Thursday, March 31, 2011


Sitting in the drive-thru lane at the bank,
I reached over and grabbed a book from the passenger seat.
I figured I should make good use of those two minutes...
I cracked the cover
but I couldn't bring myself to read it;
it just felt wrong, somehow.
The book?

How can you read a book on margin
in 2 minute intervals??

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

the rest of the story

To fully appreciate the significance of my last post,
we need to go back....
way back...
When I was young,
I thought I could pretty much do anything.
And not only do it, but do it well.

I could cook.
I was great with kids.
I was only a mediocre basketball player,
but what I lacked in ball-handling skills
I made up in speed and aggression,
so I was a pretty great asset defensively.
Which, in my humble opinion,
more than compensated for my measly 2 or 4 points a game.
I was thrifty.
I was smart.
I was amazing in my short working-girl career.
(it's been rumored I was pretty cute in my uniform, too)
I was a fairly good wife and a fun mom.
I could handle a needle and thread just fine.
I was no slouch with finances, either.

And then,
we bought a house.
A house that needed some remodeling done.
But I wasn't a bit worried about it
could do anything.
And goodness knows, Tyler could, too!

We bought drywall to replace some highly flammable something
that was currently on the walls in one of the rooms.
And I found out real quick
that I couldn't drive a nail 
to save my life!
I was shocked!
I was
I had never before - to my recollection -
been able to do something I tried to do.

And so for fifteen years, 
I never attempted to hang drywall
until last Friday.

And now you know
of the story.

Monday, March 28, 2011

I got skillz

The mini pantry,
which runs along the 'hallway' 
connecting the bunkhouse to the kitchen,
has been pretty much ignored.
Except for when it's been a tool receptacle.

But now that the real pantry is ready to be 
yucked up with our stuff filled up,
I sorta needed the mini pantry ready, too.
I have this insane need to only put things away
one time
which means I spend an obsessive amount of time
about what should go where.
In order to figure out what goes where in the pantry,
I had to know what all I could fit in the mini pantry.
Makes perfect sense to me...

Like I said, though,
the mini pantry wasn't getting any love.
So, Thursday night,
I left a note for the boys
asking them to drywall it.
Friday morning, Tony got after it for me.
Except that he was feeling miserable.
And the pantry isn't exactly completely square.
I did what any mom would do;
(attempting to ignore the persistent and increasingly worse back pain...)
I helped.
Put up drywall.
And then I just sort of took over.
That's right!
All by myself
I hung drywall!!
And then,
since it needed mudding
and all other available workers were in the loft
doing some essential job that obviously required all five of them
(T was here ~ yay!)
I did that, too!

My family is not appropriately impressed with my skillz.
Most likely something to do with the fact
that even the 5 and 7 year olds have helped hang drywall
and can 'pudd' with the best of them.
And the 12 & 18 year olds have done more drywalling
than many grown men.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

goodbye Behbeh

She's been sayin' it for 12 months
give or take a few,
and then
out of the blue
and without warning,
Lex' said, "Behbeh"
for the very last time yesterday.
Now, she simply says, "Brandon".
We've tried several times to get her to say her bub's name
 the 'old way',
but she just won't.
That tiny piece of her is gone forever.
I love that she's growing up,
but it's always bittersweet
when she outgrows a 'baby' thing.

Friday, March 25, 2011


When we lived in Fort Smith
we had a huge bedroom,
even after Tyler & the kids surprised me
with a bathroom and walk-in closet.
For awhile,
we had a little table set up in there
which was perfect
for an impromptu game of rummy or backgammon
and some coffee with a couple of double fudge Milanos.
We'd just tell the kids we were going on a date
and the big ones would watch the littles
for 1/2 hour to an hour.
(thank, guys!!)

We don't have that here.
I know.
It's hard to get away from everyone
and have a few moments to ourselves.
For some reason,
telling little people, "No. You may not have a drink of my coffee."
fifteen times
isn't fun to me.

Van Dates.

We tell the big boys
-  but say nothing to the little kids -            
and sneak out to the van
and drive
all of 15 feet
to the play field 
and park.
Alone. Together.

Number 173 of my 1,000 gifts:
van dates.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

cubby hole

I'm almost hesitant to fill this space up;
with Lex' playing in there,
it reminds me very much of Gramma Joyce's cubby hole.

Maybe I can leave a shelf or two open??
(maybe I can paint that nasty step ladder, too!!)

Monday, March 21, 2011

senior pics 2011

I'll get all cry-y if I try to add words to this post;
just thinking is bringing a lump to my throat.
So instead - I'll just post a few of my favorite photos
from our Senior Pictures Photo Shoot.

Looks like his papa in this one!

Dad says this is his 'get what he wants' face

and this is the "I just got what I wanted' one

More than words can say, I love you, Boy.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

almost time

Tyler painted my pantry today
I am so excited!!
When I peeked in and saw the first wall painted,
Jeremiah said, "I bet you're going to cry now..."
The boy knows his momma.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

sea breezes

I'm getting pretty jazzed about my pantry!
It won't be long now;
Tyler put the second coat of drywall mud on it tonight.
I picked out paint earlier today;
took me like 8 seconds.
With a name like Sea Breeze it's gotta be good.

news of the day

I have lots to post about
but I'm having issues with pictures.
As in, they suddenly started opening 
in some program (I forget which one...) 
that doesn't allow me to edit them.
In the very least, I have to crop out all the mess...
My tech guy is working on it.

am a knitter!
Yes, it's true - I knit.
Don't believe me? Check it out :-)

Friday, March 11, 2011

who knew?

The last time I had to pick out paint,
I walked into Lowe's,
walked slowly through the paint cards
and grabbed the first one that caught my eye.
I kept walking and looking
and grabbed the second color that caught my eye.
Both paint card were the exact same color!

Today I left the house around 2
and figured I'd be back home 3 ish.
(including a quick run to Walmart)
At 2:45 I left Lowe's empty-handed.
I had hoped the boys and I could get the upstairs painted
by the time Tyler got home from work
as a surprise
and here I couldn't even settle on a color family,
much less a color!

Tyler suggested I go to Pack's Salvage and look at flooring.
They let me bring home full-plank samples
of all the types I liked.

The boys and I laid the boards on the floor,
(or rather on the stack of drywall on the floor)
dropped things on them
whacked them with tools
and walked on them with bare feet.
Surprisingly, we settled on a favorite pretty quickly.
I talked with Tyler and told him to hurry home,
pick out the floor,
and take me to Lowe's.
 Choosing paint now
would be a breeze.

The first piece of flooring to be eliminated by Papa
was the one we'd all chosen as our favorite!
But that was fine,
'cause there were still four more boards....
Wouldn't you know it, though,
Tyler's favorite
was the one we'd all discarded first!

We talked and banged up the floors some more
and settled on two that everyone could live with
and headed to Lowe's.
All of us.
(except for Tony, who was MoD tonight...)
Ya'll know how much I enjoy 
with all of us.
But this was going to be easy
because now, I was inspired.
And had flooring.
sort of.

We told the kids if they were really good,
we'd go out to dinner.
It was only sort of a bribe,
'cause we we're going out anyways.
But they didn't know that.

Let's just say that the kids became concerned
 that there might not even be a restaurant open
by the time we left Lowe's.
( And they really were quite good, considering....
Huge thanks to Marcos & Brandon for keeping up with them
 while we wrestled with color cards!!)

Tyler finally picked a color by it's name,
clothesline fresh
and said, "This is the one."
And when he laid it on the darker board
(my favorite of the two)
and put a bright white next to it (as trim)
I just suddenly felt peace.

This paint color, a light blue gray,
is completely opposite of what we'd normally pick,
and when I looked at those little color blobs
on four cans of paint,
I felt a little panicky.
We'll see how we feel when it's on the walls...

Just to prove that we aren't just horrible picker-outers:
in the time it took the gal to mix up 4 gallons of paint,
we picked out 2 ceiling fans,
and 2 different light fixtures.
Just like that!

Who knew it would be so hard to pick out paint?!

what's in my closet?

Since we house nine people
(five of them full-sized)
I'm pretty good at getting rid of stuff,
but somehow
there's still always more that can go.

and when Tsh revealed the hot spot
I really wasn't sure I'd have much to weed out;
I go through my clothes regularly!

I've got four 21 1/4 inch shelves
one 27" x 17" drawer
3 feet of closet space
for my entire wardrobe - for 4 seasons.
My lifestyle doesn't really require many clothes
so I'm usually pretty content with what I've got
(provided I have at least one decent fitting pair of jeans)
(there's always an 'except' isn't there?)
when we have an event that's out of the ordinary.
Then I tend to get in a tizzy....

oh ~ almost forgot,
I also have a 15 x 10 x 12 inch basket
for my jammies and Cuddle Duds.

I decided to be ruthless
and ended up with a whole box of giveaway clothes and shoes
and surprisingly,
a small bag of actual trash.
I'll never understand that one!
In my defense, though, most of the trash
was boxes I'd saved 
- you know - just in case....

I put all of the girl's dresses in their room
and suddenly,
I had margin in my closet!
I'd prefer a little more margin in my time
but hey - I'll take margin anywhere I can get it.

I have a feeling
the other Hot Spots won't be quite so easy for me,
but this challenge, I rather enjoyed.
Thanks, Tsh, for encouraging us 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dear Lex'

I admire your skill;
I really do.
Your amazing ability to resist sleep at all costs,
while nothing new,
is admirable.
When you are a momma
it will certainly come in handy.
But you are not a momma yet
and so this skill of yours is rather frustrating.
I don't mind so much at naptime,
but at bedtime,
it makes me more than a little antsy.
You see,
Momma still has lots to get done
- after you go to sleep -
before I can go to sleep.

I knew you'd understand, once we had this little chat.
I love you, Lexi, goodnight.
So far,
Operation Bedtime
has been a flop.

Monday, March 7, 2011

have I ever mentioned

 how very much I love this girl??      

She took a break from picking to show me her lovely flowers
and then dashed back out to gather more.
I was overcome with love
as I watched that flash of color run out the door
and just had to grab the camera and follow.
I probably should have accepted her invitation
to join her in flower picking.
Instead, I ran back in the house to record.

Ginny wrote a post today about her 5 year old  daughter;
Change a few details - and I could have written it myself.
Her Larkspur and our Lily sound so very much alike.

and full of exuberant joy.

If ever there were a child without a sin nature,
it'd be Lily.
Please don't consider that blasphemy;
I know everyone has a sin nature....
Hers is just tinier than most people's.

She is so forgiving
and kind
and gentle.
She loves unconditionally.
On the rare occasion that any 'ugliness' comes from her,
it is
almost without exception
 something that she has observed in me,
I'm very sad to say.

Lily ~ how you bless us!
Momma is so thankful for you!!
And I love your sideways socks ;-)

Friday, March 4, 2011

maybe he's not saving China

....but he's definitely all growed up.

Ton' worked his first shift yesterday as an MoD.
That's Manager on Duty - at MarketPlace Grill.
Pretty impressive for an 18 year old still in high school, I think.
Guess the boy is taking after his momma a bit...
I'm proud of you, Boy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

this just makes me laugh

Lily drew this picture 3 or 4 week's ago
and it's resided on the fridge ever since.
Her drawing has improved tremendously 
in just in the past few days
but I don't want to forget this style.

that's me - jumping on the trampoline
see how my hair is flying up with the clouds??

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

meeting Baby Kieron

I was still at the computer
having just finished paying the bills 
when she called.

Some women talk about how hard it is 
to watch your daughter go through labor.

I got to be at the hospital
when my mom had my youngest brother.
I guess I was about 14.
In my opinion,
watching your momma labor
is much harder.

Isn't she such a pretty laboring momma??

Lana labors well;
I'm sure that makes it easier on me.
I also think that it's in part due to the fact
that some of my own babies
are still babies.
The prize
is still fresh in my memory.
(never mind that I didn't get to labor with the last four...)

It helps, too, that
Shelley is an amazing midwife.

When Lana started wearing out
and told us she just couldn't do it;
we told her she could.
And she believed us.
And she did it.

Kieron Tyler      02-28-2011    8 lbs 3 oz      19 3/4 inches long  

I was positioned in the pool with Lana & Shelley
to catch the baby;
but that didn't happen - it went rather fast there in the end.
It was all good, though;
I got to wrap his first blanket around him
before I passed him off to his momma
surrounded by love.

Welcome to the world, Kieron!!

You are loved!!