Ava Pretty?

Ahhh, yes. My very girly girl! She found my lipstick in the car as I was chatting with Sarah. When I found her, she was grinning and asking, "Pretty? Pretty?"
Where did you catch your daughters with their first lipstick?
Posted by Picasa


Desperate Times Call For. . .

DESPERATE MEASURES!! Arrrgh! I'm about to pull my hair out with frustration. Yeah, I know most people don't expect their boys to actually keep their rooms clean for real. I however, am not most people. I have very high expectations when it comes to teaching my kids (boys especially) to clean up after themselves.

I live with a wonderfull man who has many traits that I would want my boys to emulate. But, you guessed it, he's not so adept in the putting things back where they came from department. For whatever reason, that talent escapes him.

I have tried every strategy I know for the boys room. Here's what usually unfolds:

I step on one too many tiny Legos with my bare feet.

I shoo the boys out for the afternoon and spend several hours sorting, re-organizing, and bagging up stuff to donate.

I use the newly cleaned-by-me-and-not-them room as a teachable moment to explain to them what the word "grace" means. This lesson is usually interrupted by Benji's shooting and driving noises as he dumps out bins in search of his favorite toys that I've moved.

I tell the boys kindly but firmly that each night before bed they are to pick up everything they got out, and that if they do it each night it will only take 5 minutes.

I tell Marvin (he's usually the one that puts them to bed) that he should supervise them picking up each night and if they do it each night it should only take 5 minutes.

I go in their room what seems like a day later and blink in amazement at what appears to be a toy hurricane that has swallowed their room.

"Honey!" I shout, "Didn't you have them pick up last night (and the night before and the night before)?" Since I don't really need that question answered, I back slowly out of the room pretending that I don't see it and maybe it will go away.

Tonight I told Alec that I couldn't stand to be in his room, that it was so messy it made me want to vomit. Yes, I know that probably isn't right up there with good parenting tactics, but it sure made me feel a teeny weeny bit better to say it.

After what seems to be several years of running in this same circle, I'm ready to do something really drastic. It occurred to me that even though the boys would be furious and there would be much weeping and pleading when I toted two thirds of their toys to the local Goodwill store, I would actually be doing them a favor.

My theory is this: IF they had so few toys that it only took them 10 minutes to pick up their entire room (instead of an hour!), THEN instead of me spending time telling them to clean up and them spending time doing it, they would have more time to play. Sounds simple, right?

Something tells me it's not going to be that easy. . .


Marker Mayhem

Well, at least they're getting along!
Posted by Picasa


Wordless Wednesday

Posted by Picasa


Rx For My Problems!

I was re-reading some old posts and came across this one. I'm posting it again to remind myself to keep it all in perspective.
Oh, and the picture is another fabulous view at Lakeside!

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Side Effects of Life

I was grumbling a bit as I vaccumed today. As I used the hose and crevice tool, I inwardly complained about how messy three children could leave a house. I was wondering what dried up piece of food I'd find next, when I felt a gentle nudging in my spirit. "Shelly!" the Holy Spirit rebuked me, "these are just the side effects of the rich life I've given you."

How selfish we sometimes are, whining about the side effects of life, instead of rejoicing in the cure for our "disease", Jesus Christ! Let's thank Him that we have a house to clean, and kids to clean up after. Thank Him that we can see the sun, instead of griping about how hot it is (or soon will be!) outside. Thank Him that we have a car to drive where we need to, instead of complaining about the high price of gas.

I know this sounds like one of those corny forwards that circulate in our email boxes, but please take this to heart. Our lives are a blink of an eye; let's not waste them complaining about the side effects!
Posted by Picasa


Fun with Furniture!

I am unequivocally obsessed with furniture. If I could have a job buying pieces at garage sales, flea markets and thrift shops and giving them cool makeovers, I'd be in heaven! It's a good thing we don't have a bigger house because I'm always looking. . .

I finally finished the makeover on the vintage pie safe that I started last month. If it had still had it's original milk paint finish I wouldn't have touched it, but it was ugly and de-valued in it's current condition, so I had to fix it.

It's now wearing a beautiful coat of dark chocolate and cream, with slightly distressed edges on the tin insets and matte black hardware. It will be our coat cabinet; our old house (1850's) is poverty stricken when it comes to storage. (The picture doesn't do it justice, the room it's in doesn't have great light)

I also did this sad bookshelf a favor. It was a cast-off from a friend's apartment and was sporting some nasty metallic teal paint.
I needed a shelf for the kitchen to keep Benji's home school supplies on as well as some play food and dishes for Ava, and this fit the bill.
I purchased a new copy of a vintage Golden Book called The Animal Fair for $1.00 from the Goodwill store and used the pages and some black paint to give this bookshelf a whole new attitude! Decoupage is a fun, inexpensive way to make an ordinary piece of furniture one-of-a-kind! Now to find some baskets and containers that fit on the shelves. . .

Posted by Picasa


My head is pounding...

...and I'm feeling like I'm trying to get off a too-fast merry-go-round!

We got back from vacation and started laundry, etc. like normal. The day and a half of the weekend we had flew by and plopped us into Monday before we were ready. I usually organize my weeks to death, but hadn't this week because of our trip, so Monday morning I had to do a frantic dash out for groceries and last-minute school supplies. Bye-bye, Monday!

Tuesday rolled in like a bad dream. Benji and my friend Brittany's son Gavin were invited to a birthday party for my friend Sarah's son Noah. Brittany brought Gavin over early as she was on her way to her doctor's appointment (pregnant with identical twins!). She got out of her car to show me her belly because I hadn't seen her since we'd been back. I had kind of a weird feeling when I looked at her, but I brushed it off, said Hi, and she left. Turns out I'd be the last person to see her pregnant.

About 20 min. later, she called me and sobbed, "I've been in a crash!" The next part of the day was a total blur. She had been hit from behind which caused her to hit the car in front of her. Because of the accident, she went into labor. As with any birth, there is always a joyful flurry of last minute activity, but that happy pandemonium was tainted this time by the ugliness of the circumstances.

Gavin stayed here overnight that night which in and of itself was just fine. However, it was the night before Alec's first day of school and not the time for a sleepover! As Marvin struggled to put three rowdy boys to bed, I put Ava to bed and headed over to Brittany's house with Sarah and another friend to clean up the evidences of many weeks on bedrest so that the new momma could come home to a sparkling sanctuary. Hello, midnight! Bye-bye Tuesday!

Here comes Wednesday, the first day of school, what should be the beginning of steady routine, the start of crisp mornings, crunchy leaves and sweatshirts. Marvin stayed home in the morning to walk to school with us and was a big help feeding our newly expanded group of 4 children. When we got back, he left for work and I attempted to make a trip out to the store for baby clothes and to take Gavin to meet his Papa.

I dropped Benji off with another friend, and made it through Meijer for some pet food while Ava flopped around in the cart like a screaming fish, my mother in law chatted to me on the phone about upcoming family birthday parties and the smokey smell in her attic, and Gavin silently pleaded with me to buy him gum and magazines.

After I dropped him off with his Papa, I pulled into the Carter's parking lot. As I hopped out of the car, the school nurse called me. "Your son had an asthma attack at recess" she tells me, "and I think you need to take him to the doctor or urgent care right away!".

Alec has never had asthma, nor has anyone else in our family. I was um, shall we say, a tad nervous? and headed as quickly (and as safely, thinking about Brittany's accident) as I could to school. As I drove, I called Marvin, our doctor, and another friend to keep Ava so that I didn't have to take her to the urgent care with me.

Thankfully, by the time I got to school the wheezing had subsided and Alec was breathing normally. I wanted to go home and collapse, but realized that Benji needed to be picked up and I still had no new, washed baby clothes to take Brittany that evening to the hospital.

I drove back down to the store, dropped off Ava (who still hadn't had a nap) and Alec at my mom's house for a little rest and TLC, picked up Benji (who told me he didn't love me when I made him come into the baby store with me), bought some outfits, picked up Alec and Ava, headed home, put the clothes in the wash, fixed dinner with Ava hanging on my leg and crying, fed the kids and put Ava to bed twice (once because Benji screamed outside her door and woke her).

By this time, Marvin was home and the house was trashed, complete with a bowl full of Cheerios stomped into the living room carpet. In a panic, I remembered that I'd offered to host our mom's group in the morning. We made a feeble attempt to clean up the house, got the boys to bed and I packed up to go to the hospital to visit the new babes.

We had a good visit, the babies were so beautiful and perfect that it moved me to tears! Hello midnight, again! Bye-bye Wednesday!

This morning was dizzying. Get up, get dressed to walk to school and host group. Feed Alec, pack his lunch, walk 6 blocks while Benji tries to ride his too-small bigwheel and Ava cries in the stroller. Tell Alec's teacher that he's not allowed to go to recess until I talk to his doctor. Walk 6 blocks back. Arrive home sweaty and starving, inhale cereal, vaccum at warp speed, cut up fruit for snack without cutting myself, did I feed Ava and Benji? Where
is Ava? Doorbell, hello 9:30, hello mom's group!

Here I sit wondering how I got to Thursday afternoon and why my head feels like it's being drilled with a jackhammer. Oh, and that laundry never got done; the pile on my bed is as tall as Ava...


Urgent Prayer

Please visit my friend Brittany and pray for her and her unborn twins.

Sunny Days

Ok, here's my massive post about our vacation! I took over 400 pictures, and these are most of my favorites. I realize not everyone enjoys other people's vacation photos, but since this is my digital scrapbook, I had to post all of them. My apologies!

We were actually all sick when we left. This has never happened to us before and we were just a tad unhappy about it. Marvin and I thought we may have had strep, so we took all 5 us to the doctor on Friday before we left. A hundred dollars later, we walked out of the office with the depressing news that we all just had a REALLY mean virus.

For 4 nights I had to take 6 Tylenol each night just so I could sleep through the pain of my throat. The day we got there Ava had a fever and Benji was coughing like a seal (the doctor told us that he had croup). However, God is good. He held us all together, and by Tuesday we had turned a corner and our feeling sick no longer took center stage.

We had a lovely time after that, a time of sweet relaxation and enjoying each other's company. The cottage we rented this time was darling; quite small compared to our house here, but it had that quirky, kitchsy cottage-y feeling that more than made up for it.

We spent the days playing on the beach, playing shuffleboard, taking walks, listening to live music, eating, shopping (anyone jealous yet? *grin*), and the best part: sitting around doing absolutely nothing!

Hope you enjoy the photos. Oh, and if there are any of my family members looking at these, please leave a comment so I know you were here!

We began the trip with an absolutely flawless day,

an overstuffed van,

and an attempt at cheerfulness, despite our very, very sore throats and a child coughing like a seal in the backseat.
Posted by Picasa

Our home away from home:
The needlepoint at the bottom of the stairs reads, "To this house of peace and rest, we welcome you our lovely guest" and that about sums up the reason we stayed here!

Bedroom views...

Posted by Picasa

The master bedroom was something right out of a romance novel (too bad we were sick most of the week!)

Opposite the bed, there were these double doors that opened up to a second story porch complete with a vintage (but very comfortable) lounge chair. I spent every day during Ava's nap out there, devouring meaningless novels and soaking up the sun (with sunscreen, of course). That's my idea of heaven on earth!

The cottage is named The Victoria, it was built in 1881, 30 years after our house was built!

I absolutely loved the kitchen. Tiny and charming, it boasted this gigantic porcelain farm sink. I photographed it with dirty dishes in it to say, "Hey! I'm on vacation! No FlyLady routines for me this week!"
Posted by Picasa

Maximum sand enjoyment

On a mission with the red bucket

They don't look excited, do they?
Posted by Picasa

On the quest for what the boys call "auto water":

Everyone pitched in to see

how deep of a hole they'd have to dig to reach the water table.

Gotta love that sand-filled swim diaper!
Posted by Picasa

Getting sandy...

...and trying to get clean

Them? Naughty? Never!

Beach babes
Posted by Picasa

Fun on the rocks...

...at the base of this lighthouse
Posted by Picasa

After a 20 minute ferry ride to a neighboring island,

we went ashore and went mining for gems

and dined at a waterfront restaurant.
Posted by Picasa

  © Blogger template 'Morning Drink' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP