Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Something Like Love Language

A child, a child, in fact, who both should and desperately needs to be napping is currently crying and hollering at me through the walls, up the stairs, and along the vents between her room and mine. Of course someone is usually crying around here. One might suppose I’d be conditioned to such sounds. And, what do I know? Maybe I am. What do I remember exactly about who I was as the mother of one child compared to who I am now – as the mother of nine? Perhaps it affects me less. But certainly not . . . less enough because several days ago I was in such a state of . . . well . . . I’m not even sure what one calls it -- exhaustion, madness, apathy, despair, illogic (???) (brought on – likely by lack of sleep and a host of demands – but ignited by a day of said sounds) that Mike, seeing something must be done, . . . filled the van with “stuff” and dropped it off at the DI.

The whole business stopped my downward spiral – switching me to a state of bewildered awe. How did Mike know that would solve the problem? As far as my logic had permitted, nothing would solve the problem! The problem was life! All of it! But this gesture – which seemed so unrelated to the frustrations of the day, but was so utterly perfect -- stopped my self-pitying in its speedy little tracks. And I realized, again, that this pesky little business of living . . . is very often rather lovely. (Particularly when one has a Mike divining their needs and speaking the complex and shifting love languages one hardly knew they had.)

IMG_2944IMG_2949IMG_2946IMG_2952IMG_2959IMG_2967IMG_2985(Abe appears to be tossing someone off the walking bridge in this pic.)
IMG_2987IMG_2997(And what, pray tell, is Abe about in this picture???)IMG_2998(Hansie! Come back! You’re still rather small – even if you can walk and even if you do have a hair cut!)

A Working House

After dropping off Lamby a few weeks ago, Mike commented how different a working farm is from a tidy, little, hobby farm. Fences are thrown together willy nilly (out of whatever is easiest or most practical) wherever a new enclosure might be needed, old tires and barrels serve as feed containers, things are rigged up with wire and twine, (and nobody is giving any lambs a daily bath or putting them in diapers). It is very much about function . . . and very little about aesthetics. 

This morning as I walked a basket of dirty clothes to the laundry room I looked up towards our loft and noticed, again, the fold-out table with Jesse’s dismantled printer parts scattered across it; then I passed: a bag full of ping-pong balls, cookies, plastic cups and Nerf footballs (hanging on the railing at the top of the stairs leading to the basement –- the not-yet-put-away remains of the minute-to-win-it games Goldie was in charge of at last night’s youth activity); a stack of school library books waiting to be put in the correct child’s backpacks; a pile of mail sitting on the counter waiting to be sorted, a large standing fan that belongs in the garage (brought in when Mike was searing a roast for Sunday’s dinner . . . and the house filled with smoke [the roast was divine though]); and a baseball bat tucked, rather oddly, behind the mass of coats on their coat hooks. As I set my basket down and turned the load-size knob on the washing machine to “extra large”, I realized, with a sigh of acceptance, that what we have here . . . is a working house.


A few of the things that have been going on recently in this working house/working family include:

Penny doing a report on Anne Frank for the 5th-grade wax museum. (Despite society’s current passion for decluttering, there is nothing quite like sifting through Grandma Harris’s basement closets or Grandma Sharon’s attic [when one is in need of fixings for nearly any type of costume] to make one grateful that not everyone has fallen completely under the konmari spell.)

Photo Mar 16, 1 54 19 AMPhoto Mar 16, 3 34 34 AM

Daisy turned 16! (Adding her to the list of drivers in our family has changed dynamics around here in just as exciting of a fashion as I had guessed it might.)


(Daisy was also chosen as student-of-the-month by her math teacher who says Daisy is one of the best students she’s had in her 30-some-odd-years of teaching. [And Abe, ever the practical one, killed two birds with one stone in getting Hans out of his room while bringing his laundry down. Which has nothing to do with Daisy turning 16 or being chosen student-of-the-month, but which did allow me to make use of liking to put two vertical pictures side-by-side.])

Photo Mar 26, 7 40 33 AMPhoto Mar 23, 5 09 13 PM

The beginning of Daylight Savings combined with the sporadic warm(er) day has meant an increase in late bed times. (It’s hard to get the ball rolling when it’s light and kids are running around outside and squealing happily on swing sets and trampolines.) Also . . . the little boys got buzz-cuts -– including The Squirrel! What with walking and no more soft baby fluff on his head, the only thing that reminds me he’s still my baby at all is listening to him talk. (He jabbers and points and exclaims and babbles in long sentences . . . of utter gibberish squeaks and sounds. I don’t know that any of my kids have ever done so much speaking . . . without speaking.)

IMG_2917IMG_2919IMG_2936IMG_2939IMG_2942Photo Apr 11, 5 40 06 AMPhoto Apr 11, 5 40 15 AMPhoto Apr 11, 5 40 43 AMIMG_2782IMG_2792IMG_2803

Though I should add that Hans sobs and screams just as miserably with his short hair (as he was doing here -- with his long hair) when someone does the following: leaves the front door open while they run out to get the mail (or take out the garbage or some such) . . . and then comes running back in just as Hans is excitedly gearing up for an escape. (In this pic, I was coming in right behind Jesse – whose coat hood you see as a black blob in the forefront.) It’s the worst thing that consistently happens to the poor little fella.


Abe has continued running track (and Goldie has begun). Goldie also discovered yesterday, to her great excitement, that she was elected one of the National Honor Society officers at her school.

IMG_2409IMG_3036(This single pink sock was not on Hansie’s foot when I brought him to the track meet . . . however, it appeared on his foot shortly after arriving. Summer? Mette? I don’t know.)


Jesse and Mike made a 2nd place pinewood derby car! (And they made it much more quickly than we’ve gotten them made in years past. A Tic-Tac container and bb’s made for a quick and easy way to add or subtract weight.)


And Summer and Mette requested I do their hair in “little bums” one day. And then, realizing their error, laughed and laughed.

Photo Apr 11, 2 43 13 AMPhoto Apr 11, 2 47 02 AMPhoto Apr 11, 2 43 16 AM

The end. :)

Photo Apr 15, 5 23 59 AMPhoto Apr 12, 4 25 08 AMPhoto Apr 16, 3 33 53 PMPhoto Apr 18, 1 20 15 PMPhoto Mar 15, 1 34 27 AMPhoto Apr 19, 8 26 57 AMPhoto Apr 19, 8 27 00 AMPhoto Mar 18, 8 42 34 AM

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