Tag Archives: The Daily Post

Weekly Photo Challenge: Split-Second Story

31 May

*Disclaimer:  This post is a complete exaggeration based on a recent conversation with a friend. Thankfully, my wonderful husband could care less if the house, the children, or myself are a complete mess when he gets home from work, or he at least has the sense not to mention it.

The kids and I had great fun staging these pictures that represent a split-second in our day, with so much change going on in between the two pictures! 

 

You know that moment of clarity when you look around at your life and realize, something must change?  You see that your life is a mess, that you are living in chaos, and there is a strange smell coming from somewhere in the room, possibly from you?  You recognize that something must be done, that you must get to work to end the wreck that your life has become?

This happens every day in my house.

I call it the 5:30 rush.  5:30 is when my husband’s office closes.  I picture him calmly getting up from his desk, gathering his things, and walking out the door, locking up behind him.  Of course, he is looking so forward to getting home to his clean, cheery children and wife, to leaving the stress and busy-ness of the day behind him.

It takes him 30 minutes to drive home, and during that time I am a mad-woman.

 

The husband rush

 

I look around, assessing the situation.  I yell at the kids to un-attach themselves from me, go up to their rooms, take off their pajamas, and get dressed in real clothes including underwear.

I begin frantically loading dirty dishes into the dishwasher and putting cereal boxes, a jar of peanut butter, and other various food items into the cabinets.  I throw the stack of paper plates and juice boxes left by the 10 kids and their mothers we had over for lunch into the recycling, then grab the Lysol Wipes container and run through the house cleaning off countertops and toilets.

I quickly make the bed and snatch up the wet bathing suits laying in the floor, running into the laundry room to start a load of laundry.

The kids and I meet up in my bathroom, washing faces and brushing hair.  Charlie finds a can of Glade and goes around the house spraying coconut-scented air freshener around while Maddie begins searching the house for our cats so she can put them outside.

I realize that I haven’t started dinner yet, so I rush into the kitchen, grabbing the glasses of melted ice left on our nightstands from the night before to put into the dishwasher.  I stick a frozen lasagna in the oven, not bothering to preheat the oven, then lay a cutting board and knife out on the counter and arrange a head of lettuce, some carrots, and a tomato artfully on top of it, creating the illusion that I am in the middle of cooking a delicious, healthy, labor-intensive dinner for my hard-working husband.

I walk quickly through the house, picking up Legos, Barbies, and Transformers and tossing them into bins and closets, strategically leaving books scattered about.  I leave a puzzle box lying on the living room sofa and some play-doh on the kitchen table.  Evidence of organized learning must remain as proof of our productivity.

Back in my bathroom, I throw some concealer under my eyes, adding some mascara, blush, and lip gloss for good measure.  I take off my old shorts and T-shirt and put on clean clothes that I would actually wear in public.

Glancing at the clock, I realize that I have 5 minutes left before the husband pulls up in the driveway.  I grab the vacuum and run it over the floors, vacuuming up little piles of sand brought home from the park and the occasional small toy that was inadvertently left out (Casualty of war, I think to myself.) while the kids scrub with some Windex wipes at the chocolate handprints on the kitchen door. As I am placing the vacuum back in the pantry, I hear the garage door opening.

I smile to the kids as they take their places at the kitchen counter, coloring quietly.  I grab a pitcher of iced tea out of the refrigerator and set it out, then stand at the island and begin chopping up the vegetables I had put out earlier.

“Hi, Honey, I’m home!” Husband calls out when he enters the house.  I press a button on my iPod and switch the music playing in the background from “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” to Beethoven’s “Symphony Number 5”.  The kids put down their crayons and run to him, screaming, “Daddy, Daddy!”

He looks at me, “Did you guys have a good day?  What did you do?”

I smile sweetly, noticing that he has on his golfing clothes, and hand him a glass of tea.  “Nothing much.  Just did some stuff around the house.”

The Big Rush After_1

 

 

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/split-second-story/ 

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge (A Week Belated): On Top

27 Apr

Last weeks weekly photo challenge was to share a photo that says “On Top.”  I know that I usually share photos of my kids and things that are going on in my life at the moment, but as soon as I saw this challenge I knew what picture I wanted to share.  The reason I am a week late is because the picture was taken over 6 years ago, and it took me awhile to find where I had stored it.

Jason took this picture of me in 2008 when we traveled to Italy.  We rode the train from Rome into the mountains to a smaller town called Orvieto, and spent the day walking around exploring.  It was a really great day for us.

We thought it would be fun to climb to the top of this really old bell tower.  It was TONS of steps to make it to the top, and we had already spent almost the entire day walking, so it seemed like we would never make it, but we did and it was totally worth it so see this ancient town from up high.

Here’s the picture that I have always loved so much.  I don’t know why I like it so much, but I do!

229747_1033745559390_1937_n

 

While we were up there, the bell actually began to ring, and it was deafening!

Here’s another picture of the actual view from the top:

225097_1033745519389_1649_n

 

Jason and I have seen lots of views from the top of different places all over the world, but I will always remember this as one of my favorites!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/on-top/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective (The Science Museum)

10 Mar

The kids and I had a really cool morning at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science with Jill and Addison this morning.  They had a neat preschool program where the kids got to learn about some different animals and participate in different sensory activities.  The highlight for me was when Charlie got to wear a huge turtle shell and crawl around like a turtle!  I wish I had a picture of that, but one great thing I have learned through this month of unplugging is that I need to be present in my everyday life, not worried about taking pictures of every little cute things the kids do.

Anyway, this weeks photo challenge was on perspective, and I thought this picture fit well:

A pterodactyl flying high in the sky!

A pterodactyl flying high in the sky!

 

Here’s the original:

The same Pterodactyl, with some of his friends.

The same Pterodactyl, with some of his friends.

Here are some more pics from this morning:

5 (Not 26) Random, Hilarious Things That Have Occurred in My Home Today

26 Jan

Today’s writing prompt from The Daily Post was to write something incorporating the number 26.  I started out this morning with the intention of recording 26 funny things that happened in my house throughout the day.  However, it is the end of the day, and I could only come up with 5.  

Sorry, but I am sick, and I was just trying to survive the day.

Some funny things did happen, though.

At least, I found them funny, but I am taking heavy doses of Mucinex, which tends to make things funnier to me…

1. Charlie runs into the bedroom with Maddie’s magic wand, points it at the TV and says, “There will be no more grown-up cartoons on this TV!”

2. Jason, who has been into coin collecting lately, says to me, “Honey, did you know that coins made after 1965 are worth much less than coins made before 1965?”

“Yes, of course I know that.  You didn’t?” I respond sarcastically.

 “Quit being phaeanicious,” he says. (I am still not sure if he was telling me to stop being like a Phaeacian or if he meant facetious.)

3.  Charlie, upon finding an empty popsicle wrapper on his dad’s nightstand:  “What happened here?”

4. Maddie has been replacing random words in songs off of her Sunday School Songs DVD with the word “Poopy.”  Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and poopy, poopy!  I have to do something about that…soon, I think.

5.  Baby Kitty, who I didn’t know was in the house, suddenly appeared in the kitchen, covered in dust and dust balls.  I need to figure out where he was hiding, because obviously that place needs to be cleaned. 

So I didn’t reach my goal of 26, but I think my five are pretty good.  Have a good night, everyone!

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

24 Jan

The word juxtaposition is defined as “the act or instance of placing side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.”  As soon as I saw today’s photo challenge I knew I had to participate, because my home is full of INSANE juxtaposition.

Having a boy and girl so close in age means that they do play a lot together, and their toys, so boyish and so girlish, meld together in sometimes strange ways.  Just this afternoon, for instance, the three of us were playing with Maddie’s Barbies, when suddenly Charlie ninja-kicked my princess Barbie in the face with Skipper, and suddenly we are playing ninja-Barbie.

Here are some other examples of this going on around my house:

A mixture of Hello Kitty and DC Superhero Legos.

A mixture of Hello Kitty and DC Superhero Legos.

 

A beautiful furry headband, torn apart by a rambunctious little boy.

A beautiful furry headband, torn apart by a rambunctious little boy.

 

Another result of a rambunctious little boy: a demolished tea set.

Another result of a rambunctious little boy: a demolished tea set.

 

Maddie loves to take Charlie's superhero figures and make them "friends" with her Barbies.

Maddie loves to take Charlie’s superhero figures and make them “friends” with her Barbies.

A princess storybook hidden on a bookshelf in a certain someone's room.

A princess storybook hidden on a bookshelf in a certain someone’s room.

 

A football player resting in Maddie's dollhouse.

A football player resting in Maddie’s dollhouse.

 

Our day is full of juxtaposition: ups and downs, laughter and tears, hugs and hitting.  With a 3-year old girl and a 4-year old boy with totally different personalities, you never know what you’re going to get, but it is interesting, to say the least.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/photo-challenge-juxtaposition/

 

 

 

 

Lessons I Have Learned from Legos

6 Jan

It is a new era in our household-the Lego era.  Charlie got a Batman Lego set for Christmas, and it has probably been his favorite, most played with toy since then.  It has not yet left our living room to make the trip up to Charlie’s room because he plays with it so much.

This is where Charlie now spends a lot of his days!

This is where Charlie now spends a lot of his days!

I spent 3 hours putting that thing together during Maddie’s naptime on Christmas Eve, with Charlie sitting next to me on the floor hanging onto my every move.  It is honestly a memory I will cherish.

What I will not cherish, however, is the fallout from the Legos.  I noticed on the box that the recommended age for this particular set was 7-14.  I had no problem putting it together and it really was quite fun to do-kind of like putting together a puzzle. There were several characters included like Batman, the Joker, and the Riddler, and there were two different vehicles to assemble, and the set itself is really cool.  There are trap doors and ropes that dip people in vats of acid.

But, let me tell you, there is a reason that the recommended age for this particular toy is 7-14.  Charlie loves his Legos and spends a great part of his day playing with the set-and I spend a great part of my day reassembling it. He is constantly tearing it up or knocking part of it off, and he can’t put it back together by himself, so I have to do it.

This has had a couple of negative repercussions…

1.  It has made one of my New Year’s goals (not yelling) very hard to reach, and while I don’t think I have yelled about the Lego set, I have used a not-so-nice tone after assembling Joker’s funhouse for the gazillionth time.

2.  It has made another of my New Year’s goals (saying “yes” more often) harder to reach.  I really, really, really want to say “No, I will not put it back together again.”  I did tell Charlie that if he tore it apart again, he would have to reassemble it himself (That was yesterday-I spent approximately 2 hours on the living room floor reassembling it for him this afternoon, so obviously I didn’t stick to my guns on that one.).

…and also some positive repercussions:

1.  It gives Charlie and I something fun to do together that we both enjoy.  It really is fun to put together, and he loves playing with it so much, which brings joy to both of us.

2.  It caused me to examine my actions and reactions.  I was getting really upset over Charlie destroying the Lego set.  I finally told Jason last night (after Jason accidentally stepped on the funhouse and Charlie got teary because I had told him I wouldn’t put it together again) that I just needed to let go.  It wasn’t a masterpiece that I had invented; I had assembled a set of Legos made for children.  It is a toy that is meant to be played with.

3.  I have realized that one day soon Charlie won’t need me to put together his Legos for him anymore.  One day he will take his Lego box up to his room, dump it out on the floor, and do it himself. That day is coming quickly, guys, and even though I always want him to need me to assemble his Legos for him, he won’t always need that.  I need to cherish these moments and take advantage of them while I can.

4.  It has opened up a whole new world to us!  Legos are awesome, people. Did you know that there is a movie coming out next month?

So event though it has been a little difficult for me and challenged me right away on some of my New Year’s goals, I am so glad Charlie got the Legos for Christmas.  And guess what he picked out today as his prize for being so brave at the doctor this morning?

That’s right….

Already put it together....twice.

Already put it together….twice.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/daily-prompt-new-2/

Keeping Focused on the Cross

23 Dec

As the month of December progresses and we get closer to Christmas day, it has become apparent to me how many things we have fighting for our attention, this month more than any other month of the year. In addition to our normal life, there are so many other things to do.  I question myself…

Have I bought enough? Have I bought too much? Did I remember to ship everything on time? Should I get a present for my 3rd cousin’s husband’s aunt?  Have I wrapped everything that I bought?  Does my wrapping paper match my Christmas decorations?

Did I do enough with the kids? Did they see Santa and get a perfect picture in his lap with matching outfits?  Did we do all of the Christmas crafts with glue and cotton balls and paint and cinnamon extract and paint and fingerprints that I pinned?  Did we do enough random-acts-of-kindness?

Did I DVR all of the Christmas cartoons?  Did the kids get to see A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer and Prep and Landing?  Did they get to eat popcorn while they watched them?

Did I forget to send a Christmas card to anyone who will be offended if they don’t get a Christmas card?  Was the picture of the kids on the Christmas card good enough?  Did I spell everything on the card correctly and spread the love of Jesus in 10 words or less?

Add to that the ridiculousness of what is in the media, plus the baking and cleaning that is required this time of year, and it is easy to lose focus.

To all of my brothers and sisters in Christ, Let’s not do that!

All of these distractions are things of the world, not of God.  Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’ birthday, and nothing more.  Santa Claus and cartoons and Christmas cards are awesome and fun and I love them, but they should not distract us from the true meaning of Christmas.

DSC_0029

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.  Isaiah 9:6-7
For the next 2 days, I am going to stop worrying about the things of this world that the devil is putting in my way.  I am going to know that I am good enough because Jesus has made me good enough.  He left his home in Heaven and was born as a human and lived on this earth so that I can live without fear of sin or death. I am going to celebrate Jesus’ birthday and make sure that my kids do, too, and I will know that that is more important than any cartoons I have DVR’d or crafts I have pinned.
Merry Christmas to you all!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light!

29 Nov

Well, Thanksgiving is over, and I hope you all had a great one!  I have really enjoyed this month and I am looking forward with anticipation to December.  I don’t remember ever loving the holiday season as much as I am this year.

I have been trying for WEEKS to get some pics of the kids for Christmas cards, but I just can’t get the perfect one!  It is driving me crazy.  Yesterday I tried to get some of them in front of one of the little trees they have in their bedrooms.  They turned out okay, but still not quite what I was looking for.  I do love the light coming from the tree, though.

Charlie was just happy to be in his PJ's in the middle of the day!

Charlie was stuffed from Thanksgiving lunch!

 

He is so precious-I love the light reflecting on Charlie's face here.

He is so precious-I love the light reflecting on Charlie’s face here.

 

I do love this one of Maddie-she is bringing out her inner supermodel.

I do love this one of Maddie-she is bringing out her inner supermodel.

 

...and her silly face!

…and her silly face!

 

Wishing you all the peace that only God can give...

Wishing you all the peace that only God can give…

 

...and some love, too!

…and some love, too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Horizon

25 Oct

I took tons of great pictures at the NC State Fair Wednesday, and I just knew that one day I would be able to use at least one of them for a photo challenge.  Little did I know that day would come so soon!

This week’s photo challenge was called “Horizon” and I got some gorgeous pics from the top of the ferris wheel.  Here’s my favorite:

 

View from the top

View from the top

Check out the gorgeousness of the sky, and the colors of the fair below.  It was such a great time!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/weekly-photo-challenge-horizon/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning!

7 Oct

Guess who hasn’t gotten the message yet that we don’t get out of bed until the house is filled with sunlight?

That's right.....the Madster!

That’s right…..the Madster!

She gets up SO EARLY!  Sometimes I put her back in bed, but some mornings, like this morning, the alarm is so close to going off anyway that we just go ahead and start our day.

Thankfully we had sweet potato cake leftover from yesterday’s family reunion!

Sweet Potato Cake

Sweet Potato Cake

Now that is how you start a day off right!  It was so good with my coffee. And of course, the kids were like, “What? Cake for breakfast? Yeah!”

I’m such a good mama (with satire).

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/photo-challenge-morning/