Monday, March 31, 2008

More on Seasons

Our eyes are itchy, our clothes are tight, and momma is moody, all signs that seasons are changing. I am sad today, this seems to be the case a lot lately. My baby is 4. Now before anyone reminds me , yes I know that I have 6 kids, but my baby is 4 and the rest of them are growing up too quickly as well. I never remember being this teary eyed when going through clothes, but every outfit I am sifting through for all the children, even the oldest two are clearly teen and pre-teen which is to old to be silly about sentimental outfits, I get sad. I remember something cute they have said or a twirl they have done, the day we had the fuss with Zachary about one thing or another and all of those things are tied in with me through clothes (and music, but that is another blog all together). I love to see the babies, all six of them growing and changing, we are in a really different place with the younger set we have now,than we were with the first 4 at the same ages. It feels good, it feels sad, unfamiliar, constantly changing. I am not good with change, even good change, I suck at things changing and all the kids are changing, did I say I am no good at change, stop the CHANGE. Ok, now that I have that our of system I will go, fold clothes that are moving on to new homes, sweet little elmo sleepers that DJ learned (not with out a fight) how to put on himself last spring, and the last pair of jeans from the boys department that Zachy out grew before moving into the men's sizes, I will fold the dress that Sarah won't wear, even though it fits, because it makes her look like a baby 'moooommmm', I will sort through Marti and Maci's drawers only to find that the girls who never grew, who were so painstakingly tiny are growing into double digits in age and shorts size this spring, I will cry when see that Maggie will be the last girl to wear so many of the spring dresses that I have watched twirling and spinning and mending for the last 12 springs of having daughters, I will be sad, and that is okay. There is a new season of memories just around the corner.
This is my story, stories are important.
Share yours today.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What I Want

I always want to surround myself with all sorts of people, different colored people, people of different sexual orientation, people with different incomes, people with different jobs, people of different education, I want to love, respect and give life affirming value to all of them. I want to surround myself with artist, writers, boring people, ignorant people and brilliant people. I want to surround myself with democrats, republicans and independents. I want to continue to take the way with more scenery even if it is the longer way with more of a chance of getting lost. I want to always appreciate a meal with organic milk and taco bell, chips a hoy cookies for breakfast and brown eggs for supper. I don't ever want to forget what it is like to take money out of savings to pay bills even when work is steady. I want to remember all the ways I have worshipped. I never want to be so far away from my pain that I can't recognize pain in someone else. I want world peace, but don't expect it. I want to be creative, compassionate, passionate, and firm, but bendable if needed. I want to know that I am valued and value others. I want others to want these things. I want somehow to be all these things at once and still deal with those who can't be or won't be.

This is what I want today.

Tell someone what you want.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

On A Trip

In the van with the kids, this is society in a box. Six kids, two adults and the power play, social skills, and learning opportunities are enough to wonder how the human race has survived for this many years. There must be a God who wants us in relationship for sure, because this is the place we learn in….family time, ie road trips, is not for the weary of heart.
As a kid I was so envious of the families who traveled, who laughed about the endless hours in their conversion vans. I did on rare occasion have the opportunity to ride along with my Aunt Barbara and her (4 later 6) sons. I remember fondly, every time I see my cousin Jeff(y), the trip to Iowa for one of my father’s weddings, when we were all asked to step out of the van line up and be spanked with the floppy end of a boot. That was fun, then and now. The times with my large extended family on those long summer days, watching my cousin, who came in sets of brothers (not sisters, girls were/are rare), prepared me for the walk that the Lord would give me with my own family, with six kids. I am sure that part of the reason I longed for this size family was what I saw at Holton Haven, cousin camp, every summer, the good and the bad, seemed the way it was supposed to be. I know we have dysfunction , but as far as dysFUNction goes, it is more fun if others can experience it with you, at least then you have a whole set of folks to agree with what your remember (most of the time anyway, we all have our on stories).
Back to the van, my children, the six that my sweet Donnie and I co-created with God and have been preparing to set free on the world, for change, they are wonderful. Their noise, the fights about which fast food we are going to eat, the big splash at the hotel pool, the squeals of discontent with not enough space on the seat and floor, the baby (who is now 4) kicking Donnie in the back of his chair, all of this makes me happy, even my on fussing reminds me we are healthy, safe and happy. These memories are important, I hold it close to my heart, when I realize that the way we do things now, will be part of who our kids become. They need the conflict, the tears, the laughter, the scares, they need all of this to be whole and healthy. I need all of this, normal, pain in the butt days and squished vans, it is defining me and I am happy with me today, in our little piece of the world. On the way to Chicago land to spend an extra long weekend with so many of the very same people who had such a hand in my story.
This is my story and stories are important.
Share yours with someone today.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

So Whats the Story

I am uggggggg, that is the consensus. I have rather consistent pain level due to some auto immune stuff and I deal with it, it has made me a better person and today I realized that. My children don't really care if I don't feel good, you have to understand they can't see that I don't feel good that is the way auto immune icks are. This week, however, my eye has been flaming red and hot, I have iritis. They can see it and they are more prone to kindness and helping to do the things I have to ask repeatedly for usually. I wonder how often do we do this to the folks around us. We don't see people hurting, physically, spiritually, or emotionally. The bank teller who doesn't smile or is snippy, the phone salesman we are mean to, the child who is unusually unruly, what is going on? Are they hurting and can't put there finger on it, are they sad and maybe don't even know why? Are they emotionally hurting dealing with some trauma? Who knows, but I know this, we don't know every one's story. That is important. Everyone, everyone, everyone has a story. Everyone has a different story and our stories change. Even when we are playing nice or things are going well we are affected. If someone seems great, tell them, they need to know. If some one is crappy, or crabby, remember they have a story, it may not seem that bad to you or it may be absolutely astonishingly awful, we may never know the full depth, but we all have hidden pains. I am challenged today to be kind even when I don't think someone deserves it, just because I can't see that they may need it. Stories are important honor one of yours today.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Good Working Order

We break can openers. To be exact we have broken 6 can openers, to be fair the first one lived for 10 years. Someone gave us one, it stunk (probably why she gave it to us), we broke the next 4, all inside of the last few months. If your still with me, if you are actually continuing the reading of this rant, hang with me it gets better. Two, yes two of these were broken by the one and only super girl Maggie. She is a wee one, not quite 40lbs at the ripe old age of 7. Apparently, SuperGirl doesn't know her on strength, so upon having "sneaking" a can of fruit cocktail in the case of the most recent breakage, the can opener just broke under her raw strength. The other remaining can openers (2 if you are keeping count) just broke mysteriously, no one knows they were just found broken and not of use.
Have Donnie and I really procreated such super humans that we can't keep can openers alive (at least the handheld type) or manage to get one that our children's nimble hands can manage if it is electric OR and this is the big question Do can openers in the 21st century fail to meet the standards of a growing family. This is my point, and yes I do have a point.
Nothing, or at least close to nothing is made new in this generation that is expected to live the posted, warrantied, labeled life span in a home that involves anything more than 2 children and at least one adult who stays home all day using the things that the family has purchased. I understand we are a rarity to most. A large family, with 6 kids, a stay at home mom that uses her appliances ALL of them, ALL day.( I actually know many families like this). A family that opens and closes all the doors at least 10 times a day(including the fridge door), the computer is constantly being used for school, email, bill paying or ranting in this case. The knobs on the sink are turned to wash 8 sets of teeth 2 or 3 times a day (16-24 times), wash hands at least 4 times a day (32 times a day) wash dishes to dern many times a day, and to rinse rags and mops at least 10 times a day. The kitchen trash lid is opened at least 25 times a day and lets not even talk about how many times a day the furniture in the dining room, school room, and living room are flopped on or the floors we all walk on. Door knobs that are always being turned to go pee, lay on a bed (don't get me started on mistresses), door knobs to closets that are shared by multiple people most under 5 feet tall. Follow me here, if this is the case then what the heck did families do 30 years ago when large families were still not rare and finally, how the heck am I supposed to keep us with the junk that is mass produced staying in good working order for a family that is in strong, vibrant, living, learning working order. This is my rant and now I am done. I need things to stay in good working order.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Walking in Circles

I am pondering, everything happens for a reason.

We hear that....often, especially when something bad happens, it is hard to believe

at the moments today bare that out, however. I won't go into details, but my life in many ways has come full circle. I am sure I will go in many more circles (doesn't that sound nice), but today I am pleased to announce PEACE. Laying in bed this morning with anywhere form 1-4 of our 6 children at various points, next to my sweet donnie, watching random television shows, and eating chocolate covered raisins I concluded that this must mean to have 'arrived'. We are not wealthy in the American sense, but around the world we would be considered downright rolling in the dough. We live in a modest home, have 2 cars and 3 televisions. We own a Wii, 2 Ipods, a laptop and a set of golf clubs. We eat soup (see previous recipe) and cabbage and potatoes when money gets tight or if we want to travel and choose that instead. We have 6 great kids and no they aren't all healthy and brilliant, but they are all loved and mostly happy. This is the actual American week to week, trying to put a little money back, yelling about dishes ( a reminder that we aren't hungry), teaching kids to read and laughing while we cry. Today laying in that bed I realized that so many of the things I was uncomfortable with even un happy with in another season of my life, today I am thrilled to pieces over. Embracing, hoping for seconds. The circumstances aren't as important as the lessons, pain, does cause contentment if and when I have allowed my self to embrace it, breathe it and take accountability for it and........move on. No fireworks, no announcements, just moving on. A new season a different struggle, walking in circles. I wonder how is the circumference of this circle going to change me and where will the travels take me this season, how long does it last and will I remember where I started?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Soup for the day and the spirit

Was it worth the Mess.......YES

Masterpieces by the Pike's

Artist (the last 3 are napping again)

Momma's Masterpiece on the stove

Soup for 8 or 20 on a snowy day (or anyday)

6 pounds beef bones (with meat and fat) from Mr. Peter's Farm

5 onions


lots of celery stalks

left over carrots from dipping

new paper and brushes

big dog(to show you how to lay down and do nothing, easily)

public radio

tobasco or Frank's Hot Sauce (just whatever is left in opened bottle)

Box Wine (not the bottled stuff)

Quiet (tired kids from the snow)

Garlic (we like lots it covers any mistakes)

Potatos (don't bother peeling, Yukon Gold are our Favorites)

Boil bones all morning, while the children play in the snow, call a parentyou haven't talked to lately (in this case my father, Jerry Jr.) Talk at length while laughing at yourself.

bring the kids in....

Pour Wine (it is now after noon and after all it is a snow day)

Put some in the soup

Enjoy opera on the radio (yummy)

Get out new water colors, fresh paper, and call the kids in

Throw children in the shower (all the girls in one, fun)

Sort laundry with high hopes, hang up long distance call....

Chop all veggies, seperate the meat and bones throw bones in a new pan with fresh water (more broth for another day)

This is an important step, try to find a knife or pot or bowl someone handed down to you (in this case my husband's daddy who he graciously shared with me for 13 years), think of them, remind yourself the way their kitchen smelled, the way their food tasted and how they changed your life....remember that they held that knife (or pan, or apron) near them. They are a part of who you are today....enjoy, smile, grieve, do what you need to do.Think of sittting at the table with them and breaking bread with them and remind yourself of the memories you will make with this pot of soup.

Put all chopped things of any liking in pan with meatt and yummy broth, including but not limited to the things listed above....

Watch the children, smile. Enjoy how you made the soup and more importantly how the soup makes you.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Oh Sweet Ra Ra

Traditonal family breakfast on all birthdays in our family


Little Miss Birthday herself

Much of the cast that plays in Sarah's life, she has quite a collection of souls from 14-11, from Catholic, Church of Christ, and Baptist...all the way to Public Highschool to Private Ed, to our homeschool

Sarah's homemade Cheesecake (that each girl dressed with individual toppings and the strawberry cake(thanks Holts) and her cousin and long time soul sister (rara kate)

When we weren't looking the baby who never slept, cried for 2 years, and nursed like a maniac grew up. Sarah is 12. When I was twelve, I was experienced, I had seen so much of the world and life, and pain. Sarah is sweet, she has seen some life and some pain and loss, but she has innocence. Sweet innocence, she is pure and untarnished. No one has hurt her on purpose and she loves life and the world in it. For the last 12 years I have had the opportunity to experience so much life with her, the way life should be. Watching her dance with her daddy, have over nights with friends, laugh hard, cry hard, have tiffs with friends and help pray her family back to strong....Sarah has watched God move and not missed him in the small moments. We gave her some moments this year. She has gone to Florida, we watched her excel more than ever in school, she has devoted more of her days and thoughts to
the service of her Lord Jesus. Sarah has helped hug DJ who adores RARA and who can sometimes only be comforted by her. Sarah has found her voice and is no longer afraid to tell us what she needs and wants, we prayed that she would do this. Sarah has shared hurts and found healing from a season of brokenness in our family and the loss of her daddy's parents, her Granny and PaPa. She along with the rest of this family bore fruit, that only a season of rain in your life can bear and helped us celebrate that season in dizzying celebration almost everyday in some way this year. Sarah is a young lady. Sarah will make quite a woman. Sarah has stolen my heart and this year helped me see and learn what that little girl needs...both her and me. Thank you sarah.

Go To Time Out

We live in Memphis, therefore we don't see much snow. Late yesterday they predicted snow 1-4 inches depending on who you asked. Oh good, cold is good, my heart feels clean and still when it is cold and snow and ice means no one can ask me to go anywhere to do anything. I have longed for quiet, needed quiet, begged for quiet, tried to mandate quiet...I say BE QUIET. this is what the snow does for me...thank you snow, thank you God who sent me snow. I went gathered art supplies and new paper and when the kids finish playing in the Memphis slush, and I am washing laundry, relishing not having to be anywhere, washing and drying the children's clothes, and enjoying my second cup of coffee with amaretto, we will draw. The kids will compare their art to Winslow Homer (even while it is snowing and we are looking forward to our Chicago get away, we will think about his seascapes) and the quiet that comes with that.
Quiet, a new theme, nothing exciting, in fact begging for anything but exciting. A theme of quiet. I believe that is the space I need to occupy the time out, quiet space. Drawing, praying, dreaming, sleeping, eating, being, Not going. Thank you Arctic blast for putting me in time out to calm down before I over reacted to this fast pace life....with your snow.