Wednesday, November 30, 2011

By The Numbers

30 days of craziness in November

13 of those crazy days without Todd

3 deer shot with bow and/or gun this season which means,

160 pounds of meat to be eaten, given to friends and family, and donated to food banks

5 important birthdays

2 Thanksgivings hosted at my house

38 pounds of turkey cooked in my oven

6 pounds of applesauce made on my stove

6 pies and 1 torte eaten at my table

44 miles run so I could partake in the pies, tortes, potatoes, and everything else that came my way

12 fires in the fireplace

120 pieces of Halloween candy eaten (and thrown away)

1 day of light snowfall

22 days of unseasonally warm weather.

4 little kids begging me to take down the fall decorations and put up Christmas decorations

1 stubborn mama who refuses to put up any Christmas decorations before December

Dozens of memories made snuggling, playing flashlight tag in the backyard, reading books, at the movie theater with my four littles, taking long walks, cuddling in the nests we made, watching and playing football, donating our time to help others, riding bikes, and enjoying each other's company.
Countless blessing and reasons to be thankful in this month of giving Thanks. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope your Thanksgiving is everything you wished for.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It Happens Every Year

Madness.  It happens every year. 

The week before Todd leaves for deer hunting is always filled with errands and cooking and baking and laundry and preparations.  This year it was also filled with parent/teacher conferences, hosting boy scout meetings, swim classes, choir practices, and three sick kids. 

Then, of course, there is the madness that happens after Todd leaves.  The sullen boys who wanted to go hunting too, the nonstop action of single parenting, the schedules, the inevitable sick children. Same thing every year. 

But this year was a little different.  I don't know if I am finally getting better at it, or if I have learned to accept the madness, but this year it wasn't as bad as past years.  Remember this?  That didn't happen. 

This year, as every year, when Todd left I tried to do as much as I could to keep the kids occupied and happy.  New pajamas were purchased for all.  Big blanket nests were made.  Many fires in the fireplace were enjoyed.  We played outside.  We played inside. We rented movies we hadn't yet seen. We even went to the movie theater to see Happy Feet 2.  All four of my kiddos lined up in a row, munching popcorn, entranced by the fuzzy little penguins.  It was actually fun.  And surreal.  Four littles ones.  All mine. 

Yes, there were temper tantrums this week, theirs and mine, but far fewer than in past years.  There were difficult schedules to keep but we managed to get it all done.  We were even able to continue our tradition and volunteered to deliver Thanksgiving food boxes to families in need.  And of course there were sleepless nights with nonstop coughing from my poor little sickies.  But, in the end, this week has gone smoothly.  For the first time I have come to the end of this deer hunting week with a big sense of accomplishment.  We all made it through and looking back we had a good week.   

Tonight is our last night without Todd.  I know we are all anxious to have him back.  Our family just isn't complete without him.  But I am grateful for the week that we've had.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some blanket nests to make. 

Monday, November 14, 2011


My head is crowded.  To much floating around in here to actually string together coherent sentences. 

So many of the thoughts are frivolous. 

What should I make for dinner? 
Did the boys dress warm enough today or too warm?
How big of a turkey should I get?
I should probably get it soon.
Should I make the cranberries again or just stick with the applesauce?
Should I do the 10K the morning of Thanksgiving like I did last year, or is that just too rushed?
How am I going to get the boys to their Boy Scout Boat Regatta on Monday and then get to my choir practice?
Who is gonna watch the kiddos?
Can I skip choir practice even though we have a concert coming up?
Should Todd really drive three hours back home to take the boys to the boat regatta and then another three hours back up to deer camp like he wants to, or is that just craziness?
WHY would they even schedule a boat regatta for Boy Scouts during DEER SEASON in the first place?  This is Wisconsin, after all.
Don't forget to wish Jeff a happy birthday.  I bet he is missing dad today.
When am I going to have time to make all the food for deer camp?
Did I sign the kids up for swim classes yet?  I can't remember.  I think I did.
Don't forget to tell Todd what the pest guy said about the garage.
Why am I sweating again?  It's not my thyroid.  What is my problem lately?   
What snack should I make for the boy scout meeting we are hosting tomorrow?
Man, I dispise boy scouts. 
Don't forget to sign up to bring a snack for Ben's class. It's our turn. 
I'm so tired.
Am I supposed to be somewhere right now?  I feel like I"m missing something.
Dad would be 80 today.

After that last thought there isn't much else.  I've been thinking about my dad so much today.  He is taking up most of my thoughts. 

Today is his 80th birthday.  I wish he were still here.  I wish I could at least still feel him here.  I don't.  I haven't.  It is strange for him to just be gone.  I thought for sure he would visit, somehow.  Sounds silly, I know, but it still surprises me. 

I miss him. 
Happy 80th Birthday, Daddy!  I hope there is lots of carrot cake in heaven! 

Miss you and love you very much.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Holding On

The snow flurries of the last couple of days have melted and this weekend the temperatures are going to be warmer again.  I can promise you that I will be soaking up as much fall weather as I can.  I'm holding on to fall for dear life.
Todd is going up north again for the weekend.  He was up last weekend to check on the progress of the garage being built and he will be up all week next week for deer hunting.  This weekend trip is for his deer hunting prep.  Our whole family was supposed to go up with him (since the boys would probably have massive fits if he was gone for three weekends in a row) but when I found out that there is a foot of snow up north my plans changed.
Instead, Todd will be taking the boys up with him and Grace and I are hanging at home.  I just can't be around that much snow yet.  Honestly, I don't know when I'll be ready for snow but certainly not right now. And not when I can be here enjoying fall.   The boys, on the other hand, are thrilled to go up north and frolic in the snow. 
I'll miss all my men (part of me thinks I should just bite the bullet and go anyway) but it will be nice spending some time with my girl. 

And hopefully this will not be the last weekend of lovely fall weather.


Thank you to all of our veterans.  We can never repay you.
If you have a moment please read this firsthand account of a day in the life of a soldier.  Thank you!

And on a side note, Happy 11-11-11!!!!!!!


Give me your best shot at Better in BulkPhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Make Me Laugh

Snow is falling outside my window and I am trying desperately not to spiral into an early seasonal depression. 

I really shouldn't complain.  It is merely a dusting.  Nothing like the dousing the northeast coast received  before Halloween.  Still, it affects my mood.  I'm really just trying to keep my sense of humor in lieu of this bleak weather.  Luckily, my kiddos have been giving me plenty of laughs recently.

Joey came home from school and told me that when he gets married he is going to stay home and watch the kids while his wife works.  I asked him what made him want to stay home and he said, "Because then I won't have to work." 

"I work just as much as daddy does, Joe, but I just don't get paid for it."  I responded, trying to keep my calm.

"Well that stinks."  Joey said. 


Not sure if that added to my foul mood or improved it, but it did make me laugh. 

Just like when Tommy told me, "Mom, when I get married I'm gonna love you guys much more than my wife."

Then he quickly added, "But don't tell my wife that or she'd be really mad!"

That made me laugh out loud. 

And just this morning Ben told me that he wanted to have five kids and he was going to name the first kid "Crotch".

Shocked, I said, "What?  You are gonna name your kid Crotch?  You can't do that!  I don't even like you to say that word.  It's nasty!"

"Okay, fine, then forget it.  I'm not gonna have ANY kids."  Ben announced sadly.

"Why, because you can't name one of them Crotch?"  I asked.

"Yep."  Ben said determined. 

Well alright then.  Where these kids come up with this stuff I'll never know, but it definitely makes my rotten mood more bearable.

I think the best one came yesterday when Grace and I were at her swimming lesson.  Just recently she has become nervous in the water and clings to me like a little monkey.  Trying to have some fun with her I took her by the hands and zoomed her through the water making motor boat noises. 

Grace furrowed her brow to show her displeasure, looked at me and said, "Are you c'azy????"

I laughed so hard I got the hiccups. 

These kids are full of laughs and I'll take all of them I can get. 

So tell me, what gets you out of a foul mood?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Happy List

Today is a good day.  It has been super busy, but I am feeling so content and happy with life at this very moment that I wanted to take time to make a happy list and savour all I can.  I want to remember exactly what is making me happy today so I can come back and read it again when I get grumpy.


- Seeing all my kiddos dressed up in their Halloween best.
- Watching the kiddos run from door to door, full of excitement.
- Watching my whole family dressed up walking, laughing, and having fun together.
- Being scary on Halloween.

- Waking up super tired, but so content.

- Having lots of chocolate in the house and not worrying about eating some of it if I want to.  I have weight to lose, but I'll lose it when I lose it. 

- Having a clean house even after our Halloween party last night.

- Looking over at my hubby in church and knowing I made such a good decision.

-  Joey getting student of the month.

- My three little ones sitting patiently and sweetly (without being asked) as they wait for big brother to receive his award.
- Tommy being excited to introduce Grace and Ben to his classmates.

- Joey and Tommy both wanting a kiss goodbye from me, in front of their whole school and everything!

-  Going to my annual exam and finally getting my thyroid tested to see what my problem is.  Also, finding out my resting heart rate is 48.  See how relaxed I am, people? 

-  Seeing brand new babies in the waiting room at my appointment, and being so thankful for having the four I've got.

- Trees still covered in leaves, blue skies, and blue water.
- Two little ones going down for their naps like little angels.

- A nice, stress-relieving run.

- No snow yet, and none in the forecast. 

- My sweet, furry kid. She is so happy and sweet and well behaved.  Not to mention cuddly and fuzzy.  Plus, when you throw the ball for her she bounces super high in the air like a bunny rabbit. 

So, that's my list so far.  What's on your thankful list today?

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson