weekend. I had been outside for the briefest of moments, and walked in and could smell something. What was that smell? Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. "WHERE'S PAULEE?!!!!!" Of course all the kids did were look at me blankly and shrug their shoulders. I, on the other hand, went racing to the bathroom. Yep. There she was. In all her glory. "Look Mommy! Cuke!" It was all over her feet, her knees, some of her hands and fingers, neck, face, hair, thighs, potty chair, floor, toilet, sink, tiles, shirt, and shorts. Thankfully the only thing she painted that was not nail polish proof was herself. Yep, that's right. Can't use nail polish remover on the skin, as it has acetone in the remover, and her skin would absorb the toxic stuff. I scrubbed that poor child for ever in the tub, until she started in with, "Ouch Mommy. That's Paulee's leg! Ouch Mommy! That's Paulee's toes! I SAID OUCH!" Figured I'd have to stop with only scrubbing of the top five layers of skin. Maybe the rest would come off tomorrow with the next scrubbing. She got very angry that we took all her "pinks" off. And my poor oldest daughter. "I swear Mom! I put that stuff up! I don't want to get any of it thrown away anymore!" (This isn't the first make-up incident. When Paulee gets into lipsticks and such, it ALL gets thrown away. Jeffie Jean has to learn to put things away.) And sure enough, Paulee had used the potty chair and a book to get tall enough to stretch into the cabinet where all of big sister's things are kept. I guess nothing is safe now!

07 August 2009

Check it out!

So, someone else wanted me to write for their blog! I know, I know, did they really know what they were asking?! Well, it was Teri Lynne, my amazing sister (in-law if you want to get technical. But I'm all for dropping that part), and she has a new feature on her blog, call Fe Fridays. if you haven't already seen her blog, head over there and check it out. She is full of all kinds of inspiring words, and is gracious enough to share with us!

28 July 2009

When it's cold outside....

My baby girl turned two yesterday. While the party isn't until Saturday, I captured a few minutes of alone time with the birthday girl and thought I would share.

She does have a little attitude from time to time.And ALWAYS has personality to boot!
Her favorite place to be. In Mommy's bathroom. What a character.....I've got my Paulee Rae. I guess you'd say, what can make me feel this way? My girl.

24 July 2009

What's a girl to do?

I cannot believe how behind I am! I still have two more days of vacation to give you, a half written post about a dinner conversation with the kids, and just the nefarious stuff of day to day around our house. But alas, that isn't going to happen today. I'm not at home, and my pictures would be there, not with me. And I really don't want to post about our trek across New Mexico to Arizona without them. But do be sure you stay tuned. It's one for the history books!

08 July 2009

Who was the worst creature?

Our little vacation is now up to day four. We have had all kinds of adventures, so we thought that on this day, we would do one of our favoriteactivities. We went to the Albuquerque Zoo. We LOVE zoos. Go to the OKC Zoo enough to pay for the family pass ten times over. (Thanks Mom and Dad!)

So we left camp early, (I know. It was only a two hour ordeal this day!) and drove the hour or so to Albuquerque. Now, I need to make a disclaimer here. I am not being cruel, hateful, or judgemental. I'm just going to tell you how the day went for MY family this particular day. Please don't send me hate mail if you do not agree with me. We had the wonderful surprise of getting to use our zoo pass for a huge discount on entrance fees. So much so, that my family of nine got in for the same price as my Mom and Dad. Sweet! (Doesn't seem fair considering who gave us the pass.) Once inside we thought we'd ride the train first and then see the rest of the zoo. They have like two or three different trains and such, but we chose the one that was running that day, and quickly got on. I wasn't impressed. It was okay, but we were looking at the backside of most of the buildings and exhibits. We did however get to spend loads of time at the elephant exhibit due to a train being broken down further up the line. Thankfully we were in the shade. So our 20 minute train ride that lasted an hour was soon over, and we decided it was lunch time.

Of went Heath to get the coolers and such that were packed with lunch. It took him FOREVER to get back with them. I was beginning to think he got lost on all the winding paths, but he eventually found his way to us. And was NOT happy. Apparently, he ran into the first of a long line of rude people. We quickly ate lunch, and Dad volunteered to take the cooler back to the car while we started in on the rest of the zoo. What seemed like ages later, he caught up with us. And was NOT happy. He must have ran into the same group of people as Heath.
Mom and I were having a pretty good time with the kids. My kids are the ones that read all the signs, spend all kinds of time hunting the exhibit over to find the animal, and then try to educate the general public on all they have discovered. Well, we were having a good time until we got to the sea lion exhibit. My kids were asking me which animals were the seals and which were the sea lions, and how you tell them apart. To which they were told by a passerby that how ignorant I really was. Now I edited the actual words, but really. I just ignored them, and thankfully Malcolm did to. He prides himself in his science knowledge, and of his Pop's and mother's as well. And I wasn't wrong. He quietly walked over to a sign and read it, and then innocently looked back at me and announced what the sign said to all that were standing there. It sounded vaguely familiar to something I had just said....

But that wasn't the worst. We had not been having a great time with the locals in New Mexico. Generally it had been a rude reception. And the winner of them all was here at the zoo. My Mom was standing with my kids at one of the underwater windows watching the sea lions and seals swimming all around. One of her favorite attractions. And there were hoards of people at this one exhibit. When all of a sudden a woman pushed her child in front of Mom and looked at Mom to tell her, "You need to move and get out of the way. This should be for kids, and you are too old to be standing here hogging all the space." I was so proud of my Mom at that moment. She did not retort with all the things that were fighting to get out of my mouth. (Yes, I said my mouth. I knew exactly what she wanted to say) She turned and stood at the back by my Dad. And I went to run interference for my kids who were so polite, they all moved to let the little girl and her mother in front to see the animals. Some people!
It was mostly a good day from then on. We were tired, hot, and ready to go home by the end of the day. And ready to be among polite people again. RV camps have some of the most polite people in the world! Literally the world, but that is a post for a different day.

07 July 2009

Bread Anyone?

Sorry it's taken a while to get back to the vacation. Heath and I went to the Southern Baptist Convention. Then I had Heath's wonderful sister, Teri Lynne, and her family in, have been working on a new blog, and now we are in the middle of Vacation Bible School. But I have a few minutes this morning, since I am ignoring the laundry.
It was a great night of sleep on the second night. We already had our extra sleeping bags, I was ready for Anderson (he went back to his own bed), Paulee had been drugged (only benedryll people!), and we were so very tired from the day and night before. Of course we were up at the very crack of dawn. Little Heath was great at that. It was cold every morning. You can see that everyone wore coats, long pants, and if we'd have had gloves and ear muffs, I know of a couple of kids that would have worn them.
But the mornings were usually good. Heath figured out to just make all the boys go to the bathroom at the same time, whether they thought they needed to our not, and breakfast was never hard. I think this particular morning was cereal. The breakfast of champions! It still took us forever to get out of camp that morning, and on the road to that days activities.
We headed to El Rancho de los Golendrinas, better known to us as The Ranch of the Swallows. It is a living history museum, dedicated to the time period of the 1600s to 1700s along the El Camino Real. It was a really great place. I didn't know if the kids would enjoy it or not. But we were there during their Spring Festival, and it was a blast. The kids helped make bread in outdoor ornos, watched women spin yarn and weave blankets, made tortillas, washed clothes, saw a mill grinding corn into meal, and various other workings of a farm.
We stayed at this ranch the entire day. Lunch of course was an hour long ordeal, but was shaded and cool, so I was thankful. And since the kids stayed with the bread maker for so long, she gave us two loaves for our family to take. They were wonderful! Oh, and we did witness a run-away mule and cart. No one was injured or hurt, but it was kind of spooky. It had a long straightaway, and just took off. But there was a worker on horse that knew what to do, and had the mule and cart under control after it had a good run.
We stayed long enough to help close the place down. The kids just loved it. This was also one of the hotter days while we were in New Mexico, so we decided to take the kids swimming when we got back to camp so they could cool off and get rid of the outer layer of sand. Well, cool off they did. I think the pool temp had to have been forty degrees. It was SO cold. I just sat on the side and put my feet in and they turned purple! Terry wouldn't get in, but that was more because he's afraid of water, the cold temps just helped his cause. The four older ones just had to swim. They were chattering, purple, and cold. Heath-er once again went to far into the pool, and got in over his head. I think I may ban him from pools all together. If you don't remember my earlier post about him and pools check it out. Terry was sitting right next to me on the steps and somehow ended up face first in the pool too. Needless to say, he refused to go near any pool again. Won't even put his swim suit on. So out of the pool for everyone. We trekked back up to camp, while we re-coated ourselves with sand, and got ready for bed.
The adults had a brief conversation as to whether or not we should head home after New Mexico, or still go to the Grand Canyon. I only mention this, because it will be important in a couple of days. Trust me! Until tomorrow!

05 July 2009

New Blog!

Just a quick note. I have started a new blog in which I am chronicling my sewing projects and such. Click here to see my first post, and be sure to join my blog as a follower. You never know when I'm going to do a give away, and I'm sure you'll want notice when I do.

I really appreciate all the work my sister-in-law did to help me get it started. It was really her idea anyhow to get the whole thing up and going. Then she was so sweet and designed the header for the blog. I love it! Be sure and check out Teri Lynne's blogs as well. They are worth your time and effort!

Don't forget! Check the blog out! I really think you'll like it!


19 June 2009

Day Two!

Here's a quick rewind to day one. We stopped at a rest stop in the Texas panhandle for lunch. It was a really nice place! The entire place looked out over Johnson Ranch (not L.B. Johnson's ranch), and was breathtaking! You can see the spectacular toy the kids played on while we fixed lunch, and some of the other shots as well. And of course, there's a picture of the baby who never complains. He's so cute.

So by the morning of day two, we were exhausted. Remember? Anderson ate the entire night. Not to mention how late it was getting everything set up and all to sleep. But of course, the moment the sun came up, seven little heads all popped up ready for the day. So much for gaining an hour with the time change! We were up and at 'em at 6am. SIX! I didn't realize their were two six o'clocks in one day! So it was a breakfast of omelets the campers way. The kids got to make up their omelet in a ziplock bag, adults too, and all got tossed into a pot of boiling water. I know. Boiling eggs? It just sounds gross. But these were great! And we didn't have to spend two hours making 18 omelets! (We only had 11 people on the trip, but I know my kids, and there would have been seconds!) The bathroom situation was something to be worked on. The moment Heath or my Dad came back from taking a boy to the restroom, another one would have to go. It went that way through all four boys, and then I think started over again at the top. I had to giggle. I only has one girl that used the restroom, and she always went with my Mom. My ears were still ringing from Terry's screams the night before, so it was a twisted little bit of justice in my tired mind.

We decided to go to Old Santa Fe that day and see all the neat things that were there. We left camp finally at like 10:30 or something like that. Seriously. Those kids got us up at 6am, and we didn't leave camp until 10:30? I was having issues.

I have these amazing memories of my trip to Santa Fe when I was in grade school. It's one of the reasons I so wanted to take the kids this year. What a difference 20 some odd years makes! The Governor's Palace was not what I remembered, nor was the shopping on the Plaza. Don't get me wrong. All the Navajo jewelry was amazing, and painstakingly made, but I would have to sell a kidney to buy much of anything. And all the cute little shops were replaced with pricey, high art stuff. Nothing for the kids to hunt and find treasures in. See how much fun the boys were having while use girls looked at the jewelry?There are immaculate lawns in the middle of the Plaza that were the perfect picnic spots. Those are all roped off now so that no one can walk, sit, much less lunch upon. So we found a building with built in benches (a perk of adobe) and lunched along a sidewalk. The kids loved it. We met loads of people, and ended up having a traveling priest from India sit with the kids to listen to them talk and play. Personally, I thought it was really strange to begin with, but the kids talked his ear off. He asked them all sorts of questions, and they were able to ask and learn all about his ministry and struggles in India.

After lunch we went into the Palace of Governors. They just opened the New Mexico History Museum that is now connected with the Palace. By this point I am dragging. The kids studied all there was to see in the Palace, actually read many of the signs and explanations, and attracted the attention of the Palace guards. Not in a bad way for once. The guards were very impressed with the kids behavior, so they were showing them "insiders" stuff.

When we finished the Palace, I decided that we didn't need to go through the History Museum. That was met with the biggest whine from my five year old. That's right. Little Heath wanted to see more museum stuff! So of course off we went, and it turned out to be great! There were many hands on, interactive stuff for the kids to do, and they were sad to be leaving when we traversed it all. Then came the kicker. I asked Heath-er what was his favorite part of the entire museum.
That's right. The cardboard cut out of an old beat up truck, that was in a breeze way left over from some event. Of all the things.

And that was day one. We didn't have major mishaps. Just minor ones. Things like where on earth are we going to park. Are there any bathrooms in this town? What road are we supposed to take? And did you know that it takes an hour to make sandwiches, get munchies, and hand out drinks for 10 people? That was the goal for day three. How do we leave camp in less than four hours, and can we make lunch go any faster?!

18 June 2009


We are now home from our vacation. It was wonderful, long, rejuvenating, and crazy. We decided to take our seven children camping. Camping. Sounds crazy already, huh. My Mom and Dad decided to come along with us without me having to twist their arms or anything. Bet next time, I'll have to promise prizes or something. Anyway, we packed up our family and headed out west Thursday morning to see what New Mexico and Arizona had to offer.

We made it to our destination of Santa Fe that evening. The kids were great. Of course the massive amounts of cookies might have had something to do with it.

But then the fun began. We got to camp a little later than expected, so by time we got pulled in, got the tent set up and the camper all pulled out, it was late for dinner. But never fear. I had made up meat pies and froze them during the previous week, so we just had to heat them up. The kids thought they were great, and as soon as they were finished it was time for the whole nightly shower ordeal.

Heath was in charge of the three older boys, while I had Jeffie Jean, and the three youngest as my charges. In theory it was a fair split. I had the easiest child and the three most difficult children, and Heath had the three boys you have to double check to make sure they didn't just stand in the water and get wet. Plus, I had my Mom helping me. We took a plastic tub with us to bathe Paulee Rea and Anderson, plus his Bumbo so he would have a place to sit after his bath. Terry was the conundrum. How do you bathe a three year old who hates showers and is way to big for the make-shift tub? Mom took the reigns with the two babies, while I tried to convince Terry the shower wouldn't drown him. I was VERY unsuccessful. We're talking the screams were so loud, Dad heard them back at camp. Maybe even part of Texas too. It was unreal. I can't believe Child Services didn't show up that night. And to make matters worse, as the soap and water slid down his leg, we discovered he'd been attacked by a cactus. Really. The screams multiplied in volume, strength, and urgency. By now all the dogs in camp were howling their discomfort. All the while, Paulee and Anderson were splashing it up with Gram, and oblivious that Terry was dying a thousand deaths.

Then the ardent task of plucking the cacti spines out of Terry's ankle ensued. I checked my watch to make sure it wasn't quiet hours yet, and took him back to camp where I laid him out on my bed with lots of extra hands available to pin him down if necessary. He laid there and never moved while I took each spine out one by one. Of all the insane things. Water running down his back causes pandemonium, but yanking cactus spines out of a swollen ankle is no big deal.

It took a little bit to get the little pistol named Paulee to sleep. The boys were having a wonderful time sleeping in sleeping bags in a tent. It is a guy thing. Anderson decided to get up in the middle of the night to eat. And eat. And eat. And eat. I do not exaggerate. It got so cold that night, I didn't have the heart to put him back in his crib. Boy was that a mistake. He would have been warmer there, and I would have gotten sleep! Nearly every hour he woke to eat. I think at some point he was just testing me to see if I would still feed him. But what was I to do? I couldn't let him cry. He would have kept up our camp, not to mention the others around us. Needless to say, when the sun came up, and everyone got up (UGH!), I was exhausted, and Anderson was the happiest, round baby in the world!

I have so much more to post, and many pictures to share. As I'm looking through them I have left out some things from day one. So you'll just have to indulge me. I want to post this, but also want to go to bed. So we'll backtrack a little tomorrow!

13 June 2009

A New Gadget!

Aren't I so cool?! If you are an observant reader, you will notice at the bottom of the page is a PayPal button. I am in the process of selling my very first "Name Pillow"! All home made of course, by yours truly, and custom made for you. And someone out there in cyber land wants to purchase one from me! Thanks Christina! I'll always remember you as my first. And thanks to Teri Lynne for passing her along to me!

And for any of the rest of you readers, here's my niece modeling her pillow. (and the pj's i made her too!)

Have a great evening. I've got work to do!

26 May 2009

Its the start of a LONG short week.

How uncool is this? ( I use the word uncool, not because I'm a dork, although I know at least one reader that is giggling, but because unfair is equal to a cuss word in our house.)  This is one of those rare short weeks.  Some holidays just happen and that's that.  May's holiday seems to just make the week seem extra short even if you don't officially do anything to celebrate.  But this week has suddenly been anything but.  Heath, Malcolm, and Jeffie Jean all three left this morning for our associational children's camp.  Wow has today gone on forever.

The kids were up WAY to late last night.  We won't go into detail about the irresponsible adults that were involved, but it was far beyond reasonable for children to still be awake.  Heath got up early, got the two oldest up, and of course the ball of energy bounced right up out of her bed to join the big kids.  Paulee Rea was of course a ray of sunshine as she always is in the morning.  But we'll get to what she was later further in this post.  All the campers were out the door by eight.  Jeffie Jean had to come back into the house four or five times.  She is always so sure of herself and never afraid of anything, but she was nervous about going to camp.  At one point she was shaking.  Of course, she'll have forgotten all about that as soon as the bus and she is let loose to rule the bunkhouse.

So I then turned around and had five children looking at me, and wanting me to instruct, entertain, and direct for the rest of the day.  Ugh.  Not that I don't do this, but the older two and Heath do quite a bit each day.  The morning wasn't bad.  I had some "school" things for Heath-er to work on, and Daniel, Terry, and Paulee played, colored and entertained themselves until it was time to go to the bank and post office.  Going to the post office is a huge adventure.  Huge.  It took me nearly 15 minutes to get them all into the van, buckled in, all my stuff collected, keys found, and pulling out of the drive.  All for a 15 minute errand.  But, it broke up the morning, and put Paulee to sleep.  So off to bed she went upon our arrival home, and I finished helping Heath and got Daniel started on a new art project.  

Lunch was leftovers, thank goodness, and fairly uneventful.  But then the afternoon started.  I swear we entered some kind of time continuum and for like every 5 seconds of life, only one clicked off the clock.  Paulee got up too early for her normal time, so was off all afternoon.  Terry got into everything.  He bounced the rubber balls all over the kitchen.  They landed in the sink, on the stove, on top of the 'fridge, under the stove.  Not to mention the trucks that were being driven all over the floor and underneath me.  Heath and Daniel were allowed video game time, and were good as long as they both wanted to play the same thing.  I hate mediating arguments over what game to play.  Let's just say I usually don't.  Don't come whining to Mom, or it all gets put up.  Daniel finished his art drawing.  It's awesome.  Paulee and Terry colored on papers as well.  Heath ran around yelling and laughing.  I was thinking it was about time to start winding down for dinner and nighttime stuff, but the clock thought differently.  It was only two o'clock. TWO!  P.M.  You have got to be kidding me!

I looked outside and saw the tent that Heath put up yesterday and left up.  So it was off to the great outdoors for the four to play.  I stayed in to feed Anderson, and the others took the sleeping bags out to the tent to play and pretend.  Although these are bags that are rated for freezing weather and it was like 90 something out there.  So they were told to NOT get into them, but to lay on top of them as they imagine.  They mostly listened, and no one had a heat stroke, so I guess it worked.  By the time Anderson finished eating, burped, puked, and I changed clothes, I figured it was time to hand out popsicles and then let the kids inside.  

As I walked outside, Paulee Rea stared yelling.  As usual.  That's her common form of communication.  I didn't really pay too much attention to her.  They were all running around barefoot because they had taken their shoes off at the tent door, and of course didn't put them back on, so when she was favoring her foot, I just figured Terry ran over it with his truck.  So I sat down on the porch, and bribed her to come to me with the popsicle.  I gave the other three their treat as Paulee hobbled over to us.  When she sat down I looked at her foot.  Oops.  She had a splinter.  OOPS!!!!!  That's no ordinary splinter!  There is something fuzzy connected to it.  WHAT?!  Oh good gravy.  That's a bee butt!  She had stepped on a bee and gotten stung.  So being the good mom I am, I sat there and made sure she got her popsicle, and that everyone knew the rules of eating them, then went inside and got the Benedryll.  Her heel was all red, and had this huge white whelp growing out from the sting and up her leg.  Just my luck.  Did I think pleasant thoughts?  Was I concerned for her well being?  What was my main worry?  "I'm going to have to load all the kids up again by myself and make an ER run without any help.  How do I get so lucky?"  Of course, she was fine, and I just was guilty of being uncaring.

Dinner finally came.  Showers and baths were given, and everyone was in bed at a normal time.  Heath just called.  Kids are doing well, although Jeffie Jean apparently has a new vocabulary word that she decided to use when she kicked a foul ball.  Great.  As usual, it's the PK that is the hoodlum.  Actually, she did use very inappropriate language, but doesn't know what she did.  Other than that, they are doing very well.  And I'm tired.  It's about time to put this Momma to bed.  And it will all start again first tomorrow when the sun comes up!

18 May 2009

Never fear!

Dum, dum dum dum dum dum, dum dum dum dum dum, da dum da dum dum (to the tune of Superman's theme). I'm also hearing the calvery's bugle, and "Underdog! Underdog!".

My sister-in-law (OK) is coming tomorrow. Or Wednesday. Either day, I don't care. She is coming to rescue me from all the children's clothing! That's right. Darcy is going to sort all seven children's clothes, put the too small stuff into bags, organize what still fits, make lists of what they need for the rest of the summer, and cart off all the give aways when she leaves. All while I put my feet up and hold my seven week old niece. Okay, well, maybe I'll make the list. I'm getting good at that these days! Oh, as if she couldn't get any cooler, she's bringing her vacuum cleaner with her so I can finally clean everything else other than my carpets! (I'm just figuring out linking to other blogs, not my own yet, so you'll have to look back at previous posts to see what I'm talking about.)

So spring cleaning will get back into full swing this week. I'm NOT doing the happy dance, but will be thrilled once it is all done. One of these days I'll get the post up that I've started about the kids and what they want to be when they grow up. But I have to get the time to finish it. Maybe once I'm done cleaning and I'm all organized and such. Oh wait. That will be never, so we'll shoot for the end of the week.

Now I have to go untangle Paulee and Terry from the contraption they made out of trucks, dolls, strollers, blankets, and something wet. Just keep focused on the help that's coming!

15 May 2009

More Cleaning

I'm still kicking and screaming.  I don't want to clean.  I don't want to sort through our stuff.  I don't like getting rid of my things.  I like the dust bunnies.  Well, okay, maybe not that.  But I don't want to do the work to get rid of them.  

I am so far behind the cleaning schedule.  If you have been following Simple Mom's cleaning plan, you are way ahead of me.  I'm still stuck back at the living room stage.  The plan isn't hard.  It's not like she has made cleaning up unrealistic, I just can't seem to keep up.  I often wish that I could call my sister-in-law to clean it for me.  I know I could get my other sister-in-law here and she would delve in whole heartily.  But I think that's is why my house stays in a state of clutter.  I don't do the work myself.  I always have someone else help or do it for me.  I do not appreciate the work that has been done.  So I am being determined (some may call it stubborn), and am going to do this myself.  The kids did a great job helping me de-clutter.  Of course, with nine of us in the house, it didn't stay that way long.  But it is WAY better than what it was.  There is just something about having a clean flat surface that apparently demands stuff to be deposited upon it.  Oh well.  I can have it picked up every evening now, so that's what matters.  And it is something I do every day now.  So there is a lesson learned.  

I started on the living room.  I just can't seem to finish it.  It has been sorted and put away.  Heath was wonderful and went through the bookcase and we now have a box full of books to give away.  And I cleaned the blinds.  But that's it.  I still have to brush down the ceiling, the fan, somehow move the TV and clean the dust dune that has grown back there, move out all the couches, vacuum everything and dust all the frames and pictures.  Ugh.  That is usually what I like to do.  But I keep finding myself finding all kinds of other things to do.  Life is revving up right now and getting ready for the busiest summer we have ever had.  I have GOT to get this done!  And there is so much more to do.  Maybe that is what's wrong.  I think I'm being defeated before I ever begin.  Well, today is a busy day.  Life keeps going on despite me trying to shut it out so I can clean.  But tomorrow, there is nothing.  My goal is to finish the living room, bathrooms, and most of the kitchen.  I have always been a minimalist when it comes to the bathroom, and the kitchen cabinets I am actually pretty OCD.  So I'm expecting to just go into those two rooms and deep clean.  

Then we get to start the dreaded kid's rooms.  I think Nikki has the best idea.  Move the kids into different rooms.  What a great way to make sure everything is sorted, gone through, and found a purpose and place.  I doubt Heath goes for that here, who wants to take apart two different sets of bunk beds and a large full bed of the girls.  Oh well.  I'm actually looking forward to the rooms.  I am so tired of the mess.  Things don't have places anymore.  There are so many broken toys, out grown toys, and stuff they just don't want or play with anymore.  And I've decided that no child needs 20 t-shirts.  So, the clothes are going to be pared down.  The toys will have to be important to keep, and I may like going to their rooms again!  But I'm ahead of myself.  That is next weeks chore.  I don't know when my room will get done.  It's the scariest room of all.  It looks like a storage unit.  I am trying to appeal to Heath's OCD personality and get him to split the tasks with me.  I know, I know.  I said I was going to do this myself so I would be appreciative.   I'll argue the whole two becomes one on this one.  I really don't want to tackle our room.  It's just too overwhelming for me.  I need to start small, and that's like tackling Mt. Everest on your first hiking trip.

My progress isn't impressive, but I will keep trying.  You eat an elephant one bite at a time.  And maybe by the end of all this, I'll have developed new habits and changed my lifestyle of messiness.

04 May 2009

This could get scary.

I have entered the world of spring cleaning. With a gentle nudge from my dear sister in law, I am following a plan laid out by a fellow blogger.
simple-mom-spring-cleaning-party It's really not too difficult yet. Today our goal was to declutter all surfaces. I didn't have to clean any of them. Just throw away all the stuff that collects on anything flat. Or put it in a box for a future sale. Or just actually put the stuff away like I should have in the first place. So today I got all the extras that were sitting on top of the books put away and thrown away. The speakers, TV, and windowsill are all DVD, CD, Wii games, and book free. I realized today that I actually have an end table. I just thought the books, magazines, and dinnerware were glued together in some sort of artistic show piece. My bathroom counters are WAY bigger than I imagined. Some smart person figured out to put drawers under the counters, and if you put things in them, you have counter space! And my room is the mother load. We filled two of those commercial sized trash bags that you can fit two grown adults in with trash just from our room. Heath and I both have side tables that are functional again. The copier and table are no longer booby trapped. And I am currently writing to you from a cleared desk. I cannot begin to describe to you the condition it was in, nor the joy of seeing the surface. It's black. I'd forgotten that fact. Now, I did not declutter my kids' rooms. They have no hope. Actually, I'm going to tackle them all on the day(s) set aside specifically for them. And the top of my fridge is still in need of a clean sweep. Don't yell, I'm taking baby steps.

By the end of the day, I had three trash bags, full drawers, and no give away box. That's just sad. We were living in a garbage can! On to the next days. I'll get plenty of stuff to get rid of then. I'll be hyperventilating by that point. Pack rats have serious attachment issues.

P.S. I PROMISE Teri Lynn I will get pictures up of the befores on the kids rooms. I found the camera, charger, but no disk! Even if I have to go borrow a camera, I'll post my pictures. But I have to say, I have Casiday beat. My room is ten times worse!

25 March 2009

What's a girl to do?

It's bed time. Actually, it's a couple hours past bedtime. But on Wednesdays, getting to bed comes a little late because of church and such. But even by this point, they should be nestled in their beds, quiet, and at the very least pretending to sleep.

So you can understand my shock when I kept hearing all this noise from down the hall. Don't they know Heath and I are about to sit down to some tuna fish salad and some T.V.? Oh wait, maybe they do, and that's what all the commotion is about. I holler at Daniel once and all the kids twice to hush and get quiet. But still, the disturbance continues. So I finish making the salad (because it was important to finish it before I made my children obey), and head down the hall to correct some children. Now mind you, I'm thinking that little Heath and Malcolm are goofing around, or maybe Daniel and Terry. Probably all the above. What a surprise to the system when I turn the corner and discover it is Terry, and Terry alone. He has swiped his older brother's book lamp, is under his covers head to toe, has a stack of books waist high, and is reading them with all the vigor a two year old can muster. He's growling with the beasts, counting all the flowers, pretending he knows his ABCs and is reciting them. He's talking in girl voices, and boy voices, mean voices, and someone's laugh that kind of scares me. Now tell me, what am I supposed to do? Do I get on to him for disobeying and squash his imagination and enthusiasm for reading? Or do I let him get away with being up past bedtime, but kindle his new found love for books?

Too bad for him he's the sixth of seven children. I'm not taken in by much. Excuses for staying up late are just that. Excuses. And to abolish any doubts I may have had, when I said his name, he jumped nearly eight feet in the air, shut the light off lickity split, threw all the evidence in the floor, and proceeded to tell me how much he loved me. Um hum. Busted.

21 March 2009

What is that?

So for those who regularly read my blogs, I have posted a link right over there ->. It's for a new site to the sewing group I regularly visit. So for all you quilters, or those who think they might like to learn, or for those who are bored and need something to pass the time, click on the link and check it out. This awesome pic shows one of the projects that I bought from my favorite site.

Oh, and just to brag, I also made the pj's my niece is so beautifully modeling. Thanks for looking! OH! And as much as I don't want to tell you, they are having a contest as part of their grand upstart. Just follow the link and it will tell you how you can enter. But if you win, you have to share the prize with me!

19 March 2009

One of these days

I so wish I had a digital camera. I know. For those of you who know me, I have resisted for such a long time. I have clung to my 35mm, "real" film camera for years now. But there are just times that a digital is needed. I get that now. Like tonight when I went to shake up the Parmesan cheese, and it exploded all over little Heath, the table, and the floor. Or the quick shot of Paulee and Terry covered in brightly colored, tiny hair bands that have been glued on with baby lotion. Or Paulee in the bathtub fully dressed, water running, washing herself, and the walls with the washrag. Of course Anderson is always a photo opportunity. He's just so cuddly and chubby.

I could say that I was working on getting a camera. But I have to confess. I spent my savings on a new serger. So, the envelope is empty. I'll just have to start a new collection. Wonder if there is anyone out there that needs a product tester? I have plenty of subjects to practice upon!

So, since I don't have a camera, I do not have any pictures from our zoo trip yesterday. But don't worry; the entire populace of Oklahoma was at the zoo (with the exception of my mom), so just find one of their blogs and you'll get to see our wonderful zoo. It was absolutely crazy! We took our family, Jeffie Jean's best friend, and some youth from church. And the friend's family met us at the zoo. It was wall to wall people. And most were rude! It was all well until someone grabbed Daniel and tried to separate him from our human train so that they could shove their way thru. Let's just say this Mamma Bear raised her hackles and put a stop to that. And also got the lady to stop her foul language as well. What a mess.

We are currently trying to spring clean around here. It's not going too quickly. The laundry room is organized. But that's about the only room that is done. We're going to start painting the rooms in the house, but want everything sorted, cleaned, and organized first. It may be Christmas before the first swab of color goes up. Of course, Paulee and Terry have done a wonderful job of decorating the walls themselves. I have never had a problem with kids writing on walls or anything other than what is appropriate. But these two have changed all that. It doesn't matter where I hide writing implements either! And it's so hard to get on to Paulee Rea. She is so cute concentrating so hard and being so serious as she finishes her masterpiece. Well, not really. I cannot stand writing on walls, shades, doors, floors, couches, beds, desks, window seals, cabinets, counters, or shelves. And it doesn't make it any worse if she uses pencil, pens, markers, crayons, colored pencils, sharpies, or highlighters. It's all really bad! Now to break her of this horrible habit. I'll post pictures as rooms get painted. I'll find a photographer. Having my Dad and Mom visit with their camera is cheaper than buying my own at the moment.

And lastly for today. Pray for my sister-in-law and her husband, Teri Lynne and Scott Underwood. Scott goes in for surgery tomorrow, and it is quite risky. Teri Lynne is having physical issues due to stress and anxiety. We know God is in control, so we appreciate them being bathed in prayer.

05 March 2009

The days keep marching by!

I got up early this morning. Well, by my standards it was early. I was awake by 0630 and cuddling with Anderson, and out of bed by 0645. Now I know for so many of you out there, these times are either regular times, or if you see the alarm clock reading 0645 and you are still in bed, you jump five feet in the air, heart bursting, yelling like a little white rabbit about being late. Not me. I have a horrible habit of sleeping until eight. My older kids are mature enough to get breakfast for all, cereal albeit, but they do. And I get up in time to avert disaster with the little ones.
Needless to say, I was really stoked to be up before anyone else! I had the chance to be the "proper" Mom. Psh. I went to the kitchen to start breakfast and found that some storm must have blown through last night. I mean, surely I didn't leave the kitchen in that state! So I began to clean the kitchen so that I could get to my stove. So, 21 plates, 19 forks, 8 spoons, 4 butter knives, a case of glasses, and Top Chef's inventory of pots and pans later, I was able to start the scrambled eggs. By this point the kids are up, thanks to their alarm, so there went my whole idea of surprising them by me waking them up. They sit down to eat, and I keep washing the ever reproducing pile of dirty dishes, and notice that the laundry room has exploded. Again. Like it has every day this past week. I'm pretty sure that they just put their clean clothes straight into the hamper. Totally bypass the drawers, throw it in the laundry room, where it becomes Mom's problem, not theirs. So I start yet another load of clothes, run down the hall and back with today's outfits for Terry and Paulee, and drop everything because Anderson is on the brink of death due to starvation.
Just as he is finishing up, I notice Paulee and Terry look a little different. Upon closer inspection, I am puzzled to find my children have began to turn purple. They both have big purple lines down their necks. Terry has a big purple circle on the back of his left hand, the palm, and the webbing of that hand is also strangely purple. Paulee has the rash of purple dots on one leg, and her chest has a curious array of purple marks. Guess what. They found a marker in Daniel's room that had been left out, and it was purple! And it was the worst washable marker I've ever known. The marketing director for that company should be lashed for that lie. Into the tub they both go to try and scour these markings off. The whole time I get to answer Terry's question. Yes, one question, not multiple questions.
"What are you doin' Ma?"
"I'm washing the marker off you and Paulee"
"Oh, get it off. It's dirty."
"Yes, that is my whole intention. To wash off the marker."
"What are you doin' Ma?
"Still washing the marker off you two."
"Oh. What are you doin?"
This goes on the entire 10 minutes they are in the tub. With Paulee's occasional opinions inserted into the conversation. It ended by me saying, "Apparently NOT washing off the marker. Just sitting here swiping a washrag over you for your enjoyment!"
"Oh. Fanks Mom!"
So, I get them dressed, run through my typical "Stop playing. Stop reading. Stop sitting. Get dressed. Clean your room. GET MOVING!", get myself dressed, switch the laundry over, and just happened to glance at the clock. It's only nine o'clock. NINE! What a sense of foreboding comes over me as I realize that my day of being up and at 'em and head of the game, is just going to be a day that I fight to stay above water.
Oh, and did you notice? Not a single second has been utilized for school. So we drag it with us to a church function in the hopes that they will complete the assignments. But the day was not a loss. We came home and spent hours outside playing. I got out the baseball equipment and played catch with each child individually, watched Paulee get blown over by the wind a couple of times, and just thoroughly enjoyed my children. Terry was mesmerized by the tractor that drove past. Yes, I live in a town where people just drive their tractors and 4-wheelers from place to place. And to finish the evening, I cooked with Jeffie Jean a recipe she picked out from her first cookbook. It was a birthday present from her Aunt Teri Lynne, and she has spent hours devoted to reading the book.
So, I may not have crossed much off my to-do list, but I accomplished more than I could have hoped.

16 February 2009

One of those days

It just started bad. Ever have a day that you just wish you could do over? Let the Ground Hog Day fairy do it's magic, and rewind the day to do it again. Some may call it a mulligan. Well, that was my day today.

I woke up and thought that it was going to be a great day. Anderson woke me up, he got to eat while I snuggled with him, and the kids were already starting breakfast. Without fighting! Should have known! That was like some kind of omen or something. The moment my feet hit the floor, trouble started. I went to get my breakfast, but had to clean the kitchen up first. Couldn't get that done before I rearranged some cabinets to make room for new glasses. Then had to totally sweep the floor because I was stepping all over little O shaped cereal. That was the pre-sweep portion. Started to unload the dishwasher only to have to stop and untangle Paulee from the vacuum cleaner cord. Again. Went to go back to the dishwasher but got distracted by the clothes that needed folding in the living room. Was finishing that about the time I remembered my breakfast, and quickly removed my bagel from the oven in the nick of time. Ate standing up because I found more cereal that needed picking up, not to mention the mess the highchair was in. Got a couple of things out of the dishwasher and put up, before Heath needed me to find something for him. Can't even remember what that was now. Probably something important like keys or the like. Went back to the dishwasher to be interrupted by Daniel with an armload of wet sheets. Ugh! Turned and pointed to the overflowing laundry room, so I stopped working on dishes, and headed for the washer. Just got his stuff in, and here comes little Heath. "Um, ya know, I think my sheets maybe might be just a tiny bit sort of well I'm not sure but when I was asleep it might have happened but it's not fair because it's not my fault, um, what was I saying?" I think a turtle crossed the state of Nevada during that explanation. "You were saying that your sheets are wet too?" "Um, well you know..." I just stopped him there and went and removed the sheets and added them to the washer. Back to the dishwasher. By this point it's only 9am and I just want the day to end. Paulee and Terry are wailing at each other. A very rare occurrence. But she's not feeling great, so I give her some Tylenol for the left over fever and new tooth pain, and put her back in bed. She was asleep instantly. I get on to the boys for not cleaning their rooms, pick up more dirty clothes to stash somewhere until I get the laundry room approachable, and try to get back to the dishwasher.

If it was laundry, it was dishes. If not dishes, then a meal. If not a meal, it was breaking-up/entertaining/prodding/disciplining/or just plain glaring at the kids. And if not the kids, Heath and I were bickering. Oh, and there was pee everywhere in the house today. I'm so tired of pee! Potting training has taken the inevitable turn for the worse. He was almost perfect up until this week. I just have to remember this too will get better. But that's not what I want to hear when I'm up to my elbows in dirty, wet laundry! I never got ahead today. Not once. The kitchen is still dirty, albeit with tonight's dishes and not last nights. The laundry is at the same level as yesterday. Maybe even higher. And I never did get to my sewing machine.

There was one glimmer of sunshine. I ordered new slipcovers for the couch and loveseat. I guess the best response I can have is "tomorrow's another day" and close my eyes on this one. But not until I finally go run that pesky dishwasher!

14 February 2009

Love is in the Air!

We are busy putting our Valentine's Day plans into full swing. This is a first for us. My hubby has always been anti V-Day. He has lots of reasons. Refuses to celebrate a martyr's death; doesn't need someone telling him when to tell his wife he loves her; you know, typical stuff. I really haven't minded too much. Just meant I didn't have to worry about the day.

Well, this year I was a little sneaky and used the kids against him. In all reality, I wanted a special day! But since we are now schooling our kids at home, I decided they needed us to acknowledge Valentine's Day. I told Heath all about how they aren't getting to give valentines to friends, or have a party, or any of the things they do in public schools. Hehe. So I've planned a big time special dinner for the family. With candle light and everything. Of course the kids got involved, so as we speak, Heath is at the store picking up all the things they have by conniving behind the scenes to get Mom. We're having soup and grilled cheese sammies for lunch, and of course the sammies are heart shaped. And for dinner, I've put together place card holders that are plastic cups filled with conversation hearts, and topped with a heart shaped sugar cookie with their name on it. Isn't that sweet? And we splurged and bought some shrimp so I could make shrimp scampi for dinner. Now the shrimp was a little pricey, but didn't cost anymore than a trip to Micky D's. So we are having a very fancy dinner, for the fast food price!

For those of you who know me, this is very unusual for me and our family. I'm not the "fancy" kind of person. But we are having so much fun with this! And really feeling like we're a tight-knit, function as a unit, kind of family that we really are. And Heath has really jumped right in and been a part. I worried he'd throw a kink in things, but I shouldn't underestimate him. Just hold on to your hats sweetheart, St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner...

07 February 2009

Little Boys

My house is filled with little boys. They range from the age of 2 months to 34 years. There are six of this species with which me and my girls co-exist. So we have plenty of excitement around here. I sometimes pray for the chance to be inside the mind of a boy for an hour or so. But then, I come to my senses and pray that I just learn to cope and interact with that little boy mind. Take for instance the bathroom wars. My three oldest boys have been banned from going to the bathroom at the same time. Did I hear someone ask why? Well, you know the game flashlight wars, or possibly you call it flashlight tag? Everyone has a flashlight in a dark room and you chase each others beam of light around the room until you "catch" it. Well, my boys play this game in the bathroom. Picture three boys standing around a toilet, chasing each others pee until one catches someone else's stream and wins the war. I refused to clean up after the last game. Made them clean their own mess, and then put a "take-a-number" device at the door so they had to wait their turn.

Maybe you can answer this question. Why do boys shove their dirty socks and underwear under the bed? Since you are already taking a shirt and pair of pants to the dirty clothes room, is there a reason the socks and underwear get left behind? Are they too dirty for the hamper? Is it embarrassing to trek your unmentionables through the house? Maybe they think that underclothes are disposable, and will trash them all when the underside of the bed is full. Or is it that special weapon that keeps all bedtime monsters at bay? Whatever the reason, I'm really tired of the toxic fumes that seep from there and just wish the clothes would get to the basket so I can bleach them.

My favorite and also my most cursed moment was a few years ago when they made up a new game. Malcolm, Daniel and Jeffie Jean were in need of entertainment, and invented powder tag.. That's right. Sounds exactly what the name implies. Each one of them had a bottle of baby powder, and chased each other around the house squeezing the powder out at the other players. It looked like they had the time of their lives. My house looked like the North Pole. Where was I? Taking 30 seconds to go to the bathroom.

I'd like to start something new in my blog. It's the "Funny things overheard in the Buster house". Just thought I'd share a few quotes with you.

Daniel: "Hey, is Anderson old enough for a bottle now?
Beth: "Sure. We're going to try and see if he'll take it."
Daniel: "Good! Now you can let your chests have a rest."

Terry: "Leave me 'lone, Momma!"
Beth: "Don't you tell me 'leave me 'lone'!"
Terry: "(sigh) No say no, no say leave me 'lone. What I say?!"

I know there were more, but I didn't think about this until late in the week. I'll write them down this week so I can share next weekend. I'll leave you with one last quote.

Heath Jr: "Hey Momma. You know, um, well, is God ever going to stop giving us babies?"

21 January 2009

Makes me tired just thinking about it.

We had a great Christmas. It was an uneventful, very relaxing week. Took some time for my family, and then spent a week with Heath's parents. It's nice to look back over the holiday and not be relieved that it is over, but to be thankful and rested. We have hit the floor running now, though. I just celebrated my 32nd birthday, we've started back to school with the four older children, am potty training Terry, trying to keep Paulee out of trouble, and I am busy with keeping Anderson fed and diapered.

Then of course there is my list of sewing projects. It has been exponentially growing by the day. I just finished one of Miss Casiday's gifts, and am hoping I can get to the other project I'd like to send her way before her birthday. I'm currently working on the girls Valentine skirts and shirts, and finished up Paulee's pillow. I'll post pictures of Casiday's gifts, but that will have to wait until after February 17th, or whenever I get them to her, whichever way ensures that Teri Lynne can't cheat and look at them early. Oh, and there is a shirt for Heath-er, two jumpers for the girls, and shirts and dresses for the family picture coming up this spring. Whew, my fingers and shoulders hurt already!

Heath is busy with our associations Director of Missions search committee. They are meeting very regularly as they are finding the man for the position. With that, work at the church, and projects here at the house I keep finding for him, he stays busy. That and the Wii that Tim let us borrow. Heath claims it is not wasteful entertainment, but a healthy diversion to reality. I don't know about all that, but it is fun. And does make you sweat!

But that is just about all there is for news. We stay busy no matter the time of year. That's just the life of a minister's family and a family of nine.