Thursday, May 20, 2010

Crazy Week

This has been a whirlwind of  week it seems.  It's not that we had that much going on, it has just gone by so quickly!  Sunday the kids started gathering the rest of their things for our trip. That took most of the evening.  Monday was school for the older ones.  The two litttle kids and I started Monday off with a walk and then the shopping.  That afternoon I had a dentist appointment.  I dropped the little kids off at the barn with Michael, put a note on the door for the big kids and drove to the torture chamber known as the dentist office.  My appointment was at 3:45pm.  I got in at 4:30 pm.  I didn't get to leave until about 6:30 pm.  I had four fillings put in, one a very deep one.  She warned me that there would be pain and that I may need a prescription pain med.  Unfortunately I wouldn't find out until she was long gone and the pharmacies were closed anyways.  I spent the rest of the evening in tremendous pain. I have never felt that kind of pain before.  If I tried to move I would shake from the intensity and it hurt so bad I was sick to my stomach.  I have given birth to six kids, broken my tailbone, collar bone, and pinky toe.  I have smashed numerous fingers in numerous doors and had my pinky and thumbnail removed by my dad after they got ran over and smashed, yet the pain I was feeling was much worse.  Michael went and got me a thermo pack which helped a ton and he got me some motrin pm which helped me sleep.  It is much better now thank goodness!  Tuesday I took the kids to the park and tried to get laundry done.  Tuesday night the girls had church.  Michael had meetings so I had to take the kids and drop the girls off and wait unil they got done.  Then it was rush home, bathes and bedtime.  Wednesday we had playgroup and more laundry.  I also tried to get some of my own things gathered since I had not started packing for myself.  Wednesday night Michael had church.  I folded laundry, finished the kids packing (I hope) and bathed the kids and cut Zeke's hair.  Today we have a graduation to go to.  I have more laundry to do.  I need to finish packing my things and get the house cleaned.  I may also have to go help on a field trip but I' not sure...Hopefully the teacher will let me know soon :)  Tomorrow is the last day of school and the day we leave town for 10 days.  Energy levels will be extremely high with the kids and excitement will be through the roof.  All the last minute odds and ends will have to be done and then eventually the craziness will end and we will all settle in for a long nights drive (14 hours to be exact).  Glad the week is almost over but wish I had one more day to get it all done!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Question of the Day

Can me and Zane and Dillon sleep in Papa's shed when we are on our trip?"

Friday, May 14, 2010

Question of the Day

Mommy, is that a boy or a girl?  We smile and walk away because frankly, I don't know the answer to that question!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Snaggle Tooth

Here is a picture of Maddi's mouth after the dentist.  Lovely, huh?


I know why they are called 4-wheelers, because they have 4 wheels (betcha would've never figured that one out)!

Dentisit - again!

Maddi came home from school Tuesday complaining about a tooth hurting.  She has already had two teeth pulled because of abscess, one on each side on the top.  Both teeth pulled were ones that had fillings in them.  When she went in the last time she actually had two teeth that she said hurt but the dentist could only see infection in one so he only pulled one.  Well, now it was the other one that was hurting again.  Her gum was all red, and it hurt to touch.  She had also pulled a tooth on that side so she has all sorts of things going on.  Here is what her left side on top looked like - front tooth (newly grown in), missing tooth (just barely pushed through), 2 teeth, missing tooth, back molar.  Now it looks like this - front tooth, missing tooth, one tooth, 2 missing teeth, back molar.  We call her snaggle tooth.  I guess she had a mixture of things going on.  The tooth previously pulled by the dentist was starting to push through so that was causing eruption pain.  The tooth that was hurting had the permanent tooth pushing on it so that was causing pain.  He pulled the painful tooth to give her some relief and discovered when he did that it also had infection in it.  It is another tooth that already had a filling in it.  Anyways, not sure if any of that makes sense, the point to it all is that she had to have another tooth pulled.  Kind of frustrating.  After my dentist experience, and now all of Maddi's problems I am beginning to think that our previous dentist didn't do too good of a job.  Now it is costing us tons of money to fix the problems.  Oh well, at least they are getting fixed!  Maddi is home this morning waiting for her mouth to get feeling again and then I will take her to school after lunch.  One more story for her to tell!

Easy Mac

I know why it's called easy mac, because it's mac and it's easy to make and stir!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Keep at it

Lately I have been thinking about my life and the lives of my family.  I have been thinking about my dreams and my goals, not only for myself but for my family.  Sometimes it has led to discouragement because it seems that no matter what we do, things don't change the way we hoped or expected.  We work hard, yet sometimes that hard work doesn't seem to get us as far as we wanted to go.  I read a quote the other day by Dieter F. Uchtdorf that brought me some peace of mind and assurance.  He is from Germany and after World War II his family, having lost everything, struggled to get by.  He said his father worked long hours and is mother started a laundry business in which he and his sister helped.  He said the hard work kept their minds off their poverty and difficulties.  Then he said this, "Although our situation didn't change overnight, it did change. That's the thing about work. If we simply keep at it—steady and constant—things certainly will improve."   Now he was referring to their financial situation in this statement, but it can apply to all areas of life.  Whether it is self-improvement, deeper spirituality, learning a new talent, or getting out of dept, it takes hard work and our hard work will eventually lead to success.  I try to keep that in my mind now as I evaluate my own and my family situation.  It may not seem that there has been any progress, but slowly it is changing.  Our goals can be reached, our dreams can be realized.  Steady and constant work will get us there.  We just have to keep at it.

Signs of the School Year Ending

We are now officially done with the school spring concerts.  Makenna, Zane and Dillon had theirs a week ago and Maddi had hers last night.  It is a sure sign that school is almost over.  I personally dislike the concerts. I know, bad mommy.  It's not that I don't like to see my kids sing and play the recorders, but it gets long and hot for the little kids that aren't involved.  They all did a good job though and they all got dressed up nice and were excited to go.  The weather was horrible last night and we had to run through the parking lot in the pouring rain with the little kids crying because the wind kept blowing their hoods off!  We made it there and back safely though.  The kids brought home their last list of spelling words for the year.  That brought some cheers and big smiles.   They have returned their last library books.  The field trips are coming quickly and the excitement is growing.  Makenna already took her field trip to see the Little House on the Prairie homestead in DeSmet.  She loved it.  Dillon gets to go to the plant where they make fire trucks, go on a picnic and go to a farm.  Zane gets to go to the park and to the zoo and the Washington Pavilion.  Maddi gets to go bowling and then go to a park where she will get to go on a pontoon boat ride.  They are all very excited.  Of course, the last day of school is the day we get to leave on our trip.  They are planning what they will bring and what they will wear.  Makenna was ready to pack yesterday but I told her no!  Anyways, the signs are here, the excitement is here, now we just have to make it through this last week and a half!  Wish me luck!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

My Mothers day was certainly a day!  I got many wonderful hand made gifts from the children - a bracelet coupons, stories, pictures, cards, etc.  I also got a necklaced that the boys picked out and a huge chocolate bar that I got to share with the kids.  Maddi and Makenna made me a flower corsage out of napkins that I got to wear to church.  Michael didn't have meetings until 8 am so I didn't have to wake up to the alarm.  That was nice.  We got to church without too much excitement.  When we got to church I realied Zeke looke like Alfalfa off the Little Rascals and I had to take him to the bathroom to smooth his hair down.  Maddi's hair was a mess so I had to send her to the car to get a hair band so I could finger comb and braid her hair.  Everyone was supposedly starving before church ever started so the whining began.  I had to take Olivia out of sacrament twice while she screamed and threw a fit.  I had to threaten Makenna with her life if she didn't stop being mean and poopy.  The children sang some lovely songs which I enjoyed.  Primary was just as crazy.  I was the only teacher in there and some of the kids were being quite obnoxious so I had to try to stop them and keep the reverence.  One of these days I am just going to leave too.  All the teachers are supposed to ome into singing and sharing time with their classes.  Unfortunately that doesn't happen and more often than not I am the only one in there.  It's very frustrating to me.  I deal with my own kids during sacrament and then I have my class and I have some very hard children in there to deal with and then I have to go and deal with ALL the kids without much help at all.   Don't get me wrong, I love the kids I work with but some days it is ovewhelming and Sunday was one of those days.  Anyways, after church I was asked to stay after a little bit and help the young women learn a new song.  We went home, had lunch and Michael came home soon after that.  Olivia continued to throw fits.  The kids spent the day fighting with each other.  I didn't get my beloved nap.  I did play a card game with Maddi and talk to my parents on the phone.  Michael made dinner, with Olivia's help.  We  had steaks cooked on the grill and mac&cheese.  For dessert we had cupcakes.  So the day was filled with ups and downs and there was no doubt in my mind when I went to bed last night that I was the mother of 6 children!  Despite the fighting and fits that took place, it was a special day in which the children did try to show they loved me.  Zeke drew a picture of me and him holding hands, Makenna offered to make my sandwich at lunch, there was an "I love you" note on my plate at supper and I got in some extra cuddling.  I love my children and I am thankful for the way they each bless my life.  They are each a special miracle to me and they brng me closer to God and allow me to feel true love and joy.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Packing List

I told the kids tonight that they needed to start making a list of clothes and things that they wanted to bring on our trip that we are going on in a few weeks so I could start setting things aside as I did the laundry.  Dillon immediately started his.  Here is what he handed me:

1. mom ledr buc row
2. sem sot
3. mosrtc
4. lini mcew
5. ge up and go
6. gama
7. paza
8. sep fobol dug oyo caw fowr
9. hare sop
10. hos blaot
11. vicez
12. sidls
13. sos
14. crz
15. bug gos
16. sos
17. secr
18. milce wa

1. Mommy's Little Buckaroo shirt
2. swim suit
3. monster truck shirt
4. Lightning McQueen shirt
5. Get up and go shirt
6. pajamas
7. pants
8. sheep football duck cow flower pillow
9. Harry and Spot
10. horse blanket
11. Vikings shirt
12.  skittles
13. socks
14. cars
15. bug juice
16. shorts
17. snickers
18. milky way

So there you have it!  Dillon's packing list.  Thank goodness he can read his own writing!  This will definately go in the treasure box to keep forever :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Invisible Mom

A while ago some one (thanks Joyce) sent a video clip to me in an email.  It was a woman talking about being invisible.  It was something that I definately needed to hear that particular day.  Today I decided to look it up on the internet so I could post it here.  I hope all you moms (and other women) take time to read it.

I'm Invisible

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible.

The invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more:

Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being.

I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?'

I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?'

I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, and she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.'

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:

'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And, the workman replied, 'Because God sees.' I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime, because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home.And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.
Isn't it beautiful?  Lately I have been feeling very overwhelmed with life.  I feel there is so much I need to accomplish, so much that I am falling short in.  I am that mom with the peanut butter hair who looks around at everyone else's seemingly put together life and gets discouraged at my own inability to get it all together.  Some days I feel like I spend the whole day meeting everyone else's needs without a notice and without time for myself.  I'm lucky if I get out of my sweats, I've had a brilliant day if I get a shower.  I have goals and dreams that are pushed to the side while I try to help my family reach theirs.  Now, I'm not trying build my self up as some righteous marter or paint a pitiful picture of poor little me.  This was my choice in life.  I do it because I love being a mother.  But even though I love it, some days it can be overwhelming.  Some days I wish I was invisible, other days I wish people would stop to see if I'm still breathing!  This is the life of a mother. 
The reason I wanted to post this is because it lifted me up when I needed it.  It made me feel good about my quiet efforts.  It reminded me that, while others may not, God does see our efforts and He knows our hearts.  The master piece that we are building is magnificent and nothing can compare to it.  Nothing will bring us greater joy.  No success, no degree, no amount of money can compare to our quiet work within our home.  So, to all you invisible mothers out there, I see you.  I see your work.  I marvel at your strength and your faith and your abilities.  More important, God sees and He will some day turn your masterpiece into eternal joy.  So, rub that peanut butter in (it does a wonderful job holding hair in place), put on those out of style clothes (that are probably stained with all sorts of bodily fluids - spit up, snot, diaper leaks, etc.) and hold your head up high.  You are the ones that we all want to be like!

Monday, May 3, 2010

ER Visit

Yesterday morning Olivia woke up with a really runny nose.  It's allergy season.  Last night she started coughing just a little but not bad.  By midnight she was having a really hard time.  She was breathing really hard, had a nasty cough and would have a hard time getting her breath when she coughed.  She would start choking from all the mucus, then she woulds start crying which would make it worse.  She even ended up wetting the bed from coughing.  Around 1 am I got up and gave her a breathing treatment with her albuterol.  She was really warm and it didn't seem to do anything.  I left for the ER just before 2am.  We got admitted straight away.  The doctor came in and checked her.  They had a respitory nurse give her a breathing treatment and then they monitored her for a while.  A little while later the came in to take her to get x-rays.  Luckily she is old enough to stand by herself now so we didn't have to put her into any of those torture contraptions to hold her still.  After that, they gave her a steriod shot in her leg  She did not like that!  Then because she was so flushed and felt so warm they took a rectal temp reading.  She did not like that either!  Then she had a second breathing treatment.  By 4am she was doing better and was ready to go home.  The said she had croup, which I figured.  She will be on steroids fo 5 days.  Hopefully that will take care of things.  If she has a relapse I am to take her back to the ER.   Unfortunately croup is contagious, which I never knew, so the others could get it too.  My younger brother always had croup and we never got it.  Anyways, Olivia was glad to get home, giver her daddy a hug and go to her own bed to go to sleep.  She slept until 9am this morning (and so did I, sort of).  She sounds better and I am hoping it stays that way.  We'll see what the night brings, that's when the attacks happen.  It's so hard to see them so sick and such a relief to have them get better.