Welcome to the craziness....

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The dark depths of the minivan...



If you are a long time reader...or even if you are a first time reader, because I only post every once in a blue moon...
You will know that my husband is a hoarder/pack rat/mess maker/etc...
Of course I say all this from high atop my throne of neatness.
Only I am not neat.
I just choose not to be messy at home.
Because I already clean up for 4 other people.
And adding one more...
Well, frankly the thought exhausts me.
Therefore, I try and keep my mess inside the house to a minimal.
Which really, with the 4 other people making their messes means nothing.

Anyhoo, my van?
Welllllll, that is an ENTIRELY different story.

First off, can we just talk about the fact I am driving a minvan?
What happened to me? Where is the gal I knew in college who drove the little red Acura Integra?
Oh no, she is LOOOOOONG gone.
It's just me and my swagger wagon now.
And I am ok with that.

Or maybe that is the source of the problem with the van.
I haven't fully accepted and loved and embraced the fact I am a "minivan mom".
I am subconsciously disrespectin' the mini....

You see, for every paper I throw away in the house....
There is at least 10 scribbled on photocopied pictures crumpled in my van.

For every coffee cup I place in the sink, rinse out and then put away at home...
There are at least 2 juice boxes from days ago, and numerous sippy cups with congealed like substances growing in them....

You get the point? The minivan is a steep, scary, slippery slope, of old fast food, and ground in cheerios...

So, why do I share this deepest darkest secret with you?

It is because on our class field trips last week I was asked to transport other children...

And not only that.

But a teacher.

A teacher?!?? Say what?!??

Hold up, I gotta run out to the mini and try and scrape the bubblegum off the seats!!!!

So yes, I arrive to school last week and the teacher informs me that the assistant teacher will be riding with me to the pumpkin patch.

(mind you, I learned this at 7:50am, we were leaving the school at 8am)

Needless to say while the teacher was prepping the kids on being on their best pumpkin patch behavior I made a mad dash to the minivan clutching my little Kroger sack, hoping it was big enough to stash all the scary things I knew I was about to find....

It was not a good sign when I hit the button to slide open the door and various things kept tumbling out.

It was actually a pretty cool fall day and I was profusely sweating by the time I had picked up all the trash which included raisins, that I am pretty sure at some point had been grapes.... Along with french fries that could be used as weapons....

Needless to say, later in the week it was time to go on the second child's field trip and the teacher kindly sent me a note the day before saying that she and two other students would be riding with us on the field trip!
(How did I get so lucky?!?!)

This time we made a little trip to the trusty Mr. Sparkle and got our van wash on.

I was so proud...

I even opened that door on that Friday...and not a thing came tumbling out....

Then about 20 minutes into the drive one of the children spoke up from the back seat that he'd found a funny looking Frisbee in one of the console thingys...

My son piped up too, and said, "noooo, that isn't a Frisbee, that's a bagel from last week."

Ok, so I still have a ways to go on keeping the minivan clean.

I'll own that.

In the meantime, I am going to go make sure I can slide the door open in carline without anything falling out.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

De-Clutter???


Many of you know this already...
But I am married to a hoarder.

Now, I use this term affectionately...

At least until a certain time of the month hits then I lose all control and I am tempted to call in the 1-800-Got-Junk guys....

I mean how many times do I have to hang up the wet towel after the shower?

How many pairs of shoes can possibly be left out in the living room?

Must we keep EVERY issue of Sports Illustrated?

Is it really necessary to keep a plastic tote full of pants entitled "snug pants".

I kid you not.
That tote does in fact exist...
I hope he knows he is NEVER wearin' those again.
You can kiss those 32's goodbye buddy.

It is a fine line I walk...between wondering if every time the doorbell rings it's the crew from TLC's Hoarders. or if it's the meat man trying to sell me meat for the 8,000th time this year....

Can't he take a simple No?
There is something weird about buying meat out of the back of a truck...
No??

And he always rings the doorbell right at naptime.

Hey, crazy meat man...take your ribeyes elsewhere!

Ok, so anyway...the hoarding.
It drives me mad.
And truthfully it's not really hoarding.
It's just lots of junk.
Everywhere.
That he doesn't throw away.

Humor me now... it's not hoarding... right??

Well, anyway, I try not to let it bother me, but of course it does.
I mean when I have to go hunting for the children because I have lost them in a stack of CD's circa 1990...think Billy Joel, "We didn't Start The Fire".... We got problems.
And I do want to start the fire.
And throw all the junk in there.
And watch it burn.
And dream of a simpler life....

However, a wise man once said....
"Who did you marry....a clean house or your husband?"

Ahhhhh.
Yes.
About that.
Hmmmmm....

He is SO right.

I am NOT going to change my husband. I can't.
And I don't want to.

No amount of nagging and reminding is going to change a person. Some may comply for a time, to get the nagging to stop but then they will begin the habit again soon enough. The greatest power for change that we have as wives is prayer.
~Taken from Christian Stay-at-home Moms 

So that is exactly what I am going to do... I am taking it to the Lord.

Because let's face it, that's all we can do.

We are who we are, and that is how he designed us... And I know that he designed my husband and I for each other...
And even though there are days where I am fairly certain God has a BIG sense of humor and wants to make me crazy with all this junk...
I am reminded that it's not me in control.
It's Him.



Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Summer. In a nutshell. Or not.





Hi.

I'm so sorry it has taken me so long to update.

I kept thinking I was going to update the 'ol blog and then weeks would pass...

And frankly, updating weeks of our life.... It doesn't sound all that exciting.

But alas.... Here I am.

Months since our last update...

About to bore you with all the details.

And at this point I have lost 7 of the 8 faithful followers I have...

So for those of you that are interested. All one of you....

Here it is...

We played summer baseball.
Everyday.
All day.

And that was our summer.

The End.


I kid, I kid... sort of.

We really did play baseball every day. And it just so happens it was one of the hottest summer's on record.

So we played lots of baseball and did lots of sweating.

So much so that I think I have changed my internal temperature regulator.

I have had the a/c on about 76 the last two weeks, and have been freezing in the house....
I am the person who is usually sweating with it on 68.
It's like I don't even know who I am.

Riveting stuff, I know.
I am certain at this point I have lost the sole reader that has read thus far...

The kids are headed back to school in one week, 11 hours, 47 minutes, and 23 seconds.

Can you tell I am excited?

I think mine do better with routine...and let's face it, there is no routine in summer unless it involves the pool, popsicles, and staying up late...

Speaking of staying up late...these Olympics are wearing Momma out. Has it always been this way??? I don't recall staying up until midnight before....

Perhaps it's old age.

I can't handle the staying up late, I am wearing an afghan around the house, and my knee has been hurting for two days so I am certain there is rain...

Just call me Mamaw.

I know this was the lamest update ever.
I promise to do better.

Now I am off to buy over-priced name brand school supplies...

After I put my dentures in and rub icy hot on my bum knee...

I kid, I kid...

At least about the dentures part.

My sweet t-baller and his daddy.


Monday, May 21, 2012

55 mph in a 25


No, no, no...


I did not get arrested for doing 55 in a 25.


(Although those 25 mph streets are tricky. It is very difficult to go 25 mph. It feels as if we are crawling. I still remember the days when there were no neighborhoods with 25mph speed limit...and we played in the streets until the street lights came on...and we didn't have cell phones...and Wii's...and ipads/touches/iwhathaveyas...we didn't sanitize the shopping cart...we walked up hill to school both ways...)


However, I feel like that is the pace at which life is moving at the moment. 


School is almost over.


There are classroom parties galore!


Teacher gifts to buy...


Thank you notes to send (for a birthday that so far, was only a little over a week ago...we aren't late. Yet.)


Caps and gowns to iron! (who knew you did caps and gowns in kindergarten!!?)


(A few more) school snacks to pack.


Permission slips to sign for last day of school activities...Bouncey things at school for one kid...remote location for the other kid. Or was that the other way around?


Tball.


Signing up for summer camps.


Lunch dates, play dates, and date nights.


Birthday parties, End of Year parties, and parties just to have parties... 


The calendar is jam packed.


Full.


The year has flown by...and it's probably because even though this week seems crazy...they really ALL are!


The older the kids get the more involved they are and the more places they have to be.


And of course there are always dentist appointments, doctor appointments (which reminds me we need to make a few of those), haircuts, and such.


It never ends.


And I want to hit the brakes.


Because when life gets crazy it goes fast.


And when it goes fast you turn around and your kid is graduating from kindergarten. 


And when your kid graduates from kindergarten it means first grade is coming up.


And first grade to me signifies the "real beginning of school".


And that only means that life is about to move at warp speed.


And I do not like warp speed because that is just entirely TOO FAST.


Therefore, I need a pause button.


Which I know is terribly impractical.


And honestly, sometimes I really feel like it is me hitting the "fast forward"...
Hurry up.
We gotta be here.
Now.
We can't be late.
And next we have to go here.
And then we need to do this.
And come on.
Hurry up.
Go.
Go.
Go.


My husband's friend Ashley co-wrote a song for Trace Adkins entitled "You're Gonna Miss This". 


And I try and remind myself to "live in the moment"...don't rush through life's stages...you don't always have to be looking forward to when they will walk, when they will talk, when they will start school, when they will pack their own lunch, when they will get up and fix their own breakfast....when they will drive, when they will start dating (although that one I can DEFINITELY wait on), when they will graduate...


Because it is coming.


Sooner than I want.


They will not be little forever.


I need to remind myself of that.


And embrace...
And love...
And enjoy...


Every minute.
Of everyday.

As the lyrics of the song go...


Cause You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this


The complete song and video:
Trace Adkin's "You're Gonna Miss This"



Thursday, March 29, 2012

ROAD TRIP!


....with 3 kids.

By myself.

9 hours.

(at least)

God, please grant me the serenity to accept the fact that my children may scream excessively for 9 hours straight...

That they will mash cheerios into my van carpet...

That they will not pee when we stop at exit number 74...however, they will suddenly be overcome with urgency by exit number 78...

That we will have to listen to the same Barney video fifteen times in order to appease the baby...

And give me the courage...er, the patience....

not to "pull this van over and knock them into next week".

I kid.

Sort of.

Anyhoo, we can all imagine how this will turn out... It ain't gonna be pretty.

But we will survive.
And then we will drink excessively.
Rather Mommy will.
And Mommy doesn't even drink.

I think I just broke out in a sweat writing all that.

I am looking forward to getting there though, and I know we will make it and it will be fun!

And then we will do it all over again next week when we drive home.

On a totally unrelated note... (I am terrible at transitions)

I need to change my title page.

We are no longer a family of five with 3 dogs, 1 cat, and one hamster.

We are now a family of five with 2 dogs and a cat.

The dog had to go when he bit the baby...whew, that was a rough 48 hours.

And the hamster...well, they just don't live long.

Sadly this happened like three days after the dog incident and I couldn't bring myself to tell the kids little Pooh Bear had gone to hamster heaven.

So we are still "looking" for him...

Although the search parties are becoming less and less frequent.

My oldest said, "he probably went to live out in the field with the mice".

I'm just gonna agree with him on that one. And leave it at that.

Until next time...
Have a good one!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Two Girls and a Van



I wanted a place where I could share all about the efforts of an organization I am part of called, "Two Girls and a Van". We have a Facebook page but if I typed a status about this trip it would take up a whole page!

Two Girls and a Van was started by a childhood friend and I. Last year we collected items for the survivors of the Alabama tornadoes. We thought we would pack the back of my minivan.
We packed a 14 FOOT TRUCK!
And still had to leave stuff behind!

So this year, when the tornadoes hit so close to home we knew we had to do something!

About 3 weeks ago we decided that we would divide and conquer.
Ashley (the other girl in the van) took Henryville, IN and I choose to focus on eastern Kentucky.

When I first began to collect items I heard the same things I heard last year...
They don't need anything.
Let someone else do it.
The "X organization" will take care of them.
Can we even make a difference?
We need to just give money to "X organization".

I will admit...I was discouraged.

However, the donations slowly trickled in and I could feel the momentum shifting.

Sure enough, just like last year, we packed a 15 FOOT truck again!

We also had lots of gift cards donated!
$450 in Walmart gift cards
$685 in Lowe's gift cards
AND around $800 in cash donations!

So, sit back and relax, and let me tell you about our journey...and how 100's of people's generosity made a difference!

Our first stop was West Liberty, KY (Morgan county). We met two teachers at the new elementary school that had been constructed in an old warehouse.
It was amazing to see what a group called, "God's Pit Crew" had done in 6 DAYS!
The ladies there were thrilled to see us and were so very grateful for all that we had brought! We got a little tour of the school and they all shared with us about the night of the tornado and how life had changed since then. We really enjoyed our visit there and were ready to pack those teachers in the back of the truck and bring them home with us! ;)

On our way out of town we took a quick tour through downtown West Liberty and it was devastating. Piles and piles of rubble. Buildings crumbled. It was hard to tell what the buildings had even been before. On a positive note, there was lots of activity going on, clean-up, rebuilding, and a sense of community. I have no doubt that this town will be back and better than before!

Our next stop was Salyersville, KY (Magoffin county). We partnered with a clinic there and the ladies were waiting in the parking lot for us and ready to go when we arrived. They had picked out several families that were in need and we packed about 40 or so boxes full of supplies to hand out. We essentially made little "care boxes" full of toiletries, cleaning supplies, and non-perishable food items.
We loaded two pickups worth and went out with a few of the clinic staff to deliver items.
It was humbling to go door to door to these people who had lost absolutely everything they had, yet were still thanking God that they were alive.
One family had taken in 19 people. 19 people in one trailer.
One man had taken in a couple who had lost everything, the wife had a broken leg and the husband had broken ribs from their trailer caving in on them in the tornado.
In one section there had been three trailers in a row...one basically disintegrated, one only had a toilet left standing, and one had miraculously survived. A woman that lived in one of the trailers that had been destroyed had sought shelter (for whatever reason) in the ONE trailer in that row that had made it.
Just story after story. Lots of tears, lots of hugging, and SO mush thankfulness.
We handed out 2-6 boxes per household based on their needs as well as a few Walmart gift cards to each family.
The ladies from the clinic fed us a quick yummy home-cooked meal at their volunteer center before we hit the road to Lovely, KY.

There was a slight detour... Which is a whole other blog post in itself...

Around 9pm or so that night we finally pulled into Lovely, KY (Martin county). We had partnered with a church there called Freewill Baptist church. Their main request had been building supplies and Lowe's gift cards. We unloaded about $800 or so worth of donated building supplies and nearly $700 in Lowe's gift cards. They were so grateful for everything that we had sent.
They shared a sad story about a couple who had been trapped after the tornado and were calling out for a help. A couple stopped to help them and pulled them to safety... However, after saving them they went back to their destroyed home and stole the couple's savings/nest egg that was around $4,000.
So sad.
More tears...
More hugs...

We circled around the church's parking lot and said a quick prayer with the pastor and his church family before we loaded ourselves back in the truck and headed for home.

There are no words that I can type that put into perspective the things we saw and did.
I struggle even writing this because I feel like it doesn't do it justice.
There is still so much pain, hurting, and loss going on.
But out of it all I think we would all agree we also saw...
Hope.
And love.
Gratitude.
And giving.

I cannot say thank you enough to those that gave...your time, your material goods, your prayers, and your support.

Without you it wouldn't happen.

People have said, "it's so great what YOU are doing..."
But it's only so great because of those who gave.
It wouldn't have been the same had I driven an empty truck.
We all did it.
We all made a difference.

Thank you from me and from every single person we met along this journey.



**My friends Cammie and Holly went along with me...I have to thank them as well!
I'll have some more pictures soon!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Houdini Baby

So this third child of ours has totally thrown me for a loop!

My first two stayed in the crib until they were at least 3 years old.

Now I know that is crazy, but hey, why mess with a good thing?!?
They weren't escaping and I liked knowing exactly where they were at night/nap time.

Welllllll, all the sudden last night, the baby decided he wanted NO part of bedtime, NO part of the crib, and NO part of being left alone in his room.

Mind you, up until this point he has been a FABULOUS sleeper!
12 hours at night, 2-3 hour naps...
DREAM sleeper.

Soooooo, after repeated attempts at rocking, having him barely asleep...him jolting awake at the teeniest creak in floor I decided to just throw him in there...throw caution to the wind and pray he closed those little eyes.

No.

Of course not.

Now, mind you, we didn't exactly plaaaaan for baby number three, so the poor guy is stuck up in no man's land.

His room is up above the garage.
On the second floor.
By himself.
With his very own kitchen/living room/bathroom.
It was designed to be more of an "in-law suite". We didn't plan on that room ever being a nursery.

Evidently neither Jeff nor I paid attention in health class...

But alas, we love our spirited little baby and cannot imagine life without him.

He has always been up there and it's never been an issue.
In fact, it has been great because he can sleep and the big kids can have a monster truck show down here and he can't hear it.

So anyhoo, last night, I throw him in the bed, bolt outta the room, shut the door, sprint through the living room up there and close the door at the top of the stairs.

Next thing I know I hear "boom-boom"....pitter patter, pitter patter, pitter patter....then said door at top of stairs opens and there he is in all his glory, so proud he has escaped the confines of the dreaded crib.

Um, no.

This ain't happening.

No sir.

You are 20 months old.

No.

Back to the crib.

So, yeah, I did this about 2 dozen times...until I was at my wit's end.

Daddy decided to take over....PTL!

After about 20 minutes or so (10:30 PM...we had been trying since 7:30 PM)daddy comes down and says he's asleep.

I said, What did you do!?!?!

He said, I got in the crib with him.

Well.

That's one way of getting it done.

Needless to say, nap time was not easy today.

I put one gate at his door and figured if all else fails at least he'll be in room.




FAIL.

I put another gate up and he pushed it over like a toy.




FAIL.


Finally, I laid on the floor beside his crib and played watchdog while reading the latest FB status updates.

It worked.

But I CANNOT do that everyday/night!!!!

So, I am ordering this:




And I hope it works....

Next thing you know I will be ordering these...



I never thought I'd be one of those people that leashed their children.


I really do wish I had seen this before though:



How handy.


Oh well, as grandma always says...
This too shall pass, this too shall pass.

Now somebody hand me the whiskey.