Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Working Hard, or Not

Doll Bench by Nia Pregont

This morning Nia came downstairs carrying a bunch of scrap wood, nails, and a kid's wooden hammer. She just walked straight past me, out to the back porch and started hammering away. Half an hour later she brought in this doll bench. Now I sign her up for woodworking class??

Isabel is actually quite a reliable helper. She spent hours painting trim wood for the upstairs. I always liked helping out my dad when I was little, too.

Matt has been working like a borrowed mule trying to finish the upstairs. He's been hanging door and doing trim this past week. I had a decorating party last night, which involved having a few girlfriends over to help put some stuff up on the walls. I used to enjoy this kind of thing, but lately I truly just want someone else to do it for me. It's too overwhelming...."a little to the right" or "that goes better in that room with that thingy." At one point I lost complete control as my friends were taking down things I'd already hung last year and moving them elsewhere. How's that for a vote in one's decorating confidence?

I would've added pics of all the other kids helping out, but there aren't any. Hmmm.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


This is an excerpt from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by CS Lewis. It's one of the Chronicles of Narnia series. I'll set it up by telling you that Eustace turned into a dragon and finds himself face-to-face with Aslan (Christ figure). What Eustace describes below is a pretty good description of me this past spring and summer.

"I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it. The very first tear he made was do deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I've ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know - if you've ever picked the scab of a sore place. It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away.Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off - just as I thought I'd done it myself the other three times, only they hadn't hurt - and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been.

Then he caught hold of me - I didn't like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I'd no skin on - and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I'd turned into a boy again. You'd think me simply phoney if I told you how I felt about my own arms. I know they've no muscle and are pretty mouldy compared with Caspian's, but I was so glad to see them.

After a bit the lion took me out and dressed me - (with his paws?) - Well, I don't exactly remember that bit. But he did somehow or other: in new clothes - the same I've got on now, as a matter of fact. and then suddenly I was back here. Which is what makes me think it must have been a dream."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Clive, trying to look insulted.
From The Hawk and The Dove: "Mother waved goodbye to them from the door, then disappeared into the kitchen and returned five minutes later bearing a tray with two thick slices of fruit cake, a cup of coffee for herself, and some lemon and honey for me. She put another log on the fire and curled up in her armchair with her coffee cupped in her hands, looking into the flames. 'Peace,' she said happily. 'Oh this is nice. It's nice when you feel peaceful inside, and you can curl up by the fire in a peaceful house. Too much racket in the house and it frays you at the edges a bit; but if you lose the peace on the inside of you, you could be in the quietest place on earth and your nerves would still jangle.'"
My mom took the girls to her house last week (3 hours away), and then we swapped them out for the boys this week. It's been a lot more quiet around here with only half the crew. In fact, a lot of things change with half of the kids gone.....I don't run the dishwasher as often, there is less trash, there is less fighting amongst siblings, there is less food to prepare at each meal, there is less mess in general. Concerning the mess, however, I must say that dividing the kids up has revealed to me the culprits of the Biggest Mess Makers......It's....the girls!!
One thing I've discovered about myself with a little more time on my hands is that I don't know how to do Nothing well. I'm just not used to it. I tried to remember what it was like when I had 3 little boys years ago and what I did with my time. But my memories are of a frenzied mother overwhelmed with 3 boys ages 3 and under. I suppose I freaked out in my spare time back then. Now, it seems, I sleep in my spare time.
Oh, there's always dusting, which in my opinion is a waste of time. I mean, you just stir the stuff up and it lands somewhere else for a few days, right? I did manage to mop and wish I had taken a picture so I could have looked at it 1/2 hour later to remember it by. Once again, futile.
After I painted my toenails, which hasn't happened in years, I got really restless. Mop - check. Laundry - check. Grocery shop - check. Paint toenails - check.
I think I should make a list for such future occasions when I find myself with Nothing To Do. I can already foresee my troubles when all the kids leave home someday. I'll probably have to get a job as a Wal-Mart greeter just to pass the time. By then, all my collegiate learning will have long been forgotten by my brain.

Monday, August 04, 2008


"The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, then it's you."~Rita Mae Brown
I, personally, find it very liberating to be a little left of center. - angel

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Summer - We're still alive.

Having fun with cousins in Wisconsin.

Enjoying the fountains in Downtown Nashville. This is only about 5 mintues from us.

Hudson helping daddy do the outlets in the new boys room upstairs.
After much admonishment by friends and family, I thought I'd post. Summer has been busy. We've spent a lot of time at the Y pool. One week in Wisconsin. And quite a bit of time moving the kids upstairs and trying to finish it out. It's been like moving another time. The downstairs looks totally different and Matt and I are enjoying having it more to ourselves. I now have a schoolroom that doesn't involve the kitchen table. Whoo Hoo! All the toys are upstairs - most of the time. :- )
Otherwise, it's been a hard spring and summer for our little family emotionally. Just Life Stuff. Nothing to go into detail about here. But we are surviving and will be all the better for it in the end. CS Lewis says that Pain is God's megaphone to a hurting world. It's true. Sometimes we just don't want to change until the Pain of Hanging On exceeds the Pain of Letting Go.
What I'd say to sum it up for me is that I'm learning to live in the Present, not the Past nor Future. I'm learning to ID my emotions better and live out of the Truth more. Truth to myself, kids, Matt, friends, God. My new motto is "I'm in training." That's got a whole different feel to it than having the old motto of "I'm trying."