Friday, July 15, 2011

Mini Road Trip

Last night Aaron had the idea to take a road trip to a small town and find a little diner or cafe to eat dinner.  We all piled into the van and proceeded to drive all the way to Eaton (which is roughly nine miles from where we live). 

We weren't sure what was there, so we continued on to Ault, which is an exciting distance of four miles from Eaton.  Unfortunately, we had gotten a late start, and small towns being small towns, all the cute little diners and cafes in Ault were closed. 

We then proceeded to traverse the grueling four miles back to Eaton, and soon settled on eating at a little place called "Steven's Grill", which has been there, apparently, since Aaron was a kid. 

We ordered up burgers and fries and cheddar potato soup because it was on special, and all sat around a small metal table together.  Malachi took to the soup, Sima just wanted crackers and the french fries from my plate, even though I did give him his own, and Izzy was mostly preoccupied with mixing together ketchup and mustard for his fries.  Aaron and I ate as quickly as possible, as we have learned that once the kids are done eating, it's best to make a quick escape before they start wreaking havoc upon the restaurant.  The food was actually really good--I'd take it over McDonald's any day.

When we were all done, we went across the street to Eat'n Ice Cream and had dessert.  We sat outside at wrought-iron tables and chairs and ate our ice cream, enjoying the quietness of the small town and marveling that the main street of Eaton was less busy than the street we live on in Greeley.  At one point, three teenage girls were riding their bikes right down the middle of the road, not a single car in sight.  If our boys tried that, they'd be in big trouble, because there is really no time of day that our road is without cars. 

We walked around the block afterward, and the boys managed to find an anthill, which we quickly removed them from so they wouldn't get bitten.  It was beginning to get dark, so we headed back to the van to go home.  By the time we had them all in their seats, it was a quarter to nine, and the quiet and peaceful part of the evening was over.  Simeon was crying because an ant bit him, Malachi was crying because his toe mysteriously hurt, and Lily was crying because she's an infant and that's what she does.  Izzy was the only one not crying, probably because he was too busy adding to the problem by pinching Malachi and bugging him, as only a little brother can. 

Nine miles seems a lot longer when you have a van full of crying children. 

The funny part was when I realized that Simeon was crying mostly because Malachi was crying.  He would repeat everything he said, even that Izzy pinched him, which I knew wasn't true since Izzy couldn't reach him.  I held his hand and sang to him, which miraculously quieted him and everyone else down for about three minutes.   And then they all started up again. 

By then we were back in Greeley, and soon home, so it was all right. 

All in all, it was a really great night together...but I am glad we were only nine miles from home.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What I Would Like

Growing up, whenever I would complain about anything, my mom would say, "Well, life isn't fair."  I would often get mad at her for not sympathizing over my teenage woes, but as an adult, I realize more and more that it's true; we don't always get what we want.  Sometimes I am reconciled to that fact, but at others it is a slap in the face and everything in between.  Since I have this nifty blog, I thought that today I would make use of it, and put down on record how I'd like for things to be.

I'd really like to not have to get up at 5:30 and change a dirty diaper.
I'd like to be able to sit and eat a bowl of cereal without someone thinking I should share it with them.
I'd like it if when I took the time to make eggs, the kids would all actually eat them.
I'd like to be able to sit and hold my baby for as long as I need to, without anyone asking me for juice or a snack, even though they just ate twenty minutes ago.
I'd like it if I could put Lily in her swing without worrying that one of the boys was going to climb into it with her.
I'd like a little more privacy.
I'd like it if I didn't feel like I was speaking a foreign language to my children since they so often seem to not even hear what I'm saying.
I'd like it if I could feel like I knew what I was doing.

I'd like a lot of things, but as I mentioned before, we don't always get what we want.  And that isn't necessarily bad.  It helps me to learn to "be content in all things", and it forces me to stare my lack in the face, and recognize that I need God.  Because there's just no other way I can get through life on my own.  I am desperately in need of His grace and peace.  All the time. 

And what I would really like most of all?  I'd like to learn to rely on Him, instead of constantly trying to do it all myself.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Slice of Life

I have four children.  Sometimes I hear myself say this and it surprises me.  My oldest two will turn six and four this weekend. 

Malachi is ready to be six.  He's ready for anything.  He's getting tall like his Daddy, and also like his Daddy, he will talk to anyone.  He is conversationally fearless!  He's really into pirates right now, so he has his sword at the ready while he watches Muppet Treasure Island and Pirates of the Caribbean.  My mom and niece made a treasure map and sent it to him in the mail.  I'm pretty sure he has it stowed away in his bed somewhere, as though the map itself was buried treasure.

Israel (a.k.a. Izzy, Iz Niz, Zoo Bear, and the Spiceman) is also getting tall.  In fact, I am a little worried that one day he will be taller than Malachi.  This will be great for him, but will drive Malachi crazy.  At almost four, he is on the precipice of being potty trained.  What that means is that he can go potty just fine on his own when it strikes his fancy, but most often he can't be bothered with it.  This morning it struck him as a good idea, so he went.  Then he called me in to help him wipe, only to refuse to let me do it, so I stood by watching as he insisted on tearing the toilet paper into individual pieces.  It was a severe test of patience, let me tell you!  And no one can test my patience like Izzy can.  Sometimes he is as immoveable as a mountain.  He also makes me laugh the most, though, like when he was going around the house singing, "Oooh, you and me, and our smock-atility vehicle."  It was supposed to be "sports utility".  We can thank Veggie Tales for the reason he was singing about a sports utility vehicle in the first place. 

Simeon is my baby boy, although, he's actually pretty big.  He just turned two at the end of March, and he's really starting to talk now.  For a long time, he would repeat things we said without really knowing what he was saying.  Now he is responding instead of just repeating.  A great example of this happened the other day when he tried to ride Chi's bike.  When I told him it was too big for him, he said, "No, it's mine!"  "I'm pretty sure it's Malachi's," I told him.  I thought he was just going to repeat me at first, but instead he declared quite decidedly, "Pretty sure it's Sima's." 

Lily is the real baby, and the only girl.  She will be two months old tomorrow.  For a while it seemed like all she did was sleep, eat, and cry, but now she is becoming more interactive.  She likes when I sit down and talk to her.  I hold her in my arms and we have a little conversation.  She smiles at me a lot, and sometimes she will try to join in with a little "Coo" or "Aah".  Think what you want, but I know she's talking to me.  She has the most beautiful blue eyes, and I am crossing my fingers that they will stay that color!  My dad has blue eyes, so it's possible, even though her Mommy and Daddy have brown and hazel, that her eyes could be blue too.

All of this is just a glimpse, just a sliver out of our lives.  Lily is so small now, but before I know it, she'll be the one asserting her independance over what belongs to her, and Simeon will be the one meticulously separating toilet paper.  Izzy will be starting school, and Malachi will be...well, I don't know yet.  I do know that I don't want to forget what this moment, what this day is like.  It seems like I should remember all these little details forever, but I am already surprised by the things I forget.