Zachary laughed and laughed when he saw this picture. Carolina is a favorite around here - every one of the children tell me "Carolina is so cute mom... Carolina is so fun mom... Carolina is so sweet, isn't she mom?"
She is a little pixie who has won her way into the hearts of all her siblings, and all her sibling in turn adore her.
We do occasionally get a glimpse of this face; though it can be quickly abolished. She's not one to hold a grudge :-)
I'll post a few of the other "Pink Pixie" shots in a bit.
Little Bryce - 10 weeks - he's in the double digits now!
New babies don't last long, do they? They grow and change and show you the passing of time like nothing else I've ever seen! It's enough to make me understand why I find gray hairs on my head these days.
Six children feels alike a lot sometimes, but I can honestly say I will miss the baby years when they pass. I am relishing every moment!
Carolina often walks up to baby brother and leans in next to his downy head, placing her nose in his mop: "'Mel him momma... 'mel he hair!" she insists, and I do.
I lean close to her and take a deep whiff of that sweet baby scent. Sometimes I even close my eyes while I take it in.
Oh how soon he will scoot too fast for me to catch. Then I will have to be content to wash dirty little boy paws.
After that comes replacing jeans like nobodies business! Holey knees are synonymous with active man-cubs.
Adventure sums up the life of a lad, and I love to watch them roam and explore the length, width, height, depth, sights, sounds, smells of this earth. To experience the warm summer winds, the crisp bite of autumn frost, the sounds of rain on a tin roof, the sweat of labor, the pride of hard work done well.
My boys. Ah... I love them. Soon Bryce Endurance will join the ranks of the big and the fearlessly bold.
For now, I bury my nose in his soft hair, whisper sweet nothings into his ear, and plant innumerable kisses on his roly-poly cheeks.
This time won't last much longer, and it's not supposed to. But one day when it's past I want to remember taking every opportunity to "mel" my baby!
"Do you remember where we were last year at Thanksgiving?" I had asked the boys
"North Carolina!" was Clay's quick response. "What happened on Thanksgiving day?" I probed further.
Eyes turned upwards as they searched the historic archives of their memories and thought. Suddenly light dawned!
"You came home!" said Clay, and that's when Zachary made the above observation so simple and so sweet.
"Thanksgiving... (Ah yes!) Thanks (Lord) for giving Momma back..."
It was useless to continue after that. I couldn't see through the puddles in my eyes. I remember too, and I bet I am more thankful than they!
For those of you who have begun to follow my blog this year, you will have missed last years excitement.
While visiting friends in North Carolina I was suddenly taken ill with a ruptured Corpus Leutium Cyst. I didn't find out that much until after emergency exploratory surgery was conducted. While I waited in the emergency room in great pain, the medical staff was somewhat foiled in their attempts to help me because they honored our request to care for the little baby growing inside - my precious little G.R.. I didn't realize fully at that time just how dire my circumstances, but blood loss and shock painted a grim picture.
Because of the Lord's great mercy I am here today, even though we lost our precious tiny baby. You can read our testimony HERE if you wish.
I recovered four days in the hospital, and then on Thanksgiving Day was released to my waiting family. Oh what a day that was!
I'm sure Heaven provides a better feast, and then there's face to face with Jesus - THAT would have been hard to beat! However I was (and AM so) grateful for a little more time with my beloved, and precious children.
My oldest is eight years old, and my sixth child was born two months ago. I have found this baby to be one of my easiest adjustments, and there is surely some truth in the train of thought that says "...after four or five what's one more?"
So many of the difficulties in practical daily living are worked out by the time one reaches that number which fills one handful of fingers. There may be other milestone numbers for those with ten or more. I'd be interested to hear from that camp. It's a humbling process of learning, growing, making mistakes, and enjoying successes no matter what number of children reside in our homes!
One of the things I noticed this time around is how capable my oldest children are in making the household run smoothly in my absence (absences include catching needed Z's, nursing, or having hands full with other necessary things)
For instance, both boys are able to help Carolina (age two) into her booster chair for meals. They can each wash her up and get her down afterward. Those two things alone are a tremendous help!
Zachary is now making breakfast for all the children most days. He is my early bird, and I am a bit slow to rise in the morning. He is always asking what's for breakfast before I crack my eyelids, so a couple months ago I took the time to help him learn to make oatmeal.
About four days a week he cooks oatmeal, serves it, gets Carolina into her chair, prays over breakfast, clears the table, and gets the empty oatmeal pot soaking in water - often before I greet the day!
I am a bit paranoid about messes in the kitchen, but I finally decided that my children's capabilities are endless if I will only allow them to learn and even make some mistakes in the process. Just having breakfast taken care of allows me to immediately prepare for the day's work in school, errands, or getting a load of laundry started.
The job of teaching Zack to make breakfast was a process. We had to get a system of steps honed in for him to follow.
Step 1: get out pot.
Step 2: scoop X amount of oats into it.
Step 3: add X cups of water... and so on.
After he got the oatmeal making process down, we had to work on the follow up steps of table clearing, and making sure the bowls were emptied of scraps and filled with water (so the oats would come off later for the dishwasher-loader!). After that it took some days to help him remember to put away ingredients and utensils, and get that pot soaking too.
There are loose ends still. I need to help my number two son learn follow through with his share. The table isn't usually wiped, nor the floor swept. Unfortunately THOSE are the things I notice when I scrutinize, but I am learning to relax a little, and especially to LOOK FOR the many successes. The little victories- and there are new ones every day, even if the progress isn't as fast as I'd like it to be!
Zachary has since taught himself to make pancakes (which are already stacked on a plate when I get up on Saturday morning), and has a favorite banana bread recipe too.
It will soon be time for me to stretch his repertoire and add to his skills, but besides wanting to praise his accomplishments, I wish to encourage you. The season has finally shifted for me: Big helpers finally! What a blessing:-)
If you are weary, be steadfast friend. Your time is coming!
I keep checking my blog only to find nothing new has been posted. This makes sense when I recall that I am the only author, and I have been too tired to type anything creative lately.
Little Brycers finally got the cold the other children are working through. It wasn't a surprise to me - I was expecting to see signs of it every moment from the time I witnessed Carolina cough into his open mouth. If that doesn't share germs I don't know what will!
Poor little fellow has been pretty snuffly at night combined with occasional coughing spells. It's a juicy cough, so I've let him sleep on my chest or in the crook of my arm so I can help him in the night before he gets too worked up.
I can sleep comfortably in all kinds of positions these days, but the sleep is not too sound and I doubt there's much actual rest occurring. This I deduce by the raccoon eyes I see in the morning staring back at me from the mirror. There are other clues as well, but I don't remember what they are at the moment. Too foggy-brained.
Bryce seems to be doing great despite the cold, and the others aw well.
I, on the other hand, woke at 5 this morning with a sore throat. NOT happy Bob... not happy!
You see... my dearest Great Guy returns today. Ten days of him being gone and I really do not want a sore throat! It's not nice to knowingly share germs, and well... I hate to refuse a good kiss if one happens to be offered. Or requested. ;-)
When I woke with the soreness, I put several droppers full of colloidal silver under my tongue and then swallowed it, followed by some GSE throat spray.
I am thrilled to say that my sore throat was entirely GONE when I got up at eight o'clock!
I can tell I'm still fighting off a cold, but no sore throat is a happy HAPPY praise:-) Don't know if it was the silver or the Grapefruit seed extract, but I love them both - Oh how I LOVE them!
So... I was supposed to nap today. That would have helped my cold probably, and I would be more pleasant this evening I bet. Alas, there was a pie that needed baking and that overlapped nap time. AJ is due to appear anytime now and I am trying really hard not to watch the clock - it's like the watched pot that never boils!
If you don't hear from me for another couple days it's because I am resting.
And enjoying my family.
And being generally very thankful for all the many blessing the Lord has poured out here in this home!
I never knew you could buy it in a plastic container, but Wal Mart has everything. My brother Charlie says everything in Wal Mart is made in China (and that's why he won't buy his chicken there) so even though I didn't read the container I assume it was made in china too.
I've only had cotton candy a few times in my life. I think my dad bought some for me when we went to the Fair, so that's what and who I always think of when I see the intriguing stuff!
Daddy has been out of town this week and I like to practice my fun momma skills while he's away, hence the shot of fluffy sweet poison. You KNOW my children will remember me as "fun" for it, don't you though? What could be more interesting than being handed a big tuft of sugary pink lint that you can put in your mouth? Carolina wasn't too sure about that until she finally succumbed to peer pressure :-D
Anyway scoff if you will, but the Chinese know how to make a good batch of Cotton Candy!
(Does that mean that Fun Momma's are made in China too?)
I can't say if today was wonderful or hard. Can it be both? It was wonderful! I really enjoyed my children - had to keep them pinned to their Math workbooks since, ahem, certain ones were rather distract-able today. But we got out some glue and beads and pine cones which made a mess I was proud of (because I'm kinda stingy about mess-making, so it proves we had fun - right?). I also ordered some books today. Some school stuff for the little bugs (Olivia and Sue will be walking on clouds to possess their own Math workbooks!) and that was fun too!
But then there was the nap in which I dreamed not-nice things and didn't get any rest. And the big heavy thing that fell over on Carolina and thankfully didn't kill her. THAT got me a little excited in a not-good way! Top that off with a husband who's been out of town for five days, fifteen hours, and forty-four minutes, with three days and too many hours yet to go (but who's counting?). Combined with being sleep-deprived, postpartum-emotional, missing my best friend, and you have the "hard" in an otherwise wonderful day.
So let the record show that it IS possible to have a wonderful day which starts off with a mug of whipped cream and cinnamon sprinkled hot chocolate... ...and commences questionably hard when same mug of chocolate is liberally splashed upon clean shirt.
It may end well yet.
And for perking up the corners of a down-turned mouth, I give you Olivia with a song she composed herself. You may find yourself singing along because the words are simple and the tune catchy:-)
I think it's called: "Jesus Is The One Who Made Us" I'm not sure but I think it's a good guess (and Uncle Char, you're really going to like this!).
There is one spot in this house that belongs to me. It is my kingdom within a kingdom, complete with royal throne.
Someone discovered my throne and its charms today. I am not keen to share it. Its mine, and to remain available to ME at all times! And yet...
Some bits of life are just too short not to grab hold of when they arrive.
I remember being three and a half and making the same discovery at my Grama's house. Grama and Grandpa had a bar counter between their kitchen and living room. There sat a row of four Olive Green vinyl, wonderfully tall swivel chairs. They turned. And turned. Back and forth, round and round... it was exhilarating fun - this indoor "ride".
Grama used to tell us sweetly not to "spin the chairs please" though that lasted for short periods of time. Grampa muttered something about destroying the sides of the chairs as they buffeted the Formica counter with every turn.
I have now a better understanding of the science there. Those chairs will never be the same, and my desk bears some scars as well.
My Grampa was a wise man. He knew we children must be discouraged from being recklessly hard on things.
My Grama was a wise woman. She let us live a little - even at the expense of her home's furnishings. She must have averted her eyes and turned her head a number of times. I think she knew that some bits of life are just to short.
Yes yes, you're right of course (Jennifer)... grocery shopping with any amount of little ones should be considered an Olympic sport (It sure FEELS like a workout)! And then there's the part where even if my beloved Great Guy is not with me, or watching the crew while I shop, it invariably does my heart good to remember I HAVE OTHER OPTIONS. Some people do not. I can certainly appreciate the plight of the single mother with greater empathy!
Moral of the story though, is that the best advertisement in favor of children is a smiling momma. And that's the truth!
In case that doesn't deter "THE comments", I have thought up a new reply for the overpopulation concern. Want to hear it? O.k. here it is:
"I don't know if that's true, but if it is I sure am glad the world will be populated with MY children - I like them better than anybody else's!"
Well. It always sounds good in writing. Let me know if YOU'RE bold enough to try it ;-)
Some of my little puzzlers working on a new 550 piece puzzle we bought yesterday.
Zack sticks to it the best...
...but Carolina likes to sit on those high-up chairs every now and again to get a better look at the progress and join in the fun too.
Personally I will be ecstatic if every piece is still there in the end! I know we STARTED with 550, but it doesn't follow that we'll END with that number:-)
When I thought of being a mom, I never dreamed of THIS! ~Five heart melting smiles ~never getting tired of midnight feedings ~having all the answers ~not minding dirty faces ~enjoying watching the boys eat! ~falling in love with pigtails ~appreciating overalls ~appreciating a washing machine! ~wanting to do everything better ~falling in love a million times