Friday, November 30, 2012

And the winners are...

I used to generate 5 random numbers and the numbers it chose are 4, 10, 2, 7, and 9.
So I need  Miriam, Karin, Natalie, Lauren, and Beth to email your address to by December 2.  The Odd Life of Timothy Green will be mailed to you from Disney, not me, so make sure you get it to me as soon as possible.  
I'd like to thank Different Drummer for allowing me to be a part of this giveaway.  And to Betsy, who has friends with cool jobs.  I hope you all enjoy this movie as much as my family did!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1.   So we had an amazing Thanksgiving, as you can see.  Amazing.  We drove 18 hours, with my Mom to Warren, CT where Betsy has a country house.  The drive was not bad at all (on the way up) and I have 2 favorite new apps.  The Red Box app and The Starbucks app were lifesavers.  We took my mom's car (since you know my wonky van wouldn't make it that far) and she has one of those fancy DVD players with headphones for all of the kids. I also took my cigarette plug in DVD so I could watch movies (Moonrise Kingdom was my favorite) that I wanted to watch (12 Dogs of Christmas was not really my speed). (Do you know how many movies there are about dogs who save Christmas?  Tons! Why are we leaving it up to dogs to save Christmas?)  We were fresh on that first drive and we did lots of activities.  Emory knitted, Mimi hand quilted, I made friendship bracelets, Packy did activity books, and Jay read. We lost Jay's shoe at a Starbucks in Virginia and didn't realize it until we were almost in Pennsylvania.  He wanted to know if we were going back to get it.  At this point we were at a restaurant and all of the bags were on top of the car, so we told him to limp in case anyone questioned his missing shoe.
2.  Betsy's house is exactly what you want away from the city.  It's in the woods with tons of trees, across the street from a beautiful park, and most importantly, no television.  She does have one TV that is hooked up to a VHS player.  That's right, VHS.  The kids watched Home Alone 1 and 2, and that was all of the screen time they had for the week.  (Full disclosure: Jay does have an iTouch and the other kids did play on my phone.) The kids had so much fun playing outside (we had perfect weather) and the men did lots of "work" in the yard.  (Is playing with a chainsaw really work?)

3.  We hiked Kent Falls and Mount Tom.  Both were beautiful and gave us amazing views of how beautiful Connecticut is.  When I am in New York, time seems to fly.  The days are gone in a second.  In Warren, time stands still. Literally moves at a snail's pace. I would think it was time for lunch and it would be 10am.  I would think it was 9:30 at night and it would be 5.  What a nice change of pace for these city folks to come and relax where time stands still.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28
Kent Falls.  Jason didn't get the memo that it was crazy picture time.  Packy is falling into the falls.
View from the tower on the top of Mount Tom.
4.  Let me interrupt my trip recap to tell you a story about New York City and the people who live there.  Jason and I watch SNL (DVR'd, of course) and we watched this short about the "sloppy swish" before the break, which has a catchy song and dance.  We thought it was very strange but funny, like most SNL humor.  We kept singing and doing the dance. I showed Betsy the video so she would know what we were talking about and she exclaims, "I know that guy!" The actor?  "NO, the guy he is imitating.  Josie and I saw him all summer on the Upper West Side.  Except he doesn't wear pants."  Of course she does.  Betsy and Josie know Mokiki.  Only in New York.
5.  Need some Tweedle love?  Here they are and this pretty much sums it up.

This is Packy trying to explain something to Josie. True frustration on his face.
6.  We went to eat ice cream after our hike up Mount Tom.  Regular ice cream? Nope.  Fancy ice cream.  As in the men behind Manolo Blahnik decided they wanted to open a dairy farm and then decided to make ice cream, fancy.  It's called Arethusa and while we did not get to tour the farm, Betsy assured me that it is beautiful with beautiful cows.  (I started to figure out that Connecticut is where fabulous NYC people go to feel country.  Fancy country.)  The ice cream was most delicious.
7.  We did alot of other stuff but my favorite thing we did was sitting around the fire.  We spent hours around this fire.  Lee made each kid a chair out of a stump and then monogrammed them. (Lolly got the Laverne and Shirley "L".)  Amazing!  (I didn't allow Betsy to put any pictures of the chairs on Instagram so she wouldn't spoil my post.)  Spending time with the Norwood family is my favorite thing to do in any city.  I am so blessed to have my sister and her people.  Thank you Norwoods!
8.  The ride home was not as smooth as the ride up.  We added an additional person, my Dad, so that put all of the kids in the back, together and tight.  We had more snacks and more movies in order to keep the peace. We were a little stir crazy by that last day.  Just a little.  
9.  When I got home, I realized how behind I was, and still am.  Everyone (not really) has already decorated for Christmas.  I felt the pressure start to seize my chest.  Breathe in.  Breathe out. Since Thanksgiving was so early this year, I am totally giving myself a pass.  I am shooting for December 1st.  I am not behind.  
10.  Don't forget to comment on my last post in order to win a copy of The Odd Life of Timothy Green.  It really is a great family movie and if you have ever struggled with infertility or have experienced some aspect of adoption, please don't miss this movie.  It's a tear jerker and a heart warmer all wrapped up in one.  (I'm going to be honest and tell you that I was really nervous about doing a giveaway.  I had some fear that since people don't really comment on my blog, that I might struggle to get 5 comments.  How embarrassing to tell the person that set me up with this that I couldn't get enough responses.  So, thank you to all of you who have commented and if you haven't, please do so here!)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving and My First Giveaway!

2 days, 1030 miles, 3 Redbox movies, 6 chapters of Harry Potter (finished Book 4 and started Book 5), 2 Starbucks, 1 lost shoe, 1 Hampton Inn,  3 tanks of gas, and we (by we I mean my family of 5 and my mom) made it from Macon, GA to Warren, CT to spend Thanksgiving with Betsy. (My dad flew up on Monday, missing all the road trip fun.)  I had some serious anxiety about such a long road trip but it was really not that bad.  We are having the best time and I can't wait to tell you all about it next week.
This Thanksgiving I am so grateful for my family.  I am thankful that we enjoy being together.  So thankful that we can make fun of each other and laugh about it without feelings getting hurt.  Thankful that all of the kids love each other and love to play together.  

I am also thankful for you, the readers of this blog. Your comments and emails brighten my day. And I am so happy that I can give you something to say thanks for being a part of the birdhouse. This past Labor Day, Jason and I took the kids to see The Odd Life of Timothy Green.  It was such a sweet family movie and every person in my family enjoyed it.  Since Betsy has friends with cool jobs, I have been given 5 DVD's to give away in time for you to enjoy this movie with your family over the holidays. So, leave me a comment and let me know what you are most looking forward to over the Christmas season and I will use to pick 5 winners.  Leave a comment by noon on November 30th and I will announce the winners that afternoon.    

Friday, November 16, 2012

Four on Friday

1.  Let me give you an example of where I am in life.  On the way to school this morning Packy started talking about his book parade.  The one where he dresses up like a character from a book and parades into every single elementary school classroom.  So I asked him when this parade was and he said he thought it was today.  I grabbed his binder, which I had not checked this week, and there it as...Book Parade 9am.  Panic sets in because it is 8:30 as I realize my blunder.  Here are the events that followed.  Dropped big kids off at school.  I knew my friend, that lives close by,  had a Harry Potter leftover from Halloween but she is in Arizona. I texted Jason and got the number of her in laws who were keeping her kids at her house.  They tell me to come on over and look for the costume.  On two wheels I fly to their house and start digging through the dress up clothes.  (Lucky for me, my friend is super organized and the costume was not hard to find.)  So we grab the robe, tie, wand, and snitch, and hall back to the school.  Make it to the classroom in time to find someone who knows how to tie a tie, put the costume on him, grab a red marker and put a scar on his forehead.  Done. 8:57  He is Harry Potter and is happy as a lark as he parades through every classroom with the biggest smile as he watches people figure out who he is.  (Now, I was in sweats with my teeth not brushed and my slept in ponytail, but I went on the parade with the other, more put together, moms. Luckily I  had changed out of bedroom shoes and popped in some gum before running into the school.) 
2. I feel judged when I buy Lunchables.  This lady at Publix looked in my basket and I wanted to tell her quit judging my food. Back off.  I need to make things easy once a week.  And my kids like the pizza ones.  I draw the line at bologna. 
3. Whose kid is that?  Have you ever heard someone utter that dreaded phrase?  Ever uttered it yourself?  Those are some dangerous words.  If you are the person who that kid belongs to it feels like a punch in the gut.  I have been that mom.  It has been my kid that has been doing whatever it is that made all the adults start looking around looking for the awful parent that needs to claim this child.  That's what it feels like even if that's not actually what they are thinking. I've also said those words and watched as a mom crumbled, wondering what she did wrong in her parenting.  Be careful with these words.  That mom is probably doing all she can to parent that kid and she might be struggling with him in ways that you can't even imagine.  Encourage her.  Pray for her.  Love her. We need to support each other as fellow moms in the trenches, not judge.
4. I feel like I cut Packy's fingernails every other day.  My nails are so long right now and I hate having long nails. Our fingernails are constantly growing and I have to take care of them or Packy has "girly" nails and I have "witchy" ones.  I wish it were a one time thing.  Cut them once and not have to worry about them again, but that's not how it works.  This is the same way that I look at recovery.  It's not a one time deal.  It's not a go to rehab and come home fixed sort of deal.  It's an ongoing process, but not one of drudgery. It's a daily check in to see where I am, and where am I slipping.  Where I am I with my walk with the Lord?  Am I relying on myself or Him?  Am I working my steps or do I think I've got it and don't need to worry about it.  Ongoing process.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1.  It's that time of year.  After trying to make a good impression on this years teachers at the beginning of the year, and really trying to make it look like I am one of those "on top of it" moms, the jig is up.  At the beginning of the year we were getting to school early and prepared.  Now, we are flying in on two wheels while studying our spelling words and cramming for the science vocabulary.  Packy may or may not have his show-and-tell on his designated day.  I am not getting up when my alarm clock goes off and I have no idea what I'm having for supper.  Book reports and projects sneak up on me.  I am totally out of whack.  I don't think the teachers were ever really fooled.
2.   When I get out of whack, it's time to regroup.  Time to start reading the school planners again so I know what's going on.  Time to start planning supper a couple of days at a time (the people who can plan a month at a time totally kill me).  Time to get up so I have quiet time that lasts longer than 10 minutes. Time to quit spending so much time on the computer looking at everyone's Halloween costumes.  Practically, I start with doing every bit of laundry in my house and changing the sheets.  It just feels like I'm ahead when those things are done.  In case you haven't noticed, I have to regroup about every 3 months.  I can't keep it together much longer than that.
3.  This week I have been in close proximity to alot of hard stuff.  A friend of a close friend of mine lost a child when he was struck by a car.  Another friend of Jason's, took their baby, who has retinoblastoma, to have his eye amputated and now must wait to see if his other eye will have to go too.  I have no idea what to say to people who are going through this type of heartache.  I don't have anything to compare it to in terms of grief and pain. I used to avoid the situation, scared I would say the wrong thing.  Then I realized there is never a right thing in some situations. The only thing I can do is show up.  Don't try and say the right thing or even come up with the perfect Bible verse.  Just show up.  Be there and help carry the burden. When there are no words, I usually give someone chocolate chip cookies and a hug.  And I pray for them.  Constantly.  (If you haven't read A Praying Life, let me recommend it.  Amazing, life changing book.)
Carry each other's burdens.
Galations 6:2a
4.  Carrying each other's burdens, really getting in the pit with someone, can be exhausting. Physically and emotionally.  When someone you care about is in intense pain, you take some of that pain on yourself.  You can't make it go away for them but you can help them carry it.  Just by showing up you help shoulder that pain.  You help them to keep living. And you can remind them that Jesus wants to carry the entire burden.  He wants to take it off of our backs and know that He's got it.  We don't have to carry it around, letting it crush us. He wants it, so let Him take it.  And be prepared for the weariness of being in the pit.
Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
Psalm 55:22
5.  So while I was at the library picking out some books for Packy (part of my regrouping plan) I saw a book that I had wanted to read for a while.  I had already enjoyed one from the author and Oprah recommended it so I checked it out.   I read almost the entire first chapter before realizing that I had already read it.  And this book has 912 pages so I obviously spent some small part of my life reading it.  The even sadder part is that it's the second time I've started to read a book recently that I've already read. Sometimes I pass by a mirror, take a second look and wonder how I got this old? 
6.  I took the week of Halloween off, as far as exercising and eating goes.  I lived off of candy, Cheez-its, and Dr. Pepper.  I'm really not kidding.  I can eat an insane amount of candy and fully feel that as long as I have a Reese Cup, for the peanut butter, that I can sustain.  It's not a good plan, I know.  I just really love candy.  So now that Halloween is over I really have no excuse.  But there is still so much candy in my house (no one was up for the candy buy back at the dentist).  (Jason just gave me a scolding for buying the "on sale" candy at the grocery store he discovered in the pantry.  But it's so cheap and I am a candy crackhead. More candy Payton? Really?) Mmmm Butterfingers. (Actual thought I just had: I should just go ahead and eat all of the candy so then I won't have to eat it anymore.  Crack head.)
7.  There are 49 days until Christmas and I have anxiety.  I would say that I am not normally a controlling person but I go into overdrive at Christmas. Just the thought of crap (and there is no other word) entering my house that I know will be played with for a couple of days and then tossed aside, kills me. I put alot of time and thought into presents for my people.  
8.  Fall is the best right?  Macon is so pretty right now and we have already used our fireplace a few times.  We have been so busy, like stuff every night for almost 10 days busy.  I am looking forward to relaxing this weekend before we hit Thanksgiving.  And I'm not telling you my Thanksgiving plans but we are hitting it hard.
9.  Packy was asking me about world records today and how people got them.  I told him that you had to call the officials so they can come verify your record, whatever that might be.  He then asked me if I thought he could set a record for jumping from tree to tree.  Yes baby.  If that's what you want to do, then I believe you can do it.  He was beaming in the back seat. Big smile.  These are the things we talk about while we are riding around in Macon. 
Packy really cracks me up with his Ninja moves.
10.  By the way, I really like the Tide Pods.  You know, the little detergent things? I know I'm probably a year behind on this, but they really help keep my laundry room tidy.  
Emory and Lola Grace after completing the 1 mile Cross Country meet.