London Family Fog

Turkey.  Stuffing.  Sides.  Pie.  Laughter.  Joy.

These are the things I look forward to during the lovely Thanksgiving holiday.  Most of these things were served up and went down my gullet just fine.  Although, this year we departed from tradition and celebrated way too early.  In fact, we ate our fancy feast the weekend after Halloween.  We decided that it was more important that we were all together on this celebration than apart on the actual calendar day.  However, along with the delicious food, someone decided to heap this onto my full plate…

Drama.  Chaos.  Internal Family Combustion.

Needless to say our Turkey day wasn’t as awesome as I had hoped for.

Since then I haven’t been able to concentrate or be creative in many ways.  Perhaps this is the reason that every time I have tried to write a blog post, I seem to be unable.  My mind goes blank.  Thoughts drip out of my head like a leaky faucet.  It doesn’t help that during my most potentially productive time, the kids are around and it makes it harder to shut them out focus.

When I’m able to process more and pull my head out of the fog, I’ll update you on what is going on.  But until then, enjoy a couple of cute kiddos.  I do.

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Children’s Hunger Fund field trip

Recently my baby girl and I participated in a field trip.  This field trip was more than your average learning experience.  This was our first venture into volunteering or more appropriately caled, serving.  Really, is there any other more important life lesson that we can teach our children?

We drove to a nearby city to do what we could for a great christian organization called Children’s Hunger Fun (CHF).  Their ministry is to package dried fruit, rice, or other non perishables to those countries in need.  For this go around we were packaging dried fruit for children in Haiti, whose lives have been destroyed by an earthquake, and Liberia, for those infected or trying to fight Ebola.

What none of us knew ahead of time was that a camera crew would be with us to film for their noon day humanities story.  Miss Ariel can be seen for just a moment, but mostly you hear her screaming due to all the fun she was having.  Did she help?  YES.  Did she get distracted?  YES.  Was she excited to help other boys and girls who needed assistance?  YES.  Was she exhausted by the end of the day?  YES.

Here is the clip that made it on to the local news.  (sorry my host site won’t currently let me load a video)

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/on-air/as-seen-on/Volunteers-Ship-Care-Packages-to-Ebola-Stricken-West-Africa_Los-Angeles-281870231.html

Compassion.  Empathy.  Kindness.  Service.  Selflessness.  All of these character traits are taught and must be cultivated.  Some people are naturally gifted in this way, but ultimately we are all sinners who are selfish and unkind.  It takes discipline, faith, and a heart for the Lord to love others.  It is wonderful to be able to take the time to work this muscle alongside my sweet baby.

If we were to do just one field trip this year.  This would be it.

There is nothing greater than to Love God and then in turn love others just as Christ loved us.

Date night

A couple of weeks ago Music Man and I made a plan.  We were going on a date whether it killed us.  We barely have time to sleep, let alone make time for one another.  But it truly is necessary.  Luckily for us we discovered a BOX FULL of gift cards.  We apparently had been saving them EVER SINCE WE HAVE BEEN MARRIED.  (Um, talk about hoarding.)

It was like a Christmas miracle.

We snagged an awesome last minute babysitter, and despite the hijinks that ensued that made her 45 minutes late, we were out the door.  Because of my out of control insecurities (hello 4 babies worth of pregnancy fat, I’m looking at you), I actually cried saying “I don’t want to go.  I look awful.”  Guess my kids aren’t the only ones who throw temper tantrums and are ungrateful.  My dear sweet hubby was a little frightened about his next move.  Should he say “oh no honey, your fine!” of which I would vehemently deny.  Should he give into my frustration and give up too?  Or should he just smile, nod and quietly walk out the door in fear that I’ll turn my self loathing onto him?

He was wise and stuck with me on my emotional train and politely insisted that we go on a proper date.  We tried to remember the last time when we got out of the house, sans kids, and just had an enjoyable time (not a Fundatory time mind you) with ONLY each other.  We honestly couldn’t even remember.  That’s a sad realization.  We work so hard to have an enjoyable life and are too busy working to actually enjoy it.

We felt fancy by picking an often-a-wedding-venue restaurant to have dinner.  It wasn’t in our quiet little town.  It was new surroundings and unfamiliar territory.  And it was completely free!  Thank you gift card box!

We arrived and were transported into a fancy cocoon of coupledom.  The only tables they had were 2 seaters.

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*terrible picture I know*

The waiter came by our table and we began chit chatting with him and disclosed that we had 4 kids under 5 and homeschooled them.  He felt so sorry for us that the next time he came to our table he gave each of us a glass of complimentary champagne!  Guess it pays to live the life people envy…. er, I mean a life that freaks people out.  The best part?  I wasn’t pregnant!!!  Do you know what that means?  I could actually enjoy that glass and I had a glass of wine with our gourmet meal!  Amazing.

We got lost.  We laughed.  We relaxed.  We enjoyed each others company.  We ate delicious food (that I didn’t cook!).  We experienced something new together.

These are the moments.

Fried eggs

Crack.  Splat.  Sizzle.

Fried eggs.

THAT is what my brain is like these days.  My husband is in a very busy season.  He is working 7 days a week all day and into the late night.  He is surviving on coffee and sheer determination (me too).  I admire him.

Needless to say, when he is busy, I am busy.  Very busy.  Very tired.  Very crabby.  I can’t even make fully functioning thoughts most of the day.  In fact, I’ve been trying to write this post for the past half an hour and I’ve only gotten this far because I’m watching tv I can’t keep a rational idea in my sleep deprived head .  Daylight savings hasn’t helped either.  The kids have adjusted faster than I have.  My eyes open and my brain says “GET UP.  WE HAVE WORK TO DO”, but my body has “SUN SUN GO AWAY COME AGAIN ANOTHER DAY”.

I don’t know if you know, but kids are needy.  *snicker*  3 boys in diapers (don’t even talk to me about my failure to potty train my 3 year old!  UGH), 1 crawling and constantly hungry baby, 1 sensory perception disorder kid, 1 homeschooled kindergarten and 0 help.

I’m tired.  Scratch that.  I’m exhausted.  Scratch that.  I’m like a car with the low fuel light on practically outta gas.

The silver lining is that this is a great time to lift up my husband to my kids and tell them often about the hard work that he is doing for them and for me.  It was precious to hear my kids praying and thanking God for daddy working hard for them.  Understanding that daddy is a man who works hard is a good example not only for them, but for their expectations in their future spouses.  Instead of moaning and grumbling about how hard it is for me (and it truly is) I tell my hubby thanks for working hard for our family.

But with him unavailable to help with the family, I’m not gonna lie, I have visions of nannies dancing in my head.

A stay at home mom can dream.

Harvest Festivities

*Warning: Full Blown Photo Dump Post*

Before my full time job as mommy, I worked in various retail jobs (as well as a plethora of other random jobs) since I was 17.  It took a toll on my joy for celebrations.  In other words, I began to hate holidays.  ALL holidays.  The commercialism of it all exposed the awful side of humanity.  I vividly remember a conversation I had with an elderly woman during the supposedly most wonderful time of the year and she was yelling at me.  YELLING.  I was actually trying to help her, but she just refused to listen.  These are the moments where you just want to curl up and go home.

After leaving my last retail management job, it took me YEARS to finally be ok with celebrating holidays.  To not hate their very existence.  Once I had children, I began to see the magic again.

Halloween has always had a fun place in my heart.  That might seem weird since I’m a Christian, but I’m also an actor, and what is more fun than dressing up, becoming another character and getting massive amounts of candy for it???!!! It’s a brilliant holiday I tell ya.

This Halloween season we tried to really live it up.  We wound up going to 2 pumpkin patches and going to our church for their annual trunk or treat event.

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Checking out the petting zoo portion of the pumpkin patch

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Bunnies!

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Little Rascal couldn’t get enough of all the animals.

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Hey, I’m actually in the picture!  That’s such a rarity.  Too bad I didn’t put myself in a co-ordinating orange shirt.  Doh!

At the 2nd pumpkin patch/farm, the kids got to ride ponies.  They LOVED it.  Seeing their pure joy was priceless.

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Little Rascal was so dazzled by the pony that I couldn’t ever get a good picture of him.

Next up, a huge tractor slide…

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“Hey mom, I’m here too!”

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Pumpkin patch to being a pumpkin.  Seems about right.  (Also, it was Little Rascal’s costume last year.  Score)

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Its been a really fun time celebrating pumpkins and family time.

*Could I put the word pumpkin in this post anymore?  Pumpkin.  Oh Pumpkin spice is officially done for the season at Star-$$$.  So so so sad.  Bye Pumpkin Spice Frap!  I will miss you dear sweet friend!*