Monday, December 5, 2011

High Time

Yes, it is high time that I introduce the newest member of the zoo.  He is almost 8 months old, poor thang...and not a mention of him yet.  This zookeeper has taken a hiney-kickin' over the past 8 months.( Sidenote: Hiney is our choice word for our backside.  I started to let the older two call it their butt--because that is what it IS--until my 18 month old screamed that her butt hurt all the way through the grocery store.  I decided it needs to sound normal coming out of the youngest members mouth before we move on from hiney.) Anyway...our newest member is such a sweet blessing and cute as can be.  The sheer number of children and the ages that they are has been nothing short of a challenge.  God always has a way of showing me areas that need work...usually areas where I am being judgemental.  This was one of those.  I just never understood what people meant when they were "overwhelmed" by a certain number of kids, or they just could never "handle" any more.  I always thought I could have at least 6 and could pull it off pretty easily.  Well, let's just say I am understanding that "overwhelmed" thing.  Eight months down though, and I am commited to getting back to blogging!  Kids, I want you guys to have these memories some day because I love you SO MUCH and raising you has been so AWESOME...and because half of my mind is already gone.  There won't be much left by the time you are grown. ;-)

I am still trying to think of a zoo animal name for sweet number 4, so maybe I can get some help if I describe his personality.

He is very smiley and loveable.  He gets very excited about toys and loves people.  But, he is mostly a mama's baby.  If someone else has him and he can see me, he stares a hole in me and pitifully says, "mamamama." He is super cuddly and loves to be held.  He crawled before he could sit up, which is kinda goofy.  Actually he still can't sit up very well because he sees no need for it.  There is nothing to do just sitting there. He likes to go get stuff. He does not like being tied down (like a carseat).  He used to scream every single second he was in the car but has learned to cope pretty well, especially since he can play with a toy now.  He still cries a lot of times in protest when I first put him in though.   

Honestly, the animal that I thought of first was a puppy.  They are kind, loyal, happy, and absolutely love their "mama."  They are also full of energy and get really excited about toys.  But....dogs don't live in the zoo.  So, help me out here.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Funny at Five

My sweet little Monkey is getting so big and can't wait to start kindergarten.  She thinks she is 15 instead of 5 and sometimes acts like it.  She is highly concerned about what she is going to wear each day and she can be heard saying, "Mom, are you even watching Koala?"  In which my relply is always, "Yes, I can manage to make sure she is safe...the same way I did with YOU and you are still alive!"  She loves helping do "big" chores like laundry and cleaning bathrooms, although getting her to clean her room is a nightmare.  The other day she was just dying to put the laundry from the washer into the dryer.  After telling her she was not quite tall enough and listening to all the reasons why she WAS big enough,  I gave up and gave her a stool.  After all, if she wants to do the laundry, my aching pregnant back could use the break.  After she had been in there for at least 10 minutes I went in to make sure everything was Ok.  She quickly said, "Mom, it is OK.  I couldn't quite reach the stuff on the bottom with the stool, but this works just fine."

She was grabbing socks and such with her toes....Monkey! 

Lizards and Labor

A couple of nights ago, I decided that I HAD to clean out Lion's pet lizard's cage.  It does not get done often enough and definitely is not one of my favorite tasks!  However, I am always the one that does it.  Lion is too short to reach it well enough to clean it out (and I am pretty sure it would be even more disgusting if he tried). Jeremy is terrified of the little green gal and won't even feed her.  Even though Jeremy is our normal pooper scooper, in charge of stopped up toilets and cat accidents, he refuses to deal with the lizard.

In the past, I have been very careful to watch where "Spidey" is while the cage lid is open.  But she has never tried to escape before so this time I got careless.  And Oh did I wish she had NOT jumped out of that cage!  I tried to grab her before she jumped off of the outside of the glass, but those little suckers are fast!  So the chase pursued across Lion's room, out the door, and into the kitchen.  At this point I had to crawl on my hands and knees (Yes, 8 months pregnant) across the kitchen floor swiping at Spidey as she ran as fast as she could.  Jeremy was SO helpful with his pointing this direction and that, saying "Its going that way...there it're going to miss it!"  After having to move chairs from around the table and Lion crawling under the table (and whacking his head on the way) to scare her toward me, I finally got her trapped in a corner and caught her.

Needless to say, I could barely walk later that night.  That was the fastest I have moved in several months (much less crawled).  It did NOT send me into labor, luckily.  But I sure felt like it could have.  Spidey is safe and sound back in her cage.  Lion is happy she is Ok.  I am happy not to get blamed for her destruction, and Jeremy is happy she is not loose in the house with the possibility of popping up unexpectedly! 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

God's Love Revealed

A twelve year old recently asked me if having children helped me understand God's love better.  First of all...Wow!  How inciteful of a twelve year old to even think like that!  (This was not your average everyday girl though.)  The answer is YES.  I have absolutely known since the day I held Lion in my arms that I also held a bit more understanding of God's love than ever before.  But since asked the question recently, I have been thinking about it even more.  I do think that if we try to pretend that the way we love our kids is the way God loves us, we are kidding ourselves.  But isn't it a precious gift that He gives us a glimpse of what it is like?  However, the older my kids get, the more I realize there is so much more to God's love than just that feeling of awe, amazement, and wonder.

For instance....I am sure God has been irritated with my immaturity when He was trying to teach me something vitally important.

God wants me to know...."You don't know as much as you think you do, and you are getting way too big for your britches."

I sure do make some messes out of things!  And yes, He keeps cleaning them up.

(Yes ladies....that IS what you think it is ;-)

He really does think I am beautiful, but He is much more concerned about my heart's beauty. 

He wants me to run the race until it is finished.  He will be just as proud when I finish even if I do not win first place.  (And isn't it neat that just as Jeremy ran with Lion, God runs with us!)

His heart is proud when we serve and make someone else's day brighter.

He is glad when we work with a cheerful heart, even though sometimes our "work" is not quite as productive as He would like.  We are still in training. 

(Doing laundry...every piece brought to me was being worn and took about 10 minutes to get from the bathroom to the laundry room)

Most of all...God sees our relationship as priceless and He would die for me...In fact He DID! 

Thank you God for the blessing of my children!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Catching Up!

When I started doing this blog I intended to post at least once a month, which really shouldn't be that hard.  But, much like the many other things that never get done, I have failed at being consistent.  You see, if it does not scream, cry, whine, ask, beg, or demand, then I may not get around to it!  I have too many that DO those things to have time  for the ones that are silent.  The same reason I kill plants...they make no noise!  The dishes and laundry pretty much stay done because I like to eat and prefer for the family not to stink.  The clean laundry rarely makes it past the couch though.

So....I have some catching up to do.  I'll start with holidays.  Good ole holidays!  I truly love getting together with family and watching the relationships that my kids are building with cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.   

Even though Halloween is not one of those "get together" kind of holidays, there are so many fun memories and traditions that I love.  I can't go without carving pumpkins on Halloween.  It was one of my favorite things when I was little.  Of course, the kids would probably say the candy is the best thing, but I think once they are grown they will remember carving pumpkins together, picking out a costume, and the excitement of the season.

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday!  It is all about being thankful and getting together with people that you love. Not to mention all of the eating...any holiday with the excuse to eat and eat...and eat is high on my list.  This Thanksgiving my family all came to our house.   I had tons of fun!  I don't know how comfortable everyone else was with all 17 of us crammed in this little house.  But, what I love about my family is that doestn't matter.  Our time together is precious even if you have to find a place to park it on the floor for hours while you watch Auburn beat Alabama and then don't feel your butt for the next couple of hours!  And we still love being together even if the kids barely fit around the kitchen table and the rest of us basically sit in each others laps at fold-out tables in the living room!
(I think we can fit at least one more, don't you?)

(Yes, that is an Auburn fan lovin on an Alabama fan! It happens.)

Christmas is also such a fun and special time.  The excitement and anticipation that the kids have are priceless!  Also, seeing them start to understand the true meaning of Christmas is enough to bring tears to a mothers eyes.  One thing that we have started as a tradition is making a birthday cake for Jesus and singing "Happy Birthday" first thing Christmas morning.  Of course, the kids love it because they get to eat cake for breakfast!  But, hopefully this along with many other Christmas traditions will help us all to be thankful that Jesus came!

Here are a few more random pics of Christmas.  We also got to see Jeremy's family for Christmas, which was tons of fun.  Thank you Grandma for keeping the kids a few extra days!  Jeremy and I got to take a little vacation in celebration of 10 years of marriage!!!  It is so nice to know that my kids are well taken care of and of course, having fun with cousins, while we are gone.

That brings us to the New Year, so now I am only 2 months behind!  I will keep catching up...hopefully.  After all, when April gets here I will have one more thing that cries to keep up with.  Until then...maybe I can add a few extra posts in here and there! 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Well, school is in full swing.  The Lion has finally been tamed at school...although it took me meeting with his teacher and a little bribery to make him hush his social little mouth.  He is growing up to be such a good boy and a great big brother.  He and Monkey have been playing well together (for the most part) and I have never seen him be sweeter to anyone than he is to Koala.  He uses a softer tone, chooses kinder words, and has a gentler touch with her.  The other day he told a friend that was at our house, "It is OK to kiss a girl if she is your baby sister."  He is usually NOT a touchy feely kind of guy.  I can barely get a hug, and Justin Bieber got deleted from his list of cool people when he found out that Justin might actually want to kiss a girl. But, Koala steals all of his affections.

This is one of those "getting along well" moments for Lion and Monkey.  They love playing outside together.

This is a picture of the "Fun Run" Fundraiser at school.  They make a huge deal of the kids running around in tiny little circles....prizes, music, popsicle parties.  Hundreds of parents show up and the school raises tens of thousands of dollars!  CRAZY!  I only wish I had been the one to think up this fundraising organization because I don't think they do too shabby either.  Thanks to all of our friends and family that contributed.  Hopefully a new computer or two will be bought, but if not, Lion was super pumped about the prizes that you helped him earn!! 

Monkey is growing up to be such a lovely little lady.  I was reminded after she had been in school for about six weeks that she had been on green every single day.  She had never said anything about it...never asked for a prize.  She is one of those kids that does what is right just because it is right.  Ahhh!  Very nice, but very sad that I totally forget to praise or reward her....EVER.   So, when it dawned on me, I told her that I would take her to get icecream one day to celebrate.  She said she was hungry right then and we had time to go before getting Lion from school, so we headed to the icecream shop.  I had totally forgotten that I did not have on one stitch of make up. My hair had dried after my shower while I was laying on the couch and I forgot to bring anything to put it up with, so it was Medusa-like.  I had on some sort of gym clothes (not the matchy matchy kind, but the aka "pajamas" kind).  Koala was grungy, had no shoes, and I had not brushed her hair.  To top it all off, when we pulled up to the icecream shop, Monkey announced that she had forgotten to bring shoes as well.  A one year old with no shoes is socially acceptable, but a five year old...not so much.   Anyway, I was not turning around and going back home, so we went in just like that.  It was worth it.  Sometimes, such is life with three kids. 

Monkey has also been very helpful at home.  A small house with three children makes for very quick messes.  Sometimes I wish I had a playroom or an animal pen or something to put the kids and their messes in and close the door.  But, we just try to clean up often....ugh.  Jeremy and the kids have been very helpful!

Nothing like washing windows in high heels. 

Koala finally learned how to walk and when she did, she was off like a shot!  I loved the fact that she didn't walk until 15 months, although she was getting heavy.  As soon as she started walking she decided she wanted to be "big."  She is talking a lot more, climbing everything, and of course being such a good helper too!  Her latest trick is getting my attention by hollering "Ouch, ouch!"  She learned that I paid attention quick when that came out of her mouth.  I'm onto her now though, so she's not getting the wanted response. 

The love of coloring is "big."

The love of coloring everywhere...not so "big."

Feeding yourself is "big."
Insisting on using your hair as a napkin....not so "big."

Entertaining yourself is "big."
Taking every single thing out of the cabinet to do it...not so "big."

And last but not least, not only are the kids growing and getting bigger, but so is our family...and my belly!  We will welcome another baby to this crazy zoo in April!  Bring on the excitement!

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Synopsis of Our Sensational Summer

lIt is hard to believe that we are already heading into the Fall, with little ones back in school(especially since it is, and will be 100 degrees for another month!)  Our summer was definitely eventful...I wouldn't call it relaxing, but we packed a lot in!  We started out with our yearly visit to Mammo and Papa's house, which we DROVE this time.  Since we had only driven the 12 hour stretch one other time, I had temporary amnesia on all the reasons it is not a good idea.  1) The first time we only had one we have three!  2)  That one child couldn't talk yet...we have two blabbers now!  3) 12 hour trips turn into 14, 16, 18 hour trips when many potty breaks are a necessity.  Nevertheless, it was worth it and we had a great time.  I have always thought it was important for my kids to build memories at the grandparents' houses, regardless of how long it takes to get there!  I know the memories I have at my grandparents' houses are very special to me and it is a gift we can give to our children. 

Our next adventure was to the beach to meet my side of the family for a long weekend.  Of course, you can't tell we are at the beach in any of the pictures because we actually never took the kids down to the beach.  Because of the oil spill, they would not have been allowed to play in the sand or swim.  Lucky for us, who needs a beach when you have cousins!?!

One of my favorite adventures of the summer was Lion's first adventure with church camp!  We were not quite ready to let him go by himself for the whole week, so we made it a family affair.  That's right...I was in a cabin full of 7 year old girls with Monkey and Koala in tow.  Luckily, my sister did most of the chaperoning.  Jeremy was heading up the 7 year old boys cabin by HIMSELF.  Suprisingly he survived and all of the boys were accounted for at the end of the week.  The BOYS seemed to have a fascination with all of the butterflies at camp. It was all Jeremy could do to keep them from running out into the woods on wild butterfly hunts every time they walked outside!  Ha. I did get a kick out of the whole thing!  Camp was a great experience!  I really hope we can go back again sometime. I love the memories we create together and the spiritual development and growth that is unique to church camp.

Aside from these fun-filled trips, we took several trips to the lake, I taught 8-10 group fitness classes a week , we babysat 3 extra kids for five weeks,  and of course spent countless hours at the pool!  Whew!  I have to say...I will be glad when summer is back again, but for now... Hello School!