Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Harry Potter

Yesterday, Lilly and I went to the library after getting the girls off to camp. I was prepared to pick up my reserved copy of Harry Potter. I was in for a horrible surprise, we had an overdue game-I always forget about those. Sly Cooper-you robbed me. So, downcast, Lilly and I exited the library.
Then I looked at her and said, "Oh wait, do YOU still want to go to the kids section and play on the computers?"
"Yes." I was so pumped up for starting that book, that I had forgotten that Harry Potter was of no concern at all to her.
She takes her spot at a computer and I am looking through the recently returned books. There it is. I gingerly take it off the shelf and look at the librarian. "Is this available for check-out?" "Yes!", she smiles broadly and directs my gaze to several dispalyed prominently about the library. There were about 7 copies and I didn't look, but I would wager there were some on the shelf too. So I checked it out on my one of my kid's cards that did not have a fine. I beat the system! BRUHAHAHAHAHHAA!
I immediately sat down and started reading about 11 AM yesterday and finished up this morning. My house is a wreck and Lilly was very patient with me yesterday. She got to have all the popsicles she wanted and watch TV and play video games all day long. This sounds like a dream, but I don't think she liked it as much as she thought she would. She was so glad to see Dad come home. Later, after he had made them some supper I believe they played/worked outside together. I just kept reading on because I wanted to know...had to know...crazy woman. Erik made a crack about getting to read all day, must be nice. I grinned and half-heartedly argued and blocked him from my world and read on. I went to bed at 1, got some rest and woke up at 6:30 and finished at 8:30. Lilly is so happy I have finished. I won't be such a crappy mom today. Don't judge me.
I already feel guilty for the neglect, but mostly I feel guilty because I can't read the Bible with the same excitement. I thought as I awoke this morning with a renewed eager spirit, ready to read and I felt terrible. God, forgive me. I finished 759 pages in less than 24 hours. Yet I could not read the word of God in 90 days. At that rate, I should be able to read The entire Holy Bible in just a few days. This is probably what Sara is going to talk to me about. ( ;
Pray for me, I have skewed priorities.
I did not love the ending. I did love the book. All the loose ends were tied up and I liked that. Okay, nuff said. Some of you may still be reading. The spoiler that I heard? I am glad I did not take too much stock in it as it was a big fat lie, or maybe it wasn't. I'm no spoiler.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Erika made this cool fairy house and Kayla made a dress for her barbie. Both girls used my nemesis, the catalpa tree, to create things of beauty. I wonder what they will make with the huge snakelike beans it produces. Hmmm.

We lift off for camp in one hour...tick...tock... I wonder what Lilly and I will do to entertain ourselves????? I say a trip to Disney would be cool. That is what we told the girls we did last year when they went to camp. They didn't buy it. They are smart shoppers.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Anti-procrastination week!

Not that it was intentional, but I have only procrastinated one thing this week and that was my yearbook pages. Lots of other deadlines were met and met early. I would have procrastinated yearbook even longer, but I discovered I could print wallet sized photos on my printer. YEAH!! I was so excited that I printed pictures with gusto. I only procrastinated the actual assembling of my pages. Printing the pics a few days before is not my typical fly by the seat of my pants lifestyle. I am trying to change those tendencies along with de-cluttering. They sort of go hand in hand. Usually I procrastinate because whatever it is that I need has been misplaced under a pile of clutter requiring double time to complete the project-looking for item, then doing the task.

I read a spoiler for Harry Potter on someone's blog and I was so angry. I was blog surfing out of frustration because none of my daily reads are updating!! Update, linky love!! I need more! I needed new reading material!! There was not even a reason for it. The author just sort of casually put in "Well, I'm no JK Rowling, but if I was I would not have written......" I am clinging to the fact that it could have been a big fat lie. I pick up my reserved copy at the library tomorrow. I never dreamed I would get to read it this soon-but they did get a very large number of copies. I am not a fanatic-obviously or I would own it-but I am very excited by the ending of the last one and eager to read what happens next.

I don't have alot else to post. Duffle bags and sleeping bags are stationed by the door for departure. It is a little sad to see them go, they are growing up so fast. They both packed all of their stuff and when I checked through it-they had done fabulously. I am working myself out of a job.

Lilly and I will be alone this week and if the past two days are an indicator-I will be certifiably insane by Monday evening. Pray for us!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Unexpected Time

I have been frantically planning this day as I knew the kids were leaving for camp in the morning and I would have to get all my ducks in a row. Then I made a phone call to get some of my questions answered and when I said tomorrow, she said, "You mean Monday?" Ooops. Yeah, I do mean Monday. Hi, I am Janice, I homeschool my children and I can't read. Anyway, I now have plenty of time to get ready for camp. Color me relieved. I may go ahead and pretend it is tomorrow to keep me from procrastinating. Or maybe I will do that tomorrow.

This reminds me of Erik's favorite joke, "I've got a real problem with procrastination. I'll tell you about it later."

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Those first pics show us checking into the ER with Lilly holding guaze on her head. She was such a brave little trooper. Last pic shows her one stitch. It could have been so much worse. I am very thankful. Erik left band practice to join us because he is our knight in shining armor. Lilly was all over him.

So we are all waiting for the judges to finish judging the sidewalk art. Lilly and I are sitting on a concrete wall. She is "doing gynastics" and fell straight back onto the big rocks behind us. I reach down and calmly pull her up and start checking the back of her head for injury. I don't find anything but keep searching and then I see the blood, find the hole and hold my finger on it. While I am calmly doing this here is what the woman on the other side of Lilly is doing.

Lilly falls back and the woman yells, "SHE CRACKED HER HEAD, I HEARD IT!". She stares at me looking at Lilly's head. She sees the blood before me as it is on her side.

"I SEE IT, SHE BUSTED HER HEAD WIDE OPEN!" Then she runs off still screaming..." A LITTLE GIRL BUSTED HER HEAD WIDE OPEN. THERE IS BLOOOOOOOOOD EVEEEEEEEERYWHEEEEERE!!!" There were also many many OMG's thrown in there. The reality was much less exciting. In no time at all we were surrounded by worried faces. The cameraman for newschannel six nearly killed himself getting us some ice. It was a tiny little puncture and I had already examined the eyes and determined there was not a concussion. I had also predicted she would need one or two stitches. Once I told them we had insurance and we aren't the suing type, worried looks turned into smiles and they were glad Lilly was OK. I could own our city with what was a silly kid mistake. There is something wrong with that. Lawyers and frivilous lawsuits have ruined our country.

Anyway, all is well and Lilly has a cool stitch with blue thread. Battle scars. The hysterical woman has tales to tell her family. Hysterical people are so funny. If I had not been keeping pressure on Lilly's wound, I would have been filming her. I know we could have won it all on AFV. I wish now I could hear her retell the story to friends. I bet her story has a little girl airlifted by helicopter.

After all the fun, we went to show Ninny her stitch and let her know why we had not been back sooner. Then we met Erik and the other two at Taco Bell at 9:30 because none of us had had any supper. Very anti-climactic way to end the evening. I wish I knew hysterical woman's phone number.

Erika won a trophy for 2nd place. No other trophies, but we are used to that. To quote Kayla, "She always wins!". Say it with resigned life isn't fair voice. Sidewalk chalk contests have taught us alot about winning and losing gracefully(sort of). This year we added a little excitement to the sidewalk chalk while waiting for judging to finish. Next post, ER visit.

This is the oreo stacking contest. A yearly tradition for our family. None of us ever wins-but we love it anyway. This year none of us had our stack fall and that is a victory. I had 19, Erika and Kayla had 16, and Lilly had 15. We all had fun. It started at 5. We got there at 4:52 and there was hardly anyone. By about 5:10 there were people everywhere. Erik made it in time to cheer us on, he does not participate because he has an image to protect. Or he doesn't want to make me look bad or something. I forgot what his reason was. I did not post a pic of me because I had on a new shirt that needs another safety pin but I did not realize it until Erik took my photo, leaned over my cookies. There was a little too much "cookie" in the photo.

Next post, sidewalk chalk.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

All is well...

Mom is doing great. Aside from waiting for 4 hours for the doc to get to her, all went very smoothly. The procedure was done about 11:30 and she was in a room about 12:30. It was much less complicated than what I thought. They do not knock you out, it is not surgery. They dope you up till you don't care and then insert the stints. Since Mom has such a hard time with anesthesia, this was wonderful. She looked great when I left, but she was still dopey. The girls and I are going back after I post this. I had to pick up the girls, come home and free Toby and now it is time to return. After our visit, we are gonna go downtown for a local festival, then probably check on her again before coming home to bed. She is in a room, not CCU so we are not slaves to a restrictive schedule.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A dog snout on my toes.

Don't knock it. This is a Tobilicious feeling. Sitting at the computer while Toby puts his sleeping body underneath and rests his snout upon my toes. Loving me so much, he will settle for touching any part of my body, including my toes. This is the reason people get a dog. No one will ever love you as much as your dog. EVAH!

So, today is a good day. I have 4 children not three. A sleepover for the birthday girl. Last night we went to see Harry Potter at the "drive-thru". (Lilly called it that despite corrections for at least a year.) (Disney also has a "Terror of Tower" ride.) It was a great movie. It was however, downright cold. We were shy a couple of blankies since it is July and KY is hot like fire in July. At one point, I looked over and Erik had his shirt stretched over his knees like kids do. If I had not been frozen to my chair, I would have gotten my camera for a pic. In 13 years of marriage, I have never seen him do that. COLD, I tell you, it was cold.

Right now, there is a movie playing, two tents in the backyard set up for making fairy clothes, and swimming going on in the pool. I can relate. It is so much more fun to do three things instead of just one. These are little women after all. The multi-tasking starts EARLY!

Our guest is a complete angel and I told her mother so. Each time she walks through the house, she is polishing her halo. Children as guests are completely delightful, aren't they. Children as live-ins? Not so much. LOL.

My syllabi for co-op have been printed and copied for two days. Today I will take them to where the co-op meeting will take place. They will even arrive a day early to the meeting. I have never had this happen before. I will not be able to attend the meeting as my Mom will be having stints put in early tomorrow morning. (Please keep her in your prayers-she is a very risky patient.) School starts next week. WOW!

Girl's night out- let's go see Hairspray. Who wants to go? It will be very hard to see one of my big crushes in a dress-but I will. De-lurk and tell me if you are going. Or we could see Transformers: Robots in disguise/More than meets the eye.

Monday, July 23, 2007

As of today, I am the mother of two ten-year-olds. No they are not twins, they will only both be ten for two weeks, then the older one turns 11. It boggles my brain that I have two chilren not a year apart. It has made life a little more interesting to say the least. They are the best of friends and the worst enemies, depending on the day/hour. Supercharged competitiveness in nearly everything. They have never known life without the other one and all of their memories are shared. Someday, when they are grown, they will be close in a way only almost twins can be. OR they will avoid each other like the plague. You just never know.

We had a fun day yesterday. Our care group got together one last time for an afternoon of visiting. It was a really good care group and we needed one more visit together. We had such a fun time together just sitting on the porch talking. We were teasing one of the teen-age boys there because of text messaging on his phone. I told him way back in prehistoric times, teens were forced to take pen and paper and write notes. Hard to believe how much kids pay to write electronic notes.

Then we went boating. We almost did not because our battery was being quarrelsome, but Erik was determined and talked it into starting. It was a gorgeous but busy day. Lots of boats and people skiing. Windy, so the water was a bit choppy. Also, it was a little on the cool side. Quite cool. But the water was just right. We really studied the waters around the camp the girls are going to soon. They are so excited they can hardly stand it. It was my favorite childhood camp and Erik's too, so we are excited for them as well. They will come home with lots of "good skills". Skills are important, you know. This is an instructive camp that teaches all things out-of-doors. I wish I could go back one more time. Erik went twice and I am so jealous.
After we got home, I went and picked Lilly up from where she was spending the day with a friend. She had had so much fun. We missed her terribly but she missed us not at all.

Good friends, good times. Summer days, drifting away...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Since I CAN'T blog the things I NEED to blog...

I give you and me something we all need. Ways to make you home a haven from the pioneer parenting website. I am proud to say that I have 8 and 9 mastered. 1 escapes me on a regular basis despite the best of intentions.

  1. By letting kindness reign. Determine to treat your children and spouse with the same sweetness you'd give a stranger you're trying to impress. Remember it's God's kindness that leads us to repentance. What makes us think anything different would evoke our children's repentance?
  2. By welcoming hard questions. It's okay to question. You did it, didn't you? Give your children the same leeway. Let them vent. Let them worry. Welcome their wrestling. Don't give pat answers; instead, let them work through their questions. Love them through a period of questioning.
  3. By being there. Give your children the rare gift of your focused attention. Look into their eyes. Ask great questions. Relax alongside them. Dr. Ross Campbell says, "In short, focused attention makes a child feel he is the most important person in the world in his parents' eyes."
  4. By limiting media. Steer your children away from mindless interaction with the TV or video games. Set limits and stick to them. Dare to believe your children are creative, innovative kids who can create instead of idly recreate.
  5. By playing outside. We've lost the importance of outdoor play. Even if it means walking to the park with your kids, or swimming alongside them, or taking a nature hike, dare to move beyond the four walls of your home to venture out to see God's creation.
  6. By weeping and rejoicing at the right times. We are to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15). When a child has a difficult day, scoop her into your arms and cry alongside. When she makes a great grade, jump up and down and celebrate with ice cream.
  7. By cherishing childhood. Our kids grow up so fast in this crazy culture. Keep them kids as long as you can. Let them play, run, stretch, linger. Limit activities when they're younger so they don't become little stressed-out adults at age ten.
  8. By reading together. The most haven-producing thing I do as a mommy is simply to read to my kids. I still read to my fourteen year old! Discover books on CD as a family, lessening the tedium of car rides without popping in a DVD. My kids have stayed in the car to listen to a story finish.
  9. By laughing hard, but not at another's expense. Joking and laughter are blessings you can add to create a fun-loving haven, but be cautious not to laugh at your kids' expense or allow them to laugh at yours or others' expense. Watch funny, clean movies together. Tell jokes. Tell funny family stories over and over until they become ridiculous. A lighthearted family that doesn't take itself too seriously is a haven-home.
  10. By practicing God's presence in the mundane. Require chores of your kids. It teaches them important life skills. Even so, introduce joy as you work. Turn on the radio, dance, laugh. By learning to practice the presence of God during the chores of life, you create a productive, gratitude-based home.

In regards to number 7, we sat on a dock today and fed mayflies to the ducks and bluegill (whoever was fastest got the fly) and had the best time just watching and watching simply because we did not have somewhere we had to rush off to. Reading The Hurried Child influenced my child rearing alot. We have very few extra-curricular activities so we can have unhurried family ones instead. There will be enhanced interest in all of those things when they are in high school-you only get to be a little kid once.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

True Confession #2

I lack social graces. I have never met a stranger. I can make conversation with a rock. What I cannot do, once I have reached a certain point in a friendship, is grow that friendship more without alot of love, grace and understanding on the part of the other person. I am real good up to certain point and then I feel awkward, am not sure what to do-how to act and most "friendships" die right there. Don't get me wrong, I have alot of friends, but they love me in spite of myself. They know I am not a super attentive person that will always remember their birthday and finish their sentences. I have trouble finishing my own sentences. They also must be tolerant of the fact that I am often late, spontaneous, procrastinaterous, and very forgetful. I talk to lots of people at length in a week-so the conversations get all jumbled up in my brain and I can't remember who I told what. I often say wonderfully encouraging things that I don't remember saying, but someone will say, "Hey, when you told me XYZ, it was really impactful. Thank you." I promptly reply with a hearty, "You are welcome." and try to remember saying it.

I used to be so different. In high school, my boyfriend/best friend, Jon was planning to be the president. He had a horrible memory and could not remember people's names to save his life. I could tell him their name, who they were related to, what car they drove and how he met them. You can see what a wonderful asset I would have been in the white house. However, he moved away to go to college and pursue a more "alternative" lifestyle. I got married and had three lovely children with my smokin' hot hubby and now have a permanent case of CRS. (Can't Remember *Stuff*)

They say your brain shrinks with each pregnancy. My memory loss and this "baby fat" all the consequences of bearing children. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

True confession #1
Meatloaf Bat Out of Hell is my all time most favorite album. I know all the words and hearing it makes me very happy. Now, most people my age don't know who Meatloaf is, but I had older sisters who happened to like the hit "Two out of Three Ain't Bad" so much that they bought the album. We played the crap out of it. Then I think my former ex-brother-in-law Donnie also had it on 8-track. And the crap was played out of it as well. Dr. Hook and KISS were favorites as well.
The songs on this Meatloaf album are bittersweet for me. They remind me of a time when we were truly poor. We were two families living together in one tiny little trailer. My 15 year old sister, her husband, and their baby plus Mom, Pam, Linda and I. Two bedroom trailer. Oh, but we were happy. We played music and did each others hair and Mom had built-in baby-sitting and a man to lift the heavy stuff. Metloaf playing all the time.
I am not ashamed of my roots. We had a hard life and it bonded us all in deeply dysfunctional ways and I wish I could pass on some of that frugal survival spirit to my kiddos. I guess I will have to settle for sharing my love for Meatloaf with them instead.
Now, I have shared a closet love of music with you, what is your dirty little music secret?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Soaps from Amy

They are wonderful. Rosemary mint, Awesome almond-it is, and Malabar(pictured) which is scented like pepper. Sounds weird, but smells very good. She is running a soap sale and since I had been meaning to try it, I took the plunge. MMMMmmmm.

Having a little bout of the blues lately, I hope to kick it in the butt today and accomplish alot. Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Random and odd...

  1. I have discovered I have another friend facing abandonment by her husband. Instead of only one infant child, she has 4*(children, not infants)*. Why? All I can say is why would you have children and then choose to dessert them? There is so much thought that goes into planning a family, how could you then walk away and say, "Nevermind, I changed my mind." IT IS TOO LATE once they are here. You don't get to keep wife shopping once you have one, especially if she bore you children. The damage to children who are abandoned by a parent (I'm sorry-this is what happens in divorce, someone leaves and the child processes it as abandonment) is irreversible and lifelong. To do this as the result of an affair makes my blood boil.
  2. Curriculum is expensive and misleading. It drives me crazy how many things we have that "did not live up to the description". This year, I am so conservative with my purchases, it is a little funny. Hubby doesn't think $300(for all 3) is conservative, but it IS. Co-op helps alot as I don't have to purchase alot of teacher's books-just student books.
  3. I am doing major soul-searching as to where God wants me to serve at church. I am stepping down from helping with the preschool. Ten years is enough. I want to serve where my passions are, just not sure what that means for me. In the past, it has been wherever my kids are. However, as they get older, I see their need to detach from me a bit and vice versa. Not too much, just beginning to loosen the apron strings, not cut them.
  4. The relationship between Kayla and Lilly is out of control. They live to torture one another. Today I officially had enough. There WILL be peace in the valley. Many things shall be no more. For Righteous Instruction ROCKS!
  5. I have never been so aware of my faults, personality flaws, vulnerabilities, etc. as I am as a mom. I have never quite understood how critical encouragement is until I entered this roller coaster ride. And grace, as I seem to screw up at least once every hour, minute.
  6. We switched to natural peanut butter. I read the side of the jar and laughed out loud. "Separation of ingredients is normal, just stir and enjoy." After cutting it with a knife and then taking one beater on my mixer and finally getting it all stirred up, we were able to "enjoy". The process took about 5 minutes, a very far cry from "just stir".
  7. We finished the trim in Kayla's room. WAHOO! I have decided it is well past time to finish up all of the projects I have begun over the last 4-5 years. Really well past time. Note to husband: This would be a great time for positive encouragement not criticism. Certainly not a time to suggest selling our house and moving somewhere else causing wife to go into total freak-out mode. Unless it is Evansville.
  8. Our co-op starts back Aug 1 and I am not ready to relinquish my summer yet. Not even remotely. I have no choice, of course, being a new kid on the block but I don't like it a bit. Also, it will only be Lilly and I as the big girls will be at camp-planned long before I knew of our early start day.
  9. I have procrastinated doing my yearbook pages and it was not a wise move. I am not comforted one bit by the fact that I know 4 other families who have also procrastinated it. It is slated on my list of things to do ASAP. Like maybe today. or tomorrow...
  10. My bedroom is decluttered and I love it. Lots of stuff is now all over various rooms in the house as we try to decide what to do with it, but my room and Kayla's room look very nice. The Salvation Army is going to love me, ALOT, very soon.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It had to happen. Nail polish has been flowing freely for quite sometime. My only rule? You must put your hand or foot on the floor on a piece of paper. Even on the table on a piece of paper would be acceptable. So really, the emphasis is on the paper underneath. And permission. I wanted to know it was happening. These rules have been broken all week. Over and over again. This morning at 7:20, we had an urgent meeting in the bathroom. I hate waking up to the smell of nail polish and remover. All 7 coats of nail polish were removed from nails and all nail polish was thrown into the garbage can. I call it tough love and the girls knew they were already driving on bald tires, so it came as no surprise.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Familiarity does breed contempt...

I have a friend who allows her children to watch TV ALL the time. All the time. They have a movie going 24/7 (slight exaggeration). The result? They never pay attention to it. They may glance over and say, "Lion King, we've seen that a billion times." So, she is constantly buying or renting NEW movies thye haven't seen and even then, watching is not guaranteed. On the other hand, I hoard TV time like crazy. It is limited to about 2 hours a day(most days anyway-we have some lazy TV days too) and that is not all at once. Sometimes there is no TV time. Movies are rare, very rare. The result, even a documentary is reason to get excited. They are captivated with pillow and blanket any time the screen comes on. Hypnotic. Glued. If we ever take the DVD player on a trip, silence from the back row. TV is a very useful tool if not overused.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I am so drained in every way imaginable. It hurts to see your friends hurting. I have always beena little too blessed in the empathy department. In a crippling sort of way. I have some people in my life going through some major heavy duty stuff. One family facing life after amputation, one family facing a brain tumor in a child, one family staring divorce in the face and all I can think of is...I am so glad God is in control. Even when it seems like everything is spinning wildly out of control, it isn't. He has a plan and a purpose for all of us. Thank you Father for being a place to lay our burdens down.

Please help me not to take anything for granted but to savor my blessings and always seek to bless others.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Watermelon observations

-Watermelon is a wonderful colon cleansing agent. About 5 or 6 small chunks and you can lose about 4 lbs.

-Watermelon will also cleanse your bladder, at least once an hour after those same 5 or 6 small chunks.

-Watermelon rinds should be thrown into the woods as they are biodegradable and good food for possum, deer, raccoons and all sorts of other critters we have spotted in our backlot. This is scary late at night. So I just have Toby escort me.

-Toby fetches watermelon rinds. Thrown over the fence and into the woods. So as not to attract flies and such.

I bought Toby a new squeaky plastic stick and he LOVES it. We have taught him to fetch and he will fetch and fetch and then take the stick away and make it squeak all by himself. His new favorite toy. Tobilicious ears!!

See those school supplies? We did not need them. Not one little bit. They beckoned to me.

The notebooks said, "A dime? You are walking past notebooks that cost one dime?"
They were right, I couldn't. I was able to stop at 4. That is self-control, baby.

Then, as I was checking out, The markers and colored pencils said, "I know you have plenty, but we are only 88 cents. Walmart is LOSING money on us!!" So into the buggy they went.

I am a school/office supply junkie. I love them all. I LOVED school. I hated that whole summer of unstructured freedom. I wanted learning every day of my life. There were no library visits or museums for us. Just wide open spaces, a bike and a barbie(singular).

We had glorious fun summers, but it was all up to me and my big imagination to make it happen. Don't get me wrong, I loved it. From blackberry picking to sitting and watching the river, it was a special kind of growing up. I feel a little sorry for those who did not raise themselves in the country during summer. We got up, headed for the hills and came back when we were hungry, thirsty or needed to use the bathroom. Mostly though, I didn't come back until dark. I drank from streams like characters in the books I read and "lived off the land" eating blackberries, possum grapes and raw field corn that grew everywhere there was a clear spot. I dreamed of having a slingshot and killing and roasting a rabbit over a fire. Never happened though. IF only I could have gotten my hands on some rubberbands. I also would go to my grandmas and beg a honey bun from time to time.

However blissful all of that was-and it was- I could not wait for school to start. New clothes and school supplies were very slim being one of 4, but there were always a few new things. I loved new notebooks the most. I wanted it to stay crisp and new as long as possible. I wrote a little neater and tried so hard to keep that cover from working its way off. They always did eventually. And some punk at school would grab my notebook and write some meaningless drivel, "someone hearts someone". That would ruin that neat notebook that I slaved to write my name as small, neat and distinct as possible. In high school, Daniel G would write "hog balls" on any notebook left unattended. Try as I might, my clean neat notebook was just more than he could bear. He runs a car lot now. Anybody wanna go key some cars? Just kidding. Never have had a destructive bone in my body. I could never go TP'ing just cause it looks so awful and wastes all that toilet paper.

So anyway, this time of year makes me nostalgic, and so I caved and bought new notebooks. My kids are really wanting a new notebook to, maybe I will share. I am gonna go write a to-do list in one now. Really neatly. Nothing on the cover.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The five people I am passing this award onto are:

I found Mandagirl through her sister kerflop . This post made me love her forever since I have the same problem from time to time. If only there was something more absorbent than super plus. These two girls both stole my heart by sharing all with all. Anyway, she is a neat girl and I enjoy her blog.

Jettybetty reminds me the direction I want my life to go. I want to raise my three to be as happy and well-adjusted as her three. She also constantly reminds me to keep the emphasis on my hubby, since he stays when everyone else grows up and moves away. I also am inspired the way she keeps it real in the spiritual arena-not by doing it perfectly but by doing it consistently.

I love guys who blog-not that I'm in love or having a crush, I just love personal glimpses into how the other half thinks. Being married to a man of few words is challenging, so reading the words of other men kind of helps me piece together my jigsaw man - in a not really sort of way. Wow, what a description. Yes, I do have a way with words!! This is a father talking about his best investment which is family. It is funny and endearing and I enjoy reading it.

Zoot is an obsessive blogger like me. Putting it all out there. While we have very different lives, they are still very similar. I have been reading Zoot as long as I have been blogging. She does use some very colorful expressions but it just makes her more endearing. She also has a readership of a bazillion and probably has gotten this award a thousand times-but I am still giving it as a loyal blog reader.

My sarcastic soul sister. Very very funny and someday, I am totally gonna order some soap. She, like me, has a fondness for her sleep clothes/robes and a flexible cleaning/life schedule.

Thank you Mia, for the award. I've never received one before and it made my day. I must mention that I second her award to hula girl. Also, everyone on my blog linky list deserves this award-but I give this award to them every day by listing them on my blog and I could not narrow them down to save my life, so I stuck with people I don't know (except Jettybetty who I met at Chili's one time)!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thanks Mia! I am reflecting on the five I will nominate.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Full Day

And HOW! After the library, we went to the children's museum because we had to pick Erik up for lunch and it was closer. We got cool duck stamps so we could come back after lunch. We lunched at McDonald's again and proved that it ain't cheap if you are not careful!! The girls and I always eat there for under $8. Today our family spent $26 and some change and we have the dorky toys and wasted food to prove it. Shameful. So then we went back to the children's museum and spent 2 and a half more hours of learning fun there. Kayla took the hard drive out of a computer. Erika and I built a robot out of boxes and masking tape. Lilly and I painted her face about 6 times before we decided on a design. Kayla drew herself a unibrow, then laughed and laughed. Then very promptly wiped it off. Of all days to not have the camera. We played drums, shadow puppets, crawled through nostrils, stood inside a brain, balanced, built with blocks....on and on times infinity.

As we were walking back to our car, I called Erik and he was done. That meant he could do the other museum with us. The Arts and Science museum. It was the museum without end amen. It has it all and two very cool kid areas as well. It also had about 4 different art galleries and a planetarium on the third floor-but the only showing was at 1PM and we missed it. So we got our fill of the museum and headed back homeward. We got home about 6 and had sandwiches. Erika and I went to singing only at church, then came home got the rest of the crew to go to the funeral home for a death in our extended family. We then went for banana splits after that. Now we are home and I am just amazed at how much can fit into one little old day.

WOW. Some days I can't even seem to get one load of laundry done-What's up with that?? Going to snuggle with my honey and watch 24 till we doze off.

Since it is take your family to work day, we are in Evansville with Erik toiling away at the Post Office while we are at the library playing. So far today we had breakfast at McDonald's, went on the riverwallk, played on the coolest playground ever and now we are at one of many libraries here at this fine city. Did I mention there are MANY libraries. This one is big enough that ours would fit very tidily into this one and there would still be room left over. Anyway, their air conditioning is out, so we won't be here long. I am sweating bullets and we were already sweating from our lengthy walk. I love this city. So cool. Next stop, Arts and Science museum and then the children's museum. Possibly the Reitz Historic home. The best part about this downtown historic district is that is is not hard to get around in. The worst part about this town is that our day started at 6 and nothing here opened until 10, except the library opened at 9. So we came here to check it out. Hence the riverwalk. God is smiling on us though, because that was the coolest playground in the whole world, except for the bottle of Smirnoff vodka we found. It was a little disturbing to find that on a playground-I then searched the place thoroughly for the owner. Apparently he felt safe enough to leave it. Boy was he wrong. I am sooooo drunk. LOL. I didn't finish it silly goose-just a little to take the edge off. LOL AGAIN!! Do you think it is safe to drink Vodka after a bum? Doesn't the alcohol kill any bacteria?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


...has been cancelled due to PMS conditions, bloating from hell, and hormonal surges. Please join us next Tuesday when regular programming will resume.

Exercise has gone well. Most everyday has held some sort of little extra. If I spend each day trying to THINK about exercise, as in where can I fit it in, it is not too hard. Sort of like how I think about where I can phase in some veggies. IT just has to be planned a little.

Two prayer requests: One is a friend struggling with marriage stuff, another is a friends whose hubby was injured in a motorcycle accident. I don't have full details-but it sounds life altering. His name is Kevin. Much prayer for both of these would be greatly appreciated.

My mom is really back to normal. She is cooking for herself and my stepfather plus doing her own laundry. Feeling much better. Thanks for all the prayers you lifted up on her behalf.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Fake it till you make it...

does work, just in case you ever wondered. Sometimes you can't-but if you can, it works. I am feeling much better. Thank you for your empathy and sweet comments. I just got home from a baby shower that I attended with no children. Bliss, just what the doctor ordered. Delicious homemade cake and Ranier cherries. What could be sweeter? (Besides me, heehee, I definitely needed sweetening!) This is a new couple in our church and they are so sweet. I love showers. It is so nice to bless someone at such sweet times as babies and weddings. This is a custom that is so impactful. I love it. You never forget the people who blessed you at your shower, visited you at the hospital, attended your wedding, and perhaps most important of all, wait patiently through visitation at funerals. This is important stuff, y'all-just in case you did not know it.

Erik also mowed my side of the yard on a day when I was dreading it, although I do like to mow. (it's just so hot!!) I have repaid him by making up his side of the bed, cooking his side of the lunch(frozen pizzas-that was some hard work), and finishing up his side of the laundry.
Bad Day

Yup, I'm having one. I have been desperately counting my blessings for two days. I'm telling myself I should be really happy, I am blessed. Then, I give myself permission to feel bad if I want, it's only a feeling. Then I get sucked into the doldrums again and feel like I am far to blessed to feel so yuck. I am trying to put my finger on what exactly is "wrong". I can't.
I don't feel like a good wife, mom, and certainly lacking in all areas of domestication.

Erik took the girls to church with him, he goes early. I have puttered around and done some things to straighten up and it feels nice to be all alone. Misery doesn't really love company. I have to go get a shower and get ready for church before the devil talks me into another hour. I am reminded of the Simpson's episode where Homer stays home from church and has the best day ever and Marge and the kids go and the church heat is off and it is freezing-they have the worst day ever. I feel a little like Homer today. Except I will paint on my church face and play the everything is wonderful role. Hopefully, by the end of the day, it will be. I think that's called "Fake it til you make it."

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Summer Days
The first pic is our summer home. It is so handy to go from there to the water. Notice the platform that holds our pool. It is so lovely to look across the pool and see the lake. We think it was a wise investment. IT is really hard to clean since it is so large, but it is a curse we bear willingly.
Next pic is a very happy Erik with happy posers, Erika and Lilly. Kayla was unwilling to pose. Next pic is Toby in his spot. Coincidentally, this is the same spot I stayed in when I was little and my Dad took my sisters and I boating. Huge water fears have been overcome, yall. Huge.
Next pic shows us blackberry picking on the side of the road after we finished boating. The berries were few and far between. It took us a long time to pick half a butter bowl full. We had lots of fun though. Erik did too. He waited in the air-conditioned van while we picked. Eventually Toby waited there as well. He kept looking so longingly at the van, we let him sit out berry picking. Then the girls took turns in and out of the van as well. Wimps. All of them.
Last pic show a passed out Toby on the way home. He was a tired dog despite sleeping all day. He slept even more when we got home. It's a dog's life.
It was a fun day. Oh yeah and that first pic is not our house, but a very secluded lodge on the lake. It has rooms fanning out on either side of the main building. And a gorgeous view. Rumor has it this was a favorite hang-out of JFK and his "other" women. There is an awesomely huge airport nearby that was supposedly built to accomodate Air Force One. Since this is a very under-developed rural area, there is really no other explanation for such a huge airstrip. I think he and Clinton were/are kindred spirits. Crooked to the core but suave and debonaire on the surface.
Anyway, we had a great summer day. Unfortunately, we missed an art thing we had signed up for. I will make many apologies today. I feel like a heel when I miss commitments. I don't ever like being one of "those" people. If I say I am doing it, I will do it if at all possible. Erik having a day off really threw me off, but mostly it was me not putting it on the main calendar. BAD BAD!!
Today, we are relaxing and taking it slow. Doing a bit of laundry and possibly cleaning. Maybe.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Lucky Day?

According to the news, there are many couples planning weddings on 7-7-07. To this I have to say, good luck with that. When entering into the bonds of matrimony, few things matter more than looking at that beautiful engagement ring and setting that magical date. The world kind of revolves around those two things for such a long time. It sets the mood on this magical princess journey to bride-dom. THIS is what is wrong with marriages today! These two things have nothing to do with marriage.

Blood, sweat, and tears-that is what marriage is really about. It is hard work that sometimes does not seem worth it until the day comes that you KNOW it WAS worth it and so much more. When you have struggled through death valley and raise your head to find yourself in an "all frills" Hawaiian resort.

I can truly say now that I love my husband. We still fight, but it is different. I used to only see his flaws-but lately I can see a few of my own and let me tell you, he is a good man for enduring countless episodes of, "CRAP!! I can't believe I let the laundry sour again!" or "I can't believe I forgot it, I laid it right by the door so I would not forget." Loyalty throughout the daily grind and annoying habits, that is the stuff of good marriages. That date better just be a little something extra. 7-7-07 won't get you through 6 weeks of no lovin and a wife that smells like soured milk and spit-up. That one takes true love, commitment and a little help from God.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day!!

Notice I did not say Fourth of July, because everyone has a fourth of July. We are blessed to celebrate our forefathers and their fight for our independence. I am excited as we will be spending the day with family. Just us for a little while this morning, then we will join Erik's parents for a lunch celebration. A little while after that, we will visit with my family at my Mom's. Grand finale will be joining with our church family and watching fireworks together.

I started the day with walking my dog at 6 AM. How you like that Hula Girl? He will be slowly incorporated into a house dog again as some of our lovely suburbian neighbors are complaining as he has become much more confident in his roaming and unfortunately, chewing. All of you who do not own a dog may issue forth a sigh of relief for that particular headache that you do not have. I know he is worth the extra hassle and we love him much, but it is a bit of a headache. Good thing his ears still make me swoon, Tobaliciously.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Slowly, very slowly

Minus one more pound today. Lots of exercise yesterday. Partially push mowed two yards and did some swimming. Lots of water too. My clothes are fitting a little looser. I am down 8 lbs total.

Mom is doing much better, almost back to normal. I am thankful for her returning health. It is a blessing. I am learning to laugh at how she treats me instead of getting my feelings hurt, not there completely but getting there. Here is a lovely example of each.

WE were in the surgery waiting room waiting for Mom to go back. We had been told for the hundredth time just how dangerous the procedure was, so we were all taking turns crying and saying how much we loved each other. We were mentioning people who had been by to visit and pray. One gentleman in particular Mom mentioned. Setting the scene: My mom has always needled me about my weight. NON STOP. She has three thin daughters and one that is plump-me. She considers this the great failure of her life-that I am not thin. Since she is overweight, she thought she could bug me enough about it and it would make me thin. It actually backfired. I went from being sort of chubby in school to being very "well-nourished" as a grown-up. I don't give her any credit for it, but she takes it anyway. Long story short, she never misses an oppotunity to jab about the weight.

So anyway, back to the gentleman. Remember, we are all warm and fuzzy and telling each other how much we love each other. Mom pipes up about the gentleman, "He said he didn't even know you, Janice, since you had gotten so fat." My sister Linda then says, "Mom never misses an opportunity to say that, does she?" We laughed about it and it really was funny. It did make it harder not to pray her on to GLORY but I managed.

Next scene is yesterday. My day to "babysit" Mom. Then my sister gets there and decides we need to mow the yard. Mom feels much better and is even up walking around. Sue Ann is using the push mower. Mom decides she needs to get the riding mower out for her and proceeds to the shed and hops on and backs it out. Why? Because I could never figure it out. Why? Because I was 7 again in her eyes. Despite my 35 year old self right there in front of her. My three children in the house. My huge yard at home has been mowed with all manner of lawn mowers and I have been mowing since I was tall enough to push one. I could never figure hers out. IT was actually kind of like that all day. A short time after we finished the yard, I was all done and told my sis I was gonna go since she was there and Mom did not need both of us. I was on the verge of tears because it just sucks to be treated so badly when you just want to help make a bad situation better(the mower thing was one of many things). In my heart of hearts, I know she is just frustrated with her circumstances. I know it would stink to have to rely on your children to do everything for you and be forced to accept their help, advice and even relinquish your checkbook and transportation, even if it is temporary.

However, yesterday, being treated like a seven year old made me react like a 7 year old and I cried a little, took my kids and went home. Mom did not see the tears but my sister may have seen the hurt as she hugged me and thanked me for all my help. I headed home with a heavy heart. Then decided that blackberry picking all the way home would be much more fun and the kids and I had a ball-like a bunch of 7 year olds.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Ponty Swap

Today I wore my white capris to church (By the way, I don't care what anyone says-I love capris and most clothes don't flatter my body anyway.). Since they are lined, I did not give a thought to putting on my favorite polka dotted ponties-especially since I had few to choose from. However, when I went to the restroom at church and saw them looking back at me, I went home immediately to change. Because, really, who wants to see my polka dots every time we stand and sing.

Yep, it has been one of those days.