Monday, April 30, 2012

tough girl.

I'm going to be tough like my daughter in this top photo and face the day now. This household needs some serious TLC. Now that I've been dragging my feet. Making up a dance routine to a Selena Gomez song this morning burned any creative blogging time I might have had. So you get pictures, and that's it.

Friday, April 27, 2012

cutting through sky.

i had a nightmare.

i watched the dream unfold like a helpless audience member in a horror movie. i saw myself in an airplane with my two oldest sons, them readying to sky-dive. they jumped together and my sleeping eyes dropped with them while the me in my dreams looked down from plane.
the boys were exhilarated. enthralled. caught in the feel of their bodies cutting through sky.

iggy was falling more quickly than sparky. i heard my voice yelling from the plane, "time to pull the cord, honey." iggy yelled back, "not now. it's really not time." from further up my voice yelled back down, this time panicking, "pull it now!" in his arrogance and great confidence he wouldn't. the spectator me panicked then, wishing to reach out and open the parachute. i knew iggy was running out of time and that sparky wouldn't pull his own chord unless he knew his brother was safe.

they fell to the ground, iggy first and then sparky. i saw. and my eyes, fixed on them, zoomed upward to join my heartbroken self in the sky. i awoke then, so sorrowful.

this dream describes the anguish i feel as i struggle with my strong willed son. we have days of peace and days of great contention, all depending on my approach. i'm slowly learning to jump with him. to feel my body falling. to describe to him the cues for cord-pulling moments. i feel out of control- but at least we're starting from the ground up. maybe we'll be ready for the big falls because of all the little ones we have each day.

how we love him.

we can do this.

ps-thank you so much, rach for this link. i keep it pulled up on my computer screen most every day.

a letter from baby.

okay, mom. i know you're very, very busy. i know that the brothers keep you running all day long.
mom, i know it's all you can do to keep yourself from becoming a greasy, frumpy mess. and getting the brothers dressed in anything more than pjs is quite a chore. (they can run away from you.)
alright, mom, i'll admit that i do sleep a lot and i know you don't want to disturb me in moments of your personal convenience. plus i guess i can be pretty demanding about getting in my 9+ daily meals.
BUT IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK that i get a decent bath every couple of days? i'm not talking the diapering slash scrubbing-away-my-neck-cheese with a baby wipe. i mean a real bath with water.
could you pencil me in, please? and don't forget behind my ears. 

in the making.

this here is life unfolding.

one day we'll be looking through albums and the boys will say, "awe that was our front porch! and look behind us is sharona the car! and look at how young dad was then!"

somehow duke always manages to put us first. he looks out for our needs, even when he is spread so thin. i am confident that someday he will look back at these pictures and be so very glad for these memories and proud of the father he was through their childhood.

i know i'm glad. i know i'm proud.

love this man.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

the ferry.

Just after these pictures we all had an outing meltdown in the middle of a store. Three cheers for forgiveness in families. After communicating our frustrations and apologizing, the happy moments become central in our memories of earlier days.

Already I am wishing for another long day of family errands. Come, Saturday.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

today i love...

today i love the smell of old electronics when you plug them in. the smell of "hot" and "inefficient." like the elementary school computer lab.

today i love discovery. i love all the resources at our fingertips. just reach out and grab.

today (and every day) i love that one man's trash is another man's treasure. such exciting treasure.

boys and girls.

The morning after the lovely spa retreat I was scrambling to get things done. Baby Moe cried, not for hunger, but for facilitated movement. She's become irritated with her uncooperative body and has decided that the best way to get around is by piloting "the mom."

Duke had Sunday meetings, so she had to wait for me to become available. Usually that is a very, very long wait. She fussed on the floor as her brothers came and went inside and out.

The boys rough-house their way from space-to-space, leaving behind them a trail of destruction. I listened as their small herd tumbled through the living room, right over the space Moe laid. She stopped crying. Then started again the moment they moved on.

I walked in to her, scooping her tearful sweetness up in my momentarily available arms. Behind her ear was the tiniest, purple flower. A gift from brothers.

I have no doubt where they learned this kindness for sister. They watch the way their dad loves me.

We're the luckiest girls in the wide-world.

Us and the three tiny queens who, once grown, our boys will be fortunate to find and marry.

my surprise.

enchanting flowers.

my favorite color.

and a surprise day-spa trip.

my face below is just as i opened my eyes after driving to the destination of "our surprise date." the look is 20% surprise and 80% terror. day spas are scary to someone who's never been to one. i was thinking, "will i have to be naked?" the answer is yes. but covered. and not too weird or anything.

a mud wrap, hour-long massage, and pedicure. the whole time i was thinking, "i have the best husband ever." well, most of the time i was thinking that. sometimes i was thinking about the people who groom other humans and what strange jobs they have. but how like Christ they get to be. serving and loving, even tenderly washing feet.

it was a heavenly treat after the end of a long tax season.

and now my toes look like candy.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

falling in love.

at the threshold of marriage i panicked, just a little. worried that i might never have the "newness" of a blooming love again. i thrive on "newness."

so many relationships crumble when the craving for the unaccustomed comes creeping.

we love "falling in love." and that's okay.

amazingly, i've found i still fall frequently in love.

i delight in sights never before seen along the paths we often travel. i fall for the change in light and sound and smell of my life.

new feelings ignite as i watch my husband grow as a man.

there are few who would feel comfortably justified in comparing their spouse to another person- we know that's not conducive to closeness in couples. but do we compare them to who they once were? knowing how we each change through time and experience, is that unlike measuring one man against another?

"eighteen me" was perky and optimistic. romantic and well groomed. but, boy did she have faults. i'd be saddened if i thought my husband was still in love with the girl i was. i am not that girl. he loves me now because he's fallen for now-me.

so we can often fall in love with the human sharing our life, because that person becomes "new" in small ways each moment.

my goodness, i can't ever feel too comfortable in my relationship with my children. i love them with a new and greater love every day.

give your heart away to a baby. then just you try and have a predictable, boring bond.

duke and i took our children along with the three girls i tend on a picnic. they ran ahead in merriment and duke said, "i love these girls." it was strange to hear this from him because he typically distances himself from children who are not our own. in the past he's jokingly stated that it's easy for him to love kids, so long as they're his.

yes, new love is all around us.
to experience unfamiliar love we can keep our hearts small and change the person that occupies the space therein.

OR we can grow our hearts, making room for the many new, loving relationships God hopes to give.

each day i'm falling in love with life, with the people who've come into my life, and with the Creator who has so deeply blessed us all by sending us here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

today i love...

today i love my job.

i love the way drivers' faces light up when my children wave to say "thanks for stopping your car to let us cross." i love the triumph i feel when i accomplish the simplest tasks, made less-simple by all the little bodies swarming me. i love how proud they are when i let them help with anything.

i love being a mother to my children.

i love sharing my mother-heart with children who aren't my own.

and today i love this video.

Monday, April 16, 2012

death and taxes.

more like death of taxes. while procrastinators across the country have been dreading tax day, we've been praying for its swift arrival so that our accountant could return to life.

dad's home?!

jump on him!!!

gosh, i love this man.

an artist.

how many pictures of the sidewalk do you need to take, young one?

that many, huh?

well, it's your vision, sir.

love your work, boy of mine.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

can i meet your parents?

whenever i see happy families with older children i get so excited for our future together.

i absolutely LOVE coming across happy, more mature families with four brothers and a sister. so happy, happy, happy to dream a little of what life may be for us someday.

i want to meet the parents of the children in the following video soooo bad. shake their hands. ask them for advice.

so uplifted. so hopeful. so happy for the joy we have now.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

keeping it real.

happy six years, darling.

sorry we both forgot all morning until you called me from work just a minute ago.

i love you every day, whether it's a celebratory day or just a regular one.

and i even love you on the lamer-than-normal days.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

put to the test.

Being stuck indoors all winter is like playing the same level on a video game for 3 months solid.

No wonder the kids start getting into everything. They're searching for hidden secrets. Duh, mom.

If they're standing in the toilet, maybe they just needed to check if bending their knees sent them down the plumbing into a room full of floating coins.

I believe that as children develop, their minds and bodies are aching to test their newly acquired skills in more challenging arenas.

Maybe when they fill the bathtub with soap, they are just testing their recently enhanced balancing abilities.

Sometimes they try to jump off of the piano. I think it's because the sofa is not nearly high enough anymore.

I'm trying to be more creative in arranging for new levels to play.

When I'm feeling less inventive, there's always the good-old park. We have about five playgrounds we frequent. Otherwise they might get bored and try something too dangerous.

If I had the time and resources each night I'd build them an obstacle course from their beds to the kitchen. Then maybe they wouldn't need to climb in the fridge when I open the door to assemble breakfast.

You know what? The outside world is a humbling place. Sparky is the oldest here and spends the majority of his time staking claim on the "first" and the "biggest" and the "most" but out there he's got a lot to learn.

His absolute least favorite thing to be called in the whole, wide world is a "baby." Big kids call little kids babies. Not in a mean way, but just because it's the easiest way to communicate that they're different. They said, "don't go so fast because of the baby." Sparky looked around for the baby and soon realized they'd meant him. Standing just in earshot, Duke and I knew he'd been hurt. We watched as he tried to be brave and not let his feelings show. Standing up on the merry-go-round he yelled, "look at me, guys. No hands." And when they all nicely over-exaggerated their reactions for him, he felt like they'd called him a baby all over again.

As hard as it is to watch those sad scenes unfold, we were glad when he decided he'd rather come spend family time with us at the other end of the park. We wouldn't want to "shelter" him. Be we can be a standing shelter of sorts, available when he needs to get out of the wind.

I guess strength of character is something that needs testing, too. Just like their growing bodies and minds, their spirits need a little challenge from time-to-time.

And although the moments of quiet strength can't be applauded loudly at the playground, they can certainly be celebrated lovingly on the family car-ride home.