Friday, June 30, 2006


In keeping with Everyday Mommy's Everyday Things, (even though I can't seem to get the graphic to work) I'm enbracing contentment today (what a great picture that brings to mind - squeezing contentment in a big bear hug!) and so I'm posting about something that I'm thankful for.

Our power went off this morning. Actually, power for parts of three different cities in our area went out - 28,000 homes affected.

Luckily, a couple of hours later, as we were making plans to go into a neighboring city (that wasn't affected) in order to hang out in a place with A/C and someplace to eat, the power came back on! Hooray!

So today I'm thankful for electricity, and all the conveniences it allows.

Thank you Ben Franklin! (and of course, thanks God!)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

We Made It!

Our day was pretty blah really. Blah can be good! Somedays I prefer blah.

This morning I was frantically trying to get all the laundry folded and more washed so I could be ready for the dirty clothes I knew I'd be getting back from Missouri. Then I took #1 Son to drama class this afternoon. Afterwards we swung Starbucks for an Iced Chai (something we both love - it's a mother/son thing for us.) We dropped by home to pick up the other guys and went out to McDonald's to let the guys play a while. Sweetanlo had a babysitting job this evening, so we left her to wait for her ride. And as a bonus for #1 Son, Sparks' mom dropped her off at the restaurant so she could join us.

By the time we got home, Pastormac & Rummy were already here! Yay!

Whew! Glad that's over!

It was pretty chaotic tonight while everyone was excitedly sharing the separate details of the last few days, playing with souvenirs and showing off new things gotten while apart. Sweetanlo came home and jumped right in.

It was hard getting everyone to go to bed but we finally succeeded. Rummy was a little overtired and Pastormac was a sleep a nano-second after he said goodnight.

And now it's the quiet hour.

It's good to be whole again!

An Anniversary

Note to readers: I agonized over whether to post this or not; and decided that I would, with this disclaimer. I know that there are some of you who had bad moms or no mom at all. How I wish I could change that for you. I also know that there are many out there in blogland who have great moms, but with the busyness of life - jobs, family, distance, sometimes conflict - they have lost sight of what a precious gift they have in their moms which can disappear so suddenly and never be replaced. This blog is for them and for my mom. I love you mom....I love you the most.

Wednesday was an anniversary (of sorts) for me. June 28th 2003, a sunny Saturday afernoon, my mom lost her battle with cancer.

Three years....yet I can still remember the day as though it were yesterday. I was with her on that day. The day my precious precious mom slipped slowly out of my life and into the arms of Jesus.

She was just 65 years old.

I wanted to write a post about this day, to not let it pass without saying something and thereby hold on to her in some small part. But my thoughts were a jumble.

Am I writing in order to honor my mom? Well most certainly in part. My mom was an honorable mom. She wasn’t a perfect person (who is?) but she was a good, generous, decent, caring, warm person; she didn't always get it right but she was a very good mom.

I also wanted this post to really encourage you, to spur you on - if your mom is still alive, make the most of every opportunity to love her and let her love you. Because you’ll find that when’s she’s gone from your life, there is just nobody like her. Nobody loves you like your mom. Nobody cares about the little things and big things in your life in the same way. It’s just part of motherhood, I’m coming to learn as I’ve had children of my own. Noone will listen and care in the same way as your mom does - about your job, your spouse, your children, your struggles & your joys, about the last funk you fell into or furniture you bought for your den. It’s something special about moms.

Reflecting on three years without my mom...I wish I could have just one more hug and in knowing it is my last, linger in her arms a minute longer. I wish I could have one more visit and stay that extra day, and in knowing this house would no longer be hers, soak up her presence in it; eat and enjoy every morsel, talk about the past, write down her favorite recipes. I wish I could have just one more talk, and in knowing these are our last words, tell her how much she means to me, how much I love her, how much I appreciate what a good mom she’s been. I wish she could see my kids just one more time, and in knowing that they wouldn’t meet again until we’re altogether with Jesus, I would watch carefully the joy in her eyes, listen for the pride in voice, feel the tenderness of her touch as she hugged and kissed them goodbye. I wish I could have just one more phone call and in knowing I couldn’t call her again, talk about the little details of life that are so easily swept past and talk deeply of the things that really matter - of life and forgiveness and love.

I can’t have any of these things. I’ve had all my lasts. And it isn’t enough. Though it will have to be, until we’ll be together again with Christ. On that day, I trust that her perfected body will still be just the right size, I will hug her close.

My hope for you is that you still have time. Time and time again before your own lasts. And I pray that you would make them count, make them meaningful, realize what a treasure you still have to enjoy.

And if you’ve had your lasts, I’m saying a prayer for you. That you would have the comfort of Christ that I have found in this time of the loss of one so dear; the comfort in knowing that my own mom’s love was but a shadow of the kind of love He has for me. He does love me and “get” me and care about the biggest and smallest details of my life, even the heart-break of losing my mom.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Just One Day Left!

Well, day three is drawing to a close and it was a very good day.

Sweetanlo spent last night at a sleep-over and had big plans with her friend for the morning so we didn't expect to see her until well after lunchtime.

We've had a screw stuck in one of the van tires for a while causing a very slow leak. Today I figured we'd kill half the day going down to Discount Tires to get the tire fixed. One less thing for Pastormac to do when he gets back. So the guys and I packed into the Red Roaster and headed down there. The good news was that because we purchased the tire there, the cost of the repair would be covered. Yay! Bad news - the wait was an hour and a half. (I wasn't surprised.) We left the van there and took a leisurely walk up the street a few blocks to the IHOP for lunch. The guys were great! #1 Son had french toast & bacon. He loves bacon! Joe Cool had chicken strips and fries. Shorty ordered the big pancake with a face in whipped cream, but didn't really eat much of it. Although he did have fun sampling small bites with every different kind of syrup. I had a delicious chicken club sandwich. The folks sitting next to us made a point of mentioning what great guys I had, and they were right!

The way back to the tire shop went right by the Krispy Kreme Donut Store. We stopped in for donuts (How could we resist?!) When I discovered that getting the four of us one donut each was going to cost nearly as much as a dozen donuts, I opted for the dozen. Ah, the sacrifices we make to save money! (And we have donuts for tomorrow too!)

By then, it was time to pick up the van.

Back home, there was a voice-mail message from a friend inviting us to join them at the pool. I always debate about going to pool - it never sounds as fun before we go as it actually turns out when we do actually go. But today it sounded like it was worth the hassle....And it was! Sweetanlo got home just in the nick of time to go with us! We called and invited a good friend of #1 Son to go along with us. She lives close and she got left behind from the conference too. Sparks is a sweet sweet gal. It was a beautiful warm afternoon, the pool wasn't crowded, and I really enjoyed chatting with friends while our kids swam around us. Sweetanlo was there to help me catch Joe Cool coming off the water slide. #1 Son and Sparks swam together without giving me a worry. And I was thrilled that Shorty had so much fun playing in the water, by himself, since last summer all he would do was sit in my lap in the water with his little vise-grip arms held tightly around my neck. We had a wonderful time staying until the pool closed and then dropped Sparks off at her house on the way home.

Back home we had an easy cool dinner of chicken salad. We watched a little TV together. The kids were bouncing off the furniture, literally! But everyone was pretty beat and went to sleep quickly at bedtime.

Ah, the quiet. How nice.

Just got make it through tomorrow. Sparks might come over for a while and #1 Son has drama class in the afternoon.

Talked to Pastormac and Rummy tonight. The conference has been good, but they sound ready to come home. If all goes as planned, they should be home by dinnertime. Yay!

Works For Me

I was racking my brains trying to figure out something useful to share. And I kept coming up with nothing. Then this afternoon I was at the pool and I realized that I do. Wow!

I have five children and so when we all go to the pool, we have a lot of stuff to take. I just bring all our towels, goggles, sunscreen, snacks, etc. to the pool in one of our empty laundry baskets. Very convenient too, for bringing home wet towels and clothes - wet things can go straight to the laundry room.

Just about every time I go, some other mom looks at my laundry basket full of stuff and says, "Laundry basket, good idea." Works for me!

Check out other great ideas over at Rocks in My Dryer. These ladies are good!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Day Two is drawing to a close.

Today, Tuesday has been a pretty uneventful day.

I took #1 Son to drama class this afternoon. (yes, it is hard to imagine that we send our kids to class to learn drama - like we don't have enough drama around here already.) Pastormac usually takes him and then works at the library. Today after I dropped him off I ran some errands - post office, carwash, quick trip to Target, and to the library to wait out the rest of the time. And then I zipped home in time for Sweetanlo to leave for a sleep-over.

I must say that I am very blessed to have Sweetanlo here with me to watch the guys when I need to go out for a quick trip to the store or during drama. Being the only grown-up home this week, it’s a welcome relief to have a little time away from the craziness. When I don’t get it I feel more irritable and snappy. The goofy stuff that the guys do begins to drive me bonkers!

Talked to Rummy tonight. She was at Andy's Frozen Custard Shop having a regular vanilla custard with cookie dough on it. "Incredible good!" Swimming & shopping, spending all day with her best friend who is also there. "So incredibly fun!" I think that she's having a good time.

And tonight I think maybe I’ve guaranteed that we’ll get some rain - I washed the car and watered all the plants in the yard really well. Figures!

Filling the Days

Pastormac and 2nd daughter, Rummy, are gone this week (They left Sunday right after church and will be back late Thursday evening.) Our denomination has a yearly pastors' conference each summer, every other year pastor's wives are invited as well. This was one of those years. But we decided that we wouldn't both try to go this year. When you have five kids, people don't exactly line up to volunteer to watch them while you go away for a few days. In light of that, we thought we would save calling in that kind of favor for when we really needed - like when we have to travel to Ethiopia for a week to pick up our new family additions.

All that to say, Pastormac and Rummy(much to her sister's chagrin) are off in Missouri, living it up at a lake resort. That leaves me at home with the other four: my oldest daughter Sweetanlo, and my three guys, #1 Son, Joe Cool and Shorty.

It's never been easy for me when Pastormac is away. My days are usually marked by when leaves and when he returns. When the return part doesn't happen, it makes for some very LLLlllllooooonnnnnnngggg days.

So today (Monday) we decided to get out of the house. Shorty has been asking and asking to go see the butterflies at the Butterfly Pavilion, located at the Aquarium and Botanical Gardens. He calls it the Butterfly Aquarium. Joe Cool calls it the Butterfly Museum. Whatever you decide to call it, it sounded like a good way to fill up an afternoon; so we packed everyone in the Red Roaster (our old van - the one without A/C) and headed over there. We got some lunch on the way (so I didn't have the sell one of the kids in order to be able to afford lunch while there) and were surrounded by butterflies by 1 o'clock. It was a fantastic afternoon from the first audible gasp from Shorty as he spotted his first butterfly on a flower at eye level.

We made two or three more circuits around the Butterfly Pavilion and then we went on to do all the normal stuff we do while visiting. We went to the Child's Area for a run through giant vegetables and a dig in the sand. Then we made our way over to the Aquarium where we admired all the ocean life, discovering along the way that Shorty DEFINITELY DOES NOT like lobsters. We wandered through the gardens and the greenhouses & watched as two beautiful swans swam over to us, inquiring about a snack. (Sadly our answer was no.) I knew that I needed to drop Sweetanlo off at a meeting later that evening and wouldn't be going home first, so we had the whole afternoon to enjoy ourselves. We didn't rush and the afternoon was surprisingly bicker-free. I even let the kids do some things that we almost never do. I let them walk around and look in every gift shop (unheard of!) and at the last one I even bought each of them something. (No!) When we needed a rest, we relaxed at a table in the courtyard and I bought Dippin’ Dots for us all to share. (Rare!) Wish you could have seen Shorty's face as he tried the Dippin' Dots - a mixture of pain & distaste (too cold, I suppose) all the while saying how yummy it was. The kids were all anxious to call Rummy and Pastormac and tell them what a big softy momma had been.

We stayed until 15 minutes shy of closing time and on the way home we got a nice surprise. We were invited to have dinner with my brother and my aunt at PF Changs! (Yay! I didn’t have to cook it or pay for it; and it was delicious.) We had a great dinner. The kids were well behaved; Joe Cool chatted with everyone including the waitress and #1 Son impressed his great-aunt with his chop sticks skills. (Impressed me too.)

And now the day is through and I only have three more days until Pastormac comes home to warm my heart and share the load. I think I’ll make it.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Praying for Rain

Like clouds and wind without rain
is a man who boasts of gifts he does not give.

Prov. 25:14

Here in the Land of Enchantment, we have had the driest springtimes in the history of the state, driest since they started recording those things way back when.

The summer hasn't been much better really. Clouds will come in but usually we don't get much moisture from them. We see them and hope, but too often our hopes are dashed as they move off without giving what they promise - rain. Sometimes too, the lighting that accompanies such clouds will start fires in the already frightfully dry forests of the state. The poor plants in our yard look tired and parched, branches hanging limply.

Tonight it's looking like we might actually get a real rainstorm. I can smell it in the air, thunder is rumbling in the distances, my wind chimes are clanging away. And the clouds are sending down hints that they might not just be boasting this time.

I'm praying....

And the answer tonight was, Nope, at least not at your house.
Oh well, it rained in other parts of the state and even other parts of the city. It just never made it far enough west to reach our house. So the clouds weren't lying to everyone, just to me. Today is another day.

This evening (Monday) it rained all over the state, but once again the rain never made it to our house.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Everyday Things in pictures

When I grow up (as if), I want to be a blogger just like Mary at Owlhaven and Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer and Heth at From Under the Laundry Pile and Kathryn at Daring Young Mom and Chris at From Under the Trenches.....the list goes on and on.

So in my quest to become a skillful blogger, I'll once again follow Everyday Mommy's lead and participate in Everyday Things, where we remind ourselves "of the wonderful, everyday things we so take for granted. Embrace contentment and remember the simple things that make life wonderful."

Shouldn't everyday be thankful day? Think I'll try that.

This week I thought I'd explain why I'm thankful for these everyday items (they usually come in pairs but not always) through a series of pictures.

Because of this

and this

and this


I'm thankful for these

Laura Ingalls Wilder, you can keep your rock at the river's edge. I'll take my trusty Speed Queen anyday!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I Am From

Loni at Joy In the Morning is having a contest, challenging us to write our own "I Am From" poem. She's even giving out prizes! So I'm giving it a go.

I heard about the contest from Mary over at Owlhaven A while back Mary asked her readers to write this poem for themselves. She even asked her kids to do this poem (their responoses were priceless). Back then I started thinking about mine but it was too late to post. I guess the idea of maybe possibly (but probably not) winning a prize is the rest of the motivation I needed to get my poem done. It was fun and kind of hard to try to summarize my childhood in this way. You can check out this blog, Fragments from Floyd, for more information about where the idea for this writing exercise originated.

I Am From

I am from down pillows, from Jaguars and Lincoln Continentals.

I am from the house on the corner where the parade once began, where generations before me came into the world. I am from the porch where we laid on our sleeping bags trying to sleep on warm summer nights as the bats flew off over our heads, from the house where the Snappy Mart down the block seemed miles away to the little legs that walked to it to get an orange sherbert Push-up.

I am from ivy, and roses, from heavy-laden apricot trees and honeysuckle wafting its sweet honey smell in the cool of the evening. I am from flower bulbs, that came by mail in holey boxes, that were planted by the hundreds with a hammer and perseverance but little plan.

I am from huge Christmas feasts lovingly prepared and a present for everyone to begin Christmas morn; from green salad, green vegetable and a tall glass of milk at dinner eaten every night at 6:30 sharp.

I am from arguments and star gazers, from crossword doers and cookers, from Joe and Ada, Jeff and Nellie, The Col. & Big Daddy; from Huntingtons, Burchfields, Estes & Woodburys. I am from the court room and the law library, from documents, files and briefs, and the typewriter going clickety, clickety, click. I am from an optimist and a melancholy who loved strongly in different ways.

I am from twisty toes and trouble with spirits, from people pleasers and family tragedy that choked away memories of the past.

I am from the sidewalk where I sat, too young to chase the other kids out into the street to walk home with Wayne, head bleeding, pushing his bicycle after a crash. From the wall where everyone painted their name.

I am from a front row reserved seat for the 4th of July parade and from stopping at cousin Dick’s Texaco station for ice-cold Frescas after swimimng lessons on Saturday mornings.

I am from “Don’t stew about it.” and “I love you the most.”

I am from the ancient brick church on the hill, from stain glassed windows, red carpet covering creaky floors and wooden pews with velvet cushions, from “what Good Friday is really all about.”

I am from the City that Silver birthed and copper sustained, from the Gila’s gateway, from the Enchanted Land. I am from green chile at every meal, BBQ’s on the 4th of July, and spaghetti sauce that simmered lazily all day long.

I am from pictures, cards and diplomas, mementos and newpaper clippings, stacked and saved away in the old wicker basket in the living room, from old yellowed black & white photos packed in the old steamer truck in the basement. Family treasures & memories always whispering to us from the past - remember, never forget!

My daughter did hers and you can read it over at Pastormac's Ponderings. I think that she did an outstanding job! Please leave her a comment if you think so, too.

Thanks Loni & Mary. That was fun!

Monday, June 19, 2006

7 Things I Say.

Thanks to Rocks In My Dryer I’m going to list the 7 things that you’d hear from me a lot if you spent the day with us. (I checked these with my daughter and she cleared it - esp. #3.)

Here goes, in no particular order:

1. Could you do me a huge favor and....?

2. Please be kind!

3. DISHWASHER! (meaning: Girls, don’t make me ask you again, “Empty the dishwasher!”)

4. Go see what the screaming is about.

5. Overcome meanness with kindness/goodness.

6. If you want your brother/sister to treat you like a friend, you have to be the kind of friend that he/she wants to have.

7. Sweet dreams, I love you.

Ok, so now it's your turn. What things would I hear you say a lot if I hung around your house for a day? If you want play, leave me a comment with your list or you can leave me the link to your list.

I'm tagging Pastomac Let's see if what he thinks he says a lot matches what we hear around here.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Everyday Things

At the suggestion of Everyday Mommy my post today is about some everyday thing that I'm thankful for. Many ladies mentioned being thankful for fresh clean sheets, and boy that is something that is way up there for me. Nothing like that smooth clean fresh feeling of slipping into a bed made with freshly laundered sheets.

Wow, get me thinking about it, and I can think of a lot of mudane everyday things that I'm thankful for. Just goes to show you how a little encouragement in the right direction can get a person thinking properly where all our blessings come from.

Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17

The everyday thing that I'm thankful for is cell phones. I know, I know. You're thinking, "CELL PHONES!?!? Yuck!" But before you scorn me, let me explain why. I am really thankful for the ability to talk to my sweetie throughout the day. His job is a little different and so he can't be found at an office when he's working. It's a great comfort and joy to me to be able to have contact with him when he's not home. I'm also a lot more comfortable leaving my children with the babysitter (usually my eldest daughter) knowing that I am always available in case of emergency. A cell phone also comes in pretty handy when I realize I left something off the grocery list I sent with my husband to the store.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Perfect Night in June

My oldest child will be 14 in the fall! Wow! 14! Where did the time go? Now, if I think hard, I can remember her when she was a preschooler, some memories come back very clearly. (Pictures help!) But honestly, 10 years, 4 more kids and a lot of life later, some of those memories are, well, just fuzzy. Some, I'm certain, are just gone. She was cute and so smart. But I was so busy having more kids, being a mom and a wife and just trying to keep up with everything. I don't know that I paused enough take in all that was happening.

So, as I've watched my baby, who is now 4, stretch and grow and become the little person he is, I've really prayed that God would allow me to keep these images of him tight in my memory, even as I am having to loosen my motherly grip so he can, in time, become the young man that God would have him be. Now, don't misundertand me. I'm not saying that I want my kids to stay small. Heaven forbid! What I am saying, is that I don't want to lose the memories of these sweet precious times. The golden nuggets of childhood which can be so easy to miss while "doing the dailies" of life. So, I'm trying to slow down and enjoy all my children, trying to take in and treasure the precious things that they're doing at this stage in their lives. Very early on Tuesday morning, I wrote this essay, crying as I typed; a prayer(of sorts) asking God to help me hold onto this memory.

A Perfect Night in June

What a magical evening. A warm night in June. The grass at the church, so green. Sunset in New Mexico, the sky is still blue. I want to hold the memory in my mind. Sear it into my brain so that I never forget. His white shirt, so white against the green of the grass. His clunky sandals flashing in front of me and on, as he runs happily to the playground. I wish we could just stop and live in this moment for a while longer. Drink it up like cool water in the heat of summer. So refreshing. He’s so very cute, so sweet, so small yet getting so big. Can it be? He’s 4 already? So happy, laughing as he went, not a moment to waste. Etch it indelibly in my mind. It’s gone so fast. Etch it there, so I won’t forget this magical, golden time. He’s so small, so innocent, (so tyrannical at times). Skin so soft, hair so fair, eyes so blue filled with so much thought. In a flash, in a blink it seems, all too soon, he’ll be 14, looking down into my eyes with hair dark like his papa’s, getting a man voice, growing a beard. Gone will be the days of giving me sugars & “Smackaroni & Squeezes,” no more Biscuit at bedtime. He won’t worry anymore about me being “all set” before I walk out the door, having gotten all the hugs and kisses and sugars I need for my trip to the “closer” store, meeting, or restaurant, encouraged to be gone only the shortest amount of time. He won’t be my “SugarBaby” and “CuddleBunny” anymore. So tonight I want to remember this moment. Remember him small, so blond and so fair and blue-eyed. My sweet sweet baby. Too soon this will all be but a memory. Let me hold it here in my heart forever. The perfect night in June. So warm, so happy, him in his white shirt and baggy camo cutoffs bounding away from me as fast as his clunky sandals can take him. The green grass framing his beautiful baby face. Etch it in granite in my mind that I won’t ever lose it. This fair-haired jubilant boy galloping off with giggles and excitement. I see him playing in the distance, his laughter drifts back to me. One day soon, he won’t be the baby of the family any more. But he’ll always be my baby, as they all are still - in my heart.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Boy, the title of this blog isn't kidding!

OK, so here's my first post. And of course, like anything else in my life - it's turning into a production! What should I say? What if I sound braindead? I don't know everything about blogging; I'm not ready, yet. How should I introduce myself? Who's going to care?! I think I'm thinking way too much about this and I should just post something! So, here goes.

I've been reading blogs that I found via adoption yahoo groups which led me to other blogs, which led me to other blogs, which led me to other blogs, which led me to other blogs, etc., etc., on and on. (You get the picture.) My 13 yr. old daughter, keeps saying, "Mom, you should write a blog." and "When are you going to write YOUR OWN blog?" So, I'm going to give it a try.