Wednesday, May 21, 2014

American Girl Birthday and Parade of Homes!

It's been an up and down kind of week.  We finished up with the builder last week..for over $13,000.  Gak, I think I just threw up a little in my throat.  Yes, it feels nauseating.  The fact that we still had bills coming in four months was all mysterious.  We had another $5070 bill for brick..and the brick was d-o-n-e last September. did that bill not come in before we met, finalized, and closed in December?  ..Ok, I need to move along for my sanity.  Depressing stuff is no bueno.

Mary Claire's birthday was last Thursday, she's TWELVE!!  How did that happen?!  She was just my little girl one minute, and now she's looking into my eyes, and BiG!  And sometimes kinda sassy, and sometimes hilarious, and sometimes shy, sometimes sweeter than pie.  Boy, she's been fun! : )  
Great Wall of Chocolate at PF Chang's..mmm...looks like the momma couldn't wait for some either!

She added candles..and wanted more than 12! : )  More power to her..there will be a day she might subtract candles!

Even though she's big as me, she still loves dolls.  Especially American Girl dolls.  She now considers herself a closet doll lover.  (who makes my kid feel this way?  I'm gonna get you!)  She says none of her friends still play with them.  *sad face*  ..Anyway, she didn't want a party (remember last year's ice skating party or 2012's fun American Girl party?  Ahh..), she just wanted a trip to the STORE and to get Isabelle, the GOTY (her word for Girl Of The Year), since she'll be gone this winter.
They unwrapped Isabelle and handed her to Mary Claire, and we just sat and played for a while!

She says she takes the best selfies, and she's right!  How did she learn this?

So, we went to Kansas City (the nearest store) for a girl's trip!  We stopped by Joplin, and picked up our friends Angie and Andalynn to head north.  We had lunch at Sandstone Gardens (my fave!!), and then only 2.5 hours at the AG Store.  I think we mommas like it as much as the girls!  We got a few extras for their Christmas and upcoming holidays (can you say no shipping?) while they watched the magic at the hair salon.  Late dinner and hotel hunting (after I discovered our room was *smoking*! and I didn't realize there was still such a thing!  My fault, blech.)  Then brunch at Cheesecake Factory, a tiny bit of shopping and back on the road home.
She's so grown up!

but I still love her the same!!

again with her fancy selfie shots!  Thank goodness for those late-in-life braces! haha!
I had bunco at my house last night, and much fun!  I do love these ladies, they are all sooo sweet! : )  I apparently made them wild rice and chicken salad before..since Candace said she remembers me making it!  haha, it's been that long we've been playing, that I actually double-made something!  Oops.  Does it help that I tried a slightly newer version?  It had red pepper, purple and green onion, toasted pecans, and a soy dressing..mmm, so much better!  We only played one round, we were so busy talking.  
after their game (against each other!)..and then we went for shaved ice at Shave the Planet!
So..about last week.  The day after we finished with the builder, he called and asked if we'd allow our house to be in the Parade of Homes.  It's not until June, but they had to get it on the roster if so.  I was really nervous for the obvious reasons: lots and lots of people wandering through my home, the actual foot traffic on my floors (even with booties!) and spills or stains, things getting taken and/or moved..and then the real anxiety: my house!  I'd have to have it all perfect, in less than a month!  I have all these things I want to do and redo (but I did get my new breakfast room chandelier up on Monday!), and my landscaping isn't finished, my dining room drapes aren't hemmed, I really need new bedding, what do I do with all these unpacked boxes, should I continue?

soo..will my house look this sweet?  I hope someone equally cute opens the door that weekend! : )
Ok, and the kicker.  My savings money just went to the builder.  So..what am I supposed to decorate with now?  Huh?  Be creative you say.  Ok, I'm really creative, and I'm working on it..but some stuff just costs money.  So here we sit at the crossroad.  Can I just say if you drive to my house and wear the booties and walk around..just please don't judge my house?  Just find something nice to say, and go to the next house.  Thank you.  We actually live and eat and sleep and change clothes here!  (evidenced by the clothes on the floor!) (and crumbs under the table!)

Wrapping my head around this.  I sooo much more enjoy having the bunco girls over, they are super sweet, and wouldn't think of noticing my crumbs, footprints, and laundry!  Love those girls!!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Loving the Mommas

Happiest Mother's Day to you! (especially my momma!)  The kids and I were just joking today that it's really more like Mother's Day know that sweet celebration followed by hunger and making them breakfast and cleaning up and playing with them..and then they start to argue and totally forget that you only asked for one, great be-nice-to-each-other day! : )

I've noticed my mom cracks up when I'm talking to her on the phone, 'cause I kinda lean toward ADD (attention deficit disorder) when I'm talking..and yes, I'm just weird too.  I had to tell Ethan to get his mouth off the window today (he was blowing on it and then wiping his lips down the window making Carter laugh!).

Yesterday we went to Farmington to take a JDRF Bag of Hope to a newly diagnosed little girl, Ellie.  She and her mom, Melinda, were so sweet!  And Ellie is really doing well, but you can keep them in your prayers.  Diabetes always rocks worlds.

Afterward, we had a mom's day lunch with my mom and dad, and then visited my great aunt and uncle.  It was my great aunt's 82nd birthday!  What a treat to get to take all the kids over for a visit.  They really enjoyed hearing my uncle Bob tell about his mom making pancakes right on the old cast iron stove top (with the fire inside!) on Christmas morning.  They had all kinds of questions for him..Clay even wanted to go back today! : )

Then we had church, bought roses from Clay's troop selling in the vestibule after church (for some sweet ladies we know!), and then went over to Mom's house for dinner and an evening outside!  Clay and I played baseball and catch, and Mary Claire and Ethan played inside plastic tubs..and Carter ran between all of us and played with the big yellow Tonka dump trucks and backhoes.  I didn't get pictures since we were really just busy having fun!
making lemon squares for our Mother-Daughter Tea : )

Today was more relaxing..Clay had to go back to church this morning and sell roses before and after church, and the other kids swam!  Late this afternoon we all went to see Rio2 (but Carter didn't make it much more than ten or fifteen minutes!) and then we had dinner outside at Qdoba.  We went to Home Depot and I picked out some new flowers.  I got a new hydrangea bush, some geraniums, verbena, ivy, and some Stella d'Oro daylilies.  I love spring and planting.  Nothing is more motivating that warm weather and longer days!

I hope that if you have kiddies under your roof that you had a blessed Mother's Day today.  Even if your babies are grown or gone, Happy Mother's Day to you too.  Happy Mother's Day to the mommas that gave up their babies, and Happy Mother's Day to the mommas that are raising those precious gifts.  And Happy Mother's Day to the mommas whose babies didn't quite make it into their arms.  You are still a mommy if you've carried a little heart-beating bundle in your womb-you know what it feels like to carry a life.

To all of you who've helped teach me or mother me (or my own kiddos!), thank you.  To my mother-in-law who mothered my sweet husband, thank you.  And to my babies, thank you for accepting my mistakes and shortcomings and still loving me all the same.  Especially when I'm checking your blood in church, and I knock off the lid to the poker (and it flies three pews up!).  And when I forget to change your site when you only have nine units left..and I forget till morning.  And when I forget to hang your drapes.  For four months.  I'm just so glad you can see into my heart of best intentions.  May I have an even better, more intentional year.  I love you, babies!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Fresh Whipped Cream

We've had a couple of sweet, relatively calm days.  I'm so thankful.  We've had dinner together, a yummy banana pie (just graham crust with sliced bananas on bottom, instant banana cream pudding made for a pie, and crushed graham crackers on top) with fresh whipped cream.

and my baby turned TWO!!

We've jumped on the trampoline together playing a silly game (Dead Man, Dead Man, Come Alive!  The laying person has to get up, eyes closed, and touch someone.  I'm just sure it's the Jesus game.  Otherwise I wouldn't play!)

Ok, it sounds all magical.  But.  Did you know if you just used some of the whipping cream left over from making Easter's mashed potatoes that it doesn't taste heavenly?  I had no idea.  (My momma buys that stuff.)  I put a huge dollop on top of Ethan's fresh pie..and he didn't approve.  He asked if I made it right.  (umm, of course!)  It was awful!  The words that came to me were's breath.  I googled, and you have to add powdered sugar and vanilla.  And then it's SOooo much better!  (Yes, I just scooped that stiff stuff right off his pie back into the mixer to try it again!)  You totally would've done that too, right?

And that was the calm amidst the storm.  I've leaned into Jesus to get through the last few days.  I promise, He's been carrying me.  I laid it all at His feet, and did my best to refuse anxiety.  (It involves me telling myself to Breathe In, Breathe Out.  Not Kidding At All.)  Carter has had rotovirus (if you don't know what it is, get on your knees and thank God in a big way) (if you do know what it is, you know the smell and mess and illness and sadness and sickness and fear of everyone else following suit-on your floor.)  I think we are finally on the upswing.  We use the BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) diet (except he doesn't like applesauce and he likes his toast r-a-w), and after the Children's Hospital nurse told me at 2:30am on Saturday morning that he could indeed have whole milk (it's good for him!), we continued.. to have poop running down our bodies.  both of us.  his poop.  But upswing, I tell you.  Good poop is returning!  Never have I been so excited to see brown potty!

First Grade Stick Horse Rodeo

making chicken and dumplings.  and apparently Florida! know we closed on our house back in December.  Monday we got a "final bill" on our house.  $23,000.  You know, since we just stockpile money in a drawer, we're good.  Ha!  Yes, we have a mortgage.  No, we had no idea this was coming.  We met with the builder today and requested more invoices (some that showed up in the last couple months).  Breathe In, Breathe Out.  We're making plans.  The rough thing is that if even if we sold it, that extra money isn't on the county's record book, so we couldn't resell it for the sales price + the extra we have to pay now. 


Breathe in, breathe out.  Don't mind me..just breathing over here.

And life continues.  May is a warm, sweet, eventful month full of reminders of what fun it is to be alive.  Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, dances, concerts, field trips, ball games (double headers!), tea parties, a gala, Mother's Day ..end of school drawing near..and swimming beginning!  Add to that flowers, everything greening up (ok..and allergies, haha!), washing off outdoor furniture, some trampoline time, and we have a big month.

Officially Red Cross certified to babysit children near you!
I'm thankful it leaves me no time to stress.  I'm thankful that God grows me in these times.  I'm learning to lean on Him and just trust.  How could you look into these adorable faces and not just smile?

As much as I adore my little people, can you imagine how much God must love us?  And want to give us all He can?

Yep, still breathing over here. :o)

Carter is unaware he isn't their size, he just walks through the basketball game!  Lunch & Recess with our big first grader!

Hope you are breathing in God's goodness and just trusting.  Hugs!