Wednesday, April 28, 2010


the weather here has been crazy. i am pretty confident that in a few short weeks you will hear the never-ending complaining coming from my mouth on the heat. our new little house has energy efficient windows and ceiling fans. i need to find a window that will open correctly for our little ac, because i have never been fully pregnant during a summer in california and i am very much afraid.
monday it was beautiful. high 70's, clear skies- the kids played outside all day. and then monday night the storms came in, and yesterday it rained all day. and today it has done pretty much the same (with the exception of wild hail storms).
so when i just before 7 am to ice cold feet on my nice warm back (campbell) and realized the dreadful rain was going to keep my energetic kids bouncing off the walls, i decided to do what i really never ever do. venture out with them.
if this blog serves as any kind of AA- mine would be this: ATGOWMKIPA
translation: afraid to go out with my kids in public anonymous (side note, i spelled anonymous correct my first attempt!)
hi, my name is mary.
it's true. i am constantly afraid of the crazy that will occur. and because my fear is becoming "that women" everyone is a store is looking at as she drags her screaming child away from something..... well, i prefer to stay in my own 4 walls and watch the madness occur without any judgement.
but today was different. sam's heading out for 4 long days as he climbs mt. hood (he climbed last may, but didn't summit-aka, make it to the top) and i just knew i couldn't start my alone time already frustrated by the unfortunate side affect the rain causes my children.
so where did our great adventure take us?
first we stopped and had coffee and scones with sam. all of sam's customers love seeing the little mini sams as we come into the store. its fun. and i really needed more coffee. had i not got the perfect spot right in front of his store, i might not have braved the pouring rain. after fueling up we headed to:
but we did go all the way to roseville (45 minutes away) and as we started our jaunt in the store, i let campbell and mason each pick our a very inexpensive toy. it was their preemptive reward for behaving (and this really worked, because they were very content). i "helped" campbell select a 97 cent toy car (because he really doesn't need anymore toys) and mason got a tiny little baby doll (that had a backpack with a bottle and keys).
2 happy toddlers, and one baby strapped to my chest. he really can't be there much longer, his new sibling won't love being kicked and squished by a big brother.
from target- to winco. i know, we really know how to have a good time. but we needed some staples, and i kept thinking that strapped to me and in a grocery cart was better than watching them tear our house apart.
it was slightly better. the kids were happy, eventually campbell had to get out of the cart to make room for more groceries. he kept suggesting food, but didn't get mad if i said no. we had one moment that i was sure was going to turn into the biggest disaster in the world (a kind of disaster that would have me never venturing out again). i turned from grabbing something canned to see campbell with the biggest GLASS jar of pickles you could imagine. it must have been the grace of God that i made it to him and the glass before disaster occurred.
by the end of grocery shopping, henry was flipping out in the sleepy wrap. no big surprise- he was 3 hours past a much needed nap, and had created something quite unpleasant in his diaper. as i was loading my groceries up onto the belt (wait, i never remember this part of grocery shopping- oh yea, sam does that) and then packing my groceries into bags (again, what? oh yeah, sam....) i did at one point think briefly about leaving the paid groceries where they were and fleeing.
you see, i had put henry in the empty cart so he would stop fighting me for freedom. only to realize how quickly i needed to be filling the cart with bags of groceries. i somehow trapped my purse strap in the sleepy wrap making it unable to get him back in it (all the while having the most foul smell in my face) and to top it off campbell kept trying to push the cart away from me.
but. no horrid screaming incidents. no potty emergencies at the wrong time. no meltdowns.
of course, as i exited winco it had started to rain. no worries, i had the perfect george spot. i was able to keep my groceries dry, strap in campbell and mason, and then change henry. of course, my back was absolutely drenched as i changed him, because the foul smell had exploded everywhere- including his clothes.
however, groceries got loaded (even though i was willing any bystander to take them so i wouldn't have to deal with them, as i remembered- sam usually loads them in the van and unloads them for me) and we headed off to (don't judge me) wendy's for lunch. where after finishing my food, i went back through the drive-thru for a frosty for me and the kids.
everyone was very happy.
we filled up the van with much cheaper gas prices, i started "a bug's life" and watched henry and mason fall asleep for part of the drive.
pulled into grass valley about the same time the sky opened up and started a downpour mixed with rain and hail. sure. i ran into the house, switched out of my flip flops and unloaded the groceries while the kids watched their movie. then headed back to sam's store (really just to drive around while the kids happily finished their movie) and while we were there, lighting filled the sky as the same time thunder crashed above and then: HAIL. it was awesome.
awesomer that i had to drive home and unload the kids in all of it.
but we survived. i survived. and now i sit for a quiet moment, and share the great adventures we had today. the house is a little bit messy, the kids are "napping"- hey, they are in their beds and not fighting at my feet, that is fine.
maybe i will be able to handle 4 kids. i figure if i don't practice letting campbell walk around on his own, release a little of my fear and trepidation on going out in public with my crew, then i will just completely isolate myself instead. and that isn't good for me or for the kids.
however, if you hear any "crazy red-headed woman what looked like a small daycare" stories on the news, just smile and maybe pray :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

finally found.

so i thought joking about my camera charger was just that- a joke. but it did take me quite a while to locate the trusty device that gives my camera life. unpacking is still going on, although i don't think we have any boxes in the house anymore, but we do have a bunch of stuff that needs to find homes (preferably someone else's home) besides our garage.
great news- my sewing room is all unpacked. and i actually pulled my iron and ironing board out of there closet and set them up. there is a baby shower in, oh, 18 hours? and the gift remains unmade. but its very simple (and already cut) so a about 30 dedicated minutes and it shall be complete.
technically our house is a duplex, and i have set up my sewing room in our second kitchen, which is right off of the living room on the second side (which is what sam and i use as our bedroom). the plan is to eventually have bedrooms and a playroom built into our downstairs garages (connected inside by stairs) and then sam and i will move into the old playroom and kids rooms, turning the living room (our current bedroom) and kitchen (my sewing room) into a studio apartment to rent out. and i love this idea. i love that we will have a little bit of extra income each month (even though renting the house will take awhile). and i love it- until i pull my curtain back and walk into my cozy little sewing area. and even though i know that after the shifting of rooms i still will have a sewing area (with my table up to a beautiful window that overlooks our yard) i just adore this private little space that i have created for creating.
pictures to come, when i make it a little more personable. right now it is functioning. but now for the first time ever my sewing is not apart of our day to day life, so i can make it my own.
back in time (when i made time to sew, and was currently on a book re-reading marathon) i made the following:
appliquéd trees on the backs of some old navy t-shirts
the boys were matching.
mason's easter dress
little flower topstitching
and a little felt flower appliqué.
the kids at nana and papa's with their easter loot (fyi, sam's sister filled 100 easter eggs full of candy- 100 easter eggs- for these 3.... it was awesome)
campbell hunting for eggs
i didn't get a good shot of mason in her dress, and i never will, as she grabbed a handful of olives and sent a trail of olive juice down her front, staining her pretty dress. oh well. i still enjoyed making it!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

birthday bashes.

within 9 days of each other both of my boys had birthdays. my "baby" turned one, and my other "baby" turned 4. for 9 short days i was able to say that i had a 3 year old, 2 year old, and a one year old. sometimes i don't mention that i am expecting, because when people see me with these 3 they already look like they want offer medical assistance to me. i'm afraid their minds would be blown if they realized what more i was in store for.
i tend to blog more about my kids here, but i thought a share a couple of fun birthday pictures here as well, mainly because my camera battery is dead and i haven't been able to pull other pictures off of it, and because i have been pretty consumed with life that i haven't done anything blog worthy lately.
so enjoy. i should have some Easter pictures up (including Easter-ware that i created) in as long as it takes me to find my camera battery, plug it in, charge said battery, and then upload pictures and think of clever things to say.
basically, don't hold your breath :)
waiting for cupcakes.
the birthday boy in the birthday shirt i made for him- it says H1, because his name starts with H and he turned 1, not because of the virus- just to be clear.

yeah, these were awesome.
greatly anticipating our cupcakes.

he barely stopped to breathe, that cupcake was literally inhaled!

and my 4 year old.
taking in all the set-up for his thomas party.
sadly, the only thing i made for this boy was his birthday cake (which tasted awesome). i had wanted to do green frosting all around (resembling grass) and blue in the middle (for a lake) and then do the graham cracker "bridge" over the lake. well, i couldn't find my blue food coloring, and i had done most of my frosting green, then tried to experiment and see if green and yellow mixed would make blue (it actually makes a more pooh looking color of green) so then when i tried to just make all my frosting green, i ran out of green food coloring. this is why, if you look closely, the cake is 3 colors of green. resting on the "bridge" was the only thing campbell repeatedly asked for as a present " 'arry and bert", and i thought it would be more fun to put them on his cake in as a surprise.

and it was quite the surprise!

Friday, April 2, 2010


i'm back bold blogging again. i am happy to report that in the month that has passed that i do feel slightly less angry. or maybe i am doing a little better at being slow to anger. or maybe more people are praying for me. it's probably the last one.
after taking a hard look at myself as a wife and mother and recognizing the things in my heart that need to change i was thrown head first into the whirl wind of moving (well we only just moved, but it pretty much did preoccupy most of my mind space during the month of march). i will report that i do hate moving. and i will say that while you spend time packing boxes, moving boxes, unpacking boxes, and sorting through your belongings your mind really starts to wander, and as my mind wandered i felt the Lord speaking to my heart, convicting words.
why don't you enjoy these children? and, why did you want them?
i am 100% committed to being a stay at home mom. i am 100% convinced that the Lord is calling me to home-school them, and i am blessed beyond words that sam fully supports and agrees with me.
just because one has those convictions doesn't mean that it makes your life super easy.
but before i get oddly off topic, let me get back to what i am here to post about:
my influence in our home.
after taking a real look in the mirror, i am seeing a selfish wife and mother. i think i look at the necessities in life: food, clothes, cleanliness, training, and think- if those are done, i'm at least slightly ahead of the ball. and once i can balance those in, i really want to be able to focus on the long list of things that i would love to do with my time. and this is where i become really selfish because i get incredibly annoyed when my children appear, threatening to interrupt my time.
why did i have them if i just want them to leave me alone?
having children has really revealed to me my selfish heart, and that sucks to admit. i care more about me, than i do about them- on some levels.
and i need to change. because i know that my annoyance, my being fed up with them, influences other areas of my life- and other members of our family: sam.
i wonder how different our nights would go, if when sam came home if in addition to the hard parts of the day i have to share, if i also had wonderful stories of how i enjoyed our children. i know he would feed of my enthusiasm, i know it it my heart. and i believe he and i would feed off of each other, and equip each other to be better parents.
so how do i do it? how do i get to wonderful stories? how do i create the moments that make you happy you had kids?
1) by praying for it.
2) asking myself the following question: what would my children want to be doing with me?
3) recognizing that this time i have during the day, isn't my time, but it is time entrusted to me from the Lord, these are His precious children that He has given to me.
4) remembering that these tough ages- where playing trains and dolls and tea parties are not as much fun as it will be when the kids are older and can do more- won't last forever, and i will (i know i will, because everyone says you do) look back and miss this stage.

i do want to interrupt here and say this: i do not think a child needs 24/7 interaction. don't think that as i type this that my children are about to get a constant playmate, and hours of games, crafts, and stories. no, that is that not what i am trying to say. because i firmly believe a child needs an imagination, and time to play by themselves, and with their siblings- a balance of everything.
but here is what needs to change in me:
when i feel that urge to be done being an involved, engaged parent- whether it be 7pm at night, or 8:30 in the morning, i need to remember what really matters- that my children and their needs- whether it be training them patiently to entertain themselves, or together playing with them- is where i get my enjoyment.
to see my children as my joy, not my annoyance.
that showing my children a heart that is happy to serve, love, and play with them is one of the greatest things that i can give them.


yup. we are moved. and like i said before, the mass majority of the move is done. what's left? oh, the un-fun aspects of sorting through what's been put in our garage to decide what we do and don't want. but that is out of sight (but not out of mind) and can be accomplished slowly but surely.
details on the house- we actually bought a duplex, with the plans of someday renting one side and then hopefully using it the whole thing as a rental when we move onto something different. there are a lot of "hopeful" plans for the future. but i really don't feel like expanding on them, simply because i am very happy with the way things have come together.

almost to pictures. last tuesday i was basically overwhelmed and having a huge meltdown. we had packed a few boxes, our old house was a disaster zone, i didn't have any help during the days- except for the kids who were a huge help un-packing boxes while i packed, and no idea how to set up our new house. we had only been it it a few times, and there were a lot of mental roadblocks i was coming across with how and where to put things.
so i decided i needed help- big help. my dad.
my dad has these crazy mad decorating skills, and he also works at subhuman speed. growing up, my house was always perfectly decorated both seasonally and non-seasonally. he loved finding things to add to our walls or decor. it really is amazing.
so i sent a desperate text for him to come (my dad basically works 7 days a week for about 12 hours a day, so it was very desperate) and lucky for me (thank you Lord!) his weekend work had fallen through. with a generous offer from some of his clients, he and my youngest brother Eric were given passes to fly for free, and Thursday night they had arrived from washington.
thank the Lord.
my dad woke with all of us early friday morning, threw his shoes on and just started loading furniture into our truck. my brother eric was a lifesaver, he stayed at the old house and watched after my 3 children- who were in extra crazy mode as henry was trying to wean himself, and campbell and mason who were literally running in circles wherever furniture was removed.
my dad worked solid for 3 days. on saturday we did have a handful of friends help with moving- but by then my dad had moved my living room, the kids rooms, and our bedrooms- when sam was home he was there to help move and put together all the beds- but sam had to work on friday, so it was basically me and my dad.
my dad took one empty duplex, and in 3 days had it completely decorated. see for yourself:
living room
front door
our reading nook in our living room
my house warming gift from my mom and dad- my awesome new couch, our great find at salvation army, and a wonderful gal (brenda hodges) covered my old pillows and made me 3 beautiful ones!
my little sewing machine finally displayed
looking into our kitchen
utilizing all the space in our small kitchen- my dad hung everything!
the most important thing- my coffee pot.
peering into our pantry
our window in the kitchen- which isn't a window to the outside, rather a window to our pantry
shelves in our bathroom
dining room, maybe my favorite room (well, until my sewing room is finished), the green curtain leads to a closet that has all of my homeschooling supplies and excess kitchen stuff

there are many more pictures to share- the kids room and playroom, but i just remembered that our power is getting shut off today for road work, and i am frantically trying to finish this post before i lose it all! so.... consider this part one!
and i can never thank my dad enough for coming down and saving the day. there would be boxes everywhere, bare walls, and an overwhelmed mary if he hadn't come down and worked so hard. a lot of people made our move a huge success, but my dad made this into a home.
love ya dad.