"Boys are found everywhere—on top of, underneath, inside of, climbing on, swinging from, running around or jumping to. Mothers love them, little girls hate them, older sisters and brothers tolerate them, adults ignore them and Heaven protects them. A boy is Truth with dirt on its face, Beauty with a cut on its finger, Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair
and the Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket."
Author: Alan Beck

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mommy's List...

Dear Santa,

We all know that Christmas is for kids.  However, if you feel compelled to leave a morsel for me, here are a few ideas that would make me grin from ear to ear.

This kitchen scale-

Is Mrs Claus running into the same baking dilemma as I?  Every new recipe calls for the flour to be measured in grams.  Lord knows I'm no genius when it comes to math.  I've tried to convert grams into cups....may all those failed attempts RIP. 

These boots-
Which you know, Santa, that I have been drooling over for years.  At LEAST 3 long years.  Maybe this will be the year you bring them to me?  Color? Cranberry.  Size?  8. 

This wine-

No explanation needed.

This gift card-
So that I can repaint my walls.  8 years of fingerprints, flying toys, sharpie tagging, and the occasional UCO (unidentified crusty object),  have taken their toll.  Its time for a fresh new look.

This man-

To give my walls a fresh new look.

Any or all of the above would be much appreciated, Santa.  After all, I've been very, VERY good.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

A note to hubby....

To My Darling Husband,

You've been gone all week on business.  Before you walk in the door tonight, you may want to read up on the business that has been happening here at the homestead.

I may or may not have ruined all of our hard work and allowed the boys (all 5) to sleep in our room while you've been gone.

I may or may not have invited one of the dogs, too.

This new sleeping arrangement may or may not take quite a while to reverse.

Our car may or may not be acting funny.

This may or may not have something to do with the fact that I pulled it into the garage too far and crashed into our beer fridge.

This may or may not have happened more than once.

I may or may not have had any sleep over the past 4 days.

This may or may not have anything to do with the fact that I was awaiting the arrival of the boogie man.

I may or may not have texted the police officers who live next door, to tell them to protect me from the impending arrival of the aforementioned boogie man.

The children may or may not have consumed cereal for all meals (including dinner) for the last 4 days.

We may or may not be running very low on cereal.

I may or may not have added another pet to the house.

You may or may not leave me.

I may or may not have had time to shave my legs while you've been gone.

You may or may not understand.

I may or may not have planned on cooking a fancy dinner for your return.

I may or may not have forgotten three or four key ingredients.

We may or may not be having cereal for dinner tonight.

I may or may not have kept up with laundry, vacuuming, dusting, homework, brushing teeth, etc.

You may or may not recognize the place when you walk in.

As I sit here, I may or may not be counting down the seconds until you arrive.

That total may or may not be 14,400.

Please hurry.  Love,

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Have You Ever?

Have you ever been in one of those (seldom) cleaning moods where you get down and dirty with the dirt?  You know the mood I'm talking about.  The OCD type of cleaning mood where the tiniest crumb hiding in the corner of the pantry doesn't stand a chance.

Yeah....doesn't happen to me very often, either.

Two weeks ago, I found myself in the midst of a random cleaning marathon.  As I scrubbed crusted yogurt (and another substance strikingly similar to grits) from one of the legs of our kitchen table, I quickly found myself lying flat on my back. 

When I clean, I take no prisoners. 

Sponge in hand, I followed the trail of splattered yogurt, which led me further and further under the table, until I rested completely underneath.  Just as you would lie in a tall, grassy meadow and stare at the clouds passing by, I stared at the underside of our table.

The scrubbing came to an abrupt stop.  I found a treasure.
A mural.  (No doubt, created with Sharpies.)  As I studied the drawings, I located the artists signature and invited him to join me.  There we lay, under the table, while he pointed out the mountains, a rainbow, and several more mysteries hidden within his masterpiece.
Pointing to the center of the table, he said, "That's where I wrote my name for the first time."

Given the fact that our home is plentiful with paper, and many other resources for developing artists, I asked why he chose this location.  Why the underside of the kitchen table?

"Because the top is plain, and brown." he said.  "I wanted part of our table to be beautiful, and I wanted it to never erase, so that everyone who comes to our home can see it."

To my husband, who often questions my need to save every drawing, creation, craft, special article of clothing, first pair of shoes, and anything else nostalgically related to our boys, I say this-

Add the kitchen table to the list of things I shall never part with.

And to my brother, I say this-

See? I knew the day would come where one of my children would use a Sharpie for an acceptable purpose. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Call me crazy, but wasn't Halloween last week? 

I can't believe how fast life is moving.  December may be IS one of my most favorite months of the year.  The smells, the baking, the music, the spirit and the magic, hot chocolate by the fire, the lights, warm slippers and cozy blankets, memories in the making. 

Please, December, I beg of you....s  l  o  w    d  o  w  n.

We traveled to San Francisco for Thanksgiving this year.  17 people under one roof for 5 nights and no one even moved into a hotel.  There were threats (believe me, there were), but we stuck it out and lived happily and closely with one another.  We had an amazing time.

Many thanks to Dec and Lorie for putting up with us.  They were gracious hosts and made us feel as though we were staying in a 5 star resort.  Declan even risked his life frying a turkey for us. 

Yes, that IS a sandbox lid resting atop the ladder. Knowing that water and hot oil do not mix, Dec took the proper precautions to deflect the rain.  Protecting his loved ones in case of an accidental explosion was his top priority. We always feel safe when he's around. 

The boys miss their cousins, and are still adjusting to the withdrawal they are feeling without them.  It's especially hard to be without the family princess, Miss Madyson.

Goodbye, California.  Until next time.

In other news, and speaking of snippets, this kid has a new look...

Let me know what you think.

My house feels warm and inviting and smells of pine.  My two favorite things to look at are this-

                                                                        My mantel
And this-

The tiny tree that sits in the corner of our family room, and proudly displays all the ornaments my little men have created over the years.  It's the best thing in my house.  Seriously.

As a side note, I am starting a new holiday contest.  I am sending a prize to the person/family who sends us the first Christmas card.  The only rule is, it must come through the mail....I like to keep things old fashioned. Better hustle.  I'm anxiously awaiting.

And one more thing.  I want another puppy.  And I'm not up for hearing crap about it from my husband, my Mom, My Dad, my brother, or anyone else who is opposed to my animal addiction.

There.  I said it.  It's no longer a secret.

I haven't felt this free in years.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's not my fault he wouldn't hold still...

A few days ago, I took advantage of some spare time and lined the boys up for haircuts.  This wasn't the first time I've cut their hair.  In fact, I have been the only stylist they have known (other than a few random trips to the barber).

Things were going fine, and one by one, the boys emerged from the kitchen looking more dapper than ever.

Logan was last to get a trim.  He's usually the one that needs to be forced or bribed when it comes to cutting his hair.  With a sucker in both hands, he climbed up onto the stool and happily kind of happily obliged.

Things were going fine until I came around to his bangs. 

Despite the fact that I have NEVER even come close to cutting him, he's terrified that I will, and cannot hold still.  As I attempted to cut neatly across his forehead, he quickly turned to his left, and this is what we ended up with-

This picture does not do his hair-mishap justice.  It really is much worse in person.

I've been doing my best to get him to wear hats when we go out (he hates hats), and I've also been using mad amounts of gel in an attempt to give him a comb over....because even that would look better.

So until it grows back, we're enjoying his new claim to fame.  Tell me there isn't a striking resemblance!

Our little man is famous.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Jack is 6!

Happy, Happy Birthday to the best 6 year old in the universe!

We love you so very much!


Mommy, Daddy, Evan, Luke, Logan & Wes

Monday, November 7, 2011

Should I Be Selfish?

(This post is dedicated to Angie, who may be the only faithful reader I have.  Thanks, Ang.)

My husband will be the first to tell you that I have a really, really, REALLY hard time saying no when it comes to the boys. To me, there are two kinds of no. The first, is when your kids are being bratty, rude, mean, disrespectful, or unruly. I'm actually good at that kind of no. In fact, I think I'm even better at that kind of no than hubby is. 

Just don't tell him I said so.

The type of no I struggle with, involves giving the boys anything and everything I own. My iphone, the food on my plate, the tea I just sat down to enjoy....the list is endless.  At the drop of a hat, what was once mine, has quickly become theirs. The thing I miss most?

My bed.

Imagine being sound asleep, and having an adorable little boy crawl into bed with you and begin to snuggle.  They get right up close, and press their tiny feet onto your legs.  They sigh a deep sigh, for they are now safe and warm.  You look at their precious face, and wonder how you ever got so lucky.  You cover them up and snuggle back. It's bliss.

It's bliss that lasts 5 minutes.

The next several hours until daylight are seldom restful or enjoyable. 

I've been slapped
and kneed.

I've been bloodied and bruised, and occasionally, I get peed on. 

There is one boy in particular, that comes to my bed at 11:30 every night.  He's sweet as sugar as he settles in, but once he falls back into a slumber, he quickly turns into Chuck Norris and the abuse begins.  Last night, he elbowed me in the back of the head three times.  "Logan!" I said.  "What are you doing to Mommy?"

"I have to hurt you." he replied.  "You tattled on me."  And then he rolled over.

In the past week, I've resorted to sleeping on the floor, and have even gone in search of the many empty beds that lie unclaimed in the boys' rooms.  I take what I can get.

But I feel like I can finally take no more.  I'm tired.  I'm achy.  I'm grouchy. 

You see, if hubby had it his way, he'd march them back to their beds each and every time they tried to claim territory on ours.  However, hubby could sleep through a cyclone, and is rarely aware of our midnight visitors.  That leaves the dirty work up to me.  What am I supposed to do?  Stop them at bedside and 'tattle' to their father, who will scoop them up and return them where they came from?  In my mind, I can see their sad, watery eyes staring back at me as he carried them out of our room.

I'm not built to withstand that type of image.  And if I can't even picture what it would be like, I'm surely not strong enough to make it a reality.

Which is why I feel as though I have no choice, but to continue being the punching bag for my boys, and the bad dreams they bring with them.  I'd rather be hurt, than hurt them. 

So if you text or call me, and I don't answer for a few days....or weeks, my boys must have my phone.

And if you ladies have been searching for my favorite beauty product (Well-Rested Eye Concealer), and you can't seem to find it, I apologize.  I must have bought the last one.

This mom is far from well-rested. 

If you're reading this, and you've proudly reclaimed your bed, do me a solid and tell me how you did it.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

To this and that, I SAY...

Since I've been MIA forever, this should get us caught up again.  Try your best to follow along.

To Halloween, I SAY:  We planned, we decorated, we conquered.  You were in and out like a flash.  See you next year.

To my son who turns 6 in less than a week, I SAY:  I promise I'm doing my best at scraping together a fabulous last-minute birthday party.  You won't be disappointed.

To my house (especially MY room and the bathrooms), I SAY:  You win.  Try as I might, I can't keep up.

To the boy who sneaks into the bathroom every morning and munches on Halloween candy, then ditches his rubbish behind the potty, I SAY:  Time for a new hiding place.  I'm on to you.

To my cupboards, I SAY:  I apologize that you are so bare.  As I type this, I'm trying to plan dinner, but for the life of me, I can't think of anything to make with beef broth, black beans, and Reece's peanut butter cups.

To my 10 year old son, I SAY:  I will never forget the way you looked as you went out the door today.  I hope the kids on the playground didn't give you the business.  We'll get you new pants this weekend....promise.

To my garden, I SAY:  It saddens me to see you all covered in snow.  Sleep well, you've earned your rest.

To my new little niece, I SAY:  Only 17 more days until I can wallow in your new baby smell and cuddle you for hours.  

To M & D, I SAY: Thank you for taking me with you to be there for little M's arrival.  It was an amazing trip!

To the best husband IN THE WORLD, I SAY:  Thank you for holding down the fort while I was gone.  You have earned a complete day of doing nothing but watch football.  I'll even bring you a few beers, and clear any empties while I'm at it.

To my sister in-law, I SAY: Only 17 more days until you'll have 17 people living in your house...for 5 days.  Brace yourself.

To Christmas, I SAY:  You are only 51 days, 7 hours, and 41 minutes away.  I'm counting.

To School, I SAY:  Due to circumstances beyond my control, I won't be seeing you next semester.  Want to know a secret?  You won't be missed.  You don't fit into any of my holiday plans, anyway.

And last, but not least, to the person stalking my blog (you know who you are), I SAY:  Have you had your fill?  Good.  Time to move on.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Congrats to my wee sister, Meg, who was an absolute rock star today. Welcome to mommy hood!

No time to post about how wonderful this new baby girl is. I'm too busy snuggling....

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Baby Crazy

In case you haven't heard, my little sister is preggers, and is due to deliver
in just a few short weeks.
There are currently 8 boys in our family, ranging in age from 10 months to 10 years.  And in case you don't know much about boys, here's a crash course.

Boys are messy

they have horrendous table manners

they never use utensils

and they have been known to practice voodoo on their milk.

They pee whenever and wherever they feel like it

and they don't take fancy crab dinners seriously.

Worst of all,
 they continue to dress up like Star Wars characters.  Even when they're 33.
 (My brother...poor guy just isn't himself unless he's wearing his favorite pair of skinny jeans)

As you can imagine, finding out that a GIRL would soon be joining our family, was news that we had been waiting for...for a long time.

We threw Meg (and baby Madyson) a shower two weeks ago. It was girlie, frilly, and fun.

It was pinkishly perfect.

So hurry it up, little girl. We're all ready and waiting to crown the family princess.

(Of course, no one is as eager as your Aunt Amy.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Diaper Fairy Update

I have NO business blogging.  None.

My To Do list is steadily growing a mile per minute, and I fear I'll never catch up.

Oh well.

As you know, the Diaper Fairy came to our house and took all of Wes's diapers to the 'babies' that needed them.  The past 10 days have been a challenge.  A struggle.  And VERY messy.

There have been days I've wanted to call the Diaper Fairy and tell her to fly her fairy butt over here and give me 5 diapers.  Just 5.  I'd be willing to pay a pretty penny. 

But she didn't leave a number.

So we've been patient.  Patient as humanly possible with a 3 year-old who says he's "Just not weady!"

If I had stuck to my word, and given you the Diaper Fairy update last week, I would have told you that the Diaper Fairy must be BFF's with the 'slices and dices' guy on the HSN.  Because up until today, she seemed like nothing more than a gimmick.

But wait....

There's MORE...

Something clicked in little Wes's brain today.  He woke up this morning and rejected a dry pull-up (yes, I've cheated a little).  Instead, he picked out his brand-spankin'-new Mickey Mouse undies and proudly pulled them up. 

That was at 7:15 this morning.

And he's still dry.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Houston, We Have An Egg!

Back in April, hubby and I loaded up the gang and headed to a farm/feed store in Eastern CO.  The rustic wooden floors were lined with brooders.  Each one holding day old chicks in countless varieties.  The boys browsed and quickly found their match.  The small cardboard box that accompanied us on our journey home, chirped the entire way.

Raising chicks has been more rewarding than I could have ever imagined.  This morning, however, the reward grew...

Jack's hen, Paulie, left this for us bright and early.

Five months of waiting was worth the wait.  Who wants eggs???

(PS-An update of the Diaper Fairy is on it's way....tomorrow)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tale of two fairies.

Since 2001, I've been


and changing,

and changing the diapers of my babes.

It's been 10 years, and I'm ready to give them (the diapers, not my babes) the boot.

The only problem lies with a certain karaoke-singing 3 year old....pictured below.

This boy is as independent as they come.  I'm pretty sure, if given the chance, he could whip up a mean fried egg, pick up his brothers from the bus stop, gas up my car, or do a load of laundry from start to finish.

His vocabulary could leave some adults feeling inept.

He's 3....going on 30.

And he likes his diapers.

Over the past few weeks, the pep talks have been powerful....but not persuasive.

"I'll do it when I turn 5, mom.  I'm just not ready yet." he says.

Enter the Diaper Fairy.

I'm pretty sure she's the Tooth Fairy's sister.  And today, I called her on the phone.  Lucky for me, she was able to fit us into her tight schedule.  She's coming tonight to rid our house of diapers, once and for all.

Tomorrow will be a new day.

Thanks, Diaper Fairy.  I owe you one.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August 14, 2008

In December of 2007, Derek and I traveled to Napa, and brought a precious little souvenir back home with us.

He changed our lives forever.

And we'd be forever lost without him.

Weston Madrill
Wes Baby
Wes the Babe
Baby Wes

The world would not be as sunny without you.


Mommy, Daddy, Evan., Luke, Jack & Logan