Thursday, July 23, 2009

Are we there yet? Wait, what? We haven't even left?

So we're leaving town tomorrow for a 2 week trip through Colorado with the family.

I have done nothing in the last week and a half but shop, cook, do laundry and load the camper. Then I would shop some more, do some more cooking/baking, wash some more stuff and put more stuff in the camper.

And then I would shop some more, do some more cooking/baking, wash some more stuff and put more stuff in the camper.

Oh, my stinkin' heck!

It is a darn good thing it is summer and I have not been responsible for any one's education because I'm pretty sure all school would have come to a screeching halt. Or I would have had to start this process of getting ready back in December.

Why is it that once you have finally finished all the preparation for a vacation, you REALLY need one, and you're not so sure you want to spend it with your family, but instead perhaps a nice white room with padded walls?

WHEW! Almost done! Show me to my padded cell the mountains!

And while I'm enjoying the lovely cool air and beautiful scenery up close, I'll leave you all with some teaser photos of our last CO trip.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Grumpy-Mom, The latest in not-so Super Heroes!

Alright, I’m just going to say it. I hate sleepovers. There. I’m a mean mommy. I’d like to say it is for wonderfully altruistic reasons, like the safety of my children. And there is some of that. My Federal Agent uncle (whom I lived with during my teen years) used to always say “nothing good ever happens after midnight”. And then he would go on to give us many, many examples of the ‘nothing good’ from his own experiences as a Federal Agent. This was usually done in response to my sister and I wanting to stay out after midnight, which we never got to do.

Also, my kids need their sleep. I am a big fan of sleep. When my kids were little NOTHING interfered with their sleep schedule. Naptimes were observed with a religion-like seriousness here on the Hilltop. If something went awry and the sleep schedule was interrupted, snarkyness and whining ensued like clockwork.

My kids are really well behaved and easy and fun to be around…so long as everyone gets their sleep. I make sure everyone gets their sleep.

Since sleepovers rarely include actual sleep, they tend to interfere with the religious sleep schedule kept by my family.

Okay, but really, here’s the thing. I, the mom, hate sleepovers. It’s like a parenting sprint inside a marathon. I NEED for them to go to bed. I NEED to have a quiet moment before I go to bed to be an adult and have a complete thought. And I really, really need the few precious hours/minutes of peace. It’s not like when they were little and I needed the physical rest that the kids bedtime allowed. I don’t spend all day bending over to wipe noses and scraped knees. I don’t have a toddler constantly on my hip or a baby nursing all day. What I do have is a lot of input. There is a lot of talking in this house. I need to have a few hours at the end of the day where I’m not ‘on’.

If there is a sleep over, I must be on. When someone spills red soda in the RV while watching a movie (whose idea was red soda???) I must help find the proper cleaning supplies. When the commuter inexplicably turns off in the middle of the movie, it is I who must help locate the power cord. And on and on it goes. This is all okay. It is what it takes to be a mom. I’m okay with it…but not after 10pm. After 10pm I turn onto a not so nice person. I become Grumpy-Mom.

It is better for everyone to be fast asleep before Grumpy-Mom emerges. It is also better if there are not bonus kids around when Grumpy-Mom comes out. Really it’s just better for me to go to bed around 10pm then Grumpy-Mom never has a chance to arrive.

I am just glad that birthdays only come along once a year. Once a year (x4 kids) I relax the no sleepover rule and by 10pm every time, Grumpy-Mom is wondering why on earth I did that.

(AKA Grumpy-Mom)

Thursday, July 16, 2009


My first baby girl is 12 today.

As with Bob, I don't know where the time has gone. I know it's cliche, but really...

I am happy to report, that while she did spend most of her life like this, being brainwashed by her brothers...

...she is indeed a young lady. She does her hair and matches her clothes and she likes to shop for pretty, girly things.

I remember the shock I experienced 12 years ago today...God really did give me a girl.

I am so incredibly grateful.

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Demigods Saved the Summer!

It's summer here in Texas. And I do mean SUMMER. It's too hot to be outside, even at 8am. Also our neighborhood pool is having some technical issues and has not opened. This is very, very sad.

Our neighborhood pool is very, very, important to my families' well being, it turns out. Because the pool is not open, I've had to get a bit creative with how to keep the kids occupied. I must admit here that I never really understood all the whining and complaining mom's do about keeping their kids occupied in the summer. I've never had a problem with my kids whining and saying they're board and wanting to do nothing but watch TV. That is until this summer. Turns out, being at the pool every afternoon, all afternoon, with their friends was what was keeping them occupied. NOW I get it!

So the reason for this post...(you were wondering if there was one, weren't you).

These books. The Olympians Series by Rick Riordan. This series of books has saved my summer! My girls are devouring them! I got them on audio CD for the girls to listen to on our long car trip to Colorado that is coming up, but at this rate, they'll be done already!

They have spent hours in their room, playing, sewing, drawing, all while listening to this book series.

Now, these books may not be for everyone. They're sort of Harry Potter meets Greek Mythology. I personally am not a big Harry Potter fan and we've not read them here, but my girls LOVE Greek Mythology. I remember when we studied it during our Ancient History units, the girls really enjoyed the fanciful stories. I know some people have issues teaching their kids about other 'gods' but here we discussed how these were myths, and as such, not true.

I don't want to get into a debate about the ethics of Harry Potter or Greek Mythology, but I felt the need to give a heads up to those who try to steer away from such things.

I personally am ever-so thankful to Percy and his Demigod friends for salvaging this pool-less summer!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Heat Stroke is my Excuse.

Because it was nice and 157 degrees outside, and we were bored and tired of all the air conditioning we pay a mint for, my family decided to go hang out at the lake last weekend.

This is what happens to teenage boys that have been out in the heat too long. Riding your bike off a cliff into a lake looks like a good idea.

And this is how I know Sir D and I were out in the sun too long. We didn't stop them.

And that is how I know there is a God up in heaven. He did it without getting hurt at all...twice.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


This morning I slept in. Not till noon or anything, but enough to make a momma feel guilty.

Then the kids did their chores and I showered and got dressed and did a few chores.

Then we lamented (again) that our neighborhood pool is still not open. Darn those new stinkin' regulations that made my neighborhood pool have to fix stuff! I don't want safer, I just want WET!

Then we ate lunch.

Then I took a nap.

Then I got on the computer instead of cleaning my bedroom.

Hummm, and that might be why the blog is a little slow lately. I could just copy the above and paste it into the next few weeks...or the last few weeks.

Monday, July 6, 2009


My Bob turned 15 yesterday. I know every mom the world over says the same thing on their kids birthdays, but WOW how the time has flown.

Just yesterday, seriously! he was this big...

He was such an easy, good baby. He ate, he smiled, he slept...for months.

He did a lot of this. He didn't walk till he was 15 months old, but he spoke in sentences a 12 months.

He'd sit there on his little blanket with his little cars and toys around him and look up at me and say, "Mama, ka-ker pees" and wait happily till someone brought him a cracker. Even though he could crawl by 10 months, he rarely did. He was happy to sit and watch and smile and eat crackers.

Not so much anymore. Bob does not sit and wait for anyone to do anything for him anymore. Bob is a go-getter. Want something done? Ask Bob. He can do it and if he can't he'll figure it out.

He just seems to know stuff. It's wired, like it's some male gene that they have that we girls don't. They know stuff involving electronics and metal and grease and engines and torque that would take me years to learn, and he just knows it.

My Bob is also a sweet and generous young man. He looks out for the little guy, the guy at the back of the crowd that no one is talking too. My Bob notices him and goes to talk to him and make him feel comfortable.

My Bob is now also armed.

Sir D feels it is important that before his sons leave his house they should have a good shotgun and a warm sleeping bag because apparently we're raising our boys in 1830.

This is the shotgun that Bob's grandpa went hunting with, with his dad when he was a little boy. It has a long history of father-son hunting. One day I'm sure my Bob will take his boys hunting too and pass down this gun to his boys.

It is the circle of life in Texas.

Happy birthday Bob, may your aim always be true.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Fourth!

The following is an excerpt from a collection of letters from a speech John Adams gave encouraging the adoption of the Declaration of Independence...

Sink or Swim, Live or Die, Survive or Perish, I give my heart and my hand to this vote. It is true indeed that in the beginning we did not aim for Independence, but there is a Divinity that shapes our ends. Why then should we defer the declaration? You and I indeed may rue it. We may not live to see the time when this declaration shall be made good. We may die; die Colonists or die Slaves. Be it so, be it so. If it be the pleasure of Heaven that my country shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready. But while I do live, let me have a country, or at least the hope of a country, and that a free country. But whatever may be our fate, be assured that this declaration will stand. It may cost treasure and it may cost blood, but it will stand and richly compensate for both. Through the gloom of the present, I see the brightness of the future, like the sun in heaven. We shall make this a glorious and immortal day. When we are in our graves our children will honor it. They will celebrate it with thanksgiving and festivities, with bonfires and illuminations. Before God I believe that the hour has come. My judgment approves this measure and my whole heart is in it. All that I have, all that I am, and all that I hope in this life I am now ready to stake on it and leave off as I began. Live or die, survive or perish, I am for this declaration. It is my living sentiment and by the blessing of God it will be my dying sentiment. Independence now, Independence forever.

Fascinating things to ponder on this 4th of July weekend.

Enjoy your freedom's my friends, they were hard won!

*Forgot to add the hat tip to my favorite political blog belonging to my IRL friend Jane at Politico Politico from which I stole borrowed the above quote.*