Archive for January, 2016

Last Words

Starlagraph flower painting

Starlagraph painting by Starla Karnes, www.starlaward.com

If these were my last words
What would they be
These blessings for loved ones
That live on with me
When my body is dead
And my eyes cannot see
And I can’t hear what’s said
But my soul lives and breathes

“Last Words”

To my little ones, If my heart ever breaks
I want you to know, that each beat it ever made
Was for you, and so, if is does suddenly stop
My love still exists in every tear drop
That falls from your beautiful, precious eyes,
And in every sprinkle of rain from the sky,
And in every flower which that water feeds,
And in all the air which that plant helps you breathe;
And every time you wish I was alive,
You’ll realize that I still live deep down inside
And every time you feel yourself forming that tear,
I beat in your heart and you know, I’m right here.
I love you

August 7, 2003

MW

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Five Under Five

Los Tornados 2

Los Tornados – Leti’s three

 

It was January 2011.  It had literally been days since my father passed away when I learned that my sister-in-law, Leti, had been assaulted by her significant other, again.  Amor made the four hour trip to pick her and her three children (ages 4, 2, and 8 months) up.  The trip back to our home was much longer, as there was a throw up incident on the way, (which ruined the portable DVD player).  Mica was 2 at the time and I was used to caring for her and Hope, who was 1.  I was pretty used to keeping things like toys organized, categorized, and rotated.  But with the addition of three toddler/preschoolers (who only spoke and understood Spanish) all that went to Hades in a hand basket.

Los Tornados 3

Mica & Hope

It was freezing outside so we were cooped up most days with five kids under the age of five inside our small, three bedroom home.  For the first few weeks, Leti spent time cooking and hanging around the house, catching up with her sister (my other sister-in-law), Tia.  All the while, the kids ran wild.  It was a madhouse and I was certainly not used to that kind of chaos.  With Mica and Hope, I had a relaxed routine, which involved eating meals at regular times, scheduled activities, and playtime – my biggest rule being:  put one set of toys away before bringing out a new set.

But these new kids had absolutely no concept of that rule.  And all kind of “Travesuras” (or mischief) ensued.  Destruction was everywhere.  They would pull toys and clothes out of drawers or off shelves and throw them everywhere, without even looking at them!  The walls were colored on, play dough was smushed into the carpet, crumbs on the floor, poop all over the place, nick-knacks broken, stuffed animals’ heads ripped clean off, even electronics destroyed (you wouldn’t believe the toys I found stuffed in the VCR).  I learned that keeping scissors in the van for emergencies was a bad idea too, when one of the seat belts was cut right in half! Leti’s idea of cleaning was foreign to me as well.  I would sometimes come out in the mornings to find the house looking so neat and clean, only to find that everything had been thrown in one big box.  All the puzzle pieces were mixed in together, along with blocks, socks, and rocks.  It’s funny that with all that destruction, my biggest pet peeve was the brand new markers Mica had gotten for Christmas that were thrown in the mix, with the lids off them, all dried out and useless. Leti, herself, nicknamed the brood “Los Tornados.”

Leti eventually found a job for a while, which left me the primary caretaker of the babes.  It took all my imagination to keep them entertained and from going stir-crazy in that house mid-winter.  I turned the living room into a gymnastic play area, with places for them to jump, roll, and tumble.  I turned my bedroom into a dance zone, with disco lights and high-energy Veggie Tales music.  Mica’s room was toy city.  The kitchen table became an arts and craft zone.

I ended up having so much fun with those little ones.  I fell in love with them.  Any time they started to drive me a little crazy, I just looked at the magazine cut-out I had stuck on the wall after one of our craft projects that said, “Jesus Loves the Little Children.”  It was amazing to me that I was able to handle that, even though they only stayed with us for a few months.  I guess God was preparing my heart for what was to come, and at the same time offering a beautiful distraction from the devastation of daddy’s death.

I never imagined that I would one day have my own little brood of “Earthquakers,” but now that I do, I feel blessed beyond belief, regardless of any “travesuras” they come up with.  As always I pray for blessing, protection, and salvation for each of those little ones.  I love you all so much and you’ll be in my heart forever.

Los Tornados 1Los Tornados 7 - Belle, Stephani, EdwinLos Tornados 9 - Edwin dylanLos Tornados 12 - mica grace

Double Talk Quote:  “¿Quieres jugar conmigo?” – Mica, who at the time had not been formally taught Spanish, but picked it up from her cousins.

Verse: Matthew 19:14:  Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Term that had lost its meaning: organized

Relatable Lyrics:  Veggie Tales: “My Day

“In my bed I start to pray
And tell God all about my day…I had some trouble sharing toys
And during rest time, made some noise
The walls are not for coloring….In my bed so quietly
I rest in knowing
God loves me”

Now, Who’s Responsible for Gum in Grandma’s Hair?

Mica Bella Grace Brooks electronics box gum - edited

Grandma recently had the unfortunate misfortune of innocently sitting down on the bed and leaning back onto the baby-proof padded foam wall lined with poke-a-dots.  She didn’t notice the wad of chewing gum blending into the background until she sat up and felt the unmistakable, sticky, cinnamon scented goop stuck on a very prominent part of her recently cut and straightened hair.

It was easy enough to remove, using the old peanut butter and fine-tooth comb trick. But Who, but who, would have carelessly and irresponsibly stuck gum to the headboard of a bed?  Let’s examine possible suspects:

  1. Bella:  She knows what gum is, can identify and say the word gum, but is not know to try to chew it.  Culpability Probability?  slim-to-none
  2. Brooks:  He’s been know to slip gum from mommy’s “electronic’s box” (box where she keeps her remote controls, phones, camera, and baby monitor, oh, and also gum – all in one place so she can reach it while holding two squirmy 18 month olds), but Brooks is not know to actually spit the gum out, much less stick it to the wall.  Culpability Probability?  possible, but not likely
  3. Mica:  She’s always getting into mommy’s gum but from a young age has always been responsible; spitting it out when done and putting it in the trash can.  Culpability Probability?  doubtful she’s responsible
  4. Hope:  Totally something she would do.  Only one problem:  Although Hope has no problem chowing down on super-spicy Mexican food, she can’t handle mint or cinnamon flavored anything, the taste being too strong.  And since the gum was not fruity flavored…Culpability Probability?  not completely outside the realm of possibility, but almost.
  5. Amor:  As an adult, you’d think he’d know better.  Well, let’s just say, I’ve had a similar issue on his side of the bed.  Problem is, he hasn’t been near the bed recently.  Therefore, Culpability Probability?  maybe 1% chance it was him
  6. Mommy Belle:  The mom who religiously insists on good oral hygiene, makes sure all kids brush well twice a day, has even written a song and blog post about teeth, but who also has a not-so-healthy habit of sneaking a snack (night medicine triggers huger) after finally getting the twins to sleep but then is too afraid of waking them to actually get up to re-brush teeth, so she chews xylitol-laced gum to ease her conscience but still too worried about waking two sleeping toddlers to throw the chewed gum away, sticks it to an innocuous place until morning when she gets a chance to clean it up, but may have forgotten this time…Culpability Probability?  hummm, you know what, it was probably Mr. Nobody.

Double Talk Quote:  “You’re going to grow up to be an awesome person!” – Me to Mica  “Like you!” – Mica to me (be still my heart!)

Verse: “ Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.” Proverbs 8:10-11

Term that has Earned its meaning: sticky situation

Relatable Lyrics:  “Weird Al” Yankovic – First World Problems

“Uh, I had to buy something I didn’t even need just
so I could qualify for free shipping on Amazon”

Bella Mica and Brooks with gum

toothbrush ditched for gum

Brooks with gum

Things I Love About My Husband

IMG_20151129_095055
  • He has a loving heart
  • He is generous
  • He knows what kind of food to order me from any restaurant in the city, right down to what veggies to add and what sauces to leave off
  • He maintains our vehicles
  • He fills up the gas tank, because he knows it helps me
  • He makes me feel good about my body
  • He tells me I’m beautiful
  • He’s a good dad
  • He loves God
  • He takes out the trash
  • He does his own laundry
  • He enjoys driving (which I hate doing)
  • He’s a good negotiator
  • He’s a good tipper
  • He doesn’t get grossed out by baby vomit, runny noses or dirty diapers
  • He’s extremely smart
  • He’s very creative
  • He sees possibilities in the seemingly impossible
  • He makes sure we always have plenty of coffee
  • He wants to teach our kids the Bible
  • He enjoys helping other people
  • He makes others feel accepted
  • He values family

“We Were On A Break!”

we were on a break

Remember the “Friends” saga when Ross and Rachel took “a break” and before she would take him back she wrote him a 18 page front and back letter to explain her feelings and her terms?  Needless to say, he didn’t read it, simply agreeing to whatever it said; anything to get her back.  Of course by the time he finally took the time to realize what she had to say, he didn’t agree and the relationship fell apart (again).

A few days before Christmas, my husband decided that he needed a break.  Tensions had been building in our relationship for a long time.  (And The Rain Came Down was written 9/30/2014 and alludes to troubles dating back even further than that) The past few months have been particularly rocky.  He wouldn’t say where he was going or for how long he’d be gone.    During this time, I was understandably upset, yet, I finally felt I could breathe.  The pit in my stomach dissipated.  The stress was momentarily lifted.  He ended up being gone for only two nights.  Maybe that was enough “break” for him, but I needed more time.  I told him he could stay on couch until we got things worked out.  I wrote him a letter and at the end I made a list of what needed to be done in order to end our break.    After angrily skimming the letter he started checking off items, items that had not been, and cannot be accomplished in one day.  I realized that I had pulled a “Rachel” and he, a “Ross.”

Both my husband and I are Christians and believe in the sanctity of marriage.  We have been in couples therapy for a while.  But there’s a pattern with us that I can see clearly now.  I won’t delve into detail but I will say that it is not a good pattern.  There’s peace and then tension, a building struggle, a breaking point, a blanket apology, and a honeymoon phase.  I don’t know if this can be fixed.

I hate to think of my children growing up in a broken home.  But what I hate worse is the thought of them growing up in an intact home with a broken mother.

Again, prayers appreciated.

Double Talk quote:  “I like being irrational.” – Amor

Bible Verses:  “It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.”  Proverbs 21:9

Word that has Lost its meaning: listen

Relatable Lyrics:  “Family Portrait” – P!nk

“In our family portrait we look pretty happy
We look pretty normal, let’s go back to that
Let’s play pretend, act like it goes naturally ”

(Twins 18 months, Mica 7)

2015-04-06 10.16.50

 

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