When I first decided to write about my wonderful, eventful and sometimes crazy family and life, I was worried that I would run out of things to write about. I reached into the past and pulled out stories that I remembered from when the kids were little. Then I realized that this bunch supplies me with a plethora of stories every single day! Who needs reality TV? I live it and believe me it is entertaining!
His story actually starts about three or four years ago. Doc decided that he was going to be a hunter when he grows up. Now, my husband has always loved to be out in the woods but usually for the peace and quiet and to enjoy nature. The thought of a bunch of men (and sometimes women) out in the woods, unrestricted and with rifles concerned me. (Hunters, please keep your sense of humor with this.) But okay, he is now Bwana, the Great White Hunter complete with all the gear that he needed, including a couple of deer stands. The first year, he put together a small hunting party and he actually got a deer. He has tried to organize a group every year for different seasons but it doesn’t always work out. Either people cancel out or his schedule gets in the way.
This year he took off for a day or two. He often forgets to tell the kids he is going somewhere and after a day or so, they usually ask where he is. This year I actually got to use the sentence: He is bear hunting. And then I got to add, from the balcony of his cabin.
A few years ago, when he couldn’t get away, he and the Admiral put deer stands up in the woods by our house. One of the boys called one morning to chat and asked what was new and where dad was. I said “I don’t know, I think he is outside in a tree.” After a pregnant pause I was asked what his father was doing up a tree. “Deer hunting.” My son asked how long he had been outside. “I think he went out about five, but I am not sure.” Then there was concern in my son’s voice when he reminded me that it was now 11:00 and suggested that I go out and look for him. Well, that wasn’t going to happen. First, it was cold outside and second, I would get in trouble for scaring the deer.
Yesterday, Pook came home and asked where his dad was. I told him he went back to his cabin this afternoon to plug up some opening so that skunks don’t get into the cabin. Without missing a beat, the conversation continued with my son asking if his dad was only concerned about skunks. I told him that the smell could be a problem, and unless it was a smart skunk who left a trail of bread crumbs to the opening to get back out he would get stuck in the cabin and that would be bad. Besides, we did have a duck get down the chimney of the old cabin and that was a nightmare!!!! And don’t forget, with our quick responses we managed to outwit the Groundhogs by the Haney Place during the Great Groundhog Wars with Grammy.
This is a typical conversation in our house. You can’t make this stuff up. We accept the unusual in stride. No, we embrace the unusual. I thank God every day for the smiles that my family provides me with and for the wonderful, and yes, crazy life that I am blessed with.
Do you remember all of the songs that you sang and the nursery rhymes that you recited as a child? You know, for instance “Sing a song of sixpence….” , “One potato, two potato, three potato four…..” Or how about singing the ABC’s? Did you ever stop to think about what it took to learn and remember all of those words.
And how about the children’s stories that were read to you? The Ginger Bread Man, Goldilocks, Little Red Riding Hood.... I was thinking about those the other day. I was watching some children’s shows with the grandchildren and wondering what ever happened to that innocence that my kids grew up with. My brother and I talked about it and I realized that we are not in a very different place than we were when I was a child. There are just different characters. I also realized that the Brothers Grimm were pretty dark characters!
Anytime I am in the car with Max and Stitch, Max will ask to listen to her songs on the radio. Now keep in mind that she loves the current hits. We don’t listen to Raffi and his children’s songs. No, she likes Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. And she knows the words to EVERY song! Her little brain is like a sponge! You haven’t lived to you have gone through the grocery store with her singing “This woman is my destiny, ooh, ooh, ooh, Shut up and dance with me!” over and over! And loud!
It is the same with movies. She is like my sons in memorizing lines and songs from movies. We know the words and even body motions to “Frozen”. She loves movies like “Grease” and “Pitch Perfect” and she knows and loves the songs!
The Admiral’s brother was visiting them a week ago. He was teasing Max and playing with her. And of course, she was teasing him back. He finally said to her “Sticks and stones may break my bones…” True to form, Max finished his sentence using the words from one of her favorite “Pitch Perfect” songs. “yea, but chains and whips excite me.”
Remember, their minds are like sponges! Fill their minds and hearts with as many good things as you can, and learn to love and laugh at the surprises that they come up with. Have a blessed day!
If you are married, you have experienced that moment. You either have a shocked or puzzled look on your face and the only thing you can say is "Now?!"
For Mini-Me and myself, a most memorable time has been during labor and delivery. For me, it was Doc bringing friends from the hospital, who he worked with into the room to meet me. Not one of the lasting impressions I would like to leave with these people, but a husband does not always think of that. And the usual response from the husband is "What?!" as in "Is this a problem?"
Mini-Me's "Now" moment also came during labor and delivery of baby #2. He was ready to arrive when Mini-Me heard the Admiral say "Hey Nikki! How are you? I haven't seen you in ages!" For my daughter, it became first of all "And just who is Nikki?" and then "Seriously, now you want to catch up with an old friend, we are a little busy right now!"
Those are big ones that you tend to not forget. However, throughout life there are dozens that occur on a regular basis. For instance, you have just gotten ready to head out of the house, have the baby all bundled up and you hear that unforgettable sound that lets you know a diaper has been soiled. Really! Now!? You couldn't have done that ten minutes ago!
Or there was the time when I came home from running errands to find that my husband had shot our patio table by accident. We put the frame in the barn until I could decide what to do. I finally saw something on the internet that would look great in the place of the shattered glass. It had been sitting in the barn all summer. When I told Doc my idea, he informed me that he had thrown it out last week. Really? Now!? It has been there all summer!
It pains me to admit that I usually am a minimum of five minutes late most times. It doesn't really matter where I am going. In fact, I will probably request in my will that my funeral starts five minutes late, I would hate to miss it if it started on time. Anyway, we had a Sunday where we actually got out of the house to head to Church on time. The building was within my line of vision and we had five minutes to spare! Suddenly two blocks before the Church, my husband turns into the gas station. "What are you doing?! We were on time!" Doc's response: "My windows are dirty and I want to clean them."
What else can you do at a moment like that except drop your jaw and say "NOW???!!!!"
Well, today is the day that our newlyweds are moving into their first home! I am so excited for them. And of course, it brings back many memories of moving days!
Honestly, men will never learn to just let the wife be in charge. The helpfulness that they attempt is often crippling! My favorite move took place when I was pregnant with Calvin and toting around an 18 month old "Mommy". Doc had to go to a meeting/conference in Arizona. It was awesome!!!!
"Mommy" and I would pack a few boxes, we would load them into my little Nissan Sentra and drive them over to the new house. She would play or nap and I would clean out a cupboard or closet and empty the boxes. We would make three or four trips a day. In one week, we managed to have the whole house put together. Everything was on a shelf or in a closet. Bathrooms were clean. In short, the house was totally functional and organized. The last couple of days, we even slept on the floor on a camping mattress enjoying our new house. The only thing missing was the large furniture. All this accomplished in one week. When Doc came home from his trip, it took him and a few buddies a couple of hours to finish the job!
Fast forward to our last move. We had downsized while we built our home, so a lot of our belongings were in storage units. I begged to be allowed to take my time moving things. Not a chance!!!! First, it had to be done in one day! Second, friends who meant well came to help and totally overwhelmed me. Third, the people who were moving into our other house just started grabbing things and carrying them to our house without packing or anything. They were more concerned with getting us out so they could get in! And finally, we had to empty the storage units. Why it had to be done immediately, I will never know. But the next thing I knew, our 2 and a half car garage was stuffed with boxes and so much stuff!
Needless to say, I was unhappy. Oh, did I mention that I was expected to pull all of this together and create a home while dealing with a nine month old baby, a three year old, a six year old, a seven year old, a nine year old, an eleven year old and a husband!? I often wonder how much I can handle, those days tested me a lot. They say God doesn't give you more than you can handle. God has more confidence in me than I do! Have a blessed and organized day!
Well, 'tis the season. Most religions are already in the Lenten season. For the Orthodox Church, Lent begins next week. Technically, we fast every Wednesday and Friday. For us, that means no meat, no dairy products, sometimes no oil and sometimes even no fish. That last one....not a heartbreaker for my kids. About half of them would not eat fish if their lives depended on it. In their minds, it is largely my fault.
Okay, I admit that sometimes I didn't always put a lot of effort into the meals I prepared when they were little. Convenience was more important than presentation. Taste may or may not have been sacrificed. Sometimes I really didn't care. There is not a mom out there who has not worked like a fiend to prepare a beautiful, tasty and healthy meal for her family only to have them look at it and grimace, gag and/or complain. It is particularly wounding to the soul when they don't even try it, or worse yet (and yes this happens!) throw it up after one bite.
When the kids were little, I often bought frozen pre-packaged meat items like chicken breasts and orange roughy. I would thaw the orange roughy, season it, butter it and place it on the baking sheet. I served it with fruit cocktail and tater tots. What kid would not think this is a dream meal? Well, they didn't recognize the orange roughy. It wasn't a hamburger, it wasn't peanut butter and jelly! What cruel joke is mom playing on us now!? And they would boldly ask in an accusatory manner as if I were trying to poison them!
"Why my dear children, it is a delicious fish. You will love it! It tastes just like chicken!"
To this day they insist that any item cooked on those baking sheets after the orange roughy tasted like fish. I am suspicious that a few of my baking sheets found their way mysteriously to the trash. No admissions of guilt on that, and certainly no evidence after 20 - some years. So a couple of weeks ago we were out to dinner with friends and Mini-me and the Admiral. Orange roughy was a special for the evening. I chuckled. Mini-me looked up in horror and I believe insulted the menu. The Admiral, bless him, ordered the orange roughy. He loved it, but he didn't mention the chicken flavor. Hmmm?
Have a beautiful day. Keep working on a healthy, happy and humerous family.
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!