The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor


The Architect


My First Little Boy

Look!  I have decent photos of Seth.  Of course you know I didn’t take these and as always I have my friend Mrs. Mama to thank for documenting my kids’ lives in good photos for me.

Seth is in the midst of a massive growth spurt.  When I look at photos of him that were taken just a few months ago, he looks so different from these photos.  It’s weird how fast a boy can change into a young man.  Seth has always been a big kid, but he definitely had a slow growth period through junior high where other boys in his class were taller than him.  He spent most of his freshman year bulking up and eating constantly.  Now all that bulk is stretching and stretching and stretching….and he still eats constantly.  My once pudgalicious boy is turning into a huge skinny man-creature.

He still has a bit of a baby face on top of that massive body which is why I can get away with calling him Sethy in front of his friends, and the fact that he has never asked any of us to stop calling him Sethy.  He has always turned bright red whenever he exercises, just one of the many benefits of being related to his father.  Within a few short minutes Seth’s cheeks will be glowing and then his arms and legs and pretty soon he’s just a giant, red, sweaty thing running up and down the court.  One of his team mates said, “You can’t tell how hard we’ve worked at practice by how red Seth’s cheeks are, but you can tell how hard we’ve worked by how LONG they stay red.”

At the beginning of the season there were a couple of boys that were the same height as him.  As you can see he’s shot past his teammates.  He’s such a large presence in the house now that I think he’s Clay when he walks into the room.

Last week I had to work at school and he had to stay after school with me.

When I was ready to go, I walked through the gym and saw he was shooting baskets. It’s so rare that I get one on one time with him, so I decided to play with him for a bit.


“I’ll guard you, okay?”  I said to him as I took off my jewelry.

“Mom….I don’t want to hurt you.”

“Oh, please.  You can’t hurt me!  But, I get to foul you as much as I want.”  said Raggedy Anne to Andre the Giant.


I spent the next thirty minutes getting bounced and jostled off my son as I tried to guard him and running into what I swear was a brick wall that looked like my son’s chest.  What the heck happened to my squishy-puppy-dog of a little boy?  At one point he shot over me as I tried to block his shot he ran into my arm hyper-extending it a bit.  I spent the next few days with all the muscles from my cuticle to my ear throbbing.

My little boy isn’t a little boy anymore, but that doesn’t stop him from asking me to give him a hug when he’s cold, which is a bit like hugging a refrigerator…but still.

He’s going to change so much more in the next year.  I’m going to have to pay more attention to him so I won’t turn around one day and see a grown man with a beard asking me if we have anything to eat in the house.

The End….with the obligatory butt smack.

There’s no CRYING in basketball!!

My two little boys ask everyday, “Mom, do we have games tonight?” and they don’t mean are they playing a game, they mean, are we all traveling to a basketball game for their brother or sister.

I used to skip a lot of the out-of-town games when they were younger, but this year I have drug them to all but a couple of games.

Isaac is a boy scout.  He got to hold the flag on Senior night for the national anthem.  He was so excited about it.  I was glad he had something special to do instead of  informing me of how hungry he is every two minutes.

Here’s some of the fans that came out to support the senior girls.  It was such a fun night to celebrate their last season on the team.

I’ve been wanting to get my hair cut for four months and I still don’t have time to schedule an appointment, so I cut my bangs, just thought you should know.

Also, this photo made it very obvious that I haven’t highlighted my hair for over a year.  Would somebody please come take care of my head for me?

My oldest son doesn’t like the jeans I’m wearing because he thinks they look wet, just thought you should know that as well.  What I’m really trying to do, is draw your attention away from how incredibly tall we are compared to the other family on the court.  Clay noticed a teenager pointing to us from the stands while we were out there, she made a motion with her hand of how the other family is small and then jutted her hand up a foot to emphasize how gigantic we are.  Could somebody please tell me why my daughter is so dang short though?  Look at her.  What the heck happened?  The poor little thing.  Despite her shortness, we have given her a list of  three specifications for any guy she drags home:

  1. He has to be at least four inches taller than your mother because she wants to wear heels to the wedding and keep them on when she dances with her son-in-law….therefore she doesn’t want her son-in-law’s face to be anywhere near her breasticles, because that would be awkward.
  2. He needs to have some color in his skin, because if you mix your genes with anyone paler, your children are likely to come out transparent.
  3. It would be best if he was an orphan with zero family. That way we don’t have to share the grandchildren with any other grandparents.

That’s it.  We’re not asking for the impossible, just some simple guidelines.

You know as well as I do, that the first guy she brings home is going to be a pale, red-headed,  5’4″ boy from a huge family.  That poor guy better make me laugh or he doesn’t stand a chance.

Okay, back to Senior Night.   My friend Mrs Mama, was there taking photos.  If she asks me to make a face looking nervous before the game starts, then I am obligated to do exactly that for her…..and then regret it later when she sends me the photo.

This was the little ceremony that was held between the girls and boys games.  They announced the players and the Seniors were escorted out to the court with their parents.  The coach handed the mothers a bouquet of flowers and the announcer read a biography that each player had written.  I thought I would share a condensed version of  Ellen’s with you, because…ehem, it made me cry and one of Ellen’s rules is, NEVER CRY ON THE COURT!

This photo shows a choked up Clay giving his little girl a kiss during the part that she wrote about him.  I didn’t realize all those boys were behind us, I should have reached over and pinched Ellen and Clay’s little butts just for the shock value.

Ellen Phillips #24
Ellen has played basketball for 5 years and has been playing on the Varsity team since her freshman year. Ellen will fondly remember Coach S. as a godly man who puts his faith before his coaching, how he has always shown love toward his team, and how excited he gets about sharing new drills and offensive plays during practice.  She will remember Coach B. as her favorite defensive challenge as he pushes her during practices to perform her best, nobody shoves her quite as hard during a game as Coach B. does at practice.  But mostly, Ellen will remember the cheerleader in the stands, her mom, who occasionally taps her on the shoulder and yells, “head fake!”, and the man who sits behind the computer at every game, his voice heard above everyone else in her ears as he records all her successes and failures, and his half-time coaching that gets her through that second half of the game.  Her dad, the man who has always coached her from the sidelines. She thanks her parents for being there to cheer her on during every game.

Yeah…now you tell me, there’s no crying in basketball!  I was blubbering.

And now, because I can’t help it, here’s some great shots of Ellen during the game, says the proud puffed-up mom.

Breaking away for a lay-up down the court!

Crossing over to avoid the defender, she goes up…



Just a few more weeks left until we retire those blue high-tops.