Saturday, November 28, 2009

Encouraging Meltdown

A four year old female meltdown can often lead to a 33 year old meltdown, but today I was actually encouraged about our parenting skills. It was a boys' day and girls' day. The boys went off together without announcing where they were going and the girls did girl things around the house and then ran an errand or two. I was looking at Christmas tree options and just talking to Girly Girl about them and in passing happened to mention that we would talk to Dad about it when they got home from the football game. She absolutely fell apart. Right there in the store. She could not believe they went to a football game without her. She wanted to go to the football game too! You can just imagine the drama from the prissy little girl in a pink hair bow, pink dress and pink shoes sobbing because she was not at the football game. We are definitely doing something right........the girl loves her football. I hope her future husband thanks us one day.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Years from Now

This is Toads and his best buddy, Mitchell. They have known each other
since birth (12 days difference) and get to spend all kinds of time
together. I found myself thinking today about what they will
experience together as they grow older. I have wonderful memories of
my 'known since birth' friend......baking cookies, clown costumes,
seatbelts, christmas trees, toy boxes, sleepovers, college roommates,
broken arms, weddings, and now babies. I pray Toads will have equally
wonderful memories with his special friend God has placed in his life.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The preparations are in full force for our 2009 Thanksgiving. Because of our busy schedule leading up to tomorrow, we chose to stay home and have people to our home this year. There will be 17 of us gathered around the table (well two are just too small to do much of anything) and it promises to be a memorable event. There will be new faces, old faces, and plenty of young ones.

I am thankful for many things this year............and I know I cannot list them all.
String Bean
loving husband
a house that has not burned like two others this past week
constant friends
sweet Samoosa
technology - sounds weird, but it keeps me sane sometimes
Girly Girl
back on a mission trip
Toads and his details
my eternal reservation
and much, much more!

Monday, November 23, 2009

One little, two little, three little Aggies

Well, actually it's eleven little Aggies. Class of 2025 through class
of 2031. My two college roommates and I survived (and thoroughly
enjoyed) our visit a few weeks ago. The eleven children did so well
during pictures and had a great time playing together.

Until next time.....

Friday, November 20, 2009

What are the names of your sisters?

From the back of the van........'mommy, what are the names of your sisters?' Those that know me, know that I only have two brothers. This line of questioning required me to probe a bit to find out exactly what my inquisitive 5 year old actually wanted to know. After many more questions and drawn conclusions on my part, I determined that Toads was asking about all of my sisters from my Chi Omega days at Texas A&M. He had recently been to College Station and driven by for this photo op of my sorority house in which I lived. This picture and his interest in their names and what they were to me caused a flood of memories for me.

Bid night at the Beta House. Peaches. Grab-a-date from the rec center. Formal at Olsen. Wedding shower in the parlor. Ms. Gibson. Kingwood connections. Shoe polish. T-shirt envelopes. Songfest money. Descending the staircase on Valentine's day. Ro. Tortillas and queso. Monday nights. My ring pass.

I had not intended to go through Rush until my summer orientation on the sprawling campus. I really wasn't even sure what it was all about. I did not set out to be a part of the Chi Omega sisterhood. Within nine days of being on campus I was a Chi-O pledge and had an immediate group of people around me. Yes, I saw more alcohol on bid night in one place than I had ever seen in my life and I was often around people that did not make the same choices as I did. I was not alone. There were people who made choices and lived lives like me. I was an active Chi Omega for four years without compromising on things I knew to be right and true. Being a Chi Omega does not define me. It is a part of  my life experience and something I would definitely do again. I am glad I did it. I made wonderful friendships that have lasted through the years. I learned tons about myself. I learned a lot about the world. I gained understanding and clarity about who I am and what I want my life to be about.

Chi-O ever after, we'll remember you.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Anticipation is Building for All Eleven

My list is very long. There are so many things to be done. Clean house. Go to football game. Take family pictures. Fold clothes. Many many things, but much of my list is preparation for what promises to be a wonderful week. My college roommates and their children are coming to visit. This is quite an undertaking. We try to get together as often as we can - at least once a year. This year, I am hosting what is sure to be a rowdy event. There are three of us roommates and once we started adding kids to our families we just kept going. Our first picture I remember taking only had six kids. This week, we will have 11 little people that range in age from 2 months to 6 years. We will make an attempt at catching this group on film again. Hopefully we can avoid complete meltdowns.

When we are not taking pictures or attempting to feed 11 little mouths, we will have time to catch up and visit about any and everything - being moms, wives, our husbands' jobs, what we like to cook, difficulties we have, everything is fair game. I love these two women. They have been a significant part of my life. I have known Amanda since she was born, Jeannie since A&M. Over the years we have been in each others weddings, walked through struggles together, prayed tirelessly for each other and made so many good memories. I am thankful for the time we had together at A&M - for the support we had in each other as we studied, transitioned to adulthood, found spouses, served in ministry and grew as women. Though miles separate us now, these are still two of the people I call first when I need prayers, find out I am pregnant, need to vent, have good news or just want to talk. I know God ordained our steps to come together as roommates at Texas A&M and trust He will continue to bless me through them.

Love you girls!

January 2006 - only 6 kids

February 2009 - three of these are 18 months old, need I say more

November 2009 - coming soon!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Could Never

We have all said it. I know I have many times. "I could never have that many." Kids that is. True, most of us are talking about something in the 8+ range and the high number of 18+ like the Duggars is certainly not even on the radar. But there are many of us that said it before we have what we have. I have people tell me often, "I don't know how you do it, I could never have four, I am about crazy with the ones I have." We just can't imagine how adding one more child could possibly be beneficial in our already busy, sometimes overwhelming, stressed, maxed out lives. I completely 'get' this mentality today - my day with three kids at school for most of the day. It was so productive until I had to pick one child up early, go get the next one and then back to get the last one, only to have one fall apart crying trying to recite John 3:16, one fall and get hurt (lots of drama), one have an allergic reaction to something at dinner, and all of them just plain grouchy. I put them all to bed at 6 pm (not to worry, they will sleep until about 6:30 in the morning.) They were begging to go to bed. So tired. Me too.

Trust me, there are no new announcements to make on the Lino home front. We are NOT planning on having any more children, but I can remember feeling this way when we only had one or two and three. There are just some days that you just don't think you could possibly handle any more children. You can't handle one more sleepless night. One more tantrum might put you over the edge. One more rebellious outburst could make you crawl in a hole. One more sassy remark may cause your teeth to crack when you clamp them so hard instead of sassing back. Then the Lord sees fit to expand your family. He did it to us. More times than we ever planned. Here we are with exactly the number of children that He wants us to have and I can't handle it on my own. I have four kids more for me than for them. These four precious kids I have stretch me more in my faith and reliance on Jesus Christ than most things could. I face challenges and circumstances with them that teach me daily more of who God is and how He loves me. The character building that goes on in my heart because of what I didn't think I could handle is incalculable. I could never grow in Him like He desires without this perfect plan and these four little faces. It's the best!

Some of my faves from this summer and fall.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

This is Worth It!

Our lazy sick day today turned out to be very dull compared to the wee hours of the morning. We spent a lot of time in the playroom and Girly Girl regained her strength. These three little girls make every sleepless night worth it!

After the Drama

I know that many a girl has been accused of being dramatic, but Fall Festival 2009 brought out the best in Toads. I have never had to buy him a costume. We were out of town some years, wore Aggies jerseys one year, borrowed some and so on. This year, as a special treat, I bought him a costume that he picked out (on sale for sure!). Naps were had by all and he was the last to wake up.....quite possibly on the wrong side of the bed. When he woke up he could not decide what he wanted to wear. We finally decided on the Aggie football player - which was ok since the Ags have played some decent ball the past two weeks. The costume might have been on for a total of ten minutes before he began shedding pieces so that it was easier to flip down the big slide. Ahhhhhhh, all that drama for ten minutes and a photo.

P.S. Our little mermaid was very cute and had a fabulous time without all of the pre-show drama!

A New Way to Read

It seems there is actually someone other than my mother who reads this blog and there has been a request for a way to 'subscribe' without a reader. I have added a form on the right of the page that allows you to sign up for email alerts. You will only receive an email when there is a new post or change to the blog and the emails only come out once a day. Honestly, I don't have it all figured out yet. This is a trial run. I may deactivate it after a week. We'll see. Let me know if you love or could really just do with out it.
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