Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Dear Mom

It's one of those days, Mom. The kind where the longing to pick up the phone and tell you things threatens to overwhelm. The kind where the tears spill if I allow my mind to 'go there'. I miss you so much, Mom!

Every time I spend a day canning it feels incomplete without emailing you the results of my day. When we came back from our FMH Reunion, it felt like something was missing without telling you all about who we saw and what we did. I needed you this morning to ask (again) how much canning salt do you put in Tomato Juice? I missed having you ask "What would Lillian want for her birthday?" And there's so many times when it seems I need to tell you things that I know you would have loved to hear about...

People keep asking me, "How is your dad doing?" Can someone tell me how to answer that question? I never know quite what to say, and added to that is the embarrasing fact that I haven't talked to him for....awhile. Yesterday I made myself pick up the phone and dial...his cell phone. I couldn't quite get myself to call the house.

I hadn't even realized how much I'd been avoiding calling home. See, I never called home to talk to Daddy. Oh, sure, sometimes he answered and I'd chat with him too, it's not that I mind talking to him, but I always called to talk to you, Mom. Now, you're not there, and calling home makes it painfully real. So I just didn't call - I'm not a phone person anyway, I don't call anyone! I text occasionally, and I send an email once a week, and he reads my blog....... but the truth of the matter is, I dreaded the painful reality of calling home.

They say grief comes in stages -- we make jokes about it, "Probably that's just another stage of grief!" when something wacky happens -- I suppose they're right. I'd rather have it all one time and be done but that's just not the way it works. So, here we are, Mom. Stage 6: (or is it 16? Or 60? 600?) Still Missing You.

Love, Bethany

PS. And in case Heaven has any use for blogs, Pic #1: the tomato juice I canned today. 26 jars. Free tomatoes given from Chris' Aunt. Pic #2: Lillian's "playhouse" birthday gift. Made by her daddy. Your marigolds in the foreground. Pic #3: Jennifer and Lillian's own little tea party. Set up on their own. Bonnets and all.

Friday, August 29, 2014

What Moms Do

Ever wonder what moms do?

This morning I got up. I enjoyed the dark silence and some time to wake up quietly. I then embarked on my day -- got dressed, and started on school lunches. I went to the freezer to get bars for said lunches. "I think I'll keep one out for myself," I decided. I set my bar on the counter and finished up lunches. I urged the first grader to get dressed; I combed her hair. Somewhere in the midst of things, my oldest noticed the bar on the counter, "Mmmm! One lonely little bar...." he said, reaching greedily. "Oh, go ahead," I shrugged. "I got it out for me but you can have it."

That's what moms do.

After seeing the children off I got my little girl cereal and decided to get some for myself before the little man woke up. "I'll go ahead and get another bar out, I really wanted one," I decided. I fixed my cereal with the bar nicely resting in the middle. I sat down. I took four bites. The little man woke up, right on que! I can't be cross long with his little arms tight around my neck and head snuggled on my shoulder. I sit back down, take up my spoon and share my breakfast. Little man likes bites with bar included best so I fish out cereal for me, and bar for him, and we finish the meal happily.

That's what moms do.

Tonight, when all the hungry little grubbers are in bed, I think I'll go to the freezer, remove the biggest bar, and eat it. All.

Sometimes moms do that too!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What I Could Tell You

Mom's flowers are a jungle of green these days, with bursts of yellow and orange everywhere! "We'll save seeds every year, and always have flowers that belonged to Grandma!" the girls say. A legacy of flowers, sounds fitting to me.

Life has been full and busy lately. Too busy to think. And when I don't think, I don't blog. So I haven't.

I could tell you about a weekend spent with old aquaintances. I could tell you about a day spent with 2 other ladies -10 hours in the van and 2 at the viewing of our friend's mother. I could tell you about a day spent canning green beans or the mounds of laundry after the weekend away. I could tell you about my dirty, dirty house with all it's many cobwebs or about my horrendously dirty hair, for that matter....

I could tell you about our van, who's water pump is on it's last leg. I could tell you about my supper menu - which is non-exsistent and should be getting figured out this very minute. I could tell you about big boys that tease and tease and, well, tease....and little boys who have learned to lay in their own bed to go to sleep and are now *fingers crossed* not getting me up during the night! I could tell you about little girls who are SO tired in the morning and who just CAN'T wake up enough to get dressed for school and who just DON'T feel like eating whatever is available for breakfast.....

I could tell you about the excitement of big girls who, after many lessons, are beginning to be able to play songs out of a songbook! I could tell you about little girls who spend half their day with a woe-be-gone face saying "I don't know what to do, there's no one to play with!" And then turn around and fuss with the people they wanted to play with the minute they're home. I could tell you about freezers, full to the brim with summer's goodness, and rows of jars on shelves. I could tell you about husbands who faithfully go off to work every day even in the blazing heat......

I could tell you of many things, but I'm busy. And I'm not thinking. So I won't bore you all!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

"Getting Used"

I'm sitting *alone* on the porch of the lovely, old farmhouse where Jasmine has her piano lesson. It's a beautiful summer evening and my soul feels like it's taking deep, relaxing breaths while I listen with one ear to Jasmine stumbling through "The Lily of the Valley" for the first time and to the peaceful sound of birds chirping with the other. Life has been too busy for very many deep, relaxing breaths lately.

I tried not to dread the new schedule that school would bring, but I have to admit, I dreaded it. It's good for us to have more structure and the children were ready, ready for school to start, it's me who was dragging their feet! So, here we go. Earlier bed times to strive for, earlier mornings that mom MUST get up to or disaster will happen ....not my favorite thing at.all. :/

My days have suddenly changed to 2 little people at my house! This means no slipping out the door to hang laundry, etc alone, no going to the bathroom without being noticed -- "Mom, where are you going? Are you just going potty or...??" anxious voice outside the door "Mom, mom! Are you coming out soon??" *sigh* It also means that I get called away from my business umpteen times a day....excuse me, minute....by an urgent little voice saying, "Mom, mom! Did you see what I made mom?" Stop. Take a look. Resume work. "Now I'm making a bump in the road mom, see mom?" Get back to what I was doing. "Look mom. This is the train station. Did you see mom?" And so forth.....

I'd forgotten what it's like to not have someone around to send the little people outside with! Now it's me or stay in the house. I'd also forgotten what it's like to try to put the baby down for a nap with someone around who doesn't want you to leave the room for a minute (much less 15) "I wanna lay with you, mom." Wiggle, whisper, sit up, cough, sniff..... Ok!! Call it off. I'll rock the baby today and deal with it tomorrow. This is not working!

It's actually not really all bad, it's just "getting used" as the Indians in Crique Sarco, Belize used to say. Two weeks from now we'll have our routine and I'll have forgotten how strange it seems to have only 2 children around instead of 5. Hopefully the earlier nights and mornings will be coming more easily and maybe one little lady won't be quite so paranoid about being left alone for 2 minutes, who knows. We just need to "get used"! :)

Jennifer Quote: last Saturday we drove by a big grave yard and Chris said, "Look at all those dead people." Jennifer spoke up in awed tones, "Ooooh my goodness! That church must not have very many people left!!"

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ramblings

Life is racing by. I've been meaning to post, been writing them in my head as I go about my days. I've been longing for the chance, in fact, to string some words together.......but I've been busy. Yes, now you know the truth. Usually I'm not really busy, thus the ability to post! :)

I seriously am not a very "busy" person. Not the kind of whom people might say "She's such a worker!" Every once in a while, when necessity demands it, I don my best <insert name of woman who always intimidates you with the amount of work she gets done here> hat, and I work. (What? You don't have a name in mind? Go read another blog!!)

Yes, life has been full to the brim. Two different days of all day long looking at corn, a spur of the moment trip with Grandpas for the 2 oldest and a day excursion with a train ride for those left behind. A meal to fix for a new mommy and daddy, school schedule to get started on, a day to be gone for a viewing and a weekend trip to get ready for. Throw in the regular laundry and cooking and dailyness and...I'm tired! Just plain old bone tired.

But I feel alive, and rather content and happy tonight and that's a pretty good feeling. There's six beautiful roses sitting on my window sil since last night and when asked the reason, he replied, "Because I like you!" Aw. So just because I like him, I added to my day in the kitchen by making the potatoes and ham and apple jello he's been coveting. I hope it felt as good as six roses.

Then, there were three bright eyed, eager faces this morning, and three happy, shining ones this afternoon. A Christian school is such a privilege, did you know that? I can't imagine needing to push my children out the door every morning because they dread what a day at school holds! This year I want to do better at not taking the privilege so glibly for granted.

Lastly, there's a little boy at my house. A sweet little boy that crawled up on my lap today and laid his head on my shoulder and said, "Mamma" in the most adoring way and then "I lunah"......AWWWWW. To top it off, tonight when I said "Shall we go night, night?" this child that I've struggled with at night since day one, the child that I've been trying to teach to lay down in his bed and go to sleep without rocking, trotted to the bedroom and stopped expectantly and. . . . .he went to sleep without a peep!!! (please read in hushed, reverent tones!) I'm not so naive as to think the night time frustrations are over, but that was HUGE!

And so, there's my ramblings for the day. And now, I am going to bed. This poor old body isn't used to such workouts and is aching for its bed! I'll don the hat in the morning and see what all I can accomplish in a new day.....

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bits of Random

Quote of the day:
Jennifer - "I'm just thinking, when I get older my life is gonna get hard!"
Me - "Why??"
Jennifer - "Well, when I get married and have children and then you have to take care of them and cook and keep the house clean..... I think it would just be easier to not get married!"
Hmmmm.......does her mom have a bad attitude?? I think I convinced her otherwise, and maybe me too :)

The marigolds in the picture are the first bouquet from the seeds my mom gathered for Jennifer last year. I'm kind of obssessed with taking pictures of them..... they bring a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes. How I miss you, Mom!

I'm also a bit obssessed with little boys who say "Mmmmm" along with their big "squeezes" when you pick them up - the cute little stinker wearing his "gaa-ses" in particular! He's trying to repeat all kinds of words these days. My favorite is still his precious "Nyyy Nanna!" Chris loves to tease him - "It's my mamma!" just to hear "Nyyy Nanna!!" Chris tells him "I had her first!" and he says "Hu uh!" :) He loves music and snuggling and balls and books and swinging with Grandpa and going outside. If I could only figure out how to get him to sleep all night he would be too perfect, I suppose. Seriously, what am I doing wrong??

Vacation is almost over, and this household is about to get a rude awakening when school schedule begins come Tuesday! I'll be glad when the adjustment is made and we're settled into a new routine again. The school children are all three excited and ready for the first day! I'm getting there. I don't look forward to that drive every day, but I know it will be routine before long.

And now I must run along and face my "hard life" :) :)