These handsome fellas are 9 and 8. I saw them sitting outside having their lunch on the hammock and I ran out with my camera. I wanted to remember this moment. Sometimes the every day things are so beautiful to me.
These two. They are 5 and 3. They are the best of friends most of the time. When they get cross with each other they are like a grumpy old married couple!
The "twins" are 16 months and 21 months now. They are always busy. They often crack each other up. I'm pretty sure they are having full conversations. I just have no idea what they are saying!
And just for fun. My favorite outtake of the day. Baby D was convinced that he needed to be on that swing with Q and Miss Ruthie. Oh my! Look at the way Q's face is squished up against the rope!
EJ's family has deep roots in this area. The little white church is special to our family for many reasons. On Mother's Day this year we attended there with EJ's folks. As many have done before us, we took a family picture on the church steps.
EJ's Grandpa used to ring the bell at the little white church. Our children each took a turn.
Last week, my fancy 15 passenger van went to the shop. The "service engine soon" light was on and it had been making a weird sound.
No one likes it when their car goes to the shop. You know what makes it extra fun? Removing 5 car seats and re-installing them into another car. My fellow parents can attest. Car seat installation is the worst. I end up sweaty and usually with at least a few scrapes and bruises.
Seriously. It is the worst.
We wound up renting a super nice 2015 suburban. It was tight to get all those car seats in but I got it done. I was impressed with all the bells and whistles of this newer and nicer vehicle. The children were NOT impressed. I thought it was hysterical. They much prefer our 1999 former church van.
We got our beloved van back and were rolling once again.
A few days later, the back window in our van broke. EJ was driving it down a country road and heard a pop, then it shattered.
He taped it up and made an appointment to have the window replaced. Bummer, but it would be taken care of. I wasn't stressed about it. They would come to us to fix it. No moving car seats or trying to entertain 6 kids while the car is repaired.
THE VERY NEXT DAY...
I load up all the kiddos to run some errands. It was close to lunch time and the babies were getting pretty fussy. It takes a lot of effort to get all six of our children ready to go, the bag packed and everyone loaded in the van.
We were locked and loaded.
When I noticed this...
I texted EJ the picture of the tire. He called and talked me through finding the air compressor so I could air up the tire. At this point, I was barely holding it together. Not only do I get to air up the tire with 6 hungry children waiting in the car. I also get to take all 6 of them to the shop to have the tire repaired.
Life has been a little intense lately. The barn house build is in full swing which means I am one busy Momma. EJ is working tirelessly at work and the build. That means I am on. All the time. When someone needs something, Mommy is on call.
As I aired up the tire I did what any self respecting, 30 something, mother of six would do.
I mean the ugly cry.
I cried so hard that snot was literally hitting the ground while I aired up the tire.
Then, I pulled it together.
Wiped up my snotty, teary face.
Put on my big girl undies and headed to get the tire fixed.
EJ has been working hard. He is either at the office or at the barn house. We all miss him. Today, after church, he decided to have a little fun with the kiddos. We all had a blast! Except for Baby E. This slip n slide stuff seemed very suspicious to him. I suppose a guy who just learned to walk a few months ago would think it strange to purposely fall. Baby D, thought it was awesome!
I don't normally do this. For two obvious reasons... I HAVE 2 BABIES. Well, they are big boys now. 20 months and 15 months. Anyway, I had a pep talk with my Heavenly Father before we headed in there. "Dear Lord, We can do this! I know that you can give me what I need to stay calm, cool and collected. Amen" Then I had a pep talk with my children. "Kiddos, we can do this! No fighting. No fussing. Stay with me the whole time. We will look in the toy aisle after I grab my groceries." I noticed the one year old boys didn't agree to these rules. They are known to fuss a bit. I know, you are shocked. Our first stop was the restroom. A lady was standing near by. I said, "Are you waiting?" She said, "I'm just waiting on my daughter." Then she took a look at my crew. "You run a daycare?" "Nope, these are all my children." I said. "Oh." She said. I can't remember her next words but they were something like, "that would be awful." "Oh no." I said. "We are truly enjoying it! They are lots of fun and we are a party wherever we go." I wasn't offended. People say things without thinking. It wasn't nice to say it in front of my children but it gave me the opportunity to affirm how much I enjoy them. So... On we went with our Target trip. We shopped several aisles when a sweet woman stopped me. "I like your attitude!" She said, "Your tone with your children is so nice." "Thank you so much for that encouragement!" I said. "It means a lot." We continued on with our shopping. We checked out without a melt down. (I timed snacks for the babies just right) I loaded the kids and the groceries into the van. Then I noticed this note on my windshield...
I sat in my car and cried.
Two women listened to the nudging of the Holy Spirit and they spoke.
They spoke words of love from the heart of my Heavenly Father.