Tuesday, April 3, 2012

moving madness

Yes, yes. Blogging has completely fallen by the wayside. We've been busy finding a new home, packing up the old, and settling in again.

We're not finished. It's been 19 days in this house and we are not finished unpacking. Yes, yes -- tis to be expected. This is the comforting explanation which I hear often. And to that I reply,


I have never minded moving but I really, really like to get everything done quickly and efficiently. 19 days and still having boxes in the house is neither quick nor efficient in my world. Nor is it inviting or cozy to still have boxes about.

Now, in all honesty, our bedroom is the place where boxes go to await their disemboweling. We don't have boxes just stacked about downstairs. There is no way I could accept that notion as being par for the course.

I'm worn out. Between packing, cleaning, unpacking, cleaning, arranging, laundry, shifting, schooling, cooking, cleaning, training, encouraging, cleaning, baby growing, and still unpacking . . . I'm worn out.

But within the throes of it all, I want to remember to be grateful.

I want to remember how hard the final 12 months in our old home were. How difficult our situation became, how trapped we felt, how hard it was to decide to accept our situation with grace and patience and act accordingly.

I want to remember the trust we felt that God had the perfect home lined up. That as we looked at homes which would require so much compromise and turned them down because we believed there was better, it wasn't foolishness which drove the decision, but faith. The sheer joy which engulfed us upon learning we had been approved for the perfect home in the perfect location at the perfect price with the perfect timeline.

It has always been our goal to remember the sacrifices which came before. Whether it is reading about the choices of John & Abigail Adams which tremendously provided for the life we're able to live today or the letters from Scott's grandfather to his grandmother from Europe in the early 1940s as she kept the home fires burning and he fought tyranny or simply recalling managing to accomplish our laundry requirements in the basement of a third floor walk-up with three young children. We know that contentment in our current situation is much simpler to come by (and greatly enhanced by) remembering what was.

And so, I'm weary. But I am extremely grateful, content, and humbled by His continued blessings.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Today is my mother's 63rd birthday. It still boggles my mind that she's in her 60's. I think that in my mind, my mother will be forever in her 40's.

I remember watching the gentle, quiet grace with which she accomplished every task. I remember her quiet voice in the mornings, her cheerful greeting in the afternoons once school was complete. Her joyful laughter running for home base while playing Dubach Family Hide & Seek late at night.

I remember her face glowing with sweat as she made three meals a day for over 200 people at Camp Manatawny before the kitchen had air conditioning. I remember walking past bulletin boards at the church building and recognizing my mother's handwriting. I remember the mountain of food she prepared and the piles of china she washed the Thanksgiving we learned the enlisted men on duty wouldn't have a Thanksgiving Dinner and my mother said, "That just won't do."

I remember camping in the woods, on the beach, and at lakes in the most 1970s camper imaginable. I remember Hamburger Helper cooking on the road, mom swaying to the rhythm of the camper's driving in order to make certain that when we pulled up to the gulf, we could hit the beach immediately. I remember long walks scouring the beach for shells by day and ghost crabs by night. And Thanksgiving around a card table at the back of camper while piping Christmas Carols out the PA system for the other campers.

I remember her patiently waiting in the car when band practice went late. Getting up early the next morning to make us breakfast and pack us lunch. I remember her driving us to the school by 8 am for football games Saturday morning. Then cheering us from the stands for competitions while huddled in blankets from the Pennsylvania wind. I remember the smiles and warm hugs at midnight that same Saturday when it was finally time to go home.

I remember games and laughter and stories and books and movies and getting sucked into yet another of mom's documentaries. Change for snacks at the pool, a refrigerator full of snacks in the basement, and making pies and pizzas in the cast-iron molds in the fireplace.

I remember watching mom spend time with her sisters and seeing her giggle, acheive cartwheels, and love on nieces and nephews with abandon.

Mom, I know it's your birthday. But thanks for the amazing gift of you.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


From the day Scott's family left Pennsylvania, someone in this house has been sick. Truly. Each of the kids, Scott went down, and I'm trying desperately to come out on the other side. I think Elyas had the worst run with 104 temperatures over the course of 4 days. And just when he recovered from that bug came another, this one accompanied by double ear infections. Sigh.

Many people ask if it's exhausting to have a big family when we all get sick. To which I usually think, "Duh." Of course it is!! But there are so many blessings that come even then. We had many people to take turns snuggling sweet Elyas, who just wanted to be held for days (and nights) on end. So many people means that there was always someone able to put peanut butter on bread and steam some frozen vegetables for a quick meal. Laundry was done, floors were cleaned, books were read aloud, water was fetched.

The true joy of a big family isn't just the fun times. For me, it's watching the entire group suddenly pull together without much complaint to fill in the gaps as we lose one Rutherford after another to illness. It's hearing an older offer to sit up with Elyas so others can rest, or rush to help comfort someone who has just gotten violently ill.

Rutherfords, I'm proud of you. You've done an amazing job.

Monday, January 30, 2012

wii monday

I find the inner workings of the testosterone influenced mind to be a continuous puzzle. There are many daily choices and desicions which completely befuddle me. And in our land of 6 v 4, there is plenty of opportunity to ponder this difference.

Now, please understand that I am very much a viva la difference gal. I like that Scott and I bring such different views to our mutual life. We make each other stronger by our diversity than we could ever be if we approached things the same. I'm okay with the daredevil antics which landed Dawson with a mild concussion as long as he leaves me out of it. Scott is usually game for an all out wrestle fest with himself in the middle of the action.

But there are consistent behaviors which puzzle me completely. For instance, any day of the week will find the little boys asleep until 6:30 or so while Dawson will reluctantly enter the land of the awake only after much prodding, poking, cajoling, or (worst case scenario) when Scott's stern, booming voice cuts through the nonsense once he arrives home.

That is, any day but Monday.

Monday is our Saturday. It's the one day of the week most of us are home and awake without commitments. And so, in place of Saturday morning cartoons (which was a beloved memory from both Scott's and my childhoods) we have Monday morning Wii. And what I find incredible is that without alarms, roosters, sunlight, ice cubes, or any assistance whatsoever, the average Monday morning wake up in the boys room is usually 5:30. For ALL of them.

I'll come down for coffee to find five boys in pjs and sleep mussed hair sitting before the soft glow of the tv, clutching remotes, and planning strategies. Their chores are complete without any reminders required. There is no thought of food, bathroom, or mouthwash. Instead there is an contented intensity directed at Mario and his chums.

The girls have chosen to spend this time sleeping in which is followed by breakfast and then their individual pursuits: sketching (Isabelle), working on photography (Shelby), or whatever suits her fancy at he time (Abigail). After a while, the girls will trickle in and begin rotating into the games.

Tomorrow, we'll be back to business as normal when it comes to waking up the boys. They'll drag themselves down the stairs, grumble that they're hungry, do their chores under duress, and in general be grouchy until their coffee kicks in. And if I bring up how cheerful and easily they functioned Monday morning and wonder why they're having such trouble now, they'll look at me like I'm from the moon, shake their heads, and go back to their drooling state.

I just don't get it.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

teeth & toilet paper

Keats has lost both of his front teeth within the last week. He is very excited and anxiously awaiting the family being healthy enough to head over to the dollar section at Target in order to spend his hard-earned tooth-fairy money.

And I do mean hard-earned.

Keats is the most patient tooth loser I've ever met. Most of the kids take the same approach I did. The tooth is a little loose so you push, prod, and twist that sucker out whether it's ready or not. Not Keats. The tooth can be barely hanging on by a snippet of something and able to be completely inverted in his mouth, but he just keeps on wiggling it.

The secret, I am told, is toilet paper. You must have a small piece of toilet paper with which to grip the tooth while gently moving it back and forth. Without toilet paper, one would have to hold the tooth itself, and that would be gross. Also, without toilet paper, one would have to see the blood on one's fingers, which would also be gross. And the faster you move the tooth, the more blood appears, which is definitely gross.

And so, my patient 6 year old gets his tiny piece of toilet paper (two squares are really all you need) and gently works on his loose tooth for a matter of days until the tooth finally drops into the toilet paper out of sheer exhaustion.

And Scott and I breathe a sigh of relief that the kid isn't going to choke on it in his sleep when it just drops out, without toilet paper.