Spring Break Break

Here we are, Sunday night and spring break is coming to an end. I can’t say that I’m sad about it. We have had one of the worst, most stressful weeks ever!! It all started before spring break even began. The youngest monkey came down with a stomach bug- a really, really bad stomach bug. While I was at home with him, I got a call from the school about our oldest monkey. Apparently he was in the middle of an intense game of freeze tag and decided it would be a great idea to stop half way down the slide…and jump off. He seemed ok at the time and since I already had a sick kid and we were supposed to be headed out of town, we just decided to keep an eye on it. The next few days are a total blur and nothing I ever want to re-visit. We did not make it out of town. The stomach bug, which I’m not entirely sure wasn’t the flu, took us down one by one. One a day until it had all five of us! By the time we came out on the other side of that, it was Tuesday and the oldest monkey still couldn’t lift his arm at the shoulder, so off to the doctor we went early Wednesday morning. Which led to a trip to the ER, because guess what? It was broke!! Of course, I took him for ice cream because he made it through a stomach bug with a broken arm. That totally deserves ice cream!

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Thursday was spent trying to wash and clean everything in the house because I had not had the time or the energy to do much all week accept what was necessary.  Friday was the first time we made it out. We had lunch and then tried the park but oldest monkey still thought he was invincible, so we went to Hopeland Gardens to walk around and enjoy the sunshine.

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We spent Saturday celebrating my handsome and amazing grandfather. He turned 90!! Sunday, I was determined to celebrate Easter, even if it was a week late. So, we went to church, ate a ton of food and watched a little Masters. Now here we are at the end of spring break and I feel like I need a break from spring break! After all of this, I’ll gladly take on some HR nightmares at the office tomorrow morning!!

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Holy Stressed Out Mama!!

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Holy stressed out mama!! For those of you that do not know my little monkeys personally, let me tell you that they are one strong willed bunch. I’m talking stubborn to the core. Each has his own way of stubbornness, but the youngest is about to do me in…. and he’s only four. Let me start by telling you that this child already knows how to wrap people around his little finger. He bats his eyes, he loves, cuddles and hugs and is known for saying some of the sweetest things, but….
He has never been a great sleeper. Ever since he was born, he has had a tendency to just want to be up in the middle of the night. And this is where mommy and her sweet baby butt heads. I LOVE sleep! I mean, seriously love sleep. I am not a morning person, nor am I a night person. I am a sleep person. #Pisces But back to my current problem child. He has gone through stages since infancy and he was to the point of being ok once he fell asleep (It would take a little while and he was going to get up once or twice). Lately, he wants no part of going to bed. For the past two weeks we put him in bed between 7:30-8:00 and it is 10:00 -10:30 (or later) before he actually goes to sleep. Now, this wouldn’t be a problem if he was just in his bed singing songs or something. Oh, no. It’s a full on party. He is up messing with the middle child so he can’t sleep, playing Nerf gun wars, plundering through his oldest brothers room after he is asleep, or using all my good purple shampoo that I left in their bathroom for a “science experiment”. The past two weeks have been so draining. It’s not like I can relax or get anything done because until he falls asleep, I have to constantly keep putting him back to bed. Ya’ll, I even got up one morning to find that he had helped himself to leftover pizza and some Mountain Dew from the kitchen (after I had fallen asleep). Yep, sleeping with pizza crust in his bed. Not only is it difficult to get him in the bed, it is hell trying to get him out of it. This morning I’m pretty sure I almost pulled his arm out of socket trying to get him out of the floor while he was kicking and screaming. Then he knocked an end table and sent a lamp flying to the floor. The oldest two haven’t made it to school on time in two weeks and I’m pretty sure the school is about to contact me about that. Help me, Lord!

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Now this ain’t my first rodeo. My oldest has never been a great sleeper either, but I learned how to help him very early in his life. Consistent bedtime routines and wind down time helped the oldest, but it does NOTHING for the youngest. We have tried it all including crying, pleading, bribery and spanking. I’m convinced nothing short of locking him in his room or strapping him to the bed is going to help. However, I have ordered a couple of things that I’m going to try. Thanks to Amazon, I have Good Sleep essential oil on the way and a bottle of Zarbee’s Natural Children’s Sleep with Melatonin Supplement. (P.S.-their cough syrup and some peppermint oil in the diffuser works wonders for nighttime coughing) So, that’s it. My last ditch effort to get the party animal to sleep at a reasonable time so he isn’t such a beast in the morning. I’ll let you know if we make any progress. Has anyone else ever dealt with this and have a miracle remedy? I’m totally open for suggestions.
XO-
One Stressed Out and Tired Mother.

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Still Waiting On My Powers….

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The past two weeks around our house have been interesting. I’ve got to give it up to the single mothers out there, your job is not easy (not that I ever thought it was for one second). My hubby has been out of town and I’ve had to be the lead and only ringmaster to this circus of mine. I actually find that I am a lot more organized when I know I don’t have my wingman. I get outfits laid out the night before, I keep everything super tidy, and I run a very tight ship (Absolutely no video games during the week, and bed time is 8:00 sharp, not 8:10ish). As hard as I tried to keep it together, life tossed me a couple of curve balls. In the last two weeks, I have had to kill a large snake that thought he could hang out at the front door steps, rescue two lizards from the jaws of the cat after she brought them inside the house, wash the dog after he found the dead snake in the woods, deal with a scissor accident (not sure if I’d rather deal with the snake or the blood), keep up with money from a school fund raiser, try and make, but miss a 4-H meeting (groceries were a necessity that day), take a three hour road trip with all three kids and the dog by myself, and try to pretend that I’m not at all freaked out when the dog starts barking at the window, at night, into the darkness, for no apparent reason. Why does he only do this when my husband is away?
There is also no one to help me diffuse situations like when I come home with a car load of groceries that need to be put away and I have a five year old holding onto my leg screaming that he needs something to drink RIGHT NOW! And when I try to be a super chill mom and explain to him that mommy has to put the groceries away, then I’m going to get him something to eat and drink, he just screams “NOOOO!!! I want you to SIT WITH ME!!!” Wait, what? I thought you were dying of thirst? So, still being super chill mom I explain again, because maybe he didn’t hear me clearly the first time, that in a few minutes I will have him something to eat and drink and then we can sit together later. A reasonable solution, I thought, but… I was wrong. The screaming ensued. This is usually where daddy will scoop the screaming child up and discipline/distract him for a few minutes while I finish what I was trying to start before my sweet little ray of sunshine turned into the poltergeist . But there is no daddy right now so super chill mom suddenly turns into sarcastic mom and tells the five year old, “Fine, then let’s go sit down and we just won’t have anything to eat or drink tonight.” I knew that I had just launched a grenade into this fight and it wasn’t going to go over well, but sometimes my natural personality just comes out. I can’t help it. That’s when the screaming five year old screams again for something to drink. I can’t keep up at this point. Drink or sit?!? What do you want from me?!?! This is absolutely the point where I should discipline the child, but it’s the end of a very long day, I’m playing the part of a single parent, I know he is tired and missing daddy and so am I. And quite frankly, he is screaming so loud and pulling on me so much, that my nerves are shot and I just want it to stop so I can pour a very large glass of red wine. Enter in my mom to save the day! Praise the Lord! I actually don’t even remember what she said at this point that got his attention, I was just grateful that it worked. Exit the poltergeist and enter back in my little ray of sunshine. Seriously, it’s like a hurricane you did not see coming and were not prepared for.

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These are the times in my life where I remember my childhood fantasy of wanting to be Samantha from Bewitched. I thought Elizabeth Montgomery was so pretty and the coolest mom. (I also had an obsession with Charmed later in life.) Did anyone else want to be a witch when they were little or am I just weird? It’s totally ok if you think I am, I’m use to it. I would wiggle my nose and wish for things to happen. I would stare at things, squinting and concentrating so hard, wanting to move it with my thoughts. I recently caught my oldest child staring at something with his face all squinted up and I immediately knew what he was doing. I wished him luck, but told him it never worked for me. He just laughed. (We just get each other, like that, sometimes.) I was only going to use my witch powers for good, obviously, but it just wasn’t to be. Those powers sure would come in handy these days, though. You know, like when you have a child on your leg screaming for you to sit and hold him but also for you to magically get him something to drink, all while putting the groceries away.
Bottom line, I sure am thankful for a partner in life that is here to handle the emotional roller coaster of parenting with me. Honey, I couldn’t do it without you…unless, my witch powers finally come in.  Happy October! ; )

XO-

Lindsay

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Dear Chip and Joanna,

Dear Chip and Joanna…

As most of you have heard, season five will be the last for Fixer Upper and I could not be more sad about this news. I knew it would end eventually. I mean, how many houses can there possibly be in Waco, Texas? They have had to have single handily raised property values for everyone that lives in and around Waco. So, congratulations to all you property owners!

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When this show came on HGTV, I fell hard!  One of my favorites is still an early episode where the couple purchased  a very large, dilapidated old house for $10,000. It was run down and had trash in every room. It had to take days just to get the trash out, but by the end, it was gorgeous! I have always had a passion for old homes and buildings. In a world of cookie cutter homes being thrown up daily in neighborhoods across America, I wish more people would have “the guts to take on a fixer upper.”

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I developed a serious girl crush on Joanna. She is so amazing and I want to be her friend. She lives my dream life. She has creativity flowing daily, wears cute jeans and t-shirts, lives the farm life in an old house with tons of kids and animals and gets to flip houses with her husband. Now I know to some of you that absolutely does NOT sound like a dream, but to me it sounds like heaven. I love the way she effortlessly blends farmhouse style with everything from traditional to industrial to modern. Her ideas and eye for design are incredible and she makes it look so easy!

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But do you know the real reason I’m going to miss Fixer Upper? In a world of trash tv the Gaines’ were a breath of fresh air! In a world where there is NOTHING I can sit down and watch with my children, I can always count on this show. The boys actually like it. They love seeing the Gaines children, they love the animals on the farm and they love the construction. (We all think Chip is pretty funny.) You see, Chip and Joanna did what most on tv don’t, they won over millions of viewers every week without one single bad word or sex joke. They won over millions of people with a wholesome show and Christian values! And it’s so refreshing!! I love seeing a couple on tv that are raising  their children similar to how I’m raising mine. I love seeing a couple on tv that shows their kids what hard work can accomplish. I love seeing a married couple on tv that love each other, respect each other and have fun together the way two best friends are supposed to. I love that they showed people that you can be a married Christian couple and have fun! Don’t we deserve more of this in today’s world? Don’t we want to be able to watch tv with or without our children without having to worry about the language, the sex and the loose morals? I know I certainly do and for that reason the most, I will miss this show greatly. So….

Dear Chip and Joanna,

Thank you for being you. Thank you for your tv show and all the inspiration it has given me and millions of others. Thank you for being a little bit of light in all the darkness. I wish the best for you and your family but I will miss you terribly after this season.

Sincerly,

Lindsay

A Really Big Fan

Life with Boys

Life With Boys….

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If you live with numerous members of the male species then you know it has its challenges. I currently live with four, five if you count the dog, and to say I’m outnumbered is an understatement. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up with a brother and an older male cousin that is like a brother. I’m more comfortable with baseball and tree climbing than dance and Barbie dolls, but I do like things pretty and clean. And I’m here to tell you, pretty and clean does not happen with this many fellas in a household.

For example, every so often I have to gather up my little monkeys and set out to clean up the yard. Everyone gets a trash bag to pick up trash and toys/random stuff are put into place. This morning was one such morning and the following is a list of items found in our yard. Disclaimers: 1.We have a very large yard. 2.Just like the house, they can destroy it in a matter of minutes. 3. Please don’t think less of me.

This mornings finding:

Gatorade bottle, Nerf guns, Nerf bullets, McDonald’s cup, broken hammer, screw driver, candy wrappers, Nerf bullets, golf clubs, golf balls, matchbox cars, scrap pieces of wood, several John Deere toys, Nerf bullets, sippy cup, an old box of screws, random parts to toys that no one can identify, bicycle pump for tires, a rake (OK, that one was me) and more Nerf bullets.

Thank goodness we live in the country!!

Happy Weekend!

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Back to School and God’s Calling

Back to School and God’s Calling

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We made it back from vacation this past weekend and it was just what we needed. A week of relaxation and no schedules, just beach and family time.  Summer is the best time. I just love late evenings, a more relaxed schedule, pool days, and tons of ice cream! But now it’s time for another favorite of mine- back to school! I have always loved the excitement of going back to school. I love picking out new school supplies and shopping for new shoes. Mostly I think I love back to school time for the new beginning it brings. To me, it was always a chance for new opportunities, new friends and new adventures.

When I started college years ago, I was an Early Childhood Education major, but like many young people I did not prioritize very well and did not graduate. I met a handsome young man and decide to get married instead. Life was going good for us and then years later, I lost my brother. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to face and I immediately started developing a deeper relationship with God. I knew leaning on him was the only way to get through it. Eventually I felt God was wanting more from me and seeing just how short life can be, I was willing to serve. I started praying for Him to show me what it was He wanted me to do and going back to school started circulating through my mind. Yet, still I kept putting God and school off. There was a pregnancy, a job position change, another pregnancy, moving, etc. Eventually I just could not put it off any longer and started looking at how I could make it happen.

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Today I have been back in school as an Elementary Education major at Grand Canyon University for a year. I just passed my first major exam on the way to certification and I’m down to five classes before I student teach. It’s not easy! Let me repeat, having a full time job, 3 kids, a hubby, a household to run and college courses is NOT easy!! There are many days I want to sit down and cry from the stress of it all. But I’m so proud that my children are seeing me put in the hard work to achieve something that I want. And with every day that passses I truly feel that this is exactly where God wants me to be. I believe that being a teacher is a calling from God. I’m terrified at the thought of it and excited at the same time with the anticipation of God’s love shining through me to my future students. If you are thinking about a new beginning of any kind, the best advice I can give you is to pray about it and don’t be afraid to tackle it.

Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name , I will do it. John 14:13-14

I put this off for a long time because I knew how hard it would be and the time it would take to do it was so discouraging.  I had a quote up for a long time when I started this process that said “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” Don’t be afraid to go after your dream!

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XO-

Lindsay