Saturday, June 30, 2007

Perhaps Together Too Much

After Monday's very busy pace, I decided to try to get "ahead of the eight ball". (I'm not really sure what that means, but I've been saying it for, anyone?) Philip continued to work storms like he did most of the weekend, and so I did all my Tuesday chores Monday night. Pretty sneaky, huh? Then I cleaned my desk. I went through all my piles and found quite a few items that needed appointments to make, invitations to RSVP, forms to return, and bills to pay. Just as I had found my sorting groove, the power went out. The girls were in bed asleep, but "Davey and Daniel" (Crockett and Boone--you know my two wild, woodsmen who wish to protect and serve in the face of certain danger) were VERY awake. They used a flashlight to gather candles and find matches. Soon our home was dimly lit, and heavily fragranced. They wanted me to read a book to them. I declined but encouraged them to tell stories from their beds. I collected several candles and placed them at varying heights around my desk. Despite the total fire hazard, I was surprised at the amount of light I was able to achieve. I finished sorting but realized paying bills online would be virtually impossible. My mind was whirling with thoughts, plans, and ideas, so I began jotting notes into a spiral. It was wonderful. Quiet, still, a little stuffy after a while, but really wonderful. By the time I was sleepy the power had been restored and I was able to sleep wonderfully under my ceiling fan.

Tuesday was super. (New job/activity chart: everyone raved) Wednesday was equally efficient until I got sicker than a dog! James was a few hours behind me, and the boys brought up the rear (no pun intended) by the middle of the night. Nasty! I think all that Clorox last week must have killed the good stuff too, 'cause this virus barged right in and knocked us out. Poor Philip--he was in such denial, that he actually got up and put on his clothes for work Thursday morning. I'm laying in bed unable to move, comforted only by the damp rag on my brow. I hear him buckling his belt. I faintly inquire, "You're not going to work, are you?" His honest, yet unrealistic response: "I'm sure as heck not stayin' here!" I thought to myself, "This man has lost his mind...I'll just give him a sec, and he'll realize he's about to leave an infant, a preschooler and a 1st grader home alone with 4 pukers....yes, It'll only take a minute, I'm sure....." Nope, he's still headin' for the door. I try sarcasm. "You go on, I'll just get up and get dressed and give it my girl scout try." His bitter reply: "You don't have one!" Well, I never! I guess he just forgot that I earned a busy bee baking patch in 1979, I'm sure I had more, but that's the only one coming to mind with a fever and all. I knew deep down that he wouldn't leave. I knew how badly he wanted to, but surely.... A few moments after he huffed out of our room, I overheard him calling his boss. I slept all day (when I wasn't in the bathroom) and he and the girls had what they later referred to as "The greatest day ever"....uninterrupted Daddy-time. Who can beat it? Later that evening he admitted that I have SEVERAL badges of courage, valor, and general greatness to my name. See, he knows. And despite his brief flirtation with going AWOL, he certainly deserves a "laundry in the middle of the night" merit badge, don't you think?

Today, everyone was back to good health. We washed everything anyone had touched or breathed on, and ate toast and applesauce at all three meals. Philip is fishing an overnight tournament tonight and has a softball tournament scheduled for tomorrow....we'll see. Regardless, we're on our own until Saturday evening. I plan to read with each child, cook ahead for the next several days, and study for Sunday School. We may load up and go watch a softball game, or we may just have to go swimming....I 'd better get some rest.


Monday, June 25, 2007


This morning my house is full again. All my blessings plus our two buddies are here enjoying life. Mari Alice turned 10 months old Saturday. She is EVERYWHERE! Ashlin enjoyed her time in Dub-town. There was a brief sore throat scare, but Kindermusik was a blast and her favorite part was jumpin' into the pool like Mr. Lee (cannon ball). On her first night back, as she peered into our crowded refrigerator, she announced, "I really like Mrs. Kathy's cheese better than yours". Well then...

I want to write more, but as I said, my house is full. I'll be back...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Check it out

Just wanted to encourage you to share in my joy of long-distance friendships by visiting my neighbors in Bloggerville. By all accounts, my only pre-requisite for providing a link is cute kids. I'm telling you, these gals have gorgeous children! As my great-grandmother is quoted: "I know a pretty baby when I see one...whether I birthed it or not!"

Rebecca's blog is a delight. We have been roomates, friends, and sisters-in-law. She is possibly the sweetest, most generous person I know. If you know her, you'll love keeping up with the kids and "life in the valley". If you've never met her, you'll love getting to know her through her sensitive and down-to-earth posts.

Lisa's blog is inspiring. I have always been intrigued by her...she is a Jacquline of all trades. She wins the "cool-techno-marvy-mom" award. There's even a video of her learning a backdive. I'm telling you she rocks.

Jessica's blog is pure entertainment! No matter her mood, her writings are impressive. She is a "tell it like it is" kind of gal...and has THE best vocabulary! Some of her posts have left me laughing out loud.

Rachel's blog is sporatic to say the least, but she's a very busy girl. She and I have been friends since the nursery, yet miles and decades separate us from those glory days of banana-seat bikes and bean nachos. Speaking of bean nachos, her post explaining her ruptured appendix may have indeed saved my life.


Back on Track

Phew! The past couple weeks have been a booger. Week before last, I had extra kiddos each day. Some were expected, others - not so much. Ardyn was visiting her "best friend, Abby" for the week. We enjoyed the reciprocal visit of Abby's older, less talkative, very cool, brother. I also had the first of two June weddings to play for. But we survived, and had a pretty good time. This past week was Vacation Bible School. In the three-year-old room, it seemed neither a vacation, nor much Bible School. My bad. I had a good friend assisting, and a teen aged toddler-magnet, so I was well supported, I just wasn't on my game....not enough prayer, I think.

Our theme for the week was "Be a Hero for Jesus". On the first day, I shared a Bible story of Mary and Joseph. I explained several times that Mary and Joseph each believed and obeyed God when it was not easy. I repeated the catch phrase: "Real Heroes Obey God!" about a kazillion times. As I wrapped up circle time, I held up the painting of Mary and Joseph. I asked, "Who are these people?" "MARY AND JOSEPH!!!" they all shouted with confidence. And leading them to sprout forth in the fruit of knowledge, I baited, "And we KNOW they are heroes, because 'Real ...Heroes........"
wait for it....
"HAVE BABIES!!!!!" was their unanimous response.

Yes, well. So much for "that lady with all the kids" ever being invited to indoctrinate the youth of tomorrow with her radical procreation agenda.

This week Ashlin is in Weatherford. Our two school-aged friends who are staying with us during the day this summer are at their grandparents'. James has been out of town, and Ardyn has a bug. So I'm down to two boys doing school and one very mobile 9-month old. Ardyn is resting on her pallet, the boys are on their lunch break, and I have Mari's barricade installed next to the patio door in my room. I'm blogging in the middle of the day! Woo-hoo!

Thank you, Lord, for Heroes. I want to be a Hero for me. Thank you for allowing sickness and stress to come into our routine to point our eyes and hearts toward You. Thank You for Clorox Clean-up....Seriously. You are wonderfully merciful and Your kindness never comes to an end. Thank You for Philip and all the opportunities You give him to shine for You. Thank You for all the resources You provide for our family through him. Please bless Landen in school this year. Give him a heart for You. Heal Luke's wound, and give him strength and passion in You. Please heal Ardyn. Thank You for the beauty You show through her. Bless Ashli as she spends some quality time in her home away from home. Thank You for Mari Alice...Thank You. Thank You, Father, for James. Our home would not be the same if we could not share the life he lives through You. Bless him with Your purpose and Your power to run a good race. Thank You, God, for loving me. I know I am most unlovable most of the time. Thank You for Your patience and promises to complete the good work You have begun in me. I think it's AMAZING that You never change. I put my trust in You alone because You are good. I totally love You.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Sing Along

Yesterday on our trip to Sunday School, Mari was fussing. Huge shocker! Everyone was doing their part to quiet her down. Landen chanted in a high-pitched coo: "Maaaaariiiiiii, Maaaaaariiiiiii". Ashli was singing her repetitious song (in the tune of Nanny, Nanny, Boo-Boo)called "Mari Alice Johnson". Luke offered occasional syncopation with: "Hey! (clap) Mari! (clap) Why-you-fussin?"

Preparing her heart for worship, Ardyn contemplated aloud: "I bet it makes God sad when everyone just sings about Mari."

Saturday, June 02, 2007

A Very Fine Day, Indeed

Philip and I decided to spice things up a bit, and instead of dating on Friday evening, we made a date for Saturday morning. We had high hopes of leaving James in charge of listening for Mari and sneaking out for some pre-dawn garage sales. Our Friday night was filled with dinner guests and spontaneous fellowship lasting almost until midnight. So we slept in. I cannot remember the last time we were both in bed after 7am....1995? James was still on the high hope plan and rose dutifully to give Mari her morning bottle. He just rocks, doesn't he? We leisurely readied ourselves and were out the door before 9. We hit all the big sales. We drove by some that certainly did not deserve the title "Garage Sale". One house had two old stereo speakers, a plastic tub of toys, and some Christmas decorations. Philip muttered, "That ain't a garage sale, folks!" The garage sales were just intermittent destinations for our morning spent driving and smiling. We shared a late lunch and headed to the house.

While the big kids hosted a neighborhood football game in the backyard, Philip and Ashli caught a couple snoozes in the recliner to the relaxing commotion of televised baseball. Mari and I headed to my "Queen" bed (That's another blog) to start "The Queen" DVD that I've had for days. I've had it so long that not only is it due back, but it has ceased existing as a form of entertainment and now tops my "Gotta git this done" list. Aggravating....because as I sit and type the little blue circle saving my TV screen is traveling around and around Prince Charles' face.

Just as Philip was packing up to take the kids fishing, the neighbors rang our doorbell to invite us to come swimming. There was a vote. The poles were put away and everybody just started stripping.....not me, you understand.....everyone but me. Mari Alice donned her pale pink swimsuit with lavender shoulder straps and skirt trim for her summer debut. We walked across the street and enjoyed the last few moments of direct sunshine, and the first few moments of Mari's life as a swimmer. She had a grand time bobbing around with her dad. I sat comfortably in my t-shirt and jeans and watched. Landen dove off the board and swam the length of the pool with one breath. Luke led a division of secret operatives around the edge of the pool seeking sunken treasure and enemy torpedoes. Ardyn advanced to jumping off the board and swimming to the ladder (sans la floaties). Ashlin is still VERY attached to her floaties, but still accomplished feats of courage on both the slide and the board. Once I dried and dressed Mari, Philip was free to "encourage" the kids in their aquatic skills. There were a few tears, but similar tactics keep our military up and running, so what can you say? I learned to swim in a completely structured manner through my local YMCA/Red Cross. I'm waiting to hear the story of how someone threw Philip over a bridge and hollered, "Swim, boy!"

The GREATEST thing about swimming is its significant simplification of bedtime. If you can get through the ultra-emotional bath time and snack, then bedtime is followed by deep sleep almost instantaneously. That worked for 4/5 of the kids. Luke needed some quality time (plus, navy spies don't burn as much energy as Olympic divers) So I read Chapter One of "Princess Bride" to him. I bought it today at the library sale for 20 cents. We giggled and he finally went to bed.

And there you have it. One enormously fun-filled day and a lovely little blog on which to share it. What more does a girl need? A kiss....see ya!