Never Ever say the “Q” word!!

I said IT!

I was so excited for them sleeping in (past 8am). And I said the stupid word.

I knew better!! You aren’t supposed to say it at the hospital and stay at home mama’s should never ever ever say that word!

You know what I am talking about. Quiet 

When the house is peaceful and wonderful and only the hum of the air running is all that is heard. Then you say.. the bad word!

Then, like cheetahs in the wild they slowly stalk out of their rooms, messy bed head, sleepy eyes, night nights in tow and they creep your way. I slump in the chair hoping to appear semi asleep, but they know and they…. POUNCE!

And then it’s all over. One hears the other with their super sonic kid hearing that is super selective, and they all emerge into the daylight!

The 30 minutes was nice and then I said that ONE. LITTLE. WORD!

and that is all she wrote.

They ravaged the kitchen eating everything. One asked for noodles! Noodles!!!

At 8am… I considered it, then my mom voice jumped in and overshadowed my inner teenager and advised something more healthy… popcorn it is!

The baby shot Caleb in the eye not once but 2 times with a nerf bullet and evil laughed the entire time.

There is no more food. They have eaten it all. And I have a flat tire that needs to be fixed so we ain’t goin’ anywhere today.

It’s a soppy gross mess outside but I am so tempted to send them out anyway. And school doesn’t start for 3 weeks!!!

I can do this. I can get through the rest of the summer. I know I can with Thrive I will. With Thrive I won’t be tempted to run for the hills. With Thrive I can chase them around the yard, wear them down and have them in bed by 8…. oh. yes. I. can!!!

To all the mama’s with the summer-time blues. It’s July!! most of them go back to school in 3-4 weeks and then normal will commence and we will be waiting on the next summer break. It’s a vicious cycle guys….. VICIOUS!

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The Road less traveled…

 

The Road Not Taken

BY ROBERT FROST

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

A familiar poem. We all probably read it at least once while in school. But today it comes back to me.
As long as I can remember I have always done things the “less traveled way”. When I was little girl I used to love to play in the woods. I would go off for hours and take different trails. Usually the ones with the most overgrowth, you know, the ones that looked like something from a scary story!
I would usually come back with scrapes and ticks and my hair would be nappy from getting it caught in the tree limbs.

As a teenager, I had a wild period… more mischievous than wild but when all my friends were doing one thing I usually went off and did my own thing too. For them it was a life of “fun and adventure” for me I was on a spiritual journey.

I married early (not normal) I had 4 kids, people still ask me if I meant for that to happen {seriously!!}

I love adventure and I love doing things that are unexpected and different.

I have my own style and I encourage my children to be the same way. Dance to the beat of your own drum.

So one day I took a chance on this company that put vitamins in a sticker. I took a BIG leap and I took a lot of flak from the peanut gallery. Still do for the most part. But when I found this product I wasn’t concerned with what people thought… I was more concerned with whether it worked.
Was it going to give me results???

I was doubtful because nothing that the doctors gave me made me better so how could a bunch of vitamins do anything??

I did a 3 day trial and on Day 3 I woke up without groaning or being stiff and without wanting to go back to bed!

I knew that I had found something! My doctors told me that I was deficient in a few areas, but who knew I would feel that awesome with them in my system!!!

That is why I promote Thrive … It gave me life back…. for the first time in years I didn’t feel like I was struggling from day to day. I felt like a person again!
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It made me want the one thing that not even my OB could get me to use… WATER!
I make healthier food decisions.

I will here sly, meaningless comments from people, telling me that I bought into a placebo, a “pyramid”, and that there is no evidence that it actually works! BUT, folks, I’m here to to tell you that it does… it does for me anyway.

And it’s natural!! Isn’t that the hip and happening thing?? Organic, all natural, no hormones, yada, yada, yada… it’s vitamins and natural minerals, nothing genetically modified… can’t get more “organic” than that!

My kids have a mama that will get out and play with them and hike up giant hills. They smile now and I am wearing them out at the end of the day!

That’s why I overload social media with posts. Why in the world would you promote something you didn’t believe in. Why would you try to get others to take something if it harmed them.

But still it’s the road less traveled and people are weary and scared to take that road. I live for adventure and I took my life back. And I am so glad I took that road 4 months ago.

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Truth is…

For as long as I can remember, nothing has ever come easy for me.

I don’t say that for pity or for sad faces because through it all I have been made an overcomer.

As a little girl my sister and I lived in deplorable conditions of domestic violence and poverty. My sweet mama worked so very hard to give the 2 of us the world, often times sacrificing things for herself. She married a horrible person, who in turn made it horrible for us.
But, we made it out.  I met and married my husband, my knight in shining armour, in time having 4 of the most awesome kids created. And, my little sister, she is now a mama, wife and career woman. And my mama, well, she waited a long time but FINALLY someone good came her way too. We worked our tails off to get to where we are.
We are overcomers.

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One thing that my mom instilled in us was to be grateful for EVERYTHING that we had, never bully or put others down, do unto others, and to always smile even in the darkest times. And we have… and we still do!  She never let us feel that we were entitled to anything, nothing was ever handed to us. We have worked for everything that we have.

Even with children it hasn’t been an easy road, as you know our oldest had Leukemia, he is the ultimate OVERCOMER. Caleb has had issues along the way and when Alex was born he was blue and now he is an asthmatic. All manageable. But even in Braxton’s darkest hours, we taught him to say please and thank you and to smile, and to always be thankful for things that were given to him. A very wise doctor told us in the beginning that a lot of times the sickness can overshadow morals and that it was important to keep him grounded and that is what we have tried to do.

But, they are kids and they are not perfect, and sometimes they can be downright mean… BUT again I say, “they are kids”… that’s what they do and our jobs as parents is to correct the rotten ways and make them productive, hardworking citizens of society.

As an adult it amazes me on a daily basis how entitled some people are. They feel like they can say anything that they want, they don’t care how it makes someone else feel. They can shrug and act like their actions have no consequences and they act like the world is theirs for the taking. I hope that as my children grow older they are never ugly to someone else, that they always support their friends and family, I hope that they always smile, hold doors for other people, use their manners and think before they speak.

One thing that I have been telling them over and over lately is that when you say something to someone that is hurtful, even though you say, “I’m sorry” and they forgive you it’s not forgotten, those words are always etched into someone’s mind and it may forever change their perception of you as time marches on.

I try very hard to be nice, supportive, loving and kind… because in my mind that is what a Christian person should be.

I know that life is too short to spend energy putting people down. I have worked to hard, been through too many valleys and fought too many giants to let small minded people get in my way.

 

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Summer …Lovin?

At the end of the school year, I am so excited.
I look forward to not having to go out first thing in the morning and I look forward to pajama days.

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I envision them happy and loving and sweet….

Then we go on our first vacation together and I have a whole new respect for teachers and I miss them… I actually miss them. I am tempted to call them up and chat and tell them how much they meant to me for 180 glorious days.

I love my children and I love the time that we spend together… I mean, come on! I travel with them ALONE multiple times a year. I must love them dearly… right?!

But then…

the first week of summer is over and suddenly that image that I had of them, you know the one, they get along and love each other and they play games and never fight and they share… annnnndddd

who am I kidding that only happens in books and pod families! I said it, and I’m not taking it back!!!

Instead of dancing in fields of flowers together singing in harmony, I find myself ringside of the best MMA fight in the county!!!

This ^^^^^ is what I get instead!

Someone needs to call ESPN because this is way better and not even I know who is going to win.  Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey ain’t got nothin’ on the Barbershop Quartet!

I make threats… “don’t touch each other again”, “don’t even look at each other”, “one more time”  or  “I’m not even kidding” and my favorite “go to your room and when you decide you know how to act like civilized little people you can come out!”
5 minutes later… “OK, we figured it out”

They are all in different weight classes but I’m serious when I say they hold their own. Even the baby! He’s probably the best of all of them. His short stature and quick moves make him a frontrunner in every match….

Zoe has even requested braids so the boys can’t get her hair…. what 7 year old knows this?!?!

I do believe that I am getting them all jump ropes and kick bags for Christmas… skills like this shouldn’t be wasted… I have 4 million dollar babies on my hands. I’m just kidding…

I will say, that I have 4 little Jekyll and Hydes on my hands… when we get them all cleaned up, shirts tucked in, hair perfectly in place, and take them in public they have amazing social skills, they have the best manners and they carry themselves like perfect little angels… not the savages that I am home with all day.

SOOO…. to all you mama’s out there lovin’ summer already….

Here’s to 7 long weeks of summer left… hopefully they all still have their teeth and nothing gets broken…. OH!! And we got them a trampoline last year… whhhhyyy did I do such foolishness…. that just encourages the madness.

Disclaimer:::: Such shenanigans are never EVER encouraged and typically they hug it out in the end and to date the only thing that has been injured is my poor lamp…. 2 times 😦

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….It’s the middle that counts the most….

I just embarked on a 10 hour trip alone with 5 kids under the age of 10!!!

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Here’s what I have learned traveling alone with kids for the past 7 years….

  1. NO ONE EVER has to pee at the same time… no matter if you took them in or not, as soon as you get on the road, regardless if everyone tried and went, 15 minutes down the road, as soon as you start making decent time again, from the back seat you are sure to hear “I have to poop!!!!”
    Me: “Why didn’t you go 15 minutes ago?!”
    Reply: (I promise this is a true story) “I forgot” ….
  2. Someone is always touching someone else resulting in an argument and, in my case, something flying to the front of the car, and when asked who did that, I hear a unanimous “they did!!!”
  3. I must have said, “I’m pulling this car over, I’ve had it!!” 1,111,223,234,534 times
  4. “I’m Bored” is the car mantra
  5. “I’m starving” is a close second
  6. When we stop the car that was once clean, it looks like every snack bag and lego bag has exploded in the back seat.
  7. no one can EVER find their shoes!!! No matter how in advance I let them know that we are stopping, someone always has a missing shoe!!!
    side note: one time I thought that I really had my act together… got them all out of the car, walked them holding hands like angels into a McDonalds, got to the restroom only to realize #3 was missing his shoes … it happens!!
  8. They never nap at the same time… they go in shifts and this makes me picking the radio station non existent for 10 hours!
  9. Drive through orders are a nightmare for me and for the poor fella taking our order
  10. And no matter how crazy the trip was… I will still tell everyone that my children are the best travelers in the world!

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I managed to go on this trip (with an extra kid in tow might I add), run them here and there, take care of 3 sick kids that decided to fall ill, days apart, take them all into different bathrooms along the route, get everyone’s order right in the drive thru and I didn’t forget anyone!!! I am super woman for sure! 🙂

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On another note… bittersweet, I tucked in a 3 year old for the last time ever! It’s a little sad but almost like opening a new chapter. As my sweet baby turns 4 tomorrow, suddenly he is not so little anymore. He will start preschool in the fall and he will slowly become more independent. He will slowly become a little boy and not mama’s baby any more and then a new chapter will open for me. I know that my family is complete, I don’t have that longing for another baby, but I do miss my babies being …. babies.  It is interesting going into this new part of life. The part where everyone is more independent and not reliant on me for every little thing, but as a mama, you secretly long to be needed always. I love taking care of my quartet. I love watching them grow and learn and I often think what a great honor it is, that I was chosen for this role in life. Tomorrow we will celebrate my baby, Alexander Blake. Tonight I will stand in his doorway and watch him go from 3 to 4 and watch as my baby boy silently grows up on me.

Momin’ ain’t easy but I do it with so much pride and gratitude.

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What Motivates You!?! 

Tonight the Quartet needed some motivation! 

So I confiscated the Mega gun {that hurts like a beast at close range} and motivated the crew! 

NEVER have I seen them move so fast! It was quite entertaining as I shot “warning shots” in the air. 

Motivation …. we all need it at some point. I needed a pep talk the other day so I called up the little sister and chatted with her for an hour! I miss her terribly most days and I can’t imagine not having her in my life. She is usually the one to encourage me and nicely tell me what I NEED to hear {sometimes what I don’t want to hear}. 


In the end, I get off the phone missing her way more than I did but I feel better, I am motivated to move on with whatever I was dealing with. 

I am the flightiest person the Lord ever created. I could have had 17 degrees in life if I would have stayed the course I was on, but I usually get distracted, take “time off”… and in the end I decided on a mom job! I am not motivated to ever take up the school route again. 

I would have been a great pirate! I could have traveled here and there never having a main route just seeking the treasures of life. 


My kids most definitely motivate me, mostly because I have to do the adulting to get them through the kid stuff… they usually look at me like I’m a crazy person, but in this thing called life I refuse to take everything serious. That’s why we have dance parties to make everything better. One day they will remember these moments I am sure because those are the kinds of moments I remember. 

And I am sure they will one day laugh at the moments I chased them through the house with a mega gun too 🙂  

I am motivated daily to be the best mama ever! That is part of the reason I love Thrive so much… it gives me the opportunity to love my kids and play with them the way they deserve not just the way I feel. 

I want to look back one day and remember these moments….

Motivation for another crazy day tomorrow …. 

                   the Barbers Wife