It's 4:44 am. Dash the Dog is scratching on our door. Fred was up (and I did it yesterday) so he took him outside. Shortly after he came back in with Dash Fred left for the gym. I laid in bed and dozed on and off until 5:30 am. I turned on my light and read my Bible until my alarm went off at 5:45 am. I stumbled through the dark house, put biscuits on a pan and in the oven. I have 20 minutes until they are ready and Clayton needs to eat. I returned to my bedroom to finish up my Bible study and memorizing some scripture that some friends and I are working on. When the timer went off on the oven I got out of bed. I turned on the tv to check the Grizzlies score because I fell asleep at the beginning of the third over time last night. (For crying out loud it was 10:30 pm!!) They won...yeah! I made my bed, put on my slippers and headed to the kitchen to meet Clayton. I pulled the biscuits out of the oven and heated up his sausage. His breakfast needs to be ready by 6:20 am. We only have 20 minutes until we leave for school. When the boys come downstairs (on a perfect morning) they are dressed and have made their own bed. When Jack smelled the biscuits and sausage he followed his nose to the kitchen. Now I have two boys to get ready for school. I talked to them while they ate. Reminding Jack to be self-controlled with his Christmas party. Clayton needed to be reminded that today was the last day he could order a yearbook and that he needs to take chips to his school party. Oh, Jack needs chips and dip too. Oh, and those cups I sent yesterday? He forgot to give them to his teacher. Clayton needs to take gift cards to his teachers because he won't see them all tomorrow. Science test? Maybe you'll have time to study during the day. Both big boys finish their breakfast and put their dishes in the dishwasher. Now it's time to brush teeth and head out the door with Clayton. Fred is home from the gym so Clayton and I can leave.
It's 6:40 am. I leave to take Clayton in my pajamas and slippers. (I know. I pray I never have a wreck or run out of gas. I know.) I have Clayton to myself for 15 minutes. I feel like this time is very important. We are rarely alone. For some reason during this time I feel a sense of urgency to tell him everything he needs to know about life. We talk about things that he needs to remember (Where is that check for your yearbook? Did you get your chips? Cards to give your teachers?) We also talk about all sorts of other "life" things. I pray over him during this time...not a "have a good day" kind of prayer. I mean, I have my quiet time prayer over him. I pray honestly and freely and out loud. It may be more than he wants to hear, but I don't care. If he leaves this house knowing nothing but he has a mother that loves him enough to pray over him then I'll count that a success.
It's 7:00 am. Andrew is now awake and he wants breakfast. After checking the menu I realize I need to get ingredients in the crock pot to cook supper. (Click here for recipe.) I had to chop an onion and cut up and heat turkey sausage to put in the crock pot, plus the other ingredients. All the while this is going on I'm trying to fix breakfast for me, Fred and Andrew. Fred and I typically don't eat white biscuits so I fixed us something different. Oh, and Jack is telling me the entire time I'm in the kitchen that he's still hungry. I got Andrew his breakfast and made this and this for the grown ups. I got Andrew settled and the grown ups sat down to eat. Jack likes to go to school early. So while we're eating (about 7:20 am) Jack has his back pack on and is standing over us asking (no fewer than 10 times) when he and Fred can leave. Oh, I forgot to mention Dash. I've let him outside and then had to bring him right back in because he was barking. Now he's digging in the trash can. I've told him no at least 15 times, but he continues. Back to breakfast...Fred and I go over all that needs to happen that day. We profess our undying love to each other and wonder how we would ever do this alone. (PS-Jack is still standing over us saying he's ready to go AND Dash is in the trash AGAIN!) At 7:35 am I remind Jack to brush his teeth, put on a coat and get the chips that I've reminded him about three times. They walk out the door for school and the office.
It's 7:37 am. Andrew and I are alone at home. I look down and a gift is on the counter for tomorrow. It now has syrup on it from breakfast. Whoops. The kitchen looks like a tornado hit it. Dash is in the trash again! I've got to take that out soon. I made a mental note. I cleaned up the kitchen. By now I realize I haven't had any coffee yet. I look around the kitchen and realize my coffee's cold. In the microwave it goes. I sit down to watch the news...just briefly. Andrew is still in his underwear so I can't sit too long. By this time it's 8:10 am. He will get dressed by himself...with my encouragement. We go upstairs to pick out his clothes, get his teeth brushed and make his bed together. Oh man, Andrew needs a lunch. He has a party today at school so he needs to take chips and dip too, plus his gift for his teacher. Today is his last day before Christmas break. As soon as I get upstairs I realize child #2 did not make his bed (alas..not a perfect morning). I go to make the bed, help Andrew with his shoes and teeth brushing. Walking to the bathroom I realize Dash has been in the playroom. He has found a branch of magnolia and drug it upstairs...and shredded it completely. He's also gotten in to a game with little chips. He has taken each plastic bag (full of green, red and blue chips) and torn them to shreds. Little game chips are all over the playroom, a midst the shredded magnolia leaves and branch. I start crawling on the floor to pick it all up. When I'm finally done I meet Andrew in the bathroom to brush his teeth. The bathroom light is out and someone has missed the commode and urine is all over the wall. (Common at my house.) I go downstairs to get a new bulb and then come back to clean up the urine. By now it's 9:20 and Andrew has to go to school. I have not read him a single book or gone over a letter. I know, mother of the year. But, I'm still in my pj's. I run downstairs to change clothes and remember that Andrew has to have a lunch. Wait? Maybe he doesn't have to have a lunch since they are having a party. I call my friend to ask her and she is whispering. She explains that she's at the doctor with her child who possibly has the flu. Que mental note...buy Lysol. We talk briefly and I make a quick lunch. I threw on my running clothes because I had plans to get in a quick run. It's 9:29 am and we're leaving the house...late again. I arrive at preschool with all of Andrew's gear, plus party supplies and his sweet teacher says, "Do you have his gift for the toy exchange?" Whoops. Fail. I drive back home, locate the gift, wrap it and then return it to school. Mercy.
It's 9:49. I'm finally heading out for a run. If you know me well you will know that I've been on a medical hiatus from running. I've been cleared to run now for about 3 weeks so I've been trying to slowly work back up. This morning I got back to 3 miles. Holla! This is great. The rhythmic cadence of my feet brings a sense of peace and calm to me. I started running from church and stretched when I got back. When I walked in the offices someone needed to talk to me before I got to Fred's office. I relayed the good news to Fred about my run and then he said, "What are you doing for lunch?" Ha...going with you of course!! I head toward the house to get cleaned up, but before I get there I call my friend to check on her daughter. It's a confirmed case of the flu. If you know our family well you know some sort of illness always plagues us over the break. All I can do is laugh, pray and invest in Lysol. I get cleaned up and Fred picks me up for lunch at Elena's Taco Shop.
It's 11:35 am. Fred and I head to lunch and have a great time together. He needs to make a hospital visit and I agree to go with him. We start to leave the restaurant only to find that someone has hit our car. Fred calls the police station and we wait for an hour for Memphis PD to come fill out an incident report. (We cannot possibly make another insurance claim. We just totaled a car.) It's only a minor dent so we just decide (after waiting an hour!!) to fix it ourselves. It won't even meet our deductible. We pull back in the driveway and something dawns on Fred. No one hit us in the parking lot. He hit a table in our garage. At least this is what he suspects. He hops out of the car to look, but left the car in neutral when he got out. Yep, the car rolled right in to our house. Fortunately, he hopped in before it did any damage. The only damage really is a brick imprint on the front bumper of our car.
It's 1:37 pm. We finally walk back in the house after the above fiasco and I sit down to type all of this before I forget it, because in 13 minutes I have to leave to get Clayton. I left to get Clayton in plenty of time. In fact, I carved out about 5 minutes to drop in Dollar Tree to get a surprise for tomorrow and a get well treat for the above mentioned friend. Of course I picked the slowest line and ended up being late to pick up Clayton. Thankfully, my friend was there waiting with him. He had 4 boxes of Butter Braids that now need to be put in the freezer. We headed to deliver the get well package. I walked in to preschool at 2:31 to get (no nap) Andrew. No worries...he is pumped full of so much sugar I don't think he'll stop for a while. He got a toy car and candy at his party today and he is over the moon excited. Once we are at the house I check the mail. As I'm going through Christmas cards I notice a water bill. I need to pay it or I'll forget about it. Andrew is begging me to open his car. All this trash? It's being piled up in an already overflowing trash can. Thankfully Dash is not in the trash this time. He has busied himself upstairs in the playroom with a pinewood derby car. Now there's wood all over the playroom. Ugh. Before I pick up Jack I sit down to pay the water bill, add a few things to the checkbook and send a facebook message to everyone who bought a Butter Braid about delivery or pick up. I'll coordinate that the rest of the evening. It's now 2:53 and time to pick up Jack. As I'm walking out the door Andrew is desperate for batteries for his new car. I tell him I'll get some later today. I pick up Jack and discuss with a friend a scheduling conflict tonight. She and I devise a plan and Jack and I head home. Once home Andrew greets me at the door wondering where his batteries are...whoops. I'll get those later when I buy Lysol, right? For the next few minutes I go through backpacks, hang up jackets, move clothes in the laundry room, and take out the trash (FINALLY!!).
It's 3:42 pm. Clayton needs to be at school by 4:00 pm...dressed in his black pants, shoes and a green shirt to carol with his honor choir. We left the house in time to stop at Taco Bell for a quick bite to eat for Clayton. He will be caroling until 7. We got to school just a little late, but Clayton, Andrew and I sat in the car while he ate his food. He jumped out of the car and Andrew and I headed back home. Andrew was very sad on the way home because we did not stop for batteries, but I had to get home to finish up soup and meet someone with a Butter Braid. Two Butter Braids down, fifteen more to go. Since I got home I've gotten clothes ready for Andrew's program and we had a neighbor come over to play. I even watched the news while I ironed. I also took the vacuum cleaner upstairs to clean up the 12th mess of the day that the dog made.
It's 5:06 pm. It's time for us all to eat. Fred and Renee join us for dinner. Jack is ready to go practice basketball...as in right now. We all ate soup and I cleaned up the kitchen. Once the kitchen was clean it was time to head to church for ball practice and a preschool program. The program began at 6:30. It was precious. One of the wise men was the cutest I've ever seen. We stayed for refreshments and then got the big boys at the gym. Thanks to my friend for bringing Clayton to the gym after his chorus caroling. We headed back to the house to meet up with Mun and Janice. We loved on them for a little while and waved good bye. We headed upstairs to get ready for bed, brush teeth and pray.
It's 8:24 pm. I'm back in my pajamas and in the bed. Ahhhhh. My eyes will stay open just long enough for me to think about what needs to happen tomorrow. I'm mentally shifting things from today's to-do list to tomorrow's to-do list.
Tomorrow we'll get up and do it all over again. Gladly. I wouldn't choose any other life. Not everyday is like this, but I chose to record this day in print so I'll never forget it. So in the future when mine are grown and gone I'll see couples with children and I'll remember what life was like. So that someday, if the Lord allows me to see it, I can relate to my children. I'll have this written down to encourage them one day and I'll honestly be able to say, "You're going to make it!".