|Shrinky- dink water. Flavorless, but a little gritty.|
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
|Bow down brothers.|
I am the baby.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
My list after dinner: kitchen cleaned, coffee ready for tomorrow, baths perhaps, 6 children in PJs, three in diapers, teeth brushed, clothes out for tomorrow, lunches packed, checking homework, buddies located, music on, closet doors closed, night lights on, "hug kiss and tucks," breaking up the last few fights, and then finally, quiet.
By the close of dinner, I am out of words, or at least I would like to be. I have kept pace with the kid chatter all day long and I just feel like there are no words left inside me at all. Yet as we go through our list, their words continue to bombard me.
"Mommy we forgot to do my word cards! Can you do them with me?"
"Marcus dumped water on the floor mommy!"
"Mommy where is my Curious George?"
"Mommy daddy's reading to Eldon, can you read to me?"
"Can we wrestle?"
"Mommy! He's watching me put my PJs on MAKE HIM STOP!"
"Can we go to the park?" No, it's dark out. "Can we go tomorrow?"
"Someone didn't flush the potty!"
"Can we watch a movie?" No. "OK then can we tomorrow?
"I can't open the toothpaste!"
"Can we paint?" No. "OK then can we tomorrow? When?"
"Eldon bit me again Mommy!"
"Mommy when can we go to Michigan again?"
"Mommy look at this beautiful picture! Can we send it to grammy pammy right now?"
"Mommy can we listen to the story about the flower girl?"
"Mommy can you brush my hair? Button my PJs? Find my blanket? Kiss me, tuck me, tickle me?"
Inside I say to myself, "You can do it, just a little bit more, you're almost there, just a couple more things, the house will be quiet soon... kick it in kick it in kick it in!"
But it's not like track. Yes, I am exhausted. Yes, it would be more efficient and I would get to collapse sooner if I rushed through the last part of the night as quickly as possible. But it is no longer just about getting a good time.
It's about finishing the race with kindness. With grace. Tucking them in and sharing their giggles, and saying "I love you" in a way that actually communicates "I love you" and not "Oh please, just stop talking now." To me, this is about as natural as running with grace, or even worse, cheerleading.
God, give me strength for that last hour of the day! Give strength to my muscles and to my heart, and teach me to finish the race of the day with grace! I need to borrow all of it from You!
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
|Welcome to the family, sweet Avner!|
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Emily's to-dos today
Thou shalt remove thyself from bed when the first child calls. Feed, dress the children, and line them up neatly in front of educational television.
Thou shalt spend ten minutes with God and coffee.
Thou shalt work in kitchen for 1 1/2hrs, in three 1/2hr intervals, and no more.
Thou shalt use ten of the minutes I have given thee to catch up with current events
Tho shalt endure 18 knock-knock jokes, but thou canst redirect the child that bringeth the 19th
Thou shalt change each of the 17 diapers that are presented to you this day.
Thou shalt entertain children for 4 hours, educational activites consuming the better half.
Thou shalt exercise thyself and children for one hour.
Thou shalt spend no more than two hours on other housework, laundering thy towels and ordering the disorder visited upon thee by thy children.
Thou shalt snuggle thy children for 10 minutes, three times, afterwhich thee may excuse thyself to do your other jobs.
Thou shalt converse with thine husband for at least 60 minutes.
Thou shalt spend 20 minutes talking about God to children, reading this specific Scripture passage, praying, and bearing the nonsensical questions that are presented you in this time frame. After those minutes have passed, thou shalt send them off to bed.
If thou has completed the above tasks and are still without sin, thou may indulgest thyself in telephone or computer-facilitated socializing. Then, get thyself to bed by ten.
I am sure the list would be long and tiresome, but at least it would be clear! If I had a nice checklist like this, at least THEN I could look at all the things still undone at the end of the day and shrug, "oh well! God didn't tell me to do it so it is not my problem!" And I could go before Him with all those nice little checkmarks in a row and say, "Here's my report, Lord! I got it all done! Now give me some good sleep tonight please, and I'll see you tomorrow!"
But there is NO LIST! No black and white job description for me, and as far as I can tell, you don't get one either.
What does that leave me with? God's Word, and the Holy Spirit, and a bunch of demands, and a sinful heart that gets in the way when I try to sort all of this out. There is generous amount of freedom, and a great deal of gray.
And at the end of the day, there are things left undone, and the things that were done were done by me, a sinner, and I see even my best is tainted.
No checkmarks, no gold star. Just me. I come to God at the end of the day with the things I have done, and in His light I see there is not much to be boasting about. "Um, here you go Lord. It's a pencil holder... I think. Or maybe a coffee cup? I guess it's not at all finished, and I'm not sure what it is going to be...and I messed up in a few places. So there you have it... it is what it is... and I'm tired Lord."
Me, commiting the demands of the day, my efforts and my failures, to Him.
No pretty checklist to make me feel good about myself.
Just a lopsided sculpture that may or may not be a pencil holder.
My head does not rest at night comforted by what I have done. And yet by God's grace, what I have done and what I have left undone is taken from me by Jesus.
I am not sure what He does with all the gray; I cannot picture exactly what it is He is making.
I do know that He takes the black, the ugly sin, and hides it in His own wounds.
And then, He takes whatever remains of my lopsided creation, and He uses it for my good and the good of His people.
Then finally, He looks on me with pity, and gives me something concrete that I am to do with myself:
"Daughter, go, sleep in peace."
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Loose ends! Loose ends, everywhere! It is time for spring cleaning! Some loose ends will be tied up, but others will be hunted down, and mercilessly chopped off.
Apparently a multi-stage craft is one of those things all of which I simply cannot do. The children and I started to make penguins in December. Now it is March. The unfinished penguin bellies on the back porch, and the uncut would-be feet and wings in the kitchen, and the half painted penguin heads in the craft area, whisper their guilt-inducing taunts at me still.
"Don't you think I would be a nice gift for grandma?"
"Can't you make just a little time to do a craft with the big kids and finish us already?"
"You let the kids paint us, so now you can't even recycle us!"
"Is it really that hard to glue on some eyes? I'm dying here!"
"Did you make the kids fill us up with sand so we could sit around headless all winter?"
|It hit 70 degrees yesterday. Penguin season has passed us by.|
Thursday, March 17, 2011
To my surprise, I found a kindred spirit among the pigs too!
I am not one who normally sympathizes with animals, especially smelly ones, but I could not help but relate to this mother pig. I saw her laying there with her head in the food trough while nine little piglets nursed on her. And a moment later I heard a huge snort from another mother pig, telling her babies to BACK OFF as she flopped over onto her enormous belly.
|Self, it could be worse!|
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
A bit of his wisdom: At a time like this, we all wonder, "What can we do?" He encourages the obvious, give to Japan of course, but also reminds us to turn our feelings of giving/charity to our own homes; our own neighbors, our own family, our own community.
Lord help us to do this!
For the full podcast click here
Of course, this assumes a few things:
1. You have a clean laundry basket
2. You have some clean tupperware or whatnot for him to chew on
3.. He is strong enough to support his head when he suddenly zooms forward. Why would he suddenly zoom, you ask? Because, I say, what looks like a laundry basket/baby holder to a mommy, is OBVIOUSLY a race car to older siblings.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
"He's got the whole world, in His hands...." sang Seth in the van.
Being both parents and nerds, my husband and I smiled at Seth's cuteness, then proceeded to discuss the more obvious issue:
Is that song gramatically correct?
He HAS GOT the whole world in His hands!? Good concept, bad use of the English language!
"Don't worry honey, it's not as bad as the other song I'm teaching them," I smiled. "You know, the song The Devil Ain't Nuthin?"
He sucked in his breath and tried to keep his eyes on the road. "Um... You're not... You're kidding, right?"
I am not sure what this says about me, but I think it is fantastic that he actually had to make sure about that.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
to simply be mommy for one moment today.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
(The fruit of my labeling fun can now be seen on the sides of the blog. Happy reading!)
Friday, March 11, 2011
I wish I could forget. I wish it were not so.
Is that the way I will meet my end? If not, how will it go for me? I remember all too much that I am dust.
Aggie is in bed early tonight, with the bug that Eldon has had all week. I snuggled her to sleep for the first time in a long time, and could not help but remember her days of epilepsy as I laid there with her. My dear, fragile Aggie, how will it go with you? I remember that you are dust.
It is easy to feel secure in this life when things are normal. And then suddenly, one quick moment comes, and normal vanishes. What, then, is left?
There is only one hope for we who are walking dust. If we have a God, and if He is a forgiving God and a loving God, then all can never be lost.
In Christ, even sinners sleep secure, even dust breathes in life.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
It has been a long and germ-filled day in the Cook house today. Nothing like a little bit of sickness to remind me how selfish I am! Nothing serious, just a bit of stomach flu for some, horrid coughs for others, pneumonia for the pastor, and cooped-up super energy for the ones without the ailments. When the germs hit, I start out sympathetic and doting, but add in a headache for mama, and forget it! I am just plain all out of compassion by the end of the day! (Before the end of the day today!) I hate those days when you work all day to meet needs and still nobody's satisfied at the end of it!
To wind down, I am indulging in a hobby of mine, and you can probably guess what it is! Wow, now I have two blogs to play with when I want to neglect other things, yahoo! I changed my Queenmommie background to better coordinate with my springtime feelings, and just wait until you see what I can do with labels... coming soon! I know you are as excited as I am!
I think I'd better get to bed.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Initial reports indicate the pillow pet may have contracted a viris from his sick owner. If this is the case, it would be the first documented incident of person-to-pillow-pet contamination. Government officials are beginning an investigation. Until official finding are released, all persons owning pillow pets are urged to use proper handwashing precautions around all sick children and sick pillow pets, and to follow carefully all washing instructions for both little boys and pillow pets.
The little boy is unaware of the pillow pet's critical condition, and will be sheltered from the dreadful event until "dog dog's" prognosis is confirmed. Medical officials expressed tentative hope that the pillow pet will make a full recovery after his surgery, scheduled for this afternoon.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Before my eyes, my third baby becomes a little man. You are the oldest of the stay-at-home children right now, the biggest big brother, and my most reliable helper.
Your body and your brain grow stronger each day, and you can't wait to use them both in Kindergarten next year. I am excited for you too, even though I know that school will change everything for you. It will make your life more complicated, and your small world so much bigger.
You and I have a complicated relationship already, don't we, my son? You love and adore me like most little boys and their mothers.... and yet, already you wonder how in the world a kid like you could come from a mother like me. Truth be told, I sometimes wonder too, and often credit (or blame) your father.
You have a wonderfully analytical brain, a brain that works in ways utterly foreign to your mother. It is a brain that comes up with questions constantly, questions that already puzzle me on a daily basis. You care about things mechanical and scientific, and you are very detail-oriented. You have discovered that your mother is none of these things. "I don't know honey, that's a daddy question," I say frequently. So I have only myself to blame for your chauvinism: the kind I saw the day you actually withheld your question from me, and then quietly reminded yourself, "Oh that's right, only just daddies know stuff, not mommies."
You taught yourself to read this year, and are trying to learn to spell every word on the planet. I can actually help you in this area, so I do my best to spell as you command me. When you get tired of spelling, you switch to math. Sometimes you follow me around the house with a calculator, asking "Mommy what's 9+9? What's 7 + 8?" When I give you a right answer, I see you are greatly impressed with me, so I have decided that we should linger in this stage for a little longer. I will continue to answer those questions correctly for a few more weeks, thus becoming a bit more respectable in your eyes, before I let you learn about numbers with double digits.
To my relief, you also care about food, so I still have that reliable way into your heart. You were very appreciative of your backwards dinner today: the Spiderman birthday cake, followed by shells and cheese and brats, per your request. Perhaps daddy knows stuff, but mommy cooks stuff, and that definitely counts for something!
You and Marcus were watching Spiderman the movie last week, and I happened to pass by at one of the kissing scenes. I teased, "Oooh, boys, Spiderman is kissing a girl! What do you think of THAT?" I expected your reply to be either blushes or gags, but instead, you said to me, "Mommy me and Marcus are Spiderman, and we just rescued you from that building. Now it's time to give you a kiss." You crawled up on my lap, kissed me on the cheek, and smiled proudly.
My dear son, I am happy to be the woman in your life for just a little bit longer.
Happy fifth birthday, Seth!
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Friday, March 4, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
"Wise, esteemed older brother, what say you of this curious phenomenon? Do mine eyes deceive, or is it indeed a gift to us from the highest heaven?"
"Ah, yes, my young apprentice, that is something exceedingly precious. Our mother calls it "No No," and decries its messiness, but alas, she blasphemes! But behold, we must be wise in our approach, as her eyes are in every place."
"I see, Teacher, but what then shall we do? The entity pulls me towards it with mysterious gravity, and I find myself unable to resist its overtures."
"Indeed, she beckons me as well. We needent wait long, young one. Let us begin with innocent rock throwing, and await the moment when our immersion can be conceived as accidental. "
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
For the little ones at home with me every day, I am the biggest and best thing in their world. I am the Fixer of All Things Broken, the Filler of All Stomachs Empty, the Cleaner of All Things Dirty, the Finder of All Things Lost. I can extinguish conflicts with one hand, tickle away tears, and revive favorite toys with a mere battery, all while making yummy cupcakes. I am mom, and so, I am the Meeter of All Needs.