The Good in ‘Goodbye’

Our little community has suffered a tragedy.

A young man (I’ll call him ‘Jacob’) whom we all loved and appreciated suddenly died last weekend, and we are all heart-broken.

Last Wednesday in Bible class, I asked each of the little ones what they’d like to pray for.

One child wanted to thank God for Jesus.

Another wanted to thank God for a sick person getting better.

Another child wanted to thank God for her parents.

Birdie solemnly requested praying for our late friend’s parents and brother.

The moment ‘amen’ was said, one little boy piped up with, “Hey, Mrs. Anonymous! You didn’t pray for Mr. Jacob!”

Doc openly laughed, turned to his buddy, and said, “You don’t need to pray for Mr. Jacob! He’s in heaven.  We’re the only sad ones!”

So live for God, hug your babies, tell your friends how incredible they are, and kiss your spouse every time you part.

They’ll be sad when you’re gone, but they’ll know where to meet you in the end.

A Golden End

I’ve been ignoring the start of school.

There.

I’ve said it.

Our kids are on their last week of freedom, and today… sigh… today, I finally pulled out the new boxes of crayons, new scissors, new notebooks, cool pencils, new glue sticks—and began to put them into their backpacks.  Then the school books went in.  Jet has three more books coming in the mail, but they’ll be here before classes start.

And I know.

I do.

Plenty of you out there are saying, “What?!  We’ve been in school for over a MONTH now!  Are you kidding me?”

True.

Mercifully, our school basically takes the whole summer off.  For those of you thinking that through, we don’t get OUT of school until around the end of June, so our schedule isn’t so unreasonable when you think about it that way.

So even though most of the mom world out there has already sent their little ones off to classes (or at least back to the books at the kitchen table), I’m just now in the throes of back-to-school blahs.

And it’s not exciting yet.

*another ridiculous sigh*

Okay, enough complaining!

I live in a first-world country where education is a right for all children.  My kids are able to have new school supplies and clothes.  We are super-duper, crazy blessed.

With what is left of this week, we’re going to ride bikes, take the dog on walks in the middle of the day, eat popsicles, visit friends, have guests to dinner and make them stay well past everyone’s bedtime, and sleep in as much as possible.

We’ve harvested most of the edibles out of the garden already (no corn or squash this year), but the tomatoes are still going strong! 

Doc and Birdie are starting a curriculum at home to get them ready for Kindergarten next year… reading, writing, and math.  It’s been very, very odd prepping FOUR backpacks this year instead of just one.  Granted, Bea has been old enough for a long time now to get all her school stuff in order, but I still liked to be the one to do it.  This time last year, Doc and Birdie weren’t old enough to have school work prepared for them, and we didn’t even know about Jet yet!

It’s been a good summer of everyone readjusting their mindsets to a new birth order, evaluating their places in the family, going through lots of physical and emotional growth, and just plain having fun.

The Mr. and I were talking recently, and we discovered that the number of days we didn’t do ANYTHING this summer can be totaled up on one hand.  That’s a satisfying feeling… that we used the whole thing up.  No one was sick.  No one broke a bone.  Everyone had plenty to do.  Goals were set and met.  It was amazing.

You’d think I’d be thrilled for the next chapter here!

Hmmmm… that’s starting to sound like complaining again.  I’m delighted to have this last slip of summer; that’s all.

So here’s to one last hurrah!  Hope your days are packed with the last bits of summer magic before the 23rd!

Summer Quiet

I’ve rhapsodized before of the glorious nature of this season, but today, another reason struck me as to why this time of year is so lush.

It’s the quiet.

Now, sure, winter has the snow-quiet that muffles the outside world in a cocoon of hush.  Fine.  I love winter, too.

But summer has a quiet that comes only from the kids happily shoveling in the garden.  Or sleeping like the dead after a day in the sun.  Or busily licking popsicles on the porch.

And the house is most quiet after a dozen other children have left for the day or guests have concluded their visit with tearful hugs goodbye or the dishes have all been stacked into the dishwasher at the end of a dinner party.

It’s the quiet after the loud… the REALLY LOUD.

Perfect.

To think, now that summer is officially here—we have a whole three months of it!

May your summer be loud-quiet, too!

Kid Bites

This really happened.

I was in the middle of plating dinner when sharp, anguished howls went up from outside. Mr. Anonymous dashed out the door to find Doc and Birdie crying messily for all the neighborhood to hear.

Mr. Anonymous couldn’t see any blood or that anyone was caught somehow. Firmly, he demanded, “What’s going on?”

“Birdie BIT my thumb!” Doc wailed, waving his extended, and indeed very red, thumb around in the air.

‘What was it doing in her mouth?’ wondered Mr. Anonymous internally.

“Birdie? Why did you bite Doc’s thumb?”

She nodded an affirmative. In between sobs, she managed to choke out, “He ASKED me to!”

Long pause from the mister here as the two continue to cry.

“Doc, did you ASK Birdie to bite your thumb?”

Distressed and still waving his thumb, he reached for Birdie. “I asked her to do it GENTLY!”

The double sobbing ratcheted up as Birdie consoled Doc in her arms.

“I can’t help it,” she wailed. “My teeth are so HARD!”

 

That’s a genuine slice of Anonymous life.

Hope your day was equally as humorous!

Good Surprises

What do you do to unwind at the end of the day?

Some people watch television.

Some fill out a crossword puzzle.

Some eat that fat bowl of ice cream with Thin Mint cookies crumbled over the top because any jealous little eyes are off to dreamland.

Some people work out.

Some camp Pintrest or Facebook.

Personally, I like to read the pet classifieds on Craigslist.

They.  Are.  Hilarious.

Oh, yes.

Something labeled Fluffy needs a home PLEAZ! turns out to be a nine-foot boa constrictor in a sketchy part of town.

Or CHI-MALTI-DOXI-POO brothers are wildly creepy-looking, bug-eyed mutts that require $750 (because it’s illegal to SELL pets on Craigslist, so an outrageous “rehoming fee” is often applied).

People are nuts!

But the pet pics can be rather hilarious, and the ads can be rather clever.

So I read them.

There happened to be an entry for a border collie last week.  I clicked on the link, and a normal (well, actually quite wonderful) dog’s smile popped up.  He wasn’t a goofy face, so I moved on.

“Wait, wait!” Mr. Anonymous piped up next to me.  He’d been looking at my screen.

“Nah,” I said.  “There’s nothing funny about that one.”

“He was awesome though!” Mr. Anonymous was reaching for my keyboard.

“I’ll send you the link,” I replied, e-mailed it to him, and found a photo of some sugar gliders.

A few minutes later, Mr. Anonymous asked, “So what do you think?  Should we call?”

WHAT?!  I’d been reading about cat sisters reunited or something.

“Call who?  I’m sorry; I don’t think I was listening.”

He pointed emphatically to his laptop.  “This guy!  He’s good with kids, middle-aged, knows some tricks, obedient, doesn’t run away… man, he seems COOL!”  There was the border collie’s picture.

“Are you serious?” I asked dubiously.

“Yeah!  He’d be awesome!  The kids would love him!  C’mon, don’t you want a dog again?”

His excitement was starting to catch on.

I took a deep breath.  “Well, I DON’T want another dog like the last one.  You know?”

He nodded grimly.

Ugh!  The last one was a nightmare… and a menace… and just, well, it didn’t work out.

So we prayed about it, talked to the dog’s current owner, and set a time to pick him up the next day.

And, yeah, he’s cool.  He’s enormous but very cool.

So now, we’ve got four kids and a dog the size of a truck (okay, not quite that big—but he’s close).

And you know what?

It’s good stuff.

Hope your week has lots of unplanned happiness!

Moving Forward

It suddenly dawned on me that I didn’t post a blessed thing for January, and now February is almost gone, too!

So what’s been going on for the Anonymouses?

Not too much!

Doc and Birdie have become more independent (able to do everything in the bathroom by themselves, able to totally dress themselves, able to even pick out a weather-appropriate outfit without help, and almost able to buckle themselves in the car).  They cannot, however, go without stopping for a hug or an ‘I love you’ during playtime.  Which is nice when your babies are suddenly fully-functioning children and you feel like time has thundered past, wild and deafening as a freight train, sweeping away precious cuddling days and the scent of A&D Ointment.

Jet is finding a place for himself.  Honestly, he’s actually finding himself.  He’s just now grasping who he really is… and he’s a rather nice kid.  He’s also curious, focused, artistic, and honest.  He is realizing that he is able to DO more than he imagined: take out the trash, work with Mr. Anonymous in the garage, build elaborate Lego vehicles, research other countries, and be responsible for his little world of space and things.

Bea has taken to knitting for the last four months or so.  She’s always been a voracious reader, but now she’ll stitch a few inches in the morning before picking up a book.  Her work is constantly improving, so is her creative stamina.  Getting a few large projects behind her has made a difference in her level of patience for a piece.

Mr. Anonymous has been building me a new table.  The current one only comfortably seats ten, and with six in the family, that means a card table gets hauled out several times a week when others come to dinner.  The new table will be able to handsomely accommodate fourteen.  The base is done; I have the job of varnishing it tonight.  Mr. Anonymous is working on the top whenever he can smoosh it into his schedule.

I’ve been working on baby blankets (yes, again). Six friends are expecting, and one just gave birth (but her blanket was finished at Christmas.  Whew!).  I’m almost done with blanket #4.  Here’s the one that went to some friends who are adopting a newborn girl.

8Feb2014 (2)

8Feb2014 (4)

The question we keep getting is the same old one: will we adopt again?

I’ve taken to smiling or laughing out loud (depending on the asker).  And when pushed, I simply answer with, “I don’t know.”

Children are inconvenient, embarrassing, and exhausting most of the time.  But never have I spoke to a person on their deathbed (don’t ask) and heard them bemoan having too many children… that can’t be said for the opposite option.

We’re blessed.  We FEEL blessed (less so when someone has the stomach flu or decides to throw a tantrum in the library, but you get my point).  It’s hard to imagine having more joy, more chaos, more LIFE in our life.

But that’s okay.  It’s not up to me.

God’s in charge of all that, and He’s more than qualified to make those decisions.

All I have to do is be mom and varnish the table.

Happy hugs to you as winter’s visit is almost through!

A Good Laugh

What is life like around our house now that we have four children?

Hilarious.

No.  Seriously.  It’s hilarious.

Jet is obsessed (this may not be strong enough of a word) with learning to tell jokes.  Most kids his age are just getting to the how-to-tell-an-actually-funny-joke stage, so this is awesome timing for us.

Buuuuuuuut… this also makes the twins want to tell jokes, too.

Humor is a fiddly thing.

This is one that Birdie told last week:

“Mama!  Knock, knock!”

“Who’s there, honey?”

“Puh- pull!”

“Purple who, Birdie?”

“It’s pwetty!”

And cue cascades of laughter from the three-year-olds.  Doc thinks she is a riot.  Obviously.

This is an amusing thing in and among itself, so Bea and Jet start to chuckle, and the Mr. and I are drawn in… tears end up streaming down our faces.

Naturally, Birdie then breathlessly declares, “Yeah!  That a good one!”

And we all bust up again.

Oh, my.

A lot of people have asked, “So?  How’s it going?” while shooting pointed glances in the direction of Jet (who is by no means an idiot and tries hard not to roll his eyes).

We produce our biggest, eye-watering smiles and answer that, wow, everything is GREAT!!  (Because, once again, Jet is by no means an idiot and does not care for being under a social microscope).  After these concerned and truly well-meaning folks drift off, we parents offer a sly and somewhat apologetic wink to Jet.  He nods back.  It’s cool.

Soon, his eyes brighten, and he bursts out, “Hey!  Wanna hear a joke?  This’s a good one!”

And it really isn’t… but that’s worth smiling over, too.

Something Good Happened

As it turns out, the hairs on the back of my neck weren’t standing up without reason…

We have another child.

Someone sent us a note, we prayed, Mr. Anonymous replied, we studied some papers, and then we all took a plane flight.

Now, we’re all home!

For the sake of the blog, I’m going to call him Jet.

Jet is older than Doc and Birdie but younger than Bea.

And he fits perfectly.

We have a lot to be thankful for this November.  God’s been so generous.

I probably won’t stop to write before then, so happy Thanksgiving, friends!

Anticipation

Ever get the feeling that something incredibly remarkable and fabulously amazing is about to happen?

Me, too.

It’s like sensing that you’ll come home to a fat bouquet of delicious-smelling flowers.  Or just KNOWING that you’ll be the eleventh caller to the radio station to win those sold-out concert tickets.

But better.

It kind of swirls around in the back of your life like the sunshine about to burst out from behind a cast-iron sky.

Something’s about to happen.

And it’s going to be better than imagination can conjure.

Here’s hoping the same for you!

Quilt It Up

September was the month of quilts.

My goal for the charity auction is reached, and it feels fabulous!

Here’s the damage:

minky floral (2)

This one is made out of supple and fluffy minky fabric with a satin back.  It’s small enough to be a car blanket, but it’s batted inside, so it has a nice weight, too.

minky owl quilt (1)

This one is similar to the one above except (a) I can’t seem to take a worthy picture of it, and (b) it’s about double the size (so no batting for this one lest it feel too much like a mattress).

stripes and blocks quilt

I’m in love with this strips and blocks one!  To me it says, “BOY!” without balloon-y cartoons or realistic grenades.  It’s just happy and simple.

teal and brown quilt (2)

This teal and brown one has kind of a chic country girl vibe, but—for the life of me—I am horrible at photographing it in a worthy way.  The back has yellow rickrack sewn into the binding for a cheerful surprise.

pink and orange floral quilt (1)

If colors were actual affection, pink and orange would be a child’s squeal with delight and a cozy hug.  There’s a satin ribbon tag stitched into the edge because all my babies loved the tags on their blankets (it’s nice for hanging up, too).  This one is large and light; it could transition easily to a princess cape in a couple of years.

doll quilt (2)

Finally, a doll quilt that I don’t intend to send to auction.  I imagine this will become part of Birdie’s Christmas loot because that girl loves to mama her dolls.  It’s only about a yard long by a couple of feet wide… a good size for three-year-old hands to practice swaddling.

They aren’t much, but they are something!

Now, after I whip out some yellow polka-dotted bunting for a friend’s shower, my faithful sewing machine is going on her annual “vacation” (a.k.a. cleaning at the repair shop).  At this point, I think we could use some time apart… distance makes the heart grow fonder and all that.

As September slips into October, here’s to a super-productive, back-into-the-swing-of-things, crack-out-the-Christmas-ideas, deep-clean-the-house, bake-some-goodies autumn joy!

Hugs!

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