Party like a princess...

So times are a changing here in the King household. Almost 2 teens live here, and soon to be a bunch of pre-teens to follow. :) Trying to...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

choosing to see.

i don't read much in the spring or summer. unless i am at the beach.
but bring on the cold weather, and nothing is better than being cozied up in my basement,
with a good book in my hand.

 i just finished choosing to see by mary beth chapman.

wife of singer/song writer stephen curtis chapman.
it tells the horrific story of their 17 year old son accidentally fatally
running over their youngest 5 year old daughter.

the tragedy. the sadness. is overwhelming.
i cried a lot.
and of course looked at my life a bit more.

some highlights i loved:

to set the stage:
the sky was bright, springtime blue that day. we were planning a wedding and graduation. we were happy. it was may 21, 2008. it didn't look like winter-yet. we were the parents of six beautiful children, blessed beyond our dreams. our 23 year old daughter, emily, had become engaged four days earlier. just the night before, we had bought her wedding dress. i had brought it home to show emily's three little sisters from china. shaoey was eight, stevey joy was five and maria had just turned five the week earlier...

then everything changed forever.

...when people ask how we are doing, the first thing i say is, "i want maria back. i want my son will franklin not to have this as a chapter in his story. i want my children to be healthy, my family secure. i don't really care whose life has been touched or changed because of our loss!" would i have lived differently if i knew my time with maria was going to be so short? regretfully, i would have lived much differently. i would have purposely hugged and kissed more. i would have tried to memorize and lock away in my heart certain smells and smiles. i would have colored more and worked less. i would have laughed more and fussed less. bedtime wouldn't have become a chore to check off the list of things to get done. instead it would have been more of an opportunity to listen about the day and offer whatever words were needed. the swimming pool wouldn't have been too cold to swim in. the flowers in the garden would have all been picked, and definately  more ice cream would have been consumed. is some of what i heard: why? "because i am God and i know all and am in control and know what is best. even though it looks a is My mess". what now? " i am God...keep walking and keep well the ones still in your charge and care...realize that time is short, life is hard, but I've given you  so much, do not squander it!" How? "By remembering that I am God and your trust has to rely completely on striving of your own will to fix, heal, cure, help, calm any of what you see as a mess. i allow what i allow for reasons you can't even you won't figure this out, but He who holds maria holds you." "God can i just hear you audibly? About all of this?" as i was praying, tears streaming, eyes closed, all of a sudden-SMACK!- the loudest wave I'd heard all day, to the point where i jumped and it startled me. at once i heard God..."Hello, look at this ocean that i breathed and the waves that roll, but not too far, for it is My hand that keeps them off the shore."

We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be. ~ c.s. lewis.

read the book. it's worth your time.
you will devour it. and what raw insight into tragedy. whatever form it takes.
pain is pain. that is all. plain and simple.

Friday, November 23, 2012

the day after.

thanksgiving day 2012.

they will celebrate your abundant goodness & joyfully sing of your righteousness.
  ~psalm 145:7.

the day after.
a sink still loaded with dirty dishes. after loads have already gone thru the dishwasher.


 the day after i tried to joyfully serve 31 kings a brunch at 10 a.m. and dinner at 5 p.m.


[ i say this because this was the first year i felt really, really good. i mean. don't get me wrong.
i love to do this. i love to serve. people.
but this was the first year i kept my focus on the people.
(and not the fact that things didn't get done in time).
my bathrooms didn't get cleaned like i wanted. nor my windows.
in fact. the most particular aunt there was looking right across the table into a tiny, handprinted window.
it made me cringe. but there wasn't enough time.
and that was okay.
my upstairs looked like a tornado hit it. my room was a mess.
boxes of half-way gone thru christmas stuff thrown amidst the hallway.
normally, no one goes upstairs, until you have 31 people at your house.
and then. everyone finds a way upstairs.
oh well.
stop. focus.
why do i do this?
it certainly is not to showcase my home. or my pathetic effort at trying to keep things clean and tidy
with a houseful of 7 full-time living, mess making lovies, i call my family and me. :)
it is to stay connected to family. over good food. and coffee.
songs and prayers. hugs and laughter.]

we started this many, many years ago when matt and i lived in the trailer, on the back end of the farm.
no kids. just brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles.
now. we have bloomed into a houseful of gun shooting, coffee drinking, baby holding, nap taking, football watching, dog sitting, pony riding kings.

i am so grateful for the family i have become a part of.
funny how that ryan vogelsong name even comes up at the thanksgiving table.
isn't that amazing, what fame will do?
it makes me laugh. a lot. sometimes.
onto thanksgiving.
i didn't take many pictures. 
my hands were full with other things.

i love to do the brunch on my own.
i love to be able to rest and relax when i go away for dinner, and hope that that's what people can do and
feel when they come to my home. that is my heart. and my desire.

and then i accept help for the dinner portion.
like. i do not do the turkey. or ham. that's where my in-laws pop into play. :)
thank you to ALL who contributed in some way.

[i did just try to upload some. and apparently i am out of free storage.
any advice? i have no idea what this means. other than maybe i should start copying my pictures onto cd's.?
is that right?
so i don't have to pay for storage?]

anyway. it was a great day.
i was beat by the end. but that's okay. i served with a joyful heart.
and i think maybe had some fun too.

i am thankful for the same things i am always thankful for:
a healthy, hard working, God loving, providing husband, 5 healthy, life living energetic kids i was gifted, an old warm house that happens to be a part of a working farm, that sits way back off the road. vehicles, a wood stove, food, in plenty and abundance, the beach, vacations, clothes, a hot shower, summer and the sun, clean water, a dishwasher, [a fridge...i got another to put in the basement, to help with yesterday. spoiled? yes. but totally and wonderfully useful, made my life much less stressful], a comfy bed, a washer and dryer, a toilet, that flushes, cameras and pictures, a family, and many friends, cell phones and coffee, church and Jesus, and Christmas, and teachers, and love. oh there is a million things. but i will stop there.
going to pack up the kids and visit the grandma who won't remember us.
it's okay. i don't know why God allows dementia? it's very sad. and very hard.


but i am also thankful for my mom and dad.
and grandma's and grandpa's.
and sisters and brothers
and in-laws and brother and sister in laws. a fully chaotic loved life.
hope your turkey day was good. and full. and that you found love...

Friday, November 16, 2012

cheating *

what a traumatic day here in the king household.
lots has happened. it's been a busy day.
i am only going to highlight 2 points to show you how much balance is in my life. :)

first things first. i go to pick up campbell at 12:15 p.m.
then it's 12:20 p.m.
and then slowly turns into 12:25 p.m. and then the secretary's phone rings.
she assures me campbell is on her way.

5 more minutes pass.
and then i see mrs. benard. campbell's kindergarten teacher in the glass pane thru the door.
oh. man. something is wrong...

campbell got her card flipped for cheating today.
in my daughter's defense, of course,
my poor 5 year old didn't even know what cheating was to start off with.
her instructions were to draw a picture and write a sentence to tell about the picture.
the teacher did not tell them it was a test or assessment because then the children get nervous.
yes. campbell. :)
so their instructions were to work on their own, and that none of the teacher's could help them.
so...when campbell didn't know how to spell "outside" to complete her sentence for her picture,
I was playing outside
 she asked her neighbor to do it for her.
(as if her neighbor could even spell outside, but campbell assures me she could,
because she can spell words like Ariel  :) ).
i guess she forgot the "work on your own" part?? :)
when i asked campbell why she didn't ask the teacher, she sobbed, "because i wasn't allowed".

booooo. hooooo.
what's a mommy to do?
my girl was DEVESTATED.
she sobbed for an hour.
like the can't catch your breath kind.
mrs. benard hugged and hugged her, and told her she was not mad at her,
but didn't like her bad choice.

i guess i should have home schooled afterall.
(in mrs. benard's defense, she sent me a very, very sweet e-mail...i should post it, but  i won't. :)  )

campbell was back to her  normal self this afternoon.
and as i was getting dinner ready, i was asking her more questions,
really trying to pound in the "do your own work" thing, and only ask the teacher to help you, thing...
and campbell said,
"i just got in a little tangle today mom, that's all. i still like school."
can you love her any more?

kaycee, my 7 year old second grader comes home and tells me that
the girl who sits beside her in math cheated today.
like the pencils down at the 5 minute timer ding. and this girl picked her pencil back up when she thought
no one was looking, and filled in some more answers after consulting a number line on the wall.
ha. :)
and my shy little kaycee TOLD ON HER.
can you even BELIEVE it?? it's almost hilarious.
and  kaycee could not understand why this little girl would not look at her anymore.

do you see the balance i have here?

i just had to crack up.
pray for me. :)

there will be lots of clarifying this weekend.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

pUmpKiN cHuNkin'

so. sunday was quite the experience.
as i mentioned earlier i found out there were actual people invited to this event on saturday night.
eeeekkkk. :)

sunday rolled around, and it was a gorgeous day.
karolina was not feeling the greatest, so i was inside chatting with my mom for awhile,
just *watching* the cars stream into our lane.
i kid you not.

the whole driveway was lined , and then down to the chicken houses at one point,
and then a second line in front of this field.
i sure would have never thought so many people would come.

i am sure the weather had a lot to do with it.

this is "the machine". i cannot explain how it works.
other than it's a bit funny to watch men beat themselves to bits trying to pedal a bike...
and it's according to the number of rpm's that determines when the pumpkin is "launched"...

just some pictures of some of the crowd.
i am just now noticing some people in the tree. :)

a fun part of the day was that 2 of my cousins and their wives showed up.
the most fun part of that was that colby, pedaled...
(i have video of him...and will try to post it later. it's pretty cute).
i think he got to 270 rpms, and matt pedaled too, but i missed him, :(

their top "pedaler" is george...looking at the camera in the bottom right hand corner.
he is an avid bicycle rider.
he gets to 300 rpm's.

and this is what happens when the above george pedals his heart out.
and the pumpkin does not go where it's supposed too.

fence is fixed now.
we are thankful we had a day of gorgeous weather, and were able to be a part of such a neat event.
with no injuries. :)

you can never have enough pictures with the grandma. :)
the chunkin' people were handing stickers out to the kids.
i at first thought they were target stickers. just a quick glance i guess? :)


Saturday, November 10, 2012

you are invited.

to an event at our house TOMORROW.
the world record holding smokin' lamas pumpkin chunker is going to be HERE.
at OUR home from 2-4 p.m. in the afternoon.

they currently hold the world record for chunkin' an 8-10 lb. pumpkin 1500-1700 feet.
can you feel the excitement?


come and hang out with us for the afternoon.

here is a you tube video from 2 years ago, that would show the kind of
good ol' fashion fun, us down on the farm
country folk have here in eastern pennsylvania.

their new "machine" is much bigger and better. they tell me. :)

one of "those" moms.

i suppose i have been living in denial for some time now.
but i am beginning to see glimpses of reality.
now and again.

a lot of people gasp and sigh when they see i have 5 children.
i shrug it off. no big deal,
and kindly tell them it's really no different than having 3.
once you have 3, well, you and your spouse are outnumbered, so what's a few more?

i guess that may be a lie.
5 is more than 3. from every angle that i glance at it, and i am okay now.
with telling people. yes. 5 kids is a lot to handle. :)
last week. i would have still shrugged it off and smiled.

take for instance my visit to the library yesterday.
i was running around all over creation, in the morning, so...
i returned some library books at a library that was closed, that i don't normally go to.
(i should say these library books were overdue.)
our trip to the mountains caused me to focus on packing food, clothes and other necessities for 7 people.
i lost the library book focus.

now. for someone with 2 kids. their fine would have been. hmmmm.$3-ish.
mine. was $7.30.
when you take 2 kids to the library who pick out 4  books each, that's 8 books.
when you take 5 kids to the library, who each get 4 books, thats 20 books.
enough said.

i stopped at a different library on the way home.
our stack of books was not nearly as many as 20, but still probably 12, since calli and i were picking out
books for everyone, since they were at school.
i thought i paid my fine the night before on the computer, to alleviate this next situation.
but apparently, i forgot to click the "confirm' button. :(
so situation ensues.

this nice, kind librarian asked me if i wanted to pay my fine, and i told her i thought i already had.
she clearly thought i was lying.
as she looked sternly over her wire rimmed glasses at me, and said,
"and i see you still have 20 books out, they are not due until the 21st, but..."

i got the idea.
i tried to explain i had returned my 20 books that morning,
but the library i had returned them to, was closed,
so they weren't posted yet, but i realized by the way she was looking at me,
she thought my lie was getting bigger and bigger by the minute.

deep breath.

i apologized, as i felt my face getting red, (and realized i was looking guiltier and guiltier by the minute,)
 and offered to put the books back, it wasn't that big of a deal,
as karolina is crawling out of my hands, and calli is 'itching' to get out of there...
she then maybe looked at my stack of Jesus and Paul and Adventures in Oddyssey books,  :)
and decided to give me the benefit of a doubt.
she checked out my books, and i was on my merry way.

funny. how my James Bible studay is coming to an end.
we are talking a bit about judgement, and how quickly it happens everyday.
even at the library.


and i am curious about another situation.
i was doing my husband a huge favor the other week,
and had to drive to one of his listings outside of cochranville, to unlock it.

i was minding my own business, driving by a golf course, checking out my husband's listing sign
across the street, when, kur-plunk.

a sound.

i look in my sideview mirror and see a golf ball bouncing away from my car.
in retrospect. i KNOW i should have stopped and pulled over, and grabbed the ball,
and waited there to approach someone who came looking for their ball.
but that thought TERRIFIED me.

so. i did the second worst thing. and called my husband.
who INSISTED i go back and stop in at the clubhouse, to see what they were going to do about it.
am i the ONLY woman out there who would want to cry and die instead?

i am sure i saw the group of people who's ball hit my car.
but certainly did NOT have ANY nerve to approach them.
of course, the golf course will take no such responsibility for such a mishap,
nor would ANY golfter on the course even suggest that their ball might have been the one to DING my car.

so. i am out of luck.
a mad golf course owner,
who doesn't understand why i didn't stop those people and tell them they hit my car.
a mad husband for all of the above reasons.
kids packed in my car. questioning me what was wrong...
all to do my husband a favor.
and it comes crashing down on me...

can i just get a teeny bit of credit here.
in the last 12 years of my marriage to my outspoken husband.
can anyone vouge for me.
that i have become much more outspoken then EVER before?



i guess that's all for now.
need to enjoy this gorgeous weather...