What to do with too much energy

By Moriah on April 10th, 2013

Yesterday I picked my big kids up from school and we drove straight to the park. The two other smallish families there promptly left and so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Luxury.

This boy is a little daredevil on the swings. He throws his head back and his feet up. I’m seeing rollercoasters in our future.




(Yep, popcorn in those teeth.)




Drew and Madeline played ‘Spies’ most of the time; dumped a water bottle out and wala! Telescope!








Get good and tired dirty, kids.



All five of my children in a single camera frame together unposed?


pulling {and pushing back}

By Moriah on August 30th, 2012

Five little people, each tugging me in a different direction. Husband with his own needs (love, dinner, and clean underwear), and a house (or two) that is always pulling on me. Dishes and laundry get their own category; not to mention groceries, friends, church, God.

It’s really no wonder I feel soo stretched, always juggling and often dropping. I am only two hands, one person. Clearly I can’t do everything or even try. I’m trying to re-direct, focus on things that I’ve been wanting to do but never seem to have the time and energy for. The dishes and cooking and laundry will all get done because they have to.

So here’s me pushing back today. I have clean hair, painted toes. I’ve been wanting to share these beach photos from a month ago and so I am.


I’m on a bloggy roll

By Moriah on August 8th, 2012

Tonight I took Madeline to the first of two friend birthday parties she has this week. I don’t know what it is, but taking a child to a friend’s party brings out the WORST in my other kids. I sort of have a love/hate relationship with the American idea of a birthday party. I LOVE them on one hand, making special memories and celebrating a life. And, hello, cake.

But. They involve a high level of stress, at least for me. And, fallen like everything else on this earth, often can include a high dose of the not-so-lovely; envy, greed, selfishness, unthankfulness, boastfulness, etc. I haven’t figured out how to best reconcile all that yet. And my kids typically don’t do an overly great job of being happy for others while NOT thinking about themselves. Sometimes it’s just easier to avoid those hot situations. But yes; work to do, work to do.  Some of that is better with age and maturity.

Anyway, we stopped at the store after dropping her off and I let the other kids pick out a dessert. I REALLY wanted fresh parmesan for our pasta. Over vacation, our friends introduced us to this kale and spinach ravioli and my kids loved it. (I had picked up a couple of trays of it at costco yesterday, check it out if you can!)

Usually our quick foods are just that – quick, and decidedly not healthy. I love that this is a quick meal and jam-packed with vitamins but doesn’t taste like it. It pretty much just tastes like noodles and red sauce. Yum.

Oh! Andy did show our house today. I texted my friend Gretchen afterwards that I was going to fake-sell my house every day. I had two laundry-bins of junk hiding in the attic, but it’s nice to have all the clutter in one place.

I’m guessing he didn’t mention the girls’ little friend they found this morning:

Sooo Madeline.

But then there’s Ari, who clunked around in my heels all day.

Yeah.  More my style. ;)

jammie chat

By Moriah on July 12th, 2012

It is so sweet to wake up to these two every morning.  Arianna is HILARIOUS.  I could talk to her all day.  And I do!  We’ve been letting her run around in “ondies” and she’s been doing great!  No accidents and gummy bears all around.

Last week wasn’t so wonderful (keeping it real) but this week is rolling along much better.  A few bumps.  Like Monday we tried to meet Nicky & Co. at the splashpad and they had closed for thunder RIGHT before we got there.  She was already inside so we had to chat through the fence.  They finally let us in after the cloud passed and we got to swim and play so all’s well that ends well.

Tuesday Drew had speech and he asked for a milkshake because he was so good.  Yeah right, I’m not buying you 16 weeks of milkshakes.  But nice try. (I guess ‘speech’ isn’t really the right term, but he’s doing a program at a reading/language/hearing center this summer.)

And speaking of Drew, Andy made a big mistake and signed him up for a soccer camp for this week, but missed that the brochure was for 2011.  Yeah, whoops!!  They got there yesterday morning and – no camp.  So sad for Drew, he’s been talking about this for MONTHS.  But on the bright side, I think I found another one that starts in a week and a half.

Madeline has 7 more days with her cast.  I told her last night we’re gonna have a cast-off party and have some cupcakes.  She goes, “do I get presents?!”  Um, no.  Just sugar.  We will both be so glad when this is behind us and it’s going to be right in time for our FL trip.  Big yay.

I shared this on FB and will also put here – the girls have been in a couple of commercials this summer… one was for a friend’s pool business and this is the second:

Just kinda funny, we’ve never done anything like that before and the two were filmed within four days of each other. (I was never involved in my dad’s campaign ads but my sisters were.) Anyway, sharing just for fun. We’ve already gotten quite a few texts, emails, and FB messages asking if it really was Madeline they saw on TV. Hilarious. It’s the pink zebra sparkle cast!

mother’s day 2012

By Moriah on May 13th, 2012

this counts for a bath, right?

By Moriah on June 8th, 2011

Instead of VBS our church has Music Camp.  And it is awesome.  My kids have been gushing about all the fun they’ve had and I’ve been hearing bits n’ pieces of the songs they’re learning ever since I picked them up on Monday.  I think the theme for the week is the book of Esther.  Anyway, yesterday we met friends after camp for a (hot) picnic.

I was a little surprised Arianna actually stayed sitting with the rest of the kids. Usually my babies like to bolt.

Drew was cracking me up with the “chair” he found.

And he stayed like that for quite some time.

Funny that we had this many girls in pigtails!

Madeline turns 6 today (!!!) so on the way home from the park we stopped in W*mart for an early birthday present – BABY POOL!

(It was mid-90s yesterday; water-playing absolutely necessary.)

Watch out, she’s armed!

We finished up our day o’ fun with a $5 pizza from Papa John’s (Tuesday special).

(And yes, I totally counted that as a bath.)

{small style}

By Moriah on April 7th, 2011

Sooo, I can’t seem to write a coherent blog post these days but I totally can participate in this super cute mini-people party! Since, you know, kid clothes are my hobby…

(Kinda like What I Wore Wednesday but for the littles. Yeah, FUN.)

I took my two little girls to the children’s museum on Tuesday and met a friend there.

On Adelaide: dress is MJC, ruffle leggings are from Babies R Us, and jellies are from Old Navy.

On Arianna: tee and top are MJC, ruffle jeans are customs from Emmifaye Boutique (Etsy), and shoes are Livie & Luca.

She was running and tripped head first into the little mini picnic bench – nice forehead, huh?

Pearls are Madeline’s, I think they came from Walmart. I love how Arianna knew exactly what to do with them. :)

For other Small Style, or to participate, visit Mama Loves Papa.

(Yep, still here)

By Moriah on March 31st, 2011

(Alternate title: S-T-R-U-G-G-L-E)

Okay. I’m having a hard time. Yesterday was just plain out bad and my brain felt half asleep the whole day. I said yes to things for my kids that I never should have agreed to because clearly they were things I didn’t have the energy for. Being cooped up due to rain DID. NOT. HELP. (Have I ever mentioned my kids don’t have school on Wednesdays? I was loathing that policy right about 10 a.m.)

Today’s better. I feel better. I think I struggle more with ante-partum depression than post-partum. Once the baby’s out it’s party time, you know. Paint the cabinets, get going! Now? Yeah, notsomuch.

ANYwaaaaay, just didn’t want to leave anyone hanging. We had Adelaide’s little birthday party over the weekend (rained out, go figure!) and I’ve been trying to get around to finishing the photo editing ever since. I’ll get there. Someday, right?

Welcome to springbreak

By Moriah on March 21st, 2011

I feel like we already had our spring break last week (and now there’s no Grandmommy around to distract us). But we’ve got some fun things tentatively planned so it should work out okay. No beach trip, unfortunately. ;) (Although, Arianna at the beach sounds more like a nightmare.)

I haven’t mentioned this here yet but I’m sure a lot of you are wondering about the on-going status of Andy’s job search. He’s been in a real estate course these past couple of weeks and takes the state exam tomorrow. It’s been busy – he’s gone all day in class and then he studies all evening. I was SO glad my mom was here for the majority of it. They did a practice test at the school last Friday and he got a 98% – so I’m not too worried. The plan is for him to work as the buyers agent for a friend of ours (also a realtor but pretty much only sells.) They’ll be a team of two and I know it will be good. I told Andy I just want to eat and wear cute shoes.

Arianna’s finger – doing well! The stitches aren’t quite all dissolved so it still has to be wrapped up. (But we did ditch the splint after three weeks.) I tried to wrap just her finger but she had it pulled off in about 3 minutes. So hand it is.

The kids have been loving this weather, and are pretty much staying outside the entire day. Andy took Drew and Madeline on a long hike over the weekend and he said they did great with NO COMPLAINING! I’m pretty sure I’ve complained on every hike I’ve ever been on. (ha) Right now I can barely manage the grocery store without feeling completely sore afterwards (doesn’t help when I had to cross the store three times looking for lighter fluid). I’m definitely entering the uncomfortable stage of pregnancy.

Lighter fluid – yes, the Lewins came over for BBQ on Friday night. I love having them over because I don’t feel pressure to clean first. Love friends like that. We stayed outside mostly anyway, and ate on the deck. I love spring! (And I’ve been wishing all weekend I had taken her up on that offer to leave us some of her homemade chocolate pudding pie.)

Okay, the people are calling. Here’s to a good springbreak!

raw honesty

By Moriah on January 27th, 2011

WELL. Yesterday (the first half, anyway) was… well, just bad, bad, bad. Later I ended up hiding in Madeline’s top bunk and cried. (And if you don’t occasionally have those kinds of days too, I’m not sure we can still be friends.)

It started fine, then Arianna’s hand got smashed in the door and she spent the rest of the morning pretty cranky, following me around whining or demanding to be held. We were out of milk (her consoling naptime partner). I finally put my foot down and we all went to Wmart just to get the milk. In the rain.

When we got home she somehow got a hold of a sugar bag, got it open, and dumped it out on the floor between her legs and went to town. All while I was bringing in the groceries. (I would have gotten a sugar-coated photo if my head hadn’t been about ready to combust.) One huge gritty sticky mess. My kitchen floor is still a little crunchy. (That’s the part where I went and hid.)

SO THANKFUL Andy came home after a half-day and we pushed up our sleeves and scrubbed our house. I’m the kind of person that if my house is out of control, my life feels out of control. He’s been really busy with temporary construction-type work and I’d been sick, add in a few wild kids and you have a situation bordering on disaster.

Oh, and then the prong of my new(ish) vacuum plug broke. On Cleaning Day. Go figure.

ANYway. We did get things under some sort of order, I got a bag of toys ready for donation, and we have some momentum to finish things up today. I only tell you all that to say – THIS IS THE REAL DEAL, FOLKS. We all have terrible, no good days.

(And believe me, I put Arianna in the nursery last night at church so I could breathe in peace.)

there’s a boy in my belly

By Moriah on January 15th, 2011

Another post I’ve been putting off!!

Alternate title: What I Really Look Like

Sooo, surprise? Us, too! I’ve been (rather foolishly, apparently) waiting for Andy to get a job before I announced this pregnancy because, well, the timing.

BUT. I know God is faithful and He cares for ALL of His children. We’re leaning hard on that.

And yes! We already know it’s a boy. (Long story.) So, while we probably wouldn’t have chosen to have Number 5 at this particular moment in our lives, we ARE excited AND thankful.

I dress them crazy on purpose

By Moriah on January 12th, 2011









So much FUN.


By Moriah on August 31st, 2010

Arianna decided she can crawl. She didn’t even do that rocking thing babies often do – she just all of the sudden took off across my sisters’ living room Sunday, and that was that. (Same day she got another tooth — what does she think, she’s going off to college tomorrow?)

Madeline likewise took off riding her bike without the training wheels. And it was the same sort of way, as if she’d been doing it forever. (I guess we should have taken them off earlier.) Funny thing, Drew was the one that went to the shed and got Andy’s tools out and took her training wheels off all by himself.



By Moriah on August 11th, 2010

So, speaking of child labor, Drew just took it upon himself to take his stack of laundry out of the basket on my bedroom floor and put it all away.

The lightbulb, it just went off.

Inspired, I asked Madeline if she wanted to put away her laundry, which she did, (mostly) perfectly.

Now. There are plenty of things my kids help with around the house but I’m a bit, uh, particular about the way things are washed and folded. Plus my mom did all the laundry growing up and so it’s my way of paying it forward. But getting it put away??? TOTALLY my kids’ job now.


(What else do you have your kids do?)

Mama Drama

By Moriah on August 10th, 2010

I had just finished cutting Drew’s hair last night and there was still hair everywhere and I was changing Arianna’s poopy on my bed, got poop on my sheets and then I hear “_____ peed in the bathtub!” It was one of those moments. IfyouknowwhatImean.

They had slept late during their nap yesterday, which means they were wired at 8 p.m. while I was exhausted. Funny how that works. I didn’t yell at anyone, though, so there’s that.

And then Adelaide’s been doing this get-up-a-million-times-a-night-after-I-put-her-down thing, even after being disciplined for it. She’s a wee bit, um, headstrong. But the things she says are so hilarious it’s almost worth it just to see what she’s gonna say.

The kids don’t go back to school for another full month, and a very very hot one at that. It sort of makes me want to curl up in a ball on my closet floor or just set up a tent right next to the pool. Thankfully we have plans tonight, tomorrow, and Thursday with friends – everyone needs a daily dose of good old family fun to keep the spirits high. We may even be in B’ham this weekend before her baby comes.

Ooh, and then my mom and sisters get here soon. The kids are talking about it by the minute. And I may be, too.

And it’s up!

By Moriah on June 30th, 2010

Yesterday, ALL BY MYSELF, I drug the remaining top-bunk box down from the attic, and started getting the bed set up. Andy had to pick up an extra bolt (one of the included ones was stripped or something) on his way to work, but we were able to finish last night. The kids were so excited they barely paid attention to their bedtime story.


(That photo doesn’t show the depth well, but it’s really a full on the bottom and a regular-sized twin on top.)

Arianna slept in there, too, in the crib. She woke up once (at 2 a.m.), nursed, and then slept the rest of the night.

(And there was much rejoicing.)

A bumpy day

By Moriah on May 1st, 2010

So today my girls and I attended half of our church’s Ladies Tea. It was one of those times where it just struck me sitting there that this isn’t worth it and we got up and left. Maybe next year, when they are older and I’m not stretched quite so thin; not as many little girls needing things or a nursing baby.

Plus, I had been holding Arianna while trying to manage with the chicken salad, and a mayonnaisey piece fell down the front of my shirt.  (Sorry…just had to share.)  Funny, except when you’re over-tired and already a wee bit stressed.

I also forgot my camera.  These were taken at home after we had relaxed some and she had been fed.





It’s red and snappy and they…are future Olympians

By Moriah on April 12th, 2010

I hadn’t intended to ditch my blog for nearly a week — there just wasn’t anything blog-worthy going on! We were mostly house-bound after Andy’s car died a rather miserable death and he needed mine to get to work…


On Saturday we found a potential car, ran the history reports, called my sister to come stay with the kids, drove about 45 minutes away to see it, decided to buy it and then did, that afternoon. I had asked the Lord to make it easy if that was what we were supposed to do, and everything kept falling smoothly into place. So that’s that, I have wheels again.

The again-found freedom must have gone to my head, however, because I took all four kids to two different Targets today, on the hunt for various sizes. (Please tell me mine aren’t the only kids who like to “hide” behind the stroller and pack n’ play boxes.)

As we were leaving the second store, I was paying for $1 popcorn for the ride home (SO THAT THEY WOULDN’T FALL ASLEEP) and heard the cashier say “get down!”

Turned around to find Drew standing on the counter above the bar-stools and Madeline walking on the half-wall above it that separates the food court, using it like a balance beam.


(You can imagine how our conversation went on the way home…“We do not walk on the furniture, even in Target!!!”) In all the pulling-children-from-places-they-should-not-be, one of Adelaide’s “flick-flocks” got left. Some amazingly kind soul in the parking lot went and found it and brought it out to me.

Yes. I am that mother.

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