31 March 2013

Rise and Shine!

i have always had a thing for boys in bow ties. and i've got a house full of bow tie wearing boys. wily and wonderful.

and in case you need reminding: 
He is risen indeed! no grave could hold all the awesomeness of our gracious savior. 
happiest of easters to you from all us wild ass monkeys. 

20 March 2013

what would wallis do?

i've been writing in my head. formulating ideas and outlining thoughts. in my head. my hands haven't quite reached the keyboard as i've been messing around with sick boys and diagrams of the skin. holding onto read alouds and firewood. doling out antibiotics. but today. well, today i told everyone to scoot because i needed to type. and here's why.

today is my bestie's birthday. her name is wallis. and i think she's pretty spectacular. i often think, "with wallis, all things are possible." and it's true. 

she can damn near do anything. from cook up any form of game her hunter husband drags home to throw an impromptu gathering for 50 without a moment's notice. it's her way. it's her gift that she shares freely with hands open and arms flung wide. if hospitality has a patron saint, it's our lady wallis. 

she coined the phrase, "the more the merrier" and when i say more, i think of more of everything. more love.{more wine} more chaos. more enjoyment. 

today my beloved is sunning herself in savannah. and i'm freezing in maryland. the good thing about the world wild web is that you can pen a few words, and voila! they're there. 

so, my darling friend who i affectionately call "macgyver in the kitchen"-happiest of days to you. i love you. wouldn't have nearly as many laugh lines without you. you make my life golden. you leave glitter and giggles in your wake. your girls couldn't hope for a more beautiful, winsome gatherer of joy. and your husband-don't.even.get.me.started. he won the lottery! big time. 

the best compliment i can offer is the one i gave you all those years ago which was, i hope my boys find a girl like you someday. 

i count it joy to sojourn on this wild journey with you. might i reserve a cocktail on your back porch, i don't know, say around the end of May? okay. thanks. o, and happy birthday!

until then...

15 March 2013

twelfth night

it's already been a year since this post.

twelve. he's 12 today. a couple of days ago he wrote a critique on "pandora's box". all by himself. he grabbed the laptop and wrote sentences like:
Pandora's regretfulness was immeasurable. Epimetheus let out a scream of shock and pain. One could easily disagree with how Zeus threw a colossal banquet for one single mortal, and the fact that Epimetheus was so entranced by Pandora was downright unrealistic. But the explicit detail grasps the reader's attention quite nicely. Strangely enough, this ancient myth explains how one person can change the whole world forever. 

i couldn't help but think how he has changed my world forever. 

his study of the ides of march had him taken aback by the betrayal. i love that injustice still surprises him. he's so full of wonder and possibility. he sees the glass as half full. he's so quick to forgive. to laugh off a joke. he's passionate about music and has an artist's eye when it comes to seeing the world. he can read people and situations like a boy much older than his 12 years. he wants to grow up faster than i feel comfortable. he is our pioneer in many ways. testing the boundaries. pushing the envelope. 

openly, he asks hard questions without hesitation. he does not shy away from life. in public settings, he's the first to volunteer to do ANYTHING. never met a stranger, the kind of boy you'd want in your fox hole. 

i am deeply humbled and exhausted from my last 12 years playing the role of his mother in his adaptation of "my life: the charlie utley story".

our boy is 12 today. he's worked feverishly on a presentation on the ides of march that he will give at his tutorial today. even planning the visual aides. the accompanying red velvet cupcakes with mini daggers were his idea. 

i can only hope that his life continues to flourish, that betrayals are kept at bay, that life is always seen as full of wonder and intrigue, that his love for others comes back full fold, that nothing tempers his passion except reason and wisdom and that he will continue to share his winsome merry eyes with a world that is so very lucky. 
happiest of birthday, to our second son, our beloved brother, our truest friend.

a very proud mama

07 March 2013

knock on wood

right before the face plant

my sweet{single and ready to mingle wink, wink-boys}friend laura called to make sure i hadn't drunk myself into oblivion. i soothed her with words like, "it could be so much worse. i have a good husband* who's coming home-eventually." she encouraged, "yes. perspective." 
a visit with our favorite postmistress
but as the days of my home alone stint waxed on, i waned. the extra effort of making dinner, breakfast, lunch, snacks that seemed effortless, but in reality were quite time consuming. pancakes of multi-varieties, smoothies, cookies, popcorn, hot chocolate. and still having energy left over after a full day of cuddling and schooling and discipling because let's face it, it's not just the mamas who feel out of sorts when the papas leave. 
a chat with a local geologist
good heavenly day. it's like all the naughtiness was stowed away and dumped out like that dense, wet snow we had a couple days ago. the boo-hoos blanketed our home in the form of face plants, back aches and leg cramps and serious arguing. 
third eye pancake
i do believe when this man o' mine finally comes home, he'll wonder if it is safe to leave me home alone with his heirs. but we are on the home stretch. and you know what, i think we might just make it. knock on wood.

in retrospect, i should have decided that this would be a week of free wheeling, school wise. however, in truth the busy makes the days pass like lightening. it almost feels like yesterday when i was weeping as he drove to the airport. and he is due home very soon. a week has passed. 
zander, left. charlie, right.

we managed to make it to all our extra-curricular activities and field trips. the dvd player helped out too. more than i care to share. lessons learned-academically as well as the garden life variety. selfish is as selfish does. and boy. i am the queen of selfish. 
from julius caesar to caesar of planet of the apes

the weekend is hours away. rest? and fun. the maple syrup festival is up in our favorite cunningham falls. i can hardly wait. maple sugar. maple syrup. seeing the trees tapped with waiting buckets and being reminded of how much of a city-girl-who-wishes-she-was-a-country-girl i am. and getting to see the 6 year old see his reading come alive ala laura ingalls wilder. thank god for reading. that's what saw me through some harrowing moments. running up to my room with a book and a little boy who still loves to snuggle whilst i read to him.
there's something about harry

it's thursday. and dinner is simmering. and fencing awaits. and the one with whom i parent will arrive home, tired, but hopefully ready to resume the reins. so i best go...
inspired by terminator

thanks for listening,

epilogue: take a page out of my Mister's play book. when you travel, leaving your good wife behind to hold down the fort filled with kids and animal whilst a snow storm blows down trees, don't tell her, "the reason i didn't call you yesterday was because i was distracted{with other people}." {i.e. visiting, holding babies and boozing with the brothers}. not good, husband. not good.

04 March 2013

gravity falls

fatigue is a polite word for what i am feeling. haggard, exhausted and overwrought with frustration. if fatigue is the well coiffed p.t.a. mama, how i am feeling is the trailer park version-with the potty mouth to prove it. 

case in point, i fed my children dinner on paper plates after i prayed, "o, god. help us get through this week with minimal emotional and psychological damage." and i must say, i meant every word. i haven't cursed this much since...well, ever.

the Mister left last night. he'll be away for a week. i will be home alone-with 4 boys and a dog. and one of those little bit o'honeys recently procured a new sling shot-you know to go with his rubber band gun. funny how these new adventure tools come right as pops leaves for a business trip. i better think more about that later, when my mind isn't so fuzzy from being stupid tired. homeschooling is tough. homeschooling with no reinforcement in sight is downright torture. i think whoever came up with pear of anguish, must've been a homeschool mom. let me explain.

this morning, i woke as mama{with children in my bed}. at 9:30am i became teacher. one child is memorizing all the prepositions. 3 of my 4 children didn't have their listening ears turned on. i repeated myself all day long. do you have any idea how maddening it is to say everything 3 times? do the math. that's a lot of talking for nothing and if there is something i hate, it's senseless chatter-almost as much as i hate math. a rousing read of Farmer Boy made up for the madness. then there was a quick jaunt outdoors, back inside to build a fire. lunch {gotta love a 6 year old who loves to chop vegetables}. more school{pronouns can be challenging to explain}. then at 3, i changed into p.e. teacher with my trusty sidekick kip, the disobedient pup. we ran around the park for an hour. the littlest fell off his scooter. the others braved the steep hills on their bikes. at 4, i called a time out and went for a walk-alone. at 5, i put on my chef hat. my pandora radio station was up too loud. "we're trying to watch terminator 2 in here. can you turn it down?" when we finally sat down to eat at 7, i had ingested 2, count them 2 cocktails. then it was time to clean the dishes{which took a total of 5 minutes since we used paper ware}. the littles begged for a game of Animal Instincts. the dog joined in. seemed fitting.

our topics of conversation went from what 3 books would we take to a desert island. "i would take a book on planes so that i could fly outta there." to a festive game of "would you rather". the oldest couldn't contain his hysteria as he asked, "would you rather get sucked into a jet engine or run over by a bullet train?" the 11 year old wants to start dyeing his clothes beginning with his shoelaces. i am out of polite ways to say, "for the love of god shut up." as those little darlings drone on and on. how many ways can one feign enthusiasm? 

the third born fell down the stairs, a pipe burst in the basement, the second born left his books at his tutorial{and he has a paper due}, the asthmatic is wheezing, there is a looming snow storm heading our way, and the laundry wasn't going to wash itself{thankfully, that's the 13 year old's job}.

o, brother. this is just day 1. i best scuttle off to bed. the 9 year old just told me i remind him of mabel from gravity falls. i hope that was a compliment. who is mabel? but i do feel like my gravity has fallen-and i may not get up. at least not til 'morrow when we get to do this all over again. wish me luck. 

down for the count,