Thursday, May 29, 2014

Another Transformation ~ of the lazy space variety

i was looking around in my favorite place to shop
(my parent's barn)

and came across this old pallet
and I thought to myself, "self, this would fit perfectly on my front porch as a porch swing".

my brother-in-law did the "butt math" and was quick to point out that there was absolutely NO WAY our whole family would fit on this swing at one time, but then I realized that this would be perfect, because my scheming plan of a place to find solitude all by myself could, in fact, become a reality!

so we brought the pallet of wood home
and it sat on the side of the house for several weeks, untouched
and then it became part of the Christmas backdrop for our manger scene in the front yard
and then a nice country touch to our front porch as a decoration

and then FINALLY, on Mother's Day, the swing I had been longing for, was hung by my sweet husband.

A cushion was going to be a problem though.
The size we needed was too small or too large for the standard cushions that are sold in stores.
But I've got people, ya'll, and they like to see my dreams come true.

My friend Heidi had some extra patio chair cushions that were given to her that she couldn't use.
I spent 2 episodes of Friday Night Lights dismantling them in order to "rebuild" them.

The next morning I pulled out my trusty sewing machine that's been sitting in my attic since we moved here and went to work, piecing together the different pieces of fabric and stuffing to make it the appropriate dimensions.

The only thing we had to pay for were the chains to hang the swing
and the sweat my sweet baby spent finding the studs to hang it in, ha!

The whole family loves our new lazy space, even though my BIL was accurate in his butt math estimate, ha!  Just another way to teach taking turns...and teaching the Colony kids that sometimes mommy gets first dibs;)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


he woke up charging the day (as he typically does)

then he rushed through his breakfast  (as he typically does)

to play another day of Tasmanian devil (as he was born to do)

after being "confronted" about sneaking food into his favorite hiding places, ie. Rainy's closet and his reading nook (as he typically does)

he finds something else to occupy his time (as he typically does)

but after too much time going by without seeing him
and too much time going by without hearing a peep from him (which is typically NOT a good thing)

I found him getting into yet another thing that is off-limits for his sticky little fingers (as he typically finds)

this time it was a bottle of blue, sparkly fingernail polish (this is a first, but not a surprise)

after deciding that he is just fine to walk around with blue sparkly cheeks and arms, I let it go (as I have learned to do)

only to find him with another mouth full of forbidden food (as he typically does)

he added another misdemeanor to his repertoire today, though

by somehow climbing up to the top shelf in the refrigerator, retrieving my smoothie, and successfully dumping it out onto the carpet to play in (have I mentioned how ridiculously hard it is to get berry, kale and ground flax seed out of carpet?!)

all this is typical...unfortunately...or is it?

I've been told to cherish these little years

I don't know if I am exactly "cherishing" all the havoc he has caused on our lives over these long short two years of life, but he certainly is giving us lots of opportunity to practice grace, patience, and how to laugh at the way he constantly keeps us humble with the imperfections to everything we own:)  Not to mention the added benefit of how quickly my fingers can google, "how to get ___________ stains out of __________", and "what to do if your toddler consumes ____________"  at the drop of the hat.

Cherish the mess? I transparently say, nope.
Cherish the kid? absolutely

and all the mess that comes with him, because from what I've heard, the mess doesn't go away, it just gets different.

as goes parenting

the messiest, bestest job in the whole wide world

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"The End"

When I was in college I majored in music.  Our final project was to compose a symphony.  I appropriately called it "The End", and I think it turned out to be a rather beautiful piece of art (as beautiful as those midi files from computer programs can make a symphony be anyway).  My professors, on the other hand, were coming to me asking if I needed some intervention on a major life problem, ha!  All I REALLY needed, though, was to be DONE with school!

That really has nothing to do with what is on my mind today, except that we are coming near the end.

But today begins the last week of school for the kids, and the end of year programs for all activities.

Today is getting busier and busier by the minute and my calendar is jam packed with rehearsals, games, project presentations, practices and end-of-year parties, but this time it's for my kids.

While I am so excited to be a part of each and every one of these activities I am finding that with every addition to my schedule my heart begins to race just a little bit faster and my breathing become just a little bit more shallow.

So I try to take at least one deep breathe, grab a shower and put on something cute...because even if you are stressed, anxious or tired, a shower and "real" clothes tends to help the outlook and day's perspective a little bit brighter.

It's almost 8am, time for my first "appointment" for the week.  I've had my shower and I'm all dressed up (ok, ok, so maybe jeans and a nice(er) tank top is my kind of "cute", but at least it's not the yoga pants and layered tanks I tend to gravitate toward on a daily basis), and I'm walking out the door with confidence.

The week is going to happen no matter what, so I might as well do it with grace and confidence, trusting that the Lord will see me through to the end.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Words Worth Remembering

Zeke:"Dad, YOU used to watch this Xmen? really IS old!"


Cai:"Who is Shabila? Is Alethia, Shabila?"
(the things they have already forgotten...)


Me:"Ju-ju, you wanna go rock with mommy on the front porch?"
Me:"No? Well, what do you want to do?"
Jude:"uh, mommy, uh, car-car, uh, go, um, eidi."
Me:"You want to go see Ms. Heidi? Maybe later:)"


Cai:"Mom, did you know that I'm allergic to something and you and daddy don't even know?"
Me:"Really? What are you allergic to?"
Cai:"I don't know."
Me:"Well how do you know that you are allergic to something?"
Cai:"Cuz Zeke told me so."


Cai: grabeenolee=ravioli


Cai:"Everybody said I'm so handsome with my new haircut?  Did Aunt Velma say that too?  I want to go to her house and show her."


Zeke's neighborhood friend, Morgan:"man, you guys eat dinner so early.  We don't eat until like 8 or 6."
Me:"8?  Wow, that's pretty late."
Morgan:"Well, she pretty much makes it at like 6:51 or something and then we eat it."


Cai:"Zeke, daddy said you HAVE to eat ALL your graham cracker right now because it's almost dinner time.  And I'm gonna told him so that you won't eat your snack."
Zeke:"I already ate it Cai."
Cai:"You're just trying to kidding me! I'm tewing daddy."


someone gifted us tickets to the Mudcats game:

Rainy:"When is the game gonna start?"
Me:"Rainy, it already started...we're in the second inning."


Rainy:"So how do we get points anyway?"


Jude:"Ah mo a boom!"
(translation - I wanna see more fireworks! You need to make that happen daddy.)


Cai:"Why isn't it Zeke's turn yet?"
(because if you play baseball you MUST play at every game that we see;)


Cai:"I think Muddy is so sad that he lost the race with that kid.  I need to give him a hug...tears...can I PLEASE go give him a hug?"
(he cried for AT LEAST 15 minutes on the way home, ya'll, because he felt so bad for Muddy and wasn't able to find him to give him a hug:(

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Something About The Way

something about the way...

he sits on his bootie and scoots backwards by pushing his heel against the floor

he carefully lines up his cars along any long surface, just like his older brothers did

he runs and then upon reaching his destination he double-foot jumps to a stop

he screams "DADDY!!!!!" as soon as the kitchen door opens, even when the separation was only long enough for Josh to take the trash out

he makes the smooching sound at night in his crib begging for just one.more.kiss goodnight

he talks

he copies everything, EVERYthing they say

he beckons us to come and play with him..."uh-mon. uh-mon.", while tugging our hand in the direction he wants us to go

he runs

he sneaks the potatoes out of the basket under the kitchen island and then I find them in the most precarious places, like the little basket behind the tricycle

he calls for me when it's family devotion time to "uh-mon mommy. boot. boot." to go in the reading nook in his room (to keep him occupied so daddy can actually communicate to the olders) to read books. Every night he pulls out the same handful of books and on every page points out the same things. Every night.

he persuades me to stop everything because he pats the couch cushion beside where he is sitting

the whole family rejoices over every new milestone, large or small

he dances around to his own songs

his siblings care for him like he is their little baby

he makes up his own little games and insists on everyone else joining in on the fun

he makes a drum out of any object

he gives comfort to his siblings when they "cie".  He doesn't like to see them cry but he knows that a gentle rub on the back and a cheek kiss can go a long way

he snuggles
knowing he is my last

I can't help but soak him in
every, cute, rotten bit of him

Monday, May 19, 2014

To Be Brave Like A Child

Sometimes I wrestle with the things to write on the blog vs. the things to simply treasure in my heart.

Today's post is one of those posts.

This is certainly NOT for bragging rights, mind you, as we all know that we have our fair share of un-bragging-rightable things:)

I have been treasuring these sweet things in my heart for the past couple of weeks, but I don't want to ever forget them.  I don't ever want to forget this season in two of my kids lives.

Because let's face it, kids grow up
and then we have to think harder about what it means to have a child-like faith
it doesn't come quite as naturally as it does when you really ARE a child

we get more concerned with how we appear
we are more worried about what people will say
we try to over-analize a supernatural God who was never meant to fit into a box that is understandable

This post will be a reminder to them and a challenge for me.

I always want to remember...

that more often than not, Zeke's "low" from his days are because of something bad that happened to someone else.  Zeke's heart is so big and it is effected by other people's hurt who are around him.
(I want to be more in tune with other people's hurt and figure out ways to encourage others and help them carry their pain)

the conversations I hear with the neighborhood kid as the boys jump on the trampoline about the words he chooses to say that might not be so nice
(if something offends me I want to confront it in love, not fear)

the fact that Zeke is so burdened for 1 particular little boy in his class.  He prays for him almost every night and speaks of him almost daily about how he tries to talk to him about Jesus
(who am I burdened for so heavily that I can hardly sleep some nights and continuously try to find ways to reach out to them)

how Rainy brings her Bible to school to read during free time
(she's not even thinking about other people and how she might look.  It's about her and how she wants to read the Living Word.  Nothing else matters to her!  I want to be that unaware of others in that aspect)

Rainy's to-do list this morning.  Boldness to confront an adult as she sticks up for her brother and to remember to pray with a friend.
(my to-do list for today doesn't EVEN compare!)

Jesus Christ is real to my kids.  He is such a huge part of their lives right now.  Their is no faking it at church and acting differently at school during this season it their lives.  It is who they are.  HE is who they belong to.  It is their entire life.

My kids have been challenging me to be a solutionary.  To be bold.  To be brave.  To come like a child.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Take Five

Band: Jonsi and Alex

Song Title: Happiness

Robbie Robot set for 5 min.


What a beautiful day.  Not a sunny, birds chirping kind of day, but a dark, heavy rain, relaxing kind of day.  Sometimes a nice heavy rain and distant thunder are just what my soul needs.

Alethia and Cai just finished preschool.  I won't be doing school with Jude for at least a year so I get to hang up my homeschool hat for a short season.  It's kind of nice not to have school hanging over my head every day.

We have added some nice touches around the house.  I found an old crate in my parents barn and Josh hung it on the front porch for me as a swing for Mother's day.  I LOVE it!  Now I just need to figure out how to make a cushion for it...that's going to be my weekend project I think.

Rainy and Zeke have been battling poison ivy all week long!  I'm ready for that to be out of their systems.

Our friend John, finished our shed yesterday.  It is the NICEST thing we own right now!  That man knows how to build!  It is BEAUTIFUL and SPACIOUS!

Our fire pit area is coming along rather nicely.  Our hammock came yesterday so we'll get to hang that this weekend too, along with some Christmas lights.  We have LOTS of spaces to get away and reflect or "cozy couch" the crazies out.

Josh made me go to the eye Dr. for Mother's Day.  I hadn't had an eye exam in YEARS and my eye glasses were inflicting pain on my face.  No more my friends!  I now have a working pair of glasses for my nightlife activities.  It really is the little things...



Monday, May 12, 2014

A Lemon Day Doesn't Have To Be So Bad

My alarm went off at 6am.
I jumped out of bed and put my jogging clothes on.
It felt amazing outside!
I got my 10k in with plenty of time to get a quick shower and spend adequate time preparing my heart for the day before getting the kids up for school.


And then I rolled over and looked at my clock...8:12.

Good grief, why didn't I get up when I had planned on getting up?

Well, it was a good plan anyway.

The morning continued to pull itself together in a less-than stellar way.

Alethia was still complaining about her ear, and now the other one was hurting...which meant that I needed to go to Dr. Joe.

Zeke's poison ivy from his adventures in the woods behind the baseball field was spreading to very, ahem, "uncomfortable" places so we weren't shocked to get a call from the school to come pick him up.  They needed a Dr. note saying that he, in fact, had poison ivy and it wasn't contagious.

Josh gets to leisurely go in on Monday mornings so he graciously allowed me to get a quick 5k in before heading to Zeke's appointment.

We ran our errands and made it back home.

The rest of the morning was spent picking up the pieces from a fun weekend and a low-key Mother's Day at home (my baby knows me so well!), and answering the "mommy" calls from 3 littles every 20 seconds (I'm not kidding!).

Sometimes we wake up feeling behind from the time we get out of bed.  Sometimes it is because we had such a great evening with our husbands that we didn't want to go to bed.  Sometimes it's because we are just too plain tired to get out of bed.  Sometimes it's because our alarm didn't go off.

But one thing I've learned, my life is what I make of the lemons that have been given to me that day.

What makes my life "blessed" isn't the number of kids I have or the possessions I have received, it is the freedom found in embracing the life my Great God has given me...even on the lemon days.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Art Gallery

Areyna - early spring 2014

Zeke - zombie fall 2013

Zeke - tree house

Cai - late winter 2014

Cai - tornado and super hero - Fall 2013

Areyna - late winter 2014

Areyna - overlapping ovals - spring 2014

Zeke - overlapping circles - spring 2014

Zeke - Batman - Spring 2014

Zeke - Robin - Spring 2014

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

five - two =

Josh had a gig in VA this week
which just so happened to be with his dad
who just so happens to be married to Meme
who just so happens to love her grandkids

So Josh just so happened to take the two homeschooled-on-their-own-schedule-and-really-only-have-one-more-day-of-school kids with him to be loved on by their Meme and Poppie for the week so I could hold the fort down around here with my other two public-schooled-sad-that-they-missed-meme-and-poppie-but-they-can't-miss-school kids and the lone into-everything-needs-consistency-not-to-mention-Alethia-and-Cai-needed-a-little-break-from-him-two-year-old.

So I sent them on their way Sunday afternoon and now I'm left with...

a clean house - oh my goodness, my house has been clean for more than 10 minutes at a time!

2 completed projects - actually 3! Grocery shopping is DONE AND I have completed Alethia's "baby" scrapbook from top to bottom AND finished painting/fixing up the kid's bathroom:)  I'd forgotten how productive the time during naps can be!

only 1-3 meals to fix at a time - while Rainy and Zeke are at school it's just me and Jude.  It is SO weird to only pull 1 plate from the cabinet to put food on

1 kid in a grocery cart - no stragglers, no kids begging to push the kiddie carts into my heals behind me, nobody to wrangle around the rest of the shoppers or stuff food around in the big part of the cart

1 Jude who keeps asking for Cai, Ya-Ya (Alethia), Daddy

1 Zeke who wanders aimlessly trying to figure out what to do with himself without his sidekick, repeatedly saying he wished it was the day they were coming home

1 Rainy who, I can tell is enjoying a calmer atmosphere, but desperately wants her sister to spy with

3 kids who HAVE to sleep together

1 mama who is basking in this glorious time, but is ready to have my messy, loud house back:)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Words Worth Remembering ~ "ma-ma-ma-maw"

Alethia:"Hey Cai, you wanna play family?"
Cai:"Sure. But NO kissing okay?"


Me:"Caaaaaiiii, can you come on in here and help me clean up these cars?"
Cai:"Mom, I just can't because I have to take a bath.  Daddy said I I stink?"


Me:"Look! There's Zeke in the outfield!"
Rainy:"Is he the goalie?"
Me:"Um, there isn't a goalie in Baseball."


(translation: marshmallow)


Josh:"So Zeke. How did you feel when you hit that ball and everybody started cheering your name and shouting?!"
Zeke:"I was a little embarrassed."
Me:"Yeah, but even though you were embarrassed, didn't it feel kinda cool?"
Zeke:"Yeah, but I didn't want to think I was too awesome cuz I shouldn't think that."


Cai:"Do we have any more water after that wuns out?"
Me:"Nope. This is all we got."
Cai:"There's not a water mountain so we can fill it back up?!"


Cai:"Mom, can I do a job today so I can get money to byed you a Mother Day present?"
(melt my heart!)


Jude:"Uh-oh! Ma-ma-ma-maw!"
(translation:"Oh no! My marshmallow fell in the fire!")


(while watching a superhero show on TV)
Alethia:"Ew, he needs to put a shirt on!"
Cai:"Those aren't his boobies, those are his MUSCLES!"


(while Cai was away for a few days)
Zeke: "I miss Cai.  I keep thinking I hear him.  I just don't know what to do without him."


Cai:"I don't like it when Elsa get her blue dress on because she gets sassy in it."


(while listening to The Healing)
Cai:"Daddy, why did you even sing this song?"
Josh: kidding around with him..."Why? You don't like it?"


Zeke:"Oooohhh, blueberry muffins for breakfast! Wait a minute, is it a special holiday or something?"


Cai:"Ha! I just fawted in the kitchen. I must be GASSY! Hahahahahahaha!!!"


(translation: one more marshmallow. Reminds me of Bob Blahblah from Arrested Development, ha!)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Take 5

Band: Hammock

Song Title: My Mind Was A Fog...My Heart Became A Bomb

Robbie Robot set for 5 min.


It's FRIDAY!  Which means that daddy gets to stay home!  Which means that we get to tag-team Jude, which means I can breathe a little bit today, woohoo!

I went to an informational meeting for Alethia and Cai yesterday and met their Kindergarten teachers...the principal asked if any of the parents needed any tissues because it was so emotional...I kinda wanted to pass out party whistles and hats.  It's emotional, sure, but I'm so excited for them!  AND I'm excited about having 1 Colony member to keep up with during the day;)

I have decided that I get to calculate extra calories on MyFitnessPal when I have to keep up with discipline issues WHILE doing my Insanity workouts...THAT, my friends, is no joke, ha!

7-10. That's the number of tank tops that I go through on average a week!  I don't know where I would be in this world without my Mossimo, extra long tank tops from Target.  They were on sale at Target for $6 the other day and I had to bounce my eyes and keep walking...

It is gorgeous outside today.  After a week of stormy weather, this is the perfect end to the week.  Rainy and Zeke have field day today

Timer off.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

He's 2

I couldn't find Jude

then I heard the boy's bedroom door slam

then quiet

very quiet

too quiet

upon further investigation...

I found Jude hiding in his reading nook

with a cookie

which he refused to give me

because he had worked so hard to get it
by finding a stool, carrying it across the house, climbing up on the counter, and pulling it off the (cooled) pan

only to climb down and stealthily sneak into a quiet space

hopefully undetected

little does he know that his mama is an undercover spy

oh yes, he's two.