I love my country.

I love most of the reasons we are different from the rest of the world.

I love my freedom.

I love my culture (mostly).

I love my freedom to worship my Lord.

I love my freedom to choose to home school.

What I don’t love?

Daylight Savings Time.

Why must America be different from almost every other country when it comes to time change?  I really don’t see any reason to be different in this area!  Sometimes peer pressure can be good, can’t it?  We have electricity after all (another thing I love and appreciate), if the sun goes down and you have more work to do, FLIP A SWITCH for goodness sakes and get back to work!  Why punish us all?!  

“Falling Back” in the Fall isn’t too bad.  But this “Spring Forward” is the pits.  It’s the second day after loosing an hour and I’m all out of whack. 

Yesterday I took a nap after lunch because I was so tired after being up an hour early. 

That’s not so bad though, right?  After all, it was Sunday.  Isn’t that what everyone does on Sunday afternoons? (At least when it’s not football season)

But then I couldn’t fall asleep last night!  Not only was I wide awake because of the nap but I was trying to go to bed an hour earlier than normal!  I was trying desperately to fall asleep and couldn’t. 

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I watched tv.  Go to fullsize image

I crocheted. 

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I read a book. 

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I even did my nails.  Fingers and toes.  We won’t talk about how long it’s been since I had enough time and energy to do both of those in the same sitting.  I’d have had to set my bonbons down to do them and I just couldn’t part with those!  And certainly couldn’t tear my eyes away from my hours of soap opera watching to watch where I was apply the polish.

Uh huh.  Yup.  You’re darn-tooting right! 

Anyway, you get the picture.  I wasn’t tired.

You know what’s coming next… This morning I had to get up at 5am.  Yes, that would be 4am per my body clock.  That was no bueno folks.  No bueno at all! 

I just finished my second cup of coffee and I still feel as tired as I did before the first cup. 

My kids are whiney and tired.  My solution is to let them watch tv while I try to pull my own self out of its funk.  I’ll get to the kids’ funk after Curious George… but maybe I’ll wait until after Jane and the Dragon instead. 

How’s your Spring Forward coming along?  Are you dragging yourself back to the coffee pot for the 3rd time in 2 hours?

Don’t worry.  I won’t tell.  

Want to sign my “Banish Daylight Savings” petition?

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I realize that for most of you, a huge winter snow storm is upon your town and fall colors are long gone.  For me, we finally have snow on the mountains, rain dripping from the sky and puddles to jump in.  Much rejoicing at that.  I love the rain.  And I pretend to love the mess that puddle-jumping brings. 

We still have a few leaves clinging to tree branches but most have fallen to the ground and are awaiting an attack from the rake.  (I personally love the fact that two of children can rake leaves all by themselves this year!)  I did get some photos of our fall colors before they started nose-diving to the ground.  Thought I would share.

You know, bring a little color into your blindingly white surroundings right now. =0)

Happy Friday everyone!

This poem was shared by our speaker at our Wednesday Night Ladies Bible Study.  It was just too good not to share.  I have to take one paragraph at a time, it’s that good.  We are studying Romans and this week was Romans 6.  Ya might just want to take a gander at it before you read the poem.  God’s been showing me that I need to kill off not just my sinful nature but also those things that I think I deserve, or am entitled to: Rights.  Ouch!  I think that hurts more than killing my sin. 

Others May You Cannot

“If God has called you to be really like Christ in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility and put on you such demands of obedience, that He will not allow you to follow other Christians, and in many ways He will seem to let other good people do things which He will not let you do.
 
Others can brag on themselves, and their work, on their success, on their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing, and if you begin it, He will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.
 
The Lord will let others be honored and put forward, and keep you hid away in obscurity because He wants to produce some choice fragrant fruit for His glory, which can be produced only in the shade.
 
Others will be allowed to succeed in making money but it is likely God will keep you poor because He wants you to have something far better than gold and that is a helpless dependence on Him; that He may have the privilege of supplying your needs day by day out of an unseen treasury.
 
God will let others be great, but He will keep you small.  He will let others do a great work for Him and get credit for it, but He will make you work and toil on without knowing how much you are doing; and then to make your work still more precious, He will let others get the credit for the work you have done, and this will make your reward ten times greater when He comes.
 
The Holy Spirit will put strict watch over you, with a jealous love, and will rebuke you for little words and feelings or for wasting time, which other Christians never seem distressed over.
 
So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign, and has a right to do what He pleases with His own, and He will not explain to you a thousand things which may puzzle your reason in His dealings with you.  He will wrap you up in a jealous love, and let other people say and do many things that you cannot do or say.
 
Settle it forever, that you are to deal directly with the Holy Spirit, and that He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue, or chaining your hand, or closing your eyes, in ways that others are not dealt with.
 
Now, when you are so possessed with the Living God that you are, in your secret heart, pleased and delighted over this particular personal, private, jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit over your life, you will found the vestibule of Heaven.”
 
Now print this baby up and post it above the kitchen sink.
 
And on your bathroom mirror.
 
And on the laundry detergent container. 
 
You know, all the spots we frequent and sometimes might have a not-so-great attitude about our current lot in life. 
 
Uh, if that every happens…
 
‘Cuz I’ve heard that sometimes that happens…
 
You know.
 
 
 
 
 

You know, it seems to be a growing epidemic, bloggers churning out books.  It’s a good epidemic mind you.  Some of my favorite bloggers are now hard-copy-authors (after all, aren’t all of us blogging maniacs authors? Well, most of us anyway.  Not sure my writing qualifies me for such a title). 

Pioneer Woman:

I only need to order about 10 million copies of this one.  Everyone I know loves P-Dub.  Did you know she and I are Compassion sponsor buddies?  Yup. Tis true.  Find and click on my Compassion category on the left side of this screen and you can read all about it. 

Bring The Rain:

I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy

If you haven’t visited Angie’s blog before you are missing out.  This is a gal who has some spectacular Biblical insight to share.  I’ve learned so much from her.  Her story and the way God has carried her through her heartache will rock your world.   

Ann Kroeker:

notsofastsmallcover1

I love Ann’s blog.  She feels like an old friend.   I think her book will hit VERY close to home for most of us.  I love her boldness in getting a message out that most of society today doesn’t want to hear. 

Stuff Christians Like:

Hilarious stuff.  Hits a little too close to home sometimes but makes me laugh none-the-less.

All these new blogger books got me thinking. 

If I were to write a book, what would it be about?  What is my expertise in? Hmmmm… Here are some possible titles I came up with:

“Inconsistency – Sometimes I always am”

“My Inner Martha Stewart – She’s Gotta Be In There Somewhere!”

“A Personal Story of Procrastination – The Killer of All Great Intentions”

“How To Start Something And Never Fini…”

Somehow I don’t think my books will be flying off shelves any time soon.  What do you think?

Well, maybe not silence (after all, there are still 4 young munchkins wrestling, chasing and taunting each other) but it’s quieter for sure.  We just said goodbye to our Thanksgiving guests… all 12 of them.  Our sister and her family came to stay last week for Thanksgiving and our family looks forward to their visit every year.  In case you were wondering, of the 12, 10 of them were kids.  Yep. You read that right.  We had 14 children running in and out of the house for 5 days and it was GLORIOUS!  It seems every year, the minor spats and falling outs between the cousins get less and less.  This year I’m not sure we even had any.  If we did, they were very quiet and very short-lived. 

When you have that many young ones visiting (in a very small house to boot), you really just have to go with the flow.  You have to realize there will be chaos and noise.  And some moments, words like chaos and noise don’t even come close to describing situation.  But you ride the wave, go with the flow and absorb every moment of it.  Because you realize, soon enough, the sleeping bags will be packed up, the mountain of shoes by the door will disappear, the once over-flowing food in the kitchen will be all eaten up and the windows will no longer shake from the constant comings and goings through the slamming doors. 

And it will be quiet.

Some quiet is nice. 

But too much of it isn’t. 

Especially when you sit and edit photos like this:

and this:

and you know that more than likely, these precious lil month old pair of feet will be crawling around the floor and getting into all kinds of trouble, next time you see them.   I had the privilege of taking some baby photos of my new nephew while he visited.  He was super easy to photograph! Even with 13 other kids running all around us (and getting in the shots), he happily stared out the window and quickly feel asleep!  We didn’t even get any outfit changes done, he fell asleep so quickly!  But that was okay.  It was a bigger priority to get sleeping pics than lots of outfit changes and poses.  As I looked back at his photos, I realized I definitely have a thing for baby feet.  Half my pictures were feet!  I could seriously post at least four more great feet photos… but I figured that might be a bit much for the rest of ya’ll.  For some of you, I realize feet shots just bring back bad memories of older brothers and stinky feet or ingrown toenails.  Or the king of all toe jam attacks. 

Did you know that my daughter (remember, she was my first baby so cut me some slack when you read this story) had super sweaty feet as a baby?  It’s true.  She could soak through socks like nobody’s business (and it probably isn’t but I’m going to share it with you anyway).  I use to worry that she’d be plagued with sweaty, stinky feet as a young woman and I’d imagine all the great lengths she’d have to go to, in order to keep her feet problem a secret.  I imagine the havoc it might cause to her dating life.  Strange isn’t it?  Mothers are great at worry.  If I were to have listed them all, they’d have ranged from the super paranoid to the silly and unnecessary.  The foot worry was obviously the latter… you just can’t tell a new mom that though.  Nope.  To do that would probably cause great bodily harm.  Human mamas are very similar to bear mamas… and a NEW human mama is far worse.  Kinda like a mama bear on steroids… or crack…

I apologize for the randomness of this post.  I blame it on the Claritin.  Yes, it’s another windy day here at the Runningamuck neighborhood and I’m high on allergy meds.   My thoughts are as scattered as the leaves outside.

Hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving. 

I promise to “sober” when I write my next post.

That’s what I feel right now. 

Because of my rip-roaring allergy attack from yesterday’s cleaning, I wizened up (just a tad) and took a Claritin as soon as I could shove down a piece of toast this morning.  I’d struggled all night with sinus pressure and jaw pain (from so much sneezing is all I can think of) but did I get up and take anything then?  Nope.  Like I said, I’m only a little bit smarter since yesterday. 

It’s now lunch time.  It only took Mr. Claritin 4 hours to kick in.  And I’m feeling mighty fuzzy.  I can’t decide if I like that feeling or not. 

On one hand, it’s delightful. 

On the other, my extremities are freezing, I have the jitters and I have a hard time focusing. 

Hmmmm…

ALL allergy medicine does this to me. 

Wait a sec, that was a lie. 

Children’s Benadryl doesn’t.  If I take one tablet (just to give you a comparison, that’s what you’d give a 5-year-old) BEFORE the allergies kick in, it does the trick beautifully.  Any more and I get the jitters.  And it won’t do a darn thing if the allergies are already well underway. 

But then again, either does Mr. Claritin.  That’s why I didn’t both with it yesterday once I realized I needed it.  That train had already left the station.  I knew the only remedy was just survive the day and get to bed as soon as possible.  I hate that.  Let me tell you, I was one HOT, BEAUTIFUL sight for my man when he walked in the door after work!  Wooo!  It’s a wonder he could keep his hands off me. 

Mr. Claritin makes me want to sleep… or curl up in a soft blanket with a book…  Except when I try to read, this is what I see:

View ImagePretty, ain’t it?

Or at least that’s my cop-out cry when the dirt and clutter is screaming at me from every corner of the house. 

We have family coming to stay with us for the week of Thanksgiving.  My sweet, sweet, sister-in-law is coming with her hubby and wonderful children.  We look forward to this visit every year and when it was in jeopardy of not happening this year, I went into a tail-spin of panic.  BUT things got worked out, God worked marvelously and we are all looking forward to the fun their visit always brings. 

But along with a visit from anyone, comes the mad dash of extra cleaning that needs to be done the week before.  Some might argue (NEVER me of course, I just know someone, somewhere might pick this bone) that why bother doing extra cleaning when you have a van load of kids coming to visit and that the all the extra foot traffic will only get your house MORE dirty?  Well, in this case, my house is just plain, long overdue for a thorough cleaning and for anyone to see it in it’s current state, even my sweet sis-in-law, is downright embarrasing.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I do my best to keep a clean house… and a tidy one for the most part.  The kids all have daily chores to help out (even the 3-year-old) and we pick up and sweep a few times every day.  Yes, I said A FEW TIMES.  And yes, it gets very old, very quickly.  But alas, it must be done at least until someone tells us that wading through filth and clutter up to our kneesView Image on a constant basis is actually GOOD for our health.  Or until we win the lottery and I can pay for a full-time maid (heck, I’d take a part-time one!).  Or until I locate the ever evasive Cleaning Fairy and chain her to the inside of my house.  I don’t know whose house she visits but it sure ain’t mine!  I dream about her sometimes…. usually on the nights leading up to a big cleaning project, like today.  Maybe I hope it’s like Kevin Costner’s baseball movie, “If I dream it, she will come”. 

Oh wait.  I don’t think that’s what Kevin hears the whispery voice call to him while he’s out daydreaming in the corn field.  Dang it!

Anyway.  I decided that for this week, we (meaning the kids and I.  Me giving 762% and the kids giving 28%) will tackle one room each day and just clean the beejeezeses out of it.  In case you didn’t realize it, today is Monday.  That means that today was our first room.

We picked the boy’s room.  For no particular reason, except for the fact that three handsome, dirty, sweet, smelly, loving but incredibly gross boys call it their very own.  And if we didn’t tackle it first, it might not ever be done in time.  Of course there was the usual, cleaning baseboards and windowsills, washing not only the sheets but also the comforters and mattress pads, sorting through toys, tossing broken ones and making a pile of unused ones for the next garage sale and dusting blinds

View ImageCan I just take a moment and say that dusting is my least favorite job to do?  And within that dusting category, blinds rate the absolute worst thing to have to do?  That’s saying it’s the bottom of the very bottom for me.  I’d rather let the boys attempt to cut my hair. 

Almost.

This is a picture from my nightmares.  No one should have to dust after the age of 25  75.  I’m pretty sure my eyes will be too bad to even see the dust by then, so who cares?  But in my nightmares, I’m still dusting….

 

On top of such delightful tasks, we also rearranged the beds and toys a bit (we’re always fighting for more room) and also cleaned out the unused extras from the top of the closet and either tossed them or put them in the garage sale pile.  I also had the joy of scrubbing walls.  Do you know boys’ feet are always dirty?  They sure seem to be.  My boys shower every night (helps keep the beds clean, a pet peeve of mine.  Dirty, crummy sheets that is.  Ewww, gag! I just grossed myself out typing that!  Apparently I can’t write it without imagining it) and I know they put their feet on the wall sometimes while they are in bed – after showering.  So why are the light blue walls covered with a nasty dark film of dirt in the areas above the beds?  How is that possible exactly? 

Well, it was there.  And I had to scrub it.  But there were worse things to scrub off.  Stuff that required the total extent of my elbow grease.  It’s too gross to even write down but it might possibly rhyme with “oogers” and start with a “b”.  Did you know it turns into cement immediately when it comes in contact with a wall?  It does.  Supposedly the guilty persons are no longer in the throes of this habit.  So I’ve given them strict instructions that now that the wall is clean, ANYTHING that shows up on the wall will be henceforth proclaimed as NEW and therefore punishable.  And let me tell you, I’m still dreaming up the consequence.  It sure ain’t gonna be fun and it sure ain’t gonna be pretty.

It’s lunch/nap time now and I’m exhausted.  I can’t put the kids down for their quiet time/nap time because the sheets and blankets are still in the washer and dryer (and after taking a real close gander at the walls before cleaning, I’m not letting those feet near a mattress that doesn’t have protection).  My allergies are roaring (WHY didn’t I think to take a Claritin before I started?! WHY??!!) and I’ve tweaked my back.  Apparently that’s what happens when you use up every ounce of elbow grease on the walls…

And that’s why I still beg and plead that house cleaning might indeed, one day, be the death of me.   Now I’m off to try and dream the Cleaning Fairy to my house before I have to tackle the next room tomorrow.View Image

** I would like to point out.  The kids did a great job helping.  I had help vacuuming and dusting and scrubbing walls.  And of course, they were the ones who had to dig through toys and sort them out.  It’s just that sometimes, their elbow grease just isn’t enough.  But we’re working on it and their elbow muscles are all in training. **

** not my picture here but goodness gracious, isn’t she adorable?!!

Did I really go to Hawaii just a few weeks ago?  It seems like a different lifetime ago.  Motherhood came crashing down around my ears the moment I walked back into my house.  Two of the four kids were sick with colds and since the kids were split among three homes while we were gone, it was a tough week of learning how to get a long all over again.  It was like there was make-up mothering to do because of my time “off”. 

Thankfully, since things are settling down finally.  And to help me remember The-Vacation-That-Felt-Like-A-Dream, I’m posting some of my photos from our trip. 

Quick!  Go whip up a Mai Tai or a Pina Colada and throw on your flip-flops. 

Ready?  Alright.  You can scroll down now.

Favorite Tree soft email 

Beach Rock 2 email

Condo Ocean View email

Last Sunrise email

Ocean Rocks soft email

Waimea Canyon email

Waimea stream email

Palm Trees email

Kayaking 5 email

Sunset 1email

Trunk Ocean View email

Waves email(Sorry, I know that was a lot of pictures… and I held back, let me tell you! )

Are you feeling as warm and relaxed as I am?  No?  Well then you need another Mai Tai.  =0)  Thanks for putting up with the show and tell.  And feel free to return and repeat this process as often as you need like.  I might just be here at the same time. 

End of the Road Beach soft email

Hubby and I had a chance to take a fantastic trip to Kauai a few weeks ago.  Most of our vacations are spent with family or with the kids.  We do manage to get away overnight on our anniversaries usually but an extended trip?  Nope.  We’re talking Blue Moon here.  Last time we went away like this was when Poppett was a baby.  That was almost 8 years ago.  We did have big plans for our 10th anniversary that included a week at a Jamaican resort.  But then Lil Blue surprised us and was due the same month we’d planned to get away.  We didn’t think it would be worth the citizenship hassle.  So to say we were excited about this trip is putting it mildly. 

I had beautiful dreams of blogging on the beach and blogging on the lanai (that’s a porch for all you non-hawaii-speaks) and blogging by the pool and blogging on a stool.. oops sorry.  Forget that last one.  The inner Dr. Seuss got the best of me. 

Point is, I just was having too much fun cavorting around the island to spend much time on the computer.  I barely even made contact with my own offspring who were left behind on the mainland.   I apologize for the neglect. 

We went with another couple which helped our budget immensely.  We picked up lunch and breakfast items at Costco on the way from the airport to the condo.  That way, we only ate out once a day for dinner and saved a bunch of money.   Splitting the cost of the two-bedroom, two-bath condo and the rental car was another money saver. 

Despite the fact that it rained almost the whole time we were there, we had a blast.  (does that word date me?  Oh well)  We made a lot of mad-dashes from the car to viewpoints but it didn’t really matter.  We were soaked in seconds most of the time.  You just learned to wear a hat (to keep the rain out of your face and keep the hair from under some form of control) and be comfortable with being wet.  Warm rain helped too. 

One day we drove around the island to the North Shore… in the pouring rain of course.  We stopped for some shave ice before heading home.  For those of you who haven’t had shave ice from Hawaii, let me just tell you, it’s NOTHING like a snow cone.  It’s super soft shavings of ice first of all, nothing like those snow cone ice chunks that end up forming together in a hard crust that you have then have use your bark-chewing-beaver-skills to get through.  Or in my case, give up and just drink up the syrup off the bottom and toss the rest because trying to eat the ice is frankly too much work, too messy and too attention grabbing when out in public.  Nothing like running into someone you know when you’re in the process of chipping a tooth on a snow cone and have syrup dripping off your cheeks, nose and chin and pooling up in a nice big stain on your shelf… for some of us, that shelf is made up of  “the girls” – post-babies (‘nuf said) and  for the rest of us, it’s our left-over baby-gut.  Neither shelf needs any more attention brought to it than it’s already bringing on its own.  AnyWHO, shave ice is not only as soft as eating snowflakes and flavored with all sorts of tropical delish-ish-ness, but the ice/snowflakes are surrounding a ball of ice cream, macadamia nut ice cream at that.  It truly is a beautiful thing my friends. 

While we were there, scarfing up shave ice, we met a delightful couple from the mainland who were also enjoying some shave ice, in the rain.  We chatted and quickly found out that they were both retired.  He from the Air Force and she from Mary Kay.  Now, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before or not, but I’m a MK consultant too.  Normally, in a situation like this, I would have immediately started talking shop with her and getting as many ideas from her as I could before she could pry my little hands off her arm and escape.  This time however, I just hoped to high heaven that everyone in my group was too absorbed with their treats to make any comment.  Alas, it was not to be.  My wonderful friend, “S” piped up, “Hey!  She’s Mary Kay too!”  The sweet retired Mary Kay wonder-woman turned to me and smiled… and I desperately looked for hole in the ground to open up that I could throw myself into.  Why? You might ask.  Well, remember, we’d been skipping around the island IN THE RAIN.  I didn’t have a lick of make-up on, I had a ratty boy’s baseball hat plastered to my head, a soaked bathing suit and cover up that were dripping off my body, and thanks to the sudden humidity of the island, a break out that rivaled any teenager’s raging hormonal case of acne anywhere on the face of the earth.  Yep, I was one perfect Mary Kay specimen.  I squashed the urge to kick my beautiful, well-meaning friend’s shins and instead tried to not sound desperate as I explained my very NON-Mary Kay appearance.  The Mary Kay wonder-woman very sweetly tried to make me feel better by patting her perfectly formed  hair and dry, CLEAR, make-up’d cheats and said she was sure she was sight too.  Um, yeah, not quite the same.  But she got Brownie points for trying to make me feel better. 

Of course, I vowed never to leave the condo again unless it was to see a waterfall, swim, hike, sit on the beach, shop, check out tide pools or eat.  I couldn’t risk being seen TWICE in that state after all. 

Stay tuned… pictures are coming.

That I know it’s Monday:

1. Child #3 woke up hacking

2. Today’s Field Trip is now in question because of said cough.  (Do I risk being shunned and forever banned by the other moms in light of the current Swine Flu hysteria?)

3. Outta milk and eggs.View Image

4.  Decided to make Cinnamon Sugar Toast as a treat (didn’t tell the munchkins it was because of lack of milk and eggs) and then proceeded to burn the heck outta it.

5. Had to cut off outer edges of Cinnamon Sugar Toast to make it edible for munchkins.

6. House now smells like burned toast. Ugh.

7.  Everyone is yelling in order to be heard above the sound of the fan going full-blast to try and get rid of the lovely burned toast smell.

8. Fighting Jet Lag for the 7th morning in a row (more on that coming up)

9.  Round 2 for coffee…

10. It’s definitely a Monday because I couldn’t even think of another reason and therefore have not completed a perfect Top 10.  Go to fullsize image

Arrgggghhhh! 

Good Monday Morning Everyone!!

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