Monday, December 29, 2008


Christmas is over and the tree is down, everything is put away and the halls are undecked.

You see, I had procrastinated and put the tree up at the last moment and taken it down on Christmas night. We're in such a mess here and so cluttered and so jam packed with kid things, construction, new toys, old toys and the things in life necessary to raise children in today's world. The busyness of life and jobs and trying to do more than I can do in my 24 hours of life each day, made me really dread the season this year.

I lost track of all the cute little things Sam, Jay and Meg said to me about Christmas and Jesus and presents. I lost track of their excitement and enthusiasm as Christmas drew near ... and I wallowed in the mess I had created and the pity of what all I had to do. I became overwhelmed with all the toys and boxes and presents and the lack of what to do with it. I don't have a clue where to put everything or what to do with it. I lack space, storage and organization right now ... and it's as if Wal-Mart opened it's door and rained down on us. ... and here I complain when so many have so much less, and I should be grateful, but I'm not ... I'm simply overwhelmed.

Then today, in a quiet moment this evening as the kids were playing with their new toys .... Sam said, "Mommy, when Santa Claus comes next year for Christmas ... I want him to bring you some sparkles and a big hug."

How does one small little boy know that his Mommy was needing some sparkles and a hug?" The realization that my little boy knew that my heart wasn't into it this year made me sad, but the thought that his wish for me next year is sparkles .... and as for the hugs, I'll get them all through the year.

I'm glad my littles are only four years old this Christmas ...because as time marches on they'll remember more and I would never want them to remember that their Mommy didn't have sparkles on Christmas.

Did you lose your Sparkle this year, and if so .... what did you do to find it again?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Dear Littles - Chapter Fourteen ~ Merry Christmas

Dear Littles,
Merry Christmas!  You're still asleep and will be waking up in about an hour.  I intentionally got up before you this morning because there was something I had to do.
Over the past couple of months I've shopped and shopped and got caught up in buying presents for you.  I bought way too much and way too many gifts for the three of you.  I got lost in the stores shopping and seemed to have forgotten the real spirit of Christmas.
It was late last night when I went to bed ... I'd wrapped all the presents and neatly made three large piles of gifts.  One for each of you.  It was pretty overwhelming and very exciting.  I was thinking about how excited you would be when you saw our living room this morning.  I knew how much fun you'd have with all your new toys.  I'd carefully shopped and got wonderful nice toys and things that I knew you'd love.
Then as I was praying for you before I fell asleep late last night, I realized what I'd done.  First of all, I'd gone against your Dad's wishes to keep it humble.  I'd gone so overboard that it was ridiculous.  I thought he was silly when he said he only wanted to give you a few gifts each.  I wanted to buy you the world.  He wants you to appreciate the gifts you receive in life.  I do too ... but I wanted you to have a lot of gifts ... because you're kids and it's Christmas.  As I prayed for you, I knew in my heart that your Dad was right, and we do want you to be humble and appreciate what you're given.  I don't want you to have so much that you can't even play with it or use it.
So I got up this morning and I went through the packages under that crooked little tree, and I took away all but eight presents each ... and not eight of the most exciting and eight of the best ... but the eight presents that I knew that you would love and respect and cherish. 
I feel kind of sad that all those wrapped presents will not be opened by you .... but I feel like a better Mother and a better wife for doing the right thing and focusing more on teaching you humility, respect and appreciation ... and mainly teaching you that Christmas is about celebrating family unity and God.
Merry Christmas my Littles ... I love you so much, and when the sun comes up here in about thirty minutes ... you're going to have the best Christmas you've ever had.  Your Dad will back from milking the cows and your Mother is right here with you .... we have a warm house with lots of love in it, plenty of food, a great family and good friends.  We're healthy and we're blessed .... and we're so thankful for the three of you, and for what all God has given us.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Night Before Christmas

Bah!  I just hate it when I do something that becomes one of those "Remember when Mom did ...,

Tonight I created another one of those tales for down the road when we're all sitting around the table on Christmas telling stories on each other. 

This afternoon started out with the best of intentions.  We had a little plan to go shopping for each other and let the kids buy a gift for each other.  We were starting a tradition ... one that I thought the kids would always want to do for each other.

After a frenzied rush through Sam's Club to fill two carts to the rim, we knew better than to go to Wal-Mart .... but we did.  What were we thinking??!!  ... and to top that off, we headed straight to the toy department.  Tell me I'm crazy to take three four year olds to the toy department on Christmas Eve.  Okay ... I know I am!  ... and only once did I get my cart butted by a burly large woman trying to get down the aisle. 
I also found out that you can't open Hannah Montana lip gloss, use it, lose the lid and not pay for it.  Even if you have to stand in line for forty minutes ... and even if one of the kids was having a meltdown for losing her Hannah stuff.  I grinned and beared it ... and took it like a man.  I did my line time and did my best to keep my kids from opening all the goodies in the line, and I did my best to keep the people behind me from getting kicked with Meg's shoes during her meltdown.

Had I had enough???  Heck NO! .... it's Christmas Eve and I had some shopping to do.  So off to Kohl's we went and fingered everything in the store that wasn't tied down.  The highlight of that trip was ripping all the tags off the clothes we passed in the aisles.  When you think about three kids zipping through the clothes rack ... that's a lot of tags on the floor.  Did I let them do that intentionally?  No ... but no way could I tie their hands down with all the people staring at us. 

After a couple of hours in Kohl's I had to have a quick plan to feed these kids, and the closest place was a Chinese Buffet.  They were so hungry by then, they devoured the Chinese noodles and egg rolls like it was the best food on Earth.

Then it happened .....  I was twenty-five miles from home on Christmas Eve and I couldn't find my keys.  I had locked them in the van ... at the Chinese Buffet and I had a dead cell phone ... and three kids with no coats on, a van full of Christmas presents and a bag of drugs that I still needed to deliver for the pharmacy, and Sam had to poop ... and did I mention that it's Christmas Eve?!  Should I say the words "big time up a creek" yet?!

But they were kind to me.  They dialed the numbers for me on their phone while I called seven locksmiths.  All seven wanted holiday payment in cash .... $150.00 and I would have to wait approximately 45 mintues for them to arrive.  If I didn't have the cash ... they'd follow me to a ATM after they retrieved my keys.  On the last phone call, I struck paydirt!  He only wanted $125.00 CASH and could be there in 15 minutes.  Just enough time for Sam to poop!  

I was never so happy to see a short little man with greasy hair pulled back in a ponytail that spoke Spanish and drove a little Ford Ranger with no muffler in my life.  If he hadn't had a couple of kids and a woman in the truck ... I just might have kissed him!  After I handed him the cash ... he handed me my keys in less than one minute!  I am definitely in the wrong business!

Please don't ask why I didn't call MM to bring me the other set of keys ... because I lost them a long time ago! 

So now, we're safely home ... the kids are tucked up in their beds and Santa is going to start wrapping all those presents that he left in the garage.  The ones that were supposed to be wrapped a long time ago!

O' Christmas Tree

The tree is up ... and none too soon! One lesson I've learned over the past four years with these kiddo's ... is don't put the tree up too early! I was expecting chaos again, but now that they're four years old and big kids ... the tree isn't quite as intriguing! Why didn't someone tell me?!
I was all prepared for broken bulbs and ornaments and the tree on the floor a couple times like in the past ... but it's not happening! We decided against the big nine foot tall tree that I love so much and opted to use Mom's old tree that has seen many better days. It's smaller, and practical and a piece of cake to put up.
When Mom passed away before the babies were born, and all of us were dividing up her belongings to keep, and cleaning out the house, no one wanted the old tree down in the basement. I just couldn't bring myself to throw it away. I know it's not my Mother's tree, but it was Von's Mother's Christmas tree ... and being that she touched my heart so many times over the short few years I knew her, I wanted to keep that tree.
I don't really know if she had loved her tree or not, but either way .. it was hers, and I imagine that she had lovingly decorated it year after year. What I do know, is my littles love their Grandma's Christmas tree ... and to me, it's a way to help keep her in their memories. Even though they didn't meet their Grandmother ... she's as real to them, as I am.
Mom loved Cardinal red birds and used to watch them all the time through the windows in the winter time. They seemed to be everywhere, and she was always spotting them. A few months before she passed away that February, I had found a beautiful Hallmark ornament ... a Cardinal with a little gold twig attached to it, and on the twig is three little berries. I meant to give it to her that last Christmas she was with us, but I never did. I found it again the other day, and this Christmas season ... that beautiful ornament is hanging on Mom's tree. I too now love red birds ... and everytime I see one on our farm, I think of Mom and catch a little glimpse of her in my mind, and I long for a chance to have had her to meet my babies here on earth.
Last night we heavily decorated that old artificial tree ... and there isn't a bare spot on it. All the thin broken branches are now covered with ornamanets and strung with red beads. There are glass balls and snowflakes, shiny stars, and snowmen ... and old world Santa's. The lower half, as far up as they could reach, my Littles placed the ornaments, and talked about their Grandma's Christmas tree .... and they made the tree beautiful once again ... and just outside their reach is a shiny little red bird that I treasure.
In that old tree, what I've found is a treasure ... and the treasure is my kiddo's celebrating the season of Jesus ... and treasuring the memories of red birds and a Grandmother that they would have loved.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I think my kiddo's loved spending the evening with these kiddo's!  Joey told me they were the best behaved kids he'd ever seen in his life ...

Monday evening as promised, Joey and Mariah spent time with the Wright Quintuplets to lend their Momma a hand, as a Christmas gift to me.  As it turned out, I think it was a gift to Joey and Mariah.  They loved it and were in awe at five busy little toddlers the same age.

It's not as if they hadn't been with five toddlers the same age before, because on holidays and get togethers, my littles and my grandkids who are all the same age, are all here .... but this time it was different.  These two kids of mine played with, did dinner, helped with baths and got these little squirts down to bed.  Then they straightened up and chatted with Mom awhile before they went on their merry way!

Thanks Joey and Mariah for the good deed ... and according to Emily, you two are jewels and I'm one lucky Momma!

I love you two!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The One

Had a few minutes this morning and had to get Joey and Mariah's little session edited ... so I'm sharing!

On a another note .... Joey and I were talking about Christmas and giving and presents and such, and for Christmas this year Joey and Mariah are giving me a very special gift ... they are giving me some time ... and with that time I ask them to give my very special friend a free evening.

So this coming Monday evening, these two wonderful kids of mine will be having a play date with The Wright Five! How exciting ... I'm almost jealous myself. I have a feeling they'll have so much fun they'll be going back for some more "Quintastic Fun" while they're home on Christmas break.

It's funny how good things happen to good people isn't it? I think it's really a God thing!

Don't tell Emily, but I'm going to have Mariah take a bunch of funny pictures and we'll make a poster of fun with Mariah, Joey and the kids! (just ignore this part Emily!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Flipped the Switch ... We have Lights

We have lights on the house!  Hooray for MM!  I want everyone to now stop reading and give him a hand. 

Now for the nitty gritty .... they didn't work.  I came in a little bit ago to find MM on the living room floor with about 6 strings of lights for the front porch.  One big tangled mess.  I couldn't help but ask him where he got them (I already knew).

Before I go any further, I need to tell you that I had gone to Target yesterday and bought new lights for the house, and they're in a sack on the back porch.

He told me that he got them out of the box of Christmas stuff that we had in storage.  The box marked "Extra Stuff."  The box that had all the extra stuff that didn't work.  That box.  He had to move the box that was marked, "Lights for the Porch."

So what was he doing on the floor with all those strings around him????  He  was replacing lights and fixing each string ....   Man, he has stamina .... and the patience of a Saint.  I could never do that ... and I applaud him!

So now ... we're one step closer to Christmas and in the morning we're putting up our Christmas tree.  A small one ... one that was MM's Mothers.  It's sitting in her house all in one piece with a very large bag over it.  All I have to too is shake it a bit and  .... D.E.C.O.R.A.T.E.!  It's so much smaller than our ginormous thing, and it's also the tree we used the first Christmas the kids were here, and their second year too.  Big tree + triplets = Disaster!  Plus, it was Mom's ... and I like that.  She would too if she could tell me.

I'll post some pictures of our tree decorating adventure tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Holidays

Our Christmas card for this year.  To all of you that I don't know, and those of you I do know ... Merry Christmas!

May all the blessings of God be with you and your families this season!



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Home Again ...

Well, actually I didn't go anywhere ... but I am home again. Back to sanity at least. But I did take a little two week break from blogging ... and next time I'll let everyone know. Thanks to all you that kept right on visiting and sometimes a few times a day to see if I've posted. I needed a break .... it's been nuts here.

While I was gone, here's a little bit of what's been happening and what I've been thinking .... in my neck of the woods!

1. Happy Birthday Joey! Waaaaaa! My little boy is so grown up now, but he has been for a long time now. I'm finally realizing that I've actually cut the apron strings and didn't even know it. There are some days that I don't talk to him, then I panic and want to call him ... but I know he's okay. I do that with all my kid's. I have this need to nose and know what's up with them.

2. The Kitchen Project .... Zilch is happening. Here I am at midnight sitting here stewing and eating marinated artichoke hearts out of the jar and drinking orange juice, and looking at the pipes on the back side of my kitchen sink. I swear MM paid off the contractor to not come back or answer his phone. Now what??? Butch quit and the contractor never came back and I have a ripped out kitchen wall and an exposed and naked sink and a few wires hanging down from the ceiling. I'm calling the Carpenter's Union tomorrow! I need help!

3. The Living Room Project .... my painter thumbed her nose at me and decided that I don't know a thing about painting walls. Well ... how was I supposed to know that you have to take down the border around the ceiling before you paint. I just wanted to put a little bit of tape up there and keep it. So my painter ... aka Juli or Miss DIY laughed me out of the room the other night. Here she came all geared up to paint and threw a wrench in everything when she told me that the paint would bleed and ruin the border! Who made her the expert and the one in charge?!!? Afterall, I'm the Mom and I'm thinking crown molding about the size of the border.

4. Santa is coming ... yes he is. On the 25th they say. In 8 more days ... and I'm not ready. I've shopped til I've dropped and I'm going to keep on shopping ... and I've vowed to meyself that I will NOT be wrapping presents at 4:00 am on Christmas morning like I've done the last few years. I still have to put my tree up and I have to go buy a couple of those reindeer yard ornaments that light up and a great big Santa. MM has to string the lights still yet ... and can you believe that he waited until we had a ice storm and it's blistering cold outside. We're real prepared, eh???

We've tried going through all our old toys to clear out some of the old to make room for the avalanche of toys that are about to be mounded on top of us next week .... but they need to keep all the old ones ... just ask them. They love them all and we're not parting with a single thing if they have their way! What happened to the idea of giving away their old toys to someone that could use them?

5. The Desk .... here while back I got this wild new decorating hair and decided that I needed a desk for my office. Only thing is, my office is now the clutter bomb of the house and the desk won't fit in there until I clean the room out, and I have no where to put the accumulation of stuff in that room. I got the desk from my sister, who got the desk from an old bank. It's ancient and big and heavy and is a double sided his and hers desk. What was I thinking?? I paid someone $120.00 to deliver it to me and they could only get it as far as my living room. So I scooted everything around and made a corner for the desk. Now it doubles as a big folding table and I have the kids clothes neatly stacked with clean laundry. Okay ... tell me I'm nuts, but I have triplets you know and lots of laundry. Now I'm looking for someone to take the desk off my hands ... free of charge ... and the catch is, before Christmas.

Oh, one more thing .... never eat Artichoke hearts marinated in vinegar and oil and drink orange juice at midnight and think you're going to go to bed! IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


How can one little girl that is four years old be so busy?! Especially when I already have 3 four year olds running around here. What's one more you say? A lot ... when you're only used to three kids.

This little version of her Momma is one busy little chick. Everytime she visits ... it's like the very first time and everything is brand new and exciting.

I love her busyness and her visits and how she and Meg are great friends and "girls." This semester while Juli is still in engineering school I'll have Kelcie every Tuesday and Friday night and some Saturday mornings. She brings back memories ... of another little girl over twenty years ago that acted just like her.

Juli ... she is her Momma's child, and I'm a lucky Grandma. We'll just call it "spunk."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Carpenter Problems

This post doesn't even warrant a picture .... it's way too upsetting and I love my blog way too much to subject it to this ordeal.

I posted last week about my new kitchen. Well .... it's at a standstill! Standing still without a wall, no running water and a big mess!

First of all .... Marlboro Man might be the hardest working man I know and he might look like Sam Elliott, but under all that sexism and that mustache is a man that I want to strangle right now. He took on this project against his will because he didn't see a thing wrong with how our kitchen was in the first place. I, on the other hand found fault in every square inch. The word "cracker box" doesn't do it justice.

So ... where did he go wrong? He hired the same carpenter man that helped him remodel this house a decade ago! They think alike! Put it this way, the sink cabinet that they built 15 years ago, the one made out of unmatched plywood with a thin coat of stain on it ... "wasn't broke, so why fix it" .... that kind of mentality!

It's just hard to cut them any slack when they took an old door and cut it off with a table saw because it was too tall. It's hard to give them a break when I came home one day a couple years ago and they fixed my doorknob problem with a rope! I just can't do it when I think about the time they screwed down the countertops "on top" here while back ... and when they told me that they were going to cut off the window trim with a jig saw so it would be flush ... well, I almost fainted right after my jaw hit the floor!

Anyway, the hired carpenter can't breathe and sits on a stool and tells MM what to do ... and they both cackle at their own inside jokes about me and figure out how to git-r-done! Needless to say, my git-r-done isn't on the same level as their git-r-done and this morning the hired carpenter decided that he won't be able to finish this project ... and my live-in carpenter isn't really a carpenter.

For me ... this is a good thing! Now MM is forced to hire a REAL carpenter and I'll be getting my new kitchen in no time flat. Done the right way! I'm in 7th Heaven! I've already called an expert and we're making plans as I type! With MM's approval of course.

Poor Butch! I hope he gets better soon ... but not before my kitchen is finished!