Monday, July 23, 2012

5 Minutes

We went to the Homeschool Store this morning and purchased some books for our school. I survived the store with all 4 kids and price checked the books and only bought the ones that were priced competitively, because "every dollar counts, Kristy!"

Got home and realized that the makings of lunch were limited. So, I didn't eat a sandwich but did eat yogurt, Natural Cheetos and a Dr. Pepper. I sacrificed for my kids.

Then, I ordered the rest of the books on the internet.

And you know what I decided? It's hard work spending all that money.

I invited some neighbor kids over to swim. Their mom had to go appraise a house, so she dropped them off and they had a friend. We swam for about 5 minutes and then it thundered so we all came in for the mandatory 30 minute wait period. I had an 11, 10, 9, 8, 6, 3, and 1 year old in my house. It was only for about an hour and a half. And you know what, the 11, 10, and 9 year old entertained every one else. For an hour and a half, no one fought.



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

10 Minutes... GO!

I'm giving myself 10 minutes.

I miss this little space.

I'm losing myself. Actually, I think I've already lost myself. I can barely talk about anything other than my kids or what I should do around the house or should do with my kids.

I haven't been making them read or go over math facts like I thought I would. I mean, we do some, but not everyday. Maybe 1 or 2 times a week.

See, look, I get on my blog and all I can think to write about is my kids!

The big ultrasound was today.

Sorry, no gender announcement this time! We're waiting like old school.

But the baby looks great, healthy with straight feet. She did a great job making sure she got good looks at both feet.

It's amazing all that we can see in there.

I was relieved when it was over, just knowing we passed a big test. I was more anxious about this ultrasound than I realized. A worry for me was clubfeet. I knew there could be anything, but I've experienced that and I was really concerned with how we would juggle all the doctor appointments with school and where. Now, I get to let that go for real.

We're trying to cut out preservatives and dyes in our foods in our house. We've noticed a behavior change in some of the children when we stay on top of it.  There is a lot more emotional control.  And our grocery bill has increased.

It is hardest when not at home. Or when I just don't think ahead.

I don't want to think about how much of summer is already over and how I should be getting us ready for the next school year. I haven't even unpacked backpacks.

There is a lot to do.

But, that's a post for another day, my timer is up!

This is so pathetic but I'm going to post it, 10 minutes a day. That's my goal.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Five Dollar Foot Long

I sat outside yesterday in our blue camping chair next to the kids writing sidewalk chalk. I looked at catalogues. I realized I was looking at clothing catalogues for me and I wouldn't be buying any of those clothes. And then, I opened a kids catalogue and found some cute, neutral baby rompers.

And yes, those I can buy.

Which explains my 8'oclock bedtimes and nightly Tums taking.

Now let me explain my weird pregnancy.

I gag or throw up when I brush my teeth. I think it's common.

So, I always have a gross taste in my mouth.

But, I gag a few minutes after chewing a piece of gum.

So, LifeSavers, winter mint have become my taste saver.

I gag just thinking about something gross or relaying a gross story.

I feel generally yucky and look like death warmed over.

I get so tired after taking a shower, I decide that wet hair and minimal make-up is the best that I can do.

I cooked two meals this week for my family and feel like mother of the year for it.

I can. not. walk through the meat/fish department at the grocery store. I walk as far away and still barely make it through.

Strangers look at me funny as I gag and hurry through.

Frozen chicken breasts? Those, I can handle.

I want protein a lot. This morning, I ate a hard boiled egg at 7 and drove through McDonalds for a sausage egg biscuit at 10:30 and a mocha frappe. Those two things picked my mood right up.

I rarely eat Arby's roast beef but have had it 3 times since I found out I was pregnant.

So, there you have it. I'm due at the end of October, beginning of November, right when our nice Houston summer will be wrapping up. Perfect.

When I told my brother, he kept singing "Five, five dollar foot long."

Friday, March 02, 2012

Winter Park

Some friends invited us along to Winter Park, Colorado where their family has a rental house. Normally, upon invitations like this, I will politely say no, we have school, I still feel new to this classical university model system we're doing, I'd prefer to keep us home, in our routine, thank you very much.

Drew must have worn me down asking me to go other places and my excuses weren't working.

Or maybe he said Colorado and I just couldn't think through the logistics of what he was saying.

So, we booked our flights and said yes.

We purposely booked our flight later on Tuesday evening so the kids and I could do as much school as possible before we left. Monday, they got home from school and we started doing school for Tuesday. We finished all of Tuesdays work easily before our 6 o'clock flight.

I also got our house picked up and everything set out for community group that was going to be at our house while we were gone.

We're kind of a circus when we travel. 4 kids, 4 car seats, 1 stroller, 5 bags to check, and 7 carry on bags. If we didn't pay a porter to help us, we wouldn't be able to move through the airport.

A highlight of the trip is that they no longer see kids under 12 as a threat to our national security and they don't have to take their shoes off through security! Yay! I had already pulled Annika's shoes off before they told me. And! The kids didn't have to walk through the weird x-ray machine!

I lucked out on the way there and Annika was a total daddy's girl. Meaning, Drew sat next to Kolby and Levi and held Annika. Sage and I were across the aisle.

Our first day there, we sent the boys outside to play in the deep snow and rented our skis.

Annika did not get ski's but wanted in on the picture. And yes, her coat is a hand me down from her brothers. Also, Kolby's shirt is on backwards. (I love little details)

The second day, we had all the boys enrolled in ski school. So, we got up bright and early to get there and drop everyone off by 8:30. 
After we dropped the boys off, we went to our own ski lessons. And learned a lot! Like, only 6 out of 100 take ski lessons. Good to know.

I got really anxious after dropping the boys off. I'm going to be tremendously honest here and admit that I have a large, healthy (maybe over the top) fear of anyone "helping" my boys in the bathroom. Get my drift? I hadn't thought through the layers of clothes and the time away from me. And it hit me as I stood at the bottom of this beautiful mountain, answering questions about how many times I had skied in my life. 4 or 5. 15-20 years ago. Want to learn more than the snowplow. I might have just dropped them off and something terrible could happen to them. I was fighting tears. And it wasn't just the bathroom issue, it was everything. What if they hated skiing? Would the instructors be nice? Would they be able to understand Kolby? Would he cry? Would he cry when he fell?

We had been chanting with the boys. "We're going skiing, we're going to fall down, it might hurt, we're going to get back up! It's going to be fun!" We tried to prepare them but all of the sudden, at that moment, I wanted to just be with them. Or at least be able to spy on them!

Drew and I prayed out loud, multiple times for our boys. I relaxed.

And then, we skied. And I had a blast! I thought that I would probably not really like it. I would be too cold and not very good. I wasn't awesome by any means, but I had a blast! We took it pretty slow and did the same run all day. It was so beautiful. It was actually one of the coldest, windiest days to be skiing, but it didn't matter. It was just so fun. Our lesson was from 9 - 3 with a lunch break.

At one point, we were getting on the ski lift and got to see Levi practicing on the kid hill. He made a triangle with his skis (okay, he had a thing that held the tips of his skis in a triangle) and then he rode the conveyor belt back to the top. Cutest little movie in my head ever. I wanted to shout and wave but held back. Our instructor had already informed us that was the worst thing a parent could do.

We picked the boys up and determined that everyone was tired and had a lot of fun.
The wagons saved us at the end of a long day. It was a long walk back to the parking lot. 

If you ever go skiing, a helmet and goggles are key. I wore them too and was so thankful for them.  Mostly for warmth. I promise Levi had fun, it just doesn't look like it! 
The third day, we had a decision to make. Put all 3 boys back in ski school and enjoy a day of skiing by ourselves? Take Sage with us? We asked the boys what they wanted to do. Sage wanted to ski, definitely. Kolby wanted to go to childcare or stay home. Levi wanted to stay home. We decided to have Drew and Sage go skiing and I would stay at the house with Kolby, Levi, and Annika. Well. Levi woke up and told us he wanted to go to ski school. But, it was already too late, we couldn't get him to ski school in time. It was pretty easy to convince him to stay home!

Drew and I switched halfway through the day, so we both got to ski with Sage. I only got to do 3 runs with him and it was the last run that I realized he did way better if I was in front of him. I was so impressed with how well he did skiing! He had a blast!

The fourth day, we had an agenda. Play outside, go to Winter Park Village and play in the ice castle, and go tubing.


Good thing I bought Annika those mittens and brought all that gear for her to walk outside for 3 minutes.
She wanted in this stroller so badly. It was a perfect nap.

The ice castle at Winter Park Village.
Annika on the slide!
Strawberry shortcake crepe.
Sage chose a birthday cake shake.
Seemed like the thing to do. Our 4 kids with the giant polar Coke bear.
No pictures of the tubing. I stayed at the house with Annika, it was incredibly windy. Drew said the boys loved it. Levi especially was reported to having a grin plastered on his face the whole time.

I'll have to do a separate post on the people we stayed with. That's what made it the most fun.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

February 4

I know I'm 4 days late with this but I did take them on the 4th, that counts for something, right?

 Sage and Kolby are dressed for their basketball games. Since we've been going to two basketball games every Saturday, it seemed appropriate. Let's just say, Annika is not appreciating the gym rat status. Those games are exhausting for me!
 Annika loves shoes. She usually brings one or two for us to put on her. I haven't gone through them and gotten rid of the ones that are too small, so she spent a good portion of her day upset that she couldn't get her jelly sandal on from last summer.
We were having a really hard time keeping Ani in the picture, so Drew resorted to joining them. It ended up with a squished Kolby in the corner and an upset Annika.

I'm going to cherish these pictures and the amount of work they take to get them, right? (grin)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Whipped Cream Par-tay

You count this as dessert too, right?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pink and Blue

These two. The youngest two. 20 months apart.

I didn't know or think that the bond between them would be so strong. I think because I'd only had boys, I thought the boys would stick together.

These two love each other fiercely.

Sunday morning, I carried Annika downstairs where Levi was sitting at the breakfast table. She "uh-uhed" to be let down.

Levi said "Annika! Give me a hug!"

She toddle waddled over and hugged him.

Melt me.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Favorite Things 2

Another one of my favorite parts of Bayou City Fellowship, is that I get to serve.


I serve in the Littles.

I serve in the Kids.

Mostly, I serve as a door greeter and an usher.

The two places I was most reluctant to serve, passing out communion and praying  up front with people are the two that I most enjoy.

The way we pass out communion is we have five couples stand up front and then everyone files up and takes the bread, which I hold and say "The body of Jesus, broken for you."

Then they dip the bread in the juice and Drew says "The blood of Jesus shed for you."

The first time I did it, I was nervous. I thought I might forget what to say.

I thought I might stumble through the words.

But then, the words came out my mouth and I thought about them.

And I thought about each person as I said this to them.

It's deep. It's raw. It's truth.

Without it, my life would be in shambles.

As I said "(Friends name), the body of Jesus broken for you."

I got a lump in my throat.

My voice got shaky.

And then, I would say the same thing to the next person in line.

I might know them, I might not.

But, it never fails, the lump comes in my throat, my voice gets shaky, I sometimes squeak it out.

One of my friends said, "Can I give you a hug?"

A precious senior man came through my line. After I shakily said "The body of Jesus, broken for you.", he looked me in the eye and said "And for you!"

I almost lost it, I almost did the full on ugly cry.

The next person, who was this man's son, I could only look at and get out "For you."

Another lady said "I receive it. I receive it."

I could hardly handle it.

If you are ever at my church and we serve communion, maybe you'll choose a different line!

Favorite Things

One of my favorite parts of Bayou City Fellowship, our 16ish week old church plant is prayer.

I know every church prays. I hear them pray. I see them pray.

But, our Pastor has set an example of prayer.

"We will be a praying church." He's said that too many times to count.

When we were an itty, bitty baby church and not open to the public, we practiced praying.

That sounds weird, to practice praying, right?

But we did.

Pastor Curtis told us, we're not here to pray just to hear ourselves speak. We're going to pray powerful prayers. Sometimes, the word "short" was before the word powerful.

And then, he modeled it for us.

And we joined.

We would all pray out loud together.

Pastor would be walking around with his arms open or lifted, in prayer.

And all our voices join together and lift up to our Lord.

Before the service begins, after every baby item, and kids table, and sign pointing a way to go, you will find us in the chapel, heads bowed or lifted up, praying.

Sometimes, we pray in a big group, sometimes, we pray individually or in two's.

We pray for the Holy Spirit to fill the chapel.

We pray for the lost to be saved.

We pray for each chair and each person sitting in those chairs, for their life to be changed.

We pray that our lives will be changed.

At the end of service, it's not uncommon for us to stand and join hands and pray together.

After church, it's not uncommon to see groups of people standing around, heads bent, sometimes a hand raised, in prayer.

Jesus loves it.

Is there anything that I can be in prayer for you about?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's Not My Season

I want to do it all.

I want to be everywhere.

I don't want to miss a tweet.

A party or a girls night out.

A blog post.

Or an opportunity to serve someone.

I want to be the best wife and mom.

For the last thing to happen, the others, can't, not all the time.

And which of those things are the most important to me?

The last.

Hands down.

God has put a calling on my life. To be a wife and a mother. I know that is what I'm supposed to do, it's what I've always wanted.

And He gave me the desire of my heart.

I don't want to squander it.

So, for now, my mantra is "It's not my season."

I'm quitting my bunco group.

I'm saying no to training and running a half marathon.

I'm saying no to mentoring a girl in the public school down my street.

Because I have a super, duper, most important job.

I have 4 souls to raise, 4 people to pour Jesus' love into, 4 kids to read to, do homework with, answer questions, and a million other things.

And I don't want to miss a second.

I get each of them until they are 18 years old. Sage is already 7. I only have 11 years left with him.

I used to think (still kind of do) that this is a cop out. I should be able to do the things listed above and pour into my family.

I can't. Maybe you can.

I'm calling my bluff.

I'm giving myself an out.

I'm shaking off the guilt.

And it feels freeing.

This season won't last the rest of my life. Maybe it will be shorter than I think. However long it lasts, I'm going to enjoy it.

I choose to enjoy it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Boy and His Bike

Sage and I went to Goodwill after basketball practice and we walked out with a bike for him.

He started practicing right away.

And with no help from me or Drew, taught himself how to ride.

With only a few falls. 

Kolby and Levi riding their bikes for one of the first times since we moved into our house.

They continue to love riding on the driveway.
Pictures of Kolby and Levi were taken in November.

Monday, January 09, 2012

A Boy and His Dog

 Coco was the first present the kids opened on Christmas Day.
 Annika likes the kennel.
I've already threatened to give her away. Puppies are a lot of work! Who knew?! But, then I look at her cute face and change my mind. At least I don't have to wipe her bottom. 

Friday, January 06, 2012

January 4

I want to try to take the kids' picture every month on the fourth. I really did take these on the fourth!
 The best one of the four of them and Kolby is out of focus. Kolby is still in his school uniform and yes, I did grab that bow right before I took the picture. And yes, it was off right after we were done.
 Annika decided she didn't want to be touched, which is pretty normal. 

I said pose funny.

Two seconds after these pictures were taken, they started running around the backyard having a grand time. Two seconds after that, Kolby tripped and landed in a pile of dog poop.