Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Summer Day

Making "grass soup" at the Horse Restaurant.

Scratching your booty at the table?!  How rude!

A Home Fit For A Guinea Keet

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Things That Made Today A Great Day...

  • Cooperation, Imagination, and Patience.
  • Ivey was in that mood where she sounds and acts just like Carol Kane's Ghost of Christmas Present in Scrooged.
  • Olive had an "ah-ha" moment in the car, when she realized that the skip counting she has memorized is the same as adding the same number multiple times, which is the same as multiplying.  
  • I found my turkey's nest the other day (across the street at the end of someone else's pasture), just as she went broody and began to set.  Now, I know where she is: eggs under her, a cage around her, food and water near her, all out there in that pasture.
  • It's a July night in Georgia, yet the air has a slight chill and there is a wonderful breeze blowing.
  • Waving at the neighbors as they drive past.
  • Olive is still insisting that everyone call her her new, self-imposed nickname, "La Pew".  "Because I poot a lot."
  • Cookies at the Cookie Company.
  •  Asa made blueberry muffins and remembered all lessons on using muffin cups and wiping droplets clean.  For the first time ever, he did not burn batter onto the pan.
  • The 17 year old bag boy at Kroger, upon witnessing how all four of my kids can all talk, simultaneously, without ceasing, even though no one is listening to each other, looked at me and said, "You have the patience of an angel."  He had the timing of one. 
  • Sitting in the quiet, praying for a friend, and feeling Ivey's come up and put her slender little hand on my shoulder until I was done.
  • Having the girls beg me to go back to the gym, where they can play in the childcare room and get their fingernails painted.
  • We have four beautiful newborn bunnies.
  • No trips to the E.R. today.
  • Ivey randomly thanked me profusely for "keeping her healthy and taking such good care" of her.
  • My boys rotated 4 loads of laundry and unloaded the dishwasher 3 times.

  • Ivey took a composition book on our errand trip today, and took pride in practicing all of her uppercase letters.
  • When we returned home, she grabbed one of my teacher guides, brought it to me, and begged me to start her homeschooling.  (Instead, I cooked dinner, praised her handwriting, and let her know we would be starting in just one week!) 
  • There is a little toy horse fence in my dining room floor, with a napkin in the center of it, with an LED book lamp shining onto a guinea egg that the girls found in the yard.  They informed me that they are hatching it, will love it like a pet, but not to worry.  "We'll still sell it."
  • Addison practicing his cello.  I really enjoyed his little practice piece of Edvard Grieg's Morning.
  • Jeff made it home for dinner. 
  • At least one of the men in my life could be interested in making my new soap molds for me. 
  • My dishwasher is running, eggs are prepped and in cartons for deliveries, temporary electric fence is rerun for a fresh new grazing area, washing machine is whirring, goat's milk is in the freezer prepping for soap-making, and it is only 1:20am.
  • A decaf latte, a quiet house, reflecting on the day, and writing about it before bed.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Ivey has been going through another clingy phase.  She has always waxed and waned in her comfort with sleeping.  We have been through periods where she screamed and cried and pitched royal fits over going to bed... and all through the night.  She is a night owl by nature, and just as emotional a creature.  I think the two collide and create for the tendency for a difficult night. 

Sometimes, when she wakes in the middle of the night, she finds her daddy on the couch, and snuggles in beside him.  She knows that he will rarely take her back to bed.  Ok, he never will.  Not just because he enjoys the snuggle time, but because he could not attain the consciousness required to transport her back into her own bed.  Sometimes, she ends up snuggling up in bed with her sister.  They fall asleep amid a pile of stuffed animals and hard books.  For a long time, they simply shared the bottom bunk together.  For the past few months, Olive has decided to claim the top bunk as her own.  This, of course, has created a ripple in Ivey's delicate nighttime balance.

For the past few nights, Ivey has been upset that Olive wakes up early, leaving her behind.  She told me how much she loves sleepovers with Grandmomma, because she sleeps beside them.  With red rings around her eyes, puckered lips, and wet cheeks, she asked me tonight if she could sleep with me.  I was not ready to sleep, and I knew by the hour that she would not be able to get the rest she needed in my room.  She cried about Olive waking up early, about not being able to sleep with Daddy, about how she wanted to go back and have another sleepover with Grandmomma. 

I tried to calm her fears by explaining, "You know, this house is completely filled to the very top with Love.  Everything under this roof, all the air that fills every single room, is filled up with Love.  It fills up all the cracks and all the spaces."  She did calm down, lying her sweaty head on her ladybug pillow at the foot of Olive's bed.  Eventually, she drifted off the sleep.

And then, at 12:30 in the morning, with the soft cheeping of newly hatched guinea keets and even softer music drifting across the house, I picked her up from her bed.  I put her in mine.  I watched her tiny chest rise and fall.  And, I will fall asleep next to her. 

Because there may be a space or two under this roof that does feel a little bit too hollow, afterall.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Unexpected Therapy

Ten years ago, if you had asked me if I could have a relaxing, peaceful, and enjoyable day at home with seven children, I would have laughed.  Well, that was before I had my set of four, and before I had become so used to spending time with our dear friend's biggest three.  Yesterday, that group of three welcomed their number four to their family.  Today, they hung out with us while baby and Momma spent time together in the hospital. 

This afternoon, I stopped and was sure to soak it all in.... the sounds of happy chatter from the big kids' in the next room, Legos clicking against each other, eggs frying, bacon popping, and a Wed Anderson Movie Soundtrack Pandora station softly playing in the corner.  The seven kids set the table, fixed their drinks, helped each other... they were a joy. 

If you had asked me, long ago, if a day at home with seven kids could feel like therapy, could be peaceful, and could make me slow my breaths just to ensure that I soak it all in, I would have surely thought it impossible. 

And, I would have been so wrong.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


So, we're in the grocery store, standing at the meat section.  Olive peers over the edge and points to boneless hams. 

"Hey.  Is this pork?" she asks.

A woman looks at her, and we both nod "yes".

"So... someone killed a pig and sold it for money."

I smiled, and the woman slowly backed away.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Snapshots of a couple plain ol' summer days....

What our dining room floor has looked like for days.  I'd make them clean up, but they are having a blast!
After much stalking and hiking through briars, finally found both guinea nests!
Sometimes you just need to turn into electronic-zombies.