This Where the Nonsense Turns to Makesense

..A large family working to perfect our sweet skills: Loving others, making an impact, parenting on purpose, living simply, and embracing sarcasm.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easters

I will always put an S at the end of Easters. Thank you Nacho Libre for life changing knowledge.
So many people celebrate Easters, and I am glad. Even when I feel like shopping at the Costcos, but they are closed for the day, I am glad because it means they are celebrating Easters. More people should. Close down I mean.
Take me for instance. I am on my couch. I got onto my couch as soon as I got home from church. I only got up to make scalloped corn and eat a spoon full of frosting. I watched Adventures in Babysitting with my three oldest children. Then. I closed down. Big time. Crashed right out. It's what every Sunday should be like.
It's not easy. The sabbath. Not everyone can handle it. But we are all supposed to be in it. And close down. Like the Costcos.
Just try it. For one whole Sunday, refuse to work, say no to chores, lay around and hang out with your family. Go to the park. Eat. Watch a good movie. Have conversation. Invite a friend or another family over and close down.
Happy Easters.

Friday, March 22, 2013


I made up that word. It's the sound I make when something is gross or lame or more than I feel like handling at the moment.
It's the noise in my throat when I hear Beth Moore tell me she waited 16 years between hearing God's call and finally stepping into it.

It's the sound I feel when I think of my friend's 17 year old who just arrived to his temporary, but long term, room. In prison.
It's the feeling I have listening to my stomach grumble knowing two of my boys threw up this week (one on the counter. One on the carpet. Cool. )
It's the feeling I have all the way to my bones when God so subtly reminds me of the writing I have before me that I am procrastinating like a freaking champion.
It's the noise that represents the disappointment when I realize I am living out Paul's ever cryptic "I do what I do not want to do…" which always makes me think of Abbott and Costello.

It's the sound in my gut when I know I am supposed to be doing something else. I don't know fully what. But I miss my kids. I am either supposed to stay home and give up on this full time life of teaching or pray for better organization and six more arms to be a full-time working mom of five children.


I went to a job interview because I love teaching English as a second language, and there was an opening for a part-time professor. Two things happened.

I spent one hour in the chair: ten minutes interviewing and being offered the job and 50 minutes counseling my interviewer. She is nearly old enough to be my mother and a wife and a mother of one child. She is a very impressive woman who spent that time asking me how I maintain balance of work and family. Amazingly, I had some answers. Rather God knew what she needed to hear. She was amazed when I said I couldn't work four nights a week because my husband and kids are my priority. She couldn't understand my choice. She spoke of her hurting daughter who always complained of missing her because she worked so much. It was a glimpse into a life I have been mindful to avoid, but also a life eerily mirroring parts of my own all of a sudden. Under my breath I mumbled. Can you guess it? Yes.

Blech. And then,

I caught a glimpse of an alternate life.
Maybe I could stay home. We could lose our car payment (which we loathe anyway) and I could homeschool my littlest rugrats again and make a little extra dough as a professor and (and this is just the cherry) watch my new neighbor's brand new. Teeny tiny. Gray Brown baby. What? That's his name. I am not kidding, nor would I want to be. He's the best baby currently in the world.

I would cut my salary in half. I would lower my expenses only a smidgeon. But my family would be overly blessed (if I do say so myself). And then today wouldn't have ripped my heart a bit tinier and made the word Blech wrench in my throat.

Instead it would have felt perfectly at home spending time with Samuel. I teared up in the backyard when he helped me fill a bird feeder. Something is not quite right.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Is This What It's Coming To?

 A blog post every two weeks? Who ever heard of such a thing?? Working moms, that's who. I have many questions, most having nothing to do with anything significant. Instead, I will leave you with this roll of pictures as proof that I am actually living life and not holed up on my bed wishing for summer.

This girl drinks coffee. I think it's too late for her. Judge me if you'd like, but she is gearing up for Stanford. She is one of the most amazing people any of us will ever know. She is brilliant without being socially weird. Stars aligned for this one.
 This boy is leaving. I hate it and I love it all at once. It hurts so much I might just cut that heart right off my sweater and give it to him when he leaves. He is beautiful and smart and hilarious and I am so grateful that he is the oldest boy in our family. He has always been my favorite. His mom said I wasn't allowed to play favorites, but when you grow up with a kid, and wake up ten times a night to give him back his pacifier, and try to give him a little smooch and he slips you his 8 month old tongue, you tend to stay connected. It works because there is a chance he is my favorite over my own children even! Good luck buddy. Have fun finding your dad, er. Going to college.
 If I weren't so old, this girl and I would be identical twins. She is just weird. The end.
 This boy is showing me he wants to be Joey Tribbiani when he grows up. And no. He didn't use these air quotes correctly. "Good morning" Brilliant.
 Oh, do pirates not lead your school chapel? Hmmm. Sad. Of course this boy posed with the girl.
 And what the what?! This girl (left) attended her first formal dance. She is about to be 15. She went with a gamut of girls. Or a gaggle of girls. Or...what do you call a largish, smallish group of teenage girls who teeter between "boys have cooties" and "oh. my. look at his arms"? That's who she went with.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Forgetful Lucy

Sometimes I feel like a character from that movie 50 First Dates. Remember that little gem? One of the most giggle enhancing movies I've seen. Some of the characters have amnesia or can only recall their oldest memories. No new memories.

I feel like that sometimes. Ok. Often. I am forgetting everything that matters. I can't remember my kids as babies. I loved them so much just for being babies. And now I can't remember any of it.

I can't remember what it felt like to date my husband. We have been together almost twenty years. We have been together more years than we lived without one another. I know I loved dating him. I was a giddy idiot. But I can't remember.

I can't remember the answers my kids or students give me when I ask them the question. Any question. And I realized this morning that I am not looking intently enough. I am not paying close enough attention. I am the man James spoke of in chapter one. I have looked in the mirror and, once I turn, I immediately forget what I look like. Crazy? Lame maybe, but not crazy.
Picture the scene.
I am standing on the playground attending to the lunch recess crowd. There's the group of taggers, diggers, ponies, and the jungle gymmers. It's a good time for everyone except me. I want a break. I am watching the clock. I check my watch, but while I am looking a student starts talking. I put my watch down and then realize I looked with my eyes, but can't recall the time.
I look at my watch. One of my children comes up to hug me. I put my watch down and again I wonder what time it is. Are you sensing a pattern?
I HAVE to know what time it is. I look at my watch. Determined to pay attention. I look but look up right away because someone is crying. A boy fell down.
And guess what. I still have no idea what time it is.
I am not looking intently enough.
I want to be intentional. I want to look with eyes that see. I want to see and retain and be able to do something with all of that.
I want short and long and forever memories. I need to sear them into my mind so I can keep them forever.
I'll let you know how it goes.