Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Pausing in the Rain

It's raining today- off & on -and it should be. Now I can sit wrapped up in my quilt & listen to the rain with some hot cocoa. (I have the a/c turned up so that it matches my memories of Oregon weather). The reason I want to sit like this is because my Grammie died after her body succumbed to liver cancer, so rain-like in Oregon, the quilt she made me for graduation, & hot cocoa like she would make me while camping as a kid are all part of my plan.

I knew it was coming. They sent me a text last week. When you live thousands of miles away from your relatives, Facebook is the greatest for communication but completely insufficient when it comes to saying goodbye to your grandmother. I don't know if it makes it easier to live far away or harder. I get to remember her as she was not as she was at the end, but I didn't get to hug her. I haven't hugged her in more than 3yrs.

How do you say goodbye to a woman that was so integral in your childhood that even though you only lived in the area as her for 10yrs, you still feel very close to her? Well, my way is to remember all that I can about her & share that with my children. I contacted all my cousins & collected some of their memories to put together & that was fun. I hope that when Aunt Marci read them to her, they brought a smile to her heart just like she brings a smile to my heart when I hear about her.

I have to go now. The rain started again. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Live In The Moment Occasionally

Have you ever just sat down & watched your kids? Noticed the little things that others might miss in the hurried pace of life? When I was a young mom I was so excited to get my babies to the next step in their development. (I may or may not have actually been checking it off of the list the pediatrician gave to me while simultaneously marveling at the sheer intelligence & physical prowess of my babies as they exceeded almost all of the important milestones. Now I've been told I'm an old mom-can you believe that! I guess with age comes a hope of maturity & I've noticed that I do some things a little differently than when I was a "young" mom. 

One of the major changes has been that I no longer jump to check things off that developmental list. I celebrate each milestone but I now enjoy each tiny little thing they learn. The utter joy in their face when they accomplish something new is something so easy to overlook. Here's a list of my "joys" I've been noticing lately:

 * the tiny slap of my 10mo old's palm on the floor as she crawls along with her cute little diaper bum & the wonderfully varied facial expressions she uses.
 * the way my 2yo cocks his head to the side when he's observing something he's never encountered before & the hilarious things he says. I love how he tries to join in our conversations by telling us important things about his day or just quotes a movie line that usually makes sense to the situation.
 * my 4yo wants so badly to be just like her big sisters & is trying to emulate their styles now instead of only wearing pants & any old shirt like last year & her tiny fingers as she grasps pencils & crayons to "do school" just like her older siblings.
 * my 6yo looks for the beauty in every situation, listens before she enters a conversation, & her eyes are gorgeous to watch. I love the way she moves her hair back behind her ear with her hand when she's telling me something she's excited about.
 * my 8yo is caught between wanting to be a big & the familiarity of being a little so he is feeling frustrated most days. He holds his bangs in his palm when he concentrates really hard.
 * my 11yo is so fast to learn things. She started playing the flute 3 months ago & amazes me that she can play so well already. Watching her fingers move & her mouth shape as she plays is so interesting.
 * my 13yo has made some big strides since joining the public school crowd. I've seen him start to figure out how to put himself in other people's shoes & his ears turn bright red when he's excited.
 * the biggest thing I know about my 14yo is that he's bigger than me. I have to be on my toes to rest my chin on his shoulder. He's just realizing his strength (which is now stronger than me! I know, it's hard to believe!) His heart & sensitivity to all parts of life around him is something I'd like to encourage & I hope he doesn't lose as he gets older.

Take the time to notice the little things about your family

Monday, February 15, 2016

Aspergers, Underpants, & Jesus

Alright, so some of you know that I have 2 kids with Aspergers. We don't walk around advertising it & you might never know by just observing our family. But I thought I'd give you an example how life can be. 

One particular child has outgrown or put holes in all but one pair of underpants (and failed to tell me until the last pair had been worn for AN ENTIRE WEEK!). I asked said child what style of underpants I should purchase to replace these with and headed out to get this accomplished so the stanky ones can be fumigated or whatever.

Sunday morning, Valentines Day, underpants given to child. Child puts them on. They are WRONG! Activate stress meter. Are you kidding me! I bought the correct style. I bought tagless ones to avoid that war. I tried to find soft ones. I tried to anticipate EVERY MAJOR DETERRENT to said underpants. 


By the end of the morning this child couldn't attend church. Life wasn't worth living-serious. And just so you know, by the end of the hour long melt down I was enlightened to the fact that I don't love Jesus & neither do ya'll. 

You didn't know purchasing underpants could be spiritually detrimental, did you?

I'm headed back to WalMart where spiritual decisions must be made AGAIN. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

A New Normal

Everyday I sit in my house & look out my windows at the current seasonal beauty and I can't imagine myself anywhere else. I am not the type of person that needs to get out of the house every day. In fact I don't really like to leave the house. I prefer to stay here & when I feel the need to get away, I head to the barn to work-which I can usually do alone because kids volunteer to watch babies in the house when work is suggested :)

BUT, we enrolled our oldest 3 children in the local middle school in Dec rather than educating them at home as we have been for their entire school career. So, now I have the privilege of leaving my home at least once a day to drive to school. (My fantastic neighbor takes 2 of them to school at 730 am & brings them home so I only have to take one to school mid-morning) You wouldn't think that's a big deal until you realize that I have to prepare to leave my house 30 minutes in advance! I have 5 kids ages 8 & under to prepare for venturing forth into below freezing temps. That's 10 gloves, 5 hats, 10 boots, 10 socks, 5 coats to find & put on them amidst all the other people's stuff in the closet. Not only that but you have to get them out the door & buckled in to their car seats before they start to take them off & you have to find them again. 

Anyway, I was talking about leaving the house. My sister told me a couple of years ago that she has to leave the house everyday. She is a great teacher so she gets out for that but during the summer she likes to be out doing things. I thought that was different but recently I was talking with some other women who feel the same way. Apparently I'm the different one :) It wears me out to go to the grocery store on Fridays & it's even worse if I have to do it on a Saturday when the store is packed. EVEN if I don't talk to anyone but the checker. And since we moved to the country & because I have boys that are sensitive to lights & sound I now notice how loud everything in town AND I HAVE 8 KIDS so you'd think I would be used to the noise!

Maybe I'm getting older & this is part of getting old. I don't remember being this way when I was younger. I remember being around people was so great & I couldn't wait to leave my house & the bigger the group the better. I know that I started to change my thinking around my junior year.

Maybe I just never knew how my body craves quiet & calm & now that I have it I understand. Don't get me wrong. I like people. I need friends just like everyone else but not on a daily basis. 

Do you prefer to stay home?