Monday, March 23, 2009

Walking on sunshine!

Hello Blog friends!
I appologize for not updating sooner.
I ran out of time last week
while I was packing and never had a chance
to let you know that I'd be gone for 10 days.
I've been on vacation in Pensacola, Florida
for the past week!
I have sooooo many photos to share
when I get home,
including photos of my brand new nephew!!
I fly out to grey-er skies tomorrow morning.
Check back soon for
a photo re-cap of my sun-filled week
with my Florida family!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Get Your Motor Runnin'.......

Head out on the highway!
Lookin' for adventure.....
or whatever comes our way!
Both boys are driving!!!!
Zachary and Michael both have their permits
and are enrolled in a private driving school.
The driver's ed program is not offered in any high school
here in Washington,
so in order for any child
under 18 to get their license,
they must first complete
a private driving school course
and it aint cheap!
Zach has had a years more experience
behind the wheel than Michael,
and is driving to and from work,
on the interstate,
and on busy streets in town.
He is doing great!
He likes speed though
and it takes alot of concentration on his part
to keep his eye on that speedometer!
Michael is right behind him
and learning fast!

I'm a skittish passenger anyway,
so it really takes alot of
control on my part to
not freak out when one of them is driving!!
I'm so glad David is here
to do most of the shot gun riding.
He's so patient and has a more sane
view of being on the road with a new driver.
I'm literally thinking I could be taking my last
breath and leaving my children motheress
at any moment,
and that's not good for anyone's confidence!

Zach will get his full-blown license
in a few months,
and Michael will get his in November of this year.
I can't wait for the freedom that
having two more drivers in the house will bring,
especially when David is deployed.
It sure will help alleviate the "having to be in 4 places at once"
syndrome that seems to attach itself to us moms!
On the other hand.....
along with that freedom
comes a whole new set of fears and worries.
Sitting at home while your child is out on the roads
driving the car on their own
just might trump
white knuckling it in the passenger seat
while said child learns how not to kill us
or anyone else!
I will have to practice deep breathing
and the art of distraction.
I will also have to develope some sort of
deterrant to keep me from
picking up the phone
every 15 minutes just to make sure they are
still OK.
Oh, the storms we weather in our hearts and minds
as we learn to let go of what we love so intensely.

Here is Madison and I
in the back seat while Michael was driving.
This is one of my forms of distraction.
I used this particular one
as we were approaching a busy intersection.

It worked.
I didn't scream,
"Oh my gosh, we are all going to die!" even once
during that driving trip!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Learning to Fly....again!

About 11 years ago
when I had a 6 year old,
a 4 year old
and 1.5 year old
running around my house,
and an often deployed husband,
I looked for some help
in keeping up with all things domestic
and found the fly lady.
It really sounded like a great idea at the time,
but it didn't take long before
I was even more overwhelmed with
my overwhelming life!
That woman puts out a ton of e-mails!
My in-box was constantly filled
with reminders of what I was supposed to be doing.
I might as well have had her following me around everyday
reminding me that I needed to:
"15 minute declutter!"
"Dress to the shoes"
"Where are your keys?!"
"Shine your sink!"
Well, at that time in my life,
one more voice following me around demanding my attention
was almost enough to send me
right off of the domestic cliff!
For me a 15 minute declutter meant
trading one mess for another.
A decluttered desk meant a clogged toilet.
A decluttered fridge meant finger paint on my walls.
And where the heck were my keys?
Oh yeah....clogged toilet.
Dressing to the shoes was the easiest part
because I needed those shoes to be ready to
chase down
my wandering 6 year old
who would often leave the backyard
to explore new frontiers.....
sometimes with his 4 year old brother in tow.
I did find success with my shiny sink!
Fly Lady says that a shiny sink was her way
of hugging me everyday
and there was no way I was going without a free hug.
But sadly,
I couldn't hang with the flybabies for long
and began avoiding my e-mail inbox for weeks.
Even though she said I didn't have to keep up
and I didn't have to be perfect,
I really wanted to be.
Soon the guilt outweighed my shiny sink hug
and I dropped all things fly.
Except the shoes...
I still needed those!
Fast forward to my present life.
All of my formerly homeschooled kids
are now in school outside the home.
(Angels singing)
Zach is completing an online high school
curriculum at home
and pulling lots of hours at work,
but at 17,
I can now trust him
not to finger paint on my walls
or flush apple cores down my toilet.
I'm FREE!!!!
Free to Fly!!

And the bug is apparently catchy!
There is a golden age
between not being able to handle a vacuum cleaner
and wanting to be paid for it.
Bren is right in that window
and I'm capitalizing on that big time!
She loves to clean the stairs
and I love to watch her do it.
We are a good team!

Once she gets started,
she morphs into Martha Stuart!
She's been known to take everything she can reach
from the pantry, wipe the pantry with a rag
and replace everything in an organized fashion.
Of course, when that happens
we have to deal with a "Bren's favorites"
section in the pantry
where she's stashed Mac-n-Cheese
Cheez-its, Goldfish,
Spaghettio's, Disney Princess fruit snacks,
peanut butter and fluff
and fruit roll-ups.
And she color coordinates the canned goods too.
Red beans with stewed tomatoes.
Yellow corn with chicken noodle soup.
Split pea soup (yes I have several cans)
with green beans.

One of her favorite things to do
is to shine this coffee table.
I LOVE this coffee table.
We got it from IKEA when we first moved here
and I filled it with photos that I adore
of the kids (that I adore too).
I love when it's shiny!

Brendell doesn't stop with the coffee table though.
Once she gets her hands on that spray bottle,
she's like I was when I first discoverd the glue gun
and glued everything in sight!
No shiny surface is off limits from Bren's spray and wipe.

Can you tell how much fun she's having?!
Unfortunately, this little smiling girl
loves to mess up as much as she does clean.
Even at almost 6,
I'm still having to watch her with markers
because she will "beautify" a surface
that would be better off left un-beautified.
A friend of mine used to "frame" her children's artwork
when they'd write on a wall.
She'd hang an actual empty frame over the art
so that it would be showcased.
Cute idea,
and I'm down with encouraging the creative in your kids
and stuff,
but I imagine running out of frames
once my child catches on
that her wall art is glorified!
I'm guessing that concept wouldn't go over too well
in a rented home either.

All that cleaning makes for a tired girl!
Bren crashed soon after the counter top was shined.
Thank goodness for these golden years
when I can get good help for a hug and a kiss!
As for the Fly Lady and all her e-mails...
I'm on day two
and I have the shiniest sink in the west.
I got my hug this morning.
Everything else is baby steps.
Hopefully I'll be able to keep up much better this time
and will get into the routine she has going on.
Check it out for yourself at

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Family time!

It's been a while since we've done something fun
with all of us there,
so we decided to go bowling on Monday night.
Some wanted to go more than others,
but we convinced everyone to hop
in the van.
I'm so glad we did because
the kids had a blast!!
David and I had fun spending time with them too.
I caught myself watching them and thinking
(like we mother's so often do)
that it won't always be so easy
to get all of us together.
The kids are getting older now
and with each year that passes
they grow more and more independent of us.
Soon we'll have to start preparing our hearts
for watching them spread their wings
and leave our home to follow their dreams.
But for now,
we shall bowl!
I thought that the easiest way
to share the many photos
from that event
was to make a "smilebox" presentation.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Bowling

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