stop trying!

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Hello!  I’m sitting in my bed with half my face numb.  I had to go get a filling replaced this morning and I did so with Seth sitting in the corner of the room watching intently.  After observing the big needle go in my mouth and half an hour of drilling and filling, he is now either traumatized or perhaps will be a dentist one day.

This week my husband is away on a business trip and the children are home from school on spring break.  Yesterday was a bit of a challenge, as I was on edge about several things, and as a result I spent much of the day trying very very very hard to “be a good mom” instead of forgetting about myself and just living out the day in a mature fashion.  It was an internal battle of sorts and I spent a great deal of energy trying to be as polite and kind as I could and I believe the children enjoyed being home from school, but as for my mental state by the end of the day let’s just say I was pretty exhausted and went to bed as soon as possible (9pm) after several hours (6-8:30 with a trip back home to get Sarah to bed) of being at the ball field for little league practice.

So far today is much better.  I’m not trying anymore.  I’m going with the flow.

Ahhh, adjustments.  All is well.

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One of the things “I tried” to do yesterday and sincerely thought it would be relaxing was sit in a chair by the driveway in order to watch the children happily play.   Caleb took it upon himself to carry up to the driveway my “favorite orange chair” (his words–I had no idea what he was talking about.)  It turns out that my “favorite orange chair” was my brown adirondack lawn chair from clear over by the chicken coop.  It’s true, it’s my favorite chair, but only because it was right where I wanted it… the chicken coop.  It is now by the driveway and the chair weighs about 85 pounds, I’m not even sure how he carried it up the hill to the house, to be honest, by the groans he was making I know it was quite difficult for him.  So that put a damper on things within my mind; I had to pretend that I was touched and pleased with his thoughtfulness to deliver my favorite chair but also fight irritation that it was even moved in the first place, I could have just gotten a chair off the porch even though it wasn’t my favorite.

So I sat down with my bag of books and a pen and started to read.  I looked up just in time to see Caleb run, jump up and off an upside down cooler, and try to dunk the basketball in the hoop.  The cooler tipped over and I had a heart attack as I watched him try not to body slam himself on the pavement.  I sighed with relief.  He avoided injury this time but then I had to tell him not to do it again and answer the inevitable question, “Why not?” and all that followed in that conversation.

Seth wanted his bike but the tires were flat and that took a great deal of effort in explaining why I wasn’t the one to fix bikes…….

Then he and Caleb set up an old tire against the stone wall to practice throwing baseballs at it…well, in my mind I could see them throw it right into the road (which is behind the stone wall) and getting hit by a car.  We had a long talk about where else we could put the tire and then I gave up so to speak when I realized they would probably be fine so we left it there.  After all that, they decided not to practice throwing after all.

Sarah was happily riding her little two wheeler around the driveway and then (as I was reading and not watching), Seth, from over on the lawn, thought it would be a good idea to throw a tennis ball at His Sister the Moving Target.  After he hit her once and was scolded, he did it again, and that time I had him sit in the penalty chair, which had been moved right next to me.  “Don’t get up until I tell you,” I said and then went back to reading and became absorbed enough that the next time I looked up he was completely gone.  So now I had a disobedient child to find and put back in the chair.

Then, Caleb approached me (and Seth back in the chair) with a piece of moist white skin, about the size of a dime.  “Guess where this came from Mom?” he asked cheerfully.  “My tongue!  My tongue is peeling!”

Turns out he ate too many sour Warhead candies and his tongue was peeling, the entire tongue was sloughing off.  I gazed at it in horror.  I had Seth run inside for my phone so I could google this situation and sure enough, it’s a thing that happens, my friends.

I was done.  I shut my book and put my stuff inside.   I had too much adrenaline from “trying” so hard to relax that I had to power walk myself back into a zen state.  But first I had to explain how far we were going to my son and just how far the stop sign was about 5 zillion times………



Caleb, instead of walking the normal way, walked up on the curb and would periodically fall, stumble, scrape and/or lurch head first off it until once again I had to be mean mom and tell him to quit it before he tore a hole in his good sneakers.

Caleb enjoys talking and didn’t stop the entire time.


I admired the birds and the sky and this pine tree with big lush pinecones way up on top.

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On the neighbor’s lawn up the road…..

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Another neighbor’s guinea hens.  Funny birds.


Well then at 10:50 Sarah had a dental appointment downtown so I dropped Grace off with the boys at the playground so they could run around while we attended to the appointment.  Sarah is a rather nervous patient but did very well.  We left the dentist and drove over to get the kids from the playground only to find their stuff everywhere (books, shoes, and jackets) but no children.  It was like the rapture had occurred.  However, in one of the best moments of the day, I honked my horn and only had to wait 45 seconds before the darlings appeared running as fast as they could from way around the other side of the school.

We headed to the grocery store where they all “helped” and the boys argued about who would get to push the button at the register to see if we would win a coupon.

Seth got a foot long loaf of crusty french bread and then only offered Caleb a one inch piece so I had to mediate that next because Caleb was very offended by Seth’s stingy ways in “only giving him a crumb of bread.”

Back at home I exclaimed, “Bring in the groceries and then outside until the salad is done!”


We ate an entire big fiesta bowl of Dorito chip salad; one of my favorite ways to get the children to eat their vegetables (spinach, kale, and other dark green lettuces).  YUM.

Now that I think about it, the next few hours are a blur…..oh wait, at one point I tried to relax again down by the stream but as soon as I started reading I heard the Schwans truck pull in the driveway so I ran to the house to purchase some frozen vegetables…..

At three o’clock, we headed to Rita’s for the first time this season.  Caleb in particular has been begging and begging to go so I said yes, that would be a nice thing to do on our first day of spring break and I even set the time for 3PM so that he would stop asking when we were leaving.  It was a big deal, I had that feeling of joy in giving them something they really wanted to do, as a special treat.  We piled in the car and drove to Rita’s.  Jacob followed in his car so he could go to work after.


They had a new flavor ice, “Peeps”, no doubt for the Easter holiday.  I had sugar free peach mango.


She’s so lovely.  And NEVER can finish her ice because it’s too cold.  So one of the boys got to finish hers.


Sugar free ice makes my custard a tiny bit less caloric.  🙂


I like to savor every mouthful, but very soon, too soon, the boys were finished and right on top of me begging to go to the playground.


And even though I said, “not today” not once but thrice, they begged and begged, prompting internal hurt feelings on my part and yet another teaching opportunity about being thankful for the treat you did have instead of jumping straight into wanting MORE while the taste of the last one is still in your mouth!


Also yesterday, the girls planted peas and I planted radishes and spinach.

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Grace was a huge help to me yesterday and she also had time to read almost an entire book.


David worked on clearing the bank over by the garage.  He has this big job to do because he got in some trouble last week and is grounded off video games and electronic devices….so to fill his time his Dad gave him lots of chores to accomplish.


When he saw me taking his picture he lifted up his shirt to show me his impressive abs.


Usually I’m looking for the first spring wild flowers WAY before they appear, so it was a sweet surprise to look down at my feet and see these little wonders already blooming.

Soon we’ll be seeing violets, too.


And today?  Today began with three loud honking geese visiting the pond.


Causing Parker the Dog to run around in circles, doing his own honking.


Happy National Pet day!

The side of my jaw and mouth is currently still numb but I’m shaking with hunger so I’m gently trying to eat a yogurt.  Sarah’s upset because the tire is flat on her bike and wants macaroni and cheese for lunch–I just boiled up some water and poured in the noodles.  Jacob is getting ready for school, Michael is here for the day and is helping with the children, (He took Grace to the library to get the next book in her series) We have two extra kids here visiting from up the road.  Later on they are all having an airsoft battle outside but right now they are downstairs playing video games.  Grace and Seth are shooting their bows outside.

I’m going to the spa at 2:30 to get my hair done and enjoy some quiet. (!!!!)


God’s grace abounds on every kind of day, as I was reminded as I read a book yesterday by Philip Yancey, “Grace, like water, flows to the lowest part.”






8 thoughts on “stop trying!

  1. You are a mere mortal and a great Mom in spite of it. I’m happy to see that Spring is popping around your place. Hope you and the kids enjoy the rest of your Spring Break!

  2. I feel both tired and blessed reading all the happenings going on around your place. You are a great mama! xoxo My kids, who I haven’t seen in two years (in real life, thankful for Skype) are coming in May. When they said it might not be able to stay for the whole 2 weeks, I started crying. My poor dil! I just can’t wait to be with them, and I want them as long as I can get them (they had originally said 3-4 week visit). I try to roll with whatever works, but sometimes get emotional with my hopes too.

  3. Love this post! It mad me laugh, just because how you described everything. Looks like you all had some fun activities together.

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