Monday, June 30, 2008

Favorite things

This past weekend, I picked up four Hanna Andersson fall dresses for Priscilla at ...yes, you guessed it, a garage sale. The neighbor I bought them from said her own daughter wore them once and then firmly refused to put them (or any dresses for that matter)back on again. They are sturdy and festive and refreshingly age appropriate. Ours will be a wonderful home for such sweet depictions of femininity because absolutely no tomboys live here - only two little girly-girls and their girly-girl mother, all of whom love sugar and spice and everything nice - all of whom agree that sparkly barrettes, patterned tights, and golden crowns with plastic jewels will never ever go out of style.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I've got sunshine on a cloudy day...

So here is the last photo (I promise) in my "Mary is so sick!" series. Today actually was quite cloudy and chilly and rainy but I was all warm and sunny because look at that fever-free smile on my little girl's face as she and her daddy watch the Olympic trials! And yes, in case you were wondering, Troy's shirt does say "Indiana is in Indyhouse" - it was a cooler than cool gift from his sister Carrie. If you are dying for one of your own, let me know and I'll have her hook you up.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

In her own words...

We are now on day five of Mary's crazy old flu/cold/high fever inducing ailment and she is still pretty wiped out but at least more alert and very talkative. I thought that for this "Snapshot," I'd let Mary, herself, explain a little of what she has been through this past week. Thank you, friends, for your prayers and "middle of the night" listening ears (eyes?). It truly did help to calm my spirit.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No Storms Come

If you were standing next to Mary when this pathetic photo was taken, you'd have felt heat rising like steam from out of her skin. It's been a nauseating week, full of sleepless nights, doctor visits, lukewarm baths and medication. This afternoon her raging fever spiked to 105.9 degrees; in all my days of mothering I'd seen nothing like it. There's a battle taking place between her multiplying white blood cells and an enemy I can't see, or dispel with my anxiousness. So I try to quiet the voices that would have me believe this is in my hands or the nurse's hands or in the hands of the pharmacist adding cherry flavor to the antiobiotics she will suck from a dropper every twenty-fours hours, between doses of Tylenol. I will watch and pray and refuse to gauge the legitimacy of my faith by the fear that increases and decreases with Mary's fluctuating temperature. "Into Thy hands, O Lord Jesus Christ, I commend her spirit and her body. Bless us, save us, and grant us eternal life. Amen"

Monday, June 23, 2008

Who'll buy my wheat, who'll buy my corn?

It's certainly not that I've enjoyed overpaying for pesticide infused produce at the mega-sized box store twelve miles down the road, its just I've been a little too frazzled lately ( and by "lately," I mean the last nine years or so) to think seriously about an alternative solution. This month, however, a particularly nasty grocery bill, my "values sharing but more ambitious than me" sister-in-law (Hi Paige!), and heart breaking news of flooded farm lands in Iowa, all inspired me to think more seriously about where, exactly, I am spending our hard earned money. Paige found through the internet a sweet and industrious local family growing vegetables, fruit, and flowers with their own sweat, love, and labor and it was a privilege to meet them, receive a tour of their property, have my kids help pick their own yellow snap peas, and then hand over our check to an individual instead of a corporation. Next stop? Organic meat, if we can find some, from an Indiana farmer. H-m-m, all this purposeful decision making could become addicting.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Where does the time go?

We disassembled the crib this weekend and put bunkbeds up in the girls' room. "What should we do with it?" asked my husband, because for the first time in nearly a decade there were no tiny Sabourins waiting in the wings, or more accurately my bulging belly, to save it for. This, is my baby - my nearly three-year-old, ultra-perceptive, talk your ear off, jokester of a daughter growing more independent by the second. They told me it would all pass by in a heartbeat, those mothers, aunts, and grandmas with grown children of their own, but I ignored them, probably because my up all night newborn was unusually fussy or our potty training toddler was peeing on the kitchen floor and I couldn't, right then, make sense of anything. But now the days that once felt like forty-two hours long seem to have been shaved to a scant fifteen minutes - now I understand, precisely, why seizing each moment is imperative.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Eye of the Tiger

My new favorite place in the world is the YMCA. I tried to join a year ago but my daughter, Mary, was vehemently opposed to being left in the child care room with the staff members who would grimace when I inquired about how she'd held up in my absence. Last week I had a chance to try again when my older kids started taking swimming lessons. "Do you want to stay in here and play with toys?" I asked her, and apparently she had forgotten her past trauma of being abandoned by her out of shape mother because this time she DID want to play and there were no bloodshot eyes and tearstained cheeks upon my return. Since then, I've been going every single day because my "I simply do NOT have time to exercise or twist open the cap on my vitamins" excuse has been taking a tremendous toll upon my mind, body, and emotions. Can you believe they let me drop off all four of my children so I can work up a sweat uninterrupted? Energy and I come!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I am sitting in the morning at the diner on the corner...

Last night after work, my husband, Troy, was greeted as he walked through our back door by this adorable little waitress in the yellow apron. "Welcome to the Sabourin Restaurant," she announced (in an English accent) while classical music played in the background and lit candles created a formal feel in our "all roosters all the time" kitchen (notice the placemats). In this photo, he is asking a few questions about the specials.

As you can see, the choices were limited but Troy certainly appreciated the great service! "Everything is free!" Priscilla had explained to him. If only...

I need a latte, a cappuccino, and then tonight I'll think have a little vino...

My son, Elijah, is a true connoisseur of comics, studying methods and techinques with scholarly interest. Here is one of is own single panel creations from his "Kitchen Comics" series. Of course, I, as his unbiased mother, found it to be brilliant! :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Forever Young

Just so you know, today's photo blog is being sponsored by Aqua Net Hairspray (the aerosol version, of course) and Primo perfume. The year is 1989, and I am cheerleading my little old heart out because school spirit is my EVERYTHING along with "Big Gulps" from 7-11 and the movie Beaches. It isn't easy performing hurkeys while wearing three- inch-wide hoop earrings, but I will gladly sacrifice comfort for the sake of my squad now inspiring, through our stiffness, the Lancer's offensive line (it is offense, right?) to score a touchdown.
Ahh, High humiliating.

I can't live, with or without you!

At 6:30 this morning, Ben was standing by my bed in his swim suit asking how many more minutes he'd have to wait before his swimming lessons started. "Three hours," I groaned, both to him and to myself knowing that I would be answering that exact same question a thousand different times while brushing my teeth, making breakfast, and searching the house for our sunscreen and beach towels. He was dying to go to the pool. The photo above basically sums up how Ben's much anticipated "lesson" actually turned out: for half-an-hour this sweet and auburn-haired instructor tried every trick in the book to coax him into the water, but alas he'd have NONE of it!Benjamin, it turns out, is only in love with the idea of swimming, the look of goggles on his face, and the smell of Coppertone on his browning skin. "Don't worry, tomorrow is a new day." she assured me.
P.S. - I have, by the way, started challenging myself to think of song lyrics to go with the photos because I'm addicted to inane mental stimulation. Some might be a stretch so please remember just to think outside the box a little.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Take my hand, take my whole life too...

Priscilla, even when sound asleep, will automatically curl into my warmth when I lie next to her. It is here, while snuggled up against her skin and listening to the steadiness of her breathing, that I'm most struck by how divine and utterly enormous is a mother's instinctive love for her children.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Slow down, you move too fast...

Here is the sweet card from my daughter, Priscilla, that I found on the couch I would crash on for most of the afternoon because I always, always, always learn the hard way that pushing myself too hard without the proper amounts of sleep or nutrients results in ridiculousness. It was a throat infection this time, preceded by two days of heachaches and exhaustion. When will it finally sink in that set limits represent wisdom, not weakness?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

You scream, I scream ...

I'll tell you what equals ultimate fun to the Sabourin kids on the very first Saturday of a Summer break, and that is having friends and cousins over for an entire afternoon of sprinkler running, inflatable pool swimming, bubble blowing and ice cream licking! It was glorious, in a sticky, sun burn-y, bug biting kind of way...just glorious!

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Grand Finale

Priscilla and Elijah just boarded the bus for their very last day of public school...(possibly) ever.
It is odd to think back on how anxious I was for them to become old enough to leave me for hours at a time under the direction of authority figures who had been trained in child development - how desperate I was for a break. Now here I am all set to immerse my days in the joy, frustration, and exhaustion of being continually in their presence, of carrying the responsibility of their education on my own feeble shoulders. Who knew then that they'd grow up so quickly and my increasing desire to influence them for little awhile longer would inspire me to step outside of my comfort zone and be stretched beyond my means. Well, here we go sweethearts, let's take one day at time, here...Lord Have Mercy!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Design on a Dime (for real!)

So here is what seventy-five cents will buy you in our neck of the woods; it is garage sale season and I couldn't be more pleased about it! Last weekend, Troy and I gave each of the kids a dollar and drove them around our neighborhood in search of banners, balloons or carboard signs promising HUGE and MULTI-FAMILY fun-ness in the form of used and inexpensive treasures spread enticingly out on card tables. I feel the time is right to pass onto them our passion for thriftiness and my growing appreciation for crazy, quirky decor that can be purchased with the spare change I've collected from pants pockets in the clothes hamper. Elijah found a lego set; Priscilla bought a Princess journal; Ben walked away with a half dozen matchbox cars and Mary chose a tiny red stuffed puppy. Oh yeah...they've totally caught the fever!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Six Servings Daily

Elijah was Mr. Grain in his third grade class play about the food pyramid and Benjamin, Mary and I got to watch his powerful and moving performance earlier this morning. It was mostly a lot of "Orange you glad I didn't say banana" jokes but my surprisingly extroverted (nothing like his parents) son took the dry material he was handed and offered it back to the audience with a refreshing amount of gusto and animation. It was fascinating to observe him in this context, outside of our hectic home life where I mostly hand out orders and he then tries to modify them to his liking. "Slow down," I told myself as he relished in a role showcasing his distinctive personality, "and enjoy him."

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I am I am I am Superman and I can do anything

My son, Benjamin, recently found this picture in my husband's old photo album from college and he could NOT GET OVER IT. I spent a good deal of time explaining to him that:
1. That was really his dad on the skateboard
2. That Troy and I did, in fact, exist before he was born
3. And that, no, Troy could not repeat that trick this weekend because the outcome would probably be fatal.

Monday, June 2, 2008

With Faith and Love Draw Near

This image, right here, of Benjamin, Elijah, Priscilla, and Mary waiting expectantly to receive the Eucharist during Divine Liturgy, warms my soul and fills my heart with such contentment. When they open their little mouths to "taste the Fountain of Immortality," I am reminded that God adores them even more than I do, that I should trust that Christ will lead them through both the mountains and the valleys that are necessary for their salvation. But Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I am proud to announce...

the birth of our first precious tiny, hatched sometime Sunday morning by its fiercely protective mother who, bless her heart, has evolved into a guard dog of a bird hovering bravely around my planter now serving as a nursery for her little ones. Have you ever seen anything so extraordinary, so capable of bolstering our faith if only we'd pause and ponder on the miracle of life?
Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? Matthew 6:26.