The Black Mold and Silly Putty

Yesterday I discovered really powdery fine black dust mold in the bottom of my diaper bag.  Somehow this always happens to me.  It is infuriating.  And guess what I did with it?  I just closed it up, pretended I never saw it, and it is sitting in the floor of my kitchen even now.

But I did not succeed.  I did not forget.  I did see it, and it has been mocking me ever since.  And today, even though Jimmy banned it from our home years ago, like even since before we even lived in this house, I found silly putty on my couch.  I did not see how it could have possibly gotten there.

And then I found out it's ironic origin.  I had taken off the back cushions from the couch and covered the bottom, in an attempt to keep my freshly washed cushions clean between house rentals.  As I was readjusting the cover (a queen sized sheet) I saw that there was silly putty in two different places on the sheet.

So my attempt to save my couch from such despair ended up causing it.

What does one do in the face of black mold and silly putty in the wrong places?

One pretends like neither are there, and that dinner does not have to be made, and one goes out to the driveway with the children, enjoys the beautiful fall weather, and takes photographs of them.  Because children don't care about mold or couches.  They are free.

Juliet has joined the ranks of the driveway kids.  She is very busy, mostly pushing babies around in strollers or shopping carts.

Cash on his bike.  He is definitely a super man.

Penelope hugging my legs.

Juliet making the Alley face.  I can think of numerous shots of Jimmy's brother Gary making this face.

Libby is speeding across our neighbor's driveway.  I know I have said it before, but we have the best neighbors in the entire U.S. of A.  They don't just put up with my kids, they love them and allow them to play in their driveway and pool and make noise and everything.  It is wonderful.

This is their daughter, Alex.  She is a wonderful friend to the kids and puts up with everyone amazingly well considering she does not have any siblings.  (Besides us!)  The whole reason my kids went outside was to wait for her bus to bring her home.

  Everyone zooms back and forth.

Jackson on his skateboard.



 Hold on, stop everything...Juliet's got something in her shoe...

Okay, back to work.

Swinging on the vine in between our driveways...

Juliet is giving Pooh a ride on the skateboard.

And now she is loving him.  I love her.  I need to go stare at her.  I guess if I love her as much as I think I do, I might just have to clean out the moldy diaper bag tomorrow...

I am making a face.  It is so gross.


Our Fall Break

We've been at my parent's lake house for the last three days.  It has been wonderful to be away from the daily grind and enjoy the beautiful weather.  My arms are sore from playing tether ball against Jimmy.  It is a hilarious event.  He makes me laugh so hard I can't hit the ball.  I love my man.

I have been taking lots of pictures because every other minute is a photo op here.  From swimming to swinging to pinball to sailing to cute kids I have been enjoying capturing the fun.  Cash only allowed me to photograph him in the bubble bath if I promised to put it on the blog.  So the following photos are narrated by Cash Alley.

Enjoy!  Here's Cash...

We sailed twice.  It tipped to the side a little bit but not that much.  It was fun.

Jackson was doing a project for school.  I got to ride a bike to go pick oranges for the project.

Here's Ju-Ju.  She's drinking caffeine.

Now she's super hyper.  She's just like Jackson.

Well, now she's asleep.

This is me taking a bubble bath.  I like taking bubble baths.

This is Libby and Penelope listening to books on tape.  They have to be quiet because Juliet is asleep.

Here is Libby, Walker, Penelope, and Dad on the swing.  They are swinging really high.  I mean  reeeeeeally high.

Juliet is going to read to mom.  She is reading Cat in the Hat.

They are doing puzzles.  This is the last piece on this puzzle.

Thank you for reading this blog.  Bye-Bye!


This Beautiful Mess*

This week I've grabbed my camera many times.  It seems like I run to capture those cute moments more when life is super busy.  It's like I have to remember the moments I am tempted to just walk by.

This week has been one of those where lots of things have happened to make me feel overwhelmed and stressed.  None of these things by themselves are any big deal.  But when it all seems to happen at the same time, you just want to pull the covers over your head.  Literally.

When you have a bunch of kids and you home school you really want to appear as if you completely know what you're doing.  Like you have it together.  When really, you're just figuring it out as you go along and your house is like a huge science experiment.  Except there's no hypothesis and no easy conclusion.  So and so seems to be doing really well with math but you really have no idea what you've done to make this come about.  Or you slightly burn your granola but really can't tell if it was your fault or the vintage oven or the inconsistent stirring by your six year old.

Someone has no clean underwear.  Jimmy can't find his wallet.  Penelope can't find her glasses.  Juliet has spilled cereal all over the floor.  How do you spell invited?  There are books waiting at the library.  It's raining.  It's bath night.  It's time to exercise.  We are out of peanut butter.  You have to conquer grocery shopping with kids.  "If you don't move out of the way of my cart I WILL run you over."  The diaper has leaked.  There is a fly infestation in the kitchen.  The pilot light is out on the water heater.  Someone you've never met wants to stop by your house.  For some reason you let the children get out the play dough.  During prayer request time (with your new co op friends you're still trying to impress a little) your daughter asks for prayer about her Halloween costume.

I know I'm always talking about how messy life is, yet how wonderful too.  It has never been more true for me.  It is a dichotomy that will never get old.  In humanity, God has made stinky, gross, weird, and crazy beings called children.  And there is absolutely nothing else that can make you feel more joy, more love, or more full of life.

I am happy to be more than a spectator.  I am glad to wipe the banana from a laughing toddler or the tears from a wounded child.  Poop!  Giggles!  Boogers!  Dancing!  Fist fights!  Playing toys!  Sassy mouths!  Dimples!  Do you see how much fun it is?  It is an opposite game that never gets old.  For every frustrating or gross thing that happens around here there is easily something even more wonderful happening at the same time.  It is truly a beautiful mess.

*The title for this post was inspired by the Sixpence None the Richer album title, not any of the million other things associated with this phrase.  I hate the internet.  Spell check told me to capitalize internet.  I refuse.