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

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

No Shame!

Don't you love a pair of great-fitting jeans?


Ain't no shame in my game!
Mom of Seven perfection, baby!
(or something like that....)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

We Overslept!

Even though I have a zillion things to do, one of which is shower, (and it's already noon,) I've decided that I need to get a quick story down before it vanishes from my memory.  (Which happens at a shocking pace.)

It's crazy cold here in our neck of the woods.  Last night, I saw that some local schools were calling for two-hour delays because of the temperature.  And even though the temperature wouldn't increase much over the course of the day, I still thought we would end up with a delay.  But we set the alarm anyway, and I was praying that my sweet, precious babies would have a full-day of school.  I vaguely remember hearing the alarm go off....then I vaguely remember hearing some kids scurrying about....and I vaguely remember hearing Brandon say, "Go back to bed.  There's a two-hour delay."  And then I remember quiet.  Around 7:30, I woke up and mentioned something to Brandon about the delay.
"How did you know there was a delay?" I asked.
"Because you told me," he said.
"I didn't tell you that," I said.
"Yes you did," he said.  

And that went on for a bit.  

Then I started browsing Facebook on my phone, and holy crap!.....I saw nothing about a delay.  I checked the news website, and sure enough....No Delay.  By this time, it had reached 7:35, which is approximately when the kids are usually
loading up in the car
to head to school.  My kids who were
all snug in their warm beds.   

Awesome.  So then the morning went all Home Alone craziness.
We overslept!  
We overslept!
We overslept!!

Brandon and I both flew out of bed, but in typical Brandon fashion, he went straight to the bathroom for his mandatory 30 minute bathroom break.  I'll not get started on that little annoying behavior, but I was left to scurry around maniacally, dragging kids out of bed & barking orders, while tossing them bagels.  And, of course, last night was one of the nights that we decided to leave all homework checking for the morning, so nothing had been checked or organized or signed.  I scribbled my name on a bunch of papers, stuffed books and binders into backpacks, and tried to gives smiles and hugs before they left the house.  But in fifteen minutes, I got them all ready and, miracle of miracles!, Brandon finished his bathroom break early, and the kids got to school at a reasonable time.  

I often say to people, who are in the midst of an I Can't Imagine What Your Life Is Like moment, that most of the time, our life is not as crazy as most people would imagine.  But that sometimes, it's crazier than anyone could imagine.  

    Guess which day today was....

Friday, December 5, 2014

My Favorite Child ;)

Don't tell the other kids, but this one's my favorite.
Of course I love them all equally, but I'd say that everyone in the family is especially in love with this guy.  He's our baby.  Our little, sweet Henry!

Poor Henry had an injury the other night.  He had been downstairs playing with Joe when he came upstairs crying.  I asked Joe what happened, and he said that he was holding Henry's hand when Henry sat down all of a sudden.  Joe was trying to help him back up and heard a pop.  Now, if Joe was playing with another kid and 'heard a pop', I'd have given Joe-Joe the third-degree...knowing that there had to be more to the story.  But I know how protective and loving these kids are towards Baby Henry, so I knew it was purely accidental.  But something had gotten dislocated in Henry's elbow, and he and I had a 5-hour visit at the local ER.  I left a house full of nervous kiddos, all worried that he had broken his arm.  He wouldn't move it for anything, so we all feared a cast was in Henry's future.  But the nurses knew immediately what was wrong, along with my nurse friends and more injury-experienced mommy friends on Facebook.  It was Nursemaid's Elbow.  Nursemaid's Elbow is when something gets dislocated in the elbow, usually by picking children up by their hands, or swinging them around by their arms.  I'm shocked I haven't been through this before with any of my other six.  We don't usually swing them around by their arms, but I know I've pulled a tripped toddler back to his feet, via his arm, from time to time......to time to time to time.  But the 7th kid was the charm.  

When I got back from the ER with Henry, most of the kids were asleep.  But as soon as Annie heard me come through the door, she flew up the stairs and into my room to check on her baby.  She covered him with kisses and hugs, happy that he was home and wanting to know everything the doctors had to say.  She said, "So tell me exactly what happened....what you said, and what they said, and what all they did to Henry."  I know I've said similar words to Brandon, wanting to know all the details about this scenario or that.  (And I get very little from my communicably-disabled spouse.)  That's one area where the difference between men and women is HUGE.  Women want to know all the details.  Men barely see the details.  Thank goodness I have my Annie.  At least she and I will always be able to provide one another with a colorful story.  

As the big boys all got up for school the next morning, they all wanted to know about Henry.  And some of them were terribly disappointed when he didn't wake up before they left.  Henry is our beloved baby.  Maybe it's because he's our last one.  We're enjoying all his little milestones and moments in a way we haven't in the past.  In the past, there's been another newer baby taking up our attention by the time we have an almost two-year old.  So maybe we're just noticing things that we usually are too busy to notice.  Whatever it is, we are enjoying this kid!  He's hilarious and lovable and smart and joyful.  And he's squishy and sweet and gives yummy kisses.  And he's the luckiest kid to have six older siblings who
love him to pieces!  
If he ends up being the one in jail I'm going to be really disappointed.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Pig Pen

Holy busyness.

I know.  We're all busy.  But I'm busy, and living in a disaster zone....with 7 piglets.  Here's a little insight into my current home status:

And it's really even worse than it looks.  Aren't you glad you don't live here?

And then there's me.  All, like, whateva! But I do have wet hair....which means I've showered.  At least there's one thing clean in this house.

So when people ask me, "How on earth do you do it?....with all those kids?"
The answer is, 
I don't!
Happy Thursday, ya'll!
Sidenote:  See my picture up there?  I wear glasses now.  Nothing to help you along as you knock on 40's door like being prescribed glasses.  And they aren't just 'reading' glasses.  They are 'all the damn time' glasses.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pajama Day

When it's Pajama Day for your preschooler, I would expect that most parents would put their child in cute, fresh & clean pajamas before they left for school in the morning.  But when you're a parent of seven, with a sick Momma, and Daddy's in charge.....the kid wakes up, puts on some sneakers, and just goes to school.

Clean pajamas?


Ain't nobody
got time
for that.

Friday, November 7, 2014

It's the Bhiskey That Makes it Wetter

I have coughed and coughed and coughed and coughed and coughed and coughed and coughed.  I've had antibiotics, fever meds, an inhaler, a decongestant, two different cough medicines, and a steroid.  I don't think any one of them have helped.

And then there was The Hot Toddy.

When our babysitter extraordinaire, Miss Kelsey, arrived yesterday she took a look at me, listened to my hack, and got to work.  She grabbed a mug out of the cabinet, and started concocting a honey, water, & lemon elixir.  She shoved it in my face and said, "Drink this."  And I did.  Because Miss Kelsey is the boss, applesauce.  And it helped.

Then I went to Annie's basketball game last night.  She was singing the National Anthem before the game, so staying at home in bed where I belonged was definitely not where I belonged.  My Texan mother-in-law was there.  She always has vitamin solutions for our ailments.  But she's recovering from back surgery and in a medicated state and left the vitamins she had situated for me at her house.  So she told us about The Hot Toddy.

When we got home, I talked Brandon into trying to make me one.  He Googled it.  And came to me with the Miss Kelsey version, with the added kick of whiskey.  It was fine.  It was hot.  It was somewhat soothing.  And he and I both did a small shot of whiskey just for kicks.  Not fine.  But, somehow, relieving.

After another night of coughing craziness, I knew I had to kick it up a notch tonight.  I told Brandon that, because of all my overexert coughing, I thought my ovaries had detached themselves from their cozy home and were now floating around at random in my abdomen.  Then he asked me if I cough so hard that I pass gas.  Then I said that I didn't, but I had to make a conscious effort with each cough not to wet my pants.

I think the whiskey is kicking in.

So I made the Sara version of a Hot Toddy.  If nothing else, it will cause you to be entertained with yourself for a half an hour.  And then it will help you drift off to sleep, caring-less if you're coughing or not.  Put about 2 inches of whiskey in a glass.  Nuke it for 30 seconds.  Stir in a big spoonful of honey.  Splash in a smidge of lemon juice.  Record yourself.  Drink it down.  Sara's Hot Toddy.
I'm out.

Hello, Hot Toddy

I'm so glad it's Friday.
It makes my goal of 
spending hours in bed
drinking hot toddies 
while online Christmas shopping
in my pajamas
 much more attainable.  
Here's to health and wellness.
Ho, ho, ho.

Soup & A Burnt Sandwich

I've been puny lately.  I've had a bronchitis/pneumonia combo, which has been miserable.  I've spent more time in bed than out of bed this week.  My kids have felt so sorry for me, that they've decided to fight and argue and drip cat ear ointment all over my kitchen floor to show their sympathy.  As kids tend to do.  Since I feel 2% better today, I'm using that extra energy to do crazy things like shower & brush my teeth, mop the sticky cat ear ointment off the kitchen floor, and make a real lunch.  A Bean with Bacon Soup & grilled peanut butter sandwich lunch.
...Mmmmmm Good.
I went to my friend Cari's a couple of weeks ago to get my hair did.  I'm so lucky to have a friend who does my hair.  I leave looking better and feeling better.  Always a great combo.  When I walked in, she was shoveling her lunch into her mouth.  The hours of a hair dresser are brutal.  I think the fact that she had time to eat at all was a luxury for that day.  Anyway, I said something like, "Whatcha eatin' girl?" and she said something like, "Bean soup, girl!"  And then we talked about bean soup.  For several minutes.  We talked about how Bean soup is so good! and Hey, do you remember that Campbell's bean soup? and Oh yeah, Bean with Bacon! and Oh my gosh, I ate that all the time as a kid! and I totally forgot about it! and Ima have to get me some of that.  So the next time I found myself at the grocery, I came home with some of that Bean with Bacon soup.  I fixed it, along with grilled peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, and as I sat down at the kitchen table to eat it, I wondered just how many times I had sat at my mother's kitchen table eating Bean with Bacon soup and grilled peanut butter.  Countless times.  And it tasted just as good that day as it did when I was ten.  

As I hauled myself out of my bedroom today...my bedroom littered with prescription bottles, cough drops, plates of leftover toast, and piles of stuff my unsupervised kids had created...I decided to stop feeling so sorry for my puny self.  Lord knows, when you're a Momma, you don't get much sympathy for being sick.  I always find it humorous (and sick and twisted) when a doctor gives me a 'work note.'  I always bring it home and show Brandon and tell him I can't work for the next two days.  When I brought it home this week, Brandon left for out-of-town business for the next two days.  How's that for sick and twisted?  But in my sweet, precious, husband's defense, he did offer to cancel.  I thought I was on the mend, though, so I sent him on his way.  My hours of coughing upon his return made it clear that we made the wrong decision.  But today, I'm on the upswing.  And I'm done feeling sorry for myself.  But now I've got some other people on my mind.  As I was making those grilled peanut butter sandwiches today, I got preoccupied.  The dirty diaper, the spilled milk, the spoon thrown across the kitchen, and oops!...the burnt sandwich.  I thought about throwing it away, but decided to save it.  As I was scraping off the blackened bits I was thinking about my mother-in-law.  My mother-in-law who just had back surgery, yet still made it to see her granddaughter sing the National Anthem at her basketball game last night.  My mother-in-law who I know spent time praying for puny me last night, even though she is feeling terrible herself.  It's not always been easy for she and I to understand each other.  We're so different...and we're so much alike.  But I was thinking how thankful I am for her.  And how much I really, really love her.  She's been so wonderful to me and so faithful to our relationship.  We just had to scrape off some of the outside yuck to find something really great inside.  I was also thinking about a friend.  A friend who's going through immense personal turmoil.  It's terrible and huge and awful.  But as another friend said about him, to know him is to love him.  And underneath all those terrible burns on the outside, there's something really great inside.  I'm praying, praying, praying he knows that.  And I'm thinking of others I love.  The families falling apart...the relationships ending.  I know that life is a mess.  Life is hard.  It's hard to move on and to forgive and keep fighting.  But so much good can be salvaged from things that are such a mess.  It's sometimes easier to just give up on what's apparently been ruined.  Sometimes it's easier to throw out the thing that you've totally messed up and just start over.  But, oh how I wish we would try to save our mistakes...try to scrape off the burnt and bad pieces...try to salvage something that started off good.  Relationships aren't as easy to save as a burnt grilled peanut butter sandwich.  But they are definitely more worthy of saving. 

Friday, October 31, 2014


Parents love their children.  They see the good in them through the ugly that sometimes clouds the exterior.  When the negative is what's most obviously visible, parents still see them with eyes of love.  Unconditional love.  When my Jack was born, I remember thinking, "This boy is like a little angel."  And he really was.  He just put off a feeling of love and innocence and everything wonderful.  At least to me.  And I've continued to see him through that filter.  He's truly good and honest and well-meaning at his core.  He's sweet and loving and happy.  Sometimes, though, it's hard for those outside of our family to see those things.  He can be playful when it's not really time to play, he can be silly when it's time for seriousness, he can be too interested in what's going on around him when he needs to focus on what's going on right in front of him.  I think it takes a special person to see beyond that sometimes-messy exterior and see the well-meaning heart behind it all.  As his mom, I want desperately to protect him from possible criticism, and I want to shelter him from scenarios that may prove difficult for him to navigate.  Because that's what Momma's do.  But I also know that he's got to learn to navigate through some of those scenarios himself, because Momma won't always be there.  And one of those scenarios I had to let him navigate on his own, was football.

My Jack is a scrawny kid.  He's skinny, skinny, skinny.  And he's not naturally athletic.  But he's always eager to give things a try.  He wants to be a part of a team.  He wants to be with the guys.  He has played basketball and baseball, actually sticking with baseball, and he's improved every year.  But when I think of football, Jack pops up nowhere in that same thought.  He's not big & bulky.  He's not rough & tumble.  He's not macho & aggressive.  He's just not.  So when he asked to play football, I discouraged it.  We even signed him up for an extra baseball league last fall, just so we could avoid the football discussion.  But he persisted.  And even though my scrawny kid knew nothing of football, he desperately wanted to play.  He wanted to be a part of the football team.  So we let him.  We signed him up.  And we prepared ourselves for the fallout.  I knew what was going to happen.  His teammates would be annoyed by him.  They would laugh at his lack of knowledge.  They would give him a hard time.  They would roll their eyes if they got stuck with him.  And I knew what the coaches would think.  Jack would be that kid that they just had to deal with.  They would try to just get him out of the way.  They would forget all about him as soon as the season ended.  

I was wrong in every single way

As one of the youngest in his class, Jack was surrounded by boys who were older than him.  And many were even a grade ahead of him.  But practice after practice, I watched those boys teach him.  When he was in the wrong place, they pointed him in the right direction.  When he was not paying attention, they graciously set him straight.  One time, I watched him tackle a boy named Kent.  Kent is the son of one of the coaches, and probably knows everything there is to know about football.  He could easily be a bully...a know-it-all...a jerk.  But after every run those boys did around the field, Kent went back to run alongside those struggling at the end.  At one practice, I was watching Jack.  I saw him tackle Kent with way too much enthusiasm.  Tackling was his favorite thing to do, even though he is tiny.  He tackled with a smile and took tackles with a smile.  But this tackle to Kent was all wrong....because he was tackling the wrong guy!  It probably messed up the play, and Kent had every right to be annoyed.  Plus, Jack tackled him from behind, which is apparently a no-no.  (Says the mom who knows nothing about football.)  But instead of being aggravated, Kent jumped up, ran over to Jack, put his arm around Jack's shoulder, and explained to Jack what he was supposed to do.  (I made a mental note right then to somehow figure out a way for Annie to marry that boy.)  I'm sure Kent's parents are proud of him for a million different reasons.  They should add one more reason to their list. 

Shortly into the practice season, and when Jack was still very green, Coach Phil told the boys to gather 'round.  The boys complied, and started taking off their helmets to listen.  Well Jack, in his trademark over-zealousness, also took off his jersey and shoulder pads.  Coach looked at him, and most certainly thought, "What in the hell is this kid doing?"  But instead, he put on a smile and told Jack in a playful way that he needed to listen and pay attention.  And then something else was said in reference to him sticking out like a sore thumb without his pads, in a Where's Waldo? kind of way, and the nickname Waldo was born.  All the coaches started calling him Waldo.  His teammates started calling him Waldo.  The parents of his teammates started calling him Waldo. 

And Jack loved every second of it. 

Being a part of that team of coaches and players who showed patience and kindness, who took the time to really teach him, made a difference to Jack.  I dare say, a lifelong difference.  No one was going into this year's football season with plans to change someone's life.  And maybe that sounds a little dramatic.  But there was a kindness here, an encouragement there, and an arm around the shoulder when Jack really needed it.  He was heading down a path where he felt discouraged and on the outside, and Coach Phil and Kent and all the other coaches and players changed that for him.  Jack's football season ended shortly after it began, when he ended up with a broken arm.  When I sent Coach Phil a text telling him what happened, he was genuinely bummed.  And he told me to tell Jack that he wanted him right by his side on the sidelines for the next game.  Even though he couldn't practice or play, he was still a member of that team.  I will forever remember those kindnesses shown to my boy.  I will always love those teammates of his.  (And any one of them can marry my girl, if ya ask me!)   I will forever be grateful to Coach Phil and the other coaches who were tough and loving, who were hard on him...with a smile, and who took the time to really teach him.  They made a difference.  A real difference.  

And guess what Jack is going to be for Halloween...
Was there really any question?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Basketball Mom

Brandon is clearly insane.

Annie made her school's basketball team....which is shocking, because she barely knows anything about basketball.  But whatever.  October-December is a slow season for us, with only piano lessons, voice lessons, school band, chorus, pitching lessons, scouts, and spell bowl, so adding basketball was a no brainer.  We've got
all kinds of time.
The basketball coach is looking for volunteers to
1) be the book score keeper - and I really have no idea what that involves
2) be the clock operator - and I really have no idea what that entails
3) be the statistician - and I really have no idea what that even means

So insert Brandon's insanity here---->He suggested that I be one of the volunteers.
It's a general rule at our house that we
I don't pay bills in a timely manner, 
shower on a daily basis,
wear matching clothes,
change sheets,
or clean the toilets when most people do.
Because I'm, ummmm, what's the word?


1) I'm...busy.
2) I know very little about basketball.
3) I have being responsible at sporting events anxiety because of the time I was forced to be a line judge at a volleyball game when I was in Jr. High, and the umpire/referee/whatever you call them asked me if a ball was in or out and I had no idea because I was in JR. HIGH and I was too busy looking at boys in the stands thinking about how to excel academically, and I just called the ball as in, which was in opposition to my own team, resulting in parents in the stands booing me!
Crazy heifer parents.
So I don't do books or judging or score keeping.  I just don't.  Especially for sports of which I have no knowledge.... which is, basically, all sports.  So husband of mine, you better take that crazy talk elsewhere.  If I'm at a game without children, I'll be eating popcorn and sitting on my behind,

Henry: Inmate 7

This is the crazy bull-loney I have to put up with.

I'm just trying to watch me a little Orange Is The New Black in the other room, and Henry's gotta go and make a mess.
Ima try to not shank his behind.

That boy's straight Beat Up from the Feet Up, yo!
Yeah.  I'd totally never make it in prison.
Never make it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Morning Schmorning

We're not claiming to be 'morning people'.

Come back after coffee/sippy cup hour.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Adam of Africa

I've always thought that I was fortunate to have an extended family full of culturally, religiously, and ethnically diverse people.  And, apparently, my Adam has decided to embrace some of that diversity....as his own.  

That Adam is quite the character.
And of all my kids, the fact that it is Adam declaring that he's African is the least surprising thing any of them could say all day.

Percy Cat

We've got ourselves a new cat.

Well he's not quite new anymore.  I actually brought him home a couple of months ago in an act of weakness/rebellion.  Weakness in the sense that I have a soft spot for cuddly new baby creatures, and rebellion in the sense that Brandon was out of town and, thus, unable to make me immediately return the cuddly new baby creature to it's previous home.  My sweet cousin, Debbie, lives on a farm down the road and always has a few cats hanging around and, inevitably, a few kittens.  I went over one evening to pick up a few dozen eggs, and saw four little orange kittens hanging around the back porch.  After discussing the cats for....oh, 3 seconds....Deb asked me if I wanted one.  And after about....oh, 2 seconds....I said,


This girl has Crazy Cat Lady potential.

I sent Brandon a message when I got home with this picture:
I mean, really.  How do you say no to that?
And look at sweet Lucy, with her new baby Percy.
And then there's rough & rowdy Henry.
But as the rock band Nazareth said..........
Love Hurts.

So now....the Mouths To Feed tally:
7 children
2 adults
2 dogs
2 cats

It's totally doable.

The River Camp

Since I've begun talking to myself on a more than regular basis, I've recognized it as my sign to start blogging again.  I use this blog as an outlet to the chatter inside my head, so I'll start spewing my nonsense once again.

(I know this makes my Momma happy.)

The weather here today is absolutely gorgeous.  At least for the moment.  I think it will be cooler and wetter as the day progresses, but at this moment....it's as beautiful as they come.  I love having the windows open, and airing out the stink of these seven children.  And I just generally love the feel of wind blowing through the house and the smell of autumn air.

Love it.
Love it.
Love it.

This past weekend was equally gorgeous, and I was lucky to be spending it at one of the most gorgeous places around.  My parents have a camp, which is lovingly called The River Camp by my people.  It's like a little piece of heaven for my family.  I know my cousin Marla is giving me an Amen.  I think she'd live there if she could.  Hell, I would, too.  They have a karaoke machine.  What's not to love?

This is the back porch.  I spent hours on this back porch on Sunday.  A house with an awesome back porch is by far my favorite kind of house.  
It's so peaceful and so pretty.
I just love it.
And speaking of love it, here are my
parents, the creators of The River Camp.  
Aren't they the cutest?
I just love them to pieces.
And I think I love them more than my brother or sister do, so they should
leave The River Camp to me in their will.
(Because, whoever gives them the most grandchildren, 
in turn, 
loves them the most.)
Here I am, painting a picture of the view from the back porch.  I love that iPhone's now have a self-timer, so you can take selfies without it actually looking like a selfie.  I could just act like I was in the midst of creating a masterpiece while someone else, unknowingly, took my picture. But we all know, I actually took the picture of myself all by myself.  
And here I am again, in a photo I shockingly did not take myself.  But I'm in my typical camera-shy mood, as usual.  I was at camp this past weekend with two of my girlfriends and without children.  Hence, the relaxed look of cheer on my face.

But it's back to reality now, and I currently have a Kix stuck to the bottom of my foot.  So off I go!  

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.  :)

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