Tuesday, December 13, 2011

'Tis the Season

And for some reason I am not feeling jolly. Could it be my shoes are too tight? I don't know, but I've been less than into Christmas this season. I started my shopping/budgeting late this year and I HATE trying to figure out money and gifts. Ugggh...if only I had an endless budget to give the best gifts EVER. I know I'd be an amazing gifter. It is my favorite thing to do!! Sigh...Behind and feeling stressed is not how I wanted my season to go. I had grandiose ideas of the things we'd do and experience and I truly haven't accomplished anything much. Blahhh!

BUT, the true reason for the Christmas Season has been smacking me upside the head quite often. It probably started out with Josiah coming to me and asking the "truth". I believe in coming clean, but also reminding him what Santa is all about. And, Josiah had no problem catching on. In fact, he has been teaching me the lessons. He has been so excited in sharing the joy of Christmas with his brothers. He helps out with Jean Luc (our special Cajun Elf on the Shelf) and gleams with joy when his brothers giggle when they see the funny places our elf hides. He has hemmed and hawed over his Christmas list since he knows when funding for gifts comes from. I have had to remind him to still write a list, Christmas miracles happen. He has come home with treats and ideas from school to share and help his brothers get all excited. And then, he even offered his money. I was looking online making lists for the boys when he noticed what I was doing. He remembered Gavin has asked for a DS this year. He knows they cost a lot and so the next thing I see is him coming towards me with his birthday money in hand. Being the sweet brother he is, he offered it up to help us afford Gav's DS. I told him not to worry about it, but he persisted and finally explained he wanted Gavin to have the best gift and wanted to help out. So willing to give. So willing to love. Thank you Josiah for a sweet lesson on selfless giving.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

You gotta watch out for cracken, the weed and Sonic

Another post minus pictures...awful, I know. It is because I used up all of my picture energy printing out a gi-normous stack for my little bro on his mission. Sorry...energy all depleted. So, ya'll get a little post of words. But at least I AM posting.

This past couple of weeks have been red ribbon weeks for my beasties. Gunnison came home shaking his booty to a rap "no, no, I won't do drugs 'cause I love my body too much!" Yes, little pale Gunner had his gangsta moment. Gavin came home full of quips on how drugs hurt your agility, memory and other necessary skills required to perform well in the ninja arena. And then Josiah came home full of good, accurate information. Stuff like "you gotta watch out for cracken and the weed. Mom, that stuff is bad! Cracken makes you all crazy and the weed makes you see things...yep, you better watch out for cracken and the weed." Cracken, huh...hmmm...better make sure I help him understand the real terminology. Wouldn't want anyone offering crack or coke to him and him be like "sure! As long as it's not that cracken stuff. You gotta watch out for it!"

And Sonic...I sure gotta watch out for Sonic. The realization that I am addicted to the jolly Happy Hour at Sonic kinda slapped me in the face. Emmeline is getting quite chatty, mostly gibberish, but real words and concepts make there way out randomly. I noticed as we traveled down Jefferson Ave., Emme will randomly call out "dank-you!!" After a few of these, I paid attention and noticed it was as we were passing Sonic. Hmmm...could that be it? Yep, on a random act of necessary vice-ness, I pulled in and bought a drink for me and some for the beasties. I thanked the car-hop and hear an echo behind me. I pour a bit off the boys' into her sippy (yep, I allow my not quite 2 year old too sugary drinks) and hear another "dank-you". Could it be? Uh-huh. Sonic has been re-named "dank-you". Unfortunately, the addiction realization continued when the car-hop made his early college/high-school rear back to my window to check on us. (By the way, did you know they offer free refills as long as you are there? Yes, that's right. Go ahead, smile as you get a refill on your big ol' Route 44 drink. Fabulousness.) "Hey," he says with a bright-eyed smile. "You colored your hair! I like it darker." I stammer out that this is my more natural color and thank you. He doesn't even know my name, but he has seen me enough to know my hair colors. Been there a little too often. Maybe. Just a little. Gotta watch out for Sonic. It's addictive, I tell ya.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hmmm...

You know you need to write a blog post when you, yourself, start checking the blog daily to see if a new post has composed itself...

Hmmm...I promise a post will be arriving...not promising it will be much. Sorry, just not feelin' the bloggy cleverness lately.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Noggin

I took Emmeline to her 18 month well-baby check and immunizations today (I know, she's past 18 months). She was on the 1% for height, 1% for weight and 65% for head circumference.

Hmmm...Kit is just waiting for her to stand in front of the TV screen .






Monday, September 19, 2011

The Act of Becoming

-Warning- This post is just my rambling thoughts. No cute pictures of the beasties or beastette-

From the time we are little we are questioned what we want to be when we grow up. In fact, my two oldest boys were recently asked this question in school. Their answers made me smile as they fit their personalities to a "T". Josiah wants to be a scientist, a researcher and Gavin wants to be a ninja-veterinarian (he does not feel these professions need to be exclusive). I always knew I wanted to be a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend and a good daughter. In seeing myself in these roles I sometimes wonder how I got here. How did I end up being 30 years old, caretaker of 4 children-of course having the body to prove I have given birth to said 4 children, wife to my husband and minder of all things pertaining to my household and family? I know there were choices that led me here...before meeting my future sweetie I had decided to move to OK and attend OSU, after being married we ended up surprised with number 1, praying about number 2, being surprised by number 3 and knowing there needed to be a 4th. We moved here and there, but always keeping in touch with our family. These decisions have all helped shape my life, shaped me.

I hadn't really thought about this much, but the realization struck me when given a blessing by my husband. The words in the blessing from my Heavenly Father were a phrase out of my patriarchal blessing. In that moment, I knew I had become something the Lord intended for me from the start. It was a peaceful feeling to know I made it to the right place at the right time of my life. So, the tired gears in my mind have been going for the last couple of weeks. Chugging along at a depressingly slow rate, let me tell you...but I have noticed a feeling of recognition when I have come across things that have made me...ME. Loving to be around children, the desire to learn more more more, the protectiveness for anyone I feel maternal about (whether it is my beasties, my friends' children, my little brothers or the most darling, fabulous, cute co-worker of my husband) and the urge to armor up my little warriors for the battles of life are a few things that make me who I am. These traits are in part innate and in part learned. But, I struggle every day, EVERY DAY to be a better, nicer person. It's hard!! The struggle often ends in defeat with me in the corner furiously sipping on a CFDCw/VC (caffeine free diet coke with vanilla and cherry added- for those of you who don't know my addiction) to help me feel better about myself and my failures. The thing is, I am my worst critic. My harshest point of view is directed at myself. Do I fail? Oh, so often it hurts! But, I get back up. I keep struggling to be better. That is the conclusion all my muddled thinking has resulted in-the getting up, the trudging along, the bumps, bruises and scars are all the act of becoming who we should be. I am in the act of becoming.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Checked Out for the Summer

(downloaded from google images)

Whew! This has been one crazy summer...family visiting, driving over 36 hours to South Dakota for a fam reunion...then the return trip, another road trip to Okie for my little brother's wedding to the darling Miss Hannah and finally the start of school for all three of my boys. Sheesh! If only the road trips made me shed weight instead of gain it. I'd be one skinny babe if the hours spent in the car battling barf, headaches, name-calling, shoving, malfunctioning electronics, dirty diapers, missing shoes, decoding T0m-Tom directions, and shouting at the beasties made up for the pb m&ms, triscuits, Twizzlers and milk duds shoveled into my mouth on a regular basis.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mom, Mimi, Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday, our sweet Mom.

We all love, love, love you!!!

Here's to another half a century!


(I know these aren't my children...we definitely need to take pics on our vacation this year!)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

10+

We made it 10 years! There have been many, many, MANY times I thought I'd kill Kit and I'm sure he has had quite a few incidents where he was positive if he didn't tuck his hands into folded arms he would simply reach out and strangle me. But- like a fine bottle of balsamic vinegar (seeing how we don't drink alcohol and diet caffeine free dr. pepper doesn't age well, I thought I'd choose an analogy that worked) things have definitely gotten stronger, deeper, much much better with time. I look at my eternal sweetheart and my heart thumps a little harder. I rub his smile lines around his eyes (and if you know Kit, you know they are smile lines...ok and squint lines if he isn't wearing his sunglasses) and adore how sexy he has gotten. I love watching him speed through yet another dirty diaper of Emmeline's and talking trash with my boys as they watch each other play video games. I love how he has started to finally understand how helping out around the house can help him out and how every now and then I come home to dishes done or the floor swept. I love how he knows what I mean with a particular look at church or at a party or across the dinner table. I love how he loves me and despite a body that has carried and birthed (that word brings to mind heaving labor...and yes, yes it was) 4 children, he still finds me irresistibly sexy. I love how he answers the phone "Hello, beautiful" when he knows it is me. I love how I have learned to ignore his "Sunday black socks" and he has learned to just listen when I cry and give advice later. I love how we are better together.

Here's to 10 years, Babe, and counting!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Got Brains?

Ok, so this is Kit...you might be wondering why Liberty hasn't posted in a while. She might tell you that she is busy with life, or that she is so tired after cleaning the house and doing the laundry and wrestling with the children that she is to pooped, he he he I said "poop"(reference below blog) , at night to blog. She might even throw in, just as a diversion, that she is training for a 10 mile Tough Mudder, this last is true but would be a way to distract you from what the real reason is. She would be trying to pull the proverbial wool over your eyes. After almost ten years of marriage Liberty has found something she truly is in love with...no, not me but...



I'll have to admit the game is like Electronic Meth, instantly addicting and starts to take over your life. I don't know why, maybe it's the cute little expressions on the plants' faces or the way the zombies tirelessly trudge along in their short little lives as an occasional "brains!?" escapes their zombified lips. After a few games though, you start figuring out how to get out of work and soon you are on the street corner selling pirated tickets for Battlestar Galactica on Ice to school children so you can buy other electronic devices, portable ones, so you can play the game anywhere. And thus it has my beautiful wife clasped in its deadly grasp (no pun intended). Children have been ordered off the XBOX, interrupting their gamings of Plants VS Zombies (PVZ), so she can play. A PVZ tournament has been scheduled for the "Last Day of School" party we are have at our house. Nobody but our family is invited, if we did, it would mean we have to share precious PVZ time. Even as I type, you can see I am not playing PVZ...and I have proof...



There she is playing while I blog, will you help me help her realize her problem? We have even had discussions about buying another TV and XBOX so we play two games of PVZ at the same time (ok, so not really, but it would be fun...maybe that is something I can swing to make something worthwhile come out of her addiction...hmmm). It's like a car crash and I can't turn away, just watch helplessly on the side lines. Help me, my fellow blog friends, you are my only hope... help me get her back to blogging...



...then I can get some PVZ time.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Poop

Those of you who are determined to stay clean-minded, read no further.


I, too, had the desire. However, motherhood has wiped that wish right away. You see, life as a parent is full of poop. It comes in so many forms: little mustard seed poop from breast-fed babies, nasty "what in the world did he eat" diapers, little rose-bud mouths blurting out "Poop" in the middle of church, panicked shouts of "I have to go poopy, NOW!". I can't forget dirtied underwear from potty-training, jokes featuring bowel-movements and sounds, and tales of scraping out you-know-what from beneath a daughter's fingernails.

The thing is, I don't like poop. I don't even find it at all humorous. Bathroom jokes are lost on me; when my children blurt out inappropriate "potty" words just for the fun of it, they are sent to sit in the bathroom. I would like to forget that anyone even has a need for toilets. So, why a post on poop? Well, I am SICK of it! Maybe if I air out all of my grievances, they will be alleviated. It seems that poop has been one of my plagues in mother-ness!

I would have to claim my oldest set the course, with splattering yellow substance all over my white shirt minutes prior to our leaving for church, and it has been downhill from there. You see, it seems Josiah has some kind of bowel issue. We have been seeing a GI specialist for awhile now, in the attempt to figure out what is going on. Poor boy, I am truly sorry for him. It isn't easy to have to freeze, clench your bottom, wait a second to get control, then run straight for the bathroom. We probably should have recognized there was an issue when as a 3 year old we were visiting OSU campus feeding ducks at Theta Pond, Jos told us he needed to go to the bathroom. Immediately handing the bread over to Auntie Steph, he and I hightailed it across the park to the nearest building...too far away. As we walked/ran, I became aware of little plops occurring in time with wails from Jos (being so scrawny, things simply fell out of his not-so-tightie-whities and shorts). Yep, my son's poop was spotting the sidewalk.

Since then, mother-hood has hurled all kinds of poop at me. I. Am. Tired. Of. It. This past month has given me waaaay too much interaction with the substance. Gavin had weeks of upset stomach and digestive tract. The doctor ordered a stool sample. Yep, the collector was me. Unfortunately, I had to sacrifice a small Tupperware for the collection. There was NO way I was holding that little cup under my son's rear. The nurse neglected to give me a collection hat. Lovely.

A few days later I took the kiddies with me to Chik-Filet for family night with some friends. Emme decided to dirty her diaper. I had decided to be a neglectful mother and not pack diapers. I carried her out to the car on my hip...hmmm, after buckling her in I realized I still smelled poop. Huh, two lovely sh-mears of brown substance gleamed against my white shirt. Obviously a visit to Target was out. No getting out of a run to Wal-mart, though. I needed to pick up a laxative and intensive bowel cleanser for Josiah per doc's orders (am I seeing a pattern here?). I slipped my brown sling on (anyone noticing brown with think they just caught a glimpse of a piece of the sling, right?) and squished stinky bum into it. I would like to claim that was the end of the embarrassments due me, but it wasn't. Emme went on to pee down my leg into my shoe (did you know full diapers simply can't hold ANY more?) and left a lovely puddle on the floor. A little old lady was tottering around and I had images of her slipping in my daughter's pee puddle, falling and breaking a hip. As serenely as I could around teeth clenched in mortification (Josiah in the background bellowing "Stand back everyone, this is my little sister's pee!"), I begged paper towels from the pharmacist and swiped it up. I think I set the record on self-checkout that evening.

The following Monday I set off to pick up flowers to plant. We tackled Home Depot and just as we are checking out in the outside garden center, Gunnison tells me he needs to go to the bathroom. Since he has been potty-trained, I have realized Gunner can wait a bit before the needs become accidents. So, I ask if he can wait until we get across the street to Lowes. He agrees and we set off. We enter in the front garden center and start looking at the clearance racks of flowers. Gunner and Gavin start playing spies and dart in and out of the surrounding shelves. I ask Gun if he was still ok. "Yep!" Keeping one eye on them and the other on the fabulous finds for 75% off!!, I fill up my cart and call for the boys to head with me inside. From across the aisle comes the wail, "Oh! I've got to go poopy, now!!" Oh no, I should have seen this coming. Spy wars only distract until the need becomes incessant. At a near run, we take off for the restrooms-that are far across the store and in the back. Of course. As we rush, I notice a wafting smell reaching my nose. Poor little Gunner starts to cry. Those underwear went right into the garbage, wrapped up in a bazillion paper towels. Thank heavens I remembered wet-wipes.

Poop is so un-kosher. Who likes to show up at playgroup and start a conversation with, "You should have seen the bm my son made today. Doc is having us keep track of when, how much and description!" Uh, no. Poop is the lurking monster under the bed. We can laugh about it every now and then, but how many fearful mommies out there have just thrown the underwear away to be rid of it? Who else is tired of doing laundry with a faint aroma of a not-so-pleasant truck stop?

Poop. I'm tired of it.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Maniacs


Behold the Rugged Maniac and Rugged Miniacs...
Kit entered the Rugged Maniac race with a few office buddies last weekend. Seriously, you must be crazy to enter such a race! There are obstacles, running through forested areas, leaping over fire and mud, mud, and more mud! Kit had a blast! Meanwhile, a Miniac course was set up for the younger crazies. Of course my resident loonies took up the challenge.

About to prove how rugged they are
Dancing to the fabulously loud music
Crawling under lines in a mud pit
Climbing over the wall-Gavin would lag behind Josiah in the wall climb, but he would pull ahead every time going through the mud pit and would beat Josiah. Gav was one determined little miniac...
He's a rugged one...who loves him mama...
While the boys were proving themselves, Kit was out proving he was just as rugged. Here he is scaling a wall surrounded by...yep, mud.
The enormous slide the guys had to go down to reach the last leg of the race. They zoom down into a giant puddle of mud! All of them said this was their absolute favorite part.

The real fire pit they had to leap over. I watched them stoke it up a few times
Here they are, the manly-men...the Rugged Maniacs!

Emme chillin'

Eating all the calories burned off in the form of cheese fries, corn dogs and bbq sandwiches
By the end of the afternoon, we were all beat and more than a little grouchy
Crazy, yep...the house is full of them. What is even crazier, there's another race in October and we're entering it...together. Uh-huh, I got sucked into this one, let's see if I'll pull through. Wish me luck in my training. I simply must prove I am worthy to be spouse to the Rugged Maniac and mother to my Rugged Miniacs!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy Easter!



(Gunner became a hunted Sasquatch, but I never did catch him for one more try)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

We're Howlin'

This happens to be one of Gunnison's new favorite songs. If we're driving by with the windows down, do not be shocked if you hear his accompanying howls.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Because...

Because I love how my littlest boy uses his entire face to smile
Because I love the confidence of my oldest, even wearing his goofy "100 Day" hat
Because I absolutely adored Emmeline's BIG bows
Because I am sad she will not leave the bows on...and we have had to move on to little clips
Because there is never a set of pictures I download to the computer without me looking fabulous (thanks dear)
Because I was crazy and tried my hand at making a spring wreath
Because his excited grin was just so cute
Because I am thankful for friends that help make Cub Scouts a good experience
Because even though it only came in 11th, it was the coolest car there
(you know, the orange one with the big black OSU)
Because we are so thankful for an auntie who sends such fabulous jammies...seriously grateful, it has given such joy to the wearer and laughter to the see-ers

Because I have at least posted...whew...the longer I wait in-between, the harder it gets!




Sunday, March 6, 2011

Granddad Says...

For the past couple of weeks, we have had the presence of my father in our home...well, at least in word. It all started with Gunnison coming down for breakfast one morning. He was quick to tell me what he wanted to eat because according to him, Granddad was coming to pick him up later that day and they were going on a trip together to the mountains. He needed to eat, because Granddad wanted him to have energy. He needed to brush his teeth, because Granddad wouldn't like stinky breath or dirty teeth. He quickly got dressed because he knew Granddad couldn't take him to the mountains in his pajamas (he took them completely off that day, not even letting them lurk under his pants). He wasn't playing; Gunner was serious. He kept watching, waiting. He was finally distracted by us going to playgroup and then the library. He went to bed that night and my heart hurt a little that he wasn't able to take his trip with my dad.

But then, the next day, Granddad came to stay. Everything Gunnison said dealt with Granddad. Granddad wouldn't let him wear his striped shirt, only the "B" for Bear shirt. Granddad wouldn't let him sit in the black and grey car seat, just the red and black one. Grandad said Gunner didn't need to eat carrots at dinner and of course Granddad would let Gun eat some candy before bed. Granddad helps choose which chores Gunnison does throughout the day and he is always going to reprimand Josiah and Gavin for their wrongs against Gunner.

My mom wasn't sure Gunner remembered exactly who his granddad was. Hmmm, maybe "Granddad" was just a name for an idea in Gun's mind. Nope. I found a few photos of my dad and watched Gunner point him out with a grin. His champion was there in picture for him to admire. So, while I gnash my teeth (just a bit) at how Granddad would never shout for Gunner to "just obey", or when Granddad is determined to let Gunner play with my cell phone, I think of my son's smile at his granddad's face in the photo and the ways his face lights up when I read one of the emails my dad has sent the boys and I am thankful he is visiting our home. Even if it is in word only.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's My Party and I Can Cry if I Want To!

I believe I have used that title before...yep, here, with a little red someone...

At this party, it was our little beastette.
I don't know what it is about birthdays in this house that seem to bring on the tears.
Thankfully, the entire day was not composed of tears. Emmeline decided a morning nap was not in order (with a little decision-making assistance from noisy brothers). Our plans were to picnic at the park, but the wind was blowing a little too fiercely for us...I know, we've turned soft since we've been away from gusty OK. So, we opted for lunch at Bojangles, home of the YUMMO french fries. Mmmm-mmm...just typing this makes my mouth salivate for their seasoned fries. We all agree they are fabulous, right down to Emmeline.

See my dainty daughter shoving, not just an entire fry, but her fist in as well?
The wind died down a bit, just a few blowzy gusts instead of the knock-me-over-if-you-are-the-size-of-Jos, Gavin, Gunner-wind, so we headed to the park to play. Emmeline loves being outside.

Emme wants all to admire her tongue.

An unsuspecting picture. Love it!!!
After spending time on the playground, we picked up Lloyd and hiked around a couple of trails at the park. Josiah and Gavin decided to emulate Lewis and Clark and took off, determined to hike all the way to California. Kit and Lloyd went to go find them, leaving Gunner, Emme and me in their dust. We had a long, detailed discussion of what would happen if we had to stay there...forever. Gunnison decided he would be King of the Squirrels. Graciously he told me Emme could be the queen. Me? I still had to be the mommy...forever picking up nuts, I guess.After an outfit change (due to a less than pleasant-smelling happenstance) and torrential tears (where the 1st picture is from {mean, mean, Daddy! snapping pics instead of giving loves}) we sang Happy Birthday and Emmeline got to dig into her purple cupcake. (Incidently, do not think yellow cake batter will dye purple...you end up with a color I term "Brain-matter")

Admire the tongue!

Yep, the whole fist-into-mouth, again

Wait! You get to admire her tongue, yet again!


This is her new "cheesy" face


On to the gift opening! Emme had an over-abundance of help with opening her gifts. Gavin was extra polite about it, though. He'd lean over close and ask, "Do you want help, Emme? You want help? Oh. Ok, I'll help you!"


Despite the tears, the Big Number 1 was fun. Thank you for the darling gifts and love! Regardless the miles between us, you all know how to show your love. We truly appreciate all you do for our family.

If my heart gave an extra thump or two throughout the day and my eyes leaked, just a little, when I kissed her good-night, I simply reminded myself it isn't every day my littlest turns one. Funny how quickly they grow. It seems that with every birthday my babies have, I have a lot of joy and a little bit of growing pains.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

And Then It Snowed...

You know how the Native Americans danced to bring down the rain? In our family we have our very own Snow Dancer.

video video
We took a couple of takes, Gav wasn't satisfied with a fall as the grand finale move. And guess what we woke up to this morning?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

On the Move


Emmeline usually has her tongue out in concentration...either that or big fat alligator tears and snot as she makes her way to someone who will pick her up (I know...poor little girl is just so neglected...)