Friday, August 31, 2012


I was going to write a well-thought out, insightful post. But the subject matter is still a little too personal and tender. I might seem to have to shame about posting things here, but to lay out everything in my mind and heart is too much for me.
Have a nice picture instead.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


I have been threatening to take my children to the toilet seat museum ever since I learned that such a place existed in San Antonio. I didn't even care what exactly it displayed, it just seemed like a great type of place for an outing.
The first thing I heard as we stepped inside was my oldest (13) say, "This place is awesome!" I knew right then I had a winner. It is a shed outside a modest house in the middle of a nice neighborhood. A kindly old gentleman (92) was waiting for us outside. He had come out a bit early to turn on the fans since it was near 100 that afternoon. I had my six kids and an extra and he was thrilled to show them all his work.
He has been carving and decorating toilet seats for decades. He was a plumber and it seemed like a good medium for his artistic interests. He started letting people look at them about ten years ago and has become a beloved institution since.
I let each of the kids pick out their favorites and here we have (slightly blurry) pictures.

You can't read it but it says a new friend from Ankeny, IA.

B. and the Barbie one.

E. and the turkey made of old spoons

Our friend and the piano parts one

M. and the "Hot Seat"

J. and the Legos one

The whole group

R., who had trouble choosing.

N. and the cars one.
We had a grand time. Though Mr. Smith who has collected all these won't be around forever I hope I have a chance to take others to it, it just makes you smile.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


The whole house is silent. In the afternoon. This marks a profound change in my life. The last three months have been filled with noise, laughter, complaints and continual motion. 5/6 of that motion is gone for 8 hours a day now.

I know that most mothers feel the change when all of the kids start school. There is a feeling of freedom and possibility that is invigorating. With this comes the sure vision of even bigger changes on the horizon. The first child's departure, with the others coming steadily behind like they have for years. There are tears and phone calls and laundry lessons. An ever emptier home.

These are the thoughts that can get most women weeping. But I have another set of ideas that come along with the quiet house during my youngest's nap. This year I will volunteer. Not too much, I still have to find a babysitter. This year I will renew my blog and maybe write what is in my mind other than books and activities with the kids. This year I will get myself organized and have a cleaner house (don't hold your breath). This year I will serve and help in ways I never had the resources, both physical and mental, to do before. This year I will loose all the weight I gained all of those other years (this one scares me the most).
Of course this year I will spend lots of time with my toddler. He has the advantage of his siblings. He will get to be the baby for a long time. For nearly fourteen years I have cycled between pregnant and baby. Renewing my strength barely enough to start again. And now the cycles are over. No pregnant, no new baby. This is the new reality that my quiet house is demanding I accept.  No pregnant, no new baby. I find myself with no excuse to stay home. No excuse for the weight. No excuse to nap as often as I possibly can. My own conscience is hammering me with thoughts of what I can do with even the hour or two my (He Still Is) baby is sleeping. My baby days are over. What now?

Well first I have to pick the girls up from the bus stop, so it is not like I have nothing to do. But it does mean I am going to post this unedited and see what I think about it later.