Saturday, June 30, 2012

...And the Living is Easy

Imagine the windows down, the radio turned up, driving through the dark, isolated country roads singing your heart out with the residual scent of chlorine on your skin.  But there is no loneliness because you are surrounded by the thick, encompassing heat and humidity of a summer night in Pennsylvania.  As you drive past a wooded area you smell all the smells of summer rushing out to meet you, the notorious and earthy scent of an ornamental pear tree, the sweet lingering smell of the wild honeysuckle, and the smell of good soil in some stage of drying out from earlier rain showers.  You hear the crickets whirring and the cicadas buzzing.  Breathe deep all that is living.

Remember all the great memories of years gone by, of running out of the school building on the last day of school, endless sleepovers, Dirty Dancing marathons, all day long bike rides and disappearing until sunset.  Remember working in the garden, swimming at the lake with friends and family, living in your bathing suit day and night and annual beach trips with all the rituals and routines of a well established tradition.  Sink into the seat of the car where your heated skin from the sun's exposure earlier in the day is bounding back to meet you.

And once you are in the depths of the music and rhythm, the sights and sounds, the smells and feelings, know that you have just reached one of the ways I feel heaven here on earth.  Isn't summer wonderful?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

An Investment

My kids and I have been to several roller skating parties now.  And each time in the span of a two to three hour party the younger ones peter out pretty quickly.  And I wonder why I spent the money on admission fees or skates or any part of it.  Or why I didn't let the younger ones stay home and only bring the olders ones.

And then as I struggle round the rink in skates of my own, holding two children as they continuously fall practically hanging off of me, I remember.  Because rollerskating is a fairly good work out and not only that it requires a ton of balance and a good center and a sense of timing.  And so I like to look at each of these nominal fees as not paying for our day of skating, but an investment in their future athletic ability.

But in the meantime here are me and my kids and the neighbors cheesing it up on the sideline and Issac showing us how it's done.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012


So I'm feeling a bit panicked.  Tomorrow is our Foster Care Home Visit.  I feel like I should have gotten the carpets cleaned or finished decorating any room in our house.  I joke with people all the time that decorating is not my forte.  We have lived in this house for 4+ years and it looks like we could of moved in a month ago, that's how bare bones it is.  See the picture of me in skinny jeans several posts ago.  Notice, white blank walls.  I feel like I should organize the book shelf where books are so stuffed and packed it looks like one wrong pull and a dozen books may drop out.  I worry that there are a dozen dangers I have failed to comprehend, because of my laid back parenting style.

I worry that the kids will expose some dirty little family secret, like I have a child who picks its nose and eats it.  Not because they don't realize it, but because they like the taste.  Gender and name will remain nameless.  Serious shame I am feeling here people.  I know it's gross, but what do you do?  Also I worry that they will reveal that I have a child who hates underwear and so rarely wears them or that when they hurt themselves instead of coddling them I say, "You're fine."  I worry that they will reveal that I don't buy my kids fishing licenses - okay I just looked this up before admitting to illegal behavior, and it turns out I don't need one if they are twelve and under.  Good no law breaking here.  I worry that they will tell the woman that I let them undo their seat belt while driving to pick something off the floor or help another sibling and then quickly rebelt without pulling over to the side of the road, possible law breaking.  I worry that of all the things I say and do something will make me unfit to care for the neglected and abused children in the foster care system.

I'm panicked because the day after all this goes down Travis and I are going on Pioneer Trek.  What's pioneer trek?  Well it's where the youth of our church and several hand picked adult couples go to the middle of nowhere state game lands where we will to the best of our abilities and with reasonable safety measures reenact what is was like for the early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to travel across the country with handcarts and limited supplies.  So it's the equivalent of really rough camping, so while I am trying to order the house for the home visit, I am also trying to gather supplies and camp gear into a somewhat contained and neat fashion to supply my husband and I and 10 adopt-a-children with as much stuff as allowable so that we won't be miserable.  And I am panicked because I know that I would rather go sit by the pool instead of do these last minute things, and you know what I just might...I'll let you know in a day or two.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Why Ask Why

Many people ask me why I go "out"?  When I say go "out" I am referring to the club scene with dancing, drinking, karaoking, etc...  Because let's be honest...I don't drink.  I never have, so I'm always sober and the designated driver "DD".  I dance though, lots wildly without care and usually shamefully, yet I feel none.  And as for Karaoke - although I next to never participate - I am endlessly entertained. 

So when others ask why I go out, the answer is this...when my friends are a few drinks in and less prohibited they have now just reached the fun level I like to live at every hour of every day of my life.  And guess what...they will regret tomorrow what they did last night, not because it was so bad, but because for just a little while they didn't care what others thought and they just gave into the moment of fun and that kind of fun needs to be shared. 

Example:  Listen to this person sing in a different key than the music, and not even well mind you, but not only did this person have fun, everyone else did too - notice the joining in by the crowd.  Darkness of video is to protect the singer and oh...the not so great lighting of the place.
That's why I go out, because life is too short to be serious all the time.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Say It Ain't So...

Okay so a week has passed without my posting.  And it's not for lack of pictures or content.  I think of things I should post about, but can't get to it right away or I am laying at the pool all day getting tan and then Wham-O it's out of my brain.  But I have tons of pictures so I guess it's time to play journaling catch up.  Here goes:
The dance year ended with Bella's recital. 
This is her lyrical class in their ending pose.
And below that is her leaving the recital with her awards and ribbons.
While at the park one day, this tiny duck walked right up to
a sitting Issac and snuggled in.  His mother was nowhere in sight. 
We adopted him for a couple of days until I could read all about
how you get another adult baby duck to adopt an abandoned duck. 
And ta-da we have him back with his new duck family.
Baseball season ended. 
The boys ended up being ball playing studs after a somewhat rocky beginning. 
Here they are getting their trophies and posing with their team.
Father's Day came and went and in case you missed my post about hubster, here, read below.
He got fishing lures and candy a plenty.
It doesn't matter what shirt they have on when they go to bed,
when they wake up this is what I see.
Naked brothers:  Notice the start of pecs on Wy-Guy.
And last I inherited a pair of skinny jeans, nice fit - a little long in the leg.
Guess I'll just always have to wear them with heels.
That's what happens in a week and a half at our house.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dear Travis,

When I met you I only had flirty lust on the brain.  And you were a perfect candidate with your muscular, compact body and handsome face and southern accent. 

And as I dated you I only had marriage on the brain.  And there too you were just perfect for me with you're never ending example of knowing what was right and doing it, being kind continuously, and oh yeah your awesome body, handsome face and southern accent. 

And once we were married I had children on the brain.  And it just turns out that you were spectacular for me there too, with your never ending patience and easy nature, your joy in the journey attitude and oh yeah knowing and doing what is right, constant kindness, your awesome body, handsome face, and a little less prevalent southern drawl. 

So I guess I consider myself super lucky that when I started randomly placing myself in your path - read: stalking you - that I couldn't have picked more perfectly.  Because even though I may have lacked the foresight to pick that all up front at first sight, we've managed it all wonderfully together.

And so when I say I think you are the world's best dad, I mean it, and when I say you are an even better husband, if that is even possible, I know it's true.  And when I say I can't wait for forever with you - I live every principle of goodness or righteousness that might seem hard at the time, because I know that you are the reward at the end.  Some may be waiting for their mansions in heaven, some may want an eternal reward, but Babe...all I need is more of you - forever.

Happy Father's Day,
your co-conspirator in eternal family making

P.S.  Be glad I love you, because I almost scanned the picture of you on our honeymoon laying in bed as an example of your awesome body and handsome face :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Whine, Whine, Whine

For those who jealously think that my life is perfectly charming and trouble free, read on - you'll feel better.  If you think otherwise be prepared because I have at least four paragraphs of whine in me...starting now!

But guess what, I saved the post I had written which was closer to eight paragraphs of whine, waiting to see if I really wanted to post it.  I mean it really was self indulgent complaining.  And guess what, in that time - I remembered one fact - someone always has it worse than me, and likely people have it better than me, although I'm skeptical.  And my job is to make the most of my happiness and so I'm doing that. 

And for me that means not dwelling on the negative but focusing on the positive instead.  So I'm going to go tuck my kids into bed, earlier than normal and kiss them goodnight.  And treat myself to take out Mexican food, and wonder how I got so lucky to be able to get take out whenever I want and sit in my air conditioned house with four beautiful, active, independent children laying sound asleep in bed with tanned bodies and extreme exhaust from a very sun coma filled week at the pool. 

Peace out!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gratitude Cont...

So a couple have asked about the details of what I am so grateful about, well I guess nothing except for my very happy, eternal family.  And to numerically number/name it is to say:

14 - end of school award/certificates (and I'm not referring to generic ones, but ones that are actually earned and so there comes a great sense of personal accomplishment)
3 - perfect or near perfect report cards
Half a dozen - Nice notes, emails or phone calls about my children and how great they are
A dozen - Nice notes, emails or phone calls thanking me for my service as PTO president
5 - Gift plants from teachers for me
4 - Happy, grateful children
1 - Amusement Park Trip
1 - Very hard working husband

And not so numerically,
my family who loves to play together,
who travels well in the car together,
two boys who played baseball for the first year ever and picked it up like champs,
our pool pass,
no financial worries,
the school year being over,
the Women's Club of Manheim year being over,
the end of being PTO president,
the commitment to play more with my kids and seeing the effects of that.

I don't know I just feel happy and grateful.  My family and life are just so much better than I ever imagined them to be when I was younger.  Now for the pics from the last week of school, elementary school graduation, fourth grade play, field day, and ensuing celebration at the amusement park, and first day of summer party...

Friday, June 8, 2012


Sometimes my life feels too good to be true.  And all I can think is how grateful I am.  And all I want to do is slow it down and make it last forever.  But since every year feels this good I'll keep embracing it changes and all.

More details to come later, but it's the last day of school and we have traditions to uphold and Knoebels to go to.  Peace out!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What a Good Looking Group

I don't know why but sometimes the camera lens just captures something my human eye can't.
These pictures are just a few instances.
Wyatt is getting so grown up looking.
Issac is adorable even with his glasses.
 Kody can get so excited.
 These boys have some of the best smiles ever.
Bella really is smarter than me.

* Short story - we are at Lancaster Science Factory here.  There are lots of logic and reasoning puzzles.  I sit down to this one and start to think and Bella walks up and looks at it.  Oh that's easy she says.  I say oh really, then let me see you do it.  She continues to do the puzzle in less than 30 seconds.  This is her gloating smile of victory.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

We Did Celebrate

Although I have forgotten to post about Memorial Day, we did indeed celebrate.  On Sunday we had a neighborhood bash, Monday a church one.  Travis was home.  Yeah!

We have great friends.  They are good fathers.  And they are our neighbors.  We love celebrating with them.  And always ending up playing family games of kickball, wiffle ball, or some other sport. 

In other news the bird cage sold.  Now does anyone want to buy a train table with all the tracks, etc....?