I only hit the snooze button one time this morning. ONCE. I was up at 6:35 and made my way, bleary eyed to the coffee pot (which is kind of funny, since I drink decaf) and plopped myself down at the kitchen table for my AM ‘quiet time’. Right now I’m going through Henry Blackaby’s ‘Experiencing God’ for the second time, I love this study. By 7:20 it was time to rally the troops (actually they should have been rallied at 7:15, but in true Stefanie-style, I leave all things until the last minute ;)) Jude, who normally wakes around 8:00, cries out, obviously not waking up on the happy side of the bed. I have to let him fuss for a minute so I can get the boys going: “Asher, time to get up, baby! Dalton, do you want me to pick out your shirt?” I help the boys pick out their clothes and rush back to the kitchen to push the Toaster Strudels down once more in the toaster. Yes. A hot, steamy, homemade breakfast at our house, daily no less! I go into get Jude who, as soon as he sees me, breaks into a big grin. I snuggle with him for a minute or so, but have to get back to getting the boys off to school. Soon the boys wander out, still pulling their shirts over their heads, forgetting socks and one belt. So I rush to gather those things before hurrying back to finish their breakfast with an original frosting design by yours truly, topping each of their strudels. Asher eats, Dalton watches Clifford the Big Red Dog alongside a barely- not crying Jude as he holds his beloved pillow in one hand and his equally beloved juice cup in the other. I have to make lunches for both boys and go through their bookbags and the bus comes in 10 minutes, argh! Why do I DO this daily!? I was getting up at 6:00 before Christmas break but can’t seem to back to going to bed before 11:00. Note to self: GET UP EARLIER! I press on, making sure that Dalton’s PB&J is super thin, cut into triangles. Since it’s close to commissary day, our pantry is lookin’ pretty empty and have to ask what the boys will take in their lunches. Lunch boxes? Where are they? Asher has trouble with his belt so I stop to turn it around and put the boys’ socks on. As I rifle through the boys’ backpacks to find their lunch boxes and sign their agendas, I read that Dalton had is ‘clip pulled’ yesterday. A HUGE no-no in our house. While it takes 3 clip pulls to really get in trouble, our kids know they should not misbehave in school. I know Dalton’s teacher and she is an angel, I am certain his clip would only have been pulled with good reason. I have no time to talk to him about it other than reminding him that choosing not to tell us about it yesterday was deceptive. I also inform him that his father will talk to him about it when he gets home today (I am so glad that I can put this yucky stuff off on daddy!) Then it’s hugs and kisses and “I love you”s all around, hats, jackets and backpacks firmly attached, they are out the door, running for the bus stop like they are racing ~ actually, I really think they are racing. Now onto Isabelle, she’s already up (I know this by her calling incessantly “Mammaaaaa! Mammmaaaaa!!” until I open her door, telling her it’s time to get up. Most days I am greeted with her big smile peeking out from underneath a mop of crazy black hair. I take off her diaper and she, as usual, asks me, “poo poo?” to which I reply, “no, just pee pee” and she seems satisfied. She’s really obsessed with Jude’s poopy diapers right now, and I think she just wants to be sure she’s NOT pooping in her diaper while she sleeps, like her stinky little brother 😉 She doesn’t have to go to the bathroom so we go to get dressed… what will it be today? I get a bit crazy, pick out some dark red corduroys that she has not yet worn this winter. They fit, and look cute, so I find a shirt to match. We move on to the hair station. No clips that match. I forage. Nothing. I get desperate, I pick something that’s close. Yuck. What time is it? I have a minute. I’ll change her. We go back into her room, starting from scratch. This time she looks adorable, I start to put her hair up and hear the bus coming. 5 minutes early. Greaaaattt. What is the deal this morning?!? I’m rushing, trying to get her hair up (she can not go without her hair up, it’s a complete nuisance to her) and grabbing the clip as I run to the front door. Jacket: on. School bag: on. We run hand in hand to the bus and I lift her up, setting her up at the top of the stairs with the bus monitor. I tell her I love her, pull her leggings down over her ankles and pat her on the tooshie. I turn to run inside, it’s cold out here. I hear, “Mammaaaa!” Highly unusual, Isabelle’s never called to me from the bus. I turn to see her still standing where I left her. What’s wrong? She threw up on the bus last week, I worry about a million things as I run back to her. When I get close enough, I see her standing there, perfectly perfect. Her lips are pursed. She wants a kiss from her mamma. Oh. Dear. Lord. Thank You for this child. And for the reminder that in all the craziness of raising these children, that You are blessing me.