Monday, January 20, 2014

Long journey home

358 miles from Gore America, or approximately 6 hours of drive time is the place where I call home, St. Joseph, Missouri. It is where I was born, raised and lived for the first 28 years of my life. It is where most of my history is, where I have a lot of memories and most importantly it is where my sisters and their families still live.

I don't get to visit nearly as often as I should or as often as I'd like, so when I get the opportunity to go, I'm all in. We left Friday evening and arrived around 11pm and came back Sunday arriving home also around 11pm, so it was a whirlwind trip.

I spent the entire time I was there with the sisters. I have two, both older. Kristen is the oldest and Melissa is the middle child. We all have families and lives that are going by way too fast. But we had a great time catching up.

These are the sisters and me. Kristen on the left and Melissa in the middle.
Back in October Kristen became a grandma for the first time. Actually she is the first of us girls to have any grandchildren (and yes, I'm jealous). Her granddaughter's name is Kenzlyn and she is beautiful. This was my first time meeting her and I fell in love. If you know me at all, then you know I am not so patiently waiting for a grandchild of my own, but for now I will live vicariously through my sister.
Kenzlyn O'Meara, I told you she was beautiful!!
She has the darkest brown eyes and full head of brown hair. My sister is in grandma heaven!

Kenzlyn and her daddy, my nephew, my sisters son!
The sister's and I didn't always get along perfectly when we were growing up. But then, I'm not sure any siblings really did. It wasn't anything major, we were all 2 1/2 years apart, so there was a lot going on in our house usually at the same time. But as we've gotten older and started our own families we have found a way of really appreciating and enjoying each other. I find myself wishing I was closer to them all the time. I really miss them.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Teenage girls!

 I'm not a morning person per say, so I move slowly but only have a certain amount of time to get certain things done before we (the kids and I) head off to school. Of my 6 kids, I still have 4 at home and occasionally only have 3 kids to "get ready" as Kelsi is my step daughter and with her mom at times. This morning I had three, Will the 17 year old senior, Chloe the 14 year old 8th grader and Coy the 10 year old 4th grader.

Once I motivated my lazy behind to get moving I made and packed their lunches which is getting more difficult for me as Chloe started Crossfit 2 weeks ago and only eats "healthy". I really run out of ideas on healthy lunches and she gets so tired of turkey on wheat bread with yogurt and fruit. But I'm getting off track once lunches were packed I started breakfast. In between all of this I'm barking out orders to them trying to keep them on track with our schedule.
 "Coy are you dressed"?
"Will are you up yet"?
 "Coy brush your teeth",
"Chloe be quiet and don't wake up Pax" (Pax is still home from college on break).

This morning I made eggs and toast. I have a BFF who has chickens and gives me all the fresh eggs I want, thanks Patsy! I love the farm fresh eggs more then I should, especially since she doesn't actually live on a "farm".
So the kids and I sat down to breakfast...we held hands and I prayed for them. It was the normal prayer a Christian mom prays over her kids..."

"Lord be with them today and protect them from harm and danger. Walk with them in every step they take helping them to keep you at the front of their minds. Give them thick skin for the meanness and ugliness that comes with being in public school. I pray you clear their minds of all distractions so they can concentrate on learning today. Thank you Lord for the blessings you give me that I do not deserve, especially these children. Thank you for your son Jesus Christ through whom I pray...Amen"
We finished our breakfast and the kids were off finishing up their stuff to be ready to leave. Now for the last 2 years we have left for school at 7:50am because we drive to Vian where the youngest two go to school. Will still goes to school at Gore, which was his choice when we moved the others to Vian 2 years ago. At 7:50 I holler out at Chloe that it was time to go, as usual she responds with "Ok, you guys go on out". Which means Coy and I head to the car and she is shortly behind us. After sitting in the car for several minutes with no Chloe in sight, I honk the horn twice. After several more minutes she comes barrel racing out the door, opens the car door, throws her bags and books in. She gets in, looks at me and says..."Don't you ever honk at me again"....PAUSE!!! Before I go on, I want to ask, what would you have done?
Despite the fact that we are Christian parents raising our children in God's grace and mercy, despite the fact that they are for the most part, good, honest, smart, respectful kids... we still have hormones raging in our house and kids, who at times see how far they can push. Because we also know that we all fall short of the glory of God. So I asked what you would have done at this point, and I'm really curious. I'm going to be honest and tell you for half a second I considered back handing her, ok, maybe more like for several seconds...It was honestly kind of funny because as I look back at Coy in the back seat, I can see on his face the sheer horror of what his sister just did...she mouthed mom!!! Coy is an angel who's halo rarely dims...I don't know what he was actually thinking but I'm sure it was along the lines of, "Oh man, you are dead now". But what I did now totally surprised me...I calmly told her to pick up her bags and get out of the car. Of course she sat there and stared at me in a "you're crazy" kind of way so I repeated myself. "Pick up your bags and get out of the car, shut the car door and stand there until you can calm yourself. When you're calm you can open the car door and try again". She's frantic now because she knows we are already running late. But she sees I'm not giving in so she gets her stuff and gets out of the car. After she stands there or what felt like 10 minutes but was actually less then 2, she opens the car door gets in and says "sorry I'm running so late mom"...and we leave for school.
She didn't want to apologize, she didn't want to talk respectful to me at this point, but I think she knew if she didn't, she would be extremely late for school.
Now I know that the above incident is of no real concern to anyone, but it made me think once again that I would take a football team of boys right now to raise over one more girl. Not once have any of my boys gotten up for school and had a complete meltdown because their hair didn't look right, or they had nothing to wear in a closet full of clothes. Or bring home the drama of "so & so said this about me"...blah, blah, blah. We as women are dramatic, we are emotional, we are hormonal and often unreasonable...right?  

My 3 beautiful teenage daughters!
Kelsi, Paxton, Chloe