Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Can't Have Things

Jude laid out his Christmas outfit on top of Ralph the mouse's cage.
Needless to say, we had to make a quick outfit change early that morning.
Have you ever heard that phrase, "can't have nice things"?

Well we say that a lot around this house.

Except OUR version is simply, "can't have things".

We don't own nice anything.
Besides we can't even seem to be able to keep up with the simple, ordinary, USED things around here!

I mean, we literally break at least ONE thing almost EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.

From leather car seat punctures to cooking scissors snapped in half.
Sliced open tennis shoes to shattered storm windows.

And it's not just the kids.
It's the adults too!
But mostly the kids.
Three male ones in particular.

It has actually become quite comical...after the occasional bad word has been uttered in frustration of course.

Take Saturday the 11th, for example. The broken list consisted of the riding mower, a keyring and a camping chair.

Sunday: a wall hanging in the boys room, to which Cai said, "I don't want it to be broken today because it's Mother's Day!" A sweet heart this one has. He wanted to gift me with a day of no broken things. Wouldn't that have just been the best?!

One day we said goodbye to a ceramic bowl, a drinking glass and a cheese grater.

Wear and tear are responsible for some losses.
The boy's chore of unloading the dishwasher is the culprit for SO MANY others.
Oh the price we pay for trying to engrain hard work and responsibility into these kids*sigh*.

Last Saturday it was another camping chair and a fort roof.

Barbie wanted her hair straightened. Too bad it made her bald!
Lemon oil came to the rescue so my straightener was raised to life.
Barbie's hair wasn't so lucky.
A couple weeks ago someone "accidentally forgot" they shouldn't sit on the serving tray that resides on the coffee table in the living room.

Gorilla glue, crazy glue, duct tape and glue guns have been my saving grace over the years for all the things that get brought to me through tears and remorse.

But sadly most things just can't be fixed by hot-glueing them together, like the arm to one of Cai's Minecraft characters or the punctured hole in the recliner.  We're still working on why hot glue guns can't fix EVERYTHING, ha!

I just have to say, before you cast judgement on me for my kid's feelings of shame and remorse. These feelings are of their own making, I swear!

I have become quite good at controlling my feelings of all said broken things.  I put on my even-tempered I-don't-care-that-my-pearl-earing-just-fell-out-of-your-ear-somewhere-in-the-woods-NOR-that-my-favorite-basket-just-got-crushed-because-you-thought-it-would-be-fun-to-tie-a-string-to-it-and-ride-your-siblings-up-and-down-the-hallway face as I repeat my daily mantra, "it's ok, it's no big deal, I know you didn't mean to."

Just a normal day will be sprinkled with insignificant losses such as a spatula, a pair of socks and a flower vase.

A very sad day was when 2 holes were punctured through one of my favorite blankets (thanks a lot Jemma) and we lost our pizza cutter due to lack of emotional control, ahem...

We are currently lacking two light fixtures (one in the living room and the other in the boys room...because boys and balls don't remember they are supposed to play together OUTSIDE!)

Monday and Tuesday were good days for all things en la Colony casa this week. Miracles still do happen!

But today came in strong with a broken thermometer and then a snapped bean plant sitting on the windowsill waiting to be transplanted. But don't worry, the day is still young.  There are still plenty of opportunities to practice the habit of not caring too deeply about stuff.

We figure we are just working on holding things loosely, we say.
We are encouraging creativity and resourcefulness, we say.
Things come and things go, we say.
They are all God's things anyway, we say...
...as a tear quietly slips down my face as yet another object gets thrown into the trash can. (kidding...kind of)

I know you other moms (or teachers, or grandparents, or any other living human, being for the love!) out their can relate.
So don't worry and don't fret, more things are most definitely going to break in the very near future.
You can start reciting my mantra through clenched teeth and tears at first (because that is how it used to be for me) until it slides off the tongue a little easier with every broken thing that gets brought to you.

Put that smile back on your face, hug your kids (or husband, or cats, or neighbor, or self if you must), remind them that you still love them, and that THEY are  more important than any of that stuff anyway.

And then you can silently laugh and tell yourself, "can't have things".

***UP NEXT: what to do when you keep finding your missing kitchen utensils 
and dishes outside buried in the dirt***

Friday, May 10, 2019

Words Worth Remembering


Me:"Jude what are you doing?"
Jude:"I'm watering the Ant fort so they'll DIE!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jude:"I'll just play with Cai cuz I don't know how to get along with anybody."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cai:"Henry said he knows he's going to hell.  I told him that can change."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jude:"Dad, what am I supposed to say when someone says, 'What's up?'"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cai:"Dad, almost every day we have customers at our house."
(he meant VISITORS!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jude:"Look mom, they are selling Girl Scouts over there!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jude (while watching soccer on TV):"Dad, do they have rebacks on this game?"
Josh:"A what buddy?"
Jude:"Rebacks. You know, to go back and see it?"
Josh:"Oh yeah, a replay? Uh-huh, they do sometimes."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Josh:"Hey babe, are we all out of that, uh, um, Ebenezer juice?"
Me:...
Josh:"What's that stuff called?"
Me:"Elderberry Syrup?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jude:"Mom, will you come cuddle with me in my bed? I'll carry you to your bed if you fall asleep."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Me and Josh: "Oh man, Jude, that is a bad scratch!"
Jude:"Yeah, it's ok though. It will be better tomorrow or one day and I'll get that crispy skin on it."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Me (seeing Cai super sweaty): "Hey bud, do you want me to pull your hair back?"
Cai: "Nah, not yet.  I'm gonna wait until I grow a mustache so people don't think I'm a girl."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jude:"What is that thing mom?"
Me:"It's just something that goes to daddy's grill. His BROKEN grill. Maybe we should get daddy a new grill for Father's Day or something."
Jude:"OR a fish. He LOVES whales and fish are kind of like whales, so we should get him a fish. Or a basketball."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Josh playing basketball with Alethia and Jude.
Alethia and Jude are on a team together against Josh.
Alethia:"But he's (Josh) too tall."
Jude:"Yeah, but Alethia we have two! If we stick together we can make as tall as him!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jude:"How much longer until our soccer game?"
Josh:"About 5 hours"
Jude:"Ok, I'm gonna go set a timer for 5 hours then."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cai:"Oh yeah, and we can drink some of that egg juice."
AKA - eggnog

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jude:"Mom, what day was yesterday?"
Me: "Wednesday"
Jude:"Can you write 'Wednesday' on my hand?"
Me:"Sure, go get a pen."
***Writes "Wednesday" on Jude's hand***
Jude:"Thanks mom."
Josh: "Why? What was on Wednesday?"
Jude:"It helps me remember when we got the chickens."
Zeke:"But today is Thursday."
Jude:...
Me:"Yeah, we got the chickens TODAY."
Jude:...
***Jude goes and washes his hand***
Jude:"Hey mom, can you write Thursday on my hand?"

Daddy Daughter Dance

We weren't sure if our girls,
especially our 14-year-old,
were interested in the Daddy Darling Dance our church was hosting.

But when they were asked they BOTH immediately said "yes"!

They had a blast with their daddy.
In fact, Josh may have had more fun than they did, lol!
Throughout the evening I kept getting videos of him
and some other dads really showing off their moves, haha.

It was a special night for all three of them:)




Friday, May 3, 2019

MayVia Adventures To Forest Ridge Park


Next up on the MayVia tour of Wake County Parks and Rec was Forest Ridge Park.

This park was AMAZING!

It does have a playground, but this crew decided to hit the trails instead.  But first we went into the welcome center to get the complimentary backpacks stocked with binoculars, butterfly nets, maps, critter info cards, sketch pads and other gear to help us along the way.

Missy got to join in on this round so we had a little more backup!

We had a quick informational meeting before embarking on our journey, since we have a small village to keep in line, ha!


And then we took off to see what we could find.




Josh met up with us on his lunch break and snapped a cute pic of the kids altogether.


We found a few bugs along the way, and that was cool, but we loved just letting the kids run without a care in the world.

First we came up on this beautiful opening with a place to wade around in the water.




After we hung out a while we decided to keep following the trail...
and that is when the big open lake appeared!


The kids couldn't get there quick enough!

The sand was a favorite!  It was black and speckled with what looked like glitter.




It didn't take long for the kids to realize that they were at the water!

One by one they began to take their shoes and socks off and wade in the water.  But they kept getting deeper and deeper and caring less and less about their clothes getting wet...until Zeke decided he was just going to go for it and went all in.  The rest of the kids quickly followed suit.




We stayed as long as we possibly could before packing up to make the trek back to the car and head home.  The walk back was quite a bit slower, but full of stories from the day.



Someone (aka Josh) even left us clues so that we wouldn't get lost on the way back:)



We still want to keep making our rounds to new areas, but this park will definitely be revisited in the near future!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Sing Your Song

Thank you whoever first posted this photo last weekend:)

I have played music for as long as I can remember.  I began taking lessons as a four-year-old. I began as a solo instrumentalist but my favorite thing, by far is to play WITH other people.  I've played in ensembles, quartets, as a duet, in symphonies and orchestras, in worship bands, in instrumental bands...and NOTHING compares to that feeling of playing a note that fits so perfectly with another.

Classical music if fantastic and reaches a different part of my soul than other music. Fiddle music reminds me of my grandaddy.  Folk music brings me back to college coffee shops and gigs.  Hymns take me back to our small churches as a child, as I played side-by-side with my siblings and parents as we led the congregation together.  Songs played for funerals and weddings carry their own weight and music played to words that sing about our God and who He is...NOTHING compares.

But you know what?  I've always wanted to be able to sing.  Like REALLY sing.  

Now, I can carry a tune...and it'll for sure be IN tune, but it just doesn't come out like when my friend Patience Leino (or so many of the other vocalists I have had to privilege to play music with/for) who quite honestly sounds like I imagine an angel sounding.  I struggle to remember lyrics without a prompt and my voice gets shaky and unsteady, and I've heard those things are kind of important, ha!

Still, I can hardly contain myself.  I feel like it might explode through my chest at times as I get so caught up in the words of the song and try to wrap my mind around their reality and what they mean that I simply can't NOT sing.  I often have to remind myself that I need to "come back in in about three more beats" or that I am going to need to bring it back down in order to keep that consistent rhythm or steady bow hand.  

It's not that I'm not allowed to actually sing, but there is a reason I don't have a microphone.  Because that's not my thing.  It's not the song God gave me to sing.  My song is made on a violin.  I sing my notes through a melody of tones strung together.  My personal song complements the lyrical song and all the other pieces that fit together to make it complete. Individually we all sound just fine, but when you bring us all together there is no denying its purpose.

Nearly every time I am playing I am reminded of the gift that it really is.  To be able to have a way to express my heart to the Lord, even though I can't sing my worship the way I want to, is a true blessing which I am immensely grateful for.

Josh just reminded me of this breathtaking message that Louie Giglio has about the different parts of creation and how they all fit together to make a beautiful cacophony of sound in worship of our great God.  They aren't even trying for it, they are just doing what God created them to do!

If I sat on the sidelines simply because I can't sing the way I wish I could, not only would I be missing out on this avenue God has given me to jump on board with His mission, but my part, my notes, my song and my worship would be missing.  The body of musicians would be affected as a whole.

Maybe you are reading this and wondering what in the world I'm even talking about.  Your song has nothing to do with notes at all.  You are an engineer, a teacher, a smart computer person (there are so many of you out there, and THAT is for SURE not me!), doctor, builder, landscaper...you name it.  That is your song.

Or maybe you care deeply for children, or the marginalized, or the homeless, or strong families.  You pour into those things with all your heart.  
That is your song.

I have other avenues of singing as well.  Being an intentional mother and wife, teaching my kids, shaping hearts, encouraging friends, feeling deeply, listening without judgement, crying with those who cry, fighting for lots of white space in order to fill it with the multiple interruptions God brings my way...these are all some of the songs I feel like God has given me to sing.

What is YOUR song?  What notes do you bring to the cacophony of sound that reaches far above the heavens that shouts how great God is, even when our world is crumbling around us?

It doesn't have to be glamorous. 
Most of the time it's not. 
In fact, many times you'll get dirty as you sing it.  
But embrace it for what it is.

We've all got a song to sing for Him.
Just find your song and sing it!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Track Out Adventures ~ The NC Zoo

One of the first things we planned for track out was an outing to the NC Zoo.
And it did NOT disappoint!

It did begin pouring while we were in Africa, but isn't that just like Africa, lol.

Also, some of the animals weren't in their habitats which was a little disappointing,
but we have promised the kids to go back
(since a year family pass was cheaper than just one trip to the zoo with our family).

We saw cute little otters, one of which we think may have had some mental instability.
Bears and coyotes and PUFFINS!  Alligators and zebras and bison...

Alethia even got to see her beloved flamingos.

We had several favorite parts (another of mine being the adorable porcupine)
but one of them was the dome with all of the exotic birds.
It.Was.BEAUTIFUL!

And since we have the big party bus we were able to take my parents with us!

What a fun day we had!