Sleep Away…

Sleep Away…

Sunday morning during church James, the teenager, fell asleep. His head fell over on my shoulder and, y’all, I did not even wake him up. It just felt so darn good to have him snuggled up next to me. His snuggling days are WAY past over.


So, I just carpe’d the heck out of that diem. Any time I can get some one on one time with him I’ll take it. I’ll steal it, even. In 2012, on my birthday, I checked him out of school to go see the ten a.m. screening of The Hobbit. As we were walking through the parking lot another parent saw us and asked where we were going. When I told her, her mouth dropped open in horror and she said ‘checking out of school to go the movies? What do you think that teaches him, Mom?’ I replied ‘well, it’s my birthday and that’s how I want to spend it.’ Dad gum busybody…

My birthday that year was even more poignant because we walked out of the movie theatre and into the news that the shootings at Sandy Hook had happened. Yeah lady, pretty sure I could care less about what you think of me checking my kid out of school. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about carpe diem lately. Specifically, how I want other people to carpe diem. I want it in theory – in actuality, I just want to do what I want to do without thinking about the other person. I can be pretty dang selfish.


Here’s what I mean: See, I have a basketball problem. That is, if our high school team is playing basketball, I want to be there watching. I love girls and boys basketball. Problematically, I’ve got this pesky two year old that I’m pretty sure isn’t a big basketball fan. The good news is she’s a champion sleeper. So, it’s super easy to babysit for her. No problem, right? Get a sitter.

But these games are SO fun! I kinda feel guilty calling my high school sitters because I think they should be at the game too. Because obviously, I know what’s best for everyone. I don’t want them to miss out on the fun! So, I end up sending super lame texts like this to them:


You’re only young once. Don’t waste your young caring for my young. YOLO and all that. Because seriously, isn’t high school basketball the best?

It’s something to think about…

Well, the good news about him falling asleep in church is that we were sitting in the very back so hopefully not too many people noticed. That’s what happens when you saunter in THIRTY MINUTES after the start time. One day we’ll make it in time. I mean, not anytime soon but one day in the far distant future.

Until then, I’ll just enjoy whatever little snippets of snooze I can get with him.



Problems I Can’t Solve

Problems I Can’t Solve

Dealing with the thousand and one kids we now have living with us is a continual lesson in ‘how can we do this better?‘ That last sentence can actually be translated as ‘we screw up ALL the time.’

But, we do get it right occasionally – this fixing problems thing.

For instance, Sunday night during the Super Bowl went as bad as it could possibly go. I mean, the po po didn’t show up and no one went to the hospital but it was pretty dang bad.

My perfect storm recipe:

One that was acting like a raving lunatic because he’d spent the night with a friend the night before and stayed up until 4:30 in the dad gum morning. One that was on his third hour of Math homework (that’s what happens when you just ignore your homework for a week.) Two that were dealing with major bouts of jealously. And, of course, we couldn’t all cheer for the same team. Some were for Carolina and another was for Denver. Oooh! Oooh! And one was barfing.

I know, I know, Mom. You don’t like the word ‘barf.’ But in this case, I can assure you, it wasn’t vomit – it was straight up barf. 


“Yup Grandmommy, I was barfing.”

It was so bad that at bedtime James and Henry had a huge fit of the giggles laughing about how bad everyone had been. ‘Man! I can’t believe how bad we were! Mom! That was like something out ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid.’

But, even in all that we could see solutions.

Problem: Hank acted like a raving lunatic during the Super Bowl last night.

The solution: Don’t let him spend the night with a friend if he’s going to stay up until 4:30 in the morning because it makes him crazy.

Boom! Nailed that problem.


Sure lady, I’M the problem…”

Stuff like that we can fix. Etc and on and on.

But, it’s not just the Super Bowl that gave us issues. We’ve also got things like this:

Problem: Girls act jealous of each other during bedtime.

Solution: Separate bedtimes and reading times.

Problem solved. Kicks that problem to the curb.

Problem: Kids fight over who gets which snacks.

Solution: Pack kids snacks for the week in individual boxes on Sunday.

Done. Drops Mic.


However, there ARE a few problems I haven’t been able to solve yet. And one, we’ve been fighting for fifteen years. Here’s the deal:

Billy is really good at keeping up with our finances. Spreadsheets are his thing. And, poor Billy, he wants me to be good at keeping up with our finances. He would like for me to do one simple little thing – keep up with my credit card receipts. That way he can look at the receipt, see what category it is in, and then enter it into his spreadsheet.

We’ve tried different systems over the years. Keep up with the paper copy and put them on his bedside table, leave them with the mail, write them down, take a picture of it, you name it, I’ve tried it and in the end it just drives me crazy and I don’t do it.

I’m not sure why I hate doing it so much. Number one, I’m lazy and, oh yeah, have six kids one of who I’m carrying at the time and just don’t want to take the time to keep up with. Number two – and I realize this one is 100% my own fault – it makes me feel like I’m a kid. ‘Here Dad, Here’s what I spent at Target.’ He has no intention of making me feel this way – it’s just me being immature.

Number three, I don’t understand why he can’t just look it up on the dad burn internet. He’s going to look up the electronic receipts anyway to make sure it all looks good. So, I don’t understand that and he doesn’t understand why I can’t just give him the dang receipts.

So, every Monday morning he gets online and starts looking at the money and starts texting me. “What was the $100 at Target for? What was the $50 at Wal-Mart?’ And I’m all, look mister, etc etc etc…


Pretty sure you know what Baskin Robbins is, Cowboy.”

So…there ya go.

Yeah, I know. Pretty sure the answer is ‘just send him the flipping receipts.’

And then there’s church. Specifically our inability to get to church on time. All our kids sleep late – even our foster kids – so to have everyone up and fed and out the door in order to be sitting down in the seats at 8:50. It just doesn’t happen.

Our church doesn’t do Sunday School – they encourage you to join a ‘Missional Community.’ So, unless you join an MC that meets at night, you can literally go to the church for years without meeting anyone new. Walk in, check kids in, sit down, participate in worship, pick kids up, walk out – have zero interaction with a person that goes beyond ‘hey, how are you.’ It’s like we’re ghosts in the church. This bothers me. It doesn’t bother Billy.

Meh…I have bigger fish to fry right now. Alright, I have now declared the above problem to be not a problem. It’s been placed on the back burner. Yeah, for church!

Next! The kid’s grades. With six kids in the house there are a lot of grades to keep up with. Well, really just four. One is two and one is in kindergarten. Oooh! And one I don’t have to worry about one because he is naturally a hard worker and, just between me and you and the internet, he’s pretty prideful so he can’t stand the thought of bad grades. So, that just leaves three to worry about.

The seventh grader has been struggling lately with keeping up with assignments, studying, and paying attention in class. I struggled in seventh grade too. Luckily, three things resurrected my grades.


“Hi! I’m middle school Paula! I’d rather socialize than study!”

Number One: My Mom. Dude, that woman can be scary and you do not want to be on the receiving end of her lectures. I hated listening to her lecture me.

Number Two: My friends. At my school, it was definitely NOT cool to make bad grades. Peer Pressure, for the win.

Number Three: Most importantly, I had a few teachers who really encouraged me to do my best work. And that’s what I’m hoping for for the kids.

I found this note in the seventh grader’s backpack a few days ago.


Isn’t that an amazing note? In the end, I can’t make the kids make acceptable grades. I mean, in our house, theres no screen time if they have a C average in anything. I can set up stuff like that but they still have to make the decision to study and pay attention in class. So, really, it’s not my problem to solve.

Look! Church and the kids grades have now been declared not problems. Woo Hoo!

Those dang credit card receipts though…Well, I’ll keep working on it.