Monday, August 30, 2010

All Mornings are NOT Created Equal

...and Sunday mornings (before church) are by far the most inferior mornings. Satan's attack? God's testing? I'll let you know if I figure that out. Anyway, I know I'm not alone in my assessment. I've heard lots of other mothers testify to this paradigm. Literally, yesterday was a typical Sunday morning for us, and I'm really not exaggerating. I'll take you through my morning event by event. It started off with a bang, so brace yourselves...
"MOM!! Dax has poop on his hands!"
Hmmm...thoughts went racing through my head. "Honey, I gave him a couple of bites of chocolate muffin this morning. It's NOT poop!" (Wishful thinking...) I came into my bathroom where Dax was found and still wasn't sure what had transpired. As I got closer to him, the scent turned all of my fears and stomach churnings into reality. Sick. I literally almost threw up. After cleaning him up, the rest of the kids needed to be scolded for NOT flushing the toilet. Really scolded. And that wasn't the sweetest they had ever seen their momma. That's for sure.
I began working on our crock-pot lunch like a good wife and mother. The kids disappeared for a while. Dax was fussy. I thought he was recovering from his "event". I moved him to his play yard and gave him some books. He loves books.
Time for hair. "GIRLS! Come down so I can do your hair!" I worked for a while on each of the girls hair and was finishing up with McKinley. Blood curdling scream. Right in front of my face. I burned her forehead with the curling iron. UGH. Tension rises (in me). "Sorry girl. Are you okay?" She's slightly irritated with me because she's pretty afraid of the curling iron and is always telling me to be careful. Notsosweet mommy moment, not much real sympathy exuded from me. I head back to the kitchen.
Camdyn comes sauntering down the stairs with "the reporter" following close behind. "Mommy," says the reporter. "Camdyn has lots of hairspray in her hair!" I leave my chicken chopping to check out the damage. Wow. It must have been a half of a can of hairspray gummed up and nearly dried into her baby fine, previously neatly curled, otherwise CLEAN hair. UGH. Here comes the notsosweet scolding for this little incident, along with some notsosweet brushing out of the hairspray. "Why did you do this, Camdyn?" The answer wasn't terribly surprising. "Mommy, Ashlyn did this and curled her hair and put this in her hair." Of course. She did it because she admires her sweet 11 year old cousin who actually knows how to use hairspray. End of scolding. My tension level continued to rise. Dax was still fussy. I turned on a movie for him. He's never fussy.
"Kids, would you like some hot chocolate?" I love treating my kids to little things that bring a smile to their faces (and let's try to change the course of this morning). Nothing big, just little things they wouldn't normally expect. "YES! YES! YES!" Came the happy response. I threw a little milk into a pot, and heated it up in between working on lunch. One of the kids walked into the kitchen, and watched me with a sweet smile anticipating the treat. Her eyes turned to the pot of heating milk, and her expression changed. "Mom, is that ALL you're making? For ALL of us???!!" I hesitated, as I calculated my snarky response. "No, honey, that's just for the rest of the kids. None for you." She knew I was teasing, but then I had to give her a tidbit on thankfulness, including a short word on orphans and starvation. She was really moved. I was a little more agitated. You know, the "when are they going to get it?" agitation. When you say the same things over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, etc. and they still don't get it. This was notsosweet mommy moment #...5? 6? of the morning. Dax was still fussy. Reilly had tried to help him with sweet brother love, but it wasn't working. He wasn't interested in the video either, for some reason. I finally figured I needed to try to see why he was agitated. As I neared him, the thought crossed my mind that he hadn't worn those shoes in a while. I carefully removed them, as he screamed and jerked his feet. Poor kid. They left marks all over his feet, and really significant marks on his pinky toes. Sweet little pinky toes...thus ended his fussiness. I felt like a bad mommy. Anyway we made it to church, nearly on time. I gave out a couple of apologies for my sinful frustration on the way to church. The kids were sweet in response, as usual.
What a great morning at church! I had one thought that I'd like to share with all of those mommies who experience the Sunday morning madness. Although Sunday mornings are a (not so fun) revealing glimpse into my sinful heart, they are always followed up by a sweet reminder of God's grace and kindness to me as I drink in the mercy of God in the worship service and am so quickly brought back to Him! I guess my conclusion is that I would rather see my sin on Sunday morning when I can quickly recover and refresh and repent of my attitude, than on any other morning when I'm left to myself most of the rest of the day, and struggle through on my own. I know His mercies are new every morning, but some mornings it's a little difficult to discern them...

Lamentations 3:19-23
"Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.
The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mud is just plain fun.
Waterslide fun! One thing I really like about NC- people don't go crazy about rules. I think there is a healthy sense of personal responsibility that is lacking in other places. This slide had two rules. No standing, and no pushing (something like that). Otherwise, it was free for all! So much fun!
The three meter diving board. This is Reilly, doing a lovely swan dive. Just kidding. I requested feet first of the kids. All of the big kids did this and survived, with only minor injuries (Sugar Shea got a little slap pain and water in the eyes...).

I love this pic! This epitomizes the day of fun we had here.
Waterslide train!

California Cousins, part two

Creek fun!
Kool Park water fun. Clean up those boys!
Love this face on Ashlyn!
Fun with the littles!
What a great shot!
Boys banned from the computer today. :) Time to find another outlet. Lord of the Rings risk with grandpa, happening right now.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

California Dreamin'

So the one thing that the kids were really disappointed with when they learned that we were moving to North Carolina a year ago was that they would not see their grandparents and cousins (Adam and Ashlyn) enough. Big bummer.
For the last three weeks, and I am not exaggerating, EVERY DAY Reilly has been planning and asking about getting Adam out here to visit. He wanted to save birthday money to fly Adam out, he wanted to use his money, he really would do just about anything to make it happen. Little did he know the plan that was already in place...and what fun for me to keep the secret...until yesterday.
First they were greeted with the unexpected guests as they came home from swimming.
Then the cousins were hiding in the bedroom closet...which I videotaped so don't have pics of that event. It was very loud, and very exciting. The boys hugged, then RAN downstairs to play. This is what they love to do together.
Last night we played some bingo with "coupon prizes". This morning they redeemed "Panera in Pajamas". Now they're outside in the creek playing and getting really muddy. Pics of that to come!
Thank you, Bryan and Julie for letting them come all the way across the country without you and for letting them miss "a little" school... and thanks grandma and grandpa for bringing them to us!!