Friday, May 6, 2011
(Artwork by son, Mark)
(Taken around the time I wrote this)
" It’s Monday morning and the countdown begins…10
...9...8...cereal bowls, spoons, and milk ready...7...6...oh no, Timmy's socks
are still in the dryer...runfast...5...4...lunches packed and ready…3...2..
excuses written, permission slips signed…1...zero...BLAST OFF!!!!!! ....
time to get the three boys up and two of them ready to go to school."
Sound familiar? Actually, two older sisters already are up and have been since They have to have curling irons hot and ready, make-up on "just so" and on and on and on.
This begins most school day mornings, some less chaotic and confusing than others, but basically the same. Of course, Jonathan's bowl of cereal has more than Timmy's and Mark notices it immediately, (ages 5, 7, and 9 respectively).
"But, Mom, where's my other blue sock?" hollers 14-year-old Wendy from her basement bedroom. "I don't know," I said, "where did you put it?" "Never mind, I remember now." Another one cries, "Mom, yesterday Wendy wore the brown shoes and today it's my turn." That's 12-year-old Lisa making a last desperate attempt at the age-old battle of sharing with a sibling.
Then, last but not least I hear, "Mommy, Mommy!!" "Oh no, they woke up 19-month-old Becky." "Hi, Honey, come to Mama."
It's amazing that the time between and can be so short, yet so productive. Some days I wonder whether Timmy will ever get his shirt tucked in or his shoes tied properly. Then there's Mark, a wonder in himself. It always amazes me how he can play Star Wars, get changed, fix his bed (maybe), look at all his football and baseball cards, eat his breakfast (two bowls of cereal), watch cartoons, tease both brothers simultaneously, and still be ready when daddy beeps the horn. There are days that I think Wendy's hand is really attached to the curling iron. Would you believe 45 minutes worth of curling before it's ready and then it NEVER looks right?
Lisa is ALWAYS ready to go with everything early, and can squeeze a quick game of "Frogger" and always makes it to the ninth or tenth board. "I'll never make it to 4,000", she sighs.
Then there's Mom. Me! I think that if I would turn on a tape recorder and keep repeating, "Hurry! Change your clothes! Eat your breakfast! Brush your teeth! Brush your hair! Fix your bed! Is your homework all done??? Tuck your shirt in and DON'T FORGET YOUR LUNCHES!" I don’t think anybody would ever notice or care if I was there at all.
But, YES I am needed. Appreciated? Well, maybe sometimes. But I definitely am needed. Ever feel that way?
Well, finally it’s at that time when I pop my coffee mug into the microwave to reheat my coffee for the third time, get the dishes in order, and then sit down to prepare for the rest of my eventful day. You might wonder how a mother of six (at the time this was originally written) beautiful, healthy, children can cope with all the hassle, preparation and YES, even blessings of a "normal" day?
Well, I try desperately to open my eyes permanently no later than I LOVE to sleep and relish every time I can push the snooze button in for an additional ten minutes, but we do have to face reality, don't we? As soon as my mind can register what lies ahead in the next hour or so, I look up to my Father and ask Him to help me be what He wants me to be. And so it begins.
But it's really not until I take coffee out of the microwave and sit down that I begin my day's schedule. First and foremost is a 'talk' with my dearest and most faithful Friend. I must talk with Him and listen to Him everyday in order for me to be the Mommy I should be. He's my Savior, Jesus Christ and what I listen to is His Word, the Bible. Let me tell you, if I didn't take this time each day, I wouldn't be able to cope at all. Now, did I say I was perfect and that everyday was "Heaven On Earth"? No way! Far from it! There are many days when I wonder, "Why was I given this awesome responsibility to raise and train up this brood?"
Then I remember Psalm 127:3 "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord and the fruit of the womb is His reward." What a reward! Verse 4 and 5 read, "As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of thy youth. Happy or blessed is the man that hath his quiver full of them..." I read where a quiver contained 7 to 12 arrows...(p.s. I didn't know when I wrote this, that my quiver would be fuller four years later). I think, then, how blessed I really am. What a privilege I have been given.
Let me tell you, it wasn’t always so easy to have “quiet time.” Where could you really get quiet with five, six, or seven children running around most of the day and night? I remember one day when I had just about had it. No place to go in a 12 x 60 trailer. Every inch was taken up it seemed. I had started babysitting to make a few extra dollars. (Boy, was I crazy or what)? I thought I could help not only our family financially, but help another married student who couldn’t afford to pay a lot. So, why not? At the time of the meltdown, I looked everywhere. Where could I go to be alone for just a few minutes with Jesus? Voila! No one is in the bathroom. I’ll go there. Little did I know that four-year-old Mark was looking for Mommy. There I
was on the tiny bathroom floor prostrate before the Lord on my knees and head on the floor when all of a sudden the bathroom door burst open. Up jumped Mark onto my back and said, “Giddy up, horsie.” So much for that!
I had just read the story of the life of John Wesley who had come from a family of 19 children. Their mother, Susannah, was an extraordinary woman. She would home school her children six hours a day. It was written that in order for her to have quiet time with the Lord, she could be found in the kitchen with her apron drawn up around her head as she prayed. This gave me new insight into Matthew 6:6, KJV, which reads, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Hmmm…the closet! So guess where I went? I went to
the back bedroom of the trailer, where Tom would regularly study, and closed myself up in the closet. Ahhh…peace at last. Now, came the time to pray. In the distance, way down the hall of that 60 foot trailer, I heard, “Mommy, where are you?” No answer. Again, I heard, “Mommy, are you in here?” No answer. I hear it once more only closer, “Mommy, WHERE ARE YOU?” Then, the closet door opened and they said, ”There you are. Were you playing “hide and go seek” with us?” Not really.
Maybe you’ve been in this same situation. I would be in my bedroom
having my devotions and I decided this time to tell the children, “Mommy is having her devotions with the Lord. Do NOT bother me or knock at the door until I’m done, okay?” “Okay, Mommy.” Then, not more than five minutes later, two-year-old Timmy would knock on the door. “Mommy, you done with your ‘boshuns’? Are you done with your ‘boshuns’”? Poor baby didn’t even know what ‘boshuns’ were. He just wanted to know if I was done with them. Believe it or not, I DID survive those years. I did have my devotions but I became very creative about where, how, and when.
I really am a pretty disorganized person to begin with. That's why lists and notes have become very important to me in making my week run a little less hectic. My husband, Tom, is a pastor in a local church, which keeps our days and nights sometimes unpredictable. You never quite know when someone will need to have him counsel them or visit with them in the hospital. So with that, I've learned to make room for these times. I have learned and continue to learn that interruptions are always opportunities that come our way for a purpose. So I must roll with the waves or I can easily sink!
Fridays are pretty special because Daddy's evenings are usually busy at
church with different meetings and classes or visiting, so we ALWAYS have "Family Night" on Friday.
Dad always goes to the local dairy store to buy the special ice cream and some soda and other treats or snacks. Then Daddy wrestles the boys (or the boys wrestle Dad), you never can tell because they're getting bigger and stronger. That's the night there is no limit on bedtime and afghans and sleeping bags and pillows are brought out to the living room floor to see who will last the longest to watch the "late-night local spooky show." (Mom NEVER makes it!)
Saturday mornings are the same with all the assorted cartoons and children's shows available. That's when Mommy and Daddy "try " to squeeze in every minute of extra sleep they can get. Remember, I LOVE to sleep! The remainder of Saturday leaves me to my laundry, house cleaning and assorted other things to keep me busy.
It’s amazing how baths can be taken all week long without any complication. But, the Saturday night bath is something else. I go through approximately ten to twelve towels and that's on a good day (not counting flooded bathtubs or swimming relay races which leave the floor looking like a swamp). Sometimes, even the sheets are needed with the rescue.
But when late Saturday evening comes (somewhere around ), I can again sit down and breathe a sigh of thanks to the Lord for "PEACE".
Sundays are very busy here and always a blessing. Supper is practically ready before we leave for Sunday School at (oh I forgot to tell you, I do that before I go to bed, usually around ). It's a good thing the church is around the corner because the afternoons are so restful. That’s when all the neighborhood kids come in.
Then before you know it, it's time to get ready for the evening service. "
, don't forget we have to leave by ," I hear my husband say as I remove my last hot curler from my hair. Georgia
Well, time flies when you're having fun. OH NO! It's Monday
morning AGAIN! Here’s goes the countdown…10...9...8...yes, Lord, thank
you..."This is the day that the Lord has made...we WILL REJOICE and be glad in it." 7—6—5—4—3—2—1-------zero… BLAST OFF!!!!!!
Creamy Cheeseball/ Appetizer
Marinated Cucumber Salad/ Side Dish
Chocolate Torte/ Dessert
Iced tea/ Beverage
CREAMY CHEESEBALL/ Appetizer
2 - 8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1 stick margarine, softened
2 green onions, chopped
1 - 3 oz. pkg. Dried Beef, shredded
Mix all well together until smooth..place in refrigerator to chill thoroughly, so that you can handle with your hands...Shape into a ball and smooth and flatten it onto a small plate to serve. Wrap and keep chilled in refrigerator and serve with crackers.
MARINATED CUCUMBER SALAD/ Side Salad
4 medium, firm cucumbers
1 large white onion
2 - 3 ripe tomatoes
1 large green bell pepper
Garlic salt and pepper
Cut tomatoes and green peppers into chunks....slice cucumbers and slice onions and place all into a medium-sized bowl. Season according to your taste with garlic salt and black pepper and toss well. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes and serve. It tastes so good.. Another important tip...Don't make too far ahead or it will get too soggy and limp. You want to serve it relatively fresh.
2 frozen pie crusts or pie crusts from the Dairy Section
1 pound mild Colby or cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (10 oz) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1/2 Medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. margarine
2 slices ham (lunch meat), cut into pieces
1 (4 oz.) can mushroom pieces (optional)
Ground black pepper
Saute' onions in margarine. Set aside. Add shredded cheddar cheese into bowl with onion mixture, broccoli, ham, mushrooms and beaten eggs. Add a little garlic salt and pepper. Mix and pour into pre-baked pie shells. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for at least 45 minutes to an hour or until the top is lightly browned. Let cool a bit and slice and serve.
CHOCOLATE TORTE/ Dessert (My Aunt Sonia’s Recipe)
Chocolate Cake Mix (baked)
2. small Cool Whip
3 Heath bars, crumbled
3 sm. pkgs. chocolate instant pudding
In a deep bowl (clear glass is nice) layer 1/3 chocolate cake (broken in small pieces). Sprinkle some candy bar mixture over the cake. Pour 1/3 chocolate pudding next and spread one container of whipped topping over that. Repeat the layers two more times--and top with the whipped topping and sprinkle the candy mixture on top of that. Refrigerate, enjoy and tell Mom that there are ZERO calories inside.
MICROWAVE ICED TEA
Using an empty gallon milk/water container, place 6 tea bags (without tags) in the bottom and fill about 1/4 full of water. Place in microwave and heat on high for 5 minutes.
Let stand for about 10 minutes to steep and add enough water to about 7/8 of the way to the top.
If Mom likes the tea unsweetened, then just refrigerate it. If she likes it sweetened, add 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar, place lid on and shake until the sugar is dissolved.
Then chill in refrigerator till you need it. (A nice touch would be lemon cut on the side or fresh mint, if it's available)