Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mid March


At the beginning of the month when Jeff was at the Home Show a friend and I took her 2 kids and my 4 to the Burlington Children’s Museum. I told Jeff if you ever want to feel really capable and really inadequate all at once, go to the children’s museum with 4 kids at different ages and with different interests. It was nuts! The kids were great but they all wanted to be at a different place at the same time. I ended up trusting in the staff and the facility and not really monitoring any of them that well. At one point even I had to go potty so bad I put Braxton in charge of Gage in the sandbox and took myself on a potty break.  It was super fun though and I know I say it a lot but I really love having my big kids around to do fun things with. It had been a while since we had done something like this all together and they all loved it.


Also in the beginning of the month I got to go on a field trip with Adelle’s class to the Mt. Baker Theatre for a learning series production of Stewart Little. Braxton’s class also attended the same field trip so we were there at the same time but amist all the students we only were able to wave at Brax from a distance. How cute are these kids though; wearing matching clothes for the field trip. All on their own they decided that morning to wear the same outfit for the fieldtrip. Cracked me up when I saw them in the bathroom admiring their matchiness in the mirror. Sometimes they are so much like their father ; wink wink.

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Braxton finished off his wrestling season the second weekend in March. He had a rough beginning of the season and set a goal for himself to win one match. He worked so hard. He did pushups almost every day. Toughed out a lot of practices. Took his dad on many times at home and worked really hard mentally as well. He was very diligent and I was proud of him for his effort. This last match was freestyle which was different than the rest of the season and not in his defense, but regardless, he didn’t win a match. He didn’t reach his goal but he did so good and compared to his 2 seconds on the mat in the beginning of the season, he held on this time for at least a minute and we were really proud of him. It was pretty amazing to see the improvement from the season. Aunt Angela was so kind and encouraging to him all season and proudly wore her sign that he had made for her to hold. We are so blessed with such supporting family who love our kids so much.


Gage has grown quite fond of sitting on the counter now while I am in the kitchen. Here he is helping himself to the coconut oil I was cooking with.


Jeff being his normal “super dad” self!


Last week when our playdate got postponed and the little boy I watch was sick and stayed home, I decided to take the freedom and run with it. After we dropped off big kids at school Emmett, Gage and I headed into Wee Ones to look around. I let Emmett pick out a new shirt because he really wanted too and he and Gage played in the toy area while I browsed. Then when it had warmed up a bit we went down to the water to the touch tank and explored the pools to find shrimp, fish, crabs, and octopus. The boys were enthralled.  Emmett with the sea life and Gage just to splash in the water. It was super fun and sporadic. My mom met us down there and then took us to Kuri Kuri for sushi. It was so delicious. I know I can always call my mom around lunch and ensure me and the kids a special meal. So thankful for that. Emmett rocked the chop sticks!!


Today I am making bagels for the second time since last week. These pictures I took the first round and they were so successful that my kids told me they don’t want me to buy bagels anymore. Score. I don’t buy bagels often because I think they are expensive but I found this recipe that incorporates my sourdough starter and they were so, so, good! Plus I figured that it cost me only $7 dollars for 17 bagels, and the bagels that I buy are almost $6 a bag for 4!! Yes, 4! Last week when I made them the kids gobbled them and we gifted a bunch. This time I am hoping to freeze some. The recipe is here if you are interested but you do need a sourdough starter.

The flavors we made last week were cinnamon raisin, raspberry, sesame seed, plain sourdough, and everything (onion, garlic, chia seed, sesame seed, sunflower seed).


Funny story from last week. The bagels were an all day process, not constant but a little here and a little there. In between the boys and I were outside playing soccer, picnicing, jumping on the trampoline….Then when the girl that lives behind the fence came out I took advantage of the boys being distracted talking with her and I came in to make the bagels without my helpers. Only then to look out my kitchen window and see little Emmett’s bare bum taking care of his business in front of the neighbor girl. Oh no! I went out and reminded him about being modest and how we don’t need to show anyone else our *#@$* and he looked at me innocently and goes, “right.” Like in the tone of “duh” like he knew, but forgot or something. I don’t know but I was embarrassed and thankful that the neighbor girl has brothers and neither her nor her mom were the least bit offended.


Then this past Saturday I ran the Run O The Green 5k downtown Bellingham. My friend Christen is always organizing us to do fun things and she initiated everyone signing up. I have been running regularly with some other friends in the mornings and was excited to actually compete. I didn’t run my hardest but now that I have done it I have totally seen my competitive edge come to life and I am excited to run another race and really give it my all and see how I can do. This was more of a fun run with some fun girls! I can see how this could get really addicting though!! I was seriously smiling the whole time I was running.

In other news our backyard is a muddy hole thanks to all the rain we’ve been getting. This makes for dirty kids most days.

The baby chicks have started laying eggs! Horray! Hopefully we can stop buying eggs to supplement our own supply!!

My washing machine is leaking water everywhere. Not very fun and of course it couldn’t have happened during Jeff’s slow season.


My sister had this sweet baby boy on Friday and I cannot wait to get my hands on him this coming weekend!!

Baseball started today for Brax which means every week night is now filled. Mondays are always family night. Tuesdays and Thursdays Brax has baseball. Wednesday Brax has cub scouts and Friday Adelle has dance. I am excited for this new season though. The longer days are already paying off and we are enjoying playing outside until later. Here’s to spring!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

"He's got the whole world in His Hands"

My sweet girl and her new girl friends from Kindergarten at a birthday party last month. When did she grow up?

Monday was one of those days. The kind where you put your kids to nap only to come out and turn on your Pandora radio and listen to Pink as loud as it will go. That's what I did, at least. I turned up Pink (one of my guilty pleasures) and danced by myself in my kitchen. "Just give me a reason just a little...we're not broken..." It made me think of my sister at first and how she would be laughing at my uncoordinated self. Flailing myself around, and singing loud and then the tears, they came. Actually they invaded. It was as if my tears had been building up inside of me for months and months and all of a sudden moving my body to the music and letting go of all the limits allowed my tears to release. There was no stopping once they came and for good reason for the relief I felt after was lightening and freeing. 

There was no child to ask me what was the matter. No husband to look at me with that disapproving look and ask me if I was okay. (Crying freaks my husband out sometimes and he doesn't know what to do or how to act so I usually tell him I just need a little space so that I can cry and not feel like I am being judged). No limits. Just time for me. The time that I wonder where it all went sometimes and why I didn't better use it when I had it in more abundance.

My sister is having her baby boy in less than 2 weeks. It breaks my heart that I can't be there to help her with the transition. I want to nanny her big kids and make her family wonderful meals and stay up all night with her newborn so that she can sleep, because I know she's gonna need it. I want to help but she's 5 hours away and I feel helpless. My prayers go something like, "and please bless Lesha with a friend who will love her and help her and be there for her like a mom or a sister."

I met Jen at dance with Adelle about a month ago. We were both finagling our kids in the tiny little dance studio and I drew up a conversation about how old was her daughter and how tall I thought she was for her age. We continued talking the duration of the class and then I didn't see her for 2 weeks because they didn't make it to dance class. When I saw her again I was excited. She said that things had been rough that they had just moved here and her husbands job, the kids, winter colds, had just gotten them down. I told her that she was the answer to my earnest prayers. I told her about my sister moving and how desperately I had been praying that she would make good friends. That someone would reach out to her. Then I met her and something prompted me to talk to her. It was as if my loving Father in Heaven said to me, "okay, well,  if you are going to ask for this for your sister it's about time you looked outside yourself a bit and reached out to those around you." Then bam there was Jen and without even thinking about it I gave her my number and invited her to run in the upcoming 5k with me and invited her on a playdate.... "I will, I will, I will. I will be a good friend to those around me who may be in need." Aren't we all in need.

I feel like sometimes it's so easy to hide even in the broad daylight of a dance studio.  It's easy to meet moms and strike up conversations and then just assume that everyone is okay, has friends, is settled. We all go there with our little girls to dance and smile and chat about the good, safe things in our lives. Our kids (that's an easy one), our husbands, their jobs, our backyard chickens... talk that doesn't really go anywhere but just keeps us entertained until we leave and don't think about each other again until we are basically forced into the same small room to wait for our girls to get done dancing. But where does that really get us? 

Today I went to soccer with Emmett. It's Tuesday and that's what we do on Tuesday mornings. We go to soccer at the Sportsplex with our friends Sarah and Elliott and Charolette. But wait, Sarah wasn't there today because she was at home fighting cancer. Partially responsible for the well kept tears that freed themselves yesterday. My friend for forever, like really since 6th grade when we ate our sandwiches together at lunch, is at home undergoing Chemotherapy while her daughter is at school and her 4 year old plays on the floor in front of her. 

We moms sometimes clog the tear ducts I think. Like Sarah and Jama and Mindi and I. We smile and talk to our kids about what's going on and how it's going to be okay and then we all pack into the front of Mindi's car in my front yard to cry and let go. Release. We want to make sure that we don't worry our little ones with our feelings of emotions. 

Last night I held my 8 year old on my lap. The one of my four who I rarely hold now but who I know still holds the record for the most "being held" hours. He cried and I cried as we talked about a mistake that he had made and while I told him that it was okay and that life is going to be full of mistakes that make us feel sad.  I was glad that I was able to hold him. 

I transition now from Pink to a song I learned as a Kid. He's got the whole world in His hands. It's a Raffi song and it runs through my head:
He's got the momma's and the babies, in His hands.....
He's got the brothers and the sisters, in His hands......

I am glad that Sarah is home, back in town, so that we can all hold her and hug her and help her through this healing process. When I talk to Sarah though I feel like she is holding me. Super strong, faithful friend. I am glad I have Jen to hold now. I am glad that though her mom isn't here and her sister in laws are far, she has a number at least that she can call for a hand. I am thankful for a loving Father in Heaven who is prompting women around my sister to hold her and help her. We are His hands. I know that to be true. And as for that little girl pictured above. The one with the cute smile that pulls on my heart strings, I am thankful to know that though my hands are here on earth, raising her and loving her, His hands are ultimately the ones that will hold her and heal her and guide her back to Him.