Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Way It Should Be

First let me warn you that this post has no pictures to accompany it so if you want to skip it, do so now. Anyway, I have just come to realize since being "laid off" from my part-time job at Pleasant Valley church of Christ Day School, how frazzled and hurried even a part-time working mom can make a family. I am so enjoying being home every day right now. Not only to spend my days with Chase as I did with the other two, but to get things done during the day so that when the rest of the family gets home in the afternoon, I am not scurrying around trying to do household things. I also found that when I am home, getting stuff done during the day, I am much more attentive to my kids. Now, let me say that my not working doesn't mean we don't struggle with finances. We struggle just like every other family does. I have learned, in the short month that I haven't received a paycheck, to not spend unnecessary money. In the past it was kind of easy for me to just take off to Target or.....ok, mostly Target, to just look for something to buy. I would tell myself that one of the kids needed shoes or something new to wear. Or that I needed some shoes or makeup or a shirt or something new for the house. Need is a term used very loosely. Of course we didn't need any of those things. I have had to discipline myself to not go anywhere during the day and if I do have to go somewhere specific, not to make any detours on the way to spend extra money.

I'm not criticizing those mothers who have chosen to work outside the home. I understand how convenient and sometimes necessary it is to supplement the family income. However, I also think, and I am probably going to step on some toes here, mommies feel that they have to work in order to keep up the lifestyle their family is currently living. And, if they really tried, the way of life could be scaled down to fit within one income. There, I said it.(Let me say here that this in no way applies to single mothers. That's a whole other challenge that I am blessed to not have!) I guess this time off of work has just shown me that mothers are needed at home when their kids are little and still needing and wanting mommy's attention. I feel that I'm not constantly living in a hurry and I have time to plan fun things. I also have more(just slightly more) patience with my kids. They still get on my nerves sometimes, like they did this morning at 7 a.m. But I am a better mommy when I'm home all day. I think God intended mommies to stay home with small children and it makes a family happier.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Here's Proof

Every once in a great while, when the weather is perfect and we have nothing else to do, we will work in our yard. Saturday was one of those days. Our whole family spent the entire day working/playing outside. The kids mostly played but we did put them to work a little bit too. We were very proud of our accomplishment. If you've ever been to our house, you know that we live in the middle of a pine forest. We don't have grass. We have dirt in our front yard. Sun doesn't ever get to the ground for the trees so we have never had a beautiful, lush green yard. Chase doesn't even like to walk on grass barefoot because he's not used to feeling the grass on his feet. So, after 6 hours and 10 lawn and garden bags full of leaves and pine needles, our yard is cleaned up. You won't be able to tell in these pics because it still looks so awful. However, Jared is attempting to grow some grass in the corner of our yard. He transplanted some grass from along the driveway and just put it on some soil in between the driveway and sidewalk. Now our yard has a soul patch. Anyway, we're pretty sure our yard is going to be chosen for yard of the month of our subdivision.

Also, I just took another pic of the kids before I took them to school this morning. I'm kind of having fun matching their uniforms every day. I'm sure the teachers all notice and appreciate it!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


July was our fullest month this summer. On July 1st we set off at around 9:45 p.m. to drive 15 hours to see our best friends who had moved to Colorado Springs. We left at night so the kids would sleep at least half the trip. We had all the necessary supplies to keep them busy when they were awake. They did very well, I must say. The two big kids slept from about 10:30 until we stopped for breakfast at 7:00 somewhere in Kansas. Jared and I took turns driving and we finally arrived at the Hammitts house at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 2nd. We had a wonderful visit. Julie had our days planned out and we didn't waste one minute. Our kids love each other so much but fight like brothers and sisters when they're together. We rode a train up to the top of Pikes Peak and played in the snow for about 15 minutes. We had on short sleeves when we boarded the train and by the time we reached the top, we were bundled up in coats, hats and mittens. The view from the top was breathtaking! Gorgeous. God really had a great imagination when he was creating everything. We spent one day at the zoo and another day hiking at Garden of the gods. For the fourth we went to the Air Force Academy and watched fireworks. Typically here in Arkansas, we are dripping with sweat as we watch fireworks but this year, we were all wearing sweatshirts, jeans and had blankets to keep warm. We finally left Monday night at 9:30 to come home. Jared and I knew when we went that leaving was going to be hard. I think our trip really put into perspective how great of a friendship we have. We miss them so much and we aren't sure exactly how to fix it. Even Chase still asks where Casen Ray is. We just have to remember that this is part of the plan and we are just along to see where He takes us.

We also went to Hot Springs for our annual vacation with Jared's family and some close friends from Memphis. We were either on the boat or in the pool all day. Jared and his dad, Randy, can both still slalom and we always enjoy watching them. This year Jared's brother, Jamal, got in on it and learned to slalom. I don't ski or do anything really behind the boat except swim. I usually have a child to hold anyway so it's really ok. That was really our last family vacation time of the summer. It was a good summer and it went by quick, which doesn't disappoint me any right now. I'll post some Hot Springs pics later. I have to find them first.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

School Days

I realize that I really didn't deserve a hiatus since, according to my mother-in-law, I only have like 5 posts on my blog! However, I knew the summer was going to be hectic and I wouldn't have any time to waste on trying to upload pics and thinking of witty things to say. So, I have decided to start with the first day of school and work back into the summer. It'll take a few posts but I'll get caught up pretty quick.

So-I'll admit I was a little nervous about how Avery would do this year entering pre-k 4. Otter Creek Elementary, which is where Hunter goes, has a pre-k 4 program. It's great! The hours are the exact same as regular school hours. She'll be there from 7:30-2:20 just like the big kids. I was afraid she would freak out a little since she was being left there without parents or Chase. As usual, you can't predict how kids will react to situations. She did fine. She woke up this morning and said "I need to get dressed". Typical Avery lies in bed and whines for about 15 minutes before she actually gets up. She was ready to go before anyone else. She walked right into her room, I pointed out her desk with her name on it and she sat down and went to work building with the toys provided. She said "that's enough pictures!" Not one tear shed and she didn't even watch us as we left her classroom. Just like that. Hunter was the weepy one. As it turns out, he is more like Jared in that respect too. Jared had a hard time going to school in his early elementary years. He cried and in the 3rd grade, he took a family picture and taped it to his desk. Hunter hasn't asked to take a picture yet but he has cried every year on the first and second days. He is such a sweet boy and he is the one that always tells me that he isn't going to move out and get married. He's just going to live with us forever. We all know his viewpoint will change in a few years so for now I just say "ok, that's fine with me". I hate leaving him crying and I know he's embarrassed that he's crying in the 2nd grade but he just can't help it. The only picture I got of him in his class was from the doorway where he couldn't see me. We'll see how tomorrow goes. Hunter might be fine and Avery might break down when she realizes that she has to go every day.