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Welcome to the hectic years

Hi, I'm Mindi.

And this is our Hectic Life.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

P52 - Week 4

It's been a rough couple of weeks, so instead of discouraging words I'll just post some pictures . . .

Callie, after coating herself with flour 'helping' me roll pizza dough and a pie crust

Gwen dancing to 'YMCA' at the school sock hop


Lex putting together a puzzle with Grandma


Some black and white photos of the kiddos





And a color photo of Miss Callie


I have a ton of snow photos I wanted to share, but for now, I think I'll call it a night. I have a feeling it's going to be another long week :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Confessions of a Working Mom - Part II


(I'm linking up with Sweet Shot Tuesday at My3Boybarians.com because I love the picture of my 3 oldest with their snow gear. So cute.)

Lately I've been a teensy bit stressed. So I wrote the list below (all true, by the way), and after I laughed at myself, felt quite a bit better.

You know you're a working mom (outside the home, to be specific) when -

1 – You get to work, have a heated discussion about a project, feel as though you won the discussion, only to walk away and notice the sugared cereal sticking to your pant leg

2 – Only after coming home at the end of the work day is it pointed out to you that you’re wearing a see-through sweater

3 – Your mind is so preoccupied with other things (book reports, kid’s doctor appointments, what you’re going to make for dinner along with figuring out how to design something for $2 that lasts 20 years and sells for $100,000) that you don’t even look in the mirror long enough to notice item #2

4 – You don’t even care about #2. A missed homework assignment is somehow more important to you than being on public display around your co-workers

5 – At a meeting with your supervisor, your cell phone starts to blare out ‘stuck like glue’ - your daughter’s favorite country song (thankfully better than the ‘save a horse, ride a cowboy’ song that your husband had programmed into the phone so he could embarrass you during work hours)

6 – You’re asked for a pen to sign a document for publication, but when you reach in your purse a diaper falls out instead (a clean one, of course)

7 – You find yourself discussing your baby/toddler’s bathroom habits with co-workers

8 – Your cube-mates can’t remember what you look like without a baby belly and they continue to monitor said belly in case it grows suddenly. This would give them an excuse to call you Octomom. Even though you don't have eight kids, you deal with it, because it's better than the alternative greeting 'How many do you have now? I can't keep up'

9 – Your day starts well before dawn, and you spend fifty minutes searching for various kid-sized socks, hats, shirts (it’s Colt’s blue day, and your daughter has nothing to wear), making oatmeal, pouring chocolate milk, supervising the completion of homework that was brought to your attention 10 minutes before you planned to leave the house – leaving approximately 3.5 minutes to get yourself ready (see item #2)

10 – No matter how early you get up in the morning, you’re always late for work. After all, it’s Not Me’s turn to put away the lunchmeat, mop up the spilled milk, shut the outside door after walking through it (in 3 degree weather, mind you), or shut the sliding van door that you mistakenly thought didn’t need to be automatic. After all, when you first bought the van, the kids fought over who got to shut it.

11 – You spend your lunch break making meal lists and clipping coupons, while various gawkers walk by as if you were a traffic accident. Some whisper 'Octomom' under their breath and others stop to chat about it, but after they whittle away 25 of the 30 minutes you have available with meaningless discussion, you sigh and decide to finish making your meal list later. When you have more time (insert evil laughter here).

12 – Walking through the front door after work requires skills that can only be obtained at a military obstacle course. You have to avoid backpacks, shoes, papers scattered all over the floor, and attention-starved dogs, all while simultaneously hugging three children and carrying your purse, lunch bag, car keys, and a very heavy twenty-month old toddler who will be surgically attached to you the rest of the evening.

13 – You end your day at 12:30 or 1:00am the next morning, because you put off doing the chores until after the kids were in bed and you had more time (see #11). Playing Toy Story memory game is more important than sleep anyway. So is playing with the dragon house, or dressing Barbie dolls.

14 – You get up the next day to do it all over again. However, due to lack of time for chores (see #13), you wind up wearing a shirt with a small kool-aid stain or rip in the arm. And instead of throwing away the sweater mentioned in #2, you throw it in the wash. After all, you can always wear a shirt under it next time if by some miracle you get an extra 30 seconds to get ready because Not Me decided to clean up the mess made by the salt shaker during breakfast. Though you could never figure out who would even try to put salt in a yogurt smoothie.

15 – See #2

Friday, January 21, 2011

P52 - week 3

This week was rough. It was one of those weeks when you just want to skip to the end so that you can curl up in bed and sleep for about 15 hours.
We got MORE snow, and it's been so cold the poor ponies have icicles hanging off their coats. Icicles that simply didn't want to come off. Last night it was well below zero, and all I could think about was the horses outside in the knee-deep snow.
There have been more tantrums than usual, more fighting, and today I spent over 4 hours battling what I'm now sure was an allergic reaction to something I ate. I could feel my throat swelling and I could barely talk or swallow. The doctor diagnosed me with strep throat (without a strep test), but about four hours after it began my symptoms mysteriously disappeared. Odd.

Although the tough times stick out the most, we had some good ones as well. When my parents came to visit we headed to Chuck-e-cheese. A place where the kids are guaranteed to have a good time. I was just happy the power didn't go out, like it did on our last visit.

No, I didn't point out to Gwen that her tights didn't even come close to matching her dress. Sometimes you just let it go. Notice my dad's gold and blue shirt to the right of the photo. It was the day of Mountaineer basketball game, and they won :)


Lex was so engrossed in looking through this head thing he forgot to put a coin in the game to play it.


This is Hunter's favorite game, and at any given time you can see him swaying side to side, standing up, or leaning back. Too funny.


The only child that would go near Chuck-e-cheese was Hunter


And Miss Callie riding her fire truck. She was in love with all the riding toys.


I took all the kiddos so the boys could got hair cuts. And yes, people were staring at me (and Gwen) snapping pictures in Great Clips. At least it was the point and shoot, and not my monstrous Canon.



While the boys were busy, Miss Callie slept in my lap. I realize she looks uncomfortable, but as soon as I moved her she woke up.


After one incredibly difficult work day, I collapsed on the floor and watched a funny movie. Within a few minutes Callie had fallen asleep beside me. I couldn't help but snap a picture.


Her face shows says it all. Peace, warmth, relaxation.

Hopefully after next week, my face will show the same thing.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The New Year

There is a whisper in the back of my mind that I simply can’t ignore. Sometimes I can shove it away, bury it beneath the layers of laundry and dishes and little boy’s socks that I find in the oddest of places. I can go weeks without hearing the voice, the prodding insistent tone that causes me to feel impatient and agitated. But it always comes back, and when it does, it causes me to think beyond myself and my family. Beyond the daily routine of diapers and sippy cups, scattered toys and school papers.


This time the trigger was a book, ‘My sister’s keeper’, a book that I had never heard about or read. I got it through paperbackswap.com – and once I started reading it I simply couldn’t stop. It drew me in and had me thinking about something other than depleting hay piles and refinance loans. It had me thinking about the true meaning of life, of my life. About making a difference in the lives of others.

Ever since that day I've been hearing the voice. The voice that tells me I have a purpose in this crazy world, that God created me for something meaningful. I just have to go out on a limb and find out what that is.

There are those who would scorn these words, and say, ‘Are you not fulfilled with what you have? Are your children not enough? Is making a difference in the lives of your children not a worthy accomplishment?’

Without a doubt my kids are my best accomplishment. Raising them to be God-fearing Christian adults is a job that I take very seriously. I’m reading books on parenting that have changed my views on a lot of issues. I’m becoming a better mom, a slow process because change is not always easy. At the same time I strive to be a better wife.

But still, there is that voice that tells me to look outside of the coupons and grocery lists. Outside of floor polish and craft projects. Look outside to the world that God created, to the people who may or may not know God’s love, and find what it is that I can do to make a difference.


Believe me, if I could tell the voice to go away, I would. I have more tasks than time in a day. I have four small children, a job that helps pay the bills, a farm to run, and animals to care for. Adding one more thing to that list might just cause my house of blocks to come tumbling down.


But still, the voice is insistent. It is there, even when I don’t want it to be. I used to complain that I never heard God speak to me, never once, even when I would listen as hard as I could and wait weeks for an answer.

Now, I’m beginning to wonder if this voice might be coming from Him. I’m not sure – I don’t know if God actually talks to us. But I like to think that He does, and if that is the case, He might very well be trying to tell me something.

Something I’ve pushed to the back of my mind more times than I can count.

So, while others have made New Year’s resolutions to lose weight or eat healthier, to get that new haircut or finally take an exotic vacation, my resolution is a bit simpler. Yet at the same time, more complex.

I’m going to listen to the voice.

After that?
Well,there is no way of knowing what will happen next.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


The second installment of Project 52 - recording our life in photos for 2011, one week at a time.
I heard on the radio this morning that 49 of the 50 states have snow on the ground right now. Indiana is not the one state lucky enough to miss out. Since my kids gravitate to snow like birds to air, I followed them with a camera.

Gwen playing 'Now You See Me, Now You Don't'


Lex took off his hat and gloves, unzipped his coat, and took off running through the snow. Not quite sure what he was thinking. In the background you can see the outline of the ponies burying themselves in hay.


Hunter and Gwen started covering poor Artemis in snow.



Artemis finally deciding she had enough snow for one day


Since it never reached above freezing, I'm not sure where these came from. But they're massive and quite a spectacle, hanging off our house.


While the kids were out playing in the snow, Callie was inside stuffing her face with m and m's. That girl loves her crunchy chocolate candy.


This week was over with before it began. But at least I have pictures to prove that we did indeed take some time to enjoy it.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Project 52

This wasn't my idea, but I love it. I saw it on my3boybarians.com. In 2008 I tried a photo-a-day for 365 days, but I only made it through early July. By the end it was a chore to get a picture up every day, and the fun had completely been stripped from the project.
So when I saw the idea of taking a photo a week, I knew it was something I had to do. A photo a week for 52 weeks - something that will showcase our lives together in 2011. But that wasn't good enough. I thought about it, and decided to go a step further.
I love photography, but I'm a perfectionist. I like the lighting to be perfect, the color to be good, the background to be free from clutter. I love close-ups and real expressions.
But I decided that for this project 52 I would deviate from everything that I am used to so that I can capture our life for what it is. Crazy, chaotic, cluttered. All C letters of course. I have vowed not to worry about lighting if I had a camera and the moment was right. That even if the house hasn't been cleaned, I'll snap a photo to record our daily life. It's going to be hard, and I'll still take my 'great lighting clean background' photos - but for now, this is what I have.
And it is 'us' more than anything else could be.

Our Gingerbread house is still up. Callie thought she was going to eat it.


Gwen is missing one of her top teeth right now, she lost it the day after Christmas.


The boys are playing a baseball game they got for Christmas. I love how you can see the silver ball, on it's way to a 'double' so that Hunter can score a run.


Callie has gotten into the cup and pitcher cabinet since before she could walk. It drives Kevin crazy to always be picking up cups off the floor, or a pitcher.


Callie is always on the ground looking 'up' at her older siblings. She wants so much to be a part of what they are doing!


It's a bit more than one photo for the week, but I think it's a good start. Now, just 51 more weeks to go!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


It’s almost hard to believe that another year is underway. Christmas season is over, and the bleak lonely days of January are upon us. I’m not a big fan of the first part of the New Year. I always start out with grand resolutions of being organized, less stressed, and generally happier than I was the year before. But during the dark days of winter, we can go a week without seeing the sun. When I step outside, the wind chills me to the bone. There are times that the weather breaks and I feel as if spring is just around the corner, and then I remember that it’s only January. Not only do we have weeks to go before getting reliable warm weather, but months. The lack of sunshine and warm weather has a way of dampening my spirits.

Our family had a great holiday together. There were fights of course, and tantrums and tears, but being together is always better than being apart. We had movie night by the fire, hot chocolate with whipped cream and miniature chocolate chips. Cookies covered with icing and sprinkles. We built a wooden pirate ship, went sledding at the park. Had a cookie exchange play date, and battled each other on wipeout for Wii. There were toys assembled and toys taken apart. We all slept past 8am, and woke up not to alarm clocks but the sunshine. There was a rushed trip to WV where we saw family and made it back home in time to relax and watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve.

It’s hard for me to admit that our break is over, that the work and school schedules have started up again. That there are lunches to make and homework to get done. Gymnastics practice and competitions, and Tae Kwan Do. And that I no longer get to spend all day and night at home, leaving only when I want to.

I still have grand hopes for this year. For employing God’s grace in my parenting, for watching my children grow. For getting closer to the person that I want to be, the person who makes her dreams come true. But for now, the first week back at the daily grind, I’m going to pout about my vacation being over. And count the days until another starts up again.


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