Thursday, May 28, 2009

eleven days and towing

Eleven days and counting.

I've got lists. A "To Buy Before Leaving" List. A "To Be Sure Not To Forget" List. "Medicine Bag" List. "To Do" List. "To Do The Week We Leave" List. "Travel Food" List.

Yes, I am that "ducks in a row" type. You bet. And, you know, that is a a gift!! Not something to apologize for. Yep.

So my list grows on a daily basis. Which, is scary since it should be shrinking [the "to-do" part anyway].

We are hoping, desperately, that God will work out a miracle and we'll be able to tow a little home-away-from-home behind us. Right now it looks like we got us a humble pop-up camper... The problem is now that the shiney new [ish... it's an '05] does not tow. Dumb mini-van. Wish we'd used our brains when we bought it and bought something with a tow package. Yeah, I've learned the lingo. Tow package. Bumper pull. Yadda yadda.

But, we proceed to prepare for both options. The option to sleep in over a dozen different beds over a period of six weeks; or the option to tow the same bed behind us for six weeks. Only God knows what we will look like when we drive out of here in eleven days.

Eleven days.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Motherhood Follies: The Extinction of Window Blinds

Window blinds are a dying breed in our house. The window in Rose's room lost its blinds a few weeks after we moved into the house. This past week, we said good-bye to two more blinds.

In the midst of mommy duties, I hurried up the stairs and into the hallway. I noticed Isaiah's room seemed particularly bright. The sunshine gave me a smile... that quickly vanished upon entering my oldest son's room.

"Isaiah!" I hollered. My voice echoed along the walls. "ISAIAH!"

I heard him running up the stairs. "Yes, Momma?"

I picked up the shades and waited for him. He barreled his energetic four-year-old body into the room, coming to an abrupt stop when he saw what I held in my hands. His eyes skirted around the room, darting anywhere but my face and the blinds.

"Isaiah... what's this?"

"My blinds..." he said nonchalantly.

"Why are they not on the window?" My voice had reached a slightly out of control pitch. I tried to bring it down and un-grit my teeth. "What happened?"

"Um, well, they broke," he said.

"Yes. How did they break?"

"Well, I was standing on my table over there," Isaiah pointed to the train table [something he was under direct orders not to stand on top]. "And I swung on the cord from the table to the floor."

I have a rather vivid imagination. And suddenly, it filled with a little boy's adventure of swinging like Tarzan across his room. My anger was gone. I sighed deeply and tried to hide the understanding smile. I may not be a boy with all the energy and excitement, but I get adventure.

"Don't do that again." I said. Then, as an "P.S." I added over my shoulder, "Don't ever touch the blinds again!"

The next day I found my bedroom's blinds, to my one and only window in my room, laying half-hazard on my bed. The room was empty; the culprit missing. But, I knew. I knew my Tarzan had struck again.

"I was just trying to get some light," Isaiah explained matter of fact after I hunted him down. Duh, Mom.

"But, the rule is you don't touch the blinds...." I rattled off. It didn't matter. The damage was done. Only two windows in my house still possess the near extinct window blinds. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday, May 15, 2009

twenty four more days and attacking hostesses

Twenty-four more days and counting... Until me and the amazing kiddos head out into the great unknown. Head west. Bite the bullet. Go crazy. Hit the road.

Yikes. I am a frantic mixture of excitement and fear. While there is a tiny chance my sister, Rachel, will accompany me on my madness, I am setting up to embark on the first leg of the 6000 mile road troap all by my lonesome. [And, when I say, "by my lonesome" I mean by my lonesome plus four kids. So, not really by my lonesome.]

I have been on several road trips and have been blessed to stay with lots of different people. Most of my houseguest experiences have been positive. But... I have had some doozies.

Like once [dishing, here! I'm dishing!!] a hostess was incredibly put off [as in very disgusted] at the way my newly-turned-two-year-old ate spaghetti. Am I the only mother who lops a blob of the sauce drenched pasta in front of her kid and lets her go to town? Because, this hostess spoon fed her darlings and they walked away from the table with barely a speck of spaghetti sauce on the beautiful faces. Then there was my two year old covered in sauce when she wrapped up her meal. I didn't think anything of it; it's life at my house. But, my hostess did not like it.

Another time we stayed at a wonderful house and had lots of fun during the day. But, at night... The bed we slept on was like a boat. It rocked back and forth. And that was not because there was any hanky-panky going on. No. Rocking began if anyone twitched. Very exciting. Jason ended up on the floor at the end of that visit. Me and whatever baby I had at the time kicked him off the rocking bed.

You can see why I am a tad worried about being a houseguest. After all, I am bringing four kids with me. That alone is going to throw most of my hostesses off. For most families, we will triple their child population. For the most part, I think my friends and family are up for the challenge [right, Autumn?? MOM??] but I am still nervous about converging on homes other than mine.

Hoping to be as much a blessing as possible, I decided to do a little research on "being a good houseguest". Check this out. Yeah. I'm so going to do all that!! Really, I am. I can chase four kids and keep our area clean and wash dishes and leave the bathroom tidy when we whirlwind out of there. Whew. Just writing it all out gives me a little, bitty headache.

Monday, May 11, 2009

mother thoughts

It's been quiet on the blog front lately... but there's a storm brewing inside my mind and I have to get some things out of there.

I always thought mothering came naturally. That once that baby came out and screamed in your face... After all that work of growing the baby inside your womb... Looking upon the scrunched face of a brand new human being captures a woman's heart, does it?

Yet, I am learning not all mothers, well, mother. Not all feel that hook. My children have a very large hook inside my heart that could not ever be removed. It has wound itself into my deepest, most inmost parts and would tear my heart apart if someone removed the hook.

Don't get me wrong, I have contemplated walking away. On the very hardest of days, I have stood at the window, watching the sky and allowed my thoughts to wonder to a dark place filled with selfish desires and self-centered dreams. But the tiny arms wrapped around my leg and the sticky fingers planted against my calf are too good to be true. The clear blue eyes gazing back at my overwhelmed face have locked me in for life. I will never walk away.

So why do moms walk away? is there no attachment formed? No hook sunk into their heart? I just don't understand. How can motherhood be a choice? Doesn't the choice begin with sex? The act of creating a child. Once the seed is planted and life is growing, our choice in the matter is gone... right? Then why are there babies without mommies? Why are there mommies too into their own life to take care of their children?

I have learned... The choice is still there. Every day. Do we mother this life? Or do we wish it away? Do we put our dreams on the back burner so that we can nurture this new human with 100% of our heart? Or do we drag the child along as we run desperately, chasing a far away dream?

Sunday, May 03, 2009

oops, i did it again

Why do I ever try to do it on my own?

This has been a hard week. I felt like I was stumbling around in the dark.

I attended a ladies Bible Study this Saturday and was reminded that we can only make it so far "on our own". To really embrace life and live it to the fullest, I have to make God the center of my life. And, he has not been my center. Other things have taken center stage. Things like writing/reading blogs. Reading other magazines. Watching TV. Worrying. Anxiety. Eating. Whatever else jumped in front of me got my attention. I forgot to make God the center of my days.

I love Mondays. A fresh beginning of the week. I begin, once again, tomorrow. [Thank God for tomorrows!] I will begin my day tomorrow with a meeting between me and my Father in Heaven. I am humbled, humbled by the thought that He loves me. I am so insignificant in the grand scheme of things, and yet, the God of the Universe loves me.

Thank you, God, for loving me. Thank you for softly calling to me even as I rush around ignoring your gentle persistence. I lay it down today. Please come be the center of my life.

revolutionary love

I have experienced revolutionary love. Love with no strings attached. Jesus Christ loves me and made a way for me to have a relationship with the One True God. God desires a relationship with you, too. If you have yet to experience this revolutionary love, please email me at jandjkeys@hotmail.com so I can share this amazing experience with you. Blessings, -Jess