Tuesday, November 30, 2010

GOOD morning

Sara had a slightly-rougher-than-usual day yesterday. She's not much of a crier, but she was pretty fussy all day {relatively speaking} and was just screaming by evening. So unlike her! The 5 older kids were all in bed and Kirb was holding her and she was clearly bugged by something and wouldn't settle down. Finally I nursed her {AGAIN!} and, although I don't think that particular nursing session had much at all to do with actual hunger or nutrition, it did the trick to calm her down and put her to sleep. We deposited the calm little bundle in her crib sometime between 10 and 11 {after laughing exceptionally hard at the "headlines" on Jay Leno!} and SHE SLEPT UNTIL NEARLY 5:30. Amazing! If you know anything about my babies, this is pretty much unheard of! My kids have never slept through the night until after their first birthday -- at least with regularity, there was a fluke here and there. Anyway, I'm not going to even hope for this to become a pattern at this point, but I sure appreciated the extra-long stretch of sleep last night {well, except for the Anna interruption in my sleep about 2:30 -- curses on full-body zip up pj's and a toddler who can't manage to get them off by herself in the middle of the night when she has to use the potty. Oh well, at least she didn't pee in her bed!}

Monday, November 29, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday post, which all started a while back, right here.

"One Thousand Gifts":

974. a good Thanksgiving {with much for which to be thankful}
975. a visit from family
976. Sara's {nearly perfect} dedication service at church
977. friends who cry with you
978. friends who don't mind when you cry {often and ugly}
979. people who are willing to help
980. laughter
981. sitting next to my extra-cute nephew Haddon at church on Sunday and having the chance to just take in his cuteness {although everyone claims he looks just like Luke, I don't remember appreciating that same cuteness quite as much as a 6-year-old as I do as a 36-year-old}
982. Joe's passion for cleaning his room {God bless him!}
983. an exceptionally clean house {granted it only lasted 3 minutes, but a glorious 3 minutes they were . . . this place cleans up quite well}
984. the Tea Garden
985. all the people who were {and still are} praying for renewed health for my sweet mom
986. fun Christmas packages in the mail and the excitement of giving gifts you know the recipient will just love
987. a fun final morning before Hanna returned to Poland
988. my extra-fabulous husband
989. the love, support and encouragement of family and friends
990. coordinating outfits on a bunch of Carlson grandkids
991. The Lord and how He has blessed me
992. safe travels home for Kirb's family who came to visit
993. our church family . . . they are such a family to us!

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for the next installment. And, my apologies if the lack of "Flashback Friday" disturbed your weekend. It'll be back this week, if all goes as planned. Thanks for grace on that one!

holy experience

Thursday, November 25, 2010

thankful thursday

I'm thankful for this day. Time to focus on thankfulness. Time to be with family. A much-needed break in our face-paced fall.

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to you::

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This 'n that

Thanks so much for all your sweet comments yesterday. I'm so glad that it was an encouragement to others to get a little glimpse of my reality. No need to worry about me {in case you were worried}, I'm not feeling too bummed or any different than I normally do from day to day, just decided it would be nice to break from the norm of "pretty" posts and have a "this is the way it really is" one for a change.

For your viewing pleasure I present you with this adorable {and clean} baby girl::And, in other fun news, guess who has figured out how to smile? Hopefully it'll get captured on film too, so you can share in the cuteness, but if the first run at smiling was any indication, she's going to be a genius in the smiling category!

We had a miraculous healing around here::Kirb was clearing a path through the scary laundry room so he could get the non-functioning dryer out so that that "new" one could be moved in and decided to check it out one more time and guess what? . . . . IT WORKED! We both had checked it over good and it really was completely non-functional just a few days ago. Maybe after that 6-month long vacation because of the fabulous line-drying weather we had this spring, summer and fall, it got worn out with such a huge work load on it's first week back on the job {a family of 8 and out-of-town, overnights guests soon-to-arrive makes for quite a mountain of laundry!}. Who knows. But, it's working just fine for the time being.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I love my kids. They are wonderful and a blessing!
BUT, I scream at them every day and get frustrated and angry with them so very often. It makes me sad.

If I know you are coming over to my house, I'll clean it up and, chances are good, it'll look pretty nice.
BUT, if you stop by unexpectedly {which is fine by me . . . but consider yourself warned} it is more likely to look like this::

which, in all honesty, is how it looks most of the time. So don't be offended if the toilet isn't flushed.

Sometimes I take pictures of my messy house for my blog while my baby cries in her crib.

For some reason people think I have it all together.
BUT, I really, really don't! I'm overwhelmed with life on a daily basis. For example, I am often overwhelmed -- many times each day -- by the sheer volume of footwear and outerwear spread all over my kitchen::

I think that all my problems would be solved and the world would be a better place if I had a mudroom.
BUT, deep down {actually not even all that deep} I know that wouldn't really solve much of anything important.

My kids seem sweet, well-mannered, kind and nice looking on the outside. You might think them to be pretty smart and put together.
BUT, at home they can be a complete disaster {although still quite cute!}. I often have not the first clue what to do with them. A couple of them are actually going in soon to be evaluated for anxiety and depression. We are at the end of our knowledge and ability to help them. And are hoping for some help, ideas and solutions {maybe even drugs, Lord willing!}

I love cloth diapers. They save us money, are better for the environment and are better for the little butts that wear them. I've used cloth diapers for almost a dozen years now.
BUT (no pun intended!), anyone who tells you that cloth diapers are just as easy as disposables is lying. True, these days they are pretty easy and not nearly the work they were even 10 or 15 years ago, but HELLO!, you have to wash them. The other kind you just throw in the garbage. Any idiot can figure that out. That is why, for the time being -- at least until the holidays are behind us and I have a working clothes dryer -- Sara's adorable little butt will be clad in disposables. {which I can order online and have delivered right to my door. Praise God!}

I give my kids an apple and a pile of goldfish crackers and call it lunch . . . not everyday, but when you make them a "real" lunch and they don't eat even one bite of it, you decide it's easier and less wasteful to just save yourself the effort.

Kirb has worked in the finance industry for years. He knows money! We have less than 10 years left to pay on our mortgage. We give away a pretty decent percentage of our income to charity. I clip coupons.
BUT, money is tight and is something I'm never NOT thinking or worrying about: How many days until payday? Can we afford ______? Sometimes we don't have enough money to pay all the bills at the end of the month. Currently there is a note reading "$225" in the Disney Fund Jar where the kids contribute money to our long-awaited Disney vacation in June {our first time there!} because I borrowed cash from there a couple weeks ago when things got a bit tight.

Also, I have fabulous babysitters. Their names are Bob, Larry, Dora, Buzz, Woody, Sid the Science Kid, Super Why and Batman . . . among others. Yup, my kids watch TV. They also play Wii.

I have wonderful, fabulous girlfriends!
BUT, sometimes, for the life of me, I can't figure out why they would want to be friends with me.

So, that's my life. It is what it is. I still think it's {mostly} wonderful and I am {mostly} thankful! Just being real.

Monday, November 22, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday post, which all started a while back, right here.

"One Thousand Gifts":

965. antibiotics
966. health insurance {we were at the doctor 4 days last week}
967. safe travels on icy roads
968. the fantastic job my husband did "preaching" yesterday -- what a guy!
969. children singing in church
970. costco
971. dr. pepper
972. a short work/school week
973. things coming together quickly for a "new" dryer

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for the next installment.

holy experience

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I am saddened to report that I'm pretty sure our dryer bit the dust last night.

It was a good dryer and served us faithfully through many a load {although it got quite a nice vacation each spring, summer and fall, while the clothesline took over the bulk of the workload}.

June 1998 - November 2010
proceeded in death by the washer
survived by a stove and refrigerator

I remember well the day our dryer arrived.

The delivery man asked me if my mom was home.

I don't remember exactly how I responded, but do remember that I got across the point that I was the "lady of the house" and remember that he wasn't quite sure what to say after that. He pretty much just delivered the dryer {and, it's companion the washer}, took the old ones away and moved on to his next delivery. Poor guy, I hope he wasn't too embarrassed by his mistake.

I was 24, married and employed well enough to pay the mortgage . . . ok, that's probably not quite true. I was employed enough to pay for the garbage to be picked up, of that I'm sure! {it wasn't a super high paying job. But I got summers off! Now I get paid even less and really, really DON'T get the summers off.}

Friday, November 19, 2010

flashback friday

ever my little "goofer"
one year ago

Thursday, November 18, 2010

thankful thursday

Today I'm thankful for a big yellow vehicle rolling down our street and for 9:21 when it's just me, Anna {a sick Anna today} and Sara. It was a pretty nasty morning! Kind of like 2 hours of torture. So, today I'm thankful for the minute the 4 bigs get on the bus and I can take a few advil, have a cup of tea and take a deep breath.

Monday, November 15, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday post, which all started a while back, right here.

"One Thousand Gifts":

944. new {toasty warm} socks
945. the beauty of the first snowfall of the year
946. hanging out with friends I never really rarely get to see {love you Al, Mel, Bridget, E and Sarah!}
947. 5 weeks of new love
948. electric mattress pad {a FABULOUS invention, especially if you live in an 85-year old house and your bedroom has two exterior walls!}
949. a massage
950. surviving my first week of working again post-Sara
951. big kids who had a super fun evening and are grateful for it . . . a sincere "thank you" is so fun to hear, and multiple ones {accompanied by a kiss and hug} from the same kid make it even better
952. news that my favorite little shop {Peapods} has outgrown in current location and is moving closer to my house {how fun . . . and yet I am worried about the effect the move might have on our finances}
953. a fun family movie night with "Ramona and Beezus" {you know, it's always fun until the 2-year-old squirts the tube of toothpaste into the sink -- but a great movie in my opinion, even so}
954. shared struggles
955. really loud laughter that leads to tears and gratefulness that you wore a mini pad
956. great friends
957. forgiveness and fresh starts
958. going to bed at 8:30 with a raging headache and waking up headache-free
959. great baby carriers that let me wear Sara around all day and get at least a minimal amount of stuff accomplished
960. a visitor who prayed for our family before leaving
961. my grandma reminding me the other day that she prays for my kids every single morning {how amazing for my kids to have a great-grandma who loves them so much -- their momma can't even get it together enough to remember to pray for them at the start of every single day, so I'm thankful for others who will share that honor and responsibility with me!}
962. music
963. a friend bearing a latte
964. sunshine

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for the next installment.

holy experience

Friday, November 12, 2010

flashback friday

november 2008

silly girls::
besties and a baby::

Thursday, November 11, 2010

thankful thursday

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5.18

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
Romans 11.36

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

my very favorite baby clothes

without a doubt my very favorite things to see a baby in are


and this:

there's just something about a baby in a plain white onesie that gets me every time, and i love a naked little bundle in a cute cloth diaper just about as much.

no offense to anyone who had spent their hard-earned money on actual clothes for miss sara; we appreciate them lots. especially since it's not socially acceptable {nor warm enough} to leave the house in either of my favorite "outfits". so for the times we must venture out . . . we thank you!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


our sweet baby girl is one month old today:
i'm not sure how that's possible, but the calendar doesn't lie:
i can't believe we lived without her all this time. she is wonderful and we're thrilled to have her in our family.
she is loved like crazy by all of us!
she's pretty cute too, wouldn't you say?

Monday, November 8, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday post, which all started a while back, right here.

"One Thousand Gifts":

930. continued clothesline weather
931. how much cuter my clothesline is with teeny tiny baby clothes on it
932. my chilly, numb-ish fingers after hanging the wet clothes up in the cool fall air {if only I had a latte to warm them up}
933. introducing Sara to her great aunt {I knew she was a great aunt, even before she had the title to show for it!}::934. a super fun lunch date with friends
935. dinner with family {fun, although loud and crazy with 8 kiddos in the house!}
936. storytime with Daddy/Uncle Kirby::937. sunshine and 60!
938. {almost entirely} free lunch on Sunday at Noodles & Co. {I love Noodles & Co.!}
939. my mom is feeling a little better and is on the road to recovery {finally!}
940. a short-lived sick day for LJ.
941. junior mints
942. surprising a friend
943. silly sisters::

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for the next installment.

holy experience

Friday, November 5, 2010

flashback friday

November 2006::
So, do you know who that is with her arm around me? The extra-cute lady with the dark hair? Yup, it's Sara Groves! I may have been a tad star-struck; I just love her! {in case you weren't aware} Her music is amazing . . . I may have even sneakily named one of my children after her . . . maybe just a little bit! She is fabulous -- as are my fabulous friends who are with me in the picture and enjoyed "Hearts at Home" with me in 2006::

Me, Sara, Joanna, Kris, Jill, Jill and Annie

I would love to go again this year, but my Sara is here and making that not-so-possible and, plus, another certain Sara won't be there this year anyway, so I think I can make it until next year when, barring any newborns, I would love to try and go again! It's a great mom-encouragement, and what mom couldn't use a little extra encouragement?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

thankful thursday

I'm so thankful for help! We've gotten so much help in the past 3 weeks or so. Meals, gifts, cleaning of our house, meals, visits, money, gift cards, more meals. It's been so great. I'm sometimes surprised by the people that offer kindness through a meal or a note of encouragement or a sincere welcome to our new baby -- sometimes they are even people that I don't feel a strong connection toward, but they want to celebrate with us in this way. What a blessing! Tonight, once again, we ate a meal that was made by someone else and delivered to our house for our family to enjoy.

And this is the sweet girl that stirred up all this abundant kindness::

So much to be thankful for!

Monday, November 1, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday post, which all started a while back, right here.

"One Thousand Gifts":

914. another friend with a fresh new baby
915. sneaking my favorites from my kids candy bags {shhhh!}
916. Hanna {God bless her!}
917. hayrides and bonfires at the farm on a perfect fall evening
918. the fact that we didn't blow away in the crazy wind last week {and didn't sustain any damage to our house either}
919. another Stoll cow for our herd {all 6 of our kiddos have worn the same cow costume on their first Halloween}
920. fabulous sugar cookies from our neighbor lady, in lieu of candy
921. the cute way Anna tacks "of course" on the end of most everything she says {for example: me: "Who didn't flush the toilet?" Anna: "Me, of course."}
922. kind people who come over bearing dinner!
923. over 3 weeks of Sara in our lives
924. an encouraging sermon
925. listening to my grandma and my husband sing together in the church choir
926. the quietness of 3 am with my sweet babe
927. a kind neighbor with a leaf sucking tractor who made quick work of "raking" our yard and ready-ing it for winter
928. a Saturday morning spent running a weeks worth of errands . . . and getting them ALL done successfully! {in and out of 7 places in just over 2 hours, which NEVER would have happened if a certain 2-year-old had been with me}
929. adorable little kids dressed up in fun costumes

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for the next installment.

holy experience