Saturday, June 28, 2008

Camdynism #2

This morning when we were all snuggled up in a small room in Grandma and Grandpa's cabin, Macy was the first to wake up. She was cooing and singing so sweetly, but Camdyn felt it necessary to shush her repeatedly. Macy was undeterred by all of the shushing, so finally with firmness and annoyance, Camdyn said to her, "Macy, be quiet! It is NOT Christmas!!"

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Camdynism #1

Well, Cam is in such a funny stage with words- she talks up a storm, and doesn't always make sense. Here was a profound thought from her today. Look for more to come.
Kinley: "Camdyn, do you know what 'ignoring' means?"
Camdyn: "Yes, I do." (sternly, aggravated that Kinley thought otherwise)
Kinley: "No you don't. Then what does it mean?"
Camdyn: "It means you're pretending to be a boy."

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Good Kitty

Bad Kitty (sentenced to the downstairs bathroom)

Cat Fight

Today I experienced a cat fight in my own home that is worth blogging about. Since I have four girls, let me clear the misconception that I may be talking about something between them. This was an actual kitty cat fight complete with fur flying. A little background... we have had cats since Kurt and I were married 10 years ago, and currently had just one. So when a friend mentioned that she knew of a sweet kitten that needed a home, I thought (errantly), "oh, a little kitty friend for our sweet Lexi!" The thought was so sweet- two little kitties sleeping intertwined at the foot of our children's bed... playfully batting at each other, licking each other, snuggling on the couch... Well, we brought Chester home with high hopes and happy kids. We thought we'd let him get used to the kids first, then introduce him to his lifetime playmate and friend, Lexi. Two rocky days with the kids passed- he wasn't fond of them, but seemed to be getting used to the commotion. He only scratched them twice, and probably because they startled him. So I figured we should introduce the cats. Well, the usual staring and casual hissing went on in front of me for a few minutes, and when they had had enough, back to the room Chester went. A couple of more days passed, and I thought I'd give it another try. That was this morning. So I brought Lexi in, and immediately she saw Chester, and her eyes fixated on him with some sort of fright. When I put her down on the floor 7 feet away from him, Chester turned his head toward her and something went off in his brain. (something like, "I AM THE ONLY CAT IN THIS WORLD!! I HATE ALL OTHER CATS!! ESPECIALLY THIS ONE!!") Thus began the chase. Chester, with every fiber of his being, determined that he was going to eat little Lexi alive. He ran after her into the kitchen, where he tackled her into the cupboards with a crash. They tumbled for all of 1.2 seconds hissing and growling, until Lexi got out of his grip and took off running across the dining room floor, directly toward me. At full speed, I literally could not move out of the way, nor was she attempting to run around me. I took one step to open my legs, and she ran right through, Chester 1/4 of a second behind, running through my legs as well. Meanwhile, the sweet little girls were in the kitchen eating breakfast. Hearing the ruckus, wild, craziness, and seeing a glimpse of it when the fight had crashed into the kitchen cupboards, the girls were all starting up in a panicked crying fest. Kinley climbed up on top of the kitchen table, crying and panicking. Camdyn was frozen at the little kid table, crying, and Macy was sobbing in her high chair. What in the world was I going to do?? They had crashed into the wall in the living room and were intertwined and brawling. All I could think of was, "throw something at them to break it up!" I looked around, and all that was feasible was a picture frame on the living room table, or the phone in my hand. I chose the phone. I didn't necessarily want to hit them, but I chucked it in their direction. That didn't stop them. I don't think either of them even noticed. I proceeded to clap my hands over them, screaming at the top of my lungs trying to startle them... They took off again and Lexi ran into the kitchen, with Chester right behind. She jumped up on a kitchen chair by the back door, and Chester was ready to pounce again. I quickly opened the back door, and Lexi ran out. I slammed the door right as Chester was about to make the escape.... HOORAY! I triumphantly grabbed Chester by the back of the neck (after he almost attacked my hand in his fury), scolding him on the way to the bathroom (to lock him up for life) for his misbehavior. He literally had a chunk of Lexi's hair in his mouth. Then I came back into the kitchen to console the little ones. All of our heart rates were racing at this point. After the consoling was done, I got on the phone to call the original owner of the kitty to let her know that Chester "wasn't a good fit for our family"...Anyone want a cat??

Friday, June 20, 2008

My day with Nichole

Here are a couple of pictures I took yesterday - I somehow managed to miss Noah, the second oldest. Here is Ansel (battling Uno Attack with Kinley) and Josie (yep, that's a light saber-make that two-she has three brothers, after all) and Levi (sweet baby boy!!)

Well, I had the privilege of spending most of the day with the Greenes yesterday, and we again were blessed by the Lord. Despite the 113 degree heat (which I didn't notice until we left and saw the temp guage in the car), we had a productive and blessed time. Thankfully, even though there were 9 kids running around, Nichole and I were able to talk for a significant amount of time and she shared with me her thoughts, concerns and hope. I say hope (rather than hopes) because she has one hope, and it is fixed on one thing- Jesus Christ. She would never suggest that dark thoughts haven't crossed her mind, or that she hasn't struggled to understand why this could happen. But she hasn't given up the fight to reject those thoughts and continue to trust in the Sovereignty of a Loving God who hasn't left her. Here are some of Nichole's words which were a great encouragement to me.

~"My husband is not mine. He's the Lord's. My kids are not mine. They too belong to the Lord. His love for them and care for them is greater than mine. God will take care of them. They'd be fine without me." Wow, a reflection of true humility, as well as abiding trust.

~"God is good. He is using this cancer for my good, and the good of others (she doesn't know how many others- and won't know until she meets the Lord!). I know that He is good and is being glorified through this." I am certain of that as well. So many have been blessed to hear of Nichole's faithfulness through this trial.

~"Only two things matter. That the lost are reached with the gospel, and that Christ's church is built up. That's all that matters, and I think and hope and have seen this happening through this trial."

~"I've been thinking about heaven a lot in the past few days. The best-worst-case-scenario is that I leave this world and go to heaven to be with the Lord- how bad can that be? So I leave earth a little earlier than some... I won't have to worry about sin, and I'll be with the Lord!" Let's all learn from Nichole's eternal perspective. Wow, we can get so caught up in worldly thinking! It's almost nauseating thinking about how we actually care about such banal things like clothing styles, hollywood actors, and looking 5 pounds overweight in light of spiritual thoughts of life and death.

Nichole is so thankful for all that the body of Christ has done for her family through this trial, and wanted to make sure that everyone knew how grateful she and Norm are. The Foundry has already been such a blessing to them, and she wanted all to know that. So many people have served them and have been a testimony to the world of how the Body of Christ cares for each other. Let's shine brighter!

Please PRAY for the Greene Family

Please continue to pray for them as the road ahead is bumpy. Although Nichole was able to function much more yesterday than last week, she received some troubling news Wednesday. The chemo and radiation treatments have had little to no effect on the cancer at this point. (Doesn't that shed some light on the nature of our conversation, just one day after that news??) She begins internal radiation soon, so please pray that the Lord would extend His healing hand to her and miraculously shrink the tumors, if He would be glorified in that. Please also pray that Nichole and Norm would trust the Lord whole-heartedly and not let seeds of doubt creep in. Nichole would also like prayer for balancing her thoughts and time between wisely seeking alternate methods of healing, yet trusting in the Lord for whatever He does in her body. She doesn't want to become fixated on the cure, but maintain her fixation with the Savior.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Puppy Party

Shea's Birthday party was a hit! Shea celebrated her 7th birthday a few days early with a "puppy party". Yes, that means that there were real puppies of all cute sorts that were brought to the house to yip all day. I felt bad for the puppies (and the kids)- it was one of those 100 degree southern California days... I spent most of the time (when I wasn't taking pictures) refilling the girls lemonade cups. They all looked so cute with their pink cheeks! Shea had a great time with all of her friends, and Reilly didn't mind being the only boy and participated in the party with Brandon (puppy party host extraordinaire). What a blast!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The New Do

Yesterday we said good-bye to Reilly's "surfer hair", and gave him a summer cut. The boy has some serious amounts of hair, so during the summer it insulates his already sweaty head, so we chopped it! We also added some blond (a little more than planned) and he's loving it! He did a monkey dance in front of the mirror after I took the plastic bag off of his head (insulating the bleach)- I think in boy talk that means he likes it. What do you think, grandma? He's also sporting the tough guy look for the pics...

Friday, June 13, 2008


Shea with a kitchen towel taped on her head

Reilly, demonstrating the part of the day I most enjoyed...hey, 5 kids make a lot of noise!

My garage freezer, securely shut

Yesterday I've affectionately dubbed "tape-day", for obvious reasons if you look at the pictures. It all started sometime in the afternoon when I walked into the garage to get something out of the freezer, and I saw this. I wondered, as you may be yourself, "what in the world could this mean?" Are my kids hinting that I need to go on a diet? Are they hiding something in there? I was a little hesitant to open it to see what may fall out, and indeed, they had put something in there. Thankfully, after peeling all of the tape off, turns out they were just making a huge hunk of ice in a sand bucket, and apparently the freezer wouldn't stay shut- so they became resourceful. I dumped the bucket (it didn't have a flat bottom, and I was afraid it would fall out next time) and hurled it down the side yard toward their backyard toys. Not more than a couple of hours later, without any discussion about it with the kids, I found the same thing again when I entered the garage. Anyway... no harm, no foul (I left it in this time because it had already frozen over), except that apparently they tried a third time to make several more large ice chunks and didn't tape it shut, and this morning when I went into the garage, the door was completely opened and lots of soggy melty food was hanging out... Reilly's allowance will help cover the tri-tip and Costco size box of ice cream bars that are chocolate milk now)

Later on in the evening, while I was busy on the computer, the kids found that tape was quite entertaining. When I first saw the amounts of tape they were using for their "activities", I thought, "what a waste!" Upon further consideration, the cost of tape is relatively cheap, and they were all playing so nicely with no fighting- there was plenty of tape to go around! I especially liked the part when they were all wearing tape on their mouths. Then they were using it to tape kitchen towels (see Shea) and other various things over their eyes, and walking around the house running into each other like mummies with their arms out in front of them. So, all you moms out there, next time you find your kids "wasting" tape, consider the cost, and next time you go to Costco you may want to purchase in bulk for play time! It's much cheaper than most toys...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cancer- a bad thing?

Today I went and helped out Nichole Greene and her 4 little kiddos. Nichole is a young mom (twenties- young) with four fantastic kids- Ansel- 6, Noah- 5, Josie- 3, and Levi- 17 months. Nichole was diagnosed with cancer (bad cancer) and has been receiving chemo and radiation treatments. I was incredibly blessed by my time there. I left a little envious of her (isn't that ironic??) I'm going to categorize my reasons for you.
What Nichole is NOT doing:
1. Questioning why God would allow this to happen to her, a young mom with four kids.
2. Becoming bitter about all that she cannot do with her kids or all that she cannot do around the house.
3. Becoming frustrated by not being able to walk, unaided, to her bathroom.
4. Pitying herself. Wouldn't she have just cause?
5. Despairing.
What Nichole is doing:
1. Joyfully anticipating each opportunity to tell others of the hope that she has in Christ (during chemo and radiation treatments).
2. Humbly and thankfully receiving care from people. Telling people specifically how they can help is truly humbling.
3. Praising God (out loud, to me today) for how she has been strengthened in her faith as it is being tried by fire.
4. Praising God for what this has done for her husband in growing him, and her family as well.
5. Blessing so many people by joyfully accepting this trial from the Lord and proving her faith is the real deal. Nichole has been known to ask people how she can be praying for them as they drive her to her treatments.
Wow. I want to go back tomorrow, and place myself as close as I can to this real life trial. It has been a blessing to see how the body of Christ has been at work through this trial. Many helping hands have come along and served in whatever area has been needed. Today alone, when I was there, someone came to help clean (scrub toilets kind of clean), someone else came to pick her up and take her to get hydrated, someone else came to bring cleaning products and check up on things, and then the second shift came to take my place. There is no other way I would have wanted to spend this day, and I honestly do think I'll be back tomorrow to fill a couple of needs that I saw today.
Today I learned that there is unmatched joy and deep satisfaction when serving a fellow believer in need. Try it. My husband has preached it over and over. Extending ourselves selflessly to others so closely represents our Savior, which brings immeasurable joy. Remember the first and greatest commandment? Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength and the second is this: love your neighbor as yourself... why don't I do this more often?- ugh, I am so short-sighted.
I can also say that other than walking through a cemetary or attending a memorial service, there is nothing that brings more sobriety, hope, and a sense of deep peace than walking through a trial as severe as this one with a believer who is unwavering in her faith. Nichole, although she has struggled at times, is trusting the Lord more than she ever has. She is THANKING GOD FOR HER CANCER.
Well, I am tempted to pray for a trial that would refine me like this is refining Nichole, but I don't know that my faith would be like hers.
Well, there is much more to say, but I don't have the time since my kids are running around outside like wild banchees in the backyard waiting for me to bring them a snack that I've promised 12 times while writing this post. More to come about Nichole.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

6 going on 16

Today Shea got in the car after school and before she even sat down in her seat, she said with a sense of urgency (and serious drama- it is Shea after all),
"Mom, I have something to tell you that I don't want anyone to know." (except for me, I guess)
"What is it, Shea?"
"Well, today I found out that Trevor AND Luke both have a crush on me."
"And how did you find this out? Maybe it was just a rumor."
"No, Mom, it's true. Lauren told me that Trevor likes me, and Trevor told me that Luke likes me." (oh, of course, THAT's no rumor! Silly me!)
"Mom, I'm like totally freaked out!!" (VERBATIM)
"Shea, let's not make a big deal out of this. It still may just be a rumor. Even if it is true, it's no big deal. Just be normal about it." (Me, trying to say something reasonable and UNdramatic)
"No, mom, I'm totally freaked out! What if they are both in my class next year and they both sit next to me?? And they both like me!!! I'd be so freaked out if that happened!" (It's quickly becoming clear to me that "freaked out" is a new and obviously cool phrase to Shea)
I didn't feel the need to respond to this little spawning thought in Shea's head- I don't think I really had anything intelligible to say at this point. At least she seems to want to keep it to herself...
"Mom, is it okay if I tell Sean that Luke and Trevor like me?" (So much for not spreading rumors...I'm not sure why she even asked me this question, but I'll gladly answer)
"No, Shea, let's keep this to ourselves. We don't want to spread gossip around. We're not even sure that it's true..."
Wow, I didn't think I'd be dealing with this in first grade!! I am certainly glad that she tells me these things, and even asks for my help! I thought we were still in the cootie stage, but somehow that stage was skipped entirely for Shea. How I wish boys had cooties...

Friday, June 6, 2008

I love my kids

So today was one of those days that Kurt had to be gone all day and all evening, and won't return until sometime after midnight. I'll be long gone in dream-land. Anyway, I was on my own. No problem. We really did have a great day, aside from Kinley's profuse begging to buy every toy at Target, Camdyn's refusal to chew her vitamin which resulted in orange stains on her white pants after gagging it up, Reilly breaking every backyard rule (kicking balls over sisters heads into play-house, turning on the hose and squirting the house, etc.), Macy diaperless in the kitchen for all of 3 minutes, and yep, you guessed it, #1 and #2....... so anyway, we really (seriously) had quite a nice day. Tonight, however, after I put Macy to bed, the four younger kids went NUTS. I had a nice evening of family games in store for them, but it went from nice to CRAZY in no time at all. And no, mom, I didn't feed them chocolate or any sugar after 6:00p.m.. So we got out Uno Attack, and played a round. Then it was time to put Cam to bed. This is when things got out of hand. I left for a minute or two, and when I was upstairs, I heard little screams, louder screams, lots of giggling- or laughing loudly, and other noises I won't attempt to describe. They were having lots of fun, but making way too much noise for Cam to be able to settle down. When I came back down, they were still playing the game, but whenever one had to push the button, there were loud screeches if too many cards came out, and loud cheers from the others. They had set up blockades on the table and arranged their cards behind them, and were trying to see each others cards. Kinley was crawling under the table trying to poke her head up and see Reilly's cards. Reilly was fiercely and screechily defending. Cam came down out of bed for some strange reason...(it had nothing to do with the noise, I'm sure).

"Okay, settle down kids. You are keeping Cam awake." (no change in noise level, no response to mom)
"Did you all hear me? EXCUSE ME! I said something, and you all need to respond!"
"Yes mom!" came the reply in unison. (still no change in noise level)

Anyway, this continued for a while, and Cam came down at least 3 or 4 more times before I could settle her down. I finally moved her into a makeshift bed on the floor in our room, and could hear the kids screeching and screaming downstairs even through the noise of two fans, which was beginning to irritate me... When I returned downstairs, they were all up and the girls appeared to be doing some sort of karate moves on Reilly. I stopped them, had them help clean up, and sent them off to bed (it was already late). What happened to my family game night???


Smile, please, Reilly!

Smile, pleeeeaaaase, Reilly! (I guess this is kind-of a smile...


After much disputing with the computer, I finally figured out how to post pictures of each of the kiddos in the margin! Yippee! So these are pictures I took yesterday afternoon. Wow, is it easy to take pictures of girls. Something in them loves to have that camera pointed at them! Of course Macy was a bit of a challenge, only because she is so mobile now and hates to sit still! Now BOYS, or at least this boy, are a totally different story. Trying to get him to sit still or stand still, look at the camera, smile, and not make silly faces is quite a challenge! Here are some of the first attempts with him (seriously, I was telling him to SMILE, and this is what I got!!)...enjoy!