"I love writing about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about." ~ Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

But Cats Always Win

Somewhere outside
right now
on this rainy afternoon
is a very angry cat
named Lucy.

And inside the house
warm and dry
is a girl
named Sara
finding it all very funny.

Lazy, And Lazy Some More

Summer time is here! Every year I'm sooooooo ready for the school year to end.  The late nights of homework and signing planners and science projects-(yuck, to the nth degree)-turn me into Angry Momma.  But by the end of summer, I'm craving the regular bedtime and scheduled days and the daytime hours of less-kid freedom.  But today, on just the second day of summer break, I'm still feeling rather nostalgic about the whole thing.  I've missed seeing these smiling, freckled faces.  Watching my big kids hanging out with one another....chatting....taking walks....turns me into Lovin' My Life Momma.  And I'm certainly lovin' these kids.

Yesterday morning was check-up day at the pediatrician's office for Annie and Frankie.  They both had immunizations to get, and poor Annie is still sore today.  (Insert eye roll here.)  She's so much like me.  Bless her heart.  And after we got home and relieved Miss Lexi, (the newest addition to our babysitting staff,) we had some R&R.  The kids sat in front of the TV or had their noses in their favorite books for the remainder of the day.  Laziness at it's best.
Yesterday's Facebook post:
Relaxed.....yet, crowded. That's summer vacation. :)
And today is equally carefree.  
Joe & Annie: chatting in the kitchen....
Adam & Jack: eating honeysuckle by the garden....
Me: not washing dishes....
And I have no plans to steer this day in a different direction.  :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My jelly and my Jellyman Kelly

I can't believe it's been so many weeks since I've written anything.  It's certainly not because of a lack of things to say, that's for sure.  It's a lack of TIME.  But such is life with eight children.  (I mean seven children and a husband.)

I spent most of yesterday's hours making strawberry preserves.  (And by most, I mean twelve.)  And even though twelve hours making 100 pints of preserves seems like a chore and a half, it really wasn't.  When I do things like that, in this same kitchen where my Momma did it when I was a kid, with the same kind of music filling the air, it hardly seems like a chore.  I know it's a special gift what I have.....living in my childhood home.  Walking across these same wooden (albeit sticky) floors, looking out into this same backyard (now littered with bikes), and seeing my little boys eating their peanut butter & jelly lunch in this same (embarrassingly messy) kitchen where I ate my mother's peanut butter & jelly lunch....it's overwhelming awesome.  But now Mr. Henry is smearing his peanut butter & jelly all over the table and in his hair, so the nostalgia is wearing off.
 But he's so dang cute....
....so he's forgiven.

Henry and Mommy...signing off.  Hopefully we'll be back soon!

Final Note: I can't make a PBJ without thinking about and singing Jellyman Kelly by my fav James Taylor. Listen to this, and I'm sure you'll be singing it next time, too.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Let It Go

I went to bed last night at....get this....7:00!  I've been straight whooped, ya'll, so our night off became my goodnight-early night.  Sigh.  It was so nice.  As I was getting settled in bed, I had my Jack come in the room.  "Will you cover me up & tuck me in?" I asked.  A smile from Jack.  "Sure, Mom."  And so he did.  And he did a great job.

And I even got a kiss on my forehead.

A few minutes later, I heard Adam sneak in to use my bathroom.  I called him over to where I was all tucked & snuggled in....and I asked him to sing me a song.  "Are you serious?" asked his sweet, dimpled face.  "Yes," I said.  "But I get kind of embarrassed to sing," he told me.  "Then I'll close my eyes," I said.  So I closed me eyes, and his sweet, soft voice sang.

The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen
A kingdom of isolation,
And it looks like I’m the queen.

The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I tried

Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
Well, now they know

Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door

I don’t care
What they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway

It might be the most overplayed song of 2014, but it's definitely my new favorite.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Gulp...Mammogram Time

I love how they say, "Hold your breath and don't move," during a mammogram.

'Cause who's moving?

Who's breathing?

But, jokes aside...get those mammies, girlfriends!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Sometimes I really miss my days as a teacher. I only taught for a few years before I started having all these kids, but I worked really hard, I had the most fun, and I did a damn good job, if I do say so myself.  But there were days when I thought to myself, or maybe even said out loud to my teacher buddies, "Teaching would be a lot more fun if all these kids weren't here!"  But I loved those kids, and I miss that part of my life.  I miss it a lot. And the fact that I occasionally found my students annoying didn't make me any less of a great teacher. It just made human. So I'm writing this tonight because I need a reminder. Some familiar thoughts flashed back to me a few minutes ago in the form of, "Being a mom would be a lot more fun if all these kids weren't here!" I'm having a night where I find them a bit annoying, and the whole process of parenting seems majorly not fun. But I know that I work really hard at this job. I know that I'm having a lot of fun, (and so are the kids).  And I know I'm doing a damn good job. And I know one of these days I will look back on this time of my life and miss it.  I will miss it a lot.

So Sara.


Breathe in.

Breath out.

You got this.

Alphabetizing Wins!

I'm excited that my two, new purchases just came in the mail!

But Mom! It's so much faster if we look up the words on the computer!

You are right! But use the dictionary, anyway. When you're an adult and not stupid you'll thank me.

Morning Meeting

Goals for the day:

1. Get dressed. All of us.
2. Brush teeth. ALL of us.

3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

We'll that's really all I got.

Wish us luck!


Sleep Well Sweet Babies

Ugh. I loathe being up so late. Because I know the morning will be here in a flash...

and I will want to CRY!...

because I don't want to get out of bed.

But the messes came quicker than I could even think about cleaning them today, and I had to take advantage of the quiet hours after the kids were in bed. Yawn. And now I've passed the exhausted point, and I'm into the restless phase. I just finished my last round of bed checks before I found my own. Annie and Joe share a room downstairs. They were both tucked tight in their covers to ward off the basement chill. Joe usually sleeps in his undies only, and ventures out of bed with a blanket wrapped around him every morning. Miss pre-teen Annie has started sleeping in tank tops and sweats...her days of nightgowns over, at least for now. Adam and Frankie are bunked up together in the room I slept in until I was in high school. I remember listening to Michael Jackson in that room...and Def Leppard...and Salt N Pepa. As I was painting that room before we moved in, I painted over 'I Love Joe' that I had written on the closet wall sometime in the early 90's. I guess I could have left it, because I have a new Joe whom I love. Adam is sleeping peacefully on the top bunk, as peaceful as any of the kids sleep. He's the first asleep every night, and gives us the least amount of trouble at bedtime. And Frank is on the bottom bunk. He required a little rearranging because his head was half off the bed. Frankie sleeps with a smile. And it's the sweetest smile. Jack shares the room across the hall with Kyle and Henry. Poor Jack. He's the least opinionated of the older kids, and he's stuck in the room with the undesirables. Kyle is the one out of bed over and over and over, making it impossible for his roommates to get to sleep on time. And Henry tends to stink up he whole room, just before bedtime, to make going to sleep as unpleasant as possible for poor Jack. But nobody is a better sport than him. He gets it from his dad. Flexible and easy-going. That Jack will make a good husband some day. Kyle usually manages to get Lucy in his room at some point, and she always ends up trapped. We make sure to crack the door before we go to bed, so she has the option to escape. As I went to rescue her a few minutes ago, I found the reality of the situation to be much different than I thought.

Poor Kyle barely even gets any pillow. I think KYLE needs rescued from LUCY!

And now I need to be rescued from my wakefulness. Off to bed for me!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Not So Funny

Annie is still at basketball practice, so the after-school snack & chat was around a table full of boys. I eventually made my way to Joe.

Mr Josiah, how was your day?

It was pwetty good.

I saw a red face on your behavior chart. What's that about?

Oh, it's totawy not a wed! I just dwew a wed wobot instead of a happy face.

Are you sure?

Shua I'm shua!

Ok. Did you get into trouble on the bus?

Well just one time.

One time is too much. Why did you get in trouble?

I've just been kissin' on people.

Joe. Don't kiss anyone on the bus. Don't kiss anyone at school. If you want to kiss someone, kiss me.

I'm just gonna be done kissin'.

I think it's time for Mr. Joe to do his chores.

Joe. King of the funny face.


More Fish, Less Goldfish

Henry Baby.
Your neck is eating your shirt.
Time to cut down on the carbs.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Today's Mom of Seven Confession

My first confession should be that I actually do strange, confession-worthy things on a regular basis.  That being said, here's my strange behavior for this afternoon. 
Backstory:  I really dislike leftovers.  I think most foods tend to taste better when they are first made, and I generally choose to not eat them a second time around.  This is, of course, with the exception of dessert.  I will eat any cake, pie, trifle, pudding, or sweet & yummy concoction for every meal until it's gone.  As a rule.  But I prefer to eat my supper that night for supper and not for lunch the next three days.  And usually there aren't many leftovers in our house to begin with.  On many occasions it seems that I'm buttering pieces of bread for Still Hungry Kids after the main dish is all gone.  (There are kids here in this world of 2014 who would think that whole bread & butter scene is appalling.  Thankfully, they aren't my kids.)  But we have times where the kids aren't particularly in to what I've made, or some kids haven't been home at supper-time, so we end up with a bunch of leftovers.  This past Sunday, Brandon ordered pizza for us.  I was a bit under the weather, so he ordered it, loaded up the kids, picked it up, and brought it home.  My precious spouse.  He got three pizzas, which actually borders on not enough, and a dozen or so breadsticks.  We were short a couple of kids, and the ones here were all surprisingly full after about 1/3 of what they usually eat.  So we had tons of pizza and breadsticks left over.  The breadsticks got stuck with a chicken soup dinner on Monday, and the pizza was lunch Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Needless to say we are all over the pizza.  I'm sick of eating it.  The little boys are sick of eating it.  And I'm sick of it taking up a ton of space in my fridge.  I still had the equivalent of about a whole pizza left...some sausage and some pepperoni...but it was time for it to go.  But the particularly resourceful part of Sara cringed at the thought of just tossing out a whole pizza.  (But I cringed more at the thought of eating one more slice.)  So I decided to do something with what I had.  I decided to make pizza soup.  I peeled the cheese off of every slice, then scraped all the saucy stuff off the dough and into a pot.  Then I chopped up the big pieces of pepperoni & sausage, chopped up some cheese, and dumped it into the pot as well.  I added some tomato juice, and voila! the start of tonight's soup supper.  My feelings of resourcefulness are only slightly overshadowed by my feelings of being particularly peculiar.  But I don't care. 

It's soup.  How can you really mess it up?

Post Edit: The real confession should be that I have yet to get dressed OR brush my teeth.  And it's 2:43pm.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Machine-Gun Sara

Wacky photo of the week:
It's like I'm some militant rebel with a machine-gun cat.
So strange.

Yawn Henry

Sweet Henry had a birthday.

I no longer have a 'month-old.'  I only have 'year-olds' now.

But I'm cool with that!

It's been an exhausting few days for him, full of cake and presents and eating ladybugs.  So if you need him...

I'm waitin' on dinner.
But yo, I'm tired.
Not sure I can make it.
Check, please.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Pavlov's Dog

When Henry hears me turn on my kitchen sweeper, he races to the kitchen, slithers under the table, and starts grabbing bits of food, stuffing them into his mouth at rapid speed.

I'm not starving the kid!

I got my very own Pavlov's Dog.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Different Light

My truth is not your truth
For my path is all my own
What you perceive may not be true
For reality isn't always shown

Another side is ever-present
Even when left untold
The worn down path from someone's shoes
You may never see or know 

So let's be mindful of how we speak
How we act and what we write
And show grace to others who haven't had the opportunity 
To see things from our different light

This game of life isn't always easy
But we are playing side-by-side 
So take a breath and take a hand
We need each other on this ride

Monday, January 27, 2014

Child, please

Hahahaha, baby. 
This ain't my first rodeo.

Public Service Announcement

I listen to music a lot.  I listen to the radio for most of the day.  And I often have my earbuds in at bedtime...and yank them out in my brief moment of awakeness around 3 am.  I have a certain Pandora station that I like to listen to.  It's a mixed-up mash of Ray LaMontagne, Mumford & Sons, James Taylor, Carole King, John Mayer, and a whole bunch of others.  What I love about Pandora is that it's a good way to introduce yourself to songs or artists that you've maybe never heard.  Sometimes it's something you'll like - thumbs up! - and sometimes it's not - thumbs down.  The other night, I heard a song coming on that I quickly realized was Somewhere Over The Rainbow.  I like The Wizard Of Oz, and I have a bit of nostalgia towards the movie and the song and Judy Garland.  But I'm not into the redone versions of the song, so I was preparing to do a quick thumbs down.  But then the artist started to sing the song.  It was very unlike the original version, and so beautiful.  It was so beautiful that it nearly made me cry.  The girl singing it absolutely had the most perfect voice, and the song quickly made it to my Favorite Songs Ever list.  I immediately had to figure out who she was and find every song she'd ever done.  I clicked around on my phone to find some info about her, Eva Cassidy, and quickly came upon the phrase, The heart-tugging story of Eva Cassidy reads almost like the plot of a "Movie of the Week" tearjerker.  And then I read on: Tragedy struck on November 2nd, 1996, when she died of melanoma (skin cancer) after a long battle with the disease.  Ugh.  Reading that literally made me feel ill.  I spent the weekend downloading many of her songs, each new song as beautiful as the one before it.  And I couldn't help but think about how someone with such great talent, with possibly the most beautiful voice I've ever heard, died at 33!  And she died from something preventable and treatable.  From what I read about Eva Cassidy's melanoma, she had a malignant mole removed from her back.  Three years later, the melanoma had advanced to her lungs and bones, resulting in her death.  Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and it results in 48,000 deaths each year.  Most melanomas are caused by damaged DNA due to exposure from UVA and UVB light.....sun & tanning beds, while others have a genetic component.  I was diagnosed with melanoma in 2000, when I was just 23.  Thankfully mine was caught very early, and a nasty scar is the worst that ever came of it.  I assume genetics had something to do with my diagnosis, since some of my aunts have also been diagnosed.  However, my overexposure to sun as a child and my frequent tanning as a teen increased my risk.  Times were different then, and we didn't know how risky the exposure could be.  But we know better now....yet so many still choose to put themselves in danger!  If you are still using tanning beds, please take a few minutes to educate yourself on the repercussions.  Not only is it a risk to your life, but it also has a huge effect aesthetically.  We've all seen the tanned 40 year olds who look 50.  And we've seen the tanned 50 year olds who look 60.  I know you like to have a tan now, but it's so not worth aging your skin so dreadfully!  
Side-by-side photo of twins....can you guess which one spent her time tanning?
If you've never been seen by a dermatologist to have a routine skin-check, please do that!  They know what to look for, and lives are saved by early detection.  A melanoma left untreated is almost certainly a deadly diagnosis.  I would never have guessed that the mole on my back would have been melanoma.  I didn't notice anything wrong with it.  But I went to the dermatologist for a routine skin-check, and he saw something unusual.  It was absolutely a life-saving find!  So do yourself and your family a favor.  Call a dermatologist today and request an appointment for a routine skin-check.  Please.
Eva Cassidy singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Ark

All of us mommas here in my neck of the woods are losing our ever-lovin' minds with this ridiculous weather.  Kids have been out of school like crazy, and it's making all of us crazy.  When I start to go bonkers, I usually just put it out there for the world to see.  I do that so 1) maybe the grandparents will see it and rescue me the children from my insanity, 2) because I like to keep public records of my insanity and 3) so when I finally do go off the deep end, none of y'all can say you didn't see it coming.  (Actually, it's just because sharing my wacky thoughts helps me see them for what they are: strange moments in my crazy world, but not the end of the world.)  

Yesterday I got the dreaded text....that school was cancelled....again.  My first reaction was, "What the freakin' crap?"  Thankfully Miss Kelsey (my precious, gift from the lord, I would die without her babysitter) was here, so it kept me from saying something even more inappropriate.  And then I put a slew of reactions out to my Facebook world:

"No school again tomorrow.  Please hold while I LOSE MY MIND!!!!"
followed by
"Mom Of Seven Admitted To Psychiatric Facility After Announcement Of Yet Another Snow Day"
followed by
"Mom Of Seven Wearing Bikini And Drinking Pina Coladas While In Psychiatric Facility...Thinks She's On Vacation"

So this is how I refrain from going insane.  I write something that I think is funny, and then I laugh rather than try to drown myself in the frozen pool.  After my Facebook post frenzy, I received this picture from several different friends:
It is very true....and very funny....and what makes it even more funny is that I received it so many times from so many different people.  (My friends know me so well.)  I showed Brandon the picture this morning, as I was still in my I'm Not Getting Out Of This Bed, You're Just Gonna Have To Quit Your Job mood.  He laughed, and said, "Guess you moms are all in the same boat."  To which I said, "The same boat?!?!  They're not in my boat!  I'm on the goddamn ark!"  And then he laughed and I laughed and I decided to not be so grumpy.  We moms (and dads & grandparents stuck-in-the-house-with-kids) are in the same boat.  Stir-crazy is stir-crazy, I guess.  I'm just thankful that tomorrow is Saturday, so I won't be the only grownup on my boat!

To My Momma

It's my neighbor's birthday!  Better known as....My Momma.

Having such a great mother in my life, and having her live next door, is one of the greatest blessings of my life.  For those of you who don't know our wacky living situation, here's the 4-1-1.....

My grandparents, my mom's parents, built a precious house...up on a hill...where they lived with their five children.  After my parents were married, they bought the house right next to them.  So my childhood was spent with my grandparents just steps out my back door.  Seeing that house, with the light on over the kitchen sink, is a sight I've seen millions of times.  
And such a beautiful sight it is.
My grandad had a farm, of sorts, and I was all over that place for my entire childhood.  Just as my mom had been during hers.  It was a place of happiness for our entire family.  After I was married, I lived out of town for several years.  But when the house nextdoor to my parents became available, which was also next to my grandad, I couldn't help but want to live there.  And so we moved with our two children into the house next door.  After Grandad passed away, the thought of selling that house to a stranger was sickening.  And so my parents decided to buy it.  Now my parents live in the house in which my mom was raised.  And the only normal thing to do in this highly abnormal living situation, was for my family to move into my parents old house...my childhood home.  And then we sold our old house next door.  So now Momma is in her childhood home, and I'm in my childhood home.  It's all very deja vu, but in the very best way.  My everyday life is full of memories that span my entire life.  I see my sweet babies sleeping in my old bedroom....I see them playing in the same backyard....I take their first day of school pictures on the very same front steps that my brother and I sat on.  And now I can walk into my parents' house, and smell my grandparents.  I see that sweet house out my back door, and know there are still people living there who love me and who are looking out for me.  And my mom can look out of Grandmother's kitchen window and see her grandchildren, and feel the same joy that my Grandmother felt.  It's a rare blessing, I know.  And I'm thankful for it everyday.  And I'm even more thankful to have my sweet Momma in my life.  She's always been a wonderful mother, and now she's a wonderful grandma, too.
Momma, I hope your day is full of love and joy, because you deserve it.
And I also hope it's full of grandchildren.
Because after all these damn snow days, I deserve it.  
Happy Birthday, Momma!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Another Snow Day!!!!!!!!!!

Gotta love a snow day!!!!
When you've had as many as we've had, with as many kids as I have, you start to not love them so much.  We're nearly out of food, and even nearer to out of patience, but we're persevering.  I'm listening to Bob Marley and smoking weed today to try and get in the mellow groove.  Okay, so I'm not smoking weed.  But I am listening to Bob Marley, and I think it's helping.
Right on, man.
I think the kids will be back to school tomorrow....fingers crossed.  I'll ice skate them there if necessary.  What fun are snow days when it's really too cold to play in the snow?  I say that like I'd really be taking them out anyway.  Ha, ha....don't think so.  You know how long it takes to get seven kids ready to go out?...only to have them want to come in 10 minutes later....resulting in baskets full of wet clothes & piles of wet boots?  No thanks.  Outside snow fun is a two-parent situation.  Period.  I'll take my mom of the year award.....never.  But regardless of how un-fun mom is, the kids are enjoying their time off and their time together.  My little sweeties!  

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