Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Spy

I've started collecting all the 'items' my kids leave in their pockets come laundry day. I am not a pocket-checker. I refuse. So, most of the time, I am scooping stuff out of the dryer. There are also rare moments where the sticks of gum fall out on their own, just as I'm ready to drop the pants in the wash.

This pile has been sitting on my dryer for 2 months. Obviously our household is overflowing with hair bands, because these haven't even been missed. Do you see the plastic grape (looks like a marble)? It's from Hobby Lobby. My kids feel the need to snatch them off the grape bunches. Then I find them in the wash. It's ridiculous.

Oh, and that ipod? That's Addie's. It's been washed. Thoroughly. She told me the other day that she is saving her money for...can you guess?.....an ipod. Why she didn't take care of the one she already had is beyond me.


Every morning, I stand on the porch as the kids get on the bus. And every morning, I am greeted with this view:

Not 1, but 2! portable potties. And guess what? Even when the construction is done and cleaned up, the potties remain. Aren't they pretty? My favorite is the bright green one in the far distance. It has the word, 'Jackpot' on it's side.

Wanna know something even better than having 2 potties by your front lawn? I have a child who has used one. Not even kidding.


This is the best view of all-- Sam without braces. Pretty teeth for the minimal cost of a small, used car. I told her it's too bad she can't drive her new teeth to school.

Friday, August 26, 2011

If Only I Could Reach

Grief is not something I speak much about anymore. It's one of those topics that tends to drag on for those who don't understand it the way you do. Over the last year, I've found a way to just hold it inside. It's bound and wrapped tight. Most of the time, grief obeys and stays put. But there are other times where she unravels. Putting her back in her tight shell takes all my effort.

This week has marked 4th year I've had to let my dad live in heaven. I rather he be here. This very spot. There isn't much I wouldn't trade to have him come for dinner or call on the phone. But, life doesn't work like that. Life never makes trades, it only makes you keep going no matter the height of the hurdles.

I used to have a lot of anger. It was grief's companion. But anger has melted away and drained out my pores. Grief is all that remains. After 4 years, she has seeped deep down into my skin and settled there to stay. There are times I forget her and grief keeps quiet. But not for long. She calls and whispers and reminds me of how I thought life was supposed to turn out.

So, this week I have dreamed of reaching. I wish to reach out into the air and grab that place he has gone and pull it down toward me. Somehow I'm convinced that a heavenly glimpse will coat the grief and muffle her sound. But no matter how hard I try, my reach falls short.

So, instead of reaching upward, I shall reach inward. I shall look at memories and hear his voice and maybe listen to him tell a joke. I think that will make grief smile. Just for today.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

In The Car Today

It was raining this morning, so I drove her to the bus stop (2 houses down!). We sat together and waited for the bus. She did most of the talking:

"Hey, mom. What would you do if you were a raindrop?"
"I don't know. What would you do?"
a moment to contemplate...."I'd plop."


"Hey, mom. Guess what? I've never peed at school."
"What? You mean, you've never used the restroom at school? Ever?"
"Nope. Never. I can just hold it a long, long time."


"Mom, I think we should buy Emmy (my sister) a Range Rover."
"Oh, really? How will we pay for it?"
"We can use my money and your credit card."


Life with this girl is never dull or boring :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Can't Stop Giggling

They trickled out the door this morning. One by one. My sanity seeped back in as they went. This year, there is a Foster in every age school. I wonder if our district has been notified.

The high schooler left before the sun was up. The elementary child left an hour later and the junior higher left 45 minutes after that. I started singing.

The first day of school always brings out my 'best mom, like, ever' flair. So, I made them a simple after school snack. Just a little something to celebrate.

I know, I know. I should have doubled it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Days Drag Long

The final week of summer is just like the final week of pregnancy. Grueling. Torturous. Shall we add slow and bloated?

I reached exhaustion this week. Not a physical exhaustion, but the mom kind. The kind of tired that reaches deep and sucks you dry. The kind that leaves you wanting to cry from the moment you open your eyes in the morning.

The kids played my exhaustion to their advantage. We went to the pool. It's been my goal NOT to put on my swimsuit this summer. But, with temperatures at 105, sacrifices have to be made.

This summer, Sam and her friend invented a method of playing UNO with every. single. card. they could find in my house. Total count- 156. It's fascinating to watch.

At one of my really weak moments, I let every loose to do whatever they wanted, "Just as long as you leave me alone!"

Somehow I should have guessed that paint would be involved. Why is it always paint around here? Why can't they quietly sit with a coloring book?

Even when they started painting their hands, I let them continue. I simply took a picture and sent them on their way. Mom exhaustion can do that to you.

In between my visions of scratching my eyes out, I started to feel the 'crazy school schedule' pressure. I know you feel it too. The homework, carpooling, lessons, feeding people, getting people out the door on time craziness. I've felt the pressure building all week. School life is so very different than summer life. Good thing the backpacks are lined up and ready to go. Freedom arrives in 11 hours.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

We Begin Again

It's that time of year again. The time where I wonder how I ever gave birth to an athlete.

She now uses big words like, 'distance' and 'spikes' and 'healthy eating'. She might as well be speaking a foreign language.

She ran up hills, through bushes and in 102 degree heat. 2 miles in 14 minutes, somethin' seconds. My mind goes fuzzy just watching her. And as she crosses the finish line, Todd turns to me and states for the 4th time today, "Why, oh why, didn't she pick an indoor sport?"

Running season is off to a heated start.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Quote Of The Day

"Hey. I just ate my booger, and it tastes like mint!"

I'm not even going to tell you which child said it. And yes, I'm raising all girls. It's moments like this that make me wonder.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Third Time Is NOT A Charm

For the last 3 years, 'Making Taffy' has been added to our summer list. And for the last 3 years, we've failed.

Last year, it was too soft. Gooey globs were everywhere:

This year, I was positive that we would have the perfect taffy. It's a simple recipe, with straight forward instructions, so how hard can it be? Apparently, too hard. This year our taffy quickly formed into hard shards of glass:

The kids still found a way to eat it and I just walked away from the whole mess. Will this activity make the list next summer? I may just need a cooking class before I make that decision.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Beach

 You either love the beach, or you hate it. There is no in between. There's water and there's sand. After those two elements, scorching temperatures are the only thing left.

Talking about the beach is so very different than being there. Yes, the sound of the waves is lovely, but did you forget about the sand? It. Gets. Everywhere.

And then there is the child that is "worried about sharks", so she won't get in the water. She wouldn't even dip a toe until the last 30 minutes of the trip. I tried to explain that sharks can't live on the shore in 2 inches of water, but she didn't believe me.

I am sunburned in odd places where the sunscreen didn't reach and I'm pretty sure that I have grains of sand stuck in every crevice of my body. I'm going to pretend that it's an expensive skin treatment. In a week, I should be scrubbed smooth. Yee Haw.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I Told You So

Apparently, finding out you have 5 cavities can really motivate you to floss. If you look closely enough, you can also see a hint of blue eye shadow. I have absolutely no idea how that relates to the $240 I have to pay to have her teeth fixed. There isn't enough eye shadow in the world to do that. I think I may need to get a newspaper route. Yes, I live a charmed filled life.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Life's Dream And A Summer Secret

My kids were discussing their "life long dream" in the car. Child #2 announced that she wants to swim with dolphins. This is riveting information considering the fact that she hates the ocean.

Child #3 told us that her life long dream is to "Have my own whup cream container of Cool Whip that I can eat all by myself. And then I want to wash it out and keep it."

Around here, we teach our kids to aim high.


Want the best summer tip ever? I turn on the vacuum when I can't stand to listen to the kids arguing (which is always). The vacuum drowns out their voices and they seem to lose their steam because they can't hear one another. A win-win. My floors have never been cleaner.


Long summer days are slowly dwindling away. Find yourself a Cool Whip container and celebrate!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Why Do I Forget?

I took my girls shopping today, the back-to-school kind. At the mall. I nearly slit my wrists.

This picture captures the ONLY thing Child #2 was willing to do. Eat pretzels and sit. Child #1 refused to be seen with us. She shopped with a friend and only allowed me to show up to stand in line and pay for her clothes. Right now, at this very moment, she doesn't understand why she can't have a $76 pair of skinny jeans.

It's like this every year. But somehow my mind doesn't hold on to the horror of it all. And so, another year comes around and I mistakenly think we should all go shopping together so I can save time.

So, here it is in writing:  I would rather drink gasoline than go back-to-school shopping. Ever again.

I'm going to my room now. For a long, long time.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Things I've Had To Explain

Have you ever had moments where you wonder how your kids would score on an IQ test? I generally think that the people I gave birth to are inherently smart, considering I'm their mother. But then, reality surfaces and I'm surprised at the basic lessons they have yet to grasp. This week's highlights:

Child #2 needed an in-depth discussion (from my sister) that cartoons are not real. She was geniunely shocked that Dora The Explorer wasn't a real, live person. For some reason, she knew that SpongeBob wasn't real because, "Duh. He's a sponge!" But she was sure that Dora and Phineas and Ferb were living real lives outside of the TV screen. Yes, my pride has blossomed.


For the 14th time I had to explain that you need to change your underwear Every. Single. Day. Even if you think it's stupid, it still needs to be done.


The ages listed on the Play Dough box are definitely not 12 and 14. For reals.


Contrary to belief, I am not your servant. I know you are capable of getting your own glass of water while you are STANDING BY THE FRIDGE ALREADY! Oh, and while we're at it, you're perfectly able to throw away your popsicle wrappers, find something (Anything!) to do other than stand by me, and pick up your wet swimsuit you left on the family room floor.


Monday, August 1, 2011

A Day For Sisters

I can't recall when we started this sister tradition. I do remember the 3 of them being little girls. I'd thrown out the idea of a Sister's Day and they immediately set a date. We've celebrated ever since.

Yesterday, at church, Addie asked all her friends what they were doing for Sister's Day. They were completely confused. Apparently she thought that this was a national holiday. I had to explain that it was just a Foster one.

It's strange the effect a celebrated tradition can have. First off, they were excited to be together. Second, they were actually nice to one another. Todd suggested we start stretching this celebration to a full week instead of a single day. Sibling cooperation is a hot commodity around here.

We painted pottery, shopped, lunched and glowed while we golfed in the dark. It was a day of fun and being together. I can't remember the last time those two things occurred simultaneously. It was worth every dollar spent and every mile driven to get them there.

I'm sure that things will return back to normal by the early dawn of tomorrow. Fighting, irritation and eye rolls will settle back in to the regular routine. But for the last few hours remaining in today, I'm going to hold on to treasured moments, overheard whispered words of "Happy Sister's Day", and the divine threads that weave sisters tightly together.