Before and After

I have been begging, bribing, cajoling Isaac to get his hair cut short for years....I am no fan of this new 70's "long hair" fad with boys.

Isaac is going to basketball camp with a friend on Sunday and they decided to get buzz cuts. I asked him if he was sure about 10 times and he kept saying yes, so I threw him in the car and zipped to the barber before he could chicken out. Thank God he has no regrets. I told him if he did, there ain't nothin' I could do about it.  I have a bunch of experience under my belt in the "hair regret" department.


Draw Two, Reverse, UNO!

Patrick learned to scoot this week...so close to crawling...he's saving that for next week. He made it across the room to join in the game.



Here's a picture of two loaves of frozen bread thawing.
Nothing special.
Except apparently, I'm making butt bread.
Andrew pointed it out, and all the boys agreed.
Giggle, giggle, giggle.


A Quick Note to Mr. Andrew

Dear Andrew-
I hope you always remember how much Abbey played with you when no one else would. An 11- year-old girl's favorite thing is NOT Thomas the Train, but you can always count on Abbey to let you boss her around.
Whenever she has a friend over, you are the biggest tag-a-long ever, and she hardly ever complains.
And also, if you can't fall asleep at night, she lets you sleep in her bed with her.
I hope that as you both get older, you take care of each other like you do now and remain best buddies.
Abbey will be starting college, Andrew, when you are her age. I have a feeling she will be missed. And hopefully not just because she will be driving you around to all your social activities by then.
You need to give your sister a big hug and kiss everyday. Some chocolate wouldn't hurt either. And maybe a pair of nice earrings.
Love, Mom


Patrick's Nick Names:
1. PJ
2. Fatty Patty
3. Squishy
4. Chunk of Burnin' Love
5. Babushka
6. Bubba
7. Bubba Gump
and last but certainly not least:
8. Poison Gas


Happy 7th Month Birthday, Patrick!


Uncle Joe



If Only He Really Would Fit In the Palm of our Hand!


A Whole Lot of (Seeing) Stars

Isaac played in the All-Star game tonight...last game of the season. (Baseball is my favorite sport to watch but I'm ready for the time commitment to be over.) Anyways, he was playing short stop and went to tag a guy at second and was PLOWED down by a huge kid who had about 150 pounds on him. (And that is no exaggeration...Isaac is 80 pounds and 5' ...this guy was at least 200-something pounds and 6 feet tall). I happened to see the whole thing from my van where I was nursing Patrick. Which happened to be a very good place for me to be at the time seeing that I screamed an obscenity and had to resist my urge to sprint onto the field. I saw Isaac fly up off his feet and land flat down on his back. And then lay there completely still. All his team came running and then the coaches and then Jeff...you know it's bad when a parent actually runs out. Finally, after minutes that seemed like hours, the coach helped pull Isaac up and asked him what hurt. He said "My butt!" and all his teammates laughed. I thought for sure we were in for another trip to our favorite place...the E.R.

When we got home I made him reenact it just for putting me through such a scare.
(And by the way he did successfully make the double play that led to his injuries...and went on to catch the final out in that very same inning. I'm sure he'd like me to mention that.)





You Caught Like 5 Feet Of Air On That One, Pedro


A New Swing...

The Fine Art of Delegation

In The Sink AGAIN!


Amish Conversion

Matt had a great time with Grammy and Grandpa in Russell. He was in his element as he is a great worker and loves nature. It was so nice for him to get some one-on-one attention too. He said he wasn't homesick at all and I believe him. He went to go see a movie with Grandpa...which makes me laugh thinking of my Dad sitting through a $10-a-ticket animated film about a robot...I guess things change once you have grand kids! Aunt Katie took him to the Science Museum and Uncle Mark took him to the Natural History Museum. He came back with little gifts for everyone and I know will remember his little trip forever.


Laundry for Seven

I have developed over the years a great laundry routine that saves me time.

I have a laundry chute...one of my favorite features of my "not new" house. The chute ends up in my basement smack dab next to the table I have which is right next to the washer and dryer. I have 3 big baskets for Colors, Whites and Do Not Dry-Wash Cold Clothes (usually always mine...I do not need shrinkage!).

I usually always do at least one load a day even if it is tiny. I try to never let my laundry get out of control because it is not my favorite thing to do and ends up being an overwhelming job. So straight out of the dryer, I fold and put the clothes in smaller laundry baskets, each labeled with a every family member's name. (I found the smaller baskets at Dollar General.)

When these get full, usually by Saturday, each child has the weekly chore to bring up their basket and put away their clothes in their closet.

I have them hang everything but socks, underwear, jeans and shorts. I have learned this helps prevents stuffing folded clothes into drawers.  I have to teach the younger ones how to put everything away...but it's worth the time savings in the long run.

When they are done hanging and putting away their clothes, they throw (and I mean throw) their little basket back down the basement stairs, so I can begin the process over again.



About four inches of water in some lightning bug containers left out overnight:

We haven't had much rain here so the ground is not absorbing like it should be... that's an understatement! Our backyard: Andrew had to take it too far of course, and insists I get out "his" boat.
(By the way, he's feeling much better...after the last post, a sick kid out in the rain doesn't make me look like the most responsible mother.)


Listen to Your Elders

Things I miss from when my first 3 were little:
1. Giving them all a bath at the same time, and putting them to bed early to enjoy time to myself or with Jeff.
2. Wondering how to fill the day, instead of wondering how to accomplish everything I need to do in one day.
3. Long walks and stroller rides to the park.
4. Never really HAVING to be someplace at a certain time...I was in complete control of my schedule.
5. Choosing their cute clothes with absolutely no input from them.
6. Knowing I'd have time to myself each day when Jeff got home...no baseball games, track practice etc. Time to recharge.
7. When I said no, they almost always listened and almost never argued.

Of course, back then I thought it was so hard. Mothers with teenagers told me it would change and that I was in the easy years.

I feel like it is wrong to say that I'd love to wave a wand and have them shrink back down, but I do feel like that. Not that I don't love them the way they are now, changing and growing and learning, and not that there aren't so many great things about these "middle" ages, but I am, at heart, a control freak, and with each step upward, I lose a tiny bit of control. It makes me nervous and doubtful and plain scared.

Isaac is 14 now, and more than ever, watching and learning from every decision we make with him. He is a really, really good, nice, happy kid and I know he will remain so forever. Will he always use his head and do what's right, even if that means giving up some friends and fun?

Abbey is growing up so fast and I am not ready for that at all. I always thought we would never go through a phase were she didn't think I was right about everything. Well, I see some signs that it won't happen that way. Will I know when to guide her and what to say about the hard stuff? Will she still like me enough to listen to me?

Matthew is so quiet and keeps things inside...just like I do. I hope he opens up to me about things that happen in school and doubts and insecurities he has. I hope I stop and listen.

And of course, Andrew and Patrick are still in that "little ones" category....and I'm appreciating every moment of this "easy" age, although it's not as slow and dependable as it was with the first three. I may not be able to still do everything on that list now (quiet time in the evenings...can't make a 14 year-old go to bed at 8), but I still want to remember to fit into my busy days the things I can.

Chunk of Burnin' Love