Thursday, March 31

writing it out instead of crying it out

Half a dozen kids and their different shades of red. and blonde. 

This afternoon was a lesson why half a dozen kids and important phone calls don't mix. I'm writing this down so I won't forget this crazy life that I wouldn't trade for the world. 

I hit a car today. Thankfully no one was hurt. I was pulling into a parking space and just didn't give myself enough room. Scraped up a little spot on the car parked next to me. I was mortified...especially since I'm usually super conservative about making sure I have plenty of room. Not the case today. 

As a result, I had to make a couple of phone calls this afternoon to the insurance company to square things away with the other driver. 

That's when the chaos does one make important phone calls with six children in the house?!?? I still don't know how it's possible because it surely doesn't work for me. Texting is my lifeline but unfortunately not a possibility in this situation. So I start by making the phone call out on my front porch away from the distractions. 5 seconds in Molly is screaming from the living room right outside the front windows. I hang up. I go in. She's fine; she just missed me. Meanwhile kids are coming out of the woodwork to tell me something, need help with something, I'm hungry or something, I spilled something. So I step it up a notch and lock them all in the backyard with Hudson in charge of Molly and tell them I have to make a phone call with no interruptions. I go back to the front porch. I make the call. While on the phone, I hear screams and yells for the next few minutes while I'm talking. I'm finally through and hang up. I will hear from the claims adjuster again sometime today or tomorrow. I go out back to discover Henry has been chasing and spraying everyone with a hose in my (grass-less) backyard so now they are all covered in mud. Showers are a must. 

We still have homework and chores that must be done, and I need to make dinner in the midst of answering tricky math questions, quizzing for spelling tests, and Jake needs to read aloud to me. Half of the boys go in to shower. I'm trying to keep a dirty Molly off the countertops and from stealing chips while I'm making dinner and overseeing homework. I eventually begin running her bath water. I then go check in on the boys who should have been out of the shower by now. Bathroom is trashed; all three have been out for a while but the water is still running. I proceed to very sternly reprimand them. Meanwhile Nate comes in with phone in hand which he has answered, not said a word to the other end, but hands to me mid-sentence as I'm chewing my kids out. Who knows how many seconds that poor man heard my desperate conversation with my kids. Mortified again. Since this phone conversation is now immediate and unplanned with no quick plan of how to escape away from the kids, I head to the front porch again and hope for the best. Molly follows me, and unfortunately Duke takes this opportunity for freedom and escapes through the front door that Molly has left open. Every time Duke escapes, which happens at least once or twice a week (or a few times in one day), we need the car to drive around the neighborhood in hopes of coercing him back home. He loves the chase and never has any desire to be caught. Unfortunately today I have no car and have no idea how I'm going to get him back. And of course, all while talking on the phone with the claims guy who is recording this conversation, in which I am pleading guilty to the damage done to the cars. Thankfully a miracle happens today. Duke heads straight across the street to his best dog friend Charlie's house, whose back gate happens to be open. Duke makes a bee line for the open gate, in hopes of finding Charlie in the yard. So I'm on the phone talking through the details of the accident, pleading guilty, and trying my best to answer his specific questions, while Molly is running beside me yelling, "We need to get Duke!" Then Henry comes bounding out the door, in accusatory mode, to find the one to blame for his dog escaping for the hundredth time this month. All while I'm on the phone. Praise the Lord all goes well; conversation ends; we corner Duke in the yard and slip on his leash; and head back home after a catch up conversation with my neighbor Amy and sweet smiles from her sweet baby boy. Duke gets a quick few minutes with his best friend Charlie, and we head home across the street. Back inside we lock the front door so Duke won't escape again. I go back to the kitchen to pick back up with dinner and homework. Then I remember Molly's bath water. Another miracle upon miracles. It was at the very brim of the tub without overflowing. I turn off the water and feel it. Ice cold. All the hot water had been used up from the shower earlier before when the boys had left the water on for who knows how long after they had gotten out. 

And so my evening continues in a very similar way for the next hour and a half before Brian gets home. Dinner is ready, but homework is still not complete for some; chores are not finished; and rooms are definitely not cleaned. My laundry is still piled on the couch, and the kitchen will need to be cleaned for the 10th time today.

Sooooo, if I owe you a returned phone call or I don't answer your phone call, or I forget to call you back, you'll know why. 

Life with half a dozen kids. And a dog. 

Saturday, September 6

Putt putt fun!

After dinner (and a little volleyball) at Lulu's last night, we decided to introduce the kiddos to putt putt. I can't believe it has taken us this long to take them, but I guess not having one in Montgomery hasn't helped. :) it was a lot of fun, especially after deciding not to keep score a few holes into the game. My husband is so not competitive. :) 

What a treat! I can't wait to take them again!!

Last minute beach getaway

On behalf of a generous ministry, Interpreter's House, we were able to spend the last few days at an Orange Beach condo for a very discounted price. We are so thankful and what perfect timing, especially after a challenging summer of ministry. We were so grateful for the time away with just our family. I love seeing how The Lord provides...this is just another sweet example!

Pool time and homework, too!

Wednesday, July 16

before i forget...

My 19 month old is really beginning to expand her vocabulary...

"I wanna rock" after we've been rocking before naps and bedtime.  As I pick her up to take her to her bed, she now says "I wanna rock" for one more time in the rocking chair.  I can't resist. :)

"I wanna go" when she looks out the door to the car or when Daddy leaves for work and she watches out the window.  Precious. 

"Let it go!" her favorite song from the movie Frozen.  She has this amazing way of rolling her "r's" before she says "go."  every. time.  She loves to talk about "Anna" and "Elsa" as well. :)  She has 2 different friends named Anna (Anna Duggar and Anna Burnette).  She calls them both "Ah-na", the same way its pronounced in the movie. :)  As much as she loves the movie, she would never sit through it.  The you tube videos of the 2 minute songs is as much as she can handle.  Her dancing is too cute! 

She's really gotten to the point now where she will try to imitate any word you ask her to say.  pretty cute. 

This little girl is a firecracker.  adventurous.  never still. strong willed.  sweet.  loves kisses.  and hugs.  especially when you count to 3 and then she runs into your arms.

She also loves to sing. or to be sung to.  Some of her favorites are "the itsy bitsy spider;" "he's got the whole world;" "this little light of mine;" "Jesus loves me."  She loves doing the hand motions to all of them.  And then she ends every song with "Yay!!!!" and a little clap of her hands. 

Her favorite book right now by far is "Apply Dapply" by Beatrix Potter.  She really doesn't like to sit still or have people read to her. But she will rock before naps and bedtime and listen to this book while pointing to the pages and baby babbling.  The rest she'd rather rip up or chew on. :)

She adores her brothers.  She loves to talk about "jakey" these days and always asks to say "night night" to him first, leaning in for her hug and kiss.  She will let Hudson hold her just about anytime.  And Oliver will probably always be her best friend. 

I love how she says "NI-NI" (night night) pretty loudly before bedtime to all of her brothers.  They often fight over who gets to hug her first.  It becomes pretty lengthy because they all come back for one more hug or kiss from her.  And she happily obliges.  Melt my heart. 

She loves her Daddy.  always asking about him.  And the minute he walks in the door, she screams "dada" and her little legs excitedly run to him.  the sweetest thing I ever did see. 

Saturday, July 20

Saturday fun at the Bass Pro

While Brian was working on his sermon this morning and Hudson was at lake Martin for the day for Luke Duggar's birthday, the rest of us had some fun at the bass pro...

Monday, March 4

attached at the hip...until now

This past Saturday night Brian and I went on a double date with some sweet friends, and we actually left Molly at home with the babysitter.  For the first time.  It was actually my first time to leave her at all.  Ever.  In the past I have just taken her with me grocery shopping or running errands or wherever because it was easier to have her with me because of her nursing schedule. And what mom of six kids has time to pump??  I'd like to know. Plus, it was easier on Brian or whomever was watching my other 5 kids.  Leaving 6 kids (including a baby and a mischievous 23 month old!) with someone is pretty overwhelming, and Molly is just easy to have out and about.  So she has gone with us on all our dates.  Up until now. 

Just a couple of days ago, I finally put her on a good schedule and started letting her fall asleep on her own instead of me getting her to sleep and then laying her down.  I think it has taken me this long just because I wanted to soak up every bit of her "newborn"-ness as long as I could.  And I didn't have the heart to hear her cry it out. 

Thankfully the longest she has ever cried since letting her fall asleep on her own has been about 3 or 4 minutes.  :)    (She had actually been crying longer if I put her in her swing to sleep....she is not a fan of the swing).  So after I feed her around 6 or 7 pm, she is down for the night until I wake her up to feed her right before I go to bed.  So that means I have more freedom in the evenings now.  And she has been sleeping about 6-7 hour stretches at night.  Little thing has taken longer to do this than my other boys, but she's just so little and still hasn't reached her "12 pound magic number," which according to Dr. Morrison is when they can start sleeping through the night.

So tonight Brian watched all six kids (for the first time) and let me have a girls night with some sweet friends.  He put her down with no problem, and she was still asleep when I got home!  I think we have arrived at the "easier" baby stage.  Her naps are going better during the day, although she rarely sleeps longer than 45 minutes.  Baby steps. :)

Sweet Molly is a joy.  I just want to soak up her smiles all day long.  She is so happy and reminds me so much of her big brothers at this age...happy and content. lots of coos and smiles.  But definitely happiest when she is being held. :) She's come out of her fussy moments...Brian was starting to get a little hurt that she would cry every time he held her, but that has thankfully past.  Her brothers adore her...she is kissed and hugged and squeezed all day long.

So the baby fog is slowly being lifted, and I just may start to be able to function again.  Any organization or keeping up with the school calendar or laundry or meal planning has gone out the window since she was born. If Brian hadn't taken over getting up with and taking the kids to school in the mornings, I never would have survived. :)   I feel like I'm just now starting over and trying to figure out how to do life with six in tow.  :)  Just reminding myself that my children are my priority...keeping them alive and fed and loved is my job.  The rest can wait.  As long as I remember that, then I am content...which is not often enough.  The minute I start thinking about my piles of laundry or dirty dishes or the messy stack of bills and school papers on my desk I never have time to look through or my dirty kitchen floor or even school field trips that I just can't commit to right now, I start to feel like I'm failing.  And those feelings of anxiety and frustration set in.  I become the "mean" mom.  I don't want that.  I want my kids to feel more important than my tasks.  A clean and organized home has become one of my biggest idols.  Praying that I can die to self and be okay with a chaotic house (and not apologize for it when people drop by) and be so thankful that it's full of 6 treasured blessings...full of energy and joy...and wanting them to know that they are treasured and loved by their mom and dad. And not burdens who complain and argue and make messes all day.  And I want to remember this first thing when I wake up in the morning.  It's easy to remember this at night when everyone is asleep, but the real test is in the midst of the craziness.

Today was a good day to be reminded of our "hands being full" of good things.  Brian had the day off, and we spent the afternoon at the park after picking the boys up from school... picnicking, exploring, and playing.  It was so refreshing to be a part of their fun, not being distracted by chores or responsibilities.  Just enjoying our kids. I needed this afternoon.  Being together as a family away from distractions.  Just the eight of us. :)

Friday, February 15