Friday, September 30, 2011


I think we're finally settling into the school routine. It's taken a while. I still feel like I'm running behind life, grasping at wind as it lopes ahead of me. I sure would like to get a lead on it - put some space between us so I can face each day head on - equipped, prepared and ready. But I might need a week off for that to happen.

I still don't have all the games, practices, and school recesses on my calendar. I'm still not making dinner every night. (My poor kids have eaten more than their fair share of mac and cheese.) Doug is still working late nights. (Two more weeks. I. Am. Counting.)

And yet, we are managing.

Want to know what the twinsies do most nights around 7:15 while Eliza and I do homework?




And this. Just in case you wanted a second look. (Check out Ali swooned over the left side of the love seat. Quite the side bend.)

The boys are such a blur, jumping from couch to couch and back again, you can't tell who's who (which could be hard even if they were sitting still).

But, what-d-ya do?

I say, let them jump.

Until Doug can come home and act as bouncer.

As for other developments, my kids have been entertained with this little "road" I chalked onto the driveway. A brilliant idea that came from my friend Rebecca, who lives across the street.


On Monday she took all four twins for the morning (yes, she might just be superwoman) and drew a road on her driveway, complete with pit stops like a gas station, grocery store, pet store, and sweet shoppe. The kids loved it!


So Wednesday afternoon I backed out the minivan and chalked a thin two-lane byway into a curvy circle around the driveway. My only addition? Home Depot. So the boys would have a place to buy lawnmowers, buckets and shovels.


This pretend world has kept my kids happily busy for the last two days, their imaginations fully engaged. I love watching them.

These two are glued to their tricycles lately.


Sami and Ali have been talking and giggling more than usual at night. Yesterday evening I stood by their door and listened. They were cracking themselves up.

"You could be a picnic blanket for Halloween!" Sami chortles to Ali.

"Or Jupiter!" Ali says, laughing.


(They're doing a preschool unit on space right now.)

What is it about Jupiter that intrigues kids? It's definitely fun to say. Samantha stopped mid-prayer last night, after praying for the people in Japan and Africa to ask "Is Jupiter a world? Are there people on Jupiter?" She didn't want them to feel left out.

I took all three girls to the dentist yesterday and they are cavity-free. Except for Ali, who has three cavities and a dead front tooth. Poor girl!


Somehow I missed the traumatic event that killed the nerve in that front tooth. Maybe it was all the jumping and crashing onto couches.


With a renewed vigor for brushing their teeth (no one else wants cavities), the girls decided it is way too crowded with ten little elbows vying for space around one sink. So they created a girls' bathroom and a boys' bathroom.


I figure if I pay attention to the signs, I'll be able to locate my toothbrush.

Despite the wildness that seems to reign in these parts, the process of counting gifts for me has become a favorite part of the day. I am secretly giddy when I write something down. Especially if I jot it down right after I notice it rather than waiting until the day's end to relive the hours and hunt down blessings.

I feel alive when I count as I go. Today I started adding the time of day.

22. swirls of blonde hair shimmering in light over toast and cereal 8:46 AM



23. the scent of lemon roses 11:22 AM


(There's nothing like old roses.)


What developments have you noticed lately? Can I convince you to join me in counting gifts? Do you make your kids wear helmets when they jump on the couch? Do you even let them jump on the couch?


  1. We loved the pictures and description of the special moments that occur each day. Life is special, especially with vibrant, flourishing kids. You are a great Mom and we love you all.

  2. hi cath! such a beautiful post, as usual. i concur with the feeling of wildness in the home, and my boys CONSTANTLY jump on couches, beds, chairs, tables... anything really! i have 2 so 5 must really be something. what lucky kids they are to have you as their beautiful mother.
    i just want to say your children are so incredibly beautiful. and your boys blond curls? stop it already.
    so glad doug's late nights end soon.
    corinne ( and travis)

  3. We are having such a blast with the house we are building -- that really is a gift, it's so much fun to go to the house and see what the construction workers did over the day. The roof's on, the windows are going to be put on on Monday... and we are going to have a party with the workers, the people from the construction company, the architect, new neighbors and friends. It's a tradition to do that once the roof's on the house.

    So, yes, it's a gift, and something we are all very excited about.

    So long,

  4. Cath, it's been said already, but your boys' curls...oooo....scrumptious as can be. I love how you're writing down gifts as they're happening along with the time. Those pics of the roses are so beautiful I could almost smell them right from my screen.

    So glad that Doug's schedule will be slowing down soon (not soon enough!). Yes, let the kids jump! Our couch cushions are regularly used for building forts and circus platforms.

    After I got One Thousand Gifts out to write my comment the other day, my husband started reading it for himself. I am thrilled. Ann's words are touching his heart too. Happy weekend to you, friend! xoxo

  5. couch jumping is the main nightly activity here for years. I want to read that book. I'm going to count gifts through out the day. It does make the days better. Are those your roses? Wow.

  6. I loved every word, every photo. It would be very sad to forbid jumping on the couch, very sad.

  7. Lovely roses. Lovely children. Lovely mother. Lovely gift with words.

    The couch pillows remind me of what our couches looked like when the kids would take them off and play "lava monster." (I never did quite figure out if the pillows or the couch were the safe places, or who the monster was or what would happen if he "got" them.)

    Or sometimes they made little tent houses from the cushions.

    But their favorite "houses" were the packing boxes from our many moves.

    A couple of our dozen moves were timed just about right so we could use the empty packing boxes for Halloween spook alleys.

    Fun memories.

    And thank you for the Thousand Gift idea. I may not write them down, but I am thinking about them.

    Today, after watching about the experience of a young American in Chile after the earthquake two years ago, I was grateful for clean water.

    Yesterday, as I graded papers and planned lessons, it was watching the beauty of a hawk floating on the current created in the steep hollow behind our house.

    Sometimes I am above the hawks as they circle, wings spread, quivering slightly as they rest upon the air currents that are invisible to me.

    Thank you for the reminder to notice.

  8. I love that you added a time to each gift. I can appreciate it more for some reason.

    And we are total couch/ottoman jumpers around here, but it's a special privilege I reward them with when I just don't feel like saying "no" one more time that day. I figure they're getting good exercise, right?

  9. Dad - thanks for your sweet note. Love you too. And I love your status emails!

    Corinne - SO happy to hear from you. Glad you have couch-jumpers at your house too! And let's talk curls - your boys' hair is so luscious!!! Can we please get together? It has been way too long!

    Corinna - how exciting that you are building a house! you definitely have gifts go count. happy for you.

    Anne Marie - funny. Forts we are familiar with but circus platforms - now that's a good idea! How fun it will be to share Ann's words with your husband and discuss! Haven't read your blog yet, but I will tomorrow. xo

    Samsel - you will love the book. you're already counting gifts. i love you.

    Cristie - xox too

    Michelle - yes! sad. it would be sad wouldn't it?

    Kathy - wow - clean water. a new perspective is so healthy. And this? "Sometimes I am above the hawks as they circle, wings spread, quivering slightly as they rest upon the air currents that are invisible to me." Stunning. Love your words, your eye, your heart.

    Liz - interesting isn't it? sinks me deeper into the gratitude place when I note the time, catch moments through the day. And yes - they are definitely getting their heart rate up! ;)

  10. Your words are so beautiful and inspiring. After a long day with the twins you remind me how much I have to be grateful for. I am grateful for you and the time you take to blog and lift up weary mothers such as myself. Count that as number 1. Thank you.

  11. Annie - I understand where you are. In fact, I'm so weary tonight I really needed your words. They were a lift. Let's talk naps. Seriously - please email me a time and I will phone you. Your sanity depends on it! Sure love you. And love seeing you now and then at preschool. You're doing a beautiful job with your sweet family. xo

  12. I love your idea of writing things down as you see them, that would help keep the eyes open and alert!

    My boys (now 21 and 23) wore the fabric off the arms of the couches - riding them like horses, jumping, etc.

    My daughter (15) is much more sedate, and had a bouncy horse . . .



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