How I Remember Mama

I was homeschooled 4th through 12th grade, a fact I didn’t proudly boast about until I started homeschooling my own children.
Not long ago, I read a blog written by another 2nd generation homeschooler and was discussing it with some of the other moms in our homeschool group. One of them asked me if I remembered my mother being stressed all the time. The question took me off guard. No…I didn’t remember Mom that way at all. In fact, I wasn’t quite sure how I remembered her. I’ve been thinking about that question a lot since it was asked. How do I remember my Mother? Here’s what I remember:
My mother was a young mother. I mean married at 15 and 4 kids by 23, young. During a brief period, she was a single mom. When I was 5, she married my step dad, who at the time was a lowly Buck Sgt. in the Air Force.
They decided to be a one income household so my mom could stay home and raise us. We had a home cooked meal every night. The house was spotless. We always had clean, freshly pressed clothes in our closet. I don’t remember doing without.
We usually had an extra toddler or baby around that mom babysat for just a little extra income. When we were older, she scrubbed other people’s houses or took in ironing or sewing to pay for our school books and my piano lessons. At one time, she even took on a paper route. She’d load all 4 of us kids in the back of our 1980-something Chevette along with all the papers, leave the hatchback up and drive slowly around the neighborhood calling out house numbers as my sister and I would take turns chunking papers onto driveways. My mother took pride in all she put her hand to.
She kept busy, but not too busy to sit and read to us or sing us beautiful hymns, lullabies or even silly songs she’d made up. She taught us the Bible and a love for God. She taught us obedience and servant hood. My mother was (and still is) always available for a friend in need. She exhibited love, honor, and faithfulness to our Papa. But the most important thing I remember about my mother is the time she spent in her room in the Word and in prayer. She still wakes up before any human should be awake, to have her quiet time with The Lord.
My mother had double the children I have and usually had a few extras running around, yet managed to maintain her house, meet everyone’s needs and homeschool. I don’t know how she did it. I’m sure she was tired and stressed. I’m sure at the end of the day, after we kids were all tucked in bed, she’d curl up and cry on Papa’s shoulder about her daily frustrations. But that’s not what I remember.
To my one particular friend who prompted this post and to any others who may be struggling with feelings of inadequacy, here’s my advice to you: keep fighting the good fight. Train up your babies in the way they should go. One day your daughters will grow up, have their own families and piles of laundry and they will finally appreciate the sacrifices you’re making. Your sons will appreciate and treasure their wives because they grew up witnessing what it takes for a woman to run a household. Someday, your children will arise and call you blessed…Proverbs 31:28.

Bragging Rights

I’ve spent a lot of time on Pinterest this week in search of ideas for organizing my kids’ rooms. I don’t know why I bothered. Pinterest depresses me. It makes me feel inadequate. It reminds me of what an underachieving slacker of a wife and mother I am. As result of this Pinterest induced depression, I’ve been in a horrible mood. So in hopes of alleviating this depth of despair I’ve managed to plunge myself into, I’ve decided to focus a bit on what I can/will/attempt to do instead of what I can’t/won’t/am to lazy to do. And I’m including pictures

 

1. I can make cakes. I’m far from being the next Cake Boss, but I’m not too bad; considering I’ve never taken a class.

And they were all yummy too!

2. I can make a diaper bike. I didn’t come up with the idea, but I made this one myself:

Cute, right?

   3. I can create some pretty yummy munchies for parties.

This was for a Dr. Seuss themed baby shower

  4. I can make some pretty darn cute kids.

Gotta give props to Lasting Expressions by LL Photography for this great pic of my kiddos

With An Oink Oink Here

It’s that time of year again. Time for 4H animal purchases. So we went to see a man about a pig. And a cute little pig she is!
Piggy purchase couldn’t have come at a better time since the kids and I are still recovering from the shock of losing our Maggie. I’m trying to talk the hubster into getting a house pig. Why not? Pigs are pretty smart, or so I’ve heard. But this reasoning hasn’t helped my case. Hubs is adamantly against farm animals in the house.
Oh well, I tried. At least we have two happy porkers housed in the county barns where we can visit daily and play in the muck together. We love them pigs!

20121007-010927.jpg I ask you, is there anything cuter than spooning piggies?

You’ve Got To Build Bypasses

Our town recently voted to build a bypass to reroute the many trucks that barrel through our streets. This actually bummed out a lot of people. Mainly the ones who will now be forced to share a property line with the bypass. I truly sympathize with these individuals. Really, I do, but I can’t help chuckling every time I see the bypass construction.

Last weekend as we drove past I blurted out, “This bypass has got to be built and it’s going to be built!” My husband immediately demanded to know what I was babbling about. Why, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you silly neener-head!

I wonder if the people who are anti-bypass had settled themselves in front of the bulldozers as Arthur Dent did, would this have changed things at all? This also led me to wonder if my best friend is perhaps not from Ohio as she claims, but is in fact from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse. And how would we have reacted if suddenly, as the bulldozers fired up to break ground, a Vogon construction fleet showed up to begin the demolition of Earth in order to make way for a hyperspace bypass?

Needless to say, this domino effect of thoughts has led me to once again read Douglas Adam’s brilliant literary work. And if you’re looking for something to while away your weekend, I encourage you to read it as well. It’ll really make you think. Or not.

Now where’d I put my towel….

 

Reality Bites

Remember when I told you about my BFF expecting? Well sweet Baby made her appearance July 14 so my kids and I made the 1619.75 mile trip to fuss over the wee lass. Since we drove all that way, we decided to spend a few weeks at my parent’s house on the Gulf coast. What fun! A week into our trip, the Hubby joined us and we had ourselves a nice little vacation. We relaxed on the beach, swam in the Gulf of Mexico, went to a Pirate Festival, cruised the Gulf with some pirates, ate lots of seafood, spent hours lounging in my parent’s pool, visited an aquarium, pet a stingray, the boys went deep-sea fishing while the girls spent their money and we dreamed of moving out there. It was Heaven!

The Paradise we visited                   

By the time our trip was over, I was very ready to be home. I missed my house. I missed being busy. I missed my dogs. I missed my bed. I missed my friends. And the first 2 or 3 days I was thrilled to be home. Then reality hit. Suitcases had to be unpacked. Laundry had to be done. Floors had to be mopped. Kids had to be schooled. Groceries had to be bought. Dinner had to be cooked. Dishes had to be washed. Toilets had to be scrubbed. And the list goes on. Why, oh why was I so ready to come home? Why can’t we live in Paradise? Instead, we live here:

I’d swear this is Hell, but there’s a burn ban in effect, so…                                 

 

Maybe We Should Have Named Her Lucky

Have I told you about our three legged dog? She wasn’t born that way. She started out with the regular four that most dogs have.
You see, Zip was a pound puppy. Not one of the cute ones with the big sad eyes that were popular in the 80’s, but an actual, real pound puppy. I do have one of the cute ones, but that’s irrelevant to this story.
We adopted her when she was around 3-4 months old. Two weeks after we got her, she came down with parvo and almost died. I really didn’t want to explain to my 4 year old why her dog died, so we paid a small fortune in an attempt to save Zip’s life. It worked. She lived.
Our vet knows us by name. They love to see us come in. I think we’ve put a couple of their kids through college.
Move on to a year later. Zip found, opened and devoured an entire bag of chocolate chips. I’ve always heard chocolate was poisonous to dogs, so again, I rushed her to the vet. Fortunately this trip didn’t cost much because Zip had puked up every last bit of the chocolate all throughout my house. I left the vet, rented an industrial size carpet shampooer, went home and commenced cleaning. Again Zip lived.
Zip was appropriately named. She’s uber fast. Even on 3 legs. It’s a wonder to me how the dog catcher ever caught her in the first place. If you’re not careful, she’ll squeeze past you when you open the door and take off down the street. Don’t even bother chasing her. You’ll never catch her.
Add another year. My sister was visiting on a Sunday afternoon so we decided to do some shopping. Zip darted out of the house as we were leaving and ran right in front of my car. Oh. My. Gosh. I just knew I had killed my dog. I stopped and my sister opened her door. In jumps Zip, who curls up in the floor and starts licking her right hind leg, which is barely hanging on. That time, my husband took her to the vet. Zip lived, but her right hind leg did not.
I’ve often heard people say,”God must have big plans for your life” when someone has overcome many obstacles. I wonder if the same goes for dogs?
Fast forward to Wednesday of last week. Both our dogs are house trained, but about a month ago Zip started peeing in the house. I was ready to wring her neck until I noticed blood. I took her to the vet yet again. After a round of antibiotics, the bleeding hadn’t stopped so I took her back. This time they took X-rays and found a large bladder stone. Instant surgery. Zip still lives. Currently, she lives with a large cone on her head that she keeps ramming into my shins, but she lives. And she quit peeing in the house. It amazes me how resilient she is.
When my son was a toddler he wanted a cat more than anything, but I’m allergic. He started begging me to feed Zippy cat food so she’d turn into a cat. He couldn’t quite grasp the impossibility of that request. We never did switch her to cat food, but I’m beginning to wonder if he got his wish because our Zip seems to have 9 lives.

20120702-022932.jpg