Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Do you call this vacation?

Back again.

Not that we really went anywhere.

To those who asked if I was sick, or if we were on vacation.


I never felt better (except for fatigue) and I wouldn't call the last week "vacation".

I had no intention of taking a blogging break, but somehow the tyranny of the urgent swallowed me up. For most of the summer, with a desperate dog paddle, I kept head above water.

Until the past week. Somewhere between starting school, watching pears rot in their crate and tomatoes finally begin ripening, plus all the usual laundry, bickering children, and empty stomachs - there wasn't enough hours left in a day to give attention to the computer.

I knew if I sat down to type, all you would hear was a dull whine.

And no one wants to hear about my horrible housekeeping that allowed mice to move into my kitchen cupboards. I'm not sure what I hate worse then mice - maybe snakes? At least my son is thrilled with another money making opportunity as he gets 25 cents for every mice he catches.

It was the kind of week when the car needs new tires, each of the children's bikes takes turns breaking, and the bathtub leaks into the basement ceiling. Ed is about to hire a full time maintenace person around here. Except that we couldn't afford it.

And speaking of leaks...apparently I wasn't quite busy enough since I started (yet again!) to potty train the two year old. I'm trying to see small signs of progress,  meanwhile, the new floor is being thoroughly initiated to life in a house with small children and she has gained the nickname "Puddles".

We did go camping this weekend. But by the time we packed up half the house for a two night trip ten miles away, it was not feeling much like vacation! I thought surely I had overpacked and I'd bring half the clothes and food home. But no, the food found it's way into hungry bellies and every last item of clothing returned wet, sweaty, and otherwise grimy. Several pairs of pants took a trip directly to the trash can. How do boys destroy clothing that fast? But have so much fun doing it!

Tired of the whine yet? If I knew what was good for me, I'd delete this post. But for all of you misguided souls who think I am some sort of wonderful, here is proof that I'm not. Because I've only shared half of my bad attitude, my short temper with my children, my desire to never preserve another jar of anything in my life. Is mothering, gardening, and homeschooling worth it? This week I wasn't sure.

Praise the Lord, I don't need to be ruled by my emotions. Thank Him for sisters that help with canning. And for a husband that spends every night of the week fixing something and unpacks that mountain of dirty laundry. For the spirit of God that speaks through the preaching of the Word. (We were camping at a church campmeeting and were able to take in numerous services throughout the weekend.) For the fellowship of Godly friends who spur me on to work with joy.

I do love my family and the children God has given. I do gladly give my hours to cooking, teaching, laundry, and mopping up puddles. I look at my seven year old and know that time is fleeting. Some day (so I am told) I'll look back on this week with sweet nostalgia.

But for now, I'll just go set another mouse trap.


  1. Oh my goodness! I can relate to so much of this post. Well not the mice... but a lot of the rest of it! I've just been feeling weary and wondering the last week and a half, IS THIS WORTH IT?!?!?! I just want to sleep for a week and wake up to find a clean house and happy well trained children. HA! But life isn't about easy and deep in my heart I know I have a wonderfully blessed life. I might be going through a rough spot right now, but that will just help me appreciate the easier times later on when I get there. Blessings to you Gina. Praying for you today.

  2. Oh bless - I know how it goes. Just keep on keeping on. I've never posted a comment anywhere before but I had to for you, so many little ones, wonderful but oh such hard work! with love Helena

  3. Yes, boys are always hungry. Never full. You know the proverb where it talks about there are two things never satisfied, Sheol, and the Womb? I often think it should say, "and a growing boy"... :)

    And yes, boys destory clothes. I don't know how or why, but they do. :).

    You need an ORANGE cat for the mice. They are the best mousers. :)

  4. Oh I loved this post, now I do not feel so alone! The past couple of weeks here haven't been much fun..I lost a freezer full of food, my sister was hospitalized for a week (Praise God she is doing well now!), things all over need to be repaired (minor now but if I don't hire a handyman they won't be for long.....ladies please appreciate all your husband does for the home, as a widow I can tell you it's hard to take care of it all...) and I found, guess what, a MOLE in my laundry room!How did a mole get in there??? So I will just say, God Bless Us, everyone. Being a wife and mother is indeed a full time job, but as the mother of a grown son (as well as a little guy) I promise it is worth it, and yes, in hindsight it does indeed seem fleeting!
    PS: I often think of your sister-in-law who was left a widow with young children, and I pray for her to be strong as she copes with all that is ahead. I understand.

  5. Oh Gina, I love your raw honesty in this post. You sound quite normal. :) Although I am sorry that it feels like everything is going wrong and happening at once. I had a couple of weeks like that last month. It's so hard to keep from getting all grumpy and discouraged. Blessings to you my friend! Hope this week is going more smoothly!

  6. Ha! I loved this post! *L* I can totally relate. Except that I refuse to camp and I don't have boys.

    I'm sorry you had such a rough week - I know it's not nice living through those times. But, as you've discovered, somehow (I'm convinced it's God's grace and a couple of angels) the important things get done (or we learn what's truly important) and we emerge to see that God was working - on us, not on someone else!

    How humbling! And yet how wonderful that God cares enough about us to show us the bad and the ugly! And more wonderful than that is that God will do it again and again, with enduring mercy!

  7. I am loving your blog. You are a sweet inspiration.
    May the Lord richly bless you with strength and refreshment... I remember the days of little ones, and even now I have similar days and weeks.

  8. Thank You - Thank You for sharing this post. I had a similar week as well - or at least in attitude. At some point yesterday I was thinking its hopeless who am I kidding about wanting to be the SAHM, etc. I can't do it. Of course today I'm thinking better about it but it is great to see someone else share their thoughts as well.

  9. I hear you!!! I enjoyed this post immensly--mostly because I live where you are. Except I don't have mice currently--although they usually make at least one appearance a year so they should show up soon. :) Oh and I've had thoughts about painting clothes on my boys so they couldn't tear them . LOL

  10. Yep I think harvest does it to us all, but it's all worth it in the end. I keep thinking if God didn't want us to work so hard all at once he would have done things differently. It must be his way of testing us and making us rely on Him and Him alone. There is just no other way to get through the season. I don't have mice but I sure do have a nice colony of fruit flies taking up residence in my kitchen. :)I gave up school last year during harvest and realized how wonderful it was. We now follow what I would call an old school calendar. I school from October to April. Then on and off again in May, June and July. It seemd to work out this way best. Planting and harvest can have my full attention and I still manage to make the requirements the state of Pennsylvania has for us. Now I must return to the ripe tomatoes and fruit flies in my kitchen.

  11. SMiling at your honesty ~ and totally relating to the attitude struggle.
    They also say: This too shall pass. But I know it can be misery in the midst. Would it help to have a "regain control of the house" day/morning with some read-aloud GOOD STORIES in between chores? Remember those relationships are the most important item on your 'agenda.' Keep them on your team! And maybe get yourself a 20-min power nap when the little ones nap/rest. Go to the mirror and SMILE, then hug the nearest child. : )

  12. yes, it's been ridiculous around here too - must be school starting plus canning.
    thank you for your honest post, and your choice to focus on the things that matter :)

  13. I had to add: we camped one night on a friend's farm this past weekend. It was GREAT because I didn't have to pack half the house - just some food and some clothes and the tent. She had everything else and anything I forgot. The thought of real camping for a whole weekend was just too much for me this summer. I was so pleased to satisfy the children AND have minimal work :)

  14. Sorry you had a not so good week. You are not alone. I have quite a bit of them myself. God helps me get through them, just as he is with you. The last photo of the kids is precious. To look at them you would never know that they bicker. LOL. I will let you in on my forgetfullness. Today I misplaced my car keys and my cell phone within 45 seconds of having them. Could not find them so I grabbe the spare. Got back home and decided to call the phone. Found it in the linen closet. Don't ask...LOL AS far as I can see you still have your memory. Mine...well maybe it is in the linen closet too. Hope you are having a better week. Love your blog.

  15. Although this season is over for me, I remember it well!!!! ... and I do remember it with a giggle, because it was such a crazy, busy, blessed time, but also very stressful, and frustrating. Gina, you will persevere, your children will call you blessed, (really!), and all will be worked to good, as you pour yourself out into your first and most important ministry, your family. Be encouraged my dear, do the best you can each day, lay it all at His feet, and, then, as Elisabeth Elliott would say, simply do the next thing.
    Hugs and praying for you,

  16. Oh yes, I am so much in your boat. After a VERY busy summer and a couple weeks battling pneumonia I'm now facing "the garden" and it is seeming more and more like a monster in the front yard. I did manage to put up pickles and shell beans, but no tomatoes yet though they are all ripening now and no green beans... we ate them all so far. Saturday I went to the garden hoping to get lots done and found myself panting and sweating and exhausted after 2 hours. Just don't have the stamina yet. I'm working on it. Haven't found the time to blog since July... lost a whole month somewhere. So grateful for my very patient husband who keeps me motivated to do a number of small tasks. Also thankful for a job that doesn't require too much energy. God is good!

  17. Well at least you can see mice... somehow my oldest boy found flour mites in the bread machine. They're microscopic and I have no idea how he realized they were a problem! He brought out a microscope lens and what was in there was so horrifying. To the naked eye it looked like flour, but under the lens it was all moving! Guess that will teach me to put off cleaning the bread machine during a busy season.

    I figured it was hormomes, but I've been mercilessly beating myself up lately about what doesn't get done and lost opportunities and moments for discipling & training the children etc.... (Now it's cooling off, they don't want to go outside as much and they're eating each other alive! ) I think it wouldn't be half as bad if I wasn't busy thinking about what all others are getting done while I'm not. Such as school. I'm thinking a blog-reading break next year between August- October might help assuage my guilt. Praying for your peace amidst the busyness :)

  18. Thank you for sharing this. It's encouraging to see that I'm not the only one who gets worn out leaving many tasks undone. I enjoy your posts and all that I'm learning through you on my own homemaking adventure. I'm sorry that you've had a rough week and I pray that things will smooth out.


  19. All of these times grow us and our faith- to know we can put one foot in front of the other and move ahead - with His Grace- is nothing short of a miracle.

    BUT- don't be afraid to prioritize when it gets crazy. So good for you, Gina, for letting the blog go for awhile. I sure don't want you to give it up totally, so if you need a break, I'm all for it. :-) Thanks for your honesty- I think we've all been there at some point or another!

  20. I wish I had time to respond to all of you - but thanks so much for taking the time to let me know that I'm not alone!

    And many of you had great ideas. Bekki, love your idea of not starting school until October! I'll remember that one for next year. And Quinn, I with you in banning blogs over busy seasons!

    But Rebecca, your idea of painting clothes on your boys is absolutely brilliant! Too bad it wouldn't work!


  21. Thank you so much for the candor and encouragement. My week was simmilarly overwhelming. I really needed the reminder to not be ruled by emotions and to carry on even if I don't feel like it. What a blessing this post was.


  22. Gina, I'm so sorry! This post made me laugh. How many times have we all been in that boat? I never want anyone to have a rough time, but it sure helps my sanity to know I'm not the only one that "life" happens to and to know "that this too shall pass." Thank you for your open, honesty! Blesings to you!


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