Levels of chaos In my mind there is normal, everyday chaos (the rush of getting the kids off to school in the morning). There is an exciting, crazy chaos (kids shredding open their gifts on Christmas morning). And then there is insane, noisy, over-the-top remarkable chaos. This is the kind of chaos which involves adding 5 people to a household of six with a total tally of 7 children ranging in age from 5 months to 8 years. This kind of chaos requires 3 cantaloupes, 4 loaves of bread, 3 pounds of bacon, 7 dozen eggs and more coffee than one can imagine. There was much laughter, movies, morning aerobics led by Uncle Jason, a Skellies concert, lots of dancing,  and messes beyond messes. This is the kind of chaos that is music to my ears. It’s the kind of chaos that only happens once or twice a year. It’s the kind that makes you think you might actually be going insane, but also breaks your heart when it’s over. And after all the chaos ended and the cousins went home to Nashville, I crashed, both physically and emotionally. I was so tired and sad it all seemed to go by so quickly. Yet, I smiled every time I found a little piece of evidence of the chaos. A lost earring, a band notebook, more jewelry and a little stuffed lion. Such happy thoughts and I begin to count down the months to when I can experience such chaos once again. shenanigans 042 Josie and Opal shenanigans 020 Josie and Lucy shenanigans 061 Mae…that time change really caught up to her shenanigans 066 ah…so pretty… shenanigans 075 Coleman and Lu shenanigans 079 Lucy and Judah at the playground shenanigans 021  shenanigans 069 Opal hangs on Andy’s every word… March 2010 004 The happiest little girl gets a bath March 2010 049 Two days before little Jack’s arrival… March 2010 059 Morning aerobics March 2010 063 March 2010 253 A celebration of Jack’s birth at Spaghetti Factory March 2010 258 Opal’s ready to pick up the boys from school March 2010 259  Just a day at the office March 2010 269 One of many re-enactments of Man from Snowy River

You’re gonna be so proud of me!… These are the words that came out of Judah’s mouth. I’m expecting him to finish his sentence with “I shared my crackers with Josie” or “I picked up all my toys” or “I have mastered wiping my own buns after going potty”. But what do I hear instead? “I taught Josie how to shoot a pistol!” Well that’s one more thing she can check off her list of milestones. Horses 082

Girls – 4… Boys – 4 That’s right. Things are nice and even. Now that we have a new little boy added. Jack Ronald Strayer was born on March 17, 2010 at 2:25pm, 7lb 2oz, 20.5 in long. This is my first nephew and I love him. He is sweet, smells good, cute even when he cries and blows out his diaper. Oh those days go by so fast! I had the privilege of being with my sister when she birthed this little treasure. I will spare you all of the graphic details. However, watching this process again (from a different perspective) just reminded me how amazing life really is. I was so happy to be a part of it all. Of course my boys were thrilled to have another guy to add to the mix. I’m sure they will have lots to teach him very soon. Look out for trouble! March 2010 128 The new happy family March 2010 143 March 2010 192 March 2010 227 March 2010 229 March 2010 235 Josie really was excited about the new baby. March 2010 248 Since I had been at the hospital all day, Andy and Brynn brought all the kids down to meet their new cousin. Andy waits patiently with seven children!

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