Sunday, December 27, 2009

Every House With 9 Children Should Come With One of These

Matt's parents rented a bounce house the day before Christmas Eve and are returning it tomorrow.
The rental place has been closed over Christmas, so they only had to pay for one day of rental.

My kids are EXHAUSTED at the end of each day.

Candy in excess+bounce house+Christmas=no presents necessary

Best Christmas present to us EVER.

Christmas: Brought to You by...

Thanks Paula.

Guess I shouldn't have waited until day 4 to bust out the skinny jeans?
Merry eating and drinking everyone!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas Wal-Mart Shoppers

I am pretty sure that all of you know by now that my guilty pleasure in life is where people who are shopping at Wal-Mart snap pictures with their phones of other people who are shopping there who absolutely shock them. These pictures make it onto this beautiful thing we call the internet. And I love it. And I look for these people every time I go to Wal-Mart now.
The surprising thing?
I see more of these people at Target right now than at Wal-Mart. Maybe it's just the season? You know, trying to get classy or something?
But the above picture, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader? That just made my day. My week. Well, my whole dadgum year.

Merry Freakin' Christmas.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Yes, Virginia...It Snowed the Crap Out of this Weekend

Everyone and their mom has a "Snow Spectacular of 2009" story. Mine is this:

Amy Noll left to go home on Thursday.
Matt was in a wedding this weekend, so he had arranged to have three college boys watch our kids all weekend so that we could have a weekend away together.
We saw the forecast on Wednesday night calling for snow-serious snow on Friday night.
Called off the babysitter.
Amy left town.
Ben was not going to be babysitting or staying here.
Matt left town to go be in the wedding.

Instead of a weekend away with my husband,
I had my kids all to myself.
Get this-
for the first time since October.
I know that seems outrageous.

To me too.
To be honest, it did not go so smoothly.
I just wanted them to entertain themselves all weekend.

It didn't exactly work out; what with losing power for several hours on Friday night, 10 inches of snow, no Ben or Amy around to play with them.
I had to get over myself and relearn how to play and enjoy time with them.
Hard to look at myself and be honest about it. But, that's the truth.
Since I work during part of the week and we have people living with us all the time, it's not often that I have to do that much playing.

We live a crazy full life with lots of people around and to some, it can be too much and not enough at all the same time. There are benefits and detriments to people living with you and people coming over everyday. You just never know what they are until it jumps up and surprises you at how dependent you've grown upon it.

I mean, I know it sounds like I'm some kind of snob-"Oh no! I was in charge of MY OWN children." Ugh. But, it's been a while. And they can be a handful. Especially since they are used to a constant stream of people to play and hang out with.

But the good news is it turned out to be great.
We had a really fun time-AFTER Friday night.
But first we had to come to an understanding if you know that I mean. (And I think that you do)

Getting snowed in was probably the best thing for our relationship to get kicked off on the right foot again (that sounds so weird) and now everything is pretty solid around the house. Take a look at what we experienced.

This was in the middle of the snow storm.
Our lawn chairs are not excited about this.
This is my Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Shot.
You're welcome.
The morning after.

Our porch the morning after. Take a look at all that snow!
I posted this for the special few people who understand that one of our neighbors is a professional motorcross rider. He got up early on Saturday and chopped up our road with his dirt bike.
Our road that WAS perfect for sledding, was now made perfect for falling down and crying.
Adorable little snowman.
Who can resist this precious thing?
Not her brother.
Cause that is his bottom on her face, with her face being smooshed into the snow
But I'm innocent. SEEEEEEEEEE????
Whoops! I couldn't resist!
Who cares about the naughty list?
Guess who loves a good joke? And putting a snowball in someone's face?
Wait. Are you serious about that whole Naughty List thing?

Lucy didn't want me to get any pictures of her, so she was hiding the whole time I had the camera out. This was the best I could do.
Until I managed to snap this one.
Lucy walks the lonely road. The only one she's ever known.
Looks like I'm about to get a snowball right in the expensive camera.
Perhaps a lumberjack came home from the wedding just in time to rescue me?

She couldn't hurt a fly.
Except that is a giant hunk of ice.
Glad we have an "understanding" now.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Don't You Wish Your Mom Was Just Like Me?

When Asher's school handed me his wish list for Santa this Christmas season, my reaction was #1:
we already have crayons, markers and star for a tree, so check, check and check

we will maybe have turkey, so check

star wars PJ's, indians, and a Christmas cup can all be easily accomplished

I have some concern about a shiny red nose.
Does he mean, like rudolph? Or a clown nose? Does it need to glow? Or can we just buy him a rudolph stuffed animal?
Hmmm. geez.

Food or animal?
Animal: Can I buy a thing that will be sure to die before we go on assignment this summer?
That was actually my thought process.

What is wrong with me?
If someone can tell me, then I will save the money from visiting a counselor.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Baby Addie

The Knauer's just emailed this picture from Ethiopia of them with baby Addie. This was taken just minutes after they were given her. You can see they had just wiped the tears from their eyes!
I can't wait until they get home!


So I don't have enough time or energy to catch everyone up on everything.
So in vignette picture form, here you go:

My kids started playing a game they call "Beach Party." They take baggies of cheez-its (and only cheez-its) outside while wearing sunglasses and hats and stare off into the sun for extended periods of time. They talk about the yard, the weather and laugh at each other. Precious yes? Involves me? None. Perfect game.
Also, during this time I lost track of them for a little while. I didn't hear them and couldn't find them for a few minutes. They disappeared around the side of the house. When I found them, they were kneeling in front of a statue of Jesus calling him "Fairy Godmother" and telling him all of their "secrets."
I just went with it.

(L-R: Me, Jenny Ondo, Emily Crain, Morgan McIntrye, Mindy Sanders, Jessica Workman, Jessica Freas, Angela Austin)

In early November, the South Carolina Women's Soccer team went on run during the Southeastern Conference Soccer Tournament and landed a #2 seed in the NCAA tournament. They hosted the tournament at our field for three rounds and a bunch of us alumni came back for the games. It was probably the most fun that I have had in years at USC.

The women's soccer coach at USC, Shelly Smith (who is a class act) had Angela Austin address the team after the game letting them know how proud all of the alumni were of them and how we all followed these girls. Truly, they are our legacy and it was awesome to watch them. They ended up losing in LITERALLY a last second goal against Wake Forest in the Sweet 16 round. Ugh.
But it was so fun to tailgate and to cheer for our Gamecocks all together as alumni. I think it was the first time we all came together since we graduated-except for alumni games. It was great fun.

What God has Brought Together, Let No Form of Social Media Put Asunder...

I know more than a few people who would do this...

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Last night, I was giving the kids a shower and both were testing my patience mightily.

But none more than Lucy.
She had very VERY busy hands and was using every single product in the shower that was possible.
Since we have two grown-ups that also use that shower, this usually results in many tears because a majority of those products are NOT TEAR FREE.

So I spent the entire time she was in the shower sounding like an insane person:

Stop that.
Stop that now.
I said stop that.
Lucy, please cut it out.
Don't touch that.
Put that down.
It's called a razor honey.
It will cut you.

It went on and on.
So after her shower, I was drying her off and the touching of things continued and I had finally reached my limit and I swatted her bottom.
She got very upset and was sent to her room.
She started yelling from her bedroom an assortment of things that I couldn't understand.

Matt eventually went in there to deal with her and he came out with this report:
"She's calling you a 'Stupid Blockhead.'"

This child that I birthed from my womb called me a "Stupid Blockhead."
In preschooler talk, there is no worse phrase that can be uttered. If there was an equivalent-I think it would be the F-word.

I am pretty sure that the New Yorker in me, just came out in her.


You couldn't have just left these special little words OUT of your little "SPECIALS" could you?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hurry Home

Our close friends the Knauer's left today to go to Ethiopia to pick up their baby girl that they have spent the last year and a half adopting. The day is here!

Last week we had a shower for Natalie so that she could have at least a few things to welcome Baby Addie home.
She's glowing. Just like she spent the last nine months carrying her baby girl!

Natalie and her mother-in-law Linda

Believe me.
You want to get pregnant, adopt or engaged in this part of the country.
We throw parties with really really good food.

Need proof of the good food thing? Double chins abound.

Ahhh. Much better.

We spent a portion of the shower learning how to speak in Ahamric, the language in the portion of Ethiopia that Addie is coming from.

One of my favorite pictures.
Cause nothing says "Sister" like a red-head from Chapel Hill.

This was my word that Robin gave to me.
Just because she would get to hear me say the word "S-H-I-T T-A-H" outloud.
That's what friends are for.

Thank you Robin for putting the dots in the middle of the "toots"

Would you give this woman a baby?
Of course you would! YAY for Baby Addie coming home next week!

It Always Could Be Worse

I sort of felt like I was losing my mind this weekend.

With two twenty-year-olds in the house.
My husband.
A three year old, who always wants to be a princess. And now talks back. As a princess.
A four year old, who always wants to play baseball and use the furniture as playground equipment.
A blind wiener dog who has to be carried up and down the stairs all day.
Four piles of laundry that had to be done. And then folded. And then put away. And then done again.
Three parties, one of which Matt was in charge of. And one where I had to bake and bring 6 dozen cookies to.
Also, I work.

So, I didn't really want to face anyone on Monday morning.
I was struggling. Bad.

Then, I took the kids to the library and I saw this children's book.
It is called "It Always Could Be Worse"
Isn't it amazing how children's literature is really written for adults?

It's a Ukrainian children's story from a Yiddish tale of Jewish folklore.

The story starts out with a man going to see his Rabbi complaining that he and his wife, his mother and six children all live in one room in their house and it has dissolved into chaos.
He seeks the Rabbi's advice. Which is?
Bring his chickens into his house.
It just brings on more madness.

He returns to the Rabbi.
The Rabbi tells him to bring in his goat.

Even more madness ensues.
Back to the Rabbi; who tells him to bring in the family cow.

Once the chaos becomes absolutely intolerable because chickens, geese, goats, a cow and a horse with a wife, a mother, a man and six children in a house is ACTUAL CHAOS! The man returns to the Rabbi who tells him to take all of the animals out of the house and to see what happens.

The whole family finds peace.
In the house that was too small for them at the beginning of the story.

The man returns to the Rabbi and this is what he says,

I decided to just find peace. Even in the midst of the chaos. We have so many pockets of quiet and fun all day long, there isn't enough time to waste being grumpy and overwhelmed. I still am grumpy and overwhelmed. Especially when it comes to grocery shopping. But, this time isn't going to last much longer. And we are going to look back on it with great fondness. Tonight, we were all around the dinner table together as we have been nearly every night for the past two weeks and I had joy over how sweet our little/large family is.

Chaos is chaos. Love is love. And It Could Always Be Worse.