Sunday, May 31, 2009

Gum anyone?

My littlest is at that age in which it seems we never make it through a Sunday without one of us taking her out of church. Today she was her usual self: standing on the bench, making faces at the people behind her, sprawling on the bench, kicking her brother... and a new thing for her- chewing gum. Yeeup. I have come to the conclusion that whoever invented gum obviously never had kids. And this mother that continues to buy her kids gum and give it to them in church on Sunday morning obviously needs a mental examination. (Now might also be a good time to mention the fact that this very same mom willingly bought a bubble gum machine from a garage sale a few weeks ago, filled it up, and set it up in the kitchen corner. Come to find out the thing is broken. Which means you don't have to put money in to get a piece of gum out. In fact if you breathe within a three foot radius of the thing, out tumbles a handful of gumballs- much to my kid's excitement.)

Anyways, back to this morning. So there she was, chomping her gum with her four front teeth (that's all the poor girl has), blowing snot bubbles out of her nose at the people behind us thinking everyone was focused on her. I'm sure the girls behind us were so impressed with her unique talents. Especially the point where she picked up a songbook and pitched it right at those girls to which I spun around, mouthed Sorry! and hastily grabbed up all remaining songbooks within her reach.

Nearing the end of the first sermon she decided to lean back over the bench and spit her gum out on the floor. I looked back to see where it landed and there was one of those girls holding out the chewed up gum between her forefinger and her thumb with a slightly grossed out expression on her face. I humbly accepted the gum, gave another apologetic glance, and quickly sent Hannah over to my husband who scooped her up and headed out.

Flash forward a few minutes to halftime... er, uh... to the song and Jack needs a drink of water. So I bring him out for water and as we're getting back to the bench where we're sitting I notice he's crying. My gum! he sputters. So... I glance at the floor, find no gum in sight and realize now I need to retrace our steps to the drinking fountain to find another chewed up wad of gum- all the while hoping I don't encounter someone along the way with a puzzled expression and a string of gum attached to the bottom of their shoe and the floor.

Anyways, the gum was located, Ryan left again with Hannah sometime during the second sermon and the rest of us amazingly managed to keep our gum in our mouths. Whew.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Congrats Grads!

Remember graduating from high school? The buzzing excitement pulsating through your veins, the open-air feeling of freedom, decorating cars, counting down to the last seconds of high school, the hoarse voice and nasty cold that came along with all the late nights and all-nighters?

I'd like to wish my niece and nephew, M and D, a Happy Graduation Day! I can clearly recall these two as little kids- can it really be they are all grown up now? Two little kids that were just jumping on the trampoline in the backyard at my parent's house. Playing with brighthly colored tubes in the river at the camp, twirling sparklers on the fourth of July. And, yet now they are on their own, ready to move on with the next segment of their lives.

Still, I see two little kids smiling with no reservation, shining from within. Then I look at their graduation pictures, hanging on my fridge and see the adults they have become. Yet if I squint my eyes just right, I see the familiar faces of yesterday- two wonderful kids ready to gather all the experiences that await them like stones plucked from a stream.

I don't have any words of wisdom to instill upon this year's graduating seniors except: keep your head on your shoulders and always remember where you come from. The rest should be a breeze.

Enjoy this time, M and D! Congratulations, you made it, your future is waiting!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Camp cleaning

Okay, summer can start now.

My sister, some brothers, a brother inlaw, and sister inlaws opened up the camp tonight- scrubbed fingerprints and dust off of walls, vacuumed up dead flies, and washed down the ceilings. Ahh. Always feels good to see that place again after winter- ahem- leaves for the year. It was a whopping 4o or so degrees by the lake with a nice stiff breeze blown in off of waters that looked suspiciously like November. Wind chill probably put it somewhere right around 28. Not too bad.

Anyways, I thought it would be nice if they all just hauled their rags and buckets over to my house now and we could just continue on in the same manner. Wouldn't that be the way to clean? Hah. Won't they be surprised when I invite them all over for lunch some nice afternoon and they find the cleaning supplies lined up on the kitchen counter. I once balked at the idea of my sister coming to help me clean because- gasp!- she might see all my heaping piles of junk and discover that my fridge had stuff growing in it from 2004. Happily I quickly got over that fear and now realize it is a rather efficient way of cleaning. I mean, how can you stop and take a break when someone else is scrubbing your bathroom floor?

Actually, I cleaned our bedroom yesterday and in the process my children overturned their bedrooms and the hallway between them as well. They were "cleaning" too, they said. Apparently their method and mine are a bit out of alignment because rather than cleaning things off the floor they cleaned things out of the bins and toy box. Huh. One step forward, three steps back. At this rate I'll be seventy-five before my entire house is clean all at one time. I always have great plans to master this, but as I'm folding clothes in one room, Hannah's in the other tearing them out of drawers. And while I'm making the bed in my room, the other two are busy striping their own. Ryan said the stuff from the hallway was trying to creep into our bedroom today. He quickly pushed it out, of course. Note to self: keep door closed to avoid spreading the plaque that consumes the rest of this place.

Ah, anyways what does it really matter? The camp is cleaned for the moment and all we need is a little increase in the arctic temps around here and we'll just cruise on down to the lake and forget all about heaps of laundry and dusty corners. Because when the warm days of summer are here I- and here's a real shocker, folks- refuse to clean. Bet you didn't see that one coming. We get such a short summer there's no time to spend on the forward, backward game of housecleaning. Unfortunately, that leaves me no excuse when the thermometer lingers in the forties or fifties like it's had the habit of doing lately.

So, anyways. Anyone want to come over for lunch real soon? hehehheh.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lessons from a butterfly

"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower." ~Hans Christian Anderson

Perhaps the best garage sale find of the season in Lydia's eyes- a pair of butterfly wings to fly her around the house, singing, humming, skipping. It seems just the act of putting them on makes her happy. And how couldn't they?
Strap on your butterfly wings and enjoy the day.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jack!

Three years ago today my little boy was born and I'm quite certain that I simply blinked three times and turned around once and now here he is, celebrating three. He had his cake last night and never stopped grinning the whole time we sang to him.

So, here are my thoughts to him at three years old...

Jack, it seems to me you've grown up so much lately and while it scares me, while the mother in me wants to slow things down just a bit, I'm still so happy to see you growing and changing each day.

At three, you are...

Smiling. With a gleam in your eye that suggests you're up to something, you share your smile with anyone... And when you do, it never fails to light up the world around you.

Learning. Sometimes I'm caught by surprise to hear your interesting expressions, your way of placing words together, and conveying your thoughts to me. I love talking to you, hearing your side of the story, and I'm sorry we don't always understand everything you say clearly- I know that's frustrating to you. But I so enjoy listening to all your stories.

Determined. You know exactly what you want and you will not settle for anything else. You align your blankets just so in your bed at night and we know not to mess with the system. You put up an impossible argument- not wavering or giving in to the yellow cup when you really wanted the green.

Loving. You wrap your little arms tightly around my neck, press your forehead to mine, and say, "I love you, Mom," many times a day. Someday, perhaps, you will understand why this simple act means everything to me. And sometimes I think, you already do.

Growing. We finally moved you out of your crib and you are so proud to be in a "big boy bed". The fist morning you woke up, I had to finally come check on you because it was so late and I still had not heard from you. You were there, sitting in your bed with a smile, happy as can be, content just to be in your bed.

Mischief. Yesterday you discovered a bag of pop bottles & cans to be returned and happily dragged them out of the porch and deposited them all over the backyard. You did the same with a bag full of paper bags. You discovered how much fun it is to throw balls and other miscellaneous sandbox toys over the fence and into the neighbor's yards. You mopped the sidewalk with my mop. And that was only yesterday morning.

A good brother to your sisters. Of course you have your squabbles with them, but being sandwhiched between two girls you handle your position as the big brother and the little brother pretty well.

.. And as you continue to grow, as the years continue to slip by, I'll enjoy watching your changes, your aspirations, your dreams. And even when one day I find myself having to look up to meet your eyes, I'll still be staring at the image of you- standing at the back door with a full grin on your face holding out a tiny handful of violets picked just for me.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Jack.

Love, Mom

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Had an enjoyable lazy Sunday today. We spent a little while in the backyard- the kids running around, working up a sweat while I bundled in a blanket (to keep warm against the wind) and sat in a lawn chair to browse some "hand-me-down" home magazines.

Just being outside, breathing in the fresh air, feeling the sun on my face is so reviving. No matter what the temperature this summer- we are going to spend a lot of time in the backyard, at parks, by the lake, at the camp. Enjoying the beauty that surrounds us.

I'm looking forward to a busy Monday and Tuesday followed by a trip out of town on Wednesday. Lots to get done before then so I'm hoping for more nice weather in which the kids can play outside. Also hoping to not spend too much time indoors if the nice weather does (as forested) arrive.

Hope you have a super Monday!