Friday, August 25, 2017


Having five kids is kind of like waking up on a Monday morning and discovering that you have just enough milk to make a double batch of pancakes (if you partially substitute with the buttermilk that expired a month and a half ago). First, though, you pour a splash of milk into your waiting mug for the coffee you're about to make. Unfortunately, in your morning delirium, you then accidentally pour the coffee grounds into your mug instead of the coffee pot, thereby destroying the tablespoon of milk that you had explicitly saved. You then contemplate drinking your coffee black--something only sad people do--or bothering the neighbors. But THEN you realize there is ice cream in the freezer! So you get to start your day with a scoop of ice cream melting deliciously into your mug small bowl of coffee.

Alternatively, having five kids is kind of like going to shake the new bottle of lemon juice before opening it only to discover that 1) your super helpful oldest son already opened it for you and 2) he didn't replace the cap leading to a fountain of lemon juice drenching your kitchen. Since lemon juice is a natural disinfectant, you can now put off cleaning the kitchen for another week. Also, it covers up the smell of wet cat food so...winning!

Finally, having five kids is like accidentally typing "quacamole" when you meant "guacamole" and knowing that there is a great joke there if you could just figure out exactly what it was and laughing anyway at the joke that you can't quite put your finger on.

I'm telling you this because it might help you understand why there are such massively long gaps between blogs right now. But also because I'm here tonight to provide you with a brief break in your obsessive checking on the status of Hurricane Harvey. Tonight I don't have for you any deep thoughts or thought provoking words, only a few funny moments that happened because we have a truck load of kids. So, for your entertainment pleasure:

  • Last night at 1.30am, stumbling blearily towards' Twinkle, who is yelling happily for her second middle of the night feeding, I see the light on in the twins' room. I go in to investigate, assuming there will most likely be pee waiting for me in someone's bed. Instead, I discover empty bunk beds. I notice that there is also light filtering up the stairs, accompanied by the sound of small voices. I find the twins playing stuffed animals on the couch. They inform me that they're tired of sleeping. I inform them that I'm exhausted and don't care. I haul them off to bed (protesting) while Twinkle continues to demand milk NOW. I realize that this is the closest I get to a theme song.

  • The votes are in: our creepiest child is definitely Bee. The other day she informed me: "Mom, I have slept with one eye open. I have slept with two eyes closed too. It was very dark." She also shared with me in confidence once that Bruiser saw a pepperoni on a tree outside. Alrighty, then...
  • Tiny recently expressed his frustration because there was a) too much bacon on his bacon and egg burrito, b) the bacon was too brown, and c) the bacon was too crispy. We are considering excommunication.
  • You know you're reaching new parenting lows when the following conversation occurs:
    • Bee: what movie are we watching?
    • Me: The Jungle Book
    • Bee: you mean, The Jungle Movie
    • Me: no, The Jungle Book
    • Bee: The Jungle MOVIE
    • Me: sure, whatever

  • Being a homeschooling mom of five kids when the youngest is teething like a beast and refusing to sleep for longer than 2.5 hour stretches at night has left me feeling a bit like Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone...except I'm living off caffeine instead of unicorn blood. Still, pretty much the same thing. I've rejected the idea of finding the blood of my father (unknowingly given), the flesh of the servant (willingly sacrificed), and the blood of my enemy (forcibly taken) simply because I'm worried that I will lose my nose in the process, and I really like being a rebel with a nose ring. No nose ring with no nose. If only He Who Must Not Be Named had thought that one through a little more.
  • Your hormones might still be a bit out of whack if your husband finds you crying while watching American Ninja Warrior. This is a public service announcement.
Not shown: book I was simultaneously reading to Bee,
while playing cards with Littles and Tiny,
while balancing Bruiser on my shoulders,
and keeping Twinkle from face planting.
  • One must always be prepared to walk into the bathroom and inexplicably find a long turd sitting in the sink. Preparation is key to not screaming hysterically, "WHAT THE CRAP!?" only to discover that it literally is crap and you just said "crap" in front of the child who gets in trouble regularly for saying, you guessed it, "crap". Explanations as to how said turd got in the sink are only understandable if you too think like a 3 year old twin.
  • Icing your bruised knee with a tub of ice cream while you simultaneously eat said ice cream is like making lemonade out of life's lemons but way better. 

  • The twins decided to move their humongous dresser across the room during rest time today and position it directly in front of their window. Then they pulled all the clothes out of their closet and deliberately snapped a third of their hangers in half. One day I will understand why they do the things they do, but today is not that day.
  • Twinkle peed on the kid who has been pulling out all the stops in the misbehavior department this week. I enjoyed it more than I should've.
The kids are on stair duty as our future mountain climber
risks life and limb and Mom's sanity.
  • Some people bring themselves to full consciousness by splashing a little cold water in their faces and drinking a cup of coffee. Last week, I got the same effect during early morning snuggles with Bruiser when I discovered a cockroach crawling up Bruiser's leg.
  • Our unrepentant beast of a dog stole one of the kids' quesadillas during a picnic the other day. I got him back by looking directly in his eyes while I proceeded to eat every bite of the leftover chicken I'd been planning to share with him, and then licking off my fingers. Slowly. 

And this is now way more entertainment than you called for. Good luck and good night!

I leave you with Cat Face.
Two seconds after I took this picture,
she decided to stretch out both paws
and knead my chin.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Broken Record Truth

A few weeks ago, I plowed through Psalm 119. It took a few days, and by the end, my snarky self was convinced that the psalmist had an alternate identity as a broken record.  Seriously: 176 verses of the same thing over and over again. Evidently the psalmist didn't consider conciseness to be a virtue worth having.

But then, I realized that the psalmist is doing exactly what I have to force myself to do all day long: preaching the truth to himself. Our world is antagonistic to truth. Our hearts are as well. And so if we want to walk in truth, which is the only way to peace, we have to remind ourselves of it over and over again.

Sometimes this gets repetitive. I remind myself minute by minute that not only does what I do matter, but how I do it matters too. I remember that Christ is with me, Emmanuel. I hold before myself the suffering Christ and then the hope of the resurrection. I tell myself that being present is more important than being productive. I repeat truth to myself like it's a paying job that can provide for my expensive book habit. All day. Every day. And sometimes it gets tiring. Okay, often it gets tiring.

At the close of the day, I am tired of reminding myself of what is Real and just want to wallow instead in what is easy for a little while, knowing that the next morning and the battle to believe truth will come quickly. But here is my joyful realization for the week: this is why God gives us the Church. Because when we are the Church for each other, we know that others are walking alongside us fighting the same fight, struggling to remind themselves of truth as well. We are not alone in our fight to live in the hard truths instead of easy numbness.

Simultaneously, when we are part of the Church, there are moments of reprieve when someone else can speak truth into our lives for a bit. This is one of the reasons why Sunday morning church is so important to me: because for just an hour and a half every Sunday, I get to just listen as someone else reminds me gently of what I have to forcibly fight for the rest of the week. This is an incredible gift.

If you are someone like me who struggles to remember what is real, I hope you find others who can help you remember. I also hope you try memorizing Scripture with your children so that then the inner voice repeating it to you throughout the day has a really cute voice. Most of all, I hope you don't beat yourself up over the off days but just keep trying to jump back on the broken record band wagon of truth. It might make for a ridiculously long Psalm, but it also makes for a richer life.