There Is A Season Turn Turn Turn

That song came up on my Pandora and I thought it perfectly described my funky feelings this week. I am so glad I have friends who I can talk to about all this-friends who are going through the same feelings-hormonal angst, in addition to end of summer sentimental feelings, and back to school anticipation and college move-ins and goodbyes and just kids growing up in general-new grades, new ages, new beginnings.  It's not all smooth sailing, except when it is?

I feel like I could do a better job at all of this recording if I waited till my days aren't so full, but then with the memory I have, I know I will have nothing to write about-all of it will be evaporated from my head.  So I'll give it my best shot, wishing I could write the deeper thoughts that run through my head about it all.

This little girl.  
That's a baby in her stomach by the way.  She will try preschool again this year after her 5th birthday in the afternoons.  I think it will go wonderfully.  Waiting a year has made a big difference I think. I THINK, I don't know...we'll see in two weeks.  She has played so hard all summer long.  And she has shared a whole bunch of attention-a few times she said, "Mom can we just go 'talk quiet' in the other room?"  Craving that time with just me.  She'll have it soon and I know she needs it and I do too.

For Jeff's 51rst birthday we all went up to a climbing gym.  I took pics, didn't climb. Isaac had a friend visiting and another one who came later and they were the nicest kids (adults) ever. 

No one was born with a fear of heights apparently. 

Sisterly love.

Lots of racing went on.  
Matt won everything all the time. He just throws himself up there magically.
He's not in this video-that's Jeff that wins who is where these kids get their love of climbing from-certainly not me.

I thought this was funny.  Maybe I need a wall with that sign-once you put it like that problems don't feel like "real" problems right?

Pet turtles that are going to be reintroduced back into their environment this week.  Love the names-Patrick sure adores that Red Fern book.

Back to school donut tradition.

I wish I had more pics of Abbey's move-in day but we were hard at work.  I woke up at 5:30 am to go for a walk/run.  On the way back I spotted a lamp (not the one above) on the curb that someone was throwing away. I grabbed it and it worked great, and seemed brand new.  Earlier that week we had a big stupid argument that started out with an issue of a lamp.  We both said things we regretted. 

I was mad for a good long day. Sometimes I have to stew for awhile, because usually what seems like one little thing to the kids, as a parent feels like a whole bunch of worries.  Am I doing this right?  Am I raising grateful hard working kids?  Do they understand the differences between the generations-ie. what my husband and I had growing up vs what they have now?  Is there an appreciation for that difference? Do they get that I don't really care "what everyone else does or what everyone else has"?  (And then I stew even more about how the culture in general right now makes it harder for us that do care about these things raise good kids who appreciate the work money takes to earn and occasionally it does feel pretty lonely.)  Sometimes, I guess, I throw all that in there, and the argument was just about a STUPID LAMP between two tired, slightly stressed adults the day before a huge transition. I make it worse throwing WAY too much into that pot of stew.

Well, what do you know, that very next morning, on this early morning run an hour before we were to leave, here is this thrown away lamp sitting right in front of me.  I chose to see it as a message from God.  "Trust, and believe and keep chugging away and keep working things out and keep parenting and keep learning lessons and loving and working and trusting trusting trusting and I've got your back.  Oh, and here's your dumb lamp by the way, so there to both of you."

I was going to leave Janey at home with the boys, but that morning she woke up and begged to go and I said yes-I thought this really has become a yearly tradition with Janey-college move-in days. And if I had time I'd go back through my pics and post all the college move in days, including the one when she was hours away from being born, but that is not going to happen. 

The headboard was left in the room-we recovered it with a cheap gray linen tablecloth we found at Home Goods.  The mattress was coordinated to be delivered that day (I did NOT want to rent a Uhaul for anything-my goal is to never have to do that actually!) We looked for a desk and dresser on Craigslist and the ones we drove to see were not what we wanted, but when pulling out of the neighborhood I saw a few things at the curb (I know I'm getting really lucky with curb shopping!) and grabbed this table.  Abbey wasn't sure about it but when we discovered it was an old metal school desk and it worked and fit perfectly as a bedside table we were both thrilled.  I don't even think it needs to be painted.  Janey cleaned it up for us. She was honestly such a help.  She carried so much up a big flight of stairs for us.

I wish I had taken a pic of all of us in the room (I will next time we visit and when it is all complete-so cute!) but we were busy cleaning windows and tubs and floors (yuck!) and getting some last minutes items.

Oh, the worry of dropping kids off at a huge state university.  In a not-great area of the city in their first off-campus experience.  It goes against every parental instinct I've had. I've given all the talks over and over again and what is left is a ton of prayer.  And some texting that says, "Are you still alive?"  I've sent two of those already.

I came home to a late night pool party we had planned for Andrew.  I don't ever really do kid's parties (we just have family ones), but this one just happened to come together very simply and seemed like a perfect opportunity to get everyone together before school started.  It was late because that is when the city pool is open for parties.  Andrew was thrilled and so so happy.

It was a full day for me.

Because everything around here happens all at the same time.  Does every mother of many children feel like that?  I hope it's just not me.  I want to enjoy it but one thing finishes and then it's on to the next with hardly a moment to catch our breath.  And I love love love and plan for breath-catching moments, so I can really immerse myself in the special times, but even with the best plans, it just doesn't always happen with so many little lives going on here.

I love these two so much.  (That's Isaac and Matt in case you didn't recognize the MEN in my life.)

Most of Andrew's classmates who are the greatest kids ever. OH I LOVE the junior high at our school.  Kids this age just still want to be kids and have good innocent fun-if they are "allowed" to just be kids still, and I know all these parents of these kids are fighting for that. 

Up next week-Isaac moving to a new city after a nice year of living here and saving some hard-earned money, (two moving out in one week!), and Matt starting senior year (which is busy with all that college app and testing) and the three little ones starting school.  Right now I'm heading to the grocery store, because food and laundry-those are always where I must begin. :)


  1. I love your lamp story. If we take notice, we can see God's hand in our lives, and the more we try to notice it, the easier it is to see. There is a quote I love by Dieter F Uchtdorf who says: "We tread a path covered in diamonds, but we can scarcely distinguish them from ordinary pebbles." I love your posts. I've got 4 kids in 4 schools this year plus a toddler. My 15 yr old is starting a program half day at the college to graduate high school with an associates degree. I'm not ready for all this college stuff, even if it's just half a day. It's so comforting to know that another mother out there is having the same thoughts and feelings and I'm not alone.

    1. First, I LOVE that quote! And second, what a neat program!

  2. My goodness, what a lot going on! I know my emotions would be all over the place. My oldest just started his freshman year of high school and I'm still wondering how we got here already?!

  3. I always enjoy reading your blog post. My baby is heading for college on Tuesday. Ugh! How did this happen? Blessings to you and your sweet family!

  4. I love reading the life you share about. School starts next week and I'll be down to just one at home with me which is breaking my heart. And YES everything always seems to pile up, and happen on the same day (even w/out 6 kids). Also, hoping it makes you feel better to know your men still look like babies (as does everyone under 30 I guess). Good luck with all the school starts and move outs.

  5. I LOVE your blog Sarah, don't ever change it! I can't believe how grown up your kids are now - I've been reading about your family since before I had my son, and he turns 6 next month. I don't know where the days go and I only have 2 children so far :)
    I am sure Janey will love preschool - I remember emailing you about how you felt about preschool as I was so torn about sending my son. Here in England children start school the year they are 5 so last September my son started school - after having never been to preschool as he just didn't like it at all - at almost 5 years old and has loved every day since. He starts back next month and cannot wait :) Good luck with all your upcoming events !

  6. Yes, everything happens all at once. The more children, the more everything entails. I try to space it out when I can plan ahead. But I'm also finding (after many seasons of parenting) sometimes it's easier to get it all over with & then have a longer breather. But that also just might be my age talking.

    We have 6 kiddos between us. Last 3 summers have been a huge whirlwind right through the rest of the seasons. Started with helping my parents plan, pack & move downsizing (by half) to a retirement friendly condo. Then we moved, growing our home to almost double. Prepping & selling our old home. A HS graduation. Eldest DD moved back in & MIL recently added into our household with some now much needed remodeling on the looming horizon. My parents 50th anniversary celebration to plan & host. We have 3 more years in a row of graduations to look forward to, more new drivers & all that college prep. Youngest 2 are 7 & 3. Final year at primary school & final year home with mom full time respectively. Some days I'm in such disbelief that this is my life. When I have a moment of quiet & solitude to reflect, I'm in awe of how richly blessed we truly are. I'm ever grateful. My parents are only a little over 3 miles up the road from us & about 5 miles from my brothers which makes helping them out a little easier. Yes, everyday, laundry & food...It's my undercurrent mantra too.

  7. I love reading your "catch-ups". I feel like we are going through the very same phases of life :) 22, 19, 17, 15, and 12. This week we are sending off a college kid to start her 2nd year. My oldest was going to leave next week for journalism school at the University of Maryland (masters program), but suddenly got a real job ... stress!!!!!!! Anyway, there are always bumps in the road, but it seems it all works out. We are blessed ...

  8. The best thing is that through it all, you and your family know all of you love each other and consider one another very good friends. This will help when you find yourself having that argument with a teenager that seems to grow all by itself. Later you both come to your senses and get over it, because you both know you love one another. You are FAMILY.
    There's just no way to slow life down. I think it would be more difficult to live it slower because then we would feel more emotional and teary-eyed, and we already have enough of that!

  9. I started reading your posts when I had two babies, loved your homey recipes and thoughts on mothering. Now after a devastating personal loss I have found love again and I have a beautiful blended family of six children ranging from 5-14! I really enjoy reading about how you handle it all, plus your honesty about how tiring it can be sometimes.:)

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  11. I am enjoying catching up! When I was a substitute teacher at my kids' elementary I worked in the junior high. The world revolves around them at that point. It is amusing to watch them try to act cool and be interested in boys/girls and, yet, still want to be kids. I loved when we played games - even the parents thought the kids should just "hang." That's all they are interested in. But the joy when they were playing was evident. They still want to play like kids!