Sunday, June 19, 2011

Movie Night

It was movie night last night. Whenever we have movie night we pretty much stick with one of the Star Wars movies. They seem to appeal to all of us, including me. Last night it was "The New Hope" which, for both of you non-Star Wars fans out there, it's the first one.

The boys think it's pretty funny that my favorite Star Wars character is Jabba the Hutt. I tell them all the time that he seems to be the only one who's really having a good time in life. Everyone else is running around trying to either save or control the entire galaxy, but Jabba's happy just hanging out in his underground palace partying it up. He has dancers and singers there, everyone's just relaxing and he even has some really cool wall hangings (or at least one I can think of.) Sure, it ends badly for Jabba in "Return of the Jedi" when Princess Leia chokes him but at least he got to see her in that bikini, right?

So here was the scene in the living room last night...
Once the popcorn came out, so did the little thief. He had already eaten plenty of mine and then moved on to poor William's...

His brothers forgive him anything, though, especially Sammy. Below is a picture of them the other morning when I came out from taking a shower...

I just love the way he loves him. So cute!


Ask me how much I'm loving having a brown-eyed boy? One of my favorite things about summer is that the boys (especially the younger two) get to show off their "chops." I've always called their thighs "porkchops" and they know I just love to nibble on them. You know that patch of chunk on the inside of the knee? YUM!

I don't think the neighbors minded the other night when I had Luke outside without his shorts on, do you?

Morning Worship Service

I walk the dog just about every morning. We go roughly 2 miles if I have the time. I tell you, it doesn't matter what Chris ever does for that dog - he is MY dog strictly because of these walks. I really enjoy the time alone to start my day and have always been a morning person, so it works out great.

I took a picture of the front of our house this morning, in case anyone is curious to know where we live. I'm always curious about that stuff. Chris put in the basketball net last year - don't we have the PERFECT driveway for it? Our house is pretty small for all the people we've packed into it but you know what? I can clean it well enough to have company over in just under an hour. So I don't mind being a bit cramped.
So after my walk with Scrabble, the last stop is the steps across the street. Last summer our very nice neighbor acquired a thin strip of land that leads down to the lake and right away built a wonderful staircase leading to the water.

He did SUCH a beautiful job! I can't remember how many pounds of cement he said he used for the posts, but basically a tornado probably couldn't rip it out; it's VERY sturdy.

Once I get down the steps, here's my view...

I wish I had a better camera or that at least the light would have been better this morning because these pictures don't do it justice. I see lots of birds while I'm there, especially herons and there's even a family of Canadian geese that live near the shore. I was excited to see an otter swim by once, but then Chris burst my bubble by telling me it was a muskrat.

This is where I stop and say my morning prayers. They're mostly full of gratitude, especially for nature and our home that's so close to it. For a girl who was born and raised about 10 miles from Detroit, living here for the past five years has been incredible. There's not a day that goes by that I take it for granted!

I also pray for strength for the climb back up...

I think it's only about 55 steps but it sure looks daunting from the bottom, doesn't it?

Friday, June 10, 2011


I sang this song to my tummy a few years back during those wonderful months I was convinced I was having a girl. For those of you not familiar, it's a song by Elvis Costello off the "Notting Hill" soundtrack.

I dreamed of having a daughter to sing this to, but as it turns out I had William instead. No matter - the words are still so beautiful and poignant and perfectly describe the feelings I have for my 3 year old...(I just change the "she" to "he" now.) He is every bit as dramatic as any girl would have been, I think, and yet makes me laugh a hundred times a day.

When I tell him not to throw he says "I'm not throwing, Mama. I just tossing." And if I tell him to stop screaming, his sweet reply is "I'm not screaming. I just yelling." He has me wrapped around his finger and he knows it! I feel so incredibly blessed to have had him and can't imagine my life without him. Thank you, God, for unanswered prayers!

He may be the song that summer sings,

May be the chill that autumn brings,

May be a hundred different things within the measure of a day.

He may be the beauty or the beast,

May be the famine or the feast,

May turn each day into a heaven or a hell.

He may be the reason I survive

The why and wherefore I'm alive

The one I'll care for in the rough and ready years

Me, I'll take the laughter and the tears

And make them all my souveniers

For where He goes I've got to be

The meaning of my life is He.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Through the Eyes of a 3 Year Old

We have these little guys EVERYWHERE in our neighborhood. They're so cute, especially to Chris and I who never saw any in our home state of Michigan. The kids love them, too.

Yesterday on the way to the bus stop we saw one, but it was dead in the middle of the street. Unfortunately, the large population of "chickmunks" (as William says) also leads to a large number of casualties. William was very sad upon seeing the little guy and lamented, "Poor chickmunk. He layin in the road cuz he's sad." I loved that death has yet to enter William's reality, so I asked him why the chickmunk was sad. "Cuz he can't find his giwlfrend."

The chickmunk was gone this morning and we were all overjoyed that he must have found his girlfriend and run off to marry her.

Have I mentioned how much I love staying home?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Oh, the love...

We've had Luke's "big boy" bed waiting for him for over a year now. It will be the unused bottom bunk right below Owen. I didn't realize how patiently his brother, Sammy, had been waiting, too.
Yesterday I was in the basement and found the guardrail we will use for him. I washed it up and put it on the bed while the boys were outside playing. When they came in, Sammy was excited beyond belief to see it. "Is Luke going to sleep with us now? Can I sleep in the bed with him?" Then he went back and forth from the nursery, gathering all Luke's stuffed toys and blankets. He set them carefully on the bed and then coaxed Luke up to see everything.

I knew Luke was still a bit too young to make this transition. Our other boys were around this age (21 months) when they gave up the crib, but they all went into a toddler bed AND to their own room, where it was quiet. It will be quite another thing to have Luke move into a room with 3 other boys who stay up late talking (sometimes fighting). When Sammy found out Luke would not be sleeping in the room with them yet, he was CRUSHED. I had no idea it meant so much to him - he was literally SOBBING.

To make it up to him, I offered to have him sleep in Luke's room with him, to which he immediately agreed. I put a large blanket on the floor and had him grab his sleeping bag and pillow. I put Luke in his crib and Sammy laid on the floor next to him. I closed the door and never heard a peep.

But before we went to bed, Chris and I went to check on them...

I've never seen such an incredible bond! This morning when I went in the nursery, Luke was still sleeping (thumb in his mouth, per usual) and Sammy was just laying there gazing at him and gently rubbing his back. I tear up just thinking about it.

Shirts vs. Skins

I've been struggling with the lack of pajamas for my older boys now that the weather has finally gotten warmer. They have outgrown all their cute summer pj's from last year (except some Thomas the Tank Engine pj's, but they scoff at wearing those. "Too babyish.")

So I went to Walmart yesterday (that mecca of fashion that it is) and realized my expectations for summer pj's for boys has been all wrong. There were racks and racks of pajama bottoms, but no shirts to go with them. So maybe, I thought, the thing is for boys to just sleep shirtless. Is this correct? Well it was last night at our house...
And I decided to let the two little boys get in on the action, too, since they copy everything their older brothers do. (I saved them the trouble of taking their own shirts off later.)

With all these shirtless boys, I REALLY feel outnumbered. (But I love it!)

Friday, June 3, 2011

So how's it going?

Ok, it's been almost a full three weeks since I officially became a SAHM (or WAHM, if this business of mine starts to pick up.) This is a life I've dreamed about for YEARS and I'm now assessing if it's really all I thought it would be.

The answer is YES! I would say the only thing that's a bit surprising to me is how busy I am - MUCH, MUCH busier than when I was sitting at a desk for 9.5 hours a day. I swear, I get up by 6am and never stop until around 9pm. There are moments of down-time (like right now) but for the most part I am 100% productive from the time I wake until about an hour before I turn in.

Here's a look at my daily schedule right now:

5:45am - wake and dress to walk the dog. We walk for 2 miles and then I go across the street to the steps that lead down to the lake. That's where I have a few quiet moments of prayer before I officially start my day.
6:40am - Home from the walk. I have a few minutes to feed the dog, check emails and figure out what's for breakfast.
7am - Time to get everyone up. We have 45 minutes to get all 4 dressed, fed, teeth brushed, etc before we head out to the bus stop.
8am - Wave goodbye to the bus and then home to play with the two little boys. It's been nice lately so they like to be outside a lot.
9am - MAMA TIME! I sit them down in front of "Super Why" and have a quick 1/2 hour to shower/dry hair/etc. One great thing about not working - NO MAKE-UP most days. WOO HOO!
9:30am - Back outside for more play or stay in and play. Yesterday we did fingerpainting and then, of course, baths. I start laundry at this time, too, so I can get at least one load through before lunch.
11am - Sesame Street is on and that's a great occupier while I fix lunch.
11:30am - Lunch
12pm - Bottle for Luke, stories for William and then NAPS! I'll admit, I like to fall asleep with William for a bit but am usually up after just a few minutes. Today it was 10 minutes - just enough to get me revved up for the rest of the day.
2:30pm - Need to wake the boys at this point, otherwise they will be up all night. We play some more and maybe I do a bit of spot cleaning (depending on how much I got done during their naps) before we head to the bus stop.
3:30pm - YAY! The bus is here and I get to talk to Owen and Sammy about their day at school. I just love that short walk home when they talk excitedly about things that happened. It's something I've always wanted to do with them and it's lived up to all my expectations.
4:30pm - after more play time, I have to start dinner. I usually make something terribly disgusting, like last night's meatloaf muffins, mashed potatoes and fresh carrots, so as to gross them all out. (sarcasm) I have the older boys do their homework while I'm working on dinner and the little boys just play (or fight) for a bit.
6pm - After dinner it's whatever we want to do. Most evenings we go for a walk, maybe a bike ride. Last night I took them to the McDonald's playland and you'd have thought I took them to Disneyworld - they were SOOOO appreciative. (I really should take them out more, huh?) We even got the 49 cent ice cream cones for the ride home. YUM!
8pm - PJ's and bed time. I let them watch TV until around 9pm if they're good. Of course Luke is still in his own room so he doesn't stay up past 8pm but that will be changing soon, since I need him to give up his room for my home office.
9pm - End of my "workday." It's a lot longer day than I used to have but a LOT more rewarding and I feel so blessed every day to be able to stay home now.

Gotta get back to being productive (blogging doesn't fall into that category, sorry!) and will have to fill y'all in on what I do with that FREE 2.5 hours I have while the babies nap. :)