Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Cooperation Finale

Well, it has been an insane past couple of weeks. Hence, the reason I have not had a chance to really blog. However, we did conclude our cooperation unit and to be honest, I am totally burnt out and ready for a 6 week long break. We did do a few fun activities to wrap up though and focus on the church and family.

One activity the kids, all of them, really enjoyed was sitting in a circle in the kitchen and I would begin a story and then Moriah would continue it and it then Austen and then Jayden. We played this story game about 4/5 times. Each time it was funnier and funnier as Moriah added in her two year old, almost three year old, sense. We played a few more cooperative games and listened to Adventures in Odyssey " The Boy Who Didn't Go To Church". The whole story is based on the verses in the bible that talk about how we all have a role in the body of Christ and need to focus and use that gifting to grow the body and if neglect our gift than roles in the church, ie: servant, gifts, etc. are not being met. We discussed the needs in the church and prayed for our church and the needs that would come up.

Jayden made a thank you card that I need to mail for his pastor whom he adores. We feel very blessed with such a dedicated pastoral staff at our church. They truly pour their hearts out to our kids. Also, we tried to sing "row, row row your boat" in a round. I think we were laughing at each other more than singing it. I had us do a scavenger hunt where I would hide a small toy and the kids had to work together to locate it. Finally, I paired us up and had a mini round going on. We also played a role playing game on how we could cooperate in the home. Moriah, however, was not aware of the role playing and when I grabbed a crayon from her and yelled " It's mine!" she broke down in tears and said that was naughty.

We read Ephesians 4:1-3 and prayed and asked God that he would take everything we have learned this past year and help us apply it to our lives, not just hearers of the word but doers. Well, that is it. I am so ready for a vacay. No huge end of year bang- just a subtle going out of play dates, park dates and no schedule for the next few weeks. I am really looking forward tot he traits I have planned out this year and am excited to see how the Holy Spirit grows us in these areas. To God be the glory!


Some people ask me how I pack for five people, for an extended period of time so easily. I thought I would take a minute to discuss my travel "sense" and give ideas on what I have found works for me. Regardless of how long you will be gone for only pack a week's worth of clothing. Make sure that you include a dress outfit, plenty of casual, jeans, sweatshirt/sweater and at least two different types of shoes. That's it. I am able to fly all of my children for a week up to an extended amount of time with the same amount of clothing and accessories. I hate paying for extras, and that means checking luggage plus that is too much work to fill the entire suitcase with what, a lot of clothes I don't need. I am able to pack everyone in an entire morning with cute, comfortable and dressy clothes as well as my "entertainment" bag and I am not stressed at all.

I have traveled, in the past 4.5 years, over 90% of the time alone. I have done it with two children and now I am up to four. The most stressful part of the trip is traveling with a baby between the ages of six months to two years. They have not hit the rationalization age yet or occupied age and just want to move, squirm and flop around. I do have a few traveling tricks that I have learned, through trial and error, and feel I have the system pretty down pat:

1. Sit in the very back of the plane, next to the bathrooms. If your older child has to go, you can let him without having them far from you, and at the same time not having to move and wake the sleeping baby on your lap ( which is very critical)
2. Sit in the very back of the plane- the noise of the engine will lull your child(ren) to sleep- works EVERY time.
3. Sit in the back of the plane, if you children are talking a little louder than the average person around you, their noise is drowned out by the engine.
4. Bring sippy cups to be filled with juice/water
5. Bring only " bland" colored snacks ie: Parmesan cheese goldfish, cheese sticks, banana chips, pb crackers. I made the mistake four years ago to bring nutrigrains. They are gooey, sticky and get red junk everywhere. If it is bland in color it will not stain and is a lot easier to clean up. None of the above snack ideas will get sticky on your hands, seats, faces, or clothes, you get the idea.
6. Buy the marker and coloring book sets that only color on that particular paper- works amazing!
7. Buy new activity books for the older ones that involve stickers, mazes, dot to dot, coloring, etc.
8. Bring listening cd players and borrow books on cd from the library
9. I have not brought a dvd player in over four years on the airplane. There is many reasons for that one being I find my kids manage just fine by using their mind and creativity and also, every time I wanted to turn it on the battery would come up low- it was just too frustrating for me.
10. Always bring a comforting blanket/animal/ and small quiet toys
11. Don't bother with books/magazine or anything recreational for yourself, haha, you will be too busy helping your resident "friends"
12. Relax, enjoy your flight and always bring a watch- you need to time how much longer you have on the plane and how much longer your kids, especially the little ones, will manage.
13. Reward yourself with a frappuccino- it will relax you after the flight is over and you made it, traveling alone with four small children.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sister Love

Putting necklaces on eachother-well mainly Hannah
Kissing, hugging
Playing wooden dollhouse with dolls
Sharing smiles that lets you into a secret world they have
Protecting eachother- mainly Moriah
Did I mention hugging and kissing
Mothering- mainly Moriah who feeds her, grabs small, unseen foreign objects away from Hannah's all grabbing hands and pulls her to safety.
Love, did I mention love- oh the precious, melt your heart, make you fall in love all over again-yes, that kind of love.
Beautiful, two beautiful girls with beautiful spirits who are blessed to be sisters and I'm blessed to be able to watch.


We had a great birthday party with Jayden and all his friends this past week. I did a pancake themed party with fresh fruit, juice, pancakes and many different toppings: whip cream, cherries, sprinkles, mini chocolate chips and syrup. The kids ate and decorated their pancakes any way they wanted and then played at the park. We were suppose to swim because it is AZ and weather is typically predictable. However, it ended up being 68 and windy, so we scratched that idea in lieu of our health. We didn't even do a cake, we just sang happy birthday and he opened presents, To me, this was so wonderful. It was relaxed, the kids had a great time and Jayden was beyond blessed.

The next day, on Jay's actual birthday, he requested " Lucky Charms" for breakfast and because it was his birthday and this type of cereal is normally reserved for camping excursions I went out and bought him some. We hung the happy birthday banner, gave him a balloon and pretty much let him dictate the day for the most part.

In the evening, I made cupcakes and pizza at his request and we sang to him. The day pretty much flew by. I cannot believe he is seven. He acts seven. Responsible, caring, rational ( for the most part), independent. There is so much that Jayden does on his known besides tying his shoes. I am so proud of you Jayden. I am so proud of the man of God you are becoming. I pray increased sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. I count it a joy to be your mama, the best surprise I could have ever been given. I love you!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Walk To Remember-wrapping up our communities study

We wrapped out study of the community a couple of days ago but since blogger was down I had to wait to update. We spent the morning pretending to be "on call" firefighters. The kids took turns laying down and "sleeping" as I would awaken them with an alarm that there was a fire. They quickly got up, "dressed" in their boots, pants, coats and helmets, jumped into their firetrucks and sprayed the fire. Also, we talked about if there was a fire, how we would crawl, would we stand, etc. We practiced crawling on the ground and talked about not hiding under beds, in closets and I showed them pictures of firefighters and how they were there to help us.

The kids also painted, colored, stamped and created their own firetruck out of a diaper box. They worked pretty diligently on this endeavor for 30+ minutes and it was pretty cute when they were through. Finally, we went outside and took turns helping to hold the "fire" hose as the kids put out the flower fire. I still want to have them visit the local fire station but honestly, with everything I have going on this upcoming week I am not sure that will be possible. We ended our time reading Curious George and the Firetruck, and a few related firefighter books 

It was really nice, the morning was cool and sunny. All three kids jumped on their bikes, I put Hannah in the stroller and we set off to see how many community workers we could find. The really cool thing about where my house is located is that it is near the Town Hall, Fire Station, Chamber of Commerce, etc. We walked/rode down the quiet streets, passed the fire station observing the clean fire trucks inside their garage and crossed the street to the Town Hall.

There is a beautiful fountain that we sat and enjoyed for a few minutes and then walked over to the chamber of commerce to get a map of our town. We noticed construction workers, firefighters, ambulance drivers, town employees, police officers, and park workers. The kids ran around the playground after our walk. I chased them some but Hanns was in my arms so it was slow going for us. I pulled out the chamber of commerce map and we practiced locating coordinates, ie: E2 for different business or town sites. The kids also enjoyed hiding in this huge bush that has a peek hole with purple flowers all around it. I can only imagine how exciting it felt to them to be in their only secret "fort".

I remember, as a little girl in kindergarten, getting off the school bus in the winter and feeling so excited and full of adventure as I walked to the huge snow forts my Dad would create for us with all the snow that was plowed out of the street and into our yards. My Dad would carve out, with a shovel, rooms and crevices, walkways and paths and I would pretend to carefully tread along the winding path that wove its away against the jagged points of a cliff. I would sit inside the cave feeling cozy, warm and alone. This is a very special memory for me so I enjoy watching the boys create this in their own lives as well.

We headed up after being gone most of the morning and as we were walking home Austen heard a train sounding its horn ( is that what its called?) and he goes, " Look, it's in the community" - ahh, success :)

Last week in Cooperation- studying the family and church and the need for cooperation!!!! Almost DONE!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Tooth Fairy

Last night, we arrived home from football practice and Austen bumped his large, round head into the front of Jayden's rubbery mouth. The end result was his very loose top tooth was not even looser and he cried over to Ben, who calmed him down and after a few wiggles and tugs his first top tooth was laying in his hand!

We completely do the tooth fairy....some of you may think that's strange as we don't play up the Easter bunny or Santa Claus and for me the answer is simple, there are no religious ties to loosing a tooth as there is to Santa Claus so I don't feel like I have to "fight" the current of trying to instill why we celebrate something from a Christian perspective vs a secular....but ANYWAYS that was a tangent :)

I am laying in bed and all of a sudden I start sobbing, like all out sobbing, uncontrollably sobbing. It had everything to do with this mental picture I kept seeing in my mind of dropping my little 9 month old off at the local YMCA and his lower lip puffing out, tears welling in his eyes and his stubby teeth staring me down as I kissed him and hugged him and reassured him my 30 minute workout would go FAST!

Slow down Jayden!!!! I am so proud of you, so proud of your character, your heart your ability to learn and to be sensitive to others feelings. I could not ask God for a better son than you. You bless my heart everyday!! You are selfless, sensitive to the Holy Spirit. You encourage, love, are loyal, love the Lord. But son, if you could do one thing for me, please slow down. Your "big" tooth is bulging at the seams inside your gum and it is only a matter of time before that enormous tooth comes racing down to fill the gap where your once little baby tooth sat. I'm not ready for this part yet because, to me, that symbolizes a new stage in our game. A boy stage. Not a little boy, but a boy. Where is the time going, who can I talk to about slowing the clock. Where did someone have the idea of let's grow up as fast as we can???? I mean I know I always wanted to be 15 when I was 10 or married when I was 15 but seriously, that was me. It is NOT ok for my kids to move this fast......please, just grow up just s   l     o      w

It was last night's moment with mascara smeared everywhere that I just thanked God over and over for the ability to home school. Homeschooling gives me the time that would be given to someone else. I now am able to breathe life into them each and everyday. Someone asked me yesterday is it overwhelming? Overall, no...sometimes, of course. But the whole it is a blessing beyond my wildest descriptions and I am gaining precious, precious moments, snippets of time that collectively will add to my beautiful memory bank. I am thankful to God, thankful for His love and His grace and thankful that he blessed us with Jayden, our beautiful surprise.

PS. Jayden asked that I write the toothfairy a letter ( I cut it as a butterfly) and ask her to leave the tooth and Austen asked to know her name, our resident tooth fairy is " Lady Dainty" . Who's yours?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Learning About Community Members

Well the last couple of days have been full of reading about vets, firefighters, police officers, doctors, dentists, teachers, construction workers, railroad engineers, and farmers to name a few. Today, I was looking over my plans on how I wanted my week to go and decided to completely veer from it ( a nice plus to homeschooling) and make up our own community.

We read some books and then each of the kids dressed up as a community member. Jay was a veterinarian, Riah a railroad engineer and Austen was a police officer. We set up a police crime scene, with police tape and made an accident scene. We called Austen over to investigate and help with the clean up, making sure people were ok, etc. Then we got down a ton of stuffed animals, some exotic others familiar and brought them to Jayden. He intently checked their ears, legs, bone structures, eyes and any other area he deemed necessary until they were given shots, medicine and sent on their ways healthier and happier.  Riah dressed as a railroad engineer constructed a circular railroad and choo-chooed her little way around the track. Finally, we tied it all together with a story:

As the train was running full speed ahead a little dog jumped in front of the tracks, was struck ( but lived) , however, the train derailed and we need help! So, I called 9-1-1 and they dispatched Officer Austen out, he then contacted the Emergency Vet Dr Jayden who then determined the poor, defenseless dog had a simple bone fracture of the femur and then railroad engineer Moriah put the train back on its tracks and life was once again smooth sailing in " Terry Town Lane"

We talked through stranger danger and that was a little unnerving considering Moriah's sincere is one example.
Me- " Austen, what if someone comes up to you and says , ' hey, I have a superman icecream with gumball eyeballs do you want it?' what do you say?"
A- " NO WAY! and I will run away"
M-leaning in to me with very sincere eyes, " I will say, I will have it!"

We also talked about getting lost in a mall, the protocol of finding a trustworthy person to help you. Finally, we played two very fun cooperative games, " max" and " A Walk Through the Woods". These games are fun because they tie in so nicely with our trait " cooperation". We also played a game that I bought the kids 2 Christmas ago called " Around the Town" . This game is AWESOME!!! You drive cars, have to obey stop sign, roll the dice when you hit a light, obey u turn vs no u turn signs as well as pay for things, earn things for " mowing a neighbors lawn" and follow the instructions on the cards. The games is geared towards ages 5+ but Moriah plays w/ me and loves it! Austen even does well with the money. I love, LOVE how nicely this game ties into our unit study and finally, crazy how this worked out again but we were reading about teachers and rediscussed Helen Keller and her teacher which we had just read about in Jayden's language arts curriculum. Last but not least about 2 more days of language arts and we are done, done, DONE until July!!!! After spending the morning with some great, new friends this day has been absolutely wonderful!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Towns and Communities

We are in the final stages of our unit study and I am very excited. Today, we went to the park and pretended to be going on a taxi. We talked about how taxis work, Riah stated she wanted Jay to drive her to the post office, Austen to Target. Jay charged .18/mile and collected his fare when the said destination was reached.

Also, we have been reading lots and LOTS of books about our communities, comparing communities around the globe, dentists, vets, doctors, police officers and firefighters, etc. We probably spend an hour this morning reading so many books and just enjoying each other.

The boys played on the computer earlier than usual today so I had Hannah sleeping and spent some quality time with Riah. Today, we baked "cookies" put them in the oven, frosted them, ate pizza and played with her wooden dollhouse. Yesterday, we played legos and read stories for FOREVER together and it was so much fun!!!!

I have a few more map skills and community activities that I will be focusing on with the boys today, after I am done writing this little blog. We will be talking about abbreviations of directions ( St, Ave, Blvd....), our address, and making a map of our town with blocks, train tracks, parks, etc. I am looking forward to this activity as knowing the boys and their creativity they should come up with some pretty cool ideas!

I am trying to put together an entire art curriculum for when we start back school in July - I am combining the Art Explorers books together and really looking forward to it. Jay just completed his first real chapter book in two days!!! It is the first book in the Humphrey series- books about a hamster that is the class' pet. I was very proud of him and remembered vividly the feelings of accomplishment as I completed my first Boxcar Children book when I was 6.5 years old. The world opens up to you when you are able to read! So fun!

Bad Attitude warning

So I was making my way quite well through today and then now, mid afternoon, I have a pretty bad attitude. I just have to be honest...I am really starting to hate holidays in general. I try with everything in me to make them great, memorable, etc. but my husband always works all day on the holiday whether day or night, with no family around and nothing really special about the day it is getting old.

Of course, my kids make things special and we end up celebrating on a different day but I feel no real sense of sentimental attachemnt to rush and get cards in the mail or even care what day it is because we are never a whole family on that day anyways.

If you've never been in this position, please don't couldn't possibly understand in the first place. I would be totally fine if Ben was around...totally fine...but the fact that he is not and as hard as I might try all the expectations growing up are totally a bust by day end. It just feel like there is no point. What's a day?

Would I be such a horrible parent if I just stopped celebrating any and EVERY holiday until we could be all together, our little family of 6. I don't know. I am thinking of going up north during Christmas time just to get away from the sight of every one's driveways filled with family cars and no snow. Its just my traditional side will not let me "give up" ....I still go through all the preperations for the kids but the enjoyment of so much of it is really lacking.

I am looking forward to the day that a holiday stops landing on a Sat/Sunday and we can be together and celebrate and just enjoy the day. When we first moved out here, holidays were great..Ben did not work weekends/evenings so we enjoyed the day fully. Its just the being alone, totally no "greatness" about the day feeling.

If you've been in my situation and you have some nice advice, feel free to comment.....I'm not looking for pity, please don't patronize....this is more of a personal note for myself than anything.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Can I Hear a Collective "WOW"

So I as some of you may have been reading, I have a daughter named Moriah and she is the apple of my eye, loves fierce, lives passionately and gets a beady little look in her eye when I feel she is morphing into the "Ramona" character from the Beverly Cleary books.

Yesterday, I was visiting a friend whom I had not seen in awhile and she was taking me around her NEW house. Let me emphasis NEW- not old, not broken into, not torn up and damaged but new. Anyways, I was sitting on the couch and Moriah was jumping so I told her to stop. She stopped for a moment, did it again, again told her to stop as she did she jumped over me knocking my coffee over my friend's baby's tummy time mat and all over her glass end table ( haha, will get back to those). We cleaned up the mess, not a whole lot of damage done except extreme annoyance on my part. However, Moriah sat next to me or wandered off aimlessly in the backyard and seemed to be occupied.

Later, as our visit was winding down and we were getting in a few last chats before saying adieu, we situated ourselves in the front room which was a LONG way from the family room. As we sat chatting, chatting, chatting we heard a sickening crash. I rushed quickly down the hall and stopped as I see a once put together, glass top end table shattered in hundreds of pieces, some being quite large, others being quite minuscule and Moriah standing on the couch looking at me with a very unsure expression to her. After seeing that not one child was harmed by the dangerous glass and relief quickly dissipating I was so upset.

Why is it that toddlers seem to go in stages of listening, not listening, listening, not listening? To think of how badly she could have gotten hurt simply because of her disobedience frustrates me to no end. I know her intention was not to break the table but I just can't wrap my head around why she wouldn't sit with her bottom on the couch, play or watch the movie. I ask God every day for a love like His for Moriah and patience and understanding on how to raise her to be a godly woman. She is so amazing but so frustrating at times. I am so thankful, to God, for protecting her. I get shivers thinking of her falling through that empty square with the jagged glass daggers all around. What life lesson can I take from this....well, there are a couple:

1. Just because you are not going to break something, doesn't mean your child won't.
2. My children and glass end tables, or glass anything do not mesh well
3. Bring a check book , from now on, to others homes so I can just pay for the broken object right then and there.
4. Pray for God's continual protection over my children because , wow, I'm not always in the same room
5. Grace, grace, grace. We all need more of it, given to us and given out by us.
6. See our children as God does, who they will be, not who they aren't.

And, yes, everyone was out of the car except Moriah, at the store, and she looked at me and locked herself in. Again. Patience, just have patience.

Washington DC

Well, I can't believe we are in the home stretch of going around the United States. This has been an amazing adventure and I"m actually feeling sad for being almost done. We are skipping the 2 week Civil War unit in cooperation simply because I would rather introduce it at an age where they could really grasp the horrificness of it all. We talked today about Washington DC- again kind of an area where if they were just a bit older it would make more sense. Nevertheless, we drew , with chalk, the Mall outside. I explained to them the different areas and memorials and a brief synopsis of the White House. I wish my Mom lived closer so I could actually how them the pictures of when I went as a 10 year old.

Our country has so much amazing history, both good and bad but I feel privileged to be able to share with my children the successes and faults of our great leaders. Besides reading a ton today and locating Washington DC on the map, not a whole lot else went on. That's ok, as I previously mentioned, Southern picnic and key lime pie Friday and we have already started switching gears with all of our reading to the community.

So many books we read today were on firefighters, police officers, trains, plains, neighborhoods, etc. I am really looking forward to this unit within cooperation as it focuses on having action plans for fires, stranger danger, how a community needs to cooperate, etc. I can't believe we have almost completed this 30 week trait!!!! WOW!!!

Tidal basin in the blue, the beg. of our Mall chalk map

Paddling Our Way Through da Swamps!

our blended peanuts- aka peanut butter
I am loving this picture of Austen, he cracks me up! Last week, we shelled a whole lot of peanuts and talked more about George Washington Carver. I am learning so much myself. To think of how God used him to think creatively and out of the box and what benefits it created for so many others. We found Missouri on the map and moved our hands down to Alabama. We read more of our Scholastic states books focusing on Florida, Alabama and North Carolina. Then, we blended our own peanut butter because what is the use of shelling all those peanuts and the mess that ensues if we don't have something quite tasty coming out of it. The kids all shrieked at the loud noise of the blender, maybe blenders are noisy or mine is on its way out. Either way, we successfully blended and spread are very own peanut butter. I love " taste" learning!

All the while, I had steel drum music and southern Floridian ambiance floating around. Can I have a pina colada please? We ate oranges together ( shh, they were from California)  and talked about the importance of the citrus economy in Florida and also the factors that play into whether citrus fruit will grow or not. We have yet to make the Key Lime Pie but will hopefully get to that on Friday. Another great books series is the "Goodnight States" book. We checked out the Florida one from the library and I would like to make a mental note for when we revisit this trait, a couple of years from now, to get those books again. The southern states are soo huge that I could spend a month on them, but time if of essence and I am getting into the sprint of my "race" now so we are moving on to Washington DC and ending w/ our key lime pie and a Southern picnic.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Cup Runneth Over

So lately, life has been busier than I had intended or liked. This has nothing to do with "what can I take out of my schedule" but rather, I have four kids and we have a life so there isn't a lot to take out. I enjoy being with them but most of what I do these days is for my family ( minus my coffee and workouts- all about me). Anyways, I am sitting here at 1:10 in the afternoon, quiet time around me, nap time around me and still in my sweats= they are the cute VS sweats I might add, but still sweats nonetheless and I want to write about yesterday.

The day started off a little crazy, as most Saturdays do trying to get 5 people fed, clothed and out of the house for Austen's 8 am football games but we made it and we were fine. From there, I was suppose to meet someone who wanted to buy my running stroller, they never showed, needed to buy a birthday present gift and wow, I'm feeling really hungry now so made a quick stop at Target. I decided to forgo my workout, for the time being, go home and have the kids take an early nap/quiet time so I could try to get something done around the house before the early afternoon birthday party. The house was a disaster from the morning so I tried to do the best I could picking up the main living areas and felt that I made some major headway. Then, looking at the clock I realized that it was almost time to leave and that this was a pool party and I would have young children that needed to be in the pool which would than require me to be in the pool which than equated to " I have no 'family friendly' swimsuit to wear"---soooooo, found a coupon for Kohls ran into the store with all the kids, found a swimsuit that matched my taste, ran to the fitting room, tried it on - fit, score- and left. Austen, picked out a hideous one piece teal and black striped suit for me. I thought, if I ever found myself in that suit may it be at my funeral- thanks Austen, but I'll pass, I am still in my 20s son :)

We arrived at the party, fashionably late to the tune of 30 minutes. No problem, the kids had their suits on and all the other kids were swimming. Riah didn't really want to swim a ton anyways so I could have skipped the suit buying but oh well. We enjoyed our time at the wonderful birthday party but I was getting more and more tired by the minute. We needed to leave at a certain time, so that we could get home, have dinner and then leave again for church. My friend's son was getting dedicated that night and I really wanted to be there for that. We played the games, ate the cake and food, asked if the birthday boy could open up his gift before we left, he loved it and we left.

We walked, walked, walked to our van which was parked a thousand miles away, I am feeling more and more tired and just wanting to get home. All of hte kids piled into the car and Moriah locked me out, smiled at me and then pushed the lock button again. " Unlock the door Moriah" " Dis?" " Yes, open it" - no action taken. So now, I'm talking through the van window, Austen moves in and opens it and Moriah gets a warning. We drive home, right before we get home Riah give Hannah a toy, only problem is it hits sleeping Hannah ( who had hardly any nap yesterday) square in the temple. Now, sleeping Hannah is screaming Hannah and hungry Hannah and hold me now Hannah. " Can we listen to something?" " NO!"

We arrive home, get inside, I go and check to see if the person who had wanted my running stroller from earlier emailed me, Moriah announced she needed to go potty and off she went. Then, Moriah, comes back. She smells of poo and is wet - wonderful combinations. " It all wet, I all wet, come please". Then, it hit me like a boulder falling off of the side of a mountain- Jayden told me before the chaos of leaving for Kohls and the party that he had plugged the toilet and could I help him---well, I had forgotten.

Quickly walking to the bathroom, my heart stops as I see the toilet overflowing with poo water every WHERE!!!!! Riah is walking in it, slips in it, falls, Hannah starts screaming crawling towards me from the other room, Jay is crying because he feels bad that the toilet was plugged and Austen is observing this whole scene and asking if he can play "". I am going crazy trying to find towels- the only ones in our home are the clean ones, the ones I just cleaned that are in a pile in the kitchen along with 8 loads of clean clothes that need to be put away because I've been gone all day and haven't had a chance. I run into the kitchen grab towels, try not to think about what I'm doing or I will loose what little food I ate. Drop the towels like they are stepping stones and make my way to the plunger. Unplug the toilet, Jesus help me! Go back into the kitchen, stepping around screaming Hannah and crying Jayden and tell him in a very umm not patient voice " Bring her in the bedroom and play with her there"- so now on top of thinking about getting out the door in 10 minutes for church, cleaning up this mess, now having to bathe MoriahJayden to my list of things that are swirling in my head.

I fill the bathtub with Pinesol and boiling water, sop up the disgusting mess with my yellow gloves, towels, and a mop all the while standing on my "stepping stones". I gather the towels all up, throw them into my beautiful front loader washer, thank goodness for that thing, and return to get Moriah. I put her in MY bathtub, fill the water, wash her from head to toe and let her play. I go back, remop the entire bathroom until the smell of pine sol out weighs the "ahem" smell. The bathroom is sparkling clean now, go wash my hands, find Jayden apologize for being snappy and tried to explain it wasn't him, just the incredibly time pressing, stressful situation of poo, water, overflowing toilet, baby crawling, screaming towards the mess and wow, why does my house feel like its 100 degrees in it now. Oh, Jay I wish I could be so calm all the time.

Thankfully, 3 out of the four kids were ready for church. I loaded them up, quickly dried and dressed Moriah after she came crying and walking out of the bathroom, naked, cold and wanting a towel, got her in the car. Searched my bedroom for a quick outfit, found a dress, brushed my hair, a dab of makeup here and there and we are calling it good. I called Ben and asked if he minded if we stopped for dinner, remembered that my mother in law had given us some $ for a "buycott" cause and went to the restaurant before church. Arrived at church and prayed that Hannah would be ok in the nursery because, wow, I needed to sit. We were only 10 minutes late and I did not miss my friend's baby's dedication. The worship was uplifting and I was thankful to be alone. Ben sent me a text, " You are beautiful and a great mom and wife" - sometimes, his words are the only encouragement I need to get through the day.

Today, we are intact, no place to go and taking it easy. The only upset we had today was upon cleaning the entire frig and freezer out, sweeping and mopping I decided, " hmm, let's make banana bread and I want dear Moriah to help"....well she did, and she decided at the very end to turn on the kitchen aid by herself , full speed mind you when we just put in 3 cups of flour. My kitchen and her were coated with a white fluff of snow in a matter of seconds and she just looked at me and said, " My kirt ( skirt) dirty now"....yes Moriah and so is my kitchen. Then, again, looking for something to clean it up I noticed that there was a brown mark on the door to the bathroom. I asked Moriah and she informed me that " yeserday, I wiped the stinkies off my finger" Lovely.  Hahahah, love life, love being a Mom and love laughing because sometimes, that's all you can do :) Happy toddlering :)