Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Painful Cookies

I hurt my back. I have no idea how. It hurts- like 'cry a big, salty tear' hurt. I went to the doctor and he told me that something is pinched. I told him I think it's my sanity and begged him to admit me to the hospital so I could read a book in peace. For some weird reason, he said "No".

I did come with with a muscle relaxer. I was instructed to sit and relax. Instead, I made these:

I know, I know. They're so cute you could cry, right? Maybe a 'big, salty tear' kinda cry? And they taste as fun as they look. You can find the recipe here. I think they just might be the perfect summer cookie.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Our True Self

I looked around at church yesterday. I looked at all the people I know and wondered why we don't ever show our true selves. Actually, I've wondered about this for some time. But yesterday, the thoughts seemed to weigh on me.

I can't seem to understand why we don't let the outside world view our inside self. We all put on a front. All of us. Someone asks how we are and we never give the truth. We give, "Fine" or "Good", when deep inside we know those words ring hollow. We don't express our real thoughts or struggles. We simply don't let others see us as anything other than our surface self.

So, why? Why do we only present half truths to those around us? Why do we feel the need to pretend that all is well, even when its not? Maybe, if we spoke the words that we really felt, it would give others the freedom to do the same. Instead of feeling flawed, we could all just start feeling normal.

There is fear in telling someone the truth. I think that's why we don't do it. We don't want anyone to know of our struggles and disappointments. Somehow, if we put our thoughts into words, they gain a physical shape that makes them more real. That's the scary part.

But, here's the truth: we all have struggles and disappointments. All of us. Mine vary from yours. Hard kids, finances, health, self esteem. The list can be endless. It's not that our struggles are monumental. It's that they are small and personal. They are quiet, and so we hide them.

What if we could find a way to be Real? What if we could let others know what we hold quiet and deep inside? Then, and only then, the fear would wash away. The fear of being judged or misunderstood or talked about.

If we all spoke our true selves, I have to believe that peace would take fear's place. Not a perfect peace, because our struggles would still remain. But a peace that could offer a calming hope of acceptance. It could squeeze into the quiet and deep to sit along side the hard, the disappointment, the frustrating and the sad. We could all use a good coating of peace.

I'm guilty of hiding. Just like you, I never share the Real. Never. I do it here, when I write. But not with spoken words. So, maybe I'm the only one who keeps the truth quiet. But, I doubt it. Maybe we could collectively speak the truth. Offer our Real selves, flaws and all. Doing it together definitely feels better than trying it alone.

So, this week, speak your true self.

How are you?

Friday, June 24, 2011

This N' That

Around here, this is what we do for fun:
We put angels in rolling coolers and then run around the house until the angel can't breath from laughing so hard. Seriously good summer fun.


Todd has proclaimed that THIS is "the best blog ever!" (I wonder if he's ever read mine?)
This dad really does dress up everyday and waves at his teenager on the bus. I now realize I am totally a boring parent.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Today We Picked

Blueberries, peaches and tomatoes. And let's just pretend that the weather was cool and pleasant, and that the kids all thought it was a great idea. Oh yes, I like pretending.

Maybe they will be happy once they see the fresh peach pie. Oh, who am I kidding? They'll just say it's gross and eat a fruit roll-up.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Looking Back

Camp ended on Friday. It's now Monday, and I can finally talk about it without trembling inside. It wasn't horrible. It was just...camp. Doesn't that sum it up?

For the last 2 days, I've had countless people ask me how it was, or if I had fun. How can you answer that? It was 104 degrees, I had to wear flip flops into the shower, sleep was non existent and the girls never. stopped. singing! Never! How do you explain all that without crying just a titch?

I will admit to a few great moments: watching my two girls as young women, never having to cook my meals and a burping contest that made me laugh so hard I nearly peed my pants. Those were lovely experiences. The rest of the time, I would close my eyes and try to pretend I was in an air conditioned Target.

Since returning home, I've discovered that I now have a serious fear of sweating and camp songs. I sweat so much last week, I could have filled a kiddie pool. At one point I considered putting on a tube top. I'm serious. And now, whenever I overhear one of my girls humming a camp song, I get a nervous tick. I have to do my Lamaze breathing to calm down.

I'm sure I'll return to normal in a month or 12. Just in time for camp next year. By then, I may need to resort to extreme measures, like committing a minor felony so I can be booked into jail. I wonder if they sing camp songs there?

Friday, June 17, 2011

She Is 12

Happy Birthday to the girl who makes my life more exciting than I ever thought it could be.

Celebrating a birthday at camp couldn't have been better.

I adore this sparkle of a girl. Happy Birthday my Kellie. Thank you for adding Light (and patience) to my life.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Prayers Please

I'm at Girl's Camp.
With 2 of my girls.
And a couple hundred more.
In the Texas heat.

Did I mention that I don't like to camp?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

It's A Choice

We have an amazing friend. I've written about her before here. She has cancer and she stays with us while receiving her treatment. She is one of those people who offers grace and beauty through her living. She is on a mission to discover 10 blessings from having cancer. I believe she is currently at #7.

This amazing friend keeps a blog. She recently wrote about happiness. I found it so profound, I'm sharing it with you. Enjoy and make your choice.

Happy people have a secret. They look at the world in terms of what must be done to change it and they use their agency to change the environment around them. Some happy people have taken charge of their healthcare – educating themselves on their disease and tracking their results. Some happy people look around to see how they can serve others – how they can make someone else’s day just a little better. Some happy people never accept a status quo – there is work to be done to change their world. There is a theme here – choice and then action. We get happy in the doing.
Knowing that you should do these things to make yourself happy is very different than doing the things that will bring you joy. As Stephen Covey says, “To know and not to do is not to know.”
If you want to be really depressed, tell yourself that you can’t change anything, watch some TV, be resigned to the way the world is. Do everything you can to be passive. It is a sure-fire recipe for sadness.

Happiness is a choice. Even when you have cancer. Even when you don't.
No matter your life's status, there always remains the freedom to choose. And folded deep inside that freedom lies hope. It simply waits for you to reach out far enough to grab hold.

Make the choice to reach.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Slobs Live Here

Here is the beauty of a Texas house: the master bedroom is downstairs. All other bedrooms are upstairs. I definitely think that an mother discovered this blissful design solution. For parents with teenagers, this is the perfect set-up.

Here's an added bonus: I rarely have to go upstairs. But then there is the downside: I am rarely upstairs. A lot can happen when it goes unnoticed. For instance, today I made the grave mistake of looking under the couch cushions in the upstairs family room. Behold:

Hidden under the hairspray bottle, (um, a hairspray bottle!?), is a comb and a full package of skittles. Gum wrappers, doll accessories, hair accessories, and all sorts of nastiness has been hibernating in that couch. I simply scooped it all right into the trash. Apparently, no one will miss it.

So, here's the real question: Is it better to make a daily trip up into the unknown and discover what they've destroyed? Or, is it better to ignore it all and simply pretend that your kids are well mannered and civilized?

For now, I'm just going to lock myself in my downstairs bedroom.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Slowly But Surely

She is a few months shy of 15. And finally, finally she has found a pair of high heels that fit her feet (youth size 3). She was so happy, she wore them with her pajamas.

Then, at her sports physical, she weighed in at 81 pounds. She jumped for joy. Literally. I told her that she is now legally out of a booster seat. Too bad, I was so hoping to drop her off at high school in one.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

She Resorts To Prayer

Her prayer last night (relayed to me by my sister who was laughing so hard she had to stop and catch her breath):

"Heavenly Father, please......please help my mom to be happy tomorrow."

I really have no clue as to why this child would need to plead for such a thing.
Really. No clue.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The List

The idea in my head looked easy and quick to make. The reality was tedious and slightly consuming. But hey, it looks really cute. Here's to hoping we actually check them all off.

Our Summer List:
Pillow Fight
Go Karts
Snow Cones
Make Bracelets
Rainbow Pudding Pops
Make Taffy
Water Balloons
Dollar Store
Roller Skating
Pretzels At The Mall
Read Library Books
Bouncin' Bears
Build A Fort
Pick Berries
Homemade Sidewalk Chalk
Judy Moody Movie
Do A 1,000 Piece Puzzle
Banana Splits
Paint Pottery
Celebrate Sister's Day
Glow-In-The-Dark Golf

To make this project, I simply used left over scrapbook paper and a frame I had sitting in my closet. Cheap, but definitely a little time consuming.

What's on your summer list?

Friday, June 3, 2011

And So We Celebrate

Summer- Day 1. We party. It's the one day I let loose.
22 kids, 7 adults. All. In. My. House. Good Times.

Oh, and I let them have a water balloon fight. Yup, I did. Hundreds of water balloons. And before I let any of these kids get wet, I made them take the 'Summer Vow'. As a group, they had to kneel down on one knee and repeat, "I promise to be nice to my mom and obey her for the entire summer." I'm pretty sure my kids were crossing their fingers.

Makell was the only child determined NOT to wear a swimsuit. She was soaking wet and fully clothed. At one point her shorts almost fell off.

Addie kept cool in the...cooler. It was 101 degrees today, so she probably had the right idea.

Happy Summer. I hope you start your's with a party!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The First And The Last

At the beginning of the school year, they were here. Freshly clothed, ready and eager.

And today, they are now here. What a difference 9 months can make. They are freshly off the bus, wind blown, pajamas already on and ready for summer.

#2 came home with a migraine, #1 just finished her last moment of Junior High and #3 is just glad not to have any teachers around to get mad at her. 

 As for me, I am here:

Drowning myself in frosting. It's my own personal celebration that we all lived through another year.

Tomorrow morning, I won't have to harass anyone to hurry up and get their shoes on, or pack any lunches, or help someone finish homework they should have done the night before. Right now, it all sounds dreamy. But come tomorrow, I may just have a change of heart. Good thing there are still a few cupcakes left.