Sunday, March 25, 2012

it's way too early for me to be up, but i always have trouble staying in bed when there's a big day ahead with lots to do. we have to be downtown for the kdis to run the Jr. Dillo mile this morning, then Margaret and Samuel's first soccer game, then a long day of grocery shopping and packing for a week-long camping trip.

earlier this week my grandfather's wife tripped in the kitchen and she ended up spilling scalding spaghetti sauce all over her face, chest, and down her throat. she was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center. i cannot imagine how painful that must be! she'll be in the hospital for a long time as the burns are pretty severe. she has her first reconstructive surgery on monday. please pray for her. she is nearly 20 years younger than my grandfather, but looks his age (80's) because she's such a heavy drinker and smoker. my grandather has wanted her to get help for a long time. maybe this is the answer to his prayers. so yeah, pray for her because not only is she suffering from the burns, but she's having withdrawal.

it seems that everywhere i look i'm reading scary things about our food and the chemicals in our homes. i feel really overwhelmed right now. i want to do what is best for my family, but i don't even know where to start! i also want to be conscientious without making an idol of healthy living. so i've been praying for God to give me wisdom to know how to act on what i discover.

we've been having a difficult time with one of our boys again. are there seasons of anxiety and OCD? it seems it was last year at this time that he was struggling a lot. it's really hard to keep my head on straight when he gets this way. i just want to MAKE IT STOP! the retracing of steps in a superstitious-like way, the fear of everything, the annoying sounds, the struggles with the end of the day i fall into the bed feeling as if i've been wrestling with an octopus all day. i was discussing it with my sister in law, Meredith, today and she said that maybe he struggles more with these things when his seasonal allergies are bad. she doesn't sleep when hers are bad and can feel herself coming unwound and getting anxious and OCD about things. if that's the case with my sweet boy, it's even greater motivation to search for relief for him.

here are some pictures from the Jr. Dillo Mile.

all the kids did well and improved on last year's times. Margaret ran it in 6:58 garnering her the 2nd place medal for the 12 year old girls. Samuel ran his mile in 6:26, fast enough to earn him the 2nd place medal for 11 year old boys. William ran in 8:29, and John in 8:00. Margaret and Samuel had a soccer game right after the race and their team won! it's been years since they've been on a team that wins games, so this is really exciting.

from the library -

i'm going to try to keep a record of what i've been reading. i should have been doing this long ago. here goes...

last week's reads -

House of Happy Endings: A Memoir

Have a New Kid by Friday: How to Change Your Child's Attitude, Behavior & Character in 5 Days

Victorian America: Transformations in Everyday Life

Vanity Fair

American House Styles: A Concise Guide

some reading is for pleasure, some for school, some because my life depends on it. i'm hoping to get a lot of time to read while we're on our camping trip. i always take way too many books when we go on a trip.

time to go worship!

When Eve was brought unto Adam, he became filled with the Holy Spirit, and gave her the most sanctified, the most glorious of appellations. He called her Eva, that is to say, the Mother of All. He did not style her wife, but simply mother, mother of all living creatures. In this consists the glory and the most precious ornament of woman.
    - Martin Luther

Thursday, March 22, 2012

we took our school work and lunch to Mayfield Park today. after doing a bit of school, the big kids went exploring while Hazel and i rested by the stream.

i am so very tired today. i want to either eat all day or tank up on coffee.

thanks to an online friend, Johanna, i am now obsessed with making homemade Larabars. they are the perfect thing to throw in the backpack when we head out to soccer practice, or boxing class, or golf lessons, or to play at the park. even my picky eaters love them! i've made the with a base of dates, but they also work well with prunes. i tend to like the prunes since they aren't as sweet as dates. and from there the possibilities are endless: coconut, cranberries, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, almonds, flax seed, pumpkin seeds...yum!

Happiness depends upon ourselves.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

i last blogged a week and a half ago, but so much life has happened that it seems like several weeks ago. the kids and i took last week off of school. i just had to have a break. i was falling apart. we went down to see Daddy one day, went to an organic vegetable farm another. we met the cousins at the park one of the days, and we went out to Burnet for a birthday party for my grandmother another day. on saturday we went up to Georgetown to run this month's Vern's No Frills 5K. i didn't do so well - 25 something, i think, but the kids were amazing. Samuel ran it in 22 minutes, and Margaret in 24! this coming saturday they have a city-wide kids' mile event that they run annually. Samuel almost always medals. i think he might win his division this year.
i've been trying to get out and do my long runs on sunday afternoon. long right now means 6 miles. some days are good and some not so good.
we've been back at it with school this week, and like my running, some days are good, others not so good. i'm trying to view each child as a person and not a task, and also to focus on learning and not just accomplishing.
a new farmer's market opened in our neighborhood yesterday. it's located in the YMCA parking lot, the same Y that we spend the majority of our life at, so this is a good thing! we went to the grand opening and i can see this becoming part a regular part of our weekly routine.
Hazel is growing by leaps and bounds. i need to take her in for her four month well check. since we aren't vaccinating, i haven't felt the urgency to get her in, but i would like to see how much she's grown and we don't have a scale of any sort in our house. people keep telling me that she's going to grow up really fast because she has so many older sibling to watch all the time. i think it must be true. she's so alert and loves to be in the middle of the action. she's almost sitting up and grabs at whatever she can get her hands on. she scoots all around in her walker. yesterday William taught her to stick out her tongue. it is hilarious to see her imitate the kids in this. we just love having this little munchkin in the family!
we've been spending a lot of time gardening these days. we've been blessed with so much rain the past couple of months. those parches days of summer are but a distant memory.

we got a moby wrap the other day. we like it!

i have lots more pictures to share, but will have to get to those another time.

An optimist is the human personification of spring.

Susan J. Bissonette

Saturday, March 10, 2012

really good stuff.

also, here are some pics from Brian's phone of the Rodeo Rumble kids' race this morning. they moved the thing into the arena since it was stormy outside.

i ran Hazel around the track with the 3 & Under crowd. let me tell you, it's hard to run in that dirt in boots!

and now we're gonna to have a cozy day by the fire and get a lot of inside work done.

Friday, March 9, 2012

we've found Hazel like this three times today. she just lies there smiling at us.

and here she is, four months old this week, and showing that she's bigger than her orange bear now.

it was this on this day last year that we discovered she was for real. i kept wondering if i was pregnant, but all the tests i took were inconclusive. that was back before my bike got wrecked, and i decided to take a long bike ride across town that morning after i got the kids off to school. i stopped in at a Dollar Tree and bought three pregnancy tests (i had bought 4 the week before). i raced back home and did all three tests at once, and lo and behold, they were all positive! what a wonderful day that was! =)

rockin baby

Hazel was trying to make her getaway last night before we headed out on our date. i guess she wanted to stay and watch Toy Story 3 with the big kids instead of going out for texmex with mommy and daddy.

there's our Scandinavian baby. she's so fair and blonde/blue eyed. funny that two dark brown haired/brown eyed people came up with her. ah, we sure do love her. she's been talking like crazy lately. i shot a video of her, trying to catch the chatter box in action. of course she didn't perform for the camera. maybe another time. she's scooting around in her walker and picking up things and just really coming into herself. it's really cute how when we're in the car and everyone is talking at once, she starts squealing and jabbering away, too, offering her two cents. it makes everyone laugh.

today she's four months old.

yesterday was just about the hardest school day ever. i was ready to quit the homeschooling thing for good. on top of it, i was having a really bad colitis day. i felt awfully distracted, which i'm sure contributed to the kids' behavior struggles. i just kind of had to walk away from it all and decide to make a fresh start the next day. which is what i did. i started this day crying out to God for His help, something i'd been neglecting lately. i got out and spent some time in prayer and thoughts early this morning and i think it made a big difference.

i've never pretended to have a conviction about homeschooling. i kind of wish i did, because it would make it way easier to deal with the day to day frustrations. i'm committed to homeschooling as long as we have to, though it's not my first choice.  but as long as we're doing it, i'll continue to give 100%. i'm just getting really worn down doing so.

this post has been stretched out over a couple of days because i haven't had time to complete it in one sitting. not sure if it makes much sense to the reader. oh well. yesterday was another very difficult day. i was literally sick from feeling so stressed out. thankfully yesterday was also date night, so i had that to look forward to at the end of the tunnel. Brian and Hazel and i went to El Chile, then walked around the French Place neighborhood, then shared a local brew at Thunderbird before heading home.

per my friend Heather's recommendation, i checked out that book about having a new kid by friday. i'm hoping it will help me out. i might read it to Brian every night before we go to bed. how's that to kindle the romance?=)

A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after.  ~Peter De Vries

Monday, March 5, 2012

we're in our school room right now chipping away at today's schedule. i wish it wasn't so hard to keep everyone on track on mondays. i feel like all i do is crack the whip. i'm really not a very patient mom. i am so much more task oriented than people oriented. it's something i have and will struggle with all my life, you know, putting people and their feelings ahead of my plan for their lives.

we had such a jolly weekend. Brian was able to leave work a little early on friday, and we loaded up the car and went out to the old family farm house in Manor to camp for the weekend. that's where we've had our trailer for several months now. my aunt Lucy and her husband Neal, and Lucy's youngest son, Tim, were out there as well. Lucy and Neal have a big fancy-schmancy rv that they're keeping out there, too. the Farm, as we all call it, is situated up on a hill surrounded by pastureland. it's so peaceful out there. the house itself was built in the 1870's. my mom lived there as a kid (she was born in '55, not the 1870's BTW) before they moved into Austin. my aunt has started organizing monthly work days to help with some of the repairs around the place. they've been a lot of fun!

i had fixed some of a yummy meal ahead of time - homemade focaccia bread, organic spaghetti sauce and noodles, homegrown salad with homemade dressing, steamed broccoli and fruit popsicles for dessert. we don't usually eat "camp" food when we go camping, but stick with what we'd normally have at home.  it's so nice to sit down to a tasty, healthy, hot meal after a long day out in the great outdoors.

Margaret and Samuel have been studying conservation and so we decided to watch the Ken Burn's documentary on the national park system. we brought it with us and let the kids watch it while they they were cozied up together in their beds. the camper works for us now, but just barely when we're all in it together. the boys sleep on one end where the dining table is - it folds into a queen size bed. Brian, Hazel, and i sleep on the full size bed on the other end of the camper, and Margaret sleeps on the bunk above us. we're thinking we'll trade up to something bigger once we move.

we got a slow start saturday morning. other family  members started rolling in mid-morning. Thomas and Meredith came with their babies, so the kids had friends to play with. Uncle Bob - the one who got Brian and i into running marathons, came with Aunt Laura and their kids, their dog, and their pop-up camper to stay the saturday night. several others ended up coming and we were able to accomplish so much. at the end of the day Neal made a big bonfire and we sat around drinking local beer and listening to Buddy Holly. good times.

we "broke camp" early sunday morning so we could make it to church. Brian ended up taking the big kids and i stayed home with Hazel. we napped sunday afternoon and then took the kids out to run in the evening. they have a race coming up this saturday out at the rodeo so we're trying to keep them in decent running shape.

...which brings us to today. i feel like all i've done today is threaten and shame. there must be a better way. sometimes i think i missed my calling and should have been a drill sergeant instead of a mom...but then i wouldn't be mom to these precious ones.

it's the end of the day now. we just finished up a late dinner since Margaret and Samuel had boxing class this evening. i'm beat and am wondering how legal it is to crawl into bed before 8. i guess there's only one way to find out....

Our patience will achieve more than our force.  - Edmund Burke

^that's for me tonight.

Friday, March 2, 2012

we went to the Rodeo Austin Cowboy breakfast this morning.

the gang

poor momma looking awfully tired. LOL.
they had pancakes, biscuits and gravy, sausage, fried catfish and shrimp, brisket tacos, muffins, donuts, orange juice, coffee, milk, and lots of other stuff. there was other cool stuff, like line dancing lessons, clowns, horses and longhorns, and live music, of course. 

we're enjoying a beautiful day. the doors have been open and the kids have been running in and out. i'm feeling better today. i guess this medicine has finally kicked in. i really thought i must have colon cancer yesterday. i might still, but at least i don't feel like it today.

we're going camping in the camper tonight. =)