Monday, July 30, 2012

The Look

You know how we all have "that one child"??

The adventurous, fly by the seat of their pants, march to their own drummer child?

The free spirit, the creative thinker, the one that insists on walking 15 feet behind me IN EVERY STORE?

Exhibit A...

Oh that look. This is my wild card, friends.

All those lively curls match that lively personality.

She's such a sweet little handful, that's for sure, and she keeps us laughing constantly. Love that mischievous look :).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Things You Need To Know

Ok, that may or may not be an exaggeration. This may just be some randomness, which is always fun, yes?

We've been hanging out at home the past few days because it has been raining. Actually yesterday we didn't even leave the house. You ever do that?

I've decided to rid Lincoln of the pacifier. I honestly don't mind them and I let the my babes use them if they want because frankly, I have bigger fish to fry. But he's waking in the middle of the night and crying cause he can't find it.

Have I ever mentioned how I feel about sleep?

I almost love it more than Target. Almost.

So something needs to change. Lincoln and I could use a good nights sleep without frantic searches for the pacifier. He can't be tired, the boy has things to do.

I have taken them from him during the day and only allowed them in his crib, I call this Stage One. He is doing pretty well, however when he see's them in his crib he let's out a sigh of relief that the neighbors might even be able to hear. Or he may just be excited because I decided to put all the pacifiers we own in his crib in hopes that he will find one on his own in the middle of the night.

It's like Pacifier Palooza in there. Don't judge me.

Stage Two will be cutting the tip of the pacifier. That's what we did with Ella before her first set of twin sisters were due and it worked like a charm.

When I'm not consumed with Project Pacifier, the girls and I have been doing some arts and crafts to pass time on the rainy days. We've been painting pictures and painting nails.

Man, I love a good manicure. From a 3yr old. Who has yet to conquer the skill of keeping the polish off your skin and on your nails.

Ah, memories :). Good ones.

Oh! I've decided to make our own hand soap. I don't even know who I am anymore. I'll let you know how that all goes. 

Hope you're having a great week!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Mommy Classifieds

I believe this is the classified ad we all circled with a highlighter and then applied for.

Duties and Job requirements are as followed.

- Must abide by the No Privacy Law that goes into effect when you accept the Mommy title.

-  You will need to add 10 minutes to your allotted time for errands because you will now be forced into every public bathroom in every store you walk into. And no, the children don't actually have to go, they just want to check it out.

- You must be able to deal with this situation...

We don't know, we think the dryer is eating the matches. You'll be required to figure out what and where the problem is.

- You are allowed to make phone calls. But the children will start screaming the minute you pick up the phone, and miraculously fully entertain themselves the moment you hang up.

- Picking up unearthly amounts of toys repeatedly will be a daily chore...

Be prepared to organize the toys while the children continue to get out what you just put away.

- There is a sticky, mystery substance in the carpet by the stairs. That's all you.

- You must be able to answer consecutive and never ending personal questions. These include but are not limited to: your weight, why you chose to wear those pants, if you know that your breath smells bad, and anything else the children see fit.

- All meetings will be held at Chickfila.

- The laundry wins. Always. Even though you may be a real go getter, there is no household force like the laundry. Do your best, and when the pile gets taller than you are, just look away.


Look away, I tell you. 

- There will be a bonus and a "Employee Of The Month" plaque made with your name on it if you can go 3 solid hours without raising your voice. Talking through your teeth to the children still counts as a "normal" tone. 

 - Remember when you used to sit down and eat? That's going to change.

- Experience in waitressing is not required but encouraged. You'll never survive meal times without some previous work in an industrial kitchen. Oh, and the customers don't tip.

- Also, be prepared to accept that the customers will say that they don't like what you are cooking before they even try it.

- There are no breaks, lunch hours, or solo bathroom stops. We assure that you will have a bladder of steel by your 6 month review.

- Must accept that you will soon find it ok to leave the house in sweats and no makeup when needed. It will be these times that you will run into an old boyfriend, your nemesis from high school, and the "perfect" mom.

- All the pre-child clothes in your closet that are waiting for you to get back into by 3 months postpartum will need to be removed. We support reality.

- Target has popcorn and Starbucks. It's a combo necessary for your job and sanity. Utilize it.

- Must be ok with the fact that it will be near impossible to get any work done due to the sweetness you live with...

- Must be open to taking leaps of faith, loving fearlessly, and learning to let go of control.

Even on the longest days, I still remind myself that I wasn't qualified for this job. It is all grace.

And it's by far the best job we'll ever pursue.

Hands down :).

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Love This

Tonight after baths I caught Ella reading a bedtime story to the younger girls while I was throwing clothes in the washer and feeding Lincoln...

Pretty sure that sight trumps the chaos and the day to day craziness that comes with motherhood :).

Love, love, love those kids.

Tired, but blessed.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Kids Take Time

We went van shopping today.

I know, you can't believe we've waited so long. I've had my reasons, alright :)?

But anyway, we drove an hour out of town with the kiddos to see a van we were sure we were going to buy, but it ended up not being what we thought. We were frustrated and annoyed so we made the best of the day and decided to surprise the babes by taking them to the infamous Build A Bear at a nearby mall.

And let me just say, what a racket. But a genius one.

On the way in Eric was walking ahead of me with two girls holding each hand, and my heart was full. I couldn't help but thank the Lord for our little detour in the day and for that vision in front of me that shows His love for us so clearly.

The girls picked out bears (within a set and strict budget) and we moved on to the other good stuff.

We stopped at the sound station because apparently a bear isn't a bear if it doesn't sing a Justin Bieber song when you squeeze his hand.

By this point we had had our normal questions, "Is this a birthday party? Are you a blended family? Are they all yours?". And we answered and laughed with other bear makers.

But there was this one guy.

He was just flat out put off by us. And worse, by my kids. He was taking deep sighs and rolling his eyes because we were clearly holding his little girl up at the sound station.

"Maybe we should move on, because clearly this is going to take awhile...geez."

And in the midst of our busyness and in the midst of a chaotic mothering season where I don't need reminders of how crazy life can be, I felt blessed by his comment.

He's right, this is going to take awhile.

Because this much grace and this many gifts takes time. Sweet, attentive, loving, and fleeting time.

So I will not rush, Sir.

We made our way through the store and headed outside and I couldn't help but feel proud of my group. We may take extra time, but that's ok because kids take time. God patiently spends time on my needy self, and through that He teaches us how to patiently spend time on those needy little Love's He entrusted to us. That's how it works.

We aren't perfect and we are making mistakes and we are learning as we go. But we are giving it our all, and we are making memories - both messy ones and time consuming ones. So I am going to quite apologizing and hurrying the kids along.

"Sorry, guy behind me. I've got kids that are excited and a growing girl that will probably soon think that this isn't cool anymore, and that makes my mommy heart ache a tad. So I'm going to take my time and add stuffing and give bear baths as long as I can. Ok? Ok!!??"

I didn't say that. Oh but I wanted to.

I pray that one day when our kids are grown and I pass the new age Build A Bear, that I will lean over and tell a young mom that I wish I could switch spots with her because these sweet, sweet memory making moments go so fast.

I pray that when I am old and gray I hug a mom in the freezer section at the grocery as she's apologizing to fellow shoppers for her kids.

Take your time, soak it up, and take in all that childlike faith and joy.

It's a gift, and it's the good stuff.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I should be catching up around the house after vacation...

but I have nails to paint...

I have laundry to do, windows to clean, carpets to sweep, and dishes to wash...

but a day at the pool with my crew sounds better...

There are clothes, shoes, and closets to organize, and a million ideas on (the anti reality site) Pinterest to teach me how...

but I think I'll let my kids be kids and my house prove that fun and love and chaos reside here...

I could change the sheets, mop the floors, prepare fancy meals, iron some clothes, and clean out the cabinets...

but making memories sounds SO much more fun...

I could do this, that, and the other thing...

but I think I'll be a mama first :).

Can't say it enough, love these Summer days!  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sweet Friends, Lot's Of Kids, And 1000 Memories

So we took a trip. And it was great.

We spent a handful of days swimming and boating and waiting. Waiting till the end of the week for the real party to start :).

Well over a year ago, I crossed paths with Jessica. Every time I would read her comments I thought, "seriously, this lady really gets me....not to mention the fact that she cracks me up!". I made my way to her corner of the blogesphere while my belly was still swollen with Lincoln and I was instantly hooked on their story. I found a friend...who was just like me in so many ways.

I saw a family that was on their own unique journey that led them to a busy season much like we were experiencing. I saw little kids as far as the eye could see, and a mom and dad trying to survive this sweet life full of kids whining, mountains of laundry, lost socks, and more snuggles than your heart can take. I saw that that she understood my madness, and I sensed that we shared a unique and necessary passion for laughter and sarcasm :).

And so a friendship was born.

Somewhere between then and now we decided to meet up and have a weekend together with all the kiddos. Yep, we decided to stay together for the weekend even though we had never met in real life before. We're risky like that.

And when they pulled up to the lake house and hopped out, it was like hugging an old friend from college.

For the following 2 days we took Tennessee by storm and made lot's of great memories. The kids immediately loved each other and Eric and I soaked up every minute of conversation we had with this sweet couple. And oh yea, Jess had me laughing so hard I was crying by Saturday night - that means she's a sister for life.

We talked about our days and our futures and things we love and fear. Eric and I went to bed both nights talking about how we were so encouraged and that this was clearly a meeting set up by the Lord.

The "big kids" had a sleepover one night and it was such a hit. They all lined up in sleeping bags, and we popped in a movie and then proceeded to listen to little giggles late into the night.

I can't tell you how blessed we were by the weekend and how thankful I am to have spent time with them. We were encouraged, challenged, and refreshed. Saying goodbye was rough, and knowing that they are leaving the country soon just made me want to hug them a little tighter. You see, Jessica and her crew are moving to Kenya soon to share Jesus with those who have never heard of Him - it's an amazing story.

I 'm thanking God for the gift that this friendship is, for the fact that He bridges relationships even across the miles, and for this big 'ol group...

I love how He uses this bloggy world to bring us mama's together :).

Hope you all are having a great week!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

We're Going To The Lake. With 13 Children.

Yes, it's going to be a tad crazy.

And maybe really loud.

And I'm thinking that sleep won't be in abundance.

But hey, whats a vacation without some adventure, right?

As you can see, Lincoln is down here sporting his new little life jacket. No, you can't have him. But yes, you may squeeze those chubby cheeks.

We are here to relax and meet up with a family tomorrow that I met in this big bloggy world - fun, huh?! Jessica from The Making Of A Mom has become a good friend of mine, and I can't tell you how excited I am to hug this woman in person. They have kids the same ages as ours plus one new babe - and they have a story and a future that is full of serving Him. I just love 'em.

You can pray for our sanity as we are about to find out how 4 adults control 13 kids under 8.

Whew, that kind of makes your stomach do a filp flop, doesn't it?

Send chocolate. And Caffeine. Lots of it.

So anyway, we are excited. I am just thankful to have had some time away with our little family, its a rare occurrence and it was much needed. I'll try to upload some pics of the biggest slumber party we've ever seen as soon as I can :).

Hope you all are having a great week!

Let Them Be Little

Only once, only for a short time, only now are they little.

Play in the pool, ignore the laundry, clean up later, laugh out loud, and snuggle longer.

Ignore the desire to be the perfect mom and remember that you already are a great mom. Silence the commitments and the to-do lists and the mommy guilt, and enjoy these gifts while they're little.

Let them run around the living room, let them ask a bajillion questions, let them test you, let them hang on to your leg, let them tell you about their day, let them tell silly stories, let them know you're listening, let them teach you how to color outside the lines, and let them woo you with their little eyelashes...

Let them be little.

Let them play with your hair, let them help with the dishes, let them be your stress reliever, let them sit on your lap while you work, let them giggle in their room at bedtime, let them sing in the car, let them crawl in your bed when they're afraid, let them be rocked to sleep, let them fill your space with their things, and let them fill your heart with a childish joy...

Let them be little.

Let them call your name 100 times in 60 seconds, let them stand at the bathroom door, let them follow you everywhere, let them tell the person behind you in line your business, let them pick out a treat, let them wear 2 different socks, let them change your life, and let them take chances...

Let them be little.

Let God use them in your life, let them help reveal your faults, let them help Him mold you, let them teach you patience, let them remind you about whats really important, let them come first, let them know how important they are, and let them soak up your energy...

Let them be little.

Let them run wild at the park, let them do things kids do without apologizing for them, let them act goofy, let them be carefree, and let them be themselves.

Let the calling of motherhood push you to your limit because that's where the growing happens - that's where you lean on Him more and see yourself clearer (something I'm learning lately).

Teach them, train them, and guide them. But most importantly, let them be little :).

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Victory Lap

That's what we call the round of kisses and "good nights" after the kids are finally in bed.

And just like runners high after a long run, I often feel that I could do a lap around the yard with "We Are The Champions" playing in the background after I've managed to get them all tucked in.

I don't though. Ok, once.

I wrestle them all (except Lincoln, the man needs some privacy) into the shower and move them through like an assembly line. Like I've mentioned before, there are times when I use that time to talk to them about life because I know I have them cornered and they are basically forced to listen to my teachings.

Not tonight though. Tonight one is whipping the other with a towel, one is using a whole roll of toilet paper, and one is crying cause she likes the taste of watermelon, but not the smell of it in her hair.

Those are all the little things that make you a tad looney at the time, but kind of crack you up later, am I right? At the time I'm all, "Stop whipping your sister!!". But after they are in bed I'm like, "Babe, did you see her wait till she least expected it?? Pure genius!".

 They are a giggly mess, and as funny as it is, I'm ready to blow through the baths and move right towards those sweet little loves getting some shut eye.

It's been a busy weekend, I am a tad worn out, and I've finally been reduced to only giving them instructions through my teeth...

"Just. Wash. Your. Hair."

"And. Then. Brush. Your. Teeth."

"Stop! Drinking! The! Water!"

 "No! I'm! Not! Mad!"

They stop pushing a tad because they know that when mom is pausing in between words that it usually means she's about to BLOW.

They're smart like that.

They all dry off and I'm now almost laughing at the madness as I collect the laundry and clean up the aftermath of bath time.

Oh, you don't laugh sometimes when you're at the edge of mommy sanity? Well, you should.

We've rounded the corner and the victory lap is almost ours for the taking. I pass the torch to Eric and he bathes Lincoln and we finish getting everyone in pj's.

They're all finally in bed. I kiss all those sweet smelling foreheads and pull the covers up - snug as a bug in a rug.

As I walk down the hall I hear talking, giggling, and anything else they can do to delay the inevitable - so I reach my last resort, I open the door and give them the stare.

You know the one.

The stare with the crazy eyes. Works like a charm.

They finally quiet down and I high five the husband on the way down the stairs. We've done it.

The race is completed for the day. So we rehydrate, kick our feet up, and prepare for tomorrow while our little bundles refuel for the next day.

The Victory Lap. It's a sweet, sweet gift :).

(Just wanted to document our routine so we can look back and laugh...someday.)